Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Guest Post: Un-Erasing Bisexuals in Erotic Romance- "Torn in Two" by K. Piet

Un-Erasing Bisexuals in Erotic Romance- "Torn in Two"

That's right, everyone. The wait for more bisexual fiction is over for the time being! Storm Moon Press just recently released an anthology devoted to male bisexual characters. Torn in Two contains three great short stories by authors Kelly Rand, G.S. Wiley, and Lee Cairney, all of which are written in a contemporary setting.

When editor S.L. Armstrong and I (K. Piet) were brainstorming anthology calls, as we do every few months, the one theme that we instantly agreed upon for a possible anthology was the broad sub-genre of bisexual erotic romance. As active seekers of fiction representing all facets of the QUILTBAG, we've always been eager to get more fiction that draws attention to the facets of sexuality that go beyond the popular G. Now, don't get us wrong, we love having gay erotica and erotic romance submissions coming our way, but we have a little mission to do everything we can to encourage authors to write bisexual characters!

When it comes to bisexuality in society, there are a lot of mixed opinions across the board. The problem a lot of bisexuals face when they come to terms with their identities is that there is opposition coming not only from straight individuals, but also from gay individuals. Some believe bisexuals are just greedy, that their desires have little to do with being attracted to both men and women and more to do with the desire for gaining attention no matter the source. Some believe anyone identifying as bisexual just "isn't ready to admit they're gay/a lesbian". There are even those who break it down by sex and/or gender as well. If you ask them, they state that, while women are capable of being bisexual due to being "wired toward intimacy", men are incapable of it and don't have any middle ground. Bisexuals are painted as straddling the fence and told they need to just choose a side and get over it. They're either gay or straight. End of story. Bisexuality doesn't exist. At the very least, not when it comes to men.

And that's when we all call bullshit.

Bisexuals do exist, and, if we go by the Kinsey scale, the majority of people likely fall into varying degrees of bisexuality rather than being at the two far extremes of exclusively heterosexual or exclusively homosexual. Bisexuals are quite common, but society has a way of restricting the visibility of them, of telling them they need to give it up and pick which of the two sexual orientation boxes they fit inside most. As if it's just a matter of making one's mind up. This erasure is so very harmful! It plays into all the same narrow-minded views that the gay and lesbian community has tried to combat over the years. Bisexuals don't fit easily into the binary of "gay or straight", and that makes some people uncomfortable on both sides of the proverbial equation, as it forces them to re-evaluate the way they define sexuality and expand their number of possibilities.

At Storm Moon Press, however, we're all about expanding the number of possibilities! It was the erasure of bisexuality from fiction that we wanted to combat by creating our Torn in Two anthology, which was even named after the concept of being pushed and pulled by opposing sides of the binary. What we asked for was quite simple—stories starring bisexual men in which their bisexuality is shown, rather than alluded to—and it left authors with plenty of options in the way of writing in the genres they preferred. It was by chance that the three stories chosen for the anthology all ended up being contemporary. Looking back, however, it's a wonderful happenstance. What better way to weave in the themes of bisexual erasure and the conditioned splitting of binary sexual orientation than to set stories in the world we currently live in? It brings the bisexual element of the story home in a way that we thoroughly enjoyed at the press, and we hope lovers of bisexual erotic fiction will be pleased with the three stories we've compiled in this anthology!

It is often said that bisexual men are 'torn in two' by the opposing expectations from society. They are often accused of being confused or riding the proverbial fence between gay and straight. To many others, their attraction to men makes them 'not straight', while their attraction to women makes them 'not gay'. It is this conflict that sets them apart and often ostracizes them from both communities. Torn In Two is a collection of short stories highlighting bisexual men, including their relationships with both men and women.

On the rebound from an ended relationship, Daniel visits his old friend Jude looking for some direction in his life. Jude and his wife Celeste offer him solace in their arms, and the comfort of Songs from Devil Lake. Then, in Syncopation, Jonathan Tager's budding music career is thrust into the limelight when scandal reveals his bisexuality. Everyone from his management to his new female soloist seems to have an opinion about it, too, but the one opinion that matters to Jonathan belongs to Peter Merritt, a British single father who has everything to lose if he gets too close to such a controversial celebrity. Finally, Phillip Farrell accidentally makes two dates on the same night—one with a woman, and one with a man. When the scheme inevitably falls apart and he has to come clean, he learns first-hand why "to assume" means to make An Ass Out of You and Me.

Torn in Two – Now Available from Storm Moon Press for just $4.99 (ebook) and $9.99 (print). Get your copy in time for the holidays!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Guest Post: "After The First of Love " Personality Quiz

As co-authors thrilled to share with you our new, contemporary gay romance novella, After the First Taste of Love, we could give you a romantic summary or tempting excerpt. But you can find that on the publisher's site, and it hardly makes for an exciting blog post. So, instead, we invite you to take...

The After the First Taste of Love Personality Quiz!

