Friday, August 31, 2012

NEW RELEASE!!! "Bad Moon Rising"


Click the cover to purchase!


Blurb:

Bryce never expected to find himself smack in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, and he certainly never expected to meet the man of his dreams along the way. But there's more than zombies in the way of his happily ever after. Richard comes with baggage, in the form of his on again, off again bipolar lover Cole, who is off his meds and descending into his own mental hell at an alarming rate. Will the three men be able to work out their romantic feelings? Oh yeah...and then there's that little issue of the zombies...

Excerpt:

I jerked awake to the sound of glass shattering. A quick glance around told me it wasn't our window, but something outside, nearby. Fuck! The car! I jumped up but Richard caught my arm and yanked me down next to him.

"Stay down!"

"What's going on?" I whispered.

"Looters," Cole revealed. "They're going up and down the street, searching cars."

Well, at least they wouldn't steal it, since we had the keys, and the chances of them sticking around to do any real damage to it seemed pretty slim, too. All we had to do was wait it out, and they'd go away.

Dolly stood and paced to the door, walking back and forth in front of it like she was on guard duty.

On the street, yelling broke out, and gunshots echoed in the night. Richard cursed.

Our visitors had apparently been discovered. Shouts of run and look out descended into just inarticulate screaming and then the unthinkable: Dolly started barking.

Cole lunged for her, but the damage had already been done. The people outside started banging on our door, pleading to be let in. "What do we do?" I looked to Richard, who was shaking his head.

"Nothing."

"But if we don't let them in, they'll be infected," I argued. Those were people outside--we had to help them. What if the roles were reversed? What if that had been me outside?

"And if we do let them in, we'll be infected." He reached for one of our backpacks and started shoving things inside. "We can't stay here. Cole, shut that damned mutt up!"

"I'm trying!" Cole struggled with Dolly, trying to get her calmed down and quiet.

Richard shoved a bag at me, hitting me square in the chest and bringing me back to reality. "Pack light. We'll be walking."

"The car--"

"Is compromised. We'll never get near it. Hurry up. Cole!"

Cole scrambled back to us, dragging Dolly behind him. Outside the shouting and banging intensified. Someone must've gotten smart, because a brick came careening through an exposed part of the door glass near the top. It sailed through the air, barely missing Richard's head.

"Time to go!" Richard shoved Cole toward the back door. "Bryce, help me with the boards!"

I grabbed up a discarded hammer and handed it over to him while I fished in my bag for the crowbar I'd brought. We struggled with the boards, hacking and pulling. Richards face turned red with his exertion, and I felt the warmth of my own efforts spreading out from my arm muscles, making my chest tight and painful.

"Hurry up, guys!" Cole shouted.

Romancing the Hop Blog Hop

Hi all!! ::waves:: I'm participating in the Romancing the Hop Blog Hop!


People always seem taken aback when I say I write GLBTQ romance. They either don't know how to respond, didn't realize there such a thing *existed,* or they think I write porn.

I'll be the first to admit, some of my books are heavy on the sex and light on the substance. Why? Because I like to write about sex!

But most of my stories carry a romantic theme. Whether it's the fated-to-be-together werewolf Calliph and werecat Mateo from "Omarati," or the older man David and the hot little stud muffin Brandon from "A Good Bargain," or even the Human William and the native alien Intugu from "Torn" in the "Simply Smut" anthology - everyone falls in love. 

Why? Because love is thrilling. It's fun, scary, horrific, uplifting, joyous, sad, depressing, adventurous, lazy, hot, passionate, lukewarm - every emotion possible is wrapped up in love. 

To that end, I like writing romances. I like seeing my characters find their "one" - I like watching them struggle to overcome obstacles so they can be together. I like that warm and fuzzy feeling when they find their happily ever after. 

What about you?? Why do you like romances so darn much??

Leave a comment below with your answer, and your e-mail, and I'll enter you to win a free pdf copy of my 7-story anthology "Simply Smut."

GOOD LUCK!!!!!


****PLEASE BE AWARE:  I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If being associated with that isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop and leave the spot open for someone else. Thank you.****










Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bad Moon Rising Giveaway!

Head on over to Sarah Ballance's place and enter for a chance to win a free copy of "Bad Moon Rising!"


Good luck!!!

http://sarahballance.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/a-bad-moon-rising-from-d-c-juris-giveawy/

Blind Faith

When you have friendships, there's inevitably a time when you end up defending those friends, in one form or another. Sometimes, it's verbal. Sometimes, it's physical.

The problem with defending someone, is that sometimes, you have to go on blind faith and nothing else. That's all fine and good, until someone points out something that you can't reconcile. Then all you have is a war between your heart and your head - between your blind faith and your logic.

Everyone knows I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Recently I haven't been on as much as I used to, for various reasons. I'll admit, one of the reasons is that I'm skittish and hiding after a ton of drama. I'm not a wimp, but I am human, and I can only take so much.

