He held a hand out at the round wooden table in the portion of the great room that acted as their dining area. The room itself stretched two stories, with a loft bedroom on one end, a study on the other, and a wide balcony open to the lower floor connecting the two that ran along the front wall above them. A large stone fireplace sat cold on one end of the first floor, outside the master suite. A spiral staircase next to it led to the study above. On the other side, two doors opened off the main room: one for Mark’s exam room and one for another half bathroom. Stairs between the two led to the second floor on that end.I don’t describe the front of the cabin, but in my head it had a large glass window in front, to give lots of light. No matter how hard I try, I can’t always make something look exactly as I had it in my head. I started thinking about what the cabin had originally been for—a vacation spot—and realized a few of the things I’d been thinking didn’t quite work. For instance, originally, I had just the two doors on the left side of the great room. However, when I went to build the house, I realized they’d have more—a mud/laundry room, and a door to the back. You can also see the living area, the dining table Duncan leads Bryan to, and the fireplace off to one side, along with the balcony on the upper level. I kind of go a little crazy when I start building these things. I’ll even draw the layout on graph paper. I won’t subject you to my scribbles, but here you can see the general layout of the first floor: In the story, there’s a point where Duncan is sitting in some chairs in their bedroom, looking out the window. There, he can see the lakeshore. Unfortunately, the way the geography was in the game, I couldn’t orient the house the way I wanted to so I couldn’t make the window face the shore. Still, I couldn’t leave them out. You can see the whole album of screenshots including their kitchen, the upstairs, and more here. Thank you so much to Kim for the space today! I really appreciate it. And I hope you enjoy Overcoming Fear. About Grace: Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica. A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind. As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art. Website ◊ Facebook ◊ Twitter ◊ Youtube ◊ Goodreads
Queer Sci Fi has just released the annual QSF Flash Fiction anthology. This year, the theme is “Migration.”
1) Seasonal movement of animals from one region to another.
2) Movement of people to a new area or country in order to find work or better living conditions.
3) Movement from one part of something to another.
Three definitions to inspire writers around the world and an unlimited number of possible stories to tell. Here are 120 of our favorites.
Migration feaures 300 word speculative flash fiction stories from across the rainbow spectrum, from the minds of the writers of Queer Sci Fi.
Queer Sci Fi is giving away a $20 gift Amazon certificate with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win:
Each year, hundreds of writers send in stories for the Queer Sci Fi flash fiction anthology. Here are the opening lines from some of the stories chosen for the 2019 edition – Migration:
“Darkness has substance. It is tangible; different shades within the black, sounds, a taste. It is accompanied by self-awareness of time and thoughts, even when other senses fail.” —Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker
“The sky has been screaming for five straight days when the shrimps come to take us away. They’ve been boxing up the others and hauling them off. Now they’re here for us, soaking wet, dragging cords and crates behind them.” —Shrimpanzee, Sionnain Bailey
“Allister always had faultless hair. He’d comb and gel it to perfection while gazing in the mirror. One day a pair of eyes stared back.” —Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr
“On her sister’s wedding day Ari noticed that one of her ears had migrated to her hand. It was right after her high school crush, Emily, arrived with Cousin Matt.” —Playing It By Ear, Aidee Ladnier
“The wound was fatal. Their vessel wouldn’t live much longer. This is what came from leaving loose ends. Frantically they sought out a new vessel to migrate to. “ —The Essence, by L.M. Brown
“That night, we were sitting in the bed of her daddy’s old pickup truck and the radio was playing the best song. We had a pack of cigarettes between us and her hand was almost touching mine. The wheat field was silver in the moonlight. When they came, we weren’t surprised, just disappointed that our time was up already.” —Our Song, by Lauren Ring
“Willow said she was my wife, but I knew it wasn’t her, not the right her, anyway. Sure she looked like her with olive skin and bright pink hair. She even smelled of mango flowers, just like I remembered, but there was something about her smile that was slightly off, something about when she said she loved me that didn’t sit well in my old heart.” — They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre
“Agnes is eight when she first sees the river. Cutting its way through town, the only thing she knows not coated in coal dust. She sticks her toes in, comes home with wet socks and a secret. See, the river hadn’t been there yesterday.” —Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz
“Terry twirled in her green synthsilk dress, looked at her reflection, liked what she saw. She felt good in her own skin, for maybe the first time.” —Altball, by RE Andeen
“The thing was in the corner. It had come through the window and had slid down the wall. Scratch went the sound. The noise of a hundred nails clawing at the wood. Nails of white bone. Alex pulled the sheets up quickly, covering every inch of skin and hair in a warm darkness.” —Whose Nightmare, by Jamie Bonomi
A hundred and twenty authors are included in Migration:
- Butterflies, by A O’Donovan
- The Return, by A.M. Leibowitz
- A New Spring, by Aaron Silver
- Universal Quota, by Abby Bartle
- The Call of Home, by Adrienne Wilder
- Starfall, by Adrik Kemp
- Playing it By Ear, by Aidee Ladnier
- Rabbit, by Amanda Thomas
- That Does Not Love…, by Andi Deacon
- Inborn, by Andrea Speed
- Saving Ostakis, by Angelica Primm
- A Dawn Wish, by Antonia Aquilante
- Diaspora, by Ariel E. James
- Transmigration, by Ashby Danvers
- Across the Mirror, by Ava Kelly
- Between, by BE Allatt
- The Speck, by Bey Deckard
- The King of the Mountain Cometh, by Bob Goddard
- Before and After, by C. A. Chesse
- Home, by C.A. McDonald
- Too Much Tech, by C.L. Mannarino
- Ze Who Walks Into the Future, by Carey Ford Compton
- The Gate, by Carol Holland March
- Our Last Light Skip, by Chloe Spencer
- Passage, by Christine Taylor-Butler
- The Perils of Pick-Up Lines, by Colton Aalto
- Parched, by Crysta K. Coburn
- Changeling Dreams, by Damian Serbu
- Destinations, by Dave Creek
- Another Job, Another Planet, by David Viner
- Thiefmaster Rosalind’s Apprentice, by Devon Widmer
- A Weight Off Their Shoulders, by Diane Morrison
- Once a Year, by Dianne Hartsock
- Mettle, by Die BoothForever Bound, by E.W. Murks
- They Said It Would Be Her, by Elizabeth Andre
- Til Death Do Us Part, by Elizabeth Anglin
- Little One, by Eloreen Moon
- GBFN, by Emilia Agrafojo
- The Long Distance Thing, by Ether Nepenthes
- Call My People Home, by Evelyn Benvie
- Jace vs. the Incubi, by Eytan Bernstein
- A New Tradition, by Foster Bridget Cassidy
- The Curious Cabinet, by Ginger Streusel
- Ready, by Hank Edwards
- The Albatrosses, by Harry F. Rey
- A Boy’s Shadow, by Helen De Cruz
- Portrait of a Lady, by Isobel Granby
- Beam That Is In, by J. Comer
- The Hunt, by J. R. Frontera
- Repeating History, by J. Summerset
- Neil’s Journey, by J.P. Bowie
- Homeward Bound, by J.S. Garner
- Whose Nightmare?, by Jamie Bonomi
- A Moment of Bravery, by Jessie Pinkham
- Laetus, by Jet Lupin
- Where You Go, I’ll Follow, by Joe Baumann
- Ambrose Out of Ash, by Jonathan Fesmire
- Shooting Modes, by Joshua Darrow
- TerrorForm, by Juam Jocom
- The Curse, by Jude Reid
- Throwing Eggs, by K E Olukoya
- Fly, by Kayleigh Sky
- The Keep, by KC Burn
- Zulu Finds a Home, by Kevin Klehr
- The Risks and Advantages of Data Migration, by Kim Fielding
- Irreversible, by kim gryphon
- Looner, by Krishan Coupland
- The Essence, by L.M. Brown
- Our Song, by Lauren Ring
- O Human Child, by Lisa Hamill
- Goodbye Marghretta, by Lou Sylvre
- Choices, by LV Lloyd
- Endangered Species, by M Joseph Murphy
- Planet Retro, Unplugged, by M. X. Kelly
- Elemental, by M.D. Grimm
- To Wish on a Love Knot, by Margaret McGaffey Fisk
- Firebirds, by Marita M. Connor
- Breeding Season, by Mary Newman
- Kooks at Home, by Matt McHugh
- Spring, by Mere Rain
- Into the South, by Mindy Leana Shuman
- Not How We Planned It, by Minerva Cerridwen
- What Is Left Behind, by Monique Cuillerier
- How Far Would You Go for the One You Love?, by Nathan Alling Long
- Innocence, by Nathaniel Taff
- Heart and Soul, by Nils Odlund
- Tides, by Patricia Scott
- Killer Queen, by Paula McGrath
- Genesis, by Pelaam
- If Pigs Could Fly, by Penelope Friday
- Click, by R R Angell
- Be Kind to Strangers, by Raina Lorring
- Altball, by RE Andeen
- Far From Home, by Riley S. Keene
- Hope for Charity, by Robyn Walker
- Night Comes to the Bea Arthur, by Rory Ni Coileáin
- MIG Ration, by S R Jones
- Going Back, by Sacchi Green
- World Behind and Home Ahead, by Sara Testarossa
- The Call of the Suet, by Sarah Hadley Brook
- Research & Development, by Shaina Phillips
- Into the Void, by Shannon Brady
- The Silkie’s Dance, by Shannon West
- Seal Hunt, by Shirley Meier
- Shrimpanzee FIRST IN BOOK, by Sionnain Bailey
- The Woman With No Name, by Siri Paulson
- Memories of Clay, by Spencer Mann
- Simulacrum, by Steve Carr
- The Experience, by Steve Fuson
- Flight, by Steven Harper
- Birds of New Atlantis, by Stewart C Baker
- Lurching Forward, by Sydney Blackburn
- Spores of Retribution, by Tray Ellis
- Skin Hunger, by Treasure Nguyen
- Elvira, by Trevor Barton
- Ever After, by Warren Rochelle
- Into the Light, by Wart Hill
- Dryads, by X Marduk
- Stream of Consciousness, by Ziggy Schutz
As usual, the summer is slipping away much too fast. I’ve started seeing tomato trucks on the freeway, a sure local sign that it’s not much longer until school begins. Sigh.
