Thursday, March 31, 2011

Romantic Times

So next week is the infamous Romantic Times Convention out here in sunny So.Cal.

We do need to have a talk with the RT folks on why they put it in Downtown LA. I mean, seriously, its a wasteland and a ghosttown after 7pm. It is by no means a "vibrant city center" like many other downtown districts are. You go in, you go to work, you leave...maybe you go to the Disney Concert Hall or Dorthy Chandler for Opera, and you eat before you go into downtown and you go back to near where you live for after performance cocktails.  On weekends you might go to Olivera Street or Korea Town for some shopping or Santee Alley if you need knock off Rolexes and a pet turtle for the kids while you pick up a boys Quinceniara tux for $50.00.  There is a "mall" downtown...it closes at 7pm.

But if you're there, I'll be around. You can find me probably hanging at the bar or scoping some panels.  On Friday I'll be doing the "Fight Club" panel at 10am and the "Champagne Promo on a Beer Budget" panel at 2:45.

Come by, say hi.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ahem.


Hey!

We used to have this cute song at summer camp that we sang before announcements, but it's the kind of thing that's mostly only cute at summer camp and even if I was tech savvy enough to imbed a recording of me singing it, my voice would make you all flee before I could get to the announcements.

First of all, for anyone in the capital area of Albany, NY I'm going to be at the NY Library Association's Book Festival at the Empire State Plaza in Albany this Saturday (April 2). This link takes you to the website and a little map. It's open to the public and free to attend, and there will be lots of stuff there for book lovers. I recommend parking in the underground garage (it's worth the $5) Leave yourself some extra time, because although it's easy to get to, the Plaza was designed in the age when we wanted everything to look so symmetrical it's disorienting once you're out of the car. Did we pass that modern art painting before?

In addition to the total coolness of seeing me—and many more famous authors—there are panels on many topics. I'm involved in one called "Writing Under the Covers" which is scheduled at 12:45 so feel free to show up and ask me embarrassing or interesting questions.

And for the very shiny news: My June release has a gorgeous cover.
That's Kellan in front and Nate in back. Best of all, after you fall in love with them in Bad Company you'll get to hang out with them—and their friend Eli in Bad Boyfriend which will release in December. I love these books and can't wait to share them with everyone. They've been a lot of fun to write. Okay, I'm back to torturing Quinn so Eli can make it up to him. Hope to see you Saturday.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's almost here!

Release day, that is! This Saturday, 2 April, my next novella will be coming out from Torquere, Compass Hearts.

How do you define yourself when others have always done it for you? Half a world from home, Matthew must find the answer before his loses the one man who may truly love him.

As the fourth son of merchant parents, Matthew Morgan has always been superfluous. The only guidance he ever received was to behave himself and stay out of the way. Now, at a new university half a world away from home, he must discover who he is and what he wants. The only trouble is, he's never made a decision in his life.

When Ash Thearon meets Matthew -- the handsome fellow student he's been ogling all quarter -- he finds him sweet, sexy, and more than a little puzzling. To solve that puzzle, he must first collect all the pieces -- something more easily said than done.

The new friends quickly become lovers, but Matthew's sheltered life has taught him only how to follow another's lead. Ash wants more than that; he wants the give and take of an equal. Matthew's tendency to try too hard to please others leaves Ash wondering how to teach him independence without losing him.

And I must give a shout out to Alessia Brio for the gorgeous cover art!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New book!

I've been telling people about this book forever, so I'm thrilled I can finally offer a to-buy link.

Happy World
, my co-written novel with Kiernan Kelly, is now available! Here's the blurb from the site:

Kyle Forester likes rules and schedules, and he loves his janitorial job at Happy World. The gigantic theme park has strict regulations that Kyle knows are in place for a reason. After all, life just runs more smoothly when there are rules in effect, and Kyle is going to make sure his new trainee is fully aware of that. They’ll both get along fine, Kyle is sure. Anyone working at Happy World must be a good employee.

