Monday, May 31, 2010

Reckless is now available in print!

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Reckless

ISBN: 978-1451588866

Now available at...

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Amanda Young, best-selling author of gay fiction, brings you two sizzling tales of seduction. Previously available only in electronic format, these erotic novellas have now been combined for a paperback edition! Included are the stories...

Reckless Seduction
When nineteen year old Cody Bradbury gets his hands on an invitation to the hottest party of the year at The Casbah, an exclusive gay men's club owned by his uncle, he doesn't plan to let anything stand in his way of attending. With a stolen invitation, fake identification, and a hastily thrown together costume, Cody sneaks into the club during its annual Halloween party with the intention of checking out the action and losing his long-despised cherry.

He can't believe his good luck when Dante Santiago comes on to him. Cody knows the older man wants his body, but is there any chance Dante might want more than an orgasm? There's only one way to find out, and Cody plans to make it a night neither of them will ever forget.

Reckless Behavior

After six months with his lover, Cody yearns for monogamy. The threesomes he and Dante engage in are fun, but he needs more from the man he has grown to care about. Although Cody longs to tell Dante how he feels, he fears love and fidelity are two words missing from his older lover's vocabulary.

Click HERE to read a spicy excerpt!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Back to my roots

That's right, folks. We're gonna talk about band slash.

Blame the hubby. He DVR'ed some Brit music festival because it listed Franz Ferdinand, who he knows I like. Well, said festival also featured a song by The Bravery. I'm not a particular fan of their music, but I really, really, really want Sam Endicott and Michael Zakarin to doo eet. They'd just look so very, very pretty together.

Speaking of pretty together, there's always Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal of Placebo. Look how hot it is when they kiss onstage! Gotta wonder what Stef's boyfriend thinks about that. Or Molko's girlfriend. Oh who am I kidding, it probably turns them on too *g*
For anyone who is unaware, there is a wealth of fanfic out there pairing up Bri and Stef. Like it's such a huge stretch. Heh.

I'm watching Franz Ferdinand on the festival show right now. People, don't you wish you could watch some dangerous, brooding alpha-dog type take Alex Kapranos into a seedy motel room with an orange bedspread and, er, mess up his hair? Although something tells me Alex might have a dark streak himself.
**happy shiver**

Okay, I have about a zillion more bands/musicians I'd either like to slash or actually have done in the past (Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, Beck, Patrick Wolf, Carl Barat of the now-defunct Libertines, to name but a few), but it's my bedtime. What about you guys? What bands and singers star in your slashy dreams?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

HEA Bells

Whether it's a Happy For Now or a Happily Ever After, writers make a promise to readers when we label our books romance. But for those of us who write (or live) a gay romance, the traditional HEA progression and labels aren't available: fall in love, yes; get married, no. There are a few exceptions to this, but for the most part, in real life and in fiction, we have to form our HEA without external definitions or support.

Personally, I like that freedom, and I think most of my characters do, too. (What? They're real. We've had this conversation before.) But there's another side to it, one that I had the opportunity to experience myself six years ago this Friday, May 28: My Big Gay Wedding Anniversary.

We'd had disappointments before, thinking we'd be able to get married. We decided not to let ourselves get too excited or to make plans until we were sure we would be really able to do it. We even told ourselves we didn't need it, with a mortgage and eighteen years already binding us together, but we watched for the Massachusetts court decision, the last minute maneuvering, and, when it seemed clear it couldn't be stopped, we got our paperwork and blood tests in order (although we still reside in a marital gray area forty minutes from the Mass border in neighboring New York). It was really happening.


Then we found out that the state planned to enforce an archaic law--created to prevent interracial couples from traveling to Massachusetts to marry--to keep gay couples from doing the same.

A ray of hope came in the persons of several brave county clerks who were steadfastly ignoring the prohibition. Still hopeful, we traveled to the nearest of those counties to apply for our license. The marriage was on, just as soon as the waiting period was up. It was time to make plans. Plans I'd abandoned, even in my imagination, since sixth grade.

We called the families. With the date looming, all I knew was that I wanted flowers. I completely forgot about people taking pictures or that I might want something special to wear. After only three days of constantly changing lists of who would attend and who would stay where, I finally understood why there is such a thing as Bridezilla. But it was happening.

The day before the wedding, the news came that the four remaining county clerks risked arrest if they continued to marry out-of-state couples. With my bags packed and my flowers waiting, I called the Worchester County clerk. He assured me we would be married the next day.

Truth be told, I don't remember a thing about the ceremony, except that it poured like a tropical depression had settled over Massachusetts. There was no place to park. We all looked like we'd been swimming in our clothes. But after eighteen years together, my wife and I were married in Massachusetts. When I kissed my wife, it occurred to me that, in all those years, I'd never kissed her in front of my parents.

