Sunday, October 30, 2011

Yarontanji by Mara Ismine

Yarotanji: A Dark Masters Story by Mara Ismine
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: Erotic, GLBT Sci-Fi
Length: 82 pages

Yarotanji enjoys being an elite agent with the Peace Keeper Task Force and spending his time moving from planet to planet investigating various potentially dangerous situations. He spends a lot of his time lusting after Asrayan, his partner for most assignments, on and off the job. Yarotanji likes his job and his partner, people trying to damage his person and unrequited lust aside.

But he has a very bad feeling about the new assignment he and Asrayan have been given. It should be a walk in the park compared to their normal assignments. And it is -- until things get complicated and those difficulties threaten his hard won friendship with Asrayan.

Yarotanji and Asrayan first appeared as secondary characters in the novel Smoke.


Funny how two people can work together a long time and still not know each other nearly as well as they think. Peace Keepers Yarotanji and Asrayan manage to surprise each other more than a little in Mara Ismine's Yarotanji.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Catching Mr. Right by Amber Kell

Catching Mr Right by Amber Kell
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 61 pages

Book one in the Dangerous Lovers Series
Sometimes the perfect man is the one determined to give you away.

Tucker Right has loved Norman Wells since the first day they met, but the mercenary believes the beautiful scientist needs a gentler soul to care for him.

Determined to find his friend the perfect man, Tucker is astonished to learn Norm has no intention of being set up.

When the mob targets Norm for his scientific breakthroughs Tucker has to step up and claim the man who had every intention of Catching Mr Right.


Five years of keeping their real desires hidden turns out to be all Norman and Tucker can stand. Best friends and close companions, they know each other like an old married couple but it's always been hands off. Tucker thinks he isn't worthy of the genius who fixes his breakfast, and Norman doesn't understand why Tucker's never touched him. Amber Kell sorts this muddle out in Catching Mr. Right.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Picture is Worth...

Our last prompt pic netted a wonderful story from Ellis Carrington, whose "Amor Prohibido" has shot to the top of my TBR list because I want some more of her writing.

Okay, this fellow surely has a story to explain what's going on here. Any author who spends 100-1000 words to tell us, please also send your cover art, blurb, news, and links. I'll post your short and your latest news. (I'm at CryselleC AT gmail DOT com)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Las Sirenas by Bell Ellis

Las Sirenas CoverTitle: Las Sirenas
Author: Bell Ellis
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy
Length: 44 pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Review Summary: A deep attachment across a deeper divide makes a bittersweet ending for this human and merman couple.


Andrew’s lived all his nineteen years on the Pacific coast, working odd jobs and spending his free time in and on the water. Maybe he’s drifting through life, but it’s been enough, until the day a sudden surge knocks him off his friends’ boat and something—or someone—tosses him back. Now Andrew spends all his free time searching the water for a dream, and to keep it, he's willing to give up everything.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.


Bell Ellis sets this story, whose title means "the mermaids," in a small coastal town on the Pacific shore, where the water is chilly enough to need a wetsuit at least part of the year. The locals depend on the ocean, whether to draw the tourists that are the mainstay of the economy, to provide a livelihood, or to go out and leave the rest of humanity behind. Andrew, the protagonist, has never known any life away from the water, but also knows that the sea doesn't care if it kills you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Thousand Word Thursday story from Ellis Carrington

I bit back a curse when we both went for the ball at the same time. Paul yelled from beside me and pain tore through my ribcage when we crashed into each other. For a second everything went black, and when I came to my ears were ringing.

To say nothing of my pounding head.

The next play was more of the same. I swear he made a point of pushing my face into the grass when he tackled me, which was still soft by the way from when it rained on Thursday. So I got him back by pantsing him while he did his stupid touchdown victory dance. Mrs. Carmalli from next door saw the whole thing.

Guess that’s what she gets for being a pervy old woman.

His big paw slapped me on the back while I was on the side, looking for a towel to wipe the Scotts Turf Builder off my face. “Dammit Danny, what was that good for?”

I turned on him and tried to jab my finger into his sternum but it slid right down to his navel cuz of all the sweat. “You tell me, asshole, you’re the one who started it.”

Monday, October 24, 2011

Prep Work by PD Singer

Prep Work by PD Singer
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Length: 52 pages

Celebrity chef Jude Marshall's ditched his camera crew for the first time in a month—he's been eating his way through local cuisines on several continents for his television show. No spider-on-a-stick this trip, thank God. Jude's exhausted; all he wants on his London layover is a pint of beer and some comfort food. Stumbling into a gastro-pub, Jude instead finds haute cuisine; his grumbles bring him face to face with chef—and fan—Tommy Bell.

