Thursday, 29 December 2011

WIP Wednesday: Gay Wrestling

(A day late, oops.) For those intrepid few who find my blog by searching "gay wrestling videos", this one is for you.

From Hawaiian Gothic / All We Ever Wanted, the novel we're readying to submit in the next couple of weeks:

“I’ll wrestle you for it,” he said, unthinking. “I get you to the mat, I fuck your sweet ass raw. You renounce your sumo ways and get me down, you can have me however you like.” The dirty talk made his face warm, but he didn’t let his embarrassment show in his expression.

“Mm,” Kalani replied, husky, and rolled to straddle Ori’s body and pin him to the floor. He was already hard, the underside of his big dick brushing Ori’s as he shifted positions. Ori groaned with unexpected desire, feeling the weight of Kalani’s body on top of him, Kalani’s hands bearing down on his shoulders. God, fuck wrestling. Kalani could have him right now. He lifted his hips in question. Kalani’s reply was to push down harder with a toothy, predatory grin. “Yeah, alright, I think it’s about time I took you down a peg.”

It was a shame that Kalani had accepted, really, because now that Ori’s blood was up, he wouldn’t —couldn’t—let Kalani win. His mind shifted into a cool, scientific mode even as his body heated and hummed with the desire to control. “Your feet are loose,” he said, giving Kalani that much.

“You better not let me win,” warned Kalani, as if he’d sensed Ori’s thoughts, and shifted in closer, tightening his legs. “I’m horny to fuck you fighting back, and I’m not settling for anything else.”

“No more teaching,” said Ori, and smiled, showing teeth. “This is the real thing.” He kicked his knee into Kalani’s tailbone, bumping Kalani up his body, shot his arm out to one side and made a strong bridge out of his body. A classic mount escape; Kalani should have known. The speed of Ori’s rising hips threw Kalani off balance, and in half a second Ori rolled him right under, neatly reversing their positions. “Too easy,” he said, countering Kalani’s straining arms with the superior leverage of his elbows. “But this’ll be good, too. You like taking my cock so much, I never—”
Oh yeah, that's nice! ;)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Monday, 19 December 2011

The Saturnalia Effect Pre-Release Roundup


1. If you've got a goodreads account, you can add The Saturnalia Effect to your shelves! Just click here and then hit the "add to my books" button underneath the cover.

2. If you have a livejournal account, there's still time to enter our flist giveaway to win a free .pdf copy of the book! For details and to enter, leave us a comment! We're picking the winner tomorrow, so don't procrastinate!

3. If you pre-ordered The Saturnalia Effect during Storm Moon Press's Black Friday sale, you can download your copy now, six hours before anyone else! Check the email you used to make your purchase for your download password!

4. Tonight at midnight, you can purchase and download The Saturnalia Effect through Storm Moon Press's website! It's 2.99 to purchase and comes with a sexy deleted scene, "Pretty Things", that you can't get anywhere else!

5. You can now pre-order The Saturnalia Effect in your preferred format from ARe, or you can add it to your Christmas wishlist! *note, this version won't include "Pretty Things".

6. Our advance reviews are pretty awesome! 
Darien Moya at Pants Off Reviews gave it 4 stars:
[The Saturnalia Effect is] unusual and deeply intense ... It’s dark but offers some romantic and a little sweet. Its sexy in a straight-up push you against the wall and take what I want sort of way. 
Alex Whitehall at Between the Covers gave it 4 stars:
I was on the edge of my seat as the events unfolded ... The rawness and darkness are what make the tale so enthralling and beautiful in its bleakness ... While "The Saturnalia Effect" is a dark, fairly heavy story, there is still a struggle to keep hope and love in one's life, a theme that weaves throughout and keeps the novella from becoming too bleak, especially for it's holiday theme. In multiple instances, I was emotionally moved and nearly rejoiced at the end.  
7. We're gonna be all over the web over the next couple of days, so keep an eye out! In the meantime, check out our interview at Ebook Addict Reviews, where we talk about our experiences as debut authors, our thoughts on the genre, The Saturnalia Effect (of course), and what you can expect from us in the future!  

Tomorrow is release day, so stop by for more news! :) Wish us luck!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Friday's Gay Video: IT'S CHRISTMAS YAY

And Christmas' gay video can only mean one thing:

And since we're on the topic of Christmas, don't forget my and Violetta Vane's Christmas-in-prison m/m short story "The Saturnalia Effect", now on Goodreads! Add it to your shelves! It comes out Dec. 20th from Storm Moon Press.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

"The Saturnalia Effect" Gets a Cover!

Art by Sylwia; click to enlarge!

Didn't the artist do an amazing job? Also new today, you can add it to Goodreads! Just use the following link: The Saturnalia Effect

Just two weeks left! :D

Monday, 5 December 2011

Monday Music: The Saturnalia Effect OST (Part Two!)

Woohoo! After today, there's only two weeks until "The Saturnalia Effect" comes out! Are you excited yet? Because I am! Especially after seeing the rough of the incredibly sexy cover we're getting! I can't show it to you yet, but I promise as soon as I can, it'll be here, so watch this space! (Or my twitter, that's fine too!)

In the meantime, here is the promised soundtrack I made for it, featuring Mother Mother, Interpol, Harvey Danger, and more!

Tracklisting and lyrics after the jump!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Monday Music: The Saturnalia Effect OST

Things are really moving now when it comes to our short story, "The Saturnalia Effect", which comes out Dec 20th 2011 from Storm Moon Press. We finished edits this weekend (and added a few really fantastic lines thanks to some inspiration from our editors), and we just got our mock-up (sans cover) this morning! There is pretty much nothing quite so awesome as seeing your book starting to look like a book rather than a word document. Well, except for getting accepted, getting cool notes from editors, finishing your first draft, finishing your final draft, getting to see your cover... okay, you get the hint. Writing is totally awesome.

Today for music Monday I'd like to share my co-author Violetta Vane's thoughts on the whole process, from my very first suggestion of "OMG let's write a Christmas story!" (spoilers: she wasn't so hot on the idea at first), through to planning our plot and discovering our characters. What's the music part of this whole thing? Well, the post also includes a free streaming soundtrack for the story with songs fished out of Violetta Vane's headspace. I've also made my own soundtrack, which you'll see if you stop by next Monday. But for now, I encourage you to pop by Violetta Vane's blog to read her post and listen to some tunes:

For those of you sticking around, do you make soundtracks for your writing? Is it something you do as you work to help keep your writing on track (like me), or is it something done post-facto, like Violetta, to help you express other aspects of the story? Sound off in the comments, I don't bite! ;)

Friday, 25 November 2011

Black Friday! The Saturnalia Effect on sale!

I'm genuinely sorry for making this reference.
Okay so here in Canada "black Friday" isn't really a thing. Well, not the way it is in the States. We don't get the day off, our quaint parade-less version of Thanksgiving has been over and done with for a month, and seeing as around these parts it's already -20 degrees celsius, camping out in front of Best Buy goes from obsessive but hilarious to hypothermia risk. I mean, as far as I can tell things are on sale today in various locations, but it's nowhere near the cultural event that it is in the States. (Which is really too bad, because I sure could use some cheap electronics.)

But Canadian or not, this year I've been given a reason to celebrate! Namely, "The Saturnalia Effect", my and Violetta Vane's debut novella, is now on sale for pre-order through Storm Moon Press's website for their Black Friday sale!

It's .99 cents today (Friday! Friday! Gotta get down on Friday!) only, and then it goes back to its regular price of 2.99. I should also note that no matter when you buy -- today, release day, or October of next year -- if you buy direct from Storm Moon Press, you'll also get a free erotic short starring Troy and Daniel that you won't be able to get anywhere else. (Unless you're our beta reader, I guess! Hi Maddie!)

Here's the shiny new blurb from Storm Moon Press:
Troy Khoury is serving a life sentence in Westgate prison for a robbery gone wrong. He just wants to keep his head down and do his time, but he runs afoul of an old-timer named Franchetti. Franchetti offers Troy a simple choice: kill fellow inmate Daniel Amato by Christmas in exchange for protection, or be tortured and raped to death by Franchetti's heavy, Pliers. Troy's no killer, though, and Daniel is as gentle and calm as can be. But a prison is a small place, and time is running out. Troy must decide how much he's willing to sacrifice before the choice is taken from him. 
"The Saturnalia Effect", Belleau and Vane | M/M Contemporary with fantasy elements | 20,000 words
Buy it now!
Today (25/11/11) only, .99 cents!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Something Shiny for your Morning

Sorry I've been AWOL, folks, been doing some travelling with my mum and baby and have spent this week recuperating. (And by recuperating, I mean staying in bed all day and pretending the outside world doesn't exist. Or the pile of dirty laundry from my trip. That doesn't exist either.)

Keep an eye on this blog because next week I do believe I'll be sharing some publication news, but for now let me be lazy one more day and leave you with a pretty video.

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Saturday Snark: Just Beat It

Violetta Vane's and my latest WIP is a little bit more tear-jerky than our usual, but it has its moments. So this Saturday Snark have some army barracks hijinks!

Any man past the age of ten would know that sound anywhere. Ori stared up at the shadowy frame of the metal bunk above him and sighed. He’d had a good day today -- passed his final test, a non-assisted parachute jump, with perfect marks -- and this was not how he wanted to celebrate: trapped underneath a Texas good ole boy with a masturbation technique as noisy as a rusty oil-well pumpjack.

Slap-slap-wheeze-flop-slap-slap. Ori felt like offering to help... not out of any sexual attraction, just to shut the guy up.

Someone else had noticed, singing out in a falsetto, “just beat it, beeeaaaat it, no one wants to be defeated!” The guy above him groaned in embarrassment as other voices picked up the chorus.

God. Army life. They might as well all be fifteen.

Don't forget to visit the other participants using the widget below and leave lots of nice comments. (Everybody loves comments!)

