Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter




From our farm to yours!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wind in White Birch - Issue # 13







It`s time once again for another issue in my free contemporary romance Wind in White Birch.


I hope you`re enjoying reading this romance as much as I`m enjoying writing it for you.

Storytime Trysts

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Book and a Cuppa - Lover At Last





I am so very proud to be a fan of J.R. Ward at this moment. Yes, I said it. And I`ll say it again. I am so proud to be a fan of J.R. Ward at this moment. She did it. She did not back down. She did not let the voices of hate dissuade her. She stood firm and she wrote one of the best M/M romance novels I have ever had the privilege of reading. Thank you, WARDen, for Lover At Last.





I promised in my last review that the next one would be a para-rom, and here it is gang! Purchased the book Tuesday, finished it Thursday. Five hundred and ninety-one pages of what Ms. Ward does best: romance, drama, action, humor, and angst. Dearest Scribe Virgin the angst! But all the suffering was worth it. The epilogue found me weeping like a young.

If you haven`t read this book, or are in the process of, beware of things being revealed.

I thought I might do this review a bit differently since I`ve been hearing so many differing complaints about the book and some of its various aspects. I thought I`d address the complaints and talk about them as they affected me as a reader.

Yes, Qhuinn and Blaylock`s tale deals with men having sex with other men. If you find that distasteful, then please, don`t read this book. It`s very simple. Or, just skip over the gay sex. For the life of me I do not understand folks buying a book that contains stuff they dislike, and then bitching because they read something they didn`t like. That confuses me. If I know a book has say graphic torture or rape depicted I don`t buy that book because I don`t like to read about such things. Simple, yes? Yes.

As a writer of M/M romance, I found the love story of these two males to be simply stunning and handled perfectly. As in any Ward book, our lovers are put through the wringer before coming together, but would we want it to be easy for them? Nah, we wouldn`t. If they fell into each other’s arms first thing out of the gate that would make a damned short and rather boring book, don`t you think? We are treated to seeing a man working through a crushing amount of history until he finally realizes who he really is. I could not help but to cheer for Qhuinn when he got to that place where he could admit to himself that he was gay. I honestly hugged the book at that moment.

Now, onto the blitzkrieg of complaints about too many sub-plots and how jarring that was for many readers. Personally I didn`t find it a problem at all, but, I have read nearly every Game of Thrones novel except for the last one, which is waiting patiently for me on my Kobo. Maybe it`s due to leaping from one character to another in Mr. Martin`s books that makes me less easily aggravated by lots of sub-plots. I liked them. It shows that the author has lots of plans for her series and characters, it brings new blood into the world, and it helps lessen the ‘Dear God The Angst!’ level a bit. If I had five hundred and ninety-one pages of nothing but Q & B`s misunderstandings, I might have gotten a slight migraine. So to me, the sub-plots weren`t a problem at all.

Speaking of sub-plots, how about Trez?! Woo and hoo, how nice to see the Shades getting some face time. This is one baby girl who is happy as a lark about this new development and can`t wait to learn more about the s`Hisbe.

Also we got a much deeper look into Assail and met a new character named Sola. I`ll be frank and say I had a little trouble getting into this relationship for some reason. As it went along Sola, the cat burglar, grew on me. Assail I found enjoyable at times, but the similarities between him and Rehvenge were rather obvious. Vampire drug lord with twins as muscle . . . we`ve kind of been there and done that, haven`t we? This is the only thing that brings the book down just a tiny notch for me. Hopefully, as this sub-plot grows in the coming books I can warm up to Assail, and he won`t be a knock off of The Reverend.

And I can`t not mention Xcor and Layla as they have what I think will turn into a huge stake in the future of this series. I like Xcor. I think he will find redemption in Layla. That doesn`t mean I trust him, after all, it was his band of Bastards that put the bullet into Wrath`s neck. But I suspect that things are going to blow up with the Lessening Society and somewhere down the line, it`s going to have to be vampires VS. slayers flat out, and that may be where we see Xcor and his motley crew step into being the kind of men the Brothers need to battle this darkness. Or I could be out in left field with a hockey stick.

Oh, and lest I forget, thank goodness Layla is showing some spine. I like it! It`s about damned time we see a Chosen getting some gumption. Maybe it will spread through her to her sisters somehow and infuse them with chutzpah. She has a long road to go with this pregnancy. My fingers are crossed for her, Qhuinn, and their young.