That was when the depth of what we were doing it hit me.

I had never let society define me or my relationship. My wife and I, like most gay couples, made our own rules. We set our anniversary based on when we'd started fucking dating. We didn't change just because we had a paper saying we were married. (And thanks to DOMA and other crap, our rights sure haven't changed.) But what we did, that very public and official declaration, changed the way people saw us.

Both of us have very supportive families, but it wasn't until we married that our families had a label for us, a way to introduce us, a date to put on their calendar. (For the first time, we get anniversary cards, from both sets of parents.) Our siblings' fierce support stunned us. (My sister declared that if they made a distinction between marriage and civil unions, she was getting a divorce and getting a "union.") And remembering the determination of the clerk--who, for his bravery, was arrested the following Monday--still brings a lump to my throat.

But despite the joy and pride I take in recognizing my marriage anniversary, the part of me that was able to define my love for eighteen years--without the help of society's labels--waves a flag of rebellion. Even before any official benediction, we accepted the responsibilities of this life-long commitment. We sure as hell deserve the same rights conferred on any other couple who promises to love and honor. And, even as happy as I am to have an easier label for significant other, life partner, or unmarried spouse, that rebellious part of me wants say, "Screw your definitions. We made it the hard way, without your support."

Every time my characters find their own unique way to defining their HEA, they're saying it too.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Drive-by from Down Under

Just a quickie this week as I'm on an internet cafe computer in Christchurch, NZ where in the shore time my hubby and I will be here, they are expecting to get 1/4 to 1/3 of their rain for the year. ... You can take the girl out of the Pacific NW, but you can't take the PNW out of the girl: she brings the rain with her so she feels at home wherever she may go. ;)

Spent a few days in Sydney before coming here and discovered that the Opera House and Harbour Bridge are, indeed, real (Sometimes where these iconic structures are concerned, I have my doubts.); the Aussies real do love their pies (My fave of the ones I tried was pumpkin, feta, and lentils from a little bakery in the Blue Mountain region.); and that even in autumn, Manly Beach is quite manly. Wish I had pics, but I haven't gone through them yet. If I got anything really good, I'll share when I get home.

I should be working on some proofing/editing of a couple of manuscripts, but, dude, I'm in New freakin' Zealand. Work, much as I love writing, will just have to wait. Perhaps the rain will inspire me to stay in? ... Nah!

Kia ora!

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Monday again. The beginning of a new week. The weekend officially over. :(
Summer has hit full blown here in Florida. It's hot and muggy. However, the water is heating in the ocean and swimming pools, so the upcoming Memorial Day weekend will be very pleasant.

I'm busy at work finally completeing a WIP titled Kinks R Us and I thought I'd post an excerpt today. It mixes the real world with one that houses fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters.
*Note: This is from the first draft so please excuse any grammer problems and it's still got some kinks in it.*


