This has actually been up for about three weeks, but it was published through the M/M Romance group on Goodreads, and the mods asked us to keep it within the group for a while, so I’ve complied. I think it’s been long enough, though, so I’m posting to let everyone else know about it. 🙂
The M/M Romance group runs a fic-fest type event each summer, where anyone can choose a photo from the group’s collection, write a “letter” to the author explaining what kind of story they’d like, inspired by the photo, and then put it up for grabs as a story prompt. Prompts are first-come-first-claimed. I chose a photo of a young man in a suit sitting on the ground next to a motorcycle, handcuffed to it by his wrists. He didn’t look terribly upset to be in that situation, either. The prompt letter was as follows:
It happened so quickly and was so unpredictable and completely out of control. A last minute, scratch that, a last second business trip out of town. A surprise office party for the CEO at the end of the very first day. BTW, does he look familiar or is my second martini and jet-lag messing with me? Late night bar hopping after that… and who on earth suggested checking out a BDSM club while we were at it? Certainly it couldn’t have been my idea; I know how to keep my kinks well hidden and under control. But here I am, chained to a bike like somebody’s pet and… happy? Damn if I haven’t seen that bike somewhere else up close before…
What I wrote for Mammarella, inspired by her request, turned out to be a contemporary romance with BDSM themes. The Executive Lounge is a short novel, about 60K words long, and is available in e-book form (for free!) through a web site associated with the group, in PDF, MOBI and EPUB formats. I plan to bring out a paperback version by the end of the year, with the cover shown below. (I gave the fest folks a copy and they didn’t use it, so it has a generic event cover; I have no idea why.)
I just put Birthdays Suck up here on the web site. This is a free short story, part of the Sentinels series, set back in the early nineties when Paul was a teenager. It’s Paul’s birthday, and he’s not at all happy about it, because he’s sure his life is pretty much over.
Note that this story has a MAJOR spoiler for A Hidden Magic. If you haven’t read that, and plan to, you’ll want to read that first, then go read “Birthdays Suck” afterward.
Hey, all! [wave] I’m here at WorldCon in Chicago and having a great time. I just got back from a reading and Q&A session with John Scalzi, who’s always entertaining, and who has a short story (I’m not even going to try to remember the title; it’s long and funny) up for a Hugo this year. I’m also hoping to get into Laura Resnick’s Bheerfest thing this evening, if one or two people ahead of me on the list don’t show up, which would be pretty cool. (I don’t drink beer, but I’d love to sit at a table with Laura Resnick and BS.)
I also have a free story called Birthdays Suck up at Cryselle’s Bookshelf. It’s set in the Sentinel verse and is about Paul’s 17th birthday. It has no sex in it, so it’s safe for folks who aren’t into graphic sex in their fiction, but be aware that there’s a major spoiler in this story, if you haven’t read A Hidden Magic yet.
I’ll put this up as a free read on my own site in two or three weeks, something like that, but for now it’s only available at Cryselle’s place; my thanks to her for hosting it. 🙂
For anyone who missed it, I posted “Custody,” the short fantasy story I wrote last month for Cryselle’s review site, to my web site. It’s here, and there’s a link at the top of the page to Cryselle’s site where the picture of the little dragon, which inspired the story, is still up.
I’m doing a Q&A session over at Grave Tells today, and they’ll be raffling off a copy of A Hidden Magic. There are a eight different ways to get a ticket in the raffle hat, so hop over and enter. 🙂
Cryselle is a reviewer who does a “Thousand Word Thursday” feature where she posts a photo and invites writers to send her a short fic based on it. Last Thursday’s pic was of a cute little green dragon, and it spawned a short story (about 2500 words — yes, I’m an overachiever sometimes 😀 ) about him and his people, called Custody.
Flicker keeps showing up at Branden’s cottage, even though the tiny dragonling is supposed to live with Branden’s ex, Tol. Branden and Tol can’t live together, but neither is happy apart, and Flicker’s refusal to understand that he only has one person now isn’t helping at all.
(For folks not into m/m, there’s no sex in this one, so you can click through safely. 😉 )
Cole at Jessewave’s reviewed the last (so far) of the Hidden Magic stories, Chasing Fear. He gave it 4.25/5.0 stars and seemed to like it quite a lot.
I really enjoyed this story, which is set in the same verse as the Hidden Magic series, but deals with two characters we have not met before. I thought this was truly a story worthy of being a Halloween sip, because the mood that was set was definitely spooky, not to mention Martin himself — who it seems, right from the start is playing the part of the disciplinarian. Through much of the story, I was a little bit scared for Emilio, no matter how much he said that he wasn’t scared of his lover, but that what they were doing was in public, where anyone could walk upon them. It wasn’t until I got further into the story that I could see that Martin was doing this for Emilio, to help him see that he would always be safe with him, especially in the setting they were in — deep in the park, where the vines and trees are like an extension of Martin himself.
The sex scene is incredibly steamy in this story. If you like binding or public sex, you will very much like this story and its characters as I did. Emilio, who is tragic, yet sweet, and Martin, who one could call Nature’s Dom. I would love to read another story with these characters, as I got the feeling that here they were playing out a scene that was not indicative of their everyday lives together. I would love to see how they are together in a more domestic setting, as it seems to me that the tides might turn between our two characters depending on which setting gives which character more power in their games. Obviously, this story takes place outdoors, so Martin is in his element. Definitely Recommended, especially to fans of the series.
I’m so glad Cole enjoyed this one, and the whole series enough to review them all. 😀
If you’ve read “Chasing Fear” and enjoyed it, there’s a free sequel on my web site called Catching Courage you might also like.
Torquere is the featured publisher over on Rainbow eBooks this weekend, so all their books there are 20% off, including my urban fantasy A Hidden Magic.
Also, the holiday story fest put on by the M/M Romance group on Goodreads — the event for which I wrote “The Gift” — is wrapping up with an e-book anthology of all the stories written for the event. The book is called Stuff My Stocking, and it’s a free download on Goodreads. Lots of fun stuff there.
For those of you who are into science fiction, there’s a publication called Daily Science Fiction that started up September 1. They publish a story every day, M-F. You can subscribe to get the stories in e-mail each night, or you can go to their web site and read them there, a week’s delayed. I subscribed to it early and have gotten all of them so far. They’re generally good, ranging from “Okay, whatever,” to “Whoa, awesome!” There aren’t that many on the low end of the bell curve, which makes it at least as good as any SF mag I’ve ever gotten.
And it’s free, did I mention that? 🙂
Also, I wrote a science fiction romance called The Gift for the M/M Romance Group’s Holiday Stories event, on Goodreads. It was posted to the group on 25 December 2010, but I just put it up on my web site. Enjoy!
PS — hope everyone has a great New Year!
I’m driving the bus over at Torquere Social today, on LiveJournal. I’ll be posting throughout the day, and for every one of my posts you comment on between now and noon (Pacific) tomorrow (to allow for folks in other timezones), I’ll throw a slip with your name on it into a bowl. The drawing is for a bundle of my Halloween stories — three short stories, all set in the Hidden Magic universe, plus my ghost story “A Spirit of Vengeance,” which is a novelette. Two of the shorts, “Chasing Fear” and “Candy Courage” are from years past, but “Reach Out and Touch” is brand new, just released yesterday.
I have two posts up now, and will be posting more later on. Come over, hang out, chat, and enter to win free fiction. 🙂