Thursday, November 29, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Monday, November 12, 2012
I just got a copy of my new cover for The Glass Man, which was my very first published story with Torquere! Like my new cover for Ice, I took advantage of Torquere's offer to replace their older covers with new ones that didn't have their old logos on them.
And, I'm proud to say, I actually took this photo. Yes, that is, in fact, my own left hand! It was no easy feat, shooting with one hand, trying to keep the rose wet so and in the right position so I would get the effect of my star filter, and trying to hurry before I lost the sunlight. I shot this on the edge of my swimming pool, so the blue in the background is actually water. The new cover should be available shortly.
Here's the blurb:
Seductive and passionate, Zalen is the perfect sex slave. But his owners don't know the past that Zalen is hiding,, and no one sees the pain in his soul that he seeks to drown in the oblivion of sex. Until one night when he is bought by a radiantly beautiful young lord with a penchant for roses who asks for the one service Zalen is afraid provide -- love.
By the time Zalen realizes that the touch he craves is the touch of a rose, it is going to take every bit of the lord's love to set Zalen free again.
And here's an excerpt:
A woman answered his knock, and he saw from her downcast eyes and uniform that she was a servant. "Zalen?" she asked, and he nodded.
"The lord of the house would like you to wait in the ballroom at the end of the hall. He asked that you tell him he is the most beautiful man you've ever seen."
"All right," Zalen said.
"Your money will be on the table when you leave." She patted a marble table beside the door, next to a vase of red roses.
Zalen nodded, and then reached out and took one of the flowers from the water. The servant smiled. "I think you have the right idea," she said, and then turned and slipped away.
The ballroom was large and marble-tiled. Hanging from the ceiling was a magnificent chandelier dripping with precious stones, but it was not lit. The ballroom was the loneliest one Zalen had ever seen, and he'd performed in many before coming here. The acoustics would be good, he thought, turning around, gauging the place. He imagined his band set up on the stage, imagined climbing the stairs to take his place, holding his breath as the first chord flew from his fingers, filling the room with sound.
Lost in memory, he didn't hear anything until the lord of the house was halfway down the sweeping staircase. As Zalen turned and saw him, in his mind he was still the musician, still full of music, not the slave.
And the first words came from his mouth without a thought. "You are the most beautiful man I've ever seen." He held up the rose.
The lord smiled and flushed. His hair was long, silky, and black, his eyes crystal blue, and the red robe that swirled around his slender form sparkled with jewels. Radiance clung to him.
Zalen knelt with the rose clasped to his breast, and then raised his head and offered it.
Buy The Glass Man HERE
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Those of us who wrote short stories for Torquere's Charity Sip Blitz to benefit NOH8 have been asked to write a few words on how romance can help stamp out hate.
To me, that's pretty simple. Where there's love, there can't be hate. And romance is all about love.
One of my favorite authors, Katherine Kurtz, was known for writing that humans fear that which they don't understand. She was talking about the way "normal" humans feared the magically gifted Deryni, who lived, often in hiding, among them. I always thought there was a huge parallel between how Deryni were treated in her world and how homosexuals are treated in ours. Whether she intended this or not, I don't know, but as a kid who didn't fit in, I drew a lot of strength from her characters, who endured terrible prosecution before they finally began to find some degree of tolerance, acceptance, and finally, love from the humans around them.
I think that a lot of people in our world don't understand homosexuality, and so they fear it because it represents something different from what they've always understood. And fear easily turns to hatred, which leads to violence and even more hatred. To me, one way to break this cycle is to help people understand that which confuses them. What better way to understand something than to get inside the heads of people who practice it? And where better to read about love than in romance stories?
And hence, romance can help stamp out hate.
The theme for this year's Charity Sips was leather, to celebrate the ninth anniversary of the press. We Torquere authors ran with that theme in all directions.
I took it literally and wrote a BDSM tale about a king who risks everything to spend the night in the caves above his castle, where he can be himself for the first time in his life. It's called Slow Awakening, and it can be purchased by clicking HERE. It's a topic that I wanted to think a bit more about. If readers get into my character's head and realize there's nothing so really different about people who practice BDSM, I feel like my story is a success. I'm thrilled by the reviews and responses that it has been getting. (See some of the review links to the right.)
Anyone who leaves me a comment will be entered into a drawing on November 12 for a free copy of your choice of one of my published works, except for my Charity Sip. You can see a list of them to your right, as well. Stop back here on November 12, when I will announce the winner. Then if you send me an email, I will send you a book.
Thanks for reading!
Monday, November 5, 2012
This entry contains NSFW material
I'm so excited! Ice has a new cover! All of us Torquere authors were given the option of having new covers designed for our older titles that had the old logos like High Ball and Single Shot that Torquere no longer uses. So I took them up on it, and this is what artist Brandon Clay came up with. I love how cool and clean it is, with just the hint of the famous mist rising from the cubes.
And I must say, I really like this story. It's my science fiction tale set in Acadia National Park. No dragons, but cool magic powers and two very hot men named Tace and William. Here's the official blurb:
Summer vacation in Acadia and a hot, seductive stranger in a gay bar -- perfect. But a glass full of ice turns Tace's vacation into a nightmare. Before the evening ends, Tace is locked into a chastity device and addicted to the rapture-inspiring vapors that dance out of the cubes known as Ice. Against his will, Tace falls into a secret and dangerous world.
Thirty years later and physically unchanged, Tace is on the other side of the glass of Ice, but it's not as easy finding recruits as he'd thought. At least, not when he meets William, the ideal candidate, and Tace's vision of the perfect man. How can he force Ice onto someone who is holding his heart?
And here's a little bit from the beginning:
The hot, pulsing crowd swallowed him.
Tace pulled off his T-shirt and let it fall from his fingers, raised his arms to the ceiling, and savored the touch of other shirtless bodies against him, all moving to the numbing, pounding music, all lost in the flashing, rhythmic lights. This bar was everything he'd dreamed of -- small, safe, and hundreds of miles from home, where he could be absolutely anonymous and utterly himself. Closing his eyes, he let the music pulse through him and make him its own.
After a while, Tace felt eyes on him. A gorgeous, blue-eyed man, very nicely shirtless and wearing a huge diamond ring on his right hand, moved in a circle around him. From behind, he laid his hands on Tace's shoulders and began to massage to the beat.
God, this was so easy, Tace thought, leaning into the man's hands as they slid down his sides and circled around his waist, pulling him back more firmly. Boldly, one hand went to Tace's groin and massaged there, while the other hand went up Tace's chest to his throat. Lips touched his jaw.
Tace moaned and closed his eyes, allowing this man to claim him without a single word.
The man led him to an empty stool at the far end of the bar and stood behind him. With one hand, the man pressed Tace's head into a bare, muscular chest and kept it there. With the other hand, he signaled the bartender, a very young man who didn't speak or meet Tace's eyes. The bartender brought a single drink in a small, clear glass filled with ice, and left without any suggestion that payment was necessary. Tace thought that was a little odd, but didn't give it another thought as the man who'd claimed him raised the glass. He brought it toward Tace, who started to drink, only to realize there was just ice inside it. No wonder the bartender hadn't charged anything. When Tace looked up at the man behind him in confusion, the man smiled. His blue eyes were so beautiful that Tace lost himself in them.
Then he smelled something unfamiliar, a clean, sharp odor that made him think of skating on the pond on cold winter evenings, when he'd been a child with a family who still accepted him. It was the smell of ice, he thought, and realized the man behind him had brought the glass close to his face again. He glanced down and saw a faint, wispy mist coming from the cubes. They looked perfectly normal. It must be the warmth in the room causing them to vaporize. He breathed in the essence of ice, settling back more firmly against the solid man, letting his eyes close, dimly aware the music was pulsing in and out of his hearing.
He sighed in pleasure as the man's hands began to work down his sides and across his stomach. Both hands. He opened his eyes and saw the glass resting on the bar in front of him now. They were strong, firm hands, hands that could shape and support him, the kind of hands he wanted on him so badly... Hands that slipped inside the front of his jeans and inside his shorts, grasping him firmly.
Vaguely aware that this probably shouldn't be happening here, at the bar, even with only other gay men around, Tace thought about protesting, but he couldn't find the energy, and oh, it felt so good... He moaned and arched backward against the man's firm, solid body, thinking that this was better than anything he'd ever dreamed of, certainly better than anything that had happened the other few times he'd ventured into bars where his own kind congregated.
Ice and music and hands, ice and pleasure and the cold, crisp smell, and hands, and ice, and -- he came. Silently, he collapsed forward against the bar, face on his left forearm, next to the glass of dancing vapors. He gazed at the shimmering cubes, entranced, while the man's hands did something else to him inside his jeans and then withdrew. He couldn't move, his body limp with release like he'd never felt before, his mind swirling like the patterns of mist coming from the ice. He kept breathing and breathing and a cool, tingling rush spread through him and held his body in its quivering embrace, every nerve in him humming with pleasure. Rising and throbbing and swirling and blissful.
It kept going even after someone removed the glass. After a while, Tace raised his head, still caught in the bliss of it all. The man was gone. Tace sat up and turned to look. On the dance floor, men were still dancing, but not so many. The bartender was busy at the other end of the bar. No one was sitting near him. Where had the man gone?
Tace wanted to thank him for the wonderful experience.
When he slid off the stool, he felt something pulling at him. Something wasn't right inside his jeans. Quickly, he located the men's room near the end of the bar, went into a stall, and unzipped. And found a metal device on himself. It had six silver rings that encircled his penis tightly, and one slightly larger one around the base of his scrotum. A solid silver strip connected the rings in the back. It looked like they were meant to be opened -- he could make out a tiny line in the top of each one -- and there was no way this was sliding off, it was so tight. He fumbled for some kind of release mechanism, only to discover a tiny, silver lock up close to his body.
Within a couple seconds, he knew the thing wasn't coming off. Nor was he going to be able to have an erection with it on.
Okay, he thought. So he'd be seeing more of the man with the amazing hands. He hoped. Or else he would eventually have to make a very embarrassing trip to the doctor. No. No one outside this bar could ever know about this. Ever.
Though there was something kind of cool about it.