Friday, May 27, 2011

Doc In A Box

This morning I had the opportunity to show up at my doctor's office without an appointment! While ordinarily this would strike fear into my heart, my doctor's place is one of the new offices that have walk-in appointments, a computer concierge service, and mouse calls... which is very convenient.

It seems that I blew out my back somehow, and I have been lying around like a half eaten holiday ham for a few days, unable to walk. (Which is not to say that I'm sick per se, I have an autoimmune illness which flares up in the form of joint pain and swelling once a year or so.)

Normally I manage my back with the core strengthening power of Pilates, which I wouldn't say I do very strenuously, but along with walking it seems to help. Even though I should be doing TEN TIMES more than I do, I don't get into trouble, usually.

Enter May, the Merry Month during which I have such tight deadlines -- and face it, some laziness issues -- that I blew off my Personal Trainer, the much adored Beverly, Pilates Mistress of The Damned, and I've been paying for that with three days during which I was barely able to crawl to the kitchen and eat peanut butter from the jar.

Of course I don't really do that. I put it on bread. Sheesh...

So guess what! This was the phlebotomist's first Blood Draw! Yippee! At one point my blood was flying into the tube like we were in a slasher film because my heart was racing. Maybe a phlebotomist shouldn't say, "So, I should do it like this, huh, what if it doesn't come out?" To the lady overseeing her within the patient's hearing. Just saying...

So, issued from the bottom of my heart, Mea Culpa, Bev...

I know I could have saved myself all this trouble with moderate, ongoing strength training exercise...

And If I drop like... a bunch of weight and eat right. What's the nutritional equivalent of "atheists in foxholes," I wonder?

At any rate, back to my normal self in a teeny moment. In the meantime, talk amongst yourselves...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rhapsody For Piano And Ghost

Get your copy today!

Excerpt ~

Julian was graceful. Fitz had noticed a certain elegance in the way he’d moved when they’d walked here from the club. Julian’s every movement was fluid yet controlled, as if any lack of restraint would cause him to whirl off and perform some complicated ballet moves. His long legs were strong. Fitz could see the muscles of his calves and thighs under the drape of his trousers. His back was strong and straight while his shoulders were… Fitz swallowed. For an older guy, he was hot. Julian held his head to the side a little, like he was Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and Fitz knew he’d been trained to dance like that. That it was something to do with…line, maybe. Julian’s was flawless. It was a pleasure to watch, so Fitz sat like a child at the top of the stairs and spied on them through the banisters.

“You still dance like a god,” Serge told Julian. He’d removed his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeves, revealing fine, strong forearms. His vest fit him snugly, accentuating broad shoulders and a trim waist.

“When I’m in your arms, I quite forget everything else.” Julian acted coy. He flirted more than anyone Fitz had ever seen, and Serge ate it up with a spoon.

“Perhaps we should find something more modern than a Strauss waltz.” Serge broke away and left Julian standing there. A moment later, Fitz heard the music change to some old song about a skylark.

Et bien,” Serge said low in his throat, as if the act of speaking French caused his voice to deepen. “Viens avec moi, mon ange. Allons danser.

“Oh, Serge,” Julian sighed. Serge pulled Julian to him again, this time more intimately. He slipped his hand around Julian’s waist but dropped it low, to the base of his spine, pulling him in tight. His other hand pressed Julian’s palm to his chest and held it there. Julian rested his head on Serge’s shoulder.

Fitz bit his lip. They were…amazing together. The contrast of Julian’s light hair and Serge’s dark; the way they rubbed their bristly cheeks together. It was an act as intimate as naked foreplay. Fitz shifted in his seat, stuck now, not wanting to rise from his perch because they might see him, and not really that thrilled to be sitting there watching because their mood was very clearly turning more romantic. Serge began to sing to Julian, a clear, lovely baritone voice that seemed to throb with desire.

Wow. What wouldn’t Fitz give to have someone hold him like that? The right someone, he clarified, not a guy who was going to try to get him high and then throw him into a trash bin because he refused to bend over in the bathroom…

Before he knew it, Fitz was blinking back tears.

Well, shit.

Julian raised the hand he’d had draped around Serge’s neck and cupped the back of his head to pull him in for a kiss. And what a kiss it was. Fitz rolled his eyes. He would think two guys who’d been together long enough to finish each other’s sentences would have at least taken the edge off a little before then.

