Saturday, March 26, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Cocktails Magazine – March 2011 Free Read
Interview with A Bounty Hunter
By: Blak Rayne
“Is this okay?”
A man in his late thirties adjusts the microphone. He’s wearing worn-out blue jeans, a plain white t-shirt and the biggest pair of Daytons I’ve ever seen. His messy black hair is soft and emits glossy lines under the lighting. His grin, crooked, when he does offer an expression of happiness and his stare mysterious, which makes me feel a little ill at ease. He folds both arms over his chest and the tattoo of a sword wrapped with a thorny vine expands, crimping at his elbow. This man is attractive but intimidating and I have to remind myself, it’s just an interview, it isn’t like we’re going to have sex–though, if he asked, I certainly wouldn’t refuse.
“Yes it’s fine.” I tried to respond with a normal tone of voice, but the fear escaped my lips and once again his dark eyes are scrutinizing.
“I don’t care much for interviews, doll,” he flatly answered.
“I promise it’ll be painless.”
His voice on the other hand is deep and gravelly, which sends a shiver down my spine every time he talks. There’s a hint of an accent but I can’t discern what. I look up. The director gives the signal, he counts with his fingers and we’re about to go live in three, two, one…
“This is Cindy Hughes, and welcome to eBooks Live, where today’s guest is a Mr. Sloan Whelan–main character of the soon to be released Benevolence series by author, Blak Rayne at eXtasy Books. Thank you for joining me. It’s always nice to have a little background history first. Can you give my listeners a brief rundown of who you are and what it is you do, Mr. Whelan?”
“I can, doll. My name’s Sloan Whelan, and I was born on September seventh twenty-two ninety-two in the North American Continental Block or what was formally known as North America–in your time, in the city of New Dublin. At seventeen I joined the military and fought as an ally in world war four. My stint was short, just a couple of years, ending when the war did. Then I joined the police academy where I trained and graduated to the APF–Avalon Police Force. After about ten years of that crap I exchanged my Inspector’s badge to become a Bounty Hunter.”
“Why the sudden change in occupations?” I asked.
A handsome smile bent his chiseled lips and I couldn’t help but stare.
“I’m not very good at taking orders–truth is, I didn’t care for the bureaucratic bullshit. I just wanted to do my job.”
“Can you elaborate?”
“Bounty hunters are an extension of the law, doll. Almost like a private investigator. I can be hired to find anyone who’s broken the law. Most of my clients are masters and debt collectors. I don’t come cheap and they’re the only ones who can generally afford my services. The idea of being my own boss was nice.”
“Master… I’m sorry, I’ve never heard of the term, master.”
“In my world masters are shady businessmen who make their living off slaves–usually those involved in the illegal slave trade or Black Market. The illegal slave trade is where young men are coerced into selling their bodies like a prostitute would, and some of the mostly highly prized ones are blond.”
He rolled a stick of gum inside his mouth and the scent of spearmint wafted my nose.
“Sorry. Bad habit. It curbs the urge to light up.”
“Oh that’s fine.” I shifted the top paper from the pile and discreetly skimmed down the rest of my notes. Then I felt a wave of self-consciousness and cleared my throat. “Yes, I read that somewhere, blond hair is rare in your time.”
“Too many people and too many interracial relationships. The gene for blond hair is recessive and it’s become diluted throughout the centuries.”
“You’re a very intelligent man, Mr. Whelan.”
“Thanks, doll. I do try,” he grinned while continuing to chew.
That crooked smile was sexy and then I shivered yet again.
“Give us a brief outline of the first novel, Master of Illusion.”
He sighed and I could sense he was trying to find the appropriate words.
“The body of a dead slave is discovered in a nightclub and my best friend, Morgan–he’s the General of the Federal Army, heads up the investigation. He needs help and winds up calling me. Everything seems routine at first until Morgan tells me about a possible smuggling ring and how he feels the dead slave may be a victim. There appears to be evidence that someone is smuggling underage slaves into Avalon. He knows I’m sucker for crimes against children…”
“So you agreed to help.”
