Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Naked Candy Canes

Wrapped, packaged, boxed, covered in bows or ribbons, naked candy canes...er.... We'll discuss *that* in a moment (winks). Oh, and I have some holiday goodies coming up—ahem, pun definitely intended!

Two days before Thanksgiving, the hubby was laid off. How lovely. Then when he was called back to work a week later, his 40 to 50 hours a week were cut to 24 a week. Again...how lovely.

Honestly, the idea of a skimpy Christmas didn’t and still doesn’t bother me. I’m damn good at creative accounting because I was raised to squeeze a penny and make it poop a quarter, so the two kids still under our roof and our four grand babies are covered for gifts.

So, since this year is a bust, I focused on something else holiday related—Christmas promotions for my holiday releases, and also surfing the Internet for what other authors were doing for the Yuletide Season. Until now, I really hadn’t paid much attention to how one can celebrate the holiday online.

There are dudes with Santa hats over their peckers. Christmas lights draped over hunky men like my vampy hero on my upcoming release down there on the right. There are “boxes” hidden by festive lingerie and naked hubba-hubbas reclining by fireplaces adorned with garland and holly. I’ve seen holiday covers with enough decorated cleavage to float a battleship. There are bare buns of steel peeking from under Santa coats, too.

And all these things are surrounded by twinkling, multi-colored lights—LED no less! Oh, look at the rosy glow  on his tush!—and bright bows, festive wrappers, candy canes (hey, is that candy can attached to him?), glass Christmas bulbs, and miles and miles of garland....

Who knew Christmas was full of sex? Sometimes I think I must live in a cave or under a rock because when I come out for a look around I am stunned—nay, flabbergasted!—at how sex is incorporated into everything nowadays. (Oh, look. The poor guy got his candy cane stuck in the elevator door. That’ll teach him to pop those li’l bills before he reaches her apartment.)

Another thing I did for Christmas—and New Year’s for that matter—that I have never done before was write Christmas romances. Oh, sure I’ve written one or two but they were very short and strictly het. This year, I got on the Christmas book bandwagon (and fell off when I tripped over the hot guy wearing nothing but a smile and a sprig of hay). It’s difficult to write December fiction when it’s the end of August and 107 degrees, but I wrote three novellas for our current holiday season in two weeks. Every time I write like that the hubby says I'm wiggling my fingers in the air all night; maybe I should take my laptop to bed with me instead of him! Ha!
The first title came out December 12th from Dreamspinner Press, book II of my Stone Trail Series. I write as Amber Redd exclusively for DP (bold words are links).

When I’m Gone—As New Year's approaches, a grieving Richie Tatten collects his dead sister’s belongings from the institution where she lived. The mystery of her suicide confounds him and adds to his growing frustration with the disappearance of his life partner, Albert, who vanished months earlier. Hoping to find answers, Richie heads to the small town of Stone Trail, but the unwelcoming citizens leave Richie reluctant to continue his search. Then new information about his sister’s death gives him a lead on Albert’s whereabouts—and thrusts him into the middle of a battle between magic and werewolves. [Book I available HERE]

If you mix in a mother who is a major rip, a ghost, and some humor, it turns into a fun ride into the New Year.

This manuscript led me to writing Fangs for Christmas, the first book in a unique series that will revolve around some holiday or other. The cool thing about writing this series is that if I miss a holiday I can always come back around later and write it.

And oh what pretty lights! I was talking about the ones in the bkgd but the strand around Mr. Oh-La-La’s neck is nice, too. Oh, and this title should come with a warning label—it’s hot and has some voilence, so it’s not for the faint of heart.

[Release date pending and pen name exclusive to Freya’s Bower] Seven years ago on Christmas Eve, Justice, the one person Tristan cared about the most, vanished. Alone for yet another holiday, he rescues a man in an alley only to come face to face with his missing lover.

But something is different about Justice, and before Tristan can stop himself, he welcomes him back into his life. It forces him into the middle of vampire gang wars and he finds himself on the run with Justice. A car chase, a destroyed Christmas tree, and the alleged murder of a spy vamp sends them into the worst blizzard Pennsylvania has endured in years. Can he allow Justice to have his heart, or will he demand Tristan’s life instead?

So the third holiday release is Wrapped Around Your Handlebars. LOL, yeah the title grabs your attention, but it fits the story perfectly. A couple of my releases have been partly inspired by a good friend and client; Adelle's a doll and a great author so click www.adellelaudan.com to visit her site. I’ve worked with her as first an author and then a client. We were talking the other day and I asked her if she realized we’d been working together for about nine years. It surprised her as much as it did me. She writes biker fiction (www.adellelaudan.com/bikerfiction), and her influence had urged me to pen several stories featuring motorcycles from Heart of a Were (from Werewolves in Love) to Ruby, the White King and Marilyn Monroe to Harley Afternoon Delight (I’m no longer writing as Molly Diamond) and now Wrapped Around Your Handlebars.

