Taking Lance Changes, Some Personal Stuff

Thanks to all who have downloaded Finding Alex. I’m happy to finally have the Taking Lance series behind me. I’ll miss the guys but they all got their happily-ever-afters.

A few things in regards to the Taking Lance series…

I’m redoing all the paperbacks in that series and my other books. I’ve been unhappy with the way they were so I’m starting from scratch.

I’m working on combining the entire series into one edition. It’ll be available in both e-book and paperback in the coming weeks.

Now to something I’ve not wanted to do but it’s kind of necessary…

I’ve mentioned in the past how Barnes & Noble did an erotica sweep awhile back and removed a lot of authors’ books without any type of warning. A lot of mine were in that sweep so I just removed them all. Recently I discovered that Taking Lance (#1 in the series) has been removed from iBooks and all other e-tailers except Kobo, Smashwords, and Amazon. I’ve done everything imaginable to get it back on those sites but it’s not happening. The reasons are (and I’m quoting here), “The content is primarily of an erotic nature, intended to stir sexual desire,” and “Prohibited Explicit or Objectionable Content (Informational).”

I’m pulling the ‘Lance’ books from everywhere except Amazon. I hate doing it but it’s kind of senseless to have books two through four and not the one that actually starts the series. I’ve voiced my displeasure over Smashwords so taking them off there isn’t a chore. I get about a third of my sales from Kobo but not from the ‘Lance’ series. If they’re strictly on Amazon I’ll be putting them back in Kindle Unlimited.

This is ONLY the Taking Lance series. I’ll be leaving all my others on the sites they’re on now.

I absolutely despise the exclusivity of KDP Select (KU) but if they’re just going to be on Amazon I might as well enroll them again. I’ll see how things go for 90 days and take it from there.

Check out the new Keeping Lance cover. I’ve been wanting to change the cover for a long time. I’m liking the new one SO much better.

Willy, #5

Still no title. I’ve narrowed it down to three or four. It’s just deciding on which one. I know what word I want to use but it just doesn’t sound right in regards to the series. If you’ve followed me for any length of time you know that I go through this every year. 🙂 And for the first time ever, I’m going back and forth between two covers. *bangs head*

It’ll all come together. It always does.

This & That & Personal Stuff

It’s almost the middle of August (already!) and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much in 2018 so far. I’ve published one book, Finding Alex, but I’ve not written anything original in awhile. Granted, I’ve been slowly working on Willy, #5, but it was completed months ago with the exception of a couple of sex scenes and minor holiday details. It’s hard to write Christmasy stuff when it feels like it’s 100-plus degrees outside. 🙂

I don’t think I’ve read a book that wasn’t mine since January. I’m normally a huge reader so to not read in that amount of time is highly unusual for me. I’m obviously not focusing constantly on my writing or more than one book would’ve been published (or at least written) this year. I have about a dozen completed stories that I could do final self-edits on right now and have them out in a week or two. It’s just not happening. It’s frustrating because my whole life there have been two things to help me escape and that’s reading and writing.

The last couple of years, as I’ve said many times, have been rough. My husband is the only person on this planet who even has a clue of what I’ve had to deal with. As a result, my ADHD has been off the charts. I get antsy and I have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time or concentrating. My brain is all over the place. If you have ADHD you know exactly what I’m talking about. If not, imagine the feeling of dozens of things going on in your head at once 24/7. I’ve conditioned myself over the years to compartmentalize some of those things so it’s not as bad. I’ve not been able to do that for the past few months. The first half of the year I was dealing with my mom’s issues. Now that I can take a deep breath and start taking care of myself I’m having a hard time doing it.

I also have episodes of hyper focus, another symptom of my ADHD. The hyper focus for me is much worse than the scattered feeling. With the hyper focus I get fixated on one thing. No matter what I’m doing or who I’m with, that one thing is front and center. Until I accomplish whatever task it is, it literally controls my life. That’s not me being dramatic. It’s my fact.

I hear a lot of people go on about how ADHD and ADD aren’t real. I’d love for those people to live in my brain for 30 minutes.

All this is nothing new as I’ve been dealing with ADHD my whole life. It’s just lasted longer this go ’round than in years past.

Enough of that.

