Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A little eye candy

I'm still rather dozy as I recover from too much food and wine over Christmas. I hope everyone had an equally good holiday! On Boxing Day I ventured out at the crack of dawn to get an on-sale Sony home theatre system. Woo and hoo! I broke it in by watching the underrated Terminator Salvation, featuring the very delectable Sam Worthington -- also currently starring in Avatar. (For me, he was far more interesting in his hunky human form than as a blue CGI creature!)

I'm now scouring his IMDB page for old Aussie movies to watch. I do enjoy a new movie crush! Here, you can enjoy him too:

Monday, December 28, 2009

A couple of things this week

I have a brand new cover to share. The fabulous Valerie Tibbs sent me the new cover for the print edition of my Daywalker series. Isn't it great?

Contest Reminder

It's not too late to enter my December contest. If you haven't done so already, now's your chance to enter to win one of five prizes, including a grand prize worth over $200 dollars.

The best thing is, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment. Simple as that.

For more information, please visit my blog.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Ally's Beach Adventure

At least, that's the plan *g*

The family and I are spending the next week in Myrtle Beach, SC, for my in-laws' 50th anniversary. My plans consist mostly of working on the novel-in-progress and getting some reading done. But, I know the rest of the clan won't let me get away with that for the entire week, so what I'm wondering is, what's fun for a group of a dozen adults and teens to do together in Myrtle Beach?

I know the place is busting with stuff to do. I've heard there is an awesome outlet center, which I am TOTALLY planning to hit. I also heard there's a Medieval Times restaurant, which I told my MIL we really need to go to. I loved the one I went to in Toronto years ago, and I know my son and my nephew would have a blast. That's all I know of for sure so far, though.

So what about it, y'all? Who's been to Myrtle Beach? Any suggestions for family activities?

Thursday, December 24, 2009


© 2007 James Buchanan

Much thanks to Reb, Syd, CB, Nicole and SamC who gave me inspiration even if I couldn’t quite work in the snowmobile, stalker and nutcracker scenes.

“What are you doing?” An irritated, but cultured voice sounded behind Les. Backing it, the boisterous cheer of a holiday party cut the night. Part Christmas, part end of exams, and part wrap party for the local university’s production of A Christmas Carol throbbed full swing. Over indulgence hounded Les. Too much drinking with people he really didn’t care for. He needed the money, the college needed a sound tech… it was decent enough for a student job. And at least he didn’t have to pretend to be straight around theater geeks.

“Writing my name in the snow.” Les growled, glancing over his shoulder while tying not to get anything on his combat boots. Oh, Dear God, the questioner was wearing a Santa hat pushed back on his head. Blond curls poked out underneath. That was almost more Christmas cheer then Les could stomach.

Chad Mitchell stood staring at Les while he had his dick in his hand taking a piss. Dockers, button-down green, plaid shirt over a white t-shirt set off indignant blue eyes. “You could have used the bathroom inside.” Freckles dotted the bridge of his nose. His old style hunter’s coat couldn’t keep the frost from tinting sharp cheeks. Shit, Les cursed under his breath, accosted by an LL Bean catalog while taking a leak.

“Right.” Les tucked himself away and yanked up the fly of his black jeans. That done, he shoved his hands in the pockets for warmth and shouldered deeper into his army surplus Patton style jacket. “And stand in line with all those giggling girly things that can’t hold their beer? Much easier this way.”

For all of the bad taste, Les’ brain did a little stop-start routine when he turned full on. The first full-dress rehearsal, Les memorized each line and angle to Chad’s body. All and nothing was left to the imagination in the grey velvet and linen the costumers pulled together. Every time he saw Chad drift out to stage center in those tight Dickenson Era pants and cutaway coat, he had the same reaction. Chad was tall and not too bulky under layers of winter clothes. The line costume indicated a nice butt and sculpted body lurked underneath. In the darkness of the sound booth, Les wanked himself off while just watching Chad move. Thank God there weren’t many cues during Chad’s scenes.

Tight and proud, full lips crawled into a near sneer. “You just have to be that way, huh. All angsty and self righteous?” The blond actor tucked his own hands under his armpits.

It was Goddamn freezing out behind the house. Snow flurries fluttered down. One landed on the ring in Les’ nose and turned it to ice. He sneezed. Back, over a wool cloaked shoulder, fairy lights danced through an over wrought Christmas tree framed Currier and Ives style in the window. Fuck, Chad looked like a post card. Put a stamp on Chad and mail it to Les’ bedroom. Muted strains of the little drummer boy drifted around them.

