Sunday, January 25, 2015

Geek Out: Recs and Babbles

I meant to write (and post) this post last week, but Life. In any case, it seems timely for this week, as LT3's Geek Out collection is releasing, and oh man, do we have some awesome stories. You can check out the full collection here (and buy the bundle here!).

I'm going to talk about my favorites. I have four favorites. (I am, as ever, indecisive as hell. ;3) I also kind of suck at reviews, so hopefully I will make sense. Disclaimer! I am one of the owners of the publishing company publishing these books, but the opinions and fangirling here are honestly presented.

Love Rampage by Alex Powell
Maíra has always wanted a unicorn, but isn't quite prepared when one shows up on her doorstep and kidnaps her—and proclaims that Maíra must confess her feelings to the girl she loves. Maíra is definitely reluctant to follow through with that, but everything changes when Carol is kidnapped by a demon... 

This book is my #1 favorite of the collection. 100% absolutely adored it from start to finish. Basically this book is perfect. It's lighthearted, fairy-tale style writing that makes fun of itself even as it explores more serious topics. Maíra is amazing, the unicorn is so hilariously bossy and one-track mind, I love it. Carol is also amazing, and the book is so tightly plotted and sweet, I'm just 100% over the moon with it. A++ recommend, will re-read forever.



The rest of these are in the order that I opened them in my browser tabs (aka no particular order), as they are all close seconds to Love Rampage. ^^



Long Macchiatos and Monsters by Alison Evans
Jalen, lover of B-grade sci-fi movies, meets the far-too-handsome P in a cafe while deciding whether or not to skip uni again. When P invites them along to a double feature of Robot Monster and Cat Women of the Moon, Jalen can hardly believe that hot boys like bad sci-fi, too. But as their relationship progresses, Jalen realizes P leaves them wondering if they're on the same page about what dating means, and if that's what they're doing.

So I am ebook formatter extraordinaire for LT3, which means I get books in advance for ARC formatting as well as general ebook creation. I often get glimses of books while I do this, but I don't often read books at this stage. Rare is the book that I have to stop formatting so I can read it. Long Macchiatos and Monsters is one of those books. I had five hundred gazillion other things to do that day (as per usual), but I put them off because I was so intrigued by the glimpses of the characters I got as I verified formatting. P and Jalen are by turns sweet and amazing and quirky and lovely. I love the way they meet (coffee shop) and bond (over terrible B-movies). I have no idea how to wrap this up, so I'm going to stop fangirling here. ^^

(Also this cover legit makes me want to go out and get froofy coffee, even though it's ten at night and that would be a terrible idea.)

Defying Convention by Cecil Wilde
Danny and AJ have been online friends for years, and secretly in love with each other. When the opportunity to attend a comics convention comes up, they decide to go and share a room. But friendship online does not always translate to friendship offline, and both are anxious about how the meeting will go, and the friendship change, when faced with challenges easily avoided behind the safety of computer screens...

Defying Convention explores a theme I've seen done a bunch of times (relationship begins at con, major conflict arises b/c what is to be done after when the two MCs go their separate ways???). The twist here is that Danny and AJ have been online friends for years. I really enjoyed the way that played into their interactions, and I loved, loved, loved how comfortable they were with each other. This one has probably the most personal vibes with me; how Danny and AJ meet up and interact with each other resonated strongly with me, as that's 100% how I met Megan: online first, meeting up with a short visit first, and man was that first visit nervewracking, even though I knew it would be fine. I won't spoil the ending, but I loved it. I don't think they could have had a more perfect ending. I was genuinely flailing at the ending.

Double Take by J.K. Pendragon
Studying magical science at the prestigious Kemet Academy is a privilege and dream come true for Teka, a poor student from D'mt. But focusing on school doesn't mean xe can't also admire Hasani, the handsome graduate student overseeing Teka's work.

Then late one night at the school library, Teka runs into Hasani and is completely astonished when the stern, quiet man xe knows by day acts so flirty and casual, it's like he's a different person. When the late night encounter leads to dating, Teka can scarcely believe xyr luck.

But the luck plays out when xe discovers why Hasani seems so different between night and day, a discovery that seems to have no resolution except heartache...

