Saturday, September 29, 2007

West Hollywood Book Fair Today!

West Hollywood Book Fair

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...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Trying To Strike A Balance

An incident related to some ongoing drama in my personal life is causing some soul-searching for me... and at the same time, there is a productive exchange about blogging as it relates to promotion (and what and how much to share) going on in my publisher/author private group at Phaze.

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" Is Declassified!

My newest release from Phaze is available now!

Barely A Secret



Only $2.00!!!

September, 2007
ISBN 1-59426-761-8

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

Six Years Ago Today...

When I turned on the TV that day the Pentagon had just been hit. I was worried for my cousin, because he worked there at that time. I had not heard from or even much about him in years...but I was terrified he had been there. He was running late that day. He's never late. It took about ten minutes before I realized the WTC had been hit as well... I don't remember the exact moment I realized it.

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 Can't Believe I'm Gonna Buy A Bush Biography...

...but how can I resist with quotes like this coming out of it?

"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

Bound For Success Available Now!

Bound For Success, the sequel to Artistically Inclined, is available now at Phaze!

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


EXCERPT

"Fuck!"

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.