Monday, January 26, 2015

BDSMonday - (Kinky) New Year's Resolutions


It's BDSMonday!

Seeing as this is the last Monday of the first month of 2015, I thought it might be fun to see if you have any kinky plans for the coming year--a new area of BDSM you'd like to explore, a fantasy you'd like to bring up with your partner, books you'd like to read, scenes you'd like to write?

For myself, I'd like to play more in 2015. I don't really have anything specific in mind--I've (mostly) figured out what I like, and I want more of it! But I wouldn't say no to finding new activities to try, either.

Coming This Week

Coming This Week & Available for Pre-Order NOW:

Blues
by Lynn Townsend
Rising sophomore Beau Watkins gave up everything to be with his boyfriend, Vin. Beau is disowned by his father, tormented by his brother, is rapidly running out of money, and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On top of that, his boyfriend seems to see Beau as little more than a live-in maid. Troubled by word of his missing father and fighting nightmares of his own, Vin Reyes turns to alcohol to drown his pain. What's worse, a handsome transfer student is a little too interested in Beau. Vin throws away everything that's made him happy with both hands, terrified of his own feelings of inadequacy.
When Vin and Beau's happily-ever-after turns into a train wreck of drinking problems, resentment, insecurity, jealousy, and violence, they both try to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives. Their mutual friends, Hector and Ann-Marie, try to help the two young men as best they can, but neither want to listen. Beau accepts a morally questionable job offer to pad his finances and Vin starts a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior that sends him right for rock bottom. Can Vin and Beau win through doubt and guilt, jealousy and recklessness, to find their place in the world?
Fantasy Collection
by Mav Anthony
Submission and kink are explored in these four fantasy tales featuring two couples.
In Willing Fire and Gilded Cage, Simeon gives into his Lord Mikjial’s desires – and his own – falling in love as he serves his master.
While in Floating and Soaring, Aaron learns all sorts of wicked things as he bows to Aime’s desires.
All stories originally published as individual stories.
Sugar Rush
by Dani Myrick
Jamie “Redhood” Lassiter leads a quiet life working for Granny’s Goodtime Goodies in Grimmtown. However, after some illegal tinkering with Granny’s recipes, he runs into trouble with a local gang, the Wolves. Their leader, Ren, demands Jamie’s altered recipes and isn’t above kidnapping Jamie into a virtual world to get what he wants. His only hope of rescue lies with Ferro, a member of the cyber-hacker gang, the Hunters.
When the true value of Jamie's altered recipe is revealed, Jamie will have to choose between friendship and his own sense of justice. And that choice will alters not only his own future, but that of the entire world.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Beauty Nearby


January’s nearly over, and it’s been a good month. I’ve been riding the high of something I did New Year’s Day. I went hiking, with my folks and one of my sons. This isn’t unusual, but though I nurture my inner outdoors-person as best I can, I generally only get out for a real hike every couple of months.

Off we went to the North Quabbin Woods not too far from home, where my folks had discovered a Federated Women’s Club State Park that abuts the Quabbin Reservoir. The day was cold but sunny and the hike was short (perhaps 3 miles in one direction) though a bit more vertical than my shamefully indoorsy butt preferred. We hadn’t had much snow so far this season, so the ground was dry and not very icy. About two-thirds of the way up, I began catching glimpses of the Reservoir to the west and experienced something like that feeling of being a kid on the way to the beach. You smell it first, and then you get that first thrilling glimpse of dappled ocean. Do you know what I mean?

I was doing the New-Year thing of reflecting on a pretty good year and planning for a fabulous new one. Actually, that kind of reflection is something that comes pretty naturally on a long walk, isn’t it? Just as I was thinking with some regret on a 2014 that had far less creativity and play in it than I would have liked and pondering how 2015 could be a year for art and light and play, I reached the end of the trail.

I was greeted with a panoramic view of the Reservoir. I even took a picture (see above)! Even before I took the time to look beyond my first impression, the experience – stepping out of the woods and into that view – felt like a consecration. I stood, envying a pair of hikers who had thought to pack a Thermos of something steamy, made the kinds of noises you make over view like that. My son went off down a side trail to see if it went anywhere (he’s 17 and confident on trails), leaving me to bask in that 10,000-year-old feeling the view gave me. Imagining the earliest migrants canoeing those waters, hunting the hills, was easy. And it was a lie.

