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Monday, September 1, 2014

*kermit flail Monday* September

Okay-- I confess-- I've got but one Monday book to *flail* about-- but it's been a bit of a busy week.  So I'm going to pimp the book (it's a good one!) and pimp a cause and reveal the new cover for Black John and then I'm going to run away.  We're out of town this weekend, and, well, I sort of have a break coming.  Gonna enjoy it!

Anyway…

Charley Descoteaux is a lovely woman and I enjoyed meeting her at the Dreamspinner Press meet up in Portland this year.  Not only is it fun to promote her, but it's also fun to promote this book because, well, the title.  Given that I planned an entire series around titles like this, it's pretty frickin' awesome to see this one out there.  Makes me warm and fuzzy!

I hope you enjoy--

The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds by Charley Descoteaux

All he ever wanted was to be a normal guy….

Phil Brask spends his days in the basement of his mentor's Victorian home, converting legal documents into electronic format. When the pipe feeding the water heater bursts, Lee Redding arrives in the plumber’s truck and draws Phil away from the narrow focus of his computer and camera lens. Lee gives Phil hope for a life beyond the walls he’s constructed using the nesting habits of migratory birds and dense legal files, a guided tour through a world filled with romance and music…maybe even family. But there’s a reason Phil retreated behind those walls, why he panics at a simple touch.

Lee has a good life—working with his uncle and on his mother’s farm, playing bass in a horrible metal band, and hooking up when he pleases—but he’s always suspected something was missing. When he meets the hot photographer with the icy-blue eyes, he knows exactly what that something is. Phil isn’t like other guys, but neither is Lee beneath his carefree exterior. Maybe Lee's the perfect guy to show Phil that everything doesn’t have to be done the hard way and "home" isn't a four-letter word.
BUY HERE


See?  Doesn't that sound awesome?  

Ooh!  Ooh!  And this just in…

Ariel Tachna is one of the pioneers in this genre, and when Mary and I started writing for Dreamspinner, she was like our helpful fairy sprite, working us around the ins and the outs of promotion and writing.  Last summer, she and her husband went on a hike to Machu Pichu, and she said the experience was transcendent.  Her descriptions of Peru were luminous and impassioned, and I knew, of course, she would channel this into fiction--delicious, amazeballs fiction.  So when I saw her promo this book on my Amy Lane Anonymous FB page this morning (join if you haven't!) I was like, "I want this on *kermit flail* NOWWWWWWW!!!!"  And Ariel is a good sport, and she obliged.  So, I give you a late edition to today's *kermit flail*  Ladies and gentlemen please welcome Ms. Ariel Tachna and The Path--YAYAYAYAYYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!

The Path
by Ariel Tachna

Blurb: All his life Benicio Quispe has dreamed of being a guide on the Inca Trail. He gets his chance when the top travel agency in Cusco, Peru hires him. Alberto Salazar, his assigned mentor, fits Benicio's idea of a perfect guide, but he's also everything Benicio never dared to dream of in a boyfriend. Alberto learned a long time ago to be discreet about his sexuality. It's a necessary sacrifice to keep the respect of the guides and porters whose help is critical in a successful hike. So he pushes aside his attraction to his new junior guide and goes on as usual. But when a group of old friends arrives to hike the trail again, they convince him a relationship with Benicio is worth pursuing. His newfound resolve is enough to get them on a first date, but no amount of courage can change the attitudes of their family and friends. The risks on the trail are easy compared to finding a path through the challenges keeping them apart.

BUY HERE

Okay-- good!  Now, I promised I'd hook you up with a fun cause, and one of those moments where I remember that the title of this blog is Yarning to Write.  

Anyway-- Becky Gotthardt is a fixture in the romance community.  She attends conventions and is active on social media and is generally this strong presence of positivity in our corner of the world.  I know her on Twitter as @Fibrobabe, and I know her at conventions as someone I look forward to seeing.  (Also, she's held my stuff on more than one occasion.  Just saying.  The way to my heart is sometimes the way to helping me manage my luggage overload.  Now you know.)  

Anyway-- Becky is going to be at GRL this year, and she's organizing a drive to collect knitted goods for the Broadway Youth Center in Chicago. She is suggesting washable yarn, but other than that, I'm pretty sure they need scales, hats, gloves, mittens, and sweaters.  By all means visit the WEBSITE for more information on the cause, and for more information on Becky's efforts, visit her blogpost HERE.  

This is a good cause, and knitters are some of the most generous people in the world (unless it comes to sharing their special hand dyed stash) I know they're going to come through here.

