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Goodbye 2016

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I’m still trying to recover from the craziness of the holidays. My husband is home for a few weeks after working out of state for awhile so I’m enjoying my time with him before he has to leave again.

Those of you who have been with me from the beginning know how I go sometimes weeks at a time without typing a blog post and then slam y’all with a long and wordy one. In my defense this is my end of the year and ‘what’s in store for 2017’ post so I can be forgiven for being long winded, right? πŸ˜‰

Before I get started on anything else I’m going to get the All Romance Ebooks thing out of the way.

  • Lori James, aka CEO of ARe, has screwed over every single author and publisher who had books on the site.
  • The authors were offered a ridiculous amount of ten cents on the dollar for royalties from books that were prepaid for – by you, the readers – during October, November, and December of 2016. Again, the books were paid for at the time of purchase. So, Lori James and All Romance is keeping every single dime of what you paid for books from the site with the exception of 10 cents on the dollar. Oh, and she’s keeping 100% of anything purchased between December 28th and when the site shut down at midnight New Year’s Eve. Our reports ended on the 27th and we have no idea how many books were sold between the time of her ‘closing’ announcement and when the site shut down. The authors who actually had publishing contracts with ARe (unlike those of us who self-published on there) have it worse. They’re flat out being blackmailed. Either give up the rights to ALL ROYALTIES for the 4th quarter of 2016 or risk having the authors’ books and rights tied up for years in bankruptcy court.
  • I did not agree to the bullshit offer of .10 on the dollar. That would’ve been saying it’s okay for her to steal from me and all the other authors and publishers.
  • My biggest selling platform was All Romance. The publishing interface was a pain but books were easily found on the site once they were published. I blogged a few weeks ago about all three of the ‘Willy’ books making the best seller list at the same time on there. On Amazon and the other e-tailers we’re (those who write in the genres I write in) all kinda lost among thousands of others.
  • We will likely never see a dime of our 4th quarter royalties but we’ll damn sure be fighting Lori James and All Romance. Nobody should get away with what she’s trying to pull.
  • Readers have lost thousands of dollars worth of books because of this so it’s not just affecting the authors. I’m one of those readers. Luckily I only lost a few but I’ve read where some have lost hundreds. I hope the readers also do what the authors are doing right now – fight her every step of the way. She took YOUR money and left you unable to access your library or use accumulated e-bucks. Don’t let it go. Like with the authors, you may never see a penny of your money, but I’d still fight like hell.

There’s a lot more all over the internet right now about the entire fiasco so I’ll stop on that before I really go off on a rant. I’m still very angry.

2016 Β –

I’m going to be blunt. 2016 sucked. Not the entire year, obviously, but a lot of it. There was so much death in 2016. I could type a long blog post just about all the celebrities we lost. I lost so much from my childhood and my teenage years. I’ve already written about Prince but there were so many others who left us in 2016. Glenn Frey, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, Alan Thicke, Debbie Reynolds, George Michael… the list goes on. I was there watching George Michael during his Wham! days and I had the biggest crush on him at the time. That was sealed with the Faith video. It seemed like every other day someone else was dying.

Then there were the deaths in my personal life. In July I lost my sister and became an only child. How do you prepare for that? You don’t. Her death affected me deeply. Somehow, as I’ve blogged about before, I was able to use my writing to get through it. Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human was completed within days of my sister’s funeral. That world seriously saved me.

On December 12th I lost someone else who was very special to me. Life is so damn unfair. I just hope he found his magical and strange place and that his ‘Baker’ was waiting for him on the other side.

The quote on the left is from The Crow, one of my all-time favorite movies.

Then there’s the actual story, Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human. I love the story – seriously – and I love Blake and Seth and the others. However, there was a bit of drama going on behind the scenes as it was being published so I mostly disappeared from social media for a little while. I still somewhat promoted the book but I wasn’t all over the place. Thankfully, fans of the series helped me out in that regard.

