Monday, October 31, 2011

Bewitching Blog Hop-Final Day to Enter


It’s time for the creatures of the night to come out and play this merry month of October. Halloween is here and I am part of a multi-author/Multi-Publisher blog hop.

If you got to this post then YAY for you. *tosses confetti* You are in the right place.
Now to be entered to win some cool prizes, you need to do the following so pay attention–hey stop ogling my cabana boys in their roman gladiator costumes.

Now onto what you need to do for this blog hop entry is say hi…show me some love and maybe a little chocolate goodness as well. :-P

*grins* See easy…..nothing too hard but make sure you leave your email in with your comment so in case you win, I can contact you.

No email address, no entry. Sorry for that.

What I am giving away: $15 Starbucks Gift Card and a $10 eGift Card to All Romance e-Bookstore.

What is better on a cool night then coffee and a good book or two.

Remember to go to  http://dreabecraft.com/events-2/ to go to the next stop.

Have fun and have a howling good time. :)


Dreamspinner Press New Releases-Week of October 31st, 2011

Sauntering Vaguely Downward by Nessa L. Warin
Contemporary, Novel
Buy E-Book HERE
Buy Print Book HERE

Dylan Rojers is excited about Dragon*Con—a huge convention in Atlanta celebrating pop culture, science fiction, and fantasy—but he and his last-minute roommate, Brendan Stone, get off on the wrong foot. It seems that every time they manage a tentative truce, something happens to set them back, and by their second day at the convention, both think there’s no way they can get along.

But maybe Dylan and Brendan have more in common than they thought. Once they start talking, the sparks that were starting arguments ignite a different sort of passion. Through the four fabulous days of parties, shopping in the Dealers Room, costume parades, and discussion panels, Dylan and Brendan grow ever closer. There’s just one problem: they live in different cities, and Dragon*Con doesn’t last forever. Will Dylan and Brendan risk a long-distance romance or is a lasting relationship just one more all-too-brief fantasy?

 Witch Hunt by Nick Chivers
Fantasy/Paranormal, Novel
Buy E-Book HERE
Buy Print Book HERE

Mike thought he could escape his past. He renounced his crown as High Mage of The Council, had the Bands of Binding placed on him, and tried to start over as a normal human.

It didn’t work. And now a part of that past wants him dead, and Mike is running for his life.

With his best friend, Andrew, and Andrew’s soulbound partner along for the ride, Mike can’t help but feel lonely until he meets Rick, an all-around gorgeous man who might just be the wrong guy—again—especially since Mike can’t shake an ex-lover who’s hoping for a second chance. It’s a lot to deal with as demonic forces pursue him from Mongolia to Brazil, but Mike has to make it to the safety of The Council if he doesn’t want to be the prize trophy at the end of this witch hunt.

A Blinded Mind by Cari Z.
Mystery/Suspense, Science Fiction, Novella
Buy E-Book HERE

Jonathan Hatcher has led an interesting life. Once the psychic protégé of Dr. Nelson Cagney of the Bureau of Psychological Corrections, he escaped and went on the run through post-World War Three Europe, scraping a living out of the ruins of civilization and avoiding the mindless vics: humans turned berserker by exposure to biological and chemical weapons.

Once again at Cagney's mercy, Jonathan is stuck in PsyCo's high-security wing with no idea whether Sam, the man he thinks he may love, is alive or dead by his hand. Though at first he only plays along for news of Sam, soon Jonathan sees the conditions in the warring European Coalition are desperate. Sam and Jonathan must make a choice: make for France and a life together… or team up with their captors against a devastating new threat.

Reclamation by Lissa Kasey
Fantasy/Paranormal, Novella
Buy E-Book HERE

Sequel to Inheritance

After killing with magic to save his own life, Seiran Rou is persona non grata with the Dominion, the ruling body of magic. Though he has the support of his vampire lover, Gabe, his half-brother, Jamie, and his friend Kelly, Sei suffers when Dominion supporters continue to harass him. To make matters worse, long-buried memories of his violent past are starting to surface, including e-mails and phone calls from Matthew Pierson, a man who abused him—a man who's supposed to be dead.

With his fears driving a wedge between him and Gabe, Sei tries to get help, only to find himself in a trap. Sei does know Gabe will come for him. What he doesn't know is how either of them will survive the fight.

 Tutoring Lucas by JC Holly
Contemporary, Short Story
Buy E-Book HERE

To David Stark, Lucas Stevenson is pure sex. Competing on the university swim team has given him the kind of body you see in underwear ads or on the cover of GQ, and David volunteers in the tutoring program just for a chance to spend time with him. When he finally works up the courage to ask Lucas out, and Lucas says yes, David is over the moon, even though he’s still not sure what Lucas sees in a geek like him. But it turns out that Lucas has a few lessons to teach David too.