Conversation I had in private messages late last night/early this morning:

Them: "I see you're still friends with (name) even after all the controversy."
Me: "Controversy? Oh, you mean the lies and fabrications *your* friends made up?"
Them: "I'm not friends with any of them. I don't know that it's lies."
Me: "I told you what I knew. I told you what (name) told me, and I believe it. That's all the proof I need. Why isn't that good enough for you?"
Them: "I don't care about (name).....I only care about you."
Me: "Pfft. As if. If you care about me so awful much, why are you still - *still* - bringing stuff like this up, especially when you know it only hurts me? Hmm?"
Them: "Because you're real, and what you and I have is real. Our friendship is real. You deserve that from everyone."
Me: "I'll worry about what I deserve, thanks. And I don't know that I'd call this a friendship anymore."

--Herein, a long silence issued. So long, in fact, that I'd assumed they were pissed and had dropped the conversation. Then:

Them: "You know what (name) told you about meeting (him/her) is a lie. I heard that (he/she) said that to you to get you to stop asking questions..... to shut you up."
Me: "Bullshit. The conversation it was said in was very casual. Just two people talking - there were no questions. That didn't come until much later. Besides, who is your "source"?"
Them: "(name)."

--At this point, I'm scowling at the screen. The source they named is quite probably trustworthy. Or maybe they just threw that name out there, hoping I'd take the bait. That's the problem with someone like me, who cares so openly and so publicly, and who runs his big, fat mouth about who he cares about to everyone. Everyone becomes a target. Everyone becomes a weapon.

Me: "Right. Like you and (name) talk."
Them: "How do you know we don't?"
Me: "How do I know you *do*? Better question - why do I care? *Even better* question - what do you get out of this? What kind of perverse pleasure does this give you?"
Them: "Nothing. I told you why I bring it up. I'm not getting pleasure out of it. What kind of person would that make me?"
Me: "Hmm. Methinks you doth protest too much."
Them: "Methinks YOU doth trust too much."
Me: "Perhaps. But I believe what (name) told  me. I have no reason to believe (he/she) lied in such a casual situation. And (he/she) said other things - offered other details - that would back up what (he/she) said."
Them: "But you still don't know it's the truth. (He/She) could still be lying to you. You've never met them in the flesh."
Me: "So I need to see flesh to see the heart of a person? I've never met *you* either, yet you're asking me to believe *you* over (him/her)."
Them: "You've known me longer."
Me: "So?  I knew my father for twenty-some-odd years. Didn't make him any less of a rat bastard."
Them: "I'm a rat bastard?"
Me: "Don't be juvenile and put words in my mouth. That's so passive-aggressive and trite."
Them: "So you believe (name)?"
Me: "Yes."
Them: "Why?"

--And herein... I didn't know. You see, the thing with people like this, is that there's always a shred of common sense in what they say. They needle and wheedle you, they're cruel, but at the end of the day... you can't reconcile everything, and you can't answer all the questions, and you're left with two possibilities:

Either they're wrong, and you're right, which makes them an asshole and you very smart indeed.

Or:

They're right and you're wrong, which still makes them an asshole, but it makes you a very, very, very *big* fool.

Them: "You there???????"
Me: "One ? is enough, don't you think? LOL Yes, I'm still here."
Them: "So??????? Why?????"
Me: ::rolling my eyes at the unwarranted excessive punctuation:: "Why what?"
Them: "Why do you believe (name) and not me?"

--At this point, I have no logical answer. Not much of the past year has had any logic attached to it. This is my fundamental problem, I think. I'm a person soundly rooted in logic. I enjoy logic. Why? Because logic doesn't seek to hurt. It's just logic. It's just fact. It's just reason. There's no emotion attached to logic. Also, growing up, logic was my only weapon. My father was a cruel, hateful person. (I won't call him a "man" because he never lived up to that word.) His soul was black, and he infected everyone around him with it. But the one thing you could use against him, the one thing *I* could use against him, was logic. I learned how to manipulate him with facts and reasoning. Sometimes, it worked in my favor. Sometimes, I managed to impress him enough that I escaped whatever hell he wanted to throw at me. Sometimes, it backfired. Sometimes, all I did was anger him and make things 100 times harder on myself.

So, I'm sitting there last night, staring at the screen, and I realize that there's no logic in this situation. None at all. And that's a very scary place for me. Unfettered on a raging ocean isn't my choice of vacation spots.

Them: "Hello?????? Are you going to answer me?????"
Me: "Yep."
Them: "So what's the answer????"
Me: "I believe (name) because I choose to."
Them: "What????? That's stupid!!"
Me: "Stupid or not, that's all I have. Actually... I do have something else. I have this nifty little block button."
Them: "You're going to block me for telling you the truth????"
Me: "No. I'm going to block you because you keep turning that knife, and I'm really not into that."

And then I blocked them.

The questions remain for me, of course.

