The #Writer #Sewing

I’m not only an epic procrastinator when it comes to writing, but also when it comes to sewing.

I bought some adorable outdoor fabric last year to re-cover my super old, super skanky outdoor chair cushions. I figured, $50 for fabric sure beat $30 per new cushion. Have sewing machine, will create shit.

And then my big roll of bird fabric sat in my everything closet for 4 seasons…

But, in an effort to clear plates and be uber-productive (sort of), I busted that shit out the other day.

Observe:

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Blurry photo of totally gross cushion I’m rather ashamed to post.

 

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The master at work. Also BIRDS!!!! Note my faithful pin chicken.

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Voila!

 

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Full disclosure: I made one cushion with the birds upright, and then cut my remaining fabric after downing a bottle of Saki, all the while telling myself to be sure not to cut it sideways. Yes, the others are all upside-down (and I now realize there was some drunken photography going on). Also, I miscalculated my yardage and ended up short. I used a red outdoor upholstery fabric I had from a project I did at the Boston house and used it for the back of one cover.

Okay, so I won’t be selling my sewing wares on etsy anytime soon (ever), but you have to admit, they look way better than the originals!

-Kimber

 

 


Cover Reveal: Soaring Hearts by A.L. Boyd

 

SoaringHearts-Large

Blurb

Will hearts soar when pigs fly?

Alex’s job working for his family-owned radio station once took him all over the city reporting on major events—until the accident. His scars, both physical and emotional, cause him to withdraw into a self-imposed, semi-reclusive lifestyle. When his dad requests that he go to the world’s largest hot air balloon festival, he has to find the courage to break his isolation. Now he needs to find the courage to trust and love again.

Jeff had already been planning a move to Albuquerque when he lost his home, parents, and dog to a wildfire in California. To begin his new life, he agrees to help his sister and brother-in-law with their balloon at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Now he’s seen pigs fly and bees kissing, but will he find the love he’s been searching for?

 

Author Bio

A cartographer by day, A.L. Boyd spends most of her free time with her horses, gardening, or reading. She never intended to be a writer, but stories like this one sometimes just pop into her head. The writing came about as a way to get the stories out. Her first story for the Goodreads M/M Romance DRitC event Crest Ridge Vacation was expanded to the novella titled Crest Ridge.

Contact & Media Info

Email | Goodreads | Facebook

Other works include:

Crest Ridge

The Dawn of Darkness –Free short story for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group

And a short story included in the Kickass Anthology written and donated to help fellow author Eric Arvin with his medical bills.


What I #AmReading

These:

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It’s writing research, not personal (no, my teenager doesn’t have an eating disorder and hopefully never will).

I know this reading list makes Andy’s book sound like a ton of fun. :-/  You’ll just have to trust I’ll find a way to make it amazeballs.

I’ve finished Beyond Magenta. It’s a quick read I’d recommend to anyone who is at all curious about what life can be like for young transgender people. This is just a taste, really, but I think it could be a useful introductory text, especially for parents trying to understand and help their transgender child (some stories are a lesson in what not to do or say, of course). It’s brief (to a fault), but worth the read. I was glad it included some nonbinary viewpoints, though the scope could/should have been much greater, IMO.

Now I’m reading Answers to Anorexia, which addresses nutritional deficits and how they can aggravate the anorexia cycle. Pretty interesting for a grim topic.

In other news, the release day for Balancing Act is June, 27th, so mark your calendars! 🙂 I’ll have a cover reveal soon…but for now, here’s the disguised version. Mwahahahhahahahahha!

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Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses by Heloise West

Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses by Heloise West releases on April 19, 2016. It’s the sequel to Hitting Black Ice, so I recommend you pick up the first in Heloise’s Heart and Haven series right now (if you haven’t already) so you’ll be primed for book two next week. Both novels are action-packed and sure to please any MM mystery lover!

HeloiseWest_SendLawyersGunsandRoses

Blurb:

When Hunter and Alex (formally Shawn) are given the vacation of a lifetime, it’s a chance for them to pay attention to romance and get out of the path of danger. The tiny Caribbean island of Saba is gorgeous, the first to have marriage equality, and the Sabans are the nicest people on earth.

