I had a plan to write about some older series I have loved, like, say, Frank Herbert’s Dune or L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, but recently I started reading The Rifer Series by Ginn Hale and it has consumed my heart and brain!
The Rifer is a fantasy series set between earth and another plane. It leaps through time and place, building a world that I can see clearly in my mind with every word. I had read and loved both Wicked Gentlemen (need a sequel!) and The Lord of the White Hell (1 & 2) so I am not surprised that The Rifter series had gobbled up my brain, but I suppose I am surprised at the extent that I feel Hale has improved in her skills. The jumping through time, the building of the world, all feels quite masterful, like this kind of thing has started to come to her like breathing. There are so few places where you see the author at work.
I am emotionally invested in all of the characters. They all have so much to lose and she’s placed them in such utterly impossible situations. I am most driven, however, by my insatiable curiosity. The leaps through time, the interactions between different characters in different time lines all makes me desperately hungry for the information to put the pieces together. If, for you, part of a good reading experience is the sense of being compelled to go forward, of feeling constantly in a state of, “How? But why? Is this going to be fixed? Oh, god, my heart!”, then this is the kind of reading experience for you.
I am only in Book Three (Black Blades) currently, so I fully admit that with seven books to go everything could go to shit and what looks like masterful world-building could become a total disaster, but, uh, I’m an optimist, okay? And I’m feeling sure this series is going to rock my world and my heart. I suspect you should let it rock yours, too.
GO FORTH AND CHECK IT OUT! 🙂
By the way, the books are available on Amazon, but they are listed there out of order. So, be sure to read them as follows:
1. The Shattered Gates
2. Servants of the Crossed Arrows
3. Black Blades
4. Witches’ Blood
5. The Holy Road
6. Broken Fortress
7. Enemies and Shadows
8. The Silent City
9. The Iron Temple
10. His Holy Bones
The story skips around in time so much that if you don’t read in the right order, I imagine it would actually be possible to not realize it for quite some time! I solved that problem by buying it directly from Blind Eye Books. It is available in both ebook and print form. I have a feeling this will be one that I re-buy just to have the print books!
Oh, and another favorite series of mine, though I admit to being a bit biased, is the one I write with Keira Andrews! Our Tempting Tales Series, but of course! The latest of which, a stand alone sexy m/m re-imagining of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Love’s Nest, is available on Amazon, B&N, All Romance EBooks, and Ellora’s Cave.
Also, if you’re interested in Love’s Nest, August 16th is the last day to comment over at Stumbling Over Chaos for a chance to win a free copy of Love’s Nest!
And, lastly, if you’ve never read Ginn Hale’s other work, do check it out. She’s got a gift for making me love her books. And look at this! Who wouldn’t want to read something written by a woman wearing these glasses?
Keira Andrews and Leta Blake write fairy tale inspired m/m erotica and romantica with Ellora’s Cave. Check out Love’s Nest, available on Wednesday through Ellora’s Cave! And also remember to look at Earthly Desires and Ascending Hearts, the first two books in the Tempting Tales series, available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Ellora’s Cave.
Just before my 13th birthday my parents moved house, which involved me changing schools. The new school was bigger than my previous and had two advantages – the first being it was mixed sex, and the second being the student-run library. I signed up to be a library almost immediately. I got a shiny badge and access to a roomful of books. If heaven’s not like that, then I don’t want in.
My librarian duties meant spending my lunch hour tidying and organising books, after which I could do whatever. I usually sat down in a corner with my packed lunch and a Sweet Valley High story. I could polish off both in about half an hour. I read everything in that library, but what I loved more than anything else was The Belgariad series by David Eddings.
Many, many years on and I still love the fantastic world Eddings created. Somewhere in my house is the book he wrote about doing that, which contains advice to aspiring authors. I bought it because I wanted to write something as epic, with princesses and knights and dragons. The first fiction I wrote, at about 15 was about a princess. I never finished that novel, never mind a stack of them.
Though I’m perfectly happy being a science fiction author now, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am had I not read The Belgariad and its sequel series The Mallorean. That desire to write something as epic, as in the vein of Tolkien only with less death, is the bedrock of who I am as an author.
