Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

To everyone who is already enjoying the new year! So, now comes the entertaining part of celebrating a new year. Resolutions (which I see Keira already covered but hey, everyone's thinking about 'em)! Not many people seem to like doing them anymore, mostly because subconsciously, we know it ain't gonna happen. Life has a way totally kicking our asses and going in paths that we never expected.

Still, that doesn't mean they aren't interesting. My list isn't so much about resolutions as they are goals for 2009. Resolutions are changes in life, to me anyway. I'm not changing my life per se. Just giving myself a kick in the butt to get with the program! Mostly because in 2009, I'm going to be working my butt off to really start to produce. I'm good at short stories and novellettes but I want to push my word count and my brain to higher levels. And start another series! Technically, I have a series of sorts going on with Asher, my little crossdresser (not kidding, he's small. Barely 5'3) and his boyfriend, Derek. Here's the first and second story if you're curious. The third story is actually a bit of free fic on my site called Promise. The fourth story, Unreal, will be out in early '09.

But I'd like to start a series with the full intention of writing one. Ash was my accidental one! So, I'm going to post my list of the moment and then pass it over to you. Ya'll have any resolutions or goals? Write more? Read more? More excercise? More chocolate maybe? (This one sounds good to me!)

Zoe's Goals for 2009 (as of December 31st, 2008)

- A minimum of 3 novels by the end of the year

- More submissions for secondary publishers (min. 13 stories each)
Cobblestone: 1 story currently
Phaze: 2 stories currently

- After catch up
Novel for Samhain
Novel for MLR

- Work on series idea
San Viejo (working title)

- Asher series
Potential ideas: novellette, novella or Chaser (trilogy of novellettes from Torquere)

- Promo updates
More free fiction

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Now that Daybreak has been published and I'm taking a few weeks off from writing to rejuvenate, I've been thinking about my resolutions for 2009. This year I took a new approach inspired by this article and chose the word "liberate" to sum up the changes I wanted to make.

For 2009, I'm going with "dare." I'm going to take chances in different aspects of my life and get outside my comfort zone. No risk, no reward, right?

What's your resolution word?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Amanda's Year In Review...

I’ve stolen the idea to do a year in review from the lovely and talented Katrina Strauss’s blog. Something about seeing what I’ve done for the last twelve months in black and white just thrills me. I suppose I’m easily amused. *laughing*

So here it is, my year in review:

Published in 08:
Eye Candy
GWM Wanted
Precious Ache
Reckless Seduction
Secrets & Lies

Something More
Temperature’s Rising anthology

Contracted for 09:
The Hard Truth (sequel to Secrets & Lies)
Furtive Liaison - M/M
Don’t Look Back - M/F
Reckless Behavior (sequel to Reckless Seduction)

After Sunset - M/M - a short story in the upcoming Cruising for Bad Boys anthology
Don’t Look Back - M/F
Furtive Ache - M/M

Out for submission:
A Kinky Orgasm - M/M

Naked Longing - M/F
Gone, but not forgotten (tentative title) - M/M/M
Chaos (tentative title) - M/M

On the backburner for 09:
The Honey Pot series (big men, bigger hearts) - M/M
The Chicken Ranch series (male brothel) - M/M

That looks like a lot, I know, but I do write full time these days thanks to a very patient husband who doesn’t mind his wife having a built-in laptop, more often than not. Here’s to hoping 2009 will be an even better year. I hope everyone reading this blog is well and doing something that fulfills them as much my writing does for me.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Untamed Heart, now available in molestable paperback!

I am VERY excited, because this month Untamed Heart, the granddaddy of all my angst-fests, comes out in paperback. Woo-hoo! And yes, it is quite molestable. My copies have been thoroughly and personally fondled by me. Mmmmmmmm... hot books.....

I think the excerpts on the Samhain website and my website have made the rounds plenty by now. So what about something different? Here's the first part of the prologue. If you want to read the PG excerpt on the Samhain website, click here. For an XXXcerpt on my website, click here. And be sure to keep watching the Samhain home page, here, for news on the print book's release!

Enjoy :D


Frank Gold never locked his doors.

Leon Fisher, who’d been watching Frank’s house from the park across the street for the last week, was relieved by this fact. It meant entering the house after Frank was asleep that night would be a piece of cake.

In any other circumstances, Leon would’ve been annoyed. He rather enjoyed a challenge, and what challenge did an unlocked door present?

Of course, finding the man hadn’t presented much of a challenge either. A few well-placed threats, enough money in the right pockets, and Leon had all the information he needed. The many aliases hadn’t fooled him any. It was easy enough to put together the puzzle pieces of Frank’s history.

Leon had lost the capacity to be surprised by the incompetence of law enforcement ages ago, or he might’ve been shocked by the sheer number of crimes Frank Gold had committed over the years without ever seeing the inside of a prison. But then again, getting away with murder—literally—was far easier than most people thought. All it took was cast-iron balls and a staggering amount of arrogance. Most serial killers, at least in Leon’s experience, had that in spades.

Not that it would help Frank tonight, Leon thought, smiling grimly behind the magazine he was pretending to read. No lock could’ve kept him out. Frank Gold had signed his own death sentence the day he murdered Ted.

Which, of course, was why Leon was currently relieved rather than annoyed. Sure, he loved a challenge. This time, however, all he wanted was revenge.

The hours passed, and the park emptied as the mild afternoon faded into the hard chill of a January evening. At six o’clock, Frank Gold left his house and walked briskly down the street. Leon knew where he was going—Hoffman’s Deli, three blocks down. Frank went to Hoffman’s every day at six p.m., bought a roast beef sandwich with horseradish sauce and chips, and took it home to eat.

Folding his magazine, Leon rose, picked up his bag and headed the other way, to the Thai place around the corner. Ted had loved Thai food. Leon had never cared for it before, but lately he found himself developing a taste for it.

Much later, Leon sat under the big oak in the park and watched the light from Frank’s TV flicker in his living room window. Shielding his watch with one leather-gloved hand, Leon hit the button to light up the digital display. Nine thirty. In half an hour, Frank would turn off the TV and go to bed. Without locking his doors.

He followed the same routine every single night, which had made it ridiculously easy for Leon to lay his plans. Yes, it would have been more satisfying if his target didn’t behave as though he actually wanted someone to walk into his house and kill him. But that was secondary. Mostly, Leon looked forward to watching Frank Gold suffer and die.

Leon waited another hour after the light went off in Frank’s house before moving out from under the tree. Black bag in hand, he strolled across the street and into the yellow glow of Frank’s porch light. He didn’t bother to check and see if anyone was watching, just walked briskly up to the door and opened it. If you acted like you had a God-given right to be there, he’d found, you could walk in practically anywhere and people wouldn’t question it.

The hinges squeaked when Leon entered the house and shut the door behind him, but the faint sound wasn’t enough to wake Frank. His bedroom was in the back of the single-story building, and he always kept the door shut. Leon had learned this by climbing the backyard fence and watching Frank prepare for bed four nights in a row.
Those nights, it had taken all of Leon’s strength to resist the urge to kick in the window, leap into the austere little room and beat Frank Gold’s head against the floor until it burst like an egg.

Such a death was too quick and easy for the bastard.

Leon’s fingers clenched on the handle of his equipment bag. In a few minutes, the contents of that bag would make Frank Gold wish he’d never targeted Ted Stevenson as a victim in his torture-and-murder game.

Silence. Dread. Ropes and blood and blue eyes…

Leon shook himself, forcing back the images and the rage which always went with them. Not now, he ordered himself as he stalked down the short hallway to Frank’s bedroom. Save it for Frank.

Twitching his jacket aside, Leon drew his gun and flicked the safety off. The suppressor was already in place over the muzzle. He slipped his bag over the wrist of his left hand, opened the door to Frank’s bedroom and aimed the gun directly at the salt-and-pepper head faintly visible on the pillow. The bed was situated with the wooden-slat headboard against the wall to Leon’s right. Frank lay on his right side, putting his back to the door.

His unlocked bedroom door.

Either suicidal, or stupid. Not that it mattered. He was dead either way.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Does sweetness have a place in M/M Romance?

This is a subject that comes up when I talk about writing m/m romance, both with other authors and with readers. I tend to write hot erotic m/m romance that has a touch of sweetness. Some stories are really feel good stories and some are darker with moments of sweet. Part of that is just my own nature - I happen to love those moments of sweetness, especially from men who are otherwise strong and self-contained. But part of it is that my stories often hinge on love conquering all. They are, after all, romances. Stories about love.

