Wednesday, August 31, 2011

On Sale This Week

This week we have books by J. Rocci and K.I.L Kenny on sale at 20% off.

Check them out!

New Releases for August 31

Gold: All That Glitters by K.I.L. Kenny

In New York City, everybody's an actor – it's just a question of whether they'll admit it. Jed has an Equity card and a glittering Broadway dream. Philip is the one with the pretty face, but his ambition is a life of money and leisure. A one-night stand between the two is no problem, but when Philip asks for a second date, and then a third, Jed starts to wonder if Philip might actually be serious. Philip is wondering, too, and he's determined to put a stop to the affair before it goes too far. But can he?

Find out today!

Unbreakable by J. Rocci

Two years have passed since the war, but Sir Kaden fears that his recent injuries on a mission for the king have stirred unpleasant memories for his lover, Lord Yanisin. Their once casual relationship is tested as the tension between them rises the longer things are left unsaid. With some outside prompting, Kaden resolves to help Sin lay the past to rest, whether the other man welcomes his attentions or not, and hopes that their relationship will come out stronger than before.

Previously released as a Cherry Bomb.

Pick up your copy today!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Coming This Week

Gold: All The Glitters by K.I.L. Kenny (Color Box M/M)
Unbreakable by J. Rocci (Single Shot Classic, reprint, M/M)

Burning for You by Berengaria Brown (Single Shot M/M/M)
Raw Need, a Velvet Glove story by Sean Michael (Sip M/M)
Adaptations by Lee Benoit (Sip, reprint, M/M)
un bel di vedremo by Syd McGinley (Sip, reprint, M/M)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meme Monday: Labor Day Weekend

Well good morning y'all.  As I'm sure everyone knows this upcoming weekend is Labor Day weekend here in the U.S.  So it's only fitting to reach out and ask what your favorite memories are of Labor Day weekends from the past.

If you can't think of anything, let us know what your plans are for this 4 day weekend.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Rleases for August 27

Under the Skin by Kannan Feng

Padraic comes to Nagoya, Japan to sell his newly-developed neural net to the formidable Inoue Corporation. He’s not ready for a faulty language program or an unpredictable bodyguard, and he’s even less prepared for Minoru. Handsome Minoru wants both Padraic’s body and his tech, but it doesn’t stop there. Padraic finds himself trapped in a world of dangerous ambitions and high-stakes industrial espionage, and Minoru might be the only one who can get him out of it.

Pick up your copy today!

Must be Love by Dallas Coleman

Nick figures his thing with doctor Lee can’t be love. A break-up and booty calls sure don’t add up to something permanent. Still, even agreeing to his best friend’s plan to set Nick up on a date can’t keep him apart from Lee when a family emergency throws them back together. Will it be love this time?

Find out today!

Pulling the Pin, Inches of Trust #9 by AR Moler

Brian is overseeing the remodel of a 40’s era home when he and his crew find someone’s souvenir from World War II: a grenade. When Tristan, Brian’s cop boyfriend, stops by with a friend from the bomb squad to check and see if their find is the real deal, Tristan gets a whole different perspective on Brian. A hardhat, work boots, denim and flannel are not just a whole lot of sexy on the normally more professionally dressed Brian, they are kind of tough looking too. Maybe Brian can handle all the parts of Tristan’s life, even the tough bits. Sometimes, the small things can lead to some pretty big changes.

Get your copy today!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Power Up Sale!

During the hot summer and storm season, there's a good chance the power will go out. So we're offering 20% off your purchases from now through the end of day Monday just in case! Just put 'power082011' in the coupon code box any time you check out at Torquere Books before Monday at midnight to get 20% off your order.

Sale good now through Monday August 29 at Midnight (est).

Power up with a book from Torquere Press today!

Discount codes are provided as a courtesy to our customers. Torquere Press Inc. cannot be responsible for discounting purchases made before coupons/sales are announced, and cannot issue discounts to customers who fail to use the coupon or discount code during the purchase process.

Flashback Friday with EM Lynley

Welcome to Flashback Friday

I'm EM Lynley and my very first published story was released by Torquere in 2008, but it's no longer available or I'd do a way-back flashback. Instead, I'm going to re-introduce my first Color Box release, EMERALD: Rewriting History 1. 

When they first announced this new line I knew I'd claim emerald. As a May baby, it's my birthstone and part of my nickname, which is where "EM" comes from!  

Once I had my title, it was simple to come up with a museum exhibition and a priceless emerald that a sexy jewel thief would be after. And to complicate things, the curator would be the thief's old boyfriend. What fun this was to write.  I love guys in tuxes, so they're either wearing them or...well... they're not wearing anything for most of the book. One of my favorite scenes: the guys have sex in a pyramid. You'll just have to read it for yourself.

Plus, the research about art theft, museums and general lack of regard for laws surrounding much of the art world spawned ideas for a dozen further adventures for curator Tobin Wyler and art thief Pierce Worthingon... thus beginning my very first series!

Here's the blurb:

Museum curator Tobin Wyler is about to open the most significant exhibition of his career, and everything is going perfectly until he spots his former boyfriend chatting with his most important contributor at the black-tie reception. It goes from bad to worse because not only did Pierce Worthington once break Tobin's heart, but he's suspected of being the elusive art thief known as Jaguar, and Tobin knows his target is the highlight of the exhibit: an enormous emerald known as the Green Sorrow.

Pierce is torn about seeing Tobin again. He is expected to obtain the emerald, but he knows it may damage Tobin's reputation. What Pierce doesn't expect is how quickly old feelings about Tobin rise to the surface. Hoping to ease Tobin's fears and spend time with him, Pierce offers to let Tobin keep a constant eye on him for the thirty six hours leading up to the exhibit. Thrown together again out of necessity laced with attraction, Tobin must figure out how to protect the emerald, his reputation, and his heart. 

And an excerpt:

Tobin He'd been on Cloud Nine when he'd walked into to the elegant private party, a mass of jewel-colored cocktail dresses and designer tuxedoes to celebrate the imminent opening of his most important exhibition.

At Home with Royalty, a collection of antiquities and artifacts used by royal families throughout the ages would open to the public in two days. It would be the first time in over five hundred years all five gems from the legendary Crown of Amsara would be reunited. The literal crowning glory of the piece -- and of the entire exhibit -- was one of the largest emeralds ever found: The Green Sorrow hadn't been seen for centuries, and Tobin had not only located it, but convinced its owner, Sheikh Abdul-Shakur, to allow it to be on public display.

With the hard work behind him, Tobin let his guard down for the first time in months. Tonight's reception honored the private collectors and curators of other museums whose pieces comprised the exhibit. Tobin had a way of charming collectors and boards of directors -- male or female -- into wanting to be part of art history and everyone he'd approached had been thrilled to include their pieces in the exhibit, with a few notable exceptions.

