Thursday, October 31, 2013

English Assignment turned NEXT project

Howdy… Well, I had planned on writing book 3 in the Unconditional Love series next, and then possibly the sequel to Jock, but they are on hold. Not "hold" hold, because I am thinking about them and making notes etc., but I am not currently concentrating on those manuscripts. WHY? Because I have an assignment for English grammar class that inspired an entire novel.

We had to pick a painting from a museum and describe it as if writing a novel or an episode from a TV show or the like. I thought, "I can do that." The teacher wanted to spur our creativity and force us to use the techniques we learned in class called "brush strokes." I have LOVED this class because I am learning so much about the tools needed to write. I am learning the "rules" so I will properly learn how to break them. hahaha. So, since I love art and my house has loads of pieces from art galleries, I picked "Ophelia" by Author Hughes from 1865.

I think it is stunning.

From that painting developed a story about the age old tale of one person being in love with their best friend, and that friend getting married… The synopsis I came up with is:

Misplaced Affection

Two best friends, one huge secret, and a wedding that stands in the way.

Victor Adams, or “Tory” to his friends, has a secret—he’s gay. This was not a new revelation to him, but to his best friend, Jack, it could be the secret that destroys their relationship. Tory almost told him on their shared birthday, but that was the day Gwendolyn and her friend entered the picture and messed up everything. Tory couldn’t very well say the words now; “I love you” would just have to wait.

Jack Mitchell was every girl’s heartthrob and every boy’s wet dream. Quarterback from high school turned IT salesman, Jack had the personality that could sell anything. Except, he couldn’t sell the truth—to himself. He’d been living a lie ever since his best friend Nate, Tory’s brother, died eight years prior. Just when he thinks he’s ready to talk about it, he meets the prettiest girl in town and gets swept away.

Two years later, both friends stand ready at a wedding neither one wants to go through with. The best man, dying on the inside as the only man he’s ever loved commits himself in marriage—to a woman; and the groom, going through the motions of what is expected of him, even though, in his heart, he’d rather be saying “I do” to someone else. At this point, only God could intervene to avert disaster.

I have a paper due next Wednesday, so between now and then I am going to see how much I can write on it. If it flows well, I might get this tale done first before picking up my other projects. Yesterday I had to wait an hour while my daughter was at dance class and I ended up outlining most of the book. A HUGE thing for me since I don't do outlines often. But this story came out easily. We'll see. I'll keep you posted.

As far as other news… Names Can Never Hurt Me is with beta readers. The Manuscript is pretty much done. I wrote 177, 382 words for this one. very long. I might delete some things. I don't want to upset readers with questionable content, so I might just remove it. Fingers crossed it gets accepted WHEN I submit it. TCOL took 2 years, remember? This project has been underway for over a year already. I am hoping to submit it soon. I will let you know. Here is the current synopsis:

Names Can Never Hurt Me

What if sexuality wasn’t a definable thing, and labels merely got in the way?

Nick Jones couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t popular, when he wasn’t the best looking guy in the room, nor could he recall ever having to coax a woman into bed with him. And recently, Nick even added guys to the list of “been there, done that” when kissing Corey on a dare led to much more and on several occasions. His reputation to “screw anything” was well known, and he didn’t care. Constant sex had never been a problem. So why was the attention of someone new throwing his life out of whack?

RC was a mystery from the moment they met. A frequent customer of the restaurant where Nick worked, getting to know RC was interesting, yet incremental due to the fact that he wasn’t in the “in crowd.” RC was overweight, always sweaty, and lived up to the nickname “scruffy dude”. Still, Nick could not let go of his deep longing for friendship, even if that friendship was with a loser—and a gay loser at that.

When friendship with RC stirs longings deep within his heart, Nick is faced with choice between the superficial or making a connection deeper than he’s ever known before. External pressures of social conformity threaten to snuff out the fire before it ignites his soul, but the deeper question for Nick is why one relationship should define his future as he navigates the waters of self-discovery, sexual identity, and embraces what it means to be an adult.


Are these good representations of Nick and RC??? IDK. I have a thing for Mitch Hewer. LOL. Nick is 23 in the book and RC is 27.

This is my news for now. Message me if you have questions or comment below.

Thanks for stopping by. 


PS: Are you a HARD-CORE Wade Kelly fan? Stop by my website and check out a message on my BIO page.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

GRL 2013 experience

I guess I have to start by saying GRL WAS AWESOME. I really did enjoy my time and I wish I had gotten there earlier on Thursday OR arrived Wednesday. So for next year I am keeping that in mind. I find this difficult to blog about only because if I start mentioning people I enjoyed meeting and I forget some names, I don't want someone to feel bad or left out. So... I'm sorry ahead of time. I can't remember everyone. The GRL author list is like a cheat sheet because it reminds me of the authors that were there, but it doesn't tell me which publishers, fans, and reviewers were present and which ones talked to me. So please forgive my human ping-ping brain.

I started my adventure by missing my flight. Not fun. But over all Delta was really great. We got the flight switched and only had to wait another hour. Traffic was crazier then I've ever seen. 8 lanes! WOW. My friend Mel screamed "WADE!" across the floor when I approached the check in desk so it was a nice surprise to get recognized. Mel Leach was also the first person to ask me to autograph one of my books to her. So, what do you think happens? I cried!

