Friday, September 30, 2011

A Thousand Word Thursday Story by JB McDonald

True Love

Robert did his very best to keep a straight face as Jasper pulled the pair of dirty long johns off his head.

With one look, Jasper obviously knew it was a losing battle. "This isn't funny," he hissed, and that was the end of it.

Robert burst into laughter. He managed to clam up after that single loss, but his eyes watered with the effort and his chest burned. "Oh, but it is!" he exclaimed, leaning back against the rough brick of the tavern. Inside the building he could hear songs raging onward, goaded by the bard who'd wandered into the city. Out here in the alley, the moon and reflected light made the long johns look even dirtier.

"It's not," Jasper hissed, furious. "I'm getting so tired of--"

"You're the imbecile who decided to take a true love potion. Explain to me again why you thought it was a good idea?" In the dark, Robert couldn't see Jasper blush, but he was sure that fair skin was going pink, anyway. He'd known Jasper far too long.

"It was supposed to reveal the person who loves me, not make everyone in the city go crazy!" Though he'd started out sounding proper, the sentence ended on frustration. His next words were almost bitter. "Not everyone is a golden child, Rob."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Picture is Worth...

So why don't little green guys like this land on my knee when I go for a walk in the park? How does this person rate?

Our last pic netted an extra scene from Eden Winters' Galen and the Forest Lord, and an excerpt from JL Merrow's Camwolf. With a track record like that, I am going with another critter pic! And someone tell me what kind of bait this person used -- I want one! Authors who have a ficlet or excerpt to explain, send it with news, covers, and links to be posted here. One hundred to one thousand words will do it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stats for the last three months

Just in case anyone is wondering, I just passed my 3 month anniversary as a Dark Divas reviewer. Because I've been trying to maintain some sort of balance between lengths, genres, publishers, and authors whose names I recognize and those I don't, I have some data. Wanna see?

A Gentleman and His Jockey --how it happened

A Gentleman By His Racehorse With Jockey Up On A Racecourse
A Gentleman By His Racehorse With Jockey Up On A Racecourse

This is what started the whole project, and it's a story I can tell here but not on Dark Divas, but it makes me so happy I just have to share it.

JM Cartwright was inspired by the pic back when I first posted it, and sent me way more than a thousand words of some really hot stuff. I was blown away by the effort, and also afraid that no one would read to the end because then the site was white print on black background and it would have been kind of painful to deal with that much text.

And I also wanted to know how they ended up in that situation, because horse races are exciting. So I batted my eyes and said please. And just look! It's got a cover and all!  And JM very nicely put a shout out to me in there, and this is where I tell the author Thanks, because that's never happened before.

Find it here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dragon Hunted by JB McDonald

Dragon Hunted by JB McDonald
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Fantasy, GLBT
Length: 55 pages

Summary: Getting eaten by a dragon wasn't part of Ashe's plan. Not that there was much of a plan to begin with, but it had definitely involved more chasing and less running. Ashe supposes there's one good thing about all this: if he has to be trapped in a cave with a very large predator outside, at least he's with Katsu, the company medic and Ashe's current crush.

Even better, Katsu has enough knowledge of dragons and medicine that he might just be able to hatch an escape plan. Even better than that, Ashe is discovering that Katsu might not dislike him after all. It's a small step, Ashe hopes, from not disliking him to something significantly more. That is, assuming they don't get eaten first. A new series!


The title says it all—Dragon Hunted plops the main characters right into peril. Katsu and Ashe have been pleasant antagonists as long as they've known one another, but JB McDonald gives them a common enemy and lets them sort it out.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Thousand Word Thursday Story from JL Merrow

From Camwolf, Chapter 8, where Nick and Julian first go for a run together as wolves in a not-very-secret location just outside Cambridge:

Nick fought to control the bile rising up in his throat as he pulled off the lane and into the clearing. Jerking the handbrake on rather harder than necessary, he switched off the engine.

“It’ll be all right,” Julian said softly.

“You don’t know that.”

“Better than you do,” Julian told him, but the tone held no arrogance.

They got out of the car, and Julian looked around at the woodland, seeming to approve. Nick felt absurdly relieved—almost as if this were some kind of date. It was quiet here, the rush of traffic from the main road only a murmur, and the smell of damp earth and intriguing small creatures rose to meet Nick’s nostrils, calming him with its familiarity.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Barging In by Josephine Myles

Barging In by Josephine Myles
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, GLBT
Length: 219 pages

When the boat's a rockin’, don't come knockin’!

