Queer Town Abbey: Is It Summer Yet?

qta_is_it_summer_yet_blog_hopThe early signs are  there. Lilac bushes bloom with their fragrant scent. The drone of a bee is somewhere nearby. The fields are vibrant with lush, green grass. Someone is cooking hamburgers on the grill next door. You see a kid riding with bare feet hanging out the open car window. The road is calling to you, beckoning with memories of trips to the beach, and lazy afternoons in a hammock by the lake. You want to dive into the crisp, clear water of a swimming pool, and play a rousing game of volleyball on the sand, and eat steamed clams after dark in front of a campfire on the beach. Summer is hot dogs, and Coppertone, sleek bodies in swimsuits and reading by the pool. It’s watching fireflies at night and making love on the beach. Eating ice cream before it melts and remembering your first kiss.

Get a jump on the season by Queer Town Abbey and dozens of your favorite authors for the Is It Summer Yet? Blog Hop. Find out what the hot summer reads are from your favorite authors and get in on some fabulous prizes

Grand Prizes for this blog hop

 1. iPod shuffle

2. Queer as Folk Box, Music from the ShowTime original series Seasons 3,4,&5 donated by Tommy Boy Entertainment and 11 other great prizes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to leave a comment at Queer Town Abbey to win more prizes!

My best summer memories come from the weeks we spent during summer vacation at our cabin in the Green Horn Mountains in California. So many lazy afternoons dozing in the sun, hiking or swimming, early morning fishing adventures. Just the perfect time to be a kid.

The sound of sprinklers always remind me of these days when our biggest worries were trying not to step on a bee on our way to the swimming pool or lose our carefully hoarded pennies for the penny candy at the Lodge. Great times!

Prize Time! Comment below with your favorite summer memory for a chance to win an e-copy of any book on my backlist. Don’t forget your contact info!

WithoutAiden_ByDianneHartsock-200x300WITHOUT AIDEN

Amazon  ARe Books

Blurb:
Is a gift of love enough to open Aiden’s heart and let Tris back in?
After the car accident that killed his parents and left his sister paralyzed, Tris is left with nothing. His family is destroyed. His reputation is shot. And all he has is the guilt of knowing it was all his fault. People in town know he’d been drinking that night, and know he should never have gotten behind the wheel. And even Aiden, the man he thought he’d be with forever, blames him too much to stay.

But Tris can’t let him just disappear. After months of loneliness and isolation, Tris brings Aiden a gift on his birthday, a hawk he’s carved from a chunk of wood they’d found in the forest during an afternoon of love. A small chink seems to open in Aiden’s heart, the first sign of forgiveness. With renewed hope, Tris takes a job renovating one of the older homes in town and tries to rebuild his life. But the townspeople have long memories, and when his sister’s condition worsens, forgiveness—and Aiden—seem to slip even further out of reach…

Excerpt:

Aiden hesitated and Tris waited, breathless. But in the end Aiden only shrugged and headed back to his car. Tris’s shoulders slumped and his body ached as Aiden drove away. If only he’d stayed…

Tris leaned a hip against the sawhorse and imagined Aiden turning the car around, sweeping into the driveway with a squeal of tires. In his mind, a myriad of emotions chased across Aiden’s face as he strode toward Tris. Tris’s heart thumped wildly, hopeful, yearning. Aiden stopped in front of him, chest heaving with his own quick breaths.
They stared at each other a long moment and Aiden bit the hoop in his lip. Tris moaned, wanting that delicious mouth on his, on his dick. He caught his breath as desire flamed in Aiden’s blue eyes.

“I don’t want to go,” Aiden told him, voice heavy with lust.

“You don’t have to.”

Aiden raised his hand and every nerve in Tris’s body ignited, imagining the first touch after so long… Aiden surprised him by bending to bite one of the dark buds on his chest then smoothing the hurt with his tongue.

