Friday, May 31, 2013

Smutty Vocabulary Equals Fabulous Author


Who is M.L. Rhodes? In her own words she says she is: "an opinionated chick with a decent sense of humor and a vocabulary that's way too smutty for someone who grew up as a "good" girl." This mother of two writes steamy-hot male on male romance novels from her home in the Rocky Mountain foothills. She has been a professional writer for sixteen years. She firmly believes " love and physical desire are universal emotions and experiences. Yes, there are going to be some gender differences, obviously, but overall, when two people meet, are attracted, and eventually fall in love I think those emotions, at the core, are something we all feel, regardless of whether we’re women or men, straight or gay."


In her free time Rhodes enjoys wheelthrowing, eating cooked zucchini - not raw zucchini and bowling. She has a varied work background. She has been employed as a preschool teacher, bookstore manager, bank secretary, retail clerk, BLS (Basic Life Support) instructor for docs and nurses, office temp; among other things. She loves being a professional writer, and her three cats and two dogs keep her company while she types out her stories on her Mac Book Air.

Her story Familiar is about a magically challenged Emrys Andrew. This awkward non-jock was never in the popular crowd and always had a secret crush on a boy in his town named David Jennings. Jennings is popular, athletic and most importantly a non-magical "normal" guy. This alluring combination of traits makes Jennings irresistibly sexy to young Andrews.

When they have an unexpected encounter Andrews is pleasantly surprised to find out that he is not the only one who has been secretly admiring from afar. The sparks fly and the two quickly form a bond. However, Jenning's family also has been keeping secrets. These secrets force him to leave town. Years pass and Andrews tries to move on with life, without Jennings. Fate forces the two back together when Jennings returns to Andrews for a magical favor. Andrews has to save Jennings or forever loose his lover.




 



The Boy Who Came In From the Cold: A Story of Crushed...and Renewed Dreams



Ever had a dream? A fantasy? A big hope?

Sure you have. 

A hundred years ago, when I was a teenager, it was to be somehow transported to the Battlestar: Galactica universe so I could become Starbuck’s secret lover. The hot, sexy, gorgeous, original Starbuck, not the new revised unoriginal one.  

Hey, it was a fantasy! And the real beginning of me realizing I was gay. Apparently other boys did not collect pictures of male actors without a shirt on and keep them in a scrapbook. Who’da thunk it? 

I could not, of course, transport myself to a fictional universe, but I could fantasize about Dirk Benedict. Pretty unlikely that I could be his lover either, but at least he was a real person, can you dig it? And another gay clue I should have picked up on?
 
But my real dream was to be a writer. More than anything. I was constantly writing stories and making up elaborate tales.


Todd Burton, the hero of my new novel, The Boy Who Came In From the Cold, had dreams. First he wanted to get away from his mentally and emotionally abusive stepfather. A man who had called Todd a faggot for most of his life—and the last thing Todd wanted was for the man to be right. Todd wanted to be a chef and learn under the world renowned Izar Goya. He wanted to find his own place and make a go of his life. So he left Buckman, the little town where he grew up, and headed to Kansas City. 

Where one by one his dreams were crushed. Izar threw him out of her restaurant when he asked her to be his teacher. His car broke down. He lost his job. And finally he was thrown out of his rat-trap of an apartment into a blizzard. 

Hopeless. Utterly hopeless.
 

And then he met Gabe Richards. And through the kindness of a stranger, his luck began to turn. And Gabe? You reap what you sow. Helping a hopeless young man turns his life around as well. And that might also mean healing from some very deep wounds. 

My dreams were shattered. My day job really is a soul-sucking, dream-crushing place with no regard to its employees. But then I finally took a chance and did what I’d always dreamed of doing. I wrote a story and... 

I. Actually. Submitted. It!
 
Four days later I had a contract!


Interestingly enough I was listening to a song over and over as I wrote that novella—Soul of the Mummy. That song was called “Right Outta Nowhere” by Christine Kane, and the central message of that song was, “Leap! And the net will appear.”  

So I took her advise, took a chance! I leapt. And I’ll be damned—the net appeared. 

And a stranger bought my first submission ever. And life has never been the same.
I hope you will take a chance on my new novel, The Boy Who Came In From the Cold. 

You can find it right here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=the+boy+who+came&osCsid=98f3vmnqjflls0u9g8lrb44vu7&x=0&y=0 

But most of all I beg you…  Whatever your dream is, take a chance. It is never too late. 

Go for it! Leap! The net will appear! 
 
