Monday, August 31, 2009

Friends to lovers done too much?

My alter ego spends some of her time editing for a review company and I’ve noticed a number of stories coming across my screen where best friends and/or roommates get intimate and fall in love. I find many of these intriguing as the authors come up with different and unique ways for them to get together. However, is there enough conflict for it to be a great read?

The most common conflict I’ve come across is where one man is openly gay and one is straight. Or thinks he is. Not that this conflict is bad or wrong, but I wonder if it’s overdone sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, this is purely for discussion sake, because my all time favorite book (and my first M/M book read other than fanfiction) is Evangeline Anderson’s The Assignment which is about detective partners who go undercover and fall for each other. And I really enjoy partner manluv stories!

Over the weekend I got a chance to read Making Waves by Pepper Espinoza and found the twist interesting. Yes, one of the main characters was an openly gay man, but instead of desiring a friend, he was crushing on his soon-to-be-brother-in-law.

My question to readers…have you read any books lately that brings a nice twist to best friends/roommates/partners? Care to share? Do you think the friend/roommate plot is done too much? I’m ready for another book shopping trip. ^-^

Oh, and don’t miss my “back to school” giveaway on my blog coming this week (Wed) where a winner will receive my latest release…Never Too Late.
http://martyrayne.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Contest!

Hey, everyone. Hope you're managing to keep cool if you're in the dog days of summer, as I am. A week of 100F temperatures tends to make me a bit limp and cranky.

But! I come bearing the promise of gifts, if you're the contest-entering type. My next novel, Chasing Victory, will be released on September 23. To rev up everyone's engines, I'm holding a contest! All you have to do is drop me an email at ragingpixie at gmail dot com with "Chasing Victory" in the subject line. In the body of the email, tell me your FAVORITE sport to participate in or watch. Anything goes, from gymnastics to curling to rugby to shuffleboard! First place winner will receive a $10.00 Torquere Press gift certificate, second place winner will receive a free electronic download of Chasing Victory. Contest ends on September 21 at midnight, PST. Winners announced on September 22. Get your entries in!

The contest page is HERE, and if you check it out, there's a little snip from Mitch and Pacey's story. I'm pretty pleased with how this novel turned out, so be sure and pick it up when it's released.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

What's going in Myc's world?

Been semi-MIA due to various reasons, but I HAVE been writing.

I recently finished a Jack/Ty short for Torquere's 2009 Charity Sip Blitz. And yes, I said Jack and Ty, as in the cowboys from the Breakdown series. ;)

I also sent my Changeling editor Blood Curse (Blood & Fire 2), and I believe we're looking at an October release for that one.

In the works, I've got Repertoire, which is for Phaze's Urban Phaze line. Cardiff is my city, but it isn't the Cardiff you're probably expecting. Oh, no. This is post-World War 3 Cardiff, and the story stars none other than vampire prince Devon Hart and his draconic lover, Vincent Sheridan. ;) Yep, a sequel to The Shape of Things!

I'm also working on the preliminary notes/plot for Bad Blood (Blood & Fire 3). But this one doesn't star Jason and Julian. It's Jesse's story. You know, Jason's drummer? And Julian's friend Gabriel, who makes an appearance in Blood Curse.

And finally... YES! Shayne and I ARE working on TPA 3, albeit slowly. Our respective Internet times are a bit awkward at the moment, though, so bear with us, please. :)

So, all that said... I leave you with a snip from Repertoire, a revisit with old friends. ;)

***

“How did I know he was the one behind the huge house?”

Jacob grinned. “I think Vincent would be cramped in anything smaller than a castle. He found this place. Granted, it’s not a castle, but a mansion is just as good. It was conveniently abandoned, and within a few hours of finding it, he had us all moving in.”

“Talking about me again?”

Devon looked up, giving Vincent his best innocent smile. Vincent simply raised an eyebrow. “Okay,” Devon sighed. “Yes.”

“Do tell.” Vincent sprawled on the couch, looking as deliciously decadent as the black leather he sat on.

“Uh…”

Devon couldn’t tear his gaze from the sight of his lover stretched out, dark gray dress pants just barely tight enough across Vincent’s crotch to tease. The half-buttoned black shirt parted just enough to reveal the stripe of crimson scales emblazoned diagonally across Vincent’s chest. Since their union a year ago, Vincent had become more comfortable, no longer hiding his true form from anyone. Now if only Devon could convince the man to keep his straight black hair loose and not tied back all the time.

“Earth to Devon.”

Devon shook his head and blinked over at Jacob. “Huh?”

“You were drooling.”

Sinking a little lower in the chair, Devon grumbled. “Can you blame me?”

“Frankly, yes,” Jacob laughed. “He’s my brother. And a guy.” He winced. “Sorry, Vince, but I just can’t do the whole guy thing.”

“Understood.” Vincent lifted a hand from where it rested on the back of the couch and crooked his finger, beckoning Devon over.

“I’m going to want to leave, aren’t I?” Jacob muttered without looking up.

“Yes.”

Devon smiled and went over, straddling Vincent. Jacob grumbled and collected several books, muttering something about no peace before he left the room. The second the door closed, Vincent flipped them, putting Devon onto his back on the couch, hovering over him. Devon moaned and opened to the kiss, thighs cradling Vincent between them. Vincent kissed and nipped his way along Devon’s jaw and down to his neck.

“Vincent…”

“Hmm?” Vincent nuzzled Devon’s neck, the hot breath drawing a shiver from the base of Devon’s spine, up to his head.

“Who are you?”

Vincent froze. “What?”

