Monday, July 30, 2012

Right and Normal

Every now and then, a conversation pops up in the GLBT romance world about why we do this, or whether writing romances about two men, or two women, or two men and a woman, or someone who's choosing between a man and a woman because they're attracted to both, or about someone who's transgendered, has any effect on the world besides giving its fans some entertainment.

I think it does. I think the cause of establishing that GLBT people are people first, are normal, are our family and friends and folks just like them, are people who are defined by so many other things that the kind of person they're attracted to or their gender identity is only one small part of the whole -- I think the cause of helping GLBT people win their rightful and equal place in our society is helped by any popular media that shows GLBT people as normal.

If I write a book where a gay man is a mage who casts spells and fights ogres and defeats evil, and falls in love while doing it, then that puts him on a level with every straight man in a similar book who did similar things. If someone else writes a book where a lesbian is a detective and solves mysteries with her wife, then that shows that lesbians are normal, and equal with every straight woman who solves mysteries in a book series. If there's a book where a transwoman becomes a barrel racing champion and is queen of the rodeo and wins the handsome cowboy, then that shows everyone who reads it that transwomen are women, and can be cowgirls, and can win, and can have love just like any other woman.

Torchwood was great at showing the world as it should be -- non-heteronormative, accepting gay and lesbian and bisexual people without a blink. (It would've been nice to get a trans person in there too, but I don't remember any.) In an early episode we saw Owen go home with both a woman and a man, and the point of the sequence wasn't even that he was bi; that was just detail of characterization. The point was that he was abusing alien tech in a particularly reprehensible manner. (Yes, GLBT people can be jerks; there's nothing wrong with showing that so long as we show the whole spectrum of behavior and personalities.)

And the episode "Captain Jack Harkness," set during WWII, showed a world where two soldiers could dance together and share an incredibly hot kiss in public, and the responses of the people around them ranged (judging by expressions, since no one said anything) from "Hot!" to "Awww!" to "Whatever." Realistic? No, not at all. Awesome? Oh, yeah. That's how the 1940s should have been, and I loved seeing that should-have-been world. We need reminders that the world isn't perfect yet -- we need to have books that show how much things used to suck and how much they still do -- but I think we also need to have books that show how things should be and should have been. We need both, so we can point at one and say, "This is what we have," then point at the other and say, "That's what we should have."

Portrayals of GLBT characters in movies and on television -- and in books -- still leave a lot to be desired. There are a lot of stereotypes, a lot of marginalization, a lot of tokenism. The fact that they're there at all is progress, though, and so long as creators keep working to improve portrayals, there's hope that we'll eventually show a full spectrum of characters, all kinds of people, three-dimensional and well developed, in our media. The fact that mistakes are being made isn't a reason to stop -- it's a reason to insist that we have to keep going and do better.

Studies have shown that those who personally know GLBT people -- family members, friends, co-workers, church members, neighbors -- are more accepting and less likely to support bigoted or oppressive laws and attitudes. Reading about GLBT characters can't have the same impact as knowing someone personally, but it has to be better than nothing. Seeing all kinds of people presented in the media as normal members of society, in all areas and all roles, can only help, even if only a little. If this is the best I can do as a writer to help make our society safe and accepting for all kinds of people, then I'm glad to help.

Angie

Meme Monday: Who's Calling?

What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?

Coming this Week

Coming on Wednesday

Feeling Safe by Vic Winter (short story, M/M)
Masks Off! edited by M. Rode (anthology, M/M)
Paper Cranes by Syd McGinley (short story, M/M)
Puppy Love, a Velvet Glove story by Sean Michael (novella, M/M)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

NSFW! New Lesbian Erotic Short Story

If there are small people reading over your shoulder, please go away and come back after they're in bed.
Otherwise, please scroll down to read about my new Lesbian Erotic Short story.





“Fist Me” Blurb:

Taryn asks Maeve to fist her. When Maeve gets over her shock at Taryn’s request, she tries to talk her out of it. Fisting is extreme, and Taryn’s not a lesbian. But Taryn is determined. She’s just broken up from Mr. Perfect, who was definitely not right for her, and this is something she wants to do just for herself. Maeve is the only person she trusts to share the experience with her. And she’ll worry about the fall-out from her broken romance later.



WARNING!! ADULT LESBIAN EXCERPT NSFW!

“Fist me.”

“What the fuck?” Maeve sputtered her beer over the table as she almost choked at Taryn’s words. She had to have misheard. Sweet, innocent, butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-her-mouth Taryn couldn’t possible have said, “Fist me”.

“Fist me. I want you to come home with me tonight and fist me.”

Yes, she did say it. Jeez. “Um, well, um…”

Taryn stood up, dropped some money on the table and held out her hand to Maeve. “Come on. Let’s do it now.”

Her head spinning, Maeve climbed to her feet, snagged her purse off the back of her chair, and took Taryn’s hand.

It wasn’t that she didn’t want to fist Taryn. Hell, she’d like nothing better. But it was more, what had happened to the slow build up? The gentle hand touches, the sweet kisses, the pressing of hard nipples into soft, rounded breasts. The romance.

By the time they’d reached the parking lot, Maeve’s brain had started to function. “Um, listen, Taryn. I think we should talk first, before, you know…”

“What’s to talk about? You’re a lesbian. You like me. I want to try out fisting.”

Maeve took a deep breath and told her raging libido to shut up for a few minutes. “Fisting is extreme. It gives the most intense pleasure to both the parties involved. But a hand is a lot wider than a cock you know. It, um, stretches you. Not just physically, mentally as well.”

Taryn pulled Maeve into her car. “That’s what I want. I want that extreme sensation. The drive, the intensity.





This book was previously published in the “Lusty Wenches” anthology.


Berengaria Brown








Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Author Extra: The Ruby by Amelia June

The Ruby by Amelia June

Daniel is a psychologist on vacation, damn it. When he meets the sexy but
shady Hawk in the resort's bar, he is brave enough to accompany the man back
to his room. One impulsive decision later, he's embroiled in a tale of
intrigue, treasure hunting, and adventure. What happened to relaxing on the
beach?

A massive stolen ruby, mysterious gunmen lurking in the shadows, and a
gorgeous rogue push Daniel past all his comfort zones. Will Daniel and Hawk
find the pirate's treasure? More importantly, will Daniel get out of this
crazed vacation alive?

Find out today:
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_89&products_id=3626

Author Extra: 

Author confession: Daniel is a lot like me. I’m the awkward one, looking for
nothing more exciting than a sunburn on vacation. If Hawk approached me with
the promise of adventure and more, I’d probably run the other way! Daniel is
far braver than I am in The Ruby, and I’m still pretty impressed that he
went for it. After all, what’s life without a little risk?

Author Extra: Emerging Magic, Sentinels #2 by Angela Benedetti

Emerging Magic, Sentinels #2 by Angela Benedetti

Rory's mother took him to psychiatrists, let them circumscribe his life, let
them give him drugs, while knowing all along there was nothing wrong with
him. When Rory finds out, he's angry and confused and just wants to get away
for a while. His mother's betrayal plus another kidnap attempt make a visit
to the father he hasn't seen in ten years seem like a great idea.

When Rory, Paul and Aubrey get to Seattle, though, it's obviously not going
to be just a normal family Christmas. Someone north of San Jose tried to
kidnap Rory twice before they left, and it's too much of a coincidence that
Nathan, Rory's dad, has magic talented friends. While Rory tries to
reconnect with his only other family, Paul is trying to figure out whether
anyone in Nathan's group is after Rory. They definitely have secrets, and at
least one of them has been playing around with things he doesn't understand.
The local fey are after him, and elves aren't known for caring too much
about collateral damage.

And there's a master wizard in the area who's up to something big and would
really like to have Rory's help....

See the first installment of Rory and Paul's story in A Hidden Magic:
Sentinels Book One.

Pick up your copy today:
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=97&products_id=3627

Author Extra:

Cal's Candied Bacon

Lay your bacon strips out on a cooling rack set inside a baking sheet. Cal
likes thick-sliced bacon, but you can use the thin strips if you really want
to. Leave at least half an inch between them.

Coat each strip with brown sugar. (Your hands are going to get messy here;
just deal with it 'cause it's worth it.) You want the sugar layer to be
thin but still cover well, with as little meat showing through the sugar as
possible.

Broil at least four inches from the broiler element, keeping an eye on the
bacon. You want the sugar melted but not burned when you take the pan out.

Let it cool before eating -- be careful of the hot sugar!

Paying Attention...

So, apparently I'm terrible at remembering dates, and have been absent from my blog dates...sorry. I've also not been paying attention to release dates and the two new ones snuck up on me. The first of which came out last week.

Faithless

Dyre was a priest until he lost faith, which is a dangerous thing when the Church still burns people at the stake. But Dyre’s loss of faith makes him useful. He becomes one of the Faithless, a demon hunter with a cursed sword. His keeper, Isaiah, an Inquisitor, has become very close to him after years of companionship. But as Isaiah’s softest touch burns Dyre, can the two ever really be more than companions?




This one is part of a brand new world I intend to explore a bit more thoroughly later. Dyre is an old friend, as it were, and follows in line of my love for emotionally unstable partners. I stepped a bit out of my comfort zone with this one, to be honest, but I think it was for the best. Here's a quick teaser before we move to today's new release.

The sword was black. From hilt to tip, the blade blackened by flame, the leather of the hilt by blood, the sweeping line uninterrupted by a hand guard. Inlaid with unholy symbols, it held the power of demons it had slain. A sword forever cursed by the blood of an innocent spilled on its making. That's what they told me. It radiated menace.

Its matching scabbard was human flesh, tattooed with screaming faces. The priest in front of me held it out on a piece of black silk. The priest was not Isaiah, this was a man I had never seen before. A withered old man with shaking hands.

"Do you accept the sword and all that goes with it?"

"I do." Like I had a choice.

The priest nodded. I reached out a hand, and took the sword, drawing it from the scabbard as I lifted it away from the silk. I could feel the presence of it, but it didn't reject me, it didn't quite welcome me either, it simply, accepted.

 "Hello." I whispered. "Happy to see me?"

The priest said nothing.

Isaiah, watching from the wings, smiled. "I think you two are going to do very well together... what shall we call you?"

I wasn't Max anymore, I was Faithless now. No Christian name could be claimed by a Faithless. "Dyre." I smiled. "My name is Dyre."


End

Ame

Today's new release, Ame, *that's Rain in Japanese* is my first exploration of the Night Wars world outside of the USA and Fynn's gang, introducing Takashi, a troubled young man with connections to the Yakuza. I wanted to dive into Japanese mythology here and had a whole lot of fun with the research. Here's a little snippet:

My heartbeat quickened as I braced for what was to come. I dropped down after she passed, slipping the wire around her delicate neck. I pulled it taut, bracing myself for the struggle, but she didn't. I looked at her, she had dropped the lantern and a hand was trapped between the wire and her windpipe. I watched in horror as her hair began to move of its own accord to form thick tentacles that wrapped around my wrists. The back of her head split open to form a mouth with sharp
teeth and a long pointed tongue that whipped out and licked my face.

I had heard stories about creatures such as this from my grandmother, but never in all my
life had I thought they were real. I spent my life in the shadows and this night showed
me a deeper darkness was still waiting to be discovered. I was frozen. For the first time
I could remember since starting this work, I was frozen in fear. My hands slackened, the
wire fell uselessly to the ground.

She twisted around to face me, smiling. Swifter than I could follow, a tendril of hair
pulled a knife from is depths. It flashed in the light cast by the fallen lantern as it swept
down.
 

Skin pushed away from the blade as it made its way toward the thick vein in my neck.
Blood, red and burning, gushed forth. She stepped back to avoid getting any on her. She
smiled still, those lips the color of cherry blossoms. I collapsed to the ground, clutching
my throat.

"My apologies Takashi, but you are no longer useful," she said. My hands slipped in the
blood. She laughed, a pretty, chime-like sound. She turned, bending gracefully to retrieve
her lantern and walking away. The second mouth laughed too, a horrible clashing. The
tongue wagged and the hair waved a mocking goodbye with the knife. The rain continued
to fall, the blood mixing with the mud around me, a bit of warmth while my body grew
cold. How could I freeze? I never froze. How could that be real? How? I could still hear
her laughter as my world pitched into dark.

On Sale this Week

This week we have books by Angela Benedetti, Missouri Dalton, and AR Moler on sale for 20% off.

Check them out!

New Relesaes for July 25


The Ruby by Amelia June

Daniel is a psychologist on vacation, damn it. When he meets the sexy but shady Hawk in the resort's bar, he is brave enough to accompany the man back to his room. One impulsive decision later, he's embroiled in a tale of intrigue, treasure hunting, and adventure. What happened to relaxing on the beach?

A massive stolen ruby, mysterious gunmen lurking in the shadows, and a gorgeous rogue push Daniel past all his comfort zones. Will Daniel and Hawk find the pirate's treasure? More importantly, will Daniel get out of this crazed vacation alive?

Find out today!



Emerging Magic, Sentinels #2 by Angela Benedetti

Rory's mother took him to psychiatrists, let them circumscribe his life, let them give him drugs, while knowing all along there was nothing wrong with him. When Rory finds out, he's angry and confused and just wants to get away for a while. His mother's betrayal plus another kidnap attempt make a visit to the father he hasn't seen in ten years seem like a great idea.

When Rory, Paul and Aubrey get to Seattle, though, it's obviously not going to be just a normal family Christmas. Someone north of San Jose tried to kidnap Rory twice before they left, and it's too much of a coincidence that Nathan, Rory's dad, has magic talented friends. While Rory tries to reconnect with his only other family, Paul is trying to figure out whether anyone in Nathan's group is after Rory. They definitely have secrets, and at least one of them has been playing around with things he doesn't understand. The local fey are after him, and elves aren't known for caring too much about collateral damage.

And there's a master wizard in the area who's up to something big and would really like to have Rory's help....

See the first installment of Rory and Paul's story in A Hidden Magic: Sentinels Book One.

Pick up your copy today!


Ame by Missouri Dalton

Takashi Matsumoto has spent his entire life in Tokyo. He’s seen terrible things working for the yakuza, but when an encounter with something straight out of folklore leaves him nearly dead he has to revise everything he thought he knew.
After he recovers, he runs into an old flame, Daisuke. Can Takashi have a relationship knowing what he does? Or will his past catch up to both of them?

Find out today!


Vulnerability, Inches of Trust #10 by AR Moler

Sometimes it takes an unexpected disaster to transform a perspective. Brian Townsend forgets some architectural plans that he needs for a project. He makes the mistake of going back and getting them--in a risky part of town, at night. Tristan Blake’s heart stops when he gets an emergency cell call from his lover Brian. When his heart starts beating again, Tristan’s view of his world is changed. It’s time to be brave. Is Tristan finally ready to knock down that last wall?

Find out today!


Almost bed time

Hey y'all!

I almost forgot, huh?

What should I ramble about today?

Top ten things I researched today

The tensile strength of human hair

what the heck my basset hound was smelling all the way across the street

What kind of stains certain bodily fluids leave on leather

What year was the Eisenberg mark on the earrings I found in my drawer. (1945-1958)

What kind of animals live in the Everglades

What the heck is that thing on my arm (an allergy hive. ew)

how quickly does dehydration affect your electrical brain impulses

How big of a piece of felt do I need to cover that little pillow

why on earth does grapefruit see oil have antibiotic properties

how do you make cauliflower mac and cheese

Now you tell me which one is actually for use in my next TQ release!

XXOO

Julia

www.juliatalbot.com

Monday, July 23, 2012

Review Round-Up July 3-22, 2012

Enjoy the latest Review Round-Up. Please let me know if you have any reviews that aren't listed below.

BookedUp Reviews:

On the Dotted Line by Alexa Snow
How We Operate by AR Moler
Luck of the Draw by Dallas Coleman

Joyfully Reviewed

Heaven Sent by Sean Michael

Top 2 Bottom Reviews

Arcanum: What Evils Lurk in the Hearts of Men by Mychael Black
Paulo's Santa Kink by Lee Benoit
Master Preston and his sub Paulo (Entire Line) by Lee Benoit
I'm Not Sexy and I Know It by Vic Winter
Down on the Farm by DC Juris
Asian Persuasian by DC Juris
Priorities by Tory Temple
How We Operate by AR Moler

RomFan Reviews

Touch and Trust, A Velvet Glove Story by Sean Michael

Night Owl Reviews

Emerald Fire by Rachel Wilder & A. Catherine Noon

Literary Nymph's

Fool's Gold by Mychael Black

Hearts on Fire Reviews

Let's Get Familiar by Amylea Lynn
Necessary Roughness by Beth Wylde
Down on the Farm by DC Juris
The White City by Julia Talbot
A Taste of Magick by Riley Shane
Asian Persuasion by DC Juris

Long and Short Reviews (formerly Whipped Cream)

Picking Up the Pieces by Mychael Black
Disciplinary Measures by Mychael Black

Rainbow Book Reviews

I'm Not Sexy and I Know It by Vic Winter
Searching the Seas by Sean Michael

Brief Encounters

A is for Andy by Sean Michael
Fair Puckled by Bella Leone
A Sky Full of Wings by M. Raiya
Voyageurs by Keira Andrews
Broomsticks and Stones by Jane Davitt
Slave to the Blood by I.D. Locke

The Armchair Reader

A Recondite Matter by GS Wiley
Faithless by Missouri Dalton
Fair Catch by Del Darcy
The Kaiser Account by Louise Blaydon


AdC Magazine

Meme Monday: Cash Monday

How much cash do you have on you?

Coming this Week

Coming on Wednesday:

Ame by Missouri Dalton (Short Story, M/M)
Emerging Magic by Angela Benedetti (Novel, M/M)
The Ruby by Amelia June (Birthstone, M/M)
Vulnerability, Inches of Trust #10 by AR Moler (Short Story, M/M)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Christmas in July Sale!

We're celebrating Christmas in July with 20% off your purchases from now through the end of day Monday! Just put 'xjuly2012' 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 July 23 at Midnight (est).

Celebrate Christmas in July with 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.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Honk if you love the blushing rose

Greetings and salutations, fellow travelers! I am a literal as well as a literary traveler these days, and will be in the air much of the day and night. But I didn't want to miss my change to visit with the marvelous Torquere readers...

So, I thought I'd leave you with a little challenge. Simply post your response as a comment and when my travels are over, sometime Sunday, I will draw one at random to win a $5 gift certificate to Torquere Press. Read on to learn your task.

Lately I've been thinking about an issue that crops up fairly often, as a reader and as a writer: to cliché or not cliché? The Online Etymology Dictionary gives us this background on the word: "1832, from Fr. cliché, a technical word in printer's jargon for 'stereotype,' supposedly echoic of the sound of a mold striking molten metal, thus pp. of clicher 'to click'(18c.). Figurative extension to "worn-out expression" is first attested 1888, following the course of stereotype."

So, some phrases, often similes or metaphors, began as powerful uses of language but got dulled from overuse. Like comparing the blush of a lover's cheeks to the delicate, or perhaps riotous color of a rose. Are rosy-cheeked lovers overused? Should I rephrase the question?  ::giggles::

I don't mind rosy cheeks in stories I read, but I have to say, I love seeing the cliché turned on its end, so to speak, when the blushing cheeks in question are the nether ones. Check out the stunning pastels of Michael Breyette if you don't agree.

Your challenge is: share two clichés...
  • one cliché you wouldn't mind *never* seeing again and
  • one that recently surprised you by being refreshed, tweaked, tumbled, or otherwise renewed.
I'll join in as best I can before hitting the air tomorrow, so play nice while my back is turned!

Fervent embraces,
Lee xo

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Author Extra: Zero to 165 by AR Moler

Zero to 165 by AR Moler

Most of the time life bumps along pretty predictably, viruses and vacations,
Christmas and work issues, career and relationship choices. This is
certainly true for part time Division P operatives Mason Flynn and Cameron
Bradshaw. Mason is a doctor and a healer. Cam is a Navy pilot and a finder.
Between building a life together and the stresses of managing both their
part time and full time careers, life is pretty full for both guys. But
sometimes, life throws a world-altering curve ball. Laws change. The past
reaches out into the present and drops a miraculous bomb. Psychic stresses
develop. People’s realities alter in unpredictable ways. But Mason and Cam
have each other even as their life grows in some very, very unexpected ways.

Mason and Cam first appeared in Hell Dogs Squadron and Seeking the Balance.

Pick up your copy today:
http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_85&products_id=3622

Author Extra:

Cam grabbed a batch of laundry out of the dryer and shoved it into a basket.
He carried it into the bedroom and dumped it on the bed with the intention
of doing a quick fold job. A pair of jeans caught his eye, not because they
were his, but because of the odd repair job that had been done across the
knee. He picked them up. Diagonally across the knee the knee was a four to
five inch tear. Holding the edges of the rip together was a long series of
tiny … sutures? He was puzzling over the white material used to do the
stitches when Mason came into the bedroom.

“You look confused,” commented Mason.

“What the hell did you use to mend your jeans?”

“Dental floss.”

“Why?” Cam asked.

“Cause I couldn’t find any thread.” Mason gave him grin.

Cam rolled his eyes.

On Sale this Week

This week we have books by Berengaria Brown, Missouri Dalton, Sean Michael and AR Moler on sale at 20% off.

Check them out!

New Releases for July 18

Faithless by Missouri Dalton

Dyre was a priest until he lost faith, which is a dangerous thing when the Church still burns people at the stake. But Dyre’s loss of faith makes him useful. He becomes one of the Faithless, a demon hunter with a cursed sword. His keeper, Isaiah, an Inquisitor, has become very close to him after years of companionship. But as Isaiah’s softest touch burns Dyre, can the two ever really be more than companions?

Find out today!


Zero to 165 by AR Moler

Most of the time life bumps along pretty predictably, viruses and vacations, Christmas and work issues, career and relationship choices. This is certainly true for part time Division P operatives Mason Flynn and Cameron Bradshaw. Mason is a doctor and a healer. Cam is a Navy pilot and a finder. Between building a life together and the stresses of managing both their part time and full time careers, life is pretty full for both guys. But sometimes, life throws a world-altering curve ball. Laws change.  The past reaches out into the present and drops a miraculous bomb. Psychic stresses develop. People’s realities alter in unpredictable ways. But Mason and Cam have each other even as their life grows in some very, very unexpected ways.

Mason and Cam first appeared in Hell Dogs Squadron and Seeking the Balance.

Pick up your copy today!


Fist Me by Berengaria Brown

Taryn asks Maeve to fist her. When Maeve gets over her shock at Taryn’s request, she tries to talk her out of it. Fisting is extreme, and Taryn’s not a lesbian. But Taryn is determined. She’s just broken up from Mr. Perfect, who was definitely not right for her, and this is something she wants to do just for herself. Maeve is the only person she trusts to share the experience with her. And she’ll worry about the fall-out from her broken romance later.

Get your copy today!


Ramping Up, a Personal Best story by Sean Michael

Mike and Jessy, from the Personal Best series, are back just in time for the Olympics. With it being an Olympic year, all of Mike's sponsors want a piece of the gold-medalist for their ad campaigns, but Mike just wants to train. He's only got a few weeks left before he and Jessy are off to London. Can Jessy find time for all they have to do, and make sure they make time for each other, too?

Find out today!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Meme Monday: Mirror Mirror

When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

Coming this Week

Coming on Wednesday:

Faithless by Missouri Dalton (Novella, M/M)
Fist Me by Berengaria Brown (Short Story, F/F)
Ramping Up, a Personal Best story by Sean Michael (Short Story, M/M)
Zero to Sixty by AR Moler (Novella, M/M)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Flashback Friday – Sister City


[Read on for two chances to win a prize!]

I hope y’all don’t mind how late I am – I’ve traveled from my New England hayfield to Honolulu, Hawaii where believe it or not I am working this week! To be frank, I don’t know what time it is back home, but here it is a little after 9 p.m. so here I am with a flashback to my Sister City stories (can you flash back to something that’s ongoing?).



Back before I ever attempted to write seriously, I kept a little notebook that I filled with notes, scenes, scraps of dialogue, and character sketches. Before long, a world and a family saga started to resolve itself via this notebook. Sister City is a post-industrial city with a thriving arts community (not unlike Providence, RI where I lived when I got going with this). There are huge ethnic populations, including French Canadian and Latinos, so my two families – the Cadorets and the Treviños – reflect that.

Now, years later, I still draw on that notebook for details about the Sister City world. My Paulo and Preston stories are set there, and so is the spinoff story “A Better Fate than Wisdom” which appeared in the Cherry on Top anthology.

Contest the first: Where did I get that title? (Random drawing from among correct answers; winner gets their choice of any two Sister City stories or a $3 Torquere gift certificate.)
 

My gutterpunk romances Catching Out (out of print) and Catching Christmas are also Sister City Stories. Other stories in the Sister City world include Haven, about a randy nurse and his ballet-dancer love, and Last Dance, which features Haven and Tadeo’s son Suyai finding his own happy way. There’s also the YA short Vade Mecum, which is about a lost boy of the Cadoret/Treviño clan finding his way home again.

In Vade Mecum, young Andy is retrieved from foster care by his aunt Corazón. Cori was the first Sister City character to emerge from my Sister City notebook, and she’s a hell of a gal, who’s had a serious Thing for Suyai (Haven and Tadeo’s son) for, just, ever.

I’d love to write more about her, which brings me to Contest the Second: How would readers respond to a story from me, so far primarily an m/m author, featuring a female bisexual protagonist? Answer in comments and be entered in a random drawing for your choice of two Sister City stories or a $3 Torquere Gift Certificate. You can comment twice to enter both contests, but if the winner of Contest the First is also the first drawn in Contest the Second I will redraw for the second prize.

 
Thanks for joining me, and I'll see you next time!
Lee xo

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Olympics are coming!

In just over two weeks the Olympics are starting! I love the Olympics and am especially looking forward to Swimming, Diving, Gymnastics, just for a start.

I've got a new short story featuring Mike and Jessy from Personal Best coming out next week.

Ramping Up is the story of what Mike and Jessy are up to just a few weeks before the Olympics start. It'll be available July 18!

What's your favorite thing about the summer Olympics?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Author Extra: Forever May Not Be Enough by Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael

Forever May Not Be Enough by Mychael Black and Shayne Carmichael

Mael Black, vampire prince of London, and his vampire-hunting angel, Cian,
are back in their third and final book!

An ancient force has awakened and is hellbent on nothing short of the total
destruction of the Romanorum. Mael and Cian are thrust into the middle of
things, and it's ultimately on their shoulders to save the Romanorum itself.
In the meantime, they've got their hands full with bringing a new son into
their family, and Mael's father trying to force Mael to denounce his
relationship with Cian.

Betrayals and violent court intrigue set the stage for what promises to be
an epic end to Mael and Cian's story. But it's only the beginning for
others... 

Find the beginning of Mael and Cian's story in The Prince's Angel and And
the Two Shall Become One. 

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Author Extra:

Deleted scene that takes place right before the opening scene of the book:

Dio had long dismissed most of his court from his presence. None of them
were necessary for the discussion to come. He would have to become forceful
with them soon enough, once everything came out. As he stood and stepped
into the shadows, he weaved a spell to make sure none would feel his
absence. A few seconds later, he emerged from the darkness into Mael Black’s
conference room. He hadn’t explained to the Prince why he needed to use the
room or why so much secrecy was involved, but he eventually would.

A few more moments passed before a pocket of shadows formed near the closed
door. When they faded, three men stood before Dio. One of them stepped
forward and removed the steel mask covering half his face.

“Good evening, Father.”

“Hello, Triarius. I’ve made sure no one can enter, and no one else can sense
any of us here. So you can speak your mind freely.” Dio relaxed in the chair
at the head of the table and reached for the decanter of wine near him.

Triarius glanced back at the men with him. “You know Apollonius,” he said.
“I’d like you to meet our lover, Lance Shaw.” Apollonius bowed slightly,
though he remained silent.

Lance stepped up beside Triarius and smiled. “It’s nice to finally meet you.
I’ve heard a lot about you.”

As he poured glasses for them, Dio gestured for them to sit. “Nice to meet
you as well, Lance. And, Apollonius, you can relax. Nobody is going to bite
my son,” he said with a smile.

Apollonius chuckled softly. “Habit.” He sat down, as did Triarius and Lance.

Triarius set his mask on the table and studied it before looking up at Dio.
“There are many things I wish to say, though I don’t know where to start
anymore. Aldrich…was a learning experience, one I wish I’d never made.
What’s done is done, however, and I pray that we are indeed welcome back
within the Romanorum halls.”

“There’s nothing you need to say. I'd be lying if I said it wasn’t something
I devotedly wished for, Triarius, but you had to come to your own decision.
I am more than happy you did.”

“There is something else,” Triarius said quietly, staring down into the
glass of wine before him. “Something that came to my attention before
Aldrich died. It affects us both, and one within Mael Black’s court.”

“And what is that?”

“Black’s court magician has a companion, Brandon Davies.” Triarius met Dio’s
gaze. “Brandon is my grandson.”

“So Aldrich did have a son. That’s not surprising. Since Black would never
take in a rogue who has killed, then obviously Brandon is clean. Does the
boy know who he is?”

“Aldrich created Brandon for a rogue’s purpose, but Brandon has no idea who
his father is. Is he…well? I know nothing beyond his relationship with
Cornelius.”

"He is," Dio said. “Do you plan to claim the boy and take him? You might
meet with stiff resistance, child, though there is the matter of the
training due to him. He has the right to his place, no matter who his Father
was.”

“No. I can’t go through it again.” Triarius leaned back in his seat and one
of Lance’s arms slipped around his shoulders. “Nor would I take him from
Cornelius. While I know he is entitled to proper training, I don’t wish to
overstep his adopted father’s bounds.”

“Most likely the wisest choice, Triarius. Brandon and Cornelius will make
their own decisions, and I’ll remain out of it.” It was never easy for Dio
to do, but he’d learned the wisdom of forcing himself to stay out of things.
"As for allowing your vampires to be taken into the Romanorum, I foresee
considerable opposition, but I’m prepared to silence it. Completely.”

“Thank you. I know the cost to you is great should it come to that, and I
pray it does not. I’m not the same person I was when I left your side,
Father. That I promise you.”

“None outside of the Romanorum will ever know of the existence of the
Inferi. I can’t risk the reactions from the mortals should they ever find
out. Make sure everyone knows that, Triarius. I can allow a certain leeway
to any who don’t want to be in the Romanorum, but the moment they risk what
I‘ve built, they will be killed.” Dio doubted if all the members wanted to
follow along with Triarius.

“I know. Those who sided with Aldrich have been hunted down and destroyed.
While there are some who do not wish to return to Rome, I do not believe
they will cause any problems. My physician Victoria and her daughter Marie
stayed behind in Wales to maintain the keep, and I trust them both
implicitly.”

“You won’t be staying in Wales, child?” Dio had believed his son would
prefer to remain in Wales, and it was hard to hide his pleasure at the
thought of Triarius wanting to stay in Rome with him. The thought hadn’t
occurred at all to him until now.

“I’d hoped that maybe Apollonius, Lance, and myself could return to Rome.”
Triarius looked down and traced the edge of his mask. “I miss it,” he said
quietly. “I miss you.”

“You will always be welcome in my home. All of you.” There would be time for
the two of them to repair things between them, and Dio greatly looked
forward to it. He’d spent the last several centuries praying for his son’s
return, and never quite believed it would ever happen. “In the meantime, I
want Apollonius to get the word out to the others in the Inferi. They are
free to make their own choices. As long as they don’t endanger the
Romanorum, they will be left alone. Death will be dealt to those who will
not agree.”

“As you wish,” Apollonius said with a nod.

Triarius touched his face absently, brow furrowed. “I’d hoped to blend in
seamlessly at one point, but I don’t think that will ever happen.”

“Why ever not? The others no longer blink when they see Joshua, and you must
admit, he was a harder sell than you are.” The boy had been turned when he
was a child. Normally, it would be a death sentence to both the creator and
created, but Dio had stepped in. The Prince of San Diego and his ghoul had
intervened on the child’s behalf, then notified Dio about the situation. It
was a decision he didn't regret in the least. He couldn't imagine life
without his Joshua.

Triarius actually laughed. “Point taken. I suppose it’s more my issue than
anyone else’s, though Lance and Apollonius have been working hard to
convince me there is no issue at all.”

“As soon as the furor dies down, it will be as if you never left. Though
hopefully we will have a greater understanding of each other,” Dio teased.

Triarius smiled. “I believe we already do.”