ReindeerSecrets.com, Crazy Christmas Story Giveaway, Willy, #6

ReindeerSecrets.com

ReindeerSecrets.com has a new home at WordPress. The Blogger site gave me fits from the minute it was created. I’d get one thing right and then something else would screw up with the html. Photos on the homepage would go from being straight and nice looking to being all over the place. I know enough about html to know I was doing it correctly so I couldn’t figure out what the deal was. I found out later that I wasn’t the only one having issues with it.

The new site is up and running. It’s obvious that I used the same theme that I used for this particular site because a lot of it looks similar. The main difference between that one and the Candi Kay one is that RS is strictly for Willy’s stuff and all things Christmas.

There will be all kinds of Willy things happening in the coming weeks. You can easily subscribe to email newsletters in the box on the bottom right of every page or post for updates.

Crazy Christmas Story Giveaway & Willy the Kinky Elf #6 Update

I want to hear your craziest Christmas story. I don’t care if it’s real or if it comes strictly from your imagination. The crazier the better. Whoever gives me the best story will get one of Willy’s ‘Santa is a butt head!’ magnets, an e-book of their choice from my catalog (it doesn’t have to be from Willy’s World), plus an advanced copy of book #6 in the series (Luke the rent boy’s story) when it’s available. If the story is good enough, and if the winner allows it, I’ll let Willy tell the story in next year’s Willy the Kinky Elf installment. The winner will be credited not just in the front of the book but by Willy himself. It’ll also be posted on ReindeerSecrets.com and shared all over my social media platforms.

Think drunk uncles, insane in-laws, or pretty much anything you want to tell.

Everybody gets so stressed out during the holidays. A little humor goes a long way in taking some of that stress away, as Willy himself has tried to prove since his book came out in 2014.

Shoot me an email with your story to candikayauthor@gmail.com, at reindeersecrets@gmail.com, or via a Goodreads or Facebook message. You can send it via Twitter direct message, but fair warning – I’m not a big fan of Twitter DMs. I get so much unsolicited stuff sent to me on there I ignore it more than check it.

I’d originally said you could post the story on here, but honestly, I’d prefer them not be public until the winner is chosen.

Give it your best shot and the crazier the better.

Note that this giveaway was also posted here on Reindeer Secrets.

Check out the site if you get a minute. I’ve already listed info about next year’s ‘Willy’ installment. It’ll be updated throughout the year as the story is written. You can go directly to that page by clicking here. And guess what? I have a title! I know, right? I usually leave it until right before the book goes up for pre-order. Not this time. As soon Luke’s love interest popped in my head I had the title down. I won’t be announcing it for awhile yet but at least I can play around with covers earlier than normal.

I hope you’re all doing well. I’m riding high on an SEC Championship. My apologies to my Twitter followers who were inundated with tweets during the game. πŸ˜‰ #RollTide!

Thanks again to everyone who’s read Dylan the Bad Boy Reindeer & His Virtuous Mate.

Until next time,

Candi

 

Dylan the Bad Boy Reindeer, Crazy Christmas Story Giveaway, This and That

Hello, all.

I’ve been lacking on the blog posts lately. But that’s really nothing new, right? So of course when I take the time to do one it’s long. Sorry in advance!

FYI – the guy in the motorcycle pics below was my original inspiration for Randy the Chief Reindeer. I’ve shared the inspiration for Dylan and Cole (and a few of the others) but not Randy. This is the guy I see every single time I mention Randy in one of the books. The 2nd photo is actually what had me creating the character.

Winner & Crazy Christmas Story Giveaway

Congrats to AnnMarie who won my giveaway to celebrate On Top Down Under 6th’s anniversary! She chose Barry the Lonely Reindeer & His Bashful Elf as her winning book but Willy thought she should also have Dylan the Bad Boy Reindeer & His Virtuous Mate. πŸ™‚ She also won one of Willy’s ‘Santa is a butt head!’ magnets.

Congrats again to On Top Down Under Book Reviews, and thank you for the support given to me over the years.

I have one of the (above) magnets left. Whoever tells me the craziest Christmas story can have it. I want the good stuff – crazy relatives tripping over the tree, a drunken uncle – the crazier the better. If you don’t have a real story, make one up. Hey, I make up goofy Christmas stories all the time, so why the heck not? *grin* If the story is good enough, I’ll throw in an e-book of your choice from my catalog and I may even have Willy telling the story in next year’s installment – with the winner’s permission, of course.