I'm sure no one is surprised to see this one in the list of my favorites. Magic university? YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU. Add in the threesome/twincest and the deft way that was handled, and I was over the moon. This is a short story (most of the Geek Out books are), but the worldbuilding was extraordinary. I loved how well laid out the magic was, the different customs for different provinces (?? I can't remember if they were called something different). I love Teka and xyr by turns shy and forward demeanor, and Hasani was amazing. Both of them. :3 I can 100% believe the way everything went down (vague statement is vague, but I am not spoiling the fun here). (Also, did I mention magic university??? Because magic university!!! ...I may have a book type.)



I'm going to take a moment here and link the other four books in the collection: Horse Crazy, Manifest, Of Anime and the Baeci, and Sext Based Adventures. You should definitely drop by and check them out, see if they might vibe with you. ^^

I was going to post a writing news sort of update with this, but uh, it's long enough already, so next week. Over and out, and I hope ya'll have a good week.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

News and Such

Various odds and ends of news for this post:

(1) The Errant Prince (gay/trans fantasy novella ft. stubborn idiots who like to flirt a lot) is about a month away. It's up for preorder most places that allow it (including Amazon, ARe, etc.) and is also up on NetGalley for reviewer-type people. ^^

(2) Losing Ground (bisexual M/M urban fantasy ft. all the angst and sweetness (mostly the sweetness, NGL)) is up at LT3 for preorder. It comes out in ebook on March 4.

As always, you can save 15% if you preorder direct through LT3. ^^



In other news, as a general head's up, I'm taking a few steps back from social media for productivity and personal reasons. I do still have some more posts in the works (recs, for one), but I don't know when they'll get posted. I will also still be around and check feeds irregularly, but if you need me for anything immediate, you'll have to email or text me. I imagine I'll be back to "business as usual" soonish, but for now I'm playing it low-key.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Why You Aren't an LGBTQ Ally



LGBTQIA, sometimes LGBTQ, sometimes just LGBT.

Mostly, just G.

I swear, it's not a week anymore if I'm not stumbling across some new review site or publishing company or website or blog that touts how much it supports the LGBTQ community and how they're great allies…

… only to read further and find that by LGBTQ community, they mean the M/M community. That they'll only review M/M books because well, they don't have any reviewers on staff who want to read lesbian romance or romance with trans characters (and heaven forbid if you lob a curveball and throw an asexual romance or 'worse' at them). Or they'll say LGBTQ, but if you look through their site, you'll find nothing but reviews of M/M books.

That, by publishing LGBTQ romance (wait, wait, I've got this wrong, GLBTQ romance, there we go), they mean they publish M/M. And yes, I know that's where the big sales are. I run a publishing company and I'm heavily involved in the finances of said company. M/M romance does very well for itself. I've also seen lesbian romance do very well for itself (some of LT3's best sellers in 2014 were lesbian books).

Trans and other queer books don't sell well.  

Because on the whole, (1) readers don't buy them, (2) reviewers won't read them, (3) writers won't write them, and (4) publishers won't publish them. (Obviously there are exceptions. But on the whole, this is true.) There are queer books out there (sometimes they're hard to find, though that will hopefully be less of a problem in the near future when Amazon revamps their categories). There's fewer of them than there are M/M romances, but they are there. That they don't sell, however, is not the point of this post.

I'm sure you're wondering, well, what the fuck is the point of this post, then?

The point of this post is that these books deserve the same treatment as M/M romance books. They don't get it. They don't get it, and I'm fed up with reviewers, readers, writers, and publishers who pull themselves up on high pedestals and trumpet their liberal viewpoints to the world. They're diverse! They're allies! They support the LGBTQ community!

Except, here's a novel concept: You do not get to call yourself a supporter of or ally to a broad and diverse community because you like and focus on one specific segment of that community. Full stop.

(Related: you do not get to call yourself an ally in your own defense when a marginalized person is telling you that you're being a bigot. I don't give any fucks about your self-appointed allyship. Your Ally Card is currently being burned in effigy.)

If you want to be an ally, you cannot limit yourself to simply M/M romance. That's just not good enough. I don't begrudge anyone a preference for M/M romance. I do begrudge people claiming that they support the LGBTQ community, but who then follow that up by doing nothing for the L, B, T, or Q (or I, or A).

I'm not the best writer when it comes to diversity in my fiction. The majority of my books feature bisexual romance (*). It's a problem I'm actively working on. I want to write more lesbian romance. I want to write asexual romance. I want to write more trans romance. I will write these books, because it's important, because supporting the entire community is important.