There’s lots of rum poolside for relaxing and a room with a mirror on the ceiling for passion. Hot karaoke nights, cold beer, and new friends.

Their new friends Orfeo and Max, and Max’s sister Talisha, share a troubling secret. Alex and Hunter want to help. As a hurricane bears down on them, a dead body surfaces, and a purple backpack loaded with stolen jewels leads a pair of dangerous men to the island.

Alex would rather poke his own eyes out with a pointy stick than call on his old enemy Nick Truman for help; he’d also do anything to keep Hunter out of danger. But even his nemesis can’t reach them now.

Once again, they only have each other to depend on as their paradise is about to become hell on earth.

 

Hitting Black Ice:heloisewest_hittingblackice

ER physician’s assistant Hunter guards his heart carefully, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for Shawn, the front desk clerk.  He keeps his distance from relationships for a reason, but just can’t help himself when it comes to Shawn.

Shawn is on the run from the law and love to protect himself and anyone else involved. One man is dead because of him, and his life now is simple and easily thrown into a bag at any hint of danger. Until he meets Hunter, and he no longer wants to run.

Forced into a hostage situation, buried passion explodes in the aftermath, and sex in the supply closet brings their hearts back to life. Tentatively, step by step, they begin to explore a relationship together until the past catches up with Shawn.

FBI agent Nick Truman has finally found his man, but when Shawn escapes, he focuses his attention on Hunter. Shawn returns, even though it means sacrificing himself to save Hunter from the man who framed him for murder.

Buy Links:

http://www.loose-id.com/hitting-black-ice.html

http://www.amazon.com/Hitting-Black-Ice-Heloise-West-ebook/dp/B00QJEJ7VO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hittingblackice-1689874-340.html

 

About Heloise West:

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

Where to find Heloise:

Blogs: https://velvetpanic2.wordpress.com/

Website: http://heloisewest.wix.com/heloisewest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heloise.west.1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heloisewest/

Email: heloise_67@hotmail.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/velvetpanic

Tumblr: http://heloisewest.tumblr.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8188216.Heloise_West


Some Pictures for Fun #wtf #horsingaround

Dollar Photo Club shuts down in 2 days.

Me tarzan... you tarzan... (1)

I had around 70 prepaid photo credits, so I “bought” a bunch of photos.

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Is that a pleather tie, Boston Strangler Bunny?

Some pics/picks were better than others.

horse mask young hipster gay man

Neigh! Don’t judge me.

-Kimber


Debacles and Other Words I Can’t Spell

I’ve been editing this week–like, seriously in the trenches where my editor points out I used look too frequently and so I replace one such occurrence with gazed and search to see where the next nearest gaze falls and it’s too close, so I try peered, but there’s a jeered nearby and it’s too rhymey, so I change it to glanced but glanced at his pants sounds like I ripped it from Dr. Seuss, so I rewrite it to say He picked his nose, because that hasn’t happened yet, I’m quite sure of it, but I’ve already substituted one of a billion pulls for a pick and it’s right. Freakin’. There. FUCK ME! Go back to the start…back. Didn’t I just read that word? I type it into my find box, the entire screen lights up like the Fourth of July, and my head explodes.

This sort of dog-chasing-its-tail crap. All day. For days and days.

Okay. Enough complaining, because the good thing about editing is I’m sending round one (the biggest, baddest round, really) off today after a final spellcheck. And my editor made some glowing comments about Balancing Act (she hasn’t even read Hard Act to Follow and loved Kyrie and Greg’s 2nd installment–so happiness and confetti!).

Oh, and the other great thing about editing?  I missed the latest M/M brouhaha while my eyes were bleeding. Score!

Truly, as much as I enjoy the gossipy aspect of poring over posts and comments and wasting my entire day, I’m happy I (mostly) missed it.

The mostly is because I did happened upon Alexis Hall’s post last night. I decided his lovely breakdown of  the situation was all I really needed, so pardon me if I’m less informed than I should be to write a post alluding to this shit show. 🙂 I’m assuming he outlined the basics, and I’m only weighing in on one minor topic here.

It’s late, and my head exploded earlier, remember?

