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In Life and Blood Book 2: Holding onto the Past – Release Date and Sneak Preview!

After enduring a crashed hard drive which totally wiped out all of my data, including the first version of this book, I have finally rewritten the second book in the In Life and Blood series. I just received a release date of May 1, 2011 from my publisher. I’m now frantically working on the cover;) Anyhow, this book is about Sebastian and is told from his point of view. I had lots of fun researching Dacian (Ancient Romanian) life, finding slang words in Romanian and translating little bits of English into Romanian. For instance, did you know that a really big insult in Romanian is to basically tell someone to go back up in their mother’s womb where they came from? And they apparently talk about the penis a lot when swearing, LOL. Like, pula mea, which they use like an English speaking person would use as “fuck”, and literally means, “my cock”.

Anyhow, here’s the blurb:

With his one true love, Julian, at his side and a new son to look after, Sebastian’s grief-stricken past comes out of hiding to find him. As Julian and Nikolai struggle to understand what vampire life should be and strive to live a normal life, Sebastian fights with his demons to allow the freedoms they deserve. But with the queen’s band of chevaliers not quite under control and shadows lurking in the night, Sebastian’s fears escalate. Can Sebastian find the courage to let go and at the same time give Julian and Nikolai the protection they desperately need?

On with the sneak peak (unedited) :

“Sebastian!”

His shoulder jerked backward. Julian came into focus through wet eyes.

“Oh my God, what’s happened?” Julian, in a sweatshirt and jeans, threw his arms around Sebastian and held him tight. “Talk to me.”

Sniffling, he wrapped his arms around his lover. “My angel, you are here and not dead.”

“What? Of course not.” Julian kissed the side of Sebastian’s head.

He left the door open. Anger fluttered up his spine. He shoved Julian away. Glaring at his lover, he said, “What the hell were you thinking leaving the door open like that?” He swiped at the wetness on his face.

Julian’s eyes widened in surprise. “What?”

Nikolai raced from the edge of the wall toward his bedroom.

“You left the house wide open. Anyone could have gotten in here. Anyone.” He placed his hands on his hips.

“B-but we were just, just outside. I was showing Nikolai an owl and—“

“Never, ever leave the house like that. And don’t ever go outside without my permission.” He pointed at Julian.

Anger spread over Julian’s face. He gritted his teeth. “Don’t you tell me what to do. If I want to go outside I will. My days of being imprisoned are over.”

Stunned, he took a step back and placed his fingertips on his forehead. “Uh, I’m, I’m sorry, Julian. I didn’t mean it that way.” His anger morphed into relief. He looked around the room a moment. “I was afraid something happened to you both.”

Julian’s stance relaxed. “No, it didn’t. We were just looking at a damn owl in the tree out back.” He looked down at his feet and back up at Sebastian. “Nikolai was all excited about it.” He studied Sebastian. “Sebastian, you were crying when I walked in. I don’t ever think I’ve seen you cry before. What’s going on?”

He turned around and looked at the black and stainless gas stove, hiding a new wave of embarrassment and guilt as best he could. “It’s just that the situation, the door being open like that, reminded me of how I found my mother’s corpse all those years ago.” Solid hands gripped his shoulders and turned him around. He gazed down into his lover’s beautiful, blue-grey eyes.

Wisps of long, chestnut-colored hair surrounded Julian’s face and spilled out over the dark sweatshirt covering his shoulders. “I’m so sorry. Tell me about it.”

He shut his eyes a second and shook his head. “It’s all right now. You are safe.”

A hurt look spread over Julian’s face. “But we’re One now, you and I. I want to know what happened to you. I want to know all about you.”

He let out a long exhale. I must tell Julian something for my behavior. “It was during the Hun wars. I found the door to our home open. It was obvious that there had been a struggle. I found her on the floor, a terrible wound in her head. I was a newly made vampire and I tried to save her with my blood, but I couldn’t.” Remorse wound around his heart again. And so I drank her blood instead. He took in a ragged breath of air.

“I feel it, Sebastian. I feel how much this saddens you still.” Wrapping his arms around Sebastian, Julian pulled him in close. “I love you and I promise nothing like that will ever happen to me. I’ll be careful. I can protect myself. Especially when it comes to Caesar.”

