Pride Month Promo Sale

For the month of June (Pride Month) you can get “The Undeniable Self” for a low .99c. When you go to the book’s landing page HERE, add to cart then include the code AG64D before you checkout. The discount will be applied! Enjoy!

Eighteen-year-old Luke isn’t just gay; there’s something else about him he can’t define. He’s nervous and anxious all the time—and being uncomfortable in his own skin doesn’t help.

When he’s asked to be Sawyer’s boyfriend, a boy who’s caring, considerate, and a true gentleman, Luke thinks Sawyer might be just what he needs to help him be who he’s really meant to be.

But when it comes time for Luke to meet Sawyer’s parents, secrets are revealed that make Luke question everything. Secrets that include Sawyer as well.

Can Luke accept Sawyer and his family to help on the path toward accepting himself? Or will the tension it causes mean the end of their relationship? Sometimes happily ever after’s need to take a turn, no matter how difficult, if they’re meant to be.

Thank you for your support!

Just a note to say all stories I’ve self published have been professionally edited and professionally proofread – I believe self published books need just as much care and attention, perhaps more so, than traditionally published books.

And if you buy one of my books, I’ll appreciate you forever!

Artwork by Yuitsu

Three Novellas Added!

Today I’ve updated my Smashwords site again, this time by adding not one but three novella length stories (20-30, 000 words in length) for really great prices, too!

The Undeniable Self

Eighteen-year-old Luke isn’t just gay; there’s something else about him he can’t define. He’s nervous and anxious all the time—and being uncomfortable in his own skin doesn’t help.

When he’s asked to be Sawyer’s boyfriend, a boy who’s caring, considerate, and a true gentleman, Luke thinks Sawyer might be just what he needs to help him be who he’s really meant to be.

But when it comes time for Luke to meet Sawyer’s parents, secrets are revealed that make Luke question everything. Secrets that include Sawyer as well.

Can Luke accept Sawyer and his family to help on the path toward accepting himself? Or will the tension it causes mean the end of their relationship? Sometimes happily ever after’s need to take a turn, no matter how difficult, if they’re meant to be.

The Odd Days

The Preston Tigers’ new recruit is a hot boy named Matty…and he’s got Grayson all hot and bothered under the collar. It isn’t good for his anxiety, that’s for sure.

Before Grayson can make his move and ask Matty on a date, another boy, one who’s also hot and cute, gets in first. Grayson is suddenly out of the picture as far as Matty’s concerned, his best chance of getting a boyfriend gone.

Sure, Matty is the talk of the town, but Grayson is now all alone. Again. What does he have to do to find happiness? It can’t be that hard, can it? Just when he thinks all is lost, however, another opportunity unexpectedly presents itself.

One that will surprise Grayson and change his life forever.

Sometimes happy ever afters take a while to arrive, but when they do, magic happens.

I’ll Always Be There for You

Reece and Lachlan have known each other all their lives, spending every waking moment together if they can. In fact, they both have feelings for one another that goes well beyond friendship—they are soulmates.

At a party one night, Lachlan kisses Reece.

Reece gets scared by his overwhelming feelings for Lachlan and can’t reciprocate. He immediately regrets his decision, especially when Lachlan decides he must move on if Reece doesn’t want him in that way, pursuing the attention of Christian—the hot and fit captain of the Preston Dolphins swim team.

Reece wishes he could turn back time so he can correct his mistake. When Lachlan accepts a party invitation from Christian, Reece truly believes his chances with the only boy he’s ever loved are lost.

Can Reece get Lachlan back? Or will his happily ever after fade away like the memory of that one kiss that changed his world?

There is of course more information about each book on their separate pages! So thanks for being here and perhaps showing an interest in one of my stories.

Just a note to say all stories I’ve self published have been professionally edited and professionally proofread – I believe self published books need just as much care and attention, perhaps more so, than traditionally published books.

And if you buy one of my books, I’ll appreciate you forever!

Artwork by Yuitsu

Book Covers Now Available

I’m offering premade book covers for indie authors for a low $10.00 each (more customised covers are available from $AU15.00). That’s right, only $10.00 each! What’s more, each cover is unique, so when you’ve purchased it it’s removed from sale. No one else will have it – now obviously, because I use stock photos to create the covers, another cover may use that particular image but it won’t be as you see it here.

