Reality as a Love Song, Part 1: Doing the Dishes

A couple months ago, my husband decided to go watch TV while I cleaned up after dinner. I’d been cooking for an hour plus, and I was not amused. It didn’t help that this had kind of become his MO of late. But I took a few deep breaths and reminded myself that he works hard so I don’t have to, and that he deserves better than passive-aggressive bullshit from me. 
Not that he didn’t deserve shit from me. He just deserved honest, direct shit.
So I told him that on nights when I cook, it means a lot to me when he helps clean up afterwards, because I’m usually sick of being in the kitchen by that point. He apologized and we moved on.
And pretty much every night since then, if I cook, he cleans. 
Nobody writes about real life in romance novels. But sometimes we miss the love story happening right in front of our eyes.
I have no intention of missing mine.

Purgatory Is An Unedited Manuscript

Anyone who follows my ranting and moaning on Twitter knows that I’ve spent the better part of a week now looking at edits for Unacceptable Risk, ignoring edits for Unacceptable Risk, procrastinating in order to avoid looking at edits for Unacceptable Risk, and occasionally, in rare fits of productivity actually working on edits for Unacceptable Risk.
(Unacceptable Risk being the new m/f cyberpunk romance I contracted with Samhain Publishing, coming to an eReader near you this winter!)
A lot of this hand-wringing has involved going through little stylistic issues. Do I really need the ‘that’ in that sentence? Is a ‘dangling modifier’ really just an opportunity for a TWSS joke? Could I start any more sentences with conjunctions?
Some of it is content. My editor wanted to see some adjustments to one of the character arcs, and while I completely agree with her analysis and suggestions, actually making the changes has given me heart palpitations. Will the new stuff suck? Will it stick out like a sore thumb? Am I overthinking everything?
And some of it … some of it is just plain sitting there shaking my head at myself. Everything that seemed brilliant six months ago is a lot easier to look at now with a healthy dose of bitchbrow. I still love the story, but did I really not notice that I started six sentences in a row with the same basic phrasing? Did I not see that I used the word ‘back’ five times in two paragraphs?
Seriously.
Anyway, the good news is that I’m mostly done. I still need to take one last pass through to make sure the edits flow and I haven’t made too many new problems while trying to solve old ones.
But I will be so, so, so excited to leave the purgatory of editing to return to the welcome, familiar hell of writing from scratch.

New Free Read : Heart and Soul

Now that we’re halfway through August, I finally got around to posting Heart and Soul, my Hot July Days story, as a free read. It’s up on my website, or you can download the free ebook from SmashWords to view on your eReader.

Summary: The tattoos on Duke’s body tell the stories of all the times he’s loved and lost. His best friend, Ben, knows all the stories. But Ben doesn’t want to be written on Duke’s skin. He wants to be in Duke’s heart.

Hope you enjoy!

Wire :: Friday Ficlet

This began as a post for Aisling Weaver‘s FuckMeFriday prompt, “Wire.” But it turned into something rather different. I’m posting it anyway.

Wire

“There are so many options,” he said. As he spoke, he selected one bright bloom and then another. “Jasmine for grace and lilac for love.”
She looked on, more intent on the way his hands moved that on the flowers that he chose. 
The shop was closed, leaving just the two of them, the baker’s daughter and the gardener. They had nothing in common and no reason to be here.
Nothing but a love for watching things grow. 
He grazed over several groups of flowers before one seemed to strike his eye. “Ah, yes.” Lifting one last clump of blossoms, he turned back to her and ran the petals from her forehead down her nose. “And a touch of sweet pea for a sweet, shy girl.”
She blushed a deeper pink than all his blossoms, and the line he’d traced across her face felt hot. With his elbows braced upon his workbench, he unrolled a bit of floral wire and wrapped it around the stems.
When he was done, he held the little pink bouquet out like an offering. “Take it. It’s for you.”
She’d known that. And yet she hadn’t. 
With one hand, she accepted it, took the flowers to her face and inhaled. As her eyes fluttered closed, she felt him take her other hand, his fingertips warm and rough. She marveled for a moment on the fact that hands so worn – so accustomed to coaxing life from dirt – could also touch so gently. That his spirit could know the cycles of the earth and the names of flowers. And how to touch a girl.
“They’re beautiful,” she said.
“Not as beautiful as you.”
And then, as she watched, he snipped another length of wire.
The green looked strange against her skin as he wrapped it around her finger. A half dozen turns and then a loose little knot. 
He looked up again, his eyes full of questions. But he didn’t have to speak them.
“Yes,” she answered. Simply, “Yes.”

Words in Print!

Looky what I got in the mail this weekend!

Yup, that’s right, an actual, physical, paper copy of Power Play!

And look at what’s inside!

Okay, okay, it’s actually kinda hard to see, but that’s my name! In a book! On paper!

Here’s a close-up:

Oh wait, that was a close-up of me, not of the book. Here we go:

Happy squee!

Just a reminder that Ebooks are already on sale through Amazon, AllRomance eBooks, and Fictionwise. And paperbacks will be out soon!