Monday, October 28, 2013

October by Cardeno C.

Happy Monday! It's the end of the month so it's time for my monthly writing recap blog post. Before I get to it though, I want to go off topic for a second to say that I love Fall. The weather has been gorgeous and it's wonderful to be able to enjoy outdoor stuff, including walks with my puppy (who, by the way, prefers being carried). Okay, on with the writing recap!

  • I did the galley proof for More Than Anything (release date is November 4th so my stomach officially hurts).

  • I finished writing my novel with Mary Calmes (*obligatory swoon over Ms. Mary*) and submitted it. I'll let you know when we hear back on the submission. Fingers crossed.

  • I did the galley proof for In Another Life, my short novella being released December 1st. 

  • And I have the final cover for In Another Life. 

  • I've been hard at work on my next novel. This one is a standalone about a rock star and his pretend boyfriend who turns out not to be so pretend after all.

Have a terrific week and a fun Halloween.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Flash Fiction Sunday - On the Run

Haven't done Flash Fiction Sunday in awhile. Felt like time to bring it back. I hope you enjoy. Happy Sunday, Love, Ellis

Mac Abernathy rolled over, groaning at the light stabbing through his lids. Aches assaulted his hips and back, his head throbbed in time to the curious pound of his pulse.

His first inclination was to go back to sleep until the pain left him alone, but a tentative exploration of the surface on which he slept turned up more confusion. Was that...dirt?


His fingers met flannel over warm, hard muscle. The expanse of hard chest rose and fell under his palm and then the night before came rushing back.

Shots after the bar closed. Sweaty skin on skin after that, out in the alley, against Mac's car.

With Joe.


The body under Mac's hand rolled and shifted. A groaning noise vibrated against his arm. Mac forced his eyes open in time to see Joe closing the small gap between them, one arm reaching out to pull Mac close.


"Hmm." Joe's eyes stayed closed and he threw one leg over Mac's.

"C'mon buddy, wake the fuck up."

"Buddy?" Joe smacked his lips and opened his eyes. "That’s what you’re calling me after last night?"

Yeah. Hell of a way to start the morning, but they might as well rip off the scab. "Listen, man. It's been a long time. Last night was fun but I don't think hooking up again years after one keg party fuck session means we're supposed to go steady." The words scalded Mac's tongue as they left his mouth. 

Joe opened his eyes then and their arctic chill hit Mac full-blast. His old friend pushed away from the dirt floor and stretched, walking to the side door. Joe pushed the door open to reveal trees to one side and a field of cows—cows?—and braced his hands in the doorway for a stretch. Sunlight glinted on a silvery band around his finger. “I suppose you’re right,” he tossed back over his shoulder. 

"Jesus," Mac said. "You're married?" He struggled to sit up, stand up, even though his head screamed in severe protest. He looked around the unfamiliar building and the landscape beyond. Nothing in the barn-like structure except some crates and pallets. "And where the fuck are we?"

Joe laughed. "Yeah, I'm married." He ambled back over to where Mac stood with his hands in his pockets, and Mac followed the hug of Joe's jeans on his body in spite of himself. "So are you." Joe gave what seemed to be a pointed glance at Mac's hand, and he pulled his mitts from his pocket.

Sweat broke out on the back of Mac's neck. "You're fucking kidding me." Mac’s lucky black gold zodiac band had been moved to his ring finger and jammed on tight.

Joe's blue-eyed stare, his breath, his heat, pressed into Mac's comfort zone. "You really don't remember last night, do you?"

Mac's ticker tried to make a panicked suicide leap out of his chest. "We didn't get married." That wasn't possible. He closed his eyes and fought through the haze in his brain. "You didn't show up until almost closing."

"No." Joe gave a wry half-grin. "You agreed to pretend for me." His brought his hands to either side of Mac's face. "You saved my fucking life. You have no idea."

"Pretend." Mac did remember. Doing shots of vodka with some tall British guy after last call, keeping an iron grip around Joe's shoulders until the man agreed to leave. "That dude who followed you into the bar. I said you were mine so he'd leave you alone." He squinted at Joe, and almost didn't realize he'd hooked his finger in the loop of Joe's pants. "Why did you come to me?"