I hope you all have a great weekend. I’ll update on the ‘Lance’ stuff again soon.

Until next time,

Candi

P.S. Please don’t send me nasty messages about the ADHD memes. I’m not making light of it. I live it every day of my life. And (re: the 2nd meme), I’ve never in my life felt like an idiot over it. It’s simply part of who I am.

 

New Release & Excerpt: Finding Alex (Taking Lance, #4)

Finding Alex (Taking Lance, #4) has finally been published. It’s been a long road to get here for a variety of reasons. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of you who have read the series.

In Finding Alex, all loose ends (Jenna and Lauren, Travis’ mother and stepfather) are finally tied up. Rick and Lance finally get married. The wedding is told in their POV in Marrying Lance. It’s told in Dean’s in Finding Alex.

You first met Alex and Dean as an established couple in Saving Travis. Now you can see how they got where they are.

Below is an excerpt from Dean. To set it up, Alex is at the lowest point of his divorce battle. Not wanting to be thrown into the media fray, Dean’s about to take off.

The photos are the character inspirations for both Alex and Dean. Can you tell I love Antonio Borges, my Alex inspiration? He’s a few years younger than my Alex but look at him. 😉

Finding Alex CANNOT be read as a standalone. To understand the characters and events you would need to read the others in the series.

Blurb –

Alexander Langdon and Dean Collins have been together for five years. They’ve had to overcome some obstacles, the least of which being their twenty-year age difference.

In less than a week, Rick Preston and Lance Scott will be saying their vows. After four years and a lot of drama, they’re now ready to commit in the eyes of the law.

After a heated discussion with Rick, Alex starts doubting his and Dean’s relationship. He’s wanted to get married for years, but Dean refuses to take that final step. They’re committed heart and soul. Why do they need a ceremony and piece of paper to prove it? Alex just wants to be able to call him husband. This has both men reflecting on what brought them together.

From Dean’s family secrets, to Alex’s very public divorce, they’ve been through it all. Will Dean get over his fears and finally do the one thing Alex wants most? Or will this issue continue to grow until it pushes the two men completely apart?

Finding Alex is the final story in the Taking Lance series. The wedding, told from Dean’s point of view in Finding Alex, is also told in its entirety by Rick and Lance in Marrying Lance, a bonus story at the end of the book. Free e-copies of Marrying Lance are also available at most e-tailers and via request from the author.

The series is best read in order to understand characters and events.

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo 

Excerpt –

In the coming weeks I refused to meet up with Alex because he was being hounded everywhere he went. Some even went so far as to try to gain access to the building that houses the penthouse. They didn’t get beyond the lobby. Tenants pay handsomely for privacy and security and each person who tried to gain entry was promptly removed. If they persisted, the police were brought in. He and I did speak a few times on the phone but we didn’t see each other again until the height of the public divorce fight when I should have been running in the opposite direction. I tried to run in the opposite direction. I spent weeks watching everything play out and wondering why I hadn’t already moved on.

I’d always moved on.

One day I made the decision to leave.

I could get my revenge later. Doing it during a very public divorce battle was probably not the best time. I’d waited for over a decade. I could wait a little while longer. I packed my bag and was seconds from checking out of the cheap motel and jumping on my Harley and heading up north somewhere. Then I reached for the remote to turn off the TV and stopped short.

I knew at that moment that I wasn’t going anywhere.

There was a live shot of Alex being grilled by reporters as he attempted to leave his law practice. He looked tired and unwell. It was as if the fight had completely gone out of him. When he looked at the camera with circles under his eyes and a look of utter defeat I knew at that moment that I was in love with the man and that I’d go to my grave making sure he never felt defeated again.

One photo after another of Alex in sexual situations with men had been plastered all over the newspapers and the local television news. Most were blurred and couldn’t definitively identify Alex, but it was enough to hurt his public image. The ones of me standing naked inside the motel room of Mick’s were included in those photos. Thankfully the photographer wasn’t very skilled because only Alex and I could confirm for sure that it was us standing inside that door. There were none of Travis Jordan and Marcus Parker, which surprised me. Howard Mills was seen speaking to reporters on a daily basis threatening lawsuits for the slanderous photos and videos being publicized.