 Love Turns The Page by Etienne
Contemporary, Novel
Buy E-Book HERE
Buy Print Book HERE


An Avondale Story

Tom Foster has his life planned out, and he’s systematically pursuing his goals. At twenty-two, he’s been organist and choirmaster at The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd for three years, he’s working on his doctoral thesis, and he's beginning a secondary career performing in concert. There is no room in his schedule for romance... until Noah Webster, a gorgeous green-eyed blond, walks into the church one evening to audition for the choir.

What starts as an arrangement of convenience—Tom’s usual page turner is unavailable, and Noah agrees to do the job—soon turns into a fast friendship. Then Noah, who is saddled with an obnoxious roommate, rents the spare bedroom in Tom’s house, and ultimately the two men become lovers and partners in life. But before they can ride off into the sunset together, they must face one major obstacle: Noah’s violent, homophobic Southern Baptist father.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Welcome Barry Brennessel

When did you seriously sit down, and say to yourself, I’m going to write a novel?

I don’t think I can pinpoint exactly when I found myself drifting into “novel phase.” For the longest time I wrote exclusively short stories and screenplays. The process grew more out of having several short stories that cried out for expansion, or film scripts I felt would work better as a novel.


If you were to start again, with the knowledge you have now, what would be the first thing you do?

I would just dive in, and turn off that inner-critic. In the past I was so consumed with having the first draft done perfectly that I would spend days and days on the very first paragraph, read it the next day, delete, and start the process all over again. In that amount of time I could have probably written four or five chapters.


Do you have the support of family and friends?

Very much so. A supportive and encouraging partner, family members who have put up with all of my creative shenanigans, a close friend who has read and edited my pages for years, and my mentor from undergrad days who still inspires me. Sometimes they even buy copies of my books!


Do you have a book coming out? If so what?

My first novel, Tinseltown, came out in June of this year. I have a short story collection from Lethe Press also coming out this year, and in early 2012 my second novel The Sulphur Cure will be released.


How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?


I think all my characters have some aspect of me, some more than others, but still my DNA is in their being. And I do distill certain things that have happened to me. The events may not exactly mirror what I’ve been through, but my memory would say, “Hey, that restaurant with the drunk waiter and the crazy laughing woman looks mighty familiar.”  


Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?

I’m more of a go-with-the-flow writer. I write wherever and whenever I can. I think if I tried to come up with a set schedule, I’d procrastinate, as if I were working on a term paper for school that I just didn’t want to start. I’d rather write when the urge strikes.


What do you have coming up? Any teasers you want to give us?

I wrote a gay-themed short story a few years ago as part of my MFA thesis at Johns Hopkins. It found a home, and the editor nominated it for a Pushcart Prize. I toyed with expanding it into a novel, but then I decided I liked a second character so much, I wrote a short story about him. That too found a publisher. Then I had the brilliant idea of creating short stories around all the characters in that original story and linking them together. And long story short (haha), that collection, Reunion, will be coming out this year from Lethe Press.

My second novel, The Sulphur Cure, is near and dear to my heart because I based it on a decaying health spa in my hometown. Clara Barton was staying there when she started the American Red Cross. My brother and I often wandered the grounds, and I could never stop thinking about the place. For years I played around with some “what ifs” and eventually a story grew out of it.


What is your writing routine once you start a book?

Write, write, edit, worry, write, struggle, think think think, write write. You get the idea. Some days the words flow, other days I stare at a blank page for hours.

Fill in the blank favorites

Dessert.

Anything—anything—with chocolate!!


City.

San Francisco. So beautiful.


Season.

Autumn. The colors, the cool air, the harvest, Halloween….


Type of hero.

Crafty and quirkily attractive. Maybe Columbo, only played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt.


Type of heroine.

Emma Peel from The Avengers.
What are some of your favorite things to do, or your hobbies?

I love gardening, though it’s often frustrating, with the insects, fungal diseases, deer and squirrels. I also collect antique telephones (I’m not sure why; I just love them). Sipping wine by a roaring fire is always nice. And I’m a storm fanatic: thunderstorms, blizzards, hurricanes.


Who are some of your other favorite authors and/or genres to read?

I don’t really have a favorite genre; I’m all over the map. Some of my favorite authors are Truman Capote, Thomas Mann, P.G. Wodehouse, Shirley Jackson, Willa Cather, E.M. Forster, Edgar Allen Poe, Joyce Carol Oates, Dorothy Allison, and Yukio Mashima.


Which of your books has been the easiest to write?  The hardest?  The most fun?


I think Tinseltown was the “easiest” in the sense that the voices in my head just kept talking and talking the characters lead me along and I just jotted down what was happening.

The Sulphur Cure was most challenging, as there was a delicate balance between worshipping the eerie setting (oh, that decaying spa) and focusing on the tense relationship between the two lead characters. The plot also had to tie together, of course, but many times I hit a roadblock and had to figure my way out of it.

The most fun? Tinseltown as well. Micah was just so quirky and bubbly yet scared and insecure. Though I might add that writing Miss Arntree from The Price of Silence was a hoot.


Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?

Interesting question!  For Tinseltown, it was the characters (quirky Micah and his smorgasbord of friends and dates). For The Price of Silence, the story (blackmail, murder, revenge, and a costume party). For The Sulphur Cure, the setting (have I mentioned that decaying health spa?).  And for Reunion, a combination of the characters and the setting (gay boys in Japan, Prague, London…!).

If we asked your muse to tell us three things about you, what do you think they might say?

Oh, my! It would depend on which day you caught said Muse. Hahaha. But, really, I think the Muse would list:

·         Sense of humor
·         Shyness and sensitivity
·         Perfectionism (or lack thereof causing stress)
What is your favorite season and why?

Some call it Fall, some call it Autumn, I call it….bliss!  I just love the crispness in the air, the brilliant colors, the pumpkins and apples. And the fact it starts to get dark earlier and earlier.


Congratulations, your novel was just picked up by a major Hollywood studio. They are letting you cast the characters. Name the book you would choose to be made into a movie and who you think would play those characters.

You mean to tell me the studios picked up only one of my books? The nerve.

Oh, but, really, if I did get to pick the book and do the casting, I would have to say The Sulphur Cure. I could see Patrick Dempsey as Vincent, Cate Blanchett as Helen, Elle Fanning as Kate, Colin Firth as Aidan, Mary Steenburgen as Mrs. Rhodes, and Tom Wilkinson as Mr. Rhodes.  Action!


If you could choose anywhere in the world to set up your desk and write, where would you like it to be? What’s so special to you about this place?
Hmmm…probably a snowy mountain retreat with a railroad nearby. I’d love the beauty and seclusion, but a train going by every few hours or so would keep me in touch with civilization, and reality.
Barring that, a huge Manhattan penthouse on the very top floor.



Tinseltown by Barry Brennessel
Manlove Romance Press
Buy HERE

Film student Micah Malone learns the hard way that when life sucks, you can't just yell "Cut! Let's do another take!"
His grades are a box-office bomb. His friends create more drama than a soap opera. And his love life needs a laughtrack. While there's no script to dictate what happens next, can Micah find the direction he needs? Life, after all, is no film school project. But it is great source material. The only source material.
Let the cameras roll. Micah's quirky story has begun filming.

Excerpt
It didn’t take long for me to figure out the back room of this creepy adult theater was the gay section. You can pretty much guess what was on the screen. Hot Czech boys taking a break from their farm chores.
Six guys were scattered around this room. Two in the corner, making out. One sitting by the door. One standing in the opposite corner of the lip-locked couple. And then there was the cutie, sitting against the far wall, with Mr. Jerk-O two seats away from him. Drooling.
The cutie looked up. We locked eyes again. A nervous excitement swept over me. Goosebumps. A flutter in my stomach. Blood rushing to my face. I could tell my cheeks were turning pink. What a great combo with my black-and-blue shiner.
I slid into a chair. I looked up at the screen to, you know, kind of play it cool. A mop-topped boy, let’s call him…Josef…was going down on…um…Czech name, Czech name…Václav. (Sorry, but it’s the best I could think of under the circumstance.) The cutie stared at me. His hand was gliding over his crotch. Jerk-O moved closer. He put his hand on Cutie’s leg. Cutie nudged him away. Jerk-O tried again. A harder nudge, with a look that screamed, “Are you serious? Get away from me!” Yeah, I liked it. He was cute and assertive.
Now I’m not sure which I like better, though I guess it depends on my mood. It’s sexy when the guy does a “c’mere” tilt of the head. It means he’s a take-charge, I’m-a-top kind of guy’s guy. But it’s gallant when he actually makes the effort to stand up, walk over, and sidle up next to me, like a matinee idol singing outside your window at midnight, neighbors be damned, and then showing up with roses the next day, and bumping into you (“Isn’t this a surprise?”) the day after that at the public market.
Cutie was gallant. He brushed past Jerk-O and sat down two chairs from me. Five seconds later he slid into the chair next to mine. Then our shoulders touched. Then he caressed my leg. He was Bulgari to my Gio. We smelled good together. He leaned over and whispered in my ear.
“You’re the cutest guy I’ve seen in here for months.”
Greek Chorus: Awwwww…
“What happened to your eye?” he cooed, and then gently kissed my cheek.
“I ran into a door.”
I thought he’d laugh or smile at my cliché line, but he burrowed into my neck and sighed.
Was this a dream?
“I’m Patrick,” he said as he undid two buttons of my shirt and let his fingertips graze across my nipples.
My name was furthest from my thoughts as I wrapped my left hand around his bicep and felt it flex as he undid the rest of my shirt. In a matter of seconds everyone else in the room had focused on us. The hot dudes in the film had been upstaged.