“Fuck, Aiden!” He squirmed under the assault as Aided sucked his other nipple, bit and licked him to shivering need. Aiden’s chuckle sent warmth flooding through him. He held his breath as Aiden licked a path downward, then cried out in delight when his lover knelt and flicked open the top buttons on Tris’s jeans, exposing the head of his dick.

Tris nudged Aiden’s chin up. “Behind the shed?”

Aiden glanced around the yard and laughed, asking, “Who’d see?”

“No one,” Tris panted. They were hidden from the road by the house, and the nearest neighbor was across the yard behind a hedge of holly.

Aiden sat back on his heels. “Show him to me.”

“What?”

“You made me wait. Now you have to show me what you got.”

“Oh.” Tris leaned back against the sawhorse, his legs suddenly weak. Sunlight beat down on him and sweat dripped into his eyes, trickled down his chest. He opened his jeans under Aiden’s intent gaze, nudging them low enough so he could cup his hard balls and lift his aching dick for his lover’s inspection.

Aiden’s low moan drove him wild. His darling licked his lips and played with the ring in the fuller bottom one, and Tris knew he was close to begging Aiden to suck him. He must have made a sound because Aiden flashed him a grin and reached for him. Tris was uncut, and Aiden rubbed his foreskin before pushing it back and sliding his lips around the blushing head.

Tris groaned as pleasure pulsed through him with each pull on his sensitive tip, shivered with bliss as Aiden rubbed his lip ring under the crown and pushed the ball of his tongue piercing into the slit. Christ, I’m going to come!

He tried to push Aiden away, but his boyfriend only chuckled and swallowed Tris until his head rested snug in his throat. His lover’s hums vibrated through him. Aiden drew back, the ball in his tongue sliding along the underside of Tris’s thick erection, then shoved down, drawing a cry of pleasure from him.

God! He lost control and thrust his hips, fucking the fabulous mouth hungrily sucking at him. Pleasure and pressure burned like fire along his nerves and gathered in his balls. His dick felt huge, overly sensitive. Aiden bit down and shoved him over the edge. Tris’s pleasure streamed out in thick gobs of semen. He shuddered and fell back against the sawhorse, trembling as Aiden licked at his spent cock.

Tris’s pulse calmed and he sighed, not wanting to open his eyes and end the fantasy . He blinked in the bright sunlight. The yard stood silent, empty. A pearl drop of his spunk glittered on a dandelion for a moment before sliding off to disappear into the grass. A hole opened in his chest, loneliness and regret and long empty days without Aiden.

He did up his pants and brushed the tears and sweat from his eyes. “I don’t know how to do this without you,” he whispered. Life was very hard just then, but Tris drew a breath and did the only thing he knew. He picked up a board and the saw and got back to work.

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A to Z Challenge!

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! Today’s letter is T…

Legendary Creatures

tenninTennin, which may include tenshi, ten notsukai (lit. heavenly messenger) and the specifically female tennyo are spiritual beings found in Japanese Buddhism that are similar to western angels, nymphs or fairies.[citation needed] They were imported from Chinese Buddhism, which was influenced itself by the concepts of heavenly beings found in Indian Buddhism and Chinese Taoism.

Tennin are mentioned in Buddhist sutras[citation needed], and these descriptions form the basis for depictions of the beings in Japanese art, sculpture, and theater. They are usually pictured as unnaturally beautiful women dressed in ornate, colorful kimonos (traditionally in five colors), exquisite jewelry, and flowing scarves that wrap loosely around their bodies. They usually carry lotus blossoms as a symbol of enlightenment or play musical instruments such as the biwa, or flute.

Tennin are believed to live in the Buddhist heaven as the companions to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Some legends[citation needed] also make certain tennin solitary creatures living on mountain peaks. Pilgrims sometimes climb these mountains in order to meet the holy spirits.

Tennin can fly, a fact generally indicated in art by their colored or feathered kimonos, called hagoromo (“dress of feathers”). In some legends, tennin are unable to fly without these kimonos (and thus cannot return to heaven). More rarely, they are shown with feathered wings. In a Noh play Hagoromo, which bears a number of similarities to the Western swan maiden legends, tennyo come to the earth and take off their hagoromo. A fisherman spies them and hides their clothes in order to force one to marry him. After some years he tells his wife what he did, and she finds her clothes and returns to heaven. The legend says it occurred on the beach of Miyo, now a part of the city of Shizuoka.

