Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Phaze is running a 50% off sale on all electronic books through 1 a.m. eastern on Dec 26th... So, if you've just gotta indulge that shopping bug one more time, I have a suggestion for a place to do it...
Enter the code HOHOHO at checkout to get the 50% discount.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
On Christmas, the biggest day for gifts of the entire year, will you step out and give something special? And get reciprocated not only with the warm glow it creates in your heart, but by some stirrings slightly lower?
There are families this Christmas who are putting up a tree in a hotel room, or a rented apartment, and gazing at it with a different feeling. Melancholy. Wistful memories. Brushing away tears that are not of joy. These families spent last Christmas in a home they had dreamed of for years... and lost in a fiery moment.
Do your part to help those families. In return, we'll warm your cockles with a selection of the best erotica available, from names like Rachel Kramer Bussel, Gwen Masters and Shanna Germain.
Thanks to the wonderful combined efforts of authors, publisher and most especially my beloved co-editor Alessia Brio, Coming Together: Under Fire is available NOW... a most appropriate release date indeed, two days before Christmas and exactly two months since the worst day of the fires. And not only an appropriate date, but a dramatically fast one. Phaze has really stepped to the plate to get this volume out quickly. From conception to availability, this project has moved with a speed unheard of in this business. Simply amazing.
But haste did not make waste. This is a fantastic collection. I'm extraordinarily proud of my involvement, although I will defer most of the credit to the tireless Ms. Brio. She is the Pele of this project.
Please, if you have a last minute gift to buy... buy Coming Together: Under Fire in either print or ebook format. You'll be giving to many more than just the one who unwraps it.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Dawnie from Fallen Angels Reviews has ventured into the world of Andrea Spring and liked what she saw enough to give it four angels out of a possible five.
I admit that I have been a little nervous about the possible reactions to the latest release from Alessia and myself. It's the first that didn't feature a M/F one-on-one relationship and our "heroine" is much more complex. She has a definite journey through Double Header and its forthcoming sequel Spring Training. What's more, the place that she begins that journey from can be a little harsh for people not accustomed to a woman of Andi's sensibilities.
Dawnie saw what we intended, calling Andi "a complex character with sizzling sexual needs." Part of my interest in seeing reviews and feedback for this work is that Andi is a very different heroine for readers used to more traditional romantic elements. I'm pleased that Dawnie stayed with us to see the growth and complexity of Andi's character.
The other thing that stands out in the review is her impression of the book's sexuality. She calls the sex scenes "extremely hot and raw." Again, a gratifying response. Double Header definitely is erotica with romantic plot, as opposed to traditional romance with erotic elements, and it is wonderful that Dawnie enjoyed it.
I suppose that I'm a little greedy on this one. I want to send the reviewer a note asking what kept her from giving that elusive fifth angel. It's the pleaser in me. Always looking for the maximum amount of approval. But as one of the few reviews we have had so far for DH, I'm happy it is such a positive one.
You can read the full review at Fallen Angels Reviews by following this link.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
We pontificate about being a Christian nation. It is from our perceived position of moral "higher ground" that we talk about things like making the world safe for democracy. That we dare to address human rights issues. That we base things like "family values" on when our politicians give speeches. We are, in general, a church-going nation that takes pride in being able to look in a mirror and be proud.
If we look in a mirror with pride, either the mirror or the viewer is a liar.
In Saudi Arabia, one of our strongest allies and a nation whose favor we court daily, the victim of a gang rape has been sentenced to six months in jail and 200 lashes. The 19 year old girl's crime was being in the company of an unrelated male. She was abducted, driven out into the countryside and raped by seven men. They were all convicted of this crime, but their ability to commit it was judged to be her fault because she made herself available for it by being out with a college friend. Not out on the town drinking and carousing, but out in a car with a college classmate trying to retrieve a picture of herself. She was sentenced to ninety lashes for being in a car with an unrelated male. Then she made the mistake of appealing.
The appeals court increased her sentence. The implied reason was that she had discussed the case in the media. "For whoever has an objection on verdicts issued, the system allows an appeal without resorting to the media," (Saudi Ministry of Justice, in a statement on the case) This is perfectly legal in Saudi Arabia.
I am not debating the sovereignty of the Saudi government. By definition, they have a right to make and enforce their own laws. Nor are their visions of what is moral and right they same as ours.
The announcement of the verdict created what the AP describes as an "international outcry." The response of our own state department was that the verdict "causes a fair degree of surprise and astonishment." Oh, and to note that the Saudi government could still overturn the sentence.
Thanks for taking a moral stand there, United States. After all, we'd better not criticize the people who just happen to be sitting on top of all that oil, no matter what they do. Canada's response was to call it "barbaric." Um, in case you haven't noticed, Canada gets cold. They need heating oil more than we do, but they had the guts to say that it was wrong, not just surprising.
Sure, we should respect the rights of other nations to follow their own laws and moral code. But we should also be steadfast in stating that we believe it to be wrong to further punish this woman. Be it 90 lashes, 200 and six months in jail or a literal slap on the wrist. Even if you are in a position where you feel what she did was wrong and needs to be punished... don't you feel that the seven men who raped her already accomplished punishing her?
I don't know why I would be surprised. We support torture. Our strongest voices about the supposed immorality of homosexuality keep getting caught waving their hands under other stalls in men's bathrooms. We have a large amount of people who think that lying about a blow job is equivalent or more wrong then manipulating facts so that we are justified in invading a country and killing thousands.
Would it have been so hard to stand up and say that, while we respect Saudi Arabia's right to rule it's own nation, we feel that these actions are unjustified? I'm not even asking that we call them the misogynistic, chauvinist, torturing bastards that they are. Just tell them we don't approve. Even that would be nice.
All I'm asking is that we tell them we don't like it.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
In yet another example of the idiocy that has permeated this country, some members of the women's U.S. Bridge team are being threatened with expulsion from the federation because they don't like King George, and they dared to tell the world.
This is a link to the story at The New York Times. I'm not going to rewrite it, but if you are a free-thinking patriot who thought that this couldn't happen again after the Dixie Chicks were vindicated, read this story.
A few thoughts from me about information in the article:
USBF president Jan Martel claims this is not a free speech issue, claiming to be a private organization. True on one level. But if you represent the USA, you represent the USA. NOT "certain people within the United States who feel that George Bush is doing a good job." You represent ALL of the USA. If you are the "Jan Martel Bridge Foundation", that's different. But to your claims that this is not a free speech issue when you are threatening these women with the loss of their income for one year and a one-year probation after that? For a peaceful and light-hearted expression of political fact? For stating that they are members of the more than 50% of the country who did not vote for His Royal Incompetence? Well, to use a phrase even your beloved leader would understand, that dog won't hunt! (probably because the dog fears the vice-president will be on the trip.) Also, your offer of differing "plea bargain deals" to the women who apologized rather than stand resolute shows that you are being discriminatory and manipulative.
Quoting the article, the words of Jim Kirkham, who sits on the board of the American Contract Bridge League:
"I think an apology is kind of specious. It's not that I don't forgive them, but I still think they should be punished."
Jim, your use of "specious" indicates your feelings very clearly. The definition of specious:
1. apparently good or right though lacking real merit; superficially pleasing or plausible: specious arguments.
2. pleasing to the eye but deceptive.
3. Obsolete. pleasing to the eye; fair.
As to the second part of your statement, if you think they should be punished than you DO NOT forgive them. The definition of forgive:
1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.
