I’ll be celebrating my first anniversary next month. (Thank you, thank you.) No, not my wedding anniversary, I’ve had eleven of those. And it isn’t anything to do with writing or publishing milestones yet either; my first look back at those dates are still to come next year.
Believe it or not, what I’m fondly recalling is my first e-book purchase.
I’ve always been a bit behind the curve. The last of my friends and family to get a CD player, a cell phone, a DVD player. Still don’t have an iPod or any kind of games, and certainly no digital reader yet, although that might change soon.
So last year when I discovered the world of erotic romance, imagine my shock when I discovered that the e-book option on book purchases, which I had previously unilaterally ignored, was the only option for some titles I was interested in!
It was a rather nervewracking experience going through the purchase process that first time. What if they don’t send it? How am I going to feel not being able to hold it in my hand? Why on earth don’t they just print copies? I most likely would still be in the e-book dark ages if it weren’t for the fact I had a healthy Paypal balance from my E-Bay business (another nervewracking learning curve I went through a couple years ago).
I bit the bullet and hit purchase, then went through the payment process on Paypal. Then I was sent back to the publisher, who kindly thanked me for my purchase. For the life of me, I couldn’t see where to get the darn book from. Finally figured out that with that particular site, the link is e-mailed. Had that sinking ‘I knew it!’ feeling until I figured it out though.
Once I’d downloaded it and figured out where to save it to, I whizzed through it. The book itself was mediocre. What hooked me was the instant gratification: No waiting for snail mail shipping, no trips to the store. I could look for a book, find one that appealed to me, and be into the first chapter within minutes.
An almost addictive rush.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve spent on e-books in the past year, especially once I decided (last spring) to try to write. Hit my Goodreads page for an idea. I did a LOT of reading to try to get a feel for what I needed to accomplish in order to write something which had a chance of being accepted for publication…by an e-pub.
Imagine, a whole industry out there that publishes primarily in e-book format. Besides the obvious environmental plusses, the fact that non-traditional genres are now instantly and privately accessible was eye-opening. And thought-provoking.
My writing was coming along, but with nothing published yet, when I discovered manlove, m/m erotic romance. I was really taken with it, began writing it, and everything I’ve published to date is m/m. And I never would have even considered it if I hadn’t stumbled across the e-book world.
That little ‘trip’ helped me find my calling in life.
My latest release, Silver & Gold, came out this month at Dreamspinner Press.
Geoff Radcliffe is having a mid-life crisis just in time for the holidays. He goes into a tailspin after hearing from his first love, picks up a stranger who locks him out of the house in nothing but his pants, and then he gets up the courage to go get rid of his grey, and the colorist refuses to do Geoff's hair!
But Abe Golden, thrilled that the hunky silver-tipped guy has admitted he's gay, does 'do' him, taking him home for the hottest night of Geoff's life. After three heavenly days of smoking hot sex, Abe has done the unimaginable: he's fallen in love. And when he finds out that Geoff has been using him to practice for another man, Abe is at first heartbroken... and then he plots how to show Geoff the value of combining silver and gold.
Coming next month from Total E Bound, I’m sharing the Gaymes anthology with my lovely hostess, Lisabet Sarai, as well as Gwen Cease, Jenna Byrnes, Jude Mason, Kim Dare, and Carol Lynne, heady company indeed! Here is look at my story, Rough Riders:
Playing by different rules can lead to heartbreak, but changing the game plan can be the tiebreaker.
Luke Briscoe has a good reason to stay in the closet with his team, the Rough Riders. Bitter past experience has taught him to be cautious around athletic teams. But after Mario, his teammate and lover of ten years, leaves him, tired of the secrecy, Luke is forced to confront his fears, especially since the sexy and confident new member of the team, Derek Grimm, has no problem with being out and proud.
