Wednesday, February 29, 2012
When a great historical event comes upon a milestone, what may have faded from the general consciousness comes alive again, sometimes on a day by day timetable as, say, a hundredth anniversary approaches.
The sinking of the Titanic is such an event, and while we won’t see moment by moment replays until the time the ship would have left Belfast, there was still much to do to keep a lot of people very busy. At this time one hundred years ago, the ship was in dry dock, being fitted out. The interior needed huge amounts of work, which would continue even during sea trials and all the way to Southampton to collect her passengers for the maiden voyage. The ship went down with washbasins still in crates in some second class cabins.
That day was April 15th, 1912, but one hundred years ago on February 29, men like Donal Gallagher were still working feverishly to complete the magnificent liner. Donal, a cabinetmaker, had dozens of washstands to construct, because this most modern vessel had running water in all cabins, and in first class, the water was even hot!
Donal’s lover Jimmy had done his work for the great ship much earlier; boilers must be installed into an otherwise bare hull. Too huge to do anything but build around, a marine boiler is a mundane and still amazing piece of craftsmanship, built to use high pressure steam. This powered the ship's engines and electrical plant, and by extension, all refrigeration, lighting, elevators, and a hundred other mechanicals mostly taken for granted, and incidentally supply the hot water for the washstands.
We’re used to hearing about the passengers, the Molly Browns and John Jacob Astors, the doomed third class emigrants, and even fictional passengers such as Jack and Rose. A few of the crew, such as Harold McBride and Wallace Hartley, have passed into the folklore of the ship.
But I have chosen to write of the men who made the ship, the unsung such as Donal and Jimmy, two of the twelve thousand who worked at the shipyard. And one of them sailed away.
There is a happy ending here.
Two years ago, Remington Trueblood left England and everything he held dear for the chance at a new life. Now the successful owner of The Purple Rose Tea House in Manhattan, Remi has come across the perfect addition to his business: a stunning amethyst cat. But Remi's acquired something else with his latest purchase: the attention of the notorious Gentleman Thief!
Detective Stanley Hawk doesn't know the first thing about tea. He's strictly a java kind of guy. What he does know, is crime, and someone's just committed one. As a Pinkerton’s, Hawk always gets his man, and when his investigations lead him straight to Remi, the words have never been truer.
Can Remi and Hawk resist each other long enough to figure out who the thief is and what the heck is going on? Or will the Gentleman Thief get his hands on more than just the Amethyst Cat? From a quirky antique shop, to a high-society tea house, The Amethyst Cat Caper is a delightful little romp through 1930s New York. Whether you prefer tasty tea or steamy java, grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy!
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Maple Leaf Red: Sugaring Off by Vic Winter
Jacques Duchamps lives and works the Canadian sugar bush where he grew up with his grandfather. It's a lonely existence, but he wouldn't give it up for the world: sugaring off is in his blood. One late fall day, he encounters a wounded wolf, who follows him home. Both Jacques and the wolf are cautious, but eventually come to trust each other.
Could the wolf be more than he appears to be? And will Jacques be able to accept the impossible and discover his soul mate?
Find out today!
Bored Eco-Terrorists and Redneck Lovers by BA Tortuga
MJ and Sonny from the Road Trip series are back and hanging out on their boat. The only problem is that MJ is getting bored, and a bored MJ is seriously dangerous. A game of Truth or Dare is sure to keep MJ from blowing things up, even if it devolves into debauchery of the best kind.
Originally published in Taste Test: Truth or Dare.
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Paulo's Santa Kink by Lee Benoit
Paulo’s harbored an unusual fantasy for years. Working up the courage to tell Master Preston about it is only the first step. Preston has to figure out a way to fulfill his boy’s Christmas wish without losing his authority as a top. Flannel pajamas, hot chocolate, and Christmas cookies join red velvet, black leather, and willow switches in this tale of nicely naughty gift-giving.
Originally published in Toy Box: Twisted Presents
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Tuesday, February 28, 2012
February might be the month for romance, but here it's also the month for miserably cold and snowy weather. Winter is a considerable obstacle for Villam and Luke, the couple from my debut novel Storms and Stars. When you're surrounded by inhospitable fields of snow, the only thing to do is huddle close for warmth!
