Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trick or Treat - I Eated Thems!


No, really, my cat ate my blog post!

See, it began like this:

It's Halloween tomorrow and here in Chicago, that means costumes and candy and all sorts of craziness.

My day job is in the insurance industry, dealing with cars, homes, life, that sort of thing.  As you can imagine, sunspots are making everyone crazy.

So I went to the store last weekend to get decorations for Halloween, so I'd have this cute little table diorama to photograph for my Halloween-themed blog post today.

My cat ate it.

No, not the blog post, the decoration!

I blame sun spots.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

What's your favorite Halloween candy?

--
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
- E.E. Cummings

The Persis Chronicles:**Coming Soon!** Watch for EMERALD KEEP from Torquere Books, out April 2015!
Check out EMERALD FIRE, available from Torquere Books.Check out "Seeking Hearts", available from Torquere Books.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Releases from Sean Michael & V.L. Locey

This week get 20% off selected titles from Sean Michael & V.L. Locey! http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=specials


Velvet Diamonds, a collection of shorts
by Sean Michael
128 pages / 34300 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-826-4
$3.99
Buy Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76&products_id=4289
Blurb:
From Kes, the Velvet Glove’s guest manager finding his soul mate in A Bird in the Hand, to corporate leader Isaak finding what he needs as a sub with Velvet Glove regular Car in Raw Need, these five stories run the gamut from sweet to spicy. Just like the Velvet Glove has a little something for everyone, these gems explore five different flavors for you.
Velvet Diamonds brings together five previously published short stories from the Velvet Glove world. Stories included are: A Bird in the Hand, Peace Within the Quiet, Love and the Farmer, Three to Heal, and Raw Need.



Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3: He's a Lumberjack and He's Undead

by V.L. Locey
130 pages / 40500 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-825-7
$4.49
Buy Link:  http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_85&products_id=4288
Blurb:
Paul and Gordon aren't your typical zombie hunters. They're a loving couple of educators who might be infected by the virus that is turning the world's population into mindless, undead eating machines. So why haven't they turned?  Well, Gordon has a theory about that. He suspects that those who march under the rainbow flag just might be carrying the cure for the plague in their bloodstream. Zendra, the massive pharmaceutical company where the mutated virus was made, certainly seems to be in a hurry to round up all the gay survivors they can grab.
To avoid the clutches of Zendra, Paul, his partner Gordon, and a ragtag band of survivors head into the Great White North - the land of maple syrup, hockey, lumberjacks, and thick bacon. Here they plan to spend the winter, hopefully safe from roaming bands of undead, militaristic companies with far too much power, seedy groups of other survivors, and the always dreaded moose. Can two guys in love lead a motley crew to safety?

Coming Next Week...
Murder in Torbaydos
by Ian Krender
Old houses hide secrets, sometimes dark ones.  When the dead offer you a life of fame and fortune beyond your wildest dreams, beware of the price, as even death may not be a release.
Genre: LGBT/Paranormal/Horror/Historical
Cereus: Rescue
by Sean Michael, BA Tortuga & Julia Talbot
Genre: Paranormal
ZA & The Dead Shall Rise
by ID Locke
It takes a zombie apocalypse for Tracey to finally get into Guy's pants and while banding together to survive makes perfect tactical sense, Tracey and Guy think there's a bigger pay off for both of them -- each other. 
Genre: Paranormal/Horror

Zombies and Romance? Really?

Yes, really!

I know that many people just cannot think about romance and zombies being in the same book. I mean that is just squicky, and nasty, right? Well, not necessarily. If you stop and think about it, when would love ever be more important? The world is falling apart, the dead are rising up, and the Twinkies are all gone. Having someone to love and cuddle during such a horrendous time would certainly make survival that much easier. Just think of Daryl and Carol. Go on. I'll give you a minute. *Takes moment to enjoy recollections of Norman Reedus looking all sexy and whatnot*

Yeah, recalling their reunion made me tear up too. See, love and romance and spicy things are needed when one is facing an apocalypse. With that in mind, may I present my newest novella in the Two Guys zom-rom-com series?



Blurb:
Paul and Gordon aren't your typical zombie hunters. They're a loving couple of educators who might be infected by the virus that is turning the world's population into mindless, undead eating machines. So why haven`t they turned?  Well, Gordon has a theory about that. He suspects that those who march under the rainbow flag just might be carrying the cure for the plague in their bloodstream. Zendra, the massive pharmaceutical company where the mutated virus was made, certainly seems to be in a hurry to round up all the gay survivors they can grab.

To avoid the clutches of Zendra, Paul, his partner Gordon, and a ragtag band of survivors head into the Great White North - the land of maple syrup, hockey, lumberjacks, and thick bacon. Here they plan to spend the winter, hopefully safe from roaming bands of undead, militaristic companies with far too much power, seedy groups of other survivors, and the always dreaded moose. Can two guys in love lead a motley crew to safety?

Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse 3: He`s a Lumberjack and He's Undead is available at the Torquere Press Store, as well as all major eBook retailers.