For the following ten questions, choose the answer that most closely matches your preference (or the preference of your romance novel alter ego). Your results will lead to a characterization (based on five characters from After the First Taste of Love) and a prediction for your best chance of a romantic happily ever after. Ready? Set? Go!

1. Favorite kind of movie to lose yourself in?
a. Drama or action-adventure
b. Fantasy or romance 
c. Political thriller 
d. Chick flicks e. I prefer books.

2. Favorite meal? 
a. Something spicy and ethnic—like my lover. 
b. Pizza, delivered right to my door and ideally to my mouth. 
c. Expensive and at a high-class restaurant. 
d. Fries, shakes, chicken strips, tacos, burgers—hard to pick just one fast food. 
e. Ooh, are you paying?

3. Pets? 
 a. Cats 
b. Dogs 
c. Filthy animals in the house? I think not. 
d. Do Hello Kitty toys count? 
e. Tropical fish are restful.

4. How do you express emotions? 
 a. Casually but honestly.
 b. With great, sloppy enthusiasm, if I feel safe. 
c. Fuck off. d. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry. Whatevs. 
e. Depends on how hard you push me.

5. What's the best solution to an argument?
 a. Talk it out, calmly and quietly. 
b. Last one standing. 
c. I'm always right. 
d. Beg, whine, pout; if that doesn't work, yell until they give in. 
e. Just walk away.

6. How gay are you? 
 a. I'm gay. 
b. However much there is. 
c. None of your damn business. 
d. OMG so not! 
e. I was gay, but now I'm playing for both teams.

7. What's included in a fun, intimate evening with your lover (after dinner and before sex)? 
 a. A movie or video games and a beer. 
b. If I'm getting lots of attention, the rest doesn't matter. 
c. I don't do "intimacy" that isn't about sex. Why would I? 
d. *giggle* I can't believe you're asking me this! 
e. Depends on my mood…and my lover.

8. Are you a top, bottom, or switch? 
 a. Top 
b. Bottom 
c. What's higher than Top? 
d. I don't know what that even means. 
e. Switch: why miss out on anything?

9. Are you kinky? 
 a. Depends on how you define it, I suppose. 
b. Hell yeah. 
c. When it makes me feel good. 
d. No! Stop asking me this embarrassing stuff! 
e. With the right partner, sure.

10. The sounds a lover would most often hear from you during sex: 
 a. Quiet groans are all I'm admitting to. 
c. As if I'm going to tell you. 
d. OMG, like I've even done that!! 
e. Come on upstairs and find out.
Awesome! You're done! Now count your answers by letter and use the following guide:

Mostly a's: You're the Angelo type. Like the "big bro" main character the novella, you like to be in control but you're no control freak. When you lead, it's gently. Though you might be shy, you're also honest and loving. With the right partner, you could learn to let go a little and live more on the wild side.

Mostly b's: Look out world, you're the Nick type. Like the "little bro" main character in the novella who's been hurt but knows what love is, you may not lead, but you know who you are and you usually get what you want. In the right circumstances, you let it all hang out and reap the rewards and the consequences. You might need someone to keep watch, a protective type that helps you be all you can gayly be!

Mostly c's: Yikes, really? You're the Barrett type, based on Nick's ex, a dominant and emotionally abusive power-monger who needs control to stave off the whirling vortex of fear inside him. Easily angered and annoyed, even the most patient souls have a hard time getting close to you. And when they do, you often drive them away. Before you find (and lose) your soulmate, how about a course of therapy and some anger management training?

Mostly d's: You're the Santina type, Nick's spoiled teenager sister, and probably too young to be reading the novella. You’re naïve, perhaps even a bit clueless, but you mean well. When you're old enough, make sure you pick someone who's mature and kind, helping you to grow up and get what you need rather than what you want.

Mostly e's: Marina is Nick and Angelo's main confidant, and you're her type. Or rather you're like her. But you may be her type, too. More easy-going than most of your friends, you take life as it comes and try not to close too many doors. Hard to say who you're best suited to pair up with, but you know the right one when you see him or her…or them.

A mix of a-e: If your letters don't line up, perhaps you're not a type at all! Consider yourself an engaging mix, celebrate your uniqueness, or claim the type you like best. After all, quizzes are just for fun, and we hope you've had some taking ours.

We welcome your feedback to the quiz in the comments!

After the First Taste of Love – Now Available for $4.99 (e-book) and $9.99 (print)

Talon Rihai and Salome Wilde are the authors of After the First Taste of Love, their first novella, which is now available through Storm Moon Press. They can be found at their website, Sal & Tal Erotica.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Update And A Giveaway!!!

I think I was due for an update, so I am telling you guys what I have been up to. I have been reading like crazy (books go quicker when I don’t have to review them) lol. I am over the twenty mark with still some time to go on my break, while not a huge dent in the TBR, I feel all accomplished and shit.

