Matters of Courtship

September 8, 2014

Hello, all!  I’m C.M. Jackson, here to talk to you about my first book, Methods of Courtship, which is being released today!  You can get it in paperback or eBook.

Here’s the description for you guys.

Crown Prince of the United Kingdom of America, William Samuel Davis, has recently been outed by the press. Worse yet, he’s been thrown into an arranged marriage with one of the stuffiest people he knows—one Lucas O’Malley-Hamilton. It’s a match made in hell, and William fully intends to make everyone see the error of their ways and send Lucas back home on the first available flight.

But things quickly get more complicated than William had thought possible as the Anti-Monarchy crowd uses his outing against him. As he is forced to face the realities of his position, he finds himself drawn to sides of Lucas he hadn’t known existed. Tensions rise throughout the country and in William’s world. While the situation absolutely refuses to improve, it can and will get worse.

MattersofCourtshipLG

In truth, it’s not accurate to call myself C.M. Jackson.  Instead, I am one half of C.M. Jackson.  Unfortunately, my partner in crime can’t be online today, so I’ll be celebrating with you all today!  She and I have been writing together for years now, so it was only natural we’d eventually do something more professional together.  But when I say that I wrote a novel with another person, I usually get an odd look at first.  How do you write a novel with someone else?  Did you just plan it together?  Do you trade of chapters?  Pages?  (The answer, for those curious, is that we trade off scenes).

When you talk to people about the subject more, though, I’ve found an interesting tendency.  A lot of people who enjoy writing started with friends.  They would come together, make a story, volley ideas off of one another and often enough get out a good chunk of a book.  Mind, a lot of them are exactly what you’d think they are.  Looking back, the collaborative efforts I made with elementary school or middle school friends had quite a few characters that were just cool versions of us with swords and magic.  But that’s true if you’re alone or together, I’ve found.

And so I’m somewhat confused why collaborations like that aren’t more common in professional work.  You don’t even see much of it in places like fanfiction.  This may be my own experience, but most of the time, when there’s more than one author name on a book, it’s because someone died or otherwise couldn’t finish it on their own.  There are obviously exceptions, but they’re not all that common.  I like writing with someone else.  Yes, occasionally you disagree, and you get those times where someone feels like they’re doing more work, but it also helps me keep on track.  When you’re trading off, you have more of an incentive to sit down and work, because they’re waiting for you.  And unless you’re a big deal author with editors breathing down your neck for the next chapter, it can be hard to get past an idea and a beginning and really write.  Collaboration is invaluable for that.

Alright, my question for you all, in honor of our first publication: What were your first stories?  And did you ever collaborate with friends?  And I’m looking for the juicy details.  We’ve all done the embarrassing novice mistakes and ideas, don’t be shy to share.

Black Dog

September 5, 2014

Hi again guys,

Here is a excerpt from another creation of mine called “The Medal” which, along with the other stuff I’ve written will go on my new website which I’m developing .  It’s never been offered to a publisher .”The Medal” is based on Australian Rules football and the annual award for the best and fairest player.

It’s written very much in the near future:

CHAPTER 1

AT HOME IN MELBOURNE

The bushland clearing was like many others in Melbourne suburbs; gum trees, low scrub and a carpet of native vegetation in a reserve adjacent to a well established residential area.

There was a man; late 50’s with four children, two dogs and a ginger tomcat, enjoying a picnic; a menagerie.

It was obvious the kids and the animals adored him; his Aboriginal ancestry was evident in the dark eyebrows and deep, dark eyes.  And the clear honey coloured skin which creased only lightly around the eyes as he smiled.

His thick, straight hair was streaked with silver, and pulled into a neat pony tail.

There was a gentleness and approachability about him which the children understood.

And an unmistakable mixture of other blood lines complementing his appearance.

Monti.

Monti Wagner.

They were his grandchildren, of course; two boys and two girls.

All under the age of six with parents who liked to work and get involved in making society what it was.  Providing “Da” would look after the kids.  Cheaper than a crèche (even though they had to pay something) but with the bonus that the kids’ upbringing and education didn’t hesitate for a moment when they were in Da’s care.  If anything, their education accelerated.

Try putting a three year old to bed whose mind was so actively engaged in so many adult propositions that it was impossible to get them down!

Until Da and Pa arrived, told them a story and held their hands until they dozed off.  There was a disturbance along the pathway and the dogs growled, their animosity changing to delight as they recognised the nature of the intruder.

It was Pa.  The dogs ran towards him, followed by the children, whilst Tiddles, the cat, well fed and well rounded, rolled on his back, playing with a gum leaf.

Tall, greying and strong, Warren Williams had a straight back; broad shoulders, and a slight limp from his football days, courtesy of a crook knee.

Also late 50’s, he strode along the path, a beaming smile on his face as he kissed Monti and their grand children in turn.

*****

Their little family group were all around them, in three houses, side by side in a Melbourne suburb, all backing on to the nature reserve.

Warren and Monti in the middle house.

Their daughter and eldest child Shona, her husband Zach and their kids, Anna and James lived in Warren’s parent’s former home, on the southern side.  Mick and Heather Williams, now both eighty five had moved into the spacious granny flat in the garden.  Warren and Monti’s son, Mike jnr. his wife Jenny and their kids, Greg and Fiona were on the other side.  The dividing fences were still intact but there were gates to allow easy access with latches set high up so little fingers couldn’t reach them.

A mini-dynasty from two gay blokes; four generations in fact, in the three properties.

*****

Hand in hand with grand kids, and with Warren carrying Fiona, the youngest, they walked home where Da had a snack waiting, keeping the hungries in check until their dinner time.

A Friday night in spring and it was barbeque night at Shona and Zach’s as usual. The huge commercial barbeque sat in their backyard where Great Grandad was in charge; using his walker as a convenient seat.

Heather Williams threw the mosquito net over the salads as Mick began cooking.

They were doing really well for their age.