Devon held Vincent’s head and lifted it to see his eyes. “You know everything about me there is to know. I know next to nothing about you.”

“There isn’t much to know.”

“You’re a dragon, Vincent. I’d say there’s a lot to know. How old are you?”

Vincent stared at him for several seconds before answering. “I lost count at eight.”

“Eight…hundred?”

The smirk he got should’ve told Devon he was going to get the shock of his life. “Thousand.”

Eyes widening, jaw dropping, he let his hands fall limply away. “Eight… thousand?”

“Yes. Last I checked, anyway. I could’ve missed a few centuries here or there.”

Devon couldn’t even begin to wrap his brain around that much time. Then again, even after two years together, he still had trouble processing the fact that he was in love with a creature that devoured large animals whole and stood as tall as a three-story building when in his true form. Vincent lowered himself completely, the press of his muscular body short-circuiting any further thoughts from Devon’s brain.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Shiny!

Got a couple of interesting things going on. Started my own review blog because I clearly need more things to distract me from writing. Only got a few up but I've got several more planned. Kinda fun although my reviews are long. Can't take the words from the writer, hoo boy.

Oh! And I finished something, cleaned it up (thanks Jen *smooch*) and subbed it off. Yep, that's me right now. The lazy pathway to getting more done. Wooooo....

Okay, yeah I'm kinda boring right now. To make it up to you, here's a drabble! I've been playing with those a lot and doing mini Twitter drabbles. If you're following me, feel free to poke me for some free mini fic! It keeps me thinking! Enjoy :)

He's reaching across the hood, trying to wash it. Baby doll tee, spandex mini skirt in kill-me-now-pink, both nearly see-through. Under it, lacy Hello Kitty thong.The gag's wet from water, spit and tears. Me, in a floppy beach chair, boots braced on the cement. Close enough for the whip to strike him when he isn't moving fast enough to my liking.

He doesn't move nearly fast enough.

Crack him on the thigh and get a choked off scream, the sponge hits the grass. When he whips around to face me, still shaking from the hit, his eyes are pleading with me. The combo of outdoor beating and girly-girl clothes on a big body made for hard labor...killing him.

Won't do it again. Swear, won't do it again.

Give him half a smile. "That's what you always say." Point at the dirt stain on the windshield. "Missed a spot."

Either he'll learn or he won't. But the truck'll be clean and I got a chore list long as my arm.

Snap the whip just to see him jump. Gonna be a long Saturday.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New book

I'm truly thrilled to say that my first young adult novel was recently accepted by a publisher. It's called The Next Competitor and is about the struggles of a young American figure skater in a stressful Olympic season. He finds there are many obstacles along the way on his quest to win gold -- not to mention the unexpected distraction of falling in love with a pairs skater (the male half of the pair, naturally).

It'll be a mix of angst, sports drama and romance -- this time with less explicit sex, obviously. The book is scheduled to be released on December 15 by Prizm, which is an imprint of Torquere that focuses on YA GLBT novels. The Next Competitor will be available electronically and in print, which I'm very excited about. I'll be using a different penname (K.P. Kincaid) so the kiddies don't find the porn adult romance in my backlist.

I've always loved YA novels and it was a really fun challenge to write one. I'm a huge skating fan, and there really aren't many figure skating novels (Ice Castles was many moons ago). I'm also hoping with the upcoming Vancouver Olympics there will be a well-timed spark of interest. Either way, I'm very excited.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A few recommended reads...

cl_ghostsofalcatraz_coversm.jpg
Ghosts of Alcatraz by Carol Lynne
When prison inmates begin dying in shocking and sometimes gruesome ways, warden Jensen Black decides to bring in sexy parapsychologist Brian Phipps to investigate. Getting to the bottom of what's killing the men for whom he's responsible is the plan. Falling for the lamb of a man with the heart of lion isn't on the agenda, but his heart has a mind of its own.

The attraction between the two men is instantaneous, but before they can fully explore the depths of their passion the ghosts set their sights on Brian. And as their relationship heats up, the danger escalates, leaving both men to wonder if they’ll ever make it off Alcatraz alive. Let alone, together.

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Hemovore by Jordan Castillo Price
Ten years ago, the Human Hemovore Virus blazed through the world, and left the few victims who survived unable to eat, allergic to sunlight and craving the taste of blood.

Mark Hansen used to think V-positives were incredibly sexy with their pale, flawless skin and taut, lean bodies. Not anymore. Not since he’s been stuck procuring under-the-counter feline blood for his control-freak boss, Jonathan Varga. Why cat blood? Mark has never dared to ask.

It’s not as if he’s usually at a loss for words. He can dish an insult and follow it with a snap as quick as you can say “Miss Thang”. But one look at Jonathan’s black-as-sin gypsy eyes, and Mark’s objections drain away.

So he endures their strange, endless routine: Jonathan hiding in his studio, painting solid black canvases. Mark hurling insults as he buffs the office to a shine with antiviral wipes and maps out the mysterious “routes” he’s required to drive.
Then a blurb in Art in America unleashes a chain of events neither of them saw coming. As secrets of Jonathan’s past come to light, it becomes clear all his precautions weren’t nearly enough.

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That’s What Brothers Do by Derekica Snake
To save his family, he sold his innocence. To save his sisters, he sold his body. To save his love, he sold his soul. Why? That's what brothers do...

jco_gaven_coversm.jpg
Gaven by JC Owens

When the Masarians attack Gaven's people, they are defeated and Gaven himself is taken captive. By a man claiming to be his father. It turns out his entire life has been a lie, and now his 'father' will give him into the hands of another man to indoctrinate and train him. Gaven vows he will never shame his people by giving into the Masarians' way of loving other men.

