For me, the Next Big Thing is actually a 3 book project I'm developing. Its called The Aphrodite Project, the premise is that the goddess Aphrodite runs a security/investigation firm. The primary mission of the Aphrodite Project is to hide the existence of the gods and goddesses from humanity. If a nymph runs amok or a minor god goes rogue, Aphrodite sends out an agent to resolve the situation. In the case of this trilogy, the cases are all very close to her heart. :)
What is the Working Title of Your Book?
Its called The Tenth Muse. It is the first of the trilogy and I wanted all the titles to reflect the nature of the protagonists. For example, book 2 is called Dirty Deeds, and the final book is Mayhem, Maybe. This title describes what happens when the God of Lust (Eros) meets the son of one of the Nine Muses. Inspiration meets lust and the end result...Love. :)
Where Did Your Idea Come From For This Book?
I was working on a novella called Mayhem, Maybe, about a Greek god hunting down a rogue trickster. The more I thought about the story, the more potential the overall concept had for a series. What if the God of Effeminate Men (Hermaphroditus) falls in love with the rugged son of Hephestion and Athena? Or Chaos and Logos...I drew heavily on my background in classic mythology for this.Anyhow, I remember reading that the androgynous fashion model Andrej Pijac wanted to someday be the first male Victoria's Secret Angel. (I believe David Chiang expressed the same sentiment at some point.) Then I imagined a scenario where a rapscallion of a Greek god did just that. Who could it possibly be? Eros, of course, as he has his own set of wings. After being photographed and plastered all over the internet, Aphrodite discovers what her darling son has done and sends someone to rein him in. Since Eros is of the body, I needed a character who was cerebral, and chose a man who is from the dynasty of the muses. His name is Rees and I don't want to say much more about him. :)
What Genre Does Your Book Fall Under?
It's a m/m fantasy. It's set in modern time but there are plenty of sidetrips into other worlds.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
And for Rees, well, I need someone beautiful, geeky and brilliant. So Matthew Grey Gubler fits the bill for that character. Rees comes off as an unworldly innocent, but he's a hunter and is manipulating Eros into a corner. He also has that family history, from the lines of muses and Memory. People tend to love having him around, particularly the artsy sorts. Which can lead to problems...can an artist become addicted to their muse? If so, what will they do to keep the source of their inspiration?
There are a couple other very important characters in this book, both female. One is Aphrodite, aka 'Dita.' She's the Greek goddess of love, sex and fertility. And I can't think of many actresses that I can see playing her. She's lush, abundant and eminantly fuckable. Think old school: Raquel Welch, Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot. She's the woman men want to see naked. In their bed.
The other character is Rosalinda. She's a runway model about to topple into obscurity, and her role in the book is vital. She's thin, elegant and remote. Rosa is brilliant, but an addict and and at 26 years old, world weary. On the surface, she's the woman most women would like to be. I can see Anne Hathaway in the role.
What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?
When Eros goes rogue, a cool-headed young scholar must capture him, body and mind.
Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?
The series will be represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Agency.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I did the first draft as my NaNoWriMo project, so it took a month.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
It sprung out of another project, I was matching up ideas for pairings out of the Greek pantheon. Anyhow, I remembered Andrej Pijac stating that he'd like to be the first boy Victoria's Secret Angel, and immediately visualized the first scene of the book.
What else about your book might interest the reader?
It's turning out surprisingly emotional and sticks to a theme I use a lot, which is being true to yourself. Both Eros and Rees make a journey that leads to an unexpected conclusion. Surprised me, too! You'll also get some cross-dressing, matchmaking and will meet the most divinely beautiful man in the entire Greek pantheon.
Person who tagged me: Lex Valentine (go check out her Next Big Thing!)
Suckers…erm…people I tagged:
Silver/Steel releases December 4 at Loose Id!
When dream hunter Dylan Ryve spots a beautiful shapeshifter raising hell in a bar, he knows he wants the wild young man. But Travis Feris is more to Dylan than a few hot minutes outside in the snow; he's the assassin's ticket into the magical town of Arcada. He didn't plan to rescue the kid, but when he found the shifter being attacked, the opportunity to play hero was too good to pass up.
