Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lovely Reviews

There have been some more reviews of Ice Cream on the Side.

Lily gave it 4 stars (!) at Rainbow Reviews. She says (in part): "I really enjoyed the mystery/suspense plot in this debut novel, especially the fact that I was surprised by who the culprit was. It's always nice when the author takes time to make the "baddie" not so obvious....When I can finish a book with a smile and happy to have read the story, when I find myself rooting for the guys and picturing their HEA life, the author in my opinion has done their job perfectly."

Mmmmyeah I like that!

And Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos liked the book and is having a contest for a free copy! You have to comment on the post that you want to be included, and you have a chance to win.  Yay!

And here's a little something to brighten your day!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Urban Fantasy Favorites, part 1

A recent post at MsM's Moonlight to Twilight blog got me thinking about all the wonderful urban fantasy I'd been reading before m/m sort of took over my life. I started to comment on her post, but realized I was blathering on for so long that I might take over her site.  Not wanting to be so rude (hey, I can be nice) I moved my blather to my own blog, where I can refer to it cause I like hearing myself talk.  Er...reading myself write.  Oh, never mind!

Urban Fantasy I have known and loved --

Author: Ilona Andrews.  Series: Kate Daniels.  Urban Setting: Atlanta.  First book: Magic Bites.  The authors are a husband/wife team and are amazing.  The world building is absolutely thorough and believable.  The world fluctuates between magic and technology.  Kate is a mercenary strong in magic, and finds herself dealing with vampires (not the warm fuzzy kind) and shifters and so on.  She is unapologetically kick-ass. There is not a strong romance per se, but the tension is there and draws you in. (A recent book "On the Edge" is the start of a new series.  The Edge is a place that exists between the mundane world and the magical one.  Rose is the heroine who has to fight the bad guys.  Nice budding romance with the requisite tension also.)

Author: Patricia Briggs.  Series: Mercy Thompson.  Urban Setting: Tri-cities in the Pacific Northwest.  First Book: Moon Called.  Mercy is a mechanic with her own shop.  She's also a shifter who gets caught up in some bad goings on involving werewolves. And then vampires, sorcerers, and fae.  She has a couple of love-interests, and it is fun watching that develop over the series.  She's interesting in that she didn't plan on being a hero, kick-ass or otherwise.  She has to use her brains and the talents that come with being a coyote.   (Another series in the same universe: Alpha and Omega, with Charles and Anna as a werewolf couple dealing with their own set of mysteries)

Author: Jim Butcher.  Series: The Dresden Files.  Urban Setting: Chicago.  First Book: Storm Front.  The protag Harry Dresden is male, but there are some kick-ass female characters.  More importantly, the writing is captivating, with dry wit and laugh-out-loud humor used generously to balance out the sometimes serious, sometimes scary elements.  Harry is a wizard, who works as a private investigator of the weird and magical in a city that doesn't know they exist. I am eagerly awaiting book 12, due in April.  I never get tired of these books.

Author: Kim Harrison.  Series: The Hollows (sometimes called Rachel Morgan). Urban Setting: Cincinnati.  First Book: Dead Witch Walking.   Rachel is a witch in a world where magic was revealed and accepted only after humans started dying after eating some bad tomatoes. She is best friends and partners in a sort of private investigator agency with a born vampire and a pixie. Lots of interesting world-building, with magical lands, boundaries, ley lines etc.  The plots get very complicated and Rachel seldom tackles anything completely on her own (successfully anyway).  I absolutely loved the early books in this series, but the recent couple have left me with a sense of melancholy.  I haven't given up, though.

Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon. Series: Dark Hunter. Urban Setting: New Orleans, mostly, but anywhere around the world is game.  First Book: Night Pleasures (Fantasy Lover came before this, but while it's in this world, the hero isn't a hunter).   This is one of those series that has gone on and on and I haven't got the excitement for them I once did.  At the beginning, I just couldn't get enough of these tough, tortured guys and the women they love. Lots of action, hot sex as well. The hunters are a riff on vampires, as are their enemies.  Ancient Greek deities get involved, as the first hunter, Acheron, is tied to them and to the gods of Atlantis. There are also Dream Hunters and Were Hunters.  The plots usually reflect the battle between good paranormals and bad ones, and often include a battle royale with several heroes coming together for a kick-ass finale.

