Tag Archives: mm

NSFW art from 1600

I was trying to post this in a group and failed utterly. I do know how to do an HTML link, so maybe it’s Goodreads and not me. >..< It’s purty, and I wanted to share. The artist’s mane is Agostino Carracci (1557–1602) and for some reason, the title is Le Satyre et la Nymphe. Um, Satyre looks like Satyre, all right, but that is the most muscular nymph I have ever seen.

If anyone is going to show me etchings, this is the kind I want them to show.

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Que bella: on the Dreamspinner Coming Soon page

FireontheMountainITLGJake and Kurt are back, this time in Italian! Find it at our favorite mm publisher, Dreamspinner.

Serie Le montagne, Libro 1

Prendersi una pausa dallo studio, godersi le Colorado Rockies e spegnere un incendio ogni tanto: questo è tutto ciò che Jake Landon si aspettava quando aveva deciso di fare il ranger. Avrebbe avuto come compagno un vecchio montanaro, avrebbero fatto dei giri di ricognizione su una jeep, scambiato poche parole, e il montanaro sarebbe stato tutto tranne che attraente. Un parco nazionale è abbastanza grande da nascondere il segreto di Jake, che ha deciso di passare il suo tempo libero a pescare.

Se non fosse che il vecchio montanaro si rivela Kurt Carlson: competente, sicuro di sé e con parecchia esperienza. Per non parlare del fatto che è giovane, bello, amichevole, e considera i vestiti un optional quando si sta in mezzo alla natura insieme a un altro uomo. Condividere il piccolo rifugio con quella tentazione vivente mette a dura prova la resistenza di Jake: gli sta inviando dei segnali oppure è il comportamento abituale di Kurt? E come reagirebbe Kurt se scoprisse che il suo nuovo partner ha intenzione di occuparsi di incendi di tutt’altra natura? Jake è terrorizzato perché, qualsiasi cosa succeda, dovranno vivere insieme per cinque mesi.

Tra i due ranger ci sono abbastanza scintille da far andare a fuoco gli alberi, ma servirà un inferno di fiamme per far ammettere a Jake e Kurt la passione che divampa tra loro.

Racconto breve omaggio: Tra le montagne.

Molto prima di incontrare Jake, Kurt Carlson scalava lo Yosemite con il suo migliore amico, Benji. Dopo che un temporale li blocca durante la scalata sul muro di El Capitan, Kurt deve accettare che la loro amicizia non è quello che pensava.

It’s the strangest thing to know that here’s a book I wrote, in a form that I can’t read, but that inspires me to learn a new language.

For the Italian readers: find it here.

A word on the condom issue

condom-couture-dress-made-of-condoms-for-aids-charityRecently I received a very nice review for Scrum. The reader enjoyed the story, but snickered a little at the lack of condom=no anal sex business. While this is his right, it also makes me worry. He defined it as “something that appeals to women readers.”

I know, because I have gay friends, gay acquaintances, and read a lot, that condom use and safer sex practices are far from universal. The moment gets away from you, the other guy is so damned hot, you trust what he said about his status, you don’t believe that HIV is a problem, whatever.

Except, it’s not whatever. It’s someone’s life. Many someones.

CDC estimates that approximately 50,000 people in the United States are newly infected with HIV each year. In 2010 (the most recent year that data are available), there were an estimated 47,500 new HIV infections.a Nearly two thirds of these new infections occurred in gay and bisexual men.

I’m old enough to remember when being diagnosed with AIDS meant not starting long novels. I remember friends coughing their way down to 89 lb skeletons. I remember going to funerals for men who should have had many vibrant decades ahead of them.

Yes, we have a whole host of drugs now that we didn’t then. I’m a pharmacist in my other life; I dispense a lot of them. To young, youngish, medium, and older men. I worked for a while in the Infectious Diseases pharmacy at a major hospital. I talked to men older than their years who picked up meds for themselves and their partner, and heard that Partner was fine, but sometimes Partner wasn’t doing so well. I counseled young men on side effects, dosing times, and condom use and saw yeah yeah, lady, save it for someone who cares in their eyes. I saved the condom talk for last because I needed them to still be listening when I explained take this-avir and that-avir together, space other-avir out by an hour, don’t take antacids at all, it deactivates one of them. And finish all the antibiotics, because a case of syphilis that travels to the brain is a bad thing.

And my heart broke a little for the young ones, the ones coming in for the first time, because if someone had given them the condom talk and made it stick back when, maybe they wouldn’t be standing in my window now.

This was in 2007.

I left the ID Clinic and went back to long term care, which really means nursing homes. I still dispense a lot of HAART (Highly active anti-retroviral therapy), this time to men with HIV encephalopathy. Their brains resemble a good grade of Swiss cheese; they can’t look after themselves. They’re in their forties, fifties and sixties, institutionalized, and instead of spending their time with lovers and friends, they have the psychotic and demented residents to hang out with for the next twenty years. They don’t dance under the flashing lights, or walk their dogs in the park, or paint, or read, or build something, or even maintain much of a conversation. Sure, their condition isn’t progressing, they aren’t crawling with opportunistic infections, but this isn’t a life I would wish on anyone.

A lot of people take their meds, live their lives, which is great; it’s medicine at work, managing a chronic condition that’s been beaten back to the level of aggravating, not threatening. But the meds still govern their lives, telling them to swallow this now, this other in a while, don’t eat this or drink that, it interacts. Don’t go skiing in the mountains without a handful of pills, don’t fly to Paris just because it’s spring unless all those bottles come along, and they’d better be full enough to last the trip.

So yeah, the whole condom issue appeals to women and gets written into a lot of m/m romance. We love our gay friends and family and treasure their well-being; we value our characters and project our concern onto them. We women have all grown up knowing something that not all men understand or want to acknowledge:

There’s stuff in semen that can completely change your life.

Blog hopping: Back to School

Classes start early in our district: my sons have been in class for days by the time you read this. Welcome to the Back to School Blog Hop! We’re traveling through m/m authors’ blogs from Aug 23 to Aug 30, and you’re welcome to put your name in the hat for some rather nice prizes. 😀

fireonthemountainThe promise/threat of more school is a running thread in three of my Mountain novels. Going to class is not only a goal and a step toward a future for Jake Landon, it’s also a source of terror. By following Jake through three books on his journey to his intended profession, I got to torture examine Jake’s feelings about both pharmacy school and what that means for him and his lover, Kurt Carlson.

snowonthemountainSince Jake needs to establish residency in order to cope with tuition, he’s headed to the high country of Colorado to be a forest ranger for a summer. He likes his life in the wilderness, and one extra benefit of this interim job is that he can sort out his personal issues without affecting academic performance. Okay, in Fire on the Mountain and Snow on the Mountain I did give him more urgent things to think about than classes.

Jake’s formal education is definitely an issue in Mistletoe on the Mountain, the short story that comes with Snow. Kurt’s Christmas present to Jake is more than a gift—it’s an opinion.

It’s a very short window in Colorado between the end of ski season and the beginning of fire season. When the snows recede and Kurt and Jake head back to the national forest, it’s with the understanding that Jake will be in class this fall. Kurt plans to join him once fire season’s over. They’ll only be apart a few weeks. Or will they?

Blood on the Mountain PD SingerJake’s really ambivalent about following through on his plan. He has more reasons and methods for putting off his schooling than Carter has little pills. Kurt doesn’t have a lot of patience for that: he’s not about to let Jake derail his professional plans without a fight. And fight they do—Blood on the Mountain has them battling discussing this issue, among other things.

Here’s an excerpt from this discussion. Kurt has his own demons about school, which Jake didn’t know about.

*****************

“How can I leave this wilderness one minute before winter drives us away, Kurt?” I spoke to the dancing reflection of the moon in the water.

“By keeping your eye on the larger prize.” Kurt rested his hand on mine. “Unless your dreams have changed.”

“No, but… I don’t want to go yet.”

“It gets harder to go back the longer you’ve been away from it. Trust me, I know.”

“How?” I knew he’d gone to the University of Colorado in Boulder. We’d even overlapped a couple of years although he was an upperclassman then and we’d never met.

“I graduated high school early because I got the offer to join the ski team. My dad tried to talk me out of it, because I had a ski scholarship offer. I could do both, he said—ski competitively and get my education. But Boise State U versus going to Norway and Austria and skiing against the Hermanator and Jorey Taylor? Not much of a contest.”

“No, not even close.”

“So I joined the team, seventeen years old and thinking I was hot shit, and maybe I was for a while, although I never won a thing, never even stood on the podium.” Kurt paused, curling his fingers between mine, squeezing from the top. “And then I had that stupid, stupid unicycle accident.”

I refrained from saying that unicycle accidents couldn’t sound like anything but stupid, but he’d told me this part—balance training with Jorey. He’d come off a parking barrier wrong.