Dylan the Bad Boy Reindeer & His Virtuous Mate

I can’t express how appreciative I am over the feedback I’ve received so far about Dylan the Bad Boy Reindeer & His Virtuous Mate. I always worry that maybe I’ve gone too far (re: Willy the elf) or maybe not far enough (there wasn’t as much Willy the elf in last year’s installment). Each book will continue to have new main characters and new love interests, but Willy will forever be a big part of each one because it’s his series. He started it all and he’s always going to butt into the business of all new players. I’ve received messages saying that he’s the most annoying character in the history of the world. And I’ve received messages saying he’s a favorite character. Regardless of which side you’re on, Willy has a good heart and only wants to help others maybe have what he and Chief Reindeer Randy have. If it takes a little Peppermint Whiskey and perviness, what of it? This is our Willy. πŸ˜‰

This year I did something I’d never done before. I wrote two specific scenes out of order to add to the final manuscript later. One of those scenes was a jewelry store scene with Willy. That was written before anything else. I knew how I wanted Dylan and Cole to officially meet and that was it. The other scene was what I’ve always referred to (to my editor) as the ‘Santa reveal scene’. That particular scene gave me the most trouble. It decided everything, as in how Dylan’s past family issues would be resolved. I admit to being concerned over how readers might feel about the direction the story had gone. I’m not giving away spoilers (and I hope others don’t either) but I wonder (still) what the reaction will be with me making jerky Santa Claus a somewhat decent guy. Not great, mind you, as Santa has always had an agenda. How it played out wasn’t even remotely what I had in mind when I started writing the story. Let’s just say that when I tried to write it the original way, Santa had other ideas and wouldn’t allow it. Other authors know exactly what I mean when I say the story took on a life of its own.

I’ve been asked by more than one reader to give Santa his own story, especially after what comes to light in ‘Dylan’. Time will tell on that, I suppose. With the series being gay romance, his mate (if the fates allow him to have one) will be a male. We know he’s played around a bit with more than one guy. Remember Seth and Blake’s story? I know exactly how Santa’s story would play out, including Mrs. Claus’ role in it, but I think he needs another year or two of showing the world he’s not a complete tool (lol) before I attempt it. If I attempt it. There’s also some unfinished business between him and Dylan. Again, no spoilers, but ifΒ  you read the final chapter of Dylan the Bad Boy Reindeer & His Virtuous Mate you know exactly what I’m referring to.

Thank you again to everyone who has read not just ‘Dylan’ but the whole series up to now. I read all the reviews and all the private messages. As I’ve said many times over the years, I don’t get upset or angry over bad reviews. I’ve read my share of bad books and I damn sure don’t expect everybody to enjoy all of mine. But it really makes me feel special when somebody takes the time (whether it’s publicly or privately) to let me know how they feel about something I’ve written. I couldn’t describe that feeling if I tried.

I could’ve stopped writing in this world years ago and been content because I was proud of what I’d created. But when somebody tells me they’re excited over the next installment or sends me an email asking who the next main characters will be, that makes me want to go back into that world and keep writing. When I published my first story (Taking Lance) I didn’t think 5 people would read it or anything else I’d written. So when a reader tells me that they look forward to the next book in the Willy series every year, it truly gets to me. Really, thank you.

Oh, and be on the look out for a Randy and Willy sex scene. I’m almost done writing it and will put it up here and possibly on ReindeerSecrets.com as a freebie. I’ve been asked by more than one reader to show them getting down and dirty again. Who am I to say no? *snort*

Speaking of…. ReindeerSecrets.com is giving me fits with the html and has been for awhile. Because of this, I’ve not updated the site in quite some time. I was hoping to stick with Blogger but I may have to move it over to Word Press. At least if WP gives me problems, I know how to fix it. With Blogger, I’m at the mercy of Google.