Backtrack... Thursday night was the blacklight party. It was fun. I liked the neon and stuff. We (my friend and I) arrived late, probably around 5 something. So the biggest bummer about not being there on Thursday EARLIER was missing TJ's proposal to Eric. I really wish I saw that. I hadn't really EVER talked to TJ before friday night, but I AM ON THE INTERNET, I know who he is and I see his posts etc... He moved relatively close by to me. I have only previously chatted with Eric--minimally. I can be rather shy and I get the impression he can be too. IDK. I like Eric and he was one of a handful of people I was MOST looking forward to meeting. Author-wise, I think Eric Arvin and Kade Boehme were at the top of the list. So... yeah... I wish I witnesses the proposal, but I'm glad I saw pictures. I think they are so cute together. You can just see the love for each other pouring from their faces. I LOVE Eric's smile when he looks at TJ. ADORABLE!

So, Thursday was the black light thing and the music was too loud and not my style. I liked it, but I would have liked listening to All Time Low more!! LOL. So I did. I went back to my room afterward and put on headphones. In the morning I got up early and enjoyed an almost vacant restaurant, my iPod (ATL), and coffee. by myself. I like to chill before chatting all day. Ya know?

Because Friday was a day of tears apparently. 9:00 am Friday morning was when Mel handed me When Love Is Not Enough and asked me to sign it. It was a wonderful feeling. Then I listened to some Q & A sessions and ended up crying again when Amy Lane spoke. She is simply wonderful. I met her at the reception the night before and chitchatted a tad. She is one of my all time favorite authors. (As we all know, if you ask me for a book rec I say: The Locker Room!!) I also got to say hi to Mary Calmes thursday night and many many times over the weekend. She is so warm and pleasant. Love her hugs.

I cried more times too. I did. Shocker! Friday night was the "dine with an author" night. Who do I end up with? The one and only (and adorable) Eric Arvin!!! and his sexy fiancé TJ Klune!!! whoot, lucky me, right? That was really cool because it was the first time I've ver spoken to TJ. And when he left the table for 5  minutes, I got to talk to Eric one on one. I liked that a lot :) Also at the table were David Warner and his husband Mark. They were very nice to meet especially when they live somewhat close and I'll be able to see them again soon. And.... AND.... I met an adorable couple named Michael and Nick. (I'll talk about them later.)

Saturday was more Q&A stuff, but ya know I never made it. I ended up talking in the hall the entire time. I met Will Parkinson, and Tom Webb (again. I hugged him the day before.) Both sweet men! I hugged Geoff Knight, KA Mitchell, & Rachel Haimowitz. My friend Lynn was there and I hugged her every chance I got. And Melanie Marshal. I finally Met Monika V. who lives super far away, and I got a chase to chitchat one on one. I loved that! And Sara York!!! I spent a good deal of time at breakfast saturday with her. (Rachel and I also spoke at length after Sara slipped away.)

I got to meet the lovely and quiet Kaje Harper. AND I spent some one on one time with K-Lee Kline!!!  Very enjoyable! I finally met Piper Vaughn, and chatted with Rhys Ford about her cat. (The one in the FB icon) So many people. Madison parker was the official/unofficial photographer! So fun. and so cute! Andrew Grey I had met several times, as well as Damon Suede, both men were a joy to see again and hug!! :) I met Cate Ashwood and her sister. Two very lovely women whom I wish I had more time with. Shira Anthony I had met in DC, along with Ken Murphy, Andrew Gordon (not at GRL) and Zahra Owens. But I got to see Shira again and meet her friend and co-author Venona Keyes. Both delightful women I will MISS!!!

Metting Elisa Rolle was a pleasant surprise. I didn't know she'd be there. I have to say she is one of the most elegant women I have ever met. Lovely. Truly lovely!

TA Chase has the most beautiful tattoo I've seen. (And she is adorable.) I thoroughly loved chatting with Jordan Hawk and her husband, I only wish I had more time with them. NEXT TIME!! I hugged the effervescent Clair London, and danced with Erica Pike. (And a beautiful, almost naked young "Angel" at the after hours party at the pub in the hotel. Downright scandalous!) I chatted many times with Lynley Wayne and her husband whom I dubbed "quiet man." Kris Jacen was extremely sweet and very pretty. And so many others I met and hugged: Jordan Castillo Price, Rowan Speedwell, Ally Blue, Charlie Chochet (I can't spell that.), Poppy Dennison, Eden Winters (and her opossum), Anne Tenino, Shannon West, Rick Reed, Jon Michaelson, Cherie Noel, Tara Lain, Ariel Tachna, Jacob Flores, and Silvia Violet. And yes, I did meet and hug Kade!

And personally, it was awesome to meet ZA Maxfield because Crossing Borders was the second M/M book I EVER read. She is like an inspiration! (1st ever was Without Reservations by JL Langley)

I took 4 books with me to get autographed, and I came home with 12. (very heavy to carry!)

