4/05/2014

New Contest: Are you good with puzzles?

Winner Announced!

Selected from all entries by random draw: 

Carole-Ann 

Thank you to everyone else who participated! 


New Release = New Giveaway

But this time, let's have some fun with it! 

I've devised a little puzzle for you to solve, if you enjoy that sort of thing. 
I know I do. 

Up for grabs is a $10 All Romance Gift Card. 


There are 2 ways to win this time. 
First, easy as always, just leave me a comment on this blog post or the corresponding Face Book Page post with your email. 

Want something a little more challenging? 
Double your chances of winning by solving the Anagram below and emailing your answer to 
lee.brazil@ymail.com. 

MPK   QNDR   OP   WBJJ  N  ZPO   PE   EVPAJ

OP   EBFL   N   IVBFTR


HINT: P = O 



Pulp Friction 2014 Presents 

Cold Comfort 
In From the Cold # 2 

Prince Charming Wannabe Finn Lorensson is living his own fairy tale. Sure, his intended is more frog than princess, but what's love worth if you don't have to slay a few dragons on the way?
Cannon Malloy is adapting…to life in Flagstaff, the cold, teaching...and to Finn. He's about decided that letting himself be loved isn't such a bad thing after all.
When an opportunist from Finn's past threatens both love and career, can the frog save his prince? 


CONTEST RULES

The Fine Print: Contest Ends on April 15, 2014. One prize will be awarded. Prize is an e-gift card and will be awarded electronically. Contestants must provide a valid email to be eligible, unless entering via FB (see FB post for instructions). Winner will be selected by random draw from entries via email, FB and blogger. Winner will be announced on this post, and on the corresponding Face Book page post. Winner will be notified via email. Winner has 7 days to claim their prize or prize is forfeit. Neither Blogger nor Face Book have any part in this contest, nor does All Romance eBooks. 

4/04/2014

On Retreat: Getting Away From It All and Writing

Writing Retreat


Good morning everyone! I'm terribly excited today as today is THE DAY. I leave today for a weekend long retreat to refresh myself, rediscover my creativity and write. For the past eighteen months or so, I've been immersed in a sea of self-doubt. I find it hard to maintain enthusiasm for anything, and with a few notable exceptions, like the resurgence of Story Orgy Mondays and the ongoing drama that is Pulp Friction 2014, haven't written a lot.
People, other writers, readers, editors, frequently laud the benefits of conventions and gatherings of like-minded people, and I've envied them the way they return from these events keyed up and raring to go. It's just not possible for me to attend such an event though. For one thing, I don't travel well, for another I can't deal with crowds.
Then it struck me the other day.
I don't need to be a part of a larger group that would create anxiety instead of bringing peace. I find my peace and inspiration in the rising and the setting of the sun, in the whisper of the wind and the hum of life in the countryside.
That's what I needed to find again.
And it probably can't be found in a big city at a huge hotel or convention.
But…
There are other ways.
I put my somewhat clumsy google foo to work and found a place nearby, so the travel won't wear me out, that's fairly remote, on a lake, and before those aforementioned self-doubts could tell me I was being an idiot, I reserved a cabin on a wooded lake shore for a long weekend.
Lake of the Ozarks
This weekend, I'll be watching the sun rise over the Lake of the Ozarks, drinking my coffee and soaking in the things that make me feel like the world we live in is still a pretty good place.
I've got some rules set up and some goals written down.
Chief rule?
No internet.
I'll be working on a laptop with no wireless access, so I should get a lot done, but won't be around at all from Friday morning to Tuesday morning.


Just thought I'd let you know, so you don't miss me.
 Last time I disappeared for a day or two, I ended up with an inbox full of concerned emails- 
I think that means I'm usually too much on web :P. 
So wish me luck, and I'll see you on the 8th!