With a satisfaction that bordered on arousal, he noticed the swarm of guests around the case containing the Crown of Amsara, murmuring in awe and appreciation of the spectacular emerald.

As Tobin walked through the throng of guests, various people came up to him with greetings of congratulations, double-cheeked European kisses and one hotel room key slipped into a pocket, but he only gave them a fraction of his attention. He had his eye and his mind on a tall sandy-haired figure on the far side of the room.

From a three-quarter back view, the way the Italian-cut tux fit him made Tobin want to get to know him, whoever he was. God how Tobin loved what Italians could do with fabric; even when fully dressed you could still know nearly everything you wanted about a man's body. Mmm.

Well, past Cloud Nine at this point, maybe even on Ten or Eleven, Tobin had approached within ten feet of his target when the man turned around. Tobin's mood immediately plummeted to earth, crashing into everything on the way down, and landing with a very real gut-wrenching thud.

"Tobin!" Sheikh Abdul-Shakur's shout came from behind Tobin's left shoulder, startling him. The sheikh grabbed Tobin, practically dragging him up to the elegantly dressed man. "We've been waiting for you to make an appearance! You know Pierce Worthington, don't you?"

Tobin's brain hadn't processed this situation yet, leaving him speechless.

"We're old... friends." Pierce broke the silence. The considerable pause -- and the look of terror Tobin's face probably displayed -- led the Sheikh to glance between the two men for a few seconds before he nodded in understanding of words left unsaid.

Pierce Worthington here? Now? And with Tobin's most important collector? Of course it had to happen sooner or later. They moved in the same circles, it had been sheer luck (or had it?) they hadn't crossed paths earlier. Tobin had to admit, occasionally he hoped he'd see Pierce again and have a good excuse to speak with him. There couldn't be a worse place for the meeting to happen than tonight. Because Tobin knew exactly why Pierce was here,now.

To steal the emerald.

[ Buy link at Torquere  -- save 15%put 'power082011' in the coupon code box through 8/29 ]

And if you like that, make sure to check out the next book in the series, ULTRAMARINE: Rewriting History 2 where Pierce and Tobin head to London. Stay tuned for the third volume which should be released near the end of the year, and join Tobin and Pierce in Italy.

Thanks for sharing this little stroll down memory lane!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Long night in the land of bassets

Wow, y’all. O.o

I am a zombie today, complete with staggering and braaaaaains and such. I don’t know if it’s barometric pressure or sunspots or the infernal eternal heat or what, but the bassets were crazy last night. C-R-A-Z-Y. I had all kinds of grand plans to get up this morning and write you something brilliant, but that’s not gonna happen, so we’ll just go with what happens when a basset hound has insomnia.

There’s chewing. Loud, crunchy, crank-crank kind of chewing on the rawhide. Then there’s ringing the bell on the back door so they can go out. Ring-a-ling-a-ling. Then comes the swacking. Let me tell you, these guys have PAWS. Then? There’s slobber. When they get up in bed with you and stand on your chest and lick your face to try to get you awake to share their crazy insomnia psycho-ness.

So, they didn't sleep, which means I didn't sleep, which means I spent time play the 'what if' game. What if the boys in my head don’t sleep? I mean, just imagine MJ from Racing the Moon, y’all. He’d be up on the deck of his and Sonny’s boat, testing all of the solvents they had on board for flammability. Whoosh.

Or lord, what about my vamp, Isaac, from Timeless Hunger? He’d be moving from chair to couch to windowseat, reading and tinkering and wanting something to hunt until Knox just had to spank his butt to get him to sleep. Then there's my vampire hunter, Vance, from Long Black Cadillac. How many times did he tell Clay he didn't sleep? Well, at least until Clay didn't give him a choice...

Now, I know what cowboys do when they can’t sleep. They're easy-peasy. I don’t have to imagine that at all. They either get drunk and spoiling for a fight, or they go work themselves until they can’t see and fall over dead.

With Abe from The Long Road Home, he’d be up sanding and staining some staircase or something until Ty threatens to take that sandpaper to parts of Abe's body that have been previously...unsanded. ;-)

Man, the things a girl's brain does to keep from duct taping a dog to a wall...

Thanks for hanging out with me until I had my coffee, y’all. Find all these books and more at Torquere!

BA Tortuga - Because sometimes fistfights are foreplay!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Winner from Tuesday the 16th

So, last week here on the Romance for the Rest of Us blog I ran a drawing for a $5 TP Gift Certificate. I've engaged my handy dandy random number generator and the winner for the gift certificate is...


Please let me know an email addy to send your GC (mine is leebenoit at charter dot net).

Thanks to all of you who took the time to comment and share my fascination with creating fictional worlds!

L xoxo

On Sale this Week

This week we have books by AR Moler and M Raiya on sale at 20% off!

Check them out.

New Releases for August 24

I Just Play One on TV by A.L. Turner

After an intense and emotional audition, Vincent Cantivespri impulsively falls into bed with Alex Gallegos… who refuses to even kiss him, and who immediately flees out of Vince’s apartment and back into the closet afterward. Vince barely realized men like Alex actually existed, and he writes the encounter off as a one-time mistake. Then he and Alex end up costars.

Things get complicated as they play a deep, subtextual romantic attraction between their characters on screen and become close friends in real life. When Alex finally admits his attraction to Vince, and his fear of it, Vince becomes determined to fight the forces that are working against them: in Hollywood, in Alex, and in Vince himself.

Get your copy today!

Notice by M. Raiya

High school teacher and dragonshifter Adrian Kendall is given notice in his classroom, which means someone is out to get him. He doesn't know which student left the notice. He doesn't know how the attack it warns of will come. All he knows is that his three very carefully separated lives are about to collide.

There’s far more at stake than Adrian’s sanity. The clan of dragons who depend on him will be left vulnerable. The teaching career he treasures will be over. And if all his secrets are spilled, then the peaceful world he's built with his flamboyant and passionately gay human lover, Josh, will implode. As a thousand years of hatred take aim right at Kendall, all he can do is offer himself as the price of peace.

Pick up your copy today!

Hell Dog Squadron by AR Moler

Navy F/A-18 pilot Lt. Cameron Bradshaw juggles a second government job in addition to his military commitments. He's a psychic finder for a mysterious agency known as Division P. Just as he starts the next Division P assignment, nearly lethal motorcycle accident nearly takes his life.

If not for the talents of gifted healer Dr. Mason Flynn, the Lt. might be dead. As the slow process of recovery begins, Mason Flynn is drawn to the injured pilot. A mix of shared psychic talents and physical attraction slowly binds them together, but the people responsible for Cam's accident escalate the affair, and soon Mason is running for his life.

