Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wide World of Sports

Here's a question: Which sport would you love to see as the setting for an m/m romance?

I've written about pro tennis and figure skating, and am a sports fan in general. There's just something about the drama of sport -- and all the sweaty, hunky men -- that inspires me. How about you? Do you like sports? And even if you don't, do you still enjoy romances set in the sports world?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I would assume....


Why would any writer in 2011 “assume” anything. This came about on a blog I saw where someone posted some thoughts about writing a fan-fic. “I would assume that LAPD had helicopters,” and such was the reasoning that they’d have to have a chase at night. One, jut ask any resident of Los Angeles and you will get an earful about the helicopters of the LAPD…mostly the incessant chatter overhead.

As a side note, the errieest thing about the week post 9/11, as a resident of LA, was how QUIET it was. All air traffic was grounded. The steady back-beat from the air, that’s so prevalent, you don’t even consciously hear it, was suddenly gone. But I digress.

So the chase must therefore happen at night when the helicopters couldn’t “see” the guy.  One look at LAPD’s blog (yes, they have one) will tell you that the LAPD uses two types of night vision.  One is typical night vision -- the green black imaging -- then the other is infrared -- heat tracking. LAPD, like a good deal of most cop shops these days, has a blog. And like many cops, they act like seventeen year old boys when discussing their technology. They love to talk about it.

When I’m writing about a specific organization, the first place I go is that organization’s website. Now, sometimes, they don’t have one and you have to do a deeper search. I’ve run into it. I’ve had to...OMG, pic up the phone and call a department and say I’m a novelist and I have a character who just gets pulled over by one of your officers and what kind of uniforms do you have?  That may be more effort than you want to put out for a fan fic, but for a book you’re going to put on the market? Do it. Get it right. 

We owe it to the readers.

De Trop Tropes

I love tropes. I love romance tropes. And if we're going to believe Joseph Campbell, every story is the same story any way. Some tropes are considered especially de trop, though. You'd think that we in the romance community would have learned from our own shoddy treatment in the literary world not to piss on the tropes of our own genre. Billionaire's Mistress, Secret Baby, yeah, we can laugh at them, but there's a reason they're still around—something about them touches readers.

I've learned something. And it's taken a long time to get here and I'm still working on it, but it revolves around the whole "Never Say Never." I keep getting smacked in the face with it, so I guess it's time to admit it. Every time I swear I'll never read or write X because it just doesn't "work" for me, I find the exception. The one time the trope or genre or deus ex machine—or whatever I've been ranting about in my too-full-of-myself way—works beautifully. Take Mpreg in fan fiction. Nope never. But then you find a writer who makes you not only believe the insanity, but love reading it.

And with that, I hope you guys will be as excited as I am at the release of the trope-filled Bad Company, which comes out June 7. You're in for some stiff competition in the excitement department, because I'm bouncing at the idea that the next time I blog, Nate and Kellan will be out there, and I hope, making readers smile. I had this idea about making a marriage of convenience work for a contemporary gay couple who can't of course, get married—not in Baltimore, at the moment anyway. Along the way to their Happily Ever After, I danced with the tropes Friends to Lovers, a touch of Gay for You, and my old favorite Reunion Romance. Normally, I start freaking out about two weeks before release day, convinced that this time, I've written something no one could possibly like. This time I have the same feeling I had before Collision Course, that I loved these guys so much you would have as much fun with them as I did. You'll have to let me know if my tropes were, uh, de trop.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Oh no she isn't!

Oh no! She is! She's writing about women! *gasp* What can I say? When characters finally start talking to me, I have to listen, and this time the characters are women. Don't worry, though. There are a couple of fellows in my head who have started to chat a bit, too. They're just a lot less forthcoming than the ladies, so I'm afraid they have to wait a little while. Frankly, I'm glad the two pairs aren't fighting for my attention. The gents are being just that, gentlemen, and waiting patiently on the back burner in my brain. It makes for a much saner me. Or should I say much less insane me? That's probably more accurate.

So here's a question for you. We're all here because we love to read m/m stories, right? Right. But do you dabble in other romantic pairings (or groupings), or are you strictly "Boys Only"?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

2010 was not so much of a writing year for me. But 2011 has kept me busy indeed. I've had two releases already and I'm currently working on a July and August deadline for two other books. So exciting!

