A Brief Update on the Status of Sarah Madison Books

Just a quick word to let people know the current status of my stories. I’ve received back the rights for the stories contracted to Dreamspinner Press and am currently removing inactive links from the website, as well as putting my titles back up for sale on various outlets. Some of the works will need new covers, some will probably need re-editing. All of this takes time and energy, which I only have in short supply. But I promise, I will get the titles back up as soon as possible, on the off chance you’re coming to this site hopeful of a purchase. 🙂

I’m also giving serious consideration to dropping my Facebook pages. I have marked reservations with the way Facebook runs its business, including the data collection on its users and the disregard for the truth in its advertising. I’d long ago decided FB would never get another dime from me, but while I suspect deleting my account wouldn’t affect them in the slightest, it’s one of the only measures I can take in protest of their unrestricted actions.

As such, you might want to consider either subscribing to this blog or my newsletter, should you want to keep up with updates on potential releases, sales, and news items.

Cutting ties with Dreamspinner and the future of Sarah Madison Fiction

This has been a hard post to write. So much so, I’ve put off doing it time and again.

Earlier this month, I made the difficult decision to ask for a reversion of rights for my stories with Dreamspinner Press. The decision was made for a variety of reasons, not the least of which concerns my own struggle to continue writing MM romance.

Were it not for Dreamspinner Press taking a chance on me and publishing Unspeakable Words back in 2010, I doubt I would be a published author today. I can’t believe it’s been almost nine years to the day. But the truth of the matter is I haven’t subbed anything to DSP in years, and now seems to be the right time to end our association. It was not a decision I made lightly. I do not have any hard feelings toward DSP, just a sense of regret, the way one does when a chapter in your life closes.

In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be getting back all my DSP titles. The plan is to re-edit, re-cover (if needed) and re-publish, though I confess, that looms before me as a daunting task when I have so little spoons to work with these days. It is also a financial outlay that I can ill-afford and not likely to give me a huge ROI on books that have been out for years.There is a strong probability I will be putting some of these titles in KU, though that remains to be seen.

If I sound discouraged, I am. To be honest, I don’t know what this means for writing future books under the Sarah Madison name. I’ve been promising for years now I would finish the Sixth Sense series and give it closure, but as you can see, that hasn’t happened despite all my best intentions. And the dissolution of my relationship with DSP will probably slow that timetable down once again.

By 2020, it will have been ten years since the release of the first edition of Unspeakable Words. It would be nice to end the series within a decade! But I have to accept the fact I can’t make promises any more.

I’m not certain what this means for my writing in general. Publishing is a hard business, especially if I’m in the longest publishing drought of my life. Perhaps the answer is to try my hand at something new, a different genre, a different kind of storytelling. Perhaps the answer is to accept the closing of this door and call it done.

But I’m a storyteller at heart. Even if I stop publishing, I won’t stop writing. It may just be stories I write for my own amusement, but I’ll still keep writing.

My biggest apologies to the fans of the Sixth Sense series who have begged for the final installment. I promised and I haven’t delivered. I’d like to believe I’ll still get there–I want to give Lee and Flynn their ultimate HEA as much as you want to read it–but I’m running a few quarts low on faith these days.

Dear Disappointed Fan: I’m Disappointed Too

Recently, I got a message on Goodreads from a fan asking when we could expect the next book in the Sixth Sense series. I went to GR to respond to the post but it had been deleted. I’d gathered the gist of the message in the partial view GR had sent me, which was a polite but slightly forlorn request for an update. And I felt like crap when I realized the post had been removed. Now I couldn’t explain the delay to the reader. I felt like crap about the delay of the next installment, too.

See, when I submitted Unspeakable Words to Dreamspinner Press back in 2010, it was on a whim. I never expected it to be published. I expected it to languish on my hard drive while I kept banging out stories in the hope one day, I would be a published author. I didn’t think of it as the beginning of a series or the beginning of a writing career. It was just a roll of the dice that came up a winner.

I went on to write other stories people seemed to like, most notably Crying for the Moon and The Boys of Summer. I don’t write quickly, so it was 2013 before I began thinking about John Flynn and Jerry Parker again and realized they still had stories to tell me. I published Walk a Mile in 2014–four years after the first book. I caught a little flak for that, which made me wince, but it wasn’t like I hadn’t been working on other projects. I’m a slow writer. I’m doing good if I publish a book a year.

I left the boys in a bit of a dicey place at the end of Walk a Mile, and I definitely didn’t people left hanging for a resolution, so I went to work right away on Truth and Consequences, which came out in 2015. I had plans to move right ahead with the final installment of the series, tentatively titled Deal with the Devil, but first, I wanted to expand on some things in Unspeakable Words, so I went back and fleshed out some parts I felt had been underdeveloped. Right, so by the end of 2016, I was looking at pounding out DWTD and a publishing date of 2017.

Only that didn’t happen, did it?

In fact, I more or less disappeared. I popped in for the occasional post, but for the most part, I ghosted you, dear reader. For that, I’m very sorry.

I’ve been trying to decide how much of my personal life I should share with you here. The temptation is to lay it all out as evidence I have every right to be derailed by life events from completing my series. I alluded to some of the issues in this post here, but I’m disheartened to realize I wrote that post over a year ago. Part of me wants to justify my failure, if not to you, dear reader, then to myself. By saying, “See? I’ve suffered. I’m not just sitting around twiddling my thumbs. I’m struggling here.”

That’s not to say I haven’t been writing anything. I have. The words have to be chiseled out of granite and the end result is the kind of blocky, formless statue a beginning art student might create. Most days I realize I’m trying to pump water out of a dry well, to inelegantly mix my metaphors here. Some days I think I no longer have the capacity to tell stories. I remind myself depression is a lying SOB, but the end result is the same, yes? No new story out this year.

I’ve been staring at this blinking cursor wondering if I should name all the losses I’ve experienced. Of the funerals I’ve attended. Of friendships that have crashed, and communities that are gone, the pressures of work and home alike. I started to list them, but decided on a better response instead.

This is the Social Readustment Rating Scale developed by Holmes and Rahe in 1967. Basically you add up points for the various kinds of stress in your life within a year (both good and bad) and if you score over three hundred, you have an 80% chance of developing a major stress-related illness.

My score is 816.

Eight hundred and sixteen.

That would make me giggle if it didn’t make me want to cry. Take your pick of the various stressors on the list and decide which ones I’ve experienced. Chances are, I have. The sad thing is I strongly suspect most of us have scores over 300, easy.

