Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Pride Week!

It's Pride Week here in Toronto, and I want to wish a happy Pride to everyone, no matter where you are, and no matter who you love.

I was thrilled that New York legalized gay marriage a few days ago. Let's hope the other states follow suit! Equality: it's not just for breakfast anymore. :D

Monday, June 27, 2011

*gasp* I know, I've been so MIA that I should have been voted off the island *sigh* Let me first apologize. I could give all sorts of excuses like internet problems/issues, family/health issues, outside of the home commitments, and of course my little part-time job being forced into a full-time job with no notice (still debating if it's worth the trouble). Yeah, I could tell you about all that stuff...but it's just that. Stuff that really I need to leave in the past and look toward what's to come.

But I'm back now. :) At least, that's the plan. I'm also looking forward to actually start writing again in the real near future. I've got a WIP to finish and a couple to do rewrites on. It's going to be slow-going, but I've discovered, I'm just not me if I don't write. Talk about stress. Here I was feeling restless, distracted, and cranky. I sat and wrote for just fifteen minutes and wonders of wonders, I felt better than I had in a long time. Guess my poor ignored and abused characters got tired of waiting.
On happier news, I guess New York's tourism is about to go up this summer. :) Now that they've passed the marriage law they'll get more visitors than ever.  At least, that's my view or rather than positive outlook on life.

Good for the economy, right? Let's hope. :D  Also saw some news clips from the celebrations. Looks like they had a great time.
Have a wonderful week! See you next time.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Anyone catch the new M/M storyline that's developing on the daytime soap Days of our Lives? They're doing a gay teen romance over there and I have high hopes for it. Well, "teen" means over the age of US consent, thankfully. They're about 18 or 19 years of age. But next week they could be in their mid-20s, because if you've ever watched a soap opera, you know how those kids magically age a decade in a few months.

Anyway, I plan on tuning in, and I'll keep my fingers crossed that these two cuties don't end up the way of poor Luke and Reid over on As the World Turns. It's quite heartening to me that daytime soaps are expanding their horizons and willing to include gay storylines more and more these days. However, I still think there's a long way to go in terms of how they're actually portrayed. But I'm always hopeful.

In other news, HOORAY for New York state's decision to allow gay marriage! This is what the Empire State Building looked like this week.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Project Update!

I haven't done an update in quite a while - it's been a crazy..oh...year or so.

Right now I'm working on the following projects:
* Music of the Heart (m/m erotic contemporary BV novel)
* Deepest Night (m/m erotic contemporary BV novella)
* In Service (m/m erotic steampunk sequel novel to Impressed)
* Desert Alchemy (m/f steampunk)

Just a few irons in the fire!

Bran's Visions is my celtic rock band (yah, I know. I can hear people whimper "not ANOTHER band" but trust me - they're interesting and can be sweet!) I've been working on Music of the Heart and had to cut a scene I really liked because it just didn't advance the story but then got a chance to rework it into a Yule story. Now to get it done asap - my editor doesn't need excuses to kill me :)

I'm still toiling away on Music of the Heart as well but right now In Service is a bit on a back burner. Too many projects and I don't get anything done!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Conference Whor Free Spirit

Well, I haven't quite managed to move into Fictionworld full time, but next week I'm visiting Writerworld: the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Manhattan. I have been called a conference whore, and I except that title proudly. I was hooked from the moment I attended my first ever writing conference more than ten years ago. At last I had found my people. (Readers and writers, or you know, the people who are never quite all there when you talk to them because there's something really cool going on in their head.)

I usually do get something useful out of the workshops and I always get something useful from the opportunity to talk to other writers, but there's an amazing energy from being in the same place as so many other people who usually spend all their time in their heads. Even when I'm convinced my face is permanently carved with an over-bright smile, I'm still glad to be there.

What's more, they have this huge book signing on Tuesday, July 28 (picture that in bright blinking letters) that is open to the general public and the room fills with bibliophiles. Sometimes I'm even lucky enough to connect with a reader who came there to find me. (Please, please come find me. It's alphabetical. I'm in the M's. You don't have to buy anything, just say hi!) The books sold benefit literacy. On top of that, Samhain is doing a special publisher signing on Friday, July 24 beginning at 3:30. You can have me sign some books. For free!