A mad impromptu flight to Meridian Naval Air Station leads Cam and naval intelligence to a direct confrontation with a group of missile thieves. A vicious firefight leaves Mason scrambling to save teammates, but the final endgame forces Mason to do the unthinkable, and put his own sanity in jeopardy in the process. Can Cameron and Mason survive the trials thrown at them and their burgeoning relationship?

Originally published as the Chaser series Hell Dog Squadron.

Get your copy today!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Featured Author -- A.L. Turner

Today we're featuring A.L. Turner, author of the newly released I Just Play One on TV.

Tell us about I Just Play One on TV. What inspired you to write it? How long did it take to write?

I have always been interested in the portrayal of gay characters on television and in the closeting of Hollywood actors, so the idea sprang from asking myself what it would be like to be in that position. I also thought it would be interesting to explore the divide between fiction and reality in acting, particularly when there's romantic attraction between the characters as well as the actors. Once I'd started thinking about all that, the two main characters started to form in my head and become more and more real, until finally they just had to be written about.

After I'd written my first draft, a television writer read the draft and actually got me onto the set of a major television show to watch them filming for a couple of hours, which was an incredible experience that helped me out a lot with the technical details in the revision.

All in all it took about three years from the first spark of the idea to the completed, polished novel. The writing of the first draft took about four months, most of it after work in a Starbucks or a local library, since I couldn't get myself to focus properly at home.

Tell us one thing about yourselves that your readers would be surprised to know.

By day, I am a cytogenetic technologist. Basically, that means I am a medical lab tech who looks at human chromosomes for abnormalities. Specifically, in my case, I mostly look at samples from cancer patients.

And if that's not shocking enough, before that, I worked in a sperm bank. True story! No, I didn't "help" collect the samples.

What’s the best thing about writing? How about the worst thing?

The best thing about writing is when it flows. The worst is when it doesn't.

To be less glib, the best thing about writing is being read. I thrive on readers' comments more than anything in the world. I have never put stock in that "write for yourself" mantra. To me, it is all about engaging an audience.

The worst thing about writing is how it never comes out quite like it looked in your head.

Character or plot, which comes first?

Character, hands down. Like Stephen King, I'm the type of writer who writes to find out what's going to happen, and my characters' voices in my head are what guide me from point A to point Z. They become like their own people to me... which at times can become a bit annoying when they begin to disagree with me about which direction a story should be going..

I read and watch other fiction for characters, as well. Something without strong characterization is very unlikely to hold my interest for long.

What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?

I live in New Mexico, and we're currently in the middle of one heck of a drought, so when it rains, I sit rapt at my window and watch it, listen to it and smell it. I may be moving to rainier climes, however, and if I do, I imagine I would spend rainy days reading books, watching movies or playing The Sims. Or, you know, writing.

What’s the best writing advice you ever received/found?

Once, when I was attempting to write a British character and worrying that I would get it wrong somehow, the best advice I got was, "Don't write a Brit, just write the character." To me it is a reminder that we are not whatever we can be categorized as (like, for me, Writer or Lab Tech or Cat Person), but we're all fully realized people with our own quirks and traits. I have applied that advice to all of my characters since, and it helps me tremendously.

Oh, and don't be afraid of the word "said."

What are you working on now?

I am working on a couple of things, very slowly. One is a contemporary sci-fi thriller loosely based on the idea behind the television show in I Just Play One On TV. Since it's very plotty, it's a struggle for me, but I'm enjoying learning new things about writing. The other is a male/male suspense/romance about a private eye's secretary and his frustrating and confusing relationship with his boss... which also has some murders.

Bio: A. L. Turner lives in New Mexico with as many pets as is possible to sneak past the apartment managers (currently just three cats).

World building and a free short story by JB McDonald

Good morning, everyone! Well, at least it's morning as I begin to write, here; it'll probably be nearly afternoon before I post. I'm really good at finding distractions!

I've never posted on the blog before, so I skimmed down through to see what was "typical." (There is no typical, for those of you who are wondering!) I found a fun post that Lee Benoit wrote about world building; it's always interesting to see peoples' takes on world building, because it's always different! One of her great points was that world building is necessary even when we're writing about our world. The better it's described, the more a reader can see it!

Lately, I've been trying my hand at fantasy world building. Fantasy isn't big in the romance circles, though bigger here in the queer-romance genre, but I love writing it! Most especially, I love taking something everyone thinks they know about and giving it a twist -- which means the dragons in Dragon Hunted aren't wise or amazing or fire-breathing; they're sheep-eating pests.

Dragon Traders followed it, minus the pesky dragon, but with the addition of dragon eggs and slavers. Who doesn't love a good slaver story?

Of course, dragons can't remain out of the picture forever, much as the heroes might wish it, so I signed the contract for Dragon Hatching this morning! I have another dragon twist up my sleeve, and I can't tell you how excited I am to publish it!

Plus, it's been great fun writing about the heroes. Ashe is a tall, beautiful elf, who isn't remotely romantic. He's gregarious, a little silly, and a bit of a chatterbox. Then there's Katsu -- an acerbic, cynical, closed-mouthed medic; not your usual knight in shining armor! Building a world around them has been a challenge, but an entertaining one!

My editor, Kate, has been instrumental in helping me flesh the world out. She asks questions, which makes me stop and think in ways I wouldn't have otherwise. Thanks to Kate I have a world economy in place with knowledge about the trade regions and country borders; things that haven't appeared in-story yet, but may soon. Knowing more about the world gives me more plot ideas too. I haven't decided if that's a good thing or a bad thing! Unlike Lee, I've never been able to sit down and plot a world successfully by using plans -- though there are dozens of types out there that help many authors. I've always had more success by talking it out. Most of the time, this is where my friends come in! Goooood friends!

Occasionally, I'll write never-to-be-published side stories that help me fill out the world, like the short story I wrote for Cryselle's Bookshelf. She's given me permission to post here, which I believe I shall do.

This is almost 3,000 words (definitely short story length; thiiiiis close to long enough to be published), set in the Dragon Series world. Ashe and Katsu make only cameo appearances, but I hope the story will give you a good laugh! It makes me chuckle every time I read it...

True Love 1/1

Robert did his very best to keep a straight face as Jasper pulled the pair of dirty long johns off his head.

With one look, Jasper obviously knew it was a losing battle. "This isn't funny," he hissed, and that was the end of it.

Robert burst into laughter. He managed to clam up after that single loss, but his eyes watered with the effort and his chest burned. "Oh, but it is!" he exclaimed, leaning back against the rough brick of the tavern. Inside the building he could hear songs raging onward, goaded by the bard who'd wandered into the city. Out here in the alley, the moon and reflected light made the long johns look even dirtier.

"It's not," Jasper hissed, furious. "I'm getting so tired of--"

"You're the imbecile who decided to take a true love potion. Explain to me again why you thought it was a good idea?" In the dark, Robert couldn't see Jasper blush, but he was sure that fair skin was going pink, anyway. He'd known Jasper far too long.

