Thursday, December 31, 2009

THE BLUE MOON CAFE Gets a New Cover


It's always with some trepidation that I approach what a cover artist has come up with for a book of mine. After all, this is the face of my baby. I want it to be beautiful. I also want it to be compelling because I know it's a big, fat lie when people say, "Don't judge a book by its cover." In whatever context they mean it, they can and do. The cover helps sell a book almost, if not as much, as what's on the interior.

With the cover artist I work with at Amber Quill Press, Trace Edward Zaber, I am not as afraid when I get that e-mail telling me a cover design is ready. Trace is a great cover artist and I am usually over the moon with what he comes up with for my work. We've worked together on enough books that I hardly have to give him much suggestion or direction on what I hope to see. We're in sync.

The cover for my upcoming novel, The Blue Moon Cafe, is no exception. Trace managed to encapsulate exactly what I wanted to get across: that this was a horror story, yes, but at its heart, it's a love story. It's a book that I hope will make a reader's heart race for many reasons.

And it's appropriate that I'm sharing this with you today, because tonight is a blue moon, the first in a decade.

I'd love to know what you think of the cover. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Blue Moon Café releases on March 7, 2010 in ebook format, with the paperback version to follow approximately two weeks later. To read the first chapter, e-mail me at jimmyfels@gmail.com and I will send it to you.

What The Blue Moon Cafe is about:

Someone—or something—is killing Seattle’s gay men.

A creature moves through the darkest night, lit only by the full moon, taking them, one by one, from the rain city’s gay gathering areas.

Someone—or something—is falling in love with Thad Matthews.

Against a backdrop of horror and fear, young Thad finds his first true love in the most unlikely of places—a new Italian restaurant called The Blue Moon Café. Sam is everything Thad has ever dreamed of in a man: compassionate, giving, handsome, and with brown eyes Thad feels he could sink into…and he can cook! But as the pair’s love begins to grow, so do the questions and uncertainties, the main one being: Why do Sam’s unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

Prepare yourself for a unique blend of horror and erotic romance with The Blue Moon Café, written by the author Unzipped magazine called, “the Stephen King of gay horror.” You’re guaranteed an unforgettable reading experience, one that skillfully blends the hottest romance with the most chilling terror…

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

THE GREAT MALTESE CANDLE ADVENTURES



Vlad walkie-talkie cues the light man; in the main room, the lights go out; the plethora of Jfay candles simultaneously go on to appreciative gasps from the audience bathed suddenly in what seems purely candlelight but cleverly includes artificial glow emanating from the ice bales stacked around the room.

Cascades of blood-like liquid flow are projected on all empty wall space, accompanied by the amplified pulse of an actual heartbeat.

(Excerpt from SUCKS! Book 1 of the DRAQUAL VAMPYRE CHRONICLES)

And so the adventure begins for Jfay and her candles -- Whisked away by the Great Maltese (better known as Author William Maltese of International Fame) to far away places and on fantastical, and many times erotic and paranormal adventures!

Since the onslaught of the DRAQUAL VAMPYRE CHRONICLES and the candles that were designed for the entire theme and story-line, I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work further with Mr. Maltese on other exciting projects and have had the honor of my candles as well as myself, in my Jfay persona, make appearances in subsequent story-lines.

I'd like to share this candle and story-line adventure with you as we have traveled with Mr. Maltese thus far........

I’m expecting an old crone, candle-making seeming to insinuate black-magic or even witchery. I’m pleasantly surprised by Jfay, wax artisan, who is an attractive woman, late thirties, with an absolutely charming southern accent, “Y’all come on in.” Her brown hair is perfectly coiffed. Her eyes are dark chocolate. Her lips are colored with just a hint of pale red. “I thought we could have cold Coronas and jalapeño snacks while we discuss the candle in question.

Our chairs are grouped around a round coffee table upon which sits opened beer bottles punctuating a bed of ice cupped within a large punch bowl parenthesized by two smaller bowls almost overflowing with spicy home-made chips.

“You’ve a candle color definitely in mind?” she asks and drinks some of her beer straight from the bottle.

“I’m thinking black, maybe representing the dark and the unknown but, to be quite candid, I’m not quite sure why I think it should be black; just that it should be,” Kenneth says. “If you can, please, include at least some brown, since I have an unmistakable feeling that those we seek are buried in the ground. You might slip in a bit of white by way of insinuating my hoped-for enlightenment.”

(Excerpt from BLACK CANDLE READER, in MLR Press' anthology LOVE ME DEAD)

Now, you have to know how excited I was to have the chance to interact with the characters in this story, to meet with them and design a candle for them intended for Candle-Reading, a power that Mr. Maltese has included in this story as well as his teen warrior saga, Flicker Warriors, which I will share with you in detail as well. But the Black Candle Reader Candle was designed for the characters in the story and also in real life as you will see here:


And next, for our adventures in FLICKER: The Teen Warrior Saga, as promised ~ FLICKER has been an on-going adventure traveled with Mr. Maltese that is set in Washington in the town of Flicker and centers around teenagers who possess many powers, one of which is Candle-Reading, and there are candles that are written into the story that possess certain powers and hold the keys to answers sought by the Flicker heroes and heroines. There have been a total of 5 candles designed and brought to life for Book 1, now ready to go into print after a nearly year long run of free chapter postings on the Flicker Warrior Myspace page. It has been a tremendous treat to have the opportunity to bring these special candles to life --

It all began in the past........

Uxana hurriedly handmolds a candle made of scraps of wax from other candles being careful to choose mainly the purple wax in which to contact Melissa, a Candle Reader, in the future.....

Uxana and Melissa make contact through their candles, one living far in the distant past, the other now in the future, breaking beyond the boundaries of time.

Their two candles, Uxana's crudely made purple candle, and Melissa's blue candle fuse into one spectacular candle and their scents combine in a BERRY SPICE FUSION, a magickal blend of Blueberries, Mulberry, Black Cherry and Clove....

(Flicker Warriors)

And from FLICKER to "Ludus Scaenicus Mortis Rubrae", which is a short story featured in MLR Press' Anthology, RED, a clever homage to Edgar Allen Poe’s infamous The Masque of the Red Death, which puts two handsome and horny aristocratic young male lovers among a company of ill-fated revelers locked within the castellated walls of Prince Prospero’s fortified abbey … the latter with rooms a-flicker with Mistress Jfay’s candles:

The progress of each and every is impeded by the many twists and turns of the Abbey’s rabbit-warren maze of rooms, tiny and big … corridors, wide and narrow … between us and the Imperial Suite. The lighting that accompanies our journey is just as erratic as the interior landscape we traverse. Some spaces have so little that they require either a familiarity or an actual dragging of a hand along one wall to make a successful crossing from one side to the other. In bizarre counterpoint, one of the smallest has seven very impressively large deep-red candles, each a-droll with red-orange wax, and smelling — to my surprise at Mistress Jfay, Candle-maker to the Prince, and me possibly sharing a similar passion — of blood-red oranges; the septet’s combined candle power is sufficient to illuminate a whole auditorium.


So, where shall our adventures take us next?

Well, I've designed a Mysterious and Magical Candle which possesses the captured soul of an avenging warrior meant to be a beautiful, yet deadly wedding gift for an evil king, as well as numerous other candle renderings designed to accompany many other Maltese works of genius.

