Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gateway Slash

I had the good fortune to mainline S2 of BBC's "Sherlock" last week. This is, IMO, one of the most overtly slashy shows being produced, and yet they don't (and expect won't) officially put the characters together. That's fine. In fact, that's grand. It's a helluva lot more fun this way, if you ask me. Anywho, I was watching with a friend whom I converted to slash-friendly years ago and a friend who has been pretty darned het-only for as long as I've known her. (She buys my books, but doesn't read them. I think it's sweet.) However, S2 Sherlock and John has, shall we say, enlightened her to the potential goodness and delight to be had by putting two male characters together. She's even considering reading some slashy Sherlock fanfic, to which I say, "Huzzah!" (One by one, I am winning my friends over to "the dark side". ;-) ) In this way, I would call the show and the characters, specifically, her gateway slash. Like a gateway drug only much, much more fun and better for you in the long term.

My question for anyone with similar friends, or anyone who has perhaps experienced such a gateway moment themselves, what would you consider a gateway show/pairing/fic/book/etc.? What got your friend, or you, into m/m?

(I'm rather hoping this means she'll finally read my books that she bought. I appreciate the support, but it's even better when the books get read.)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Guest Blog: West Thornhill

Hi. My name is West Thornhill. Amanda graciously offered to let me post something about my first release, Transcend. This story took me a long time to write (five years) and went through many transitions before I ended with the final product. I'm working on the sequel but it's taking a lot longer than I anticipated. Not as long as this took but it's still dragging its heels. lol. Gael and Jason are two of my favorite characters. I hope you enjoy this introduction to them. Thanks, Amanda.


When Gael Astley escapes life spent as a sadist's sex slave, his rescuer introduces him to a world he never knew existed. He quickly discovers he has the powers of telepathy and telekinesis, but is confused about what this means for this life. With the help of the one person he knows he can trust, Gael embarks on an intense training regime that ultimately leads to a new career as an agent for Fillmore, a top-secret paranormal group.

Jason Phillips, a member of the Fillmore team, has secrets of his own. Though he tries to keep his distance from Gael, the two men are drawn together like moths to flame. Will Gael overcome his own insecurities and see the possibilities offered or will his past come back to destroy him?

CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains scenes of rape. Readers with a history of rape or sexual abuse may find this story disturbing. This title contains mentions of incest.


May 2011
Another year gone by

Gael stared at himself in the mirror. Hair newly shorn showed off the myriad of piercings in both ears. He grimaced before he remembered that Uncle wouldn't be stupid enough to look for Gael in a government agency, even one as obscure as Fillmore, so it didn't matter that his waist length braid was gone.
"At least this will be cooler once the humidity sets in," he said to his reflection as he ran his fingers through his hair. "Maybe with it this short the odd color won't be as noticeable."
At least he could hope. He also hoped that the shorter, shaggier cut made him look more like a man than teenage girl.
He knew his appearance had always been more pretty than manly. It wasn't his fault. He blamed it on the unknown genetic benefactors who had created him. He didn't remember anything before the orphanage and him. He had taken Gael from the orphanage when Gael was ten. He had claimed to be a long-lost uncle who'd only recently discovered his nephew had survived a plane crash that had killed his sister and brother-in-law. Five short years later Gael figured out the real reason he had created the ruse. Gael shuddered as his mind wandered back to that day.

