Summing up 2015...and Looking Ahead

The year's almost over, and I can sum up what's going on by saying I've been sparring with Ellora's Cave Publishing and its owner--not a particularly fun way to spend more than a year of my life.

The good? I've gotten reversion of some books, revised and republished some...and written a couple of original novellas to flesh out series that seemed to be missing something vital. I've worked with Beyond the Page Publishing to revitalize, sanitize, and reissue an old contemporary series that originally had grown, not as one would expect a planned series to, but more like Topsy.

The Oil Barons series is the result--a real series now, cohesive where before it was made up of some random single title stories strung together with a few common characters. The ghosts are gone from two of the three full-length novels--they had no real purpose and served to muddy the waters of what were basically contemporary romances.

My single urban fantasy series is coming out now, with the first two stories released in time for the holidays, and three more slated to come in early 2016. Hunting the Dark Lord, while still erotic, has been cleansed of certain scenes designed for their shock value--and new scenes have been added to beef up characterizations, particularly of the mortal lovers.

I've brought back my contemporary Texan series in Bar C Legacy, three tales of siblings whose current situation is colored by a century-old feud--and more recent revelations about kinship and tangled relationships. You'll find these tales in The Heir, The Bastard, and The Brat--on special throughout this holiday season for your reading pleasure. (Check out the three stories on the banner at the top of this post.

Courthouse Connections (formerly the Lawyers in Love series) has a new life in two beautiful boxed sets whose titles are the same as the print versions of the original stories--but whose contents are improved and enlarged, cleaned up of inexplicable vulgar language the characters wouldn't willingly use. One former EC novella was scrapped and completely rewritten, and I added a brand-new prequel to the series, in which Gray and Andi first meet, before the long separation and Gray's injuries came to be in Bittersweet Homecoming. More Than Lust gives readers a glimpse of the young lovers, their hopes and dreams, and the plans that would be eight years coming to fruition at last. Next month I will be getting reversion of FATAL AFFAIR, my final book for Ellora's Cave which came out around the time of the company's serious downturn, which I will rewrite and republish in this series, along with three more original, never before published titles.

I also dusted off and reissued a couple of old stories that just happened to be apropos for the holiday season. "The Best Gift" and Beneath a Cornish Moon got new covers, and the latter got some very heavy revision to ensure that it won't shock readers who prefer their historical fantasies be written tastefully!

Now, for the bad, although perhaps I should leave it for a less festive time of year! Ellora's Cave Publishing still holds a few of the 67 titles I wrote for them, which effectively ties up three series I may as well not revise until I have regained possession of them in their entirety. EC has only paid me through June 2015, that is if you believe the statements they have provided me, about which I have some serious doubts. There is no doubt that EC has breached more than thirty of my contracts, under which they were to pay me based on cover price, but which they unilaterally decided to base my royalties on amounts they received from outside distributors, who now account for the largest part of my sales and have done so for years now. That's still up in the air and probably will be until/unless some EC authors take the company to task, in court, for its huge underpayments of royalties.

I hope you'll stick with me, and follow the new, more tasteful direction my writing is taking! I have no problem with erotic romance. It's simply that my characters seem to want to go more mainstream, without threesomes or heavy BDSM elements--and I believe in letting them take me where they want to go.

Happy New Year, May health, wealth, and most of all happiness follow us all in the coming year!

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