Category Archives: Two to Tango
I’m now getting to the point where I don’t really break a sweat until I’m somewhere in the 10-20 minute point of walking, so I think that’s a sign that my poor abused endurance is finally making a comeback. I was also able to go food shopping and stand in the kitchen for about 30-40 minutes while making garlic ginger chicken stir fry without becoming drenched in sweat or needing to sit down RIGHT NOW.
So yeah, this whole business of walking thirty minutes a day, every day, does your body good.
In writing news, I got some wordage in on King of Blades and pulled out the Christmas novella that I need to finish in September so that I can have it ready for the holiday season. I’m also extremely pleased that I sold twenty-five copies of Stealing Dmitri through Amazon and three copies through Smashwords. Seeing as it’s a five-year-old re-release, I’m really happy with those numbers and I’m already musing about a sequel.
I’m also musing about business matters, because Kristine Kathryn Rusch delivered a truth bomb today that solidified a lot of things that have been floating in my head about where I am, professionally and financially, as a writer. If you’re a writer of any sort go read her post because it’s informative as hell, but what she said, in short, is that “We are not in the publishing industry. We are in the entertainment industry.” From a business point of view, the published book shouldn’t the be-all and end-all goal of writers — it’s the story that matters, that unique chunk of intellectual property that came flaming out of your head, and there are so many ways you can take that IP and license it throughout the entertainment industry (which is yet another reason why I’m turning To My Muse into a script).
Another way to make your IP work for you is through merchandising, be that games, toys, apps, or apparel. And while I’ve had a half-assed Merchandise page languishing on this site for some time, I’ve decided that it’s time to punch it up and start getting serious about doing something with all of these nifty graphics I’ve been developing for various stories/series.
I mean, come on, wouldn’t you want a cool Mayhew Plants and Nursery t-shirt in your choice of colors? Or maybe a Trickster Tech sticker for your laptop? (I have one, and it’s gotten comments at various coffee shops.) Or an Olympic Cove “Get Wet” mug? Oh, and wait until you see the logo I’m working on for Stealing Dmitri’s spaceship/AI — think pin-up girl in Scottish gear sitting sidesaddle on an old-fashioned rocket as she’s shooting through the stars. It’s going to be AWESOME.
So yeah, I’m feeling rather pumped about the second half of 2019.
Yesterday my MMF historical romance Behind the Iron Cross released on Amazon and Smashwords, with Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes to follow soon. While it’s my tenth full-length novel to be released, it’s also the first romance novel I ever started, back in April 2012. I quickly realized that 1) I would have to do a buttload of research on the period, and 2) I really didn’t have the novel writing chops necessary to do the story justice. While working on my assorted series over the next six years I wound up picking at Iron Cross on and off, doing research when I could and picking up information that would add to the background and worldbuilding of the story.
And then this September something clicked and I decided, “Okay, time to finish it.” Which threw my schedule completely out of whack, forcing me to drop Uncertainty Principle until next year, but I felt like it was time to get Iron Cross done and out. The weird thing is, I wasn’t consciously aware that this year was the centenary of the end of World War I, which plays a big role in the story. All I can say is, the subconscious is an amazing thing.
This is also my longest and darkest romance to date. I don’t know if that’s because it’s a historical romance set in between-the-wars Berlin or what, but 105,000 words still amazes me when I think about it. As for the dark themes, well, 1923 Berlin was not exactly Disneyworld, although God knows there was a buttload of partying going on at the various clubs and restaurants if you had money. As for the concept of a German army officer turning to prostitution to support his family, that was actually pulled from real life reports. The economy was absolute crap, hyperinflation was rampant, lots of soldiers were decommissioned and unable to find even menial jobs, prostitution had been normalized in Berlin, and if you didn’t want to join the criminal gangs and the right-wing militias called Freikorps wouldn’t take you, you didn’t have much of a choice.
Like I said, not the happiest of places. That being said, I very deliberately toned down the harsher historical aspects because this is a romance, after all, and I needed these three very different people to fall in love with each other. According to my editor and betas I succeeded, but time will tell with reviews.