What have I forgot to touch on? Let`s see . . .the action is great. Plane crashes into yards?! This is Bruce Willis ‘Yippee-Kai-Yay Mother Fooper!’ type of action and I loved it! A new fore-lesser which generally means trouble, sticks his nose into the mix. We touch base with all our favorites from past books. It`s like sitting down in The Pit with family. Oh yes, and we touch lightly on Beth`s desire for young while others are plotting to use her half-human blood in yet another scheme to try to toss Wrath to the side. Ah, plots and back-stabbings and secrets and lust and lies and sex and liaisons and murder and yet more sex. And the sex is hot, hot, hotter than hell to quote KISS. If you`re a fan of man on man love, make sure you have a few fans going or a snow bank to dive into.

If I didn`t know better I`d think I stumbled out of Caldwell right into King`s Landing. Yes, that is a compliment of the highest caliber. Lover At Last had everything I could ask for. I am thrilled to be able to slap a five star rating on this book and recommend it highly.





Thursday, March 28, 2013

I`m Visiting Today







Yep, I`m over at my good buddy Kayelle McClive`s blog to chat about goats, gods, and how similar someone is to their leading lady.


Kayelle McClive

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Email Etiquette

It has been awhile since I`ve felt the need to drag my soapbox out.






Most generally I`m a pretty placid goatherder/writer as you all know. I chug along through life and try not to let things get under my skin. But every once in awhile something works under my epidermis like a sliver off a chunk of maple wood and I just have to dig that splinter out before it festers. Instead of using tweezers I sometimes like to use the verbal method of extracting that sharp bit of wood.

What has happened to common courtesy when corresponding with people? I speak of the world of emailing, which has pretty much replaced letter writing and phone conversations, making us even less interactive with real people, but that`s a different splinter for a different day. Has there been some sort of memo sent out that I missed? Is it that hard to reply to a person and let them know that you did, in fact, get their email?

It doesn`t have to be a tome, or a novella, or even a short story. Just a simple ‘Got it!’ will suffice. I find it incredibly rude to leave a person sitting and waiting, wondering if the missive got lost in that dark and binary filled world called The Internet. Did Joe get my message? Is he mad? Did I offend?



You look in your sent box. Yes, there is the letter to Joe (or Susie or pick a business because this is a terrible trend I have had to deal with over the past two months with a very prominent business I am working with) so I did reply. You wait and wonder. You don`t ever get a ‘Return to Sender ‘gram.*Insert Elvis song here* Days go by. Your project is delayed. And so, not knowing, you send another email to Joe.

Hey buddy, did you get my last email?’

Perhaps Joe or Susie or the business person replies. Or perhaps they do not. Now another week has passed. Your project is now pushed back another seven days.

Or, they do reply with a nonchalant –

‘Oh yeah, I read it.’

And you didn`t reply?!?! How discourteous can a person be? It takes three seconds to type ‘Message Received’. Maybe four if you have trouble spelling ‘received’ and need to respell a few times so Spell-check knows what word you are looking for. Four seconds. Is that asking so much?

I`m sorry, but I find this to be just as impolite as calling someone and leaving a message and they never call back. It is a slap to my face, as if my time is of no value and therefore why should they bother to respond. Well, my friends, my time is valuable. And so is my friendship and business. If you cannot take the time to respond to me, then do not expect me to go out of my way to accommodate you.

And for any business person out there here is my little word of advice. Do not make your client track you down for information. Keep them in the loop. Go through your emails daily and reply to every single customer that is sitting in that inbox. The fastest way to lose a customer is to ignore them.



Okay, now that I have that out from under my skin, I feel much better. What do you think? Am I off the mark and being too sensitive? Or are manners and courtesy sadly lacking in the world? Let me know how you feel down in the comment section.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Wind in White Birch - Issue # 12








It`s time once again for another issue in my free contemporary romance Wind in White Birch.


I hope you`re enjoying reading this romance as much as I`m enjoying writing it for you.

Storytime Trysts

Friday, March 22, 2013

I`m Having A Giveaway!



That`s right, every Friday from now until the release of Of Heroes & Hay Bales, I`ll be giving away a free copy of the Smashwords edition of Of Gods & Goats. Winning is easy. Simply be the first person with the correct answer for the question below and you grab the free book! Easy as pie, right? So, dust off that Greek mythology trivia knowledge and play along! Those who enter, make sure you leave your contact information (Such as email or Facebook page link) so I can send you the coupon code for your free book.


Here we go!


In Heroes & Hay Bales, we get to meet another member of Ares` family. This god is the overseer of shepherd and woodlands. He also challenged Apollo to a musical duel. Name the Greek god pictured below.






Good luck!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Cuppa and a Book - Fighting to Survive








Time once again for another chat about another book! I just love reading and spreading the word about good books. And the book I`m reviewing today is a good book, but, in my opinion - which isn`t worth enough for a stick of gum - it could have been a great book if not for one point that really detracted from it for me. So let`s cream and sugar and stir and talk about Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater.






