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?

SPLINTERS on Amazon

So Amazon went a little early. Oops. Since it’s already selling, I’m just gonna go ahead and tell you all right now.

I SOLD MY FIRST BOOK!! :D

eBook cover (click to embiggen)

eBook cover (click to embiggen)

Buy Links

:star: Amazon Kindle

:star: CreateSpace Paperback

Description

Waking up in a strange place isn’t a first for model and actor Allan Seville, but discovering himself alone and bound to a rough plank in the middle of an open Texas range certainly is. With no memory of who did this to him or why, panic sets in, until rescue comes riding up on a big, brown horse.

There’s more to Duke Walters than a handsome face and sexy drawl. In the arms of this rugged cowboy, Al discovers a peace and safety he never knew he needed, and now doesn’t want to be without.

But someone wants Al out of the way and drugging him during a movie junket in Houston is only the beginning. A world of differences may separate this cowboy and diva, but when danger strikes again, Duke might be the only one who can get them out alive.

I wrote a book. It's buyable now. I'm gonna go relax.

I wrote a book. It’s buyable. I’m gonna go relax now while you read it.

SPLINTERS Cover Reveal!

After much inspiration, some frustration, a little bit of screaming, and a final burst of glowing insight, below is the official cover for SPLINTERS :)

Paperback cover (click to embiggen)

Paperback cover (click to embiggen)

Really different from the original inspiration, huh? There’s a reason for that. See, in keeping with my realization about the tone of the book needing to be reflected by the cover, I decided against being provocative.

Rejected cover. For comparison only.

Rejected cover. For comparison only.

I had another cover with a male model wearing lacy panties, which was all kinds of sexy. But the problem there might be that some people could see an athletic woman instead. To remedy that, I added a tagline saying, “When a male model and a cowboy fall in love, there’s bound to be a few…” and then the title SPLINTERS. That somewhat solved the M/F or M/M confusion, but then I had to wonder: is such an erotic image right for this story?

Yes, Allan Seville is a male model with a love for lingerie. Yes, he tempts Duke with that aspect of himself before they even meet. Yes, there’s a scene or three where Al is wearing lingerie, and one of them is a sex scene.

But the overall tone of the book isn’t erotic. There’s sex in it, yeppers, but I like to think those scenes are more about building, losing, and regaining love. It’s a romance.

So it needed a romantic cover.

Duke takes my hand and leads me up a little incline where a tree leans with the direction of the wind. Looks like a tough old tree, telling off the wind because it’s not moving from this spot. It makes me think of the kind of person Duke is, living out here in the middle…of…

My brain fumbles to a stop as I gaze over the land Duke’s brought me up here to see.

It’s so vast. I can see the horizon way out there. Is that the curve of the planet? Just gold and blue and specks of life, splashes of green and brown, the rolls of hills dotted with cloud shadows. I can hear the wind and my breath and my heart. The sun bakes down on me, and then Duke’s hand is squeezing mine.

Before now, cowboys were just sexy like denim and strength. This man beside me is so much more than any of that. I’m staring at the land, but I’m seeing him. All my life, I’ve been the leaves on this tree, shaking in the wind, trying to hold on.

Duke is the roots.

He moves in front of me, a soft expression on his rugged face, and wipes his thumb under my eye. I’ve cried. Seeing this place made me cry.

“Happens for some,” he whispers. “Gets us right in the soul.”

I think the rest of that scene shows a lot about each of them and holds some important revelations for Al about himself, too. It’s a turning point, maybe. It’s the scene that’s been kind of haunting me because I wanted it for the cover, but couldn’t get any aspect of it “right”… Until this weekend when the whole thing flowed right out of me exactly as I’d imagined it.

I know it’s a simple cover. It probably won’t win any awards or get a second glance from people looking for something salacious. It doesn’t have a single person on it, and I bet that’ll disappoint some people; they’ll say I missed an opportunity.

A couple weeks ago, I might’ve cared. Now, though, I’m content and proud to share this image, these feelings, and say this is my book cover. This is SPLINTERS, the story of two very different men falling in love anyway.

GUEST POST: Non-Stardard Characters & Genre Labeling by Tempeste O’Riley

Good morning everyone. First, I would like to thank the great and wonderful Thorny for hosting my new release! Thanks Thorny!!! Now, what am I here to talk about? That’s always a fun thing for an author to figure out. In my case, I want to discuss non-standard characters and genre labeling. You see, in Desires’ Guardian, as well as its sequel due out in September (Temptations of Desire) you meet and journey with characters that are not your typical m/m characters. Continue reading

GUEST POST: Ta-Dah! Cowboys in Pencil by LC Chase

LetItRide_TourBanner

G’day everyone! Welcome to the last stop on my Let It Ride blog tour and peek into the world of rodeo cowboys. (The official schedule can be found here if you missed a post.)

First I’d like to give a big thank you to Thorny for hosting my cowboys, and a huge shout out to everyone who played along this week and shared their guesses as to what the pencil drawing might be. There were some truly wonderful guesses, and all of them made it into my “to draw” ideas folder. Perhaps one of those will be the art I do for the next cowboy trail ride. ;-)

So without further adieu, ta-dah! I give you the final drawing — a cowboy watching his man on a winning bronco ride.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There’s still one last chance to win this, or an ebook from my backlist, or a signed printed copy of Long Tall Drink. How? Just check the details below and tell me who your favorite cowboy is.