Rory Stafford doesn't like policies or regulations. Unfortunately, getting a job at the world's most popular theme park comes with a handbook full of both those things. Rory is pretty sure his new job at Happy World isn't going to work out, especially after he meets his trainer, Kyle Forester. Kyle is definitely a rule-follower and makes no secret of his contempt for Rory's rule-breaking. However, after just a few shifts together, Kyle and Rory discover that they can’t keep their hands off each other. The two of them find themselves on a wild roller coaster ride of heat, emotion, and not-so-hidden lust as Kyle and Rory try to find common ground in the giant hamster ball known as Happy World.


If you've ever - and I mean EVER - been to a theme park, you'll like this one. Kiernan and I had so much fun working on it together. There are rides, junk food, crowds, games... and oh yes, a little bit of hot lovin'. Step right this way, all for the bargain price of $5.99 ebook or $13.95 print!

If you've bought the book already, I'm going to be running a contest very soon on my website that has some easy questions about the book. Stay tuned for that, and go check out Happy World.... it's the horniest place on earth.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Get a Good Read

Who wants a free book? If you head over to Goodreads now, you can enter to win my giveaway, a signed copy of M-Squared, my first M/M collection in print! M-Squared features some of my later M/M stories: Long Awaited Friend, Dare and Dare Alike, By the Chimney With Dare, and others. It is also available from DLP Books and Kindle for only $2.99!

Also, if you're in New York City today, come by the Rainbow Book Fair, the largest GLBT book event on the east coast! I'll be selling and signing with Augusta Li, Eon de Beaumont, and KT Grant. I enjoyed myself last time I went, hope to meet readers who love the manlove this time!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

RIP Liz Taylor

Liz Taylor has passed away at 79. If you have to ask why I'm posting about her here at an M/M blog, then you must not be aware of how she stood by Rock Hudson in his final days. Or was an ardent supporter of gay rights before it was the cool thing to do. Or devoted her later years to AIDS activism. RIP, Violet Eyes.



Ms. Taylor's memory can be honored in the form of a contribution or message at the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation: http://www.elizabethtayloraidsfoundation.org/


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Any new gay movies out there?

I'm in the mood for some gay cinema, but I feel like I've seen all the good gay flicks out there. Can anyone rec a quality movie from the last two years or so? Non-tragic endings are preferred!

Monday, March 21, 2011

E-Reader Moment

I'm so excited to be a new blogger on Slash & Burn.

A little over a week ago I had a moment. My sis, her hubby and my nieces came by unexpectedly. I was surprised but glad to see them. Well they surprised me with more than a visit. They gave me a new e-reader in celebration of my upcoming e-book releases. My sis said she wanted me to have a shinny reader so I could read the books I enjoy and write where ever I go. I was bawling like a baby. And the reader has Wi-Fi too.

It wasn’t the reader that made me cry it was my sis's support of my writing. I didn't think she understood how much writing means to me. But this makes me know she does. (sniffling then grinning). I've been playing with the reader a few hours now and I'm so excited. My sis and her hubby are so awesome.

The first book I loaded on my new e-reader was the galley for Detour my upcoming Dreamspinner Press. Loading my own book first on the reader was another teary-eyed. Oy. I’m not usually such a crier. Since then I’ve called my sis a few times thanking her and hubby. She just keeps laughing at me.

After loading some of my favorite e-books on reader I was eager to see how they looked on it. They look so great and I was off and reading. It’s been over a week already and I am really enjoying having a reader so I don’t have to read on my computer. I have lots of re-reading in my future. And buying some new books for the reader. I think my wallet and the reader had a chat they are plotting against me. LOL.

Talia Carmichael
http://taliacarmichael.com/
Fill Your Cravings

Blog: http://taliacarmichael.com/blog
Check the sneak peeks of my books and what I'm blogging about.

Detour, Dreamspinner Press, Coming 2011
Reckless Behaviour, Total E Bound, May 23 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Supermoon!

It’s The Supermoon!

Look, up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… Supermoon.

