Photos and reminders

Saturday! Along with a signficant proportion of other parents of 4th graders in California, we spent the day at a Spanish mission. Mission San Jose in our case. We’d never been to this one. It’s not the most exciting of the missions in Alta California, perhaps, but it’s still interesting. Here is my daughter:

I bear no responsibility for the outfit she’s wearing. She was quite firm in her decision that since the Spanish founded the mission and Mexico, then a sombrero was an appropriate thing to wear. It’s a nice sombrero, at least. She got it last year in Puerto Vallarta. Her sister (the 13 -year-old) was too embarrassed to be seen with her, so I think perhaps the younger kid accomplished at least part of her goals.

And since we were in the general neighborhood anyway we went to Winchester Mystery House. The kids had never been there.

I would really like to be rich and eccentric. Being middle-class and eccentric isn’t nearly as interesting.

Also, for those of you who live in the US Midwest ot East, take note of what my family members are wearing. Yes, my husband is in shorts. February is the height of Gloating Season for Californians. (If it makes you feel any better, the trees are blooming so our allergies are miserable.)

Comment here by February 25 for a chance to win Venetian Masks
–Enter the Venetian Masks contest. Entries are due March 4.
–Follow me on Twitter (@KFieldingWrites). I promise not to inundate you with photos of my dinners.
–My next release, Night Shift, is a 30,000 word novella. It’s a contemporary with a bit of a paranormal twist. If comes out in March or April (I just finished the galleys this week!). I’ll let you know when I have an exact release date.
–The sequel to Good Bones is called Buried Bones and it will come out in May or June. We’ll get to hear more from Chris this time. To celebrate the release, I’ll be giving away a free short story. Not only that, but in the short Chris and Dylan meet Travis and Drew from Speechless. Again, I’ll give you mor details when I have them.

Please welcome Skylar M. Cates

Skylar M. Cates is visiting today to talk about her secrets and her upcoming release.


10 miscellaneous questions for Skylar:


1.       Your favorite meal?

It depends. For fun, I like to eat Thai or Japanese. If I am in a bad mood, I like comfort food like pasta and pie.  

2.       Last book you read and liked?

Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. It’s about a young girl and her beloved uncle, and it’s set in the time of the 80’s AIDS epidemic.

3.       If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I’d like to be able to heal people. Taking away somebody else’s pain would be amazing. If I could heal myself too, I would be a lot less afraid of pain and violence.

4.       What is your biggest writing challenge?

Getting my ass in the chair.  Seriously though, I think the bigger problem is allowing myself the time to write and refusing to feel guilty about it. There are always other people wanting my attention like my kids or my husband, and sometimes going off to write can feel incredibly selfish, especially before I was published. I have to give myself permission to make writing a priority.

5.       Pet peeve?

Rude drivers. Grudge-holders. Toxic relatives.


6.       Favorite part of writing?

I love when a new character comes into my brain and refuses to leave. I love shaping his or her story.

7.       Least favorite part?

Sending my “baby” out into the cruel world.  I love to revise. I’m a tweaking addict. Even in the galley stage, I’m still editing.


8.       Would you ever co-author a book?

I’d like to try it. Writing can be lonely. It would be nice to have another person with you every step of the way. There are times that the plot is hard to see. On the other hand, you might have to fight it out with them over those same steps. Hmm…I guess it’s like any other relationship—-it has to be the right person.


9.       Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

Everywhere. I think all writers eavesdrop. We observe. We listen. The character comes together like a puzzle.  

Most importantly, I get really invested in my MC. I worry for him. I want him to work out his problems, even when he is to blame. Rafe, for example, from Exposed was a pretty flawed character, but he was aware of his flaws, and that’s why I could forgive him.

I suppose that my concern for my MC inspires me to then create other characters: friends, lovers, family. It grows from there!


10. What are you working on?


My WIP is about a guidance counselor from a wacky, loving family. He has a lot of sisters, and they drive him crazy, but he loves them too. I enjoy romances with big families. I don’t think I have seen enough of them! The other MC is in the military and needs a family to call his own.


