Thursday, November 24, 2016

Giving Thanks...

Is a bit difficult when you've had the worst year of your adult life. I've been thinking about it and the only thing I was able to come up with was "life." I'm grateful for my daughters and for being alive. Not healthy, not in a good mental-space, definitely not in good spirits, but I'm alive, and that's the most important thing, right? It means I can keep working on myself...I can keep trying to get better. And that's great.

The year isn't over yet. Many things can happen in a little over a month, but you know what? I've decided to let 2016 go.

Looking back at the last eleven months makes me sad. There are so many things I wasn't able to accomplish—not as a woman, not as a friend, not as a professional, and last but not least, not as an author. Simply put, I completely sucked at everything day after day after day, and, as much as I'd like to, the fact is I can't turn back time. I can't change anything. And I can't keep stressing over all the things I was supposed to do but wasn't able to for one reason or another.  So this is it for me. I'm throwing in the towel on this year and using the remaining weeks to try to get to a point where I won't feel so disheartened anymore. Hopefully it will work. :-)

I'm sure no one reading this post will be surprised by this, but throwing the towel includes giving up on trying to publish anything in 2016. I can't. I don't want to. I'm a firm believer everything happens for a reason, and I'm convinced offering you guys a new story wasn't in the cards. So yeah, I'm not even going to try. I'm just going to start the new year with a bang.

Dreamspinners Press is releasing Six Degrees of Lust, Second Edition on January 2, 2017. That's good news for fans of my By Degrees series. It means Six Degrees of Agony will come out a few months after Lust. ;-)

As for Heavy does a late January, early February release sound? Is having back to back releases too much? What do you all think? Let me know. :-)

To those of you who have never stopped supporting me, and all the readers who have emailed me, messaged me, etc., etc., asking when I'll release some new material, I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. You mean the world to me and your interest is the only reason I'm not giving up the writing gig. You all rock.

Have an amazing time with your families and friends on this special day. And take it from me—there's always something to be thankful for.



Thursday, June 9, 2016

TBT Post: Knocked Down By Homophobia

Hi all!

So, those of you who follow me know that Heavy Hitters was  scheduled to release well over a year ago. Then life happened, and it kept happening, to the point where I had to take a sabbatical to care for myself. While I was away, I decided to replace the story's gorgeous first cover with another gorgeous one, because the original reminded me of a painful period in my life and I wanted a clean slate. 

And here I am, months and months later, feeling better and ready to release this baby to the world. :-)

To celebrate the June 24th upcoming release, I decided to re-post a little piece I wrote a long time ago to promote the story. Hope you enjoy, and please, feel free to share your stories. I'll be giving away two copies to commenters I'll choose randomly. :-)

Knocked Down By Machismo

I was born and raised in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, a paradise in many ways. Tropical plants, rainforest, sunny beaches, transparent water, soft golden sand…. Do I sound like a tourism commercial yet? *g*

Down there people are friendly, family-oriented, and extremely lovable. They’re also mainly Catholic, and, to this date, ruled by machismo and gender roles. Men are expected to be brave and protect the honor of their families. They’re supposed to have excellent work ethic, be good providers, and live up to their responsibilities. Women, even if they have jobs outside the house, are expected to clean, cook, care for the children, and take orders from the husband. As simple as that. There’s little—if any—room for anything else.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Women are highly regarded.They rule the house and keep the family
united, but there’s no denying the patriarchal authority that exists in most every home. Dad says what’s allowed; he says when and how. In some cases he even subjugates his wife and resorts to domestic violence in order to prove his manhood. He wants his daughters to be like mom, and his sons to be little clones of himself. And I can tell you, not many dads are open-minded and accepting if one of their sons happens to have interests that are attributed to girls.

Such is the case with Julio Malavé, one of my main characters’ father. He’s belligerent on a good day, abusive on a regular basis, and he’s drunk most of the time. His mission in life is to make sure Santino becomes a boxing champion and behaves like a “real man,” and he has no qualms in destroying his son’s spirit in the process.

You see, coming out as gay wasn't really an option for many Puerto Rican boys. They faced discrimination, mockery, bullying, and downright abuse. A lot of times they’re killed for their sexual orientation. I wouldn’t say Puerto Rico isn’t a safe place for gay men. Hundreds of them are out and proud, but they are the exception, not the rule, and there’s a price to pay.

Heavy Hitters is a love story...a self-discovery story...self-acceptance story, and a reconciliation story with family, culture, and life. I hope you all join Luca and Santi in their journey through life. :-)

Do *you* have any experience with machismo? Any stories or opinions on the matter you’d like to share? Leave a comment below for a chance to win a copy of Heavy Hitters. I’d love to “hear” your thoughts.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Music Monday

Hi all!

I give you DNA by Little Mix, one of the songs in my Official Heavy Hitters Playlist. Also, I'm obsessed with these girls. You need to check them out, especially their acapella stuff. So good! 



Monday, March 21, 2016

Music Monday

Hi guys!