But Julian kissed Serge like it was time to get off the amphibious assault craft and storm the beach at Normandy. And Serge…well, Serge just worshipped Julian. Like he’d found the cure for cancer. And it went on and on, long after that skylark song was over and two more besides it, until something about nightingales came on and the two men were beginning to get touchy-feely.


By now Fitz couldn’t tear his gaze away. He hoped to heaven he didn’t have to wait until he was that old for some guy to want him like that. He was definitely going to have to head to bed before these two went any further, or he’d cream himself. It helped to remember he was wearing some unknown girl’s pajamas. He began to rise to his feet when a hush came over the room. The music had finished playing, but Serge and Julian still danced as though they heard it.

Serge.” Julian tipped his head back to give Serge access to his neck. Fitz heard his moan -- a low cry deep in his throat -- when Serge bit down on the hump of muscle at the junction of his neck and shoulder. Both of Serge’s hands slipped down to Julian’s ass cheeks to hold him steady while they ground against one other.

On y va?” Serge asked between kisses. “J’en ai besoin, mon ange.”

“Of course, my lover.” Julian pulled back to answer him. “I need you as well.”

Fitz saw Julian leap into Serge’s arms, and he wanted to hold up a score card or something, like a perfect 10.0 from the American judge, when Julian locked his ankles behind Serge’s back and Serge took his weight without skipping a beat. They rocked together briefly, sinuously, and then Serge began to move. Fitz assumed he was heading in the direction of the nearest bed and had a moment of blind panic when he realized they might head his way, up the stairs.

Instead they seemed to be going in the direction of the nearest wall, and Fitz’s heart nearly burst with joy. His mouth went dry, and he was alternately besieged by excitement and shame.

Ohcrapohcrapohcrap… Should he…could he watch?

On the one hand, Fitz would be delighted to see these two in action. He’d clearly underestimated the sheer, blessed hottitude that could exist between two weirdly handsome older guys. He and his dick were firmly and inconveniently engaged in an act of voyeurism the likes of which he’d never experienced since Adelaide’s second husband, Edward the Exhibitionist, went after the pool boy when Fitz was in second grade.

But back then the idea of a man getting banged by another man simply didn’t have the oompah it had for him now. He’d thought someone was going to be injured, and he’d been bewildered and hurt by Adelaide’s abrupt and angry reaction when he ran to her and reported what he’d seen.

Alternately -- and more unfortunately -- there seemed to be no getting rid of the deeply inculcated shame of that Irish-kid-from-a-Catholic-school upbringing. So naturally, generations of guilt weren’t wasting any time making him feel awful about watching virtual strangers get it on.

What to do?

Then his old guys did something so shocking that Fitz’s brain shorted out like a rat had chewed through his power cord.

When Fitz got up from where he’d fallen to the bottom of the steps, he thought maybe he’d imagined the whole thing. Or that he’d hit his head on the way down instead of just tripping a little while trying to flee and sliding down on his ass.

Because Serge and Julian had made their sexed-up, nugget-grinding way to the far wall of the living room, which was cream colored, wainscoted in white enameled paneling, and solid as…well…as any wall could ever be, and they’d simply…disappeared through it.



Fitz headed for the bedroom they’d left him in and crawled back into bed. Fucking Garrett and his damn drugs. Fucking ecstasy.

First he narrowly escaped getting his cherry popped in the bathroom of a damned club; then he woke up in a trash bin with some old English guy trying to yoink his jacket; next he hallucinated ballroom dancing and old guys making out and disappearing into thin air. He felt tears sting his eyelids but refused to give in to them.

He needed a good night’s sleep and maybe a quart of coffee in the morning and he’d be good as new.

Because shit.

Poof, man.

Nothing good could come of that.

Exclusively at Loose Id

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Holy Sh*t

Very little that I've done puts me over the moon (beside my family). I mean, I live and work in a small Orange County suburb. I drive a soccer/jazz choir/orchestra mother-of-four car. I wear stretchy active wear pants. I know you didn't really want to know all that, but it sets up how perfectly amazing this thing, this impossible thing that happened this morning makes me feel.