These were the authors I met. Then, there were the fans!!! I am pretty sure about 20 came up to me to get something signed. That was so fun and unexpected. I remember meeting and/or hugging Barb, Kat (Raevyn, who apparently read WLINE 7 times. Craziness.), of course MEL and Monika, Becky, The sweet and wonderful and lovely Frances (whom I got to spend time with too), Mary, and another Mary, Jackie, Ank, and, and??? Remind me. Please. Leave a comment if I forgot your name. (Sorry)

I also invaded the personal space of Alex Whitehall. Sorry about that. I'm not good with social queues so hopefully next time I will not scare you. (Not that I did this time.) I'm glad I got a hug from Alex before i left :p (And a picture) *Apparently he's the production manager at Riptide! Cool. I did some stalking. Yes I did. I like people who don't fit into a box/mold. *Although Alex might being nicknamed "Pocket Alex" ;) So, adorable ... :p

Now I'm down to Michael and Nicholas.... Probably the most delightful surprises of the weekend. Michael is a first time published author. The Descending Darkness is m his first book. (Which he gave me a copy to read.) He and his fiancé  Nick were so kind and wonderful to meet. I think I will miss them most of all. (Like Dorothy missed the Scarecrow.) Something about these guys sunk into my heart. Maybe it had something to do with Nick also liking All Time low (haha) but I think my fondness for them would have probably been solid without that commonality. And then Michael writes the sweetest message inside the book he gave me, which, yes, made me cry again!!! Can't wait to see them again! Michael and Nick, you guys are very special!

So yeah, I had a great time. If I forgot something. Ask. It is a lot packed into a few days. Next year it is in Chicago. Yes, I plan on attending and an official AUTHOR!!!! :)

Over and out,


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Spirit Day

I had to look this one up. And on Wikipedia there are a number of LGBT holidays. Did you know that?  On Wikipedia it says:

For other LGBT holidays, see List of LGBT holidays.
For the religious observance, see Spirit Monday.
Not to be confused with International STAND UP to Bullying Day.
In early October 2010, Canadian teenager Brittany McMillan promulgated the observance of a new commemoration called Spirit Day, the first observance of which took place on October 20, 2010, in which people wear the color purple to show support for LGBT young people who are victims of bullying.[1] Promoted by GLAAD, many Hollywood celebrities wore purple on this day to show their support of this cause,[2][3][4] and many websites added a prominent purple shade to their design.
The name, Spirit Day comes from the purple stripe of the Rainbow Flag, defined by Gilbert Baker, creator of that flag, as 'representing "spirit"'.
The observance was inaugurated in response to a rash of widely-publicized bullying-related suicides of gay school students in 2010, including that of Tyler Clementi.[5]
Over 1.6 million Facebook users signed up for the event globally.[6][7][8]
Further national and international attention was drawn to Spirit Day when Clint McCance, the vice-president of an Arkansas school board,[9] posted incendiary anti-homosexual remarks on the Facebook social networking website.[10] McCance ultimately apologised and resigned on the CNN program Anderson Cooper 360,[11] however he received further criticism for what many perceived to be an insincere non-apology apology, including from Dr. Phil in a later Anderson Cooper interview.[9][12][13] McCance submitted his resignation letter to the Midlands School District effective November 1, 2010.[14]

And the other holidays are:

Spirit Day is listed as October 17th on Wikipedia and to show support you wear purple. I am going to wear all the purple I have, which is very little. Odd for me since I am a RAVENS fan and Ravens are purple. I tried to buy an Under Armor shirt in purple last year and couldn’t find one. They sell them in “compression” fit and I am not sure what size would fit me. Maybe XXXL , haha. I know the “fitted” one I have to get one size larger because it is tight, so I can only imagine how big I’d have to go with a “compression” shirt. I’ll get one this year probably. Anyway, I’m wearing my Freddie’s Beach Bar shirt with purple earrings. I posted a picture on Facebook.

Anyway... T minus3 hours and some change before I depart. Am I ready? No. I am not done packing. I can't find the my blue shirt that goes with my skirt that I am wearing to the brunch on Sunday. I didn't pack any books to get signed. (And I should pack a flat box to ship them home in.) I wanted to get those book inverts like velum or even stickers, but I didn't. I didn't cook anything for my family to take camping. I DID wash my clothes so they all smell fresh instead of smelling like stink bugs. I fed all my snakes and the lizard. I NEED to back up my computer and charge my iPod. I have home work over the weekend so I need to bring my English book. LOL. I did NOT read all the books on my to-do list before GRL. Sorry ya'll, I am not good at reading consistently anyway. I plan to read more of Second Chances on the plane....

What else? IDK. See some of you in Atlanta! ANd the rest--I'll post pictures on Facebook and blog on Monday. :)



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pre-GRL plans and “TO DO” list.

Hi. It seems that loads of people are already in Atlanta or on their way or packed etc. NOT ME. I am thinking about it, but I have no time. As in a previous blog post I outlined all the things I normally do. My son has soccer games 3 nights a week. My daughter is in gymnastics 3 nights and the other daughter has Irish Step Dancing the remaining night. NO NIGHTS FREE!  So between now, and my 11:30 flight out of Baltimore on Thursday, I have to prepare for not being here until Sunday night. Why does it matter? Well, no one functions without me. There is a soccer banquet on Monday. My contribution is plates. (Lucky me.) But I need to get them. I COULD get them Monday afternoon, but I fear forgetting. My children will be camping over the weekend. I need to pack their stuff today or tomorrow. WHY? Because no one seems to know where anything is except me and if I leave it to my husband he will end up yelling at them. I don’t like yelling. While camping, they will need food. I am therefore going to make white chicken chili and freeze it for them. I am also going to pack up the snacks and utensils needed to go camping. (My husband can take care of the tent etc) I need to balance the checkbook, pay the mortgage, and take out money for the weekend. (I want to have money in case I get a tattoo. :P ) I am getting a manicure today. (Very important.) I need to pack. I have outfits picked out, but I need to make sure everything fits in a suitcase. I thought (last minute) of something I want to buy for a friend at GRL so I might look for it. IDK. I want to make candied pecans to snack on the plane etc. (I have priorities.) I do not own a purple shirt so I’m going to see if I can find one to buy for Thursday.