Joe shrugged. "I needed a ride and a quick cover story. I thought you'd help. I'm sorry for springing that shit on you like I did I just—I was back in town for the first time in years and your old neighbor told me where you worked. That night, you know? The party? You never forget your first. Meant something to me, even if it didn't to you. You felt like someone I could trust. I never forgot." He took a step back and licked his lips. "I guess I just hoped you'd be able to help out. And you did. Thanks." He pulled keys from his pocket. "You can head home now. I'll be fine."

"Wait. What are we doing out in this fucking cow field?" And why didn't he want to leave? He'd been the one to jump on the whole "it's been real and it's been fun" business, and now that Joe was saying they could go their separate ways that didn't sit right. He coughed. "And what was with that guy?"

The more the clouds cleared in his memory, the more clearly Mac could see an image in his head of Joe walking into Cebu's the night before with the look of a man who had something real to fear bearing down on him. The guy who'd come in right after, burning with possession and disingenuous charm? Dressed all wrong for Smythe’s little townie bar, that guy had reeked of money and power, and a little too much psychopath for Mac’s comfort. Joe didn't strike Mac as helpless, but Joe had come and asked him to do something.

Didn’t seem right to turn and walk away.

"This land belongs to my family. I needed to retrieve something."

"Get what you came for?"

Joe pulled a small, bronze key from his back and added it to the key ring in his hand. "Good to go." He smiled at Mac. "Thank you for everything. Really."

Mac rubbed his aching skull. "Doesn't seem like I was much help." He'd worked security at Cebu for so long, he'd stopped drinking much. For a big guy, he didn't hold his liquor so well.

Joe turned again. "You were there when it mattered. You made Stephan think I'd moved on, and it was what he needed to see to leave. I hope." He blew out a breath, hardening his jaw and buttoning his flannel the rest of the way. "We should go. You need to get home, and we need to be gone in case Stephan tries to look for me here. The land is in my brother in law's name but you never know."

Mac nodded. He was supposed to show up at work again that night. Logic told him the smartest thing was to return to his life and let Joe handle his own. The man had grown up. Quick-witted and solid, only the wire rim glasses and the blue eyes lingered to remind Mac of the shy freshman kid he'd let fuck him at that jocks and nerds party. Still. "What are your plans from here? Is this guy gonna come after you again?"

"He’s not great with banking but he's gonna be pissed when he notices what I took. But now that I have that key, I can get money and a car. I can get a gun. Hopefully it won't come to that, but I'll be ready if it does."

Mac tensed. "Is the money stolen?" Worry burned his insides. Last thing they needed was cops bearing down on them on top of some psycho.

"No. Yes. Not exactly." Joe rolled his eyes. "Stephan will try to say so. The money is mine. He took it from me. I took it back."

Hell. What a fucked-up situation. Static crackled in Mac's head. Maybe it was the resolute expression on the man's face or just the way the sun kissed his blond hair. Maybe the memory of the man's hot skin sliding over his the night before.... 

One step after another Mac drew closer to Joe and couldn't quite say why. Distance was the thing here, but he couldn't make himself maintain the buffer. "Maybe I could stick around. Go with you. I haven't taken time off work in forever. You could use the company right?"

Joe blinked and met Mac's stare. "You think I need protection." He smiled. "What you did last night was great. I needed someone to drive, and you helped me get away from Stephan without calling attention." A blush flared on his pale cheeks. "I won't say I didn't dig the rest, too. It was...comforting." A dry chuckle. "And hot."

Mac swallowed. "But?"

"But I can take care of myself. You don't need to be my guard dog. As much as I appreciate it."

Mac hooked one arm around Joe's neck. "Maybe I want to stay with you because I want to stay with you." He pulled in for a kiss, quick and hard with a quick meeting of tongues. "Maybe now that I'm sober I'm hungry for you to fuck me again."

A cough. A chuckle. "Mac. I don't know what's going to happen. Where I'll land. When I'll be able to come back."