2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
3. to grant pardon to (a person).
4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies.
5. to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan.
–verb (used without object)
6. to pardon an offense or an offender.
Jim, if you are going to be a repressive, lying jerk who thinks patriotism is the science of "yes-man"ing Karl Rove, at least have the balls to admit it instead of claiming to be capable of forgiveness.
Robert Wolff was quoted as saying that he didn't feel free speech gave the right to criticize one's leader at certain venues. Excuse me, Robert? WAKE YOUR ASS UP! That is exactly what this right is all about. Free speech is not about the ability to chose a baked potato over french fries with your fast food combo meal. It is about freedom from repression for speaking your views.
Debbie Rosenberg, who held up the sign and is now facing this criticism and possible suspension for doing so, expressed the real problem.
“Freedom to express dissent against our leaders has traditionally been a core American value,” she wrote by e-mail. “Unfortunately, the Bush brand of patriotism, where criticizing Bush means you are a traitor, seems to have penetrated a significant minority of U.S. bridge players.”
America was not built by simpering wimpy individuals who caved in to government or to the criticism of their bosses or Tory neighbors. We are a nation founded in rebellion.
The true Americans in this situation are the ones who are standing up to speak their mind despite the possible consequences. I applaud Jill Levin, Jill Meyers, Debbie Rosenberg, Hansa Narasimhan, JoAnna Stansby and Irina Levitina. Especially Debbie, who held up the sign and who is going on record with her dismay at the anti-American behavior of the USBF.
Monday, November 05, 2007
I'm talking about my second trip to the La Jolla Writers Conference, a wonderful event put on by Antoinette and Jared Kuritz. This was the seventh annual conference, but I first attended only last year. I feel extremely foolish for having missed five of them.
This year, I attended classes and Read & Critiques taught by:
Steven J. Cannell
Lisa Jackson & Nancy Bush
Linda Lael Miller
Patti Callahan Henry
And although I didn't take any classes with them, I at least renewed my acquaintance with Sara Lewis and Mike Sirota.
It's the most amazing thing for a writer to have the creator of Rambo nodding his head and smiling while you are speaking about a plot point or an editing decision. To shake hands and discuss the craft with the writer of The Rockford Files and the A-Team, among 42 other TV shows. To have Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush laughing with you as you discuss the HEA requirements of the Romance genre. To have Linda Lael Miller listen to your writing and praise you for how you set a scene, and to watch her perk up when you say what is going to happen next.
All of these wonderful writers, who between them have sold millions and millions of books, are not only successful, but they are the rare people that want to share their success. They are both encouraging and tactfully critical.
I can't speak for all the writing conferences in the world, nor would I want to do so. But I can tell you that this one has been incredibly valuable to me. If you have been thinking about attending an event or conference featuring any of these writers, I heartily recommend you follow though and go.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Will Belegon is an author of erotic romance from a man's prospective. It is his lush and hedonistic imagination that makes him a much sought after author in the field of erotica.
Thank you, Essence of Erotica, for featuring me as your Author of the Month. I am very flattered.
If anyone would like a copy of the Essence of Erotica Newsletter, the simplest way is to join the group by visiting their Yahoo group homepage here or even just subscribing right away here. Of course, if you have zero desire to join a Yahoo group and you email me privately at email@example.com, I can send it your way. Please note that this is an adult group and the fiction excerpts contains strong language and adult situations, so I can't share unless I know you are over eighteen. I mean, it is still a Bush White House, and it's gonna be his Supreme Court for a while yet...
Monday, October 15, 2007
I'm at a loss of what to write about that is seriously environmental.
We could congratulate Al Gore on his Nobel Peace Prize... which I do, by the way. Can you make a case for dozens of others who are deserving? Of course. But I happen to like that Al got the nod. Of course, I like anything that tweaks neo-con noses and I love that George Bush can't take away Al's victory this time by using a dispute in a state where his brother is governor. I really don't think they care about Jeb's hanging chads in Oslo.
Or we could talk about the absolute ridiculousness of SUV marketing. If you love the great outdoors, you should buy a Hummer? Excuse me? Sure, it can get up an incline okay, although let's be honest... the majority of H3's will never see dirt that didn't blow off a little league diamond or school playground. And the yellow ones look like school buses, at that. But I despair at the idea that people who love hiking and camping and mountain biking will not be able to recognize that using a vehicle that gets 12 miles to the gallon is foolish if they really want to help the environment they so love.
I want them to make a hybrid X-Terra. I like the looks and (admittedly) the marketing behind that SUV, and I would love it if they made a hybrid version... maybe they do and I don't know about it yet. But if so, they are missing their target with some of their ads. I probably will buy a new vehicle in the next couple of years, and I would like to buy a hybrid. But I still have the desire to have a truck of some kind and SUV's are a good compromise for me between truck-desire and childcare needs.
Hmmm... guess I found something to say after all...
Saturday, October 13, 2007
...and all you have to do for it is something you already love to do if you're a blogger.
Give out your opinion. We all love to let our voices be heard, especially if we can do it and get rewarded. Well, here's one of those chances.
Follow this link to Phaze Books' Reader Survey. For now, copy/paste the questions into an email to klively AT phaze DOT com and make sure to put in your email address, my name (please!) and the free e-book you desire. Then answer the questions and hit send. That is all you have to do!
In the near future, it will be even easier, with a form currently being built. Phaze was using a survey site, but we quickly had two polls closed down as having used all their available bandwidth. So we are doing it this way to get a chance to obtain as many responses as possible.
The book you want is totally up to you. Just browse through the site and pick something out. Of course, if you pick something listed here, I'll be even happier...
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Those guys went from working on the docks to playing in front of thousands of people in a week... they lived a three week dream. And they did it better than anyone. Not only did they go 3-0 in those games, but in the final one they faced the Cowboys.. the real Cowboys. See, Dallas had crossed the line in time to play, and the Redskins players had not. So these "scrubs" were playing against Danny White and Tony Dorsett and Ed "Too Tall" Jones on Monday Night Football. And they won, 13-7. Imagine a high school team beating the Yankees, cause that's what we are talking about. Great human story about some regular guys that lived a dream and where they are twenty years later.
Then they go back to the studio. And Dan Marino in his thousand dollar suit and Chris Collinsworth start whining like babies. Bob Costas goes to Dan Marino, "What about these guys and what they did twenty years ago?" Marino's answer? "They accomplished nothing. They took paychecks out of the mouths of guys with families."
Excuse me? Oh, yeah Dan. You look like they really hurt you. What a jerk. Twenty years later and he is still so bitter against these guys? You want to be bitter at the owners that you were fighting with at a time where NFL players were truly at a great disadvantage compared to their compatriots in MLB or the NBA? Fine. You hold that grudge. I don't think it's all that healthy, but fine.
But these poor guys who made about as much for all three games as you made putting on your jock? Or for about a second and a half of one of your glove commercials? Or your weight loss endorsement that you did after getting fat when you retired at forty? Because we know those scrubs all retired from their jobs at forty,too. Right? Oh, wait... oh yeah, they are just regular guys now. Guys that you won't forgive for chasing the same dream you did. Jerk. Get some perspective.
And don't you dare go bitching to me about the poor guys in the trenches who weren't stars and only played two or three years either, Dan and Chris. Not until you pull out your checkbook and show me the percentage of your six and seven figure incomes you donated to those guys pension fund this year.
