Thursday, July 30, 2009

TouchAble

I love my genre. C'mon--what's not to love about hot men getting it on with other hot men??

But what about those men who are (somewhat) ignored in fiction? What men, you ask? Well, those with disabilities, to be exact. Don't they deserve love and equal treatment? Aren't they entitled to happiness and hot loving, too?

I've written a couple who are blind (Kale Daniels in Onyx and The Next Step; and Eric in my freebie Vacation Planning), I've got one sort of on the backburner about a soldier returning from Iraq with a missing arm and PTSD; and of course, there's Wes, my autistic guy whose story has been in the works/brewing for a while now.

Phaze has a new submissions call out thanks to AJ Bray. The anthology is TouchAble, and yep, I'm determined to write something for it. Question is: what? I have NO idea yet. Suggestions are appreciated. LOL

Anyhoo, if you're interested, here's the SUBMISSIONS CALL.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Procrastination

So I'm working on my latest book. The second in the Mother Earth series, follow-up to Dragon's Kiss. It started out all right. Dragon gutted a bad guy in the first sentence *g* But of course it couldn't last. I got distracted like I always do, and let Pretty Shiny Things lure me away from all the hard work I need to do on this thing.

My current list of distractions:

- Facebook. I have an author page (and a fan page), but it's my personal page, under my real name, that's keeping me busy right now. Stupid Facebook quizzes.

- Twitter. It is sweet, sweet Evil in bite-size pieces. Sneaks up on you and sabotages your diet before you know what's happened. Kind of like M&Ms.

- Draco. OMG, y'all. Tom Felton has grown up puuuuuurty. I have become quite fond of this photo here (scroll down). What can I say, bloody, bare-chested Draco does it for me O_O

- iTunes. Setting up a playlist for the new book. That wasted a couple of hours. And why, I ask you? Because I just have to set the right mood with music before I can write. Sigh.

- Attempting to think up a name for the book. I don't know if this counts as procrastination or not, but I'm gonna call it that since I did, in fact, use it as an excuse to actually avoid writing today. And I didn't even come up with a name! Dammit <_<

- Tee Vee. Ghost Hunters. DVDs. Good grief. Whoever invented the television clearly did not want me to get ANYTHING done ever. Bastid.

Well, that's what is keeping me from getting MY work done (and it has nothing as all to do with me being weak, unorganized and utterly lacking in willpower). Please tell me I'm not alone. Y'all get distracted by the Shinies in life too, right?? Music, books, TV, pretty boys/girls/both, power tools, cars, action figures? Right???

Friday, July 24, 2009

Expectations

I'm Baaaccck! I'm sure you've all missed my Friday interludes terribly ~_^

Fridays seem to keep whizzing by me but I've been meaning to blog on this since I've been doing the mad rush to finish and submit the follow-up to Beautiful C*cksucker (which, btw, made it to the #2 slot in BDSM at ARe a week or so ago ).

This new story (which I've dubbed "Copsucker" because it amuses me) is pretty darn good. I love the character interaction and think there's some pretty hot sexual tension going on, but I've been wondering if readers expecting this to pick up right where BCS 1 left off will be disappointed.

On some level they may and yet, the story is what the story needs to be.

So let me ask this:

Readers: How much if any leeway do you give authors in fulfilling your expectations? Do you want your fiction to be bigger/better than real life or do you enjoy finding out how favorite characters react to the curves real life tends to throw in our paths?

Authors: Do you show the story the characters present to you if it "clicks" for you or do you try to mold events more into what you think the audience expects?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why is GI Joe So HAWT?

I mean seriously? 'Cause we're talking about the boy's doll (hey I don't need to call it an 'action figure' to make myself feel butch) that's been around since before I was born. How did this guy…
Become the iconc status of boyhood in America? Or get to this guy? Who basically looks the same except for my fancy shibari rope work.

There wasn't any of this Cobra crap when I played with them. Killing Ken and capturing my sister's Barbies. There was the jungle guy and the legionnaire. And Joe never had any stupid "don't ask, don't tell" policy – if you get my drift. Ken was a wuss. Joe got laid, a lot by everyone...sometimes even Ken.

