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Tag Archives: novel

07.10.2016

One Hundred Happy Days

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Hello, everyone! I’m trying to pick up this blogging thing once again, mostly because there will be future releases coming soon and well, promotion and all that. It needs to be done, whether we authors like it or not. So hi you, reading this! I’m happy I reached you!

The title of this post is One Hundred Happy Days, because today, on July 10th of 2016, I started a new #100happydays challenge. What is this, you ask? Well, I’m trying to put it as simply as I can, bear with me:

For 100 days, you take a photo each day of something that brought you happiness that day. It can be literally anything, it’s up to you, because you’re doing this for yourself, not for anyone else. When you have your photo, you post it online somewhere, like Facebook or Instagram, maybe Twitter. Whatever you might like best, more or less. I, myself, crosspost to Instagram and Facebook.

You need to tag your photo each day with #100happydays and the number of the day, i.e. #day1. This is just so anyone following (and you!) can see them easier. In case you want to do it all in private, go ahead, skip the tagging, don’t even post your photos online, just take one and do whatever works for you, like put them in a folder in your phone or your computer to track your project.

I did this two years ago and I found that it brought me a better understanding of what kind of happiness there was in my life. I don’t consider myself a happy person, with constant depression it’s tricky to anyway, but even a pretty flower spotted somewhere, a pet acting goofy, seeing a movie or something other everyday thing would make it to my list and I’d feel better. Finding happiness in the ordinary is amazing. Being consciously looking for it, or realizing when it’s right in front of you makes a difference. Trust me on this.

The picture on this post is my #day1. It’s a random photo I took today from my parents’ yard that is oh so green this time of year. Happiness in small things, for sure.

That said, I have a new novel coming out within a month! There’s a cover reveal and a giveaway going on at Love Bytes, so please do check that out and maybe win a book! 

03.28.2016

It's Alive!

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Hello people!

So yes, I’m alive and kicking, still! Surprise, right? At least if you don’t follow me in social media, that is. If you just read this blog it would totally seem like I’ve quit on everything two years ago.

That might actually be sort of the truth, if I really think about it.

It wasn’t really that I quit writing on purpose. It’s just that my depression swept over me like the effing tsunami it can be, and I gradually realized I wasn’t writing anymore.

There have been several tries to write blog posts that had never got uploaded or even finished, thoughts on hosting a giveaway here and there (I think I did one some time ago, but that was on my Facebook.)

I’ve failed the whole “marketing myself” bit, and right now if you’re friends with me on Facebook, you mostly see puppy pictures, because I’m getting a new puppy in two weeks, yay! (FAIL. Promo wise. I know. Otherwise, quite cute.)

So what have I been up to lately? Or like, in the last two years when I’ve not posted here… Oops.

Well, there’s this short story I wrote last summer for Dreamspinner’s Daily Dose. It’s called Up to Boil, and it’s a May/December blue collar kind of thing. That’s literally the only thing I’ve had out there since Solitude. It did felt good to have something released out in the wild (from the constraints of my head, haha), though. So yay for that!

Right now I’m in the middle of trying to make a deadline for their States of Love submission call. The deadline is in a few days and I’m pretty sure I’ll make it. My state is Colorado, by the way, and it’s a story with a weird kind of structure, but more about that when it actually has a release date.

The really good news, though? I’ve signed a contract for a novel that’ll be out sometime in August/September. It’s a story about a “horse whisperer” who takes one last job to heal a horse, and ends up healing the rider, too. And maybe, possibly, they heal him a bit right back…? The theme of this story is largely about family, as my stories tend to, but another theme is depression. I hope I’m doing it justice, because it would suck to not be able to with the extensive “research” on the matter I’ve done most of my adult life. *insert wry laughter here*

So that’s about it, folks. Oh, and if you want a free copy of Up to Boil, message me on Facebook and I’ll see what I can do (for the first three people, at least. ;) )

10.01.2014

Anna Takes Over - Ponderi…

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I love how everything to do with Solitude sounds very dramatic. Even the title of this post.