“Importantly,” as Warren said, “they both had all their marbles.”

And they certainly did; that fact alone made it possible for them to thrive in the back yard in their old home, in a substantial granny flat, in a very independent manner.  Heather was the family’s unofficial baker.  With energy levels of a person half her age, she cooked an enormous variety of pies, cakes and pastries for themselves and the other three generations.  Monti spoilt them as he always had; their midday meal was always there for them, so Heather never felt she was under any more pressure than she needed to be.  Even though the workload she set herself at special times such as Christmas and Easter was prodigious.

But in her ‘spare’ time she shared a labour of love with her husband;     gay activism.  Mick had begun the unlikely journey from disapproving parent to international gay activist almost as soon as Warren brought Monti home.  Realising his attitude had nearly cost him a son and a family; he set about spreading the word to other parents at home in Australia and overseas.

And, as always, Heather was there supporting him.

Typing emails for him, sometimes as he dictated them, talking to others around the world on similar issues.

Only the previous year, at a black tie dinner, itself a fund raiser, Mick and Heather Williams were jointly awarded a Humanitarian Award by the Human Rights Commission for their work in Africa, particularly in Uganda.

Nearly all the work done from their home in Melbourne.

In Australia Mick had been guest speaker at every single AFA club on many occasions.  And many of the amateur clubs around the nation.

All with the same message; —- homophobia was not only unacceptable as a human condition, it was also unproductive.

“A footy team who doesn’t embrace all its players without reservation is only as strong as its weakest link,” Mick had said.  “And if the weakest link is a homophobe worried about one or two gay guys in the team, then there is no team.  It’s exactly the same with a nation.  When we finally embrace one other with all our diversity, we’ll become a bloody unbeatable team.”

*****

Peter Robertson, aka “Robbo” was not a relative but was certainly part of the family.  Twenty three years old, he was a brilliant ruckman and could kick like no one else in the competition.  He played for Pinewood, where both Warren and his father had spent their active football years.  Robbo had come to live with Warren and Monti because his parents actively disapproved of his very openly gay lifestyle.  Warren and Monti didn’t hesitate; they had spare bedrooms and the idea that any player should be disadvantaged because of his lifestyle was still, all these years later, very close to their hearts.

So Robbo had arrived over a year ago, and never went home.

You could always hear him long before you actually saw him.

Robbo was like that; loud, laughing, and telling jokes 24/7.

It simply never ceased.  A total extrovert; if he was quiet he was ill.

But what you saw was exactly what you got with Robbo.

He had a kind, thoughtful and loving nature and fitted perfectly into the Williams / Wagner clan.  It was like he had been there always.

Sandy hair, beautiful baby blue eyes and a cheesy grin amid a scattering of freckles that nearly split his face in half.  Together with Warren and Monti he was expected to be on story telling duty nightly, although training sometimes saw him arrive home after the kid’s bedtimes.  Unfortunately boyfriends seemed to take advantage of his generous nature and hardly any made it past a second date.  Yet he was always cheerful and good-natured, and the clan made sure he knew they appreciated him.

*****

Tonight he was knackered; training had been truly arduous.

But duty called and Robbo found himself the target of four little kids; all vying for his attention at once.

He cut Fiona’s meat for her as her mother looked on with amusement.

Then insisted she also eat some salad.  Fiona shook her head.

Robbo cleared his throat; it was enough and Fiona obeyed.

He swung his attention to the others and they did likewise.

“Robbo,” said Jenny Williams; “you’ll make some lucky man a wonderful missus one of these days.”

In a flash he shot back, whispering so the children couldn’t hear but most of the adults could.  “Well if you come across one that’s under seventy, can speak English passably, and keep me in the manner to which I’ve become accustomed, then let me know.”  “Why does he have to speak English Robbo,” asked Shona, laughing.  “So he understands when I tell him to fuck off,” Robbo whispered.  “Because I have no confidence in the Great Australian Males, thank you very much.  All they want is one thing, which is lovely but I’ve yet to find one who would be worth waking up with in the morning.”

Mike jun. looked and sounded sympathetic.  “Robbo,” he said, “if I played for your team, you wouldn’t stand a chance, I’d sweep you off your feet.  But my wife would probably miss me.”  “You’re joking, sunshine,” Jenny laughed, “as long as the cheque arrives every week, who cares?’’

Both Warren and Monti roared with laughter.  Their only son had a habit of showing his kind nature without worrying about the repercussions.  And Jenny understood.  And thankfully so did Robbo, who couldn’t resist another dig.  “Michael, if you’re really that hard up, I’ll leave the bedroom door just slightly ajar.  I’ll be reclining on the bed in my most revealing negligee.”

Even old Mick and Heather had tuned in and were grinning broadly, enjoying the family taking the piss out of each other.

Some nights the innuendo went on for hours, but tonight wasn’t one of those nights.  Mick Williams turned to his son and partner quietly.  “There’s a very interesting proposition come through by email.  Mum and I need to discuss it with you in the morning; are you two around?  Warren and Monti looked at each other and nodded.  “About ten o’clock then?”  “Perfect, sweetheart,” Monti said, and Mick grinned.  At his age, being called sweetheart by anybody was good, but when it was his lovely son in law it was just super.  “Come on Ma,” he said to Heather, “let’s go home and ravage each other’s bodies.”

 

 

 

Black Dog

September 5, 2014

Hello again everyone;

Just to whet your appetite, here is Chapter 1 of Black Dog

I’m very direct (as one blogger has remarked about Australians!) so no one is under any misunderstanding what the underlying theme is !

CHAPTER 1

AWAKENING

I looked across at Danny as we lay sunbaking. His cock lay straight up his bare belly as hard as stone. I couldn’t stop myself, running my fingers along its length, curling them around and stroking it, the first time my hand had ever touched one other than my own.

It was longer than mine, but mine was actually much thicker and it certainly had Danny’s attention. By now he was gently fisting it, looking both pleased and curious all at once.