“Always.” Les agreed. Cold seeped through waffle soles and Les hopped from one foot to the other trying to keep feeling in his toes. Blondie glared. “You theater jerks, so pompous. Man you guys suck.” He laughed. “Scrooge… repent, turn back before it’s too late.” Throwing as much over emphasis as he could into the line, Les teased. He draped his right arm before his eyes and threw his head back, “Don’t end up like me.”

Indignant, Chad’s lips went thin. “That’s not my line.”

Les waived it off. “Shit, you all take this college theater shit way to serious. Les,” he drew out his own name with a starlet’s falsetto, “my mic’s not right. How am ever going to emote correctly with this crappy sound system.”

Chad snorted. “I never said anything like that.”

“No.” It was Les’ turn to glare. “You didn’t even talk to me when I fitted you out for you wireless.”

Glancing off towards the house, Chad seemed embarrassed. “You didn’t seem like you wanted to talk with me during production.”

Les’ eyebrows crawled up. Running his tongue along the edge of his teeth, the little bar through the muscle clicked against enamel. “Why would you want to talk to someone like me when you’re surrounded by all those so cool people? What would all your artsy buddies think? Oh, look at Chad, he’s talking with the techie nerd.”

“Maybe ‘cause under all that black and attitude you’re kinda cute.” The look went from embarrassed to sly. “Even if you’re a gothed out computer geek with a good knowledge of sound systems.”

“Me?” Cute and Les rarely occurred in the same sentence.

“Yeah.” Chad looked back toward the house. A mix of desire and distasted flew across his face. Then he turned back to Les. “Wanna blow and grab some hot chocolate?”

“I don’t think they have any hot chocolate there.” Les shook a dusting of snow off his head. Crystals caught the light in Chad’s blue eyes.

“Neither do I.” Chad smiled. “But I know I have some at my place.”

Les laughed. Then he stepped in to Chad’s personal space. Suddenly all hard and tight and tense the other man almost drew away. Spicy cologne rose from his collar, wrapping Les’ senses in thoughts of mulled cider and fireplaces.

In his mind, he could see firelight tracing the edges of those sharp cheeks. Full lips responded to every kiss as Chad sighed and shuddered. So silken-hard and so demanding, Chad’s prick swelled in his hand. Both of them locked together as Les rammed into the tight, hot confines of Chad’s body. Frenzied, Chad rode him. Sweat sparkled across their skin… little jewels caught in the flames. They moaned. They called each other’s names. They drove each other until everything faded to two bodies trembling and shaking against each other.

Another laugh slipped past Les’ lips as he nipped Chad’s ear. “No you don’t, I drank it this morning.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winners!! (And a little something under the tree from Joey and Aaron)

First of all the winners:

Yes, Monday, my tree is purple. Contact me with your email for the gift certificate.

But...Stormcloude, I wanted teal when I first set up housekeeping! And I'd really love to see a bronze tree. If I ever have a house big enough for three trees, I'd like one in cranberry and cream. We have a smaller tree that's all Disney-themed ornaments.

And Nate is the name I drew from the hat for the free story download. And well-deserved, confessing to the Smurfs' album. Ouch. Contact me with what you want. Any story I have out.

Jambrea, thanks for the compliments on An Improper Holiday.

Most of all I loved reading all those traditions and I think that Joey and Aaron from Collision Course might be setting one up for their future Christmases right now. Want to see?

Joey was the most selfish person in the world. He realized this on Christmas Eve Eve, or as most people would call it, December 23. He realized it when he stood in front of a display in Pleasure's Treasures, a sickening twist in his gut reminding him that he still hadn't found anything to buy his boyfriend for Christmas.

With time now easily measured in hours, Joey was desperate, hence the trip to a sex toy shop. The cute guy in the Santa hat and matching micro shorts had been nothing but helpful, if a little touchy feely, and Joey still kept finding gifts for himself. That leather number for Aaron to wear? Strictly something that would make Joey's eyes bulge as he dropped to his knees. The plus size string of anal beads the clerk had shown him? Again, much more pleasure for Joey than Aaron. Flavored condoms? Thank God they didn't need those anymore.

He'd had his family done by Thanksgiving, had no trouble picking out stuff for the kids, much to Aaron's relief. But Aaron? How could Joey be so clueless about what would make his own boyfriend happy? Sheree, Dylan and Darryl had all pronounced Aaron easy to buy for. An action movie, an X-box game, even clothes. But Joey knew that wasn't the answer. He'd considered Aaron's first love, caffeine, but even one of those specialty one-cup pots was out of the question. Not because of price but because Aaron never drank just one cup of coffee. Joey moved down the list to the Ducati. He'd even gone so far as to call Mark—who was still a little pissed—to get a suggestion about what Joey could give Aaron for his bike.