It’s been a few weeks now since Solitude was released and I’ve had chance to sit back, look at what people have been saying about it, and generally just reflect on what is a very non-standard romance novel.

I think when we were writing it, Tia and I knew that we’d possibly ruffle some feathers with this book. Liam and Gael are potentially controversial characters with unusual jobs and fairly progressive attitudes. We didn’t hold back with the plot and threw everything at those boys.

The main problems people seem to have are around the HIV storyline and Liam’s hooking, which is pretty much exactly what I expected! I wanted to address these points, if I may.

I don’t think either of the boys’ attitude towards HIV infection is blasé. Liam is very aware of the implications of a positive test result – it would impact his life, his career, his main source of income. It was this fear, for his livelihood, that provoked Liam into running away from LA and his life there. So he knows the risks.

There’s a scene in the book where the boys engage in ‘docking’ – a sexual practice where an uncircumcised man slides his foreskin over the head of a circumcised man’s cock. There’s a brief discussion around this as to whether Gael is at any risk of HIV infection from this activity, since Liam’s status is technically unknown at this time, and they decide to do it anyway.

I did a lot of research into HIV for this novel, including whether there was any chance Gael could contract the disease from this. (This article has more, if you’re interested http://www.thebody.com/h/docking-risk-of-getting-HIV.html) The views of the professionals are, the risks are negligible. Even if Liam were positive (and he isn’t) there’s absolutely no recorded evidence of someone contracting HIV this way. Now, I know for some readers, the fact that there’s any risk at all means they shouldn’t do it.

But I can’t help but think that the boys put themselves at far greater risk by their day jobs than by this one act.

Which leads me neatly on to Liam hooking.

One of the main things that changes for Liam over the course of the novel is he realizes that sex and making love are two different things. Though he has had a lot of sex in his life – a LOT – he’s never been with a partner and made love. Gael changes that for him.

By the end of the novel Liam knows he can fuck and be fucked by other guys, and still go home to his partner and make love. The physical act might be the same, but the intention behind it is completely different. Sex isn’t just sex any more.

I’m proud that I can say I was part of a novel that opens up these kinds of discussions. HIV isn’t a death sentence for people in the western world today, and we need to start breaking down some of the stigma around people who are positive, who can and do live full and happy lives regardless of their status. Of course porn studios and prostitutes need to ensure sex workers are protected against the risk of infection – it’s still a serious disease – but the only way we can start to address the issue of HIV is to talk about it.

If I could go back and change anything about the novel, would I? No. Not at all. I know there are things people don’t like about it and I’m okay with that. But Solitude has a message, and watering it down for the sake of popularity just isn’t the Anna Martin way. ;)

08.02.2014

What's Up?

Posted in Releases

That’s the question. Well, first of all, as many of you who might read this know, I suffer from depression that is always there. Depending on a number of things, sometimes extremely random ones, I can do pretty well for a time, then pretty damn unwell the next instant.

None of this is new to me. I’ve suffered from anything from “mild” to “not-quite-suicidal” depression for most of my adult life. That’s more than a decade now. There was a time, around 2006-2010 when I felt much better and at times considered myself depression free. I’m not sure if I was, if I’m completely honest, but I was better. That’s the keyword here. With how my mental health is, “better” is a thing to aspire to be. “Healed” or “depression free”… No, I don’t much believe in those.

All that said, the last year has been pretty rough on me. The last six months even more so. There have been times when I’ve been seriously scared of my condition and how it has ups and downs and random spin-arounds. But hey, I’m still here!

For me personally—and I assume this might go for lot of writers/creative people with depression—my mental health is very connected to my creative outlet. Writing, for me, is always the thing that makes me feel better. Worthy. Even good. But when I’m depressed, the joy of writing is sucked out and my creativity dwindles, and I feel more depressed because I’m not writing, and then I can’t write because I feel like crap…. Endless cycle. Endless.