Love and Namasté,
BG Thomas
 


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Things that make me go 'WTF???' (aka - T.C. Blue is baffled... as usual)


Okay, this kind of shit pisses me off.

NO victims.

NO injuries.

NO property damage.

ONE MILLION DOLLARS bail.

Seriously?

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/52036072

So what do you think?

I'm truly interested to hear everyone's thoughts.

Is this level of "protection" justified, or should the police be applying this much attention to crimes WITH damages and injuries?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Winner: Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia


Sophia Rose won her choice of ebook from my backlist. She was randomly chosen from the people who left a comment on this post. Congratulations, Sophia Rose! Please send me an e-mail to let me know your book choice!


- CC
www.cardenoc.com


Memorial Day by Cardeno C.


Today we remember all those who sacrificed. Thank you.


CC
www.cardenoc.com

Sunday, May 26, 2013

On Monogamy, or lack thereof


In case nobody has picked up on this, I enjoy watching interview or documentary-edge youtube videos and comparing and contrasting them to what I know about romance.

Dan Savage is known for giving relationship advice, and some of the questions he gets are out of this world fascinating. This video about a lesbian asking how she can get her partner to consider an open relationship caught my attention because Dan's answer run's so contrary to what we tend to write in romance.

Writing about cheating and open relationships in romance can be skating on dangerous ice, because most readers want monogamy. If you're an author who writes menage or erotica you may have more free reign, maybe? I think I recall BG covered cheating a short while back.

Once in awhile I see this sort of thing handled well in romance (3 by Jacob Flores comes to mind - again, menage ..), but the subject matter can be complicated to handle. I did find Dan's answer very interesting, and he made some excellent points.




Have a happy weekend!
Love, Ellis

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Frozen Yogurt and Closeted Movie Stars



Author Jeffery Self wrote 50 Shades of Gay after relocating to Los Angeles. “Ever since moving to Los Angeles, I've been fascinated by two things: frozen yogurt and closeted movie stars. There's something so sexy and mysterious about both. So I decided to write a book about one of them," remarked Self. His book, 50 Shades of Gay, is the tale of a young celebrity blogger, Alex Kirby, who gets to interview Grayson, a closeted Hollywood Superstar. Grayson is intrigued by young Alex, so Grayson brings Alex into his realm of kinky BDSM sex. In true 50 Shades style, Alex starts to fall for the older more powerful man. Alex finds himself enjoying the delights of submitting to Grayson when the unexpected happened--Alex starts to fall in love with the sex focused movie star. A real emotional connection always seems just out of reach and their emotional connection is inhibited by Grayson’s kinky sex preferences and Hollywood handlers.

This book has plenty of steamy, hot scenes with a heavy dash of BDSM; however, it is the love story of obstacles and emotional barriers that will stick with its readers. The tale of a Hollywood superstar that finds his authentic sexual self with the help of a young blogger is what makes this title fantastic.

The author, Jeffery Self, is a true creative. He acts and writes. His recent acting successes include guest appearances on Desperate Housewives, 90210, and 30 Rock.

To buy this title and others like it, visit Rainbow eBooks. Use the link below to enjoy a special discount!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Conversations with Tom (part 1) -- aka T.C. Blue terrorizes the new guy. :P



As I've said here before, I'm somewhat prone to having odd conversations with people. Much of the time, the oddness is amusing -- to me, anyway.

A few months ago, a man moved into my building, right down the hall from me. Now, I didn't actually know his name until last week (we're not exactly friends, as such, but I we run into each other sometimes on the elevator), but as I came to find out, it's Tom.

I'm not sure about how old Tom is, but he's a widower and had two children who live with him. His son David is about to graduate from high school and his daughter Jennifer is one year behind David in school, so I'm going to say they're 18 and 17, respectively.

Why, you may be thinking, is this at all relevant?

Well, it's relevant because… this past Sunday:

Me: *gets on elevator and sees Tom* Hey, how's it going?

Tom: *shrugs* Pretty good. The kids are ready for the pool to open, though.

Me: Yeah, no shit. It's been really hot lately. (It was. Still is. Went from the 50s-60s to being in the 80s in about 3 days. Yay, DC weather. *snorts*)

Tom: Hey, have you been watching 'So You Think You Can Dance'? (We sometimes talk about 'the Voice' so it wasn't that much of a stretch.)

Me: Kinda sorta. I caught the first two episodes of the new season online. Why?

Tom: Did you see that girl?

