Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Merry!

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Yo Noel and all that jazz!
May the days be bright and the nights be dark.
Keep the spirit in your heart, and pass the love on.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Free Story: "In the Wind"

In The Wind
currently readable at this Goodreads location 

The M/M Romance Group at Goodreads at Goodreads is presenting Holiday Stories.  Members of the group asked authors to fill their stockings with special treats, so every day this season there's a free short story (or two).  Mine is called "In the Wind" and is now posted!  

There's a werewolf in it. And "mates".  Also, nice smells and s-e-x.   The picture above was the inspiration, provided by Goodreader Lucy, whose stocking I filled. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas and a new "review" of Back To Normal

It's not an official review or anything, but I got this in an email from my sister and it made me feel really good, so I thought I'd share:

Your book [Back To Normal] was great!  Instead of doing my Christmas cards, I was plastered to the chair to read.  I couldn’t put it down.  I never thought I could read this genre but I find it fascinating and interesting.  I’m still in awe over you being able to write so explicitly about it.  I kept putting it down to walk away and get other things done, but I kept coming back to it with ‘just one more chapter’.  Then it was over………….You really did a fabulous job on it.  I read a lot, at least 3 or 4 books a week (because I do nothing else and have no life) and I truly enjoyed reading this.  Congratulations, sis!

Tam  has asked people to share pix of their Christmas trees (or symbols of whatever holiday you celebrate), so here is this year's tree:

And here is the North Pole Village that Boy put up, with Buffy acting the Godzilla role:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Crazy Antics, continued

So where did I leave off? (To read the first part of Crazy Antics, go here.)

Oh, yes.  Boy was telling DH and me that he and cyw moved their action to the back room. (Just an FYI, I'm not clear on the contents of the back room.  It sounds a little spartan, as in no soft furniture to settle on.  Maybe it was the ubiquitous "storage room.")

me: *wishing I could raise just one eyebrow* The back room, eh?

Boy: Yeah.  You know.  For privacy.

DH: Ah.

Boy: So we were on the floor in the back room, sort of rolling around.  She liked my hair, 'cause she kept running her fingers through it while we kissed.  She loved my arms, too.

me:  And how do you know that?

Boy: She said, "I love your arms."  *turns toward his father*  See Dad, I told you that you don't have to do curls for girls if you do all the other stuff. 
Quality biceps

DH: *flexes newly forming biceps for my benefit"

me: *rolls eyes*

Boy: *laughs and then wraps his arm over his right side* Ow.  Don't make me laugh.

DH: Sorry

me: Please, continue.

Boy: So I used some of my best lines and moves.

me: You have lines and moves?

Boy: *looks affronted*  Yes.  Like "I think you have some wine on your lips."  And when she was impressed at how fast I was able to unhook a certain female undergarment, I joked, "Yeah, you don't know how many hours I spent in Victoria's Secret figuring that one out."  That one got me some good laughs.

me: *rolls eyes*

DH: *takes notes*

Boy: Well, all this is going on, and we're sort of rolling around and stuff, and suddenly, out of nowhere, for no discernible reason I get this shooting pain in my side.  It was awful.  Seriously, I thought I was gonna throw up. 

me:  But...?

Boy:  Well come on.  I wasn't going to stop what I was doing just because of some pain.   You have to give me credit for getting in some good lines and moves and making her laugh while I was trying not to pass out.

me:  So, it wasn't like she elbowed you or kicked you or like you hit any furniture or anything?

Boy: *looks flummoxed*  No.  It just happened. 

DH:  So then what?

Boy:  We made out for a while.  But I had to stop before things got too far.

me:  In too much pain, huh?

Boy:  No.  I didn't have any protection with me.

me: *stunned*  You don't carry a condom in your wallet?

Boy:  No.  I think, I dunno, when you're just meeting someone, well, I think that's kind of sleazy.   And, the fluctuation in temperature while it's in your wallet makes condoms degenerate faster.

DH: No shit?

me: How do you know this?

Boy:  Ma.  When you're a sexually active teenager, you do a lot of internet research.

me: Of course.

A little while later, after he ate and showered, Boy was in a lot of pain.  DH and I used rock/paper/scissors to decide who'd go with him to medpoint.  I lost, but then DH changed his mind.  Or I might have pouted just enough.    Anywhichever, they returned about two hours later, with Tylenol w/ Codeine and a muscle rub in hand. 

me:  So. How'd it go?

DH:  Sheesh.  *uses teasing voice*  What a wimp.  Nothing's broken.

Boy: *ignores Dad and rubs goop on his side*

He hadn't fractured anything, but apparently had strained his oblique muscle.  Further research informed us that this can be a pretty bad injury, with different levels of severity and requires some down time so you don't really yank it and need surgery.  The best way to avoid such a strain is to make sure you stretch properly before any activity.
Make sure you do enough stretching before you partake in any 
level of physical action.
Especially the kind you don't experience much.