And how did they get to this?

Blowing up shit on the big screen in the newest live action incarnation. http://www.gijoemovie.com/
And I'm a geek…I want to see it. Of course I want to see the scenes they'll never air. You know…Duke ripping the mask off the Cobra guy, frenching him hard and them humping it off together. I can dream though.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Dead Darlings

One of the bitterest pills for a writer to swallow is when we’re told we have to “Kill our darlings.” That doesn’t necessarily apply to our characters (you’ll kill some of mine over my dead body, thank you), but to words, sentences or even scenes. Especially those scenes we think are the most brilliant or funniest or hottest things we’ve ever written.

There are many reasons why such a gems end up on the scrap heap. The scene might not move the story forward, or it might repeat information, or it may just be completely wrong for the story which is damned hard news to take for someone who birthed that pretty arrangement of sentences.

I have a file for those scenes named “Best Things Ever Deleted.” Some of them were extracted from my manuscript along with great quantities of blood and tears and sometimes with pieces of my fingernails still attached. Eww. Sorry about the image. .

Often it’s my critique partners who wield the hatchet. For chapter two of “Custom Ride,” I wrote the sexiest scene. It was perfect, totally in keeping with the hot summer theme of the anthology I was aiming for and it absolutely showed why Jeff was everything Ryan wanted.

But it didn’t belong in the story.

It was completely out-of-character for Jeff, a man worrying over custody of his daughter, to drop to his knees in a garage lot in the middle of the afternoon.

But I loved that scene. No matter how many of the people whose opinion I value told me that it didn’t belong, I still couldn’t cut it. I couldn’t slice out what felt like the heart of a story already bleeding from the cuts I made to fit it into the submission guidelines.

I tried changing point of view. Someone tweaked it and told me it could go later in the story, but I knew it didn’t fit there. I begged, I whined, I stomped my feet. But they were right. That scene hit the “Best Deleted” file and “Custom Ride” became my first sale.

But through the magic of the internet we can bring our darlings back from the grave, hopefully with more appeal than your average zombie. Like a director’s cut on DVD, we can force share our beloved missing scenes with readers as “value-added” content on our website, blogs and journals. I have to say, it makes it far easier to pull the trigger on a scene, knowing it might someday have an ether afterlife.

With the perspective of time, the missing scene from “Custom Ride” might actually not possess all the attributes I ascribed to it while I was fighting for its life, but I’m glad it found a home. You can read it and other “Bonus Features” such as prequels and sequels on my live journal.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Moon Landings and Space Operas

Amidst the edits and pulling together marketing materials for my new book, Client Privileges (available in September from Torquere Press), I've been revisiting my sci-fi past and working on a space opera novella--m/m, of course. I finished putting the final touches on the manuscript yesterday. Appropriately timed, really, since yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the first Moon Landing. Woo-hoo! We celebrated at my house by watching the ep "Spider" from the HBO series From the Earth to the Moon.

Amongst all my other geekdoms, I'm a bit of a space geek. Always have been. Not really hard core, but I love the idea of going to the moon and coming home again safely. (None of that Space 1999 stuff, thanks. Much as I loved that show, I don't want the moon getting blasted out of orbit whether I'm on it or not.) I grew up watching Star Trek and Space 1999 and Doctor Who. Of course nowadays I'm grooving on Torchwood. (Finally, some juicy m/m goodness in a fantastic sci-fi series! This is where ST has been and remains made of fail.) And let's face it, guys in spacesuits are sexy! Don't you think? There's just something about that big puffy suit with all the dials and hoses and ring connectors. *sigh* ::looks around:: Come on. You know I'm not alone here. And who wouldn't want to try sex in Zero-G? Am I right? You know I'm right.

Anywho, whether you find astronauts sexy or not (Come on! The original guys were usually jet pilots! Muscle-bound hotshots who also has to be smart as hell!), here's a shot of the first moon landing before I have to dive back into writing the pitch materials for my space opera.

