Sunday, June 30, 2013

SBD and Promo

Let's get this done now: an early SBD... thumbs up for a Spark of Death by Bernadette Pajer. The book has a nice portrait of turn-of-the-20th-century Seattle and I like spending time with the hero, Professor Bradshaw. He's ever so slightly persnicketty and fastidious but, it turns out, for good reason. Golly, he's a sweet guy.

The only part I didn't love was the romancey bits, which is kind of funny, since, you know. Romance writer.

I even enjoyed the electrical engineering bits though I most resemble the clodhopping cop who can't follow the lectures. As soon as I hit send on this blog entry, I'm on the hunt for the next in the series.

No wait, I can't. I have a Billy Boyle book that's about to expire. Eek. 

Next up on the agenda....

I have some presents for you. This is the promo part, but really, don't roll your eyes. I'm talking GIFTS! and the strings are very lightly attached, practically invisible.

What do I have? AUDIOBOOKS at AUDIBLE.COM! The Gentleman and the Rogue and Someone to Cherish are audiobooks, and I can let a couple of you lucky people have coupons to get FREE COPIES.

You just have to email me at katerothwell at That's easy! After that comes the whole applying a coupon to the purchase thing, a process that stymied me, but never mind that.

Also, Bonnie and I have a book coming out July 9, and if you want a review copy of The Gentleman's Keeper, let me know. I still have a couple I can give out. Did you see? It was, a starred Publisher's Weekly book!  See? See????
Devon and Dee (The Gentleman and the Rogue) fill this expertly written gay Victorian romance with emotional tension. ....... Well paced with realistic characters, this deep story is a must-read for fans of gay historicals. (July)
If you didn't see that review or a reference to that review, then you haven't been anywhere near me online or in real life recently. Because I've mentioned that review once or twice or a thousand times.

Yo. Write to me and let me know if you want a recording or a book. Thank you.

Monday, June 24, 2013

new story time...need ideas?

Here, get a fish fish bowl, put a bunch of ideas in it. Pull them out for a story. Or, if you don't want to bother with pieces of paper, use the internet.

Some sites shown with the results from a push of a generator button.
Umbrella, vanity, run.

This is a slice-of-life tale. The story is about a policeman who must work with a quiet clerk. It takes place in a galaxy-spanning imperium. Archaeology versus respecting native cultures plays a major role in this story.
  An unprofessional feminist and a prospector get together - after they witness a murder - to regain their reputation. Events are straightened out by a new witness.
that site has some fun things like "plot twist"
 The cleaner ruins the brother.  gives us some action adventure
Stuck enduring the daily grind, the main character's life is turned upside down when a stranger enters their life with an intriguing proposal that could cost them their money.
 The story starts when your protagonist walks out on a partner. Another character is a marksman who is from the past.

Here are some more generators (Although some don't seem to work any more)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

woe is scrivener

I've come to a point in a book that makes me realize that no matter how much I enjoy spending time with these characters, there's no actual story in this story. The internal conflict is low grade; the external confusing. So I figure I'd load everyone onto a bus and take them out for a drive.

The bus, in this case, is one of those Miraculous Organizing Writing Programs. And so far, I've lost touch with the characters and I feel old and completely separated from anything resembling a spark of imagination. Also I can't figure out how to switch between windows without a lot of cursing and thumping.

To make matters worse for myself--because that's what I'm here for--I took a break and wandered around the internet looking at reviews of my stuff (and there aren't many and no one likes my books and why do I bother? This tastes so bad and the portions are too small.)

So yeah, pretty much business as usual.

Here, let me step out of the self-pity closet and smack down the moths of anxiety and maybe shake off the dust of doubt.  (My closets are a mess.) . . . and ummmm lay out the fresh garments of . ...

Screw it. I think I'll start writing something new. Bonnie and I finished writing a book last week and I'm still at loose ends. 

And let me take another step back and away from the stuffy closet by reading someone else's book.

Hey, that brings up something something sad. I read a Carla Kelly that I didn't like very much and that shook me. Too much plot and it was sort of silly. Even the usual charming banter didn't save it for me.