I have heard that the Melina has iffy wi-fi so I may not be blogging until next Monday. I will try. I may hook up my phone to facebook and post pictures or something. IDK. Or on Twitter. (Follow me.) I plan to write the last chapter of NAMES today. I want to be able to do revisions in the next 2 weeks. One other cool thing is happening but I can’t mention it until is is “official” so stay tuned. :)

I guess that is all for now. I am looking forward to hugging LOTS of people starting Thursday and into Sunday. Yesterday I almost cried because I was so excited. (I cry easily, and sometimes it is over excessive joy.) Anyway. I look forward to seeing many of you in Atlanta! Kaderade, look out for a tackle hug! ;)



Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why I’m Not Photographer (but I am an All Time Low FANgirl)

So, some of you may know, ALL TIME LOW is one of my favorite bands and I went to see them perform Monday night at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD. Actually, while I was there, I was trying to think of my top 5 favorite bands since I thought ALL TIME LOW was in my top 5 and I could only think of 4. So, ATL is in the top 4. LOL. And what I mean by “favorite bands” is that 1. I own more than one record (Album, CD or whatever, or possibly ALL their records), 2. I could listen to them almost ANY TIME (because some music I have to be in the mood for), 3. I have or want their autographs, and 4. I CURRENTLY listen to them A LOT! (Because some bands I do love, and have all their stuff, but I haven’t listened to them in a long while.) An example of a great band I haven’t listened to in a while is Barenaked Ladies.

So top 4? All Time Low, Evanescence, Maroon 5, Hawk Nelson… I LOVE these bands!

Anyway... All Time Low was at the Fillmore! And these are the photos I took:

As you can see, they are blurry. You (or I) could blame the camera in my phone, but I have used awesome cameras and my pictures always turn out blurry.

 I suck taking pictures, that’s all there is to it. However, I did have a blast. One of the highlights was after one of the band members (Jack) went through the crowd, he comes back up on stage and says to the lead singer (Alex) “I just saw our 9th grade Biology teacher.” To which Alex is shocked and amazed and STOKED up even more and invites said teacher on stage. This was so awesome. What I thought it spoke to the genuine good nature of these young men. They are just fun! They were playing in their hometown and enjoying it. I like it when bands are personable and real. I think stardom, fame, and fortune can take a normally great guy (or gal) and turn them into a self-obsessed jerk, and I hope that it doesn’t happen to the guys in All Time Low. Right now, they are terrific. They are just having fun and enjoying life. (At least that is the impression that I got from being at the concert on Monday.)

(I like the blue one because one band member (Jack) points to it and says, "As you can see, we are FUCK from Maryland." Of course then someone else commented that it didn't matter because the whole world knows who they are. HAHA. awesome :)

Another really ironic story is that of ALL the people in MD that could have been at the concert, a guy in my English class tells me, "yeah, I was there." I was like, "WHAT?? No way!!!!" So weird. There are 6 people in my class. What are the odds that two of us are at the same concert? Yes, ATL is from the Baltimore area, but statistically the odds are slim that 2/6 in my class would go to the same show. HAHA. So funny. And (student's name), if you stalked me online and read this, leave a comment! LOL

The Fillmore is a fabulous venue. I will definitely have to have my “imaginary band” stop there for a show. “Band Name” in the book Road Trip Recipes, (Title still in the works) ours our country. I will try to make that experience real for the reader. I love rocker books and I WILL write one of my own. I have characters already planned and back stories etc. I even wrote 1800 words Tuesday morning after I woke up with an adrenaline high from the concert. I was still hearing songs in my head form the night before. Do you think I liked the concert?? Haha. LOVED IT!!!

Another highlight was hearing Weightless performed live. Totally RAD!!! As some of you MAY know, “Weightless” is like a personal theme-song of mine. I blogged about that. HERE!!! I still believe it. I think 2013 IS my year. My life has turned around drastically. YES, there are still changes I’d like to see. (A supportive husband would be one.) But over all it’s great. I have to think hard to remember a time where I felt like I could be more of myself than now. NOW, this year, I have embraced who I am and attempted to throw off chains of fear like never before. It is scary, but I have to be me. I’m tired of hiding.

I am also enjoying some small success of JOCK and I hope some more good things are on horizon for Cole and Ellis! The Cost of Loving was released. (finally) And I am near completion of another novel, which I will submit soon. In the beginning of the year I had hoped to have 2 books release in 2013, but 2 contracts in the same year would still be wonderful. PLUS, I have started several manuscripts this year so there is no reason why 2014 can’t be even more successful for my writing career. So, yeah, I am loving life and pressing forward and doing all I can to WRITE.

There is another All Time Low song that I’ve been identifying with. “The Restless and the Brave” off their newest CD Don’t Panic.