His gaze caught mine as we turned, facing each other on the warm flat rocks beside our swimming hole in the little creek, reaching orgasm in record time, yelling out as we came all over each other, revelling in the luxury of complete privacy because “our” swimming hole wasn’t even known about.

Ever the leader, I found a spare towel, which had magically found its way into my bag, and I wiped him clean, his eyes following me with amusement.

It seemed, at least in my case, that what had happened was a relief in more ways than one. We’d grown up with our homes just a few minutes away from each other and had simply done everything together—school, family functions, farmwork, and now, in our immediate postpubescent life, we had finally roared over the imaginary line between wanting to and actually doing “it.”

And we really liked each other—best mates, we were—and I felt a sense of wonder that I’d finally found something I now realized I’d been unconsciously looking for ever since I’d had thoughts about anything.

I knew I’d been sort of flirting with him for a while now, and he’d actually led me on. Mum said I was a master of the double entendre. Anything that wasn’t remotely erotic I managed to turn into a joke with sexual overtones, and this time he’d called my bluff.

But it was worth it. In my eyes, he was stunning. I had a very good idea by now what pressed my buttons, and he was definitely it. Taller than me, dark, almost jet-black hair, a tendency toward a barrel chest—even as a fourteen-year-old—which was lightly covered in fine dark hair, a contrast to me because I had brown hair and was a little shorter.

There was common ground in one area. After constantly talking about sex, we discovered we not only had out-of-control libidos, but we both loved dicks. He loved my dick, and I loved his.

We rested close together in the warmth, listening to the wattlebirds busy with their airborne chatter in pursuit of nectar. Bruce, my twelve-month-old Kelpie, looked over his paws, and I’ll swear he smiled at me.

We’d even jerked off together, but this was just so different. Neither Danny nor I mentioned the obvious—we didn’t have to, we both knew our relationship had changed forever as we reached for each other again. We’d watched porn on my laptop, and I decided, being the more confident and wicked one, that I’d try giving him head and see what happened.

I knew I shouldn’t scrape him with my teeth and was conscious of giving him a good time as well as enjoying myself.

I must have been successful because he started moaning the instant I went down on him. After a short time, he quickly pulled out of my mouth and said “sixty-nine,” so full of authority that I laughed at him. He looked at me a bit sheepishly, but I steered him in the right direction, and we found heaven on earth together.

“Are we okay?” I said to him as we packed up, our brief freedom over.

“Sure,” he grinned, “why shouldn’t we be?”

“Oh, no reason.” I grinned at him, but I could tell there was some turmoil behind those beautiful eyes. I put it out of my head because tomorrow was school, and we both had chores at home. He had calves to feed, and I had to help my mum with her bath routine before Dad closed up at work.

Sunday trading at Prentice Farm Supplies had boomed. There were ever-increasing numbers of hobby farmers who were only around on weekends, and Dad was busily rounding them up. The weekly turnover had increased by 30 percent, he’d said. So it was now seven days a week for him, which made my home duties with Mum even more important.

Mum had multiple sclerosis, and my two young sisters, Emma and Megan, were too small to help her yet. Mum could do most things, including the cooking and housework, but she found showering or the weekly bath she enjoyed impossible to do without help. Dad had rigged up a small crane and a sling over the bath, and I actually looked forward to helping her. Any lingering embarrassment over her nudity had long gone. Mum instead turned the exercise into a weekly catch-up of harmless gossip, family news, and a one-on-one problem-solving exercise—if indeed either of us had problems that needed solving. The door was locked, not so much for Mum’s privacy but to keep my sisters out so Mum and I had each other’s full attention. Today she sensed something had changed, but I deliberately avoided discussion about Daniel and his family. She knew, I was sure. Her eyes told me so.

But she would never press me on it, because that just wasn’t her way.

 

 

I was always a mature kid, I guess. Dad and Mum were well educated and people of the world, somehow lost souls in this maze of conservative thinking that was Victoria’s southwest. They made sure that no topic was off the discussion list at home, particularly in areas of social interaction.

So it was relatively easy for me to work out my orientation.

Not that I was antifemale, far from it, and I knew I’d simply have to try one or two just for fun, even though I knew at this early stage that it took a bloke to float my boat.

Yep, I was a gay boy for sure. I hadn’t discussed it with Mum, Dad, or my sisters yet, but that would be a subject for another day, and happily for me, I knew that would be the least of my concerns as my life unfolded.

Around puberty I grew wistful, wondering why I was chosen to be this quirk of nature, one of so few within the vast majority. But since then, because I had generous access to the Internet, I reasoned there were quite a few others like me out there, so I wasn’t alone. And because I grew up with parents who were just so cool and natural, I was able to answer my own questions and not get depressed.

I realized then I was quite normal, just a variation of nature’s plan, and I knew I had to handle it. The alternative was unacceptable.

 

 

Daniel, on the other hand, came from a more traditional farming family, descended from the many Irish immigrants who had populated the district, wearing their Catholicism like a winter overcoat, locking their puritanical thoughts inside them.

Except no one gave a shit about the church these days, as both my Dad and Mum correctly confirmed.

Daniel’s dad, Bill Morgan, was a raw-boned, red-faced, loud bloke who drank too much on Friday nights and seemed ignorant of anything else but hard work. But he and Mrs. Morgan were always really nice to me and understood that Danny and I were the closest of friends. They encouraged the friendship, always knowing where to find their youngest son when he wasn’t at home.

Over the years, Mr. Morgan had driven himself and his family hard in their mixed farming and dairying operation, and with all that hard work and focus, the family’s fortunes had obviously turned for the better. With plenty of willing hands to run their assets, Danny had a much easier young life than his older brothers. Danny’s brothers were not as assertive as their father, but instead seemed very quiet and naïve, usually marrying the first girl they went out with. They still worked from daylight till dark seven days a week and had little exposure to the modern world outside the farm gate.