This time around we’re talking about the best love scene we’ve ever read and why it worked.
The only one that instantly comes to mind for me was from one of my favorite Kresley Cole books, Dark Desires After Dusk. I don’t want to get into the whole story because if you haven’t read it, you MUST, but needless to say the hero is doing a bad thing by leading our unwitting heroine to her doom. Oh I love Holly and Cadeon. They’re my favorite characters, I think. Probably because Holly starts out as this shy, repressed person who turns into this kick ass heroine with one of the sexiest bad boys in the Lore.
Sorry, didn’t mean to get all excited. I just love this book. Anyway, to set the scene, Cade is bringing Holly to a bad man in order to regain his brother’s lost kingdom. He’s torn because he knows Holly is his mate. Knows it. And she’s destined to become the mother of the bad man’s babies, so he has to keep his mitts off her on their long road trip from New Orleans to Alaska. Hello? He’s sexy as hell and she’s this little vixen of a woman. Can we say impossible situation? Toss in her curiosity about him, sex and her burgeoning powers and we have a volatile, doomed affair.
So here we are to my scene. They’ve been playing with each other, bringing each other pleasure with their hands and mouths, but no full on penetration. And Cade offers to let Holly drive his brothers McLaren.
And driving this beast of a car turns her on. He can tell as the speedometer climbs up and up. She grows aroused, he grows aroused and he tells her to pull over. She does and next thing we know, Holly is perched on the fender of this fine ass car, her pants around her ankles and Cade between her legs.
It’s funny really. I’ve read a lot of books, some with sex scenes so hot I’ve had to fan myself. But the only one I remember is this one because it’s painted in my mind. He’s there, pleasuring her with his mouth and he tells her to play with her nipples, that he’s busy. When she looks down at him kneeling in front of her, it’s to see his hand moving in a tell-tale jerking motion. I can see this scene and it’s sexy as all hell. That he’s so hungry for her, he doesn’t care if cars pass. The restraint he shows when he knows flat-out fucking her will bring him more pleasure than anything is…just mind-blowing. But he wants to bring her pleasure and for a selfish man (as we learn he is through the other books and the start of this one), is sexy as hell.
There are books out there that probably have hotter scenes, but none of them were so memorable I can almost remember the exact wording, the exact sequence of events that led to it. That’s powerful writing and one day, when I grow up, I’ll do the same.
Kresley Cole, if you’re reading this, you’re my hero! I HEART you!
By the way, I’m leaving for Romantic Times Convention 2013 tomorrow. If you’re going, be sure to look for me at Ellora’s Cave’s Disco Inferno party on Wednesday night, the big ebook expo on Thursday, and the FAN-tastic Day Author Event on Saturday from 6:30 to 7:00.
Keira pretty much sums up why it’s so much fun writing m/m romance. Check out her blog post for some smoking hot pictures if you don’t believe me. 🙂
I love to combine m/m romance with paranormal/fantasy. Pretty much all has been said why we love to write paranormal/fantasy. It’s great fun to make up stuff without worrying about the laws of nature, science and physics—and creating new terms based on Latin roots and other languages. I’ve traveled to many sacred sites and I like to use these experiences in my stories. There’s magic in the world and fantasy and paranormal bring it to the surface. Who doesn’t want to believe that during another age vampires and shape shifters existed. Angels are with us. Elves roam the forests. And, there’s a genie in that strange lamp you just bought at a used garage sale!
We all love to dream and believe in the impossible.
I’ll leave you with another smokin’ hot pic to enjoy! I can’t let Keira have all the fun. 🙂
Happy Reading and Dreaming!
Viki Lyn: Award winning author of male/male paranormal and contemporary romances. You can find all of Viki’s books at the following sites: Amazon, All Romance Ebooks and GLBT Bookshelf.
Pride will be the death of him.
When psychic Nate Coleman dreams of a murder, he knows it’s a premonition. He can’t forget the image of his ex-lover with a bullet hole through his chest. Nate has no choice but to confront William and face the skeptical scientist’s ridicule.
