Corked is Live (Almost Everywhere)!

Corked Cover

Unfortunately, I had a few hiccups with my book release yesterday. WordPress didn’t seem to want to let me create a new blog post (grr). The books didn’t go live in time on Barnes & Noble and Kobo (still waiting on Kobo). But I’m still very excited to announce that “Corked” is available for sale!

Available Now

In my previous post, I talked a bit about how the three books in “The Wine Tasting Series” became “Corked” but I should also talk about how the “Corked” cover came to be. I live in Michigan and I’ve made several trips to the Traverse City area for wine tastings with friends, so this is an area (and subject!) near and dear to my heart.

As I usually do, I took oodles of photos when I was there. I unearthed those photos when I planned the cover of “Corked” and was delighted to find the perfect image for it. Can’t you just picture Sean and Lucas strolling through the vines and admiring the view?

Corked Vineyard

Summary:

Sean Powell is having a terrible day. When he walks into Bistro Argent, ready to unwind over a glass of wine with the sommelier, he’s stunned to discover his friend has been replaced by a hot young guy with big ideas. Lucas Spencer is determined to liven up the staid and stodgy wine list, but his brash approach alienates the wine distributor during their first meeting.

There’s no avoiding each other though and the more they butt heads, the hotter the tension between them gets. As they work together and their relationship progresses, they have to figure out how to blend their professional frustration and personal attraction without risking their careers.

Lucas is eleven years younger than Sean, and despite their sizzling chemistry and compatibility, Sean can’t quite believe the feelings are mutual. A wine tasting trip to Traverse City, Michigan threatens their fledgling relationship. Sean’s insecurities rise to the surface as Lucas’s fears of losing Sean lead to jealousy.

Does the relationship have legs or will they find out it’s corked?

Excerpt:

“I want to talk to Richard about setting up some classes at the restaurant, maybe on Sundays after brunch, kind of an ‘intro to wine’ type of thing explaining the different types of wine and how to properly taste them.”

“Sounds great,” Sean said and then added, “Hey, I meant to ask, did Richard respond to your earlier text?”

“Oh, I’m not sure,” Lucas replied, handing Sean the box containing the half case of wine they’d purchased. He fished in his pocket for the phone. He pulled it out, smiling at the photo of Sean in the vintage truck he’d set as his background before he noticed the text notification. “Looks like he did.”

“Oh, yeah? What did he say?” Sean asked.

Lucas nearly tripped getting on the trolley as he read Richard’s response.

What is wrong with you two? You think about fucking at work and work during your vacation instead of fucking. Stop thinking about my goddamn restaurant and go screw.

He was still laughing as they took their seats, and Sean had to wrestle the phone away from him to see the message. “Richard!” he exclaimed, his hand going to his forehead to rub at his temples. “Jesus, that man is incorrigible.”

“He’s your friend,” Lucas pointed out, still laughing as he took his phone back and replied to Richard.

“I don’t claim him!” Sean protested. “Besides, he’s your friend now, too.”

“Damn it,” Lucas muttered jokingly. “That’s what I get for dating you. Couldn’t you have brought something better to the relationship than Richard Brayden?”

Buy Links:

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Kobo: PENDING

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Coming Soon – Corked (Wine Tasting Series Re-Release)

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Four years ago, very early on in my publishing journey, I wrote Spit or Swallow. It was a funny and hot little short story about a wine distributor and a sommelier butting heads over wine.

I hadn’t originally planned to write Aftertaste, but readers clamored for more of Sean and Lucas’s story, and I eventually wrapped up their happily-ever-after with Finish. 

Because they were short stories, I didn’t get an overwhelming amount of sales. I thought bundling them into a single file as The Wine Tasting Series might help, but the sales were even lower for that. Some of it, I think, was a lackluster cover and lack of promotion. I had other projects to work on though that needed to take priority, so I let it languish in my backlist.

A few months ago, I pulled it out and dusted it off and realized that while the plot itself was solid, my writing had drastically improved over the years. I began to ponder the idea of a re-release. Three short stories together came in at about 34,000 words, which was novella length. Could I fix it up so that I could bring new readers in?

As I polished the writing and tweaked the pacing so it flowed as a novella, I began to realize there were scenes that I could expand by showing, not telling. (My middle school English teacher would be so proud!)

And as the story came together, I realized it needed a new title. It didn’t take long before Corked popped into my head.  Once I had the title, a cover came together. And as I began the final editing process, I realized an epilogue would really add to the story. There was definitely more of Lucas and Sean’s story to tell. When it was all done, it came together with a grand total of 42,000 words. New readers will get to discover the story for the first time as a long novella and previous readers will enjoy almost 8,000 words of additional content!

