Cover reveal: Contact (Gothika vol. 5)


I’m very excited today to get to show you the cover of Contact, the 5th volume in the Gothika series. If you’re unfamiliar with the series (gasp!) each volume features novellas on a particular gothic theme. This time it’s aliens, and you can see what great company I’m in. Oh, and that beautiful cover is by Angsty G.

Contact releases October 24–just in time for Halloween of course–but you can preorder now.

My novella in this collection is called Refugee, and it takes place in 1950 on the Oregon coast. Here’s the blurb:

When World War II ended and army medic Walter Clark returned to Chicago, he discovered that although home remained the same, he had changed. Unable to fit comfortably into his old life, he spent a year gradually making his way west. Now he’s gone as far as he can—the shore of the Pacific—but old memories make ocean views intolerable. He turns inland and finds himself in the hidden hamlet of Kiteeshaa, Oregon, where the locals are surprisingly friendly and the café serves food exactly like his grandmother used to make.

Martin Wright runs the Kitee Motor Court Inn and offers Walter a place to stay for a few nights. Later, Martin offers him a great deal more. But while Martin is a delight, he also harbors secrets—and there’s something not quite right about Kiteeshaa. No matter how far the two men have traveled, they can’t run away from their pasts.

As part of our cover reveal, we’re over at Gay Book Reviews today with a giveaway.

How about an excerpt from “Refugee”?

A rounded boulder hulked invitingly, so Walter ambled over and scrambled to the top. It was less than five feet high and covered in moss, and it made a pleasant perch. He sat for what felt like a long time, simply breathing.

This area was quieter than the woods near the road. He didn’t see or hear any birds, and the only insects were a few gnats and several wandering ants. It was as if even forest creatures were hesitant to disturb the stillness of the space. And God, it was peaceful. Deeply so, like a long drink of water on a hot summer day or a thick mattress after a hard day of toil. He thought that if he dropped dead right here, right now, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing. He’d seen firsthand what became of corpses when they returned to dust, and if his flesh became a part of this tranquil place, he wouldn’t very much mind.

It was a good thing he didn’t have his revolver with him, although he probably wouldn’t have wanted to disturb the silence with a gunshot. Probably.

Walter had stopped thinking—was just letting the stillness seep into his pores—when he heard the quiet fall of footsteps. He hadn’t even realized he’d closed his eyes, but now he opened them, blinked a few times, and saw Martin walking toward him. Martin moved slowly and carefully, less like an animal stalking its prey than a parent wanting to avoid disturbing a sleeping child. He wore khaki trousers again with a light blue shirt and tan jacket, and his lips were set in a hesitant smile.

“I’m sorry to interrupt you,” he said quietly when he reached the rock.

Walter slid to the ground. “It’s all right. I was just sitting here.”

Martin nodded. “It’s a good place, isn’t it? I come here sometimes when I need….” He let his voice trail off, then gave a small shrug. He continued to smile, but his eyes were sad. “Were you comfortable in unit three?”

“It was great.” Walter couldn’t explain the sense of ease he’d felt last night.

“I’m glad,” Martin replied, looking relieved. “Will you stay longer?”

“A few days.” Walter hadn’t even realized he’d made a decision until the words left his mouth, and he didn’t regret it. If he could actually afford it. “Um, you haven’t told me the rate.”

“Four dollars a night. But I can give you a discount, seeing as you’re staying more than one night.” He seemed to consider for a few seconds. “Two fifty?”

Walter did some quick calculations in his head. If he ate at the café for breakfast only and fixed the rest of his meals in the cabin’s little kitchenette, he could safely afford a week before his funds became too thin. “That’s fair,” he said.

Martin held out his hand for a shake, and Walter took it. But instead of letting go when the shake was over, Martin tugged with surprising strength, pulling Walter flush against him. Shocked but also instantly aroused, Walter stared into those astonishing blue eyes. And then Martin touched his lips to Walter’s.


Want more? Preorder now!


Finding Time

As an author, there’s one question I get more than any other: When do you find the time to write?

On the one hand, I understand why people ask this. I have a day job that often demands much more than 40 hours per week. I have a husband. I have two teenage daughters who need taxiing and homework help and shepherding through life’s various complications. I travel a lot. I try to walk 10,000 steps per day. And in less than five years I’ve published 15 novels and numerous novellas and short stories (with more on the way). I can see why people might wonder how I do it.

But here’s the thing. Most writers I know are busy. And we don’t find the time. It’s not something we can order off Amazon or discover during a delightful traipse through the woods.

We don’t find the time. We wrench that sucker, bloody and dripping, from the body of our lives.

I’m currently about 10% into my 19th novel (if the math is confusing, novels 16-18 are currently in various stages of editing and production). I wrote over 3500 words of that book yesterday even though I have the kind of cold that’s turned my head into a snot fountain. When the screen grew too blurry to see, I Nyquilled up and passed out. Today I’ll be back at it, Kleenex at my side.

I have to write when I’m sick. When I’m tired. When the weather is perfect outside. When I have a 30 minute break between other activities. When the kids are being noisy. When my husband is watching football in the next room. When I’ve had a shitty day and I want to kill everyone. When my muse is giving me the finger. When there’s something good on TV. When I’m hungry. When it’s a holiday. When I’m staying in a hotel or relative’s house.

If you want to be a writer, you can’t wait for the time to come tripping sweetly into your lap, because it won’t. Time is an elusive monster.

I’ve given things up in order to write. I don’t watch TV. No, I mean that seriously. Zero. Zilch–except Game of Thrones, which takes up, what? Ten hours per year? I go to the movies maybe twice annually. My social life is sad. And I’m a planner, so what little time I do grab doesn’t end up wasted.

It doesn’t matter how many words you write per day. I try for 2000, but some days I don’t get there because I have too much else going on or my muse is being a bitch. Some days I manage a lot more, especially when I’m nearing the end of a project. My record is 7000. But you can set your goal wherever you want it. Try for 200. That might drain you dry for the day, or you might find yourself falling into a groove and managing a lot more. Either way, it’s words and you’ve written them. You can fit in 200 easily over your lunch break, while you’re sitting in the dentist’s waiting room, while you’re at the kid’s soccer practice, while dinner is in the oven, instead of watching that YouTube video. Wake up a little earlier or go to bed a little later.

Don’t find the time. Grab it. And squeeze it for all it’s worth.

Book rec: Take Two by Shira Anthony

I have a book rec for you today–Take Two by Shira Anthony. I was lucky enough to get to beta this story. It has a touch of angst, but mostly it’s sweet and funny and an all around enjoyable read. You should definitely check it out.


Take Two, by Shira Anthony

Take Two is a sweet and funny story about getting a second chance at true love. Some angst, some adventure, hot sex, and lots of silliness and romance.

Wesley’s a slightly uptight college history professor. Sam is a Hollywood superstar. Entirely different personalities, but they fit well together. At least they did until Sam’s career took him away from Wesley and their life in New York City. Wesley’s the first one to admit he still loves Sam, but his heart has just started to heal and he’s doing his best to move on. Sam, on the other hand, knows he wants Wesley back and he’s willing to grovel if he needs to.

Sam conspires to take a role in a less than D quality movie about a pirate that’s being filmed on location at the North Carolina coast, and manages to trick Wesley into consulting on the movie. But will Sam’s over the top antics to get Wesley back work? Maybe. Maybe not.



Blurb: Lights, camera, action! When Professor Wesley Coolidge accepts a summer job as a historical consultant to a pirate movie being filmed in North Carolina, the last person he expects to bump into is his soon-to-be-ex, movie star Sander Carson.

Just like the flamboyant pirate he’s playing, Sander, aka Sam Carr, is used to getting what he wants, and he makes it clear he wants Wesley back in his life. Sam lost Wesley when he left their life in New York City behind for a career in Hollywood. But Wesley has finally managed to put the pieces of his heart back together, and he isn’t interested in Sam and Wesley: The Sequel.

Convincing Wesley to give their relationship a second chance will take much more than Sam’s apologies and reminders of good times past. If Sam wants Wesley back, he’ll have to show Wesley that they really can sail into the sunset together—a real-life happily-ever-after that won’t end once the final credits roll.


Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press:



Barnes & Noble:




About Shira: Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, Pagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle.

Shira is married with two children and two insane dogs, and when she’s not writing, she is usually in a courtroom trying to make the world safer for children. When she’s not working, she can be found at the Carolina coast aboard Land’s Zen, a 35’ catamaran sailboat, with her favorite sexy captain at the wheel.

Want to hear Shira sing? You can listen to an excerpt from a live recording of Shira performing Tosca on her website:


Where to find Shira:



Twitter: @WriterShira



Release day! Flux is here.

o-fluxRelease days are always so exciting! And today you can buy Flux, the second book in the Ennek trilogy, with Reese Dante’s beautiful cover.

Here are some things to know about it:

–The first book, Stasis, is currently just $1.99 at Amazon. So you can catch up.

–The third book, Equipoise, comes out November 29. You can preorder now.

–I donate all my royalties from this  trilogy to Doctors Without Borders.

–There are pirates. And talking birds. And merpeople.

–I have a blog tour going on! Please come join me!