Monday, November 21, 2011

"Judas Kiss" review - 5 stars

Having been terribly behind in my Netflix list due to the rest of my life imposing itself on me for the last few months, I was recently made aware that Judas Kiss became available on Netflix.  On their DVD list anyway.  I can’t tell you whether it’s on instant because Netflix is in the midst of trying to burn their company down to the last shareholder by separating their services and charging separately and issuing retractions and making up stupid names for their services which are already used by some weirdo on the Twitter. 

Anyway, this is about Judas Kiss.  And it gets a lot more positive.  Right now.

Read on for more....

Hey! I have a blog! Oh yeah....

Heh.  Yep.  I do have a blog.  And here it is.  Maybe with the semester winding down i can even use it sometimes!

Sid comes back to the ice with the Pens tonight, i update blog - coincidence?  Or Mercury retrograde in action?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

had enough of the news this week?

Head on over to where the lovely Lou Sylvre has conducted an interview with yours truly and has posted a couple excerpts from Possession, including a (sweetly) steamy one!

If you read through the interview, you'll find mention of an upcoming project of mine.  That would be why i've diverted so much time away from this little blog - i'm working almost full-time on the next "great American novel."  It's already "finished" but i've set myself to heavy polishing and detail work before letting anybody have a peek.  Teaser: it's about a shy 30-year-old virgin who meets a male exotic dancer.  Back to work! ;-)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding revue

Writing romance kind of made this necessary....

Having Fridays doesn’t always seem much like a day off, I usually find I’m just as busy or busier on days “off.”  This Friday was a very special, historic occasion though.  A lot of people have said through the last couple weeks that they’re totally over the whole wedding thing, having heard nothing else for months and having every little insignificant iota deconstructed time and again.  I can definitely understand that feeling, it’s exactly how I feel about Christmas every October, November, and December.  Myself, I don’t generally watch much tv or listen to the radio very much at all, so I haven’t been saturated with the whole thing as much.  In print and online, it’s perfectly easy to skip over it. 

Read on for more....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Release Day!

Well, here we are.  A year and a half after I first started work on this project, Possession is now officially my first published work of fiction.  Publishing was a much smoother process than I’d anticipated.  I did a fair amount of “manual” editing last summer before submitting the Possession manuscript to Dreamspinner Press, but even going through the real edits with Dreamspinner editor Lynn, I was amazed at how much of a breeze it all was.  And when I saw my cover art, by the incredible Paul Richmond, for the first time… love at first sight !  For the last few months, ever since I signed the contract, it’s been completely surreal.  It’s so hard to believe I’m actually having one of my pieces published

I don’t want to go on and on until the orchestra starts playing that “get off the stage” music, so I’ll keep it simple and just give a general, but deeply genuine, thanks to all those who have encouraged and supported my writing, who have helped me out with editing and proofing and commenting, who have poked me along when I needed a little extra bugging to get that next chapter done. 

Possession is available now for download at Dreamspinner Press.  As it is in eBook format, you can download it to your reader device (such as Kindle), your iPhone, or as an html or pdf (for Adobe Acrobat).  I personally prefer pdf files to read on my laptop when I download electronic material. 

Don’t forget to drop by the Dreamspinner Press blog at to check out my release party with all the “DVD extras” including an excerpt from Possession, a meet-the-author entry, the making of Punch (with pictures!), and interviews with my two main characters, Tyler Ward and Kevin Strabane (who’s beautiful faces can be seen right there on the cover!)

Thanks again, to everybody.  Read and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Release Announcement!

My dearest ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me immense pleasure to officially announce the imminent release of my first published novella, Possession, available March 30, 2011 for download as an eBook through Dreamspinner Press.  

Possession is a supernatural/paranormal romance that warns of the consequences of deliberately acting contrary to the advice of horoscopes and well-meaning friends. 

Tyler Ward is an immigrant from the United Kingdom who has truly found a place for himself in America in a happy, unshakable relationship with fellow artist Kevin Strabane.  Together with their tabby cat, Teddy, Tyler and Kevin are living the American dream with a home of their own, a successful art gallery, and a close, supportive circle of friends. 

Several of Tyler’s friends are inclined to believe in astrological forecasts, but Tyler is too pragmatic for that sort of thing.  Superstitions are meaningless and foolish to him, and his usual reaction to the doom-and-gloom of horoscopes is a roll of the eyes and a patronizing smile.  Tyler believes there is no such thing as luck – “bad luck” is the result of inattention and laziness, “good luck” simply comes from awareness and hard work.  Kevin generally shares Tyler’s practical outlook, but he’s a little more open-minded and willing to consider alternative explanations for otherwise inexplicable things. 

Tyler dismisses a horoscope’s warning that bringing something “impish” home could have “disastrous and far-reaching consequences,” then decides to prove his rational point by buying an antique figure of the puckish puppet Punch when he finds one that same afternoon.  He is certain that he will be able to show his friends that their beliefs are silly when nothing “disastrous” happens just because he brought home something “impish.”  The very next day, however, begins to take aim at Tyler.  Kevin’s initial vague skepticism is quickly turned to concern for his beloved’s well-being as things get worse. 

Can Kevin get to the bottom of things before true disaster strikes?  What will it take to break through Tyler’s disbelief?  Will they be able to rid their lives of the influence of the wickedly cackling Punch once and for all? 

Read more in Possession – available March 30, 2011.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's Getting Closer!

It's been a big weekend around here.  Not only have I been reviewing my galley proof (that's the part where you get to see pretty much the next-to-finished product), but I also received and completed my requested cover art specifications.  Now that is an exciting step!  Actually seeing the cover art may be a cause for celebration with a preferred alcohol beverage of my choice.  When i write, I am very visually inclined.  It's basically like watching a mental movie and then transcribing it.  If anybody ever wants to make a film adaptation of anything I write... well, that's going to have to be a hell of a patient director!

Anyway, I think that's all I've got for right now.  Just thought I'd share a quick update.  I'd be on my way to the big Red Carpet tonight, but I've got this slight, annoying cough.  Decided to sit this one out and let Anne Hathaway have my ticket :)

Is it spring yet?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And we're live in... 3, 2, 1!

I've now had some time to get a couple of different posts up here in the blog, so i think it's about time to "go live" with it.  Whether i will do regular weekly updates or not, i can't say.  All depends on whatever else is going on, as usual.  But I'll mostly be talking about writing and reading here, will try not to go too off topic.  If anyone has any technical questions regarding this blog stuff, do ask someone else, i can assure you i haven't got a single clue!

Just this morning i finished up Round 2 of the official edits to my upcoming novella Possession (due for release in eBook format in late March - wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say no more!)  The second round was done in literally about five minutes.  The editor assigned to my book is easy to work with and the "review" tab in MS Word is definitely designed for this level of editing.

The message i received back from the editor i'm working with read as follows:

Thank you, Jessica. It was a clean manuscript; that's always helpful.

"Clean manuscript" - now those are lovely words!

Coming soon, expect more info and promo type stuff about the novella.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review of Felicia Watson's "Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela"

When I first saw the title of this book, my eyebrows jumped in surprise. It's not every day I find a M/M romance story set in my town (the 'Burgh!) let alone one with the names of two of our beloved but unpronounceable rivers right in the title. After reading the blurb, I was definitely interested in more than just the title. This sounded like quite a difference from most romances and I was eager to see how all these unconventionalities worked together. 

Under Felicia Watson's authorship, they worked perfectly. 

As a lifelong, native Pittsburgher, I was really thrilled to see that Felicia understood the city well enough to know that when you set a story in Pittsburgh, you don't just have a setting, you have a whole character to bring to life. That's what Pittsburgh is, a character in and of itself. It was a great experience that made the story especially real for me, especially since some of the settings are in favorite local neighborhoods of mine, and one is actually half a mile from my home! 

The actual human characters are just as real and outstanding. They are all exactly the sort of people that make up a city like this - genuine people, faults and imperfections and insecurities all included. The romance between Logan and Nick starts out as a wary one and is quite unlikely, each man being on his guard around the other. They both have some real personal issues to contend with and Felicia doesn't sugar coat any of that. 

This story could be an allegory for Pittsburgh life in general. It is a gritty, sooty tale of two men who are immensely proud but not always comfortable with themselves, who have some bitterness about their past and doubt about their future. It's not at all your usual love story, it's far more real, but just like Pittsburghers, what we lack in "glitz and glam" we more than make up for in heart. 

"Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela" is excellently written and compelling on several levels. The characters are real and sympathetic, and the setting alive. I started reading on a Saturday afternoon and finished on Sunday morning (only stopping to sleep since that Sunday was Super Bowl Sunday!) Logan and Nick are a testament that love doesn't need a pristine place to flourish, it grows just as strongly in the cracked sidewalks and Belgian bricks of steep city streets as anywhere else!

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Maiden Voyage

Just to get the ball rolling here, I thought I'd put in some completely un-thought-out "placeholder" text.  Apparently, if you're gonna be a proper writer, you've got to do this blogging thing.  I don't really even know what blogging is, to be honest!  It seems to just be basic posting/updating/journaling... but there's always been that strange feeling that there's something more to this.  You hear of these "bloggers" who make a living doing this, but whoever heard of making a living from journaling?  Exactly. 

I don't know what it is, but it's sort of like that feeling you get when you're in an unfamiliar place after dark, where every unknown looks like a threat and you're sure that a door up ahead is going to open suddenly and you'll be dragged inside and never heard from again!  What if "blogging" is like that?!  I guess that's why I've got a sense of adventure and like to take challenges (not risks, challenges!)

On with the show....

I guess this is where I give the Readers Digest version of me.  Let's start with my author bio:

Jessica has been a writer since her first works were “published” in her grandparents’ living room and written in crayon.  Today she is a former administrative assistant who is now happily pursuing a degree in social work.  She is a lifelong native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she has been active in the local GLBT community for a number of years.  Outside of writing, Jessica has a wide range of interests and hobbies: from Mozart in a music hall to punk in pubs, from Shakespeare to Vonnegut, from nights on the town to afternoons at country farm markets.  She enjoys working on both sides of a camera and studying other cultures, languages and history.  She loves meeting new people and exploring new places, always open to whatever elements might inspire her next writing project.

And I think I'll just stop there for this time, maybe spend the next few weeks extrapolating from this.