Cover reveal! Flying Fish coming to Dreamspinner Press!

FlyingFish_FBprofile_OptizimedForFeed Some of you might already be familiar with my Sword and Silk series which begins with this title, Flying Fish, which focuses on the romance between Daisuke Minamoto, a ronin who returns to his home town to seek revenge on the lord who’d murdered his wife years earlier and Genji Sakura, a traveling kabuki actor whom Daisuke stumbles upon, bathing in a hot spring. Their encounter turns passionate and Daisuke, unexpectedly smitten with the beautiful young man, finds himself quickly at a crossroad: continue his oath of vengeance, or take responsibility for the destruction his anger causes Genji.

If you are familiar with the series, you know it continues with Blind Love and the never before published Blossom of the Samurai. I was fortunate enough to get the series contracted at Dreamspinner Press where Flying Fish is now available for Pre-Order. Official release: August 17! Yay! I hope you’ll check it out. Here is a little snippet from the story. I would love to hear your opinion when you’re done. Do you like stories about samurai? Ir maybe other historical settings for m/m stories?

Excerpt:

Chapter One
Kai Province, Edo Period, Japan
During the Tokugawa Shogunate

Ah, finally, the hot spring! A sunny summer afternoon to himself to enjoy a soak and not another soul in sight with whom he’d be forced to share. Who’d have thought such an oasis of luxury awaited a lowly traveling Kabuki actor, a flying fish who jumped from town to town with his troupe, entertaining merchants, peasants, and samurai? Unimaginable. Except that it had happened. And might not last long.

Genji stared a moment into the placid water of the small pond, surrounded by large rocks between which one could slip to reach the water. Steam rose invitingly from its surface. Even the twittering birds in the trees surrounding the small enclave of rocks seemed to be ordering him in quickly. A hot spring like this would probably not remain undiscovered for long. Once he went back to the troupe’s quarters, only the Buddha might know when he’d have this chance at solitude again.

That was all the encouragement he needed. Genji pulled open the sash of his kimono and let the article slip to the rock below his feet. On top of that, he dropped the small knife he carried, which when sheathed appeared to be a woman’s fan. A mistake probably, leaving it there, considering there were bandits in the countryside who could assail a lone person. But the briefness of time made him throw caution aside.

He stepped out of his wooden sandals, not bothering to fold his clothes neatly. The tie in his hair also landed on his discarded garments, as he fully intended to wash his hair in this hot water. Another luxury he couldn’t have dreamed of before this moment. Now he was naked, having already daringly left off the loincloth before parting from his quarters in the village. Who wanted to spare the valuable time to unwrap it in the instance that he found the legendary hot spring spoken of by the innkeeper?

He covered his knife with the folds of the kimono, left it within his reach, then stepped into the water. And immediately smiled. Delicious already and the water had barely submerged him past the ankle.

Anchoring his weight on one rock, he lowered himself in to his upper chest. Mmm, more luxurious heat penetrated his skin. The perfect relaxation. Bending forward, he soaked his long hair, then yanked his head back and scrubbed his scalp with eager fingertips. It wasn’t the same as having someone else do it for him, but it made his eyes close with pleasure all the same. Dipping down again, he rinsed his hair until he felt certain all the dust of the road had washed away, leaving the long, ebony strands gleaming.

He squeezed the excess water from the length of his hair then found a spot to sit and recline, where a rock jutted out into a natural ledge underneath the water. The sun warmed his face, and the water warmed his body. Warmth filled him. Made his soul as warm as his body. In moments like these, he could forget for a little while. Forget his childhood memories of the anguished cries of women and children as they all were forced from their homes in the aftermath of their lord’s defeat and herded onto the platforms to be sold. The sun made a reddish glow of the darkness behind his closed eyelids, a starburst of light that blocked out even the worst of his childhood visions.
A breeze passed over, blowing cool on his damp skin, rustling the leaves of the bushes and trees surrounding the tiny pool. However, when the breeze died down, the rustling of the leaves continued. Heavier, with the crunch of tiny twigs under the weight of something on top of them.

Genji’s eyes shot open. Sunlight flooded them, blinding him for a moment. The surface of his skin crackled to life. He strained to hear, and his body tensed, ready to spring from the water for his knife an arm’s length away.

Another snap of twigs.

He sat bolt upright. “Who’s there?” he growled.

Silence.

Genji might have thought it was an animal in the brush, but his inner voice told him otherwise. It whispered to him that he shared this tiny oasis with another human being. Someone who’d been spying on him, watching him wash his hair.

Genji leaned over, slipped his hand within the folds of his kimono, and wrapped a hand around the hilt of his knife, a gift from a high-ranking samurai who had patronized Genji’s talents in the past, both on and off the stage. “Answer me,” Genji said, his voice tight. Years of acting had taught him how to infuse his tone with whatever emotion was needed for effect. In this instance, he sought for threatening. “I’m armed. I know how to use this knife.” Indeed, he could follow his threat with action. That same samurai had taught him some basic swordsmanship, in between sessions of intense lovemaking.

Silence still answered him, yet the sense of another human presence remained.

Genji slid the knife from its scabbard.

“If you don’t show yourself on the count of three,” Genji went on, gaze trained on the rocks that hid part of the brush, “I will climb from this pool, seek you out, and gut you. Don’t think I won’t do it.” Though slim and narrow in build, with finely etched muscle and not the brawn of a highly trained samurai or laborer, Genji had speed and agility. As a dancer, he’d found the principles of movement were the same.

“Relax, peasant,” a voice said suddenly from behind the brush. “I’m obeying your order.”

Genji’s insides jumped. The voice, deep and male, held a hint of mockery tinged with admiration. Though the owner of the voice hadn’t threatened his safety, Genji continued to hold his knife at the ready, should the stranger indeed mean him harm.

The leaves and branches of the brush rustled and snapped, and within seconds, a figure emerged. He came to a stop at the edge of the rocks.

Genji stared, blinking, not so much because the glare of the sun made a halo of blinding light around the stranger’s broad figure, but because when the man moved so as to block the sun from Genji’s eyes, the vision before Genji was that of a wild warrior.

Darkness. The word rose in Genji’s mind as the stranger moved a few steps closer. Dark eyes, swarthy skin, jaw and cheeks covered with more than a few days’ growth. And though his abundant black hair was pulled back, much of it had escaped its tie and rioted about his rugged face.

The man, obviously a samurai of some sort, would have been handsomely imposing had his clothing not been ragged and desperately in need of washing, even his rope sandals, though Genji felt certain that the blades of his weaponry, long sword, short, and knife, were polished to perfection within their woven scabbards. The hands that handled those weapons were large, fingers thick, and his legs in their gaiters below the hem of his kimono were also thick, muscled limbs of coiled strength.

Genji’s tanto and his limited ability to use it were a mere joke in the face of this obviously skilled warrior, however ragged and dirty his state. His fear must have shown, for the stranger gave him a sudden lopsided grin and began to untie his belt, lowering his weapons to the rocks.

“I apologize for coming upon you the way I did, like a sneak thief,” the samurai said. His hands went to the tie of his kimono and worked it open. “I thought you were a woman when I saw you from a distance, washing that hair.”
Genji exhaled a tiny bit. But only a bit. He set his tanto onto the rock behind him, an excuse to avert his gaze from the thickly muscled torso being revealed. For some reason, the man’s growing nakedness made Genji feel testy. “So you would have continued to spy on me, taking advantage of my undress had you not seen I’m a man?”

The samurai didn’t answer though his dark gaze shifted away from Genji in a way that appeared guilty. He removed his gaiters, unwrapped his loincloth, dropping everything on top of his other ragged clothing, and Genji got an eyeful of the samurai’s musuko. Even in its softened state, the member hinted at delicious thickness when erect. The sac beneath it was equally abundant-looking, heavy and full.

The samurai leaned down, turning halfway as he began to lower himself into the water. His meaty leg and ass muscles flexed as he climbed down into the pool and settled on the other side. Genji didn’t know if there was a rock ledge to sit on over there, but he didn’t offer the space beside him in spite of this warrior’s handsome appearance. He entertained enough samurai already, nearly every evening after the day’s performances. His life was not his own, and it was a blessing for him that he loved the theater, otherwise he would have gone mad and committed hara-kiri long ago with his own knife.

