A Wee Break

Life often has stuff come up. Emotionally draining, worrying, unforeseen stuff. I’ve got some of that going on right now in my life. It’s nothing I can do anything about. At least not directly. And I just have to wait it out and see the outcome.

But I’m not in a mindset to write.

At all.

So I’m taking the pressure off. Whatever happens in the next week or two, if I get words on the page, if I write a blog post, then it happens. But I don’t expect it. I may be around on social media a bit, here and there, but I’m not going to be any kind of presence.

I imagine things will settle down, one way or another, after this upcoming weekend. And then I’ll be able to focus back on writing at that time. I was trying to keep going, but honestly, there’s no focus. And that would just produce crappy words. So, like I said, I’m taking the pressure off myself and letting it be.

I’ll be back, to work and posting, when I have some news.

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Self-Publishing Journey

When Amber Quill announced that they were closing their doors, after I got over the initial wave of sadness, I started to think about what I would do with my titles there. I toyed with a lot of ideas, from trying to shop them to another publisher to doing nothing at all and letting them disappear. But I didn’t want them to just be gone, especially because Peace was barely out, so I had to come up with a solution that was the best for me and my books.

After doing some research and talking to some people, I decided I would release them myself.

Self publishing has a bad rap because of the multitude of people who take advantage of it. They don’t care what the quality is, they just slap some book up, typos, mistakes, and all. Some of those people don’t know better, some are just looking to cash in. But overall, it’s given self publishing a bit of a stain.

It can be done right, and there are tons of authors who do it. They care about quality, and they have hired editors and cover artists who help them create the best book they can before they upload it themselves. I’m a big fan of some of these books, and I give these authors so much credit. They produce high quality books for everyone to enjoy.

So I was totally intimidated. I’m not very tech savvy, I didn’t know what I needed to do exactly, and those things combined had my anxiety very high. So even though I’d made the decision, had fully edited manuscripts, and I’d contacted a friend and cover artist to make me new art, I didn’t do anything more.

Now granted, I could do anything at all until after AQP officially closed their doors. So I had time. And I got to ignore things for a little while, put off the worry and fretting for a bit.

But I’ve finally gotten my act together and put things in motion. I’ve learned a lot about programs and how to use them in the past couple of days. I feel more confident about how to do certain things. I’m not quite ready yet to upload any titles but now at least, I know it will happen. I’ve got some confidence.

I’ll post details when I have them about when and where things will be going live. I anticipate it happening within the next few months. There will be new covers, and a few minor edits and tweaks, but no new content on the whole. If you have the original version, there’s no need to buy the new versions. But fairly soon, the Something Like books will be back on the shelves.

And it won’t be too long before I start writing book four.

Figuring It Out

I’m in this weird place where I’m trying to figure out if I just don’t know how to make my plot work or the plot needs to change because it doesn’t work.

Honestly, I’m certain its the former. It’s a little outside my wheelhouse, what I want to write for this story. I was going to say comfort zone but I enjoy these kinds of stories. So perhaps it’s comfort zone as a writer. More to the point, I’ve never written anything quite like this before.

Enemies to lovers is a trope that can go so very wrong. And I think it takes a certain amount of talent to not only write it, but to make it believable. I’m definitely at that point where I don’t think I have the kind of talent to pull it off. Perhaps that’s why it’s morphed a little in the plotting.

When I first conceived of this story, six or so months ago now, things were different in my head. The other guy was the narrator. Things were a little more hostile and took longer to resolve. But as I’m seeing the story now, I find myself with a different narrator and that has put a whole new perspective on things. But the problem I’m faced with is that I can’t get them over the first hurdle. The one that actually happens before the story itself begins. And then the one in the midpoint of the story? That hurdle seems impossible to surmount, because I want it to be believable and to make sense within the context of the story and characters. It can’t just be a flipping switch.

I know it’s me. I know that there’s some sort of block keeping me from figuring it out. I’m very conscious of not making it too easy, but neither do I want it to be so difficult that there’s no way to get them to the place they need to be.

These guys have chemistry. They are supposed to be together. They just got off on the very wrong foot, and things spiraled out of control before they could stop it. My job as a writer is to make you see all of that. To make you see what happened and what is keeping them apart.

I just have to figure out how.

Flash Fic Friday

When I first got the invitation, I dismissed it out of hand. I had no interest in going. I hadn’t liked high school much when I’d actually attended, though I hadn’t had an overly bad experience, and I was barely friends with anyone I’d been friends with then. Social media was the only interaction I had with them these days. It had been ten years, and I had no desire to relive it.

But then I heard the rumors.