Now I have no illusions that my way is the only way or the right way. I've always believed there is room enough for all in fiction. So my work won't be to the taste of all readers (nor do I think it should be) and I read things that aren't what I write.

But I've really gotten flack for some of my stories being too sweet or too unlike reality. There are touches of things like bigotry and such but at least in one story (Giving Thanks) the family member comes around to acceptance.

So here's a question for you all - do you think there's a place for sweetness in m/m romance?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry After-Christmas!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday full of all the good things that make life precious--friends, family, yummy eats and something warm to drink. :) Is it just me, or do the holidays seem to go by faster and faster every time? It feels like December just started and here we are: Christmas was yesterday and the new year is less than a week away!

While we all continue to recuperate from the holiday-madness, I'm thinking about what to do for my year-end illustration. I always try to cram in at least one personal project before midnight on New Years Eve, and I'm leaning towards this drawing I doodled last night:

Bedroom Eyes

Happy holidays, y'all. :o)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

And to all a good night!

Up The Chimney He Rose
A homoerotic short

James Buchanan
© 2007

A week before Christmas, I ducked into the fifth floor men’s room. It served as temporary reprieve. The first among twenty or thirty things I could invent to occupy myself while avoiding the remainder of the company Holiday party two floors below. One other occupant was in the room. He barely registered on my eggnog-addled brain. Most years I managed to escape the compulsory merrymaking by being unavoidably detained somewhere else on company business. This year I was unavoidably detained in Los Angeles.

Jerking my necktie loose, I stepped up to the urinal, yanked my dick out and let nature, which I’d been holding in for the last hour, loose. As relief flowed, I slid the ultimate in bad taste off my neck and shoved it in one pocket. This morning my boss had passed out Christmas themed ties. Then he told us to wear them for the next week for company morale. Oh joy. Mine was gold and covered in deranged reindeer drinking martinis. I’d have thrown it in the john and pissed on the damn thing if I didn’t have to wear it again. December 26, the corporate neck rope was headed for the incinerator.

I just don’t like Christmas much. No, correction, I like Christmas, but I don’t like the pressure of having to be happy and part of the crowd. Work, family, both of them got on my nerves this time of year. Leave me alone, give me an imported beer, a turkey sandwich and re-runs of It’s a Wonderful Life and I’m good.

Music thumped through the floor. I hadn’t even been to the party an hour yet and my head ached. Too many long nights riding a desk. Too many step off the plane, have a meeting, get back on trips lately. None of it geared to make the forced frivolity of an event with my co-irkers overly pleasant. Especially when I spent way, way too much time with these people anyway. I sighed and tucked myself away. That was two minutes. Maybe I could stretch washing my hands into an hour or so.

Splashing water on my face, avoiding the inevitable, I looked over my silent companion. He was slumped in the corner. Perched against the sink counter running along one wall, it didn’t seem to register to him that he was in the can. Legs crossed, bent over the laminate surface, he concentrated on drawing in a spiral-bound notepad. I’d guess he was in early twenties, maybe eighteen or nineteen, although I find it harder and harder to judge the older I get. Black BDU’s, black T-shirt, both tight enough to show off that he worked out. Not a lot, but guys his age don’t need much to keep them in shape.

“Not the most comfortable place for drawing.” I commented.

He shot me a dirty look and kept doodling. His eyes were a rich hazel and brooded under a set of thick black brows. Some other color than the Kool-Ade red and green which streaked his blonde hair would have suited his face better. Still, the whole package wasn’t bad looking.

Delaying my inevitable return to purgatory, I tried again. “You know there are some vacant offices around here that would be much more comfortable for doing that.”

That met with a little more success. He sighed and dropped his pencil onto the pad. “Yeah but then my mom could find me and drag me downstairs.” He was still talking into his work, not looking at me. Wasn’t big on eye contact. “She won’t come in here.”

“Aha.” The wad of paper towels I used to dry my hands sailed across the room. Five points, I’d hit the trash. “So, your mom works here?”


“Honestly, dressed like that I didn’t think you were one of the interns.” Again those hazel eyes slid up, accusing me of being old and stupid because I was old. I didn’t feel as ancient as his glower accused me of being. At thirty I mentally felt like I was twenty -- ish. I was still in good shape, pretty up on culture and trends and I liked to party as much as the next guy. Okay, so I couldn’t do the up all night and go to class the next day routine any more, but the paycheck grind will do that to you. “Well that makes two of us using the bathroom as a hiding place.” Shaking my head, I cocked my hip on the counter and crossed my arms over my chest. My brown haired, brown eyed reflection mimicked me. “The last thing I want is to be down there surrounded by a bunch of half sloshed suckups.”

He snorted. “No shit.” Then he seemed as though he wanted to say something but was too embarrassed. He must’ve been really embarrassed if it showed through that hard fought ennui.


“What do you mean what?”

“You were going to say something.”

“No, I mean, you probably think I’m some kind of real dork getting hauled to the office Holiday party by my mom.” Maybe I did think that, but I wasn’t about to say it. Jesus Christ, we were both hiding like kids in the men’s restroom. I didn’t have a whole lot of room for flinging accusations. “I mean, I’m twenty and I could be busting out on free booze at least, 'cause no-one’s checking ID’s.” He shrugged. “We have a midnight flight. Mom didn’t want to miss the Secret-Santa exchange, so we’re leaving from here. I just didn’t want to have to tag around after her. Not like I could get bombed with her around anyway.”

“That sucks,” I snorted, “at least I know most of the idiots downstairs and my mom’s not around to comment on my drinking habits. Booze is the only thing that makes these shindigs tolerable.”

“No shit.” This time his eyes lit up and he smiled. “And I’m not the only loser, ‘cause you’re in here with me.”

My face tightened, holding back an embarrassed smile. I’d been nailed. “Can I see what you’re working on?” I held out my hand expectantly.

He gauged me for a moment, I guess to see if he though I would make fun of him. Then he handed over the notebook. “It’s not much, just some characters I’m working on for a video game a friend is designing.” He shrugged.

It wasn’t bad. The drawings were rough. Talent lurked under there if someone were to nurture it a bit. Mostly they were graphic. Vampires, gore running down their chins. Women with really big breasts in fantasy armor… chain mail bikinis and the like. Big Viking type guys wore skimpy loin-cloths that barely covered their packages. One of them showed a soldier his pistol aimed at a demon’s skull, the bullet exiting the opposite side.

Drawing little circles across the paper with my finger, I offered the only relevant comment I could think of. “Not enough blow back.”

He squnched his eyes as he pushed away from the counter. “What?” He stepped in to look where I pointed. That close, I could smell him: a little cologne and a lot of twink. Warm chestnuts, a little bit of clove oil and sweat reminded me that it’d been a while since I got laid last.

“Blow back.” I shrugged, leaning back, shifting my butt against the counter and trying to arrange myself so that my suddenly stiff prick wasn’t obvious. “With the size gun you’ve drawn at that range, your soldier should be splattered in the creature’s brains.” Tossing the tablet on the counter, I crossed my arms. Discomfort made me ramble. “Now a smaller caliber weapon, or if he was closer, the bullet would enter with a little tiny hole and take out a chunk on the other side. But that thing, at that distance, it’d be like hitting him upside the head with a cannon ball.”

“You know a lot about art.” The tone, his half lidded eyes, conveyed the exact opposite of his words.

I shrugged. “My 'undergrads in graphic design.”

“That’s,” he slid along the counter next to me, “what I’m studying, mostly CAD stuff.”

Shifting again, I tried not to come off strained. “Good, you’ll be qualified to do sales, just like me.” This time he laughed. “I’m Jeff,” I stuck out my hand, “what’s your name?”

For a moment he just stared at me. Something was going on behind those hazel eyes, but I couldn’t be sure what. “Chris.” When he took my hand all sorts of naughty thoughts shot up my arm. Damn, Santa never brought me what I really wanted anyway. Who cared which list I ended up on? Chris held onto my hand just a little longer then he should have. A wicked light crawled into his eyes. “So Jeff, you going to the party or you hanging out here all night?”

I didn’t pull back. His palm was nine kinds of warm. “Well, the can is probably going to run short of entertainment possibilities soon.” With my thumb, I traced little patterns on the back of his hand. The caress earned me a sly smile. “Not unless someone left a newspaper in here or something.”

Chris leaned in, his blonde hair falling into his eyes. “Ever been blown in a john?” Naughty, naughty twink, trying to shock me; I guess there were two of us getting coal in our stockings now.

My turn to move close. Almost eye to eye, I locked his gaze for a moment. Then I ran my tongue along the bottom of my teeth. “Ever been fucked in one?”

“No shit?”

