Thursday, January 26, 2012

What's in a Name - Rhianon Etzweiler

Black’s world is an amalgam of European cultures, prominently French, German, and British. This is because in Black’s world, the metro – named York – is the hub of a territory that spans the geographic regions those cultures and countries (as well as others) inhabited, once upon a time. On the streets, the Nightwalkers, street dealers, and the rest of the humans, speak a patois that’s a mix of all three and many others besides. It took a good bit of research and careful planning to give each culture and dialect some form of prominent representation – and role – in the story.

I decided on monikers that would translate easily, short names with equally simple meanings – or, as with Jhez, none at all. Among the humans of the street, York’s ruling vampire has a different sort of nickname –Le Gross, which has a variety of translated meanings depending on the mood and/or native language of the speaker. As many as there are languages in the patois. And every one of them is applicable to the vampire’s character, depending on perspective.

In “Blacker Than Black,” names are important – as labels of the roles each individual is playing. Because every last character upon the page is playing a role, be they vampire or human, lyche or streetdealer or Nightwalker. The world is a blend of cultural influences, coexisting alongside each other. It’s a world where humans have stopped fighting each other over what sets them apart, and joined forces to survive as one against a greater threat.

Thanks for stopping by, don’t forget to leave a comment with your email address to enter the drawings. For a taste of Black, check out the extended excerpt on Riptide’s site (here) and then follow along to Top2Bottom Reviews ( for an exclusive follow-up!

Tomorrow, I’ll be at Ren Thompson’s ( with another excerpt!

For more info on Rhi’s writings:

Twitter: @musefodder

Facebook Profile: here

Goodreads Profile: here

Amazon Author Page: here

Google+ Profile: here

Get “Dark Edge of Honor” here

Monday, January 23, 2012

LvZ - Amber Green - Dead Kitties Don't Purr

Next installment of the Lesbian versus Zombies Romances from Noble Romance!  My good friend, Amber Green's awesome book, Dead Kitties Don't Purr, is out TODAY!

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People who take their shots and do as they're told have nothing to fear. Right? Right.

The Rabies Z epidemic began and ended in Miami this past summer, didn't it? And that guy my daddy saw at the Jacksonville airport last week was just having an epileptic fit. No cause for alarm. Epilepsy always causes an eighteen-hour hazmat shutdown at a major airport.

So while my twin tours to flog her newest album, here I am, Camie Invisible, parked at this nice, safe college—as far as I can get from the infection and still pay in-state tuition. Only now, my studies have become focused on the fascinating Risa Ruiz. And she has eyes for me.

Purchase Link:

Amber's Website:

Isn't this the purrfect time for the zombies to show up?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ava March– My True Love Gave to Me

A while back, in the back of my mind, where the muse runs amuck, I toyed with the idea of writing a book with young lovers. I wanted to explore the purity and intensity of emotion that comes with first love and that accompanying complete devastation when everything goes to hell. Sasha and Thomas popped into my head. Sasha, confident in his desires and head-over-heels in love with Thomas. And Thomas, unable to resist Sasha, yet very conflicted about his desires for him. A situation poised to blow up in Sasha’s face. I also knew the guys would reconnect years later once Thomas had come to terms with his desires and realized he loves Sasha. I was so enamored with the characters I did something I don’t do often – I immediately started their book. And shortly into it, hit a wall.

You see, I’m a muller. Oh, and a plotter. It takes many, many months (usually over a year) to go from idea to starting a book. During that time in between, the details work themselves out, chapters plot themselves, the characters become fully formed, etc. I know exactly how a book will go, how each scene will play out, when I start chapter 1. But as I soon found out with My True Love Gave to Me, I started it too early. I hadn’t figured out enough to fill a book. So it got shelved and I moved onto writing other stories. Likely Thomas and Sasha would have stayed shelved indefinitely, stuck in stuck, if not for a call from my agent with an opportunity to be part of Carina’s holiday anthology.

I swear, a light bulb went off above my head. Everything clicked, all the missing details, the missing scenes, filled themselves in. The holidays – when people celebrate the season with those they love. The significance of the timing when everything hits the fan and then later, when Thomas returns to England for Sasha, and how that timing affects Sasha’s feelings about the holidays. The theme of family, love, home, and forgiveness of the season. I was also in the process of pulling together the proposal for the Brook Street trilogy, and right there, I had the secondary characters that had been lacking in the idea for My True Love Gave to Me.

I love those moments when everything clicks. Where the picture comes into full, perfect focus. It’s frustrating as all get out when something gets stuck, but I’ve found that trying to use a big old pry bar doesn’t work. Patience is what works. Thomas and Sasha were meant to be a holiday story. Trying to rush them got me nowhere. I needed to hold onto my patience and wait for that perfect moment when everything would click into place. Just as Thomas needed to hold onto his patience in My True Love Gave to Me. The reward, earning Sasha’s forgiveness and love, was definitely well worth it for Thomas.


Alexander Norton loathes the festive season. The revelry of the ton is a reminder of Christmas four years ago, when his first love, Thomas Bennett, broke his heart and fled to New York without a word. So when he encounters Thomas at a holiday ball, Alexander is determined not to let on how much he still hurts.

Thomas has returned for one reason only: Alexander. Having finally come to terms with his forbidden desires, he will do whatever he must to convince Alexander to give their love another chance. But instead of the happy, carefree man Thomas once knew, Alexander is now hard and cynical. Saddened to know he's to blame for the man's bitterness, Thomas resolves to reignite the passion he knows lies hidden behind the wall of disdain...

Excerpt – a glimpse of young love…before it all hits the fan:

Thomas gave his greatcoat a tug to straighten it. “How did the cards treat you?” he asked, every trace of hesitation gone and as casual as could be, as if Alexander wasn’t on the verge of tackling him right there, the butler standing guard at the front door be damned.

“Didn’t leave behind any vowels.”

“That’s good to hear.”

A frown threatened to pull his lips. “No need to sound surprised. Or relieved. I can hold my own in a game of cards.”

“Didn’t mean to imply you couldn’t. Just…” Thomas shrugged.

“I know. You don’t much care for cards. But as far as vices go, it’s not that bad of one.” Most every man in London gambled, to the point where it was an expected way to pass the hours. Given that Thomas always did what was expected of him, one would think he would have no qualms at all joining him at the card tables. But rather than allow Thomas’s disapproval to dampen his spirits, he threw the man a smile. “You could do with a bit of vice yourself, Bennett.”

He received an arch of a dark brow. “I have plenty of that—” Thomas lowered his voice, “—thanks to you, Sasha.”
Alexander’s breath caught. He briefly closed his eyes in an effort to rein in the sudden surge of lust, to keep it hidden from view.

Absolutely wasted effort.

And damnation, Thomas had deliberately added the Sasha to torment him. Thomas well knew what effect it would have on him. After Alexander mentioned his grandmother was from Russia, Thomas had started calling him Sasha…when they were alone, of course. Thomas was the only person who referred to him that way. He was Alexander to his family, Norton to his acquaintances, and Sasha to Thomas. A name owned solely by the man he loved. A name that seemed designed to be whispered in a heated rush against his lips.

A cool draft of air swept into the entrance hall as the butler opened the front door. “Mr. Norton, your carriage.”
It was all he could do not to dart out the door. His father’s black town carriage stood at the ready at the foot of the stone steps. Another one of their hostess’s footmen had the door already open. Rather than immediately enter, he paused to give the direction to the driver then followed Thomas inside, settling on the black leather bench opposite him.

The door snapped shut.

“Why are we going to Drury Lane Theatre?” Thomas asked.

“We aren’t.” He closed the shade on the window in the narrow door, cloaking the interior in almost full darkness. “I needed to give the driver a direction and it will do as good as any.”
The carriage lurched forward.


Alexander pounced on Thomas, cutting off his words.

Knees straddling muscular thighs and with his hands cupping that strong jaw, he pressed his lips to Thomas’s. Greedy and impatient, he flicked his tongue against the seam of Thomas’s lips.

With a groan, Thomas opened his mouth. A silken tongue brushed his own.

Hot and intense, sensation washed over him, filling his chest, his heart, his soul. A moan shook his throat.

By God, it was only like this with Thomas. No other had ever come close to rousing these feelings within him. Making his pulse pound through his veins and need claw desperately at his throat. This was where he belonged. With Thomas. In the man’s arms.


My True Love Gave to Me: Carina Press

My True Love Gave to Me: Amazon Kindle

My True Love Gave to Me: Barnes & Noble Nook

Men Under the Mistletoe Holiday Anthology – Carina Press

Author Bio:

Ava March is an author of smoking hot M/M historical erotic romances. She loves writing in the Regency time period, where proper decorum is of the utmost importance, but where anything can happen behind closed doors.

She is published with Loose Id, Carina Press, Amber Quill Press, and Samhain Publishing.

Please visit her on the web at She can also be found at , and .

Monday, January 16, 2012

LvZ - KevaD - The Zombie with the Flowers in her Hair

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The Zombie with Flowers in Her Hair isn't what the casual reader expects. Yes, there are lesbians and zombies, but the heart of the story is a purpose lost, and the young dead woman who will be called upon to make a difference in a world she never knew existed. That said, there's some really funny stuff in this book, if I do say so myself. 
Thanks for looking –



The hardest part of being alone is realizing you are.

1969 was a busy year for the young woman nicknamed Isis. She graduated high school, engaged in a lesbian relationship, died, and rose from the dead as a pot-smoking, flesh-eating zombie in need of a good orgasm. Yet, in death she ended up as alone as she had in life. But when a beautiful zombie with flowers in her hair forgets her sweet butt on a toilet seat, Isis's undead life will never be the same. Nor will it be one she could ever have envisioned, even on the wildest acid trip. Because for Isis, her true reason for life lies in her death.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Heidi Cullinan and The Seventh Veil

The story of how I came to write the Etsey books is actually congruent to my journey to writing m/m. I started The Seventh Veil as a short Regency romance called Miss Elliott’s Indiscretion, and yes, it was het. I was also pregnant at the time, and I delivered before I finished, so edits and revisions took place when I had the time, which was to say, rarely. Over the years the story followed my evolution through a sometimes too-rigorous study of craft, and so I kept retooling the story, trying to make it better. It slipped into the paranormal, eventually lost its historical setting and jumped headfirst into fantasy, and yet it still didn’t seem right.

In the meantime, I’d written another story, a contemporary, where a gay secondary character had taken over and claimed the main conflict line, including an out and in-your-face romance. I was in love. Writing that story was like coming home, and I realized pretty quickly on it was because I was writing about gay men. Buoyed by that idea, I turned back to my paranormal morass and said, what if that was the same story here? What if Charles was the main character, and what if he was gay? Except as I looked at him, really looked at him, I thought, no, he’s bisexual. And it was as if, once I truly saw him, the story knew how to move.

When I first wrote The Seventh Veil, even in its current incarnation, I thought it was a single book. I didn’t know who Timothy and Charles really were. I had no idea the layers I’d put into this cake. And then when I got to the end which wasn’t an end but the beginning of a longer, more complicated story, I sat back on my heels and stared for a long, long time. I felt like I’d fought my way to the bottom of a treasure chest only to discover a trap door into a huge cavern. On the one hand, how wonderful! On the other hand, holy shit, this is going to be a lot of work.

The Etsey series is a lot of work. I won’t lie. High fantasy is hard — I want it to be accessible and real. I want it to be fun. I want it to be sexy, because that’s what I do. A series like this isn’t a network of single stories but a long, long arc of many stories. The challenge is to keep it from getting too complicated to follow but to also keep it changing and interesting.

The current book, The Pirate’s Game, is the third installment and is one I’ve waited eagerly to write for a long, long time. That is probably why it’s given me more fits than anything else and has reduced me to literal tears and made me, for the first time ever, have to move a publication date because I couldn’t get it done on time. It challenges me, it pushes me, and it won’t let me off easy. The payoff for meeting that challenge has been amazing and very fun. I mean, how can it not be? Pirates. Vicious mermaids. Epic battles, role reversals, twists, turns, and, um, PIRATES.

I’ve said before, and it’s true, that the Etsey series is kind of my Lord of the Rings. It’s big, it’s crazy, it’s epic, and it wraps up a lot of things I love to talk about in one story. It also makes me grow as a writer like nothing else I’ve ever done.

I hope you check out the Etsey series yourself. You can read excerpts, watch trailers, and more at the website And if you’re feeling lucky, leave a comment on this post to win a chance for all three of the current novels in a format of your choice.

Thanks to Jadette for hosting me! Happy reading, everyone.


Heidi has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there.  When she isn’t writing, Heidi enjoys knitting, reading, movies, TV shows on DVD, and all kinds of music.  She has a husband, a daughter, and too many cats.

Find out more at, follow her on Twitter, or sign up for her newsletter.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mary Calmes and the 53k word picture

First off, I want to thank Jadette for having me on her blog. I appreciate it so much and the opportunity to talk about inspiration. Sometimes it all starts with an image. I saw this picture titled Our Path on Dan Skinner’s site a year ago. And I was instantly struck by how much the tall cowboy with the hat looked like Rand Holloway, my rancher from Timing, and how much the smaller, blonder man resembled Stefan Joss. I commented on Dan’s account at deviantART ( and thought that was the end of it.

It wasn’t the end of it.

Things settle in your brain, in your subconscious, and the more I thought about it the more I started to wonder if Timing was complete. I had never planned to write a sequel to it. I figured that I left them, Stef and Rand, with their HEA so why revisit? But that picture got my plot bunnies all stirred up and the harder I tried to push them away the more persistent they became until lo and behold, I had a dragon. Amy Lane wrote a poem called The Dragon In My Blood ( that really resonated with me. I feel, as she does, that the dragon sits between the ventricles in my heart and when it roars, like a muse on crack, I write because if I don’t, and I know it sounds dramatic, I’ll get eaten alive.

My husband can always tell if I haven’t written all day when he gets home from work. He’ll squint at me and ask what I wrote and when I say nothing, zilch, nada, not a word; he’ll nod because yeah, he figured. If everything that was in my brain got out, I’m sort of empty and ready to focus on something else. If I didn’t, then there are voices and ideas and pictures and words cluttering up my mind and nothing else happens. And there are real world concerns, dinner for family, homework, activities for the kids, just stuff that as a mother, I do, but if I haven’t written, I do them in a sort of zombie fog because I am not engaged. I’m in my head. Characters are there and because they are, I’m not. So, it’s best if my writing gets done so I can be wife and mommy and not just out to lunch.

So there was this picture of Rand and Stef on Dan’s site that was now burned into my brain and the dragon was riding me to start even as I was really trying to finish Bulletproof. But there was nothing I could do. I worry that I need to have better sticktoitiveness but again, it’s the damn dragon. I kept going back to the picture and thinking about Stefan Joss. I re-read Timing and was struck by what Rand had done for Stef, his faith and love but what had Stef done for him, really, except move? Rand was the one who had to come out, he was the one brave enough to be the man he wanted to be, but what was Stef’s part? As I looked at the picture, I wondered about them and then the story began to take shape. The thing is you never know what will bring on a plot bunny and especially when one of these cute fluffy creatures will morph into a dragon. I am grateful though because from that photo, After the Sunset came to be. And I was ecstatic when I got to have the picture for the cover of the novella.

After the Sunset 

I lifted my eyes, and he caught me in his blue gaze.
“Put your head down.”
I stretched out, laid my head on his bicep, and slid my denim clad leg over his thigh.
He grunted. “You know, I know why you don‘t wanna use the joint checking account.”
And just like that, we were back to our earlier discussion.
I was quiet because I didn‘t want to fight. I had worked all my life, depended on no one but myself for anything. My stepfather had thrown me out when I was fourteen. My mother had stood there and watched, slamming the door in my face. When I had pounded on the door to be let back in, it was thrown open and the beating had commenced. And while I had no worry that Rand would ever physically hurt me, there was still the possibility that if he ever got tired of me, learned to hate me, that I could be put out of my home. I could never allow that to happen to me again. Money was my security net, money I made myself.
“Rand, I don‘t wanna talk about ––”
“I won‘t ever tell you to pack your things and go, Stef.”
He knew me so well, knew all the fears that rode me.
“I swear it.”
“I won‘t.”
“Believe me. Believe in me. Stefan… please.”
God, the man knew I doubted him, doubted his love, the depth of it, the forever of it, and still he loved me.
“I know you love me, and I know you wanna be here, and I know you still worry.”
“Look at me.”
I rolled my head sideways, and we were eye to eye, only inches separating us. It was very intimate; there was no hiding that close.
“If you want, I can take my name off the joint account, and it can just be yours, and that way you‘ll know it can never be taken from you. I‘ll still put money in it, but I won‘t touch it at all. Would that be better?”
“That‘s what‘s called being kept, Rand, and no… that would not be better in the least.”
“Fuck,” he grumbled. “I don‘t mean it like––”
“I know how you meant it,” I assured him. “It‘s a very generous offer.”
“Christ, now you‘re making it sound dirty,” he groaned, and I sat up as he moved his hands, raking them through his thick hair.
“Very generous for a guy like me.” I smiled, turning to look down at him, waggling my eyebrows. “A man with my background.”
“Stefan.” He warned me.
“A guy from the wrong side of the tracks.”
“It ain‘t funny.”
“It‘s a little funny,” I chuckled.
“You don‘t… you ain‘t hearin‘ me,” he said, and my laughter died in my throat when his voice cracked. He sat up beside me, crossing his legs so his left knee bumped me. “For a long time, all the guys would go home at night to their wives and their children and lit-up houses that smelled like food and got to hear all the good and all the bad that happened that day. I used to go home, and there weren‘t none of that.”
“Rand,” I began, putting my hand on his knee.
“Lemme finish,” he said gently, taking my hand, sliding his fingers between mine, pressing my palm against him. “After you came, though, suddenly I‘m just as excited to go home as everybody else. I open my front door and the music is on, and the lights are on, and the place smells amazing, and goddamn, Stef, even when I was married before, it wasn‘t like that. Even if you‘re runnin‘ late and I get in first, just you walkin‘ in the house makes it feel different. And I get it, ya know? You‘re it, you‘re my home.”
I looked away because I was nothing. I was an orphan, and he had a home and a family and a ranch and everyone counting on him, and I was just… how could Rand want to build on me? How was I a foundation for anything?
I turned back, slowly, taking a breath.
His hand went to my cheek, his thumb sliding over my bottom lip, and I saw the warmth infuse his eyes, saw them darken, soften, because he was looking at me.
“You don‘t really know what you did today, so I‘m gonna tell you.”
I nodded because my voice was gone.
“When you told me that you weren‘t gonna look for a job in Dallas, I knew for sure you wanted to stay with me and have a home.”
My focus became breathing.
“I mean, before that, when you were runnin‘ back and forth, doin‘ all that driving, well, maybe you were tryin‘ to keep one foot in your old life and one in your new one, ya know?”
I did know and that was exactly what I had been doing.
“I saw you needin‘ air. Saw you gettin‘ all panicky ‘cause your life was fallin‘ into place around you. The happier you got, the more you started fittin‘ in and gettin‘ comfortable, the more you started pacin‘ like an animal that was caged up. You were snappin‘ at everyone, ready to bite and scratch to get away, and sick that you had to. I ain‘t never seen a man who so wanted to belong and who was scared to, all at the same time. It makes me tired just watchin‘ you wrestle with yourself.”
I cleared my throat. “So I‘m a crazy person who––”
“Just… hush. You showed me how it was gonna be ‘cause when it was time to decide, you chose me and the ranch and your life here.”
He narrowed his eyes, and as he squinted, I saw how red-rimmed they were. I had no idea that anything I could ever do would touch him so deeply.
“It‘s why I can barely keep my hands off you. That‘s why I attacked you in your office today, ‘cause it‘s your office. It‘s where you‘re fixin‘ to be because of me.”
I finally understood. To Rand, until he physically saw the reality of my new job, he had not let himself believe it. To me, the space, my cubicle at the community college, was a dump. To Rand, it represented me putting down roots.
“You told me that you wanted to belong to me, and today I believe it.”
I looked away from him because my eyes filled and my vision blurred with hot tears.
“Along with workin‘ there at the college, I still want you to oversee the Grillmaster account, you hear?”
I nodded.
“And if it don‘t work out for you at the school, you can just do that, all right?”
But how would that work?
“Are you afraid of how it will look to everyone if you work at the ranch?”
That was some of it, I would admit to that. “People will think I‘m sponging off you,” I said to the creek instead of Rand.
“But you‘ll know different.”
“I just can‘t be a ––”
“Soon no one will wonder why you‘re on the ranch, once we have kids.”
Wait. Kids?
What? “What?” I asked breathlessly, my head swiveling around to look at him. God, when had I missed him planning his whole life with me in it?
“You‘ll have to stay home and take care of them.”
Even though he had said kids before, in the past, all I had ever heard was child. But I processed the word that time. Kids. As in plural. As in more than one. As in them.
When had he decided that he wanted to have children with me? “I have no idea what you‘re even talking about right now. You ––”
“I wanted you to practice takin‘ care of me so you‘ll be ready to take care of your children, and I was so scared that you wouldn‘t. I was thinkin‘ just maybe you were ready to leave me, but then you took this job so you could keep on seein‘ me and cookin‘ for me and––”
“I am not your wife!” I yelled at him. “And I won‘t be made to take on the role of––”
“I know that, but you have to get ready to take care of your children!”
My children?
“You‘re gonna be the one who picks ‘em up from school every day. You‘ll be the one who helps ‘em with their homework and watches them wash up and makes their dinner. I‘ll be the one who plays with ‘em and watches TV and talks to ‘em at the dinner table. I‘ll be their father, and you‘ll be––”
“Oh God.‖ I couldn‘t breathe.
“I asked Charlotte if she would be inclined to help us start our family, and she said she‘d help ‘cause she always wanted to have babies with you anyhow.”
Jesus Christ, the man was planning on putting me into a Norman Rockwell painting. “Rand––”
“No! I will not discuss this with you. The time to talk is over and done. When you asked me if I wanted you and I said yes, I started planning my whole life right then. When you lost your job, you decided to only look as far as Lubbock for a new one so you could come home every night to me. That tells me all I need to know, Stef.”
Running was easy; staying was hard.
“I ain‘t tryin‘ to take anything from you, least of all your freedom.”
“I know,” I told him as he pulled me close. I ended up lying between his legs, my back curled into his chest, his arms draped across my collarbone.
“I drive you nuts, huh?”
“You make me fuckin‘ crazy.”
“I‘m sorry.” I snickered because I wasn‘t at all. He had to deal with me, thorns and all.
“No, you ain‘t.”
“I love you.”
I turned and looked at him over my shoulder.
“Don‘t ever leave me. I won‘t recover, okay?”
“Okay.” He exhaled, like he had been holding his breath. “Christ, you‘re a giant pain in the ass.”
There could be no argument. 

After the Sunset
Dan Skinner
Amy Lane
Mary Calmes

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Bite Club - Hal Bodner

The genesis of each of my three currently available novels is quite different. Though it may not seem to be, BITE CLUB is very much a response to the AIDS epidemic. To understand how that is, you must remember that it was originally written in the mid-nineties and published in the early 2000s. At the time, I felt that AIDS was costing the Gay community more than just lost lives and vanished talents; we had also begun to lose our collective sense of humor. BITE CLUB was deliberately written as ‘high camp’ during a time when no one in the Gay community felt much like laughing. I felt it was important to preserve the unique ‘gay sensibility’ to certain types of humor and, I believe, BITE CLUB does that exceedingly well.

IN FLESH AND STONE, on the other hand, ended up being a cathartic experience. My sometimes agent had asked me to take a whack at paranormal romance for a company she was working with. I made several false starts and, in truth, those early attempts were just terrible! 

My husband had passed away suddenly and, I think I was taking the process of writing far too seriously not having any fun with it because a lot of the fun had escaped from my life when Jimmy died. At the same time, I’d wanted to do something with gargoyles for awhile but nothing was gelling. One day, I was sitting at the computer and a mental image of the Zodiac Men in the novel came to me: twelve naked statues with, of course, twelve sets of genitalia. Almost simultaneously with that mental flash, I wrote the opening line of the novel which was, to my surprise, funny!

From that point, IN FLESH AND STONE simply poured out of me.  I finished the entire book in, I think, four or five days.  I had no idea what was compelling me to write in such a frenzy until after it  was finished and I realized what the book was really about was Jimmy’s  death. 

I admit to being a little embarrassed at how I got myself into FOR LOVE OF THE DEAD.   It was partly written on a semi-bet.  Some of the major names in zombie fiction were adamant that it was impossible to write a paranormal zombie romance.  Zombies, they said, were too inherently gross to provide much fodder for romance.  On the other hand, I wrote it because my then-publisher had strict proscriptions against publishing anything that had necrophilia in it.  So, of course, I was irresistibly tempted to push the envelope and try to get away with a necrophilia scene.

I did it. And a LOT of people was turned off by the opening scene.   But, to my mind, that?s not why the book is possibly my least  favorite.  Instead, FOR LOVE OF THE DEAD could never decide whether it wanted to be an erotic romance or a horror novel.  As a result, it ended up as ‘neither fish nor fowl’.  It was far to sexually graphic to be a horror piece without bordering on torture porn at times; it contained too much visceral horror to fit comfortably into the erotica genre.

Frankly, I’m always surprised at how well it sells because, personally, I’m not fond of the book and some of the reviews were just scathing.  I often toy with re-writing it but, there’s far too much on my plate right now so, we’ll have to wait and see.

Oh, Bloody Mary!

Welcome to the Bite Club -- where the only requirement for membership
is death.

West Hollywood, California. The Creative City. Liberal and welcoming.
Free from discrimination and hatred. A safe place to live if you're
gay. But West Hollywood isn't safe anymore...

Someone in town has a macabre passion for beautiful young men.
Healthy, gym-toned male bodies keep turning up -- tortured, drained of
blood, missing parts and quite, quite dead.

Weho City Coroner Becky O'Brien is helpless to stop the accumulation
of corpses. At the end of her investigative rope, she calls upon an
old college friend, Christopher Driscoll, who is something of an
expert on serial killers. Rushing to her aid, Chris arrives in town
with his quirky boyfriend Troy in tow. Prowling the dark alleys and
cruisy bars of WeHo in search of the psychotic fiend, the trio soon
realizes that something possibly not human has taken up residence in
Boys' Town -- something with an insatiable hunger for the flesh and
blood of hot young men.

Sexy, scary and very, very funny, Bite Club is a macabre black comedy
that'll have you screaming bloody murder.


Hal Bodner is the author of the best selling gay vampire novel, Bite Club. He tells people he was born in East Philadelphia because so few people know where Cherry Hill, New Jersey is located. The first person he saw in his life was C. Everet Coop, future US Surgeon General, who delivered him. Thus, Hal was ironically destined to become a heavy smoker.

He moved to West Hollywood in the 1980s and has rarely left the city limits during the past twenty years. Hal is so WeHo-centric that he cannot find his way around Beverly Hills, the next town over.

Hal has been an entertainment lawyer, a scheduler for a 976 sex telephone line, a theater reviewer and the personal assistant to a television star. For awhile, he owned Heavy Petting, a pet boutique where all the movie stars shopped for their Pomeranians. Currently, he owns an exotic bird shop.

He has never been a waiter.

He lives with assorted dogs, and birds, the most notable of which is an eighty year old irritable, flesh-eating military macaw named after his icon – Tallulah. He often quips he is a slave to fur and feathers and regrets only that he isn’t referring to mink and marabou. He does not have cats because he tends to sneeze on them.

Rapidly approaching middle-age, he remembers Nixon.

He got “married” very late in life to an incredible man. Sadly, after five amazing, if turbulent, years he was widowed and can sometimes be found sunbathing at his husband’s grave while trying to avoid cemetery caretakers screaming at him to put his shirt back on.

Hal recently took a crack at writing erotic paranormal romance -- which he refers to as “supernatural smut” -- with “In Flesh and Stone” and “For Love of the Dead”. While he enjoyed writing them immensely, he has resolved to return to his comedic roots with additional “Chris and Troy” novels.

He blushes to admit he is currently romantically involved with a man roughly half his age. As a result, he has recently discovered that the use of hair dye is evidently not an adequate replacement for Viagra.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fae Sutherland

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Jadette! Blue-Eyed Soul is actually a collaboration between myself and my life partner.  Chelsea and I have written together for our own fun for years, and dabbled once with collaborating on a book.  Since that one book (His Every Breath, 2010 Ellora’s Cave), though, we hadn’t really considered collaborating professionally again, as life got in the way as it tends to do.

Then she and I started talking about how we wanted to move back to Massachusetts eventually, where she’s from and where I lived as a child in the Berkshires. And as we sat around one night waxing poetic to each other about the awesome idea of moving to a small New England town where we would no doubt cuddle in front of the crackling fire (despite neither of us knowing how to work a fireplace) and take sleigh-rides in the snow (even though she hates the cold like poison), an idea began to bounce around my head. About a small Berkshires town and two apparent opposites who had a lot more in common than they thought. A musician and a high school music teacher.  A single father and an international pop star.  Oil and water – my favorite types of couples.  But Nano was coming up in a couple months, I was knee deep in self-editing my next solo book - so I didn’t say anything and figured maybe I could use the idea myself down the road when I had time.

Then Chelsea, who I am pretty sure has been reading my mind when I’m not paying attention, brought up the subject of maybe collaborating again. Well, why the hell not? Who cares about schedules already crammed to the gills? Not us! So I eagerly spilled about the idea I’d been toying with.  I’ve always loved the idea of small town romances, as well as fish out of water stories, and Blue-Eyed Soul combines everything I love into one wonderful package.

There’s the reticent hero who’s protective of not just his family and his heart, but also of his entire hometown. There’s the world-weary pop star who isn’t at all what anyone expects him to be and who just wants a little peace.  And there’s the town of Haven itself, with its myriad characters and odd ducks and just plain awesomeness.  It’s a little bit Gilmore Girls, a little bit It’s A Wonderful Life and a lot of just really great romance. Plus it gave me the chance to write about a gay couple with a child in the mix – because kids are left out of gay romances so often, but they’re very much a part of everyday life, for the GLBT as well as straights.

It was mad, insanely fun, pure giddy joy writing this book.  It was our own private Disneyworld, it was so much fun, and the result is something I’m so confident readers will love as much as we do.

To finish this tale off, I’m including the blurb as well as a brief scene from Blue-Eyed Soul.  It goes on sale January 8th at Amber Quill Press and Chelsea and I hope you give it a shot.  We think you won’t regret taking a trip to Haven with our heroes. :)


International pop star Remey Dufresne just wants a break from it all. And the idyllic town of Haven, Massachusetts seems to be the perfect spot to reconnect with his small-town roots and recharge. He doesn’t expect special treatment from the people who live there, he just wants a haven of his own…what he doesn’t expect is to fall in love – with the town, with its people, and with the local high school music teacher and his precocious little girl.

Single father Aleksander Kelly is by no means impressed by Remey’s presence. In fact, he’s downright irritated. With the media frenzy invading his hometown and inconveniencing everyone, Aleks would rather Remey just go back to La-La land and leave them all alone. It’s a shame the guy’s so good-looking. And kind. And not at all the celebrity diva Aleks expected.

But the Hollywood machine never stops and fame isn’t something you can just hide from. There’s more than just their hearts on the line when Remey’s obligations and Aleks’s reservations collide.


Aleks glanced down at his pie, then up to meet Remey’s gaze again. “So the spotlight might be dimming in a week or so. Think you can behave long enough to get rid of them?” Maybe his voice was a little suggestive. 

He had to admit there was a hell of a lot of appeal in the idea of the main protest he had against Remey being gone. If the media feeding frenzy was only temporary, maybe he wouldn’t mind getting to know the resident hot celebrity a little better. Maybe a lot better.

“Why, Aleksander? Are you suggesting there might be something in store for me if I do?” Remey bit his lip, blue eyes warming.

Aleks shot him a heated look. “There might be. If you’re interested.”

Remey’s brows shot up. “If I’m interested? You have no idea.” He glanced around, then leaned in, lowering his voice. “I’m definitely interested. If you hadn’t been sending ‘back off’ signals since the first time I laid eyes on you… Well, we could’ve broken in the brand-new couch in my living room. We still could.”

Aleks laughed. That was another thing he found surprising about Remey. How awkward he could be. It was adorable and, damn it, Aleks had always had a weakness for adorable boys. “Well, there goes all your mystique, Remey. Do you want to take a second to wrap a bow around yourself, too?” he teased.

Remey blushed and wrinkled his nose at Aleks. “Shut up. And maybe. If you’re lucky.”

Aleks snorted. “I think you pretty much just promised me I would be.”

The blush got brighter as Remey seemed to realize what he’d said and how he’d sounded. Remey covered his eyes with one hand. “Jesus. Allison is always telling me I need to develop a filter.” He peeked out between his fingers. “Sorry. Um…shit. Did I really offer to sex you on my couch, like, anytime?”

Aleks laughed, nodding. “You did, indeed. Don’t even think about changing your mind now. No take-backsies.”

They were both laughing pretty hard by then and drawing more than a few stares and finally Aleks reached over and squeezed Remey’s arm. “Shhh. Or we’ll start a scandal and the paparazzi will never leave.”


Fae Sutherland has always dreamed of being a published author, starting her writing career off at age 11 with a series of stories so bad only a 6th grader could have written them. She has since progressed to more serious writing, though always keeping that dash of irreverence and fun (and a hell of a lot more heat!).

Fae is perhaps best known for her many books co-written with Marguerite Labbe. Between them they are the award-winning, bestselling authors of over a dozen published novels, novellas and short stories. Fae also writes with Chelsea James. Currently, Fae is focusing her writing on solo work.

When Fae's not working on new stories to make her readers sweat, she spends her time on website design, spending too much time on Twitter, and watching oodles of Food Network with her beloved life partner. If there's any time left over, it's spent snuggling the cat.

You can find out more at Fae’s website: and you can
follow her on Twitter @faesutherland, or on her blog at