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Friday, March 23, 2012

Sweet Saturday Sample of "Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny"

This scene takes place at Callie & Mac's house. Danny and Eliza are having dinner there. Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny is a free-standing book. You don't have to have read book 1 to understand book 2.
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Dinner was a fairly chaotic affair as Kitty spilled her milk, Jason got catsup all over his light blue shirt and Callie accidentally knocked the salad bowl on the floor. Fortunately, it didn’t break.
Is it always like this when you have kids? He shot a questioning glance at Eliza who was scooping salad off the floor.


She laughed and shrugged her shoulders.
After dinner, everyone helped clean up.
“I’ve got my first square dance tomorrow night,” Danny announced, returning the salad bowl to the kitchen.
“What fun! I wish I could go with you,” Callie said.
“Eliza is coming.”
Callie looked at her girlfriend and raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.
“Do you play baseball in the Army,” Jason asked.
‘No, but I can play here. Do you play?”
Jason nodded and ran into the other room, returning moments later with his baseball and glove. While the men took Jason outside for a game of catch, Callie and Eliza finished cleaning up in the kitchen and put Kitty to bed.

 “Are you dating Danny?” Callie asked.
“Hmmm?” Eliza muttered, her eyes trained on the dishes, turned away from Callie’s stare.
“You’re here with him, you’re going out with him tomorrow. You two are spending a lot of time together.”
“Just helping him make social connections here. He doesn’t know anyone else and...”
“Baloney. Can’t fool me. I know a couple when I see one.”
Eliza kept washing dishes, refusing to meet Callie's gaze.
“Simon is a stiff. He went off to Europe without you. I don’t think he’s good enough for you.”
“And you think a man ten years younger than I am is?” Eliza inquired raising one eyebrow.
“Danny’s special…not like other guys. He’s not a phony or a liar.”
“Sort of like Kyle?”
“And Mac, too. So are you seeing each other?”
“Sort of…a few dates and—”Eliza shrugged.
“I told Mac you were and he said you weren’t. Hah! Men never know these things. You are good for Danny,” Callie said, with a smile.
“What does he need an old lady like me for?”
“You’re not an old lady. You’re kind and caring, giving him stability…good sense. Plus you’re very pretty. Danny likes pretty women.”

Click HERE for more Sweet Saturday Samples.
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 A bit about the book:

Can the newest professor at Kensington State escape his previous life as a killer? Leaving the Army didn't mean the war left him so Capt. Danny Maine, now teaching English, must find a way to lead a normal life. Finding love and rekindling an old friendship are not enough to defeat old demons. Danny Maine fights to free himself from war memories and dangerous men, hoping that a new love and a new Glock will bring him peace. Now and Forever 2, the Book of Danny is a heartfelt story of love, loss and ultimate triumph that will touch your heart.
 Available in ebook and paperback 
PAPERBACK

Thursday, March 22, 2012

SPECIAL INTERVIEW! THE HEROINES OF REBOUND AND THE PERFECT SCORE COME CLEAN!


Today’s interview features Claire LeMay from Rebound and Shelley Longstaff from The Perfect Score (Books 1 and 2 in the Love and Balance series). Former colleagues and best friends, they talk about what it was like to share their story.
   1. Are you upset your name is not in the title?
Claire: No, not really. How could I be? My picture is on the front cover! That’s so exciting!
Shelley: Yeah, that is cool. How they managed to capture our images like that is beyond me. Is that considered stalking when they snap your picture like that without you knowing?
Claire: Ha! You posed for that, remember?
Shelley: *snickers* Yeah, I’m just messing with Jean and Kellie. But you have to admit they captured your moment with Justin perfectly.
Claire: *sighs dreamily* I know… How did they do that? They caught the background perfectly of the gym, and I’ll never forget that moment with Justin.
Shelley: Jack and I had to recreate those shrewd looks on our faces. We still laugh about how he threatened to sue me my first day on the job!
2.     Do you have any annoying habits your author did not share with us in your book?
Claire: I don’t have any annoying habits.
Shelley: *snorts in laughter* Uh, former roommate here!
Claire: *crosses arms over chest* What annoying habits do I have?
Shelley: You can be so serious for one.
Claire: *rolls eyes* Is that really an annoying habit? That’s more of a personality trait.
Shelley: Semantics…
Claire: Hey! I’ve loosened up a lot. I mean, I did realize I was in charge of my life and moved to be with Justin. Now he and I use the gym for more than coaching purposes AND on a regular basis I might add…
Shelley: Woo-hoo! Live on the edge woman! *laughs*
Claire: Oh shut up. I could never be like you with a different lover every other week, but now who is serious? You’ve got Jack and you two are having –
Shelley: Ssssshhhh!! Don’t spoil my story for Kellie’s readers! 
3.     Are you happy with the profession your author chose for you or would you rather be working at something totally different and why?
Claire: I’ve always loved gymnastics and dancing, so to be able to teach both now as a profession is a dream come true.
Shelley: Always loved gymnastics with a passion, so I can’t imagine doing anything else. I can’t imagine why Kellie gave up coaching it so she could write books. But at least it gives her a chance to tell our stories!
Claire: *grabs Shelley by the arm* And have you read her other ones? *fans face* Steamy!
4.     Now for a personal question. Is there enough  sex in the book for you? Would you have liked more?
*Claire and Shelley share a look, then speak simultaneously* Never enough sex!! *they laugh*
 5.     Did you author handle your “love” scenes the way you like or was she too explicit or not explicit enough?
Claire: *blushes* Well, I lived it but reading the way she wrote it…*blush deepens* It’s a little strange that the public will know just how good it was.
Shelley: *smacks Claire in the shoulder* Oh get over yourself. I loved reading about my exploits with Jack. The only thing I’d wish she’d gotten around to writing was a shower scene for us. We never did get to that…
6.     Is you’re hero/heroine a good kisser?
*both women answer with a resounding YES!*
Claire: *sighs happily* I’ve always loved Justin’s kisses, the way his lips feel on mine…the rest of the world just melts away.
Shelley: Jack wins hands down. It was our first kiss that made me want so much more from a man than I’d ever wanted before.
7.     Did your author listen to you when you tried to redirect her?
Shelley: Kellie is always very good at listening. Sometimes we go off on a tangent and then she takes a look at the story and suggests we change a few things to make sure everything makes sense.
Claire: We had to re-write a couple of times to get everything just right. It took Justin and I a while to be able to tell her our story. But once we all worked together, it came out great.
8.     Did your story end too soon?
Claire: Well, the story never really is over, is it? A reader can always use their imagination to take us to the next place in our lives.
Shelley: *giggles* Or a reader can always go back and read the juicy parts *wink*
Claire: *laughs* They can do that too. But we all make brief appearances throughout the series, so you know what we’re up to.
9.     Who was your favorite supporting character?
Both answer together: Each other!
Claire: Aww…
Shelley: Oh… I love you.
Claire: I love you too. *they share a hug*

 A little bit about Rebound
Claire LeMay is at the top of her game – she’s head of a prominent gymnastics facility with her gymnasts winning awards for her outstanding choreography. Now her biggest challenge is to coach alongside the man she’s avoided for three years after he demanded she live in his shadow instead of forging her own path.

After sinking every penny of his inheritance into his state-of-the-art gymnastics facility, Justin Black has achieved his dream. But even with hundreds of members and well-trained coaches, when Claire’s presence invades his space, he reluctantly admits she’s the one thing missing in his life. Oblivious as to why she walked out on him three years ago, he attempts to call a truce.
As their old passion tumbles out faster than a gymnast sprinting down the vault runway, they realize they are in the same impossible position as they were three years ago. Are they destined to repeat the same old routine or will they be able to choreograph a new one?
Buy it from Secret Cravings Publishing or AMAZON

A little bit about The Perfect Score
 Shelley Longstaff finally has her chance to be in charge only to rue the day when she is asked to train the dreaded Anna Fortier, a gymnast who has no sense of sportsmanship and makes everyone in her vicinity miserable. When Shelley refuses, she’s threatened with a lawsuit by her father. To make things worse, Shelley has an inexplicable attraction to the arrogant rich lawyer!
        Since his wife’s death five years ago, Jacques (Jack) Fortier does whatever it takes to protect what is his. Shelley’s club is his last resort to keep his daughter in the sport, but threatening to sue her isn’t exactly his smartest move. When she grudgingly agrees to give Anna a chance, he finds himself attracted to the spritely gymnastics coach – the first woman he’s had any feelings for since his wife passed away.
As Shelley and Jack leap over the line in their parent-coach relationship, Shelley worries over falling in love with a man who admittedly still loves his late wife. But when a crisis of teenage proportions threatens their relationship, will they risk everything for the chance to achieve The Perfect Score?
Buy it from Secret Cravings Publishing or AMAZON

Patricia Logan shares a heartfelt memory of her Nursing experiences with AIDS patients

Author and good friend, Patricia Logan, has joined me today to share a memory of her days nursing AIDS patients in the 1990's.

I suppose I became active in the gay community in 1993 when a dear friend succumbed to AIDS. My friend Clay, who I’d known since childhood, finally passed away, painfully, filled with the only drug that was approved at the time, AZT. He died in pain but he was not alone. He was held by friends, sisters, a brother, a mother and a father and his lover and life partner of five years. 

   Clay’s death led me to my next career, nursing of immune suppressed patients. It was rough. I walked naively right out of nursing school into an environment where “those people”, the intimidating nurses of ISU, with their flamboyant gestures, bright hair and multiple piercings and great great love, were hard core and committed to what they did. I’d started out my career in nursing thinking I’d go into anything other than this but here I was, doing my rotation in the immune suppressed unit and getting to know how these people did their jobs.
   
   I must tell you, at first impression, I was highly intimidated and coming onto the unit as a student fried my brain. I was literally, the top in my class followed by two other queens who made me feel like a fool here, the white, married mother. What was I doing, ministering to “their own”? 
    
   These guys were my study partners and my good friends but because they were gay men, they were readily accepted on the floor because at the time, 90% of the nurses that worked with AIDS patients were gay of both genders. In short, many nurses refused to take care of these patients, so deathly afraid and misinformed about body fluids and what could spread the disease. Remember, this was more than ten years after people began contracting the disease and the world was still living in fear of AIDS and HIV positive patients. 
   
   As an outsider, I was looked upon by several lesbian nurses in that “scary way” and made to be terrified until my gay friends stood their ground for me. In the end, sa’ll good. I dealt with it, because of Clay and because I had a genuine love for people and my patients.

   On January 17, 1994, Los Angeles had one of largest earthquakes in our history. The lover to my friend Clay and co-nursing student called me crying. He was afraid and alone and freaking out. It was a time in all of our lives when things went kind of haywire; for god’s sake, buildings in our neighborhood had come down crushing people. A total of more than 50 people died in that quake and that was in a highly modern, earthquake reinforced city, prone to the earth movers.

   My teachers decided that none of us were in the mood to learn about human anatomy that week so they did us all a great favor. They showed us a movie on video called “And the Band Played On” produced by HBO which I’d never heard of, at the time. It showcased the story of the beginnings of the “gay cancer” AIDS, the closing of the bathhouses, and the airline steward aboard a flight from Europe who they hypothesized had “started it all”. 
   
   This movie stunned this student, a middle class white mother of 3, then in her thirties, and I thought even then, how can they pin it down to one guy? Was he the dude who went into the wilds of Africa and fucked the monkeys? We were reading and listening to all kinds of speculation on the television at the time about the origins of HIV. I didn’t get the connection between the African apes then and don’t get it now, but that’s what we were taught.

   These memories come back around this time of year, because of Clay’s death. In those days, we had AZT, the TENS unit and heavy pain meds. We had chucks and diapers and wet wipes and pads and love and hugs and tears. That’s all we had. No knowledge. Nothing coming out of Washington, and we knew that they knew and didn’t let us know… bastards… we knew… and we hugged and we loved and we buried… those we loved and then we sewed their names into a quilt.

   I spoke to a dear FB friend about it. With his permission and without his full name, I relate his story. Tony moved to San Francisco in the late 80’s and began watching his “family” pass away. It wasn’t a matter, when he opened the daily posts, as to “when they would die” but “who had died” the next day. He had to move away because it so overwhelmed him that he couldn’t, literally, couldn’t deal with the DAILY DEATH TOLL. How could anyone? God bless you Tony! I couldn’t have either! It was hard enough, just reading it. 

   At the time, we all were sleeping around, I was a young single white female living in LA and fucking my way through college, not thinking that I was high risk, cause I just wasn’t. My unprotected partners had nothing better to worry about than their orgasm, protected by my birth control pills. God! How na├»ve we all were in those stupid, stupid days!

   My patients died alone, we were their only friends, the nurses who held their hands.  My eyes were opened. I spent many a night, soaking my pillow with tears as I remembered a patients passing, alone, all alone. I interfered in many a fight between family members and partners who at the time, were refused visitation to men who they had spent years with, were in love with… It frankly sickened me. 

   Men died in the most horrid of fashions, blinded with pus-filled eyes as their livers shut down while their “brothers and sisters” fought with their lovers outside their hospital room doors. It’s really a miracle I survived those years… those horrible years… It led me to the end of my nursing career because I lost my humanity among those brightly lit and beautifully artwork filled corridors of White Memorial.

   I went to Pride Week last June in San Francisco. I walked hand in hand and heart and heart with my Tony as well as my author pal, Amanda. We held hands along the parade route. We’re both straight/bi and we just figured everyone would think we were gay anyway! I remembered Clay and feel what he felt, what my gay nurse friends felt, and what my Tony feels every single damn day, how he lives with the “cocktail” which allows him to survive another day, remembering twenty five years of lovers and friends lost to this terrible disease. 
   
   My prayers are with those who live with this scourge and its antiretroviral accompaniment every single day. Praise to my Tony and to those who still live with this miserable malady, years after we were so uninformed and perhaps deliberately misinformed. We did our best to hold their countless hands as they passed into the other world, often alone and without any other family but nurses like us, who loved and loved and still love.

Thank you for sharing this emotional recollection. Patti writes M/M erotic romance that is as heartfelt as her days as a nurse. 
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Here are some of her books.
Find Patti's blog HERE

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Monday, March 19, 2012

TUESDAY TALES - STORY WRITTEN TO THE WORD PROMPT "SKY"

Here's a second excerpt from my current WIP , "If I Loved You.  To read the first snippet, click here.

“You’re going to be the financial advisor to Chaz Duncan, Chaz Duncan, the movie star?” Penny put her crochet project down and raised her eyebrows.
“I’m handling all the celebrity accounts at Diller and Weed.”
“Why?”
“Because I handle Mark’s account…wait, your and Mark’s account.”
“And I’m a big celebrity…star quarterback with the Delaware Demons.” Mark stretched his long arms over his head then out to the side.
“Big whoop, Mark. I’ll bet he’s as full of himself as you are…maybe more.”
“Everyone knows how humble and self-effacing I am.” Mark grinned at his twin sister.
“Self-effacing…a twenty dollar word.”
“What’s got your panties in a twist? You’re lucky to be meeting a hot guy like Dunc Charles.”
“Dunc? You call him Dunc?”
“Hell, yeah. His nickname… all his Hollywood buds call him that. He came to a game and I met him, even shared a beer.”
Meg rolled her eyes. Penny pushed to her feet.
“Come on.” She tugged on Meg’s arm.
“Where to?”
“A make-over. You don’t think I’m going to let you meet Duncan Charles looking like that do you?”
“What do you mean?”
“I wasn’t going to say anything, Meg, and you know I love you like a sister…but it’s time to take a leap into the twenty-first century and stop dressing like a 1930’s spinster…your hair…we gotta fix that, too.”
 Meg Davis sputtered and protested but between Mark and Penny, she didn’t stand a chance. Before she could fasten her jacket, she’d been pushed into the elevator and was on her way to Bergdorf Goodman accompanied by Penny and Mark’s credit card. 
                                                    **** 
When they returned, Penny came into the condo
first. She turned off the television.
“Hey! What're you doing?” Mark sat up and put his beer down on the glass coffee table.
“You’ll never believe it…”
“Yeah? Did you get her a new disposition, too?” Mark turned back to the TV.
“Come on, Mark! She needs an audience. She’s not sure she likes all this and well…I need you to convince her.”
“Me? I couldn’t convince her the sky’s blue.”
“Wait…wait…” Penny backed out of the room and opened the door.
Meg walked in, wobbling a bit on heels that were too high for her. Mark sat back and narrowed his eyes, looking his sister over.
“Hmm…I’d have to say…Wow, Meg. You look…awesome!”
Meg smiled lamely at him and wobbled closer.
“Gotta learn to walk.” Mark looked over his sister more closely.
Her glossy dark brown hair wasn’t pulled back but hung loose, freshly trimmed to  shoulder length. Spiky bangs, coral lipstick and a low-cut sweater showing plenty of cleavage gave her a saucy look.
“Didn’t know you could look like that…pretty hot…for a sister. Didn’t know you had…uh…those, either.” He gestured with cupped hands to his own chest, while his cheeks colored a bit.
Meg’s green eyes danced under the perfect layer of mascara and Mark’s praise. Her irridecent blue suit emphasized her dark good looks and her dazzling smile. The garment fit her curves perfectly and the thin, white sweater underneath also hugged her like a glove. A thin gold chain with a gold heart, the ultimate elegant touch to the gorgeous outfit, hung low on her chest. Mark leaned over and peered under the sofa.
“What did you do with my sister, Penny?”
Meg threw a pillow at him and he guffawed. Penny placed the receipts in Mark’s hand. He crossed the room and transferred them to Meg.
“You’re my financial manager, do something with these.”
“Doesn’t she look fabulous?” Penny wrapped her fingers around Mark’s bicep as she gave Megan another once-over.
“Old Duncan’ll never know what hit him.” Mark gave Meg another appreciative look.
“He puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else,” she sniffed.
“It’s not about how he puts his pants on…” Penny began.
“But how he takes ‘em off,” Mark snickered.

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