This Week Is Hectic!

This is a hectic week, but hectic in a good way.

Thursday is the official release day for A Fighting Chance! I put this book up for Kindle preorder on April 26, and on May 9 it will release for Kindle and paperback.

I’ve been making some tweaks to my release schedule going forward. Take Some Tahini (Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat 6) will release in July as scheduled; after that, my next release will be in October of this year. I’ve discovered, in trying to do 6 releases this year, that that pace isn’t exactly sustainable for me, especially since I’ll also be releasing some young adult fiction (under my Jo Ramsey pen name) starting in 2025. So I’m lowering that plan by one book for 2024, and will be releasing five books instead of six, and for 2025 I’m planning four releases. There might be an extra short story or two released over those couple of years, but I’m not currently *planning* those. So another part of the hecticness of this week is rearranging my release schedule and, by extension, my writing and editing schedule.

And I’m getting ready to take a trip to watch my younger kid graduate from veterinary school next week! Packing and coordinating travel plans with the others who are going is one of the most hectic things, but it is so amazingly worth it to watch my kid’s dream–almost literally a lifelong dream, they’ve wanted to be a veterinarian since they were about three years old–come true.

So that’s where I’m at this week. I’m also continuing to plan “wide” releases of my books (making them available through retailers in addition to Amazon) but have hit a minor snag with some of the existing books that is delaying getting those put out through other vendors. I am continuing to work on it.

A Fighting Chance Cover Reveal

Now that my newsletter subscribers have had the first look, I wanted to share the cover of A Fighting Chance with y’all. A Fighting Chance is the sequel to last year’s Chance Met, continuing the story of werewolf single father Trey Damone, psychic human Jeremiah Crawford, and Trey’s seven-year-old son Michael. A Fighting Chance will be available for Kindle preorder on April 25 and will release for Kindle and in paperback on May 9; I have plans to release it and Chance Met wide later this year.

I’m Moving!

In three days, I’m moving to a new apartment. This is a good thing; the new place is larger, quieter, and in a much safer area than where I’m currently living.

But it is putting a bit of a cramp in my writing and promoting. Especially since in TWO days, Hooch and Howls officially releases!

I’m looking forward to being in the new apartment and having quiet, sunlit space to write and create. Moving is stressful, but it ultimately ends up being a good thing. I’ll share pictures of the new space once we’re settled a bit!

Meanwhile, Hooch and Howls is available for preorder through various retailers, and will release on Thursday (the 14th) in digital and paperback formats. https://books2read.com/hoochandhowls

Hooch and Howls Preorder Is Up!

On Leap Day, I put my historical M/M/M novella up for preorder! Hooch and Howls was originally published in 2012. When I looked through it with an eye toward rereleasing, I came across one scene that completely made me cringe. The original concept of the story was that the werewolf, Malachi Powers, was affected overly strongly by even the smell of alcohol, with the result that he joined in on sex with two humans without their consent. As originally written, consent was given retroactively (the humans said they were fine with what had happened), but given that I wanted Malachi to be a *heroic* character since he appears in the next Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat novel and is being spun off into his own novel and possibly series, I couldn’t leave that scene as written.

So for the rerelease, I did some major rewrites of that scene. While Malachi is still affected by the fumes of the hooch the humans spill, and he is admittedly spying on them when they start their sexual encounter, he quickly realizes he shouldn’t be there. And the humans *explicitly* call to him and invite him to join them before he does anything.

The rest of the book has been revised and re-edited, and it will be released wide on March 14 in digital versions. I’m also doing a paperback version of it because I like having physical books. You can find your retailer and preorder your copy at my universal book link. And here’s the cover!

Release Schedule Changes

I’m still fine-tuning things. The advantage of being a self-published author is the flexibility to change my release schedule as needed. The disadvantage of being a self-published author is that I’m the one who has to make those changes.

Hooch and Howls will be out on March 14, as previously announced. That book is nearly ready to go; another round of proofreading and the cover, and it will be complete. I’ll be putting it up for Kindle preorder on February 29, and it will be released wide on March 14 (meaning it will not be available through Kindle Unlimited).

