Wednesday, March 31, 2010

For Whom the Bell Tolls... an awesome song to play on Guitar Hero Metallica. But the ominous pealing of bells indicating the approach of the end of one's time is also a powerful reminder of my current preoccupation. A deadline.

I love deadlines. No, seriously, I do. Those aren't sarcastic italics. I am one of the world's great procrastinators. Hamlet and Scarlet O'Hara look like poster kids for a purpose-driven life compared to me without a deadline (and sometimes with one, too). Case in point, I'm leaving for ten days in less than twenty-four hours. Maybe I should start to pack, especially since most of those remaining hours will be spent at work or asleep. I've still got time, right?

I've been working on this book since November. I'd tell you what it's called, but it's still in the title changing room, trying on about a hundred different titles to find one that fits just right. --Any luck, hon? Almost? Okay.—So, I'll get back to you on that. I am a pantser straight through to my soul, and whatever it is that tells me what happens next is perfectly happy to hang out and play Sims or Guitar Hero or reorganize my playlist or try on titles or come up with a teasingly hot scene for another book instead of focusing on the current project. That's where ticking clocks and tolling bells and flashing digital counters come in handy. There's nothing like a deadline to get that lazy can't-I-think-about-it-later? part of my brain back in action. There is no tomorrow. (Really, there isn't. I'm going on vacation. Guess the netbook's going with me.)

If you don't have the thrill of an actual deadline to inspire you, or that's still too far off, you can do what I did earlier this week. One of my critique partners finds herself in a similarly adrift boat when it comes to her WIP. So we made a bet. Twenty bucks says we can't meet a mini-deadline. Hers was chapter six. Mine was 12,000 words. If one of us made it and the other didn't, the loser forfeited the cash. I still had 10K to write as of Friday, and I spent the weekend at a conference. She did hers on Sunday. But we both made it. There's nothing like pride, cash and a hard and fast deadline to trigger inspiration. The WIP took off again.

So if you see someone way too old to be wearing that princess tiara scribbling in a notebook as she stumbles around Disneyworld for the next ten days, say "Hi." It's me. But I can't chat long. The clock is ticking.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I blame the weather.

I'm utterly scattered this week, and I don't have a good excuse for why, so I'm blaming the weather. Spring is here in earnest in the Pacific Northwest and that means insane weather shifts that turn on the proverbial dime. Yesterday I witnessed both light and heavy rain, tiny hail (I heard it was much bigger just an hour or so to the south.), and sun breaks warm enough to fool me into opening a couple of windows...until the rain started again. On top of the climatic wackiness, I'm in tech for my latest show, which means long late nights, lots of studying of lines, and very little time to focus on writing/editing. I'm so looking forward to Monday: time to beta the manuscript a friend sent me; one weekend complete out of a 5-weekend show run; and Opening Day of baseball season! (Of course, considering spring in this region, it's a damned good thing we have a retractable roof on our ballpark!)

I know Tory and Marty are looking ahead to baseball, just like I am. What is everyone else looking forward to this week/weekend? Anything special planned? Spring break? "Excitement, adventure, and really wild things?" (Virtual cookies to the first person to identify that reference. ;-) )

Monday, March 29, 2010

wrestling with imagination

Tory mentioned baseball opening up in a week. *whoo-hoo!*
However, my husband has been turning to the wrestling shows more and more in the evening when nothing is on tv - at least nothing that he deems worth watching (thank you to the inventor of the dvr lol). And man...*whew* those men have some pretty nice bodies. Also, they tend to get into some interesting positions that send my slashy mind into overdrive. *wink* Also, great for the muse.
Just tonight, Triple H and Shawn Michaels embrace (after SM's farewell speech) and then stand nose to nose, their mouths just inches from each other. :P
Any other sports that make your mind go ga-ga?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's baseball season! Well, almost. Opening Day here in the states is a little over a week away and I just cannot wait. I'm currently watching A League of Their Own and getting myself all hyped up for a full six months of boys in tight white pants. Allow me to show you what I mean.

Yes, baseball season calls to mind many, many reasons for men to touch each other. I love the "good game" butt pat, especially.

