As an author, I truly love writing and exploring the paranormal. In the world of fantasy, an author is able to create and let their imagination run free. I can honestly say, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I began when I was in fourth grade. Back then it was teen mystery stories. I believe my first little series was entitled, “The Hunt Sisters Mystery Series.” I was a real Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys fan. Till date, I’ve written numerous lesbian books under my penn name, Fallon and just recently, as of a year ago, dipped my pen into the M/M genre. I was hooked with the first story I wrote. It’s entitled Hunted and is published with Wilde City.
Some people have asked, how do you do it?
My answer: first I come up with my characters names, plot of the story, location, villains, lovers, ect. I open a blank Word doc, turn on my YouTube music list and began. My favorite writing muses to listen to are, Marianas Trench, Ed Sheeran and old school soft rock.
When I’m not writing, I’m spending time with my girlfriend of eight years and our demanding Chow-Chow, Blaqk. Readings is also one of my beloved pastimes. I tend to think all authors are avid readers.
As a member of the LGBT family, my future goal is to open a home for discarded LGBT teens. It saddens me, the plights that many gay and lesbian teens have to face due to ignorance and hate. If in my lifetime I can help some of those who are discarded. Find their way in life, then I feel truly blessed.
I can be contacted on Facebook, Lourdes Skye Author most days. Feel free to add me and whenever you can, check out one of my amazing M/M Romance or Paranormal books.
Donali Lyons eyes the perfect piece of man candy headed his way. He’s stumped when he discovers that the man is his mate…and has a date.
Drugged, Lance Stark wakes up naked, tied to a chair…and married to the wrong man.
Can his cat shifter mate save him from a delusional groom or will it be discovered that cats don’t have nine lives???
Deceptions, crazy assassins, government conspiracies and a romance so hot it melts off the pages, all tie into this epic shifter tale.
Lourdes Skye has been writing fiction since the fourth grade. First she started with tween mysteries then later progressed to paranormal and lesbian books. Being a fellow member of the LBGT Family, Lourdes loves to write about the beauty of love without limitations. Till date, she’s dipped her pen in the exciting world of m/m romance. She cites, “There’s so much beauty in two guys risking it all, public scorn, family abandonment, unfair job treatment, just to hold hands and say ‘we are’.” Love truly has no gender and in her work, Lourdes conveys that wholeheartedly. Lourdes currently makes her home in the state that she was born and raised, Atlanta Georgia.
Okay, confession time. I write M/M Dark Romance, Dark Erotic Romance, and Dark Erotica, but I don’t read a lot of M/M. I read even less M/M Romance. I know, I know, it’s blasphemy, especially with me coming in here and talking about what it’s like to write in this genre, but there you have it. I read everything, and I’m just as likely to recommend an epic fantasy novel as I am a M/M dark erotica novella or a YA contemporary book.
When I do read Romance/Erotica, I prefer M/M. I can’t even pinpoint why. I started writing almost exclusively male characters about a year ago, and since then, I’ve had a difficult time writing female ones. I’ll give almost anything a chance, though, because I believe everyone has a story to tell, and I want to see what it is. I have a fascination with characters and how they develop; the more flawed they are, the more I love them. The more nuanced they are, the more I want to read them.
I adore a good plot, and I am awed by good world-building, but at the end of the day, it comes down to the characters–which is probably why that’s where my focus is in my own books.
In my series, “Ripples in the Status Quo,” supernatural beings (aka supernaturals or “supes”) got uppity and decided they were too good to keep hiding. They weren’t interested in fighting for their rights or risking being massacred, though, so they did what any good villain does: they cheated. Vampires, werewolves, and witches worked together to ensure that there would be no resistance; they claimed roles of power, they bribed, blackmailed, and otherwise ensured that they’d have the right people on their side.
And then they struck down humanity in one fell swoop.
This was a decade ago, and the past ten years haven’t been kind to humans–or anyone who tries to protest how they’re treated: as pets, toys, food, entertainment, and all manner of terrible things. It’s considered treason, and sympathizers risk being declared legally human. It’s one step below actually being human, as slavery and death (rather than being sent off to live in some hellhole) are the only real options. Most don’t dare.
The RISQ works center around characters who put themselves on the line and against the status quo. “Love is a weakness,” a character remarks in the first book. “Everyone claims they’d do anything for it. Let’s test the theory, shall we?” And that’s really what the books are about at their core. What would you do for love? Would you risk everything? What horrible things would you put yourself through to have even the chance for love in this sort of fucked-up world?
The first three books introduce some of the main characters–Jace and Elias, Ashton and Reese, Khaz and Noah–and they can be read as stand-alones in a longer series or in order. There are brief nods to the other characters in the first three, but their stories start to converge in Owned, which is the fourth book.
Each of my boys (except Elias because reasons) gets a chance to speak from his (third person limited) POV; we see the world through their eyes, and that’s the fun part for me as an author. I don’t want any of them to be perfect.
In Ravel, another character makes this observation:
“Humans didn’t dare experience love when a loved one could be easily taken away. They might go for a quick fuck in an alley or spend a night together beneath tattered blankets, but lasting relationships weren’t feasible. How could they be, when at any moment a vampire could come along and decide to turn one of them into his own personal juice box?
They’d end up falling prey to the same fate: sucked dry with the empty container tossed carelessly away.
Ash knew it and didn’t bother to deny it, but he hadn’t been able to eschew human contact completely despite his brave words. He had his close friends, and helplessly watching the number dwindle over the years hadn’t obliterated his need for some form of connection. It didn’t have to be sexual. It didn’t have to be perfect.
It simply had to be real—real, and powerful, and capable of giving him memories that would make the risk and heartache worth it.”
Ravel is the light in the darkness in particular; it’s the only book in the series right now that’s straight-up — er, well, not so straight, but you get the point — (Dark) Romance. (Bought and Owned are Dark Erotica; Recoil is Dark Erotic Romance.)