Without meaning to, Genji caught a glance of the way the waterline lapped at the samurai’s chest and gleamed on the golden hue of his skin, just beneath the large dark rounds of his nipples.

“To answer your question,” the samurai said finally, “yes, I would have continued to spy on you, as crude as that may be.”

Genji blinked again, struck at the man’s honesty. That, at least, was refreshing. Not all samurai were as noble as their warrior’s code demanded they be.

“Even after you first spoke,” the samurai went on, “I wasn’t sure of your sex. Your voice is soft and gentle even though you tried to sound fierce. It took many moments of debating whether to show myself. Only when you turned around and I saw your male chest, I knew I could come out without making you scream.”

Genji continued studying him as he spoke. The samurai’s voice was deep, each word saturated with emotions. The explanation made some of Genji’s apprehension ebb, and he nodded. “I see.”

The samurai cupped some water and splashed his face. Shiny droplets clung to the heavy dark stubble on his cheeks and jaw. “You must be a boy, then, by your smooth appearance.”

“No.” Genji lifted his chin. “I’m in my twenty-fifth year.” Truthfully, he’d not been a boy since his family’s expulsion from the castle into dire poverty, a violence that had ripped him from childhood and thrown him into the constant struggle for survival.

His bathing companion looked doubtful for a moment but then nodded and continued to wash himself. He came away from the edge to the center of the small pool and dipped underneath the surface, scrubbing his skin when he rose.

His large hands slid over his arms and chest, making the water stream off his skin.

Genji tried not to watch him while that testy feeling intensified. He shifted his weight. “I’m not a peasant either,” he said to the man’s back. Water soaked the man’s abundant hair, making it shine in the sun, and those thick back muscles flexed and bunched as he washed himself. Genji had nothing against peasants, of course. His parents had been peasants who’d served the lord of their province within the grounds of the castle keep before the shogun dissolved the lord’s estate and turned them all out. But Genji hadn’t had the chance to grow up as a peasant once he’d been sold into service of Shizu, the theater troupe’s director. And so, his occupation, the very thing that had formed his identity as a human being, was of utmost importance to him and would be known. Even to this bedraggled-looking warrior.

The samurai turned and regarded him. More water beaded off his broad chest and down his taut abdomen. “What are you then?”

Genji squared his shoulders a bit. “An actor.”

The samurai’s eyes widened with a look of amazement. “Ohhhh,” he said in a hushed whisper, as if a great honor were being conferred on him. Then he bowed, his face nearly touching the surface of the water.
Genji’s cheeks burned. Was the samurai mocking him?

But when the other man straightened, his expression seemed sincere. “You must be famous,” he said.

“You don’t need to make fun of me just because I am part of a traveling troupe.”

The samurai’s brow furrowed. “I make fun of no one.” He bowed again. “I have never met an actor before.”

Genji studied him as his indignation faded. Judging from the wild look of the man, it was certainly possible he didn’t patronize the theater as so many of his class did. Then Genji understood his own agitation. “I apologize,” he said softly. “I see you weren’t mocking me. I’m not accustomed to a… response such as yours.”

“Oh.” The samurai bowed again, and Genji felt his cheeks tingle a bit. In spite of their strange introduction, the warrior seemed to possess the sense of honor exhorted by the samurai code, a quality Genji found attractive.

“My name is Genji,” he said, feeling his heart open a bit toward the samurai. Politeness went quite far with him since so many patrons saw his occupation as an excuse to make him an immediate object of their carnal appetites without regard for his feelings. “Sakura Genji.” Sakura was a surname he’d given himself, not only because he found cherry blossoms beautiful, but as a stage name, it had a touch of romance to it. He also felt it would honor his parents. They’d have been proud to know their son had earned the honor of a surname, even if he had to confer the honor upon himself as he grew older and earned his promotion from stagehand to understudy to first performer.
The samurai bowed yet again. “Minamoto,” he said, “Minamoto Daisuke.”

“Pleased to meet you.” Genji paused before speaking again. “Which lord do you serve?” he asked and immediately regretted his question.

Minamoto’s face darkened, and the wildness Genji had first seen came forth in his look.

“I serve no lord,” he said quietly. “I’m a ronin.”

A masterless samurai. There were many of those in the world. For various reasons, these warriors roamed the countryside, using their skills for their own purposes, never swearing fealty to one lord. Indeed, the status explained Minamoto’s unkempt state. The occupation of ronin never held the promise of steady employment, especially in a time as relatively peaceful as this one, when a swordsman’s skill was not so much in demand.
Genji sought to lighten the sudden mood. There was something underneath the ronin’s demeanor that made Genji uneasy in spite of the man’s apparent honorability. “Well, then, we have something in common,” he said.

“What is that?” Minamoto looked genuinely curious.

“Neither of us stays long in one place. You’re a ronin, and I’m a tobiko.”

Minamoto broke into a grin. He laughed then, a deep, rich laugh that did, indeed, release the darkness of the previous moment.

Genji found the laughter infectious and joined him. Their combined voices echoed into the air, Minamoto’s deep sound and Genji’s higher, melodious one blending into the sweet summer air and the birdsong in the surrounding trees. Life held some truly pleasant moments for Genji at times, and this was one of them.

When their mirth had passed, Minamoto regarded him with a thoughtful expression. “I wouldn’t have thought of such a comparison, but you’re right, after all. The world holds great uncertainties for both of us.”

Genji nodded then saw the samurai’s look change, as if his own words had made him think of something he’d left behind while laughing. Feeling suddenly shy, Genji gazed down at the water. “This is certainly a beautiful spot,” he said. The mood had darkened again, and Genji understood. Minamoto carried this darkness with him. It was part of him, like a precious treasure to which he clung for survival. Being an actor had sensitized Genji to the inner workings of human beings. After all, he needed to access the depths of human existence in order to portray it effectively onstage through song and dance.

“It is beautiful,” Minamoto agreed. “I’ve soaked here many times.”

“Oh, so you’ve been in the province before.”

The darkness seemed to close in like a shadow over Minamoto’s handsome face. “I lived here for some time, years ago.”

“I see.” Genji remained quiet. It wasn’t his way to pry into others’ lives. He’d learned long ago to mind his own affairs. Yet, it often didn’t matter. For whatever reason, he had a way about him that made people feel able to bare their souls to him and so had often learned more than he wanted to know of others’ depravities and secrets.
A tormented look tightened Minamoto’s features. “It’s no secret why I lived here and why I left. No doubt you’ll hear the gossip once people see I’ve returned.”

Genji’s insides jumped. Apparently, the ronin sensed this thing in Genji as well. It was inescapable. “I never pay heed to gossip,” he said. “It’s belittling. Unworthy of even the lowliest peasant.”

A moment of silence passed, and Genji thought his response had ended their conversation, but Minamoto spoke again.
“Five years ago, the lord of this province murdered my wife,” he said quietly. “Shot her with an arrow while he was out hunting. She was collecting flowers. They were still in her hand when she was brought to me.”

Genji stared at him. It occurred to him perhaps the lord had been hunting and mistook the woman’s movement for a game creature, but deep inside, he knew it wasn’t true. The act had been committed in cold blood. The truth was in Minamoto’s eyes.

“I was a threat to him,” Minamoto continued. “The aid I gave to certain of his vassals made him distrust me. He did it to rid the province of me. He succeeded. I could not stay here after that… and be reminded of her. Everywhere I looked.”

“I’m truly sorry,” Genji said softly. Clearly the ronin still grieved. The woman’s death had obviously been a loss from which Minamoto felt he could never heal. Perhaps that was the cause of the darkness Genji had sensed in the man.

Minamoto’s stricken eyes went to him. The sympathy he read on Genji’s face seemed to soothe him, for his look shifted to something softer. He nodded an acknowledgment of Genji’s kindness. “Since then, I’ve traveled every inch of Japan, been to every province, and studied with the greatest swordsmen of each fiefdom.”

The samurai’s voice took on an edge as he spoke. There was a hunger in his eyes Genji had seen before in the warriors of his class. So many of them possessed fighting skills beyond anyone’s imagination, and in this peaceful time, they had no outlet other than to challenge each other to duels or to protect villages from gangsters and bandits. From the way Minamoto spoke, and from what he’d just revealed about his past, Genji felt certain as to the destructive course this man actually followed. Minamoto was a man consumed, devoured from the inside by his own life. The understanding formed in Genji’s mind and heart as he watched the steam rise from the water’s surface around Minamoto’s damp torso. Minamoto was a living, breathing figure of tragedy.

