It’s been a long haul of a year but finally, with a sigh of relief and a breath of hope, it seems safe to say
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
For those of you to whom 2016 wasn’t particularly kind, my deepest sympathies, a hug, and a mug of something really tasty. Raising a glass to you and hoping 2017 is much kinder. ❤
Personally, I’m done with 2016. I don’t remember about half of it, having been buried in work, but I do know the last few months haven’t been my favourites. Since September, I’ve been even more anti-social and ugggggghhhh than my usual hermit self. Not spending too much time on social media, not really interested in social stuff, and generally just being annoyed with myself that I haven’t been able to plow through projects like I’d hoped. Things are taking longer in some cases or just not getting done, so it’s been some stress. It hasn’t helped my Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder situation has been on a terrible phase for the last few months with some extra fun friends to screw with my focus, attention span, and mental clarity. Don’t ask me to talk or research or wake up ’cause I’m heavy on the mental fog. I really am vampire, hear me hiss. Or snore. Whatever.
Basically, I’m looking at 2017 as a little light at the end of the tunnel. Since we’re over the hump of Winter Solstice and its short-on-daylight issue, there’s some hope already. 🙂
But enough of the ick. Onto the happy reminiscence! Because hey, stuff.
2016: Things Happened
I wrote stuff.
I read stuff.
I killed my computer.
Dad made me a better computer.
I wrote more stuff.
I read more stuff.
My laptop and iPod would like me to kill them but I’m making them work for it.
On the publications side of things, three of my works came out (two books and one novella in an anthology). In a brief round-up, it looked something like this:
For the Clan was my first foray into dystopian fiction and science fiction romance. It also marked my first attempt at writing a poly relationship (yayyy MMF!), as well as the use of guns in my work. For those who know me, the weapons are the weird part. The wife and I are still joking that CSIS has me flagged for the things I was Googling as research for the project… umm, yeah. Dear Canada, I love you. Really. Promise. I even set it in Canada because we can be dystopian cool, too.
Enchanted Soles was a fantastic project I’m so proud to be part of! Spearheaded by the lovely Sasha L. Miller, the collection is comprised of five stories featuring bisexual characters and theme of magical footwear. My contribution was Heart, Lace, and Soul, a fantasy-science fiction mashup that comes at the theme from a different angle with a bisexual transgender character in the lead. I still maintain I watched way too much Star Trek before I wrote it.
In December, both of these publications won places in the 2016 Rainbow Awards, with Enchanted Soles taking its categories by storm! Congrats all the way around to my fellow authors and good show. 🙂
Finally, Four came out in the fall, the second book in The Republic series. By far it’s one of my favourite books to have written. For those who’ve read it, you might be able to figure out why. (If you’ve cried while you read it, then you definitely know why.) Mayr and Tash are easily one of my favourite pairings to write, even if Mayr is an attention hog. But that’s okay. Their story touched me enough to write the rest of it and… well… THINGS. It’s more than just high fantasy and an M/M romp. It’s an entire journey. ♥
From the What I Actually Did Read List…
I didn’t read as much this year as I wanted to, but that’s the consistent thing with me. Books pile up, I don’t read, and the books keep going until there are mountains worth. Sigh.
But here are a *few* of the books I did read and really enjoyed! (Quick note: Most of these are 18+ only and a couple have trigger warnings.)
Fantasy & Science Fiction romance
Lexi Ander – Alpha Trine (The Valespian Pact #1)
Science fiction romance, alien love with an M/M/M poly relationship, and a character I keep wanting to call “Dragon” even though he’s sooooo not even close to one. Like the rest of Lexi’s books, this one was a lot of fun! I definitely have #2, Striker, on my TBR list… though I did skip through it already because I couldn’t wait any longer so I know *some* of what happens. When I’m a bit more clearheaded, I’ll be sitting down and giving both books a deep read back-to-back. Because why not?
Megan Derr – The Pirate of Fathoms Deep (Tales of the High Court #2)
High fantasy romance? YES, PLEASE! And paired with M/M? Booyah. I read #1, The High King’s Golden Tongue, and absolutely adored it so reading #2 was just a duh kinda thing. (Then again, Megan’s works are always worth reading and her fantasy worlds are the tops.) TPoFD totally didn’t disappoint. If you like pirates and snarkiness and yelling at the characters to get their shit together, this one works.
T.J. Land – Adrift (The Collection)
This collection was a wild science fiction M/M & M/M/M ride with plenty of erotic scenes and characters to keep it going. The collection includes four books based on the same crew that have been lost in space for several years. They’ve been living in a tin can and things have a way of happening when people get stuck in the same limited range of space for awhile. I rather enjoyed this collection, though wish it were longer! One of the best things about these books is the diversity. In the same set of characters, there are cis and trans characters, asexuals and aromantics, homosexuals and bisexuals… it’s a wonderful mix and the individuals are unique onto themselves. I laughed quite often, I won’t lie.
Sasha L. Miller – How Not to Summon Your True Love
This was a fun one, too, featuring asexual characters (totally one of the reasons why I got it). Urban fantasy, M/M, not terribly angsty, and includes a road trip that isn’t quite the road trip from hell, but the road trip from somewhere-or-other. Things, things, things. Such a happy read. ^_^
Victoria Zagar – The Best of Both Worlds
More science fiction romance of the poly type (FFM)! This book is one of those where you think you’ve got it figured out but no, you don’t. Ride the chapter wave, baby, ’cause there are surprises and fun times to be had. Warning: It can get a little… bloody. But it worked for me. I didn’t see a lot of it coming.
Contemporary romance & Erotic romance
Alexis Hall – For Real (Spires series)
This one I got because of the BDSM element. I’ve seen so much praise for it and the awards it won, so I thought I’d give it a spin. Really very enjoyable. I appreciate how it wasn’t like all of the other BDSM stories. The praise and awards were definitely well-deserved!
Rivka Aaron-Hughes – Mr. March Names the Stars
I totally got this because of its pagan element. As a whole, contemporary usually isn’t a genre I really love, mostly because it gets so repetitive and tends to bore me no matter how good the writing. But this book: M/M, Wiccan, set at events like the ones my pagan friends go to… sign me up and let me at it. It had a lot of sweetness to it and a moment where I just sat there going “Nooooooo.” I really got this story. And bonus points for an asexual character.
D.A. Mackey – Brains & Brawn series (whole collection)
Erotic gay romance for those who enjoy love stories between characters on that delicate cusp of time between young adult and new adult. I came across this series when the author was posting it Literotica, and I’m glad to see he’s expanded into publishing his collections. Being 18 and still in high school can really screw with relationships, so it’s nice to see stories like this follow a couple from when they first hook up and through the journey of their relationship. I’ve laughed, I’ve pouted, I’ve cheered them on. I also appreciate that it’s not just erotica; there’s a legit romance.
Jo Raven – Candy Boys
Fun, sexy, FMM story. However, it’s not a funny, “ha, ha” comedy as the book details might suggest it is; rather, it’s a poly story with humour and a lot of sex and personal issues. Some sweet moments. Some moments where I’d love to knock the guys over the head. But certainly entertaining and kept me glued to the page.
Jo Raven – Riot (Bad Boy Escorts)
This came in the back of Candy Boys so I totally read it. It’s a MF romance with a trigger warning for those who have been through sexual assault and assault in general. It’s dark. It’s not happy happy, joy joy. But that’s why I enjoyed it. Because I’ll roll with the darker side of things. But still, there’s a happy ending and I’d really like to see more of the series and their escorts.
And that’s my look back at 2016. Join me next week for when I explore the curious waters of what’s to come in 2017!