Welcome Riptide Press Author Damon Suede/Contest

Contest Announcement: Leave a comment to be entered to win First Wave Winner’s Choice: Pick any one backlist book from Rachel Haimowitz, Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Brita Addams, or Cat Grant (“Frontlist” books, i.e. Riptide releases and newest non-Riptide release, are excluded, as are the Courtland Chronicles).

What do you like most about writing?
Milking stories out of my world. There’s a fantastic Emily Dickinson poem which articulates this perfectly:

Essential Oils – are wrung –
The Attar from the Rose
Be not expressed by Suns – alone –
It is the gift of Screws…

I believe that writing is a gift of screws. Art doesn’t just “happen” anymore than any essence. Writing wrings ichor out of your life so you can share it. I squeeze everything I can out of everything I live. What better way could there be to live than to milk the beauty and pain and hope out of life?

What genre do you write mostly and what appeals to you most about your genre?
M/M romance is my only fiction genre, but I don’t have a preference beyond that. My first novel Hot Head was a hefty firefighter contemporary about love and porn in the FDNY after 9/11. Next I wrote two “transmissions” from the science fictional HardCell universe… a short (“Seedy Business”) about sperm piracy and a novella called Grown Men about terraforming and eel ranching on a corporate combine in Andromeda. Currently I’m in the home stretch on a sprawling steampunk fantasy called Spring Eternal set in Gilded Age New York. And then after that I need to finish Hard Head, the second book in the Head series, which is about blue collar men finding love in New York where they least expect it.

So my only criteria for a genre is that it suit the story that wants to get told. Trust the muse!

Where do you get the names for your characters?
Characters name themselves, almost always. I may try on names and comb through naming guides for inspiration, but I tend to be very superstitious about the process and I never just “pick” what a characters will be called. Sometimes the name evolves as the story grows, but I always know when the name is right because there’s almost a click as it settle into place for all the characters and the world around them.

Tell us about your latest release (s)?
Grown Men is a sci-fi novella and sequel to a short story called “Seedy Business,” which I wrote for the M/M romance group at goodreads. It’s about brotherly betrayal, sperm piracy and a corporate organ heist gone terribly wrong. In that story, a genetically enhanced mercenary named Beirn faced a terrible payback for seriously shady behavior.  Disgusted and deceived, his twin brother Ox has vanished for parts unknown.

Seedy Business” and Grown Men both inhabit a world I’m calling the “HardCell” Universe.” Its characters occupy a galaxy run entirely by large corporations which only confer citizenship upon shareholders who literally invest themselves in their employers. More specifically, HardCell is a multi-galaxy conglomerate which manufactures everything from produce to blockbuster adver-tainment. 

Grown Men is the second “transmission” from this world and it tells part of Ox’s story.  A solitary farmer marooned in the middle of an alien ocean must partner with this mute, genetically-enhanced giant who may intend to murder him for his stock options and soyshimi harvest. Sultry paranoia throughout and intimacy that’s a little kinkier than my other books. LOL With lovers who cannot fit together, sex becomes an uphill battle! J With all that biodesigned muscle and freaky technology, things need to get a little strange. J
Here's the blurb from my new release today, Grown Men from Riptide Publishing:
Grown Men is a tight two-hander about two farmers marooned on a man-made tropical island, on a planetoid remodeled for corporate agriculture. SO you can expect: rough guys, rugged environment, and a charged attraction between them. Angst and kinkiness!

This novella is the second “transmission” from the “HardCell Universe” which inhabits a slick, paranoid future in which massive conglomerates own entire star systems, cloned employees dream of corporate citizenship, and leisure has dwindled to toxic adver-tainment and sex-resorts. But that probably sounds more serious and grim than it should. Grown Men definitely builds from a place of snarky, satirical humor. Like all sci-fi, the worldbuilding gave me ample chances to play with stuff that’s important to our relationships today.

Seedy Business, the first Hardcell “transmission” about sperm piracy and sibling rivalry gone rotten is available as a free short story from Damon’s website and other e-tailers.
It can be purchased at this link: http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/grown-men

These HardCell stories have a dark comic feel to them, but a sweetness too... and as with all my books (as Z.A. Maxfield pointed out) the men feel like three-dimensional blokes

 What are you working on next?
A big ole zipper ripper! I’m about halfway into a fat steampunk novel called Spring Eternal set in Gilded Age New York which has been kicking my butt in dazzling ways. I didn’t even know the story was a steampunk saga until I started writing, and the world just clanked into place under the characters feet! SO crazy when that happens. And because I don’t do anything by halves, I buried myself in research to get the feel right. Like a nutter, I plunked down and reread all of Wharton and Dickens to get the flavor of the slang in my ear before I turned the characters loose and since I started I’ve been hammering through piles of research on late nineteenth century America.

