Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Art of Touch by Dominique Frost

Title: The Art of Touch
Author: Dominique Frost
Cover Artist: April Martinez
Publisher: Loose Id
Publisher Buy Link: The Art of Touch
Genre: contemporary
Length: 20,517 words/ 79 PDF pages

Jared Hamilton is the director of the famous law firm, Hamilton & Hamilton. He’s a brusque, no-nonsense type that doesn’t suffer fools gladly. Thus, it is no surprise that he finds Kyle Washburn instantly and aggravatingly annoying.

Kyle is Jared’s massage therapist and is cheeky and irreverent. Jared doesn’t like cheekiness or irreverence. Unfortunately, Kyle also turns out to be absolutely brilliant at his job, which means that Jared can’t find an excuse not to return to the massage parlor when Kyle’s massages are clearly having such a beneficial effect. Jared is more relaxed and congenial than ever - well, as congenial as he can be.

It is only when another one of Kyle’s customers implies having had sex with Kyle that Jared realizes that he, too, finds Kyle sexually desirable - and that the thought of anyone else touching Kyle is unbearable. This revelation changes Jared’s perspective and his behavior, and he finds himself more and more attracted to Kyle with each therapy session. But does Kyle want him, in return, or is all that flirtation just part of the art of touch?
Failing to read the excerpt in this case was an extremely good thing, because I might have bailed at the present tense within a paragraph or two. And that would have been a shame, because this turned out to be a lot of fun.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Thousand Word Excerpt from PD Singer

From Return to the Mountain by PD Singer

Adjusting his grip on the five iron, Gary addressed the seventeenth ball from his bucket. The Phippsburg municipal course wasn’t a good patch on the Wapiti Creek course, but the resort courted golfers who could be playing at Augusta or Plum Creek instead. The town spent a sizeable chunk of its Parks and Recreation budget on golf, and the course saw plenty of use. The Humphrey Chamberlin High School golf team teed off three times a week during fourth hour and spent plenty of time on the driving range and putting greens in exchange for some grounds maintenance.

Today was a driving range day, and Gary wasn’t getting anywhere close to the distance he needed on each ball. With grim determination and studied relaxation, he lifted the club behind his head and swung. If he’d been trying to practice hooking the ball instead of driving it, he’d be happier with his performance so far.

Monday, March 25, 2013

It's kind of, well, unkind. Kindof. Or kindof not.

This is a reaction to a piece on Jessewave's, where Rick R Reed spoke about kindness. He called for civilized discourse in all things. and I'm fully behind that. However,  what is civilized can also be perceived as unkind, depending, and what an observer may just take as an opinion may be fighting words to someone who's much closer to it. I can only control what I say or write, I cannot control how others perceive it.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A picture is worth...

If I make a hole in one joke, is someone going to throw tomatoes? Anyone who can come up with something better is invited to do so, look here for directions. 100-1000 words is great.

Prelude to the Night by Angela Ploughman

preludetothenightTitle: Prelude to the Night
Author: Angela Plowman
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs
Publisher: Loose Id

Publisher Buy Link
Genre: historical, vampires
Length: novella 136 pages, 34k

Victorian England is a place of double standards and hidden mysteries. A chance meeting at the opera propels dutiful, innocent Christian into the seductive arms of an older man.

Valentine has come to England searching for a reason to live. He walks in the darkness listening for that siren's song which will recall him to life. He may have found it in beautiful young Christian but can he persuade Christian to give up the conventions of society and walk a more dangerous path?

Between the two there are perils in the London fog which could separate them forever. The conflict of his comfortable life on one side and the dangers of loving Valentine on the other threaten to tear Christian apart. Whichever path his choose, listening to the music of the night is likely to cost Christian his soul.
This novel takes us back to a more formal time, when young men escorted their mothers to the opera and liked it, and young women could lose their reputations at a glance. Christian is the man of his family, his father being deceased, and is responsible for his mother and sister. It’s a year past the date when Oscar Wilde went to prison, and Christian doesn’t plan to tell a soul where his desires lie.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Thousand Word Thursday story from A.B. Gayle

An Extra Scene From Leather + Lace from A.B. Gayle

Rancid, thats the word I was looking for. Not tangy or any of the other wanky descriptors emblazoned on the outside of the pack. Ever since good old Minos of Crete slapped a goat’s bladder on his tickler, inventors have sought Nirvana: condoms that taste as good as the real thing. Brother, nothing tastes as good as the real thing. Sure, they smell divine and, at first, the chocolate flavour might add a touch of decadence to the proceedings, but after a few decent sucks, the damn lingering lilt of latex inevitably returned. Unfortunately, the orange, coconut and banana varieties tasted just as putrid. Compactylon, retractylon, sensatylon or whatever the rival brand is called might have been better, but thanks to the huge bag of bucks donated by the manufacturer to tonight’s charity, we were stuck with these goddamnawful things.