"Look, the owner of Cebu and I go way back. He'll give me the time. I wanna know you're okay. More than that, I wanna know you better. I want...." He took a deep breath, nearly tasting the damp earth and the lingering hints of Joe's cologne. "I want to really know you. You're not the only one who remembered that party. Cheap beer? Ditching our friends and finding that little room in the basement? It mattered to me, too."

Joe inhaled and looked toward the door. He turned back and Mac met him halfway with a quick kiss. "You're sure?"

"I'm sure."

"Let's go."

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Good Time to Laugh, or Why I Write Funny Stuff in Dark Places by Lou Sylvre

Hi, I’m Lou Sylvre, and I’m celebrating the recent release of  book four in the Vasquez and James suspense/romance series from Dreamspinner Press. I’ve posted a lot of blogs recently, mostly pretty light in nature. In the Vasquez and James books, I write about some nasty, scary, serious stuff.

Villains: kidnappers, rapists, torturers, and in Saving Sonny James, a narcissistic killer who is trying to steal Luki’s beloved husband, Sonny—or else steal Sonny’s life.

Illnesses: in Delsyn’s Blues, Von Willebrand’s—a clotting disorder like hemophilia; in Yes, lung cancer; in Saving Sonny James PTSD and it’s almost ubiquitous concomitant, depression. All of these—the mental no less than the physical—are vicious, deadly things. Yet my characters love. They talk of banal things at dangerous moments. They laugh. I have taken a bit of flak for this. (No really!)

But, to begin, as a writer, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking ahead about what my characters say or why they say it. If Luki teases, it comes out of his nature and the nature of the moment. To be honest, though, perhaps it’s my nature. Linda Ellerbee—a woman who like so many others has suffered life threatening illness and who knows what other terrifying monsters in life, said: “A good time to laugh is anytime you can.”Abraham Lincoln said: With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.”

Yes! These quotes seem to me to strike the nail square on its head. There’s never a wrong time to laugh, and laughter becomes more necessary as pressures grow heavier. But I wasn't sure I could answer the question why. Why does laughing help when you're scared, or angry, or sad? Then I found this quote from Clarence Darrow (of all people): “If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think.” Intense anger, fear, panic, despair, grief—these emotions are necessary, but especially in the extreme they can cripple our ability to solve the problem, to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel, or to get ourselves and our loved ones away to safety.

So, yeah. I tend to have comic relief or at least a lighthearted break in the midst of pain, grief, and even terror. And the ability to laugh is something I admire most about Luki and Sonny and some of the other characters that appear in Vasquez and James. (Okay, I admit it; I admire my characters…) I think probably how it actually works for each and every person is likely unique, as is everything else about us. I want to share a few moments from the lives of the Vasquez-James men, hoping to show you how I think it works for them—a couple of brief passages from earlier books, and then a slightly longer one from Saving Sonny James, just released a week ago.

From book one, Loving Luki Vasquez, this is one of my favorite bits in any of the books. The two men have just had a night of incredible lovemaking, followed by a horrible confrontation, and then it just went quiet. Sonny tells Luki:

 “Just go, Luki. This is my house and I want you out of it.”
Luki whispered, “Sonny.”
“Open the windows on your way out,” Sonny said. This place smells like you.”
“Sonny,” Luki said, and silently he begged. Look at me, please. See me.
But Sonny didn't look at him, just walked out and let the screen door slam behind him. Luki stared after him, numb…
Until he saw Sonny drive past the door and the kitchen window in a teeny Honda Civic that must have been the first one ever made, white paint splotched with rust, two little mirrors mounted near the front of the fenders. The car sat so low that Luki could see inside, how long-legged Sonny had to drive with his knees on either side of the steering wheel, which might explain why he was having such a hard time shifting. The little car putted away with Sonny looking like he would burst its seams, and Luki couldn't help himself.
He laughed. He laughed hard, uncontrollably, from somewhere deep in his gut. He laughed like he never had—at least that he remembered. He laughed like his life depended on it, and maybe it did.
And this one from Delsyn’s Blues. Sonny is trying to cope with his grief over losing his nephew Delsyn, and trying to explain his actions:

“Luki, it was like… it hurt, but the pain was all I had of him to ward the end. Stupid, I know, but I couldn't share it.” He didn't know what else to say, so after a moment’s silence, he added, “But I love you. And will you watch Delsyn’s DVD with me? Want some Rocky Road?”
Luki sent him an almost-smile, nodded. “Sure. But hamburgers first. I’ll make ‘em. You have to have something solid in your stomach before the shortbread.”
“You and your hamburgers,” Sonny said. “And I didn't say anything about shortbread.”
“I need hamburgers to keep my strength up. You've got crumbs in your beard.”
“I don’t have a beard.”
“I know, but if you did, there would be shortbread crumbs in it.”
And here’s the excerpt from the new Dreamspinner Press release, book four of the suspense series, Saving Sonny James. Sonny is here trying to convince Luki to go to Paris with him, but Luki is stuck deep in the hell of PTSD, and he refuses. Sonny uses his own brand of humor, but when Luki can’t make Sonny understand, he makes him laugh.

“WHY not, Luki?” Sonny had sent Harold on his way quickly and come upstairs while Luki was still finishing his shower. Luki, groggy again after standing a long time with hot drops pelting his skin, sat on the stool afterward, and Sonny dried his hair with a fluffy towel. The two of them barely fit in Margie’s tiny, feminine, neat little bathroom at the same time, but that didn't prevent Sonny from attacking Luki’s head with real vigor. At the same time, he was trying to convince Luki to fly to France with him and Harold. “I’ll make sure you get first class, and I’ll have them tow a giant brick of sugar under the plane so the flight attendant can swoop down and pick up a ton of granules whenever you want coffee.” He felt gratified when Luki laughed—never easy to make that happen, and especially not lately.

“I guess I never told you,” Luki said, and then he pulled Sonny down for a kiss. “But since I met you, sometimes I don’t add the sugar.”

“See! I’m good for you. I've convinced you to fix that bad health habit.”

“Not exactly. Besides my sugar is probably not as bad for me as that flavored chemical creamer is for you! No, the reason I forget the sugar is because everything already tastes sweet when I’m with you.” Anyone else would have probably punctuated that with a cheesy grin, Sonny thought, but Luki just bobbed his eyebrows and it had the same effect. Sonny laughed, hard, which finally resulted in a slow smile from his husband. Luki said, “I love that, you know. When you laugh really hard like that? You sound like Woody Woodpecker.”

With a supreme effort Sonny stopped laughing, or at least almost, put his hands on his hips, and said, “I do not!”

“No really, you do babe. If I can figure out how, I’ll record it on my phone so you can hear yourself.”

Luki kept an almost completely straight face, but Sonny could see the gleam of fun—joy, maybe—in his eyes, and it was like clean water and fresh air, reprieve. Perhaps unfortunately, the feeling overwhelmed him. And tears stung his eyes, though none fell, and his lip twitched, and the whole damn good mood was broken. How could he explain that he was falling apart because he felt so good? “I’m sorry….”

Luki stood up and wrapped his big, strong arms around Sonny, and then pulled him tight against his chest, stroking his back, kissing his hair. “No, baby. I’m sorry. For how I've…. What I've become.”

“I love you, Luki—no matter what. And… just now, you were like you are… usually… with me.”

“Yeah,” Luki said. “Today’s a good day. I haven’t had many lately. They've just been getting worse and worse, and yesterday… I was so scared, baby. How can I make you understand? I’d never want to hurt you, and I didn't have any way to control it! Shit, I didn't even know I was doing it.” He shook his head, punished his lip with his teeth, then very quietly added, “I couldn't stay there, sweetie. If it happened again, if I ever hurt you, that would be worse than dying, worse than anything.”

Sonny felt a surge of anger. He growled, “But if you did die, Luki! Like at that fucking place! Like when that man…. That green-eyed guard you can’t seem to stop worrying over was going to fucking shoot you dead! If you’d died then, Luki….” By now Sonny’s rage had turned into sobs, and he just that moment realized how badly the whole situation was fucking with his own head. “I wouldn't have wanted to live, either. Fuck… Luki. You didn't do anything wrong. Can’t you just… I don’t know.” His flame had spluttered out, and now he sat down on the edge of the bathtub feeling defeated.

