Wednesday, November 30, 2011

19th Annual Bad Sex in Fiction Awards

I came across an interesting article the other day. The headline was "Stephen King, Haruki Murakami cited for Bad Sex in Fiction".

Apparently there is an award for writing bad sex scenes. Who knew?

When I researched further, I discovered the award is given by Literary Review magazine. This year is the 19th anniversary of the award!

Most of the nominees are writers of literary works. In fact, John Updike has been given the dubious honor of a Lifetime Achievement Award for writing bad sex scenes.

As a writer of male/male romance I always do my best to make my sex scenes realistic, yet romantic so I was curious. Just how bad are these sex scenes?

Pretty bad. Some of them are flat and awkward and some are (I'm assuming) unintentionally funny.

For example:

"He smelled vulnerably digestive, warm-blooded, moist, and just now, breast-fed."

Or how about:

"Now he realised that he was inside [her], ejaculating toward her uterus."

And my personal favorite:

"He poked her now from the front and now from the back and now from the side."


I've read a lot of m/m romance and erotica and I've never seen anything like these. Nice to know we genre writers are getting it right. LOL

For more samples of good sex gone bad, check out Literary Review's Twitter Feed: @Lit_Review

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Silver Flash - Vegetarian Delights

Happy Wednesday!

This week, Guest Prompt Diva, Brenna Lyons makes her second appearance on our stage with this gem:  “Did you ever notice that the things people hate about you are the same things you hate about them?”

Prompt Diva Julie Hayes offered these alternate prompts:

Use these three items: White Castle, cyanide, evolution  

or

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever"

or

have a character use a foreign accent, one that isn't his own

or our special Thanksgiving prompts:

turkey, stuff, wing and pilgrim

and finally,

immigrants, Led Zeppelin and thanks

I went with Brenna’s prompt, though it was trickier to work it in than I’d thought.

Vegetarian Delights
Copyright 2011

Ethan stared down at the fallen fries surrounding his feet. He sighed and bent to clean up. Students diverted around him like running water around a rock.

“What are you doing?”

“What does it look like?”

“It looks like you’re going to be hungry.”

Brad set his tray on a nearby table then disappeared. Ethan finished cleaning up his lunch, grateful he wasn’t the kind to order gravy on his fries. That would be a real mess.

He could go back, but the line up was long. He dropped into a seat across from Brad’s abandoned lunch and stole a fry from his tray. Where the hell was Brad anyway? This was the only time of the day he was guaranteed to see Brad. He looked forward to it everyday.

“I got you something else. My treat.” Brad sat down and pushed a sandwich and a carton of juice towards Ethan.

“Thanks.” Ethan examined the sandwich.

“Relax, it’s cheese. I know you don’t eat meat.”

Ethan unwrapped the sandwich and took a bite. It was his favorite, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and two kinds of cheese.

Across from him, Brad finished his chili. He groaned and pushed his fries towards Ethan. “Here, I can’t eat all this.” 

“Thanks.” Ethan started in on the fries.  

Brad was energetic and a talker. He was always in motion, even when sitting. As Ethan ate, Brad kept up a steady monologue about his morning’s classes, the student with the annoying pen-clicking habit who, somehow, always ended up sitting in front of him, and the topic of his English paper.

Ethan listened, enjoying Brad’s animated chatter. Brad was exactly his type. Fair-skinned with blond hair and hazel eyes, and—equally important—gay. He was an active member of the campus GLBT society, but as far as Ethan knew, he hadn’t dated anyone since they’d become friends. Ethan wondered why. Brad was attractive and a happy extrovert. Someone must have asked him out in the time they’d know each other.

He mulled it over. In September when they’d started hanging out, Brad had eaten burgers and pepperoni pizza for lunch. Today he was eating vegetarian chili. Ethan couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen Brad eat anything with meat. Because of him? Maybe it was time to find out. He’d been working up to this for a while now.  

Brad was talking about a play. “Robert wants all the committee members to attend, to show support.”

“Are you a vegetarian now?”

Brad blinked at him and his cheeks pinked up. He grabbed his watchband and twisted it from side to side. It was an unconscious habit. Ethan had seen him do it often, especially when he was restless or excited. “Maybe a little.”

Ethan snorted. “That’s like saying someone’s a little bit dead.” Damn. That had been a stupid thing to say.  

Brad’s entire face went red. “I thought I’d give it a try.”

Ethan tried again. “Any particular reason?”

“Brad let go of his watch and shrugged. “Why not? It’s a healthy lifestyle unless you eat nothing but fries.”

“I like French fries.” Ethan ate a few more while he revised his strategy.

Brad deliberately changed the topic.

“I told Robert I don’t usually go to plays, or movies. I don’t like to sit still for that long. I get restless. It feels weird just sitting there, trying not to fidget. It’s hard for me, always has been. But he just nodded and smiled. He didn’t listen at all.”

Ethan saw his opening. “I can go with you.”

“It was so irritating. He never listens. He can be so—”

Ethan reached out and lightly touched Brad’s arm. “Brad.”

“Huh?” Brad inspected his forearm as if Ethan’s fingers had maybe, somehow marked him. “Did you just…”

Ethan rolled his eyes. “Did you ever notice that the things people hate about you are the same things you hate about them?”

Brad looked crushed. “Somebody hates me?”

Ethan groaned. “You’re as bad as your buddy, Robert. You don’t listen either.”

“I listen. You said…” Brad closed his mouth, frowning.

“I said I’d like to go with you.”

Brad bristled. “I’ll be fine. I’m restless not claustrophobic.”

Ethan made a show of looking heavenward as if asking for patience. “I meant as a date, not as a babysitter.”

“Oh.” Brad flushed. “Sorry. I didn’t think you meant it like…that.”

“I did.” Ethan smiled at him.

“Wow. I’d hoped…you and me…cool.” Brad twisted his watchband, back and forth, back and forth. He seemed pleased and a little flustered. It was cute.

“Maybe we could have dinner first. There’s this steakhouse—oh, that won’t work with you being vegetarian and all. I mean with us being vegetarian. Maybe a pasta place—”

 “You can eat whatever you want.”

Brad looked at him doubtfully. “Are you sure?” He leaned forward and whispered, “What about kissing?”

Ethan held his gaze, admiring the delicate lashes and the hint of pink in those cheeks. “I’m looking forward to it.”

“Ethan,” Brad scolded. “You sure you won’t mind? I do like to eat meat.”

Ethan fought a grin. He really shouldn’t say anything.

“Ethan!” Brad tried to sound scandalized, but he was grinning. “What are you doing tonight?”

Ethan opened his mouth.

“Do not go there.”

“Okay.” Ethan drank his juice.

“Want to get together later?” Brad asked.

“Yeah. I’d like that.”

“Great.” Brad looked happy. He rose and picked up his tray. “I’ve got to go. Hey,” his eyes sparkled with humor, “I wonder if it’s true was they say about vegetarians.”

“What?”

Brad leaned down. His breath brushed Ethan’s ear. “They say vegetarians taste great.” He straightened. “I can’t wait to find out.”

Ethan stared uncertainly at Brad. He was talking about kissing, right?

“Your expression is priceless.” Brad snickered. He hurried off, still grinning.

He was gone before Ethan could come up with a response. Seconds later his cell phone buzzed. Ethan laughed out loud as he read the text.

“See you later, Sweet Stuff.”

Dating Brad was going to be interesting. Oh, yeah, very interesting.

The end.

Don’t forget to check out this week fellow flashers:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

And The Winner Is...



I thought I'd be clever.

Very nonchalantly, I asked my daughter to give me a number. I figured whatever number she chose I'd count down through the comments and the corresponding commenter would be the winner. Simple, right?

My daughter's answer was, "Seven, no wait, three. Yeah, three."

Clearly I didn't think it through. I'm just lucky she didn't pick ninety-nine, or some other number that wouldn't work.

To be fair I'm giving away two copies. One to commenter number seven, and a copy to commenter number three.

So, Debby and Sarah, you've both won a PDF copy of Wishful Thinking. Congratulations. I'll be sending you your ebook later today.

Thanks, everyone for leaving a comment. And if you're interested, the audio version of my first release, Scent of Attraction, comes out November 29th. I'll be holding a contest for a copy of that so stay tuned. (I'll think of a better method to choose the winner though. )

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wishful Thinking Ebook New Release

November 19th is release day for my short story, Wishful Thinking.

The story is set in a coffee shop and takes place over the course of an evening. It's a sweet romance—so no sex. :)

To celebrate Wishful Thinking's release I'm giving away a PDF copy. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you order when you visit your local coffee shop.

If you don't drink coffee, tell me what you do like to drink. Comment before midnight November 19th (PST) and don't forget to leave your email address in case you're the winner.

I'll announce the winner here on this blog on November 20th.

Here's the blurb and excerpt:


Quiet, reserved Derrick has never had a date. That doesn’t stop him from wishing and dreaming, especially when he’s working a boring shift at the coffee shop. On a cold, rainy evening, the shop is deserted, and Derrick daydreams about his fantasy boyfriend, Rory, a fellow university student. Derrick doesn’t know much about Rory. They’re not in the same classes. They’ve never even talked.  

When Rory is his last customer of the night, Derrick comes face to face with the man of his dreams. The real Rory is even better than the fantasy and he wants more than coffee… he wants Derrick. By the end of his shift, Derrick will find out if all his fantasies can come true. 


Excerpt

I looked up automatically when a figure walked past the front window of the coffee shop. The person kept going—head down, huddled under an umbrella—thank God.
I didn't want any more customers this near to closing time. My current customers looked as if they were finally getting ready to leave.

They were a young couple that had probably just started dating. They'd spent their entire time in the shop sitting quietly, holding hands, and staring dreamily into each other's eyes. They were so wrapped up in each other, I could have tap-danced on the counter and they wouldn't have noticed.

Not that I'd be likely to dance on the counter. I'm too introverted to draw that kind of attention to myself.

I'd be relieved when they left and not just because it was almost time to close. That level of mutual adoration is hard to take when you're single. Especially when you're pretty sure you're going to remain single, at least for the foreseeable future.

I pretended not to watch as the girl reached up and gently touched her boyfriend's face. He turned his head and kissed her palm. I envied them. I wanted that kind of intimacy with someone special.

I hadn't actually ever been on a date. The closest I'd been to dating was sneaking into the dugout at the neighborhood baseball diamond with Jaden Agostini a few times, back when we were both fifteen. I didn't think a couple of fumbling kisses and a quick mutual grope session met the official definition of a date. Even if it did, that had been over four years ago.

Four years without a date is a pretty sad state of affairs for anyone, but I'm kind of shy until I get to know someone. If I didn't feel so awkward around new people, it would be easier to meet a guy, talk to him, get to know him, maybe work up the nerve to ask him out.

I had a particular person in mind, but that was wishful thinking. It would never happen. Even if I had the confidence to talk to him, to dazzle him with my knowledge of obscure sci-fi trivia or my unusual sense of humor, he was far too friendly and outgoing to be interested in someone quiet like me.

The shop's door opened. A current of cold, wet air and a few aggressive raindrops escorted a last-minute customer across the threshold. The heavy rain had kept most people home tonight. I hadn't had any customers other than the lovebirds and now this guy, dripping his way across the floor.

Damn. Now that he was here, even if the couple left, I wouldn’t be able to close up a few minutes early. I'd be stuck here right up to the last minute. That would suck because I'd miss the ten o'clock bus and have to wait a half hour for the next one.

I didn't normally try to cut out early, but I had a paper due before the weekend and I was scheduled to work almost every night this week. I'm not supposed to be doing homework when I'm working, even if the place is completely devoid of customers, but if I'd ignored the rules and brought my computer, I could have at least proofed the completed part of my paper. I'd left my laptop at the dorm though, so instead of being productive, I'd spent almost my entire shift hoping for diehard coffee addicts to keep me busy, and daydreaming about my fantasy boyfriend.

Of course, now, when it was least convenient, I finally had the customers I'd wished for.
I leaned on the counter and watched resignedly as my latest patron took his time getting settled at the table in the corner—the big one with the L-shaped bench and all the cushions. Even though he was short and slim and wearing a hooded raincoat, which hid his face, I knew it was a 'he' and not a 'her' by the clothes and the build. He had a backpack too, so it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out he was a student.

Double damn. The coffee shop was close to the university. I'd served lots of students. They always ordered something inexpensive and then sat for hours pretending to study or reading the out-of-date magazines. Now I'd never catch the ten o'clock bus.

He took off the backpack and casually slung it onto a chair on the far side of the table, across from the bench. He peeled himself out of his sopping-wet jacket and hung it over the back of the chair. Then he straightened and shook his hair out as if he were a wet dog.
As I stared at my customer my heart stopped, then started up again. It raced along as if I'd just guzzled a triple espresso.

I knew him. Well, technically I didn't know him, but I knew who he was. I'd seen him around. Seen him on the university's campus, hanging out, talking and laughing with his friends in the cafeteria or walking to class.

He was my fantasy boyfriend.



Don't forget to leave a comment (and email address) for your chance to win a copy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Snog


I've a busy day ahead of me, but I thought I'd take the time to post a kissing scene from my latest release, Right Street, Wrong House. 

Blurb: Lewis is in love with his best friend Dylan and if those looks the other man keeps throwing his way are anything to go by, Dylan feels something too. So why does he refuse every advance Lewis has ever made? Does it have something to do with those mysterious evenings he's so secretive about?

After six years of waiting and hoping, Lewis reluctantly decides it’s time to move on.  An invitation to a Halloween party is the perfect opportunity to try to meet someone new and maybe get over his unrequited feelings for Dylan.

But Lewis discovers he's not at a Halloween party. Somehow he's at a very different kind of party. When he sees Dylan there, Lewis figures out Dylan’s secret and why Dylan keeps pushing him away.

But Lewis has secrets too, and maybe they might just be more compatible than Dylan thinks. If only Lewis can convince him to give them a chance.   


Right Street, Wrong House   
available from Silver Publishing

This scene occurs after Lewis and Dylan leave the party.



Lewis walked into Dylan's apartment and looked around. He'd been here thousands of times, but somehow, tonight, it looked different.
"Do you want something to drink?"
Lewis shook his head. He was too wound up to sit and make nice. He was still afraid Dylan would change his mind. He wouldn't relax until they were both naked and in Dylan's bed—except then he'd be too turned on to relax.
"Well, I need a drink." Dylan walked into the kitchen and Lewis followed him. He bent and grabbed a beer from the fridge. As he turned and straightened, Lewis kissed him.
It was their first kiss, and though it wasn't everything Lewis had dreamed of—it would have been nice if Dylan had initiated the kiss—it was still pretty damn fine.
Dylan stiffened at first, but Lewis pressed closer. He kept the pressure of his lips firm until he felt Dylan respond and kiss him back.
Dylan wrapped his arms around him. Lewis felt the beer bottle pressing against his back, the coldness of the glass making him shiver. Dylan reached out blindly and placed the unopened beer on the counter behind him.
He pressed his palms against Lewis's shoulder blades and licked at Lewis's mouth.
Lewis moaned as Dylan's tongue slipped inside, stroking and coaxing him to open for his exploration.
The kiss intensified, grew hot, wet, and dirty. Lewis's heart sped up and all the blood in his body headed south. He rubbed against Dylan's thigh. He could feel Dylan's own erection pressing against his hip. If they kept kissing like this, he was going to get off right here beside the fridge.
Dylan pulled away. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and stared at Lewis.
Lewis had seen that same expression before when Dylan looked at him sometimes, but this time it was much stronger. Dylan wanted him, maybe he'd wanted him for a long time.
"Lewis, are you sure you want to do this?"
"I'm sure." Sure he was going to come in his jeans if they didn't get undressed soon.
"Come on, then."
 Available at Silver Publishing at Right Street, Wrong House
For more hot kissing, head over to Victoria Bisse's Sunday Snogs

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Silver Flash


It's Wednesday again. Yes! That means the weekend's that much closer.

I've been busy this week with the release of Right Street, Wrong House, the Bewitching Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop and of course Halloween. I don't know how I did it, but I managed to squeeze in a short flash piece too.

This week's prompt was provided to us by our lovely cover artist, Reese Dante, in her second time as a Guest Prompt Diva. Reese's prompt was:

Nope, wasn't listening. Too busy thinking about....


The alternate prompts were:  bell, book, candle

or

things that go bump in the night (either figuratively or as a phrase)

or

He was so full of shit that his eyes were brown....

Reese's prompt gave me an idea right away so I wrote a short piece featuring Steve and Jon from an earlier flash called, Skinny Jeans. By the way, I was feeling a little bit cheeky when I came up with the title for this week's flash. 

Cops and Rubbers
© 2011
Steve bit back a sigh. “You really want to go to this thing?”

“I do. Yeah.” Jon stopped slicing carrot sticks and grinned up at him. “It’s gonna be a blast. It’ll be just like an Agatha Christie movie. We get to dress up and role-play…” He chattered away.

Steve frowned as he mixed tuna and mayo for sandwiches. He’d had some pretty set ideas about tonight’s activities and sitting around with a bunch of people trying to talk with British accents — and failing horribly — wasn’t one of them. He’d hoped to spend quite a bit of this weekend in bed. He'd bought wine and candles and even some bubble bath that was supposed to smell like cranberries and orange zest. He’d planned to coax Jon into the tub for a nice long soak. Together.

Now Jon had sprung this on him and the chance to live out that fantasy seemed to be slipping away. He sighed. A murder mystery dinner party was the last place he wanted to be, which was probably why Jon hadn’t said anything until now. It was already lunchtime. He couldn’t come up with a realistic excuse between now and dinner.

Damn it. What was the murder mystery scenario? What had Jon said — some kind of quaint British whodunit? What was his role anyway? With his luck it would be the village idiot.

Maybe he could offer to play the corpse. At least that way he’d be lying down, though he wouldn’t have Jon to kiss and cuddle. Tonight was going to suck.