A new TV show has caught my attention. I always have it on these days when I'm writing, and today there's a marathon of it. I got a lot of words done today with Extreme Couponing in the background! I'm loving this show. When the people are at the checkout stand with their coupons and they talk about being nervous while they watch their total, I get nervous right along with them. Then I stare in awe at their cupboards and pantries that are stockpiled with seventeen jars of peanut butter. BUT IT WAS ALL ON SALE.

Another show that I let play in the background while I write is Sister Wives. My friend says that there should be a show called Brother Husbands, but I ask you, what woman in their right mind would want to care for more than one husband? One is plenty, take it from me.

One last tidbit: I'm on Twitter, finally. Feel free to follow: @ToryTemple

Happy Sunday, everybody.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Appearance: Book Expo America: May 24-26, 2011

I'll be at Book Expo America (BEA) this year--w00t! Stop by and see me at the Dreamspinner Press booth, where I'll be doing signings, sketchings, and such. I'll also have a sneak-peak at my upcoming DSP sketchbook project, which should be coming out later in the summer. Please stop by!

BookExpo America (BEA): http://www.bookexpoamerica.com/
May 24-26: Exhibits, Conference, Special Events
Javits Center
655 West 34th Street
New York, N.Y 10001

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

This and That

Okay, so which summer movies are you most looking forward to? For me, it's X-Men: First Class (hello Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy!) and the last Harry Potter installment. I almost don't want to watch Harry, as I don't want it to be over. After the last book, it was nice still having several movies. I'm going to miss this series so, so much.

Speaking of HP, I saw Daniel Radcliffe in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying on Broadway last week, and he was fantastic! The staging and costumes were so colourful and fun, and the show was an old-fashioned singin' and dancin' extravaganza. I expected Daniel to be capable and decent enough, but he far exceeded my expectations. He has a lovely singing voice that is stronger than I thought it would be based on the clips. "I Believe" and "Rosemary" stand out especially. His comedic timing is excellent, and he just gave a terrific performance. I really wish he'd gotten a Tony nom! But I'm sure he will one day if he keeps performing like this and pushing his boundaries.

Monday, May 16, 2011

One week to Reckless Behaviour

The time has flown and I realize that exactly one week from today I have a book releasing. Here is the blurb and excerpt.

Reckless Behaviour

Total E Bound
Release. Date: May 23, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-85715-552-8
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Impressions - Book 1
Length: Novella
Format: E-Book
Buy Here on May 23, 2011- http://www.total-e-bound.com/authordetail.asp?A_ID=167

Aidan Vaughn lets himself be swept into a night of passion with a sexy younger man. After their one night of pleasure, Aidan believes he’s seen the last of him. But fate has other plans. The hot young man is crossing his path again and is making his intentions clear. Aidan considers him off limits, at least by his own rules. Yet, Aidan finds himself wondering…was once really enough?

Enrique Matthews is not one to pass up opportunities. And he sure as hell wasn't about to with this one. It didn't matter if it was luck or coincidence that he found the hot older gentleman with whom he’d had one memorable night. Now he had to convince Aidan he wanted more than a one night stand. Will determination and seduction get him what he desires? Enrique was willing, able, and limber enough to engage in a little … hell, a lot… of Reckless Behaviour to get what he wanted … this sexy man for his, now and forever.


“All you have to do is say yes to giving us a shot, Aidan. One little word.” He was whispering against Aidan’s lips.

Aidan wouldn’t look at him and refused to speak. Enrique smiled. Now that he knew he was getting to Aidan, he would wait to hear the words. It would go against his usual way of going full throttle for what he wanted, but he wanted Aidan to say it, because once he did, he was not letting him go.

“I’m going to enjoy hearing you say yes, Aidan,” Enrique whispered, still against Aidan’s lips. “Until then.”

Enrique leant in and kissed him. It was hungry, rough and encompassing. Aidan whimpered and grabbed his head. Enrique hissed as Aidan sucked hungrily on his tongue. Aidan’s fingers clenched in Enrique’s hair, loosening it from its bindings. Enrique leaned against Aidan, rubbing against his hard erection. Aidan made hungry sounds in the back of his throat. Using his tenuous control, Enrique pulled away.

“Is that yes, Aidan?” he asked hoarsely.

“No.” Aidan gulped, breathing hard.

Enrique growled, then kissed him thoroughly again before stepping away. Aidan sagged, then caught himself. Enrique stepped back, watching him. He put his thumbs in the loops at the waist of his jeans. He placed his hands fingers-down, framing his erection.

“When you do say yes, then this is all yours. Until then, I’ll keep touching you, since you like it so much,” Enrique promised.