When Jude steps into the kitchen to autograph Tommy's copy of his cookbook, he finds himself lending a hand, and discovers it's possible to tenderize a hardened heart.

Jude Marshall is a prickly guy and his past is littered with the wreckage he's caused by not having a "brain to mouth filter." When he meets chef Tommy Bell in PD Singer's Prep Work, he's on the brink of creating another disaster.

Library Science Just Got Sexy by EM Lynley

Library Science Just Got Sexy by EM Lynley
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Length: 33 pages

Drake Talbott is a young university professor with a big secret: he's been dating a student. Hunky, handsome Kerry Monroe isn't in any of Drake's classes, but he has a public sex kink that Drake is in no particular hurry to curb. In fact Kerry's brought out a wilder side of Drake that he never knew he possessed. When an extracurricular tryst in the library stacks nearly brings their relationship to the attention of the powers that be at the university, Drake's just not sure whether his career will survive Kerry's appetites--or his own.

In EM Lynley's short, hot, and exhibitionistic story, Kerry and Drake are a newly formed pair, who have every reason to keep their activities under wraps. Drake's professorship might not survive the exposure. Library Science Just Got Sexy shows us a couple of guys who just can't keep their hands off each other.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Make You Sweat by Pia Veleno

Make You Sweat by Pia Veleno
Publisher: Loose-ID
Genre: LGBT Contemporary
Length: 163 pages

Ready for change, Tyler Pierce has the whole summer ahead of him when he flies to Sand Piper Beach to turn over a new leaf. Sun, swimming, exercise, he'll return home a new man, sexy and buff. Best of all, several states away from home and college, no one but his dad knows him, so he can muddle through the challenges of getting fit without friends laughing at him.

During his first visit to the fitness center, Tyler meets the sculpted and toned Cody Dawson, fitness instructor and sexy gay man. Not only does Cody help Tyler learn how to use the strength training equipment, but he crashes through Tyler's fantasies and lures him into bed.

Just a passing fling, Tyler decides. Cody, after all, could get any number of better looking men without even trying. Besides, the summer doesn't last forever and, too soon, Tyler will return to campus leaving Cody to the ex who wants him back. A summer fling can grow into something more, but it's up to Tyler to recognize if it's true love or just heated summer lust.


Tyler, with his senior year of college ahead of him, is on that cusp of near independence and tentative adulthood that makes his still-spindly frame a source of frustration. Make Me Sweat brings him farther into maturity, and Pia Veleno has captured his insecurities and small triumphs on the way.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Finding Deaglan by George Seaton

Finding Deaglan by George Seaton
Publisher: MRL Press
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Length: 457 pages

A coterie of inheritors of Denver's old money, including twenty-four year old Stephen Thaxton, find themselves inextricably entwined in an imperative to close a hoary circle left open in the other world, the other side where retribution is sought for wrongs committed by their progenitors a century before; wrongs that eradicated wolves from Colorado, and saw the indigenous Indian tribes of Colorado robbed of their lands, all to enhance the wealth and privilege of those who now find themselves the last of their family lines.

Finding Deaglan is a big, sweeping novel, ranging a hundred and more years through time, involving many of the leading families of Denver. Fortunes were dragged out of the mountains, grave injustices done, and now George Seaton spins a Gothic yarn to right some part of the damage.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Picture is Worth...

It's Thursday and I'm organized enough to have a pic again! Our last piccy of the little green dragon got us not one but two fab fics. Angela Benedetti and JB McDonald produced entire short stories, which honest guys, is lovely but also beyond the call of duty. But highly worth reading, as are Angela's urban fantasy novel, A Hidden Magic (which I loved and read in my pre-reviewer days, woulda been a 5 marble) and JB's Dragon stories (Dragon Hunted was a 5 marble/5 Diva read).

One hundred to one thousand words will do it. A new ficlet or an excerpt if it fits, and I'll post it here with links, covers, and blurbs.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I didn't get to go to GayRomLit but...

Gee that sounded like a good time. All the posts and pics, stories from the lucky ones. Maybe I can go next year! The best part is that I have reading privileges in that stack of books Pam brought back.

But I do have some news of my own! We'll see what I've let myself in for in trying to shift styles, but I will be doing a couple of guest reviews for Jessewave! Maybe she'll keep me!

I will still be doing reviews for Dark Divas, and there won't be any overlap; the books that are offered are not necessarily the same ones. Anything with girlbits at all is definitely Dark Diva material. Wave has been agreeable about cross-posting to here as well, and it looks like it's going to be interesting. I already have a couple of books, so I'm going to run off and read now!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Look who else rewrote my awful blurb!

Eden Winters took mercy on my awful blurb and gave it her own humorous twist.  I'd read the story when it's sold like this.

