Monday, May 28, 2007

NEW RELEASE: Fortune's Fool

FORTUNE'S FOOL: an anthology of erotic romance, available today from Phaze.

ISBN 1-59426-909-2

Four mistresses of erotic romance present a collection of tales destined to get pulses racing. Sexy psychics offer delectable divination in the past, present, and future.

KING OF SWORDS - Biana D'Arc: Sparks ignite when a psychic meets a special ops warrior aboard a space station. When enemies attack, will close quarters and danger draw them together?

TEMPTING FATE - Eva Gale: An up-and-coming banker falls for the town palm reader. She might be breathtaking, but a spinster from a notorious psychic family is hardly the career boost he wanted.

MIRANDA WRITES - Cassidy Kent: A novelist becomes a fortune-teller for book research. When an FBI agent mistakes her for a counterfeiter, danger and romance ensue. Will she meet her deadline... or wind up just plain dead?

FLESH AND BONE - Selah March: Captured by the “Madre” Donnatella DeTagliera--a sadistic Dominatrix with murder on her mind--Detective Marcus Colton is about to suffer a slow and agonizing death. Only English professor and reluctant psychic Leah Benjamin has any hope of finding him in time. But Leah’s history with the Madre puts her in a dangerous position. Can she save Marcus? Or will Leah be caught in the Madre’s web of torture and death a second time?

Excerpt from FLESH AND BONE by Selah March:

“It didn’t work,” he said. His voice was a gritty rasp.

“It’s all right.” Leah stepped forward and tried to catch his eye. Couldn’t let him get too much into his own head, or this would end in disaster. “I thought maybe it would take more than once.”

“More than once?” He sounded more weary than surprised. “Can’t do that again. It’ll kill me.”

“Don’t be so dramatic. I’ll tell you what will kill you, though--the Madre, and she’ll take joy in doing it slowly if she comes back and you’re still...all worked up.”

He shook his head. “And you’re so sure she won’t kill me anyway. Why?”

“I’m not sure. But which way would you rather die, Detective? A quick slash to the throat, or...” She glanced over her shoulder at the glass-fronted cabinet in the corner. She knew what was likely inside. Bladed instruments crafted for flaying skin from muscle. Vises made to crush small extremities. She looked away and shuddered.

“Point taken.”

She nodded. “And if we’re lucky, she’ll only beat you and leave you alive to play with tomorrow. That would buy us some time.”

His smile was wry. “Yeah, that sounds like my kinda luck.” He cleared his throat and shifted his knees on the floor. His cock bobbed with the movement. “I probably should’ve asked you this before, but...even if you could find a paperclip or something, you probably can’t jimmy the locks on these, right?” He shook his wrists in the shackles.

“Sorry, Detective. I’m an English professor, not a cat burglar. I could quote you some Shakespeare, if you’re bored.”

He grinned. “Thought so.”


“Never mind.” He sighed and rolled his shoulders. “All right, let’s get on with it.”

She saw the muscles in his abdomen quiver as she approached. She reached out her hand to touch him, and he said, “Wait.”


He inclined his head, looking every-so-slightly sheepish. “I feel like I should...I dunno...kiss you or something.”

She felt her face open up into a smile--her first since she’d landed in this awful place. “That’s not necessary. This isn’t a date.”

“No, but I’d feel better about it.”

She stepped back again and considered him. “I’m going to say no, Detective. But I’ll tell you what--if and when we get out of this alive, I’ll let you buy me dinner. And if that goes well, I’ll let you kiss me good night.”

“Are you always this tough?”

She thought of Ray Delacroix’s poor, twisted ear and smiled wider. “You have to catch me in the right mood. I’m going to touch you now.”


Now that I've clawed my way out of Deadline Hell and back into the sweet, late-spring sunshine, I might actually be around to get this whole "new website" thing moving. And maybe blog a little. Can't promise to say anything interesting, though. Keep your expectations low.

No. Lower than that. Really. - Romance of Dubious Virtue (soon to undergo reconstruction)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Welcome to SIN STREET...

My very first print release. That high-pitched squeal you hear emanating from the northeastern quadrant of the United States? That would be me.

Available HERE and NOW from the Amber Heat imprint of Amber Quill Press, and Amazon.

Three couples, in three small towns. Three sets of lies and secrets. Three questions...

Can they get together? Can they stay together? Can they stay alive?

The answers lie somewhere in the shadows on Sin Street.

Previously available only in electronic format, these sinfully delicious stories of erotic romance are now combined in a trade paperback collection. Included are the tales…

  • Skin Deep
    Erin’s an ex-cop. Noah’s the much-younger potential criminal who’s dating her sister. Could she make a worse choice for the love of her life?

  • Lie To Me
    MaryJane has been alone with her guilt a long time, drowning in a cold sea of secrets. She thinks the truth is her worst nightmare...until a Federal Agent with an agenda shows up to prove her wrong.

  • Dirty Shame
    TV heartthrob Dare Daniels has it all: money, fame, and a few kinks in common with his pretty new assistant, Josephine "Joey" Fiorello. Too bad he's also got a target on his back...

    Welcome to SIN STREET, where dark secrets and steamy sex meet for drinks after work.

  • (The main portion of my website is about to undergo reconstruction. Please stay tuned.)

    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    8 Random Things You Probably Don't Care to Know About Me.

    I'm not much for the "Thursday Thirteen," if only because I'm shockingly sloth-like and slackery in my bloggage, and whenever Thursday rolls around -- no matter how good my intentions were on Wednesday night -- I can't...quite...bring myself to expend the energy necessary to come up with thirteen things that are somehow related.

    But a random eight? I could maybe manage that.

    Nobody actually tagged me to do this, you understand. That's because I have no friends. Yes, it's true. And when I'm done making my little list, I'm gonna go off in the corner of the garden and eat worms. See if I don't. :p

    But I picked it up from Paperback Writer, so blame her if you slip in the Coma of Drooling Boredom before you get to the end, 'k?

    Da Rulez:

    * Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about him/herself.
    * People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
    * At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
    * Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

    Okay. So.

    1. I've lived in my current abode for 17-and-a-half years, which is longer than anyone in my immediate family of origin (father, mother, two sisters) has ever lived in one place. Yeah, we moved around quite a bit when I was growing up. So did my parents when THEY were growing up, apparently.

    2. My husband and I come from what some people call "working class" backgrounds. Hardworking immigrants, in my husband's case. In my case? Mostly poor Yankee trash. Of our four parents, only one (my mother) graduated high school.

    And yet? My husband has an M.D. behind his name, and I would've finished that graduate degree if I hadn't wanted to have babies more.

    3. Despite the M.D. behind my husband's name, he neither plays golf nor drives anything fancier than a 2002 Honda. Which we JUST finished paying off, praise the Lord, and THAT means I MIGHT be able to replace the rusty minivan I've been driving since Christ left Chicago. Maybe. year. If we don't go to Greece to visit the relatives this summer.

    4. Instead of golf, my husband plays the guitar (okay, let me amend that...he plays one of over twenty guitars/mandolins/violins/mandocellos) and collects vintage amplifiers and other musical equipment, which he stores in various, ever-changing nooks and crannies around our 1500-square-foot rancher, causing me to swear long and loud when I trip over something in the dark and bruise my very sensitive toes.

    He also collects vintage polyester leisure suits and platform shoes which he buys on ebay. (We don't have room for THEM either.) And he's recently begun growing out his salt-and-pepper hair to well past his shoulders. Sometimes he wears it in a ponytail. Other times, he lets it flow, giving him a decidedly "Jesus of Nazareth: The Mid-life Crisis Years" look. But least it's not a motorcycle, which is what I tell people when they ask. And they do. Ask, that is.