"It was supposed to reveal the person who loves me, not make everyone in the city go crazy!" Though he'd started out sounding proper, the sentence ended on frustration. His next words were almost bitter. "Not everyone is a golden child, Rob."

Robert's smile faltered. For a moment, he considered laying a hand on Jasper's arm, offering some sort of emotional support. Robert's own family adored him, the only child and heir to their merchant business, a son who even enjoyed working with what he'd someday inherit. Jasper's family had sent him away as an outcast when they'd learned of his sexual proclivities, at the tender age of sixteen. Jasper was from a backwards town; that sort of behavior was to be expected.

Luckily, he and Robert had already known each other then, through Robert's summers in the country. Robert's monthly stipend had gone to support Jasper, though Jasper had quickly gotten work in the merchant business. Still, Robert knew that the way Jasper's family had locked him out hurt.

Hurt so much that Jasper was blind to anyone else. Robert's grin returned, though he had to force it, and he clapped his hand hard on Jasper's shoulder. "Well, you have no one to blame but yourself for this particular stupid idea. True love potions, indeed. Whoever heard of such a--" He was interrupted by a squeal.

Both men turned their heads, looking in alarm at the mouth of the alley. A barmaid stood there, her eyes wide in the moonlight, body frozen as she stared at them. "You," she said in reverent tones. "You're the most beautiful man I've ever seen..."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meme Monday: What makes you go bump in the night?

So, I'm sure everyone out there has a fantasy about a movie, tv or book monster.  So let's see which monster could rock your world.

For example:  Some people may have a biting fetish so they choose Dracula, some like it doggy style so they choose werewolves and some just like 'em big so they choose Frankenstein.

What monster do you choose and why?

Coming This Week

Coming on Wednesday:
I Just Play One on TV by AL Turner (Top Shelf, m/m)
Notice by M. Raiya (Top Shelf, m/m)
Hell Dog Squadron by AR Moler (Chaser Compilation, m/m)

Coming on Saturday:
Under the Skin by Kannan Feng (Absinthe, m/m)
Must be Love by Dallas Coleman (Sip, m/m)
Pulling the Pin, Inches of Trust #9 by AR Moler (Sip, m/m)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Releases for Aug 20 2011!

Better than Friends by Sean Michael

Hank and Jason have been best friends since before Hank even came out of the closet. They're both busy, but they're each other's go-to guy when they need to unwind, and relax. At least, that's what they think.

When Hank finally fulfills a secret dream and rounds up the money to join the Hammer Club, the first person he meets is a sexy, slinky, bratty bottom named… Jason? They spend dinner together, trying to get a handle on this new view they now have of each other.Will their friendship be able to handle this sudden shift in their realities, or, even better, can these two best friends find a way to be better than friends?

Fundamentals by Syd McGinley

Tommy adores his strict Sensei, Dr. Tanaka, and has submitted to his master’s marks and ownership. So why are silly little things, such as Facebook updates, getting him into trouble? Tanaka-sama knows just what his restless boy needs and uses their shared Japanese heritage to take Tommy back to some basics.

Puzzle Pieces by Elizabeth Jewell

Jason’s new relationship with Troy is the best thing that’s ever happened to him. His burgeoning art career is next best. But both of them seem to be slipping away from him as he tries to adjust to the changes in his life. Will he be able to save them his love life and career?

Jason and Troy first appeared in About Damn Time.

Don't forget to use almostfall2011 at checkout to get 15% off your total purchase!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Flashback Friday

Hi guys! I'm Tory, and I have two oldies but goodies to share.

This one is the first book I ever wrote for Torquere, and it spawned at least three other books in the same universe. There can never be too many books about firemen, in my opinion.

Here's a bitty sample:

Contrary to popular belief, most of their calls were not for fires. Chance had fought plenty of fires in his day, but most of their responses were for medical aid to the local retirement community or traffic collisions on the freeway. The occasional ocean accident came their way, if it was something the lifeguards couldn’t handle. Fighting actual fire was only about thirty percent of Chance’s job. He loved it, too, and sometimes considered moving further inland where there was more chance of brush or structure fire.

But one look out the window at the Pacific Ocean, blue and sparkling, and Chance would remember why he stayed at Station Eleven. High tide was a powerful motivator.

The kitchen got noisier as more of B shift arrived and C shift got ready to leave, shoving back chairs and thunking coffee mugs into the dishwasher. There was good-natured ribbing for C shift about their crappy night, complete with calls of “hero!” when it was discovered that one of the medics had revived an old man having a heart attack.

Chance was leaning against the fridge, contemplating putting more chocolate syrup in his coffee, when the back door opened. He noticed the lull in conversation more than the actual arrival of the newcomer.

Glancing up at the sudden quiet, he was greeted with the sight of one of the prettiest men he’d ever seen. 'Oh, fuck,' was his first thought, then Chance stopped thinking at all.

The new hire strolled into the greatroom next to the kitchen and stopped beside one of the twelve recliners in front of the television. Leaning against it insolently, he sized up each and every man in the room before saying, with a slight drawl, “Tucker McBride.”

You can read all about Chance and Tucker's adventures HERE,
then check out their sequel and the other books that came soon after.


The second book was one I wrote back in 2007. It ended up being a finalist in the EPPIE awards that year, so I was quite pleased with my little cowboy novel. If you don't know Teagan and Cash, you can read their story in Tabula Rasa.


Teagan blinked and pushed himself off the rail, wandering down a ways until he neared the end of the line. A lean-looking cowboy stood a little further apart from the others, a strand of alfalfa between his teeth and a booted foot on the fence.

Teagan moved to the man’s left side, away from the rest of the guys. Word would get out soon enough that he was looking to coerce Cash into roping with him, but Teagan was trying to tamp down the gossip for a while. Cowboys were worse than women when it came to rumors and chit-chat.

He didn’t receive so much as a sideways glance from Cash. Teagan wondered briefly if the guy had taken a hit or two from Don’s fists last night. It would be a shame if one or both of those pretty eyes were swelled shut.

“You a bull rider?” Teagan asked, even though he already knew the answer to that.

A head shake was the only response Cash gave him.

Teagan sighed. There were two types of cowboys: the ones who hung around in packs and gossiped like chickens in the henhouse, and the ones who prided themselves on being the exact opposite. The strong, silent type, to coin a phrase. The fact that Teagan himself didn’t actually fit into either of those categories was not lost on him, but he kind of liked it that way. He got information when he needed it and was left alone when he didn’t.

He tried again, tentatively. “Haven’t seen you in Pine Bluffs before.” Lame, but where the hell was he really supposed to be going with this? “I’m Teagan.”