To find out more, including how to purchase and other information, click HERE or on the Premade Book Covers tab in the main menu!

Here are some samples of what I’ve done!

Lots more (and more added all the time) on the “premade book covers” page!

Thank you for your support!

Two More Stories

Today I’ve added some exciting new content onto the website! Yes, more reading! More stories! And more opportunity to support an indie author!

The first story (14,000 words) is titled: “At the Lake’s Shore” and is available HERE for a low $1.99. Here’s the blurb:

As the apogee of a blood moon approaches, a strange, supernatural entity seduces Valentine then summons him to a ruined temple within a mist-shrouded lake with the promise of eternal happiness.

When inside the temple, the entity demands Valentine sacrifice someone dear to him on the altar to complete their arrangement. That’s when Valentine’s fears are realised. Love is the greatest madness of them all and it will be more than his own life at stake if he doesn’t surrender to it.

The second story is titled “Edward’s Secret” (25,000 words) and is available for $2.99 right HERE but first, here’s the blurb:

Nolan’s dad pays for a cabin within the picturesque Dandenong Ranges for him and a friend of his choosing over Christmas break. A nice getaway present after a difficult senior year at high school.

He decides to take Edward, the boy he loves. But for whatever reason, Edward won’t make his feelings known for Nolan, even though there’s clearly something going on between them that’s more than friendship.

Nolan knows with all his heart that they both want to be boyfriends.

But when the reason is finally revealed after Nolan puts the pieces together, will he be able to still love Edward? Can Nolan bring himself to understand Edward’s unusual desires? Or will it mean the end of their relationship before it’s even blossomed?

Just a note to say all stories I’ve self published have been professionally edited and professionally proofread – I believe self published books need just as much care and attention, perhaps more so, than traditionally published books.

Thanks for reading and your support!

Writer’s Life

Artwork by Natsume Yuujinchou

How do you write?

And no, I’m not being literal here – I know you’ll either use a keyboard, pen & paper, notebooks, phones, dictation, or however else you get the words down. No, what I’m talking about is how you set yourself up for your writing time.

Do you have a ‘writing room’ or a space set aside for you to do your art?

Do you need an animal sunning itself by your feet, a cat or dog (or something else)?

How about music? Playing or not? And what type gets your creative juices flowing?

How about the time of day? Are you a morning, day, or night writer?

Me? I like music on (headphones) in which I listen to a good mix of stuff, but mostly instrumental. I also have a separate space (the back room of the house) and I need my cats with me. My cats seem to release a calming energy that I feed off of. I also write either in the morning or during the day. I read at night.

Put your answers in the comments. I’d love to know.

New Site Content

It’s time to get serious…so let’s go!

This week I’ve updated all new content onto the site right HERE! So this post will be like a directory for all that stuff! So where are all the books?

“Journey to Atashaal” is right HERE

“Oliver & Tom’s Magic” is right HERE

And finally, “The Sparrows Escape” is available HERE

There is of course more information about each book on their separate pages! So thanks for being here and perhaps showing an interest in one of my stories.

Just a note to say all stories I’ve self published have been professionally edited and professionally proofread – I believe self published books need just as much care and attention, perhaps more so, than traditionally published books.

And if you buy one of my books, I’ll appreciate you forever!

Artwork by Yuitsu

Talk soon!

Let’s Talk Fantasy…of Course!

Today, I want to discuss what I like in fantasy novels, the level of technology used, and my favourite story lines. Well, at least I’ll try…but I may get distracted. Hey, don’t blame me. Fantasy is just too awesome!

Now of course, I like a vast and wonderful canvas of things when it comes to fantasy stories – from high fantasy, to contemporary, to everything else in-between. And as such, my taste in the level of technology used in these stores varies as well. An author can use swords, bows and arrows, siege engines, even guns and other more modern examples of such weaponry in their fantasy stories and I’ll read it all the same. Why not? Whatever works, right?

This book by one of my favourite authors, Joe Abercrombie, tells of a post-apocalyptic world where the technology of before (guns and the like) is now seen as magic, and used as such. A great read.

But moving on, what do I prefer to read (and write) about when it comes to fantasy and the level of technology portrayed within it? Well, I like the more classic approach to fantasy. The sword and sorcery stuff, naturally. Although, I do love – and much prefer – stories with a more LGBTQ+ flavour!

