Books, Blog, Buddies

Books, Blog, Buddies
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Friday, August 31, 2012

I think I missed Thursday


Every Thursday after this, you will, from now on, find a post from a guest blogger--a starving artist who doesn't write books for a living. Or maybe a not-so-starving artist, as the case may be.

I'm still having the contest for new blog joiners -- it stretches through the end of this month, so anyone who joins or follows one of my blogs is eligible to win a $5 Gift Card--reader's choice. 

This month, there will be two winners. One winner will be someone who was already a member before the first of August, and the second from new joiners. Every week from now on, there will be book giveaways and a Gift Card giveaway at the end of the month.

Okay, that's  the serious info…well, the serious blog news, at least. 

  Well, there is ONE other thing. Jeannie Y. was named  the  J.J. Nagged Me! Winner for this month. For her suffering, she won a PDF of the first book of the  International Worlds Museum Series, Metamorphose.  

Now, enough about all that. I bet you're wondering about the actor that didn't show up today. Okay, the actor whose blog post didn’t show up today. You've got to be asking yourself what happened. Is he okay? Was it some tragic behind-the-scenes issue?

He met up with another of my best friends for drinks. I expect they got smashed. I'm not angry about it, though, I'm pouty. They went to a bar on the beach --in another state, I'll admit that-- but still, I didn’t get to go. They went off and had fun while I tried to fix my deleted email box, scoop the kitty litter, and a plethora of other, not-fun-at-all things.

No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?

I have a lot to get done and I'm getting nowhere at all, so I plan to install one of those meters (or several) so that you can keep up with how much or how little I've gotten done on various books. Don't worry if it looks like I've got a long way to go. As soon as the guy upstairs turns his music down below 124 dB, I'll be able to hear myself think. You wouldn't think that would be important, but trust me, it is.

The birds, the dog, and the cats would agree with you. Just look what it's doing to the bird!
I thought that guy was evicted. Why do the quiet ones always move and the loud people stay until they get dragged off? I'm not actually that loud, it's just too much trouble to move. That's all for today, folks!        

J.J. Massa

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Roaming Heart--thus far (for Jeannie)

She went to the Torquere LJ to find the ongoing story I've started there. I continue it every month, but I'm always willing to continue it on Torquere's Blog if anyone wants me to. (I always ask--just say so on the blog) 
I'm at Torquere's Live Journal the last Tuesday of every month. My standing date with the Torquere Blog is the second Wednesday of every month. 
 Goran is Lord Black
Anyhow, here we go--A Roaming Heart (name chosen by SexKitten426) 
 let me know how you like this guy for Lucian

A Roaming Heart

Lucian Constantinescu smiled down at the old woman tucked beside him, patting the frail hand resting on his forearm. For several minutes, the two stood in silence, an island of calm as parties ebbed and flowed in the rooms behind them.

Time spent with his kirvi--his godmother--was precious to him, not least because he'd had so little of anything that passed for familial love in his lifetime. His people were by necessity nomadic. When he was still very young, his tribe had been unfortunate enough to cross into a disputed area. That mistake of chance had cost the lives of his parents along with the most of his extended family. 

He, as well as the few other survivors, had been held in a camp, ultimately to be scattered among other camps, and fed into various government systems. After he reached his majority, it became Lucian's goal to find the one person he was sure had survived, the closest thing to a grandmother that he could remember. They had been reunited for little more than a year, but it seemed as if he'd always known her. That familiarity was a balm to his soul, especially now.

The sound of a door opening somewhere down the long veranda broke the stillness of velvet darkness. More than one party was reaching its zenith in this exclusive hotel, as evidenced by the raucous music and cheering. The closing of the door cut the noise immediately, but the moment was lost.

"Something is bothering you, my Luca," the old woman observed quietly, her voice clear in spite of the revelers' noise. "Please tell me what is wrong."

Gathering her a little closer, he steered her toward a nearby bench. "It is nothing, truly," he assured her, though his voice was heavy. In her shoes, he wouldn't have believed him either. "It has to do with Mason," he finally confessed.

"Mason?" she queried. "Do you mean the young man who works with you?"

"Yes," he answered simply, keeping his eyes fixed on the night. 

"He is here somewhere," he added, sweeping an arm widely to indicate the luxurious hotel and the parties in progress.


"I expect I'll have to withdrawal from our partnership." He kept his voice low, and miraculously, steady. "Our job is too dangerous to do with my…handicap."

When she didn't respond, he turned, looking into her eyes, allowing her to see the turmoil within. "Ah, my poor Luca," she murmured. "Such pain. Such a heavy burden to carry alone. Are you certain you cannot share it with him?"

He wished he could reveal himself to his partner, but he couldn't. Mason Ford was a ladies' man, and a finer specimen of All-American heterosexuality would be hard to find. 

If the attraction was only about his looks, things would be easier. There were an abundance of attractive, muscular men with caramel colored hair and dark blue eyes, additionally including, no doubt, a firm jaw and full, sensual mouth.

Unfortunately, Mason was also a good man, his insatiable libido notwithstanding. He lived by his convictions, was more than good at his job, was open-minded, and in short, the most endearing man that Lucian had ever loved and hated…or hated to love, as the case may be.

No, his partner couldn't help him here. Luca was on his own.

The woman he'd been dancing with turned away to acknowledge someone more important, giving Mason just the opportunity he needed to escape her cloying embrace. It wasn't hard to duck behind a waiter and slip quietly through the French doors separating the milling and gyrating throng from the long and wide veranda wrapping the hotel.

October was party-month here at the United Nations Hotel--every nation felt the need to celebrate the entity's founding, resulting in  more than one overlapping party. Normally, Mason considered the ongoing parties to be one of the premier perks of working for the UN and living at the hotel. But not tonight. Tonight, Mason was worried about his partner.