Happy day-after Moon Landing Day!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Harry Potter and New Moon

I know Tory said this yesterday, but boy, two weeks really fly by. Not a whole lot going on in my little area of the world. I’ve have to play taxi for my mom-in-law for various doctor appointments and it’s really been too hot and humid (not to mention the unpredictable storms) to really do much activity. We went to the Miami Metro Zoo a couple of weekends ago and I think my husband had the startings of heat exhaustion even though he drank 4 bottles of water in just the few hours we were there. This is one summer I dearly wish we had a pool and really miss living so near the beach like the past three years. *sigh*

I did take my children to see the newest Harry Potter movie this afternoon (HP and the Half-Blood Prince). I’m one of those that love the movies but have never read the books *gasp* I know, I know. One day I’ll get around to it. My kids have the first 4, so whenever I want, I just need to grab one.

Anyway, the movie was well done (IMO). The actors are really growing up as have the acting skills. This one dealt more with “romance” than the earlier ones which is good since they are nearly done with Hogwarts. I won’t give anything away, but I’ll say that it left more questions than answers. But then, like I said earlier, I haven’t read the books yet.

But, what really came to mind watching this movie was all the Harry Potter/Draco slash fanfiction that is floating around on the net. At least it was a while back, because an old fanfic friend kept sending me links to Harry/Draco fics. I personally never could get into them. I can’t pinpoint why, perhaps because they were just children at the time or I just wasn’t that big of a fan. *shrug* No matter the reason, it was a fandom that just never clicked with me.

Is there still a strong demand for this slash pairing? Was there any other pairing that grabbed your attention?

Oh, and before the movie, they showed a good preview of New Moon (the second Twilight book)! Now this made me squeal and it showed Jacob without a shirt *drool* Yeah, yeah, he’s a youngster still, but as a massage therapist, I have great respect for the male body. ;)

Now the Twilight books I HAVE read and thoroughly enjoyed. My favorite character is Jacob. I’m not a big Edward fan, but after reading the 3rd and 4th book, I could really see pairing Jake and Edward in some slash fictions – if I’d had the inclination.

Are there any pairings from recent/upcoming movies that make you drool?

I hope everyone has a great week.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jeans or suits?

Wow, my turn to blog already? Those two weeks go by quick, I tell you. Happy Sunday! Today I'm heading down south a bit to visit the San Diego Zoo and marvel over their new elephant exhibit. I love me some elephants.

I've actually just returned from a vacation to the east coast where I spent a very lovely week with my BFF in our nation's capital. We happened to stay in an area with many young college students, and I was forced to admit to myself yet again that college boys never lose their appeal for me. Young and casual with backpacks slung over their shoulders and jeans low on their hips, they were everywhere I looked. AMAZING.

Also present were the sharp-dressed businessmen, carrying briefcases and hailing cabs and checking their Blackberrys or iPhones. They were all rushing off to important meetings, stopping only to grab a Starbucks latte or send a text message. I never tired of watching them stride along the sidewalk.

SO. College boys and businessmen, I saw lots of both. I can't decide which I prefer. Do I have to pick?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Odds and Ends

So, unsurprisingly, I flaked on JulNoWrimo. I was sooo stoked too. But there ya go. Once again, I'm forced to accept that my prolific-ness (if that is even a word), is going to suffer until I'm done with school.

Bleh, it's high school over again. Everyone all together now: SHUDDER!

Anyway, that doesn't mean I'm not plotting. I'm just sort of a rabbit, hopping from plot to plot, WIP to WIP...Sigh. Ah, enough of the morbidity. I have to make this short because I was reading one of my On Hold WIPs and it's snared me. Yeah, I know, what the hell is this, Z? We want something to read!

Well all right, you bossy things :) I suppose I can tell you that I had a story accepted a little while back. Gracious me, I hope I didn't tell ya'll that last time. I'm a terrible space cadet of a person sometimes. Really. I'm in orbit, somewhere around Uranus.

Oh laugh. You know you want to.

Anyway, the story is called Pain Management which I wrote with my lovely co-partner, Cassidy Ryan and while I don't have an date or a cover, yada yada, I'm excited. It's with Red Rose Publishing and trust me when I say that I'm done collecting publishers for a while.