Boy: When I checked in at the front desk, the lady there asked me if this was a work-related injury.

DH:  That was the best laugh I've had in days.

me:  What did you tell her?

Boy:  I just said "no".

DH: Then he got to go back and see the doctor and I had to sit and listen to screaming kids.  One of them pooped his pants and smelled up the whole waiting room.  There should have at least been a broken bone involved.

And there you have it.  There is a chance that Boy will get together with cyw while he's here over Christmas.  If any further crazy antics ensue, I'll let you know!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Crazy Antics

Don't die of shock, but this is my second post in as many days.  It's because I promised in yesterday's entry that I would tell you about my son's "crazy antics".  So here's the story (contents may vary from reality):

Boy = my son
cyw = cute young woman
DH = dear husband
me = me

I may have mentioned that my DH and I have one child, a son, who is almost all growed up (they say your brain isn't fully mature until age 25 or thereabouts, so Boy still has a couple years to go).   Over the last year and a half, Boy has lost 70 pounds and developed quite a fit and healthy body and lifestyle.  He has educated himself in the fields of weightlifting, interval training and nutrition.  (My friends who meet him tell me later that they think he's hot.  What is the next level up from cougar?  Lioness?  Saber-tooth?)  Near the beginning of his make-over, he and his girlfriend of four and a half years split up.  Now he's enjoying having a nice body and figuring out the woman thing.

Boy came home for Thanksgiving break, and while he was in town attended a party at a friend's house.  Before he left, he considerately told us that there was a slight chance he might stay the night.  You never know how these things can end up.  We asked him to text us to let us know if that's what he ended up doing.

The next morning DH finds a text message left at 5:30 a.m.:  I'm staying the night.

Well, duh.

Boy rolls in that morning, maybe around 9, a little disheveled and with purplish spots on the sleeve of his white thermal pullover and a smile on his face.

DH:  Got your 5:30 message.  We sort of thought you might let us know earlier, like when you decided to stay.

Boy:  That IS when I decided to stay.

DH: Oh.

me: So how was it?

(I should interject here that we and Boy have a pretty good relationship, so we fully expected all the details.)

Boy:  It was good, a lot of fun actually.  (He told us about the friends from high school who were there, and how fun it was catching up with them)  Wearing this white shirt was a smart move.

me: *smirk*

DH:  Why's that?

Boy: Yep.  The ladies liked it.  *rubs hand over pecs to emphasize form-fitting nature of shirt*

DH:  Oh?

Boy:  At one point I was sitting on the couch, surrounded by women.  It was a good party.

me: I can tell by your elbow.

Boy: *looks at purple dots on sleeve*  That's wine.  I didn't have any, but I did get spilled on.  *leans back against the kitchen counter and grimaces in pain*  I think I might have broken a rib, though.

DH and me:  What?  Seriously?

Boy: Seriously.  If I didn't break it, then bruised, maybe.  It hurts pretty bad.

DH:  What happened?

me:  Were you wrestling?

(Okay, you have to understand here.  Before he went to college, Boy and his friends would hang out here and inevitably they would get a little physical.   So one part of my brain, at least, was still thinking in terms of "party = friends = rough-housing."  I clearly hadn't had enough coffee yet.)

Boy: Well, not really. *smiles mischievously*  (Like his father, he likes to draw out the story)

me:  Augh.  Just tell us.

