Thursday, May 31, 2012



Storing away memories and odd events to add to a story gives that story realism. Anne Rice once said, “No matter how long we exist, we have our memories. Points in time which time itself cannot erase.” And most of our memories are indeed gifts that we open again and again.
I was at an Evelyn Woods Speed Reading Class and the instructor said, “We are the sum of all our experiences.” There it was a truth that stood above simple truths. As I began to write I recognized that I had very limited experiences upon which to pull. My early work was unquestionable shallow. So I began a quest to discover, in the name of wanting to be a better writer? No! I realized I was shallow.
Every submission sent to publishers was returned or ignored. I recall critique suggesting I needed more depth in both the way I dealt with the subject and the technical writing style. As time ate at my life I waited as I worked. Wrote daily. How much life is lost to wait? That is an apt question, but my wait was filled with discovery. I became a student of people. Discovery. Examined other styles and broke them down mechanically and technically. Discovery. Tried to create more complexity. Discovery. Expanded my vocabulary. Discovery. Read… read… read. Discovery. Wrote… re-wrote… re-re-wrote.
That wait was not shallow but an aggressive tutorial for my growth. I continued to submit work. And slowly pieces were accepted.

So the question is who am I? Angelica or Zi. Ironically, we took the same path and had the same challenges and failures. We met as more mature adults prepared to be writers and we have written daily as writing partners. We found a synergy in our styles and complexity in what we wanted to create. Are we good? We don’t know. Have we found that depth needed to portray characters as real people? Hope we have. Have we found enough intrigue in our plot and our words to keep readers interested? You tell us. As Jacob Bronowski, a mathematician, well-spoken and a celebrity of the BBC show The Ascent of Man and was the inspiration of Carl Sagan to make the Cosmos wrote, “The world is full of people who never quite get into the first team and who just miss the prizes at the flower show.” If runners up is what we are, we’re proud for our journey has been wonderful.
Zi believes, “Be the best you can be by growing every day.”


We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at (Write - Blog - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.


Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane STEEL EMBRACE


Monday, May 28, 2012

New Dreamspinner Press Author debuts and The Daily Dose Stories starts

Check out Dreamspinner Press June 1st when they start the Daily Dreams, everyday a story will be delivered to those who purchase the anthology. A very sweet deal if I may say so myself. 

They are also having a facobook chat with Ada Maria Soto, author of Eden Springs, this Saturday at 3:30 EST. Some giveaways, contests and other fun stuff are planned to happen. She is a debut author fro Dreamspinner so please drop by and show her some love. I hear her book is very good.

Check out Dreamspinner Press's New Releases This week

This week's new releases from Dreamspinner Press

Animal Instinct by Stephen Osborne

Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal: Contemporary Fantasy, Mystery/Suspense
Series: Duncan Andrews Thrillers by Stephen Osborne
Buy in E-Book & Print

 Sequel to Pale as a Ghost -- A Duncan Andrews Thriller

Private detective Duncan Andrews has the home-team advantage when it comes to solving paranormal crimes: His best friend, Gina, is a centuries-old witch. His dog is a zombie. And his boyfriend, Robbie, is a ghost. Duncan certainly has his work cut out for him with this case. Someone’s been using the skull of a powerful wizard to control animals, and whoever it is, they’re not out to set up a petting zoo. For Gina, the case hits close to home—she knows just how dangerous it is, since the wizard was her father. Just when he thinks they’re close to breaking the case, tragedy strikes, leaving Gina in a coma. Then, after years as a ghost, Robbie finally decides to move on, leaving Duncan to protect young Ashton Marsh, the victim of several strange animal attacks. Suddenly Duncan is working without his supernatural safety net. Without his friends, can Duncan defeat the power of Eleazar’s skull and keep Ashton alive? Or will the struggle for his life end in broken bodies as well as broken hearts?