Looking out at a town called Suburbia
Everybody's just fighting to fit in
Little rats running mazes, having babies
It's a vicious little world that we live in
Looking back at a life on the other side
I realize that I didn't fit in
Didn't hate it but I didn't quite relate it
To my precious little world

So long live the reckless and the brave
I don't think I want to be saved
My song has not been sung

And long live the fast times, so come what may
I don't think I'll ever be saved
Our song has not been sung
Long live us

Breaking out of a town called Suburbia
I remember everybody always saying
"Little brat, must be crazy, never make it
In our vicious little world"
Still I'm leaving
Got a van, got a chance, got my dignity
Got a dream, got a spark, got somewhere to be
Take a breath, say goodbye
To their precious little world
(And say goodbye to me)

So long live the reckless and the brave
I don't think I want to be saved
My song has not been sung

I tend to take the lyrics and apply them to ME in various ways. I am liking this song because I see it as a pressing forward of someone determined to take a hold of his/her dreams. He sings, “My song has not been sung.” Well, technically it has. ATL has sung songs. They made records. But I like the metaphorical sense of  the singer “Not being finished yet.” He is just setting out, breaking out, of restraints of childhood/young adulthood, and is taking a hold of his dream. The singer is breaking out of suburbia, and “got a dream, got a spark, got somewhere to be,” so he’s going for it! Not that he hated his life, but he feels (or I take it this way) that there was more out there in the world beyond his life in his hometown. Do you follow me?

So I relate it to me. Am I leaving my home town? Well, no! I have a family, a house, dogs, etc. and I am not skipping out on my children! Nope, not me. BUT, I am breaking out of these chains of conformity. I am reaching for my dreams. I am taking a hold of the creative author inside my head and writing the stories I feel need to be told. I am breaking beyond these walls of my house, my county, my state, and reaching the world through the Internet. (Gotta love the internet!) I write, I e-mail the MS, Dreamspinner (although in TX & FL and everywhere) does what they do and voila! You have a novel published and I didn’t have to leave my house. AWESOME!!

And, to add to the excitement of 2013, I AM LEAVING my house in a week and going to Atlanta, Georgia!! WOW, Crazy. Never thought I’d do that. I will be meeting what are now “virtual” people on the Internet and incorporating them into my life as real live friends, friends I can hug and touch and hear their laughter. This is simply wonderful.

So yes, 2013 is my year. I do, in a sense, feel weightless. Thank you All Time Low for being a musical inspiration in my life. And thank you my wonderful fans for love, support, and encouragement!


(btw, my blog says it has 13234 page views. That’s good, right?)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Names Can Never Hurt Me (Pt 3) Chapter 2

Hello, What I have thought about (since my English teacher brought it up) is that a Manuscript (MS) before it is edited, should be exactly the way the author want it. It should be the best it can be. I should have the words the author wants to use. Has my MS reached this state of being? NO. It is not revised to be the best it can be. Not Yet. But it is getting closer, really!! I wrote the end yesterday and I like it. I think it brings everything full circle and completes the story well. I still have holes, and I think I repeated myself and I need to delete scenes, but I am really really liking the story. It's fun, and engaging, light in some ways and heavy in others. I want it to be spectacular, so I guess I am putting undue pressure on myself. Oh well. It is the way I am.

Another dilemma I have is the blurb. Although the story is basically about Nick and RC (as in the blurb) there is so much more going on then that. And so many more characters. I am probably going to rewrite the blurb when I'm finished the MS. I want the blurb to convey more of the whole picture.

I also sketched a cover. This is what I picture. Lite Brown background. A grey pile of stones in the upper left corner next to a pile of dark brown sticks. Cute guy of course (Nick). and a sheet of white labels on the bottom, filled out in all the terms people use to bully and bash others with. This is the cover image I keep thinking of. I want that. Don't know if I'll end up with it, but it is what I want.

So, without intending to "tease" anyone, here is chapter 2. Rough and unrefined, but still....