Boy:  Well, I got to talking with cyw, and we sort of flirted, and then we ended up in the back room.

~~~~~  I'm going to stop here.  Will continue the story in the next post! ~~~~~~~~~~

Oh! I tried to find a picture of a muscular man in a tight white thermal shirt.  Here's what I got:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bad Blogger! Good Reviews! Freebie Coming Soon! Fan Mail!

I admit I am a bad blogger.  It's a self-confidence/introvert thing.  I mean really, who wants to read what I babble on about?  Apparently, though, there is someone out there who misses my entertaining posts.  Back to that later.

Back To Normal has received some nice reviews --
Tam's Reads"A super second outing for Wren."
4 1/2 stars from Lily at I Love Books and at Jessewave's
4 1/2 stars from Rainbow Reviews
Back to Normal is now available at All Romance Ebooks and Amazon (Kindle edition).  Maybe it's at other sellers, too.

The M/M Romance Group at Goodreads at Goodreads is presenting Holiday Stories.  Members of the group asked authors to fill their stockings with special treats, so every day this season there's a free short story (or two).  Mine is called "In the Wind" and will be posted on December 20.  There's a werewolf in it. And that's all I'm sayin'.   The picture at  the right was provided for inspiration. 

And now on to the Fan Mail.  This appeared in my email box yesterday:


I read this blog by my favorite m/m writer, Wren Boudreau, and she hasn't updated it since Veteran's Day.  I feel like she probably has a lot of interesting things going on, what with the release of a new book a couple months ago and it being the holiday season.  She could probably put up some pictures of dudes dressed like elves making out, or a naked guy with a conveniently placed candy cane.  I also know that she has a son who has gotten into some crazy antics involving a cute young woman, a back room and a pulled oblique muscle.  Maybe Wren's blogosphere would want to hear about that.  I know that the girl part would probably turn them off, but her son is a pretty attractive guy with a 220lb bench press and lovely arms.  I believe I also heard that she was writing a short story about gay werewolves.  Maybe that is something her fans would want to hear about.

These are just things I think about....

Your #1 fan (who can't actually make it all through one of your books because he has to stop reading as soon as he gets to the sex scenes) 
I was going to edit that letter a little bit, but I find in re-reading it that it's perfect the way it is.  Tomorrow I will post about my son and his "crazy antics" so stay tuned.  In the meantime:
For whatever reason, I had difficulties locating quality "elf" pictures.  If you know of any, please share.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

True Colors - L.A. Gay Men's Chorus - It Gets Better

In this last week, in a nearby city, the powers that be voted to defeat a measure that would have banned workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.  It made me crazy to read some of the things these policy-makers said.  My dear BH said "It's like living in the Dark Ages."

But I'm not going to rant about it.  Instead, I'm posting this video the Los Angeles Gay Men's Chorus made for the It Gets Better Project.  I got goosebumps right around the 3-minute mark, when -- well, you'll see.

Monday, October 11, 2010

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day is October 11 in several countries, including the United States, and October 12 in the UK. It's a civic awareness day, a day for dialog, understanding, support and courage.

You can find out all sorts of information regarding coming out at the website for the Human Rights Campaign.

There is an interesting piece by Dan Savage in response to some of the criticisms of the recent It Gets Better project.

In our little corner of the Internet world, Loose Id is in the process of presenting books in its Coming Out Collection.  I hear through the grapevine that Dear Author will be honoring the day with "Gay Writes" - reviews and giveaways of GLBT books.

Whether you are in or out, GLBTQ or ally, writer or reader, do something small or big today to promote equal rights.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blah Blah NEW BOOK! Blah Blah

It's here, it's here! Bursting into the literary cosmos, as the infamous KZ Snow likes to say.

You can find an excerpt here.

You can buy the book here.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Friday Flotsam: Book Release, Mystery, A Wraith of Memory, and It Gets Better

Hello all,  (yes, I know it's Thursday.  Deal with it.)

First, apologies for not posting more often.  I've discovered that my life is quite boring so being Interesting here is just overwhelming at times!

Anyway, there are a few things on my mind...

A.  My new book Back To Normal is coming from Loose Id.  Starting Tuesday, Oct 5, you can buy it here!

Or go to Stumbling Over Chaos and put your name in the hat to win a copy!

Or go to Jessewave's site next week to win a copy (I don't know which day; Loose Id donated one copy of each "Coming Out Day" book to the site).

B. K.Z. Snow has some big time famous author coming to visit her blog.  Probably tomorrow.  Or Monday.  Soon, anyway.  The interwebz are aflutter.

C. I feel so much better about my inability to retain specifics from what I read after seeing this New York Times article.  It says that many of us have
..."a gestalt of knowledge. We can’t retrieve the specifics, but to adapt a phrase of William James’s, there is a wraith of memory. The information you get from a book is stored in networks. We have an extraordinary capacity for storage, and much more is there than you realize. It is in some way working on you even though you aren’t thinking about it."
 For me, this ties in to my Piscean/Introvert personality, or at least that element of it where I "intuit" things rather than "know" them.  Does that make sense?  (Well, it does to me!)