He half expected Luki to be pissed that he’d spoken to him—yelled at him—like that. Amazingly, Luki’s humor resurfaced instead, and he sat on Sonny’s knee. He whispered into his ear, “And for Christmas, Santa—or sooner, if you can make the extra trip south—I’d like to get my big-boy badass pants back.”
I believe that if we’re going to take characters into dark places, we need to give them the best survival tools, laughter included. (And then, also, it just makes reading (and writing) more fun.)

Thanks to Cardeno C for offering me this guest spot on Café Risque. And thanks to all who stopped into read. There’s the blurb here for Saving Sonny James, and the cover, and here’s the link at the Dreamspinner Store: .


Luki Vasquez and his still newlywed husband are back home after pulling off a harrowing desert rescue of their teenage nephew Jackie. But the events of the last couple of years have begun to catch up with Luki—loving Sonny James and letting Sonny love him back has left gaps in his emotional armor. In the gunfight that secured Jackie’s rescue, Luki’s bullet killed a young guard, an innocent boy in Luki’s mind. In the grip of PTSD, memories, flashbacks, and nightmares consume him, and he falls into deep, almost vegetative depression.

Sonny devotes his days to helping Luki, putting his own career on hold, even passing up a European tour of galleries and schools—an opportunity that might never come again. But when Luki’s parasomnia turns his nightmares into real-world terror, it breaks the gridlock. Sonny realizes what he’s doing isn’t working, and he says yes to Europe. Enter Harold Breslin, a dangerously intelligent artist’s promoter and embezzler whose obsessive desire for Sonny is exceeded only by his narcissism. When Harold’s plan for Sonny turns poisonous, Luki must break free of PTSD and get to France fit and ready in time to save his husband’s life.

Friday, October 25, 2013

GayRomLit 2013 Report

OMGosh!  OMGosh!  OMGosh!  OMGosh!  OMGosh! 

What a wonderful, wonderful event!

From beginning to end it was simply If you weren't there, please attend in the future. You will not regret it!

My first session was on Romantic Comedy with Ethan Day and Zam Maxfield and it was terrific! They are comedic geniuses and I learned a LOT and was thrilled to realize I did a whole lot right with my first novel "All Alone in a Sea of Romance." Next was "Romance and the City: Developing Setting" with Kate McMurray. WOW! Awesome class! AWESOME! Then I took a nap!
So the next class I took was on marketing and it was led by Jay aka Joyfully Jayand Lori Bell. Those are two SMART women! Then "Who Are You? Take Control of Your Author Brand" led by Tara Laing & Ariel Tachna. I learned so much! Thank you ladies! Finally there was the amazing Amy Lane and her talk on "Characters in Five Dimensions." All I could think about was how incredible it must have been to be a student in one of her classes when she was a teacher. I know she changed lives. For the good.


Dinner was at the Melting Pot. I've never been. And to get to go with Ariel,Anne Regan, Nessa Warin and Shannon C. Shell was so nice. And the food! Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!


Then it was off to Club Bliss to see naked dancing boys.  You know I HATED that!
The next day Poppy Dennison let me eat her beaver right before we went to lunch!
A whole bunch of the Dreamspinner Press writers went to a place called the West Egg for lunch today. Lex organised it and it was fun. Sat with Rick R. Reed and Lily Velden and JoAnn Fox and had a wonderful time! New friends!! I had fried green tomato BLT w/ pimento cheese spread, a side of real Southern garlicky grits along with a cocktail called a Pimm's Cup (gin-based with ginger beer, fruit juices, and spices). Just loverly!

Opening ceremonies was very nice. The food was pretty good too, and plentiful as well. Bruschetta, some kind of pork on a stick (very good) and chicken on a stick (quite good), veggies on a stick and more. And next year GayRomLit is in Chicago!

Got to spend some time with the loverly Elisa of Elisa Reviews and the wondrous head of the Rainbow Awards. She looked elegant in her gown!
And then I was off to the event with the hot Charlie Harding hosting!  (don't worry, I got permission from my husband for the kiss!)
The next day was full with panels and author talks and readings. Great fun. Then that night was the big dress up night with the Dreamspiner Press hosted Once Enchanted Evening. Incredible!!!
This is the Dreamspinner crew, Shannon C. Shell, Andrew Grey, Nessa Warin, Ariel Tachna, Anne Regan and me! 

Here I am with my good friend Rick R Reed!  (the R stands for Romance!)


And I didn't even mention that paint-the-porn-star event hosted by JP Barnaby or the amazing dinner earlier in the evening.

The next night included Mary Macs, a place with authentic Southern cooking!  WOW! I had chicken fried chicken, tomato pie, collard greens, mashed potatoes, and peace cobbler! OMGosh!

And there is so much I am not even telling you about!

One of the most powerful things was meeting the readers and finding out how our stories and words effect people. It is incredibly moving and gratifying and humbling as well.

Needless to say I will be going to GRL for years to come!


Me and JP Barnaby
Guess who this is?  It is Heidi Cullinan!

My good friend Mary Calmes with her very handsome husband!
Zahra Owens!  I just love her!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


... just from reading this post :

God only knows how I'll react when I actually see the film. (Chances are, it won't be pretty. I'll likely become a red-eyed, blubbering snot-monster. Just saying.)

Bridegroom premieres on the OWN network, October 27 (this coming Sunday), and will be available soon via Netflix, iTunes, and Amazon.

Uggh. I'm all weepy. Next week, I'll have something for you guys about GRL, but I really wanted to pass the link above on before the premiere.

See you soon!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Standalone Books in a Non-sequential Series by Cardeno C.

Happy Monday, y'all! A bit ago I asked for reader questions that I could answer in a blog post (please keep 'em coming) and today I'm going to answer a couple. These questions were about my series. I tend to write standalone books in series, meaning each book is independent with its own main characters, but the books are connected in some way. 

The Home Series is about characters who know each other due to familial relationships or friendships. Most of them live in the fictional town of Emile City. My goal for that series is for the readers to feel like they know all the characters, like they're at brunch listening to their friends chat around the table. The men in that series are friends; they've know each other for years and their friendships have blossomed throughout the series.

The Family Series is another contemporary series but, unlike the Home series where the characters are connected through friendship and location, the Family books are connected through a writing goal. Specifically, in the Family series I'm hoping to show completely different relationship dynamics and how those dynamics fulfill the people in those relationships. The men in these books aren't necessarily perfect but, I hope, they're perfect for each other. From book to book, I hope to show how different people have different needs and how those needs can be met by a person who compliments them. Oh, and there's also a little blood-family thing going on.

The Mates Series is a paranormal series. There is a world created in this series and that world is consistent across books, but, once again, each book focuses on different main characters. Although the world in the series stretches across the books, the focus of each book is predominantly the relationship of the main characters so, once again, they can be read independently and in any order. 

I often get asked which book in a series a reader should read first and I always answer the same way: whichever one seems most interesting to you. I truly write the books to be read in any order and they are not published in chronological order. 

A reader asked me how this came about and the only answer I can give is that I don't think chronologically. To me, it's interesting to weave the books and characters together in pieces and have them all come together organically rather than taking the steps one at a time. I know when I start a series what my goals are for the series, many of the characters, and how they'll connect. Because order isn't relevant (for the most part), I feel like I have the freedom to write the books in the order that makes sense to me and also depending on which characters are screaming the loudest in my head.

I hope that makes sense and that it answered the questions. Please feel free to ask me anything else you think might make a good blog post. I'm always grateful for the help. Have a terrific week.


Monday, October 14, 2013

More Than Everything Preorder by Cardeno C.

My new book is now available for preorder so I thought I’d share links and write a little bit about it. 

More Than Everything is a little different from my other books because it has three main characters. Other than that, you can expect a book that has the same underlying tone as my others. It is written in alternating first person with all three characters having a chance to tell a portion of the story. It has a childhood friends to lovers trope (it’s my favorite, as you may have noticed). It is about a slow-building relationship and it culminates in a happily ever after. To top it off, there are some sex scenes (probably fewer than my other books), hopefully a couple of laughs, and some awww moments too. 