Just recently I've learned that Jfay candles will be making yet another appearance soon in a new Maltese work in progress titled, I DEBAUCHEE -- So be sure to stay tuned for this one -- And it is not to be for the faint of heart from what I've been privileged to see. It is going to be a stunning Maltese no holds barred masterpiece, I'm sure!

To take a tour of all of the Maltese/Jfay Book and Candle pairings, be sure to visit the MALTESE CANDLE GALLERY: http://www.studio3bonline.com/maltesecandlegallery.htm

You can also visit the fabulous Mr. Maltese online at http://www.williammaltese.com

Join us for all of the excitement of FLICKER WARRIORS at http://www.myspace.com/flickerwarriors

Author William Maltese

Thank you William for all of the fun and excitement! Jfay xxoo




Monday, December 21, 2009

The Lot

A little holiday treat for you all

© 2008 James Buchanan

If Kyle heard one more go round of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” he would step out into traffic. Sorry, no, Southern California…it didn’t look anything at all like Christmas. No snow except for the blown on fake shit in the flocking tent. With midday highs hitting eighty degrees, the only gloves in evidence were Kyle’s cheap canvas and leather work gloves. A hazy brown evening sky hovered around the tops of bone dry mountains. It made the Christmas trees and twinkling lights seem like a cheap hooker’s overwrought make-up…no matter how you looked at it, how well it was done, you just knew it covered something pretty trashy.

Kyle gritted his teeth and went after the bottom branches on the Noble Fir with a vengeance. Nothing like a four foot long set of loppers to get the I’m-not-in-the-holiday-spirit aggression out.

“Wait!” His customer’s cartoon feminine voice cut down his spine. It had only been, maximum, twenty minutes that he’d been subjected to the helium wonder of her words and Kyle already ached to use the loppers on her vocal cords.

Kyle plastered on the cheery customer service smile he’d perfected waiting tables before he turned. “Yes, ma’am?”

She pouted with an aging Valley Girl hip cock and a finger pressed to her bottom lip. “Do you have to take so much off the bottom?”

Fighting to keep the smile from slipping, Kyle stared over her shoulder and sang a refrain of “Hey Santa” in his head. The only song ever to combine Santa and cunt in the same sentence usually managed to keep Kyle from slipping into a postal wig-out.

Beyond Miss Annoying Voice, among the rows of Pines, Spruces, and Cedars roamed a man. Given that the guy wandered among the five-footers and still stood close to a head taller, he probably neared six foot. He stepped into a space between the trees. Kyle sucked in an appreciative hiss. Damn, shaved skull and a t-shirt so tight it could have been painted on, complemented a tight ass tucked into deep indigo jeans.

Absently, Kyle answered her question, “You, ah, won’t be able to fit it in the base you bought if we don’t.” What he wouldn’t have given to be those jeans.

“Ah, excuse me,” the cartoon voice jerked Kyle’s attention away from his mental drooling, “are you going to finish my tree?”

Kyle took a deep breath and nodded. “Yeah, just a second.” Then he called out toward the other customer. “Be with you in a bit, sir!” Be on my knees in front of you in a second if I had my wish. “Just finishing up here.”

A deep, throaty, “No problem,” answered him and Kyle had to turn before the chick caught him sprouting more wood than the artificial forest surrounding them.

As quick as he could manage, Kyle stripped the bottom two branches then manhandled the tree to her steroid-ridden SUV. He had to re-do the tie downs twice because she fretted that Kyle hadn’t strapped it down tight enough. Each second Kyle wasted with her was one lost investigating him.

Finally she roared out of the parking lot and Kyle jogged back into the rows of trees. Kyle found him nosing around the mini-me trees that didn’t hit higher than the guy’s knees. Leg’s splayed out, arms folded across his chest, the man drummed thick fingers against a bulging bicep. Kyle’s boots crunched over the packed dirt lot, announcing his presence. The customer looked over at Kyle. The deepest brown eyes Kyle had ever seen made a slow up and down tour of Kyle’s body.

“Hi,” Kyle tried not to sound desperate…for either a sale or a blow-job. Although he’d much rather have the blow-job, Kyle’d settle for having the guy walk out with a tree. “My name’s Kyle. See anything you like, Mr.—“

Another head to toe crawl ended in an amused smirk. “Mike.” The smirk widened into a grin. “I just might have.”

“Well,” Kyle swallowed, “What kind of tree are you looking for. You like the small ones?”

“As long as it’s good and thick.”

Kyle couldn’t resist the tease. “I got one more in the mid sized range and pretty thick.”

“Didn’t see any of those out here on the lot. Is it hidden back there?” Mike jerked his head toward the big red and white tent. Through the open flap, stacks of still bundled trees created a maze. “I’d appreciate you showing me one like that.”

Kyle reminded himself that he needed this job. A quickie in the storage tent could get him canned five days before Christmas. Mike, as though he sensed the hesitation, smiled and stepped close. God, Mike smelled like he’d been working in the sun, all musky and male. Kyle decided to hell with working the tree lot, half the stores in town sported help wanted signs. “I could show you one in the back.”

“Great,” Mike sauntered off toward the tent, “show me what you got.” Pausing at the entrance, Mike looked back over his shoulder. “You expecting any help anytime soon?”

Kyle stopped next to Mike and wracked his brain for time. Marco and Jeff left about half an hour ago and they had three deliveries and a drive-thru run to make. “The other guys’ll be back in maybe fifteen minutes.”

Mike stepped into the tent, snagged Kyle’s belt loop and used it as a leash to pull him inside. “I’ll be quick then.” Still steering Kyle by the grip on his jeans, Mike led them back between the rows of trees. When they were out of plain view, he shoved Kyle against a pile of firs. Mike dropped to his knees. Before Kyle could do much of anything, Mike had the button popped and the zipper down. Kyle groaned as Mike fished his aching prick out of its denim prison. “You weren’t lying,” Mike grinned up at him, “nice size, just how I like it.”

Slowly, Mike ran his tongue along the underside of Kyle’s half-hard cock. He traced the flare of the head and then blew across the wet trail. Kyle stifled a moan. Mike snorted, twisting Kyle’s prick to full glory in his fist. “Yeah, really thick.” Mike muttered. Still jacking the cock in his hand, Mike wrapped his lips over the head. Mike’s free hand wormed into the gap of Kyle’s jeans. Using the back of his wrist, Mike forced Kyle’s jeans lower.

Holy shit! Kyle shuddered as Mike’s searching fingers moved behind his balls and tickled his hole. His hips bucked into the delicious combination of fist and mouth. Mike released his cock and moved to squeeze Kyle’s sac. This time, Kyle didn’t suppress his groan. He could almost feel Mike’s smile around his cock. As Mike sucked Kyle down to the root, he shoved a finger up Kyle’s ass. Kyle squirmed at the rawness of it, forcing his prick deeper into Mike’s throat.

Mike took it, barely gagging. The suction he managed, combined with the finger probing his hole and Mike’s massaging his balls, lit up Kyle’s nerves like a string of flashing Christmas lights. He slid his hand over Mike’s sweat slicked skull. He was so off balance. The trees behind him didn’t offer any support and he couldn’t get a grip on Mike. Pine needles stuck Kyle’s bare ass adding a hint of pain. Kyle thrashed. Mike kept sucking and fucking until Kyle lost it. One moment he was just flailing and the next he was pumping his load into Mike’s hot mouth. Swallow after swallow, Mike took it all.