He hadn't really wanted a partner, though he had known that one would  be assigned to him whether he liked it or not. When he met Lucian Constantinescu, he was not pleased. His apparent partner was thin, looked young, wore his mahogany-colored hair long--almost shoulder-length, and looked back at him from empty dark eyes that chilled Mason to the bone.

Many months had passed since then, of course. It had been nearly a year since that disastrous first assignment. The disaster part could be laid squarely on Mason's shoulders, if the truth be told. Wonder of wonders, though, his cold and aloof partner had not told the truth. IN fact, he'd stepped forward and taken a share of the blame, citing his own failure to communicate. There had been no failure on Lucien's part, though. The only reason that particular mission had succeeded was because the other man had assumed his own duties as well as Mason's, at the cost of a severe beating at the hands of some would-be terrorists.

After getting to know Lucien somewhat, Mason had learned that the other man's cold and aloof demeanor did not go all the way to the bone--or at least not always, as far as applied to Mason. Anyone else would be frozen out if they tried to get too close.

Well, that had been Mason's assumption, based on his partner's behavior toward Mason compared to everyone else they met. Now, though, unless he was very much mistaken, Lucien was cuddled up to some woman and discussing him. 

His partner's melodious baritone was a voice he'd know anywhere, even to the backbeat of several loud parties in the center of a busy city. He'd never seen Lucien turned out so nicely, much less allowing another human being to touch him voluntarily.

Before he could reflect on that unusual happenstance, his partner murmured, "I expect I'll have to withdrawal from our partnership. Our job is too dangerous to do with my…handicap."

It took Mason a shocking moment to realize he was struggling to breathe, as shocked as he was to hear those words from the other man. He was so sure they were getting along. Every mission after the first one had gone swimmingly. And if anyone would know about Lucien having a handicap, Mason surely would.
He'd seen that chiseled body dance in and out of more dangerous situations than anyone on the planet. Dance was the only word to describe the way that Lucien moved. His body flowed like the the muscles of a big cat, like flowing water… "

Okay, where the hell is that coming from?" Mason grumbled, slipping into a shadow as the other man stood, leaving his companion and moving to lean on the carved balustrade hemming the patio.

"Are you certain it is a handicap, my Luca?" the woman asked, her tone just above a whisper, but clear, very clear.

From his vantage point in the shadows of a corner situated a step above the pair, Mason took a moment to look his partner over closely. The slacks Lucien wore fit as tight as any high-end glove.

They should, Mason realized, since they appeared to be dark leather.

For some reason, the thought of his partner in skin-tight leather made his heart beat faster, especially when Lucien leaned forward to rest on the railing, the black leather taut against his muscular derriere, framed nicely by the black and gold brocaded jacket he wore. The form-fitting jacket should have looked contrived, perhaps even tacky, and on anyone else, Mason was certain it would have. But on Lucien, the dark leather and silk with its heavily brocaded mandarin collar and slight flare at the hip looked elegant.

The sound of his partner's voice jerked him back to the present, shocking him breathless.

"It is a handicap to be in love with Mason Ford, Bunică,  no matter who you are. To be a man, to be his partner in love with him, it is a calamity."

"Luca, such drama!" The old woman sighed. "Will he kill you? What will happen if he should know of your feelings?"

With an inelegant snort, Luca straightened, turning toward his godmother. "He would lose trust, perhaps. I will consider my partnership with him, as I said." He extended a hand to her, helping her to rise. "You are, as usual, very wise. This is why I call you Bunică, in place of my grandmother, whom I never knew. You are very dear to me," he murmured, pulling her in for a brief hug.

"You as well, child," she returned, her voice a little thick.

"Enough of the heart and flowers, yes?" he teased, steering her around the bench and toward the end of the long veranda.

"Quite so. This the first time for you to lead your people as the son of the Băeşi and Lăutari. I know you have learned more the dance of violence, but even the sword has a rhythm all its own."

 "This is one thing I'm not worried about, Bunică. I've studied many years of dance--both in violence and peace. People are difficult, rhythm is not."

The room they entered was alive with color.  Silk scarves hung on every wall, with the flags from various tribes and clans hung throughout.   Gold sconces punctuated the wall, with leaping flames adding to the festive gathering.

As the revelers began to recognize him, the crowd parted enough to lead his godmother to the center of the room, leaving her in the company of the Romanian representative for the International Romani Union.

His posting as a United Nations Peacekeeping Enforcer was in direct response to the recognition of The Romani Union to the United Nations. That the initial acceptance date fell on the same day of his posting to the UN force was not a coincidence. In fact, Luca often imagined two men facing each other, one with money in hand , the other holding a small doll which they traded simultaneously.

The crowd surrounding them was peopled with the dignitaries from thirty-six separate countries as well as the leaders of various tribes and bands in each of those countries. That alone was unprecedented. For one charged moment, Luca felt a jolt of worry. He quickly contained it, reminding himself that the security around the plaza this month was every bit as heavy as if the queen, the president, and the very heads of each of those thirty-six countries  were in attendance.
For that matter, at one time or another, they probably would be.
A man stepped forward holding two violins, one of which he handed to Luca. Accepting the dark instrument and bow, the two men bowed before stepping back.  Around the room, people had started snapping their fingers in fast-paced rhythm.

Immediately, Luca touched the bow to its strings, drawn into the music as if born to it. When he could no longer keep from moving his feet along with his bow, he held the violin and bow out, dancing forward when he was relieved of his instrument.

He briefly registered the arrival of several men on either side of him, all dancing as he was. The violin's tempo sped up as each man jumped and kicked, tapping and dropping their heels in a resounding beat.

Any residual thoughts of his partner were completely driven away by the sound and sway of the intricate dance.

