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And for you, a free story from me! This was originally a freebie on DSP's site for Halloween It's from my series on 1930's demon hunters and is m/m/m. While it is a stand alone it can be considered a sequel to my novella The Darkest Midnight in December ( blurb and purchase info here) and my short story Snowbound in Dreamspinner's anthology Necking ( blurb and purchase info here)

A Brief Respite )

Ah, wish I had time right now to construct a website so this could be a PDF download for you all.
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Made it back to work and right into a hot mess which is why it took me so long to get caught up on your snippets.

On the other hand being back in the Athens area is helping to make These Haunted Hills talk louder in my head. Once I get some edits out of the way I can get back to them.

We left off with Josh and Brendan's story with Brendan back at his cabin talking to his ex, Kirsten, who was concerned he was so late with his check in call (combination of her being a city girl leery of the woods and her worry that he has gone out there to commit suicide.) Here's more of their conversation.

It was hours after he’d promised to call Kirsten. “I went to the library and did some local research. It’s a fascinating town.”

“What’s Doctor Zimmerman like? Is he as cute as that picture you sent me?”

“Kirsten!” Brendan squirmed. “Much more adorable than that university website picture. Joshua’s a geek, huge fan. You can almost hear the need to be a screaming fan boy ripping out of him but he was well-behave professional, funny. I liked him."


If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!
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Spent the last week of my vacation being ill. Sigh. Next week is the faculty back to work meetings then the semester starts. Wow this summer went fast.

This week I'm going back to These Haunted Hills with Josh the professor and ghost hunter and Brendan the novelist who lost his son. When we left off Josh had been talking to his ghost hunting partner, Cassia, about meeting Brendan. Today I'm going with what happens after Brendan went back to his cabin in the woods. For reference, Kirsten is Brendan's ex-wife with whom he's on very good terms and oh I'm over a sentence or two again. Sigh.

Brendan rested on his cabin’s small porch, finally fishing out his phone. He turned it on and saw overly a dozen message from Kirsten. Guilt from worrying her filled him as he called her back.

“Brendan, there you are!” The bell-clear concern in her tone redoubled the guilt.

“Sorry. I had my phone off so not to interrupt Dr. Zimmerman. I just got back to the cabin.”

“It’s late.”





If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!
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I am very happy to say Nine Star Press gave me a contract for my Christmas Steampunk short story. It's a thrill to see someone not only want my unusual story but also hoped there might be more in this universe.

This is a very nice feeling. I hope that the readers will love it as much.

But it's more than just a short story sale. I'm making connections with another publisher and that is a good thing.

I need to, once I get Blood Red finally over and done with (hopefully soon), edit through those two novellas of mine and try them again.

I've also noodled a bit with These Haunted Hills so that's good.

I've not accomplished all I wanted to this week but it's been a good week regardless.
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I think I missed a few of you last week (I'll go back and look). I can't believe I only have 2 weekends left before the semester starts. The good news is that new class I had to create from scratch is done except for me readying the second half of the semester student version of the notes (which will only take a day to do). I managed a Camp Nano win by a mere 500 words over. It was not a good month for writing and August will be worse. Ah well, I will make it through.

I wasn't going to post more of my faerie short story with ManLoveRomance Press, Conned but a lot of you wanted to see that elevator kiss so here we go.

Roy swallowed down the rest of that sentence, acting on impulse, sealing his lips over Sion’s. He hadn’t been this rash since college. If Sion was startled, Roy couldn’t tell from the way he kissed. The smaller man’s tongue swept Roy’s mouth. Cradling Sion’s head, Roy could feel the fake pointed ears. They felt so warm and alive. How had Sion managed that bit of cosplay?


Buy link You can find Conned here

If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!
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Back from vacation, head crammed full of new sights that lead to new ideas. Now to find time to actually write any of them. Newport Rhode Island was super expensive fun. The geography alone would make for a nice setting even if you forget about the plethora of Gilded Age mansions (which I can not).

One last time with my faerie short story with ManLoveRomance Press, Conned. For context, Roy and Sion had been encouraged to kiss for the fangirls but Roy bowed out. Sion followed him to the elevator to apologize if he had pushed things to far and Roy explained it was more about the police force still not being very forward thinking about gay cops.

