Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tuesday Teaser! - The "Thursday Twofer" edition!

Java PrintingI admit that this week I’ve dropped the ball. Not only did I not do a Tuesday Teaser last week,  I am late with this one. Suffice it to say, though, this week I have TWO of your favorite authors, and I am giving away TWO prizes. My only excuse is that I was in Atlanta for GRL and I came home with conference Cooties. Tomorrow, I have Jury Duty! Am I pitiful enough yet?

Let’s get to the main event!


Let’s Have A big Tuesday Teaser Welcome To My TWO Guest Authors! 

First Up, we have Tara Lain, who is not only a terrific writer but one of my dear friends. We’re both members of the Orange County chapter of the RWA and I am lucky enough to see her once a month at meetings. Here’s her bio, straight from her website:

I’m Tara Lain and I write The Beautiful Boys of Romance. I love all my characters, but especially my unique heroes. I write mostly MM romance with some MMF as well. I love the intensity, passion, lack of gender roles, diversity, and innate drama that accompany two men in love. Giving my guys their happy ever after is my favorite thing. I write serious themes with a light touch and readers often call my books “sweet” despite all the hot sex!  I believe in love and enjoy giving more of it to the world! 

And here’s her snippet. Your mission is to guess which Tara Lain book this comes from, you know the drill. Email me at zamaxfield @ zamaxfield dot com and put Teaser Tuesdays in the subject line. Guess the name of the book and I’ll draw the winner before next Tuesday ——>

Movement. Slight but there. The eyelids fluttered, and ****** stared into bloodshot brown. He pulled off the respirator, and *** coughed convulsively. ****** leaned over, but could barely hear the whisper. “I couldn’t let you go.”

“Hey, ******, we got him.” The EMT reached out and tried to take the canvas from those graceful, lethal hands. ***’s eyes had closed, but he clutched the painting to his chest like a child clutches a doll.

****** murmured, “Don’t worry, baby. I’ve got it.”

Two EMTs took *** from ******’s arms. He gently extricated the canvas from ***’s hands and watched them load him onto a stretcher. God, he looked so small and vulnerable. But that little frame contained a mighty heart. Why in hell had he done it?

As the EMTs loaded the stretcher into the ambulance, ****** glanced at the canvas. Sweet Jesus. His own face looked back. Perfect, illuminated, glowing as if it emitted light. Heat filled his chest, prickling behind his eyes. Shit, he wanted to smack ***. Right after he kissed him.

21_icImage Our Second snippet - comes from multi talented author Lynn Lorenz, who is also a friend! Here’s her bio, from her website:

Lynn Lorenz lives in Texas, where she’s a fan of all things Texan, like Longhorns, big hair, and cowboys in tight jeans. She’s never met a comma she didn’t like, and enjoys editing and brainstorming with other writers. Lynn spends most of her time writing about hot sex with even hotter heroes, plot twists, werewolves, and medieval swashbucklers. She’s currently at work on her latest book, making herself giggle and blush, and avoiding all the housework.

“I want to apologize,” **** said. His voice was all raspy and gruff and sexy as hell.

****** stared up into his face, waiting. **** scuffed his boot against the cement but didn’t say anything else. He shoulders hunched, as if he’d curled up inside himself but still walked upright. Something ate at ****. Served him right. As far as ****** was concerned, there’d been too many “somethings.”

“So which one are you apologizing for? Lying to me about being gay? Trying to steal my best friend away from me? Making me think I was nuts? Or manipulating me?”

**** winced with each item ****** ticked off. “All of it, I guess.”

“Apology accepted. Good night.” ****** shut the door, but ****’s arm shot out and stopped it.

“Wait.” He licked his lips.

“There’s more?” ****** arched a brow.

**** stood there, looking at his feet. Maybe be was trying to figure out which one to shove in his mouth first.

****** sighed. “Why are you here, ****?”

**** looked up, and ****** could see some internal battle being waged as demons danced in the depths of ****’s blue eyes.

Hell and damnation. Why did the man have to be so damned sexy? So in need of healing?


IMG_0084And that’s it! Go forth and make your guesses! You could win an ebook from one of these lovely authors!