The literacy book signing is at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. I hope to see you at one of these events in Reader-Writer-Bookworld. It's as close to Fictionworld as I'm going to be for the next week.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Solstice! Happy Pride Week!

It is now officially summer here in the Northern Hemisphere and that means two things in my town: Solstice Parade and Pride Week!

This is the time of year for naked cycling...

...and enjoying nature's bounty.

It's the time of year when the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence put on their summertime habits.

It's the time for silly hats and sunscreen. Yes, even here, even this year, we might actually need sunscreen.

Happy Solstice and Happy Pride Week, everyone!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Tender Roughness - New Release

I have a new release today. A Tender Roughness is now available at Total E Bound here.

Here is the blurb and excerpt for the book.

A Tender Roughness
Total E Bound
Available Now
ISBN: 978-0-85715-577-1
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Impressions - Book 2
Length: Novella
Format: E-Book

Will the stubborn biker be able to resist of the persuasive businessman, who could match him in all ways?

Kincaid Vaughn knows what he likes in a man. And the redheaded cowboy is so far from his usual type. When passion between them he goes with it. But he wakes to find that the man has left with no word, and that he is not just any cowboy, but Alistair James--brother to Kincaid’s good friend. Kincaid is pissed. In his opinion, Alistair puts money above family, which is something Kincaid cannot accept. He decides he is only mildly annoyed, or at least that’s what he tells himself. The return of Alistair and his declaration that he is back to make Kincaid his is baffling. Kincaid decides that a fling with the sexy man is fine, but no emotion or getting attached. But Alistair’s determined pursuit may change his mind… eventually.

Alistair James knew from the time he laid eyes on the sensual biker that he would make him his…every ornery, stubborn, and arrogant inch of him. Kincaid might say it was just sex, but with his every touch, things he did and the way he treated him, Alistair knew the truth. The hardheaded man wanted him now and forever. Alistair would just have to use his considerable skills of persuasion and orneriness. And if that didn’t work, then doing what he wants to bring Kincaid around to his way of thinking. It will take A Tender Roughness to get the man that was made only for him… each and every edible inch.


A sound made him turn, and his breath caught as he viewed the black horse. Its powerful front legs kicked up, and then it dropped back down and raced around the paddock. A chestnut horse raced out of a small building that was part of the paddock. It joined the black one, and they ran around the enclosed area.

“No way it hell am I riding that,” Kincaid whispered.

Kincaid turned back to the cabin. He stared at the man who was now standing on the porch. The rangy man came down the stairs in a long-legged, confident stride. His face was shadowed under a dark brown Stetson he wore over deep copper-red hair. A braid rested over one broad shoulder with its tail end coming to rest against a flat abdomen. Kincaid sucked in a breath as the man came closer, his features becoming clearer.

Smooth, silky-looking pale white skin offset bright blue eyes framed with curly lashes. Sloping forehead, high cheeks, slightly flared nose, and a firm chin came together to make him devastatingly handsome. But it was his lush, full lips that caught Kincaid. The lips were meant to be kissed, licked, and worshipped. Kincaid was six-foot-three, and this man matched him in height. Something about him seemed familiar, but Kincaid couldn’t figure out why. He glanced down the man’s frame. The wide shoulders tapered down into a full chest, then a narrow waist and into full hips. His legs were encased in comfortable-looking jeans. He stood with booted feet braced apart.

I want to see that ass. Kincaid’s cock went rock hard, and he stifled a groan, wondering how the jeans would hug that butt that he could cup perfectly in his hands. He would bet his bike on it. The man wasn’t even his type, but with a body like his, Kincaid could overlook that.

“Kincaid Vaughn?” a surprisingly deep voice asked.

Kincaid raised his eyes and met those bright blues. His eyes narrowed as he noted the coldness in them. He took in the slightly nasty curl to those full lips. Crossing his arms over his barrel chest, the man’s eyes dropped, taking in Kincaid’s tats. He met Kincaid’s gaze again. The coldness in his eyes seemed to have increased.