Snippet (which I think snuck over 2 sentences. Oops)
“All I could see was those pictures ending up all over the net, especially if we had kissed. I would not want to have to explain that at work, which I suppose is a bit paranoid.”

“No, no, I don’t blame you.” Sion waved a hand, his odd eyes sweeping over Roy, lingering just a bit too long on his lips. “I’m not offended.”

“Good…because I really wanted to kiss you, and I knew that would be trouble for me,” Roy said, rubbing a hand over his face. Had he really just said that?

Sion smirked. “Do you still want to? We have a floor or two—”




Buy link You can find Conned here

If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!
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Just a hurried post as I prepare to go on vacation. Or as I see it, research for future stories because that is often the case. I'm looking forward to it (in spite of the fact I picked an area of the country that's bloody expensive).

As expected DSP turned down my Christmas story. Well I have to say a steampunk adventures IS a weird holiday story. I am very grateful that they let me know in time to send it on to Nine Star Press which maybe is what I should have done in the first place. I'd like to get a toe in the door with them after all. They're putting out some interesting stuff.

I haven't touched Blood Red but I had to get that class done like I said and I did. The rough draft is more or less finished which makes me very happy.

So I'd best get to bed. The plane leaves early.
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Getting ready for my vacation (which technically I should have canceled because the new hire declined the contract so we need to find a replacement ASAP but I'm not going to do it as I canceled once already for all of this).

Have more of Conned. Last week we met Sion, the elf prince, getting ready for the anime con. Meet Roy, homicide detective and uber geek who's going to the con without his usual companion, his partner at work. He's in the dealer's room shopping for crap he doesn't need but desperately wants.

A teen dressed up out of Naruto shrieked. “Can I have a picture?”

It took Roy a moment to realize she meant him. He turned to see who the other half of the ‘two’ might be and found himself gazing down into the eyes of an Edwin Silverleaf cosplayer holding a Crossed Swords figurine. Wow, his eyes are amazing. The contacts are even the right shade of amber. Those slit-pupiled eyes blinked then ‘Edwin’ smiled.


Buy link You can find Conned here

 photo JD_Conned_zpsq3rdsflz.jpg

If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!
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Women are used to being erased. Our contributions are often over looked, purposefully so. How many times in history class did you hear the name Sybil Ludington? She only rode 40 miles and roused an army 400 strong (basically double Paul Revere) when she was sixteen. As a scientist educated in the 1980s-1990s, I saw only one woman scientist, Marie Curie, in the texts yet there were so many more. At least Rosalind Franklin is now in the books (but still almost no women show up in texts). Hedy Lamarr is only now getting recognition for her contributions to science being too female and too pretty to be taken seriously in her day.

Today I read this article
from Tor by another woman peeved by an article in a major journal bemoaning a lack of women authors in SF and that maybe women would get better roles in SF movies/TV if women wrote it. I’d like to know if that author was just lazy and didn’t do the research (going off all the numb nuts on social media telling women to stop whining and write it if they want it) or did they simply ignore facts and erase women from the history of speculative fiction.

Because let’s be honest here: women have always been part of spec fic. You can argue they helped to create spec fic. Most people are aware of Mary Shelley of course and Frankenstein being such seminal SF (and horror) written in 1818 but printed several years later. However, there have been even earlier lady authors of SF such as Margaret Cavendish and Aphra Behn who wrote in the middle 1600s (I should see if I can get the blazing world by Cavendish, it would be interesting to see).

There was a “golden age” of women in spec fic in the 1960s but before that there were still women writing SF. In the earliest days there was Gertrude Barrows Bennett who is credited with creating Dark Fantasy in the nineteen-teens. Also in the teens and twenties were Miriam Allen DeFord & Clare Winger Harris. In the 30s- 50s, there was the great Andre Norton, along with Leigh Brackett and C.L. Moore. Granted they wrote under male or gender neutral names but they were there. Moore could have been a grand master if not for her illness.