Out-and-proud travel writer Dan Taylor can’t steer a boat to save his life, but that doesn’t stop him from accepting an assignment to write up a narrowboat holiday. Instead of a change of pace from city life, though, the canal seems dull as ditchwater. Until he crashes into the boat of a half-naked, tattooed, pierced man whose rugged, penniless appearance is at odds with a posh accent.

Still smarting from past betrayal, Robin Hamilton’s “closet” is his narrowboat, his refuge from outrageous, provocative men like Dan. Yet he can’t seem to stop himself from rescuing the hopelessly out-of-place city boy from one scrape after another. Until he finds himself giving in to reluctant attraction, even considering a brief, harmless fling.

After all, in less than a week, Dan’s going back to his London diet of casual hook-ups and friends with benefits.

Determined not to fall in love, both men dive into one week of indulgence…only to find themselves drawn deep into an undertow of escalating intimacy and emotional intensity. Troubled waters neither of them expected…or wanted.

Product Warnings
Contains one lovable tart, one posh boy gone feral, rough sex, alfresco sex, vile strawberry-flavoured condoms, intimate body piercings, red thermal long-johns, erotic woodchopping, an errant cat, a few colourful characters you wouldn't touch with a bargepole, and plenty of messing about on the river.

Who knew there was an entire subculture living a gypsy life aboard long, thin boats on the canals of England? Or that some of them were so darn sexy? Josephine Myles treats us to a peek through Robin Hamilton's reluctant romance with Dan Taylor, travel writer and terrible noob long-boater in Barging In.

The erotic wood-chopping we are warned of brings Robin and Dan together – literally, with a collision and snarling. From this inauspicious beginning wonderful things bloom. Dan's out, footloose, and interested, but Robin's slower to open up; his character is revealed in beautifully done details of his life, his boat, his tattoos, and eventually, his heart.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Eight Seconds by Barrie Abalard

Eight Seconds by Barrie Abalard
Publisher: eXcessica Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, M/M, GLBT, Western/Cowboys
Length: 52 pages

Ex-bareback rider and part-time songwriter Cam “The Professor” Chester rides pick-up for Philadelphia area rodeos—and rides the men he picks up in Philly’s gay bars. Hated by other rodeo folks, he’s alone in the showers one night when someone knocks him out.

Barebacker, bisexual Wyatt Knott has never met anyone like Cam and is instantly drawn to him. After Wyatt finds Cam unconscious on the shower floor, he goes home with the man to tend to his wound. Before you can say, “Ride ‘em, cowboy,” the two have sweaty, grasping sex in Cam’s recliner.

When Cam reports his attack in the showers to the rodeo’s owner, Shep Walton, Walton tells him nothing can be done because Cam doesn’t have any idea who hit him, and there were no witnesses. But by reporting the assault to Walton, Cam sets in motion a chain of events that will leave him drugged and bound in a chair, Wyatt standing next to him, with someone holding a revolver on them both.

EIGHT SECONDS, the length of time a barebacker must stay on his bronco, weaves the story of two men who’ve never been in love, yet find themselves unable to dismiss their passionate sex as a casual thing.

Eight Seconds – it's a long time when there's a bucking bronco underneath you. Barrie Abalard's cowboys are tough enough to stay in rodeo, even with a substantial anti-gay sentiment among their competition. Cam's been in rodeo long enough to "retire" to pick-up riding, and ornery enough to stay in the bigger circuits.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Thousand Word Thursday Story by Eden Winters

Not like that, like this! Erik stuck his snout to the ground, audibly whiffing the trail.

A blond wolf crept closer, taking a tentative sniff.

Deeper. You gotta really get a good scent. Erik demonstrated again, sneezing when he accidentally inhaled a nose full of dirt.

Once more Galen sniffed a bit less delicately. Oh, he said, sniffing again. Oh! He grinned, tongue protruding from between his sharp teeth. I think I smell him now. He went that way!

Erik watched Galen trail the rabbit, waiting a moment before following behind. He turned and winked at his pack, standing off to the sideline, then hurried on after Galen. A new pack member's first hunt was a special event, made all the more special by today being an important day for the forest folk. One they'd anticipated for many seasons.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Reading for a Good Cause

In 2008, Torquere Press' fantastic authors decided to support a charity with an annual short story collection, the Charity Sip blitz. In the past three years, Torquere donated more than $13,000.00 to charitable organizations that support GLBT causes.