Dr. William Ryner doesn’t believe in what he can’t prove. When Nate comes back into his life, it’s not to rekindle their love, but to bring up more of that mumbo jumbo that split them apart.
Despite William’s refusal to listen, Nate can’t ignore the premonition. And, William can’t ignore Nate. Before the gunman strikes, William must either trust in Nate’s ability or rely only on the facts, but if he does the latter, pride could be the death of him.
The theme for the next two weeks is what makes my genre fun.
I’ve been writing on and off since I was fifteen. Some of those stories were contemporary with not a shapeshifter or vampire or witch in sight, but for the most part, if I were to look back on my work, there was magic at work somewhere. When you introduce that illusive “magic” to a story, the possiblities are endless.
It also helps when you’ve written your way into a corner. You know, the plot has absolutely nowhere to go because you’ve made it nearly impossible to save the day. How do you fix that? Create a spell/ability for your hero/heroine and voila! It’s fixed!
Not that I use that very often. *cough* I try to work things out in a more logical way…but eh. Sometimes a writer’s got to do what a writer’s got to do!
But probably the best part of writing paranormal (and sci-fi which I’m still working on), is that the possibilities are endless. When you write in a genre with rules you make up, you’re only limited by your imagination. And let’s face it, we wouldn’t be writers if we didn’t have an imagination.
I love braingstorming new ways to twist old myths. The succubus who wants to fall in love instead of feeding off of sex. The banshee who can’t cry. A lion shifter who’s also a rock star. A fashoin designer grizzly bear. Okay, so I really like weird angles when I write my paranormal stories, but that’s all part of what makesk them so much fun to write! I don’t like the same old, same old. Just ask my stylist. Every time I go to see her, I tell her “I want to try something different”. I’m the same when when it comes to writing.
How about on the reading end? I love reading fusion stories. You know, historical paranormals, or sci-fi erotica *cough*. Do you like the same? What’s your favorite paranormal race to read about?
For all my MANhandlers, today’s picture is a .gif taken from Google images. Given my penchant for men in kilts, particularly with Doc Marten’s (or, in this case, work boots), I thought this was totally appropriate. I want under his man-skirt in a bad way. LOL
Today’s blog topic is about favorite literary classics, past or present. I have to admit that my mind immediately went to Diana Gabaldon. There is no other book that moves me quite like Outlander. That this is the novel’s 20th anniversary only makes this blog post sweeter from me. I love all of the books that follow Outlander, provided they have Jamie Fraser in them, though Outlander will always be the first thing to cross my mind when someone asks me to name my favorite book. It was like losing my literary virginity in so many ways — thrilling, poignant, slightly painful, something worth doing sober and definitely worth the wait.
Diana’s tale covers Claire Randall, a Sassenach (foreigner) and nurse who served in World War II, who has just reunited with her husband in Scotland after (essentially) a seven year separation. Through an innocent turn of events, she passes through Craigh na Dun, a small standing stone circle and ends up in 1743. She’s subjected to a series of events that result in her marrying Jamie Fraser out of necessity despite the fact she’s still married to Frank Randall in 1947. She struggles with the morality of it, but she and Jamie ultimately fall in love. Real love. That kind of love that transcends time, space, distance, separation and the worst mankind can do to one another. Their love is rich and bitter and sweet, so real that I still get swept up in the tale every time I read it.
What is it about Diana Gabaldon that makes her writing so off-the-chain crazy good? It’s her ability to deal in human emotions, wrapping the story with actual significant historical events (i.e. the Scottish Uprising with the Bonnie Prince Charlie). There’s intrigue, family dynamics, politics, murder and more. I’m getting pulled into the memory of the story just writing this. I can see a re-read coming on. They’re going to make a mini-series out of the novel. The cable channel, Starz, has purchased the rights. I hope like mad they don’t screw it up. I haven’t decided if I’ll watch it or not. I don’t want it to ruin the images I have in my head of what the characters look like, Jamie Fraser in particular. Sometimes the classics should just be left alone.