The exception was Simon, the second youngest, who was around five years older than Daniel, and who had escaped, living in town with his girlfriend, Julie, and working as a salesman in rural real estate. Simon was really cool, and Julie was just—lovely.

 

 

 

 

 

New Releases: September 5th, 2014

September 5, 2014

Black Dog by John Terry Moore

 

Veterinarian Dean wants a full time partner and kids, but Neil is deep in the closet and their relationship is going nowhere permanent.

Australia is a nation in transition. Marriage equality looms but homophobia still rules. Depression and suicide are commonplace as Dean Prentice and his lover, Danny, grow up together in country Victoria. When Dean moves to a nearby regional center to study veterinary science, he finds acceptance and love when reunited with Danny. Profound tragedy visits Dean’s life and he grieves, moving on through a series of lovers both male and female and struggling to focus on his studies and his dream of becoming a veterinarian. He graduates and specializes in equine work.

 

With long hours and unrelenting pressure, he misses the support of a full time partner. The only constant in his life is his loyal Kelpie, Bruce. Then he meets Neil Andrews and falls in love. Neil is a stunning widower in his forties with children and grandchildren, and Dean realizes he wants kids of his own.

 

But Neil is still deep in the closet and while their relationship is passionate, it’s going nowhere permanent. They separate, and Dean contemplates marrying a woman for company and friendship. For the second time in Dean’s young life, depression reveals its ugly presence; this time there are medical professionals at hand and he might have a chance for love at last.

 

Length: Novel (220p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: September 5, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-962-6) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-961-9)

 

 

 


Blood Ties by Sui Lynn

 

When Lance is kidnapped, Andrew believes there’s a traitor among Lord Basil’s drones. Brad, a former Drone, tries to drive Lance insane.

Changing Moon: Book Three

 

When Lance is kidnapped from his adopted grandfather’s home, Andrew believes there is a traitor among Lord Basil’s drones, despite the fact that the born vampire supports Lance and Andrew’s crusade to free shifters from vampire subjugation.

 

Lance awakens to finds Andrew’s baby sister, Angela, and a young boy shackled to a wall next to him, and a corpse nearby.  Brad, a former drone of Basil’s, tortures them in an effort to drive Lance insane and prove that pureblood shifters are unstable and need to be destroyed before he gets them all killed.

 

Stephon comes home after a trip to an orgy disguised as an unbirthday party. His mate, Quinn, shows up uninvited and is angry at the perceived infidelity. It isn’t easy to rekindle a relationship after a 270-year separation. As old arguments and insecurities resurface, Quinn decides the only way to keep Stephon safe might be to force the stubborn older vampire into hibernation, until he can defeat his father, Lord Rufus.

 

Length: Novel (214p.) | Genre: Werewolves/Shifters, Paranormal, Vampires, Mystery/Suspense

Release Date: September 5, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-700-4) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-699-1)

 

 

 

 

 

Idolatry by Rebecca Cohen

 

Lornyc with his husband, Methian, must race through the different planes of existence to capture an escaped entity or lose his life.

Sequel to Servitude; Reagalos: Book Two

 

Upon taking the throne as High Lord of Katraman and Liege of Scura, Lornyc Reagalos’s focus on rebuilding one city and reassuring another leaves little time for his husband, Methian. Added to that, he must contend with the unexpected revelation that his grandfather, Romanus, set up his own religion and named an enigmatic figure called The One as its deity. Through some twisted interpretation of the signs left by Romanus, the Cerulean Cult comes to believe Lornyc is their god and invites him to sanctify the Cult as part of its five-hundred-year anniversary.

 

During the Sanctification Ceremony, the Cult’s holy relic, an orb given to it by Romanus, is split, releasing an entity that tears a hole in the dimensions. The species that guards the dimensions, the Valen, force Lornyc to fix the breach, or they will have him extinguished.

 

Now as Lornyc faces a race through the different planes of existence to capture the escaped entity, he must rely on his own Valen guardians to help him. With Methian and his family by his side, Lornyc must fight to repair the damage or lose his life.

 

Length: Novel (300p.) | Genre: Science Fiction, High Fantasy Release Date: September 5, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-940-4) | Buy as Paperback ($17.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-939-8)

 

 

 

 

 

Beneath the Stain – Part Two by Amy Lane

 

When Trav is asked to take over the management of Outbreak Monkey, his first order of business is to clean up their act.

Part Two of Beneath the Stain

 

Trav Ford doesn’t like strings and he doesn’t like messes. Coming off a messy breakup, Trav is grimly determined to keep his life absolutely pristine. When Trav is asked to take over the management of Outbreak Monkey, his first order of business is to clean up their act—and that includes shipping the youngest, most troubled member off to detox and rehab before Mackey Sanders’s life choices kill him.

 

But Mackey didn’t become an addict overnight, and it’s going to take more than one trip to rehab to fix him up. When an act of violence destroys Mackey’s struggling equilibrium, Trav is going to find that messy isn’t so hard to escape—not when it’s wrapping its mess around Trav’s heart.

 

 

Five Way to Buy

 

1. Serial Package

• Automatically get each part with special content on your bookshelf as it is released and the digital novel upon release. Serial runs 8/29/14-10/10/14. Novel releases 10/17/14.

• $12.99. This option only available through dreamspinnerpress.com.

 

2. Serial Deluxe Package

• Automatically get each part with special content on your bookshelf as it is released and the digital novel upon release. Serial runs 8/29/14-10/10/14. Novel releases 10/17/14.

• Also received a signed paperback mailed to you upon novel release.

• $24.99 +shipping. This option only available through dreamspinnerpress.com.

 

3. Serial Only (7 parts)

• Buy individual parts with special content weekly for $1.99. Serial runs 8/29/14-10/10/14.

 

4. & 5. Novel

• Purchase the complete novel in eBook or paperback, no special content included. Novel releases 10/17/14.