***

And now, before I join my family on vacation (we're currently in Santa Cruz, recovering from some VERY tasty pizza at Woodstock's and watching part 2 of The Hobbit on cable) I'll leave you with this:

Yup-- Black John.  The release date is still up in the air, but it will be sometime this winter, and as for the cover?

I confess.

I usually try to go for accuracy with my guys.  I do.  But this model was so… well, pretty.  And snarky.  And intense.  And he could swing either way-- sarcastic or sad or cocky-- and that's John.  AndGalen is pretty and a little haunted. So forgive me my beautiful ginger model for John, who was a little plainer, but just as ginger.  I loved this look so much, I just had to go with him.

Oh… 

And I had a release this month… what was that again?  Some sort of serial, was it?  

Okay-- I could totally play it light here-- but I've gotten the same question a few times, so I'm going to answer it here--

You can ONLY find the special content in the serial release, and you can ONLY buy the serial at the Dreamspinner Press website.  This will be out on amazon.com on October 17th-- but it will only be the novel or paperback.  The extras are exclusive to the DSP serial offer.  

So even if you don't plan to read it until the end, it really is worth it to buy the package now.  (For one thing, it's sort of on sale!)  

So there you go-- short-- and I'll try to have pictures of my rapidly growing spawn in the next few days.

Tonight, under "Travails of Motherhood" I'll leave you with this:

Zoomboy was most put out because I was unable to play a game involving Star Wars trivia, and he asked me to go home and memorize (I shit you not) the Star Wars Character Encyclopedia so we could play on the same level.  I told him that it wouldn't work for the same reason he never remembered to brush his teeth in the morning.  We both had the same kind of brain-- it didn't necessarily remembered what we wanted it to. He has yet to forgive me.

Happy Monday!




Friday, August 29, 2014

Beneath the Stain

Description:
In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers-- and their penchant for making good music when they weren't getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends—especially Grant Adams--made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind.

Between the heartbreak of leaving Grant and the terrifying, glamorous life of rock stardom, Mackey is adrift and sinking fast. When he's hit rock bottom, Trav Ford shows up, courtesy of their record company and a producer who wants to see what Mackey can do if he doesn't flame out first. But cleaning up his act means coming clean about Grant, and that's not easy to do or say. Mackey might make it with Trav's help--but Trav's not sure he's going to survive falling in love with Mackey.

Mackey James Sanders comes with a whole lot of messy, painful baggage, and law-and-order Trav doesn't do messy or painful. And just when Trav thinks they may have mastered every demon in Mackey's past, the biggest, baddest demon of all comes knocking. 


Yay!  It's out.  I mean, it's partially out.  The first part is out.  I mean, part one…

Okay, let me 'splain.  

No, too complicated.  Let me summarize.

A year and a half ago, Mate and I went to a Muse concert in February.  It was fucking awesome. 

As I sat in the audience, trying to knit a cowl for Ellis Carrington (I loved how it came out, btw, but Ellis, alas, does not do cowls.  Now I know.)  Amy-way…

As I sat in the audience, I thought, "Rock star.  Ooh… Rock star. And he leaves his first lover behind… and he falls pray to the rock 'n roll lifestyle. And he comes out of it, and falls in love again… and then…"

I won't spoil the "and then".  I will tell you this.  Some of the pivotal scenes in this book?  Some of the ones that will hurt you the most?  They unspooled in my head, from beginning to end, as I was sitting in Arco Arena, listening to Muse.

So I asked Mary to put it in the queue as "Rock Star".  And I had to, by the nature of the queue, sit on that one for a while. 

As I sat, it got richer, and richer.  And then, right before I was scheduled to write this story, I went to the Electric Christmas festival at Arco Arena, and one of my top ten bands, Cage the Elephant, played. The lead singer, Matty Shulz, was cocky, irritating, hilarious, and--obviously--higher than helium.  He was an obnoxious, egotistical little shit, but God did he have the fucking chops to back it up.  Cage the Elephant?  I still love them.  

But when I found out that one of the guys on stage-- the guitarists he fucked with the most as he was doing his stage histrionics-- was his older brother?

Oh my God. 

Mackey James Sanders and Outbreak Monkey were born.

And I knew it was going to be long.

Before I even broke paper, I foresaw 140K, easy.  So I leaned this sucker down, took out the extraneous, but the core of the story-- of Mackey and his brothers and of Outbreak Monkey and the music-- that remained intact.

The result was 170K.

Which is way, way, over industry standard length.

I had nothing I could cut down-- not and keep the story I wanted to tell.  But publishing something that big is… well, DSP had already cut my Bitter Moon books in half, and published them separately-- they'd established a precedent.  But there was no good place to cut this to make it two novels.  But it was the size of seven short novellas.  