Sanctimonious, stuck up, narcissistic, blowhard idiots is what you are.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
The latest from the dynamic team of Brio and Belegon is now available... and just in time for the playoffs! If you love both sex and baseball, this is a book for you.
Double Header by Alessia Brio and Will Belegon
Length: Comet (38K)
Rating: 4 Novas
Erotica, Contemporary, Romantic Comedy
Andrea Spring doesn't love baseball, but she sure loves baseball players. When her carefully-crafted casual sex life gets rocked by unexpected forces, she meets the challenge with her unique style. There's nothing conventional about this woman. When Andi plays, everybody wins.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Join us this evening from 6-7pm Eastern (3-4 pm for us west coast types) as we participate in Joyfully Reviewed's celebration of paranormal writing duos! We'll be sharing excerpts, pimping our contest, and giving readers a peek behind the curtain.
The event is taking place on the Chatting with Joyfully Reviewed Yahoo!Group. We hope to see you there!
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Come see a group of California's premier Erotica Writers as they are out to meet their fans and spread the word that sex isn't tucked in dark closets and under covers any more.
James Buchanan, Will Belegon, Bantam & Phaze author Eden Bradley, Ellora's Cave author Lillian Fiesty, Cassidy Kent and Christine London are coming to the West Hollywood Book Fair this Sunday. Others may arrive as well, as we have some tentative confirmations.
Look for us by the ACLU booth...
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
So, I'm gonna share. For a forty-one year old man with all the worldly experience I have, sometimes I can be incredibly naive. Most often, it is one particular area. I have a difficult time anticipating the lengths to which people will go to serve their own ends when it conflicts with how far I would go.
While I have many beliefs some would consider aberrant or deviant, in most ways I am an extremely moral man. For example, in my shared home e-mail account with my wife, I refuse to open an e-mail addressed to her. Even if it is one that is obviously on a subject that concerns both of us. I just don't want to go there. It's an invasion of her privacy, in my eyes. Yes, we are married. Yes, there are all these definitions in law about joint interests and property. Yes, it is on my computer. But even if I were to accidentally open an e-mail addressed to her, I would have feelings of shame about having done so. See, it is not for me. That is, in my eyes, the end of the argument. The ultimate point.
Others in my life do not share this reluctance and it causes me some dubious moments. Mostly because I still have not learned to guard against this. Case in point is shared information. Photographs, poetry, prose... details about someones personal life. I have a blind spot that I still have not learned to shine a light in. And, it does me damage.
My most recent employer had zero problems searching my desk when I was on vacation and during that search they had zero reluctance to delve into files clearly marked personal. In that search, they discovered copies of my contracts with Phaze. It is the belief of some people in my life that this discovery contributed to the decision by that employer to part ways with me. Actually, one biased but credible source (my mother) feels that it was the majority of their decision. I honestly can't say she doesn't have a point. The nature of some of my fiction is diametrically opposed to the point of view on life espoused by the senior management of that employer. To be blunt, heavily Roman Catholic employer vs. Erotica writer. Now, I knew that. So why did that info exist in my desk for them to find? Because of my blind spot. I would never go there, and I expect them to be as adherent to my sense of honor as I would be. A mistake, at the least.
Also, I had a subordinate in that job who had a major personality conflict with me. She also carried a grudge against me because I fired a friend of hers. He was stealing from the company, but see... that wasn't the point. I caught him and fired him, so therefore I was responsible for his being fired, at least in her world. I knew she was actively seeking my dismissal. She had ample opportunity to notice where such things were kept and could, and perhaps did, aid in their "discovery."
That same person was in places multiple times over the last year I was there in which I could have disciplined her. For example, in a job where security is everything, she went home one night and left her keys sitting on the break room table. This was discovered by me after everyone else had left. I took her keys home and went out of my way to deliver them to her before work the next morning... on a day I was scheduled off, even. That was enough cause for me to severely discipline her or even fire her. But this transgression has never been, and now never will be, brought to the attention of those who still employ her. And what did my loyalty to someone who disliked me engender? Did she appreciate the gesture of keeping it between us and making the result purely a verbal warning? Apparently not very much, or at least not in a lasting manner.
I have this blind spot at home, too.
So, do I teach myself to go through life wary? Do I teach myself to think like her, or like my former employer? How long can you stare into that abyss before it begins to replicate itself inside of you? There has to be a balance, a place where I can still protect myself and others while maintaining my moral position.
But, obviously, I haven't found that balancing point yet...
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Barely A Secret
A Phaze Frontier HeatSheet
A playful but politically incorrect office game sparks an afternoon lost in memory. Rob and Julie have been married for seventeen years and many things that were once wild and crazy are now commonplace. A few teasing comments remind Rob that there was a time when those barriers were still being broken. Barriers of trust, of perception and the symbolic value of a simple choice of style and function. Because there was a time when Rob and Julie were still learning about each other and about the world they were going to share. A time when the fulfillment of a seemingly simple fantasy could open up an entirely new frontier.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I got the kids to school and I went to work. The other manager & I spent the day watching the TV and helping the very occasional customer. We sent all the employees home. We spent the day in shock. It was a day of quiet, of disbelief. Of commiseration.
My wife's college roommate was getting married that next weekend and we had plane tickets for Friday. I remember discussing with her what we would do if the skies had not been opened before then... we planned to make the drive, despite the length of it, with a one year old and a three year old.
Instead, we were aboard one of the first flights on the day they reopened the airport. As we walked aboard that plane, some were scared. Some were angry. We were all defiant and determined. There were many handshakes and hugs between people that had never met or were perhaps casual acquaintances.
Upon takeoff, the passengers broke into spontaneous applause.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
"I wouldn't be president if I kept drinking. You get sloppy, can't make decisions, it clouds your reason, absolutely. I still remember the feeling of a hangover, even though I haven't had a drink in twenty years."
Gee, George... based on this I would think your best bet to explain yourself would have been telling everybody you a Jack Daniels I.V. set up in the Oval Office. At least we'd have an explanation for the way you act AND you could say you were supporting America by going with Tennessee-based JD instead of mainlining Glenfiddich.
I mean seriously... How many of us saw the bold part above and started thinking, "You mean, like reading My Pet Goat for seven more minutes?"
George also talks about crying...
"I do tears."
"I've got God's shoulder to cry on. And I cry a lot. I do a lot of crying in this job. I'll bet I've shed more tears than you can count, as president. I'll shed some tomorrow."
To me, this sounds like a virgin high school sophomore telling his buddies in gym class about getting laid. I fully expect that his next words would tell us about how he cried on the shoulder of a girl he met at Niagara Falls while on vacation with his parents, but that none of us would know her, 'cause she's not from around here.
The biographer, journalist Robert Draper, also tells about Bush being upset at the ex-Generals that were calling for the ouster of Donald Rumsfeld.
"My reaction was, 'No military guy is gonna tell a civilian how to react,'" he said.
Um, yeah George... best not to listen to those arrogant butt-in-ski "military guys" on the subject of how to run a war. You know, like how you didn't listen to the ex-Chief of Staff that disagreed with you about going into Iraq in the first place. You know, the one you had named Secretary of State but that you basically fired? The one that compared it to Vietnam?
Of course, George has NEVER compared Iraq to Viet... oh. Wait.