Torquere Press Store

Amazon



Excerpt:


My sigh and a steady but thin stream of urine pattering on the pine needles and last fall's dead leaves were the only noises until something stepped on a branch directly behind me. The dead bough cracked like a pistol. My urine stopped flowing as my heart dropped into my gut. A hot breath blew over the back of my neck causing every fine hair to stand up on end. The exhalation stank of rotten teeth and pond scum. With one hand, I tucked the shriveled beast back into its BVD cage. If a phobie was going to rip me into strips I was not dying with my *#*#  out. That's just a thing I have. Death can claim me but my genitals will be covered if I can manage it.

With a very unhurried demeanor and a sudden weakness in my legs and knees, I simultaneously reached behind my back for the gun while I swiveled my head around. The largest brown eyes I have ever seen gazed down at me. The creature shook its massive head and blew snot from its nostrils. My fingertips skimmed the gun as a scream of sheer horror escaped me. The moose promptly freaked out. It bulled forward (I know, it's funny isn't it? Bull plus moose. Ha. Ha. God, I hate moose) as if someone had rammed a hot poker up its bunghole.

I pulled the gun free and fired. The moose got over being scared and got royally pissed off, which was rather a bit of irony since I now was fearful of losing control of my bladder. Where I hit the monstrous beast from hell I do not know but I think we can rest assured that it was not a killing shot. Bullwinkle threw his head to the left and right. I turned to run, was hit in the shoulder by a moose brow and was thrown to the side like some insignificant gay Raggedy Andy. My face met a tree, my gun flew from my hand, and Sir Moose attacked the nearest bush thinking -- in its brilliant moose way -- that the bush was the man who had screamed in its face and then shot beside its ear. I watched all this from the ground where I was balled up in a fetal position, whimpering about the sap on my lower lip.

My shot must have roused the camp, for within a moment (although between you and me it felt much more like several hours) the sound of people crashing through the woods broke through the snorting, thrashing, and pawing the long-headed cousin of Bambi was doing. A brilliant light swept the area. I screamed. The moose spun from his bush battle. Rider and Gordon skidded into the scene, the beams from their flashlights hitting the moose right in his ugly, flubbery face. Gordon raised a shotgun into the air but never got the chance to shoot. The moose plunged between the men, sending both diving to opposite sides. Bouncing shafts of light accompanied the departure of the moose as he crashed away into the land of nightmares.

"Sweet Jeezus," I heard Rider pant somewhere in the darkness. "Damned shame I didn't have my deer rifle, we could have eaten on that bitch for a month."

"Paul, are you okay?" my partner called as he struggled to get to his feet and locate his flashlight.

A mousey sound tumbled from me. I coughed and tried several times to find my voice. When I located it down by my spleen, I had a question for my saviors. "Did-- Did he mean 'bitch' like that animal was a female, or like some sort of rural Southern expression like 'Damn son, we could have eaten on that bitch for a week!' when in actuality the beast was a male?"





Author Bio:

            V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers,  comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a steer named after a famous N.H.L. goalie, and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

            When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania, fresh cup of java in hand.


I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-



More V.L. Locey Torquere Press books:

Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse (Part of the He Loves Me For My Brainssss anthology), Two Guys Walk Into An Apocalypse 2:It Came From Birmingham, Love of the Hunter, Goaltender`s Penalty, All I Want for Christmas, Every Sunday at One (Part of the 2013 Charity Sip Anthology), Night of the Jackal, An Erie Halloween.

And coming soon exclusively from Torquere Press . . . An Erie Operetta and Early To Rise - A Toms & Tabbies Tale.






Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy Halloween - New My Zombie Boyfriend Excerpt



Hi everyone! We're so close to Halloween I can smell it! I was going to rake leaves today, but it's really gross and wet out so I'll have to celebrate fall in a different way...so, please enjoy the second Halloween excerpt from My Zombie Boyfriend. 

My Zombie Boyfriend is told from Edward's perspective. Edward is your typical medical student/necromancer. Kit is his sassy, sarcastic zombie, and Boo is Edward's undead cat. 



American Horror Story: Freak Show -- Halloween, Camp, and Queerness

Right now, I am deeply, deeply in love with American Horror Story: Freak Show, despite not being someone who is really passionate about horror.  But AHS: Freak Show isn't really about horror -- despite a central horror element -- it's about disability, queerness, and camp. It's about how people cast as monsters often turn into monsters to survive, and about how people who look perfectly good/normal/acceptable/healthy are at times the worst monsters of all.

What on earth does this have to do with LGBTQ+ romance? Quite a bit. The shows camp looks at the way various concepts (including queerness and disability) have been coded as horror and as entertainment to make them palatable to "regular people." It talks about fetishization and the in-group rituals, superstitions, beliefs, and codes of behavior that exist in any marginalized community.