On the school stuff with my son, I can report some very good things. He is now reading by himself and pronouncing words (my freaking heart is super happy). I have been working with his teachers and I got his report card and though it wasn’t stellar (behaviour) academic wise I couldn’t be prouder.  This was just in the time of over two months; so I am excited of where he will be in six. So each day I sit with him and we read, talk, and do homework. His attitude, is something to be desired *so much attitude* we gotta work on that hardcore. I am just celebrating his accomplishments at the moment *fist pump*.

These are a few of the books I enjoyed while breaking…

Gasp by Z.A Maxfield
4 Pants Off

Thoughts: Really liked it! Didn't love it but you can't really go wrong with a ZAM.

Who We Are (Bear, Otter, and Kid #2) by TJ Klune
4.5 Pants Off

Thoughts: Loved the crap out of it. I could read about them all day everyday. I want more pronto!

Shattered Glass (Glass #1) by Dani Alexander
4 Pants Off (High)

Thoughts: Really liked it! Was worried about the overall but I am really anticipating more.

Champion (Indigo Knights #2) by Jet Mykles
4 Pants Off

Thoughts: Not as awesome as I expected but Jet knows how to write GFY/OFY

My Regelence Rake (Sci-Regency #3) by J.L Langley
4 Pants Off

Thoughts: The feck, I missed these guys. Didn't have the awesome of book 1&2 but Rexley and Trouble make up for it. I just love every freaking character in this book.

There were so more reads but mostly low and high 3 Pants Off. Those five books are the ones that I really enjoyed along with Lisa Henry's The Island. Also, since I was MIA for Halloween I did not get to do a giveaway. Well today is your lucky day!

Comment on this post for your chance to win a $10 GC from either Amazon or All Romance. All you have to do is tell me "what book you read and really liked?" while I been breaking.

  • Must be 18yrs or older
  • Leave comment along with email
  • Winner has 48hrs to reply to my email
  • Contest runs until November 20th 11:59pm EST

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: But For You by Mary Calmes

Reviewed by Fehu
But For You (Matter of Time #6) by Mary Calmes
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 242pgs
4.5 Pants Off

Jory Harcourt is finally living the dream. Being married to US Marshal Sam Kage has changed him—it’s settled the tumult of their past and changed Jory from a guy who bails at the first sign of trouble to a man who stays and weathers the storm. He and Sam have two kids, a house in the burbs, and a badass minivan. Jory’s days of being an epicenter for disaster are over. Domestic life is good.

Which means it's exactly the right time for a shakeup on the home front. Sam’s ex turns up in an unexpected place. A hit man climbs up their balcony at a family reunion. And maybe both of those things have something to do with a witness who disappeared a year ago. Marital bliss just got a kick in the pants, but Jory won’t let anyone take his family away from him. Before he knew what it felt like to have a home, he would have run. Not anymore. He knows he and Sam need to handle things together, because that’s the only way they’re going to make it.

For all fans of Jory and Sam, this book is a must have! Jory and Sam have come a long way to be together and this is the final book in the series. The finish is less dramatic than the previous books, while it still has some action/adventure scenes and a murder plot, the book focuses on Sam and Jory's family life. They have settled down in new jobs, grown up some, and have two wonderful children...who are learning to use smaller water guns, to check if their teacher is the wicked witch of the west.

But For You visits on some unfinished threads and relationships, which Jory and Sam had. For one there is a secret that comes to light from Sam's undercover stint, which threatens their family. Also it was nice to have a visit from Aaron, one of Jory's ex-lovers, who is finally on his way to a happy ending of his own. Jory is shown as a parent and he is doing well in this new role, he is more stable and mature and not the danger magnet that he was, which makes a nice change!

There are still the funny dialogs and the sexual tension that I loved in the previous books and I loved to see Sam and Jory interact with their kids, so this has been a great ending for a good if not an emotionally turbulent series.

Jory and Sam's kids are fun and remind me a bit of Jory, personality wise, their questions about how things work or about certain behavior, like kissing(Hannah is not allowed to lick the cat, but why can Daddy lick Pa?) are sometimes hilarious and it was interesting to see Jory being an adult, he did come a long way from the first book! Sam, well he is still a caveman and fiercely protective of his family and he is around more.

Mostly this book is about Sam and Jory's happily ever after, which is still not as peaceful as one might imagine but made for a fitting ending of the series.

4.5 Pants Off

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

And The Winners Are!

This post is a bit late *hangs head in shame* but it's my blogging time off so don't shoot me. I do wanna give a shout out to the winners. So here is a list of all the winners that have entered Pants Off most recent giveaways.

