Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Love That Dare Not Wear a Shirt

Today's entry is x-posted at

Okay, so I never watch TV. I mean really never. I hardly have the time to write books. Or read them. But my author buddy Nyrae Dawn got me hooked on the latest incarnation of Spartacus, and the hot warrior couple, Agron and Nasir. If you haven't gotten to watch, Seasons 1 and 2 can be purchased from Amazon. (So's you know, Agron and Nasir's relationship doesn't start to develop until season 2). Season 3 will be out in a month-ish.

If you'd like a teaser, there a roughly twenty-bajillion fan videos up on youtube. This is one of my faves (NSFW, and mild spoilers ahead):

And while we're here I'd like to give a huge congratulatory shoutout to Nyrae, who just sold what I'm pretty sure is one of the first (if not THE first) New Adult gay romance novels to be released by a big-six publisher. Make Me Whole will be out next year with Grand Central Press. I'm super psyched for her. Please do add it to your TBR.

 Happy Sunday, Love, Ellis

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cause to Celebrate

In honor of the groundbreaking Supreme Court ruling this week our Feel Good Friday feature was written by someone very familiar....Cardeno C.  Cardeno C.  hasn't always wanted to be an author. She began writing because she felt that there were so many movies, shows, and books where the gay characters were deeply hurt or killed or otherwise made to be miserable. Cardeno C. remarks:  "I wanted to write something else, something happy, something where the characters were loved, strong, and positive and able to find happiness in their lives. That’s my inspiration. One of my writing goals is to make people feel uplifted, hopeful, warm, and happy. I’d love for readers to walk away from all of my books with a combination of those feelings." Those goals lead to the writing and eventual completion of Marriage.

Cardeno C. sent the Marriage minianthology to Dreamspinner Press in early March. However, if DOMA was upheld entirely she wouldn't have released the title. Cardeno  C. felt strongly that the title was about celebrating and that there needed to be something to celebrate.  Likewise she was compelled to adhere to the minianthology format to show how this decision impacted a variety of beloved characters from the Home series. Their varied reactions further the stories, but also give loyal readers a glimpse at what life has been like since their favorite character last appeared in text.

Cardeno C. is a self professed hopeless romantic that is very passionate about her writing and volunteer work. Cardeno C. volunteers with numerous gay rights organizations and wants to provide uplifting tales of hope and love for individuals of all sexual preference. We, here at Rainbow eBooks, want to ask all of our readers to celebrate their marriages this weekend. Spend a little extra time with your love, cuddle a little more, grab a sunrise coffee together - read this inspiring title. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

I'm Baaaack! T.C. Blue returns!

Hello, hello, and sorry for being MIA the last couple weeks! Last Thursday I was sick as a dog and the one before I was in the midst of a roadtrip to Pittsburgh (which is where I picked up whatever nasty plague is still lingering in my system). I'm back and almost well now, so that's good, right?

The last couple weeks have been tense for many, considering the question of how the SCOTUS would decide with regards to Prop 8, but I'm not going to talk about their decision, or not today. Loads of people have said everything already, and far more skillfully than I ever could. I'll just say the decision was a step in the right direction but we have so much further to go.

Paula Deen has been in the news recently, too. In fact, she's been dropped by Food Network, as well as pretty much every business with which she had distribution and promotional deals. Because she may have used the N word a few times in the past. (I've been reading the transcript of her testimony in the case that's led to all this craziness -- all 149 pages -- and have yet to see anything that I wouldn't also be considered guilty of. And MAYBE her brother discriminated against and acted like a racist to the woman suing, but Paula is NOT her brother. Sure, she probably shouldn't have ever used the N word casually, but the fact is that people do stupid things all the time. And maybe I'm wrong, but according to court documents, the business for which the plaintiff worked isn't one Ms. Deen was actually involved in running.)

Honestly, I think Food Network and the other businesses that have backed out of deals with her may have jumped the gun a bit. Whether she's as guilty as public opinion paints her has yet to be determined. They really should have waited until the court case is resolved before jumping on the bad-naughty-racist-must-be-punished train.

I'm not saying that I SUPPORT using racist language, so please don't think that. What I'm saying is that we've become far too dainty and quick to offend... and people are crass. We're crass, rude and classless, especially when with our friends. I've said things jokingly to my friends that I would NEVER say in public and to a stranger.

This situation is akin to someone being accused of homophobic bigotry in the workplace, then punishing that person's brother because he once called someone the-F-word-for-gay, years ago. Sorry, that's just my opinion and I hope I haven't offended anyone by having one. :P

In other news, being sick for the last week has led to me catching up on all sorts of TV shows and movies online, so I think next week might be a good time for Tis' Half-Assed Movie Reviews! We'll see.

Until next time, be good! To yourselves and to each other. :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Marriage by Cardeno C.

It was hard to sleep last night knowing that today the US Supreme Court would be issuing the long-awaited marriage decisions. There are and will continue to be many articles dissecting the opinions and telling us what they mean. One thing we know already is that steps forward were taken today and that's a wonderful thing. 

To celebrate, I wrote a mini-anthology with brief updates about the characters from my Home series. If you want to read about how they react to the ruling, you can get the free book here.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Chai Cake Recipe by Cardeno C.

I bought a bunch of chai tea powder mix and decided to play with a cake recipe utilizing it. I think I've got something pretty delicious worked out. Here it is:


1 cup chai tea powder
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. Cream butter. Add eggs. Beat Well.
  3. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with yogurt. Stir  in vanilla.
  4. Pour batter into a greased/floured bundt pan. 
  5. Optional: Put together a nut mixture (brown sugar, cinnamon, walnuts) or buy a nut mixture at the grocery store meant for salads. Pour only half of batter into pan. Cover with most of nut mixture. Pour remaining batter on top. Cover with remaining nut mixture.
  6. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 
  8. Flip onto a plate and eat warm. (Optional: sprinkle powdered sugar.)
  9. Say mmmmm. ;)


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Ellis Carrington and Damon Suede Swag Giveaway from I Smell Sheep

Sharon over at the paranormal / UF blog I Smell Sheep does some awesome giveaways. If you're not following her, you should be. This week she's offering up a bundle of Ellis Carrington and Damon Suede swag, including THREE free ebooks! One of those ebooks is an original copy of my erotic short story, Yes, Sir. As I mentioned on the blog last week, Yes, Sir is in the middle of being re-edited and it's getting new cover art so that I can put it up for sale on Amazon. As far as I know this is the last available copy of that original version.

Many thanks to Sharon and I Smell Sheep for offering the giveaway! Go here to enter.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

What Do the Cards Hold?

Author Clare London is an accountant by day and fiction writer by passion. She seems to resonate with the main character in Chase the Ace because she too seeks a little adventure. She writes books in many different genres and settings because she likes a little variety in life. Most of her titles are male-on-male romance novels, but as long as it is good fiction, she is happy to write it. 

Chase the Ace is the story of a young Daniel Cross who has settled into a routine and is bored with his job. Discovering social media appears to be the remedy for his daily doldrums so he begins tracking down some childhood mates from the Scorching Summer Sports Club of 1990. He lost touch with his “Gang of Four” after that summer, but now he launches a personal quest to find out what kind of man each boy has become. Along the way he meets a new friend, Nick, who develops into more than a buddy. When the “Gang of Four” finally reunites Dan's emotions range from heartened to disturbed. Nick’s company is a constant support though neither of them are prepared for the exposure of personal secrets they’d thought were long-hidden. Dan begins to suspect that he’s really looking for a direction in his own life—and the excitement and purpose he craves may be closer to home than a quest with its roots in a boyhood dream.

Clare London fashioned the character of Daniel Cross off her grown son's twenty-year-old buddies. "They're still having fun with life, but starting to think about growing up," reflects Clare. The title Chase the Ace also has special meaning for the author because it brings back happy memories of her childhood playing this game with her family.

If you are looking for an uplifting title to kick off your weekend this would be a fantastic selection. As always use the link below for a special discount!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cover reveal: Coming Soon (again) Yes, Sir

I wrote Yes, Sir about three years ago, before the first GayRomLit retreat. I burned twenty copies to CD and gave them out in goody bags to some of the readers who attended. Later on, a few readers requested copies so I offered them on the GayRomLit email loop, and eventually somehow the story got listed on Goodreads as part of my body of work even though I'd never published it officially. For awhile the PDF was available for free on my web site and Goodreads, but I've since taken in down because I wasn't happy with the cover art (which I did myself--ew) or the fact that the only editing it had gotten was the review of my critique partner and beta readers. While my beta readers are great, I don't think there's ever a substitute for a professional editor.

So I've taken the story down temporarily. It's being re-edited as we speak, because I want what I put out in public to be the best it can be. Meanwhile...

Here's the new cover art, done by Pickyme.

About Yes, Sir
A New Orleans vacation takes an interesting turn when Grayson Harper lets a friend drag him along to see a voodoo priestess for a love spell. Suddenly he's having very vivid dreams about a mystery man that seem all too real, and doing things in them he never thought possible. But what will become of the man of his dreams once he leaves the magic of the French quarter?

Watch this space.
Love, Ellis

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Blackout by Joey Jameson

This week slip into the sexy tale of Dice Valentine. Dice Valentine is a stripper. With the hot body and dance moves that leave his male clients begging for more. Just as Dice starts to want out of this dark world of hedonism and indulgence a night of passion with a mysterious love takes a dark turn. Dice suddenly finds himself trying to clear his name. 

“Blackout” is a tale of sex and betrayal that raises doubts about what exactly is the truth. Author Joey Jameson says: "Dice Valentine was based on pure fantasy. There’s no one quite like Dice. He’s sexy, confident, edgy, playful, sexy! Yet even if you don’t go for his particular type, he’s written with a little something for everyone. Hopefully some will be turned on by his vulnerability, or maybe his carefree attitudes or even his hedonistic drive. And of course he’s got a killer body, so that should say something."

Joey Jameson describes himself as a "huge beach bum, animal activist, house music junky, yoga enthusiast, vegan, hippy, clothes whore, shopaholic, wine obsessed, avid reader, ibiza veteran, tattooed, colourful, and happy." This UK resident has always wanted to be a writer. He applied to Journalism School when he graduated High School, but sadly never got in. After spending a few year teaching he returned to his original passion, writing.

Rainbow ebooks is hosting a chat with author Joey Jameson tonight! Login and find out why Joey idolizes Jenna Jameson and Drew Barrymore. Details are below.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Because.... Puppies

I'm having one of those weeks. You know the ones? Everyone in my household has systematically passed the baton of a dreaded stomach bug that my youngest kid brought home from preschool, and for the last several days I was pretty damn proud just to make it out of bed. The big stuff like writing, paying bills, and being a functioning adult? Not so much. If I still maintained possession of the magic 8-ball one of my exes stole, I'm pretty sure it would have told me that the outlook for actual productivity this week was very grim. So today I bring you videos of cute puppies and kittens.

Because... puppies and kittens.

Nothing lifts the spirit like cute fuzzy animals, dammit.

 Now go forth and be happy. I dare you.

Happy Sunday.
Love, Ellis

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ruth Sims, a Petunia in the Onion Patch

Song on the Sand is the story of Tony Dalby who is confined to a nursing home, with his days as a dancer a thing of the past. One day life brings a welcome distraction, Drew, who is a bit of mystery. Tony Dalby wonders why Drew constantly visits the wheelchair-bound, comatose Jesse. As secrets are revealed, Dalby finds he may have a renewed purpose for living after all.

Ruth Sims describes herself as "a petunia in the onion patch," a liberal surrounded by conservatives in her small Midwest town. Ruth's inspiration for this title was firstly, "the play “La Cage aux Folles” and its lovely music and a most interesting man she met at a performance, who became a good friend—and the inspiration for Tony. "He was a lot younger than Tony but just as outrageous in his own sweet way. I was so enthralled by the play I ended up going back for every performance at the little college town theater, and each time I saw this tall bearded man he was wearing a flaming pink feather boa. But the story would never have been written without the emotion I felt when I saw the play and heard the music, especially the title song. I guess there was actually a third inspiration: the fact that I had reached my seventies and had become sharply aware of how different life is, how different things look, and how differently people react to you when you’re older. If you haven’t reached that age yet, you will. And you’ll be as bewildered and, yes, angry, as I have been. Katharine Hepburn said in a rare interview that “being old was hell.” It certainly can be!"

Ruth reflects; "We need more stories about older people, not stories about them romping through sexual escapades for laughs and entertainment, but stories about real people struggling with difficult and often lonely, bitter times, sometimes finding humor and often needing courage. Things are different on this side of the fence, but everyone except the unlucky, will get here."

I got a chance to interview this author, and her responses were so delightful and elegantly written I feel compelled to share them in their entirety.

#1. How does an individual from the Midwest evolve into a gay romance novelist?

 I don’t know the answer to that one. My first gay book started out to be a straight Civil War romance but the longer I worked on it (years!), the more it changed. One minor character, a gay actor, took over more and more of the story until he WAS the story and the Civil War had become the 1890’s and the star-crossed lovers were gay men. And the funny thing was, until I wrote the book I had never met a gay person. Well, I had but I didn’t know it for years. How it all came to be is “a whole ‘nother story.” By the time I got to “Song on the Sand” I knew what I was doing.

#2. If your readers walk away with one thought or feeling after reading this title what do you hope it would be?

There are many different kinds of love, but they have one thing in common: when love is real, when it goes to the bone, it will last beyond death.

#3. What are your hobbies? Who is Ruth Sims outside of the writing realm?

I’m timid and very crowd-shy; more than six people constitute a crowd. I reckon I’m just your basic wallflower personality. I’m someone who enjoys live amateur theater (no professional theater around here) and who enjoys reading plays but would I never have the guts to get on a stage and perform. I love to talk one-on-one, and can gab for hours with one other person, even people I don’t know. I’m not too smart, with no head for math or science, finding only words to be easy. I have no degrees. I live an Emily Dickenson kind of life with no adventure. Most folks would find my life boring, but it’s the life I love with the people I love. I’m afraid of dogs, and have a sixteen-year-old cat who rules. I’m an Old Movie buff, especially the classic silents seen on TCM. The most important people in my life are my husband of more than half a century (a conservative!), my two children, my three grandchildren, and my friends. That’s it. Not exciting—but it’s my life and I’m sticking to it.

#4. What is one fact or quirky thing about you that most people don't know?

If I could turn all firearms and bombs into Twinkies, I would. My fantasy is for Ted Nugent to reach for a gun and find a Twinky. I’d love to see the “cold dead hands” picture of Charlton Heston holding a gigantic Twinky over his head instead of a gun.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Today I Am Most Honored to Announce....

Today I am most honored to announce that my second novel, The Boy Who Came In From the Cold, is six days as Number One on Amazon's Gay and Lesbian Top 100. I am humbled and most pleased. Thank you all for supporting me. I know nothing but gratitude.

And, Damn, am I in good company. I would never have imagined that I could be sitting here with two of my very favorite authors, Cardeno C. and Mary Calmes.

It doesn't seem possible.

Fairy tales and dreams really DO come true.

And this just in!  I take over the DSP Blog, this Sunday from 3:00pm until 5:00pm, EDT.
With love

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Again, I'm cursed. LOL (Another T.C. Blue conversational situation)

Okay, so many of you have probably read some of my posts about various chats I've had with people and been all "WTF? No way that could happen!"

Well, sadly, you're wrong. Sorry, but there it is.

See, I have no filter. I think it, I say it. And okay, that doesn't always work out badly for me, but it does occasionally lead to large numbers of people giving me the stink-eye.

I'm guessing that this is not a shock to those of you who know me. Heh-heh.

So the other night, after a rather intense day with my Mum (this phrase will likely preface every post I ever make in which I say stupid shit out loud. Just saying, it might be a repeated thing), I swung by my local restaurant/bar. Now, I've been there many a time before. The bartender, Evan, knows me well enough that when I call him Special Ed-van, he doesn't get offended. (And yes, I do know that's entirely NOT PC, but deal. We're buds. We say mean shit to each other. It's a human thing.)

So Evan and I are having a chat while some local music group is playing a set that's not exactly acoustic but not far from it. This  local group apparently has a fair number of fans because the bar is crowded but so busy paying attention to the musicians that Evan actually has some spare time.

So he's telling me about a porn flick he saw a couple nights before and he actually looks a little bit worried when he finishes. I guess because -- even after knowing each other for FIVE YEARS he still think I'm going to judge him, which I would never do. Everyone has their own kinks and fuck if I'm going to be the chick who tells anyone else that theirs is wrong. As I've said more than once, here on this blog... whatever two or more consenting adults do together is none of my business. As long as no one gets hurt in ways they don't want to, I could give a fuck.

So, me being me, I respond to Evan's commentary with "Well, no shit. Who DOESN'T like a good choke-fuck?"

Of course, I say this just as the band finishes their song, so my voice carries out over the silence between the end of the music and the applause. *sighs*

Pretty sure I can never go back to that bar again, damn it.

And just for the record, I'm filing this under "Only Me!" Hahaha!

So anyone else have stories like this? If so, I'd love to hear them! *grins*


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Suday Flash Fiction: A Desperate Hope

Rather than using my standard writing prompt thingie at DIY MFA, this week's flash fiction piece comes courtesy of Chuck Wendig's flash fiction challenge. I really dig Chuck's blog, as an author, as a mom, and as an occasional lover of creepy horror stuff.  You should check it out. The man says he doesn't read romance, but we all have our forgivable flaws. Anyway, "we" were given 10 words and had to pick 3. was nice enough to pick THREE IN A ROW for me: epidemic, tongue, and mint. Umm... Thanks And there's a soupcon of  romance, cuz sorry, Chuck, there had to be romance.

Happy reading, Love Ellis 

Farzan cut down a narrow alley and ran, burning everywhere. Praying silently, he strained to hear over the sounds of his own footsteps. His own breathing.

They'd be coming for him.

He tripped over a discarded length of pipe and went down on one knee, breathing hard. He pulled deep, desperate gasps of what smelled and tasted like untainted air. No smoke, no disease.

Nothing met his ears but the sounds of chirping birds, who went about their day blissfully unaware of the human running from death on the streets below. Until a door slammed open in the stone wall beside him and pale hands covered his mouth and eyes.

Stupid. How did he not hear someone coming?

With a furious pulse Farzan fought and clawed, slamming his head back against the man's face. He kicked, bit at fingers, but the arms that held him were long. Muscular. The tall body against him, in fact, fit against his in a way that was strikingly familiar.

Lips against his ear, as the door closed behind them. "I'm going to let go. Quiet, okay?" Minty breath wafted past Farzan's cheek on a whisper.

Farzan knew that voice. Hands released and he spun to grab his old lover. "I thought you were dead." He let his head linger against Jamie's shoulder longer than he should have

J's hand came to the back of his neck. "It was better," he said. "When the epidemic spread across Southeast Asia, Professor Langstrom and I were automatically marked for removal since were on the original research team." Jamie huffed into Farzan's hair. "I didn't want you marked by association."