I dropped yanking his pants down as I went. “No shit.”

His eyes went wide and his cock sprang free. “Fuck me!” His prick was full and dark against a flurry of blond curls. The crown went from deep red to almost white and heavy veins ran down the shaft.

A good solid cock. I licked the tip. “Well, only if you turn around.” Chris damn near spun, presenting his butt to me. Nice and taut, his ass just begged to be sucked. I pulled his cheeks apart. Then I ran my tongue along the crack of his ass. As I shoved inside his tight hole, Chris’ flavor exploded. Damn, he tasted good. Hot and heady, copper and guy seeped into my system. So much sweeter then candy canes. He shuddered and pushed back, urging me to fuck him with my tongue.

I slipped my tie from my pocket. Maybe the awful thing had some use after all. As I licked and probed, my hands wandered between his legs. Nice and hard with fuzzy warm balls, my own little present. Looping the slick fabric over his dick, I slid it up and down his length a few times.

Chris shuddered. “Oh fuck, that feels weird.”

My mouth was too involved to respond. Instead I crossed the ends and pulled. He bucked back against me. Then I wrapped the tie around his balls. That got me a moan. Looping it over and under, I managed a nice, tight little bow.

I rocked back on my heels. Damn, yeah! Those soused reindeer looked a hell of a lot better squeezing his sac then they had on my neck. His red, hard balls hung down like hot jingle bells. Every second they were trussed made them that much rounder. I stroked them and set them swinging. That got me another deep groan.

Shit, this was best Christmas gift I’d had in years.

Running my hands over his trussed package, I whispered, “Hand me the lotion on the counter.” Then I went back to tonguing his hole. Tight, hot and oh so good on a cold winter’s night.

“Oh fuck.” Thunks and bangs from above told me he was frantically searching for the container.

Finally, Chris fumbled it to the edge. The bottle rolled off and dropped at our feet with a thud. I scrounged until I came up with the lotion. One finger popped the top. My other hand explored where the tie cut around the base of Chris’ cock.

A whiff of gingerbread hit me as I squeezed some out. Shit, no woman should be in charge of buying supplies for the men’s can. What guy wants to smell like his grandmother’s baking? At least Chris’ ass was already good enough to eat. Nipping down his taint, I found the bow and tugged on it with my teeth. Two fingers greased up, I probed his ass. His body sucked my fingers in like a peppermint stick. He groaned and bucked against my face.

Enjoying the ride, I toyed with him a while. Satiny flesh slid in my hand as I teased his pulsing cock. It felt so good to bite his balls. I fucked his eager ass with my fingers. Probing, rubbing and searching, I found his sweet spot and he shuddered. Twinkling pre-cum dropped like a tiny icicle from the head of his prick.

Time to unwrap my present. “Ready for your Christmas goose?” I teased, adding more lotion to my fingers before sliding them back into his ass.

He writhed and moaned, “Fuck, yeah.”

Letting go of his prick earned me another whine. I popped my pants and yanked the zipper down as I stood. Laughing, I pushed my slacks and briefs down. Chris’ hole sparkled from the glitter in the lotion. Bent over the counter, he thrust his butt high in the air. Gingerbread, sparkles and balls tied with a gold bow… wow, Christmas was busting out all over, right here in the men’s bathroom.

Chris looked sweet enough to eat.

I grabbed my own aching prick and slid it along the crack of his ass. Glitter mixed with my juice leaving slick little swirls on his skin. I pushed against the tight entrance to his body. Chris squirmed under the pressure. “Oh, man.” He panted. “I can watch myself get fucked.”

Damn. I could watch him get fucked. Better than that, I could watch him watching him getting fucked. Hazel eyes stared back at me in the mirror. Sweat coated his face. One hand gripped the edge of the counter. His other held tight to the faucet. With a groan I shoved inside, pushing past the resistance burying myself with one thrust in his naughty little ass. Tight, slick heat gripped me as he threw back his head and cried, “Jeff!”

I leaned forward and nipped at the back of his neck. Fingers searching I found his trussed cock and stroked. His own erection throbbed, hot against my hand. His cock wept as my prick slammed into his hole. I wound my other fingers into his hair, pulling him up so I could see his face. The heat as I spread Chris clawed through my frame. My cock burned in his ass. The muscles of my stomach froze and thawed a thousand times over. I was coated in chills as Chris bucked against me. Each thrust drove me deeper into his body.

Pushing back, I looked down to where our bodies met. I watched as his ass devoured my cock. My fingers wrapped around that beautiful cock and I stroked him. Chris began to cry out, his moans becoming more strident, more urgent with every thrust. Damn, Chris was a screamer. I wanted those screams, the begging, the pleading for me to move harder and faster. Biting my lip, I slammed into his tight ass. White hot cum boiled over my hand as Chris shouted out. His body clamped down on mine. Wracked by convulsions, I lost control. Exploding, burning from the inside out, I yelled, “Fuck!” as my orgasm tore through me.

Chris lay panting on the counter. I could barely stand --it had been so intense. Shaky, I pushed away and messed about, cleaning myself up.

Man, he was hot like that. Cum dripped from his sparkly hole and frosted the bow I’d made with my tie. Shit, that meant I wouldn’t be wearing it tomorrow. I didn't care. This was so totally worth an ass chewing from the boss.

Chris propped himself on one elbow and looked back at me.

“Hey Chris?”

“Yeah,” he panted.

I grabbed another handful of paper towels and stepped in. Wiping the glitter off his skin, I asked, “How long you gone for?”

He pushed his hair off his face. “The day after Christmas, why?”

I smiled and tugged the tie loose. “You know the company has a pot-luck on New Years Eve?”

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What's the Matter With Alphas These Days?

First, I want to wish everyone a Happy Solstice, Yule, Hanukah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa. I hope you are all enjoying time spent either with (or as far away from) your families as possible. As a gift, Samhain will be posting my free holiday story "Custom Christmas," a follow up to "Custom Ride" on December 26. If you didn't read "Custom Ride" don't worry. You can still follow all the schmoopy hot sex.

Second, I want to thank everyone who has so very kindly written about Joey and Aaron in Collision Course. I’m so glad that people loved them as much as I loved writing about them.

And now, what’s the matter with alphas these days? Mine in particular. I started out with this perfect emotionally damaged, closed off, stubborn bastard. But now that he’s come back in contact with the other hero (I told you I needed an intervention for Reunion Romances) he’s telling me that the one thing that he can’t resist, the one thing guaranteed to cut him off at the knees is Daniel.

Now Daniel popped into my head fairly alpha himself. He’s even more stubborn than Trey. (All characters have to be stubborn or they’d quit after the obstacles that come up by chapter three. Actually now I can see one, throwing in the towel saying, “That’s it. I’m done. You can’t keep doing this to me.” I’m surprised Miles Vorkosigan hasn’t done that to Lois McMaster Bujold after what she’s done to him, but I’m really wandering off topic here.) Daniel’s even more emotionally closed off, without half as good a reason as Trey and intellectualizes everything to the point where I want to smack him.

I knew having two alphas would be interesting. So far Daniel is winning the arrogant bastard award, but if you’re going to keep him on his toes, Trey, I need you to man up and learn how to say no to him. He needs it. You’ve got so much bottled rage, I’m sure you can do it. You don’t have to apologize again for what happened all those years ago. Getting the first one out of you was hard, but now you feel like you owe him.

Does anyone else have advice for Trey? Or anyone else want to chime in about alphas?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Keeping Warm in Winter

One of our winter traditions is watching the old Rankin Bass Christmas specials while decorating gingerbread. This isn't what you'd normally expect for a gingerbread party, but we like to do things a little differently here. This year, our theme for the house was "Gay Frat House." It's complete with pledges dressed as snowmen, an upperclassman with a paddle, a leather cop who came to bust the kegger out back, and (of course) a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence.

While we decorated this year, the snow was falling outside. This rarely happens, and over the days since, we've accumulated about a foot here in the city. It's still glowing out there now all white and chilly. It makes me think of things I feel thankful for that keep me warm. Things like long underwear, snow gear, my husband, my kitty, the down comforter, the new insulation in the attic, and handsome men like him:

(Mmm...Jeremy Northam!)

So happy holidays, everyone, and may you stay warm and cozy whatever the weather brings your way!

(I noticed that Marty had the same idea when he posted yesterday. I'm glad I could continue in that vein. ;D )

Monday, December 22, 2008

Hotties for a cold night

Only days away from Christmas. Amazing how fast the year has gone by. So, as a little gift to you, I thought I'd give you some eye-candy this week. :P Something to warm up those cold nights.

