Answering A Question About Cole’s Rick from the Dirty Series…

Yesterday on Facebook a reader asked: Just re reading Dirty Kiss and started wondering about Cole and Rick! How and when did they meet? What was Rick Like? Etc. Any possibility of a prequel?

I answered this there but I was asked to also share it here on my blog. People have asked me about Rick before so really, it’s not out of the blue. Please understand that for me, the books are about Cole and Jae but asking about Rick is a very valid question and a good question.

Here is my reply:

I will not write about Rick and Cole. Mostly because that’s a story best left to the imagination of the reader. I don’t think I can go back to that time in Cole’s life.

What I can tell you about Rick is he was a good guy, a bit vain and sometimes a bit demanding but he laughed well and heartily and loved fully. He was an artist in his own right and generous with his affection towards friends and of course, his boyfriend, Cole. Rick was tender-hearted, loved romantic movies, cried at commericals sometimes and was a bit sentimental in the best of ways. He could cook a little bit, would sometimes forget to pick up his shoes after taking them off in the living room and adored dogs.

He loved red balloons, carnivals so he could go on all the rides and eat cotton candy—or rather, steal most of Cole’s— and silly amusements. He liked walking on the beach at sunrise, and embraced everything life had to offer. He was the kind of guy who’d eat off your plate while at the same time, slide half of his food onto yours in exchange. Sometimes he would be careless with someone’s feelings but he would always try to make amends. He wasn’t perfect by any means but he did love Cole.

And there were sad times and regrets, especially around the holidays when he wasn’t with his family. He came from a typical solid Midwest family and was raised to treat people fairly so it pained him deeply when his own turned their backs on him.

Rick would be the first person to tell his Mac to fall in love again. He loved Cole that much. He would want Cole to find a lasting happiness and live a long, glorious life with someone who cared for him deeply. He’d approve of Jae and probably would have loved to have known him.

New Cole and Jae Shirts and Other Merchandise

Readers of the Dirty series featuring Cole and Jae have asked me in the past to give them a t-shirt…and well anything… highlighting their journey to their Happy Ever After. So, in the spirit of their relationship, I present a classic slash shirt, something you’d leave in the margin of a notebook or carved into a picnic table at a favourite park.

If you had a really good knife and a lot of patience.

Much love.

Link to Saranghaeyo Cole & Jae Merchandise

Ship Your Dreamspinner, DSP Publications, and Harmony Ink Paperbacks Straight to GRL! And 30% Off Too!

From September 17-22, all Dreamspinner Press, DSP Publications and Harmony Ink paperbacks are 30% off. Plus, readers can get free shipping to GRL using the code GRL2017. (Sale is set to begin and end based on Eastern Daylight Time.)


Don’t Forget! Murder and Mayhem (Rook/Dante Book 1) Now 99 Cents until Sept 20

If you’ve not met Rook and Dante, catch up with their first book, Murder and Mayhem, for only 99 cents. The sequel, Tramps and Thieves, drops on Sept 18!

Murder and Mayhem, the first of the Rook/Dante Mysteries, is now a 99-cent sale eBook at Amazon (price matched at the Dreamspinner store)

Murder and Mayhem: Book One

Dead women tell no tales.

Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life—until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.

Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again—not after his former partner falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still makes his blood sing.

Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.

Dreamspinner Press Link 
Amazon Link

Murder and Mayhem (Rook/Dante Book 1) Now 99 Cents until Sept 20

Murder and Mayhem, the first of the Rook/Dante Mysteries, is now a 99-cent sale eBook at Amazon (price matched at the Dreamspinner store): As the bodies pile up around a former cat burglar’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence—and the only man who’s ever gotten under his skin.

Dreamspinner Press Link 
Amazon Link

posting a quick post…

I’m actually still in Hawai’i but I will be headed home in a couple of days. I have been watching the hurricane news and  well frankly I’m worried because I have friends who are in that area. Having grown up on an island myself I know how devastating these kind of events can be.  I hope that everyone  stays safe and watches out for the person  next to them. We are often so powerless against mother nature but we are not powerless to help one another.