Author: Tanya Huff.  Series: The Blood Books.  Urban Setting: Toronto.  First Book: Blood Price.  There are five books in this series and I'm pretty sure it's finished.  Vicki Nelson was a police detective but had to leave the force due to a generative eye disease.  Now she's a private investigator.  She gets called in to cases that have paranormal element.  She has an on/off love interest in police detective Mike Celluci, and meets vampire Henry Fitzroy, a vampire who writes romance novels. He complicates things. I love Vicki for her toughness and her fight to be strong despite eyes that betray her.  Her journey into the paranormal, demonic world around her is fascinating and scary.  Huff include enough humor to balance that.  Another series: The Smoke Trilogy.  Includes characters from the Blood Books, now in Vancouver. Not as terrific, but still good.

Author: Julie Kenner.  Series: Kate Connor, Demon Hunter.  Urban Setting: San Diablo, CA.  First Book: Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom.  Kate is a suburban housewife with a second husband, teenage daughter, toddler son and lots of secrets (some she doesn't even know she has). There are times these books made me laugh out loud and times they made me cry.  Kate is a little bit like a grown up Buffy.  She battles demons and those possessed by them, trying to keep the world safe a little longer.  At the same time she has to get the kids to school, bake cookies, and entertain the politicos her husband must court for his run at county attorney.

Whew!! And that's just a few.  RL is calling.  I'll add more in another post later.  In the meantime, please do share your favorite Urban Fantasy books or series, and I'll add them to the list!

Jazz and Riley, part 2

Riley let out a strangled cry of dismay as Jazz’s soft, warm mouth left his cock cold and hard.

“Hold on.” Jazz reached for the nightstand even as Riley protested. God, he loved it when Riley got like this; it made Jazz feel like the studliest stud ever. He found the lube and turned back to Riley. “Turn over,” he said.

Riley complied eagerly.  “Yesss.” He lifted his ass up like an offering.

Jazz caressed the globes. His man was beautiful everywhere. He squirted some lube onto his fingers, enough to ease Riley’s passage open. With his dry hand he pulled one smooth ass cheek aside so he could easily slip two fingers of the other hand into the puckered opening. Riley hissed out another “yesss” and pushed back on Jazz’s hand.  Jazz watched in fascination as his fingers disappeared into that tight channel. 

“Fuck.”  Jazz pumped his hand as Riley pulsed. He tried to find Riley’s sweet spot.  Riley’s sharp intake of breath let him know when he hit it. He didn’t think Riley noticed when he added a third finger. Jazz didn’t need to work this much at stretching; he just enjoyed watching Riley fuck himself on his hand. His own cock was leaking steadily and he knew he would have to soon get it inside the other man.  A few more thrusts and he pulled his fingers out of Riley’s clenching hole.

Jazz smeared more lube on his own cock, lined up and pushed in slowly, feeling the warm heat embrace him.

“Jesus, Jazz.  Fuck me now.” Riley’s breath stuttered as he jammed himself back onto Jazz’s dick with a forceful thrust.

“Oh, Christ!” Jazz fell forward over Riley’s back.  Fortunately, he caught himself before he squished his partner.  Riley was strong, but lean.  Jazz’s extra height and weight would not be comfortable landing on Riley’s back without support, and that could put a crimp in the activities.

“Do me hard. And fast.” Riley tried to get him moving, but in this position he had to wait for Jazz to start.

“What’s got into you?” Jazz licked and bit at Riley’s neck.

“God.” Riley groaned.  “Do you really want an analysis?  Just do it!”

Jazz was nothing if not accommodating.  He pulled back and slammed into Riley, who braced his hands on the headboard to keep from hitting his head on it.  His ragged breath and long moan caused Jazz to smile to himself, pleased that he could wring this reaction out of his lover. He pumped hard, feeling his balls smack against Riley’s ass each time. 

He loved the feeling of his body covering Riley’s, their skin slick with sweat, easing the friction. He loved having his face buried in the crook of the other man’s neck, tickled by the shaggy brown hair.

Jazz balanced himself on one hand so he could reach under Riley with the other. He grasped Riley’s cock firmly, the residual lube on his fingers giving the right amount of glide. Immediately, Riley rocked his hips forward to push himself through Jazz’s fist.  He followed that with a thrust back, taking Jazz’s cock all the way in. In a moment, they were in sync, a well-oiled machine, rocking into and out of each other’s grasps. Jazz kept his hand curled around the other man’s cock, letting Riley fuck himself because he just didn’t have the wherewithal to do more than that.  He knew that Riley was lost in the stroking, the movement of his hips back and forth, and that he would keep at it until he came, unless Jazz stopped him.

Jazz had no intention of stopping him.  

“Oh, Lord,” Riley whispered. Jazz felt the pulses of Riley’s orgasm as he spurted. Everything inside Riley seemed to clench around Jazz’s cock, and he couldn’t contain his own release. It powered through him, bringing his body to stillness while the climax roared across his nerves. His rhythm slowed, and he cradled Riley’s body while the last waves rolled over them.  When they both stopped shuddering, Jazz loosened his hold and fell to Riley’s side. Riley turned towards him, a very satisfied smile on his face.

