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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? 😉

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  –

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‘ 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. 🙂 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. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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? 😉

Until next time,

~Candi

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Orlando

Pray for Orlando

I wasn’t going to type a post about the tragedy that occurred in Orlando. I’ve spent the past week mourning along with the rest of the world and I know my words are just that – words.

I could never adequately express my utter heartbreak over what happened. I had to turn the TV off because it got to be too much. If I, a total stranger, am this heartbroken, imagine the family members and the victims.

You go to a club to have a good time. You go to have a few drinks, hang out with friends, and maybe dance a little.

You don’t go in wondering if you should’ve said goodbye to your family before you walked through the door of the club.

You don’t go in expecting to watch people die around you.

You don’t go in wondering if you’re going come out of it all alive.

Nobody should fear a night on the town.

Nobody should fear being harmed because of who they are or who they love.

I’m angry.

I’m sad.

This shouldn’t have happened.

Parents should not be burying their children.

There’s a Mr. Rogers quote that’s been going around that I’ve seen many times over the years. It says when there’s a tragedy, look for the helpers. I’m paraphrasing, but yes, look for the helpers… all the people who have come out to show their support for the LGBT community. Look for the ones who risked their own lives to save others. Look for them all… the ones who donated blood, those who gave someone the shirt off their back to try to save them… the first responders, the average citizen who didn’t know what they could do to help but knew they had to do something….

I’m not giving attention to the bastard who did it. He doesn’t deserve space on my blog.

Remember the victims. Remember the families and loved ones. Continue to remember them when the media coverage goes away. Their pain won’t disappear simply because cameras are no longer on them.

I’ll end with this… If you pray, whisper a prayer for those lost and the families and loved ones they left behind.

 

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Remembering Prince

I know a lot of authors are big about listening to music while they’re writing. They create special playlists for each story and can’t imagine writing even a 1,500 word short without having music playing in the background.

That’s not me.

I can’t listen to music while I’m writing unless it’s purely instrumental. If there are lyrics I’m wanting to sing right along with the music and I lose my train of thought. Yeah, not so great for an author to lose their train of thought while writing a story. 🙂

I am a huge fan of music. I’m a country girl so of course I have my favorite country songs and performers. I also love hard rock and heavy metal. I love what’s considered classic rock, though to me it’s not classic. It’s the music of my youth and my teenage years. There’s really not much I won’t listen to. It totally depends on my mood at any given time. I even love a lot of the newer music, though I prefer the older stuff.

So, where am I going with this?

I don’t have playlists for when I write but I do have what I consider playlists of songs from very important times in my life. When I was in high school the music was awesome. I could sit here and list artists and groups (and song lyrics) all day long. During those years there were two entertainers I listened to the most and I can’t hear their songs even now without getting a good feeling.

Prince 1One of those entertainers was Prince.

It’s hard to remember a time in my life when I wasn’t playing his music or watching his videos. He was there for me in high school when I hung out with friends. He was there when I met my husband during my senior year. He was there when I got married and had my children. He’s just always been there. Back in the day I drove my mother crazy because I played his music all the time. I was even grounded for blaring Darling Nikki loudly. Even now I can’t hear the song without laughing because my mother was SCANDALIZED (lol) that I was listening to a song about ‘Nikki’ masturbating and grinding.  God, I love that song even now.

Prince 2I wasn’t home when my son sent me a message saying Prince had died. No, that couldn’t be right, could it? There has been one hoax after another recently about his supposed death. Surely that’s what this was. I rushed home and turned on the TV and booted up my laptop.

Sadly, it was true.

The national news channels spent the entire day honoring Prince and playing his music. As heartbreaking as it was to watch (I refused to change the channel even for a minute) it also took me back to some days I thought were pretty miserable at the time. Looking back, I see they were pretty damn good. Our music was good. MTV actually played music videos back in those days (I know, right?) and I anxiously waited for his latest video. He was different and I needed different so bad back then. But his uniqueness was simply brilliant. He could sing, he could dance, he could play all those instruments… and he never failed to entertain me. I’ve watched Purple Rain more times than I can count, with the most recent time being a couple of weeks ago.

This has been a shitty year so far with those we’ve lost. From Lemmy to David Bowie to Glenn Frey… and others… to now Prince. It’s bad when you don’t even want to watch or read the news because you’re left wondering, “Who’s next?” How sad is that?

I feel like I lost a friend today and in a sense I did. Prince was there for me during some pretty dark times in my life and his music and videos lifted me up. While I never got to see him live in concert, he was truly a very special part of my existence for many, many years. I’m heartbroken over the loss.

My apologies for such a downer post. I had every intention of publishing a post about my publishing anniversary and other things. I’ll do that soon, promise.

Even if you were never a fan, go back and listen to When Doves Cry, Purple Rain or any of his others and honor Prince. His brilliance will never be matched in my opinion.

R.I.P Prince Rogers Nelson.

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