What do you enjoy reading the most?
Books that seduce me utterly! Whether it’s high literature or pulpy trash, I want every book to pull me under like a fever dream My favorite moments reading are when I find myself smiling or nodding or muttering aloud as if I’m literally part of the scene, as if my heartbeat has synchronized with the characters. That may come from a life in the theatre. I demand engagement and vitality from my entertainment. Bold choices! Slogging through bland prose, vague language, and a sludge of recycled clichés makes me want to drink Drano and jump out of a plane while sticking my head in an oven wearing a noose. I can't abide minor-key wishy-washiness. Frankly I’d rather read something spectacularly BAD, than something tepid and regurgitated. Save me from beigeness!

What are you reading now?
The Essential Lenny Bruce, which is a fab biography of the bitter tortured genius-comic. What a life, what a mind, what a wreck! I’m also intermittently making my way through Occult London, which is a kind of travel guide for spots of esoteric interest in that city, and a book on poisons called The Elements of Murder which is a little glib but highly entertaining. For what it’s worth, it’s hard to pinpoint the “now” accurately because my book turnover is so rapid.  Yesterday I read Georgette Heyer’s Cotillion, a Judge Dee mystery (The Chinese Nail Murders), and a fascinating history of knots. Tomorrow I’d have a completely different set of titles by way of an answer.

Who are your favorite authors?
n.b. These lists are totally inadequate and completely alphabetical.
M/M romance: James Buchanan, Heidi Cullinan,  Ethan Day, L.B. Gregg, Ginn Hale, Amy Lane, Z.A. Maxfield, M.L. Rhodes, Marie Sexton
Non-M/M: Jane Austen, Mikhail Bulgakov, Dumas (father & son), Umberto Eco, Philip Jose Farmer, George MacDonald Fraser, Henry James, H.P. Lovecraft, Gore Vidal,

Gack! I kinda hate making lists of favorites, but I also get why people like them… so I offer these with deep apology to the writers I love that I’ve neglected to mention.

What would you advise an aspiring author?
Write. Write a lot. Write some more.  Read everything you can in the genre you choose, but then write every day. Kick your own ass.
Know that writing is not typing. Putting words on a piece of paper is not the same thing as writing, so learn how stories get made, what keeps people reading. Have something to say, and then say it as well as you can. Get better every time.

Is there anything you'd like to tell your readers?
Books don’t happen by accident. Authors are responsible for those words you read. Editors, artists, publishers all build that story into something that can be taken to market.
When Hot Head first came out my biggest shock came from the people who seemed to think I simply transcribed the book as through from dictation. I wrote every word. I made every choice. The book itself didn’t fall from the sky. That means that if I screwed something up it’s my fault, but if I got it right ditto. You might think I’m crazy to mention it, but the misconception persists (probably because of television). Art is a hard dollar. The hours are 24/7 and there are no vacations. So it’s not even a job, and certainly not a hobby… it’s work.

The planning and drafting of a novel can (and should) take MUCH more time than it takes to read. I once had a manager who said that the number of hours you spend on a project should be matched by the number of total hours your entire audience spends time with it, otherwise it’s time to call it a day. I slave over every semicolon. If I miss a typo it literally keeps me awake at night obsessing.  I only mention it because sometimes readers seem to forget that a book doesn’t strike like lightning, even to the most inspired author. Even the worst books get written in blood.

How can readers connect with you?
I love hearing from readers. They can get in touch with me at:
Author Name: Damon Suede
Email address: Damon@DamonSuede.com
Website URL: www.DamonSuede.com       

Friday, October 28, 2011

Trick Or Treat Blog Hop Stop-Win Prizes


It’s time for the creatures of the night to come out and play this merry month of October. Halloween is here and I am part of a multi-author/Multi-Publisher blog hop.

If you got to this post then YAY for you. *tosses confetti* You are in the right place.
Now to be entered to win some cool prizes, you need to do the following so pay attention–hey stop ogling my cabana boys in their roman gladiator costumes.

Now onto what you need to do for this blog hop entry is say hi…show me some love and maybe a little chocolate goodness as well. :-P

*grins* See easy…..nothing too hard but make sure you leave your email in with your comment so in case you win, I can contact you.

No email address, no entry. Sorry for that.

What I am giving away: $15 Starbucks Gift Card and a $10 eGift Card to All Romance e-Bookstore.

What is better on a cool night then coffee and a good book or two.

Remember to go to  http://dreabecraft.com/events-2/ to go to the next stop.

Have fun and have a howling good time. :)


Welcome Andrea Speed today

Good day to you all and give a warm welcome to author Andrea Speed who shares two new releases with us today.

Since I have two different projects coming out in October, Dawn has been kind enough to let me tease both of them. First up, the novella The Little Death, out October 5th, through Dreamspinner Press. It’s my roundabout tribute to Raymond Chandler.
Jake Falconer, a hard-boiled detective in Echo City, is struggling with his love of booze, a square ex (and a cop, no less) he can't get over, and a murdered partner. In sashays Sloane, an homme fatal whose twin brother has gone missing. The search leads them to a sex club used for blackmailing the city’s most powerful, and soon Jake finds himself hip deep in sex and danger—it’s a good thing he’s no stranger to slogging through either.
Excerpt:
I knew he was trouble the moment he walked in the door.