Next up on the writing table are King of Blades (Two Thrones 4) and Windrider and the Deuce, which I’m writing concurrently. Windrider should be finished in two weeks and will be released as my holiday novella following the adventures of Bardahlson son #2 Ewan and a lovely and dangerous messenger from Ghobos who find themselves joining forces to stop a blackmailer from ruining a priestess’s life during Frostfair. That should be out by mid-December and King of Blades should be out by late December, so you’ll have lots of stuff to read between Christmas and New Year.
As for 2019, my current schedule includes the to-be-named romcom about two actors who find out they were accidentally married for real during a movie and have to get a divorce, Uncertainty Principle (Pacifica Rising 2), Shifter Woods: Scream, the yet-untitled Two Thrones 5, another romcom about Lily’s best friend Theresa, plus the re-release of Breaker Zone (Olympic Cove 2) and Two to Tango, which will be expanded and retitled Stealing Dmitri. So, yeah, busy year next year. But hey, it keeps me off the streets.
The Breaker Zone blog tour is going quite well and it’s racking up some nice reviews so that’s all good, and I currently have Deep Water (Olympic Cove 3) and a Trickster sequel on the writing deck, plus there’s the MMF Victorian steampunk series yet to be written as well as some OC novellas, the sequels to A Boon by Moonlight and Two to Tango, and various other things that are slipping into my WIP list when I’m not looking. So yeah, lots of Cameron-style paranormal/fantasy erotic romance coming down the pike here.
That being said, I have a question and I would like some honest feedback on it. As you may know (Bob), I was a science fiction writer before I branched out into erotic romance, and I actually wrote two SF books that were never published that, after MUCH editing and revision, I would like to take a crack at putting on the market. My question is, would any of you be interested in reading a non-erotic romance novel by me? The first one is a straight-up time travel adventure where a British physicist and a Chicago cop have to travel to 1870 Oxford to find a thief who stole time travel technology and find themselves accidentally involved with Lewis Carroll, Alice Liddell, and Ukrainian art thieves. There would be romance-like elements to the book (the physicist is female and the cop is male, and there is MUCH bantering going on throughout), but no sex and it’s definitely more along the lines of Connie Willis than J.D. Robb.
So, yeah, let me know if something like that would interest you. Thanks!
So I get home after a marathon shopping trip to buy fabric for office curtains and a window seat (don’t ask), and find that my dear buddy Epilonous has posted on Facebook about a delish new dish he whipped up tonight. He calls it Two to Tango Salad, in honor of my book.
This is what he had to say about it: “Winter greens, parsnip and beet salad. Secret ingredients include white quinoa, manchego cheese, and frisée. Dressing is basically a minced shallot and a grated bit of horseradish marinated in red wine vinegar and mixed with olive oil. Dressing soaked the beets rather than going whole hog into the salad. Toasted parsnips are tasty… Just need to not pour a bunch into the pan when the recipe says ‘drizzle’. There was a moment in a beloved Nicola Cameron story where a protagonist eats and makes indelicate moans over borscht. My first beet from this salad put me right on that spaceship.”
This kind of egoboo? Makes me grin like a little kid.
The first round of votes are in, and now it’s time to vote for your favorite Evernight books. I want to send out a huge thank you to EVERYONE who nominated Two to Tango in “Best in Category: Gay” and Assassin in “Best Planet Alpha book” — it’s an incredible honor to be nominated, and you people rock! I’m also thrilled that two anthos with my short stories (Executive Assistant: Manlove Edition and HIS: Manlove Edition) are also in the running for Best Antho.
Now go vote for your favorites!
Okay, my lovelies, I have a huge favor to ask of you. Writing is its own reward, but I’ll freely admit that exterior validation is nice, too. 😀 So if you like my work and want to fill me with the creative spirit (or just make me giggle like a three-year-old), nominating my works in the Second Annual Evernight Reader’s Choice Awards is the way to go! Plus, if you nominate works you’ll get a chance to win a $25 Evernight GC!
