Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Years Eve by Riley Hart




I hope your 2016 is filled with love, happiness, family, friends and good health. Can you believe it's almost 2016? Where has the time gone?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Blessings and Nominations by Renae Kaye



How did your Christmas go?

Mine was relatively smooth sailing.  Some hiccups.  My hubby is still recovering from an operation, so was in some pain, my niece hurt herself in the swimming pool, Mum couldn’t hear us because her hearing aids don’t like crowds, and (as usual) I ate too much.    But we had great fun and lots and lots of presents.

There are two responses I regularly get when I tell people that I am the youngest of nine children.  The first usually is “Your poor mother!”  I find this amusing.  Why is my mother pitied, but not my father?  Or are we talking about child birth here?  I know a lady who has three children and hasn’t experienced more than three hours of labour collectively for them.  She has short, swift labours.  I had one labour – it was 55 hours long.

The other response I get to the nine children revelation, is “Wow, Christmases must’ve been big in your family.”

I smile and nod.  They definitely were.  When I was younger I didn’t realise how big they were, because they were just normal to me.  I was born into a family that already had eight children.  It’s only as I’ve grown and experienced quieter Christmases that I realise how big they actually were.  I didn’t have much to do with the planning of Christmas when I was young, but by the time I hit my teens, my sisters and brothers were having their own children.  Mum and I were always instrumental in working through the logistics of the day.  One of the big things was how to keep the presents straight.

Imagine ten kids ripping the paper off their presents and going “oh, wow” and then throwing the toy aside for the next present.  After 15 minutes we would have no idea which present belongs to who.  So every year Mum and I would create something for the grandkids to put their present in.  One year we covered cardboard boxes in coloured paper, then spent a few days cutting out pictures from magazines to decorate them.  Each box had pictures to individually represent the child.  One year we cut out fabric to make the letters of their names and sewed it on large hessian bags.  The item was presented to the kids at the beginning of the present opening, and as each present was revealed, they could be put away in the box/bag.

One side-effect of having nine children, is that you tend to have more grandchildren than the norm.  We’re at twenty-three now, and I think we may be done.  (Who knows?  There are still some of us in our child-bearing years.  And my brother’s youngest son was born when he was fifty-one.)  Their ages range from under one, up to thirty-four.  And don’t forget we have the great-grandkids now (current count: eight-and-a-half).  And six step-grandkids.

One thing that amuses me, is the amount of people who say to my mother, “Oh, how wonderful to have so many grandchildren.  I wish I had that many grandkids, but my kids haven’t really bothered.”

My mother will say, “It’s great.  So how many kids do you have?”

“Oh, we only have the two children, and four grandkids.”

It’s like people fail at maths when they have to count the number of children versus the number of grandchildren.  If you only had two children, then don’t you think it’s a little bit of a stretch to ask for twenty-odd grandchildren?  And if you only had two children, and your children only had two children, aren’t they following your example?

The same goes for life.  Of course there are some incredibly lucky people out there, but for most of it, money, fame, happiness and health come down to the effort you put into it.

Many people compliment me on my garden.  They visit and look around saying, “Wow, I wish I had this garden.  It’s beautiful.”  I’m bias, I think my garden is wonderful.  There is so much more I would love to do with it if I had the time, but for now, yes, it’s good enough.  I then visit their house and look around their garden.  I can see the building blocks to a lovely garden, but like everything, it takes time and money.  I walk past the waist-high weeds, the broken reticulation, the brown lawn, the dead rose bushes and the unpruned trees, and visit for coffee.  Usually we will end up talking about their life and they tell me about the shows they watched, the clothes they made, or the job they have.  And there you have it:  I have a stack of sewing patterns and material I would love to make, I haven’t watched TV for years, and I don’t have a job (other than little stories).  What I put into my life, is what I get out of it.  I can’t chat with people about the latest episode of The Walking Dead or the latest blockbuster movie.  I’m usually out in my garden or in my writing room and miss the shows.

It is the same for authors.  My jealous eyes often check out the authors who make the top ten on Amazon, or who are doing amazing things in promotions, but I know that the effort that goes into it is reflected in the sales they get.  If you want to be successful in authoring, there are a number of things you need to do.  Number One on the list, is write a good story that people want to read.