Chapter 2


Work. I like it, but I hate it. When I’m bummed about whatever, I just don’t want to be here. Day in and day out, it’s the same old thing. Maybe that’s the reason this is my first long-term job? I get bored too fast and I need to move on.
I worked for Sprint for two months and got an employee discount for a Galaxy II phone by Samsung. That was neat. I’d never had a smart phone before, so working for Sprint paid off. But I didn’t really care much about selling phones. I also worked for a mortgage company for six weeks, but I’m not really the salesman type. I closed one deal and made nine hundred bucks, but it was too much work. Then, I worked for Safeway in the deli department, but I didn’t like the manager’s constant bitching. After that I worked as a bank teller, and although counting other people’s money was super cool, the job had too many requirements. The bank wanted me to learn about selling IRA’s and home loans and shit; it wasn’t for me.
So now I’m here—Papa’s Pizzaria. I make pizza for a living, and sometimes sandwiches, but the point is, it’s all food. One of the cashiers, Marcy—she’s pretty—is teaching me how to ring people up on the cash register. (Broadening my skills, as it were.) The boss moves me from one job to another so often that I’m not bored yet, and I like the manager most of the time. Result: I’ve kept the same job long enough for my mom to be proud. Go me!
When Mom said that, it made me smile. I don’t think she’s ever said she was proud of me before. My dad did a few times when I got good grades in school, but Mom has always been hard to read. I’ve wondered what she thought of me. Now at least I knew she’s proud, so I am holding onto this job as long as I can. I might even get another raise.
After the morning’s reminiscence of Corey, the last thing I needed was twenty questions from Marcy. (The cashier whom I said was pretty.) She is pretty, and nice, but she’s also extremely talkative and nosey and pushy, not to mention out to get me into bed. Oh, the life I lead.
Being God’s gift to woman as I am, it’s never created an issue unless it was with someone I worked with. I learned that on my first job—not the Sprint store, but one at Dairy Queen. I had gotten caught in the back seat of a girl’s car during break with my tongue down her throat and my hand down her pants. She happened to be the owner’s daughter and I was fired on the spot. After that, it became a personal rule—no dating in the workplace. Now, if I left the job, or got fired, all women who worked for the previous employer were fair game. I’m not completely stupid.
So, Marcy, she was becoming a problem. So far, I’d been able to fend her off because I was technically dating Chrissy. I tended to be a one-woman guy and I could stick to my guns around Marcy. Chrissy was it, so she’d have to deal. But now….
Oh, God. What would Marcy say about our break-up? Worse, what would she do?
It’s not like I wasn’t attracted to her, I was. In fact, her long black curls and stunning green eyes were exactly my vision of perfection, but she worked with me. I couldn’t date her. Girls rarely stuck around after being with me. Why, I didn’t know. I kind of liked Marcy, and I wanted to keep her in my life for more than six months. If we fucked, I’d lose what little we had growing between us. I didn’t have friends, so Marcy and I had to remain platonic.
As soon as I put a lid on the chicken noodle soup I finished scooping for a customer’s order, I saw Marcy bouncing my way and I cringed. I had to tell her about Chrissy, but I feared her reaction.
“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God!” she exclaimed, bouncing over like a brunette bunny, bristling with the energy level that only teenagers on Nos Energy Drink could attain.
I really wasn’t in the mood for whatever had revved her up. I had too much on my mind already and I needed quiet. “What is it Marcy?” I asked halfheartedly.
She leaned in extra close and whispered, “That guy at the counter is staring at you.”
I shifted my eyes to the customer at the counter, and then back to Marcy. “No, he’s staring at the menu board.”
“No, I swear, he walked through the door and did a double-take in your direction. He thinks you’re hot.” She lifted her eyes brows and smirked.
“Everybody thinks I’m hot,” I corrected. Internally, I was thinking, But he’s a guy, Nick! I turned away and picked up a chopping implement and proceeded to take out my surge of aggression on the steak I was cooking. The metal-on-metal sound hurt my ears but I didn’t care. I was angry at her insinuation. When I spoke, I made sure my voice was low enough that the scruffy looking dude at the counter couldn’t hear me. “Marcy, how many times do I have to tell you, I’m not gay.” Why, of all days, does she have to bring it up—again? I tossed some onions and green peppers on the grill and squirted some oil on them.
Marcy walked away and took that guy’s order. I finished one sub and threw some burgers on the grill for the next as Marcy waltzed back over. She hung the ticket up on the metal strip above my head and crossed her arms over her chest. She wasn’t leaving if I knew that look.
“Oh come on. Aren’t you at least a teensy-weensy bit interested? After all, you did say you dated a guy last year.”
Why did I ever have to mention Corey to her? I’ll never learn! I stopped mid-chop and glared at her. I was mad and she might as well get the full blast through my look if I couldn’t shout at her in the workplace.
“No, I didn’t,” I replied sternly. “I said we hung out a few times. A few! Hanging out with a guy doesn’t equate to dating. Okay? And hanging out doesn’t make me gay.” (Although sex might, but I was in denial about that.)
I didn’t understand what the big deal was, and why Marcy, as well as the other girls I’ve met, got so hyped-up over guys hanging out together? And God forbid I mention that I kissed Corey. Marcy might end up squealing like Dawn did last year at M-L’s house when I kissed him for the first time. I did it. It was done. And I hadn’t thought of going out with Corey for almost five months—until my mom brought it up this morning.
No matter how much I wanted to be left alone, something inside would not let it go. I grumbled more as I cooked. “If hanging out made guys gay, then all guys would be gay. We hangout, it’s what we do!”
She wasn’t put off by my assertiveness. “Then maybe you’re bi?” she quipped.
I exhaled loud enough to be heard at the counter. “Oh, for fuck’s sake! I told you I’m not. I date girls. Several. Just because Chrissy and I aren’t on the best of terms doesn’t negate that.” I turned my attention back to preparing the cheese steak sub for my ticket, while Marcy stood there watching. Why was she watching? Surely she had better things to do than wait for this order and stare at me?
“Nick, come on, it’s no big deal. Gay is the new straight,” she said cheerily.
I almost missed the roll as I transferred the meat from the grill. “What? No it’s not! And what the hell does that even mean?”
My melodramatic coworker placed her hands on her hips. “You don’t have to get all snippy about it. I was just saying….”
I gawked. “Saying what? I don’t even understand what you mean.” I tucked in the meat, and turned, with the sub in my hands, to the workstation behind me so I could wrap it up to go. As I rolled it in wax paper and aluminum foil, Marcy rattled on.
“I mean that being gay is no big deal anymore. You know? Like it used to be a big scandalous act that got kids beat up and stuff, but now it’s more like… like the cool thing to be. Like if you’re gay, you’re in.”