Nick had been a god in high school. Beautiful and perfect, with startling deep blue eyes and dark hair. He’d been on the cross country team and was ridiculously fit. And he’d been kind and charming. He was everyone’s friend, and just a genuinely nice guy. I’d spent all of junior and senior years with a crush so hard my heart pounded and I turned bright red every time I saw him. Our circles had intersected a little–friends of my friends were friends with his friends–so we’d interacted sometimes outside of classes. Though I always became a tongue tied mess, Nick never seemed to notice. Not my awkwardness, and not my insane crush. I was okay with him not noticing, because I would rather be invisible to the straight, perfect jock, then for him to tease or worse, show me revulsion. I was happy to admire him from afar.

So when the rumors started to circulate and make it onto my feeds and timelines, I paid attention. It seemed Nick had recently come out of the closet. I never suspected it back then, though my teenage heart wished for it fervently. I dismissed it at first, not wanting to get my hopes up. But then someone retweeted his tweet, and I had confirmation.

Suddenly that invitation to the reunion was appealing. Because I wanted to see him.

The ballroom at the hotel was packed. Our gradating class had been almost four hundred. Even though I was sure not everyone had shown up, adding in spouses and significant others, and the numbers swelled again. Everything was decorated in shades of black and gold. It was just this side of tacky but knowing who was in charge of the reunion, I wasn’t surprised in the least. I had no problems ignoring the decor, and I headed right for the bar to grab a drink and unobtrusively mingle.

And watch for Nick.

I was surprised to find, after an hour or so, that I was actually enjoying myself. Not the most fun I’d ever had but it wasn’t unbearable. I’d landed on the outskirts of a group of people I’d hung out with back then, and was listening with half an ear as the conversation swirled around me. I periodically scanned the crowd, making mental notes of who looked better, worse, or the same. It was interesting how many people I actually recognized. I was so lost in my mental game that when I spotted him, my body reacted to hot guy first before I recognized it was him.

Quickly I excused myself from the conversation I’d been peripherally involved in and made a beeline for the bar. The last ten years had been kind to him and he was even more gorgeous than I remembered. Those piercing blue eyes locked on mine as I approached, and then went hooded as he took me in, his gaze sweeping from head to toe. I tried not to preen as I saw the appreciation in his eyes. And because I was focused on those deep blue eyes, I saw the moment recognition dawned. He almost choked on the swallow of beer, and he coughed as he tried to get his breathing back.

“Avery? Is that you?” he asked, disbelief in his tone. “Holy shit! You look fantastic!”

For a moment, I was the chubby, insecure seventeen year old I’d once been. My heart started to pound and my palms started to sweat. I couldn’t believe he recognized me, and I never imagined he would remember my name. I’d changed a lot in the intervening years. I’d worked hard to shed the pounds, to get fit and toned and to stay that way. That he noticed, and liked what he saw, was a bit of a shock. But to be appreciated by this gorgeous man, someone I still thought of occasionally, felt incredibly good.

I made a split second decision, shedding the insecurities, and deciding to go for it. I turned up my most charming smile, the one that got me laid when I went out looking for a hook-up, and leaned into his space just a little.

“Hey, Nick,” I said, letting my voice drop into the lower register. I swiped my tongue across my bottom lip. “You look as amazing as always.”

He swallowed, and I watched as the lust blew his pupils. Then he took a step closer to me so that I had to tilt my head back a bit to keep his gaze. He looked me over again.

“It’s really good to see you,” he said, sounding just a little breathless. “I had wondered if you were going to be here.”

My heart gave a stuttering thump, and a grin stretched my lips.

“I wasn’t going to show, but then I heard about you,” I admitted, laying it all on the line. I was reasonably sure that my advances weren’t going to be dismissed. “I wanted to see my high school crush again.”

He inhaled sharply, and his gaze dropped to my mouth.

“You had a crush on me?” His voice was barely a murmur.

“So hard,” I answered suggestively.

Nick took that final step into my space. We were so close that every time we inhaled, our chests touched. He licked his lips as his gaze remained fixed on my face. He took deep breath, and then leaned down to speak in my ear. “Want to get out of here and go get coffee or something?”

“Or something,” I agreed, angling my body so my semi-hard dick brushed against his hip.

Nick gave a shiver as he stepped back, then grabbed my hand and practically yanked me after him.

I couldn’t stop grinning.

Guest Post: Release Day Tharros

**Please join me in welcoming author C. Kennedy as he talks about his latest release!**

Tharros-600x900

Release Day! Thárros by C. Kennedy is Out!

Θάρρος

Thárros. Greek. Meaning courage

Courage. n. /ˈkərij/

1. The ability to do something that frightens

one.

2. Strength in the face of fear, pain, or

grief.

~*~

Courage is resistance to fear,

mastery of fear,

not the absence of fear. ~Mark Twain

High school senior Michael Sattler leads a charmed life. Almost. He
has great friends, parents who love him just the way he is, and
he was a champion hurdler until someone took out his knee when
they kidnapped his boyfriend. Yet, Michael is determined to make the USATF tryouts in spite of his injuries.