“No, you can’t.” He breathed in Julian’s musky scent, all clover and spice, relishing in his embrace. “He is far more dangerous than we thought.”

“Why do you say that?” Julian’s lips found Sebastian’s, placing a lingering kiss over them.

A prick of alarm raced inside him. Stupid, do not say such things. “No reason in particular. I just want you to keep your guard up until this whole incident with your old coven is resolved.”

Julian released Sebastian and stepped back. “You know I will. And now I have my sword back in case the Templars need me.” He smiled at Sebastian.

He’d make sure that would never happen. “So you found it at the door?”

“I sure did.” Julian twisted and came back around to face Sebastian. “I think we scared the crap out of Nikolai.”

Relief rained down on Sebastian and a wide grin spread over his face. “I think you’re right. It was our first fight, my angel.”

“And I’m sure it won’t be the last.” Julian let out a short chuckle. “Let’s go and find him.”

All About Anime Radius and Yaoi Radius by Julie Hayes

First, I’d like to thank Christie for having me here, and for inviting me to share my meanderings with you all.  I consider it to be a real honor, and I hope I live up to her expectations.

Bad things happen to all of us, that’s a given. No one escapes walking beneath the proverbial black cloud of doom at some point, and yes, into each life a little rain must fall. But that doesn’t mean that bad things can’t have reasons or happy outcomes, and I’d like to tell you about one of those. A bad experience which became a happy one.

Once upon a time there was an online site which shall remain nameless, as that is unimportant, but what is important is that it brought a group of people together who wrote for that site, bound by a common interest in anime and manga. Things went well for a while, but then the situation became unbearable for the group, and they collectively left, and no longer wrote reviews for the site.

These people were still interested in anime and manga, and they’d enjoyed writing reviews and sharing them. They all looked for guidance to the leader of this group.  That would be Andy Spencer. Andy then had the brilliant idea of starting his own anime/manga site, with the help of his lovely wife Elaine, and his children. And thus Anime Radius was born. Those who had written for Andy at the old site came aboard and became reviewers for the new site.

Well, the transition was not an entirely smooth one, I have to admit. Aren’t there always stumbling blocks to any new enterprise?  This one was no exception. There were problems with the webmaster and getting the site up, and time began to pass. Time is crucial in this business, because if you’re not reviewing and producing, publishers are going to lose interest in you, and in sending you material to review. It’s a testament to the good relationships which Andy had established with these publishers that they were willing to give him and the group a chance with the new site.

Then Elaine stepped up. She didn’t know anything about making a website, or html, or anything like that. But she learned. And she did an amazing job of putting Anime Radius on the map. Everyone else filled in the breach before new material arrived by reviewing other things, books and dvds that they owned or borrowed, as many as possible, in order to fill the new site quickly.  Anime Radius opened with over one hundred reviews already in place, which was quite the achievement. It has only grown steadily since the time of its first debut.

After Anime Radius was under way, Andy came to me and said, how would you like to have a sister site, one dedicated to yaoi, and to romance?  He offered this to me as compensation for the work I’d put into helping bring Anime Radius to life, and I am grateful to him for that. So Elaine designed and created Yaoi Radius, where romance is for everyone, with my modest input. All  of the yaoi reviews which had been on Anime Radius were moved to the new site, which includes not just yaoi, but yuri and het and every type of romance and fantasy you can imagine.

Andy and Elaine have, since opening Anime Radius, also opened an anime store here in St. Louis. Animeggroll is located at Crestwood Plaza, and is a really cool place to look for anime and manga related things. It’s a family business, and you’ll always find a member of the Spencers here. They show free anime about once a month. My daughter and I came to see Gun X Sword and had a great time.

So what began as a bad experience became a good one – two new review sites and a retail store.  How can you not believe that every cloud has a silver lining?  I certainly do.

Come check us out – we can be found at http://animeradius.com and http://yaoiradius.com and http://animeggroll.com. Pull up a chair and stay for a while, see what there is to see – you’ll be glad you did!

Julie Hayes is a Yaoi, M/M Romance author. For more information about her, please visit her website at: Julie Hayes

Info on her latest releases:

Sweet Dreams, My Love was released February 16, 2011, at Dreamspinner Press

Blurb: Can love conquer all? Is there such a thing as Fate? Do dreams really come true?