Through it all, Alex never said one harsh word about his estranged wife. He took the high road and allowed such vicious and brutal things to be said about him without resorting to doing the same about Vanessa. On one hand, it made him look like the better person. On the other, it made it look like he wasn’t defending himself against his wife because all the things she’d been saying were true. It was a double-edged sword.

I knew as I watched him trying his damnedest just to get to his car in the parking lot of his law practice that there was no way in hell I’d ever be leaving him. None of it made sense, but it didn’t have to. I knew what was in my heart and I believed with complete certainty that Alex felt the same about me. He was barely in his car with his seat belt fastened before I took out my phone and sent a text.

Tell security to let me

in your building.

I’ll be there in twenty.

D

I’d barely taken my jacket off inside his penthouse several minutes later when I heard the sounds of the code being punched in outside the door. Before even one word was spoken, I opened my arms and he practically collapsed when he walked into them.

“It’s okay, Alex,” I whispered in his hair. “I’m here, and I’m not going anywhere.”

When he pulled back to look at me, his sad expression was almost my undoing. I pulled out of the embrace and took his hand. He didn’t fight me as I led him to his bedroom and slowly removed his suit and tie.

“I-”

“Shh,” I said as I placed my finger over his lips. “It’s just you and me here. Let me take care of you.”

He looked at me sadly and I removed my finger.

“I figured you’d be long gone by now,” he whispered.

I shook my head.

“I couldn’t leave.”

“Why?”

Instead of answering I cupped his cheek with my palm and leaned in and kissed him softly. My hand went from his face to his neck and I slowly massaged it as I took the kiss deeper. He moaned into my mouth and pulled me close to him, my clothed body flush with his naked one.

No more words were spoken as I undressed and Alex laid flat on his back on the bed. He looked so vulnerable. I wondered in that moment if he’d ever had any type of peace in his life. From his parents, to his wife, to his career, I doubted it very seriously.

“What would make you happy, Alex?” I asked him from the foot of the bed.

“To be able to live my life for me,” he answered without hesitation.

I got a condom from the drawer next to the bed and rolled it down over my dick, then reached over and grabbed the lube and poured some on my right hand. He pulled his legs up to his chest, spreading them for me.

“You’re the most beautiful man I’ve ever laid eyes on, Alexander Langdon,” I whispered as I crawled on the bed between his legs.

I took my time preparing him for my dick, neither of us in a rush.

My heart ached knowing how bad he was hurting. All I wanted to do was take his pain away. I never would’ve dreamed that Alex Langdon, of all people, would be the man I’d fall head over heels in love with in a matter of weeks. No. I think I fell in love with him before I ever met him when I knew it couldn’t be possible.

“Please, Dean,” he whispered as I slowly stretched his asshole. “I need you.”

I slowly pulled my fingers out and crawled over his body, keeping my weight off with my arms on either side of him. I placed my lips against his for a brief moment before pulling back and looking him in the eye.

“I need you too. So bad.” When his eyes teared up I almost lost it. “It’s okay, Alex. I’ve got you and I’m not letting go. You’re not alone anymore.”

I moved down his body and guided my dick to his hole, my eyes on his as I took my time entering him. He didn’t flinch. I slowly made love to him – this wasn’t just a quick fuck – giving him all of me. I took his cock in my hand and slowly stroked it as I moved mine in and out of him. He closed his eyes and lifted his lower body to meet each of my slow thrusts.

“Open your eyes, Alex. Watch me as I make love to you.”

His eyes popped open.

“Is that what you’re doing, making love to me, Dean?” he asked, the nervousness in his voice obvious.

“Yes.”

“I’ve never made love before,” he murmured.

“Me either,” I responded as I started moving my lower body a little faster.

“It’s always just been fucking.”

“Not this time, Alex.”

No more words were spoken as we both moved toward the finish line. I think we both knew in those few moments that our lives would never be the same again. When we came, we came together, our eyes still on each other.

When it was over, I pulled out and disposed of the condom and wiped off my hand and his stomach. I got back on the bed and pulled him close.

“Did I make a mistake, Dean?” he asked, his face on my shoulder. “I knew it would be bad, but I never anticipated this.”

I slid my hand up and down his back.

“Only you can answer that question, Alex.”

His eyes came up to meet mine.

“Why are you here?” he asked me.