This summer I had my medication adjusted. New things and old things are being tried out, to see if something would help. To add to my condition, I have (somewhat mild) ADHD. And issues with falling asleep. Both of those mean additional medication. For me, no depression medication has ever really helped long term. None. And I have tried probably over a dozen different ones over the years. This time we went back to basics and back to serotonin which is pretty much as basic as you can get. It’s never worked before.

This time, it seems to be working. A little. How do I know this? I have ideas. I’m writing a little bit. I feel creative bursts that were missing for months and months. I have stories fading in and out of my mind like I had last year when things were better.

So I’m writing. It might take time, but dear deity I’m writing. When my favorite season, autumn, arrives soon, I expect to feel much better anyway. I’m one of those weird people who get worse in springtime and better in the fall, instead the more usual other way around. Light, for me, is worse than darkness.

All that said, the Fifty Questions with Tia thing is on hold until I find a personal assistant who works for free books and virtual hugs and cookies OR when I feel “better enough” to do it more regularly again. It seems silly to post those sporadically when it’s a series.

For a lot of this year I was pretty sure I wouldn’t have anything but Mirage out. All year. But then I wrote Solitude with Anna Martin, and I wrote a little short story for an anthology over at Wilde City, and so there are two things that are out soon. There’s also the little freebie I wrote for the M/M Romance group’s event on Goodreads. There are stories out, just not so many. I’m trying to tell myself I haven’t failed and that I won’t. That I might just be getting better again. But we’ll see. Time will tell.

You can find Solitude here and the Bedtime Stories anthology here. I hope you enjoy them both.

03.13.2014

Novel Number Five!

Posted in Releases

I suddenly have Lou Bega’s Mambo Number 5 playing in my head. (You’re welcome.)

I guess I never thought I’d come this far. Four years ago I was thinking I wouldn’t be published before my thirtieth birthday. That was my original Big Dream, by the way. I was published a few days after my thirtieth in 2011. So I almost made it, and I have to be happy with that.

Now, three years later, I have several—holy crap, almost ten!—shorter stories out there, and in a few days my fifth novel will be out there for everyone to see. FIVE NOVELS. Can I repeat HOLY CRAP!

How did all of this happen? When I started writing fan fiction almost five years ago after having not written a thing in years, I never thought this was where I was heading. It wasn’t my intention to be a published author. Instead, I’d found a new fandom I enjoyed, found out I could relate enough to use someone else’s characters and write these stories some people actually liked to read.

That was mind blowing: Someone liked what I wrote. These days the feedback is less instantaneous and I can’t just upload a story I’ve just finished to some website and know that by the morning someone has left a comment. What hasn’t changed is the fact that I’m still blown away whenever someone who likes my books emails me to say so.

I’m not a big name in M/M romance and I probably never will be, but that’s not why I write so it’s fine. I write for me, because my head likes to get the evil bunnies hopping about out before I go crazier. I write because there’s no other way for me to live anymore.

Even when I struggle with real life stuff and health stuff or even the fact that I live a long way away from any big events that mostly happen in the US, the plot bunnies keep doing their thing and there will be more stories, eventually.

The next one that’s out, number five, is a story of a washed out alcoholic country music star Jasper and a truck driving, songwriting, tattooed ex soul surfer Cade. The story also has rescue pitbulls, inner struggles, coming out, families, and lots of music references I couldn’t help—the boys insisted.

So if you like Mirage, let me know. I’d really love to hear from you. Oh and if you want to, you can follow my daily music countdown to Mirage on my FB author page, just click here.

08.15.2013

Positive - Out Now! And a…

Posted in Releases

Hi, everyone!

It’s the Day After for Positive. That means yesterday was the release date, and I’m now biting my nails, waiting for reactions from the readers.

That said, I’ve gotten this question a few times now, and I think it’s best to address it here:

“Is Positive M/M/M?”