First off, yes, it is another zombie book. I know, I know, but I write gay zombie comedic romances and like to keep up with the other writers in my genre. I promise, the next review will be about a paranormal romance. I did review the first book in this As the World Dies series, The First Days, and if memory serves it pulled in a respectable four star rating. Sadly, this second book falls a little short of the four star realm.

We still have the two female leads, Jenni and Katie, facing off against a world that has gone to hell in the proverbial hand-basket. The author does a fine job of giving us lots of action and drama, suspense and romance. There is a genuinely harrowing few chapters as our gang of survivors clears out a hotel. Search and rescue teams come and go, bringing back supplies and survivors. Conflicts arise inside the fort among the characters. The characters are faced with a vigilante handing out their own justice, an attempted rape, and then a run in with bandits that have been terrorizing the locals, using the end of the world for an excuse to murder, rape, and pillage. You know, they`re your basic buttheads bandits.

The survival aspect of this book is really nicely done. Character interaction as well as plots and sub-plots move along well and are woven neatly. We get a very interesting look into the rebuilding of a society as elections are held for the first time.

The only complaint I had was that I felt cheated by the fact that Katie was not kept a lesbian. Yes, I know bisexuality is real and I accept those who love both genders. Hey, you`re looking at a woman who pens M/M erotica so there is no bias of any kind here. It just felt it was a little too pat of a way out of a potentially tricky situation for the writer to me. I think Ms. Frater could have done so much more with her lead if she had been brave enough to say she`s a lesbian and find a love for Katie that wasn`t so predictably heterosexual. By the end of this book not only is Katie in love with Travis, the new mayor and all-around best guy of the fort, she is pregnant and all is peachy-fluffy in the fort.

So much could have been addressed if the author had walked a tougher road. Yes, sometimes it is very difficult to make readers accept a gay man or lesbian fighting zombies. But that doesn`t mean you shouldn`t try. Just because they aren`t the typical Tallahassee tough guy hetero does not mean they can`t still carry a book or kick the crap out of zombies. So, yeah, I felt kind of cheated by this sugar and spice traditional relationship just sprouting of the air. So now instead of having a lead that is a little unstable and this kick-ass lesbian, we have two women who are so la-la in love I could barely tolerate the sugar rush. And one is pregnant now. So we went from Thelma & Louise in book one to As the Undead Turns in book two. And that is why I couldn`t give this book anything above a three.



Overall it’s a good book; it just left me wondering what the hell happened and why.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tuesday Tales - Tight



Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales again. This week I`ll be sharing an excerpt from my WIP (Work In Progress) All I Want for Christmas, a holiday themed M/M romantic comedy that was born from a previous picture prompt here on Tuesday Tales. This story is completed and is now in the first round of editing.


This week our word prompt is ‘Tight’. Since this is a rough draft there may be some mistakes. I do apologize for any boo-boo you may find.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!





“Wow,” I huffed, letting my fingers dance over his thick bicep, “You sure do know how to win your houseguest`s hearts.” I was teasing while debating about leaning in to capture his mouth again. That never happened though because when I glanced from his swollen lips I noticed that the man looked like he had just seen a specter.

“I think we should call a tow truck,” he announced brusquely. My sex-drugged brain was slower than normal. He got to his feet clumsily to dress.

“Uhm . . . what?” I asked sharply. “That`s what you have to say? I`m sorry for my confusion but didn`t we just share something intimate and special here?”

Cooper shook his head. My mouth dropped open.”Ah, so that`s it,” I said icily a moment later, “Okay, I get it. Jesus on a holy cracker, you are the biggest coward I have ever had the misfortune of meeting! Go call the tow truck. I`ll just borrow a shovel and dig out then wait by my car.” I pushed to my feet, incensed and hurt and feeling as stupid as a man could. I couldn`t find my clothes quickly enough.

“Alex, I didn`t mean – You`re just too – It`s not as simple as-”

“It is that simple, Cooper. It is just that simple.” I shoved past him, clipping him with a hard shoulder shot that made the man grunt. I threw on my clothes and out into the cold I went, my burning anger and indignation keeping me well warmed. A shovel rested beside his back door. It was ripped from its spot. I waded out into the driveway, cursing the millions of diamonds that glistened on the snows crusty top. I had never been so thoroughly humiliated and hurt. I called myself terrible names for allowing him to weasel into my emotions so easily.

Each shovel of snow that flew over my back was a heated expletive aimed at myself first and Cooper second. I had to berate myself because Cooper was just being who he was. He had been forthright throughout. It was me that had weakened. It was me that had kissed him first. And yes, it was still me that would go back if he came out here and asked me to. I was just tugging the driver`s side door open when a bright yellow tow truck came rattling down the freshly plowed road. His chains were noisome but necessary.

“Got a call you need someone to tug you out? You need a tow afterwards?” the driver, a man with only a few teeth and a wad of chewing tobacco between his lip and gum, asked. I shook my head. I would sooner walk back to Craggy Falls then ride anywhere with this man. He spat, splattering the white snow with brown juice. I turned away from the sight.

“I should be fine once you pull me out,” I said, closing the door and stepping to safety while Pete the Spitting Tow Truck driver did what he had to do. It took but a moment and my Camry was sitting pretty, all cleared from the snow that had trapped her two days ago. I dug into my glove box and handed him the emergency twenty I carry. He didn`t seem overly pleased but shoved the greenback into his pants pocket before heading off for the next stranded traveler. Or maybe I was the only asscake that had been out during the storm.

Two days ago. It felt much longer than that. It felt like I had been a part of this man`s life for years, centuries perhaps. Correction, I could have been a part of it if not for his fear of commitment and my rabid desire for the white picket fence, two and a half kids, and a terrier named Checkers.

“Ho-fucking-ho,” I snarled then dropped into my car, never once using the rearview until I crossed the NY/PA border. Even then something knotted up tightly in my throat when I saw the Keystone state growing smaller and smaller then disappearing from sight altogether.



Copyright ©by V.L. Locey



*~*~*

We`ll be taking a week off next week, so that our Tuesday Tales writers can travel and celebrate the holiday weekend with family. We`ll be back the following week to continue our tales.
For more great free reads by talented writers just click the link below-

Tuesday Tales







Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wind in White Birch - Issue # 11









It`s time once again for another issue in my free contemporary romance Wind in White Birch.


I hope you`re enjoying reading this romance as much as I`m enjoying writing it for you.


Storytime Trysts

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Book and a Cuppa - Warm Bodies



Hi there gang! It`s been awhile since I`ve done a lone book review. I do apologize but I`ve been reading series from one end to the other. First it was BDB to get ready for the new book from the WARDen due out on March 26th. Then I got merrily immersed in the Tales of the City series by Armistead Maupin. I still have a couple of those yet to read but I did sneak this book in between Michael Tolliver`s romances and dramas. I finally got around to reading Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion.



Since I`ve been writing zombie romance comedies – or Zom-Rom-Com – to quote my friend, Kevin Coolidge, I`ve found myself more and more interested in other novels in my genre. Granted, most aren`t gay erotic zombie tales but the general themes seem to carry through. I came across this book by seeing the trailers for the movie that just came out a month or so ago. I have not yet seen the movie but I thought I had a general idea of the premise from the trailer.

Either I was wrong or the movie was much funnier than the novel. Please note that the book is not toted as a Zom-Rom-Com but merely as a Zom-Rom which is where I think folks may be misled. While there are moments that are amusing this book is not a comedy. It is endearing, moving, powerful, romantic, and entertaining though.

The book is about a zombie known as ‘R’ who lives in a post-apocalyptic world. R falls in love with Julie, the girlfriend of a young man whose brains R recently ate. Yes, I know, the premise sounds a bit squicky for non-zombie fans but don`t give up on it just yet. R and Julie will grow on you. It seems that the zombies in Mr. Marion`s world appropriate the memoires of the people they ingest. R saves Julie and takes her back to his home at the airport where they begin to know each other. It would spoil if I told much more from here on out, so I won`t.

R is an amazing character in that he holds onto his emotions after his infection. That is a rarity in most zombie books. I`m not saying it is good or bad as I`m a fan of the Romero zombies personally, but it does make R unique. He clings to what made him human and he wishes to return to that sublime state. He wants to be more than he currently is, and I think we can all relate to that.

Julie is a wonderful young woman. She`s tough, tender, assertive, straight forward about what she wants and needs yet still has moments of utter childlike need. The world building isn`t anything spectacular, it`s pretty much our world now with zombies. The action is pretty nicely bundled and the plot is tight. The secondary characters are engaging, especially R`s buddy M, the undead ladies man.

A potentially distasteful romance is handled with delicacy and sensitivity. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good zombie yarn. I found it to be a very enjoyable book about what makes us human and give it a solid four stars.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Tuesday Tales - Picture Prompt




Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales again. This week I`ll be sharing an excerpt from my WIP (Work In Progress) All I Want for Christmas, a holiday themed M/M romantic comedy that was born from a previous picture prompt here on Tuesday Tales. This story is completed and is now in the first round of editing.