Monday, September 03, 2007
A stand-alone continuation of the tale which began with this writing team's most popular novella, Artistically Inclined, Pittsburgh's daring duo is back in a hot-blooded romance with a penchant for ties that bind! When Cyndi's nerves about her gallery opening get the better of her, Kevin takes matters into his own hands, replacing one tension with another and setting the stage for a very eventful evening.
Length: Photon (19K words)
Rating: 4 Novas
Kevin poked his head around the bathroom door. "Fuck what, darling?"
"Fuck these panty hose," Cyndi cursed as she threw them at him. They landed on the floor at his feet where they joined another pair. "I've poked holes in my last two pair. It's this damned manicure. I'm not used to having nails. Now we're gonna be late for the opening 'cause I have to swing by Macy's to buy more!"
"We've got plenty of time, Cyn. Your show doesn't open for hours. Plus, you gotta be fashionably late, anyway, just to make a grand entrance." He took her hand and pulled her to her feet. "Relax. If worse comes to worse, you can go without hose. Panty hose are evil, anyway. It's plenty warm, and I kinda like the idea of ogling your bare leg each time you take a step in that gown. I think it's slit to the waist, after all."
"Which is precisely why I can't opt for stockings. And I've been working so hard this summer that I haven't had a chance to get a tan. My legs are just too pale to go bare." Cyndi's shoulders slumped, and she dropped her head against his chest. "I'm just too damn keyed up. I mean, it's my first solo show at a premier gallery. There'll be reporters and TV cameras and ... and ... I just want everything to be perfect, y'know?"
"Creamy skin is yummy, love, and will be even more enticing against the chocolate silk of your gown." Kevin kissed her forehead then spun her around, pulling her bathrobe off her shoulders so he could rub her neck. As he tried to work out some of the anxiety, it soon became obvious that massage alone wasn't going to do the trick. Cyndi couldn't consciously let go of the stress.
He lifted his hands and she stepped away, not looking back.
"I'm sorry, Kevin. I don't mean to be a pain in the ass."
"Well, you're tense enough that I'm sure that's not the only place you'll have cramps by the time we get through with all the formalities of the evening. You're sure there's nothing I can do to help?"
"Not that we have time for--not tonight. I just want to get this over with. You know I don't have any patience for this kinda thing. I'm gonna spend the whole evening practically handcuffed to the gallery owner so he can drag me all around the room and show off his new 'discovery' to all his boyfriends and patrons."
Kevin was glad she had her back to him as an idea began to form in his mind. If she'd seen the expression that flitted across his features, he knew she wouldn't trust him for hours.
"We're not that pressed for time, Cyn. Lemme finish in here, and I'll fix you up. Just sit still for a minute and try to think happier thoughts. I don't know, think about chocolate-covered cherries or something..."
"Bastard. I still don't know why I let you talk me into showing that piece tonight." Even though she tried to say the words with a sneer, she couldn't keep the smile out of her voice. Just thinking about it--and the events surrounding its creation--made her ass tingle. She walked over to the bed and sat on its edge as Kevin finished shaving.
Monday, August 27, 2007
And now AllRomance eBooks is waving their commission on the title for the remainder of 2007! Totally unasked for and out of the goodness of their own hearts. Wow... corporations giving back to the community and willing to wave profits? Imagine if the oil companies were willing to give back a similar amount of their relative income... the possibilities are mind-boggling.
Please support these efforts!
Friday, August 24, 2007
Mixed Blessings has a solid voice with Jim as the first person narrator. Will Belegon does an excellent job at making all of the characters really spring to life despite the brevity of the tale. The sex scenes were sizzling hot! The numerous plot twists were impressive as I have to admit I felt compelled to keep reading if only to see how things would turn out. What a well done story!
Thank you, Anne! Believe it or not, I often feel like I must really suck because my sales are basically about the same as the most recent "Zamfir Plays The Blues" album from K-Tel. So it is always nice to know someone is out there enjoying my work.
In other words...
HELLO! Feedback Slut here! If you read it and liked it (or read it and think I need psychiatric care or at least a good editing), please find a way to tell me, through email or comments here or any other way you know of that comes to mind. Anyone that sends me feedback and references this post gets a free autographed denim bookmark! (Of course, if you want the bookmark you will have to include the address to send it to...)
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Author Alison Kent is making such an effort. She stumbled across the book trailer for Coming Together:For The Cure and is doing something about it. She has placed a post on her blog about the release and the cause and has pledged to buy one copy for every ten comments she gets, then give them away as prizes. In this way she will further Coming Together's efforts directly by contributing to it's profits and sales and indirectly by increasing it's visibility. The effort is located at her blog here.
Coming Together:For The Cure was released electronically two weeks ago, with print in it's near future. Like the prior volumes, all profits are being donated to charity, in this case the Susan G. Komen Foundation for fighting breast cancer.
Please visit Alison's blog and leave her a note about how you appreciate what she is doing and also contribute to her efforts. Thank you.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Certainly, I'm well aware of these. But I must admit that using another venue got my hopes up before creating a big sigh of disappointment.
Spammers are using careerbuilder.com, monster.com and other such sites as a resource to get people to fill out personal information on "job applications." Since the first one I received was actually well tailored to the job search I am following, I got suckered in pretty quickly. That one was from a company calling itself National Human Resources and was for an "Event Planner" position. The "job" advertised fit with my salary level requirements and seemed to be a proper fit for my skill set. I went ahead and filled in a "profile", including my education level and last few jobs. Luckily, I didn't get asked for my social security number. I'd like to think I would have been smart enough to not provide it had they asked...but I wasn't smart enough to catch the other red flags, was I?
But now I'm getting ads for things like "Talent Scout" from Too Spoiled, and ads to be a tutor for $50.00 an hour. $50.00 an hour to tutor at Good Grades Now!. Um, hello? How many TEACHERS out there are making fifty bucks an hour? And you expect me to believe that this is a going rate for tutors? Without the six to eight years of school? Without the need to even leave the house? I sooooooo wish. Not credible.
I guess I got caught because the first one that happened to hit was actually showing a spread within what looked like reasonable salary levels for the education and experience they were posting as job requirements. If I would have got the later ones first, I would have been more skeptical.
Live and learn, I guess. Anybody out there want to buy my first novel for a small advance of only $75,000.00 so I can get out of this vicious cycle? I mean, it's no more absurd than a college freshman getting $50.00 an hour to tutor rather than $8.50 an hour flipping burgers.
Actually...hey, I know an award-winning published erotica author who is willing to help you with your English Lit classes at less than half that rate... (The fifty dollar one, not the burger flipping...)
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Lindsey Ann Denson had this to say about the ground-breaking story from the writing team of Brio & Belegon;
Switch is probably one of the most unusual erotic books I’ve ever read! The relationship between the characters is realistic and yet so darling that I couldn’t help but like them. Even without reading the previous book in the Erotique series, this story stands alone very well by establishing the relationship between Bruce and Mandy as well as the store without any trouble. What happens the night of the thunderstorm contain the funniest and yet hottest love scenes I’ve ever read. If you want a quick read that tickles your funny bone while being incredibly scorching, Will Belegon and Alessia Brio’s tale Switch is the book for you!
Quite a nice surprise indeed!