Turning Tricks by Anne Tenino
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Task Force Iota by Anne Tenino
Buy in E-Book Only

Task Force Iota, Book Two -- Sequel to 18% Gray

James Ayala thought life would be smooth sailing once he escaped from a Red Idaho reeducation camp and returned to Blue Oregon. He was supposed to get answers about the biocybernetic chip that made him empathic, face the man who implanted it, and then ride off into the sunset with his new boyfriend, Matt Tennimore. Life, however, has other plans: the bad guy dies without giving them any answers, they left their horse in Idaho, and Gramma Anais finds a parasite on James's implant—one that forces James into isolation. Matt just got James back to Oregon where he wanted him, and extraneous brain hardware or not, he has no intention of letting him go. But James hesitates to move in with him. Despite his hurt, Matt has to man up and do his job, leaving James behind, while the rest of the team struggles to find the real mastermind behind the implant and the parasitic "Trick"—before it takes over James's brain. But will it be too little, too late to save him? 

Raise Your Glass by John Goode
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Tales of Foster High by John Goode
Buy in E-Book Only

Tales of Foster High – Sequel to The End of the Beginning

Kyle Stilleno used to be the invisible student. Brad Graymark used to be the baseball star. Then they fell in love and Brad outed them both with a spectacular public display of affection, and now everything is different.
After spending a few days lying low, Kyle and Brad are going back to school. It’s time to face the music and see how Foster High deals with their growing romance. But the school’s reaction—and the staff’s hostility—are not what they expected. Everyone they know seems to be allied against them. Isn’t there anyone they can count on to defend their happiness? 

The Darkest Midnight in December by Jane Denardo
Genre: Historical - Americas, Fantasy/Paranormal - Angels and Demons
Buy in E-Book Only

The year is 1930, and something is hunting infants and young couples in Economy Village, PA. When a local priest begins to suspect a demon may be the culprit, the sheriff calls in a team of Soldiers from the Sun. Caleb, Agni, Temple, and Li specialize in demon hunting, but they can’t rule out an old religious sect as the true culprit. Prejudice, distraught parents, and angry townspeople don’t make the team’s job any easier. And if something goes wrong, they’re on their own, because by the time their backup arrives, it will be too late. 

Strike The Bell by J. Tullos Henning
Genre: fantasy/paranormal
Nap-Size Dream
Buy in E-Book Only

Escape. That’s what drives Taran to join the Riverdrivers aboard Geillidh: escape from the farming and fishing village of his kin; the lure of adventure and, most of all, the presence of Merimac—Wyr-chieftain of Geillidh and Taran's first lover. Though he might be Merimac’s cousin and lovemate, Taran gets no preferential treatment. He will have to earn his passage as full crew member the hard way—scrubbing decks and greasing blocks and pulleys—and surviving his first trip through the Strait is a rite of passage that brings its own reward in Merimac’s cabin.

Blood In The Sand by Robin Saxman and Alex Kidwell
Genre: Supernatural - Werewolves/Shapeshifters
Series: Sanguis Noctis series by Robin Saxon and Alex Kidwell
Buy in E-Book & Print

Sanguis Noctis Book Two, Sequel to Blood Howl

When David, an old contact and sometimes friend, hires Jed Walker to look into a series of seemingly unrelated disappearances in Cairo, Jed jumps at the chance to show his partner, Redford Reed, more of the world he’s been missing. David’s boyfriend, supernatural expert and resident stuffy professor Victor Rathbone, joins them in their journey to Egypt, which holds many more dangers and mysteries than Jed ever expected. Hidden natures resurface, relationships collide, and instincts are stretched to their breaking point. What seems to be a simple case turns out to be anything but. David may have called for help, but he has his own suspicions about who’s behind the kidnappings—suspicions that, along with clashing personalities, make getting to the bottom of the mystery difficult. While Jed and Redford grow more intimate and trusting with each new obstacle in their path, David and Victor struggle not to lose their trust in each other in the face of their differences. As the four close in on the kidnappers, David is forced to face the one thing more dangerous than the mastermind behind the disappearances: himself.

We Danced by Jeff Erno
Genre: Contemporary
Buy in E-Book & Print

For six years, Rex Payton has focused on two things: keeping his late father’s small-town Kentucky bar afloat and raising his nephew, Tyler. After the tragic loss of his parents and sister, Rex has no interest in romance. He’s respected in his community and regarded as one of Carlisle’s most eligible bachelors, but he’s accepted that his life isn’t conducive to a romantic relationship, especially as a closeted gay man. Enter Josh Billings, a veterinary student who’s serving an internship in town. Josh’s deepest passion is helping animals. Romance is the furthest thing from his mind… until the night he meets taciturn, handsome Rex Payton. Chance and an after-hours dance conspire to forge an intimate connection neither man looked for—one neither man can ignore after the dance leads to a kiss. Suddenly romance isn’t so insignificant, but it’s also not without complications. For this relationship to work, Josh has to decide if he can cope with dating a single dad, Rex has to open his heart, and Ty has to learn to share his dad’s affection. 

