Tag Archives: Balancing Act

Balancing Act is Out! #giveaway #MMRomance

 

balancingact

It’s here! It’s here! It’s really, really here!

I’m so excited for everyone to catch up with Kyrie and Greg, and to meet Andy–finally!

 

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 have extra cash to spend on his best-friend-turned-boyfriend.

Of course, Greg is suspicious Anders Berglund, the gorgeous and androgynous Swedish cover model the designers love to pair with Kyrie, is after his man. And maybe Kyrie encourages 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 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.

Excerpt:

Two changing screens filled a large portion of the next room. A woman stood at the rack of clothes, organizing and examining them. She beckoned Kyrie over. He recognized some of his attire hanging before her.

“I’m not confident about the fit in the chest, Daphne.” A soft voice with a delightful Nordic lilt came from behind the screen to his right.

The tall brunette turned. “Let’s see. I can take it in if need be.” Daphne put her hands on her hips, and Anders Berglund stepped out. He wore a black ball gown with ebony feathers accenting the bodice. They created a starkly jagged edge against his bare skin. The material gapped before his pale chest, and Daphne was immediately behind him, tugging, marking the fabric with a piece of chalk.

“Hey.” Anders smiled and waved his fingers at Kyrie. “Pleasure to meet you. Ky-ree, right?”

“Close. Rhymes with dearie.”

“Kyrie,” Anders tried again. The subtle extra accent on the first syllable didn’t belong but pleased Kyrie immensely.

He grinned like a fool. “That’s me. I’m absolutely-positively-beyond-excited to be working with you.” He stepped forward, hand out, and Anders Berglund took the offering. His grip wasn’t overly firm, soft skin hiding delicate bones beneath.

“My agent sent me your test shots once he found out we were working together.” The words were slow and measured, especially striking on the heels of Kyrie’s run-on exclamation. Anders’ accent hinted of British influence on certain words. Must have learned the Queen’s version. “The camera really loves you.”

“I’m just hoping not to look like a troll next to the world’s current it model.” Kyrie knew he was attractive; he could claim pretty even, with the slight Asian slant to his unusual amber eyes. They popped against the light brown of his skin, accented further by thick, long lashes every woman he met was jealous of.

But Anders Berglund was flawless. His face was already made up: kohl-ringed turquoise eyes framed with what had to be fake lashes, his skin powdered to pale perfection, and berry-red lips with just the right amount of fullness and a perpetual sexy pout whether he was dressed as a man or a woman. His bone structure was impeccable, including high cheeks and the graceful neck to go with his six-foot-tall, ultra-thin frame. Straw-blond hair was piled on his head, escaped locks artfully framing his face. Women wished they looked like him. Men wanted to fuck him, at least until they realized the gorgeous supermodel was actually a man downstairs. And certainly, some men were still hot for him afterward.

Anders Berglund was far from Kyrie’s type, but he could appreciate iconic beauty when it stared back.

“Hah. I don’t think you could ever be a troll.” Anders scratched his shoulder with two fingers where the tip of a feather had to be driving him insane.

“I’m tempted to do stick-on boobs.” Daphne yanked tight again. “But Syd wants you completely feminine with your natural parts. She likes how skinny you are.”

“Whatever she wants.”

“Yeah, I’ll stitch this up a bit tighter.” She unzipped the back of the dress and slid it down. Anders stepped out and stood in black stockings held up by a garter with matching briefs. He waved at Kyrie, all bright white skin, jutting ribs, long limbs, and sharp hip bones. He looked breakable despite his height, like a piece of fine china.

“Get dressed,” Daphne snapped at Kyrie. “We don’t want to keep Syd waiting.”

“I would have come an hour early just to avoid hearing that a thousand times.”

Anders’ mouth twitched up. Daphne glared.

The off-white tux behind the other screen wasn’t part of the stash of clothes Kyrie had taken home. He’d been measured at the callback, and the powers that be had custom ordered additional pieces. He slipped into the slim-leg cream pants. If the benefactors of the Spectrum Spectacular truly had cut corners with some of the underthings, the suit was an exception. It draped precisely over his hips, and he twisted to check his ass in the full-length mirror in the center panel of the screen. The silk shirt pressed cool kisses to his chest with every movement he made.

In shape from almost daily running, Kyrie normally relied on skintight pants and formfitting shirts to best display his attributes, but this designer-cut clothing thing he could totally get used to. He scrutinized his butt again as he shrugged into the jacket with black-trimmed lapel.

If Greg could see me now…

Kyrie knotted the black bow tie and stepped out wearing a grin and a kick-tail tux. Daphne was fussing with Anders again, his ball gown back in place.

“What do you say, Andy? May I have this dance?” He swept into a low bow.

Anders gave a soft laugh. “Of course.”