In a way, it was my own fault for taking too bloody long to finish the guy off. I should have been as efficient as my fellow participant. Talk about a fucking Hoover! Cycling his clientele through like a bottling plant. Cock in mouth, quick suck, full condom, next please. Trouble is, I’d been trained to believe that if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well and, judging by the moans of appreciation coming from somewhere above my head, the guy connected to the dick in my mouth seemed to agree.

Next time, our customers should be charged by the minute, not by the load. That way, my tally would match the Hoover or Dyson or whatever the twink working beside me was called. Dawson. That’s right. Dawson the Dyson. I might suggest that when we finally come up for air. Much better than his current porn star tag. Mind you, he was definitely well versed in the art. Probably did this every day for a living, whereas I made more money in my usual line of work. A lot more. Come to think of it, I should have just calculated my earnings and donated the money instead of wearing out my knees and getting a serious case of lockjaw.

Wearing knee pads would have helped too. Especially as my outfit would have disguised the fact. I should have remembered from bitter experience what spending hours in this position felt like, and it wasn’t as if there were plush pile carpets in the games room of the Hotel Paradiso.

When I arrived, I’d been surprised that the Blowjob for Bucks segment was being conducted so openly, but apparently the phrases: testing a new range of condoms specifically designed for oral use, infection prevention strategies and all for a good cause had magically morphed into something legal, or at least worthy of a blind eye from the vice squad. At least, I hoped so.

I took another long, slow slurp along the sheathed shaft in my mouth and barely suppressed a shudder at the taste of the latex. Maybe that was the reason for my stupid agreement to participate. One sucked condom too many. In the process, a Trojan virus must have wormed its way into my brain, short-circuiting any common sense that would have warned me that coming back to Australia was a bad idea. A very bad idea. Especially, considering I’d been taking such pains to keep my whereabouts secret. My carefully shored up defences had started to unravel when I heard through the grapevine that Fred was now in charge of the hotel where we met. Possibly my self-imposed exile was starting to wear thin, and there had been a Freudian slip when I sent him a Good Luck email. “You’ll need it,” I had added, “but if anyone can make a success of that dive, you can!”

The invitation to participate arrived soon after. “It’s about time you came back, anyway.” Fred seemed keen for me to have a chat with Master D, an American BDSM expert who was also part of the re-opening extravaganza. He had to be kidding. A leather man was the last person I wanted to speak to. Tonight, it was all about seeing whether my ex was still in the scene without being seen. Catch my drift?

Poor Fred nearly had a coronary when I turned up a couple of weeks later, dressed to impress. He’d never seen me in drag before, but after he picked himself up off the floor and stopped laughing, he could see the potential. “Some straight friends of mine are coming, and they might prefer to be sucked off by someone who looks like a girl.”

Yeah. Especially when that girl bears a stunning resemblance to Stevie Nicks.

Okay, I know. She’s not your usual subject for impersonation, but with all the other female rock stars being done to death, once I got that curly wig on my head, the image kinda stuck. Who would have thought I’d ever be grateful for the pretty-boy face that had been the bane of my existence growing up, or could quit worrying about my lack of inches or the fact that no matter how much I ate, I never put on any weight? Once, my muscles would have been a dead giveaway, but since escaping from the all-controlling whip wielder, both metaphorical and physical, I’d lost a lot of my previous gym-bunny condition.

Ah, finally. The cock in my mouth swelled and jerked, filling the condom that I had carefully smoothed on ten minutes ago. Damn it, Dyson was already onto his third punter and my next one was still sheepishly taking out his flaccid member. While he readied himself, I applied some more Papaw ointment and waggled my jaw to release the aching muscles. Once I started again, my allotted stint sped by, and I soon passed my companion’s tally. Nice to know that I still sucked with the best.

Leather + Lace

An Opposites Attract novel (available from Dreamspinner for preorder--releases March 22)

Swathed in chiffon and lace, Steven Stanhope owns the stage as Stevie Tricks, lip-synching the songs of the famous gypsy queen. But after he escapes an abusive Master/slave relationship, the only collar he'll allow around his neck is black velvet.

After a four-year absence, Steve is ready to reclaim his life and the property he left behind. But is it safe? Definitely not if his ex is still into leather. To find out, Steve appears at a charity night for the local BDSM community, using the anonymity of his stage persona to mask his identity.