Cash did turn to look at him then. “I know who you are,” he responded, turquoise eyes flashing from under the brim of his battered black Stetson. “You’re Alex Rafferty’s kid.”

Teagan’s gaze landed first on Cash’s cut lip and then on his bruised cheek. Yep, the guy had taken a punch or two. “Ain’t been a kid for nearly twenty years. But yeah.”

Cash shrugged and turned away from him again. The alfalfa straw in his mouth moved slightly as he spoke. “If you’re talking to me, then you know who I am. Might as well tell me what you want.”

A flash of unexpected shame told Teagan that he wasn’t going to be able to bluff his way out of it. Clearly the man was used to being ignored, so much so that he was suspicious of anyone who tried to make a friendly overture. “I want to know what kind of rodeo you ride, if it ain’t bulls.”

“Rope steer,” was the curt answer.

“Ever been a team roper?”

“Not much of a team player. That’s what I been told.”


To sum up: hot firemen available HERE, and hot cowboys available HERE. Don't bother trying to choose between the two. Get both.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sale code!

Have an almost fall sale! Okay, we want it to be, but in Texas it will be months yet.

code is almostfall2011 for 15% off now through Monday night

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Releases for August 17, 2011

New Releases!

Here are the new releases for August 17, 2011!

Single Shot m/m

Dragon Traders by JB McDonald

Getting abducted by slavers wasn't part of the plan. Not that there was much of a plan to begin with, but it definitely involved more payment and fewer chains. Ashe can't help but feel a bit of panic when the meeting to sell dragon eggs, which were hunted down weeks earlier, turns sour, and he ends up drugged, caged, and on his way to a land where elves are pets.

Find it here!

Spice it Up m/m

It's 1935 in a Los Angeles that's both booming and sleazy. Mike Warren is a slick shyster, a queer man who makes a good living selling legal services to those no one else will defend. The Reverend Johnny Breuer is a clergyman who reconciled with his own homosexuality by giving up his congregation to serve others through charity and political reform.

After Johnny saves Mike from a murderous thug, he collects his payment by making Mike help him rescue a settlement house from the prominent attorney Johnny suspects is robbing the charitable trust blind. As the two men untangle this web of corruption, they grow increasingly close, finding that good-natured worldliness and worldly good-heartedness are not as opposed as they once both believed. Now they only have to survive a late-night visitor to Mike's beach house, and the shady trouble following in his wake, to learn if their lust is actually as clean and strong as wintergreen.

Find it here!

Sapphic Sign f/f

Shortly after Maggie graduates from college, she meets Kenna, a beautiful redhead. Mere moments after their meeting, Maggie reads her Virgo horoscope that encourages her to try new experiences and to “open your heart.” She reflects back on her life and decides she’ll take the horoscope to heart and attempt to come out of her shell. After outing herself to her mother, Maggie moves in with Kenna as her roommate. Even though Kenna is in a relationship and Maggie starts to date another woman, Maggie still has feelings for Kenna that just won’t go away.

Get it now!

Write a World by Lee Benoit

I’m working on two novels simultaneously at the moment. One is a gay contemporary Dominance/submission story (Paulo and Preston fans, stay tuned!) and the other is a bi/trans magical realist epic. The two stories couldn’t be more different in scope, voice, conflict, or any of the other things that we’re told are important in books.

But they have something in common. Worldbuilding.

It’s not hard to imagine the worldbuilding that went into a novel like SERVANT OF THE SEASONS, which is a sort of dystopian post-apocalyptic sod-busting tale. But it might surprise readers that the most challenging research I did for SERVANT concerned pre-iron age farming techniques (I needed non-metal tools because my invented race, the Novigi, have adverse reactions to metal).

It’s also probably pretty clear to many readers that my Tides universe ("Master of None" and "Polyphony") is an alternate take on the Cornish coastline during an imagined period of intensive culture contact. Building that world and its people required a lot of reading and dreaming about what such a fast-changing world must have been like for folk whose general lifeways hadn’t changed in living memory.

But contemporary stories are set in the world we inhabit, right? The world we know. How much worldbuilding can there possibly be? Plenty, says I. We may think of, say, New York City as so real, so well-know and well-understood that to set a story there requires little or no worldbuilding. But consider that the vast majority of people in the world – even the vast majority of people in the U.S. – have never visited the Big Apple. How real is it to them? As real as a book, movie, or TV show can make it, right?

Worldbuilding isn’t what makes the setting of a story different from our “real world” (what is that anyway?) but what makes the setting what it is!

Anthropology of the imaginary!

Without bogging down in the differences between worldbuilding and research, let me say I approach writing from the perspective of my training as an ethnographer. Maybe that sounds pompous; you’re welcome to spank me for it!

Ethnographers are taught something called “thick description” – ways to conceptualize and describe stuff that happens in the cultures they study so that two things happen:

1. They do justice to all the layered, tangled, changing meanings stuff has in that culture and

2. They make the stuff (and thereby the context) understandable to outsiders.

So the way I approach things, even in contemporaries like my current D/s WIP, is to think of my characters and the world they inhabit as part of a culture I’m studying, and to think of my readers as the “outsiders” I want to invite in to the world I’ve studied.

So, I’m not really a world-builder, but an ethnographer of imagined worlds.

What’s in a World?

Emberley's elements (from his Drawing Book of Animals)
Does anyone remember Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book: Make a World? It’s still one of my favorite books. Ed Emberley shows kids how to draw just about anything using three basic shapes plus letters, numbers, and things (like big dots and curlicues). Seriously, like a fire breathing dragon. Using four elements!

Of course a story has to be concrete. Characters that feel real and have real problems have to do real things and fight real battles. So what are the shapes of fictional worldbuilding (regardless of genre)? Here we go with me being a social scientist again. Ed Emberly’s world had four pieces; mine has six, because I’m greedy:

Language – how we reflect and express our lives

Culture – our “design for living”

Social Status – where we stand

Social Role – what we do

Group – how we associate

Institution – how we meet basic social needs

Believe it or not, I think about, scribble about, even map out all these things for the world I write. I want to take the mystery out of all of this, because that gives me the control I need to tell a good story (just like knowing all this about your real life permits greater self-determination).

When I put all these elements together with other things that make life and writing interesting (sensory details like how a man smells after a hard day working or the quality of light striking a nude lover), then I’m on my way to building a world I can invite readers into.

Have your say: What makes a fictional world real to you? What’s your favorite fictional world?

Commenters will be entered into a random drawing for a $5 Torquere gift certificate. Drawing will take place in a week (8/22/11).

P.S. This post is a follow-on from another world building essay I shared here a while back.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Meme Monday! Favorite costume

Just got back from Authors After Dark in Philly, where we got to get our steampunk on. Do y'all have a favorite costume you've worn, or a go-to Halloween outfit? What do you like to see the boys dress up as?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Releases for August 13

Changing: Green's Hill Werewolves Book 4, a BBA Menage story by Amy Lane

Teague Sullivan thought he’d barely survived his childhood, but he’s discovering that was nothing compared to sharing his scars with his lover, Jack, or his heart with their lover, Katy. But Jack and Katy are in it for the long haul; they want Teague, scarred body, scarred soul, and all.

