Friday, August 24, 2012

CHASER is Released!

UPDATE! WE HAVE A WINNER!
I'm pleased to announce that Moria McCain is the winner of the signed copy of Chaser. Moria, I will be in touch via e-mail about getting your prize to you. Didn't win? Hope you'll consider buying your own copy at one of the links below.

Chaser is now officially available on the publisher website, at Amazon, at AllRomance ebooks, and everywhere good books are sold. I'm stoked because this love story, about a thin gay man who is attracted to men who have "a little meat on their bones" is one of my most unusual--and, I hope, fulfilling--love stories.

The novel is available in both paperback and ebook editions. Read on to see how you can win a FREE, signed copy delivered to your door by me--wearing only combat boots and a jockstrap. Well, maybe that last part was a bit of hyperbole. I will send the winner's copy out first-class mail, though. Details on how to enter are below.

SYNOPSIS
Caden DeSarro is what they call a chubby chaser. He likes his guys with a few extra pounds on them. So when he meets Kevin Dodge in a bar bathroom, he can’t help but stare, even if he does make an ass of himself. As far as Caden is concerned, Kevin is physically perfect: a stocky bearded blond with a dick that’s just right. (They met in the bathroom—of course he looked!) But Caden gets tongue-tied and misses his chance.

When Caden runs into Kevin one night on the el train, he figures it’s fate offering him a second shot. Caden manages to get invited back to Kevin's place for a one-night stand that turns into the kind of relationship he’s dreamed about.

But the course of true love never did run smooth, and Kevin and Caden’s romance is no exception. When Caden returns from a few weeks away on business, Kevin surprises him with a new and “improved” body—one that fits his shallow friend Bobby’s ideal, not Caden’s. Caden doesn’t know what to do, and his hesitation is just the opportunity Bobby was looking for. This isn’t the same Kevin he fell in love with… is it?

EXCERPT
Caden returned to scanning the mostly male crowd (there were a few “Graces” here and there, out with their “Wills”) and watching Gaga, trying to determine the secret of her mysterious allure. The woman probably looked like a real plain Jane when she woke up in the morning, but her obvious slavish devotion to wigs and haute couture bordering on costumes (as Caden had learned as a seasoned viewer of Project Runway), elevated her to something irresistible to look at, at once ethereal and gritty.

Bobby whispered in his ear. “See anything you like? Any prospects on the horizon?”

Bobby did have his eye on one guy, down on the lower level at one of the high-topped tables, talking with a couple of friends. He stood out because he was not built like most of the guys here, who were, to a man, either too skinny or too pumped up to register on his attraction meter.

This guy seemed comfortable in his own skin, and Caden liked the way he threw back his head and laughed when one of his buddies said something funny. Unlike most of the other guys in Sidetrack that night, he did not show any signs that he was conscious of his appearance. Caden liked that he wore comfortable clothes, a cotton sweater of faded blue-gray and a simple pair of carpenter pants, most likely Carhartt. He peered over the rail and saw the guy’s feet were encased in work boots. Ah. A blue collar man. A working guy. Just my type. Caden also liked his tousled blond hair, which revealed fetching layers of color that went from almost brown, to wheat, to pale blond, to nearly platinum, yet revealed no indication, Caden thought, of the attentions of a hairdresser. And what put him on the “edge of glory” was the crowning touch: a thick beard, not manicured into tortured geometric lines.

And he was blessedly overweight. Not fat. But a bit of gut protruded, and his thighs, in denim, looked like tree trunks. When he turned around, he revealed an ass of ample proportions, the kind Caden could just imagine as two perfect, creamy white spheres made for grasping and pulling apart.

“Is it hot in here?” Caden shouted in Bobby’s ear. He took a gulp of beer and fanned his hand in front of his face.

Bobby came back with, “No. But from the way you’re gazing dreamily into the crowd, I am betting you’ve spied some man candy that’s making your temperature rise, if not something else.” Playfully, Bobby grabbed Caden’s crotch, testing. Caden slapped his hand away. Bobby was his best friend and had been for years, perhaps due to the fact that neither of them had ever crossed the line that would allow one to enjoy the other on sexual terms. “Come on, you can tell Daddy. Which one is it?” Bobby gazed out at the crowd. “The black guy that looks a bit like Ty Diggs? Or maybe that shaved head at the bar, with the ass that looks like you could rest a tray on it?”