I handed her the wrapped sub and an order of fries and tilted my head to the side. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Sure I do!” She said, as she bagged the order and called for number twenty-three through the microphone. After Marcy handed the order to the customer who claimed it, she turned back to me. Of course she turned back to me. I was the newest guy in town and she had some deep, sadistic need to figure me out. Today, she was convinced I’m gay. Joy.
“No, you don’t,” I insisted, standing my ground. I might not know loads about being gay, but I knew she didn’t either. “I’m not sure what planet you live on, but around here, gay isn’t ‘cool’ it’s more like a disease that others hope not to catch.”
“Oh come on, Nick, it’s not that bad.”
“Yes, yes it is! Remember when that chicken place up the road had all its patrons rallying to show their support against same-sex marriage. This town is full of right-wing extremists who’d like nothing more than to kick every last gay person out!” (I was exaggerating, but I needed to for Marcy’s sake.)
Her eyes lit up instantly and she snapped her fingers. “So you admit that you’re gay!”
“But you’re not against it.”
I threw my hands out to the side. “No. I’m for letting people live their own lives. Gay or straight. I just happen to be straight. Very straight. Like an arrow.”
“You know what they say about people who protest too much.” Marcy wagged an accusatory finger at me.
“Stop, okay? Just stop. I hate when you do that. It’s like beating a dead animal with a stick—it doesn’t get you anywhere.” I was so done talking about it. I started wiping down my work area as a way of distracting myself. I wish I’d stayed home in my nice warm bed and never woke up to a day with Mom asking about Corey, M-L telling me she’s a lesbian, and Marcy playing matchmaker with me and a male customer who might have been looking in my direction. I was sooo done. When does my shift end?
Marcy shrugged her shoulders. “No. I guess not. You’re hot whether you’re gay or straight, and I’d still want to go out with you. I can’t blame Scruffy Dude for stealing a glimpse of your squeezable ass.”
Oh my God. Shoot me now! She used the very same term I used to describe him and it irritated me even more. Why do we have to think alike?
I looked up and caught saw her expression. It was all “teasing and flirty” and reminded me of Dawn a few years back. Marcy couldn’t pull off “floozy”, so every time she tried flirting I couldn’t hide my smirk. I knew the corner of my mouth would not remain firm for long. It was curving. Up it went. Traitor. I couldn’t help it. I was smiling and my anger waned. She did have a way of making me laugh with all her winking and sexual innuendo and comments about my great body.
I was pretty damn hot.
But still, there was that other side of me that was done with hearing her rant over something she clearly knew nothing about—homosexuality. She was talking out of her ass and had no clue. But could I really say something? I wasn’t gay either.
I chose to ignore all her smack about my “squeezable ass”, and about her insinuation that I’m gay, and question her nicknaming the customers. That was neutral ground. Why would she do that anyway? “So you’ve dubbed him ‘scruffy dude’?” I asked. “What’s next, are you going to create a nickname for everyone who comes in?” That guy was sort of scruffy, even twenty feet away from the counter I noticed he needed a shave, but to point that out (out loud) seemed rude.
“Yes,” she answered promptly. “I already have a name for all the regulars who dine-in.”
“What? No way.” I found that mildly amusing. I put my chicken cheese steak on the roll and handed it to Marcy. “Here, this is Scruffy Dude’s sub.” I accidentally went along with her dubbed title.
Marcy’s eyes glinted when she heard me use her term. We did get along well for the most part. She took the sub and put it on a tray. “If you don’t believe me, then come up here after you’re done that tuna sandwich and I’ll point the customers out one at a time.”
“Okay, deal.” I made a point not to look up at the counter when the scruffy guy picked up his tray of food. I kept my eyes glued to the sandwich—thank you very much. It was a very nice sandwich. Cut evenly, with the lettuce all tucked under the bread. I make the best-looking food around.
I saw movement peripherally and I knew Scruffy Dude was gone. I relaxed my shoulders and took my beautiful tuna sandwich to the counter. I called the number over the microphone and handed the tray to the customer. When he walked away, I noticed Marcy over by the ice cream machine; she was texting on her phone. How scandalous!
“Marcy! What are you doing?” I hissed as I walked over to her. True, no one in the restaurant noticed, but this was still a work place and she could get in trouble for it. (I’m a rule-follower for the most part.) “You know you could get into trouble. The boss said no texting during work.”
“Then we should date.”
“What?” Shock, confusion, and a general WTF went through my brain. “No. What? I’m dating Chrissy!” Or I was until this morning.
“If you’re as straight as you say you are, then we should go out. You know Chrissy wouldn’t mind. I just got a text from Deena that said she saw Chrissy kissing Terrell Burke. That means she’s cheating on you. You should dump her and date me. I’d be loyal. I promise.” Marcy accentuated her point by crossing her fingers over her heart and holding up three fingers. I’m pretty sure that was the Boy Scout sign and salute, but I didn’t need to drag her off on some tangent about being a scout. I had too many conversations going on with Marcy at one time to add another. My brain could only handle so much.
I replied, “No. I told you I don’t date people I work with. And besides, I know about Terrell. He said he didn’t know she was seeing me at the same time. Chrissy and I already talked about it.” I knew I should tell her the truth—truth, always truth—my mom told me that. “Besides, we broke up this morning.”
Her eyes lit up instantly. “You did? Why didn’t you say something?”
“Because I didn’t want to think about it. We’ve been on and off for a long time and it’s draining. Can’t we just drop the subject?” I hoped she would.
She frowned. “I’m sorry it’s been hard.” Marcy reached out and rubbed my arm. She’s nice that way. “You know Chrissy wasn’t good for you, right?” She sounded sincere and that made me feel good. Then she had to ruin it by adding “But still, we should go out,” with a perky change of expression. Why does she have to persist so much? “I could make you forget about that cheater.” Now she was pouting and sticking out her lip. God, I can’t handle it!
“No, Marcy. I already told you why; we work together.”
She bit her lip and squinched-up her eyes. Oh no, “contemplative” Marcy! “Is it my boobs? It’s my boobs, isn’t it? They’re too small. I know guys like big boobs. Mine are a C-cup. That’s too small for you, isn’t it? You look like a double-D kind of guy to me.”
I think I was more annoyed at her prattle about her boobs than I was about her talk about homosexuality. Or even about Scruffy Dude looking at me. I didn’t fucking care about her boobs. I had never really understood the fascination over breasts anyway. I liked nipples, but all that extra flesh just flopped around. I told her, “No, they’re fine Marcy.” I was getting a headache.
“Oh really?” She peeped, pleaded as punch, stepping closer and leaning her C-cup boobs my way. “Then we should go out.”
“No. Stop. Just… stop.” I backed up and walked back over to my station. I wiped the cutting board and straightening the boxes of wax paper as I went. I had to look busy or she’d never leave me alone. As I thought she would, she followed me. “You’re giving me a headache, Marcy. Can you just… go away?” Honesty is the best policy. (Again, a lesson from Mom.) Marcy didn’t look happy, but she didn’t say anything either.
Luckily, a customer fake-coughed behind her to get Marcy’s attention. She turned and the conversation was dropped. And it stayed that way for several more hours. Thank God!