Everyone have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I have a little dreidel.

On the first night of Hanukkah my true love gave to me...

... a cute naked boy in a menorah costume. Ah, creativity! He looks really happy about his candles.

Tonight is indeed the first night of Hanukkah. My husband is working, so I'll be lighting my candles by myself. Tomorrow night is the decided "family night" at my parents' house to have dinner (latkes, yum) and exchange gifts. It would be nice if my family could get together on all eight nights, but with jobs and wives and husbands and driving distances, it's not possible. So, just one night together, and then we'll all light our respective menorahs in our own homes for the remaining nights.

This would be a really good time for me to recommend Keira Andrews' books Eight Nights and Daybreak. The story of Nate and Lucas and what it's like growing up in a nice Jewish family. I've read both, and they're terrific.

Oh, this post has no real man content, you say? Sorry, I blame the random on the party I went to last night where I filled myself with holiday cheer, AKA the jug of vodka that had pineapple pieces soaking in it for three weeks prior to the party. It was like straight pineapple juice, my friends. Even the most seasoned Slash and Burn blogger would not have been immune.

Of course, just being a Slash and Burn blogger means I'm always on the lookout for slashy moments, and this party was filled with them. The boys who were joyously hugging each other after their turn playing Rock Band. The boys who shared a beer and were very adorable in passing the bottle back and forth. The boys who were sitting around the firepit, talking seriously, heads close together and legs touching.

It's Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yule, and Las Posadas. It's the holidays. May your days be slashy and bright.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

World Domination via Cover Awards, and other filler

If you're in the Norfolk, Virginia area this afternoon, I hope you'll fight your way through the MacArthur Mall to the Barnes and Noble. I'll be signing books and handing out free chocolate. Mistletoe is extra. I'm group signing with a number of Phaze authors, and hopefully finding a good lap afterward for revealing my wishlist.

It's my personal goal to see that Phaze Books wins every GLBT Ariana award from here on out. We won last year for L.E. Bryce's Dead to the World, and this year it was for L.E.'s The Water Lovers of Sirilon, which I think is even better, and I'm speaking as the one who designed the first cover. To think, too, the Arianas are judged just on the front graphic. You should see the full wrap of the print version of Sirilon:

I don't know how we're going to top that next year, but I think we have a good start. These covers haven't made the publisher site yet, but there are number of great M/M titles to look forward to in 2009:

Two very different stories, each with a fitting, lovely cover. 2050 is a futuristic suspense with some paranormal elements added - very tense but powerful. Conflict is a Civil War era drama, the sequel to Woods' Cane. Looking forward to both of these.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Pretties

After 20+ years in the business Atsushi still has the magic!

And it makes me long to play with Liu & Dai. What sez you Anne Cain?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cultures or Avoiding the " WTF " emails.

Quick intro: Hi, I'm Zoe Nichols. New to this blog but pretty comfortable in the genre in general. You can find my stuff at Torquere and in the upcoming year, you can add Phaze and Cobblestone to that list too.

Okay, enough with the pimpity pimp pimp.

On to the subject! A little while back on my Livejournal, I brought up a particular topic that had been bothering me for awhile. It eventually came out because there's a publisher (sorry, I don't give names because hey, they might only bother me) that has some not so great titles and some not so great storylines in their interracial section.

Now, usually, I can ignore this. I mean, if the publisher took it, someone is likely to read it, and the writer gets paid. Que sera, sera.

In this case, no.

I can not brush off stereotypes. Particularly stereotypes that are based on skin color. I don't understand, whatsoever, as to why it is hard to portray black people. No, seriously, I don't get it.

We can write exceptional Mexican characters, we can write all the sub-categories that form the term Asian, we can write the British, Scottish, Irish, Native American and a multitude of others.

We can not write black people. And this astounds me. Because the aforementioned races have cultures that many of us know nothing about. Yet, we're perfectly fine illustrating them and their differences, a lot of them extreme from the average American white dude who is the default m/m hero.

Nothing wrong with him, don't think I'm saying that. I happen to be a black author and there's a good chunk of my stories with white dudes. A lot of times with other white dudes. I'm guilty too. What I mean is, why do we, the authors, when we do touch on black folks, find it so easy to stereotype a black person as ghetto but we go out of our way to present the Mexican culture as best we can?

It's kinda bizarre to my eyes because while I know black dudes aren't gay as gay can be, I also know for damn sure that the Mexicans and the Italians are both known to have cultures that are surrounded in machismo and yet, they are also, next to our white dude, two of the most popular cultures explored in m/m. So it can't be because the African-American culture isn't gay-friendly.

Why is it so easy to brush off one but research the other? What baffles me the most is that your average American black dude is likely the same as your average American white dude...except for his skin. He celebrates Christmas, he goes to church, he drinks with the buds and its entirely possible that he likes a blowjob as much as the next guy.

Tell me please why it is so hard to portray that? Why does he wear brand labels and talk like a Hollywood gangsta and drive an SUV? What's wrong with a Jeep? This is not to say that these guys don't exist. Just like your drunk Irishman exists and your stingy Jewish guy and your brainy Chinese guy. Stereotypes exist because there's a grain of truth in them. But they're not entirely true and treating them like they are? Sucks.

We all deserve to like reading about ourselves - even if it's just a skin color we share with the character.

I started devoting more of my writing toward showing the difference and exploring it because...frankly, it makes me sad. We're doing so good everywhere else....yet why are we failing here? So, I'm trying.

And what do ya'll think? Not just about black characters because hey, not everyone's gonna share my pet peeve. But what about other cultures that are mixed and matched in stories? Interracial is creeping up slowly and I think it's pretty nice to see. What about you?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Glowing Chanukah Lights Contest

The glowing lights of Chanukah will soon be here and there are gifts waiting for you!

Beginning Wednesday, December 17, join ten authors who have written romance stories with Jewish heroes and heroines from all walks of life: From the days of the Maccabees to Regency England; from modern day America to parallel worlds; and from sweet to spicy hot.

Tell us the names of their heroes and heroines and send them to
to be entered in a drawing of gifts for the season. The winner will be drawn December 22, the first day of Chanukah!

I'll be contributing a $10 gift certificate to Loose Id and there are lots of great prizes, so be sure to enter. Remember, just visit all the blogs below in the next week and then send the names of the heroes (and heroines in some cases) of each featured book to the email addy above.

It all kicks off tomorrow: Wednesday, December 17. You can find my info and excerpt for Daybreak in this post below. Next up is:

Astrid Amara, author of Holiday Outing
Cheryl Dragon, author of Bad Brad

Thursday, December 18:

Melissa Glisan, author of Festival of Lights
Jeanne Barrack, author of The Game
EM Ben Shaul, author of
Voices of Joy and Gladness, of the Groom and the...Groom

Friday, December 19:

Samantha Kane, author of The Courage to Love
Eva Gordon, author of The Stone of the Tenth Realm

Sunday, December 21:

K.Z. Snow, author of Plagued and Obsessed
James Buchanan, author of the Taking the Odds series

Happy reading this holiday. Mazel tov!

New novel: Daybreak

Last year I wrote Eight Nights, a novella that told the romantic and x-rated tale of Lucas and Nate:

Lucas McKenzie figures spending the holidays with his annoying roommate's family is better than being alone on campus. The last thing he expects is to lust over Sam's brother -- or for Nate to actually want him back.

They hide their attraction during Hanukkah celebrations, but behind closed doors, Lucas and Nate can't keep their hands (or mouths) off each other. Nate's only looking for a bit of holiday fun, and amazing sex with a hot virgin definitely fits the bill.

Yet as the candles burn, Nate and Lucas begin to realize eight nights will never be enough.

And lo, eight nights definitely wasn't enough. I'm very pleased to present the new, novel-length sequel:

Lucas and Nate enjoyed eight nights of forbidden romance at Hanukkah. Now they're living together and reveling in the freedom. When a painful betrayal shatters their happiness, can their relationship last in the light of day?

Click on the picture to buy and find out! In the meantime, here's an excerpt to whet your whistle.


On the ferry back to Manhattan, Lucas watched the lights of the city in the distance, a sight he didn’t think he’d ever get tired of. He and Nate stood close together, leaning against the railing. The deck was crowded in the early September heat, so Lucas reluctantly kept his hands to himself. After being in the Kramers’ home and remembering the nights he and Nate had spent together during the holidays, Lucas was horny as hell.

“Sorry about before. In the kitchen.”

Nate shook his head, laughing. “Don’t worry; my parents are so clueless that they wouldn’t believe you if you came right and told them you are dating me.”

“So, if Amanda is a shiksa, what does that make me?”