Tara Lain and Lynn Lorenz, as always…it was a total pleasure to see you in Atlanta. I cherish all the time I get to spend with you!!! Looking forward to next year in Chicago!


Tuesday Teaser! - The "Thursday Twofer" edition!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Brunch Blog


Hey Sunday Brunch lovers – Now that I’ve dined in the south, no Sunday brunch will ever be complete for me without grits! At the end I’ll link you to a little recipe for cheese grits courtesy of Alton Brown of the Food Network!

Here’s how my Sunday Brunch Blog works:  I invite a couple of your favorite authors to my blog and ask them a question. Sometimes my questions are silly, sometimes they’re thought-provoking. My guests will share their answers with me and you, gentle readers, can give your answer to my question in the comment section below. I’ll choose one random person from the comments and reward them with an ebook surprise, it’s that simple!

Tell me what your answer would be in the comments, and you could win an e-book!

This weeks question isn’t really a question, but a topic:

Describe any misfortune that turned out to be a gift in disguise.

th_hisbestman_1Looking back, most of my life hasn’t been exactly easy but—well, you know, it’s life and it’s yours.  You live it and move on to the next phase when it arrives.  I never liked the other alternatives.

Well, except for fiction and usually romance fiction.  When things were tough, a story could get me away from my bad mood or bad situation and I could enjoy myself.  Writing, once I got back to it after a long hiatus, made me feel the same.  Finally I stumbled into publishing, which is one of the most interesting jobs I’ve ever had.

But then my mother was diagnosed with dementia (not that I couldn’t figure it out for myself) and my son, who has developmental issues, hit puberty.  They both lived in my home and they both demanded attention.  I ran for my writing whenever I could but push came to shove.  My day job, which paid the most, my publishing, my writing and my family were too much to handle.

I quit the day job.  I told myself I was stupid and I resented having to do it.  The publishing company was starting to make me a kind of living but nothing else I did paid as much as my day job.  I felt very sorry for myself, very trapped, and very scared.

Quitting turned out to be a gift.  Publishing took off for Loose Id that year.  I kept enough sanity to do all the things I truly wanted or needed to do and I got through to a much better new phase.  I learned to take joy in what is good and happens right now, rather than waiting for something better to come along.  And, believe me, I appreciated Loose Id authors, my own writing, and my family.  I’d like to think it helped my writing, too, since I love my characters to struggle for their happy endings…but I also know there can be a happy ending. Working for a HEA and getting it is why I loved romance so much from the start.  Really believing it can happen is a true gift. — Author Treva Harte

Purchase His Best Man:  Loose Id  Amazon

ImageRIP Dear Volv0 Okay—you know those times in your life when you can take what you can get?

Yeah.  My family was rock bottom broke, and my husband—who was working and going to school in Sacramento while we lived in Ophir—got to use the one good car.

I was stuck at home with a ’74 Volvo that would periodically cease to function for no reason.

And I made the mistake of mentioning this to my father.

“Why don’t you just drive the damned thing?  At least you’ll go somewhere until it stops!”

“Dad, I’ve got two kids in diapers—do I want them in the back of something that’s not going to run?”

And then… oh God.  Does family know how to get under your skin or what?  Cause my dad—who had hauled three kids cross country in a Volkswagen Bus with neither seatbelts, stationary seats, floorboards, or wholly functioning exhaust system—was convinced that anyone without that level of crazy was automatically a pussy of the first water.

“What happened to you?  You used to be so much braver than you are now?”


But you know how it is with family.  You hear the dare, you refuse the dare, and still, the words go ricocheting through your head like a psychotic ping-pong ball.  You used to be so much braver…

Aw, hell.

I was going to have to take the damned car, wasn’t I?

Which is, of course, how I managed to get stalled behind the world’s seediest Chevron station, with, yes, you guessed it.  Two kids.  This was before cell phones, mind you, so the mechanics of getting hold of Mate and having him come and bail us out were painful and traumatic—and notice, by the way, that my father with the “You used to be so much braver than you are now!” was nowhere to be found on this day.  Jerk.

