Tag Archives: lgbt

Tuesday Tickle: Lead Me to You

Lead Me To You thumbThis one’s actually out now, lol.  Amazon.comAmazon.caAmazon.co.uk.  This is the one that I donated to the Absolute Write anthology two years ago. I got the rights back a while ago, but haven’t been in the headspace to do anything with it until recently. It’s $1.49 if you want to buy it, or free through Kindle Unlimited. (I’m also going to apologize for the formatting in the excerpt–Wordpress and I aren’t getting along right now.)

“Watch your head, Henry!”
“Why—ow!” I rubbed underneath the bright yellow hard hat Jaime had made me put on. Who takes a bookworm spelunking on their birthday? Apparently, my boyfriend. I glared at him.
“Come on, relax. You’ll love it, once we get there.” Jaime grinned at me, that charming let’s-go-get-into-trouble grin that had first seduced me away from my desk, then bit by bit had carved its way into my heart.
I sighed and followed him farther into the cave. The light from our headlamps splashed about us, giving us glimpses of the damp gray rock curving overhead. The ceiling was getting lower and lower.
“Uh, Jaime….”
He turned, and I was blown away again by how much I wanted him. Almost three years now, and it had never changed. It was just like that first day, when he’d walked into the Office of Admissions at Manford Community College, where I worked, and it was all I could do not to lunge across the counter and tackle him to the floor. I still got that feeling sometimes, when he came through the door of our house, whistling cheerfully. Some days, he didn’t make it much farther than the entryway.
“C’mon, it doesn’t get much lower. You’ll be fine. It’s all good.”

“Define good.” I’m claustrophobic—not terribly so, but enough that I was very aware of the tons of rock hanging over my head, just waiting for the perfect time to fall down and bury me. Jaime doesn’t notice things like that.He’s your typical outdoorsman, with hair sun-bleached from hiking and weekend home improvement projects, and the start of crow’s feet around his gorgeous hazel eyes. His body was lean and muscled from wrestling car engines and other heavy automotive parts into places they didn’t want to go. Me, I’m your typical nerd. No glasses—thank God—since the surgery, but my hair is a brown that is just brown and my eyes are a blue that is just blue. I’m not as tall as Jaime, or as muscled. He likes hiking and exploring. My idea of a well-spent afternoon is my comfy chair on the porch with a good book.

When we first started dating, I hadn’t expected it to last long. Funny thing, though—our differences are less different than our similarities. We’re both early birds who like leisurely breakfasts. He likes to do laundry, especially if he can put it out on a clothesline. Me, I hate laundry—damn stuff never ends. But, dishes—I can get into doing dishes. We both like a tidy house. And, since I bought him those headphones, I can read in peace with my head in his lap while he saves the known world from the digital enemies of the future.

We get along. Therefore, because he was so excited about this little excursion, I was tempting fate and Mother Nature by invading the grand old dame’s insides. She is so going to get me—I might as well paint a target on my back right now and get it over with.

“You know I’m only doing this because you asked me, right?” I reached forward to take the hand he held out to me. The feel of his calluses against my own less work-worn hands made me catch my breath. Suddenly, I was willing to do just about anything to have this whole thing over, so we could go home and I could feel those calluses slide over other portions of my anatomy. God, how I loved his hands.

“You’re doing great. It’s not far now.” He helped me across the slick stones, holding me up when my feet slipped in the damp, and wrapping an arm around my waist. Once, my feet went out completely from underneath me on the slippery rock and I fell. My hero, Jaime, caught me just in time to keep me from becoming a—not so—virgin sacrifice to the gods of the earth. (Yes, I know, we’ve all fallen. But we were in a cave. With stalactites, and rock, and danger. You never know when a sudden shock will set off a landfall. And I am not athletic enough to run away from one.)

If I hadn’t been almost completely speechless with both nerves and desire at that point, I would have begged out loud to go home. From my point of view, this was as bad as playground sports when I was a kid—always too slow, always in the way. The dweeb. Jaime made it different, both more and less scary at the same time. I didn’t want to do it, but I also didn’t want to disappoint him.

I took a deep breath, and Jaime took a kiss, which was a very nice way to end a breath. I tried to keep the kiss going, but he was determined to drag me farther into the abyss, so I sighed and made sure I got to keep one of hishands for my trouble. He grinned at me, as if he knew what I was thinking, but it was worth it.

