Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Non-Writing Week

I'm spending the week in Brisbane for a family wedding. I brought my laptop with me, telling myself that of course I'd get writing done. Of course I would. Unfortunately I overlooked the fact that I would be sharing a motel room with my 9 year old nephew. 

"Aunty Lisa, are you playing Plants Vs Zombies?" 

"No. I'm writing." 

"Do you write proper books?" 


"Why can't I read them?" 

"They're for grown-ups. You can read one when you're eighteen." 

"Aunty Lisa, can I just sit beside you while you write?" 


"Is that a rude word? Did you write the f-word there? I'm telling Nana!" 

And so much for getting any writing done this week... 

Meanwhile, The Good Boy has been really well-received so far. It's always a strange thing to put a book out there, because you never know it people are going to love it, hate it, or -- worse -- ignore it. So to everyone who's bought a copy, thanks so much! You guys rock! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Good Boy Release Day; or, What Time Is It In America?

I know. What sort of person am I that I haven't even got a post prepared for the release day of The Good Boy

Well, release days are always a bit weird for me. I blame the International Date Line. Because the 26th of March rolled around ages ago for me, and NOTHING HAPPENED. Because when it's the 26th of March where I am, it's the 25th where my publisher is. Damn Americans, living in the past. Literally. 

But whatever the time is there now, The Good Boy is already available direct at Loose Id and I presume other outlets won't be too far behind. 

And also, sometime later today (or yesterday, or at some point on the space-time continuum) JA Rock and I will be over at Joyfully Jay talking about puppy play, the actual dogs we've loved (purely platonically), and giving away a copy of The Good Boy

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Good Boy: Brin

I can't believe The Good Boy is out on the 26th! Well I can, because I've been telling people for ages. What I should have said was that I can't believe it's already this late in March. How did that happen? Anyway, it's time to introduce you to some more characters in The Good Boy

You know that one couple in your life that you kind of hate because they're so damned happy and in love with each other? And they also love you, and promise that you're not a third wheel, and invite you places only to torture you be being so damned happy and in love? 

In The Good Boy that couple is Brin and Ferg. Brin is the bratty, enthusiastic sub, and Ferg is the patient put-upon Dom. But it works for them. If you want to read more about Ferg, then head over to JA Rock's blog. Because I'm going to tell you all about Brin. 

Um...Brin. What can I tell you about Brin? Even our MC Derek's not always sure how to take Brin: 

“How was lunch with the guys?”

“Good. Ferg is good, and Brin is…” A paisley Vera Bradley razzleberry explosion of enthusiastic brattiness? The wunderkind of impromptu burrito puppetry? Derek had no words.

“Brin is Brin?” Christy suggested.

Brin is also Derek's ex, but they're still friends. Mostly because after dumping Derek, Brin hooked up with Ferg, one of Derek's friends. And I mentioned they're disgustingly happy, right? 

Brin is everything he appears to be -- camp, bitchy, fabulous, and covered in enough hair product to cause an ecological disaster should he ever swim in the ocean. But he's also a lot more than that. So much more, in fact, that Brin has snagged his own story. It's called The Naughty Boy, it's short and sweet, and it's scheduled for release on April 30. 

During the course of The Good Boy, Brin also takes our other MC Lane under his sparkling wing. Because sometimes boys like Lane need more guidance than their Doms can offer, right? Sometimes boys like Lane want to learn how to become brats, and guess what? Brin is the perfect teacher. 

“You’ve come to the right place.” Brin picked up a notepad and pencil. “Welcome to Gettin’ Yo Ass Spanked 101. First, I’m going to need you to tell me something Derek does that irritates you. And don’t say ‘nothing.’ Yes, you worship him. Yes, he’s a great guy. But I dated him, and I know he leaves his toenails in the cracks between the bathroom tiles and listens to Journey, so don’t bullshit me.”

“I don’t… I can’t think of anything.”


“Well, okay. He’s been really busy lately, and sometimes it makes me kind of mad. Which is stupid, because it’s not his fault, and it’s not even his job to pay attention to—”

“Stop right there.” Brin pointed the pencil at Lane. “It is his job to pay attention to you. If he’s not giving you the attention you need, you’re going to earn it. That’s what brats do. It’s what we’ve done for centuries.”

“He’s not my—whatever. My Dom.”