Anyway, AH’s post reminded me I’d been meaning to take a Kinsey test for years now, but had avoided it because who likes tests? I did it, though (after opening the link and wishing aloud it wasn’t too long). Score again! It was super short, and it turns out I’m bisexual! Sleep with a few girls in your wild and single years and you get a label (and not the “slut” one I usually identified with–hey, I owned it so it didn’t own me).

Kinsey

 

I don’t care in the slightest about labels. I’ve always gone with mostly straight (with plenty of room for persuasion), but I’ve been married to my lovin’ man for, well, forever now, so mostly straight suits fine.

Oh, and while I’m on the bi train, this is a fun site to click around, full of stuff and things. Ride on the bi train, ooo ahhh eeee ahhh ooo ah!

So, my point, if ever I could make one, was AH’s post reminded me of an old review of Forever is Now. Basically, someone had taken offense to my use of “sexual preference.” I immediately asked the only guy (at the time) in the M/M crit group I was in if he thought it was offensive. He didn’t, but said he could see why some people might dislike it. I vowed to never use it again, but had a niggle about why. Of course I don’t want to offend readers. Ever. Times change and perfectly serviceable terms from back in the day become hate speech every so often. It happens, and I try to keep on top of the evolution of language as much as possible.

But my sexuality has always been a thing I decide on. I decided long ago that I mostly like men, and occasionally like women depending on…well, I guess the usual considerations. Personality. Intelligence. Looks. How much alcohol I’d consumed. Never have I hooked up with a random woman at a party (unlike men). They’ve all been women I was friends with. Loved or at least liked a whole hell of a lot. So, clearly there were other factors at play there–a deeper connection than purely physical.

But to act like preference didn’t have a part is silly. Of course it did. I prefer men in the grand scheme of things. I chose a man to hitch my cart to for better or worse. But I could have chosen a woman if the right one had come along and knocked my socks off.

And I’m not saying (and I won’t reiterate AH’s thoughts about gay kids of religious families who grew up having the “IT’S A CHOICE AND YOU’RE MAKING THE WRONG ONE” drilled into them) that some people will (and should) dislike that terminology. I’m just saying it applies to  me and maybe other people, too. I’m going to avoid it out of consideration for those it bothers, but I don’t hate it either. <Plunks down 2 cents.>

 

Okay.

Enough philosophy for one day. I just sent those edits and now I’m going to go exercise this ass so it remains appealing to members of both sexes, you know, depending where they are on the Kinsey scale.

 

-Kimber

 

 

 


Cover Reveal: Stiletto Secrets by Bella J

Nicholas Blake is your typical class A, rich bastard who loves getting what he wants. He’s spoiled, selfish and enjoys all the lavish pleasures life has to offer—especially those that involve women and getting naked. Nicholas’ life is just damn near perfect. But one night out on the town with his friends and everything changes. One encounter with a stripper in stilettos who fittingly calls herself Cinderella, and his life suddenly doesn’t seem so goddamn perfect anymore.

 

As if that isn’t enough, there’s also Emma, the new maid in his father’s mansion that immediately piques his curiosity with her sweet smile and blue-green eyes. He finds himself drawn to her and wants nothing more than to seduce her into his bed, to make her his. But he just can’t seem to stay away from the stripper that makes him burn in ways he never knew possible.

 

The more he starts to care for Emma, the stronger his obsession grows for Cinderella.

 

Insane? Absolutely.

 

Twisted? Yes.

 

Completely screwed up? Hell yes.

 

A decision needs to be made; he needs to choose. But will Nicholas be able to make that choice when he finds himself all tangled up in a giant cluster of love, lust and stilettos?

 

Release Date:  04/25/16
Stiletto Secrets Cover

Add to your TBR List

Goodreads

Excerpt:

“Pick one.”

Nicholas jerked his head to the left in the direction from where the woman’s voice came, and noticed the dark-pink curtains.

“Pick one what?” He scanned the room.

“The shoes. Pick a pair,” a soft, sultry voice replied.

Then Nicholas noticed movement behind the curtain. Whoever it was dragged her hand along the fabric while leisurely pacing, apparently waiting for him to choose.

Instantly intrigued, he glanced at the cabinet and then back at the curtain. “You want me to choose a pair of shoes?”

“Yes, pick a pair and I will wear them.”

Nicholas felt a little tingle in the back of his neck when she spoke. He had only been in this room for five minutes and whoever was behind the curtain already had all his attention.