Tuesday Tickle: Flesh Market

Whoops! It’s Wednesday, isn’t it? I really have no excuse. Writing was going well yesterday–that point in the story where you’re at the end of the downhill part of the ride, flying fast with your arms out to the wind. Only a few scenes left now, then I can start combing through the story for nits to pick. The Editor in Question has the synopsis to look at, so I’m chewing my fingernails over it.

I’m really mean to Julian throughout this, except I keep giving him opportunities to say no, and he keeps turning them down. Silly man.

Leo grunted and stepped away to give Julian room to stand up. “You’re sure you’ll be all right in there by yourself?”

“I’ll be fine. They’re not going to do anything but pictures and the video. Find that database, Leo. I’m feeling pretty sick about this afternoon.”

Leo grabbed his arm hard. “Do you want to call it off? I can have HRT here in an hour.”

“An hour’s too late. And I’m damn well not wasting the time you’ve spent here or the beatings I’ve taken over a half hour’s discomfort.” Discomfort. Ha, funny man. He wished he’d figured out how this operation was going to play out before he said yes. Or maybe not. He could see how an older agent would have trouble passing here. And Julian had always been an ends-justify-the-means kind of guy. He wanted this ring broken. No, not broken. Pulverized. Nuked from orbit, and then danced on by ninety-nine hookers in fuck me pumps. Vulnerability made Julian uncomfortable and angry, and this role was nothing but. He’d do just about anything to end it, and fast.

The Lowest Difficulty Setting as Teaching Tool

Hubs and I had quite the conversation about this, this morning. Especially interesting, since he’s a white, heterosexual male and we live in the small community where he grew up. That’s not to say he enjoys all the privilege possible–he grew up quite poor, and the son of a European immigrant. But, he’s still got more than I do–a white, heterosexual female, who did not grow up in his small, somewhat hidebound community. Not that this means I can fully understand the experience of a black lesbian. It does mean that I can use my writer’s imagination to extrapolate to what that must be like, and probably only fall a couple of kilometres short of the real experience. My own opinion–I think everyone should have to go someplace, live somewhere, where their natural privilege doesn’t exist. We should all have that experience at least once in our lives. I think it would make us much less cruel, in the end. Anyway, read Scalzi’s blog, click on the link and read the story about the teaching exercise. In today’s gamer generation, it really makes sense.

Synopsis done, query mostly done, final draft waiting on a final readthrough to catch an dropped words or weird grammar. It’s almost done–hooray!


This is interesting: Writer and teacher Samantha Allen assigns my “Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is” piece in her Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 100 class (along with her own, similar article) and then as a teaching exercise runs her students through Halo, with the game set at varying difficulties, to see if a video game can actually be a useful teaching tool with regard to discussing privilege and intersectionality.

Did it work? Read for yourself. This is worth sharing around, I think.

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Tuesday Tickle: Bite Me Tender–Let’s meet Glyn’s grandmother!

First off, I’m going to give you a link to a blog that made me snarf my coffee this morning. Pucker Up Buttercup. My computer is still recovering from the caffeine spike. Thank you, ma’am, for making my day! Not only that, but when I opened up the page to get the link so I could put it in here, I swallowed some of my ever so healthy salmon and rice supper the wrong way. Now I’m sitting in front of the computer eating ice cream and recovering from my near brush with death. So, when I gain ten pounds, it’s all gonna be her fault.

For today’s Tuesday Tickle, we’re going back to the werewolves. This little bit comes from the second chapter. Glyn’s grandmother, who is a full blooded witch, comes to visit, because she’s worried about Glyn. Unfortunately, Gram usually causes as much stress as whatever situation she thinks she’s helping with… (By the way, Glyn has some OCD tendencies, from issues around his diluted witchblood.)

“Hi, Gram.” He kissed her cheek and pulled out a chair for her, which she ignored in favor of wandering around his kitchen.

“Hello, Glynnie. I see nothing’s changed here.” She rearranged the canisters on the counter and, while Glyn was putting them back in order by size, she reorganized his set of chef’s knives on their magnetic strip, leaving some pointing up and some down, the small ones mixed up with the large.

