Vote for The BEST Romance Novel of 2011


For those who may not have heard, Damon Suede’s Hot Head has been nominated by Goodreads as one of only a handful of candidates for Best Romance of 2011. His is the only LGBT romance nomination, the only romance written by a male, and the only one of two not published by NYC powerhouse publishers. And he’s up against mainstream mavens such as Nora Roberts and J.R. Ward, who I LOVE and admire greatly–but wouldn’t be an amazing leap for our genre if Hot Head were to win? Please consider supporting Hot Head in particular and/or gay romance in general, by voting here (voting ends 11/30/2011!): http://www.goodreads.com/award/choice/#56966-Best-Romance

Hot Angels and Cool Demons Blog Tour, Day 2 (Win Free Books!)


Just a quick note, Amor Prohibido is being read as the book of the month in the Goodreads M/M Romance Group! After you’ve read the book, come join the discussion, here!

What do you think of, when you think of an Angel?

In Amor Prohibido, Pakal is an immortal spirit guide. .. An angel, of sorts.

Once mortal, he was bound and ritualistically drowned a thousand years ago to honor the Mayan rain god. Unlike the angels that we think of in Biblical terms, Amor Prohibido deals with Mesoamerican mythology, and Pakal now walks the earth as a man of flesh and bone. He is able to interact with others. He’s able to help mortals with their problems, he’s able to have sex, and he’s got some very major flaws. As angels sometimes do, he falls…in love with the mortal Jacob, for which he risks banishment to the Mayan Underworld, where he would confront…

The demon gods.

Best I was able to find out the Mayan Underworld is seen as a large city beneath the earth. And it is overseen by twelve powerful demon gods called the Lords of Xibalba. Hell itself has nine levels, the worst of which is Mental. Word is, when healers would pray to banish diseases, they sent those bad boys to Mental. And that level of the underworld was overseen by Ah Puch, a demon god with the head of an owl and a decaying corpse for a body (hot, huh?).  In Amor, Ah Puch has a teensy bit of a crush on Pakal.  *shiver*

And these demon gods, they like to play with mortals the way a cat likes to play with a mouse before devouring it. When a mortal gets banished to the Underworld, the demon gods make them fight through six deadly houses of fear: the Dark House which was pitch black inside, the Cold House which was full of bone-chilling cold and rattling hail, the Jaguar House full of hungry jaguars, the Bat House full of shrieking bats, the Hot House full of fires, and the Razor House full of knives that moved about on their own.

Sounds impossible, right? But hey! If they make it through, there’s a chance these folks will be allowed to be free of the underworld. If not? Well, cue the sad trombone music. They may experience the kind of permanent death that banishes them to one of the nine levels of the Mayan Hell for an eternity of demon torture.

So, what about the immortal Pakal and the mortal Jacob? Do they fall in love? Of course they do, it’s a romance. So do they confront the Lords of Xibalba and fight through the houses of fear? And how?

Here’s an excerpt:

Their interactions were so comfortable and easy that Pakal had to remind himself repeatedly that Jacob was his spirit charge, not a friend. Not a lover. Every now and then Jacob’s warm, chocolatey gaze found Pakal’s, and it was as if he were a better man just for having borne witness to that soulful stare. Gods, what he wouldn’t give for them to be just two ordinary mortals. Pakal shoved the foolish longing aside, but it was insistent, like a hungry stray dog.

Eleven hundred years was a long time to be alone.

The gentle breeze playfully ruffled Jacob’s hair while he chatted about his favorite music (techno), his feelings about animal cruelty (con), his feelings about American football (pro), and his favorite foods (Chinese pork buns, and Swiss cheese fondue). Pakal, in turn, discussed the local culture, the history, and the cave formations. Many times he caught himself assisting Jacob in a far too friendly manner, and each time their bodies touched Pakal was overcome by the sensation of their being so…in tune, with each other. He would almost swear their pulses beat in the same rhythm. Yet through it all, Jacob’s posture was still overly controlled. Tight.

They were plodding carefully through a large corridor of stalactites and stalagmites that gave the appearance of a giant shark’s mouth, when Jacob stepped absently and slipped. Pakal grabbed Jacob from behind, just narrowly preventing him from being impaled on the business end of a sharp, vertically jutting piece of rock. Many a tourist had landed at the nearby clinic for such accidents.

“Shit.”

“I warned you to be careful of where you stepped. It’s slippery in here.” Pakal’s breath was heavy, and he was panting right in Jacob’s ear. His heart thudded against the thinner man’s back. Their bodies vibrated together as if they shared the same skin. They were dangling over a great precipice just then, and for the life of him Pakal was too caught up in the thrill to truly care about the consequences. He tightened his grip around Jacob’s naked waist and his light slipped from his fingers into the water. It was stupid. It was dangerous.

It was too late.

The thought was interesting, but fleeting, as Pakal’s hand dipped inside of Jacob’s loose, surfer-style swim shorts.

“Holy, Jesus. What are you doing?” The words held a note of obligatory protest, but even as he said them Jacob’s ass pushed into Pakal’s crotch, and his forearm and head came to rest against the curve of the cave wall. Both men breathed heavily, totally in sync.

“Keep it down,” Pakal whispered. Gods, Jacob’s cock was smooth. Deliciously soft and hard at the same time. “You’re so tense. I’m helping you to loosen up.”

Jacob’s breath hitched. “Someone could come by here any minute.” Yet even as he said it, Jacob’s hard length fucked faster into Pakal’s wet fist. His dick was perfect against Pakal’s skin; it was long and thin, with only a small amount of soft hair at the base. Pakal’s fingers strayed for a moment to roll Jacob’s weighty sac in his hand, and he longed to feel it inside of his mouth.

“Better be fast, then,” Pakal breathed.

For a chance to win a FREE copy of Amor Prohibido as well as books from each of the other fifteen authors in the Angels and Demons blog tour, leave a comment below! And be sure to stop by all of the other authors on the tour for more chances to win! Jay Di Meo has the schedule, here.

Can’t wait to see if you’ve won? Amor Prohibido is available for purchase at Amazon.

Review: Tipping the Balance by Christopher Koehler


Tipping the Balance
Tipping the Balance by Christopher Koehler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nutshell: Out and proud gay guy falls for younger man so deep in the closet he can’t even see the door and they go into business together. Cuz yeah, that’s what you should do when you have an impossible crush on someone. 😉

I loved this story so much I read it twice. Even more than Rocking the Boat, and I rather enjoyed that one as well. Of all the “out for you” / gay for you / late bloomer / whatever you wanna call it plots I’ve read, this was hands down the best written that I’ve come across. And I entered into it cautiously, because I always do, but it was clear that the author took his time with it. With the exception of a minor detail or two it really rang true for me and I thought that was particularly impressive because the author’s own coming out story is on his blog, and he clearly knew that he was gay from a young age so it isn’t as if this late discovery was something he had first-person knowledge of.

The roller-coaster ride of emotion and the sexual tension between the two characters was fantastic. Frustrating, at times, but I think it was supposed to be. And the buildup was so good, that when the hotties finally got down to having sex the connection and heat between them was great. And I really enjoy the way this author writes his sex scenes. They’re sensual and hot, and a little bit inventive, and work really well as an extension of emotion between the two characters. It’s not just two people getting it on because the page count demands that something hot and heavy finally has to happen. And again, working the nervous formerly straight guy around to being ready for sex with a guy was tricky, but done well, and I found it to be very believable. It was a darker story than Rocking the Boat, and it touched on harder more painful issues. There was more inner and outer conflict for both characters. It made for a better, stronger, more well-rounded story all in all. Really delicious. You. Go download now. S’okay, I’ll wait here. 😉

View all my reviews

Free Reads


Yes, Sir – A New Orleans vacation takes an interesting turn whenYes, Sir cover Grayson Harper lets a friend drag him along to see a voodoo priestess for a love spell. Suddenly he’s having very vivid dreams about a mystery man that seem all too real, and doing things in them he never thought possible. But what will become of the man of his dreams once he leaves the magic of the French quarter?

It Was Supposed to be a Fun Game – Part of Thousand Word Thursday over at Cryselle’s Bookshelf, this is a sweet contemporary flash fiction (1000 words) piece I wrote inspired by a picture that Cryselle posted on her site.

Hot Nerds and Hot Angels


Today I’m guest blogging for hot, sexy erotica author Louisa Bacio about the men of Amor Prohibido! I dig just a little deeper than I have before into their back-stories, especially into Jake’s past with his ex and what brings him to Puerto Morelos, where Jake and Pakal meet. I invite you to come check it out, here.

Today’s Quickie: Rock It, Baby!


Hey all! The M/M Romance Group on Goodreads  is having their monthly book of the month group reading poll, and someone was lovely enough to nominate my novella, Amor Prohibido. As I’m still a new author, it could use a little help in the polls, and I’d be SUPER appreciative if y’all could pop over there and help me rock the vote!

http://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/55830-which-book-would-you-like-selected-as-our-november-book-of-the-month-gro

Also, I was giving away a free short story at GayRomLit and I ran out of copies. If you wanted one and didn’t get it, please email me at EllisCarrington@Gmail.com. Thanks, everyone!

Where’s My Happy Ever After, Beeyotch?


Recently a Twitter buddy wrote an amusing and insightful blog post entitled “Screw Your Ever After.” This is a sort of rebuttal to that post.

In recent memory, a stone’s throw from where I live, a woman threw her young granddaughter off of a bridge. No one knows why. The girl, 2 years old, died. Another woman accidentally ran over her two children with her own car. The youngest was killed. A man forgot his sleeping infant son in their vehicle carseat, and that child died from hyperthermia. Because the boy was adopted and because of the nature of the child’s death, this couple may never get to have another child. We just passed the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and I was not far from where the plane struck the Pentagon on the tenth anniversary of that ugly day, which was quite a stunning reminder of the hateful attacks that occurred. And as I write this, we are a day away from the anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, a beautiful young man whose murder was so horrific and heartbreaking I can hardly stand to think about it.

What’s my point here? Life can be beautiful, but it can be terrible and ugly and tragic, and unpredictable. It can be depressing as hell. If I allow them to, things around me can begin to look very bleak–something I can’t afford, as my day job is raising two children who haven’t yet been touched by all that ugliness to go out into the world and be good citizens.

The thing is, when I read, I read to escape. To find that proverbial happy place. I read to be taken on a journey, to feel that “good ache,” and to experience the highs and lows along with my protagonists–I don’t want to read a story that’s nothing but 300 pages of my characters skipping through daisies. I do want that happy ending to be earned. I want them to have to battle bad guys or demons or maybe even each other. But at the end of the day I want them to kiss and make or up make love and I want to close the book (or turn off my Kindle, more likely) and know that things are probably going to work out okay. Is it realistic? Maybe not, but hell, that’s why we call it fiction.

In a couple of days I’ll be leaving for the GayRomLit retreat. Could. Not. Be. More. Psyched. And I owe a huge thank you to the M/M Romance group on Goodreads for holding a contest to give away the plane ticket that’s allowing me to attend this shindig. I’m a survivor of abuse and assault, and M/M romance is my escape from all the ugliness that I mentioned, not to mention the stuff that’s in my own head. The opportunity to meet with the writers who have created those stories and other readers who love M/M as much as I do, is such a thrill. THAT is how much the Happy Ever After means to me. I once wrote a 1300 word flash fiction story, and still made sure it ended happily. THAT is how much the ever after means to me.

I grok that not every writer wants to write romance or happy endings and not every reader wants to read it, and that’s totally fine. Diversity, it’s what makes the world go ’round. But in an uncertain world, some of us need to know once in awhile that things turn out okay. We need the romance.

So…where’s my ever after, bitch? 😉