This and That

I have been traveling all over the place. I’ve seriously only been home 8 days total in the past 8 or 9 weeks. I’m home now, thank goodness, but it’s been crazy. From Alabama to Colorado, to Savannah, home for 5 days, then back to Colorado and home again. I’ve been here for 3 days this time. All the traveling is in a car so we’ve been allowed to see a lot of the country. It’s been nice, but damn, I’m glad to be home. My husband will be leaving for Boston the Monday after Thanksgiving. I love traveling up there but he’ll be doing this one without me. I have to prepare for Christmas. Well, and I need a break. I’ve loved my time with him, and I normally wouldn’t say no to a road trip, but I’m physically and mentally exhausted. I need some ME time. All the editing and publishing, etc. for ‘Dylan’ was done while on the road. It was a challenge, to say the least.

Thanksgiving

To the Americans who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoy it with your family and friends. No doubt lots of food will be eaten and lots of football watched. Enjoy your holiday and try to ignore any and all overbearing family members. I’m actually not stressing the holiday that much. For the first time ever, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do and I won’t be bullied to change up my plans to suit others. It’s a good feeling, to be honest. I’m even looking forward to Christmas when normally I’m dreading it. Not the holiday, mind you, but things I’ve always been forced to do. Not this year. This year it’s about my husband, sons and their significant others, and friends of theirs who usually stop by. I’m actually looking forward to it. I don’t remember a time in my life I’ve been able to say that and really mean it. I’ve looked forward to holidays but I’ve always had the other things going on that cut into my enjoyment.

Quick Note About NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)

Every November I get a ton of messages asking if I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. The answer has always been no. I think it’s an awesome challenge. It’s just not for me because November the 1st is the day my final book of the year is always published. Leading up to November 1st my stress levels are through the roof as I prepare to have the story ready (editing, etc.). November 1st is the day I’m finally able to relax. I just can’t see me going from that to a monthly challenge that requires so much – not after I publish the latest Willy installment. I love seeing everybody’s progress with NaNoWriMo. Congrats to everyone who has taken it on. I’ll always cheer for you on the sidelines, even if I don’t participate. Maybe when the Willy series ends I’ll try. Until, then, I’m going to have to keep saying no.

Taking Lance Series is Now In Kindle Unlimited

This was actually done awhile back. The entire Taking Lance series is now in Kindle Unlimited, including Taking Lance (The Complete Series), a new edition that has all the books (and shorts) in one book. If you’ve been on the fence about reading the series, and you’re enrolled in KU, this is the best time to check it out. I hated pulling the books from other e-tailers but (as I’ve mentioned in the past), every other site had removed Book 1, leaving all the others. The only way to have the complete series up was to go exclusive to Amazon. I’m not a fan of the exclusivity, but this seemed to be my best option going forward.

The series is complete so unless I decide later to write a sex scene or two with Rick and Lance, you can get them all without missing anything.

Paperbacks, Possible Audio Books

All books that will be sold as paperbacks have been reformatted and will go back up for publication in the coming days. I want all the Willy paperbacks available before December. In 2019, I plan to get that particular series done in audio book format as well. I’ve held off until now but I believe it’s long past time. I’ve been asked for the audio books but have simply not had the time to do the research. These will be my first audio books so bear with me. I’ve also been approached about making them into graphic novels. That’s something I’ll have to think more on. I know absolutely zero about that so I’m not sure when or if that will happen.

I hope you’re all doing well. Thank you again to everybody who has read Dylan the Bad Boy Reindeer & His Virtuous Mate. I love how you guys enjoy my crazy world. Thank you for giving me the encouragement to keep going with it.

Until next time,

~Candi Kay

!!! Giveaway and Congrats !!!

A huge congrats to On Top Down Under Book Reviews for 6 years (6!). To help celebrate I popped in with a quick post about Dylan the Bad Boy Reindeer & His Virtuous Mate. I’m giving away an e-copy of one of the ‘Willy’ books (winner’s choice). Willy has also thrown in one of his ‘Santa is a butt head’ magnets for the winner. Not interested in Willy’s World? The winner can choose the full Taking Lance series (one e-edition) instead. It includes all the books in the series – 463 Kindle pages – including Being Karen, Trusting Lance and Marrying Lance. You can still have the Willy magnet even if you don’t choose a book from his world.

Check out the post and details here. While you’re there, say hello and check out the other amazing posts and giveaways going on. I’m beyond thankful for the support I’ve received from Kazza since I started my publishing journey. πŸ™‚

To enter the giveaway, click the above link and comment on the post. Don’t be shy. Really!