-Loveless (The Flesh Cartel Swag)

- Suze (The Druid Stone/Galway Bound Giveaway)

-Gisu (Augusta Li Giveaway)

Jennifer (One True Thing Giveaway)

~Winners chosen using Congrats to the winners and thank you for everyone who stopped by and commented. Huge thanks to authors for stopping by and bringing the goods~

Monday, November 12, 2012

Review: Tigerland by Sean Kennedy

Reviewed by Fehu
Tigerland (Tigers & Devils #2) by Sean Kennedy
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 306pgs
4.5 Pants Off

After an eventful and sometimes uncomfortably public courtship, Simon Murray and Declan Tyler settled into a comfortable life together. Now retired from the AFL, Declan works as a football commentator; Simon develops programs with queer content for a community television station. 

Despite their public professional lives, Simon and Declan manage to keep their private life out of the spotlight. Their major concerns revolve around supporting their friends through infertility and relationship problems—until Greg Heyward, Declan’s ex-partner, outs himself in a transparent bid for attention. 

Though Simon and Declan are furious with Greg and his media antics, they can’t agree on what to do about it. Declan insists they should maintain a dignified silence, but both he and Simon keep getting drawn into Heyward’s games. Simon and Declan will once again have to ride out the media storm before they can return their attention to what really matters: each other.

While this is a great book, one should definitely read the previous book, to be able to follow.

Declan and Simon are back! I loved the first book Tigers and Devils and these two unlikely characters, who after some ordeals did manage to stay together. In this sequel they have been together for some years and changed jobs. Declan is no longer a famous football player and neither is his best friend Abe. Not all ended up being that great for Simon's friends: his two best friends and loyal sidekicks have trouble starting a family, and are too proud to accept help. Lisa and Abe fought and ended up splitting up. Only Simon and Declan stayed together but Declan's ex, Heyward, another football player, tries to change the couple’s bliss.

I loved book 1 and so I started reading this one with mixed feelings, hoping that it would not ruin the previous book for me. I loved Simon and wished to see him unchanged with the same sense of humor and his crazy schemes.  It was a relief to see that the writing didn't disappoint, there are some great one liners in this book, which made me laugh, right from the beginning. Simon is still Simon and his mother is the same as ever. Fran and Roger are also still Simon's loyal friends and he relies on their support, when the media circus begins.

Heyward is not a sympathetic character, he is retiring and announcing that he is gay to get more publicity for his book, he loves being in the spotlight and doesn't mind ruining other people’s lives(namely Declan and Simons) to get his 5 minutes of stardom. Still the whole drama annoyed me and I didn't understand why Declan took a long time to contradict all of Heyward's lies. I thought the whole issue was blown out of proportion. I mean Dec was afraid that Heyward would announce to the world their relationship and still didn't do anything to prevent the anticipated trouble.

The whole drama of Heyward's coming out and Declan's reaction had a bit too much drama for me and mostly about nothing, considering the problems their friends faced.

Still it was nice to catch up to all my favorite characters and I would recommend the book for all everyone who liked Tigers and Devils!

4.5 Pants Off

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Guest Post: Into its Depth: Classifying the Angels of Autumn by Joshua Skye

Into its Depth: Classifying The Angels of Autumn by Joshua Skye

Writing high-quality erotica is a challenge. It is reminiscent of scripting high concept scenes of horror or fantasy. No matter how grounded in reality they may be, no matter how dirty and gritty it is, there will always be a need to delve into the depths of the imagination and give it the distinguished air of the extraordinary. Horror, fantasy, erotica… they can be epic and profound. They can be every bit as emotional, heart-wrenching, and enthralling as any dramatic piece of literature. Genre writing is just as worthy and important as what would traditionally be categorized as classical works. And the brave writers who create such worlds are just as important as any other author.

The erotic content of The Angels of Autumn was indeed quite challenging, from making the difficult decision to be uncompromising and uninhibited about it to the actual writing itself. There are no easy choices in writing, and like horror and fantasy, the true bravery actually manifests in essentially just doing it. It takes courage to create a scene of private pleasure, the joys one can give to oneself, perhaps even braver than writing a vanilla scene between two people. Braver still is to write something just a little deviant, sex in the shadowy depths of someplace open and public, carnal gatherings with many people, or consensual brutality. It really is brave to be an honest writer especially in the realms of speculative genres. Erotica can be just as speculative as horror and fantasy especially when you let your imagination soar.

Sometimes I have to bring myself back down from the clouds; ground myself as it were. I love to romanticize sex in ways foreign to the usual notions of carnality. Sometimes I like to give erotic scenes an air of the horrific by describing them as I would a scene of terror or dread. Other times, I like to let the descriptions fly and grant them an atmosphere of high fantasy, using lofty and ambitious verbiage to describe even the most mundane aspects of sex. And, of course, I live to do the reverse and give startling moments their own distinctive sexual vibe. Sometimes, it’s really just all about the sex.

The Angels of Autumn not only has its explicit erotic content, detailed and realistic, but it also weaves a slithering sexual undertone into the entirety of its strange and complex world. This was purposeful. I wanted it that way. I wanted it to be raw, uninhibited, and inescapably carnal. An unnerving sensuality can be found in everything, it’s there in The Angels of Autumn, even at its most disconcerting. I was once opposed to categorizing the novel at all, wanting it to remain a mystery, unclassifiable. But the truth is that it’s an erotic work of speculative fiction to its seedy little core. And I quite like it that way.


