Tags: i spy

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I Spy...Book Reviews

 Quick thanks for all the kind wishes and good advice for the wrists. I'm trying different things out. The key seems to be STOP TYPING. And that's really not much of a solution.

And thanks also for a couple of early reviews of I Spy Something Bloody. 

Wave must have literally been up when the tide was rolling in.  You can read her reviews -- and interviews -- here (she's got a great interview and contest with Anne Cain coming up).

Sarah who blogs at Rain on the Roof posted here.

And the indefatigable Dakota Flint persisted -- er, posted -- here.

Oh -- and I nearly forgot that Sula posted her thoughts (bitter ones, I might add) on The Hell You Say. *g*

Thank you -- all four of you. 

As for I Spy, I'm slightly amazed the three of you liked the character of Mark as much as you did, since I'm not sure I ever won my editor over with him. It really is fascinating how different the opinions will be of a single work.
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I Spy With My Little Eye...

New release from Loose Id today.  However the LI website seems to be down, so...no need to rush down the aisles screaming fire, and trampling little dogs and children quite yet. 

I'm having trouble with my wrists at the moment. Yeah, me and those race horses that run so fast they shatter their forelegs...I'm hoping that a couple of days of no (well, almost no) typing and lots of aspirin and tylenol will help. So if you don't hear from me -- and you likely will not -- that's the deal. 

I learned a terrible truth yesterday. Almost everything I do -- for fun and for pleasure -- takes place on-line. Even I can see that's not a good thing.

Anyway, here's an excerpt from the current release, I Spy Something Bloody.

Espionage was always a game, but now British spy Mark Hardwicke wants
to retire and settle down with ex-lover Dr. Stephen Thorpe -- if
Stephen will have him. Unfortunately, Stephen has other plans -- and
so do the terrorists who want Mark dead.

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It's Cal Worthington and His Dog Spot!

I've been thinking about promotion. It's one of those evil necessities. One of those tree falling in the forest things. If you write the greatest book in the world but no one reads it...

Anyway, writers must promote, and in the world of ebooks, it makes sense for obvious reasons to do most of the promoting online. That means taking advantage of chats and online discussions, posting excerpts --

Which brings us to our story. I belong to a lot of online groups. I don't take active part as much as I'd like to because of time constraints, but I do read -- skim -- most of the postings of the groups I belong to. And during this last week I noticed a lot of introductory cross posts along this line: Hi, I'm Pattycake Simmons (real name withheld, yeah) and by way of intro I'd like to post a smokin' hot excerpt from my new m/m release A Tiger To Go, Please.  

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Bloody Hell

 Finished the rough (sandpaper rough) draft of I Spy Something Bloody last night. It's quite a mess actually. It needs another sex scene, I suppose, and thematic threads are waving in the breeze -- and it may be more political than I intended, so I'll have to take another peek in a bit. When I've had time to see it fresh. At this point I'm not sure it even makes sense. But then that's why I pin all my hopes on the magical editing process. It's in the rewrite that the magic happens.

So, all told it took me...about thirteen days. 

I see where I made my mistake in calculating this year's writing schedule. I based my timetables on the maximum I could get done in a day -- and that's about three to four thousand words. And, on a rare occasion, five. But normally I do a comfortable 1500 - 2000 words a day. That leaves me time to do email and work on a few other things. The way this year is planned out, I have to be at the top of my game every single day, no room for sick days or the inevitable catastrophes -- mine or anyone else's. 

And I understand why I planned things the way I did, but it's always best to under-promise and over-deliver (and we used to say in the corporate world). Next year, assuming I survive this year, my writing schedule will be based on the least amount I generally get done a day. And that will leave me some flexibility. I like flexibility. I used to be very flexible, and I miss those backbends and somersaults I used to fill my days with.

I owe just about everyone an email, so today I'll be trying to catch up before the next project begins...tomorrow, actually. Next up the two largest projects of the year: Adrien IV and Mexican Heat -- and there's a couple more novellas in there...the World War I flyers is going to take a lot of research...

Anyway, a couple of nice reviews, and I wanted to thank people for them. 

 dakotaflint posted a review of the new Hostage anthology at Rainbow Reviews. . I just received my copies yesterday, so I'm looking forward to seeing what Laura and Sarah did. 

And M/M Fiction Junkie Reviews (which is a new site) did a review of the Arresting Developments anthology.

Both of which are much appreciated. 

adrien english mysteries


 So I'm up to 14, 168 words on a novella due...five minutes ago. 

Due Sunday, I guess -- and won't THAT be a hit with the mumster.