After first sneering at the European name, the best Mark could come up with was a gift certificate to a garage that specialized in Ducs. A gift certificate. Joey might as well hand Aaron cash. There had to be something special, something that would make Aaron's eyes heat up, that smile break slow on his lips and his voice get deep as he said, "Thanks, Joey."

The clerk unhooked the paddle Joey had been running his fingers over. Joey slapped it against his palm. Big sting, nice heat. His ass tightened. But again, that would be a present for Joey, not for Aaron. The door chimed and the clerk turned away to greet a new customer. Joey tested the flexibility of the paddle, felt the light warmth from where it had smacked his skin. So maybe Santa could put this in Joey's stocking. He was a selfish bastard, and he still didn't have anything to give Aaron.

A voice purred in Joey's ear. "Mmmm. Nice. But I like my hand better."

Joey jumped and turned around. "Aaron. You're supposed to be at work."

"Saw your puke green car out front. Hennie's got the truck running, and I've got my radio." Aaron waved it.

Aaron's paramedic uniform was an ugly dark blue polyester, but it was the first thing Joey had ever seen him in and he had a soft spot for it. He flicked a finger against the name badge. Aaron snatched the paddle from his hand and swung it so that it swished in the air.

"You told me you were done. Last minute shopping? Someone on your list I should know about?"

Joey's gaze fixed on the leather in Aaron's hand. One side had metal studs set in it. Jesus. His cock filled at the thought of Aaron using that on bare skin.

Aaron tapped the paddle lightly against the seat of Joey's jeans. "Joey. Question. Answer."

"Uh. No."

Aaron holstered his radio and tapped the paddle against his finger tips. He gave Joey that slow smile, and his gut got as warm and tight as his cock.

What the hell. "Aaron, what do you want for Christmas?"

"Nothing. Anything. I don't care. I told you, it's not a big deal."

The frustration Joey felt must have shown on his face, because Aaron cupped the back of Joey's neck. "How about a blowjob?"

"C'mon. I want to get you something to make you happy."

Aaron's jaw tightened and his eyes looked bleak. The warmth in Joey's belly turned to a heavy doughy ball. What the hell was wrong with that?

He started to turn away, but Aaron held him with that hand on his neck. He bent down and kissed him. "For a smart guy, you can be a total moron."


"I am happy, don't you get that? Every fucking day. And you know why."

"Oh." Joey grinned as everything got warm inside again. "But I still have to get you something."

"Get me a book of Sudoku. I like to do'em in the can. And sometimes I read that guy. Um, David Sedaris. And," Aaron turned to wave the paddle at the clerk. "You have a place we can test this out?"

The clerk smiled and jerked his chin at a small curtained off space.

"Here? But Hennie's waiting—and that guy—"

"You fucking love the idea of an audience."

Okay, so Joey did. And he loved it even more when Aaron pushed him past the curtain with a swat just hard enough to burn.

Aaron put Joey's hands up on the back wall and ran a hand over the warm spot on Joey's ass. "You want to feel it on skin or should I have him ring it up now?"

"It's still more of a present for me than for you."

Aaron reached around and unbuttoned Joey's shorts. "I think we're both gonna like it."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Solstice + Stocking Stuffers!

It looks like everyone in the Northern Hemisphere must have lit enough candles last night because the sun did, in fact, rise this morning, and today will be ever so slightly longer than yesterday was. Personally, I love winter solstice, but then I'm such a product of my Northern European ancestry that I get annoyed when there are too many consecutive days of sunshine. I like the long, dark nights of November through January.

On to the stocking stuffers!

We're having a grand time giving stuff away, and hey that's what this season is about right? Giving gifts? Well, I have a couple for you. First is my Solstice-themed freebie, Wand'ring Home, that I wrote last year. If you don't have a copy yet, you can download it right here. Despite what the cover suggests, it is in fact a fantasy, not contemporary, m/m, and it's a follow-up to my first book, The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing.

And now for the contest!

I love to give presents at least as much as I love to get them. I think the best present I've given (at least since I've been married) is the picture light I gave my hubby a few years back so he could properly light the gorgeous framed photo that hangs over our fireplace. It's an incredibly beautiful shot he took while he and his brother were at Camp Muir on Mount Rainier. That was a serious score in that he loves it, it lights a very special photograph, and it gets used practically every day.

For the Naughty Stocking Stuffers, I'm giving away your choice of a free download of either of my novels, The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing or Client Privileges, or, for those of you willing to wait until January, a free download of my upcoming short story, Play Music, Play Magic. And winning couldn't be simpler. Just comment and tell me about the best gift you can remember either giving or receiving. Just post by midnight of the 25th and I'll pick a winner on the 26th, then pop back in here to update the post so you know if you won. (If you leave your email address in your comment, I can notify you directly, too.)

