Friday, April 25, 2014

Dear Douglas: An Anzac Day post

Dear Douglas, 

Once upon a time, when I was a kid, a picture of you hung in my grandparents' house. Soldier you: looking all very solemn in your uniform. As solemn as everyone in old photographs looks. That photograph hangs in my mother's house now. 

From the time I was little, I used to ask my grandmother to tell your story, every time. She never met you, of course. You were the brother-in-law who died before she even met my grandfather. But here's what she knew: 

You were the favourite of all my great-grandmother's children. 

The only golden haired child, in a family of brunettes. 

(And you can make of that what you will.)

Your father died when you were a child. He was cleaning his gun. 

(Make of that what you will, as well.) 

You were the kid who lied about his age to go to war. You weren't eighteen at all. 

Your mother never forgave your older brother for being the one who survived. 

When I was a kid, I figured that you had to die. All the pieces are there for a perfect tragedy, right? If you hadn't been the favourite, you would have lived. If you hadn't lied to join up, you would have lived. If you hadn't been so full of youth and optimism and unfulfilled potential, you would have lived. 

When I was a kid, I understood this is an unassailable truth. 

But of course life doesn't have the same rules that art does. Life doesn't follow the structure of a story.  What happened to you is only tragic in its banality, and in the epic fucking scope of the First World War. 

On days like Anzac Day, I do try to take the time to reflect, but I don't know how I feel about the words that get used. Words like "sacrifice" and "honour" and "at rest". 

You were nineteen when you died. You were still pretty much a kid. Was it honour and sacrifice you expected, or was it adventure? You were nineteen. Nobody should be at rest when they're nineteen. 

I wish I knew more about you, Douglas. I wish you'd written more than your name in the front of your journal. I know exactly how you died -- from the letter your commanding officer sent your mother and, in detail, from the one your friend sent your brother -- but I don't know how you lived. 

I wish I knew that. 

- Lisa

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sweetwater - Coming September 29

Yay! Exciting news! My historical western Sweetwater is now available for pre-order from Riptide

Wyoming Territory, 1870.
Elijah Carter is afflicted. Most of the townsfolk of South Pass City treat him as a simpleton because he’s deaf, but that’s not his only problem. Something in Elijah runs contrary to nature and to God. Something that Elijah desperately tries to keep hidden.
Harlan Crane, owner of the Empire saloon, knows Elijah for what he is—and for all the ungodly things he wants. But Crane isn’t the only one. Grady Mullins desires Elijah too, but unlike Crane, he refuses to push the kid.
When violence shatters Elijah’s world, he is caught between two very different men and two devastating urges: revenge, and despair. In a boomtown teetering on the edge of a bust, Elijah must face what it means to be a man in control of his own destiny, and choose a course that might end his life . . . or truly begin it for the very first time. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Let the great experiment begin!

You've probably heard this one before. 

So, J. A. Rock and I wrote this thing. 

But it's a new thing. It's not the thing you're thinking of. 

Basically, this is an experimental thing. And by that I mean that it's not a romance. It's MM, but it's not a romance. It may not end the way you expect it to it. But what the hell do I know about your expectations? Maybe it all goes down exactly the way you think it will. 

Anyway, it's a little bit different, and to keep it that way we decided to self-publish it. So as soon as we figure out exactly how to go about that, we'll put this one out. 

In the meantime, this is it: 

Ilia Porter is Chechen mob boss Mikhail Kadyrov’s greatest treasure. After leaving home at eighteen to escape his verbally abusive father, beautiful, selfish Ilia has lived with Mikhail, proud of his ability to bring such a powerful man to his knees to worship. But when Ilia’s father, a police captain, kills Mikhail in a raid, Ilia’s world falls apart.

Entering to pick up the pieces is Mikhail’s younger brother, Nick—impulsive, power-hungry, and dangerous. When Nick tells Ilia he’s taking everything that belonged to Mikhail—including Ilia—Ilia is too lost in grief to fight. Nick takes Ilia prisoner in the apartment Ilia once shared with Mikhail and grooms him for a very important mission: to kill Ilia’s father and avenge Mikhail’s death.

Ilia wants no part in the plot, but being Nick’s ally is preferable to being Nick’s victim, so he begins to warp himself into the monster Nick wants him to be. Hope arrives when Nick takes another captive: Patrick, a shy massage therapist who’s stronger than he seems. Patrick and Ilia must join forces to escape Nick—and to keep each other whole as Nick does everything in his power to break them.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Anything Goes

I write romance.

There, I said it.

There are a lot of people who look down on romance – and on the people who read it and the people who write it – because there’s this weird idea still hanging on that not only is romance “genre fiction”, it’s somehow the lowest kind of genre fiction.

It’s kind of like those people who say sarcasm is the lowest form of humour. Not if you’re doing it right.

The fact that some people look down on romance doesn’t really bother me. Mostly I’m amused, because I think these people imagine that romance is still this:

Look out, Nurse Saxon! That amnesiac patient (I'm guessing) is actually a millionaire rake (I'm also guessing).

The above cover is a very outdated and narrow view of the genre. Because it can actually be this:

Or this: 

Or this: 

Or this: 

Anything goes! 

And that’s the most fun thing about this genre. I can write a spy story, or a funny story, or a horror story, or any story that I want, and as long as it’s still about people making a connection it still counts. You won’t find that kind of latitude in other genres. 

And that’s why I love it. I love reading it, and I love writing it, and screw what anyone else thinks. We’re having fun over here.