Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lisa Henry Hates Marine Life

If you filled out one of those character sheets about me and had to list my primary motivation, the driving force of my entire existence, it would be to be warm.

I'm always cold. Even when it's supposedly warm out. Those saunas they tell you not to spend more than ten minutes in? I feel like I could live in one of those, no problem.

New Zealand's wonderful, but it's not that warm this time of year. So when I got a great deal on a two-week trip to Australia in November, I seized it. Because despite some of the things I've said about Australia over the last couple of years, I have always wanted to go there. Mostly to see the Great Barrier Reef.

And to be warm.

I'm not really sure how big Australia is. I picture it about the size of Russia, but a blobbier shape (I'm told it's actually closer to the size of the US, but my mind has rarely been affected by facts). Like Russia, I imagine most of it's uninhabited--probably due to drop bears, crocs, snakes, land-adapted sharks, dinosaurs, angry kangaroos, Hugh Jackman, general laziness, etc. 

Knowing my bus would go through Queensland, I contacted my dear friend/eternal nemesis Lisa Henry to let her know I'd be somewhere in the potentially Russia-sized neighborhood, and to see if she was anywhere near where I'd be going. It seemed like a long shot, since I've always sort of pictured Lisa living in a hut in the middle of nowhere, and not in a tourist destination.

But I discovered that Lisa has been holding out on me. Because she lives in a town RIGHT NEXT TO the Great Barrier Reef. What I didn't understand was how she could have failed to mention this before. I mean, we've been e-mailing for nearly two years now. And never once has she told tales about stingrays that swim up to her window at breakfast (apparently I also picture Lisa living in a submarine) or how she was nearly killed by a jellyfish in her backyard (a submarine with a yard).

And then I found out why.

It's because Lisa Henry doesn't care about the Great Barrier Reef.

"Oh yeah," she said airily* when I told her I couldn't wait to see it. "It's...meh."

Meh, she said. About the Great Barrier Reef.

"It's some coral and pretty fish," she said.

I pointed out that there are also sea turtles, stingrays, and my favorite creatures on the face of the earth--after dogs--sharks.

"I could take you to the aquarium," she said.

The aquarium.

As though that's even remotely the same thing as a natural wonder of the world.

I thought about trying to explain about how magical it feels when I'm face to face with marine life, or about the book my dad read me as a kid about a girl who befriends a manta ray, and how much I wanted to be that girl, but I didn't see the point. Because if Lisa Henry needs to take a shit and can't find a toilet, she'll just use my dreams.

I'll still go visit her at the end of November, though. She's promised to take me to see crocodiles, an activity she seems to have selected specifically because she knows they're the only animal I fear. I, in turn, have promised to introduce her to Thanksgiving, which somehow seems like a nicer gesture than, "Hey, look, there's a crocodile; how's you're unending, soul-deep terror doing?" But I suppose there's no need to make this post about who's a better person.

I've also challenged her to play me in MarioKart 64, which, like the Fischer-Spassky chess match of 1972, will be not merely about the game, but also about nationality. I think whoever wins should officially be declared the one who speaks correct English. I'll make Toad's Turnpike my bitch, not just for me, but for America.

So yeah, get your thongs-not-the-buttcrack-kind on. Because in a few weeks, it'll be time for Thunder Down Under 2013 (working title). First I have to survive a long hiking thingy here in NZ. And see if I can get my Valu-Pak of Ramen through Australian customs. I paid $2.89 for it, and I'd hate to have to leave it behind.

Also, since I'm on a computer that's running Windows 98, it seems only right that I use MS Paint to hastily illustrate where I imagine Lisa lives. 

*this was over e-mail, so I'm not sure how she actually said it. But I imagine it was all kinds of airily.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Who's Ready for Another Cover?

It's THE BOY WHO BELONGED, coming December 17th from Loose Id! Fiona Jayde designed the cover, and the blurb looks something like this:

Twenty-one year-old Lane Moredock finally has a normal life. Six months after he was wrongly made a suspect in his parents’ Ponzi scheme, he’s settled down with his older boyfriend, Derek, and is working and attending school. But his happiness is threatened when his mother launches a Christmastime PR campaign to help appeal her prison sentence, and asks introverted Lane to be part of it.

Derek Fields has his hands full taking Santa photos, bird-sitting his sister’s foul-mouthed macaw, and helping Lane prepare for a television interview neither of them wants him to do. As he eases Lane through his anxiety, he worries that Lane sees him as a caretaker rather than a boyfriend, and that their age difference really does matter. He and Lane compensate for the stress in their lives by taking their D/s relationship to new levels--a relationship that Lane’s mother insists he should be ashamed of. 

As Christmas draws nearer, the pressure builds. Pushy elves. Snarky subs. A bad fight. A parrot in peril. How the hell is Derek going to give Lane a perfect Christmas when the Moredock legacy threatens to pull them apart before the new year?

Lisa and I had a good time revisiting these characters--especially Mr. Zimmerman. And we get to actually meet Lane's mother in this one, which is exciting!

In other news, I am nerding it up in New Zealand, visiting various Lord of the Rings filming locations. Here is a picture of some Scottish girls and me recreating the scene where Frodo sees the silhouette of the back rider up on the hill. I'm the horse's back end.

Ok, ours isn't quite as scary. Or maybe it's scarier, because we actually took the time to do this. I have pictures even nerdier than this one, but oddly enough, the one where I'm pretending to be a horse's ass seemed the most dignified.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Public Floggings, How I Researched Hula Hoop Sex, and more...

Holy crap, I had a good time last night on Write on the Edge, a blog talk radio show dedicated to LGBT and BDSM writing. It got DIRTY! Mychael Black and Vicktor Alexander asked me all manner of inappropriate things, and I...answered the questions. Totally willingly. Mom, if you ever listen to this, I'm so sorry.

Did we talk about fisting? Yep. Did we talk about whether I do anything "special" when I write sex scenes? Uh huh. Did I let slip about those 5 minutes with Mistress Debbie I swore I'd never tell anyone about? Oops. And what IS Vicktor bringing to GRL in 2014? You can find out here:

And from that link you can search and listen to lots of episodes of WOE with awesomely awesome guest authors. Woo!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

WOE is Me

All right, so I'm not being a very good blogger...but mostly because the Internet sitch isn't the best in the land of counterclockwise flushing toilets. But, if Skype cooperates, I will be a guest on Write On the Edge (WOE) on blog talk radio this Thursday October 24 at 10 pm central time. Vicktor Alexander hosts, and I think some of the questions get kinda naughty, so it should be a good time. If I manage to show up at the right time. This day ahead thing throws me, but it's awesome when I forget a family member's birthday, because as long as I remember the next day, it's still their birthday in their hemisphere.

In other news, it looks like a 12/17 release for THE BOY WHO BELONGED!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Have you all seen the gorgeousness that is Amber Shah's cover for WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS, Lisa Henry's and my upcoming southern gothic-y romantic suspense novel? So perfect. Lisa and I are also available to chat about the book over on goodreads. WAtWS is out March 24th, 2014 from Riptide and is available for pre-sale now (you save 11% on the ebook, 20% on print by ordering early!) And here's the blurb:

Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.

Like the rest of Logan, local cop Joe Belman doesn’t believe Daniel’s absurd defense. But when Bel saves Daniel from a retaliatory fire, he discovers that Daniel might not be what everyone thinks: killer, liar, tweaker, freak. Bel agrees to control Daniel at night—for the sake of the other townsfolk. Daniel’s fascinating, but Bel’s not going there.

Yet as he’s drawn further into Daniel’s dark world, Bel finds that he likes being in charge. And submitting to Bel gives Daniel the only peace he’s ever known. But Daniel’s demons won’t leave him alone, and he’ll need Bel’s help to slay them once and for all—assuming Bel is willing to risk everything to stand by him.