I’ve managed to get some great travel in, though. I attended EuroPrideCon in Amsterdam last month, and it was great fun. On my way home I spent a few days in Iceland, a country I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time. And man, I’m sure glad I did! What a beautiful place! Stunning scenery unlike anyplace else I’ve been, plus super friendly locals, cool history, and a sun that basically never sets in early July. I really hope I get to spend more time there soon.
One thing I did in Iceland was an 8-hour Golden Circle tour to take in some sights near Reykjavik. Waterfalls, geysers, horses, a continental rift…. Wonderful. My guide, Bjorn, was also wonderful, and he’s given me permission to make him a character in a book. I think he’ll make a great character, don’t you?
Back home, I’ve been working on three projects at once, which is unusual for me; generally I write one story at a time. But two of these are co-written, so it makes sense to rotate. I’m also going through edits on two holiday stories and will soon begin edits on Love Has No Direction, book 3 in the Love Can’t series. It should release early next year.
And later this week I’m off to Los Angeles for a couple of days with my younger daughter. We’re taking Amtrak, which means I get to visit beautiful Union Station again, and we’re staying at the historic Biltmore Hotel. Follow men Instagram and Facebook if you want to see photos.
My novella Chained is a finalist for the PRISM award, which is very exciting. The award winner will be announced this week during the Romance Writers of America meeting in New York. If you’re a fan of the Bureau series, you’ll be happy to know one of my current projects is Book 5 in the series.
So. What news do you have to share?
Blurb: It’s been four years since a global pandemic has ravaged the world and almost a year since Mark and Duncan had their fateful meeting at a tiny pharmacy. Duncan has spent that time doing everything he could to ease Mark’s fears of losing him—fears that go beyond the normal danger of their new world. When a minister and his wife seek out Mark for help, Duncan sees an opportunity to show Mark another level of commitment—if Mark will dare to take it.
Available for preorder at Amazon!
About Grace:<Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
Have you ever given thought to how many people put time and effort into making the books you enjoy? It’s a small army, really.
The author is obvious. Maybe our job is the hardest and most time-consuming, but we also get nearly all of the credit. There are our names, splashed across the covers.
But there are also editors. Before I submit a book to a publisher, a good friend who’s also an excellent pro editor goes through the complete manuscript twice. Of course she looks for grammar and punctuation errors, but that’s only part of it. She also makes sure the story makes sense, the characters stay in character, the facts are correct, and the entire prose flows smoothly.
Once the manuscript feels polished, I send it to the publisher. An editor will read it over and also likely send it to some reviewers for their response. If I’m lucky, the publisher offers me a contract (which is created by an admin person).
Now the manuscript will usually be seen by three different editors. Each makes suggestions, I respond, and then the ms moves on to the next editor. After that, a copy editor looks it over. This may seem excessive, but small errors often have snuck through this far. With a recent book, the copy editor found a spot where I’d mixed up the MCs’ names (something I do often)–and the prior 5 sets of eyes hadn’t caught it.
Next, somone in the design department takes the text and makes it look pretty. They’ll add the copyright info and title page, the chapter headings, and the stuff at the back of the book. Then the entire manuscript gets one last look by an proofreader–and by me–to find any problems.
Meanwhile, a blurbs coordinator has been helping me craft the blurb (the brief description that appears on the back of the book and in online listings). And an artist has been taking my (usually vague) ideas and turning them into cover art. The artist will also design the outside of the book as a whole, including the spine and back.