We have a picture prompt this week so the excerpt is written to reflect the image and must be under 300 words. Since this is a rough draft there may be some mistakes. I do apologize for any boo-boo you may find.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!







Hoping to find some solace and not freeze off my dangly man bits, I pushed into Cooper`s studio. I hurried to close the door behind me. The small renovated barn was chilly. I flipped the lights on then proceeded to stoke the barrel woodstove. Smoke slipped into the room as I closed the stove door, mixing with the aroma of turpentine.

I strolled along, looking at oil paintings on the log walls of Canadian geese on ponds, black bears eating berries, Eastern wild turkeys strutting, a ruffed grouse on a log, and a crystal clear brook - iced on the edges - with a huge grouping of native trout just under the surface.

Cooper could paint wildlife like no other artist I had ever seen. Each fin, feather or furred rendition seemed to breathe and twitch as you studied the canvas. I paused by an easel, and being the sort of man I am, I lifted the paint speckled cloth.

I stared at a fall scene with golden leaved trees and a bright green rhododendron, its flowers long spent. A weak looking split-rail fence ran through the setting. I could find no sign of any Pennsylvania wildlife, Cooper`s bread and butter.

I wondered what he had in mind for this painting. I wondered what he had in mind for us. Hell, I wondered what I had in mind for us. I let the tarp flutter back down to cover the unfinished work. It was too damned hard to try to foresee the future, be it a painting or a relationship.



Copyright ©by V.L. Locey



*~*~*



For more great free reads by talented writers just click the link below-

Tuesday Tales

See you next week with more from Alex and Cooper!





Saturday, March 9, 2013

Wind in White Birch - Issue # 10








It`s time once again for another issue in my free contemporary romance Wind in White Birch.

I hope you`re enjoying reading this romance as much as I`m enjoying writing it for you.

Storytime Trysts

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tuesday Tales - Green

Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales again. This week I`ll be sharing an excerpt from my WIP (Work In Progress) All I Want for Christmas, a holiday themed M/M romantic comedy that was born from a previous picture prompt here on Tuesday Tales. This story is completed and is now in the first round of editing.


This week our word prompt is ‘Green’. Since this is a rough draft there may be some mistakes. I do apologize for any boo-boo you may find.

Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!

*~*~*






I`d just like to say bugger Ben Franklin for coming up with the ditty ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’ Bullshit. All it does is make a man run down, thereby making him too exhausted to perform well on the job, and since his brain is mush from sleep deprivation he is far from wise. Throwing the duvet aside I stared up at the skylight and enjoyed the stars twinkling above Cooper`s rustic homestead. Turning in at nine sounds good in theory, but in reality it sucks.

I now had my seven hours in, it was four o’clock in the freaking morning and I was wide awake. Cooper`s soft snores bounced off the logs. I was terribly overheated. Lofts are great ideas but all that heat coming up makes it feel like you`re sleeping beside a blast furnace. Sitting there like a frump I swore I would not concede to the tossing, turning, sweaty nights rest as having anything to do with the sinfully sensual man sleeping on his sofa. Nope. I had made up my mind. My guns had been stuck to. Yippee for me and my morals.

Tossing the thousand count sheet to the floor I got dressed in more of my host`s clothing. Like a thief I snuck down the stairs. I didn`t want to wake Cooper so fiddling in the kitchen was out, as was watching TV. With nothing else to do I pulled Coop`s boots back onto my feet, slid my arms into his parka, grabbed a pair of gloves from a basket beside the coat rack and stepped outside.

The cold air was brisk and made me shiver at first. I hugged myself and stepped down the few stairs to the path between house and studio. The moon was round and white. It really did give the luster of mid-day to objects below. I wondered why Cooper didn`t have a tall green Christmas tree yet. It wasn`t like he`d have to go far to get one. Maybe he didn`t observe that tradition.

I paced the walk a few times. I`ll be damned but for a man who had stuck to his moral convictions so nicely I was having one hell of a time coming to terms with my decision. Maybe I shouldn`t be such a straight-laced Annie all the time. Perhaps I should march inside, peel off my clothes and tell Cooper to use and abuse me like a Black & Decker.





Copyright ©by V.L. Locey



*~*~*



For more great free reads by talented writers just click the link below-

Tuesday Tales

See you next week with more from Alex and Cooper!



Saturday, March 2, 2013

Wind in White Birch - Issue # 9






It`s time once again for another issue in my free contemporary romance Wind in White Birch.

I hope you`re enjoying reading this romance as much as I`m enjoying writing it for you.


Storytime Trysts