He was sitting at his desk hurriedly trying to get his homework completed. He desperately wanted to be asleep or at least pretend to be asleep before Uncle came home. For the past few weeks, since his fifteenth birthday, Uncle had been watching him differently. It felt like he was a carcass the vultures were waiting to devour. He released the breath he'd been holding as soon as the last problem was completed, quickly turned out the lamp and dove for the bed. He'd made it.
His breathing had just returned to normal when he heard footsteps. He knew that slow, measured gait well. Uncle was home and headed to his room. He rolled to his side, facing away from the door, seconds before it opened. Uncle walked into the room and closed the door behind him. He was already more than a little unnerved. Uncle never closed the door when he checked on him at night, and he almost gave himself away when he felt the bed shift as Uncle's weight settled behind. He wanted to cringe when he felt Uncle's callused fingers trailed up his arms.
"Finally, finally you are to be mine."
His eyes flew open wide. He almost jumped when he felt Uncle's hand slide over his ass. He could feel the heat from Uncle's hand through the two layers of cotton covering him.
He didn't remember falling asleep. So he didn't know how long Uncle had actually stayed in his room, touching him and watching him sleep. He wanted to think it had all been a bad dream. That idea was jerked away when he joined Uncle for breakfast.
"You won't be attending that school any longer. We are leaving today," Uncle said. There was something in his voice that he had never heard before—complete satisfaction. The statement had been made with such authority that he knew arguing wouldn't have been advisable.
He looked down at his plate before drinking the tea Uncle handed him. "May I ask where we are going?"
Uncle smiled. "We are moving to Italy for the next few years."
He looked at Uncle unsure really of what to do or say. "Italy?" He tried to ask but what came out sounded like 'Iahe.' Why did he feel so sleepy all of a sudden?
"Don't fight it, pretty. Just let the drug do its job."
His head lolled back on his shoulders. He tried again to speak but Uncle placed a finger over his lips. "Shhh… you will have the answers soon."

"Gael? You okay in there?" A deep voice asked through the door.
Gael looked in the mirror again. He winced as he took in how pale he'd become in the space of just a few minutes. It was times like this that he wished he could bleach his memories and make the stains go away.
"Yeah, Rick, I'll be out in a sec."
"Okay. Just remember, Tink and Jason will be here soon."
He heard Rick walk away. Rick was his lifeline. The only person he trusted because Rick had saved his life two years ago. He shook his head. He didn't have time to dwell on the past. He had to look forward, so he could keep moving forward. Rick had decided that it was time for him to join an established team. Asteria was the only team with an opening. They had lost a member six months after Rick had brought Gael into Fillmore, and Rick thought they would be a good place for him to start. Gael didn't know what had happened and that made him nervous about meeting these people.
He looked at himself one last time before dropping the towel held tightly in his hands and leaving the bathroom. They were coming to pick him up and take him to his new home in Richmond. At least it was only an hour away from Rick's home in Williamsburg. If things didn't work out, he could always call Rick to come and get him. He stopped when he heard voices coming from the kitchen.
"So, where is he? I'm surprised you're ready to give him up." There was a teasing note in the melodious voice.
"You're so funny, Tink. He'll be down in a few minutes." Gael could hear the warmth and concern in Rick's voice. "This is a big deal for him."
"Fine. I'll behave for now."
Gael could hear the teasing in her laugh. A laugh that reminded him of the wind chimes in Hawaii.
Gael sighed and slowly edged away from the wall he'd been leaning against. Determined not to trip over his own feet, he strode into the kitchen feigning confidence. Nervous as hell, he wasn't prepared for his first view of Jason and it stopped him dead in his tracks. Jason had the longest legs he'd ever seen. They were encased in well-worn black denim that hugged them perfectly. Gael's eyes traveled up over the fitted black T-shirt to the strong, square jaw. He gasped. It felt like the air he sucked in couldn't reach his lungs, making him lightheaded and dizzy. He'd known from listening to Rick that Jason was good looking but he wasn't prepared for breathtaking. On any other man Jason's slightly tilted, hooded eyes, full lips, high cheek bones, and square jaw would just be wrong. But on him it was perfect; like the Titan god Prometheus had sculpted him out of the earth to be a living testament of male beauty. His cock hardened just looking at the man.
Gael took a deep breath before continuing, trying to control his awakened libido. He knew Rick had picked up on his presence even though no one would have seen him standing in the hall. Rick, being an awesome empath, was always aware when someone was nearby, and he didn't want to see the teasing gleam in Rick's eye because of his reaction to Jason.
"Tink, your wait is over." Rick nodded to the doorway just as Gael stepped through.
Gael forced himself to smile as he walked toward them. He spoke softly. "Hey."
Rick draped an arm across his shoulders, arching a brow as he looked Gael over. Gael's brows drew together in confusion, and before he could ask, Rick smiled.
"Tink, Jason, this is Gael."
Gael wanted to cringe at the bright, almost glaring, smile that flashed across Tink's face. It reminded him of some scary horror movie clown, making her words seem ominous.
"I have a feeling he's going to fit in just fine."
That's when he noticed that Tink was dressed like a poster child for the Goth movement—a short, plaid school-girl skirt, over the knee black and white striped socks, platform Mary Jane's, and a black tee with the Wicked Witch of the West on it.
All the moment lacked was flying monkeys.
Gael felt the tension leave his body at his thoughts, shaking his head at the absurdity of them. She wasn't what he expected dressed as she was with platinum blonde hair separated into pigtails on top of her head, deep brown eyes, and clear, pale complexion. The way Rick talked about her he expected her to be wearing thick, nerdy glasses and a lab coat. With her unconventional beauty and over-the-top style, Gael could see her on America's Next Top Model with Tyra and the Js exclaiming over her "fierceness." Adding Jason's pure, raw, seductive Alpha-male vibe left him feeling almost ugly standing near them.
Her response confused him and he must have been wearing it on his face because Rick started laughing.
"G, were you paying attention when you got dressed this morning?"
Gael looked down. Black jeans, Jack Skellington T-shirt… His face flushed red when he realized, with his Disney character tee, he looked like an adolescent, wanna-be nerd compared to Tink's goth chic.
"Apparently not."
He blushed thanks to Rick's teasing but he gave a tentative smile when he caught the sexy half-smile on Jason's face. He grinned when he caught the subtle gleam of amusement in Jason's pale green eyes.

Gael listened to Tink's exuberant description of the house in Richmond. He didn't know what the Fan district was but he was positive she would introduce him to it. The desire to crawl up Jason's big body, like the man was a tree, forced Gael to ignore him. The man was just too appealing. He was turning back to respond to something Tink asked when the world went black.
The next thing Gael knew he was gasping for air and lying limply in Jason’s strong arms.
"What the hell was that?"
He tried to scramble out of Jason's lap but the steel bands the bigger man had for arms wouldn't let him move.
"Sit still," Jason said quietly. "Can you tell us what happened?"
"It was strange. One minute I was listening to Tink and the next I was looking at some guy who looked like me."
The gauntlet of emotions was overwhelming. Being in Jason's arms and smelling the fresh, woodsy scent of the man caused Gael's cock stir into wakefulness. His uneasiness from passing out was made worse by the attraction he was feeling for Jason.
Tink was staring at him like he was an oddity at a carnival. She blinked, owlishly, when Rick lightly touched her arm.
"I think Gael has a new ability." She grinned. "Luckily for you I can help you learn how to use it."
When her gaze met Gael's, he understood why she was the leader of Asteria. Her rich brown eyes had darkened to an intense black that commanded respect.
Gael looked up. "New ability?"
Tink smiled. "Tell us what you saw."
"I was standing next to a bed looking at a guy sitting at a desk. The first thing that caught my attention was the fact that he had the same color hair. I moved closer to him and he looked like me. That's when I wo-came back here."
He was already embarrassed by what had happened and being in Jason's lap wasn't helping any.
"Do you remember what he was doing?" Rick asked.
"He was writing in a journal I think. Why? What's this new ability?" He looked around and stopped when he was caught in Jason's gaze.
Jason's eyes softened slightly. "Tink's right she will be able to help you."
Gael felt heat suffuse his cheeks at Jason's all too-knowing smile. Completely caught up in Jason's gaze, he jumped when Rick answered.
"That was astral projection. An ability very few actives actually develop and only one has recall like you."
"But I thought…"
Confusion swarmed over him as he tried to figure out who and what they were talking about. Then he saw the grimace on Tink's face.
"Yeah, that's what everyone thinks. Just because I'm a diviner doesn't mean that I don't have any active abilities. Telepathy, telekinesis, and astral projection tend to travel together."
Smirking, Tink turned toward Rick. Apparently there was more going on between them than just Rick being division chief but Gael wasn't sure he wanted to know. Between his uncontrollable reaction to Jason, meeting the woman Rick thought of as an equal, and discovering a new ability, Gael wasn't sure he could handle any more surprises. Sensory overload didn't even begin to describe how he felt.
"Well, I think it's time you guys hit the road."
He wanted to come back with a smart reply and in his head it sounded great. But he knew the second it came out of his mouth it would lose its impact. Rick's practicality could be annoying on a good day, which Gael had figured out not long after moving into Rick's house. He understood it was one of Rick's little OCDs, but it was still irritating.
"But I think you are well on your way to forming the bonds of a good team."
Gael glared up at Rick. "I'd get up if the gorilla would loosen his grip."
Jason laughed as he stood effortlessly with Gael in his arms. He sat Gael on the bar stool Tink had vacated when Gael fell.
"Good thing for you, this gorilla has quick reflexes. Ready to go?"
Gael wasn't sure what to say or if he should say anything; so he nodded in response. Everything he owned fit into one large duffle bag, a single small backpack, and a slim messenger bag for his laptop. He was sad he was leaving Rick's, but at the same time, he felt the anticipation of a new beginning.

* * * *

Driving back to Richmond, Jason only half listened to the conversation between Gael and Tink. He was more concerned with his intense, almost painful, attraction to the slight young man. When Gael had walked into the room he'd felt his entire being shift. Gods, the man was stunning and didn't even realize it. Jason sensed that something in Gael's past had hurt him, badly. He desperately wanted to protect him from whatever had gouged those wounds into Gael's soul. He wanted to know what had made Gael appear to think so little of himself, and he wanted desperately to protect him from whatever or whoever had hurt him.
Rick told them that Gael had waist length hair but the new shorter style showed off his creamy complexion and silver eyes perfectly. But Rick had left out a lot. Gael's copper colored hair and silver eyes were just a small piece of the beautiful package sitting uncomfortably in the back of the SUV. Jason was totally captivated by Gael's slightly feminine appearance. He was even slimmer than Tink who at five six wore a size two without trying.
Jason’s thoughts were focused completely on the moments he'd held the smaller man. The slight figure overshadowed by loose fitting clothing belied the toned, hard body he'd felt. His lion stretched and chuffed at the thought of cradling Gael against him. He'd never really been interested in men as small as Gael but for some reason Gael brought out every protective instinct he shared with his cat. He didn't want to think too much about what that could mean to him and his future. He wanted his mate but wasn't prepared for all that Gael represented.

* * * *

Tink was deliberately ignoring Gael's questions about the astral projection. She didn't want to spend the whole ride back to Richmond talking about it because she hadn't come up with a game plan yet on how to deal with it.
Mentally sighing, she figured it would be best to start Gael out with the team rules.
"What do you know about our team?"
She turned in the passenger seat to look at him.
"You are Asteria. From the beginning, Asteria has always been lead by a diviner, and not just any diviner. This woman is always someone whose family lineage is traceable to the group founded by the Knights Templar as well as the Oracles of Delphi. You are the only team Rick trusts enough to send into a situation blind. He said you and Jason have an uncanny knack to come out on top and smelling like a rose no matter what."
She saw Gael glance toward the rearview mirror. She knew he was trying to catch Jason watching him.
"I also know that you lost a member shortly after I joined Fillmore."
Tink nodded, more to herself than anything. "Micah was a good team member."
She cringed inwardly at the slight tremor in her voice. Jason’s hand briefly touched her knee. She knew Gael hadn’t missed it. He may seem like he’s not paying attention but she had a feeling he saw more than most.
"So, here are a couple of ground rules: number one—I'm the boss. No questions asked and you really don't want to argue the point. And number two—I'm the boss." She wanted to smile at the startled blink from Gael at the abrupt topic change.
Gael looked out the window, clearly trying to cover the quick smile that formed on his lips.
"Got it. You're the woman."
"Oh, I like this one. He's smart." Reaching between the seats, she patted Gael's knee.
Jason laughed. "Gael, please don't make her head any bigger than it already is. Ouch!"
Tink smiled serenely at Gael as she punched Jason in the arm.
"When we get to the house, I'll give you a tour. My office is to stay as you see it. If one thing is moved, I will know it and I will hunt you down." She sucked her bottom lip between her teeth. "We also take turns cooking and cleaning up. Other than that there's not much else to know."
Gael shrugged. "Cooking's not a problem; that is, if simple and quick are good with you guys."
"Simple is usually better than elaborate, especially in our house."
"And don't let her fool you into thinking she can cook." Jason looked in the mirror. "Tink places a mean take-out phone call."
Before she could hit Jason again, the car slowed to take the exit ramp off the interstate. Tink wondered if this was a good idea. She had picked up on Jason's reaction to Gael.
She hoped Rick had done the right thing by sending Gael to them. This could go wrong on so many levels.

Places where you can buy Transcend:



Visit West Thornhill's Blog:


Thursday, January 26, 2012

A little tied up

Found these courtesy of the Dishevelled Domina. Whether the men pictured are submitting to a Dom or Domme, I think they're lovely. Nice ropework, too.

I must work that second image into the next Blue Ruin book. Derek would be able to inflict all sorts of delicious torments on Blue in that vulnerable position. As for Blue, well, he doesn't get any say now, does he? (At least that's what Derek likes to think...)

Katrina Strauss

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Like many others, I am totally smitten with the BBC's Sherlock. Don't want to get spoilery since season two hasn't aired in the States yet, but if you're new to the show, please enjoy this South Korean promo spot for S1 that illustrates just how delightfully slashy it is.

I highly recommend checking this show out if you haven't!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


New release this week! I don't have a link yet, but on Wednesday, January 25, you'll be able to find my short story Ink at Torquere Press. I know I posted an excerpt a few weeks back, but here's a bit more of a teaser for you.

Cade Tomlin is a tattoo apprentice. His first client is almost more than Cade bargains for...

The customer -- whose name was Kip, Cade thought, but he hadn’t been paying attention to much but Graham’s technique -- watched Cade tape a square of plastic over his fresh tattoo. “So, do you tattoo?”

“Not on people. Oranges, pigskin. I’m learning.” Cade taped a corner and didn’t bother to say that he’d tatted himself, too. Then the guy would want to see it, and Cade wasn’t ready for anyone to see the portrait he’d done of his mom on his own thigh. Well, Graham had seen it, because he’d watched and given pointers. But that was different.

Kip nodded. “Cool. How much longer do you have to do that?”

“Until Graham says I’m ready. Couple of months, I guess.” It was getting harder and harder to wait, but Cade trusted Graham, and he knew that most apprenticeships lasted a year or more. The good ones, anyway. Cade had gotten lucky.

“Graham’s pretty good,” Kip said. He stood and stretched a bit from side to side, likely to loosen muscles that had gotten stiff from sitting still for so long. The session had been almost three hours, but Cade thought it had been worth it. Kip now had a beautiful memorial portrait of his brother who had been lost in combat overseas.

Cade looked up from where he’d begun to clean Graham’s station. He meant to reply in the affirmative, but he took his first real look at Kip’s face and forgot what he was going to say.


Don't forget to check this out on Wednesday of this week at Torquere Press!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Never Tell Your Boyfriend Your New Year's Resolutions

Last round for the year!

Bad Company
Nate: I will—
Kellan: Hey babe, do you want more paper?
Nate: You're lucky you're so adorable.
Kellan: It's true. I am.

Bad Boyfriend

Eli: Remind me again why I said I'd stop complaining about living in here in the suburbs.
Quinn: Because this also lives here. (Grabs his hand.)
Eli: Now I remember.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snowpocalypse 2012?

The weather sites for my area are tossing around words like Snowpocalypse and Snowmageddon again. And this time, should the predictions come true, they'll actually be quite accurate. They're saying there could be 14" in 24 hours on Wednesday. Now, bear in mind that a) that would break the current record set in 1969, and b) 4" of snow at the wrong time of day (i.e. afternoon rush hour) can bring my city of hills and bureaucracy (Hm. I typed bureaucrazy first, and that might be a better term.) to a complete cluster-fuck of a stand-still. I'd be fine with this snowy prediction if I weren't supposed to be flying to San Diego on Thursday, but again, should predictions come true, all that snow would be melting by then. What it comes down to is 'Who the hell knows?' Answer: No one. So, I'm looking on the bright side and thinking of fun things to do with snow. Building snowmen is fun. Like these:

Or one could just play in the snow like this fellow:

That looks a little less fun to me, but to each his own.

Or maybe I'll just curl up with a good book. So I'm looking for recommendations! What books keep you warm and cozy on a cold and snow-filled day?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Desktop and back to laptop

At the end of the last year I had to send my main computer - my laptop - out for repair. So from the end of Dec. and at the beginning of January I was left me to use my old desktop. My desktop (aka dinosaur) is over 10 years old so it's extremely slow. It takes 20 minutes or more for any program to move on it. At first it was frustrating. But then after being on the dinosaur for a few days it made me think of all the good times I’ve had using it. So I viewed it more fondly. It has server me well. Time for it to retire with grace. Once I get a new desktop I’ve decided to have a memorial for the dinosaur. A great send-off for all our wonderful times. In a way I’m glad that I was able to use the desktop and get to complete my WIP I was working on when my laptop acted up. As well as start another book.

I have my laptop back and have started looking for a new desktop. I'm also thinking of what I will do as a send-off for my old desktop. :)

Talia Carmichael
Fill Your Cravings

Blog: http://taliacarmichael.com/blog

Buy Sparks here

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bringing the herd home - finishing Dark Soul

I've been writers' blocked pretty much through November and December (thanks to the major kerfuffle in our tiny waterglass of an industry, and fanned by certain individuals harassing trans* writers), which brought my on-going Dark Soul series to a grinding, painful halt. It also renewed my desire to step outside this particular genre, so my next books will go first to big agencies, which means a huge lag in publication, but, basically, my partner has won the moral argument of what I should attempt to achieve in terms of my writing career. I'm not saying that with any bitterness or anger, BTW, it's just one of many realisations I've had.

I'll continue to do what I'm doing, but it's going to be slower. I'll move from one-track writer to dual-track writer. Which means an overall slowing down and longer (much longer) waits for new releases. That's OK, I have plenty of sequels and prequels and spin-offs to write which will go faster.

The kerfuffle and the ensuing writers' block, however, not only made me reconsider my whole career plan (as little of a plan I have), but also stopped Dark Soul dead. Now that I've overcome the block, I can say that, yes, absolutely, Dark Soul was at risk to never get finished. Authors in a personal crisis of any kind always hurry to say "but I won't affect my current obligations". That's nonsense; we're lying. We're doing damage control. We don't want to have our readers freak out - it's enough that WE are freaking out, we really can't deal with five hundred emails asking "But what about X!!!???".

There were other things going on in my personal life at the same time, which I kept under wraps.

But I'm back on track. I've completed Dark Soul 4 and am working on Dark Soul 5 (which is the final installment), and expect to wrap that up this month, so maybe I'll write the next blog post here reporting completion.

With the huge gaping hole between DS3 and DS4, I did lose part of the story in my head, though. I did lose the initial energy that, under normal circumstances, would have carried me all the way through the book. The energy was the same as during Scorpion, and Counterpunch. A glorious rush where things just happen and all I have to do is type.

I lost the flow in the middle, and while I'm reasonably sure that post-edits, nobody will be able to tell that some of those pages were a pure slog to write while I was battling fears and insecurities - it's a lot like returning to an extreme sport after an injury, things get really tentative once you understand you're not unkillable - the worry is there that I lost something as I passed through that black hole.

However, I can finish this and I know what's going to happen. It's just harder work, making sure I get the voice right (Stefano is softening a lot during the storyline, but that's intentional, so I'm not too worried), making sure I'm not misrepresenting the characters, or putting in contradictions.

What I do like very much about publishing an episodic novel like that (where episodes are structured like short stories) is that readers are trusting me. I keep reading reviews where people say "no idea where this is going, but I'm loving the ride." My readers don't know what exactly they are reading (is it a mafia tragedy, a crime story, a character study, or is it a Romance?) - they don't know whether the main characters will survive, even, or end up together. Some seem to expect I'll kill either Silvio or Stefano or both, and absolutely, it's always a possibility. If the story demands it, I'll do it, regardless of expectations. I'm being "experimental" here, not for the sake of it, but mostly because the story demands it.

Right now, Dark Soul can be a romance, or maybe it's not, but people seem to agree that it's very romantic. I think I'm pretty cool with that. I'm even more cool with the fact that, while everything but a "category romance" and everything but a "typical m/m romance", Dear Author, which focuses largely on romance, added it to its recommended reads with a great review.

There are people out there who trust me to bring the herd home (my expression for coralling all plot threads - or most of them and making a good, satisfying ending). People are waiting for the story to finish - regardless of what it is, in the end. They just trust me to entertain them and to give them a satisfying read. I think that's a terrific place to be for me, since I'm not really made to be a category writer or an author who writes "conventional" romance (I admire those who can do that - it's a hard job).

So, thank you for your trust, and, if you look outside the window there - that huge dust cloud? That's me, bringing the herd home for you.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Let It Snow

We're having our first real snow day in what's been a mild Midwest winter so far. I Googled "sexy snowman" for the heck of it. After sifting through a few snow-women with sizable breasts, I finally found what I had in mind courtesy of artist Isaiah Shackelford:

Copyright 2006 Isaiah Shackelford

I couldn't seem to track down a homepage for Shackelford, but to see more of his beautifully-drawn men, view his flickr gallery here:


Hope the above warms everyone up a bit on this cold winter day.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Don’t Tell Your Boyfriend Your New Year’s Resolutions (Part II)

I did this a few books back and now I have new characters who want to play.

No Souvenirs

Shane: Convince Jay to bottom just once.
Kim: Not going to happen. However, considering the autocracy of that…position, I supposed I could see where an agreement to get that need met elsewhere would be acceptable.
Shane: Gee. Way to take the fun out of it, Jay. Would you even give a shit?
Kim: I didn’t say I would want to hear the details.
Shane: Hmph.
Kim: Threeway?
Shane: Did I ever tell you how sexy your brain is?

Life, Over Easy

Simon and Tyler: Get K.A. off her ass and get her to write our damned book.
Mason and John: You? Get in line. She didn’t exactly leave us on solid ground.
K.A.: The four of you could actually give me more to work with.
Simon, Tyler, Mason and John: That’s your job, lady.

Not Knowing Jack

Tony: 1.Do laundry more than once a week.
2. Keep a straight face while telling Brandon about the dangers of drinking and drugs.
3. Do not buy every single thing that I think would look cute on Sarah.
4. Try to sell Bravo a Desperate Gay Househusbands: Amherst reality show.
Jack: What are you mumbling?
Tony: My New Year’s resolutions.
Jack: Most people write them down.
Tony: Can’t risk them falling into the wrong hands.
Jack: Because then you’d be accountable?
Tony: Bite me. What are yours?
Jack: Number one: give more head. Num--
Tony: Fuck writing it down. Engrave it in stone, lock the door and get the hell over here.

Hmmm. I think I can milk this for another post! I’ll do the bad Baltimore boys next time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 is upon us

 Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season! Of course, if you did, it makes getting back to "normal" that much harder. In my case, the hardest part this year is the jet-lag. Not usually a New Year's issue for me, but this wasn't a usual New Year's Eve. It was spent in the snowy madness of Rekjavik, Iceland. I know, I know. I went where for the winter holiday season? Sensible people go to Hawaii, or Australia, or Belize in December. I am clearly not sensible people. But it was fun. It was different. It was a blast, in fact. :-D And I got absolutely no writing done the entire vacation. :-( So, back to the grind. As soon as I can keep my eyes open for more than an hour at a time. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012, Day One

It was just a random thing that I end up being on the schedule today, the first day of 2012. Despite it being a mere coincidence that the first Sunday of the month is also January first, I suppose I should write something about resolutions, or time, or past and current goals.