When Kyle was dry, Mike pulled his hands out of Kyle’s jeans. Mike licked his lips and grinned. “I’d say you got a few minutes to spare.” He stood and held out his hand to help Kyle stand. It took a moment for Kyle to get his knees back under him. It’d been a while since he’d gotten off like that.

“Oh, wow,” Kyle caught his breath, “thanks.” He hadn’t been this mellow since before Thanksgiving. Kyle yanked up his pants and tucked himself away. Christmas didn’t seem so bad after all.

“My pleasure.” Mike fished in his back pocket, pulled out a money clip and began pulling off twenties. “Sixty bucks, right?”

Suddenly, Kyle’s mood shifted from happy and sated to supremely pissed off. He may have been easy and horny, but he wasn’t that desperate. Jeans still unzipped and gaping, Kyle tried to back away. His retreat was blocked by the infernal pile of trees. “Hey look, that’s not what this was…” He sputtered.

“Kyle.” Mike grabbed his jaw and forced Kyle to look him in the eyes. “The sign outside says, ‘we deliver any tree over sixty dollars free’.” With a wicked grin, Mike used his other hand to shove three bills down the front of Kyle’s open jeans, right next to Kyle’s prick. Before drawing back Mike gave it a squeeze. “Sixty bucks, pick any fucking tree, and bring it by my house as soon as the other guys get back.” He chuckled. “I think I have the perfect present to open under it.”

~Happy Holidays~

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Exploring Back Country

We've all thought about roughing it. Heading deep into unexplored territory. Boldly going where no man has gone before--today.

But how many of us have actually packed up our gear and ventured out into the great unknown? Don't know about you, but I have, and I can tell you, it's worth the effort and energy expended.

First though, let's make sure we're on the same page. While you all are packing up your overcoats, chains, collars, and good sturdy rope, allow me to don my guide cap, so to speak.

Depending on the geographical location of your awaiting adventure, you may find yourself in precarious encounters with a diversity of local wildlife. For example:


bear ~or~ Bear
(photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons) (photo courtesy Erotic Oddities)
These pesky critters are often as extremely territorial as they are extremely hairy, and unlike the traditional "growl is worse than its bite", bears can and do clamp down hard when provoked. If you find yourself face to face with a bear, be sure to give them whatever they request, unless you are confident you possess the needed magic to tame one of these creatures.


deer ~or~ Dear
(photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons) (photo courtesy Erotic Oddities)
Don't let these docile-looking animals fool you. Their oftentimes angelic expressions can be very deceiving. Once encroached upon, deer/dear often panic and fight-or-flight usually follows. However, you may not realize which animal these creatures my unleash, until you find yourself picking your weary ass up off the ground, wondering what hit you.


rabbit(n) ~or~ rabbit(adj)
(photos courtesy Wikimedia Commons)
"Oh! Aren't they cute?"
Yeah. Whatever. If you're fresh out of cookies, rabbit are one of the few of nature's creatures you may hope to avoid altogether. And yes, these cute and cuddly furries love cookies--can't get enough of them. That, my brave explorers, is the real danger. So, if you're not into constantly forking over your cookies, steer clear of rabbit.



Last, but not least, the snake

(photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons) (photo courtesy Erotic Oddities)
During your explorations of the various back countries, you will encounter many of these reptilians in just as many shapes, sizes, and colors. Don't let their differences intimidate you though. The majority of snakes are beautiful and utterly harmless, and you can distinguish the poisonous ones by their markings--most times. Herein lies your biggest problem. Knowing by sight which of these lovelies to embrace and which to avoid takes experience. And even the most experienced snake-handlers sometimes make mistakes.

As the tour winds down, I can only say that I am hopeful you all are better prepared to explore back country now. It's definitely not for the meek or faint of heart. Be bold. Embrace the moment. Remember, the 3 most popular reasons to explore back country are:

1. It feels great.

2. It feels great.

3. It feels great!


Happy Hunting!


Bryl R. Tyne is a wrangler by nature and a writer by choice, published with Noble Romance Publishing, Ravenous Romance, Dreamspinner Press, and STARbooks Press. You can find out more about Bryl at: bryltyne.com

This post is X-posted to The Rainbow Studio.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Picture Yourself


on a float on a river... not just any river... a spring-fed river in the Ozark Mountains.

From a distance, the Gasconade is bluish-green. Up close or in it, the water is oft-times clear, always cool and refreshing. Float the river in summertime and the air is filled with aromas. Woods thick with trees of oak and black walnut. You will pass by high bluffs of grey rock, brown rock, carpeted with moss, and when the sun hits the bluffs at certain angles, they sparkle like jewels.

These sights and aromas are part of my story, Green River, one of three manlove tales in the MLR PRESS ghost anthology, Past Shadows.

My tale is set along the Gasconade in 1938. There's a bridge carrying traffic along U.S. Route 66, and under one of its piers lives a friendly spirt... well, it is friendly to the men working for the WPA (Works Progress Administration) to rehab the highway and its river bridge. The spirit likes to play wank the weenie when those men are skinny-dipping during their free time. The link in the title of this post will take you to YouTube where you can see a three-minute slide show that tells all about Green River.

"Blah, blah, blah," you grumble. "What's the candle picture all about?"

Glad you asked. It is the creation of Candle Artist Jfay, instigated by my request for her to re-create the sights and sounds of the Gasconade I described earlier. This past Tuesday, I received my candle, and I am here to state without debate that she has succeeded. She created a scent unique, and design which depicts the very bluffs I myself have seen. Want to know how she did it? Go to her web site and find out... here:

Wick'd Reads.com

You can have one for your very own, and when winter winds howl outside your window, you can fire it up, inhale, and picture yourself on a float on the Gasconade. While you're at Jfay's site, you will also find a text excerpt from my Green River which inspired the candle.

For more excerpts, a picture of the bridge, and purchase links for the books, you can visit my web site here: http://www.jardonnserotictales.com/greenriverexc1.htm

And that, friends, should keep you occupied for awhile.

Yours truly,
Jardonn Smith

Monday, November 16, 2009

Woodworking skills

So, SG -- subby that he is -- has been working on paddles. Hardwood. Unfortunately, KenDoll the 11year old, found him working on the first and became fixated on the paddles. We’ve managed to brush the first two off as SG is remembering woodshop and the how to do short in-cuts and long in-cuts on hardwood. Because he grew up in a time when they still paddled.

In fact, his woodshop teacher, if you massively fucked up, made you make the paddle he beat you with…called them “name signers.” You made, you signed it, he beat your ass black and blue with it. The less than stellar efforts were farmed out to other teachers for use.

This last one we’ve passed off as a ping-pong paddle. It is that shape. Although I know few ping-pong paddles made of ½ thick oak. But still.

So KD asked if he can make a paddle now. The brain boggles. Luckily SG reverts to HS wood shop and says no, dude, the project everyone starts with is bookends. You can do that for Christmas and then we do shelves and after that we’ll think about paddles.

Yeah right.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

SUPERSTAR Releases Today!


Everything I write affects me emotionally. But there are some stories that do this more than others. Superstar is one such story. Based on the unrequited-groupie-love-song that both Karen Carpenter and Bette Midler made famous, Superstar is a rarity for me: a pure love story about a young man falling for a cad of a rock star.