But Vlar, the legendary warrior to whom he has been given, has other plans. The blood-drinker is determined to have Gaven and to make him yield.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Are You Ready for More Miki Nabeshima?



For too many years, career obligations and cultural expectations cost Mikisaburo Nabeshima the possibility of love.

Now older, wiser, and infinitely more alone, personal business takes Miki back to New York where another chance encounter with another handsome policeman rouses suppressed desires.

David Kirkland is a brash young cop who grew up on New York’s meanest streets. When the man he believes killed his foster mother is set free, Dave vows revenge. If he needs to leave the country and go undercover with a sexy but infuriating older man then so be it, though he never expected the business arrangement to turn personal.

As Dave confronts a deep seated need he’s never fully acknowledged, the killer they're after proves more deadly than they anticipate.

* * * *
While I know Such a Good Boy may not be exactly what you were expecting, I'm sure it delivers the goods you want to see.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Excerpt from Personal Demons

by James Buchanan
coming Mid September from MLR Press


Blurb:

Hunting a notorious hit man, FBI Agent Chase Nozick and LAPD Det. Enrique Rios Ocha delve into the inner worlds of Santeria, Voodoo and Palo Mayumbe. A missing informant, her murdered brother and a ghost from Chase's past send them on a hunt through mystics and psychic surgeons to find their witness before it's too late. Can he rely on leads from a child possessed by Orishas? Do cards hold stronger clues than blood? Chase must conquer his own personal demons to bring the killer of his partner to justice and find the strength to take a chance on Enrique.

Excerpt:


Hours later, Chase stared at the drink in his hand. Maybe this was just a bad idea. He’d been in the City of Angels for four hours, tops, and he hadn’t even talked to anyone yet. Well, during dinner, he’d chatted it up with a waiter who looked way too young to be serving drinks. The kid recommended the bar Chase leaned on now. Relaxed, trendy — but not — and way crowded; Silverlake’s low-key answer to West Hollywood’s forced urban hip.

Nude women stared vacantly off red and gold walls. Chase figured he should have specified somewhere more overtly gay and less just gay-friendly when asking for recommends. People, of all orientations and ages, lounged on Moroccan-styled couches along the wall. Maybe he would have had better odds on a weekend, Chase mused into the amber liquid swirling in his glass.

“Wow.” A voice at his shoulder jerked Chase’s attention from his self-pity.

He looked up into a bright smile and warm skin. “What?” Damn, the guy was good looking. Not in that stunning movie star kinda way, but with a pleasant face, easy body language and dark eyes. A choker of red and white beads flashed at the open collar of his white shirt. Both colors set off the man’s caramel skin.

Another smile flashed as the guy tapped Chase’s tumbler. “You managed to get a drink.” He laughed and the sound traveled straight down Chase’s spine to his hips. “Takes an act of congress to get service here.”

“Oh,” Chase’s face felt strange. Then he realized it was from an ear-splitting grin. Shit, if that didn’t come off as desperate, Chase would eat his badge. He coughed and raised his glass to his lips in a badly concealed effort to mask the smile. “I laid the money down before I ordered.”

The guy slid onto the stool next to Chase. “Explains it then.” He leaned in and drummed his fingers on the bar. “My name’s Enrique, I don’t think I’ve seen you here before.”

Enrique’s hip pressed against Chase’s thigh. When Enrique shifted, a hard bulge rubbed Chase through his jeans. Okay, Chase mused, so maybe the waiter had been on the money about the place. “I would be surprised if you had,” Chase nudged back a little, letting Enrique know he felt it, “Just in town for business.”

“What kind of business?” The question came loaded. Chase wasn’t sure with exactly what. A strange wariness seemed to lurk under the words. For a moment, Chase toyed with a few implausible explanations and then figured he just didn’t care. Because the hand that dropped down onto his thigh wasn’t wary in the least. Easy, light, Enrique traced the inseam of Chase’s jeans with his fingers.

Refusing to elaborate, Chase muttered, “Just business,” as he knocked back his drink. Chase shrugged and spread his legs a little wider.

“Really,” Enrique moved in closer, “I thought it might be scoping twenty-somethings out looking for their sugar daddies.” The faded edge of cologne threaded under the scent of guy in a hot, crowded bar.

Chase snorted. A sense of humor, he liked that. Not that it was a requirement, but it made it nice, friendly. “The problem with twenty-somethings is they’re twenty-something.” He slid his arm around Enrique to cup a nicely toned ass through expensive slacks.

Damn, if Enrique moved any closer, he’d end up on Chase’s lap. “How ‘bout a thirty-something then?”

“You’re, ah, pretty direct there.” Chase teased. Actually, for a bar pickup, Enrique was beating about the bush a lot. Half the time a nod, a smile and a jerk of the chin arranged everything.

Enrique leaned in and laughed in his ear. “No, pretty direct is, do you wanna fuck?”
He squeezed Enrique’s butt. “Is that an offer?” Felt good.
No laughter this time. Enrique hissed, “Want it to be?”

“Yeah.” Chase stood.

“Then it’s an offer.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Heteronormative Endings

After a disappointed viewing of something, I'd like some help making a list of classic movies with non-heteronormative endings.
Thelma and Louise Okay, but dead.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Dead. Again.
The Thing (1983) Mac and Childs will freeze to death and there were only male characters to begin with but still, not yet dead.
Casablanca At least when Louis and Rick walk off to begin their “beautiful friendship” they are both still alive. Do I really have to go back to 1942 to find something?