I suppose, in a small, small, small way, this is what religion must be like. Given no proof, but asked to believe in this thing - in this story or this person or this concept. Some people can throw themselves at that. Embrace it - take it into their heart and make it their own, with blind faith. I've never been good at blind faith. Growing up, everyone I should've been able to trust - everyone I initially put my faith in - betrayed me.

It took me many, many years before I stopped expecting that betrayal out of everyone. Before I was able to put my faith in someone, and have it proven worthy.

And I guess that's the crux of my love/hate relationship with Facebook. I enjoy the interaction. I enjoy seeing people's triumphs, I like being able to be there for them in their hard times. I enjoy watching the younger folks grow, watching new writers blossom.

But on some level, Facebook takes me back to that place I was in as a child, where I put my neck out, and just held my breath, as someone stepped forward to chop it off. Where I trusted people, and then cowered in the dark while they betrayed me.

Living in constant expectation and fear of the shoe dropping is draining.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Breathless Press Birthday Scavenger Hung Blog Hop WINNER!

::drum roll:: And the winner is.... Kooks - mrsajward@hotmail.com!

Congratulations!! I'll be e-mailing you shortly to find out which of my Breathless Press releases you'd like!

Thank you to everyone else who participated!!

If you didn't win today, keep checking back - I'm doing a *ton* more hops!!

Is that a rock in your pocket??

Actually, yes, it is.

It's this rock:



But it's not just any rock. This is an actual bladder stone one of our doctors removed from a two-year-old Bichon named Phoebe earlier this year. Yes, it's as big as it looks. It measures a little over an inch long, by almost half an inch tall, by just about an inch wide. Yes, it's abnormally large for such a small dog.

Why is it in my pocket?

A couple reasons.

Number one, I just think it's really cool. It's smooth and shiny (it came out that way, I didn't buff it) with only a couple little marks of "wear." It's a little discolored now, since it's been rambling around in my pocket for months.

The bigger reason I keep it, though, is to serve as a reminder to myself that we don't always know what's on the inside. I have two ways of looking at that - one, you don't always know what someone is suffering with, internally, be it physical or emotional. You see outward signs and symptoms, and you can make an educated guess, but you never know if the problem is larger than you think it is, or larger that it typically is.

The other way I look at it, is - we only see what people want us to see. I especially need to keep this in mind in regards to places like Facebook. People show us what they want us to see, what they want us to believe of them. Facebook is a playground for the manipulators among us, and I have trouble keeping in perspective that, just because someone seems like they're my friend and they care, that doesn't mean they really do.

So I keep this rock in my pocket, to remind myself to think about what's potentially deeper.











Monday, August 27, 2012

Follow the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop WINNER!


::drum roll:: And the winner is..... Lisa lkbherring64(at)gmail(dot)com!!!

Congratulations!!! I'll be contacting you shortly to see which title of mine you've chosen.

Thank you to everyone else who participated in this fabulous hop!

If you didn't win this time - don't worry, there will be *lots* more hops to enter!!

Review: Deep Blues Goodbye by Laura Harner and Tom Webb





Two things you should know before you read this review.

1. I don't normally read m/m romances. Why? A couple of reasons. One, I don't want anyone else's ideas to weasel into my brain and subconsciously come out in a story I'm writing. And, two, I don't have time. I have a full time Evil Day Job, the writing gig, a husband to take care of, and seven furkids. If I'm taking the time to sit down and read a book, it better be damn well worth the read…and so many aren't.

2. I don't normally write reviews. Why? Well, let's just say the phrases "the only redeeming quality" and "I almost didn't finish this" come up frequently when I write a review. So, as the old adage goes, if you can't say something nice…

That all being said, this is a rare instance where I'm really pleased with the book, and the review will be good, and since that's the case, I'll go ahead and share.

I've just finished "Deep Blues Goodbye" by Laura Harner and Tom Webb. I have to admit, I've never read anything of Harner's, and the only reason I bought it was because Tom Webb had a hand in it. I've read one short story of his – a flash fiction type thing – because he is a new reader-turned-author and I was curious. Lots of readers think they can write – some of them can, some of them can't. Tom Webb absolutely can. I was really, really impressed by the flash, so I decided to grab this one and see what it was like. I'm never certain about reading collaborative material. In my opinion, Jaye Valentine and Reno MacLeod are the absolute masters at collaborative stuff, and not many others even come close.

Harner and Webb come pretty damn close.

First, the mechanics of it all (because as a writer, the mechanics matter to me):

The writing flows smoothly – there are barely any hitches that made me wonder "who wrote that part?" because the styles appear to be so similar, you just don't notice it.

I found only one or two typos, and neither were enough to jar me out of the moment. In fact I can't even remember where they were, they were that insignificant. (And yeah…sadly I do usually remember.) No "wrong name" confusion, no overly repetitiveness. The sex scene is very well done, very hot, and descriptive enough without making that "bow-chika-wow-wow" music go off in your head while you read it. I do prefer a little more sex in my stories, but then I'm a smut writer, and this is definitely not a smut book.

The book is set in New Orleans and, having been there, I can attest that the descriptions are spot on. They did a fine job of capturing the mood of the city.