Graham wandered the store. Devlin was closing up, counting the till, and dealing with the stock. The security company, Pied Piper’s Security, had already installed an alarm system in Devlin’s apartment and was finishing up down in the store. Within the hour, they would know if someone took a piss on the wall outside between the cameras and motion detectors set up.
He stared upon the collection of dildos on the wall before him. He’d never seen so many sizes, shapes, or colors for a cock in his entire life. But it seemed safer to look at these than gazing at his client like a love-sick puppy. No, he wasn’t in love, it’s just that Devlin was mesmerizing and felt a stirring of lust that aroused his cock to life, twitching and demanding some attention.
Steering his thoughts away from the demanding lust, he concentrated on Devlin. His client’s life was rather dull in the most part. Went jogging every other day, the gym on the days he didn’t jog, worked nearly every day in the store, and journeyed outside of Fairytale Land to a monthly book club meeting. . His life pretty much revolved around Gramps and the store. No girlfriends. No boyfriends. That last bit threw Graham, not pegging Devlin as bi-sexual.
Not that it mattered to Graham, who had finally come out of the closet last year and admitted to his superiors that he was gay. The way they handled that bit of news, on top of a lot of other bullshit, mostly political, had nailed down his decision to retire from the Secret Service and open his own business. It had been a lot more fruitful financially and he’d been able to pick and chose his clients.
“I can make you a deal on one if you’re interested.”
Graham jumped. Damn, he’d been so far in his thoughts, trying not to think of Devlin, that he’d snuck up on him.
“Got a preference?” He asked trying to shake the off the trepidation.
“I can tell you which ones are preferred.” Devlin stepped away, his hands going into the front pockets of his pants. Nervousness?
Graham turned his head from the plastic cocks on the wall to gaze at Devlin’s profile. His brow rose in question. “Prefer the real thing?” Okay, he had no right in asking such a personal question, but until he learned Devlin was into men also, Graham’s imagination had been creating all sorts of scenarios. Who wouldn’t with so much sex paraphernalia around?
Devlin’s cheeks flushed. “I’m just not into this.” His hand made a wide arch indicating the entire store.
“Really?” Graham was surprised. Only, he reminded himself not to assume too much. Assumptions could really make an ass of a person. A lesson hard learned.
“I’m what they call vanilla. A normal guy.”
Graham thought Devlin was anything but normal. Those beguiling eyes were far from ordinary. Watching Devlin deal with his customers and gracefully move through the store was proof that he was far from common. But he didn’t say so. “So people who shop here, who use sex toys to enhance their sexual pleasure, aren’t normal? Freaks, maybe?”
“Of course not!” Devlin looked appalled. “I would never think that. Many of our customers are also friends.”
Feeling bold and a little flirty, something was driving Graham to see how true Devlin’s convictions were. He stepped closer to Devlin, backing his client into a display holding a variety of lubricants; plain and scented. Even though Devlin was only an inch shorter, Graham knew his bulk would be daunting.
“Have you ever tried some of this stuff?” His voice was low, scratchy with lust. This tone had been seductive in the past. “Has a lover ever licked chocolate from your body? Played with a little hot wax? Or maybe even watch a porn movie with a lover?”
Devlin’s eyes widened and the color already rising on his cheeks deepened in color. His breath was puffing on Graham’s neck, chest lifting and sinking faster than before. His mouth opened and closed slowly as if he was going to answer then thought better of it.
Graham hadn’t even touched Devlin, but he didn’t have to look down at his crotch to see if his words had affected him. Without a doubt, by his physical reaction, Graham had turned Devlin on. In turn, the images his mind had created had given life to his own cock. It was a double-edge sword. And he was close to crossing that line with a client if he didn’t stop.
“It’s none of your business.” Devlin was pulling himself together, standing straighter and calming his stunned expression.
Still Graham pushed, dangerously close to doing something he shouldn’t. “Come now, Devlin. Being surrounded by this stuff day after day, you don’t fantasize using some of these products? To feel the thrill of being naughty?” Holy shit, where was this coming from? He’d never been this blatant in a pursuit. Especially one he shouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. He was hired to guard and protect the man from a crazed maniac, not seducing or trying to convince him to use sex toys.
Devlin’s chartreuse eyes darkened before his lids closed while he sharply sucked in a breath. Yes, Graham was truly getting to him. Devlin shook his head, as if trying to deny it.

“I’ve got to finish closing.” Graham watched as he sidestepped away and rushed back to the checkout counter, a dark heat gathering in his gut. Despite his usually strong work ethics, Graham was teetering on the edge, a sneeze would topple him over.
Graham dragged his hands through his short-cut hair, letting out a long sigh. He suddenly realized that this was going to be a long night and an even longer case.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Announcing: Silver Wings, an M/M Steampunk Anthology

After an exhaustive search, I'm pleased to announce I have four stories for inclusion in my upcoming editing project: Silver Wings. This is to be an anthology of M/M steampunk erotica, due out from Phaze Books in early 2011. The four tales included are:

"Steamy Surrender" by Mahalia Levey
"Nothing Ventured" by Cari Z.
"Spoils of War" by Ross Baxter
"The Deserter" by J.T. Whitehall

I'd like to thank everybody who submitted work. I look forward to seeing more steampunk romance with Phaze Books in the future.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Zoe's May Listmania

I am not dead! Hurrah! I am just working which is less hurrah but it means I have money and that is, as always, a wonderful thing in these wallet-cinching times.

Pain Management by yours truly and the infinitely adorable Cassidy Ryan is now on ARe and has received four steamy cups from Coffee Time Romance! "Ms. Ryan and Ms. Nichols have powerful pens with eloquent wording and vivid pictures that flow from one page to the next...." Thanks, Danielle!

I just stumbled onto a sweet mini review for Pain Management from Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos. Scroll down a bit, we're in the Book Update section. We made Chris cry - for good reasons. Thank you so much for the kind words, Chris!

The Royal Touch, my femdom BDSM short from Noble Romance, is now up on 1 Romance ebooks for $1.50! Grab it while you can!

The Royal Touch gets three cups from Coffee Time! "Zoe Nichols writes an exciting yet suspenseful tale that leaves the reader wondering about the outcome until the very end..." Thanks, Delane!