One of my favorite movies is Aliens (1986). It combines my two favorite genres: science fiction and horror. Marines, a kick-ass heroine and Vasquez. (I know this is a blog celebrating the beauty of men, but damn, Vasquez was hot.) I loved the movie even after Vasquez had to blow herself up to keep from being made into an alien host. Where I stopped loving it, is at the end, when Ripley and Newt and Hicks are all tucked snugly away in their pods. He and she and a baby makes three. The classic and disappointing ending.

I expect it from romance and even action adventure, but why does a forward thinking genre like science fiction still cling to heteronormative endings? If there is a gay character who survives, he or she must be alone and suffering. Is it the 50’s? I just watched something that sparked this blog and I don’t want to get overly specific in case people haven’t seen it, but when the executive producer is gay, can’t we expect something beyond he+she+baby, gay-character-alone-and-miserable ending?

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, and I apologize for my rant, but I’m tired of these mainstream stories that write gay love as a tragedy, even when it’s couched in noble sacrifice. Tara and Willow anyone?

Science fiction as a genre usually tries to offer a suggestion of hope in the future. It’s as if we can’t see past procreation with heterosexual parents as hope for the future. And while it takes a damned good writer to lure me into the mpreg of slash fanfiction, there are other alternatives for the next generation. It’s as if people are caught in some kind of retro mind-trap. I’m dating myself again, but when Anita Bryant was “Saving Our Children” I was just heading into my teens. I got into heated arguments with people, including my dad. “Gay people can’t have kids and that is a threat to me as a teacher,” he said. Even at thirteen I called bullshit. “Gay people can have kids. They just go about it differently.” (Dad’s come around nicely, btw).

So is it too much to ask for a mainstream horror or science fiction movie where while the focus may be on the happy couple and their little promise of the future, there’s a same-sex snuggle off to the side? One where they didn’t, you know, die?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Client Privileges Cover Art!

I just got it yesterday and I can't slap it up all over the intarwebs yet, but I can, and did, post it on my website. It's purty! I really want to plaster the net with it, but I shall be patient. Less than a month until it releases - September 9, in fact, from Torquere Press. We can wait a little longer, right? In the meantime, pop over there to take a peek, then come on back and tell me what you think!

Oh! And here's an excerpt from Client Privileges for you when you get back from ogling the pretties. ;-D

***

Micah sat on the bed. "What do you think?" He gestured expansively around the small room.

"It's n-n-nice." Jonas silently cursed his stammer. It always came out in stressful situations, and while he'd sought this one out, that didn't make it any less nerve-wracking. If his parents should find out… He forced away the unpleasant notion. How would they ever know unless he told them? And there was no way that would happen.

He took a cleansing breath and let it out slowly. For the first time, he looked directly into the eyes of the whore he'd just hired. They were moss green, smiling, rimmed by thick lashes, with tiny smile lines at the corners. His hair is the color of beaten copper. It was unlike anything he'd seen before, and it set off Micah's eyes so perfectly that Jonas wondered if it was natural or contrived.

"So, Jonas, how would you like to spend the time we have together?" Micah smiled, and it was such a warm, giving expression that Jonas balked.

"I-I'm s-sorry. I have to go." He took a step backward toward the door, only to be stopped by Micah's gentle voice like a tug at his heart.

"Stay. Please." Micah held out a hand.

Jonas hesitated. He wanted to stay. Physically, he longed to stay and take advantage of this professional's willingness to please him. Despite his emotional diffidence, his body was eager. His cock was hard and had become so at his first sight of Micah leaning against the brothel's bar. Jonas was glad for the thigh-length coat he wore; it was far too heavy for the hot weather, but it kept his aroused state hidden.

Unaware of making the decision to do so, he sat on the foot of the bed at right angles to Micah. His heart raced. He wondered if Micah could hear it, then chided himself for such foolishness. I can do this. Jonas shot a nervous glance at the other man, looked away swiftly. If I just don't have to make eye contact again. It was absurd. What was he thinking?

"There's no need to rush," Micah continued.

"B-but there is," Jonas said quickly. "I-I'm expected… s-somewhere."

"That's all right. I'm ready for whatever you'd like."

Micah shifted on the bed and Jonas' gaze was drawn to him. The whore leaned back against the pillows at the headboard, one long leg stretched out, and the other bent at the knee. Jonas could see that he was erect, his cock tenting out the loose fabric of his pants. His arms were folded behind his head as if he knew he needed no help drawing attention to his engorged condition.

Jonas stared openly at the protruding fabric, eager for what it hid and uncaring whether his hunger was obvious on his face.

"I take it you like what you see."

Jonas could hear the smile in his voice, the teasing but tender tone. Jonas' gaze was inexorably pulled upward, over Micah's flat and muscular belly, across his smooth chest, up to his handsome face. Square, clean jaw; smiling lips; wide cheekbones; and soft green eyes. Micah's expression was open and without judgment. He was so beautiful that Jonas' breath caught.

"I--" He inhaled, said in a rush, "I've been alone a long time. Years, and he was… Anyway. I want to… take you. Fuck you. May I? Please?"

Micah laughed, a rich, warm sound that Jonas couldn't help but join in on ever so slightly. "When you ask so politely, how could I say no?"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday eye-candy

I thought I'd have ample time to write about something productive this time, but alas, fate just hasn't been with me the past week. And then spending the weekend with 5,000 women wasn't really much of an inspiration - lol. So I thought that we could all use some eye candy today. ^-^ So enjoy!

Bring on Football season!!!
*sigh* So tender...

Makes you want to just lap at the water running down his body, huh? *evil laugh*


WOW!!




