Monthly Archives: November 2015

Blowing It is On #Sale

Yes, you heard that right. From Sunday 29th Nov through Tuesday 01st Dec, Blowing It will be available for the bargain price of $0.99 from Amazon and AllRomance. It’s a top-10 LGBT bestseller reviewers have called “hugely entertaining, wildly fun, and wickedly hot!” Grab your copy now!

BlowingIt_400x600-204x300 Blowing It is On #Sale

Owen Barnes never expected writing to make him rich, much less with a YA novel written for a bet. Being nominated for the Carnegie Medal, the most prestigious award a children’s author can win, is a dream come true. But Owen’s newfound fame comes at a price, and not just changing his surname to Black.

Gruff, gentle building surveyor Magnus Cassidy is the first man to catch Owen’s interest in almost two years. Owen’s agent, Max, might be trying to control his image, but Magnus sees the real Owen: the eyeliner, drainpipe jeans, and sexy underwear, not the Young Conservative in a tweed jacket Max is turning him into.

When a photo of Owen and Magnus appears online, just weeks before the Carnegie ceremony, Max starts damage limitation. Out and proud since he was fourteen, Owen isn’t going back into the closet without a fight, and he refuses to let his agent erase Magnus from his life. Encouraged by his friends, Owen lashes out, not realising his behaviour could hurt the man he’s doing it all for. Can Owen find a way to reconcile his public and private lives, or has he already blown it?

Contents: passive tops and slutty bottoms, bitchy best friends, bad jokes, sexy underwear, an excess of beards, and a smattering of angst. May contain nuts.

 

✭✩✭✩✭Praise for Blowing It✭✩✭✩✭:

 This book had me smiling, laughing and crying.

I laughed, smiled and enjoyed myself thoroughly.

You can’t go wrong with a Kate Aaron book, pick this one up and be ready to enjoy.

This is, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read so far in 2015!

Kate Aaron spins a web with her words and getting caught in it is a pure pleasure.

writing-with-pride-banner Blowing It is On #Sale

Christmas Is Coming

15a-300x156 Christmas Is ComingAJ has a rule: no Christmas anything before Thanksgiving. I’ve never had Thanksgiving before, so it struck me as a rather late embargo. My rule is it’s Christmas when I smell Christmas, be that the beginning of October or 24th December (and yes, smelling Christmas in the air is totally a thing).

Anyhoo, Brown Thursday is now over (I honest-to-god heard it called that on the news last night) so I can finally — finally — watch The Grinch. I’ve been having a hankering for it for weeks (he is my spirit animal, after all). Tomorrow we’ll have to start thinking about presents. Christmas dinner is already planned, and I’m going to be introducing the in-laws to mince pies and piccalilli. In return, they’re making pecan pie and sweet potatoes with marshmallow. I can’t wait!

Top tip: Amazon users, if you don’t already have Prime, start a free 30-day trial. You can set it so it won’t renew immediately and you’ll get free 2-day shipping in the meantime. Win! And if you’re struggling for gift ideas, the new Fire tablet is on sale for only $35 until Sunday.

ETA: All my books are 25% off at AllRomanceEbooks today (Black Friday) only. Check out the hashtag #AReBlast for hundreds more!

writing-with-pride-banner Christmas Is Coming

Happy Thanksgiving

This is my first Thanksgiving, and I’m going for total immersion, visiting the in-laws and eating them out of house and home. I’ve got my sights set on a whole series of pies AJ’s mom has already made. Heaven.

pies-300x133 Happy Thanksgiving

Wherever you are tomorrow, eat lots, be happy, and take a minute to add up all the things you’re thankful for. It strikes me as a good way of living life.

writing-with-pride-banner Happy Thanksgiving

On Living the Crockpot Life #recipes

IMG_03401-225x300 On Living the Crockpot Life #recipes

Chicken Korma, in progress

I’d never used a crockpot before last month. *gasp* When I moved Stateside, one of the first things I set my sights on was AJ’s. I have issues with the food in America: if it isn’t restaurant quality (and I mean the sort of restaurant where they make stuff from scratch with actual ingredients rather than the sort of restaurant where they serve you plastic food-ish through your car window) then I become a very sick puppy. As I’m mostly pathetic when I’m feeling sick, it’s for the good of everyone (and my bank account) I make my own food.