Happy Holidays!

ETA 22 Dec 7:52pm: Can't seem to comment on my post, so I'll just pop in here to say "Great gifties, everyone! Keep 'em coming!"

ETA 26 Dec: WE HAVE A WINNER! Mo, you are the lucky winner! Please email me at maia (at) maiastrong (dot) com to let me know what title and what ebook format you would like!

Happy Boxing Day, everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Food, heavenly food

It's my turn to partake in the Naughty Stocking Stuffers giveaway!
I hope everyone is having a safe and wonderful holiday season so far. I know I've gained some weight from just all the good food that's been floating around...with more to come this week. ^-^

I'll make this short and sweet since I'm helping my husband with his job's Christmas luncheon today and won't even dream of seeing my computer until later tonight.

Just comment on this post and let me know about your favorite food during this time of year. I personally adore (oh, heck, make that crave) fudge. No matter the flavor. But growing up, I always made a variety of fudge with my mother and gave away to family and friends. So I guess it has some sentimental value to it too. :P

Oh, yeah, and the prize you wonder? I'll give one lucky winner 2 of my Christmas themed e-books : enWrappture and No Ordinary Holiday. So don't hesitate as I'll be picking a winner on Tuesday and adding it to this post.
(it's easier to contact the winner if you graciously leave email adresses with your comments also).

Added 12/22: Thank you to all who responded. All the talk about yummy food has really made me hungry-even this early in the morning. :P I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Christmas season. See you in 2010!

WINNER: Congratulations Tam!

Also, orelukjp0 email me at marty (at) martyrayne (dot) com as I've chosen a second winner for my e-book A Gift Worth Sharing.

Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hey folks! Yet another fun contest for you here on Slash and Burn. The part I love best about all these contests is how EASY they are to win.

Today I'm giving away a free download of my newest release, Chasing Victory. Chasing Victory is a novel set in the fast-paced world of stock car racing. I really liked this book while it was being written and I was pleased with the end result. My publisher tells me it's selling very well, so happy holidays to me!

All you need to do to win a copy is comment here with your favorite sport to watch or participate in. Leave an email address where you can be contacted and I'll let the winner know by tomorrow morning, 9:00 a.m. PST.

Little snippet to get you going...

He was still yanking ineffectually at his seat harness by the time medical showed up. Mitch barely registered the men in blue that were surrounding his car. He was too intent on getting free, getting out of his car before what happened last time happened again, so when his window webbing was torn down, Mitch swallowed a startled gasp and looked up.

“Keep still, man.” Serious blue eyes, the lightest shade Mitch could ever remember seeing, were searching Mitch’s face. “Anything hurt? Are you stuck?”

“My harness,” Mitch said lamely. His thumb remained on the button, trying to get it to unsnap.

Dark brows drew together and the medic reached a hand inside the car. He put his fingers over Mitch’s and pressed down. There was audible click that Mitch could hear even through his helmet, and then he was suddenly free.

He shrugged the harness off and scrambled for the window, anxious to get out of the confined space. Once he was outside the car, maybe his heart would stop pounding so hard.

“Whoa, hey, easy there.” Strong hands were on Mitch’s forearms, easing him back down in his seat. “You should know the rules. You don’t move until medical checks you out.” Blue Eyes gave a quick smile, but something told Mitch there was seriousness behind it. “Got any neck or back pain?”

“Uh.” Mitch blinked and tried to concentrate on how he was feeling. His harness was unsnapped, so there was no more reason for his harsh breathing or shaking fingers. “No. No neck pain. He didn’t hit me that hard.”

It was true; Mitch had known as soon as Danny had made contact that they’d both walk away from it. There had been worse wrecks. Much worse.

“Hard enough,” the medic said casually. “Sit tight, I’ll let you out in a minute.” He scanned the inside of the car and then gave Mitch an up-down look that would have gotten Mitch’s phone number in his pocket if they’d been in a bar.


Comment here, I'll pick a winner tomorrow!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Sexy Cover Funtime...and a Giveaway

How would you like to win two free downloads from my backlist? Just leave a comment here and a random winner will be drawn!

Amanda Kelsey of Razzle Dazzle Design just sent me my cover for GPS, the M/M short I wrote for All Romance eBooks' 28 Days of Heart. Looking at it alone is sure to send hearts pumping.