Anyway, even worse than all of that was the fact that we had nothing to do with the car.  See, normally we would have had the car towed—because that’s logical and all, but, see, you know AAA unlimited towing?  That’s a lie.  That’s a big fat lie, they cut you off after fifteen tows in three years.  Yes, I know this from experience, why do you think I’m bitter?

And we didn’t have the money to have it towed.  Hell, I had to scrape the floorboards of the damned Volvo to find money for milk to give the poor puzzled offspring as we sat in the heat and waited for a lift.

And if we could have afforded to have it fixed, well, I wouldn’t have been in that pickle in the first place, right?

So we left it.

Yup.  Left it.  And every so often we’d pass the gas station, and there it would be, layers of tickets for an abandoned vehicle accreting on the dusty windshield like archeological strata.

My father was completely disgusted.  “You left it?  A perfectly good vehicle like that?”

“Well, daddy, if it was a perfectly good vehicle it wouldn’t have died when I needed it would it?”

He didn’t have anything to say to that, really, and he dropped the subject.

Eventually they tore down the gas station, and impounded the car.  We’d get periodic notices on how it was doing—“Oh, yay!  It’s moved to the impound lot!”  “Oh, isn’t that sweet—someone adopted it!”  “Oh noes!  It’s been abandoned on the side of the road. Who would do such a thing to such a splendid piece of shit?”  “Oh, hey, look—it’s been impounded again.  They say they’re going to sell it to cover the cost.  Good luck with that, guys, we mean that sincerely.”

Until eventually I’m going to assume someone pushed it off a cliff or it ended up cannibalized in an Pick-n-pull, where someone else tried in vain to find a functioning transmission for a ’74 Volvo.  (The car was on it’s fourth when we abandoned it—as I said, good luck with that—we mean it sincerely!)

Anyway, the death of the car, while high comedy (at least to Mate and I, who didn’t have too much to laugh at during that point in our lives) was also a learning moment for me.

Yeah, my dad can still get under my skin.  Yeah, he can still piss me off.  And yeah, I periodically have to weigh the things he’s taught me as a decent parent against the things he inadvertently taught me by negative example.

But he can no longer dare me.

Yeah, he tries.  And sometimes, he still pisses me off.  But I’ve learned to trust my own judgment on shit that he just does not have to live through.  He wasn’t stuck in that seedy gas station with two screaming, confused toddlers,  I was, and he didn’t have to take time off from work to rescue us.  That was Mate.  So that right there is my real gift.  It’s hard to shake those patterns of obedience that family sets for us—and respect and sometimes obedience really can be positive qualities in a family.

But that right there was one of my cardinal lessons in how to judge a situation for myself, and although I’ve needed a lot of them since, that one was pretty damned iconic.  But it helped me become the person who would write in this genre at a time when everyone assumed all I was writing was porn.  Moments like this one were lessons that in spite of what your nearest and dearest tell you, only you have to live through the upshot of the actions, and if you can live with something that the rest of the world doesn’t understand, then maybe you’re doing the right thing after all.

So while it’s not safe to say I owe my writing career to the death of a ’74 Volvo, it is safe to say it taught me something I brought into my writing life.

And I’m lucky enough to be living with the consequences of following my own judgment this time—and they’re not bad! — Author Amy Lane

Purchase Ethan In Gold:  Dreamspinner  Amazon

Image 1Hah! Summing my life up in a single sentence again, are you Zam? I honestly can’t of a single misfortune in my life that didn’t turn out to be a gift in disguise… not even the death of my mother. Eh, that may sound a bit like extreme Pollyannaism, but when I give you an example I think you’ll understand. I share often about how I came to write M/M romance, mostly because writing is such a huge part of my life now. Well misfortune is what led me here. I had left the army on a family hardship chapter—my daughter was ill and yes, another misfortune that turned out to be a blessing there—and gone to nursing school. I worked as a nurse for a couple of years, just long enough to *know* that I LOVED nursing, wanted to make a life-long career of it. Then I fell at home, reinjuring my spine. The original injury happened while I was in the Army. In less than a month, I was having trouble walking, hands and feet going numb, brain disconnected from the extremities as it were. Then came two spinal surgeries, and nearly two full years of being incapacitated.