The fifth book, Go, will introduce two new characters and give a little more background on the world; it’ll also bring in characters from the earlier books as well as continue to slowly advance the plot. Make no mistake: the series is primarily about the characters and their stories, with the overall “world plot” happening in the background. Because of this, please don’t expect any happily ever afters.
…I plan on writing several in the series, and I want to have more opportunities to torture my lovely darlings.
Thank you for reading! If this sounds like it’s your sort of thing, I hope you’ll check out the books. I hope, too, that you’ll love them and the characters as much as I do. (And stop threatening to set them on fire, damn it!)
About the Ripples in the Status Quo Universe:
Dark M/M Paranormal Erotica, Erotic Romance, and Romance
The Ripples in the Status Quo works are set within a world where supernatural beings seized control from humans and relegated them to the bottom of the food chain. Used for food, entertainment, and worse, nothing protects them from the hands of those who claim them as slaves. But not everyone adheres to the status quo the world at large has accepted…
Please note that the RISQ world has little place for humanity, and as a result, content in these works may be offensive to some readers.
They can be read as stand-alones or as serials in a larger story.
The suggested reading order for the RISQ books is:
*(This dark erotica work caters to those who cheer on the villains as they pursue their goals…no matter what it takes to get there. This includes Very Bad Things as well as Very Sexy Things.
Those with sensibilities will likely be offended and want to attack the author with flaming pitchforks. If this applies to you, save an author. Step away from the button.
Lightheartedness aside, this is dark erotica, and it does contain elements of depravity and cruelty that will be offensive to some readers. Please proceed with caution or skip this read.)
Excerpt from Ravel: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story
When he fell right onto his ass in the middle of the floor, Ashton realized he’d ignored every single rational thought in his mind. Apparently, his instincts had had enough of him second-guessing them, because he hadn’t even decided to run!
I’m going to write a sternly-worded letter to the people who said these shoes were slip-proof!
At least, he would if he still had fingers to write with when he got out of this.
Of course, no one gives a fuck what a human thinks. They’ve made it crystal clear we’re only good for food, entertainment, or doing their dirty work. Maybe they’ll at least get a laugh out of it, because I sure as fuck won’t.
Then again, he did feel like he was going insane, so he might.
The fall had knocked the breath from his lungs, and stars danced before his eyes as he tried to figure out where the window had gone off to. Right as he remembered how to breathe, he heard a low growl emanating from a few feet away. The light flicked on overhead, blinding him all over again, and he yelped and started to scramble to his feet in the direction he thought his escape route was in.
Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck! For fuck’s sake, when I said I needed to be fucked in a bad way the other day, it was a figure of speech, not a request!
“Oh, no you don’t,” a deep masculine voice rumbled, and before the last syllable could reach his ears, he felt the subtle weight of a foot atop his ribcage. At least, he thought it was a foot, even if he hadn’t thought they came in size behemoth. He slowly dragged his eyes up the body of the man it belonged to as they adjusted–again–to the shift in lighting. He realized with a sinking feeling it took longer than it should have to finally peer up at the man’s face.
He braced himself for seeing a creature of nightmare and legend; he thought he would see something truly hideous. When his eyes finally lifted enough to see the source of that voice, they widened and his mouth fell open.
Holy shit. What is he, a fucking Viking? Damn, I’d get down on my knees and worship him like he’s the motherfucking god of thunder.
If he stood on his tiptoes, Ash could probably run his fingers through the man’s tangled blond hair until every knot came loose, and then he could see if those pecs were worthy of being held to such a high standard. And after that…
Ash went still as the pressure on his chest increased in what he didn’t have to be a genius to know was a warning–which was a good thing, considering he obviously wasn’t. He could barely breathe, but his breathlessness had little to do with the pressure of the bare foot and everything to do with the sight of the face he could see in the dim light of the kitchen. “Do you model?” he asked weakly. “Because if you don’t, you really should.”
The man—the delectably muscular, rugged epitome of masculinity…damn it, Ash, he’s a fucking supe, and you’re about to die. Stop trying to guess the size of his dick because it ain’t what’ll be fucking you!—made a sound suspiciously like a laugh, and the weight of the foot on his chest lessened enough to let him suck in a much-needed breath.
“Want to tell me why you’re in my kitchen, little mouse, or should I just skip to playing exterminator?”
Bought: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story [Dark Erotica]
When he agreed to take the fall for his pack leader’s failed attempts to help the Rebellion, Jace knew he wouldn’t live long enough to regret it. However, instead of the noble end he envisioned for himself, the werewolf finds himself at the mercy of a witch and his depraved games. Though he clings to his conviction that he can withstand anything his new master can dish out, it isn’t long before he realizes pride has no place in his life as the pet of the controlling Elias Ivers.
Ravel: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story [Romance]
For the past few years, Reese has hidden away in his home, refusing to venture out where he might have to face what reminds him of all that he’s lost. When Ashton, a human thief, breaks into his home one night, he doesn’t have a choice but to face the harsh truths of the world he’s turned his back on. He knows he supports the society monsters of myth and lore built upon the backs of humans through his silence, but the new leaders don’t tolerate sympathizers.
If a werewolf can’t act against the status quo without facing severe consequences, a human with Ashton’s cunning and experience circumventing supernatural predators certainly can’t risk drawing their attention. Their chance encounter leaves them both shaken and questioning whether they are living life as they were intended–or if surviving is really living at all.
Recoil: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story [Dark Erotic Romance]
In a world flipped upside down where the supernatural now rule over humans, a financially struggling vampire must face the ultimate attack on his humanity: breaking a mortal to slavery. Groomed to fight, the human is no easy picking, but Khaz has an ace in the hand in the form of an alluring magic many find impossible to resist.
Noah has spent the past ten years since the Takeover on the run. His entire life has been one of hardship and hatred, and he’s only survived by giving himself over to both. When a slaver gives him to a vampire to prepare him for auction, he’s sure he’ll hate his new captor every bit as much as he hates every other supernatural creature. The problem is…even the harsh lessons the Rebellion taught him couldn’t prepare him for someone like Khaz.
