Sunday, April 16, 2017

Rocci’s Review: Two Cowboys and a Baby by BA Tortuga

Two Cowboys and a Baby by BA Tortuga
Length: About 50,000 words
Copy purchased from Dreamspinner Press (https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/)

So I’ve been reading BA’s works for over a decade now, and the latest offering of “Two Cowboys and a Baby” doesn’t disappoint.  If you’re looking for gruff cowboys acting like kinda dumb boys, with a cute baby and some existential angst tossed in, this story is for you.

I loved that the main and secondary characters are all unique and vibrant personalities that jump off the page at you.  The dialogue and character interactions reinforced that the setting was deep Texas, gender stereotypes and all.  The only thing that threw me was figuring out their ages – maybe it’s my Yankee showing, but the nickname “Hoss” doesn’t conjure up a hot guy in his late 20s, nor does the nickname “Pooter”.  It took me about 20 pages in to figure out they were between 27 and 30 years old (I think?  Still not completely sure on that, but I’m dying of allergies, so maybe it’s just me…)

The plot line was a little trope-y, but that’s part of what appealed to me, and I won’t go too far into that so I can avoid spoilers.  I will say that the plot twist was surprising, but handled well in a believable way for the characters.  There are some rodeo and plumbing injuries mentioned, so if you have a trigger on that, beware.  Nothing too graphic, though.

The characters’ speech and way of phrasing things was classic Tortuga, though, and Texan through-and-through.  The plot was well-paced and of course the grammar / structure / spelling etc were professional quality (do I even need to say that for BA?)

Highly recommended for fans of cowboys, westerns, and kid-fic stories.

Also a note to readers that BA Tortuga has joined up with Julia Talbot, Sean Michael, Kiernan Kelly, TC Blue and Kris Norris to form Evil Plot Bunny: http://www.evilplotbunny.com/  Go check it out!



Monday, April 3, 2017

April 2017 Update: Sage now available!


Sage is now available from Smashwords!

Yu Maguire lost everything when he turned himself in and went to intergalactic prison, but Amergin Sil, his arresting officer, offers him a second chance at life when Yu’s released. Despite cultural misunderstandings and both their pasts, they come to know each other better than either thought possible.
Word count: 17,750
Tags: M/M, Romance, Sci-fi, cop, mechanic, nonexplicit, redemption
Rating: No explicit sexual content; hate crime discussed

From April 3 to April 13, Sage is available as a FREE download from InstaFreebies! 

Subscribers to my newsletter, Rocci's Rumbles, will receive a Smashwords coupon good for a FREE copy of Sage during the entire month of April. Sign up today to get your coupon and all the extras in the months to come!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

March 2017

Big news this update!  The six short stories of the Courting Series are finally available for download!

The Courting Series: Cops and lawyers!




Joshua Dabbs and Garrison Williams met while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during the era of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.  In Commitment, they've made a life together in Vermont, with Josh as a local police officer and Garrison as a city lawyer, and Josh wants to take that next step in making things official. In Cornerstone, Josh is called back to his estranged family in Ohio and learns that he should never travel without his lawyer present.  In Concordant, the guys share an intimate holiday vacation in NYC.  In Concur, Josh starts to reflect on what could be missing from their lives as Garrison helps their friends plan their wedding. In Competition, Josh and Garrison return to the DC area for the Marine Corps marathon. And finally, in Connections, they find their family complete as they share a Christmas with new additions.

Covering ten years of Josh and Garrison's relationship, these short stories are available for free from Smashwords and other distributors.


Coming Soon:
Courting: 15 Years of Life

With four brand new short stories and additional material, as well as the original six short stories now available, you'll be able to follow Josh and Garrison's relationship from year one through year fifteen.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Crocodylus Acutus cover updated

In my continuing quest to self-publish my back catalog, I have fiddled with Photoshop and created a new cover for Crocodylus Acutus.  The fonts are FullSans from FontSpring and Gigi from PhotoShop, with stock images from Adobe Stock.



Let me tell you, researching all the right licenses and legalities of cover art took more time than creating this cover did, but I had fun playing around in Photoshop and trying out some of the techniques from the hours of tutorials I've been watching.  It's a pretty simplistic cover, and I'm definitely not entering it into any contests soon, but I intend to do more advanced ones for my non-free reads.  Consider this a warm-up that hopefully isn't as hideous as the previous cover.