He wasn’t comfortable in social settings at the best of times. He could make small talk, but to have to role-play? It was going to be painful. His extroverted boyfriend, on the other hand, would be in his element.

He sighed again. They were so very different. Sometimes he wondered what the hell a sociable guy like Jon saw in a big lug like him.

“…I’ve already got the costumes. I guess there won’t be a body or anything. Not that I’d want someone to play the murder victim. I’d feel sorry for the poor guy that got stuck with that role, but it would be cool to have a prop for atmosphere. Maybe some pillows under a blanket so we could stand around and look shocked. What do you think, Steve? Steve!”

He started guiltily.

Jon stared at him. Did you hear anything I just said?”

He spoke without thinking. “Nope. Wasn’t listening. Too busy thinking about…” at the last minute Jon’s chilly expression registered. “…something else. Sorry.”

“You really don’t want to do this do you.”

“Jon…” He trailed off, hating the way Jon’s shoulders fell. He didn’t want to disappoint his guy or ruin the rest of their weekend.

“It’s okay.” Jon began chopping a celery stalk. “I told Michel I wasn’t sure we could make it. We can do something else. Maybe rent a movie. I can return the costumes.”

Jon chopped away, the celery a mushy green smear on the cutting board.

Sometimes you just had to suck it up and step out of your comfort zone. He reached out and stilled Jon’s hand. “You got costumes?” He smoothed his hand up Jon’s warm, bare arm, the fine blond hairs silken against his palm.

Jon stood rigid but he didn't move away. “I rented them.”

He kneaded tight shoulder muscles. “What’s my costume?”

Jon allowed him to tug him back, into his chest. “You really want to know?”

“Yeah.” And he did. Jon seemed to be going all out. This must be important to him. He brushed his lips over Jon’s nape, offering a silent apology. 

“A British sergeant.”

“A police officer?”

Jon turned in his arms and stepped back, looking hopeful. “You’d look so good in your costume. It’s got handcuffs and even a truncheon. That’s what they call a night stick in England.”

He watched as Jon’s even, white teeth nibbled at his bottom lip. Arousal sparked in his belly.

“You’re role is Sergeant Nicholas Southerby. You’re the sidekick to Chief Inspector Denton.”

“A sidekick?” At least he wasn’t the main detective.

Jon nodded, soft hair brushing against his chin. “I think you could get by with just looking serious and pretending to make notes.”

He could do that. “Who will you be?” 

“I’m the victim’s ne’er-do-well brother. I’ve a habit of drinking and carousing and borrowing money.”

He nuzzled Jon’s ear. “You’ve got motive.”

“Maybe I did it.” Jon gave him a coy look from beneath lowered lashes. “Maybe you should arrest me.”

This was interesting. Jon cheeks were pink and his eyes were bright. Did his boyfriend have a thing for authority figures?

“Maybe I should take you down to the cells for questioning.”   

“Oh.” Jon’s breath quickened.

He gave Jon’s butt a little squeeze and palmed his groin.

“Ste–ve...”

Under the soft denim Jon was hard. His hips undulated. He made excited, breathless sounds.

Maybe this role-playing thing wouldn’t be so bad after all. He nibbled the side of Jon’s neck“Where’s my costume, babe?”

“Oh, God. Mmm, Steve. It’s in the closet.”

“Stay here.” He tried to disengage, but Jon wasn’t letting go.

“Wait, where are you going?” Jon sounded frustrated.

Steve grinned. “If we’re doing this I’ll need to get into character. I’m going to put on my costume then Sergeant Southerby is going to take you down to the station to answer some questions.”

He drew himself up to his full height and tried to look authoritative and stern. “It’ll be easier on you if you give me your full co-operation.”

Jon’s pink tongue flicked out and moistened his lips. “If I co-operate will you let me go?”

Steve smiled. “Not a chance.”

The end.

Jon and Steve first appeared in a flash fiction called Skinny Jeans. If you’d like to read it, here’s the link. Skinny Jeans


Hope you liked this one. Don't forget to check out the other Silver author's flashing this week. check out the links below:



LM Brown     (m/m)
Lily Sawyer     (m/m)
Pia Valeno    (m/m)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Blog Hop Winner


Well folks, Halloween is over and so is the Bewitching Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop.

One of my minions drew a name for the prize and  
the winner of a PDF copy of Right Street, Wrong House is... Amanda.

Congratulations, Amanda and thanks to all those who entered.

This blog hop was so much fun I'll be participating in Drea's December blog hop.

I'll have another short story called Wishful Thinking out by then. I'll likely be giving away a copy in that blog hop so stay tuned.