Okay, so the stressors occurred over two years instead of one, but that’s averaging a little over four hundred a year for two years running. I’ve taken hit after hit again and again. And that doesn’t begin to count the stress of seeing what’s happening in this country right now. In fact, the only good thing about all the personal stress is that it has distracted somewhat from my anxiety over the direction we as a nation here in the US have taken. The downside of the national situation is that it makes our future seem very bleak (not just as a nation, but as a freaking species), which makes it harder to feel as though writing stories matters in the long run.

Don’t worry. I think in times like this, stories matter even more than ever. I take great comfort in posts like this one, Write Despite, by Chuck Wendig. I just find it hard to implement at times. At the end of the day, I’m wrung out emotionally and mentally, and that makes it challenging to be very creative. So essentially this post is for that poor reader who desperately wanted a hopeful update as to the next installment of the Sixth Sense series, and this is me saying, not this year. Maybe next.

Which means it will be five years since I published Truth and Consequences before you can even possibly expect the final installment to the Sixth Sense series. I’m sorry. I didn’t want to do that to you guys again.

And seriously, where did the freaking time go?

 

EDIT: The reader contacted me–the deletion of the post was because it had been published too early before she’d completed her thought. So my angst wasn’t necessary, but I think my apology was. 🙂

National Pi Day and a Dreamspinner Press Sale!

I had to laugh at this notice in my mailbox this morning–it’s National Pi Day (not Pie Day, though there is one of those, too) and to celebrate, Dreamspinner Press is holding a 31.4% off sale from now until March 19th! How cool is that?

Interested? Check out all my Dreamspinner stories here! Read on a Kindle? You can choose the format of your choice and have your book sent to you! If you’ve been waiting for the right time to check out my stories, now is the perfect time to grab a slice of Dreamspinner Pi!

Dear Pirate Site Operator: No, I Did Not Give You Permission

So there has been a lot of hullaboo about the site Ebook Bike and its operator Travis McCrea. In case you haven’t been following the blowout, EBook Bike allows people to upload content to the site, which McCrea does not moderate (as you can see in his statement here):

McCrea seems to be part of the Sharing Community, which believes they have a moral obligation to share digital content. As a matter of fact, in 2016 McCrea was the leader of a minor party called the Pirate Party of Canada.

One might suggest if you didn’t want to be labeled as a pirate, you might choose a different name for your political party.

The only statement I can find on the site itself is a generic one: Ebook Bike is about providing a new life to reading, ensuring every person around the world has the best access to the best books.

Reports that the DMCA page/link isn’t working on the site sent me looking for it–I couldn’t find it at all. I’m also hearing reports that the site collects IP addresses of those who use the DMCA form and then block them from accessing the site, making it difficult to see that no one is complying with takedown notices.

I searched the site and didn’t find any of my own titles, but another site that has people talking, oregano.com, does have some of my books listed without my permission.

EDIT: As of today, I’m told that the Ebook Bike site is down. You can celebrate that as a victory, if you like, but I believe it will re-appear under another name in the not-too-distant future. And it is just one of hundreds of similar sites.

So I think it’s time to repost my thoughts on this: I ask that you check out my posts Dear Broke Reader: Your Sense of Entitlement is Killing Me and Dear Broke Reader and Your Sense of Entitlement (Part 2).

It’s also worth checking out this article by The Guardian, discussing the backlash against authors who fought to get their books removed from the now-defunct OceansofPDF. Um, we’re not the bad guys here. For the most part, we write our books in good faith, paying developmental and copyeditors, formatters, and cover artists along the way. We pay for book tours and advertising. I bring this up because the costs of bringing a digital book to market are not ‘zero’, as some people seem to think. But beyond that. I don’t think it’s wrong for us as creators to expect to be paid for our art.

And I do think it’s wrong for someone to upload our works to sites that allow thousands of downloads without our permission–or any compensation.

Believe me, I’ve heard all the arguments. They are discussed in greater detail in the Broke Reader posts. What it boils down to is that the majority of people who feel entitled to works without paying for them do NOT fall into categories of “but I can only get this particular story in this fashion.” Yes, there are pockets of people here and there without access to affordable books on a large scale, but that’s not representative of the average pirate/torrent user. The average user of these sites wants a particular title RIGHT NOW and doesn’t want to wait for a sale or look for it at the library. That’s what I mean by a sense of entitlement.

But I will say this: if you want to continue to get quality content, then pay the creator their due. Otherwise, instead of a Picasso or Monet, you’ll have to be satisfied with a paint-by-numbers or macaroni art by a kindergartner.

Someone told me in one of the previous posts that if I was any good at writing, I would be able to absorb the costs of piracy. Sweet pea, in order to be able to absorb the costs of piracy, you have to sell books on the scale of Nora Roberts, J.K. Rowling, or Stephen King. And believe me, I’d hazard a guess none of them are happy about piracy and illegal downloads.

I’m not a Nora Roberts, but I’ve been known to tell a story people enjoy reading. I had to write a pitch letter recently, and was surprised to learn I had more street cred than I’d realized. I’ve been publishing M/M romance since 2010. The majority of my titles are through Dreamspinner Press, though I have self-published as well. All told, I have a total of 16 published stories at this time and am a PAN member of the RWA.

I was a finalist in the 2013, 2015, and 2016 Rainbow Awards. The Boys of Summer won Best M/M Romance in the 2013 Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Awards. The Sixth Sense series was voted 2nd place in the 2014 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Mystery series, and 3rd place in the 2105 PGR Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series.

Fool’s Gold was voted best M/M Romance in 2016 by the PGR Reviewer’s Choice Awards. I was also voted one of the top ten M/M romance authors in 2016 by Gay Book Reviews.

I’m not saying this to brag. Lord, if you knew me, you’d know how much I’m squirming listing those achievements (and resisting mightily the urge to claim they are ‘only’ genre recognition and awards). What I’m trying to say is that, given the argument above, I’m not such a shabby writer that I deserve to be pirated to the extent that I can actually lose money on publishing a story.

But you know what? No one does. No author, no artist, no musician, no photographer–hell, not even your kindergartner putting his or her macaroni art up on your fridge.

Joe Cosentino Interview: The First Noel & A Holiday Stories Anthology

AN INTERVIEW WITH JOE COSENTINO

ON THE RELEASE OF THE FIRST NOEL,

BOBBY AND PAOLO HOLIDAY STORIES BOOK 3,

AND THE BOBBY AND PAOLO HOLIDAY STORIES ANTHOLOGY

PUBLISHED BY DREAMSPINNER PRESS

Welcome to my blog, Joe. Thanks so much for dropping by to answer a few questions and tell us more about your new releases!