“I…didn’t say that. Just wondering why you had backed off. But you were right to, since we can’t,” Aidan replied.

“We will,” Enrique vowed.

He studied Aidan, with his glistening lips, laboured breathing and the straining erection in his black slacks. Aidan raised shaking hands and pushed back his short, messy dark hair. Whistling, Enrique turned and swaggered to the other door and out of the classroom.

Copyright © Talia Carmichael, 2011.
All Rights Reserved.

Buy Here on May 23, 2011- http://www.total-e-bound.com/authordetail.asp?A_ID=167

Talia Carmichael
Fill Your Cravings

Blog: http://taliacarmichael.com/blog

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Snippet of Rhapsody, a little R-rated

Today I thought I'd post a snippet of my upcoming novel, Rhapsody For Piano and Ghost:

Julian was graceful. Fitz had noticed a certain elegance in the way he’d moved when they’d walked here from the club. Julian’s every movement was fluid yet controlled, as if any lack of restraint would cause him to whirl off and perform some complicated ballet moves. His long legs were strong. Fitz could see the muscles of his calves and thighs under the drape of his trousers. His back was strong and straight while his shoulders were… Fitz swallowed. For an older guy, he was hot. Julian held his head to the side a little, like he was Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Fitz knew he’d been trained to dance like that. That it was something to do with…line, maybe. Julian’s was flawless. It was a pleasure to watch, so Fitz sat like a child at the top of the stairs and spied on them through the banisters.

“You still dance like a god,” Serge told Julian. He’d removed his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeves, revealing fine, strong forearms. His vest fit him snugly, accentuating broad shoulders and a trim waist.

“When I’m in your arms, I quite forget everything else.” Julian acted coy. He flirted more than anyone Fitz had ever seen, and Serge ate it up with a spoon.

“Perhaps we should find something more modern than a Strauss waltz.” Serge broke away and left Julian standing there. A moment later, Fitz heard the music change to some old song about a skylark.

Et bien,” Serge said low in his throat, as if the act of speaking French caused his voice to deepen. Viens avec moi, mon ange. Allons danser.

“Oh, Serge,” Julian sighed. Serge pulled Julian to him again, this time more intimately. He slipped his hand around Julian’s waist but dropped it low, to the base of his spine, pulling him in tight. His other hand pressed Julian’s palm to his chest and held it there. Julian rested his head on Serge’s shoulder.

Fitz bit his lip. They were…amazing together. The contrast of Julian’s light hair and Serge’s dark; the way they rubbed their bristly cheeks together. It was an act as intimate as naked foreplay. Fitz shifted in his seat, stuck now, not wanting to rise from his perch because they might see him, and not really that thrilled to be sitting there watching because their mood was very clearly turning more romantic. Serge began to sing to Julian, a clear, lovely baritone voice that seemed to throb with desire.

Wow. What wouldn’t Fitz give to have someone hold him like that? The right someone, he clarified, not a guy who was going to try to get him high and then throw him into a trash bin because he refused to bend over in the bathroom…

Before he knew it, Fitz was blinking back tears.

Well, shit.

Julian raised the hand he’d had draped around Serge’s neck and cupped the back of his head to pull him in for a kiss. And what a kiss it was. Fitz rolled his eyes. He would think two guys who’d been together long enough to finish each other’s sentences would have at least taken the edge off a little before then.

But Julian kissed Serge like it was time to get off the amphibious assault craft and storm the beach at Normandy. And Serge…well, Serge just worshipped Julian. Like he’d found the cure for cancer. And it went on and on, long after that skylark song was over and two more besides it, until something about nightingales came on and the two men were beginning to get touchy-feely.


By now Fitz couldn’t tear his gaze away. He hoped to heaven he didn’t have to wait until he was that old for some guy to want him like that. He was definitely going to have to head to bed before these two went any further, or he’d cream himself. It helped to remember he was wearing some unknown girl’s pajamas. He began to rise to his feet when a hush came over the room. The music had finished playing, but Serge and Julian still danced as though they heard it.

Serge.” Julian tipped his head back to give Serge access to his neck. Fitz heard his moan -- a low cry deep in his throat -- when Serge bit down on the hump of muscle at the junction of his neck and shoulder. Both of Serge’s hands slipped down to Julian’s ass cheeks to hold him steady while they ground against one other.

On y va?” Serge asked between kisses. J’en ai besoin, mon ange.”

“Of course, my lover.” Julian pulled back to answer him. “I need you as well.”

