Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Authors who run with Wolves

Wolves have a way of appearing in my stories. In one incomplete fantasy novel I write: “…she saw Lord Blunt approaching. His small stature was more evident in the growing crowd, but so was his menacing grace as the crowd parted naturally before him like deer making way for a sauntering wolf.”

In another folder I have fragments of non-fiction articles about old myths where the werewolf is a hero, modern wolf totemism and our changing attitudes towards wolves: “Try to keep an open mind because you do not choose your totem, you discover an affinity that already exists for both parties. If your totem is the sheep she may be offended if you have fixed your vain heart upon the wolf.”

In a dusty folder of fan fiction I find this, from some Sherlock Holmes/Dracula slash: “It was almost as if his memories were brought to life when he heard the soft strains of a violin muted, but clear, in the darkness … The song called out like his soul's voice in its isolation and loneliness. Crying not in desperation, but in resignation to a long and loveless fate. Like a wolf howling in the wilderness, not expecting to be heard.”

Where wolves are not found their parts may still appear: “She met two sets of startled eyes. Two male bodies lay intertwined with a blanket made from wolf pelts draped about them. One lay beneath, upon his back with long dark hair in disarray, the other stooped over him, one leg pushed forward with knee bent, his hair in braids seemed lighter and was woven with pierced coins that glinted by the light of a low fire.”

One of my short stories is available online here. The Wolf’s Forfeit of the title is the only wolf that appears in this story, but I wonder how many people work out what I mean by it. And I recently posted my short story Father Winter on my blog —a few wolves in that one too.... ;)

And of course there are my M/M werewolf books at Loose Id (Eclipse of the Heart, Wildest Dreams), at Torquere (Son of a Bitch) and my latest at Samhain: Wolfkin. Wolfkin is partly the result of my New Year’s resolution, to write a book featuring wolves, and donate the royalties to a charity so that the wolves can benefit a little from my writing—although it could never really match the way my writing benefits from the wolves. Full royalties from this title go to Wolf Mountain Sanctuary.

As a final word, one of my few--and probably ill-advised--sojourns into poetry:

The Riddle of the Arrow

The ascent of our so-called love was rapid;
I thought the line between us a bond,
then realised it was an asymptote.
I would love you more and more forever,
but never reach you, quite.

Like in the new zoos
where you cannot see the subtle bars,
yet cannot walk up to the animals.

You wander unmoved by me
as distantly vivid, as dangerous
as the wolf, as our unbridgable proximity
to the unpolluted idea of love.
That tiny and absolute difference
between perfect love, and no love at all.

That is the riddle of the arrow:
The distance between archer and target,
halved and halved again but never had...
love will always fall short.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Coming this Wednesday ~ Emily Veinglory

Where to begin?
Emily Veinglory's imagination cannot be fenced in. She has a wonderful post for The Sweet Flag Blog this Wednesday.
The subject is a favorite of paranormal readers and writers, but of course, Emily puts her own special twist on the familiar!
Join us on Wendesday, July 30th when we wave the flag!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Great News!

I am thrilled to announce that I just received a contract for a single author collection of stories from ManLoveRomance Press. MLRPress is a well-respected publisher in the GLBT genre. My stories will focus on Jewish cultural heritage settings.
We're hoping for a release in early 2009.

More to come!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kayelle's Tales of the Chosen - Jawk

Some of you are wondering why the series was called Tales of the Chosen. Here's what Chosen means:


Called to serve

Honored to protect

Obedient to the vow

Safeguards of the truth

Enablers of life

Neutralizers of threats

They protect immortals who must sometimes move suddenly, even during the middle of the night. Unknown to some of the immortal Sempervians, the Chosen keep Chronicles which are handed down, generation after generation, sometimes male to female, and vice versa. When needed, the info on their Sempervian is appended to the end of another Chosen's set of Chronicles. One Chosen usually serves one immortal -- but not always.

Laura Givens also did this cover - and there's a story behind it. For a high def picture, go the file section of my yahoo group, Romance Lives Forever. You can download it and see every detail.
For example, Jawk is in the foreground wearing a tux and has a white towel across his arm. This scene takes place on his second day at Batchelors, a hip gay nightclub in the Top Tier section of Tarth City. He's the first Kin they've ever hired. Feline, with claws hidden beneath human nails, he also has a Kin nose, a fairly cat-like mouth and cat's ears. His pupils are vertical slits and the various movements of his ears give away emotions. Straight back means trouble, forward is curiosity, and drooping sideways means shame or embarrassment. One forward, one back is like a human raising one eyebrow. Their ears move individually and Kin can also speak to each other (esp females) without humans hearing them. It's handy for warriors on hunts, but since 99% of all warriors are female, few males ever learn the trick.

