When I'm writing, I tend to go into my own world - and sometimes it can be pretty hard to say goodbye to that world. That was the case with my new book, Happily Ever After, which continues the story of Tom and Mischa from A Russian Bear - and once again mentions Toby's bartender, Ben.
That guy is accident-prone like you wouldn't believe. As a matter of fact, Ben's driving Toby crazy. Not just because Ben gets himself hurt all the time, but because he's there. And Toby can't keep himself from having scenes with him, and he can't keep himself from holding the boy afterwards, either, and thinking about how nice it feels. Even though Ben's his employee and they shouldn't be doing this in the first place.
His Something is a quick look at the event which might change Toby's mind when it comes to Ben - whether Toby wants to admit it or not.
I'm guest blogging over at Torquere's blog Romance for the Rest of Us today. Come hear more about sequels and freebies!
As you probably know by now, this year's charity is the NOH8 campaign. All of the proceeds from Leather and Newfound Land and the other charity sips goes directly to NOH8 - and Torquere Press matches the authors' donation.
Perhaps you've already seen the photos by Adam Bouska (that's the guy in this photo). The NOH8 Campaign is a photographic silent protest created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska (http://www.bouska.net) and partner Jeff Parshley in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8. Photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with "NOH8" painted on one cheek in protest.
Three years since its inception, the NOH8 Campaign has grown to over 20,000 faces and continues to grow at an exponential rate. The campaign began with portraits of everyday Californians from all walks of life and soon rose to include politicians, military personnel, newlyweds, law enforcement, artists, celebrities, and many more.
However, it's not only photos; there are some amazing stories on NOH8's website - the stories of the people behind the duct tape. I've chosen a couple:
"There were a lot of times where I actually wanted to end my life. I resorted to burning myself, and other self mutilation. I tried "reversing" myself from gay to straight, even looking up summer camps and excorsisms to help me not be this person anymore. At the end of the day, I hated who looked back at me in the mirror.
This lasted until my freshman year of high school. I mustered up the courage to tell one of my best friends at the time that I was gay. She told everyone at school. But instead of getting the reaction that I did back in Junior High, I got the opposite. People supported me. Campaigns like NOH8 supported me, most importantly. It still wasn't perfect, I got bullied here and there of course, but it was still a relief. I flaunted who I was, and took pride."
Read the rest of Spencer's story here.
Other stories are very short, like Mary's:
"I work in a high school in a very conservative small town. Occassionally I see kids struggling with their identities. I want them to know that there is at least one person at school to whom it is safe to come out, or just talk to, if need be."
If you want to read more stories, go to the NOH8 website. And if you want to support the NOH8 by reading some amazing stories, go to Torquere Press' charity sips where you'll find Leather and Newfound Land and 24 other hot, sweet stories.
Do you need to brush up on A Russian Bear before you read Happily Ever After? Or how about having a look at my sigh-fi (I mean alternate reality with a bit of Plato and one hot alien) books, Himiko Bonding and Himiko Warrior? Or maybe read Alphabet Soup before the next free story comes up on my website Sunday?
Now's your chance! Torquere's got a special offer: 20% off on most of my books! Go to Torquere Press Specials to see more and purchase the books.
Want to talk about kink and turn offs? Maybe suggest me a story with your own personal kink?
Then come visit me at Josephine Myles' blog today!
My books, I mean! Happily Ever After is out today - and so is Leather and Newfound Land!
If you've been following my blog, you might have heard me mentioning this book once or twice. Uh, maybe even thrice. I have been a little obsessed with it. So instead of talking more about it, let me give you an excerpt of one of my favorite bits. Mischa and Toby are discussing whether they're losing their touch:
"Really? The mighty Mischa? First you're punishing Tom for ruining your kitchen by fucking him, and now you tell me that there's a sub you couldn't decode. Are you losing your touch?"
Mischa narrowed his eyes at Toby. "That's coming from a man who just punished his sub for smashing an entire crate of scotch by buying the kid contacts."
"He's not my sub, he's my bartender!"
"And your sub. Again. Because you just can't keep your hands off the kid, even though he's all over the place."
Toby groaned. "I know. I fucking know, all right? But it just got too expensive to have him break things, and they were starting to look suspiciously at me when I took him to the ER. And I couldn't make him wear those fucking glasses."
Ben and his lack of motor skills (and glasses) were a bit of an institution at Slake.
"Oh, yeah, you bought him glasses as well."
"Shut the fuck up." Toby took another sip of his beer.
"In the good old days, you would have spanked him until he couldn't sit for days."
Toby looked deflated. "Yeah, I would. Are we getting old?"
Mischa nodded to the room in general before looking back at Tony. "Have you seen some of the kids around here? We're fucking dinosaurs, Toby."
"Yeah. Analog guys in a digital world." Toby sounded glum.
"And it's BDSM 2.0 now."
"Shit, yes." Toby drank another mouthful of his beer. "Do you know what the new guy did to Andy to get him over the abuse?"
"He tied him up and made him talk."
Mischa stared at him. "That was what he did to make the man look so… so smushy?" He had a sinking feeling that the world was moving much too fast around him. Talking was not Mischa's forte. If that was what it took, he didn't stand a chance.
Toby nodded. "Yep. If we get any more outdated, we might as well eat white bread."
Mischa was quiet for a little while. "I eat white bread."
"Yeah," Toby sighed. "Me, too."
Stay tuned; I'll have the story about what actually happened to Toby's bartender up this Sunday as a freebie here on my website.
Go to Torquere Press to buy Happily Ever After.
And now to my other book: Leather and Newfound Land! A naughty little sip about cute dogs and messy boyfriends.