4/03/2014

Crawl in Bed with Shax

Crawling Into Bed With Shax, 
the Demon Prince of Thieves 
(from the Brimstone series by Angel Martinez)
And a Good Book

Hi, Lee! I’m going to leave Shax with you. He’d fairly well behaved…most of the time.
Important things first, are these sheets silk or cotton?
*Shax crawls up from the foot of the bed, and flops down with a wink* Silk, of course. I knew you wouldn’t insult me with cheap sheets. Good silk, too. And blue, my favorite color. *nuzzles Lee’s ear*
What are you wearing?
*Shax spreads his arms to show off his black satin pj’s* Lovely, aren’t they? Ness thought I needed them for those evenings when we want bed to be a formal occasion. Not that I would ever have them on for long, you understand. Perhaps partially. Ness is very tactile. He may want to have them off partway while he bends me over the…whatever’s the matter, Mr. Brazil? You’ve turned bright red.

What are we snacking on in bed while we read tonight?
After a recent visit to Opal, I’ve rediscovered my love for the gastronomic. So absurdly fun and someone told me you like to…experiment. I’ve brought us cherry tarts with wasabi ice cream. Should I feed you the first bite?


If I open this nightstand drawer, what will I find?
*Shax leans over and rummages* Oh, let’s see…my sonic lockpick…magnetic scrambler…one of Ness’s feathers…Dostoevsky, you know, a little light reading…packet of dehydrated mangoes, never know when you’ll need a snack…fuzzy handcuffs…metal handcuffs…ball separator…several dildos, various sizes and colors…bottle of aspirin…various flavors of lube…What? You were expecting condoms? Demons don’t use condoms.

Do you roll up in the blankets like a burrito, or kick the covers off during the night?
Does rolling up in Ness’s wings like a burrito count? Much softer than any mundane blanket and when he caresses me with them… *Shax takes a spoonful of wasabi ice cream and closes his eyes on a sinful moan.*
Can I put my cold feet on your calves to warm them up?
Of course you can, sweetie. I run a little hot most days anyway. Get you all nice and toasty in no time.
What are we reading? (include your cover art, buy links & excerpt)
We have the new Mischief Corner anthology, Not In the Stars. It’s a serviceable collection of Science Fiction stories, but I can’t imagine there’s a more compelling reason than to read my story. *Shax opens the book* See? This one. It’s called “Shax’s War.” Angel wrote it as the third Brimstone story. I do like Angel, but I wish she’d stop screwing with my life so much.


Toni Griffin, Angel Martinez, Freddy Mackay and Mathilde Watson
Since the dawn of human expression, man has gazed up at the heavens in wonder, inspired by the wheeling of the stars to explain his surroundings. While our perception of those surroundings have changed, from thinking of the Earth as a flat, stable plane to realizing we’re falling through space in a tiny atmospheric bubble, our wonder remains constant.

Space stations, alien races, far-flung planets—join the Mischief Corner authors as they explore the possibilities the stars might offer. The catch? Returning to mundane old Earth might be harder than you think.

Excerpt:
Shax yelped as the trauma ball hummed against his palm, the surface shifting from swirling orange toward yellow. Before it could deliver its nastiest shock, he flung the thing at Verin’s head.

“Bastard!”

Sparks flew as Verin swung his horns and batted the ball away. He aimed right for Ness, who sidestepped and caught the ball as it powered back down to blue. Wings spread for balance, tip of his tongue protruding from the corner of his mouth, Ness spun and ran the three steps up the ramp at the court’s far end, aiming for the hovering sphere goal.

At the last second, the goal moved left and Ness’s shot caught the magnetized lip, which hurled the trauma ball back at him at some ridiculous, unsafe speed. Shax winced at the sharp crack when hard ball met angel head.

“Ow.” Ness flopped down at the top of the ramp, rubbing at his temple.

“Someone gonna explain to me again how this is fun?” Corny called from where he balanced on the swinging planks that made up mid-court.

He’d been stuck on the water hazard for several plays, his muscular body and high center of gravity an indisputable disadvantage since the wrong move would send him into the water and cost him a five minute penalty. Their cowboy had figured out the hard way in the first quarter that the pool itself enforced the penalty and didn’t let the penalized player out a second before.

Good thing he can tread water.

