Patient Z Giveaway Contest


The contest is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Midia! Thanks to everyone who participated.

Want to win an ebook of my next release, Patient Z, coming 23rd July? Then get in quick and leave a comment on this post before Saturday July 27th at 09:00 UK time. (BST) Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win. If you complete the address in the email field on the comment form nobody else will see it. I won’t send anything to anyone’s email except for the winner’s.

What’s Patient Z all about? Zombies! And love. Love in the time of zombies, basically.

Patient Z Blurb

Patient Z cover art by Scott Carpenter

Click the cover for more details

Two years ago the zombie apocalypse wiped out the world police officer Mitch Kennedy had a role in. But he’s found a way to continue doing his duty, serving as guardian of a small community of survivors, living in the safest place they can find. When the group takes in Cal Richardson Mitch can’t help but be attracted to the first available—and incidentally, gorgeous—man to cross his path in months.

Mitch and Cal can’t resist each other physically, but each man tries to hold back his emotions. Though he’s strong on the outside, Mitch is too badly hurt inside to risk more pain. Cal’s very sure he won’t stay for long. He’s been a drifter all his life and it came naturally to him to survive alone after civilization fell. He’s sure this is a temporary stopover for him. He has no intention of becoming emotionally involved with a cop who is certain to despise Cal when he learns the truth about him.

The longer Cal stays the stronger his urge to run, but the harder it becomes to give up the safety of the community and his new friends. The harder it becomes to give up Mitch.

zombie signRead Chapter 1

A m/m fantasy/paranormal romance available 23rd July from Loose Id.

ISBN: 978-1-62300-446-0

PatientZ_banner

The short history of Patient Z

I know exactly when I first came up with the idea for Patient Z, the novel coming on 23rd of July, from Loose Id. It was on the 24th of September 2012. How can I be so precise? Because I mentioned it on my Live Journal. At that point it was just called “the zombie bunny.” (Bunny as in plot bunny, not an actual zombified rabbit.)

excited

I had no intention of writing it anytime soon. I already had other plans. I thought I would write some notes about the idea and put it away until after I’d written the second book in what’s now called the Red Dragon series. But the bunny kept on eating my brain for the next few days and with NaNoWriMo on the horizon it began to insist that November would be just a perfect time to write it. Zombies are a great subject for NaNoWriMo, it argued. And it would be nice to have another draft in hand. It doesn’t have to be all that long… Then the killer argument. Since at that point I hadn’t yet sold The Company Man, was it a good idea to write the next in the series? What if I had to change the first one a lot?

zombie signThat’s the argument that got the zombie bunny onto the front burner. So I spent October planning it. Naturally it got bigger and and bigger, until I knew it was going to be at least an 80k long book. It acquired a title – Survivors. But since this was lamer than a knackered horse, I decided that for NaNoWriMo it should have a “silly working title”. This is a strategy I use to force me to keep on searching for a good title. Give it a silly one that won’t eventually just stick. So for NaNoWriMo, the story was called “Shoot the Fresh Ones First”. Which was a homage to the title of the very first NaNoWriMo novel I did – Shoot the Humans First. (Now available free on Smashwords!)

Along came NaNoWriMo and I dived in, and started writing. It was a successful month. I hit 50k by the end of the month. But there was still plenty of story left. I kept going. December is a terrible month to write in, with all the shopping and parties and stuff. But I kept going. I had a small disaster mid month when I lost the index cards I had the remaining scenes outlined on. (Never did find them.) But the rest of the story was very clear by then. I kept writing even when I was away visiting family over Christmas. At last, on 30th December 2012 I finished the draft. PHEW!

I left it a couple of weeks for the steam to stop rising from my ears, then I started the editing. The big picture editing, getting the plot whipped into shape doesn’t usually take me long, since I’m an outliner, so I finished that soon and sent it off to one of my brave beta readers. (Very brave, since most of the prose was still first draft!) She came back with some great feedback. And lo, what’s that on the horizon I saw – NaNoEdMo. The unofficial editing spinoff of NaNoWriMo. The challenge is 50 hours of editing in March. Anything like that I find very motivating. It keeps me from getting lazy. So I began the editing chapter by chapter in March. I got well over 50 hours and I got the editing done. I sent it to another beta for a last check over, did absolutely final polishing and on the 8th of April I submitted it.

Zombie shutterIt’s a full length novel and from conception to submission was six and a half months. That’s unheard of for me! I usually faff around with ideas for ages before I write them (usually because I’m busy writing something else.) Then I usually give them longer to rest before editing. But everything about this story happened fast.

It had yet another name by the time I submitted it – In His Blood. And – something much harder on me – so did one of the characters. Just a short time before submitting I spotted the blurb of another m/m book due out soon, and there was the exact same name as one of my characters – Cal Harrison. After some teeth grinding and cursing I bit the bullet, since it was a book in the same genre, and changed his last name to Richardson. I couldn’t have changed his first name by that point. In my mind his real name is still Harrison, even though it never appears in the book. Richardson is just a false identity.