    5. Okay, I know, this is supposed to be about ME. You can tell how comfortable I am with THAT topic, can't you?

    6. I'm a graduate of a women's college. In the middle of nowhere. Literally. Four years with four hundred hormonal females. Trapped on a tiny, rural campus, which was often buried in snow.

    It was a life-shaping experience.

    7. I've been sitting here ten minutes now, trying to think of two other things that might be of interest, and I can't even come up with ONE. God, when did I get to be the most boring person I know?

    8. Oh! Oh! I know. I like to take long, loooong (miles-long) walks...but only after dark. Preferably after 10PM. There's something about the peace of night that settles me. Plus, I hate the sun more and more as I get older. Check back in five years to see if I've finally joined the ranks of the Undead.

    Criminy, that was hard. I tag only three: Barb, Eva, and Watcher_Don, because after all that effort I don't have the energy to go around commenting on eight separate blogs. See above re: sloth-like and slackery. - Romance of Dubious Virtue

    Tuesday, May 08, 2007

    Kibbles and Bits.

    I'm all Ranty McRantyPants this week. Mostly due to the foolishness of OTHERS. You know...OTHERS? Those people with whom you and I don't agree? While skipping through the blogosphere, I'm forced to occasionally soften my diatribes with stuff like, "in my opinion" and "of course, your mileage may vary," and "this is pure subjectivity on my part." But here? In my own little pit of Snotty McArrogance? I'm all about the "This is how it IS, bitches. Get real or get gone."

    Christ, I just quoted Dr. Phil. Somebody pass the hemlock, stat.

    First? The unholy battle against reality being waged by Romantic Times Book Reviews. I won't bother to link, because if you aren't already conversant on the topic, it's pretty much a lost cause. You could catch up if you really tried, but I don't want to be the one who enables you.

    ANYWAY...what I want to know is this: is it really just coincidence that the two epublishers with which I'm currently most closely associated (Phaze and Amber Quill Press) have just put out their April bestseller lists, and BOTH of them are dominated by M/M and M/M/F romance? Seriously. In Phaze's case, five out of ten titles on the list are M/M, and two are M/M/F. Over at Amber Heat, the erotic imprint of Amber Quill, seven out of ten are M/M, and one is M/M/F.

    So am I to assume that this is an anomaly? That only these two pubs are selling gay and bi romance like pervy hotcakes? Because that's what I'd pretty much have to believe if I bought the Romantic Times' claim that there just isn't any audience in their print magazine for this kind of fiction.

    Of course, I'd also have to buy that there's a significant difference in the numbers between their print subscribers and their online community. Which -- I don't. I've never seen any indication of it, and I've been a subscriber and an online lurker for a while.

    And please -- the print magazine audience would be offended by reviews, but AREN'T offended by black and white and full-color ads featuring men groping each other? These ads generate sales, btw. So the audience IS there. Somebody is either lying through her teeth, or woefully ignorant about current markets.

    Some people have asked why M/M writers don't just take their marbles and go home if RT is going to be so painfully assinine* in its behavior. I say that's not how change happens. You don't slink away from idiocy like this -- you confront it, as oppressed minorities have been doing for centuries.

    Second: the proposed new Rita guidelines. My buddy Barbara Caridad Ferrer -- DOUBLE Rita finalist for her debut YA novel, ADIOS TO MY OLD LIFE -- has a rant of her own on this subject that differs from a few others I've seen having to do with the outcry over explicit sex being allowed in YA Rita submissions. Go read that.

    I left this comment on said post:

    "I've never, ever understood why people get so squeamish about the idea of teens knowing about/reading about sex, even amongst their peers. The idea that if they KNOW about it, they'll DO, gang. They're doing it ANYWAY. And have been...pretty much forever.

    I recently read a survey of people born between 1935 and 1945 -- my mother's generation, in other words. Over 80% of the female respondents said they indulged in premarital sex back when they were young. Seriously young, given the average age for marriage (for a woman) back then was around twenty.

    They did it, and they lied about it, because they didn't want to get in trouble. But nothing much has changed from that day to this in terms of sexual experimentation amoung teens. We're just more open about it.

    Good novels that reflect the reality of teenaged life in America...the REAL reality, not the sugar-coated pablum preferred by many, or the Paris Hilton-esque Gossip Girls exploitation...can only serve to elevate the genre. And a frank discussion of teen sexuality is part of that reality. Especially if in includes the pros and cons of sexual experience, and doesn't turn into a preachy diatribe that kids WON'T READ OR TAKE SERIOUSLY ANYWAY.

    No, I don't want my daughter or sons to have sex before they're ready. But I'm not the only arbiter of "readiness," and I'd like to be able to point them to some good fiction, complete with characters and situations they can relate to, when the time comes."

    * * *

    Okay, that's it for the Ranty. Now looky here: Coffee Time Romance reviews SKIN DEEP.

    "Thrilling and beautiful." Yeah, I'll take that. :)

    And finally, in case anyone is wondering? THIS is what double-Rita-nominees chat about with their crit partners on IM when they're supposed to be working on their newest proposals:

    Her: "I just casually used the words "glittery va-jay-jay" in conversation with my husband and he spit out, 'WHAT??' "

    Me: "Tell him it's also known as the Magical HooHoo." (TM Eva Gale 2007)

    Her: "Well yes. He knows of the Magical HooHoo."

    Me: "Ah. Well, they're synonymous."

    Her: "This is what I told him."

    Me: "Yes. Glittery va-jay-jay is to Magical HooHoo as Rottweiler is to big-ass dog."

    Her: "Exactly."

    Yes, that's right. DOUBLE Rita finalist and her esteemed crit partner. TREMBLE IN AWE, people.

    *No, this misspelling wasn't deliberate. But I'm leaving it, because it made Barb laugh. :p

    Edited to add...check this out. It made me snort coffee through my nose. But I'm taking a great deal of joy in the misfortune of others this week (for "others," read "persons in need of a full-time keeper") and will likely be sorry when Karma comes around and kicks me in the ass. - Romance of Dubious Virtue

    Thursday, May 03, 2007


    Mrs. Giggles reviews DIRTY SHAME.

    You know, my next post was going to be all about the..errmmm...INTERESTING business practices and policies at Romantic Times Book Reviews. Had bunches to say about Carol Stacy's analogy that M/M romance is to romantic fiction what Yoga is to NASCAR. None of it nice.

    But in light of this new development -- and by "new development," I mean MRS. GIGGLES GAVE ME AN 85, and GO READ THE REVIEW, because it's BEEE-YOO-TIFUL -- I believe I'll save my bitching and moaning for later. Who knows? Maybe by Monday, someone at RT will have taken the time to do actual market research and come to the conclusion that M/M romance is a good investment.

    Nope, not holding my breath. Mottled blue still ain't my color.

    DIRTY SHAME, available now as an ebook at Amber Quill Press, or in print later this month as part of my SIN STREET anthology. - Romance of Dubious Virtue

    Wednesday, May 02, 2007


    Well, I just don't know. Full moon? Beltane? Full moon coinciding with Beltane?

    Whatever the cause, the crazies are attempting to take over Romancelandia's little corner of the Internet. Again. (Read here, here, here, and here.)

    And this shit about the M/M author(s) being dissed by the Houston Hyatt, and the RT convention staff not standing up for them? SO not on. If RT is going to take authors' money for ad space and convention fees, they need to step up and be an advocate for said authors. As Karen Scott would say, "End. Of."

    The whole thing makes me a little nauseated.

    But on a sweeter note, somebody else likes DIRTY SHAME. :)

    And I'm really enjoying writing my own -- very first -- M/M erotic romance.
    Title: HARDCORE.
    Publisher: Phaze, as part of the Phaze Fantasies III collection.
    Tentative release date: 25 June 2007. - Romance of Dubious Virtue