Monday, June 15, 2015

DeVante's Children, Amazon Matchbook







FYI - if you purchased the original DeVante's Children in paperback from Amazon, please note that DeVante's Children (Revamped) kindle edition is enrolled in Amazon's Matchbook program, which means you may download this new rewrite kindle edition for free!


If you purchased any previous edition of DeVante's Children and would like a complimentary copy of the new (and truly, much improved) edition, drop me a line at devante9901@aol.com and I will send you a Smashwords coupon for a free download or email you a copy directly. This edition is so much more about getting it right than about making dollars.


There will be tweaks to DeVante's Coven (book 2, re-release next year, presuming grad school doesn't kill me first) but I don't believe the level of rewriting will be nearly as intense as it was for this book, so a re-purchase should not be as necessary (grin).

Sunday, June 14, 2015

SM Johnson ~ Love Letters ~ Cui Bono

One of the most enlightening lessons I was ever taught, I was taught on purpose. It seems odd to me that I needed someone to teach it to me, but there you are. I was young, in high school; I was white, and I was a middle class kid whose every need was well and easily met, with little effort on my part. There were expectations, yeah - I had to work so I could pay for gas and insurance if I wanted to drive the car, and I had to maintain decent grades if I wanted to have an after school job. I didn't necessarily have to do much else, however, as far as chores and such, since going to school and making the grades was considered my primary "job." I had a curfew. I was expected to follow the rules. Not get arrested. Not get in trouble. I was fully expected to go to college and continue my middle class upbringing. Oh - there was also a sort of unspoken expectation that I was to marry well. Preferably above my current station.

So yeah, I needed some teaching.

And who better to teach me than a punk anarchist, my friend Jeremy, the inspiration for my book Jeremiah Quick.

There are some autobiographical bits buried in there, I do admit, although the story itself is by no means autobiographical.

Jeremy was somewhat astounded that a person could be seventeen years old and just simply accept everything she was told without thought, question, or investigation. Sometimes I'm a little astounded, too, and infinitely grateful that he challenged so many of my "beliefs" - that he taught me to follow the chain of 'who benefits?' as far as thought process analysis. This has become all the links in my chain of thinking, really - from news stories to well, almost everything.

Why do I have to see my doctor every three months? Oh, because I have a diagnosis of "diabetes" and the insurance company will PAY for me to see her every three months.

The thing is, in a capitalist society, you can trace almost every cui bono back to dollars. Think it through.

Watch the news. Listen for what they're (the media, the government, those in power) not telling you. And ask yourself... who benefits?

Keep asking.

What you figure out when you use your brain, or do your own research, might surprise you. Trust yourself, because the truth is, you're probably pretty damn smart. At least smart enough to figure out who benefits.

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend, darklings. And if you haven't done so already, don't forget to check out my latest release, DeVante's Children, available for kindle at Amazon and in all ebook formats at Smashwords. Hopefully all formats are pretty and typo-free at this point! And reviews - I would adore you to the end of eternity if you'd leave reviews at Amazon, Smashwords, or Goodreads.

Thanks much!





Wednesday, June 3, 2015

SM Johnson ~ DeVante's Children ~ ON SALE NOW!

Whoo-hoo, here we go!

Good evening, Darklings!

Are you ready? Because I sure the fuck AM READY!

DeVante's Children (Revamped)

is ON SALE RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE at Smashwords, and should be on sale within a few hours at Amazon, and I am so, so so excited!



"Gay people are perverts."

That's what eighteen year old Daniel Winthrop hears as his father kicks him out of the house. And even though Daniel knows his dad is being unreasonable, he has plenty of his own questions on the subject. 

But when Daniel’s first lover, Roderick, claims to be a vampire and attacks him with such cruelty there could be no other explanation, Daniel realizes there are stranger things in the world than men who love men…

92,000 words (approx 300 pages), Gay paranormal romance, M/M

(free with coupon code GW84K until June 10, 2015)







I want to reward those of you who follow my blog and are around for news of new releases by offering coupons for Smashwords, so for the first week of a new release, you can get the book for free. Just follow the Smashwords link or search for DeVante's Children or SM Johnson at Smashwords.com, add the book to your cart, and at check out enter coupon code GW84K. Then you will either be brought to the download page or offered a link to the download page and you can download the book in whichever format you prefer. Mobi files work for kindle and epub for Nook, and I think PDF works for most digital readers, as well. I don't know much about Nook readers, but I know my kindle has an email address and I can easily email Smashwords .mobi files to my kindle, so I don't have to sideload with a USB cable to transfer in order to read, which is pretty damn sweet.

And guys - it would be fantastic if you could find a minute or five to post (honest) reviews on Smashwords, Goodreads, and/or Amazon. I would be so eternally grateful, and they help so very very much, even just a few words, doesn't have to be fancy.

I'm hoping to work out my snafus with CreateSpace and have this title available in paperback before the end of the summer. No promises, but I will definitely try.