He told him he loved him. He told him he'd be back.

It's also about the resiliency of life and love and how both can surprise us at the most unlikely of times.

It's the first story I've written that's set in my new home, Seattle and you'll get glimpses of the beauty of the city and the Pacific Northwest as you join my main character on the 180-foot high Aurora Bridge, also known as the "suicide bridge." It's here where Superstar begins and ends as my main character, Leon, reminisces about his love for a grungy rock superstar before taking a fatal plunge. But someone is waiting and watching, and suicides don't always go off as planned...

Hope you'll check out the story, available only in ebook. You can pick up a copy here.

Synopsis
When Leon first saw him singing in a dive bar, he was mesmerized. But he didn’t know he’d be going home with the dangerously sexy lead singer that night. He couldn’t have predicted he’d fall in love. But then, Leon never expected his love to be reciprocated. Yet the hot singer with the gravely voice told Leon he loved him; told him he’d come back.

So, why, three years after that fateful night, is Leon perched at the edge of a bridge, ready to make a fatal leap?

Superstar is the story of a groupie and the rock star he loves. It’s the tale of a man on the edge, both literally and figuratively...and it’s a timeless story of love found and lost lost, all set to a driving rock beat.

Superstar is about promises made, promises broken, and dreams unfulfilled. And, ultimately, it’s about realizing that love can come along when one least expects it—and in the unlikeliest of places...

Excerpt
...I closed Olive’s that night. It wasn’t so much the crowd, or the beer, or even the cute allegedly straight boy in the cargo shorts and Cold Play T-shirt who made eyes at me throughout the night.

No. It was you.

And your music. Back then, you were just the lead singer in a band called Voiles and I was mesmerized by both your look and your sound. A bass guitar and a drummer backed you up, and if I passed either of them on the street today, I would not recognize them. For me, you stood all alone on that tiny plywood stage with a black curtain behind you. When that incredible, melodic, craggy voice emerged, it was as if the physical confines of the room disappeared. I could see only you…and what a view that was. Your tousled auburn hair, streaked through with gold, practically obscured your face. Your rail-thin body, packed into skinny jeans and a Ramones T-shirt, was like some post punk boy’s fantasy. And when you jerked your head to get the hair out of your face, the motion revealed a chiseled face, dark chocolate eyes, and a look that seemed both faraway and incredibly sad.

It made me want to take you in my arms.

I suppose that’s the effect you were after. I hate to think that the mournful gaze and the counter-culture, retro rock star clothes were calculated, just another part of the act as much as the microphone on its stand, the drum kit, the lights, the amps, the electrical cords.

I hate to think that.

But it wasn’t just your look that caught me, entrapping me in a snare that I would find impossible to free myself from for the next three years. It was your song. Your sad, sad song. Your voice was that of a man who had smoked two packs of cigarettes a day for decades: scarred, veering on raspy. It was the voice of a man much older than your years, which appeared to number in the twenties. You were the love child of Leonard Cohen and Rufus Wainwright.

Your lyrics, coal black, smoldered around age-old topics like lost love, loneliness, alienation, and an inability to find home. Cheery stuff.

It had me sobbing into my beer most of the night.

And when I wasn’t sobbing, I was imagining what you’d look like naked.

There was a curious combination pulsing inside me that night: lust, despair, hunger…

But I never had any real hopes that I would actually be meeting you that night. No idea that I would actually see what the wiry body under those clothes looked like. No clue that I would come to know the feel of those swollen lips on my own...

Get your copy of Superstar here.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Candle Readers Possess The Power.......

And Lilith, the first woman, did see the vision within the flickering of a candle flame that did show her Jaweh’s displeasure and how He would supplant her in Adam’s favor with Eve. And Lilth became Demon. — ancient Jewish text.


I’m expecting an old crone, candle-making seeming to insinuate black-magic or even witchery. I’m pleasantly surprised by Jfay, wax artisan, who is an attractive woman, late thirties, with an absolutely charming southern accent, “Y’all come on in.” Her brown hair is perfectly coiffed. Her eyes are dark chocolate. Her lips are colored with just a hint of pale red. “I thought we could have cold Coronas and jalapeño snacks while we discuss the candle in question.

Our chairs are grouped around a round coffee table upon which sits opened beer bottles punctuating a bed of ice cupped within a large punch bowl parenthesized by two smaller bowls almost overflowing with spicy home-made chips.

“You’ve a candle color definitely in mind?” she asks and drinks some of her beer straight from the bottle.

“I’m thinking black, maybe representing the dark and the unknown but, to be quite candid, I’m not quite sure why I think it should be black; just that it should be,” Kenneth says. “If you can, please, include at least some brown, since I have an unmistakable feeling that those we seek are buried in the ground. You might slip in a bit of white by way of insinuating my hoped-for enlightenment.”

“All which can certainly be done,” Jfay says and reaches for a jalapeño chip which she puts in her mouth and crunches between her white teeth. “Scent?”

“Pine scent,” Kenneth says.

Before I can stop myself, I say, “And clove.”

This is Kenneth’s candle, and I’ve inadvertently intruded; I’m supposedly there as an interested bystander soaking up pointers. “I am sorry,” I say. “That just slipped out.”

“Pine and clove?” Jfay queries for clarification.

“Just pine,” I say. “I hope there’ll be no more such uncontrollable outbursts on my part. I don’t know what got into me.”

Exerpt From BLACK CANDLE READER, by William Maltese


BLACK CANDLE READER, by William Maltese, is one of the stories in MLR Press' newly released ghostly anthology, LOVE ME DEAD, in which Kenneth Black is a Candle-Reader, one of those possessed with the power to read into a candle's flames to seek knowledge and find answers to secrets thought long hidden in the past.

He is on a quest to find
the burial spot of missing family members thought to have been killed by Nazis and buried in a mass grave somewhere in a forest long long ago.

Come take the journey with Kenneth which leads him to the doorstep of Candle Artist Jfay to commission the perfect candle to show him the way. Thus the BLACK CANDLE READER Candle is born from the pages of William Maltese's story and brought into reality by Jfay.

You can find both on Wick'd Reads at http://www.wickdreads.com/lovemedead.htm
Male Erotica




Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gangbangs, Dildos, and Tie-downs - Oh my!

Top-10 Sexual Fantasies: Your turn to fess up!


Sex is as old as... All right, sex never gets old, only we do (please, don't remind me). Sex, as a concept, though, has been alive longer than most species, hence, the "which came first" argument. Sexual fantasy surely sprung to life shortly thereafter. The truth is, since time began, men and women have fantasized their respective ways into many a satisfying orgasm. One can find page after online page of Top-10 sexual fantasies for both men and women. Obviously, we all do it—fantasize, that is.

Even us LGBT... folk.

But, I've yet to come across a Top-10 online list for any of us. Maybe I'm not perusing the correct venues. If so, someone point the way!

I am curious, however, since I'm considered in both, the sexual AND gender minorities, are my fantasies "abnormal" according to head docs and/or societal norms?

I mean, hasn't everyone fantasized, for example, surprising your straight neighbor in his laundry room only to coax him over his washing machine while on the heavy-duty spin cycle? (Okay, maybe that's just me). But, maybe, you've pined for your UPS guy to invite you into his truck to personally help your with your package? Or maybe, you've fantasized about shopping with your BFF, only to have her lend you a hand in the dressing room? (Maybe, not)

Time to share your most private thoughts. What turns you on?