Christy Castle is Michael’s entire world. Healing from years of abuse, his abduction by a predator has left him hiding a new secret as he tries to start his life again.
Together, Michael and Christy work to recover from their wounds in time to make prom and graduate high school.
To complicate matters, Christy is astonished to learn a fellow victim from his native Greece has survived. Christy will stop at nothing to bring him to the US to keep him safe.

But the prosecution of Christy’s kidnapper looms large in their futures and the struggle to return to normal only worsens. Christy’s past continues to haunt them and, when the prosecution turns ugly and Christy’s new life is torn apart, only their unrelenting courage and determination can save them from the nightmare that threatens to destroy their future together.

Tharros - Quote - I have your heartbeat in my ear again2

 

Now available at Harmony Ink/Dreamspinner PressAmazon

US,

Add Thárros to your Goodreads and BookLikes Lists!

Read Chapter One or Read en français

About Cody

Cody is an award-winning author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Cody doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Cody contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Cody can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much-maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary. Among many other awards, Omorphi was a
runner up in the 2014 Rainbow Awards, and Slaying Isidore’s Dragons was a finalist in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Cody does respond to blog comments and emails because, after all, it is all about you, the reader.

Find Cody on Facebook, Twitter @CodyKAuthor, Pinterest,

Booklikes, and read a

free serial story, Fairy

Switching Gears

So I got myself all worked up into a mess thinking about the whole plot thing. But I got totally stuck. I mean, the title and the basic plot point still work. Those two things do not have to change.  Also the characters, who are deliciously perfect together, can stay exactly as they are. The rest of it though? That’s another matter entirely. I need to rework everything and as I forced my focus and desperately thought, I found myself getting further and further away from any sort of workable plot.

The thing is, I really wanted to work on this story next. I was in the right head space and the guys were talking to me. So I was hoping that I’d be able to rework the plot and go to town. Get this story in the works and start getting on the page. But instead, the story became even more elusive and I had no choice but admit defeat. Temporary defeat, that is.

This story is temporarily on the shelf. Believe me when I tell you these guys are going to be great once I finally know their story. But for now, I have to put them away.

Instead, I’m shifting focus and switching gears. I’m working on something else instead, something that’s been in the pipeline and that a couple of people have told me they are waiting for. I’ve broken ground on Alex and Spencer’s story. Something Like Want is in the works.

Flash Fic Friday: Flashback

**Thought I’d do a something a little different today and repost one of the first flash fics I wrote. It’s been two and a half years, and this one was always one of my faves. Enjoy!**

His job had transferred him out of state and I had been heartbroken.  After eight months of building a solid relationship, he was moving to the other side of the country.  How could fate be so cruel?  But he had sworn to me that he didn’t want to give me up, that what we had was worth it, worth everything, and we would make long distance work where so many couples before us had failed.

At first, it had been wonderful.  Every evening, we’d skype and it was almost as good as being together.  I couldn’t touch him, smell him, taste him, but it was almost and it was what he had.  We’d carry our laptops with us as we went about cooking dinner, watching TV, life in general, talking about our days and our lives.

But then, after six months of that, he’d started to pull away.  He’d make excuses; say he had to work late or that he’d had to meet a client for dinner.  I’d tried to talk to him about it, suggest that we should maybe take a break, but he was adamant that was not what he wanted.  It was a rough patch, we would get through it.  But lately, our skype dates were coming fewer and farther between.  And as I sat there in the corner, staring at the laptop and waiting for him to call, my heart was breaking.  Because this was the fifth time he’d simply not called when he said he would.  Afterwards he sent emails and texts, swearing it was unforeseen and he was so, so sorry.  And I kept falling for it.

“So what’s his excuse this time?” my roommate’s voice startled me.  I jumped but didn’t look at him.  “Or did he just blow you off again?”

I didn’t respond.  There was nothing I could say.  Quickly, Julian was across the room, kneeling before my chair.  I couldn’t look at him.  He was beautiful and kind and loving, but he was my best friend.  And I was committed to someone else.

Julian’s warm hands gripped my calves.  “Forget him, Henry.  He’s not worth it.  Never was.”

I couldn’t respond.  Didn’t know how.  Julian’s sentiment echoed my own, mostly.  There had been a time when…the chime from the laptop interrupted my thoughts.  I was receiving a call.  Three hours late, but there he was.

Before I could react, Julian reached over and snapped the laptop shut.  He shoved it off the bed and it landed with a thump on the plush carpet.  I opened my mouth to protest, to say something, anything.  But Julian was quicker, rising up on his knees, and pressing his soft lips to mine. I couldn’t believe it, didn’t even know how to react, but Julian was not dissuaded.  He kissed me gently, coaxingly, until I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him back with equal fervor.

He pulled back, both of us panting for air, and gave me a soft smile.  His big hands framed my face and forced me to look at him.  “You’re mine, baby.  Always have been.  So you’re done with that jerk.  And you are never going to hurt again.”