Daily Dose: Time is Eternity Anthology

Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Anthology, Daily Dose/Time Is Eternity
Buy in E-Book Only

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” -Henry Van Dyke

Millennia, centuries, decades, years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds... if it’s a love for the ages, then past, present, or future has no meaning. In these stories, time travel--forward or backward, for an instant or for a lifetime--is the way to fulfilling romance. Summer reading fun! A story delivered automatically to your bookshelf each day in June. Over 1,500 pages of fiction selling individually for a total $92.70.

Beginning June 1, stories will be available individually as priced or as a bulk package for $54.99.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Avengers and Battleship Movie Reviews

So my DH and I went to see the Avengers along with Battleship on Friday night at our local drive-in. Nice sultry night and it was wonderful to get out with no kids for a change.

Avengers lived up to the hype and then some. I found it very engrossing, had some humorous bits *hulk smashing Loki like a rag doll had me giggling* and the story line was very well done. I may not know much on comic book lore so I bug my DH on Marvel and DC Comics, villains and other items. 

Josh Whedon did a great job in creating a story line for all the Avengers-Thor, Iron Man, Capt. America, Hulk, Hawkeye and though I am not sure why Black Widow (I think that was her name) was there since I felt her part was pretty much flat. Otherwise, the story was great. I really enjoyed the extra scene that sets it up for a sequel. Nope not saying since if you haven't see it, I don't want to spoil it for you.

Avengers-5 Stars and a recommended watch

Next after Avengers was Battleship-the movie not the game. *smiles* Let's just say after the wonderful Avengers and hearing mixed reviews on this one, I wasn't expecting too much from it. It was based on a game and frankly as much as I love Liam Neesan, I felt he wasted in this movie. 

Taylor Kitsch from John Carter (which BTW I haven't seen and am awaiting it on DVD before I shell out money for it) plays a 28 year old no account restless guy who has no direction though incredibly smart and whatnot. Let's just say his character turned me off completely 20 min. into the movie. I hate-really hate-characters who are arrogant, act like a jackass and thinks he is cute. *shakes head* I mean I love alien battles for Earth like no other (endof world movies are my thing lol) but this was one I was disappointed in. The acting wasn't terrible just not great, the story line was weak and it felt like I could have just waited to see this when it was in the $5 bin at Wal Mart. 

Though I do have to admit the battle scenes were cool & though I am sure others felt it was the best movie ever, I felt it could have been stronger in story line and in acting.

Battleship-3 stars

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Guest Author Day with Rodney Ross

Welcome to my Reading Nook, Rodney Ross. Please make yourself at home and let my cabana boys/girls get you a mojito.


Yes, except I finished my drink and would like another from your cabana boy. I was really thirsty.

Now let’s get started. Tell us about ‘The Cool Part Of His Pillow’. What inspired it?

Barry Grooms is a success by any measure: expansive interior design gallery, 20-plus years of stability with partner Andy, financial security, he still has all of his own hair and teeth. Then everything changes when, on Barry’s 45th birthday, a horrendous construction crane collapse kills Andy and their two pugs. The plunge into widowerhood is surreal enough – casseroles of sympathy, being offered someone else’s snotrag, a parasitic grief support group –  yet Barry is damaged, not destroyed, and my hope is anyone who has experienced loss and retreated into denial will find resonance.

As a gay man of a certain age – is that evasive enough? -- I wanted to voice something relevant to a certain demographic: loneliness borne of loss, not of abandonment or cheating or even illness, but unthinkable circumstance. I wanted to talk about the absence of love after having had it…when AARP is about the only thing that may come courting. It’s also funny, full of wicked observation.  Barry’s smartassedness, his skeptical eye rolls, are what ultimately save him, making what bliss he finds that much sweeter because it’s genuine.

If you could throw a party with any five people (living or dead) who would you pick and why?