A number of months back I read a story, that was… well… bad.  Admittedly I am a lot pickier than your average reader, and since writing my own books, I’ve learned the power of a good editor.  This book needed a good editor, and I think it only got mediocre, and definitely no proofreader had sighted the words before they were published.  It had been edited, yes, but sometimes there is only so much an editor can do with poor storytelling, because it is a sad fact of life that not every person can craft an interesting tale.  Even the timeline couldn’t be kept straight.  And then there were elements of the story that I just wasn’t comfortable with.  In my opinion, the character acted immorally, taking advantage of a situation when MC2 had no other option.  Coupled with that was the fact that I didn’t get MC2’s attraction to MC1, MC1’s focus and attraction to MC2 was icky, and the two characters did odd things at weird times.

I know I sound overly critical.  I’m terrible.  Usually I can look past mediocre editing and focus on the brilliant story.  Or I can push aside the parts of a story that don’t sit right, because I’m enthralled in the tale.  But this book?  Nothing worked for me.  It has been the only book I felt like “returning” to Amazon, because I felt I was cheated out of my money to pay for such rubbish.  (But I didn’t).  Which is why I was completely confused about the success of the book – both in sales and reviews.  I bought it because others were, so I considered it a good choice.  The reviews seemed to be good too.  I wondered why this book did well, when other (IMO frankly brilliant authors) can’t get a break.

In the months since reading, I’ve seen this author around.  Facebook and Goodreads is a rather small community, and you can’t but help run into people.  Someone mentioned to me that they’d seen this author say they made a loss financially on the publication.  I began paying closer attention.  The author has been paying heavily for advertising on sites, and has been begging and borrowing reviews in every corner.  How much, and where, I’m not sure.  I’m just hearing rumours.  And it shows.  The story inside may be unexceptional, but the effort the author has put into promotion has given them success.  So Number Two in how to write a successful story, has nothing to do with Number One, and has everything to do with the effort put in after.

So although I couldn’t enjoy the story, and the problems with the story leaves a sour taste in my mouth months later, I learned something from it.  To be successful, the effort comes before and after the release of the book.  Just like in gardening, a successful garden requires planning and planting before, and careful tending and watering after.  In terms of promotion, the weeds around my own books are waist high.  I need to pay better attention.

So, **dusting off my promo hat** I’m here to brag.  I recently read a “how to promote your book” book and one of the first things it said, is if you can’t shout out proudly to everyone about your work, how do expect anyone else to?

Last year, my books did exceedingly well during the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Reader’s Choice awards.  I was the immensely proud mumma of my books.  This year I’ve been nominated for a few more awards.  Even the nominations make me damn proud.  I don’t think I will progress further than the nomination round, as there are so many wonderful authors, wonderful books, (and let’s not forget the wonderful promoters) out there.  But I’m here to brag anyway.

So the polling opens in January – don’t forget to go and vote.


How to contact Renae:
Twitter:  @renaekkaye







Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays from Riley Hart




I want to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday. I hope your days are filled with whatever it is that makes you happy.

We'll be spending it at home, relaxing, which I'm really looking forward to. Saturday is my birthday and I hope to read, and write. I want to spend my birthday with words and my family.


Have a great one everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas from Andrew Grey


I wanted to take a few minutes to wish each and every one of you a warm and blessed holiday!

Hugs and Love
Andrew


Monday, December 21, 2015

Stove Top Potpourri by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday! My neighbor gave me a neat gift this year - a bag with all the ingredients to make potpourri on my stove. I tried it and loved it so much I wanted to make more. Enter my good friend Google. After a bit of research, I found a blog with exactly what my neighbor gave me:

  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange 
  • 4 cinnamon sticks (the blog says to break them in half, but we didn't)
  • 1 TB cloves
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
Making the potpourri is really easy. You slice the orange, put it in a sauce pan with 2-3 cups of water and the contents of the bag, and turn the stove on low for the concoction to simmer. That's it. I did this when I had people over and it really did make everything smell good. 

Unfortunately, it didn't last more than a few hours before the scent was essentially cooked away.

I thought maybe making it in a crockpot would help it last longer (and make it more portable) so I gave that a go, but the scent just wasn't as strong.

I'm going to give it another go in my larger crockpot at some point. Or maybe I'll try a different recipe. In my research, I came across this blog that has a bunch of stovetop (or maybe crockpot) potpourri ideas. Let me know if you try any. Rich Spice might be next on my list!