My other favorite story is Watership Down. I first read this story in 5th grade. Yes, 5th grade. I had an amazingly gifted English teacher. While I didn’t understand the political position of the novel for years, this novel cemented my desire to write, particularly in worlds that parallel our own. The story covers a warren of rabbits who are driven from their home and forced to relocate to a safer place. There are dangers at every turn. “Ruddadills” (sp?) were cars. I remember the terror of having to cross the highway with the rabbits. I remember the emotions evoked in this tale of resettlement and the struggle to survive. That such a novel would stick with me for thirty years, that it would be one I can re-read even now and pick up new nuances, still amazes me. Ironically, this novel was made into a movie. It can’t hold a candle to the book.
Both books are classics, though very different. It strikes me now, as I write, that both deal in love and loss and political unrest. Strange that they both appeal to me so much and for such disparate and similar reasons. I’m off to ponder this, take a deeper look at meanings and messages and such.
Drop me a line and let me know what your favorite novel(s) is/are. I’m always on the lookout to find “new” classics. And what better place to get a recommended read than from a reader?
I think…I hope, I’m right in thinking the next topic on our mighty list of blog topics is about what gets us going no matter how badly it’s done…sexually. I think that’s where we’re supposed to take it.
If it isn’t, I blame my erotic writing history on how I interpreted this blog topic. It’s not my fault. Don’t judge me! Anyway, there’s one thing that works for me whether I’m in the mood or not. Whether it’s an accident or not. And it involves my ears.
I remember going out partying in college. We were purely platonic group of six. Three girls, three boys. At that time, we were just out enjoying ourselves, goofing off, drinking, being “intellectuals” and having fun. I had a crush on one of those guys. Sure, you knew it was bound to happen, right? Well, yeah. He was cute, funny, smart and we had a lot in common. But we were friends and no one wants to destroy that friendship bond or put it at risk, so I never did anything to show my interest which means he probably never noticed I was a girl.
But on this one particular long weekend, he did something that put me firmly in the “girl” category. We were at a bar, all six of us listening to music and drinking and laughing. He leaned over and spoke into my ear. I’m sure it was something sarcastic and funny. It could have been “I’m going piss”. I don’t remember. Because when he spoke, breath rushed over my ear and I did this full-body shudder. The kind you see people doing on those medical emergency shows when the “paddles” are put on them and they’re shocked back to life. It was the warm, moist air hitting those itty bitty hairs along my ear canal and the rim of my ear that left me twitching and shuddering and, yes, to my embarrassment, completely turned on. For my friend. In the middle of the bar.
I glanced over at him and noticed the evil grin. Oh yes. He was well aware of what he’d just done.
It’s just one of those things that turns me on whether I want it to or not. It’s an erogenous zone that leaves me vulnerable. Add to that a little nibble of the ear and I’m a quivering mess. I don’t know if it can be badly done. Oh. Yes, it can. Years later, a boyfriend attempted the same thing except he decided to explore my ear canal with his tongue. *shudder* Not in a good way either. The subtle tease is what I like. Once he backed off giving me an oral ear examination and went back to the nibbling, blowing air thing, I was back on board.
If there’s bad kissing or a slightly less-than-enthusiastic response on my part, all it really takes to get my motor running is for a little warm air skating over my ear and I’m back in the game like a champ. In my fantasies, my lover spends a long time on my ears and my back (which is partially tattooed and extremely sensitive…oh, that’s another thing but I’m not going to talk about that today) until I’m just a village waiting to be pillaged. *swoons*
I don’t think it’s an ear fetish though. I might have to look that up on OMG Sex Facts. Hm. Do you like to have your ears nibbled on? Lapped at? Your ear lobes tugged on? Played with? You can tell me. I told y’all!
The theme this time around is all about the zombiepocalypse. Oh sure, you’ve seen the movies, you know what to do. But would you really do it?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’d be as bad as the guys in Shaun of the Dead and head straight for the pub. At least I don’t think I would. But then again, I don’t have a full plan like some people I know. Plans, you say? Yes, plans.
