January 2016 on: recent blog entries can be found here

(Jack Blogging on Wordpress)

18 September 2015
OK, I know I've been asleep in the online saddle for a few weeks (metaphors aside, I have actually fallen asleep in the saddle on slow trail rides several times over the years  LOL) but there have been important matters requiring my attention, all of which seem to involve helping others (family, friends and children).  Sometimes writing and blogging has to take a back seat to family.
That said, there is a release coming up which I'm really excited about - Taniwha Dreaming!  It's the first novel-length story in The Bushrangers series, which was started with the three novellas The Billabong, Walkabout and Dingo Run.  Jim Kelly and Mark Turner find themselves at odds over ethical issues, and their misery at being apart causes them to be careless over their reunion.  Things hot up when the law finally catches up with our heroes.  
One of the things that I love doing in my stories is creating flawed characters like Mark in 'The Bushrangers' and using the actions flowing from those character flaws to drive the plot.  Perfect characters are wonderful if you just want to stand around admiring them, but they really don't contribute much to a story line!  For that you need conflict, which comes from the faultlines in characters and relationships, and creates drama.  (Here's a fun thing to do; have a quick think and count how many perfect people you meet in real life.)  It's a plot device which I used in 'Ace' to try to show what asexual people have to deal with on an everyday basis.
Having Taniwha Dreaming published is also exciting because the lovely Paul Richmond has done me a wonderful cover yet again for this series, and this time I get to hold the print copy of his stunning artwork in my hot little (rein-calloused) hands! It's due out on 5th October and you can pre-order it now via Dreamspinner Press (print) or on All Romance eBooks.
What's inspiring me: My kids are at last starting to show the kindness and maturity that comes from endless conversations and reminders to consider others, to build people up and be there for them.  I'm finally getting them to understand that kindness is the basis of all etiquette and 'achievement' (fists air).
What's frustrating me: It shouldn't be a shock when the older people you know show the signs of frailty, but it is.  Having lost my father the same way some years ago, it is a blow to see an older family member weakening, but a privilege to be able to be there to help her.

12 September 2015

The batch of horses is broken in and sold, and I'm having a weekend (what's that, you ask?) at home.  There's more work with horses coming in though.  I just received the wonderful cover art for Taniwha Dreaming from Paul Richmond.  (See picture to the left).

What's inspiring me: Covers!  As an art lover, I really appreciate the skill and workmanship that goes into each cover.

What's frustrating me: Sleeping on the lilo because we have visitors up all weekend.

24/08/2015
Ace is 25% off right now at All Romance Ebooks, you can pop over there and grab yourself a copy.  Here's the link.
I've been away training a batch of horses that have been let run a little wild.  I'll be 'back in the office' in a week or two.  I'm having too much fun to sit and write right now, folks, sorry!
What's inspiring me: Having four legs again!  Feeling a young horse I'm training bring itself into a collected frame for the first time. Rewarding it with a good gallop out on the trails after our workout.  I'd forgotten how good it feels to train young horses.
What's frustrating me: Trying to get people to talk horse.

The Clan Leader

Would a vampire lie and say his clan was less than a hundred years old, when in reality it is two thousand years old?  Would a ship's captain, frustrated by constant rejection for the vampire he has fallen for, seduce that vampire's powerful, ruthless father instead?

Enter the world of Earth, 2137, where ocean liners are luxury floating fortresses, where piracy is rampant and where vampires claim to be genetically engineered - or are they?

Jack's comment on The Clan Leader:

"This was me, writing before I knew writing had rules. Dark Hollows Press revamped (sic) this vintage story for me and gave it a kick-ass cover.  There are twins, hypnotic vampirepheromones and dubious consent.  My bad."

Get your copy of The Clan Leader here.

Thrilled by this review of 'Ace' from the UK's number 1 reviewer, Serena Yates of Rainbow Book Reviews:

"One of the things I found most amazing and positive about this book is that Jack Byrne addresses asexuality as a spectrum of needs, attitudes, and behaviors. He does this with sensitivity, empathy, and attention to detail in characterization and events that make this book not only entertaining, but informative. He ends up with a story that can open the eyes and minds of anyone who is willing to “listen” to the characters and what they have to say. The author says in his blog that “it reaches across the spectrum of asexuality” and I think that is very true. With an orientation that is so misunderstood by so many people, this is a book that needed to be written, and Jack did it well."
That's just part of the review.  The rest is better.  See More of Serena's review.
Choose a platform to get your copy of Ace.

What's Inspiring me: Well, obviously, THAT ^^^ review made me smile all day.

What's frustrating me: getting to that point where I have five projects on the go and can't focus on any of them.  I have ADHD, which although it seems to come with great creativity, leaves me with a lot to be desired in organizational skills .  Time to get out on a horse and forget about words for a day.