Next on my list is Courting -- I'm going to make a series cover for each short story previously published and then release them individually as freebies. I plan to spend some time on the anthology version, which will have new stories added to an omnibus format for a modest price.

Until next time...
-J

Saturday, February 4, 2017

February 2017

So I'm sick (again) with some sinus crud, where I feel like I'm doing somersaults while sitting on the couch (good times).  The low-key illness thing happens pretty frequently to me, so we generally just roll with it and I veg out until I'm good to go again.

That means I'm parked on the couch today, discovering new apps like Moodica (kittens! puppies! nature!) and watching The Great Courses app channel (up now, The Science of Information with Dr. Ben Schumacher).  I also have a dog on my lap that has figured out she can manipulate my touch screen computer with her nose :(

What have I been doing writing-wise that people might care about?

I've been prioritizing my back catalog for re-publication, looking at potential new publishing venues, and playing with photoshop (new logo!) to create new covers for the stories I'm planning to self-publish.

So first up, new cover for Puppy Tax and new content being added to the story (if I'm giving you a new cover, I'll make it worth your while to download it again...).  Also, a new cover for Crocodylus Acutus.  Woot!

I've also decided that, if I self-publish a story, it will be through my Smashwords account.

I'll keep you guys up to date on any new news! :)

-J

Monday, January 16, 2017

January 2017

Hey, hooligans!

If you're reading this as a long-awaited update, thanks for sticking with me! If you're a new hooligan just discovering my work for the first time, welcome!

So you may have noticed a few things over the last year: I haven't produced anything new; I've been mostly active on Tumblr, and that's been reblogging hockey and various fandom related content; All Romance eBooks and Torquere Press closed at the end of December; and I deleted my LiveJournal.

I have to admit, Torquere closing has left me very much saddened by how things turned out. I started reading Torquere ebooks in 2004, had my first novelette published by Torquere in 2006, and helped with the annual charity drive for a couple years. While life has left me less and less time to write since 2012, I still tried to keep up with my favorite Torquere authors and those who had moved on from Torquere to other publishers. When Torquere changed owners, I pretty much resolved to find a new publishing house, but to see it end badly is heartbreaking. Others have written about the situation, and I'm not going into it here, but I recommend a quick Google search if this is news to you.

This confluence of 2016 events, along with finishing my graduate program, means that I'm hard-core revising my website and social media platforms, reviewing all my previous work, planning my future publication goals, and generally re-engaging with my entire process of being a writer. What this also means is that I will finally start using all that image editing software I bought in a fit of emboldened hope last year and failed to use.

Additionally, I resolve not to over-promise, but to also be more consistent with my updates. Expect more news as I move forward with the changes to my sites and my quest for new publishing opportunities.

May 2017 be better than 2016!
-J.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 Round-up

So...

Yeah, 2014 happened.

From the writing side, things were pretty quiet -- which is totally my bad. I've been working on a few stories, and intend to publish some of my out of print ones at Smashwords, so keep an eye out for that. I've also been contemplating dipping my toes in the world of YA books, which might require another pseudonym and additional website. Ah, planning.

From the personal side, the year was pretty rough. We lost one of our furry children after a two-year battle with cancer, and lost a grandfather, a stand-in grandmother, two uncles, and one aunt. So a lot of this past summer and fall was spent traveling and Mr. Bay reaching official pall bearer status.

Not all of 2014 sucked, though -- I also started a new grad school program this Fall, working toward my M.S. again. We had a few pleasure trips in between, including a nice B&B stay for our anniversary out in the Shenandoah Valley (wherein we discovered that, while a lack of cell phone reception is nice for the first 12 hours, we cannot exceed 18 hours without losing our minds), and we made good use of our Virginia Wine Pass for local day trips. We also attended several performances at Synetic Theater, including The Island of Dr. Moreau and Beauty and the Beast, and saw Three Decembers at UrbanArias, which may have made us Opera fans after all, since we'd been disinclined to see another after Cosi fan tutte.

So for 2015, I resolve to post here more often, even if it's just reviews, and have a more consistent writing/publication schedule. You can always find me skulking about on my Tumblr account, where I reblog pretty people and places.

Here's to a productive and healthy 2015!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I may have taken another hiatus without announcing it...

So last year when I was all "Yay! End of hiatus!" after all the health hoopla of the rest of my family, it turned out that I needed to take another hiatus to sort out more of my own health issues.

But! I'm over a month out from abdominal surgery and things are looking good, so I'm hoping to get back into my writing groove. I just need to sit down with all my files and decide on my priorities...