For those who’ve asked, yes, Barry’s story will be the 4th in the series. I had no desire to have two ‘B’ titles back to back but Barry is wanting his story told so it will be. I’ve already written quite a bit of it already. For those who’ve not read ‘Blake’, Barry is Blake’s kid brother. I already know who his love interest will be but I’ll save that info until later in the year.

The Good Stuff From 2016 –

  • All 3 ‘Willy’ books made several bestseller lists. That’s super cool considering ‘Willy‘Β was published in 2014 and ‘Evan‘ in 2015.
  • Eros, Christopher, Trusting Lance, and ‘Blake‘ were published in 2016.
  • This website was created within weeks of the CandiKay.com domain being made available.
  • 2016 was my most successful as an author. When I published Taking Lance in April of 2014 I didn’t think 2 people outside of friends would be interested in what I had to say. I’m so glad I was wrong. I’ve published 12 as Candi Kay since then with a lot more planned in the future.
  • Evan the Virgin Reindeer & His Sexy Buck was nominated in Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Readers Choice Awards in the Best Humorous category. I also discovered long after the fact that ‘Willy’ had been nominated for Best Paranormal in the 2015 awards. I wish I would’ve known about that. I’d love to have the ‘nominee’ badge.

A Look Ahead to 2017 –

  • I’ll be adding purchase buttons for all of my books on this site so you can buy directly from me securely. Links to other e-tailers will still be provided – Amazon, iTunes, B&N, etc. – but I’ve discovered over the past few days that some readers like to purchase directly from the author. I’ll need to shift a few things around on my homepage but it should all be set up soon.
  • No ‘Cupid’ this year as I ran out of time to get it completed. My plan is to publish it in January of 2018. After Eros threw poor Cupid under the bus in his story, Cupid needs to set the record straight. The poor guy. Unlike Eros, he believes in love and just wants that elusive happily-ever-after.
  • Just Friends, a friends to lovers story. I adore these guys and can’t wait to share them with you. It’s completed and I’m almost done with the editing. Expect it in the near future.
  • An Unlikely Romance, a not-quite-a-rent-boy-story. When you read it you’ll see what I mean. There’s a decade age difference and you all know one of my kinks is a substantial age difference between my main characters. πŸ™‚ This one is also completed and needs to go through the editing process.
  • Barry’s still untitled story, #4 in the Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer.
  • Finding Alex, #4 in the Taking Lance series. I swear I’m determined to wrap this series up in 2017. I’ll be sad to see it end – Rick and Lance were my firsts, after all – but it’s long past time for it to happen. Alex and Dean’s story will be told, Jenna and the other bad guys will have their loose ends tied up, Marc and Travis will work through what Travis went through in the park in Saving Travis, and most important of all? Rick and Lance will finally get married. Their wedding will also be written as a separate short from their POV – a freebie – for those who want just the wedding.
  • My Father’s Wife, a het erotica short that has been completed FOREVER. It’s been self-edited to death, the blurb has been written, and even the cover has been made. So, why hasn’t it been published? I honestly don’t know. Expect it to happen in the coming weeks.
  • Jace, College Encounters, #2. Also complete and needs to be edited. Nate, #3 in the series, is also complete.

I think that’s it. I probably missed something. If so, I’ll update throughout the year. I took a bit of a break from two things I love – reading and writing. Once ‘Blake’ was published I had to take a step back from everything. I’m determined to get back on track in 2017. I have lots of books from favorite authors lined up to read and more story ideas flowing through my head than I can keep up with. Both of those things are important because I’ve not felt up to either for a few months. I’m excited to see where I go in 2017. I’m excited to see where we all go in 2017.

To all of my readers, I appreciate you. To everyone who has so graciously pushed the Willy series over the past few weeks, I adore you. It means more than you can know that the series ‘that wasn’t supposed to be’ turned out to be enjoyed by so many. Most people don’t get my weird sense of humor so I love that you guys do.

I hope everyone came through the holidays unscathed and if you have resolutions, I wish you luck with them. I don’t do resolutions. My birthday is in early January so I always set goals based on that. I’m determined to complete them this year.