Sunday, August 16, 2009

Well, well. Summer marches on. It seems so lovely and endless when June begins, and then suddenly it's mid-August and everyone panics because there's only a month left. Summer happens to be my favorite season, so I'm among the panicking crowd when I realize that my days of sunning and relaxing are nearing an end.

It does mean that I'll pick up a regular writing schedule again, hopefully. I've got at least half a manuscript due to my publisher in November, and since I've written approximately 500 words total, looks like I'll be buckling down sooner rather than later. Nothing like a deadline to strike fear into the hearts of authors.

Speaking of that manuscript, I thought for a long while about the subject of the novel. A couple of years ago I wrote Tinder, and then earlier this year the sequel Embers came along. I got mixed reviews for Embers. Most were favorable, but some were not. It was interesting to me that the "not" ones made a point of saying that while they could find no fault with the actual writing, it was the character of Morgan Daniels that they objected to. And in one or two cases, Chris' reaction to him.

It made me feel bad for Morgan. Because I like him. Morgan has conversations with me from time to time. If that sounds a little bit on the insane side, ask any author if they hear their characters' voices in their heads. More often than not, they'll tell you yes. (Including Stephen King, who's been quoted many times as saying he talks to his characters.)

In any case, Morgan had a few things to say about the reasons why he does the things he does or why he thinks Chris responds to him in a negative way sometimes. I listened and I nodded (not out in the OPEN, where people could see me, okay?) and I tried to explain to him why some people who read his story would see things differently than he did. Because I, too, could easily understand why Morgan would be critcized for his behavior.

He didn't get it. He is a man, after all.

So I offered to let him tell his side. He agreed. I started the third and final installment of the Tinder series two days ago, this time from Morgan's POV. Chris isn't sure how he feels about that, but Morgan and I feel good. Morgan should get his turn. Maybe it will shine a more favorable light on him, maybe it won't, but I owe him the chance because he's basically a good guy who loves his partner.

Shouldn't we all get the chance to tell our side of it?

Friday, August 14, 2009

He's Coming....

(and yes you can take that any way you like, heh heh)

Hello kiddies, the moment you've all been waiting for is not that far off, Our Inspector Nabeshima is about to return for an even hotter, longer adventure.




Here's a little
(unedited)
taste:

Miki caught the first cab he could find back to his hotel and strode into the bar. He ordered a bottle of bourbon and had it charged to his room. Bottle in hand, he sought out a small table in a shadowed corner. He tossed back the first glass and was staring down into the untouched second when the last voice he wanted to hear slithered over him.

“You mind telling me what the fuck that was about?”

“It is what it is,” he muttered, echoing one of Raymond’s oft said phrases. He raised his glass to David Kirkland and drank half in one swallow.

“What it is, is fucked up, dude.” Kirkland pulled out the chair opposite and sat. His stare bored into Miki, and from the way he sat, back rigid, leather jacketed arms folded across his broad chest, it was clear he wouldn’t leave before he received the explanation he sought.

Miki sipped his drink. “How did you find me so quickly?”

Kirkland smirked. “I have mad detective skills. I plan on getting my gold shield by next year.”

Miki finished his drink. “Cocky bastard.”

“You oughta know, unless . . . .” Kirkland paused and his voice trailed off, but he continued to stare. “You’re one of those closeted fuckers,” he said quietly. “That’s why you had your kid with you. You have the hots for other men but don’t dare act on it.” He smirked again. “Thanks for the blow job,
ye-ye.”

Miki sucked in his breath and tensed, shifted his weight in his chair and when Kirkland pushed his own chair back and stood, Miki sprung, grabbing the younger man by the belt with one hand, his other gripping Kirkland’s crotch to give his balls a firm squeeze. “Don’t. Ever. Take that attitude with me,
boy.”

He let Kirkland go, drinking in the rage that emanated from the younger cop.

“Get the fuck out,” Miki whispered. “I’ll handle Flynn on my own, the way I handle everything else.”

Grabbing his liquor bottle, Miki strode from the bar and crossed the quiet lobby toward the elevators. It was his turn to smirk when he felt the angry American’s presence closing in on him.

A formally dressed couple hung back and let the two men enter the elevator alone.

No sooner had the doors closed than Kirkland growled at Miki. “Who the fuck do you think--”

Miki slammed Kirkland into the side of the elevator and hit the stop button with a swift kick. “Don’t think to go there with me,
boy. I could kill you with my bare hands before you could blink.”

“Bring it.”

Though Kirkland’s anger excited him and hardened his cock, Miki laughed and started the elevator once more. It rose fully to the next floor. The doors slid open. “Another time. I’m old and need my sleep.”

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Goofing off with Robbie and Seth

A friend of mine asked me to write a ficlet with Seth (from my Hearth & Home stories), so here ya go... a little sun god for your reading pleasure this evening. ;)

***

Robbie closed the front door and carried the bucket of KFC to the kitchen. “Babe, I’m home!”

When no answer came, he headed into their bedroom, but it was empty. Where the hell? He went back into the kitchen and that’s when he glanced out the back door. He stood and watched, mouth practically watering, as a sweat-slick, tanned, and barely dressed sun god lay stretched out on one of the lounge chairs, under the sun. Seth took a slow drag off a cigarette and let the smoke curl out over him just as slowly.

Robbie groaned as Seth lifted a beer to his lips, a droplet of water rolling down what promised to be hot skin. “Jesus…”

Obviously he’d said it a bit louder than he thought. Seth glanced over and smiled. He took another drag off his cigarette before putting it out. Then he crooked his finger, beckoning Robbie out onto the deck with nothing more than a sultry, come-hither look.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

He Tastes Just Like...?

