Meet the characters of Bitter Springs: Abuelita

Introducing Abuelita, a gentle Tobiano with pretty rounded white splotches and a tender heart. But more importantly, I want y’all to meet Doc, the Wonderhorse on whom she’s based.

Horses cowboys vintage LGBT

           Artwork by Colleen M. Good

“Abuelita is a good choice,” Francisco said to Burnett, nodding toward the horse. “Gentle, good instincts.”

“Abuelita?” Burnett asked, looking between the two brothers.

“Little grandmother,” Renaldo said, grinning and running his hand along Abuelita’s copper flank. “She mothers the other horses and watches out for the foals. Gracias, Francisco.”

Francisco nodded and gave his brother’s shoulder a squeeze.

“That’s good thinking,” Burnett said. “Could help us out there. Gracias.”

The brothers looked at each other, amused at Burnett’s American-South accent as he attempted to pronounce Spanish. Burnett caught that, rolled his eyes and took the lead, walking Abuelita to where she could join his horses in one of the corrals.

“Be good, eh?” Francisco said quietly, ruffling Renaldo’s hair.


Under the cut is Abuelito, aka, Doc, the best quarter horse ever.
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Meet the characters of Bitter Springs: Paloma

As we get close to December 3rd, I thought it might be fun for you guys to get to know the various characters in Bitter Springs.  And while this isn’t a book where the animals have lines, the horses are still an integral part of the story.  All of the horses, by the way, are based on real people.*


illustrated horses vintage horse

Pencil artwork by Colleen M. Good, cover artist for Bitter Springs.

*horse folk know that animals are people, too.

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Early reviews are coming in and they’re…

…overwhelming me with pride (ha) and happiness!

The American Library Association gives Bitter Springs a thumbs up (oh my gosh, libraries are so important to me).

“This is a very moving novel, expertly written with much dialogue, and sage third-person commentary. The author’s character development is superb, especially regarding Renaldo and Henry, but also including Renaldo’s many relatives. She also offers fine and technically-accurate descriptions of the horses in their midst.”

Publisher’s Weekly also has a positive review.

“Simple, clean storytelling and an uncomplicated plot keep the story quietly intimate. Stone (The Bones of You) walks the fine line of keeping her protagonists traditionally masculine but never posturingly macho, and they’re often vulnerable with each other and gentle with the horses.”

My favorite bit, though, is “a scene of Renaldo teaching Hank Spanish endearments is particularly delightful.”  Y’all, I’m not going to lie to you. Some of that Spanish is straight up dirty talk. And you should add that to your vocabulary STAT. Haha.

I think this deserves a nice bottle of wine to celebrate. (So grateful!)

lesbian wine drinking woman

Bitter Springs is available for pre-orders at Amazon, B&N, and the IP Store, preorders at my publisher’s store will also get you a free eBook. It will be out on December 3, 2015.

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And that’s a GO

I had a fantastically productive meeting with my editor/publisher today.  My story about two LDS missionaries who discover their feelings for one another while serving, a story that has languished on my computer for years and went through a few rounds in my writing group back in 2009 [yeesh, I’m getting old!], is moving along at a faster clip to get published.  I’ll have some ARCs/Galleys for April’s RTConvention in Vegas, 2016, and we should be set to get it widely available come Summer, 2016. I love this story so much, and can’t wait to share it.

also got the green light for a FREE story, a sort of spin-off about one character in BITTER SPRINGS.  I’ve been really worried about this one for a multitude of reasons.  It’s about Two Spirits, it’s about Mescalero Apaches, and I’m a white woman. I have to be 1000% certain to be respectful of other cultures here, because goodness knows Native Americans haven’t been treated with much respect, let alone Two Spirits.  Understand that the term “Two Spirit” is the adopted modern term, as it wasn’t called that in the time that BITTER SPRINGS is set, but for modern talking with you purposes, that’s what I’m referring to.

(If you’re interested, according to my Mescalero Apache resource, Tsá-Cho, our protagonist, would have been referred to as nde’isdzan.  The Navajo (a sort of sister language) would have called him nádleehé.  There’s your fun, informative trivia for the day.

Now [cracks knuckles], time to get to work.

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GLAAD Spirit Day

Interlude Press Gay Publishing,LGBTQ lit GLAAD,Gay Acceptance,Trans Inclusion

This is a day that means a lot to me.  Spirit Day, Purple Shirt Day, Support LGBTQ Youth Day, however you want to call it, it’s a day that both reminds me of how my oldest child struggled with coming out, with bullying at his school, and how many kids around the world face this every day.  It also gives me hope, because my second child–while still facing the struggles that so many youth face as LGBTQ–and her girlfriend faced a wave of acceptance.

It gets better?  It’s GETTING better, but that’s because of supportive folks like yourself and GLAAD’s drive to educate the public.

So here’s where you come in: my publisher, an LGBTQ publishing house, is not only dropping the price of all books today by 25%, they will be donating $1 to GLAAD for every book, print or electronic, sold today.

And I’m matching dollar for dollar for any of my books purchased. That’s a price cut and $2 to a terrific organization, their purpose to help make life better for the queer youth of today and tomorrow.  All day, until midnight PST in the US, so grab my book, someone else’s book, get involved with IP’s direct donation link, just show your SPIRIT!

Edit: Aww, heck, let’s throw in BITTER SPRINGS, too.  All pre-sale purchases today will add to my Dollar Matching. Let’s get to raising funds! ❤︎

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Mexican Maria Enriqueta Camarillo

19th Century Mexican Feminists You Should Know

My upcoming novel BITTER SPRINGS is set in 1870′s San Felipe Del Rio (Del Rio, TX it’s called now), and it follows Renaldo Valle Santos (I use Spanish naming protocol, in which the mother’s surname is added after the paternal family name). Renaldo has a twin sister Calandaría, and she’s a bit of a spitfire. And by a bit I mean a lot. And it’s on purpose, and it’s not anachronistic.

In the latter half of the 19th Century in Mexico, revolution was brewing. Within the past hundred years, they’d already won their independence from Spain, fought nasty, long battles with Texicans (Tejanos were people who separated from Mexico in that they lived in Texas, the ‘border lands/buffer zone’ that Spain established, didn’t want to become American, didn’t necessarily want to be Mexican even though that and the Native Americans of the region were their heritage; they just wanted to be left alone), and some nasty battles with America–still ongoing.


Mexican feminists Nineteenth Century,Mexican feminist radicals

Dolores Jiménez y Muro, 19th Century Mexican Feminist and all around awesome person of whom you should know.

Some of the most important Mexican feminists in history were born at this time, and man, they kicked butt. Continue reading

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Pre-Order Bitter Springs!

You won’t get it in your hot little hands until December 3, but you’ll be sure to have a copy ON December 3, especially if you order it straight from my publisher.

That’s the smart buy, and I’ll tell you why: when you buy a physical book from Interlude Press, they’ll also give you the eBook.  FOR FREE.  (And it’s a DRM-free eBook, which means you can put it on multiple devices!)  Pre-sales with IP are limited to the US and Canada, BUT! If you’re from outside North America, save your receipt from your purchase and IP–up until February–will give you a free eBook. Pretty rad.  Two books for the price of one.

Bitter Springs Gay Romance,Historical Romance Bitter Springs,LGBT Romance Bitter Springs

Of course you can order early from Amazon, but… They kind of don’t tally up pre-orders as one thing, so it ruins your Release Day numbers (which are really, really important). BUT YOU CAN. You can also tell your library about my book (give them the ISBN: 978-1-941530-55-9) and then that won’t cost you a penny, your library will have a shiny copy for you to read, and your librarian will thank you for adding a little more diversity to their shelves!

Be sure to get your copy!  (And stay tuned for a sneak peek, character insights and inspirations, and fun stuff about the Llano Estacado. <– NO REALLY, IT IS WONDERFUL THERE.)

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Okay But Listen… the podcast with potential for [zips lip]

If you’re here, you’re most likely a reader of romance or a consumer of awesome media.  (Or you’re a robot.)  You may not realize that every week a new episode of my podcast where I and a fellow romance/awesome media consumer pal pitch Hollywood reboots for our favorite actors, finally landing them in the fictional town of Beaver Valley, where the women are strong, and the men, supportive.  (And all dogs get belly scratches.)

It’s a lot of fun to write and produce, and our goal is to encourage folks at, say, Lifetime or Hallmark to produce more fun, funny, and yes, sexy programs that the average woman wants. Well, let me be inclusive by saying that there definitely are men who love this stuff, too!  We have lots of ideas for Beaver Valley yet to come, so you’ll have maximum enjoyment if you listen along.

You can keep up with all the episodes here (the link also appears in the blog’s menu bar at the top of your screen) or do the easy thing and subscribe via iTunes or Overcast (which is a terrific app for your phone or tablet).

And you can giggle as a twangy Texan and an “oh gosh, yeah!” Wisconsonite gab about how amazing Gillian Anderson and Mario Bello would be in a James Bond reboot as Bond and Q, respectively.  (This week’s episode, in fact!) Last week featured the… delicioud individual you see below this. Yeah, we’re having a lot of fun.

Idris Elba James Bond,The Office Idris Elba

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Why Should Writers Love Libraries?

librarian in library,libraries

This is the face of someone who wants you to find the right book.

Here’s a wild tidbit for you, there are more libraries in the United States than there are world-wide McDonald’s restaurants. (The American Library Association says that there are 119,487 of them, and there are 35,000 Micky Ds in the world.) Here’s an even wilder fact for your face: library book sales don’t count towards your book’s ranking in those ever important Best Seller lists.  Isn’t that… weird? I think it’s weird, but then, the NYT didn’t ask me, so there you go.

So you have an author wanting to build and maintain a career, and that means selling books, and anyone buying a book is a saint. This also means building a reputation as someone who produces an excellent product–that’s how you make your money, on the come back.

Which brings us back to the library.  Let’s say your local library is super awesome and buys four–four!!–copies of your latest book.  They’re going to keep that on the shelf for years, and hundreds (I’m being optimistic) of people are going to read it!

…those originally purchased four books.  Welp, that’s a loss.

NO. IT ISN’T. And this is why we’re here: libraries are amazing sources for authors. You should love and thank every dang library that buys your book, and I’ll tell you why: Continue reading

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On Buying Books and Supporting Authors

The original post I made about this has gotten a lot of wonderful attention on Tumblr, so I wanted to put it here, as well.  It’s a good insight into the world of publishing, how you get paid as an author, and how you can build a career. I received the following question a while back:

“I want to buy your books, but wanted to ask how you preferred them purchased because I think I’ve read that Amazon shorts its authors on e-book sales and I want you to be fully paid for your work. I can buy e-books or physical copies.”

First off, let me inform you that you have jumped past my kids in my Last Will & Testament, because not a one of them have tried to buy my book. 😉

Oprah overcome with gratitude, gratitude for fans,thanks

Second, I’m traditionally published, which means I have a publishing contract, and my publisher is contractually obligated to pay me x% of each book sale based off net proceeds for the price THEY set the book to be, be that a physical book or an eBook. (When Amazon temporarily slashes book prices, they still have to pay publishers the agreed upon price.)

NOW. Whether this is true for self-publishers, I have no idea.  But I do know this: Continue reading

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