The latest blurb that goes with a real story is this one -- read it, loved it, review coming soon. That tag line was a LOL

By the time Galen Olaf-kin woke up and smelled the spiced ale, it was too late, and he never finished the wicked deed for which he stood trial. Banished from his home, he flees to the forest, taking nothing but the unwanted infant he's rescued. Perhaps the legends are true and the forest lord will take them both in. The lord is said to give sanctuary to outcasts, but none of the stories mention the naughty, tempting things he whispers, or that he shares Galen's forbidden passions.

Lord Erik rolls his eyes at the prophecy that says when human hands deliver a babe to the forest, he’ll meet the mate destined to reunite forest folk with humankind. What interest has he in a child? The handsome human who brings the babe is another matter entirely, and a little thing like destiny won't stand in Erik's way of claiming the golden-haired Galen as his own. Or will it?

Sometimes prophecies are overrated, legends incomplete, and heroes not always the sharpest swords in the scabbard.

Find it here. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Snowbound by Scarlet Blackwell

Snowbound by Scarlet Blackwell
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, M/M
Length: 120 pages

Hayden Berry is lost in a small South Dakota town after crashing his car, when he is rescued by Deputy Sheriff Dylan Hubble and taken home for the night. One night turns into two when they are snowed in and instant attraction turns into life-long love.

But Hayden isn't free to be with Dylan and he leaves, the memory of that winter casting a shadow over the rest of his life...

The lonely roads between the small towns of the American West are a bad place to have car trouble – help may be a long time coming. For Hayden Berry, a wreck late at night in a February storm brings more than just rescue. Deputy Sheriff Dylan Hubble finds Hayden before he dies of exposure. Scarlett Blackwell's Snowbound gives them a chance to fall in love.

One day's shelter in Dylan's home while Hayden's car is repaired turns into two – giving Hayden a chance to revise his attitudes about his own sexuality. He's acknowledged his desire for men but never acted on it, having married a woman who's waiting for him at home. Dylan's very open about his desires – the two end up in bed fairly fast, and are very, very inclined to stay there, but honor wins out. I loved this section of the book, for admitting that previous commitments can't just be dropped because new bonds are formed.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Look who rewrote my awful blurb!

Yesterday I posted about blurbs, and part of it was a challenge to fix my horrible blah-blah blurb. Of course there's no story attached to it (yet, although Josephine Myles has admitted to liking the idea enough to be tempted. Go for it, Josephine; it's all yours and I'll be first in line for a copy.) To see what they wrote, check the comments in yesterday's post.

So far, three authors have taken up the challenge to turn this mess into something interesting. Being the curious person that I am, I had to check out the blurbs that they write for their own work. Here's the latest from the three brave souls, and if anyone else wants to try, this challenge stays open.

PD Singer gave us a slick, short story style blurb, way higher on the "I'd read that" scale than where it started. Her latest is out from Dreamspinner: find it here.  (I've read it, loved it, review to follow.)

Prep Work
Celebrity chef Jude Marshall’s ditched his camera crew for the first time in a month—he’s been eating his way through local cuisines on several continents for his television show. No spider-on-a-stick this trip, thank God. Jude’s exhausted; all he wants on his London layover is a pint of beer and some comfort food. Stumbling into a gastro-pub, Jude instead finds haute cuisine; his grumbles bring him face to face with chef—and fan—Tommy Bell.

When Jude steps into the kitchen to autograph Tommy’s copy of his cookbook, he finds himself lending a hand, and discovers it’s possible to tenderize a hardened heart.

Josephine Myles treated my silly subjects with the puns they deserve in a Samhain style blurb, and this is also a lot more enticing than the original.  Josephine's recently released a novel with Samhain, which I've read, enjoyed, and reviewed, and you can find here.

Barging In

When the boat's a rockin’, don't come knockin’!

Out-and-proud travel writer Dan Taylor can’t steer a boat to save his life, but that doesn’t stop him from accepting an assignment to write up a narrowboat holiday. Instead of a change of pace from city life, though, the canal seems dull as ditchwater. Until he crashes into the boat of a half-naked, tattooed, pierced man whose rugged, penniless appearance is at odds with a posh accent.

Still smarting from past betrayal, Robin Hamilton’s “closet” is his narrowboat, his refuge from outrageous, provocative men like Dan. Yet he can’t seem to stop himself from rescuing the hopelessly out-of-place city boy from one scrape after another. Until he finds himself giving in to reluctant attraction, even considering a brief, harmless fling.

After all, in less than a week, Dan’s going back to his London diet of casual hook-ups and friends with benefits.

Determined not to fall in love, both men dive into one week of indulgence…only to find themselves drawn deep into an undertow of escalating intimacy and emotional intensity. Troubled waters neither of them expected…or wanted.

