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  • NECRONOMICUM #2 (NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica)
    NECRONOMICUM #2 (NECRONOMICUM: The Magazine of Weird Erotica)
    by Gary Budgen, Julian Darius, Richard Greico Jr, Nikko Lee, K. A. Opperman, Alice Renard, Rose Banks, Paul St. John Mackintosh, Michael Seese

    Contains Instabiable by Nikko Lee

  • Zombiefied Reloaded: The Search for More Brains
    Zombiefied Reloaded: The Search for More Brains
    by Carol Hightshoe, Cynthia Ward, Terry M. West, Christie Meierz, Dana Bell, Mary E. Lowd, Patrick J. Hurley, Francis W. Alexander, Liam Hogan

    Brainatarian by Nikko Lee

  • Coming Back
    Coming Back
    by James Arthur Anderson, Brian Barnett, Dave Fragments, Shawna Galvin, Vince Darcangelo, Ken Goldman, Michael Lindquist

    Contains A Mother Knows by Nikko Lee (paperback available at Lulu.com)

  • Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    Wolf Warriors: The National Wolfwatcher Coalition Anthology
    by Jonathan W. Thurston

    Contains Great Mother Wolf by Michelle Knowlton

  • People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    People Eating People: A Cannibal Anthology
    by Frank Larnerd, Tony Peak, Geoff Gander, Shenoa Caroll-Bradd, Robert Hart, Nikko Lee, Kyle Yadlosky, Edward Martin III

    Contains Bouillon de Bebe by Nikko Lee

  • Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    Valves & Vixens: Steampunk Erotica
    by Nicole Gestalt, Crysta Coburn, J.T Seate, Nikko Lee, V.C., Zak Jane Keir, Blair, Regina Kammer, Jim Lee

    Contains Boson's Mate by Nikko Lee

  • The Big Book of Bizarro
    The Big Book of Bizarro
    by Rich Bottles Jr.

    Contains Honey-Do by Nikko Lee

  • Between Love and Lust
    Between Love and Lust
    by Nikko Lee

    E-book

    Print-on-demand paperback

  • Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    Templar and Other Stories of Suspense and Terror (Vampires 2, Volume 4)
    by J. Troy Seate, Patricia McCarthy, Nikke Lee, Andrea Saavedra, James Hartley, Edward McKeown, Mike Graves, J.E. Gurley, Zakk Erikson, David Bernstein C.C. Blake

    Contains Pure Delight by Nikko Lee

Saturday
Aug012015

Writing Wolf Creek Part 1 - The Idea

As the release of Wolf Creek nears, I've been looking back at the road that got me to this point. While I've written many novels, some have gone unfinished, other un-edited and the rest were trunked when they failed to generate interest with only Between Love and Lust making it to publication.

The writing process for every novel is different. I learn so much each time around and improve both my process and product. The first step is always the idea.

Six years ago, I started getting interested in gay genre fiction. JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series really captured my interest. I've mentioned before how I fell in love with two of her gay characters Blay and Qhuinn whose romance was torturous.

I had dabbled in a few gay erotic short stories and even a novella that stalled out before completion. However, I wanted to reach a broader audience than erotica allows. At the time, I was also reading some werewolf fiction. Until then vampires had been my mainstay since high school. Patricia Brigg's Cry Wolf hooked me on the idea of alpha and omega dynamic.

Then I wondered how a gay omega (Josh) would deal with his feelings if he fell for his straight alpha (Gavin) and how would that alpha react.

I borrowed one of my trunked novel character's Zephyra who served as the template for Andrea, the unpredictable and irrepressible Amazon Josh befriends.

It was with these three characters and a premise that I started thinking about scenes and conflicts. Eventually, I had enough to sit down to write an outline.

Next time I'll share the outlining process for Wolf Creek.

Thursday
Jul302015

Beyond book one

Round three of edits for Wolf Creek is done. In a few days I will receive the cover art. I'm so excited. There's still a lot of work to be done getting the word out, talking to whoever will listen to me talk and generally trying to sell this book.

No, I don't have any illusions of making money with Wolf Creek. I don't even know how much of an audience it will find. I am just hoping to get it to the people that will fall in love with the characters as much as I did. Because maybe, just maybe there will be enough interest for another story with Josh, Andrea and Gavin.

In the past, I've written outlines even entire sequel manuscripts to first books. However, the sad truth is that if no one wants to read the first one - or it doesn't sell - I won't get a chance to get the second book out there.

I almost always think in terms of trilogy arcs. Josh has so much to discover about himself beyond the gift being an omega werewolf is. Andrea has yet to discover her true importance for her Amazon sisters.

Even as Safe Word revisions progress - I am almost done with the scene summaries and seeing where I need to add scenes, shuffle the order and re-write - I wonder about what will happen to Josh after Wolf Creek's release in September. Do I dare attempt an outline. I know some important plot points, but there is so much to flesh out and plot.

Maybe I will let my mind wander in the hopes that maybe Wolf Creek will find it's audience.

Saturday
Jul112015

Why physical health is important to me

This morning I went for my first run in a year. I'm not a diehard runner. I've never been much of a fan of running unless I was chasing something or vice versa. Three years ago I took up jogging and fell in love with the Zombies Run app. Why do I run? Because it's the quickest way to push my body to its limit with the least amount of equipment - until we get our home bouldering wall built. Now I have another reason to stay in shape, my daughter.

Since I hit puberty, I've been overweight. Most of my adult life I weighed in the 170-185 lbs range. I had always tried to stay active, eat well and convince myself that I wasn't that overweight. A stressful relationship. A big move. A new job. And seven years ago I topped 210 pounds. I was starting to feel the weight limiting me from doing what I enjoyed - being hiking, cycling and doing martial arts. A pre-diabetic blood sugar reading was enough to scare me into more dramatic action.