As you can see, there are lots of reasons to love baseball season. Go out this year and cheer for your favorite boys, okay? If you're lucky, you might catch a butt pat happening out there on the pitcher's mound.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Super Sneak Preview of Dare and Dare Alike

While at work on a multitude of projects, I hope to finish another Dareville novella, to be called Dare and Dare Alike, for release this summer. As the name implies, there are twins involved, and while it is an M/M work there is no twincest involved. Mistaken identity does come into play, but that's all I intend to give you for now...except for this hot excerpt. Enjoy!

* * * *
from Dare and Dare Alike (c) 2010 Leigh Ellwood

The clothes couldn’t have come off any quicker. Socks, jeans, Jockeys and t-shirts left a jagged trail from the living room to the king-sized bed as Jimmy walked Dar backward all the way, kissing and nipping at each other’s necks. Jimmy tasted of beer and spicy cologne, and once inside the spacious bedroom he detected the faint aroma of something more intoxicating.

No mistaking his deep inhale. Jimmy brushed a thumb over one of Dar’s nipples. “You want to blaze one before we get to it?” he asked, and grazed against Dar’s hip. No mistaking the girth of that legendary beer can, either. Dar looked down to see it bobbing between Jimmy’s legs, getting harder.

Holy cow. For as many times as Dar had seen Jimmy naked, the realization that his thick cock would soon fill him struck. Despite having worked together on photo shoots, he and Jimmy had yet to actually fuck, and the anticipation tightened knots in Dar’s stomach. His anus puckered involuntarily, as though intimidated by the man’s size, yet craving it. He thought perhaps recording this first time might work out as a profitable video—he imagined people would definitely want to see him pop his video cherry with an actual first time session.

Then again, better they play in private now, so Dar could get used to Jimmy and not have to retake video after screaming bloody murder while being impaled.

“S’ok, I prefer to be sober,” he said finally, though silently he wondered if the buzz could relax his muscles a bit. He pulled Jimmy close and smoothed a palm down the other man’s backside. “Man, you’re going to feel good.”

“Likewise.” Jimmy crooked his neck toward the bed, but Dar quietly declined. Instead he lowered to the ground, his knees at Jimmy’s feet, his line of sight even with that delicious, erect cock.

“Damn.” Dar cuffed the base, brushing his pinky against the soft rise of Jimmy’s sac. The tips of his thumb and middle finger just met around the velvet shaft. Truly the man had earned his nickname. He could only hope himself elastic enough to take Jimmy.

Jimmy seemed to read his mind. “Don’t worry, I’ll go easy,” he whispered, raking a hand through Dar’s hair. “I haven’t lost one yet.”

“You must have been popular in high school,” Dar murmured, his lips a breath away from the reddening tip. Ever so slowly, he touched his tongue to the crown for a taste of musky skin.

“That I was,” Jimmy replied on a moan. “Guys, gals, my homeroom teacher Miss MacAllister...they couldn’t get enough.”

Not even the half of it, Dar thought. Literally. As he slowly took Jimmy into his mouth, he realized he wouldn’t get all of the man in at once, despite the six-inch or so length. Dar sufficed with concentrated attention around the tip, swirling and sucking rapidly, and interspersing that with long, teasing licks up and down the shaft. He heard no complaints, and brought one hand around to fondle Jimmy’s ass—mainly to keep the other man steady.

“Sweet mother of mercy, I knew you were good, but damn! You got better.” Jimmy arched his neck back and exhaled his pleasure. “If I’d’a remembered how you know your way around a cock I’d have called you over much earlier.”

Dar leaned back, lightly pumping Jimmy’s cock with his hand. “Like this morning?”

“Like every day since we first met.”

* * * *

Look for Dare and Dare Alike, coming soon!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

7 Signs that Spongebob is Gay

Okay, I know some folks might be thinkin' "Myc's takin' this Spongebob obsession a bit too far," but hear me out!

Now, I love me some SB. All right, so that's not really a news flash. However, as an observant SB fan(atic), I have noticed some glaring signs that everyone's favorite (okay, MY favorite) porous kitchen utensil (as Plankton put it once) is, indeed, 'family'.