Nate laughed. “A sheygetz.” He put on a mock serious face. “You’re unclean, Lucas.”

“That must be why I want to suck your cock really badly right now.”

Nate’s eyes flared, and after a quick glance around, he tugged on Lucas’s hand. Leading the way, Nate navigated the interior of the ferry until they were closing the door of the handicapped bathroom behind them. Nate flicked the lock and leaned against the door as he undid his shorts. He arched his eyebrow. “Your wish is my command.”

Dropping to his knees, Lucas didn’t care about the gross linoleum floor or the stale air. Nate’s musky scent filled his senses as he opened his mouth and sucked Nate’s growing cock into his throat. Nate’s fingers wove through his hair, and he made little sounds of pleasure as Lucas went to work with his tongue.

“Oh, God, yes,” Nate muttered. “I love your mouth. Better than anyone else.”
Lucas sucked him even deeper, breathing through his nose and humming low in his throat as he caressed Nate’s balls. He loved it when Nate talked while he was blowing him.

“Yeah, like that. Don’t stop.”

When Nate came, he staggered, and Lucas fell back on his ass as Nate spurted on Lucas’s face, hitting him in the eye. He laughed as he swiped at it, and Nate hauled him to his feet.

“Shit, sorry.” Leaning close, Nate licked Lucas’s cheek. As Nate cleaned his face and tasted himself, he undid Lucas’s pants and reached in for his hard dick. Jerking him with practiced movements, Nate kissed him, and Lucas came quickly.

Pulling his sticky hand out of Lucas’s pants, Nate held it up to Lucas. Hesitating for just a second, Lucas opened his mouth and sucked Nate’s fingers one by one. Nate watched with heavy-lidded eyes, and then they were kissing again, bodies pressed close.

They almost missed the stop in Manhattan, but Lucas thought it would have been worth it to go to Staten Island and back again.

For more, click here!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sneak peek of The Hard Truth

Good morning, folks. I'm eyeballs deep in deadlines this morning, so I thought I would drop a sneak peek of my next release, The Hard Truth to entertain you. The Hard Truth is the much anticpated sequel to Secrets & Lies, which debuts at Loose Id on January 20th. Hope you all enjoy this first glimpse of Cadge and Red's tale.


An Excerpt from Amanda Young’s The Hard Truth
© Amanda Young, All Rights Reserved

Red stepped inside and closed the door behind him. The plush blue carpet and beige silk décor melted away as his gaze zeroed in on the naked splendor of the only man he’d ever loved.

Cadge stood facing the window. The way he held himself -- the inward turn of his broad shoulders and the downward-tilted angle of his proud chin -- screamed of discontent. Silver moonlight illuminated his bare chest and shoulders in dim light. Shadows clung to his muscular back and long, athletic legs. The rounded curve of his buttocks and the shaded dip between groin and thigh teased Red with what he couldn’t make out -- what he desperately wanted to see and touch. And taste.

Without any prompting, his feet carried him across the room and into the open doorway between the sitting room and bedroom. His body clamored for him to move closer, his balls tight from no more than a glimpse of Cadge’s nudity.

“I’m not complaining,” Red said. “But why are you naked?” It wasn’t everyday he got to see the object of his fantasies come to life. Hell, he couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen Cadge in nothing but skin.

No, that isn’t exactly true. He could recall the last time, although he hadn’t been able to take the time to fully appreciate the view.

Close to a decade earlier, not long before Cadge had hooked up with Adrian, they’d had quick and dirty sex in an alley outside of a pub in London to celebrate Red’s promotion to head regulator. They wouldn’t have been together then if they hadn’t both been drunk off their asses on blood laced with opium. The entire encounter had lasted less than twenty minutes, and they hadn’t even gotten completely naked. Thanks to a lack of lube, Red’s ass had burned and ached for hours, but he hadn’t regretted a single second of the encounter. Cadge never said a word about it afterward. Red wasn’t entirely sure he even remembered it.

Cadge shrugged. “I took a shower and didn’t have anything clean to put on.”

“I’m sorry, Cadge. I forgot all of your things are still in the SUV. I’ll have to get them out for you.”

“What difference does it make?” Cadge questioned, without turning away from the window. “Isn’t this what you want? Me, vulnerable and at your mercy?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”


Red wasn’t sure how to take Cadge’s offhand comment, so he let it go. Cadge had always been a little flippant, even in the best of times, and he had to be stressed out after everything that had happened in the last week. Not to mention the little show downstairs.

Red’s arms itched to enfold Cadge and smooth away the other man’s worry. He wanted to hold Cadge close and promise him everything would be okay. Maybe if he meant it from the bottom of his heart and tried his hardest to convince Cadge, he’d be able to believe it himself.

“Do you want to talk about whatever’s eating you?” He stepped behind Cadge and wrapped his arms around him, placing his own forearms underneath the hard ridge of Cadge’s where they crossed under his heart. “If you’re worried about the meeting, you shouldn’t be. The council is always a bit stuffy.”

“It isn’t that.”

“What is it, then?” Red inhaled the musky scent of Cadge skin, the slightly fruity scent of soap and shampoo, and fought like hell to resist the urge to bury his face in the shinning waves of Cadge’s dark hair. An embrace was one thing; sniffing Cadge like a rutting dog was another. He couldn’t help the hard-on pressing against Cadge’s ass. It was a product easily explained away by lust. Red didn’t mind letting Cadge think he was hot for his body; he couldn’t stomach revealing the depths of his feelings. He could take having his sexual advances rebuffed. Having his heart stomped was another matter.

Cadge’s pulse picked up. Red could hear it beating hard and fast, the blood pumping through veins and arteries in a fast rush of sweet, succulent life. His gums tingled from the mere thought of being able to taste the other man’s essence burst over his tongue.

Before he realized he was moving, Red’s mouth was pressed tight against the velvety skin of Cadge’s throat. Cadge’s pulse thundered against Red’s lips, egging him to take what he craved, to sink his teeth into Cadge’s flesh and drink. His glanced down over Cadge’s shoulder and watched the rise and fall of firm pectorals. The proof of Cadge’s desire jutted from his groin, stiff and heavily veined. The thick shaft bowed under its own exceptional girth, the swollen head ripe with juice that caught the dim light and glistened like manna from Heaven. Red’s mouth watered against Cadge’s neck.

Cadge cleared his throat. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Red pinched his eyes closed. He brushed his lips over Cadge’s jugular in a gentle kiss, trying to make it seem as if that had been his intention all along, and lifted his head.

Cadge’s chest rose and fell, although he remained perfectly still otherwise. “Let go.”

“Why?” Red loosened his grip on Cadge and ran his hand down the cobbled surface of the other man’s abs toward the hard staff between his legs. “You obviously like it.”

“Just because my cock gets hard for you doesn’t mean I want your hands on me.”

“I would say that’s exactly what it means.” Feeling brave, Red clasped the base of Cadge’s dick and gave it a squeeze. He’d come this far. He may as well do what he wanted. “Why don’t you quit playing hard to get and give us what we both want? It’s just sex.” He dropped his other hand and cupped the heavy weight of Cadge’s balls. “It doesn’t have to mean anything more than two friends helping each other out, and it’s not like we haven’t done it before.”

Cadge jerked his shoulders, breaking Red’s hold on him, and walked out of the room without a word. Red followed, his gaze drawn to the firm mounds of Cadge’s ass as it flexed with each step. What he wouldn’t give to bury himself balls deep between those succulent cheeks, to hear his name spill from Cadge’s lips in pleasure. Making love to Cadge, their panting, writhing bodies locked as one, was the closest thing to a homecoming he could imagine.

It was a damn shame Cadge didn’t feel the same way.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Anyone want some "Hard Candy"?

My short story "Hard Candy" is now available as a free PDF download from Samhain Publishing. The story stars Matt and Chris from Love's Evolution, playing with chocolate. If you know the two of them, you can imagine what they do with it *g*

Click here to download the PDF file. Click here for the up-to-date list of all the free short stories in Samhain's library. The stories will remain available for download permanently, and of course they're FREE, so there's no excuse not to read all of them :D

In other news, I just finished Adder, which is due out from Samhain this spring. Woot! Now as the Ghost Hunters say, "on to the next"! LOL.

Enjoy the free stories, and Happy Holidays to everyone!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Introducing Myself - Maura Anderson

Slash & Burn Introduction

Hi everyone! As one of the two newest members of the Slash & Burn blog, I'd like to use this first post to introduce myself.