Oh, and it debuted today!

After three years of trying to revive his relationship, Oak finally kicks his partner out. Christmas is only two weeks away, and he finds himself traveling by motorcycle up the eastern coast line. Everything changes suddenly when he meets Chandler, a waiter at a Florida City restaurant. Oak insists he’s not interested in the guy, but he’s drawn to his unique perspective on life, even if his enthusiasm for Christmas is overwhelming.

However, Oak hasn’t seen his family since his father kicked him out eleven years ago. Chandler thinks it’s time to visit Oak's mother and sisters, so when Oak asks him to travel together, they embark on a path to redemption and a new, healthy love for one another.

Are there bows and ribbons on the hunks? You’ll have to read the books to find out, but the stories are well-steeped in the upcoming holidays.

Oh, all right! I hear you! I hear you already! Sheesh...

And for those Four Strong Women reader fans out there who aren’t into m/m fiction, I do have something for you with a wintry theme. Jack Frost is often featured during the holidays, but he also rules over the winter season. Also, if you need something to heat you up during your lunch break or to tide you over for a few minutes while you rest on a bench in the mall (better you battling the crazy shoppers out there than me. I hate sitting in jail after trying to go Christmas shopping!) then you’ll enjoy Fire in Winter. Naomi is older, she’s not model thin, and she needs a man asap, but she gets a Fire in Winter she never bargained for!

Someone left an ice rose on Naomi’s porch but why?

Naomi dreams of a sexual partner who can leave her sated and tired in the sheets with no strings attached. When she falls ill, a crystal-blue-eyed stranger saves her, but once she’s well again, he takes her to sexual heights that fill the house with magic only a fire in winter can create.

So I hope you got a few chuckles out of today’s post to relieve that horrible holiday-season stress, and maybe you’ve found something to heat you up during the cold, blustery days of December.

Happy Holidays!


Kate Richards said...

My first year as an author I thought all Christmas stories had to be 'family friendly' but not only did I get over that...I started enjoying all the grownup stories other author write! These look yummy!

Faith said...

Some of today's erotic romance stories for the holidays gives the word naughty a whole new meaning, Kate!

cky15 said...

cky15: you know that it is nice to read all different stories that has the christmas theme. It doesn't help to take a break from the traditional christmas stories. It can be great to help with getting in to the holiday a different meaning LOL

Willa Edwards said...

My first release was a christmas release, and I completely agree, its hard to get into Christmas in august. I kept watching Christmas movies, my neighbors must have thought I was crazy but it helped me feel holly jolly.

Faith said...

I hear you, lol. It's like trying to shop in August when you're wearing shorts and a tank top and you look over suddenly realizing you're surrounded by Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, and before-Christmas sales.

I'll have to find some Christmas music to play should I find myself writing holiday romances during the summer months next year, LOL!

Jessica Subject said...

Wow, many holiday releases for you! Congrats and many sales to you!

I haven't written any holiday fiction, except a Halloween super short. Though I do plan on writing some in the new year. :)

helene said...

For me personally it doesn't feel like Christmas until it snows , but with global warming it seems to take longer and longer every year , I live in Indiana and we usally have some cold winters too . I have always curled up with a glass of wine and a great book or two on Christmas eve and any one of these would be a winner with me :)

Anthology Authors said...

Well, you know, I have a Christmas Wish up. I have a short Halloween story. You saw how long it took me to edit it, Faith. LOL I love the cover, BTW. All of the covers, to be honest. :)


Faith said...

Jessica, I didn't plan it that way. When I realized I had four titles for the holiday season it surprised me!

Helene, our weather has been similar. I'm in Ohio just a few miles from Wheeling, WV. I miss the deep snows we had here when I was a kid. And I'm glad the titles are your kind of fiction! :-D

Thank you re the covers, Marci. I've been really blessed to always work with awesome cover artists!

Fiona McGier said...

My Mom used to say my Aunt was so cheap she could squeeze a nickel until the buffalo farted. Your saying reminded me of her.

My husband got laid off a few years ago, then rehired by a different division at a fraction of his original salary. It's the new American way of doing business...after all, how else can the top execs get those obscene bonuses and golden parachutes before they drive companies to close?

Congrats on all of the new releases and wishing you tons of sales.

Janice Seagraves said...

I did think about Adelle's bikers when I read an excerpt about Ruby, the White King and Marilyn Monroe.

Good luck with all the releases, and Happy Holidays.