Instead of his ex-Master, Julius, Steve finds a tangled mess centered around another Master of Leather, Donato Rossi. In order to unravel their ties to the past, Steve and Don must find common ground and work together. In the process, they learn that when it comes to love, sometimes you have to make your own rules.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Vanity Fierce by Graeme Aitken

Title: Vanity Fierce
Author: Graeme Aitken
Cover Artist: not available
Publisher: Random House Australia
Amazon Buy Link: [amazon_link id="B008JVXCDO" target="_blank" ]Vanity Fierce[/amazon_link]
Publisher Buy link: Vanity Fierce
Genre: Contemporary/recent historical
Length: 375 pages

The ultimate comic novel of gay Sydney – Armistead Maupin meets Melrose Place at the Mardi Gras!

Stephen Spear is everyone's golden boy (including his own). Blond, blue-eyed, blessed with every talent and advantage, he has the world falling at his feet. And he's ready to trample all over it.
When Stephen falls for Ant, the only gay man he knows who still has chest hair, he is astounded to find his desire unrequited. Or is it? Ant is so inscrutable, it's impossible to be entirely sure.

But Stephen is determined to get his man. And if the wiggle of his cute butt isn't enough, then scheming, lying and manipulating is second nature to him. He's too young to realise that love can be tricky enough without adding any extra complications.

Vanity Fierce is a love story that's big on outrageous schemes, dark secrets and firm muscles.

I had read one of the author’s shorts a while ago, and so when he inquired if I was interested in this novel, I was ready to read and I enjoyed it on several levels.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A picture is worth...

a thousand words, but which thousand? A.B. Gayle knows--watch this spot for the answer. And they might have something to do with her upcoming book, Leather and Lace, due March 22 from Dreamspinner.

Leather + Lace

An Opposites Attract novel

Swathed in chiffon and lace, Steven Stanhope owns the stage as Stevie Tricks, lip-synching the songs of the famous gypsy queen. But after he escapes an abusive Master/slave relationship, the only collar he'll allow around his neck is black velvet.

After a four-year absence, Steve is ready to reclaim his life and the property he left behind. But is it safe? Definitely not if his ex is still into leather. To find out, Steve appears at a charity night for the local BDSM community, using the anonymity of his stage persona to mask his identity.

Instead of his ex-Master, Julius, Steve finds a tangled mess centered around another Master of Leather, Donato Rossi. In order to unravel their ties to the past, Steve and Don must find common ground and work together. In the process, they learn that when it comes to love, sometimes you have to make your own rules.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Perfect for Me by D.H. Starr

Title: Perfect for Me
Author: DH Starr
Cover Artist: D. W. Skinner
Publisher: MLR Press
Amazon Buy Link: (go to right side nav at the bottom and insert from there)
Publisher Buy Link
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 81K words
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Sean Sullivan is a principal and a happy person, but he has one major complication…HIV. Frustrated with constant rejection, Sean decides to stop dating negative men. When a student experiences a crisis and Sean meets Emery Benton, the case worker assigned from Child Protective Services, his decision is challenged.

Sparks fly the moment they meet, but Emery is negative and Sean doesn’t want the pain of another disappointment. As he struggles with his feelings for Emery, a war between the fear in his head and the fire in his heart force him to answer one simple question…Is this the perfect man for me?


Sean starts out the book on a date with a man he has high hopes for. And in one swell foop we can see that he is an honorable man who gets his honesty thrown back at him. One too many rejections based on his HIV status and he’s willing to throw in the towel on dating from the HIV negative pool.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Naked Tails by Eden Winters

Title: Naked Tales
Author: Eden Winters
Cover Artist: Shobana Appavu
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press  
 Genre: Shapeshifters
Length: 234 pages

Seth McDaniel wasn't raised among a shifter passel and has no idea what it's like to turn furry once a month. An orphan, torn from his father's family at an early age, he scarcely remembers Great-aunt Irene. Now her passing brings him back to Possum Kingdom, Georgia, to take up a legacy he doesn't understand and reconnect with a friend he's never forgotten.

As Irene's second-in-command, Dustin Livingston has two choices: assume control of the passel or select another replacement. Unfortunately, the other candidates are either heartless or clueless. Dustin's best hope to dodge the responsibility is to deliver a crash course in leadership to his childhood pal Seth, a man he hasn't seen in twenty years. However, while Dustin's mind is set on his task, his heart is set on his old friend.

Seth's quest for answers yields more questions instead. What's with the tiny gray hairs littering his aunt's house? Why do the townsfolk call each other "Jack" and "Jill"? Do Dustin's attentions come with ulterior motives? And why is Seth suddenly craving crickets?