It wasn't difficult for Mason to slip into the room behind Lucian and his grandmother. With as tight as security was, anyone on the hotel property would have had to have clearance to get in. When the crowd began to part for Lucian and the old woman, he was taken aback, but quickly steppedto one side.

"What's going on?" he asked a man beside him, taking a chance that he or a neighbor would speak English.

"That's Lucian Constantinescu! You don't know of him?" The man's voice turned suspicious. "Who are you?"

"I'm new here," Mason responded uncomfortably, his smile strained.

"Ah. Well, his parents and their parents were important in their tribal groups. His survival alone brings many communities together. He is a bridge of the old and new ways. When his band was killed and he was taken, it was dark for us. In reparation for this tragedy, the Romanian government educated him and reintroduced him to his heritage. He is our offering to the United Nations force and a gift from our people…"

The man stopped talking suddenly and turned to face the center of the room, snapping his fingers enthusiastically. As if everything he'd just learned about his partner wasn't enough to make his head spin, seeing Lucian accepting a violin and stepping into the center of the circle shocked him completely.

The music that filled the room was incredible. The tone was darker than he usually heard from a violin, but the astounding rhythm made it nearly impossible to stand still. When Lucian began to sway sinuously as he played, Mason's mouth went dry.

Candlelight flickered and reflected off of Lucian's oh-so-snug leather pants, seeming to emphasize each muscle and curve working in sensual harmony to the rhythm of the snapping and the racing violin. Another violin began to play, along with a cello and any number of other instruments that Mason didn't care about.

Lucian had stopped playing, holding his violin and bow out, his body still in motion. Once free of the instrument, Lucian seemed to break loose. His feet moved faster than Mason could see, perhaps making it up as he went, though in perfect harmony with the music. It was a mad flamenco-style dance, interspersed with slaps, claps, and pirouettes. It had to be free-form, he was sure of it.

This guess was soon proven false as other men began to join him, each dancing in sync  with Lucian.  Riveted, his eyes never left his black and gold clad partner. He knew very well that Lucian hadn't had time to practice with these men. Lucian had been out of the country for most of the past month. How did they manage it?

The crowd was clapping and snapping now as each man in the line took turns moving forward for a solo dance while the rest tapped and swayed in a simpler rhythm behind him.

"At least he isn't belly dancing," Mason murmured, not sure his heart could take it.

"Not yet, eh?" the man beside him answered with a suggestive smirk and elbow to the ribs. "He
must dance and play for all his people."

Before Mason could completely process the meaning of the man's words, the tempo of the music and the dancers began to slow. While the majority of dancing men had slowly melted away, Lucian had kept moving, hips swaying to a more Eastern tune. Turkish, in fact.

When Lucian turned his back to the crowd and slipped his jacket off, giving an unimpeded view of his partners flexing and swaying rear-end, highlighted in tight black leather, Mason thought his heart would stop. Seconds later, Lucian swiveled to face the crowd, his abdomen rolling in time with his hips.

"Excuse me," he choked out, when he could breathe again.

Without waiting for a response, he pushed his way through the crowd, desperate for air. Finally making it out the door, he stumbled across the veranda to the balustrade, gratefully gulping in the autumn air. When his heart began to slow and the sweat on his face began to cool, something new made itself known.

He hadn't realized how hard he'd been--how turned on. It seemed his body didn't need foreknowledge to meet its demands. Watching his very male partner dance in tight leather was unbelievably erotic. The evidence was conclusive: he'd come in his pants.


"Hey, buddy, you look a little …" Mason groped for a word that would spare him a double-entendre. He finally settled on, "You look tired, partner."

Obsidian eyes flicked up in cold acknowledgement before dropping back to stare blankly into the steaming cup of whatever-it-was that Lucian drank.

A head appeared in their doorframe, calling, "You're wanted in the office!"

In response, both men nodded, rising silently to their feet. Any lingering weariness from the night before seemed to melt away from Lucian's frame and face as if imagined. Walking shoulder-to-shoulder, Mason was reminded of the disparity in Lucian's behavior when they were alone compared to in public, as they were now.

Although the two were simply walking the hallways toward the boss's office, Lucian's demeanor had chilled considerably. More than one coworker had moved to speak, dropping back to wave instead upon seeing Lucian.

Was Lucian's semi-glare this morning a sample of warmth? But no, couldn't be--Mason had seen him with that older woman last night. His partner had been affectionate to his companion, loving. And that dance…

He shook his head tightly, answering Lucian's look of inquiry with a week smile and abbreviated shrug. A dark, elegant brow lifted with questioning concern. That single, minute movement on his partner's face drove a bolt of desire straight to Mason's core.

God, I'd better get myself together! What the hell is going on with me?

"I'm fine, partner," Mason mumbled, stepping in front of Lucian when the other man held the door open for him. Disbelief shaped Lucian's frowning face. "It's fine," Mason mumbled again, stepping through the door, wondering just which one of them he was trying to reassure.
Lucian listened stoically to the mission briefing. As always, awareness of Mason's presence, his mood, his whereabouts in the room, all hovered at the edge of his consciousness. It hadn't escaped his notice that the American was acting a bit oddly today.

"I'll offer my apologies personally to the IRU, Peacekeeper Constantinescu. Did you have any remaining diplomatic duties to attend?" 

Searching his memory for any promises made or requests given, Lucian recalled, "Da-Yes. I am expected to speak with the Romanian attaché along with EU Commission representative to discuss my work here."

"Is that something I can do?"

The offer, sincerely made, still took him by surprise. Their leader, Brigadier General (ret) JeandréBoef, late of the SANDF (South African National Defense Force) was not an accommodating man. He reminded Lucian a great deal of an angry police chief he'd seen in one of Mason's favorite comedy movies. His civility was a sign of how important the situation was--not only the upcoming mission, but also the continuing cooperation of the International Romani Union.