Thank you, Sarah. It’s incredibly literate and romantic in here. (smile)

When did you start writing? 

My first recollection of storytelling is when my older sister and cousin wrapped a sheet around me in my cousin’s garage, placed me in a garbage can full of yellow paper strips, and we performed a Nativity scene for unsuspecting family members and friends. When I realized that I was the star, the theatre bug bit me. That led to full theatrical musical productions in a neighbor’s garage. To this day when I enter a garage, I start singing and dancing. Ultimately, I majored in theatre at college, and became a professional actor, working in film, television, and theatre opposite stars like Rosie O’Donnell (AT&T industrial), Nathan Lane (Roar of the Greasepaint onstage), Bruce Willis (A Midsummer Night’s Dream onstage), Charles Keating (NBC’s Another World), Jason Robards (Commercial Credit computer commercial), and Holland Taylor (ABC’s My Mother Was Never a Kid TV movie). Moving on to playwriting and ultimately writing novels came next. Along the way, I received two master’s degrees and became a college professor/department head, though like Bobby’s mother in my short story, my mother keeps asking me when I’m going to get “a real job” and make as much money as my sister the accountant.

What are the rules for writing a good romance story? And what is your writing process?

If you want readers to fall in love with your characters, you need to fall in love with them first. That includes the settings. Let them be as romantic as possible. Also, a little humor and mystery never hurt any story. I generally wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea. The next day, if I can read the notes on my night table, I write a brief outline and biography for each character. Next, as in my acting days, I ask myself questions about each character and their journey. What are they thinking and feeling? What do they want? What is standing in the way of them getting what they want? Then I get them talking to one another in my head. It’s lots of fun when they take off. Sometimes they talk faster than I can type, and I type ninety words per minute. My spouse reads my second draft and gives me some feedback. After we argue, I write my third draft, which goes to the publisher.

As a college professor/department head, where do you find the time to write so many books?

I write nights and summers. As my mother would say, I’ve always had a strong imagination. So it’s not difficult for me to connect to my inner muse and let the characters out. It isn’t unusual for me to laugh, cry, feel romantic, and be surprised as I write these stories.

For those unfortunate enough not to have discovered your books yet, tell everyone about them. 🙂

My Nicky and Noah comedy mystery series features Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award for Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary novel of 2015), Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, and Drama Castle. In each novel, dead bodies drop like hammy actors at a curtain call as college theatre professors and lovers Nicky and Noah use their theatre skills, including impersonating others, in hysterically funny antics to figure out whodunit and why.

The Jana Lane mystery series (The Wild Rose Press) includes Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, and Rag Doll. Set in the 1980’s, ex-child star and current comeback actress Jana Lane solves mysteries on her movie, television, and stage sets with the help of her gay best friend and gay agent while fundraising for her AIDS foundation.

The Cozzi Cove beach series (NineStar Press) is set in a gay resort on the New Jersey shore owned by ex-football player, handsome Cal Cozzi. Each novel provides an entryway into Cal’s life and the lives of the various residents staying in Cal’s bungalows each summer. They include Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention/TBR Pile Favorite Book of the Month), Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings. Nothing is what it seems in Cozzi Cove, and romance is always in the sea air.

Last but not least are my Dreamspinner Press stories. In My Heart: An Infatuation and A Shooting Star (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) are loosely based on my high school and college years. I still receive messages from readers telling me how much those two stories changed their lives. The Tales from Fairyland: The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Open Skye Book Reviews Favorite Audiobook of the Month) and Holiday Tales from Fairyland are my riotously funny gay takes on my favorite fairytales.

You forgot The Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories (Dreamspinner Press)!

I was saving the cherry on top of last. A Home for the Holidays is a holiday novella loosely based on my trip to the magical and gorgeous island of Capri. Bobby, a young, Italian American law student from Philadelphia travels to Capri, during the winter holidays to meet his eccentric Italian relatives, and falls in love with his handsome, muscular, sexy Italian distant cousin, Paolo. Since A Home for the Holidays left open the future of Bobby’s and Paolo’s relationship; Joel Leslie (the incredibly talented voice over artist), readers, reviewers, and Dreamspinner Press staff suggested I write more Bobby and Paolo holiday stories. So I wrote The Perfect Gift, a two-part story that takes place over the next two Christmases, where Bobby and Paolo move to Philadelphia, and overcome numerous obstacles for the perfect wedding (December Grooms), and to adopt a seven-year-old son (An Unexpected Present).

And the current release is The First Noel, Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Book 3.

Right. Readers asked for more. Since I’m easy (no pun intended), I wrote the latest novella for young lawyer Bobby and his young fashion designer husband Paolo. Bobby’s hysterically funny parents and quirky best friend Jared are back. In the story, December has rolled around again. Jared and Jared’s lover, (the second) Noel, have spotted young fashion designer Paolo in a cozy restaurant with a young man named (the first) Noel. Who is the muscular, gorgeous, and charismatic first Noel? Also, due to doctor’s orders, Bobby’s Dad has turned in his Santa suit at his department store. Finally, Geoffrey’s birth mother, funded by an anti-gay organization, has arrived on a mission to take back Bobby and Paolo’s eight-year-old son Geoffrey. Just when everything seems to be going up in flames like a dry wreath too close to the fireplace, Santa appears and rings in a happily ever after ending you won’t want to miss. As was the case with The Perfect Gift, this story is packed with cozy holiday settings including Victorian carolers singing under candy cane-adorned city street lamps, productions of A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker, the Reading Terminal Market Holiday Railroad, and the adorned Christmas tree, market booths, and snowmen at Dilworth Park. The story ends in an exciting and romantic finale at the Delaware River Waterfront fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Humor, romance, adventure, drama, mystery, and a huge touch of holiday magic make these stories the perfect gift for the holiday.

What about The First Noel makes it different from other MM holiday short novellas?

Readers love Bobby, Paolo, and Geoffrey and really root for them as a family. The wonderful winter holiday locations, humor, mystery, and the happily ever after ending make the short story a terrific read. Also, I think everyone can relate to feeling bowled over by holiday-time stress, and yearning for a perfect, romantic holiday.

How did you feel when Dreamspinner Press also published the entire Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories anthology in paperback?

I did the happy dance with the UPS man under the mistletoe. (smile)

Bobby and Paolo are distant cousins. Might that ruffle some feathers?

Actually, this was the case with my great uncle and great aunt who were married for sixty years until their deaths. Distant cousins marrying is not unusual in Italy.

Do you think the Bobby and Paolo holiday stories would make a good movie or television series?