Sounds tragic, huh?

But it wasn’t. I found m/m romance during that time, and the stories, especially yours, Zam, and Ethan Day’s, and… well, suffice to say there are a lot of m/m authors I hug every time I see them because they were instrumental in getting me through those tough times (yes, yes, I do mean you, Andrew Grey, Mary Calmes, and Amy Lane). So I loved the world of m/m romance. I couldn’t go back to my other love, nursing, not in a hands on manner, but—oh, and this is the exciting part—I could write. So I did. And I found a brand new career that I love even more than I loved nursing.

It’s paying me back in spades by being rewarding, fulfilling, and hopefully in the not too distant future, it will pay the bills as well. I’m currently up for a Rainbow Award—yes, Zam, I am still getting goose pimples to think that Changeless is up there in the finals with your works *dramatic shiver* because you are truly one of the authors whose level of craftsmanship I aspire to.  I love writing love stories. I love writing funny stories. I LOVE knowing somewhere in the world someone’s day has been brightened by a story of mine. Good times indeed. — Author Cheri Noel

Purchase Changeless: MLR Press  Amazon

Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win an ebook and then go to:

Alton Brown for Cheese Grits !

Sunday Brunch Blog

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Teaser - Damon Suede

Let’s have A big Tuesday Teaser Welcome to Guest Authors! 

From now on I’m asking your favorite authors to stop by and share snippets of their work for our Tuesday Teaser Game. Try to guess the book!

Last Week’s Winner? ANTONIA walked away with an Amy Lane E-book!

My guest TODAY needs NO introduction, But here’s one anyway: Damon Suede grew up out-n-proud deep in the anus of right-wing America, and escaped as soon as it was legal. He has lived all over: Houston, New York, London, Prague. Along the way, he’s earned his crust as a model, a messenger, a promoter, a programmer, a sculptor, a singer, a stripper, a bookkeeper, a bartender, a techie, a teacher, a director… but writing has ever been his bread and butter. He has been happily partnered for over a decade with the most loving, handsome, shrewd, hilarious, noble man to walk this planet.

Cravings: sweetness that isn’t sentimental, wit that isn’t bitter, strength that isn’t cruel. Loathings: professional victims, half-assery, clichés. Damon is a proud member of the Romance Writers of America and serves as the 2013 president for the Rainbow Romance Writers.

Though new to gay romance, Damon has been writing for print, stage, and screen for two decades, which is both more and less glamorous than you might imagine. He’s won some awards, but his blessings are more numerous: his amazing friends, his demented family, his beautiful husband, his loyal fans, and his silly, stern, seductive Muse who keeps whispering in his ear, year after year.


PLAYERS: Here’s how you do it! 1. Guess the title of the Amy Lane book this teaser comes from. 2. Email me with the title of the book at zamaxfield @ zamaxfield (dot) com.  3. Put Tuesday Teasers in the subject line!


You could win an ebook copy of the book in question or another book from Amy’s backlist. Be sure to give me a valid email address so I know where to send your ebook. This time I’ll draw a winner on Sunday so everyone has an equal chance to win!!!



Today’s TEASER -

**** opened his mouth to say something, closed it, and opened it again. “So… still counts as a date.”

“I sure thought so.”

“Truth?” **** shivered. “This is gonna come out wrong… but you’re like every gorgeous jock meathead I ever wanted in school.” A glance at the street. “I know you’re not a meathead. You’re just a lot to take in. Funny and sweet and smart—”

***** kissed him. He couldn’t think of what else to do to stop the strange spiral of anxiety, so he just stepped forward and planted a chaste peck directly on Trip’s lips.

**** froze and then softened.

***** stepped back. “Sorry. You left me no choice.”

“I’m sorry.” **** still looked anxious.

“What you are—” Grin. “—is charming.” ***** kept his hands to himself, just barely. “I gotta take sips of you. What may seem like me being standoffish is me trying not to throw you over my shoulder and haul you back to my greasy Batcave.”

