SNEAK PEEK: My Next Novel

This is the opening scene of the as-yet-untitled new story I’ve been working on :) I’m actually having some trouble deciding on a title because I don’t want it to sound like a kid’s book — teddy bears are a big part of it — and the title I’d latched onto originally was taken not too long ago by a LGBT YA book. But there’s plenty of time for titles ;)

Anyway, this is the story of Wells Granger, a man who’s recently getting his life going where he wants it to, and the very bad problem lurking under the beds of everyone in his new apartment building. Oh, and the sexy elf who, with Wells’ help, will save them all ;)


Chapter 1

“Hi! I’m Wells. I just moved into—”

When his neighbor slammed his door, Wells lost his smile and swallowed hard. Pushing his glasses back up the bridge of his nose, he looked left and right down the hall. No one else was around to see his latest humiliating attempt to meet the other people living on the second floor of his new apartment building.

All day long he’d been unloading his Silverado and hauling second-hand furniture and a billion cardboard boxes. All day long he’d seen people coming and going…with scowls on their faces.

At first, he’d felt like he shouldn’t interrupt. Whenever his father looked like that, no one bothered him for fear of becoming a target for whatever had upset him.

But Wells was twenty-six, moving into his first solo apartment, and life was finally getting good, damn it. He was happy and he was damn well going to let that show. He deserved to smile and bounce a little. Why shouldn’t he greet his neighbors and introduce himself while he was feeling so lovely?

Not one single person had said a kind word or shown even the smallest hint of being pleased to meet him. No handshakes, no questions, not even any eye contact. He was beginning to suspect he’d moved into a halfway house for perpetually cranky people.

Or that they knew something about him that pissed them off.

Wells gulped again and hustled into his apartment. Jeez, that brought back memories of high school. Being so cautious, planning his every action and word to make sure he’d be perceived as straight, and worrying about every look he couldn’t interpret. And then when he’d been outed, the disgust and derision had been impossible to miss. People said kids could be so cruel, but Wells knew adults could be worse.

Like his own father kicking him out, forcing him to couch-surf through his senior year.

Wells mentally shook that off. Things were great now and a few grumpy neighbors didn’t mean anything. Sometimes people were grouchy, and they might not even realize they were being rude. Heck, maybe that last guy was deaf and hadn’t heard Wells talking to him as he’d gone into his apartment.

So he’d let it pass, take care of his own business, and maybe knock on some doors tomorrow. Nodding to himself, Wells bounded down the stairs to get another group of boxes.

* * * Continue reading

Book Recommendation Day!

I have an Amazon gift card and I’m ready to use it! :D

Honestly, I’m surprised I haven’t used it all up by now, but it could just be that there were so many free stories out there to read, and then my backlog TBR list up and looked kinda meh so I’ve been reading those older comfort reads, you know? I think I go through periods where I do that. It’s not a bad thing, really, since I do love those stories.

So, what are your comfort reads? What have you recently been reading that’s knocking your socks off? It doesn’t have to be m/m or LGBT romance, but we kinda like it that way ;)

Come on and share! :D

(FYI, there are a few author names that, if you mention them in your comment, your comment will go into moderation. I’d prefer not to explain, but if your comment goes missing, that could be why. Thanks.)

Queer Romance Month Begins

queerromancemonthThorny let me know about Queer Romance Month a while back. We talked about what he might write for his guest post over there and I’m looking forward to reading what he ended up writing. When he shared with me the tentative schedule of posts for the month, I was impressed with the fact each day has at least 3 guests. That’s a lot of people speaking out about queer issues and romance fiction. I’m looking forward to reading those too.

Thorny’s on the list for Saturday, October 11, but I’m going to encourage you to go take a look at the QRM website every day. Why? To support our brothers and sisters in expressing themselves. Whatever they’ve decided to talk about, I think it’s important we all pump up the pageviews, leave a comment, and share the links.

Fiction with LGBT protagonists is still rare and our little niche of the romance world is still small and isolated. I don’t want for this event to be about marketing the latest book as much as I hope to about the ideas and people behind them. I want to see connections between me and a crowd of other people who’ve had those thoughts, lived through that, struggled for this same something more.

So you’ll probably see me around in the comments section and I hope to see you too. I hear they’re kicking things off over at Joyfully Jay’s today.

So Many Plot Bunnies, So Little Time

Lee Byung-hun in RED 2

Lee Byung-hun in RED 2

If you were on Facebook recently, you might’ve seen me gushing a little about a new plot bunny that took hold of me after watching the movie RED 2 and discovering the actor Lee Byung-hun. I had this idea about an assassin and a whistle-blower marked for death. It would be along the same theme as RED/RED 2 in that it’ll be an action/adventure-comedy. I even wrote a whole lot of that idea down and felt fantastic about it :)

But, at the same time, I’ve been fiddling with Christopher and Herman’s story, too. Adding info, beefing up backstory, writing down dialogue…

And then there’s this idea about Teddy bears and under-bed monsters.