Farzan stepped back, squinting at Jamie in the dim light. The young geneticist's blond curls had gotten long and shaggy, his blue eyes dim from the raging war this plague had created. No less breathtaking, especially as his tongue slipped out to catch a drop of blood from his lower lip. "Well I'm marked now. I went up over Gunapana to try and find food. When I came home Ama and Yadamini were dead."

"You're sure of what killed them?"
Farzan nodded. "Mottled skin. Bugling tongues and eyes. Bleeding. It was painful to even look." The disease known as the New Asian Plague, killed swiftly. Even now Farzan wanted to vomit over the knowledge that he'd left them to die alone.

"Did you touch them?"

Farzan shook his head, queasy all over again.

Voices out in the alley. "Good," Jamie whispered. He grabbed Farzan's hand. "Come on."

They headed for the stairs in the empty house, heading up. At the bottom, Farzan hesitated. "What if I have the disease? I don't want to infect you. There's a reason they burn the entire household after one person dies."

Jamie pulled his arm. "Just come on. This isn't the time for talk."

A loud thump sounded on the door Jamie had pulled Farzan though. Farzan turned and followed Jamie up the stairs.

The upper level of the house was just as empty. A few abandoned items as if the house had been cleared out fast. When things had progressed so quickly, from illness to outbreak to epidemic, many fled. To country homes, to mountain retreats. Farzan wondered how many survived.

If any survived.

"In here," J said, pulling Farzan into the back of a dark closet. They'd reached the farthest bedroom on the upper level, behind a row of long-forgotten girl's dresses. "Okay." Jamie took a deep breath, pulling Farzan close and putting both arms around him. Tightly. Too tightly. "This is the part where you have to trust me."

The floor disappeared from beneath them. Farzan fought against a scream. Heights--falling, was one of his greatest fears. He gripped Jamie for all he was worth. No, burning alive would be worse.

They thumped down on a lumpy mattress only seconds later. Jamie was patting him all over. "You okay?"

"Sure." His pulse was making time like a hamster on meth and he was pretty sure he'd twisted his ankle, but he'd survive. "Where are we?"

"Buncha condemned houses behind that alley you were in. Marked to be torn down but never were. When we first got here the professor shored up a living area and built a passageway." Once again, Jamie reached for Farzan's hand. "This way."

Wait. Farzan looked around. His breath grew shallow as they stepped from the crumbling corridor into a sunny courtyard with growing green things. Coconut trees. Off to the side in a many large buckets, pots and pots of mint plants. "You said when you first got here?"

Jamie bit his lower lip. "Langstrom's a smart guy. He knew from the beginning this thing was gonna spread too fast to contain. Cause a panic. We planned."

In the heat of the midday sun, Farzan went cold. "Panic like burning houses."

Jamie nodded. "Takes contact during the symptomatic period. I'd bet thousands have died who were never ill." He stepped forward, pale hand against Farzan's dark cheek. He studied Farzan carefully, running his fingers over one arm and then the other. "Stick out your tongue."

Farzan complied, and Jamie smiled.

"No symptoms. Tongue looks great."

Farzan pulled it back in his mouth.

"That food run saved you." Jamie handed over a mint leaf from one of the plants. "Chew. It's strong, but the mint protects against the disease. Have it daily. Sometimes we brew it as a tea."


J pointed. "Langstrom's in the house over there. He likes to nap during the day." He pointed again, across the courtyard. "I'm in that one." We grow our own food. We have chickens. Enough to ride it out until the plague passes." He smiled then, at Farzan. "I would really like you to stay. With me."

Farzan breathed deeply, taking in Jamie's broad smile.

"Or." Jamie swallowed. "We could make you a place to sleep in one of the other--"

"Yes. I would really like to stay." Farzan slipped one arm around J, bumping their foreheads together. "With you."