**** gulped but said nothing. The taxi slowed to a halt.

Tuesday Teaser - Damon Suede

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Brunch Blog - 10/13/2013

saupload_mad_20hatter_20tea_20partyI’ve always wanted to find a way to ask a few of my favorite authors over for a nice, leisurely Sunday brunch, and that became the idea for this blog.

Each week I plan to invite a couple friends to this blog so I can ask them a question. My friends will share their answers with me and you, gentle readers, can give your answer to my question in the comment section below. I’ll choose one random person from the comments and reward them with an ebook surprise, it’s that simple! Comments are moderated, so don’t despair if you’re not posted immediately! 

This weeks question is:

What kind of car are you?

Readers, comment below for a chance to win an ebook! We want to know what kind of car YOU would be!

1878So this week, Zam wants to know what kind of car we would be if we could…what? Be a car? Not sure why I would want to be a car (not having opposable thumbs seems like it might be a deal breaker) but hey, let’s have some fun, shall we?

(And totally as an aside, the writer in me dearly wants to know why my word processor is so dumb it doesn’t think ‘opposable’ is a word when it seems to know perfectly well that Jedi should be capitalized. There are other words I use as an erotic romance writer that it also didn’t think were words, but I’ve since educated it, and it’s much better now.)

So. On to what kind of car would I be. Based on my level of nerdiness just evidenced for you all? Probably a Volvo. And not the new, sleek kind, either. Oh no. We’re talking 80′s station wagon…beige.

Oh yes. That’s me. — Author Jamie Samms

Lace, available at Total E-Bound  Amazon

SundaysChild_200No doubt about it. If I were going to be a car, I’d be a Tesla.

Electric. Gorgeous. Fast. Mindblowing. And not a tailpipe on it. (That is sooo sexy!) Not burning fossil fuel never looked so good nor went so fast.

If I’m honest, I’m really all about being sleek and efficient. After all, I spend a shitton of money on WEN to keep my flyaway hair from looking like I stuck my finger in a light socket. I could buy regular hair products but nooooo. I have to go for the stuff that’s supposed to make my hair more shiny, more sleek, more awesome. I’m not all that sure it really works as well as it says it does but sometimes my hair is all those things so I guess it sort of works! As for efficient…I do this best at the day job, but in all my creative outlets I strive for it as well although I don’t achieve it as easily. I don’t sleep much, so I work. What could be more efficient? ;)

The Tesla is more than an electric car that hauls ass. At over $70K, it’s a statement. And it’s pretty much a work of art. Completely handmade and 100% head turning as it streaks down the road. It’s the perfect melding of technology and art.

That would be me. IT geek with a need for speed meets writer and artist with a need to create hot, sexy characters who make hot, sexy love.

And no tailpipe. (Did I mention how sexy that is?) It’s like the HEA at the end of every book I write. A statement of who I am and what I believe in. Hot sex. Endless love. That’s a Lex book in a nutshell…and that’s Lex, the Tesla of erotic romance! — Author Lex Valentine

Sunday’s Child, available at Amazon  B&N  ARE



Sunday Brunch Blog - 10/13/2013

Friday, October 11, 2013

Casual S*x Friday -Mea Culpa

Normally, I do a Casual Sex Friday Post with a snippet of something — a bit of flash fiction — just because I like to sharpen the skill set, but gosh darn it real life just keeps happening.

I’ll be heading to GayRomLit next week, and as if that weren’t enough, not one, but two sets of major edits hit my inbox this week. So I’m working as hard as I can to get books out, because we all know what you really want is new ZAM titles on the shelves at your favorite ebook retailers.

(Plus, there’s all kinds of laundry and swag mailing and packing and that crack team of aestheticians who need to make me presentable before I’ll even get on the plane to an event like GRL…)

So allow me to apologize for this week and last when I failed in my Friday duties, and also, allow me to announce the winner of this weeks Tuesday Teaser….

DRUMROLL… Antonia!

Antonia will be receiving an email shortly, as she correctly guessed this weeks snippet came from Ethan In Gold, by the lovely and talented Amy Lane!!!

Please join me next Tuesday when our featured Tuesday Teaser author is NONE OTHER THAN Damon Suede…!