The ball was now happily rolling along the elevated sidewall ramps and Shax prepared to jump for the rings that would put him at the right height to catch it when it rolled free. Had they been playing teams…but no one could agree on a fair way to pair the four of them up, so solo it was.

Shax cocked his head, listening to the rumble of the ball as it trundled downward. Ness was still on the ramp. Corny was stuck. Verin was navigating the sponge quadrant where his claws were sticking. Perfect. He leapt, caught a ring in either hand, got a good swing going, and let go with his right hand just in time for the ball to drop from the chute.

With a whoop, he swung free and dropped with the ball clutched to his chest, only to be hit from behind with the force of several megatons. Wind knocked out of him, he could only watch as Verin snatched up the ball.

“Attempted murder isn’t supposed to be part of the game,” he wheezed as Verin took his shot. It seemed to be too far right, but the sphere turned and the ball shot inside.

“You’re all right, you baby,” Verin growled. “Get up before you really get fucked up.”

Shax heaved himself to his feet, staggering a few steps before the floor decided he’d been in one place too long and started bucking.

Ness had moved now, too. “Shax? Sure you’re all right, love?”

“I’m good. There are two of you right now. Don’t mind. Two of you are nice.”

All four of them managed to reach the sand quadrant closest to the near goal where they crouched in anticipation, waiting for the sphere to spit out the ball. Shax got Verin’s elbow in his ribs and a playful shove from Corny as they jockeyed for position but they might as well have stood still. The sphere rumbled and disgorged the trauma ball with a hacking cough, sending it high and wide. Ness, with his superior height and reach, snagged it easily, holding it up to keep it out of reach.

Any second, Verin and Corny would charge him and then Shax wouldn’t have a chance. An evil thought percolated in his mind and he sidled up close to Ness, blew a breath across his bare nipple, and reached down to cup Ness’s balls through the tight game shorts. A strangled whimper caught in Ness’s throat. His jaw slack, eyes saucer-wide, he fumbled the ball and dropped it.

Shax caught it before it hit the sand, snatched a quick kiss, and bounded away toward the far goal. He slammed the trauma ball into the sphere just as it hummed over to yellow again.

“Ha! That’s three for me! Game!”


Please include purchase links and web links where readers can find you.
Readers can find Shax’s other books as well we more of Angel’s and all of the Mischief Corner crew at: Mischief Corner Books
For a complete listing of Angel’s work, please visit her website:

4/01/2014

New Release! Now Available: Cold Comfort: In From the Cold #2

Now Available at 



Pulp Friction 2014 Presents
In From the Cold #2 

Cold Comfort 

Prince Charming Wannabe Finn Lorensson is living his own fairy tale. Sure, his intended is more frog than princess, but what's love worth if you don't have to slay a few dragons on the way?
Cannon Malloy is adapting…to life in Flagstaff, the cold, teaching...and to Finn. He's about decided that letting himself be loved isn't such a bad thing after all.

When an opportunist from Finn's past threatens both love and career, can the frog save his prince?