Remember when I found out from a librarian at that they have St. Nacho's in some branch of the Chicago Public Library? ZOMG, that was a great feeling. Libraries are sacred!

Well, I discovered this, this morning:

I know it doesn't look like much, but this is A Different Light Bookstore's current homepage, and it has me in the form of Crossing Borders snuggled right up there next to Armistead Maupin. SQUEE!

I dunno. Stuff like that just KNOCKS my socks off. First of all, A Different Light Bookstore! That's a fabulous bookstore. I couldn't get arrested in there when I went to San Francisco to check it out the first time. They wouldn't even order a book for me, going so far as to tell me that it was out of print. Which it wasn't. I went back to the hotel room and bought it online at Amazon that afternoon.

ADL employees weren't known, like Cecily from The Importance Of Being Ernest, for the sweetness of their disposition. Or maybe they just didn't want to deal with women? The clerk was distinctly chilly to me, maybe because I had my adolescent son in tow. I was in San Francisco that time to Chaperone my kid's GATE field trip. We stayed the weekend and decided to brave Castro because I'd read the ADL ad and wanted a copy of this book:

This is an awesome read, by the way.

At any rate, I came home to find it waiting on my doorstep, quickly fulfilled by the Amazon Wonder Elves. I fight the entity that is Amazon, (I picture I'm like one of those Apes at the beginning of 2001 and it's the monolith) but I can say that when I went to ADL, a brick-and -morter bookstore because they purported to carry this item on their shelves, they sent me away empty handed and feeling like I ought to stick to sunning myself under the blue flashing light at K-mart. I also came home feeling that as a woman and a barely published author I didn't have the right to walk into that store, and that I had probably never try to go back, even though at the time their best selling book was J.L. Langley's The Tin Star.

This isn't sour grapes by the way, because as proprietors of their store, they have a right to maintain any attitude they want. There are plenty of exclusive hair salons, for example, or clothing stores that would exclude me as a customer, (Pretty Woman, anyone?) because their cachet depends on keeping people like me out. That's sad, but it's true. It's also entirely possible I caught the sales clerk on the day his dog threw up on his master's thesis, his grandmother had a car accident, someone stole his motorcycle, or he was nursing a broken heart and his young lover's disapproving mother looked JUST LIKE ME. Seriously. Who knows why things happen?

I never imagined I'd sell there, although I know they now carry my books in print at the store as well, or at least someone I know bought ePistols At Dawn there. And I never imagined I'd see myself all curled up with a brilliant author like Armistead Maupin, who I'm sure woke up this morning to the same ad and said, What the F*&K? I'm next to some soccer mom with a word processor and nothing better to do than write romance novels??? It's all good, folks. Just a delight for me, as a writer, to see my work in that context.

And when you add to that the fact that my kid's a cappella jazz choir sang the National Anthem for the Chivas v. Galaxy Soccer match last night (Galaxy #23 is hella hot, by the way.)

It's a glorious day to be me!

You can check out the books at ADL, HERE



Friday, May 20, 2011

Everybody Dance!

I'm already on my feet and moving -- I can't think of a better way to end the week. Happy Friday, everybody!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

ZOMG Cover art!

It's my pleasure to present the cover of my book Rhapsody For Piano And Ghost, by P.L. Nunn. The book is due for release 5/24/2011.

I am such a P.L. Nunn Fangirl!

Bully for you! love, Teddy

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the triumph of great achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." 

--Theodore Roosevelt 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Golden Blush from Literary Nymphs...

Literary Nymphs posted a terrific review of All Stirred Up today, giving it the very exciting

Golden Blush award!

Among other things, they said:

"The talented ZA Maxfield has created a superb and extremely enjoyable saga. I recommend All Stirred Up to anyone who enjoys this genre."

You can read the rest of the review HERE

For MLR Press, go HERE

For Direct to Kindle transfer, go HERE

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Sunday Snippet

“I’d like to see you dressed like a cowboy. A real one, not like those Tony Lama’s-and-embroidered-shirt types.”

“Really? I hadn’t figured you for the cowboy type. I thought you’d want a man dressed like Gordon Gecko. Eight-thousand­ dollar suits and ties made by organic free-range silkworms. Hand- sewn Egyptian cotton shirts.”