He moved a little closer to the curtain. “You know, a lot goes into choosing the right pair of shoes. For example, I’d need to know what you’re wearing first.” He tried to get a better look at the woman behind the curtain, but the fabric was just too damn dense for him to make out anything other than a silhouette.

“Why don’t you just pick a pair under the assumption that I’m not wearing anything,” she replied with soft, smoothly spoken words. Somehow it reminded him of melted chocolate.

“Why don’t you let me see for myself what you’re wearing?”

“That’s not how it works, Mr. Blake.”

The curtain swooshed a little as she moved behind it.

Nicholas turned to the glass cabinet with the shoes. How in God’s name was he supposed to choose? It was like telling a kid to choose one item in Willy Wonka’s candy factory. Im-fucking-possible.

After inspecting each pair, he finally opened the door and reached for a white pair of stilettos with a little diamond bow on top. A simple design, but it was the pair with the sharpest heel, and Nicholas loved those damn heels.

“So what do I do with these?” Nicholas inspected the shoes more closely.

And then a hand reached out from the other side of the curtain. Nicholas noticed the freshly manicured nails and beautiful dainty fingers. “Now you give them to me, and take a seat, Mr. Blake.”

Nicholas looked to the chair before handing her the shoes.

“On the table next to the chair you will see a pair of handcuffs and a blindfold. You need to sit down, lock one of the cuffs around your hand, put on the blindfold and then place both hands behind the back of the seat.”

Nicholas frowned. “Okay, I’m not sure I’m entirely comfortable with this. I thought this was a show. How am I supposed to enjoy the show if I can’t see anything?”

“Mr. Blake, I have three different types of shows I present. See, feel, and touch.”

“See, feel, and touch?” he mimed silently with his mouth.

“You can’t experience all at once.”

“Well, I’d sort of feel cheated then.”

“When you lose one of your senses, the other senses get heightened, Mr. Blake.”

Nicholas could not get over the beautiful sound of this woman’s voice. It was like her voice had a direct line straight down to his cock.

He started to leisurely pace around the room. “So I’m just curious, which show did my friends book me for?”

“Feel,” she replied.

Being the smart-ass that he was, Nicholas asked, “Isn’t that kind of the same thing as touch?”

“No, it’s not. With touch you would be allowed to use your hands, guided by me of course. With feel, you will only feel what I want you to feel.”

Okay, now he was really damn curious.

As he turned to the table and eyed the contents, he contemplated what his options were. Either he turned around now and then got labeled as a pussy by his friends, or he could put on the mask and the cuffs and see where this all went. But honestly, there was no way in hell he would be able to walk away now.

“What will it be, Mr. Blake?”

Nicholas shrugged and picked up the cuffs. “I guess we should get this show started then.”

About the Author:Author pic

Bella J lives in Cape Town, South Africa with her husband, two kids, & chihuahua. Her love for writing started in eighth grade when she received her first writing assignment—which she flunked. But the positive side of her failure—her newly found passion for writing. The negative side—now she’s completely spaced out half of the time living in her little pretend world of romance, love, & insanely hot heroes

Get in Touch

www.bellajauthor.wix.com/sassy

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/BellaJ1983

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/BellaJ_Author

 

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OTHER TITLES BY BELLA J

Resplendent Ruin (Resplendence #1)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26319763-resplendent-ruin?from_search=true&search_version=service

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Resplendent-Ruin-Resplendence-Book-1-ebook/dp/B016TQFI00

Resplendent Rush (Resplendence #2)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28018678-resplendent-rush

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Resplendent-Rush-Resplendence-Book-2-ebook/dp/B01AGZATK4

Resplendent Rage (Resplendence #3)

Release date: 03/28/16

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28693569-resplendent-rage

Pre-order link:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/resplendent-rage-j-bella/1123483698?ean=9781622103454

 


The Long Way Home by Jessica Cale #kindle #giveaway

Woo hoo! Today I have my sister author (if you will, since we’re both published by Liquid Silver Books) Jessica Cale visiting. I adore Jessica’s books. Seriously, if you enjoy historical romance–not the window dressing kind, but the real deal–you should check out her Southwark series.

And her covers are sooooo pretty… Sigh.