Fitz saw Julian leap into Serge’s arms, and he wanted to hold up a score card or something, like a perfect 10.0 from the American judge, when Julian locked his ankles behind Serge’s back and Serge took his weight without skipping a beat. They rocked together briefly, sinuously, and then Serge began to move. Fitz assumed he was heading in the direction of the nearest bed and had a moment of blind panic when he realized they might head his way, up the stairs.

Instead they seemed to be going in the direction of the nearest wall, and Fitz’s heart nearly burst with joy. His mouth went dry, and he was alternately besieged by excitement and shame.

Ohcrapohcrapohcrap… Should he…could he watch?

On the one hand, Fitz would be delighted to see these two in action. He’d clearly underestimated the sheer, blessed hottitude that could exist between two weirdly handsome older guys. He and his dick were firmly and inconveniently engaged in an act of voyeurism the likes of which he’d never experienced since Adelaide’s second husband, Edward the Exhibitionist, went after the pool boy when Fitz was in second grade.

But back then the idea of a man getting banged by another man simply didn’t have the oompah it had for him now. He’d thought someone was going to be injured, and he’d been bewildered and hurt by Adelaide’s abrupt and angry reaction when he ran to her and reported what he’d seen.

Alternately -- and more unfortunately -- there seemed to be no getting rid of the deeply inculcated shame of that Irish-kid-from-a-Catholic-school upbringing. So naturally, generations of guilt weren’t wasting any time making him feel awful about watching virtual strangers get it on.

What to do?

Then his old guys did something so shocking that Fitz’s brain shorted out like a rat had chewed through his power cord.

When Fitz got up from where he’d fallen to the bottom of the steps, he thought maybe he’d imagined the whole thing. Or that he’d hit his head on the way down instead of just tripping a little while trying to flee and sliding down on his ass.

Because Serge and Julian had made their sexed-up, nugget-grinding way to the far wall of the living room, which was cream colored, wainscoted in white enameled paneling, and solid as…well…as any wall could ever be, and they’d simply…disappeared through it.



Fitz headed for the bedroom they’d left him in and crawled back into bed. Fucking Garrett and his damn drugs. Fucking ecstasy.

First he narrowly escaped getting his cherry popped in the bathroom of a damned club; then he woke up in a trash bin with some old English guy trying to yoink his jacket; next he hallucinated ballroom dancing and old guys making out and disappearing into thin air. He felt tears sting his eyelids but refused to give in to them.

He needed a good night’s sleep and maybe a quart of coffee in the morning and he’d be good as new.

Because shit.

Poof, man.

Nothing good could come of that.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Questioning Stereotypes

I'm not sure why I've been contemplating this topic so much in the last week or two but I keep examining my own reactions to both people and situations and challenging myself to question my assumptions and whatever stereotypes I have.

Stereotypes and assumptions are natural. I think people have a need to classify things somehow and they will seek to find ways to do so, even when the categories may be inaccurate, incorrect, etc.

I, myself, break a stereotype in that I am a woman working in high tech and (though not anymore) I worked as a software tester, a technical role. Most women in high tech are not in this sort of technical role. I believe there are many reasons for this including cultural stereotypes, but it's the statistical reality.

But just because something is a stereotype, it doesn't mean it's the truth. I try to write heroes that, in some way, break out of a stereotype. I actually don't write manga-based stories because I immediately want to rebel against the generally accepted stereotypes. I really enjoy watching readers be surprised by my heroes - like my very muscular, big and tattooed motorcycle-riding tough guy who happens to be a chocolatier and is owned by two female russian blue cats.

I think breaking out of stereotypes can add a lot of spice and interest to your stories and, in real life, can open your heart to great friendships with fascinating people. Looking beyond the first impressions and your own biases can enrich your life greatly.

What stereotypes in m/m romance do you wish authors would break more often?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ten Five Things

I'm two scenes from finishing Bad Boyfriend, the sequel to Bad Company which comes out next month, and my brain is shot for blog ideaa, so I'm stealing a popular meme. I was going to list ten things you might not know about me, but I'm pretty boring so I kept it at five.

I love roller coasters, but I'm terrified and dizzied by heights.

I've been a vegetarian almost all my life, and the toughest demand I make on my imagination is writing believably about a character enjoying the smells and tastes of food I find gross.

As much as I love words, I'm a terrible Scrabble player.

If I could be any animal I'd be an otter, but I think the cutest animal on the planet is a baby sloth.

