Thursday, March 23, 2017

ARC Signups for The Master Will Appear

The Master Will Appear will be out May 16th, and ARCs are just about ready! If you're interested in an advance copy, please sign up!

Dr. Mikhail “Misha” Budnikov takes one look at fellow fencer Ryan O’Connor and instantly knows his type. The undisciplined hothead is all ego with no finesse and even less control. In short, Misha’s pet peeves personified. To put the arrogant kid in check, Misha challenges him to a sparring match, which he predictably wins.

Not so predictably, Ryan asks him to be a mentor and show him how to fence. Startled by the moment of humility, Misha agrees.

What begins as fencing lessons becomes something much hotter, and before they know it, Misha is giving Ryan an entirely different kind of education. Dominance, submission, pain, pleasure—at the hands of an older, experienced man, a whole new world is opening up for Ryan.

As the trust deepens and their bond strengthens, though, Ryan retreats because that sham called love left him jaded long ago. Cynical beyond his years, he’s not letting his guard down, least of all for a thrice-divorced man twice his age.

Now Misha has to find a way to crack through those defenses…or accept defeat and walk away from the submissive who might just be the love of his life.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Re-releasing my Samhain Titles

At the end of February 2017, Samhain Publishing closed its doors. As a result, 28 of my existing titles reverted to me and have subsequently been re-released. Normally I treat a re-release the same as I do a new release -- put in on the Coming Soon page, add it to the "Now Available" part of my website, etc. With the sheer volume of titles in this instance, though, that would be impractical.

A few stragglers are still uploading, so some links may not work yet, but I'm updating them as they go through.

The vast majority have been revised slightly, if at all, with the exception of Nine-tenths of the Law, which has a newly extended ending. All are available on Kindle Unlimited and most are in paperback. Cover art is by the author except for Conduct Unbecoming and General Misconduct, which are by Garrett Leigh.

Also, a few books have been included in some new collections - Spicy, Triple Play, and Three - and those are listed below as well. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Available Now: At the Corner of Rock Bottom & Nowhere

My newest contemporary gay romance, At the Corner of Rock Bottom & Nowhere, is on Amazon! (the paperback should be live in the next few hours)

Blackjack dealer and stripper Adrian West has lived in Las Vegas long enough to be numb to beggars on the Strip. Their destitution is a sad, ugly part of reality in a city where people win or lose it all at the tables every single day.

So he’s at a loss to explain why the homeless man in the suit catches his eye. Why he can’t just keep on walking like he always does.

Former advertising executive Max Reynolds is a Las Vegas cliché. After a run of bad luck costs him his boyfriend, his job, and his home, he’s decided to go out with a bang—a week of high-rolling capped off with a peaceful overdose in a luxury hotel room.

When a last second epiphany keeps him from finishing the job, he’s ready to live again… but he doesn’t have a dime to his name. He has nothing.

That is until a stranger takes him in off the street. Max may have hit rock bottom, but now he has a glimmer of hope and an unexpected friendship.

A friendship that just might turn into everything neither man knew he was missing.

This novel is approximately 51,000 words.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Be gone, 2016! Be nice, 2017!

2016 is almost over, and it seems to have both blown by and taken an extra 7,261 days to finally end. The year had its high points, but I think the general consensus is that we really should move up New Year's Eve to yesterday and just start 2017 early.

Sadly, I don't have the authority to make that happen, so we'll just have to patiently wait out the last two weeks of the year, then move on and hope 2017 is better. There are a lot of things going on in the world, and I think we're all rightfully anxious, but I have to stay optimistic and forward-moving or I will lose my mind.

So. 2017.

What books are coming up?
There are definitely more in the works that aren't quite ready to be announced yet -- including at least one more Bluewater Bay book and the third Bad Behavior book -- so rest assured, there are plenty of titles coming down the pipe next year!

Also, keep an eye out for more audiobooks if that's your thing, including Ex Equals and Where There's Smoke!