Have a great week.

CC
www.cardenoc.com


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Merry Christmas, from Renae Kaye and her characters



Merry Christmas!

Yes, I know it’s a little early, but Christmas falls on a Friday this year and I post to Café Risque on a Saturday, so this is my last chance I get to tell you all Merry Christmas.

(Side issue – I recently read that you get skewered in New York by wishing people a Merry Christmas.  That’s insane.  The day is called Christmas, for better, for worse.  Just like the Equinox is the Equinox, New Year’s Day is New Year’s Day, and so on.  To be merry, in Australia, it actually means to get drunk.  So I’m actually saying that I hope you have a good time getting drunk on the 25th of December.  It has nothing to do with worshipping Jesus.)

So I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas, whatever the tradition of the day is to you.


I am the youngest of nine children.  My parents we both Baptists, but for different reasons, the church rejected them in the late 60s and early 70s.  We kids grew up without a religious background, and to us, Christmas was about family getting together and lots of presents.  Dad was self-employed, and Christmas Day was one of the 3 days a year he didn’t have to work (along with New Year’s Day and Good Friday).

Interestingly enough, two of us nine kids have taken up religion.  My sister is now Catholic for most part (to get her kids into a Catholic school) and I’m Anglican.

So to me, Christmas Day is a balancing act.  I have to balance my own religious beliefs with the celebrations of my family and my husband’s family.

No matter what religion you are, Christmas is going to be a big deal for you.  It may just be the day you say, “Damn, the local coffee shop is closed and I can’t get caffeinated,” or it may be the day you say, “Well, it’s breakfast at Mum’s, then lunch at Nan’s house, and then we have to rush over to Greg’s mum’s house for dinner…”

It is not surprising then that Christmas pops up in a few of my books.  It is a big day, and it will mean something to the characters.

In The Blinding Light, Christmas is a big deal to both characters.  Patrick, who is blind and orphaned, has not shared a Christmas Day with someone else in years.  His Christmases have been extremely lonely.  I’m not quite sure what Patrick was thinking on Christmas Day (as the book is from Jake’s POV) but I think he was so in love with Jake that he would’ve stood naked on the corner and whistled a dandy tune if that is what Jake wanted him to do.  I also got the feeling that Patrick had to stop himself from buying many gifts for Jake.  He managed to sneak in one large expensive present, claiming it was for his own benefit that Jake had an iPad, but he would’ve bought a whole bunch more if he didn’t know that Jake would flay him alive for it.

Jake, however, was in his element.  Jake is the organiser.  For him, getting decorations up, buying and wrapping presents, planning Christmas breakfast, lunch and dinner, making sure his family were all ready…  Jake sparkles at Christmas time.  In the story, Jake doesn’t have much money, but he manages to find presents that mean something to his loved ones.  He is thoughtful and cares about them, and so wants Christmas to be special.

I think this is where people who are truly loving and compassionate are shown.  They think about it and give a present that is meaningful to the other.

There are people I know who give large, expensive presents “to be the best.”  They are the Big Present Givers.  Grandparents who want to outdo the other set of grandparents in the gift-giving stakes.  Or parents who want their children to be able to brag to the other children.  A sub-category of the Big Present Giver is the Guilty Present Giver.  They don’t give large expensive presents for show, but more to alleviate their own guilt about something.

On the heels of the Big Present Givers and the Guilty Present Givers is the Selfish Present Givers.  They are the ones who find presents they love, and gift them, no matter who the recipient is.  You know the type:  “Oh, I know you’re allergic to peanuts, but I just love the latest gadget to make peanut butter.  I have it at home and it’s so good, I just knew you would love it too if you try it.”

Christmas is also mentioned in Safe in His Arms.  My characters (the author said proudly) are thoughtful.  Casey doesn’t have much in the way of money, but he gives Lon a present from the heart.  Okay – he’s a bit selfish too, but he’s only 19 and still maturing, but a photograph of the two of them was nice, even if Casey wanted it to replace who he thought was an old boyfriend on Lon’s wall.

Lon, on the other hand, is deeply thoughtful.  He reached down into the heart of Casey’s problems and bought him something deeply personal.  Oh, yes.  And in a typical man’s fashion, he tried to solve Casey’s problems at the same time, but the present was all about Casey.

In The Shearing Gun, we don’t get to see Christmas, but Hank makes plans for Elliot to still be around then.  It’s a big deal for him.