Also, excellent timing. As some of you may know, all of the Bruce & Mandy stories (including Switch) were compiled into a single volume this spring. That volume also included the fourth story, Closing Arguments, which is as long as the other three combined. It is titled Artifactual: Tales of the Erotique Mystique and not only is it currently available in e-book form, but it will be available in print very soon. Also, the third of the four tales is on sale at Phaze for the very low and incredibly tempting price of a single dollar! Amichu is the story that immediately follows Switch, but it is also a strong stand alone adventure and would be an excellent introduction to this world that is only slightly different from ours... that difference being of a still undefined (*wink*)but definitely magical nature. Let's just say that strong experiences leave strong impressions...
So, looking at the evidence of so many influences converging on you, who are reading this, I would say that you really ought to consider either slipping a twenty aside for Artifactual when it shows up on Amazon at the end of the month or protesting the overpricing of certain coffee companies who hail from Seattle by spending a dollar for a story that will warm your insides much longer than that small coffee will.
C'mon... believe me, you do not want to mess with the universe when the message it s sending you is this strong. Besides... I really, really need the royalty check. Please?
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
That seems to be where I am right now... just hanging on. I hope to find a place where I can let go, where I can at least control the general direction of my flight if not the pain of the impact when I land.
It would be so easy to just curl up and fly, land where I will and try to recover from there. But the distance and direction are not something I'm willing to leave entirely to chance. If I can control some of it, I will.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I took my family to a place that is almost holy in my eyes…Cooperstown, New York and the Baseball Hall of Fame. I am, perhaps, deliberately overstating the reverence I hold it in, but not by much. Baseball is as close to religion as anything in my life. I could take Crash Davis’ “I believe” speech and change only a few words and have it match with many things I hold to be true. I am a worshipper of the Church of Baseball, although my method of worship is quite different from Annie Savoy’s.
It was not a random trip. We went for the occasion of the induction into the Hall of Tony Gwynn. Gwynn is an icon of my youth. I have followed the San Diego Padres since the moment I became aware of the game, and I certainly have been part of the Friar Faithful since their inception as a major league team. Tony Gwynn personifies the team. He is Mr. Padre. He is a link to some of my most treasured memories and to some of my most exhilarating moments that do not involve sex.
To actually be present for the moment, when a part of my childhood and a man I have always admired become an acknowledged part of the lore and magic of this game I played and love, was thrilling. To be there for the concurrent induction of another man whom I admire, Cal Ripken Jr., was a most fortunate bonus.
We will not see this happen again. Tony and Cal were both men who were as bright and brilliant off the field as they were upon it. They both played their entire careers, two decades each, in a single uniform. Although both gifted with ability, they both had to work hard to maintain and magnify the advantage it gave them so that they could keep their place in the game, let alone excel at it. They both accepted and enthusiastically pursued their place as role models.
I will return in a few years, to see Trevor Hoffman inducted. He accepted the torch that Tony passed and has a similar attitude, having passed up chances to make more money elsewhere and having worked hard to excel at his craft. When I do, I’ll book a room earlier so I can be closer. I’ll be more aware of the other things to do in town. I’ll have a smoother and less stressful trip.
But it won’t have the same thrill. To see the history in front of me for the first time. To see a ticket from the 1919 World Series. To see the bat Babe Ruth used to hit his called shot. The glove Willie Mays wore when he made “the catch.” These moments can not be repeated.
It was the most expensive and intensive trip I have ever undertaken. And it was worth every cent and moment spent planning. I’m emotionally exhausted, and smiling through it all. I will be happy to see home, to sleep in my own bed, to pet my cat. I make my way home knowing I will return.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
It was once said by Tony Bennett that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. But in San Francisco Surrender , Will Belegon's new release at Phaze, heat is the least of the problems.
What happens when a good cop is asked to do the wrong thing for all the right reasons? Jen is the forbidden fruit. He's lusted after her, denied himself and struggled with his beliefs of who and what he is, all because of her. In the meantime, everything around him changed. Now that the garden is gone, there is no reason to avoid eating the apple. But can he bring himself to cross the final barriers inside his soul, to become the fantasy Jen has always wanted? And if he does, what happens if he starts to enjoy it? As he stares up at the old Victorian house from the streets of San Francisco, one veteran cop is about to take his first steps into a side of sex that only one woman could ask of him. And only for her would he say yes.
San Francisco Surrender is available now at Phaze.com for the sinfully sweet price of only $2.00. And this dark bit of sugar is far less fattening than anything from Ghiardelli.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Horrors! Oh no, they are actually acknowledging that homosexuals exist and that some of them might be baseball fans! And that some of them can sing! Sing well, even! And sing something as Holy and Patriotic as the National Anthem!
Set Free Ministries excuse for this is that the Padres are hosting an event for San Diego Pride on the same day that there is a giveaway for children. Like the confluence is something evil and that it's all a horrible homosexual plot. Oh no! What if a gay man brushes up against my child and gets some "gay" on little Johnny?
Hello? News flash, you bigoted Pharisees! EVERY Sunday there is a giveaway for children... and every Sunday the Padres host a lot of groups. The Padres give tickets to the Marines every Sunday. Shouldn't you be protesting that the Padres are exposing your children to the violence of a soldiers life? They even play the Marine Hymn and everyone stands and applauds the young men who are willing to put their lives on the line for those of us who stay safe at home. But isn't that glorifying violence? These men are trained to kill! Didn't Christ say to turn the other cheek? Wasn't he *gasp* actually killed by *shudder* soldiers?
Thankfully, the Padres did the right thing. They ignored the idiots. I almost feel bad for giving the small-minded little rabble free press here. How is it that these people think they are actually in the right? How is it that they can justify this stance when their Lord and Savior told them to "judge not, lest ye yourself be judged."? Of course, he also told them things like to look at the beam in their own eye before the speck in their neighbors. To do unto others as you would have them do unto you. To worship in private, not pray on the street corner and make a public spectacle of their piety.
Damn, you people listen real well, don't you? Too bad so many "Christians" don't actually act like Christ.
To be fair, these people were working at the ballpark on a regular basis in order to support some public benefit programs that do extend a helping hand. They didn't show up today in protest. They have that right.
So, they don't sound like truly evil people...just a little misguided maybe. But they need to stop practicing a culture of hate. It's not like these guys were coming to the ballgame in drag or backless chaps or something. They were wearing caps and jerseys, just like everybody else.
Do me a favor... don't try to force your beliefs down my throat and I won't force mine at you. Because that would be as American as baseball.
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
So if you find it and I repeated myself, ignore please. If I contradicted myself, I blame the drugs.
We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
- Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
- People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
- At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
- Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
1. I have two tattoos and I want more.
2. My TBR pile (To Be Read) is starting to affect local precipitation.
3. I have an ex-girlfriend who posed in Hustler after we broke up. So I can actually identify with that J. Geils song. "My memory has just been sold..."
4. The first yelling argument I ever had with that same girl was over the validity of creationism. I think her POV on the world changed *rolls eyes*
5. Circa 1986, I think I wore more makeup and used more hairspray than the girls I was dating did. AquaNet should have been sending me Christmas cards.
6. To prove I still have that vain side... My beard is kept thin and trimmed enough that I actually spend more time shaving than I would without it.
7. I've been at the controls of a plane for several hours while in flight, but never landed one.
8. I have more hats, jerseys and shoes than I have any rational need for...some chosen solely because I like the team's logo or colors.
I have no idea who I'll tag. I'll try to make it people I've never tagged before, but if I tag you and you've done one and CAN remember where, why not link to it and up your readership on the archives???
