Oh Captain… My Captain… May You Rest in Peace

I don’t get worked up over celebrity deaths. I never really have. Michael Jackson shocked me; I was bummed for the tragedy his life really was. Heath Ledger made me sad; he had so much of his life ahead of him yet.

But Robin Williams, well, that’s a whole different ball of wax.

I grew up on Mork and Mindy:

Then, of course, there was “The World According to Garp” (which, sadly, I didn’t see until much, much later) and no one could ever forget “Good Morning Vietnam.”

He had boatloads of stuff between those two and even after, but the first one that really kicked my ass came at a very tough time in my life. 1989. High school (which, I’ll grant, is hard for everyone). The first suicide ever in our school. It also happened to be the release of Dead Poets Society. The timing of that couldn’t be ignoried. There are too many scenes from the movie too much that spoke to me. I did a quick Youtube search and the first one that came up was this one:

And at the time, we were studying American Literature in school and my teacher, the amazing Mr. Stackhouse (whom we all called “Stack,” by request), had us reading some poetry. I don’t remember anymore what it all was, but later on, I put together how similar my Stack was to Keating. The timing, the coincidence was… well, I can get behind some coincidence, but I rather thought there might have been something at work there. *shrug* I don’t know for sure, but it was something I will never forget.

That movie did so much for me, not just in comforting me surrounding my friend’s suicide. At the same time, I was struggling with writing. I wanted to write. I knew that back then, but as with so many kids, what we want and what we’re told are two very different things. My sophomore English teacher told me (literally, I still want to send her a signed paperback…) not to “quit my day job.” But Stack encouraged me, and Mr. Keating encouraged me. One of the scenes that caught me was this one:

That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.

That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.

What will your verse be?

That tiny section did so much to help me think that maybe, just maybe, I could write, if I wanted to. I had a lot of setbacks over the years, so it didn’t happen right away. It might be argued that it was really Tom Schulman (writer) or Peter Weir (director) who should be credited for the amazing movie and I do want to give credit where credit is due. But at the same time, I doubt sincerely it would have made the same impression if anyone else had played Keating. Robin Williams was brilliant. He always brought his own personality, a distinct talent to a role and I really don’t think it would have worked as well with any other person.

Mork. Garp. Adrian Cronauer. John Keating. Genie. Mrs. Doubtfire. And so many, many more. The brilliance that was Robin Williams will leave one of the biggest holes in my heart ever for a celebrity.

O Captain! My Captain!

BY WALT WHITMAN

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
                         But O heart! heart! heart!
                            O the bleeding drops of red,
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
                         Here Captain! dear father!
                            The arm beneath your head!
                               It is some dream that on the deck,
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
                            But I with mournful tread,
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                                  Fallen cold and dead.
From Leaves of Grass, 1891
I think I know what I’ll be watching, if not tonight, then very, very soon. In the meantime…
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Rest in peace, My Captain.*
*My desk isn’t stable enough to stand on or I would have.

Guest Author: Lex Chase

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Hey fearless readers! I’m Lex Chase, and Grace has kindly let me drop by over here on the Chasing Sunrise Blog Tour!

And guys, you gotta be pretty fearless so far. We’ve covered the domestic violence core of the story, and then we covered my take on vampires are definitely not fluffy, safe, or fucking sparkle, and now were caught up to the shifters and they’re very sexually liberated ways. You got all that? Let’s not forget the couple days Chasing Sunrise went viral. I’m still catching my breath about that!

On Chris T. Kat’s blog at the start of this tour I discussed the cover of our highly androgynous hero Sevon. Trapped in a horrific abusive relationship, he copes with wearing women’s clothing. As a king, he feels that if he projects an image of grace and nobility, no one will know his world is crumbling. Of course, everyone knows. It’s just what gets him through the day.

I should note a few details about him, Sevon definitely identifies as a man, he’s just highly sensitive and effeminate. He’s simply far more comfortable in women’s clothing. He does not consider himself transgender. Much as the same history as Eddie Izzard, which you can read about him here!

For Chasing Sunrise I had a huge deal of fun of looking up what gowns and dresses he could wear. One of my key words for him is he’s prim. And he is so prim it hurts so good.

Pinterest was my savior in all of this. Plus a few artistically minded friends that liked to pin pretty things. The only regret is my board for Sevon is populated by blond women wearing gowns. So just go with me on this. Pretend it’s a guy. *Jedi mind trick hand wave*

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In the book I describe Sevon wearing a lot of jewel tone gowns. Navy blue, burgundy, and deep purple. My idea was first keep him from looking washed out with his blond hair and pale skin. Not that readers would actually see him, but go with it.

I also wanted him to wear more intense colors because I didn’t want him to appear completely innocent. He may have a good heart, but there is definitely blood on his hands.

This was the first gown I had found (modeled by actress January Jones!) that fit that image.

Chanel

This absolutely stunning Chanel number definitely conjures the image that Sevon is definitely not innocent. I love the intricacy of the details of the back. Very much fitting of a sassy King that is pulling a moment of HBIC. (Head Bastard In Charge. ;D)

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Despite Sevon being a vampire-like creature known as an aisa, I set out for him to never ever wear red. Vampires wearing red is a cliche in my head. The only red he wears are deeper like burgundy and ruby. I love the flow of this gown by Valentino, but the red is just…eeh. Too obviously vampy red.

