Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Weds Brief

This week's prompts are: "If you wish upon a star" and the alternate prompts are:  use pea soup in your story or have your character make some sort of comfort food or "When I'm away from you, I feel..." or use an overdue book fine at the library or  "My .... is bigger than your ..." or "round and round the mulberry bush" or "She slid her thumb gently across my lips and I thought I'd melt" or have your character Google something.

One of the things that Ben loved about their home, besides the gorgeous new master bath—‘thank you Tom’—was their home office.  It had everything Ben needed to do his real estate business.  He’d been working for one of the top real estate offices in the country until six months ago when he and another agent, his friend Mike, decided to open up their own office.  So they divided their time between the office and doing work from home.  Today, Ben was handling a short-sale negotiation with a bank, which could take forever and a day.

It was a relief when his cell phone rang.  “Hi Tom.” He’d read the caller ID before he answered.

“Hi Ben, am I interrupting anything?”  Ben was thrilled to hear his man’s voice; he felt his cock perk up too.

“No, hon, I’m working at home today.” Ben told him.

“Oh, well, lucky you.  I’m on my lunch break. It’s been a pretty quiet day at the station.” 

Ben was looking for a file in the cabinet. Even with the modern age, he still dealt with paperwork.  “You better enjoy the lull while it lasts, hon. Hey, what would you like for dinner?”

“Well, how about defrosting those steaks in the freezer, and we can BBQ when I get home?”

“Sounds great.” Ben had found the file he needed, but he accidently hit the bookcase and some books fell on the floor.  “Shit!”

“What happened, Ben?”  Ben could hear Tom’s concerned voice on the other end of the line.

“I’ve got a library book that’s…” Ben paused to check out the due date.  “Holy cow! It’s over a month overdue. Damn, why didn’t I get any notices?”

“Calm down, Ben, it’s not the end of the world.”

Ben prided himself on taking his library books back before or by the due date. He was rarely late.   He checked his Gmail account.  “Ah ha.”

“What?”  Tom’s voice came through the phone, which had been set on speakerphone, while Ben busied himself looking at the computer.

“Gmail threw the library notices into my spam folder. Oh crap”

“So? Just take it back and pay the fine.” You could almost hear the shoulder shrug Tom was giving him over the phone.

“It’s just that this breaks my perfect, or near perfect, record with the library.”

“Sweetheart, there’s no need to get upset.  Hey, while you’re there, why don’t you take out the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and it’s All Small Stuff.”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” Ben knew he was making a big deal out of small potatoes.

“I’ll bring home something special for you.”

“Like what?”

“You’ll see. I have to go, baby, I got a call.  See you later. Love you.”  And the call was disconnected.

Ben took the steaks out of the freezer and put them in the fridge to defrost.  He took the book back to the library and paid the fine. While he was there, he looked at some new books.  He ended up taking four books out, including the book Tom suggested and “Who Moved My Cheese.”   He set up an alert on the calendar on the computer to make sure he would return these books on time.   Although he could already renew them on the computer if need be.  He was a slow reader so he might need to do that at some point.

When he got home, he smiled when he spotted Tom’s car in the driveway.  “Honey, I’m home,”  he yelled out the clichĂ© line from I Love Lucy.  

“Oh Ricky darling, I missed you.  Let me take your things.”  He took the recycle bag Ben took with him to carry the books in.

“Tom, cut that out.”   Ben laughed at Tom’s imitation of Lucy.

“Wahhhh, you don’t love me anymore.”  Tom wore a pout on his face.

Ben kissed that pout right off that handsome mug.  

“I’m seasoning the steak up, and I put together that marinade you like.”

“You mean the one you’re famous for at the station, Tom?”

“That’s the one.”

“Oh boy, I can’t wait to eat.”

“Well, we still have about two hours before they’ll be ready to grill.”

“Aw.”  Now it was Ben’s turn to pout.  He felt Tom’s finger on his chin as his man tipped his head up so their eyes met.  

“Now, none of that.  I have a surprise for you.”  Tom smiled at him.

“A surprise?”  Ben’s face lit up like a kid on Christmas morning. 