(Side issue – did you know I wrote a short follow-up story about Hank and Elliot?  It’s Christmas time-ish.  Find it here: http://renaekaye.weebly.com/free-extra-scene.html).



Christmas is a time to celebrate.  Whether it be celebrating the birth of Jesus, or celebrating with our families, I think celebration should be compulsory on this day.  You may like to celebrate one more year of being sober, or cancer-free.  You may like to celebrate the life of one recently lost.  You may like to celebrate one more year that you’re still sane.

For me, sometimes I have to grit my teeth when I’m around my family.  There are those who have different opinions than mine, and those who don’t always treat me well.  Sometimes I have to listen to the same old tired stories.  But Christmas is about celebrating our loved ones – and no matter how much they drive me bonkers, I love my family.

So Merry Christmas.  I will be celebrating the day.  So I hope you have a nice merry one.  And from all of my characters, a very Merry Christmas too.  From all the ones you’ve loved and embraced, the ones you weren’t so sure of, and the ones created but you haven’t met yet – Merry Christmas.

How to contact Renae:
Twitter:  @renaekkaye


Friday, December 18, 2015

What's Next-by Felice Stevens



With the year drawing to a close, it's the time to sit back and take stock in what you've done over the past year. 

This was the year I took the plunge and decided to self-publish. Scary, yes—but for me it was a wonderful step on a rollercoaster I wouldn't have traded for anything. I did Kindle Unlimited and it was a good experience in the beginning but as of the end of this month, my last book in the program, One Step Further will be out of KU. Today I have a Bookbub sale for it, so for a limited time it is available for only 99cents. As a special surprise, when I release it wide, I'll be including a bonus chapter.



You can find One Step Further Here:  http://amzn.to/1lV6YpJ


I've learned so much about myself; my ability to handle stress and to know when to step aside and delegate things I can't do on my own because of time constraints. Much as I love writing, at this time I can't give up my day job. 

I've received some amazing support from authors who I've admired both as writers and as people. There are times I couldn't have gotten through some days without their help and encouragement. To these people I say thank you.

Perhaps one of the best thing about this past year was meeting authors and friends in person whom I'd only known on line, at book fairs, cons and Sunday brunch.

So what's up next?
I just finished the third book in The Breakfast Club series and the book is with my editor. I hope to have it out in late January. I plan on another novella for one of the guys and then who knows....
But I started a new book this week that I"m really excited about. Right now its a stand alone and both main characters have physical disabilities. It's a story from my heart; having been injured as a teenager, I know what it's like to grow up with scars and physical limitations. 

I hope this past year has been a time of joy and happiness for you. For those who've lost loved ones I give you hugs and wish you peace. I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the holiday season.




Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tis The Season with Andrew Grey


Dominic and I have been together for over 20 years and at the holidays we usually travel.  Dominic and I lived in Milwaukee for 10 of those years and we spent Christmas with his family in Green Bay or my parents in Grand Rapids.  A few times we went out to Baltimore to be with my brother and niece.

Since moving to the east coast, we have spent Christmas with my family which have all relocated to the Baltimore area.  So to put it mildly, we have spent plenty of holidays seasons in cars and ion planes.  This year, he and I are hosting Christmas at our home for part of our family.  We did that once in Milwaukee and I'm looking forward to doing it again. 

My youngest niece is 4 and we're planning the whole Santa coming down the fireplace, stockings, sleigh bells, everything kind of Christmas for her.  It should be magical for all of us.  Its bene quite a while since we had the kind of holiday with the wonder that only a young child can bring. 

I took a week off from Ask Andrew, but it will return next week.   Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

Visit Andrew on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/andrewgreybooks  and you can join Andrew's fan group All The Way With Andrew Grey.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Wish lists with BA, Julia and Sean


Today we thought we'd share our Christmas Wish Lists with you.

BA
Okay, so I'm the world's biggest sap, but what I want for Christmas is for my wife to know how proud I am of her, my moma to be happy, for my daddy to be healthy, for all my little ones (even the grown ones) to know that they're loved and wanted and precious, for people to remember to love one another -- genuinely, passionately, whole-heartedly. I want less fear and more faith, less hate and more hope. I want days filled with words and music, to go to sleep every night with my wife beside me, puppy kisses daily and the ability to be grateful for all my blessings. Much love, y'all. BA.


Julia
Hmmm

This year I want a houseboy to do the dishes and laundry for my wife so we have more time to spend together not writing...

I want more hours in the day so I can hit all my deadlines and still sleep

I want that USA Today bestseller, Santa. I do I do

I'd love a new laptop since my good one died and I'm working on one from 2009 but that's just a luxury

Candy. Lots of chocolate please. Not sugar free, despite the diabetes, because it makes me poop. Like, a lot. In bad ways. O.O

A trip to Colorado is always good.

An island in the Bahamas? Hey, why not shoot for the moon?

Really, though, I'd settle for a clean house and a few days off. Like totally off where I didn't have to do anything but lay in bed and watch Sherlock,

My life is pretty darned good

XXOO

Julia


Sean
My wish list for Christmas includes peace on earth and good will toward all, and I think the world really needs that right now. Maybe it can find at least a little bit of it in the next few weeks.

I also wish for everyone to find their happiness and to be able to revel in it.

On a much smaller scale, I wish for a joyful and relaxing Christmas.

I want a good night's sleep to become the usual thing, not a pleasant surprise.

My own personal Chef would be awesome. Especially if he comes with a little sub who cleans. Meals made for me, house cleaned for me and hot scenes to watch on tap. Maybe I should move this wish up near the top of the list...

On the irreverent side, I wish for an orgasm for all the boys who live in my head and a plug for every naughty elf out there. And if Santa wants to give them all spankings while he's at it, that would be cool too.

And please, please, please, please, please, please, please, could I have a white Christmas? (and really, I shouldn't even have to ask for that, but wow, this year it is not looking likely!)

May all your Christmas wishes come true! 
Hugs, Sean.


Got a topic you'd like us to tackle? Let us know!

You can find us on Twitter at @seanmichael09, @juliatalbot and @batortuga.

Sean’s website is http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com
Julia’s is http://www.juliatalbot.com
BA’s is http://www.batortuga.com

Facebook:
Sean -- https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites
Julia -- https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor
BA -- https://www.facebook.com/batortuga


Sean
smut fixes everything
where the naughty boys come... and play


Monday, December 14, 2015

Thankful by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday! Redz World asked me what I'm thankful for this year. This year and every year, I'm thankful for the wonderful people in my life - my family, my dear friends who are like family, and the most loving puppy in the world who is, at this moment, curled around my feet (yes, I included her in my list of "people"). Another thing I've found myself repeatedly being grateful for this year (usually when reading something online), is being too old to have had the stupidity of my youth captured on cell phone cameras and posted online. Plausible deniability is a magical thing. And last but absolutely not least, I'm thankful for the incredible book community I'm been privileged to be a part of. I'm truly fortunate to be surrounded by people who make me laugh and think and sometimes growl. And I still have to pinch myself to prove I'm awake and not dreaming that I have a job writing books.

Redz World is hosting a giveaway for winner's choice from my Family books so if you're in a contest mood, click over there and enter. 



Have a great week!

CC
www.cardenoc.com

Friday, December 11, 2015

Tis the Season....to Stress by Felice Stevens


The holidays are supposed to be times of family, fun, food and drink. (I couldn't find another F word...quiet all of you.) Instead, what I'm hearing this year is more people angry, upset with what's happening in the world, worried about finding the right presents, spending time with family that they may not have the best relationships with...in other words—totally stressed out.

My son called me today completely stressed out over his first big college final-management calculus. He said he's been studying non-stop since Monday. He came from a school with no grades or final exams, so his first experience with tests and grades is totally stressing him out. I tell him the test is not a measure of his intelligence, nor is his entire college career based on this one exam.
But still; he's stressed.

I'm hoping we can all take the time in the next few weeks to take a seat for even an hour and simply rest. Take a break and think about something beautiful, or a memory that makes you smile. I've been participating in some Facebook parties and I found old Christmas commercials and it was fun to look at the videos and remember them with a smile.
Don't let what should be a season of love and peace make you sick. 

Today I had a release of my Chanukah novella and I always worry whether people will like or buy it, but this time I'm letting it go. Que sera, sera, as the saying goes. Whatever will be will be. I'm looking forward to my vacation in Florida over the Christmas week to simply relax and listen to the ocean.

The Greatest Gift



Thursday, December 10, 2015

When it Rains... by Riley Hart


When it rains, it pours. How true that is. It's been crazy-busy around here with the holidays, birthdays, kids home from school, and now my husband has broken his ankle. Sigh. I've been really stressed out and overwhelmed. I realized though, that worrying isn't going to change anything. It is what it is and I can only do what I can do, so that's what I'm trying to remind myself.

I still need to take time to relax and recoup even though I know I have a list of a million things to do.

I've been taking a lot of bubble baths. I'm a bubble bath person. And reading of course. What are some of your favorite ways to relax?


Also, I've had a couple books release over the last couples months--RETURN TO BLACKCREEK, which is an anthology with the men from Blackcreek, and also A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS, which is my Nyrae Dawn book. If you're like me and looking for books to relax with, I hope you'll check them out.



This December it's time to go back...

Wes and Braden

Braden plans a surprise weekend getaway for him and Wes. Two days alone in a cabin with his husband? There’s no telling what kind of trouble they can get into. Wes isn’t fooled though. He knows this weekend is about more than just a sexy escape. When Braden lets him in on what he has planned, it has the potential to change their lives forever.

Gavin and Mason

It’s the start of winter break and Gavin is looking forward to spending it working at Creekside with Mason…only he realizes that’s not the only thing he wants. He sets out on a path to give Mason the surprise of a lifetime, and the end result is a night neither man will ever forget.

Noah and Cooper

Cooper is determined to start a new holiday tradition. He’s planned an ugly sweater party that will go down in Blackcreek history. Not even Noah realizes everything he has in store for the night. If Coop can pull it all off without a hitch, the party will either be a huge success, or the biggest mistake of his life.

Three couples, three major life events. It’s a December to remember for all our men in Blackcreek.

Amazon



Tobias Jackson grew up in Coburn, a town where the gay population equaled exactly one: him. Add that to the fact that his dream guy was his best friend's jerky older brother Levi Baxter, and it made hooking up virtually impossible.

Now home from college for winter break, Toby is a different person. He left Coburn for San Francisco, where he wasn't the lone gay guy and the only black kid in town. And yeah, he took advantage of what the city had to offer.

Apparently Toby isn’t the only one who’s changed. Levi’s not acting like the self-centered guy with all the answers that Toby remembers from growing up. Oh and Levi’s realized he's bisexual, which makes things a lot more interesting…

Heading back to college, Toby doesn’t expect to meet up with Levi again, despite him being in med school not far away. A surprise visit from Levi blows that assumption out of the water. As they spend more time together Toby sees Levi as more than just the fantasy. He’s complicated, unsure…he’s real. But if Toby can’t get out of the past and find the words he keeps locked inside himself, he’ll lose his chance at Levi for good.

Amazon

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Ask Andrew - Does It Really Fit - Andrew Grey


Dear Andrew

In almost every M/M book I read, there are scenes that have one man holding both cocks and rubbing them against each other. I invariably hold my fingers together and there's no way two could fit, even when I consider that the fingers could be an inch longer than mine. So I guess my question is how is it really done and does the hand only cover part? Books seem to indicate that one hand completely covers both.

This really is driving me nuts and it takes me out of the book with all my hand and finger twisting. Help?

Andrea

Dear Andrea

This does seem to be a popular activity in some MM books. and I have to tell you that one hand rarely makes it all the way around.  What's really important is that both cocks are rubbing against each other.  Personally, I have never found this particular activity particularly enjoyable, but that's just me.  Maybe others really like it. 

I also must question the real life application of this particular activity and I'm going to refer this to the other gayboys out there so they can weigh in, but its my thought that this is mainly something with its origins in the adult film industry.   You see this happening a lot in porn, but I don't know how often guys do it in real life.  Maybe I'm missing something.  Hmmmmm.

One last thing for you is to remember that what's described in books is often for effect.  Its to give a feeling of excitement of extreme interest and attraction.   I know that sometimes something will pull a reader out of the story and I hate that as well, but I try to remember the emotions of the moment and sometimes discount part of the mechanics. 

Hugs and Love
Andrew



Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

Visit Andrew on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/andrewgreybooks  and you can join Andrew's fan group All The Way With Andrew Grey.

