As the Snow Falls: holidays and depression

As the Snow Falls comes out today!

Be sure to check out Boy Meets Boy Reviews for an exclusive excerpt from As the Snow Falls and for the chance to win a digital copy of A Christmas for Oscar.

You can find As the Snow Falls at NineStar Press, Amazon, B&N, and Kobo!

Christmas is fast approaching and Kade’s parents have abandoned him for the holiday. Thankfully his best friend, Byron, invites him to spend the holidtays with him and his family. That night, in the dim glow of the Christmas tree’s lights, Byron and Kade share a kiss, but Byron backs off before it can go further.
Can Kade stand up for what he wants and convince Byron he’s not so easily broken, or will he need a Christmas miracle to bring them together?

I love holiday stories, because they fill me with joy and put me in the spirit of giving and joy, which is perfect for the season. However, as people with depression know, the holidays can also be a difficult time.* If your depression is triggered by loss of sunlight, it’s literally the darkest time of the year. If you struggle to be social, then your time and energy are demanded. For those who have a hard time doing their daily stuff now have a whole bunch of other things dumped on their plate.

But in some ways the holidays are great for depression. They force you to get out and about, they surround you with good cheer (…angry shoppers aside:), and there’s a sense of magic, wonder, and love as you gather with friends and family. It makes you feel the love, feel how many people care about you. None of that fixes depression, but in some cases it can help balance out the hardships that the season heaps on.

This story isn’t about Kade’s depression, but because Kade has depression, it influences his character and how Byron interacts with him (for better and worse). This isn’t a story about how finding the right man can cure you of depression–because that doesn’t happen. Rather, it’s a story about how having friends and loved ones around can help. How having someone there can maybe stop you from slipping into a depressive mood. And also how they have the most power in hurting you.

I’ll warn that this isn’t a perfect representation of depression. Because there is none. Everyone’s experience is different, and this is just the story of these two young men and their journey from friendship to lovers on a snowy Christmas Day.

I hope you enjoy it.

* Everyone’s experience with depression is different and I’m talking in general terms and with my own experiences here, not as hard and fast law.

Coming soon! And later!

***I’ve been a little absent lately on my blogging, and I’ll spare you the excuses.***

I have a sweet little Christmas story coming out December 11 with Nine Star Press! It’s called As the Snow Falls, and it’s a friend-to-lovers tale that looks at becoming an adult, depression, and love (of course). It’s just the thing to read between those hectic moments during the holidays!

Christmas is fast approaching and Kade’s parents have abandoned him for the holiday. Thankfully his best friend, Byron, invites him to spend the holidays with him and his family. That night, in the dim glow of the Christmas tree’s lights, Byron and Kade share a kiss, but Byron backs off before it can go further.

Can Kade stand up for what he wants and convince Byron he’s not so easily broken, or will he need a Christmas miracle to bring them together?

Also, later this year my m/m fantasy romance novel, Magic Runs Deep, will be coming out with Riptide Publishing! I’m so excited for this story to be out in the world for you to read!

Finally, I’m currently writing a light fantasy, outlining what was meant to be a Marriage of Convenience that has gone terrible wrong (the outline, not the marriage), and there’s a menage Christmas story that wants to be told but is being stubborn.

If I don’t pop by again….Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!

Updates, Panicking, and Knitting

First off, Sharing a Pond has now been out a week. You can find it on Less than Three Press’s website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance ebooks, etc, etc.

You can also find a short side story on Joyfully Jay. This isn’t in the main story, it’s just a fun little side bit. And there’s a giveaway, so check it out!

Okay, enough PR BS 🙂

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know I’ve been working on a short story, which isn’t my usual stuff. It mostly came about because I said, “Hey, I want to write a short story.” I checked out what pubs had what calls for anthologies, found one I liked, then whipped up 7K to go with it.

I love writing novels, but sometimes the immensity of it makes it difficult. For my writing group, it’s hard for them to see the larger pictures and work with me on plot, pacing, and climactic moments when they’re only seeing 1K at a time. While they aren’t going to see this in its entirety before I send it out (because I picked one with a Jan 1 deadline, because ME), I can easily read through this story and nitpick it (and fix it, hopefully). So it’s not only working muscles I haven’t used in a while, but it’s also a good exercise for getting my brain to look at the plot and fix it.

I’m also not expecting AMAZING THINGS out of the story. It’s not meant to be great literature or high-brow fiction. It’s supposed to be fun and cute and sweet. (Which is the shit I LOVE, so you’d think I’d write more of it 😛 )

So the 7K is written. Now I just need to sit on it a week (while I do the developmental edits that came in that I’m not panicking about at all. Nope. Not at all. Not panicking. Not even a little.) And then I’ll read through and see if it’s utter shit and if it’s not then I guess do self-edits because I’m guessing I won’t get a beta reader.

Oh, and did you know the holidays are coming up? I survived Thanksgiving, so that just means Christmas and New Years. And Amy Lane keeps posting fun knitting patterns that I want to try. AND I’m trying to use up all my extra yarn from the Christmas stocking I made, by making a Christmas shawl.

Oh, and I have 3 beta feedbacks in (with one more coming, not to mention the R&R that’s been sitting around for a year or so…). I may have put too much on my plate. But I wouldn’t be Alex if I didn’t!

Happy surprises

First, business: You can read my story “Soups and Diners” as part of Dreamspinner Press’s Advent Anthology. There’s a story for every day in December. The release date is December 1st! I think eventually you can buy it individually, so I’ll link to that when it happens.

Also, Storm Moon Press, which has another of my holiday pieces in their Milk & Cookies & Handcuffs anthology, is putting out the anthology on December 21st. So expect more about that later!

Second, the word-dulling depression has lifted. It’s been come and go since Thanksgiving, but it’s been fairly gone the past two days. I’ve written 11,000 words in November, 3,600 of them today. Although I wasn’t aiming to write a story, I wrote one short piece and then an idea just kind of took hold and I’ve been running with it. We’ll see if it gets an end. If it doesn’t get a conclusion, at least in my mind, I’ll post it here for anyone who wants to read my raw stuff.

Third, Christmas is coming. Which means birthdays, parties, and holidays. Are you excited? I’m pretty excited. It’s a cheery season with gift giving, cookie baking, etc, etc. It also makes me want to write a holiday story, but whenever I think of holiday stories, I think of this one. I know I’ve written others, many of them happy. Three of them published (and all happy). But I normally don’t write the happy ones. But we’ll see what I can come up with!

In which I haven’t started anything yet

November is quickly approaching, and while Halloween is on my mind (I still haven’t come up with a costume yet), Christmas decorations have already begun appearing in stores. I’ll be honest, I’m in the mood for pumpkin pie and oyster dressing, but I’m in publishing, so we’re already running articles about all the delicious foods at the holidays, so I blame that!

November also brings about Nanowrimo, which I’m bowing out of this year in favor of hardcore editing and finishing my novel. Mostly finishing and piecing everything together into a quaint little complete work. Trying to get myself in the mood, I re-read a story that takes place in the same world, and started a new story that is the same. It’s going to be hard to put aside the new to revitalize the old, but I think I can do it. I’m just hoping I don’t get in there and find major surgery needs to be done.

In case I didn’t have enough on my plate, I’ve taken on a new horse to get fit. She’s pretty heavy and out of shape, and she needs to be ready for hunting, but also hopefully for me to work her all winter. So I’m working her at least twice a week, but I don’t know if I can take her out of the ring yet, so I still like to trail ride with my friends, which is another horse…and well you’re seeing the time constraints. I’m hoping I can take her out on a trail soon. Until then, I’m sort of exhausted on that front.

I have three books on my review pile for the group I work under. I know, such a strain to get free books and then write reviews of them, huh? My GoodReads list of to-read books hit 100 recently. So free ones are good. So are Amazon gift cards. And sales. Good and dangerous.

Time to go back to reading.

More Snow, Seriously?

As if the two feet we currently have sitting outside weren’t enough…more snow. This is only a few inches, so it’s nothing to write home about (but is enough to blog about, it seems). I feel like we’ve had more snow in February than we have had in the past two years.

In other news, my Chinese New Year party on Saturday went swimmingly. Although not everyone could make it due to snow/rescheduled flights, everyone who attended got along well enough and the food turned out edible, always a worry when you’re the one cooking. The downside is I’m still washing dishes from it, but that’s okay. I had a blast and I really am happy I followed through and didn’t have a panic attack.

Sunday, the day that shall not be name, was fine. I had a sweetheart ride with my sweetie and then napped. After baking brownies and cookies, I went to KFC with my parents and gave them their gifts. It was very laid back but highly enjoyable. Small things in life and all that jazz.

My sweetie.

Survived, so far

So, I survived the holidays. It was really nice having four whole days not going to work. And the half day on Wednesday made it feel like Friday, so Christmas day and Friday felt like the weekend, and then I had another weekend! It was nice to not be stressed for those days. Sadly, I must return to work. However, I’m kind of looking forward to returning to a normal schedule, because my writing has slacked, although technically I’m only marked to write on Mondays (which I have been doing).

I’ve also been spending WAY too much money. I know “tis the season” but I need to rein myself back in.

The start of a new year.

In reality, it doesn’t really mean anything, just a change of date. As for new year’s resolutions? Well, it’s better to make gradual changes. So the question is, what should I do with my life now?


When that which you don’t have is gone

I’m exhausted.
I went to sleep around 11, because lately I haven’t been really tired at night, even though I get sleepy for large chunks of the day, including yesterday.

I woke up around 2:30 with unbelievable pains. I don’t know when I finally fell asleep, but I lost at least an hour. And it was so painful (before the drugs kicked in) that it drained energy from me, so what little sleep I did get was lost.

Of course now is the time when I made a promise to cut back on chocolate (1 pc a day…not including cookies, because that’s not fair to the holiday spirit). So now I feel like crap. Even more crap than I did when I went to bed.

In other news, I saw the end of Hogsfather which was good. I didn’t realize it was a Terry Pratchett book made into a movie (I missed the opening sequence when I started watching it the first time). It wasn’t OMG awesome, but it was amusing, and I enjoy the actor who played Jonathan Teatime. Wiki had this to say “In the Hogfather, Mr Teatime is played by Marc Warren. Warren plays Teatime with an American, and more specifically, a New England accent, partly based on Johnny Depp‘s version of Willy Wonka.” As soon as I saw it I thought “that’s very Willy Wonka-esque.” Good to know I’m not the only one, and that it has some purpose. Plus, the behavior works very well for an assassin..

I’m really not looking forward to this week, since I’m already tired and I just feel uninspired (and rather empty inside). And when I read things to make me happy it just makes me sad and lonely. So, to say the least, not looking forward to this week.

I both love and hate the holidays.