“That’s me. Where’s Jolie?” He wasn’t about to observe the niceties of being friendly.

Kincaid had no idea who this guy was but already he didn’t like him one bit. He just wanted him gone.

“Jolie sent me. She has been unavoidably detained. I’m to make sure you enjoy your stay at AJ Ranch.” There was a slight sneer in his tone.

“My, my. Aren’t we sounding all hoity-toity? No need to put yourself out. I’ll come another time when I can have better company.” Kincaid smiled, slow and insolent.

The man’s eyes narrowed, and then his lips thinned. Kincaid gave him a mocking salute, then turned and went back to his bike.

“I understand if you don’t think you can cut it on a horse,” he stated in a cold challenge.

Kincaid stopped, back rigid. He looked back. The red-head smiled coldly, then tucked his hands into his front pockets. Kincaid grabbed his jacket, helmet, and bag off the back of his bike and walked back over to him. He raised one eyebrow. Mr Hoity-Toity made a mocking gesture for Kincaid to follow him, then strode to the steps of the porch. Kincaid bit off a curse at the sight of the ass that surpassed what he had imagined.

Just my luck to be stuck with an asshole who has a fine ass.

Copyright © Talia Carmichael, 2011.
All Rights Reserved.

Buy here from Total-E-Bound

Talia Carmichael
Fill Your Cravings

Blog: http://taliacarmichael.com/blog

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A sneak preview from ZAM ~

Here's a little sneak preview of my upcoming novel, The Book Of Daniel, number four in the St. Nacho's series...

Chapter One

I grinned when the waiter brought me a clean ashtray.  It was a Monday kind of grin. It was an I-got-drunk-and-stoned-and-screwed-around-all-weekend, barely-crawled-out-of-bed lift of the muscles that parenthesize my lips. On a dog, you’d call it fair warning. 
I’d been having a lot of Mondays like that. I’d even hit the trifecta of fucked up Monday mornings the week before when I’d woken up in a stranger’s home in Santa Monica with no memory and a really kickass Kanji tattoo on my right my shoulder. 
Really kickass. 
I had no idea what it meant, but it looked good. 
And maybe my brother Jake would have had a thing or two to say about that sort of shit if I let him in on it, like… maybe he’d have said I’m not a shallow guy and I’m just having a midlife crisis, but I am and I’m not, respectively. I was on the trail of tears to forty, newly divorced, newly out and proud and I didn’t give a damn. 
It wasn’t like I hadn’t tried to do everything right, because I had tried. Hard. I’d made my mother happy when she was alive. I’d treated my wife well even though she left me for some other asshole, thank fuck. I’d let her get away with the house, her car, and an income, because I was not a monster. My father was monster and I knew what one of those was like.
So really, I was not a monster. 
I was just a guy who finally, finally had the chance to get it right. And it was my turn to pick and choose. 
My second Vodka Mary had appeared on the table next to my good elbow while I’d been sitting there, eyes closed, drifting. Enjoying the buzz from my first drink and the warm flush of nicotine.  
The sound of the waves hitting the sand behind me was soothing. It interspersed with children playing, the sound of two or three portable radios, and seabirds. As grim as the morning had started out, the day promised high temperatures. People had come early, prepared to stake out their territory and wait for the sun to burn off the clouds. I could feel its radiant warmth on my face and shoulders even though the light breeze off the water was chilly. 
I ate my olive slowly, savoring its salty, bitter aftertaste. The chairs were comfortable. I found if I crossed my feet at the ankles and slunk down a bit, it supported my head and shoulders and I could avoid that sprawled, knees splayed out appearance while I relaxed…
“Dan, are you asleep?”
I shook my head. Hell no I wasn’t asleep, I was just resting my eyes. Wasn’t I? A quick scan of my surroundings revealed my cigarette had burned to ash and my drink had a thick layer of water at the top. 
“Shoot. Sorry, yeah, I think I was.” I pushed up in my chair to shake the cobwebs out of my brain. “Wild weekend. I was out of town.”
Jakey sat down and shot me a smile I think he might have invented just for me. There was never any disappointment in that shy half-moon of perfect white teeth and lips. It had begun to appear on his face long before he’d even had those incisors that were evident now, when what his mouth revealed had been like the tiny white Chiclets in gimme-sized boxes of gum people handed out on Halloween.
“Where’d you go?”
“Santa Barbara. Up in the hills, nice place. You’d have liked it. We went to a place for brunch yesterday that was out of this world.”
“Yeah? Who’d you go with?” 
I shrugged. “Some guy I met at Sandpiper. Stunning course. Really beautiful, first-rate golf.  I want to go back sometime, want to come?”
Jake shook his head. “Golf. As if.” 
“You mock now. Someday the golf bug will get you.”
“Hardly. Golf has to be the most effete, boring fucking game… Bunch of guys hunting for a little white ball. Oh, woe is me. The ball is in the sand. Call me when that sand explodes.”
“Do you actually want the sand to explode?”
He frowned. “No. But there has to be a happy medium between almost getting killed and I’m going to drive this little cart off a cliff just to make something happen. Anyway, how are you golfing with that?” He indicated my hand.
Yeah. My hand was still in a brace, still showing the effects of a brutal crush injury and several surgeries. The bones of my wrist were barely mended, the radius and ulna held together with titanium strips and pins and screws. 
My bionic arm. Except – unlike Steve Austin’s -- it was weak and pale and scarred and useless.
“I can’t hit the long range balls because my grip is fucked up, but I can still putt. I found someone who”  -- Heaven help me, the memory of the three days I’d spent with Julio made me blush and shift in my seat like an adolescent boy  --“likes to drive.”