In the background, Luc Saint-Cyr is seated at a booth and Wulf (in the purple) is leaning against him, trying to soothe Luc's jealousy over his time with others. They've been together 5 years, and he trusts Wulf, but Luc's jealousy is dividing them more and more. On the other hand, it's not uncommon for Luc to bring home a third male to pleasure Wulf while Luc watches. He then likes to punish him for enjoying it -- it's one of their kinky sex games. Jawk will be visiting with them after work tonight.
In the far background, there is a veiled man. Who is he? Remember the burka-like "veil" all Betters were required to wear in Alitus?
Just who he is will be the subject of quite a bit of research on the part of Empress Destoiya, who sets Alitus on the path of helping Luc find out where Wulf is spending his free time. As the newly appointed Minister of Imperial Intelligence, Alitus has access to idBot security cams all over the city, and his fond remembrances of meeting Wulf tempt him to take full advantage.
Who is watching who do what? Luc is watching Wulf, Alitus is watching Wulf, and Jawk is watching Luc. But for whom? Each man has his own agenda.
Do any of them coincide? Here's the blurb:
Jawk, Tales of the Chosen
Pleasure. Trust. Possession. Is a betrayal of the heart forever?

Jawk Brighton works at Batchelors, a hip restaurant/club in the Top Tier district of Tarth City, where he meets the immortal Luc Saint-Cyr. When Luc offers Jawk a deal too good to pass up, one night showing him and his Chosen, Wulf Gabriel, a good time in exchange for eight times his usual pay, Jawk takes it. All three have secret agendas. The question is, will Jawk's keep him in Luc and Wulf’s shared bed, or tear apart the alliance of the immortal and his Chosen -- forever?

Content: M/M sex, M/M/M sex, voyeurism, multiple partners, alien sex, more M/M sex - and a heated and softly padded dungeon floor for those "tender" moments...

Kayelle's Tales of the Chosen - Alitus

Alitus, Tales of the Chosen
Passion. Addiction. Loyalty. Can true love bare its heart forever?

Alitus Vivaldi is a Better, an enhanced human. He moves from the Conqueror's favorite pleasure slave to her personal assistant by learning the key to her heart is passion, love, and loyalty. When political upheaval forces the Conqueror to strip her favorite of his freedom and rights, Alitus forsakes his identity and pride, surrendering himself to his darkest fears. But will what he becomes save the Tarthian Empire and its Conqueror, or rock them both to their crumbling core?

In some ways, this is my favorite Chosen book. Luc is featured in books 1 and 3, and only has a small part in this one, but Alitus touches on so many secrets that it's almost impossible to understand the rest of the series without this one. Although it is rated as GLBT, there is one very minor lesbian scene, and a few scenes of the two immortal women (Rheyn Destoiya, the Empress - pictured, and Erryq, another immortal who is a shapechanger) sharing the beautiful blond Alitus. He's more than up for the task, but before this point, he has only been Rheyn's lover.
Protecting him when his parents were killed in a security operation gone bad, she came across the older teen being held down by several of her hulking Praetorian guards, about to be raped. She bid Alitus come to her and helped him gather his ripped clothing around him, covering him with her own cape. She then went out to speak to the near-rioting crowd and vowed that none of her troops who mistreated residents of the world would go unpunished. She forced all 5 Praetorian to their knees and summarily shot them in rapid succession. It quelled the riots immediately.
Alitus, she sent off to be educated properly in another of her strongholds, and when he turned 18 had him brought to her. She seduced him and he has been her favorite ever since. However, because he is a Better, a generation of genetically enhanced humans, his pheromones affect her. Those outside her protective circle of loyal Praetorian and cabinet call him Destoiya's Dog. His loyalty is abosolute. So is his love for her. There is no artifice in Alitus. He doesn't serve in order to gain. His nobility and loyalty endear him to her.
However, changes in the empire are bringing out the fear of Betters - whose pheromones can kill without a touch. The empress succumbs to the wishes of her Parliament and orders all Betters to be veiled in a burka-like garment to prevent their pheromones from escaping. Pride set aside, Alitus obeys, but not without making it public that he hopes to see a day when true freedom will be granted to all citizens once again.
The Empress considers whether to make him her Chosen, something she has avoided for four hundred years (since her previous one died protecting her). To qualify, the leader of the Sempervian immortals decrees he must pass a test, facing his most intimate fear. He must have sex with a male.
The empress trusts Luc, her dearest friend and fellow immortal, and Luc's Chosen, Wulf, is presented with the task. Will Alitus balk, submit, or embrace the sexual act in a way none of the Sempervians ever foresaw?
For excerpts, buy links, and a better image (full size), go to my books section.
When I return from an appt later this afternoon, I'll post the last trilogy info, and give you a sneek peek of the manuscript I just submitted elsewhere (and was asked for a full just yesterday).
I'll aso have a free gift for everyone who posts a comment to any of these blogs! The only requirement is to post, and then email me.

