Postcards from Paradise


About a year ago I released Amor Prohibido, a novella set in Mexico about a very sad man at the end of his rope and the immortal spirit guide he falls in love with. This story was inspired by an open call from Amber Allure Press for novellas with a theme of “Postcards from Paradise.”

When I think of paradise, I think of Puerto Morelos.

So I wrote a story about Jabob who had just ended a very long-term abusive relationship and wasn’t sure where to go next, or whether he wanted to keep going at all. And Pakal, the man whose job it was to get Jacob on the path toward healing. I set the story in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, because it’s my favorite paradise location. And just the other day cleaning out my office, I found some pictures of the settings in the book that were so much fun to  revisit:

 

 

One morning Jacob is doing yoga on the beach. Pakal comes along and they begin to talk, Pakal helps to heal an old injury in Jacob’s leg, and this is where they first begin to connect and care for each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from the square when Jacob and Pakal first have breakfast together.

 

The courtyard at Villas Samadhi, the  retreat where Jacob stays in Amor Prohibido.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ruins at Tulum. This place is significant because it’s where Jacob and Pakal begin to give in to their attraction to each other. Later, visiting a cenote (a freshwater sinkhole you can swim in), the two engage in a little smexy PDA that irrevocably changes the course of both their lives.

 

More about Amor Prohibido:

Jacob Freehan has no job, no man, and no motivation. In pain both from ending a long-term abusive relationship and a severe back injury, he escapes to the sunny seaside town of Puerto Morelos, Mexico for a little yoga, a little R&R, and possibly a place to quietly end his own life.

Pakal is a centuries-old immortal Mayan spirit guide who has been charged with getting Jacob on the path toward healing. Romantic involvement with a spirit charge is strictly forbidden, and it has never been a problem…until now. Pakal sees something special in Jacob, but failure to keep a rapidly growing attraction at bay could result in Jacob losing his life and Pakal being condemned to the Underworld forever…
And I am off to GayRomLit, folks! See you real soon. 

I’m Not Irish, Kiss Me Anyway


Okay, actually, I think I’m a little Irish on my mom’s side. Whatev. I needed a blog title. 😉

I want to take a moment to note the passing of fellow gay romance author William Neale. Sadly, I didn’t know him that well, but I had the pleasure of meeting him last year at GayRomLit in New Orleans. He turned to me in the middle of a crowded bar and told me that I had a beautiful smile, and I fell a little bit in love with him right away. I have gotten the impression these past few days in the wake of his passing that he kind of had that effect on people. We had a lovely chat that night (he also encouraged me to drink a little more even though I’d decided to cut myself off), and I was looking forward to having another one with him in Albuquerque. A lot of people were. Our hearts go out to his family for this tragic and sudden loss. He’ll be missed.

In lighter news, the Amber Heat Readers Loop is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day chat today–lots of prizes will be given away, so come win some stuff.

Geoffry Knight’s epsiode is up for Boxer Falls, our gay serial soap opera drama! It’s phenomenal. All of them have been so far, IMO, but Geoff’s writing style blows me away every time. High adrenaline, hot sex, and plot twists that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Check it out.

I rarely do book reviews these days. Hard to find the time, I’ve never considered myself to be a reviewer anyway, and frankly I refuse to review a book if I thought it was bad. I just do. Author karma, or whatever.

Now and again though, I feel like I have to share a book that knocks my socks off. I’ve always really liked Amy Lane’s stuff. She’s talented, funny, and her books are touching. We had the immense pleasure of working with her on an episode of Boxer Falls, and I was reminded of how much I dig her writing and decided to pick up her latest, Chase in Shadow. Oh, sweet, merciful Christmas. I cried so hard I wound up reading it twice just to get all the parts I missed while I was busy blowing my nose. And let’s be clear here, folks. I’m not a weeper. I’ll cop to it when a book makes me sob, but it doesn’t happen often. All the time people tell me “Read this book, it made me cry like a baby!” Nothing. Chase in Shadow is about a guy who’s closeted and deeply repressed, who finally chooses to set himself free in the world of gay for pay and nearly loses himself in the process. The juxtaposition of intense emotion and intense sex in the story makes for a wild roller coaster ride and I could barely keep hold of myself. You must read it.