Friday, June 17, 2011

Death of a novel

I'm emerging from my "internet and social media" holiday to write a blog post. All day, I was wondering what to write about, and I was about to let this slot slip past and ignore it. I *am* on social media holiday, after all.

I've just received another rejection for a novel. It's been turned down by any even remotely suitable publisher I could think of. All options are exhausted. If I put in three or four months of incredibly hard work (basically writing it from scratch), it might still happen, but there are also factors beyond my control that make that option very unappealing.

I've received enough feedback from the editors rejecting it that I know the book is fundamentally flawed. Tension needs work. The pacing needs work. The plot needs work. I've already edited and rewritten this book twice - changing everything several times. This was the best I could do, and it's not good enough.

There's the point when an author has to weigh the pros and cons. Keep pushing - increasingly frustrated and angry, and to the detriment of the other books that clamour for attention - or cut one's losses and let this go.

I never could let go. I'm a stubborn bastard. I sometimes think I can fix everything. I make my living fixing texts and have for seven years. But something that happened in my personal life yesterday showed me the limits of that "fixability". Sometimes, cutting your losses is the best thing one can do. Let things go. People. Books. Ideas of self. Ideas of capability.

Sometimes saying "this is out of my hands" and "I won't fight this" is the best option - no rage, no anger. In writing, I strive very very hard - I can't write formula and I probably never will learn that skill (it's a skill, and one I admire) - which means, sometimes I fail, fall flat on my face. I'm not sure who said it, but I remember a quote that goes something like this: "I may fail, but as long as I fail *better* every time, I'm making progress."

I'm now burying that failed novel and its equally failed prequel. Six or eight months of work - but who's keeping track. *G*

Every novel teaches me something. This one teaches me to let go and admit defeat - and to focus on the as-yet unfailed novels. To keep moving forward and not dwell on the past that can't be changed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Heat

The summer solstice is due next week in the northern hemisphere, although it's already made its presence known. Time to hit the pool and cool off! Or in model Dave Wilkinson's case, heat things up another degree or two...

I'm planning to beat the heat this summer with iced tea, indoor reading and writing, late evening strolls, and air conditioned activities like bowling and the art museum. What are your plans this summer?

Katrina Strauss
Romance, erotica & a little yaoi, too.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I'm about 8K away from finishing another co-written novel that's due out in September. This one is written with the lovely Chris Owen and shows what happens when a computer geek falls in love with a firefighter. Oh, and the fireman just happens to have a bitch of an ex-wife and a seven year old daughter. The computer geek has a dog with six puppies. Love is never easy, people!

