Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nice review of Mask by Jan Irving

Jen from Dark Diva Reviews says:

Mask by Jan Irving is a book with a very unique twist to storytelling. I have never read a book that utilized instant messaging as a technique to get into the personalities of the characters. I have to admit, it was a little odd at first, but I really grew to love it. The quick banter was fascinating and revealing as to Nick and Kain’s personalities. The way in which Jan Irving allowed the characters to have a security in the instant messaging that they didn’t have face to face really came through for me. Not only did this lead to interesting character dimensionality, it also allowed the reader to feel Nick and Kain’s insecurities in a way that I really didn’t think would be possible without this technique.

More of this review here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tea ceremony

So we went to the beautiful Nitobe Garden yesterday for the tea ceremony. Here is a view of the garden from the island.

This is the tea house and inside you can see the server mixing formally the macha version of tea we were served. It was actually very good tea, made from a powder and because these are tea enthusiasts, they chose a very expensive tea from Kyoto to share with us as their gift. Each tea bowl was chosen to reflect the season, going into fall. The black teabowl you see there is the one she used to make my tea, which I had after a sweet wafer made of ginkgo.

If you click on the first picture you can see the chicadees who came to drink from this small out of the way fountain in a part of the garden normally off limits. The lantern here has a prehistoric feel, one of my favorite of the many in the garden.

This is the stream rushing by into the small lake and grandfather lantern.

So next I want to translate this experience into Mastering Toby for an important scene after my men have been at painful odds.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I have sold The Pleasure Slave!

Lucius Metellus Carbo, once a legate on the rise in the Roman army, is now crippled, a recluse in disgrace. When he rescues a whore from abuse, he can't help but be drawn to the beautiful young Gaul. Varick shows up at his house in Pompeii, and the two men slowly form an odd friendship. Eventually, Lucius buys Varick but he doesn't want Varick's sexual compliance out of duty. Can he believe his slave truly desires him?

I already have a cover for this but can't share it until I have the final, but I really like it. This is a story I found wonderfully absorbing to work on. It is slated for a January 2010 release date. I put up a short excerpt from the novella here.

Now I just have to get back on track with what I'm working on now. Mastering Toby has been shuffled aside a lot so I got a little stalled. I'm eager to get it recharged and get back to work on it. It is just under 40,000 words now.

Tomorrow we will be attending the Japanese tea ceremony at Nitobe Gardens. I'm really looking forward to that and hope to take pictures.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mask receives another 5 star review

From Rainbow Reviews:

Ms. Irving has created a Gothic style contemporary paranormal romance with many interesting twists that keep the reader spellbound until the very end. I loved how the story began as an internet chat that continued throughout the story between Nick and Kain. The paranormal aspects of the story added mystery and depth to the plot line. It was incredible to watch the growing relationship and changes that occur in Nick and Kain as they accept each other's love. Things don't go smoothly as they deal with the difficulties in each other's lives knowing that their love strengthens and supports them. Thanks go to Ms. Irving for an incredible story.

Link for the entire review is here.

Thanks to the folks who read my books there.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

New silk dyeing and Mask receives a Five Star review

This is Cadfael with his little dress up costume for holidays. It's a little ring we can put around his neck for festivities.

And I promised to share the results of my dyeing day.

I did some modern takes on design and then I experimented with crimping the silk scarves. One has the traditional Fortuny Delos pleat and the other two I crimped with some interesting texture using a crimping iron I picked up for the task. I'm really happy with these. There is also a close up of the necklace I designed and is being made up today.

I was very pleased that Mask got a five star review at Literary Nymphs:

Mask is a fast read, not because of its size (over 200 pages) but because once you start it, you won't be able to put it down. The story is centered on two lonely men, one a young, innocent artist and the other a reclusive, jaded businessman who meet in a chat room. Drawn to each other from the beginning of their relationship in a world that is often dark, intense and occasionally violent, they will have to survive many tests before they can find their happily ever after.

Filled with strong interesting characters, a story line that will keep you on your seat and some intensely hot sex scenes, Mask is a must read for any M/M lover.

The rest of the review is here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Summer Gardener

Alejandro Moreno had to drop out of college to take care of his Mama and younger brother Jose but fortunately he likes the outdoors, working with the earth as a seasonal gardener for the city. His life is blisters, cold Mexican beer after a long day of work and a stiff back so nothing prepares him for the unusual inhabitant of Autumn Grove, Fane, the real guardian of his alloted garden.

Despite their differences, the two men form a friendship based on restoring the neglected garden. But Alejo is troubled by his growing desire for another man, and someone who is not even human. Although Fane can spin some temporary magic to bring them closer, can this escape into an unfettered, lush world stand the chill of the coming fall, when Alejo will have to leave the garden in search of construction work?

It felt right to be working on this novella on and off all during the rich, hot days of summer since it's saturated with the garden world. I'm not sure I could have written it in winter time.

It is tentatively slated to come out in December from Dreamspinner Press.