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A to Z Challenge!

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! Today’s letter is S…

Legendary Creatures

by Vilhelm PedersenThe Sandman is a mythical character in central and northern European folklore who brings good dreams by sprinkling magical sand onto the eyes of children while they sleep at night.

Traditionally, he is a character in many children’s stories. He is said to sprinkle sand or dust on or into the eyes of the child at night to bring on dreams and sleep. The grit or “sleep” in one’s eyes upon waking is supposed to be the result of the Sandman’s work the previous evening.

Hans Christian Andersen’s 1841 folk tale Ole Lukøje introduced the Sandman, named Ole Lukøje, by relating dreams he gave to a young boy in a week through his magical technique of sprinkling dust in the eyes of the children. “Ole” is a Danish name and “Lukøje” means “close eye”. Andersen wrote:

There is nobody in the world who knows so many stories as Ole-Luk-Oie, or who can relate them so nicely. In the evening, while the children are seated at the table or in their little chairs, he comes up the stairs very softly, for he walks in his socks, then he opens the doors without the slightest noise, and throws a small quantity of very fine dust in their eyes, just enough to prevent them from keeping them open, and so they do not see him. Then he creeps behind them, and blows softly upon their necks, till their heads begin to droop. But Ole-Luk-Oie does not wish to hurt them, for he is very fond of children, and only wants them to be quiet that he may relate to them pretty stories, and they never are quiet until they are in bed and asleep. As soon as they are asleep, Ole-Luk-Oie seats himself upon the bed. He is nicely dressed; his coat is made of silken fabric; it is impossible to say of what color, for it changes from green to red, and from red to blue as he turns from side to side. Under each arm he carries an umbrella; one of them, with pictures on the inside, he spreads over the good children, and then they dream the most beautiful stories the whole night. But the other umbrella has no pictures, and this he holds over the naughty children so that they sleep heavily, and wake in the morning without having dreams at all.

E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776–1822) wrote an inverse depiction of the lovable character in a story called Der Sandmann, which showed how sinister such a character could be made. According to the protagonist’s nurse, he threw sand in the eyes of children who wouldn’t sleep, with the result of those eyes falling out and being collected by the Sandman, who then takes the eyes to his iron nest on the Moon, and uses them to feed his children. The protagonist of the story grows to associate this nightmarish creature with the genuinely sinister figure of his father’s associate Coppelius. In Romanian folklore there is a similar character, Mos Ene (Ene the Elder).

pic by Vilhelm Pedersen

 

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#mywritingprocess Blog Tour

roses4.jpgI was asked by the lovely Jennifer Hartsock to answer four questions about my writing process.

This blog tour is where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process. You can find Jennifer’s answers HERE!

Here’s my answers!

1) What am I working on?
*slow smile* This is always a loaded question for me. I’m the master at juggling several things at once. First, I’ve just finished up with edits on a ‘flirt’ for Breathless Press, a short 7500 word m/m romance. Second, I’m working on edits for SAMMY, my story for the Project Fierce, Chicago anthology to come out later this year. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards helping homeless LGBTQ youth. Third, I’ve finished first round edits on THE SHED, my sequel to my psychological thriller novel ALEX, and am gearing up for the next round. And lastly, I’m busy writing my Christmas story, yay! I’ve been waiting to write this one for about a year and am happy to say I’ve hit 20k, which is about a third of the way through.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Most of my stories are m/m romance or m/m erotic romance, covering every subgenre you can think of. But the way I think my stories differ from others, is that I’m all about emotion. No matter what situations they find themselves in, I want to climb right into my character’s skin, dive into his soul, feel every sensation and emotion as he’s experiencing it. It’s an intimate, personal relationship I hope my readers will enjoy.

