New Halloween story next week!

thedemonsdoorOur Halloween story for 2014 will be released next week! “The Demon’s Door” will be available on Oct. 22 from Torquere Press. It’s a little different from our Halloween stories from 2012 and 2013, which were ghost stories; this one has a wider range of supernatural beings and a more action-oriented plot.

But we’ve got several other spooky tales that are appropriate for Halloween for our readers to enjoy in the meantime!

A Hundred Lonely Halloweens
Call of the Night Singers
Ghost of a Chance
Blood Bathory: Like the Night
Blood Bathory: Absence of the Sun

Morning Musings

As I’m sitting here before leaving for work, I thought I’d throw together a quick post about a new obsession of mine – the Spartacus TV series from Starz which aired from 2010-2012. As usual, I’m late to the party, but then I don’t tend to watch much television beyond the things McKay and I watch together – namely Sleepy Hollow, The Walking Dead, Hell’s Kitchen (sometimes – not really into the latest run to be honest), and Master Chef. And I never watch things on the premium channels, because I just don’t have the time or interest to worry about what they’re showing. So yes, I missed The Sopranos, I don’t care about Mad Men or Game of Thrones. I tend to be a failure at any pop culture that isn’t related to science fiction.

But one day my husband (who watches an incredible amount of TV) left the set on, I don’t even remember what channel it was, and I became aware of this bloody (and I do mean BLOODY), violent fight happening on the screen, and I looked up and saw a bare-chested Dustin Clare wielding two swords, and I got sucked in at once. I watched the rest of the episode, and by the end I was hooked.

What I saw happened to be a scene from Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, which is a prequel series to the main Spartacus saga. I mentioned my interest to McKay, who poked around and suddenly hit me with the zinger that there was at least one canonically gay couple on the show, and once I got a look at Pana Hema-Taylor and Dan Feuerrigal I knew I was lost. I HAD to watch this show, and so I started with Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the first season. I was a couple of episodes in when McKay also decided she was interested, but we both really wanted to see the Agron/Nasir romance, which doesn’t happen until the second season. So I skipped the rest of the first season and McKay and I started watching second season.

All I can say is wow. Normally I’m not a fan of blood and gore, which there is PLENTY of in this show, enough to make The Walking Dead look positively mild by comparison. But it’s really sort of over-the-top in the “300” kind of way, so it doesn’t bother me much. And the romance between Agron and Nasir more than makes up for all of it! The beauty of the show is that homosexuality is treated absolutely no differently than heterosexuality. None of the other characters so much as raise a brow about it, and what’s even better is that there is no attempt to make either character “girly”. Nasir is definitely smaller than Agron in physical size, and while he has some truly gentle qualities, he becomes as fierce and deadly a warrior as Agron. The characters are affectionate with one another, as much as any of the het couples, and perhaps even a bit more so. In fact, I think that their relationship is portrayed the most realistically and romantically of any on the show. Granted that almost all the characters have issues (with a capital I!!) but the Agron/Nasir relationship is allowed to blossom and flourish without the overtones of guilt, pain, and betrayal that most of the het relationships have.

Anyway, yes, my new addiction in Spartacus. If you are interested in a show with a LOT of eye candy and don’t mind blood, it’s definitely worth checking out!

What we’re working on

Ari and I usually have 2-3 works in progress at any given time. We like having multiple drafts going because if we hit a wall with one work, we can set it aside for a while and pick up with something else. Sometimes, we need to put something aside because it’s a long work, like the Blood Bathory novels, and we need a break from it or we need to knock out a shorter work for a submission call. Sometimes we need to stop and think about where to next. Sometimes it just fizzles, which is usually a sign we need to back up and regroup — and rewrite!

Right now, we’re actively working on two drafts. One is the third novel in the Blood Bathory trilogy. I’d say we’re about 2/3rd finished. This is a manuscript that’s been stopped and restarted probably three times for various reasons, mainly due to the dynamic between the two leading characters not working out right. But we’ve finally got it right this time, and it’s rolling along.

The other one is a follow-up to Finding Forgiveness. When we introduced Carlos as Matt’s ex-lover, we intended him to be a minor character who provided some additional tension between Matt and Gil. However, he ended up with a larger role and a richer backstory, and now he’s getting his own book.

In Finding Forgiveness, Carlos mentions the man he lost because his feet and his eyes wandered too much. Obviously, he still carries a torch for that man, so we’re giving him a second chance to win back the man he loves.

Initially, Carlos was the name of the ranch hand whose mare was having trouble foaling, but when Matt’s ex arrived, I wanted to switch names and give the name Carlos to the character with the larger role because I’m a Welcome to Night Vale fan, and I adore Carlos the scientist.

We knew Carlos needed to be sexy in order to make Gil jealous. I remembered an interview I’d seen with Cecil Baldwin, who said he imagined Carlos the scientist as looking like a hot Brazilian model. It didn’t take much Googling to find my perfect Carlos: Beto Malfacini.