“Exactly.” He leaned back, balancing the chair. “The author wanted to create an erotic detective type series but without the heavy legal jargon, and she has this love for bounty hunters. We’re the type to ride that fine line–we’re within the law but not. It’s an easy way for a character, like myself, to expand–to be everything she wants in a leading man. I can get dirty if necessary and I can be an angel.”
“I understand you’re heterosexual, Mr. Whelan. Did you find it difficult to act out the sex scenes with Vale? And for those who don’t know, Vale is a blond slave who Mr. Whelan is paid to apprehend after he escapes from his master.”
A low chuckle filled the atmosphere, but this time the laughter was more self-directed.
“Yeah doll, that’s correct, I’m a straight man–actually bit of a ladies man. I was hard but the situation wasn’t. Vale’s gorgeous and I fell for him. I don’t discriminate.”
“You don’t discriminate, Mr. Whelan…” I don’t know if it’s the hunter that has caused the arousal or the fact that I could picture him getting it on with another man that did it, but someone just cranked up the temperature to hot.
“Call me Sloan, the Mr. Whelan thing makes me sound decrepit.”
“All right, Sloan, what do you mean?” I fanned myself with a spread of papers.
“Man or not it didn’t matter. There’s something about Vale. I knew the moment I saw the guy.”
“Wow okay…” My voice slipped away into a hoarse cough.
“You all right, doll?” He smirked.
Nice. Here I am sweating to death and my nipples start to protrude from my blouse like it’s fifty below, making the situation even more awkward. “Yes thank you. Can you tell the audience about your author?”
“Blak, she’s a sweetheart really. We’ve been working together for years. I believe the idea for my character came to mind a decade back. I really like the way she allows my character to develop as the story progresses. And I also like all the side stories and personal history she’s added to give my character depth. Very ingenious.”
“Always doll, it wouldn’t be a good story without them.”
“How would you classify Master of Illusion?”
“It’s a homoerotic romance with mystery and action thrown in.”
I restacked the papers then passed a casual smile. “How many novels can we expect to see in this series?”
“Currently there are three, Master of Illusion, Master of Destruction and Master of Salvation. Other than that, I can’t say with any certainty. Knowing the way my author works the Benevolence series could end up being five!”
The bounty hunter laughed and passed back a faintly seductive smile. It was time to cut the conversation short.
“Lastly, Sloan, where can readers find Ms. Rayne’s novels? An excerpt?”
“Sure doll.” He clasped both hands behind his head. “Extasy Books and her website. Plus she does articles and posts for this blog, very popular, Red Lipstick Journals–now there’s fecking hot! I’m a subscriber.”
“Interesting. Well, thank you so much for joining us today, Mr. Whelan. And thank you to everyone for listening. This is Cindy Hughes, from eBooks Live, saying goodnight.”
Sunday, March 20, 2011
“Hey, where you headed now?”
Gary looked over his shoulder and tried to smile. “No where, everywhere. Hell if I know. Just away from here.”
“Come on man, it’s not so bad.” Devin walked quickly towards him, hand held out. “Stick around and unwind.”
Gary glanced down at the hand with one eyebrow cocked in question, and then up at Devin again. “Dance? That does nothing for me.”
“So we do something else.” Devin let his hand drop down to his side again. He was tempted to just turn and go back to the dance floor. To find someone else and sate his need to wipe away the last month. But… He bit his lip. “Come on, just one dance?”
“What would that accomplish? It’s over, done, finito. No more games, Devin. You’ve changed and it’s…not working any more.” With that said, Gary walked quickly out of the club.
Devin watched him go and felt empty inside. When someone touched his shoulder he spun around then smiled bitterly. “If you’re here to watch the meltdown it’s not happening.”
Vanni chuckled softly. “Of course it’s not. He’s not worth it. Come, let me help you forget him.” He held out his hand and Devin took it.