But here's something nice. As I wrote "woe is scrivener" I could clearly hear my friend Rosemary's voice. She's been dead for a long time, gone enough years that she's fading. Recalling something vivid is rare enough to be a gift.
How I got today's gift: Rosemary had a cat called Cassandra and when I asked her where the name came from, she told me the story of Cassandra and how that Trojan lady went around the place moaning woe to Trojans! woe to Troy! The cat Cassandra wailed plaintively too. Rosemary had a lovely British accent and a great laugh and just writing the title here brought back that story and her voice and laugh to me for a moment. I hereby declare that brief memory of her more real than my metaphorical/allegorical badly-kept closet. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Tail of the Dog, the fundraising story

You can read the book free here my blog or at goodreads (or eventually at the new m/m romance website)

But if you want to give money to a worthy cause (and I don't just mean to pay off  my kid who did the cover for me) 
 You can buy a copy at Amazon
You can buy a copy at Barnes and Noble. 
for less than a dollar! 

Once I've paid the kid and Amazon has taken its chunk, all of the profits from sales for the next half year will go to a rescue I've seen in action.

If you're one of my facebook friends, you've probably noticed the pictures I occasionally post: adoption pleas for pups who're about to be euthanized ** Nearly every time the dogs are listed, we get to type "ADOPTED!" on those links, and it's often thanks to these guys, showing up at the zero hour for the City of Hartford animal shelter.

From their webpage:

Ruff Start Happy Tails is dedicated to the rescue and placement of homeless animals, many of whom are rescued at the very last moment from euthanasia at shelters. We provide a safe haven to all those who find their way to us through a variety of circumstances.

Ruff Start Happy Tails does not have a shelter and relies solely on a network of foster homes and volunteers. We receive no public funding and count on the generosity of others to help defray our costs, which include vet bills and other medical expenses.

So when you buy a copy of the short story, you not only get a book described as "cute!" and "sweet!" and "hey where's the hot sex? there's no hot sex!" by a bunch of people,  you support a worthy cause and you get an adorbs picture of a dog ... that doesn't look anything like the dog in the original picture. (Story adjusted to fit new pup.)

Last year, I did this same sort of fundraising thing for AIDS/Lifecycle with my short story for the goodreads group, and I ended up donating $200.

Let's give Ruff Start Happy Tails even more! 


**those "Save the Pups!" pictures have lost me a number of facebook followers, including my oldest who couldn't take the pressure. But the sharing thing is good! It gets those dogs adopted!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The short free m/m

This story is posted over at the goodreads group (you can only read it there if you're a member) and eventually I'll put it up at Amazon, with the profits going to an animal rescue organization.
In the meantime, here it is on my blog!!

Dear Author,

This is me, the adorable one in the picture, yes the one on the left. You won't believe what I had to go through with the two cuties next to me! And what will lie ahead of us? Please help telling our story!

Thank You!


Word Count: 10,583
Warning: This is cute and contains no sex.

by Summer Devon

Copyright © 2013 Summer Devon

I’m not saying that I hated people, but I came within a whisker of loathing each and every one of them. After I got dumped, I learned fear. When I saw one of those two-legger assless creatures, I’d take off running.

I’d ended up in a place that stank of any number of creatures’ misery. I’m an upbeat sort of a dog, so when I think of that place, I try to remember the very last time the unbearable need hit me and how I ran with a sweet-loving dog named Growler. When I buried my nose in his flanks, his smell could block the sharpest notes of desolation.

Thinking of Growler is pleasant though it does remind me of how I’d longed to be part of a pack. No other dogs came near my patch filled with broken machines, shade-less plants, and worse, those oil-stinky cars that raced past one side of my territory.

The dangerous car-filled side killed my Growler. He bit the big tire over there. Smashed flat by one of those huge cars, his body was hauled away before I had a chance to say a proper goodbye. Two-leggers— what nuisances.

After him, I ran alone. Times got hard. There weren’t nearly enough rats in my acrid territory. They got smart about me, and I began losing out on more dinners.

The two-legger idiots who came to my territory ignored me unless they threw things at me, and they rarely threw anything that tasted good, sad to say. I know because I’d go back and check after they left. Sometimes they’d leave behind scraps, but usually they’d leave horrible chewy things or objects that reeked of poison even a hungry dog would reject.

The nights got cold. And then the days and nights got cold, and I slept in a little spot under a truck that never moved, next to a wall.

The very day I figured out my time was near, I met the two-legger, Shorty. I first spotted him behind an old oil barrel. He held a big chunk of something delicious-smelling and came toward me, slowly and in a submissive position. I called him Shorty because the moment our eyes met, he got down low, pretending his arms were legs too. He crawled in my direction. I couldn’t imagine what he thought he was doing but then I didn’t care because I could smell what he carried. Grease, and heated red meat, and oh, my dog, I still drool and get all stomach rumbly thinking about it.