Blush DressAnd while not a jewel tone, he’d definitely wear something as frilly as this blush colored gown. This would definitely be a more “turn to innocence” type of dress that would show up in the series. It hasn’t yet! But it’s coming.

I definitely have a good time combing though Pinterest for pretty gowns and inspirations for Sevon’s look. I’m not the slightest bit feminine and I wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress, but I am hardcore addict of Vogue, and Elle, and international fashion magazines as well.

It’s not really that much of a bummer to me that the models predominantly women, but I know some people would be seriously uncomfortable with that. I don’t mind! But dammit guys. Start modeling wedding dresses. Make it happen!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the fashion show and if you want to follow me on Pinterest you can find me here! Sevon’s board in particular is called Sevon’s Boudoir because of course he’d have a boudoir. Of course! What dainty and prim self-respecting gentleman wouldn’t?


 

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Genre: Vampires, Werewolves/Shapeshifters, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy
Series: The Darkmore Saga: Book One
Length: Novel
Published: July 25, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-62798-776-9
Pre-order: Paperback or eBook

Blurb:
Chasing Sunrise
The Darkmore Saga: Book One
On the Coastal Bend of Texas, a hidden kingdom called Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon Maraté is trapped. Using Sevon as a mouthpiece and a scapegoat, Lord Dominic rules from the shadows. Sevon copes with the unrelenting abuse by dressing in women’s finery and casting an image of graceful nobility. Born of royal verkolai blood and as beautiful as he is lethal, he possesses the ability to part the Veil separating his world from hundreds of others. His gift is his chance to escape, but Dominic refuses to relinquish his tool for power. Dominic forges an ambitious plan to invade the prosperous land of Priagust. Only a select few know the mythic kingdom of shifters exists. Sevon is out of options for his people’s survival, and cooperating with Dominic is his only chance.

On their foray into Priagust, Dominic’s men kidnap and interrogate a shifter named Jack. Even under torture, Jack’s loyalty to his kind never wavers. But as Jack’s knowledge about Darkmore’s king and its history unsettles Sevon, a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevon’s mistrust, Jack is determined to tame Sevon’s wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom. As invasion looms, Sevon wonders if trusting Jack will lead him into another trap or if he should forget about chasing the sunrise and remain Dominic’s compliant prisoner.

100% of the presale royalties of this book will go to Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center’s Domestic Violence Service.


Chasing Sunrise Excerpt

Sevon found a clothing box waiting on his bed. He paced around it, curious if he should touch it. The navy blue bow around the white box beckoned him forward. He picked up the card between two fingers and flipped it over. Sevon’s heart thumped against his ribs at the familiar flourished handwriting.

To Priagust. To the future.—D

Sevon’s knees quaked as he opened the box and ripped into the tissue paper. His heart fluttered at the gift. A luxurious navy brocade gown from one of the finest tailors in the kingdom. He pulled the garment from the box and pressed it against his nude frame. He turned to his full-length mirror to be sure of the size. Of course Dominic would know his size. He was observant, and Sevon was likewise aware that navy blue was Dominic’s favorite color.

Sevon hurried to ring for his maids to help him into the gown. He smiled and crushed the fabric in his fingers. “Things will be different now,” he said. Once dressed, Sevon hurried to the palace drive, where the carriage awaited. Dominic had planned for Sevon to make his decree at the stockyards. Sevon was uncertain about the turn of events in the wake of Mallory’s death. He knew Dominic was right: the stockyards had to be controlled by some party or there would be anarchy. Dominic had declared himself to be that man, and that was one of the things Sevon disagreed with him about. Sevon winced at the acute memory of the pain when Dominic had whipped him over it. He tried to push the memory down. Dominic gave him the dress. Clearly things were improving.

The rustling of Sevon’s gown announced his arrival to the palace drive.

“My liege,” the coachman greeted him.

“Good evening,” Sevon said with a kind smile as the coachman opened the carriage door for him.

Sevon stepped inside the white lacquered carriage and Dominic followed. It tilted under the weight of Dominic’s broad frame. Together, they settled onto cushioned seats opposite each other, and Sevon smoothed his skirts.

Dominic smiled at Sevon’s dainty actions. “I see you found my gift.”

Sevon’s eyes lit up at Dominic’s kindness.

“Do you like it? The tailor did such a wonderful job with the embroidery. I’m so happy that he doesn’t make a fuss over making a gown for a man.”

Dominic scratched at the corner of his eye. “I might have advised him about it.”

Sevon blushed and cast his gaze to his lap. “That really wasn’t necessary,” he muttered.

He knew very well what Dominic meant about advisement. Dominic’s sense of helpful advisement commonly involved intimidation and blatant threats that if others expressed disapproval of Sevon’s preference for men and his desire to dress in women’s finery, it would be met with outlandishly cruel punishment. It was always better that he pretended to ignore what was going on in Dominic’s mind. Sevon pasted a smile onto his face, trying to convince Dominic nothing was amiss. “It’s your favorite color,” he said sweetly.