There’s my nephew who has made the decision that when the zombiepocalypse happens, he’s going to his parents’ house, burn all the homes in a quarter-mile around their house and stake out on top of his dad’s shed (it’s roughly the size of a small airplane hangar). Now that’s planning. He has his defensible position picked out, a means to make sure he can see the enemy coming…so sorry about the neighbors though. This is serious business to him.
My brother plans to hang out at either Wal-mart or Sams. I don’t think that’s the best plan of action myself. I mean, isn’t that where everyone’s going to go when the zombies come? They’ll decide at the last-minute that they need to get some milk or something. Not to mention, there are just too many entrances into the building for my comfort. Sure, it has everything you’d need to survive for a good while, but you’ll have to fend off other survivors and the zombies. Not exactly my cup of tea.
Then there’s this belief that if you go out in the middle of nowhere, where there are no people, your chances of being the target of a zombie attack. But you’re also far from all supplies you might need. First aid, food, ammunition, etc. Sure, you could stockpile this stuff, but you will run out. The question is will you outlast the zombies or not? Besides, I seriously doubt a zombie infection would be isolated to humans. You could be out there in the woods surrounded by zombie squirrels, zombie rabbits…zombie mosquitoes! It’s dangerous!
As for me? Well, I already know I’d never survive the zombiepocalypse. It wouldn’t matter how prepared I was. I could go all Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 dangerous and I’d still die. Why? Because I can’t stand being dirty or having dirty hair. It’s an OCD thing with me. It’s also why I don’t go camping. Hair must be washed daily. All the zombies would have to do to make a snack out of me is to wait for me to corner myself in a bathroom (because yeah, I would have to stay somewhere with running water, even if it’s a cistern) and take me out.
Hi, I’m Danica, your zombie hostess. Welcome to the zombiepocalypse. How do you like your brains? Shaken or stirred?
If it were left to me, a real pleasure planet would be defined by choices. It would offer a range of sights, sounds, tastes, touches, textures, and ideas to tantalize and satisfy almost every hunger (yes, there are limits but you know what they are).
Let’s start with the basics. The staff, male and female, in every size and color, in various stages of undress. Lets’ face it, we all find different types drool-worthy and respond to different levels of anticipation. We can pick the rooms we want. My ideal would be the tease room. Shirtless, leanly muscled men with jeans and boots (this is my fantasy, you can pick leather or speedos or commando, whatever you want) with hair long enough to play with would serve food and drink whose only purpose is to tempt the senses.
Imagine. Chocolate fondue warm enough to stick your finger in so that you can suck it into your mouth, champagne whose bubbles tickle your nose, caviar that pops warm and slick against your cheek. The staff would be tactile, always stroking a cheek, massaging a shoulder, running nails down your back, caressing any of the other soft places you choose to make available to them. So by the time you actually leave this room, you are ready for…more.
Next step is to choose a partner and/or an activity. Again, choice is key. Option one would be simply to corral one or more if your tastes run that way of the staff members who is there to serve your every whim within the rules. Yes, pleasure planets need rules to make sure things don’t run amok. Option two, would be programmable androids. Lea’ s post did a fabulous job discussing how much fun that would be. Option three would be some sort of match-up service, where like-minded individuals can hook up. Option four would be activity rooms. Each room organized around things you want to do–orgies, jousts, chess tournaments–whatever turns you on, you can find a partner in crime.
And for those in a mode of self-discovery, the pleasure planet would offer tickler services to sample new things. Want to try submission for a day? A double-hung species? Pleasure in anti-gravity environment? Each day or every few hours a new type of oblivion.
Any of these strike your fancy? Any key choices I left out? What would a pleasure planet have to offer for you that you leave sated beyond your wildest imagination. Go ahead, dream a little.
Ms. Danica Avet asked me to write a post about what I think a Pleasure Planet would be like. I laughed and then gladly agreed.