Here, have a little snip:

It felt like a year had passed before he finally saw the firefighter emerge again, and by that time the building had become almost totally obscured by the thick, dirty smoke. Too many people were still in his way and he couldn’t tell if the fireman had found his poor Q, her belly swollen with pups.

He craned his neck and stood on tiptoe, trying to peer past the police officer that was keeping him from dashing to his building. Had the firefighter gotten to her? And had it been in time? Deuce was just on the verge of saying fuck it and risking arrest, but suddenly the flock of people in front of him melted away and he was face to face with a pair of strong arms that cradled his pregnant dog.

“Q!” He reached out his arms to take the squirming, panting mutt. “Is she okay? Are you?”

Q’s tongue lolled and she whined and wiggled until he put her down. Holding onto her collar, Deuce crouched down next to her and looked up at the firefighter. “Thank you. God, I can’t even tell you.” He pet Q with one hand, made her sit and held on tight. “Thank you,” he repeated.

The firefighter took off his helmet and wiped at his forehead. He nodded at Deuce and leaned down to give her a pat. “She’s a nice girl. Came right to me and let me pick her up.”

“She wasn’t real scared?” Deuce noticed his own hand was shaking and he reached up to push it through his hair to make it stop. His knuckles hit his bike helmet though, and he let out a shaky breath before undoing the snap and taking the helmet off. “I’m a mess. Thank you so much, again."

“She was a little scared.” The man shrugged and pet Q’s head again, his gloves still on. “But not like some pets I’ve tried to grab. Got bit right through my turnouts once by some little yappy dog."

"What’s your name?”

"Trey Donovan. And she is...?”

“Q. Well, her vet papers still say Cutie, but that’s a stupid name. I got her about two years ago after a break up and took the liberty of cooling her up.” Deuce gently stroked her belly. “She got loose on me, though.”

The corner of Trey’s mouth lifted as he gazed at the dog’s stomach. “She wasn’t spayed, obviously? Don’t you listen to what Bob Barker tells you?”

Deuce didn’t blush, but he did nod contritely. “Lesson learned, for sure. It’ll be taken care of as soon as she’s ready. I’m not sure how long we have to wait after the puppies come, but the vet will tell me. I hope they’re okay.”

Q whined again and looked at them both, her tail thumping on the ground. She was still panting, and Deuce decided he’d have to find some water for her really soon.

Someone was yelling for Trey, who glanced over his shoulder and nodded. He gave one last pat to Q and shifted his helmet to under his other arm. “Good luck getting rid of the puppies,” he laughed. “My kid would love one.” Then he turned and headed back in the direction he’d come from, presumably to do something else heroic.

“Your kid is totally getting one,” Deuce said, mostly to Q. “Right? Right.” He watched Trey talk to someone and then vanish into the smoke, but not before he saw the big ‘11’ on Trey’s helmet. “We’ll track him down.”


Watch for that in mid-September!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Drawin' fun

On Twitter the other day, I was gushing about X-men: First Class, which I absolutely loved. Durrr. Wolverine: Origins came pretty close to feeling like the actual comic characters, but First Class has indeed captured the right essence of the books. And its so much fun! I highly recommend it, and for those of you who, like me, enjoy bromantic elements, the chemistry between Charles and Eric is fantastisch.

So with a ton of great flicks in theaters right now, I've felt the itch from the sketching bug...

Ahh, Magneto, why you such a hottie baddass?

Nightcrawler, we saw your mom and dad in First Class!

The week before Xmen came out, Captain Barbossa pirated my drawing muse.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spin Out preview

A short snippet of the WIP which I'm finishing off at a mad pace. If everything goes right, you'll have Joe/Kabe book 2 by Mid August:

(c) 2011 James Buchanan

Stepped out of the shower and dried myself off, still messing with the thoughts in my head. To my mind, lots of folks might have tried to shuffle the blame onto the odd man out. ‘Course, Austin up and left town right about the same time as the boys went missing. Maybe they figured he was out of the picture and wouldn’t mess up their story none.

‘Bought that time someone banged on my door. Lord Almighty, there I was nekkid as sin. Wrapped the towel around my middle and leaned out the bathroom door. I had a straight view from the kitchen, over the breakfast counter and to the front door. “Who’s there?”