I hope.

Because boy, would I really like to pub something to Samhain or Liquid Silver or OOH, MLR...okay, no, I'm stopping. I have an addiction to new publishers, I admit it. There's a thrill, a sick, sick thrill, that hits me whenever I get accepted into a new place.

I swear, when I'm done with school, I'm going to work on building backlists. I swear ya'll. And maybe a Yahoo group. I had one but then I kinda...predictably spaced. Or got swamped in writing. Probably Options A and B. Okay, ramble over! Gotta go and mess with that WIP while its still in my head.

Or yanno...re-read K.A. Mitchell's Collison Course again. Whichever comes first. *dimpled smile* Bye ya'll!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Torchwood

I just finished watching Torchwood: Children of Earth, which is season three (in the form of a five-part mini-series) of the British sci-fi show. It's airing five nights in a row on BBC America starting Monday, July 20. This show always had a sort of goofy quality to it, what with the cheap British sci-fi special effects, the James Marsters appearances and John Barrowman's hammy tendencies. For me that changed at the end of S2 when they shocked me with the turn of events, and with this mini-series, Torchwood really evolved into a very cool show. Russell T Davies has balls. That was awesomely dark and harrowing and heartbreaking.

It's always nice to see a gay relationship in different genres and where it's not the only focus of the show. Not that I didn't love Queer as Folk, but it's refreshing to have it just be part of the storytelling tapestry.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Two new releases & a contest from Amanda Young!

2x3-hard-candy.jpgAmanda Young, best-selling author of gay fiction, brings you three tales of torrid love between men. Previously available only in electronic format, these steamy novellas have now been combined for a paperback edition! Included are the stories...

Man Candy
Aaron Samuels has a secret. He's in love with his boss, Logan Remora. Logan is everything Aarons ever wanted in a man, except he's straight...and married.

Candy Man
After a night of catering to trick-or-treaters, Aaron's ready to kick back and unwind. But his lover's sweet tooth is about to derail his plans.

Eye Candy
Humiliated by his first love, Jake Remora has no intention of ever making himself vulnerable to that kind of pain again. Life is good, until Kane Sharp moves home and stirs up old memories Jake would rather forget.

Buy your copy now!

https://www.createspace.com/Customer/EStore.do?id=3388096




Disowned and cast out of his home, eighteen year old Declan Mayo turns to the only thing he can think of to help him get back on his feet. Working at the Chicken Ranch, a rural brothel that caters to women and gay men, seems like the perfect solution. He isn’t about to let a lack of sexual experience stop him from taking what he sees as a way off the streets.

Falling in love with one of his clients wasn’t in the game plan, but Declan can’t seem to help himself. Killian Hamilton is sweet and kind, with a stutter Declan can’t help but find adorable. Surely, if anyone could overlook Declan’s choice of employment, it would be a kindhearted man like Killian.

But Declan didn't figure on Killian’s connection to one of the brothel’s regular clients, and now his love life's about to blow up in his face.

You can buy Hunger at Loose Id:
www.loose-id.com/prod-Chicken_Ranch__Hunger-957.aspx

*CONTEST*

For those of you who're interested in entering to win a copy of Hard Candy, I'm giving away an autographed copy of the paperback through Goodreads. You can throw your name into the hat by visiting the link below...


http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/1009-hard-candy

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

To Spooge or Not to Spooge

Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer through euphemisms
Or to be flung out of the story by unsexy word choices

I most humbly beg the Bard’s apologies. Now, there was a man who was a master at word choices. And he didn’t hesitate to play with the language, making nouns work as verbs and vice-versa.

But there it is. There are those words, like the aforementioned, that for me are so unsexy they fling me right out of the steamiest scene when I’m reading or writing. Yes, sometimes awkward, less-than-burning-a-hole-in-the-mattress sex is okay or may even be necessary to move the story forward and laughing in bed is great, but for me, the author’s word choices can really make or break a reading experience.