1) He has a snail pet. (In Bikini Bottom, snails are cats; worms are dogs. Yes, I do have a life. Why do you ask?)

2) He once said 'I like Squidward' when Patrick pointed out that he said 'Bye, Squidward' twice.

3) He freaked out at the notion of girls seeing him naked.

4) He and his best friend Patrick Star share a VERY close relationship.

5) When Mr. Krabs once told him he looks like a girl (while trying to recover a hat), Spongebob replied: "Am I a pretty girl?"

6) The only 'date' he's been on (without Patrick) was with a Krabby patty.

7) He and Patrick raised a baby clam. Together.

So, you see? It's clear as crystal: Spongebob, my idol among all idols, is queer as a football bat. Is it any wonder why I love him???

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First kiss

I'm going to miss Ugly Betty very much. Only four episodes left! I've always loved little Justin and I'm so happy the show is giving him a coming-out storyline before the end. His first kiss with a boy was handled so perfectly. I also love the mentor relationship he has with Marc and how Marc is so patient and supportive.

Here's Justin's first real kiss, one of my favourite TV kisses, gay or straight, in a long time. *air hearts* (ETA: Click on it to go to YT and get the full widescreen.)

Monday, March 22, 2010

A couple of book recommendations

I really enjoyed both of these stories...

7697602.jpgSam Keller knows he’ll never find the excitement he craves in Middleton, Iowa—not while he’s busting his ass in nursing school and paying rent by slaving away in a pharmacy stockroom. But before his mother died, he promised her he’d grow up to be a good man, so he needs a stable career and a good husband, not a dead-end job and empty sex.

Then Sam meets Mitch Tedsoe, an independent trucker who makes a delivery to a shop across the alley. Innocent flirting quickly leads to an affair, and when Mitch offers to take Sam on a road trip west, Sam jumps at the chance for adventure with his fantasy man... but Mitch also comes with a past. A threesome with the other man in Mitch’s life would have been just another kinky ride, but somewhere between the Mississippi River and the Colorado Rockies, Sam falls in love.

But can a relationship born out of escape and indulgence become something that lasts? Will a fantasy man be willing to settle down into reality, or is the adventure and excitement Sam finds with Mitch just another stop on a delivery man’s journey? For better or for worse, eventually Sam is going to discover the answer, because no matter how far away he travels, eventually all roads lead home.

Buy Special Delivery here.

7781751.jpgStefan Joss just can't win. Not only does he have to go to Texas in the middle of summer to be the man of honor in his best friend Charlotte's wedding, but he's expected to negotiate a million-dollar business deal at the same time. Worst of all, he’s thrown for a loop when he arrives to see the one man Charlotte promised wouldn’t be there: her brother, Rand Holloway.Stefan and Rand have been mortal enemies since the day they met, so Stefan is shocked when a temporary cease-fire sees the usual hostility replaced by instant chemistry. Though leery of the unexpected feelings, Stefan is swayed by a sincere revelation from Rand, and he decides to give Rand a chance.But their budding romance is threatened when Stefan’s business deal goes wrong: the owner of the last ranch he needs to secure for the company is murdered. Stefan’s in for the surprise of his life as he finds himself in danger as well.

Buy Timing here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A big "thank you" to the S&B readers :D

Okay, you guys remember my last post, when I was waffling about where to set my next book? And I couldn't decide between Maine, Oregon and someplace else? Well, I've got it now. I decided to set the book on the Oregon coast, on the stretch of coastline between Florence and Coos Bay. It was a tough decision, made only after being FORCED to look at endless pictures of gorgeous landscapes. What a chore! LOL. But, yeah, I loved the look of the Oregon coastline. And it seems that even though the Victorian style of homes isn't nearly as common there, the Italianate style in particular isn't so unheard of that it would be unbelievable.

You guys were AWESOME, with the information and the links and all. Thank you!!