This is me, being intuitive. 
Okay, in reality it's not, but in my mind it is.

D. You're probably already aware of the It Gets Better campaign.  I saw this video today.  This is Darren Hayes of Savage Garden:

And just in case you don't know Savage Garden, this is one of my favorite songs:

Have a Great Weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back To Normal, an excerpt

As promised, here is an excerpt from Back To Normal
(releasing from Loose Id October 5)

Chapter One

Greg Capello’s late Aunt Coco had taken up residence in his head twelve years ago. Today her voice still rumbled roughly from too many years of too many cigarettes. “You know it’s all for the best,” she said as Greg rested his forehead on the window frame. “She wasn’t right for you.”

Everybody had thought Coco would die of lung cancer, but it was a brain aneurism that got her. Her death was not only a surprise but also an eerie coincidence in that Coco’s brain blew up at nearly the same moment that an errant golf ball smashed into Greg’s.

While Coco’s body had given up, her spirit hadn’t. Greg had tried getting professional help to understand and eradicate the raspy voice of his fifty-two-year-old red-haired aunt, the woman with four cats, thirty-two scarves, and one rhinestone cigarette holder. When he’d realized that the fearful specter of St. Dymphna Mental Hospital loomed over him, he’d learned to accept Coco’s company with a sort of horrified good humor.

At a carnival one summer, Greg had visited a fortune-teller, who explained that when he got hit with that golf ball he must’ve died, if only for a few seconds. Because Coco died for keeps around that time, her spirit and his met somewhere in the afterworld, where she latched on to Greg. When his heart started beating again, Coco was along for the ride.
Ever since then, she came and went as she pleased. He’d stopped asking where she disappeared to when he realized she’d only answer in the most obtuse terms. He’d learned to live with Aunt Coco. Occasionally she brought home a guest, though, which just made him twitch. When that happened, he did everything he could to help the visitor move along to where he or she needed to go. One person in his head he could handle. Any more than that was asking too much.

At this moment, it was just the two of them, watching from the living room window as Greg’s newly-ex wife, Liz, drove away from the house.

“I know, Aunt Coco.” Greg sighed. “But it still hurts.”

Liz drove behind the moving van that carried her share of their worldly possessions. The leave-taking had been quick and without rancor, as they’d been saying good-bye to each other for at least the last year. The drama was long past over.

The front lawn was a muted green, emerging from Pennsylvania’s winter dormancy, except where it was worn in spots from the roots of an old maple tree. The tree dropped helicopter seeds, which twirled away in the wind, and the limbs full of budding leaves swayed like lithe dancers on a backdrop of gray-washed sky. Once Liz’s car and the truck turned at the end of the street, the neighborhood was quiet, nobody eager to be active on this dreary Saturday.

Greg sighed again and turned to look at the empty room and the clean fireplace. A large, overstuffed sofa had occupied the prime spot in front of the hearth. The space looked forlorn.

Now that’s a sad picture,” Aunt Coco murmured.

Greg nodded. “I loved that couch.” He’d read books, graded papers, and fallen asleep there, lost in worlds of his own making. Liz had companionably shared that space with him before she grew tired of trying to change him.

This house was a testament to his efforts to give her the life she’d wanted. They hadn’t even been shopping for a house; she drove by, saw the sign, and was hooked. Greg went along with it -- as he usually did when it came to Liz’s ideas -- because he wanted her to be happy. It wasn’t that he was uninterested; he just didn’t have it in him to be as passionate and engaged in things as she was.

One of their final discussions took place right there, more than a year ago.

* * * * *
Liz paced in front of the hearth, a blazing fire her backdrop. Greg sat on the couch, touched by the cool air drifting in through the leaky windows.

“You know you make me crazy, right?” Liz asked.

“How is that possible? I’ve tried to give you everything you wanted,” Greg said reasonably.

“That’s just it. You give me everything and somehow manage to give me nothing. I feel like I do all the living for the both of us and just drag you along.” Her ponytail swung wildly as she paced the room.

He leaned back into the cushion. “That’s not true. I enjoy being with you.”

“It is! Damn it, Greg. You have no passion, no highs or lows, no excitement about things. You just stand back and let it all happen. You observe your own life, but you don’t participate.” She clenched her fists. “You won’t even argue with me!”

Greg didn’t think she’d hit him, but hoped his calm voice would soothe her just in case. “I’m no different now than when we met, Liz. I don’t understand why this has become an issue.” He ran his fingers through his hair, feeling the carefully styled strands go awry. He actually did understand. But he wouldn’t tell her that.

Liz deflated a bit. “I thought…I hoped that would change. I figured once you were secure with me, you’d open up and let me in. Let some of yourself out.” She puffed out an ironic laugh. “I should have known that Cosmo was right with those articles about how you shouldn’t marry someone thinking you’ll be able to change them. I thought our love would be enough to…” She left the sentence unfinished.

“To turn me into someone I’m not?” He crossed his arms over his chest.

“No. Not someone else. Just more of yourself. I know there’s more to you than what you show the world. I wanted you to let me in, to share that with me.”