Jazz ran a finger along Riley’s cheek. “That was…really great.”

“Um-hmm. It was.” Riley snuggled closer. “Love you.”

“Love you, too.” Jazz curled his arm over Riley’s waist.  He’d be hungry soon.  Nap first. Dinner later.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Tree not-a-meme

Jenre posted today about her lovely Christmas Tree and asked for her readers to share their pics.  There was also some discussion of mince pies, but I've never had one of those (not sure I've ever even seen one.)  (Although in a trivia game last week there was a question about ox tongue and what Christmas treat did it used to be an ingredient of, the answer of course being mince pies and everyone just went eww and on to the next question) (But that is neither here nor there).

So I am sharing my Christmas tree pics.  We have three trees.

One fake one in the entryway, which is getting kind of long in the tooth.  I know this because when I put it up, needles dropped like rain.  From a fake tree.

The second tree is wrought iron and I bought it a few years ago when I saw it in the Solutions catalog.  We have a large number of heavy ornaments; they drag down the branches on our live tree (and even on our fake tree) and I got tired of rearranging them every year.  Now they have their own place to hang out.

Our "big" tree is one we cut down ourselves.  We do this every year, and traditionally buy a 10-foot tree even though we have 8-foot ceilings.  This explains why the top

We always have to take a bit off the top, and a bit off the bottom. This year, our 20-something son was home to help with the heavy cutting and lifting.  Once the tree was in the stand and situated, he took a two hour nap while the hub and I decorated.  We had to put his two cats in his room because they took too much interest in the breakables.  But they haven't bothered the tree since then.  The dog is merely disgruntled that one of his napping spots has been usurped.

So, like Jenre, I'll come look at your tree if you post a link to a pic of it!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Two pretty terrific reviews of "Ice Cream on the Side" have popped up.  The first is by jessewave, who gave it a 4 (out of 5) rating:

"...I do recommend this book because it was well written, the protagonists were three dimensional, the pacing was right, and the author is obviously talented."

You can read the whole review on the website. 

The second review appeared at Ebook Addict, by Teresa.

"I absolutely loved this book.  I could not put it down, finally crawling into bed at 8 am, tired but not sorry I'd stayed up to finish it."

Read the rest here.

So now that I've had my treats, here is one for you: 

Happy Day!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jazz and Riley

I was thinking that maybe once a person reads my book, they might look me up online.  That's what I do, after all, so hey, why not?  Anyhoo...I am really not that interesting.  I'll work on that.  In the meantime, I thought perhaps a post with two of the guys who live in my head might be fun.  Here are Jazz and Riley.

Jazz Newbury and Riley Dunlop became friends when Riley injured his leg playing football in college. At first, Jazz was Riley’s physical therapist. Then they became friends.  After that they became lovers. Which was kind of interesting, considering that Riley had a vivid imagination but hadn’t ever been with a man before, and Jazz had been with so many men there wasn’t much left for him to imagine.  They made it through some difficulties and came out stronger at the broken places.  But that’s a story for another time.

After Riley sold his first novel, he and Jazz bought a little bungalow in the slowly gentrifying northeast neighborhood. This would be their first Christmas in the house, and the urge to make it very special infected both of them.

“How’s that look?” Riley called from his perch at the top of the ladder.

“Looks fine. Let’s go in.” Jazz held the ladder steady, fearful that Riley might tumble off and damage his leg.  Even after five years he worried about that sort of thing. He was getting a little cold.  At noon, the sun was shining and the temperature hit fifty-five degrees.  Now the cloud cover set in and he could feel the temperature drop. And, to be honest, he was bored. Standing still just wasn’t that much fun.

“Did you even look at them?”

“Of course I looked at them.  They’re fine. Get down here.”

“No. I really want you to look at them because I don’t want to have to climb back up here if they’re not perfect.”

“I’m not letting go of the damn ladder.”

“Who asked you to?  Just look up.  Jesus.  I know you hate heights, but you’re on the ground.  Look up here.” Riley had that exasperated tone in his voice.  It was the same one he got when Jazz left crumbs all over the counter after he made a sandwich. Which he did every time.

Jazz looked up at the icicle lights Riley had strung along the gutter. Really, they did look okay, but if he didn’t make some suggestion, Riley would think he didn’t care. “Straighten out those lights to your left.”

Riley tugged on the icicle lights. “Better?”

“Yeah, that’s good.” Jazz kept his eye-roll to himself.

“”K.  I’m coming down.”