3) Why do I write what I do?
*blushes slightly* That is a very good question! Why do I choose to write m/m romances rather than more traditional stories? The easy answer is that I find gay men fascinating and thoroughly enjoy creating characters who have no problem with their sexuality. But more than that, I absolutely believe that love is love, and I hope to show through my writing that hey, whatever gender you identify with, we are all, first of all, human. We all laugh and cry, feel joy and pain, love and heartache and passion. By having my characters be gay or bi men, being human, my readers might realize it’s okay to be their true authentic selves.

4) How does my writing process work?
I sometimes ask myself this! There’s a lot of advice out there saying writers should just write the story as it comes to them, jot it all down and clean up the MS during edits. That sounds so freeing! Just let my imagination flow on the page. Unfortunately, I can’t write that way. A nugget of an idea might strike me, grabbing my attention. I’ll start to daydream about the story. Who will my characters be? One of my favorite parts of writing is that my heroes come to me readymade. This will be a contemporary story? Well, here’s Shelton and Nevil, ready and eager for me to tell their story. It will take me a few days to plot out the story in my head, but then I’m ready to go.

The beginnings are always the hardest and might take me several days to get just right, but after that the story seems to take off. I already have the arc of the story and its ending in mind. The characters might take some side trips, and that’s encouraged, but I can usually have them rounded up by the ending. But this is not always as easy as it sounds. For me, each scene has to be written the way I need it to be, every action and emotion conveyed before I can continue the story. I build on one scene to the next. Trying to write ahead and then go back and fill in the details just doesn’t work for me. Yes, it does take me a long time to get a story done, but once I’m finished, the edits afterwards are quick and simple and easily done. Perfect!

—–

Next week on the writing process blog tour are three authors whose work I admire. They’ll be answering these questions on April 28th.

Tempeste O’Riley:

Tempeste O’Riley grew up in the deep south and escaped her conservative, oppressive roots as soon as she could. Tempe is an out and proud omnisexual/bi-woman whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what she couldn’t–defy the hate and come out. He has been her hero ever since.

 Though new to writing M/M, she has done many things in her life but writing has always drawn her back–no matter what else life has thrown her way. She counts her friends, family, the gods, and her Muse as her greatest blessings in life.

Pablo Michaels:

Pablo Michaels is primarily a loner. He was born gay. When he worked at the local public library in high school, he smuggled out adult fiction and non-fiction, discovering a disenchanted perception of gay life. Coming from very domineering conversationalist’s family and friends, he withdrew to express his life through words and fantasies. He devoted his life, while working full-time and part-time at another job in San Francisco in the 1980’s, to write and submit his stories, novels and poetry. He found his true voice for the craft in 1990 when he began an unfinished novel. “The Deer in the Forest” is still unfinished. He diverts his nervous energy into perfecting the voices that drive him into this craft he loves. He believes god is present in all human beings, plants, nature and the universe, and if given the chance, they will speak to a true romanticist’s heart and soul, like himself.

Pablo published his first two e-books, When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again, Hooray and Pagan Knights of Cambria in 2010. In 2012 he published his first novel, Catnip, Rosemary, Rage and Time. In 2012 he published the short story A Night at San Gregorio Beach in the anthology The Boys Club.
He soon will submit Leather Sweat, Semen and Blood and Then and Now for publication, in an effort to resurrect his fiction writing career.

Jake Malden:

I’m a free-lance journalist and recently published erotic writer. My titles ‘The Jared Effect’, ‘Gabrielle and the Devil’ and ‘No Mercy’ are now available on Smashwords and Amazon. When not meeting deadlines I enjoy fitness training, reading, cinema and sex. The last of these has caused a few close-shaves with deadlines.

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A to Z Challenge!

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! Today’s letter is R…

Legendary Creatures

raiju1Raijū (“thunder animal” or “thunder beast”) is a legendary creature from Japanese mythology. Its body is composed of lightning and may be in the shape of a cat, fox, weasel, or wolf. The form of a white and blue wolf (or even a wolf wrapped in lightning) is also common. It may also fly about as a ball of lightning (in fact, the creature may be an attempt to explain the phenomenon of lightning). Its cry sounds like thunder.