Through the solitude of a long winter night, Dylan walks in Travis's fevered dreams, learning about Arcada and the pack, and showing the shifter the man he'd been so very long ago. When morning comes, both men know their lives will be forever entwined.
From Dylan, Travis learns that he is a strong, valued member of the pack. The dreamwalker sees his own worth reflected back at him in the dark blue eyes of the wolf. Yet when Dylan has the chance to free himself from centuries of enslavement, can he betray the man he has come to love?
- Current Mood: sleepy
- Current Mood: cold
Missy was the sort of woman I really wanted to hate. After all, she’d landed the position I’d applied for at work. She was a brand new graduate, about 25 years old, with a new baby and an uber-macho fire-fighter husband in tow. And her looks...wide brown eyes, bee-stung lips and long, velvety brown hair. I wound up in a position subordinate to her and had to listen to her endlessly cheerful gossip every day at lunch. Damn, it was hard not to like her!
And yes, she was a gossip. She shared fun gossip, malicious gossip and mundane gossip. She had a wild sense of humor and a solid sense of personal ethics. She had her ups and downs in her job and in time, I was incredibly grateful that I didn’t get the position. Turned out her boss was a nightmare and the position itself was pretty miserable. Eventually, I was promoted and sent to an early brain development program and didn’t see her for quite some time.
After a year or so, I was transferred to another position; one I didn’t want. This one was in preschool fitness and nutrition. I’d loved working in most of my positions within Public Health but this one didn’t hold much promise. Aside from working directly with preschoolers and their parents, I was assigned to work closely with Missy. While I liked her, I wasn't quite prepared to work with her full-time.
Turns out we got along great. By this time, the shine had rubbed off the department for both of us. She’d been labeled a gossip and troublemaker. I’d sent up red flags when the department had briefly placed me in a position at Children's Protective Services, in a building infected with toxic black mold. I had the nerve to go to the doctor to have the mold levels in my blood checked. (they were high, and I'm allergic to black mold) As a result, management monitored us both as troublemakers. Our contacts with other staff members were limited, we were “discouraged” from taking breaks with others. Needless to say, this was a terribly hostile work environment.
We wound up traveling to jobs together, taking breaks and lunches together and generally getting pretty close. She was pregnant with her second child, and to my horror, management requested that she work right up until her due date. When she came to work cramping and sick at the beginning of her 9th month, our supervisor and manager pressured her to do a preschool visit. Instead, I covered for her while she visited her doctor. She was in trouble with her pregnancy and spent her final weeks at home resting. I missed her greatly during the months that she was away.
When she returned to work, she had another worry. Her best friend was sick. I’d known about this from the start, but now the woman was dying of kidney failure. Missy agonized over her friend’s illness; no compatible kidney donor could be found and the woman’s family refused to test. One day we were talking and Missy said that if she could do it, she’d donate her own kidney. Clearly, she meant it because she went in and tested. She was not 100% compatible, but was close enough to give the doctors some hope.
Everyone tried to talk her out of it. Work was not supportive at all; they threw up every roadblock they could. Her husband backed her. I backed her. That was pretty much it. As her friend grew progressively closer to death, Missy made arrangements to donate to her best friend.
The surgery was a success. Within days, her friend’s health turned around completely. Within a year, the woman had married her boyfriend and was pregnant. Missy saved the life of her best friend. She gave her a future.
And at work, they gave Missy hell. She was scrutinized, lectured and pressured on a daily basis. The department had fallen on hard times due to the state budget, and clearly, they were headhunting...just not in a good way. Missy was at the top of their list. In spite of physical fatigue and the constant pressure, she kept on and bore the pressure gracefully.
Somehow, the story Missy’s donation to her friend reached the local press and their story appeared in the paper. At work, they planned to fire her for taking the time away for the surgery. Suddenly, the Department had a bona fide heroine on their hands. To no one's surprise the disciplinary action never materialized. After I finally quit, she continued with the department as she had a third child, and then returned to college part-time, earning her teaching credential.