Jazz watched that fine ass as Riley made his way down the ladder. He moved back to make room but kept his hands on the rails.  Riley stepped down into Jazz’s embrace, rubbing his butt against the man as he did.  With his feet on the ground, Riley leaned back, resting his head on Jazz’s shoulder.

“Do you have any idea what I’ve been going through, watching your rear as you’ve gone up and down this ladder all afternoon?” Jazz nuzzled Riley’s ear. He felt a shudder run through Riley.

“We haven’t been doing this all afternoon,” Riley said a little breathlessly, and tilted his head in response to Jazz’s touch.  “We started out with both of us on the ground, putting the little twinky lights on the hedges.”

“That was ages ago. And don’t you mean twink-ly lights?” The heat from Riley’s body penetrated the flannel shirt and T-shirt Jazz wore.  Any response Riley might have made about the lights was lost as Jazz reached one hand under Riley’s sweatshirt to caress his chest.

“Hey, Jazz?” Riley cleared his throat.

“Yeah?” Jazz was busy, what with kissing the soft spot behind Riley’s ear and drawing little circles on his chest with a fingertip.

“We’re standing in the front yard. I can see Mrs. Pelicheck sweeping out her garage.”


“So, let’s not give her a show. Let’s put this stuff away and go inside.”

“Don’t wanna go in.” Jazz loved how Riley smelled, especially after he’d been working outside. He took a deep whiff.  Riley huffed a laugh and turned around in Jazz’s embrace.

“The sooner we go in, the sooner we can get naked,” Riley sang.

Jazz hugged him tight. “Okay. You win. I like naked.”

It wasn’t long before they were undressed and sprawled on the bed. Riley spread his legs so Jazz could nestle his lower body between them.  He propped himself up on his elbows, on either side of Riley’s chest. Jazz liked the way Riley tasted as much as he liked how Riley smelled.  He proved that point by kissing and licking his way across Riley’s jaw, down his neck, and across his collarbone. Riley squirmed, sighed and stretched his arms up to the headboard.  Jazz ran his tongue lightly across Riley’s full lips, and Riley opened for the kiss. Jazz pulled back to look at him. With his legs spread, his arms reaching and his lips parted, he looked wanton and ready. 

“You are so beautiful,” Jazz said. He kissed Riley before the man could respond. Their tongues battled for a second before Riley moaned and let Jazz have his way.  He always got turned on when Riley submitted to him, even a little bit. Jazz felt the flush of excitement wash over him and leaned in closer, letting his passion put more power into the kiss. He never got tired of exploring his lover’s mouth. When Riley drew his arms down from the headboard, Jazz trapped his wrists.

Riley made a token struggle against the hold then he arched up into Jazz’s body, grinding his hips against Jazz’s groin, forcing their cocks to rub each other. Jazz inhaled a quick breath. He let go of Riley’s hands and pushed himself up.

“Come back.” Riley reached for him, but Jazz was already wriggling down toward Riley’s cock. He licked a line from the base to the head. “Never mind. Carry on.” Riley let himself fall back to the bed. Jazz smiled even as he licked another trail from the tip of Riley’s penis to his balls.

He sucked first one ball then the other, running his tongue all around them.  Riley opened his legs further, encouraging Jazz’s explorations. Jazz lifted the sac so he could reach underneath it.  He laved Riley’s perineum, pressing gently.  Riley made a little noise Jazz loved, a cross between a whimper and a groan. Jazz continued with his ministrations until the little noises got louder. He returned to Riley’s cock, licked a few circles around the head then took it into the warmth of his mouth.

“Fuck.” Riley tried to keep his hips in place, Jazz could tell by the tremble.  He used one hand to help hold Riley still. With the other, he held Riley’s cock so he could stroke its length with his tongue. He tasted the pre-cum that dripped from the slit. Again, he took that delicious cock into his mouth, this time taking in as much as he could without gagging. Riley’s moans and gasps encouraged him, and Jazz sucked the slick length, moving up and down with a firm hold.

“Jazz, Jazz.”  Riley’s head pushed back into the mattress, extending his neck. “I’m so close.  Oh, God.  Don’t stop.”

But that’s just what Jazz did.

New Author nerves

Later tonight - or early in the morning, "Ice Cream on the Side" will go on sale at Loose Id. I sure hope a few people buy it.  I also hope they like it!  And tell more people about it.  And so on and so on.  (My own personal Herbal Essences Shampoo) I find I have had a hard time sleeping lately, and it's at least partly about having the book go live. I find myself laying (lying?) (who knows?) there in the dark, thinking about it, wondering if others will find it entertaining. I guess we all, no matter what we do, want some validation. Time will tell, eh?