The understanding softened Genji a bit more toward the man. As much as he ever wanted to remain aloof from anyone for his own protection, he was never able to do so, as if some sort of natural barrier that other people had was missing from him. “Perhaps it’s none of my business,” Genji began gently, “and please tell me if it is not, but what brought you back to this province?” Something gave him the feeling it wasn’t to revisit the place where he had lived with his wife.

That darkness settled over Minamoto again. “I have unfinished business here.”

The answer confirmed his suspicions. Yet, Minamoto’s intentions were none of Genji’s affair. Genji’s existence was devoted to playing the Samurai Princess, a role for which Shizu had meticulously trained him since buying Genji off the platform.

Genji nodded and remained respectfully quiet. The slant of the sun told him it was time to return to the village. His troupe had just arrived the previous day, and their stage would be near completion. Rehearsals would go on this evening, and then when the news of their arrival had spread, there would be the usual wandering in of samurai looking for an evening’s companion. Genji sighed. “I must return. I have a few moments to dry out on the bank, and then I will go back.”

The ronin started as if given a shock. He bowed to Genji. “I’ll accompany you,” he said. “It’s safer not to travel alone.”

Genji hovered on the verge of refusing the offer. After all, he had his tanto and wasn’t afraid to use it… he believed. However, he found Minamoto’s company oddly comforting, showing Genji how lonely he actually felt in spite of his busy life. His fellow tobiko could never really be true friends, even Aoki. Especially Aoki, who coveted Genji’s position in the troupe. Aoki would not want to remain an understudy indefinitely, and so there was always an undercurrent of tension among the troupe members. Disappointed, Genji climbed from the pool, picked up the pile of his things from the rock, and went to the grass. He retrieved the small bottle of sesame oil from his things and poured some into his hand, smoothing it into his wet hair. The long strands would comb out much more easily when dry if he worked any tangles out beforehand.

Peripherally, Genji saw Minamoto recline on the grass roughly an arm’s length away. He kept his back turned so as not to steal glances at the samurai’s magnificent, naked physique stretched out on the grass in the sun. Working his fingers down the fall of his hair, Genji turned slightly and caught a glance of Minamoto’s lower body. The man’s musuko was no longer soft between his muscular thighs but stretched halfway erect, blooming with reddish color.

A jolt went through Genji’s body, sending in its wake a series of tingles that concentrated in his own member. He’d thought himself jaded after serving so many samurai with his body, but for some reason, life now infused his male parts, even his nipples, which began to tighten into small, hard peaks. He looked back down, pretending to concentrate on his hair with all his will.

“Your hair is so beautiful.”

Minamoto’s deep voice made heat spark in Genji’s middle.

Genji pulled in a small breath. With his fingers still engaged in untangling his hair, he glanced sidelong at the other man. “Thank you,” he said softly.

The samurai had turned onto his side, propped on his elbow, watching Genji tend to his hair as if he were watching something of beauty unfold before him. “I didn’t know a man could move so gracefully… like a swan.”
Heat tingled mercilessly now in Genji’s cheeks. Such praise was a far cry from having his ass grabbed lustfully by a ribald admirer. The occasional riot that had broken out among audiences over Genji’s favors wasn’t nearly as flattering as this simple poetic admiration.

My moment with Jimmy Fallon :)

Jimmy FallonOne morning in recent days, I got up to a post on my Facebook timeline. It was posted by one of the authors whose work I publish and all he said was, “Here it is.”

Of course I though, here what is? But when I looked closer, I saw a video still of Jimmy Fallon with a book in his hands. It was small so I wasn’t sure what I was looking at, at first. Then, the book came more into focus. OMG! It was my own Fallon’s Jewel! So why the heck was Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show holding a copy of my book? Well, the skit he does called DO NOT READ was why!

I began to shake. Oh no! Jimmy Fallon is making fun of my book, telling people not to read it! I pressed ‘play’ and watched, nervous. Thankfully, what Jimmy Fallon said about my book was not derogatory and funny so I eventually got over my embarrassment and started to feel grateful that one of the books I’ve written made onto NATIONAL TELEVISION!!!

If you haven’t seen the video and want to see what cute thing he said, here it is!

Special Guest Interview: Akira Koieyama!

Those of you who know me, know of my passion for writing stories set in feudal Japan and for samurai and martial arts films. So you can imagine I was over the moon when I was given an opportunity to speak with someone who has actually starred in them!

If you have seen The Last Samurai and 47 Ronin, you’ve seen Akira Koieyama. His most recent role is Gouken in the film adaptation of Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, but you can also see him in Ninja, Rush, Scopia and Color of Pain. In addition to being a talented actor for over two decades, Akira-san, born in Tokyo in January, 1969, has been practicing martial arts from the earliest age and has achieved a 2nd Dan black belt in karate. My interview with him revealed much of the inspirations and influences that went into creating this sensitive, humble and talented person. Please help me welcome him and read on to find out the wonderful things I learned from our conversation.

Me: I know from reading a previous interview that your father was a judo instructor for the police and that was how you began your martial arts training. Did your father encourage you to begin training at an early age or did you choose on your own? What was it like to be raised in that environment?

Akira: Actually my father instructed people when he was young, after he had a bad injury to his back he had has own business at home.

I was wild and a big dreamer when I was a little boy. To be honest I believed I could get inside the mirror to connect to the other side. Then one day I tried to jump into the mirror….but I cut myself below my eyebrow and that was the result of my first honest challenge.

I remember my father played with me all the time when he had time and we sometimes went fishing too. I think we spent more time playing than training. I feel My father taught me mind( Heart ) is the first important technique, when I look back to those days. After my father passed away I started practicing Karate. I think I wanted to do something different, from him. I enjoyed Karate training, speed , power, spirit, and of course pain too. Those spirits are always an important essence to me and encourage me in my life.

Me: How did you get into acting? Did you feel drawn to it or did someone or
something inspire you as you got older?

Akira: I remember, one day I was listening to the radio in the bath, my favorite actor Yusaku Matsuda, his voice was coming out from the radio. He talked about the filming days and details of difficulty for a project. I felt something new in that instant. When I was 23 I went to Toho drama school and got into the acting world. My acting teacher Kazuo Hirayama taught me a lot ! He is already in heaven but He still sometimes comes to my mind and gives me a nice hint.

Me: Of all the projects you have done so far, do you have one that is personally closest to your heart?

Akira: I think personally, the most closest to my heart is Gouken (SFAF). To become Gouken is the biggest challenge in my acting career . its feeling like a climb up the top of mountain . as a one of audience I watch SFAF. I can see vestiges of my father in my acting.

Me: You are very versatile in the types of roles you have done. From martial arts roles to dramatic, including Scopia, which is horror/sci-fi. Is there a type of role you haven’t done yet that you hope to perform one day?

Akira: I would like to challenge many types of roles, perhaps a king or shogun…. when I get older.

Me: What projects coming up can fans look forward to seeing you in?

Akira: I just came back from Thailand a filming trip for Strike Back 5. It will be coming out middle of next year 2015. I can not talk about the project but please look forward to it .

Me: Who are your personal heroes and why?

Akira: My personal heroes are my family because there is always huge love.

Me: What wisdom have you learned in your life that you would wish to impart to
others?

Akira: I am still in a learning process in my life. But I can tell, I want to be true to myself and I want to enjoy everything.

Akira, thank you again for being here and hope you can come back again to talk more someday.

Akira: Thank you so much for having me! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!
Akira Koieyama

For an in-depth interview on Akira’s role in Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist visit Kung Fu Kingdom.

Follow Akira Koeiyama on Facebook.