Artwork by reallycorking

For example, a story where a wild barbarian lad who needs shelter from the freezing cold winter stumbles into an isolated but warm Keep one day where he meets a dashing and adept sword master. That could be something I’d read. Mostly because the sword master would then take good care of the barbarian, protecting him, while the flaming arrows of the enemy fly overhead. There’d also be sword fights aplenty and an evil magician thrown in for good measure.

But most of all, both barbarian and sword master get to know each other more and more – even intimately – as the days pass and the seasons change. By the end of Spring, they are both deeply, madly in love, unable to live without each other.

Artwork by reallycorking

When the battles are done at the Keep, all enemies vanquished, they both then head off into the wilderness to fight monsters and bad guys, and make sweet, sweet love under the twinkling stars together, kissing passionately while entwined as one. After that, maybe another evil magician or two will get thrown into the mix to add drama, perhaps a nasty dragon, but hey, I’m there for the barbarian and sword master love for sure! Hmmm…so good!

So yes, swords and sorcery stories are my all time favourite.

Then, of course, I could be open to other story lines. Ones where there are no swords at all, maybe just sticks and stones and a hefty club or three.

Artwork by reallycorking

A story set in prehistoric times perhaps? Back in the days of massive mammoths roaming across meandering plains, wary of sabretooth tigers and other clawed nasties, including magical beasts from ancient lore made real. In this world, two rival clan members meet by accident (or not). One of them, a gentle lad who uses natural herbs and liniments to cast his healing magic, the other, a bigger, stronger man who wields his club first, then asks the questions later.

At first they are enemies.

But the more they get to know each other, realise how similar they are as they discover each other’s worlds, they fall in love. And it is because of this they face an even greater hardship, the approval of their clans. For being in a clan means surviving the wilds, as there is protection in numbers. This approval doesn’t eventuate, and the two are left alone to fend for themselves. Exiled as they have chosen to remain together.

There’s then plenty of drama and angst and tough battles with both mother nature and the beasts mentioned. But despite all that, their love prevails and they start their own clan as they discover more of those like them. Other men who love each other and have been made outcasts too.

The new clan worships and respects love above all else, it gives them all their strength.

Artwork by reallycorking

Then again, how about a story featuring two rangers, out in the wild tangled woods thick with bandits and monsters. They both team up to rid the fair lands of such filth. So with their trusty bows and arrows, always true, they prevail against the evil as best they can. Somewhat victorious, they soon discover they have feelings for one another, and that’s when things get complicated. Can two rangers, masters of their profession, cool and calm, accept their love, a love which turns their world upside down?

Of course they can. And after the slow burn, pages and pages of tension, brushes of hands, knowing glances, gentle giggles, their passion eventually ignites brighter than the full moon visible through the creaking canopy. Their passionate kissing, deep and loving, isn’t the only thing that’ll go off when it comes to their happily ever after, that’s for sure.

Now at this point, I have to mention here that the other stories I simply adore are historical ones, be they fantasy or otherwise.

Artwork by reallycorking

Back to swords (my favourite, as I think I’ve mentioned…ha ha). This time, how about a story set in a time where the mysterious and graceful samurai live? Here, two warriors find each other after a secret mission is completed for their respective Daimyos (under orders from the local Shogun). A mission so dangerous, they must rely on each other in more ways than one to survive. A dragon needing to be vanquished is no small task, after all.

But can their code of honour mean that they can love each other? Of course it can. As love is as honourable as the steel of their expertly crafted swords. And here, once more, there’s lots of love and happily ever afters, especially under the distinct scent of a cherry blossom tree*

So good.

Artwork by reallycorking

Or can a Roman Praetor, high in status and wealth but bored with his decadent life, discover that the love of a lowly slave lad who has absolutely nothing going for him but hope be the spark the Praetor needs?

And despite what others think, his friends and family included, the Praetor certainly does discover that power, no matter how great, means nothing when it comes to love. For it is love that’s the true food of the heart and soul, no matter what form it takes.

And all it took was a simple slave boy to reveal such truths to him. From there it’s passion all the way amongst the marble pillars and soft cushions of the Praetor’s home. For really, they have both saved each other’s lives; the slave from a hard and short life, the Praetor from a long life of loneliness. How wonderful!