Derek has wanted Luke from the first moment he saw him. But he knows the timing is all wrong, and vows to let Luke have the time he needs to recover from his breakup. As time goes on, though, Derek becomes frustrated with Luke's determination to stay in the closet. Derek and Mario are out, and the team is fine with it. Why is Luke still holding back? Derek wonders if any amount of time will ever be enough. Maybe it's time to try a different game plan...
"It's not like I hide you from the world," Luke protested, arguing one of Mario's most repetitive complaints of late. "But the guys here are not going to be as accepting as the public in general." Mario rolled his dark eyes in his typical dramatic fashion. "Please. The whole point is that… Get dressed, you're going to be late." He grabbed the jock dangling from Luke's fingers and slapped it at his chest with hardly a pause in his speech. "…is that we are here all the time. All. The. Time." He punctuated this with pokes to Luke's arm. Luke didn't move and Mario sighed. "Fine. I shouldn't have started this here. But I thought it would give you a chance to rearrange the roster, or at least start thinking about it during practice. Plus you can tell the guys today that I'm off the team." "What?" Luke shot to his feet. "Why should I tell them? Why don't you tell them? It's as much your team as mine." The Rough Riders was their baby, formed nearly a decade before with a mish-mash of friends and acquaintances that had since become the most competitive three-sport team in the city. They entered tournaments city-wide and regionally in basketball and softball, and just last year had qualified for nationals in flag football. "Not any longer. And think, Luke." Mario stood as well and leaned in close. Luke closed his eyes briefly as the warm, familiar scent came to him, knotting his insides. "Do you really want me to tell them? Hmm? I have reached the end of my self-control. If they ask me why, I will not be able to lie. And you do not want me to tell the truth." He flipped his hand expressively. "That is the whole problem." "What if…" Luke stopped, swallowing hard. He fought down the rising panic. "What if I…did tell them? Would you stay?" Mario's handsome face slackened in shock and disbelief, then hardened. "Put your fucking workout clothes on. Meet me outside." Luke touched his elbow warily, and Mario knocked his hand away. "Outside, or I swear to God I will take this fucking roof off." He stormed away, muttering to himself, the stiffness in Mario's normally fluid stride bringing a touch of fear into Luke's heart.
Luke quickly dressed and hurried out the door to the practice area. He looked around with a frown. He should have asked Mario to specify where outside. The sports complex was huge. Maybe he meant by the parking lot? Luke started walking around the huge building in that direction, and stumbled when Mario grabbed his T-shirt and yanked him into a doorwell, shoving him up against the cinderblock wall and taking his mouth in a hard, demanding kiss. Luke found himself moaning into the rough contact, which drove all thoughts of their whereabouts straight out of his head. He let go of Mario's arms, which he had clutched initially to balance himself, and wrapped his arms around him, desperately returning his kiss. Coaxing the other man in to a softer mutual stroking of their mouths, he willed Mario to give up this crazy ultimatum. God, if he lost him… He groaned as he shifted, fitting himself more completely against the insistent press of Mario's lean, muscular form. Mario's hand snaked up under Luke's shirt, tweaking his nipple. The jolt brought Luke's eyes open, and they immediately snapped to movement over Mario's shoulder. His eyes widened and Luke stiffened as he saw a tall, superbly fit man running rapidly towards them, his eyes looking directly at the pair with surprise. "Shit," he muttered into Mario's mouth. "Babe.," He disengaged their mouths by turning his head, pushing at his chest. Mario kept him pinned. "Mario, let me go, man, someone's coming!" He pushed ineffectually against the well-positioned man. "I thought you wanted to tell everyone." Mario mocked, his tone derisive, but his eyes were filled with pain. He kept Luke in place as the man ran past, close enough that they could hear the swish of his running shorts as he blew by, apparently wrapping up his workout with a sprint. "He wasn't even someone we know and you froze up. And you think you can tell the Riders?" He snorted and finally released Luke, backing away, shaking his head. "I'm sorry. I just can't do this anymore."
Visit Devon's website at http://www.devonrhodes.com
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