“I don’t know what to say. You’re angry because I’m still the same guy you married.”
Liz huffed with exasperation. “You are. The problem is mine. I know that.” She wiped her eyes; the tears that had been threatening overflowed. “I can’t do this anymore.”

* * * * *

It wasn’t long after that conversation that, at Liz’s request, Greg had moved out. He found a small apartment and carted over most of his belongings and some furniture. They’d managed the mortgage payments on the house with their two salaries. When he’d discovered the income of a second-year teacher wouldn’t stretch enough to pay half the house bills plus the apartment costs, Greg found part-time work at a restaurant.

The separation culminated in a quiet divorce. They sold the little bungalow quickly, discovering that starter homes were popular despite the recent economy. The whole divorce had been easy -- from a financial and physical standpoint, anyway. Hell, maybe even from an emotional one. He’d built such strong walls between his inner self and the outer world that very little could penetrate. He loved Liz as much as he could love any woman. She was passionate, energetic, and independent, and when he married her, he’d thought she wouldn’t need much from him to be happy. He’d been wrong.

A noise from outside caught his attention. He returned to the window and saw Joe’s black Jeep pulling into the driveway. Greg met him at the kitchen door, and before any words were said, he was engulfed in his brawny brother’s warm embrace. They were both a little over six feet tall, but Joe outweighed him by about forty pounds. Of muscle.

Running out of air, Greg pushed back. “Were you waiting around the corner?”

“No. Of course not.” Joe smiled.

“Uh-huh.” Greg closed the door before any more cold air could flow in. He was glad he’d worn a sweatshirt.

“Okay. I was two streets down, one across,” Joe confessed.

Greg raised one eyebrow at him.

“I didn’t want you to be alone too long. Is it a crime to care about your brother after he’s been majorly dumped?”

“That makes me feel so much better.”

“You know what I mean.”

Greg did know, and he was grateful. His family had been supportive through the whole ordeal, even though his mother and grandmother had to first get over the blemish of divorce on the Capello name; they still periodically offered unwanted advice on how Greg might win Liz back. Aunt Coco didn’t bother him about it because her ideas had always been at odds with those of her sister-in-law.

“You almost done here?” Joe asked.

“I want to take one more look around; then we can go.”

Joe shrugged his coat off and hung it on a hook. “Wow. This place didn’t sparkle as much when you bought it.” Joe turned in a circle. “Impressive.”

“When I told Liz I would help clean, she said she wanted to do it herself, that she needed the therapy.” The homey smells that used to fill the room had been replaced by bleach and lemon.

“How was she today?” Joe propped himself against the counter.

“She was fine. She’s moved on. Sees it as a failed effort, and she’s cut her losses.” She’d never been one to linger over past mistakes and done deeds. Liz felt everything deeply but didn’t hold on to any of it.

“How are you?”

Greg could feel a headache starting, but he knew that wasn’t what Joe meant. “Relieved, mostly. The last year’s been rough. She deserves better than I gave her, so I hope she finds the right guy.” He’d been grasping at a pretty thin straw when he married Liz, but he’d thought he could manage it. He felt lighter now and realized that the guilt he’d been carrying had dissipated when Liz walked out the door today.

Joe drummed his fingers on the counter. “You know it takes two to make a relationship work. Or not work.”

“It does.” Greg nodded. “Her expectations were different than mine. It took us a while to figure that out. That’s all I’m saying.” And that’s all he would say. He moved on to the dining room. “We had good china that Liz brought out for holidays and birthdays. And once when her book club was here.” He shook his head. “It had to be hand washed. The glasses and the silverware too.”

“I remember it.”

“I…” Greg scratched his head. “She got so excited about so many things, and I just didn’t get it.”

After a moment of mutual contemplation, Joe asked, “You think Jingle’s gonna get all hung up on the crockery if she gets married?”

Greg snorted a laugh, imagining his tattooed sister following a matronly saleslady around the china department at Macy’s. “You forget. She swears she’s never going to indulge in the” -- he made air quotes -- “anachronistic ritual of a male-dominated society intent on keeping women in psychological shackles.”

“Right. No wedding, no good china for baby sister. Mom’s not going to like that.”

“No, she’s not.” Greg pulled the curtains shut.

She’ll have a shit fit is what,” Coco chimed in. Greg laughed.

“What’s funny?” Joe asked.

Greg shrugged and pointed to his head. “She thinks Mom’ll be upset too.”

Joe nodded. “Yep.” Of his family members, only Joe and Jingle thought it was cool that Greg had an ongoing relationship with their dead aunt. The rest of the family referred to it as his “oddity” and generally didn’t like to be reminded. That had actually been a good thing. He didn’t want to be the go-between for his mother and Aunt Coco.

Joe chuckled. “At least now I won’t have to listen to Mom lecturing me.” He pitched his voice an octave higher. “Joey, when are you going to grow up and find a nice girl like your brothers? Pete and Greg are so happy.”


“And when she gets on your case, you cannot use my line.”

“Your line?”

“Yeah, you know. ‘Oh, Ma, the nice girls are taken. All that’s left are the naughty ones.’”

Greg rolled his eyes. “Like I would ever use that cliché.”