“Go look in the fridge.”

Ben couldn’t get to the kitchen fast enough.  He opened up the fridge door and there on one of the shelves were two plastic containers filled with chocolate mousse.   “Tom, you know chocolate mousse is one of my weaknesses.”  

“Dinner first.”   Tom closed the door on the yummy confections.  “Come help me shuck some corn.  I’m going to grill up some peppers and corn to go with the steaks.”  Ben helped his man make dinner.   “So, what are the other ones?”

“Huh?”  Ben wasn’t following Tom’s question.

“You said chocolate mousse is one of your weaknesses, I was wondering what the other one might be.”

“You.”  Ben smiled and Tom stopped cutting up peppers to wrap his man in a hug and kiss him.   Dinner was going to be a little late, as they moved to another kind of main course in the bedroom.


This is what Tom brought home for them for dessert 

My fellow flashers:

Victoria Adams     
Cia Nordwell    
Tali Spencer     

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Welcome David Russell to my blog today

I'd like to welcome author David Russell to my blog today.  Let's find out more about him and his book "Self's Blossom"

1-How long have you been writing? Since the 1960s

2- What is your favorite genre to write? I have two genre areas, the romantic and the speculative. They counterbalance each other

3-What are you working on now? An interracial romance - white/native American

4-When you begin a story do you start with character or plot? Definitely with plot. The characters emerge, and fill themselves in as the narrative progresses.

5-Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it? It is called Darlene, and describes a rapturous one-off encounter over which there is a shadow in the form of a jealous ex-husband.It is a sequel to an earlier story called An Ecstatic Rendezvous which was published by XoXo, but is now out of print.

Blurb: Self's Blossom by David Russell

This is about a young woman's self-discovery. Selene is a 'success story', having become a top journalist, while retaining her dazzling looks. However, in the past she has had unhappy relationships, and feels she has missed out on hedonistic fun.  This she obtains, firstly with a young stranger on a beach, and finally with enigmatic Hudson: tryst is preceded by cultural tourism, and careful sizing up of minds. Afterwards Selene returns to her 'I stand on my own' attitude.

While she is on holiday, her mind is free to ramble, often into Selene's chequered past. Flashback blurs into the present, past-rooted interior monologue into direct observation. The dialogue is sparse. Selene is a cautious, premeditative type, in whom thought, reflection and analysis outweigh direct action.

Selene’s subtle, monitoring mind coolly observes and controls all the events. Maybe she is super-confident, or perhaps has a deep, underlying insecurity. She is many things to many readers.

Here, she was on a beach, pure and simple. Now the sea breathed heavily, whispering and murmuring to her. It was returning her stare, speaking to her. It was the spirit of love, beckoning her with a pulsing, sinewy body. In all its lines, shades, and fleeting forms, Selene saw the essence of pure beauty, all grace of form, flesh, limb and feature. It was in one, all thelovers of whom she could possibly dream, conflated into one elemental ideal. He, pure love in soul, bade her to enter his domain and make it hers. His
arms moved her hands to unclasp, unbutton, and unzip . . . the blossom emerged. The sun became the eye of all that was not earth, and Selene loved fully, though the pallor of her skin left her momentarily abashed.

At first she lay in the tide's path, the top of her head at its most extreme mark. The sand bank made a soft bed. The sea lover smoothly caressed her calves, thighs, hips, breasts, shoulders, and cheeks before retreating to pause in his mossy pinnacles. Three times this action was repeated, and then Selene stood up, wading in with arms outstretched. Her arms were linked, as she stood up to her neck in the saline flow. The balls and heels of her feet wobbled, slithering on the moss. With the next wave, she lost her balance – her breath prepared in unison with the hissing around her. She threw her head back, once again horizontal, and launched into a backstroke, sweeping and circling. She parted her legs wide with each thrust of motion, each sweep of self-propulsion pushing out to answer the cavernous currents of his passion. Seven circles gave her a delicious, warm bliss –then the sea lover,
well pleased, carried her back to a near-dry bed. Aching and contented, Selene dozed a while.