Just a little over a week and Dylan and Cole will unleashed into the world. πŸ™‚ It’s available for pre-order at this link.

If I’ve promised you an ARC, I’ve not forgotten about you. Due to extensive traveling, I’m behind on the final edits. They should be completed in the coming days.

I’ll catch up when I slow down a little. A HUGE thank you to everybody who has already pre-ordered ‘Dylan’. I can’t wait for you to meet these guys. And thanks again to On Top Down Under for hosting me.

Until next time,

Candi Kay

Anniversary Giveaway, Reviews, This and That

Giveaway

If you haven’t entered yet, there’s still time to enter my 4th anniversary giveaway. It ends at midnight my time (central) on Sunday, April 15th. The winner will be chosen completely at random and contacted on Monday, the 16th. If I don’t hear back from the winner within a couple of days I’ll have to pick another one.

You can find all the giveaway details here.

Reviews

There’s something that has really been bugging me over the past few weeks but I wanted to wait until my publishing anniversary was over before bringing it up. Also, I’ve been doing a lot of traveling and have simply not had the time to go into it. And honestly, I didn’t want to come across as rude to those this is aimed at.

To be blunt, I don’t agree with buying reviews, nor do I agree with the practice of trading 5 stars for 5 stars with other authors. I know I’ve gone into this at length in the past but I think it’s important to do it again.

I’ll start with the 5 for 5 thing. I’m all about helping other authors. You want me to promote your book? I’ll promote your book all over the place. You want me to give you 5 stars without reading your book because that’s supposedly the norm between authors? Not happening.

And then I get to paying for reviews. When I see sites advertising for paid reviews I usually run the other way. Does the person getting paid actually like those books? Who knows? Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t. Either way, it’s not something I will ever support, much less be part of.

I’ve said this so many times I sound like a broken record… give me an honest 1-star review over a fake 5-star one any day. A 1-star Goodreads review helped my most popular series (Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer) get noticed. People wanted to know what was so “painfully bad” about the book so they checked it out.

So, why am I going into this again when I’ve done it so many times over the past 4 years?

Not that long ago, I got an email from someone offering their review services for a fee. This person probably thinks I’m a horrible person because I didn’t respond to the email. I didn’t respond because I wasn’t quite sure how to word my response. It’s something I feel so passionate about that I didn’t want to come across as a total bitch. Their website looks totally legit and the email sent to me was very kind. I’m not judging them in any way for what they do. I’m only, again, saying I’m not interested.

Enough about that.

Finding Alex, Willy, #5

I’ve been traveling almost nonstop for the past few weeks. I’ve only just gotten home a couple of days ago. I’m trying to play catch-up. I have 2 main writing goals right now – publishing Finding Alex (finally) and working on (still untitled) Willy, #5. ‘Alex’ is 55,000 words. Willy, #5, is (so far) 22,200. There are other stories that have been started and even more rattling in my brain. However, I can’t focus on any of those until the other two are complete. Or at least close to it in Willy, #5.

My writing has evolved over the past 4 years. I’ve consistently published mostly gay romance and/or erotica. The Taking Lance series is different. It doesn’t shy away from characters having sex with others while they’re working their way toward the one they’re meant to be with. I’ve not done that with my other books, contrary to the belief of one person who swears that Eros continued screwing around after Sy was introduced in Eros. He didn’t, by the way, but that’s another blog post. πŸ™‚

Because I’ve not had the main characters playing around with others in most of my other books, I’ve been iffy about the Taking Lance finale. Dumb on my part because even Rick and Lance have sex on-page with others until they finally commit to just each other. If you’re a fan of the Taking Lance series you’re aware of everything I just mentioned and likely expect it. If you’re a fan of my others (the Willy series, for example), you know none of that will be happening on-page in those.

Alex Langdon, like Rick, is bisexual. While Alex doesn’t actually have on-page sex with a woman like Rick does in Taking and Keeping, he is bi. He was married to a woman and had a very active sex life with her for many years until certain things came to light. Only then did he start hooking up with males. This is actually done while they’re still married so if cheating bugs you, you might want to avoid this one.

Cheating’s another thing I’ve never put in any of my gay romance books and it won’t be happening in the future.