I'm Maura Anderson and I'm an author of both gay and straight erotic romance, with some paranormal for fun too. I'm still not sure if that translates to "diversely talented" or "schizophrenic," though. I'm also an editor for both Aspen Mountain Press and Manlove Romance Press in addition to being a published technical author under my legal name.

I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, youngest son and a frenzy of felines - and a parrot. The odd bird out, to be sure. My day job has been in the software industry for the last thirteen years so I'm also a bit of a geek. Someday I hope to be able to ditch the Evil Day Job, in whole or in part, and be able to just write. Of course, isn't that true for every author?

I have tons of new ideas all the time and last year I did a weekly Friday Flash on my blog to introduce my readers to some of these ideas. This year I may be forced to downgrade it to a bi-weekly Friday Flash so I can get my stories written. But I invite you to stop by my blog and look around - You can see the Friday Flash archive at

My first gay romance, Giving Thanks, release in ebook form from Aspen Mountain Press on November 8th and spent over two weeks as the #1 best seller on the All Romance eBooks site! I'm amazed and grateful that readers liked Derek and Troy as much as I did and gave their story such a wonderful reception. This story will release in print form as a part of the Hot Comfort anthology from Manlove Romance Press SOON - I've been struggling with some nasty Real Life issues and it's hindered my completing the last story I owe for that anthology called Bittersweet. At this rate I'm going to owe my fellow authors and my editor one hell of a present! So I'm sorry it's taken so long, really!

You can read about Giving Thanks, including an excerpt, on my website at .

I'm looking forward to getting aquainted with you all and letting you know what I'm up to.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sexy Lawmen

It's heeere----

I've already received the best reader comment ever (from the vivacious JenB): "You will buy this, and you will read it. AND YOU WILL LIKE IT. *cracks whip*"

So what's it about you ask? Here's a mini blurb:

What NYPD patrolman Ray Watts wants to do is finish his shift and take a much needed vacation. If he has to first suffer through playing chauffeur to some pain in the ass foreign cop visiting New York on a special fact-finding detail then so be it.

And here's an excerpt:

“Would it surprise you to know that Nicholas is usually the dominant partner in every way in their relationship?”

Ray turned to face the mirror. Nick was pleading for Marsh to take it up a notch and make him bleed. “Yeah, it would surprise me.” Miki stepped in closer behind him, so close he could feel the other man’s breath tickle the nape of his neck.

“Being a dominant, a true dominant, is hard work. Despite what that fool earlier might think it isn’t at all about the Master getting his jollies by exerting his authority; it’s about using that power, that dominant nature, to push your submissive to explore himself and above all it’s about looking out for the sub’s welfare and safety.”

Miki stepped closer still . . . so close his shoulder brushed Ray’s.

Silence fell once more and Ray kept watching the scene in the other room. Marsh did indeed draw blood at various points on Nick’s body, but if you could judge by Nick’s reaction, it sure as hell wasn’t unpleasant. His cock thrust out, constricted by the ties of his harness, and pre-cum leaked from the tip.

Marsh set the whip aside and came forward to lick tenderly at the small wounds. He freed Nick from the restraints then ordered him to a gymnastics-type horse across the room. Nick did as he was told and bent over the mount, his legs spread wide, and humped the leather-covered horse until Marsh told him to stop. Marsh approached him, slathering clear lube on his own rigid cock before coating the crack of Nick’s ass then pushing some of the lube into the man’s puckered hole.

Nick moaned and held onto the horse in a white-knuckled grip as Marsh inserted his fingers.

Nabeshima exhaled a slow breath that sent the blood surging through Ray’s veins.

“Being in control all the time can become tiresome, and on occasion some Doms like to experience life from the other side. It can be quite exhilarating and freeing to trust enough to give oneself over to another, to fully let go and give into your deepest wants and needs. Of course, the man chosen to dominate has to be strong enough, secure enough within himself, to do that trust justice.”

Holy. Fuck. Was he dreaming? Was Nabeshima asking him to take charge? Shit. His instincts, developed from years on street patrol, gave him an insight into the meanings hidden behind public words and actions and he knew sure as shit that you didn’t just come to trust someone straight out of the gate.

Hell, back in the day, he’d been a rookie under the watchful eye of Vinnie Magera, and a good three years passed before Vinnie truly trusted him as a cop on equal footing.

Sure, this wasn’t necessarily life-or-death split-second-decision shit, but still. It made no sense. Especially if Nabeshima was a seasoned cop.

Nabeshima sighed. “You doubt your strength, Raymond. That’s a pity.”

Ray turned. “What I doubt are your motives.”

Go on, treat yourself to a Beautiful C*cksucker for the holidays. You'll be glad you did. ^_^

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New release and excerpt

Shadow Harvest
by James Buchanan

Available now from MLR Press

Blurb:Do you dream of men who shed their skin? Do spirits and demons whisper innuendo in your ear? Goblins, witches and skinwalkers haunt the pages of these seven sensual, seductive and scary stories. From Navajo cousin-brothers for whom the old stories hold more meaning than most to love spells gone awry in post-communist Russia and nightmare encounters with fallen angels along the Angeles Crest, terror and sex become one shivery tingle down your spine. Give in and let James Buchanan thrill you with his brand of homoerotic horror.

These are previously published (and out of eprint) stories: The Horned Lord, Jack, Sugar Skull, Harvest, Out of the Woods, The Darkness and My Brother, Coyote...available all together in one print volume!

An excerpt from My Brother, Coyote

The blackness of deep morning wound about him. An evil time to be out… a time with no light, dawn was still hours away. ‘Stupid, stupid, stupid’ his own voice chanted in his ears. He should have stayed at Martha’s, but no, it was a family habit just to do stupid things. True dropped his head on the steering wheel and picked at the worn seat cover trying to figure out his next move. The cover’s Indian blanket design of grey and black stripes woven in nylon pulled him in.

An old blanket striped brown on black had covered his brother's shaking form. Seth curled in the back seat of the police car, purple shadows of bruises mottling his cheek and chin. More, new and old, would be hidden under his clothes.

Seth wasn’t really his brother, but his mother’s cousin’s son. Cousin-brothers, that’s how their world defined them. Only an hour separated them in time. Their mothers held hands as Old Woman Vasquez helped bring two boys screaming into the world. Strength and pain slipped back and forth between the women binding their children forever. Ánaaí Seth, atsilí True, big brother, little brother, in the old ways they would have all shared the same roof because they were tied to each other through their mother’s blood.

As True stood by the police car, a low voice came from behind him, “Tick, wanna talk to me about tonight?”

Everyone called him Tick back then. It had started as a joke when they were very young. Someone had asked for True and his mother snapped that they should find Seth because True would be stuck to him like a tick on a sheep. At first the name had bothered him. After a while it just was another name.

He turned his attention to the officer, directing his gaze somewhere below the man’s right knee. Direct eye contact was too personal to share with this man.

“They say you were here.” The officer was a cousin, his father’s sister’s husband’s cousin, not so close as Seth.


True had crawled through the small window into a dank trailer that reeked of motor oil, dogs and mildew. A dingy, narrow mobile home squatted on a plot of desert east of town. Nothing much, but Seth and his Dad called it home. Rank weeds punched through gaps in the skirting. When the wind was up you could feel it thrum under the floor. Seth had sat cross-legged on the mattress, a handful of glossy magazines clutched tightly. Such a prize they had found, kicking around the dumpsters behind one of the bars, dirty magazines. It was as good as candy at Christmas for two teenage boys.

A peek through the half opened door confirmed Martín DelOro, Seth’s old man, was home. They crowded next to each other watching him sprawled in grimy, grey dungarees on the couch. Seth’s dad was half Mexican; the old ways didn’t mean shit to him. Drunk in the front room, Seth’s dad was not one you wanted to be around when he was muy borracho. There wasn’t a time that it hadn’t been so, not that either boy could remember.

Seth closed the door quietly and put his back against the bedstead. Lying on the bed, feet propped against the far wall, True fingered one of the magazines. Pressed so close to Seth, True could smell the wind and sand in his hair.

Seth’s room was hardly more than a closet. Still, he had more privacy than True could even imagine. All of his brothers and sisters slept in the same room. So he came to Seth’s house. It was worth the risk of catching his uncle in a bad mood just to be alone for awhile. Martín’s drinking habits were why they always came and went through the window in Seth’s room.

Voice low so as not to wake the sleeping man, “What’d ya think Tick?” Somewhere from his dad’s mom’s side Seth had inherited golden brown eyes. They flicked furtively over the shiny, black covers with their teasing pictures. Neither had really looked when they found the magazines. There wasn’t time. Just long enough to guess what they had, then grab them from the dumpster and run.