So Elizabeth and Lynn decided to make Beneath the Stain a serial release.

I was the one who proposed the extra content.  

Like I said, in an effort to make an effective plot arc, and to keep the story from wallowing in its scope, I'd leaned it way down-- and left out all sorts of things that I'd wanted to write.  But if we were releasing the story as a serial, well, I wanted to give readers a reason to buy a serial.  And what better way than exclusive content? So I suggested "DVD Extras" (which was what we called them, all the way up to the galley stage, where the term was changed to "Bonus Scenes") and I wrote one scene for each section, and I wrote to answer the questions that I'd answered in my head, but didn't answer in the story itself.  

How bad was Stevie's dad?  How did Heather Sanders come to have four sons with four different fathers?  How would Heath and Trav become fast friends, when they were so very different?  How come Stevie and Jefferson look so much alike?  How does Blake finally mesh with the band?  What happened to he-who-shall-not-be-named after one-of-the-things-that-we-wish-hadn't-happened?  And, my favorite question/answer, how does a guy like Kell find a happy ending?  

These were incidental considerations in the overall plot arc-- Mackey was too self-involved and Trav too out of the loop to pursue those questions to their conclusions when writing from their point of view, and I'd leaned the test down too much for a secondary character info-dump to sit well with me.  

But to write an extra section?  That was perfect.  I was thrilled and hooked-- writing those extras were part of the best part of my summer.


So, today marks the release of the first part, and I feel compelled to post the release dates for all of them:


blurb-- Part One of Beneath the Stain 

In one breath of shotgunned pot smoke, Grant Adams breaks every taboo Mackey knows—and Mackey refuses to look back. In the shadows of their small town, Mackey and Grant carry on a precocious affair under the noses and behind the backs of girlfriends, parents, and overprotective older brothers. When Mackey's band finally has a chance to make it big, Mackey and Grant are put to the test. 

And fail miserably. 

Part 2:  Friday, September 5th
Part 3:  Friday, September 12th
Part 4:  Friday, September 19th
Part 5:  Friday, September 26th
Part 6:  Friday, October 3rd
Part 7:  Friday, October 10th

Release of complete novel in either e-book or paperback: Friday, October 17th.  (Yes-- we will be at GRL--if you're going, and you want it waiting there, be sure you go to the DSP website and sign up to have it at GRL!)

Now-- you can get this story in five ways-- and I"m going to cut and paste that part right here:


2. Serial Deluxe Package • Automatically get each part with special content on your bookshelf as it is released and the digital novel upon release. Serial runs 8/29/14-10/10/14. Novel releases 10/17/14. • Also received a signed paperback mailed to you upon novel release. • $24.99 +shipping. This option only available through dreamspinnerpress.com. 

3. Serial Only (7 parts) 
• Buy individual parts with special content weekly for $1.99. Serial runs 8/29/14-10/10/14. 

4. & 5. Novel 
• Purchase the complete novel in eBook or paperback, no special content included. Novel releases 10/17/14. 
• eBook $6.99, paperback $17.99 
Upon complete novel release, the serial will no longer be available

Did everybody see the highlighted part?  I'm going to clarify it, because usually I'm not a hardass, and this needs to be said out loud:

YES, this book will be available from 3rd party vendors on October 17th-- that's amazon.com, allromanceebooks.com, barnesandnobles.com, and any other legitimate business man on the net. 

And 

NO--the EXTRA CONTENT will NOT be available after the book is completely released.  So, if you want the extra content, the way to go will be the Serial Package-- that's essentially the price of a novella extra, to get what amounts to a novella's worth of extra content added to the story.  



Now, talking about cost leads me to 

PROMOTIONS--

Tomorrow, I'll be chatting on the DREAMSPINNER PRESS FACEBOOK PAGE  for three hours-- from 1-4, Pacific Standard Time.  I'll talk about Mackey and company, and I'll have a promotion code for ALL WORK BY AMY LANE AT DREAMSPINNER PRESS.  It will be good for two days-- so Saturday and Sunday-- and it's onetime use.  So THAT'S pretty exciting-- be sure to get in on that.

AND



I've already given you guys the blog tour, but I'll give it again, because there's a chance to win a Serial Package, as well as T-shirts and lanyards (if they ever arrive!) and other fun things.  Be sure to visit these places and enter on Rafflecopter, kay?