“No place on the team, no education, no prospects, just a bum ankle and enough money saved to get the education and the prospects. But I’d been away for a couple of years, I’d be older than the other freshmen, I’d this, I’d that…. I tried every argument in the book. Cliff got so tired of it that he threatened to drown me in the stock tank just so he wouldn’t have to hear it again.”

“How close did you get to the cow-spit water?” I’d been pushing Kurt’s limits the last few days and there was a lake right in front of me.

“I didn’t actually get wet, but the whole family finally ganged up on me. They sat at the kitchen table with me in relays until I filled out applications, and made me rewrite essays until they were satisfied to the last comma.” He snorted softly. “I would really hate to have to subject you to Cliff, Vanessa, Larry, Polly, and my dad all giving you the beady eye about your education, but I have been trained by the best.”

“We aren’t going to Wyoming just to let your family harangue me.” Just the thought of meeting my lover’s family, let alone his family with an agenda, disturbed the peace of the evening.  “I’m going back, Kurt, but—”

“No buts.” Everything in his demeanor changed—his soft storytelling became contempt between the capital and the period of what he said next. “If your dreams have changed, Jake, say so, but I think you’re afraid of the competition.”

Kurt had never sneered at me like that. Laughed at me, sure, laughed with me, more times than I could count, but he’d never sneered, even when I’d confessed my only experience on horseback had been at summer camp. So taken aback that I couldn’t come up with anything to reply, even nonsense. I spluttered, all dignity gone.

“Yup, instead of you being the smartest guy in the room, you’re gonna be sitting with a hundred other people who are all used to being the smartest ones in the room. Maybe even smarter than you.”

I found my voice, finally. “I am not afraid of the competition!”

“Then your ass is gonna be in class in September, and I’ll be there when fire season’s over.”

I wasn’t so pissed that I didn’t recognize the trap he’d just sprung on me. “I’m going, Kurt, but I’ll be even older and smarter next year.”

“You’ll be one year further from the discipline of the classroom, a year more used to living out in the world, and the young ones who haven’t had two years to forget all their organic chemistry are gonna eat your lunch.”

I jumped to my feet, trying to leave this idea behind. “No, they won’t!” I stood at the edge of the water, secure in my belief that Kurt wasn’t moving fast enough yet to dunk me.

“Because you aren’t going to fart around an extra year.” Kurt spoke from right behind me.

The jolt made me easy prey—one strong hand at the small of my back launched me forward. The water slapped me, sucking me down. Thrashing to find the surface, I inhaled a snootful of lake, choking even after I found the air. I glowered at the Kurt-shaped blank in the night sky.

“Not as gross as the stock tank, but it will do.”

********

It’s not always easy to go back to classes, but some career paths require extended education. Jake’s chosen one such, and to rethink classes is to rethink his life. He needs to examine his, but Kurt’s got a point—it isn’t Jake’s schooling that needs contemplation.

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Blood on the Mountain PD SingerJake Landon thinks a second ranger season in the Colorado Rockies with Kurt Carlson is close enough to heaven, and a national forest is big enough to be his closet. Pharmacy school—and the luxuries of electricity and running water—can wait, maybe forever, as long as Jake doesn’t have to come out. He doesn’t plan on Kurt’s vision of his future being as narrow and direct as the single track roads through the trees.

“Your future, your fear, and me,” Kurt tells Jake. “You can have two of the three, so choose wisely.” Jake may have no choices left after they stumble on armed men guarding a beautiful but deadly crop that doesn’t belong among the pines and spruces. Angry men with guns are only one danger in the Colorado wilderness, and Jake’s reluctance to come out is now his smallest problem.

Kurt’s skills and Jake’s silver tongue may not be enough to get them out of this mess—how much of the blood shed on the mountain will be theirs?

Available from Dreamspinner, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, and other fine e-tailers.

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Training Cats–it’s for real

Training cats3Now that I’ve tortured you all with the misery of blurb-writing, it’s time to let you read the story. ;D

Training Cats features Keith and Dante’s buddy Brent, who needs their help rather badly. Now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks, and Rainbow eBooks.

Close enough to touch, and still out of reach—Evan rings the PriceCo pharmacy register for Brent and keeps his thoughts about the pharmacist to himself. He dies a little inside every time he sees Brent with Tyler—why does Brent let that jerk treat him like dirt?

After one humiliation too many, Brent’s asking himself that same question. He has a better chance of teaching a cat to sit and stay than of convincing handsome, self-centered Tyler to be thoughtful. It’s time to be single again.

With the right bait, Evan can teach a cat to roll over or a man to see what’s before his eyes. He might need Kitty Noms, or a touch of kindness, a pinch of consideration, and a trail of M&Ms.