Where will I be if you want to say hello in person?
 So that's what's coming up in 2017. Here's hoping for an uneventful latter half of December, and a 2017 that pleasantly surprises everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Should I NaNo?"...and a pep talk for those who've already decided to do it.

With November right around the corner (and the end of election season so close we can all taste it), the annual question has begun to pop up in the brains and social media feeds of writers:

Should I do NaNoWriMo?

Well...should you?

Obviously a lot of that depends on what else you have going on in your life, how busy you are with a day job and/or a family, and how long you'll need to hibernate after the election is over. I'm not here to answer that part.

But one of the big debates that always seems to crop up is whether NaNoWriMo is worth it. There is frequent criticism of the program because it allegedly encourages quantity over quality, that it creates unhealthy competitiveness, and discourages people who aren't able to reach the 50,000 word goal.

Here's the thing: NaNo is not for everyone. If competition motivates you, NaNo might be for you. If competition intimidates you, it's probably not. And that's completely okay.

For some people, the biggest obstacle with writing is the discipline and motivation to just get the words down on paper. This is where NaNo comes in handy. With word count goals, competition, and the go go go! mantras coming from all directions, enthusiasm alone can push a writer to get those words written. If that kind of pressure makes you freeze, no sweat -- NaNo isn't mandatory, so don't feel like you should, or you have to, or there's something wrong with you if you don't. You do you.

For many writers, the internal editor is a problem. That voice second guesses every word and every sentence, refusing to let you move forward until it's perfect. And editing as you go is a perfectly valid and reasonable way to write... unless it's keeping you from writing at all. This is where the "permission to write crap" comes in. It's not that anyone is saying "write the worst thing imaginable." It's simply permission to shut off that inner editor, all the while knowing that anything you write can be fixed later.

And there's the key -- it can be fixed later, and it'll be up to you to fix it. At the end of November, you will have a finished manuscript, but not a finished book. Still, that's an enormous leap from having nothing written at all. Whatever's on the page at the end of the month can be fixed, tweaked, and polished up. A blank page? Not so much.

If all of that appeals to you, then I would say GO FOR IT. If it doesn't, no one's going to judge you for not participating. If they do, tell them L.A. Witt said they're a butthead.

And if you have decided to participate, here is my sort-of-annual-when-I-remember-to-post-it-in-time NaNoWriMo pep talk:

You are allowed to get frustrated. You are allowed to be intimidated, overwhelmed, and discouraged. You are allowed to quit. There is no shame in throwing in the towel if it's too much. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, and don't be ashamed or embarrassed if it doesn't work out. I promise, you won't be the first, you won't be the last, and you're no less of a writer because of it.

In the next few paragraphs, when I talk about persevering, that's not meant to shame you if you have to bail. It's meant to encourage those who need a kick in the butt so they can find that second wind and push on. Only you can know and decide if the best thing for you is to quit or to push on, and if you do decide to quit, know that you still have my utmost respect for giving it a go in the first place.

With that being said...

Folks, writing is hard work. Writing 50,000 words in a month is really hard work. When it gets frustrating, overwhelming, intimidating, and discouraging, that doesn't mean you're a bad writer, or your book is fatally flawed, or that you should drop out and take up basket-weaving instead. Writing is fun, but there comes a point when it becomes work. When it's hard. I have literally written over 100 books, and can't think of a single one where I haven't hit the wall at some point. Sooner or later, every book gives me that moment where I'm convinced it's going to fall apart, that I can't make it work, that the whole thing is a disaster. My characters aren't the only ones who get a Black Moment in every book.

In your stories, it's the "I can't go on" moment that defines your character and makes them overcome everything. For you, the writer, it's when you decide to hang it up or press on.

Press on. Even when you think your story sucks, press on. It might suck, and that's okay! That's what editing is for. And hell, let's say the story is fatally flawed and will never see the light of day. That doesn't mean writing it was a waste of time! There is no way you made it from start to finish on that story, not to mention through the editing process where you realized it didn't work, without learning something. If you hadn't learned something, you wouldn't be able to recognize the problems your story has, but you did, and you do, and you'll apply that to your next book.