Off to the appt - Thanks Jeanne. Hugs! See you all in a few hours.

Guest Blogger - Kayelle Allen

Jeanne has sweetly invited me to post on her blog -- I immediately accepted, since she's so faithful to come and hang on my Yahoo group, Romance Lives Forever. She suggested I tell you a bit about my Tales of Chosen series, which is GLBT Romance.

Someone asked me last night if I had to assign a rating for this series, what would it be. I said R for the sex, and X for the really good sex. In other words, Rx - just what the doctor ordered.
First up is Wulf - This is an interracial love story in more ways than one. The gorgeous deep brown color of Luc's skin appeals to Wulf on many levels - and because Luc is immortal, Wulf has known him since he was a child. Wulf's father was Luc's "Chosen" a human whom Luc trusted with as many of his secrets as he could. If an immortal (they call themselves Sempervians) had to flee because humans discovered what he was, his Chosen would let another Chosen in his new area know what to expect and what his particular needs might be. Wulf is the sixth generation of his family to serve as Luc's Chosen. Only rarely are the Chosen lovers -- most often they are companions and trusted friends. But Luc has fallen deeply in love with Wulf, and wants to win his heart and make him not only his Chosen, but also his lover.

However, the story doesn't start out with the two men already in a relationship. Two decades of bad blood separated them. Wulf's father was killed twenty years before, when Wulf was ten, and he has blamed Luc ever since. How they overcome that barrier - Luc's guilt at not being able to protect them, and Wulf's for knowing deep in his heart that it was not Luc's fault yet blaming him anyway in anger -- that is the true romance of the story.

The cover is by Laura Givens, who ended up being a character in the last book of the series. More on that later.
Here's more info on Wulf. Excerpts and buy links are available on my site. You'll also find much larger pictures of the cover so you can see more detail.

Wulf, Tales of the Chosen

Lust. Power. Forgiveness. Can a romance live forever?

To survive, superstar Wulf Gabriel must depend on the one man he swore he would never trust again - the most powerful and feared man in the empire - the Harbinger. Saving Wulf is simple; gaining his trust will take reaching into the Harbinger's own dark past and facing a truth he's avoided since the night Wulf's father died. Because of him...

This book was nominated for 2007 Gaylactic Spectrum Award

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Darragha Foster - Guest Blogger

Norse Gods Gone Wild!
My guest today is author, Darragha Foster. Darr has a wealth of knowledge to share with us AND she's also offering a choice of either an e-copy of Love's Second Sight or an e-copy of Teaching Old Gods New Tricks to one lucky poster! She'll be around to post and answer questions and to share some very special tidbits. ;~D

So, here's Darragha!:

I recall the very first time it registered to me that the Norse gods were naughty beggars. I was preparing for a presentation to a group of 5th graders, as a guest-lecturer on the Norse Explorations and Norse Mythology. I had my "kids’ books" about Norse Mythology out, and I had my direct Icelandic to English translations. I got to the point where Loki tied his bollocks to a goat...and realized that to tell these kids about Norse Mythology, I'd soooo have to use the sanitized versions of the myths.

Did you know that the primary Norse gods were shape-shifters? From male to female to animal or object, they enjoyed shifting. And screwing.
I love the whole shape-shifter Norse god scenario. So many lovely thoughts come to mind!
As I found I had a penchant for writing erotic romance, I, of course, turned to what I know best as fodder. The Norse myths. Hot, horny, omni-sexual gods with healthy appetites for making love. Man to man. Man to woman. Woman to woman. Animal to animal. And the icky stuff, too: brother to sister. Father to children.

Excerpt from “Love’s Second Sight.”

"What do you mean to do here?" Ivar asked, not relishing the intimate touch of
another man.

"Trust me," Loki replied, putting his mouth to Ivar's in a forbidden kiss, forcing
Ivar's mouth open, and his own serpent-like tongue, down Ivar's throat.

The men, seemingly locked in a passionate embrace, Ivar struggling against Loki,
Loki pulling Ivar to him with the strength of ten Rus, stayed joined at the mouths for
what seemed to the conventional Ivar, a lifetime. Or two.

Loki literally sucked the shadow of death from Ivar.
* * * *
The Norse gods were part of a working religion back in the day (and still are, actually), and the men who worshipped the gods made rules based on what they believed would be acceptable to their gods. Like Odin would care if a Viking had sex with a man, a woman or himself!

Scholars agree that: There was nothing at all shameful about a man having intercourse with another man if he was in the active or "manly" role. Homosexuality was not regarded as being evil, perverted, or innately against the laws of nature: rather, it was felt that a man whosubjected himself to another in sexual affairs would do the same in other areas, being a follower rather than a leader, and allowing others to do his thinking or fighting forhim.

That’s right…a Viking had to be “the top” to keep his manly-manness intact. I’ll have to remember that when I write my M/M Viking book!

Now, about those horny gods:

Odin, the Chief god, had this throne from which he could see over all nine worlds, the freakin' busy-body. He saw a handsome "jotun," or giant, and wanted him. Wanted being the key word. That handsome young jotun was Loki, the lovely son of giants, and shape-shifter extraordinaire. After they "spent some time together," they opened veins and mixed their blood to become brothers. Odin vowed that he’d never accept a cup of mead unless one was poured for Loki, too. Big mistake on Odin's part. Big mistake!

Odin did Loki. Lots of indirect references:
Odin and Loki wandered the world of humans and planted "good deeds" as they went.

Loki made babies with his first wife, his second wife, and slept with everyone else's wife. He also shifted into a female horse to lead an enchanted male horse astray and came back with a colt. Loki gave birth!

Loki liked shifting into various animal forms, too. And he was a crude bastard! At a party (which he crashed), he made terrible comments to one and all:

Enough, Idun! I know what you are,
The most wanton of women:
Once, half-washed you wound your arms
About your brother's killer.
(he’s saying the goddess Indunn was smelly-dirty and sleeping with the murder of her brother.)

Enough, Gefjun! I know your secrets,
I know your seducer's name,
The white god who gave you a jewel
To lay your leg over his.
(a goddess prostituted herself. This is not the only instance in the mythos!)

If I have allowed, as allow I should not,
Faint-hearted fighters to win,
You lived under the earth for eight winters,
And bore babies there,
Were milked like a milch-cow
And played a woman's part.

(Odin’s reply to Loki after an insult. Yes…Loki was a male demon-god who was someone’s wife, too)

Charms on Samsey, they say you worked,
Wicked spells like a witch,
Flew about in the form of a wizard
And played a woman's part.
(Loki accusing Odin of being on bottom)

Darr will be posting more goodies during the day, so stay tuned!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Spooky Review for The Sweet Flag

Five tombstones from BITTEN BY BOOKS
Reviewed by Megan
Jeanne Barrack lets you peak inside these two [Ron and Brandon and deMonde and Matthew] relationships. They are both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. If I was a crier, I would have been blubbering through this book. *shoving Kleenex behind back* A modern day Gone With The Wind with a twist. I am looking forward to her next book.
Thanks, Megan!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Great Review from My Book Cravings

I don't know how I managed to miss this review..especially when it's a good one!
Four Flowers ~

The Sweet Flag is a well-written contemporary tale with great historical pieces of information strategically placed throughout the story, and the vividly described details left little doubt on the amount of research Ms. Barrack did before starting her story. Even though the point of view is Brandon’s, the author still manages to express the pain and depth of feelings Ron experiences, and she does it well. Brandon and Ron are well matched in likes, attitudes, sexual appetites and desires, and the tale of Matthew and Aaron only draw them closer together, as the passion between them flares nearly out of control.

The story is fast-paced, the plot smooth and the characters intriguing. Put them together and you have sizzling hot, with a paranormal twist that not only keeps you guessing but reading swiftly to the end. This reader would like to know more about the continuing lives of Brandon and Ron. reviewed by Pam

Thanks so much, Pam!
And, there are plans for more stories about Brandon and Ron and one other character....

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

OT, maybe Cat shapeshifters

We rescued three kittens on our June 27th anniversary. Two are brother and sister littermates, one is a red and white bobtail mix. Watching them and getting to know their individual personalities has offered us hours of entertainment.
And naturally, I've been thinking about writing a cat shapeshifting story.
I've found three brief references to Celtic cat myths and one of them may just be the one I'm looking for.
So many stories, so little time!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Guest Blogging Schedule for July

Waving the Flag!
I am so excited to share the names of my guest bloggers for July!
On July 16th, the Flag will proudly wave for: Darragha Foster.
Darragha writes for Liquid Silver Books about witches, and Orca Kings and Vikings and Vampires and Viking Vampires ;~D Darr will be sharing the low down on the down low of the ancient Icelandic gods...and whatever else springs from her naughty mind.

July 23rd, Kayelle Allen will visit.
Kayelle also writes for Liquid Silver Books. She's created tales of the CHOSEN set in the Tarthian Empire. I'll be interviewing Kayelle, trying to dig out her secrets!

July 30th, Emily Veinglory joins us. Emily writes for several publishers including Loose Id, Samhain, Cobblestone and Aspen Mountain Press. She specialises in gay romance with a dark or paranormal twist.

Hope you'll come and visit!