HRthelongwayhome

Jessica has given us a mini history lesson rife with dastardly doings (my favorite), so read on!

————

The Long Way Home is set in the court of Louis XIV at the beginning of the murder scandal that would become known as the Affair of the Poisons. Although this has become an overlooked corner of history, the revelations that arose from this scandal once caused terror throughout France and had serious consequences for hundreds of citizens from all walks of life. So what was it?

The Affair of the Poisons

The Affair of the Poisons was a major scandal that took place during the reign of Louis XIV in France between 1675 and 1682. Hundreds of people were accused of murder, conspiracy, and witchcraft, resulting in the imprisonment, torture, exile, or execution of nearly three hundred people, many of them prominent members of society.

Madame de Brinvilliers

The Affair of the Poisons is generally considered to begin with the trial and subsequent execution of Madame de Brinvilliers in 1675-6. A wealthy and respectable woman, Brinvilliers was convicted of conspiring to poison her father and two brothers with hopes of inheriting their estates. This was no crime of passion, but a coldly calculated maneuver executed very slowly over the course of years. She went to the trouble of installing her own servants in the homes of her father and brothers, and successfully poisoned all three relatives. She had also poisoned her husband and daughter, but gave them both antidotes in a fit of conscience.

This trial called attention to other mysterious deaths and raised fears across the kingdom. When an anonymous note detailing a plot to murder the king was found in a confession box in 1677, paranoia hit fever pitch.

The fears were well-founded.

When another woman, Madame de La Grange, was arrested in 1677 on murder charges, she appealed with information of other serious crimes, leading to the discovery of a vast network of people involved in poison, murder, witchcraft, infanticide, and even Satanism right under the King’s nose.

Investigation

Gabriel Nicolas de la Reynie, the chief of Paris police, followed the accusations to a number of fortune tellers, alchemists, and even renegade priests. If you’re thinking all this was over a little palm reading, think again. Fortune tellers and others were found to be selling poisons and other “remedies” door-to-door or even in shops along with cosmetics and household tonics (think evil Avon lady).

The most infamous of these was midwife Catherine Deshayes Monvoisin, also known as La Voisin, who was arrested in 1679. Following her arrest, La Voisin implicated many of her clients who were prominent members of the aristocracy, including one of the king’s mistresses, Madame de Montespan, the Comtesse de Soissons, the Duchesse de Bouillon, and the Duke of Luxembourg.

Poison and Witchcraft

Although the poisons they were using were potent enough to do away with rivals without any help, it was believed that magic gave the poison its power. We’re not talking about a few little spells, here, either. The magic was believed to come from priests, and a number of unscrupulous priests accepted this kind of work on the side to supplement their clerical livings. For a fee, they would say mass over magic charms and even poison to infuse them with power, regardless of their intended use. If poison or charms made from holy oil or menstrual blood did not prove to be potent enough to achieve the person’s aims, there was also something called an Amatory Mass. What was that, exactly? You probably don’t want to know. If you’re at all squeamish, maybe skip the next paragraph.

At the height of the Affair of the Poisons, there were accusations that certain prominent members of the court, most notably the King’s longest-serving mistress and mother to seven of his children, Madame de Montespan, had employed corrupt priests to perform a ritual called an Amatory mass. While it was superficially similar to common Christian mass, it differed with a few key details. Said over the body of a naked woman (usually the person requesting the magic), it culminated in the sacrifice of a human infant. While the existence of these has not been conclusively proven, testimony of priests thought to be involved is eerily similar.

Aftermath

The investigations into the Affair of the Poisons resulted in the imprisonment, torture, and interrogation of many people, as well as the execution of a further thirty-six. Following the execution of La Voisin in 1680, the king’s minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert helped to sweep things under the rug on the king’s instruction. His Chambre Ardente, a court established to judge cases of poisonings and witchcraft, was closed in 1682 on the king’s instruction because so many courtiers and those connected to them had been questioned and found guilty that he could not abide the scandal.

Some measures were taken to limit the availability of poisons after the scandal. In 1682, an edict proclaimed that anyone convicted of supplying poison, whether or not that supply resulted in death, would be sentenced to death. Alchemists found themselves under greater scrutiny because of the involvement of a small number of them in the formulation of the poisons, most notably Brinvilliers’ alchemist lover. The same edict restricted alchemy to that conducted with the protection of a permit. Further limits were placed on the sale of arsenic and mercury sublimate, so that they were no longer available to the general public, but only to professions that were deemed to require them.