B. 1940; live in London UK. Have been writing for many decades. My first publication was a poetry collection called Exacting Modality of the World Web. I produced a work of speculative fiction, High Wired On in 1985. I started trying to write literary erotica in the mid-80s. I have some short stories in this genre in addition to Self’s Blossom: Explorations, Further Explorations and Therapy Rapture.  My story Darlene is due to be released by Extasy early in August. I am also a singer-guitarist-songwriter. My main albums are Bacteria Shrapnel and Kaleidoscope Concentrate. I have many tracks on YouTube. Self's Blossom eBook: David Russell: Kindle Store › Books › Literature & Fiction
Self's Blossom - Kindle edition by David Russell. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Weds Brief

Well it's that time of the week again.  Time for you to see what Tom and Ben are up to.    I did this week's story based on a photo prompt that I will show you at the end of this story


Weds Brief July 24th.

It was an idle Wednesday night; Ben was running late coming home from work.  He had a house he was showing and he’d called to let Tom know that he’d be late.   This wasn’t working out the way Tom planned.  He had a big surprise for Ben and he had to get out of the door by five o’clock.  It was four-thirty now.   He had dinner reservations at the Hometown Kitchen in Quarryville.

His phone rang a short time later.  “Hi Pete. No, Ben isn’t home yet. I know, just tell Amy I’ll see if I can hurry Ben along.”  Tom was starting to feel the pressure. He wished he could change plans, but it was too late now.  Come on, Ben, where are you? Tom had his cell phone out, his finger about to hit Ben’s call button when the front door opened.

“HI, honey, sorry I’m late.” Ben put his workbag down on the coffee table. 

“Well, go get changed, we have to leave in five minutes.”

“Why the rush? Where are we eating?”

“We have a six o’clock reservations at Hometown Kitchen.”

“Isn’t that in Quarryville?  That’s pretty far away.  Why can’t we eat at our usual place?”

Cause I have a surprise that is waiting to happen while we’re out and we need to be so far away so what has to happen can happen. Tom thought to himself, but to Ben he said, “One of the guys at the station recommended this place and said we just have to eat there.  So I thought we’d try someplace different.  So come on and get ready so we can go. I’m starved.”

Tom gave him a gentle push toward the bedroom.  He was relieved to be on the road a short time later, now the surprise could start.

It was a half-hour drive to the restaurant. They needed to stay out as long as they could. He was bad at keeping secrets; it was hard to keep from spilling the beans.  So he kept his conversations about his latest rescues, new members of the department, and he asked Ben about his latest sales.  At the end of their meal, Tom paid the check, over Ben’s objections.  They exited the restaurant and walked back to their car.

“Shit, we have a flat tire,”  Ben exclaimed shaking his head.

Tom had to fight the urge to laugh or smile.  “Too bad, let’s get the trunk open.”  Tom spotted Pete’s car in the distance. He knew the flat tire was his handiwork.  They needed this delay tactic so they wouldn’t get home too soon.

“Hey, I’m going to stop and fill the tank.” Tom made sure he was the one driving; he thought an extra delay tactic would be in order.

“I thought you just filled it yesterday?”

“No, honey, that was a few days ago.  Must be your Swiss cheese memory again.”  Tom was lying. He had filled up the tank yesterday and told Ben when he’d gotten home.

“Yeah right. I don’t have a Swiss cheese memory,”  Ben groused.

“It’s okay, Ben, I forget stuff sometimes, too.”  Tom pulled into a Hess express station.  “Hey, they have a Dunkin Donuts here, how about getting some donuts? I can bring some into the station tomorrow.”

“All right.”  Ben sounded reluctant.

They spent about fifteen minutes at the station before they were on the road again.

Tom hoped that the surprise was ready when they returned.

He pulled into the driveway and parked his car next to Ben’s in their two-car garage.  The automatic door opener closed behind them and Tom took the box of a dozen donuts inside, ahead of Ben. To all intents and purposes, the house looked normal.

“Something isn’t right.” Ben looked around.

“What do you mean?”

“I think we might have had a break-in.” 