What are your sexual fantasies?

Email your fantasies to Top10SexualFantasy@gmail.com

Anonymous emails accepted—preferred. (Please only specify - sexuality & gender of person leaving poll data)

Your privacy will be respected. All information - name, age, sex, email, location, etc. - will be kept confidential.

At the start of the new year, Top-10 lists for everyone across the LGBT Spectrum will be posted on my site for all eternity to drool over.

Let's show them what we want!


Bryl R. Tyne

Top10SexualFantasy@gmail.com


Bryl R. Tyne is a wrangler by nature and a writer by choice, published with Noble Romance Publishing, Ravenous Romance, Dreamspinner Press, and STARbooks Press. You can find out more about Bryl at: bryltyne.com

This post is X-posted to the The Rainbow Studio Blog, Defying Description Blog, and Bryl R. Tyne's Blog.



Monday, November 9, 2009

Flip the Review Coin

by Jardonn Smith

This post addresses a piece written about one of my Jardonn books, The Tortured Secutor, at the web site, Speak Its Name. Posted as new entry on Frothing Authors blog, and in comment field at Speak Its Name.


I'm all for talking history, so lettuce.

Disclaimer says author submitted this book to Erastes for review. True. In January 2008... back when Erastes and I were members of a Yahoo manlove author's group... back when Erastes's Speak Its Name review site was five months old... back when Erastes was the main reviewer, along with a few author/reviewer partners of whom I was familiar.

I thought we might make a good pair. My Jardonn's Erotic Tales.com site was four years old, generating around 5000 unique visitors and 200,000 page hits per month. My Tortured Secutor book was two months old and its events set in ancient Rome, so I offered to send the book (print paperback copy was offered, but instead, a pre-correction layout, PDF file was emailed at Erastes's suggestion), and placed a link to Speak Its Name on my Jardonn site.

All right, Speak Its Name got its link and Jardonn got nothing. No review. No reciprocol link. No big deal. I figured Erastes didn't understand the unwritten courtesies of webmastering and would eventually come around with the link. I dropped it, left my link on Jardonn's site sending traffic to Speak Its Name as it was, and forgot about the book review. For the most part, I also forgot about Speak Its Name.

Now, nearly two years later, the manuscript is reviewed... not by Erastes... but by an underling... not just an underling... but a fellow-author unknown to me... and I thinks, "Wonderful! This will entertain me." In the very first paragraph I saw a typo... taht instead of that... and I knew finishing the piece from there would be difficult. Still, I trudged forward, soon realizing the underling's piece is filled with misrepresentations conveniently composed for purpose of making me appear the fool, and I thinks, "Wow! What the hell has this place become? What is this place all about?"

I waste time reading more reflections from authors analyzing books written by their competitors, and understand I've been lured into the syrup of a very ugly place. My heart sinks further as I realize that for the first time ever, I will respond to a negative review. More time devoted to unproductivity (is that a word? god, don't let me screw up the language), the only consolation being that since the piece is not really a review of my book, technically I still have never responded to a bad one.

Believe me or don't, but it's not the piece about the book that coerces me to respond, it's the two-year delay and the implication I just recently sent the book here for review.

I'm all for talking history, and now, the readers, those savvy purchasers of books and the only folks who really matter, know the history of Jardonn Smith, Erastes and the web site, Speak Its Name. Add a footnote: best I can see, there still is no link from this place to my web site, but my link from Jardonn's Erotic Tales to Speak Its Name still sits functioning on my main page.

Damn those Google alerts. This is one Jardonn incident I wish Googlebot had not found.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Trannies and Psychos and Bears...Oh My!


Hey Kids!

Just wanted to let you know that my ebook short, NO PLACE LIKE HOME, is out today and yours for only $2.25. It's a gay romance twist on THE WIZARD OF OZ and, like me, is a little different.

And when you visit the AmberAllure site today (November 8) only, you'll find that my EPPIE-Award winning novel ORIENTATION, is the daily deal...75% off the regular price!

Synopsis

Burl is horny. And his lover, AJ, is in the kind of sleep that approaches comatose. What’s a boy to do? In the middle of the night, Burl slips away from the house he shares with AJ, looking for just a little release for his pent-up passion. AJ won’t mind; after all, he says he doesn’t care where Burl gets his tires pumped, as long as he gets to ride.

But what Burl finds in straying from his own backyard is not quite the kind of excitement he had in mind. From boxer-shorted bears, to men who aren’t quite what they seem, to homicidal ebony gods, Burl doesn’t know quite what to make of the bizarre world outside...and the people in it. From the snow-capped peaks of the Adirondack Mountains (and the Sodom Sin Mountain Ski Resort), to the dangerous streets of the lower east side of Manhattan, Burl discovers that it isn’t always easy—or safe—when you go looking for love in all the wrong places.

What lessons does Burl learn on his quest? Does he discover, really, that there’s no place like home? There’s only one way to find out—start reading!

Check out more details and get your copy here: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure/NoPlaceLikeHome.html

Friday, November 6, 2009

Elisa Rolle's Reviews for Readers



An Opinion Piece
by
Jardonn Smith

These days it seems anybody can hang a sign on their web address door and proclaim themselves to be reviewers of books.

Many are book lovers who shell out the bucks and are inclined to express their likes/dislikes, regardless of their abilities to coherently analyze reasons for their likes/dislikes.

Others have signed up at review sites so they can get free books to read, their purchase price being their agreeing to review the books, again regardless of their abilities to coherently... (see above).

Still more have a hidden agenda, either to purposely promote authors in their little clique, or purposely denigrate authors not in their little clique. Some of these reviews are written by authors themselves with an agenda impossible to hide: trashing books written by their competition.

What are the poor readers to do? How do they determine which review sites are truly giving them honest opinions, so they can decide where to shell out their hard-earned money for books they will enjoy? It's a crap shoot, no doubt, but I can honestly vouch for one specializing in male on male erotic romance.


Not only is this classy lady from Padua, Italy a reader of manlove romance titles, her appetite for them is voracious. Ms. Rolle devours an incredible number of books weekly, and not only does she gain keen insight from what she's read, she shares her thoughts via her self-written book reviews. Elisa favors no particular publishers or authors. She has no rating systems for books she reads. Her reviews are detailed, well-organized, and invaluable to not only her fellow-readers, but the authors as well. I've lost count of the comments I've seen on her site from authors who tell her she found personality traits in their characters even they didn't recognize existed. I am no exception. Ms. Rolle's review of my Danube Divide taught me much about the men in my own story.

So, any manlove fiction lovers out there looking for ideas on what next to read, Elisa Rolle's site is a must-visit-daily for you, and as if reviews weren't already enough, lately Elisa started what she calls The Inside Reader where authors and readers list their all-time favorite LGBT books.

That's where one of our own comes in. Just check out the names on this list which includes William Maltese.


Yes, we claim him. William is ours. One of our Frothing Authors, and we intend to never let him go.





Monday, November 2, 2009

Long Wait Over, As I ... DARE TO LOVE IN OZ



by
William Maltese

I hadn’t realized it was over twenty years. I mean, I’m easily bored, but twenty years of ennui is even a long time for me. What can I say, except it possibly hasn’t really been just boredom that’s kept me, until now, from returning to writing mainstream hetero adventure/ romance … as much as it has just been so many detours on my way back?