Beto-Malfacini(5)

 

We’ve made pretty good progress on the draft despite real life-related interruptions, so we’re hoping to get it finished, polished, and submitted before the end of the year. Hopefully our readers will enjoy reading about Carlos’ story of old flames, redemption, and forgiveness.

Finding Forgiveness release day!

Our historical Western, Finding Forgiveness, is now available from Dreamspinner Press! It’s 200 pages for $5.99. We both enjoy writing historicals — and there will likely be a sequel to this one. ;)

Boston in 1888 is quite urbane, but unfortunately for Gil Porter, that isn’t the same thing as being understanding. When his sexuality is exposed by the scandalous suicide of his lover, Gil is exiled to the small town of Mercy, Texas, by his domineering father, George, who believes life on Vernon Porter’s ranch will cure Gil of his “unnatural” desires. Grieving and ashamed, Gil is determined to keep his distance from everyone until he can return home. To his surprise, he finds acceptance at Bent Oak Ranch, especially from Matt Grayson, the handsome son of the ranch foreman. Knowing he must fight his attraction to Matt, Gil courts a local girl, but an unexpected encounter with Matt leads to his discovery of Matt’s feelings for him. Torn between Matt and his desire to be “normal,” between returning to his old life and building a new one in Texas, Gil is faced with a choice—appeasing his father or becoming the man Matt knows he can be.

FindingForgiveness_postcard_front_DSP

Finding Forgiveness now available for pre-order!

We have a new historical Western coming out with Dreamspinner Press on September 24: Finding Forgiveness! It’s 200 pages for $4.49, and it’s available for pre-order from Dreamspinner right now.

Keen eyed readers might find an easter egg that links this book to our first historical Western, Heart of Stone. ;)

Boston in 1888 is quite urbane, but unfortunately for Gil Porter, that isn’t the same thing as being understanding. When his sexuality is exposed by the scandalous suicide of his lover, Gil is exiled to the small town of Mercy, Texas, by his domineering father, George, who believes life on Vernon Porter’s ranch will cure Gil of his “unnatural” desires. Grieving and ashamed, Gil is determined to keep his distance from everyone until he can return home. To his surprise, he finds acceptance at Bent Oak Ranch, especially from Matt Grayson, the handsome son of the ranch foreman. Knowing he must fight his attraction to Matt, Gil courts a local girl, but an unexpected encounter with Matt leads to his discovery of Matt’s feelings for him. Torn between Matt and his desire to be “normal,” between returning to his old life and building a new one in Texas, Gil is faced with a choice—appeasing his father or becoming the man Matt knows he can be.

Herc 2 release day!

It’s here! “Herc’s Mercs 2: Line in the Sand” is now available from Torquere Press! Or you can buy it here from Amazon.com!

In order to keep his skill in the field up to date, Alec “Red” Davis, Hercules Security’s Chief of Operations takes a job protecting Jon Baldwin, an actor thrown into the spotlight by sudden fame. Although he’s attracted to Jon, who is modest about his success and genuinely appreciative of his fans, Alec knows he has to keep his distance. Even when Jon makes it obvious he returns Alec’s interest, there is a professional line Alec knows he must never cross – no matter how great the temptation.

While accompanying Jon on a vacation to Central America, the two are caught in a devastating flash flood that pushes Alec’s abilities to their limits. Determined to get Jon to safety, Alec has to battle both nature and his own feelings. But when Jon falls ill, Alec realizes that professional integrity won’t mean a thing if he loses the man he loves.

126 pages / 40000 words for $4.49

Spoilery discussion below.  Continue reading

Herc’s Mercs visual inspiration

To start on a random note, I really like my nails right now. I don’t normally go for pale colors, but I found a combo I wanted to try: In the Flesh with Vintage Confetti glitter coat on top. Both are Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, which I’ve found wears pretty well. The glitter coat caught my attention first, and In the Flesh is a subtle pale pink that picks up one of the glitter colors, so I thought it would make a good foundation. I’m very pleased with the results!

Also, I’m trying hard to cut down on processed foods, but they make it really hard when they throw things like Lays potato chips in “Cheddar Bacon Mac and Cheese” flavor at me.

I’ve talked a bit about Herc’s Mercs: Line in the Sand before, but mostly I nattered about how Tom Hiddleston was the inspiration for Jon and then I veered off into talking about Herc 3. So I wanted to talk about visual inspiration, which we use a lot in our writing.

Choosing visual references for our characters helps us set a clear image of that character in our minds for ourselves and each other, which means we’re both on the same page in terms of physical description. Usually, we end up taunting each other and trying to whip each other’s muses into a frenzy by linking to sexy photos of the person we’re using as visual inspiration, which is fun if a little distracting. ;) Continue reading