 After years of running from a traumatic secret, young journalist Rafe Quintero is making his way in the world alone. Now that he’s landed a job at a Miami newspaper, he’s hungry for success. His goal? A blistering exposé on closeted PGA golfer Daniel Andrews. Rafe will stop at nothing to get the scoop—even if it means going undercover on Daniel’s private yacht.

Daniel is used to being in the spotlight, but his reputation for being cold and unfriendly hasn’t made him very popular. Still reeling from his mother’s death and his ex-boyfriend’s engagement, he hides out on his yacht to escape the press hounding his every step. His instant attraction to Rafe, his new crew member, is a problem he can’t ignore.

When Rafe and Daniel begin a steamy affair, Rafe knows it’s only a matter of time before Daniel discovers his betrayal. Now he has to choose: confess and hope Daniel can swallow his pride and forgive him, or put his ambition ahead of his heart and follow the story.


Available March 1st from Dreamspinner Press.

Buy links:
Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi.

Welcome to Matthew Lang

Today please welcome my guest, Matthew Lang!

On Allies.

Warning. Potentially triggering.


This image was captured in 2010, at Chicago Pride. It made the rounds on the internet, and I think was 2011 before I saw it. But it’s an image that stuck with me for a long time, and it remains one of the most inspiring and wonderful images I think I’ve ever seen. Until I started writing this post I didn’t know the story behind the photo. It showed up on my social media feed and I loved it. When you come out a gay person, you’re scared. Or at least, you’re usually scared. I like to believe that there are kids out there who never had to worry about their parents’ reactions to them coming out. I live for the day that all kids who need to come out don’t have that worry. Granted there’s always the possibility that your parents may be fine with homosexual, bisexual or transgendered people in general but not their own son or daughter.

Sometimes I think being gay has made me cautious, paranoid even. On the other hand that could easily be the part where my Dad was a fairly good corporate executive that could have just made me take ‘calculated risks’. There’s always a number of different ways to look at things, and if you have a choice, I say choose the positive. And some little things, like that picture above, is a positive.

As long as being gay is something to be struggled with, the process of coming out and accepting oneself as gay is going to be fraught and there are going to be clashes with other people whether intentioned or not. It has never been a secret that publishing is an industry dominated by women. It’s also no secret that the majority of the writers and readers of fiction that celebrates men loving men are women, and I challenge anyone reading this to say that they haven’t read at least one piece of slashfiction that wasn’t as good as something you’d pay for. If you look at any of the discussions you’ll see the comment somewhere. Women can’t write about gay men. They can’t know what it’s really like for men to be in love with each other and definitely not the sex. One author I know received a comment on a book saying she didn’t have a right to write what she wrote because she knew nothing about rape and the depiction of the raped character was entirely inaccurate.

Here’s the kicker. That book was based on her own experiences. Transported into a man’s body, but her experiences.

Just because someone’s reaction to life events isn’t the same as yours doesn’t make their journey or message invalid for them. There’s always talk about safe spaces. Places where you can exist free of judgement, where everything is padded in cotton wool and you can’t be hurt. Books are public, they’re art sent out into the world to convey a message and some people will never like that message. They are not a safe space. All any of us can hope for is that for every person who disagrees with or doesn’t like what we have to say, someone else will get it. Or understand it. Or accept it.

I don’t understand straight people. Funny huh? I don’t understand how someone can be sexually attracted to a member of the opposite sex. I understand it happens. I’m not sure how but I get that it’s real and straight people exist. I’m also willing to accept the empirical evidence that it’s a naturally occurring phenomenon and quite normal. And I would expect that’s how most people who exist at zero on the Kinsey scale feel about gay people. Well, at least the first three sentences. Evidence suggests not everyone makes it to the next three.


Which is why I want to celebrate every single one who does. Sometimes I think we spend so much time defining safe spaces and getting offended when someone else pokes a nose in that we don’t help. We don’t help people understand and we don’t do ourselves any favours by keeping them in the dark. Last time I made that comment it was reminded that ‘it wasn’t our place to educate the ignorant’ and that ‘if they really cared they’d educate themselves’. Which is fair. Sometimes people need safe spaces because they’re not yet able to deal with anyone else’s ignorance or misconceptions. Sometimes they’re too busy dealing with their own. On the other hand, just because we are not required to educate or help people overcome their ignorance, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. To say that it’s not our place to explain while at the same time saying it’s inexplicable because it’s an experience the amorphous ‘they’ have never experienced what we have is disingenuous at best, elitist at worst. And if we’ve dealt with our own shit, there’s no real excuse for that selfishness.