Other people at the publishing house will work on getting the book up on websites and sending it to distributors. Folks in marketing will be doing their jobs too. This might include working with review sites and bloggers to plan cover reveals and blog tours. Reviewers will be offered ARCs.
And finally… the book is in your hands! Ah, but we might not be done yet. If the book goes to audio, we have audio coordinators, talented narrators, and sometimes sound producers. If there are translations, those require a translator and proofreader too, sometimes new cover art, and all the work of getting a book set to go.
So the next time you pick up a new book, take a moment to thank all the hard-working people who put that book in your hands.
Redesigning Landry Bishop releases May 21, and I’m celebrating with a blog tour!
Each stop has unique content: interviews, top 5 lists, and bits of fun stuff related to the story. Stop by all of them to learn more about cravings, things to see in Nebraska, unique hotels, and lots more.
Sometimes I listen to music to get me in the right mood while I’m writing. Since Chained takes place in 1989–and since music is important to one of the main characters–I had an appropriate playlist as I worked on that story. Not so much the stuff I listened to in 1989, which tended toward punk and dinosaur rock, but rather the songs you’d hear on a top-40 station or maybe dance to in a club. These are the songs that are so important to Terry.
In case you’d like to listen too, I’ve compiled a playlist of the songs alluded to in the story. Where possible, I’ve linked the original music video. Give them a listen and take a little trip backwards in time.
- B-52s: Love Shack
- Fine Young Cannibals: She Drives Me Crazy
- U2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzZWSrr5wFIWhere the Streets Have No Name (from the album The Joshua Tree)
- Bangles: Walk Like an Egyptian
- Elton John: Daniel
- Pet Shop Boys: West End Girls
- George Michael: Faith
- REM: Stand
- The Smiths: How Soon Is Now
- Tracy Chapman: Fast Car
- Bon Jovi: Lay Your Hands on Me
- David Bowie: Fame
- Duran Duran: I Don’t Want Your Love
- Milli Vanilli: Girl I’m Gonna Miss You
- ABBA: Lay All Your Love on Me
Do you have favorite songs from this era? List them in a comment!
I have a new book releasing in 2 days. Yay! You can preorder now, even, and feel good about yourself because all my royalties go to Doctors Without Borders. Also, if you read the book you’ll discover there’s an unforgivable pun in the book blurb.
To help celebrate, I think a contest is in order. Winner gets a free copy of any of my backlist books, plus a $10 Amazon or Dreamspinner gift certificate (winner’s choice). Rules:
- To enter, comment here with your attempt at the worst romance book title ever. Not a real title, please! This is your chance to be creative. You can include shameless puns, things that should never ever be associated with romance, or whatever else you think makes for a terrible title.
- One entry per person, please.
- I’ll choose a winner at noon Pacific time on Sunday, May 5.
- Have fun!
I had an amazing three weeks in Europe. I got to see some of you in Paris and Leipzig, and also got to hang out with some wonderful authors and my favorite publishers. Shira Anthony and I spent almost a week in the Loire Valley, where we stayed in a luxurious cave, visited chateaux, and came up with a great idea for a new book! I had the chance to visit Ghent for a couple of days and fell in love. And I also had the treat of spending a couple of days in Munich. It was wonderful, despite some minor snafus with my luggage and, later, with trains.
I’ll be leaving again in less than two weeks. This time I’m off to LA for the LA Times Festival of Books. I hope to see some of you there! After that I’ll take Amtrak up to Portland to visit with family.
As I travel, I’m busy with a bunch of projects. Two books are on the way this spring–visit this page for details and preorder links. And Dreamspinner has just offered me contracts for two new books! Drawing the Prince is scheduled for October 2019 (it’s book 3 in the Stars from Peril series). Love Has No Direction is due out in early 2020 (it’s book 3 in the Love Can’t series).
What’s new in your world?
I am bad, bad, bad at waiting for things. I’m old enough now to have developed patience, but I have not. So what’s killing me now? I have four complete books right now–three novels and a novella–none of which I can share with you yet. Four!
One of them, Redesigning Landry Bishop, will release on May 21. You can preorder it now. Chained is the fourth book in the Bureau series. We’re editing it now, and I hope to have it ready for you in April. I just submitted the third Love Can’t book to the publisher. And I recently finished the first draft of the third Stars from Peril book; we’re polishing it up now.
Luckily, I’ll be distracted somewhat from my impatience by my travels. This week I’m heading out for three weeks in France, Belgium, and Germany. I hope to see some of you there. I’ll be sure to post lots of photos, so make sure you’re following me on social media.