Keep sending me messages and friend requests on social media. I love interacting with readers. You’re all so damn awesome. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

FYI on the above photos – the guy with the salt and pepper hair is my Alex inspiration and the long haired one is his love interest, Dean. I know I’ve posted them before but I think they’re worth seeing again, don’t you? πŸ˜‰

Until next time,

~Candi

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Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human (‘Willy’ #3): Big Giveaway & Update

willy-butt-head-magnet

Congrats to DRE who won the giveaway!

I’m going to start this post with the good stuff – a giveaway. Who doesn’t love a giveaway? πŸ™‚

To help celebrate On Top Down Under Book Reviews’ 4 year anniversary and the November 1st release of Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human, I stopped by with a post about Willy’s world.Β Expect a bit of silliness about Willy and the gang and lots of goodies that I’ll be giving away to one person who comments on the post. What goodies, you ask? The winner will be given a choice of either signed paperbacks or e-copies of Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer and Evan the Virgin Reindeer & His Sexy Buck, a ‘Willy’ magnet, an ‘Evan’ magnet, a ‘Blake’ magnet, a reusable bag with Blake’s cover on it, an ‘I touch my elf” key chain, a “Santa is a butt head!” magnet, courtesy of Willy, and a ‘Santa Claus Naughty Member’ postcard. The giveaway will run from now until the end of the month, so make sure you pop in and leave a comment on the giveaway post and congratulate On Top Down Under for 4 great years! You can find the post here.

willy-3-covers

Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human

As I’ve already said all over the place, this story never would’ve happened had a fellow author not started a little campaign for me to write it after he read Evan the Virgin Reindeer & His Sexy Buck (‘Willy’ #2) and fell for the bad guy. I know, right? πŸ™‚ Blake Simpson was a major jerk in that story and was never supposed to be seen or heard from again. If you’re interested in seeing what was said that pushed me to give Blake his story, you can find the Goodreads review here. The thought was put in my head and it didn’t take long before I had the entire story, from start to finish, planned out.Β I knew what I wanted to say. I knew who all the players would be and even the so-called drama of the story. Heck, I even knew exactly how Blake would atone for all his bad actions. Easy enough, right? Well, not quite.

That’s what I’ve shared publicly about the making of the 3rd installment in Willy’s world.

Here’s what I haven’t…

aaarghhI wrote 10,000 words of this story without missing a beat. This was back in December of last year, I think? Everything was flowing smoothly until one day it just wasn’t. I’d had to change one of the characters 3 times. It was a back and forth thing that had me throwing my hands up on the story for a little while. Oh, I was still going to write it. No way was I not going to. But those 10,000 or so words sat on my laptop for around 7 months. I’d go into the manuscript, get frustrated, then get out of it again. I felt pressure because here it was July and I was only a few short months from publishing a story that was only a third or fourth of the way done. I wasn’t blank (re: writer’s block), but it just wasn’t coming together for me. Nothing I did would change that. I said above that I knew exactly what the story would be about from start to finish. That didn’t change. I knew what I wanted to say but I just couldn’t get the words on the manuscript to come together.

addictionA few months ago I wrote a blog post that briefly covered addiction in the ‘personal’ section of the post. I’d stated that I’d already lost one close family member to it and that I was very close to losing another. I lost that person in late July – a little over a month after that post was published. And strangely, what is Blake’s story about? Addiction. That wasn’t planned, by the way. When I wrote Blake’s character in ‘Evan’ I added his addictions as the cause of his actions because my original version of him was not redeemable in any way. I’m not making light of what caused him to do what he did. What I’m saying is that the original Blake Simpson was so bad that I had to go back and rewrite him completely because the series is written to be (mostly) light and he wasn’t light in any way. Suffice it to say that had I kept him as he was there would be no Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human.