Do I ever! I hear Dave Franco and Zac Efron are looking to work together. I even wrote a little role for myself: Judge Stoll. Come on, producers, make me an offer!

Like Bobby and Paolo in my stories, I hope everyone reading this gets a happy ending this holiday season. Enjoy my special holiday gift to you. Please know that it comes wrapped in a huge ribbon of love. And I love hearing from readers. You can contact me at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.

 

THE FIRST NOEL, Bobby & Paolo’s holiday stories book 3

a short e-book novella by JOE COSENTINO

published by Dreamspinner Press

$3.99

 

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-first-noel-by-joe-cosentino-10018-b

http://mybook.to/FirstNoel

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-first-noel-6

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-first-noel/id1437300231?mt=11

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-first-noel-joe-cosentino/1129904003?ean=9781640807723

Each Christmas has marked a milestone in Bobby and Paolo’s love story. But will this year be their last noel? It’s no surprise Bobby isn’t feeling much holiday spirit—not when he suspects his husband, Paolo, might be interested in his new business associate, the incredibly handsome Noel. On top of that, Bobby’s father is hanging up his Santa suit at the department store due to health issues; and worst of all, Geoffrey’s birth mother, funded by antigay extremists, is threatening their family. She’s trying to take away Bobby and Paolo’s adopted son, but she’ll have to face their supportive friends, family, and pastor before she can tear Geoffrey from the only real home he’s ever known.

With so many challenges in their path, the December grooms will need an extra helping of holiday magic this year. Rumor has it Santa’s on his way to spread some holiday cheer.

And

THE BOBBY AND PAOLO HOLIDAY STORIES

(A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, and The First Noel)

a paperback anthology by JOE COSENTINO

published by Dreamspinner Press

$14.99

 

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-bobby-and-paolo-holiday-stories-by-joe-cosentino-10026-b

http://mybook.to/BobbyandPaolo

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1129936765?ean=9781640807730

 

The holidays are a magical time for everyone, but they hold special meaning for young lawyer Bobby McGrath and fashion designer Paolo Mascobello. Their whirlwind romance begins one December on the Isle of Capri, where they meet and fall in love, and each holiday season adds a new building block to their life together. Celebrate with Bobby, Paolo, and their colorful friends and family as they marry and start a family. Happily ever after doesn’t always come easy, but with love and the spirit of the season, miracles can happen and Christmas wishes can come true.

 

Praise for the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories:

“I adore the character of Bobby…the heartwarming family moments…The vivid and almost lyrical descriptions that Joe Cosentino uses when Bobby is arriving on Capri or sightseeing all over the island with Paolo…the love the author has for Capri and the people there flows off the page in every word he has written…when you finish reading this story, you will want to book your own flight to Italy and boat to Capri.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

“I was there with Bobby and Paolo, feeling the sun on my face and the warm swell of the sea as I walked barefoot on the sea’s edge, the author’s brilliantly descriptive words took me to that beautiful place where Bobby and Paolo fell in love.” Three Books Over the Rainbow

“Joe Cosentino’s holiday novella, A Home for the Holidays, delivers in every way that a romantic, feel-good story should. Every book I read by this author continuously pulls me in and wraps me up like a warm blanket.” Kathy Mac Reviews

“I’m going to go on record saying that Joe Cosentino pretty much has me at hello. His writing style is incredibly smooth with beautiful details that never feel like too much or too little. Even in this very short story, I felt like I was right there in Capri with Bobby. Both the scenery and Bobby’s emotions are painted with lush, vivid detail…exceptional writing and beautifully gift-wrapped love story.” AM Leibowitz

“I got glimpses of movies like Three Coins in the Fountain and Roman Holiday…Very romantic.” Multitasking Momma Reviews

A Home for the Holidays a delightful, heartwarming journey of discovering one’s roots and the traditions that bring meaning to family. At the same time, it explores how breaking with tradition and becoming the person you were meant to be is also part of that grounding process, that finding home and making it your own is exactly what this holiday season is about. Filled with gentle humor and the lush backdrop of the isle of Capri, the story takes you on a wonderful guided tour of this landscape of the heart and the mind. The descriptions are a feast for the mind’s eye, the supporting characters quintessentially Italian, and the main characters—Bobby and Paolo—are the kind of yin and yang match that captures the imagination and the heart. For a charming seasonal read, A Home for the Holidays will leave you sighing with happiness.” GGR-Reviews

“In The Perfect Gift, Joe Cosentino has, once again, written a story filled with love, laugh out loud humour and a HEA that will leave a smile on your face and seasonal joy in your heart. I loved this delightful novella and highly recommend you add it to your holiday reading list…Joe Cosentino has a way with words that I find enchanting and delightful. His descriptions of characters and settings are colorful and often highly amusing. There’s a magic to the worlds he creates that few other authors can achieve.” Divine Magazine

“Joe Cosentino has a way with his stories with a touch of humor, great descriptions, and he grabs your attention, making you turn the page. If you like sweet romance, holiday stories, Christmas magic and cute kids, you will love this one!” TTC Books and More

“hilarious, contains some excellent observations about human nature, and had me eagerly turning the pages to find out what’s next…if you’re looking for a two-part read that is fun, emotional, suspenseful, and all about finding (and keeping) a family of your own, then you will probably like this novella. I definitely loved it!” Rainbow Book Reviews

“This is a feel good heartwarming holiday story you need to add on your holiday reading list. Or anytime of the year, because I know this will warm your heart. Recommended!” Lelyana’s Book Blog

“The Perfect Gift was funny, sweet, and entertaining…The emotional journey felt so real…For fans of LGBT fiction and romance, this is a must have book. It contains all of these elements shaping it into the wonderful journey that Joe Cosentino made it.” Urban Book Reviews

Joe Cosentino has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. As a bestselling author, Joe was voted 1st Place Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author, and 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Romance Author by the readers of Divine Magazine. He has also won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions. For Dreamspinner Press, Joe wrote the heralded In My Heart series: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star; the popular Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, and The First Noel; and the raucous The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland. That was followed by Holiday Tales from Fairyland, Tales from Fairyland Book 2. His famous Nicky and Noah mystery series includes Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, and Drama Fraternity. The scorching Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press) are Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, which were followed by Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings. Finally, Joe’s mainstream Jana Lane mysteries (The Wild Rose Press) are Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, and Rag Doll. Releasing next year are more Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Castle, Drama Dance, Drama Faerie, and Drama Runway. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. He loves to hear from readers at:

Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

 

Excerpt of The First Noel, Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories Book 3, by Joe Cosentino:

 

“Geoffrey’s mother has surfaced. Calista and her lawyer came to see me today. She wants Geoffrey back!” I grimaced. “Or rather, I suspect the staff at the local Adam and Eve Forever Organization have convinced her she wants him back.”