It’s hard to describe how cheated I feel. Our normally cloudless Southern California sky is dramatically overcast and I can’t see it. I got a glimpse of it at one point, a very large, very bright orb of light behind a lacy cloud. But as for actually seeing the moon at its largest in 18 years, I doubt that I will be able to see it tonight.

The last time there was a lunar perigee like this one I wasn’t yet a mother. I saw the moon that year, and I remember wondering what life had in store for me.

This year, while I can’t see the moon, I can my eighteen-year-old daughter, who recently received her acceptance letter from the University of California At Santa Cruz. (Go Banana Slugs!) I can see her brother, the sixteen-year-old who lives for jazz choir, and the thirteen-year-old twins, soccer enthusiasts, gamers, and unfettered science geeks. I see a perfectly chaotic house and a dog and some pretty lively family vacation photos.

I see a row of books on the shelf that bear my pen name.

Life happens fast, doesn’t it?

Back when I looked up at that other moon, I couldn’t begin to imagine everything that would happened to me in the span of 18 years.

That was a lifetime ago. And in one very real sense, I am not the same person. I started writing on a dare from my kids and my goal of one day getting published seemed about as far away as the moon itself. Even at its closest, the moon seems to be a bright, shiny, yet very unreachable goal to pursue.

But one small step at a time, one word, one paragraph, one badly formatted bit of dialogue, one page, one chapter, one book, and it all came together.

Soon, I had something to share with the world. I’ve been published since 2008. I’ve written twelve or so novel-length works in that time, several novellas, and some short stories that have found their way into anthologies.

This year if I could see the moon, I would imagine that it knows I feel wonder with regard to all that has transpired.

I feel gratitude.

I anticipate more hard work, more challenges, and more fun. I’d tell everyone I know to look up and imagine where they could be in the next eighteen years. I'd tell them to imagine change.

Imagine equality. Imagine religious tolerance. Imagine making major advances in medicine. Imagine civility. I imagine all of this and I will to put forth every effort to make it a reality by the next time that big moon rolls around.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Thank You Very Much

When I think about the past couple of years I want to burst into that song from the Albert Finney version of Scrooge, heavy on the "That's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me." I tend to be a bit sarcastic and snarky (You? Never I hear you say) but expressing gratitude is an important part of feeling good no matter what your spiritual-emotional path.

I announced my career intention as authoress (yes, I was keen on gender differentiation in words) at the age of six. It took me longer than I expected to reach that, but now I can say that I can support myself with my writing. I haven't quit my day job, because my wife would kill me and live on the insurance, but if I had to, I could be simply an authoress. It is mind-blowing and humbling because one of the things I couldn't grasp at the age of six is that to be an author who made a living one had to also have readers. Readers who were willing to pay real money (not Monopoly money) for the opportunity to be dragged into my imagination. To believe that people are willing to do that takes incredible chutzpah. To actually see it happen can leave a girl awestruck.

I am living my dream. And I couldn't be here without readers. And if I'm really slow on answering an email (or if you sent me one and it's floating in cyberspace) please know that I am profoundly and humbly grateful for your willingness to come with me as I tell you a story.

Quoting the songwriter again, "I would simply like to say, Thank you very, very, very much."

I'd love to express my gratitude in person if you happen to be near central New Jersey. I'm participating in the Book Fair at the Liberty States conference. It's from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin, NJ. For more details, stop over here. Do not feel like you have to buy books there (though it's nice ;) especially if you've

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Haz Art!

Cover art, that is! Check out the pretty while I try to infuse enough caffeine into my blood to get me past this stupid Daylight Savings time change. *yawn*


That's nice to wake up to, though. Isn't it? Counting down until my 2 April release date!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I spent the week doing edits on two separate books and the subsequent marketing documents that go with them. Torquere's requirements for marketing docs are fairly easy, yet I always get caught up in "Should I use THIS excerpt or this one? What kind of blurb should I write? Oh, damn, I have no idea of the heat rating on this book." Basically, when you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into a novel, trying to describe it in 300 words or less is much harder than writing the actual book.