A tall, sexy glass of water, he had the body of Michelangelo’s David, packed into a pair of blue jeans and a Tool T-shirt so tight you could see what he had for breakfast: a shot glass full of orange juice, and a grape. His hair was silky black, a fall of shadow crowning a ruggedly handsome face, with eyes as brown as chocolate kisses and skin the color of caramels. I could have eaten him with a spoon.
“Are you Jake Falconer?” he asked, his voice a smooth baritone coming out of pouty lips that probably had made many men dream of what he could do with them.
“That’s what it says on my business cards,” I replied, leaning back casually in my chair, pretending he didn’t just give me a semi. “Who might you be?”
“Sloane, Sloane Granger,” he replied, surprising me. I was expecting something exotic. “I was told you were the man to see. My twin brother is missing, and I’m afraid something terrible has happened to him.”
“You have a twin?” My mind went to a very dirty place, and I enjoyed the thought of being double teamed by the hunky Granger twins for a second, before snapping back to the here and now. I gestured to the chair in front of my desk, and he had a seat.
Sloane, unaware of my brief sojourn into the gutter, nodded politely. “Yeah, Sander Granger. He’s two minutes older.”
“Sander?” I wondered what kind of sick parents they had. Sloane and Sander? They sounded like a law firm. “Hell of a name. So when did he go missing? Why do you think something terrible happened to him?”
Sloane settled into the chair in a way that made me jealous of the seat. He ran a hand—a big hand—through his hair, messing it up in a way that made it even more irresistibly sexy. “It was last week. He told me he was going to that new club, Heat. You know the one?”
I nodded. “It rings a bell.” Actually, it set off the fire alarm. Every “alternative” gay publication in the city had run at least one full-page ad for the joint. I didn’t go in for gay clubs, mainly because they were too noisy and overloaded on twinks, who weren’t my thing at all, but I’d read the ads anyway. Heat promised “foam parties” (whatever those were), swimsuit contests, and more. It sounded like another cheesy nightclub desperate for business in the recession-wracked downtown corridor.
“Anyways, he left at eight and called me around ten to tell me he was going to this party with Nick… and that was the last I heard from him. I thought maybe he spent the night at some trick’s place, that he’d come home the next afternoon, but he never did.”
“You talk to Nick?”
“Yeah, but he said Sander got picked up at the party by this silver fox, and that was the last he saw of him. He didn’t know the guy, didn’t know where they went.”
I scratched my head, made a show of thinking, when all I really wanted to do was take a slug of whiskey from the flask in my top desk drawer. Whiskey helped me think, even though Spencer, my old partner, claimed I just said that so I could openly drink on the job. “I assume you’ve been to the police.”
“Of course! But they didn’t seem to care. The guy I talked to told me my brother was an adult, and most likely he’d just run off without telling me, that I’d get a postcard from him in a few months or something.”
That wasn’t a surprise. Adult men rarely disappeared involuntarily, although when they did, the reasons weren’t pretty. “Was the cop’s name Hickey?”
He looked adorably confused and after a moment’s thought shook his head. “I dunno. Can’t remember his name.”
“Sounds like him.” There were a lot of dicks at the cop shop—not the good kind—but Hickey was the King Dong of the place. “So why do you think something bad’s happened to him? Not to give credence to the boys in blue, but Sander could have run off.”
Sloane sighed heavily, looking at me with those softly moistening doe eyes. This guy was a hot piece of ass, and he knew it. “He was getting threatening e-mails, and he got a final one the night of the party. I hacked into his e-mail and read it. It said, ‘Tonight’s the last night you’ll ever have’.”
“You let the cops know, I take it.”
“Yeah, but since Sander himself never took them seriously—he thought they were from some troll he encountered on a message board—they didn’t take them seriously either.”
There was a lot in his story that didn’t make sense, but I was still intrigued. Okay, mainly by those rock-hard pecs barely constrained by the taut fabric of his T-shirt and the noticeable bulge in the crotch of his jeans like he was trying to smuggle a salami through customs. But hey, I’m only human.
I know it’s all a cliché: the hard-drinking detective with the run-down office and a lifetime of regrets and bad luck propping up his spine, but far be it from me to bust a cliché.
Sloane didn’t kiss me or tickle my balls, but obviously those possibilities were still on the table, pending the outcome of the case. His credit card was nice and shiny, and I felt like I was taking its virginity, but that just made me want to run it again and again until it begged for mercy.
Yeah, it probably had been too long since I got laid. If only Sloane would help me with that problem.
I watched him leave, his ass so incredibly edible in those tight jeans of his it was all I could do not to lunge out from my desk and bite it. Although the door of my office had a window, it was opaque, so I could only see his shadow once he closed it. Still, it was a sexy silhouette.
I slumped back in my seat and pulled the flask out of the drawer. I had to fulfill the cliché, so it was a silver flask filled with cheap rotgut, which I swigged with abandon even while wincing at the taste.
So yeah, I’m the cliché, a private dick with a cheap office and a dead partner and more debt than I could possibly pay off in a month of Sundays. Not that you could tell from my door. Used to be there was a name painted on the window, but that wasn’t true anymore. The hail of bullets that killed Spencer, my partner in snooping, destroyed the original door, so this was the replacement. I was supposed to hire painters to replace the name, but what was I going to replace it with? Was I really gonna go from Spencer & Falconer, Private Detectives to Falconer, Private Detective? I had no choice, I’d hafta, or I’d hafta find a new partner. Yeah, right. Maybe I’d just hafta retire, find a real job, one that didn’t cut your life span in half and leave you with more trouble than a nun with a grudge in hell’s half acre. The problem was I couldn’t do much else, and frankly I didn’t want to. As much as I hated it sometimes, I was born to be a private dick. I couldn’t change that any more than a zebra could change its stripes.
**~~**
 Now, the next project is a short story, the first in a series of shorts for the newly launched Riptide Publishing. It's called Pretty Monsters (Josh of the Damned #1), and is my foray into m/m horror comedy.
Josh knew the night shift at the Quik-Mart would be full of freaks and geeks—and that was before the hell portal opened in the parking lot. Still, he likes to think he can roll with things. Sure, the zombies make a mess sometimes, but at least they never reach for anything more threatening than frozen burritos. Besides, it’s not all lizard-monsters and the walking dead. There’s also the mysterious hottie with the sly red lips and a taste for sweets. Josh has had the hots for Hot Guy since the moment he laid eyes on him, and it seems Hot Guy might be sweet on Josh too. Now if only Josh could figure out whether that’s a good thing, a bad thing, or something in between. After all, with a hell vortex just a stone’s throw away, Josh has learned to take nothing at face value—even if it’s a very, very pretty face.
Excerpt:
The first time the hell vortex opened in the Quick-Mart parking lot, Josh very seriously considered quitting his job. But all that came out of it was a lizard guy, and all it did was amble inside, buy a bag of chips, and leave. All the monsters, while ugly, seemed nicer than his late-night human customers, and Mr. Kwon offered him hazard pay, so he stayed on.

