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If you're curious about what's going on with me or my work, I would LOVE to send you a newsletter! I send a few different types of email newsletter. JCP News is the monthly big email with articles, links and recommendations that comes out the 15th of each month. The Quick Link email will alert you if I have a new book out. Saturday Snippet is a fun quickie with a story quote, deleted scene, flash fic or other small goodie that I'll send on a Saturday (but not the same week as the monthly JCP News so as not to bombard you.)  The Weekly Coupons is a bit of a misnomer, since I actually run coupons for JCP Books on the 5th and 25th nowadays. And the News about Majenta is for those of you interested in my m/f erotica!

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Drinkin' Trees

I was chatting with a couple of guys in their 70's and 80's today at the senior center and they were telling stories about tapping maple trees and boiling down the sap to make syrup. They'd cook it down over a big fire and stay up all night to tend it. I was so fascinated it got me to thinking about maple sap. I had this weird idea that if you drank it straight, maybe it would taste like coconut water (which I loooove.)

Anyway, for once I remembered to look up "that thing" I was wondering about when I got home. Believe you me, I wonder plenty and much of it leaves my brain before I follow up on it. So once I researched, I discovered:

1. Yes, people do drink fresh maple sap and it's lightly sweet. I hope I get to try it sometime.
2. You can make syrup out of other trees, particularly black walnut and birch, but they don't taste like maple syrup. Now I want to try those, too!

Oh yeah, and evidently you can make moonshine. I didn't notice this on the websites but I believe the guys, since the wife of one told me they have a still in their basement :D

Charmed and Dangerous

Coming August 25

I haven't sent out a Saturday Snippet in a while, but I thought it'd be a great place to showcase the the authors in the massive anthology Charmed and Dangerous that'll hit the shelves this coming Tuesday.

Rhys Ford

Today's victim is Rhys Ford, author of several action packed M/M favorites including the ghostly Hellsinger series.
Rhys, when you were working on Dim Sum Asylum, you told me the setting and premise of this short had been pestering you for a while. I get ideas like that too, things that seem like they could be the seed of something cool, but a lot of them remain unwritten and eventually slip away. What was it for you (other than a deadline!) that catalyzed this particular idea into something tangible?
Just straight into it. Well pshaw I get to first thank you for letting me join the anthology. So there.
The setting and premise have been bugging me for years. I’d even sketched out a lot of scenes for Roku and played with the edges of what his world would entail. It seemed like a great place to drop a few thousand words and get him started.
It was neat to begin fully realizing him because I didn’t have a great hold on his personality when I started the idea but when this came around, he evolved into a cop. And one who worked for Arcane Crimes. Once that fell into place, it took off. He needed a purpose so that was awesome. He didn’t start off as a cop. And I didn’t want him to be a standard murder or vice badge. It had to be something a little bit funky and the crimes would be able to lead him to some fantastical places. And I could build the world.
Your protagonist Roku MacCormack is a half-fae. Are there any advantages to coming from a blended species for him? It seemed to me that he was more likely to encounter ostracism from both sides than to be able to travel freely between the two cultures.
He actually is more ostracized than move freely between the cultures. Roku’s world has just passed some violent flashpoints, much like the Civil Rights movement during the 60s and 70s. The fae were always separate from humans and with their own prejudices. Integration of their kind wasn’t welcome by the majority of both sides and Roku being bi-species doesn’t help him. Humans either view him with suspicion for having fae ways or eroticize him. Most fae…well, he’s just not right.
Advantages for him are purely in understanding how both sides work. The humans still don’t know much about the fae because they’re very closed in, very cloistered in their beliefs and practices. And the fae spent a few thousand years or so preying on humans in one way or another so there’s a lot of ignorance on their side.
Since there is a fairly large mingling of the two species now, Roku serves as a touchstone of sorts in this simmering-of-violence world he lives in…a weather vane.
In the first scene, Roku’s partner on the force turns out to be a dirty cop—but really, he’s the only clear cut “bad guy” in Dim Sum Asylum. The main conflict Roku and his new partner need to resolve (other than UST, tee hee) is magic gone awry. What inspired your choice of “bad guy”?
It was important to have Roku’s department be responsible for a bunch of crimes. Mundane crimes are solved by mundane cops but the Arcane Crimes department really encompass a variety of crimes.
The Chinatown Arcane Crime cops are trained at dealing with magical situations or investigating crimes against persons by arcane means. It’s a relatively new department, about a hundred or so years, but most major cities have one. It’s sort of a magical forensics and detective bull pen rolled up into one. There is an Arcane Forensics lab but the detectives on scene should have a wide knowledge of magic so they can investigate along those lines.
So in Dim Sum Asylum, it was nice to have a thing rather than person as the “bad guy”. No rules then. Or at least rules of my own making. It also helps establish what they do as Arcane Crimes and well, I can do a bit of a city romp with it.
And thank you. Really. Again. Still. For letting me join in. I am chuffed and grateful. Much love.