“You’re going to ask him to be, however indirectly. And I could be wrong, but I don’t see how Derek could pass up the invitation.” He looked Lane over. Lane glanced down at himself, then back at Brin.


“Let’s practice having a tantrum,” Brin said.


“A tantrum, Lane. I’m sure they weren’t permitted in Sister Shush’s School for the Clinically Silent or wherever you went, but they exist, and they’re actually quite fun.” He sat up straight. “Okay. I’ll be Derek. And I’ll make some completely reasonable request, like, ‘Dear, can you take out the trash?’”

“Derek doesn’t call me dear.”

“He should; that’s exactly what you are. Okay, Lane, could you please take out the trash?” He gestured at Lane. “Now tell me you don’t want to.”

“I don’t want to?”

“It’s not a question, babe. You don’t want to.”

“I don’t want to.”

Brin sighed. “Tell you what. You be Derek. And I’ll show you how it’s done. Okay? Ask me to take out the trash.”

“Can you take out the trash?”

“No, thanks,” Brin singsonged. “Busy. Please try again later.”

Lane hesitated.

“Now you insist,” Brin said.

“The trash needs to go out.”

“You can take out your own damn doo-doo, honeybear. I’ve got Kardashians to keep up with.”

Lane froze, mouth open. What would Derek say to that? Or Ferg? Or any Dom? Lane felt half nauseated, half amused as he imagined what Acton’s response would have been if Lane had ever been stupid enough to talk back to him.

“That’s not how you talk to me,” Lane said, trying to sound stern.

“Oh, isn’t it? Did this become a police state when I wasn’t looking? This is America. Freedom of speech, freedom of tone, the right not to have my home quartered by the military.”

Jesus. You couldn’t say that kind of shit to your Dom, or he’d…

Get pissed and punish you.

That was what Lane wanted, right?

“Take the trash out, or else.”

“Or else what?” Brin stood and put his hands on his hips. “You spend three days ignoring me, and then you finally notice when I’m not acting like your perfect little maid? You could at least ask me how my day was before you go ordering me around. But apparently I rank lower on your priority list than trash.” He dove back onto the couch and turned away, burying his face in the cushion.

Lane took an uncertain step toward the couch.

Brin rolled over and looked at Lane, dropping the act for a moment. “And you can embellish here—sighs, huffing, turning away and hugging a sofa cushion, throwing something small, like a pen or a day planner. Whatever works for you. Raise the volume of your voice as the tantrum progresses, and crank up the whine factor. Don’t push things too far too fast, or he might walk away to give you time to settle down. You want to keep his attention on you, until he says ‘enough’ and pulls you over his knee.”

“How can you do that to Ferg?”

“Oh, Mary Sue, it’s so easy.”

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Island is a TRR Best Book of 2012 Nominee!

Wow, you guys!

The Island has been nominated over at The Romance Reviews for Best GLBT - Contemporary Romance of 2012. And it's in some fine company as well!

So if you're a member over there (and it's a fun site, you should totally be a member!) head on over and vote for your favourites.

Or you can vote for The Island by following this button:

The Romance Review

Voting closes on March 31.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Good Boy: Stephen and Laura

Here are some more players from The Good Boy out on March 26. This week I pulled Stephen and Laura Moredock out of the hat. If you want to read about the villain of the piece, Acton Wagner, heard over to JA Rock’s blog.

Laura and Stephen Moredock are our MC Lane’s parents, and they don’t feature in The Good Boy so much as their absence features. On paper, they’re perfect: charming, wealthy, witty, in love…but Lane has felt like a third wheel in their grand romance ever since he was a kid.

Now Laura, CEO of Moredock Investments, is in jail awaiting trail for securities fraud. And Stephen? Nobody knows where the hell he’s run to. Not even Lane, because Stephen won’t answer his phone. 

They’ve left Lane high and dry to deal with the fallout from collapse of their business empire and the ensuing investigation. Lane should hate them, of course, but it’s never that simple with family.

In the excerpts below, we get a portrait of Stephen and Laura, filtered through Lane’s childhood memories: 

 Once, when he was about nine or ten, Lane had sat at the top of the steps at the house in New York and watched his parents leave for a party. They were like a couple from a black-and-white movie. His father was handsome and his mother was elegant, and they bantered back and forth like Tracy and Hepburn: clever, confident, sharp, and funny. They were wonderful. Lane missed that.