Friday, June 08, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Contrary to some opinions out there, I wasn't at all upset about little miss whiner's 45 days in the custody of the authorities being pre-emptively cut to 23, because I know that it is standard procedure for non-violent offenders in a lot of California jails. That had nothing to do with the family money or celebrity. It's how you and I would be treated. So I was fine with that.
But today, America's most famous spoiled brat was released after only serving five days. The first reports I saw were that she was released for "health reasons" because she was having a "nervous breakdown". Apparently her back hurt and she was crying for her mommy.
Um, hello? YOU"RE IN PRISON! You're supposed to have nerves. You're supposed to be upset. Lot's of people cry for their mommy in prison. There are big, strong, dangerous men in prison who cry for their mommy in the middle of the night, and some of them are waking up with a lot more than their back hurting. Or at least the hurt is further south. And believe me, that didn't happen to Paris. No, that happened to those of us who feel that the law should apply to all of us equally.
The precedent that this sets is disturbing to say the very least.
Look, I understand that it was probably sheer torture for the guards and her cellmate to have to listen to her whine. I suspect her cellmate woke up in the middle of the night dreaming about trying to feed carrots to a blond horse who refused them and asked for another martini.
But that's no excuse for letting her go. After all, her cellmate was in prison too. Hey, nothing would scare me straight faster than the prospect of being locked in a 5 X 10 foot concrete box with Paris for a month... especially Paris without makeup. We lost a chance to really rehabilitate at least one prisoner.
Seriously, this is just sick. My only consolation is that the hordes of photographers will make sure she stays under house arrest. Because there must be a thousand paparazzi dreaming of catching a shot of her driving on her still suspended license to 7-11 for a pint of Ben & Jerry's to binge/purge after midnight. That would be enough to buy them 30 days in a much nicer room on a beach with a roommate who looks as good as Ms. Hilton thinks she does.
Friday, June 01, 2007
Welcome to June! June is a very special month for Alessia and Will. Why? Because it means summer is coming? Because it means the kids are almost out of school? (Banish the thought!) Because Will lives in Southern California, and June means it’s bikini season?
No. Well, maybe yes to the last one. (And we’re not talking about how Will looks in a bikini… or are we? Should we? Do you think he'll agree to wear one if we bribe him in just the right way?)
No, June is special because Alessia and Will’s book ArtiFactual: Tales of the Erotique Mystique was chosen by Coffee Time Romance to be their Reader’s Retreat book of the month! Will and Alessia have had good reviews and even won the 2006 Preditors & Editors Poll for Best Mainstream Short Story (for Switch)… and Alessia won an EPPIE (for fine flickering hungers)… but they’ve never had this much of their work given this much attention in one spot. At least, not by anyone else. Both Alessia and Will feel very honored, if a little overwhelmed.
You see, not only has Coffee Time Romance created a forum to discuss ArtiFactual, it's dedicated a whole sub-forum to talk about ArtiFactual, Artistically Inclined, and the solo work of both writers. For the month of June, both Will and Alessia will be making regular appearances at the CTR forum to check in with anyone who has questions or just wants to discuss their work in particular or erotic fiction in general. Oh, and they’re gonna give some prizes, too. So come on over! Sure, talk is cheap…but you just might get something free, and free beats cheap every time!
Last but certainly not least… What the hell are we gonna have to talk about if all y’all don’t show up? C’mon, now! You all know that Will has a serious addiction to flirting, and if he doesn’t feed it… well, it gets kinda ugly. Alessia still remembers the last time he went through withdrawals. Says she hasn’t seen a man cry like that since the end of Field of Dreams.
Drop by and visit them on the Coffee Time Romance Forums:
Monday, May 28, 2007
Okay, so I'm a fan. A geek. I can tell you things about Casablanca most people never even noticed. (By the way, the most famous line from the movie never actually appears in the movie and the second most famous line is severely misquoted *grin*) And we aren't even talking about Star Wars or Indiana Jones yet.
And I don't even want to bring up Monty Python.
Anyway, I just watched the trailer for a new film. What I want to know is this. How can I get John Cusack to like my stories? Because John Cusack has the greatest eye for scripts I can imagine and maybe if he liked my stories it would mean they were well-written. Seriously. This man has a fantastic eye for scripts. He has a feel for great writing. Say Anything. Grosse Pointe Blank. Tin Men. Runaway Jury. Being John Malkovich. Serendipity. High Fidelity. You can argue it, sure. Point out things that weren't commercially successful. But John Cusack, though a little bit focused on romantic comedy and long trapped in teen angst, has an incredible feel for the great line.
Cusack is not the greatest actor of our generation. I hate to tell all of you that want to vilify him for Titanic, but DiCaprio will eventually wear that crown. Forget Titanic. What about Gilbert Grape? Catch Me If You Can? Gangs of New York? Romeo? The Departed? Blood Diamond? Quit being jealous of his looks and admit he can act.
But Cusack has an even better eye. "Just think of it as a bigger box". The man has a great eye for the great line. No famous last words. Top ten break ups. Think about it.
I want John Cusack to make a movie from one of my stories.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Thanks for playing, Rob, and congratulations! In addition to your prize, we've arbitrarily decided that you get to explain to our readers exactly why your soul's in so much danger. Nah, just kidding! Readers, if you really do want to know why Rob's soul is in mortal danger, read his "Discovery" from Phaze or "In The Dark," his vampire anthology from Aspen Mountain Press. We were surprised to see Rob's entry, but hey... most of us were fans first. That's why we started writing!
And wait, there's more ...
We decided (since we got a LOT of loot at RT and since we got another entry we really liked) to give a prize to our runner up, Liz, who submitted: "You're afraid your reason would be posted as the winning entry, and then everyone at work would realize what you're really reading on your IPAQ during business meetings."
Both Rob & Liz will receive a box o' goodies including books and promo swag from our recent trip to the Romantic Times BOOKlovers Convention in Houston. Those will go out as soon as we get shipping addresses.
We'll continue discussing ArtiFactual in June as Coffee Time Romance has chosen it as its book of the month! We're very pleased to have the opportunity to get to know all of you better and hope that you will join us in the CTR discussion forum in the near future.
Thanks to everyone who made the effort to give us such great entries and for providing us with some fun along the way. Oh, and somebody tell Fag-Ash Lil that neither of us smoke...
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Mixed Blessings is the lead story in the new Phaze Fantasies II ! For a small price (a very affordable $6.50) you get not only my 30K word novella but also works from Stella & Audra Price, Petula Ceasar & Sarah Dickson! It's a great mix and a wonderful way for you to discover three new authors while also getting to read a fantastic work from an author that you already know!
Here is a blurb for Mixed Blessings:
Jim’s dreams have all come true.
Jim was a man that learned a hard lesson five years ago. Now he has recovered and built a business to be proud of and a solid foundation for his future. After five years of living in the dark, the lights have come on. The one thing that was missing in his life has been right in front of him the whole time. Now that he is no longer blind, he’s off to see if she can help heal the rest of him.
But Jim is about to find out that there is a reason some men wear dark glasses when they emerge into the bright California sun…
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Directions - POST RULES
1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
Eight random facts and or habits?
1. I remember when In N’ Out’s “secret menu” really was secret and I know how to create an “In & Out urge” bumper sticker.
2. I almost got expelled from high school for piercing my ear.
3. I’ve bought “reading copies” of my very favorite books so I can keep the originals in better shape.
4. I have a half-sister that I didn’t know existed until 1991.
5. I learned how to type on a manual typewriter and still “strike” the keys, meaning that I type much louder than many people I know.