Tour Stops

August 22, 2014
Rainbow Gold Reviews
Sunshine Book Promotions

August 23, 2014
elisa - my reviews and ramblings 

August 24, 2014
My Fiction Nook

August 25, 2014
Coffee and Porn in the Morning  (aka Cupoporn) 

August 26, 2014
Boys in our Books

August 27, 2014
Nic Starr

August 28, 2014
Scrollin' Them Papers

August 29, 2014
Regular Guys. Hot Romance

August 30, 2014
Bronwyn Heeley

August 31, 2014
BookwormBridgette's World

September 1, 2014
BiblioJunkies

September 2, 2014
books are love

September 3, 2014
TT Kove

September 4, 2014
In The Pages of a Good Book






AND

I've set up a FB Group-- Amy Lane's Stained Angels-- so you can go there to discuss the story and check out the swag and get a heads up on other promotions.  Anyone can join, but beware-- it's going to be rife with spoilers, so visit at your own risk!

REVIEWS--



AND 

(One more thing, I promise)

LauraAdriana has turned the first section into a playlist on Youtube.com-- she was going to do all six segments, but I have it on good authority that she got a ROCKIN' new day job, and she'll probably have WAY too much to do to get all that done.  That being said, I'm going to post the link to the first playlist, because it was an AWESOME idea, and I'm grateful ;-)


And… phew.  

Okay.  

I'm done.  

I mean, even if I'm not done, I'm done.  

But you guys-- I hope you enjoy the stories, and the extra content and the chat tomorrow and the whole page for discussion.  I'd love to see YOUR playlists, and PLEASE feel free to talk this story up and up and up, so that when it DOES hit amazon.com, people are DYING for it.

This story means a lot to me-- I'm so glad to share it with you.



 
 










Tuesday, August 26, 2014

And Today in Oddments

School's in session, glory be,
There will be time, time for me!
Time to write and time to read,
Animals to pet and feed!
Lunch to choose all by myself
Clothes to put away on a shelf.
Floors to mop and dishes to wipe,
(Let's not forget the time to write!)
Cats to pet and dogs to walk
Long neglected friends to talk
Net to surf, clothes to buy
(Must stop that--Mate's asking why
I'd possibly need some brand new shoes
In yet another shade of blue.)
I can play music while I sit
(Cartoons were giving me a facial tic)
And finally, finally, space in my head
So I can remember what my characters said.
And here I am, I've had a snack,
It's time to work, dog's in my lap,
I've done away with extraneous crap,
Just me and my laptop, and my mental map
Of shit that I must do…
I must…
I must…
I must…
*yawn*
Oh hell.  I think I really must nap.

***

So, now that that's out of the way, some catchup to do.

First of all-- Friday will be my big, "Why I wrote this book and how much do I hope you love it!" for Beneath the Stain.  The first installment will be out on Friday, and I'm SO remembering how much I've dreaded book releases in the past.  Especially this one.  For one thing, it's coming out in sections, and I know I"m going to have a hard time looking at the GR ratings.  People will go, "Well, it was good, but not as developed as an entire novel," without looking to see that it's intentionally part of an entire work, and that's going to drive me crazy, but also, I just put so much into this.  I've got a big Facebook chat on Saturday, but after that, Mate, the kids, and I are going to the ocean for a few days, and I think that's a good thing.  It's going to keep me off the internet and out of trouble, and, of course it's going to be at the ocean, and that's one of my favorite places to be.

So there's that.

Also, I'm eyeballs deep in Immortal, which is killing me softly.  And not so softly.  I'm writing this one as sort of an apology to the spouses of artists everywhere, and the more I write it the more I want to sob on Mate's shoulders and say "Thank youuuuuuu…" because it's not easy being married to someone who can't turn their job off ever, and is neurotic, self-obsessed, and dependent on their neuroses and self-obsession for bringing in income.

So yeah-- looking in the mirror is uncomfortable for me at the best of times, this book in particular, I think.

Also--

Yes, I did the ice bucket challenge last week, and I posted it on FB (So, yanno, you can skip this if you've already seen it, because although I love this T-shirt, I also know it's not a good look for me.)  PLEASE forgive the part where I'm a dinkus and said Alzheimers instead of ALS-- I knew what the ice bucket challenge was for, I just spazzed out on camera.  Frankly, I wanted it over with, because in my neighborhood, there's nothing like a family standing out on their drought ridden lawn to bring onlookers and/or the police.

Anyway-- so, you know.  Proof.

By the way- this whole challenge thing inspired Chicken to write a heartbreaking short story about the effects of ALS on a family, and it was good, and it made me cry fucking buckets and I showed it to her father, and he teared up.  It's only 5K, M/M romance, but I want her to publish it somewhere.  Heck-- If she'd let me I'd put it up on the blog.  It's beautiful, and I"m proud and heartbroken at the same time.  She looked at a seemingly abstract thing and made it human.  It's all I've ever asked of my children, and she succeeded beautifully.