To help pay for his mother’s convalescence, Jakob Kohl leaves his musical studies in Germany in order to be a paid companion to his distant cousin Albert. It’s not a pleasant existence, but Jakob does get to travel to Paris, where he meets a beautiful man who asks for his help… a mysterious man no one else can see. Jakob soon fears he may be going crazy, because he finds himself falling in love with Damien, who says they were brought together by Fate—Jakob is the only one who can rescue Damien from the shadowy world where he sleeps and waits for his dream of everlasting love and freedom to come true.

Excerpt:

The click click click of Toulouse Lautrec’s cane was a measured accompaniment to the perambulations of the artist and his youthful companion. The streets of Montmartre were uneven, cobblestoned, and given to steep inclines. Even the short distance that Toulouse and Damien had to traverse was difficult on the artist, but he never let it show, and his protégé was young and too intent upon their destination to notice.

The artist had not been born with this disability, but during his youth he had suffered from problems with each leg which, exacerbated by the close genetic tie between his parents, who were first cousins, had stunted the growth of his limbs even though the rest of him continued to grow, causing the legs to not be in proportion to the rest of his body. Although the stories that were told about Toulouse were quick to affirm that nature had not shortchanged him in the areas which were of immense interest to his lovers, perhaps by way of compensation for his lack of stature.

“Pere Toulouse, will I be allowed absinthe this night?” Damien leaned in toward the artist, slumping a bit to ease communication between them, to compensate for the eight or nine inches he towered above. For although the young man had been raised, as were most French youngsters, used to the consumption of wine, albeit watered, the green liqueur had always been off-limits. Tonight was a very special night. This was Damien’s eighteenth birthday, and it was also the night of his coming out party. And he was going to spend it with his twelve fathers at the infamous Moulin Rouge nightclub.

Twelve fathers? A biological impossibility! Naturally. And indeed, none of the twelve could claim the actual title of pere to this beautiful young man. But spiritually, all twelve of the artists who titled themselves the Dreammongers were his sires, for they had raised him among themselves ever since the fateful night, just eighteen years ago, when he had come into this world and their lives, while the Dreammongers were holding their annual revelry at the Moulin Rouge.

“Mais oui, mon fil,” the artist said with a nod. “Tonight you shall.”

Damien smiled. He could hear the sighs of the nighttime ladies of the Montmartre as he walked by, could feel their eyes upon him, aware of their attraction to his pearlescent beauty. He was very, very pale, a soft pallor which invited touching, and his platinum hair hung in lazy waves down to his broad shoulders, while his eyes were the green of sea foam, with traces of gold in their liquid depths. His full, rose-madder lips wore a perpetual smile, one which simply begged to be kissed. Damien was a very happy boy, and he loved his life here in Paris, and he loved his dozen fathers very much.

And now the nightclub itself lay just before them. That infamous den of iniquity.

Electric sex. That’s what came to Toulouse’s mind each and every time that he glimpsed the slowly rotating blades of the red windmill. The Moulin Rouge. Debauchery personified. Electric sex beckoned to him; it called his name and begged his participation. Lithe young limbs and warm embraces. Passion and music. Absinthe and opium. The Moulin Rouge was a purveyor of dreams. And Toulouse Lautrec was a most willing dreamer. He was an habitué of the most infamous nightspot in Paris, spending more time entangled in its spider web of sensuality than anywhere else besides his studio. The Red Windmill was the ambrosia with which he fed his muse, the nectar for his passions, and the fellow dreamers who frequented it became the impressions upon his canvases.

Toulouse paused for a moment, jostled by a pedestrian whose path bisected his own, also headed toward the nightclub. The gentleman in question had his head bent, his hat pulled low over his brow. “Pardon,” he muttered before disappearing inside.

From within, the sounds of gaiety spilled into the night, fingers of frivolity designed to ensnare the interest of the casual passerby. Toulouse paused, temporarily taken aback. For just a moment he had thought… but no, that was not possible. He would not dare to show himself here. Not after all this time.

Damien held the door for him, and the two men entered the Moulin Rouge, intending to pay their respects to the regulars before going to their private party.

Purchase Link:  Dreamspinner Press

Her new release with Silver Publishing will be out on April 30thLeonardo di Caprio is a Vampire.