Raiju is the companion of Raijin, the Shinto god of lightning. While the beast is generally calm and harmless, during thunderstorms it becomes agitated and leaps about in trees, fields, and even buildings (trees that have been struck by lightning are said to have been scratched by Raiju’s claws).

Another of Raiju’s peculiar behaviors is sleeping in human navels. This prompts Raiden to shoot lightning arrows at Raiju to wake the creature up, and thus harms the person in whose belly the demon is resting. Superstitious people therefore often sleep on their stomachs during bad weather, but other legends say that Raiju will only hide in the navels of people who sleep outdoors.

pic by Brent Swancer
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A to Z Challenge!

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! Today’s letter is Q…

Legendary Creatures

Quetzalcoatl_tellerianoQuetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican deity whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and means “feathered serpent”. The worship of a feathered serpent deity is first documented in Teotihuacan in the first century BCE or first century CE. That period lies within the Late Preclassic to Early Classic period (400 BCE – 600 CE) of Mesoamerican chronology, and veneration of the figure appears to have spread throughout Mesoamerica by the Late Classic (600–900 AD).

In the Postclassic period (900–1519 AD), the worship of the feathered serpent deity was based in the primary Mexican religious center of Cholula. It is in this period that the deity is known to have been named “Quetzalcoatl” by his Nahua followers. In the Maya area he was approximately equivalent to Kukulcan and Gukumatz, names that also roughly translate as “feathered serpent” in different Mayan languages.

In the era following the 16th-century Spanish Conquest, a number of sources were written that conflate Quetzalcoatl with Ce Acatl Topiltzin, a ruler of the mythico-historic city of Tollan. It is a matter of much debate among historians to which degree, or whether at all, these narratives about this legendary Toltec ruler describe historical events. Furthermore, early Spanish sources written by clerics tend to identify the god-ruler Quetzalcoatl of these narratives with either Hernán Cortés or St. Thomas—an identification which is also a source of diversity of opinions about the nature of Quetzalcoatl.

Among the Aztecs, whose beliefs are the best-documented in the historical sources, Quetzalcoatl was related to gods of the wind, of Venus, of the dawn, of merchants and of arts, crafts and knowledge. He was also the patron god of the Aztec priesthood, of learning and knowledge. Quetzalcoatl was one of several important gods in the Aztec pantheon, along with the gods Tlaloc, Tezcatlipoca and Huitzilopochtli.

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A to Z Challenge!

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! Today’s letter is P…

Legendary Creatures

pukwudgieA Pukwudgie is a 2-or-3-foot-tall (0.61 or 0.91 m) being from the Wampanoag folklore. Pukwudgies’ features resemble those of a human, but with enlarged noses, fingers and ears. Their skin is described as being a smooth grey, and at times has been known to glow.

In Native American lore, Pukwudgies have the following traits and abilities;

  • they can appear and disappear at will
  • they can transform into a walking porcupine (it looks like a porcupine from the back, and the front is half-troll, half-human and walks upright)
  • they can attack people and lure them to their deaths
  • they are able to use magic
  • they have poison arrows
  • they can create fire at will
  • Pukwudgies control Tei-Pai-Wankas which are believed to be the souls of Native Americans they have killed.

Native Americans believed that Pukwudgies were best left alone. When you see a Pukwudgie you are not supposed to mess with them, or they will repay you by playing nasty tricks on you, or by following you and causing trouble. They were once friendly to humans, but then turned against them. They are known to kidnap people, push them off cliffs, attack their victims with short knives and spears, and to use sand to blind their victims

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Thursday Tasters

thurWelcome to the Thursday Tasters. Here you will find links to delicious snippets of stories written by some wonderful authors. Find the other tasters HERE!

Thought I’d start a different book today. Here’s the beginning to my zombie story THE DARK BOKOR that came out last October. Enjoy!