As he tossed bits of the best food, ever, he murmured at me in a croaky little voice that didn’t scare me, much. Not the angry snarl most people used when they saw me.

I ignored the nonsense about what a good dog I was and how sweet I looked. I put my ears back telling him I didn’t care about how good I was, I just wanted that good food.

He put down a really yummy big chunk. Perfect. Even better, he backed away from it.

“All mine?” I asked with a questioning tail-wag.

He told me I was a good dog, and I took that as a yes the food’s all yours.

I was about to eat it when a rope thunked on my head; he’d tried to throw something around my neck. I ran off, annoyed as crap, because that food he’d put on the ground smelled delicious, hot meat, warm rolls, and I wasn’t going to get it.

“Horrible assless creature,” I barked over my shoulder. “Don’t you bother coming back here. I’m not going to fall for that act again, Shorty.” I said that to me as well as him; because his food filled my nose with perfection and he hadn’t been scary until that thing he threw hit my head.

Sometimes I needed to remind myself that people are treacherous. I’m a person-dog. I’d just naturally liked them until I’d ended up in that territory.

Shorty got up and showed he could be two-legged and tall like any other person. He no longer hunched.

“Oh, and now I see you’re a big jerk, liar,” I barked. He ignored my insults and walked after me, whistling and calling. He almost fell over a broken brick wall— he paid too much attention to me and not enough where his spindly two legs were going.

I trotted off, winding my way through the trash, hurt by his treachery. Ungainly as I was, I still managed to leave him far behind.

But then, as I got near my nest, I heard a deep bay of a shout. It didn’t come from Shorty. The next unhappy sound came from him, though, and I turned around and headed back toward the voices.

Curiosity. It might kill cats on a regular basis, but it doesn’t do dogs any favors either.

Monday, June 03, 2013

what do we have to offer our listeners today?

I have a short thing coming out this week and then a full book out in July and a couple of audiobooks any day now and . .  when I think of all these things with my name on them I think PROMO-OH-NO.

I've read several books' worth of articles and listened to hours of talks and the only thing they all seem to agree about is promo, yeah, got to do it. Get it done, they say, and I agree (the difference between us is they provide happy, heartening cheers, plus a lot of spreadsheets and handouts).

So consider this an advance warning about the tweets, the facebook pushes, the google plus buzzing, the articles here and elsewhere. I wish I could do a NPR thing -- if I manage to sell 10K copies of a book, I promise to shorten my promo period. Give me your money now AND you get this book AND maybe this coffee mug** AND we all get me to shut up.

So I can be bribed. Anyone want 10K copies of an ebook? Sorry, I can't do anything about the other 900,000,000 authors with books/recordings/short stories out this month though.

**how about one of the old NPR or NPTV mugs we got from fundraisers in the past? I have at least a couple around here some place. The writing is worn off and they're chipped but that just makes them feel more home-like. Shabby chic!

Sunday, June 02, 2013

A free ebook!

For the next 24 hours or so, you can get this Kate Rothwell title free.

4.5 stars! from RT Magazine
This is a sweet, funny and emotional tale. This modern take on Daddy-Long-Legs, by Jean Webster, has wonderful, fully developed characters... This incredible story will appeal to adult as well as young readers. --Romantic Times

Thank You, Mrs. M. is a wonderful read...This is a poignant and enjoyable read. --Night Owl Reviews

This is not just Daddy Long Legs gender-reversed and updated for shock value, but a thoughtful and really interesting re-imagining of how the story might play out in today's world.

There are light homages to the original, which add a bit of extra glow to the romance if you're a fan, but what really made the story for me were the differences. It turns out the unknown philanthropist, here dubbed by our narrator Ben as "Mrs. Moneybags," has private, very unexpected motivations for helping orphaned Ben through college. And it was appropriate that Ben, who's described as very smart and thinking outside the box, catches on to what those are. --willaful
This is a book I keep pushing on the public, even after the public refuses to pay attention. I feel like a mother shoving a spoon loaded with pudding at a child who refuses to open its mouth  ("not even for a delicious free try, sweetie?" coos Mom).

I'm not sure why I'm reluctant to let some books go into that deep, dark oblivion and others I wave goodbye to without much regret. Adios Fugitive Heart for instance. Most of the time when I shamelessly shove and re-shove books at people, it's because the books in quetion are like other stories I've written--the same genre. I've never written another one like this one and I doubt I ever will.

So yeah, I'm not sure why either, except.....Free at Amazon for another 24 hours! Get your copy. ("Open wide, dear. Just a teeny taste.")