Happy Trails, everyone!


The Blurb

LetItRide_500x750Pickup man Bridge Sullivan is the kind of cowboy everyone wants—as a brother, a friend, a lover. People think he’s straight, but Bridge isn’t one for labels, and when a sexy male paramedic jump-starts his heart, he charges in with all guns blazing.

New York City transplant Eric Palmer grew up in foster care. While he always had a roof over his head, he never felt love or a sense of belonging . . . until he joined the California rodeo circuit as a paramedic and found a band of brothers who took him in as one of their own. Now, one in particular is making Eric’s pulse race.

When things heat up between Bridge and Eric, Bridge has to prove to Eric he’s not just experimenting with the rougher sex, while Eric must overcome his fears of being unwanted and cast aside. He knows that trusting Bridge may be the key to his happy ever after, but getting in the saddle is much, much easier than learning to let it ride.

You can read an excerpt and purchase Let It Ride here!


About L.C. Chase

LCprofilepic_NEWCover artist by day, author by night, L.C. Chase is a hopeless romantic and adventure seeker. After a decade of traveling three continents, she now calls the Canadian West Coast home. When not writing sensual tales of beautiful men falling love, she can be found designing book covers with said beautiful men, drawing, horseback riding, or hiking the trails with her goofy four-legged roommate.

L.C. is a 2014 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Pickup Men; a 2013 EPIC eBook Awards Finalist for Long Tall Drink; and a 2013-2014 Ariana eBook Cover Art Awards Finalist. She also won an honorable mention in the 2012 Rainbow Awards for Riding with Heaven.

You can find out more about L.C., story extras, works in progress, and cover designs at her website, on her blog, or on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.


The Big Tour Contest

In celebration and thanks, I’m offering goodies for three lucky readers . . .

COWBOYS IN PIXELS: One ebook copy of any title in my backlist. Open to worldwide entries.

COWBOYS IN PRINT: One signed paperback copy of Long Tall Drink, the extended edition. Open to worldwide entries.

COWBOYS IN PENCIL: One original 8” x 10” graphite pencil artwork by yours truly (pictured above!). Entries are limited to US and Canada residents only.

What do you have to do to win? Just tell me who your favorite cowboy of all time is — fictional or real, past or present? Mine is Clint Eastwood as “Blondie” from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly movies. ;-)  Don’t forget to leave your email address too! Contest closes at midnight Pacific Time, on June 4th. Winners will be drawn randomly on Thursday, June 5th and announced on my blog.

Reality in Sexual Fantasy

I was emailing with Kris — who was kind enough to take me up on that offer to chat more from Available Alec — and got to talking about her stories. She was interested in my honest opinion on all of it…but especially on the accuracy of the sex. Anymore, that just makes me smile. You girls, nervous about getting the sex right. It’s not that difficult.

But maybe it is, because I still run into plenty of stories where some poor guy is getting pounded four times in a row while standing on his head and doing a split. Alright, not really–and that’s not a request to try writing that, you hear me?–but it gets close sometimes. So maybe there is some need out there for a chat about reality in sexual fantasy.

I’m going to start by sharing some reality about me and Carter. Don’t worry, he knows and I have his permission to share this.

He’d never been with a man before me, so his ass was virgin territory. And here’s the thing, it was 7 times of trying before I got all the way into him. So right there is something to keep in mind if your character’s a virgin: it doesn’t always work the first time out. He’s tight, it hurts, enthusiasm drops, worries crop up, and it’s just not going to happen. Yeah, it’s hotter if your character’s writhing on that dick like he just discovered his life’s purpose. But it’s more realistic for them to stop, good try, and do something else that brings them that much closer to each other. Not saying you have to, just saying think about it.

Another thing to consider is not every gay guy does anal. Some never do. If I think about it, I can see how some might not want to, and it doesn’t have to be because of bad experiences. Some don’t like fingers up their ass–or putting theirs up someone else’s–so it’s conceivable that they wouldn’t want anything else up there either. If Carter wasn’t willing to keep trying, I would’ve been fine with that because he was absolutely acing everything else, no problem. Not wanting one type sex isn’t the end of a relationship (though it can be the end of a no-names hook-up if that’s what you’re hunting for). The point being, f your character’s don’t do it, I’m pretty sure we’ll live.

So what did I think of Kris’s sex scenes? She got it right. She got it real too.

DrFeelgoodLGFrom Hero Worship by Kris T. Bethke:

Slowly, he pushed himself in. The instant he made it past the outer ring, I shoved my hips back to take the whole length of him.

It was too fast. My eyes watered for a minute at the pain, but he stayed completely still and rubbed my back. Apparently having his cock in my hand had not given me a good enough gauge as to how long and wide he was. I wiggled, trying to accommodate him. Within a few seconds, the pain morphed into something so much better. I pulled away a little, then thrust myself back onto him. I moaned low in my throat.

See that? Alex is eager, a little too eager, and that hurts. But Matt does some good stuff with the back rub. That works because it’s a soothing sensation that helps those muscles relax, but it also lets Alex know Matt’s not impatient for him to let him in already. Alex taking charge of the penetration after that is great too because he’s the one who knows when he’s really ready, right?And then it gets good.

Realism while still being sexy and that’s what matters to me. Yes, I know, YMMV. That’s cool. Do what you want. But I’m going to smile when you worry. ;-)