The short and true answer is no, Positive is NOT an M/M/M book. It has one scene of M/M/M and while some readers will definitely see that as coming out of the blue or lending nothing to the plot or even “being there for the smut”, it’s not there for those reasons.

The threesome my established couple in the book has is there for a reason. Because Brent and Shawn wanted to have a threesome. Because they could do it without it changing their relationship. They wanted to, both for their own reasons. I actually tried to fight the characters, I tried NOT to write the scene. They insisted they wanted and needed it. So I caved in.

I never write sex for the sake of sex, so that’s definitely not the case. This M/M/M scene is there for personal growth and want.

Oh and by the way, if you want to ‘Like’ me on Facebook, it’s now possible. You don’t have to friend me anymore. ;) If you ‘Like’ me, I promise to make some nice giveaways happen for special landmarks.

I’m also on Authorgraph now, so if you want anything signed, let me know!

I hope your end of summer is turning into the beginning of fall smoothly. Autumn is my favorite season, so I’m happy!

07.17.2013

Preorder Positive!

Posted in Releases

I got the email notification today, so I’m happy to announce that Positive is now on the Dreamspinner’s coming soon page. That means you can now preorder it!

I read the book through for the last time before the publishing yesterday, and I have to say I really like this book. Even if I say so myself, it’s a good book. Then again whenever I love one of my books, others don’t, so we shall see…

Despite the M/M/M tag on Dreamspinner’s website, there’s only one scene of M/M/M and the book is M/M with a longtime committed relationship in the center. So don’t let the M/M/M scare you! :)

Hope you all are having a nice summer so far!

07.08.2013

Cover reveal, sisu, and g…

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But not in that order.

Lately I’ve been thinking about readers as a whole, how I read, and what I think about all that as an author. First of all I honestly think that authors can’t necessarily expect a whole lot “understanding” from readers who don’t write.

Writing a story from beginning to end, especially when you also want to get it published, is different than anything you’ve probably ever done. Once you’ve gotten through all that and taken the reactions and reviews and ratings and feedback, you’re changed forever.

You’ll read differently too. You try to understand a book, the author, everything, much more. You’re less likely to jump into conclusions, to be harsh about another person’s work, and especially how you portray your opinions to other readers.

So the generalizations? In general, readers don’t see books like authors do. They think we write vampires because of Twilight and BDSM because 50 Shades of Shpoop. That’s not true. At least not often, not with proper authors who have integrity. Why? Because it takes months and months to get your story from an idea to a published book.

Sure, those two books I mentioned took a lot longer than a few months to die down even a little, but still, it’s virtually impossible to predict what will sell and when it will sell. Accusing authors of riding the wave of *enter some (sub)genre here* is stupid. Because it’s all but impossible to predict that much!

If I KNEW what the next huge thing would be, wouldn’t I be writing that instead of a story of a washed up forty-something country singer who is not only a recovering alcoholic, but also has kids, a low self-esteem, an ex-wife called Jolene and a tiny flickering hope within himself to find love just for himself? No, I wouldn’t be writing that book, I’d be writing the NEXT BIG THING to get maximum money out of my feeble efforts in writing.

When I write a story, I never, ever think what people in general will think about it. I can’t put myself down like that. I try to write for a living, here. I try to do that in M/M fiction, people! Do you have any idea how hard that can be?

In addition, I battle depression and the fact that English isn’t my first language. That, alone, makes my writing different from others. Different in a way that makes my style difficult for some people to read. In general, I’m could be thought of as a failure from the beginning.

How in the hell can I sell books with the starting point I have? How do I dare to think I might actually support myself and my menagerie with the way things are?

One word: Sisu.

Oh and here’s the cover for Positive, out August 14th. ;)

07.01.2013

Heat, news and upcoming r…

Posted in Releases

I’ve been slacking again. I’ll blame the heat, because frankly THIS CAN’T BE FINLAND!! It’s been so hot in here for the last nearly two weeks it’s ridiculous. When it’s not hot enough to boil me, it’s thundering so I can’t be online. The times I can write is used by editing or trying to write and I’ve done pretty good job with dodging the thunderstorms that have been pretty wicked this summer, naturally because of the heat.

