Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Crazy Days

Usually, I find that things slow down when summer winds down. It's definitely not summer weather outside right now (Yay for rain!) and September starts tomorrow. And yet... I've been baking up a storm (creating new recipes to go with a series of novels), dialect coaching a show for a theatre that's a solid 40 miles away from my home, and I just started rehearsals (fortunately much closer) for Macbeth. On top of that, my bellydance troupe has precisely one month to get our act together, literally, for our show in October. All of which boils down to: Writing? Editing? Whazzat? I haven't even had time to ogle any sexy men for inspiration, and considering that's the only thing our baseball team seems to be good for anymore, that's saying something. I'd love to blog on the nature of rejection (m/m/f fantasy novel wasn't quite what publisher #1 was looking for); or the tension inherent in waiting (GLBT paranormal submitted three weeks ago); or simply the excitement of getting a manuscript ready to submit (aforementioned m/m/f needs prepping for different publisher), but that would take too long. I have managed to write a short story this month, at least. ::sigh:: Where are those minions when I need them?
Okay, I know it's past midnight where I am, but somewhere in the world (the west coast ?) it's not tomorrow yet.  I've got a bit of a new motto as of late: Life is an everchanging rollercoaster ride..all you can do is scream and hang on tight. At least, that's how my life has been feeling. *sigh* I'm hoping now that school has started again and the kids are getting settled in, as well as most of our 'traveling' is done, I can finally get back to that schedule that fled right before summer started.  I've got several projects to complete and at least two books to find a home after major edits.
Sometimes it's like housework...it's never done - lol.

Everyone have a great week!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I've been in training for the Disneyland Half Marathon next weekend. I don't know why I'm doing this race, considering I'm not a real runner and don't even enjoy jogging for exercise, but I got sucked in by family/peer pressure. "It'll be fun!" is what my husband, brother, and sister in law said. I believed them. HAHAHAHA they were lying.

So yesterday I stopped by my local running store to pick up some more of those disgusting energy gel packets - which are like swallowing toothpaste, but actually do deliver that boost of energy I desperately need - and was approached by a young, trim, male employee. It was very obvious that running was his LIFE. He helped me choose some of the less-disgusting gels by telling me which ones he used that morning on his 12-miler. Not a race, not in training, just.... ran 12 miles because he wanted to. WHAT. I bought my gels and hightailed it out of there before they figured out I was just a poseur.

It did get me thinking, though. As much as I don't consider myself an athletic person, I LOVE writing and reading about athletic men. Very few of my heroes in my books are not athletic in some way, be it professionally or for pleasure. And since I'm definitely not what anyone would call "athletic", it's funny to me that that's the type of man I enjoy reading about.

They're just so nice to look at...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Seasons change, but beauty remains

With autumn around the corner, I find myself pondering the change of seasons and the passage of time. Before you think I'm getting all deep and meaningful, my thoughts are centered around men -- specifically, hot men. Some look best in their baby-faced younger years. Others hit their prime around middle age. And of course, we have silver foxes as testament to the beauty of winter.

I suppose that's one reason I like writing May/December relationships between two sexy men. Whether it's 11 years difference between Derek and Blue of Blue Ruin, or 24 years between Tony and Josh in my upcoming novel Sonoran Heat, my readers and I get to enjoy both ends of the spectrum with all varieties in between!

A few rare men manage to look good at any given age. In some cases, they only get better with a dash of seasoning. In my opinion, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, Viggo Mortensen, David Bowie, Mark Harmon, and Sean Connery are shining examples of men who've aged like fine wine.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's a 2,000 word post dedicated to Leonardo DiCaprio, who transitioned from pretty twink to hot man without batting an eye. He was beautiful then:

He's gorgeous now:

Leo, baby, your Japanese fans don't call you Leo-sama for nothing. So, anyone I should add to my running list of men who just get better with time? Please add your own in comments!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oh the drama...