Follow him on Twitter:  @andrewgreybooks

Visit Andrew's web site:  www,andrewgreybooks.com

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Questions - A Baker's Dozen with BA, Julia and Sean


So here we have thirteen silly Christmas-related questions.  Caveats before you read:
1) this is very irreverent
2) BA is a Christmas purist
3) No elves were harmed in the answering of these questions (no reindeer either)

What's your elf name?
BA: Jimgles McCussalot
Julia: Sparkles Naughty Elf
Sean: Spanky MeButts


If you were Santa, what would you bring all your readers this year?
BA: cowboy butts for all
Julia :all my books
Sean: the perfect Dom


What color would a Christmas butt plug be? What shape?
BA: Rudolf the rednosed reindeer shaped (including the antlers) and Rufold colored
Julia:  sparkly green and Christmas tree shaped
Sean: all the colors of the rainbow, Christmas light shaped


Christmas butt plug decorated tree - yes or no?
BA: What?
Julia: No
Sean: Yes


Who is your Christmas OTP?
BA: Sherlock and John (they have Christmas!)
Julia: Yukon Cornelius and Herme from Rudolf the Rednose Reindeer
Sean: the Grinch and Max


Santa - Dom or sub?
BA: What?
Julia: brainbleach
Sean: I could write him either way


What's your favorite day of the 12 Days of Christmas?
BA: Nine Ladies Dancing
Julia: Five Golden Rings
Sean: Ten Lords a Leaping - orgy in the making


Shifter Rudolph - does his nose glow during orgasm?
BA: Poor baby Rudolph (you perv, Sean)
Julia: I prefer to give Rudolph his privacy
Sean: Yes!


If you invented a sexy Christmas cocktail, what would it be called?
BA: Fuck Frosty
Julia: The Peppermint Log
Sean: Down the "Chimney"


It takes eight reindeer to pull Santa's sleigh - how many wingmen does it take to get him laid?
BA: What?
Julia: I think Mrs. Claus has cast iron skillets
Sean: Eight


What's the sexiest Christmas food?
BA: Sausage Balls (what? I'm a Texan)
Julia: Spiced Nuts
Sean: Candy Cane (but you have to suck it)


What color is Christmas Elf come?
BA: Sparkly
Julia: Rainbow Colored
Sean: Sparky Rainbow Colored


Jack Frost nipping at your.... How should Santa punish his ass?
BA: What?
Julia  Strap hi naked to the sleigh
Sean: spanking! icy spankings!


Got a topic you'd like us to tackle? Let us know!

You can find us on Twitter at @seanmichael09, @juliatalbot and @batortuga.

Sean’s website is http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com
Julia’s is http://www.juliatalbot.com
BA’s is http://www.batortuga.com

Facebook:
Sean -- https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites
Julia -- https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor
BA -- https://www.facebook.com/batortuga


Sean
smut fixes everything
where the naughty boys come... and play



Monday, December 7, 2015

Sufganiyot Pictures by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday! Last night was the first night of Hanukkah and I had a great time spending it with friends. I also had fun making sufganiyot for the first time. I can't share the flavor with you online, but I took lots of pictures.



For those of you who haven't had sufganiyot, they're a yeast doughnut sprinkled with powdered sugar and filled with jelly (or with Nutella these days, but I haven't tried that yet). My dad makes them every year and his are amazing. This year, I've made it my mission to learn how. I'm getting a hands-on less from my dad later this week, but before that, I wanted to test out a recipe I found online.




I stuck to the recipe completely except that I put the ingredients in the bread machine, had it knead the dough, and left it in the machine to rise. I also had a faulty thermometer so I had to eyeball the oil temperature (stress!). 

I'm happy with how the sufganiot  flavor and texture turned out. These are probably a third of the size of my dad's and I think I like that size better, but we'll see if I still feel that way after I have my dad's version in a few days. 

Before that happens, I might do a test run of another recipe I found. First though, I need to make a trip to the store to buy a working thermometer. And some Nutella.

Have a great week.

CC
www.cardenoc.com 










Saturday, December 5, 2015

The sad goodbye by Renae Kaye


Today I said goodbye to a furbaby.  Tears are still rolling down my face as I say that.

She was a good cat.  She was loving, affectionate, and never hurt anyone.  She would greet visitors and ask for pats, and she would follow the kids around outside while they were playing, on the off-chance they would pat her too.