“I don’t see anything missing.” Tom tried to figure out how to get Ben into their bedroom.  “But, just in case, let’s check the master bedroom. “  He led him to the back of the house.  Ben went in ahead and then spotted their master bathroom.

“Tom? What…what’s going on?”   Ben noticed that their bathroom didn’t look like it did when they left.  
Before the renovations:

Ben and Tom's new bathroom: 

“Surprise!”   Ben turned around and saw Tom, then looked over to who had yelled surprise. He spotted a woman with long red hair, with a TV crew behind her.   “I’m Amy Matthews and you’ve been raided.”  She explained how she was from the HGTV show “Renovation Raiders.”  

“You were in on it?”   Ben looked over at Tom who had a Cheshire cat grin on his face.

“He was the one who told us about how you both wanted to renovate your master bath but didn’t know what to do with it.  So he wanted to surprise you with a new bathroom,” Amy told him.  She brought in her team of workers and introduced them to Ben.  He shook their hands and was polite.  He couldn’t take his eyes off their new bathroom.  It was gorgeous, just like he and Tom had discussed. 

Pete came in shortly after the reveal.  “Wow, you guys certainly made it a challenge to keep up with you. Where did you learn how to drive, Tom?  With Mario Andretti?”

“You were in on it too?”  Ben looked at Pete; he was Tom’s co-worker and their friend.

“You’re damn straight I was.  I was the spy; I kept contact with Amy and the restaurant and told them what was going on.   I was also the one who made your tire flat.”

“You did?”  Ben looked at him accusingly.

“Don’t get mad at him. We told him we needed a delay tactic in case you guys were going to head back too soon,”  Amy told Ben.

After everyone left, they tried out their new tub, together.


 Here are my fellow authors whose stories you should check out too:

Andrew Gordon     

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Anne Barwell is a guest on my blog

I'd like to welcome Anne Barwell to my blog today.  Let's make her feel welcome and learn more about her and her book "A Knight to Remember."

Thanks, Lily, for hosting me today. 

How long have you been writing? 
I've been making up stories since primary school, and writing them down. I didn't do a lot of writing while my children were small – having three children under two and a half doesn't leave a lot of spare time. About the time they started school I discovered the internet, and online fanfiction and got back into it again. 

What is your favorite genre to write?
I love fantasy and science fiction and my stories often hover somewhere between, or are a mix of the two. I enjoy exploring 'what ifs' and throwing my characters into situations and seeing how they'll react. Those genres is great for that.  

In saying that though I've also written historical fiction and enjoy that too, although the research required can be more than a little daunting. I know far more about WW2 now than I ever wanted to, and am gearing up for more research as my characters from Shadowboxing head further across Germany in 1944 in the sequel Winter Duet

What are you working on now?
I'm on the second draft of an urban fantasy story called Shades of Sepia, which I'm aiming to submit to Dreamspinner Press early next month.  This story is the first in a series called The Sleepless City which is a joint project with Elizabeth Noble. We're writing alternate books, and she's already several chapters into the second book, Electric Candle

I'm having a lot of fun writing this, and brainstorming plot and characters who are vampires, werewolves, and the like. It's very addictive. I've also got a Kiwi character in there, just because I can.  Here's the blurb for Shades of Sepia

A serial killer stalks the streets of Flint, Ohio. The victims are always found in pairs, one human and one vampire. 

Simon Hawthorne has been a vampire for nearly a hundred years and he has never seen anything like it before. Neither have any of others who make up the team of supernaturals he works with to keep the streets safe for their kind and the humans who live in this city. 

One meeting with Simon and Ben Leyton finds himself falling for a man he knows is keeping secrets, but he can't ignore the growing attraction between them. Ben has only recently arrived in Flint, and finding it very different from his native New Zealand, but there's something about Simon that makes Ben feel as though he's found a new home. 

After a close friend becomes one of the killer's victims, Simon is torn between revealing his true nature to Ben, and walking away and avoiding the reaction he fears. But with the body count rising and the murders becoming more frequent is it already too late to prevent either of them from becoming the next victim?  

When you begin a story do you start with character or plot? 
It depends on the story, sometimes the characters turn up first, sometimes they take shape as the plot takes shape.  For my new release A Knight to Remember, I knew I wanted to write about dragons, and Aric and Denys turned up a short time later. In Shades of Sepia, I already had Simon and Ben in my mind as characters, and wanted to tell their story which morphed into the first book of The Sleepless City series. My writing is very character driven. How my characters react to situations when I write is sometimes not what I expect and it changes my original outline somewhat. I've found from experience it pays to go with the flow and follow the characters, within reason, as they usually know what they're doing. Or are very persuasive in convincing me that they do! Characters often show up with a backstory, and I learn more about their history as I write – they often come up with details I didn't know about. It's part of the fun and the bit I really enjoy about the writing process. The plot then needs to adapt to keep with the characters, so it's very much a give and take process.

Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?
A Knight to Remember was published by Dreamspinner Press on 28th June.  It's a fantasy story about dragons and quests, with a few twists. It was inspired by a joint author chat in which another author, TJ Klune asked each of us which fairy story we'd like to rewrite. Mine was St. George and the Dragon, which is why Aric's sister is called Georgia, although she's far from a damsel in distress and the story morphed into something very different so you'd have to squint very hard to see the connection.  I had a lot of fun writing it and brainstorming the world building and the dragon mythos. Naturally as all my stories too, it turned into book 1 of a series although it was originally a standalone. 

One day I'll write a story that doesn't do that but I'm not holding my breath. 

"The last of your line will be in the embrace of a dragon."
Aric, Crown Prince of Astria, has been brought up to believe that all dragons are evil. But when he speaks with one, he finds himself questioning those beliefs. The dragon tells him to find a sword in Sherwin Forest to save not only his kingdom but also his sister, Georgia, who must otherwise wed the prince of a neighboring kingdom.
At the start of his quest, Aric dons a disguise and meets Denys, an archer and herbalist who lives alone at the edge of the forest. Denys agrees to guide Aric into the forest, but then Georgia appears, revealing Aric’s true identity.
However Aric learns he is not the only one keeping secrets. Denys has a few of his own that could change both of their lives forever.
As soon as Aric reached the trees, Denys began to run, only pausing at intervals to rest his hand against a tree and to wait for Aric to catch up. Despite the dense undergrowth Aric had noticed earlier, their path remained clear so they didn’t have to break their speed.
Aric’s heart was pounding, his breathing labored. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d had a workout such as this. He’d relied on his horse for far too long. There was something to be said for traveling like this, though; it brought with it a sense of freedom, of being one with his surroundings that he’d never felt before. Part of him wished it could go on forever, but his body protested the thought.
He gritted his teeth, determined to keep up and not show any weakness.
Finally Denys came to a halt. Aric stood, his hands on his knees, breathing heavily. Denys retrieved his water bladder and drank deeply. His skin was flushed, but that was the only outward sign of his recent intense physical activity.
“We need to rest for a few minutes.” Denys shook his head. “The men have divided into two groups. We have shaken the first but the second will be upon us as soon as we leave the forest.” His expression was grim. “You can surrender if you wish, but I’d prefer not to. I have heard stories of these men. Even if they are directed to bring us in alive, most of their prisoners arrive at their destination very much the worse for wear, and that’s if they’re lucky.”
Aric wiped water from his mouth with the back of his hand. He lowered his water bladder. Could this Morwenna know about his quest? Was she working for King Malachite? It was the only thing Aric could think of that made sense. If that were the case, telling these men he was Prince Brandric of Astria, and showing them the crest he carried as proof, would not deter them from doing what they’d been paid to do. From what he’d overheard, King Malachite wanted to invade Astria. The sword had the potential to be a powerful weapon in the hands of whoever wielded it. If Astria possessed it, it would give her the means to protect herself from Logan. But if Logan’s king got hold of the sword first, there was the chance it would provide a magical advantage Astria had no hope of defeating.
According to legend the sword also had the means to unite kingdoms and bring peace to the land. Naturally, as seemed to be the way of legends, it wasn’t very clear as to how it could be used to accomplish that goal. It was just as vague as the dragon prophecy that had haunted his family for generations. The price for peace achieved through a bloody war could be a harsh one, especially if it resulted in a king such as Malachite upon the throne.
“Perhaps you are right, and whoever these men are working for know we are looking for the sword.” Aric met Denys’s gaze directly. “Who I am does not appear to matter to them.” Otherwise why bring down the wrath of Astria by killing its prince? If they knew about the sword, they would know who Aric was. Wouldn’t they? But how had they found out about the quest? Georgia wouldn’t have said anything, and the dragon…. The dragon was an unknown factor in all of this. Even so, Aric knew his trust in it was not misplaced. It? Him? It had sounded male, but who knew if that meant anything. There was so much he didn’t know about this, and that in itself did not bode well.
Denys raised an eyebrow, but Aric smiled thinly. “We fight,” he told Denys, “and then I’ll tell you everything I can about what you want to know.”
Buy link:

Author bio:
Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing "discussion," and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as "too many." These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of "spare time" is really just a myth.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

H.L. Holston and Eleanor Bruce are guests on my blog

Please welcome these two fine authors to my blog today.   Here are some Q&A and info on their latest book "The Moon's Dirty Light."

How long have you been writing? 

Since I was eight. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was writing fanfiction. I rewrote my favorite television shows and ended them the way I wanted them to! However, professionally? About two years. Our first novella, In the Name of the Law was published by Total E Bound.

What is your favorite genre to write? 

Contemporary or paranormal. I read about two paranormal books a week, so I love that genre. But contemporary m/m are also a favorite. Every once in a while I dabble in historical books, but being a history teacher I have a low tolerance for historical inaccuracies, so I tend to stick with authors who I know get the time period right like Ava March or Erastes.

What are you working on now?

My writing partner, Eleanor Bruce and I are writing the sequel to our shifter book, The Moon’s Dirty Light, which was published by Extasy Books on Monday, July 15th. The new book, Come the Twilight uses the traditional romance trope of an arranged marriage, but this time the marriage is between a vampire and a werewolf!

My other writing partner, Sue – we write as Sue Holston -- and I are also finishing up edits for our new contemporary novel, Facing the Music, featuring a closeted rock star for Evernight Publishing. It has a mid-August release date.

When you begin a story do you start with character or plot? 

Usually a plot. I tend to have these vivid dreams about what I’m going to write next. Then I talk to my co-writer and we plan out the characters and the overall structure of the book, then start writing.

Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it? 

Our newest release is The Moon’s Dirty Light. Since I read so many shifter books, I wanted to do one of my own using as many tropes the genre is known for! To sort of poke fun and acknowledge them, but embrace them too. Because in the end, I am a sucker for Insta-Love, mates and possessive werewolves! Here’s the blurb for the book:

Is there ever a good time to tell the man with whom you just had mind blowing sex that you're a werewolf and, chances are, come the next full moon, he'll be sporting fur and fangs too?

Police Officer Logan Robinson isn't sure. Logan's been in lust with his partner and best friend Dylan Reed for as long as he can remember. But Logan is a werewolf and after accidentally giving his partner the mating bite during sex Dylan will become one too.
Dylan is royally pissed when he finds out because Logan conveniently forgot to mention his little affliction until after they'd spent the night humping each other's brains out. As if turning into a creature of the night wasn’t enough, Logan and he are investigating murders that look suspiciously like dog-attacks, but they're not.

Finding a killer is tricky enough. Now it will be almost impossible with their personal issues clouding the investigation. And if Dylan does turn into a four-legged freak at the next full moon, the fur will fly.

H.L. Holston (Holly) is a teacher by day and a sometimes author by night. She dreams up ideas with her writing partners Sue (they write as Sue Holston) and Eleanor Bruce, but occasionally she ventures out on her own. She admits she is a horrible blogger, even worse in keeping up on Facebook and wishes she could retire to New Orleans and eat beignets every day at Café du Monde. Until then, she will write books about sexy men loving each other.