Take Some Tahini (Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat 6) will be out on July 11, as previously announced. I’m working on edits for that one, but I’m confident it will be complete and ready to go in time for Kindle preorder on June 27 and release on July 11. (I have not yet decided whether it will be in Kindle Unlimited for 90 days, as I did with Tempeh for Two, or just go wide off the bat; stay tuned for more on that.)

On May 9… I’m not sure. Originally, that was going to be Hooch and Howls, and my novel A Fighting Chance (a follow-up to Chance Met) was supposed to be the March 14 release. I flipped those two because Hooch was closer to being ready than A Fighting Chance. I figured I could easily get Fighting ready for May.

That was until I got the notes back from my beta reader. I had known *something* was not working with Fighting, but I couldn’t figure out where the problems were. My beta reader pointed all of the issues out to me, which I greatly appreciate. With her notes, I can see exactly what she’s talking about, and now I understand why the story wasn’t resonating for me.

But… I am not completely sure I’ll be able to fix those problems in time for a May release of this book. And to be honest, between the depth of the issues and the fact that it’s a follow-up to a book that was released a year ago, I’m starting to wonder if I actually *want* to fix those problems and release this book.

When I was working on Chance Met in early 2023, I realized that expanding that book was going to take longer than I’d anticipated, especially since at the time, I was also dealing with the immediate aftermath of my mother’s passing and trying to help my dad cope with paperwork, cleaning out the house, and so on. I completely changed my 2023 release schedule with very little notice to readers, because there wasn’t much else I could do. And at the time, I committed to only stating my release schedule 6 months in advance. I thought that would give me enough time to solidify things while making it easier for me to tweak and change the schedule without having to backtrack on releases I’d already announced.

But this time, because of the need for more extensive rewrites on A Fighting Chance, I’m going to have to say “Please stay tuned.” The March and July releases for 2024 are definite. I have plans for September’s release. But for the time being, I’m going to have to start working on A Fighting Chance and see whether I can actually regain my joy with this story and whether I’m capable of getting it ready for May 9. I will know for certain what May’s release will be by the time I release Hooch and Howls.

Meanwhile, I’m going to spend part of today working on the Hooch and Howls cover art and giving myself compassion for the need to change… because change happens sometimes.

March Release Update

For the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to update my release plans for this year. I think I’ve got it…

Originally, I was going to only release one book this spring, an April release, which was planned to be a novel called A Fighting Chance. This is a a sequel to Chance Met, which I released in March 2023.

Meanwhile, I’d also decided that I wanted to rerelease my previously-published novella, Hooch and Howls. And I was trying to figure out *how* to rerelease that; did I want to make it part of my main release schedule, or did I want to make it a giveaway, or… ? A couple of weeks ago, I decided I wanted to make it part of the main release schedule, because it’s now a lead-in to two other novels that are coming out this year.

So I’d changed from planning an April release to planning releases in March and May. The question was, which book was I going to release in which month? Since Chance Met was a March release last year, I wanted A Fighting Chance to be this year’s March release. But A Fighting Chance is turning out to need a bit more editing than I’d anticipated, and I also ran into a scheduling snag with my beta reader. I want to make sure I’m giving readers the best story I can with A Fighting Chance, so I’ve decided to give myself more time to prepare and polish it.

So on March 14, I will be releasing Hooch and Howls. A Fighting Chance will be out on May 9. The current plan is for both books to be released wide on these release dates, meaning they will *not* be available through Kindle Unlimited (but will be available for Kindle).

Hooch and Howls is a historical novella originally published in 2012. Taking place in 1930, Hooch and Howls introduces “hermit” werewolf Malachi Powers as he finds unexpected sexual and romantic connection with two human smugglers, Roger and Jonathan, who are reluctantly involved in the rumrunning trade between Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, and Gloucester, Massachusetts.

I’ll be sharing cover art soon! Meanwhile, here’s a picture of the cottage that once (until around 1984 or 1985) belonged to my grandparents. In Hooch and Howls, this cottage is where Malachi lives.

2024 Here We Go!

It’s a new year. Which is a little mind-boggling. December went by way too quickly.