For the 2012-2013 Torquere anniversary, the theme is "Leather Bound" - since the ninth anniversary is traditionally the leather anniversary. Do you think I liked that theme? Oh yes, I loved that theme:)!
I also love the fact that it's all for charity. The charity which will benefit from this year’s Charity Blitz is NOH8, whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest. More than twenty five authors have written short fiction pieces and have agreed to donate all proceeds of the sales of these stories to this year's charitable organization. Torquere Press Inc. will match the authors' donations completely.
So go to Torquere Press or Rainbow Ebooks to get your copy of Leather and Newfound Land. It features a Newfoundland puppy, kinky secrets, and a guy who likes a lobster. Okay, the last thing is a minor thing. On the other hand, it's a true fact, so I just couldn't help myself.
This story has been written from Kristi P.'s wonderful prompt, but let me make it very clear: The lobster wasn't her fault. I repeat: Not her fault.
Go to Torquere Press to buy Leather and Newfound Land.
So, everybody knows that footballers are big lumps of bigoted muscle, completely devoid of any kind of brain, right? Right?
Well, I hate to disappoint you, but that's not the truth (as a matter of fact, I love to disappoint you in this case; having my own prejudices crushed is a very favorite thing of mine, and I want to share!).
It all started with the guy in the middle, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo. Apart from being an athlete (and a very good-looking one at that; do go and google him for images - you won't be disappointed), he's advocated for the passage of the FIT Kids Act, federal legislation that give youngsters health and nutritional information. And he's advocated legalizing same-sex marriage. Two great things, right?
Well, no. Not if you ask Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. (the guy on the right. Just if anybody couldn't tell who the not-footballer is). Last week, Burns wrote to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, urging him to "inhibit such expressions from your employee". And if you were in doubt, it wasn't Ayanbadejo's work for healthier children that got him into trouble; it was the fact that he dared speak up in favor of same-sex marriage.
The whole thing could have ended here, but this is when the awesomeness begins. With Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe's (that's the guy on the left) response to Burns. A couple of my favorite quotes are:
"It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person's right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit."
Or how about this:
"I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won't come into your house and steal your children. They won't magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won't even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population"
Yeah, that pretty much killed all of those prejudices about stupid athletes, didn't it? Go here to read the whole amazing letter.
More important, it underlines something I feel very strongly about: Other's people's lives and how they want to live them is not any of my damn business. It's not my business who they worship, who they vote for, or who they kiss. It is my business, though, that they're allowed to have any religion they want, vote for whomever they feel like, and kiss whomever they feel like. Because the true sign of a free society is that some members of that society do things you do not agree with. It's called civilization. It's called democracy.
That's why banning same-sex marriage isn't just something which concerns gay people in my opinion. Banning something concerning other people because it isn't right for you is an attack on (sorry for getting pompous here) what humanity has strived for thousands of years to create: a civilized society where we accept that we're different and work toward a better life for everybody. Even those we disagree with. Because we consider them to be as worthy as we are ourselves to benefit from the advantages of our civilized society.
This is why same-sex marriage is worth fighting for - even if you aren't gay.
Oh, God. The torture of sending off your manuscript for the very last time, knowing that there are lots of things which could be better. And then there's the whole... and the other thing with that guy...
Well, you'll be happy to know that I managed to quell my perfectionist tendencies and get all of my books sent in. Okay, there are actually only two books - a novel and a short story. But each book takes one round of editing, two rounds of proofreading as well as checking the ebook and print galleys. It's a lot of work, and I'm eternally grateful for it - because the book gets so much better.
But it never ceases to amaze me how many things slip through - even under the watchful eyes of so many professional people. Well, the author is sometimes pretty much useless at this point of time (sometimes you simply know your text too well and gets completely blind to its flaws). But even after obsessing about Happily Ever After for several months, having it edited once and proofread twice, I just discovered two things which had to be corrected. I'm beginning to understand that being a perfectionist is NOT good for the mental health for a writer!
But hey, I like to do my best. And now I can only hold my breath and pray that people will like Happily Ever After as well as Leather and Newfound Land. It'll only be a week now...
And may the odds be ever... Oops, wrong reference;) - I devoured the Hunger Games books a couple of weeks ago.
But the Torquere Anniversary is beginning. Actually, it began yesterday, but I've had a fourteen deadline week. Bear with me.
The anniversary means that you can win a lot of goodies and fun stuff. Later this month, you can also buy a lot of good stories and support a great cause at the same time. But for now, it's all fun and games!
If you want to see what Torquere's authors are up to, go to Torquere's blog. There'll be different authors and giveaways during all of September. You can meet me there on September 16. As a matter of fact, if you have something you'd like me to talk about, just comment on this post and I'll see what I can do about it!
If you want to have a chance to win a Kindle Fire, then go here and fill out the form - then you might win the Kindle, Torquere gift certificates, or gift baskets.
Yes, gift baskets. And I since I have a story coming out featuring an adorable Newfoundland puppy, what would be more natural than participating in one of those gift baskets with a couple of... uh, with a couple of somewhat murderous-looking Newfoundland plushies.
I swear, I did my best looking for something appropriate, but brown Newfoundlands aren't that common. In the end, I decided that my readers would be strong enough to handle whatever this... uh, cute little plushie will be up to.
At the moment, the plushies are at my publisher's, and I'm happy to report that there have been no incidents so far. I check up on them on a regular basis to make sure everybody's still alive.
I read and I write - everything from corporate to kink. My naughty fictional friends are always there to make my life interesting. And pester me, of course. Pesky creatures.