And with that intro, here are the blurb and links:

As a teenager, Charlie "Chase" Rhodes meets Scott Boone and falls head over heels in love with the popular, athletic boy next door. Charlie thinks he's living the dream when Scott says he feels the same way. But his dreams are dashed when Scott moves unexpectedly and doesn't return.

Years later, Chase meets brash and confident Adan Navarro, who claims all he wants is a round between the sheets. When they're still together after eight months, Chase is convinced Adan returns his love. But then the time comes to be open about their relationship, and Adan walks away instead.

Time heals all wounds, but when Charlie runs into Scott and Adan and realizes the only two men he's ever loved are now in love with each other, his heart breaks all over again. Scott and Adan tell Charlie they want him back, but Charlie doesn't know if he can trust two people who have hurt him so deeply. And even if he can, why would Scott and Adan want Charlie when they already have everything with each other?



I hope you enjoy the book.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

So just a couple of updates:  Today will be the last day for the Government shutdown ebook giveaway (or as Tiffany Reisz so cleverly called it, #smutdown). If you’re a furloughed fed in need of some gay romance to read, shoot me an email before midnight EST with your desired ebook reading format and I will send you some angsty manlove in return. Thanks to everybody who joined in, and I hope we all get our government back in working order ASAP.

Stripped Clean is live today on Amazon and ARe (B&N, Kobo, and iBooks take a little longer but should have it shortly). I love every book I’ve written, but this book is extra special and I really adore these two heroes so I hope you check it out. And I hope you fall in love with them like I have.

About Stripped Clean:
Carlos O'Shea is stuck. He knocked up a girl in college after a night of too much drinking, and then married her to be honorable. With little money, fewer options, and no degree, he winds up cleaning the floors in a small town gentlemen's club and thinking desperate thoughts about the handsome owner that'll lead to nothing but trouble.

Greg Moorehouse only invested in a nudie bar to help his best buddy out of a financial crisis. Now his drug-dealing ex-boyfriend, his reverend father, and a parade of surgically enhanced DDs' are driving him insane. But what's really stripped him of all good sense is his growing obsession with his married employee, Carlos.

They circle each other in a push-pull of misunderstandings and growing attraction. Carlos needs to get his boss out of his head, and Greg can't abide cheaters and married men. So what are a strip-club owner and the guy who cleans for him going to do with their undeniable desires?

Please note: This is an adult gay romance, for mature readers only. Contains explicit love-making between two hot-blooded men, angsty dark moments, and cupcake-baking exotic dancers

Happy Sunday. Love, Ellis

Friday, October 11, 2013

So This Time Next Week I Will be at GayRomLit!

So this time next week I will be at GayRomLit!

And I am counting the minutes. It is going to be amazing.

I am so exited by the authors that are going to be there. Excited by the readers. I'll meet so many new people and hug people I've been getting to know the last three and a half years.

I have been so blessed by this genre.

Male Male Romance.

I waited a long time to be able to write what I know, what I am, what I feel.

It all started with a mummy of all things. And it went from there, story after story after story.

And what an amazing wonderful thing it is to have so many people appreciate what I'm doing.

I don't do it for the applause or the emails or the good reviews or the wonderful sweet emails.

But boy is it nice.

Thank you Elizabeth North for helping me make my dreams come true.

Thank you all for all your support, and belief.

And I hope to meet you or see you again next week!

Peace and Love,

Monday, October 7, 2013

Writing - the Hard Parts and the Less Hard Parts by Cardeno C.

Happy Monday! In my quest to blog weekly, I asked for help with ideas and questions. Today I'm answering the question of which types are scenes are easiest to write and which are most difficult. I'm translating that into which are the hard scenes and which are the less hard scenes.

Right off the bat, I'll confess that I like writing sex scenes. I find that describing the physical connection between characters - the way they come together and their reactions to those couplings - is a very powerful way to express their relationship dynamic and bond. I'd love to know if you agree.

Now on to the harder (for me) stuff. I write with the goal of bringing my characters to good, healthy, happy places in their lives and making my readers smile and feel warm fuzzies. Because of that, it's probably no surprise that I enjoy writing scenes where my characters are mushy, sweet, and connected. The opposite of that is true too  - writing about times when my characters are tortured and distraught about life's events is very difficult, particularly when the characters handle those circumstances in a harsh way and are the ones inflicting stress on one another.