He took a quick look at the bedroom he and Liz had used for an office. Two teachers generated copious paperwork, needed a lot of reference material, and acquired all sorts of odds and ends. In clearing this room, Liz had found two boxes of stuff he’d forgotten he even had.

“Hey…” Joe snapped his fingers. “I can get you dates.”

“No, thank you.” Greg cringed to think of some of Joe’s dates.

The bathroom was clean, the fixtures shining. The flowery wallpaper in the master bedroom still looked new. Liz had picked it out, Greg never told her he hated it, and they’d worked together to hang it. His feelings about this room were mixed. He’d loved Liz and enjoyed making love with her, mostly. But even though he had tried very hard not to, he kept wishing she had less soft breast, more hard muscle, and a penis. It had become second nature to compartmentalize and close off those desires. They did still crash through his walls from time to time. But when Liz’s soft, curvy body had been in his arms, he’d worked hard to focus on the familiarity of her scent, the warmth of her affection, and her joyous take on life -- instead of wishing for what he couldn’t have.

He rubbed his temple with the tips of two fingers.


“I’ve got some meds in the car. I’ll get them in a minute.” His head injury had not only left him with Aunt Coco; he still experienced nasty headaches. Naproxen helped the headaches at least, but only if he took it in time.

“You gonna check the basement?” Joe rattled the knob of the door at the stairs.

“No. It’s good.”

“What about this?” Joe started to open a bifold door on a large cedar closet.

Greg pressed it shut. “The closets here are all empty.”

Aunt Coco snorted. “I wouldn’t say that.”

Greg ignored her.

“Why won’t you let me fix you up?” Joe asked.

Because all the girls you know are sluts and skanks,” Aunt Coco said. Greg shook his head as if that would jounce her loose from his brain.

“I appreciate the offer. Being a detective has its perks, I’m sure. But attracting smart, sophisticated women hasn’t been one of them.” They were back at the kitchen door.

“Besides, I am not at all ready to get back into that game.”

They slipped into their coats. “So you’re just gonna sit in that crappy apartment and otherwise work your ass off?”

“It’s not crappy.”

“It’s crappy.”

Greg blew out a breath that ruffled his bangs. The glimpse of his dark hair reminded him he would need a cut soon. “It’s not what you’ve gotten used to, is all. It suits me fine.”

“And the working your ass off?”

“We all have our niche in life.” He poked Joe’s rock-hard chest. “You’re good at catching bad guys, helping little old ladies cross the street, and scaring kids away from drugs. I do what I’m good at, which happens to be teaching the little boogers readin’ and writin’, and serving dinner to big spenders.” He opened the door and gestured for his brother to precede him. Greg made sure the lock was engaged, then shut the door firmly. The real estate agent had said to keep his keys; the new owners would change the locks right away. “Are you buying me lunch?”

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cover for Back to Normal!

Here is the cover for Back To Normal!!!!!  (Have I mentioned "!"?)

Design by Valerie Tibbs

Click here for the page at Loose Id
(which is just a coming soon icon as of this post) 
Is it normal for a romance to blossom between a man who’s in the closet and a man who’s never wanted more than a hook-up?  How about when a clairvoyant grandmother and the ghost of a dead aunt are thrown into the mix, along with a stiletto-wearing twin sister, an Irish pub, a detective brother, and a mother who thinks her son just needs a good woman?

Greg Capello thought that he’d feel normal if he pretended he wasn’t gay, and now it’s making him crazy that he can’t stop thinking about his new boss Finn Sparks and Finn’s amber eyes, brilliant smile and strong hands, among other things.  Finn thinks it’s not normal that instead of wanting to hop into bed with Greg, he’d like to know more about the man, like what’s under that starchy exterior, and who he’s talking to when it appears that no one’s there.

They can’t fight the attraction between them; every time they touch it’s electric.  So Finn finds himself taking it slow and going on dates, for crying out loud.  And Greg has to accept himself, or accept the consequences of staying hidden.

What’s normal anyway?

Release date: October 5

Visit here next week for an excerpt!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Such a nice review

Yay, me!  
Janna, at ErotRomReader, 
has posted a lurvely review of Ice Cream on the Side.  
You can read it here

And because I'm happy, here's a treat.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More happy happy!!  This just sucked me right in.

Now I must return to reading Kresley Cole's Demon From The Dark!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Music that makes me happy!

This is my favorite song these days.  When I hear it, I have to move, and then I have to play it again.  And maybe again.  So I thought I would share.  Scissor Sisters: Fire With Fire.

I love that they are driving around on a sort-of fire truck.  The action of the vid isn't all that stupendous, but I think the song is fabulous!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Book, New Template (same old me)

Hey yinz guys!

I think I just needed a bit of summer vacation.  Feeling better now.  And happy to tell you that I have a new book with Loose Id, to be released October 5!!!!

It's called
Back To Normal

Loose Id is having an event in honor of National Coming Out Day; I don't know what they have planned, but I imagine they are releasing a bunch of, or some anyway, books with that theme. 

Here are the main characters in Back To Normal:

Hero 1: Greg Capello 
  • has been deep in the closet since his teen years, for a couple of reasons (which you'll have to read to find out) and even