Novelist John Irving, because my introduction to his writing changed the way I looked at literature; Bette Davis, because she’d keep everyone else suitably on edge; Tennessee Williams, who I hope arrives sober; Barbra Streisand, because she could entertain us after dessert; and Ina Garten (without Jeffrey, because he works my nerves something bad), who can cook the damn dinner, bringing her good mayonnaise and homemade chicken stock.

What are at least five things you have on your bucket list and have you done any of them?

Having a novel published was certainly one of them. In no particular order:

Attending the Tony Awards
Attending the Academy Awards
(do you sense a trend here?)
Owning a female cat who has kittens (I have never experienced this)
Visiting Italy (this actually will occur in 2014)
Witnessing -– not participating – in an orgy. (Does that word and concept date me?)

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?

One at a time. Having come -– or, rather, escaped, from the arena of Advertising –- I multitask quite capably, but that doesn’t guarantee a satisfying result. I wish I could
divide my brain like the segments of an orange and each juicy membrane would address a different novel, screenplay or play, but I have to bring my whole fruitness to a single game.

What song would best describe your life?

Anything from Karen Carpenter.  As a younger gay, I instinctively understood the forlorn quality of her voice; now, as an Eldergay, I appreciate even more her. When pressed, I would say her rendition of ‘Superstar’ would accompany me to a deserted island, along with guacamole,
Grey Goose and a glycolic facial wash.

Do you listen to music when writing? Do you feel like some stories write themselves a soundtrack with specific music? If so, what book and what kind of music influenced it?

I prefer silence when I write in my office: no music, no TV in the other room, even ambient noise outdoors can be distracting. Occasionally, when traveling, I’ll listen to my iPod and scribble some notes and, inevitably, it’s usually sparked by a film soundtrack. The compositions of Rachel Portman are especially inspirational.

Are any of your characters just like you or have personality quirks/traits of you or someone you know?

Any writer who denies that his or her characters, certain passages and dialogue aren’t couched in real-life are big fat liars. My focal character Barry has a pessimistic skepticism that comes easily to me, and his mother in the novel mangles the English language the way mine sometimes does. Beyond that, little slices of dialogue, or an anecdote, have been purloined from my life, but usually so altered as to be unrecognizable by the people who lived it or said it. The plotline, most assuredly, has nothing to do with my own chronology.

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

As noted above, I love John Irving, and that his latest works have been LGBT-oriented makes me treasure him all the more. I admire Michael Cunningham’s lean, yet vivid style. Bob Smith, David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs make me laugh AND think. I am not above enjoying a trashy, salacious or libelous memoir – I’m currently reading Full Service, by Scotty Bowers, the Hollywood hustler who serviced people like Cary Grant. I also like reading plays and, among current playwrights, Tracy Letts and Jon Robin Baitz are role models. 

When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

“Kiddo, you need some work done ASAP.”

What is one thing scientists should invent?

A cure for HIV/AIDS. Working, as I do now, as a public information specialist for an HIV/AIDS social services organization in Key West, I see firsthand the hideous and grim toll this scourge  continues to take, not just on our clients and their loved ones, but in terms of healthcare, politics and advances in the LGBT community.

Anything else you want to mention?

Does your cabana boy make home deliveries?

The Cool Part of His Pillow by Rodney Ross
Dreamspinner Press

The mid-40s are that time in a gay man’s life when his major paradigm shifts from sexy to sensible. But when Barry Grooms's partner of twenty years is killed on Barry's forty-fifth birthday, his world doesn’t so much evolve as it does explode.

After navigating through the surreal conveyor belt of friends and family, he can't eat another casserole or swallow much more advice, and so, still numb, he escapes to Key West, then New York. He embraces a new mantra: Why the hell not? He becomes so spontaneous he's ready to combust. First, he gets a thankless new job working for a crazy lady in a poncho, then has too many drinks with a narcissistic Broadway actor. Next, it's a nude exercise class that redefines flop sweat, and from there he’s on to a relationship with a man twenty years his junior, so youthfully oblivious he thinks Karen Carpenter is a lesbian woodworker.

Yet no matter how great the retreat from the man he used to be, life's gravity spins Barry back to the town where he grew up for one more ironic twist that teaches him how to say good-bye with grace.