Oh my, it's my day already. Honestly, I do wonder how time flies like that when I'm trying to get things done. I'm not of course but it's all about trying, right? Hehe. So, today, like always, I come to you with a topic that has been in my head for quite some time but needed a good hard shove to finally come out.

That shove came by Emmy Jag. For those who haven't heard of the illustrious Lady Emmy, she's a straight-shooting kind of reviewer, much like Mrs. Giggles. Emmy, however, is perhaps even more blunt, if that's at all possible. I have a healthy dose of fear and respect for both reviewers. Emmy did a recent review and a comment she'd made had me thinking. With her permission, I'm reposting that bit from her review (I'm not linking to the review to avoid wankery and because I'm not picking on this author at all nor do I believe Emmy is. She was just the catalyst to the discussion. The link above is to Emmy's general blog):

"Ok, can we please stop referring to black people as chocolate flavored? Nobody calls white people vanilla flavored, or asians...banana flavored (sorry, ran out of flavors), do they??? It's an old and overused cliche, and entirely inaccurate to boot."

A perfectly fair plea to my mind. I know I tend to come up with the racial issues in stories but honestly, if there weren't so damn many, I probably wouldn't open my mouth about it. These things are annoying, folks. Perhaps it bothers Emmy and I more because we are both black women. That could mean our ire lights up a little faster. But I find this aggravating when it happens to any color.

Maybe we need to stop with the food references all together. No? Okay, I'll relent on that because I admit that it's hard sometimes. Mocha-skinned, honey brown, cafe au lait --I guess we just can't help that and really those don't offend anyone. Frankly, I use food and drink references in description of skin and it's a habit I don't think any writer will ever be able to break. I don't expect anyone too. But the chocolate thing has reached a ridiculous level.

Again, not picking on that author but the chunks Emmy pulled out of that story drove me nuts. The skin thing...is it really so hard not to go there? Brown skin is brown skin is brown skin. And yes, I know who to blame.

The worst description I've ever read was "Hershey nipples" in a het contemporary by a black author. So maybe we're not setting the best example here but c'mon, use your common sense too, authors with characters of color. And yes, this is for any race outside of white, not just black. But I'm using black because one, I am black therefore, I know how damn exasperating this is. And two, it happens mostly to black characters.

I've had white authors tell me its hard to walk the line of not being offensive and I understand. But let me tell you this folks: this. is. offensive. It's also overdone just like the damn ghetto black guy is but I've already done that rant, I won't do it again (maybe).

He's not food, I don't give a damn how edible he may look. He's got dark brown skin, pale brown, creamy coffee...just avoid chocolate, please. Like Emmy pointed out, there's no vanilla-skinned or white-chocolate men running around.

So what's with (I'm stealing another quote) the "Chocolate Easter Bunny"?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

By the book

I recently read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Autumn of the Patriarch for a book club. This book soon became known to participants as "the paragraph." We called it this because there are no absolutely no paragraph breaks, and sentences go on for pages. Pages.

It's possible a University of Toronto representative will show up at my door any minute now to revoke my English degree, but I can't stand books without proper punctuation. I know, I know, some allegedly great works of literature feature the stream of consciousness style that throws the rules out the window, but as sentences go on and on and on, my eyes glaze over. I don't mind a little creative license with style, but we invented periods for a reason!

James Joyce's The Dead is a lovely novella. However, you'd have to pay me (quite handsomely) to read his Finnegans Wake. Pure biblio torture.

So what's your least favourite literary classic? Honestly, give me a good romance any day. *g*

Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Blahs & Contest


Well, it's my Monday again and I have nothing interesting to talk about. Really. My life has circled around a hodge-podge of mind-numbing family obligations lately. I do have a new book coming out in a couple of weeks, but it's of the M/F variety so...

In honor of brain-dead Monday, I figure a contest is called for. Why should you all have to suffer from blog-blahs simply because I can't write anything interesting today? That doesn't seem right.

In an effort to keep this simple, all you need to do is leave a comment. Tell me something fanciful to spark my absent muse or just say hello; it doesn't matter. At midnight est I'll pick one person to win a free ebook of their choice from my backlist and post the winner on the bottom of this post.

*Edited to add winner* Congratulations to Amie! Please email me at AuthorAmandaYoungATgmail.com with your book choice and format preference.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Power of the Positive

I know a lot of you out there are hopeless Twitter-holics and Facebook junkies like yours truly, so I'm wondering something. Have you noticed how many tweets and status updates are negative? I have noticed this. Some people tweet/update negatively from time to time, some do it more often than not, and some hardly ever have anything positive to say. I started thinking about how it makes me feel to read constant streams of negativity, and realized it makes me feel, well, kind of depressed.

To clarify, obviously, no one can be all sunshine and rainbows ALL the time. We all need to vent sometimes, and if you have something bad going on in your life, maybe you want the support of your online friends to help you through it. Not a damn thing wrong with that. What I'm talking about here is those people who never seem to have anything good to say about their lives at all. I think that's sad. I've been a nurse for twenty-something years. I've heard some real-life stories that an editor would reject for being unrealistically angsty. I've seen people smile and hang on to their optimism through circumstances you would not believe. My personal theory is this: no matter how bad of a day you're having, if you have the mental and physical ability to type a sentence into Twitter and the computer/laptop/phone and internet service to send it out to the world, then you by fuck have something right there to be happy about, and a whole hell of a lot more than too many people in the world have.