After my family member’s death, I was told by a fellow author to WRITE. Even if it was the worst stuff I’ve ever written and would never been seen by anybody but me… just write. And my best friend, who I’ll go to my grave being thankful for, agreed. Anything that would help me through it, you know? Writing has always been my therapy but I didn’t think it would work this time. Strangely, it did. Days after the funeral I again pulled up the manuscript for ‘Blake’. I expected to have the same, “Here we go again.. ugh!” attitude that had plagued me for months over the story. That didn’t happen. I reread the first 10,000 words and started writing and didn’t stop. I wrote so much that by the time 3 or 4 days had passed I had written over 30,000 new words and typed THE END. Not just typed those two words, but was very happy with what I’d written. The final word count is close to 42,000 words. I’ve had what I call my crazy writing frenzies in the past where I’ve written one short story after another over a period of days. What I’ve not ever done is what I did with Blake and Seth’s story. As messed up as my mind was over the death in my family, things still clicked with these guys that hadn’t in the months prior. The story was coming together so quick I couldn’t type the words fast enough.

grief-one-day-at-a-timeI honestly don’t know how I was able to string two sentences together, much less write as much as I did during those few days. I’m not complaining. This world saved me in a way I never could’ve anticipated and I’ll forever be grateful for it. I hope you all enjoy the story. It has the silly moments you’ve learned to expect from Willy and the others, but there are also a few serious ones as well. I started the story wondering how on Earth I’d be able to redeem Blake and ended up loving him before it was over. I hope you all feel the same.

Dealing with another loss is a day by day thing. Maybe someday I’ll devote more to that on here but I’m just not able to right now.

The rest of 2016 –

In the past I’ve blogged about updates of other stories. Some are even completed and really close to being published. However, in the coming weeks I will only be focusing on Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human. My apologies to those who are waiting on specific stories I’ve blogged about (Finding Alex, for one) but I’m simply not in the right frame of mind at this point to devote to those releases. That may change in the coming weeks. If so, I’ll let you know. I hope you understand. It’s not completing the stories. I think I could do that without a problem at this point. It’s everything that goes into getting a book ready to publish – editing, covers (that I personally create), and lots of other things that go on in the background.

300-x-450-blake-coverIf you’ve followed me to this point you know that I’m not really one to get too personal publicly. I try to keep things light as much as I can. I’m hoping I’m providing ‘light’ in Blake and Seth’s story. I’m so damn proud of these guys and there are no words for how much I adore Blake now. The story could bomb with readers (though I REALLY hope it doesn’t) and that wouldn’t take away how thankful I am for their story… and them helping me to get through a very difficult time in my life. And to add to that? Installment #4 has already had 6,000 words written. That’s over a year in advance to those who are counting. πŸ™‚ There’s something about that crazy world that’s good for me at the moment and I’m going to run with it while I can.

In Closing –

I’m good. Really! My best friend and family won’t let me have down moments for long and I’m not one to sit and dwell if I’m able to focus on other things. Β A lot of you have been with me from the very beginning so I felt you should know a little about what’s been happening behind the scenes over the past few months.

I’ve said this before but again it bears repeating – thank you to every person who has asked for more of my warped Christmas world. You embraced my kooky version of Santa and his wife (and the others) and there are no words for how much that means to me.

For the blurb, pre-order links, and more information about Blake the Rogue Reindeer & His Cocky Human, you can check out my last blog post here. The official release date is November 1st. Thank you to all who’ve already pre-ordered it. You guys rock! πŸ™‚

And to those who have an ARC of the story – yes, it’s okay to publish your reviews before the release date. I’ve already gotten one amazing one that you can find here. Β I just ask that you please not give away Seth’s secret or other spoilers. The secret may not be that big of a deal to some in the grand scheme of things but it plays a bit part in pretty much everything that happens in the story in regards to him and Blake.

Until next time,

~Candi Kay

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Lots of Updates, Paperbacks, Eye Candy & a Bit of a Rant – NSFW-ish

Eros Quote - 05242016

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve done a blog post after promising I’d do more. I’ll be covering a lot in this one so my apologies in advance for the length. I’ve added a bit of eye candy to help with that apology. *grin*

Thank You –

Sexy Guy #1 06062016I want to thank everyone who stopped by during my 2nd publishing anniversary celebration. A lot of you took advantage of the half-priced books at ARe and signed up for email alerts on my new site. I’ve also received good feedback on Trusting Lance (#3.5 in the Taking Lance series), a story written strictly to commemorate my 2nd anniversary. I also want to send a huge congrats to Casey, who won e-copies of Taking Lance and Keeping Lance during the giveaway hosted by On Top Down Under Book Reviews. And thank you to On Top Down Under for hosting it.

