Hey There. Come Here Often?

[pulling out the Dory voice] Well, hi!

It’s uh… been a bit of time since I’ve posted here so I thought I’d check in, crack open a drink, and have a conversation with you all.

The last few months have been extremely hard for me, I’ll be honest. Some stuff happened that redefined the way I look at people I know in a serious way. There were police investigations (closed now) and the fallout will continue for years to come, but the initial whirlwind of holy shit has subsided. I’m relieved and disappointed, angry and fearful, determined and protective. It’s an exhausting mix of emotions, to be honest. All I have to say is thank god for Kate. She has always been and always will be my rock in stormy times. Things are looking up, at least somewhat. I’m trying to be a positive, immovable wall of reliability for those who need me. It’s difficult, and in quiet, solitary moments, I break more often than I’d care to admit, but those moments are becoming less frequent at least. Maybe we’ll all be okay with time and perspective.

Then of course there’s the election of our new Dark Lord POTUS and the fallout from that, which will also have ramifications for years. I stand in shocked disbelief on a daily basis since Lord Cheeto took office. But I also see the protests, the activism, the phone calls to representatives, the sheer rising up of our nation to keep the new PEEOTUS from sinking us all, and it gives me hope. I cling to the hope sometimes, because it feel like the only thing I have, this tiny little lifesaver ring in the face of racism, sexism, cronyism, nepotism, and discrimination. And also batshit crazy. Because Bannon is fucking insane and he’s Wormtongue, whispering his evil into the King’s ear.

But! I don’t want to get into all that political shit in this post. This is more of a hey, what’s up? thing. I’ve been working as a virtual assistant the last couple months, too. The book sales are still decent, but they don’t stretch the way they used to, so I picked up some extra work to even out the valleys and make it easier to save during the peaks. This is also the reason Kate and I have started a Patreon, so we can worry less about scraping together money for bills by doing side jobs and devote that time to the actual writing. It’s been a bit stressful, if I’m honest, but hopefully in the next few months, we’ll have a little more breathing room. Honestly, the Patreon is a lot more fun than I anticipated. I have lots of ideas for it, just need the time to execute.

I’m 42,000 words into Restraint (PE 4) and I’m predicting it’ll be around 100,000 words. This one is not quite as dark as the first three (quite possibly another reaction to the last few months. The darker real life gets, the fluffier I write. Maybe. If I could ever be classified as “fluffy,” which I think is a stretch. More like Addams family dark rather than Ted Bundy dark.) I’ve been having fun with the research for Restraint though. It’s set in Seattle, which is a city that’s always fascinated me. In fact, Kate and I have tentative plans to move there for a couple years when the kids are in college, and before we go to England. Assuming the US still exists by then.

I’ve also got the second Long Fall of Night queued up and ready to begin as soon as Restraint is released. Honestly, I need to write it before what I’ve had plotted for 2 years now comes to pass and I get accused of taking advantage of sick and twisted times. It’ll be quite the roller coaster, for sure.

After that, I have a few ideas. There’s a possible Reaping Havoc 3, a PE spinoff with a character from Restraint (plus another spinoff from Consent with a couple of those characters), and then the beginning of a futuristic slave epic I’ve been kicking around for months now, tentatively called Genesis Rising. That one, I cannot wait to sink my teeth into, but the plot is slow in coming, and I’m taking my time with it so as not to force anything. It’ll be a flop if I don’t do it right. I’m also considering whether or not to make it a menage. I haven’t written a poly relationship in a long time, and never for more than a scene in a work I’ve published. I miss the dynamics of it, and I would love to explore all the facets of it again. It’s such a beautiful kind of love.

I’ve also been knitting and listening to audiobooks. I’ve got intentions of getting audio production going for my backlist in 2017, but that depends on a lot of factors, so I can’t make promises at this point. I wish I could, because I want to hear Gavin come to life in a bad way, but patience is the name of this game.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Trying to keep my head above water and hold on tight in these changing, somewhat troubled times. I’d love to report Casa Rose-Aaron smells of roses and freshly printed money and is filled with the sounds of books being written at a lightning pace, but the reality is much more mundane and less exciting.

I do want to know what you all have been up to, even if it’s not glamorous or exciting, or even if you think it sounds like complaints. You know what? We’re all in this together and can share strengths. So come sit by me. Tell me a little bit about your worlds and what you hope happens in the next few months. I’ve missed you guys.


26 thoughts on “Hey There. Come Here Often?

  1. oh dear, that kind of chaos with you as well, huh? *hugs* Been dealing with similar for months as well and it is anything but fun or relaxing. Add the Cheeto in the mix and… well… you know. I’ve barely been keeping my head up as well. Writing’s been absolutely minimal as has knitting and I miss both dearly. I’ve just not been up for any of it. Hopefully that’ll improve soon, because yeah… outlet is needed 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Might I recommend White Collar on Netflix? It’s been my escape lately (and happily, doubles as research).

      I have a feeling after the shock wears off, we’ll be finding all kinds of new outlets, out of necessity.


      • I’ll have to give that one a shot at some point. I’ve been mostly reading fanfic, re-reading, really. It’s like cozying up with an old friend and was what I needed. I really do hope I can knit properly again soon, because I prefer to have my hands busy when binging shows 😉
        And yeah, I feel ya on the need for new outlets. It’s just… ugh.

        Oh! Discovered a new comedy yesterday. Superior Donuts. I forget what channel it’s on, but it’s on OnDemand. Premiered this week, you should check it out.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ll have to check that out after the gold mine of forensics shows I found on Amazon Prime. 🙂

          Aw, fanfic. Sadly, my fandom isn’t around anymore, and it’s just old stuff, though I could always go back to the K/S I started with. Some of those stories have stuck with me for years, and those writers were better than the NYT Bestsellers even without editing.

          As for knitting, you could do something that’s just miles and miles of garter stitch so you don’t even have to look at it. I’ve always got a Log Cabin blanket on the needles for just such things. Busy hands, minimal attention.


          • ah yes, but that would require having the funds to buy the yarn to make that, which I don’t currently have 😉 I’m mostly working from stash, which is… well… dwindling slowly but surely.

            Also, fandom! What fandom? And K/S (assuming you mean Kirk/Spock… have you read Keira Marcos’ stuff? I’ve got a spreadsheet (not kidding!) of my favorites among various fandoms, if you’re interested 😉 And yes, some fandom writers definitely are better than some of the so-called best sellers 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m working from stash, too. And it’s getting pretty sparse. Before I know it, I won’t have any sock yarn left. Although when it comes to blankets, I let go of my wool snobbery and get acrylic, which is cheaper and softer (and machine washable) so my latest log cabin project was only $40 when I got the yarn last summer.

              Yes, Kirk/Spock. I wrote Pinto fanfic for a couple years before getting my first publication contract. Not much of it’s any good but I shook off the writing cobwebs on it. I honestly read only a handful of K/S fics so I couldn’t tell you if I did read Keira Marcos’s stuff.

              Liked by 1 person

              • oh my sweet, you need to go check. Here’s my spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Ky-9NHYRSGuwpqtbEtJZnMA3rR9xb8F6GIi5xKRqX9o/edit?usp=sharing&authkey=CIavzqgL

                I have things as organized as I can make them 😉 (little tough to do with the crossover ones, but I do try). Don’t hesitate to check out the other fandoms, too. Also, if you haven’t watched the shows yet, might I recommend Stargate SG-1, followed by Stargate Atlantis (yes, followed because Atlantis doesn’t start until about 8 seasons into SG-1). They’re my go-to binge shows (along with Charmed), and one of my favorites in fandom, too. Again, Keira is awesome. Another amazing author is Jilly James, who’s mostly doing fics that are based around Tony DiNozzo from NCIS and is generally crossed over with other shows and characters, but oh so well done. (I normally am not fond of cross overs because they tend to not be very well put together but both Keira and Jilly rock it).

                And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using fandom to dust the cobwebs off one’s skills 😉

                Oh, for blankets, I mostly go with acrylic as well for precisely that reason. Much cheaper. Still, it adds up.

                Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh. I’m so sorry about the upheaval in your life. I’ve no idea what happened (and am not fishing for details) but the mention of police makes it sound scary and heavy and I really hope the repercussions won’t linger for as long as you seem to fear.

    I’m very excited about all your writing and know I’m not the only one who can’t wait for more Ben and Gavin. TLFON is another sequel I’ve been yearning for so your writing plans press all my buttons in the most perfect way.

    What have been I been up to? Not a whole lot. Got a bit more politically vocal and active because the world is freaking me out right now. I’ve taken up knitting again and find it very relaxing so I’ve got a feeling I’ll be keeping it up. And I’ve got two (maybe three?) books coming out this year, which basically means I’ll be doubling my list of published titles over 2017 – it’s kinda freaking me out. Time will tell how that works out.

    Look after yourself my dear. Try to take time out from the stress and worry, no matter how hard that is. I’m very glad you have Kate to brave the storms with you; it sure makes a difference when we’re not doing it on our own. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve seen your posts on Facebook going more and more political! Scary times are scary. I’m glad I have Kate, too. She’s my Dermott. And your rainbow knitting inspired me to do a kitty hat for my daughter to take to her Trump-voting father’s house. I will subvert in all the ways I can. Ha!

      I’m quite certain your books will do great and you’ll rock those releases.


  3. Sorry for all the problems you’ve had AJ. Whilst I’m very excited….nay, ecstatic about PE4 and other WIP <3, and love reading excerpts on Patreon, my general mood has been quite subdued since Trump the Twerp became POTUS I'm afraid. I can't help thinking that the only way he and his cronies are going to be reined in is by corporate America and your judicial system telling him NO!!…and THAT, in and of itself is a really scary thought. OK, I live in the UK, but to my mind, most humongous U.S. conglomerates such as the big A, Google, Starbucks etc. are not trustworthy anyhoo cos they don't pay the taxes they should over here, and they opt for tax friendly countries like Ireland and Luxembourg to base their HQ's in. Wherever you are, you should be subject to that countries tax laws and that means being honest whether you like it or not, and paying what every other law abiding company does. Yes, I MAY have a little bit of a bee in my bonnet about that particular subject 😉 As far as your judicial system goes, everything seems to be dependent on the relevant state laws and corrupt judges, and if you happen to be in a Republican or Southern state…well tough titties!! [yes, I've just added titties to my Kindle dictionary 😊].

    The U.S. MAY have been the land of the free at one stage a helluva long time ago, but just imagining Trump and that little git Putin in Moscow plotting together to destroy the world is enough to scare the living daylights out of me. 😱

    Liked by 1 person

        • Ok, I just sat back down at my computer and read your whole comment rather than answering the little flash that popped up on my phone’s notifications, and yes, I agree with ALL you said. I get taking advantage of some tax breaks, but skirting millions or billions in taxes places an undue burden on society as a whole, making those of us who DO pay taxes subsidize already wealthy companies. It burns me.

          As for being one of our patrons, Bev, I seriously cannot express enough gratitude for that. Truly. I’d love to make our patreon page more interactive (if that’s what you guys want) with polls and possibly live chats (either through a chat site that goes in real time or a video chat), but I don’t know if you guys would prefer to simply read at your leisure and then be on your way. We may be doing a poll at some point to get some more feedback on what you guys want to do. I just don’t want anyone feeling they’re not getting enough for their patronage, because we really do appreciate it so much!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. This has been an upheaval year for me. Getting to know you gave me the courage to spread my wings a little more and so I joined GoodReads m/m romance Don’t Buy My Love. I read a lot of books and learned the art of writing an honest review without drawing blood. Some of those authors then approached me to read ARC’s of their work and write reviews and so now I am actually behind by one book and two reviews and I don’t even know how that happened. It was such a worldwide courtship, but I love it. Through you again I have met and even befriended some amazing people and engaged in some awesome conversations.

    I have some six knitting projects going at this time. I just finished a beautiful lap blanket and am working on my first in a long time slouchy beanie. I am going to have to check you out on Rivalry. I also have five sewing projects going. I am making a cassock for my son who is a minister, a wedding dress for a good friend, and some clothing for me and my grand daughter. I have promised to teach my granddaughters to knit, crochet and sew this year. I retired from my full time job and have since picked up a part time job at Joann’s fabrics and crafts or as I call it Disneyland!

    I became a patron of yours and Kate’s and have thoroughly enjoyed the chapter reads, and picsperations. My hope is that more people will sign up so you have more time to devote to your writing because you two are wickedly talented.

    As you know I am waited with baited breath to get back into the machinations of Shockwave and the continuation of The Long Fall of Night.

    I am not going to comment on my political activities because the 60s and 70s taught me huge lessons in that area.

    Mostly I have spent a great deal of time advocating, and praying for my friends and associates who are at the greatest risk because of the actions taken in our nations capital. I want them to be whole and happy and safe. As you know I count you in that group and will continue to do all I can to show my love and support for who you are and all you wish to accomplish.

    I am glad to see you back behind the wheel of your writing, in spite of the setbacks. The preview chapters have been awesome. Ever onward AJ!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Soon, Sharon. Soon we'll be getting back to LFoN.

      I've lost count of the knitting projects I have on the needles. Most of them are hibernating.

      Retirement seems to be suiting you well, from what I see on Facebook. You look so happy!

      I'm so glad you're enjoying the Patreon page Kate and I set up! We have ideas for things we'd like to do there so keep an eye on the page. Question: do you get a notification of some kind when we post or do you just check every couple days? I don't know how it works from the patron side.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello, i would like to ask you a littke about the Patreon thing nad i really hope yoi don’t take it bad. I’ve bought the 3 if your books and I enjoy their reading. I do not earn USD but an exchange that is much more cheaper so they costs me a bit of money, that i willingly spent it. I was interested in the new PE book and then i found you were asking for a Paetron subscription to access the chapters. My question is, would it be 5 usd per month? If the book came up at (lets say) December, i would have spent 45 usd in a book that i would buy, totally buy, when it comea up. Even if the book came up at July i would have spent 20 usd when I originally paid 5 or 6 USD for the prior books. I found this calculation a bit absurd. What exactly am I paying for? I hope you can clarify this for me.
    Your average reader.


    • Restraint will be available to the general public just as any other book. Patreons are paying to support my wife and I as we write in the months it takes us to produce books. So they get sneak peeks at WIPS and extras like deleted scenes. We also write short things, like scene flashes or character studies, that instead of keeping to ourselves, we show patrons.

      But I wish to be clear: I am still releasing all future books to general distribution at market prices, $5-$6 per ebook. Just because I’m showing patrons the early work on Power Exchange 4 doesn’t mean you have to be a patron to see it at all. It means they have early access to the pre-edited work as well as other writing I have never shown anyone in the past.


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