Speaking of reading, Amy will be doing a reading from Chase in Shadow at the Rainbow Book Fair on March 24th. I will be there as well, doing a reading from Feeling Neighborly, which is a sweet/spicy short story about a guy who falls for the single dad who lives next door. Many, many fantastic LGBT authors and publishers will be in attendance that day and it promises to be a ton of fun, so if you’re in the Manhattan area I hope you’ll stop on by and visit. My reading’s at 2:30 and I’ll be around all day, manning either the Dreamspinner Press or the Rainbow Romance Writers table at the back of the room. 🙂

Also out now is Diversion by Eden Winters. I haven’t had the chance to read it yet but her work is phenomenal. I can’t wait to pick it up. Looking forward to seeing her and so many amazing folks again at GayRomLit in October, too.

I feel like I’m forgetting stuff, but it’s early yet and I need more coffee. More soon, y’all.

Get Yer Free Fiction!


Happy Sunday, folks! A copy of my boy-meets-vampire novella Immortal Valentine is being given away over at Reviews by Jessewave today! Stop by and leave a comment for your chance to win.

Episode 8 of Boxer Falls, a gaytime drama is up at the Goodreads M/M Romance group! We’ve got amazing, weekly, FREE m/m drama written by the likes of Damon Suede, Poppy Dennison, Amy Lane, Mary Calmes, Eden Winters, and many more guest authors yet to come.

This week’s episode was written written by me, and it’s a pretty steamy one–here’s an excerpt:

…Oz’s jaw unhinged and his eyes lost focus. Before he knew it Quinn’s cock was hitting the inside of his cheek. He readjusted to get his teeth away—he knew that much at least—and oh, hell, he wanted to swallow the thing whole. It was heavy, and solid, and perfect in his mouth.

Up above, Quinn shifted and a bar stool rocked like the guy was leaning his weight on it. “Shit, Oz—”

Sure. Yeah. Fucking. He responded with an “Mmm-hmm” and put some suction into it, working his hand to spread the excess saliva around and challenging himself to get the head as far toward his throat as he could. Quinn seemed to have the courtesy to stay still and Oz was gratified by appreciative moans and groans and fingers clutching and the back of his head.

–BAM!–

“Holy—” Oz looked to the window where the noise had come from. He pulled away with his blood rushing in his ears. Swiped a hand over his mouth. Shit. Shit! What if pictures of this get splashed around? This is the sort of stupid impulsive thinking-with-your-dick move your brother would make, Oz, for God’s sake.

Quinn cocked his head and took a step forward, gaze trained on the window. “S’okay, Oz.” There’s a tree close to the building. Branch hits the window sometimes if it’s real windy.” He laughed. “Probably gonna crash through the glass one of these days.”

Oz didn’t realize how much tension that bump on the window had injected into his muscles until the redhead’s easy smile and explanation made it all leak back out again. Tree. Wind. Right. Jeez. Quinn stepped forward and Oz rubbed that hipbone that fascinated him so, and next thing he knew Quinn’s dick was back to making friends with his tonsils. This time it wasn’t fear jacking up his pulse…


Woo! I just love those two. 😉 If you haven’t checked out Boxer Falls, I hope you’ll stop on by. Also, we’ve had a couple of folks mention that they had difficulty locating the message thread. When you enter the M/M romance group, there will always be a link at the very top of the discussion threads, where it says “Moderator Spotlight.” Mod Lori very awesomely updates this for us each week with the latest episode but if you click the link it actually takes you to a convenient list of ALL the episodes, so it’s an easy way to find everything. We also plan to have a newsletter up soon, and I’m going to update my site here with links to all the episodes for easier access. 🙂 Hope to see you in the discussion thread!

Coming soon: Gay soap, and Vampires, oh my!


Okay, it’s 6am in Washington DC, and I don’t think I’ve had enough cinnamon coffee. Let’s see if I can string together some informative sentences, shall we?