Paperbacks –

I have finally fought with CreateSpace and I’m now happy to offer paperbacks of most of my stories. At the moment only Taking Lance, Eros, Willy the Kinky Elf & His Bad-Ass Reindeer and Evan the Virgin Reindeer & His Sexy Buck are actually available for sale in paperback. The others (with the exception of The Guy in the Coffee Shop and My Son’s Girl & My Son’s Friends – both of which are much too short to be available in anything other than e-format) will go live on Amazon and the other sites when I’ve officially approved the paperback proofs. I’m waiting on quite a few to be delivered as I type this. Of the 8 I’ve been working on, I have to say I’m most proud of the two in the ‘Willy’ series, but mainly because they’re very bright colored and look fantastic (in my opinion) in paperback form.

Shower Guy GIFAnother thing about the paperbacks – if I used a snippet of your review on the back of any of them, I’ll send you a signed copy of the book if you want one.Β If some of your words are on there, you should have a copy, right? πŸ˜‰ Those I’ve used will be contacted by me at some point in regards to it. Of if you see the back of the book on Amazon and see your review, you’re more than welcome to contact me privately with your information. I’ve been off social media quite a bit over the past few weeks so I’m trying to play catch-up.

Works-in-Progress –

I’ve been working on the 3rd installment of ‘Willy’ for the past few weeks. This will be bad boy Blake’s story. I’m very happy with the story so far but things tend to change as time passes. I still have a little bit of time to work on it before the release date. I’m also still steadily working on Finding Alex (#4 in the Taking Lance series). Both of these books should be published by early November.

Also, I will be revamping and adding content to ReindeerSecrets.com in the coming weeks. If you’ve read the ‘Willy’ series, you know what I’m talking about. πŸ˜€ There’s been all kinds of naughty stuff going on in the North Pole during the off-season. RS, our resident gossip, is eager to spill.

Upcoming –

I have a new series that will also be published in the coming weeks. The series itself is titled College Encounters, with each story only being individually titled with the main character’s name. The first one is Christopher, so the title will be College Encounters: Christopher. I’ve already done the cover for that and #2 (title to be announced later). The cover model on the cover of Christopher’s… I have no words. I actually found the photo first (strictly by accident) and wrote the story completely around this guy. I can’t wait for you all to see him, um, the cover. πŸ˜‰ Each book will be centered around a fictional university. Not all books will be about college kids. The professors and other staff get in on the action too. These books will vary from gay romance and/or erotica to straight romance and/or erotica, to everything in between. If you don’t read in a specific genre, no biggie. These stories will only have the university and certain characters in common but can all be read as standalones.

Long Haired GuyThere’s another series that I’ve been writing – I’ve written 4 stories so far – that I’m trying to figure out what to do with. The first 3 are straight erotica but #4 is gay erotica. I’m really enjoying writing these books but I have to decide if I’ll be publishing them as Candi Kay or maybe use another pen name. Undecided at this point.

Another Christmas story that will be published (likely in early November) isΒ The Cute Elf and His Mall Santa. This has nothing AT ALL to do with the above-mentioned Willy series. It’s contemporary and is about a cute guy who does the elf thing at the local mall every holiday season. He ends up falling in lust and love with the newest mall Santa Claus. Santa (aka Sam) has a couple of rambunctious kids who also play a part. While it’s gay erotica, it’s more of a romance that centers quite a bit on family. This story was complete last year but something was bugging me about it so I didn’t publish it. It will definitely be out in time for the upcoming holiday season.

Then there are An Unlikely Romance and Just Friends. Both of these are gay erotic romance and were completed over a year ago. I’m determined to get them out there before 2016 is over.

