Giveaway! $25 Amazon Gift Card + Free Copy of To Summon Nightmares by J.K. Pendragon

Giveaway-Graphic

Hello everyone!

To Summon Nightmares comes out in less than two weeks, so I’ve decided to host a giveaway!

The Rules:

  • To enter just leave a comment on this post with your email address.
  • The draw closes at midnight Pacific Time on November 4th. The winner will be contacted and will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

The Prize:

  • A $25 Amazon gift card, delivered to you by email, and a free copy of To Summon Nightmares in the format of your choice, including ebook or print.

To Summon NightmaresAbout To Summon Nightmares:

Three years ago, Cohen Brandwein was “Ireland’s Favorite Daughter”, a popular teenage author and internet celebrity. But ever since he came out publicly as trans, the media’s treatment of him has been less than golden, and these days, Cohen is desperate for escape.

When he inherits an old house in the country, Cohen sees it as a perfect opportunity to escape the press and work on his new book. What he doesn’t count on is becoming embroiled in a small town murder mystery and falling for the primary suspect, a man whose reality makes Cohen’s fantasy books seem like child’s play…

Length: 53,000 words
Pairing: m/m, trans
Available: November 4th
Price: $5.99 (pre-order to save 15%)

Read an Excerpt
Buy Link

Good luck, everyone!


Update:

The giveaway is now over! Congratulations, Rebecca, and thanks for playing everyone!

Libraries, Queer Books and Me

So today I want to talk a little bit about my Queer Origin Story. The whole story is long and sordid and probably quite boring, honestly, but I want to talk specifically about books.

Okay, first, go read this post by E.E. Ottoman on getting queer romances into local libraries, because it’s a great post, and their questions at the end got me thinking about my history with queer books, and how important they were to me.

Like a lot of authors, I was a voracious reader as a child. I started with the Magic Tree House books in grade three and basically never stopped. My mother took me to the public library in our town (which, looking back, was pretty damn huge and awesome, thought I didn’t realise it at the time) and I took out a stack of books every few weeks, and read through them in short order. My mom often joked that we were keeping the place in business with all the late fees we paid, but at least that didn’t stop her from taking me.

library

This is what the library in my hometown looks like, by the way. It’s kind of like a giant, rectangular geode.

I continued reading all the way into high-school, when I made my way from the children’s section of the library over to the special “teen” section. And it was there, and in my high-school library, that I first encountered queer characters.

I wish I could remember the names of the books I read. Have this quote by Neil Gaiman instead:

“Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.”
Neil Gaiman

It’s pretty accurate. I remember the characters, the words, could even recite some of them probably. But I can’t remember the titles or the authors. Sometimes I’ll scour goodreads or amazon looking for them. But, like the quote says, they stayed with me, touched me, and left a very powerful nostalgia behind. In fact, most of the books I remember reading as a teenager had LGBT characters. I don’t know if it’s just because my libraries had a good selection of them, or because I was particularly drawn to LGBT stories, even though it often wasn’t hinted at in the blurb. I suspect though, that those are just the books I remember the strongest. The ones that really deeply affected me.

I grew up in a Christian household where homosexuals were people who made the choice to sin. I was taught to judge, to condemn, to pity. I grew up haughty, believing myself better than others because of my faith. But when I read these books, I saw the world through the characters’ eyes. I understood them, felt sympathy, even though in my mind I felt compelled to judge and condemn them. Maybe that conflict that happened in my mind every time I read a gay character is what caused them to be burnt into my subconscious. Without a doubt, it changed my opinions on homosexuality, which in turn made my own coming out just a little less painful. I didn’t actually believe I was evil, or that what I was doing and feeling was a sin. Why? Because I had read about characters like me. Characters who were good and normal and, every now and then, got to have their own happy end.

I absolutely believe that books can change people, and the world, for the better. I write queer characters not just because I enjoy them, but because I believe that through them, people might be able to gain sympathy for others, and understanding of themselves. And as a kid, libraries were my pathway to those books. I’ll be forever grateful to the authors of those books, and the librarians who made them available to me.


Promo time! My book, To Summon Nightmares, which features a bisexual transgender main character, a fairly evil demon, a really evil organisation, some bad-ass ladies, and quite a few more summoning rituals than is widely recommended, is out November 5th. To Summon Nightmares

Three years ago, Cohen Brandwein was “Ireland’s Favorite Daughter”, a popular teenage author and internet celebrity. But ever since he came out publicly as trans, the media’s treatment of him has been less than golden, and these days, Cohen is desperate for escape.

When he inherits an old house in the country, Cohen sees it as a perfect opportunity to escape the press and work on his new book. What he doesn’t count on is becoming embroiled in a small town murder mystery and falling for the primary suspect, a man whose reality makes Cohen’s fantasy books seem like child’s play…

Pre-order here!
Read an Excerpt
Goodreads

Thanks for reading! Have another cat picture.

We got her a new couch.

We bought her a new couch the other day. She’s very appreciative.

1 Month Countdown! – My Fears about Publishing Trans Romance

To Summon Nightmares comes out in just over a month, and I’m filled with both excitement and trepidation.

I’m excited because I honestly believe that it’s a great book, and I can’t wait to share it with the world. It’s probably the best book I’ve ever written, and at the time of writing it, it definitely was. There was a flow to the writing that hadn’t been there before. I knew what I was doing, and although I ended up having to scrap and rewrite quite a bit, I felt confident in my ability to make it To Summon Nightmaresbetter, and to really write something good. I believe that confidence is one of the best tools that an author can have. To make the audience believe that you know what you’re doing, to make the audience trust you, is invaluable.

On top of that I’ve had a couple of people who read early versions go out of their way to tell me how much they liked it, and that it was one of their favourites.

It’s also a subject that is very personal to me, and writing stories with transgender characters is something that I feel is incredibly important. In this story, the fact that Cohen is transgender isn’t just a medical condition from his past (although I think stories that have trans characters without revolving around that fact are important too.) He’s in the midst of the turbulence of transition, dealing with issues of self and self-image, and wrestling with dysphoria. I wanted to get up close and personal with Cohen’s dysphoria, and much of it is lifted directly from my experiences. It’s a story about a turning point, and writing it mirrored and became a turning point in my own life as well.

So the trepidation I’m feeling is because I suspect very strongly that it’s not going to sell well. I shouldn’t care so much, I know. I should be happy if it reaches a few readers who really love it. And it really isn’t about money (although money would be nice, haha.) My last book, Ink & Flowers, did phenomenally well. But hey, it was a contemporary romance with conventionally attractive gay cis boys. That’s what sells. Paranormal fantasy with a chubby trans lead? Probably not so much. I know I’m getting ahead of myself here, and it might end up selling very well.  I’m mostly trying to prepare myself for disappointment. But I’ve read plenty of testimonials from authors who want to write more trans characters, but unfortunately they rely on writing for their income, and trans stories, they say, just don’t sell.

I want to become a successful author with a wide reach. But I don’t want to have to sacrifice writing stories that mean something to me. (Not that I&F didn’t mean something to me, because it did, but so does Nightmares.) So what do I do?  And I know I’m not the first author to lament this. But I do want to be able to retire from my day job eventually. And I don’t want to stop writing trans characters either. The only solution I can think of is just to keep writing really, really good trans stories, and hope they catch on!

Anyway, after all that, I don’t want to be a huge douchewaffle and start pressuring you to buy my book. Instead I think I’ll link to a few romance books about trans characters by authors who I would love to see more trans stories from. If you would too, consider supporting these books!

A Matter of Disagreement by E.E. Ottoman
Breaking Free by Cat Grant
Wallflower by Heidi Belleau
Static by L.A. Witt

If you know of more, please feel free to link in the comments! And of course, you can pre-order To Summon Nightmares here.

And this blog post is now over the recommended length of 500 words, and doesn’t contain anything close to the optimal quota of cat pictures. So I’ll leave you with a photo of my cat and no more words, and that’ll have to do! Cheers!

Girls go crazy 'bout a sharp dressed cat.

What’s New

reddrag

Like my new website? I love this little guy, although I can’t seem to find him in higher resolution than this anywhere.

Hello, all! I’m coming off an absolutely lovely week of holidays from my day job. It’s been gorgeous and sunny out, and I’ve been relaxing, playing video games, eating, and of course, writing.

It’s a little bittersweet for me, having to go back to the wretched day job. It’s not a horrible job, by any means. It pays well (over minimum wage anyway) it’s relatively low stress, and it gives me medical benefits. But at the same time, for someone who is on good days, an introvert, and on bad days, an anxiety-ridden lump, going to work, pasting a smile on my face and interacting with people for eight hours a day takes it’s toll. This holiday was a little glimpse into what life on the other side is like.

I want to be able to one day quit my day job. I don’t think it’ll ever happen. Right now I’m able to only work 4 days a week and write the other three, and I consider that a blessing even. But I can dream.

Anyway, like I said, I got quite a bit of writing done. I’m about 8K into a new story called Witch, Cat and Cobb, a cute fantasy romance about a princess who runs away and falls in love with a witch. It’s my first lesbian romance, and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve been pushing myself to write more female characters, and confront my internalised misogyny that tells me I won’t enjoy writing/reading female characters as much. I really am enjoying writing this, and I hope others enjoy reading it too.

It’s also a nice break from the 50K story I’ve been working on SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME (since last year.) It’s tentatively titled Skylark Tower and is a steampunk romance with a transgender narrative and also a revolution. It’s very complex, emotional, and has taken it’s toll on me in terms of deciding how I feel about serious issues and how I want to portray them. Right now I’m in the process of comMore Info... pletely re-typing the whole thing and editing it as I go, and it’s arduous. I think I’m seeing the end of the tunnel though, and like I said, WC&C is a very nice diversion.

ANYWAY!

I’ve got lots of publishing news too! We’ve got To Summon Nightmares finishing up it’s serial rotation and coming out on November 5th.

Touch of MistletoeThen A Touch of Mistletoe, the Christmas Anthology I wrote a story for is coming out December 17th. My story is called Here For You, and it’s about a blind piano teacher who is convinced he’s going to be alone forever after the death of his wife, until he meets a man who makes him question that, along with his sexuality.

Ink & Flowers is also going to be released as an audiobook around that time! I’m excited, but also not sure I’m going to be able to make myself listen to the whole thing. Especially not the sex scenes. >.< Anyone else get super embarrassed hearing their work read out loud?

Then! (yeah, I’m not done) on January 28th, LT3’s Trans Geek Out collection will be released, which includes my genderqueer twincest menage story (say that three times fast) Double Take! You can buy all the stories individually, or get the bundle (tip: get the bundle) and read all of them!

And finally (at last, I wanted to get this typed up, but I really want to go watch the new episode of Doctor Who) Prince of the Forgotten Planet is in the works to be translated into Spanish and French. Which is brilliant, because I’m sure French and Spanish people really want to read about gay magical tentacle sex and have had a limited selection up until this point. Just hold out a little longer, French and Spanish people!

I think that’s it! Thanks for reading, and have a great week, everyone!

Cover Reveal: Double Take!

If you follow me on twitter, you may remember a while back me talking about how I wanted to write a story in which the MC accidentally falls in love with twins, while failing to realise that they have been seeing two different people. Well ladies and gentlemen (and variations thereupon, of course) it turns out that particular threat was not idle!

Presenting Double Take:

DoubleTake

The unofficial tagline is still “Oops! I’m Dating Twins!”

I am absolutely in love with this cover. ^o^ It’s by Aisha, who never ceases to amaze me. It fits the story in a million little ways, and it’s gorgeous to boot.

I don’t have a blurb or a release date yet, but I couldn’t wait to share the cover. This story was so much fun to write. It’s tropey, a little bit angsty, and a lot smutty (spoiler: the love triangle is resolved the in only acceptable way imho), and it has a genderqueer main character!

It’s part of LT3’s Trans Geek Out collection, so it’ll be available to purchase individually, as part of a bundle, or in a print anthology. I’m super excited! 

Thanks for looking! 

My Cat the Book Model

This morning I was sitting in bed drinking tea and reading through Twitter, as I do, and I came across this post by Chuck Wendig talking about self-promotion, followed by  this tweet by Sara Megibow: “#1 mistake I see in publicity campaigns is blog mania the month of book release and crickets two months later.”

I realised that I’m totally guilty of this, as I haven’t posted a blog post in the two months since my book came out. “I want to write a blog post,” I lamented to the bf. “But I have nothing to write about.”

“Well,” he said, “why don’t you take pictures of the cat posing with your books and post that?”

So, without further adieu, my cat, Sapphira, who liked posing with my books so much that she sat on one of them.

she sniffed it first

Sapphira sitting on The Fairy Gift

Every third generation, on the eve of his eighteenth birthday, the eldest son is blessed with a fairy’s gift. His entire life, Marcus has been told that he is that fortunate son, and he has waited with mixed feelings for the day to arrive.

On the eve of his eighteenth birthday, he is indeed visited by a fairy. But that fairy is a stunning man, nothing like what Marcus expected, and the only thing more shocking is the gift he bestows. A quiet, ordinary young man, Marcus suddenly finds himself blessed with the gift of Seduction.

It is a gift that will lead him down all new roads, into dangers and worlds he never predicted. It will lead him to a place he never thought to be, and to someone who is far more than meets the eye…

Ebook: $4.99
Paperback: $11.99
Word Count: 50,000
Buy Link
Amazon

look at that mug

Sapphira posing with Ink & Flowers

About to lose his apartment, and desperate to avoid having to move in with his horrendous relatives, shy art student Luke impulsively agrees to a deal from hell: sex with a man he doesn’t know in exchange for a couch to sleep on.

His new “roommate” Cooper is everything that Luke hates: crude, uncouth, and covered in tattoos, not to mention openly gay. Luke has all but resigned himself to a miserable fate when it turns out Cooper might want something a little different than he expected.

Ebook: $4.99
Paperback: $11.99
Wordcount: 41,000
Buy Link
Amazon

She was also interested in my copy of my friend Alex Powell‘s book Rangers Over Regulus!

sniffing books is the highest praise a cat can offer

As you can see

Liberty is a vampire living on a space station where those who seek to avoid the government always land, and spends his days working for the assassin who runs the place. Life is as peaceful as a colony of thugs at the edge of civilization can get. Then a Ranger shows up…

Print: $5.99
Paperback: $13.99
Buy Link
Amazon

Obviously she took to her role as book model beautifully!

"what is the meaning of this??"

"ah, you are taking photographs of me. proceed."

"yes. i AM that attractive, aren't i."That’s all folks! Thanks for humouring me while I post pictures of my cat on my website, and also for checking out my books!

 

Thoughts on Ink & Flowers – Coming June 4th!

So Ink & Flowers comes out with Less Than Three Press in less than a week, and I thought I’d write a short blog post to talk about the inspiration behind it. I try to constantly experiment and trying new things in my writing, and Ink & Flowers is basically an amalgamation of a bunch of different things that I thought were cool and wanted to try. So without further adieu, here’s a some the things that inspired me to write Ink & Flowers!

gerberas

Image courtesy of moggara12 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1. I love cute little flower shops and flowers (my favourite task at my grocery store job is wrapping flowers) and I wanted to write a character who worked in one. I also love tattoos, and wanted to write a character who has lots of them (I only have two so far because I’m poor, but I want tons eventually, and have researched a fair bit about them.)

2. I felt that in my earlier stories the character development tended to suffer because I spent too much time focusing on the supernatural elements. I wanted to write a story that was all about the characters, and to avoid getting caught up in anything else, I made it contemporary, and set it in a Canadian city similar to mine. I wanted to write a story that wasn’t about defeating an evil villain or saving the world. Just about characters:  making mistakes, learning from them, making decisions and moving forward.

3. I wanted to try writing characters that were extremely flawed and unlikable a the beginning and see if I could turn it around to make them sympathetic by the end. I was also interested in the trope used a lot in erotica of someone being coerced into sex in exchange for money or a place to stay and ending up liking it. I wanted too see how that would play out if I wrote it completely realistically. What kind of person would be desperate enough to agree to that, I wondered. And what kind of person would make such an offer? Could they deal with the fallout of their actions, and redeem themselves by the end of the story?

4. Every story has a little bit of the author in it, but when I was writing Ink & Flowers, I found myself drawing from a lot of personal experience. Coming out, dealing with overbearing and insidiously controlling family, all while suffering from anxiety are all things I have direct experience with, and they coloured Luke’s experience as well. This isn’t to say that the characters are (more than loosely) based on anyone I actually know, but it made it into a very personal story for me. It also means that it’s a very queer narrative, and I hope that it will be most enjoyed and identified with by other people who have come out and faced homophobia in their families as well.

Also, there is mansex. Although it’s delayed a little from where one might have expected it to happen based on the blurb. A strange thing happens every time I start writing a book, I think “Wow, you know, I don’t think these characters are going to have on-page sex. This is going to be my first novel without sex in it!” And then the characters get to know each other a little bit, and that all goes out the window. But it’s okay, because I like writing sex scenes. 😉

Thanks for reading!


 

InkFlowers
About to lose his apartment, and desperate to avoid having to move in with his horrendous relatives, shy art student Luke impulsively agrees to a deal from hell: sex with a man he doesn’t know in exchange for a couch to sleep on.

His new “roommate” Cooper is everything that Luke hates: crude, uncouth, and covered in tattoos, not to mention openly gay. Luke has all but resigned himself to a miserable fate when it turns out Cooper might want something a little different than he expected.

Ink & Flowers: Coming June 4th!
Wordcount: 40,000
Pairing: m/m
Ebook price: $4.99

Preorder at Less Than Three Press
Add on Goodreads

Also Enter Here for a chance to win a free copy on the LT3 Goodreads page! Draw ends June 19th.