He missed them. Did they miss the quiet, mumbling boy who orbited around their periphery, never quite reaching them?


He felt like he was eight years old again, listening to his parents discuss how he’d behaved at one of their dinner parties. His mother had dressed him in a six-hundred-dollar suit. They’d wanted to show him off to a client who had a daughter Lane’s age.
Lane hadn’t been able to open his mouth all night.
He’d tried. He knew almost everyone’s name. He was good with names, learned them by watching and listening. And he remembered details about people—where they worked, how many kids they had, why his parents liked or hated them.
He just couldn’t talk to them.
The client asked what grade he was in.
Such a simple question. He knew the answer. But the words were stuck.
I’m in the second grade.
How hard was it to say?
“He’s in second grade, aren’t you?” his mother had finally said, gripping his arm a little too hard.
He’d spent the rest of the night trying to pretend he was somewhere else. The client’s daughter was perfect. She was quiet when she needed to be but answered the adults’ questions politely and precociously, making everyone laugh.
Lane had finally managed to say thank you to the waiter who took his plate at dinner. No one else was paying attention to the waiter, or to Lane, so it wasn’t so hard to get the words out.
The waiter hadn’t responded.
That was one of Lane’s least favorite things about talking. Sometimes he spent so much effort forcing the words out, only to have the other person fail to reply, or respond rudely.
Acton Wagner had been there, and he’d done a trick where he stood behind the Moredock’s antique sofa and made it look like he was walking down a flight of stairs. That had made Lane smile.
“A smile! I knew you had it in you,” Acton had said.
Later on, Lane stood on the stairs and listened to his parents talking.
“Maybe something’s not right with him,” Laura said. “There’s a child psychologist in Hereford the Stallworths take Hannah to.”
“He’ll grow out of it,” Stephen said.
“People think he’s stupid.”
“Laura, he’ll be fine.”
People think he’s stupid, Lane mouthed now, staring at a vaguely cubist cat painting on the wall.
He’ll be fine.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Good Boy: Lane

So, The Good Boy is out really, really soon -- March 26! -- and JA Rock and I thought we’d introduce you guys to some of the players. Today I’m profiling one of our MC’s Lane. If you want to read about our other MC Derek, head over to JA Rock’s blog.

Landon “Lane” Moredock is a 20-year-old guy whose life has just been turned upside down. Instead of spending a lazy vacation at his parents’ summer home in Belleview, New England, before heading back to college, Lane has suddenly found himself homeless, friendless, and completely out of his depth. The SEC has taken his parents’ house and frozen his bank accounts, the FBI has arrested his mother Laura for securities fraud, and his father Stephen is on the lam. Someone has to know where Stephen is, and where the money is, and everyone’s looking pretty closely at Lane.

Lane’s not very good at being suddenly-not-rich.  Okay, he wasn’t that good at being rich either. Actually, Lane’s not good at anything except being socially awkward and cripplingly shy. He kind of likes film making, but not having people watch them, and he kind of likes animals…and that’s about it. There’s one person left in his life that he trusts: Acton Wagner, an old family friend. Big mistake.

Lane’s not looking for love. Lane’s not looking for anything, thanks very much, except enough money to keep himself together until his parents and their lawyers sort this mess out, and to be left alone in the meantime. And he’s certainly not looking for anything that a self-professed Dom like Derek Fields has to offer. Because Lane’s not putting himself out there again for anyone, right? He’s not going to make the mistake of trusting someone again. Except some part of him, some stupid, needy part of him, wants to believe that not everyone is out to hurt him.