I’m eligible in the following categories (eligible works are listed):
1. Evernight Book of the Year: Two to Tango, Planet Alpha: Assassin, Trickster (my personal favorite is Two to Tango)
2. Favorite Evernight author: Nicola Cameron
3. Best Evernight series: Since Olympic Cove 2 isn’t out yet, I would suggest Planet Alpha.
4. Favorite Evernight Hero: Rory MacLellan or Dmitri Grigoryev from Two to Tango; Delaney Smith or Mark Fellows from Trickster; Peter Loeffler or John Quincy from “The Art of Grant Management” in Executive Assistant: Manlove Edition; Taric, Zhan, or Duncan Shea from Planet Alpha: Assassin (my personal favorite is Rory MacLellan)
6. Evernight book with the best HEA (Happily Ever After) ending: See #1 (my personal favorite is Two to Tango)
7. Best Evernight cover: See #1
11. Best in Category: Anthologies: Executive Assistant: Manlove Edition
14. Best in Category: Erotic: See #1
15. Best in Category: Fantasy: Trickster
16. Best in Category: Futuristic: Planet Alpha: Assassin, Two to Tango
17. Best in Category: Gay: See #1
23. Best in Category: Menage: Planet Alpha: Assassin
26. Best in Category: Paranormal: Trickster
28. Best in Category: Sci-Fi: Two to Tango
33. Best in Category: Planet Alpha: Planet Alpha: Assassin
Now go forth, my pretties, and nominate!
What? You mean you haven’t read my hilarious M/M SF caper novel Two to Tango yet? I’m…well, I’m crushed. But I’m also strong, so I will dab the tears from my damask cheeks and think about it all tomorrow at Tara.
Now that I’ve finished pretending to be Scarlett O’Hara, do I have a deal for you! For the next week Two to Tango is only 99 cents at Evernight Publishing. And if that isn’t enough to persuade you, here’s a little more about the story:
Rory MacLellan, AKA the Highlander, may be the most successful interstellar art thief in the Known Worlds, but he still has a conscience. So when he runs into a suicidal museum worker during his latest job, he has no choice but to stun the man and rescue him from certain death.
Dr. Dmitri Grigoryev was an up-and-coming exoarchaeologist until a disastrous dig left his career in tatters. Hungry, broke, and desperate, the last thing he expected was a dashing thief to come along and save his life.
Thrown together by accident and with interstellar police on their tail, Rory and Dmitri reluctantly join forces for a major heist. But will their simmering attraction get in the way, or prove that they were meant to be together?
And it was lovely — Ramón gave me a lingerie shopping spree as my present (woohoo!), and I got tons of birthday wishes all over social media so I was quite the happy camper. Would have been even happier if I’d been at SDCC or RWA14, but I’m going to London this year for Worldcon so I can’t really complain. Plus there’s always next year, right? (Although when a friend of mine at SDCC got an impromptu picture with both Jared Padalecki and a somewhat tiddly Misha Collins, I may have turned a slight shade of chartreuse.)
In writing news, I’m plowing ahead on my Planet Alpha submission and I’ll have a second teaser up tomorrow for MidWeek Tease. Hope nobody minds a big action scene at the end — well, hey, if you kidnap an Alphan warrior’s human bondmate, you have to expect him and his Xyran mate to open a can of alien whoopass on you, right? Fingers crossed that Evernight feels the same way. Once that’s off, I’ll get to work editing Breaker Zone with an eye on submitting it by August 13. After THAT, I go back to work on Behind the Iron Cross so that I can get it making the agent rounds in September. Plus people have been asking for Trickster and Two to Tango sequels.
Arrgh. Why do I have to sleep?
Happy Hump Day! With Breaker Zone currently cooling before the editing process, I thought I’d post a teaser from my M/M SF romp Two to Tango, currently available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Let’s just say the scene speaks for itself, shall we?
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
Rory Maclellan, aka the Highlander, is one of the most successful interstellar art thieves out there. He’s careful, professional, and plans his heists down to the microsecond. Surprisingly, he also has a conscience. So when he runs into a suicidal museum worker during his latest job, he has no choice but to stun the man and rescue him from certain death.