Like an actor who fears being typecast, after appearing in pretty much the same role, in a series of very successful movies, and thinks it might be to his advantage to get out of an assumed rut, I have to confess that my success in the 80s in writing very popular and internationally best-selling mainstream hetero adventure/ romance novels had me, at the finish of my ninth such book, thinking it was time for me to move on.

As with the actor, out for a change, I had people constantly asking me, at the time, “Why check out on such a good thing that you have going for you?” The truth, though, was that I was tapped out of subject matter and — with the exception of the sweet romance, HEART ON FIRE, that I wrote in 2007 — I’ve published 30 other novels, since then, without straying back into those very successful early stomping grounds. Until now, that is!

Maybe it was my being back in Australia. Maybe it was the seminar I attended there on that continent’s indigenous plethora of poisonous flora and fauna. Maybe it was my adventures experiencing the grit and grime of hunting for opals in the outback. Maybe it was the scare of being engulfed so completely within the rampaging miasma of a horrendous Oz sandstorm. Maybe it was the love of a good woman. Whatever, I suddenly had the undeniable urge, once again, to venture back into mainstream hetero adventure/romantic fiction, and I did just that. Thank God, finding a publisher was as easy as finding welcoming loyal fans eager for my return.


My DARE TO LOVE IN OZ will be out later this month from Savant Books. Look for it. Buy it. And, hopefully, enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


At least for the moment, until boredom sets in again, or until I’ve been tapped out of ideas, I’m enjoying my return to a still-remembered and exciting-once-again familiar landscape.

Visit the William Maltese web site for latest info on his books currently available and those under construction. http://www.williammaltese.com/

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Green but not Mean

My contribution to the MLR PRESS ghost anthology, PAST SHADOWS, is a 25,000-worder titled GREEN RIVER, and since Jasper had some music that's somewhat atmospheric, he made a slideshow promoting the book and put it on YouTube.

Monday, October 19, 2009

MUTE WITNESS Now Available


Just wanted to share the exciting news that my latest novel, Mute Witness, is now available in both paperback and ebook formats.

Mute Witness is a special book to me because, although it's a thriller with paranormal elements, it grew out of a very personal trauma: the fear of losing my son during my divorce several years ago simply because I was gay.

Purchase ebook.
Purchase paperback.
Purchase Kindle version.

Here's what Mute Witness is about:

Sean and Austin have the perfect life. Their new relationship is only made more joyous by weekend visits from Sean’s eight-year-old son, Jason.

And then their perfect world shatters.

Jason is missing.

When the boy turns up days later, he has been horribly abused and has lost the power to speak. Small town minds turn to the boy’s gay father and his lover as the likely culprits.

Sean and Austin struggle to maintain their relationship amid the innuendo and the very real threat that Sean will, at the very least, lose the son he loves. Meanwhile, the real villain is much closer to home, intent on ensuring the boy’s muteness is permanent.


To whet your interest, here's the first few pages:

    It was one of their rare lazy evenings. Summer, and the evening air was fresh and clean after an afternoon thunderstorm, with just a hint of a breeze. Normally, Sean and Austin were so busy that if they weren’t trying to change something about the little Cape Cod on the Ohio River they had bought a year before (adding a deck, putting in a new kitchen, stripping away years of white paint from the woodwork downstairs), they were too tired to do anything but crawl into bed and pass out, usually before eleven o’clock. Lovemaking, since they had bought the money- and time-sucking house, had become relegated to weekend afternoons and the occasional early morning.
    But today, Thursday, had been an easy one. Austin had called into work, the Benson Pottery, where he was a caster and taken a mental health day. Things had just been too damn busy lately and he needed the break. Waiting until Saturday was out of the question. Sunday seemed farther away than the next millennium.
    Sean, a reporter for The Evening View, the local thrice-weekly compilation of ads sandwiched in with a little editorial, had had the day off. The couple had spent the day in Pittsburgh, at the Andy Warhol museum, then had an early dinner at The Grand Concourse (the best Paella on the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers), beat the brutal thunderstorm home, made love (acrobatically, in the kitchen, atop a Butcher’s block), and now the two were curled up in front of the TV. Sean had rented Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and, after a bowl of Jamaican and a couple of vodka and tonics, the two were teary-eyed with laughter.
    Sean looked over at his younger boyfriend and thought how lucky he was to have found Austin, especially in a town the size of Summitville, where the population hovered just above ten thousand. Even better, Austin was his fantasy man, with a broad, beefy body that his mother and her friends would have called strapping, sandy blond hair, and the bluest eyes he had ever seen. When Sean had first met him, he thought Austin’s eyes had to be fake: enhanced by those tinted contacts that never looked real. But he found quickly that the young man was simply blessed with arresting eyes to go along with his broad shoulders, dimpled chin, and infectious smile. He wore that smile right now, coming down from a fit of inappropriate laughter after hearing Elizabeth Taylor tell Richard Burton, “I’d divorce you if I thought you were alive.”
    A sick sense of humor was yet another thing the pair had in common.
It was what they both would have agreed was a perfect day. Well, Sean might have had one more item to add to the “perfection” list. Having his son, Jason, around for at least part of the time would have been all it would have taken to make the day ideal, but these days, Jason was for the weekends only.
In any case, this was close enough to nirvana. He closed his eyes and let his head loll back on Austin’s shoulder.
    Sean was just thinking about slowly undressing Austin and then leading him into the bedroom for round two when the phone rang. Its chirp startled both of them out of the cocoon of warmth that had surrounded them, a cocoon built from good sex, supreme relaxation, and the afore-mentioned Jamaican weed.
Austin: sleepily from under Sean’s arm on the couch, “Don’t get it. Please don’t get it. Just let the machine pick up. I don’t want to talk to anyone. And I don’t want you to, neither.” Sean eyed the little answering machine next to the cordless, wondering when they would enter the 21st century and use voice mail like everyone else. But, unlike voice mail, the machine did allow them to screen calls and for two men who appreciated their privacy, this feature had voice mail beat all to hell.
    Sean let the phone ring its customary four rings, although his tendency would have been to answer it. But if this would make Austin happy, then he was willing to do it. Especially since he had things in mind for Austin that did not involve the telephone. Things that would erase their fatigue and perhaps keep them up the better part of the night. Sean grinned.
    On the fourth ring, Sean pressed the pause button on the remote control and sat up straighter to listen.
    “Whatever it is, it can wait,” Austin whispered in Sean’s ear, flicking his earlobe with his tongue and giving his crotch a playful squeeze.
    And then the moment shattered.
    Shelley’s voice, almost unfamiliar under the veneer of tension that made it higher, quicker, came through. Shelley and Sean had been married once upon a time and their union had produced Jason, the best little boy in the world. As soon as Sean heard Shelley’s voice he thought of his son, who shared his dark hair, green eyes, wiry frame, and his fascination with stories.
    “Sean? Sean, I hope you’re there. This is important. Please pick up.” There was a slight pause. “It’s about Jason. He...”
    Before she could say anything else, Sean sprinted for the phone in the entryway. “Shelley? Sorry, I was...”
    “Jason is missing.”
    “What?”
    And then Sean heard her begin to sob and the relaxation in all of his muscles vanished, replaced by a tightness that felt like steel bands snapping taut across his muscles. Blood rushed in his ears; his heart began to pound. A queasy nausea rose up in his gut.
    “Jason never came home tonight,” Shelley sobbed. “I don’t know where he is. Please say he’s with you.”
    Sean sat down on the little oak chair in front of the desk. Well, collapsed into the chair was more like it. “Shelley, I’m sorry, but he’s not here. Don’t you think I would have called if he had come here? How long’s he been gone?” Sean rubbed the back of his neck, his mouth curiously dry. He glanced out the window at the complete darkness.    “I went to work at six and he wasn’t home yet.” She blew out a sigh. “But, you know, we just thought he was horsing around in the woods or something and lost track of time. Then I called Paul and...”
    “Wait a minute, Shelley. It’s a quarter ‘til eleven.”
    “I know. I know.”
    “Why didn’t you call sooner? You mean to tell me you’re just starting to look? Christ, he’s eight years old.”
    “I thought he would’ve come home while I was on my shift. Paul was here and he fell asleep and...”
    “Paul. Great.” Sean rubbed his sweaty palms against his thighs.
    “Please Sean, it’s not the time. I fucked up. Okay? Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I need some help finding our son.”
    She was right. In spite of the thoughts running through his head, most of them centering around how he and Austin would have been better parents, but the courts couldn’t see that, all they could see was a little boy growing up under the wings of two queers, Sean knew she was right.
    This was an emergency.