This type of behavior has come up in a few books, but never more than with the complex character of Asher in Something in the Way He Needs. Writing Asher was very difficult, particularly in the scenes where he treated his love in a way that was beyond disrespectful. My hope is that through those interactions, we can see who Asher is, temper, insecurities and all, that we can recognize his flaws and short-comings, and most of all that we can see how Daniel reacts to them and realize that though neither man is easy to live with, they see in each other something they need. Because while there is no doubt that Asher Penaz is far from a perfect man, Daniel sees that Asher is perfect for him.

So although writing the scenes where a character trips in his choices, particularly those choices as they relate to his love interest, is difficult for me, I think for some characters and in some books, those scenes are also the most important because they demonstrate the layers of the man, who he is inside. And also because, through witnessing the reactions of the love interest to those behaviors and interactions, we're able to see who he is, what he wants in a relationship and, of course, it sets us on a path to their working together to resolve the rough patches and walk into the happily ever after sunset.

I'd love to hear what you think about my opinions on writing scenes and also about which scenes you most/least enjoy reading. And, of course, I'd love any and all questions/ideas for future blog posts.

I hope you have a terrific week.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Furlough Ebook Giveaway

I saw Tiffany Reisz giving away free books on twitter the other day to anybody who was out of work due to the government shutdown, and I thought you know? That's really nice of her. I kinda wish I'd thought of that.

Like so many other Americans, our household has been hit by this shutdown, and also like a lot of other Americans we're doing our best to stay positive in what is turning out to be a really uncertain time for our country. It's hard not to feel angry, and it's hard not to feel helpless. And I know *I* feel more positive when I have a book to lose myself in for a little while, so maybe that's the only thing I can do right now to help folks who are in this same boat as I am (except perhaps emailing my senator).

So. If you've been furloughed by this #$*&ing government shutdown and you would like some paranormal m/m romance to keep you entertained, drop me a line (elliscarrington at gmail) and I will hook you up. For those of you still gainfully employed, I haven't forgotten about you! Read-love-blog and Stumbling Over Chaos are both giving away copies of my Mayan manlove novella, Forbdden Love for the next couple of days. Big hugs and lotsa prayers, y'all. Hopefully this gets resolved ASAP.

Happy Sunday,
Love, Ellis

Thursday, October 3, 2013

And There Are No Words....

There Are No Words.... express how happy I am that I am gay.

All those years and years that I lived in pain and upset, sure that I was going to hell for something that I had not control over. 

I used to cry myself to sleep begging God to make me straight.


Mark 11:24 (NKJV)

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 

But He didn't. He didn't make me straight. 

And FINALLY it occurred to me that sometimes when God doesn't answer a prayer, He IS answering a prayer.  I finally saw that God mad me just as I am, just the way I was supposed to be. 

Lady Gaga got it right...

There's nothing wrong with loving who you are,
Cause He made you perfect, babe"
So hold your head up and you'll go far,
Listen to me when I say you're beautiful in your way
'Cause God makes no mistakes
You're on the right track, baby
You were born this way
Don't hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself and you're set
You're on the right track, baby
You were born this way

If I was Jewish, would I pray that I was Christian?
If I was black, would I pray that I was white?
If I was female, would I pray that I was male?


Some of these things might be easier if I was something different.

But who the HELL wants easier?

I work with these people?  Hateful mean vicious awful people. The world was made for people like them. The world is their oyster shell. Do they appreciate what they have?

NO!  They are hateful people.

Me?  I am what you see, baby! 
I may say things I shouldn't have?

But what you see is what you get.

You know who I am.

I am just how God made me

God is love.

And all I have to offer is love.  And I am exactly what God made me to be.

When I try to be different than what I was made to be...I am being foolish. I have a mission in life. To BE what I was made to be!


I pray that you do that same.

KNOW this!

You are perfect, hold your head up. You are beautiful in your way. God doesn't make mistakes. God made you just the way you are. You were born the way you are for a reason. Don't hide who you are. Don't regret. Love yourself. You were born to be exactly who you are!