Friday, December 19, 2014

Breaking down Evergreen's five big adjectives

Evergreen, a novelette in the Love in Los Angeles universe came out yesterday. While it focuses on characters introduced in Starling and takes place between that book and its sequel, Doves (due out January 21, 2015), Evergreen is also designed to standalone.

Which means we've had to describe just what's in the tin. But sometimes, describing what's on the tin can provide as much accurate information as it can inaccurate assumptions.

So here's the deal: Evergreen is an interracial, bisexual, polyamorous, Hollywood, holiday romance.

Try saying that five times fast.

The thing is, that sentence isn't enough.  So now we're going to break it down for you.

First of all, that sentence doesn't give you the plot. Evergreen is about a man who goes home to New York City visit his parents for Christmas and is confronted by the ways in which his web of local relationships has changed since last he was there. When he seeks advice from other friends and lovers, they're -- sometimes literally -- tied up with their own pursuits.

Secondly, that one sentence blurb on Evergreen's diversity can be misleading. Because we don't mean interracial as it exists in a fetishized category in pornography. We mean the story contains several characters of color, some of whom are dating each other and some of whom are dating white people. Because Torquere Press is about "Romance for the Rest of Us" we want readers to know that our story contains characters who might look like them.

Next, the word bisexual is also tricky here. Again, we don't mean the fetishizing porn category.  We mean our main protagonist is a bisexual man who is engaged to a woman.  Who is also bisexual. And the story showcases their relationships with each other and with other people.

Which brings us to the polyamory.  And this is where things get complicated. Yup, two bisexual people who are non-monogamous in relationships with each other and other people.  Whenever Erin and I write things like this, there's often this sense of needing to defend it.  Not all bisexual people are poly. Certainly, our bisexual characters aren't poly because they're bisexual, but simply because they are poly.  They are doing what works for them, and in the larger series, we also have bisexual characters who are monogamous.  Besides, Evergreen isn't all about bisexual characters.  It's also got a lesbian, some gay men, and an asexual guy.

The reality is that when we talk about "Romance for the Rest of Us" some people are going to be monogamous and some people aren't. The dramas in our stories aren't always reflective of the people we know, but the diversity of orientations and relationship styles is.  These characters aren't there for the sake of diversity, but for the sake of the story, and we just happen to think stories are easier to tell well when they contain characters with not only lots of shared experiences, but lots of different experiences too.

Now, back to breaking down that description. We're on to Hollywood. This is where things get hilarious.  Because yes, this series is about Los Angeles, and our main character in Evergreen is a television star.  But this story takes place in New York!  We may make movies here, but it's very much not Hollywood. Who else is fascinated by how a place can become a genre?

Next to last, we've got holiday.  We think that one is pretty clear.  But Evergreen is less a story about the winter holidays and more a story that just happens to take place during them.

Finally, romance.  This is a romance.  This is about learning to love people the way they need to be loved. It's about communication. It's about recognizing what's been right there in front of you all along. And it's about taking what you can get and wanting your happiness to be shared.

We hope you'll enjoy this story we've shared with you.

For more information on diverse romance, check out the #WeNeedDiverseRomance tag on Twitter.

You can buy Evergreen at these and other retailers:


You can visit us on social media at:

Blog: http://www.Avian30.com
Racheline’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/racheline_m

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cereus: Rescue

Four years or so ago, Julia Talbot asked BA Tortuga and myself to join her in writing for her Bloodrose world -- focusing the stories on the wilderness resort Jonny (the Bloodrose owner) was opening. And here we are with the fourth book in the series! I have to say, it's always fun to write paranormals, especially in a world where everything goes.

Julia asked me to write her a spirit bear -- which is an all white brown bear, found on the West Coast of Canada. Now how could I resist that?

Even the strongest paranormal creature can need a rescue, as proven by the three stories in Cereus: Rescue. In Free Demons, by Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga, when demon Bel goes to the Cereus resort, he’s fleeing his father, the king of a demon dimension. When his bodyguard of old shows up, Bel thinks Xerxes is there to take him home, but Xerxes wants them to be free to be together.

In Sean Michael’s Spirit Bear, Lightning has been captive for a long time, but the werebear is rescued, and Etu takes him in, teaching him that love knows no boundaries, and that safety can be super-sexy. In Babysitting Job, by BA and Julia, Devon is sent by Cereus owner Jonny to escort vampire Sandro to safety. The two of them fall for each other, but they have to escape Sandro’s stalker in order to be together.

It's available here.

You don't have to read the Cereus books in order, though that doesn't hurt. In order, they are:

Cereus: Building
Cereus: Opening
Cereus: Training
Cereus: Rescue



Sean
smut fixes everything
www.seanmichaelwrites.com

Need for Sale, a Hammer Christmas Auction story

As has become my tradition, I've done another Hammer Christmas Auction story.