Also out on FB but not on the blog, is the following conversation I had with Zoomboy:

We have in our garage an "outside cat." She started out on the inside but she has resisted ALL attempts at house training, and although she's VERY sweet, she needs to stay in the garage, where the cat box doesn't frighten her. Sometimes, Zoomboy goes outside to talk to this cat-- we call her Shulamonster. Tonight on the way back from soccer practice, Zoomboy and I had the following conversation:
ZB: Mom, it's too bad Schula can't come inside.
Me: Yeah, really is.
ZB: And too bad we don't take her to the vets anymore.
Me: Yeah. It is. But she's too wild. She lets us pet her and that's about it.
ZB: She's really sweet.
Me: Yeah.
ZB: She bit me today, but it was an accident. Don't worry, I washed it with hot water and bactine.
Me: Okay… she bit you?
ZB: Yes. It was an *accident*. Not her fault. Not her fault at all.
Me: Okay.
ZB: It's too bad we couldn't, you know, find her a way for her to poop somewhere else but the floor.
Me: (getting a little suspicious by now) Yes. Yes it is.
ZB: Like, you know, a diaper. Like one of the ones we used to get for the dog when he was a baby.
Me: *lightbulb* Zoomboy?
ZB: Yes?
Me: Did you try to put one of the dog's old diapers on the cat? Is that why she bit you?
ZB: Yes.
Me: Ooooooooooohhhh… That explains SO much!

***

And for today's finale, there's the story of Gordie and the vet.

Okay, it's not much of a story.

Mostly, the frickin' cat just managed not to go to the vet's.  Twice.  So this morning, before Big T left for school, I asked him to put the cat in the cat carrier, I didn't care how early it was, I wasn't going to risk him slipping out.  

I didn't hear what happened next.  I swear.  I didn't see it, didn't hear it, all I heard was Mate, exclaiming, "Did you just hit the cat with the ceiling fan?  No wonder he hates you!"

o.o  I don't even want to know.

***

And I only thought that was the finale.  (This is a much better finale-- I promise.  This one has available pictures!)

See-- I've been ordering swag, so I expect deliveries every so often, and yes, I do check to see what's being delivered.  

I've gotten Johnnies keychains, Angst & Pain dragon buttons, Mackey refrigerator magnets, Mackey lanyards (pending) and some magnets and buttons for The Bells of Times Square.  So, today as I was writing, imagine my surprise when I opened a box and found these:


No, your eyes do not deceive you.  Those are Jehovah's Witness pins.  I called the company and they get 30-40 orders of these a day, so they're just going to eat the cost and re-send.  I told him the next time the JW's come knocking, I'll tell them we'd been expecting them, their God sent us the pins by mistake.  

As you can see, I usually get a different kind of swag altogether!






Saturday, August 23, 2014

And in One Week, Beneath the Stain...

Okay-- at the bottom of the page, I'm going to have blog tour information for Beneath the Stain, so don't just tune out when I start blathering, kk?

So, in yarn news, it's been sort of a big week-- for one, I finished a project, and I really love it.  It's going to Mary-my-Mary, because Chicken as opted for the blanket I'm working on instead.  (It's a verra nice blanket.)  But in the meantime, it's a crocheted shawl that is over 6' long, in Noro sock yarn.  

I sort of loves it-- the rainbows are lovely, and I sort of designed my own edging.  Baroque and ungainly?  Possibly, but it's mine, and I loves it, and Mary's squee could be heard across twenty states.  EEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

So, besides that, nothing going on here today--just a regular Saturday of kid activity, going out to lunch and (yay!) frozen yogurt on the way home.  The kids are parked in front of the Simpson's marathon, which keeps dropping epic ear-nuggets of awesomeness in my lap while I write.  (Mr. Burns: What have we learned here, Smithers?  Smithers: That women and seamen don't mix?  Mr. Burns: We all know what you think, Smithers!)  Mate is going down for a nap, and I'm ready to join him, because I've been hammering away on Immortal and it's sort of exhausting.   I'm going back to first person fantasy for this one, in the style of Truth in the Dark and Hammer & Air, and I love it sooo much.  NOBODY shall read it, because tragic first person fantasy spells commercial disaster, but I love it.  I leave the same amount of blood on the stage with this one (maybe more, if I have any more after Mackey, Bells, and John) but it's magical, sparkling blood, so, you know.  Different.
Oh-- Squish says Hi!