Today I give you Years and Years' "Take Shelter" because I've had a lot of pressure in the past few weeks and I'm tired and ready to do whatever I need to do in order to protect myself. :-)



Monday, March 14, 2016

Music Monday

Hello, my beautiful followers. :-)

I want to share a huge favorite of mine for Music Monday, Troye Sivan and his Blue Neighborhood masterpiece. Today we have Wild, Part 1 of this heartbreaking Trilogy. 

I can't tell you guys how many times I played these tracks while working on Heavy Hitters. Childhood friendship, homophobia... domestic violence... the Blue Neighborhood Trilogy theme complimented my story arc so well, it often inspired me to keep on writing. And, let's just say, a story as long as Heavy Hitter's is required a LOT of pushing. :-)


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Teaser Tuesday

Hey all!

It's been quiet round these parts, so I figured I'd post a little
something something from Heavy Hitters now that the 
release date is (FINALLY!) getting close. ;-)

This is an excerpt from Chapter Fourteen in Round Three:
The Conflicted Years. Santi and Luca are new adults at this
point, becoming successful in their respective careers, and
realizing they can't lie to themselves about who they really are.


“Ladies and gentlemen, the official time this fight comes to an end is at 49 seconds of round number eight. The winner by technical knockout and new WBC welterweight champion of the world, Santinooo Malavééé…”

The green title belt was firmly secured around Santi’s waist when Julito and Héctor picked him up on their shoulders. His discipline and drive had paid off, and hopefully his life would be better because of it. Luca couldn’t be happier for him.

Santi approached Hacine and gave him a quick hug. Hacine was gracious in his defeat. He patted Santi’s back and congratulated him. Luca decided Hacine was a classy guy even if he’d been a jerk while promoting the fight.

There were two dozen people crammed into the ring by that point, but Santi sidestepped officials, camera crews, and interviewers until he reached the side of the ring that was closest to his family. He stood on the ropes with a huge grin and blew them a kiss, then his gaze locked on Luca’s, and his exhilarated expression morphed into what could only be described as sinful intent.

That was want gleaming in Santi’s eyes. It was physical attraction and carnal desire—his true nature peeking from beneath the surface and taking control. It was the same thing Luca had seen in his eyes that time Santi jumped him in the back of his truck, and Luca’s entire body reacted in response.

The usual conflictive emotions warred in his chest, but his throat got hot and tight, and his cock rose to full mast. They stared at each other for hours… maybe seconds… Luca couldn’t tell. It was impossible to be certain of anything when he was flaming inside and shivering from head to toe at the same time. Years of suppressed desire were raging through his system, burning up his veins and melting his brain and religious restrictions. If he didn’t get out of there fast, he’d jump over the ropes and throw Santi to the mat.

You’re mine, pai… No matter what you say or don’t say, you’re mine.

Up in the ring, Santi gulped. He must’ve guessed Luca’s thoughts.

The pay-per-view commentator shoved a microphone under Santi’s nose. Before shifting his attention to him, Santi made a quick gesture with his head that Luca knew from all the times they’d used it in the past. Santi wanted to be somewhere else, and he was asking Luca to come along.

Was it to talk? Did Santi want to go have dinner together like they always did or did he want to blow his wad and wanted Luca to give him a hand?

Santi’s words from earlier slammed into his chest.

Ejaculating before a fight weakens energy levels and decreases aggression, so… you know… It has to be after.

The commentator wrapped up his interview. Santi walked to his corner and stepped out of the ring.

Luca didn’t hesitate.

He ignored the voices in his head warning him against acting on impulse and sneaked away.

His decision wasn’t impulsive—it was instinctual. In that moment Luca was more than willing to go against catholic rules, not because he had a sudden urge to jerk off another man, but because he’d been thinking about it his entire life.

He was born liking men. Wanting to touch them and kiss them came naturally to him. Besides, this was Santi he was talking about—the guy whose presence set Luca on fire until he felt like he was burning alive. He had no idea what was about to happen between him and Santi, but not even the ten plagues of Egypt descending upon him could’ve stopped him from finding out.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Music Monday

Years and Years is a fairly new band hailing from the UK. I adore these boys and can't wait to see them live! Their first album hasn't even dropped yet, but I've listened to the few songs they have released so far way more times than I care to admit. :-D

"Shine" is my current second favorite song of theirs, probably because it fits Luca and Santi from Heavy Hitters so well, I've been playing it on a loop for days. You should take a listen. I'm sure once you start reading this story you'll be able to see why "Shine" made it to the Top Five Heavy Hitters Tracks. :-)   

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Six Degrees of Separation... Second Edition

Hey, guys!

Just wanted to let you all know that I have a spiffy new cover and a release date for the second edition of  Six Degrees of Separation. It's been edited and fleshed out a bit. The scenes remain the same, but there's definitely more information in some of them. Wouldn't hurt to read this one in preparation for Six Degrees of Agony, later this year. ;-)

For those of you who are new to "By Degrees" and have e-mailed me asking where to purchase Six Degrees of Separation, please know the first edition has been retired, but you can pre-order the second edition at Dreamspinner Press. May 22 will be here before you know it!

And for those of you who are old fans of Tean Yum, the wait for the third installment is almost over, you guys. Thanks for being so patient with me. I really appreciate it.