Dmitri Grigoryev was an up-and-coming exoarchaeologist until a disastrous dig left his career in tatters. Hungry, broke, and about to be laid off from the only job he’s been able to find in the last three years, he never expected a dashing thief to come along and save his life.
With interstellar police on their tail, Rory and Dmitri reluctantly join forces for a major heist. But will their simmering attraction get in the way, or prove that they were meant to be together?
Minutes later they were upstairs in the family wing, bedroom door closed and locked behind them. Rory was busily stripping Dmitri out of his coat and waistcoat while Dmitri had his fingers carded in Rory’s hair, trying to hold him still as they kissed frenetically.
“Did I mention how fucking sexy you are when you dance?” Rory muttered against his mouth. “I swear to God, I thought I was going to get hard right then and there. Which, by the way, is pretty damned embarrassing in a kilt.”
“It was your idea to tango,” Dmitri said, licking his lower lip before taking it in his teeth and tugging gently. “And you weren’t the only one getting hard.”
“Good.” Rory’s hand snaked down between them, cupping his groin and squeezing gently. Dmitri closed his eyes at the flash of harsh-edged pleasure, thrusting into Rory’s grip. “Because I want you hard, doc. Naked and hard and on your back under me, legs over my shoulders, begging me to fuck you.”
The command sent a zing of pure need through Dmitri. “I thought you liked to bottom.”
“Normally I do. But I’m feeling a little domineering right now, and I really want to fuck you.” Rory eased up, looking absurdly hopeful. “Is that okay?”
“Bozhe moi, yes.”
They tumbled onto the bed together, struggling out of their clothes in between kisses. Dmitri ran a hand up Rory’s thigh and underneath his kilt, cupping his balls and rolling them gently. Rory tipped his head back, making a low, hungry noise.
“Like that?” Dmitri said, amused.
“You know I do.”
“How about this?” He shifted his grip, sliding it up Rory’s thickening shaft until he could run his thumb around the head. There was already a thin slick there, and he wanted to lick it off his thumb. “Yes, you definitely like that,” he crooned.
“Fucking tease,” Rory groaned back. “Let’s see how you like it.”
Dmitri abruptly found himself flipped onto his back with a half-naked and very aroused Scot on top of him. Grinning, Rory tore open his shirt and nipped his way across Dmitri’s pecs, feasting on the tiny, hard nipples. The hot, wet sensation of Rory’s mouth sent darts of pleasure through him, and he moaned in agreement as Rory drifted down, following the trail of dark hair to his waistband.
“Okay, these have got to go,” Rory growled, ripping at his breeches. The tight fabric resisted, and Dmitri finally had to arch upwards, lifting his ass off the bedspread, in order to let Rory pull them off. “No more breeches, dammit.”
“They were your idea, remember?” Dmitri protested, then gasped as Rory’s mouth descended on his naked cock. Heat, wetness, and a velvet tongue slicking across that sensitive spot just under the head made him arch again. “Oh, God. Yes.”
Rory started sucking him in earnest, head bobbing greedily between his thighs to the accompaniment of some truly obscene slurping and suckling sounds. A wet finger slid under his balls, then farther back until it pressed against his rim.
Eyes closed, Dmitri pushed outward and was rewarded with a brief, sweet burn as he was penetrated.
The finger rotated, easing deeper in time with Rory’s deep throating, until it touched something that set off white stars in Dmitri’s vision. He gasped and cursed in Russian, grinding down on the teasing digit.
Rory pulled off, licking his lips. “I found your prostate,” he sang.
“I noticed, dammit,” Dmitri grunted. “More, now.”
“God, I love it when you’re bossy.”
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I’ve picked the three winners of my Two to Tango release day contest and will be contacting them tonight to confirm prizes, addys, etc. Thanks to everyone who participated, and a HUGE thank you goes out to everyone who’s purchased a copy — I just found out this afternoon that TtT earned its silver Bestseller star on All Romance eBooks! If you heard a squeeing sound from the clavicle of Texas, that would have been me!