Blurbage: When Cale Durbin receives a GPS system for his birthday, he tests it out on the drive to meet a blind date. The blasted device gets him lost, but Cale doesn't mind so much when he ends up at the door of a hunk named Mike who shares many of his interests.

After the setup date fails, Cale discovers the GPS possesses a unique feature - it leads him right to Mike again! Can true happiness be found through a global positioning device, or is Cale headed in the wrong direction?

Proceeds from sales of GPS go to the American Heart Association, and it will be my third charity piece. You can still get All You Need... at ARe to benefit WHY, and in January I have a piece in the next Coming Together volume with Phaze Books!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New releases!

So, I have TWO new releases--both anthologies. :D

First up is 7--with myself and Shayne Carmichael. It's available in ebook and print from Torquere Press.

When one thinks of the Seven Heavenly Virtues, hope, charity, faith, temperance, prudence, justice, and fortitude, and the Seven Deadly Sins, greed, sloth, anger, lust, gluttony, envy and pride, lessons in life come to mind. In 7, each Virtue and Sin is presented as a theme for a story, each one is explored, whether positive or negative, literal or figurative.

With a variety settings and styles, from courtesans on another planet to vampires of the Romanorum, from demons lusting after ghosts and a cat and dog chase of epic proportions, there's bound to be something for everyone. This fourteen-story collection comes from Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael, the authors of The Prince's Angel and The Two Shall Become One.


Second is Bound With A Bow--a BDSM Christmas anthology with myself, Beth Wylde, Lee Benoit, EM Lynley, and Sascha Illyvich, available at Phaze Books

Latex, leather, or lace. Oh, my! Bridles, bondage, and ball-gags. Oh, wow! Puppies and ponies and paddles. Yes, please. May we have some more?

It’s almost Christmas time and everyone is headed to Broad Horizons to celebrate the holidays. You won’t find a jolly fat man in a red suit here, unless that’s what turns you on of course, but you will find everything else your lusty libido desires. Got a naughty sub that needs some special discipline or just feel like checking out the club? Maybe you’d like to buy a membership for that special Domme in your life? If so, then Broad Horizons is the place to be this Christmas Eve. We don’t care if you’ve been good or bad. In fact, we think naughty is nicer, and we know it’s a hell of a lot more fun.

Pretty Tied Up by Beth Wylde: The holidays are here and Dani and Maryanne are back in action at Broad Horizons. Maryanne has offered herself up to her partner, in her first live bondage exhibition, as Dani's Christmas present. When practice doesn't go quite as planned Dani is worried she may have to cancel the show, especially as a last minute equipment problem pops up. Can Dani's sudden brainstorm save the show and eliminate her need to go shopping too? With her woodworking skills, and a few favors people owe her, she might just have Christmas, and Maryanne, pretty tied up.

Cardinal Points by Lee Benoit: Argus is a master Dom who’s lost his sense of purpose. Dori is a spiritual seeker who’s never quite found his way. When the two meet at a pagan festival, the heat is undeniable -- Dori even offers a solution to Argus’ disillusionment: ordeal path spirituality! But how can BDSM amateur Dori and novice pagan Argus chart a new path together if Dori keeps disappearing? Will he find his way to commit to Argus in time for a Christmas Eve appearance at Broad Horizons?

Completion by Mychael Black: By day, Eli Knight works for Kent Evans’ computer graphics firm. By night, however, he serves an entirely different role: that of Evans’ submissive. The love and respect between them is deep, but Kent knows Eli holds a candle for Mitchell Phelps, Eli’s best friend. When Kent takes Eli to a Christmas party at the BDSM club Broad Horizons, Eli has no idea what to expect from his trangendered Dom. What he discovers -- about them and himself -- is more than he could ever hope for. Now it’s up to the both of them to find out if their love is strong enough to handle a major addition.

Lessons Learned by Sascha Illyvich: After being left at Broad Horizons by an angry master, Wendi meets Summer, an experienced Domme with a surprise. Will Summer's challenge to Wendi help her capture the heart of her beloved Master?

New Tricks by EM Lynley: Skeptical and straight-laced Blake isn't so sure about attending Broad Horizons' Christmas Eve Party. He's never gone in for any of that kink, but he wants to humor Jay as they spend their first Christmas together. Despite his initial aversion, he's powerfully drawn to the scene and eager to experiment. After Jay reveals a hidden secret from his past, he's willing to play, and in the end Jay receives a gift more precious than he ever expected.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In Ur Room, Stuffin' Ur Stockin'


So I'm utterly startled that it's my day but when doesn't that happen? I'm zonked from work, yada, yada...but 'tis the season so I present ye with some stuffing for your stocking!