• eBook $6.99, paperback $17.99

• Upon complete novel release, the serial will no longer be available.

 

Length: Serial (71p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: September 5, 2014

Buy as eBook ($1.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-512-1)

Black Dog

September 5, 2014

Hi guys, this is an excerpt from a new novel I’ve penned called “Tarnung” — also set in Australia

Since I’d been faithfully following the exercises my physiotherapist had given me, I’d had no trouble sleeping. I was so tired I was usually asleep before my head hit the pillow, even though I had a lump of plaster for company which meant I mainly slept on my back.

But tonight, after the expose` of our former lives, my mind was just so stimulated I found it difficult to slip off.  Finally, I must have done just that but it wasn’t a happy place – there were bad images there, and fear.

I woke up to find tears coursing down my cheeks like a waterfall. A feeling of worthlessness sweeping over me, and I just couldn’t stop crying.

Suddenly he was there with his soothing voice, and the side light popped on.

I was embarrassed, but he wasn’t.  “Kenny,” he said, “what’s upset you?”

I shook my head, but the feeling was still there, a frightening feeling like someone was chasing me.  I must have looked like a dog, cowering after some bastard was about to kick it, and I started again, sobbing away like a big girl.  Finally I pulled myself together, and whispered to the only person in the world who seemed to understand, “Will you sleep with me tonight?”

Raj nodded, picking up my hand again and kissing it in an absent-minded fashion, returning to his room momentarily to switch off the lights.

*****

It was quite light outside. I groaned inwardly, and what was left of my sense of humor kicked in and I giggled to myself.

“What’s wrong now?” he said.

“Oh, trust me,” I said, pointing at the window, “it’s a full moon, no wonder I’m stranger than normal.”

His perfect white teeth flashed in the darkness. ‘Ask me to smile in a dark room,’ he’d said at the hospital, ‘you’ll always find me.’

He turned to me. “Would you like some hot chocolate, it might help us sleep?”  I nodded my head in agreement and he returned with two steaming mugs.

He helped me sit up in bed and I sipped the drink gratefully.  I looked over at him. He was the most handsome creature I’d ever seen and hoped like buggery I didn’t stuff things up, because I really loved having Raj as my best friend.

“I want to tell you all the story,” I whispered. “I left a few things out”.

“I know,” was the quick response from the other side of the bed.

“I’m gay,” I said quietly. “There’s never been any doubt in my mind, but keeping it hidden from your mates is just torture, particularly when you fancy a few of them.  That’s when I went crazy, at high school.  All those years of pretending I was something else has fucked with my mind. Once I had my driver’s license I was in Melbourne most weekends, and that kept me sane for a while, but I never met one single guy who wanted anything more than a quick fuck. And that frustrated me no end, because nobody was interested in a relationship with a bloke who came from the bush.  I met a few guys down here through the Internet, all of them married, and I hooked up with a few.  They seemed happy enough, but in the last year two of them have taken the easy way out.”

Raj looked at me with a determined expression on his face. Then he closed his eyes and nodded his head. He’d heard it all before, I suppose.  “I found your shotgun in the workshop,” he said tiredly. “I hope you don’t mind, but I disposed of it until you’re in calm water again.”

*****

My first reaction was a flash of anger but, because it was Raj, it lasted a few seconds only.  That feeling was replaced by the certain knowledge that I was in fact a sick puppy, and I felt more hopeless and useless than ever.

“I don’t know why you hang around a fuckin’ loser like me,” I muttered. “You were probably smart to get rid of the old gun. No bastard cares, and no bastard loves me or would even fuckin’ miss me if I wasn’t around.”

The voice from the other side of the bed was clear but I thought the meaning a bit ambiguous. “Well, I love you, Kenny, and I would miss you terribly. That’s why I’ve fought so hard to keep you around.”

For once in my life I was bloody speechless. Because I thought I knew what Raj meant but I wasn’t certain.

He saw my hesitation and jumped right in.

“I don’t know what it is with Aussie men, because so many of them are as thick as a fucking house brick, like you.” He grinned at me. “The first time we met, I know, was under difficult circumstances, but I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted you. It was instant attraction for me.”

My mouth went dry and I could hardly spit the words out. “You mean you love me like that?” I croaked.

“Yes, Einstein, like that.”

I swung around in the bed and nearly broke my crook leg again.  I yelled with the pain of the protesting muscles, and he bloody laughed at me.

“That means you’re gay too!” I shouted.

“Two questions correctly answered,” Raj laughed. “Go to the top of the class. You get a prize for that.” He scooted across the bed, slipped his hand gently behind my head and kissed me.

Somewhere, somehow in my life I must have done something right, I reckoned. Some bastard must have been listening to me when I was in so much trouble, because out of shit something amazing and beautiful had come along.  I felt stronger, and I realized as long as he was around I could achieve anything, anything at all.

We cuddled and talked quietly and I slipped off to sleep, a lovely peaceful sleep, with Raj’s arm over me, keeping me safe.

 

 

 

Black Dog

September 5, 2014

 

Hi guys!

I’ve written several other books, one of which is called  “Rhythm” and is on a free site www.awesomedude.com/

 Just look for my name, John Terry Moore on the author’s list and double click

Black Dog Release Party

September 5, 2014

BlackDog

Hello, my name is John Terry Moore (John) I’m the author of “Black Dog,” released by Dreamspinner Press today, September 5. It’s a pleasure to chat to everyone about my ‘baby’ —- my first published novel and my passion for writing gay romance stories. So welcome to this discussion and through “Black Dog” and myself, welcome to Australia! Because if nothing else, I promise you this is a very believable snapshot of life ‘downunder’. Of course this is fiction but these types of scenarios are playing out, every day, where we live. So hopefully readers will have the bonus of learning more about our country as well as being immersed in an intriguing love story. I live in a regional town called Geelong, only one hour from Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. My partner is Russell. On October 3 next we celebrate 31 years together. Russell says he would have served less time for murder! We both believe, however, that the power of partnership can be such a creative and dynamic force. If you love someone you’ll do anything, anything at all. That’s the message of “Black Dog” — that love does indeed triumph over all odds. I was born into a farming family in Tasmania, moved to Melbourne for some time and began my long association with the automotive industry there. Russell and I came to the Geelong district around 28 years ago and were farmers as well as continuing to pursue our full time careers — me in the automotive industry and he as a chef. In addition I became a Civil Celebrant and my work of marrying, burying and naming babies has inspired much of the content of “Black Dog”. Inspiration? More like desperation just a few years ago. I remember doing a funeral for a young guy in his mid twenties who had ended his own life. As I sat with the family, researching his life, it hit me like a ton of bricks. What unfolded was a copy of my own early life and I knew immediately what had driven him to do this. The great sadness was that his family have to this day, no idea that their son and brother was same sex attracted. There were several more like this, mostly indirect homophobia, a complete vacuum of understanding, no room for anyone else in this world other than straight people. So I make a cameo appearance in “Black Dog” as does Russell. And yes, he’s a great cook!

Above all, I wanted to tell a good story. To entertain the reader and to hold their attention. That’s what DSP requires and that’s great. But the other task of “Black Dog” is to educate. So kids growing through their teens and men in regional and rural areas in Australia in particular feel better about themselves after reading the book. That loving another human being is far more important than sexual orientation. I’m interested in your perception of Australia and Australians, and your understanding of this place. Do you realize we’re just 23 million people in the Southern Ocean versus the United States at over 300 million? Do Australian guys do it for you; are we seen as maybe a touch unsophisticated and down to earth?

Does the name “Black Dog” intimidate you, realizing it’s a description of depression? Does the blurb set your mind at rest knowing it’s written as a love story?

It’s Chapter 27 “The Big Day” near the end of the book before you, the unsuspecting reader will finally realize I’ve made you laugh and cry on the same page and the story changes direction dramatically. Chapter 28 is the explanation why and Chapter 29 is the suitable ending. Will you hate me for challenging your emotions this way, I wonder?

 

About the Author:

John Terry Moore lives with his partner Russell in Geelong, Victoria’s largest regional center, one hour from Melbourne, Australia. He completed his education at Hobart Matriculation College, and held a number of senior positions in the automotive industry over a thirty-five year period.

He has been a civil marriage celebrant and funeral celebrant since 1995 (now retired), and together with his partner were successful flower growers, raised stud sheep and bred Kelpies, Australia’s working dogs. Born into a farming family; his empathy and understanding of country people has allowed him to focus on rural issues in his writing.

Geographical and social isolation through the worry and stress of poor seasons, fluctuating prices, and in particular, sexual orientation in men has fuelled depression across regional and rural Australia in epidemic proportions. Driven by his experiences as a funeral celebrant, he understands full well the ultimate penalty paid by men of all age groups when they feel marginalized by homophobic attitudes and actions in rural and regional communities in particular.

Over the years, John has become an increasingly strident and persistent voice with politicians, community groups, and the general public, encouraging, supporting, and driving the push for gay marriage and equal rights for same sex parents and their children. Black Dog reminds us that gay kids should never be allowed to feel that they aren’t as good as straight kids. That only when everyone is treated exactly the same under law will society begin to heal itself.

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Buy “Black Dog” here!

Author Interview with Brad Boney

September 5, 2014

Dreamspinner Press: Let’s start with your first novel, The Nothingness of Ben. If readers know your name, it’s probably because of that book, wouldn’t you agree?

Brad Boney: Absolutely. Lots of readers in this genre have read Ben, and it continues to sell two years later. I’m fortunate to have had that experience.

DSP: What’s your response to critics who claim The Nothingness of Ben fails because Ben Walsh is something of a dick?

BB: [Laughs] I’ve read a few of those reviews. The first thing that struck me was how engaged with Ben they were. People wrote about him as if he were real, and that felt like a win to me. I also noticed some of those reviews were marked DNF at 30%. I understand—life’s too short. If my writing doesn’t grab someone, they should bail and move on. I’m the same way. But Ben does grow in the book. I don’t think he’s a dick at the end. He’s a flawed person who was lucky enough to meet a man who is truly his better half.

DSP: So you think Travis is the better man?

BB: Is that wrong? I kind of do, at least for me. Ben is brilliant and charming and funny, but he’s also rudderless. He needs someone like Travis to steady him. I would date someone like Travis before I’d date someone like Ben.

DSP: Is that because you and Ben are too much alike?

BB: In some ways, yes. I’m pretty self-absorbed, but I can also be worthy and faithful and true.

DSP: What about the criticism that the tone of the opening chapters, given the death of their parents, is too lighthearted?

BB: On that one, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I understand those comments and where they come from, but maybe those people aren’t Catholic. My family has a powerful sense of denial around grief and sadness. We don’t express it. We cover it with humor. We act out like Cade does, or withdraw like Jason does. And then at some point, it boils over and brings us to our knees, like it does with Ben when he kisses Travis in the street and breaks down crying.

DSP: How do you feel about the M/M genre as a whole?

BB: It’s easy to trash romance novels because so many of them are awful. But the argument that they’re all bad is ridiculous, and I don’t even have to include my own books to defend that. T.J. Klune won a Lambda award this year. Jay Bell has been nominated twice and won once. Anyone who points to those books and calls them trash is an idiot, and should be dismissed as such.

DSP: We’ve heard you have some issues with the term M/M.

BB: Where did you hear that?

DSP: People talk around the office. Are you saying you don’t have an issue?

BB: I don’t understand the term because I don’t come from a romance background. I’ve never read an M/F romance in my life, and I assume that’s where it comes from. M/F, M/M, M/F/M, M/M/M, F/M/F. I don’t know why M/M is necessary when the word “gay” works just fine. Those designations seem very tab/slot to me, like it’s all about genitals. In some cases, I also think it gives writers permission to divorce their stories from the lived experience of real gay men, including all the social, medical, and political baggage that comes with it. I guess there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not what I’m doing. Ben Walsh is recognizable to me as a gay man I might know. Maybe that’s why some readers have a problem with him. He’s not an idealized romantic hero.

DSP: How does it feel being a gay man in a genre dominated by women?

BB: [Grins] It depends on the women.

DSP: Do you think a woman can write a good story about two men falling in love?

BB: Yes. I’ve read them. I’ve been vocal about my admiration for books like Faith & Fidelity by Tere Michaels, and Promises by Marie Sexton. The female factor is unexpected, that’s all. When I tell my gay friends that most of my readers are women, they’re very surprised. They don’t understand it, and at first I was the same way. But I’ve gotten to know many of my readers, and that changed everything. I love them and I now understand what draws women to these stories—both as readers and writers.

DSP: You mentioned you don’t come from a romance background. What are your influences?

BB: I spent years in the theater as an actor and director, which explains why my books are so dialogue heavy. Most of the gay fiction I’ve read were books by Violet Quill authors like Andrew Holleran and Edmund White. I’m a huge fan of rom-coms and directors like Cameron Crowe. I think as romance writers, we’re all trying to create a moment like John Cusack holding that boom box over his head.

DSP: We’ve noticed on Twitter that your second book, The Return, has a smaller but more passionate following.

BB: The Return was a tough sell. It doesn’t have a conventional set-up. It spans two generations. It’s got a huge canvas—someone pointed out there are actually 10 main characters. The romance is resolved at about 75%. I had to keep the blurb vague, and once you read the book, you understand why. But that only hurt it in terms of sales. I get it—people like to know what a book is about. I don’t blame them. Still, the people who did read it are grateful I didn’t give anything more away. It’s a story I’m very proud of, and the fact that some readers have embraced it in such a profound way is extremely satisfying to me. I don’t think I can write a better book than The Return, which is why I took a totally different approach to The Eskimo Slugger.

DSP: What do you mean?

BB: The Return was that book every writer has in their back pocket. The one they were born to write. I didn’t think I could top it, so my only option was not to try. As a result, The Eskimo Slugger tells an intimate story on a small canvas, about two simple guys caught up in an impossible situation. It takes place over ten days in the summer of 1983. It’s like a pop song. Readers who are expecting another symphony like The Return should brace themselves for disappointment.

DSP: But you set The Eskimo Slugger up in The Return, which leads us to our next question. Are you writing a series or not?

BB: Yes and no. I believe you can pick up any one of my books and enjoy each as a standalone, but there is certainly something to be gained by reading them all. That doesn’t mean they have to be read in the order I wrote them. I’m a child of postmodernism and enjoy a certain random element. The order in which you read them will determine your experience. If someone out there has never read one of my books, I’d say jump in with The Eskimo Slugger. Chronologically, it’s actually the beginning.

DSP: Is it a book about baseball?

BB: It’s a book about a baseball player. There is only one scene set inside a ballpark.

DSP: Were you a baseball fan before you wrote it?

BB: No. I didn’t know anything about baseball.

DSP: Really? What did you do for research?

BB: I watched the entire Ken Burns documentary twice—all 18 hours of it. I went to a lot of baseball games in Austin and elsewhere. I talked to my dad and a friend of mine at work who used to play college baseball. I read the Billy Bean autobiography called Going the Other Way, about his time as a closeted gay man in the major leagues. I listened to the Baseball Tonight podcast for an entire season, just to hear and understand the way guys talk about baseball.

DSP: Are you a fan now?

BB: Oh, absolutely. I’d love to meet a guy who thinks a baseball game is a great date.

DSP: You mentioned Austin, where all your books are set. How long have you lived there?

BB: Twenty-six years. I’m a naturalized Texan. But as many people have learned from my books, Austin is nothing like the rest of Texas. It’s the blue center of a red state. Austin is very gay friendly and boys walk around holding hands all the time.

DSP: What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses as a writer?

BB: My weaknesses are easy. I have virtually no powers of description. I’ll never be L.C. Chase, the way she can take you into a horse stable and bring it to life. But I also believe that writers should draw the outline and readers should fill it in, so at least my practice matches my theory. I’m very bad when it comes to narrating the internal life of a character. I’ll never be J.P. Barnaby, the way she can spend pages and pages inside Aaron’s head and make it interesting. I can’t do that. But I think most readers would say I spin a good yarn. I understand set-up and payoff. I’m a better-than-average storyteller.

DSP: Of all the chapters you’ve written, which is your favorite?

BB: Do you have one?

DSP: Yes, but we want to hear yours first.

BB: “Cover Me” from The Return. In every season of Mad Men, there’s that one episode when everything happens. The shit hits the fan. That’s what “Cover Me” is. Topher has his inter-dimensional phone call, then he sits down with his bandmates and explains what’s going on, then Stanton shows up, then Topher sings…. It’s just bam, bam, bam. It made my head spin writing it.

DSP: It took us awhile to figure out that all the chapter titles were Bruce Springsteen songs.

BB: I tried not to use the most famous songs. Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite?

DSP: Chapter seventeen from Nothingness. We call it “the earth is flat.” Anyone who’s read the book knows what we’re talking about. We don’t really know exactly what Travis is thinking, but it doesn’t matter. Ben’s surrender is delicious.

BB: That’s where point of view worked to my advantage, since we only get to know what’s going on inside Ben’s head.

DSP: We noticed you favor third person and past tense, with a single point of view. Is that a conscious choice?

BB: Yes. The Return is actually told from two points of view, though.

DSP: Okay, technically that’s true, but it’s almost two separate stories, so… We’d argue that each of your stories is told from a single point of view.