Once we get to the 60s to today, I can’t even list all the women. Some of my favorites included Ursula LeGuin, Marion Zimmer Bradley and CJ Cherryh (okay those two I didn’t like so much as felt like I needed to like them because I was an SF geek), Barbara Hambly, Octavia Butler, Diana Wynne Jones, Tanith Lee, Madeleine L’Engle , Anne McCaffrey, Vonda McIntyre, Joan D Vinge, Chelsea Quinn Yarbo , Lois McMaster Bujold, Emma Bull, Carol Nelson Douglas, Sheri S Tepper, Laurell K Hamilton, and so many more. I can’t even begin to name all the authors I love today. Even in the publishing houses I’m with you can find dozens of female spec fic authors (including myself). Just this year I’ve been enjoying Cherie Priest, J.K. Rowling, Charlaine Harris, Robyn Bennis, Leanna Renee Hieber, Nnedi Okorafor and while I didn’t actually enjoy Darynda Jones as much but I read her this year and should include her.

In the last few years with the sad puppies and their women should get out of SF rhetoric, it feels more hostile to women now than it did thirty years ago. The solace is women are writing Spec Fic more than ever. It’s time to admit it. Women have always been writing spec fic and we will remain.
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So Conned is now out, I'm happy to say (though it reminds me that I'm paying for QueerRomance Ink and I haven't put up ANY of my stories, idiot that I am). Check it out here.

Blurb Detective Roy Connolly never expected to find real elves and murder at his local anime convention.

Seeking a bonding experience with his formerly estranged son, Sion, a crown prince of the elves, takes him to something they both enjoy: a human anime convention. They both like humans and all their geeky creations so Sion anticipates an enjoyable weekend. He never expected an enemy assassin, armed with only a description of Sion's cosplay, to start murdering his way through the convention.

Detective Roy Connolly, a closet geek, heads to the same anime con without his friend, Amelia. He's surprised to find one of the most handsome men he's ever seen cosplaying in the same anime style as his own, and even more delighted that Sion can't keep his hands off him. Throwing caution to the wind, Roy jumps into a whirlwind relationship only to find himself in the cross hairs of an assassin.


Buy link You can find Conned here

 photo JD_Conned_zpsq3rdsflz.jpg


I did end up giving up on the Halloween short story, both of them really. With all the drama with the work issues, I didn't write a thing and while I could conceivably finish it this week, (which I really do need to work on finishing lectures so that's not really an option), I'm on vacation next week and wouldn't have been able to edit it and that was before I learned my usual beta wouldn't be available. I would like to finish them, maybe there'll be a market next year.

So my camp nano, which I'm unlikely to finish even with the wimpy word count of 10K, is back to These Haunted HIlls which makes sense from a business stand point. It would be nice to finish a novel again.

Speaking of which I made considerable progress in revamping Blood Red.

That said, I'm struggling to write but that's not new. I hate this, the depression that is creating the inability to concentrate.
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Sorry I didn't get to everyone's last week. It was an insanely busy week interviewing new faculty and mentally exhausted in the evenings. I hope to do better this week.

I rather missed the release of one of my short stories so I'm going to take a break from These Haunted Hills to showcase the new story, Conned

Snippet (it's a sentence too long as I didn't want to give the wrong impression as to who's talking to Sion)- Sion took a last look at his reflection. It hadn’t taken much magic to change his appearance to take on Edwin Silverleaf aspects. He didn’t even have to mask the sweep of his pointed ears.
“I’m sure you’re beautiful. Let’s get moving, you peacock,” a masculine voice called from the other room.
Sion huffed as he walked into the hotel suite’s living room. His son, Ioan, was dressed like a Catholic priest, a cane in his hand. Bishop from Dogs: Bullets and Carnage was a natural choice for Ioan, a blind man cosplaying a blind manga character.



Blurb Detective Roy Connolly never expected to find real elves and murder at his local anime convention.

Seeking a bonding experience with his formerly estranged son, Sion, a crown prince of the elves, takes him to something they both enjoy: a human anime convention. They both like humans and all their geeky creations so Sion anticipates an enjoyable weekend. He never expected an enemy assassin, armed with only a description of Sion's cosplay, to start murdering his way through the convention.