On June 17th, I finally had my baby. Not a human one, I don’t have those and probably never will, but a doggie one. She came from Spain, she’s a rescue, and  I love her to bits. Her name is Tara, she’s a bull terrier mix and she’s around 10 months old now. She’s kept me pretty busy when we’ve had energy. As you can guess, the animals don’t like this much heat either. Oh and before someone asks, it’s been around 29C / 85F, continuously, which is a lot for us.

Back to business! I had a freebie story come out early June. It’s for the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s event called Love Has No Boundaries. You can find the story, titled Cherry Blossoms and Titanium here.

Next bit of news is that I have changed my next book’s name during the production process. It’s now called Positive instead of Tainted. I’ll have you a release date and such later, but here’s the blurb already:

Even after a decade, the life that journalist Brent Walsh and Milwaukee homicide detective Shawn Mackey have made together is far from boring. But when a new case cuts a weekend getaway short, they aren’t quite prepared for how it will impact their personal lives. Suddenly there’s too much to juggle: Shawn will be working the case of the sharpshooter who is trying to infect random people with HIV, Brent needs to cover the story but fears a conflict of interest, one of Shawn’s colleagues is attracted to him, and Brent sincerely needs to mend the painful break with his childhood best friend, Ollie, and heal their broken hearts.

Though case comes to a close, it’s not the end of their troubles. Shawn and Brent still face a past of old white lies, a present possibility of inviting another man to their bed, and a future with children, not to mention health issues and national fallout from the case. It’s enough to make them want to run away—until they realize they have to face those challenges head-on so they can get on with the life of love they’re hoping for.

Last but not least: I received a contract for Finnshifters 3 last night. This means the book will be out around Nov/Dec and I’ll, again, let you know more when I have the details. I know some of you have been waiting for this book for ages now, so I hope you’re happy for the heads up. :) It’s Sean’s book, it’s pretty angsty, and it’s–as always–about the farm family as a whole.

That’s about it for now. See you when I have more to post! :)

05.10.2013

News of all kinds!

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Yes, I know…. I’ve been slacking with this blogging thing and I’m sorry. There are plenty  of news though, so let’s get started, eh? :)

  • My next novel, called Tainted, has a tentative release date of Aug/Sept 2013. It’s a contemporary romance, mystery/suspense with my kind of not-quite-typical aspects thrown in. And yes, I still write in my slightly quirky way. :) The publisher is Dreamspinner Press.
  • I’m getting a dog! This isn’t news, really. At least not news about my writing career, so… sorry if you dislike dogs. (You might be missing out, just saying….) Because in my country we’re in such a great situation that we don’t really have shelter dogs (at all, yes I know it’s hard to imagine if your country has overflow, but we’re lucky this way) and I’ve wanted to adopt for a long time, my girl Tara is flying in from Spain in mid-June. I’ll make a proper post about her at some point, promise!
  • I’m writing, at last, the third Finnshifters book! I know some people didn’t get the things that happened in book 2 and disliked it strongly, but it’s my universe and everything has a meaning. I don’t want to add spoilers here, but let’s just say that the major plot point was going to happen even before there were any plans on there being more books than one! So yes, it’s not a plot element added for shock value. Trust me on this. I don’t throw intentional cheap punches.
  • I’m taking part in Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia this month! I’ll be doing a giveaway or a few, so stay tuned! :)
  • Oh and yes, Finnshifters 3? If nothing surprising happens and I keep my submission deadline and all that, it should be out in November this year. So not too long for that either. :)
  • M/M Romance group on Goodreads has another lovely event going on again this summer. I’ve written a little story for the event and it will be out at some point…. no idea when but when I know, I’ll let you know!
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