I still like doing the marketing document better than the cover art request form, though. That's the one that really makes me panic, mostly because my covers don't often turn out the way I expected them to. I have one hard and fast rule: no faces. Funny, because I love other people's covers with faces on them! But I have such a clear picture in my head of my own characters that I don't like seeing a false representation of them on my book covers.

Anyway, I expect by the next time my blog day rolls around, I'll have a buy link for at least one of those books I mentioned. If you're curious, there's a "coming soon" blurb for each of them at my site, Stems and Petals. Happy Sunday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I see you shiver, with antici--

...pation. The day's nearly over, but I made it. Hey, I like to make an entrance! I've brought along some thigh-high goodness:



I think Batman makes a nice Frank. I think Robin/Columbia agrees.

God, I love fan art. See the higher-rez lovelies courtesy of artist LJK08 here: http://ljk08.deviantart.com/art/He-s-the-hero-196226154





Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Looking for Some Heat

Both the sexual and literal kind! I don't know about you guys, but I'm so very over winter. So. Over. It. Spring is around the corner, but I'm in the mood for summer. Since I can't go down south for spring break and will be stuck up north in the slush, I'd love some sexy summer romance recommendations.

Whether it takes place at the beach, in the desert, the jungle, or during a heatwave, hit with your hot recs!

p.s. Also having a discussion on why you like m/m fiction at my website and would love to hear your thoughts. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Free ebooks...This week only at Smashwords...

grpth20037.jpg
To celebrate Read an Ebook week, I'm offering After Sunset, Screwed, and Pool Boy Seduction for free on Smashwords. Inestimable Blessings is 25% off as well. Get 'em while you can guys, the sale ends on March 12th.


http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/authoramandayoung

Contest Winner!

Hey guys! I'd like to announce the winner of the contest I ran here on Slash & Burn two weeks ago.

Congratulations to GSCL! You've won an autographed copy of Pyromancer. Please send me an email containing your snail mail address to authoramandayoungATgmail.com.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who entered! I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Introducing Pia (kinda)

Wow, look at me on this blog website with so many wonderful writers. I feel like a real author today. Okay, so that feeling started when Silver Publishing sent me a contract for Fallen, but it ebbs and flows like the creativity that led me this far.

I know I should write a proper introduction, but I've never been a proper girl. You'll get to know me as I post, or your curiosity will get the best of you and you'll check out my website linked over there on the left. Instead of a proper introduction, I'd rather share a contest with you.

Come visit my blog, Staking the Muse, to learn how to enter a drawing for my third release, Man Whore (release date next Saturday). Best of all, your participation will earn money for the Trevor Project for GLBT youth, and possibly for Puppies Behind Bars, a training program that leads pups to guide dog school.

Meanwhile, I'll be catching up on my reading (M/M of course, but also some horror that's been sitting on the shelf way too long), writing (the sequel to Man Whore, and/or two WiPs involving musicians-- not that I have a penchant for boys with long hair that tease beautiful music out of instruments), and running (you know -- running -- very cathartic, and a relaxing way to tease the Muse into work).

I'll be back soon. I'm looking forward to it. Until then, visit the contest here: Staking the Muse

Ciao,
Pia Veleno
--
About the Author:


Pia is a dirty girl, but she knows you're naughty too. Tongue in cheek, and everywhere else, Pia spends her time running nowhere, avoiding housework, and randomly quoting Placebo lyrics. Now that others are reading her stories, her husband no longer wonders about her obsession with gay men falling in love.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Impressed is out as part of Riding the Rocket

My m/m steampunk short, Impressed, is now out as part of the 13 author anthology "Riding the Rocket" from Renaissance e-Books Sizzle line.

You can buy this book here: http://shop.renebooks.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=ANTHO-02. There are a lot of fun stories in it and they are all quite different.

As for me, Impressed is my take on a sailing navy turned into an airship navy and Hawaii as a port of call but a Honolulu more reminiscent of the dives of ports in the late 1800s with opium dens, pickpockets and press gangs.