“Nah.” Caden looked at the object of his attraction once more, suddenly wishing Bobby’s Abercrombie stud would return, only to free him up to at least make eyes at the blond. “There’s no one. Just checking things out.” Caden thought of his therapist, Camille, and wondered what she would have to say about Caden’s inability to admit who he was really lusting after.

Again, why would it matter what Bobby thought?

Win a free, signed copy (sorry, prizewinners must live in the US) by leaving your name, comment, and e-mail below. Winners will be announced on Thursday, August 30. Good luck! And if you don't want to wait to see if you're a winner, purchase details are below.

BUY from Dreamspinner Press (the first 20 paperback sales will receive an autographed copy)
In ebook
In paperback

Amazon Kindle version

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Rainbow Blog Hop: What writing LGBTQ fiction means to me

UPDATE! WE HAVE A WINNER!
I'm pleased to announce that Mark Gunnells is the winner of the signed copy of Caregiver. Mark, I will be in touch via e-mail about getting your prize to you. Didn't win? Hope you'll consider buying your own copy at one of the links below.

The Rainbow Bloghop is here!

Stop by the Blog and find out what it’s all about – there’s a ton of giveaways, both from authors themselves (more than 70 have signed up!) but from over 40 prizes from publishers as well. The blog, run by Rainbow Book Reviews, is also handing out four $25 book vouchers.

So you have everything to gain and a lot to lose by not checking it out. Read my post below to see how you can win a free copy of my AIDS-era love story, CAREGIVER, then check out the other posts by clicking the link at the top of this blog.


What does writing gay fiction mean to me?

I didn't always write gay fiction, especially not romantic gay fiction. When I was first published, now more than twenty years ago, I was a horror writer and was in print through the good graces of a mainstream house (Dell). Obsessed, Penance, and A Face without a Heart were all horror, albeit often revolving around horror that happened in the real world.

That penchant for things that go bump in the night was always there, even as I began, much later, to focus exclusively on gay characters. Books like IM, A Demon Inside, The Blue Moon Cafe, Blood Sacrifice, and Deadly Vision caused Unzipped Magazine to call me "the Stephen King of gay horror." It was a title I was proud of, since I had read King since I was a boy.

The reason I switched in later years to writing about gay people exclusively was because I wanted to dramatize and, at the same time, bring to life the realities of gay people, people who were, essentially, just like me. And, on the other hand, vastly different in so many ways. Being gay was something I thought deserved to be incorporated in literature and many of my works have focused on themes common to the gay experience--coming out (Out on the Net), AIDS (Caregiver, NEG UB2), hate crimes (Bashed), and online hookups (IM). For better or worse, I knew that many gay people had experienced these things and I wanted to put up a mirror that would reflect those experiences in compelling and revealing ways.

But as I explored those topical areas, I realized I wanted to delve into something that wasn't so "topical" and was, in fact, the fodder for a whole millennium of artistic works in just about every medium: love.

The realization that I could tell stories about real gay people, their hunger for connection and acceptance, became a mission, one that continues to this day. Although I am still intrigued by the dark side of things, I am now writing more about what brings people together, what sets them apart, and, often, how they are reunited. It's a timeless theme and one that I've found offers more room for creative expression than any other--at least for me.

Writing about love is universal. Gay, straight, whatever stripe we are, most of us hunger for that one connection where someone puts us above all others and that's why I write love stories.

It's also why I write gay stories. I want to show that universality--love--that links people of all sexual orientations.

To win a free, autographed copy of CAREGIVER, simply leave a comment below and include your e-mail address so I can notify the winner. 
Buy:
In ebook
In paperback
Kindle





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Monday, August 20, 2012

Top 10 Reasons to Avoid Writing

One of the gifts my dear mother left me was the art of procrastination. Nowhere is this gift more evident than each morning when I sit down to write.

Here then are my top very important, essential things I simply must take care of before I can put one word down on paper:

1. Post a new blog, like this one
2. Update my Facebook and Twitter status
3. Play a game of Spider Solitaire
4. Walk the dog
5. Empty the dishwasher
6. Play another game of Spider Solitaire
7. Accept/reject Facebook friend requests
8. Answer e-mails
9. Check the sales ranking of each of my books on Amazon
10. Play another game of Spider Solitaire (will I never get tired of you, my love?)

So what do you do to put off what you should be doing? Really--tell me so I have one more reason to put off working on my work in progress...

