Friday, July 26, 2013

The New Sarran Plague

To all the fans of The Sarran Plague,  it was re-released on July twenty first with a brand new cover by JMS Books at http://tinyurl.com/loxah7y .The sequel is already written and will be out on February 14, 2014 and is entitled Living With Syn.

The Sarran Plague is the story about the planet Sarran that has experienced the loss of all of their fems. A planet wide deadly virus lost the Sarran any hope of survival. The Sarran found Earth and they began ti believe that there was a chance for their population to survive by importing Earthen fems.

The Sarrans are the Warrior and protectors of the Galaxy and mate in Triad. The Sarran WarriorPair, Admirals Jonal, Prince of Fire and Tonas, Prince of Light are sent to Earth, the only remaining humanoid planet where the original DNA seeded by the First Ones remains unaltered. The Sarrans need to mate with fems who have unaltered DNA because else their psychic powers would be lost. They plan to contact the government and recruit fems to Sarran where the fem is the center of their Warriors' life and the WarriorPlan is obligated by their Codex; the Sarran laws that rule the planet to serve their fem in every way.

When the Sarran's get to Earth; they find the Zyptz were there before them and all of the Earthen fems are ill. The Sarrans have a vaccine and an antidote and seek the strongest government on the planet to help distribute the vaccine in return for the right to recruit the fems. The government won't let the Sarrans recruit the fems instead it gives the Sarrans the fems who have no Earthen ties. Two thousand four hundred and sixty two fems including Dr. Anya Forrest, who has already mated with Jonal and Tonas in their mind through a psychic connection. Jonal and Tonas hear about Anya's cat, Tigger which they bring to please their fem. 

The story takes place aboard the Brightstar the command ship of the Sarran Fleet. In order to get home to Sarran Jonal and Tonas must fight a reluctant mate, a traitor, a rejected suitor of Tonas and the murderous Zyptz. This is a romance, science fiction and action adventure story and a very good, fast read for a summer beach book. Read how Anya's Triad and her cat, Tigger save the galaxy. 

For more information and an excerpt; visit my website at ackatt.com. And don't forget the sequel; Living With Syn coming soon in February of 2014. 



Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jack's Back

On February fifteenth I will have a new release from MLR Books. The title is Jack's Back.  It is a sequel to my BDSM novel A Matter of Trust. Jack's Back strikes a completely different tone from A Matter of Trust. It tells the story of the breakup and Jim "Boy" Menetti and Reed Davis and is the second novel in my series, Indiscreet. The action also revolves around the BDSM club, Indiscreet owned by Reed Davis and Bear Drummond. I modeled the plot after an idea I got from watching the movie, The Women,   from the great director, George Cukor's. The women is about a group of soon to be divorcees who meet in the nineteen thirties is Reno, Nevada. The plot revolves around their relationships with their men. Yet, throughout the entire movies you never actually see one of their husbands or boyfriends on stage.

In Jack's Back, the plot is drive by the character, Jack Leary, who never actually appears in a scene nor has a single word of dialogue. Jack acts as a catalyst for all of the book's plot, yet never actually appears. Here is an excerpt from Jack's Back.

Jim “Boy” Menetti’s perfect eyebrows furrowed in concentration as he piped the last of the cream cheese icing rosettes onto the three layered Carrot Spice Cake. Moving his dark brown hair from his eyes he looked at Brian.

“That’s perfect.” Brian Murphy examined the cake from all sides.

“I hope so, cub, tonight Reed and I will be together, officially, three years.” Jim bit his lush lower lip, and began chopping roasted pecans to decorate the sides. Brian watched him. Biting his lip was Jim’s tell. Something was very wrong in Jim’s world.

Jim threw a tray of pecans across the stainless steel counter.

“Here, make yourself useful and pick out three that are perfect for the top.” 

Brian sorted through the fresh, roasted pecans in a furious search for three unblemished nuts. “What's with you lately, anyways?” Brian asked. “I'm the nerd with the nerves. For someone celebrating an anniversary, you look kind of bleak.”

Brian was genuinely concerned. He wasn’t a gossip. Brian proved that on the memorable night Jim gave Brian a tour of Indiscreet,  the Gay BDSM club to which both, he, Jim, and their partners Bear and Reed belonged. Something was afoot because Reed called Bear at the unheard of hour of seven a.m. on a Saturday. Reed knew that Bear liked to sleep in on Saturday mornings, and a Bear who had his sleep interrupted was one cranky Grizzly.

Brian cocked his head and waited for a response. He knew Jim needed to talk to someone and it looked as if that someone wasn’t going to be Reed. Brian watched his friend. If he didn’t talk to someone soon, there would be no lip left to bite.

“Spill!” Brian demanded.

Jim sighed. “It's a long story.” He looked away from Brian and continued to chop the pecans.
“So, tell me already.  It's not like I'm gonna tattle to Reed.”

“I know, it's just…”

Brian saw the moisture gathering at the corners of Jim’s eyes.

“Okay, sit.” Brian grabbed Jim’s arm and pulled him over to the end of the long stainless steel countertop. They were in the club kitchen which Jim ran like an emphatic drill sergeant.
“Want some tea?” Jim asked.

Brian saw the offer as the delaying tactic it was.

“Not really, but I'll brew you some if that will help put a smile back on your face.”

Brian picked up the white porcelain teapot kept on the shelf over the gas stove and took it over to the commercial urn. Brian warmed the inside with hot water as he'd been taught and retrieved Jim's favorite Earl Grey from the shelf. Deftly, he spooned the tea into the strainer. He then poured the water over the tea and brought it back with some sugar packets and two mugs.

“It has to steep…now spill.” Brian put his elbows on the counter and held his face in his hands. It was Brian’s seriously attentive pose.

“It's Reed. Jack's back.” The threatened tears began to fall in earnest.

“Who the hell is Jack?”

Jack's Back is more comedic than A Matter of Trust and although it takes place in and around Indiscreet had almost no BDSM in the book.  I'm working on the third novel in the series which will include more typical BDSM content. Jack's Back is only thirty-seven thousand words, a quick read. I hope you will pick a copy up and see what happens when an off stage character's actions dictate the direction of a novel.

Jack's Back's cover is by Winterheart Designs and designed by Lex Valentine.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NANOWRIMO and Bugs Bunny

NANOWRIMO is officially over and I finished about 51,000 pages.  I hate the book.  It needs major rehaul because I decided to follow numerous plot bunnies and got Bugs Bunny. I am going away on a cruise on December 9th and hope to be able to fix it up while I'm gone.

It seems that I don't have enough time or creativity to write much these days. My muse is on vacation again and doesn't want to come home.  I have another idea for a book and think maybe if I cant get this one in shape; I'll put it in the to be done at a later date and start the new one.  Maybe after doing something else I'll have a fresh perspective on my werewolf story.

I have a new computer and tried to move Schrivner to my new machine.  I didn't have the registration number so I sent to Literature and Latte for it.  I got the number, however, I didn't get the serial name. I wrote back and they said they sent me both.  I can't figure if the number they sent is divided in two or what the problem is.  I'm going to need this to tear apart the werewolf story.  I hope I don't have to purchase a new copy.

Have a great time shopping for the holidays, everyone. I might get a chance to post a holiday blog about the characters from A Matter of Trust, so I hope you look forward to it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Setting the Mood Using Food and Ambiance in Novels

Using Location, Ambiance and Food in novels to set a particular mood is a very useful way to get a point across.  For example, in a Work in Progress I set the scene in Autumn in Greenwich Village in New York City as follows:


The low white clouds masked the new moon giving the night an eerie diffused glow.  Christopher Street’s sidewalks sparkled after the early evening rain.  The water washed the city streets clean of soot and put the distinct smell of autumn in the air.  Until this year, he always loved October. The leaves of the trees planted between the sidewalk and the curb began to change color from green to yellow, then red to brown.  Lights shown through the windows of the apartments; created by the Federal era brownstone houses that lined the street.  Sometimes he saw a fireplace lit from behind the French balconies.  In contrast to the aura of peaceful urban living above the sidewalks, outside, groups of five or six young gay men strolled up the pavement, soon to be followed by posses of ten or more. They shouted and jostled each other passed the famous Stonewall Inn where the first stirring of the Gay Liberation movement began, continued from Christopher, down to West Street and onto the Christopher Street Pier built on the Hudson River.

This description tells the reader what autumn looks like in that part of New York City.  
In my novel, A Matter of Trust, Bear Drummond's office portrays the man.