Purchase ebook.
Purchase paperback.
Purchase Kindle version.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dark Scribe Gives BASHED a Great Review


I'll consider Dark Scribe magazine's review of my gay hate-crime novel, Bashed, an early Halloween present. I was thrilled to get a thoughtful thumbs-up from what is fast-becoming a very respected horror publication, with up to 6,000 unique visitors monthly.

Reviewer T.E. Lyons said, "Reed is an established brand — perhaps the most reliable contemporary author for thrillers that cross over between the gay fiction market and speculative fiction..."

Read the rest of the review here.

Purchase Bashed paperback
Purchase Bashed ebook

Friday, October 16, 2009

Song's the Same, Graphics Must Change

The slideshow I made for Jfay's Giveaway Extravaganza is now obsolete, because the sign-up period is over and giveaways have begun.

Since I got some pretty good feedback on my song, I made a new set of graphics related to the music so I could keep it on YouTube. Here's the new version:




This time, it's permanent.
 
Jasper

Monday, October 12, 2009

James, In the Flesh October 14 - 8pm


So This Wednesday in the City of the Angels (or Devils since it's October), I'll be reading at In The Flesh: Los Angeles. Some Steamy, Creepy reading going on for Halloween…my favorite time of year. I'll have Halloween Treat Bags for the first 20 people that show. There's nosh, there's music and there's smut…what could be better?  The official promo:
"It's the trick or treat season so for October's In The Flesh at Hustler Hollywood we're giving you some scary tales and some gothic stories to get you in the mood for all those parties where you can wear the stuff you'd like to wear every day because to quote Ministry - Everyday Is Halloween (which Stan is sure to play as he spins some mood-setting music while you munch on some tasty sweet samples from the Hustler cafe) - oh and just in case you really need a sexy little outfit or toy Hustler Hollywood has the goods.
As does In The Flesh - we have Eden Bradley reading from The Seeking Kiss, James Buchanan reading from Personal Demons and Stan Kent reading from the Shoe Leather series which features Halloween as a key night in the saga along with shoes of all kinds."
And a very Happy Birthday to Stan. In honor of the occasion there will be Hustler giveaway bags for the people wearing the coolest fuck-me shoes.  SHHHHH....I may tote along a naughty Birthday Cake.

In The Flesh: L.A. is a monthly reading series held the second Wednesday of every month at Hustler Hollywood.  My time to shine is October 14, 2009 at 8:oo PM.  Hustler Hollywood is located at 8920 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069. Tel: (310) 860 9009. Free underground parking on-site!

Visit http://inthefleshreadingseriesla.blogspot.com/ for more information on the series or contact stan@stankent.com for more information about specific readings.

And I may be evil and try to snog Eden witless....becasue, you know, she's just damn hawt...

Friday, October 2, 2009

MUTE WITNESS Sneak Preview


My latest full-length novel, Mute Witness, will debut this month in both e-book and trade paperback formats. It's a serious one, but ultimately hopeful and redemptive. I wanted to give you a sneak preview...

Synopsis

Sean and Austin have the perfect life. Their new relationship is only made more joyous by weekend visits from Sean’s eight-year-old son, Jason.

And then their perfect world shatters.

Jason is missing.

When the boy turns up days later, he has been horribly abused and has lost the power to speak. Small town minds turn to the boy’s gay father and his lover as the likely culprits. Sean and Austin struggle to maintain their relationship amid the innuendo and the very real threat that Sean will, at the very least, lose the son he loves. Meanwhile, the real villain is much closer to home, intent on ensuring the boy’s muteness is permanent.



Preview (from Chapter One)

It was what they both would have agreed was a perfect day. Well, Sean might have had one more item to add to the “perfection” list. Having his son, Jason, around for at least part of the time would have been all it would have taken to make the day ideal, but these days, Jason was for the weekends only.
In any case, this was close enough to nirvana. He closed his eyes and let his head loll back on Austin’s shoulder.

Sean was just thinking about slowly undressing Austin and then leading him into the bedroom for round two when the phone rang. Its chirp startled both of them out of the cocoon of warmth that had surrounded them, a cocoon built from good sex, supreme relaxation, and the afore-mentioned Jamaican weed.

Austin: sleepily from under Sean’s arm on the couch, “Don’t get it. Please don’t get it. Just let the machine pick up. I don’t want to talk to anyone. And I don’t want you to, neither.” Sean eyed the little answering machine next to the cordless, wondering when they would enter the 21st century and use voice mail like everyone else. But, unlike voice mail, the machine did allow them to screen calls and for two men who appreciated their privacy, this feature had voice mail beat all to hell.

Sean let the phone ring its customary four rings, although his tendency would have been to answer it. But if this would make Austin happy, then he was willing to do it. Especially since he had things in mind for Austin that did not involve the telephone. Things that would erase their fatigue and perhaps keep them up the better part of the night. Sean grinned.

On the fourth ring, Sean pressed the pause button on the remote control and sat up straighter to listen.

“Whatever it is, it can wait,” Austin whispered in Sean’s ear, flicking his earlobe with his tongue and giving his crotch a playful squeeze.

And then the moment shattered.

Shelley’s voice, almost unfamiliar under the veneer of tension that made it higher, quicker, came through. Shelley and Sean had been married once upon a time and their union had produced Jason, the best little boy in the world. As soon as Sean heard Shelley’s voice he thought of his son, who shared his dark hair, green eyes, wiry frame, and his fascination with stories.

“Sean? Sean, I hope you’re there. This is important. Please pick up.” There was a slight pause. “It’s about Jason. He...”

Before she could say anything else, Sean sprinted for the phone in the entryway. “Shelley? Sorry, I was...”

“Jason is missing.”

“What?”

And then Sean heard her begin to sob and the relaxation in all of his muscles vanished, replaced by a tightness that felt like steel bands snapping taut across his muscles. Blood rushed in his ears; his heart began to pound. A queasy nausea rose up in his gut.

“Jason never came home tonight,” Shelley sobbed. “I don’t know where he is. Please say he’s with you.”