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Call for Submissions: Evergreen 2012 Advent Calendar

"Evergreen" 2012 Advent Calendar - A Story a Day in the Month of December
Edited by Lynn West

When it comes to romance, ageless images are carried forever in your heart: A candle in the window burning bright. Warmth billowing from an old stone hearth. Snowflakes falling from the night sky under a full moon. Twinkle lights glinting in a lover’s eyes. Romance during the winter holidays is evergreen, and these stories will get you in the mood for love. Your Christmas present to yourself!

Editor's Note: Because of the packaged nature of the set, all stories need to stand alone. No sequels to or spin-offs of previously published works, please.  


Submission Deadline: Sept. 1, 2012 
Publication Date: December 2012
Story length: 5,000 - 18,000 words

Manuscripts shorter or longer will be considered but will have to be extraordinary. Follow general Submission Guidelines for instructions and formatting. Send all submissions to submissions@dreamspinnerpress.com. List the anthology title in the subject line of your e-mail. Ex: Advent Calendar anthology submission
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Friday, August 17, 2012

One More Week Until CHASER is Unleashed on the World!


Just seven more days until the release of my quirky little love story, CHASER, on August 24 from Dreamspinner Press. Just one more week from today!

This is the book that asks the question: is it really what's on the inside that counts?

Here's the cover blurb:

Caden DeSarro is what they call a chubby chaser. He likes his guys with a few extra pounds on them. So when he meets Kevin Dodge in a bar bathroom, he can’t help but stare, even if he does make an ass of himself. As far as Caden is concerned, Kevin is physically perfect: a stocky bearded blond with a dick that’s just right. (They met in the bathroom—of course he looked!) But Caden gets tongue-tied and misses his chance.

When Caden runs into Kevin one night on the El train, he figures it’s fate offering him a second shot. Caden manages to get invited back to Kevin's place for a one-night stand that turns into the kind of relationship he’s dreamed about.


But the course of true love never did run smooth, and Kevin and Caden’s romance is no exception. When Caden returns from a few weeks away on business, Kevin surprises him with a new and “improved” body—one that fits Caden’s shallow friend Bobby’s ideal, not Caden’s. Caden doesn’t know what to do, and his hesitation is just the opportunity Bobby was looking for. This isn’t the same Kevin he fell in love with… is it?


And here's an exclusive excerpt, where our hero meets the one-night stand from Hell:

CADEN OPENED HIS eyes to see Matt crouched on the floor beneath what appeared to be a 42-inch plasma screen TV, loading up the blu-ray player beneath it. The TV was the only thing that looked new—and clean—in the entire apartment. Caden guessed Matt was putting in some mood-setting porn, and although the prospect was tawdry and sleazy, he was all for anything that would accelerate the inevitable.
He longed for the comfort of his own, clean, sheets.
He undid the top button of his jeans and lowered his zipper to about half-mast. He was pleased to feel he was actually getting a little aroused at the thought of new porn and the prospect of Matt’s drunken lips on his cock.
Matt joined him back on the futon, his shoulders touching Caden’s. Casually, Caden let his left hand slide onto Matt’s thigh and let it rest there while Matt aimed a remote at the opposite wall.
Imagine Caden’s surprise when what came up on the screen was not the latest offering from Hot Desert Knights, Catalina, or Treasure Island Media, but that 1980’s Christmas classic Scrooged, starring Mr. Bill Murray. While Caden had seen the movie and certainly found it an amusing take on Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, it just seemed, well, weird, that a trick would put it on now. For one thing, it was October, so the movie was clearly inappropriate.
For another, who the hell put on a Christmas comedy to heat things up with a trick?
Am I really here? Is this really happening? Caden wondered as he watched the opening images of the film, before glancing down at his own hand, lying hotly on Matt’s blue-jeaned thigh.
It was then he heard the snore. He looked up to see Matt’s handsome face in repose, mouth open and drooling, head lolling on the back edge of the futon.
Really? You’ve fallen asleep on me? Seriously? This is what I trekked over here for? Scrooged and a sleeping alcoholic? This is what my life has become?
Caden leaned forward, “Dude, wake up. Don’t you wanna play? I thought we were gonna get into some nasty sex.” He squeezed the ample bulge between Matt’s thighs to no result, other than Matt slumping over dramatically onto the pillows at one end of the couch. The beer bottle Matt had heretofore clutched expertly in his drunken paw, dropped to the carpeted floor with a thud, spraying foam on the already stained carpet.
Caden refastened his belt and rezipped his pants. Getting lucky tonight was looking more and more out of the question.
Ya think?
He got up from the futon, crossed the room and pulled a wad of paper towels from the rack suspended over the sink, trying to ignore the cockroach skittering madly among the dirty dishes piled there. “Fella, you’re about the only one showing a little life in this hovel. Good for you!”