BTW, after all the research I've been doing, I really really want to go to Oregon. I could take it off on my taxes and everything.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


According to the New York Daily News, two gay Iraq War veterans have been arrested for chaining themselves to the White House.  West Point grad and Arabic interpreter, Lt. Dan Choi (currently fighting a legal battle with the military over them attempting to oust him from the National Guard)  was arrested along with Capt. Jim Pietrangelo (who the Pentagon wants to boot),  by the U.S. Park Police.  Both men were protesting the White House's slow movement on repealing the DADT.  Both spoke at the Human Rights Campaign Rally in Washington DC before marching on the White House. 
 You can read more here:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Slowing down? Sort of...

Having been torn in 17 million directions for the past two and a half weeks, things seem to be slowing down a bit. Now I'm only going in about 7,000 directions. Still, that's a distinct improvement. It means I have time, at last, to focus more on my current manuscript--a GLBT contemporary paranormal story. Does this mean I'm having any luck with said manuscript? Well, now, that would be too easy, wouldn't it. For characters who were reasonably communicative across the first 60K words, they've all forced me to drag information out of them for the past 25K. ::sigh:: You know that old saying about getting blood from a stone? Yeah. That's what I'm looking at right now, and it's not some nice, porous pumice, either. It's freaking obsidian. See, I know what needs to happen next to resolve a certain issue. Hell, I've known that for an unprecedented length of time. Pantsers like me don't usually have that luxury. But it isn't making it any easier to write. The what is simple. It's the how that has me stymied, and not for the first time in this book. And the characters aren't helping. ::grr:: Ah well. I got through the last roadblock. I'll get through this one...eventually.

Maybe a Guinness Cupcake with Bailey's Buttercream will help. I think a trip to Trophy Cupcake is in order. Maybe after lunch. For now, though, back to the grind.

ETA: And after all my complaining, I churned out 4495 words to FINISH THE FIRST DRAFT! Whee! I guess sometimes whining about a problem actually does help. ;-D

Monday, March 15, 2010

Dreams and hotties

Life has been really hectic in my neck of the woods. Besides the usual family obligations and those surprise 'uh, mom' moments, I've been really trying to get the final draft of a story I titled Beautiful Lies (m/f) completed (going thru the edits on the first draft) so I can get it shot off to my editor. However, I've started a sexy little m/m story that has yet to be titled. :) So my muse has been running, now if only my life would allow me time to actually write. *sigh* Not to mention I think I'm finally coming down with that cold that is going around. *ugh*

So, here's some hotties to start your week off right...I know I need them. ;)
I had a dream this past weekend about this hottie. He was running around with lollipops (those old fashioned spiral ones) on his chest and a huge one covering his front. I think I was chasing him wanting to lick the lollipops. LOL

I think flights would be much more pleasant if all pilots looked like this. :P

Couldn't you just drown in these eyes?

Naughty thoughts come to mind with this picture...too bad there's no lollipops on him. LOL

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Drink up!

Today I'd like to plug a friend of mine whom I've helped with marketing gay erotica. JT Whitehall likes to write shorts and poetry, but doesn't get much time for much else beyond work. It's why I have his M/M quickie A Shot of Jack on my side project, DLP Books. It's available through ARe, Smashwords, and Amazon Kindle. He intends to follow up with more stories on the bar theme. Gin and Juice needs a bit more polish before it can be seen, and after that he's kicking around some other titles. I suppose if you're going to choose story names from a bar manual you have quite a bit to work with.

Anyway, here's the excerpt as seen on All Romance. Enjoy!

A Shot of Jack - Copyright 2010 JT Whitehall

Ridge Horton heard the gentle thunk of glass hitting wood, and turned his attention away from a shared conversation with other friends at the bar to see the filled shot glass before him. The bartender had already moved away to heed another call, but as Ridge came regularly to The 411, he figured he could catch the man’s ear before he committed to making somebody else’s drink.

“Bill,” he called, and the thick-bodied redhead glanced over his shoulder, his hand poised upward to reach for a wineglass on the overhead rack. “I didn’t order this.” Ridge looked at his friends, standing to either side of his stool. “Either of you?”