I’m trying very hard to not bombard you folks with a bunch of stories at once but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that if I’m going to write them, I won’t be hiding them away any longer. Until 2 years this past April I wrote dozens of stories but kept them hidden. Those days are over. I’ve also discovered that a lot of my readers aren’t into certain things I write but are into some of my others. I want to keep y’all happy so I hope I always have something available that you’ll be interested in even if some of my others aren’t your thing.

Personal –

I also want to thank every single person who sent me private messages or emails thanking me for getting a little personal in regards to my devastation over the loss of Prince. I don’t put myself out there much, as I’m a very private person. However, I couldn’t let his passing go and say nothing. He was a very important part of my life and the post I wrote on the day of his death says that, I believe. I also got a couple of messages on Twitter about that post in recent days – since his cause of death has been made known – that were downright nasty.

So here I am getting personal again when I swore I’d keep personal stuff out of all things Candi Kay….

Nicest PeopleUnless you’ve been close to someone with an addiction, you have no right to judge one way or another. Do you honestly believe that people pick up that first drink or pill or whatever thinking, “Hmm… I’m choosing to get addicted to these things…”? Of course not! I’ve had 2 people very close to me in the real world who never in a million years would’ve chosen their addictions. It happened gradually. I lost one of them to that addiction and I’ll go to my grave wishing I could’ve done more. But I couldn’t, you see. I tried for years. At least this person knew they had a problem and tried very hard to overcome it. The other? Let’s just say that sadly I can see myself losing another person in my life because they’re convinced that because a doctor prescribes it then it’s okay.

By all means send me your thoughts on anything you like. However, don’t send me nasty messages expecting me to remain silent simply because I write and publish books. I keep silent on other things but I won’t when it comes to something I’m very close to. I didn’t know Prince outside of his music, but I know the horrors of addictions. I’ve seen the effects they have on people and those close to them. The worst day of my life was the day I lost someone whose addiction was bigger than them. I won’t sit back and read a slew of bullshit about how people with addictions are lazy or whatever. I will come back at you and it won’t be kind. This also applies to other things. If you’re homophobic, keep your thoughts to yourself. If you have hateful opinions about specific disorders, again, I’m not interested in what you have to say about it.

I don’t discuss politics with anyone outside of my very inner circle. I don’t discuss religion or any of the other things that are such hot topics for debate these days. I won’t go back and forth with anyone over those, regardless of how many times I’m pushed. Bring up the other stuff – mentioned in the above paragraphs – and I’ll gladly have a conversation with you. Just don’t get pissed off if you don’t like what I have to say.

I know I’m being harsh here, but if I posted screenshots of some of the things I’ve seen you’d understand why I’ve gotten angry over it all.

Enough of that.

Travis 6My New Site –

As I’ve said in other posts since this site went live, if you subscribe to email alerts for my posts I will send you a book of your choice – in whatever format you prefer. However, I have to be told what book and what format. Most have contacted me privately but some haven’t. I don’t believe in bugging readers so if you’ve subscribed – or plan to – let me know which book and what format, please. This applies to e-books only. Send me an email to CandiKayAuthor@gmail.com, a PM on Facebook, or on Goodreads.

Also, if you send me a friend request on Facebook, let me know you’re one of my readers or subscribers or how you found me. I’ve gotten some REALLY strange requests lately so I’m being a bit more careful with who I accept and who I don’t. I spend more time on my personal Candi Kay page than I do my author one. If you’re not interested in friending me, there’s a follow button on both as well if you’re interested. I often post pics of nice eye candy. πŸ˜‰

Travis 5I accept everyone on Goodreads unless you’re underage. I’m not on there much, but I do get message alerts and friend requests via email. I always pop on there when I get those.

I will keep the promo going for a few weeks longer, as the site is barely 2 months old and I’ve kinda neglected it since it went live. This, of course, is bad really because I put a lot of work into the new site.

I think I’ve said enough for today. Sorry for not posting anything for awhile and then slamming you guys with a long one.

I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks to every person who has stuck around. Every single one of you is amazing.

Until next time,

~Candi Kay

Trusting Lance NSFW Quote

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