Sorry, I got sidetracked, and I’m sure someone’s going to object to that. They always do. Point is, thank you to the female authors, the female readers, the female publishers and every writer out there who’s different. Who’s sharing their demons of being assaulted, handicapped, rejected, non-white or anything non-mainstream. Thank you to everyone who’s ever attempted to understand the differences that make up humanity. Thank you to everyone who’s given up on the understanding and moved on to acceptance and celebration. Thank you for helping me through my own issues and opening my eyes about my preconceptions. And thank you for being open to challenging yours.

Matthew’s novella, The Way You Are, is a tongue in cheek celebration of friendships possible between gays and straights. It is available now from Dreamspinner Press.
After being attacked for standing up for equality, Travis “Rook” Rookford falls into a coma. At his bedside sits fellow student Leon Capper, there to keep his new hero company. Instead he finds a boyfriend in nurse Warrick Kwok.

When Rook wakes with amnesia, he thinks Leon is his boyfriend—which surprises everyone, given Rook’s prior dating pattern. With everything that’s going on, Leon has a hard time telling Rook the truth—and Warrick’s possessiveness grates on him enough that he isn’t sure he wants to. Between the stresses of studies, Rook’s upcoming court appearance, and the pitfalls of new love, Leon has to work out how to set Rook straight. Maybe after that he can finally tackle his Christmas shopping.

You can find out more about Matthew and his writing at, find him on Facebook, or stalk him on Twitter.



Today, Andrew Q. Gordon interviewed me on his blog:

And this coming Saturday from 3-5pm EST, I’ll be doing a live chat on Facebook. I’ll be giving away a copy of Venetian Masks:

How are you doing on the contest? I’ve placed a handy link to it in the right-hand column of the blog. And I’m occasionally offering bonus points on Twitter, so make sure to follow me @KFieldingWrites

Younger daughter turned 10 this week. We celebrated with her favorite reataurant, Hometown Buffet. I think it’s the self-service ice cream that attracts her most.

Please welcome Charlie Cochet

My guest today is the delightful Charlie Cochet, who writes wonderful books and is also a great person to hang out with!

Hello all! As some of you may know, I recently announced that I was going to be venturing into other genres of M/M Romance. I started off small with Mending Noel, my fantasy Christmas story about two elves falling in love at the North Pole. When I was first published, I had already known I would be taking the plunge, though I have every intention of keeping up with the historicals, not only because I love them so, but because I have several fellas who just aren’t finished telling their stories. At the moment I’m working on Book #2 from The Auspicious Troubles of Love series, I’ve recently submitted Book #2 to the Fallen Rose series, and Remi and Hawk’s next book is a high priority. Aside the historical m/m romances I’m working on, I’m charging through my first shapeshifter series, all full length novels.

I thought long and hard about what my first book was going to be, and as is usually the case with me, I start thinking small, inspiration strikes, things spiral out of control, and I end up with a mutated beast. A few days later. I ended up not with one book plotted out, but a series of four books with a total of twelve key characters. See, I can’t do anything by halves. I’m neurotic that way. I started my world building, knowing right from the beginning that I wanted my series to be different from the usual shapeshifter story. I admit I’ve read some shifter romances, but not many, mainly because I like it when people rock the boat and take chances doing things differently.

My series takes place in an alternative timeline but in a modern day setting. The past has been altered, resulting in a different present. This is where my world building begins. Unlike creating a completely new universe, I have to fuse the one we know and live in, with an altered one. I have to re-create history. After changing my timeline, I had to figure out who my shapeshifters are, how they came to be, and how they fit into human society. Out of my twelve key characters, half are shapeshifters of various species. The characters are part of an organization, and here’s where I tend to go a little crazy. I’ve built this organization from scratch. It’s not enough for me to say who they work for and what they do. I’ve broken down the organization from top to bottom, starting with how many employees work in that division, how they’re broken down into departments, units, and teams, as well as what each section is in charge of and how they function, what systems they use as well as technology. This organization is key to the story, so I have to know everything about it.