14 August 2015
Someone pointed out to me it has been ages since I posted an extract of anything, so here's a little snippet from 'White Lies' for you! 
Brent turned around to see a man with an armful of books smiling at him. He had jet-black hair, fair skin, a strong looking face, and eyes that managed to look a deep navy blue and crystal-bright at the same time. Brent lost his voice for a moment, then said, “Hi.”
“Hello.” That was definitely a Russian accent. His English was a little stilted, too, as though he was a new arrival. Brent noticed that he had an underlying nervousness to his expression, sort of like he was expecting something bad to happen at any minute, even though it never did. It gave his otherwise handsome face a slightly tense, pinched look. Brent tilted his head. “You’re new here?”
“Fresh out of the detention center,” the man said with a forced grin. He tried to rearrange the books in his arms but apologized instead. “I’d shake your hand, but I’ve got my hands full. Dimitri Sergeivich.”
“Brent Winton. Hi.” Brent smiled. “You’re as bad as my brother. A library on legs.”
“Ah, yes, Zach. He studies hard.”
“You know Zach?” Brent shouldn’t have been surprised. Zach was very much a people person, and when he didn’t have his nose buried in a textbook, he was always going to barbecues and having a beer or two with the rest of the residents of the converted old mansion.
Dimitri grinned. “Everyone knows Zach. And anyone who knows Zach knows about his saint of a big brother.”
Brent ducked his head in shame. He was anything but saintly.
“I did not mean to embarrass you. It’s just that your brother speaks so highly of you. I was beginning to think that he had made you up, because there could never be a big brother so perfect.”
Brent looked up and studied Dimitri’s disarming smile. It was hard to stay embarrassed in the face of such sincerity, and Brent smiled back. “Yeah, well, Zach does tend to exaggerate. I do what I can.”
Dimitri shuffled forward and moved a little too close into Brent’s personal space, peering into his eyes. Brent blinked. Something in Dimitri’s eyes was a little too perceptive, and the man was standing too close for comfort. But foreigners, Brent knew, often differed from Australians in their ideas about personal space. Australians maintained a good few feet—even yards—of personal space, given a choice, whereas Europeans and Asians tended to move in disturbingly close to speak.
“I don’t suppose I could get up the stairs? These books are getting heavy,” said Dimitri after a long pause.
Brent started, realizing he was standing in Dimitri’s way at the base of the narrow stairway up into the house. “Oh, sure. Sorry! I was—”
Dimitri tilted his head.
Brent finished lamely, “—being thoughtless."
12 August 2015
It's another release day, this time for the novella 'White Lies'!
So what is 'White Lies' about?
'White Lies' is told from the point of view of Brent. Brent is a prostitute, but he is so much more than that.  He is a loving big brother, he has a day job, he gets on with his coworkers, and he adores his vintage car.  But he has his limitations.  He isn't smart or ambitious enough to land a high-paying job. This wouldn't worry him, except his little brother Zach IS smart, and Brent wants him to have the best of everything and every opportunity in life.  So Brent sacrifices his own lifestyle in order to give Zach what he needs.  The one thing Brent couldn't bear is for Zach to find out what he is really doing, because he thinks Zach will look down on him for it, or worse, blame himself for Brent being in the world's oldest profession.
Along comes sweet, hot Dimitri who figures out very quickly what Brent is doing.  Dimitri wants Brent anyway, and at first Brent is unsure of Dimitri's motives.  Brent is terrified that Dimitri will somehow let slip his secret occupation to Zach.  To lose Zach's respect and love would be the worst thing Brent could imagine.
When Dimitri gets injured, Brent offers to help, against his better judgement. It isn't long before things heat up between them despite Brent's resistance.  Can they build an honest relationship amidst the white lies that Brent tells Zach every day? 
I have five copies of 'White Lies' to give away today, to the first five people who follow this link to my Facebook page and comment on today's post about White Lies. If you read it and love it, please review on Amazon or Goodreads, thank you!
What's inspiring me: Dreamspinner Press rocks!  They listen to their authors!
What's frustrating me: Not enough hours in the day !!!


What's coming up?

As the result of a major writing spree at the start of this year, the titles keep coming:

White Lies due out 12 August 2015

White Lies is a gentle tale, simple and a little angsty, about Brent, a gay prostitute who meets a lovely young Russian Dimitri with deep blue eyes, sensible shoes and a tragic past.  It's a story about brotherhood.

The Clan Leader due out 18 August 2015

What can I possibly say about The Clan Leader?  If you like your vampires hot, sexy and with very little conscience, you will love this story. There are twins, a clan leader whose sexual appetite is insatiable, a sexy, brooding ship's captain, and his faithful companion.


So, I'll be busy on another major writing spree from now until about December.  I'll check in on social media regularly, and there will be giveaways aplenty around the release days for each book.  Watch this blog or better still connect with me on Facebook to catch the announcements!


What's inspiring me: My new secret project which I will tell you about in a few weeks, all going well.  My writing projects in general.
What's frustrating me: The state of the world and the ignorance of a certain American dentist.