In the hopes of bringing just a hint of warmth to your winter day, I come bearing a snippet from the book. Enjoy!
First, the blurb:
It's lonely at the top for Commander Villam Elding, who has always ranked loyalty to the empire and career ambition over romance. He finds it easier to love ideas than people; without military life, he's lost. Even so, it's his close relationship with Kardiell, a popular officer, that tears him from his life. Those with competing ambitions try to take Villam hostage to leverage Kardiell's soft spot for him. In the struggle, Villam crashes the small spacecraft he's riding. All hands perish except he and Luke, his kidnapper.
Luke tyv Sicinik travels the galaxy performing dirty missions for money to send home. Born on a desert colony abandoned by the empire, he has no love for imperial soldiers. He spent his childhood in a monastery which taught the evils of anything impractical or sentimental. Yet when he crawls from the destroyed spacecraft, his first instinct is compassionate: he drags Villam's unconscious body free of the wreckage. Stranded together on a wild planet, Villam and Luke know that survival means cooperation. A truce becomes trust, and trust turns to passion, as they struggle to find a new life together -- just the two of them against an entire world.
Monday, February 27, 2012
The Amethyst Cat Caper by Charlie Cochet (Birthstone, M/M)
Bored Eco-Terrorists and Redneck Lovers by BA Tortuga (Short Story, M/M)
Maple Leaf Red: Sugaring Off by Vic Winter (Color Box, M/M)
Paulo's Santa Kink by Lee Benoit (Short Story, M/M)
February has been... interesting.
Between Paypal, industry pot stirring that's really one dud beating a dead horse, and a car accident that left me creaky and sore and cranky, it wasn't a very productive writing month.
Lest you think all I do is grump, I had a new book out, A novelette called Loose Snow.
I also had a Sip come out that was a reprint, and as embarrassing as it is, I didn't remember it at all until I read it for the new round of edits... O.O
Loose Snow is here
and my Sip, Acting Out, is here
Neither of them are paranormal, either! Woo. Grins. Forest rangers and cowboys for the folks who love the Thatchers and Jackass Flats, etc.
Here's hoping March sees a little more work from me *g*
And a little less pain
Why CHEAP romance ideas? Sure, you can always do the classic things like rented limos, fancy restaurants and plane tickets to far off places. In fact, you should do those things whenever you can! But we’re talking about the smaller and sometimes more meaningful gestures that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
What are some low cost romantic ideas you have tried or want to try?
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Hot and cold running rodeo.
Did I mention the cowboys? *sparkles*
I love the beginning of rodeo season. No one's really hurt yet, the weather is perfect, and I'm ready after a winter where the cowboys are all home.
Right now I'm writing on Coke and Dillon, but Adam Taggart's queued up and then I've got Jason and Bax going, hello? Writer lady? Get your shit together, please ma'am.
Love writing cowboys.
Oh, apropros of nothing, have y'all seen Ink Masters?
Is Dave Navarro not utterly lickable? O.o
I just... wow. Yum.
(Although I have to admit I would NEVER let those people tattoo me. Now, yes, my artist is a dear friend and she and I have a creative process thing going on, but still... Ink for a reality show? Not my thing. My left sleeve is going into a book of nature tattoos, though...)
Because sometimes fistfights are foreplay.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Sale good now through Monday, February 28 at Midnight (est).
Heat up with some books 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.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Those two stories combined her Gabriel, the vampire prince of San Diego from her Blood series books, and one of my older characters named Mychael. (Yes, that's where I got my pen name from, if you're wondering.) Eventually, Gabriel became Mael Black, and Mychael became Cian Carmichael. (To further complicate things, that's how we cemented our pen names: Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael. *chuckles*)
The Prince's Angel was written in a month--all 90k words of it. Since then, the entire Romanorum world has exploded and we've written what seems like a gazillion stories set within the world. The Romanorum is, in itself, a huge inspiration for both of us. While we've officially finished Mael and Cian's third and final book, I promise you there is much more to come from Diocourides' intricate world of vampires. :)
As an up and coming actor in the city of Sorrent, Julian always has the perfect words to say, even if someone else wrote them. But when it comes to wooing the innocent young country man he's rescued and befriended, he's going to find that the only words that count are spoken from the heart, not the page.
Alex is innocent, eager to please, friendly, lovable -- and a trouble magnet. With the ducal court offering both temptations and danger, and the theater at risk from the duke's temper, both Alex and Julian find it difficult to separate friend from foe. Julian's ambitions drive him, even as his heart tries to lead the way, and Alex tumbles from one scrape to the next as the city swelters in the summer heat and sickness stalks the streets.
When Julian is faced with an impossible choice that will change his life, he's left with no script to follow, no stage direction to guide him. But if they're to make it unscathed and take a final bow, they'll need to be sure of only one thing. Each other.
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The Last Paladin 1-3 by Vaughn R. Demont
Closeted Pagan and self-professed prude Lennox Kingsley was only looking earn his college degree and get his life started, but a chance encounter in the park leads him to the life he was destined to have as a Knight of Pan. As he walks the path of the Paladin, he will face ordeals, battle demons and vampires, forge relationships with his fellow Knights both stalwart and steamy, and still manage to maintain a 3.4 GPA.
Originally published as the Chaser Series The Last Paladin.
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A Watched Demon Always Boils by Katherine Halle
Lane is a professional photographer hired by Greg to do a photo shoot and magazine spread about his restaurant in hopes of making his business more profitable. Trouble is, Greg's got a demon on his back, literally. Now Lane must race against time to save Greg from the demon and convince him that Lane isn't crazy; he wants to help Greg.
Take one stubborn chef, a determined photographer, mix in an evil demon and a slightly crazy best friend, and watch it come to a boil, every time.
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Acting Out by Julia Talbot
Bullrider and adrenaline junkie Colby is mid-jump in his ATV when his old rooming buddy Sean drives back into his life, sending him flying off his vehicle. Sean wants Colby to come to Hawaii for a charity event. Colby agrees to attend, but only if he and Sean can share a room again, just like in the old days.
Can these two rough-riding cowboys recapture a piece of the past, or can they do even better this go-round?
Originally published in Taste Test: Buck Wild.
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Tuesday, February 21, 2012
A Watched Demon Always Boils by Katherine Halle (Short Story, M/M)
Acting Out by Julia Talbot (Short Story, M/M)
Spoken From the Heart by Jane Davitt (Novel, M/M)
The Last Paladin by Vaughn R. Demont (Chaser Compilation, M/M)
Monday, February 20, 2012
Seriously? With chocolate hazelnut spread? Ewwww. Exactly, that would be gross, however in Ottawa, a BeaverTail looks like this (I think they are called elephant ears in some places in the US):
A BeaverTail is a whole wheat pastry, stretched to look vaguely like a beaver tail, that is then deep fried and then topped with sweet or savory toppings. I have to confess, the classic cinnamon sugar is my favourite, although I do like the maple butter version. Chocolate is popular and I used to like the raspberry jam that they no longer carry. My daughter liked the garlic and mozzarella cheese topping. Okay, so we pretty much like them all.
BeaverTails were "invented" in Ottawa, and used to be almost exclusively found in winter, but now the franchise is spreading world-wide, including Saudi Arabia and the US. (I still think they taste best in the freezing cold, with some hot apple cider while eating them by a fire like Omar and Lucas did.)
Some interesting facts from the company:
- Since 1981, more than 8,000 young Canadians have worked for the BeaverTails operations in the
nation’s capital alone.
- BeaverTails uses 21.1 tons of chocolate hazelnut spread per year - equivalent to the weight of 5
elephants and 12 beavers.
- Since BeaverTails’ debut in 1978, enough BeaverTails have been sold to make a straight line of
tails, end-to-end, from their store on the boardwalk in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, to the two Whistler Ski Resort stores in British Columbia.
So if you ever get a chance to try a BeaverTail, be sure to grab the opportunity.
Hope you enjoyed the little visit with Lucas and Omar. If you are trying to visualize the bracelet, I started looking to see what kind of jewelry Omar would buy. Something cool and hip for blue-haired pierced and tattooed Lucas, but still romantic. I found this one on a site devoted to jewelry, but unfortunately they don't say where you can buy it.
Winterlude* is a three week festival of all things winter, with most of the activities taking place over three weekends in February. There are a variety of activities from concerts and special meals, but a large part of the festival is free outdoor winter activities. The main ones are:
- The amazing ice sculptures at the Crystal Gardens
- Skating on the Rideau Canal, the longest outdoor skating rink in the world
- BeaverTails (you'll have to wait to find out about those)
- Sliding on the ice slides at the Snow Flake Kingdom
After we saw all the sculptures, we had some warm stew and sat around the bonfire eating. It always tastes better when it's cold out. Normally we would have a BeaverTail (I'm still making you wait), but we were full.
Up next, skating on the canal. :-)
*All pictures today are my own or taken from the official Winterlude website.
For those who don't know me, I'm Tam, I live in cold and snowy (sometimes) Canada. I have a couple of short stories with Torquere Press and today we'll talk a bit about my short Winterlude which was oddly released last year in June. :-)
While the story is entitled Winterlude and we have a winter festival called Winterlude, the guys don't experience it in that book, but now, a year later, they are going to share some festival activities. Today I'll share with you some of the different activities that take place during Winterlude.
Also as a special treat, everyone who leaves a comment on any of my posts today will be entered for a surprise Canadian gift pack of local treats. Open to anyone world-wide, so leave your e-mail in at least one of your comments so I can find you if you win. People have until 10:00 pm EST to leave a comment today. Good luck.
First up, a little bit about the story:
Sunday, February 19, 2012
I've been quiet lately, I know. For those of you unfamiliar with me, I write the Dr. Fell Series and the Tarin's World stories.
Today is Remembrance Day, and Tommy and Dr. Tanaka, from the Dr. Fell series, are reflecting on their heritage. Why not take a peek at George Takei's video or read his blog entry to find out more?
There's a free Tarin story over at Laura and Laddie's site which I wrote for their Valentine's Day Couples post.
Need something sweet and lovely? Watch the enchanting story of Hedgehog in the Fog finding his way to his bear cub friend.
Finally, how about a contest? Post a reply about any of the linked items to be entered into a drawing for any one of my Torquere e-books. Deadline: Tuesday 21st February 7 pm EST.
Friday, February 17, 2012
“A Little Light Loving” MM
Dillon smiled, lying back on the rug, a cushion under his head, his legs wide apart, feet planted flat on the floor.
Cord pushed another cushion under Dillon's ass and they both grinned. "See anything you like?" Dillon asked cheekily.
"I don't see anything I don't like," Cord replied.
"Well, then, what are you waiting for?" Dillon asked, letting one hand stroke down his torso until it rested on his cock. His gaze fixed on Cord's, Dillon tugged on his cock, slowly pulling it from root to tip, root to tip.
"Damn, that's hot," whispered Cord, opening the lube and squeezing a little onto two fingers.
Now it was Dillon's turn to watch as Cord slowly rubbed around Dillon’s asshole, massaging the tight muscles, then letting just the tip of his fingers slip inside.
Dillon's gaze was on Cord's face. He had the most expressive face, his features never still, with sparkling eyes alight with the lust of the moment. Watching Cord's face while feeling the man's fingers broaching Dillon's most sensitive place was beyond erotic.
BUY LINK: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=83&products_id=3472
“Blooming Love” FFM
Nothing happened for long seconds, then Hyacinthe felt the air move by the nightstand drawer. Ah, Inigo would be lifting toys out, likely showing them to Beverley or maybe just choosing some himself. Yes, they were moving again, Beverley would be choosing some toys, or accepting the ones Inigo offered her.
Careful to keep her face expressionless, Hyacinthe grinned hugely in her mind. Over the years she'd collected an impressive array of toys. Although she seldom used them when having sex with a partner, she enjoyed experimenting when alone, and had nipple clamps and clips, dildos, butt plugs, vibrators, and scented oils. She could hardly wait to find out which ones they'd use on her.
There was the soft sound of fabric being removed, the slide of a zipper, the pop of a snap fastener, then Inigo's heavy weight was beside her on the bed and his big hands ran lightly from her toes, over her sensitive arches, and around her heels.
Delicious! Cinthe shivered with delight.
A soft plop was followed by the weight of a body sitting on the other side of the bed.
Bev has taken her shoes off and joined us, deduced Hyacinthe.
Beverley's hands were slightly rough from all the outdoor work they did, but she used them gently to trail along Hyacinthe's rib cage and tenderly cup a breast.
Buy link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_112&products_id=3212
“Burning For You” MMF
"Oh God, my feet," groaned Blair, ignoring them both.
"I'm glad you finally made it. I'm bored with playing the few pathetic games on my phone. Remind me to download something better before the next fire drill."
"Remind me to take a day's vacation if it ever happens again," said Blair tartly, massaging her toes. "Hell, that hurts."
Alex reached for her foot. "Let me. May I? Do you mind? I'm sure I can help."
"Please do. I'm not sure what rules apply to fire drills, but I think fixing my feet right now ranks right up there with life-saving."
Her foot was warm and soft under his hands. Gently he massaged the ball of her foot, rubbing circles and pressing into the pads, loosening up any tightness there. He separated each toe, stroking its length, rubbing it between his fingers, and again massaging the pad of the toe. She had such sexy feet: long, straight toes, narrow ankles, high arches.
While he tended to her feet the three of them talked. On the surface what they were saying was light, casual, just people sitting on the grass in the park waiting for the bus back to work. But underneath the conversation ran something much deeper, stronger. Lust and passion were in each look, each pair of eyes. Words used had double meanings, or the gestures that accompanied them gave them an underlying sexual connotation. Oh yes. What was going on was more than chatting, it was very definitely foreplay. Foreplay of a very carnal, erotic kind.
Buy link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_91&products_id=3314
“Lady Caroline’s Reward” FF
Dinah gazed at Caroline. She really did look lovely in the firelight, her pale cheeks slightly flushed by the warmth of the fire, the long hair coiled neatly on her neck and gleaming with reddish highlights, her slender fingers busily employed mending one of her father's shirts.
Dinah's heart lurched. She could fall in love with this woman. Not only was Caroline beautiful, but she was also highly intelligent and courageous in the way she was facing the adversity of her father's, and therefore her own, situation.
"Have you ever been kissed?" Dinah asked suddenly.
"Well, just a few quick pecks by boys who shouldn't have when I was younger. At family gatherings and such. And one or two of the suitors have tried. That's why I made sure Hugh Howel was always with me. They totally ignored the fact my maid Betty was in the room!"
"Would you like to be kissed? Properly kissed?"
"But who-- What? You--"
"Yes, me. May I kiss you?" Dinah put her needlework down on the side table and slid along the sofa to the end where Caroline sat.
Caroline's hands dropped to the sofa. With no objection forthcoming, very gently, Dinah turned Caroline's head toward her and kissed those ripe pink lips. Softly, gently, sweetly, but with enough heat and passion to warm their lips. Very soon, Caroline responded, one hand reaching up to rest on Dinah's arm.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Tamar is a Seraph, a member of an influential organization of powerful psychics known as ANGEL. Possessing a greater lifespan and intelligence than ordinary humans, Seraphs within ANGEL grow to their full potential through study and practice. In the year 4287, ANGEL has deteriorated to a club for the bored elite. A small but passionate rebellion rises to take back the power they once held.
In pursuit of his own dreams, Tamar is caught in the chaotic struggle for evolution, power, and to define the greater good. Kir, an old rival from his days as an apprentice within ANGEL, resurfaces, threatening to shred Tamar’s world into bits... along with his heart. Their ideals clash, but Tamar needs all his courage save Kir from the darkness inside while remaining true to himself and all he holds dear.
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Loose Snow by Julia Talbot
Jack and AJ had a thing once, but Jack wasn’t ready to settle down. They still work together at the Forestry Service, seeing each other every day, but the situation comes to a head when Jack encounters loose snow out on the trail, and gets caught in an avalanche. Will AJ see things differently after Jack’s brush with death?
Find out today!
Bonus by Liam Gray
Someone's taking credit for Mark's hard work. A suspension and a fractured wrist are not the expected result of informing his boss. It could be a blessing in disguise, though, when Jacob from Marketing drives him home, and Mark gets a bonus he wasn't expecting.
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The Librarian and the Porn Star by CC Bridges
Evan, a socially awkward librarian, receives the shock of his life when his favorite porn star walks into his library. Matt isn't only sexy as hell, he's sweet, smart and loves books just as much as Evan. But Matt doesn't realize he's been recognized from his adult film career. Will Evan's deception keep them apart, or will they heat up the stacks?
Find out today!