Joshua Skye was born in Jamestown, New York but predominantly grew up in the Texas Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. He is a graduate of K.D. Studio Actor’s Conservatory of the Southwest and has worked on indie/underground films and on stage. He lives in rural
Pennsylvania with his partner Ray of sixteen years and their eight year old son, Syrian. His short stories have appeared in anthologies from STARbooks Press, Knightwatch Press, Sirens Call Publications, Rainstorm Press, JMS Books and periodicals such as Blood and Lullabies. He is the author of The Singing Wind, Bareback: A Werewolf’s Tale, along with the forthcoming Midnight Rainbows, and The Grigori.

The Lombardi Funeral Home was among the oldest of buildings in Wren, constructed in the late 1800s as both a business and a residence by the Lombardi family, immigrants from Italy, of course.

They conducted the bulk of their unusual profession on the shadowy, beautifully decorated, meticulously maintained first level while the untidy dealings with body preparation were carried out in the basement. The second and third levels were where they actually lived. Kept in the family for well over a hundred years by strict legal clauses in every will and testament down the Lombardi line it was now owned and operated by the widow Mary Anne Lombardi and her only son, Angelo.

Kincaid felt queasy as he looked around the parlor. The furnishings were ancient, most assuredly antiques, perhaps even the original Italian décor, all aglow in the flickering light of electric candles. Aside from what little daylight filtered in through the dark sheers, there were no other light sources. A little bell had announced his arrival several minutes before but he’d yet to be greeted.

There was a musty smell and a pungent chemical odor beneath it. Someone, somewhere deep in the house turned on a hissing record player and after a few scratchy seconds a low, somber sonata began to play over unseen speakers. A curtain parted and a tall shadowy figure emerged. He said, “How may I help?”

Angelo was a handsome man with typically Italian features. He was dressed in a nice, solemn suit and had his hair combed strictly back. His large hazel eyes fell on his guest and there was an audible sound of shock, a sigh and then a deep intake of air. He said, “Kincaid. Wow, I thought you’d never come back to this place especially when you didn’t attend your brother’s funeral. Everyone thought it was pretty scandalous. So, how’s it going?”

Ignoring the crude judgment, Kincaid detected a genuine surprise in Angelo’s voice. He was the same age and had been in many of the very same classes as the Kingsley twins, he’d even been one of the disapproving assholes who had put them through hell. Angelo had been one of the popular kids, one of the over-exulted Wren Dragons, a dumb jock destined to forever mourn his golden high school days. As an adult, Angelo didn’t seem so intimidating anymore. He was just a man in his late twenties, wasting away in the family business, no longer taut, tan and toned, no longer important, no longer a Dragon…the toast of the town. He had a beer belly which alone made Kincaid happy. “I’m okay,” he replied. “How have you been?”

Angelo’s lips quivered when he forced a smile and answered, “Good. Thank you. How’s your mother?”

“As good as can be expected, I guess.”

Angelo said, “Right. Well, how can I help you?” He was stiff, formal. The fingers of his hands were entwined and resting at his waist. He cocked his head to one side, the sympathy in his eyes was counterfeit, a professional automation.

“I wanted to talk to you about my brother’s funeral, actually.” Kincaid found he couldn’t look at Angelo when he said ‘funeral,’ and so he diverted his gaze across the room to nothing in particular. Everything about the place was so old.

Angelo’s voice got deeper and there was a hint of umbrage to it. “I imagine you would. Your mother expressed her disappointment in your brother’s restoration. We’re very sorry she was so displeased. I assure you we pro-rated our fees accordingly.”

Kincaid slowly brought his attention back to his host and said, “Yeah well, do you do the restoration?”

“No. My mother does.” Angelo’s stance changed, he was getting defensive both vocally and physically.

“May I speak with her, please?”


“I’m not here to cause a scene or anything. I just want to talk to her. That’s all, Angelo. I’m not going to berate your mother.”

The Italian man just stood there for several tedious and silent moments assessing the guest’s intentions. Kincaid refused to look away this time no matter how nerve-racking or unsettling the situation slowly became. He wasn’t in high school anymore, he wasn’t the frightened and belittled teenager who shied away from everyone and Angelo wasn’t the pompous cock-of-the-walk anymore. They were adults and far more equal now than Angelo was probably even aware of.

Kincaid prepared himself for a physical altercation. Being picked on mercilessly had prompted him to take quite a few self-defense classes over the years. Angelo might have been able to beat the shit out of him once, long ago, but his glory days were long over. He was out of shape and didn’t have his buddies around to back him up. Kincaid put on a confident little grin and stated, “I said please.

Angelo’s shoulders slouched ever so slightly. He swallowed hard and his eyes turned down as his voice became professional, disengaged. He said, “Of course. If you’ll excuse me I’ll see if she’s available. Please, take a seat.”