“You’ll need your lifts first.” Daphne pointed toward a pair of black dress shoes. The soles were at least an inch thicker than normal.

“Huh.” Kyrie stepped into the shoes, grumbling and shooting death rays with his eyes. Daphne finished with Anders, and it was Kyrie’s turn to be plucked like a Thanksgiving turkey. By the time she sent him out to the first shoot staging, Kyrie had begun to wonder why anyone would want to be a model.

 


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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

 

 

 


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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Keeping it Real #amwriting

So, I’m finally nearing the end of my self-edit for Balancing Act. I know I’m suuuuuuper slow, but I like to fool myself into thinking that means it will be better than if I was suuuuuper fast. Right? Here’s to hoping.

Anyway, I’ve been stalled on plans for the next book for a long time now. I’ve got an idea of what will happen–I know Andy’s story fairly well, but this entire time I’ve been dreading writing it because I think it will be hard. Like, really hard. I haven’t been able to plan a love story, because all I can see is darkness. I couldn’t visualize the happy times amid all the issues. Until a few days ago, when I finally got a solid mental picture of my other MC and it all clicked.

I know it will still be hard.

Image courtesy of kangshutters at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of kangshutters at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Andy has baggage, so this book can’t be a walk in the park. I mean, even with that fancy wheeled luggage, he can’t drag it behind him for a stroll around the grounds– not without sore arms and a twinge in his back. Not without mud puddles and dive-bombing pigeons, stray baseballs and rude joggers throwing monkey wrenches at every turn. Hell, I’d just stay home with all my baggage and save myself the trouble.

But it MUST be a walk in the park! It’s a romance, dammit! That’s what I do! No matter how tough my characters have it (and they MUST have it tough, because they are meant to be real–they’re real in my head and I need them real in my readers’ hearts and the only way for that to work is for my guys to bleed), they still deserve the rainbows and cooing doves and ice cream sundaes.

Well, I figured it out (safe for me to say from the only outlining stage). Life isn’t sunshine and roses for any of us, but if we have someone who loves us unconditionally, who wants to make every moment sunbeams and park walks and flowers, well, it will be. Eventually. Certainly some of the time. And hauling all that baggage is easier with an extra set of arms (especially an extremely diesel set of tattooed arms–yes, I’m getting excited about this character. Suffice it to say, I’m having good times on Pinterest fleshing this guy out).

Anyway, all those rough spots will only make the good times better, the rainbows brighter, and the romance sweeter. At least, that’s what I’m banking on.

-Kimber

 

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Writing Funks #amwriting

I’ve been a total slug lately. Here it is, the first full week of summer “vacation” (I insist on quoting that word because it’s a joke to moms everywhere–stay-at-home or otherwise, it’s not our vacation). I just dropped my youngest two at a 9-12 camp. My oldest is still asleep (I guess the slugginess runs in the family). I need to start cranking out the words. This is my chance, possibly my only chance today.

But, I am not all that inspired lately. Part of it is seeing which books top the MM romance charts on Amazon. They aren’t the sort of books I write, generally speaking. Shifters and BDSM, rehashed Cinderella stories, cops, sports, motorcycle gangs. I get to thinking that maybe I shouldn’t bother with what I’m working on. Maybe I’ll spend months on a book that hardly anyone will read. Not to whine. I freaking hate when authors do that on Facebook. No. I’m not whining. I’m second-guessing, and it makes for a shitty writing mindset.

I have to remind myself that I can’t write anything I’m not interested in. Not only would it be painful to complete, but it would probably suck. It wouldn’t be me.

So, no matter how disheartening it is to not be burning up any charts with my books, I’m not going to try to come up with an alpha-mating-50-shades-of-tiger idea. I’m not going to stare at my current WIP and think I’m just wasting my fucking time.

I’m going to make a goddamn pot of coffee and finish this bitch because I love these characters, and really, their fictitious shit just hit the fan, so what the hell am I waiting for?

Here’s an unedited snippet from Balancing Act: Shooting Stars 3.5 to help rev the engines. I embrace cheerleaders, so feel free to give me a K. Give me an I. Give me an M. You get the idea. 😉

————-

“How many?” The hostess smiled, revealing crooked teeth. Her name tag said Leya.

“Two.” Kyrie held up his fingers.255b733f-0096-4ff1-a0d6-429b8125045d_zpsvqittldm

The girl checked a seating chart. “I should have something for you in five or ten minutes. Unless you’d like to sit at the bar.”

Greg’s attention was frozen in the direction of the bar to his right.

“I’m good with it.” Kyrie tugged on Greg’s arm.

“Great.” Leya slid two menus from a stack behind her.

“Umm. You know what?” Greg swallowed and then looked from Kyrie to the hostess. “Actually, we…I’d much rather…”

A waiter walked up. “I just need to wipe down nine, if you want to put them there.”