For my wee contest, all you have to do is post a comment telling me about how you spend your holidays. Whether its Christmas, Hanukkah, or the many other celebrations of the *many* other different religions, I want to know what you do with your family.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

The winner will receive a free copy of my new release from Cobblestone, Just a Game. Remember to leave your email! The end date is the 19th, 4 PM EST.

Bon chance, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah *deep breath* and Happy New Year's!

EDIT: So I know I originally said winner (singular) but I've decided to do winner(s) instead because two of the stories just made me smile so wide.

The winners are.....*drumroll* N.C. Jenks and booklover0226! Winners, I'll be emailing you with your copies in just a second. Thanks for playing everyone. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year

A quick note: I never heard from the winner of my contest (dizzyduo), so please email me at keira.andrews @ gmail.com (minus the spaces, of course). I don't have your email addy and I just want to make sure you get your prizes!


I'm feeling very festive this week. Does anyone have any holiday book recs? I'm looking forward to An Improper Holiday and I'd love to dive into some other great holiday reads. Any recommendations would be most appreciated!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Holidays

I have no idea what to give away for my stocking stuffer this year. Should my giveaway be print or ebook? An old title or new? I'm afraid I'm one of those people who agonize over choosing just the right gift during the holidays.

So... I'm leaving the gift up to my giftee. (<-- Is that even a word?) Whomever is selected can have any books they like, in any format they desire.

At midnight tonight, random.org will do me the honor of picking my winner and I'll announce it here. All you have to do is leave a comment. Say hello, tell me a joke, give me your Nana's recipe for fruitcake -- it doesn't matter. Just put your little digital X in the comment box and you'll be entered to win a book of your choosing.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More S&B Holiday Contest Goodness!

So, y'all are having fun with the Slash & Burn holiday freebies, right? I know you are! Everybody likes getting Christmas presents :D

So here's my contribution. I'm going to give away an e-copy of my novel Adder. All you have to do is comment on this post between now and next Sunday, Dec. 20th., and answer this question: What instrument does Kalil play? I'll announce the winner on Monday Dec. 21st and ask you to email me, so watch this thread! Hope everyone is having a lovely holiday :D

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Contest Blitz continues!

I'm feeling so jazzed for the holidays! It's finally nice and chilly in my neck of the woods and Starbucks has their special mint-mocha-latte's on sale...Mmm! What are you looking forward to the most this holiday? Is it a special gift under the tree? Some downtime with the family? A special service at your church or synagogue? I hope you'll share it with us! Everyone who posts will be entered in a contest to receive a copy of a holiday story, either Pawprints: Giving & Taking or Winter Song, co-written with the awesome and lovely Barb Sheridan. The contest closes tomorrow at noon CST, so enter today!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

James Stuffs the Stocking

Yes, my turn to stuff your stocking!

I'm giving away an ebook copy of Personal Demons to one lucky commenter on this post.  Just tell me what you're hoping for this holiday season and leave a way for me to contact you -- 'cause it's hard to email an eBook without contact information.

What am I hoping for this holiday season?  Good weather and open roads. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Contest and How I Got Here

Although they often feel like independent entities (I certainly can't make them do what I want), the existence of my characters is tied pretty damned closely to mine; and my existence is tied pretty damned closely to a fairly bizarre holiday appellation. Yes, from Ryan and Jeff to Nicky and Ian, we owe it all to rain.

Regionally, people have different names for the same things. If you want a carbonated beverage made from brown syrup, you have to ask for pop west of me, coke south of me, and right here we just call it soda. Similarly, in the household where I grew up, the breaded mush you put in a turkey is called filling, not stuffing, or even dressing. My parents come from the same hometown Chasing Smoke's Daniel Gardner and Trey Eriksson's hometown) of Easton, PA though they attended different high schools. When my dad was at college, he was helping another man hang the long thin tinsel that most people call icicles on the Christmas tree. On the ladder, my dad called down to the other man, "Hand me up another box of that rain." The other man held up the box of tinsel. "This? Funny. My girlfriend calls this rain, too." My dad said, "I'll have to meet her." The result is my genetic history. Oh that magical power of words.

The fact that the Christmas trees in my family sporting tinsel will have rain and not icicles on them and that our plates will get a spoonful of filling and not stuffing are not our only quirks. We also will not be eating the point off our slices of pie first as that brings bad luck. And it wasn't until my age hit double digits that I realized other people decorated their Christmas trees in more than a single color. (I was the only kid in elementary school art class who didn't fight over the red and green markers at Christmas. If the object wasn't blue, it didn't go on Mom's tree.)