I went home with a migraine. Too much thinking. This was why girls drove me crazy. How could one girl think up so many different things to talk about in the same conversation? It was exhausting. One subject at a time, please.
I didn’t even eat dinner; I went straight to my room. Today was draining. I took out my phone and opened the pictures folder. Corey, I sighed. Why was I so attached to him? He wasn’t that special. He didn’t fawn all over me, and he didn’t compliment my body constantly like Marcy did. Corey was somewhat detached, actually. As I said before, we mostly fucked. Then why was I missing his company so much?
I turned my phone off and went to sleep, confused.

So... there ya have it. I am still working hard to get this finished and submitted. I WANT to deliver quality, so I plan to refine this. (Don't worry.) But this is an idea of the story. I hope you like it so far. I have over 100k written. I'm hoping to be done soon!
For other installments see blog posts:



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

RAINBOW AWARD Finalist!! >> My Roommate's A Jock? Well, Crap!

Am I stoked? You bet your bottom dollar I am! There is some steep competition out there so to make it to the finals is super terrific!

For those who don't know, The RAINBOW AWARDS are given out by Elisa Rolle. I'm not even sure how many years they have been going on, a few, but if you know leave a comment for me please. She runs it, but there are loads of judges and a point system and everything. Elisa is amazing, but the awards are not given out on her opinion alone. There is an entire process. (Click the links below for details.)

reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
[personal profile] reviews_and_ramblings
  • Submissions period ended on September 5, 2013
  • Books submitted for consideration were accepted between February 15 and September 5, 2013.
  • Winners will be announced on December 8, 2013.
Below the Finalists for each category, winners will be announced on December 8, 2013

TOTAL NUMBER OF FINALISTS: 246 for 22 categories

more or less all books scoring above 32 on a possible rate of 40.

My Roommate's a Jock? Well, Crap! has made it through the initial round (or rounds) to make it into the finals. This is huge! I think my brain is still trying to wrap around the concept that someone, several someones (judges) think I am funny. Jock is in the LGBT romantic comedy section of the competition. ME? I'm funny? I'm THAT funny? Yeah, I'm still leaning on the possibility that I'm dreaming. Surely things like this don't happen to me.

For those who have NOT read Jock, here's what it's about: 
It’s easy to become cynical when life never goes your way.

Cole Reid, a college senior, has been a social recluse since the age of fifteen. His obsessive/compulsive behavior, and controlling, sarcastic nature have driven half the population away, where as the other half of humanity hates him because he’s gay. As he sees it, he’s bound to drive any prospective friend away, let alone find a boyfriend, so why bother? After Cole’s roommate of three years graduates, the housing department assigns Ellis Montgomery to his campus apartment. Ellis’ presence is problematic at best. He’s messy for one thing, but he’s also gorgeous, straight, and represents everything Cole has tried to avoid since the tenth grade—he’s a jock!

Amid the chaos of frat buddies, camping expeditions, and meddling parents, Cole and Ellis develop a fast and firm friendship that goes against Cole’s glass-half-empty attitude. Is there more brewing below the surface of Ellis’ amazing blue eyes, or is it simply Cole’s reawakened libido that drives him to look past the fact that his roommate’s a jock and see there’s way more between them than camaraderie?

On Goodreads it has a variety of ratings:  5 stars (183)  |  4 stars (333)  |  3 stars (196)  |  2 stars (63)  |  1 star (15)

Not everyone LOVES it, but I think over all the consensus is that it's funny and takes an unusual twist on the classic Jock/Nerd relationship. AND, now some people think it should get an award for being funny. So Iam super stoked and excited and I can' wait for December 8th when the awards are announced. This is very very exciting. Thanks to all my adoring fans who keep me going and buy my books and leave comments and reviews, and who recommend my stuff around. I NEED YOU ALL VERY MUCH!!! Without readers, then an author does nothing but talk to herself (or himself.) Thank you for being there and encouraging me. You are the best!

Out for now,


(I got writing to do!!!)