Review of “The Joy of Exchanging Gifts”

Beth Anne at Joyfully Reviewed wrote a review of my Holiday Sip, “The Joy of Exchanging Gifts.” She said:

“Anthropologist Lowell, is studying the Enknopans, and though he’s made a good friend of Tiklup, Lowell is excluded from an Enknopan ‘turning year’ celebration because of the Enknopan restriction on outsider’s participation. To participate or observe, one needs to be related to one of the Enknopans.

To show no hard feelings for the exclusion, Lowell tries to share his Santa tradition by leaving a surprise gift for Tiklup, in a traditional Santa method. Only issue for Lowell is the architecture of the Enknopan homes. No windows for Santa, so Lowell uses the ‘house’s smoke hole’ and becomes stuck in the chimney. As Tiklup and his friends return and discover Lowell’s predicament, a delightfully sexy gift exchange commences all taking place while Lowell is still stuck in the chimney.

Do you ever just laugh out loud while reading? The Joy of Exchanging Gifts had me alternatively laughing out loud and then just plain giggling for the naughtiness. I know it’s a Nice Sip, but for me, Lowell and his friends are just plain naughty, in a very nice way! The Joy of Exchanging Gifts is a hilarious, fun, sexy off-world read!!”

Thanks so much to Beth Anne; I’m glad she enjoyed my story. 🙂

Angie

Chat and a Contest

I’m hanging out over at Literary Nymphs this weekend, along with most of the other Torquere writers. Come over and say hi! The chat is running both days; I’ll be around for a bit this morning, and probably late tonight and then on and off all day tomorrow.

Also, the contest in my writing blog ends tonight at midnight, so head over and enter! Free books! Gift certificates for more free books! 😀

Angie

Upgraded!

So I was having a hard time getting WordPress to upgrade — first there was no option to do so (the database had lost the flag saying I’d installed in the first place), then when that got fixed, the upgrade didn’t want to take. I got all the right messages and e-mails saying it’d been done, but the dashboard page was still grouching at me to upgrade, claiming I had the old version. [headdesk]

I went back and forth for days on it with customer service at Dreamhost, and it finally got straightened out. Thanks to Chih and Jason for plugging away at it until it gave up and behaved. 🙂

Angie

New RTB Column

RTB

I just posted a new column on Romancing the Blog. This time I’m talking about the lack of any indication in romances, particularly erotic romances, of just what the sex-to-story ratio is. It makes it tough to know just what you’re going to get when you spend your money; just because you like explicit sex doesn’t mean you want the books you read to be 80+ percent sex scenes. It’s not about limiting what’s published or complaining that there’s not enough of “my” kind of book out there, but rather about giving readers the info they need to find the books they’ll like. Come read, and tell me what you think.

Angie

Contest!

I have a contest going over on my writing blog. You have to do a bit of work to enter, but prizes include some books and a gift cert for Fictionwise. Come play!

Angie

Free Story and a Sale

It’s my turn on the Advent Calendar over at Torquere — you can read my story “Catching Courage,” which is a sequel to “Chasing Fear,” here. Things have improved a little since Halloween for Emilio, but not as much as he’d like. Now it’s New Year’s Eve and they’re spending it with Martin’s family, which always makes Emilio hunch into his shell whether it’s logical or not. Can he convince his gut of what his head already knows?

Includes a free bonus recipe for tres leches cake, although not, unfortunately, Abuela Sandoval’s recipe. 😉

All the other Advent pieces are still available through the main Advent page.

Also, my novelette “A Spirit of Vengeance” is on sale for 15% off here through January 2nd.

Happy New Year, everyone! [wave]

Angie

Review of “Chasing Fear”

Cassie over at Joyfully Reviewed posted about “Chasing Fear,” my Halloween Sip. This is what she said:

“Park ranger Emilio Cardenas much prefers being in the woods to spending time with people, but when he gets caught up in a job, he forgets everything else. When he finally finishes his work, he realizes he’ll be late coming home. That might not be a big problem for most people, but when your lover is a Greenman, it’s not good to be late…

Chasing Fear is a very cool story of magic, nature, and facing fears. I liked shy, antisocial Emilio. His Greenman lover, Martín, is both vulnerable and tough. Angela Benedetti did a great job of showing the caring between the two men as well as a slice of Emilio’s painful past. This story is a good read for when you’re in the mood for a little unusual magic.”

This is my first review and I’m absolutely delighted by it. Thanks to Cassie for her kind words; I’m very glad she liked my story. 😀

The review post is here.

Angie

New Release — The Joy of Exchanging Gifts

Lowell is an anthropologist, working with the Enknopans, studying their culture and ways. They haven’t completely accepted him, so he’s not invited to their year changing celebration. He decides to show his very good Enknopan friend Tiklup some of his own Christmas traditions, but things don’t work out exactly as planned. Can he still have a happy holiday?

=============

Well, ho fucking ho, Lowell thought, shifting one more time in the barely-too-tight smoke hole. He knew it was useless; he’d been wedged in for over an hour and a half and all he’d managed to accomplish with his pushing and squirming was to get himself in even tighter.

It’d seemed like a fun idea at the time. Of course, some variation of that statement was probably carved into a million gravestones across the Hundred Worlds, and on billions more memorial markers in various alien languages in the far corners of the universe. (There were actually a hundred and eighteen known human-inhabited worlds, but the Recovery League thought “The Hundred Worlds” sounded better on the news posts. Early in his career as an anthropologist, Lowell had learned that in most cultures, facts had to bow to considerations of marketing and image, or whatever the locals called them.)

The local tribe, the Enknopans, were all gathered somewhere outside their settlement, engaging in some sort of year’s turning ritual which involved renewing family bonds. Lowell had been told, very politely, that he was not welcome to participate or even to observe, since he wasn’t related to any of the Enknopan clans.

It’d been a sharp disappointment, not only because Lowell was specifically there to study the Enknopan culture and lifeways, but also because he’d come to feel close to the people there; being so firmly excluded was a reminder that he was still an outsider. It’d been a while since he’d received quite so clear a reminder, and it’d stung a bit.

To show that he didn’t hold a grudge, and also because the learning and sharing had to go both ways in order to be ethical and respectful, he’d decided to share a Terran year’s turning ritual with the Enknopans, and specifically with his friend Tiklup. Tiklup had taught Lowell how to carve wood with a knife, and Lowell had made him a covered bowl with a leaf pattern on the lid. It was pretty crude by local standards, the sort of thing a youngster just learning to carve would make, but Lowell was just learning and he was proud of it. Tiklup had been encouraging, and Lowell was sure he’d appreciate the effort, and understand that it was a tribute to his teaching.

Besides, they’d come to be very good friends, with all that meant to the Enknopans, who had some unusual (to a Terran) ideas about public and private activities.

The local star, called Upiklip by the locals and noted as FUSC-32829 on the most common star charts, was just beginning to show over the horizon. Of course Lowell was facing east, and he hadn’t brought his hat or his sun visor. Upiklip was whiter than Sol, where Lowell had been born, and emitted more UV radiation than he was used to. If no one came to pry him out soon, he’d be sizzled good. His first few days on planet, he’d gone without a hat a couple of times and the sunburn had penetrated all the way down to his scalp. He’d looked like he had a terminal case of dandruff for the next week, with huge flakes of peeling skin working their way out of his hair.

Lowell moaned and buried his face in his crossed arms.

=============

Get the rest here.