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December 19, 2013

Holiday Stuffs with DS news, D/s news, and Christmas cuddles!

Oh, what a week it has been! =D
Huge thanks to everyone for the wonderful experience I've had with the Different Strokes release. I love the positive vibes, and being surrounded by upbeat people means that what could have been a really stressful week has instead been a fun and awesome one. *squishy hugs for everyone* Some of the reviews have really astonished me, and I'm so grateful for you all!

Congratulations to Shirra, who won the Different Strokes ebook giveaway! Thank you to everyone who stopped by for release day. If you'd like another chance at winning, Chris over at the blog Stumbling Over Chaos is hosting another giveaway of Different Strokes, so pop on by at this link and enter to win.

How's the holiday season treating everyone? I swear it snuck up on me and suddenly it's a week from Christmas. Whoa! To make up for lost time, I crocheted four scarves yesterday, and I'm also trying to get my fill of holiday stories between crocheting and eating lots of yummy holiday goodies. I managed to write a quickie post for Penny in which I highlighted some m/m holiday recs, so check it out here if you want to see me explode in candy canes all over holiday books.

Also, I have a little bit of news about another story. A couple of months ago I wrote a short story for an anthology submissions call. I finished Sex and Candy really early, and the beta readers loved it, which had me really stoked. The story kept tapping me on the shoulder while I waited for the call's due date to get a little closer. Finally, I asked the boys "what??? o_O" And the short story told me it didn't want to have siblings in an anthology; it was a needy only child. So I hemmed and I hawed and finally I thought "well, let's see what options I have, then," knowing full well that many publishing houses had minimum length requirements for their submissions.

Long story short (heh heh – short!), Sex and Candy found a home at JMS Books. Yaaaaaay! I'm SUPER excited that Lee and his Sir will have their opportunity for their own spotlight. They are needy and exhibitionist little (big) boys like that. *winks* Sex and Candy explores a D/s vibe and is smutty yet oh-so-sweet.  It's scheduled for a March 2014 release date. I hope you like it!

Finally, unless some crazy brain spaz happens in the next few days, I won't have a holiday story this year. However, if you haven't had a chance to check out my freebie A Man-to-Man Christmas, you can download the PDF on the Goodreads page here.  It's part of the Man-to-Man Coverage series, but it would work as a standalone, too. It's a sweet and super flufftastic short story with no sexytimes on the page (but lots of cheesy holiday cheer instead). =D

Happy holidays to everyone, and may your stockings be filled to overflowing with love, cheer, and good reads!


December 11, 2013

Release Day for Different Strokes, Giveaway Info & Some More Crafty Quickies!

Today is release day for Different Strokes. Woop woop! *tosses confetti* Of course that means one last cartoon from my lovely artist friend Natasha Snow:

And, yes, I freaking am IN LOVE with Darren's little face here. __ If you wanna find out what's in the little box, check it out in Different Strokes! To celebrate release day, I'm doing a giveaway of an ebook copy to one lucky commenter! A US winner will also get a little swag pack from yours truly. ;)

If you're looking for some gift ideas of your own, here are a few DIY quickie craft projects that I'd recommend. I'm a super amateur crafter, but I found these doable!

1.  Rice Heat Packs

This project is the classy and fancy-looking alternative to the rice heat packs I posted this weekend. If you're interested in seeing the Winging It Rice Heat Packs version that I actually made last month, check out Sunday's crafty post.

2.  Puff Stitch Crochet Hat

I'm obsessed with this hat! I'm pretty basic with my crochet, and I found this one to be super easy to follow. The results are pretty awesome, too, and I've received tons of compliments on them already. Yes, them. I've made at least four at this point. *shameless grin* There's also a really helpful video tutorial to accompany the instructions.

3.  Unicorn Horn Headband

This unicorn horn headband is super cute and fun! Even though it's labeled as a Halloween tutorial, it'd be great for kiddos who love to play dress up. I know a certain *coughs* big kiddo who definitely enjoyed making and wearing it! Just grab some crafty materials from Jo-Ann and about an hour later, you have the beginnings of a really lovely and unique Fantasyland costume for you or the favorite kiddo in your life. :)


Hope everyone's having a fabulous holiday season! If you have any other crafty projects to recommend, definitely let me know. :D

GIVEAWAY INFO! One commenter will win an ebook copy of Different Strokes, and, if within the US, I'll also send a swag pack via snail mail. :D Just leave a comment below with some means of contacting you on the web (e.g., email, Goodreads profile, Twitter handle, etc.). The winner will be chosen by a highly scientific metaphorical "names in a hat" method using an Internet randomizer. ;) Contest closes at 11PM (Pacific time) on December 15th!

Live long, craft prosperously, and happy reading!

December 8, 2013

Brrrrr! Quickie craft project from yours truly!

With this winter (Wait, what? It's still technically autumn??) cold snap gripping the country in its icy clasp, any type of heat pack seems like a pretty darn good idea. Since completing this little project last month, I've seen a few DIY tutorials out there, but I actually made mine by winging it, which turned out just fine. :) I use my heat pack in bed when my toes are almost always icicles, and it has made a huge difference!