“Thank you, Angelo,” Kincaid said lowly.

Angelo nodded and disappeared behind the curtain.

Kincaid turned and meandered into the small, dismal sitting room and over to a stiff, uncomfortable sofa and sat down. A spider crawled over the surface of the weathered coffee table. Not particularly squeamish about such things, Kincaid watched it with a distracting fascination, the way it moved, the legs click, click, clicking along. He frowned as he realized that this spider was malformed. It had nine legs instead of eight and yet the added appendage didn’t seem to impede it in the slightest. He found himself leaning down, close, to get a better view of the little creepy crawly. The spider stopped. Perhaps it was now quite aware of its audience. It was perfectly still, frozen.

“Mr. Kingsley.” The voice was soft.

Kincaid flinched. The spider lurched into motion and scurried over the edge of the table and vanished. Being polite, Kincaid stood and turned his attention to the petite woman standing in the entranceway. She clutched a leather-bound portfolio to her bosom. Her salt and pepper hair was pulled into a tight bun on her head. She had modest make-up on and was dressed in a long, conservative black dress.

There was a beautifully crocheted shawl draped over her shoulders perhaps utilized to hide the slight curvature of her upper spine. Kincaid said, “Ms. Lombardi, thank you for seeing me.”

She smiled courtly and entered the room, moved gracefully around the back of the sofa and sat down next to her guest. Kincaid sat down as well. Her eyes were down. He wondered what she was thinking. He imagined she thought he was there to complain. He wanted to reassure her he was not and so he said, “I didn’t come here to…”

Without looking at him, she shoved the portfolio at him. Sheepishly, he accepted it and took a deep breath before opening it. For a moment he expected to see pictures of his dead brother, before and after. It wasn’t something he was even remotely interested in. They were pictures of the dead and indeed they were before and after shots, instamatic snapshots, many of them yellowed with age. The first was an old man whose face had practically been pulled off in some horrible accident. After the restoration he simply appeared as though he were napping. The second was a woman whose forehead had been cleaved open and again the after picture was perfect. On and on the pictures went, each turn of the page revealing flawless transformations.

She said demurely, “My work. As you can see, I am very good at it.”

“It’s immaculate, you’d never know, but my mother said she could…” Kincaid paused as a realization hit him. He turned his eyes away from the Polaroid snapshots in the photo album. The widow Lombardi looked sad and afraid at the same time. His voice was shaky, hesitant. He said, “You did it on purpose.”

Mary Anne nodded and took the album back from him, she closed it and pressed it, embraced it, to her breast. Her eyes moved downward until she stared at the floor and there she focused for a long time, barely breathing, silent and still. She was contemplating something. Kincaid’s mind raced with what those thoughts might be. His heart fluttered nervously. What secret was she about to reveal?


Kincaid Kingsley returns to the town of his childhood after the death of his twin brother, Xander. Believing the crime to be motivated by hate and prejudice, Kincaid sets out to discover why the police are no longer actively investigating the case and hopefully uncover his brother’s killer in the process.

Things in Wren are not as they seem, however, and the closer that Kincaid gets to an answer, the more danger he encounters. Why are all the townspeople so afraid to share what they know?

As the mystery surrounding Xander’s death unravels, the town becomes increasingly blind to what is actually going on. Can Kincaid discover who killed his brother and save the town from evil?

Tagline: A Profound and Powerful Gay Erotic Thriller

Author: Joshua Skye
Publisher: Pink Pepper Press
Number of Pages: 212 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-0615702100 (Pink Pepper Press)
ISBN-10: 0615702104

Release Date: October 19, 2012

Links for Purchase: CreateSpace Smashwords Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon DE Amazon FR Amazon IT Amazon ES 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Flesh Cartel: Auction (What's Next)

I am once again exited to have Rachel & Heidi stopping by and dishing about their explosive and controversial new serial "The Flesh Cartel". They even brought a fantastic giveaway, and I am wondering "why the hell are you guys so lucky in getting freaking swag!". I am epicly  jealous and am wondering if I can enter the giveaway y/y :D

Hi everyone! Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz here, sharing the inside scoop on the latest episode of our serial fiction thriller The Flesh Cartel, “Auction,” now available from Riptide Publishing. Pants Off Reviews has become our unofficial host for The Flesh Cartel, so we’re thrilled to share some exclusive details here about the next season of The Flesh Cartel, Fragmentation, starting January 2013!

We’ve brought a special prize with us to celebrate the release of Auction—one lucky commenter will win a swag pack stuffed with The Flesh Cartel gear! To enter, simply comment on this post in the comments section below before midnight on Sunday, 11/11. Be sure to include your email address so we can contact you if you are the chosen winner.

Please note--this interview contains (vague) spoilers. We’re going to answer some of the questions that have been on readers’ minds since the moment they started reading The Flesh Cartel. If you prefer not to know what lies ahead for Mat and Dougie, don’t read any further!