6. I’ve considered myself a poet most of my life, but never felt like a writer until a couple years ago.
7. I love Will Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe.
8. Yes, I really did own parachute pants in the eighties.
Okay, I'll "tag" some people later... right now, it's off to the little league fields!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
The details are covered below. The second entry down is the post Alessia did on the RT review so you can see what started it all. We'd love to get a few more entries. We have plenty of swag coming (I spent more money shipping free stuff than I did buying things) so don't fear coming up dry with a late entry. If you make us laugh, you'll likely be rewarded for it!
Okay, maybe we're being a bit snarky -- and we're aware that it's considered gauche for authors to rebut their reviews -- but our feelings about RT's review of ArtiFactual require some sort of response or we're just gonna explode. So, we're gonna have some fun with it in the form of a contest. We let off some steam, and our readers win prizes. Sounds like a silver lining to us!
Here's the deal: Below, we've listed nine of the Top Ten Reasons NOT to buy ArtiFactual: Tales of the Erotique Mystique. We want YOU to give us the number one reason. Judging is entirely subjective. In other words, we'll decide the winner based on how hard we laugh. Ties and consolation prizes are possible, at our whim. No purchase necessary to win, but obviously we'd prefer you read the book before entering. That's the whole point, after all -- to increase sales.
Here's the prize: We're going to RT soon (April 25-29). There will be freebies galore -- books & miscellaneous swag (including our chocolate-raspberry San Diego Sunset body wash). We will collect as much of it as possible into one big prize basket. On top of that, we'll include an autographed CD copy of ArtiFactual and a $5 gift certificate to the Phaze store.
We'll announce the winner on May 1st, so you've 3 weeks to read ArtiFactual and send your entry to us at Artistically.Inclined.LLP [at] gmail.com. (Please put TOP TEN REASONS CONTEST in the subject line!)
Without further ado, here are the Top Ten Reasons NOT to buy ArtiFactual: Tales of the Erotique Mystique:
10. They say it's paranormal, but there isn’t one vampire or shape shifter in the whole book.
9. Having your life’s work threatened is no reason to be rude!
8. You think Bruce should've ditched the Philly Cream Cheese tart and stayed in California with the hot gay environmentalist surfer-lawyer.
7. The words "mattress" and "picnic" should never be used in the same sentence.
6. Only homeless people are allowed to wander museums talking to themselves.
5. You think that Carrara diletto is made with olive oil, garlic and parmesan.
4. Female ghosts never go into the men’s room; it’s impolite.
3. A book set in Philadelphia and they don’t go to a single Flyers, 76’ers, Phillies or Eagles game? That’s just wrong.
2. Frivolous lawsuits are a perfectly acceptable way of denying homoerotic impulses.
1. YOUR WINNING ENTRY HERE!
CAUTION: Contents hot. May cause sexual arousal, romantic inclinations, and an appetite for sex toys.
ARTIFACTUAL: TALES OF THE EROTIQUE MYSTIQUE
by Alessia Brio and Will Belegon
Published: May 2007
Type: Erotica Fiction (E-book, Anthology, Fantasy)
These four stories follow the main characters as they discover the amazing time-travel properties of sexual artifacts, where they participate in consensual bondage, same-gender sex, masturbation and much oral sex. This fascinating premise is disappointingly undeveloped and the last story presents an anti-morality message that has the heroine appearing mean-spirited.
Summary: n the first story, "Erotique," Mandy's great-aunt Vivian has passed on and left her the sex shop and museum, with the stipulation that she spend one night in the museum. Hands-on exhibits take on a new meaning when the magic they possess is revealed and Mandy shares the experience with her boyfriend, Bruce. In "Switch," a new sex toy apparently causes Mandy and Bruce to switch bodies. A trip to Easter Island reveals secrets about Aunt Vivian and puts Mandy and Bruce in danger in "Amichu." Then a lawsuit against the store places Mandy and Bruce at odds and "Closing Arguments" could destroy their relationship. (Phaze.com, dl $7.00)
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
The exact story is best left to she who experienced it, especially since she writes it so well. It is, after all, what she does. You can find it here, at her blog.
The behavior of the Hyatt was despicable. They clearly discriminated against a specific subject. The area where the items in question were set up was deep in the heart of an area filled with the convention. There were no business meetings or public events happening in this area of the hotel. Their refusal to explain their actions to Laura indicates that they knew that doing so would create legal issues for them. I wonder just how prepared they are going to be to discuss them with the ACLU?
Please go and read Laura's account. Please post a comment to her blog showing your support and spread the word to others about this situation. A business the size of Hyatt only pays attention to one thing... money. If we can create enough buzz that they start fearing it will hurt them on the bottom line, we'll have done our job. Also, Hyatt spends a lot of money at the corporate level advertising to the gay community and seeking their vacation dollars. Let's make them spend some on damage control.
I for one will not stand quiet while they drag my neighbors into the shadows. Nor should you. There is a poem attributed to Martin Niemoller about the inactivity of German intellectuals against the Nazi's...
First they came for the Socialists and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left
to speak up for me.
Friday, April 27, 2007
It's wonderful to be here. To steal a phrase from Madness, "there's always something happening and it's usually quite loud". I've made wonderful networking connections, especially with my fellow Phaze authors. I've also met and enjoyed the time I've spent with other authors like Tawney Taylor, Lillian Feisty and Ally Blue.
I'll try to keep notes and fill in when I return to the west coast... but I fear this is all going to end up a blur. Scattered memories of regal white-dressed Queens and dark, dusky fairies will remain... not to mention Can Can Girls and perhaps some saloon skulking Vamps from tonight's Vampire's of the Wild West party.
I'll also remember hearing that I was being talked about in the ladies rest room... I know it shouldn't affect my ego that much... but it does. My business cards (which feature the same image as this blog and my MySpace page) have apparently become quite popular. *Grin*
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Included in Artifactual are Alessia's Erotique, the Preditors & Editors Poll winning Switch, the archeologically adventurous Amichu and the latest sexy drama to star Bruce Winfield and Amanda Long, Closing Arguments.
If you haven't read any of this dynamic team's releases, this is the perfect start. See why the notoriously hard-to-please Mrs. Giggles says "I believe these two authors are actually some of the few romantic erotica authors capable of writing erotic stories that actually make me curl my toes...."
Carrie White of Sexography says, "Hauntings, erotic, passionate scenes and intrigue are just a few of the treats awaiting you from one of the finest writer collaborations in the Erotic genre." Find out for yourself. Artifactual: Tales of the Erotique Mystique will be available April 8th at Phaze.com.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
So now I indulge my baseball addiction as a fan. A fan of my local team, a fan of the game in general and a fan of my son. I coached his little league team last year, but with my new job that just isn't an easy option this year. So I'll stay an observer and try to restrain my competitive nature and let him enjoy the game without Dad screaming at him from the stands.
But at the downtown ballpark, I hope to be letting out a few screams. My team is the San Diego Padres. I've been a season ticket holder for ten years and before that I used to buy a chunk of my parent's tickets. Last year, my team won it's second consecutive division title, something that had never happened before. This year, our pitching is better and we've gotten younger. Are we better overall? Time will tell.