I know as m/m authors we do have it easy in some respects (if not in the pronoun department). I feel sorry for the writers of het or f/f erotica because call it a cunt or a pussy and you’re going to piss off lots of readers either way. At least we get to have cocks, pricks, dicks and balls making up a lot of our noun usage. Usually I figure if I stay away from mentioning rosebuds or starfish, I’m pretty safe in my descriptions of the receptive part of anal sex.

When it comes to mouths, especially when kissing, man, does it get tough. Is a wet cave a really sexy thought? Yet how many times can the words tongue, lips and mouth be used in a paragraph before a reader’s eyes glaze over?

I’m not claiming to be Saki (who supposedly agonized over each and every word in his writing—which is probably why he’s famous for his short stories), but in the course of putting the people in my head onto a page, I do give careful consideration to the connotations as well as the denotations of words, aiming for the best connection with as many readers as possible.

As if that weren’t enough fun to do in contemporary prose, I’ve been bitten by the urge to write historical m/m for a Christmas novella. Finding sexy, non-euphemistic (hey, they’re still guys), varied and historically accurate turns of phrase on a subject that doesn’t make it into most of the research books available on the nineteenth century is keeping my brain and my dictionary (the one with usage dates) very well-oiled. (Go ahead. Smirk at the double meaning. I’ll wait here.)

Even if I occasionally fail and provide readers with an unintentionally humorous and unsexy phrase, I do scrutinize my word choices in all different kinds of scenes, and remind myself that I can’t please everyone. One man’s spooge is another man’s spilled seed, after all. And in case you were curious, spunk (in that context) has been around since the early nineteenth century, though I don’t know if either of my heroes would be inclined to use it (the word I mean).

If you’re interested in my checking out my historical word choices, an unedited first chapter is available on my live journal.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Show Recommendation

By now you've figured out that I'm a theatre geek, right? Okay. So. A friend and I went to see a musical last week called "Zanna, Don't!" (The original was an off-Broadway smash starring Jai Rodriguez.), and I gotta tell ya the show was excellent. The story is set in Heartsville High School in a world where gay is the norm, the captain of the chess team is a sex symbol, and of course the new quarterback will be in the school musical because what kind of school would it be if the quarterback wasn't in the school musical? And then there's Zanna, a high school cupid with a magic wand who can't make people fall in love, but he can help them along a little when they do. Of course, things aren't perfect in Heartsville. When the students put on a brand new musical about straights in the military called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", two students--a boy and a girl!--fall in love--::Gasp!::--and are faced with anti-straight prejudice.

This is the kind of story that can go hideously wrong--in the writing, in the acting, in the direction--but it never does. The script is tight and charming and smart and heartfelt, and the production I saw was played with absolute honesty and commitment to the characters and their story. At times it was so honest that it was downright painful being taken back to that hormonally overloaded time when all love is love at first sight and you're sure it will last forever so you're crushed when it doesn't. When you have to do the horrible "does he/she like me?" dance of social awkwardness. When emotions are IMMEDIATE and everything is IMPORTANT and if they don't like you back you're gonna just DIE! ... Yeah. ::shudder:: Painful. But at least it has a great soundtrack this time.

If you get the chance to see this show in your town a) make sure to go check it out, and b) I hope it's as good a production as the one I saw. They really rocked it! Where else can you see a boy singing a song to his magic wand, a quarterback catch his own pass, and a pogo stick double as a bucking bronco? And it all seems perfectly sensible. ;-)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Never Too Late coming soon

I hope everyone had a safe 4th of July. My family and I spent nearly 12 hours without electricity (from 2:30am - 1:45pm)! No TV, computer, net, not even radio because my batteries were dead (but guess who went and bought more asap?). Sure, I was able to do some pleasure reading, but it was so humid and hot (no breeze) that it was miserable. Also both DH and I were feeling under the weather. So once we got the power thing taken care of, we just vegged at home and even went to bed early since neither of us slept much the night before (he uses a CPAP machine which doesn't work without electricity *grrr*).

But it's Monday, and the start of a new week. :) And a month until my next book, Never Too Late is released! So I thought I'd drop off a little excerpt.