They shook their heads. Bill continued with the wine order for the opposite end of the bar.

“Bill,” Ridge wheedled. He wouldn’t have an extra five or so bucks tacked on to his tab for the bartender’s error. This was probably top shelf stuff, whatever it was. Ridge studied the flawless amber liquid, and his nostrils stung with the scent of whiskey, which he never drank anyway.

“I heard you the first time,” Bill said, not looking at him.

“Okay, good.” Ridge ignored the uprising of laughter at his expense, surrounding him. “So…” He gestured to the untouched drink as a sign for Bill to remove it from his sight.

Instead, Bill punched a wet rag into a large beer mug and winked. “I know you didn’t order it, sweetheart. You must really be out of the game not to catch when somebody’s bought you a drink.”

“Who bought me a drink, Bill? It’s been a long day, and I’m not interested in trivia. Sudoku gives me a headache as it is.” To drive the point home, Ridge curled his hand over his forehead and pressed the temples with his thumb and forefinger.

“It’s a shot of Jack, dumbass. You figure it out.”

Literally, very much like a pivotal dramatic moment in a film, the entire bar quieted down. A chill in the otherwise temperate building settled around Ridge like a veil, encouraging his skin to prickle underneath his long-sleeve shirt. A sense of awe and surprise radiated from every expression directed at him—and, given Bill’s revelation, attracted practically everybody within earshot.

“You’re kidding.” Ridge couldn’t think of a better reaction.

“I wouldn’t kid about that, sweetie. Now, what you gonna do about it?

What, indeed? Ridge certainly didn’t consider himself a greenhorn when it came to customs at The 411. He and other regulars who warmed the stools nightly knew the implications behind a gifted shot of Jack Daniels Single Barrel. Sure, patrons might order it on occasion, but anybody who drank here with devotion knew the bar’s owner, Jack Mortenson, called it his signature shot.

When Jack felt compelled to buy a man a drink—a rare occurrence in his five years of “widowhood”—it served as a signal that Jack didn’t intend to go home alone that night. Now, he’d picked a new victim, and all Ridge could do was stare at the filled glass and watch tiny ripples in the liquid caused by the anxious energy vibrating through his personal space.

What would he do about this invitation? What should he do? Ridge didn’t know Jack Mortenson personally, but had watched the man mingle with customers and oversee operations on busy weekends. Though in his late forties, Jack’s incredibly dark and handsome looks belied his true age. He wore his hair very short, almost like a skullcap, and his fit body encased in snug jeans and his trademark Polo implied an active, outdoorsy lifestyle when he didn’t work. As for the man’s personal life, Ridge knew that the man had lost his partner to cancer, and only seemed to seek pleasure with the men for whom he offered these prized shots of Jack.

A nudge to his shoulder interrupted Ridge’s deep train of thought. The faces around him blended into the background made shiny by the overhead lights. His head swam with scenarios, and he couldn’t recognize even his closest friends anymore. “The fuck are you thinking about, Ridge?” one of them chided. “Why aren’t you drinking?”

Yeah, one might think that a dumb question. Who wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of gorgeous Jack’s cock? Yet, the side effect of this silent pick-up nagged at the back of Ridge’s mind as he contemplated the drink before him.

Of the men who downed the whiskey and joined Jack Mortenson for a presumed night of passion, not one had returned to the bar, or revealed to anybody the details of the evening. At least, Ridge never heard any reviews, which led him to wonder what would happen to him now. He liked coming to The 411—this town had so few social spots for gay men, and he’d forged true friendships from coming here. Did he really want to trade this comfort for a night of hot sex with a handsome, hard body?

“How long’s it been for ya?” buzzed a question into his ear. The crowd moved closer, as though hinging on his answer. Too long, Ridge knew, but didn’t dare volunteer it. He squirmed on his stool to stave off an itch of want. He didn’t come to the bar to pick up guys, though the temptation to negotiate a “friends with benefits” arrangement with a few regulars beat strong in his brain once a month or so. Then his analytical side took over, and he weighed the camaraderie he enjoyed against the probable awkwardness of a one-nighter gone sour, before settling on using a lubed plug on his ass to ease the urge.