Me: *O_o* Um, which girl? There were kind of a lot of them.

Tom: I don't know her name. She was wearing these white shorts and a top. The one who pretended to be deaf. (The girl in question was joking with the judges. She never seriously claimed to be deaf.)

Me: Oh, yeah. What about her?

Tom: *grins* She was really hot. (He looks good enough at whatever his age that he can say someone's hot without sounding like a lecherous prick, just to be clear.)

Me: *O_o harder* Yeah, she can dance, but she's eighteen, man. Pretty much your daughter's age.

Tom: *looks like he just threw up a little in his mouth* Oh. Well. Thanks for ruining that fantasy forever.

Me: No problem. So who else do you think is hot? *toothy grin*

Tom: Bea Arthur?

Me: So you're into necrophilia? That's kinda gross. *sees Tom's confused stare* Um, she's dead, in case you didn't know.

Tom: I think I'll just shut up now.

 

This was actually a really fun convo. For me, anyway. I suspect that poor Tom may still be traumatized, so… yay me! *hee*

 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Release Day: Until Forever Comes by Cardeno C.



Happy Monday, y'all. Today is the release of Until Forever Comes, the second book in my Mates series. I'm going to share the blurb and an excerpt below. I hope you enjoy it! 

Blurb


Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, he hopes to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack. Instead, Ethan learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate—a vampire named Miguel.

Miguel Rodriguez is more than four centuries old. Strong, powerful, and vicious, he walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent, and Miguel can’t resist for long. Once Miguel gives in, being together comes naturally. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.


Excerpt


“Listen very carefully, wolf,” Miguel whispered in my ear, still covering my mouth with his hand. “I’m going to step over there to deal with the humans. You’re going to wait until they’re focused on me, and then you’re going to quietly, but quickly, head in the other direction. And you will not stop until you are out of town and back with your pack. Have I made myself clear?”

I tried to think of a way to stay with him. I might help by… help by…. Yeah, no way to end that thought with anything helpful I could do. I was doing much better than earlier that day, true enough. But just because my veins no longer felt like they were going to burst didn’t mean I was anywhere near as strong as Miguel or Ted. Plus, Ted wanted to kill me, so getting involved meant I’d be trying to help him at the same time I’d be trying to avoid him. That was a surefire way to distract Miguel in the midst of a battle. I sighed in frustration.

“Ethan.” Miguel said my name for the first time. He didn’t call me wolf. I supposed that meant he was serious. “Do you hear what I’m saying to you?”

I nodded and he dropped his hand. Miguel took two steps forward, then paused, turned on his heel, and returned to me. He gazed into my eyes for several long seconds, and then he dipped his face and kissed my cheek.

“I won’t forget you, Ethan Abbatt,” he said. And then he really did walk away.

Seconds later, I heard the start of a scream, then a gurgling sound. I peered over to where the half-souls had gathered and saw the one who had been walking toward Ted down on the ground with his hands around his neck, trying to stem the flow of blood. Miguel was standing above him, red dripping from his claws.

“I believe my friend told you to keep walking,” he growled at the other half-souls. “This is your last chance to listen to his advice. Because if you don’t walk away now, you won’t be walking. Ever.”

Lord, he sounded cold and cruel. I did as I’d been told and walked in the opposite direction, quickly but quietly. It sounded like at least one of the half-souls hadn’t taken Miguel’s generous offer, because another scream rent the air. This one was cut off just as quickly as the first, so I reckoned the half-soul had been injured, or worse.

Okay, so I might have underestimated how dangerous Miguel was. Maybe I even underestimated how dangerous it was for me to be in Kfarkattan. But I was right about what was important: Miguel was my true mate. That meant my home was with him. Even if he was a vampire and a male and, all right, I’ll admit it, a bit of a ruffian.

Because if I knew anything, it was to be grateful for whatever blessings were sent my way. Nature hadn’t gifted me with much in my life, and I was starting to suspect that my share of the good stuff had been set aside because I’d been slated for a whopper: I had myself a true mate. Now I just had to figure out how to prove it to him.



You can buy the ebook here and the paperback here.

Have a wonderful week!

- CC

www.cardenoc.com

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Love is Never Wrong


“Love is never wrong, no matter the form. Fear is a big factor, sadly, in who we love if we are outside society’s ‘norm’. Normal is loving. Loving anyone, regardless of color, religion or sex. And sometimes the fear comes from inside ourselves. So be courageous. Love.” 