Enter the crockpot. It promises so many things. Delicious, healthful, simple (cheap!) meals, thrown in early and forgotten about until my stomach’s ready to digest itself. Om-nom-nom. Continue reading →

Big Brother Is Here

ziosk-225x300 Big Brother Is Here

Introducing the Ziosk

Run, the machines are coming. Creepy, insidious little boxes are turning up on dining tables in restaurants across America, and I for one hate them.

In case you’ve been fortunate enough not to bump into one yet (they have 150,000 tablets in 2,500+ locations across the US, including Chili’s, Red Robin, and Olive Garden restaurants), they’re tablets that sit on every table and act as a virtual waiter. They take drinks, appetiser, kids’ meals, and dessert orders; you settle your bill on them; and for an extra $1.99 you (or your kids) can access a selection of games to play while you dine.

Now they might seem a great idea: they free up wait staff when restaurants are busy, and they keep the kids quiet, but that so-called convenience comes at a cost. If you’re a waiter earning pennies an hour and relying on tips, you want face time with your diners. If you’re a diner, you’d probably prefer to know who your waiter actually is (although I think we can all agree we could live without the awkward “Is everything okay here?” exchange which always happens just when you’ve stuffed your mouth as full as it can get). Continue reading →

On Paperwork

256px-Driving_an_obstacle_course_on_asphalt On Paperwork

Wikimedia Commons

I was going to take my driving test today. AJ’s been grilling me on all the rules of the road, I’ve been zooming around the streets like a local (or better: I actually use my blinker), and I was all psyched up and ready to go. I’d got my social security number, my UK licence, my passport, one piece of mail with my current address on it, and AJ to sign her life away by swearing I lived with her. Continue reading →

Sexing Queer Bodies

256px-Gay_Couple_togetherness_in_bed_01 Sexing Queer Bodies

Wikimedia Commons

I write gay romance. By which I mean, I write love stories. Boy meets boy (or occasionally, boys), there’s lots of angsty goodness, then they all live happily ever after. Sometimes there’s sex, but sometimes there’s not. Yet I am classified as an erotica writer with alarming regularity.

When AJ and I were trying to find a home for my numerous DVDs the other day, I introduced her to my rather anal system of organising them by rating and genre. Some of them, she noticed, had double ratings (12/15, or 15/18). That, I explained, was because Ireland has its own classification system and usually doles out higher ratings for LGBT-themed films. These weren’t explicit movies, you understand, but because they mentioned queerness they were deemed Not For Children. Continue reading →

On Solidarity

paris-300x300 On SolidarityThe world woke up this morning to devastating scenes from Paris. I watched them unfold last night with my heart in my mouth. The reports were garbled, bits and pieces of news coming in from Twitter users and the odd reporter who happened to be on the ground as the attacks took place. Stories were published, corrected, and amended in moments. Chaos reigned.

In between my searches for news updates, I ran across more than my fair share of hatred and vitriol. Twitter is a cesspool at the best of times, but the American right were out in force yesterday. France and America have long been staunch allies, and you’d think France would deserve better even in the midst of one of its darkest hours, but the political classes and the right-wing zealots obviously thought otherwise. Continue reading →

Dropping the T from LGB

be-a-HERO-300x300 Dropping the T from LGBLast week, a much abused and beleaguered equal rights ordinance failed to win public support in Houston. There’s plenty of background to HERO here, explaining how it seeks to protect LGBT individuals in a state which offers them no legal rights of employment, medical treatment, or housing. Without such protection, your landlord can evict you for being gay; your boss can fire you; you can’t use the appropriate restrooms if the wrong box is ticked on your birth certificate. Continue reading →

The FedEx Debacle

12219473_10154232800498943_5412602070888759200_n-225x300 The FedEx Debacle

FedEx invoice on the mystery package: value £8,976

One of the biggest dramas of moving to the U.S., after getting all my paperwork sorted, was what to do with my stuff. I narrowed it down over the months before the move (thank you, eBay!) but I still had rather a lot; yet not enough to make shipping it over cost- or time-effective. So I started looking into sending it by post. I managed to get about fifteen packages shipped over in twos and threes, but in order to send the bulk (and the more expensive items) I needed to have the right customs paperwork or I’d have to pay import duty on the lot.

I’d been using UPS* to send the other packets, but found their website unworkable and their help department nonexistent, which left me high and dry about the paperwork (part of which needs completing and signing by the courier, so I couldn’t exactly post it and hope for the best).

*Note to UPS, you lost a big order because your website ain’t up to snuff. Continue reading →