It seems there's a storm brewing behind the M/M genre these days. Everyone has a negative opinion and is all too happy to rant and rave about it. This is not one of those posts.

I'd like to take this blog post and turn it into a celebration of the books we all know and love here at Slash & Burn. I invite everyone to come and tell me what you LOVE about gay romance. Share your first book or all-time favorite author. Tell me which upcoming novel you're dying to read. Anything positive is welcome.

Those who comment will be entered to win an ebook of their choice from my available titles. I'll choose a winner at random and make an announcement at midnight tonight in the comments section of this post.

I'll start things off...

My first gay romance novel was Bareback by Chris Owen - which came out in 2003 or 2004, I think. I loved it so much I went out and bought every other gay romance I could get my hands on. My credit card certainly got a workout although there weren't nearly as many options then as there are today.

As far as upcoming books I'm looking forward to... The first one that comes to mind is book two in the Blood Nation series by Derekica Snake. I recently finished the first book, Cake, and just loved it. I don't know when book two is due out, but I'm eager to get my hands on it. Fair warning to those who're squeamish, Cake is not a light and fluffy read. It's long, meaty, and contains a LOT of violence.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Publishing round up for the week...

It's a interesting week out there in the blogosphear...

According to Publisher's Weekly, the flagship of Gay Publishing, Alyson Books may be going down. Article Here!

Alyson has been caught in a downward spiral, in part due to the woes of its struggling parent company, Here Media (formerly known as Regent Media), which owns other gay media properties like Out magazine and the Advocate.

Then there was the OUT Magazine article featuring Erastes and Alex Beecroft -- decribing both these bi-sexual women as "straight and married." Erastes isn't married either. It pretty much follows the same tone as the LA Weekly article where my genderqueerness and bisexuality got swept under the carpet for the sake of a headline.

On the heels of that, the Lambda Blog missed the boat with it's two biggest examples of the genre! Since, you know, Lee Rowan is Lesbian and Donald Hardy is a gay man. Dudes -- FACT CHECK! That then lead to Gawker's Idiocy wherein they go off on all the straight writers writing this stuff as just PORN. NO. No. and NO again.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Loose Bunny

K.A.'s been working really hard. She kind of passed out a while ago, so I'm grabbing the blog space. Who am I? I don't even have a name yet, if you want to know the truth. And from looking around here, I really don't belong. You see, I'm not gay, all right? Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if she thinks being in one of her books is going to change that she's bat shit crazier than usual.

Yeah so, everybody experiments when they're younger, but since then? No way. I've had lots of girlfriends, and I know what I like, thank you very much. When I first found myself here, I tried to tell myself it was all fine. I know who I am, and she doesn't do gay-for-you stories. But now, I'm getting kind of nervous.

Look, it's just a thing. I just need to ride this out for six months, six months and then I'm free. Free like I'll have more money than even I can spend. If getting that money means I've got to spend those six months with him, it's all good. I mean it's not like he's a troll or something. He's—well, sometimes he's almost—not pretty but—shit. It's hard to explain unless you've met him. There's this thing he does with his with his thumb and his lips when he thinks nobody's looking—not that I've been looking. If he caught me looking, he'd laugh his tight little ass off—not that I've noticed that either.

The money, right. Lots and lots of money. You know who else likes money? Chicks. Hot women with soft bodies and the right kind of curves. And that's all I've got to say about it. Except for that thing about his eyes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

iPod as Prophet?

I had my iPod on shuffle the other day. You know shuffle. That setting that supposedly randomizes all the music on your iPod and plays whateverthehell randomness that the algorithms choose? Yeah, that. Well, this past weekend, my iPod "randomly" shuffled between Blue Öyster Cult's "Club Ninja" in order and a witchy-themed playlist I have, with the occasional smattering of tunes by my favorite Scottish rock band, Runrig. The conclusion reached by me and the friend riding in the car with me at the time? Either it was telling me to go back to my old m/m Star Trek fanfiction, or I need to write some short stories in the universe where my GLBT paranormal novels are set. On one hand, I love that fanfiction, but I have a very hard time convincing myself to write anything these days that couldn't potentially be published. On the other hand, considering that the aforementioned paranormal novels aren't yet contracted, let alone published, and that I only submitted the first one to a publisher a couple of weeks ago, this short story collection idea seems a little...what's the word? Ambitious? Optimistic? Nuts? Maybe all of the above and then some. And yet this is precisely what I did. I wrote the first short story (and I do mean short – only 4200 words, give or take) that was uppermost in my mind. I have solid ideas for two more, and thoughts of two more after that. All of which makes me wonder: Just how random is the iPod shuffle function? Was it just a wacky algorithm or was it tuned into something greater? The world may never know... [cue Twilight Zone theme...] ;-)

Monday, August 16, 2010

How do you like your men?

For the first time in a while I've had a little extra money and wanted to buy a book or two. Real life has really had me swamped the summer and I was really in the mood for a good M/M book to relax with. My poor e-reader has been sitting too long and wants to be used again. I went to my usual haunts as well as looking through my 'wish lists' in my favorites or suppliers. Even looked through some review groups.

That's when I realized there so much to choose from and it all revolves around how you like your guy.  Do you like your heros vamp or were (or both)? Maybe some space traveler or dragon slayer/or layer if the dragon is a shifter. ;) They can be erotic or maybe just romantic. Oh, let's not forget the cops or firemen. *drool* Then there's the delicious cowboys...probably some Indians if I look hard enough. There's even some historical scoundrals and hot hunky pirates calling. And last but not least, just yummy men of today (contemporary).

So many choices. How does one choose? I still haven't because I like them all - LOL Hopefully I'll make a decision before the weekend because I'll be out of town next week.

So how do you like your men?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Well! When I was making my usual rounds tonight of the online gossip rags - that's right, I read mindless internet drivel - I found some news that DELIGHTED me.

There are two more trophies in Neil Patrick Harris' future -- he and partner David Burtka are expecting twins.

The actor took to Twitter on Saturday to reveal the happy news for him and Burtka, the chef and sometimes-thespian he's been with for about six years.

"So, get this: David and I are expecting twins this fall. We're super excited/nervous/thrilled. Hoping the press can respect our privacy," he said.

Eeee! That is such exciting news for them. Read the rest of the article HERE.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tools for Writing

No, really -- tools for writing! What do you think of this new BioErgonomic pen designed by Mohsen Tafazzoly? As far as "ergonomic" goes, I'm thinking the "bio" aspect could be a little rough on the wrist:

But look, it comes in colors! (Take that as you will...)

More details on the handy dandy pen-is here:


The designer seems to think women are more likely to use his creation than men, but I think plenty of boys out there would know exactly how to take this one in hand! Personally, I think it would be fun to sign autographs with these at a convention. Maybe I could deduct a set from my income taxes? (Considering my career, it would be just another amusing "itemized deduction" for the IRS to shake their heads at.)


Got words going and ideas brewing. But I admit, mostly, I'm watching this. What can I say? I'm a sucker for badass Brits.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hot vampire, or hottest vampire?

Forget boring Bill and lame Edward. Eric gets my vote!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Two new releases & a contest!


Lee Calder’s life is right on track. He has a small circle of close friends, a career he loves, and a baby on the way via a surrogate. Mr. Right is nowhere to be found, but Lee isn’t about to let that little tidbit rain on his parade. He’s more than willing to thrust his other needs aside and focus on fulfilling his lifelong dream of being a father.

With his love life in the gutter, Lee turns to fantasies of his hunky neighbor, Finn Alexander. His daydreaming is merely a harmless diversion until Finn comes to Lee’s rescue on a dark and stormy night.

To Lee’s surprise, the chemistry they shared in his imagination is nothing compared to the real thing. Finn is as hot between the sheets as Lee always envisioned. Better still, they get along famously outside the bedroom. The only things standing in the way of Lee having it all are the bundle of joy due any minute and Finn’s apparent aversion to children.