Sean sat down on the little oak chair in front of the desk. Well, collapsed into the chair was more like it. “Shelley, I’m sorry, but he’s not here. Don’t you think I would have called if he had come here? How long’s he been gone?” Sean rubbed the back of his neck, his mouth curiously dry. He glanced out the window at the complete darkness.

“I went to work at six and he wasn’t home yet.” She blew out a sigh. “But, you know, we just thought he was horsing around in the woods or something and lost track of time. Then I called Paul and...”

“Wait a minute, Shelley. It’s a quarter ‘til eleven.”

“I know. I know.”

“Why didn’t you call sooner? You mean to tell me you’re just starting to look? Christ, he’s eight years old.”

“I thought he would’ve come home while I was on my shift. Paul was here and he fell asleep and...”

“Paul. Great.” Sean rubbed his sweaty palms against his thighs.

“Please Sean, it’s not the time. I fucked up. Okay? Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I need some help finding our son.”

She was right. In spite of the thoughts running through his head, most of them centering around how he and Austin would have been better parents, but the courts couldn’t see that, all they could see was a little boy growing up under the wings of two queers, Sean knew she was right.

This was an emergency.

Mute Witness will be out later this month.

First-Timers

Can you name the first-ever Academy Award winner for best picture? Of course, you can. Everybody can. It's Wings, and because it was the first it is still much-discussed even though eighty-two years have passed since its release.


Authors, here is your chance to benefit from being the first award winner. It's a brand new prize for writing in the LGBT genres, with all the normal categories any good book competition should have.


It is the brainchild of our good friend and book-reviewer extraordinaire, Elisa Rolle, and is still in the organizational stages. She is now accepting nominations for all categories, and posted every detail on her LiveJournal Blog.


Read all about it HERE,


and get your books plus those you've read and love entered for that coveted, "First-Ever" Rainbow Award.


Posted by Jardonn Smith

Monday, September 28, 2009

Past Shadows


A MISTICAL BOOK
 
Jardonn Smith
 
Just in time for the haunting season, MLR Press releases Past Shadows, an historical ghost anthology with three distinct stories from three diverse authors -- with one element in common -- spirits from the past will unite lovers in the story-present.
 
We're talking manlove here, male to male encounters brought on by suggestions from the dead. Sometimes a subtle whispering in the ear will do; others require shouts; some demand physical contact from the ethereal to the living flesh of a man's arm, his cheek, or parts of him where the message certainly will get through.
 
We're also talking PAST shadows, because when I said lovers in the story-present, that time could be the 18th Century of our first tale, Death's Desire by author Stevie Woods, the 19th Century of The Shade on a Fine Day by Charlie Cochrane, or the 1930's Depression of my Green River, with settings in same order of Stevie's English manor, Charlie's parish of Saint Archibald's, and my Works Progress Administration work camp.
 
Hmm... either one of our ghosts is trying to say something to me, or it's the sound of you wringing your hands. Yes, yes, it is you moaning. "Jardonn! How can I learn more about this book? Where can I read excerpts and consider whether or not these ghosts and their manloving beneficiaries deserve my investment of time and expense?"
 
Great. Now you've done it. Our gaseous smart-alecks are going to intercede. They say for me to tell you, "Fear not, faithless mortals. We charge Jardonn to present you with all you require."
 
With a mysterious pressure causing discomfort upon my testicles, I give you green links for two excerpts:
 
For Stevie's Death's Desire, and then scroll to bottom of the MLR Press page for your excerpt link.
 
For my Green River , where you'll find a picture I made related to my story. See that greenish form beside the pier? That's my mistical instigator.  
 
Ah, I am now being rewarded for presenting my useful information. Do you want to know how? I didn't think so.  
 
Through the excerpt links you will find purchasing options for paperback or e-book versions of our Past Shadows, and I also suggest you look very closely at the details and subtle messages within our incredible (in my opinion) book cover, courtesy of MLR Press's Deana Jamroz. Also deserving credit, at least for working with me, is my editor at MLR, Kris Jacen. As always, she pointed out my obvious false-assumptions while skillfully schmoozing my sensitive areas.  
 
Thank you, Kris, Deana, MLR Press (meaning mostly Laura Baumbach), Stevie and Charlie for a book of which I'm proud to be a part. 
 
Jardonn Smith

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Collaboration


Collaboration in
TOTAL MELTDOWN
by William Maltese

Having just seen the results of two collaborations, in which I’ve been involved with other authors, reach the book stands … and just before I begin another collaboration with our very own Jardonn Smith, on our period-piece "railroad" novel, GRIT … do let me tell any fellow authors, who may not yet have a clue, that collaborations aren’t the easiest way to go, even if they do seem to offer the advantage of two or more people, each of whom, in theory, only has to write part of a book.

There’s a decided difference, believe me, between joining in an anthology … which is merely you contributing a story to fit an over-all theme, along with other authors … and you teaming up with another author or authors to come together in agreement on characters, character traits, and a coherent single story-line. It is now my experience that writing, like cooking, can see a lot of difficulty arising around too many cooks/authors (and two can sometimes be too many) in the kitchen and/or at the computer keyboard.

In the case of THE GLUTEN-FREE WAY: MY WAY, written with my niece, I thought I had "it" made — no matter everything I had ever heard about the dangers of working with amateurs and relatives. I mean, she and her family had been living gluten-free for several years, and it was merely a case of her telling their story and our providing a few gluten-free recipes, and that was that … right?! The usual major problem of finding an interested publisher had been solved early-on by me, in that Borgo Press had gone to contract on just a proposal. Needless to say, it wasn’t easy at all, in that I ended up writing far more of the book than I originally intended (although, I’m sure the book is a better book because of it) — what with the strain of meeting a deadline placed upon a novice author, and my niece having to deal with an uncle who looked upon a missed deadline as just about the worst sin possible and had no qualms about saying so (which didn’t help the situation and probably, truth be told, acerbated it — sigh!).

http://www.wildsidebooks.com/MALTESE-William_c_547.html

TOTAL MELTDOWN, done with Raymond Gaynor (aka Gary Martine), was easier. My co-author on this one, after all, had published several previous books, knew all about deadlines, and he’d written over 300 pages of this one before I joined in. As with THE GLUTEN-FREE WAY, I persuaded Borgo Press to go to contract before this one was finished; so my main predicament turned out to be my having entered the writing process so late in the game that the characters, character traits, and plot were pretty much in place, all as complicated as any novel dealing with the complications of international politics and espionage and treason and finance. Admittedly, it took me a good deal of time just to figure out who was who, where was where, what was what. That we managed to achieve what we did was only because neither of us looked upon anything we wrote as engraved permanently in stone … which made me less fearful when I started chopping (three hundred pages to a final 155), and shifting character’s sexuality from bisexual to homosexual, from homosexual to heterosexual. Had Raymond put up major complaint, instead of merely commenting that I had "taken his blond-haired, blue-eyed innocent baby boy and converted him into a dark-haired, black-eyed terror", we might still be trying to hash things out, to this very day, instead of basking in the sheer pleasure of having the book now on the bookstands.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Total-Meltdown/Raymond-Gaynor/e/9781434403551/?itm=1&usri=1

How will Jardonn and I fare in our about-to-begin collaboration on GRIT? Only time will tell, but I have high hopes. Our relationship goes back a ways. We’re professionals, each of us well aware of the writing process, each other’s sensibilities and the existent time-line. Wish us luck!