  • totally denies that this part of him exists, going so far as to get married (of course that didn't work out; the book opens with his now ex-wife driving off).
  • got hit in the head with a golf ball when he was young, now suffers from bad headaches which seem to be getting worse and since then
  • his dead aunt's spirit communicates with him; Greg refers to her as "living in my head".
  • his older brother has been looking out for them since they were kids.
  • his mother thinks he just needs a good woman and keeps trying to fix him up with one.
  • finds his life slowly unraveling due to some unexpected events, not the least of which is meeting Finn Sparks (because now he can't get the man out of his mind)
Hero 2: Finn Sparks
  • is quite comfortably out and
  • has slept with many, many men, but never the same man twice, mostly because he
  • doesn't like it when things get complicated.
  • with Hayden, his twin sister/business partner, is remodeling an old restaurant and turning it into an Irish pub.
  • his grandmother  heads the Neo-pagan Sparks clan; she's also got "the sight" and when she reads Finn he starts to understand why
  • he is unaccountably attracted to Greg

And here are some of the things that happen:
  • job loss/change
  • a stolen kiss in a bookstore
  • undeniable attraction that is...denied
  • dinners in a restaurant
  • bartending
  • therapy
  • conversations with someone nobody else can see or hear
  • unwanted thoughts 
  • bad memories
  • Internet research
  • tingles
  • family gatherings
  • discovery

 So, yeah, I'll be around a little more often now.  See ya round the webz!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On Hiatus

I've been in a black hole of sorts.  I just came up for a breather to let you know that I'm still here.  I'm visiting blogs and sites, but I can't stop and chat as much as I have been.  Finally decided to officially put the blog on break. I'll see you around the web. 

Here are some cookies for us all to enjoy in the meantime...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fan Letter to an Author Blog Crawl!

Kassa started it, this crawl around the webz wherein bloggers write fan letters to favorite authors.  And she set up a schedule, which you can see on Erotic Horizon's blog  if you click the link in the left column, the one in several colors that says "Blog Crawl" right on it.  If you aren't all the schedule you can still participate.  Just write your love letter and link back to the schedule so others can see what's what.  Or not.  It's a free world.

Thank you to Amy, of My Friend Amy, for tagging me in the crawl. 

Here is my letter, to Charlie Cochrane, author of the wonderful Cambridge Fellow Mysteries.

Dear Charlie,

 It's 2:00 a.m. and I've just finished Lessons in Trust. Oh, how I love Orlando and Jonty!

I have read with great satisfaction every book in this series, a couple of them more than once (to tide me over till the next book).  Sitting down with one of these books is like getting comfy on the couch with an old friend and a cup of coffee, and maybe a few slices of banana bread.
Your writing is so darn clever.  The banter between Jonty and Orlando is precious.  It makes me smile and snicker.   Witty, dry, and quick, I suppose it's what they call English humor.  I find it very satisfying.  And it's not just between our two heroes; family and friends get in on the act as well.

You bring these boys to life with their humor and poking fun, juxtaposed with the serious stuff they carry with them: Jonty's past experience of abuse and Orlando's difficult personal history.  And you have done this through seven books covering several years.  They begin their journey tentatively, as they hold on to their secrets and insecurities.  With each book  they take ownership of their own selves and each other, together and separately.  The mysteries keep me curious, the romance keeps me interested and nothing is static.   By the end of the series we know these men as intelligent but sometimes stupid, reserved but often passionate, humorous and just as much heart-breaking, and always honorable, except when they need to lie.

The way you write their love-making proves that the mind is the most important sexual organ. I, who like to read about sex in all its explicit detail, find myself thrilled with the build-up to and subtle description of Jonty & Orlando's encounters. There is delightful tension and sometimes hunger in the way you write about a touch of a hand, or a look, a scent, a reminder that requires no explicit blow by blow (pardon the pun) to show the attraction between these two .  I look forward to reading your clever descriptions of their sex life, such as:

"He needed all his energy concentrated on making sure he didn’t spoil the match with a premature shot at goal. "

The mysteries stay interesting because you vary their style from book to book.  Jonty and Orlando may be investigating a murder next door, or one that's been unsolved for years. Despite the sometimes gruesome murders that take place within the pages, these are genteel books. I know our heroes will solve the mystery with characteristic attention to manners and shrewd perceptions.

I am happiest with a book that invites me to immerse myself in its world. So thank you, Charlie, for much happiness!


To visit Charlie's blog, go here
A free short story about Jonty and Orlando can be found here.

Tomorrow, go to Smokin' Hot Books to read the next letter!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy I-Suck-Less-Than-Yesterday Day!

In the spirit of The Bloggess, I am jumping on the bandwagon of 
Happy I-Suck-Less-Than-Yesterday Day!

My contribution to less suckage is sharing a happy.

Here is a pic of Shnoogy the Mutt.  I mentioned his smile in my ten things that make me happy list and KZ wanted to see.  Just so you know, it is very hard to get a good smiley picture, because he's usually playing when he does it.  This was as close as I could get.