For the record, Alex isn’t the only one in the marriage who’s unfaithful. He’s just more discreet until it gets to the point where he can’t be.

Alex and Dean bring in a third one time. This is the onlyΒ  on-page sex that’s not strictly between the two of them in the entire book.

On that note, I have to finish my (hopefully) final run-thru of Alex and then get back to working on the blurb.

I just love typing blurbs.

Said no author ever. πŸ™‚

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. If you still want to enter the giveaway, you still have a little bit of time to get your entry in.

Until next time,

Candi

!!! 4 Book Anniversary Giveaway !!!

Congrats to Kelsy for winning the giveaway! For her winning books she chose Eros, Christopher, Just Friends, and Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human. Thank you to all who entered!

On April 5th, 2014, I published my first book, Taking Lance. Written in fun, I never expected it to see the light of day. Those who’ve followed me for awhile know the story. I’d been writing for decades but had never shown even one of my stories to anyone. Taking Lance was different because something had me sending it to my best friend. With her encouragement – and a lot of fear on my part – I published it. Here I am 15 books later with no intention of stopping anytime soon.

A lot has happened since April 5, 2014. I often cringe when I read some of my earlier stuff. There’s one scene in particular in Keeping Lance that I wish I could go back in time and remove completely. Don’t take that to mean that I’m not proud of what I’ve published. I am. I believe every author who has ever published anything wants to make changes later. For that reason, I don’t often reread my books once they’re put out into the world. There are times when I need to, obviously, like when I’m adding to a series and want to ensure I get specific details correct. But honestly, I prefer not to unless I have to. I’ve published 15 books to date. The only books I can go into without wanting to change every word are Eros and Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer (Willy, #1).

For at least 3 of the past 4 years I’ve been promising the finale, Finding Alex. What do you think of the (tentative) cover? The story was completed to my satisfaction well over a year ago. So, why isn’t it published? Nerves, I guess. It’s the final story of my very first series. It’s the first book I’ve written with an established couple. Not just any couple, but a couple who brings in thirds on occasion. There’s only one graphic sex scene in the book with another guy, but I know a lot of readers aren’t fans of that. Because Alex and Dean are an established couple, I had to take them back in time some in order to tell their story. I personally hate flashbacks in books. I wanted to make sure I did it right. All that’s left to do is formatting for publication and finalizing the blurb. Ending it all will be bittersweet. Rick and Lance were my firsts. It’s going to be really hard to say goodbye.

No doubt I’ll be feeling the same when it comes time to end the Willy the Kinky Elf series as well. Though, honestly, as much as Willy rambles in my brain, his world will likely go on for quite awhile longer. The elf is nuts. πŸ˜‰ Just wait until you see him in (still untitled) Willy #5. He gets into the ‘good stuff’ early. You know you love a character when they can keep you giggling. There’s a scene in the jewelry store that cracks me up every time I read it. Sometimes I have to force myself to remember that this is Dylan and Cole’s story, not Willy’s. But you know his nosy, matchmaking little self is going to be in the middle of it all. It wouldn’t be Willy otherwise.

Without my readers, there would be no Rick and Lance, or Willy and Randy, or any of the others. I can’t describe the feeling I get knowing people read my books. I didn’t expect 5 people (total) to read Taking Lance but it’s been going strong since I published it, along with my others. You guys have embraced my kooky worlds and that means more than you can know.

To celebrate year #4, I’m giving away 4 e-books – one for each year I’ve been publishing. 4 books of the winner’s choice from my catalog – OR – the entire Taking Lance series, including the finale when it’s published, Finding Alex.

To enter the giveaway, simply comment on this post, send me a message via here, my email, candikayauthor@gmail.com,Β Goodreads, one of my social media accounts – Facebook Personal, Facebook Author Page, Twitter – or share or retweet this post with the word ENTERED. I’ll pick the winner at random on Sunday, April 15th.

Thank you to every person who has read my books. You’re the reason I keep doing this. There are no words for how much I appreciate every single one of you.

To my best friend, as always, thank you for giving me the big push to publish Lance and for all of your encouragement since. And to my hubby, it goes without saying that I appreciate your support.

I look forward to seeing what happens in the coming years. There are always stories rattling around in my brain so I hope to continue writing for a long time yet.

~Candi