Close your eyes, wait… you can’t do that and read this. Hmm, okay. Read along and let your imagination set up the world for you. Imagine two thousand years from now. Space is no longer a mystery. The human race has met and combined with hundreds of other races throughout the heavens. Traveling the speed of light is a simple concept, and we’ve expanded our understanding of science a hundred-fold. We’ve moved beyond our petty differences and live a life of purpose and peace. The Earth is just one of many places humans can be found living and working.
Sounds great, right? Except we’re individually still working under stressful situations, doing too much and being expected to get more done that we humanly can. It’s not like Star Trek where everyone is wandering corridors looking for the next loose chic. So, let’s add in what space and highly developed races would bring to the mix. Pleasure planets. Oh, yes. If we’re going to be in space, dealing with other races then we’re taking full advantage of their technology.
Pleasure planets will be places built specifically for stress reduction. They will only exist on exotic places, those that make your chest ache because they are so beautiful. Tears of joy will stream down your cheeks when you land. They’ll be run by beings who ooze peace and serenity. Holistic, peaceful, and filled with all of those things you could ever want for a relaxing getaway. Like what, you ask?
Beautiful music made to calm you will play in every room. Scented air will enter your lungs and made you smile. Perhaps candles will be warming the air around the edges of the rooms, even though fire will be so last millennium.
How about foods that are made specifically from your memory? You press your finger into a small depression in the wall and the computer reads your thought patterns and creates exactly what you want. A piece of New York Cheesecake with cherries? Mmmm…
Oh, but what if you need a dose of endorphins? You’ve had a tough week and you are in desperate need of release and a flood of love-induced chemicals flowing through your body? Because, you know, that sex will be determined to be the best method of bringing the body into perfect emotional alignment. What? I’m writing this story and so I’m using some author prerogative.
Enter the idea of organically made cyborgs. These babies can be programmed to look like whoever the client wants to boink. You have a thing for a Xanagl purple-skinned warrior. Fine, you get him in all his violet glory. How about a smoking hot male from Fangor? Sure. Anything you want in the male species can be bought for a price. But, oh, the orgasms. They’ll be guaranteed. When you sign your contract the Pleasure Planets will promise you mind-blowing, tear-jerking, body-shaking releases.
Mmmm… sorry, got lost in the image. Who wants to fast forward two thousand years with me? Hmm? *raises hand* I’ll even drive the ship!
What would your perfect Pleasure Planet hold? Would it be like mine or something more exotic? Everyone wearing leather leashes and cuffs? Wait that would be in mine, too. Let me know by leaving a comment. I want to know what you’d expect to find on a planet dedicated to nothing but pleasure and relaxation.
About Lea Barrymire
Lea lives in Western New York with her hubby, three children, and miscellaneous critters. Before the rugrats, she lived a life of adventure, following her husband all over Europe with the US military. She’s slept in a car outside Paris, drove six hours just to see tulips in the Netherlands, and knocked ash from her shoes at Pompeii. Now she spends her time in life’s adventures at soccer games, PTA meetings and school plays.
Lea has loved reading from a very young age, spending many sleepless nights devouring books. Science fiction and paranormal were her favorite genres to read as a teenager, and that love bled into her adult life. She started writing during a bout of insomnia, to fill time, and found it filled a creative void. Now she communes regularly with the characters in her head and tries not to laugh out loud when they say something funny.
When Lea isn’t reading, writing or corralling kids, she enjoys watching movies and sciencey shows, or just kicking back and listening to some music.
Rella Cinder was born to the submissive race on her planet and has finally reached the age of maturity. She has hated her nature since birth and has fought her submissiveness. As the youngest of four sisters, she’s watched the others go off and look for mates. This time she’s forced to comply with the government’s edicts, which includes attending the Unity Ball and taking a mate from the warrior species. What she doesn’t know is that she has already caught the eye of a warrior before stepping foot into the Ball.
Warrior Sabar T’Brun is ready to take a mate but doesn’t want a weak female. He sees what he craves in the willful Rella during her Initiation Ceremony. Her sweet submission and soft cries of passion are exactly what he wants in a mate.
Can they find each other before the Unity Ball ends? Or will someone else claim her?
Releases 1/28/2013- Available for preorder now: