August 19, 2014
The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain
My first book, never to be published in its current form, was an all-tell, tell-all memoir. Sticking to the facts without incriminating myself was a challenge. I ended up leaving out a lot of good stuff. I’m much happier writing fiction where the shackles of what really happened no longer bind me.
Folks who’ve read my novels will likely be surprised by my first short story. My novels depict gay life at different points in time from the 1960s to today. “Writing stories true enough for government work” is my slogan. I’m all about reality. I have no idea why this story went so far in the other direction.
The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain was inspired by an incident from my wild and occasionally slutty past. Fictionalizing this chance encounter allowed me to obscure what really happened with embellishments, fabrications, and outright lies. Next thing you know, I’d written a story about a bear shifter.
Don’t ask me what’s real and what’s made up. I’ll never tell, and I haven’t seen the only guy who’d know in more than fifteen years. If he reads the story, there’s enough truth for him to know he’s one of the characters. Maybe he’ll even look me up.
- Michael Rupured, author of “The Bear King of Snowbird Mountain” in A Taste of Honey
August 19, 2014
It was wonderful to receive a Call for Submission from B.g. Thomas for “A Taste of Honey” and even better to have my story chosen among the contributions of many talented writers for this Bear anthology. Of course, for Dreamspinner’s “gay romantic fiction,” I had to tone things down a bit from my previous efforts.
I wanted to write about something of great relevance to Bears and decided, drawing upon personal experience, to have my protagonist go for a sleep study to see if he needed a CPAP machine. Timely topic, yes, but what’s romantic about it? Guess it depends upon who’s conducting the study, as seen in this excerpt from my story “Just Breathe”:
Grabbing the remote and propping himself up near the headboard, Will remembered Friday was a shitty night for TV. That’s because people with lives and loves are out doing something fun to celebrate tonight. Jeez, even my mom’s going to Bingo after she feeds my cat. He flipped through the channels on the cable guide and was wondering if they had more than basic when there was a knock at the door.
Turning it off, he said, “Yep, come in.”
The door opened and admitted one tall, deeply tan, and very handsome Daddybear wearing blue scrubs and holding a manila file folder. He immediately hit Will’s top three criteria for ursine hotness: bald, glasses, and facial hair, a full auburn beard with just a few strands of gray at the chin. The fur coating his muscled forearms and pouring from the V-cut of his shirt was extra icing on his beefcake.
Looking at the top of his file, he said in a deep baritone, “William Bancroft?”
“Yep, Will’s fine.”
“Any relation to Anne?”
“No, but I get that a lot.”
“Just thought I’d ask,” he said, giving Will eye contact and a strong handshake before they both sat down. “My name’s Les, and I’ll be your sleep technician this evening. I see you’ve already made yourself comfortable and found the remote, so we’ll get you all hooked up and ready for bed, okay?”
“Sure,” Will said, trying to retain eye contact with those deep blue eyes but occasionally having to look away. God, he’s handsome.
“So Marcy told me you haven’t had any caffeine or alcohol today and were nodding off involuntarily this afternoon?” Les asked as he opened the folder.
“Feeling tired now?”
“Well, I’m sure you’ll get there eventually,” he said, flashing a smile of straight but slightly yellowed teeth. “It says here we’ll be doing an EEG to monitor brainwaves, the usual airway and heart hookups, and an NPT test, right?”
“Right. Wait, what does NPT stand for?”
“That would be a Nocturnal Penile Tumescence test.”
Rut-roh! Wonder what that test involves and whether Will is going to pass? Any Bears out there had the (dis) pleasure of a sleep study, or are sleeping more soundly with a CPAP these days? Ever had a “forbidden” crush on your health professional? Are you wondering where the romance begins here? Feel free to post your responses to these questions, and be sure to order your own paperback or e-copy to enjoy even more of “A Taste of Honey.”
- John Genest, author of “Just Breathe” from A Taste of Honey
August 19, 2014
Have you ever seen that one chiller cabinet at the supermarket? The one where everyone is crowded around if you get there at just the right time.
The cheapie shelf. That’s what it is called in my family.
Stacks of fresh and chilled produce that according to the sell by date will become totally inedible at the stroke of midnight.
Maybe you seen it but never gotten close enough, not brave enough to fight your way through the crowd. What types of people are jostling for the best position at the shelves?
I’m quick to fill my basket with things that can be frozen for use at a later date or a sweet treat for after our dinner that night.
My stepdad claims he hasn’t paid the original marked price for a leg of lamb in years.
The smelly man in too many layers who drives all but the most determined bargain hunters away.
The elderly couple, discreetly counting out their pennies to see if they can afford that reduced price joint of meat.
Or are some people there more altruistic than the rest of us, picking up the treasures for the benefit of others.
And that is where the seeds for this story were planted. Curiosity about my fellow scavengers.
Maybe I even saw the hairy mountain man that would become Finn. I honestly can’t remember, but he came to me pretty much fully formed, just waiting for a name and a back story.
They say inspiration can come from anywhere. A trip to the supermarket? Who’d have thought it.
- Lillian Francis, author of “Barefoot” in A Taste of Honey
August 19, 2014
On Not Being a Bear
Welcome to the “A Taste of Honey” blog takeover to celebrate the launch of this great new bear anthology. During the day today, various authors form our new anthology will be taking over the Dreamspinner blog. We hope you enjoy it (and buy the book!!!).
I’m not a bear.
I’m also not a cub, twink, a gym bunny, a leather daddy, a chubby chaser, Castro clone (man does that date me!) or a metrosexual.
I might be an otter. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.
But what I am, unabashedly, is a fan of LGBT(IQQA) diversity. It fascinates me that there are so many kinds of people under our little rainbow – people who are lipstick lesbians, butch dykes, bisexuals, asexuals, transgender, bi-curious, gay allies, drag queens, fruit flies, fag hags, tops, bottoms, switches and so many more.
So when I saw Dreamspinner’s call for stories about Bear romance for the “A Taste of Honey” anthology, I knew I had to give it my own personal twist.
What would it be like, I wondered, if my main character, the guy who walks into a bar and stops hearts, suddenly had to see the world through the eyes of a bear? To be confronted with the fact that the whole world really doesn’t revolve around him and his rock-hard six-pack abs?
Another thing I never was in high school was popular. I was the skinny gay kid who bought the clothes that looked cool on the popular kids and somehow transformed into so not cool on me.
My sympathy’s always been with the little guy, the “loser”, the geek who doesn’t always get the guy.
So it was a lot of fun to put my muscle boy into the body of someone he considers a loser, only to discover… well, I can’t really tell you, ’cause that would spoil the ending.
We have a great group of authors in this one. For me, it’s my first published story; for others, it’s their first with Dreamspinner, while others are old hands.
I’ve gotten to know them over the past few weeks, and am excited that you’ll have the chance to do so too through this great anthology. And huge kudos for B.g. Thompson, the author and editor who conceived of and edited the project, and to Ann Regan, the Dreamspinner editor who helped make it a reality.
So here is our gift to the rainbow that is the Queer Community – and especially, our love letter to the Bears out there.
- J. Scott Coatsworth, author of “The Bear at the Bar” in A Taste of Honey
August 13, 2014
Thanks everyone for letting me take over the blog today. Meet-cute is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and DSP. Hope you check it out.
August 13, 2014
It’s time for some awkward party small talk…
I mentioned before my name is C.C. Dado, I am born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and not leaving anytime soon. Like my favorite type of main character I have a gigantic suitcase of emotional baggage that I get to cart around and bust out every time web MD tells me my average cold is actually something horrific and incurable. (I’ve really got to stop going on there.)
Reading has always been a great escape for me to stop worrying over imaginary problems. My favorite are ones that make you laugh while you fall in love with the characters.
Does anyone out there have some good suggestions of ones I should check out.
I tried for comedic romance in “Meet-cute” I will have to wait to see some reviews to see if I am hitting the mark or not. It is all an amazing learning experience.
August 13, 2014
Free meet-cute ebook download for the first person that reads the sample and can tell me what Elliot thinks should be banned in schools.
August 13, 2014
I may or may not be doing a keg stand right now.