It’s now 2024, and I’m still kind of wrapping my head around that. Usually I spend December, and sometimes start as early as October, planning the upcoming year. My goals, my hopes, my “if there were no objects in the way” dreams. It’s a month or more of daydreaming, brainstorming, Tarot and oracle cards, and various other means of sorting out what I want to do, what I’m capable of doing, and what I would really love to do if I could figure out how. I didn’t do that this year. At the beginning of December, something hit my life (and the lives of a number of others in my social circle, as well as my family) very hard, so I didn’t have the bandwidth to do much more than process, grieve, and figure out how to reconstruct my day-to-day life.

However. I do have some plans for 2024. It might be worth noting here that I don’t do “New Years resolutions.” For me, personally, resolutions are the “I should do this” things that usually get put aside because either I can’t figure out *how* to do them or because I only decided to do them because I thought I “should.” I don’t deal with shoulds anymore. As one of my past therapists was fond of saying, I stopped shoulding all over myself. I make goals and plans, not resolutions.

For 2024, tentatively, I’m planning:

1.To release Tempeh for Two (Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat 5) on January 11. This book is already up for Kindle preorder! I’ll also be releasing Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat 6, titled Take Some Tahini, in July. Take Some Tahini is the first brand-new Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat novel since 2014; the previous five, including Tempeh for Two, were originally published between 2011 and 2014. (All the rereleases have been revised, updated, and re-edited, and some have been expanded with new content.)

2. To figure out the timing of the rest of my release schedule. For 2023, my original plan was to release books in January, March, May, July, September, and November. But my March release, Chance Met, got held up because of personal life stuff as well as issues with expanding it, so instead of releasing the second week of the month as intended, it came out toward the end of March. Because of that, I didn’t want to have a May release, because it wouldn’t have given me enough time to promote both books. So I skipped May, made the September release an October release instead, and then wound up doing a Christmas story in November after deciding not to release anything that month. Yeah, it was all as confusing as it sounds. For 2024, I’m currently planning releases in January, April, July, and October, with another Christmas story at the end of November/beginning of December, but that might change.

3. To make all of my books available “wide,” meaning through multiple retailers. This means they will no longer be available through Kindle Unlimited, which requires that books be sold exclusively on Amazon. I apologize to my readers who prefer KU because of finances or other reasons. There are multiple factors behind my decision, including a reduction in the amount Amazon pays authors for Kindle Unlimited reads and hearing from readers who would like to buy my books but won’t or can’t by from Amazon. After considering and talking with other authors, I decided it would be worth trying having my books available through other retailers in addition to Amazon, including Kobo and Barnes & Noble. I’ll be starting this change in February with Fill the Empty Spaces, followed by Chance Met in March. Tempeh for Two, along with the rest of the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series, will be available through Kindle Unlimited until April, at which time the entire series will be released through other retailers. I’m still fine-tuning how I’ll approach new releases; my options are either release them through all retailers from the beginning, or make them Amazon exclusive–and available through Kindle Unlimited–for the first 90 days after release, then put them with other retailers. Stay tuned for announcements on that as I make decisions and see how releasing my books wide affects my sales and readership. Yes, I write books because I love writing books… but I also do it to help pay my bills, and sometimes that means needing to make decisions that benefit the bank account.

4. To start a subscription. A number of my fellow authors have Patreon or Ream accounts through which they offer readers bonuses and perks for a monthly subscription fee (which in some cases is as low as $1 a month!) I actually have a Patreon but haven’t done much with it because creating things for it and promoting it felt like a little too much. I’ve been following those other authors, though, and learning more about how to make it all work without breaking my brain, so I hope to either brush up my Patreon for a relaunch or set up a Ream subscription (Ream is like Patreon but exclusively for writers) by my birthday, June 30. If you read this and have thoughts about what you’d like to see offered through a subscription like this, please leave a comment!

5. To release the follow-up to Chance Met, titled A Fighting Chance. This book will probably conclude Trey and Jeremiah’s story, as it brings their romance to a logical happy-for-now ending as well as tying up plot threads introduced in Chance Met. I don’t really see anywhere for their story to go after this one. This is the only “I’m not completely sure yet” plan on this list; I haven’t decided whether I’ll actually release this one. If I do, it will be out in March or May.