Coming Aug. 4, 2009 to Loose-Id

Blurb:
After years of pleasuring others’ needs as an escort at Desires, Inc., Dakota Knight is finally ready to find a life he wants to live. That is, after one last request from his boss. He only has to fulfill thirty-six hours of submission and he’s free to find happiness, though he believes love is a four-letter word that isn’t for him.

Brice expected a weekend away with his best friend, Winter Chase. Instead he was led to a hidden playhouse containing a male escort bound and ready to please. Then he finds out that Winter hired him so that he could have a great first experience with a male lover.

Neither man expected lust to turn to love as Brice discovers many enjoyable firsts with Dakota, who in turn realizes that it’s never too late for love. Even for a man with a past like his.


Excerpt:

Dakota rose from the bed and took Brice’s hand so he could lead him into the bathroom. He didn’t know why he’d disclosed information about his past. He hadn’t thought of Ava in years. Brice, he was discovering, was easy to talk to and didn’t appear to judge him for his career choice. How would it be to be with someone like that all the time? Someone who didn’t care about his past and the things he’d done, who’d just concentrate on the present and the future?

But he was dreaming if he thought he’d ever find someone like that to love him. As he’d told Brice, he’d gone down that path once before, and didn’t want to retrace those steps ever again. The image of Ava threatened to come forward full force, to remind Dakota of that tragic experience.

Pushing back the dismal thoughts that would accompany a trek down memory lane, Dakota started the shower.

“Stay here,” he ordered Brice, and retrieved the towels left out on the bed. Steam poured from the shower when he returned.

“You can go first.” Brice nodded toward the shower stall, and leaned back on the sink.

Dakota’s gaze wandered up and down that gorgeous young body, aching to nip at the tender skin. “It’s big enough for two, Brice.” A smile smoothed over his lips. “Besides, it’s my job to take care of my master, is it not?”

Brice rolled his eyes, a cute gesture that made Dakota want to kiss their edges.

Dakota stepped into the shower stall. “Your bath-boy awaits, Master.”

This made Brice laugh. Dakota was glad that he started to relax again. When they both stood in the shower, Dakota shut the door and dropped to his knees.

“Dakota, what are you doing?” Brice backed up until he was against the wall.

“Servicing my master.” Before Brice could protest, Dakota took him into his mouth.

“Heaven in a handbag,” Brice groaned, as his fingers dug into Dakota’s scalp.

Dakota silently chuckled at the expression while he began to show his lover how to really suck a dick. With a twirl of his tongue, Dakota flickered over that sensitive spot under the head that he’d found earlier, before relaxing his throat and taking the entire length in deep. He tried not to choke or show his reactions as his mind finally processed that he’d essentially called Brice master twice in the span of two minutes. Hadn’t he vowed not to address the younger man by that title when Winter departed? Jesus, he was really having some serious brainfart moments, and could feel his shields slipping further down.

It took very little time for Brice to thrust his hips in rhythm with Dakota’s sucking.

“No, don’t stop,” Brice pleaded when Dakota pulled away.

“You’re the most beautiful man whose cock I’ve ever had the pleasure to suck,” Dakota admitted truthfully, surprised at the words tumbling out of his mouth. No matter how many people he’d performed oral sex on, Brice was truly the sexiest being he’d come across. Since they were still playing the roles of master and slave, whether Brice believed the words or not was his prerogative.

Brice’s hands fisted in his hair. “Jesus, Dakota. Don’t stop.”

Dakota discovered one more thing he liked about Brice: the sound of his whimpers. How could he say no? With a groan, Dakota went back to pleasing his weekend lover.

His hand found Brice’s balls and gently massaged them until they grew taut and the dick in his mouth swelled larger. One finger slipped further back and found the tight hole that he craved to invade. Gently, Dakota caressed the puckered skin in tantalizing circles. Not penetrating, but teasing.

“I’m…oh fuck, Dakota. I’m going to come.”