"You may call on this woman," he said finally, jotting down his godmother's name and number on the back of a business card. "Her name is Tatjana Dinicu. Please address her as Rani Danicu--she has earned great respect among our people."

"Thank you. Report in as soon as possible upon your return, please," he finished with a sharp nod of dismissal.

As the two men made their exit, Lucian kept an eye on his partner, noting that, even though Mason seemed to be focused on the mission ahead, he still seemed nervous. Every few feet, the normally happy-go-lucky American would sneak a furtive glance at Lucian, quickly looking away.

The instant they passed through the door of their shared office, Lucian seized Mason's bicep, jerking and then pushing, slamming him against the wall next to the door. At the same time, he kicked the door closed, denying interruptions.

"What is it?" he hissed. Mason's wide-eyed start of surprise showed a hint of fear. "You are bothered. With me. Why?" Lucian rapped out.

"Uh, yeah, no, um…" Mason stammered, swallowing heavily, his eyes dropping to Lucian's mouth and then down. His leg twitched a bit where Lucian's thigh and knee braced it firmly against the wall.

Anger flared briefly, enough to fuel a dark and deadly glare of promised suffering--a look he'd seen many times on the face of the battle-numbed face of his hand-to-hand combat instructor. While he never intended to develop such an expression, the officer had taken Lucian aside and encouraged it.

"You have suffered, your parents are dead, all of your family. When I see anger in your face, sometimes I see violence there as well. Use it. Frighten these other, larger, bragging idiots. Youcan kill, death has stopped in front of you."

After that little speech, Lucian took his advice to heart, employing it now in a way he'd never expected. "Talk," he growled, nauseas at the fear in Mason's eyes, though he believed this was necessary. They were embarking on a deadly mission. His partner's unusual anxiety with him could not be allowed.

"You're in love with me and you're--oh god--you're hot. What the fuck? I don't know what to do!"

That, he'd never expected. Stepping back in shock, Lucian turned away, distantly realizing that he'd let his partner crumple to the floor.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Awkward Much?

I don't know why the universe takes perfectly normal, reasonably well-adjusted people and throws them into horribly awkward situations. Some of those moments aren't always horribly awkward, but uncomfortable nonetheless.

This topic came up recently when a group of us were sitting around just chatting. I, of course, write for a living, so I don't go out all that much--which is not to say that I've never suffered an awkward moment.  I used to be out and about constantly. But we'll get to that.

One of the ladies present--we'll just call her Corin--was talking about her workday. All of her co-workers are men. That comes with its own plethora of uncomfortable moments, as I'm sure you can imagine.

Anyhow, someone had turned the air conditioner up a little too high that day. As an aside, she was quick to say that her bra was one of the thick sort, not padded, just thick. Corin suffered in silence for awhile, but eventually, she couldn't ignore chill.

When her arms broke out in goose bumps, she turned to the two men with her and said, "Is it cold in here to you?"

 Two sets of male eyes immediately jumped to her breasts where, yep, you guessed it, her slightly padded bra betrayed her--her co-workers could see the universal proof.

She might as well have been wearing a wet t-shirt.

 The very next morning, stopped at a local 7-Eleven to pick up a cup of coffee before work. This time, she was wearing her slightly padded bra underneath two hip-length, pullover t-shirts. Nobody was going to read the temperature from her chest this time.

While she was preparing her coffee, an older man walked up to pour one for himself. Out of the blue, he turned to her and said, "Now, there's something you don't see anymore."

Attempting to be polite, Corin asked, "What's that?"

 "Not many young girls have outtie belly-buttons anymore," he told her, then walked away.

She immediately looked down to check out her belly-button. Two shirts should have made her bellybutton impossible to see. It turned out that her belly piercing showed through just enough to masquerade as an outtie. She couldn't decide which was worse--knowing that her piercing stuck out that much, or that someone had stared at her midriff long enough to picture what her bellybutton looked like.

I had a moment earlier that day.  Last week, I'd found my favorite, hard-to-find shampoo and soap, both in my favorite scent. The shampoo wasn't cheap, but things happened just right, so I ordered it online.

The first chance I had, I naturally used the shampoo and soap, happily enjoying the scent after I dressed and my hair was brushed. (I don't usually blow dry my hair--I let it air dry)

When my neighbor called and asked to pop in, I agreed right away. He'd been gone several days and had had a recent death in his family. We've been neighbors for almost seven years, always there when the other one needed a chat or cup of sugar. (That really happens. It's not just a cliché)

As always, he came on in, stopping first to pet my sister's dog and dispense treats. After that, per usual, he made his way over to me for a hug. Folks tease me about him being my boyfriend or him chasing me--I just laugh it off. I'm not looking for that, and presumably, neither is he.

This wasn't on the calendar for today...
The hug, however, went on, and on, and on…well, we hadn't visited in several days, and had been away at a family funeral. So, it follows that he needed a hug, right?

After awhile, I said, "Hey, I bet my hair is still wet."   I was not at my conversational best, needless to say.
He didn't move for another thirty seconds, at least. If you don't think that's a long time, count out loud and imagine there's a bomb somewhere nearby.

When he did pull away, he said, "Damn, your hair smells good." 

That'll teach me, won't it?

I'm sure we know that women aren't the only people who end up in awkward social situations…Poor Jordan. He works at a dojo where various martial arts classes are held every week for children. This week, it was time for the intermediate class (blue or green belt -- in this case 6 and 7 year-olds) to have their summer picnic.

Jordan, being a stellar summer employee was front and center for the picnic. It was held at a local park near a lake. He's a nice guy and patient enough with the kids, many of whom only understand the word "no" because they say it so much. He liked his job, could handle the kids, and it paid all right.