Below is a very short but new excerpt - I hope you enjoy!

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Impressed
(c) 2010 by Maura Anderson

Cage stepped through the door at the urging of the rifle barrel behind him. The room was an elegant stateroom with a polished wooden table in the center, surrounded by six chairs upholstered in burgundy leather and studded with brass tacks. A door was open on the wall to the right, through which Cage could see a dresser—most likely the captain’s cabin.

The two airmen pulled out a chair and indicated he should sit, now with his back toward the captain’s cabin and released his hands only to shackle them to the arms of the chair instead with the irons already in place. They turned and saluted toward the man undoubtedly standing behind him.

“That will be all, gentlemen.” That voice was familiar, way too familiar. A mix of anger and longing heated Cage’s blood but he managed to hold his tongue until the two airmen exited the stateroom, securing the door behind themselves.
Footsteps approached Cage’s back but he couldn’t crane his neck far enough to see if he was right about who captained this airship, about whose voice he’d heard.

“I am Micajah Jamison, Chief Warrant Officer of the United States Navy and assigned to the USAS Lady Rainier. I demand to know why I am being held?”

The very man he’d pined over stepped around from behind him. Harland’s ginger hair was cropped short enough to tame the curls and he was dressed in a casual work uniform instead of in full dress.

Cage’s heart lurched at the sight and despite the humiliating and infuriating situation, his cock was instantly throbbing for attention—for Harland’s attention. He pulled on the shackles and snarled at Harland.

“What the fuck is going on, Harland? You’ve seized a member of the United States Navy and brought him aboard a British airship? It’s illegal!”

Harland stepped closer and reached out a hand to caress Cage’s roughly whiskered face. “I’ve missed you, too, Cage.”

-------------------------------------

If you've read Impressed -- I'd love to know what you think!



Friday, March 4, 2011

Talkin' about the X-factor...


In the midst of juggling a million-and-a-half things, I have rediscovered something this year: my love for comic books. I'm not talking about my general enthusiasm for the medium--I've been a fangirl since I started reading them in *GASP* 1993 and I've always loved my fave characters. But somewhere along the way, I stopped collecting issues in favor of the occasional wiki recap (HORROR OF HORRORS!) to keep me reasonably up-to-date with the Marvel or DC U. And then...it happened...

A few weeks ago, a long-time friend smacked me upside the head and said, 'What the hell's wrong with you? Do you know what you're missing??' She's a huge X-Factor fan, and with her enthusiastic encouragement, I hit my local comic shop on a personal quest to check this book out. First up, Peter David's writing the series, and if you don't know who he is, that's only because you haven't looked at your shelf of fantasy books and Star Trek novelizations in a while. The dude gets character's *right*, his dialog is tack sharp, and the artist he's paired with on the series is a kick-ass comic book chica. Oh, and did I mention that Shatterstar and Rictor are still very much a hot m/m item? Their relationship is so much fun to read about, and they're a big part of why I am not trolling around the comic shop every 1st Wednesday of the month for the latest issue.

I hiiiiiighly recommend you guys check this book out! There are graphic novels collecting individual issues on Amazon if you're not a mega-nerd like me and need the individual issues. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No Wonder He's Having So Much Trouble With It

As I believe I have mentioned, video/image skills, I have them not. But in this absolutely fabulous, one-of-the-all-time best movies Rear Window is a great snippet of dialogue that often plays in my head. I tried to embed it and failed, so the link is here. link The dialogue is at 9:00 to 9:30. If you don't have the patience for that, it's like this.

Lisa (dreamily): There's that song again. Where does a man get inspiration to write a song like that.

Jeff (dryly): He gets it from the landlady once a month.

I do get that question from wonderful concerned friends and subtle saboteurs alike. How do you keep writing? Aren't you afraid you'll run out of ideas? Where do you find the time?

It is both of sides of the coin in that dialogue: the dreams and the dry, romance and practicality. I get the wonderful booster shots from the powers of creation that gift me with a flow. On days when those powers have other places to be and my fingers are halting and painfully slow at the keyboard, I remind myself that I'm in a business.