EXCERPT

Chapter One

"Professor Lorensson?"
Finn glanced up from a stack of essay exams handwritten by his freshman class to find a handsome young man with a determined tilt to his chin and narrowed eyes hovering in his doorway. The aura of privileged overindulgence hung about the man, from his designer backpack, looped over one shoulder by a strap, to his carefully disarranged hair. He was a picture of spoiled petulance being denied what it wanted for the first time ever.
The man was vaguely familiar, a former student in one of his classes perhaps. "May I help you?"
"You don't remember me, do you?"
Finn squinted, but the shadows hung over the man's face, and he looked a lot like many other young campus men. Thin, moderate height, lugging a backpack and sporting a chin strap beard. "I apologize. I usually do quite well with faces, but, no I don't remember you." Could he be a student in one of Finn's classes? Someone who had never managed to make it to office hours? Someone he hadn't spoken to face to face before? It was one of his requirements for all of his classes that each student see him at least twice a semester, the first time for a discussion of the material and the second to establish a topic for the final written exam. No…the man was familiar, but he couldn't be a student. "Please come in." He gestured to the steel folding chair opposite his desk. His gaze caught on the single rose in a vase on the corner of his desk, and he smiled slightly.
"I'm Lassiter," he announced before stepping farther into the room. The light from Finn's desk lamp cast his face in the right sort of shadow and a shoe dropped. Not a former student, no. A former lover, if a one-night stand could be classified as such. They'd met at a bar the previous summer, and the man's pale good looks had appealed momentarily to Finn's inner Prince Charming. Lassiter had proved to be more the spoiled stepsister than a Cinderella in need of rescue though, and that one occasion had been the extent of their relationship.
"I think you can help me." The man sneered, approaching the desk where Finn sat and glaring down at him. "You can tell me why you denied my request to be assigned to you for advisement."
Finn exhaled slowly, annoyance creeping through him. "My policy on this is quite firm." It didn't matter that he'd never even seen the request. The dean of students was well aware that Finn's hands were full in that department and would have assigned new requests to any of the other ten professors on staff. "I do not mix business and pleasure."
The determined chin tipped up still further, and Finn schooled his expression not to snort as the younger man narrowed his eyes and shifted his hands in his pockets. Did he think he was being intimidating? Or that his attempts at bullying would make Finn change his mind?
"I could go to the dean and tell him about you." And there, now the threat was unmistakable. A cold, hard anger tightened Finn's gut. His nostrils flared but he refrained from reaching across the desk and shaking the young fool. What the hell was the matter with today's kids that they thought blackmail and bribery were the way to get what they wanted?
Unfortunately, this particular millennial was barking up the wrong tree. "I make no secret of my sexual orientation. The dean as well as most of the faculty and many of the students are quite aware of my preferences. Some even have attempted to use their knowledge to their own ends." He squared his shoulders and lowered his voice, narrowing his eyes on the man across the desk. "Whether by offering me favors in exchange for grades or threatening to expose me to scandal and ridicule. Is that what you're about now? Is that why you were in that club last summer in the first place?"
The man started, shook minutely, then stiffened. "You took advantage of me, a drunk student. The dean and press will hardly look favorably upon that! All I am asking in return for my silence is that you tell the dean you've changed your mind and will accept my petition for advisement."
"I can't do that." Finn pushed his chair back, then leaned forward, watching the man earnestly. He'd been approached  by love-struck students before, young men and women with crushes, awed by his looks or intelligence or some perceived need they saw in him that they felt they fulfilled, or more likely, some need in themselves that they thought he could fulfill. Those he let down easy, this one though…he didn't have the doe-eyed look of someone who fancied himself in love. Not that that would have changed things.
"Really. My load is full. I have twelve advisees in masters' programs and six doing doctoral research. I teach my three classes on campus and another three online from home. There's no way I could offer you the guidance you need to develop your studies." And he didn't exchange academic favors for mediocre blow jobs. Especially not when he had a man like Cannon Malloy, strangely vulnerable and achingly needy, who was perfect for him at home. Or rather, next door. He'd been true to his word, treating Cannon like a friend, coaxing him slowly into his arms over the last two months, backing off at the least sign of anxiety or prickliness.
"I won't create more work for you. You're the best, that's what they all say. I want you for my advisor."
Assuming a stern expression, Finn remained firm. "We slept together. There is no way I can accept you as my advisee, even if the decision were solely mine to make. As you so adroitly pointed out, it would be unethical."
A flush darkened the thin cheeks, and tension vibrated the man's frame. His hands in his pockets jerked and pulled at the fabric. "This isn't the end of this! You'll see!"
"I sincerely hope that you let the matter drop. I assure you there is no way that this will happen, and to be honest, I have no idea why you think it would be a good idea to force me to be your advisor when I do not wish to do so. That can hardly create the rapport needed for a successful education." He glanced derisively at the boy, because despite the fact that he was in his late twenties, this was clearly no man but a spoiled child.
The flush deepened to an allover blush of humiliation that might have stirred some pity in Finn if the man hadn't been attempting to victimize him "You wouldn't hold it against me. Everyone says you're fair. That's why I wanted you."
"Are you sure you didn't want me because you thought you could continue to leverage that mediocre blow job into an A? Or an eventual placement in the doctoral program? Hm?" He quirked a brow. "You're just looking for an easy path to success, and thought I could pave your way. I tell you now, it isn't going to happen."
Dismissively turning his attention back to the stack of midterms in front of him, he picked up his red pen. "Find someone else to play your manipulative games on."
The younger man hovered, tension growing. Finn could feel his frustrations building, but remained resolute. If he compromised this principle now, then his entire career became suspect, and his future.
Just when it was looking like he could achieve all his dreams, just when Cannon had come into his life, when he'd reached a level of success in his career that he'd dreamed of, when everything was promising, he could lose it all.
It wasn’t going to happen.