I would like to hear what your preferred main characters are like. For me, it’s the typical tattooed bad boy with a suitcase overflowing with emotional baggage, and an I don’t give a crap attitude. (Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)
I also have a soft spot for an intelligent man that hides a low self-esteem behind layers of self deprecating, dry humored, sarcasm.
(Ahhhhhhhhhhh…this is my comfort zone of “write what you know” for me.)
Here’s a little excerpt from “meet-cute” of my
main character Elliot at the gym with Chase:
“Four minutes into jogging, I could feel the sweat running down my face, and I was trying to figure out if there was a way to make asthmatic breathing sexy. I was pretty sure I was about to die and he was still standing there being all motivational-coach on me. I was partially distracted from jogging by him running his fingers through the top of his hair.
“So, E, uh, I was wondering if I could take you out to dinner tonight?”
That’s the last thing I heard before my toe caught the edge of the treadmill and I felt my body being ejected off the back of the machine like it had decided only pretty people should be allowed to ride it.
“Oh shit, E, are you okay?” I heard Chase say, but it sounded like it was from far away. I’m not sure what hurt worse, my pride or my face from hitting the treadmill on my way down. “Holy shit, I’ve never actually seen that happen in real life,” he said, and I could hear the concern and overwhelming awe in his voice.
“I think I’m done for today,” I said as I tried to get up.”
August 13, 2014
Hello all, C.C. Dado here, I am a new author with DSP. I am celebrating the release of my book “Meet-cute”. I feel I should warn you up front, this could end up being one of those epic parties where you wake up the next morning, not sure what happened, your head is throbbing, your mouth taste funny and you can’t find your pants.
So let’s get this party started:
Hopefully you will all find my book as entertaining as I find bad 80′s dancing. Here is a little blurb and a link to “meet-cute” to kick us off:
“Elliot Beck may not have been blessed with mad art skills, a crooner’s voice, or a godlike physique, but he makes up for it with an abundance of quick-witted sarcasm, massive insecurities, and a love of bad boys.
After his best friend Trevor finds him naked and tied to his bed—abandoned by his latest troublemaker—Trevor convinces him to take a chance on a nice guy. When he has an awkward encounter in the men’s restroom with a fitness instructor named Chase, he never suspects the Adonis might be his perfect bad boy.”
August 11, 2014
Here it is, my last post before announcing the winners of today’s giveaways!
Thank you for visiting the release party for my first full-length novel, The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds! I’m so glad you stopped by, and hope you had a little fun.
Speaking of fun and sex (we weren’t talking about sex? Well, why the hell not?) Strange Birds is an erotic romance so naturally sex figures prominently in the growth of both men. They come into the story with their own ideas of what sex is, and what it should be. Those ideas don’t always mesh, because that would just be too easy.
Besides, sex is different for everyone (I’m guessing here, since I haven’t actually had sex with everyone). What it’s like, and what it includes, both depend on a lot of variables. Not the least of which is who your partner is and what they bring to the table (or the sofa or the backseat of the car or…). Sex for same-sex partners is different than it is for opposite-sex partners too—not only in the most obvious ways.
It’s pretty obvious that same-sex partners don’t go into it with the idea that sex is about procreation. It’s about pleasure, about showing your partner how you feel about them, about the connection. So, very often, it’s not about penetration either. I’m not going to knock it in general, but penetration doesn’t have to be the culmination of every sex scene—or every relationship, for that matter. Most of the opposite-sex romance novels I’ve read seemed to be saying that it is, that penetrative sex is the ultimate goal two people should have (along with marriage, but that’s a whole post unto itself).
What’s the point of this, you ask? I enjoy same-sex romance because you never really know how it’ll end. Sure, if it’s marked romance you expect someone to be in love with someone else by the end and for those feelings to be returned, but it seems to me this is the only hard and fast rule. The mysteries of how they’ll get there and what they’d do along the way are the fun parts. The journey can look wildly different for every couple.
Okay, I’ll stop rambling and make with the steamy excerpt now.
I’ll be back by 7 p.m. Pacific Time to announce the winners.