I haven’t lived near the Quabbin for long, but neither has the Reservoir. It was created from the Swift River Valley in the 1930s to serve the needs of burgeoning Eastern Massachusetts cities and industries. There are four towns at the bottom the Quabbin, flooded to make way for urbanization and industrialization – and, a few weeks ago, a kind of epiphany for me.

What I romanticized as some pristine, even primordial, landscape was in fact less than a decade older than my mom (not that she’s old, mind). It wasn’t what it appeared. It hid stories of struggle and loss, of transmutation. But it was beautiful. Maybe it was that sense of transmutation, of emptying in order to fill, that brought me to my knees. It was a wabi-sabi moment, the first I’ve experienced strongly since learning the term in my coursework for a recent grant project. Noticing the ephemeral nature of something beautiful, the sweet, sharp sadness of that, strikes me as a marvelous way to honor something that can only be what it is fleetingly, before it becomes something else. The sense of great age the Quabbin reservoir gave me, and the piercing realization of all of the ambiguities under the surface, well, that seemed like as good a place as any – literally and figuratively – to start a new year.

Happy-Sad New Year, everyone!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Author Extra: A Harvest of Ripe Figs from Shira Glassman

Here is a great little video for A Harvest of Ripe Figs from Shira Glassman:


https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=619135578231570&set=vb.245842025560929&type=2&theater

Author Extra- Doves by Racheline Maltese and Erin McRae


A peek at a moment of reunion in Doves:

 

Alex emails Paul his flight information the night before he leaves New York. When all he gets back is Have a safe trip, he knows that the trial part, at least, of their separation may be just about over. The last few days in New York have been fine, and frankly make him hopeful about what’s next for his career, but he still doesn’t love photo shoots, and having no idea what he’s flying back into makes it harder to leave New York than it would be under any other circumstances.

 

He spends the flight back to L.A. with his headphones on, staring out the window when he can’t sleep, and thinking about how much he hates flying. It’s six hours (it's always, in his life, six hours) where he’s utterly helpless to do anything, and it makes him crazy.

 

At the gate, Alex texts Paul to say that he’s landed. He has no idea if he’ll care, and he doubts he’ll be at the house by the time Alex gets there anyway, but it seems like the worst kind of luck to break this particular ritual now.

 

The last thing he expects, after he’s collected his bag and is making his way out of the terminal through all the drivers with signs for their pickups, is to see Paul among them, holding a sign with the stupid fake name Alex uses for stuff like this, unexpectedly unshaven and looking faintly hopeful.

 

Alex’s first response is to be annoyed, because public and ambush and emotions in public and no real idea of what the intent even is. But it’s still Paul and home and some sort of gesture, and he manages about three more steps before he drops his bags and flings himself into his arms.

 

Paul catches him around the waist, and for a long moment, it’s just him, and his familiar body. Alex feels like he’s melting.

 

“I know we’re a mess,” Paul eventually says, quietly. “I know we don’t even know what’s going to happen. But I wanted to do something ridiculous for you.”

 

Alex nods, because he can’t speak and isn’t remotely willing to let go.

 

“People are looking,” Paul says softly into Alex’s hair. 

 

“I don’t care.”

 

Paul holds him tighter. “I’ve missed you. Fixing this terrifies me. But I want to try.”

 

Alex nods again into Paul’s shoulder. “I’m scared when I let go of you it’s going to go back to being awkward and messed up.”

 

“It probably is,” Paul says, “but it won’t be as awkward and fucked up as having the rest of this conversation in the middle of LAX.”

 

 

Excerpt from Phoenix (Book Three) to put at the end of Doves (the same way we had an excerpt from Doves at the end of Starling)

 

It’s obscenely late when they finally get back to their house and crawl into their bed drunk and sweaty and happy. Alex curls up on Paul’s chest as soon as they’re naked and under the covers.

 

Paul wraps his arms around him. “I’m glad you’re home,” he says and it’s different than all the other times he’s said it lately. Everything feels so real, Paul can’t imagine that he’ll need to keep saying it after tonight.

 

Alex smiles into Paul’s shoulder. “Me fucking too.”

 

***

 

Paul moans at the sound of his ring tone. Alex curses next to him, rolls over, and says, “It’ll stop.”

 

He’s not wrong, until it starts again just a few moments later.

 

“It’s still dark,” Paul complains.

 

“Someone probably wants a ride home,” Alex says, because they’ve been drunk dialed by random combinations of Liam, Carly, Darcy, Gemma, Shawna and Brian more than once and only sometimes by accident. Once Craig even called and that was just super awkward. He doesn’t understand why all their very successful friends can’t manage to call cabs like normal people.

 

The phone stops and starts. Again.

 

“That’s not good,” Paul says.

 

Alex laughs, because the last time they said that about a middle of the night call, he got cast in a movie.

 

“Where the fuck even is my phone?” Paul asks, finally giving in and sitting up groggily.

 

“In your pants,” Alex says unhelpfully.

 

Paul curses as he leans over the edge of the bed and gropes in the direction of the ringing. He finds it just as it starts up a fourth time. Alex pulls a pillow over his head, because he’s still drunk and the sound is just unpleasant.

 

“Ellen?” Paul answers, groggy and confused and a little concerned. At least the ringing has finally stopped.

 

There’s a pause, and Alex hears Paul say, still groggy but a lot sharper, “What?”

 

“What’s’t?” Alex mutters, taking the pillow off his face as Paul starts pulling his clothes on while juggling the phone. Alex curses, because they’re totally going to wind up giving someone a ride and that’s just stupid.

 

It’s when Paul asks when and how and who else have you called, that Alex finally sits up and reaches for the light. Paul’s face is ashen as he struggles to get his arm with the phone through a sleeve. Finally, as Alex tries not to jump to all sorts of terrible conclusions, Paul runs out of steam and just sits on the bed half dressed as he asks Ellen, “Are you okay?”

 

The answer is clearly no.

Doves: The Ties That Bind Can Tear You Apart

When we started working on Book Two of the Love in Los Angeles series, Racheline and I wanted to flesh out the world of our characters a little more. Doves picks up a year and change after the end of Starling, and we wanted to show that our characters had developed in more ways than just those related to their relationships and their careers.

Which led us to the topic of hobbies. Paul, one of our protagonists, is a bit too much of a workaholic in Doves to have much time for anything besides the TV show he’s running -- much to the chagrin of our other protagonist and Paul’s boyfriend, Alex.

Alex, for his part, takes up rock climbing.

It’s a hobby that’s pretty much perfect for Alex. Alex is an actor, and finds the public aspect of his life as a celebrity pretty exhausting. His introvert self loves spending a lot of time alone, on the side of a mountain, with no one else around and nothing else to worry about except, well, falling. His instructors -- and Paul -- wish he’d find a climbing partner for his own safety and their peace of mind, but he far prefers the solitude of solo climbing. Alex falls completely in love with being alone on the rock with his ropes.

Racheline and I have a severely limited experience with climbing, ourselves. I’ve done a little climbing -- I even got my certification as a belayer from the local climbing school when I was in high school -- but we’re both terrified of heights and prefer hobbies that let us keep our feet on the ground. Which means that we spent a lot of time on Google reading climbing blogs, both for the small exacting details we wanted to know about Alex’s hobby -- the kind of equipment he’d have stashed in the back of his car, how often he’d need to get new climbing shoes, what would happen if his cat got into his chalk -- but also to soak up the philosophy and general life experiences of climbers.

It not only gave us great material to work with in the story, but it also gave us more insight into Alex. The rigors of his schedule as an actor don’t leave him time to take off in a van he converted into a camper and spend a month not talking to anyone else and just working his way through his list of dream climbs. And while he’s not going to give up his job or his relationship so he can have the kind of life where he can do that, he also has a certain melancholy about the fact that he can’t. 

Also, Makeup gets really pissed at him when he shows up for work with bruises all over and cut and swollen hands because he fell on the rocks. 

Again.

The ties that bind...

Two years after the events of Starling, Cinderella story and star of The Fourth Estate J. Alex Cook is living happily ever after with his boyfriend, television writer Paul Marion Keane. But when Paul’s pilot, Winsome, AZ, gets picked up, the competing demands of their high-profile careers make them question their future together.

...can tear you apart

As Paul becomes increasingly absent from their relationship, Alex tries to regain control of his private life and establish a career path independent of Fourth's enigmatic, and at times malevolent, showrunner Victor. But the delicate web of relationships that connects Alex, Paul, and their friends — including Alex's excitable ex-lover Liam and his no-nonsense fiancée Carly — threatens to unravel.

With the business of Hollywood making it hard to remember who he is when the whole world isn’t watching, Alex is forced to confront major changes in the fairytale life he never wanted as he discovers that love in Los Angeles often looks nothing like the movies.

Book 1, Starling

Book 2, Doves

Book 3, Phoenix
Coming in June!

Bio:
Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese are authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry (Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015)), all from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella Midsummer, Book One of the Love’s Labour series, about a summerstock Shakespeare company, is from Dreamspinner Press (Summer 2015). They also  have a forthcoming story in Best Gay Romance 2015, edited by Felice Picano. Racheline is a NYC-based performer and storyteller; Erin is a writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. They write stories and scripts about the intersection of private lives, fame, and desire. You can find them on the web at http://www.Avian30.com.

Social media links:
Racheline’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/racheline_m

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Release Day is HERE

This week, we have selected titles by Shira Glassman & Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae
on sale for 20% off. Check them out: Specials : http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=specials
You can also use coupon code "winter2015" on Torquere or Prizm to get an additional 15% off the entire cart!!


A Harvest of Ripe Figs
by Shira Glassman
167 pages / 46400 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-867-7
$4.49
Buy Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=96&products_id=4345
Blurb:
Esther of the Singing Hands is Perach's Sweetheart, a young and beautiful musician with a Girl Next Door image. When her violin is stolen after a concert in the capital city, she doesn't expect the queen herself to show up, intent upon solving the mystery.
But Queen Shulamit -- lesbian, intellectual, and mother of the six-month-old crown princess -- loves to play detective. With the help of her legendary bodyguard Rivka and her dragon, and with the support of her partner Aviva the Chef, Shulamit turns her mind toward the solution -- which she quickly begins to suspect involves the use of illegal magic that could threaten the safety of her citizens.


Doves
by Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae
327 pages / 90000 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-865-3
$6.99
Buy Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=96&products_id=4344
Blurb:
The ties that bind…
Two years after the events of Starling, Cinderella story and star of The Fourth Estate J. Alex Cook is living happily ever after with his boyfriend, television writer Paul Marion Keane. But when Paul’s pilot, Winsome, AZ, gets picked up, the competing demands of their high-profile careers make them question their future together.
…can sometimes tear you apart
As Paul becomes increasingly absent from their relationship, Alex tries to regain control of his private life and establish a career path independent of Fourth’s enigmatic, and at times malevolent, showrunner Victor. But the delicate web of relationships that connects Alex, Paul, and their friends — including Alex's excitable ex-lover Liam and his no-nonsense fiancée Carly — threatens to unravel.
With the business of Hollywood making it hard to remember who he is when the whole world isn’t watching, Alex is forced to confront major changes in the fairytale life he never wanted as he discovers that love in Los Angeles often looks nothing like the movies.

Doves is Book Two in the Love in Los Angeles series.

Coming Next Week & Available for Pre-Order NOW:

Blues
by Lynn Townsend
Rising sophomore Beau Watkins gave up everything to be with his boyfriend, Vin. Beau is disowned by his father, tormented by his brother, is rapidly running out of money, and suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. On top of that, his boyfriend seems to see Beau as little more than a live-in maid. Troubled by word of his missing father and fighting nightmares of his own, Vin Reyes turns to alcohol to drown his pain. What's worse, a handsome transfer student is a little too interested in Beau. Vin throws away everything that's made him happy with both hands, terrified of his own feelings of inadequacy.
When Vin and Beau's happily-ever-after turns into a train wreck of drinking problems, resentment, insecurity, jealousy, and violence, they both try to pick up the shattered pieces of their lives. Their mutual friends, Hector and Ann-Marie, try to help the two young men as best they can, but neither want to listen. Beau accepts a morally questionable job offer to pad his finances and Vin starts a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior that sends him right for rock bottom. Can Vin and Beau win through doubt and guilt, jealousy and recklessness, to find their place in the world?
Fantasy Collection
by Mav Anthony
Submission and kink are explored in these four fantasy tales featuring two couples.
In Willing Fire and Gilded Cage, Simeon gives into his Lord Mikjial’s desires – and his own – falling in love as he serves his master.
While in Floating and Soaring, Aaron learns all sorts of wicked things as he bows to Aime’s desires.
All stories originally published as individual stories.
Sugar Rush
by Dani Myrick
Jamie “Redhood” Lassiter leads a quiet life working for Granny’s Goodtime Goodies in Grimmtown. However, after some illegal tinkering with Granny’s recipes, he runs into trouble with a local gang, the Wolves. Their leader, Ren, demands Jamie’s altered recipes and isn’t above kidnapping Jamie into a virtual world to get what he wants. His only hope of rescue lies with Ferro, a member of the cyber-hacker gang, the Hunters.
When the true value of Jamie's altered recipe is revealed, Jamie will have to choose between friendship and his own sense of justice. And that choice will alters not only his own future, but that of the entire world.