(*Most of these books pass as gay romance since two cisgender men end up together at the end, but I pretty much always write my characters as bisexual. It only occurred to me recently that people would read that wrong, so I'm getting better at explicitly saying so in-book.)

The point of this post? To issue a challenge to you. Step up. Give something other than an M/M romance a chance. At some point you gave an M/M book a shot and fell in love with that genre. What's stopping you from giving that same chance to a lesbian or trans or other queer book?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Looking Ahead to 2015

I'm sure ya'll have seen about a million of "what's coming in 2015" posts, but here's another from me. ^^ Sorry?

The biggest change in 2015 is that I will no longer be writing for LT3's serials. That line is closing down (if you missed the post last week, you can read about it at LT3's blog), which is going to free me up to work on other projects. The good thing about serials is that it forced me to write and write regularly. One huge drawback about them was that it was nigh impossible to write follow up stories. Serials should be accessible to new and existing subscribers, and writing, say, the sequel to Stolen Hearts for a serial wouldn't work for that (and other reasons).

My aim for 2015 is for it to be the Year of the Sequel. :3 Which, hopefully means that yes, I will finally get that sequel to Stolen Hearts written. My immediate goals for 2015 are:

Write Book 2 of the Stolen Hearts series (tentatively titled Captive Hearts)
Finish/edit Book 2 of the Kingdom Curses series (The Northern Wall)
Write a short story for the Silver & Gold anthology (*)

(*) Mayyybe. This one is starting to morph into something longer. >_> Because short stories are nigh on impossible.

Tentative goals for later in 2015 are books 3 and 4 (and uh, possibly 5?) of the Kingdom Curses series. I'm trying not to plan myself into a corner, as I am all too aware of how easy it is to be distracted.

2015 will already see two novellas and one anthology release for me. ^^ Ya'll have heard me talk about The Errant Prince already. The other novella is Losing Ground, which is an earth elemental magics story that's my final stand-alone serial. It wraps and releases as ebook in March, and was just listed on LT3 (so you can preorder, if you're inclined!) It's urban fantasy, which is probably the closest I've gotten to contemporary in forever. ^^

The anthology stories are the two fairy tales I wrote for LT3's Fairy Tale serial. The Dragon of Bellerose Island and The Cursebreaker are their titles, and they'll be released in Fairytales Slashed: Volume Six in May when LT3's serials wrap. (They're both cute. Super super cute, I can't even.)

I'll try to update throughout the year with my progress on various things, and if there's ever anything you want to see or are curious about the status of (or if I plan to write at all), let me know? ^^

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 in Review

So, 2014 is almost at a close. It was a busy year, though I swear it didn't seem like it while it was occurring. Writing wise, here's what I managed to accomplish. ^^

First up, at the very beginning of the year, Battle of Will released in ebook and in print. It's probably the longest story I've ever written, coming in at a whopping 132k. o_O Little wonder I wrote little else while I was working on it. But it was a lot of fun, and I'm looking forward to working on the sequel at some point next year (I'll post about 2015's projects next week).

Second up, The Duke's Deception also released at the beginning of the year, a week after Battle of Will. This was a short freebie that I wrote for a charity prompt, and it was also a lot of fun (and a relief to write something shorter!). It topped out at 8k. ^^

In June, Quality Assurance published. This wasn't a new release, but a split-from-anthology release. Originally pubbed in That Famous Happy End, it got cleaned up, freshly edited, and re-released as a stand alone. It's in the Paranormal Days 'verse, and is actually the story that kicked that 'verse off (though obviously you don't need to read the stories in any particular order).

In October, The Heart of the Kingdom released. It ran as a serial first and was meant to end after book 1, but as ya'll have heard before it's spawned into a 3-4 book series. (That will also be posted about again next week. ^^)

I also wrote The Dragon of Bellerose Island; that was released in serial at the beginning of the summer and will be included in Fairytales Slashed: Volume 6 when it comes out next year.

Also, in... I want to say July or August, LT3 re-released Living Words and Saving Liam. They both got spruced up and had some excess language cut out, and were given shiny, shiny new covers.

I wrote a bunch this year, though it doesn't seem like it. ^^ That's the downside of publishing instead of simply posting. The Errant Prince was finished this year; that comes out in February 2015. I wrote Losing Ground, which is currently running as serial and comes out in ebook in March 2015. I wrote a short fairy tale (The Cursebreaker, I think I called it), which wraps up Fairytales Volume 6 and runs in serial in early spring next year. I wrote most of The Northern Wall this year (have to finish that before I get even a hint of when it might possibly be published).

So in all, it was a pretty good writing year. ^^ I'm hoping next year will be even better, since I have a loooong list of books I want to write (and I'm sure you're all hoping for certain sequels and books yourselves). Hope 2014 was not too heinous for ya'll, and that 2015 is better than 2014 by leaps and bounds. <3

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Somewhat Random: On LT3's Submission Guidelines

This recently came up in various places, and my brain works in mysterious ways and won't let it go. So, new post time! This is not my usual type of blog post, so feel free to skip this one if you don't care about non-writing stuff. ^^

Being a publisher is pretty cool. I really enjoy my job and a lot of what goes into it. I think I would go stir crazy if I were just (hah) an author. It's also interesting some of the things people don't often realize? For instance, publishing is a very specific business, particularly at the small press level. LT3 is very much a small press with one focus: LGBTQ romance. We don't publish literature, poetry, YA, etc. Our brand and what our readers expect is sweet (sometimes explicit, sometimes not) romance featuring queer characters who end up happy at the end of the book.

You should run screaming in the other direction if a publisher touts that they publish every genre (unless they're HUGE and have multiple imprints and such). If it's a 3-person operation that does, say, (1) LGBTQ erotica, (2) het erotica, and (3) LGBTQ YA, that's not a good thing. The markets for a het erotica book and an LGBTQ YA book are two entirely different things and it's a sign of being stretched too thin or not devoting anywhere near enough resources to marketing the books.

This is one reason that LT3 has not branched out into YA. We don't have the resources or the time to devote to building a YA imprint, so we don't publish YA. Likewise, our core market is sweet (typically non-explicit) LGBTQ romance. Hence we also tend to stay away from books that are heavily erotic and/or include non-consensual sex that's been eroticised (spell check is telling me this is not a word, so that could be a terrible spelling on my part, and if so uh, blame the fact that I got less than optimum sleep last night).

So when you see a press that has very specific guidelines about what they do and do not take, there's usually a practical reason for it behind the scenes, even if it's not entirely evident what the reason is.

Monday, December 8, 2014

My Life in Edits

First up, before I completely forget for the 1539208th time, LT3 is throwing a Holiday shebang, wherein you can buy books for 25% off (36% off preorders) and also enter to win Kindles and LT3 cash money (or well, LT3 gift money, which is almost like cash money??).

Shameless plug, this means you can pick up the newly released The Heart of the Kingdom for 25% off, or preorder The Errant Prince for 36% off, so uh, go and buy my books??? (I'm sorry, I'm in an excessive punctuation mood apparently.) You should also look at the other amazing books up (GEEK OUT, GO LOOK AT GEEK OUT). Ahem.

I've gotten some really lovely reviews for Heart*, for which I am thankful! I hope if you've read it, that you enjoyed it (or at least, that it didn't make your eyes bleed or fall out of your head from rolling them too hard ;3).



With that out of the way, this week is going to be subsumed by edits. I can feel it. The doom of edits, it doth approcheth. I've got content edits for The Errant Prince, and I've got cleaning up to do on The Northern Wall and also the untitled short story I wrote in NaNo. I'm going to work on the short first, since it's most overdue and also will be quickest.

Then Errant Prince. ^^ Then The Northern Wall, much to Megan's relief, as she's still waiting on me to write the final chapter or two. :3 /I may be a jerk.

Then. Then. Maybe I'll get the chance to write again. Or maybe it'll be Christmas and time to do all the January stuff. One of those.

In any case, this has been your regularly scheduled rambles. If I forget to post again before Christmas, I hope ya'll have a lovely holiday. I'll be traveling up north to New York to visit family and experience real snow for the first time in like, two years. Peace <3

Monday, December 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month (herein referred to by the short and easy-to-type NaNo) was in November. I had a lofty, lofty goal of writing 75,000 words this month instead of the goal of 50,000 words.

That did not pan out, partly because of travel but mostly because of my headaches. I'm happy with what I did get done, though, and that's all that matters. I did NaNo last year, and I mostly wrote steadily (with some big jumps at the end). This year was all big 5-7k chunks with multiple days of not writing in between. (Me on headache meds vs me off headache meds, I guess??)

In any case, I scraaaaaped over the finish line yesterday. Unlike last year, I was working on several projects rather than just one, and here's what I managed to get done:

(1) I finished up the last few chapters of Losing Ground (my current serial  /shifty look)

(2) A cute little fairy tale called The Cursebreaker. It will be part of the fairy tale serial in April or so, after the fairy tale (Tommelise by Diana Jean) that will be following the current fairy tale (Bad Romance by Remy Jensen).

(3) A short story (novella) for a charity prompt that I've owed since last year because I'm a terrible person (I also may have started and scrapped this one like, five gazillion times). It's untitled ATM, and set in Morcia (AKA Battle of Will 'verse). It'll eventually be available through LT3, though it needs some serious clean up before I inflict it on the editing department. :3



So that was my November. I am now behind on objectively All The Things, so I must get back to work. (Look, three weeks of posts in a row! Aren't you proud of me? ^^)

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Errant Prince

I don't think I've announced here, but my next release from LT3 will be The Errant Prince, which is a fantasy novella that features an M/M couple, one of whom happens to be trans. ^^ If you want to skip the babble and just go preorder it, sight unseen, you can do so from LT3 right now for 15% off:


Myron's task is easy enough on the surface: locate the runaway Prince Tamsen and bring him home. But Tamsen is not merely a talented wizard, he's an exceptionally stubborn one, and dozens of others have already failed at the task. When he manages to find the cabin where Tamsen is hiding, Myron isn't foolish enough to mistake the find for a victory.

Instead of attempting to drag the prince home by force, Myron tries a different tact: patience. He might not be able to best Tamsen magically or physically, but Myron can certainly out-stubborn him. He's nothing if not used to doing what other people say he can't.

But neither prince nor soldier expected stubbornness to be the crack in armor they've both become adept at wearing...

So this story. I originally started writing it with both of the MCs as cis, but I think some conversation on twitter or another made me look at the story and go why not. Because ffs, why not make one of the MCs trans? Then I was all, oh, hey, well if one of them is trans, I can make it geeky fantasy, right, and put it out with LT3's Geek Out collection*. That didn't pan out, mostly b/c the MCs were too busy alternately flirting and angsting to geek out properly. It also (as I swear, everything does) got longer and longer and I missed the deadline. ^^

*The Geek Out stories are FANTASTIC. GO PREORDER THEM ALL.

Ahem. So The Errant Prince. I'm ridiculously happy with these characters (the flirting, I love it, they're so adorable), and I hope ya'll enjoy it as well. ^^

Monday, November 17, 2014

Featured author!

I totally meant to post this earlier, like, Nov 1 or 2, but as you can see that did not happen. I fail at keeping my social media stuff up to date, ack.

In any case, if you've been waiting for a sale to buy my books, LT3 has me as featured author for November! To save $$ on my books, enter code MILLER during checkout, and that'll get you 20% off. It applies to ebooks and preorders only (b/c bundles and paperbacks are already discounted), but that gives you plenty to choose from. ^^ You can also grab any of my books in print for 25% off at any point, btw, so if you want those, you can get them at any point.

Speaking of which, The Heart of the Kingdom has been out for just about a month now! I hope those of you who've read it enjoyed (and if you haven't picked it up and are eying it, November is the time to get it! ;3). If you're inclined to review it, that'd be cool, though for personal sanity reasons I do not look at reviews. My poor, soft heart can't take it. :3

The sequels are taking shape in my head, though I haven't had a chance yet to work on them more (NaNo projects are other little things I'm finishing up. Oh, hey, I can blame that for my lack of updating!) I'm still working out whether it'll be three or four books, though after Book 2 I may break to see if I can't (finally) knock out the Stolen Hearts sequel. (Seriously I fail so much I can't believe people still follow me. :3)

Oh, and Heart is a full and complete stand-alone book, btw. No cliffhangers, though one of the planned books (#3 or #4, depending on whether my idea for the currently slated #3 book works out or needs scrapped) is a follow up with the two MCs.

Links below if you're interested in picking up The Heart of the Kingdom:

All Cenric wanted was a necklace to gift to his lady love, in the hopes it might persuade her to actually become his lady love. Instead of love, however, Cenric is informed of her engagement to someone else, wakes up to find his house burning down around him, and is dragged away by a man who might have saved him, but won't say much about why one necklace has Cenric running away from someone willing to kill to get it back.

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