Oh hey, thanks very much to M.E. Reid for a nice mention (a VERY nice mention) of the Adrien English series on her Live Journal.

I SPY SOMETHING BLOODY. I no longer like that title. What was I thinking? I think I SPY would be better. I must have been trying to avoid the Bill Cosby vibe. Is it too late to change? I have no idea.

I have to stop writing a bit today to take a look at the structure. I'm trying to figure out how many scenes left to go. Because of the story time-frame this one needs to be quite tight.

Since I'm unable to hold a coherent conversation at this stage of the game, I'll post a sneak peek. Did I already do this? If so, humor me and pretend you've never seen this one.

I think I need a Brit check as well, but there's probably no time. Any Brit authors want to exchange fast -- like brushpass fast -- critiques? 

Okay, excerpt...I SPY...SOMETHING BLOODY...

Chapter One

The telephone rang and rang. I stared through the window glass of the
phone box at rugged green moorland and the distant snaggle-tooth
remains of a prehistoric circle. The rolling open hills of Devon
looked blue and barren against the rainwashed sky. I'd read somewhere
they'd filmed The Hound of the Baskervilles around here -- it looked
like a good day for a Hellhound to be out and about, prowling the
eerie ruins and chasing virgin squeak toys to their deaths.

To the north were the military firing zones. Silent this afternoon.
The phone continued to ring -- a faraway jangle on the other end of
the line.

I closed my eyes for a moment. It felt years since I'd really slept.
The glass was cool against my forehead. Why had I come back? What had
I hoped to accomplish? I'd barely known Barry Shelton. He'd just been
one of my team. Quiet, tough, capable. I'd known a lot of Barry
Sheltons through the years. Their faces all ran together. Just
another anonymous young man -- like me.

"He died for nothing. A pointless, stupid, violent death. For

I could still hear Shelton's mother screaming at me, blaming me. Why
not? It was as much my fault as anyone's. It didn't matter. I wasn't
exactly the sensitive type. Neither had been Shelton. The only puzzle
was why I'd imagined the news would come better from me. Wasn't even
my style, really, dropping in on the widows and orphans and Aged Ps.
That kind of thing was much better handled by the old man.

My leg was aching. And my ribs. Rain ticked against the glass. I
opened my eyes. The wet-dark road was wide and empty. I could see
miles in either direction. All clear. The wind whistled forlornly
through the places where the door didn't quite fit snugly; the old
booth shook in the wind.

Unexpectedly, the receiver picked up. A deep voice -- with just that
hint of Virginia accent --said against my ear, "Stephen Ross."

I hadn't expected to be so moved by just the sound of his voice.
Funny really, although laughter was the furthest thing from me. My
throat closed and I had to work to get anything out.

"It's Nate," I managed huskily, after too long a pause.


He was there, though. I could hear the live and open stillness on the
other end of the line. "Stephen?" I said.

"What did you want, Nate?" he asked quietly. Too quietly.

"I'm in trouble." It was a mistake. I knew that the moment I'd said
it. I should be apologizing, wooing him, not begging for help, not
compounding my many errors. My hand clenched the receiver so hard my
fingers felt numb. "Stephen?"

"I'm listening."

"Can I come home?"

He said without anger, "This isn't your home."

My heart pounded so hard I could hardly hear over the hollow thud. My
mouth felt gummy-dry, the way it used to before an op. A long time
ago. I licked my lips. No point arguing now. No time. I said, "I…
don't have any place else to go."

Not his problem. I could hear him thinking it. And quite rightly.
He said with slow finality, "I don't think that coming here would be
a good idea, Nate."

I didn't blame him. And I wasn't surprised. Not really. But surprised
or not, it still hurt like hell. More than I expected. I'd been
prepared to play desperate; it was a little shock to realize I didn't
have to play. My voice shook as I said, "Please, Stephen. I wouldn't
ask if it -- please."

Nothing but the crackling emptiness of the open line. I feared he
would hang up, that this tenuous connection would be lost -- and then
I would be lost. Stranded here at the ends of the Earth where bleak
sky fused into wind-scoured wilderness.

Where the only person I knew was Tony Shelton's mother.

I opened my mouth -- Stephen had once said I could talk him into
anything -- but I was out of arguments. Too tired to make them even
if I'd known the magic words. All that came out was a long,
shuddering sigh.

I don't know if Stephen heard it all the way across the Atlantic, but
after another heart beat he said abruptly, "All right then. Come."

I replaced the receiver very carefully and pushed open the door. The
wind was cold against my face, laced with rain. Rain and a hint of
the distant sea; I could taste the salty wet on my lips.