The plot moves a little slow for me, but I don't typically read this sort of book, and I wouldn't have had Webb not been attached to it. Murder, mystery, intrigue – not really my thing. But again, I'm a smut writer. LOL I'm told, by a reliable source who loves this kind of book, that the pacing is "actually really f*cking good." And that's a high compliment from them.

That said, I really did enjoy the book. Typically I'd skip around in this sort of book, but I didn't feel the need for that. The writing was done well enough that it kept me engaged. The technical aspects seemed very sound, as well. No spots where I raised an eyebrow and went, "I really don't think that's how it's done."

The writing felt natural and organic – nothing felt forced. The dialog between the characters rang true to what I'd expect from what information I'd been given. I hate when dialog doesn't fit a character. There weren't any large moments of "telling."

Near the end, I kept glancing down at the page count, thinking to myself, "Bear, you bastard, you're going to cliffhanger this, aren't you?" And yeah, it's a cliffhanger. Of sorts. You know which general direction the story is going to go, but not which road, or what bumps/potholes will be along the way.

Second, the gooey of it all. (The gooey being the stuff in the middle – the stuff that actually makes you want to keep reading the book.):

The characters are well written, with enough background that, even though I hadn't read the other book in the series, I knew who they were, how they were connected, etc. They were real enough that I felt emotionally invested in them. And the tension between them was almost palpable at points. Enough that I wanted to smack the crap out of one of them more than once.

I liked the way the vampires and werewolves were portrayed. I enjoy settings where supernatural creatures and humans live together. Why? Because I'd like to think that humans can rise above and show understanding and tolerance. Speaking of that, there's absolutely a balance between the characters. It's not all rainbows and fluff for the supernatural folks, and not everyone jumps on the bandwagon. It's done very realistically. The vampires are realistic. No one sparkles. And the werewolves??? Holy. Hell. Yeah, the werewolves are sexy. Sign me up for a bite from that pack.

But the thing that really got me in the book? There's a nod. And no, I'm not talking about the physical movement of a head to indicate an agreement. I'm talking about a mention – a special little something. I do nods in my works all the time. I'll name a character after someone, I'll use a phrase someone uses. I'll use a quote from a movie. Sometimes, people get them. Sometimes, people don't. Sometimes, they're just for me.

But if you are a friend of Tom's you really should read the book, if for no other reason than the nod. You'll absolutely get it without any hinting, and when you do, when you get there, your heart will stop for the briefest of seconds and you'll whisper, "Oh…" And you'll pause on that page for a while, just staring at the words, and it'll take you a second to go forward. Trust me, it's worth it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Want a free orgasm??

Of course you do! But how about 4 instead???

I'm talking, of course, about the Kool Queer Lit 1 Year Anniversary anthology, "Men-tastic."


It features stories by myself, Lee Brazil, Remmy Duchene, and Caitlin Ricci. And best of all???

 IT'S FREE!!!

Click on the cover to download your copy today!!

Breathless Press Birthday Scavenger Hunt Blog Hop



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Welcome readers to the Breathless Press Birthday Scavenger Hunt Blog Hop!

We have nineteen blogs participating, and each author is giving away a prize, books, swag...you name it!

For my part, I'll be giving away a free pdf of any of my Breathless Press titles to one lucky winner!!! Entering is easy - just leave a comment below with your e-mail!

You can find my eligible works at www.breathlesspress.com

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!

It's Breathless Press's Birthday!

And have they got a gift for one lucky reader! Visit every blog in the hop, and locate the eighteen clues- blue letters. Create a list of each author whose blog you visit (Don't forget to leave a comment so your visit can be verified!) and the blue letter you found on their post, unscramble the message, and email the whole list to Olivia.ventura@breathlesspress.com .

(Note: You are only eligible to win if you visit & comment on ALL blogs!)

Your email makes you eligible to win a 50 BOOK LIBRARY! Fifty books of your choice from Breathless Press! That's approximately a $150 dollar value!


You'll find the rest of the participating blogs if you click on the graphic at the top of this post!


****PLEASE BE AWARE: I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If winning that kind of a book isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop and leave the spot open for someone else. Thank you.****







Follow the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop



So for the Rainbow Book Reviews Blog Hop, the topic of my post has to be about "what writing GLBTQ literature means to me."

Growing up, I didn't have access to any GLBTQ material. I had no computer, no Internet, and the closest library was over forty-five minutes away by car.

My friends enjoyed reading those "bodice-ripper" type romances, with damsels in distress with heaving bosoms, and the dark, brooding warriors with throbbing rods of love who rescued them, often by force.

That was all well and good for them, but for me? I had nothing in common with those characters whatsoever. I couldn't identify with the women, and I couldn't identify with the men. For years I scoured the local bookstore, trying in vain to find something I could sink my teeth into. To find a story featuring someone like me - a queer trans guy.