Now... let me take a minute to address one more time the fact that this title is "revamped". This baby has been through a sweeping re-write, not just little tweaks and twinges, but a gigantic overhaul with my in-person writer's group, and has involved huge cuts and rewriting of new scenes, deepening of characterization and relationships between characters. It's been a lot of work, and a lot of fun, and it's not at all the same book that it was. It's better.

Happy reading, darklings!


PS - there are a couple of file glitches (sudden font size changes -wtf?) in the Smashwords version which will hopefully be worked out in the next day or so. Bear with me. Oh joy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

SM Johnson ~ DeVante's Children ~ Excerpt

DeVante's Children (revamped) by SM Johnson

Release date: June 4, 2015

Excerpt


Roderick

Over Labor Day weekend Daniel went to the Duluth/Superior Pride festival. It was a first for him, and he begged Rodrick to come, but for obvious sunlight reasons, Roderick had no choice but to deny him. When he caught up to Daniel Saturday evening, the boy was glowing, not only with pride, but with sunburn. He hoped the little idiot hadn’t permanently damaged his skin. Daniel chattered on and on about bands and floats, the Mayor’s speech promoting tolerance, and hung all over Roderick like white on rice. If he weren’t so damn cute, Roderick would have been annoyed. As it was, he laughed at Daniel with all his cute rainbow buttons, slogan tee-shirts – Yes I am! – rainbow flags, and Mardi Gras beads on which condoms hung like medallions. Daniel hadn’t told his roommate yet that he was gay, but Roderick guessed the guy would figure it out, oh, right about now. Daniel tucked his souvenirs away, put on a shirt that said Human across the front in rainbow lettering, and his smile never dimmed.

Damn, he was fucking beautiful.

And he wasn’t letting Roderick get out of any after dark activities. Out to the gay club they went, Daniel’s green eyes glittering as Roderick provided him with alcohol for the express purpose of watching him dance. He was, of course, the youngest in the club, Roderick slipping him past the bouncer with a vampire trick. He was also the prettiest, although he made friends with a good-looking couple from Chicago, and a dreamy local boy who couldn’t be a whole lot older than Daniel himself. Roderick, watching Daniel flirt and charm, laugh and grin, thought he could eat them all right up. Especially that one from Chicago… but he restrained himself. Let Daniel have his fun, what the hell. After a couple hours at the club, they joined a group of drunken gay boys on a party bus and rode out to the beach.

And Roderick made a rule, one rule, that maybe later he would regret.

No telling lies at the beach.


* * * * *

Daniel


Beaches suddenly became the scariest places in the world, because Roderick made a rule that any question asked on the beach must be answered with complete honesty. And Daniel had had just enough to drink to make it sound like a good idea, but it turned out to be a scary rule, and made him afraid to ask Roderick anything, because something in Roderick’s eyes said the truth would hurt. Roderick was oblivious and sat Daniel in the sand some distance away from the rest of the party, and coaxed him to ask a question, any question.

Daniel didn’t want to hurt, so he didn’t dare ask if Roderick loved him. He didn’t want to hurt Roderick, either, so he also didn’t ask why Roderick pretended to be a vampire. He didn’t want the answer to be “because I am a vampire,” said with all seriousness, and he also didn’t want the answer to be “because I’m crazy.”

He sifted cool sand through his fingers as he tried to work out a safe question. “When did you know you were different?”

Roderick’s eyes glittered in the moonlight. “Different in which way?”

Daniel rolled his eyes. “When did you know you liked boys?”

“Ooh, different in that way.” Roderick dropped his head and supported his chin with his thumb, as if giving the question some thought. The answer, though, was thoughtless. “I’ve always liked boys. I like them bronzed and ripped. I like them tall and dark. I like them slim and blond. I like them corrupt, and I like them innocent. Mmmm. Loooove boys.”

Daniel wanted to laugh because it was sort of a campy drama routine, but his stomach was doing that riot thing again, and because there was something really sincere about Roderick’s words, and it sort of took Daniel’s breath away.

“Didn’t it ever scare you?” Daniel asked.

Roderick tilted his head, looked directly into Daniel’s face. “There are so many bigger things to fear,” he said. “I suppose I was scared the first time I had sex with a man, but…” his voice trailed off, and there was something in the silence that felt epic.

“But what?”

“I didn’t grow up here, in the States, you know.”

Daniel shook his head. “I’m beginning to think I don’t know anything. Especially not anything about you.”

“Things were different where I grew up. My mother was gypsy stock, in eastern Europe. She danced and entertained royalty and other wealthy patrons. There was a troop of us, mostly women and children, who traveled together, but my mother – she wrote the songs we performed, choreographed the dances – and she was truly talented, but she was also a realist. I was fairly young when one of the patrons we entertained asked for a private audience with me. Not unheard of young, but young. My mother curtsied politely and requested a word with me behind closed doors. She told me the man would want me to take off my clothes, and would probably want to touch and kiss me, and maybe other things, grown-up things, too.

“I had spied on patrons who requested my mother meet them privately. I had a reasonable idea what the man would expect from me, more or less. I told her that I thought he was handsome, and I wouldn’t mind visiting him in his room. She said I was a good and beautiful boy, and that I should never be ashamed to be those things.”

Roderick stopped talking and Daniel didn’t have any idea what to say into the silence that followed. He leaned closer to Roderick, resting his forehead on Roderick’s upper arm. After a minute in which he tried to be comforting, he asked, “Did he hurt you?”

Roderick shrugged. “No more than necessary, for my first time. I cried, but he dried my tears and was tender with me. He was very light-skinned, like me, and sometimes I wondered if he was my father, but my mother would never say.”

Daniel jerked his head up in shock. “Surely your mother wouldn’t let you go with him if –”

Roderick put an arm around him. “Surely not,” he agreed.


A silent minute passed, and then Roderick leapt to his feet, reaching down to tug at Daniel. “Stand up.” And when Daniel did, Roderick added, “Be still,” and walked a circle around him, the way he did sometimes, as if craving to see Daniel from all sides. Except this time Roderick stopped directly behind Daniel and rested what felt like the fingertips from both hands on the top of his head, lightly. “You are so brilliantly beautiful,” he said quietly, then leaned forward and buried his face in Daniel’s hair, inhaling deeply. Daniel sighed, loving Roderick’s openness in this, how he made no secret that he liked to look at him, liked the smell of him. Daniel knew it was akin to a change of subject, but he didn’t much care.

Roderick put a small amount of space between them, then, as if he’d taken half a step back, away, and his fingers grew heavier on Daniel’s head, then slid down so his palms cupped Daniel’s ears, thumbs rubbing gentle circles at the base of Daniel’s skull. Daniel tipped his head back into Roderick’s hands, like an affectionate cat, and felt his whole body go soft and loose. “Mmmm,” he purred, loving the gentle caress. And then Roderick pulled him tight against his chest, arms wrapped around him, holding him tight.

“Are you scared about your first time being fucked by a man? Being fucked by me?” Roderick asked out loud.

Daniel shivered. “Terrified.”

Roderick’s chin bumped the top of Daniel’s head, and Daniel imagined Roderick nodding, eyes glittering, excited to hear Daniel say it.

He didn’t soothe or reassure or offer any comfort at all. He said only, “Well. It’s not time, so don’t worry too much yet.”

Daniel rolled his eyes.

“Don’t roll your eyes at me.”

So Daniel laughed, instead. “Thank you for that stellar reassurance.”

Roderick’s arms tightened even more. “I can’t lie to you when we’re on the beach, remember?”


92,000 words  M/M Paranormal romance

TWO MORE DAYS! Watch this space for buy links! **happy dance**

Monday, June 1, 2015

SM Johnson ~ DeVante's Children ~ Countdown!



June 4, 2015


"Gay people are perverts."
That's what eighteen year old Daniel Winthrop hears as his father kicks him out of the house. And even though Daniel knows his dad is being unreasonable, he has plenty of his own questions on the subject.
When Daniel’s first lover, Roderick, claims to be a vampire and attacks him with such cruelty there could be no other explanation, Daniel realizes there are stranger things in the world than men who love men…

92,000 words, M/M erotic romance




Me n' Alice have been busy busy busy.

DeVante's Children has been REVAMPED and it is READY! Mark your calendars for June 4th, 2015.... because there will be Amazon and Smashwords buy links, and for you, my loyal blog followers, coupons!

I am so excited.

This is my first baby, and I really had a great time taking so much of what I learned writing the Dungeon series and playing around with this, the very first novel I ever attempted to write. I deepened my characters and their relationships with one another, I found all the important stuff that was in my head and never made it to the page and got it out there where ya'll can SEE it and FEEL it.

I tightened the plot and got it all to make a lot more sense - who are these people and why are they doing the things they do? Why don't they just kill each other and be done each other, for fuck's sake?

The story always had an epic feel - and now you'll have a better understanding of that epic-ness. DeVante and Katarina and Roderick have deeply entwined histories together - ties that just don't break all that easily, no matter their past hurts and betrayals.

And then in come Daniel and Emily, the new kids - we gotta have new kids and new blood, always... otherwise it's just a soap opera, isn't it? Yeah... (sigh). So lovely.

So here's the deal... This book, DeVante's Children was published in digital format by Torquere Press in 2009, then had some minor changes and was published in digital and paperback in 2011 by Rebel Satori's Queer Mojo imprint.

But here's the deal - this isn't the same book with a new shiny cover. This is a tighter, better, sexier story that finally does the characters that have been living in my head for thirty years some justice.

I made sweeping cuts and wrote a ton of new scenes. The bones are all still there, but the flesh and blood is so much more alive.

This is my baby and I'm so pleased to offer it to you.

#DEVANTESCHILDREN