Still, real live sex with a guy!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I've been working on Spirits of Abaddon 2 (Sanctified) and hit a weird snag. Having spoken with my editor, I think I've come to a conclusion. However, that conclusion involves writing a sequel to the Spirits of Abaddon/Blood & Fire series. We're talkin'... EONS back in terms of time frame.

What do y'all think? What are your thoughts on prequels that greatly predate the existing series? Especially when it means that one of the main guys had a tenuous relationship with an antagonist. Thoughts??

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vacation, Anyone?

I spent the first week of March in Vegas and I need another vacation to recover from that one. Oi. But besides my car smelling like a casino and discovering the dangerous lure of gambling, I'm feeling pretty good.

Which means I'm still exhausted and I've been spending all my time just lounging and reading. Thought I'd share what was on my back-from-vacay list :)

Beyond Duty by James Buchanan (in the Edge of Desperation antho with Jason Edding)
No Souvenirs by KA Mitchell
Bound and Determined by Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow
Sympathy by Jordan Castillo Price
Blue Fire by ZA Maxfield

So I'm pretty eclectic in what I'm into. What do you like to take on vacation or recover with? Any recs?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


What do readers/visitors look for in an author website? What kind of features do you enjoy or find helpful? I only have a pretty basic site right now and I'm pondering an overhaul. Aside from what you like to see, what don't you like in an author website? Or are most people largely ambivalent?

If you have opinions, I want to hear 'em!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

East coast? West coast? Which is the best coast?

No, I'm not getting involved in some weird Mom version of a gang war. I've started a new book, and I'm trying to work out exactly where it happens.

Allow me to 'splain. This is a haunted house story, sort of. What I really want is a place with cliffs -- or at least bluffs -- on the coast, and where the Italianate influence with the cuppola and widow's walk is strong in the architecture. I know there are parts of the East coast where they have the cupploa and widow's walk on a lot of the houses, but I'm not sure if the coastline is the sort I'm looking for. Right now I'm kind of thinking maybe the Maine coastline somewhere, but I'm not sure. What do y'all think? Does anyone know if Maine has cliffs/bluffs on the coastline? What about the cuppola and widow's walk? If not Maine, then what about somewhere along the West coast? What about Oregon? How likely are you to find an old house with a cuppola and widow's walk on top of a cliff/bluff along the Oregon coast?

I could Google (and I expect I will, LOL) but nothing beats first hand knowledge, and I figure some of y'all might have that, so here I am asking :) Help a girl out? Pretty please? Many thanks in advance!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Finding my Muse Again

I've spent months trying to focus on myself and my health - but feeling horribly guilty that I haven't had energy or time for writing - or even much editing. I'll be honest and say that for a while now, I've been worried that I've forgotten HOW to write. I had no energy and no time and, worst of all, no inspiration.

I think, in retrospect, I really burned myself out. I was working at a toxic Evil Day Job, editing, trying to write, trying to manage a household, dealing with a layoff, dealing with various health issues and even dealing with a son on deployment. It was easier and easier to just not worry about writing. I wasn't even really writing much on my blogs.

The last several months, I've not known how to start writing again. I have a bunch of projects, tentative interest on several, but I couldn't write anything that seemed worthwhile.

I thought maybe I was permanently burnt out.

But this week has been full of some interesting revelations. I ended up breaking my routine by getting sick with a horrid cold and staying home for 3 days straight. This is something I hardly ever do but I think its very strangeness did something to my subconscious.

The first day I only really slept. The second day, though, I was bored and wandering around the house in between naps when I had one of my long-missing "what ifs" struck me. An idea. A story idea! A drop of water in the parched desert.

I think the floodgates have opened. Now I feel again like I can't stand NOT writing. Ideas are coming fast and strong and I've had to start notecards for them because I can't work on them all right now.

The next step is to start some sort of writing routine. Even if it's just an hour a day. I started by rereading and editing the first part of "Forsake Not" and I think I know what needs to come next. Tomorrow I'll be home and WILL work on some writing for at least an hour before going back to the editing I need to get done.