Glyn followed behind her, setting everything back in it’s place and trying to ignore the gleam of amusement in her eyes. She knew what she was doing. But witches were witches and buttons, real or psychological, existed to be pushed, regardless of the aftermath. Chaos suited them.

Lady, why had he thought this was a good idea? Less than three minutes and he could already feel his own brand of witch-crazy raising its ugly head and sniffing the air. At this rate, Levi would come home to find him in his birthday suit, painting runes on the walls and singing children’s songs in three different languages while Gram played the bongos and made the furniture dance. Levi hadn’t left him the first time it happened, but he wasn’t sure he had enough credit left in that account for a repeat performance.

She near drove me into the Butterscotch Palace, trying to write her. Hard to keep control of a character that’s supposed to be subtle and chaotic–she even hid things from me! But it was an entertaining experience and she ended up adding a lot to the story. I’m glad she poked her nose in. But I still have no plans to invite her for tea.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on Velvet Panic and MC Hana, for their VIB award posts! Keep an eye here, as well, as I’ll be doing another Loosey Goosey Review during one of the next few posts, on Erin Lark’s upcoming BDSM romance, Stray.

Don’t forget to pat the cat!


Tuesday Tickle: A Knight in Shining Kevlar

ROFL, my horoscope for today: You’re able to complete outstanding tasks that require your undivided attention, the expert way you’re able to achieve results impresses others, inspiring you to tackle new interesting ideas that turn up. Opportunities arise for you to make collaborative plans and a concerted effort to progress further, whilst utilizing the degree of proficiency expected of you.

Sounds like a plot bunny alert if I every heard one. Makes me a bit nervous of what the rest of the day holds–I’ve already been muckled onto by a few of the rabid little beasts.

I’m still a little Gollum-like about my header and I thought I’d pass along a link to another blog with an Erin Lark header. Anna Zabo writes paranormal MM erotic romance. Her first book, Close Quarter, is published by Loose Id.

Today’s Tuesday Tickle comes from a contemporary MM erotic romance/suspense story, set in the fictional city of Hillsboro. (Gotta love random name generators.) Ross is a high school teacher, on a field trip to the local police academy. Ben is a detective and member of S.W.A.T., currently on medical leave after being shot, and is teaching at the police academy to avoid losing his mind due to boredom.

This scene is a prime example of when the more southern head sneaks out and takes control while the northern head is still trying to figure out how to deal with the situation. Ben asks for a volunteer to try out a simple throw and the students convince Ross to try it out (because nothing makes students happier than seeing their teacher ‘tied in knots’, as Ross would say.)

“I don’t think we’ve really been introduced. I’m Ross.” Ross held out his hand to shake. Ben took it in his and, for an instant, it seemed as if the whole world had narrowed down to that point of contact between them. Glancing up to check out Ross’ expression, he thought he saw the same shock on the other man’s face. Quickly, he broke the contact and gestured towards the center of the mats.

Once there, Ben asked Ross to lie down. It was obvious that he’d never taken any martial arts because, while he dropped to the mat with the ease of youth, he didn’t have Ben’s practiced coordination. Ben stood back for a moment and considered his next moves.

“Okay, so what do I do?” Ross asked, looking up at him. Ben could hardly stand to look. Ross looked like a wet dream come to life, lying there with his legs bent and splayed, brown hair spread out on the mat around his head. Ben’s thoughts started running in circles, substituting a variety of settings for the mat and the suddenly-too-crowded-for-his-taste gym.

Yep, this was a smart idea, Flores. Pretty obvious which head is doing the thinking today. Was he turning into a complete idiot, all for the sake of cocoa colored hair and caribbean eyes? Damn!

Ben licked his lips nervously, watching as Ross’ eyes dropped to Ben’s mouth and he copied the movement of Ben’s tongue. Did he even realize he was doing it? Maybe not; his eyes had that same slightly dazed look that Ben was sure his own had.

Oh, this was such a bad idea. He’d bet it was exactly what a moth felt like flying around a bright light. You didn’t know if it was a flame or just something shiny, but it was so damn pretty, you really didn’t care.

Just a quick introduction to the guys and still pretty much a first draft. Hope you enjoyed it! Friday night’s post is my contribution to The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, where I’m going to talk a bit more about Bite Me Tender and the characters (and I do mean characters–like the crazy ones that show up at family reunions!).

Have a great week!