Confident he would remain undisturbed; he set down his briefcase on the king-sized executive chair and walked the few steps from behind the desk to the floor-to-ceiling double hung windows, covered in cherry wood plantation shutters. His large strong hands, with their blunt manicured fingers, absently stroked the burgundy watered silk papering the upper non-brick, portion of the wall. The brick wall bisected from the rich paneling at the bottom by a highly polished, chair rail, carved from the same wood.
Donald caressed the smooth texture of the silk as it slid beneath the pads of his fingers. He loved the look, feel, and texture. 

 Setting the scene for Bear suggests that he is a man who likes fine things and may not have always had them.  It tells us something about his character.

In both novels the set decoration acts as a mechanism to convey details of the character of the area in which the book resides.  The passage on Greenwich Villiage portrays the feeling of autumn in New York City while the second passage suggests a certain traditional approach to life for a real estate mogul who deals in modern commercial properties.

In a work already submitted to a publisher, a character is decorating a cake for his lover.  He fusses over the details in a commercial kitchen.  The use of the cake and the fussy way he goes about its decoration suggest a state of nerves not necessarily related to the cake in the scene.  

So the scene, set and food described add to the character you describe as much as the background of a movie set add to the movie.  As the fabled words of a real estate agent describing a properties important qualities, remember Location, Location, Location.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lawyers, Writing and Disease

The other day I had a lawyer in the house discussing an accident I had last year.  After talking about the business of depositions and interrogatories he asked me a question, how did I start to write?

Many people have asked me this question and I'm afraid I've given a less than forthcoming answer.  The truth is that writing a novel was on my bucket list.  When I started to write my first book I was in the recovery phase of an incident that caused my whole body to shout down.  My kidneys, my liver, my heart all failed and I was about as close to death as you can be without really dying.  My physician, Dr. Mark Zucker of Newark Beth Israel hospital in New Jersey, put me in a medically induced coma and told my husband that with the support of various machines I would either recover or I wouldn't but the odds were not in my favor.  I didn't wake up for three weeks and when I did, I was very weak. My brain was dull from the lack of oxygen and I couldn't stay up for longer than one hour at a time.  This continued for about two months.

I was always a voracious reader and during this time I bought and read so many books that my husband was bitterly complaining about my book bill.  One day I read a really lousy book.  I complained about the plot, the characters and the execution. I impulsively said, "I could do better than that!"

He replied, "Why don't you?"

In my teens I had journalistic ambitions that were sidelined by marriage and motherhood.  When it became apparent to me that I needed a job, I became an administrative assistant. In that position, I was required to write marketing material, newsletters and ad copy. I thought about what my husband said and determined, why not?

I began my first novel, The Sarran Plague with the idea that a menage should be a true menage.  At that time the  menage stories I read contained two men and a woman had the woman in the middle and the men basically straight and not touching each other sexually.  I decided to write a menage story that was truly a menage, in other words, sex occurred among all parties involved.  I wrote a science fiction because it seemed to be socially unacceptable to write a story where the men were involved with each other exclusively.  The only way I could see writing the men as a sexual unit was to involve a woman.

It took me a year to write my first novel and about two years to bring it to an acceptable level of competence. By that time, I began to look for and see many gay romances and publishers willing to take a chance and sell them.  From that moment on, I decided to write almost exclusively gay romance.

It was a decision in line with my convictions.  I believe in equality among citizens, whether the difference is race, religion, sex or sexuality.  I decided to speak up and write what I believed. I have no idea if one of my novels have changed anyone's mind about GLBT rights, I can only hope that they did.

I took one of the most awful experiences of my life and pulled out an item from my bucket list, I wrote a book, then I wrote a few more. In doing so I found something in myself and tried to help others to find an open place in their beliefs.  That is really how I started to write.

As far as my health is concerned, I was eventually diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease with Lupus SLE.  It is nasty and it gets me down sometimes, but I don't hate it as much as perhaps I should.  It brought me full circle, back to the writer I always wanted to be.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

VOTE: The Non-Partisan Reasons Why You Should

It's election season and there is nothing more important than your vote.  Your vote tells the government how you wish it to run.  On a local level it determines what businesses move into your town, the efficiency of your schools, the number of police and fireman that serve you neighborhood.

On a national level, your vote determines the fate of medicare for you and your children and grandchildren. It determines whether or note medicare will exist for future generations, whether the poor have access to medicaid and who pays taxes and what they pay.

Your vote determines foreign policy.  It tells the politicians whether you want peace or war. It helps the government to decide with whom to make alliances and who to fight.  It decides whether the fight is with sanctions or troops.  It decides the fate of the troops who come home, the quality of care from the VA, the ability of those troops to get retrained for jobs in the new economy.

Your vote decides who gets to appoint a least two new justices to the supreme court, whether Citizens United stands or falters, whether Roe vs Wade is overturned.  It decides whether GLBT people have rights like marriage, it decides the fate of DOMA (the defense of marriage act) which denies GLBT couples government benefits from their legal spouses.

This is the election, people.  This election decides the direction that this country pursues for some time to come.  It decides whether we go to the far right, or the center.  This is the election of the lifetime.  VOTE.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Second Excerpt - A Matter of Trust


Prologue – A Matter of Trust


In slow degrees, the tow-headed boy woke up on the hard floor. A faint moan, an eyelid twitch, a soft flutter of pale lashes, and then a blue eye opened face-to-antenna with a cockroach. The Sears Tough skin jeans he opened as his birthday gift two days ago felt wet around the crotch and smelled of both urine and feces. His new plaid shirt with the pearl cowboy buttons was torn and bloody. He swallowed hard, past the dry lump the size of a baseball stuck in the back of his throat. He opened his left eye, the one nearest to the bug. It looked as if his bone stuck out of his shirt, a handhold under his elbow; the right arm bent at an unnatural angle just below the tear.

It took a few additional seconds for the pain to hit, long enough for him to realize he did not know how he got here or why. Then, it struck, shock abated.

He hurt, bad. Even so, he knew enough not to cry out. He heard Mama pounding on the door of the bathroom and Aunt Mary in the distance, along with the whine of sirens. Then the pain took him away, and he rode it back to safety.

***

Sixteen years later, Brian Murphy awoke in his narrow bed, shivering despite the intense heat and humidity of a pre-dawn August morning in Trenton. Then he heard them, sirens in the streets. Tears streamed down his face, but his scream was silent.  He had had the nightmare. It was coming with greater frequency, sometimes with small snippets, sharp shards of memory. Despite attempts to consciously retain the images, he was unable to hold on to the details of his dream long enough to bring it into his conscious state. 

He looked at the small wind-up clock on the battered dresser. It was near enough to dawn for him to get up. He dressed quickly in a pair of beige Dockers and a blue shirt. Clipping his only tie, to the shirt, he opened the door. He carried a small kit bag to work and used it to shave in the lobby men’s room, thus avoiding the house’s bathroom and its attendant filth. Shaving in the bathroom at the house was just too dangerous; and it took too long in the morning to clean the porcelain sink thoroughly. Something as small as a shaving nick was an open invitation to the various and sundry fungal, viral and bacterial agents that grew in every corner of the room untreated by anything other this his own scrub brush, bleach and disinfectant.

He showered with rubber shoes and took forty-five minutes to disinfect the area before he took off so much as a sock. Even though minimal laundry service was included with the room, Brian carted his own laundry to the Laundromat every Saturday morning to make sure nothing crawled in and made a new home in his sheets or shorts. For his defiance of Miz James, the landlady, he was forced to pay an extra ten dollars a week. She explained to Brian, “After all, I’s expecting to get the forty from you tenants and if you too cheap to pay an ole lady, you just gonna pay for not taking the service.”




Brian was sure her tactics were illegal, but with the other seamy businesses-taking place right outside his door, this was nothing in comparison. Lacking the funds to move, Brian grit his teeth, smiled at the old witch and said something inane like, “My mother looks forward to doing my washing for me.” 

Miz James spit out, “Liar,” under her breath, but neither she nor he said anything aloud and thus, peace prevailed for another week.


Brian crept silently down the creaky stairs of the boarding house attempting to avoid Miz James’ undue attention while picking his way through empty syringes, broken beer and whiskey bottles and breathing through his nose to avoid the smell of vomit, stale cigarettes and urine. He kept a white-knuckled grip on his penlight and one eye on the stairs it lit. The other hand held onto the rickety railing. Brian did not want to fall and become accidently pierced by a dirty needle, a broken bottle or worse yet, stain his Dockers with human waste...he only had two pairs. He could not afford a conversation with his landlady this morning, not when he had a bit of extra time.

He was due at work in two hours at Drummond Real Estate, where he was employed as an Information Technology Specialist.

He decided to take the extra time his nightmare had occasioned by walking to work instead of taking the bus. It was only a few miles, however. by not taking the bus, he saved the bit of money he had for a cup of coffee and a day-old donut at the diner. This morning, he would not go hungry. Maybe it would be a good day.