Ebook - $4.99

ISBN: 9781452483429

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Print - $9.99

ISBN: 9781453699805

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Book I in the Chicken Ranch Series

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 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 his only 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.

What Declan doesn’t count on is Killian’s connection to one of the brothel’s regular clients, or the way his love life is about to blow up in his face.

Print - $9.99

ISBN: 9781453737118

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Seeing as how it has been a while since the last time I've run a contest here on Slash & Burn I thought I would jump on the opportunity to do a giveaway in conjunction with today's post. The people that leave a comment on today's blog post will be entered to win an autographed copy of either of the books mentioned above. You can choose which one you want.

Just leave a comment telling me which book you'd rather win if your name is chosen. Simple as that. So I don't have to track anyone down, please leave an email address where you can be reached along with your comment. I'll choose a random winner and announce their name in the comments section of this blog post at 11:59pm tonight.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Love, Like Ghosts in print

Truth. Lies. A century-old mystery. What a tangled web…

(A Bay City Paranormal Investigations story)

At age eleven, Adrian Broussard accidentally used his mind to open a portal to another dimension. Now, ten years later, he’s successfully harnessed his strong psychokinetic abilities. In the process, he’s learned the lessons which have become the guiding principles of his life. Absolute truth. Absolute control. Always.

Sticking to his personal code of ethics has never been a problem, until two chance meetings—one with a hundred-year-old ghost, one with a handsome, very-much-alive man—turn his orderly existence upside down.

Having grown up in a family of paranormal investigators, Adrian is intrigued by the spirit of Lyndon Groome and determined to solve the mystery of his death. Greg Woodhall, however, affects Adrian in unpredictable ways. Not only does his every touch challenge Adrian’s hard-won control over his abilities, his company quickly becomes a light in Adrian’s lonely life.

As the mystery surrounding Lyndon’s death turns sinister, Adrian’s relationship with Greg deepens into something serious. Something Adrian wants to keep. But intimacy isn’t as easy as honesty, and when the heart’s involved, the line between right and wrong can blur.

(Warning: This book contains a gory ghost, a haunted castle, nerdy college parties and gay sex enhanced by psychic powers.)

And now, an awesome excerpt for you. I know it's an old one, but it's my favorite because I like the yummy kissing :D Enjoy!!

(click here to get the print book)


Print © Copyright 2010 Ally Blue

By the time they left the restaurant the temperature outside had dropped at least ten degrees, the predicted cold front slinking in on a stiff breeze. Remembering how good it had felt to hold Greg close before, Adrian used Greg’s shivers as a reason to wind an arm around his shoulders as they walked. Greg pressed against him, left arm sliding around his waist. They both knew the cold was only an excuse, but for once Adrian didn’t care. He liked the warmth of Greg’s body at his side, the way Greg’s hip bumped and swayed against his as they walked.

Turning his head, Adrian dared to nuzzle Greg’s silky curls. They smelled fresh and clean, like he’d just washed his hair. Greg hummed and rubbed his head against Adrian’s face like a cat. Adrian laughed. He had no idea whether to blame the wine, Greg or his resolve to let go of his own reins for a change, but he felt freer than he had in years. Possibly his whole life.

When Greg’s dorm came into view, Adrian slowed his pace. He didn’t want the evening to end. There would be other dates. He had no doubt about that. But Greg fit perfectly beneath his arm, and he didn’t want to let go yet.

Greg pulled him aside into the shadows just before they reached the steps to the dorm door. His arms slipped around Adrian’s waist, pulling their bodies flush against one another. “Adrian. I know I promised not to try anything, and I won’t, but…” He brushed Adrian’s cheek with his. “I want you so much right now. I don’t want you to go.”

Adrian swallowed against his hammering heart. “I…I want you too.”

Greg’s breath huffed against Adrian’s ear. “Come inside with me. My roommate’s staying with his girlfriend tonight.” His palms splayed open on Adrian’s back, fingers digging in. “God, I really want to be alone with you.”

The naked desire in Greg’s whispered words made Adrian’s knees weak. He rested one shaking hand on Greg’s hip and cupped his cheek in the other, forcing him back until they could look each other in the eye. Even in the near-dark, the fire in Greg’s eyes came close to destroying Adrian’s resolve.

“Not tonight.” He traced the line of Greg’s jaw with his fingers. “I’m sorry.”

Greg let out a breathless laugh. “Can’t blame a guy for trying, huh?”

Adrian ran his thumb across Greg’s lips. They felt incredibly soft. Heart fluttering like a hummingbird’s wings, Adrian leaned closer. Greg’s gaze caught his, eyes heavy-lidded and full of heat. Sliding his hand upward, Adrian tangled his fingers into Greg’s hair and brought their mouths together.

The instant their lips touched, Adrian’s power flared inside him. Electricity licked the curve of his skull, skated along his skin and crackled in the air. His cock filled so fast it hurt.

On fire with a lust stronger than he’d ever felt before, Adrian licked at Greg’s lips. Greg’s mouth opened with a soft, needy sound. His head tilted, his tongue curled around Adrian’s, and Adrian’s tenuous control slipped another notch. His hair lifted and swirled in a wind that didn’t come from the world around him.

Groaning into Greg’s mouth, Adrian skimmed the hand on Greg’s hip around to give his ass a hard squeeze. Greg responded with a low moan and a roll of his hips, and God he was hard already, as hard as Adrian, and why weren’t they in Greg’s bed right now?

You know why. Get a hold of yourself.

Summoning his years of hard-won discipline, Adrian planted both hands on Greg’s shoulders and forced himself to break the kiss. Greg whimpered in protest, grasping at Adrian’s arms with both hands. “No. Don’t stop.”

“Have to.” Adrian’s words emerged rough and breathless. He framed Greg’s face in his palms and stared into Greg’s wide, glazed eyes. “I told you before, I don’t do casual sex.”

Greg laid his hands over Adrian’s. His gaze bored straight through Adrian’s skull. “There was nothing casual about that kiss, and you know it.”

Fear spiked through Adrian’s blood. Did Greg know? Had he somehow figured out that Adrian possessed psychokinetic powers, and that Greg’s touch caused them to rage out of control?

No. Because if he knew, he’d understand that you can’t possibly take him to bed until you can control what happens. If one kiss makes you lose it like this…

Closing his eyes, Adrian leaned his forehead against Greg’s. “I know. I just…I need more time. Please.”

Silence. Adrian caressed Greg’s cheeks with his thumbs. Overhead, the rising wind tossed the trees’ branches and wailed around the corners of the building. Adrian could feel Greg’s breath against his lips, warm and scented with the Kahlua cake they’d shared for dessert. Fighting off the urge to taste it straight from Greg’s tongue took everything Adrian had. He licked his own lips instead, wishing he could kiss Greg again and do it right this time. Take it slow. Savor the feel and smell and taste of him.

“Okay,” Greg whispered at last. His hands dropped to Adrian’s chest and moved sideways to fist in his jacket. “But if you won’t go to bed with me tonight, the least you can do is kiss me again.”

Adrian couldn’t help the laugh that bubbled up. Opening his eyes, he drew back enough to smile at Greg’s frown. “You read my mind.”

The corners of Greg’s mouth turned up. “So get on with it, Casanova.”

Maybe it was because he was prepared for his body’s reaction. But this time, when Greg’s mouth opened under his and their tongues slid together, the power that surged through Adrian’s body no longer felt overwhelming. His heart still thumped too fast, his limbs still shook and his cock still felt full enough to burst, but he was able to disperse the excess energy harmlessly into the ground at his feet. He buried both hands in Greg’s hair and drank in the sweet taste of his mouth, his tiny whimpers, the way he clung to Adrian as if he’d fall down otherwise.

It was never like this with Christian, Adrian thought, dazed, as he and Greg pulled apart several long, glorious minutes later. He stared into Greg’s eyes, feeling as lust-drunk as Greg looked.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Which One Are You Again?

There's an issue I want to talk about that same sex couples face, one that sadly fails to gain much attention because we don't let it happen in fiction.

I refer, of course, to the issue over names.

When I was in college, I had a friend named Beth. In due course of time, Beth had a girlfriend. Named Beth. BethnBeth, as we called them, were both blondes of roughly the same height and weight, both sporting short hair. Adorable, I know, but picture yourself in this conversation:

"Hey, Beth was looking for you."

"Which Beth?"


It would never do in those days of radical feminism to declare Beth (my initial friend) as butcher than Beth, her girlfriend, lest you be accused of gender stereotyping and antediluvian role assignment, but in fact, "butcher" was about the only differentiation between BethnBeth that could be accomplished in fewer words than would make up a five-page essay, one-inch margins, double-spaced for my Intro to Feminism class.

Now over the course of my life, I have met opposite-sex couples named Don and Donna, Dean and Deanna, and even Bobby and Bobbie, but they have a fairly uncomplicated way to differentiate, relying on words such as male and female. And it's not just same-sex couples with the same name like BethnBeth. My wife and I both have names that start with the K sound (if not the same letter). Many people who meet us as a couple say with an apologetic grimace, "Which one were you again?"

When I was working on Life, Over Easy, which is set on a college campus that may or may not be the one still hosting the evil intergalactic bureaucracy that conferred my assorted degrees, I couldn't help but remember my old friends BethnBeth. As the John in the book starts his new life, he acquires a group of friends, one of them a couple named Gavin and Garrett. For the rest of the book, John cannot tell them apart. I made them both blonds, of equal height and weight. Somehow I think Beth—and Beth, who parted ways not long after presenting us with that fascinating name game, would be amused.

This just in: Thanks to hard work and the correct application of the U.S. Constitution, a TomnTom or a BethnBeth can look forward to equal protection under the law, at least in California. I'm no good with graphics, but insert a burst of confetti and popping champagne corks here (in your mind's eye will do nicely.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Getting My Scottish On

It was the local Scottish Highland Games this weekend and for the third year in a row, I actually got to go and play with my fellow Scottish-Americans. Needless to say, there were many, many men in kilts. There was a lot of this:
And a whole lot of this:

Sad to say, I did not see any of this:

(I haven't a clue whose image that is, but word up to ya because it is gorgeous!)

And my hubby bought one of these:
(Okay, not that one precisely, but I just dig the hell outta that pic, don't you?)

I'm a traditionalist, you see. I firmly believe that men should be wearing the kilts and women should be wearing the bifurcated garments, i.e. the pants.

And on a side note (because clearly with all the non-bifurcated garments I saw this weekend, my mind's priorities are a little mixed up) my latest novella, False Dawn came out last week. You should totally go check it out over on TQ's website! And you can find the release day author bonus scene I wrote to go with it on my website!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'm here, hi! Happy August!

I was gone for a big part of the month of July. My ten year wedding anniversary deserved some type of momentous vacation, so we took it. Disney World, the Caribbean, lots of sun and ocean and food. It was amazing. Of course, living in southern California actually provides me with lots of sun and ocean anyway, but the Pacific is kind of cold to swim in. I love jumping into blue water that feels like a bathtub!

So I've been doing lots of real life stuff this summer, including training for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. My feet are complaining but my body's loving it. Stupid exercise, being good for you.

Anyway, I suppose this is just a bit of a life update, since I received a couple of emails this week asking where I was and if I was working on anything new. The answer is "on vacation" and "yes". :D A couple of stories with co-writers, one or two things of my own, and you'll likely see all of it in 2011. Stick around!
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