Owned: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story [Dark Erotica. Follows Events in Bought & Recoil]
Release Date: 4/29/2016
Elias Ivers was promised a slave recently captured from the Rebellion, and it would have only been a matter of time before the witch broke a mere human. His new pet would have been a beautiful match to his already enslaved werewolf, and the potential information gain was not something he was willing to pass up. However, when Malkhaz takes what should have rightfully been his in a single hasty decision, Elias is determined to make the vampire pay. No one denies an Ivers witch what he wants–especially not someone who’s little more than dirt beneath his expensive shoes.
Smashwords: (Not Available for Pre-Order/No Link Available Yet)
R. Phoenix has an unhealthy fascination with contrasts: light and dark, heroes and villains, order and chaos. She believes that love can corrupt and power can redeem. Her muse is a sadomasochistic slavedriver who thinks it’s terribly amusing to give her the best ideas when she just got comfortable and warm in bed, and she passes on that torture to her readers.
If she had it her way, she would describe the books in her “Ripples in the Status Quo” world as: “Supernatural creatures take over the world and turn humans into pets and food. There’s some sex between guys. And… um… fucked up things happen.” It’s probably a good thing she has people around her to remind her that she actually wants people to read her books. (They should really be more diligent, especially when they know she’s writing her author bio.)
She’s an author, stay-at-home mother, housewife, second time college student, and duck herder extraordinaire. She’s learning how to cook without burning the house down, her garden is somehow neither drowning nor drying up, and one day she might remember what that mythical thing called “free time” is. She’s starting to wonder who thought it was a good idea to write bios in third person.
She also tries entirely too hard to be funny, and she mercilessly inflicts her terrible sense of humor upon anyone who speaks to her. Really, it’s not you. It’s her. All the same, she’d love it if you’d say hello, because it makes her day to hear that someone read something she wrote. If they enjoyed it, there’s usually an awkward happy dance and embarrassing sounds of joy to accompany it (no, not that kind of sound, you perv).
In hindsight, I guess it was inevitable. You don’t invite someone like Christopher Marlowe into your book without paying the price. Like his Doctor Faustus who sold his soul to the devil, I sold mine to Kit, and from that moment on I didn’t have one iota of control over my own story. But hey, I was happy to hand over the reins. Kit charmed me as surely as he charmed Will. He had an irresistible combination of confidence and vulnerability that intrigued me. He said what he thought without fear, and yet he could keep a secret for decades. He was open about his orientation, allegedly saying things like “All they that love not tobacco and boys are fools”, even though at the time, this could get him hanged.
In Rival Poet, when Will is drawn in by Kit’s charisma, he thinks it’s just ordinary friendship. He thinks it’s just nervousness about meeting a famous playwright, even after half a year of getting to know the man. And when Kit tries to seduce him, he has no idea how to handle it. There’s no positive name for what he’s feeling – sodomite is the go-to term – and no clear-cut identity to wear.
And yet with time, Will does accept it. In some of his plays and poems, he even refers to same sex attraction. When old enemies Coriolanus and Marcius meet under more auspicious circumstances, Marcius bursts out, “Know thou first, I loved the maid I married: never man sigh’d truer breath. But that I see thee here, thou noble thing, more dances my rapt heart than when I first saw her bestride my threshold.”
That doesn’t sound entirely straight to me. Of course, we should be wary of reading authors into their characters, but in this case it’s just too darn tempting.
Take this sonnet:
A woman’s face with Nature’s own hand painted
Hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion;
A woman’s gentle heart, but not acquainted
With shifting change, as is false women’s fashion;
An eye more bright than theirs, less false in rolling,
Gilding the object whereupon it gazeth;
A man in hue, all hues in his controlling,
Much steals men’s eyes and women’s souls amazeth.
And for a woman wert thou first created;
Till Nature, as she wrought thee, fell a-doting,
And by addition me of thee defeated,
By adding one thing to my purpose nothing.
But since she prick’d thee out for women’s pleasure,
Mine be thy love and thy love’s use their treasure.
Now, literature analysis is a many-splendoured thing, and no one person has the definite answer. But I think we can agree that the narrator compares the subject of the poem to a woman – he has a feminine face, gentle manners, and glittery eyes (aww…). Everyone adores him, regardless of gender. To begin with, he was even meant to be a woman, but when Nature fell in love with her own creation, she decided to make him a man.
And this is where it gets interesting. The narrator laments, “And by addition me of thee defeated, by adding one thing to my purpose nothing.” In other words, Nature added a cock to the mix, thus making the guy off limits.
Oh, but wait! “Nothing” was also slang for female genitalia at the time, so there could be a double meaning in there: namely, that said cock could serve the same purpose for the narrator as a woman’s bits.
Finally, in case the reader hasn’t yet caught the drift, the next to last line makes a pun, saying that Nature “prick’d thee out for women’s pleasure”. Need any help translating that? Filthy-minded bastard, that Will guy.
Now, I’m not saying this poem is about Kit or anything, not at all. What I am saying is that Shakespeare could identify with men who were attracted to men. Personally, I’m convinced that he was bisexual, but that’s just speculation. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, since we don’t really know anything about the man.
But the fact is, when I researched this book, I read a lot of Marlowe (Shakespeare I was already familiar with), and I was amazed at all the little echoes in their texts. Some people would argue that it was really Marlowe who wrote Shakespeare’s works (which I think is nonsense for reasons too numerous to list here). You could also argue that those echoes are just evidence of two professionals paying homage to and/or stealing from each other.
But how much more romantic is the idea that they were entwined soul to soul, their innermost thoughts reflected in each other, and that they wrote their plays in bed as an extension of their love-making?
Which is exactly what you get in Rival Poet. 😉
Paper, quill, & ink lit by candle
Even a genius can be a fool in love.
When young Will Shaksper arrives in London to peddle his poems, he has no idea what he’s in for. Meaning to stay for just a few days, he’s thrown completely off course when he meets Kit Marlowe. Charismatic and dangerous, this wunderkind of verse takes an eager interest in the newcomer. Before Will knows it, their shared passion for poetry has transformed into an attraction as irresistible as it is forbidden.
Because this is the sixteenth century. Love between men isn’t just frowned on, it can lead to the gallows. When Kit is called away on a state mission, Will does his best to suppress the feelings he doesn’t even have a name for.
But how can he write when his muse is gone? Why does Kit keep disappearing? And what’s the awful secret that makes his eyes echo with a lifetime of pain?
A fresh look at two of England’s brightest literary stars, this romance blends the authentic mood of Elizabethan London with contemporary dialogue to paint a love story that’s as alive today as it was four hundred years ago.
“Hey, don’t I know you from somewhere?” His eyes searched Will’s face curiously, and for a moment Will was hit by the ridiculous thought that his poems had somehow preceded him, that rumour of his rejected writings had reached this man, this shooting star, this paragon of writers. But almost at once he realised that the question wasn’t to be taken literally. It was a pick-up line – a parody of a pick-up line, and therefore impossible to respond to without making an ass of himself.
He stared at the smirking man. “I-I know you,” he stammered stupidly, snippets of Amores and Dido clouding his brain.
Beside him Richard shifted, embarrassed. “Burbage.” He clasped Master Marlowe’s hand, or rather the two fingers not currently employed in elegantly balancing the pipe.
Marlowe smiled briefly. “I know.”
Richard looked stricken for a moment. “Oh, er… I’m, well I’m honoured, Sir – I mean…” His customary cool seemed to have been completely sucked out of him. “Ah… please meet my very good friend William Shakespeare.” He gestured towards Will, apparently eager to deflect the attention.
“Charmed, I’m sure.” Their new acquaintance laid his pipe on the table and enveloped Will’s hand with both of his. They were seething hot and Will almost yanked his hand back. “And please, call me Kit. All my little friends do.” He glanced at the confused trio still waiting for him in the corner.
“I’m such a fan,” Will blurted.
Obviously delighted at the praise, Kit pulled up a chair and sat down. Only when his hand dragged Will down with him did Will realise that he was still holding it. “So… you’re an aspiring dramatist, then?”
“Oh, I… no… well, that is…”
“Never mind.” Kit finally let go of Will’s hand and grabbed Richard’s mug. Realising that it was empty, he set it down again in vague disappointment. “Where are you from? You’re obviously not a Londoner.”
“Never heard of it. Hah! So much for a university degree.” Kit lit his pipe again, seemingly in need of something to do with his hands. “Well, nothing of value was ever taught in such a ridiculous place. Come to think of it, maybe they did mention domestic geography at some point, but education and alcohol really is a detrimental combination! You can’t have one without the other, and yet one innocent drink takes away the whole performance. So, Stratford… a shit-hole, no doubt?”
“On the contrary,” Will protested. “It’s a beautiful place. I was reluctant to leave.”
Kit grinned broadly and slapped Will’s back. “Spoken like a true gentleman! Never let on how much in love you are with the big city, you might come across as a simpleton. Wax lyrical about the unpolluted countryside instead, and you’re automatically in, eh Robert?” He winked at one of his abandoned friends. The one presumably named Robert, a thin man with a straggly red beard, muttered something inaudible in reply. Kit immediately lost interest and turned to Will again. “You should work on that accent, though.”
“Wh… what’s wrong with it?”
“It’s bloody incomprehensible, that’s what’s wrong with it! You don’t think I got to where I am by speaking like a Canterbury ale taster, do you?”
Despite himself, Will chuckled. It was difficult not to be contaminated by Kit’s exuberant manner.
“Hey, you written anything I might know?”
Will hesitated. Was he being ironic again? “Well… not really… I’ve put together some poems, but…”
Kit snorted. “Poems! Stop right there, darling. Your shoes are growing too small for your feet by the minute, and you know it. Poetry and la-di-dah is all very well, but the theatre, now that is the future.”
Will smiled tentatively. “I can see why you’d say that.”
“Setting aside my own glorious self for a minute, think about it: not everyone can read. But even the most down and out hooker has ears, and they flock to the play-houses like simpering lords to Rhenish wine. As a playwright, you have the ear of the entire city – fuck it, you have the ear of the Queen herself! And a soliloquy is poetry in its own right. Only, getting your poetry read aloud by an artiste like Edward Alleyne… not to demean you, sir,” he looked briefly in the direction of Richard, “… that just makes it so much… grander! It’s almost better than sex.”
Will nodded slowly, his mind awash with images of said Alleyne tearing the stage apart in his bloodied shirt. But he didn’t dare compliment Master Marlowe – Kit – on his intimidating talents, for fear of being taunted. Instead he mumbled, “I don’t have the imagination.”
Kit shook his head impatiently. “Don’t be stupid. Stories are ten a penny. It’s what you do with them that counts. It’s all the same crap anyway, life and love and death, blah blah blah. Use whatever’s around, that’s what we all do.”
“Look, when people just buy and read your stuff, you never get to see how your words seduce them. Wouldn’t you like to hear the sea-surge of applause?”
Will felt the dangerous tug of Kit’s imagery and protected himself with feigned annoyance. “I’m sure it’s all very exhilarating, but I’m quite serious when I say that I can only write poetry.”
Kit hesitated, and then shrugged. “So what? We’re the makers of manners, puppy. And verse makes for excellent crutches. That’s why you begin by writing speeches.”
What’s it to you? Will wanted to ask. Instead he said, “I just don’t know how to translate the stories that I love into dialogue. I read something and I’m inspired, you know, but when I try to write, it comes out poetry. I can’t bridge the gap. I can make poetry out of stories, but I can’t make stories out of poetry.”
Kit smiled. “That’s just the kind of phrase that makes me wish you could. You have the art of rhetoric down pat – God knows how you’ve managed to pick that up from your provincial education! All you have to do is push the boat out, and I’m here to help you with that.”
Will frowned at his assailant. Just a few minutes ago, he had been wilting like a dead man in his lonely corner, for all the world like someone who had just lost his whole fortune, and now he was a veritable river of words. “Why do you care anyway?”
Kit looked stricken, but just for a moment. “Well… why did you want to meet me, if not to further your career?”
“I didn’t! I was leaving, it was you who… Ask Richard!”
Kit glanced without interest at Will’s silenced companion. Then he knocked the ashes out of his pipe, put it in his belt and blew the last cloud of smoke into Will’s face. “Tell you what. Why don’t you write a speech about…” He turned to his morose-looking friends who must have given up hope of his company by now. “Robert! You said you needed some kind of soliloquy, didn’t you?”
“What?” The red-bearded man flung up defensive hands. “No, I don’t need any help.”
“Yes you do, shut up. It was Constance, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, it was, don’t lie to me.” Kit turned to Will again. “He needs this pompous speech, you know, anguished ramblings of the tragic heroine and all that… and he has trouble connecting with his feminine side. His women come off as wooden statues. Don’t they, Robert? Now you, on the other hand,” Kit grabbed a lock of Will’s hair and twisted it between his fingers. “You are surely very good at identifying with girls, am I right?”
Will stared at Kit’s face, suddenly so close to his. This man had no personal space. “Oh, I don’t know… I mean, of course I took on roles at school, but…”
Kit laughed. “And I would have loved to see them! So you’ll submit something?”
“I…” Will looked over Kit’s shoulder at the fuming writer in the corner. “I don’t know, he doesn’t seem to…”
Kit scoffed. “Don’t pay any attention to Robert! He expects me to help him out – he doesn’t see the difference, poor sod, doesn’t realise how glaringly obvious the shift is, from his language to mine, I mean, honestly! But maybe if you wrote it instead, as a fellow amateur your text wouldn’t jar so much against his.”
“We don’t know him,” Robert complained. “He could be worthless.”
“Don’t be so inconsiderate, Robert! We won’t know his worth until we let him try. Besides, we need some new blood. If his text is good enough, you two could even collaborate on something. Or at least he gets to show that no-good printer of his what he missed, and that’s as noble a mission as anything, right?”
Will made a face. So he had been listening in.
“Hey Will, wouldn’t that be great?” Kit implored. “When you’re a famous playwright he’ll come crawling back, begging you to grace his worthless printing house with your immortal poetry!”
Will looked down at the table, striving to hide his smile. “Okay…”
Kit cocked his head. “Okay?”
“Yes, okay. Just to shut you up, mind you.”
Kit grinned broadly. “You’re in good company, my friend. Many a thing has been done just to shut me up.”
SUMMARY: Game designer Henry Delloit loves his life, his mountain community, his isolated dream home, and the snow. He also loves that the X-treme Games blow into the area for a month every year, bringing with them hundreds of athletes.
Ecco Rasmussen loves boarding. He knows he’ll never make it to the big time, but as long as he can get on his board and go, he doesn’t care. If only his manager, Blake Dobbs, would cut Ecco a break. The man’s possessive and mean, and believes he owns Ecco.
When Henry and Ecco meet at the Branchberry Games, it’s lust at first sight. An injury on Ecco’s qualifying run offers an opportunity to spend quality time together at Henry’s home, away from the crowds and out from under Blake’s thumb.
At this rate, lust might turn into love, but not if they can’t keep their romance hidden from Blake.
First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2010.
Second Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, EDR: April 27, 2016
REVIEW: I’ve always enjoyed this author’s books, whether it be his series (Hammer is my favorite) or his stand alone books. Its this that keeps me drawn to his work. This book however, didn’t do it for me unfortunately. It wasn’t a bad stories in the sense that it was poorly written. It’s really well written: the characters are interesting and well thought out. The glitches for me was the dialogue and the execution of the storyline.
Let me give a brief summary: Ecco is a snowboarder with a manager with some major boundary issues that’s creepy and possessive, sliding towards abusive.
Henry is a well loved resident of the area who looks forward to the games that come through town one month a year. These two meet and it’s attraction at first sight. These two men get together and embark on a sexual relationship that soon turns into somethings more. But they’re not going to have their happily ever after. They have to keep the relationship a secret from Ecco’s bizarrely possible manager.
I absolutely love how the story focuses on these two men and their budding relationship. The book was saturated with sex which is par for the course with this author’s work.
The only thing that absolutely did not work for me was the dialogue. It was just too juvenile for my tastes. I just couldn’t with the constant dude, rock on, for real, dudes, and oh mans. The dialogue was more suited to teenaged skater boys than a grown man.
Hi, I’m Jamie Dean, author of the upcoming book Not Just Passing Through, here to share some thoughts on books with you.
Recently, an interviewer asked me what I felt was a really intriguing question, which was: What book had I read that I wished I’d written and why did it have such an impact on me? And as I pondered it, I found my answer changed halfway through giving it. The book I’d thought I was going to talk about was not the book that ended up becoming my answer. But that first book I thought of, that book still moves me and I would still like to talk about why, so I thought, why not do a list of books that have moved me profoundly?
So that is exactly what I’m here to do. Here, in no order, are some books that have stuck with me, for one reason or another, for a long time. I’ve read most of them more than once, and will probably read them again.
Tick Tock by Dean Koontz – This was the book I almost gave as my answer. How do I even describe it? Koontz writes in the horror/thriller genre, and there are certainly horrific elements to this story, but I don’t see this as a horror story at all. I’ve read Tick Tock numerous times and I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about it that speaks to me. It’s funny as hell—darkly funny, as many of Koontz’s books are, but it’s also somehow slapstick and ridiculous—yet it still has a richness to it. In the beginning, I always feel like I am in that car with Tommy. On that dark road, terrified and alone. And then we meet Del. She’s amazing. Koontz writes the most amazing female characters. They’re always a little bit twisted. A little bit broken. Usually funny. And Tough. As. Hell. What gets me most about this book, though, is not the humor, but instead it’s that little thread of hope that winds underneath all the darkness.
Imajica by Clive Barker – This was the answer I gave, but I feel this book bears mentioning again. It’s got explorations of sexuality, gender, humanity… Just read it. Come to think of it, I need to read it again.
The Further Inquiry by Ken Kesey – Kesey is of course most famous for writing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, another book that moved me. He was also the leader of the Merry Pranksters—if you don’t know what that is, Google yourself some 60s counterculture, kids. I came across Kesey in a rather roundabout way myself because I learned about his friends first, via an autobiography, then saw a documentary, then finally read his books—which I then fell in love with. He was friends with Neil Cassidy, famously the inspiration for Dean Moriarty in On The Road by Jack Kerouac. And Neil Cassidy was not necessarily always doing the right thing. What Kesey did with this book, though, was he examined Cassidy’s life and his deeds, as though he were being put on trial to determine whether he was going to Heaven or Hell. I won’t spoil the ending, but I felt like it was brilliant and perfect—and completely fitting of what I know of Neil Cassidy.
The Stand by Stephen King (I didn’t intend for this to be some sort of infomercial for writers with K’s in their last names, but here we are) – Another horror writer, which I seem to have a thing for, but this was the book that made me realize King isn’t a horror writer at all. He writes in that genre, certainly, and people hail him as king of scary things, but to me that’s not what his writing is about at all. Stephen King’s work is so frightening because his characters are so damned real. His protagonists are rarely perfect little darlings wrapped in pretty packages. They’re messed up, beaten down, often homely, rarely fans of authority, generally cynical, and I love them so much it hurts.
So, now you know some books that have moved me. What are some books that have moved you? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
Socially awkward, closeted virgin Avery Malcolm passes his days and nights running his bigoted aunt’s motel in rural New Mexico. He dreams of getting away and hitting the road, but with one friend, a few acquaintances, and no real life to speak of outside his duties as front desk clerk, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever get a chance.
Fate sends hot drifter Chase Lancaster to the Red Ram Motel, riding in on his sexy black motorcycle. Within twenty-four hours, Avery’s life is turned upside down. Before long, even though Chase’s sexual interests seem to run exclusively toward women in bars, Avery finds himself falling for the beautiful biker with no permanent address. Chase is much more than his bad boy persona, so while it’s nice to have another friend, Avery doesn’t know how he’ll survive with his heart intact when Chase inevitably moves on. Bio:
Jamie Dean is passionate about food, beer, and hot men wading together through a sea of angst, sarcasm and sexy times.
When he is not reading or writing gay erotic fiction from his front porch swing, he might be painting, playing with his dogs and cats, or cooking experimental meals for (or drinking beer with) Jay, his husband and muse. He loves old cars, science fiction, road trips, and spending time with family and friends.
When an assassin’s bullet strikes his predecessor, Grayson Alexander becomes the first openly gay President of the United States and his husband, David Hammond, becomes the first openly gay First Husband. With their world turned upside down, David relies on his career as a medical school professor and ER doctor to keep him grounded. But his decision to keep working ruffles feathers from day one.
Gray throws himself into learning everything he needs to know to be President, especially a liberal president surrounded by a conservative cabinet and staff. Even though he puts in outrageous hours working and traveling seven days a week month after month, he’s happy. But David has trouble coping with Gray’s new job requirements. He can’t help but feel abandoned by his husband of ten years.
When Gray asks for his help with a public-health crisis, David obliges, but he is furious about what happens once the emergency passes. When they learn that the President’s staff has manipulated them both, they wonder if their relationship can survive the White House.
The blurb promised much and it did deliver a story that thoroughly engaged me for the first third of the book. The idea of the role of “First Lady” being gender switched was an interesting one, and it was explored fairly well in terms of roles having expectations due to the traditional gender of the role’s occupant. Sadly, this is also where it began t unravel for me.
David seemed to be very disingenuous for someone who married a politician with the aspirations that Gray has. I would have expected him to be well versed in the role of host and benefactor, even with his staunch insistence of keeping his job and staying out of publicity’s way as much as possible. Likewise, when Gray and he would have discussed accepting the VP nomination, surely the two men would have discussed the official roles both men were to play, and how that would change should anything happen to the president.
The health crisis seemed to be bit overblown in how it was handled, and while it was mostly a plot device to showcase the lengths the Presidential staff would go to advance their Conservative agenda, it left me cold. I simply did not understand how a politically savvy man with a very different political ethos could so blindly follow and accept the obstacles being placed between himself and David in such a blatant manner.Then again, the only scenes the two men have together is either an argument (the same one over and over and over) or sex. That’s it, yet we are told that they’ve been together in domestic bliss prior to this and David misses their old “ordinary” life. There was also the niggle about David being allowed to go without a proper security detail for any length of time, David being allowed to knock down a wall in the White House (for a gym that in real life, the White House already possess so doesn’t need to have built), the lack of many characters being referred to by job title and not by name, the sex scenes are on the bland side, and when the ending comes, it is a very abrupt resolution between the two men that is extremely sudden. I was left feeling as if I’d read a first draft that hadn’t been fact checked nor having gone through a professional editing process to polish it to a full shine.
Kitchen servant Yoli is one of only three men who know a carefully guarded secret about High Commander Koehen, the brilliant general who united their lands against a common invader. The enemy wants that secret, and they are willing to use either kindness or cruelty to obtain it.
Yoli must decide if his loyalties lie with the commander, who has shown him more affection than anyone in Yoli’s life, or with his own best interests. High Commander Koehen’s attention is capricious at best—he summons Yoli only when it is convenient for him, and Yoli knows there’s little hope of a future together. Is a glimmer of a hope for love worth sacrificing a chance for prosperity beyond his wildest dreams?
This is a re-release, having been previously published by Silver with a different cover. I’m glad Dreamspinner rescued the title because it’s a sweet fantasy tale that follows the emotional and personal growth of both Yoli and Commander Koehen. Koehen’s attentions often seem to be elsewhere, his pre-occupation being on the battles he and his men face. Yoli loves him unconditionally, never seeing Koehen’s needs as weaknesses though hoping that one day the Commander will see him for himself and not just as a convenient outlet for relief.
When Yoli becomes unwittingly embroiled in an enemy plot , he faces temptations that he’s never had to face before. His purity of heart gives him a point of view regarding the men on both sides of the conflict that ultimately goes on to shape his future in ways he would never have guessed. Koehen’s response to the plot, both professional and personal, likewise have far-reaching consequences for himself, Yoli, and the kingdom. I would have liked to have gotten to read a bit more about the wizard and Koehen, especially since the plot hints at changes to come for the wizard as well, who is himself a lonely soul. Even so, it was a very satisfying read and so Kimi gives it a solid 4 stars.
Reno’s got a new roommate and his name is Roger Brower. His nickname is “Casanova” and there are rumors that he sells his body for money. Soon after arriving he asks Reno if he can leave the room for 3 hours once every 2 to 3 days so he can have sex with his clients, and Reno realizes the rumors are true. He tells Reno that he’ll give him some of the money he makes as payment for renting out the room for that time. Reno reluctantly agrees and everything is going just fine until the day he accidentally walks back into their shared room and is confronted with the sight of Roger having sex with one of his customers.
The art is stunningly beautiful and the storyboarding is as well done as you’d expect from a mangaka as experienced as this one. She’s the author of several djs as well as a seasoned mangaka who has been published by Japan’s Libre Publishing. The story is based on tropes fans of the genre will recognise, but it’s well done and the translation has panache though the editor could have helped smooth out some awkward phrasing here and there a bit better.
There is some whiting out of anatomy in accordance to Japan’s more recent censorship laws, but it doesn’t take away from the passion that leaps from the page. The facial expressions during the sex scenes are decidedly hot and the protagonist definitely falls into the bishie with glasses category no matter what scene he is in. It is a short read, the first of six volumes, but unlike many printed manga to e-book conversions, this one reads easily on the Kindle’s display (no doubt helping add to the “Oh no, it’s over so soon”feeling) so it is a pleasurable read all the way round.
The Joys of Crack and Dust
Why I went Apocalyptic
I did something no one else has ever done.
I wrote a book set in a post-apocalyptic future.
I know, I know.
You’re in awe.
Tj! you’re thinking. How did you come up with such a novel idea?
And therein lies the problem.
Post-apocalyptic, dystopian futures, all of this has been done before. It’s like that saying goes, that there’s nothing new under the sun. Tropes are tropes for a reason. Look at The Hunger Games. Look at the video game series Fallout. Look at Mad Max. Or I Am Legend. Or The 100. Or Book of Eli. Dawn of the Dead. Battle Royale. The Road (which, if you haven’t read this book by Cormac McCarthy, do it. It’s one of the best things ever). 28 Days Later. The Stand (Stephen King’s best work, in my opinion). Resident Evil. The Last of Us.
Whether it be nuclear bombs, or disease, or zombies, or humanity’s rage, the world falls, civilization crumbles, and we are left with little pockets of humanity across a scarred landscape who are usually embroiled in a battle against Forces of Evil (i.e. new government, old government, crazy motherfuckers, zombies, crazy motherfucking zombies).
So it’s all be done before. It really, really has.
And here I was, a writer of cracky man love who sometimes who could write angst, comedy, drama, and who occasionally dabbled into something darker. Here I was, thinking, okay, but if it’s all been done before, could I actually do something that was any different?
I knew, going into writing Withered + Sere, that it was going to be a massive undertaking. This world I created would be large, and would be populated by good people and evil people, and people whose moral compasses were firmly planted in the gray. I also knew going into it, that the only way I’d actually be able to do this post-apocalyptic story would be if I could put my own unique spin on it.
Let’s be real. There are people out there who’ve written stories about the end of the world that are far better writers than I could ever hope to be. I know this. I understand this. I don’t know if I could ever even be even remotely close to their level. But it didn’t stop me from trying.
I wanted to see what happened if I ended the world. If civilization did crumble, if billions of people did die, what would I do with what remained? Would I have anything new to add?
I think I did. I hoped I did. I don’t mean that to sound conceited or self-involved, either. Honestly. Given that this was so far from anything I’d ever done before, I knew that I needed to end the world in a way that was distinctly Klune but not devolving into the crack that I’m known to write. The dialogue here is sparse because the main character, Cavalo, doesn’t like to talk much. He doesn’t want to talk much. The other main character, Lucas, can’t talk, given some mysterious injury he’d sustained sometime in the past.
I love dialogue. I love writing people talking and snarking back and forth.
I love it so much, that to make this story different than anything I’d done before, I didn’t allow myself to fall back into the slinging of words. By taking away one character’s ability to speak at all, it forced me to find other ways to communicate, to relay the story without the crutch of vocalizing my point. And I did, though it was in ways I wasn’t expecting when I first started, and I like to think it adds another layer to the story, that it leaves it up to the reader to decide if Cavalo is actually having the conversations he thinks he’s having, or if it’s just a product of his imagination, that he’s getting response he’s thinking he should get.
And, of course, there’s the end of the world. The landscape, the remains of what once was. When you have a post-apocalyptic story, one of the most important characters you can have is the landscape. Is there the futuristic sheen of a dystopian society? Or is there the grunge and grime of a ravaged society?
I wanted to go with the grunge and the grime. I wanted to get motherfucking dirty in this book. By the time the W+S and its sequel, Crisped + Sere, are finished, I wanted the reader to feel the dirt under their fingernails, the dust in their throat. The setting is as important as the main characters, because if the setting isn’t believable, then it runs the risk of ruining the story as a whole.
I had fun with this, creating this dirty, dirty world. The landscape is dotted with hints of the past, from burn out husks of cars and billboards for personal injury attorneys, to the way the people who remain live their lives.
And that, to me, is the crux of these two books. The reader is told at the beginning that a hundred years have passed since the world ended. The idea that I couldn’t shake while writing this would be how would those people live their lives? Would they act completely different than we do today? Or would they still cling to what they’d been taught by those who came before them? We are ingrained with years on how a human being should act. I find it fascinating to think about how people would attempt to go on with business as usual, even if they don’t necessarily understand why they think that. It’s what they were taught by those who came before them. Those people were taught by those who came before them, and those are the ones that lived and loved in a bright and shiny world, and they passed down their traditions and mannerisms, and I think that those things would continue, even after the world ended. We act as we were taught. Yes, we learn from new experiences, but we are still human, and there are centuries of life before us that we draw from. We do the things we do because we were taught how to do them, even if we don’t realize it.
So. I hope you’re ready to get down and dirty with me. Because we’re about to crawl through the mud.
Withered + Sere Blurb:
Once upon a time, humanity could no longer contain the rage that swelled within, and the world ended in a wave of fire.
One hundred years later, in the wasteland formerly known as America, a broken man who goes only by the name of Cavalo survives. Purposefully cutting himself off from what remains of civilization, Cavalo resides in the crumbling ruins of the North Idaho Correctional Institution. A mutt called Bad Dog and a robot on the verge of insanity comprise his only companions. Cavalo himself is deteriorating, his memories rising like ghosts and haunting the prison cells.
It’s not until he makes the dangerous choice of crossing into the irradiated Deadlands that Cavalo comes into contact with a mute psychopath, one who belongs to the murderous group of people known as the Dead Rabbits. Taking the man prisoner, Cavalo is forced not only to face the horrors of his past, but the ramifications of the choices made for his stark present. And it is in the prisoner that he will find a possible future where redemption is but a glimmer that darkly shines.
Withered + Sere Blog Tour:
April 12 – MM Good Book Reviews
April 13- My Fiction Nook
April 18 – Just Love Romance
April 19 – Divine Magazine
April 19 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
April 19 – The Novel Approach
April 20 – Kimi-chan Experience
April 21 – It’s About the Book
April 21 – Love Bytes
April 22 – Prism Book Alliance
When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn’t think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, over two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder. But that’s okay, because he’s recently become a full-time writer, and can give them the time they deserve.
Since being published, TJ has won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance, fought off three lions that threatened to attack him and his village, and was chosen by Amazon as having written one of the best GLBT books of 2011.
And one of those things isn’t true.
(It’s the lion thing. The lion thing isn’t true.)
Facebook: TJ Klune
Rock star Tully Randolph doesn’t cook, but his mama was famous for her homestyle cuisine. To Tully, good food means all the comforts of home. As a touring musician, he craves that. As a grieving son who’s lost his mother, he can’t find it. He doesn’t want anything fancy, just to walk in the door to the smell of his favorite meal cooked just for him–something he can’t find in any restaurant.
For Wyatt Parker, good food is one of life’s keenest pleasures and an aspiration. He begins this journey as a home chef cooking for one before being granted a shot to feed his rock star crush. He didn’t spend years in culinary school, but he knows how to make the best of what’s left in the cupboards at the end of a long day working construction. All Wyatt has to offer is the simple joy of simple food.
While the cover of Wyatt’s Recipes for Wooing Rock Stars may look like a recipe book, in this romance, the food is a supporting character. Delicious dishes bring them together, set the tone of their growing bond, and cement the perceptions they form of one another. Though some might overlook graying, burly Wyatt, Tully’s tastes put romance on the table. And though some might not see a rock star as the best long-term prospect, Wyatt just sees a young man who needs feeding up. With this story, Clancy Nacht and I set out to write a romance anyone could enjoy, whether an epicurean or just a lover of unexpected pairings.
Wyatt Parker has a good life—he owns his own construction company, his own house, and he eats home-cooked meals every day. But cooking for one while watching the foodie network is more than lonely. When he learns about an upcoming reality show centered on becoming the personal chef for his favorite rock star, Wyatt leaps at the chance to audition.Tully Randolph is the drummer for the band Unusual Potatoes. With a chef for a mom, love of good food runs in the family. When he’s asked to host a cooking competition, he’s all in—especially after he meets Wyatt, who is just the kind of big, hairy guy who gets Tully’s juices flowing. With a heart as big as he is, Wyatt wows Tully with his skills in the kitchen… and in the bedroom.But if their relationship is found out, Wyatt could be drummed out of the competition—and out of Tully’s life. All the ingredients for a happy future are in front of them, and they just need to figure out how to bring everything together.
Clancy Nacht[Text Wrapping Break]Clancy Nacht is a bisexual genderqueer person who lives in Austin with a husband and three feral rescue cats. Clancy has published several ARe bestselling contemporary romantic thriller m/m and m/f stories. Three of her books have been honored with Rainbow Awards; Le Jazz Hot won for #1 Best Bisexual/Transgender Romance & Erotic Romance. In 2013, Black Gold: Double Black was a runner up for a Rainbow Award and in 2015, Gemini won an Honorable Mention for Gay Erotic Romance at the Rainbow Awards. Her books have been nominated for several Goodreads M/M Readers Choice Awards.
Thursday Euclid is a 30-something queer trans man from Houston, Texas, who spends most of his time writing, playing computer games, or watching films and television of questionable quality. Two facts about Thursday: he spent the happiest night of his life in the pit at a Radiohead concert, and hot and sour soup is the easiest way to his heart. He is a rebel with many causes and a Rainbow Award winner.