It's been two years since Neil's Master Chris passed away unexpectedly and he's ready for someone to touch him again. More than ready. The problem is that everyone is respectfully keeping their distance. Participating in the annual charity Hammer Auction seems like the perfect opportunity to announce his readiness, and to get some of the touches he craves so badly at the same time.

To Neil's surprise, his best friend and neighbor, Master Dalton makes the winning bid, leaving Neil to wonder if he must continue exist alone and untouched. Master Dalton has a secret, though, one that might change Neil's life forever.

You can find it here.


The Hammer Christmas Auction stories from past years are: Christmas Auction, Christmas Angel, Christmas Homecoming and Top Bidder.








Sean
smut fixes everything
www.seanmichaelwrites.com

Merry Christmas Contest!

I'll be posting about my new releases today, but I also want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, or whatever else you might celebrate!

I do love Christmas. I love the lights. I love the decorated tree. I love buying and wrapping presents. I love sending and receiving cards. I love all the carols. I love the food. Yum! And you all know by now I love the weather -- the more snow the better for me.

So in honor of the holiday, I'm holding a contest for a $25 Torquere Gift Certificate!

Just comment on any of my posts today and on Saturday morning I will randomly draw a winner. (If you leave your email addy, it'll be easier to send your gift certificate, or be sure to check back on Saturday to see if you won).


Also -- this year I'm doing my Smutty Advent again. Be sure to check it out at my new blog.




Sean
smut fixes everything
www.seanmichaelwrites.com

Are you ready for some great Holiday Releases??

This week we have selected titles by several authors releasing new books this week including, Sean Michael, BA Tortuga, Julia Talbot, Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae, L.J. Hamlin, Kassandra Lea, Winnie Jerome, Lorne Rodman on sale for 20% off GO SEE!! http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=specials


Cereus: Rescue
by Sean Michael, Julia Talbot, BA Tortuga
192 pages / 49000 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-855-4
$4.49
Buy Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76&products_id=4335
Blurb:
Even the strongest paranormal creature can need a rescue, as proven by the three stories in Cereus: Rescue. In Free Demons, by Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga, when demon Bel goes to the Cereus resort, he’s fleeing his father, the king of a demon dimension. When his bodyguard of old shows up, Bel thinks Xerxes is there to take him home, but Xerxes wants them to be free to be together.
In Sean Michael’s Spirit Bear, Lightning has been captive for a long time, but the werebear is rescued, and Etu takes him in, teaching him that love knows no boundaries, and that safety can be super-sexy. In Babysitting Job, by BA and Julia, Devon is sent by Cereus owner Jonny to escort vampire Sandro to safety. The two of them fall for each other, but they have to escape Sandro’s stalker in order to be together.


Need for Sale, a Hammer Holiday story
by Sean Michael
39 pages / 10400 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-854-7
$2.99
Buy Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_85&products_id=4339
Blurb:
It's been two years since Neil's Master Chris passed away unexpectedly and he's ready for someone to touch him again. More than ready. The problem is that everyone is respectfully keeping their distance. Participating in the annual charity Hammer Auction seems like the perfect opportunity to announce his readiness, and to get some of the touches he craves so badly at the same time.
To Neil's surprise, his best friend and neighbor, Master Dalton makes the winning bid, leaving Neil to wonder if he must continue exist alone and untouched. Master Dalton has a secret, though, one that might change Neil's life forever.

Knitting a Broken Heart Back Together

by Ari McKay
133 pages / 40700 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-847-9
$4.49
Buy Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_85&products_id=4338
Blurb:
When a Christmas shopping expedition brings Tomy Peralta into Jason Winters’ yarn store, both men feel an immediate and intense spark of attraction, but dance instructor Tomy intends to propose to his boyfriend Sean at Christmas. Unfortunately for Tomy, marriage isn’t on career-minded Sean’s agenda. Heartbroken, Tomy throws himself into his work until his mother convinces him that learning to knit might help take his mind off his failed romance.
Jason falls hard for Tomy, but he knows Tomy needs time to heal and to trust in love again. As Jason teaches Tomy how to knit, Tomy teaches him how to dance in return to prepare for his sister’s wedding. Just when it seems Tomy is ready for a new romance, Sean shows up, wanting Tomy back. Has Jason helped Tomy knit his heart together again, only for Tomy to give it to Sean once more, or will Tomy finally see Sean for what he truly is?

Santa's Little Kinksters Anthology

with stories from : LJ Hamlin, Winnie Jerome, Kassandra Lea, Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae
166 pages / 49700 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-849-3
$4.49
Buy Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76&products_id=4327
Blurb:
Who doesn’t love a kinky little gift in their stocking?
Sex counts as a joy of the season, right? In A Sinful Little Gift by Kassandra Lea, Vegas is the backdrop for a sexy game of cat and mouse with a demon and his angel. In Evergreen, by Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae, Hollywood darling Liam is baffled when his best friend and casual sex partner isn’t the same as he’s been every year.
In The Christmas Office Party by LJ Hamlin, Jake knows it’s bad to fraternize with a co-worker at the office party, but Liam is irresistible. Finally, in The Night Before Christmas Eve by Winnie Jerome, Sean and Jack have been friends for years, meeting up the night before Christmas Eve. This year might be different than any holiday they’ve ever.
Who says romance and erotic romance can’t teach us anything about peace on earth and goodwill toward men?
Individual stories available as well:
Evergreen by Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae
The Christmas Office Party by L.H. Hamlin
The Night Before Christmas Eve by Winnie Jerome
A Sinful Little Gift by Kassandra Lea

Holiday Groove

by Lorne Rodman
61 pages / 17000 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-848-6
$2.99
Buy Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76&products_id=4334
Blurb:
These four holiday stories bring you four different couples celebrating Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas. Stories include Valentine’s Day Surprise, What You Don’t Know, Dance of the Zombies, and A New Kind of Feast. Happy Holidays!
Stories were previously published individually by Torquere Press.

Coming Next Week:

Wishing all of our readers, authors, fans and friends a wonderful holiday week! Blessings to you all and enjoy time with your families!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Chanukah art with femslash and a dragon!

HAPPY CHANUKAH FROM QUEEN SHULAMIT AND FAMILY!
Shulamit, her partner Aviva, her best friend and bodyguard Rivka, and you know who up there all wish you all eight wonderful nights of candles, dreidl games, bad chocolate in shiny tinfoil, donuts, singing, and latkes!
Stay tuned because these lovely folks will be back January 21 in A Harvest of Ripe Figs, the third installment of the series that started with  The Second Mango and Climbing the Date Palm. For all eight days of the holiday, you can get 20% off the existing books by using the coupon code latkes , but only on the links above, not Amazon or on the paperbacks.
(Oh, and for those who are more into m/m, there's a m/m romance at the center of Date Palm, but they're not part of this illustration because this isn't their holiday.)
Art by yeaka; characters and books by Shira Glassman.

Monday, December 15, 2014

BDSMonday - Play Parties



It's BDSMonday!

Today I'm talking about play parties.

In case you don't know, a play party is a gathering of kinky people where the attendees play or watch others play, as opposed to a munch which is typically in a vanilla setting and play of any kind is a big no-no.

I'll admit to limited experience. I live in a small city, and the kinky community here is small. All of the play parties I've attended bar one were organized at least in part by me. The one I didn't help organize was very, very small, and held in someone's home. Some of what I say might not apply in all cases, so I'd love to hear from people with more experience!

First, how do you get invited to a play party? Some are completely open--anyone with the cash can buy a ticket. This is especially true of very large parties that have been running for a number of years. Smaller ones tend to be more selective, both because of size restrictions and concerns about the safety of those attending. Most of the parties I hosted were semi-private. A group of vetted people would be sent direct invites, and any remaining tickets would be sold at munches. Interested people had to attend at least one munch so we could meet them in person. We also had a list of people who were not welcome, because of past incidents or major personality conflicts with people who were attending. We also tried to mostly invite people who we knew would play, because that way it's more fun for everyone.

It's usually okay to attend a play party and not play, but it's best to ask ahead of time. Play parties aren't public, but they aren't in the bedroom, either. Anyone playing at them has to realize that they may be watched while they play. We always left little areas where people could stand and watch play. If someone tells you they don't want to be watched, or any other request, please respect that.

Stay out of the way of play! The people involved in a scene don't want to be tripping over you or have to worry about accidentally hitting you with a riding crop. Stay out of the scene unless you're invited. Don't talk to the participants unless you've been invited to, or unless that scene is specifically stated to be a demonstration.

Another important part of play parties is DMs or dungeon monitors. The DM is there to make sure everyone is safe and happy. At our parties, people who had already played weren't allowed to DM, because that meant they were in an altered state and probably not as focused as someone who hadn't played. Not all play parties have them.

I don't remember an instance where our DMs had to intervene with a scene, but they helped clean up stations, brought water, snacks, pillows and blankets to people who'd played, and just kept an eye on everything.

If you have a question about a scene, or if it's making you uncomfortable, approach the DM. Don't try to stop the scene yourself. If you need to, leave the room. Not everyone is going to play the same way as you, but that doesn't mean they're doing it 'wrong'.

Due to hygiene/safety, you'll probably have to bring your own toys to a play party, but there will probably be different stations set up to play at. We had a spanking bench, St. Andrew's cross and massage table. If you can, it's nice to clean up the station when you're finished playing--some form of disinfectant should be provided. Sometimes you or your play partner are too out of it to clean up. That's okay, just let someone know.

And a quick note, as someone who hosted parties: getting there early to help to set up, and staying late to help take down everything is a super awesome thing to do if you're able! Putting on play parties is a lot of work, and chances are your help will be appreciated.

Thank your hosts for putting on the party. Don't constantly pester them about when the next party is going to be, because eventually the answer is going to be, "Whenever you put one on." Play parties should be fun for everyone, and that includes the hosts!

Play safely, and see you next week!