***

The Long Way Home takes place in Versailles in 1677, just as the Affair of the Poisons is beginning in earnest. The court is plagued with mysterious deaths, the king fears for his life, and Alice quickly discovers that court is not as virtuous as it appears.

Sources

Lynn Wood Mollenauer. Strange Revelations: Magic, Poison, and Sacrilege in Louis XIV’s France.

Anne Somerset. The Affair of the Poisons: Murder, Infanticide, and Satanism at the Court of Louis XIV.

Blurb:

A paranoid king, a poison plot, and hideous shoes…it’s not easy being Cinderella.

After saving the life of the glamorous Marquise de Harfleur, painfully shy barmaid Alice Henshawe is employed as the lady’s companion and whisked away to Versailles. There, she catches King Louis’ eye and quickly becomes a court favorite as the muse for Charles Perrault’s Cinderella. The palace appears to be heaven itself, but there is danger hidden beneath the façade and Alice soon finds herself thrust into a world of intrigue, murder, and Satanism at the heart of the French court.

Having left his apprenticeship to serve King Charles as a spy, Jack Sharpe is given a mission that may just kill him. In the midst of the Franco-Dutch war, he is to investigate rumors of a poison plot by posing as a courtier, but he has a mission of his own. His childhood friend Alice Henshawe is missing and he will stop at nothing to see her safe. When he finds her in the company of the very people he is meant to be investigating, Jack begins to wonder if the sweet girl he grew up with has a dark side.

When a careless lie finds them accidentally married, Alice and Jack must rely on one another to survive the intrigues of the court. As old affection gives way to new passion, suspicion lingers. Can they trust each other, or is the real danger closer than they suspect?

“Really brilliant writing that’s so engaging with such endearing characters! I especially love the way Jack and Alice are both so devoted to each other! I was totally absorbed in this exciting and fascinating world Jessica Cale created from the very first paragraph to the last! I read this all in one sitting, staying awake late to finish, just had to!”Romazing Reader

Add to Goodreads

Buy links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

Kobo

Liquid Silver

Find the rest of the series here.

Rafflecopter: Win a 7” Kindle Fire. Open from 2/22-3/14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

—–

Jessica Cale (6)About the author

Jessica Cale is the award-winning author of the historical romance series, The Southwark Saga. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Wales for several years where she earned a BA in History and an MFA in Creative Writing while climbing castles and photographing mines for history magazines. She kidnapped (“married”) her very own British prince (close enough) and is enjoying her happily ever after with him in North Carolina.

Website: http://www.authorjessicacale.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicacale

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaCale @JessicaCale

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rainbowcarnage

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Cale/e/B00PVDV9EW

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9819997

Jessica Cale Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/bMas0P

 

 


Balancing Act is Official! #LGBT #Gay #Romance

I just signed a contract for Balancing Act with Liquid Silver Books! It feels good to be back in the saddle after a rather long writing hiatus, and I’m trying hard not to let the Samhain news tarnish what is usually one of the greatest highs I know. I’m also plugging along on the new book in my Shooting Stars series starring mega-model Andy (who you’ll meet in BA. By the way, I love shortening Balancing Act to BA. Cracks me up). So far so good with the current WIP. You can check out my Pinterest board for Vic, Andy’s smokin’ hot bad boy bodyguard. I’ll keep adding, so feel free to follow along for more of my inspirational photos. 😉 I think you’re going to love these two and I’ve definitely fallen for them, so that certainly makes the writing easier.

To celebrate BA releasing sometime in the next three/four months, I’ll give you a teaser (unedited, of course)kyrie. 🙂

 

Blurb:

Greg Dwyer and Kyrie Li are living the glorious couple life in New York City. Or are they? When struggling actor Kyrie lands a modeling job, he’s ecstatic to be able to pitch in for his share of the mortgage and to plan a secret birthday vacation for his best-friend-turned-boyfriend.

Of course, Greg is suspicious that Anders Berglund, the gorgeous and androgynous Swedish cover model the designers love to pair with Kyrie, is after his man. And maybe Kyrie is encouraging a growing closeness with the guy.

Greg is probably to blame if Kyrie is drawn to the openly gay and seriously beautiful Andy. With Andy, Kyrie can be himself, as loud and proud as he’s always been. But Greg’s

sexuality stays firmly locked in the closest except for when he’s with Kyrie’s supportive family or alone with the man he loves.

To make matters worse, Greg’s out-of-touch mom meets with financial ruin and moves in with the couple, forcing him into the closet in his own home.

Can Greg find a way to stand up to mommy dearest and win back a love he fought so hard to reach? He discovers the road to pride begins at home, and with accepting oneself first. Otherwise, it’s just a dead-end street.

(NSFW) Excerpt:

Kyrie loved being the seductive bottom; getting Greg all worked up with his teasing and flirting. Backing off while Greg simmered. Then Kyrie would stoke him higher, pressing further until Greg eventually broke and became the domineering top. Usually they let the game go for a while, pushing each other’s buttons in their own drawn-out version of foreplay.

The sliver of pain slicing down Kyrie’s crack paired succulently with the throbbing wood pressed against his lower belly. All signs told him they were going straight to sudden death—no warm up, no scrimmage, just hot, fast action. Game on.

“What’re you gonna do to me?”

“I should make you beg.” Greg grabbed Kyrie’s hard-on with his other hand. “Make you drop on your knees and suck me off. Then get me hard again for your turn.” Kyrie whimpered, his mouth filling with saliva. “Get my cock nice and wet before I feed it to that greedy ass of yours.”

“Yes.” It was a husky wanton word, more moan than speech. Kyrie closed his eyes and in the darkness the scruff he adored grazed his chin and cheeks as Greg’s lips covered his. His tongue split Kyrie’s mouth open, not like he didn’t want it, but the coy act was a tough one to break. Well, Greg broke it. Butchered it. Tenderized Kyrie’s tongue with his own until Kyrie’s thighs quivered and the strip of spandex jammed up his ass became another lover he wanted to hump when his pelvic thrusts pitched him away from the hard slab of man rutting against his front.

Greg cupped Kyrie’s balls again. “Whose are these?”

“Yours.” Kyrie’s breath stuttered while Greg dragged fingers over his cock, a bit hard, a bit rough. Absolutely perfect.

“Whose dick it this?” Greg milked precome from Kyrie like a seasoned farmhand, leaning down to bite Kyrie’s lower lip nearly hard enough to draw blood. Kyrie groaned.

“Yours, Greg.”

“Turn around.” In case Kyrie wasn’t about to follow orders, Greg spun him so his palms slapped the wall, his face pressed to cool paint as Greg slid warm hands up and under Kyr’s mesh top. He pinched his erect nipples, eliciting a gasp, and then stroked Kyrie’s satin-covered dick before heading back toward his waistband. Kyrie braced for another tug upward, but Greg surprised him by yanking his underwear down. The burn on his crack flared and abated, and then Greg’s fingers, slick with spit, were drifting down the cleft and pressing against his hole like a balm.

“Whose tight ass is this, Kyr?”

Jealous horny Greg had to be Kyrie’s favorite sex toy. “It can be yours.”

Greg punished, or maybe rewarded him, with a thick pointer finger piercing him fully, no warning. Kyrie sobbed, cheek hitting the wall. Greg’s mouth found his earlobe, biting, and then licking, his finger fucking Kyrie slowly while the hard cock caged in fine wool mimicked the action against Kyrie’s lower back. “Just mine.” Greg growled against his ear, nipping at the delicate skin below before sucking it into his mouth for a second. “You don’t want me marking you for your photo shoot, you better give me the right answer.”

————–

Yay! Sorry for the HUGE wait on this book. Hopefully it will be worth it! 🙂 By the way, if you haven’t read Hard Act to Follow yet, you might want to get on that since Balancing Act continues with Greg and Kyrie’s story (as well as introduces Andy, who gets the next book).

-Kimber

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Villains with Vaginas

I was on social media the other day (shocking, I know) and stumbled over a thread that piqued my interest. Someone had read a book in which women seemed to be vilified to the point of misogyny. The disappointed reader said it was a theme she’d been running into frequently and numerous other readers chimed in that they had the same issue with MM books. I haven’t read the book in question, so I can’t speak to its content, but women being portrayed negatively in gay romance is hardly a new phenomenon. Readers have been complaining about it for years.