Fast forward to 2007. I've completed my first book, and I'm having trouble finding an agent to market it, because it contains... ::GASP:: a bisexual character. I wanted him to be a gay character, but my husband and I figured that, if I wanted any shot at publication, he'd have to be bi at the most. I have a three inch thick stack of rejection letters from agents for my bisexual romance. One agent finally did pick me up, but she turned out to be a scam artist.

I mentally thrashed about and gnashed my teeth until I found "Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander," which was marketed as a bisexual romance. This book was all over the shelves at my local Barnes and Noble. Success! I'd finally found something I could read and enjoy. Er...not so much. It's a nice book, with some fine writing, but not what I was looking for. Ultimately, I wanted a gay "bodice-ripper."

I was lamenting to my husband one night, and he suggested I try to find gay porn books. Not quite what I was looking for, he knew, but maybe it would be a start. So I went to my computer, and I typed in "male-male sex book."

And what did I find??? "Discreet Young Gentleman" by MJ Pearson. Oh. My. God!!!! Even the *cover* was reminiscent of those other novels. I was in love. I bought it immediately, and devoured it. I read it over and over again. And then it hit me - this was a PUBLISHED book. Someone had PUBLISHED it. And maybe...maybe...maybe they'd publish me, too!!

I wrote voraciously. I wrote story after story. Gay men. Bi men. Lesbians. Trans characters. While I didn't get published by the same place, I did end up finally getting published in the tail end of 2009.

So what does it mean to me? It means, in a small part, acceptance. It means not being alone. The GLBTQ romance industry is alive and thriving, and that's because people want to read this stuff. And that means I'm not alone in my love for it. It means breaking stereotypes - showing characters who are outside what people think is "typical" for gay people. It means showing other people that we exist. We laugh, we cry, we love. Just. Like. Them.

I take my spot in this industry very seriously. I *love* my spot in this industry. I'm proud to be a part of it. Sure, there are times when I shake my head in disbelief and wonder what's happening around me, but for the most part, I love it. This is exactly where I belong.

Okay, so now that you've suffered through my rant, here's what you really came for:

THE PRIZE!!

For my offering today, I'm giving away a free pdf copy of the winner's choice of one of my books. To enter, just leave a comment below, telling me what you like about GLBTQ romance. Don't forget to include your e-mail.

GOOD LUCK!!!





****PLEASE BE AWARE:  I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If winning that kind of a book isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop and leave the spot open for someone else. Thank you.****












Friday, August 17, 2012

Friendly Friday - Featuring Raven McAllan

A Most Unusual Mistress
Raven McAllan


My latest Regency is called A Most Unusual Mistress.

As I started this story, I wondered for the umpteenth time, why am I drawn to the regency period? I mean of course I read Georgette Heyer with all my mates, but …. I was not a regency reader.

Then an idle chat with my crit group and my first Regency was born from a dare. I started to research and I was hooked by all the intrigue.

It was f/f/m. (Wallflowers Don't Wilt)

My second and third m/m/f… you can see a pattern here! (To Please A Lady, and Almost Entente Cordiale)

So how come this is m/f? Yup no third in sight. Well, the title says it all. Adriana is a most unusual mistress. There's no room for a third!



Blurb…
Why be a wife if a mistress has more fun? All Adriana has to do is get Ashley to agree...

Finding her intended bollocks-deep in his mistress when she is trembling with wanting and suppressed desires does not impress Adriana. If being a mistress entails being part of such passion, then a mistress only she will be.

Ashley, Earl of Addersley, thinks otherwise. He wants a wife on his terms. Terms that would send this lady of the Ton screaming...or would they?

An agreement, a challenge, a single night of mind-blowing passion very well may determine the outcome. Wife or mistress? Which shall it be?


Excerpt

The door to her bedchamber was ajar, the flickering flames of the fire throwing patterns and reflections on the walls inside.

In his usual understated manner, he pushed the door open farther and saw her sitting quietly in a chair beside the hearth, a lamp beside her and an open book on her lap. Her long hair was loosened from all confines and streamed in glossy waves down her back, partially covering her gauzy robe. Seemingly she did not hear him, for she neither looked up from her book nor acknowledged his presence.

“My orders were explicit. I wish you to be naked. You knew this and chose to ignore them? As my mistress, you will always greet me on occasions such as this, unclothed. Naked except for this.” He took a string of perfectly matched and graded pearls from his pocket and let them slip between his fingers, their shimmering surfaces dancing in the firelight. Once around her neck they would be a perfect pathway all the way down her body to her cunt.

He watched as Adriana carefully placed a marker into her book before closing it and setting it on the table. Her head tilted up to look at him, and he saw the laughter and desire lurking in her eyes. She made no move to take the pearls from his outstretched hand.

“So?” he prompted.

So she parroted. "As I am not yet your mistress, I see no reason to follow any directives you give me. If and when I do become she, then of course I will heed your directives.”

Tease. So she chose to poke and prod. So be it.

“Then we must discern if that role is one you wish. Possibly ‘tis time for your audition.”