I heard a key in the lock. Since my folks were still in Russia on their retirement mission, it had to be Kabe. No one else had one. I didn’t have a clue why he came over, but I weren’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. I tucked the towel in over itself and padded towards the front door. Kabe’d seen me with far less on.

“Kabe?” I mean I figured it had to be him, but I asked anyway.
Got a, “Yeah,” in response as he walked through the door. He still wore the resort parka with the embroidered logo on one side and his name badge tucked in a little plastic pocket on the other.

Everything I kinda wanted to say vanished right out of my head with him standing there. Best I could manage was, “You’re here.”

“Finished work.” He unzipped the parka and shrugged it off. “Thought I’d come by.” Toss the coat over my chair as he walked through the living room.

“Yeah.” I shook off the worst of my slack jawed stated. “Hey, well, ah I got a Christmas present for you.” That was no where near what we needed to talk over, but it was a start. “Let me get dressed, I’ll makes some sandwiches or something and you can open ‘em.”

By that time, Kabe’d come right up against me. “I had something else in mind.”

“What?” I mumbled that one word as he hooked his hand in my towel and yanked it off. “Oh, Lord, that.” Ran my hand up along his arm. “We could do that.”

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Never Can Say Goodbye

I've probably mentioned this before, but I hate saying goodbye to characters. In order to finish my first manuscript (oh so many years ago), I had to trick myself by imagining the sequel. In fact, other than Hot Ticket I've never finished anything that didn't feel make me want to revisit the characters through a sequel or spin off. For Cade and Elliot in Hot Ticket it wasn't that I didn't love them, it was that they felt complete to me.

So while I was wrapping up Bad Company—and thanks to everyone who's given it a shot—I really intended to start working on the sequel to Life, Over Easy, but one of my characters wasn't having it. If you've read Bad Company you won't have to guess who: Eli.

Eli was one of those characters who sprang to life, fully formed and opinionated, from the second I said, "I need a sidekick here." Not only did he try to make all of Bad Company about him, he wouldn't stop poking me about his own book. After I tried to start the Fragments book a couple of times, Eli kept poking, and I told him to go and dig out a hero. As soon as Quinn started talking, I knew my schedule was doomed. Quinn is the perfectly worst hero Eli could have. Exactly what he's always wanted, except...

Bad Boyfriend is scheduled to be released in December.

I don't think I'm done with the Baltimore books. After all Quinn has a very bitter friend who might need his own HEA, and I love the idea of going back there to hang out with Nate and Kellan and Quinn and Eli. (That is if Nate and Quinn are speaking to each other.) I also have a plan for another book set in Jacksonville so I can go back and see Joey and Aaron and Shane and Kim again. For now, provided someone doesn't get too loud, I've got to figure out exactly how scary John's aura-reading is going to get in this second Fragments book. Everyone else, I love you, but please, take a number.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Fanfic Foray and an Historical Query

It's been quite some time since I ventured into the realm of fanfic with my writing. There are a number of reasons for that, the most prominent of which is time. I'm simply too busy playing with my own toys in my own universes to be bothered to play with someone else's in theirs. Lately (like, yesterday), though, I made an exception. Funny thing is it's not a fandom in which I'm active, although I do enjoy permutations of it.

Okay. From the top:
A friend wrote an m/m ACD-canon fic for Holmestice over on LiveJournal (I'd tell you which one, but the authors haven't been revealed yet.), which I beta'd for her, and then she asked me to write a smutty follow-up for it. Now, m/m smut I'm cool with (obviously), but Victorian m/m smut? In the voice of John H. Watson M.D.? Yeeeeeah. That was a writing challenge. And I'm still not sure I met it. She said her brain had to unbend before she could get all technical on the fic. (Side note: I bent her brain in under 1400 words. I'm so pleased. ;-> )

All this got me thinking about different periods of historical fiction. "Historicals" are sort of lumped together in my head, but Victorian is completely different from Regency, is completely different from Elizabethan or Jacobean, from Restoration, from pre-WWI, from mid-20th-century, from, from, from... Each has its own distinct voice, and mastering even one can be a challenge, never mind mastering a variety. And then there's the question of historical accuracy--how much of it you need for your story to carry plausibility vs. how much your readers can take in and still feel the necessary emotional connection to the characters. For example, I started reading a book lately that was built on an historical inaccuracy and an anachronism. It's clear that others love this book; I picked it up at the library because it was a "top pick" in the local newspaper. I quit reading within two chapters because the blatant impossibilities over-powered any feeling I might have had for the characters.