My friend did something that was amazing. Heroic. She put her own life on the line for that of her friend. She risked her job on the line and she strained relations with her family and friends. She did this out of love but also because to her, it was the right thing to do. She had to do it. Missy is not a perfect person. But in her way, she’s larger than life. So yeah, she gossips a bit too much, but heck, she saved a life. She inspired me to change the donor status on my driver’s license and to go to the local blood center to sign up as a platelet and marrow donor. And I know darn well I’ve made a difference. And if it hadn’t been for Missy, I might never have made that commitment. If not for Missy, a young mother would have died tragically young.She is a heroine worthy of her own story.
- Current Mood: cold
We called him The Walker.
He was a young man when we first noticed him, maybe 17 or so. He lived midway down Lake Boulevard in an area studded with tiny ramshackle houses and ratty, single-wide trailers. At the time, I was in my mid-twenties and having gone through a divorce, the loss of my beloved grandfather, a schism between myself and my father, and a severe health crisis, I felt ancient. Cynical. I was only five or six years older than him. When we first noticed the Walker on Lake Blvd., we laughed at him.
He was tall and awkwardly thin, and walked with an exaggerated, swinging stride, one arm dropped straight to the side, the other swinging in a precise arc, cigarette between two fingers. His posture was perfectly upright, as though he’d been trained to keep his spine straight and shoulders back. As he walked, his bearing nearly screamed, “I’m scared to death, but you’ll never know.” His curly hair was brassy blonde and he wore clothing that was a fusion of cheap fad and thrift store drek. In the blazing summer, he wore denim cut-offs and flip flops on his tanned feet. In the spring and fall, he walked barefoot, disguising his pain behind a false front. In the winter, he wore a cheap vinyl jacket, similar to something Michael Jackson popularized in his videos. He wore his hair in a mullet.
And he walked.
We’d see him out in our more rural neck of the woods, covering miles in that loping stride. We’d see him downtown or at the bottom of Sulpher Creek Hill, where the hotels had degenerated into ratty flophouses. Sometimes he hitchhiked. Most of the time he just walked. From morning till night, he walked.
Over the years, his appearance evolved. Sometimes his hair was short and bleached; other times it grew longer and back to its normal dishwater blonde. He grew taller, though never heavier. His blue eyes grew progressively more glazed and dazed, leading us to believe that he was falling into drug addiction; at that time, crack was the drug of choice in our area. Sometimes he vanished for weeks at a time and in an odd way I missed him. Eventually, I came to see him as more than part of the landscape.
It never occurred to me that the Walker was a working boy. Late one night I was driving up Market Street and saw him leaving one of the sleazy motels along there. He staggered, his face bloody and battered. I didn’t offer him a ride, nor did I call the police. Somehow, I didn’t think he’d appreciate that. The next day, he was walking the boulevard again, moving with a slight limp, his face swollen and bruised.Years later, I found that he lived within walking distance of a wooded area where men met to hook up.
After that night, his bizarre clothing made sense. He often strolled along in old tank tops that were cut to bare his gaunt belly, and he wore smudged guyliner long before it was a fad. I came to realize that one of the reasons he intrigued me was his similarity to an ex-boyfriend, though he was far seedier and debauched than my ex would ever appear.
He vanished again, and this time didn’t come back for a very long time. A year or more passed while I wrestled with going to school, working and raising two little girls. I didn’t really think often of the Walker or why he had vanished. But when he showed up again, it was like seeing an old friend. His posture was as upright and perfect as ever, and he still walked with that awkwardly casual stride. His eyes though...they were tired. Weary. His hair was darkening and his skin was pale, leading me to believe been somewhere without sunshine.
One day, I saw him walking with a young boy; they were heading into a convenience store. On impulse, I turned into the parking lot and went in. I'd never actually seen him in person before. He was there at the counter, buying the boy a wrapped hamburger and a soda. I assumed the kid was a nephew and that the Walker had a new gig...babysitting. I never found out.
I stood behind them in line and listened as the ravaged young man babbled on about nothing. He talked about someone who’d crossed him and how he planned to kick their ass. He looked at me and the insanity in his eyes was painful to witness. It scared me that he was alone with a child. It scared me to be close to him. He smelled bad, a combination of body odor, tobacco and the biting scent of something else that was not pot or alcohol. His eyes were reddened and glassy; the skin underneath dark and bruised looking. He’d gone from skinny to gaunt.
I paid and hurried from the store, and I never saw the Walker again. He vanished one last time.