“Table then?” The hostess gave them wide eyes.

“Yes, please.”

“Just one minute.” The waiter hustled off.

“What’s up with you?” Kyrie folded his arms over his chest.

“Just didn’t want to have a football game blaring when we’re trying to have…”

A romantic dinner?

“Conversation.” Greg glanced at the hostess who was busy rubbing black grease pen off a laminated seating chart.

They were ushered in a moment later, and Kyrie began scarfing down more white bread, this time with butter, as they waited for their order. The waiter brought them both a beer. Greg sipped his and his shoulders relaxed.

“So, how did the photo shoot go?”

“Ugh. I’ll never make fun of models for taking the easy way out again. It’s actually pretty labor intensive.”

Greg gave him a skeptical look while his foot rubbed Kyrie’s calf under the table. “Poor baby. You need a massage when we get home?”

“Consequence free?”

“What?” Greg thunked his beer glass down on the table. “What’ve you done with the real Kyrie?”

“I’m just saying there’s no guarantee I’ll stay awake during a massage.”

“Then the massage is after.”

“After what?” Kyrie gave him a seductive grin. Beyond Greg’s shoulder he eyed a slim brunette woman walking toward their table with a smile on her face.

“After I’m done with you.” Greg waggled his eyebrows and nudged Kyrie’s foot again.beea33b9-d9ce-49ed-bcdf-4cf462fe763a_zpsupclpajx

“Greg?” The woman touched Greg’s shoulder and he jumped a good five inches while a wingtip nailed Kyrie in the shin. “Oh, my! I didn’t mean to startle you.” She touched her chest in sympathy, and then looked from Greg to Kyrie and back. “I’m so glad you decided to try this place out.”

Greg coughed, seemingly on air, and then gave a weak grin, his eyes watery. “So far so good, Mel. Thanks for the recommendation.”

She smiled wider. “Hi, I’m Melanie Church. Greg and I work at Warner and Hall together.” She waved at Kyrie.

“Nice to meet you.” Kyrie swallowed most of the bread in his mouth before answering, but it still came out stuffy. He reached for his beer.

“Kyrie’s my ex-wife’s brother. I told you about his modeling job.” Greg’s nod was overenthusiastic as if all that action would draw attention away from what he’d just said.

Ex-wife’s brother? Why don’t you rip a huge fart and really throw her off the scent, Greg?

“Yes. How exciting.” Melanie didn’t seem to notice Greg’s odd behavior. Kyrie couldn’t help but glare at him. “Would it be out of line to ask for your autograph?” she added.

Kyrie turned his terse smile from Greg to his coworker. “Why not?”

She dug in her purse and pulled out a note pad.

“Well, aren’t you the Girl Scout?” Kyrie gave a hollow laugh and took the proffered paper and pen.

Greg’s grin looked like a snapshot, frozen and awkward.

Kyrie wrote: Mel—It’s been illuminating meeting you! Thanks much! Love, Greg’s ex-wife’s brother, Kyrie Li.

“Did I forget anything?” He held it up for Greg’s perusal, a saccharin smile on his face. Greg turned beet red. Kyrie slowly shook his head. “Don’t suppose so. Here you are.” He handed the pad back, grinding his teeth, just as the waiter arrived with their plates.

“Well, my husband’s pulling the car up, so I’d better go and let you two enjoy. See you tomorrow, Greg. So nice to meet you, Kyrie.” She slipped the paper and pen back in her bag, tossed the tail of her wayward scarf over her shoulder, and turned with a smile and wave.

“Her husband. How odd. I wonder whose brother he is?” Kyrie huffed and viciously stabbed his eggplant parmesan with a fork.

“Kyr.”

“Don’t Kyr me.”

“Don’t do this.”

“No. Why would I? I’ve sat and watched you pretend I’m your gay friend for the past year.” He slapped both hands on the white tablecloth and gave Greg a flip grin. “Why should anything change now, huh?”

“Stop.” Greg glanced around. “Can’t we just…” He tugged in a breath and then at his tie. “Let’s talk about it later, huh?”

“’Course, babe. We’ll do it later. It’ll probably work then.” Kyrie hated himself for being such a bitch, but goddamn it, he was sick of the same shit over and over. Sick to death of feeling like a dirty secret, no matter how good Greg did dirty when they got home.

“I work with her,” Greg whispered vehemently.

Kyrie just stared, daring him to elaborate and dig himself further. “Yup. Only right you should be able to act accordingly in front of co-workers.” He plugged a forkful of eggplant into his mouth and nodded, cramming the food between a manikin sneer.

“What do you expect?” Greg asked, and then fiddled with his napkin when Kyrie’s piercing gaze narrowed on him.

“Not much, anymore.” He grinned coldly. “Make sure you don’t, either.”


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