Artwork by reallycorking

And finally, because otherwise I could go on forever, how about a fantasy story set in a world more modern. Maybe the 1800’s (when “fall front” trousers were popular – as shown by the artist in the drawing above). The technology here at the level of stream trains and the like.

Anyway, this story could involve an artist, his paintings so beautiful they are magical and much sought after, for they bring so much inner joy to those who witness them. Of course, one day a handsome lad answers an advertisement and comes to model for the artist. The modelling involves being unclothed to help speed things up a bit when it comes to the artist (and model) falling in love, of course.

No surprises there.

Now, because of this handsome and outgoing model, one who’s not only well endowed but oozes sexiness from every pore, the artist’s work isn’t the only magic in the air. Tensions run high, but after trying to resist, almost to the point of madness (but with no ears being cut off because of it) the artist finally succumbs to his passions and lets his model colour his world with even more wonder than the artist could ever imagine.

Love is the true magic, no?

So there you have some things that I like! As you can see, good old swords, bows and arrows, and the occasional club or paintbrush are what I love to read about when it comes to the technology used in my fantasy stories. I don’t dislike more modern stuff, oh no, and I wouldn’t pass up a story if it did have such things. A good read is a good read after all, isn’t it?

How about you? What do you like when it comes to fantasy?

Talk soon.

*Cherry blossom flowers release compounds that are derivatives of ammonia, which coincidentally (for this blog post anyway) is also present in semen.

The Art of Love in Fantasy

Don’t you just love reading fantasy where the good guys/gals defeat the evil ones? Yep, nothing better for both escapism and a certain amount of satisfaction. For very valid reasons, good winning over evil is perhaps the biggest trope there is.

But let me concentrate on the lighter side of the good for a moment, because yes, characters in fantasy can, and do, fall in love. And after all that sword fighting and magic casting, what better way to end the day than snuggling up to someone who knows what you’ve got to deal with? I mean, killing all those pesky monsters who get in the way of a jolly good quest can make one feel like they need more than a hug, am I right?

But when I write love between characters, I like to use visual aids or pictures or photos to give me much needed inspiration. The latest thing I’ve been doing is reading a lot of manga. And wow, some of the artwork there is not only amazing, it’s really inspiring too.

Here’s a couple from artists I love lately:

 Izuku Midoriya x Katsuki Bakugo by justpiang
Izuku Midoriya x Katsuki Bakugo by Wengwengchim

I deliberately chose the same subject matter (the manga characters Izuku Midoriya and Katsuki Bakugo, so you can see how two different artists approach the same subject matter of two young men in love). I just love the connection these two artists create between the characters they’ve drawn (my goal when writing such things, of course). It’s pure love. Really inspiring. The look. The touch. The colours. The mood. Everything is working together here to create an impression. Good stuff.

Then again, a lot of manga is drawn like that. Pictures that tell a story in so many way. Ones I love to use as inspiration, as I said. And why not? It’s all so pretty! Then again, a lot of manga is full of angst and darkness. Which I why I like them, too. Sort of a lot like fantasy writing really. Lots of darkness, even grim-darkness, interspersed with light and love! A good balance.

And art, like fiction, should be balanced.

Thundercloud Rainstorm by Caesim and Ete

The image above is an example of what I’m talking about. Two young men, clearly in love, meeting in the rain. Classic. And lovely. Just lovely!

And finally, I want to share one more work of art with you. One that’s from inside a beautifully drawn and written manga series, and gets me every time read it. The love is palpable. Goals right there, folks. Goals!

Read from right to left (as it is a Japanese manga comic, not western style)

Loved by Channel9/Rou

*Your voice became second nature to me* (fans face) dies!

Talk soon!

The World Full of Goblins

One of my other passions, aside from writing and loving my partner/family/friends, is playing the table-top game of Magic the Gathering. I’ve been playing it for a while now; I think for about 10 years or so, on and off. Before I played that, I was a Dungeons & Dragons boy since a young teen – oh, the 80’s, my sort of real life Stranger Things!

But from this diet of fantasy gaming I learnt to appreciate how things worked when it came to writing my own stories. And more importantly, how magic works, it’s limitations (because magic systems should have limitations), and what it can and can’t do in given situations. I also came to appreciate the monsters. So many monsters! I love ’em.