Writing is a craft. It's okay to suck, because everyone who's good at anything sucked at it for a while. Prodigies and savants are remarkable because they're so rare. The rest of us have to work at it, and that means flubbing Mary Had a Little Lamb a few dozen times before you and Mozart can wow Carnegie Hall.

You've got this. Make a plan. Make some words. Make a mess if you have to. Put your nose to the grindstone and make it happen. At the end of November, even if you haven't created a book that will one day be published or whatever your goal is, you will absolutely have learned something about the craft, and you will also have learned that you can.

My writing career literally began with NaNoWriMo in 2008. It was that NaNo that taught me I could in fact write a novel from start to finish, and that I could do it fast. When it was over, I kept going. And going. And going. Eight years, 100+ books, 100+ publishing contracts, several co-authors, 10 publishers, and a full-time career better believe it was absolutely worth the moments of frustration.

So, good luck. You've got this. It won't be easy, but it'll be worth it.

And if you'd like some pointers on writing faster, I will now take this opportunity to shamelessly encourage you to purchase my book, Writing Faster FTW, which is marked down to $0.99 until November 30th!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

I'm making a movie, but I need your help!

So this project is a dream come true. I finally get to make a movie, and as a bonus, I'm making that movie with the amazing Tooji. I heard about this talented filmmaker/musician after his controversial video, The Father Project, came out in 2015 (NSFW). Through a series of fortunate events, I ended up connecting with him, and we've been friends ever since.

The idea for our lesbian film, Passengers, came up during our very first Skype call a year ago, and we've been working on our plan and the script ever since. It's a short piece -- around ten minutes -- about two women who make a very unexpected connection after crossing paths on a local bus. Now it's ready to roll, but we need help funding it!

Check out our Kickstarter! We've got some cool rewards for backers, including a signed movie poster, books, and a chance to put a character into one of my upcoming books!

Help us bring Passengers to life!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Thursday, July 7, 2016

An Open Letter to Samhain Publishing

Dear Christina Brashear,

You were one of the good guys. Samhain was the gold standard of epubs.

Somehow, in six months, that's all gone down the drain. And last night, with that email you sent out ostensibly for clarification, you've got a whole lot of authors feeling not just worried and disillusioned, but gaslit. As if we're expected to believe that we imagined the whole thing and Samhain never intended to close, or as if we're stupid for being surprised or upset that Samhain didn't close and isn't closing.

In case you've forgotten, this was what you told us in Feburary:
Saying goodbye is always hard. I will miss working with all of you. Samhain has been my greatest adventure and I’m bereft at having to give it up. Please accept my thanks for all the trust you've invested in Samhain and I hope you understand that this choice to begin the wind-down to close is made to honor that trust.
Those are your words, copied directly from the email which you titled The Long Goodbye. Your intentions were clear -- Samhain was closing, which meant authors needed to think about what happens next. And suddenly what happens next is that Samhain is back and never intended to leave? I'd expect this of a furniture store in the 1980s that is always having a Going Out of Business Sale, but not from the gold standard of romance epubs.

You were one of the good guys, but that's changed now. Authors who, by and large, were happy and even proud to be published by Samhain are angry, scared, and exhausted. For nearly six months, many of us have been sitting back and watching our books on at best a sinking ship, at worst a roller coaster. We've alternated between cringing that it's going to derail at any second and raging because the damn thing is still going when people really just want to get off.

I for one want to get off.

At first, I was okay with the plan to wind down slowly. Avoiding bankruptcy is good for all of us. But then things changed. Suddenly there was a possible Hail Mary. Then that was gone, and the winding down continued. Then suddenly Samhain was staying open after all. In fact, you were just voicing frustrations, not voicing any intention to close.

To reiterate...
Saying goodbye is always hard. I will miss working with all of you. Samhain has been my greatest adventure and I’m bereft at having to give it up. Please accept my thanks for all the trust you've invested in Samhain and I hope you understand that this choice to begin the wind-down to close is made to honor that trust.
Your words. Not mine.