Now, as they flipped through the slick pages, hands damp with excitement, a whole new world exploded before them.

“Whoa crap.” True’s hiss was barely audible. Blonde hair, tan lines and not a whole lot of clothes on those pages. They were all guys, doing things to other guys. Lips touching, hands exploring, mouths and tongues caressing very private places; True had never imagined such things. Then he noticed a blonde on his back with legs in the air and a dark-haired fellow putting himself, well, in there, and suddenly True knew.

He knew why he always wanted to be with Seth. He knew why he got angry and hot inside when Seth flirted with the girls at school. He knew why he dreaded Squaw Dances, with the giggling girls prodded by their mothers to pick good-looking boys like him and like Seth… having to give up his precious nickels and dimes so the girls would leave them alone. Dark desire crawled in the pit of his stomach. Glancing up he met Seth’s gaze. Seth’s amber eyes were hard and hungry. True’s eyes held the same hunger. Both saw. Both dropped their stares. But where their eyes landed was the magazines that told them what they wanted from each other.

Neither could believe what the other’s face said. To commit and say such things was not how they’d been raised. “So that’s what they do to each other?” the words were whispered; giving form to the thought.

“Yeah, I guess,” Seth coughed. “You think it hurts?”

“Stick your finger up there and find out,” True teased. Seth’s boot caught him on the thigh, pushed, trying to shove True off the edge of the bed. True punched him back, hitting his hip. Laughs came out as snorts.

Two men were almost kissing in a full page spread. Holding it up for Seth’s inspection, “What do you think they’re saying?”

Crooning, leaning in, “Oh baby, oh baby,” Seth mimicked the soaps on T.V. True pushed his cousin’s face away. Seth grabbed his hand and True tried to yank it back. He kicked and missed.

“Come on, bro, you can do better than that.” Seth taunted him. Holding his wrist, holding his ankle, the older boy wrested him down, pinned him. Both were laughing and True looked in Seth’s eyes… really looked again. You never stared like that, it just wasn’t done. Hunger, need, everything he felt was echoed back.

His free hand found Seth’s chest, up underneath his shirt. Cold fire burned under his palm, Seth’s pulse drumming in time with his own. True could feel it, knew he could touch Seth this way, be with him always this way, never have to lose him this way. True’s gut tightened, spun, and he felt nauseous. A sharp, searing blow smashed the inside of his head. His ears rang with a terrible, high-pitched whine. Large, glowing, a black light burned before his eyes.

Then it was gone and he was with Seth. Peace, no wanting, no pain, just gentle longing and bliss.

Seth leaned in, his rust brown hair brushing True’s cheek. With Seth’s weight heavy on his body, True pulled Seth hard against his mouth. His first real kiss was with Seth. It was moaning and tongues and not breathing at all. Everything had gone hard and throbbing; hormones rampaging between them.

That’s when Martín lurched through the door.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Reunited (And It Feels So Good)

I love having the next blog day after Maia. She always gives me good ideas. Thanks, Maia!

I too have a free holiday short story release coming from Samhain Publishing. “Custom Christmas” will be available for free download on December 26. If you miss it there (I don’t know why you might be busy), I’ll put it on my website and on my live journal. “Custom Christmas” is a follow-up to my first release with Samhain, a short story called Custom Ride. I’ve never met a word count I couldn’t immediately exceed so in order to make it fit under the fifteen-thousand-words submission guideline, I had to cut a lot. I’ve gotten emails asking me what happened with the characters, and I hope this short story works as a standalone, and ties things up for others.

As Maia said, it was fun to go back and hang out with old characters. Even if you write a book in which your old characters have walk-ons or secondary parts, it’s not the same as when you live in a character’s point of view. And although people say you can never go back, it sure feels good to try.

I guess that’s why I love a reunion romance story. It’s my favorite romantic convention, which you may have noticed if you’ve read some of my books. I’m working on one right now, but in this one, the characters were much more broken than in Diving In Deep. The characters in this book have some serious issues to work through. And a killer to find. (Oh no, she’s trying to write an external plot! Somebody stop her!)

I did get reunited with Noah and Cameron from Diving In Deep in writing Collision Course which came out yesterday. Excuse me while I do my Happy Release Day dance. Okay, I’m back. Be very glad there’s no webcam. But having Noah and Cameron around wasn’t the same as actually living in their heads. I know that I really miss Joey and Aaron, and I’m sure I won’t be able to completely leave them alone. Not only do I miss them, but there’s a character in Collision Course who wants his own book. I’m looking forward to a reunion with that world of characters.

I’d fling some more excerpts or prequels for Collision Course at you, but I’ve already done that to the point where I’m sure some people are glad it’s out so I’ll just shut up about it. Yeah, about me and that word count thing again…well, you can always check out my website or live journal if you missed them.

So what do you guys think of reunion romances, or even just being reunited with characters who feel like old friends?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Free Holiday Read from Samhain Publishing

Hey there! As luck would have it, my blog day here coincides with my free holiday story's release on the Samhellion Blog. Hopefully, by the time I get this posted, it'll be up and ready for you to download. It's a sexy and sweet Solstice story featuring my handsome hotties, Jimothy and Ricky from The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing. I had much fun revisiting these characters--and it didn't hurt that the story gave me a few thousands words towards my NaNoWriMo goal. ;) I'd post an excerpt, but honestly, when the story's only about 3K, there's not much to excerpt without giving it all away. And since it's being given away anyway... Well, you get my point. When it shows up, you should be able to find it on this page: Samhellion Free eBook Library.

This comes on the heels of my print galley being due, too, which is kind of cool. It being my first print galley, it was exciting to be able to turn in the correction form and go rooting through the reviews for the best quotes. I only hope they use them on the print edition. Gods know I'll be using a few on my website!

Happy December and I hope you enjoy the story. Oh! It's called Wand'ring Home.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Two goodies being released

I'm going to use today's post as promotional use. :) I don't have one, but two releases this week. Both holiday themed. So, if you aren't already in the holiday spirit, let's see if I can help get you into it.

First, today's release is from Phaze.

This is the third and last installment to my Unexpected Holiday series. It began with fulfilling a fantasy on Valentine’s Day in At The Edge. Then a bit of kinky Christmas bondage in enWrappture. No Ordinary Holiday brings about an unforgettable Christmas present.
Note: While At The Edge and enWrappture are M/M based stories, No Ordinary Holiday deals with a menage a trios (a female thrown in the mix of two best friends who've denied the attraction to each other way too long)

Genre: Contemporary, slight fantasy, menage a trios (M/M/F)
As a descendent of Kris Kringle, a.k.a. Santa Clause, Devyn Rhodes has been bestowed with special abilities her family has coined as the gift. Only her late husband and those of blood relation has ever given her reprieve from the flashes and noise that surrounds her. That is until Cam and Jacob come knocking on her door. The silence aside, her unusual attraction to both men is almost overwhelming as the gift can be.

What’s a woman to do when she’s snowed in with two arousing men and lust comes calling?

Tomorrow's release is from Loose-Id, titled A Gift Worth Sharing.

Genre: Contemporary, Gay, BDSM play, Menage a trois (M/M/M)
Spend a weekend with Nate and Kyle from A Master's Love.

The holidays have arrived and Kyle can't wait to get away with his lover. What he doesn't know is that Nate has a special surprise waiting at their destination. As old memories of a failed attempt at a threesome surface, Kyle's determined to face them. But will it strengthen their relationship or break what they've been building for the last two years?

“Shall I undress you, sir?” Nate asked as he placed the objects in his hand down on the nearby dresser.

Kyle realized that when Nate said that he’d have total control over the weekend, he meant that Kyle would literally be the one in charge. The Dominant. A role he hadn’t stepped into lately. However, at that moment, gazing at his lover and his own siren, Kyle felt that familiar itch to take what he wanted. Not violently, as he’d never take anyone in such a manner. But he wanted to feel the thrill of being in control like the night he gave Nate head in the bathroom of a local bar shortly after they met.

“You first. I want to watch, but do it where Dakota can see you too.”

The gold in Nate’s eyes flared with sexual hunger. He said nothing as he took several steps backward. He positioned himself next to the bed, further toward the headboard. He looked to Dakota who gave a slight nod. It was obvious they knew each other and were comfortable with this.

Kyle’s gaze was riveted to Nate’s fingers as they worked the buttons of his shirt and exposed a little more skin with each release. Nate’s pace was slow and intentional. Every movement he made was filled with sleek seduction.

The shirt shed, Nate toed off his shoes. His hands went to the waist of his jeans. They were one of Kyle’s favorite. Faded, soft, and worn. Not to mention tight in the crotch. The belt was taken care of in quick order and the button opened with a flick of the wrist. Nate paused as he gripped the zipper. The wait was excruciating torture for Kyle.