BB: That’s fair. Single point of view works best for me. I’m looking for stylistic choices that foreground the story, not the storytelling, and sticking with one character does that. I find it jarring when the point of view shifts back and forth within a chapter, simply because the author thinks I need to know both sides of the story. I don’t. A good writer looks at single point of view and sees opportunities, not limitations. What can I hide in the negative space? As far as tense goes, past tense is the most “invisible” way to write. I know present tense is all the rage now, and I have no problem with it. I adapt pretty easily when I pick up a book that’s written in present tense. But I do notice it before I adapt. The writer’s hand becomes visible to me, and that’s something I’m personally trying to avoid. I also think first person is vastly overused, and in too many cases exposes a writer’s weaknesses. I may take that risk someday, but only after I’ve written several more books.

DSP: We can’t all be J.D. Salinger.

BB: Exactly. Unless you can write a first-person narrative with a voice as distinctive as Holden Caulfield, stick with third person.

DSP: Your stories seem to have a spiritual undercurrent to them. Is that intentional?

BB: I think so. I’m not trying to beat people over the head, but it’s there. It’s also there in The Eskimo Slugger, but by the fourth book, I’m just trying to have fun.

DSP: Tell us about that.

BB: It’s called Yes. I finished it last week, so now it’s in the hands of my beta reader. It’s about a man on his 40th birthday who wakes up twenty years younger. It’s like that Tom Hanks movie Big—only gay and in reverse.

DSP: Thanks for sitting down for this interview. It’s been fun to get to know you!

____________________________
Brad Boney lives in Austin, Texas, the seventh gayest city in America. He grew up in the Midwest and went to school at NYU. He lived in Washington, DC, and Houston before settling in Austin. He blames his background in the theater for his writing style, which he calls “dialogue and stage directions.” His first book was named a Lambda Literary Award finalist. He believes the greatest romantic comedy of all time is 50 First Dates. His favorite gay film of the last ten years is Strapped. And he has never met a boy band he didn’t like. Visit Brad on his website and on Twitter

Newsletter Quickie: Hug by Clare London

September 5, 2014

“Hug,” said Harry, arms thrown wide.

“What?”

“Hug!” Harry demanded, his head tilted to one side, his eyes wide. “That’s what you need! Come here and make it happen.”

“For God’s sake.” Spencer grumbled. “What am I, your kid brother? It’s not like a hug is going to make any bloody difference.”

“You know that for a fact, do you?”

Spencer frowned. Harry was always so … bold. So challenging. “You know what I mean. Look, it’s just been one of those days. I can sort things out myself.”

“Let me help, Spence.” Harry took a couple of steps forward. His arms were still wide open, there was sympathy in his eyes. He was close enough for Spencer to feel the warmth of his body heat. “Don’t be the stupid arse everyone else thinks you are.”

Spencer opened his mouth to protest and in that moment Harry slipped his arms around him and hugged him firmly. His head rested against Spencer’s temple and he sighed, gently. “That’s better, see?”

Spencer stood rock still for a second. Harry was such an idiot. Such a play actor. Such a … Spencer’s frustration gave a small shudder inside him and morphed into something very different. Very deliciously different. Harry’s chest was tight against him and he could feel the steady heartbeat. Harry’s arms were strong but surprisingly comforting. His breath was brushing at Spencer’s ear.

Then Spencer lifted his own arms and slid them around Harry. He wasn’t sure why he did that, but it seemed the right thing to do. It seemed to make them fit better. And it felt really, really good.

“Spence?”

“Mm?”

“There’s no way I think of you as a kid brother.”

Harry’s voice was muffled but Spencer felt the tension in his shoulders, heard the hesitancy in his voice. He smiled. “I know.”

“No way.” Harry seemed to think it needed more emphasis. “Never. In fact …”

“I know.” Spencer repeated. He smiled again, though now his head was nestling into Harry’s shoulder and knew his friend couldn’t see it. His best friend. His much-more-than-best-friend. Turning his head, Spencer pressed his lips to Harry’s neck and felt the goose bumps rise under his touch.

“Spence?”

“Yes,” Spencer whispered in answer to an unspoken question. As Harry turned his head as well, Spencer kissed him on the mouth. It was a bit clumsy, it was a bit crooked, but … oh God … it was the best thing ever.

“You’re right,” he murmured. “This is better.” And he tightened his arms around Harry.

________________________

Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy.

A Tooth for a Fang Release Party: The glorious exit…

September 4, 2014

Liv Olteano, spamificating you guys for the last time today :D
It’s been a great day, and I thank you all for joining along on my A Tooth for a Fang spamification campaign at the DSP blog!

Three days. Three dead bodies. One newly turned, broken-hearted lycan tracker to figure out the connection.

The one summer Rick Barton takes a vacation, all hell breaks loose. Running from an abusive relationship leads him into the arms of hard-nosed lycan Travis Chandler, who gives him little choice but to become a lycan too and join the Paranormal Bureau of Investigation. Out of options, Rick joins the weird organization, expecting some two weeks of training and an adjustment period. Tough luck, he doesn’t get either. On his first day, his new partner offers to promote him to field agent if they get mated—less time wasted on training, more time on the field, and considering Rick is the only tracker the Bureau has on hand when a wave of strange murders hits the community, time is of the essence.

Someone’s killing the leaders of the paranormal world and mutilating the bodies. Investigating and tracking clues is enough of a challenge, and Rick must contend with an impatient Council, Travis’s advances, and actually adjusting to being a lycan. Only one thing is certain: Rick’s new life promises plenty of interesting adventures—as long as he can survive.
ISBN-13 978-1-63216-037-9
Pages 216
Get it from DSP: ebook | paperback
Cover Artist AngstyG

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Not seeing the Rafflecopter form? Click here to see it in a new window :)

And the winner is… H.B.!! :D
Congrats! I spamificated you in private via email, lol.

Thanks again for joining me on this awesome day!
Talk soon, wove ya!

xoxo,
Liv Olteano