The book was accepted by Loose Id in late April. Yay! From bunny to contract in just over 7 months. Thanks are due to my beta readers, Star and Kay. :)

What’s the book about? Zombies! Or kind of. It’s more “love in the time of zombies”, as two men, Cal and Mitch come together two years after the zombie apocalypse wiped out most of humanity. Each is coping with the new world in his own way. Both are survivors, but with very different strategies. Mitch is embedded in a community, serving it and protected by it. Cal on the other hand relies only on himself. So when he meets Mitch he’s soon at war with himself, torn between continuing his self-reliant strategy and becoming part of a community. Mitch is forced to choose between Cal and the community he’s committed to. The conflict is, at its roots, an old one, the conflict between the wandering nomad and the settled farmer. And between the community and its enemies. And between everyone and those zombies…

If you want a teaser of some of the things that pop up in the story, an idea of what the two leads look like in my head and lots of funny zombie memes, check out Pinterest board devoted to Patient Z!

Release Day – Red Dragon #1: The Company Man

Released today – Red Dragon #1: The Company Man

Jarvez Kashari travels light, sacrificing relationships for ambition. Alyn Evans is out to establish himself as a company captain. Falling in love was not part of either man’s plans.

Red Dragon 1: The Company ManThe Red Dragon is a ship in trouble. It was once the pride of the Outer Spiral Trading Company’s fleet, but is neglected and fallen from its old glory. It’s a ship in need of love – and a new captain.

Alyn Evans is a man in need of a new challenge. He’s an ex-warship captain and peace has put him out of a job. A man of his experience should have no trouble commanding a merchant ship…he thinks. But of all the challenges he faces on his first trip out, the hardest one is keeping his hands off his gorgeous and fascinating company rep, Jarvez Kashari.

Jarvez Kashari is a man with a plan. He’s determined to make a name as the company’s best trader and thinks reviving the fortunes of the Red Dragon is the perfect opportunity to prove himself. Jarvez travels light, sacrificing personal relationships to focus on his ambitions – until he meets Alyn Evans. Falling in love was not part of the plan.

It’s four months to Earth. Four months for Alyn to juggle passengers, prisoners, suspicious officers, a resentful crew and the intensifying relationship with Jarvez. Four months in space with a traitor aboard…

Read Chapter 1

A m/m science fiction romance available now from Loose Id.
Cover Art by Scott Carpenter
ISBN: 978-1-62300-368-5

Add on Goodreads

The Company Man (Red Dragon #1)


The Company Man Banner. Art by Scott Carpenter

Giveaway contest for new release The Company Man (now closed)

The Company Man Banner. Art by Scott Carpenter

My new release The Company Man, first book in The Red Dragon series, is coming on Tuesday 21st of May from Loose Id.

Fancy winning an ebook copy? Comment below to enter! The contest will run until Saturday 25th May at 9 a.m. UK time. Make sure to fill out the email field when you enter so I can let you know if you are the winner!

Jarvez Kashari travels light, sacrificing relationships for ambition. Alyn Evans is out to establish himself as a company captain. Falling in love was not part of either man’s plans.

Red Dragon 1: The Company Man

Cover Art by Scott Carpenter

The Red Dragon is a ship in trouble. It was once the pride of the Outer Spiral Trading Company’s fleet, but is neglected and fallen from its old glory. It’s a ship in need of love – and a new captain.

Alyn Evans is a man in need of a new challenge. He’s an ex-warship captain and peace has put him out of a job. A man of his experience should have no trouble commanding a merchant ship…he thinks. But of all the challenges he faces on his first trip out, the hardest one is keeping his hands off his gorgeous and fascinating company rep, Jarvez Kashari.

Jarvez Kashari is a man with a plan. He’s determined to make a name as the company’s best trader and thinks reviving the fortunes of the Red Dragon is the perfect opportunity to prove himself. Jarvez travels light, sacrificing personal relationships to focus on his ambitions – until he meets Alyn Evans. Falling in love was not part of the plan.

It’s four months to Earth. Four months for Alyn to juggle passengers, prisoners, suspicious officers, a resentful crew and the intensifying relationship with Jarvez. Four months in space with a traitor aboard…

The contest is now closed. Thanks for entering and congratulations to the winner, Ruth.

News Round Up

Biggest news first. I’ve sold a seventh novel to Loose Id. It’s named In His Blood. I’ll let you know the release date when I have it. I also sold a short story called Smoke in My Eyes to JMS Books. That will be out in the autumn. I’ll give more details of both of these closer to release date. The ink’s still drying on the contracts, so there’s more work to be done!

Meanwhile, it’s May and that means, it’s release month for Red Dragon 1: The Company Man, which is due for release on the 21st of May. I’ll do the cover reveal on my Tumblr, so watch that or look for notifications on my Twitter or Facebook pages to see it first. A week before release day I’ll start a contest to win a copy, so come back for that!

Higher Ground cover print editionYou can have a last go at entering a contest to win a paperback copy of Higher Ground by commenting on Stumbling Over Chaos. Running until 7pm CDT, Monday, May 13.

Okay, that’s my news. Report back on Saturday for the monthly links post!