For 2011, Torquere's authors have chosen the theme "Getting Better" in honor of the It Gets Better project, which helps LGBT youth understand that life as an openly queer adult is not only possible, but happening for millions of people, worldwide. More than thirty authors have written short fiction pieces and have agreed to donate all proceeds of the sales of these stories to this year's charitable organization. Torquere Press Inc. will match the authors' donations completely.

This year, Torquere is also pleased to announce that their distribution partner, Rainbow eBooks, has agreed to be the title sponsor of the Sip collection, and will be the sole distributor outside of the Torquere Books website.
Torquere Press and its authors truly believe they can make a difference by donating to organizations that promote awareness and equality. If you'd like to help, please support the Charity Sip Blitz and enjoy some great romance today!
Available September 17, 2011 at Torquere and Rainbow eBooks.

Kissing Sherlock Holmes by T.D McKinney and Terry Wylis

Kissing Sherlock Holmes by T.D McKinney and Terry Wylis
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Genre: Historical, GLBT
Length: 255 pages

"My dear Watson, how does one go about kissing a woman?"......Sherlock Holmes' question leads to a lesson Watson never expected to teach. And feelings he never thought to explore. A single kiss alters Watson's world while the announcement of Holmes' upcoming marriage sets an odd fear in his heart. Amidst the beauty of an English country party, the greatest detective the world has ever known searches for a traitor. Somewhere among the glittering nobility a sadist lurks, using blackmail to destroy lives and endanger a nation. Only Sherlock Holmes can save an innocent man and bring the traitor to justice. It's a search that could cement the greatest friendship of all time into something far deeper and stronger...if the hunt doesn't end Watson's life first.

It seems delightfully in character that Sherlock Holmes would launch this story by precipitating a change in his and Watson's relationship in the name of acquiring information. While Kissing Sherlock Holmes does not break new ground in assuming a homosexual attraction between them, TD McKinney and Terry Wylis do provide a sexually charged pastiche with a mystery to solve.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Picture is Worth...

It's Thousand Word Thursday! And for a change, I'm organized enough to have a pic on Thursday. Who's writing wolves? Do you have a little story or excerpt form a larger story about wolves? Send it with news, links, and blurbs (and covers) for the crew to read here! Rawr is the word! Or ruff.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Valentin's Day by Charles Edward

Valentin's Day by Charles Edward
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Paranormal, GLBT
Length: 15 pages

Summary: Valentin treasures every stolen moment he can share with his lover, Laurent, in their little cabin the forest. But Laurent is haunted by fears of a danger he can’t quite remember, memories he’s sure Valentin can help explain. Nothing can stop the flow of memory or time, but Valentin will protect and cherish Laurent as best he can.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Cryselle’s Review:
This one moved me for sure. Charles Edward brings the lovers together in a night of sweet passion, but the unanswered questions arise – poor Laurent can't recall, and Valentin recalls enough for us to be quite sure Laurent is better off not knowing. It's in Dreamspinner's Bittersweet line, so expect something other than a conventional happy end for this small bit of perfection.

The depth of love and longing in this story is incredible, the language is beautiful, the characters clearly drawn even in such a brief story. And the ending needs a handkerchief, but in the best way. 5 Marbles

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Salad on the Side by Karenna Colcroft

Salad on the Side by Karenna Colcroft
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: Paranormal, GLBT
Length: 232 pages

Since moving to Boston, Kyle Slidell has met only a few of his neighbors, including Tobias Rogan. Kyle is very interested in Tobias, and is ecstatic to learn that Tobias wants him too. But his neighbors have a secret: They're werewolves, and Tobias is the pack Alpha. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle in the neighborhood garden one night, Kyle learns the truth in a hurry. Now he's a werewolf too-and since he's vegan, he refuses to eat meat. With Tobias's help and love, Kyle must adjust to his new life and protect himself and his friends from a neighboring pack.