I have done little to writing this morning and then I will be actually headed out to the tour guide which is kind of fun. It rained little bit this morning but right now it is very sunny and oddly enough not as muggy as it used to be. I’m sure that will change of the day.

My mission today is to  get some souvenirs, a piece of luggage for one person, and pick up local style macaroni salad for dinner with my parents tonight. There is much debate upon what is the best mac salad here in Hilo. So,  we have a contender and we will see how it is. Also, apparently Jack-in-the-Box sells fried rice with spam and Portuguese sausage and my mother has been trying to get me to buy some and eat it. I guess she thinks I will be the guinea pig. I should buy it just to say how wonderful it is and how amazing it is that it is offered.

I hope all of you doing well and that you have a good week..

Sin and Tonic

So, I’ve spent the day plotting out Sin and Tonic. I started at about 10 AM and it is now 2:30 PM. I am only on chapter 18. I’ve stopped to do minor things like make sure the cat had his meds and that the dog’s eardrops were applied but for the most part, it is been spent on the book.

This is possibly the most detailed plot that I have done ever. I feel like this book requires it. Normally I just do a chapter number and a brief few lines telling me what scene needs to happen or what is the take away but this time I’m actually going scene by scene. Which I haven’t done since Black Dog Blues. It is kind of crazy to work like this. It doesn’t leave a lot of room to wiggle plot around but I think especially for this novel, it needs to be as tight as possible.

I will be writing some of this in Hawai’i, California, and if I don’t finish it earlier, probably on the road trip to GRL and while I am in Denver. So in a lot of ways, I am going to be on a road trip while writing about the band. That’s kind of ironic and in some ways, poetic. Because it mirrors the journey that I’ve taken. I started off in Hawai’i, eventually moved to California where I began to write about Cole as well as Miki and the boys, which led me to being published and attending GRL as an author. I have made a lot of friends along the way, met a lot of wonderful people, and had my life changed so tremendously on that journey. I hope all of you will be with me as we go through the final stretch.

It is difficult to be saying goodbye to Miki and Kane. Trust me I know that. It is going to hurt when I write those final twenty songs because I know that it will truly be the end. And while I don’t know if I’m ready to write that, I know I have to. The time is come. The time has truly come to write that sunset.

I’m not to say that it’s bittersweet because it really is not. It’s kind of cathartic, because Miki begins to heal. No, not just heal — he begins to thrive. And really is the point of the series. We started with Miki and Kane, so we’re going to end with Miki and Kane. I’m really looking forward to writing their happily ever after.

Okay… So Let’s Talk About Hatred.

ha·tred \ˈhā-trəd\

1:  extreme dislike or disgust :  hate
2:  ill will or resentment that is usually mutual :  prejudiced hostility or animosity

noun prej·u·dice \ˈpre-jə-dəs\

1:  preconceived judgment or opinion
2:  an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge
3:  an instance of such judgment or opinion.
4: an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics

I posted these definitions to point out something key in the use of the word hatred. Usually mutual. I can hate broccoli which is definition number one because I’m pretty certain broccoli could give two fucks about if it likes me or not. However, we are definitely looking at the second definition with regards to the rise of facism and violence over the past year or so.

There have always been people who felt in their heart of hearts that I, as a person of colour (off-beige), deserve less than they get in life. Less money, less rights, and in some cases, even less life because they truly want other people to die. Solely because of the colour of their skin, the name of their God and anything else that is not exactly fitting into the box they’ve built in their mind.

These people are no longer afraid of the light. They have crawled out from under their rock, taken off their hoods and masks and are now walking amongst us carrying tiki torches and guns. They have murdered in the past. Do not forget this. This is a continuation of the murdering of millions abroad and countless thousands at home. These are the people who hung Emmett Till, shot Martin Luther King Jr. and interned Japanese-Americans. They beat to death Matthew Shepard, killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla and slaughtered 49 people as they danced and celebrated life in Orlando. And one, in particular, mowed down a group of people, killing a vibrant, young woman named Heather Heyer.