She rose gracefully and stood in front of him, her unfettered breasts, only covered by a thin layer of gauze, rubbing the cloth of his coat, before looking him up and down, slowly, measuring, and to his suddenly impatient cock, arousing.

“And yours, my lord. And yours. However, I cede to your superior knowledge on this occasion and look to you for direction.” He took one soft hand and kissed her wrist before a tiny nip to the soft flesh on her Mount of Venus had her gasping and him groaning with need. Ashley, he admonished himself silently. Remember to go soft and slow will bring the fastest results.

He so wanted those results sooner rather than later. In order to hear that soft, sexy sigh again, he repeated his actions on her other wrist, reveling in the tiny bruise he created.

There and then, he determined once she was his, he would mark her in more ways than a sexy bruise. His mark, whether they became man and wife—which he devoutly hoped—or not, would be inked on her in a place only he would have access to. The thought increased the pressure in his pantaloons as his manhood, swollen already, began to demand immediate recognition and restitution for its patience. He thanked his tailor for the soft- knitted garments that stopped him from being in more agony than he already was.

“Well then, my dear, it is time for me to show you just what you will expect, experience, and enjoy as my mistress. Take the gown off.”

He waited. “Did you not hear?” He deliberately made his voice harsh. “I heard.” He could tell she knew she was insolent in her manner. Her eyes gave her away. “I was making my considered decision.”

“I trust...” His tone was scathing. “That has now been made? And in your own time you will apprise me of it?”

Hah. Why did she like to tweak the tail of the tiger? For she knew it took a lot for him to lose that legendary temper of his. Also that on the rare occasions he did, grown men were known to seek cover. She, however, was continuing to provoke him, and his tail was lashing.

He wondered what he would do if she called his bluff. For he might like to dominate, but he was no true dominant. Coercer, persuader, encourager, yes. But dominant, as some people he knew were? No, never that. His dominance was definite, detailed, but limited to what he wished. That this was nowhere near what a true dominant desired or demanded neither bothered him nor made him wonder why. Ashley was truly comfortable in his own body. Usually. Now his greatest desire was to be comfortable in hers. Ever since his visit from an ill-at-ease Barnes, the newspaper owner, and that astonishing announcement from his—as he thought—contented fiancĂ©e, his libido had been rising, intrigued and demanding knowledge of what she wanted.

As he now was mistress-less, it amused him to think he could have both that and a wife—for whatever she said, she would not renege on that agreement—he would make sure of it—in one persona. Perhaps, he mused, as he continued to watch her tussle with herself, the way to keep a husband from straying is to be a wife and lady in the drawing room and a licentious whore in the bedroom, as Ivo had commented.

Still, she stood close, hardly touching. But she made no move to disrobe, merely studied his face, her own expressionless. Time to force the issue.

“By your lack of compliance, do I take it you are no longer desirous of pandering to my every whim? You wish not to service me, how and when I please? Then, my dear, I will go and continue with the plans for our nuptials...” he paused, ready to take the biggest risk so far in all of this risky business. “And, I bid you goodnight.” He bowed, making sure she could not read his eyes, and turned.

He had taken but two steps.

“Stop.” Her voice was shaky but unwavering. He stood but did not turn. “I accept. I will do as you ask.”

Without haste, he changed direction and raised an eyebrow. “Be my wife?”

“No.” Now her voice was determined. Slowly, she smiled a smile both mischievous and full of promise, and her hands moved to the front of her gown. “No, my lord. I am not to be a passing thought in your mind. I am to fill your mind. During every waking moment you will think of me, lust for me. During your sleep, your dreams will be of me, of filling me, and exploring our desires. I will be a mistress and more. I will be your nemesis and your soul.”



Raven can be found lurking on her Fb page.

www.facebook.com/ravenmcallan

Her web

www.ravenmcallan.com

And her blog

www.ravenmcallan.blogspot.com



A Most Unusual Mistress can be purchased as an ebook (or in print as part of Rogue Scandals) from

www.breathlesspress.com

Www.amazon.com

www.amazon.co.uk

www.allromanceebooks.com

www.bookstrand.com



Thanks to Daniel to inviting me here, and to you for reading.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Collections

I admit it - I'm a collector.

From a young age, I enjoyed finding and collecting treasures. I suppose the reason behind it is twofold. There's sentiment, of course. I'm the kind of person who remembers the circumstances of every purchase. Consequently, there's a memory attached to every item I own.

The other part is a feeling of permanence. For some reason, collections symbolize to me that a person is serious about their life and location. Collecting symbolizes roots, somehow. I always worried about my friends who didn't collect things. They could be in and out of their homes within hours, while moving would take me weeks. They had no commitment to their places, and that bothered me.

It started in my childhood with elephants. I'd save up my small allowance and buy them at garage sales and thrift stores. I rarely got brand new ones. By the time I moved up to NY in 2001, I had over 1,000.

I ended up getting rid of a bunch of them for the move. Of the ones I kept, probably half were damaged or destroyed in shipping. Over the years I've paired them down more and more, but the ones I still have are among my prize possessions.