I watched for him on Lake Blvd, but he never walked there anymore. I never again saw him haunting the Market St. motels, nor did I see him around the bus stop or convenience store. He might have overdosed, been arrested or lapsed into insanity. Maybe he fell to AIDS. I don’t know and never will.
The Walker was a part of my life for nearly a decade. Barely a day went by that I didn’t see him somewhere. Sometimes we laughed at his clothing and walk. Other times Mom and I would look at him and sadly look away. Regardless of who he was or what he did, he was a person with a life. At one point, he must have had dreams and goals. I look back now and wonder if he was a victim of schizophrenia. Years later I spoke with a public health nurse who remembered him as a mental health patient, but she wasn’t completely sure.
I think someday I’ll write a story for him. And in that story, I’ll give him a happy ending. How could I not?
- Current Mood: calm
experiment with Free To Fly, the short I wrote for the M/M Readers at
Goodreads this summer. I've expanded it a little bit and put in more
better words, and a hot, hot new cover by the wonderful Fiona Jayde.
So head on over to Smashwords and give it a try...like I said, its free!
Vincent Sala is big, gruff and definitely on the rough end of the
spectrum. His partner Daniel McGee is a smooth, urbane young
professional. Their romance took off like fireworks, but lately, Danny
is painfully unhappy and Vince is about ready to hit the road.
explosive confrontation reveals an unexpected twist in their
relationship and Vince sees a small glimmer of hope. The question is,
can he step up and give what Danny needs to make him fly?
- Current Mood: calm
So, I thought I'd tempt you with a little excerpt from 'An Uncommon Whore 2: When I Fall'. Enjoy!
Sometimes revenge is a kinder fate than justice. – Helios Dayspring
As king, Helios Dayspring is desperate to secure the future of his people and their new homeworld. His memories are slowly returning, bringing with them danger and betrayal.
As the king’s consort, Griffin Hawke wrestles with growing isolation from his lover. As Helios’ secrets begin to come to light, he finds that he barely recognizes his lover anymore. Griffin is also haunted by his own secrets, as nightmares bring torture and death to his sleep.
When Helios and Griffin undertake a dangerous journey on behalf of their people, everything they fought for could be lost. Surrounded by enemies and allies, seductive aliens and dangerous operatives, Helios and Griffin find themselves tested to their physical and moral limits. Not knowing who to trust, they can only turn to each other.
Will you be there to catch me when I fall?
He was on his feet again, crossing the floor to wrap his arms around me. “I am so sorry. Sometimes I forget to guard my tongue around your daughters.”
“It usually isn’t necessary to do so, but Maia’s been plagued by fears lately. It takes little to remind her of those times. Lauren as well.” Tilting my head, I unfastened the high collar of his jacket and then opened it the rest of the way. I slipped it from his body and tossed the expensive garment carelessly to the side. Helios clucked his tongue in disapproval but didn’t pull away.
“Mary will be vexed when she finds that coat wrinkled. I have only the one, you know.” He was smiling again, his humor directed at himself.
“I’ll hang it up later. Besides, you should probably have at least one more.” I leaned down and ran my lips over the smooth surface of his throat. Long ago he’d been inclined to be bristly, with ruddy whiskers by this time of the day. After his time as a slave on Warlan, he’d never grow facial hair again. Body hair either. I cherished the contrast between us; his skin felt like silk against mine. I reached behind him to unfasten the pin that held his hair in the tight knob and let the braids drop free. Then I slipped the bands from the ends of his braids and shook his hair loose. He sighed in relief as it came down.
“Mary enjoys playing with your hair as much as I do.” He leaned against me as I massaged his scalp.
“True, but your hand is gentler than hers. Wearing it so tight gives me a damn headache!” He slipped his arms around my waist, and for the moment, we were quiet. It occurred to me then that these were the moments I needed to harvest for the future. Simple moments of peace, love, and contentment. When I was an old man and looking back or when times once again would become hard, I would think back to holding Helios in my arms and the feeling of supreme happiness that surrounded us.
When he licked the skin of my neck, I suddenly forgot about those good intentions.
Just like that, contentment turned to lust, and I responded in both body and spirit. My fingers were still buried in his hair, so I tilted his head slightly and looked into his face.
And then I kissed him.
- Current Mood: busy