The sound of the zipper lowering reached his ears before Kyle’s brain registered that the action was happening. Everything occurred in slow motion, as if this were his first time seeing Nate strip.

Kyle blinked and Nate’s pants were at his ankles. Another blink and he’d removed the pants and socks, kicking them aside as if they were worthless. A gasp sounded from Dakota’s direction.

Yes, Nate was truly a sight to see. Though Dakota was enchanting with his romance book cover appeal, Nate was ravishingly magnificent to look upon. Pure male, through and through. Never would have guessed that this body hated its workouts and preferred to be sitting at a desk either writing or managing Angel’s Heart.

Heat pooled in Kyle’s lower stomach and his hands trembled slightly. His dick pressed tightly against his jeans as if whining my turn, my turn, and aching for freedom like Nate and Dakota.


“My pleasure to please you.” Nate approached. “May I now help you get more comfortable?”

Kyle’s throat clogged, so he nodded his consent.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

the squeal heard round the world.

I missed my day two weeks ago because I was walking in the Breast Cancer 3-Day. I'll spare everyone the horror of the picture I took of a blister on my foot, because wow. No one needs to see that. Instead I'll just say that my husband was fascinated by the size and shape of it and then went to work and told everyone how gross it was. I knew I married him for a reason.

I'll admit right out that I'm totally using this blog today for a shameless bit of promotion and self-congratulation. BOTH novels that I entered in the Eppie Awards this year, Tinder and Tabula Rasa, were chosen to be finalists. I am thrilled about this and will likely be attending at least the awards banquet in March, if not a day or two of the convention itself.

And! This is lovely timing, actually, because I just got word from my publisher that Embers, the sequel to Tinder, is coming out on January 31 and will be available in print with the original novel. More rejoicing ensued. I'll keep everyone updated on that as the release date gets closer.

Tinder is available for purchase here.

Tabula Rasa is available for purchase here.

And now, to make this post visually pleasing, how about some firemen and cowboy pictures? They're my favorite.

Happy Sunday, everyone.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Spotlight excerpt - Surveillance

I'm feeling a little nostalgic today, so I thought I'd share a never before posted excerpt from Surveillance, my M/M short with Phaze Books. Hope you enjoy it!

* * * *

The elevator doors slid open to opulence and charm, a study in black and white. It seemed to stretch for a mile—the white carpets and walls, black furniture and trim, a few personal knickknacks, but nothing to indicate that an obscenely wealthy rock legend lived here. Bobbie Blair's Atlanta digs represented the antithesis of the singer's public persona. If the man owned anything flamboyant or colorful, it was probably in storage or nailed to the wall of another residence. Or maybe encased in acrylic, next to Jim Morrison's Cub Scout uniform, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum.

He knew to go to the first closet on the right, which housed the vacuum and other cleaning appliances. It was an unpronounceable brand dressed in umlauts—the latest in Scandinavian dirt-sucking technology, so Darlene had informed him. Heaven forbid an outside cleaning machine come into contact with Bobbie Blair's carpets and distribute dust from a lesser home, spreading it throughout the apartment like a virus.

Troy snorted as Darlene's expressions of mock horror surfaced in his memory. Judging from what the tabloids reported, Mr. Blair didn't seem so fastidious where his love life was concerned. He fought the temptation to check the medicine cabinets for a completely different style of dirt, the kind he could sell to the Enquirer.

In the end, he resisted. I like to think I have some morals. Besides, he probably has cameras hidden in the Jacuzzi jets.

Extracting Darlene's list from his back jeans pocket, he studied the drawn-out itinerary—an anal retentive ordering of what got cleaned and when. Living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathrooms. No shoes to be worn except in the foyer—Shit! Troy slipped off his loafers and kicked them toward the elevator doors—and no clothes at all while in view of the security cameras.

Troy sighed and looked around the room. They could be anywhere, the little buggers. Darlene had said the micro lenses were hidden in various points around the apartment, perhaps as the glass eye of a staid figurine, or else a secret two-way mirror that recorded as well as reflected. Troy didn't want to look too obvious searching for them, lest he somehow piss off the mighty Mr. Blair and forfeit his pay.

Okay, bubba. Shed the shorts and shine the countertops.

He took a deep breath. He could do this. Technically nobody was here to watch him, and if Bobbie Blair valued his privacy and marketability to younger audiences, Troy's buff housecleaning exploits wouldn't see a large audience. So little for so much money…Troy straightened and steeled his nerves.

Then he removed every stitch of clothing he wore. Shirt, jeans, and briefs puddled by the elevator, and Troy took a tentative step into the living room with the cleaning equipment. All was still and quiet, and suddenly he felt silly for being apprehensive. What was he expecting, anyway? A false wall wasn't going to tip over and reveal a studio audience.

Bobbie Blair, however, was expecting his apartment to be spotless. Troy set to work polishing and dusting furniture.

After about twenty minutes of hard work, Troy was grateful for the lack of clothing. Running through the list of chores left Troy's skin with a fine sheen of sweat, despite the air conditioning. He liked, too, that he didn't have his tight jeans to constrict movement when he had to bend underneath a table or high-legged chair to get at a stubborn clump of dust. If only Bobbie Blair would at least concede to him wearing a thong or something. Having his cock swaying free was a bit of an annoyance.

Then again, he was likely better off without one. He could only imagine that thin string slicing him in two with one wrong turn.

He finished ahead of schedule, but wasn't quite ready to dress. Troy put up the cleaning supplies and ambled back into the living room, hands clutching the small of his back as he walked. He hadn't realized how out of shape he was—so much bending and stretching to clean curtain rods and baseboards truly gave his muscles a workout. He hoped the voyeuristic singer appreciated Troy's growing masochism.

"Okay, first paycheck goes to yoga lessons," he grumbled and rolled his shoulders, trying to work some blood back into the weary joints. His own practice of the hatha discipline was spotty at best, since he only went to classes when he could afford it. As a solitary practitioner he was terrible, as he always made an excuse to do something more fun. Definitely time to rethink that, he mused with a chuckle.

He looked around the living room. A painting—it looked like a Picasso for the lopsided eyes and superfluous nostrils on the being portrayed—gaped worriedly back at him, and a series of pointed, crystal obelisks lined one mantle. Music awards, Troy had noted as he gingerly dusted them. Any one of them could be a conduit to Bobbie Blair's cinematic fantasies.

Ah, well. He paid for a clean home, and he paid for a naked stud to do the work, so why not leave the man with something extra? Troy could afford to be generous now. Stretching his arms over his head, he arched his back and took a deep breath, then slowly bent forward as far as he could go. Back when he was religiously into yoga, he could touch the floor without bending his knees. Now, the best he could manage was a perpendicular pose. He had to wonder what vantage point the camera in this room had.

Bobbie Blair would either think Troy was worshipping him or mooning him.

* * * *
Copyright 2007 Leigh Ellwood

Friday, December 5, 2008

Leather pants anyone?

If the publishing gods are kind I may have some fictional hot men in said pants for you as soon as next week when Noble Romance Publishing releases my short tie-in to Dark Whispers featuring uber smexy Officer Watts.

Here's a tiny taste:

A buffed up little blond with buzz cut hair, dressed in a tight white T-shirt and snug faded jeans, jumped onto the stage and whistled for attention.

"Since his all-time favorite bottom seems to be unavailable at the moment, Master Gerald would like a volunteer or three to participate in tonight's scene."

There was a palpable surge of energy through the crowd followed by deep-toned low conversations. A number of men stood, some Ray would have pegged as dominant, for sure. It was then that Ray noticed Father Bear cruising the room's perimeter, looking over the standing men like a shark sizing up his prey-his eager prey, to be exact.

So Nabeshima's Father Bear was a/k/a "Master Gerald." Well, he sure as shit looked the part now, dressed up in leather pants, knee high boots and studded leather bands crisscrossing his hairy bare chest and beefy upper arms.

Ray settled back against the wall and watched as the old guy picked a trio of playmates and gestured for them to heel like well-trained pets before leading them to the stage and having them line up, two on his left side, one on his right. He gestured to the pair with the crop he pulled from his thick belt. "There may be some humiliation and edge play involved, depending on the mood they stir in me; do the owners of these boys have any objections?" After receiving permission from several men in the audience, Gerald addressed his next question to the bottoms. "Do any of you have objections or limits on what you're up for tonight?"

* * * *

Have a good weekend peeps, I'm off to ogle men and get paid for doing it ~_^
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