Creating a tighter suction, Dakota pressed his finger slightly into Brice’s asshole. The next moment, he was swallowing cum shooting into the back of his throat like a water gun. He couldn’t stop the moan of desire that rumbled his throat. Nothing tasted as good as the results a job well done.

Slowly standing up, Dakota took the bar of soap in hand and started to clean Brice’s limp, barely standing body.

“You’re amazing.”

Dakota shook his head, but stopped before the words he’d said a thousand times before fell out of his mouth. Brice deserved better than the automatic “No, you’re the amazing one,” even if this was the one time when it was true. Instead, he kept silent and leaned forward, kissing Brice lightly on the cheek before going back to sudsing his body.

He made quick work of cleaning Brice and then himself. After drying off, they changed the bed sheets and lay together side by side. Several minutes went by in silence. It wasn’t exactly uncomfortable, but Dakota found he still wanted to learn more about Brice. He knew it wasn’t smart to get involved. In fact, it was idiotic. They had no future together. Once he left this warehouse, Brice would become just another client from his past. But until then, he could indulge in one last fantasy, couldn’t he?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Men and pets

Happy day after fireworks, Americans. Happy Sunday to everyone else! I spent my Fourth doing very American things - parades, barbecues, fireworks. And while I was at said parades, barbecues, and fireworks, I noticed a common theme: Men With Dogs.

Big dogs, small dogs, yappy dogs, quiet dogs. Long haired and short haired and even one doggie with no hair. It didn't know how ugly it was, which made it very cute, actually. I just love seeing men holding onto the leash of a dog. Men with pets make me all squooshy inside. I especially love a man who is secure enough to own a cat. ;) I've written a couple of books where my main characters have pets; the most notable one is probably Keeping Karma, but I don't know that Alex would really advocate having ALL of those animals at one time. He loves his critters, though.

So, stories with animals: yes or no? Just as a matter of personal taste, I'd prefer to read about men with pets instead of men with children. This is not to say that men with kids isn't hot, because whoa, I love me some tender dads. I think I just prefer to read about men's interaction with his four-legged friends.

Have a couple of pictures to illustrate my point.





And one last thing... if you don't know Rich Juzwiak and his cat Winston, you're missing out on some very entertaining videos of a gay man and his hilarious kitty. You can check out his blog with just the Winston posts HERE.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, everyone. Go hug your pet.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Peek at the Reaper and a Free M/M Story

Scroll all the way, there's some good stuff.

Happy 4th of July! What better way to celebrate the holiday than with a sneak preview of a Halloween short? While I'm at the beach all day today, enjoy this snippit of the forthcoming MMF story, Don't Dare the Reaper, coming from Phaze Books.

~*~

He approached them slowly, hands behind his back and nodding a greeting. He looked non-threatening, but Cal kept Sue close to his side nonetheless. For all the good it might do, they were naked and defenseless—yet wasn’t embarrassed by it. Cal doubted, too, he’d acquired any superpowers in this state, and he didn’t know that this guy wouldn’t morph into a multi-fanged, drooling demon and devour them both.

“Cal, Sue,” the man said. Well, at least somebody knew what was going on here.

“Lucifer?” Cal tried.

The man chuckled. “No, you’re not there, either. Relax. You can call me Gil, though it’s not really my name.”

Cal arched an eyebrow, but Gil continued, “I go by so many, seems every culture calls me something different. I don’t believe there is a Western moniker attached to what your society refers to as the Grim Reaper.”

The Reaper? “But you just said we weren’t dead, why would you be here? And where is here, exactly?”

“Is this Purgatory?” Sue asked.

Gil shook his head. “No, you’d definitely know if you were there. Here,” he rocked on his heels and craned his neck upward, “I suppose you could say you are in Limbo now.”

Cal scoffed. “How could this be Limbo? You put things in Limbo it isn’t Limbo anymore. It’s a place.”

Gil brought his hands together in front of him and clasped them loudly. “You know your Carlin, bravo.”

“Yeah, big fan. He was an atheist, I understand. Where did he end up?”

Gil didn’t answer, but instead extracted a switchblade from his back jeans pocket. He chuckled when Cal tightened his grip around Sue’s shoulders and back. “Don’t panic, I’m not here to rumble,” Gil assured them. “I just thought you’d like to see what’s going on right now.”