It took six years and training for a half-marathon to reach my goal weight. Six months later I was pregnant. The weight came back, but it was a different kind of weight. Nine months post-partum, I still am hanging onto the last ten pounds, but I'm getting back to were I was.

I want to be able to show my daughter the outdoors. I'm looking forward to taking her to Baxter state park and up to Chimney Pond. I'm hoping that she will share our love of hiking. She's already come with us on some hikes around the island. I also want to instill in her the habits of activity and eating well so she can be healthy and happy.

Keeping in shape helps me deal with stress and the challenges that life brings. It makes me a happier person. Sometimes it's hard with a baby to get out and exercise like I used to. Instead, I take the Bean for walks with the dog or sneak in 15 minutes on the stationary bike after she goes to bed. We just got a little bike helmet for the Bean and hope to take her on her first bike ride tomorrow.

Sunday
Jun212015

Writing gay fiction

Having complained about white bread fictional characters, I realized that my own characters often lack diversity. After reading some gay fiction, I became obsessed with the idea of what it would be like for a gay man to be a part of a martial arts dojo.

In my eighteen years of training, I never met an openly gay karate-ka. Or maybe it's just one of those things that never comes up when you've got someone in a joint lock. Given the proportion of gay men in the general population, there had to be at least one in the many dojos I trained. I wondered what it would be like to be a gay man in an activity that can be fairly testosterone-filled. I know well the challenges of being a woman in a dojo where there are very few woman who obtain the rank of black belt and continue to train.

I started out writing a gay erotica romance in which an openly gay man joins a dojo to resume his training after moving to town. There's the expected friction with some of the closed-minded students. There is an unexpected attraction that grows between him and a closeted bisexual senior student. Their sexual encounters blossoms into something deeper and more meaningful as each has to face their deepest fears about who they are.

Unfortunately, Spar never got beyond the draft stage at nearly 50,000 words as I switched between first person POV and third. I felt the story focused too much on being gay as the central conflict. The flash fiction Tap-Out was inspired by Spar. Even though I never finished the story, I fell in love with the main character and knew his story needed to be told in one form or another.

This Josh was the beginning of my main character in Wolf Creek, which is being published by Torquere in the fall. I'm in the middle of the second round of edits and love the characters, especially Josh, no less than when I wrote the first outline. I wanted to write a story with a gay main character whose sexual orientation wasn't the central conflict of the story. It's just one aspect of his character. So I added werewolves, Amazons and a whole lot of other complications.

You might wonder what a straight woman is doing writing gay male characters. I struggled with that very thought while writing Spar. Then I realized I wasn't writing about a gay main character, I was writing about Josh. He became a whole person with likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses of his own.

I can't wait to share Josh and his unpredictable Amazon friend, Andrea, with a wider audience. Having an editor is really helping nail down some inconsistencies and confusing points as well as catch all the little mistakes that I missed even after many revisions and beta readers.

And who knows, if people like Josh and his world as much as I do, maybe I will get the chance to get him into more trouble.

Writing gay fiction isn't as much about sexual orientation as it is good story telling. I'm watching Transparent right now and really want to write about a transgendered character. Not as a sidekick. Not as a mystical magical transsexual. Not focusing on their gender identity struggle. But as a character with a story of their own to be told.

Wednesday
Jun172015

What's in a headline?

Being a first time mother with a 7 month old means I spend way too much time on breastfeeding and mommy Facebook groups. Motherhood has brought me to an interesting intersection between scientist and mommy. Every time someone in a group posts a question, long standing belief or the latest baby health-related headline, I hit pubmed to look for some science fact.

Science newspaper headlines are notoriously misleading. Take the reporting on Amitay et al.'s 2015 publication in JAMA Pediatrics 'Breastfeeding and Childhood Leukemia Incidence A Meta-analysis and Systematic Review'.

The LA Times reported on the JAMA Pediatrics article under the headline "Breast-feeding may prevent 19% of childhood leukemia cases, study says".

Compare that to the Times headline "Breastfeeding Linked to a Lower Risk of Cancer in Kids".

What's the difference?

The first headline gives the impression that the Jama Pediatrics study demonstrated that breastfeeding prevents leukemia. Great, now do hyper-sensitive mom's are going to worry that if they don't breast feed their child will develop cancer or worse blame their child's cancer on their inability to breast feed.

The second headline reports the correlation that breastfed children have lower risk of developing cancer. It's a little less eye catching but a lot closer to the results of the study

What did the study actually say?

Results  The meta-analysis of all 18 studies indicated that compared with no or shorter breastfeeding, any breastfeeding for 6 months or longer was associated with a 19% lower risk for childhood leukemia (odds ratio, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.73-0.89). A separate meta-analysis of 15 studies indicated that ever breastfed compared with never breastfed was associated with an 11% lower risk for childhood leukemia (odds ratio, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.84-0.94), although the definition of never breastfed differed between studies. All meta-analyses of subgroups of the 18 studies showed similar associations. Based on current meta-analyses results, 14% to 19% of all childhood leukemia cases may be prevented by breastfeeding for 6 months or more.

Conclusions and Relevance  Breastfeeding is a highly accessible, low-cost public health measure. This meta-analysis that included studies not featured in previous meta-analyses on the subject indicates that promoting breastfeeding for 6 months or more may help lower childhood leukemia incidence, in addition to its other health benefits for children and mothers. - Amitay et al. 2015 JAMA Pediatrics

 

Both articles go into more detail to clarify the headline and quote from the original article. But how many frazzled moms are going to read beyond the headline? Let hope most.


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