The light, the mass of humanity on the dance floor, the throb of the music, all began to work their magic and soon Devin was lost in a world beyond reality. Faces spun by until they blurred into one, known and unfamiliar at the same moment. Hot bodies, lathered in sweat, glistened eerily under the flashing lights as they moved chaotically to the sounds of frenetic instruments.
Vanni held him tightly while he wove an erotic spell around Devin which only heightened the other sensations. Desire swelled within him just as his cock swelled beneath the tightness of his jeans. He needed…he needed…
“No!” Devin broke free, his eyes wild. They glistened green and red and gold as the multi-colored pulsating beams flashed over them.
“Devin!” Vanni said sharply.
“I can’t… I need…” Devin spun around to thread his way erratically through the whirling bodies to the door.
Vanni watched him disappear, no emotion on his face, and then turned in search of the next man willing to dance with him.
* * * *
Gary was tense and angry when he left the club, although he had done his best to keep the anger hidden from Devin. He was quite certain he probably hadn’t succeeded. The club seemed to accentuate any emotions he felt be they lust, love or just plain aggravation. When all three were present he had difficulty handling them.
Tonight that had most definitely been the case. Going there had been a huge mistake but he had needed one more chance to try to get through to Devin, though why he had felt the club could be the place to work out their problems was beyond him now that he thought about it.
Devin had always been somewhat erratic; his moods could swing back and forth at the drop of a hat. Recently however that had become much worse. Gary never knew from one day to the next whether he would be dealing with the sweet, loving man he had met three years ago or the tension-ridden bitch that Devin seemed to turn into more and more often these days.
‘I wish to hell I knew what to do about you, Dev,’ Gary thought somewhat morosely as he made his way through the parking lot at the side of the club. “And why the hell did I park in the dark?” he muttered when he realized the lights barely reached the back of the lot. He had just unlocked the door when he thought he heard something in the trees that bordered the lot. Quickly he got in, turned the headlights on and then shook his head when he saw a cat’s gleaming eyes before the animal beat a fast retreat. “I probably scared you as badly as you did me,” he muttered in wry amusement.
At loose ends now, and not wanting to go back to his empty apartment, he pulled out onto the street to head away from the heart of the city. When he reached the river road he felt his depression and anger begin to wane as the cool air blew in through the open windows. Within minutes he was at his favorite spot and pulled off the highway to park on the verge. A few yards away through the trees he could see the river, dark and mysterious, the lights of a few houses adding glitter to its surface.
He walked silently through the trees, the sound of the river now louder than the noise of the traffic behind him which was just how he liked it. When he reached the edge he stood, hands loose at his sides as he breathed in the slightly dank, fishy smell that assaulted his nostrils. It reminded him of the lake where he’d grown up. One of the reasons he came here, it brought back memories of a kinder, gentler time before things had skewed sideways in his life.
As he pondered this a night heron appeared, swooping down to land at the river’s edge. There it stood, so still that if he hadn’t seen its arrival Gary might have missed it. He stepped back, careful not to disturb the bird, then sank down to his knees to watch it. And so the two of them remained until Gary’s knees began to ache and his eyes blurred from tiredness. He eased back until he was sitting, arms wrapped around his legs, and drifted off into a light doze.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Take a peek.
April 1st there’s going to be a new blog in town, ‘It’s Raining Men’, but you can get a sneak preview now at - http://rainingmenamen.blogspot.com/
It is a collaborative effort between Michael Mandrake/Rawiya/Blmorticia, Blak Rayne, Ike Rose, Catriana Sommers, myself (Edward Kendrick), S.L. Danielson, and Andrew Grey, plus various guest authors to give a voice to M/M authors.
Stories, articles, rants and raves, you’ll find it all when you visit ‘It’s Raining Men’. We hope to see you there.
Smut – Have you got what it takes?
Good evening my fellow bloggers, authors and friends. A few weeks back I received an email from a newbie author and their questions prompted me to write this post. In this highly competitive world where we’re each trying to make a name for ourselves, I have to ask the dreaded question...