Check out Chaser on its Dreamspinner Press page.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Anniversary to my Son and his Husband

Happy anniversary to my son, Nicholas Reed and his husband, Tarik. Congratulations on three years of happy, LEGAL, marriage. I hate that you guys are so far away, but glad you live in a country (Canada) that recognizes equality for all loving couples.

Here's to many more years...
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The World's Gayest Horse

From the Bilerico Project.


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Friday, August 10, 2012

Just Two More Weeks Until CHASER Releases!

Counting down the days until the release of my quirky little love story, CHASER, on August 24 from Dreamspinner Press. Just two more weeks!

So much heart went into this story. I think you're going to like it.

Here's what it's about:

Caden DeSarro is what they call a chubby chaser. He likes his guys with a few extra pounds on them. So when he meets Kevin Dodge in a bar bathroom, he can’t help but stare, even if he does make an ass of himself. As far as Caden is concerned, Kevin is physically perfect: a stocky bearded blond with a dick that’s just right. (They met in the bathroom—of course he looked!) But Caden gets tongue-tied and misses his chance.

When Caden runs into Kevin one night on the El train, he figures it’s fate offering him a second shot. Caden manages to get invited back to Kevin's place for a one-night stand that turns into the kind of relationship he’s dreamed about.

But the course of true love never did run smooth, and Kevin and Caden’s romance is no exception. When Caden returns from a few weeks away on business, Kevin surprises him with a new and “improved” body—one that fits Caden’s shallow friend Bobby’s ideal, not Caden’s. Caden doesn’t know what to do, and his hesitation is just the opportunity Bobby was looking for. This isn’t the same Kevin he fell in love with… is it?

And here's an exclusive excerpt:

Caden weaved through the crowd, which seemed to have grown exponentially since he and Bobby had arrived. He practically had to shove and elbow his way to the john; the restless sea of bodies, constantly shifting, offered no clear path.

The three beers pressed urgently as he finally made his way inside the high-tech confines of the main floor men’s room. Caden imagined his bladder as a balloon ready to pop.

With relief, he sidled up to the long trough urinal, and with no pretensions or shyness, hauled himself out of his jeans, letting the stream, which had been threatening to erupt since he left Bobby standing along the wall, free. Surprisingly, he was alone. He sighed with relief, bracing himself with one hand on the wall above him and the other hosing the stainless steel urinal. He closed his eyes with the pleasure of the simple release.

Perhaps because his eyes were shut and he was so completely absorbed in the simple act of urination, he didn’t hear someone else enter the restroom.

“Life’s simple pleasures are the best, huh?”

The deep voice jerked Caden’s eyes open. Startled, he turned toward the voice, dick still in hand, and still working out those last few dribbles.

“Whoa! Didn’t come in here for a golden shower for Christ’s sake.”

“Sorry!” Caden said, breathless with shame and embarrassment. He turned back to the urinal and shook himself off, staring hard at the wall, feeling his face burning.

Of all people to come into the bathroom at just that moment, it just had to be the object of his affection—the beefy blond. What a lovely first impression nearly pissing on another human being makes! Caden imagined that if the guy saw him again around town, he would forever be “that guy who almost pissed on me at Sidetrack. And it wasn’t even a kinky thing!”

But Caden, in spite of all his mortification, was still enough of a gay man to use the opportunity to check out the blond’s equipment. Wasn’t that how it always was, he thought, with gay men? A building could be burning down around you, you could be on the deck of sinking ship, on an airliner hurtling toward earth, in the midst of a natural disaster—earthquake, tornado, or hurricane—and you’d still, if fate offered it, grab a gander at another guy’s dick.

Why, it was only natural!

Check out Chaser on its Dreamspinner Press page.
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Bio of John Kennedy Toole

My favorite book of all time, since forever, is John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces.

There's a surprising and illuminating new bio of the author, Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces, by Cory MacLauchlin now out. MacLauchlin brings to light some surprising revelations about Toole, who committed suicide before the book was published and went on to sell millions and win the Pulitzer. 

Read the review: http://bit.ly/LSm4UB
From the review: MacLauchlin puts A Confederacy of Dunces reliably in context, showing what can be shown about its author. Toole remains, however, a writer who kept his inner world hidden. The great thing he left in Confederacy is not a confession, but a performance: a novel full of vivid speech, humor, and damp, human life.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tell it, Louis C.K.!

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