My upcoming Ellora’s Cave release and a history of the Coeurs Eternels

I’m so excited about my upcoming release at Ellora’s Cave in early September! Yay! Immortal Vow is a continuation of the series that began with Darelle’s Trinity (M/F/M Menage, Vampire) Some of you may be familiar with my Coeurs Eternels, the brand of vampire in this series. If not, I will explain. Centuries ago, a Buddhist monk named Tanzin Gayatsu was meditating in a cave in the snowy hills of the Himalayas when a vampire came upon him and fed on him. (The vampire in question is Valmont Lascaux, the world’s oldest vampire whose story we meet in Valmont’s Trinity (Ellora’s Cave)

Since Tenzin had practice meditation so diligently his entire life, when he was brought across, the compassion and level of consciousness he had achieved stayed with him and he retained his soul as well as his beating heart. Moreover, for some reason, along with the taste for blood, he developed a craving for honey. As the centuries passed, he trained himself to feed on humans only when they were dying and his draining them of their blood became a pleasurable act that made their passing less fearful and they could move on to a better embodiment in the next lifetime. Tenzin’s story appears in Touching Forever (Totally Bound) in which he meets a beautiful immortal, Lily Tan, the Tigress of Shanghai who teaches him how to use erotic pleasure to direct his life force.

This type of vampire came to be known as a Coeur Eternel (Forever Heart) and when a vampire fed on a human and turned them, you never knew whether the new vampire would become a CE or not. It all depended on that person’s nature. A CE or a Sans Ame (without soul) – these are the two choices. However, like human beings, the vampires represent a broad range of personalities as well, so no vampire is all good or all bad. Except for the villain of Immortal Vow, Noiret. He has kidnapped the sister of immortal vampire slayer Jesse Harmon and holds her for ransom. The ransom? Jesse must slay Christian St. Cyr, a Coeur Eternel. Although Jesse has vowed never to slay a CE, he is desperate to save Hannah’s life and proceeds with the hit on St. Cyr. Except that things go wrong and Jesse ends up in St. Cyr’s control! What will happen next? Will St. Cyr take revenge or…? HEre’s a juicy excerpt and thank you for reading!

Excerpt:

By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, please exit this site.
An Excerpt From: IMMORTAL VOW
Copyright © SEDONIA GUILLONE, 2014
All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
Jesse heaved a deep breath. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Something had gone terribly wrong. The bullets shouldn’t have affected him this deeply. Since when had he developed a weakness for lead? He’d heard stories of immortals developing such weaknesses but had never considered that could happen to him. If he’d communicated a bit more with others of his kind over the centuries, perhaps he would have known sooner.
Too late now.
Even in the haze of his wounded state, he understood that St. Cyr had fed on him and now believed him to be a vampire.
If he’s not a vampire, what is he?
Jesse’s eyes shot open. The voice had spoken strongly in his mind. Not his own voice. Not his own thoughts. He looked at the large blond vampire hovering over him, the firelight reflecting off his pale skin and deep-blue eyes. The sight momentarily captured him. His gaze went to the scar on St. Cyr’s high-boned cheek. Not even the reddish jagged scar detracted from the vampire’s rugged, masculine Norse Viking beauty.
Strangely, the way he lingered on St. Cyr’s face caused a spot on his neck to tingle, reminding Jesse of the pleasure his body had experienced when the vampire had bitten him and sucked his blood. With the first touch of St. Cyr’s lips on Jesse’s neck, Jesse’s entire body shuddered deliciously, as if every nerve ending had exploded in orgasm. Though his skin had no doubt already healed, the ghostly memory of the feeding remained.
Perhaps he’s immortal.
Shit! St. Cyr again! The feeding had connected them. Jesse’s rejection of the blood had raised St. Cyr’s suspicions. It would only get worse when he found Jesse’s knife in the belt at his back. He had to kill St. Cyr as soon as he had his strength and get the hell out of here with St. Cyr’s head.
Can you hear me?
Jesse’s breath caught. St. Cyr was addressing him directly now. He couldn’t let on that there was a mind link between them. The difference between the mind links of vampires and that of immortals was that immortals had greater lateral access to thoughts and feelings. Vampires’ psychic connections were limited to telepathic communication only. Thank God for small miracles.
Jesse stared up at St. Cyr, as if there were no connection. He watched the corners of St. Cyr’s beautifully shaped masculine lips curve downward. He waited for the vampire to speak again.
St. Cyr remained quiet. He reached out a large hand and smoothed back Jesse’s hair. The vampire had a surprisingly gentle touch. His bite had been tender as well, so careful about how deeply he pushed his incisors into Jesse’s skin.
“You should rest now,” St. Cyr told him. His voice had a pleasing tone, deep and resonant. The vampire’s loneliness emanated from him and Jesse felt the emotion in his touch. He continued to caress Jesse’s hair, causing Jesse’s traitorous body to tingle and relax. Jesse’s eyelids shuttered rapidly with the pleasure of the touch. In centuries of life, he hadn’t felt another one quite like St. Cyr’s. Gentle, soothing. Kind and…erotic, all at once.
Jesse’s cock stirred in his jeans. If he hadn’t been so enervated from the bullet wounds, he would have reached up and pulled St. Cyr down on top of him. His exhaustion was the only thing that stopped him.
Well, that and the fact that he was here to kill St. Cyr.
Jesse prayed that in a few hours he’d have the strength to carry out the task before St. Cyr discovered their connection. And he would figure it out. It was inevitable. They were linked for eternity now. Or until Jesse got the vampire’s head.
That is, if Jesse could bring himself to slay someone whose psyche was now deeply entwined with his own.
Fucking shit. Being immortal not only sucked much of the time, now it was a downright curse.
Jesse opened his eyes again and looked up at St. Cyr, panic rising deep inside as exhaustion overtook him again. He thought of the knife in his belt, concealed only by his body lying on top of it. All St. Cyr had to do was slip his hand underneath him and find it. The vampire’s innate intelligence and suspicion would help him put the truth together, if he hadn’t already begun to.
Damn this fucking lead to hell! The weakness the substance had produced in his body exceeded his own healing powers. His skin was no longer broken and his body had expelled the bullets. However, this latent weakness left him unable to rise and finish. By all appearances, he wouldn’t be killing St. Cyr anytime soon. Especially with his eyelids growing sooo…heavy.
Must…not…sleep. Jesse thrashed his head back and forth, struggling to keep his eyes open. He was losing the battle. The lead had done something inside him, prolonging his complete healing. If he tried to kill St. Cyr now, the vampire would easily overpower him and kill him. He needed his full strength in order to go against a vampire, no matter how compassionate the vamp seemed to be.
Compassion wouldn’t win out over survival, to be sure.
Losing the battle against his illness, Jesse released a long shuddering breath and surrendered to the call of sleep.

My first fan art!

A couple of weeks ago, a reader posted on my Facebook that she was reading His Beautiful Samurai and really loving it. Of course, such praise is part of the lifeblood of an author – knowing that your heartfelt work is touching another life is really a blessing! But then she told me she wanted to draw the characters, Toshi and John. I was really flattered and excited that she felt so moved. My first fan art ever! So over the next few weeks, drawing emerged from under her pen.

I love them! They are sweet and inspired, from the heart.

My favorite is this one of Toshi with the everpresent cigarette dangling from his lips. I’ve only written a couple of characters who smoke cigarettes and Toshi is one of them. :)

I so wish I could draw because I would love to draw my characters and bring to life the people who are in my mind. I will have to settle for doing it in writing but I am so thrilled that there are people who have the talent and ability to visualize the characters and bring out their images on paper. Thank you, Miss Kelsey for taking the time and love to draw John and Toshi!

YGG Magazine cover time! Whee!

You can imagine my absolute ecstasy when Yaoi A GoGo (YGG) Magazine approached me to have Ai Press featured in their main article for the next issue! Moreover, our book covers would be pasted all over the front cover of this premier magazine for fans of the yaoi genre of M/M romance.

So I just wanted to share the excitement, which got even better. I didn’t know that Soy Sauce Face (one of the personal faves I’ve written, also got an incredibly beautiful review. The reviewr gave it basically a 5/5 stars and she said if she could, she would give the sex scene 8/5. I am floating, needless to say.

There are other cool things in this issue. It features Ai Press (of course that’s me), Ahn! Con, great fiction by upcoming authors and Gorgeous Cosplay Master, Alfred Xiaolay!

I have to admit I really didn’t know anything about cosplay until recently. I’d heard of it but I didn’t know that there are people who really can make themselves look exactly like the characters in our favorite mangas. Truly amazing!

Oh before I forget! To celebrate this wonderful happening, there is a 30% off sale ALL titles at Ai Press. Coupon code is YGG at checkout.

Anyway, thank you so much for letting me share. I hope you will check out the article and the magazine and maybe

Shameless plug for Ai Press Erotic Romances :)

Bear with me while I put on my publisher’s hat. The catalogue of awesome gay and yaoi-inspired romances at Ai Press is growing. There is a collection of adult and YA gay romances I am proud to offer as well as a bunch more titles on the way in the next couple of months. Yay! So following is my little plug for Ai Press, still not widely known but harboring some really great stuff by authors you’ve probably heard of and may have read and enjoyed, not knowing they have more titles to be savored here, and some you have yet to discover.

HisBeautifulSamurai24Whether you love mystery, paranormal, contemporary, or YA, Ai Press offers heartfelt yet sizzling gay romances from some of today’s hottest authors. Sedonia Guillone, D.H. Starr, Mya to name a few.Embraced-Sun23

If you love YA gay romance, Ai Press offers a growing line of YA titles by popular authors Jeff Erno and John H. Ames.SurvivingEHSLJ23ForeverYoung23web

For fans of yaoi, we have something specialat Ai Press. Our Tokyo Beat line offers yaoi-inspired fiction, series with hot yaoi artwork as well as stories that will feed your craving for this style of gay romances.Big Deal Lesson in betrayal 23soysauceface Please come check out all Ai Press has to offer in gay romances – novels, novellas, series and short stories to feed your craving for the best in M/M erotic romance! www.ai-press.net

Hot M/M Vampires and the Hot D.H. Starr!!

I’m honored and proud to share this guest post from D.H. Starr whose latest hot M/M vampire romance has just been released at Ai Press! Yay! Post begins here:

I’m thrilled to announce the release of my newest novel, Feed. Prey. Love. which is available through Ai Press, but can also be purchased at amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, and All Romance. While you may suspect I’m thrilled to announce its release because I want you to run out and purchase it (which I wouldn’t complain if you did) that is actually not the case. This is actually the first book I’ve written where I truly don’t care if it sells beautifully or if people don’t like it that much. This book came from someplace deep inside and it reflects a huge amount of work, self-exploration, and frustration.

Paranormal stories are probably my favorite genre. The world-building, suspension of belief, and sheet creativity are amazing to me and I find it much easier to get lost into those tales. But writing paranormal is nothing like reading it. The worlds which others seem to create effortlessly, tortured and teased me. Each round of edits revealed a new hole which needed to be filled (naughty people I’m talking about gaps in the creation of my world…LOL).

Then, once I thought I had ironed out the kinks in my world, created just the right blend of the contemporary feel with rules governing the co-existence of paranormals and humans, new plot holes emerged. Well, not so much plot holes, but elements my publisher wanted to have fleshed out or further developed.

With each new round of edits, I found myself becoming more and more frustrated, but I trust my editor with all my heart and therefore, pushed myself to move forward. I’ll admit, as I have to Sedonia Guillone on many occasions, that her pushes drove me a bit batty at times, but she’s a pro and she gets what I love to write.

I had walked away from the manuscript for about 9 months, just too darn tuckered out from trying to make it work. It wasn’t until I took a trip down to Asheville, NC and visited with my good friends Eden Winters and Ally Blue, that I broke out the story and started reading the opening to them. To my utter surprise, they were transfixed and told me this book must be shared with the public. So, I buckled down and began the arduous process of re-reading the entire document with new eyes. The break was probably a blessing in disguise because new twists emerged and fresh ideas of how to handle my characters and their stories seemed to materialize out of thin air.

What has resulted is a story with the rich characters I love to write and their tortured angst as they struggle to find their way to happiness. But something more has evolved from this process. I’ve come to better understand the nuances of merging believability into stories which have unbelievable elements. As challenging as it was, the end result is a book I am extremely proud of.

The world I have built is set in contemporary times. I have created a residence called Whispering Hills. It is the first of its kind where paranormals and humans live together in harmony. In this place, paranormals can feel accepted and humans, the ones who have always felt on the fringe, finally have a place where their differences are celebrated. This story is planned to be a 4 story arc. The next installment will be The Omega’s Mate.

So, with that being said, here are my guys and an excerpt teaser for you. I provided Thorny with the full prelude and with the beginnings of a scorching hot sex scene and I’ve left it to him to decide whether to post the tame one, the hot one, or both.

Buy Links:

Ai Press|Amazon Kindle|BN Nook|AllRomanceEbooks

Blurb
At Whispering Hills where mortals and paranormals coexist peacefully – and romantically – love really does bite!

Talib Eldridge is a vampire who lives with guilt. 100 years ago, he accidentally turned a human to a vampire and has been afraid to get close to anyone for fear of ever losing control as he once did. When he meets Conley Berillo, his commitment to living in isolation is challenged. Immediately drawn to the human, he can’t help but fall in love.

Conley has always felt out of place. Never fitting in with others, he too has lived in isolation. When the existence of paranormal creatures is finally acknowledged, he feels an immediate affinity to the outcasts, still feared and hated by humans. Moving to Whispering Hills in Providence, Rhode Island, he knows immediately that he belongs to this new world. When he meets Talib, that conviction is only solidified.

When Jonah Townsend, the human Talib had turned about a hundred years earlier, re-enters the picture, Talib and Conley’s newfound happiness is threatened. Conley becomes the tool that Jonah uses to get back at Talib and Talib is forced to make a choice. Fight for his own happiness and risk Conley’s life, or put Conley’s safety first and sacrifice what he’s searched and struggled for over two hundred years!

Excerpt book opening. Not terribly erotic, but sets the stage for one of the main characters.

Prelude
Palestine, 1798

Talib, meaning seeker of knowledge, had been named after his late grandfather. His father was filled with pride when, at only eighteen, Talib was accepted to Beit Rabban, the house of the teacher, to serve as an apprentice under Rabbi Elder. It was a bittersweet moment when Talib left his meager village, proud tears streaming down his father’s cheeks. Although Talib inherited a dark complexion and angular, strong features, his frame was slender. Nothing like the muscular build of his father, who served as a commander in the Ottoman Empire army. Yet for all of his father’s size and military success, Talib had never questioned his love. While Talib might never be a military leader, he could show leadership in his own way and planned to open a school house once he finished his own education and pilgrimage. In the meantime, he relished his “special” relationship with his master. Only that eased his great homesickness.
He had been at Beit Rabban for nearly six months and missed his family dearly. The longing for home would have been unbearable had it not been for Rabbi Elder’s mentorship. More than a teacher, Elder had been an older brother of sorts, a friend to confide in and a man to emulate. The fact he seemed to be no more than ten to fifteen years Talib’s senior was simply another attribute to admire about the man. Rabbi Elder had to be truly great to attain his position at Beit Rabban at such a young age. Each day, Talib gazed at Elder’s sandy blond hair, the curls of his payot framing his face perfectly to accentuate his cheekbones while hiding a sharp jawline, and was amazed that such a great man would devote so much attention to Talib’s academic studies and studies of the flesh.
The creak of his door each night was a welcome sound, one he had grown to long for over the past few months. He had lost count of the number of times Elder had climbed into his bed. At first he was shocked, having studied in the scriptures that the pairing to two men was a sin against God, but Talib quickly reasoned that his mentor and nightly lover knew best. Who was Talib to question a man who knew the Talmud far better than he?
Rather than dwell on his notions of right and wrong, Talib relished the spark Elder ignited within him. Longings Talib had felt, but never dared explore, became a reality as he and Elder discovered each other’s minds and bodies. To know that a man as worthy of respect as Rabbi Elder wanted the pleasure of another man filled Talib with a sense of wholeness. That Elder had chosen Talib over all the other students at Beit Rabban filled him with a sense of pride, a belief that everything within him was true and right.
Rabbi Elder padded softly across the stone floor of Talib’s dormitory room. While there were other students, each received his own sleeping quarters. The accommodations were sparse, walls of stone, a cold and harsh atmosphere, but that was all part of the learning. Sacrifice of personal luxury helped students to better learn to empathize with those less fortunate. Yet as hard as the thin mattress was, the warmth of Elder’s body and the give of his muscles pressed against Talib’s own blocked anything else from his senses.
“I’ve missed you, Rabbi.”
Soft lips pressed against his own, capturing him in a kiss which began gently but quickly became fevered. Something was different about the kiss, a hunger which wasn’t normally present. As if Elder had a greater need than usual. Once he pulled out of the kiss, brown pools seeming to glow with an amber fire stared down into Talib’s eyes. “I’ve told you, when we lie together, you are to call me Elder. The lines of master and scholar do not exist when we are joined like this.”
“I’m sorry, Rab…I mean Elder. It’s difficult for me to remember. I look up to you so.”
Elder’s eyes softened, the fire dimming as he stared down into Talib’s. “It’s all right, my love. Tonight is going to be a very special night for the two of us.”
Heat washed through Talib, beginning in the pit of his stomach and radiating outwards. The waves of sensation burned from within yet left an electrified chill along his skin, causing the hairs to rise. His lover’s words incited Talib. Excitement warred with anticipation as he waited for his mentor to continue.
“You know how much I love you, don’t you, Talib?”
The words filled Talib. He would have thought he was floating if not for the weight of Elder’s body on top of his. “Yes, I do. And I love you, Elder. You have given me a gift greater than knowledge; you have given me the gift of awareness.”
Elder brushed his fingers through Talib’s black hair, pushing his payot aside so they splayed on the pillow. He lowered his head to Talib’s neck and pressed his nose to the skin, inhaling deeply. The intimacy of the act caused Talib to shiver. In a husky voice, Elder whispered into Talib’s ear. “There are things I have not yet taught you, but I would like to.”
“Anything. I am a vessel for you to fill.” Talib smiled thinking of how many times Elder had filled his vessel.
Elder laughed. “You are playing with your words, but yes, you are my best and favorite student. Yet there are things not written in books which I must…no…which I desire to teach you. I have become…attached to you, and I wish to share everything I am with you.”
The way he phrased his comment sent Talib’s mind soaring skyward. Elder wanted him, was attached to him. He had called him special. “Whatever you wish to teach me, I am willing to learn. You are a brilliant teacher. A highly skilled scholar. A man of great knowledge.”
“Yes, but I am more. Will you allow me to show you what I am? May I introduce you to the world I live in, one quite different from the world you know?”
There was mystery behind the cryptic words, forcing Talib’s breath to quicken, each intake shallow, uncertain. But Elder had opened Talib’s eyes, led him down paths which had frightened him, and Talib’s world was brighter and fuller as a result. If his mentor and lover wanted to share something with him, he would gladly receive the gift. “Yes, of course. Anything.”
Elder smiled, but it wasn’t a smile of happiness. Rather, his lips curled up into a grin revealing some other emotion Talib couldn’t identify. Only in the last moment did Talib realize Elder wore no smile. He drew his lips back, exposing teeth which seemed to have grown longer. Fear not were the last words Talib heard before Elder descended, clamping down on his neck.
Razor-sharp teeth penetrated his skin. With a piercing scream filled with pain, shock and pleasure, Talib gripped at Elder’s head, trying to escape but to no avail. Blood flowed from his neck and into Elder’s hungry mouth. A sickeningly sweet iron odor filled his nostrils. Along with the sensation of blood flowing from him, each lick of Elder’s tongue brought excruciating pleasure, Talib could also feel Elder’s arousal pressed against his thigh.
Time seemed to slow. The space between Talib’s heartbeats lengthened. The flow of his blood coursed slower and slower.
After what seemed like hours, Elder drew back. Crimson blood stained his lips and dripped from his still-elongated fangs. While the bite had been painful, Talib longed for Elder’s mouth to return to his neck, to continue to draw blood from him. Although it was difficult to focus, Talib was able to make out the expression of lust and hunger in his mentor’s eyes. Elder’s arousal continued to drive against him, and his own hardened shaft pressed back. He’s something other than human. How can this excite me?
“Talib, I am a creature of the night. You have a choice to make. I have drained you to the point of death. You will die if I do not feed you, but if you accept my gift, you will become what I am, and we can spend our lives together, for all eternity.”
Through the haze of his faint consciousness, he could make out the earnest expression on Elder’s face. Thoughts flittered through Talib’s mind, disconnected, difficult to comprehend. “A creature of the night? A golem? Not real…only stories.”
Elder caressed his forehead, hot fingers burning against his cold skin. “I assure you we are not lore. I am not a demon or possessed by a dybbuk. I am real and I wish to give you the gift of eternal life. Will you share your love with me for all time?”
Darkness crowded in until he could barely see or hear. It wasn’t until the warm drops of thick liquid hit his lips and dripped into his mouth, quenching a thirst he hadn’t realized he’d felt, that his answer came to him. Gripping Elder’s wrist, he pulled the torn flesh to his mouth, sucking with all his might, drinking life’s essence back into himself with each pulse of Elder’s heart.
As if waking from a dream, Talib became aware of each of his senses. Sights, smells, scents, sounds, everything coalesced with great clarity and sensitivity. The fear emanating from a fly trapped in a spider’s web entered his nose. I can smell fear. Along with the coppery, iron flavor of Elder’s blood, he could taste the wine Elder had drunk at dinner. Disconnected thoughts flew through his mind. How can I taste the wine in his blood? Golem are real?
Sensation upon sensation filled him, only to come to a screeching halt when he heard something he never expected to hear. I have turned him. He’s now mine.
“What? What do you mean you’ve turned me?” Talib was sure he had misheard. It had to be the result of his loss of blood or perhaps the fear coursing through him. He had broken so many rules, he must be possessed by a dybbuk, the spirit of a dead man who’d violated the laws of Torah. Perhaps he had been wrong in believing what he and Elder shared was right. Was God punishing him for breaking His laws? An image of his home, his father’s proud face, flashed in Talib’s mind. Shame and panic swirled within him, making breathing impossible. He had shamed himself and his family. He had turned on his God, on his religion. All because he had trusted Rabbi Elder.
Elder’s eyes widened and his mouth opened slightly, only to clamp shut once again. Disbelief, no, shock, settled on his face. “I said nothing, my love. You must still be weak from the transformation.” It can’t be. He couldn’t possibly have heard my thoughts.
“But I do hear you. What is this? Have you deceived me in some way?” Fear shifted to anger and hurt. He’s betrayed me. He’s led me down the path of sin, knowing I could never return to the life I’d dreamed of. He’s forced me to act against my God…so I could be…his? The sense of foolishness closed in and around Talib, and he pushed to free himself, to stand, to take in deep breaths of cleansing air. With little effort, he flung Elder across the room, the teacher’s body hitting the wall with enough force to kill a man.
Even in the dim light of his bedchamber, Talib saw the color drain from Elder’s face. “But how…how do you know the thoughts which run through my mind?” He mustn’t ever find out I did this so I won’t have to be alone any longer. I need a companion. Isolation has left me starved.
It took Talib a minute to get over the shock that Elder had not been hurt from his crash with the wall. Talib could hear everything, every truth Elder had failed to tell him. He had not offered Talib eternity out of love. His motives had been selfish. Talib could hear it in Elder’s thoughts, for the man could not lie there.
Talib was no longer human. He knew this in the deepest reaches of his being. The change had occurred. He was a dybbuk and worse, a golem. He had broken every rule there was to be broken short of killing. There was no turning back. The truth filling him caused Talib to retch, thick red jets of blood erupting from his mouth. When he could speak, he scowled at his former master, the man he’d loved, had given his heart and body to. The man who’d deceived him in the most wretched way. “You did this to me because you wanted a companion?” While the words formed a question, his tone carried all the anger and accusation coursing through him.
Raw emotion lifted Talib from the bed. Before he realized what was happening, he was hovering in the air before Elder, defying gravity and laws his human form had to abide. He glided effortlessly, slowly closing the distance between himself and the deceitful man who had irrevocably changed his life. Instinctually, he reached out with his mind, linking it to Elder’s, forcing him into helpless paralysis.
Elder cowered, but was unable to avert his gaze. Talib could feel the will seep out of Elder as his weaker mental abilities gave way to Talib’s strength. He could sense the urge to fight back within his former mentor but could feel the weakness radiating toward him. Elder wasn’t as strong as Talib. Talib was more than Elder, different. What have I become?
Hatred swelled within him as he prepared to strike, but he stopped, released Elder and lowered himself to the ground until he once again stood on his own two feet. “I will not kill you, nor will I remain with you. You may have taken the life I planned to live from me, you may have turned me into a golem, but you can never take my humanity. I may not be able to return home—I wouldn’t bring that kind of shame to my family—but I won’t stay here with you.”
Elder rushed forward. Kneeling before Talib he wrapped trembling arms around Talib’s bare waist. Fear radiated from his very pores. Talib could taste it, smell it. It burned his nose and tongue like acid. “Please. I’m so lonely.”
Talib pushed him away once again, not as hard as the last time, but hard enough to make his point. He had no idea what his future held, only that it had been changed. He could not undo the things he had done against God, but maybe there was a way to reverse the evil coursing within his body. Maybe he wouldn’t have to live an eternity, as Elder had said. Maybe he could become what he had always been, pious, a man of God.
Disgust filled him as he turned to face Elder. Looking at the weak, pathetic man cowering on the floor, hands raised up in defense, Talib shook his head, a single, sad laugh escaping him. “And so you shall remain, for I must leave you.”
~~~~~

Next teaser is a pretty hot sex scene stopping right before the heavy action gets going.

Without waiting for the server, Talib deposited a twenty on the table and grabbed Conley by the arm, yanking him into a standing position. “Let’s go.”

The walk up the hill involved far less talking than the trip down to breakfast had. By the time they reached the front doors of Whispering Hills, Conley was winded. “Hurry up,” Talib said, leading the way into the building.
Once the door to his apartment closed behind him, Conley grabbed Talib and pressed him against the wall, sliding his hands along the vampire’s taut stomach and chest muscles, pinching Talib’s nipples until they hardened under his touch. He dipped his head into the crook of Talib’s neck and inhaled, taking in the fresh scent of soap which remained on his skin, and then he sealed his mouth to a cord of muscle, running his tongue in circles along the smooth flesh.

Talib moaned, an ahh escaping his mouth, causing his neck to vibrate under Conley’s tongue. “My God, I can feel that all the way down to my toes. You found the most sensitive spot on my body.”

Conley pulled away from Talib’s neck only to whisper one incredulous question, “The most sensitive spot?”
Talib responded by placing his hand on the back of Conley’s head and forcing his mouth back to his neck. “Yes, the most sensitive spot.” He then reached down and grabbed Conley’s ass, pulling them together so straining erection rubbed against straining erection.

After several minutes of kissing and grinding, Conley pulled away from Talib, taking him by the hand and leading him to the bedroom. Pushing him flat onto the mattress, Conley stood and started pulling off his own clothes, stopping only long enough to stare as Talib watched him undress. “What the hell are you doing? Strip.”

“Don’t want to. Enjoying the show too much.” Conley smiled and continued taking off his clothes. As he pulled his shirt over his head, he allowed his body to torque and twist, accentuating each muscle to its fullest. The Adidas pants had an elastic band, so he slid his thumbs underneath the material and slowly worked it lower on his hips.
Talib reached down to rub at the growing bulge at his groin, but he never diverted his eyes from Conley. Encouraged, Conley continued. Rotating his hips like a belly dancer, he used the motion to lower the pants inch by inch while turning at the same time. Once his back was to Talib’s front, he lowered his pants the rest of the way, exposing his ass and the sweet pink center that Talib had used the night before.

The time between Talib’s gasp and his hands gripping Conley’s hips seemed instant, an impressive task since Conley was stripping from six feet away. “The show just got too hot. I’m an audience volunteer. Is there anything I can do to assist?”

Conley chuckled, stepping out of the pants bunched at his feet. Turning in Talib’s arms, he felt his mouth pull up into a smirk and leaned in to give a gentle kiss on the lips. “Yes. Put on a show for me now.”

Talib locked gazes with him, ice blue eyes burning with desire. It took every ounce of willpower Conley possessed to turn and walk toward the bed. Even then, he could practically feel those eyes boring into his back as he took the few steps to his destination.

Safely on the bed, he folded one hand behind his head to prop it up on the pillow and reached down with the other to stroke his now exposed, hard cock.

Talib’s eyes followed the motion of Conley’s hand for a split second then a smile tugged at his lips. Starting with the shirt, he lifted the hem slowly over his torso. While Talib was not bulky like Conley, the cords of muscles interweaved, forming and disappearing in an intricate design along his abdomen and up and down his sides, feeding the fire raging within Conley.

Taking in each new sight, Conley gasped as Talib’s face disappeared beneath the fabric, leaving his entire upper body exposed. The ridge where his pecs connected was accentuated since both of his hands were over his head, yet even stretched out, the perfectly formed chest expanded with Talib’s breathing, the creamy-coffee colored nipples pebbled, standing at attention.

Once again, Conley needed to use all of his energy to keep from dashing off the bed and taking those hard nubs of flesh into his mouth. When Talib finally removed his shirt he had a slight flush to his otherwise alabaster skin.
Silky black hair gently swept Talib’s collarbone, framing his angular face, a perfect complement to his brooding, dark good looks. Conley’s cock lurched in his hand, now fully hard, as a single pearl of precum escaped from the tip. Rubbing his thumb over the clear fluid, he slicked the head and began to run the moisture in circles around the glans. Each pass of his finger sent shivers through him, causing his toes to curl.

Once again, Talib’s eyes darted to Conley’s cock, but he quickly continued the show, fanning Conley’s arousal. With painstaking deliberateness, Talib popped the top button of his jeans. A faint wisp of dark hair appeared on his skin, not quite making it up to his navel. When he opened the second button the dark hair fanned out, cresting at the base of his cock, now visible. Conley followed the line of Talib’s bulge, from the revealed base down his pant leg where the confines of his jeans forced it to lie.

When he looked back up at Talib’s face, he was caught once again by a piercing gaze of blue fire. Stepping forward, Talib pushed his pants over his hips. Once they passed over his ass, they fell to the floor.

Conley gripped the base of his cock, straining almost to the point of pain, afraid he might come from the sudden vision of beauty before him. Talib’s body was a work of perfection, each muscle perfectly aligned to form a square frame. A combination of strength and delicacy. The slight cant from shoulder to waist, the subtle bulge of ass, rounding into upper leg gave him the appearance of strength and masculinity. The expanse of smooth thigh muscles naturally led the eye down to admire solid calf muscles, legs like a gazelle, designed for speed and beauty. That was Talib. Strength and delicacy, all wrapped in one gorgeous package.

Talib smiled then pounced, and Conley found himself pinned on his back, staring up into Talib’s eyes. Before Conley could say or do anything, Talib lowered his head, sealing their lips together. Conley opened, mouth invaded by a hungry tongue, slick and purposeful, massaging, feeding his desire and need.

Pulling out of the kiss, Talib caught his breath then lowered his head once again, placing gentle kisses to Conley’s cheek, neck, collarbone, and then further down, capturing one nipple in his mouth.

The sharp scraping of teeth against his skin caused Conley to lift his head and stare at what Talib was doing. When he saw the lust in those blue eyes, his cock surged up between them with renewed energy. It was the sight of fangs, ever so slightly descended, that caused Conley’s heart to race. “Oh my God. That is so fucking hot. Nibble at me again.”

Talib lowered his head and bit down on Conley’s nipple once more, careful not to draw blood. He then released the taught flesh and gazed at Conley, his fangs shrank back to their normal length. “I can’t feed on you. If you want a shot at me blocking your thoughts, I can’t feed on you.”

For a moment, a debate raged within Conley. The idea of Talib feeding on him was so arousing he thought his skin would catch fire, but he didn’t want to begin a relationship where every passing fancy traveled directly to his new lover. “Okay, I understand.”

“But there are things I can do which are just as good.” Talib lowered his head once more and kissed a trail down Conley’s abdomen, hot breath washing over his skin. When soft lips touched his cock, Conley thought he might come just from the anticipation, but Talib lightly gripped the base, squeezing tightly to prevent his impending release.

This is what I’m aiming for

My boyfriend and I recently watched this documentary, Chris and Don: A Love Story about the famed, decades-long partnership between Christopher Isherwood (who is one of my absolute favorite authors! A Single Man, Christopher and His Kind et al), and Don Bachardy who was 30 years younger than Isherwood.

I was deeply moved. Christopher and Don first met when Don was sixteen and Isherwood was 36. Their romance began not long afterward. One of the things that touched me was that for Don, Isherwood was his one and only major relationship (this was true for Isherwood as well) and the influence Isherwood had on his formation on a human being was profound and beautiful, even down to the way Don spoke – with an English accent and with Isherwood’s inflections of speech as if Isherwood were speaking through him.

What came through so strongly and touchingly as well, told through excerpts read from Isherwood’s private journal and from Don Bachardy (who was still alive at the making of the film, Isherwood passed away in 1986) was how for Isherwood, being the older person in the relationship was, first, absolutely enchanted with Don and how for Isherwood, his love for Don was, in his own words, his spiritual path to enlightenment. I know from reading My Guru and His Disciple where Isherwood chronicles his years as the disciple of Swami Prabhavananda who practiced chastity, Christopher Isherwood could never bring himself to do the same. He felt strongly pulled to be in relationship with a partner, that it was deeply in his nature, not to be ignored or snuffed out. For him, his relationship with Don was his path.

Later on, as I reflected more and more on that, it hit me – that’s exactly what I’ve been working so hard to portray in my own writing! To bridge the gap that pervades so much of thinking and approach to sexuality, that somehow it’s different, separate, lower than spirit. Healing that gap is what my own life’s path has led me to begin to understand and because it’s so important to me, I endeavor to bring that healing into my stories, most blatantly (I guess that’s the right word) in my White Tigers series wherein the characters practice the sexual Tao and when one of them meets their soulmate, they become partners and practice together. Their love and mutual attraction become the very fodder needed to bring their minds to the understanding of reality.

Making progress…(and a snippet)

I know it’s been terribly long since I last posted. But I am making progress on Blind Love, my novella that is part of a collaboration with awesome M/M author D.H. Starr.

The theme of our collection is “friends to lovers” and in blind love, Hirata, a samurai and his best friend, Sho, who was blinded by childhood illness, are separated when Sho is taken away to apprentice in the healing arts of massage and acupuncture (common occupations for blind men in feudal Japan). However, Hirata has sworn to find Sho when he’s old enough to leave his parents’ home. His long search yields results but not at all what he’d hoped for. Sho’s life has fashioned him into a drastically different man than he was a child and Hirata finds them in what appears to be a hopeless situation. What will happen to these best friends? Will the men they’ve become force them to part ways forever?

I’d like to share with you a snippet and thank you so much for reading! Warmly, Sedonia

Excerpt (unedited. may differ slightly from final)

Sho slid open the door to the house.

Daylight assaulted Hirata’s eyes. He squinted and grasped the doorpost.

“Are you all right, Hirata?” Sho lightly touched his elbow.

Hirata rubbed his eyes with thumb and forefinger and blinked several times. “I’ll be fine. The light…”

“I understand,” Sho murmured. “I still remember that kind of thing.” His touch left Hirata’s elbow. “Take your time.”

For some reason, Sho’s patience made him feel testy. “I’m fine,” he said and stepped outside. Letting his eyes adjust, Hirata began to see the surroundings that nighttime and his injured state had not allowed him to see days before.
The spot was beautiful, idyllic, really. A small dirt yard surrounding the front of the house, gave way to more lush, tall grass. Only a narrow path was visible, created by the constant treading of human feet down toward the river, beyond which lay forest topped by brilliant blue sky and only a few fluffy clouds. Birdsong twittered from the trees and a light breeze stirred the leaves. The sun warmed his face and body, bare except for the parts covered by his loincloth.

A line of rope tied to a pole stretched the distance, parallel to the path, ending at another pole at the river’s edge. Hirata assumed it to be a line to hang washing to dry until Sho stepped out beside him, grasped the rope with one hand, Hirata’s in the other and took a step. The rope was Sho’s guide between the river and the house.

“Come,” Sho said and gently tugged Hirata’s hand.

In halting steps, Hirata let Sho, also clad only in his loincloth, a washrag slung over one shoulder, lead him toward the water’s edge. Inwardly he grumbled at his own weakness. Weren’t normal samurai able to sustain such an injury as he’d received without needing so many days’ rest and nursing? Did he have to be so different in every way possible?
Glancing up he watched Sho’s fingers slide along the guide rope. His testy feeling intensified. As a child, Sho had adapted to his blindness seamlessly. As an adult, he’d gained even more skills. In addition to being an accomplished healer, he was as deadly a human weapon as any samurai or ninja. Hirata couldn’t help comparing himself to Sho and to every other human being he’d ever encountered. Everyone else seemed to fit somewhere in this world except him. Until last night, at least, after his horrible conversation with Sho, he’d held onto the belief that the fire of love and loyalty burning in his heart for Sho distinguished him as a samurai in the true sense. Now, that too, seemed a paltry kind of joke.

They reached the riverbank and Sho released the guide rope whose end was tied to a pole a mere few steps from the river. “The water should be nice and warm,” he said and, with Hirata’s hand in his, inched down the bank, toward a large rock protruding from the water. The surface of the rock reached from the water to the grassy slope, its edge an arm’s length from Sho’s guide pole and serving almost as a kind of makeshift platform. Ichi-san had apparently set everything up for them perfectly, Hirata thought with a touch of bitterness. No sighted people needed.

Sho took the first step into the water. “Ahh, it’s beautiful.” He tugged Hirata’s hand. “Come, let’s have a bath, then I’ll wash your hair.”

Hirata followed Sho into the river. Admittedly, the sun felt glorious on his back while the cool water enveloped him up to the waist. In his heavy mood, he didn’t want to allow these things to give him enjoyment, but he couldn’t help it. He’d never been truly able to shut the wonder of life out, even in the depths of missing Sho.

Releasing Hirata’s hand, Sho dipped under the water, remained under for several seconds then came back up under a curtain of cascading water. “Ah, that’s wonderful after being inside for days,” he said with an uncharacteristically wide smile. “Go on, Hirata, wet your hair.”

Hirata paused, caught himself staring at Sho. Sunlight made the droplets of water clinging to Sho’s skin shine. Water beaded down Sho’s chest and abdomen, making small rivulets in the furrows between his muscles. Truly he appeared some sort of god in human form, standing there, the water lapping at his waist.

Sho’s smile faded. No doubt he felt Hirata’s gaze on him. “What are you waiting for?” he murmured, smoothing one hand over his closely shorn head.

Wordlessly, Hirata obeyed. He went under and opened his eyes. In the clear water, he had a perfect view of Sho’s legs, the sloping thighs and calves, full of power. Sho had worn his loincloth into the water, but Hirata still caught a glimpse of the bulge in front.

Air ran out of his lungs and he surfaced. Since he’d taken the tie out of his hair before leaving the house, his now wet hair hung heavily over his shoulders. He pushed it back, off his face, his heart beating rather hard. A memory flashed in his mind, of the kabuki actor, Aoki, in sexual congress with Sho, riding him as if astride a horse. Hirata cleared his throat, dispelling the erotic image. “You were right.”

Sho’s smile returned. “Of course I am,” he said, dipping the washrag into the water and stepping toward Hirata. “Neither of us was ever one to stay indoors for any length of time.”

Before Hirata could answer, Sho was right in front of him. “Now, stand still and let me wash you so you don’t keep lifting your arm.”

“Tha-thank you.”

Sho lifted the washrag and sloshed it over Hirata’s back. Up, down, around, with the same caring touch he’d used in all his ministrations. Hirata tensed, in spite of how good the cloth felt against his skin, down his arms, under his arms then…over his chest and abdomen. Down below, his musuko stirred in his loincloth. The more Sho washed him, the more it hardened, rising until it pushed uncomfortably against the cloth. The sensation made Hirata feel oddly wild, abandoned, rather than uptight, as sexual desire usually made him feel.

Sho slung the washrag over his shoulder again and shifted around so that he stood once again at Hirata’s back. “Dip into the water once more time,” he said, “so I can get your scalp clean.”

Again Hirata obeyed and then rose up again. When he did so, Sho reached up. Burrowing his fingers into Hirata’s wet hair, he began to rub Hirata’s scalp vigorously in small circles.

Immediately, Hirata’s whole body relaxed. He closed his eyes and let his head loll back a bit. Sho’s touch was heavenly. And…he thought, feeling wanton again…he wanted it all over his body. Everywhere. “What about the rest of me?” he asked.

Sho’s hands stilled. “Excuse me?”

“The other parts of me, below the water. Don’t you wash them too?”