- Author G.A. Hauser


Lancelot in Love is a story of courageous love. When Lancelot Sanborn escapes to the Catskill Mountain Resort, he can't help but fall for the young, and still in-the-closet Keefe Hammond, even though he is still working through the emotions of a previous romance.

Author G.A. Hauser chose the Catskill Mountain Resort as the setting for this courageous love story because as a child, her family used to take vacations to upstate New York to the Bungalow cottages. She has fond memories of those times, and loved her visits there. So, when her big city character Lancelot needed an escape, this was the first place that popped into mind. 

The author G.A. Hauser credited the character Lancelot Sanborn to a month of hard days typing away in her home office. Hauser says her characters tell her what they want to do - she has a plot in mind but in the end, the characters dictate where they want to go. The defining characteristics of Lancelot Sanborn are his intrinsic kindness, his patience, and his understanding of what Keefe was going through. Lancelot was older and wiser, and even though he had been burned by his last lover, he never took his pain out on Keefe. 

This love tale and many others can be found at Rainbowebooks.com. Use the link below to enjoy a special Cafe Risque fan discount!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Just a quickie! :P


Sorry, all. I've been completely insane for the last few weeks but I'm finally here now. :)

Sadly, I somehow lost track of time and didn't realize today was Thursday until about 5 minutes ago. I could have sworn it was only Tuesday... which maybe supports my previous assertion of me being insane for the last while, come to think of it.

As I tend to be a pantser, I have nothing prepared, so I'm just going to paste a couple of links here.

These are actually the same story but one is the source article whilst the other is more of a blurb than anything else. Still, it's the comments that I find so fascinating. Truly. (Mostly not in a good way, tbh, because homophobia is clearly alive and well on the internet, no matter what's happening politically in the US. Otoh, some of the comments/replies didn't make me want to kick someone in the nads, so there's that.)




Until next time, when I hope to have something actually prepared... Peace. :)

~T.C. Blue

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fear and Loathing in Real Life: Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2013 by Cardeno C.



"I'm sick of the word homophobia. You're not scared; you're just an asshole." 

I've seen a few versions of this saying floating around the internet, most recently in video form. It's funny and catchy and gives us the "Yeah!" feeling. But is it true? 

My personal opinion is that there are some people who hate because of malice or evil or a blind devotion to a particular faith leader's interpretation of their religious text. But I want to believe, need to believe, do believe, that those people are the minority. I think most people make bigoted comments or say they are opposed to equal rights under the law not because of fear or loathing, but rather because of ignorance. 

For example, I recently had a dialogue with a person who said he was opposed to marriage equality because people shouldn't be able to call themselves married "just because they love someone." In his opinion, marriage has had a very specific definition for many generations and that definition shouldn't be changed. 

Now, I'm not going to say this view didn't elevate my blood pressure, because that would be a lie. But what I will tell you is that when I tried to stay as patient as possible and really engage in the discussion, what I realized was that this person didn't know about the legal impacts of marriage. I hope that maybe after we were done talking and I provided him with resources about the more than 1,100 federal rights provided by marriage, he realized that legally recognized marriage is about more than what he considers to be an amorphous concept of love and has real impacts on people's lives. I doubt he now wants his church to sanction marriages of same sex couples, but I hope he believes his government should.

I had a similar discussion about discrimination in the workplace where someone insisted that a person cannot be fired for being gay. Of course, this is patently false. The truth is that in 29 states a person can be fired simply for being gay and in 34 states a person can be fired for being transgender. Again, I provided information about this and the person softened his stance about the "noise" surrounding gay rights. 

Did my conversations make a difference? Did they change the hearts and minds of these two people? Maybe not. But maybe, just maybe, learning the truth about the laws in our country and about the lack of protections and benefits offered to real people made a difference not only to the people who heard the information from me, but also to their wives or siblings or friends or coworkers. 

While I may never know what impact, if any, I had, statistics tell us that the conversations being had by people every day are making a difference. Hearts and minds are changing. Equality is winning. So I will continue to try to hold my temper (and fail sometimes) and have the conversations that need to be had. I hope you'll join me.

May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia and this post is my contribution to the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. You can read more about the hop and find other participants here. And as part of the hop, I'm giving away the winner's choice of an ebook from my backlist to a (randomly chosen) person who comments. I'd love to hear from you. 