What's 'Ace' really like?  (From the author)

Everyone seems to have an opinion on 'Ace' good or bad, and it's fascinating as an author to read reviews and see what people are getting out of the story.  I knew I was stepping into a hotbed writing this, but quite a few people encouraged me and said it needed to be written.  They wanted to see asexual characters that were not black and white, especially not 'virgin-asexual-fixed-by-sex' and maybe covering some of the more unusual orientations.
So Damien, Jake and even my secondary characters, are written in layers.  As the book goes on there are a few surprises.  Is Damien as highly sexualized and open as he seems, or is he using his sexuality and looks to overcome deeper, hidden issues?  Why would he let himself become attracted to an asexual if there was nothing in it for him?
And is Jake as aloof as everyone thinks? Does he lack courage or warmth?  Will he eventually 'embrace his sexuality' as those around him hope, or... is it simply not that important to him? If Jake and Damien allow themselves to become close, will their differences drive them apart or even break one or both of them?
Because I was addressing all those questions, this was not an easy book to write.  In the middle of the editing process, I was responding to so many queries from my editor that I got worried and asked them whether it was just plain bad?  To my astonishment, they responded with the comment that it was one of the best and most intelligent books they had seen come across their desk all year.  Needless to say, that boosted my spirits no end! But it's that kind of book - it's hard to pin down, even for the author LOL!  It reaches across the spectrum of asexuality, and it certainly covers the spectrum of reviews; I'm happy that Goodreads tells me that eighty per cent of people like it.

Get a copy of Ace

What's inspiring me today:

Two things:
Goodreads sent me an apology today and said they are investigating the author and CEO involved in trying to cause trouble for me about 'Ace' to make sure they are following Goodreads guidelines in all their other dealings on the site. High five to Goodreads! Thank you.
The second thing:
A gift of music from a friend :) :) :)   'Do you like classical music?'  My answer: 'Do I like breathing?'

What's frustrating me today:

Trying to remember all the great ideas I had yesterday when I was nowhere near my computer!  I was helping out some friends, and ended up wishing I was two people so one of me could stay home and write!  #BackToPenAndPaper!

28 July 2015: On with the show

Karma is wonderful.  Just sayin'.

Also people are wonderful.  Thanks to everyone for the endless messages of support.

Now, on with business.  I've been working hard:


Taniwha Dreaming (61,000 word novel - Bushrangers #4)

The next novel in the Bushrangers series (you've all been asking!) - 'Taniwha Dreaming' went through final proofs two days ago, and I'm waiting on a cover and release date for that.  Finally you'll be able to get your hands on those wild boys Jim and Mark in print! (You all know who you are - I've never been nagged so hard by a group of beings who weren't cats!)

'White Lies' - (29,000 word novella) Release date 12 August 2015

What can I say about 'White Lies?'  It's a gentle contemporary romance between a guy who's doing all the wrong things for all the right reasons, and the Russian with deep blue eyes that he meets and falls for against his better judgement.  What draws Dimitri to Brent and his brother Zach?  Why does the bond between the brothers both attract and deter Dimitri?

The Clan Leader (37,743 word novella) Release date 18 August 2015

Well.... it's certainly very different from 'Ace' LOL!  Hot vampire bosses, dubious consent (they are vampires after all), a ship's captain that doesn't want to share his mate, a father with the conscience of a shark, threesomes, foursomes, twincest.... this is a fun little ex-fanfic romp that I thought was too hot for Dreamspinner's rules,  so submitted it to Dark Hollows Press who have nagged me, made me expand it and given me a kick-ass cover :)  If you are asexual, DON'T READ CLAN LEADER!!  This was me writing before I knew writing had rules LOL!


WHAT'S INSPIRING ME TODAY:

People asking for prequels (JK Rowling would hate that LOL!) and sequels and in general MORE stories about all my characters.

WHAT'S FRUSTRATING ME TODAY:

Not having the superpower to write ALL the prequels and sequels and stories at once for my lovely readers.  Having to plod along writing one book at a time.  Also... having to flip over from editing/marketing mode to creative mode.  I might need to play the piano for an hour or two, listen to U2 or Beethoven, then watch some Supernatural, Sherlock, House, Star Trek or Avengers to get my creative mojo back.  Maybe I'll watch all of them!


21 July 2015: Dirty rotten pool.

It's not cricket for another author to masquerade as a general reader and abuse gay asexuals when they politely call them out on erasure.  It's especially egregious when that other author is only doing it to troll a bestselling author to garner publicity for the publishing company they 'co-own.'  A dark light has been shone in your corner, trolls.  Scurry away.  Social media has things called 'links.'  You can't get publicity and hide your misdeeds and connections at the same time LOL.
WHAT'S INSPIRING ME TODAY: Misha Collins and Gishwhes
WHAT'S FRUSTRATING ME TODAY: Bullshit from rival publishers pretending to be be general readers on Goodreads.


15 July 2015:  'Ace' release day:

Sales are continuing to rise by the day :) thanks everyone!  A special note of thanks to all those Aces of all flags who have PM'd or emailed me telling me how much this book means to them and how much they loved it.
WHAT'S INSPIRING ME TODAY: Richard Speight being adorable.
WHAT'S FRUSTRATING ME TODAY: Being locked out of my own release party on the Dreamspinner blog by some computer glitch :(  Thank goodness for Facebook, friends and pre-booked posts!