Detective Roy Connolly, a closet geek, heads to the same anime con without his friend, Amelia. He's surprised to find one of the most handsome men he's ever seen cosplaying in the same anime style as his own, and even more delighted that Sion can't keep his hands off him. Throwing caution to the wind, Roy jumps into a whirlwind relationship only to find himself in the cross hairs of an assassin.


Buy link You can find Conned here

 photo JD_Conned_zpsq3rdsflz.jpg
jana_denardo: (Default)
Another weekend, another few days of running around, back to Ohio for a week. Back to These Haunted Hills. I'm finishing up the scene with Cassia and Josh discussing Brendan. Last week Cass told Josh to display himself seductively against a tree. Here's his response:

“Shut it! I’m sure he’s not looking for anyone new. Besides, no trees. I’m not getting splinters in my ass or ticks for that matter.”

“And on that note, I’ll let you get to sleep and those dreams I’m sure you can’t wait to have about the lovely, talented Mr. Halloran.”

“Goodbye, Cass.”

Josh hoped she was right about those dreams.



If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!
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Running behind due to work and holidays. I finally submitted something this week (a Christmas story) which is the first thing in a long time I've submitted. Pretty depressing.

This is still from These Haunted HIlls. Josh and his friend Cassia are talking taking Brendan ghost hunting. The hotel he mentions is sort of a H.H. Holmes sort of place only a bit smaller.



"I’ll see if he’s okay with you coming out to the hotel at least once because it’ll be more than just one visit to cover that place well, I mean, it’s not big but I’m sure he’ll want to take his time since that’s the crux of his new novel.”

“Did he tell you anything about it?”

“He said he would when it gels more.”

“Damn, so exciting.”

“I know. I’ve been buzzing all day. I think I outed myself in five seconds flat. I could have died.”

She snorted. “You should have just splayed yourself out on a fallen tree or found an alternative use for that waterfall. Make sure he gets the message.”



If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!
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I missed last week because I was traveling and it was the day after my 50th birthday and I'm still not easy with that idea (though grateful to have so much time allotted to me).

I've finished all the proofs for Conned and I picked a cover (I asked 4 people for input, actually got 4 responses split 50/50). Neither picture were a truly great fit but with something set at a con, it's very hard to do that since everything is trademarked. I'm still pretty shocked that each story in this one-a-day thing (or however it's being done) is getting art so I am very happy with what I got.

I'm waiting to hear from my beta on my omg why can't I title it Christmas short. I'm not really sweating it if it doesn't get picked up. I'll self pub it and give the money to St. Jude's or the like.

I'm trying to quickly write a Halloween m/m/m story which all it wants is sex. I could barely finish my Christmas story because I felt it needed a sex scene but didn't want to deal with it and that's all this story wants (it's not getting it, some yes but not nearly as much as it wants). I do have a beginning (which has been lost three times, driving me nuts) and I know the end but will I have the time? Who knows.

And I want to finish Blood Red which I STILL haven't finished. It's been a matter of time and I'm more and more sad over it daily.
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I'm traveling back to PA again (I'm running all over this summer) so hopefully I won't be too late on reading everyone's stuff.

I'm continuing with These Haunted Hills. We left off with Josh talking to his partner and best friend Cassia about meeting Brendan. I've skipped to the part where Josh tells her they're going to take Brendan ghost hunting on the condition neither of them can geek out over Brendan being who he is.



“If I can spend the night ghost hunting with freaking B.A. Halloran and all I have to do is rein in the geek, consider it done. This is so exciting.”

“That also means we can’t blog about it or any of that. Maybe, if this goes well, we can at least get pictures with him. I don’t want to overwhelm him because seriously you can tell he’s fighting the black monster.”

Cassia hummed into the phone. They’d grown up together and Josh had weathered many storms with her clinical depression. If anyone knew the mire Brendan was in, it was her. “Can’t blame him there. Tell you what, I’ll pick out a great place to explore, how’s that?”



If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!

p.s. didn't realize this wasn't crossposting. sigh.
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Sorry I'm running a little late. It was my 50th birthday today so I was out and running around. I'm a little stunned at being half a century old....


This is still These Haunted Hills. Josh and Brendan have parted ways and Josh is calling Cassia, his friend and ghost hunting partner.



“Is it really him?” she asked before he even got the chance to say hello.