But somehow, here we are, with Samhain remaining open. I can see how you would think this was a good thing for authors. It isn't. Because the damage is done. I don't trust that the company is stable. Sure, there's better cash flow and lower overhead. Sure, things are looking better. But how do we know this isn't just a dead cat bounce? And what happens when you have to start paying editors and cover artists again? How much of the change in Samhain's financial status has to do with not producing new books for the last few months?

And for that matter, the end result is that my trust in Samhain is gone. I'm angry because this has affected me on numerous levels. My production schedule for 2016-2017 went out the window because those books weren't going to be published anymore. 28 of my books -- fully 1/3 of my backlist -- have been in this roller-coaster-shaped-limbo, and at times, partially unavailable, with paperbacks vanishing from Amazon.

Through it all, my subrights were still being sold, and I was expected to be thrilled to find out one of my books had been signed to a ten-year audio contract. While I understood the need to bring cash into Samhain to pay down creditors, this angered me. It infuriated me. Mostly because it sent extremely mixed messages. You're closing, but you're selling off my subrights? What?

But it doesn't end there. This long game winding down process hasn't just been a source of stress and frustration. I can't speak for other authors, but it has actually cost me money. 

For one, you bailed on us for the RT book signing. As you well know, for that signing, we have to sign up months ahead of time and tell the bookseller which books to order for us. In previous years, Samhain titles have been ordered, and when we arrive at the signing, they're waiting for us on our tables. At the end of the signing, we can leave them there, and the bookseller deals with returns.

About two months ahead of RT2016, an email came out that suddenly Samhain wouldn't be providing those books after all. Of course this is long after the deadline to tell RT which books we're bringing, but fortunately, the organizers graciously worked with us. Still, authors were left scrambling to get books for the signing. Suddenly the already expensive RT is costing us all an additional chunk of change for books, not to mention getting those books *to* RT.

This wasn't a small inconvenience. I live in Spain, so you can imagine the cost associated with not just acquiring ~40-50 books, but either shipping or transporting them to the convention. Between ordering them, shipping them, eating the hotel's handling fees, and shipping the remaining copies home, I can conservatively estimate that just to have books for the signing cost me -- on top of all the other costs associated with RT -- around $500.

EDIT: These are the actual costs, not counting purchased copies I pulled from my stock at home:

$181.93 (shipping books to RT)
$244.78 (books purchased from Riptide for the signing)
$84.00 (overweight baggage for carrying books on an international flight)
$114.38 (shipping books home from RT)
That was just RT. In the weeks and months following the announcement of Samhain's closure, I realized that with almost 30 books published by Samhain, it behooved me to be proactive and start preparing to re-release them on my own. This meant cover art, re-editing some older books, formatting, etc. Again...not cheap.

It was more than a little unnerving to go forward with that process without a set end date, but during one of our email conversations, you told me that you hoped to wrap things up by the end of 2016. You weren't 100% sure if it would work out that way, but that was the goal, and it was the closest thing I had to tangible information about the future of my books. So I had to assume I would need to find homes for or re-release 28 titles at or around the end of the year. I couldn't contract them to other companies without a finite statement of rights reversion, so self-publishing was my best bet. Really my only bet at that point.

With that many books, it would have been stupid for me to sit back and wait before starting the process. Better to get them formatted and ready to roll so that when Samhain closed, I could re-publish them. I sent some of my older books to editors for a facelift. I started making new covers. I spent hours formatting ebooks and paperbacks. I poured time and money into making sure that when you closed your doors, my books would be ready.

What choice did I have, Christina? I can't have 28 books disappear from circulation overnight and not get them back out there in a hurry, and I can't edit/cover/format them overnight. I had to start right away so I could spread out the expense rather than coughing up the money to have them all done at once. Plus editing takes time, so sending them out sooner than later meant I'd get them back sooner than later.

Bottom line, I had to be proactive. I would have been stupid not to.

Then, with time and money sunk into that process, I find out Samhain is staying open.

And then, when I wasn't already exhausted and frustrated, last night's email comes out. Like many authors who have spoken up on social media, I've been left feeling gaslit, as if I'm expected to believe that I just misunderstood Samhain's intentions to close.

No, Christina. We didn't misunderstand. None of us did. We were told, explicitly, that Samhain was winding down and intended to close. You told me that your goal was to finish that process by the end of this year. I spent time and money preparing for that closure because I had no reason to believe it wasn't going to happen.

You were one of the good guys, but now I can't trust you. Not when a significant portion of my livelihood has been tangled up in a mess that I'm suddenly supposed to believe was my misinterpretation of your badly-communicated intentions.

No, I didn't misinterpret.

One more time for the people in the back:
Saying goodbye is always hard. I will miss working with all of you. Samhain has been my greatest adventure and I’m bereft at having to give it up. Please accept my thanks for all the trust you've invested in Samhain and I hope you understand that this choice to begin the wind-down to close is made to honor that trust.

You were one of the good guys. Now, I can't speak for other authors, but I want my livelihood off this roller coaster.

L.A. Witt/Lauren Gallagher

Thursday, May 5, 2016

NOW AVAILABLE: Werewolves of Chernobyl

So it started out innocently enough.

Well, not really. You see, last September, I was sitting in a steakhouse in Spain with Agnes and Kat (the duo who write together as K.A. Merikan), and somehow, we wound up on the topic of Chernobyl-related shapeshifters. Yeah, I don't know either -- it was one of those conversations that probably started out sort of normal, and went south in a hurry, and none of us could ever backtrack to figure out how we ended up where we did.

Bottom line, somehow the three of us were discussing the possibility of combining Chernobyl with shapeshifters. Enjoying a bit of schadenfreude, I was getting a kick out of the already-scheduled-within-an-inch-of-their-lives Merikans being assaulted by this plot bunny, so of course I was feeding it. Tossing little ideas at them, egging them on, etc. After all, what good is having writers for friends if you can't cause them to be consumed by rampaging plot bunnies.

I should've known who I was dealing with, though. They sent the plot bunny right back to me. And by the time we'd ordered dessert (Nutella crepes, of course), we realized what needed to be done -- we needed to write it. Together. All three of us.

None of us were strangers to co-writing, but one book with three authors sounded like it could be as disastrous as giving one cup to two girls. Still, the story sounded fun (and we were already giggling over our wildly mismatched characters), and none of us are the type to forego a challenge.

By the end of the night, we had a plot, three characters, and a delightfully pulpy title. Over the course of the next few months, we wrote and revised the story, and it turned out to be surprisingly fun and easy. Plus the story was just as mad and pulpy as we'd imagined it would be (with all the requisite smut of a shapeshifter menage, including knotting because of course there is).

And now, today, the result of that madness has been unleashed on the world. We give you...

Being kidnapped by two werewolves is an adventure after all, right? Right?


If Quinn wants to get the best photos for his travel blog, no gate is too tall, and no ‘do not enter’ sign actually means he won’t go in. What he finds in a hidden exclusion zone by Chernobyl blows his mind. Mutants? Monsters? He doesn’t know, but he is bound to find out when not one but two of them break into his hotel.
Too bad the rules and attitudes they have toward sex don’t match Quinn’s at all.


Born with a disabled hand, smaller than the other werewolves, Dima is the lowest of the low in his pack, but when he meets the loveliest human he’s ever seen, he knows his luck has changed.
The last thing he expects though is his beloved friend Nazar turning on him once Dima’s affection for Quinn deepens, and he refuses to be mounted by Nazar anymore.


Nazar is a high ranking soldier in his pack, but in his powerful body hides a gentle soul, and all he wants is to escape the pack with Dima. But once Dima claims Quinn as his, secrets Nazar has so far kept hidden rear their ugly head.
The werewolf language doesn’t have words to describe what they crave, so Quinn might be the only one to help them solve the puzzle of the desires that go against the rules of their pack.