I will also spend time this afternoon planning our next family vacation - something I'm not fond of doing but BH is very busy and it would stress him way out over the edge to deal with it.

There.  I suck less than yesterday.  Do you?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Four And A Half Kisses

Jeff, of MichelenJeff Reviews fame, gave Ice Cream on the Side 4 and 1/2 kisses!  You can read it here, along with an interview.

And here's a cookie.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Slices of Life - Company dinner

Thursday evening:

My husband and I (I have to come up with some clever nickname or initials for him) attended a business-related dinner.  One of those where you sit at a big round table with 9 other people, and there are 9 or 10 of those tables in the room and all those voices create a cacophony that would make a bat's ears bleed.  So you can really only hear the people right next to you talking.  If you want to hear the people across the table, you have to lean forward and cup your ear like Beverly Hillbillies Granny.  And sometimes, the people on either side of you are facing away, talking to the people that aren't you. (For the purposes of this little story, I'll use "bh" for "beloved husband") (At times, that would need to be spoken with tongue firmly planted in cheek).

Me: (The people on my right are having a conversation that I can't hear completely, but I try to look keenly interested)

BH: (The people on his left are having a conversation that is engrossing to the two of them)

Me: So, how ya doin'?

BH: Pretty good.  You?

Me: Not bad.  This food is really good.

BH: I don't like it (he pushes it around his plate)*.

Me:  You seemed to like those morel mushrooms (I'd given him one of mine and the man sitting next to me gave both of his to bh)

BH: (Shrugs) Only the first two were really good.

Me: What are they talking about on your side?

BH:  Haiti, I think.  Earthquake fall-out.  What about your side?

Me: Finances.

BH: Oh.  (We should've switched seats at this point.  Finance is like the adult-speak in the Peanuts comics to me: waaah-waah-waaah.  Bh is all about the finance.  I might've been able to hold up a bit of conversation about Haiti, though).

BH: Why don't you ask Jean about scuba diving?

Me: Huh?  (Jean is sitting two people away and is involved in the finance talk)

BH: You know, make conversation, have something to talk about.

Me: (Blinking.  Trying to understand what the HELL he is talking about because Jean obviously needs no encouragement to talk and I'd have to lean over the man between us and say: "Hey, Jean, I hear you like to scuba dive!")  (Also, I realize that he'd like to learn to scuba dive someday and wants me to want that, too.)  (Fat chance of that ever happening).  We've already had a nice conversation.  I talked.

BH:  What did you talk about?  (His eyes sort of glaze over and I think it's because his phone buzzed, meaning he got an email and now he's itching to see what it's about)

Me: (making shit up) Whether roadkill squirrels are tastier than roadkill possums.

BH: (doesn't hear me)

Me: (goes back to the finance talk)

*THIS sort of thing is why together we look like a golf club and a bowling ball.  He's a foot taller than me and weighs less. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Slices of Life - weekend activities

We've had a busy few days.  I'm jotting down a few of the stand-out moments...

Friday evening - Husb and I attended a fundraiser dinner for a local charity.  The big event was a dance contest of sorts, where local 'celebrities' danced with pro dance instructors.  The celebs were to drum up votes at $40 each, all to go to the charity.  It was fun.  They'd been practicing for weeks on their dance number.  Some did salsa, some foxtrot, some swing.  A la Dancing with the Stars.  Anyway, we're sitting at our table, watching, and Husb leans over to me.
Husb: Give you any ideas?
Me: (Of course it did, but I wanted to hear what he was thinking) Like what?
Husb: You know. 
Me: Yeah?
Husb: For a story (waggles eyebrows).  One could be in drag.
Me: (Having already generated plot bunny) That's brilliant!

Saturday - Husb and I discussed summer vacation plans.  Our son is going to join us, and so we're giving him a choice.  One - United Kingdom, some sort of land tour, or two - Mediterranean Cruise.  If you were at DIK Blog a while back, you saw Jenre's Post about romance novel tropes and a little discussion about researching Greek Billionaires.  Such irony that now we were seriously talking about a cruise that will take us to a few of those Greek Isles! But today, Boy informed us that if he gets to choose, he'd rather go to England and/or Ireland.

Saturday evening - We went to see a production of Avenue Q, which is an adult muppet musical.  There's a gay muppet - Rod (holding book in picture) and his not-gay roommate Nicky.  Rod denies that he's gay until near the end of the show and after intensive therapy.  And Nicky finds him a boyfriend, Ricky, who happens to look just like Nicky, because Nicky knows Rod's type.

Beyond that, though, there was muppet sex.  I kid you not.  Princeton and Kate Monster (see photo below) went out on a sweet date.  The Bad Idea Bears showed up with Long Island Iced Teas and our protagonists got drunk, went home and had sex.  Accompanied by the song "You Can Be As Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Makin' Love)".  I thought it was hysterical.  My dear husb, however, was, well, shocked.  I think it was a "Please bleach my eyeballs" moment for him.  We discussed it at intermission: 

Husb: That's just not right.
Me: I thought it was hysterical.
Husb: Muppets are supposed to be cute.  They're for kids. 
Me: Do you need to go home?
Husb: No.  Just...I can't think about muppets that way.
Me: Well, these are grown up muppets.  

Wishing you all a wonderful week!