Baseball is different than the other sports. There are no gaudy winning percentages or records like 14-2 or 65-19. The very best teams still lose 40% of their games...at least. If you are successful in one third of your attempts in baseball, you go to the Hall of Fame. In football or basketball, you do that and they talk to you about "life after sports" and suggest you buy a car dealership.
Baseball is about perseverance, patience and dealing with failure. It's a team game that depends on a series of individual competitions. It's a game where you have to be able to take a long view, not allowing momentary setbacks to affect you. In football, if you lose a game you dwell on it for a week. In baseball, there are 162 games in six months.
No time limits, and no ties...you play until someone wins, no matter how long it takes. And you always have a chance to come back. My team won in the bottom of the ninth tonight. The most storied franchise in the game had the best player pull them out of a hole earlier. They were one strike away from defeat and A-Rod hit a grand slam. See, you always have a chance to come back while the game is still being played. No garbage time, no such thing as an insurmountable lead. If you're down by five scores entering the last two minutes in football, you're done. It's over, but not so in baseball. Because an out is equivalent to two minutes, seeing as you have 27 of them to play with...a football game is sixty minutes. But I've been present to see the Padres score five times with only 1/27th of their allotted outs available.
Three-quarters of the teams don't make the playoffs in baseball, like basketball and hockey. Four teams per league, and two of them are done after a maximum of five games. No second season that lasts two and a half months. Half of the teams gone in less than a week, after 162 struggles.
Bart Giamatti said "The game is designed to break your heart." He was right, and that's what makes the successes so special. I love it.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
It's not what I was expecting or hoping for at all...but in order to say why, I have to put the review out here. I need to tell all y'all whats blowing it for me. And I really don't want to do that until the issue comes out. Which will probably be good, because it will calm my indignation down. It's just common courtesy...if you give me a sneak look at something you're gonna publish, even if it's about me, it is wrong for me to publish it first.
So I'll wait. And tap my fingers. And tell myself that anger leads to the dark side.
We can talk about other things right? We can talk about Idol; how I'm even more in lust with Gina after those sweet-as-hell boots and the way she sang and her attitude. About how Haley has me thinking thoughts about her the last couple of weeks that certainly are not appropriate for television...at least, not network television. About how Blake is the one who is going to come out of this and sell the most records, because he can sing, he can beatbox and he has style. But I still say it's a race between Melinda and Lakisha, even with Blake and Jordin working so hard to put themselves in contention.
Sanjaya....*sigh* I can sing better than that. You sucked tonight, dude. Well, you've sucked a lot. But your smile and your hair have kept you around. Maybe this will finally end that...but I doubt it. You need to go, dude. It's just silly now.
We can talk about how I want to go see 300 and how I haven't because I don't have anybody to go along and I don't want to take the time away from my family or my other endeavors. My wife would spend the whole movie looking between her fingers, my daughter would hide under the seat and my son would either get nightmares or start chasing people with my 8" Chef's Knife tied to a pool cue. Neither option appeals to me.
Can we talk about how I can't seem to get rolling? I'm writing 250 words here, 300 there. No decent progress and none of the 2500 word spurts that happen when I'm at my best. Arrrrgh. I so want to get a couple of WIP's finished!
Baseball's coming...*Grin* Yes, I'm a sports geek. I admit it. I can't wait for opening night.
Okay...watch this space. As soon as that magazine hits the shelves, I'm ranting! I mean, imagine how Dan Brown would have felt if the the first major review he got was in the Vatican Observer. That's kinda how I'm feeling tonight. Like I opened a new steakhouse and they sent a Hindu vegetarian to do the restaurant review. Like Heath Ledger waiting to talk to Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson after they watched Brokeback Mountain for the first time.
I feel cheated.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Now I'm hooked...a former co-writer of mine is going to laugh her ass off when she sees this because she only told me I would like this show about three seasons ago. I love seeing people's dreams come true, I love watching the way people react and grow. I'm not too fond of the "let's watch the train wreck" stuff in the early auditions. If I want to hear someone butcher a popular tune I'll record myself in the shower, OK?
I watch the guys and it's alright...I'm mystified Sanjaya is still around and I think that Chris Sligh has an awesome attitude, decent voice and one of the best senses of humor I've ever seen on a celebrity. The comment on the cut down day in Hollywood, where he walks into the room...the three judges are sitting there...they are about to dash his hopes or make his dream come true...as much pressure, as many nerves as any of us will ever have to deal with, ever. So he pulls the chair back and says, "I guess you're all wondering why I called this meeting..." Classic! This dude has cajones!
But let's face facts....except for maybe Blake, the girls are all stand 10 feet above the boys. Melinda & Lakisha especially. Those two are the best singers on the show.
But I do have one that is clearly my favorite all around, and I admit it has to do with more than her voice. And no, it is not the little girl from New Jersey whose continued presence on the show despite her weak talent has nothing to do with anything other than her conformity to some Cindy Crawfordian ideal of feminine attractiveness. My choice has more meat on her bones and ten times the appeal of little miss Antonella.
But she's edgy, she rocks and I fear she'll be gone soon. Her song choice tonight was so her, so energetic and so fun to watch. And maybe too close to the beloved demons of sex, drugs and rock & roll to get enough votes to outlast a girl with half her talent.
I'd rather have Gina in my bed for one night than a month of Sundays with Jersey girl. Gina would rock your world while Antonella would stare at the ceiling and do her nails over your shoulder. Gina would sweat with you, roll off the bed to land on the floor while never missing a beat. Pull out the handcuffs and the riding crop on a Saturday afternoon and show you that there is more action when you turn the TV off.
Antonella is heir to the throne vacated by Annette Funicello and Shirley Temple. Gina brings to mind Joan Jett, Janis Joplin and Courtney Love (when she was powerful instead of pathetic.)
Gina won't win. That's already a two person race. But she is way more genuine and sexy then the girl she's likely to get voted off in favor of.
Monday, February 26, 2007
What's a dollar buy anymore? A tall (means small) cup o' joe from Starsmucks? Nope. Need some silver. Candy? A Baby Bottle Pop is $1.39!
How about some award-winning entertainment? No, not a ticket to see the Best Picture winner. For a dollar? Hello, McFly? Someone has to pay for the black hair dye for Marty Scorcese's eyebrows! Besides, now that George is the only one of the old gang without a golden statue, they're gonna raise some money to pay the salaries for him to direct something set in England starring Something without a Stormtrooper in sight. in a corset and Leo with a new look in scraggly facial hair.
No, I'm talking about the Preditors & Editor's Winner for Best Mainstream Short Story of 2006 . Thanks to the Academy and their choices, "Switch " is on sale for 50% off! Already own it? Check out the other Surges that were released along with it…they also are 50% off! This limited offer will expire Friday, March 2nd…So act now!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
And I follow a link...and I'm looking at the standings for Preditor's & Editors poll for General Short Stories...and I know that we had a shot at the top ten. But I didn't expect this.
Number One. I reload the page. Still number one. It's real. Wow.
I run to the other room, grab my phone, call my co-writer. She knew already, hers was the link I followed. It's almost 11 months to the day from when we learned that Switch had been accepted for publication. We laugh and giggle a little. She tells me how she had gone and looked and started to be disappointed, thinking we got bumped down. It didn't occur to her to look
above the banner at the top spot. I talk about validation and proof and she gently teases me about how I shouldn't need this to know how good we are together. She's right, of course. But it is a part of me to look outside for proof, just like it is a part of her to not need that outside point of view. Just one of the differences that make us a strong team.
Wow. This feels great.