Speaking of giveaways, I'm giving away a copy of Until Forever Comesmy upcoming release at Stumbling Over Chaos and at Joyfully Jay (there's an excerpt there for you to read too).
UPDATE: The giveaways above are complete but there is a new giveaway active until 05/25 at Mrs. Condit Reads Books

CC
www.cardenoc.com

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day


Since it's Mother's Day I thought I'd devote today's post to coming out, and to the moms who support their kids no matter what. You hear all kinds of craziness, and as a mom I'm always grateful when I hear about mothers who accept their children with open arms. My youngest is in preschool right now and I see these adorable little children and wonder how people can kick their children out of the home, send them to Bible camp, or whatever the hell else. I'm sure they think it's love, but it's heartbreaking. So happy Mother's Day. THIS mom is happy for you, whoever you happen to be. And this video here is adorable. The bickering between the mom and son is adorable, because it's not about the son being gay, but because she thinks he was stubborn and should have come out sooner:


Happy Mother's Day, Love Ellis

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Beyond the Story with Andrew Grey



Andrew Grey’s Good Fight series final book “Fight for Identity” was officially released on May 10th. Rainbowebooks.com offered this title and a bonus book “Takoda and Horse” on May 9th. In anticipation of this release staff at Rainbow eBooks interviewed Grey about his writing process:

Question: When did you write your first book? 
Grey: I wrote my first book, Master of the Revels in 2007. 

Question: How do story ideas come to you? 
Grey: I really wish I knew. Ideas seem to spring from nowhere or from news stories, works of art, or simple conversations. I never really know what will spark a story idea. 

Question: What is your writing process? 
Grey: I sit down and write. Usually I start with the characters, but sometimes I start with the setting. There's no outline or grand plan. I just tell my story. Most often I have a particular scene in mind and I know where I'm going, bit other than that, I'm as surprised as the next person where the story will take me. 

Question: How long did it take for you to write "Fight for Identity"?   
Grey: Almost a month I think. I write every day. Its important for me to keep the story flowing and that can only happen if I work on it daily and keep it fresh in my mind. 

Question: Can you tell me a little about your characters? How do they evolve from creative idea to individual with a recognizable voice in a story? 
Grey: I don’t know. For me it just happens. When I'm writing a story, there are at least three people in my head. Myself, and my two characters. I once tried working on two stories at once and thought I was going to go crazy. There were too many voices talking all at once. It isn't a mechanical process, but one that happens inside me. I wish I had a better answer, but it appears to be an organic part of me. 

All of the titles in the Good Fight series and Grey’s bonus story are available at RainboweBooks.com. Use this link to enjoy a 25% discount while shopping! http://www.rainbowebooks.com/store/affiliate-referral.php?code=lz7snvn4hyic

Monday, May 6, 2013

Upcoming Releases by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday, y'all. Just a quick post today to tell you about a giveaway and my upcoming releases. 

On May 20th, Until Forever Comes, the second book in the Mates series, is being released. You can enter to win a copy of the book here; preoder an ebook here; and preorder a paperback here. Here's the blurb:


Ethan Abbatt is a wolf shifter who can’t shift. Plagued by pain and weakness all his life, he hopes to find an honorable death by joining his pack mates in a vampire attack. Instead, Ethan learns two things: draining his blood releases his pain and his wolf, and he has a true mate—a vampire named Miguel. 

Miguel Rodriguez is more than four centuries old. Strong, powerful, and vicious, he walks through life as a shadow, without happiness or affection. When a young shifter tells Miguel they’re true mates, destined to be together, Miguel sends him away. But Ethan is persistent, and Miguel can’t resist for long. Once Miguel gives in, being together comes naturally. The challenge is keeping themselves alive so they can stay by each other’s side until forever comes.


On June 1st, I have a short novella called A Shot at Forgiveness in Dreamspinner's sports themed daily dose. Here's the blurb:


A dozen years, two thousand miles, and a law degree after high school, Rafi Steiner continues to harbor resentment toward Isaac Jones, his childhood bully turned NBA star. When Isaac appears at Rafi’s favorite restaurant acting like a long-lost friend, Rafi bluntly dismisses him.

But Isaac is tenacious and has his heart set on the grown-up version of the boy he always wanted and never forgot. The way Isaac sees it, he and Rafi are perfect for each other, if only he could sink the most important shot of his life: his one shot at forgiveness.


The story will be available individually on June 1st or you can buy the entire package here.

I hope you have a terrific week.

CC
www.cardenoc.com

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hold That Thought...


I'm out of town this week. And I've been way to slammed to do flash fic lately, sorry. Until next time, gaze into this guy's eyes. Or at his chest. Whatever...


Happy Sunday
Love, Ellis