Specific book information:
Publication Date: May 2012 Publication

Paperback                           ISBN 978-1-61372-504-7

e-Book                         ISBN 978-1-61372-505-4

Here’s the slightly-condensed PROLOGUE OF ‘THE COOL PART OF HIS PILLOW’…

            Let me be very clear.
I am not mocking the cashier’s fractured English.
Being breezily called “ma’am” by pizza delivery dispatch, I don’t dare.
I hesitate to quote her. I was raised not to ridicule another’s accent or language barrier. Mickey Rooney’s Mr. Yunioshi and his buck teeth in Breakfast At Tiffany’s always disturbed me and Jonathan Pryce’s eyes taped back to look Asian as The Engineer in the original production of Miss Saigon was just wrong.
I could rephrase it more PC: “Here’s your change.”
But when I handed this tiny woman with a bun a twenty dollar bill, it’s what she said.
            “You change.”
            My attention is elsewhere. I am lost, as friends call it, in aesthetic astigmatism, eyes twirling different directions in survey of my radius. It’s what I do, what I used to do, edit your stuff, reduce clutter. I am that precious someone who finds  electrical cords distasteful and wishes all lamps ran on batteries. I’m the dumbass who complains in the sports bar if an HD broadcast isn’t set to the right aspect ratio. Little things, big things, they all count and, gift or curse, OCD Me is compelled to reset this bodega, counter to shelf, beginning with the crowded checkout.
            The first thing I’d do is find a new place for those small, foreign-made American flags, since I stopped counting at 52 stars. Vials of ginseng energy drink provide companionship to pilgrim salt-and-pepper shakers. A chalkboard tells me I can have a $3 Sanwich! For 50 cents more, can I get the D? And so many spools of twine. It takes a lot to lash your nerves together here, I guess.
This is the stuff that drives me bonkers.
Like the dairy case, which I want to squeegee. It looks like someone’s been kissing it. I can barely see the Yoo-Hoo behind the glass.
            “You change.”
She could be congratulating me, or it could be urgent instruction. The cash register says $18.03. It’s a current model I would swap for something with period charm, before Hell’s Kitchen became Midtown West.
            A male employee, trying to activate an edible color from the bottom of a soup kettle, stops stirring to stare at this wayward customer holding flowers.
“You change.”
Why don’t you change? And hey, how’s that courtship working out for Eddie’s father?
It has been said that most of the biggest moments in your life often pass unnoticed or remarked upon. That’s funny. My last year has been accompanied by a John Williams score. I just did my damndest to stay afloat. I can make order of your disorder but, for my own life, I’d need a considerably bigger featherduster.
This is not, you see, not where I thought I’d be on my 46th birthday, buying two dripping bunches of daisies in crinkled plastic for myself, ahead of another customer holding a plastic container of fake crab with the real stench.
No, this is not the life I thought I’d be living. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Spotlight~Sean Michael's Solitary

Solitary by Sean Michael
A Hammer Novel

Greg's on a downward spiral. He broke his back a few years into a promising stunt career, then his master died shortly after they began living a BDSM lifestyle together. He's just lost. So lost, that he can't keep a Master for more than two weeks. So lost that he's been arrested several times and is this close to winding up in jail. So lost that Master Oliver doesn't know what to do with him anymore.

In desperation, Oliver calls on his friend Appleton who lives in isolation in Northern Canada. Ap enjoys working with subs, and has both the time and the inclination to work with a lost soul like Greg. Not to mention, there's no way to get into legal trouble or run away from Ap's house given its location. So, Ap takes Greg in, hoping to help Greg find his center and himself again.

Will Greg find what he needs with Ap? Or will he find so much more?

Find out in this latest addition to Sean Michael's Hammer Club series.

     Ap waited at the gate for Oliver and this Gregory. His truck was full of supplies; the house was ready for a reluctant guest. He was ready, too.
     Oliver came out, the grim looking Dom with one hand on the back of the neck of a short, stocky blond. The man sported a black eye, his hair was unkempt and disheveled, his clothes too big.
     Jesus Christ, Ollie hadn't exaggerated this at all. Gregory looked like death warmed over.
     Ap made for them, waving so Oliver would see him. Frankly, Oliver didn't look that much better than Gregory, like he hadn't slept in far too long.
     Oliver nodded to him, led the sub over. "Ap. Good afternoon. This is Gregory."
     "Hi, Gregory. I'm Master Ap. You can call me that, or sir."
     Bruised, huge green eyes met his. "Hello."
     He slid his arm around the man's too-thin shoulders. "Oliver, do you need a lift to where you're meeting Jack?" Frankly, he thought the man needed to be tucked into bed and made to sleep for a week.
     "Oliver!" Jack's voice rang out.
     "No. No, I don't. Is there anything you need from me?"
     "Any bags?" He didn't want to keep Oliver a moment longer than he needed to.
     Oliver shook his head wearily and nodded at the backpack in Gregory's hand. "He has enough clothes for a week, as well as a coat and his cell phone. I can ship everything else of his that he didn't destroy last night."
     Jack looked at the sub, sighed, but didn't say anything.
     "That won't be necessary for now, Oliver. He won't be wearing clothes for a while. Go with Jack. I've got everything under control here." He took Oliver's hand, squeezed it. "He's in good hands."
     "Thank you." Oliver looked at Gregory, waited until their eyes met. "This is not a punishment. This is for you."
     "I'm out of your hands now. Not your problem. It's okay." There was no life in Gregory's voice; it was simply dull, used up.
     "It will be okay, Ollie." Ap assured the man. "Call me in a few days and I'll give you an update."
     "Absolutely. Jack, did you get us a hotel room as I asked?" The two men walked away, Jack taking Oliver's bag.
     "Look, if you want, you can just walk away. I understand."
     Ap turned his attention back to Gregory, shook his head. "No one's walking away, boy." He grabbed the backpack from Gregory and turned them toward parking.
     Gregory's hair looked like someone had hacked at it with a machete, and the muscles under his hand were stiff and hard as rocks.
     "Are you hungry?" He walked quickly, his hand on Gregory's shoulder, guiding the man.
     "No, sir. I'm not."
     "Okay." There were granola bars and juice in the truck's cab, along with a bag of apples. They wouldn't starve. Hell, if they needed to, they could stop and grab something out of the bed of the truck.
     Ap pointed to his red Ford F350 when they got to it and then opened the passenger door for his new sub. He tossed Gregory's backpack into the bed with the supplies.
     "It's about a four hour drive," he told Gregory as he climbed in. "Give or take."
     "Okay." Gregory didn't look around, didn't act involved, didn't seem to care in the least where they were or where they were going.
     Ap maneuvered the truck out of the lot, paid for parking and took the highway north. Once they were out of the worst of the traffic, he glanced over at Gregory. "Tell me about yourself."
     "My name's Gregory Nian. I'm from Vancouver. I've been living in California for five years."
     "Why'd you move there?" He was going to engage Gregory, even if it killed them both.
     "I went to work as a stunt man."
     "That sounds like a neat job."
     "I liked it. I don't do it anymore." Every answer was a monotone. It didn't even seem like Gregory resented telling him, just that the man couldn't care less.
     "Do you want to tell me what happened?"
     "I fell. I was in the hospital with a broken back for six months."
     Shit, it sounded like Gregory hadn't caught any breaks. At all. First that and then his master being shot.
     "Is that when you went into the lifestyle? Or were you already into it?"
     "Tim was the EMT who responded to the scene of my accident." Gregory sighed. "He was trying to show me about it, I was trying to... It doesn't matter."
     "Sure it matters. You matter Gregory." He didn't figure Gregory would believe that yet. He had plenty of time and very few distractions to convince the man of it, though.
     Gregory didn't answer, just looked out the window. Ap knew that Gregory had flashes of temper, had a self-destructive streak a mile wide, had only started to learn the lifestyle.
     "Did Oliver tell you anything about my place?"
     "No. No, he told me that this was somewhere I'd be safe."
     "You will be. It's a house on some land. We're isolated." There was no trouble for Gregory to get into, really.
     "Why did you say yes?"
     "Because Oliver asked, and because it sounded like you needed somewhere safe to work things out before you wound up in jail or worse."
     "Maybe I should be in jail."
     "Is that what you think? You think you're going to find what you need there?" Jail was not going to solve any of Gregory's problems, of that Ap could be certain.
     "No. No, I won't."
     "That's right. Look. I don't have all the answers, either, but I know how to give you discipline, to punish you, and to keep you from winding up in jail." He took his eyes off the road long enough to look over at Gregory. "I'll take care of you."
     "You'll probably end up hating me. Everyone does."
     "Well, I don't hate you yet." And Gregory was going to find him a lot harder to push away than any of the other Masters Oliver had placed the man with. What Gregory needed was someone to believe in him for awhile. Ap figured he could be that man.
     The laughter he got in response was bitter. At least it wasn't the same dull monotone.
     "Would you like to hear how things are going to work when we get to my place?"
     "Yes. Master Oliver was good to me that way. He let me know the rules."
     "You're going to be confined to the house until further notice unless you're performing duties out of doors. You'll be naked at all times. If you're cold, you're to let me know. You'll do whatever tasks I assign."
     Gregory didn't say a word.
     "What's your safeword?"
     Jesus. That had to be a reminder of Gregory's dead master every time he used it or considered using it.
     "You're to use it if you need to. Understand?"
     "I never have before."
     Oh, now, that was interesting. Ap filed the information away.
     "What were you looking for when you began with your master?" He knew it would probably be a touchy subject, but if he was going to connect with Gregory, he needed to know what the man wanted. What Gregory needed.
     "A place. I was angry. He promised there was a place where I'd be." The words cut off. "It doesn't matter. He lied."
     "No, finish it. Because it does matter. A place where you'd be what?" There was no hiding here. Gregory couldn't afford to hide from him.
     "Right. Whole. Tired enough to sleep."
     "And it never happened? How long had you been working together when he was killed?"
     "Six weeks."
     "Shit, Greg, that's..." Jesus Christ. No wonder Gregory was having trouble, especially if they'd started getting somewhere, and then to have that snatched out of his hands so brutally along with the man himself...
     "Yeah. About two weeks is the limit."
     "What do you mean?"
     "That's when the Doms send me back to Oliver. I'm not going back this time, though."
     Ap snorted. "I'm lasting a lot longer than two weeks, boy." He was going to see this through. Gregory was hurting, and Ap could see that he was stubborn, but Ap was stubborn, too. He could be as stubborn as he needed to be.
     "We'll see."
     "Yeah. We will." This time Gregory's words were defiant. It was a start.
     It stayed quiet after that, Ap driving deeper and deeper into the country, heading home.

Thursday, May 24, 2012



By: Angelica Hart and Zi

Is there really a gray area? Is it still wrong to have an affair outside of marriage, commitment, engagement? How many times have you heard someone say, We're in a committed relationship? Or when caught in an affair... I just don't know what came over me. I couldn't help myself? I really do love you not them? Just what does that mean when you don't have a legal document, yup, that wee bit of paper that tells people they belong to each other and no one else? Does the commitment of today have the strength of yesterday's marriage even without the paper? Does marriage mean commitment forever, or is it I'm committed to you for as long as no one nicer, richer, kinder, simpler, funnier, sweeter, more macho, less macho, more in tune, or whatever you'd like to throw in there. And, is it possible to truly be in love with two people? Should today's marriage be redefined?

Z: Ooooh, we're getting serious today.

A: Hey, weren't me who thinks the heroine in our new book should be married.

Z: I believe I said committed....

A: You never once mentioned an insanity ward.

Z: (Gives a disbelieving look) Sometimes your brain connectors misfire.

A: It was a perfectly logical statement. I'm old fashioned, I like my heroines single, free of commitment, and/or insanity!

Z: But just what is the morals of today and how does that fit into the new cutting edge of writing?

There are many loyal followers of sweet romance, entire books about how a couple can be in love forever, if they could just get around a few obstacles. That was the original core concept of romance. Time evolved and so did morals and sexual freedoms, but for the most part the reader still wanted one on one romance, and happily ever after as in marriage.

Another leap in time and bibbidi-bobbidi-boob, sex isn't a fairy tale any more. Some readers remain faithful to the true and ole, others become adventurers, exploring the erotic, the taboo, the oh la la. There is little one cannot find from a randy threesome. to a wife swap or M/M. BDSM has become common faire, add leather, a whips or two and a sweetie romantic romp into high adventure on leather and lace seas.