When I first began writing MM, rumblings about women being cast as conniving harpies abounded on review sites–every female in nearly every book was pure evil. Or there were no females in books, in other cases.

Female sorcerer with two troll beasts

Long ago, I vowed to be super conscientious about how my female characters came across. And then I largely washed my hands of the worry. Seriously, I’m the girl who likes to joke that women can’t do X because their vaginas are so cumbersome they get in the way. I used to go to parties in HS to challenge dudes to mercy competitions just to prove what a bad ass I was. Well, and to drink (shot for shot with the guys, of course). Yeah, also to get laid because treating men the way I perceived they’d treated women since the dawn of time–like a piece of meat to be used–was my shtick, I’m rather ashamed to say (they rarely minded, for the record, so I guess I won’t feel too guilty).

My point is, I’m not the girl who thinks women are in any way inferior to men (really–why would any woman think that?). I mean, we squeeze squalling 8 lb beings from our bodies and then we’re like, give me some fucking pizza and let me walk around or I’ll drown you in breast milk. If anything, I’ve got a chip on my shoulder when it comes to how undervalued women are.

Yet, whenever I see these posts, I get paranoid.

I shouldn’t. I know I shouldn’t. I am woman, with better plumbing, carpentry, and electrical skills than most men I know. Hear me roar. I won’t even mention my chest hair (I blame gin).

Oh, but people were complaining about the evil fictional ex-wife! The evil mother-in-law!

Well, I’ve written a character mid-divorce in a nasty custody battle. Yes, his wife came off witchy, but she’d given her best years to a guy and wanted to keep her kid. No, she wasn’t nice to her soon-to-be ex-husband, but I’ve seen more ugly divorces than I can count, and I don’t think a bit of reality is untoward. Guaranteed, if I’d been writing from the ex-wife’s POV, Gio would have looked like a total cobnobbler.

Not that anyone has accused me of defaming women. But the conversation makes me rethink every female character I’ve ever written. Was she too bitter? Did I make all women look bad by writing one woman going through a shitastic stage in her life? Should I never write female characters I wouldn’t want to be friends with IRL? Should I never write a female as an antagonist for fear of being labeled a misogynist?

I have more awesome women than bitchy women in my books, when I do the math. Probably equal amounts antagonistic men to antagonistic women. Realistically, someone needs to be the adversary in contemporary romance.

And then I just wrote a rather unlikable mother-in-law(ish)…

Maybe exes and MILs are overdone at this point. Maybe that’s the problem, in which case, contemporary MM may be overdone too because, well, as I know I’ve complained before, we can’t just pull a (sexless) monster out of our asses to make a villain.

Now, is Greg’s mom in my latest book (Balancing Act~~Coming soon to a website near you! Shameless plug!) absolute evil? No. Not even remotely. Matter of fact, she’s based on a woman I happen to adore. Is she a horse-pill to swallow? Oh, you bet your ass. On the flip side, Kyrie’s mom is a love, she just doesn’t get major screen time in this book. Same for his cool friend, Liv.

Nice can be boring, TBH. Suspense doesn’t come from that totally humorous Comic-Con scene I keep contemplating. A book needs to move forward and then get kicked in the teeth to make it step back. It needs tension. Bad guys and bad girls.

Sigh. No one was complaining about my characters, so I know I shouldn’t get all twitchy about this. And, yes, if I happen to come across a book that makes me think the author hates women, I’ll get way fucking twitchier, but I hate how this conversation makes me think twice about using female characters at all. Much like complaints about authors writing persons of color incorrectly make me nervous about just writing any damn character that comes to mind.

I don’t want to shy away from female characters–or any characters. Occasionally, I even want to write a hard-nosed bitch. Just as sometimes I want to write a psychotic would-be murderer who happens to have a penis. Neither one makes me a misogynist or a misandrist.

I guess I’ll just keep reminding myself of that and follow wherever my characters lead. No fear. After all, they’re in charge–even if that means they come off a little cunty sometimes.

Hey, don’t we all?

-Kimber

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