Has anyone else had this sort of dry spell and recovered? What did you do?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

So working on stuff

and so I'm going to do a drive by posting of just a new interesting blog on the web: its a mix of reviews, announcements and literary events. Take a moment and check it out.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

By the Sea

Issues. Or in the case of most of my characters, whole subscriptions full of multi-issue volumes bound in lovely Corinthian leather as a bonus gift for being born in my brain. The thing about my characters' issues is that unlike a magazine subscription unable to follow a simple change of address form, they follow you everywhere.

In No Souvenirs, which comes out this Tuesday March 9, Dr. Jae Sun Kim is trying to his first ever vacation as a way of burying some of those lovely issues at the bottom of the sea. I love the water, oceans and lakes—and in a pinch—pools. I don't suppose it's a surprise to anyone who's read the other two books that take place in north Florida. Cameron and Noah from Diving In Deep both make their living from pool safety, and Joey from Collision Course, despite his klutziness, is a surfer boy, through and through. But in No Souvenirs, I took my characters underwater, to the place where gravity's rules are waived, where you carry your portable zoo cage of tank, mask, regulator and vest as you travel to an alien landscape to interact with creatures more diverse, and more lethal than those that are commonplace on land.

Even a cynical curmudgeon like Kim is overwhelmed by that shift in worlds and has to trust in the reliability of his gear--and that the hot dive master has substantial experience in something other than cocksucking, which Kim would admit, the divemaster has by the oceanful. In order to allow Kim the opportunity to meet someone, I had to shift him some place where he was not all-skilled and all-knowing, to an environment where despite his issues, a sea-change was possible.

Shane, the aforementioned divemaster with gifts in the oral arena, has been doing his best to slither away from his own issues, burying not his troubles, but himself at the bottom of the sea. As familiar as he finds the environment, in Kim he finds someone as unpredictable and inexplicable as his favorite place to be.

There's no ignoring the sea. If you look at any structure built near it, you know that it's impossible not to be changed by its power, and if there is any underlying fault, the sea will expose it. It's impossible to go into that world and not come away with some kind of souvenir, whether a scar from a fire coral burn (I was pushed) or the vivid tactile memory of what it's like to pet a ray. And given that my characters are always given a bit of a shaky start in the issues department, those souvenirs can be life-altering.

I've always been drawn to stories about the sea, to the way other writers have used it. While I was writing this, I kept stumbling over phrases they've left behind in my head.

"But doth suffer a sea-change into something rich and strange" William Shakespeare

"For whatever we lose like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea." e. e. cummings

"And her voice is a string of colored beads or steps leading into the sea." Edna St. Vincent Millay

Share your favorite sea-inspired words with me.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Reasons to Party

Party reason 1: I have a new release! It came out last Wednesday from Torquere. I Put a Spell on You is an m/m/f anthology in which you will find my short story, Play Music, Play Magic. And that's just one of the awesome stories in this anthology; there are eight more, and everything has a magical theme to it. If you don't mind a bit of /f mixed into your m/m, you should totally check out this book!

Party reason 2: It's Dennis Grabosch's birthday! ... ::cricket, cricket:: Okay. That one may require a little backstory. Have I mentioned that I'm totally hooked on the German soap opera Alles Was Zählt, also known as AWZ? Yes? No? Anyway, there's a trio of wonderful women (Eskimo Kiss Project) who clip and translate the important story line (i.e. the gay romance story and the stuff that affects it) and put it up on YouTube. At the heart of this story line are Roman (Dennis Grabosch) and Deniz (Igor Dolgatschew). They are my favourite "Gay Boys With Issues". Who on a soap opera doesn't have issues, right? But their story, their acting, the depth of the connection of the characters goes so far beyond anything I've ever seen on a US soap that I can't even compare the two. They are so fantastic that the computer screen positively sizzles. Here, if you don't believe me, check this out.

If you don't want to watch the whole clip, just skip to 7:26 and watch the end. You'll see what I mean. ;-D So, a very happy birthday to Dennis Grabosch! May the day bring all the delights you desire!
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