Check out Ethan in Gold at your favorite ebook retailer today!

ImageEvan Costa learned from a very early age that there was no such thing as unconditional love and that it was better to settle for what you could get instead of expecting the world to give you what you need. As Ethan, porn model for Johnnies, he gets exactly what he wants—comradeship and physical contact on trade—and he is perfectly satisfied with that. He’s sure of it.

Jonah Stevens has spent most of his adult life helping to care for his sister and trying to keep his beleaguered family from fraying at the edges. He’s had very little time to work on his confidence or his body for that matter. When Jonah meets Ethan, he doesn’t see the hurt child or the shamelessly slutty porn star. He sees a funny, sexy, confident man who—against the odds—seems to like Jonah in spite of his very ordinary, but difficult, life.

Sensing a kindred spirit and a common interest, Ethan thinks a platonic friendship with Jonah won’t violate his fair trade rules of sex and touch, but Jonah has different ideas. Ethan’s pretty sure his choice of jobs has stripped away all hope of a real relationship, but Jonah wants the whole package—the sexy man, the vulnerable boy, the charming companion who works so hard to make other people happy. Jonah wants to prove that underneath the damage Ethan has lived with all his life, he’s still gold with promise and the ability to love.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday Teaser - Amy Lane

iStock_000027538366XSmallLet’s have A big Tuesday Teaser Welcome to Guest Authors! 

From now on I’m asking your favorite authors to stop by and share snippets of their work for our Tuesday Teaser Game. Try to guess the book!

My guest TODAY needs NO introduction, But here’s one anyway: Amy Lane dodges an EDJ, mothers four children, and writes the occasional book. She, her brood, and her beloved mate, Mack, live in a crumbling mortgage in Citrus Heights, California, which is riddled with spiders, cats, and more than its share of fancy and weirdness. Feel free to visit her at or,

where she will ride the buzz of receiving your e-mail until her head swells and she can no longer leave the house.


PLAYERS: Here’s how you do it! 1. Guess the title of the Amy Lane book this teaser comes from. 2. Email me with the title of the book at zamaxfield @ zamaxfield (dot) com.  3. Put Tuesday Teasers in the subject line!

You could win an ebook copy of the book in question or another book from Amy’s backlist. Be sure to give me a valid email address so I know where to send your ebook. The 9th person to email me with the correct title WINS!

“Didn’t your mom ever throw you a birthday party like that?” ***** asked, laughing. “I mean, even after *****, my parents made sure I got a party that was all me. We’d go all sorts of places—that was my day.”

“Uhm, not since I was five. After that, we had a quiet party in the house, family only.” A small ice-cream cake, one or two gifts Mom had approved of. Vaguely, he remembered his fifth birthday party with his entire class, but that had been once, before the bad thing, and he hated remembering that time because it just made him angrier at himself that he ever mentioned the stupid fucking school employee and his molesting penis.

“Why?” ***** asked, finishing off his second fajita. “What happened when you were five?”

“Are you done? I’m done. I really want something sweet—hey, they’ve got a fudge factory down by that comic-book place in Old Town. Want to go there for dessert?”

*****’s eyebrows shot up, his eyes widened, and his mouth—a soft, pink little bow of a mouth, not full but ripe—compressed into a flat line. “Uhm, I’ve got another fajita to go.”

***** nodded and shoved half of his last fajita in his mouth in one bite. “Olkay, affer dat,” he said through his full mouth, not even grimacing when he crunched into a hot pepper.

***** nodded and compressed that sweet pink mouth. “Yeah,” he said before taking another slow, deliberate bite of his fajita. “Sure. We can go there when we’re done at the comic-book store, *****. Nothing’s set in stone.”

***** smiled and nodded and finished the other three swallows needed to get that bite down. His next bite was smaller but just as quick, and he wondered how fast he’d have to talk when he was done to avoid any questions like that.

“You’re not fooling anyone, you know,” ***** said calmly before he took a sip of his soda.

***** paused after swallowing. God, this was a good fajita—spicy and wine flavored. He hated having to shotgun it like this. “About what?” he asked and shoved the rest of the thing in his mouth. He wiped his face while he was still chewing and got ready to get up and bolt to the bathroom, all the better to have an excuse to change the motherfucking cocksucking come-whoring subject.