Because without monsters, and let’s face it, there isn’t much fantasy, is there? And I’m also talking about those inner demons within characters as well here. The bad guys, as it were. But for the visible kind of monsters, the ones you stick your sword into because otherwise they’d claw your face off, I think you can’t beat the good ol’ goblin! The large numbers of which can overwhelm in a bloodlust frenzy. What fun to write, that’s for sure.

And in Magic the Gathering (see how I’m going back to my original line of thought here) goblins have sure undergone a wonderful artistic change. Let me show you some examples.

From the “Alpha” set (the first Magic set played for public consumption, I believe) there are these two baddies:

I must say, if you have one of these two cards from the Alpha set, you’re not rich but you’ve certainly got some coin there. A quick search on eBay puts “Goblin Balloon Brigade” from this set anywhere between AU$300 – AU$1000 depending on condition. Wow!

Next up is the goblins of “Portal,” so let’s look at them:

I don’t know what it is, but I love this sort of artwork. To me, it holds an innocence, a naivety, if you will. I love the old style borders as well. I have a few of these in my collection. But no, I won’t be holding my breath about what they’re worth. Unless it’s a rare card, most common and uncommon goblins from this era will sell for about AU$1.00 – AU$10.00. So no Ferrari for me, then! Darn it! LOL

We now move on to the more modern goblins. The shiny art. The slick design. The neatness of it all. Here are a few of my favourites:

As you can see, things have got very sophisticated when it comes to goblin art. In the more modern sets, goblins can fetch anywhere between AU$1.00 – AU$150.00, again depending on rarity.

I also love the “Flavour” text at the bottom of a lot of the goblin cards (the lines printed in italics as seen in some of the cards above). From other cards (not shown) there are also lines like: “We can take ’em – you go first.” and “With great power comes great risk of getting yourself killed.” and “Does it matter what it is? Take it and be grateful!” and finally, “I found a new toy. Wanna play?

Lines like that crack me up every single time. I love it!

But the best goblin flavour line of all is: “Never underestimate the power of overwhelming stupidity in overwhelming numbers.”

And with that, I’ll end today’s post! Thank you for reading my ramblings.

Talk soon.

It’s Just Not Cricket

No matter how or where the game of cricket is played, it is cricket! The title and contents of this post are about something completely different. Read on to find out…

To begin, I’ve been reading fantasy (and science fiction, historical fiction, as well as many other genres too) since as far back as I can remember. I read a lot of books, have a massive ‘to be read’ pile, as well as bookshelves full of books. Too many books. I never, not ever, not once, when I choose a book to read think:

“Oh, this is so-and-so’s competitor, so I won’t buy that book.”

NOT EVER!

I read what I read, and I read what I like. If I buy the entire collection or back catalogue of an author because I like their work, then so be it. But that won’t stop me buying another author in the same genre. Or even authors who use similar themes or tropes as others I’ve read and enjoyed. Far from it.

And as an author, I see fellow authors as a community. People I use for support and people I give support to equally. It’s how I’ve always worked. And yes, I will buy their books. I will buy any book of any author, that’s also called giving support. Of course, there are many different ways to give support as well. Whatever works for you.

But the thing to remember is this, publishers need books, agents need authors, and authors do need support from their fellow authors, such as in critique groups, beta reading situations, encouragement, etc. Even a ‘hey how you doing?’ email or message is sometimes more than enough. You get the idea. What I’m saying is, in this day and age, we do not need to write in isolation.

Sure, we all want our books to do well. And yes, there is that competitive urge to be noticed, be bought, and have our stories read and loved, but that shouldn’t translate to having feelings that other authors are competition. Remember the first paragraphs of this post: readers read many, many books. There is also no excuse to be nasty or derogative towards anther author – and using racial, homophobic, or bigoted slanders against another author because of a perceived threat of ‘competition’ is just not on. Or, as my grandfather used to say, “It’s just not cricket.”**

So yes, have the desire and need for your books to do well. Have that hunger. It’s healthy and shows your passion. Promote your work. Be voracious about it. But in going so – as a writer – you are not the ‘barbarians at the gate’ towards other authors who you believe must be slain without remorse and at any cost.

Talk later!

**The phrase, “it’s just not cricket” was first used in the 1949 English movie of the same name starring Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne, and is to say that something is unfair, or someone is being unsportsmanlike, or dishonest, or being a douchbag. Examples: I can’t believe you went on twitter to dis other authors who you think are stealing your books sales. It’s just not cricket, and you’re only hurting yourself.