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Title: Corked

Release Date: April 28, 2018

Length: 42,031 words (Novella)

Blurb:

Sean Powell is having a terrible day. When he walks into Bistro Argent, ready to unwind over a glass of wine with the sommelier, he’s stunned to discover his friend has been replaced by a hot young guy with big ideas. Lucas Spencer is determined to liven up the staid and stodgy wine list, but his brash approach alienates the wine distributor during their first meeting.

There’s no avoiding each other though and the more they butt heads, the hotter the tension between them gets. As they work together and their relationship progresses, they have to figure out how to blend their professional frustration and personal attraction without risking their careers.

Lucas is eleven years younger than Sean, and despite their sizzling chemistry and compatibility, Sean can’t quite believe the feelings are mutual. A wine tasting trip to Traverse City, Michigan threatens their fledgling relationship. Sean’s insecurities rise to the surface as Lucas’s fears of losing Sean lead to jealousy.

Does the relationship have legs or will they find out it’s corked?


There’s no pre-order for this book, but if you want to get your hands on Corked as soon as it’s available there are two options!

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Flash Fiction Monday – Nudity and the Pug

“Two shirts, sandals, and no pants, huh?”

Amal jerked, then craned his neck to look at me. I’d been sitting there watching him cook for a while, but he hadn’t noticed.

“My feet get cold.”

“But your balls don’t?”

Thick lashes dipped down to shadow dark eyes and he gave me a sweet, half-smile.  “You could warm them. You’re very good with your tongue.”

Amal was an intriguing mix of shy and bold.

Our relationship had developed oddly.  He’d been studying at Universität Hamburg and in need of a place to live. I’d been left behind by a former partner who thought packing and moving without giving me notice was an appropriate way to end a relationship I’d thought would last a lifetime.

Given how sullen I was when Amal moved into the flat full of American and British exchange students—not to mention my less than handsome face—I still don’t know why he gave me a second glance. In truth, he probably wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the news reports of the endless bombings in Syria. He’d left before the worst of it began and his immediate family had relocated to a safer place since. It broke my heart to watch him grieve for his home country and fear for the distant relatives and friends unable or unwilling to leave.

One night, when the rest of our flat mates were out, we sat in the living room watching the news. I’m still not sure what made me lean against him so the sides of our bodies were pressed together. Maybe it was the big dark eyes swimming with tears or the way the need in them mirrored my own, but I leaned in and he let out this heavy, shuddering sigh that I felt down to my bones. I stayed glued to his side long after he’d switch from the news to a more upbeat movie, his hand heavy and warm against my skin.

I was disappointed when he stretched and yawned, then told me he was going to bed, thinking the night had been a fluke. When I turned to go into the room where my bed was located, he gave me a look that warmed me to my toes. “I thought you’d be sleeping with me.”

That’s the night I discovered Amal was a closet nudist and that licking his balls both made him giggle and sigh with pleasure.

We were an odd pair; no question about it. But our flatmates eventually grew used to the sight of us together. After the first night we spent together, he was naked as often he could manage—with curious flatmates and cold winter air around it wasn’t often—so after he graduated we moved into a smaller flat free from prying eyes. Or so we’d thought.

He twisted the dial to off and turned to face me. “What do you think of my idea?”

I smiled and pulled him close; our bare skin brushing together sent a pleasant tingle through my body. I’d stripped down the moment I got home. “It’s brilliant. But we’d better lock the dog out of the bedroom.”

Amal nodded and shot a glance at our new, canine roommate. “He watches us a lot. I swear I caught him staring at my bum earlier.”


 

Please visit the flash fic group on Facebook and check out the links to the other authors’ flash fics. We have quite a few contributions this week!

I look forward to seeing you next Monday!

On Sale


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All Romance is offering a great sale to celebrate Earth Day!  All of my books are 50%* and the best part is, I still get full royalties!  So you get short stories for $1.50 while I get paid $1.79.  Now that’s a good deal!  It’s only good for today though, so hurry!

*Rebate to be given at check-out in eBuck s equal to 50% of purchase for use on a future purchase. The Earth Day 50% Site-Wide  (on Eligible ebooks) Rebate applies to paypal and credit card purchases from 12:01 am 04/22/14 to 11:59 pm 04/22/14 US/Central only.

All Romance

My books are now available on All Romance!  

 

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It’s been a nice little boost to my sales.  In the three days since I put the books up I’ve sold 27 copies.  Since my average across all sites is 2/day, that was a nice surprise!

Also, if you’ve never checked the site out, you really should.  I found a number of free books available for download, so if you’re like me and your book budget is hurting, check them out.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of a lot of them and I’ve definitely gone on to buy additional books from those authors.