Now Available at 

All Romance EBooks and Amazon


3/31/2014

#nojoke - Big sale at ARE on Pulp Friction and Other M/M titles



#nojoke Sale at ARE

18 titles, discounted by 50% 



Good morning everyone! Great start to another fabulous day in the countryside. I've Just spent an hour or so arranging a special something for you all for tomorrow...No, it's not a practical joke! It's a fifty percent off sale at ARE, my favorite vendor of eBooks. Check the #nojoke sale for a huge selection of titles at a deep discount! Sale prices good today & tomorrow only. 



3/30/2014

New Excerpt for Cold Comfort: In From the Cold #2

Pulp Friction 2014 Presents
In From the Cold #2 

Cold Comfort 

Prince Charming Wannabe Finn Lorensson is living his own fairy tale. Sure, his intended is more frog than princess, but what's love worth if you don't have to slay a few dragons on the way?
Cannon Malloy is adapting…to life in Flagstaff, the cold, teaching...and to Finn. He's about decided that letting himself be loved isn't such a bad thing after all.

When an opportunist from Finn's past threatens both love and career, can the frog save his prince?




EXCERPT

Chapter One

"Professor Lorensson?"
Finn glanced up from a stack of essay exams handwritten by his freshman class to find a handsome young man with a determined tilt to his chin and narrowed eyes hovering in his doorway. The aura of privileged overindulgence hung about the man, from his designer backpack, looped over one shoulder by a strap, to his carefully disarranged hair. He was a picture of spoiled petulance being denied what it wanted for the first time ever.
The man was vaguely familiar, a former student in one of his classes perhaps. "May I help you?"
"You don't remember me, do you?"
Finn squinted, but the shadows hung over the man's face, and he looked a lot like many other young campus men. Thin, moderate height, lugging a backpack and sporting a chin strap beard. "I apologize. I usually do quite well with faces, but, no I don't remember you." Could he be a student in one of Finn's classes? Someone who had never managed to make it to office hours? Someone he hadn't spoken to face to face before? It was one of his requirements for all of his classes that each student see him at least twice a semester, the first time for a discussion of the material and the second to establish a topic for the final written exam. No…the man was familiar, but he couldn't be a student. "Please come in." He gestured to the steel folding chair opposite his desk. His gaze caught on the single rose in a vase on the corner of his desk, and he smiled slightly.
"I'm Lassiter," he announced before stepping farther into the room. The light from Finn's desk lamp cast his face in the right sort of shadow and a shoe dropped. Not a former student, no. A former lover, if a one-night stand could be classified as such. They'd met at a bar the previous summer, and the man's pale good looks had appealed momentarily to Finn's inner Prince Charming. Lassiter had proved to be more the spoiled stepsister than a Cinderella in need of rescue though, and that one occasion had been the extent of their relationship.
"I think you can help me." The man sneered, approaching the desk where Finn sat and glaring down at him. "You can tell me why you denied my request to be assigned to you for advisement."
Finn exhaled slowly, annoyance creeping through him. "My policy on this is quite firm." It didn't matter that he'd never even seen the request. The dean of students was well aware that Finn's hands were full in that department and would have assigned new requests to any of the other ten professors on staff. "I do not mix business and pleasure."
The determined chin tipped up still further, and Finn schooled his expression not to snort as the younger man narrowed his eyes and shifted his hands in his pockets. Did he think he was being intimidating? Or that his attempts at bullying would make Finn change his mind?
"I could go to the dean and tell him about you." And there, now the threat was unmistakable. A cold, hard anger tightened Finn's gut. His nostrils flared but he refrained from reaching across the desk and shaking the young fool. What the hell was the matter with today's kids that they thought blackmail and bribery were the way to get what they wanted?