“You, trying to scare me off with what a slut you are and how you’re all okay about your family. It’s not rocket science, *****. Just because I wear my own family on my sleeve, that doesn’t mean I can’t see that you’re trying to hide big parts of yourself under fajita.”

Tuesday Teaser by AMY LANE 

Tuesday Teaser - Amy Lane

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunday Brunch Blog - 10/06/2013

saupload_mad_20hatter_20tea_20partyI’ve always wanted to find a way to ask a few of my favorite authors over for a nice, leisurely Sunday brunch, and that became the idea for this blog.

Each week I plan to invite a couple friends to this blog so I can ask them a question. My friends will share their answers with me and you, gentle readers, can give your answer to my question in the comment section below. I’ll choose one random person from the comments and reward them with an ebook surprise, it’s that simple! Comments are moderated, so don’t despair if you’re not posted immediately! All commenters will be entered into a drawing, so don’t be SHY!

This weeks question is:

What is your spirit animal?


My spirit animal, hands down, is Mario from Glove and Boots. He’s the red guy with a beard. The joke at our house is that I”m Mario and my daughter Anna is Fafa (the groundhog). Mario is always ranting and melting down over something and declaring things “this is the best! This is the worst!” while Fafa is logical and factual. 

What I love about Mario is he acts how I often feel inside. If I were red, bald, and bearded, maybe I’d be able to let my id run amok like that, but I’m me, so I button up. But man, inside, I’m all red. I think my favorite part is that Mario is also gullible and slightly clueless. I’m that too — Author Heidi Cullinan

Buy Love Lessons:


Image 1My spirit animal is Martha Stuart.

I knew Martha Stewart was my spirit animal when I was listening to a radio show one Sunday morning as I drove through the LA area on my way home from grad school for the last time. She was referred to as the spiritual leader of not only Connecticut but all of New England and at that moment, something WASPy vibrated down to the very roots of my being.

I have disappointed her ever since.

Sure, there were acceptable votive offerings like my living room, a pleasing room sunk in Chinoiserie and designed around a six-foot tall, six-panel lacquered screen featuring semi-precious stone mid relief-work. Of course it’s the focal point of the room; there’s no way to hide something like that, so you might as well put it on display. Besides, my husband inherited it, so I’m stuck with it. I balanced it with a Roy Lichtenstein print, “Landscapes in the Chinese Style.” Old with modern (actually, pop art), reds and mauves with celadon, dimensional with flat. We even pulled the room’s colors from the two pieces and painted the walls just so.

But even that disappoints her now, I can tell. I mean, patterned paint treatments? That’s so 90s, and no one paints the ceilings of rooms anymore.

We will not even discuss the Stripped Bathroom Walls incident.

I thought perhaps I’d earned my way back into her good graces during my Mercury Glass Craze, but no. It brought only further disappointment and clutter.

Mercury glass was big a few years ago. Pottery Barn thinks it still is, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, I went on a rampage across eBay and acquired a few charming mercury-glass pumpkins with the bright idea of slicing small circular holes in the felt on the bottoms, just perfect for the insertion of those clever little battery-powered tea lights.

Does that not sound like the perfect fall centerpiece? Does that not sound like something Martha would do? Okay, it’s something she’d toss it off in between color coordinating all the jets at JFK or making sure all the leaves on all the trees at Turkey Hill were pointing in the same direction, but I have to start somewhere, right? I have to earn my way back into my spirit guide’s good graces somehow.

Alas, this project, too, foundered in the face of parenting and all the other day to day details. I gave the small glass pumpkins to my mother. She likes Halloween as much as I do. I can see the last pumpkin from where I’m sitting as I type this. Actually, I can’t. It’s buried under a pile of my son’s outgrown clothing I’ve yet to take to the thrift shop.

See? A disappointment. Wait. I make my own soap. Does that count? — Author Christopher Koehler

Buy link for Rocking the Boat

Dreamspinner  AMAZON 



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday Teaser - Special Guest, Josh Lanyon!

iStock_000027538366XSmallLet’s have A big Tuesday Teaser Welcome to Guest Authors!