I've learned control and reality from collecting. There's always that initial urge to buy *every single one* of something - even if it's the same design in a different color. "Oh, but I don't have a *blue* one!!!" I've learned to be more picky. To chose carefully, and to factor in reasoning and logic. What do I have room for? What is this item made out of? Is it really that different than what I already have? Do I love it more than something I already own? What am I willing to get rid of in order to have this?

I've also learned to collect things that reflect myself and my life. I've blogged before about my salt and pepper shaker collection, and the meaning behind it (check that out here). That post got me to thinking about the other things I collect, and the reasons why.

One of the things I collect now is Asian art. I think the reason behind this is that, growing up, my father hated anything that he didn't deem "American." Anything Asian fell under the category of stuff I wasn't allowed to have. Despite that fact, I desperately loved Asian art. I found the details and colors amazing. So now, I have a small collection. It's mostly pottery and things like that. I did have some wall art at one time, but most of that had to be paired down once we bought our house - there just wasn't room.



Another thing I collect is antique bottles, and there's no more meaning behind that than wanting to show my kids that life didn't always come in plastic.

I collect monks. I honestly have no idea why. Maybe because I've always been fascinated by their lifestyle and devotion to their religion?



I collect mice, simply because they're cute and misunderstood most of the time. I find a lot of beauty in the things most people shun.


  


I also collect animal bones. Yes, animal bones. I've found most of them on my mother-in-law's property. She lives out in the country and all sorts of little animals have ended up in my collection - mice, deer, kittens. Yes, kittens. Her barn cat has kittens every year, but unfortunately there are coyotes to contend with, and every now and then a kitten doesn't make it. I think, for me, the reasoning is that I will respect and honor their remains. As many of you know, I work for a veterinary clinic. Nothing makes me angrier than when an owner opts for group cremation for their "beloved" pet. The thought of animals being lumped together in a pile and burned together, with no respect for who they were, just kills me. So, I bring home the bones I find, bleach them, and put them on display in my house. This picture just shows a small portion. I have a whole cauldron full of deer bones I collected over several years. I haven't found the right spot for the cauldron yet, so it's in a bag in my basement. But every time I go down there, I walk over to it and pat the bag, and whisper hello to the bones, so they know they're not forgotten.



::shrugs:: Maybe I'm just a complete nut case. :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

RJ Scott's Anniversary Blog Hop

Hi all!! I'm a late addition to RJ's Anniversary Hop!

Here's the link to find all the other authors:  http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.com/2012/08/competition-writer-is-nothing-without.html


So, what have I learned in my time since I've been published?

Well, I technically was published in the middle of 2009. Then, a month later, my publisher, Mystic Moon Press, went bust. Lesson One: Research Thy Publisher. Read all you can about it. Visit Predators and Editors. Ask other people.

After that debacle, I was picked up at the tail end of 2009. My very first publication, "Even Guys Cry" ended up in the "I Do, Two" anthology, which is a charitable anthology. Lesson Two: It's Not Always About the Money. I know some authors will tell you that's the point of publication, but it's not for me. Never has been. Never will be.

So what else have I learned? In a nutshell - Beta readers are helpful, but not always necessary. Trust your gut. Be flexible, but stand firm on the things that you can't compromise on. Just because a publisher is considered one of THE BIG TEN, doesn't mean they'll treat you right, and it doesn't guarantee sales. Listen to criticism, but take negative reviews with a grain of salt. And don't respond to them. Ever. Behave nicely in public. And by "public" I mean Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. People are watching everything you do. EVERYTHING. And readers remember when you call people nasty names online.

All in all? It's been a wonderful ride that I'm thrilled to keep getting in line for!!!

For my giveaway today, I'm offering up your choice of a free pdf of one of my books, which can be found at www.dcjuris.com.

To enter, just leave a comment with your e-mail and the title of the book you'd like to win. That's it!

Good luck!!!


***I write GLBTQ books. These feature m/m, m/m/m, m/m/m/m, f/f, and transgender characters. If winning a book of that type isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass along to the next blog in the hop and leave this space open for someone else!***




Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I Love Horror/Paranormal Novellas Blog Hop


Oy! I'm late getting this posted - but I only signed up last night!

I've always had a fondness for horror and the paranormal. I'm not one of those people who gets all weepy/sappy at movies, and I don't want to sit through two hours of getting to know a character only to watch them die of some horrible disease. I'd much rather sit through five minutes of getting to know a character, and spend the remaining 115 minutes watching them try to outrun some big, scary bad guy, or some plague.

As far as the paranormal aspect, I've always believed in ghosts and creatures of the night. The house I grew up in was haunted by a very friendly presence we eventually name Percival. When it comes to werewolves and vampires and the like, I think that, just because I haven't seen it with my own eyes is no reason to believe it doesn't exist.  

In my own writing, I dabble into the paranormal from time to time. I have a couple vampire stories out there, and my werewolf/werecat novella, "Omarati" with the follow up, "No Place Like Home."