Winging It Rice Heat Packs by Nico Jaye

Here are the step-by-step winging it instructions! They might look lengthy, but that's just because I know I like things explained out to me when I do crafty stuff. I figured you guys might like that, too. :)
  • Step 1: Towel-Covered Rice Pack
    • Sewing
      • Using a tight seam, sew two 100% cotton square washcloths together on the edges (if there's a right vs. wrong side, then sew with wrong side facing out). I did this by hand, but now that I have a sewing machine (YAY!), I'd say maybe use a zig zag stitch or something? *shrugs* :) IMPORTANT: Sew three sides completely and then leave an opening on the fourth side that's about 3-4 inches long to insert the rice.
      • Flip towels so that the right side is facing outwards. Sew the two towels together using a seam down the center. The seam shouldn't start at the edge of the towels. Instead, the seam should bisect the center of the towel and be about 60% of the length. I left about 1-1.5 inches from between the edges of the towels and the start and end of my seam. This seam is to ensure even distribution and movement of the rice.
    • Rice: Fill towel pack with uncooked rice (hrmmm, don't use instant rice, either) until it has a pretty good layer when lying flat. If you're gonna lie it down to test layer thickness, definitely remember to hold the opening closed! I think I ended up using about 2 cups. Pin the opening together and sew the rice pack closed.
  • Step 2: Pillowcases
    • Because I don't enjoy the idea of smushy rice, I realized it'd be pretty darn impossible to wash my towel pack. Thus, I decided to make pillowcases to ensure it'd stay clean. I used cotton flannel for my pillowcases, which are nice and soft against my feet, and I also designed them so that I wouldn't need to use buttons or zippers to keep them shut. :) Bonus: The flannels were on sale at Jo-Ann -- SCORE!
    • Cutting: Cut one piece of fabric in the size 28 inches x 13 inches. On the two short edges (the 13 inch sides), sew a little of the edge under so that there isn't a raw edge.
    • Folding:  I tried to make a little picture thing to illustrate this step! :D 
      • Place the piece of fabric so that it's lying flat and horizontally in front of you (right side facing up, wrong side facing down). NOTE: This is how the fabric will be oriented for all of the folding, so there's no need to flip the entire thing over or rotate it at any point.
      • (1) Fold a little flap of ~4 or 5 inches on the righthand side over until the long side of your fabric is only ~23 inches. Now you'll have a little flap with the wrong side facing up.
      • (2) Fold the lefthand side of the fabric over until you have folded the fabric in half, leaving the side closest to you ~11.5 inches. The folded fabric should now be ~11.5 inches x 13 inches, and the fabric side should all be wrong side facing out.
    • Sewing: Sew the two sides that are ~11.5 inches long shut. To reinforce the seams, I sewed a couple of times over the connector point where the little flap was on the inside of the folds. Now flip the whole thing right side out, and you should have a pillowcase with a little foldover flap. Tada! I made three pillowcases so that I could rotate them around when in the wash.
  • Step 3: Stay warm!
    • Pop the rice pack minus the pillowcase into the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes to heat it up. Watch out when handling it straight out of the microwave because it'll be pretty hot.
    • Tuck the rice pack into the pillowcase and enjoy!
I hope this little creation helps keep at least some of you warm this season--just as toasty-comfortable as all of the great holiday stories out there! :)

Hope you all are staying warm and that you have plenty of warm and fuzzy fiction to keep you cozy this season!

Curling up with her heat pack and holiday stories,

P.S. I actually have another warm-and-fuzzy cartoon that my awesome friend Natasha provided to give y'all a taste of the flufftastic scenes in store for you with Different Strokes. Check out this cutie right here:

Heee! Poor boy. *squishes him*

December 5, 2013

Thanksgiving roundup with cartoons, movies, and social media, oh my!

Okay, so this post may be a week after Thanksgiving, but better late than never, right? :D Hopefully the stuff I have to report is cool enough to make it worthwhile!

1) Less than one week until Different Strokes is released! *quivers in excitement and anticipation* Of course that means...another cartoon teaser from my lovely and talented friend Natasha! Here's a little scene you can be on the lookout for in the story:

What's going on here, anyway??? Wellllll, you can check out Different Strokes (now available for preorder) when it releases on December 11th to find out! :D

2) Thanksgiving was pretty awesome. I might have gained five pounds in the last week, but regardless, it was SO. WORTH. IT. Between my aunt's famous turkey and sweet sticky rice (yay, being Asian American!) to my other aunt's famous cornbread to my uncle's prime rib to my OTHER uncle's homemade cranberry sauce, everything was just so. dang. good. I was giddy with food elation.

Over the holiday weekend, I was lucky enough to catch not one, but TWO awesome animated movies. If you couldn't tell from the Different Strokes cartoon cuties I've been posting, I kinda-sorta really love animated stuff. :) Well, Frozen and Wreck-It Ralph were right up my alley. I did a quickie write up of the films over on Penny Romance Reviews, but suffice to say that they were GREAT.

Also, last week I discovered (and binge-watched!) a web series called It Could Be Worse. It is pretty much the most amazing thing to happen to my computer since I figured out how to Print Screen. j/k But really, it's SO good and totally worth a try. If you're a fan of the Husbands web series, then you'll love ICBW.

3) Lastly, but certainly not leastly ;), I finally landed on Facebook! Yup, this one definitely falls into my "better late than never, right?" category because, um, it only took me about a year and a half to set it up. Oops? *sheepish grin* You can find me at my brand spankin' new Nico Jaye Facebook page! Feel free to gimme a shout with any ideas - awesome or otherwise! - of the kinds of doodads I could share on there. :)

Anyway, that's the scoop with me. What's new with you?

Salutations and squishies,