Charlie Cochet

Next up is Charlie Cochet, author of the addictive THIRDS series. Charlie managed to write something new for the anthology while she was moving house—talk about dedication! I only feel somewhat bad for encouraging her to work through the major upheaval and stress since it meant I could have her in the anthology.

Charlie, I’m a huge fan of gross-out horror moments, and the point at which the demons revealed themselves to Riley had me squealing with delight. What inspired the freaky demons?

I have to admit I’m a big wuss when it comes to horror. There were several instances through the PsyCop series where I wanted to close my eyes. Of course I still loved every moment of it! The inspiration came from Japanese horror films. For someone who’s easily scared pant-less by horror, I’ve seen a lot of horror films, but the original Japanese movies like Ring and Ju-on were enough to have me turning on every light to go to the bathroom.  I thought about what someone like me would be totally freaked out by, and that’s what I used to inspire the demons that chase after Riley. Of course he was smart and ran. I would have probably passed out.

When you approach a new standalone novelette like the Soldati Prince, do you need to take anything different into consideration as opposed to writing a series?

Absolutely! For one, with a series you have a lot more time to develop everything from the characters to the plot. In a standalone novelette a huge amount needs to happen in a short amount of time. We have to get to know the characters pretty quickly and the story needs to have a definite beginning, middle, and end. With a series you also get more time to develop romantic relationships between characters which is tough in a shorter story.

I’m envious of the size of your backlist, plus you always make time to interact with your fans! Do you have any special tricks to keep the words and the motivation flowing?

Aw, thank you! It’s been a pretty crazy ride. Music is a big motivator for me because it can help me get out of a writing funk. Sometimes just chatting with an author friend can help a huge deal. It can be really inspirational just talking about craft or even trying to work out something you’re stuck on. Sometimes if I’m not feeling motivated, I take a little break. It might be my brain telling me I need a little “me” time. So I’ll do something that helps me relax and then start fresh. Reading sometimes motivates me as well, especially when it’s a book I really enjoy.

Jordan L. Hawk

I feel very fortunate to share a first name with a person as cool and creative and genuine as Jordan L. Hawk. Not only do we share a first name, but we have very similar taste in genre. Co-Jordan has not only one but two popular long-running paranormal series, Whyborne & Griffin and SPECTR (I am a big time SPECTR fangirl) and a third, Sprits, debuted earlier this year.

Jordan, your magic system in The Thirteenth Hex runs like a well-oiled machine. What gave you the idea to have a hexman drawing up the integral portion of the spell?
I’ve always liked the idea of math being a component of any magical system that relies on things like spell circles—like if you drew the wrong circumference it wouldn’t work, or would blow up, or would give you unexpected results. But it occurred to me if something like hex signs worked along those lines…well, not everyone is great at math and rote learning. A powerful witch might barely be able to add, let alone do advanced geometry.
So someone who could do the math and have the draftsmanship to draw up a hex would be in high demand, even if he didn’t have a spark of magical potential of his own.
Are there any sorts of paranormal entities or creatures you’ve been itching to work with but haven’t found a spot for in one of your series just yet?
Faeries. I’d love to really delve into the old faery-lore—the pre-Victorian stuff, where instead of pretty winged creatures they were dangerous nature spirits.
The Thirteenth Hex had so much potential for sequels. The worldbuilding was rock solid, the characters were interesting, and it felt like there was so much room for more stories. And yet, you’ve already got fantastic series out the wazoo! How many series would you be willing to sustain at one time? What do you think it is about your writing that lends itself so well to series?
Well, we’re about to find out how many I can sustain at once, since I’ve been outlining Cicero’s (a side character from The Thirteenth Hex) story. ;)
I like writing series because I like exploring how relationships evolve over time. A lot of romance novels climax with “I love you” but I feel like the really interesting stuff comes after that. How do these characters mesh their lives in the long term, and what does it look like when circumstances change? Your Psycop series is a great example of that—how much awesome stuff would we have missed out on if it had ended with Jacob and Vic moved in together, right?!
That said, I’d like to try my hand at a series where the main couple changes from book to book, which is something I’ve never done before. I try to challenge myself with every book, and this would definitely be going outside of my comfort zone.
Great minds think alike! I'm always challenging my own comfort zone too. And Cicero is just begging for his own story. He is.

That's it for today--but keep your eyes peeled, there are six fascinating authors left for me to grill. And hopefully this chat has piqued your interest for our upcoming project!

Preorder Charmed and Dangerous

Take a cauldron full of magic, add a pinch of humor, a dash of snark and a huge dollop of m/m goodness, and what do you get? Charmed and Dangerous: Ten Tales of Gay Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. This all-new collection is packed with arcane action and intrigue, and every story will whisk you away to a fantastical world where the hero finds his prince and the paranormal investigator always gets his man.

Amazon - BN - iTunes - Kobo

Corps et âme - PsyCop 3, French Edition


Corps et âme

un roman court PsyCop

Thanksgiving n’a que trop duré pour Victor Bayne, qui trouve son séjour dans la famille de Jacob un peu difficile à avaler. Heureusement, il est convoqué au travail pour retrouver une personne très importante qui vient de disparaître.