“It is,” Dominic said, watching out the window and not paying Sevon any mind.

Sevon tried not to frown too much.

Pre-Order Now From:

Dreamspinner Press in Paperback or eBook!


Gold Sunset

Click to enter Lex’s Bundle O’ Books Rafflecopter Here!

You can win one personally signed copy of the Chasing Sunrise Paperback!

Or an eBook copy of Chasing Sunrise!

Ooooor hey, hey, I did write a series about superheroes before! Yes! You too can win the entire Checkmate Trilogy!


LXC_FlamesAbout the Author:

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure, epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending.

Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine residing in the ’burbs of Northwest Florida where it could be 80F and she’d be a popsicle.

She is grateful and humbled for all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback.

You can find her on those social media things at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LXChase
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lex_Chase
Tumblr: http://lexiconofkittens.tumblr.com
Find her blog at http://lexchase.com or drop her an e-mail at lex.a.chase@gmail.com.


Chasing Sunrise Tour Stops:

7/13 – Chris T. Kat – The Power of Androgyny

7/17 – Michael Rupured – Whispering for Help: Chasing Sunrise Goes Viral

7/19 – Lily Velden – Don’t Lose Your Way

7/20 – Jaime Samms – Screw Sparklepires! Meet the Aisa

7/22 – Aidee Ladnier – Were…what? Meet the Shifters!

7/24 – Grace Duncan – Walking the Runway with Sevon

7/26 – Shira Anthony – When Disaster Strikes: Natural Disasters in Fiction

7/25 – Chasing Sunrise Release Day!

7/29 – Dreamspinner Twitter Takeover with Charlie Cochet

7/30 – It’s About The Book – “I loved you before Nazareth.” Meet Bianca and Chaney

8/2 – Chat at the Dreamspinner Press Facebook Page

8/8 – Charlie Cochet – The Catharsis of Lovers Shirts

8/13 – Gay List Book Reviews – The Necessity of Brutality

8/16 – Tali Spencer – The Shape of Things to Come: Glass Moon

Tease Me Tuesday and an Update…

It has been a crazy few weeks here in Duncan-land. In the process, I’ve let some of my regular posts go, and I do apologize for that.

One of the things that you may have noticed that’s disappeared is my Wednesday Briefs posts. Fear not, Ghalib has no gone away! You will read the rest of his story, I promise. However, Ghalib, and the rest of my briefs, are moving to Friday, starting August 1st. I have co-founded a new site with author Andrew Q. Gordon that we’re calling Free Fiction Friday. The website is still very basic, but that is part of what is taking up my time, as I am working on putting it together. Look for our first posts on August 1st. We have some great authors already lined up and hope to have a lot more.

I do hope you guys enjoyed the BDSM blog hop a couple of weeks ago. I had a lot of fun, if a stressful fun, putting it together and hope to do it again. I enjoyed being able to talk about a subject so near and dear to me.

Another thing that has been taking up my time is a new story! This one is… well, very different for me, as it… young adult. Yes, young adult. I started out writing for this anthology:

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I’m still not all that great at writing to a theme but I started out with a story that has since been named The Geek and His Artist and which kind of… well, took off.  I sort of just blinked at the 10k limit as I sailed by it, smiled nervously at the 11k mark, fidgeted when the 12k mark walked by and finally conceded defeat at 12,252 words. Geek still isn’t done and has been set aside, instead, for another story that I sat down on Friday night to put some notes in on and ended up… mostly finishing. 6k and a lot of shock later. Blue Eyes gives a glimpse of a homeless gay teen living on the street, trying to fight his fears and get past them to find hope again. This was even more a departure from my usual stuff, but I am very proud of it and hope to see it as part of the anthology. Below, you’ll find a little tease from the story.

I do intend to finish Geek and hope to submit it to Harmony Ink before too long. Then back to my boys on their boat and What About Now.

In the meantime, here’s a small tease from Blue Eyes. Make sure to keep an eye out for the return of Ghalib on August 1st, too! Until then, happy reading!

teaseme

 

Mr. Handsome looked around. “Thanks. I can’t believe how many people are here. It’s a good thing, though. I wish we got more, but we’re still new.” He smiled over at me. “I’m Will,” he said, offering his hand.

This actually kind of shocked me. The do-gooders, for all they wanted to help, weren’t usually willing to touch. I automatically held my hand out. “Andy. Hi.”

Will’s smile brightened even more. “Nice to meet you, Andy. Do you come here often?” He rolled his eyes and dropped his face in his hand. “I did not just say that.”

Despite myself, I started laughing. “Second time here, actually. It’s a nice place. The food is amazing. Do you cook?”

It was Will’s turn to laugh. He shook his head. “Oh no. I’d burn everything. They don’t let me near the food. I’m allowed to fill the drink machines and stuff, but I can’t touch the rest.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “Yeah, I was never good at cooking. Back when…” I didn’t bother finishing the thought. For the most part, I’d gotten good at just not thinking about the ‘before’ part of my life.

“What are you good at?”

I stopped myself from saying something asinine like finding places to sleep or finding ways to keep from going crazy, because I knew that wasn’t what he meant. “Computers. I used to build them.”

“Oh, I wish I was good at computers. I mean, I can use them, but I couldn’t build them.” He grinned.