And one about a labyrinth.

And a guy who can paint things into being real.

And an actor who’s going to save his show by going gay.

And a couple who decide to play with mild BDSM.

And a guy who has to be rescued from a yoga class.

And the minions of a wizard.

I write them all down as they come to me because I don’t want to risk losing a single thought. Maybe it’ll be a great novel one day. Maybe it’ll sit in a file forever.

What really gets to me sometimes is the fact I actually don’t have time to sit and mess with all of them from idea to finish product. It’s frustrating to have to make notes and leave it. I mean, I know that’s just how it is because of life and all, but I feel like NOT giving it everything I have right away might make it slowly disappear. What if I forget?

What if I lose the motivation to write anything else about it? Because that’s happened, and then I wonder, does that mean it wasn’t meant to be? Wasn’t good enough? Or was it just not the right time to write that one? Will it come back?

I’m not feeling mournful anymore over the conclusion of SPLINTERS and letting Al and Duke fly from the nest and be free in the world. Writing SEA GOD’S SACRIFICE helped me move on very well from that. Right now, instead, I’m in a weird spot where any story could be The One. I’m poking at all of them like they’re foreign substances and I have to figure them out. But I’m also reading more and watching more movies and getting even more ideas.

For now, I’m going to run with the possibility this is all good. Normal. I’m being an author between projects and this is just the way it is. Anything could happen.

And that’s kind of exciting :)

Let’s Talk About Poo

Am I in the minority on this? I read a book with a hero I’m told is a virgin only to think to myself that he so is not once they get to the sex. Do any of you feel that way?

I realize everyone’s first time isn’t the same and that each virgin has different theoretical knowledge they’ve learned up to this point. For me, there was porn, some fiction books, and a sex manual. But once I managed to get another person involved, I realized just how much I didn’t know. And then cue some of the most embarrassing personal questions and considerations in the history of ever.

Yet I hardly ever read about virgin characters fussing with anything like that. Was I a worrywort? Too much in my head and not enough in my pants? Is that why I can’t even think of a story with a virgin who worried about the last time he poo’d so his ass would be available to visitors?

squeezeNow I know it’s not sexy and, yeah, it dampened a mood or two in the beginning of my sexual explorations, but it was important. Shit happens–literally–and in a lot of different ways and with all kinds of consequences. We get over it and move on, or we learn to. But with zero practical application of their new knowledge, how do all these virgin characters get their first times so exactly right?

You could say the other hero is just that awesome at his part of the job. I can absolutely accept that someone else taking charge and sharing what they know will make everything better. But aside from a few mentions of relaxing to let him in, there’s rarely any verbal directions given from top to bottom. And that bit of conversation comes way after every other appendage has visited the virgin’s ass and yet…no mention of just how well that virgin washed up first. You know?

I’m starting to feel like I might’ve been the only person on the planet who didn’t realize external cleanliness was just the beginning of what had to happen down there. {blush} I’m very thankful my realization came from talking instead of doing, though. Very thankful.

Because, though there’s plenty of porn out there to watch the act, there’s next to nothing available about preparing for it. I can think of only two right now: 1) a Corbin Fisher star from a few years ago taking the audience through his usual routine (visual, somewhat edited, not free), and 2) TitanMan star Jesse Jackman’s blog post about what he does from maybe a year or so ago (written, free, pretty thorough). Searching for it, even now, sends me to porn sites and the occasional blog, but mostly about the act, not the prep. And that’s now; what were previous generations of virgins doing?

Did they talk to their friends? Aside from not seeing that in fiction either, I can’t imagine attempting to talk to one of my friends about this. Not before I did it or now. Talk about how amazing something was or a position or whatever like that, no problem. Talk about prepping and what we both do? I’d rather hear about the often overlooked nuances of the 1824 Farmer’s Almanac while hanging upside down by my toes.

SONY DSCI’m betting that only recently would anyone’s parent offer insight into anal sex preparation and I’m shuddering to imagine how well that wouldn’t work. Though, oh how my grandmother would’ve had a field day with that chat, you know? For that really authentic feel, Grams would’ve shoved a Fleshlight full of tootsie rolls.

Which brings me to the fact that the discussion about prep between characters doesn’t have to be horrible. Yes, it was embarrassing, but Jazz definitely made an effort to be funny and did some very nice things to distract me while going over everything. I may not remember exactly what either of us said, but I do remember laughing and anything that had us naked together was a good thing. (Heck, back then I popped wood from seeing the dip of his collarbone. He could talk about whatever all day, so long as he did it completely naked. {ahem} I’m getting better at listening when he talks while naked now because I stare at his nose ;) )

I guess I’d just prefer if there was a tiny bit more realism in stories with virgins. Worries, fears, missteps, trouble, etc. that would make it more believable that these characters could be real people out there somewhere. Because, instead of a porn star pretending to, I’d rather read about the trials and glories of an actual virgin giving up his cherry. There’s so much more story there, don’t you think?