Here's what I've decided. I've decided I'm going to resist the temptation to Tweet the negative (and it IS tempting; I feel the pull, believe me). I am going to do my level best to find the positive in every day and every situation and Tweet that instead. It elevates my mood to do so, and I like to think it maybe brightens other people's days a little bit too. Or at least doesn't add to the general depression *g*

Friday, August 7, 2009

Beautiful Boys


The last few weeks have been a crazy whirlwind of (good!) activity, which included stops in DC for RWA and San Diego for COMIC-FRICKIN-CON (only the funnest place on Earth for geeks to unite in a state of Nerdvana). As always, I have lots of illustration and desin projects in the works, but I also managed to get some writing done amidst the hectic-ness. Beautiful Boys releases this month from Loose Id, and I'm so excited for everyone to have fun with this book. It's a very summery, light-hearted, and sexy (duh!) read about the interlocking stories of four couples. I hope folks enjoy while sipping lemonade or chillaxing in the air conditioning somewhere. :o)

Here's a sneak peek at the blurb:

Sometimes Dean is too hard-headed for his own good, and his brother, Neil, warns that he’s about to make a huge mistake. But when Dean refuses to back out of a Mediterranean vacation with the ex, he finds his stubborn ass stranded on a desert island. Hopefully the gorgeous, naked guy he discovers on the beach knows what Dean needs to get over the ex once and for all.

Neil has his own issues. Destiny, the cosmos, and God-knows-what-else seem to have it in for him when it comes to romance. He’s too scared to a take a chance until the klutzy stripper at his birthday party reminds him how sweet love can be. The one catch? His new honey is named Jinx for a reason…

Things aren’t much easier for their friends. Nathan has the hots for his tragically hetero roommate, and the two designers working for Neil’s magazine are so caught up in professional rivalry they don’t notice the sexual tension getting ready to go Pompeii between them!

With eight quirky, beautiful boys and four chances for romance in this collection of interlocking stories about love, sex, and polyester rabbit’s feet, it’s going to be a hot summer.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A little BDSM for your Thursday Afternoon.

I'm not the let's get out the padded cuffs and pretend to paddle kinda person BTW. I get turned on by blisters spanked into a guy's butt. Pain is an aphrodisiac and the power of domination a drug.

Pansexual kink. Take a listen, learn something.

http://www.drdicksexadvice.com/2009/08/05/podcast-142/

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Other Magic Word

As Douglas Adams famously said, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they go by.” Douglas Adams never fails to make me laugh, but I love deadlines for another reason.

They have power.

First, they have inspiring power over me. Were it not for deadlines, I would likely still be in college, waiting for the date when a paper was due. Yes, I was the one in the library the night before, finally deciding to check out some research books so that I could spend the night pounding out a paper on a, brace yourself, manual typewriter. Hey, not only did those things not have a backspace, I actually had to reach up and yank a silver bar to move the carriage down to the next line. (Think enter key. Yes. Like that.)

As Ally pointed out in her blog on the ever-present demon of Procrastination, a writer’s mind will seize any distractions to keep him or her off task. My butt is more likely to stick to the office chair when I say the magic word “Deadline.” There is nothing quite like a deadline to drag all sorts of ideas from a pantser like me.

Deadlines also have, to quote Steven Colbert, gravitas. Deadlines are a word I can invoke against those non book people in my world., the ones who don’t understand that these fictional people are actually quite important (and often more interesting) than they are. If you’re a reader, you know what I’m talking about, those people who intrude when all you want to do is capture a few more moments with your book. I have a suggestion. Start a review site (and no one has to know that it will always be “in the planning stages”) and start chanting the magic phrase: “Sorry. Can’t talk now. Deadline.”

There are a few important people who cannot be swayed by the magic word. My characters. They love deadlines too, because they think it’s a wonderful time to say, “I think we need a few more sex scenes to work this out” or “No way, I’m not telling him that” and especially “Oooo. But what if this happened now?” Those lovely people in my head are completely unmoved by such mundane things as deadlines, word counts and day jobs. And the other magic word please doesn’t cut it with them either.

When it comes down to it, they will have their way. It is their story after all, every hot, sexy, oh-crap-now-I-need-another-chapter bit of it. But when it comes to dealing with the outside world, I’ll keep saying my magic word.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Control Issues

I'm not a control freak. No really. I'm not. I have tendencies, yes, but there are a lot of things in my life that I have neither the need nor the desire to control. However...

There've been an inordinate number of Big Things(TM) this year that I cannot control, and it's starting to wear me down. The loss of two loved ones this spring was the biggie. The start of it. Now, fortunately, it's smaller things, but still, relatively speaking, fairly important stuff. I cannot control whether or not my latest manuscript will be accepted. I cannot control what edits I'll get back from the second proofer on another manuscript. (Although at least I know when that's happening.) I cannot control whether I'll get called for a show I'd really love to do. I cannot control the weather, which has been freakishly, horribly, mind-meltingly, record-shatteringly hot. I've been trying very hard to let go of all that stuff. The stuff that is officially Out of My Control. "Don't stress it if you can't fix it." "It's out of your hands." "Let it go." (I used to be so good at that in college.)

In an attempt to balance all that, I've been doing my damnedest to focus on the things I can control, and then controlling them. For example, I can control whether I sit on the sofa and watch three hours of NCIS every night, or whether I go to the gym or for a walk instead. I can control whether I eat pint after pint of ice cream in the damned heat, or chilled watermelon and peaches and all the other fabulous fruit available right now. (Usually it's a little of the former and a lot of the latter. I'm not made of steel; I do need my ice cream sometimes.)

And I can control my writing. Well, to some degree, at least.