So, this question goes out to the writers and readers of historical m/m (or other) romance: How important is the "voice" of the period compared to the accessibility of the characters and the story being told?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rerelease & Contest!

A Kinky Orgasm has been re-released by moi. To celebrate, I thought I would give away a couple of copies here on Slash & Burn. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this blog. I'll choose two winners at random tonight at 10pm est and announce the winner here on the blog. Easy as that.

Here's a little bit about the story:


Briar Henley can’t believe his good fortune when Truman Lee strolls into his little bar and orders the house specialty—a kinky orgasm. Briar serves up the creamy, alcoholic drink with more than an ounce of curiosity. Why would a straight jock be in a gay bar?

After a little flirting, Briar doesn’t much care why Truman is there. All grown up, Truman looks better than ever. Briar can’t help but react to the pull he’s felt for the other man since high school. Painful memories of the insatiable crush he harbored for the homophobic jock makes Briar yearn for a little payback of the intimate persuasion.

Only Briar is in for a surprise of his own. Truman isn’t in town for a visit. He’s home to stay. And he wants Briar for a lot more than his fancy beverages...


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Random Ramblings

Well nuts. Last week I had three different blog posts rattling around in my head, but today, as that lovely pop-up reminder tells me to post to Slash & Burn, I can’t remember a single one of them.

I blame this head cold. Who gets sick in June when hot chicken soup is out of the question?

I’ve been keeping busy, maybe even too busy with several different projects going at once. I’m a mere two chapters away from finishing the first draft of a cowboy novella. The characters for a freebie for the M/M group over on GoodReads have finally met, but still need to have some fun. And edits for my debut with Loose Id have been keeping me busy in between those two. Throw in weekly CRANK chapters, the occasional run, the Job That Pays The Bills, and a Muse who won’t let me forget the punk rocker, the cross-dresser, the male transgender, or the pretty young rent boy, and it’s a wonder I still find time to read and sleep.

It sounds like a lot when I write about it, but I lost count of how many days I’ve left the Job That Pays The Bills too mentally exhausted to write coherently, even for an hour. Ah, but that is a topic for another time. Perhaps I will revisit Job That Pays The Bills woes in a future blog post. Preferably, the one where I announce I’m retiring to write full time.

Hey, I can dream. Right?

Anyway, I’m rambling. I blame the flu clogging up my head. I remember, now, that I was supposed to blog about Tootsie Pops, but alas, I must save that story for another time. I need some brain power to edit CRANK’s chapter before I post it later today, so I’ll let you go, dear Readers. Hopefully when next I land in this blog, I’ll have some lovely cover art and a release date for my Loose Id summer love story. In the meantime, Man Whore has been released in print as of yesterday. Visit Silver Publishing for information on how to order it.

Have a great Sunday, and... wanna play hookie with me tomorrow?

Pia Veleno

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thai airline hires 'ladyboys' as flight attendants

In Thai culture, transgender male-to-females, as well as transvestites, are considered to be a "third gender" or "kathoey". This loosely translates in English to "ladyboy". Having already been familiar with ladyboys, I watched this news video with interest:


According to the accompanying article:

A new Thai charter airline due to start operations on Asian routes in April is hiring transsexuals as flight attendants.

More than 100 transvestites and transsexuals people applied for the first round of jobs. Four were chosen, along with 19 female and seven male flight attendants.

Among the successful applicants was Dissanai Chitpraphachin, 23, who was crowned as Thailand's most beautiful transvestite in 2007.

Kathoey still have hurdles to overcome in Thai society (read more about ladyboys in an older article here), but the idea of a "third gender" is certainly more embraced in their region than in other parts of the world. I wonder if we'd ever see a similar hiring campaign with a Western airline?

Katrina Strauss
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