The Royal Touch is now on ARe!


That's all, folks. See y'all next time :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

As the Obsession Turns

I have a problem. Just when I thought I was out, As the World Turns pulled me back in. I used to love Luke and Noah and their young, gay love, but they fizzled a while ago and I was only watching out of loyalty and habit. I was about to stop cold turkey when this snarky, older, HOT doctor came along. Luke and Reid are currently consuming far too many of my waking thoughts, but I'm hooked! What's a gal to do? At least the show is ending in September, so while that saddens me on several levels (I hate seeing the soaps die after so many years), at least I know this obsession will be over by the fall. In the meantime, I'll be here rewatching moments like this one.

Monday, May 17, 2010

New release - Screwed by Amanda Young

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Summarily fired and ostracized following the appearance of racy pictures online, Max Finnegan is ready to move on and leave the bigoted little town where he grew up. With his bags packed and his truck loaded, only one thing remains to be done. Before he can go, Max needs to reach out to his deeply closeted lover one last time and try to convince him to come along. One way or the other, Max is determined to depart in the morning—with or without the love of his life.





Read an excerpt

or

Buy it now at...

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Plot bunny strikes again...

Okay, so it's just a little baby bunny: small, fuzzy and not very well developed. It's still a bunny, and it's nibbling my braaaain!

Here's the thing. My family and I attended the brand-new local geek-fest Fanaticon yesterday in Asheville. It's the first year for the conference. Was a lot of fun. Think DragonCon, only about a thousandth of the size *g* Naturally, there were a LOT of people wandering around in costume. Some of those people were Cute Boys and Hot Men.

Cutie Spiderman meets Hot Brooding Dark Knight? Hello???

Yeah. Plot bunny *g*

Gonna have to make a note of that one...

Friday, May 14, 2010

"We all came out to Montreux..."





If you read Clean Slate you know whose favorite song that is. And if you're a member of Team Chris you will be thrilled to know that GORGON's badboy is coming back sexier and snarkier than ever. Yep, Dreamspinner Press has just contracted the sequel to Clean Slate that we're calling FIRST BLOOD.

Our Chris really has his hands full when he attracts the attention of one Nikita Kazakov, a mean Russian cop who has quite a few wicked kinks. Kinks Chris is powerless to resist.

Here's an unedited taste for you:

* * *


“Did you sleep with Voronin?”

“Is that what it’s about? You want to fuck the man who fucked him?”

Nikita paused, hands on his belt. “Did you?”

“Yeah, I did.” Chris’s smile was slow and malicious. “I was his first.”

Nikita paused and breathed. And then he’d killed him. Chris Gibson was a hell of a lot more ruthless than him, killing a man he’d fucked. “What was he like?”

“As a lover? A little inexperienced but a quick learner. I don’t quite know if he’d appreciate your style though. You play rough.”

“What was he like out of bed?”

The American’s look was questioning. “Can’t tell you much that you may not already know. He had some memory problems, don’t know how that affected his behavior. He was pleasant enough.”

“And you killed him.”

Chris shrugged. “It was business. Business trumps all. You know how it is.” He winced and looked down to his inner thigh. “This gets infected I’ll kill your ass.” He got off the bed and went into the adjacent bathroom.

The shower went on and Nikita looked toward the partially opened door. He was temped but as Gibson said business came first. Nikita clipped the knife sheath to the back of his belt and studied the blood droplets on the duvet.

He slipped out as silently as he'd come in wondering what Gibson would say if he knew what had been put upon him:—это мое: this is mine.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I have no words

Just Watch...not too Worksafe mind you

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rules of Pursuit?

There's this interesting (read: angsty) twist on my gay German soap opera (AWZ). Our heroes' (Roman and Deniz) happiness is being threatened by the first love (Marc) of one member of the couple. It's making for some major drama, not to mention a dream-scene so sexy and explicit even the German censors cut it down a bit. See, Mr First Love is actively pursuing Roman even though it's been ten years since they were together and despite the fact that Roman is and has repeatedly said, "I'm with Deniz". Marc keeps saying he respects that, but it has become clear that he doesn't. Only the big twist? You guessed it: Roman's unresolved feelings for (i.e., rekindled attraction to) Marc.

Meanwhile, on an American soap that's actually putting up a good m/m story line (ATWT - Apparently they've been cancelled after 54 years so the writers have said, "Fuck it. What more can they do to us?" and pulled out all the stops.) we have a different kind of love triangle. The couple (Noah and Luke) has been separated for a few months, and a new guy (Reid) has made a move, honestly, aggressively, and without equivocation, on Luke. Naturally, it's complicated because Reid's the neurosurgeon treating Noah. (Of course he is, right? What's an American soap without a neurosurgeon?) Split couple has unresolved issues, again naturally, but they are definitely split. Sort of. Maybe. Well...

They're both pretty damned compelling stories, and frankly, both of the pursuing characters are (mostly) likeable. So my question is, what do you think of these two "outsiders" and the tactics each is using to win the man he wants? Is it ever okay to go after someone who's with someone else? It's making my mind bubble with curiosity.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Who says only men can fish?

Well, it's the day after Mother's Day and I hope all those mothers out there were appreciated over the weekend. :) Myself? I went deep sea fishing with my husband and several of his cousins. It was a gathering that was much anticipated because when these guys get around each other, it's all laughs and great times. I, however, was the only female out of the nine of us on board (including the captain and his mate). My husband thought I'd feel out of place. *pfft* Yeah, right. I grew up with brothers and then end up with 4 sons and the hubby...as if I'd feel akward.
We couldn't have picked a better day. The wasn't a cloud in the sky and the slight breeze made it pretty comfortable. Needless to say, I out-fished my husband and all his cousins. *G* I caught the most fish (mostly grouper) and won the wager that we had going. (see my biggest catch below - 29 inches and very heavy...along with gooey. See the snot stuff running off it? lol A mixture of it being on ice while we were still out and then rinsing it off before it was filleted.)
Not sure if I'll be allowed on the next trip as I believe I hurt some egos *wink* But I'm sure I can sweet talk my way on again. :D
We hit the limit of how much of one type of fish we could bring in along with a couple of king fish. The funny thing...I love fishing, but can't stand to eat fish. *sigh*
I had a great day then spent Sunday with my family and getting calls from my older sons and daughter in laws. Oh, and yeah, we...or rather my family had fresh fried fish for dinner. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

Oh, and one last thing...can I have one of these next year? LOL
The houses along the area where we left dock were gorgeous! One even had a pool and jaccuzzi on its roof! There were also houses built right out in the middle of the water. Kind of like little party spots on stilts. I'd never seen anything like them. Learn something new everyday, huh?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday, Sunday.... I'm just killing time until I get to stuff my face at Mother's Day brunch. I am not a mother, but I'll take any excuse to eat.

My writing partner (the fabulous Kiernan Kelly) and I are about 10k into our novel. Thought I'd leave you guys with a little snippet while I go clean up after my run and prepare to shower my mom with all the love she deserves. Enjoy!

***

Rory chewed and swallowed the last few pieces of popcorn. Happy World did seem to have the best amusement park popcorn there was.

No, wait. The handbook had said theme park. Theme park, not amusement park. Even though Rory found himself pretty damn amused every time he looked at the handbook. There sure were a lot of freaking rules about the place.

Rules and Rory had never really gotten along. Parents, teachers, the two managers of the restaurants where he’d waited tables during college, all of them had tried imposing different rules on Rory. All of them had learned quickly enough that whatever Rory didn’t want to do, he didn’t do. Of course, this also meant that he got grounded, poor grades, and fired, but at least he took comfort in the fact that he was true to himself.

Being true to yourself only worked, however, if you were self-sufficient. And since Rory was still living on his father’s dime, he’d had to make the choice to follow Roarke Stafford, Sr.’s rules for now. One of which included getting a job.

It wasn’t Rory’s fault that his liberal studies degree wasn’t yielding him any employment in his field of choice. He’d done all the right things after graduating from college, but the economy was just so shitty that no one was hiring PR positions. Or human resource positions, or marketing positions, or any of the other things his degree qualified him for. Rory had been content to send out one or two resumes a week and spend the rest of his time on the beach with friends, but Roarke Sr. was having none of that.

“A job,” his father had said firmly. “A job, or I’m changing your trust to become available at age thirty-seven, not twenty-seven.”

“What!” Rory paused, half-in, half-out of his truck. “I’ve been trying, Dad! You can’t do that!” It sounded ridiculous even to Rory, because of course his father could do that. And was clearly going to.

“I said a job, Rory. By the end of next week. I don’t care if you’re digging ditches or picking up trash. Just get a job.” His father turned and went back to his newest, youngest wife who was lounging by the pool in the back yard.

Rory had sworn under his breath and went out to meet his friends, promising himself that he’d never, ever be picking up trash for money.

Which, of course, made the claw thing in his hand right now that much more ironic.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Win a willy!


My new contest is live and I want to share it with you all. For the month of May, I'm giving away a chocolate Clone-A-Willy kit. It's magically delicious - or could be with the right partner. :D

For details on how to enter, please visit my blog.
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