I love writing stories. It's my passion, but I've gone part time at my day job (Whoo and a whole lot a Hoo!) and the desire to be sheltered and fed and hopefully solvent is an equally strong inspiration.

When my imaginary friends are pissed off enough to not be speaking to me, I have to go to plans B, C, and sometimes as far as AaPrime to haul the words out of my brain, but as far as inspiration goes, there's nothing like the sheer panic of working with a much smaller net.

Earlier in the film, the characters talk about the same song and songwriter.

Lisa: Where's that beautiful music coming from.

Jeff: There's a songwriter over there in that apartment. Lives alone. Probably had a very unhappy marriage.

Lisa: It's enchanting. It's almost as if it were being written especially for us.

Jeff: No wonder he's having so much trouble with it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Upcoming New Release

I have a release date for my latest novella! Compass Hearts will be available from Torquere Press on 2 April! To whet your appetites, here is an (unedited) excerpt from the book.

****

Compass Hearts by Maia Strong

He barely recognized his own voice as he went on. "The human body is...fascinating." There was a question, an invitation, underlying his statement. He hoped Ash would hear it and understand. Despite this sudden swell of bravery, he knew he couldn't say that out loud.

A slow smile spread across Ash's face. Matthew grinned back, guessing his message had gotten through. His guess was confirmed when Ash asked, "Have you ever had a live model?"

"No." Matthew's cock strained at his breeches. He yearned to draw Ash, see him stripped and posed. He couldn't remember ever wanting anything so much or so urgently in his life.

Then reality crashed down on him. His face fell. "My materials are at my apartment." In the time it took to get there and back, the moment would be beyond lost. And there was no way he was taking Ash back to his flat. He didn't want Ash to see it. It was so unbearably grim, lacking in any charm or comfort, especially when compared to Ash's quirky and inviting room upstairs.

"What do you need?" Ash asked.

"Charcoal pencils, largish paper."

"I have that."

"You do?" Matthew perked up at this spark of hope. It was almost too good to believe. "How? Why?"

"Botany class. We do a lot of plant sketching. I not only have charcoal pencils, I have pressed pigment pencils."

Matthew's eyes lit up and Ash grinned and grabbed his hand. "Come on." Ash pulled him to his feet and toward the stairs.

Matthew's practical side asserted itself and, still clinging to sense, he asked, "What about our books?"

"No one will bother them. Come on!" He practically dragged Matthew from the parlor. By the time their feet hit the stairs, though, Matthew was plenty willing to follow him up.

Inside the cozy comfort of the little attic room, Ash went immediately to the window seat. He opened it and fished around inside, coming up a moment later with a large tablet and a tin box. "Here." He handed the box to Matthew who opened it and looked in wonder at the myriad colored pencils within.

"Where did you get these?" he asked, awed and envious.

"Some of them I bought in town. Some of them my dad gave me before I came here." Ash flipped through the tablet of his Botany drawings, Matthew looking over his shoulder. The plants were barely recognizable, and then only because he'd labeled them. "They're awful, I know," said Ash. He pulled a disgusted face. "It's all right to say so."

"I just have one question," said Matthew.

"Yes?" Ash turned and looked up at him. "What?"

"Are you actually passing Botany?"

Ash burst out laughing. "All right, Master Critical." He flipped to a blank sheet and shoved the tablet at Matthew. "Let's see you do better."

"That much I can guarantee."

"I've never been an artist's model." Ash's eyes looked deep blue in the lantern light and his voice was husky. "Tell me what to do."

Matthew swallowed hard once. The heat and tightness in his groin were intense and he was glad for the tablet he held in front of him. What was he thinking? He'd never get through this! Panic began to rise in him, quelling his arousal. No. I want to do this, damn it! Steeling himself and taking control of his fear, he said with as much authority as he could muster, "Strip."

****

Hopefully that's piqued your interest. ;-) I should have a cover to share with you next time I'm here, so keep your eyes peeled for that, too!
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