In this excerpt from The Good Boy, Lane is worrying about whether or not to accept Derek’s offer of a job:

It had always been easy for Lane to do what other people wanted. Even as a child he’d had trouble getting his thoughts into words and words out of his mouth. He could remember panicking when someone asked him a question like where he went to school, or what his favorite food was. Adults always tried to make conversation, but Lane had wanted so desperately to stay in his own head. It wasn’t that he didn’t like people. They fascinated him. He wanted to listen to their conversations, watch the way they moved and interacted.
But the idea of participating in their world was terrifying.
He’d gotten a little better over the years. He could answer questions, at least, and he’d had a few friends at school who kidded him about being shy but accepted that was the way he was. But there was always that fear simmering just below the surface. The fear he’d be dragged into the spotlight. Forced to talk. Mocked or hated for what he said.
And that was exactly what had happened when his mother went to jail.
Suddenly, all eyes were on him. People were demanding answers Lane didn’t have. He and his family were loathed, made fun of, threatened, and disgraced.
Lane needed to be an adult. He needed to stand up for himself, tell everyone to back the fuck off, and figure out a way to go on with his life.
To take control.
Lane hadn’t intended to call Derek Fields. Not when things were almost looking up. Well, kind of looking up now he had a job at Taco Hub. Lane didn’t heart the Hub like the T-shirts for sale at the counter suggested he should, but he was grateful for it. The pay was lousy, but free tacos at the end of every shift? Worth it.
Lane wasn’t sure why he hadn’t thrown the photographer’s card away. He’d held on to it and turned it over in his hands so often that he’d worn the corners down into fuzzy edges by the time he finished his shift, but he hadn’t intended to call the guy.
Derek Fields. Fields Photography.
Derek Fields thought Lane was a liar and a thief. So why offer him a job?
“How liable are you, Landon?”
I don’t know.
His parents had hurt so many people. Lane might not have known what was going on while it was happening, but would he have spoken up if he had? Probably not.
He was the kind of person who let things happen around him, withheld his opinions because silence was easier.
If you were quiet, people sometimes left you alone. If you didn’t protest, people did whatever they were going to do to you and moved on.
Class was the worst. Lane enjoyed school, and sometimes in seminar classes he found himself full of ideas, wanting to contribute to the discussion. Then he imagined how he would sound, stammering through ideas that had sounded fine in his head. He imagined his classmates thinking, What does the asshole rich kid know? He’s only here because Mommy and Daddy can sign big checks.
He had to be done with that Lane now. The scared, cringing kid waiting for someone to save him.
He had to get his shit together.
And he could certainly do that without Derek Fields.
But Derek Fields had asked him if he was okay. He’d left Lane a five-dollar tip. Five dollars wasn’t much, but shit, it wasn’t the money, remember? It was the fucking principle.
He wasn’t going to call.
Lane thought about the way Derek Fields had stood in front of the counter at Taco Hub and asked him if he was okay. Hadn’t joined his mouthy asshole friend in taunting Lane. “Ask for a break for a few minutes. See if that helps.”
Like he actually cared.
You gonna fall for that again?
It didn’t matter if Derek hated him or not. Derek had offered him a job.
So he’d called. He’d sat on his bed and stared at the floor, and dialed the number while someone started a shouting match in the hallway outside.
“Derek Fields.”
“Hi, um, this is um—” And he hadn’t known where to go from there. Shit. This is Landon Moredock? Lane hated the name as much as everyone else. “Sorry, this is probably a mistake. You, um, you gave me your card. Well, you left it.”
Shit shit shit.
What the hell was he doing? Derek Fields was the photographer from the party, the one Acton said Lane had invited for a threesome. And just like that he’d heard Acton’s voice in his head: Whore. Just the memory of it had made him want to be sick.
So much for getting his shit together. Taking control.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Want to win some books? And read about crazy animals?

Today I am over at Tara Lain's blog, with my co-author for The Good Boy, JA Rock. We're taking part in the Paws with a Cause blogfest, and talking about crazy pets and our almost identical history of "Please! PLEASE MUM! Can't we keep it, PLEASE!" 

Check it out! You can win a copy of The Island, by me, your choice from JA's backlist, and a heap of other great prizes. 

Now, because there are only so many words you can write on a guest post, I talked about my cats, who are all adopted. I mean, obviously I didn't give birth to them, but I also didn't go to a pet shop and buy them. No, I had no choice but to take them in, you know, once I looked them in the eye. 

But because I had to keep it short and sweet, I didn't talk about Eudo. 

Also, because Eudo is a sad story. 

Eudo was the stray cat who used to come into my house and eat my cats' food. My cats hated him with a passion, but the sort of repressed British passion you only really see in Merchant Ivory productions. They glared a lot, and looked miffed, but Eudo didn't care. 

Eudo, not caring. 
Once, Eudo didn't come around for a few days. When he finally showed up, he was in bad shape: dragging his swollen leg behind him, his ear torn, his tail all busted up. But still hungry. 