The Flesh Cartel contains a lot of violence. Tell us—will things get more torturous for Mat and Dougie, or will they get a little bit of downtime?

No, no downtime at all. Not even a little bit. However, the way they’re tortured definitely changes; as Nikolai would tell you quite vehemently if you asked, he’s, and we quote, “not a rapist.” (Seriously though, he totally is. There’s some major cognitive dissonance going on in that man’s head, the reasons for which we’ll get to . . . eventually.) In upcoming episodes, brute force gets traded for subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) psychological and emotional manipulation. And each brother experiences that manipulation very differently.

Do we see any more of Nikolai, the man we briefly glimpse at the beginning of episode 1?

Yes. Nikolai will be back. Rather quite a lot in Season 2, in fact.

Will there be any new sympathetic characters?

In a way, Nikolai himself is quite a sympathetic character. Or at least he will be if we’ve done our jobs right. He adheres quite strictly to a very clear set of rules and morals that all make perfect sense in his head, and at times comes across as kind and strong and even loving--which at times he genuinely is. Make no mistake--Nikolai is one of several villains of the piece, but it’s not a black and white situation, and there are reasons for his worldview that, when revealed, may make you sympathize for him against your will.

You also meet a couple of other characters who are (or have been) in the same predicament as Mat and Dougie. First there’s a glimpse of a young woman going through exactly what they’re going through, and then later, an older man who may or may not be an eerie specter of what’s to come . . .

Are the both of you (Heidi and Rachel) nervous about the release of this next installment? More-so than episode one? Less so?

Rachel: I think I’m a lot calmer about this one. In a way, the “worst” of it--at least in terms of the overt brutality--is over in episode 1. If you’ve made it that far, you should be just fine with the rest of the series, although what starts to happen in Season 2 is so much more insidious and terrifying (to me at least) than what happens in Season 1.

Heidi: I think every release comes with a certain amount of jitters, more so when you’re releasing something as boundary-pushing and polarizing as this. Especially after Amazon giving us the boot, the journey hasn’t been all roses and daisies. However, the amount of support we received in the wake of the whole Amazon fiasco, even among people who really AREN’T our audience for this book--people for whom the content is objectionable or just too extreme--is really heartening. So I’m trying to think about that in amongst the paralyzing thoughts of AHH PEOPLE ARE GOING TO THINK I’M A SERIAL KILLER. [Rachel: She isn’t. *shifty-eyes*]

So do the boys get a happy ending eventually?

It’ll take them four to five seasons to get there, but they will get a, um, not-unhappy ending? No, that’s probably not fair; though they will both be irrevocably changed by their experiences, the series will absolutely end on a positive note for both of them. Will it be a traditional Romance HEA? Well, this isn’t a romance, so draw your own conclusions from that! Hopefully it will be satisfying no matter what.

But will they get their revenge?

All I’m saying is, Mat’s training is all about teaching him behaviors without breaking his spirit: in fact, it’s all calculated to make him feel hate more intensely. And he’s locked up with a whole bunch of boxing equipment to keep physically fit. And they’ve been hurting his little brother, often right in front of him. Who knows what a man like that may wind up doing when he gets the chance . . .

Blurb: In episode two of The Flesh Cartel, the dark purpose behind Mat and Dougie Carmichael’s abduction is revealed. Though Dougie is protected from the worst of the guards’ brutality, he’s disgusted to find himself halfway to broken—despairing of escape and terrified of pain. Mat holds onto hope despite repeated rapes and beatings, but threats toward his brother teach him well to lay aside his pride and pick his battles carefully.

Worn down by days of unrelenting fear and abuse, Mat and Dougie are packaged and marketed with the same ruthless efficiency as any consumer product: Dougie the prettyboy twink, Mat the rabid pit bull. They are led to the auction block as the showpiece of the house’s collection.

Mat would rather be beaten to death than play the role of obedient slave for sale, but Dougie, desperate not to be separated from his brother, strikes a deal with the pitiless Madame who
runs the auction house and controls both their fates. It might just be enough to keep them together—slaves, but together—assuming Mat even wants to be after Dougie fulfills his end of his deal with the devil.

Author Bios:

Rachel Haimowitz is an M/M erotic romance author, a freelance writer and editor, and the Managing Editor of Riptide Publishing. She's also a sadist with a pesky conscience, shamelessly silly, and quite proudly pervish. Fortunately, all those things make writing a lot more fun for her . . . if not so much for her characters.

When she's not writing about hot guys getting it on (or just plain getting it; her characters rarely escape a story unscathed), she loves to read, hike, camp, sing, perform in community theater, and glue captions to cats. She also has a particular fondness for her very needy dog, her even needier cat, and shouting at kids to get off her lawn.

You can find Rachel at her website, Tweeting as RachelHaimowitz, chatting in the Goodreads forums, and blogging at Fantasy Unbound. She loves to hear from folks, so feel free to drop her a line anytime at metarachel (at) gmail (dot) com.