6. To rerelease my novella Hooch and Howls. Originally published in 2012, this is a historical MMM novella featuring a crotchety hermit werewolf and two young men sucked into the rumrunning trade in 1930 Nova Scotia. I’ve rewritten a portion of this novella to address a plot point I found…we’ll say distasteful, and I’m looking forward to reintroducing Malachi Powers, the hermit werewolf, and his love interests Roger and Jonathan to the world. And speaking of Malachi…

7. To release a new novel, currently titled Ebb and Flow. This novel follows from Take Some Tahini, but is not part of the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series. (You can tell, because the title doesn’t reference a vegan food.) In Tahini, Tobias meets a young werewolf named Quinn Bouchard, who had a traumatic entry into the werewolf world that reminds Tobias of his own. After Quinn’s pack ejects him for reasons beyond Quinn’s control, Tobias takes him in as one of his guards and brings Quinn with him and Kyle to meet with the Anax of Canada. While in Nova Scotia for that meeting, they meet Malachi Powers (yes, the one from Hooch and Howls, which is why I plan to rerelease that novella), a friend¬† of the Canadian Anax–and, as it turns out, Quinn’s mate, something which disturbs Malachi both because Quinn is mourning the loss of his partner and because of a major age gap; Malachi is somewhere around 150 years old, while Quinn is only 22. Though their story begins in Take Some Tahini, it’s fully formed in Ebb and Flow, which I’m currently in the process of writing and am very much enjoying. I hope to have this novel ready to release in September or October.

Other plans, particularly for book releases, are in flux right now. But the good thing about planning and writing and working for myself (and my readers) is that I have the ability to be flexible.

I hope your 2024 is off to a wonderful start! If you have plans you’d like to share, leave a comment!

 

 

Two More Days!

In two days, I’ll be putting Tempeh for Two up for preorder! The book will officially release on January 11 in Kindle and print formats; the preorder will be Kindle only since Amazon doesn’t allow for preorders of paperbacks. This book will be available through Kindle Unlimited until April, at which time I’ll be pulling all of the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat books out of KU so I can release them through vendors in addition to Amazon.

I’m looking forward to having this book out there. This will complete the rereleasing of the original 5-book Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series. In July 2024, the series will continue with the first brand-new book to be released since 2014, Take Some Tahini.¬† And there’s a spin-off or two coming as well. These werewolves get pushy about having their stories told!

I’ve shared the Tempeh for Two cover before, but here it is again because I like it (and because I’m typing this over Christmas weekend and so I’m keeping it short so I can go on with holiday prep).

Surprise Book!

I hadn’t planned on a book release this month, until I started thinking about the holidays and decided I wanted to release a Christmas story. Fortunately for me, I had a Christmas story in my files.

Snow on Christmas Eve was originally a 5000-word short story titled “Christmas Eve Snow” that I’d posted as a freebie on my old (pre-hiatus) website. I’ve spent time revising and re-editing the story… and in the process, I expanded it into a short novella of a little over 10,000 words.

Christmas was always Tag’s favorite holiday. Time with his parents, brothers, and other family, dinners, Christmas lights. But this year, Tag wants nothing to do with the holiday. In September, his coming out as gay and announcing that his partner Darion was moving in with him resulted in his family rejecting him. How can he be happy when he’s lost his family?

On Christmas Eve, Darion insists on taking Tag for a walk in a snowstorm. Claiming that snow on Christmas Eve is magic, Darion asks Tag to make a wish. And Tag does, never believing that his wish to have his family back might come true.

(I’ll definitely be tweaking the blurb before uploading the book for sale!) Snow on Christmas Eve will be available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and other vendors on Thursday, November 23! When it’s live, I’ll add the links to my home page and my “Other Male/Male Romance” page. Meanwhile, here’s the cover:

Fill the Empty Spaces Preorder!

Last week, I put Fill the Empty Spaces up for preorder! For the time being, Fill the Empty Spaces will be available only on Amazon, with both Kindle and paperback formats releasing on October 12. It will also be available through Kindle Unlimited as long as it’s an Amazon exclusive title. (In 2024, I will be working on making all of my books, including this one, available on a variety of platforms, which will mean not being able to participate in Kindle Unlimited.) The preorder is only for the Kindle version, since at the moment, Amazon doesn’t allow paperback preorders.

You can preorder your copy on Amazon now!