There was another reason he made sure to attend that particular event, though. Apparently, one of the mothers--we'll call her Mrs. Money-- liked to mingle with the other moms unfettered by such nagging responsibilities as watching her children. Not only that, Mrs. Money was usually busy on class days, so she had a sitter for those days. That way, she could do something else while the sitter, Zoë,  looked after her budding Karate star and his toddler sister.

According to Jordan, Zoë is hot, has the patience of a saint, and funny as hell. In short, she was everything a twenty-something woman should be, and he'd been flirting with her non-stop for sixteen weeks, solid. She always smiled at him and spoke to him when she saw him. She had a dry wit that cracked him up; he made sure he was nearby whenever the intermediates were in class.

At the picnic, he spotted her near the lake with another woman and the toddler Zoë chased around while the boy was in class. As he watched, trying to decide on a casual approach, the little girl tugged at the hem of Zoë's shorts and then did her best to peel the young woman's shirt up above her navel. That was all the invitation he needed.

When he was close enough, he said, "Hey, how come she's trying to rip your shirt off?"

Zoë blushed and laughed it off, but he hung around as long as he could, trying to score some points with her. Mrs. Money wandered over, along with another woman. Not one to miss an opportunity, he hung out with the group, teasing and laughing for nearly an hour. By the time he was called away, Jordan was pretty sure he'd made good progress..

 Before he got very far, he heard Mrs. Money say, " Zoë, you know he was flirting with you, right?"

 He stopped, waiting to hear what she'd say. The women were all facing the lake, so they didn't know he was close enough to listen.

 The other mother jumped in and assured Zoë, saying, "Oh, yeah. He was flirting like crazy--not just now, but for months."

 "Really?" Zoë answered. He could picture her face as she said it. The rest of her response really took him by surprise. "Huh…That was flirting? Wow. I had no idea."

 And that was pretty much how the rest of his day went, too.

 So, those are a FEW awkward events. But we know there are countless more, don't we?

Let's make Sunday into AWKWARD MUCH? Day-- Either post it as a comment or send me a note at with your awkward moment. I'll put them on next

Sunday's blog. The most awkward moment will win their choice from these Ashlyn Chase erotic, awkward moment stories:        

Giggles by Gabby 
 Heaving Bosoms 
Vampire Vintage  
                                                                                                                                                                                       Next Sunday, we'll do it again with a different erotic, or  romantic awkward-moments prizes. You know that life will always be awkward. Why not win from it--it's a double win if it's someone else's awkward tale you're telling ! *g*

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Have you met Mina Carter? Let me introduce you

Monsters do exist...and they’re the good guys.

Lillian Rosewood leads an ordinary, boring life working as the manager of a psychiatric hospital. The highlights of her day, other than her skinny hot chocolate, are the hunky guards who work in the secure section. Until a late night emergency is wheeled in.

Captain Jack Harper is insane, drop-dead gorgeous...and just had his abdomen shredded. Despite the fact they're not an emergency room, Lillian can't turn him away and risk a death on her hands. Unable to get the handsome soldier out of her mind, Lillian sneaks into the restricted area to check on him. What she finds is beyond belief. Somehow Jack has managed to heal himself from a near fatal wound in mere hours.

When one of the doctors, Walker, attempts to rape her, things go from bad to worse. In the blink of an eye, Jack is loose and Walker is dead... and Lillian must accept a truth about her rescuer that will change her world forever. What if the patients aren't insane? What if their stories of secret government experiments and monsters are true?

Warning: Contains blood, mayhem and nude werewolves operating heavy weaponry. Large amounts of sarcasm, and smart-ass vampires may offend some readers. No civilian hospital staff were harmed in the making of this story.
Coming 2012 from Samhain Publishing
Pre-order from Amazon | Amazon UK

Copyright © 2012 Mina Carter
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

She couldn’t believe she was crying. Lillian didn’t cry. Ever. She was tougher than that. Tougher than the stereotypical little woman who fell apart at the first sign of danger… Or the mother who couldn’t cope after the death of her husband and hightailed it to her lover with teary demands to “make the nightmare go away”. And conveniently forgot the fact she’d left her baby daughter behind.

She was not that woman, nor anything like her.

Once in the corridor, away from the stench of death and the sight of all that black, wrong blood, she stepped away from Jack and swiped at her tears with the back of her hand. Despite the fact he’d just killed a man, there was something about him that made her feel safe. Safe with a murderer. Okay, now she knew she was losing it. Perhaps insanity ran in her family and they’d just never told her?

“I’m sorry. I’m not normally like this,” she apologized as she looked up and offered a small, teary smile. Her mouth already open to explain, she stopped.

He was gorgeous.

She’d known that. When they’d brought him in, her mind had told her that he was sex on a stick. But he’d been injured, a patient. Even though she was the hospital manager, she was bound by the patient-doctor thing, surely? The one that said “thou shalt not lust after the patients”.

Now though, without all the blood and the ragged uniform—even in the hospital gown that did nothing for anyone—he was so good-looking it took her breath away. She shook her head slightly, waiting for the hidden cameras and some cheesy reality show host to burst out of the supply cabinet in the corridor next to them. He couldn’t be for real. Soldiers just didn’t look that good.

With warm amber eyes set above sharp cheekbones, his face was bisected by a strong, straight nose over sensually full lips. A severe buzz-cut merely highlighted his attractiveness, concentrating all attention on his face. He should be strutting his stuff on a catwalk, not getting down and dirty playing soldier.

Her eyes travelled downward, and the rest of him more than fulfilled the promise of his face. He was toned…hell no, he was ripped. Even his muscles had muscles. Tall and broad shouldered, he was built like a quarterback, and his life had obviously been one of violence. Old scars dotted his skin like a mad artist had gone to town with his body as the canvas.

“I know you’re not. You’re strong.”

His words drew her attention back to his face. His eyes were blue again. He smiled, which almost robbed her of reason, but she held onto the thought for grim death. No one’s eyes changed that fast. What the hell have they done to him?