Yeah right. That's not me.

Those of you who followed me here from my personal blog already know the one New Year's resolution that I've been able to keep is to not attempt them anymore. A year is simply too long for me to plan.

Okay, not entirely true. I am, after all, married, and I intend to keep my darling around for a long time. I am also a home owner, and even if the market hadn't crapped out, crashing values, I'd already decided to keep this house for several years. See, years… yeah, I can do it.

However, when it comes to New Year's resolutions, I tend to start strong, and then veer off on a life tangent. As an example – I had planned to have the sequel to Man Whore finished in 2011. (It wasn't a resolution, just a hope, a vague goal… a pipe dream.) I might've added one chapter to that manuscript all year. The excuses aren't important. It simply didn't get done.

On the other hand, I did publish two novels, two short stories, 40ish chapters of an online series, and one novelette, so writing wasn’t a lost cause. I can't really complain about letting the Man Whore sequel languish when I've had an otherwise acceptable year. I say "acceptable" because I know I could've done more if not for the whole broken foot not running thing that I've already used to beat a dead horse.

So, 2012? What does it have in store for me?

I honestly have no idea.

Okay, okay, some theories…

I'd like to submit a story I've sketched out to Loose Id's "Coming Out" call. I'd like to finish two shorts for Silver Publishing's calls. I'd like to get my winter-lazy butt outside to snowshoe this winter . (Just waiting for the snow.  It was raining yesterday. I'm pretty sure I still live in New Hampshire, but the weather is making me doubt that.) I'd like to run a couple of 5k road races and, body willing, my first 10k this fall.

Those are my "general" goals, but as for resolutions, I plan to renew a game I played not so long ago. The Monthly Resolutions. In the past, I discovered that breaking down a bigger goal into shorter, more manageable bits – say, monthly -- was much more practical. And, in turn, I managed more success. It worked for a while… until I started slacking on actually making those monthly resolutions.

So help me out, dear Readers. Do you achieve your New Year's Resolutions? Do you need something a bit more viable? Try out a monthly resolution or two with me!

For January: I will submit my still untitled punk rocker story to my editor. I promise not to fiddle until the month has passed me by. Efficiency, damn it! Make better use of that precious free time! I will finish this round of revisions and kick it out before month's end. (Hopefully before mid-month, but let's not get crazy on the first month out of the gate!)

For January: I will stop complaining about how boring the treadmill is and be grateful that I'm running at all. (Okay, I'm already doing that, but now that I can jog a half to a full mile, that treadmill boredom is bound to hit at any moment. I refuse to allow it to take residence in the place of my motivation. I will keep running through the winter this year!)

For January: I promise to eat the fruit I bring to work, and stop using it as two-day paperweights first. This one, for some reason, will be the hardest resolution. I get busy and forget to eat. Or, I get busy, and a messy piece of fruit is a pain in the paperwork to eat.

What resolutions will you make for January? Share them with me, dear Readers, and we'll meet here on the first Sunday of February to celebrate our successes.

Wishing you a fun, happy, and productive 2012!

Pia Veleno

PS. As promised, Freedom's Souvenir is finally available as a free download from Smashwords. 

A lifetime in the closet is a hard habit to break, but so is a lifetime out of it.

The crystal blue ocean can't hold a candle to the hard abs and cocky smile of Nick Boden, but Tad Eglington has spent his entire adult life reinforcing the walls of his closet, while Nick has never put anything but clothes in his.

The ship is called Freedom, but will her message be heard on the open ocean?

Click HERE for more information, and to download.

PSS. Fallen is now available in audio format HERE.
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