I can control whether I write anything at all on any given day and for how long. I can control, to an extent, how much I write in a sitting and the content--although the characters sometimes have different ideas about that last part. At least I can usually stick to the basic genres I want. These are the things I'm trying to focus on. The things I can control, rather than the things I can't. Otherwise, I think this year would send me over the freakin' edge, you know?

So how about you? When life throws you a bunch of stuff that you just have to take, how do you cope or compensate for all the things that affect you but are beyond your control?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Never Too Late being released tomorrow 8/4


Isn't this a nice cover? I can't help but drool at the site. :P
My latest M/M book, Never Too Late, is being released at Loose Id tomorrow so I thought I'd post a little excerpt from it.
I hope everyone has a good week. I'll be busy getting ready for my twins' birthday this weekend. I can't believe they are growing up so fast. *sigh*
Never Too Late
By Marty Rayne

Genre: Contemporary, Gay fiction

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 couldn’t believe what was happening. First Winter talked him into accepting this job, and then she left after a call from her father? What the hell was she thinking? Glancing at Brice, Dakota could see that the poor boy was as confused as he was. So here he was, left alone with the younger man and expected to teach him how to be intimate with another man. How fucked was that?

As much as he disliked it, at least with Winter around it was easier to fall into the role of this scene she’d set up. But with Brice alone and no Winter to guide them? Thoughts of easily dominating the kid came back full force, with Brice whimpering and begging for his touch, his kisses, and of course, his cock. Goose bumps broke out over his arms as wicked images flashed through his mind.

However, that wasn’t really what he’d do, and he knew it. Dakota had agreed to this last weekend to repay a debt. He’d also agreed to do this for Winter’s sake and promised to follow the plan. He was a man of his word, and no matter how tired he was of whoring out his body, he’d not start breaking it now.

“Well, what would you like to do now, Brice?” Dakota would fulfill his agreement, but that didn’t mean he’d call this kid Master. He had his limits.

He watched Brice fidget. It was clear he was uneasy.

Brice rose from the bed and went to the kitchen, where he filled a glass with water from the sink faucet.

“Brice?” Dakota tried to get his attention when he didn’t answer.

“Dammit! I don’t know!” He slammed down the glass and leaned onto the counter. “This wasn’t my idea. I don’t have a clue…” his voice faded as his expression shifted from anger to despair.

“I know the feeling, kid,” Dakota whispered and shook his head. His next words were louder. “When was the last time you ate?” Cooking was Dakota’s stress reliever. When in doubt, create something delicious to eat. A high metabolism and strict discipline with his exercise program made sure the food he devoured didn’t go straight to his gut.

Brice sighed. “I had a banana on the way out the door this morning.”

“You mind?” Dakota lifted his hand to where the chain and collar connected.

“Of course not. Go ahead and remove the chain.”

Dakota noticed that Brice said to remove the chain, not the collar. That told him that no matter how unplanned this was, Brice liked him wearing it. Then again, Dakota thought he looked damn good in most anything. Even out of anything. He didn’t spend hours working out just to look unattractive to his clients.

Unlatching the chain, Dakota walked into the kitchen area. Immediately he searched through the refrigerator and cabinets, making note of what Winter had stocked. He smiled. Apparently she was counting on his cooking skills at some time during his stay. Heaven knew she couldn’t boil water without burning it. She had provided all the fixings for a shrimp and chicken jambalaya, as well as all he’d need to cook a delicious breakfast the next morning.

“You’re actually going to cook?” Brice asked, as Dakota began to pull food from the fridge and cabinets.

Dakota shrugged. “I’m hungry. You’re hungry. We need to eat.”

“But, I’m…you’re…” Brice stumbled over his words and couldn’t seem to make any sense.

“What?” Dakota turned and stared.

“Nude.”

Dakota rolled his eyes. “Duh, genius. Winnie,” he said her name full of sarcasm, “took our clothes. You’d rather starve than have me cook au naturel?”

Brice’s cheeks flamed red. He shook his head. “Of course not, it’s just…well…I’ve never known anyone to --”

“Cook in their birthday suit? Not like I have any clothes to put on.” Dakota smiled. “Really, Brice, it’s not a problem. Don’t worry your pretty little head about it. Go and sit at the table like a good boy, and I’ll have this done in a jiffy.”

“I’m not a boy. Or a kid.” His eyes narrowed and his lips pressed into a thin line.

The look of his anger was as sexy as his embarrassment. The twitch of Dakota’s dick brought back the reality of the situation to him. Pushing back the desire like the professional he was, he shrugged again. “Whatever you say.” It wouldn’t be good have a stiffy around knives and hot stuff, so he kept control of his thoughts.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

So, here we are in August already. The dog days of summer are definitely upon us. I spent last weekend in the heat of Las Vegas, sunning by the pool and checking out the guys. Since we were at the 21-and-over-tops-optional pool, it was easy to watch them while they were busy trying to scope out the brave women who took off their bikini tops.

Of course, it was also easy to spot the men who had no interest in breasts, because they were busy talking to each other instead. :D It was easy to watch them, too. I talked to a very nice young European boy in the pool who confessed that he was dating one of the male strippers in the Chippendales show. I don't know if I'd pay to see the Chippendales dancers, but I might consider paying to watch this young man with one of them. Then, of course, I was horrified at the paths my mind was traveling while making conversation with this perfectly polite guy. If he'd only known! But hey, he was the one who offered the information.

So, despite losing too much money and staying up too late and drinking too much and inhaling too much secondhand smoke, I sincerely thank Lionel* for unwittingly making my weekend very successful.

*may or may not be his real name
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