For my hop prize, I'll be offering up a free pdf copy of "Omarati' to one lucky winner! Entering is easy - just leave a comment with your e-mail, and tell me what your favorite paranormal entity is - vampire, werewolf, ghosts, demons, etc. - and why. Easy peasy!

Here's the blurb for Omarati:

Everything changed for werewolf Calliph after the Shifter War. Now nothing more than a slave and plaything to human Prince Obyn, Calliph finds himself on the Golden Magus, sailing across the sea with his owner. But fate has something more in mind for Calliph in the form of First Mate Mateo—who just happens to be Calliph's Omarati—his soul mate . . . and a werecat. Heartbroken, Calliph knows he can't stay with Mateo—he is forced to follow Obyn wherever he leads. Years later, when an attack at sea lands Mateo in the hands of vicious pirates, the cat discovers that, though time has changed some things, his bond with Calliph is eternal.

And here's a little snippet:

Mateo turned. A dizzying, hot wind swirled around Calliph as his eyes locked with the man's amber gaze. Time seemed to halt, as the deck seemed to spin in a lazy circle, Calliph in the middle. His head felt heavy and wobbly; his neck and shoulders lacked the strength to support it.

Calliph struggled to make sense of what was happening as a jolt of recognition raced up his spine, even though he had never met Mateo. His feet seemed to move of their own volition, carrying him forward—answering a call he heard in his heart and felt deep in his bones. Made no sense, yet Calliph kept walking.

"Where do you think you're going?" Obyn demanded, tugging sharply on Calliph's leash.

Calliph's head snapped back and his steps faltered. Obyn. He had somehow actually forgotten about the jerk. "To see how it works." He recovered quickly. "With your permission, I'd like to learn the steering mechanism in the event danger should befall our voyage."

Obyn's eyes narrowed and he glanced at Mateo. "Fine. I expect you below deck in an hour."

Ba'Tal lead Obyn away, and Calliph closed the distance to Mateo. "May I?" He nodded toward the steering column.

"Be my guest." Mateo guided Calliph's hand. "Magic controls the orb. Feel that?"

Calliph felt something, but nothing to do with the ship. Mateo's hand on his burned. He fought against the desire to pull Mateo close and smother him with kisses. "What is it?" he asked, not referring to the mechanism.

"You're connected. The magic regulates the pitch of the ship. Left and right—back and forth. Keeps the deck level. Simple, really. You just have to get the feel of it." Mateo pressed his hand down on Calliph's and moved them both slowly from side to side. "There. See? Just a slow, soft touch."

Calliph wasn't interested in the orb—wasn't even looking at it. Mateo tilted his head toward him, bringing their lips inches apart. Calliph's mind reeled. Mateo had moved closer; his grip had tightened . . . his breathing had quickened. He felt it too. Calliph's gaze dipped to Mateo's lips, parted ever so slightly. Mateo must've licked them a moment ago, because they looked moist. Calliph imagined those lips were soft and warm as well. Oh, so soft and warm. Gods, he wanted to kiss them. Calliph's cock twitched and hardened and he marveled, almost having forgotten what an erection felt like.

Something nudged Calliph's leg, and he looked down. A tail. Mateo moved his head; his hair shifted, revealing the sharp upward curve of his ears. Cat though he might have been, Mateo's tail should've been nonexistent, and his ears should've been human ears. Calliph noticed other things then: the fine dusting of dark fur on the backs of Mateo's hands, the not quite feline but not quite human shape of his nose and his eyes.

"Why—?"

"They're permanent," Mateo interrupted with a sigh and a frown, obviously used to being questioned.

"How?" Calliph frowned as well, knowing of no explanation.

"The Shifter War."

Calliph snarled. "Alchemists did this to you?"

Mateo nodded and hung his head.

"Nothing to be ashamed of. Can you shift?"

"I can but not for long. The transformation is painful and leaves me exhausted."

That Mateo had shared such a fact with him thrilled Calliph. "You feel it too?"

Mateo's face flushed; he was panting, trembling. "I do. We're Omarati."

Omarati. An ancient term. No common translation existed; the best Calliph had heard was "soul mate." Far beyond that, Omarati were shifters who were created—literally created—for each other, drawn together by a bond unbreakable, unending. Animal, age, gender—none of that mattered, for Omarati were compatible by design, made to accept and overlook any flaws in favor of their bond. Their hearts and their souls knew each other already, even if their minds had a bit of catching up to do. A connection like this, as far as Calliph knew, existed between no other beings. Mateo's small hand slid into his.

"What are we going to do?" Mateo asked.

Calliph ran a finger under his collar. What indeed.

****PLEASE BE AWARE:  I write GLBTQ romance. GLBTQ stands for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. This means my works feature same sex relationships AND same sex sexual acts. If being associated with that isn't your cup of tea, kindly pass on to the next blog in the hop and leave the spot open for someone else. Thank you.****