Besides, it wasn’t all bad on the night shift. For instance, right now he was looking forward to the return of Hot Guy.

Of course it was a super hot night, still eighty degrees around midnight, and the air conditioner had to pick now to die. Josh peeled off his polyester work smock and put his nametag on his t-shirt, hoping Mr. Kwon wouldn’t suddenly show up and demand he put it back on. It breathed like a trash bag.

His latest customer was an obviously stoned guy buying a wheelbarrow full of snacks. Not only were his eyes glassy and red, but he reeked of pot smoke, making Josh wonder if he’d spilled the bong water. Pot Guy left and someone else came in. Josh leaned over the checkout counter, hopeful, but it wasn’t Hot Guy, just a lizard guy.

Guy” in a generic, gender free sense of the word, of course, because Josh had no idea how to tell if they were male or female. Maybe they didn’t even have genders. He didn’t know how to ask without being a rude bastard, and there was a chance he wouldn’t understand the answer anyway.


The Little Death is available from Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2531 (And don't forget to search for the free Roan and Paris story available through Dreamspinner's Halloween Howl contest.)
And Pretty Monsters (Josh of the Damned #1) is now available for pre-orders through Riptide Publishing's site: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/pretty-monsters-josh-damned-1 (And don’t forget to attend their grand opening party for a chance to win free books and more.)

A Sneak Peek into Temporary Insanity by Victoria Blisse

Temporary Insanity by Victoria Blisse
Menage, Contemporary
Blurb:
Two guys, a girl and an office sex bet.
Caroline hates working at Forbes and Richardson until she walks in on Matt and Connor kissing passionately against the photocopier. They admit they enjoy being watched and invite her to be the voyeur to their exhibitionism.
Watching leads to participation as the three of them agree on a bet that makes the working day all the more fun and definitely sexier. How brave is Caroline? What risks is she willing to take to get her ultimate prize- a threesome with the two hottest execs in the company?

Buy Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1419

Excerpt:


The photocopier lives in a small room at the end of a long and little used corridor. I rarely saw anyone else when I am in there since I seemed to be the copier slave of choice.

So I was surprised when I heard voices as I walked down the corridor. Some women you can hear coming a mile off because of their high heels but not me. I wear sensible shoes with little to no heel. I'd be crippled if I tried to wear tall footwear all day when I am so often on my feet.

So maybe they hadn’t heard me approach, which explains why they hadn't stopped.
But I should have made my presence known instead of gawking like some inquisitive pup.
Two men, hot young men I might add, guys I had never seen before were eagerly making out just in front of the copier. I could hear it whirring so they must have been passing the time until it finished their copying. 

I expected one of them to look up at any moment and rumble me, and my stomach churned. I stood to one side of the doorjamb and so was not immediately obvious to a casual glance, but I was pretty certain that if I could see them they could see me.
I should have walked away or coughed or something but I just watched. I'd never seen two guys kiss before. The one time my mates and I attempted to get into a gay bar we weren't let in because we looked too straight.

I guess it is very similar to how straight folks kiss. I don't think there is a gay way to do it. A kiss is a kiss is a kiss. However the angles of two men do make the act look different. You have to make room for two hard-ons in the middle somewhere. That must be challenging.

And stubble. I wondered if there was ever a problem with electric shocks with all that stubble rubbing together. I knew a way to stop that problem: insert me between the one with the chocolate brown spiky hair and the other longer, looser (hair wise I mean) blond. I'd take a bit of stubble burn to feel those two pairs of lips against my skin.

Who hasn't fantasised about being the hot and pliable filling between two slices of male deliciousness? If I had to pick two men purely on looks then the two who were snogging up a storm before me would have been at the top of my list. My fantastical musings went no further as my inbuilt and unerring clumsiness chose that moment to show itself.

I was so busy dreaming and drooling that I forgot I had the leaning tower of photocopying in my arms. I must have lowered them as I gawked because the next thing I knew, crash, swish, flutter. The pile of papers swirled onto the floor.

“Oh, I am sorry.” Blond disentangled himself from Brunet and walked towards me. “It’s terribly rude of us to be hogging the copier.”

“No, no, I’m sorry I shouldn’t have¡KI should have¡KI could have¡Kreally, I¡ª”
“Give up now, love, before you do yourself an injury.” Brunet came over and joined his partner on his knees before me. I bit my lip whilst erotically naughty ideas fluttered through my mind but I resisted and knelt to help with the scooping up of my papers. 

“So you must be the new temp girl.” Dark-eyed and Gorgeous placed some papers on the pile in my hand. 

“What makes you think that?” I snapped. 

“Well, we’ve not seen you before and you’ve got enough photocopying here for the whole office. It’s a dead giveaway.” 

“Oh, yeah.” I really hadn’t dealt very well with the situation and they had been nothing but polite and helpful. 

“Anyway, we should make our introductions and start afresh. I’m Matt and my blond-haired bit of stuff is Connor.” 

Connor smiled at me. “He only calls me that because he knows I am vastly more intelligent than he is.”

“And he only says that to make me laugh. He’s sweet like that.” 

“You two seem like a really cute couple,” I said before I actually put my brain in gear. 

“Why thank you, we agree with you.” Connor laughed. “So, what’s your name and what brings you to this little corner of hell?”

“I’m Caroline and I’m covering a maternity leave. I do believe my official title is ‘Oy you’ though. That’s what they all shout at me anyway.”

“Ah, yes. That sounds very familiar.” Matt nodded. “Newbies don’t seem to have names.  No wonder there’s a high employee turnover in this office.”

“How long have you worked here?” I asked, carrying my paperwork over to the copier. 

“Oh, forever and a day,” Connor said, sweeping a strand of blond hair off his brow. “Or at least that’s how it seems.” 

“And do you like it here?”

“Hmm.” The guys shared sneaky glances. 

Matt continued, “I don’t think we get more joy out of this job in comparison to every other office job out there but we enjoy this old building and its many hidden nooks and crannies.” 

“Oh,” I blushed and pushed a piece of paper into the machine. 

“Oh stop it.” Connor gasped. “You’re embarrassing the poor girl.”

“She didn’t seem embarrassed when she was watching us snog a few minutes ago. I think she was enjoying it.”

“Pardon?” I snapped as I prodded a button on the copier. “What are you accusing me of?”

“Oh, come on sweetheart.” Matt rested a hand on my arm. “You can’t deny it, you got a thrill from watching, didn’t you?”

He was right, I couldn’t deny it. I lowered my gaze from his and shuffled my feet. “Look, I’m very sorry about that, I’ve never seen two guys you know, at it, before. I was fascinated but I shouldn’t have stared.”

“Don’t be silly.” Connor stroked my other arm reassuringly. I felt hot and bothered as the two guys boxed me in. “We know you enjoyed it. We enjoyed it. Why do you think we were kissing so passionately in here of all places? Because we wanted someone to catch us.”

“I don’t think I understand.” I am very clever, I have A’s and commendations all through my qualifications but sometimes I’m just a little slow on the uptake.

“Look, darling. We’re exhibitionists.” Matt sighed. “We get off on being watched or even the sheer possibility we might be watched. You enjoying what you saw so much only adds to our pleasure, you know?”

“So you really don’t mind that I watched?”

“Heavens, no! Who would be? You’re a beautiful young lady, it’s a compliment to be watched by you,” Connor said and Matt nodded.

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