I never believed we'd have flying cars in the twenty-first century, but I did think we would be able to surgically implant gills in people. (I still want to sign up for that.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Matter of Tense

I've been experiencing an odd phenomenon. Characters are talking to me in first person and (get this) present tense. Think about that. First person. Okay, not so very strange. But present tense? Who does that? I have noticed it's a trend in YA literature, and indeed the 13-year-old girl in my brain told me her story that way. (Note to self, start shopping that manuscript.) But those are stories told from the POV of teens, and there's a large enough part of me that still remembers middle and high schools (gods help me) that this makes sense to me. Show me a teen who isn't living in the moment, and I'll show you a teen who has deeper issues than getting their homework done or whether or not to go to the dance. But adults? That's a different animal all together. Of course that's how we experience life, but fictional characters don't have to. They can have the luxury of having their end, or their destination, or what have you be a known quantity from the beginning. In fact, a lot of times that's preferable from the writer's point of view. This whole present tense thing has got me utterly puzzled.

On the other hand, at least one of the voices in my head is finally talking and making sense, so I guess I should be glad for small favours, right? Let's hope he gets chatty today at the coffee shop because I have two hours to fill there and it'll be awfully lonely if he clams up on me.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

For Cinco de Mayo, I found this delicious video montage of sizzlin' hot Mexican men:

I don't know about you, but my Fifth of May just got a little spicier. The above featured hotties include the following male celebrities, all proudly hailing from Mexico:

Gabriel Soto
Jaime Camil
Aaron Diaz
Kuno Becker
Alfonso de Nigris aka Poncho
Gael Garcia B.
Valentino Lanus
Alfonso Herrera
Eduardo Verastegui

Hmmm, I think I know where I'm going for my next vacation!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Music Monday

A lot of people ask what kind of music I listen to when I write. It varies, but I thought I'd share a little of what has been playing while I work on the current work-in-progress.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Runner and The Writer

I’m a runner and I’m a writer. The two go hand in hand. If I’m not running, my writing suffers and when I don’t feel like writing, I’m usually the laziest beast on the planet, curled up on the sofa flinging colorful birds at little green pigs with smug smiles.

It is a beautiful balance of physical and mental: both activities cathartic, renewing, and freeing. When I’m writing I’m hunched over a laptop balanced on my lap while doing my best to find a comfortable position in my chair without disturbing the cat. Not ergonomically correct by any means. After a good session at the computer, like yesterday when I added 3100 words to a chapter of Summer Lust (because a book with “lust” in the title needs more smut), I stood to stretch and that wasn’t enough.

I’ve run in everything but a blizzard. I love a rainy August afternoon, and a cool, crisp spring morning. I’m not fond of thirty degrees, but I’ve done it, with Bag Balm on my lips to keep them from chapping, and ugly, torn sweats over my running tights to keep my thighs from freezing. Yesterday wasn’t cold. Yesterday, in shorts, a tank top, and an old Patriots cap, I hit the road. It wasn’t the best run training wise – in fact, it was downright awful – but it did accomplish one goal, and that was to get the body moving, the blood flowing, and the brain back into a creative gear. I had fried the Muse with that new scene, and I needed her recharged to better vilify the ex-boyfriend in today’s edits. I returned home sweaty and with a loose synopsis of a sequel crashing around in my head.

And that, dear Readers, is the beauty of combining running and writing. When I’m on the road, my thoughts are focused on stride, pacing, breathing, and cars zipping by at fifteen miles over the speed limit and uncomfortably close to that thin white line at my right. While I’m distracted by all of those things, my subconscious is busy coming up with new ways to distract me once I’m seated in front of the computer again.

Hey, Conscious Mind, what if we introduce a little chemical influence to the next story?
Hey, Conscious Mind, what if we redeem the Evil Bad Guy?

Meanwhile, Conscious Mind hadn’t really intended to write a sequel, but it’s happy to start writing again, letting the creativity flow, and molding it to the needs at hand, which happen to be the original story, now more vibrant and alive with thoughts of the future for the men involved. Without realizing it yesterday, during that run I dove a little deeper into the reason Cody tolerates Alan in his life during the span of Summer Lust, and now I’m ready to make the scene with the two of them together darker, stronger, and more eye-opening than before.

Of course, after spending time writing this blog post, I may just sneak out for a mile or two first.

As for Summer Lust, I do not have an official release date yet. I like my teasing early and often, but I promise to announce more details once I’ve been granted the go ahead to do so.

Happy Beltane, dear Readers!

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