I went into this story all stoked on the premise of Salad on the Side. A werewolf who has philosophical issues with his usual foodstuff is going to have bigger worries than just getting furry. Karenna Colcroft could have played it several different ways, from comic to a matter of life or death, choosing to work it in as just another detail of shifter life and not trying to make it carry the entire weight of the book. This pack has more to be concerned about than a picky eater.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Gentleman and His Jockey by JM Cartwright

A Gentleman and His Jockey by JM Cartwright
Publisher: Torquere Publishing
Genre: Historical, BDSM, GLBT
Length: 13 pages

Jockey Gem Hardaway has a race strategy that will not only carry him and Pilate to victory, it will also show that he's the best jockey at Templeton Yard. Lord Templeton, the Earl of Vickers, knows exactly what he wants to have happen at the racecourse. He demands Gem's obedience.

When an unruly horse intervenes, the Earl insists on a meeting of the minds. Gem is shocked to learn exactly what that entails.

JM Cartwright's given us a mid-Victorian horserace where nothing has gone according to plan. From beginning to end, starting with a nasty bump to his mount from another racehorse, Gem Hardaway's expectations of triumph look to be running away from him. Of course the aristocratic owner of the stables takes exception to this, although how angry can he really be with second place? Gem's expectations of Lord Templeton don't quite go to plan either.

I enjoyed both the horserace, which was quite exciting, and the discussion of the race afterwards. Cartwright captures the feel of the period with language and actions – aristocrats could and did behave quite shockingly -- but thankfully this is tempered with consideration and mutual enjoyment. The ending is definitely happy for now, and we can imagine what will happen further into Gem's racing career.

A Gentleman and His Jockey began with a ficlet for a prompt picture, but the author very graciously caved in and wrote the rest of the story. 4 Marbles

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Muffled Drum by Erastes

Muffled Drum by Erastes
Publisher: Carina Press
Genre: Historical, GLBT
Length: 187 pages

Summary: Bohemia, 1866
They met in a port-side tavern, their lust-filled moments stolen from days of marching and madness. After eighteen months, Captain Rudolph von Ratzlaff and First Lieutenant Mathias Hofmann have decided to run away from everything they hold dear. Resigning their commissions is social suicide, but there's no other choice. Someone will eventually see Rudolph's partiality toward Mathias.

Now their plans have gone horribly awry... When Mathias goes to Rudolph's tent after their last battle, his lover looks at him without a hint of recognition. Mathias can hardly believe the man he knew is gone. He wants to fill in so many of Rudolph's missing memories, but the doctor says a shock could result in permanent damage. The pain of seeing Rudolph on a daily basis, when Rudolph doesn't remember their love, is excruciating. Now Mathias must decide whether he wants to fight for the man he loves or forget him completely...

Erastes throws the readers deep into the nineteenth century, immersing us in both battles and society. She has us living, smelling, and lurching through this time, and suffering right along with Mathias and Rudolph. On the eve of abandoning their previous lives and much else in order to be together, a battle injury steals Rudolph's memories and Mathias' hope. Muffled Drum plays with every emotion possible in rebuilding their lives.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Thousand Words Thursday Story from Val Kovalin

An excerpt from Call and Answer:

Henri drove straight from work to the Jackson property. The screen door rattled as the guitar player strolled out on the porch, holding his guitar. He wore a black short-sleeve shirt loose over dark trousers, and he called to Henri in French. “How are you this fine night, my friend? Back for more?”

Henri sat up straight, all his senses sharpened. The player had never spoken before. He turned out to have a sexy voice, deep and slightly rough, and he spoke flawless French, not the Parisian schoolbook type, but the French of the land. This land, southwest Louisiana. Most guys their age spoke only English. How could the player know Henri understood French without hearing his accent first or knowing his name?

Henri called back in French, “I like your playing.”

“C’mon up. I take requests.” He watched as Henri approached.

“I’m Gabriel.”

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Impromptu by Carole Cummings

Impromptu by Carole Cummings
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Historical Romance, GLBT
Length: 32 pages

Ailin knew there was something wrong with Garreth the moment he arrived with a storm trailing behind him. The man who’d just walked through the front door wasn’t Ailin's normally bright and brash Garreth, as if he’d been ensorcelled into someone darker and maybe even a little dangerous. But while Ailin finds the difference concerning, he’s also finding it surprisingly, shockingly erotic.

Carole Cummings drops us straight into the middle of Garreth's temper—the man is in a mood. He's been tried beyond patience; his only route to his usual good humor is through his lover, Ailin. "Impromptu" gives us a look at the inevitable, though it could hardly have been planned.