Unfortunately, this particular millennial was barking up the wrong tree. "I make no secret of my sexual orientation. The dean as well as most of the faculty and many of the students are quite aware of my preferences. Some even have attempted to use their knowledge to their own ends." He squared his shoulders and lowered his voice, narrowing his eyes on the man across the desk. "Whether by offering me favors in exchange for grades or threatening to expose me to scandal and ridicule. Is that what you're about now? Is that why you were in that club last summer in the first place?"
The man started, shook minutely, then stiffened. "You took advantage of me, a drunk student. The dean and press will hardly look favorably upon that! All I am asking in return for my silence is that you tell the dean you've changed your mind and will accept my petition for advisement."
"I can't do that." Finn pushed his chair back, then leaned forward, watching the man earnestly. He'd been approached  by love-struck students before, young men and women with crushes, awed by his looks or intelligence or some perceived need they saw in him that they felt they fulfilled, or more likely, some need in themselves that they thought he could fulfill. Those he let down easy, this one though…he didn't have the doe-eyed look of someone who fancied himself in love. Not that that would have changed things.
"Really. My load is full. I have twelve advisees in masters' programs and six doing doctoral research. I teach my three classes on campus and another three online from home. There's no way I could offer you the guidance you need to develop your studies." And he didn't exchange academic favors for mediocre blow jobs. Especially not when he had a man like Cannon Malloy, strangely vulnerable and achingly needy, who was perfect for him at home. Or rather, next door. He'd been true to his word, treating Cannon like a friend, coaxing him slowly into his arms over the last two months, backing off at the least sign of anxiety or prickliness.
"I won't create more work for you. You're the best, that's what they all say. I want you for my advisor."
Assuming a stern expression, Finn remained firm. "We slept together. There is no way I can accept you as my advisee, even if the decision were solely mine to make. As you so adroitly pointed out, it would be unethical."
A flush darkened the thin cheeks, and tension vibrated the man's frame. His hands in his pockets jerked and pulled at the fabric. "This isn't the end of this! You'll see!"
"I sincerely hope that you let the matter drop. I assure you there is no way that this will happen, and to be honest, I have no idea why you think it would be a good idea to force me to be your advisor when I do not wish to do so. That can hardly create the rapport needed for a successful education." He glanced derisively at the boy, because despite the fact that he was in his late twenties, this was clearly no man but a spoiled child.
The flush deepened to an allover blush of humiliation that might have stirred some pity in Finn if the man hadn't been attempting to victimize him "You wouldn't hold it against me. Everyone says you're fair. That's why I wanted you."
"Are you sure you didn't want me because you thought you could continue to leverage that mediocre blow job into an A? Or an eventual placement in the doctoral program? Hm?" He quirked a brow. "You're just looking for an easy path to success, and thought I could pave your way. I tell you now, it isn't going to happen."
Dismissively turning his attention back to the stack of midterms in front of him, he picked up his red pen. "Find someone else to play your manipulative games on."
The younger man hovered, tension growing. Finn could feel his frustrations building, but remained resolute. If he compromised this principle now, then his entire career became suspect, and his future.
Just when it was looking like he could achieve all his dreams, just when Cannon had come into his life, when he'd reached a level of success in his career that he'd dreamed of, when everything was promising, he could lose it all.
It wasn’t going to happen.

LOOK FOR COLD COMFORT
APRIL 1, 2014 

AT EBOOK VENDORS 

Be Yourself

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~e.e. cummings, 1955