And that brings us to Beneath the Stain and the giant chunk of blog tour coding on the bottom of this page.

What I did, since I'm releasing the book in seven parts before releasing it all together, is send the first two parts to reviewers on the blog tour.  

I think they both love and hate me for this.

Because the consensus from the first stop on the tour is that they want to know what happens to Mackey now!  But they also agree that they like the other people in the story, and yes, they get to see the other people in the story in the extra material.  

So, well, my evil plot (or my publisher's evil plot) has succeeded!  Go us!

Anyway-- Karrie Jax at Rainbow Book Reviews loved the Bethany's review so much that she made us a meme.  

I love it.  

I love it so much.

And I've finally figured out what to do with memes, because for a while I was like, "SQUEE!  IT'S PRETTY! HOW DO I MAKE IT FOREVER!" and now I'm like, "Doh!  I've got my own WEBSITE, DAMMIT, with a place for FAN ART."  (I'm not very bright.  We all know I'm not very bright.)  So, from now on, if anyone loves my work enough to make a meme, I'm putting it up on my Fan Art page on my website.

So, that being said, I have a list of blog tour stops here.  The thing about the tour is that it's pretty much the same material on every stop-- BUT, if you make a comment on each stop, you have more chances to win one of the swag packs or the serial package.  

Oh-- and the swag packs?  

Sweet.  T-shirt, lanyard, refrigerator magnet, postcard-- it's like a backstage kit for a concert :-)

Anyway--worth the rafflecopter, at any rate!

I'll be coming back to this page and updating the links as they appear, so, in the meantime, sit back, take in the blog tour, and enjoy!




Tour Stops

August 22, 2014
Rainbow Gold Reviews
Sunshine Book Promotions

August 23, 2014
elisa - my reviews and ramblings

August 24, 2014
My Fiction Nook

August 25, 2014
Coffee and Porn in the Morning  (aka Cupoporn)

August 26, 2014
Boys in our Books

August 27, 2014
Nic Starr

August 28, 2014
Scrollin' Them Papers

August 29, 2014
Regular Guys. Hot Romance

August 30, 2014
Bronwyn Heeley

August 31, 2014
BookwormBridgette's World

September 1, 2014
BiblioJunkies

September 2, 2014
books are love

September 3, 2014
TT Kove

September 4, 2014
In The Pages of a Good Book



Beneath The Stain
by Amy Lane

Blurb: 
In a town as small as Tyson, CA, everybody knew the four brothers with the four different fathers-- and their penchant for making good music when they weren't getting into trouble. For Mackey Sanders, playing in Outbreak Monkey with his brothers and their friends—especially Grant Adams--made Tyson bearable. But Grant has plans for getting Mackey and the Sanders boys out of Tyson, even if that means staying behind.

Between the heartbreak of leaving Grant and the terrifying, glamorous life of rock stardom, Mackey is adrift and sinking fast. When he's hit rock bottom, Trav Ford shows up, courtesy of their record company and a producer who wants to see what Mackey can do if he doesn't flame out first. But cleaning up his act means coming clean about Grant, and that's not easy to do or say. Mackey might make it with Trav's help--but Trav's not sure he's going to survive falling in love with Mackey.

Mackey James Sanders comes with a whole lot of messy, painful baggage, and law-and-order Trav doesn't do messy or painful. And just when Trav thinks they may have mastered every demon in Mackey's past, the biggest, baddest demon of all comes knocking.




Available to pre-order at



Release Date:
August 29, 2014


Five Ways to Buy 

Option 1: Serial Package 
  • Automatically get each part with special content on your bookshelf as it is released and the digital novel upon release. Serial runs 8/29/14-10/10/14. Novel releases 10/17/14. 
  • $12.99. This option only available through dreamspinnerpress.com

Option 2: Serial Deluxe Package 
  • Automatically get each part with special content on your bookshelf as it is released and the digital novel upon release. Serial runs 8/29/14-10/10/14. Novel releases 10/17/14. 
  • Also received a signed paperback mailed to you upon novel release. 
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Excerpt

You Can’t Always Get What You Want
... from the Mighty Hunter Gazette— April 20

And special news, our very own homegrown band, Outbreak Monkey, will be performing a six- song set between D.J. Boomer’s dance music at the Graham Winters High School prom. The band, headed by McKay “Mackey” Sanders on lead vocals, Jeff Sanders on bass and their brother Kell Sanders on lead guitar, also features Grant Adams on second lead and Stevie Harris on drum set. All members are Graham Winters High School students and we are proud to have them play!

THE FIRST time McKay Sanders kissed his brother’s best friend, Grant, they were getting high in a burned-out car in the field behind Mackey’s apartment building. Kellogg, who looked old enough to buy even though he’d just turned eighteen, had spent ten dollars the brothers didn't have on cheap Muscat. By the time Grant—whose father had money—brought out the pot, Kellogg, Jefferson, and Stevie were passed out on the old camp blanket Stevie had brought from his dad’s garage.

It was a celebration, of sorts, for landing the prom gig.

The older kids had hogged all the Muscat, though, and Mackey felt left out. Kellogg kept saying it wasn't right to get his little brother drunk, and Mackey kept saying it wasn't right to drink in front of him, but by the time Kellogg was too drunk to argue, there wasn't any wine left.
Jefferson and Stevie had finished off the other bottle all by themselves—just sitting quietly, not making any waves like they usually did, passing the bottle between them.

“Boy, you two argue a lot,” Grant said after Kell let out a gut-buster of a yawn and fell asleep quick as a baby.

Mackey grunted and prodded at his older brother with his toe. The three brothers present looked nothing alike. Kell was built like a tank, with rounded shoulders, a brown-eyed glare, and plain brown hair that he buzz- cut short to his scalp. He was like born practicality, which was why hoarding the wine rankled Mackey so badly. An expenditure like that wasn't going to happen again.

“He gets mad,” Mackey said, letting out a sigh. He slouched back inside the shelter of the car, peering through the doorframe at the iron gray sky. “He’s the one who takes care of us, you know? But not in the band.”

It was true.

Kell could play guitar ably enough, but Mackey....

“You can play everything,” Grant said with admiration. “You’re the one who puts the songs together, figures out who should be playing what. And the shit you write on your own....”

Mackey smiled at him a little shyly. Grant had the most interesting face, with a long, straight nose, full pink lips, and almond-shaped hazel eyes. When Grant looked at him with admiration, it stopped his breath and pulled rubber bands in his stomach. “I just....” He stopped because Grant was reaching into his pocket, and he pulled out a baggie full of weed and papers. “Ooh....”

Grant looked down at the other three, who were sleeping soundly in the late afternoon chill. “I was gonna share,” he said mischievously, “but Kell was a dick about the wine, so I thought you and me?” Mackey nodded, captivated by the thrill of the forbidden—and by the way that cherry-ripe mouth pulled up at the corners when Grant smiled.

“I've never, uhm....”

Grant shrugged. “Me and Kell do sometimes. But, you know, Kell’s usually a good guy.”

Mackey reflected on his sleeping brother. Kell was a good guy. For example, Mackey had a confused memory of their youngest brother Cheever’s dad, the one dad they thought would stick around beyond giving the baby a first name. Cheever’s dad hadn't been very patient, and he’d hated Mackey. Well, Mackey was sort of a smartass. He’d probably had that fist coming. But that hadn't stopped Kell from stepping up and hitting Enos Cheever right back. Mackey and Kell had both needed stitches after that, but their mom had kicked Enos Cheever out—child support or no child support. That was okay. Kell and Jeff had been almost old enough to work by then. They’d only needed assistance for a couple of months.

“He doesn't like it that I can boss him around,” Mackey said glumly. “He... he’s the leader, right? But... but I hear the music, and it just makes sense, you know? And... and you can’t do it wrong just ’cause it’ll hurt Kell’s feelings. It’s augh!” He was waving his hands around, trying to find words, which was funny, because Mackey actually wrote songs. He closed his eyes, ignoring Grant rolling a number, and tried to make a song out of it.

“He wants to keep me happy and he wants to keep me fed, he makes sure that I've got blankets and a place to sleep in a bed, but the music in my heart is like a freight train. It goes and it goes and when I stop it, it’s like pain, but my brother doesn't see it doesn't hear it doesn't feel it, and all there is to do is shove him out of the way. Don’t want to hit my brother with the freight train.”

Mackey’s eyes smarted, because the friction with Kell hurt. They were tight. They had to be tight, because Tyson, California, had a population of ten thousand, and it was a small enough town that the woman with the four sons and four fathers was sort of famous. They had to have each other’s backs or Cheever wouldn't have survived kindergarten.

Mackey blinked and took a deep breath, then coughed.

Damn, pot was strong.

He gazed at Grant, who was staring back in awe over the glowing ember of the joint. Grant held the smoke for a minute and exhaled,shaking his head. “God, it’s gorgeous when you do that,” he said, his voice choked.

“Do what?” Mackey asked, not able to stop staring at him.