I could’ve made a joke. I could’ve just said I was horny. I could’ve done a lot of things. I went with the truth.

“Because you shouldn’t be fighting this alone.” I leaned down and kissed him softly on the lips before pulling back. “And because I’m in love with you.”

His eyes went wide. He opened his mouth to speak, but I placed a finger over his lips to stop him.

“I’m not asking for a declaration from you. You’ve got enough going on in your life right now, and I know a relationship is the last thing you need or probably want. I don’t believe in beating around the bush or wasting time. You said there was something special between us. I know that with certainty now. If you’re willing to have me, I will fight with you, and I’ll be by your side through it all. If you’re not ready to come out, I’ll respect that and remain in the background until you are. I know I said before that I wouldn’t, but I know it’ll take time for things to settle enough for you to be comfortable being public with a male partner; hell, with any partner. If I’ve read things wrong with you, now is a good time to tell me so I can get out of your life before I’m in so deep I’m unable to.”

I moved my finger from his lips.

“I think I fell in love with you the second I saw you at the bar.”

My heart full, I wrapped my arms tighter around him.

“Then we’ll get through this together,” I said over the lump in my throat. “You and me.”

Cocky! & A Few Quickie Updates

I’ve not posted in awhile so I wanted to pop in real quick before things get crazy in my life again.

4th Anniversary Giveaway

Congrats to Kelsy Kasey for winning my 4th publishing anniversary giveaway. She chose Eros, Christopher, Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human, and Just Friends as her winning books.

Finding Alex (Taking Lance, #4)

Finding Alex, that I swore I was about to publish, is still in draft on Amazon. I had a death in my family and have been unable to go back into it.  It’s complete. It’s just waiting on me to hit publish.

Willy, #5 

Willy the Kinky Elf #5 is a chapter or so from being done. It’s still untitled. I’ve been trying to come up with a title but I’ve had no luck so far. I really want it finalized so I can start working on the blurb and cover. I may be open to suggestions in the coming days or weeks if I don’t come up with one on my own. Two reindeer. One’s a ‘bad boy’ and the other is about as straight-laced as they come. Outside of the bedroom anyway. 😉 Certain things come out that make everything Mrs. Claus has done to this point seem tame. Santa, on the other hand, has mellowed quite a bit. You’ll actually see his softer side in the latest installment. I’ve considered toning down some of Mrs. Claus’ antics. They’re pretty bad. I’ll see how I feel when I get closer to publication. Both Mr. and Mrs. Claus have secrets that come to light when Dylan (aka the bad boy) comes back into town.

COCKY!

Speaking of Willy’s World, I’m sure you’ve seen all the stuff about the word COCKY being trademarked recently. If not, Google it. What’s a guaranteed way to lose fans and all respect from other authors? Do what this author did. Willy, being as outspoken as he is, has decided that he wants to share his views on the whole cocky thing. We know that Willy is a naughty little elf and, well, it’s been awhile since he and Randy got naughty on-page. He’s got a lot to say about the cocky situation. 😉 If I finish the story it’ll be a quickie and won’t take place during the holidays. I’ll update on that soon.

I kinda joke about it but I actually have a title with the word COCKY in it, Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human. It was published November 1st, 2016 – long before the trademark was issued. Should I be concerned? I don’t know really. The more I see on the whole situation the more baffled I get. I guess the number one question I have is why was a word – that’s been used tens of thousands of times in books and titles – allowed to be trademarked? It’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve seen since I started publishing my books and I’ve seen some really ‘out there’ stuff. The author put a video out supposedly in defense of what she did. Instead of helping her cause it made her look like she was calling her readers stupid and she even went so far as to imply that stupid equals autism. The last part especially angered me, but that’s another blog post.

Enough about that.

Mother’s Day & Other

I think that’s it for now. I mentioned there being a death in my family. Honestly, I’m exhausted both mentally and physically. I need a few days to regroup. The weekend will be crazy busy with Mother’s Day and other plans and then some family members will be graduating from high school next week. Hopefully afterward I can take a much needed break for me. I’ve been going nonstop for the past week or so.

If you are a mom I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day. If not, I hope you have an amazing weekend. 🙂

Until next time,

Candi

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. 🙂

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 only  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. 🙂

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