“Nah. I just want a man.”

“Any man?”

That stopped Brendan short, leaving his hand hanging in the air as he reached for a Henley T-shirt in a nice shade of olive green. That was odd. Usually the answer to that question was a resounding yes. “Not today, no.”

“I see.”

Brendan rolled his eyes. “You do? I don’t. Don’t take this personally, but usually I just want to hook up. For some reason, the only man I want today is you, Dr. Melovitch.”

“Color me flabbergasted.” Brendan shrugged his shoulders and continued shopping. “And call me Dirk.”

Brendan shuddered. “Honestly? I’m not sure I can say Dirk without laughing. A less Dirk-like person could not exist. Who named you? Clive Cussler? Dirk Melovitch.

“It does have an odd ring to it. You’re not the first to mention that.”

“So you want to dress up like a cowboy now that you’re not my shrink anymore?”

Worry clouded Dirk’s expression. “Yeah...except...”

“Except what?”

“I think you need a shrink more than you need a cowboy, and if I were any kind of—”

“Don’t.” Brendan stopped him. “Maybe you’re right. But it’s too late for that, and I want you to be my cowboy.”

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Writer's Life...

Thanks to Phoenix Emrys for sharing this on the little patch of Twitter I inhabit! I think my family will probably recognize this:

And Obviously, thanks to James Andrew Wilson, the writer who tells it like it is...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Favor, please...

Can you run an errand for me pretty please?

I'm trying to eventually phase out -- at least make more private -- my original, personal Facebook page. I do have an "Author Page" where I make my professional announcements and retweet my tweets. That "public persona" page wasn't available when I started and now that I have it, I'm happy to make my announcements there so my friends and family don't feel like I'm pitching my work all the time.

The name is the same, but if you could please go to the facebook search box and type in ZAMaxfield, and then please just "like" that professional page, I can't tell you how much I'd appreciate it.

Please feel free to still friend me on my private Facebook page, or be my friend at livejournal, here:

or add my blogger blog to your RSS feeds, (whatever that means, seriously, I have no idea!)

Or say hi to me at Twitter, where I'm @zamaxfield or at any of my email addresses, I'm simply trying to consolidate the work related announcements to one place.

Thanks in advance for your time! :D

Thoughtful Thursday

That is all.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Plot Bunnies Beware!

A Mechanical Mondays Post

Last weekend I took the Robert McKee Story Seminar, a weekend course on story craft. I had a great time. It was a grueling four days of lectures -- from nine a.m. to seven p.m. -- during which I stayed at the Westin, which is cool because I let the staff there pamper me a little. The schedule was tough, the people pretty preoccupied. Lots of industry folks there, bursting from the classes and hitting their phones instead of socializing and there was none of that great restaurant hopping and drinking that happens at Romantic Times or other conferences. I truly missed my little bunch of bar and buffet buddies from RT! (You KNOW who you are...)

Lots of people argue that I could get that same kind of information from the web, from observation, from reading and watching film, from books, from local courses, and I would have to agree. What I can't get is the time to be alone in the midst of assimilating all that information -- time where I have nothing more to do than go over my notes in a nice hotel room and ask myself the million dollar question: I know a lot of this stuff, what keeps me from putting into practice perfectly each and every single time?

The reflection on this always leads to what seem like minute changes but make the work a little better, a little more fluid, a bit easier, or harder sometimes, but more worthwhile. And that's why I go.

Every time I attend a class or panel discussion on craft, whether it's a fairly expensive course like this one, or a freebie offered at a conference I'm attending I learn something new. Whether I am reading a book about writing or just reading a great book, the truth is each pass at craft causes a minor course correction which slightly changes my trajectory as a writer.

Do I plan on writing the next big hollywood blockbuster screenplay. Nah. Not really. But if taking that course reminds me of the necessity of picking exactly the right "inciting incident" in my storyline and beginning my book at exactly the right moment in a novel I'm already working on? (something I have yet to do with the perfect confidence I could have done it no other way) That would really be something, huh?

In the meantime, I'm here to report that there is no shortage of tragically hip people in LA, and that alas, I was not one of them...

Get All Stirred UP!

Don't forget to check out the newest Z.A. Maxfield release from MLR Press:

Here for MLR Press

Here for Amazon