Friday, December 23, 2011

And The Winner Is...

Congratulations to the winner of my newsletter contest:
I'll be sending you an email to ask what format you would like your copy of Secret Light to be, and to get your address for that something I acquired in New Orleans.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in the event, to those of you who subscribed to my newsletter, and to those of you who have been buying and reading my books.

Warmest wishes for the happiest of holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Secret Light Mea Culpa

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very  happy holiday season. Hanukkah has begun and Christmas is only days away. Kwanzaa begins on the 26th! Unbelievable! I won't even bother to say how fast the year went for me, I'm sure it went as fast or faster for everyone.

My Hanukkah themed holiday novella, Secret Light released yesterday, on the twentieth.

It's the story of Rafe Coleman, who has lost faith and isolated himself in a cocoon of fine things and success but longs for companionship and Ben Morgan, who sees how lonely he is and wants to do something about it.

I'm so happy with that story, but I need to issue a sincere apology. If you purchased it before around 3:00 A.M. on the 21st it contained what I considered to be a pretty glaring error. I think my heart stopped when I realize that I'd inadvertently typed the name Nick Chance (referring to Dashiell Hammett's famously hard-drinking detective) instead of Nick Charles.

I know Hammett and my ├╝ber author girlcrush Lillian Hellman (and maybe even William Powell) are rolling around in their graves right now. I can't tell you how much I love the Nick and Nora Charles characters, and I can't believe I did that. Moreover, I can't believe someone didn't squash me like a bug for doing it before now, or that the whole of civilization as we know it didn't collapse. I have an awful feeling that sometimes people just trust me to know what I'm talking about. Which is probably not a good thing. Or like me, they just see what they believe should be there, and not what's actually on the page.

The most important lesson we can take away from this is I need new glasses at the very least, or a much younger brain.

BUT... All is not lost. Due to the magic of eBooks, anyone can have the corrected copy by downloading the file from Loose Id again, with my sincerest apologies.

Mea Culpa for my inexcusable lapse. Download it again, or buy it for the first time...HERE

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What makes a family?

I don't have time for a long essay today and fortunately this picture does't really need one. Suffice it to say that LOVE makes a family. It can be the family you are born with or the family you choose. It can be a family made up of fathers, mothers, children, friends and relatives in any combination. The main ingredient is Love. It's mixed with Loyalty and Trust and Respect. It yields Strength and Individuality and Courage.

I stand for family, but I can't really define it for anyone else, only for myself.

This motley lot of people who are sitting in camp chairs reading from computers and laptops and e-devices (and the occasional book) while all of nature spreads it spectacular vistas around us in Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, is mine. They make me a better person than I ever believed I could be.

Check out this site, and see if it doesn't make you feel good about your family too.

Happy Holidays from Sloth Parenting Central
Z.A. Maxfield

Monday, December 19, 2011

Secret Light

My latest novella, Secret Light, will be out on December 20, 2011.

Rafe Colman's likes his life. He has a nice home, a good job, and a wonderful dog. But he's exhausted by living a lie. When his home is vandalized because of his perceived German ancestry, he can't even share the irony with friends. 

Officer Ben Morgan falls for Rafe's dog first, but it isn't long before he's giving her owner the eye. He thinks they have more in common than the search for Rafe's vandals, and he's willing to take a chance and find out.

If life in 1955 is tough on a cop in the closet, it's even tougher on a refugee who's desperate to hide his roots and fit in. Rafe knows from tragic experience how vicious prejudice can be. Every second with Ben is stolen, every kiss fraught with danger.

When Ben's partner threatens to ruin everything, Rafe and Ben have to fight to protect what they have, in Secret Light...


Excerpt: “Officer Morgan. This is a surprise.” Rafe stepped back to let him in and Mooki went berserk, circling their ankles and nearly tripping them up.

“Good evening, Mr. Colman. I thought I’d stop by to see how you’re doing.” Morgan fidgeted with his keys. He had competent-looking hands with square fingers. For a moment, Rafe got lost looking at the fine hairs on the backs of his knuckles.

“Please come in.” Rafe backed out of the way. Morgan had seemed larger in his uniform -- but even without it, his was an intimidating presence. “What can I do for you?”

“This isn’t an official call or anything. I wanted to let you know the detectives have a possible lead on this. Probably nothing will come of it, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

“I see. No matter. Damage done.” Rafe motioned his visitor toward the kitchen, where he planned to retrieve another beer. His bottle opener was still on the counter, and he picked it up, holding it thoughtfully before speaking. Should he offer something? Was that proper? 

“Would you care for some refreshment? I was about to have another beer.”

“Thank you. That would be just great.” Morgan lifted a hand to his tie but asked permission before he loosened it. “May I? I’ve just come from taking my mother to mass.”

“Make yourself comfortable. You took your mother to church? What a gentleman. You must make her very proud.”

“She’s an old-fashioned girl.” He shrugged off the compliment. Ben stuffed his tie into his pocket and took a beer -- served in a glass with the perfect amount of foam. “She doesn’t like to go without family. After my father died…”

“You go every Saturday night?” Ben nodded. Rafe couldn’t help but smile. “You are a very good son, Officer Morgan.”

“Please, call me Ben. I see you were able to begin the cleanup process.”

“Ah, yes. Thanks to fine police investigation, they completed the insurance report on Thursday and gave me permission to have things hauled away. I am apparently covered for arson.”

“I’m glad.”

“I believe your partner thought I did it myself.”

Ben stopped in the act of bringing his glass to his lips. “You think?”

“My brand-new car was elsewhere when my garage burned. I don’t blame him, but he isn’t a very subtle man.”

“No. He’s not. I’m sorry about that.”

“I did point out that if I wanted sympathy, I’d hardly put heil Hitler on the door.”

“Well, now…” Ben smiled. “You could be a spy of some sort.”

“You may laugh, but there was a time I passionately wanted to spy for the US against Germany. I had the language; I was familiar with the countries involved.”

“But you said your heart…?”

“Yes. I didn’t even know I had a problem, actually, until they told me. I rarely suffer from it. Occasional shortness of breath and palpitations, which I’d always attributed to overexertion or nerves. I was far too young to serve as a spy, but I imagined myself in the role. Then the war ended.”

“You might have made a good spy.”

“I would have been a great spy. I’m an excellent liar.” Before Rafe had a chance to regret saying that to a police officer, he changed the subject. “Follow me if you’d like more comfortable seating.”

Ben followed, and Mooki tagged along with them into the living room, her tapping toenails silenced as soon as they left the wood floor and crossed over the Oriental rug.

Was it his imagination, or was Rafe nervous? Ben supposed it was the normal reaction of having a policeman in one’s home. It was his experience that even his relatives acted out of character; they watched what they said around him.

The fastidious Rafe -- who poured beer into pilsner glasses and provided cocktail napkins for his guests -- sat in a wing chair, inviting Ben to take up a comfortable position on the couch. Ben placed his beer on a coaster on the coffee table between them.

“This is a nice place.” Ben glanced around. “Two bedrooms?”

“Three.” Rafe shrugged. He took a pipe from the table next to him and held it up. “Do you mind?”

Ben shook his head. “I like it, actually.”

Ben watched Rafe’s hands with interest. The act was precise and practiced. Rafe packed his pipe, then removed a 
wooden match from a box bearing the name of a local, swanky restaurant, which he struck and allowed to flare for a second. He pursed his lips and drew a number of puffs to ignite the tobacco, after which Rafe blew out a thin stream of smoke with a deeply satisfied sigh.

“I work from home sometimes, and it’s ideal to have an office here.”

“It will be ideal for a family someday.” Ben watched him carefully when he said it, but it drew not a flicker of response. “I take it there’s no imminent Mrs. Rafe Colman?”

“I’m afraid not,” came the easy reply. “For all my immense personal charm, I have no luck keeping a young lady happy for long. Perhaps it’s because I can’t keep my eyes in my head.”

“That could make a girl unhappy.”

“There are just so many lovely girls. Don’t you find?” Smoke billowed into the air. Ben felt uncomfortable all of a sudden, as though Rafe was able to see right through him. As if Rafe was filling the air with smoke to create a barrier between them. 

“Girls are always ready to throw themselves at a man. What can one do?”

“Poor man,” Ben said, a little too sharply.

Rafe blinked. “I’m sorry. I don’t ever seem to say the right thing with you, do I?”

“Maybe it’s me.” Ben looked into his glass. Should he go?

“I make a very fine living saying the right thing to everyone. For the most part, it’s like a running tap. It seems to shut off when you’re around.”

Ben sipped his beer to hide his pleasure at this. He liked keeping people off balance; it was in his nature to poke at things to see what the result might be. He’d been told his curiosity was discomfiting, but it didn’t stop him. He thought he was more a stickler for honesty than most. “That or I’m some idiotic, prickly bastard who shouldn’t be around people much.”

“No. That’s not it.” Rafe’s face registered something like regret. “I think you may be like one of those polygraph machines. You should be a detective, not a policeman.”

“As a matter of fact, I’m working on that.”

“Does that mean you will wear horrible, shiny suits and gum shoes?”

“Certainly. I’ve been reading detective stories all my life, and I’d be disappointed not to.”

In the silence that fell between them, Ben found himself thinking about Dashiell Hammett and how Rafe reminded him of Nick Charles -- elegant and effortlessly appealing -- whereas he had more in common with Sam Spade. Sam Spade had seen things. He knew things -- about life, about people -- that made him an outsider and, at the same time, the ultimate chameleon. A neutral man in a black-and-white world. He wondered if Rafe would agree with the comparison.

Colman drew him. He was urgently attracted to the dapper Austrian. He’d come there that evening to poke at Colman, to drop the tiniest hint that they might have something more in common than a crime scene. To convey in some perfectly harmless way that he’d admired Colman’s composure, and more, that he felt connected to him somehow, that he might have liked -- might imagine -- Colman felt that too.