But seeing something that painful, that private comes with a price. If Teague is going to show Jack his most painful secrets, he needs to know Jack is going to be around for a while, and that’s something their previous life didn’t always guarantee. Teague can’t function without guarantees, and Jack can’t function without Teague, and Katy can’t believe the two men she loves can exist in peace while making each other crazy. Something’s got to give, and someone’s got to change, and changing is never easy.

Pick up your copy today!

Pop, Pop, Snap! by Winnie Jerome

Amusement park employee Cody hates July Fourth because it's the anniversary of his break up with pretty boy Jaime, a man he used to date and sub for. He changes his tune after a near accident causes Jaime to break the silence between them. They reconnect in more ways than one and go on to create highly naughty fireworks of their own.

Get your copy today!

The Gaucho Code by Julia Talbot

Pete is running from the law, all the way from Texas to Argentina, where the local cowboys are a sight different than the horse thieves Pete knew back home. When he meets Jorge, he’s on his very last leg, and he needs a friend. Jorge would love to be more, but he tries to be content with helping Pete out of the gutter. Can Jorge convince Pete that the gaucho code is worth living?

Previously published in Cowboy Up!

Pick up your copy today!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Flashback Friday: The Prince's Angel by Mychael Black & Shayne Carmichael

Mornin', folks! Mychael Black here with this week's Flashback Friday: The Prince's Angel.

This was the first book Shayne and I ever wrote together, and six years later, it's still one of our favorites.

In present day London, vampires live side-by-side with mortals living under two sets of laws. The Romanorum make the vampire rules, helping the Princes who rule the cities. Not all vampires are thrilled with the system. A rash of rogue vampires--vampires who have killed mortals--has descended upon London, and it is up to London’s vampire prince, Mael Black, to bring them under control.

When he learns who is truly behind the rogues, however, Mael’s task becomes more complicated than he would like. His only choice is to turn to a sorcerer of questionable reputation--Cian Carmichael. But Cian is more than he seems to be, and despite the dangers inherent in becoming involved with him, Mael finds he is unable to resist.

Cian is an angel, sent to bring the rogue vampires under control. Acquiring a reputation as a vampire hunter, Cian becomes notorious in the city Mael rules. The last thing he expects is to fall in love with the prince of the London vampires himself. Can these two deal with their growing attachment, and save London from the threat it faces?

Get it here!




The Times of London

May 19, 1970

After years of negotiations with the Diocourides Society, the United

States officially announced today the acceptance of US citizenship for all vampires residing there. Talks are still ongoing with Prime Minister Edward Heath concerning official status in the UK.

In 1962, the world became aware of the existence of vampires, and the ensuing battles have had a lingering effect on the populace of every country involved in the war. When a faction of vampires broke off from the Romanorum, the main governing body of the Diocourides Society, the faction attempted to take over several international cities. For over two years, the Diocourides Society and the governments involved tried to curb the problem. Through the chaos of dealing with the war, and the knowledge of the existence of vampires, many have fought to achieve equal status for them. Today, they are celebrating their achievement with their first win for the rights of vampires.

An official release has been sent to several prominent US papers detailing vampiric history. Also, reports have been sent to the US Congress including the number of and names of all vampires living there. The vampire formulas were created by Titus Sennius Diocourides in 11 BC. There are six known formulas, enumerated from first to sixth. The creation of new vampires is strictly regulated by the Romanorum. Diocourides has agreed to allow the US to help with the regulation of any new vampires created there.

First formula vampires comprise the main body of the Romanorum and rule by country. The current first formula vampire ruler of the UK is Selena Kerr. Second formulas hold the positions of princes of the cities. Currently, Prince Mael Black governs the body of vampires in London. While their status is not yet official here, there is a great deal of hope that it will change in the near future. Four hundred and eighty known vampires live in the UK, and lobbying on their behalf has been fierce in the UK and throughout Europe, where over two thousand vampires live.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

On Sale This Week

This week we have books by JM Cartwright and Anah Crow & Dianne Fox on sale for 20% off.

Check them out.

New Releases for August 10

A Change of Pace by JM Cartwright

Andrew Cunningham is ticked off. He's taken the fall for his old boss, the mayor of Chicago, and is forced to head to Asheville, North Carolina to avoid the press. He's not in the mood to be nice. Once he meets sexy cabinetmaker Ridge Huntington, though, he unbends enough to get up close and personal.

Drew manages to step on a few toes as he adjusts to life in the south, and Ridge finds himself entertained in more ways than one. Nevertheless, Ridge isn't sure that Mr. Right Now is worth the aggravation. They argue, Drew curses a lot, and Ridge rolls his eyes.

Can an uppity Yankee and a laid-back Southerner meet in the middle?

Find out today!

The Grave Watchers by Missouri Dalton

Death rides a pale horse, and she is a beauty. Since man first buried his dead, she has watched over them. With her hand she raises those select few, those disturbed and maimed, to new life. These risen souls are duty bound to protect the souls still buried and resting. The souls restless and walking.

Sebastien Crowle is such a watchman. But as a villain so profane and perverse enters the scene with a crime the likes of which Sebastien has never seen, can he stop the villain and confront the ghosts of his own past as they begin to rear their heads?

Find out today!

Renovations 1-3 by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox

When Toby Archer’s marriage falls apart, he takes up flipping houses to fill some of the void left in his life. The first time that contractor Ven Parrish works for him, Toby notices the fact that Ven is gorgeous, but what really catches Toby’s attention is Ven’s work ethic. Toby isn’t going to pass up the chance to hire Ven again; it’s just good business sense.

The more time they spend together, the harder it is to deny their attraction to each other. Toby is a lawyer with an upper class lifestyle, and Ven is a working man from a family still scraping by. What they have in common, especially a commitment to family, does more to keep them apart than bring them together.

Still, Toby and Ven have sense enough to know when something is worth the work, and neither is afraid to get hot and dirty to get the job done. Can the finished product be a happy ending for everyone?

Renovations 1-3 was originally published as the first Renovations Chaser Series and includes the following three stories:

Renovations 1: Flipping Out
Renovations 2: Playing House
Renovations 3: Moving Day

Pick up your copy today!

Renovations 4-6 by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox

After meeting on the job and falling madly but responsibly, reasonably, and carefully in love, Ven and Toby are committed to each other as lovers and business partners. But they're about to find out that there's more to being a couple than just playing house and fooling around. They experience all the ups and downs of every other pair of lovers, but they have a few complications that are uniquely theirs.