When I wrote An Improper Holiday, I had fun looking up historical Christmas celebrations. The game of Snapdragon, which seems like an invitation for self-immolation to a klutz like me, was particularly interesting. When I read about it, I knew it had to go in the book. I'm all for Twelfth Night celebrations. Anything that makes the holiday season longer before we go back to enduring a Northeast winter is fine with me.

That brings me to my part of the holiday contest. I will draw a winner from anyone who leaves a comment here and tells me about a holiday tradition. (Any holiday—hey, we're weird on the fourth of July, too!) That commenter will win a free copy of his or her choice of any of my ereleases (including An Improper Holiday). That part of the contest will be open until midnight EST on December 11.

The first commenter who correctly guesses the color of decorations on my own mono-chromatic Christmas tree will win a ten dollar gift certificate to Amazon, sent via email. (No, Mom—and other family members, you can't play.) This part of the contest closes when I get the first right answer or on December 14 at midnight EST.

And hey, doesn't that stuff look more like rain than icicles anyway?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Traditions

Everyone has something that's a tradition, right? And many people have holiday-related traditions. Whether it's the family trip to find the right Christmas tree, or making Grandma's "secret recipe" latkes for Hannukah, or going from one friend's home to another delivering Solstice prezzies. Around here, a big tradition is the annual Rankin-Bass Gingerbread party. I posted about it last year, too, so even that's become a tradition. ;) This year's decorating was tamer than most. There was no gay frat house, no gingerbread brothel, no Victorian home that was crashed by a satellite or the object of a drive-by shooting. (Yes, we've made all of those in the past.) Just an Eye of Sauron, a gnome impaled on a tree, and a monkey in a tar pit, among other random things. (What's a Swiss chalet without a giraffe out back, right?) But really, that's not the point but simply the excuse to get together with friends and family. Hanging out, talking, laughing, eating, and being silly. It's been a rough year around here, both in my and my husband's life and around the area generally. Too much death and sadness, you know? So having a tradition like this, which is utterly bizarre and absurd, is a wonderful thing to have. A few hours of fun to remind us that life can be good and that people can be good, too.

So how about you? What traditions do you have that you look forward to each year? They don't have to be Decemeber ones, either, just those things your year wouldn't be complete without.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Emotion and relationships

The holidays are upon us. I have commenced with the holiday eating, much to my waistline's dismay, but man, it's hard to resist that cheese tray or the cookie exchange. Oh well, I'll worry about it come January 1st.

Holiday time usually means I get to see friends who are in town to visit relatives. I had lunch last week with an ex-boyfriend who now lives in San Francisco and prefers another type of relationship. The kind with a penis. (Oh, it's fine, we "dated" in sixth grade. Meaning, we held hands a lot and kissed a couple of times. I was probably the last female he ever touched that way, and I'm totally okay with that.) So anyway, it had been a few years since we'd caught up with each other and I asked how his love life was.

"Still living with my ex," he mused. When I paused with my salad fork halfway to my mouth and my eyebrow raised, he waved me off. "Come on, Tor. You know we don't have the same relationship with our exes that you do."

To which I replied, "Actually, no, I didn't know that." I then proceeded to whip out a pen and my trusty notepad and wrote it down. "Gimme some details on this," I demanded. He obliged, with the stipulation that if I used the information in a book, I'd credit him accordingly. I assured him I would.

I received several text messages from him this week. One or two were comments on books he'd read from my publisher. (Why yes, I did turn him on to M/M erotic romance. I expect a nice Christmas present from him as a thank you.) And one or two texts were just random bits of conversation he'd had with his ex-boyfriend during the week. "Get this!" he said. "Eddie said [insert relationship issues here] and I told him [insert more relationship issues here] and I really can't wait until our adjustable mortgage term ends so I can get out of here."

I replied, "That's two years away."

Him: "I know. Guess I'll keep texting you with gems like the last one."

Me: "Cool. I'll keep writing."

Nothing like having a little validation on what I write. Gay men DO have problems in their relationships, there IS strong emotion involved, and they ARE different than heterosexual relationships. 'Nuff said.

Oh, and he was very free with the sex pointers, too. But that's another post.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Listen to an excerpt from By the Chimney with Dare

My early Christmas treat to you: an excerpt of my latest M/M release, By the Chimney with Dare, now available from DLP Books.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Release: Just a Game

It's all fun and games until someone falls in love...

Ad executives and college friends, Charlie and Sidney have what could be the perfect arrangement. On the working side, they're an excellent team. Sidney's money-man logic with Charlie's slick showmanship reel in new clients from all over the country.

On the pleasure side, their exciting, clandestine affair is wet dream material. At least it was until Charlie slammed down the boundaries. Boundaries he desperately clings to.