We say this to reflect that the idea of romance has changed drastically, and as authors we are all about pleasing our audience. It used to be easy, there was a basic formula, now there are few inhibitions and ever few rules. There is something for everyone's tastes. However, we want to know from the readers if marriage and/or a committed relationship still means no fooling around outside that commitment. Of course, this does not include those characters in a story who choose to swing.

Flash back to a famous book the BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY. Most women related to the heroine, and the choice she had to make between a love of forever and the promise she made to her husband and family to honor and protect. Where are the moral lines today? Are there any lines? Would that same woman (or character) make the same choice?

Which brings us back to our first thoughts. In reality, love draws some of us into affairs, we lose our heads and our hearts, people break up homes over it, and no one can truly judge the right or wrong of it anymore, or can we?
So, if you dare, answer this questions. If you are in love with your husband and family as well as with a significant other who might also have a family and you are having an affair....A: Do you break up both families and create a life together? B: Do you end the affair, quick and clean, and just hold the memories tight in your heart, along with the hurt you inflicted on the other? C: Do you continue to go on, and hope that you never get caught?

Now, answer those same questions if these were characters in a books. Are your answers different? Is it fun to read about such turmoil or more fun to live it?
Z: You haven't had your tea yea, have you?

A: No, but...

Z: Ahhh, that explains your brain's running amuck.

A: Humph! Suppose you wanted to talk about the Eagles.

Z: We already did that when you first got here.

A: Oh yea..... (Brightens) Tea?

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at (Write - Blog - in subject line) and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.


Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane STEEL EMBRACE


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Book Review-The Talker Collection by Amy Lane

I haven't had the pleasure of reading nay of Amy Lane's books before this one but after reading about Talker and Brian, I am getting ready to explore more by this author. Wonderfully written, captivating characters and I fell in love with these two. I bet so will you!

My rating for The Talker Collection: 5 Stars and a recommended read

Meet Brian Cooper and Tate ‘Talker’ Walker. Teammates on the track team and all it took for their friendship to begin were a lone seat by Brian and the fact that both Brian and Talker needed one another. Friendship continues even as both go off to college, life throwing them curveballs even as they navigate this thing called life. For friendship that turns to love, life is not a smooth ride for these two. One will learn to speak up; the other will have to learn to listen. Both Brian and Talker will find that in order to get their own happily ever after, they need to trust in themselves as well as in each other.
I had a feeling I am going to need to explore her backlist for more books to explore after I finished the first book, Talker, in this collection. I got to admit, I fell in love with both Talker and Brian. Amy Lane has such a wonderful way with words and in this collection there is three stories centered on these two characters. In each story the characters grow and learn and find their way in a world they are leery of. The writing is tight, characters grow with each story and the reader just can not get enough of Brian or Talker. I loved how these two met and became fast friends. Amy Lane is a masteful storyteller as she lets these two main characters take center stage and show the reader how their lives take turns they are not expecting. The emotions you experience through this collection runs the gauntlet-you laugh, cry, smile, hate and worry even as the love that grows between these two amazing characters steals your heart.

I fell for these two characters right off the bat. Both were sensitive young men and they clicked with one another. Friendship, love, and more follows as the reader is drawn into their stories in Talker, Talker’s Redemption and Talker’s Graduation. There were some wonderful secondary characters that helped move the story along at times but overall this was all about Brian, Talker and their journey to their own happily ever after.

Amy Lane is a talented and masterful storyteller who can deliver angst filled stories and give them a heart. I am eager to explore other Amy Lane books in the future and can’t wait to see what else this author has in store for her readers. 

This collection is more than two people falling in love after finding one another. It’s about finding yourself in a world that has hurt you, beaten you down and tried to drown you in despair. For Talker and Brian, these two characters should have been down and out for the count over all that was done to them in their young life but Amy Lane shows how strong they really are even as life decides to toss a few more bombs their way. The growth of these two characters is wonderful to behold and when we see that final chapter between these beloved characters…well let me just say tears were flowing and a smile was on my face. 

You can find the Talker Collection in PRINT only at Dreamspinner Press though you can get the individual stories in E-book

Cover Reveal and Giveaway~ The Guardian by Sarah Fine