“It is! Oh my god, Cass, it was all I could do to keep from jumping around like a little kid and falling in the creek.”

“What’s he like? Can I meet him?”

“He’s quiet, a little sad actually.” Joshua paused, yes sad was right. Sad mixed with a hint of desperate but he didn’t want to think about that.


If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!
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I spent this week working on a new (and boring) class for this fall (Epidemiology is not my jam but since I'm the only medical doctor at the university I was tagged to do it). I'm looking forward to reading everyone's snippets to get my brain out of the doldrums.

I'm continuing right where I left off (and again a bit longer than it should be for a cohesive thought, sorry. I'll behave soon, promise). Brendan has found Josh's fan art but it's made him think of his dead son, Connor.




Brendan shut the journal brushing his hand over his eyes. “You don’t have to say anything.”

“But I am sorry. No one should have to go through this. Children shouldn’t have to face a monster like cancer but I will shut up about it now. I’m afraid of saying the wrong thing but is saying nothing worse? God, I’m babbling again. It’s just...I think the silence and avoidance makes it seem Ike everything about you is broken.”

God, why had he said that? He should have stopped at I’ll shut up now but Brendan didn’t seem angry. He regarded Joshua intently.

“You’re not wrong. I know a lot of my friends felt that way. Eventually many of them drifted off, like they couldn’t build a bridge to me and Kirsten and our pain. It’s all right. I don’t want to go through my life never talking about Connor. I just can’t promise I won’t cry.”


If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!
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It's been a strange set of months for me lately. The writing has been way down between depression, work and my ability to focus (ADHD, Depression, diabetes converging)

However, I did get some writing done during the boring parts of my convention. I'm not sure I'll find a home for a Steampunk Christmas story but I tried it any how. It's nearly done.

I spent the plane ride to Utah and back again editing Blood Red Roulette. I'm shocked at how rough areas where, things I should have caught in earlier edits.

And my flash fic Falling Water has been selected for Queer Sci-Fi's flash fic anthology, Renewal. That made me very happy. The winners in the contest haven't been announced yet but even if I'm not a winner, I'm proud to get selected to be in the anthology again.
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Sorry everyone, still trying to catch up with last week's. Hopefully this week will be less insane as I'm no longer out on a convention.

This one is slightly longer by a few sentences so forgive me but it needed it to make sense. Brendan and Josh are in his vehicle leaving the Ridges and Brendan has found Josh's sketch book and has been looking at the wildlife drawings he's done when he comes across something else.



“And this one is amazing.” Brendan held up the sketch of his character, John Archer, done with John running through the woods.

Joshua’s face went redder than the stop light he braked for. “God, I forgot it was in there!”

“It’s not like you haven’t already outed yourself as a geek a dozen times over.” Brendan chuckled. “I think it’s a great piece of fan art.”

Joshua’s blush spread as his heart jitterbugged. “Thanks.”

“John was Connor’s favorite character. He would have loved this.” Brendan’s voice broke.

Joshua glanced over and saw the tears forming in Brendan’s eyes. “I am so sorry. I don’t really know what to say because nothing I could say would help.”


If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!
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Still using my dreamwidth because my webmaster was gone last week and I'm at a convention in Salt Lake City this week (I got to hear a lecture by a Nobel Prize winner! How awesome is that?)

Continuing with These Haunted Hills with a very unromantic snippet I'm afraid. they're talking about the Ridges insane asylum.

Since I'm traveling I can't share a picture of the windows they're talking about but you can read up on the Ridges here if you want.


Joshua led Brendan closer to the building before pointing up to the window. Iron scroll work in pretty spiral patterns covered them. “Like I said, Dr. Kirkbride wanted the asylum to be pretty, less like a grim jail. So instead of iron bars, he made it into decorative metalworking hoping it would help lift their spirits.”

“It is pretty though I’m betting it didn’t help much.”

“Doubtful, especially when you know countless icepick lobotomies happened in this place.”

“Chilling.”



If you'd like to play along, Rainbow Snippets is a Facebook community where we post up 6 sentences of one of our LGBT stories every Saturday. It's been fun and you can find it here. Be sure to check out all the offers! It's been a great supportive group!

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