When a hurricane alert sees them stranded in a Florida hotel room, Sidney seizes the opportunity to push at those limits. Unfortunately someone's gotta give and Charlie's terrified that it just might be him...

Grab your copy today!


“And fuck you very much,” Charlie growled, tossing his cell on the coffee table and missing Sidney’s bare feet by a scant few inches.

Sidney shifted his feet over and crossed them at the ankles as he leaned further into the couch.

“Guessing that was a ‘no’ too?” Having long discarded his suit jacket and shirt, Sid was down to his white undershirt and suit pants. He’d rolled up the sleeves and pants legs in concession to the sticky Florida humidity that managed to permeate the room even with the windows shut tight and the A/C on high.

“Yeah.” Charlie ran an agitated hand through his hair. He’d dropped his jacket as well, but remained buttoned up. Uncomfortable, yes, but he was determined to get out of this state before things grew worse. “Nobody’s willing to fly with the hurricane threat, which is ridiculous; these people have hurricane threats all the damn time.”

Sid twirled the remote in his hand. “No, they fly knowing that a hurricane could happen at any time. When there’s an actual alarm going on and fifty mile an hour winds, it becomes more than a threat.” He pointed the remote at the TV, muted, and turned to the weather channel. A long red line rode the top and bottom of the screen with the words “Hurricane Alert” continuously scrolling across it.

“Face it, buddy, you’re not getting us out of here tonight.” Sid had accepted that fact long before Charlie did. But that fit. Sid was the moneyman for their advertising company, and the ruthless logic of a man who handled money all day long and knew exactly how far a dollar could stretch tended to rule his life. Charlie, however, was the promo man. He pushed, twisted, and manipulated until he got what he wanted, which was usually whatever client he was sweet-talking. Together, they usually managed to bag the majority of their accounts, allowing them to have a bit of playtime wherever they happened to be. Which was what they’d done tonight in celebration of their new client.

Then the hurricane alert sounded, and Charlie wanted fucking out of Miami.

He grunted at Sid, unwilling to give up, and swung around to face the balcony window. With blinds left open, he could see straight out to the beach that was only five minutes away. It’d cost a little more—okay, a lot more—to get so close, but up until then it’d been worth it. Now, he could see the ocean’s angry tossing, the bruised black hue of the sky, and the wind that bent the palm trees to damn near ninety-degree angles.

He swore, stalking over to the glass and pounding his fist against it. “Damn it, no.”

“What’s so wrong with getting a flight tomorrow again?” There was a quiet...something in Sid’s voice that made Charlie’s spine shudder.

Charlie thumped his head against the glass and almost jumped out of his skin when lightning zigzagged across the sky, illuminating the gray world outside. “Shit,” he hissed, blinking away the edge of white dancing around his vision. “I just have a schedule.” Charlie tossed the words in Sid’s general direction. “We handle the surfboard people out here, get home tonight, and then start wearing down that ditzy heiress-turned-fashion designer tomorrow.”

Charlie didn’t need to see Sid’s face to know his mouth had twisted in that familiar smirk.

Sid’s voice rang with barely leashed mockery. “For someone who makes a living pulling ideas out of his ass, you’re awfully worried about something so easily adjusted.”

Charlie’s shoulders went tight no matter how hard he tried to keep them from doing so. “Don’t do this, Sid.”

“Don’t do what?”

The sound of feet thumping carpet should not have been so loud. Charlie stared hard out the window as Sid’s heat eased closer. This time, he didn’t jump when lightning flashed, but that could have been because Sid’s mouth was dangerously close to his ear and Charlie had gone blind to the chaos outside. Instead, he watched Sid’s reflection close in. The room’s light threw them into a slight shadow, but he knew that face well enough without illumination.

“Don’t follow your little rules anymore? This self-imposed fucking distance? Guess what, Charlie boy. You can’t run away in a hotel room.” There was a nasty smile wrapped in Sid’s words as he drove in the fact that Charlie had been so desperate to ignore. “You can’t run away at all anymore.”


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Holiday contest begins!

Since it's December 1st, I thought I'd get the festivities started. I'm giving away my two Hanukkah-themed books: Eight Nights and Daybreak. To win, all you have to do is comment on this post and tell me about one of your favourite holiday traditions. Doesn't matter if it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or whatever you might celebrate at this time of year, and you can go into as little or much detail as you'd like.

I'll leave the contest open for two days and then draw a name out of a hat on Thursday evening. Happy holidays!

p.s. Forgot to say that I'll put the name of the winner in this post and in the comments. I'm sure you all figured that out, though.

ETA: dizzyduo is the winner. Congratulations!
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