So I made a vet appointment and gave him breakfast. 

"Don't eat too much, Eudo," said my mother, who was visiting that day. 

"Fuck it, Eudo," I told him, "eat as much as you want. Go nuts." 

Because I knew where this was going. 

The vet was very nice about it. Yeah, it was bad. Yeah, it would be the kindest thing. No, they wouldn't charge me. So I made the Grown Up decision. 

Which was no consolation at all when it occurred to me later: that stray cat, hit by a car, had managed to drag himself to the one place where he felt safe. And how did I repay him? 

With a Grown Up decision. 

You can't save them all, of course, but a part of me will always be the little kid standing outside the pet shop or the animal shelter, begging to have the chance. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cover Reveal for The Good Boy!

I love it when I get to do this. Seriously, this is the fun part! This is the part where a thing that was just a file on my computer suddenly becomes a real book. And here it is, the cover for The Good Boy

The cover artist is Fiona Jayde, and I think she's done a great job here. And the words are by me and JA Rock

Here's the blurb: 

Introverted college student Lane Moredock is in a bad place. His mother has been arrested for securities fraud, his father is on the run, and everyone, including the SEC, suspects Lane knows where the missing millions are. Lane, with no money and nowhere to live, makes a desperate deal that lands him in trouble and leaves him unwilling to trust a so-called Dom again.

Photographer Derek Fields lost money to the Moredocks, and is as sure as anyone that Lane is guilty despite his claims. A chance meeting with Lane shows him there might be something more to the young man than arrogance and privilege, and Derek wonders if Lane might be just what he’s been looking for: a sub with the potential to be a life partner.

As Lane slowly begins to open up to Derek and explore his needs as a submissive, the investigation closes tighter around him. Lane might be everything that Derek wants, but first Derek needs to trust that Lane is innocent—and Lane needs to trust Derek with the truth.

The Good Boy is out on March 26 from Loose Id. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

You may kiss the brides...

I am so excited. But also furious. 

In June, two very good female friends of mine are getting married. To each other, so there's no confusion. It's a beach ceremony -- Nik is ex-navy, and to say that she loves the water is an understatement. Cut that girl and she bleeds saltwater. 

So here's where I am excited: Karen and Nik have asked me to be their celebrant. 

My first reaction was: "What? Me? WHAT?" 

My second was: "But you know I'm not actually a celebrant, right?" 

And that's where the furious comes in, because it's not a legal wedding. The invitations are calling it a wedding, we're all calling it a wedding, but it's not. It's an informal statement of commitment that they're making in front of their friends and family. It is not a legal wedding, and it's not a legal marriage. 

And why the hell not? 

A 2012 poll found that approximately 65% of Australians support marriage equality. 53% of Christians support it. And 52% of Coalition voters support it - that's our conservatives, to overseas readers. I have no doubt the number would be much higher in leftwing voters. And these numbers are on the up and up. A few States have brought in their own recognition of same sex unions (because we can't use the M-word, oh my!) but the Federal government has so far refused to budge. 

So why is that? 

We currently have a leftwing government. Our Prime Minister is an unmarried woman who lives in sin with the First Bloke (not his actual title). To hear her spruik about "traditional families" is watching an exercise in hypocrisy. Julia, I want to tell her, the Christians over there on the far right are beyond appeasement. They already think you're a communist and a fallen woman, so why stop pandering to their hysteria over teh gays

We have openly gay politicians. Who live with their long term partners. And have children. And then publicly stand up and say, barefaced, that they believe a marriage should be between a man and a woman. Sometimes they make me angrier than the bigots. At least a bigot isn't a hypocrite. 

Now, I don't care what the church's position is -- any church. Remember the Enlightenment? Remember the separation of Church and State? Yeah, that was great. Let's go back to that. If a gay couple want to get married in a Catholic cathedral, then that's a different fight. But if they want to get married at the courthouse, in the park, or on the beach, and the majority of Australians support that, then isn't it long past overdue? 

So in June I'll be standing on a beach conducting an unofficial commitment ceremony, and I will be happy and delighted and honoured (and nervous!) to do so. But a part of me will wish I was in the audience instead, and that it was a real celebrant standing up in front of my friends.