One I had the structure in place, I had to equip my fellas, so I researched SWAT teams and started designing my uniforms, vehicles, weaponry, and even insignia. I’ve currently designed two patches. Like running any real law enforcement organization, I need to know how this place works inside and out. The amount of details is extensive. Then there are the characters. On the team there’s a jaguar shifter, tiger shifter, cheetah shifter, wolf shifter, leopard shifter, and lion shifter. My research for these characters in their shifted form is no less extensive. Everything from lineage, family, genus, and class is looked up. How they hunt, how they move, their strengths, weaknesses, and physical attributes is researched. I have to create a back story for each of these characters because next to the two MC’s and their relationship, there are also other relationships happening throughout the four books.

This isn’t my first time world building, but  it is my first time creating this type of world and with such detail. I’m loving it, and can’t wait to share more with all of you. Thank you so much for stopping by!

What do you enjoy most about reading or writing different worlds?

Charlie Cochet   

Charlie Cochet is an M/M romance author by day, artist by night, and is quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From hardboiled detectives and society gentleman, to angels and elves, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Charlie is an amalgamation of three different cultures: the Hispanic one that created her, the American one that raised her, and the British one that completed her. Having lived in multiple states and countries, she’s an avid supporter of gay rights and looks forward to the day when gender is not an issue. Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot!

When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers. You can find out more about Charlie and her writing at

Find Charlie On: 

Twitter: @charliecochet

Charlie’s Publisher Pages
Dreamspinner Press
Torquere Press

Venetian Masks Contest!

To celebrate the release of my new novel, Venetian Masks, I’m having a contest!

PRIZES: First prize is a fun box full of items from Venice, Zagreb, Ljubljana, and Trieste. The contents are valued at almost $100. I’ll also add an autographed print of the book’s amazing cover. Second prize is an electronic version of the winner’s choice of any of my books, plus I’ll mail you some postcards and other bits of swag.
[Note: Due to the costs of shipping, I can offer the first prize to US residents only. I’m sorry! But people outside the US can still enter to win the second prize.]

RULES: All entries must be received by noon Pacific Time on March 4. In the event of a tie score, the person whose entry I received first will win. All judgments as to the accuracy of answers are final. 🙂


  • This post contains 23 photos. Each photo depicts a place or thing mentioned in Venetian Masks. Your challenge is to correctly identify each one. (And yes, Spike the vampire and assorted family members do appear in many of them *g*.)
  • To enter, send an email to with your answers. Please put VENETIAN MASKS CONTEST in the subject line.
  • You need to identify the city and the specific location (or item) in each photo. For example, an entry might look like this:
    • 1. Paris, Eiffel Tower
    • 2. New York, Statue of Liberty
    • 3. Omaha, steak
  • Make sure that for each photo you identify, you give the photo number, the city, and the location or thing
  • You get one point for correctly identifying the city and another for correctly identifying the specific location or thing. Thus, you can score a maximum of 46 points.
  • Some of these are pretty obvious but some are tricky!
  • Follow me on Twitter for a chance or two to earn bonus points. @KFieldingWrites
  • Have fun!

QUESTIONS: If you have any questions, please comment below.


 1. Answer: Venice, Doge’s Palace
2.  Answer: Zagreb, Glavni Kolodvor (train station)
3.  Answer: Zagreb, burek
4. Answer: Ljubljana, Triple Bridge
5.  Answer: Murano, glass factory
6. Answer: Venice, Isola di San Michele
7. Answer: Trieste, roadside altar
8. Answer: Venice, Peggy Guggenheim museum
9. Answer: Zagreb, funicular
10. Answer: Zagreb, St. Mark’s
11. Answer: Venice, gondola
12. Answer: train from Venice to Zagreb, couchette
13. Answer: Trieste, Piazza Unita d’Italia
14. Answer: Zagreb, Miragoj cemetery
15. Answer: Venice, Rialto Bridge
16. Answer: Zagreb, trg Bana Jelacica
17. Answer: Venice, San Marco basilica
18. Answer: Venice, vaporetto
19. Answer: Ljubljana, riverside and castle on the hill
20. Answer: Venice, street
21. Answer: Zagreb, cathedral
22. Answer: Zagreb, Dolac market
23. Answer: Venice, Paizza San Marco


Less than 12 hours until Venetian Masks is available! Here’s another sneak peek at part of the contest prize, as well as the book blurb.

