A few awesome things happened, too


The day of the Sandy Hook School shooting, I fell apart just like a lot of people. I cried, of course, over the shock and the horror of the children who died. For the parents who wouldn’t get to bring their babies home. And also, with the guilty relief that my children were still healthy and safe.

So for me at least, going into this holiday season has been bittersweet and very emotional. I just wanted to take a minute to think about a few good, happy things that I knew had taken place in the world as I knew it, that were worth focusing on. Because we all need the good:

  • OneRepublic is raising money for Sandy Hook: Sometimes the only good thing we can say about a tragedy is that it shows us the best parts of humanity. Rock band OneRepublic started a fundraiser to help the families who need money for funerals, therapy bills, and missed time from work get back on their feet. They also started the fund by kicking in $20,000 of their own money. I decided that instead of rushing around to buy last-minute Xmas gifts this year, I would donate money in honor of each person I hadn’t yet bought a gift for. If you’d like to donate you can do so here.
  • A USMC captain proposed to his partner at the white house. I started following Matthew Phelps on twitter shortly after DADT was repealed, I think someone re-tweeted his triumphant declaration about how he could finally serve openly and I happened to spot it in my timeline. I congratulated him, he said thanks. So I started following his blog, etc… Captain Phelps writes a lot on his personal blog about his personal experiences both serving under DADT and what has happened after, and his stories have been really eye-opening and informative for me as a civilian. The personal experiences he’s shared changed not only gave me a clearer understanding of DADT but gave me a higher degree of respect for those who serve in the military. So even though I never had the chance to meet him personally, the information he shared was important to me personally, and obviously important on a grander scale. I appreciate his hard work and his service, and wish him and his partner a lifetime of happiness.
  • A man celebrates a homeless woman’s birthday with her. People who usually are forgotten enjoy celebrating birthdays too and I’d wager most of never think twice about this sort of thing. The video is in Spanish and mine is rusty but seeing her excitement is still beautiful.
  • The Bridegroom and Fearless Projects both got their funding on KickStarter. The nasty little secret about Kickstarter is that if you set a funding goal and don’t reach it, you don’t get any money. Bummer. So I’m a little biased because I contributed to both projects and helped campaign to raise funds for them, but I am really encouraged that both of these projects got fully funded this year: The Bridegroom project was another hopeful light that came out of tragedy. A young man who lost his partner and plans to tell their story to help further the cause of marriage equality. Fearless is a decade-long photo documentary project about brave “out” LGBT athletes in high school and college. Both of these projects, I hope, will have positive social reach. I believed very strongly in their message and the people trying to accomplish them.
  • Husbands–I’ve been pimping this all over, because it’s funny as hell. And it’s the kind of funny you have to think about for just a second, which I utterly adore. Plus, the funny is now also in comic book form. Times like these, you need a good laugh. I’ve watched and re-watched (and read, and re-read) the husbands videos and comics a multitude of times and it’s never stopped being funny to me. Or making me go “awww.” Not many things you can say that about. You can check out the review I did of the Husbands comics at I Smell Sheep, here.
  • Boxer Falls – Boxer Falls was a joint collaboration thought up by Damon Suede, and coordinated by me, him, Poppy Dennison, and Brita Adams. The idea was to create a serial story set in the gay-friendly Berkshires and have a soap-opera theme that would allow for all sorts of fun and off the wall shenanigans to take place. We had some amazing guest writers from Mary Calmes and Amy Lane to Eden Winters and Ally Blue, Edmond Manning, Jacob Flores and Geoff Knight, Alix Bekins, etc. The list goes on. An amazing roster of guests who took readers on a roller coaster of break-ups, makeups, murders, kidnappings, and even wedding proposals. The interaction with the readers, getting to work side by side with the guest authors, stretching my editing muscles, getting to play with the challenge of working with characters who weren’t “mine…” was all very exciting. There were ups and downs, and sometimes Boxer Falls was a huge challenge, but sometimes it was huge fun, and more than anything I am grateful for the experience.

I could probably make this an even longer post, but I’m gonna end here. It’s Christmas eve and I’m gonna cuddle in bed with a book and be grateful that I can while I dream of Santa bringing me something amazing, like peace on earth, or gay porn.

I hope you have a beautiful holiday.

Love,

Ellis

#gaycoffee


Last night I had the strangest dream: I was all frothy and bitch-slapping mad at editor and fellow manlove romance author Kate McMurray about the structural state (or lack, thereof) of my current contemporary project. I’ve had to temporarily put it on pause, and I guess my subconscious was more bummed than I realized about taking a break from the writing. Or Kate was, and we have a never before discovered telepathic connection. *shiver*

SO now that I am awake, I need coffee. And people, I have discovered the bestest coffee. It’s Gay Coffee. GAY COFFEE! What better way to immerse yourself in gay culture and perk yourself up at the same time, right? And this is some good shit, yo. Roasted to order, fair trade, organic, whole-bean goodness. And for those of you who are coming to GayRomLit, I talked to the lovely, awesome owner of Gay Coffee and she is sending me samples! They’re going to grind it up for me and wait to send it when the date draws nigh (and drawing night it is!), so it’s at the peak of freshness and everything!! If you will be there in Albuquerque, come and hit me up for some Gay Coffee goodness!

Soapy studs: this week’s episode of Boxer Falls is by Jeremy Pack, and he’s introduced a mystical twist to the murder and mayhem that’s been afoot lately. Come check it out on the Goodreads M/M romance group. Next week? Damon Suede handles the men of Boxer Falls. I have an idea of what he has planned. I do believe it will be a little bit twisted. Stay tuned.

Until next week, I’m off to bitchslap Kate McMurray (no, I’m TOTALLY kidding you guys. Kate’s a friend, and she’s lovely).

The big gay week in review (the big gay books, blog, movies, and soap!)…


(this started out as a short post, I swear) It’s back to school time. I lack organizational skills. I’m running low on Kona coffee. It’s Thursday when I thought it was Friday, yet again. *headdesk*I’ve got 2 books in-progress and another one plotted, and GAH! I don’t know when any of them will be done yet (and ogawd you guys, I so appreciate all of you who keep asking, I swear I’m working on it, I’ll have something for you soon. Hopefully now that the kids are in preschool I’ll have more time to work. I need an assistant. A babysitter. A brain transplant. Moar COFFEE!). *ahems* But hey! It’s all good, because as I look back on the week there have actually been some pretty interesting goings on:

  • Big Gay Blog Week – I participated in “Big Gay Blog Week” over at Lela Gwenn’s Full Frontal Fantasy blog, and wrote an article on why I see romance as a positive thing for the LGBT community.
  •  Big Gay Books Steamroller is out, by Mary Calmes. I love Mary’s books on a lot of levels. The dialogue and the subject matter is always intelligent, there’s (and I admit I’m stealing this description from a friend) a certain witty tartness to her stories, and a perfect balance of sweet and sexy. Some are more emotional, some are darker, but you always can expect a quality story and that’s nice to have in an author. Steamroller was on the light side, and I liked that. A shorter read, about a not so often found scenario wherein a jock has a longstanding crush on a nerdy guy, and when they finally come together it’s like fireworks. I read it in an afternoon at the end of a stressful day, and it was just the thing to take the edge off. Really wonderful, and highly recommended. Also recently released was Four Corners by Kate McMurray which was another very sweet and slightly angsty story about how these four guys used to be buddies and play baseball together, but then one guy took off because he couldn’t quite come to grips with his sexuality. There’s a lot of pain and leftover anger from the friends who were left behind, one of whom has been in love with his buddy since their childhood. Very delightful and worth reading. And Then there was The British Devil by Greg Hogben which is a witty and eye-opening (semi-autobiographical) tale of an international love affair between two men and the many obstacles they face along the way. It’s a very enjoyable and relatable story. God, I just realized it’s a good thing my husband doesn’t read this blog. Uh, no, honey…I didn’t buy any of these books. All loaners, I swear. He DID see the title of the post, and made a point of telling me that I’m really bad at titles. Thanks, honey.
  • Big Gay Movies – Used to be, I would nod and lament along with my fellow authors and romance readers that it was hard to find satisfying ending in gay movies. I felt like so much of it was depressing, angsty, or just downright WTF? And don’t get me wrong, I love angst. I love a good mindfuck! I *know* that being gay/etc can be painful. But give me a hand up after you drop me, so *I* don’t slit my wrists like the movie hero just did, huh? I was thrilled to run across both Private Romeo (gay retelling of Romeo and Juliet set in an all boys military school) and A Marine Story (about a lesbian Marine officer discharged under DADT). I’ve been on a military kick lately, and you can’t have gay military movies without talking either directly or indirectly about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Private Romeo doesn’t address the topic directly. It’s more of a symbolic thing with the setting and whatnot. A Marine Story is much more direct, and gives an example of one of the many potential ways that DADT  impacted lives and careers. Even with the repeal of DADT, I see this subject matter as important. For someone like me who grew up largely in the civilian world (my dad was in the Army but my memory of that is mostly blurry and mostly negative) and who was actually raised with something of an anti-military/ anti-war outlook, it’s hard to understand the impact of DADT. It’s harder still to understand why serving in  the military was important for those who had to hide who they were and were treated unfairly. So I’ve become fascinated by the subject, and the more I learn abut the impact of DADT and the lingering effects after its repeal, the more interested I become.  So what was interesting, was that both of these movies did have positive endings. This was cool, because I think that, too, is a big important thing in gay media. I think it’s extremely important that we acknowledge and remember, but just as important that we have hope.
  • Big Gay Soap! – Welcome to Boxer Falls! If you haven’t caught up on the soapy homo romance yet, please come and join us! This past week Geoff Knight shook things up with his episode over at the GoodReads M/M Romance Group! You won’t want to miss it. Tomorrow’s episode is written by Jacob Z Flores, and I enjoyed it so much that I am now chomping at the bit to buy his book(the perk, of course, of being one of the head writers is getting to see the episodes early). I’ve actually discovered a lot of writers I love thanks to Boxer Falls. Next week will be Edmond Manning. I read his book, King Perry, and he’s definitely another really great new voice in the genre. We’ve been so lucky and SO grateful to have so many talented authors participate. Do stop by. 🙂

Kiss and Make Up, and Drag Queens, Oh My!


This morning I tackled drag queens, cops, pent-up sexual tension, and FURBYS, all in under a thousand words! Many thanks to Alix Bekins for including me in the band of awesomely talented M/M authors (Edmond Manning, Mary Calmes, Amy Lane, and many more) who warmed up her blog with a  progressive romance story this month. Join the party and check out the whole story, here (I’m entry 25)!

It’s Kiss and Make up Day over at Dreamspinner Press! 20% off of everything in their store. I happen to have a sweet little contemporary short story over at Dreamspinner called Feeling Neighborly, and it’s on sale also! So now’s a great time to check out a quick, hot read about a one night stand that turns into something much, much more. Also, if you go to DSP’s facebook page and share your favorite kiss and make up scene from any Dreamspinner book, you’ll be entered to win a month of free books for September!

And this week on Boxer Falls, Brita Addams takes the helm and Phil Boxer lingers in the hands of a madman. Get your soap on over at the Goodreads M/M Romance group. Next in the awesome lineup comes Geoff Knight, Jacob Z. Flores, Edmond Manning, Jeremy Pack, and many more. Don’t miss it!

And apropos of nothing, I’ve been thinking I really need to watch more Ab-fab. I keep forgetting how hilarious it is. Right?

Wait? What??


You haven’t yet signed up for GayRomLit? Are you MENTAL?? There are a few a very few reader slots left, and you can sign up until August 18, so grab your spot while you still can!

We had a great retreat last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again this year. Sadly, I was kinda hoping I’d have another book out before GRL this year, but the contemporary novel I’ve been working on needs a looot of editing, and I just haven’t had the time. Summers mean little down time from my kids, we’ve had a lot of power outages, and I’ve had other obligations on my plate. So it’s been slow-going. That’s the bad news. 😛

Good news? In addition to a half-finished contemporary, I have at least 3 or 4 other m/m projects on the horizon. 2 are already plotted, and I’ve started  researching one of them. They’re all way, way outside of my comfort zone. Way. But I’m uber-excited about them, one in particular. So I cycle between excited and energized and then horrified and anxious, and I’m taking it all very slowly because I want them to come out well. *crosses fingers*

In the meantime, I’m still working on our weekly homo-drama, Boxer Falls. We’ve had some kick-ass guest authors lately including Mary Calmes, Taylor Donovan, and Anne Tenino. Haven’t been keeping up? You can check out the entire message thread here, on the goodreads m/m romance group. Or at boxerfalls.com.

My very serious parting message for today? Team Grenade doing their shirtless military workout. It’s pretty hot, yo, even if they do wax their chests. You can check it out on YouTube, here.

Soap Up and Get Down!


This week’s episode of Boxer Falls, our free soap opera-style serial drama is up! The last episode of each month one of the head writers takes a turn at the wheel, either Damon Suede, Poppy Dennison, or myself. This week was my turn, and I decided to bring everyone’s favorite “it” couple back together. Here’s an excerpt:

…Quinn found his fingertips digging into the arm of his chair at the wistful tone in Oz’s voice when he talked about Yoshi, not to mention the reminder that the guy could have been killed not too long ago. Fuck it all to hell. He sank lower in his hair and rubbed a hand over his forehead. “Look, Oz, I—“ I’m sorry I was a dick that morning you wanted to hang out in bed. I’m glad you weren’t hurt worse in that wreck. I’m being a tool right now because the thing is I keep thinking an awful lot that maybe I was wrong when I said no second dates. Only, it’d be nice if I actually thought you’d be willing to be seen with me in public and stuff. Looking around this huge-assed office and your dad’s massive fucking mansion, I don’t see how I’ve got the first thing to offer that would possibly make you wanna do that. Sure as hell I ain’t gonna magically grow a set of bangin’ D-cups. “I think it’s real manly sounding when you talk about sports equipment like that.”

Oz laughed. A real, deep, rumbly laugh that Quinn liked the sound of more than he should have. He stood and it was like the office had gotten smaller and darker. His clothes rubbed and constricted uncomfortably. He wanted his T-shirt and his kilt and his boots back.

He jerked a thumb toward the door. “I’d better get back out there. Thanks for patching me up, Oz.” He held out a hand, an effort to be well-mannered and civil.

When Oz slid his palm against Quinn’s and blue eyes met green, the spark between them was back again. Undeniable.

“You don’t have to go yet do you?” Oz’s voice was almost a whisper. A dangerously low, guttural, sexy as all fucking hell whisper…

Read the rest and catch up on the other episodes at the M/M Romance Group, on Goodreads.

Bits and Pieces and Naughtiness, oh, my!


Just a few quick catchup status update thingies: It’s been a busy winter at Chez Carrington, and I’m (still) busily drafting a contemporary novel. It’s quite different, I think, from what I typically write so I’m not sure how it’ll come out yet or where it’ll fit. And, yanno, life keeps happening and slowing me down. I have a good feeling about it though, so fingers crossed.

The latest episode of our free gay soap opera serial Boxer Falls is up, written by MJ O’Shea! It’s naughty, hot and angsty! Two of the young Boxer Falls residents put themselves on the wrong side of the law in the name of helping their friends. Geoffrey Knight is up next, and you are NOT going to want to miss out. We also have a newly updated BoxerFalls.com web site with all sorts of additional info. We hope to be posting back episodes in the near future but for now you can get caught up on the Goodreads M/M Romance Group.

This came out in January, but I missed it before now: My favorite bearish book reviewer, Tom Webb at A Bear on Books, published his list of 25 favorite M/M books of 2011 and I was super psyched to see my Mayan Mythology novella, Amor Prohibido, was #5 on the list! Thanks, Tom. 🙂

And for those of you who still prefer good old fashioned books to e-readers, and happen to be looking for a football-themed manlove anthology, The Touchdowns Anthology is now out in paperback and available at Amazon. This Ravenous Romance anthology features my first contemporary short story, After Party.