I had 12 years with her.  She came to me as a dumped cat, probably because she was in heat and having already had a litter of kittens previously.  I took her in, half-starved and so needy, and she gifted me with three kittens.  Then another five before I could get her sterilised (hey – I thought I had another two months until spring!)  She was a loving, caring, brilliant mother, and once sterilised, she looked at me and said, “I’m done.  I’m going to lay on this bed for the rest of my life and that’s it.”

And that was what she did.  She’d been through a lot, and she deserved it.

After nearly starving to death, she decided to eat until she popped, so I had to put her on a strict diet.  She never blamed me.

She wasn’t lonely.  Two of her sons kept her company, and after teaching them to hunt mice when they were little, they always had to bring her their presents.  I frequently found all three of my cats curled up around my legs on my bed, or in a ball together when the weather was cold.

Did she enrich my life?  Undoubtedly.  Will I miss her?  Absolutely.  For the first time in 12 years I will only have two cats to feed tonight.  [Still crying here].

But it’s those sorts of emotions that make us better writers.  The decisions we make in life.  The loss we suffer.  The experiences we have.

As an author, I find I shelve many observations for the “one day I need it.”  I enjoy talking to people about their lives, because I can take their experiences and put them in a character.  I watch a lot and see different things.  I feel many things, and remember so that they are there when I need it.  For when a character needs it.

Many authors get very attached to their books.  I’ve heard of authors who refuse to change a single word during editing.  I’ve heard of authors who get upset with less than 5 stars.  Why are we so attached?  In part, it’s because it's our creation, but also because there is a piece of us in every book.  By critiquing the book, you could (in the author’s mind) be doubting their experience.

I recently caught a one star review on one of my books.  I wanted to torture myself and find out why the person gave me one star, so I read it.  (Not recommended, but I’m a rebel).  They started off by saying that they didn’t know why they decided to try to read another book by me, because they hated the first, and then went on to say that they didn’t think that I was Australian because my characters don’t speak like any Australian they’ve ever met.  Immediately I could see the problem.  This person was reviewing my book The Shearing Gun.  My character tends to speak “ocker” as we call it here – a type of bush lingo that perhaps you don’t find in the city.  I was fortunate enough to be able to shrug off the one star review, but I can see where other authors wouldn’t.  The ocker the characters were speaking is pretty much the way they do in country Western Australia.  The reviewer however was not from WA and probably (I’m guessing) lived in the city.  Their experience is different from my experience.

Does that make the reviewer wrong?  No.  If they didn’t like the story, they didn’t like the story.  It perhaps makes them a little less open minded than others if they couldn’t accept that bit, but not wrong. 

Assuming that their experience is the only way could be hurtful to the author, especially if it is something close to their heart.  At one extreme I’m thinking about stories such as those dealing with the loss of a parent, child or partner.  At the other extreme I’m thinking about sexual relationships.  How many reviews have I caught where someone says, “That’s not how gay men have sex.”  I guess that unless it’s anatomically impossible, then that reviewer has been present at every single coupling of gay men?  How one has sex is very intimate.  One person’s experience is intimate too, and we shouldn’t doubt the validity of the sex on page.  Perhaps that is the author’s experience?

Loss is also such a personal thing.  How someone deals with the loss is personal too.  My father died after a long illness, and seeing how differently we all reacted to the loss was eye-opening.  One sister visits his grave every birthday, anniversary, Christmas, and special occasion.   Another sister hasn’t been able to visit his grave at all, despite it being 3 years now.  We deal in different ways.

As a teen, I learned a lot through reading of books.  How to grieve was one of them.  Preparing yourself for the time when you needed it was something that was golden.

So, perhaps in one of my books, one day, we will go through the grief and the agony of losing a parent.  I will open that storage box in my author’s mind and let it all out.  There will be tears from me while I write.  It will rip my heart out.  But I do it for two reasons.  One, for the reader to experience.  Entertainment (despite the sad theme) and experience is what the reader wants.  They don’t want a bland story.  And two, it helps me.  Explaining the grief helps me heal, and knowing that it may somewhere, help someone with theirs, is a wonderful feeling.

So I’d better wrap up this blog before the funeral we’re about to perform.  I’m sad, and will probably burst into tears [like right now] at odd times over the next week/month/year, but I will never forget the cat that gifted me by choosing me as her new owner.  She could’ve chosen another house, another person, another life, but she chose me.

I’ll see you heaven, baby.

How to contact Renae:
Twitter:  @renaekkaye