They carry flags of symbols they’ve stolen from other cultures, warping them into iconic imagery we now equate with death. They carry them so we fear their approach. They hope that if they carry these symbols we will hide away, that we will cower and scatter. They scream and strike, thinking their numbers will shield them, hide their identities and they can march freely against us, trampling our freedom and steal the rights we’ve all fought so hard and long to obtain.

See the thing is, those rights are ours. They were ours to begin with. Sadly, we are still waiting for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to be ratified despite it being a work in progress since back in the 1920s but still, these are all of our rights. This speaks to the struggle we seem to have as a nation to accept ALL people are created equal. We are literally still fighting to erect the foundation stones of what our country was built on.

And now these assholes come along and try to tear our house down.

They’ve always been there. These malignant termites who lurk in the darkness. Their hatred and prejudice are self-aggrandizing fantasies they are working very hard to make a reality. Not because they want to protect their culture. Our skin colours do not dictate who we are as people, our actions and our thoughts do. “White” isn’t a culture. “White” isn’t an identity. These people are no more “White” than I am “Yellow” or “Brown”.  “White” doesn’t define a person or make them better than the person next to them and no matter how loud these parasites scream they are being oppressed, they are not.

People are more than the colour of their skin.

These people are simply being told… we will not stand idle while you kill, subjugate and terrorize us and they are angry we refuse to lie down in the dirt so they can slaughter who we are, what we are and how we live. They seek to drive us into the shadows, hoping we will cow before them but we will not. We CANNOT. Not because we deserve better than what they want for us. No, that’s not it at all. We cannot let their prejudice survive because we want better for their children as well as ours. We can only move forward as a species if we are all reaching for the same goals, for the same stars, for the same dreams.

What do I want? I don’t have children. I will never have children. But that doesn’t mean I intend to leave the world without thinking about its future or about the people in it.

I want everyone to have the luxury of going home at night to their families, regardless of how that family looks. I want the children of these families to learn about other people and embrace other cultures, eat their foods and learn their language. I want people to look at someone’s differences and be curious not dismissive or incite hatred. And most of all, I’d like us to stop killing each other as if we are animals fighting for survival around a single watering hole.

There are enough rights and life for everyone here. Equality is like space, it is infinite. It is not a cup of sugar to be doled out sparingly among the privileged or a select arbitrary group. It cannot be made less because someone is afforded the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

You cannot have less rights because the person next to you has the same as you do. That’s not how it works.

So, hatred. I can hate broccoli although I don’t. I can hate bitter melon, which I do. But hating someone because their existence threatens yours? It is, in essence, irrational. And while we cannot argue with the insanity that is bigotry and prejudice, we can stand against its violence, refuse to let them grab a hold of our society and say no to their theft of our rights. We cannot afford to let this stupidity slink back into the shadows. We cannot allow those who represent us to be silent in this war of words and blood. People have died because of these rancid beliefs, this mindset and if we do not stand against them, many more will follow.

What we can allow—what we must allow—is space next to one another for us to all exist together in peace. There is enough room for everyone at the world’s table and we need to fight to make sure everyone has a seat.



New Ink. Rob Benavides of Flying Panther Tattoo in San Diego Rocks!

Ink is done. Hurts a bit. This was a two session stint. First pass was outline and shading of the lower half. Today (or rather yesterday) was finishing up the upper half, which includes very sensitive skin. I’d have tapped out if we’d done it all in one stint.

The design is meant to invoke kimono / textile flowers found in traditional Japanese art. Also in the style of hanafuda cards, a game I’ve played since I could count pennies…and taught others how to play. It’s an addiction. I need more people to learn it. But learn the Hawai’i style because it’s easier on the brain.

The dragon and other flower are much older and the inks have changed so dramatically since that time. We’re talking more than a decade-and-a-half or thereabouts.

This was done at Flying Panther Tattoo by Rob Benavides who is a master of tattooing and a really awesome guy. Those of you who read the Kai Gracen series might recognize the Flying Panther name. I gave them a shout out in Book One.

Now, I need a nap. And maybe some pizza.