Gil cut wide swaths into the air—parallel lines up and down. Cal swore he could hear fabric sliced into ribbons and sensed Sue stiffen in his embrace when Gil reached to one side and pulled away a patch of black.

The darkness fisted in Gil’s hand and crumpled into a thick veil, revealing an active screen. No longer intimidated by the so-called Reaper, Cal stepped forward to better see the events played before them.

Onscreen, strobe lights illuminated the two-lane highway where they had crashed. Sue’s modest sedan resembled a demolition derby victim, with detached front and rear bumpers, cracked headlights, and a destroyed cab. The impact at both ends had created an obvious accordion effect, and assuming either one of them lived, driving the car home would definitely not be an option.

“Cal, look.” Sue pointed to the right corner of the screen. Through the spider web pattern of shattered glass still held in the rear windshield, he saw a body slumped in the driver’s seat. Beyond that, a hole in front glass implied the fate of the other passenger—him.

Sue’s belt held, apparently, but he had been ejected. Cal softened his touch and stroked his wife’s back. Surely if he could feel a heart beat now, it would have stilled in fear. No way in hell would anybody survive something like that.

They watched firemen pry apart the twisted metal, and EMTs prepare stretchers and equipment. Yet before Cal could better see the extent of damage done to their bodies the view panned to one side to reveal the other cars involved. Both appeared equally, if not more, destroyed.

From behind the SUV rolled a stretcher, carrying a shrouded body.

“That, my friends, is what dead looks like,” Gil said without humor.

~*~

It just wouldn't be the Fourth of July without some fireworks!

First up, I have a free 4th short available at Phaze Books, All Romance eBooks, and Smashwords called In-Dare-Pendence Day. Come on, how could I not use a title like that? I promise you the story isn't that punny.

As Dareville celebrates the nation's independence, so Redding Marbury has cause to enjoy another kind of freedom. What he has to reveal to his lover Jared Wilton helps make for an incredible first holiday together.

This is another teaser for Daring Red, which I swear is coming soon. For now you can get ID at Phaze, ARe, and Smashwords.

Also, Phaze Books is having a July 4th sale. All eBook and print are 30% off with the code FIREWORKS09. You can use the code through July 6th, so you have plenty of time to shop. Normally we do holiday sales on the exact day, but lately we get mail from international customers who don't hear about the sale until it's too late. This way, everybody has the opportunity to save. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Announcement and Worship at the Shrine of the Art Goddess

First off, the announcement...

My book, Sword & Sorcery Book One: The Lost Son, first in a fantasy/sword & sorcery trilogy, has been accepted by Samhain Publishing!!! We're looking at a Feb. 2010 release. It was originally published with Lady Aibell Press, but they closed their doors and until last week, my beloved warrior/general Kalen and his elven sorcerer lover, Micheil, were homeless. Not anymore!

And... now for proper worship...

I get to beg and plead and pray at the altar of Anne Cain, Goddess of Art. She's the most amazing, utterly AMAZING, artist I've ever known. (And she's exceptionally sweet, too.) She's done three of our covers, and I hope many, many more in the future.

Covers she's done for us: Magic & the Pagan, Realms of Fantasy, And the Two Shall Become One.

If you want to ogle some more of her beautiful work, go check out her DeviantArt page. :D

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

JulNoWrimo

Today is the first day of JulNoWrimo! So, I'm sorry, I don't have much of a topic except I decided to jump into this today and see if I can get my tush a-moving. Starting to slack again - so very not good. Anyway, if you wanna see how I'm doing you can find me on the site itself and hit the forums. I'm Zoe, of course :)

Or for a much more entertaining, X-rated (yeah, I cuss when I'm frustrated. Please remove all mini yous from general vicinity) commentary on how I'm doing, you can follow me on my Twitter!

It'll be fun. And you can personally jab me with a stick if I start lagging it...again. *hides from all pointy sticks now*

Cross your fingers for me and if you're joining me...WEE!
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