Dans le même intervalle, Jacob tente de leur dégoter un logement qui ne soit infesté ni par des cafards ni par des fantômes. En plus du stress causé par ces recherches plus que frustrantes (à la fois sur le plan professionnel et personnel), Vic se voit assigné un nouvel équipier qui se croit semble-t-il incapable de faire quoi que ce soit correctement.

Son enquête prend soudain une étrange tournure lorsqu’un esprit avec un compte à régler les entraîne dans une course poursuite qui s’achève dans une cave pleine d’horreurs.

Amazon.fr
Amazon.com
iTunes
BN.com
Kobo
Payhip (avec PayPal)

A Deliciously FREE Magical Romp

Hue, Tint and Shade is a delicious little magical romp where a shy boy tries to get his man...and it may be free for you!

-If you have Kindle Unlimited, several Petit Morts stories are free to read
-Hue, Tint and Shade is plain old free on Amazon today, though I'm not sure which countries the offer will carry over to. Worth checking to see if it's free for you!

Making yo' butt happy?

I'm in an author's group where someone posted about a chair she was really digging. Not just a chair, really, but an investment. So I went and looked it up on Amazon, and OMG IT'S MORE THAN $1K.


So this got me to thinking...how much of an investment IS a chair for someone who spends most of their life sitting in it?

A couple years ago I found a pretty fantastic chair at Office Depot--I think it was over $200 which was more than I'd normally pay, but really worth it. (I am sitting in it now. It's still fantastic.) I decided to buy another one for my second desk and was sad to see it was no longer available at the Office Depot website. Then I thought I found a cache of them on Amazon, only to order it and find out the next day it was out of stock and they'd refunded my payment. So I ordered a chair that looked the same, but ended up being nowhere near as supportive.

My sadly out-of-stock chair that I love:

I really dig the mesh back and bottom. Otherwise I get that awful stuck-to-the-chair feeling.

So given how many hours a day we all spend on our butts (and I am pretty sure I spend more time than most) how much would you pay for a chair?

(Plus I'm toying with the standing desk thing again lately...that's a perennial attempt at getting off my tush.)

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Last night at my writing group, I asked the gang what they thought about personal mission statements. With writing, motivation is really a huge part of the puzzle, and as with anything in life, it's easy for goals to shift, for targets to become blurry. In essence, it's super common to lose sight of why you do what you do.

I've always had a drive to make stuff. No doubt there are fancier ways I could say that, but at the core, the statement is very easy to understand, isn't it? I like making stuff. And I especially like seeing other people digging the stuff I make. It's satisfying. Imagine cooking a fantastic new recipe. It's a lot more fun to have a friend squee over it with you than it is to just eat it yourself.

When I was trying to articulate what it is that brings me satisfaction, it occurred to me I had a slogan at some point but couldn't remember when or where. I just found it -- it's on JCPbooks.com, where I used to sell my books direct, where I now just have information and links about my books. Ah, the shifting sands of publishing and ecommerce! Here it is:

Weird and wonderful ebooks you'll want to read again and again!

The "weird and wonderful" ebooks speaks to my desire to create things that people have never seen before. Yeah, everything under the sun has already been done, but it's totally possible to add a twist or a flavor that's new. And the re-read...well, I really can't think of any higher compliment than a reader chosing to re-invest their time in a story I've written.

...I also get a big charge out of knowing someone has skipped work because they couldn't put my book down. So if that ever happens to you, be sure to tell me, it'll make my day :D

Coming soon: Charmed and Dangerous

Immerse Yourself

In TEN worlds of Magic

It’s magical. It’s man on man. And I promise you, my friends, it’s massive. I’ve put together an all new, all-star m/m paranormal anthology. It’s coming August 25, and I can’t wait to unveil it.

There’s something in this gigantic collection for everyone: ghosts and goblins, spellcasters and shifters. You’ll find a great mix of fresh new storyverses and riveting standalone stories from several popular m/m series, including a spiffy newPsyCop novelette.

Just check out our m/m rock star lineup!

Astrid Amara

KJ Charles

Charlie Cochet

Rhys Ford

Ginn Hale

Lou Harper

Jordan L Hawk

Nicole Kimberling

Jordan Castillo Price

Andrea Speed

Find out more in this month's JCP News!!

Escape from popup hell

It seemed to me this is the type of thing that Victor Bayne would do, but then I realized it was poor Elijah in Forget Me Not who had this happen to him :-)

I ended up on some crazy website yesterday with a terrible popup that wouldn't let me close it and wouldn't do anything other than open more and more tabs. (And no, it wasn't even a porn site!)

I could force-quit my app, but then I'd lose my other tabs. So the second time this happened--I'm a glutton for punishment--I discovered something cool. I was able to open up a pane called Task Manager in Chrome and kill the selective punk-ass tabs. There's probably something similar in other browsers.

Maybe this'll help you someday if you ever find yourself in popup hell!

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