Nothing short of survival held him back.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

And The Winner Is...

I had my daughter organize the prize drawing for ZAM's Stuff Your Stocking Blog Hop. She got the winner through a series of arcane procedures that jumbled everyone up into a pile and then she used the random number generator folks at


Drumroll please~~~

Jason In Colorado!!! I'm sending you an email right now!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking!

Welcome to the Stuff Your Stocking Blog Hoppers!

Here is the Link to the Blog Hop Central where you can find all the participating authors and links to their blogs. Seriously, we are talking some fantastic writers!

Here's my contest -- very simple, or you can make it a little bit harder and have a better chance.
  • Leave a comment on this post. You don't have to be clever but you can be! LOL
  • Include your email so i can find you if you win!
  • Follow this blog (you can follow by GFC which obligates you to nothing so no worries) 

If you would like to earn another entry in the drawing which will occur after the end of the hop, you can do this: Go to my website Find the A Picture Perfect Holiday page under Books click on the read more button. In the excerpt posted there find the number Christian's wears on his football jersey Email me the answer zamaxfield at zamaxfield dot com and put contest number two in the subject heading. You will get a second entry!

My prize will be a copy of each of my holiday stories, A Picture Perfect Holiday and Secret Light, (which debuts from Loose Id December 20th.) What Child Is This? and I Heard Him Exclaim.
 Looking for that perfect holiday read? Then try one of ZA Maxfield's holiday stories. it will surely get you in the mood for the season.
*Newest Holiday Release #1*
A Picture Perfect Holiday by Z. A. Maxfield
Contemporary M/M Holiday
MLR Press
“Then Christian snatches that camera from them while it’s in midair, one handed, like a snake” —Caleb’s hand shot out to demonstrate— “and throws his arm around my shoulders. He doesn’t smile at me or anything.”
“Aw.” Erin, having heard all this before, is texting with someone. “So sweet.”
“But he says, ‘Don’t let those clowns get to you. They’re just jealous because you have something nice and you’re not afraid of what people will say.’”
“And you say, ‘But now I am afraid.’” Erin looked up at him.
“And he says to me, “Don’t be. I got your back.’”
 *Upcoming Holiday Release #2*
Secret Light by Z. A. Maxfield
Loose Id Publishing
Coming December 20th, 2011
Contemporary Historical M/M, Holiday

Rafe Colman's likes his life. He has a nice home, a good job, and a wonderful dog. But he's exhausted by living a lie. When his home is vandalized because of his perceived German ancestry, he can't even share the irony with friends. 

Officer Ben Morgan falls for Rafe's dog first, but it isn't long before he's giving her owner the eye. He thinks they have more in common than the search for Rafe's vandals, and he's willing to take a chance and find out.

If life in 1955 is tough on a cop in the closet, it's even tougher on a refugee who's desperate to hide his roots and fit in. Rafe knows from tragic experience how vicious prejudice can be. Every second with Ben is stolen, every kiss fraught with danger.

When Ben's partner threatens to ruin everything, Rafe and Ben have to fight to protect what they have, in Secret Light...
*Other Holiday books to enjoy*
What Child is This? by Z. A. Maxfield
A Crossing Borders Story
Loose Id Publsihing
Contemporary M/M, Holiday
Michael and Tristan are finally taking that much needed weekend away for Christmas. They’ve been working so hard at their respective careers there hasn’t been time for a breather, much less a chance to reconnect and see if they’ve been working toward what they both want.
Like always, Michael’s well-laid plan is derailed by a phone call from Apple House. Three of their charges have gone missing and while Michael is worried, it’s not unusual for the young adults who stay at the shelter for homeless LGBT teens to come and go.
But when one of them calls Michael and asks if – hypothetically speaking – it’s considered kidnapping to keep a baby who’s been abandoned, Michael and Tristan head home with all speed to sort things out.
Two couples need answers in a heartwarming holiday tale of taking stock, reaffirming commitments, and catching the perfect
wave in What Child Is This? A Crossing Borders Christmas Story.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.


I Heard Him Exclaim by Z. A. Maxfield
Part of the 'His For the Holidays' Anthology
Carina Press
Contemporary M/M, Holidays
Who Likes a Skinny Santa?
Steve Adams’s heart hasn’t been in the Christmas spirit ever since doctors put a stent in it and ordered him to clean up his act. No longer filling out his Santa suit or allowed to make merry, he’s forgoing the holidays this year and heading to Vegas to indulge in the few vices left to him: gambling and anonymous sex.
His road trip takes a detour when he encounters Chandler Tracey, who’s just inherited guardianship of his five-year-old niece. Overwhelmed, Chandler’s on his way to deliver Poppy to his parents. But fate has other plans and, after car trouble, Chandler and Poppy accept a ride home with Steve. Though the heat between the two men is obvious, they put it on simmer while they band together to make Poppy’s Christmas as perfect as possible.
Steve soon comes to believe that while Chandler is the right person to look after Poppy, Someone needs to look after Chandler. Fortunatly, Steve knows just the man for the job.