Toby has two little girls from his first marriage who are still getting used to the idea that Daddy isn't coming back to live with Mama, an over-worked ex-wife, and meddling ex-in-laws. Ven's got his heart set on making an honest man of his lover but he's not quite sure he's ready to play second Daddy. It's going to take more than just hard work to lay the foundation for Toby and Ven's new life. Can they build something that lasts?

Renovations 4-6 was originally published as the second Renovations Chaser Series and includes the following three stories:

Renovations 4: Full House
Renovations 5: Mending Fences
Renovations 6: Coming Home

Get your copy today!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Featured Author -- Missouri Dalton

Today we're featuring Missouri Dalton, author of the newly released The Grave Watchers.

Tell us about The Grave Watchers. What inspired you to write it? How long did it take to write?

I was in London on a ghost tour (on Halloween), incredibly excited to be there I must add. We were walking a few old graveyards and listening the stories from our guide. It was one cemetery in particular that caught my attention, one story.

The story of a young man whose grave was robbed, and whose father discovered the body--and died of a broken heart. Or so they say. I was already interested in grave robbing and the moral implications of archaeology in reference to grave robbing, as I was a student of artifact conservation at the time and dealing with objects from graves and even the occasional bone. It was not until I returned from midterm break that I really began to develop the ideas for the Grave Watchers and it wouldn't be until the second week of November that I had the impetus to put pen to paper. But the seeds were there.

I wrote the first draft in three weeks, during my first ever Nanowrimo. It took considerably longer to develop the story to where it stands now.

Tell us one thing about yourself that your readers would be surprised to know.

I have never lived in one place for more than six years at a time. I'm incredibly nomadic.

What’s the best thing about writing? How about the worst thing?

Creation, imagination--it's getting the opportunity to breathe life into a world other than my own. Breathe life into new people, new places and creatures. I think that's probably the worst thing for me too. I'm a fairly prolific creator. I have files and notebooks and sketchbooks and napkins full of ideas and plot arcs and character concepts, one liners. It can be a bit overwhelming sometimes to see all of those ideas gathered and have no idea how you're ever going to plow through the ones you already have--and then you keep creating more.

Character or plot, which comes first?

Characters come first for me. Plot is a tenous thing for me, sometimes it works out well, sometimes it doesn't. I got lucky with The Grave Watchers, it was a very organic story to write, and incredibly character driven.

What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?

With a hot cup of tea, a muffin and a good book. I'm particularly fond of the days when it thunders, because it gives me an excuse to shut the computer down, lights some candles and pretend the world doesn't exist for a while.

What’s the best writing advice you ever received/found?

A novel is like a relationship. That first page is the first date, you don't give everything away on the first date, so don't give it all away on the first page either. You wouldn't dump your life in someone's lap right off the bat, would you?

What are you working on now?

Right now I'm working on the hopeful sequel to The Grave Watchers, as well as a couple other projects packed with paranormal fun.

Missouri Dalton is a writer of horror/paranormal contemporary and historical novels. She was raised mainly in transit, slowed down to finish school in one place and was then determined to be as nomadic as possible, if only because that's how things just worked out. She uses writing as an escape from her own neurosi and currently lives out of a suitcase with whomever will put up with her.



Cartwright hogging the broadband today at Torquere

Greetings, all! I'm spreading the wealth today, since I'm here on the Blog and I'm also being hosted by Vincent Diamond at Ask the Author over at the Torquere Social. Ooh, the pressure.

Very happy to announce the long-awaited third book in the Change series. Tomorrow, Torquere is releasing A Change of Pace, where cranky Drew Cunningham is shuttled off to Asheville, NC after a political scandal in Chicago. He meets the very intriguing Ridge Huntington, a carpenter who isn't quite sure that Mr. Right Now is worth the effort. Thankfully, Ridge decides he is, and the fun begins.

I hope you're interesting in finding out more, starting tomorrow.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Coming This Week

A Change of Pace by JM Cartwright (Top Shelf)
The Grave Watchers by Missouri Dalton (Top Shelf)
Renovations 1-3 and Renovations 4-6 by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox (Chaser Compilations)

Changing by Amy Lane (High Ball)
The Gaucho Code by Julia Talbot (Sip)
Pop, Pop, Snap! by Winnie Jerome (Sip)

Meme Monday - Zombie Attack

you can have one weapon, one compatriot (fictional
or real), one theme song, and one public place to make your stronghold

Tell us all about it!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dog Days of Summer Sale!

We're starting to hit those dog days of summer, so we're offering 15% off your purchases from now through the end of day Monday! Just put 'dogday2011' in the coupon code box any time you check out at Torquere Books before Monday at midnight to get 15% off your order.

Sale good now through Monday August 8 at Midnight (est).

Spend the dog days of summer with a book from Torquere Press today!

Discount codes are provided as a courtesy to our customers. Torquere Press Inc. cannot be responsible for discounting purchases made before coupons/sales are announced, and cannot issue discounts to customers who fail to use the coupon or discount code during the purchase process.

GC winner

congratulations Lucia! Email me at ldoone @, no spaces, with the email you'd like the GC sent to!

New Releases for August 6

Love's Price, a BBA Menage Story by Kara Larson

Thora, Jonakr and Dag didn't live an idyllic life in Iceland, but they did live and love together in peace for the past five years. While Jonakr sailed off to raid, Dag would remain with Thora on the family lands to ensure that Jonakr had a family to return to. They always thought that Jonakr's being viking would drive them apart, if he died in the raiding season. They never expected him to be kidnapped by one of their neighbors and held for ransom. As Jonakr lies in captivity a mere day's ride away, Thora and Dag must band together to save the man they love, but at what price?

Find out today!

Mad Dogs and Englishmen by Kate Roman

Timothy Green, a senior aide to England's ambassador to Italy, is finding the heat of Naples hard to get used to. His sense of duty won't allow him to join the under-secretaries on the beach, but one afternoon he follows an errant bulldog to a beautiful fountain. There he meets a young, gorgeous Italian painter, and for once his sense of duty takes a back seat. He spends the afternoon in Cosimo's arms, and the next day, when he sees the same bulldog in town, he can't help but follow it a second time. Duty is duty, but Cosimo is something else, and Timothy knows he can't live without his newfound love.

Pick up your copy today!

Swapped by Christopher West

Jeff's best friend, Eric, is a gifted sorcerer and an officer in paranormal law enforcement. When Eric's identity is compromised, he has to ask Jeff for a very big favor: to trade bodies with him for one day. Jeff agrees, despite or perhaps because of the unrequited feelings he has for his best friend. Suddenly Jeff finds himself in control of the body he's lusted after for years. When all is said and done, being swapped may alter their friendship forever, and going back to "normal" isn't as easy as they thought.

Get your copy today!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Flashback Friday!