Which means AHS: Freak Show makes me think about what I write as a queer romance author and how I live as a queer person who is old enough to have been coming out as gay when more coded language and narratives about people like me were common and necessary in the media. It also makes me think about what visible and invisible disability means from my viewpoint versus that of someone who isn't living with one or both of those things.

Because AHS: Freak Show is also about passing.

In many ways, so is Erin McRae's and my Love in Los Angeles series.  The first book, Starling, came out in September and you can win a copy right now if you go look at the @Torquere twitter account and follow the instructions. Book 2, Doves, is currently in edits and will be out in January.

Starling is, on its surface about how to do life and love when you're a deeply private person, but the whole world is watching because you're also a TV star.  But Starling is also a story about growing up, about learning how to do communication, and discovering the many types of love and loyalty the world has to offer.

What Erin and I are discovering as we do this current editorial pass on Doves is how much the subtext of this book (which we suspect is the darkest book in the series. Phoenix, book 3 will also be out later in 2015) is about passing, disability, mental health, and the anxiety about institutional settings faced by many marginalized people.

One of our characters apparently passes so well, none of our readers have yet, to our knowledge, noticed he has a disability.  That's okay.  That's how he wants it.

So this Halloween, aside from figuring out what I'm going to wear on Friday and gorging myself on candy corn, I'm thinking about how much this holiday is about people like made comfortable and delightful for people possibly like you.  Sometimes, it thrills me, the double lives and private communities that come with my identities.  Sometimes, it makes me sad.  But mostly I'm grateful for being so aware that I, like everyone else, is just made of stories.

You can visit Erin & I at our blog, Avian30.com,
Or on Twitter: @racheline_m and @erincmcrae
Or over at Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Erin.and.Racheline

Don't forget you can grab Starling and everything else in the Torquere store now through Haloween for 20% off with code BOO: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=97&products_id=4269


Monday, October 27, 2014

BDSMonday - Predators




It's BDSMonday!

Since last week's post was so silly, I've got to balance it out with a more serious post (or something like that). 

First, I want to say that, as a group, kinky people are just like other people--because we are other people! There are good people and bad people, people who are looking to screw you over, and people who are trying to hurt you in not good ways. 

I believe that people sometimes get labeled 'predator' simply because they pissed someone off. That doesn't mean that predators don't exist in BDSM, and it doesn't mean that you should ignore someone being called a predator. 

There are different kinds of BDSM predators. An unfortunately common one is someone who approaches every new person and sets themselves up as being the Wise Old Leather Master who will train them and teach them and turn them into a Twoo Submissive. Most of them are pretty harmless, if annoying, and they're pretty easy to spot. Remember--there is no 'right' way to BDSM...though there are wrong ways! If someone tries to convince you their way is the only way, especially if it goes against what your instincts or common sense are telling you, trust yourself. Just because they have 'years of experience as a ______' doesn't mean their opinion is any more valid or true than yours. 

There is another kind of predator who can be extremely dangerous and potentially life threatening: people who are attracted to BDSM because they genuinely want to hurt/maim/kill other people. To me, sadism and masochism often go hand in hand--the sadist wants to hurt, the masochist wants to be hurt, everybody's consenting and goes home happy. There are people out there for whom that is not the case. They aren't looking to please anyone but themselves. I don't truly consider these people into BDSM, but that's how they're usually portrayed in the media and they have given BDSM a lot of dark baggage to overcome for the public.

If someone you know approaches you and tells you to look out for Mac because they've heard he's done some nonconsensual things with past play partners, be careful. I'm not saying write Mac off completely or base your opinion of him on hearsay, but where there's smoke, there's usually at least an ember. 

If you get a bad feeling about someone--listen to that feeling! BDSM relies heavily on trust, and if something feels 'off' about someone you've met, there's probably a reason for it. They might not be any sort of danger, but chances are they're not right for you to play with. Ask other people in your community who know that person. Ask people who have played with that person before, if possible. Get as many angles and opinions as possible, but please don't ignore your gut feeling. 



There are also predators in BDSM fiction. Sometimes they're obviously predators, but sometimes they're set up as the love interest or main character. Some forms of BDSM predation can be sexy--IN FICTION--but I find it pretty rare that I don't just go 'ew' and drop the book. Have you read any BDSM fiction that just seemed more like abuse or predation? What was your reaction to it? 

Coming This Week...

Coming This Week...
Cereus: Training
by Sean Michael, Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga
Genre: Paranormal/Horror
Two Guys Walk Into an Apocalypse 3
by V.L. Locey
Paul, Gordon, and their ragtag band of zombie hunters are searching for a winter stronghold. Will undead lumberjacks, wandering moose, and other less-than-friendly survivors put a crimp in their homesteading plans?!
Genre: Paranormal/Horror, Apocalyptic, Romantic-Comedy
Velvet Diamonds, a Velvet Glove short story collection
by Sean Michael
Velvet Diamonds brings together five short stories from the Velvet Glove world. Each of these gems explores the coming together of Tops and bottoms at the universe's most exclusive BDSM club.
Genre: Contemporary, BDSM