Friday, 11 November 2011

Remembrance Day

No blame. Anyone who wrote Howl and Kaddish
earned the right to make any possible mistake
for the rest of his life.
I just wish I hadn't made this mistake with him.
It was during the Vietnam war
and he was giving a great protest reading
in Washington Square Park
and nobody wanted to leave.
So Ginsberg got the idea, "I'm going to shout
"the war is over" as loud as I can," he said
"and all of you run over the city
in different directions
yelling the war is over, shout it in offices,
shops, everywhere and when enough people
believe the war is over
why, not even the politicians
will be able to keep it going."
I thought it was a great idea at the time
a truly poetic idea.
So when Ginsberg yelled I ran down the street
and leaned in the doorway
of the sort of respectable down on its luck cafeteria
where librarians and minor clerks have lunch
and I yelled "the war is over."
And a little old lady looked up
from her cottage cheese and fruit salad.
She was so ordinary she would have been invisible
except for the terrible light
filling her face as she whispered
"My son. My son is coming home."
I got myself out of there and was sick in some bushes.
That was the first time I believed there was a war.

Julia Vinograd
Grandpa and Great-Uncle, beefcakes (top L, bottom R)
My grandfather, child of the Blitz, joined up after WWII

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

WIP Wednesday: Playing Tricks

I am so psyched to be writing this next story with my partner in crime (and fellow TARDIS aficionado) Violetta Vane. I'm hoping to eventually do a joint post with her about our co-writing process and how we come up with ideas, but in the meantime I'll just say both of us had a hankering to write a story set in Hawaii and thus our latest novella was born.

The moist island air curling into his lungs felt sweet and medicinal after the dryness of desert and mainland, not to mention the recycled pressurized air of his hours spent sitting in coach. He had the sudden desire to check how pale he’d gotten, buried like a grub in prison. A quick check of his forearms confirmed he was still darker than the tourists, at least. And he’d kept in shape. One of the only things that kept him sane, in fact: that he could rely on his body, on the ache of his straining muscles, even when his mind played tricks on him.

Like right now.

He bent to snatch his suitcase off the conveyor belt, and when he straightened again, Kalani stood on the other side of the carousel, wearing that worn ringer t-shirt that Ori had given him as a hand-me-down nearly five years ago, now -- still so tight on his big body -- and his dark hair shaved close to his scalp just like Ori remembered him. Haloed by light from the huge glass doors to the terrace garden. Bright, green, alive, and Ori had to shut his eyes.

You wanted him to welcome you home, and here he is, Ori accused himself. Kalani, as strong and shining with life as ever. He’d reach out to Ori with a confident grin and fold him in his arms, one of those hugs that Ori wanted to believe were too long to be just between friends or even brothers. And then he’d headbutt him and clap him hard on the back and --

And nothing. Ori opened his eyes to the same door, the same garden, the same warm, sparkling light... and a pair of overweight mainlanders taking a photo of their equally overweight kid. Because he’s not here.

Also, if you're into mancandy, you should check out +Violetta Vane because she's been posting pictures of the various Hawaiian and Filipino men we found on our search to get a mental image for Ori and Kalani.

Hotties! Hotties everywhere!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Monday Music: Bow Chicka Wow Wow (aka sex music)

This tumblr is awesome, just by the by.
I'm one of those writers who sometimes needs just the right music to get in the mood for porn or sex scenes. Now of course, what music is most helpful depends on the tone of the scene. The following songs probably won't work for a bittersweet goodbye or the gentle lovemaking of two men who just realized they belong together.

However, it's great if you're like me and love to write filthy debased dirty-talk-filled sex scenes! (A sample of which you may see if you stop by for WIP Wednesday this week! Or if you follow my twitter.)

And so, without further adieu, a sampling of music from my "Porn Grooves" playlist (yes it is seriously called that).

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Saturday Snark: Happy Birthday

So Marie Sexton at has been doing this rather amusing blog hop that I've been quietly lurking on (like you do) and I thought that this week I'd give it a go, too! The basics are, visit Marie Sexton's blog on Saturday, where you'll find a snarky dialogue snippet from her characters followed by links to fellow authors who have also shared some snark. It's a whole bunch of witty dialogue, all in one place, and a great way to find new authors to read, especially if you're like me and need to gel with an author's sense of humour in order to really appreciate their work.

Be sure to stop by for more snark. Read and comment! (I will be breaking my lurking habit today, as well, so if you're shy we'll be making the jump together!)

From me, have a snippet from my goodreads m/m contemporary freebie Ulterior Motives, where new boyfriends Sean and Cormac tell each other about losing their respective virginities.

“I wish. Afterwards, I wanted to just jerk him off, maybe, or try to suck him too, even though I didn’t know if I’d be any good at it. But he got it in his head he was going to fuck me. It was an unmitigated disaster. I was willing, sure, but neither of us had any idea what we were doing.” He laughed, remembering. The angle’d been all wrong. It felt like they had everything all tangled. There was so much they didn’t realize about mechanics.

“That’s a surprise, to be honest...” Sean said, mostly to himself.

“Thinking of me not knowing what I was doing?” Cormac asked.

“Thinking of you on the receiving end.”

Cormac flashed him a scandalized look, and then cracked a guilty smile. “It’s not that I won’t, exactly. I just... have to like and trust a man a lot more than the usual. Kind of hypocritical, isn’t it, that I’d ask that of another man but not be willing to give it myself.”

Sean shrugged, rubbing the soles of his feet against Cormac’s ankles in thought. “I always did think you were kind of a dick.” He looked up at Cormac, completely serious, and Cormac smiled sheepishly back.

“Here,” he offered, “I’ll make it up to you, right? I’ll let you fuck me.”


“On your birthday.”

Sean rolled his eyes. “How generous.”

Go! Read!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Friday's Gay Video: Show Me Your Teeth

It legitimately breaks my heart that Lady Gaga didn't release this song as a single, because it's definitely one of my favourites she's ever done. But then, if she tried to make a music video, nothing she did could ever top this, anyway. The dancing's kind of awkward, but the more you watch it, the more amazing it gets. Trust me on this one.

Mmm, suspenders...

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Wednesday WIP: "Pretty Little Thing"

Today's WIP is slightly porny, so read with caution! (Although if you're on this blog, hopefully you're prepared for that, right?)

From a PWP deleted scene written with Violetta Vane that fits into our Christmas-in-prison story "The Saturnalia Effect" (currently out on submissions, we'll let you know how that goes!)

“Pretty little thing-- I got a feeling you like taking orders, don’t you? Mm... gonna have some fun with you then.”

Please, Troy thought, too frozen by Daniel’s possessive touch to even breathe, God please, I’ll do anything.

He half-expected Daniel to just throw him onto the bed and take him from behind, condom or no condom, whether it would hurt him or not. That was his right, after all.

But he didn’t. “Stay there,” Daniel said, and moved away. The rustle as he tied a bedsheet to the corner of the wall was a shockingly intimate sound, one of those sensations that would have gone unnoticed on the outside but in prison became charged with auspicious meaning. Here, right here on his knees, Troy reclaimed a measure of freedom. The thought and the sound of the sheet and the ache of his shoulders -- one of them or all of them together, maybe -- made him shiver uncontrollably.

When Daniel turned, his expression softened into something pained, looking at Troy. “You scared?” he asked.

Yes. “No,” Troy said.

Daniel moved behind him, weaving his fingers through Troy’s hair again, pulling his head back a little farther. Troy couldn’t see him now, but he could hear his breathing, heavy but even. Controlled. “It’s okay. I like telling you what to do, but I’m not gonna hurt you.”

Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween! Have a lovely horror podcast.

Violetta Vane's Imaginarium: Happy Halloween! Have a lovely horror podcast.: It's a busy time right now, in my personal life and in my writing. I'm sewing costumes for kids. Solidifying trick-or-treat routes. And when it comes to writing, it's tie-in time.

Short story tie-ins feel a little bit like writing fanfiction of our own stories. We're using them to fill in the blanks and spin off threads into new directions. However, we're also making sure that each of them have an internal logic and can stand on their own as stories. The one we're releasing into the world now is called "Out of the Tombs, Exceedingly Fierce."


Violetta blogged today a little bit about the behind-the-scenes process of writing our free Halloween short story, Out of the Tombs, Exceedingly Fierce, but she also podcasted it, for those who prefer to listen to her dramatic reading (sex scene and all!). Hop over to her blog for a download link for an mp3 you can listen to on itunes or whatever mp3 player you happen to own (I won't say "ipod" because my dad has a Zune and I imagine he's not alone... is he?)

Or, check out this embedded version you can stream on the web!

Out of the Tombs, Exceedingly Fierce from Violetta Vane on Vimeo.

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Free-Read: "Out of the Tombs, Exceedingly Fierce"

Just in time for Halloween, a spooky Scottish ghost story with an M/M twist by Violetta Vane and yours truly!

Ah, Scotland, an Art History student’s wet dream. Gorgeous old castles, great booze, sexy locals with even sexier accents, and even a gory ghost story or two. Maxwell Lewis is here for two reasons: to get a few great photographs, and to forget about his boring commitment-obsessed ex, in that order. Knock Castle seems to have offered him opportunities for both -- all the excitement Maxwell’s ever wanted and a hot guy to enjoy it with. If only the ghosts could stay in the story...

Northeast Scotland, 29 October, 2003

Maxwell, who had grown up with consistent parental praise for his vivid imagination, vividly imagined the fog curling away to reveal the severed heads of seven Scottish lairdlings neatly impaled on their own peat shovels.

“And the poor laird fell from the top of his tower as he heard the tragic word,” declaimed the tour guide. Maxwell had been in Scotland a week, long enough to realize that the guide was laying on the r’s a bit thicker than necessary. The other tourists seemed to appreciate the performance: the Italian woman to his left vibrated her breasts in perfect rhythm with his sonorous “hearrrrrd”.

“Shit was hardcore back then,” said the American teenager, who wore a Linkin Park t-shirt and an awed expression. “Dude. All seven of his sons. Whack, whack, whack...”

Maxwell didn’t wait for him to finish the exact count. He wandered off a few paces, rubbed his chin and tried to focus his mind’s eye. Celtic feudalism, ritual sacrifice, penny-dreadful gore, Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty, Damien Hirst’s dead cow museum pieces? So many ideas spawned by the imagery, but then, of course, so many ideas already done before. Definitely not a painting, no.

He reached out to touch the green lichen crawling across the stone—

“Can you take our picture, son?”

—and drew it back. His flash of irritation faded, because the elderly couple beaming at him were so stereotypically quaint and squat and jolly, wearing matching fanny packs. “Oh, of course,” he said, with a genuine smile.

The wife of the pair seemed pleased. “Gosh, that’s a lovely accent you’ve got,” she said as she handed him her middle-of-the-road point-and-shoot. “Are you from around here, then?”

He fumbled the camera for a second before finding and sliding the on-off button. “Canadian actually, but my parents are from London. I live in Victoria. That’s on the West coast.” He added that last detail quickly, before they assumed “Victoria” was the name of some posh London suburb instead of a Canadian island populated mostly by retirees and anarcho-hippies. “Um, say cheese!”

“You just—” the husband tried to direct.

“He’s got it, Bill. Cheese!”

“Scoot to the left, would you? So the castle’s right over your shoulder. That’s it!” He raised the camera and squeezed off three shots, the third of which was ruined by some guy wandering in from the left side. He looked up from the viewscreen, squinting at the man who’d ruined the third shot, and then sucked in a deep breath.

What really caught his eye was the tan. Sure, he’d seen plenty of hot guys — blokes? — since coming to the UK two weeks ago, but they all seemed to have the pasty malnourished coloring of someone who spent too much time in the rain. Which made sense, of course, because they did. In fact, it was kind of a minor miracle that it wasn’t raining now.

The man in front of him apparently didn’t have that problem, and Maxwell guessed it wasn’t because he spent a lot of time in a bed lined with lightbulbs. He looked perfectly outdoors-y. His hiking boots were well worn, and by the way his khakis and flannel shirt draped, Maxwell could tell he had a cut, lean body underneath — not quite broad enough for a weightlifter, but a rock-climber, maybe.

“Can we have our camera back?”

“Oh, huh, yeah,” he muttered, stuffing it unceremoniously back into the woman’s hands. He thought he said something like, “Enjoy the rest of the tour,” but he couldn’t be sure. Too transfixed to be subtle, he made a beeline for the man who’d ruined their shot. But not his.

Only a few more paces. He just needed to work his way through this knot of Korean tourists posing with the guide, scrabble over a bit of brush...

At this distance he could see the tanline where his man usually wore a watch, but had foregone one today. Sandy blond hair, wavy, not quite short enough to be called a buzz-cut, but not long enough to get your fists in, either. A tendril of arousal laced through him, at that image.

Shake it off. Don’t make an ass of yourself by getting all eager.

If the man was interested, Maxwell was most definitely available. And why wouldn’t he be interested? As long as he wasn’t Scotty McStraightbloke, anyway, Maxwell figured he had a pretty good chance.

Read the rest for free on:

goodreads | livejournal

And if you like what you see, add us for more!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Friday's Gay Video: Yep

What can I say about this video? Oh, I know. Word is that when they filmed this scene, the actors were told to just kiss for a long time, like really make out and go at it, and then the kiss would be cut down to its best parts. Except it never got cut. So we got a passionate, fierce makeout, following on the heels of a sweet, understated declaration of love.


If you haven't watched Torchwood yet, you're missing out! Season 1 starts out a little rocky, but if you can get through a couple of the campier episodes, it's got a real beating heart inside it and a wonderful cast of deeply developed characters. Ianto here is the fan darling, (with good reason! suit! little snub nose! accent!), but every character gets their moment to shine.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Research: An Biobla Naomhtha

I do a fair bit of research to write what I write, so I thought maybe I'd start sharing a bit of it. There's no theme to this, and I don't know how helpful it will be, but damnit, I'd be remiss not to share the bounty of the internet (especially its less-tread quarters) with you!

So without further ado...

An Biobla Naomhtha, the holy (Christian) bible in Irish Gaelic!

You know, just in case.

(Can you believe I actually needed this resource? My world. It is a hurricane of mad brilliance.)

Here's some cool things you might not know about Google Books, while we're on the subject. Notice how the book I linked is kind of a cruddy scan? Looks a bit like a captcha? Well, let's say I need a verse from it; how about Genesis 1:2 for simplicity: "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light." So what if I wanted to take that same verse from An Biobla Naomhtha without painstakingly switching windows back and forth to copy out each letter? Like say, if I wanted to do this?

If you look at the top right hand corner of the book window (not quite up to where you'll see your own username sign in), you'll see a couple of ways of interacting with this text. I used the "clip" button to get that section of text. Select around it, and voila, it makes an image of that section of text for you. Of course, it's not quite as useful as being able to copy and paste the normal way, since the selection for the clip function is limited to a rectangle or square, but it is useful for pages that don't have copy and paste functionality.

But what if I didn't want to use an image, say I was using the quote in-line in a stor? (Not that I am or anything, cough!) Well, once you clip the text a pop-up window will appear that gives you several options on what to do with your selection. The first is a window out of which you can copy and paste the text you selected, say to paste into this blog, the second creates an image (as seen above), and the third spits out some html for you that creates and image AND hyperlinks it to the source. Neat! (And man do I wish this was a readily available feature in all books, especially back when I was doing my undergrad!)

One word of caution, though. The above text turns into the following:

3 Açus do bhi an talamh gan fhoirm ages iolamh agus do bhi dorcliadus ar tNoub an aiätin Agus do chorruigh tpx rad Dé ar aghaidh na nuisgeadh

Notice any differences? Yeah, a few, largely in the arena of punctuation, although a couple of letters get borked, too. So double check what you end up pasting before you send it out into the world, just like you would were you typing it out by hand (like I had to during my undergrad).

Found any other cool books (research-related or otherwise) for free on Google Books? Got some guesses as to why the hell I'm looking for Irish Gaelic translations of bible verses? Let's hear it in the comments!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Wednesday WIP: Rubber Glove

“I don’t even know what he looks like,” said Troy. “Is he in the room here now?”

Franchetti looked to Pliers, exchanging a cruel laugh -- once again at Troy’s expense. “Amato? No way, he’s too good for this shithole. You go to the library, you sit around there looking... like you do... long enough, he’ll come to you. If not, well then...” He pulled out a cell phone, tossing a quick look over his shoulder -- not that anyone was likely to report Franchetti and his crew for contraband -- which he scrolled through until he found a unfocused picture of Amato. Dark hair, a low craggy brow, strong jaw with a cleft in his chin. Brown eyes. Beaten-looking but full lips.

Troy swallowed.

“Like that, do you?” Franchetti taunted. “I knew you’d be perfect for this job.”

Franchetti, God fucking damn him, was right. Troy did like what he saw. He told himself that that didn’t make any difference, except that it made the first part of the job easier to stomach. That was all.

He’s just like they are. Mobster psychos. This isn’t murder: it’s a shark hunt.

“So we can count on you?” Franchetti asked.

Troy looked point-blank at Pliers, at the tell-tale scars on his knuckles and sadistic gleam in his eyes. Don’t have much fucking choice, do I?

“Yeah. Sure.” He swallowed whatever bile was in his throat and tried to mirror Franchetti’s cool indifference, Pliers’ obvious knack for violence. “Just get me something to do it with.”

“I hear they cut a finger off a rubber glove,” Franchetti mused, deliberately misunderstanding Troy’s meaning. Shame flushed up Troy’s face.

Outside, it had started to snow.

From "The Saturnalia Effect", the short story I wrote with Violetta Vane, out on submission now. It's a mafia Christmas in prison story with a fantasy twist! Here's the logline:

Christmas in prison isn’t just lonely -- it’s murder. New fish Troy Khoury learns the hard way when he’s forced into a mafia revenge plot, and the only way to get close enough to kill his man... is to get in his bed.

What are you working on right now? Anybody got seasonal stories on the go?

Monday, 24 October 2011

Monday Music: Bonus Post! New Decemberists

Paste Magazine has a track off of their new EP streaming! It's called "E. Watson" and here's what they had to say about it:
This acoustic folk track is classic Decemberists storytelling at its best, featuring Meloy and contributing vocalists Laura Veirs and Annalisa Tornfelt spinning the narrative of a lawless cane sugar plantation owner named Edgar Watson. Taking inspiration from Peter Matthiessen’s 1990 fictional novelization of the man, Killing Mister Watson, the material works great for the band’s return to stripped-down instrumentation and their exploration of the American mythos. 

My favourite! Click the album cover below to hear it.

What do you think? Are you a fan of this type of music and songwriting?

Monday Music: Cheer up!

Nine weeks now since we submitted our MS and I'm starting to get seriously antsy! So have a small sample of some of the tunes I listen to when I need a pick-me-up.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

ATTENTION: This is an important public service announcement

Learn it. Love it.

That being said, I am a strict adherer to the rules of the Oxford comma. My co-author Violetta, however, couldn't care less. As such, when we're writing together I always end up adding commas to her list-type sentences. 

Where do you stand on this crucial issue? (And I do mean crucial! Just think of poor JFK and Stalin!)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Friday's Gay Video: Shelter

I'm watching this movie this weekend!

Forced to give up his dreams of art school, Zach spends his days working a dead-end job and helping his needy sister care for her son. In his free time he surfs, draws and hangs out with his best friend, Gabe, who lives on the wealthy side of town. When Gabe's older brother, Shaun, returns home, he is drawn to Zach's selflessness and talent. Zach falls in love with Shaun while struggling to reconcile his own desires with the needs of his family.

Anyone else seen this? What did you think? And what should I watch next?

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Finishing What You Start

Reposted from a blog on Aug. 5, 2011:

Our first draft is complete, and we're three chapters away from finishing our line-by-line edits from our champion ballbuster of a beta reader, who is apparently some manner of comma-splice killing machine. (And avid hater of martyr complex heros, but that's neither here nor there... we think). We've gone through three versions of our synopsis and seven (7!) of our blurb, from 800 words down to 100 and everywhere in between. We've written (and edited) our query letter after reading multiple websites and Noah Lukeman's free (and informative!) e-book How to Write a Great Query Letter.

If you'd have told me at the beginning of this year that I would ever finish a manuscript and get to this stage, I would have laughed, and then cried, and then laughed while crying. If I wasn't pregnant, I'd probably also polish off a bottle of white wine in one sitting. I always figured that no matter how much I loved writing, I'd always only ever be this guy:

So yeah, to be finished a first draft and nearly finished a second, and getting ready to send a manuscript that I'm proud of writing and being a part of to publishers -- real publishers that pay you for your books and make this thing official, man! -- feels absolutely bloody awesome. I haven't felt this damn good since I handed in my last research paper (about sexuality and masculinity in the Victorian era, complete with filthy pictures!), or since I walked across the stage at convocation. Not only that, but we're at this crucial stage right when I'm about to finish something else pretty major: gestating a baby! And a lot like a baby, this novel has taken a lot of effort and tears and suffering (and absolutely indescribable happiness and accomplishment, too!) to get to this point, but I got here only to realize I've got even more work and hardship and rewards ahead of me.

So tell me. Where are you at? Are you still working on that same unfinished manuscript, writing and rewriting, fighting through writer's block and inertia? Are you a git-er-done kind of writer who always finishes what they start? Someone like me who never thought they could do it... but have? Got something on the go right now you're wondering if you'll ever finish? Is it a novel? A degree? A promotion? A musical piece? A building project? Let me know what strategies you use or what things you need to get things done.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Friday's Gay Video: Buddy Cole

What's better than spoofs of 1950s PSAs? Real 1950s PSAs, duh! But the real ones never looked quite like this...

From Canadian 1980s-90s comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall, who often featured the quite subversive (especially for the times) queer humour of gay comic Scott Thompson. (Be sure to check out the various clips of his character "The Bar Fag" Buddy Cole on youtube!)

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Wednesday WIP: May I?

From our WIP smutty short story, "Galway Bound" (check out the writing tab above for a blurb!):

“Hey,” he said, his voice quiet and strained. “Come on. Can we go now?” 

A warm curl of pleasure twisted down Cormac’s abdomen and he smiled, eyelids low. He took another sip of his espresso. “I don’t know,” he replied, “Can we?”

Sean’s face twitched in a mixture of annoyance and recognition, but it didn’t take long for him to relent. “May we go now?” he amended. He tried for sarcasm, but the desperation in his tone undermined it beautifully.

God, Cormac wanted him.

But not yet. He shifted his chair until they were side-by-side, thighs touching under the table, and leaned in. “May we go now, Cormac,” he corrected, at a whisper.

Sean’s jaw tightened. His eyes tried to narrow. Cormac half-expected a round of cursing, a fist slammed against the table and possibly some spilled coffee, but that was all right... they’d iron it out. Instead, Sean blinked purposefully, took a deep breath and said, in a quiet, careful voice, “May we go now, Cormac?”

Monday, 3 October 2011

Friday, 30 September 2011

Friday's Gay Video: That's When I Met Peter

James Franco as Allen Ginsberg in the movie Howl, based on Allen Ginsberg's life, including the writing and reaction to his poem "Howl". A sort of up-and-down movie with its weak points, but you really can't say anything bad about the black and white clips about Ginsberg's youth. James Franco plays him so beautifully sensitive and lonely and desperate for affection, and this scene about Peter, Ginsberg's life partner, is a moment of lovely optimism in an occasionally bleak film.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Friday's Gay Video: Wrestling with Caspar

Speaking of Christopher Isherwood, here's a clip from the BBC drama Christopher and His Kind based on the author's time in 1930s Berlin. Matt Smith is a bit of an acquired taste as far as men go, but this scene? Well I guess you will see!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Monday Music: Alive, Alive-O

While trying to find an Irish song in the public domain to use during a pivotal scene in our novel...

Violetta: Man they [the crowd] really love that song
Heidi: To be fair, The Dubliners could sing a chorus of "Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you" and the Irish would probably still sing along and weep with joy.
Violetta: What if they sang "God Save the Queen"?
Heidi: Universe would implode.

Remember, fellow aspiring authors! Quoting lyrics to popular songs in your novel doesn't fall under Fair Use. If you want to quote music in your novel without asking for permission or paying royalties, always use songs that are in the public domain, aka songs that were written before 1923. Unknowingly, Violetta and I included several lines from the song "Wonderwall" in our manuscript, which, judging by the previous link, would have run us up a bill that would far exceed any earnings we could hope to make from publishing our novel, even if it sold really well!

For more info on the legal issues surrounding quoting lyrics, check out this excellent post post by Dina DiMaio, attorney/writer. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying some awesome Irish classics!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Friday's Gay Video: Carlos

"Oh, Kenneth, Kenneth, believe me - there's nothing I'd rather do! I want like hell to tell you. But I can't. I quite literally can't. Because, don't you see, what I know is what I am? And I can't tell you that. You have to find it out for yourself. I'm like a book you have to read. A book can't read itself to you. It doesn't even know what it's about. I don't know what I'm about." 
A clip from the Tom Ford film A Single Man, based on the novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood. This actually wasn't my first choice clip (that would be "Curtains, Old Man", which apparently doesn't exist on the internet, which is too bad because it's sweet and loving) , but I like this clip, too, which perfectly captures a) the sensuousness of Tom Ford's film (the shifts in intensity of colours being one of its very best features) and b) the tortured private sexual tension of the original novel.

Both film and book are well worth a go, if you feel like crying.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

WIP Wednesday: What? Shut up.

“This is fucked up,” he said.
“So say ‘no’,” Ángel countered. 
“How much?” Sean didn’t like the challenge in Ángel’s tone, the implication that Sean didn’t have the balls. 
“Five hundred for half a night. Each.” Ángel talked about that kind of money like it was his fucking weekly allowance. 
“Wow,” Sean said, before he could stop himself.  
“Well, you pay a premium for that kind of fucked-up shit, in this business. You should see how much I charge for daddy kink. The kind you need costumes.” He laughed, and Sean couldn’t help but join him. He didn’t know what it said about him, about Ángel, about this whole fucking city, that even knowing Ángel did that kind of depraved shit, Sean didn’t look down on him at all. In fact, he kind of admired him, like it was some kind of achievement.
“I guess ‘daddy kink’ is self-evident?” Sean said, when he’d stopped laughing.
When Ángel looked at him, his eyes were twinkling. Which was odd, because Sean didn’t think they were in that kind of light. “You’re cute,” Ángel said, slightly patronizing, but Sean took it as a compliment anyway. “We should tell him you’re a virgin.” A pause. “Are you... a virgin?” 
“What? Shut up.” Sean shoved him on the shoulder playfully. 

From the prequel story to our novel, "The Crossroads" (working title), a dark voodoo-influenced story about drugs and prostitution in pre-Katrina New Orleans, which will eventually be available for free on our website and on Goodreads.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Monday Music: Sean Songs

Music + Alliteration! Monday Music is my chance to share some music, be it stuff that I write to, that reminds me of a character, that forms the soundtrack of a story I'm currently working on, or that just happens to be my latest earworm/workout track.

This week, have a few songs that remind me of the character Sean O'Hara, one of the leads in The Hollow Hill.

Arcade Fire - Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)

And like a mirror, the city lights shine
They're screaming at us, "We don't need your kind"
Sometimes I wonder if the world's so small
That we can never get away from the sprawl

Friday, 9 September 2011

Friday's Gay Video: S. Korea ships Holmes/Watson

What happens when shippers are put in charge of a show's advertising... a quirky modern-day mystery like BBC's Sherlock becomes a moody romantic drama!

Not gonna lie though, I'd watch it!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

WIP Wednesday:

Sean seemed thoughtful, now, silently studying the Victorian-built buildings of main street that loomed down on them from all sides. “The priest,” he started, and briefly looked embarrassed to have even mentioned it, “does he harass you because you’re...”

Cormac stopped up on the sidewalk and crossed his arms expectantly. Sean looked vaguely uncomfortable for about a second, looked over both shoulders, and then said it: “Gay, I mean?”

Cormac’s mouth cracked open in a smile. He wasn’t sure what it said about him that he expected that sentence to end in “druid” before “gay”. Maybe under different circumstances he’d be offended that Sean would even think to bring it up like that, but he looked so damn earnest, no tone of challenge in it at all. 

“What makes you even think I am?” he countered, knowing it was cruel. Answering Sean’s questions with other questions -- that was starting to become a habit, and he wasn’t sure why.

Sean resumed his pace down the sidewalk, then, and Cormac had to shuffle to catch up, trying not to sound out of breath. He thought maybe he’d pissed him off again, but Sean just looked over his shoulder with a breathless smile. “So what, you were doing ‘consulting’ with Yanto-with-a-Y then, too?”

Cormac laughed. When he’d pulled that stunt, he never could have predicted that it would have turned out quite like this. He had a feeling Sean wasn’t ever going to let him live it down. Somehow that thought didn’t bother him at all. 

“Nope,” he replied, going for broke, “That was definitely a one-night-stand.”

The candid approach seemed to work wonders on breaking down Sean’s prickly defenses, much better than torturing him with more questions, because in reply to that he just smiled again, a little teasing, and said, “I know. Guy was practically pissing on his territory.”

“Honestly, though, if the priest disapproves of anything, it’s my choice of career. I don’t think my sex life even registers in comparison to my practicing... well.” He let that one trail off. Even doing what he did, and knowing what he did, saying the “m”-word aloud by light of day, in English, seemed silly.

This didn’t seem to satisfy Sean, who pressed on, “Those guys in the pub, too. They seemed okay with it. I feel like I’m in some kind of mirror world-- I thought Ireland was like, ninety-nine percent Catholic or something.”

“I don’t fit into a few of the usual categories. I think by now everyone kind of expects me to be a little... unconventional. Anyway, I’m not public about it, but I don’t apologize, either. Maybe when I was younger.” Owen, especially, hadn’t been the most understanding when he’d first brought Michael home. Michael had always been the one who wanted to march in parades, get confrontational as a matter of principle. Without him, Cormac probably could have stayed in the closet his whole life, the type to make sure his ‘roommates’ always had their own bed even if it never got used. He sighed. “But it’s been a few years since then. I think anyone who still has a problem with it now knows better than to try saying anything to my face.”

“Because you’d hex them, right?” Sean joked. Something tight in Cormac’s chest seemed to unknot, at that: Sean’s easy acceptance. Stupid that he’d be standing here, waiting for Sean’s go ahead on his own damn life. He certainly hadn’t been looking for that from anyone else. “You know, do a little”

 From my novel co-written with Violetta Vane, working title The Hollow Hill, currently out on submission to Carina Press and Samhain Publishing. In which our heroes try to determine which aspect of Cormac's identity is more taboo.

Ah, Summer

We hardly knew ye.