Product Warnings
Contains one lovable tart, one posh boy gone feral, rough sex, alfresco sex, vile strawberry-flavoured condoms, intimate body piercings, red thermal long-johns, erotic woodchopping, an errant cat, a few colourful characters you wouldn't touch with a bargepole, and plenty of messing about on the river. 
And Lou Harper has come to play!  This rewritten blurb tells me I'm in for a roller-coaster of a ride, and it sounds like fun. This is where I admit I haven't read any of Lou's work, but that has to change. This one looks like a great place to start:

Hanging Loose
When you fall in love, it can't be all just hanging loose...
After graduating from art school Nate left the Midwest for sunny Southern California, not quite sure what he hoped to find. It was almost certainly not falling in love with another man. His whole world and assumptions about himself begin to slowly turn upside down on one hot summer day. Seeking respite from the heat and his loneliness at Venice Beach he has a chance encounter with a handsome blond surfer. 
Jez is friendly, easygoing, and just a little bit mysterious. Openly gay, Jez offers cutie Nate a place to stay, and the two men become fast friends. Nate makes new friends, adjusts to his new life, but his unbidden attraction to Jez keeps growing. In their moments of closeness Nate realizes that he wants Jez more than just a friend, but it might be too late. To make Jez his, Nate has to face not only his own fears and insecurities, but his mysterious mate has secrets of his own.
Thanks for playing, guys, I know this isn't the easy fun part of writing.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Blurbs and Spoilers

The blurb is the first thing most people see after the title when they are making reading decisions. In our end of publishing, based on an informal survey, the author seems to be the one responsible for the final blurb. Only one of the publishers mentioned by my respondees drafts a blurb, and that pub also wants author input for the final. One wants a long blurb, which they edit into final form. That leaves a lot of responsibility on the authors' shoulders for an ad in 50 to 200 words to say "come read more!"

Also judging from the amount of grumbling heard, this isn't easy to do. Judging from what I've seen in my hunt for stories, it's hard to do well. This is a lure, not a complete arc, and authors are trained to do a beginning, middle and end to stories (well, most are) which a blurb shouldn't have.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stroke to His Cox by JL Merrow

Stroke to His Cox by JL Merrow
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, M/M, GLBT
Length: 25 pages

As coxswain of a Cambridge college rowing team, pint-sized Dave Tanaka has eight strapping athletes hanging on his every word, their strength at his command. Leading his crew to win their oars might be easier if Dave didn’t have to hide his crush on Archie, the stroke rower – but as they prepare for their final race, Dave doesn’t suspect that Archie is in the same boat as him in more ways than one!

Every now and then one finds a little gem, with a great deal packed into a small space. JL Merrow gives us that with Stroke to His Cox. The coffee-snort inducing title begins weaving the sport of rowing into Dave and Archie's personal life from the very start.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Thousand Word Thursday Story from Angela Benedetti


Branden had just sat down on a stump in his yard to catch his breath after a good hour of log splitting when he heard a whirr of wings. It might have been a hummingbird, or a really huge bee, but he had a feeling it wasn't. Sure enough, a moment later a tiny green dragon lighted on his knee.

"Flicker! Not again!" He sighed and stroked the little dragon's snout with one fingertip. Flicker took to the air again and zipped around his head three times, then took off into a nearby elm tree to chase a crow through the nearly-bare branches. The larger bird cawed his anger for a few minutes, but ended up flapping away. Flicker chased him out of the cleared yard and into the wood, beyond Branden's sight, then zipped back again alone, fluting his pleasure over dominating Branden's small stretch of land.

Branden watched him swoop here and there about the yard, investigating the low stone house and the autumn-churned vegetable garden, and re-establishing his benevolent domination over the chickens, which ignored him as was their habit.

Then Flicker zipped back to to Branden's knee and made a tweetling noise that sounded like a question. Branden shook his head and felt his pleasure in watching the dragonling fade. "I really shouldn't, baby. If I keep feeding you, you'll keep coming, and that's not... not good."

The next tootle sounded more like a demand, and the little dragon punctuated it with an angry orange flame the length of Branden's thumbnail.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Interesting Search Words

Now and then I look at my site stats, like who comes around and where they come from. How they get here. Stuff like that.

I got a bunch of queries lately including "mediafire" and "download".


You won't ever get help for piracy from me. The authors work hard, they sell entertainment for coin, and they deserve to get paid for amusing you. I pay for my stories with words, I have to say something intelligent about what I read, and if I just want to read, I pay for it.

Support your authors. They give you pleasure, or entertainment, or even eyerolls, but they give you something. Just like cable or HBO. Steal that and sooner or later crabby people with wirecutters show up at your door. Authors don't have that protection yet. They should.

Just because it's electronic doesn't mean it's free. And don't EVER expect me to help you steal.