“Your eyes… What the hell are you?”

The smile turned cold, his features freezing around it and locking it into place. In hindsight, perhaps a demand for information wasn’t the best way to deal with this, especially after what had gone on in the room behind them. Walker was slumped, dead, but somehow she knew Jack wouldn’t hurt her.

He moved toward her. Only three steps, but with those blue eyes intent upon her, it seemed more like a stalk. With every movement he made, her instincts screamed “predator”.

She held her ground, tilting her head to look at him as he neared. He stopped inches away from her, so close the heat of his body beat at her skin even through her clothing and his gown.

“We don’t have time for this, Lilly.”

He lifted a hand to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear. As though he couldn’t stop touching her, he stroked a gentle finger down her cheekbone to the corner of her lips. It took everything she had not to turn her head and press into the small caress, but she held true to her purpose, her eyes on his.

“Make time.”

His lips quirked, and everything female in her went into meltdown. He had to know the effect he had on women, so she ignored the reaction and met him look for look.

“Stubborn little minx.”

She choked. “What did you call me?”

“Minx,” he repeated, lowering his head and brushing his lips over hers to silence her. As a tactic, it worked. 

The first touch of his lips, warm and firm over hers, was like setting light to kindling. Heat flared and caught, racing through her body like wildfire.

She moaned, unable to stop her lips parting automatically in invitation. No matter what her mind was screaming about the dead guy in the next room and the possibility the hunk stood in front of her wasn’t just human, her body knew what it wanted, and what it intended to get.

He didn’t pass up the invitation. Groaning, he moved closer and deepened the kiss. With a ruthless sweep of his tongue, he parted her lips farther and slid into the softer recesses of her mouth. She shivered, hot and cold chills chasing over her skin as he kissed her in the darkness of the corridor.

She’d been kissed before and, as she’d thought anyway, she’d been kissed well. This was something else entirely. He kissed her as if there was nothing else in the world. As if she was his sun, his moon and stars…his everything. He didn’t kiss her, he made love to her with his lips and tongue.

Abruptly he broke away, tearing his mouth from hers. With a groan of frustration, he leaned forward to rest his forehead against hers.

“I don’t want to let you go.” The tone in his voice pulled on her heartstrings. “When they brought me in, there was just pain and blood…so much blood. Darkness was coming for me, and I was ready. But an angel called my name… I had to come back to see if she was as beautiful as she sounded.”

His words reached deep inside her. She already thought he was gorgeous, but to have him spouting words that…romantic wasn’t the word. The claim he’d come back just to see her, that hit her deep down and resonated in her soul.


She almost dared not ask the question, and when she did, her voice emerged breathy and hopeful. Like a teen finally meeting and speaking to her film idol in the flesh.

“Oh yes, she was worth it.”

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My bird bit me

You've heard the old idiom: that was the straw that broke the camel's back?

I don't know anything about camels (okay, they spit, have humps, and don't live around here)   What I do know is that my morning has gone badly, people were mean to me...rude, at least, and well, then my bird bit me.

This is the guilty party I mentioned

It was all I could do not to burst into tears.

It hurt, but really, not enough to cry over. Baker is only a year old, and he is normally pretty lovable--with bouts of manic lunging and biting thrown in now and then. Breeders and other bird professionals call it "nipping."

Yeah, right. Chomping would be a better word. That little beak can be painful!  He sometimes does it to protect his territory, and sometimes, it's just general principle. Like I said, he's pretty cuddly otherwise.

he his what he appears to be--a bird with
I know you've heard (read) me refer to Baker and Banana:

So, naturally, you would assume that Banana was the one who bit my finger. If that were true, I wouldn't be able to type at all. That beak of his is deadly. Luckily, he likes me these days. I play Euro- Rock/Pop for him, the one Brittany Spears song he likes (Oops, I Did It Again), crooners when he's in the mood, and his personal favorite--Harry Belafonte. (you guessed it, he loves the Banana Boat Song, Dayo, best of all)

Hey, he likes to dance. Don't mock him for it. Manly men are secure enough to dance. And bob. Trust me, he gets into it. And let's face it, it's a rare bird indeed who can dance to Calypso music.

Baker, poor soul, his rhythmically challenged. He does this cool thing where he revolves slowly in a half-circle. My daughter calls it his "Around Town" move.

Just so you know, he was sorry for the bite pretty soon after. I covered his cage because I was upset and didn't want to yell at him. He started going "Pssst, pssssst!" a minute after I covered him. He talks, but quietly. He likes to mimic sounds, though. I made the mistake of blowing him a kiss can imagine where that went wrong.

As upset as I was, the very bird that bit me eventually made me feel better. He cracks me up. They both do. And really, it's hard to stay upset when one bird is boogieing along to Belafonte's Jump in the Line and the other one is pecking away (off-beat) on the wing of his little plastic airplane perch?

Anyhow, that was my day, pretty much. I have since written a few thousand words, helped put away groceries, and basically, gotten on with life.

Oh, and I'm a writer, so if you'd consider buying a book of mine at some point, that would be great. *g*

That's it for me. Back to the book!
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Ella Jade! Inspiration Comes in Strange Places…

Inspiration Comes in Strange Places…

Where did the idea for Make Me Stay Come from? One night back in January, I couldn’t get the Katy Perry song The One That Got Away out of my head. I was humming it in the shower and bam, the idea for my newest novella hit me.

I hopped out of the shower, wrapped a towel around myself and logged onto my computer as fast as I could. It was one of those moments where I had to get the scene down. It didn’t even matter that I was wet and shivering. It was the first time in my writing journey where I started at the end of the book. The chapter kept playing out in my head, and I knew no matter what happened from the beginning of the story on, I had to end up with what I had just written.