Blurb: “Tis the night before Halloween, and Fisher Roberts wishes it was over, not being a fan of this or any other holiday.  But he tolerates it because his roommate/best friend Hunter Long takes a childish glee in all things Halloween.  And Fisher has a vested interest in keeping Hunter happy.  If only he could find the nerve to tell his childhood friend that he loves him, and has for a very long time.

Fisher thinks Hunter is carrying things a bit far this year, though.  First Hunter claims to be a vampire, and he just won’t let the silly joke go.  Then he forces Fisher to go to a costumed Halloween party which Fisher would rather avoid, especially when he realizes where it’s being held, and whose house it is. Things at Fisher’s job might just be going south, too, when he receives a mysterious summons to report to the editor’s office the next morning.  And then Fisher goes and does something stupid—like kissing Hunter!

Bad leads to worse when Fisher ends up at the Halloween party from Hell, and he learns something that threatens to destroy his and Hunter’s relationship forever.  Running from his fears, Fisher encounters a strange young man with an unusual resemblance to Leonardo di Caprio, who shows him things he never realized before, truths about his life and the people in it.

Can Fisher find his way back to Hunter, and can he find the courage to do what his heart wishes?

Excerpt: “Did you know that Leonardo di Caprio is a vampire?”

Fisher Roberts stopped in mid-chew of a mouthful of fibrous cereal to cast a wary, disbelieving glance at his best friend and roommate Hunter Long on the other side of the table.  Wary, because he wondered what in the world Hunter was going on about so early in the morning.  Disbelieving, because he only had so much time for breakfast before he had to get going to work, and he had a bad feeling that Hunter was trying to eat into that time.  Why he wanted to do that was beyond Fisher.  Of course, a lot of things about his roommate were beyond Fisher, despite the fact that they’d been friends since they were—well, too young to actually remember how long they’d known each other.  But for as long as Fisher could remember, he and Hunter had been best buddies.  And he’d learned over the years that, with Hunter, longevity did not equate to knowledge-ability, far from it.

Now, Fisher could react in one of two ways.  He could ignore his roommate and keep eating.  Pretend he’d heard nothing.  But from past experience, that would only cause Hunter’s performance to escalate.  Which would entail taking more time to decipher what he was saying, and in the process make Fisher even later to work.   Or he could simply bow down to the inevitable and give in by asking him the question he was doubtless waiting to hear.  Even if it brought about that smug smirk he was so fond of wearing.

Fisher finished chewing, swallowed, and managed not to roll his eyes as he reached for his juice to kill off what was left in the glass.  Waste not, want not.  “What do you mean?”

Hunter Long might be six foot two and possessed of a body that many a male model would kill for—at least that’s what Fisher heard the girls who flocked around him say—with the palest of blue eyes that twinkled all the time, and a smile that could and did light up a room.  But honestly, he had the capacity to be an overgrown child at times, and this was one of those times.  Fisher chalked it up to it being that time of year.

“Well,” Hunter replied, “look at him, going on forty, and he looks just like he did what, fifteen years ago?  It only stands to reason he must be a vampire.  They never age, you know.  I mean take a look at us.  We’re almost his age, but over the years we’ll grow up to be little old men and he’ll still be playing sweet baby-faced guys even when he’s collecting social security, know what I mean?”

“There are no such things as vampires,” Fisher made his typical logical reply, “and just because it’s Halloween tomorrow night, and you’ve got the house all decorated for it, doesn’t mean you have to bring it to the table.  Know what I mean?”  He arched a no-nonsense brow at the other man.  This was not Fisher’s favorite time of year.  Neither was Christmas, come to think of it.  Or any other holiday.  Ironic that he should write articles for a living that meant he was forced to expound on such seasonal topics for Midwest Home and Fantasy, a regional online magazine with a growing fan-base, when he had no real interest in them himself, being a practical, no-nonsense kind of a guy.

“I’m a vampire.” Hunter smiled, leaning across the table toward Fisher.  “Want to see my fangs?”

Available Mid March at: Silver Publishing

 

To Slash or Not to Slash… by LM Brown

From Lamech77 at DeviantArt

For as long as there has been fanfiction there has been slash.  For those who are not familiar with fandoms and the terminology, slash is the term used for pairings of two characters of the same gender in a romantic and/or sexual relationship together.  They are not usually written as homosexual by the original author.

Whether it is Captain Kirk and Mr Spock, who are commonly believed to be the original slashed characters, or the more modern Edward and Jacob of the Twilight series, it seems that with the advent of the internet slash fanfiction is here to stay.

My fandom is the Harry Potter fandom and slash stories about the characters are amongst the most popular online.  I have written a number of them myself over the years and even though I have also written about characters in heterosexual relationships and stories that have no romance in them at all, it is the slash ones that retain their popularity after they have disappeared from the most recent updates pages of the archives at which they are stored.  Which tells me that these seem to be the stories that people are searching for.

But why do we choose to pair up characters who are not originally written as a couple?

I decided to dig around in my fandom, but unfortunately for me, my favourite pairing (Remus Lupin and Sirius Black) has a large following of readers and writers who believe that their relationship is canon, albeit rather buried in the subtext.  I am not one of those people, so I had to ask myself why I choose to write about the two men as a couple.

Jealousy perhaps?

Remus was paired in canon with the unfortunately named Nymphadora Tonks.  There are those who say that it is jealousy of Tonks that prompts fanfic writers to pair Remus up with another man, sometimes Harry, sometimes Snape, often Sirius.  I can’t say that reasoning holds true for me.  I actually advocated Remus/Tonks before they were an official couple in the series and have often enjoyed reading about them in fanfic.  So, why don’t I write about that pairing?

To make a statement?

I don’t see writing slash fanfics as making any sort of a statement to advocate gay rights or anything like that.  Maybe there are some who write for that reason, but I have never met them in my fandom.  It certainly isn’t the reason I choose to write slash.

Two hot men are better than one?

Well, yes they are, but surely that can’t be the only reason I enjoy writing about my favourite pairing.  And since Rowling outed one of her characters, why not write about him?  Okay, I admit that I did write one short story about Dumbledore in his youth, but that was it.  Even though there is substantially more evidence that this character is gay, including the words of the authoress herself, I choose to write about two men who aren’t.

The hot sex between two men is the appeal?

Well, it is definitely appealing, but not all of my stories have sex in them and they are as popular as some of my others.  My most popular story about the pairing is ridiculously long and the characters don’t even hop into bed until somewhere after chapter 40.  If it was just the sex then who the heck would read that far just for a few pages of porn?  I wouldn’t.  To my friends in the fandom I refer to myself as more of a plot-whore than anything else.

It can’t be the chance to write steamy man-on-man sex that makes me write about the pairing; if it was there would be far more sex in my fanfiction stories.

Bitter enemies becoming lovers?

Enemies who become lovers is always a popular idea in fanfiction.  The idea of turning canon on its head and forcing the hero into bed with his nemesis doesn’t appeal to me in the least.  But for some people this is an avenue of fanfiction that is almost as appealing as the one I have chosen.

The reason I write slash

Childhood friends.  Betrayal.  Reunion.  Tragedy.

Playing in the Remus/Sirius sandbox opens a world of possibility for angst-filled stories and the chance to give the characters a happier ending than they were given in canon.

But why not pair them up with one of the female characters?  And if there isn’t one available then make one up?

Well, making one up generally results in lots of accusations about Mary Sue’s and author inserts, but as a writer of original fiction as well as fanfiction I am sure that I am capable of producing a character that is neither of these fanfiction horrors.

Yet I don’t.  I have never even attempted to pair either of them up with a female character.  Instead I have taken their canon friendship and turned it into a romantic relationship for my own pleasure and that of my readers.

And I guess that I have my answer right there.  I write slash fanfiction because I enjoy it and because I can.

Most importantly I write it because everyone deserves a happy ending, and what can be happier than two well-loved characters finding love together?

L.M. Brown’s latest release, Driving Me Crazy, is available now from Silver Publishing.

To Purchase: Liquid Silver Publishing

Blurb:
They say that people in love do crazy things.  Brandon Walker can certainly relate.

Lusting after Lee Cooper, his sexy driving instructor, isn’t the most sensible reason for failing his driving test for the third time and when he discovers the damage he has inadvertently done to his instructor’s reputation and business, Brandon knows that he is on his last chance.

After persuading Lee to give him one final course of driving lessons Brandon makes it his priority to figure out if the spark he feels between them is one-sided or whether he can persuade his sexy instructor to move their lessons from the front seat of the car to the back.