“So… what are you good at?” I found myself asking. I really needed to end the conversation, eat my food and get out of there. This had been a bad idea.

“Music. Or, well, I used to be. I haven’t had an instrument to play in so long. That’s one of my goals.”

“Goals?” I asked, then cursed myself. Shut up, already!

Will nodded. “Yeah. We have to set these goals. Some of them are kind of big, like finish school or get a GED. Others are smaller, like fill out a college application or, like mine, get an instrument. I want a guitar. I used to be able to play really well.”

I blinked at him, a little lost. Something wasn’t adding up. “Your… school makes you do that?” The GED thing sounded odd, but maybe it was some sort of alternative school?

Will actually laughed. “No, silly! The shelter.”

I stared. “Shelter?” I was so lost and feeling more and more so as I went.

Will nodded, waving a hand around him. “This one. Do… Do you know what this is?”

I shook my head, still feeling lost. “I thought it was just a new soup kitchen.”

Will smiled. “We do run the kitchen, but the rest of the building is a shelter for LGBT youth.”

I felt the blood drain from my face. This was the last place I needed to be. I jumped up, meatloaf, fresh bread and chocolate cake forgotten. “Oh, uh, sorry. Uh, take care.” It came out mashed together as one long word, but I didn’t much care. I bolted.

Other Places To Find Me

LINKS AND THE LIKE…

There are many places on the net you can find me.  These are just a few.

WRITING WEBSITES

An Archive of Our Own
Y!Gallery (Please note, you must have a free account to view and you
     must be over 18!)
Adultfanfiction.net

 

SOCIAL NETWORKING

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NSFW! 18+ ONLY!

Guest Author: Penny Hudson

Thank you for hosting me! It is a historic occasion. Today I’m crossing the finish line today for my first blog hop, so this is officially the end of the trail. Time to leave the wild outdoors behind and go inside for some hot chocolate.

But the end doesn’t have to be a sad occasion. It’s all a matter of perspective. Or as the dictionary defines it: A particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

‘A way of regarding something’ is really what I wanted to explore in Winter’s Risk. At the beginning of the book, Alex and Martin have grudgingly reached a tense state of mutual loathing due to their conflicting opinions of how to manage the wilderness area, and they’re both content to never cross paths again.

But perspectives are tricky things, and the reasons behind them often lead to differing opinions no matter how passionate both men are about preserving nature. I challenged myself to write two men who had the same goals, but opposite ideas of how to achieve them. Both men have valid reasons to believe what they believe and act as they do, and both of them are convinced they are right. 

But after Alex saves Martin’s life and they’re forced to spend a long, freezing night sharing one sleeping bag, they begin to explore the edges where perspective ends and reality begins.

Blurb:

Veteran park ranger Alexander Doyle is tracking a nuisance bear when he runs across obnoxious environmentalist Martin Ramirez. He and Martin have clashed before, when Martin and the protestors under his leadership ended a plan to expand the network of paved trails and improve accessibility. Given a choice, Alex would rather face the bear.

When the dangerous grizzly attacks them and Martin is gravely wounded, his only chance of survival is Alex’s determination to keep him alive through the night. But they’re stranded miles from any hope of rescue with the year’s first snowstorm coming in fast.

***
The excerpt is the scene when Alex is distracted from tracking a deadly bear by stumbling upon Martin, a self-righteous, mouthy, jackass. Martin’s opinion of Alex is, if anything, worse. It’s too damn bad they are so absorbed renewing their feud that they forget about the bear.
***
Alex’s lip lifted in a sneer. Fancy finding him all the way out here. For a moment he forgot he was trailing a bear that had already killed two people. He called out to the other man.
“It’s a little out of the way for a protest, don’t you think?”
He was gratified to see Martin jolt and drop his expensive camera. Pity he had a strap around his neck, and it didn’t plunge all the way to the bottom.
“What the hell?” Martin spun around and snapped right back, recognizing him immediately. “Doyle, it’s a free country. I can hike and take pictures if I want to.” He sounded rather petulant for a man pushing fifty, but he still acted like it was the 60s. Go flower power and all that crap.
Alex rubbed his shoulders against the tree, idly scratching his back. “I’m not after you, you big twat. Have you seen a grizzly? Two yellow tags?” He didn’t expect Martin to do something as civilized as help him, and he wasn’t disappointed.
Martin paused, considered his answer, and then jutted his chin out and glared. Alex had two decades of experience dealing with tourists, summertime volunteers, cheating boyfriends, and random idiots. Like the idiot standing in front of him. He knew he was about to hear a lie even before Martin answered like sugar wouldn’t melt in his mouth.
“No sir, Mr. Ranger, sir,” he said sweetly. “I haven’t seen anything bigger than a bird all day. Can I assist you further, Mr. Ranger, sir?”
“Don’t fuck with me,” Alex snarled, and walked to meet him on the edge. He could still see the girl’s mangled body if he closed his eyes. He jabbed a finger toward Martin’s chest, disgusted that he had ever bothered to ogle him from the treeline. It just wasn’t fair that someone so useless could have such a nice ass. Martin looked down at his finger and raised one perfect eyebrow.
“What?”
“I don’t have time for your bleeding heart—”
The sharp crack of a stick breaking in the forest interrupted him.
“Shut up,” Alex growled, even though Martin wasn’t talking at that moment. He wheeled around to face the woods, rifle ready. “Just shut up. It’s here.”
***
I’m giving away a copy of Winter’s Risk to a randomly selected commenter on July 21. Instead of using a random number generator I’m going to liven things up and use my cat, the infamous Basement Cat. He’s a random number all by himself. To enter, just comment on this post or ANY of the posts during the tour. Each comment counts for an entry, so you could put the odds ever in your favor if you wanted.
A complete listing of stops on the tour is posted at my blog.
Winter’s Risk is available from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon India, Kobo, and AllRomance Ebooks, which has a much longer excerpt posted.
* * *
You can always find me hanging out on my blog and as @AnyPennyH, where I talk about beer and hiking just as often as books and movies.

Designs of Desire by Tempeste O’Riley on sale for only 99¢!

99¢ today only at Dreamspinner Press!

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4038

Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.

As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.

James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?

 

BDSM Blog Hop, Part 5: My submission & Sexy Snippet Sunday

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Welcome back to the last day of the hop! I hope you’ve enjoyed yourselves with all the amazing posts! I have truly been thrilled with all the participation and hope I can convince folks to do this on an annual (at least) basis. There is so much misinformation out there, so much that just doesn’t begin to show the realities of BDSM that I’ve been very happy to be part of the hop and hope I’ve done my small part to dispell some of the mess.

Since it is Sunday, I will still post my Sexy Snippet a little later on. But before I do, I wanted to give a little bit more of a personal post about my submission. I’ve talked about bits and pieces, a few of the kinks that I am into, but now I’d like to delve a little deeper into the submissive’s mindset.

Fiction often portrays a submissive, I grant. But unfortunately, there are a lot out there that make it seem like it’s someone who’s been abused or been through trauma and they just need to be controlled a bit and BDSM will “fix” them. Or that they’re someone who just needs a “good Dom” to show them how to live. Vicktor Alexander talks about this a bit in his post for today. (You can go read that here.)

Submission has nothing to do with any of that. Submission, in my not-so-humble-opinion, is about giving up control over certain things, to another individual. Those certain things are negotiated, agreed-upon specific things and nothing more. What those are will be different for almost every submissive out there. There are contracted submissives who give up almost everything. There are some who only hand over control when it comes to being tied up. There are a million different possibilities out there.

What it isn’t is weakness. I believe that submissives are some of the strongest people out there, not the weakest. We know ourselves, understand ourselves in ways very few people do. We know what we need and we understand what will help us get that. It takes a lot of strength to hand over control of ourselves in any way to another person. Strength and trust.

I trust my Sir. We’ve been married going on 12 years now (together for 13) and in those 12 years, we’ve learned a lot about each other. Communication has always been one of our top priorities (we haven’t always succeeded, but that’s a different story for a different time. ;) ). Because of that, when I found myself seriously interested in doing more than some spanking or tying up, I knew I could go to my hub and say something. That communication has allowed us to explore this.

It also means that when I am feeling off, like I need something more, I can go to him and tell him. I have days were I really need the reassurance that submitting to him can give me and he has yet to let me down in that way. That might mean he simply takes control of everything for a while. It might mean he plans a scene. It might mean something else. After years of communication, thankfully, he doesn’t need to me to be nearly that exact.

Let me be clear there, though, this happens after years of communication. I don’t want any of my readers to think they could (or should) go to a Dom(me) they met yesterday and expect him (or her) to be able to read their minds or anything that silly. Sir and I don’t need to negotiate every tiny aspect of a scene anymore. We’ve been doing this together for long enough that it’s not necessary. He knows what I like, he knows my hard limits, and he can trust that I will use my safeword if I need to. And I can trust he’ll honor that. I’ve only ever needed my safeword a few times (and one of those was in the delivery room with our youngest. THERE’S a story for later. ;) ). But when I needed it, I used it.

My submission is an ongoing, ever-changing thing. But what that means is that we talk about it, all the time. If I feel that I need somthing a little different, I’ll tell him – outside of a scene – and he’ll listen. If he needs or wants to do something we haven’t done before, he tells me, again, outside of a scene. That’s our negotiation.

It works for us, but only because of how we, as a couple, have been for many years.

This has been more of a personal narrative than anything, but I can only, truly, speak to my experiences within the lifestyle. I can only speak to what know to be true. I’ve seen a lot but I am not in that person’s head, so I can’t tell you what they want, how they do things, or what brought them to that point. But I figure that it’s possible that someone out there has been in a similar situation, so maybe my thoughts can help them.

Remember, in the end, if you want to explore this, there’s a world of possibilities out there. If you keep it safe, sane and always have or give consentthen you’ll do fine. Never let anyone tell you what you “have” to do as a submissive. Never let anyone tell you that you’re not a good “sub” if you “don’t do” something. That’s bullshit. YOU and only you can determine what submission means to you, what you need and what you want out of a scene. If you want to give up all other choice, hand things over to a Dom (and you can trust them!), then that is still consent, it’s still a choice. But don’t let anyone define your submission for you. Only you know what it should be.

This is the last day to leave a comment for the hop and a chance to win one of my Golden Collar books. The original information for the giveaway is here. If you’ve already got them all, we’ll work something out. ;)  I do hope you’ve enjoyed the posts and information and I do hope you will make sure to read the rest of the stuff out on the hop. Head over to the hop page for links to the rest of the posts and enjoy the sexy snippet ahead! Thanks for reading!

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From my second Golden Collar novel, Deception:

Bathasar pulled back once more, gray eyes focused on Nadir’s face. “So close, my sweet Nadir, I can see it. Just a little farther… yes….” Nadir made a sound halfway between a plea and a whimper, his body so on edge. Trained as the slaves were, he couldn’t go over the edge without being commanded to. And something told him he wouldn’t be given the command—not here, at least, in the public hall.

But he couldn’t stop himself from uttering the whines that sounded damned near like begging. Teman switched tactics, mouth moving to his balls. His friend took one in, sucking on it, and Nadir got even closer to the precipice. Teman moved to the other, giving it the same, then back to his cock. Then, a moment later, when Teman sucked on the tip of his cock again at the same time Cyrus tweaked both of his nipples, he hit the wall that was the lock on his orgasm. He let a cry out he couldn’t stop, his back arching hard, hand fisting around silk in a death grip.

And then it stopped. The mouths were gone, the stimulation vanished. He shuddered almost violently, the arousal still razor-sharp, his cock red, hard, and swollen, filling the snake to near overflowing.

“So beautiful. You’ve pleased me very well, my sweet Nadir,” Bathasar crooned in his ear. Bathasar’s arms went around him and cradled him as Nadir worked to get a grip on his sanity. His entire body was a live nerve, every tiny touch making it worse. Bathasar continued to speak soft words of praise in his ear, and eventually, he started to calm down.

The arousal faded, but only so far as he wasn’t on the edge of orgasm anymore. As his breathing slowed, Bathasar leaned back and kissed him on the forehead. “You have done so beautifully. Now, I need you to sit up. It is time to eat,” he said, doing so himself. Bathasar helped Nadir move, and Nadir glanced down to see how red his cock really was. His balls were tight, still wanting to release, and as he moved, the light chains did as well, teasing his still over-sensitive skin.

* * *

Remember, tell me what your thoughts on submission are, a question about it, etc. and you’ll have a chance to win Deception. Thanks for joining me for the hop and happy reading!

Guest Author: Brynn Stein

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Blog Tour for Living Again

Stop 2: Grace R. Duncan

Hi all,

Thanks for visiting the second stop on my blog tour.

I wanted to talk about my lead character, Daniel Larson, from my newest book, Living Again. He started out life as a character in a fan fiction, but evolved into someone new when I let him out of the confines of the fandom. He’s still an independent man who has been through a lot. He’s caring and sensitive and tends to think of others before himself.

When Daniel first meets Jonah, he was instantly attracted. Jonah’s a nice looking man, and Daniel has been alone for a long time.

He couldn’t help but notice—even with blurry vision—that Jonah was well built and drop-dead gorgeous. He looked to be about six foot two or so, probably around 200 pounds—every ounce manifested in perfectly formed muscle. His close-cropped blond hair was just long enough to try to curl. Daniel thought that if Jonah grew his hair a little longer, he’d have a headful of unruly curls.

He wasn’t wearing a nurse’s uniform—probably because he worked through a private agency and not for the hospital. He wore a black, long-sleeved cotton shirt—neither overly dressy nor overly casual—with the top two buttons open. The waxed chest that peeked through had Daniel wishing it was a little hotter in here so that maybe his newfound personal assistant would open another button. He found that he couldn’t wait until his eyes cleared up completely. By the looks of things, he was going to have quite the treat during his convalescence.

But, he decides he has to be professional. He can’t act on his attraction. That doesn’t keep him from getting distracted from time to time.

Daniel thought to himself that bureaucracy had a way of muddying up even the simplest situation. He tried to stay with the conversation, but it had been all he could do to ignore how absolutely delicious Jonah looked all spread out over the armchair like that, and now he was swinging his legs back and forth, making his muscles ripple in a most interesting way and leading Daniel’s gaze straight toward… well, nothing that he had any right looking at. He forcibly dragged his eyes back toward a more appropriate spot and rejoined the conversation.

There are other things keeping them apart. Not the least of which is Daniel’s Uncle Lawrence. But we’ll discuss him on another stop on the tour.

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I’m having fun with my blog tour so far, though I’m still kind of learning how to do all this.

I want to raffle off a signed paperback copy of the book, as well as an electronic copy to two different people. The way it will work is this: Comment below and follow the tour to the other stops. Comment there too. Your name will be entered one time for each different blog you comment on. At the end of August, I will announce the winners.

Blog Schedule:

(I don’t have all the blog addresses yet)

Blog Stop Date of blog Name of Host (or Name of Blog) Address of Blog
1 7/8/2014 Jessica Davies http://taralain.com/blog/
2 7/14/2014 Tara Lain
3 7/16/2014 Charlie Cochet’s Tea House
4 7/18/2014 Lex Chase http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com/
5 7/21/2014 Anne Barwell http://sukifleet.wordpress.com/
6 7/22/2014 Suki
7 7/24/2014 JP Barnaby
8 7/28/2014 Tempest O’Riley http://tempesteoriley.com/blog/
9 8/4/2014 Kit Moss http://rupured.com.
10 8/7/2014 Michael Rupured http://shaeconnorwrites.com
11 8/11/2014 Shae Connor
12 8/14/2014 Charley Descateaux http://cdescoteauxwrites.com/blog/
13 8/18/2014  Elizabeth Noble http://www.elizabeth- noble.com/my-blog
14 8/21/2014 Grace Duncan

Topic for blog tour stop 3: Spotlight on Jonah Thacker

Thanks for playing.

And thanks again Grace for letting me come by.

 

LivingAgainLGBlurb of Living Again:

Daniel Larson has walled himself off from any possibility of romance since his lover died violently five years ago in Afghanistan. The same bomb that ended his partner’s life took the lower part of Daniel’s left leg. The only support Daniel has, his Uncle Lawrence, is dead-set against anything homosexual, including Daniel.

Now, a popular language teacher at the local university, Daniel’s suffering from a car accident that broke his one good leg. His uncle, who is much better at throwing money at things than offering emotional support, provides a rented power chair and a private in-home nurse. Unbeknownst to his uncle, the nurse comes in the form of a man named Jonah Thacker.

Instantly attracted, Daniel and Jonah fight their mutual feelings in favor of professionalism. They become friends anyway, and Jonah shares his life with Daniel, including his handicapped son, Ethan. As Jonah and Daniel grow closer, Daniel becomes more involved in Jonah and his son’s lives, even being there for Ethan when his medical conditions worsen. But when Daniel’s uncle finds out the nurse he’s hired is male, he uses all of his resources to keep Jonah and Daniel apart.

 

 

 

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5240&cPath=55_887

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22575458-living-again?from_search=true

(links to other sites from the Goodreads page are not yet active)

 

Brynn’s Bio:

Brynn Stein has always loved to write. Fan fiction, original fiction, whatever. While Brynn wrote in numerous genres—everything from mystery, to contemporary, to supernatural—she had always tended toward strong male characters. And then she discovered “slash,” male/male romance, and all those strong male characters were finally allowed to express their love for one another. It seems that there are always at least two characters clamoring to tell Brynn their story.

Brynn lives in Virginia with one of her two two-legged children, and two four-legged ones. Her supportive family encourages her writing and provides a sounding board for fledgling stories. When she isn’t writing, Brynn teaches children with special needs. In free time, when such a thing exists, she reads anything she can get her hands on, and haunts bookstores. She draws and paints, and enjoys the outdoors—especially if she can get to the beach—and is always thinking about her next story.

Please feel free to contact Brynn at any of the following:
https://twitter.com/BrynnStein
http://brynnstein2.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/
brynnstein2@gmail.com

 

BDSM Blog Hop, Part 4: Tease Me Tuesday

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Today, for Tease Me Tuesday, I’d like to introduce a relatively mild activity from the BDSM spectrum. One of my favorite parts of serving my Sir is to have my pleasure–and, subsequently, orgasms–controlled. Sometimes, that is simply during sex or a scene, where I am held back from finishing. Other times it involves being denied me for much longer periods of time.

Now, initially, one might think, “Well, that’s not a big deal. I don’t get to have sex for….” However, there’s a bit more to “denial” in the context of a D/s relationship than not getting to have sex. When my Sir denies me, it is, what I like to call, active denial. First off, knowing full well, that one is not allowed orgasm, changes things a bit, psychologically. Whereas any other time, the submissive could pull up some porn (like the hot stuff between Jesse Jackman and his husband Dirk Caber) and have some fun. But instead, while they may be more than allowed (possibly even encouraged) to watch the porn, they’re not allowed to take it anywhere. Further still, the submissive may often be required to edge (i.e, get themselves to the edge of orgasm but not finish), sometimes very often, making it even worse.

But I enjoy it. Partially because I know it pleases him and partially because it’s simply a portion of that exchange of power that I’ve talked about before (and has been discussed in other blog posts on the hop. Be sure to read them!). I love giving that up, love not having to think, not having to worry about anything. I love that feeling of being taken care of and yet knowing that I am making my Sir happy and pleasing him all at the same time. And denial is an easy way to do this.

The Golden Collar series is packed with denial scenes. I had a really hard time deciding which one to pick to put with this post. Since “Tease Me Tuesday” is supposed to be a short tease, I decided to stick with the one below. Bathasar loves denying Teman, it turns him on a lot, and Teman, entirely aside from serving Bathasar, really enjoys the edging, the teasing and the arousal that becomes his constant companion from it.

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He leaned in and kissed Teman’s ear. “I have decided to play while we are on the trip. You will be denied climax for the majority of our journey to Duankou. I will allow you one orgasm along the way. You will choose when, but it will just be one. However, I won’t make it easy on you, my love. Every night, I will tease you and work you. Then I will take you and fill you with my cum. And when it is over, I will leave your lovely cock unsatisfied. Each day, on our rest breaks, I will feed you myself and play with you until your cock is filling the cage completely and straining against it. And if I am feeling particularly wicked, I’ll even remove the cage now and again and have you stroke yourself for me.”

 

From Choicespart of the Golden Collar series, published by Dreamspinner press.

* * *

What do you think of denial? Does it sound interesting? Fun? Would it be something you would be interested in? Remember to answer the questions and leave a comment for a chance at my books at the end of the hop! See the original giveaway info here. And follow the rest of the hop for more great posts on BDSM and the lifestyle!

BDSM Blog Hop, Pt 3: Music Monday

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Welcome back to the BDSM Blog Hop! Today, I thought I’d take my Music Monday and talk about BDSM in music. Many folks are familiar with Rihanna’s S&M. That one’s kind of obvious, I know, and one of the most prominent. I enjoy it; it’s a lot of fun. It’s also a little daring.

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What a lot of folks not in the lifestyle don’t know is that BDSM is, technically, illegal. Doesn’t matter that it’s between consenting adults. (I know, there’s BDSM in porn, there’s BDSM in music videos. I think there may be specific places it’s legal, but many are still not. I made the mistake of doing a cursory search, but the legality of BDSM is an extremely complex issue and SO out of the scope of this post.) So, much like how sex, drugs, alcohol and the like used to be referred to in a bit of code back in the 60’s (Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, anyone?), BDSM is often hinted at, referred to in symbolic language, rather than addressed directly. Which, while annoying to a point, can also be cool.

There are two songs in particular that I listen to that have, to me, BDSM undertones. I know, there are, very likely, very different meanings that Sully Erna had when he wrote them. But like anything else written, different people have different interpretations. This is especially one of those times. The first I’d like to discuss is Voodoo.

Full lyrics here.

Anyone who is even remotely familiar with the song, knows the chorus:

I’m not the one who’s so far away
When I feel the snake bite enter my veins
Never did I wanna be here again
And I don’t remember why I came

For those of us in the Scene, the connection between the above and BDSM is not much of a stretch. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am a submissive. I have, for a number of  years now, understood that I have an ingrained need to please. What comes along with that (at least for me) is that I then also hate disappointing people. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… wait, not that long ago ( ;) ), I learned to channel my need to please into my and  my Sir’s D/s relationship. I still feel that disappointment, though it doesn’t cause quite the same problems with other it once did. However, that disappointment really bothers me if I get it from my Sir. I Do. Not. Like. disappointing him. And if I do, it feels very much like the lyrics above. The idea behind it–what take away from that, is that the disappointment that Sir feels–and my subsequent reaction–is a lot like the figurative snake bite. I do not want to disappoint him. And often times, when I do displease him (rare, but it happens), I find myself wondering why the hell I did.  I’ve heard it described that a submissive–someone with the ingrained need to please like I do–would as soon hang himself as disappoint his Dom. I’ve felt that, and I can tell you, from my perspective, that’s 100% true.

The other song I wanted to talk about is also from Godsmack – Serenity.

Full lyrics here.

While the lyrics that hit me most from “Voodoo” are the chorus, there’s more to “Serenity” that applies, again to me. “Serenity” describes how I feel when when I go into subspace. I am quite sure that part of it has to do with the fact that the first time I went into subspace, “Serenity” was playing in the background.

For the readers who are not familiar with the term, I suppose I should attempt to define “subspace.” I say “attempt” because, in truth, subspace–like BDSM in general–is different for probably every person. I say “probably” because there are similarities. When I go into subspace, I tend to lose my… connection, as it were, to what’s going on around me. I am still aware–some people are not, but I am–but it’s in a more fuzzy, surreal way. I can see and hear, but it doesn’t touch me. I am in this place where nothing truly affects me the same. I can still feel what’s being done to me–this is often where pain become the utmost pleasure for me–but it doesn’t feel the same.

And, thus, “Serenity” describes this to me.

In a place where I can hide…Nothing changes, days go by

When I am in subspace, I couldn’t tell you if five minutes or five days has passed. I am gone. In Choices, I describe it as floating “…just off the surface of  nowhere.” And that is what it feels like. I am disconnected from most things, couldn’t tell you much beyond the vaguest awareness of what’s going on.

Where do we go when we just don’t know
And how do we relight the flame when it’s cold
Why do we dream when our thoughts mean nothing
And when will we learn to control

These lyrics here make me think of losing my connection to the real world, going into subspace, where coherent thinking has gone.

As we all know, music, stories, anything written, is open to intrepretation. I am sure there are many people out there that would look at these songs–even people within the lifestyle, perhaps–and tell me I’m batshit for my interpretation. But I wanted to share my perspective, how they make me feel. And, at least at my local kink club, these two are almost always on the playlist. There are a bunch of playlists out there with music played for scenes. I hope you enjoyed the glimpses into these two and what they do for me.

Have you heard any songs that make you think of BDSM? For those in the lifestyle, are there any that have particular meaning for you?

All comments get entered for a chance at my books. :)

“Voodoo” is from the Self-titled album Godsmack by Republic/Universal Records. Copyright ©1999 by Sully Erna & Robbie Merrill

“Serenity” is from the album Faceless also by Republic/Universal Records. Copyright ©2003 by Sully Erna and Tony Rombola

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