Now, don’t ask me what that song has to do with a BDSM romance, I’m still not sure. But, for whatever reason those lyrics triggered something in my subconscious. The inspiration was so strong that I managed to write Make Me Stay in three days. The story flowed, and the characters cooperated, so I went with it. Make Me Stay is a story about reconnecting with a lost love and finding away to make life work, no matter how crazy it may seem. It’s a love story at the core. I’m really pleased with the final outcome and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

I’m also in the process of writing a second book called Surrender to Me. This novella will feature the main characters, Cade and Gracie, from Make Me Stay, but Martin Abrams will be the focus. You’ll meet Martin in Make Me Stay. He was one of those characters that wouldn’t leave me, so I gave the sexy Dom his own book.

Here’s a peek into Make Me Stay available now from Beachwalk Press

Can the sub teach the Dom to play?
Natural submissive Gracie Miller thought she had found her other half in Cade Jameson. Not only did he help her through a difficult time in her life, in the bedroom he brought her more pleasure than she could have ever imagined. They seemed perfect for each other.

 Cade knew what he wanted in the bedroom. Gracie brought out his domineering side and ignited his passion. But he feared he was too dominant for this beautiful, naïve girl, who was so young and impressionable, so he ended their relationship.

Two and a half years later, Gracie returns to town a new woman. She had moved to the city and found a "Master" who showed her what she was truly capable of. Now she's back and wants to show Cade exactly what kind of submissive she could be for him.

But after hearing all that she's experienced, Cade now wonders if he's dominant enough to satisfy her. Can he be the man Gracie needs him to be?

Content Warning: graphic sex, BDSM themes

Ten minutes later they were seated at a quaint restaurant in the center of town. Cade had requested a quiet table in the back so they wouldn't be interrupted. He was confused enough and didn't need any distractions. Being a well-known businessman, he was always running into people who wanted to have a drink with him. Gracie's return would probably be the talk of the town in a matter of days.

Once they ordered dinner and the waitress poured their wine he'd had enough small talk. He wanted answers.

"Why did you come back?"

"I told you." Gracie sipped her wine. "I took a job here."

"Do you think I'm stupid?"

"Of course not." She lowered her head.

"Don't do that."

"Do what?"

"Just look at me." He was puzzled over her return and her elusiveness frustrated him.

She quickly raised her gaze, meeting his eyes.

"You walked away from this town without a trace. I don't believe you would come back after all this time to consult. Something isn't right."

"You told me to leave."

"Me!" He tapped his chest. "I told you to leave me. I never expected you to disappear. I thought I'd know where you were and what you were doing." Even though he told her to go, he'd always intended to take care of her.

"Without you, there wasn't anything here for me. You were everything. I had no family. I lived in your house. Where did you expect me to go?"

"We could have figured it out together. I would have made sure you were taken care of." She'd always been his responsibility and when she left he panicked she'd end up on the street.

"I needed to go. I had to figure out who I was. That's what you wanted."

"I wanted you to be happy."

"I am." She smiled. "I told you, I met someone who helped me."

"Then why aren't you with him?" He didn't like to think about her with another man. It infuriated him to know someone else touched what was his, even if he did let her go. "Are you running from him? Is that why you're back here? Do you need my help?"

She laughed. "I could never run from Martin."

He hated knowing his name. "So, Martin was your boyfriend?"

"Not really." She took another sip of her wine.

Her mysterious behavior pissed him off. She'd better start talking and fast.

"Your husband?" He felt his blood boil. Could she have gotten married?

"Cade," she said as she reached for his hand. "I don't want you to freak, but Martin was my Dom. I was his submissive."


Thanks so much for joining me today. I love making new friends so please connect with me…

Thanks so much for having me. J. J.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blue. Very Blue

This is the picture sent to me by a reader, who thoughtfully provided a link to the same picture--She wanted me to base my character Ashton on this guy.

Here's what my co-author had to say when I asked her to describe him---



So there you go. Ashton Bellamy from Afterhours--my contribution to Willing Submission

Let's Get Dangerous...I mean Serious. About Blogging

I love that duck. Nothing against Daffy, Donald, Uncle Scrooge, or any other cartoon duck. But Darkwing Duck will always be my hero.

I don't know what that says about me...

(You don't know how badly I wanted to include a clickable sound file there.)

Well, anyway--I just don't feel like I've put enough into my own blog--as opposed to various other blogs where I post different things.

So, now all that's going to change. To kick things off, I'm giving away 2 Amazon Gift Certificates and 2 E-books--4 winners in all.

What do you have to do? Join my Blog or my other Blog. That's it. To add enticement, I've got some special bloggers dropping in to say howdy.  From now on, in fact, I hope to have another author, or some entertainer or other, drop in about once a week.

Tomorrow, I'll post something from Ella Jade -- on August 21--that's Tuesday -- we'll be entertaining Mina Carter.

You'll just have to wait and see who we get after that.

I'll still be posting, of course. I'll let you know about whatever crosses my mind, along with what books are out and what I'm up to work-wise. (you've been warned *g*)

Oh, and by the way-- I'm sure I already told you this but I'm having a sale:

Two of my books are 45% off for two weeks! 

A Hunted Heart is *$1.34* and you can get it at Amazon: or Smashwords-
For the last decade, Von Branigan has lived his solitary life estranged from the only woman he ever loved. He’d been wronged and for ten long years he isolated himself from the world, keeping his hurt and loneliness wrapped around him like a cloak.
Tati is tired now. She’s done. If not for Von, she would have thrown in the towel and let the bad guy win. Have the years without her taught him bitterness or has he finally grown into the man she thought she’d married? Is there a safe haven out there for her hunted, wounded heart?