Hey y'all! It's an open flashback Friday. Tell us what your favorite older TQ title is and why and get a chance to win a $5.00 GC

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hot. Hot hot hot.

Hey y'all!

It's BA day today, and I would have been here sooner, but the power is out at the house and we've been roughing it at the art studio today. Hey, it still qualifies as roughing it if I go without my big, powerful Mac and I have to listen to Julia bitch about not having her printer.

All we can think about these days is the heat. It's drying up and blowing away down here. We're going to dry up and blow away. We need rain so bad. All we can do is look at everyone else getting rain and whimper.

At this point I would kill for some humidity if if came from rain. Humid heat always makes me think of Louisiana, so today I thought I'd talk on some of my boys from there. And girls.

I got Roughstock boys in Louisiana. Sam and Beau from File Gumbo make me happy. They really do. They made me cry while I was writing them, but I do adore them. They ride bulls, they breed bloodhounds, and they fight like Cajuns. You can check them out here:

Beau is a two-time champion bullrider who is working on his third title. Sam is his long time lover and traveling partner, who is feeling the sting of having just about the worst season he can remember. The two of them are on the road together twenty-four seven, and it's starting to get to them a little, between the constant injuries Sam faces, and the relentless press that Beau has to put up with.

Add in friends on the circuit who need their help and the fact that they have to hide what they mean to each other, and it's no wonder that Sam and Beau's relationship starts to wear a little from the friction. When things blow up in their faces, Sam leaves the bullriding tour for awhile, but the boys find out they're far more miserable apart than they are together. Beau and Sam may agree to disagree in order to make peace and help out their friends Jason and Coke, but in the unpredictable world of extreme sports, nothing goes as it's planned. Can Beau and Sam recover from what just might the last ride of Sam's life?

For those of you who like the boys and girls, I have Wolf Bayou. It has brothers, a spicy girl wolf, a bayou, and some voodoo. You can find it here:

Hopefully y'all will check out the Lousiana books and that will create a little voodoo to send rain our way. See, y'all are helping!

I'm doing a contest until August 15, giving away a Kindle to the person who refers the most folks to like my Facebook page. If you get a chance, check it out, here.

BA Tortuga

Rednecks and Romance
Because sometimes fistfights are foreplay!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On Sale this Week

This week we have books by Kiernan Kelly and Birthstones on sale at 20% off.

Check them out!

New Release for August 3

Pele's Tears by Kiernan Kelly

Who says you can't go home again? After living a lifetime of regret, thinking he’d never see Kaimi again, John decides to fly to Hawaii to try to recapture a love that slipped through his fingers during an endless summer of surfing and sex in 1964. Will John find what he needs, or will have to settle for just memories and Pele’s Tears.

Pick up your copy today!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Excerpt from Gaucho Code - Julia Talbot - work safe

Hey y'all!

Here's a wee snippet from The Gaucho Code, out a week from Saturday!

"I." Pete stopped, cleared his throat. "Are you a missionary?"
She laughed, and he'd heard of laughs that tinkled like a waterfall, but had never met anyone who sounded that way. She was like one of them romantic poems come to life.
"No, I am not. Are you?"
Him? Lord. He laughed too, then set to coughing as it made his chest hurt. "No, ma'am. I'm a bank robber and a horse thief."
Her brow drew up for a minute, then she laughed again, patting his shoulder. "Of course you are. I made you stew. If you can keep that down, I will make you gnocchi."
What in Hell gnocchi was he didn't know, and he didn't think he wanted to. Stew sounded good, though. Pete just nodded.
"Yes, ma'am."
She bustled off, her black skirt twitching like his momma's mourning taffeta petticoat always had, and just as soon as she was out of sight, someone else drifted in. A man. Dark eyes. Hell, almost black. Curly black hair, well-shaped mouth, and a glint that would make a priest run for cover.
He had to ask. "Are you the Devil?"
The lashes around those dark eyes were insanely long. He knew 'cause they blinked about a thousand times.
"No. I am Jorge."
"Jorge. Pleased to meet you, Jorge."

A different kind of cowboy - Julia Talbot

Hey y'all!

Back when the call for Cowboy Up came out (which was a pretty good while ago) I decided I wanted to write something different. I did a little (okay, a lot a lot) of research and came up with an Argentinean gaucho. I loved the idea that cowboys actually originated in Morocco and Spain, and came to the US, Canada, and Australia last by way of South America.

So, the Gaucho Code was born. I loved that story, and was sad to see it going out of print. It's being re-released as a Sip next weekend, though, and I'm really excited to see it coming.

Yerba Mate, which features prominently in the Gaucho Code, is the traditional drink of gauchos on the pampas. While it's all the rage now at the Whole Foods, traditional mate is pretty different from what you get in a bottle.

Here's a traditional mate recipe.

For the gourd

Tomando mate (drinking mate) is a symbol of hospitality. As the mate gourd is passed around, a sense of connection emerges. The first step of the ceremony is the preparation of the gourd. Typically, the cebador/a - mate server - prepares mate for a friend or a group of friends. The cebador/a drinks the first one or two gourd-fulls, testing the waters to ensure that only a smooth running mate is shared. Then the gourd is refilled with water and passed counter-clockwise with the bombilla (straw-filter) facing the recipient. Each person drinks the entire gourd: "you share the vessel, not the liquid." The recipient of the gourd has as much time as needed to finish the gourd-full. After the last few sips of the mate are gone, the gourd is returned with the bombilla facing the cebador/a. The gourd is refilled with hot water and follows around the circle, continuing in this fashion until the mate is lavado (flat). If someone has had enough mate, they simply say gracias (thank you) to indicate that they are finished.

1 liter of hot water (not boiling)
Yerba Mate (fill gourd 2/3'rds full)
(gourd and bombilla)

Guayaki Yerba Mate Gourd Preparation Procedure DrawingPreparing yerba mate in a gourd is an art.

1) Fill the mate gourd with a daily serving of Guayakí Yerba Mate.

2) Gently shake the gourd so that the yerba mate is on one side, leaving an open area on the other side.

3) Insert the filtered end of the bombilla into the bottom of the gourd.

4) Gently pour a little cold water into the open area to moisten the yerba mate. This protects the flavor and health properties. Leave the mate gourd tilted until the yerba mate has absorbed the water.

5) Add hot (no hotter than150 degrees F.) water until it reaches just below the top of the yerba mate. Sip from the bombilla until all the liquid is gone, then add more hot water. The first few drinks are strong; the flavor will soften as more water is added for each drink.

6) Now that the gourd is prepared, drink it, add more hot water and serve your friends one at time in a circular fashion. Basically, pour, pass, sip. Let them know not to move the bombilla, as to not disturb the yerba. - Before using the gourd, read the curing and caring section.

7. The mate gourd can be refilled 15-20 times.

For the mate: