Friday, July 25, 2014

Brandon Mills versus the V-Card

Lisa Henry and I have an acceptance on our sequel to MARK COOPER VERSUS AMERICA, BRANDON MILLS VERSUS THE V-CARD. It was originally BRANDON MILLS VERSUS VIRGINITY, but Amazon is having a little prude party, which you can read more about over at Lisa Henry's place. But we're very happy with V-Card, and even happier to get to share book two of the Prescott chronicles with you sometime in the near future!





All this stuff is happening. Pretty much.


Smart, shy Prescott sophomore Brandon Mills is working hard to overcome his troubled past and be normal. Life at Prescott, and in his fraternity, Phi Sigma Kappa, is good. With the help of his friends Mark and Deacon, Brandon is slowly coming out of his shell. When he accidentally drenches a freshman in orange soda, though, he faces something he’s not ready for: a boy crushing on him.


Alex Kekoa pledges Phi Sig because it has everything he wants: a house full of nerds who won’t tease him for being smart, a dog, and Brandon Mills. Brandon is just the type of guy Alex needs to help fulfill his college ambition: losing his virginity. Except Alex doesn’t know that Brandon can’t stand to touch or be touched.


When Alex and Brandon are drafted onto the Phi Sig Academic Challenge team, they start spending time together. If there’s anyone who can help Brandon discover it feels good to touch and kiss, maybe it’s klutzy Alex with his cute glasses and his dinosaur obsession. But as the competition--and their relationship--heats up, Alex’s determination not to die a virgin clashes with Brandon’s vow of lifelong celibacy, forcing them to examine what’s truly important to each of them about love.

Friday, July 18, 2014

New contract: TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME

Meet TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, newly under contract with Loose Id! This one has a very frenetic--but I hope fun--narrator. He's only eighteen, but he's got a lot of opinions. And at least ninety-nine problems. The farmer's market is one. School is another. His perpetually-screaming family. His internet friend, Evan. His sister's mafia dollhouse. The random guy online who wants to pee on him. The subversive characters from his Spanish workbook. And this:



Here's the working blurb:

Dresden Marich has failed out of high school three months shy of graduation. He’s infatuated with his online friend, Evan, alienated from his family and former classmates, and still trying to recover from his father’s death six years ago. He’s also keeping a troubling secret about his older brother, Gunner, who is currently away at boot camp.

Then Dresden meets Caleb, a judgmental environmentalist who’s hardly Dresden’s fantasy come true. But Caleb seems to understand Dresden’s desire for rough sex, big feelings, and, ultimately, safety. As Dresden becomes embroiled in a farmers market drama involving Caleb, a couple of bullying tomato enthusiasts, and a gang of vigilante vegans, he discovers he might be willing to trade a fantasy relationship with Evan for a shot at something real with Caleb.

But Dresden fears telling quick-to-judge Caleb his secret, and the news that Gunner is coming home sends him fleeing to California for a chance to meet Evan in person and hopefully fall in love. When the meeting doesn’t go as expected, Dresden faces a choice: stay in California and carve out a new life, or take the long road home to his family, Caleb, and a past he must face if he has any hope for a future.

In other news, BRAT-TISTIC, the omnibus paperback of the WACKY WEDNESDAY and THE BRAT-TASTIC JAYK PARKER, is now available. So if you've been saying to yourself lately, "Man, I'd really like to read two books about domestic discipline bound together in one convenient tome, but I'd also like them to feature body swapping and a cake that tastes like butt cum," look no further. I've got you. 


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

BDSM Blog Hop: Using Our Words

Hi, and welcome to the BDSM blog hop, running July 5-13! Visit the hop's main page to see what BDSM readers and writers have to say about the lifestyle. Today I'm talking about misusing the BDSM label in fiction. Krog! Bring me my soapbox!



We know BDSM encompasses a massive range of activities and identities. But what does an activity need to be in order to fall under the BDSM umbrella?

Say it with me: Safe. Sane. And consensual.

BDSM stands for bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism. Individually, these terms aren’t defined by the presence of consent, or even sex. But when you’re using the letters together, you’re referring to a variety of consensual practices with protocols in place to ensure the safety of the participants.

Which is why it bothers me when publishers include rape, torture, abuse, and kidnapping books in their BDSM and/or kink categories.

I used to see it happen a lot. And I still see it happen some. It’s like if there’s a whip in the book, regardless of why it’s there, the book gets labeled BDSM. I read a story last year that featured zero consensual sexual activity and pretty much nonstop rape and torture, and was asked by my Kindle when I finished, “Want More Unconventional Kink?” This was followed by a list of recommended reads. An eyeball licking fetish might be an unconventional kink. Rape? Um, no.

One of the biggest misconceptions the BDSM community has struggled with over the years is the idea that what we do is abuse. That it is violent, damaging, and only practiced by people who have a screw or two loose.

I get that in romance, readers have certain “kinks” we enjoy reading about but know are not okay in real life. Capture. Forced sexual slavery. Getting busy with krakens. But there are a lot of romance and erotica books on the market that portray capture, rape, and abuse, not as an erotic fantasy, but as crimes. And still get shelved as BDSM.

So the deal is, if it’s a story where the relationship and/or the sex is nonconsensual, it’s not BDSM. In BDSM, there’s consensual nonconsent—pre-negotiated enactment of a nonconsensual fantasy—but rape, even the I-was-ravished-by-pirates-and-was-surprised-by-how-much-I-enjoyed-it kind, is not BDSM. If it’s a story featuring mental or physical abuse—non-negotiated, nonconsensual damage to a person’s body or psyche—it’s not BDSM.

I know there are some gray areas. Anne Rice’s Beauty trilogy isn’t consensual, but it is clearly a fantasy, taking place in an imaginary kingdom in a time that never was and with participants who become willing (not to imply that a participant becoming willing after the fact is EVER an excuse for rape IRL). Would I call it a BDSM story? Yes. Why? I don’t know. Probably the spicy buttplugs. I do think it’s necessary, in a genre that explores taboos the way erotic romance does, to draw some distinction between realistically portrayed rape and violence, and very obvious fantasy.

The BDSM label in fiction is perhaps more for the benefit of readers, and doesn’t necessarily refer to how the characters in the story define their relationship. But what does it do for the real world perception of BDSM to put a book about a consensual kinky relationship in the same category as the stuff Law and Order: SVU episodes are made of? I love reading the SVU stuff. But I don’t want to see it on a list of Kinky Recommendations.

It’s time for the writing world to use its words and make a distinction between BDSM and abuse.  

And I’ll bet making that distinction could give rise to some creative new marketing categories…

Monday, June 23, 2014

In the Works

Hi all! Lots of writing going on lately, but not a lot of blogging. But here's an update:

Lisa Henry and I are finishing up a sequel to MARK COOPER VERSUS AMERICA, focusing on Mark's friend Brandon and his unexpected affection for ultimate hipster-esque dinosaur nerd Alex Kekoa. No title yet. Lisa and I like to do that part last because we...are...

Terrible at it.

We also enjoyed our foray into psychological thrillers so much with ANOTHER MAN'S TREASURE that we're doing a linked novel--different characters, same world. Like AMT, fucked up characters in difficult situations and a pretty significant dearth of joy. Yay?

In other news, the Goodreads BDSM group kicked off Season 3 of BDSM bedtimes stories this month. I got to narrate some fun excerpts by Tara Crescent, Jamie Fuchs, Normandie Alleman, Jena Cryer, and the co-writing team of  Lissa Trevor, Nik Flandre, Lori Perkins, Jamie K. Schmidt. Medical kink, coveting thy neighbor, and more! And Sirly Eric is narrating a bunch of stories too, and if you haven't heard it yet, his voice is all kinds of good 'n' sexy. You can check out the first few episodes here.

And finally, congrats to the giveaway winners on the ANOTHER MAN'S TREASURE blog tour, Aventura Mama and Jill P. Thanks to all who participated!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

ANOTHER MAN'S TREASURE is Here


ANOTHER MAN'S TREASURE is now available in print from Create Space and Amazon and in ebook formats from Amazon Kindle and Smashwords! Be sure to take advantage of the first week $3.99 ebook price, and follow the blog tour this week for a chance to win a $20 Amazon giftcard.

June 2 - The Blogger Girls 
June 2 - Parker Williams
June 3 - Sofia Grey
June 4 - Boys In Our Books 
June 5 - Prism Book Alliance
June 6 - Amanda Stone Books
June 6 - Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews


AMT Blog Tour - Bloodshed! Mayhem! Prizes!

Tomorrow is the release of Lisa Henry's and my psychological thriller, ANOTHER MAN'S TREASURE! *confetti made of bone fragments and blood clots* It's pretty violent, and it's not a romance, but we hope you'll give it a try anyway. It will be available in all ebook formats from Smashwords and Amazon, and in print from the Createspace store and Amazon. And for the first week only, the ebook will cost $3.99 instead of the regular $4.99 list price.

This week, we're going on tour, and if you leave comments at any of our tour stops, you could win a $20 Amazon GC and a copy of the book. Check out banner, Michael!



June 2 - The Blogger Girls
June 2 - Parker Williams
June 3 - Sofia Grey
June 4 - Boys In Our Books
June 5 - Prism Book Alliance
June 6 - Amanda Stone Books
June 6 - Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews

And join us at Joyfully Jay on June 10th for ANOTHER giveaway!

About AMT:

Ilia Porter is Chechen mob boss Mikhail Kadyrov’s greatest treasure. After leaving home at eighteen to escape his verbally abusive father, beautiful, selfish Ilia has lived with Mikhail, proud of his ability to bring such a powerful man to his knees to worship. But when Ilia’s father, a police captain, kills Mikhail in a raid, Ilia’s world falls apart.

Entering to pick up the pieces is Mikhail’s younger brother, Nick—impulsive, power-hungry, and dangerous. When Nick tells Ilia he’s taking everything that belonged to Mikhail—including Ilia—Ilia is too lost in grief to fight. Nick holds Ilia prisoner in the apartment Ilia once shared with Mikhail and grooms him for a very important mission: to kill Ilia’s father and avenge Mikhail’s death.

Ilia wants no part in the plot, but being Nick’s ally is preferable to being Nick’s victim, so he begins to warp himself into the monster Nick wants him to be. Hope arrives when Nick takes another captive: Patrick, a shy massage therapist who’s stronger than he seems. Patrick and Ilia must join forces to escape Nick—and to keep each other whole as Nick does everything in his power to break them.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Another Man's Treasure - Excerpt

Today Lisa and I are posting an excerpt from our upcoming book, ANOTHER MAN'S TREASURE. Which is not a romance. Have we said that enough? We'll post details of our blog tour soon too!



Ilia Porter is Chechen mob boss Mikhail Kadyrov’s greatest treasure. After leaving home at eighteen to escape his verbally abusive father, beautiful, selfish Ilia has lived with Mikhail, proud of his ability to bring such a powerful man to his knees to worship. But when Ilia’s father, a police captain, kills Mikhail in a raid, Ilia’s world falls apart.

Entering to pick up the pieces is Mikhail’s younger brother, Nick—impulsive, power-hungry, and dangerous. When Nick tells Ilia he’s taking everything that belonged to Mikhail—including Ilia—Ilia is too lost in grief to fight. Nick holds Ilia prisoner in the apartment Ilia once shared with Mikhail and grooms him for a very important mission: to kill Ilia’s father and avenge Mikhail’s death.

Ilia wants no part in the plot, but being Nick’s ally is preferable to being Nick’s victim, so he begins to warp himself into the monster Nick wants him to be. Hope arrives when Nick takes another captive: Patrick, a shy massage therapist who’s stronger than he seems. Patrick and Ilia must join forces to escape Nick—and to keep each other whole as Nick does everything in his power to break them.


CHAPTER ONE

I

Svvsssh.
A bright sting. The zip of satin across Ilia’s skin. Pressure on the rings so great that for a second Ilia thought they’d rip out. Then the pain faded to a throb, and the guy started threading the ribbon through the next set.
“All right?” the guy asked.
Ilia nodded.
“I’m pullin’.”
Ilia closed his eyes.
Svvsssh.
They were past the middle of Ilia’s back now. Each time the piercer pulled the ribbon taut, Ilia experienced such a mess of agony that he couldn’t think about anything else. But in the moments between, he could concentrate on the strangeness of the sensation. His skin was laced like a corset. A row of steel rings on either side of his spine. Black satin ribbon crisscrossing his back. He could feel blood trickle from some of the holes.
“This part ain’t as bad as the piercing, is it?”
Ilia tried to remember that pain—only half an hour since the piercer had forced the needle through his skin for the last time. It had hurt to have the rings put in, worse than having his nipples done, or his ears. But this, the constant pulling as he was laced up, might have been worse. “I don’t know.”
“You put on the Neosporin that’s got the painkiller in it? You’ll be all right. Shit, I might’ve got these crossed wrong.” The ends of the ribbons drifted across Ilia’s back. “Nope, I’m all right.”
“You done one of these before?” Ilia hadn’t asked before they’d started. He’d asked, Do you know how to do this?
Guy’d said yes, but since then Ilia had seen him referencing a photo on his phone. Had heard, briefly, the garbled lines of a video tutorial.
Big difference, between you know how? and you done it before?
 “One time,” the guy said. “Ladies. Twins. Green ribbons and pink. They was doing some kind of porn thing.”
Svsshhhh.
“Their bodies was all right. Their faces was kinda old looking, but I guess that’s not what you’re lookin’ at, huh? When you’re watchin’ that stuff?”
Svsshhhh.
Ilia let out a long breath. Thought of Mikhail. Arched, flexing the muscles of his back as blood went to his cock.
“I don’t know how ladies did it,” the guy said. “Wearing corsets and shit. Back in the old days.”
“Mmm.” Ilia clenched his jaw against another wave of pain.
The piercer seemed young to be doing this. Maybe younger than Ilia. Nineteen, twenty? He had gobs of metal in his eyebrows and a spiked labret ring, but without the piercings, he’d have looked scruffy and average. A country boy. Short tawny hair, slightly mussed. A scraggly goatee, pimples on his neck.
Ilia sat up straighter and pushed out his jaw slightly to emphasize the clean line of it. Shook his head so that the tips of his long earrings brushed his jaw. Glanced down at the two braided metal pendants that dangled on black cords between his pecs, making sure they were centered, and imagined the picture he made—dark-haired, pale, beautiful.
He felt a private satisfaction whenever he met anyone unattractive. Didn’t matter whether the other person actually envied him. Like now, it didn’t matter whether the piercer was admiring the smooth skin of his back and his hard, lean muscles. Whether his gaze was drawn to the mascara Ilia clumped thick on his lashes, or the way Ilia kept his lips slightly parted because he could pull it off—made him look slightly dazed and sensual, instead of brick-dumb or Abercrombie. Didn’t matter, because Ilia felt enviable.
The guy tugged the ribbon through one of the rings on the left side of Ilia’s lower back. They weren’t really rings—they were little barbells with rings attached, to keep the piercing from healing. “Took me nine hours to do ’em both. Those girls.”
Ilia had been here four.
“You said you just want this for fun?” the piercer asked.
“I’ve got someone who’s gonna like it,” Ilia replied. “I think.”
“They’d better. All the trouble you gone through for it.”
He will.
The guy sang along with the radio—one of those mellow indie songs that was all quirky rhymes. Supposed to be poetic, but just sounded like the girl singing was half asleep and murmuring whatever stupid shit came into her brain.

“Little red painted soldier,
I’m gonna make you mine.
Take you back to my back porch;
We’ll share the stars; we’ll share the wine.
The world is old and colder,
But my little house is fine.
Oh red painted soldier,
The wounds you feel are mine.
The wounds you feel, the wounds you heal,
The words you steal from a quiet mind;
Yeah little red painted soldier,
Don’t let the blind mislead the blind.”

The guy didn’t know most of the lyrics. He crooned nonsense as he got up to replace a latex glove. Shucked the broken glove into the trash—Ilia glimpsed a few red stains—and pulled on the new one, then came back around behind Ilia.
“What’s your name?” Ilia didn’t care, but after four hours together, seemed right to know.
“Kris with a K. One more set.”
Ilia tensed, and Kris pulled—through the ring, across his back. Through the opposite ring, and then the ribbon dangled just above Ilia’s ass on the right side. As Ilia swallowed nausea from the sting, Kris situated the left hand ribbon. Ilia tipped his head up, pursed his lips, and blew out the breath he’d been holding. “Fuck.”
“Oh, you’re good, man.”
Ilia shifted cautiously and felt the soreness climbing his skin like a curse of thorns growing up around a tower in a fairy tale. “I’m done?”
“You want it tied...how?” Kris asked. “In a bow?
“Yeah.”
Ilia waited as Kris tied the laces. Kris’s knuckles were warm on his back. “Feel all right? I’m keepin’ it loose for now. You can tighten it when it stops hurting.”
This was loose? Ilia couldn’t move without the pressure becoming pain. “Sure.”
“Just be careful. You’re bleeding some.”
“I’ve bled before.”
“A lotta people who get extreme piercings, they don’t think the blood’s gonna be much, and it is. Lotta people don’t think to put old sheets on the bed.”
“I’ll be all right.”
“Wow, man.” Kris shook his head, staring at his handiwork. “You want a mirror?”
“Yeah.”
Kris gave him a hand mirror. Ilia stood, wincing, and followed Kris over to the full-length mirror near the register. Searched for the angle he needed to see his back.
Fuck. Yeah, the laces looked amazing, but the blood made it kind of a horror show. He laughed. “Gross.”
“Sorry.” Kris grabbed a roll of paper towels. “I shoulda done this first.”
He went to the sink by the piercing chair and wet a wad of the towels. Returned and started wiping Ilia’s back. The water was cold. “It’s good,” Ilia said. “I fucking love it.”
“It’s gonna hurt for a while,” Kris said. “But that Neosporin with the painkiller. I’m telling you.”
“I’ll get some.”
“And I got some gauze I’ll give you. Did you bring a different shirt?”
Ilia shook his head. Expensive T-shirt. Gonna get bloody, and Ilia didn’t mind. Driving would be a bitch, though.
“You want a towel? Or, uh, if you wanna buy one of our shirts...”
Ilia glanced at the Twysted Imyge shirts by the register. A dragon with a barbell through its nose. “It’s all right. I’ll wear mine.”
“Hope whoever you did this for likes it,” Kris said.
Yeah. Yeah, Ilia hoped so too. He hoped Mikhail’s fingers shook when they undid the laces, because Ilia was so fucking beautiful, and because Mikhail knew Ilia would do anything for him. Hoped when they fucked, Mikhail pulled on the ribbons. Ilia imagined panting into the pillow, shaking and sweat-drenched, and Mikhail’s big hand passing over skin barbed with nerves. His voice soft in Ilia’s ear. “Eaaaasyyyy, Ilie.”
“He will.” Ilia said.
He got out his wallet.