I’m asking your favorite authors to stop by and share snippets of their work for our Tuesday Teaser Game. Try to guess the book!

My first guest needs NO introduction, But here’s one anyway: A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including the Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction and a Lambda Literary Award finalist for Gay Mystery. Josh is also the author of the definitive M/M writing guide Man, Oh Man: Writing M/M Fiction for Kinks and Ca$h.

Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist — and lives in Los Angeles, California.

iStock_000006911745XSmallPLAYERS: Here’s how you do it! 1. Guess the title of the Josh Lanyon book this teaser comes from. 2. Email me with the title of the book at zamaxfield @ zamaxfield (dot) com.  3. Put Tuesday Teasers in the subject line!

You could win an ebook copy of the book in question or another book from Josh’s backlist. Be sure to give me a valid email address so I know where to send your ebook. The 11th person to email me with the correct title WINS!

Last Week’s Winner is (having correctly guessed My Cowboy Heart): Natalija !

Tuesday Teaser by Josh Lanyon

The card was wedged under the brass 17 on my apartment door when I got back from my morning swim. For what felt like a long time I stood dripping on the welcome mat, staring at the slightly crooked number and the colored rectangle beneath.

Finally, I removed the card, examined it. A castle in flames, a man

and woman plummeting to the cliffs below, and the words The Tower.

Not good. Even if I turned it upside down so that the man and woman

seemed to be doing handsprings through the clouds and lightning, it

still looked pretty ominous.

I told myself that someone was playing a joke on me.

Funny stuff.

Only a handful of people even knew I was writing a book about the

Aldrich case. For that matter, who would care if they did know? It

was dead news in every sense.

I stuck my key in the latch and stepped into my apartment, eyes

adjusting to the gloom. Dusty sunshine poured through the arched

living room window. Everything looked just the way I’d left it an

hour ago. In the kitchen alcove the old dishwasher was steaming,

stereo lights flashed from the entertainment center, and the screen

of my laptop, which sat on the coffee table, offered a gently rolling

view of star-lined outer space.

I walked through to the bedroom. The bed was stripped, sheets piled

for laundry in the doorway. The mirrored closet doors were shut. I

got a look at my face as I moved to open them, and was irritated to

see that I looked worried: hazel eyes narrowed, tanned face grim,

body tense — Jesus. The last year had turned me into an old woman.

I slid open the closet doors, jumping back as a box of photos tumbled

from their precarious perch on the shelf above and dumped snap shots

across the carpet.

A photo of me — in a gold-sequined sombrero no less — and ****

celebrating my thirtieth birthday at Don Cuco’s landed by my bare


I stepped over the pictorial retrospective of my life, and moved on

to the bathroom, poking my head inside. Another glimpse of my

frowning face in the cabinet mirror — and, by the way, I really did

need a haircut, I reflected, momentarily distracted by the wet spikes

of my chlorine-bleached hair. The shower dripped noisily. I yanked

back the curtain with a plastic rustle.


Okay, bathtub ring, but otherwise nothing sinister.

Of course nothing sinister. Nobody had broken in. Why would they?

But why would someone leave a tarot card on my front door?

I went back to the kitchen, poured a glass of OJ and drank it slowly,

studying the Tarot card.

Was someone trying to tell me something? Was it some kind of clue?

More likely it was just some kind of weird coincidence. Right?

And even if it wasn’t a weird coincidence…what was I supposed to do

about it? It wasn’t exactly a lead that I could follow up. And I

couldn’t picture myself going to the police over something so…vague.

There was no defined threat and I had absolutely no suspect in mind.

I could always talk to ****.

I stared out the window over the sink at the row of second story

apartments, red doors and turquoise railings glimpsed through the

tangle of ivy and bougainvillea.

**** was a homicide detective with the Glendale PD. We’d gone

out a couple of times. Slept together once. We were still on friendly

if distant terms.

The blinds to ****’s apartment were up so it looked like he might be


Tuesday Teaser - Special Guest, Josh Lanyon!