Have you got what it takes?
For actors it’s a look (not necessarily talent) that seems to propel them into stardom and for artists, photographers and painters it’s their unique creations. But when it comes to authors what is it? Believe it or not every author has his or her own writing style–voice if you will, a certain way in which they describe their imaginary worlds to you (the reader). And, over time, the better acquainted you become with the author the easier it is to differentiate between them and another.
Aside from honing your raw talent, marketing is the second biggest factor–not only do you have to possess the ability to put words to paper but you’ve got to be prepared to promote your little ass off. Nothing happens over night. Rome wasn’t built in a day. And whether you’re new to the publishing industry or a veteran, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and advertising–yes sweeties I said advertising! I can’t give away all the state secrets but you’ve got to get your name out there. It’s what I like to call Internet mingling.
Order in the grand scheme of things…
1. 1. Now that you’ve decided to join the ranks you’d better have a name. Choose carefully because your name becomes your label. And do a check on the Internet first to make sure you’re not accidentally stealing another author’s name–seriously the shit will hit the legal fan! LOL
2. 2. Every label needs a logo/trademark so-to-speak. Once you’ve chosen your name start cracking. You’ll need to get a website up and you’ll need a banner. Most publishers suggest it and well, anyone with half a brain will advise it especially if you’re going to publish eBooks! ‘But Blak money’s tight. What can I do?’ Don’t worry, there are lots of free website templates out there and some of those same companies offer free domain names and hosting!
A 3. Another great thing is a logline/tagline/slogan. Every novel, franchise, product and movie out there has one. For example: Tim Hortons ‘Always fresh. Always Tim Hortons’. Okay it isn’t sexy but it works!
4. Have several manuscripts ready to send off to potential publishers then make your choice Obi-Wan Kenobi but choose wisely. Not every publisher will sell the genre you’re into and not all are worthy to work with (I've heard the horror stories).
5. Research sweeties! Don’t take anyone’s word for it!
Here’s the thing…writing isn’t easy and for most it is a craft that improves with practice. And choosing the genre you write is equally as important a decision as your nom de plume. It’s difficult to cross over, so if you do elect to write smut (as one lady told me) be prepared to accept some verbal backlash and a little flogging. Lastly, remember not everyone is there to help, tread carefully. Do what you feel to be right and the best piece of advice I can give - YOU MUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
Happy Yaoi Hunting!!^_^!!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Thursday, March 3, 2011
The characters I can do, and the plot comes as it comes. But the setting descriptions…holy hell that is not something I find easy to do. Unfortunately for a fantasy story they are almost de rigueur; the forests, the mountains, the villages, the castles, in detail.
They can’t just walk up a mountain pass, they have to go up ‘a barren mountain pass darkened by the towering rock formations on either side, the late afternoon sun coming through the thin mist doing little to illuminate the narrow, rock-strewn path before them’.
I drew out maps for the two main locales. –rolling my eyes- Yes I’m visually anal. If I have something to look at it helps keep me on track. I found pictures that somewhat match what I’m thinking as well.
But the mindset isn’t one I’m used to.
Dialogue, emotions, I can handle. For most stories just a suggestion of what a room looks like works, a leather sofa, chrome and wood bookshelves, something to give a hint about the man inhabiting the house or apartment, if you get what I’m saying.
Fantasy however is world-building if you want the reader to know where they are, what this ‘strange’ quasi-imaginary world is like.
It’s most definitely a learning experience that is pushing my boundaries but I am not giving up…yet.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Hello to all and sundry…yes that means you.
March 6th to March 12th is eBook Week and Silver Publishing is hosting a special promotion. From March 6 until March 12, all Silver titles excluding Coming Soon and New Releases will receive 30% discount if the reader purchases one New or Coming Soon release. In other words, if you buy a new title or one on the coming soon list, you receive 30% discount on all other books.
In addition, Silver is also offering an e-reader to a lucky customer during the week in question. http://silverpublishing.info/