lady-love

Buy books, save money!

In honor of Sasha’s birthday:

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Save 30% on any of your purchases from the Less Than Three Press book market, today only! I’m picking up some I’ve meant to read, there’s been so many exciting releases lately. And don’t forget, you can pick up Appetite: A Cut Above the Rest at a discount if you missed the pre-order price!

Don’t forget, there’s three days left to sign up for Casey K. Cox’s Finding King giveaway.

And if you need some gorgeous reading this week, I’ve read some of the Tea for Two stories and they are, simply put, amazing. You cannot get quality fiction such as this for free anywhere else! Enjoy the stories and leave the ladies some love.

So, what are your plans for the weekend? Partaking of any traditionally Easter activities? Over here, there’s a whole lot of editing going on. I’ve got to get The Competitive Edge edits incorporated and back to the editor, because I’m expecting the hard edit for The More Plausible Evil back any day now. Today, lamb burgers and oven fries; tomorrow, lamb roast and garlic potatoes with green side veg to be determined.

Will you be reading? Spring cleaning? Relaxing? Enjoy it, whatever you do!

Tea for Two makes its debut

Today the Special #8 volume of Shousetsu Bang Bang dropped:

Tea for Two!

How do you take your tea? There’s a fabulous variety to choose from, and that goes for the ladies as well.

Free, quality original fiction is yours for the reading, along with a bonus incentive. My story is among the edition’s tea samplers, under a pen name of course, and the first person to guess my story wins a “cookie” to go with your tea.

That “cookie” is a free original short story, written to your prompt. I retain the right to veto subject matter if it makes me uncomfortable. Drop your comment here or any of my entries when you think you have me spotted.

Go forth and enjoy the lady-love! And don’t forget to slip a little something into the garter on your way out. 😉

Coming Monday: a secret project unveiled

I’ve submitted an original story to an online ‘zine, and it’s going to be published on Monday over at Shousetsu Bang Bang. It’s their “Ladies Special,” where the women hold sway and get it on, and this year’s theme is Tea for Two.

The fun thing about this project is that the stories are published anonymously, under pseudonyms. (I’m so tickled with the one I ended up choosing, and it made the editor laugh.) Only two people know the one I wrote under.

Because the stories are anonymous, part of the fun is guessing which author wrote what. And I’ll be offering a little prize for the first person to guess which story is mine – I’ll write them a short story to a prompt of their choosing, though I get veto rights if it’s something outside my comfort zone.

Get your guessing caps on and be prepared to curl up with Tea for Two!

Tour de Foodie: How your introvert can express themselves

Today the Tour de Foodie has moved on to Joyfully Jay with Emotion in Cooking! Herein lie the clues to the heart of one of our stalwart heroes.

Already, A Cut Above the Rest has a couple of lovely ratings. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you all think!

This week, I’ve been writing a new story with fairytale fantasy elements. It’s had its ups and downs, I guess I’ll see what I think of the overall story when it’s completed. Some stories are a pure pleasure to write, and everything falls into place. Others are a map of ups and downs and struggles with getting those words down.

On this one, I don’t even like the title. Argh. I’m not sure about the chemistry between the leads, though the one thing I’m having fun with is the concepts and the world-building.

Up and onward! If I keep working on it at the same rate I hope to be finished Sunday, polish it up, and submit it in time for the deadline.

Next week is Appetite Week

One week left to Pre-order A Cut Above the Rest, first in the Appetite series!

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In the meantime, I am recuperating from a bad cold but putting things together for next week’s Tour de Foodie in honor of the release. Things to look forward to: a giveaway for a free copy of Appetite, and daily food and Appetite-themed posts with insight into the culinary world and sneak peeks into the chefs’ backgrounds.

Tour schedule:

Monday, March 11, Maderr:
http://maderr.livejournal.com/

Tuesday, March 12, Pants Off Reviews:
http://pantsoffreviews.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, March 13, Babes in Boyland:
http://www.babesinboyland.net/

Thursday, March 14, Joyfully Jay:
http://joyfullyjay.com/

Friday, March 15, The Armchair Reader:
http://coleriann.com/

Saturday, March 16, A.F. Henley:
http://afhenley.wordpress.com

Sunday, March 17, Chaos in the Moonlight:
http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca

Mark your calendars and get ready for my next giveaway, going live Sunday night. And make sure to pick up some tasty treats to eat so that your hunger is sated when you’re reading the story.

I need to geek out for a bit … Kristin Kish is the latest Top Chef! She’s only the second female Top Chef, and the first Asian female Top Chef, and I’ve been a fan of her since she was top of her first round, so I’m triply happy that she fought her way back into the competition and won the whole thing. Fantastic work, Chef Kish! This humble fan is extremely happy for you.

For the first time all week, I haven’t had any tea today. Hmph, I think this calls for the “needs more tea” tag.

Back to finishing up entries for the blog hop. The writing’s been going rather poorly this week, I’m sad to say. Maybe once my brain comes back, I’ll be able to catch up over the weekend. There’s a lady-love tale and a deadline to make.

My body says no

Check out my giveaway for a FREE ADVANCE PRINT COPY of From the Inside Out, shipped anywhere that accepts U.S. Mail. 🙂

This week I think I’ll make the pumpkin risotto with pine nuts that I was craving on Thursday, so as to use up the leftover pumpkin puree and make use of a lot of ingredients I already have on hand. I’m achy today, so I want something easy that won’t require a ton of prep work like food I’ve been making for the past few weeks.

Yesterday we went to a new restaurant, China Gourmet, across town and they were pretty good! My friend ordered a spring roll appetizer that we started out with, and that was light and crunchy, my girlfriend had a mushroom chicken dish that she just loved, and I had a sesame chicken that was a little weird (the sauce was not what I’m used to from sesame chicken) but still good. We’ll definitely be checking them out again. I’ve reached the last week of the Insanity workout and I’m getting to the point where I’m sore and achy, so I think my body’s ready for a break. Next month I’ll take it easy before I pick up another serious exercise challenge. But I’ll still be finding activities to keep my body active for at least thirty minutes a day.

It’s good to change things up once in a while, after all.

Most triumphantly, I finished “The Fall Guide” on Friday, and I’m excited to finish that off and submit it, and start my next story tomorrow. It’s going to be a huge change of pace; I’m going from contemporary m/m romance to fantasy fairy tale-esque f/f. They’re two very different styles but I’m eager to tackle the project. Like my body, it’s good for my writing style to change it up every so often.

Prose can be different for fantasy. With contemporary, it’s good to keep it clean and simple. With fantasy, you can be a little indulgent, and florid.

The Awesome Thing About Serial Subscriptions

I’ve had a Less Than Three serial subscription since last year, and it’s been a great way to get a look at a lot of different stories at a seriously bargain price.

The first Rocking Hard story made its debut last week, Centrifical by Sol Crafter (you can read the first chapter for free), and I wanted to give the serial subscription a plug for two reasons. My own Rocking Hard story, Courage Wolf Never Sings the Gorram Blues, will start posting in May; and I just love my serial subscription.

There are five stories that LT3 has available through serial right now, and they’re a wide sampling of genres and writers. You’ve got everything from fairy tales to rock stars to politics and arranged marriage. Serials don’t typically get reviewed until they’re complete and available as ebooks, but I’ve got to say, I love what I’m reading now! You can read all the first chapters free on the Serials page, and check out membership rates – for the amount of fiction you end up getting, it’s a darned good deal.

If you end up signing up, you’ll get to read Courage Wolf that much sooner, too. 😉

That’s a good start to a Sunday! I’m off to have some yogurt and get my Core Cardio and Balance workout over with, so I can keep my to-do list down to something manageable.

Review: Zi Yong and the Collector of Secrets

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Zi Yong and the Collector of Secrets released as part of the Less Than Three Press Kiss Me at Midnight collection, bundle 2. I was lucky enough to win a copy from E. E. Ottoman’s giveaway, and here’s my review!

Every seven years a beast comes down from the mountains to feast upon the youngest children in the village. Zi Yong will do whatever is necessary to protect her baby, but what she doesn’t expect is help in the form of the stranger who appears at her door vowing that she is a collector of secrets and wants only to help. Read an excerpt of the story here.

I really enjoyed this story, from the simple, clean prose to the premise that the protagonist’s strength came not from a background of angst or hardship, but from love and the desire to protect the most important things.

Zi Yong was written in a way that was easy to empathize with, a bit of a loner, and her background came across as very real and poignant. Jing Wei was an interesting enigma from the start, and seemed so ordinary and mundane, I was intrigued to learn more about her. The progression between the two of them from strangers, who Zi Yong would barely invite into her home, to someone welcome to homely tasks like preparing food and taking care of Fāng, was deftly done.

This read like an Eastern fairy tale, complete with fireworks and a ‘dragon’ of sorts, and had some delightful imagery that made a strong visual impression on me. I was enthralled with the story from start to finish and would love to see more of these characters, but was pleased with the stand-alone work.

The rating is very mild, but it suits the story. Anything further wouldn’t have fit the tone or the genre, so I was pleased the focus stayed on emotions and the culmination of a kiss.

It was a short read, and I finished it in about an hour, less I think. I’m happy to make this part of my collection, and it’s very much worth reading when I’m in the mood for a light lady-love tale with wuxia roots.