Coming soon! Boxer Falls–A Gaytime Drama! Damon Suede, Poppy Dennison, and myself have gotten together on a little free read project called Boxer Falls (sprung from the sexy and demented mind of Mr. Suede, of course). Sort of like a serial story, only we’re doing it in the theme of a gay soap opera, via the Goodreads MM Romance group. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I do hope you’ll check out Boxer Falls!

Be sure in particular to visit the Cast of Characters thread, where we’re getting readers involved by asking you to help us choose some of the soap opera cast, and we’ll have a couple of other polls as well during the month of December. The first “episode” of Boxer Falls will go up in January!

(And writers, we’ll be looking for guest contributors so let us know if  it’s something you would be able to write a thousands words or so of an episode for.)

AAAAAND for all you vampire lovers out there, I hold in my hot little hands the Amber Allure contract for Immortal Valentine, an M/M romance due out Valentine’s Day weekend!! It’s a sexy little boy-meets-vampire story about a one-night stand that turns into forever, and I really hope everyone enjoys it. 🙂 So look for that soon!

M/M Woman Going Wylde


Come chat with me! Tomorrow, 12/9, the authors for Amber Quill press will be taking over Beth Wylde’s Yahoo group all day. Stop in to chat, ask questions, read excerpts, and all that fun stuff. I’ll be on around midday more than likely, and probably again in the evening–it’s a bit hard to plan these things when you have kids–I may be sharing an excerpt from my upcoming release, Immortal Valentine, as well. I hope you’ll stop in to enjoy all the authors, and I’ll make a point of sending out a twitter message before I jump into the chat.

Find Beth’s yahoo group, here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bethwylde/

Drowning


and i’m so sad
like a good book
i can’t put this day back
— Tori Amos

There’s debate about whether an author should create a character in their own likeness. Certainly, there are reasons why it can be a no-no–or why it should at least be handled carefully. And even though I am aware of those reasons, I walked right into that trap recently. Generally speaking I can shake off critique okay, but recently I put a great deal of myself into a character and then took it way too hard when a person whose opinion I treasure told me how annoying he was.

WAY too hard.

I know I shouldn’t have, but…tricky word, that “should.” And it’s one of the pitfalls of using too many of your own attributes in your writing. We writers aren’t necessarily all that interesting. 😉

The realization hit me midway through plotting my next book, a contemporary novel entitled Drowning. One of the heroes suffers from depression–something I’ve been struggling with lately–and it certainly gave me pause. And I don’t know if this will make me change course yet or not. Amor Prohibido featured a hero with a history of abuse which I also have some experience with, and I’ve gotten great feedback about that book. That said, my abusive relationships are a decade-plus in the past, so maybe perspective is the key.

Probably.

Anyway, I’ve gotten a ton of questions about what I’m working on next–thank you SO much for asking everyone. 🙂 So the short answer is, I’m not entirely sure. I’m on the fence about Drowning–whether I should shelve it until I feel more “ready” or plow ahead and see what comes of it. I *know* I want my next thing to be a contemporary novel. I’ve gotten a lot of AWESOME feedback about the free short story Yes, Sir that I wrote for GayRomLit 2011. I may try taking Nate and Gray out of the dream world and into the real world to see how their relationship progresses. Or maybe it’ll be something else entirely…we’ll see what the new year brings, I suppose. 🙂

NEXT THOUGH! I just turned in my Valentine novella, Immortal Valentine, to Amber Allure!! It’s a sexy little boy-meets-vampire story about a one-night stand that turns into forever, and I’ll be editing that through the holidays. Keep an eye out for that just before Valentine’s day.

Get your foot in the door at Amber Allure


For any M/M romance writers out there who are looking to get their foot in the door at an established, invite-only press, Amber Allure currently has an open call for novella-length stories with a theme of “Legal Briefs.” Deadline is New Years 2012.

They are hard and fast about that I believe, but if you feel inspired, do check it out. I have super loved working with Amber Allure and would not hesitate to recommend working with them.

More info regarding the open call can be found here.