“Pull music out of the air,” Grant said, the dreamy smile on his full lips maybe a side effect of the pot, but maybe not. Grant was sitting in the back of the car, his feet at the foot of the blanket the others were sleeping on. He passed Mackey the doobie around the doorframe, and Mackey regarded the joint with a little bit of fear.

“Just inhale?” he asked nervously, and Grant grinned.

“Never done this before?” he confirmed, taking the doobie back.

Mackey shook his head, knowing his face was flushing in spite of the iron mountain chill.

“Here,” Grant murmured, taking another hit. He stood up, still holding the smoke in his lungs, and knelt in front of Mackey, so close their lips almost brushed. Mackey’s mouth fell open, because, holy God, Grant was right there, and Mackey had been trying not to look at him like he had wanted him right there since he was twelve years old.

Grant took his open mouth for invitation and exhaled, right between Mackey’s parted lips.

Mackey’s inhale was so gentle, the smoke hardly tickled. He didn't choke or cough like he’d seen other people do, just breathed in subtle-like, afraid to startle Grant or make him move in any way. His exhale was even quieter, letting the smoke trickle out through his lips and his nose, where it stung.

He swallowed, his mouth dry from the smoke and from the way Grant was staring at him, seemingly as mesmerized as he was by those golden eyes and moist red mouth. “How’s Sam?” he asked, because Samantha Peters had been Grant’s shadow for the past year.

“Not here,” Grant whispered, and the movement made their lips touch.

Mackey closed his eyes, because Grant started this, and Mackey was fourteen to his seventeen. Grant would know what to do.

Grant’s lips on his were whisper-soft, then angel-soft, then Grant’s tongue swept into his mouth, acrid with the bitter taste of weed, but something in it was sweet. Something in it made Mackey open his mouth to beg for more.

Grant took advantage, pushing him back against the seat, taking his mouth more, and more and more, until Mackey was pressed against the burned-out seat frame, his hands buried in the thick top strip of Grant’s hair, his lips being bruised and his mouth plundered by his brother’s best friend.

The smell of pot smoke sharpened, turned plastic, and Grant jerked his head back.

“Shit,” he muttered. The joint had fallen onto the blanket at their feet, and he spent a moment stomping it out as it smoldered. When he’d killed the ember, he glanced at Mackey sheepishly.
“Got lost in your eyes,” he said, and Mackey watched curiously as two red crescents surfaced on his sharp cheekbones, like disappearing ink coming to life.

“I could get lost in you a lot,” Mackey confessed, feeling brave and bold, and Grant found something to look at far away.

“Mackey, maybe don’t count on me like that, okay?”

Mackey had to search far away too. Well, of course, right? Two guys get high and they do something crazy—didn't mean shit, did it.

Didn’t mean a goddamned thing. “Yeah, well. You know. Strong weed, right?”

“Yeah,” Grant murmured. “Strong.” His hand was firm on Mackey’s shoulder then, and Mackey closed his eyes as he felt the rasp of Grant’s chilled palm against his cheek. “Stronger’n shame.”

Mackey had to. Had to see his face.

Grant was blinking hard, and they both knew he’d deny it, but one hit of pot didn't give you eyeballs that red.

At their feet, Kell gave a moan and rolled over, and that was the cue for everyone to wake up. They were headachy and sick, and it was lucky Grant had brought a six-pack of water, of all things, so they could at least rinse out their mouths after they puked.

Grant had driven them out to the vacant field in his mom’s minivan, and later that evening, he stopped and let them run inside the grocery store to buy noodles and spaghetti sauce for dinner. They’d promised their mom they’d take care of groceries if she let them get away with not watching Cheever for the afternoon. When they got to the Sanders boys’ apartment complex, Grant and Kell were giving each other shit in the front seat. Mackey stared out the window and let their banter wash over him, just like he ignored Jefferson and Stevie talking in quiet undertones about comic books and naked girl pictures. Jeff and Kell had best friends. Mackey had brothers—six of them, if he counted Cheever’s little friend Kevin, which he did.

“So, is Sam excited you get to play at the prom?” Kell asked, laughing.

“Yeah,” Grant said. For a moment, he caught Mackey’s gaze in the rearview, and then he glanced back toward the road. “She wants to dress pretty and dance with me in a suit.”

Mackey didn't make a noise or anything, but suddenly he knew, knew like it had been branded on his skin, that Grant didn't want to dance with a girl in a dress. And that it would hurt worse than orange juice on chapped lips, but Mackey was going to have to watch him do it. 

About The Author
Amy Lane has four children, two cats, a love starved Chi-who-what, a crumbling mortgage and an indulgent spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance--and if you give her enough diet coke and chocolate, she'll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She'll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
You can can find Amy at 
            



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