In the meantime, tell me about your expectations when you read male-male romances. Do you like a lot of sex, or just a little? Wild or vanilla? The sky’s the limit, and every post is an entry for my giveaways.
No fair saying “it depends on the story” either–everyone has a favorite thing and I want to hear ‘em! In this, as in all the truly fun things in life, there are no wrong answers.
All the excerpts today have been from Phil’s POV, but Lee has a voice in this book too. Here’s a little from him. The context for the excerpt is a little spoilery, so I hope I’m not too horrible if I don’t share it.
Lee moaned when Phil knelt on the floor in front of him, and again when he leaned against him and kissed him slowly, deeply, circling Lee’s tongue with his like a preview of coming attractions.
Lee didn’t have to wait long, after that kiss, Phil moved faster with every passing moment. He pulled at Lee’s shirt, and as soon as it was off, tossed it behind him without a glance, and dove forward to kiss a path down his abs. Phil’s hands shook as he slid the elastic waistband of Lee’s sweats down, and by the time his dick was free, both panted loudly in the otherwise silent room.
Phil sucked gently on the head until Lee raised his hips. After a long teasing moment, he opened his lips and let Lee fuck his mouth. A few strokes like that and Phil lowered his head, just a little, every time Lee pushed up. Lee fought the urge to bury both hands in Phil’s hair. He wanted to tangle his fingers, feel Phil’s head banging from both sides, but settled for watching as his hair bounced up and floated down.
Whoa, it’s getting long—it hardly even curls anymore.
Lee grunted with the effort to keep from grabbing Phil’s hair as he sped the pace. Almost like he’d been listening to a Tool song but then Metallica came on the radio. Lee smiled and pulled his good leg up over the arm of the little chair. More leverage meant more friction and—oh shit—and then Phil wrapped a hand around the inside of Lee’s hip. He gripped the crease where leg and ass met, massaging until Phil’s thumb found his hole. For a moment, that felt much longer than it could’ve been, time stopped, just like the hummingbird wings in Phil’s pictures. The moment ended when Phil gripped harder and traced a circle with his hot thumb, ripping a hoarse scream from Lee’s throat as he came.
“Oh shit,” Lee panted, his head lolled to the side, his ass hanging off the chair. He opened his eyes and saw the ottoman about four feet away, his casted foot barely hanging on to the corner.
Phil kissed Lee’s deflating prick and then turned away. He lifted his cast and slid the ottoman under Lee’s leg.
“Oh man, I think you should pay me now.”
“What?” All the happy disappeared from Phil’s face and his body got very still.
“You need to feel this good too.”
Lee leaned forward and rested a hand on Phil’s shoulder. When he didn’t look any less happy, Lee drew his palm down across his chest. He scooted a little more upright and then slipped his hand around Phil’s hip, drawing him closer. Phil shook his head but didn’t really seem to be saying no. After a careful moment spent watching Phil’s face for any sign he was going too far, Lee pushed his fingertips past the waistband of his jeans. Phil shivered, and he took that as a sign and opened the snap.
“Come up here?”
Phil turned his face up to Lee, panting through his beautiful swollen lips. When Lee slipped both hands under his arms and pulled, he didn’t resist. Lee kissed those luscious lips as he arranged Phil across his lap, and didn’t stop while he opened his pants. He was about to pull them off, but at the last minute just brought them down enough to get at Phil’s burning erection.
“Oh shit, you’re so hot.”
Lee grabbed a big handful of Phil’s ass and lifted until he could lick the glistening tip of his cock. When Phil moaned in response, Lee closed his lips over the head. He was tempted to move to the bed so he could watch Phil’s face—his gorgeous face—while he came, but didn’t want to stop sucking his dick to do it.
As though getting off had erased the tough workday, Lee lifted Phil in a faster and faster rhythm until he got close.
Much more fun than free weights.
Thanks again for hanging out with us today—hope you enjoyed the excerpts! I’ll be back in a couple of hours for the drawing. If the train is on time, I’ll be back before then to answer any questions and enjoy the party from the comfort of my PC instead of my phone.
Buy The Nesting Habits of Strange Birds: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5271