Three M/M Short Stories: Volume One is *$.99* and you can get it at Amazon: or Smashwords:
You never know when you'll find Mister Right--or even Mister Right Now. Sometimes you need one thing, sometimes another.
Chasing Jonas
Is life just beginning for Jonas, or is it all mapped out? He doesn't know it yet, but somebody has plans for Jonas. Plans he just might like…
After Class
Just because a college career is nearly at its end, there's no reason to stop learning. But first, you have to find just the right professor.
Office Politics
 Mark has had a thing for his boss since the first day. Unfortunately, Jack Weaver is a man's man in a politically correct climate. Too bad Mark doesn't understand politics.

Belonging to MacGregor was already $.99 so that hasn't changed--Amazon or Smashwords
Eian MacGregor existed in a never-ending limbo, caught in an envelope in time. Eternity stretched ahead of him, a hopeless and lonely place. Or was it?
Dead, or something like it, for over two hundred years, Eian MacGregor had given up. He couldn't get away from his bloody past nor did he have any hope of attaining the future he'd been promised.
Fat. Fat, ugly, frigid, and in love with a ghost. That's how Elsabetta Finlay was described by the man she had been betrothed to as a young girl. If only Eian MacGregor was real and alive--if only he loved her and wanted her, Elsabetta's dreams would come true. But dreams were for children and she was all grown up now. 

And that's all I've got for now! See you later!

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Running to keep up

Hey everyone,

Just so you know, I'm blogging at Romance for the Rest of Us today. I've included the first chapter of my M/M free read, A Roaming Heart. I've been continuing that on Torquere Press' Happy Hour's Journal every month. If readers want me to continue it on the blog as well, just stop by  Romance for the Rest of Us  and let me know.

I'm moving along and trying to keep up, but sometimes it's slow going. Don't give up on me, I've got new stuff on the way.

The improved and slightly changed Metamorphose comes out Friday, August 10. And check out this cover!

Is that HOT or not?

This book is M/F/M. There are all sorts of paranormal creatures that venture in and out of the books--this one includes a Blood Drinker. 

It's the first book in The International World's Museum Collection:
In a time before "modern man" evolved into homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis or Neanderthal man walked the earth. They easily saw through the mystical glamor that hid paths to other worlds and the unearthly visitors who traveled those paths. Inherent skills and abilities allowed them to protect themselves and combat unwelcome guests from other worlds.
Over the centuries, the population of Homo sapiens grew and dominated the earth, outnumbering thier Neanderthal cousins. With no knowledge of the dangers presented by the open doors between worlds, they seemed easy prey to the outworlders. That was not the case, however.
Porta, Californa was just one of the several gateways between worlds and featured just one of the museums that guarded an egress and housed otherworldly artifacts. The International Worlds Museum could be a fun place to visit. Sometimes, though, the exhibits might offer an unexpected surprise or two.

Rand Cooper had no idea how his life had become so complicated. Suddenly, Elwynn Ravensdale, who had been the consummate pain in Rand's arse, became extremely attractive--especially his arse. If that wasn't enough, his teenaged charges were acting cagey and secretive. Worse than all of that, Wynn had an attachment to some woman, a very pretty woman, but a woman nonetheless. And there was a baby involved.
Where were the days when hostile otherworldly visitors were all that he had to worry about?

Here's a little excerpt to get you warmed up:

“Don’t say anything.” Livia slid up on the bed beside his hip taking his hand. “Let Rand do his hocus pocus and then we’ll try to get you out of here. We can iron out the details later. How’s that?”

Don’t mind if I do…

Rand leaned over Wynn, thrilled at the acquiescence in his eyes. Without another word, he laced his fingers with Wynn’s, carefully avoiding the IV lines. Leaning down, he touched foreheads, cupping the back of Wynn’s head with his free hand.

Dimly aware of Livia sitting on the opposite side of the bed and holding Wynn's other hand, Rand tilted his chin forward covering the other man’s mouth with his own. A nip at his lower lip and Wynn opened, giving Rand full access to taste and explore. A hazy current seemed to blanket the three, drawing heat, urgency, electricity to the surface.

At first, Livia acted nervous, unsure. As the crackling energy wound around them, Rand began to feel the three-way connection build. Livia’s small hand found its way to Rand’s shoulder, rubbing him gently as she held onto Wynn.

His focus narrowed to one pinpoint. Wynn was kissing him back hungrily, need in every panting breath. Rand’s hand slid down the thin hospital gown covering Wynn’s chest, meeting Livia as together they pushed the sheet to his knees. Though her movements were slightly unsure, the young woman was committed, actively a part of their shaky triad.

Pulling the flimsy gown up out of the way, Rand stroked along one toned thigh and over Wynn’s flat abdomen. At twenty-eight, Wynn was firm and muscled, a banquet for the eyes. Since living in Los Angeles, Wynn had gained a light tan. Coupled with jet black hair and eyes the color of a vibrant lapis, Wynn was a beautiful man. Rand had always thought that, even during the time when Wynn’s hair was short, slicked back, his dress code was prim, and they had argued the better part of every day.

Still holding Wynn’s left hand, Rand slid his free hand around and pulled the tie on the annoying gown, tugging the thing away without looking up. He kissed and nibbled his way down Wynn’s neck to his clavicle, nipping and biting as he went. Wynn tugged their hands up and his long fingers found the button at Rand’s waist and yanked, taking some of the pressure off of his own rigid erection.

A choked gasp against his mouth told him that Livia had found Wynn’s hardened cock. She reached out and grabbed Rand’s left hand, pulling it down until both their hands wrapped around the throbbing flesh. Heat and energy surged around and through them as Wynn arched under their grip. 

The next in this series is Epoch. It's mostly finished, but I've got some serious tweaking to do. I hope to have it in New Concepts' hands in the next couple of months. I'll wait to share excerpts.

Aside from that, the next Monthly Monster or Myth column is up at Novelspot: The Vampire--Myth or Misunderstood?