Heidi Belleau was born and raised in small town New Brunswick, Canada. She now lives in the rugged oil-patch frontier of Northern BC with her husband, an Irish ex-pat whose long work hours in the trades leave her plenty of quiet time to write. She has a degree in history from Simon Fraser University with a concentration in British and Irish studies; much of her work centred on popular culture, oral folklore, and sexuality, but she was known to perplex her professors with unironic papers on the historical roots of modern romance novel tropes. (Ask her about Highlanders!) When not writing, you might catch her trying to explain British television to her newborn daughter or standing in line at the local coffee shop, waiting on her caramel macchiato.

You can find her tweeting as @HeidiBelleau, email her at, or visit her blog:


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  • Winner has 48hrs to reply to my email or another winner gets chosen
  • Giveaway runs until November 11th 11:59pm EST

Guest Post: Immaturity As a Character Trait by K.Piet

In my newest book, Making Ends Meet, my co-author S.L. Armstrong and I decided to tell the story of a seventeen-year-old gay teen who experiments with his female friend in high school and ends up with sole custody of the daughter that resulted from that experiment. One of the things that some reviewers have pointed out in the past when S.L. and I have written younger characters is that those characters act immature. When this happens, S.L. and I often look at each other, blink, and say in unison, "Well... yeah. He's only seventeen years old."

Immaturity is a word we often use with disdain. "Jeez, my little brother is so immature I'm embarrassed for my friends to ever see him!" or "That joke wasn't funny. Stop being so immature!" are just examples of a society that expects people to grow up quickly and smoothly, to be well-transitioned at a young age so they can tackle the world as they move into adulthood. The problem is, this happens at different times for different people in different aspects of their lives. In Making Ends Meet, Zach becomes a father at a very young age. As such, he's forced to mature in certain ways and accept responsibility of his daughter. He is a young man who has been raised to deal with the consequences of his actions, and that means changing his perspective on life and re-evaluating or putting aside some of his aspirations in order to raise his daughter, Mae.

In some ways, we have written Zach to be very mature for his age. When he becomes responsible for Mae, his entire life focus shifts. It's no longer just about him. Every action he takes will have consequences for his daughter, and that means he always looks at situations from that new perspective of a father trying to do right by his daughter. Mae is never just set dressing (as S.L. brought up in one of our other blog tour posts), and she is considered in every decision Zach makes, right down to whether or not to continue his relationship with his love interest, Wil, when things start to get rocky. In this way, he's very mature, thinking of his daughter instead of just himself.

In other ways, however, Zach is still very much a teenager who has been thrown into a world he didn't really have time to prepare for. He may have researched enough to try to take care of Mae on his own, but there are still times when he freaks out, like when Mae gets sick and he isn't sure exactly what to do. There are still situations that get him riled up and emotional, usually about the ever stressful issues of time and money. And there are certainly times when he imagines what his life would be like without Mae, the life he might have led if he were just a simple seventeen-year-old kid taking his first semester of classes at college without the added baggage. There are moments when he gets giddy over the little things, throws a bit of a fuss, can't communicate as those around him would like, or even lashes out because of pride. These are all parts of his immaturity, and where it really shines is in his utter inexperience with relationships. We wrote Zach as having only had the kind of boyfriend you hold hands with and sneak a kiss or two with during school. His first sexual encounter was with that close female friend for the sake of experimentation, but that resulted in him becoming a parent. Through the storm of legal custody being signed over solely to him, he certainly didn't have time to find a boyfriend during the remainder of his high school career. When he meets Wil during college, he's never been with anyone in a true dating, courting, and eventually intimate relationship. It's such new territory for him that he makes a lot of mistakes.

And that's the crux of the matter. No seventeen-year-old is perfect. It's the age when so many of us were/are still trying to figure ourselves out, find out which direction our life is going. It's a time of transition, and most of us don't have to do that with an infant child dependent upon us. (For those who have stuck it out through teen pregnancy and parenthood, I sincerely salute you!) With that in mind, it's understandable for someone like Zach to have a certain level of immaturity as he attempts to take on the entire world all at once. Writing him any other way would have not only compromised the depth of his character, but it also would have removed some of the drama and angst that makes this kind of contemporary romance compelling and realistic.

It's our hope that those who read Making Ends Meet will find Zach to be your typical teenager thrown into extraordinary circumstances, and that means celebrating the traits that make him a good father to Mae... but also occasionally wanting to slap him upside the head for his mistakes. Immaturity might often be referred to in a negative light, but without immaturity, there would be no journey for characters like Zach and Wil. As readers, we hope you all take the journey with them and find that, through their immaturity, they're able to grow not only as individuals, but as a couple and a family.

K. Piet is the marketing director of Storm Moon Press and the co-author of Making Ends Meet and Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley. She can be found on her website or on Twitter @k_piet.