*  *  *  *
TheDarkBokar453“Don’t move.”

Jesse froze, heart pounding in the semidarkness, as an arm like a steel band clamped around his chest, holding him immobile against a hard body. A warm exhale fanned his neck, sending a not-unpleasant shiver through him. The man drew in a breath, nose nuzzled at his nape, and heat pooled instantly in Jesse’s gut. Shit. Had it really been that long since he’d been in someone’s arms?

The cold voice in his ear thawed with a slight laugh. “At least you don’t smell like them. That’s something.”

Jesse’s pulse leaped, and his gaze darted around the small office, searching the shadows.”Are they here?”

“No.” A hand tangled in his shirt, jerked him around to face his captor. “But I know your voice. Just who the fuck are you?”

Jesse blinked at the dark gaze raking over his face. He couldn’t see much in the faint light seeping through the closed window blinds. The man had strong features, classically handsome, with a twist of humor to the full lips that had Jesse moistening his own, though he’d have to stand on tiptoe to reach them.

The man swore under his breath and hauled Jesse toward the windows. “Can’t see a thing…”

The blinds went up, and Jesse winced as yellow streetlight flooded the room and stung his eyes. He would have laughed at the man’s yelp of surprise if disgust hadn’t immediately swept the attractive face. “Jesse Dalembert? What the bloody hell… Who sent you?” Matt held up a hand. “Wait, don’t tell me. If you’re here, it must have been Andre Marques. Where’s he keeping his skinny ass these days?”

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A to Z Challenge!

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! Today’s letter is O…

Legendary Creatures

by GimaldinovAn ogre (feminine ogress) is a being usually depicted as a large, hideous, manlike monster that eats human beings. Ogres frequently feature in mythology, folklore, and fiction throughout the world. They appear in many classic works of literature, and are most often described in fairy tales and folklore as eating babies.

In visual art, ogres are often depicted as inhumanly large and tall and having a disproportionately large head, abundant hair, unusually colored skin, a voracious appetite, and a strong body. Ogres are closely linked with giants and with human cannibals in mythology. In both folklore and fiction, giants are often given ogrish traits (such as the giants in “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Jack the Giant Killer”, the Giant Despair in The Pilgrim’s Progress, and the jötnar of Norse mythology); while ogres may be given giantish traits.

Famous examples of ogres in folklore include the ogre in “Puss in Boots” and the ogre in “Hop-o’-My-Thumb”; and in fiction, Shrek and Fiona from Shrek. Other characters sometimes described as ogres include the title character from “Bluebeard”, the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast”, Grendel from “Beowulf”, Polyphemus the Cyclops from Homer’s Odyssey, the cyclops in “Sinbad the Sailor”, and the oni of Japanese folklore.

pic by Gimaldinov
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A to Z Challenge!

Welcome to the A to Z Challenge! Today’s letter is N…

Legendary Creatures

Nang Ta-khianNang Ta-khian is a female spirit of the folklore of Thailand. It manifests itself as a woman that haunts Hopea odorata trees. These are very large trees known as Ta-khian in Thai, hence her name.

The Nang Ta-khian belong to a type of spirits or fairies related to trees and known generically in Thai folklore as Nang Mai (“Lady of the Tree”). Legends in the Thai oral tradition say the spirit inhabits a Ta-khian tree and sometimes appears as a beautiful young woman wearing traditional Thai attire. It is generally a sylvan spirit, for the Ta-khian is a tall forest tree not naturally found near inhabited areas. As it has a large trunk and a wide-spreading root system, it is not planted close to homesteads.

In some parts of Thailand, the spirit has become a popular tree deity. Miracles are attributed to her power and trunks where lengths of colored silk are tied as an offering are an object of pilgrimage.

The tree is almost never felled for lumber, since the spirit will be furious and follow the wood. About the only place Ta-khian is used as lumber is in a Buddhist monastery, where the merit of the monks is considered sufficient to render the spirit harmless.

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