Jeff Dawkins’s last partner left him with a mortgage he can’t afford and nonrefundable tickets for a month’s vacation in Europe. Despite a reluctance to travel, Jeff decides to go on the trip anyway. After all, he’s already paid for it. He packs a Kindle loaded with gay romance novels and arrives in Venice full of trepidation. There he meets the handsome and charming expat Cleve Prieto, who offers to serve as his tour guide. Jeff has serious misgivings—he wasn’t born yesterday, and something about Cleve doesn’t sit right—but anything is better than wandering the canals alone. With Cleve’s help, Jeff falls in love with Venice and begins to reconcile with his past. For the first time, Jeff finds himself developing strong feelings for someone else. But he can’t be sure who that person is because Cleve’s background remains a mystery embroidered with lies.

Then a dark figure from Cleve’s past appears, and Jeff must choose whether to let Cleve flee alone or to join him on a desperate run through central Europe. Maybe Jeff will finally be able to see behind Cleve’s masks—if he survives the journey.

Please welcome Tali Spencer!

Today’s guest, Tali Spencer, talks about sprouts and her new book.

Reviews and Brussels Sprouts

Thanks, Kim, for allowing me to visit your blog. Though I hope to introduce people to my latest book, Dangerous Beauty, I’m going to first talk about the tender ground between writers and readers.

Like many writers, I really hope people will like me. I mean, like my books. My books and me. But mostly me.

But there you have it: the reason why writers are so easily wounded. So many of us—especially the brand new writers—haven’t learned how to separate our books from our egos. We tend to take criticism to heart, at least until we become jaded or so successful as to be able to smile and say, “You don’t like it? Sorry about that. Now excuse me, I have to make a deposit at the bank.” Sadly, many writers never see much in the way of money. Many of us do eventually become jaded, however, which is kind of sad.

One of the most difficult things for a new writer to handle is a negative review. The review doesn’t have to be especially mean (though some are) or intentionally hurtful (also happens). This isn’t about those. This is about regular reviews. All a review has to do is say the book wasn’t their cup of tea or they didn’t want to finish it, and next thing you know a tender writer somewhere is sniffling. And that’s unfortunate, because the reviewer meant no harm. What helps in these cases is a little perspective.
When I get a review like that I think of Brussels sprouts.

Here’s the way I look at it—Brussels sprouts are a perfectly fine vegetable. They have an interesting history and may have been cultivated in ancient Rome. They’re easy to grow. They are loaded with vitamins and fiber and are so good for human health they’re constantly featured as a must-eat food in health magazines. They even protect against colon cancer. What’s not to love? Legions of people swear by them and think they’re delicious.

I don’t.

Oh, I’ve tried to like Brussels sprouts. I’ve tried for decades. They’re cute enough if properly prepared, but there’s just something about the way they smell and I have yet to like how they taste. A dear departed Italian-American aunt made them in a way she guaranteed would be mouth-watering and I could barely gag them down. She was crushed. But it wasn’t her fault. Brussels sprouts are just not the vegetable for me.

Similarly, some books are not for me. I buy a lot of books in my favorite genres. But sometimes in a book I have every intention of liking there’s a way a character is developed or a plot unfolds that strikes a wrong note and I start disliking the book. It happens. I don’t pick up books intending to find fault. I want to like them, but sometimes I just don’t.

It all comes down to personal likes and dislikes, and there are so many of those the possibilities are endless. No matter how wonderful the book or its author, no matter how flawed or triumphant, somewhere there’s a reader who will wrinkle their nose and mumble, “Brussels sprouts.” Oh, they may not say those very words, but the response is there. There’s no helping it.