That smarty-pants possum on the cover tells you right away that this is no ordinary shapeshifter story.  No wolves, no big cats, and most importantly for me, no insta-luv based on “finding your one true mate.” These fellas have to work to find their HEA.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Velocity by Amelia C. Gormley

Title:Velocity (Impulse #3)
Author: Amelia C Gormley
Cover Artist: Kerry Chin
Publisher: Amelia C Gormley
Amazon Buy Link:  Amazon
Smashwords buy Link: Velocity
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 210 pages

Reaching Optimum Speed

For Derrick and Gavin, the holiday season is filled with the promise of new beginnings. Gavin’s officially moving in, and after the new year, they’ll begin house hunting. But they both know all the talk of gift exchange, whose holiday ornaments go where, and what repairs and remodels will be needed to put Derrick’s house on the market is only a smoke screen.

Before the holiday season is over, Gavin will have the final verdict on whether or not his dangerously delusional ex, Lukas, infected him with HIV. No matter how good Gavin’s chances appear with the three-month hurdle already passed, neither he nor Derrick know what the future holds for them.

The holidays have always been a time of loss and mourning for Derrick, but now he has to stay strong as Gavin’s own fears and doubts assail him relentlessly. And when Lukas returns, unexpectedly penitent amid troubling revelations, Gavin has to ask himself whether he can offer Derrick the future he truly deserves, or whether these first few months of happiness are the best they will ever get.

All the tensions and concerns that have been building through the first two books come to a head here—this is a trilogy like Lord of the Rings is a trilogy, a great big book in manageable sections, with small plot arcs that resolve internally and an overarching arc for the whole. Read the first two—they are good. (Reviews for Inertia here, and Acceleration here.)

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Thousand Word Thursday story from Clare London

DRESSING by Clare London

“What’s up?” Sal looks at me across the table, a half smile on his handsome face. “You don’t like the meal?”

A slice of sweet pepper catches in the back of my throat and I start coughing. “No,” I reply hoarsely. “It’s great.”

“It’s my signature recipe, you know.”

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A picture is worth...

He's not too naughty to put up without a splash page, is he? What's he making and who's he making it for? If you have 100-1000 words to tell us, send it on. Directions here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Coming Home by Missouri Dalton

boxofchocolates185Title: Coming Home
Author: Missouri Dalton
Cover Artist: Not available
Publisher: Torquere
Genre: Historical
Length: 4300 words

He might be Alan Trent, but the sole survivor of the crashed RAF bomber isn’t sure. He can’t remember his name, just the horror of the crash and flashes of the War. Whoever he is, he knows there’s someone waiting for him and that for some reason, he’s reminded every time he takes a sip of cocoa.

This very short story follows an RAF airman through his recovery after a crash. He’s nearly completely amnesiac, not even knowing his own name. He might be one of several people, and the life that claimed him doesn’t fit very well. Step by step, the wounded flyer has to reclaim himself. He must find out who he is, and just as important, who he isn’t.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Collusion by Eden Winters

Title: Collusion
Author: Eden Winters
Cover Artist: Trace Edward Zaber
Publisher: Amber Allure
Genre: contemporary, action/adventure
Length: 275 pages

Dead men can’t love.

Former drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter “died” in the line of duty while working off a ten-year sentence in service to the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau, only to be reborn as Simon “Lucky” Harrison. The newbie he trained, former Marine Bo Schollenberger, is now his partner on (and maybe off) the job. It’s hard to tell when Lucky doesn’t understand relationships or have a clue what any sane human is doing in his bed. Bo’s nice to have around, sure, but there’s none of that picking-out-china-together crap for Lucky.

While fighting PTSD, memories of a horrid childhood, and a prescription drug addiction, Bo is paying for his mistakes. Using his pharmacy license for the good guys provides the sort of education he never got in school. Undercover with his hard-headed partner, Bo learns that not everything is as it seems in the world of pharmaceuticals.

When a prescription drug shortage jeopardizes the patients at Rosario Children’s Cancer Center, it not only pits Bo and Lucky against predatory opportunists, but also each other. How can they tell who the villains are? The bad guys don’t wear black hats, but they might wear white coats.

Forget sleep, I had to find out how this worked out. With a fast paced and tense external plot plus a relationship moving to a new level, Collusion kept me turning the page until I got to the end. Diversion, the first Bo and Lucky book (review here), did the same thing to me, and this is a more than worthy follow-up. I’d say the story stands alone, but the first one is too good to pass up.