Paolo collapsed into his chair. “But we legally adopted Geoffrey.”

“With the information that Geoffrey’s father was dead, and his mother had voluntarily terminated her parental rights then disappeared into a life of drugs and prostitution. Unfortunately, now she’s claiming rehabilitation and a change of heart,” I explained.

“Does she and this organization have a chance of taking Geoffrey from us?”

My throat tightened. “I’m afraid they have a very good chance, especially with a Republican-appointed judge.”

Noel rubbed his square jaw. “The Adam and Eve Forever Organization, huh?”

“Have you heard of them?” I asked.

Noel revealed a row of straight pearl white teeth. “They’ve heard of me. When I was a football player. The group led protests trying to get me fired from my team, and boycotts to take away my endorsements. I’m not surprised they’re after your son. Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Thank you, Noel, but Bobby is a lawyer.”

I had an idea. “Noel, would you be willing to come to our apartment for dinner tomorrow at six? It’s not far from here.”

“Sure.”

“Paolo, please give Noel our address. See you at home. Thank you, Noel!”

I hurried out of the restaurant. As I ran the few blocks home, the sky enveloped the tall buildings around me in a blanket of peach, burgundy, and marigold. White cottony snowflakes landed on my face like manna of hope. No longer feeling panic and fear, like a bear protecting its cub, I resolved to protect our son from The Adam and Eve Forever Organization.

I entered the apartment to find Geoffrey sitting on the living room sofa, next to Jared. Looking like auditioners for the musical Wicked, their faces were green. I hung up my coat and joined them, trying to act as if my world hadn’t been blown apart.

“Hi, Dad.” Geoffrey came to me for a kiss.

I opted for a hug. “What’s going on?”

Geoffrey explained, “It’s never too early to start masking. Otherwise, your skin will be as dry as a Republican woman’s—”

“Sense of humor,” Jared said quickly.

“Did you do your nebulizer?” I asked Geoffrey.

Geoffrey nodded.

Jared winced. “It nearly ruined his facial. Is that thing really necessary?”

“Yes. It keeps Geoffrey healthy.”

“What good is health without beauty?”

I offered Jared a stern glance. “I’ll fix dinner.”

“Make my favorite. Chicken, spinach, and oyster mushroom brown rice risotto.” Jared blew me a kiss.

“And lemon squares for dessert!” Geoffrey blew me an identical kiss.

 

It’s a Halloween Sale! All Treats, no Tricks!

Hey! All my Dreamspinner titles are discounted 31% off for Halloween–now until Nov 1st! How can you resist that?

Fancy a little vampire/werewolf story? Check out Crying for the Moon–Alex Novik has an unusual dilemma–he wants to make a new existence for himself by leaving his vampire past behind. Along the way, he discovers the headaches of home ownership, becomes entangled in the problems of his werewolf friends, and tries to deny his attraction for his new, sexy neighbor next door. Loving Tate will draw him into Alex’s dangerous world, and Alex is torn between finding the relationship he’s always craved and keeping Tate safe. Release date July 22 2011. Winner of the Coffee Times Romance Recommended Read Award. August 2011 Recommended Read by Reviews by Jessewave. First Runner Up in the Love Romances and More’s Golden Rose Awards for Best Paranormal of 2011.

Or maybe FBI guys tangling with mysterious artifacts that convey unbelievable powers is more your thing–you can get the entire Sixth Sense series at a great price! The Sixth Sense series was awarded 2nd place for Best M/M Mystery Series in the 2014 PRG’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards, and third place for Best M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series in the 2015 PRG’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards.

How about a reincarnation story? The Boys of Summer might be just the ticket!

David McIntyre has been enjoying the heck out of his current assignment: touring the Hawaiian Islands in search of the ideal shooting locations for a series of film company projects. What’s not to like? Stunning scenery, great food, sunny beaches…and a secret crush on his hot, ex-Air Force pilot, Rick Sutton.

Everything changes when a tropical storm and engine failure force a crash landing on a deserted atoll with a WWII listening post. Rick’s injuries, and a lack of food and water, make rescue imperative, but it takes an intensely vivid dream about the war to make David see that Rick is more than just a pilot to him. Will David gather his courage to confess his feelings to Rick—before it’s too late?  Finalist in the 2013 Rainbow AwardsNominated Best Historical in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice AwardsSelected as a Best Read in 2013 by Jessewave and a Top Pick Read by The Romance Reviews. Winner of Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Release date April 14. 2013.

Dreamspinner can accommodate whatever format you desire, and send titles to your Amazon address too. So grab this spooky deal while you can!

Holiday Tales from Fairyland by Joe Cosentino

Hello! Please welcome Joe Cosentino to the site, as he shares an interview with with Cavalier, a character in Holiday Tales from Fairyland, the second Tales from Fairyland e-book novella and Tales from Fairyland Anthology paperback. You’re in for a treat!

Since the readers can’t see you, what do you look like,Cavalier? 

I’m tall, and very muscular from spending all that time lifting the Sugar Plum Fairy. My hair and eyes are exotic sienna, skin olive-colored, and my bulge has caused lots of guys to do a demi-plea. At thirty-one, I’m loyal, honest, and a good private investigator. I’m also tired of doing leaps and spins with guys, and I’m looking for my one true love.

Where do you live?

In my cottage in Dance Village, Fairyland.

How does it feel to be out (no pun intended) of the new novella, Holiday Tales from Fairyland, by Joe Cosentino?

I can do a pirouette and not hit my head on the book.

Were you in Joe Cosentino’s popular The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland published by Dreamspinner Press? And how did the new stories come about?

No, mine is The Nutcracker Ballet story. That first novella was Joe’s comic gay take on Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Pinocchio, Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, and The Snow Queen. I, and the readers who loved The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland, kept whispering in Joe’s ear, and Holiday Tales from Fairyland was born. Also, Joe told me he missed Fairyland and couldn’t wait to come back. I don’t blame him. My home is a wonderful place. LGBT people aren’t represented in traditional fairytales. Joe changed all that in his tales from Fairyland. 

Your story takes place on Christmas. What is it that you love about that holiday?

I like watching Santa cavorting with his favorite Elf, Scrooge and Marley carrying on, and Rudolph and Prancer falling more and more in love each December. I also like the beautifully decorated Christmas tree in my office. It actually grows, like the bulge in my tights when Fritz enters and hires me as a private investigator to find out who killed his sister, Clara.

Tell us about your story in Holiday Tales from Fairyland?

It’s loosely based on The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman. At Christmastime, Fritz finds his sister, Clara, strangled with the ribbons of her pink toe shoes. He’s the Dance Captain’s chief suspect. So he hires me to get me off (no pun intended). The suspects are Clara’s husband the Nutcracker, Fritz’s sister Louise, my  old dance partner the Sugar Plum Fairy, and Fritz’s Godpapa, Drosselmeyer.

Tell us about Fritz.

He’s the man of my dreams. When I see him, I want to jump in second position to the cotton candy clouds. Fritz is twenty-one, tall and lean, with blond wavy hair and gorgeous violet eyes. He’s sweet, sensitive, and so in need of love and protection. 

Who are the other characters in your story?

Fritz’s brother-in-law the Nutcracker who is quite vain. Fritz’s sister Louise and the diva Sugar Plum Fairy seem to have a sweet tooth for each other. And Fritz’s Godpapa Drosselmeyer is a leather queen. I interrogate all the suspects and finally uncover who killed Clara. But not before Fritz and I fall in love.

What are the other stories in the novella?

The first story takes place on Halloween. It’s based on The Headless Horseman by Washington Irving. In Joe’s version, Ichabod Crane, a young schoolteacher, has a boner over sexy and muscular farmer Brom Bones. When the residents of the homophobic Sleepy Hollow aren’t happy about it, the headless horseman rides into town. Will Ichabod fall off his horse into Brom’s strong, rescuing arms, teaching the town folk a lesson in acceptance they’ll never forget? You’ll see! Finally, is a Winter Solstice story: Vasillisa, the Beautiful. Young Vasily falls in love with a mysterious, handsome man who rides by his orphanage each morning, noon, and night. Upon following him, Vasily discovers the man is a prince under the powers of Baba Yaga. Can Vasily rescue his tortured Prince Anton from the witch’s conversion therapy and dance around his pole on May Day? Story three spills the winter beans.

Fairyland is a very gay place. 

The gayest. It’s Fairyland after all! 

Tell us about the heroes in the other two stories.

Ichabod Crane is a young schoolteacher whose heart has been stolen by the town hunk, Brom Bones. Ichabod not only needs to win over the man he loves, but also win over the hearts and minds of the bigoted residents of Sleepy Hollow. Orphan Vasily gazes out his window watching a gorgeous man ride by on his horse three times a day. He follows the man and discovers he is a prince bewitched by the witch, Baba Yaga. Vasily has to use his smarts, creativity, and heart to save himself and his loving Prince Anton. Vasily is in for an incredible surprise at Baba Yaga’s cottage.

Any chance you’ll be pairing in the future with Ichabod or Vasily?

No. I’m a one-man man. And that man is Fritz. 

Are you excited about the paperback of the entire Tales from Fairyland Collection?

Totally! What I hope is that everyone reads and these funny, sexy, heartwarming, romantic, fairytales. They will no doubt bring you back to better, joyous times. I also hope the movie studio producing those amazing animated fairytales finally realizes that fairytales should include everyone—including me in my nutcracker story!

What other stories has Joe published?

I’m not in them, but they are still terrific. For Dreamspinner Press, In My Heart: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention) are loosely based on Joe’s high school and college years. His popular, heartwarming Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories are A Home for the Holidays (which takes place on the gorgeous and romantic island of Capri), The Perfect Gift, and The First Noel (releasing 12/7). There Joe goes again writing about the holidays!

And Joe has two award-winning mystery series with other publishers.

I’m not in those either. Reviewers called his Nicky and Noah mysteries “the funniest books ever written,” captivating mysteries,” and “The Hardy Boys meets Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart.” Adorable couple, college theatre professors Nicky and Noah, solve murder mysteries on their Treemeadow College (named about gay couple Tree and Meadow) campus and on tour in Drama Queen, Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity, Drama Castle (releasing 2/1/19). His popular Jana Lane mysteries (The Wild Rose Press) feature an ex-child movie star making a movie comeback and solving murder mysteries on set. Jana has a gay agent and gay best friend who provide lots of gay humor. The five novels are Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, and Rag Doll.

Joe also wrote the Cozzi Cove series published by NineStar Press.

I’m not in those either! Cal Cozzi runs a gay resort on the New Jersey Shore. We get his story and the sexy, entertaining, and often surprising stories of his gay residents each summer. The novels are Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, and Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings.

How does Joe, a college professor/department chair, find the time to write all these books? 

Characters like me tell him what to write.

You have a hot love scene with Fritz, who is much younger than you. How did you handle that?

I’ve spun with the Twelve Dancing Princes, but no guy has ever turned my head like Fritz. The expression of our love was beautiful and magical. We are a true Fairyland love story.

Who is your ideal reader of your story?

My ideal reader craves being swept away by a story and becoming part of the story. He/she relishes in beautiful locations and captivating characters as she/he enters the portal of the story. And he/she loves sweet romance and has a great sense of humor!

How can your readers contact you?

Through Joe. He loves hearing from readers. They can contact us at: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.

HOLIDAY TALES FROM FAIRYLAND

the second Tales from Fairyland e-book novella

by JOE COSENTINO

$3.99

http://mybook.to/HolidayTales

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/886272

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/holiday-tales-from-fairyland-joe-cosentino/1129229032?ean=2940155760795

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/holiday-tales-from-fairyland

 

It’s holiday time in Fairyland. On Halloween, Ichabod Crane, a young schoolteacher, has a boner over sexy and muscular farmer Brom Bones. When the residents of the homophobic Sleepy Hollow aren’t happy about it, the headless horseman rides into town. Will Ichabod fall off his horse into Brom’s strong, rescuing arms, teaching the townsfolk a lesson in acceptance they’ll never forget? On Christmas, hunky Cavalier P.I. receives a visit from a new client, handsome young Fritz. Somebody strangled Fritz’s sister Clara with the ribbons of her toe shoes, and Fritz is the top suspect. But he seems more interested in the bulge in Cavalier’s tights than in getting himself off the hook. When Cavalier turns sweet on Fritz, it’s time for the private investigator to question his old dance partner the Sugar Plum Fairy, Clara’s husband the Nutcracker, Fritz’s other sister Louise, and Fritz’s Godpapa Drosselmeyer to save his intended and find out: Who Killed Clara? At Winter Solstice, young Vasily falls in love with a mysterious, handsome man who rides by his orphanage each morning, noon, and night. Upon following him, Vasily discovers the man is a prince under the powers of Baba Yaga. Can Vasily rescue his tortured Prince Anton from the witch’s conversion therapy and dance around his pole on May Day?

and

 THE TALES FROM FAIRYLAND ANTHOLOGY

The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland and Holiday Tales from Fairyland paperback

by JOE COSENTINO

$12.99

http://mybook.to/FairylandAnthology

 

Welcome to Fairyland, a magical place where your favorite fairytale characters come out on the other side of the rainbow. Poor and beautiful Cinder offers his clothes to a naked prince in the woods in a twist on the classic Cinderella tale. Eighteen-year-old Gideon Golden, after being thrown out of his home by his homophobic parents, breaks into the cottage of three irresistibly burly men on Bear Mountain. Romance ensues between that stringy guy with a growing appendage and the character with a thing for giants. A handsome but cold-hearted prince bewitches young Kieran into being his captive. Can Gaelen thaw the ice palace and save his love?

Then it’s holiday time in Fairyland. On Halloween, Ichabod Crane, a young schoolteacher, has a boner over muscular farmer Brom Bones. When the residents of Sleepy Hollow balk, the headless horseman rides into town teaching the townsfolk a lesson in acceptance they’ll never forget. Somebody strangled Fritz’s sister Clara with the ribbons of her toe shoes, and Fritz is the top suspect. When hunky Cavalier turns sweet on sweet Fritz, it’s time for the dancing private investigator to question everyone involved with Clara and the Nutcracker to find out who killed Clara? At Winter Solstice, can orphan Vasily rescue a tortured prince from Baba Yaga, releasing him from the witch’s conversion therapy, and dance around the prince’s pole on May Day?

 

Praise for The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland, the first Tales from Fairyland novella, published by Dreamspinner Press:

“This is a brilliant work, filled with imaginative twists and sly asides. This is adult literature, overflowing with sometimes gentle but often biting humor, and these fairy tales take on a new edginess without ever losing the morality underpinning each story. The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland gets my highest recommendation! If I could give it more than 5 Stars I would. Bravo, sir, bravo!” GGR Reviews

“Sometimes you are lucky enough to find an author that ticks every box you want as a reader, today I’m that lucky reader….a great saucy, fun collection and highly recommended.” Three Books over the Rainbow

“the stories are all well done and smart, engaging, funny and sweet.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

The Naked Prince and Other tales from Fairyland is a fun, hilarious collection of stories. Joe outdid himself taking old favorites from our childhood and putting a grown-up spin on them….If you like gay princes, sexy bears, giants, reporters, fairy tales, comedy, suspense, and, sweet, fun man-sex, this is for you.” Cathy Brockman Romance

“If you haven’t read anything by Cosentino, you don’t know what you are missing. His humor and penchant for drama bring these old favorites a new life as he ventures deep into Fairyland….If you love fairytales, you’ve got to read the naughty versions – they are even better!” Joyfully Jay Reviews

“I was most surprised by the author’s sense of humor and his ability to get me to not only laugh out loud, but actually to “belly laugh.” I highly recommend this to audiobook lovers, and especially to those who loved fairy tales in their childhood.” Hearts on Fire Reviews

“In this wickedly entertaining take on classic fairy tales, Joe Cosentino gives us four short stories full of all the characters you remember from storybooks – Cinderella, Pinocchio, Goldilocks, Captain Hook, Jack and the Beanstalk, Prince Charming and many more – but fair warning: This ain’t your childhood Cinderella. Welcome to a world where it isn’t Pinocchio’s nose that grows when he tells a lie. Goldilocks discovers three sexy daddy bears in the woods and ‘someone’s been sleeping in my bed’ takes on a whole other connotation. Jack is ‘very nimble’ but sadly also ‘amazingly quick’ and Prince Charming dons ‘palace protection’ for hot sex with Cinder. Extra bonus points for this wonderful quip: ‘I always suspected he had more down his throat than a frog.’” Gay Book Reviews

Joe Cosentino is the author of six novellas published by Dreamspinner Press: The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Open Skye Book Reviews Audiobook of the Month); the In My Heart series: An Infatuation & A Shooting Star; and the Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories: A Home for the Holidays, The Perfect Gift, and The First Noel; the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen (Divine Magazine’s Favorite LGBT Mystery), Drama Muscle (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention), Drama Cruise, Drama Luau, Drama Detective, Drama Fraternity; the Cozzi Cove series (NineStar Press): Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention/TBR Pile Book of the Month), Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings, and Cozzi Cove: Happy Endings; and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, and Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). As an actor, Joe appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Jason Robards, and Holland Taylor. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Goddard College, Master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz, and is currently a happily married college professor/department chair residing in New York State. http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

 

Excerpt from Holiday Tales from Fairyland/Tales from Fairyland Book 2:

 

Comfortable as always in my white tights and gold jacket, I leaned back in my chair and focused on my captivating young caller. He spoke in a velvety smooth voice. His eyes seemed to penetrate my soul. Believe me, the decorated Christmas tree next to my gold fireplace wasn’t the only thing rising. “I’m sorry about your sister.”

“Me too. The Dance Village Dance Captain thinks I did it.”

Did you?”

“I want you to prove my innocence.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

He sighed. “It doesn’t matter what I say. Nobody seems to believe me.”

I rested my elbows on the desk lined with figures of ballet dancers doing pirouettes. “I’d like to believe you.”

His handsome face softened. “And I’d like you to save me.”

I wanted to wrap my arms around him and protect Fritz from the world. “Then how about you tell me everything you know about this?”

“That may take some time.”

“I have nowhere else to go.”

“On Christmas Day?” He smirked. “Don’t you have anyone in your life, Cavalier?”

I met his gaze. “I could ask you the same question.”

“My parents are dead, and my sister has just been killed. What’s your excuse?”

“I pry into other people’s lives. It doesn’t leave me much time for a life of my own.”

“Lucky for me.” He smiled.

I’d never been that attracted to anyone before in my life. “How old are you?”

“Old enough to be tried in the Dance Village Square as an adult.”

“Meaning?”

His ruby lips parted, forming an intoxicating smile. “I’m legal, Cavalier. Twenty-one next month. And you?”

“I’m a decade older than you. So behave, or I’ll have to put you over my knee.”

“You’ll have to catch me first.” He winked. “And I’m not easily caught.”

The kid was driving me crazy. I wanted to assemblé over the desk and have my way with him. Trying to maintain my professional persona, I said, “Let’s start with you telling me about this from the beginning.” Readying a pad lined with dancing snowflakes, I wrote on top, “The Case of: Who Killed Clara?”

Fritz tented his long thin fingers—and I wanted to devour them. “As kids, my sisters and I lived in a mansion. My parents weren’t around much, so the three of us spent most of the time in the playroom with our toys.”

I couldn’t resist. “Which was your favorite toy?”

“My soldier doll. He was strong and courageous. I slept with him every night.”

I couldn’t believe I was jealous of a doll. “And your sisters?”

Louise fussed over her Madame Charette doll, obviously exhibiting early lesbian tendencies. Clara loved her Nutcracker doll. Our godfather, Judge Drosselmeyer, gave it to her.”

Writing, I asked, “Can your godfather, the judge, assist you with your case now?”

He shook his head, and golden shafts formed a halo around his face. “He thinks I did it too. The patch over Godpapa’s eye isn’t the only thing keeping him from seeing clearly.”

“Let’s go back to the playroom when you were kids. How did the Nutcracker come to life?”

He did a double take. “You know about that?”

“I ran into your sister and the Nutcracker Prince when they were on their honeymoon in the Land of Sweets.”

“How sweet.” His dimples were like craters of honey.

I wanted to lick them dry. “I’m waiting for an answer to my question.”

“It’s quite a story. If I tell you, I doubt you’ll believe me.”

“Try me.” I moved my legs into third position to conceal my obvious arousal.

A Serious Question about POV

For some reason–one I do not question but am deeply grateful for–recently people have been popping in to tell me how much they love the Sixth Sense series. They’ve also been sharing their hopes that I will finish it–and it is my intention to do so.

Without belaboring the point, I have started several drafts of the next installment, Deal with the Devil. For a variety of reasons, I haven’t gotten past the first couple of chapters. Personal losses, subsequent depression, and a demanding day job have all been factors in my inability to move forward with the planned finale–as well as fears that no one will be interested after such a long delay–including my publisher.

At least I can lay to rest the worries about fans of the series. Your words of encouragment are a balm to a weary soul, thank you.

But recently, it occurred to me there may be another issue tripping me up right now: decidind which POV to write in.

The first two books were written in limited third: Jerry/Lee’s POV. This meant that if Jerry wasn’t in the scene, the audience didn’t see it. Much like the Harry Potter books–if Harry wasn’t in the scene, the action took place “offstage” as it were.
The the third book of the series, Truth and Consequences, was written in first person from “Lee’s” POV. I felt this was necessary because of the plot. Without spoiling anyone, the story simply worked best from that POV/perspective.
 
It had long been my plan to write the final book from both Lee’s and Flynn’s perspective–in part because I planned to separate them for part of the story, but also because I felt it was time to get John Flynn’s POV as well. Having changed POV partway through the series, I wasn’t too concerned about doing it again. But I’ve drafted two openings to Deal with the Devil, and to be honest, continuing to write from first person Lee’s POV feels more natural.
 
How important is it to you as a reader to get Flynn’s POV at this point? And out of curiosity, is first person POV a deal-breaker for you?
Please weigh in with your thoughts. I’d really like to know.

Take a Deep Breath. It will Be Okay.

It’s been an unusual year, to say the least.

Those who know me might realize I’ve been pretty quiet. I won’t go into details, but 2017 has been pretty rough on me. Suffice to say that you know it’s bad when someone’s personal life is so stressful and traumatic, it deadens the blow of watching your own democracy turn into a banana republic.

You know that scene in The Sound of Music where Christoper Plummer and Julie Andrews sing about how somewhere in their youth or childhood, they must have done something good in order to wind up together? Yeah, I keep wondering what I did that was bad to get this kind of karmic retribution. 🙂

I’ve written scarcely 2 K in the whole year. I was supposed to have the final installment of The Sixth Sense series finished and submitted in March of 2017, and it just didn’t happen. I’m so far behind on my deadlines I’m afraid no one will want to read it when I finally get it written–which of course makes it harder to sit down with the characters to tell their story.

I’ve also seriously considered giving up writing altogether. The stresses of the last year might have been extreme, but they aren’t going to change very much in the coming year. My ability to produce books on a rapid, timely basis isn’t likely to improve. And while I got a tremendous kick out of Wil Wheaton sharing my Sense of Entitlement post, it made me realize my real claim to fame might be having written a blog post that went viral rather than being an author. Face it. I’m a hobbyist with dreams of being able to retire on my writing and that’s never going to happen. And as long as I have a demanding day job, my ability to write will be limited to what I have the time and energy to do.

But maybe that’s okay.

I have a wonderful mare. Big, beautiful movement, magnificent presence–the kind of horse that made people stop and stare as you went past with her. But she’s nearly died three times due to colic, once having to have emergency surgery that put her out of the show circuit for over a year. My own work schedule meant that I could only get to a competition once or twice a year. But that was okay. Because for that one day, she got to show the world her potential. And I knew at home we were doing first level dressage and that she could clear a  4×4 oxer with ease. And while I never got to do all the things I wanted to do with her before I had to retire her, she is still alive. And I know how amazing she is.

It took me a long time to be comfortable with that. To recognize that was enough for us.  That given everything we’d overcome and survived, it was a bloody precious gift just to be able to walk out into pasture and see her lift her head and whicker at my arrival.

But I haven’t gotten there yet with the writing. I still feel that unless I’m producing a story a quarter (something that is never going to happen), no one will know I exist. No one will be excited for a new Sarah Madison story. At the same time, I also feel that disappearing for good would be no big loss. So yeah, giving it up has crossed my mind more than once this past year.

But maybe it’s okay that I write on my own schedule. I’d rather take the time to write a story I can be happy with than to try pumping out stories I don’t even enjoy creating. My life is too painful right now to add more stress to it by killing the one thing that has brought me joy. I’ve been reading a lot lately about how if you’re not cranking them out, there is something inherently wrong with your process and any story that is taking you too long to finish should be abandonned for one you can punch your way through. Maybe there is some merit in that. But I know when you run the pump while the creativity well is dry, you can burn up the motor.

Anyway, this is a long drawn-out way of saying that I was considering closing the door on writing. But the truth is, I’m not going to stop writing stories, so I might as well publish, right? It’s just going to have to be at my own pace.

And if you think that an encouraging word at the right time doesn’t make a difference, you’re wrong. I woke up this morning to over 20 notifications from Twitter. What the heck? I discovered that Dianne from It’s About The Book listed Unspeakable Words as one of the best books she’d read in 2017. You should check out the post. There’s a lovely review but I am also in some pretty exhalted company. 🙂

Maybe it will be like showing my horse. I might not achieve everything I want to in the time I have, but it’s a miracle just to be there.

I guess I should get back to work on that next Sixth Sense book, right?