That’s why when my husband is reading my reviews (so I don’t have to, bless him), he will sometimes give me a little frown and say, “Brussels sprouts.” I know exactly what he means. And while I feel a twinge of disappointment—much, as I suspect, a Brussels sprout might if it could feel anything at all about my opinion—that’s because I genuinely hope every reader will appreciate my work. But I’m realistic. Not every reader will.

Sometimes, wonderful as it is, my book is a reader’s Brussels sprout.


Here’s a blurb and excerpt from my latest book, Dangerous Beauty.


Once the Kordeun family ruled Sebboy…now they are imperial captives of the Uttoran Emperor. Devout and studious, Endre Kordeun loves his family and will do anything to free them, even if that means pretending he’s gay so he can pass messages to his father’s shady allies. With his golden good looks and a beautiful male courtesan posing as his lover, Endre finds Uttor’s decadent society more than willing to believe his ruse.

But when a passionate kiss from a dark, gorgeous man unlocks feelings Endre had been hiding even from himself, lies start to unravel. Arshad, prince of Tabar, is Endre’s match in every way…including a shared love for science and celestial mechanics. Going forward with his charade will be dangerous, and not only because he might be discovered. In that event, even his own father would kill him. How much is Endre willing to risk for love?


Arshad stared. What was this beautiful, dangerous young man saying? Endre looked different somehow, more controlled, yet his perfect features conveyed the same vulnerability and resentment that had marked every public appearance, from the emperor’s triumph to yesterday’s hunt. Whatever had caught the young man in its coils was far from over. And yet he was here, not with his family. Returning books. Settling his affairs. Arshad’s heart pumped cold blood.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Asking your help. And not just with the books. I am asking you to help me. I…I came here hoping to learn something about myself before…before I lose nerve or never meet another man I would consider.”

“What are you talking about, princeling?”

“Sex. I want to experience sex with another man. Maybe just once. I don’t know where it will lead. I mean, I might not even like it. But I am drawn to you, and—”

“You want this?” What a remarkable statement of purpose. Arshad had never had a man come to him in quite this way.

“You’ve made it clear you would like to have sex with me. I…I would like that, too. I don’t need a seduction. Any time we’re in a room together, I can’t stop looking at you, or thinking about what that would be like. You’re everything—brilliant, strong, handsome. You invade my dreams whether I’m asleep or awake. I just…want to try.”

Arshad laid aside Foerdrat’s volume. Endre offered an intellectual proposal. Not quite impersonal and certainly one he might consider. There was an aesthetic appeal inherent in fucking so beautiful a man. For many men, it would be enough. “Is that all you want, firefly?” he murmured, lifting his head to study Endre’s features. The youth’s expression showed no trace at all of hesitation. “An experiment? I am not Yanni, not a courtesan. I am not available simply to satisfy your curiosity. I will be quite selfish about my urges and what I wish to take from you, or give.”

Those aquamarine eyes met his with turbulent longing. “If you see anything worth taking in me, take it. The way you did in the garden.”

He inhaled deeply. What Endre suggested went to the heart of his desire. He wanted to do more than just take Endre—he wanted to open him up, release the dams and drink from the river. He ached to confront this man’s sexual demons and do battle. And he yearned to do so even knowing he might not win. Though his cock stirred with excitement, he needed to be careful. Despite what he’d just said, Endre was probably only superficially aware of having a submissive nature. Part of what so terrified him about being with a man was his own hunger to give over control.

“What I did in the garden was but a prelude. If I agree to take you, Endre, I need to know this is what you want, that you truly wish for me to take your body in all the ways that please me. I will not hurt you, but I will be demanding.” He moved nearer, fully aware of his effect. From the moment they had first seen each other, their bodies had experienced this sexual undertow.

“I need this, Arshad.”


Dangerous Beauty is available at Resplendence Publishing and also at AllRomance.

Thanks for allowing me to visit, Kim! I’ll leave some links for anyone who wishes to contact me. I’m pretty easy to find. My blog:

My author page.

My Goodreads author page.

I’m on Facebook

and Twitter

And my email: