Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yule Fire by Lena Austin

Yule Fire

Author: Lena Austin
Artist: Amanda Kelsey
ISBN: 978-1-60168-167-6
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publication Date: 12/19/2008
Sexual Content: Erotic
Buy Link:
Belle is hiding her multi-millionaire preschooler from the press. Jacques is hiding his business dealings and playing the reluctant war hero Belle must host as a promo stunt for her magazine. All they both want is a quiet holiday season in each other’s arms, but not if Belle’s obnoxious boss has his way.  What are a witch and a war hero to do but become co-conspirators, determined to have a little food and fun with no strings attached? But Someone else has plans for them both that go beyond the holiday season.
She set out the perfect pink candles with the same care she'd used in making them. The symbology had to be as close to ideal as she could make it. Every drop of the precious rose and vanilla essential oils used was expensive in the extreme. There could be no waste.  
Her hand trembled as she lit the candles with a match. Her altar accoutrements were her best, all of the finest silver and crystal, passed down for generations. They glowed richly in the candlelight.  
She lifted her face to the moon, just visible, rising above the buildings of her apartment complex. "Lady Mother, you and the Lord know what is needed more than I."  
She bowed her head. "I'm a simple woman. I want my daughter and grandson to be happy. If that means someone out there is meant for them, I hope you'll take a hand so they meet."  
The old woman sat in her rocking chair, and stared into the flames of the candles until she felt sleep ready to claim her. Then, content that she'd done her best to ask for Divine help, she went to bed.  
* * * * 
"Hey, Jack! Give it up, man. You've had that issue of Weird magazine for three days now. Did you fail sharing in kindergarten?"  
Startled, Jacques looked up from where he was sprawled on his cot. T hree of his Marine tent mates, dirt and dust from their patrol covering their camouflage uniforms, stood over him. "What do you bozos care? T here's no naked women in this."
Staff Sgt. Smith, the squad leader, snatched the magazine from him. "Right now, I'm so bored I'm reading the UCMJ for the millionth time. Now that's bored.” He looked down at the page Jacques had been reading and whistled. "Wheeo! Oh, baby, who is the blonde? She could fuel a few fantasies."  
The others crowded to look over his shoulder, making catcalls and wolfish howls. 
Jacques sighed and didn't try to get the magazine back. It wasn't worth it. "She's Belinda Hawthorne, the editor. She was at that convention I went to almost six months ago. Just do me a favor and don't tear her out, please? I was at the convention and..."  
"You met this dish? Dayum! I didn't get so lucky.” Lance Corporal Roberts was almost drooling on his combat boots. His case of Georgia mushmouth always got worse when the blood wasn't moving to his brain.  
"Makes me want to attend one of those Star Trek conventions in my hometown.” Sgt. Smith rattled the magazine roughly as he turned a page. "I'd put up with listening to folks who believed in this shit to meet her."  
Jacques nodded his agreement. No sense in explaining science fiction versus pagan religion to these fellows who hadn't seen a woman not wearing a uniform or burqa in months. All they cared about was getting the job done here in Afghanistan and going home. Reminders of home were precious. "I didn't talk to her, but her speech was informative. She was tres belle."  
"Will you stop with the fancy French expressions, you fucking coon-ass? Can't you just say she's gorgeous like the rest of us?” PFC Washington stormed out of the tent.  
Sgt. Smith cleared his throat. "Sorry 'bout that, Petty Officer LaPorte. I'll speak to him."  
Jacques shrugged and refused to acknowledge the old scars of prejudice. "I'm used to it, Sarge. Washington is from Baton Rouge , and I am from Breaux Bridge . You can't erase the prejudices of tradition. I'm a Cajun, and that's that. He'd only stop doing it in front of your face."  
Roberts shuffled his feet. "Ain't all the South that treats Cajuns bad, Jack, even if I can't pronounce your name right.” He threw a murderous look out the tent flap. "Would serve him right if he gets wounded and you sorta forgot to patch him up.” He flexed his right arm, where Jacques had bandaged a small shrapnel cut the day before.  
"I'm still going to write him up.” Sgt. Smith grinned wolfishly, his reddened eyes making him look a little like a rabid dog. He passed the magazine to the men. "Reminds me. We've got an embedded photojournalist coming in. Jack, I'm gluing him to your side for your patrol tomorrow. Just a little goodwill mission to that village we were at today. Food, candy for the kids, and a little medical care. Elders are friendly."  
Jacques leapt off the bed and lifted his medical kit from under his cot. "I'll take good care of him, Sarge. Would you mind authorizing a few extra bandages, just in case?"  
The next morning, Jacques put the extra supplies to good use on a small boy wounded in the arm when a homemade bomb went off just after the patrol passed safely out of range. The kid's face was still smeared with the remains of a chocolate bar, as well as his own blood.  
The photographer, Alan Richter, had finally put away his video camera. Now he clicked away with a still camera covered in dust as he captured the chaos for his news agency.  
Jacques looked in the worried, tearful eyes of the mother, and gave her an encouraging smile. He'd learned she spoke a smattering of French, which was helpful because his Pashto was worse than rudimentary. He muttered to the little boy that he was sorry he had to hurt him. "Ahmed will be fine, Madame. I will be back in three days to change his bandages."  
The woman nodded bravely and gathered her son in her arms. Her soft voice was barely audible over the screams of others needing his assistance. "May the blessings of Allah be upon you, Monsieur.” She disappeared from the doorway of tent carrying the boy.  
Jacques packed up his supplies and stood, still crouching against unseen but audible gunfire. Two locals carried in a stretcher and set it down close by. Jacques sighed. Yet another civilian man lay still and silent only about thirty feet away, waiting for triage, the medical assessment of his life or death.  
Alan Richter wandered toward the new victim, his auto-winder whirring as it tried to keep up with his continuous documentation.  
 Jacques noted the dried blood on the civilian victim's clothes. This was an old body, not a new casualty. The loose trailing scarf of his lungee headgear covered his ashen face. Why would someone cover his airway? He glanced around to locate the men who'd brought the body to triage.  
Where were they?  
Jacques' heartbeat quickened. Even the most inexperienced medic wouldn't pack a wound that clumsily. The combination of some common and some sixth sense, warned him of the trap. He screamed, "Get down!" and instinctively dove for Alan, catching him and bearing him down to the ground. The bomb beneath the body exploded with deafening force. Pain ripped through Jacques' left thigh.  
The photographer lay boneless beneath him, but his chest rose and fell with gasping breaths. He struggled out from under Jacques, every movement sending new waves of agony through Jacques' body. "Fuck me! You're hit!"  
Jacques managed to raise himself on one elbow despite the dancing lights that threatened unconsciousness. He gazed down on his own gaping wound. Something was odd about the shredded remains of his pants leg, as if something else remained. "No shit. My bag. Find my medical bag."  
Alan crawled over to the bag with the Red Cross clearly emblazoned on the front. "Got it.” He crab-walked back. "Here."  
The fluttering remains of a blood-soaked paper caught Jacques' eye. Understanding dawned, and he reached into the flap of his pants where his thigh pocket had been. Despite the pain it caused, he drew out what was left of his magazine. Beautiful blue eyes looked back at him from the page where he'd read last, the only part not soaked in his blood. "Looks like you saved me, Belinda Hawthorne." 
"What?” Alan looked down. "Weird magazine, huh? You think it slowed the shrapnel?” He reached for the camera, still miraculously looped around his neck. 
The metal shrapnel piece dripping with his blood fell out of the pages. Jacques watched it hit the ground. "Yeah.” He reached inside his bag for bandaging, but the agony sang a newer more powerful song. He passed out.

"Write Drunk..., Edit Sober..." Ernest Hemingway
Lena Austin

Friday, July 30, 2010

Adult Excerpt 1: Blue Rose by Lena Austin (Paranormal, Erotica, GLBT, Menage)

Did you know I consider this book my magnum opus? I present to you my greatest achievement to date:

Blue Rose

Author: Lena Austin
Artist: Renee George

ISBN: 978-1-60168-183-6
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publication Date: 02/06/09
Sexual Content: Erotic/M/M/Menage

Buy Link:


Ever read Dante's Inferno? The old boy must have a new nickname—Pinwheel—for all the turning over in his grave he's doing.  

     This time the tourists in Hell are a poisoned warrior princess and her two suitor princes, both of whom have secrets of their own. Their guide is not a gentle philosopher-poet, but a sassy demon with his own reasons for being their escort through all nine levels. They have to find the blue rose in the deepest part of Hell and make it into an antidote potion before the next full moon or the princess dies. 

Things have changed a little—okay, a lot—since old Dante made his visit. Hell is timeless, existing in all times simultaneously. Along the way they'll meet the Furies, a little thief named Dodger, a few gods and goddesses, and step over Satan's chewing gum and they're getting quite an education in the process.  But time is running out for the princess....


At long last, her father stood, signaling with a wave that the dancing would begin. Servants rushed to obey, but Zara rescued the bowl of grapes and hid it in a niche behind a tapestry. It would serve her well to have a cool, sweet treat to see her through the hours of dancing ahead.

Defiantly, she popped another into her mouth and grinned like a conspirator at Prince Kennit when he hid a large goblet in the same niche. He leaned over to whisper, "I shall share my water, if you share your grapes."

Nodding agreement, Zara allowed her father to sweep her into his arms for the opening dance. At least dancing quickened the heart and brought a flush to one's cheeks. She would take what she could get in the way of exercise. Undoubtedly by now the stablemen had their orders to tell her that her stallion had a rock in his hoof, a sprain in his foreleg, or any other lie to forestall her riding him away, even for an hour.

No sooner did her father relinquish her hand than a dance slate was pressed into her palm by the seneschal, who'd kindly–he thought—taken a list of partners for her. She glanced down, and read quickly. No prince was permitted more than two dances in a row with her, though there were conspicuous empty spots left on the list for her to discreetly signify her choice by permitting more than two dances with any prince that caught her eye.

Naturally, Prince Bram the Perfect was first on the list. King Ragnar was making his preferences perfectly clear. She was beginning to hate that word.

Zara handed the slate back to the seneschal with a nod of thanks, and raised her arms for Prince Bram to take her back out on the floor. She ignored the tremble in her stomach, and told her fears to settle. He may be boring, but he was the best choice so far.

But her stomach did not settle. It rumbled and grew worse. Her face felt flushed and her fingertips felt as if they were ice cold. She could no longer feel her feet, and every step became an agonizingly icy stab. Zara persevered, knowing it was likely she'd caught some small illness from all the newcomers. Tomorrow, she promised herself a morning of rest.

Many of the older courtiers retired, including most of the contenders after one dance with her. The drunkards stumbled through a dance with her before being discreetly removed by the staff, and the oldsters confessed themselves quite worn out and retired from the field. Only one contender had to be threatened with being fed his balls before he stopped fondling her, so Zara thought she got off lucky.

Finally, only Prince Bram and Prince Kennit remained. Kennit took pity on her feverish face and asked that a small table be set near one of the open windows, permitting a cool breeze to dry the sweat pouring from Zara's brow.

Prince Bram, not to be outdone, fetched her grapes from their hiding place and fed them to her one by one, pausing only when she turned and shared Prince Kennit's goblet.

Finding a common subject to discuss had been difficult, for they, all three, had vastly different interests. The three of them settled on a card game made fashionable in Bram's kingdom the previous summer, and he taught them to play "Bell and Candle" with enthusiasm.

Zara noted their differing styles with interest. Bram played with reckless abandon, bluffing and making daring plays to get desired sets of matches. Kennit played with care and precision, rarely making a bluff but devastating when he did because it was unexpected. She counted the cards and noted the matches already made, and could guess at what would be dealt next. Between them, they rang the bell provided by the staff equally well.

Soon, Zara's illness began to tell upon her. She fought her wavering eyesight and surreptitiously wiped the sweat pouring from her brow, using the ruse of setting the water and grapes on the ledge of the open window to cool them as an excuse for sticking her face in the wind as much as possible, even if the breeze seemed to stick a thousand icy needles in her skin. It dried her sweat and made her appear less like an apple-cheeked peasant, didn't it?

Kennit had escorted her to the window, ostensibly to get a drink for himself from the goblet. He leaned close and whispered, "You are ill, Zara. End this charade and stop teasing. Pick Bram and have done. Go to bed. Your wedding and bedding of his perfection can wait a few more days."

Zara planted her trembling hands on the ledge and ate another grape for its cool sweetness in her hot, dry throat. The floor seemed wreathed in smoke. How odd. Was there fog and the window allowed it entry? Shame washed over her as she realized that's what both the princes thought–that she was teasing and being coy. How wrong they were! "I'm not teasing, Kennit. I can't decide." The fog rose higher, swirling around her thighs. She reached up to close the shutter, and her hand met only air.

Bram's chair scraped. "Watch her. She's going out the window!"

Kennit's hand closed about her wrist. "Stop, Zara. Stop. If you can't choose, then go to bed. None of us will die before the morrow."

Zara swayed and fell into Kennit's arms. "Pardon. Are you sure, Kennit? Why can't you be perfect too?" The fog wrapped around her and enveloped her.

His soft voice was the last she heard. "I am. I'm perfectly me, and that's all I want to be."

Buy Link:

Adult Excerpt: Rise to Power by Lena Austin

Rise to Power

Author: Lena Austin
Artist: Celia Kyle
ISBN: 978-1-60168-205-5
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Publication Date: 05/01/09
Sexual Content: Erotic scenes
Author's note: While this book will stand alone, this is a sequel to After the Flood 1: Blood & Magic. Some of the more subtle nuances may escape you without reading Blood & Magic first.

“Never anger a woman’s sense of wrong.”
 The Herd Stallion, Talamar wants revenge on Tanne for humiliations in the past, and is aware that Tanne is the only serious rival for the “throne” of Herd Stallion. The Valley is outraged by the coming birth of Kella’s unicorn-vampire child, and the introduction of a human into the Valley. The opportunity he’s been waiting for is at hand.  Tanne will be exiled, leaving a pregnant Kella to face the anger of the vampires and the unicorns.
 What is the most dangerous creature in the world? A female predator, defending her offspring.  What’s the most dangerous creature in the Valley? A very angry vampire sorceress defending her children.

Tanne’s guilt made him return to the place of exile time and again, peering through the shield wall as if he expected to actually see something. He felt sorry for Mijara, the exiled priestess, and hoped someday to arrange for her return, should she continue to prove herself redeemed.
Weeks went by, and of course, he saw nothing. Then, one afternoon, he stopped by after a healing. Dread seeped into his soul and sat like a lead weight in his heart.
The forest was burned significantly, and still smoldered in some locations, even right up to the edge of the shield itself. Mijara’s hut stood on the edge, untouched by the forest fire. Two small circles of green grass where a meadow had once stood each contained a body. The untouched areas were clearly what was left when mages put up personal shields.
Tanne wagered that the hut was unburned because Mijara had had the good sense to layer protections on her little home. She might have been only an herb healer, but she’d still been a full priestess. Warding spells were easily within the limited scope of her powers. 
In the center, Tanne could see two bodies, one likely dead. It was a charred hulk on the ground, but he could tell no more through the veil. However, the other body was unmarked by fire, and as he watched, one hand twitched feebly. One of the mages still lived.
Tanne’s healer instincts kicked in, foolish as they were. He mind called for Jona, now long his faithful assistant in healing, and awaited his arrival.
A small puff of displaced air told him Jona arrived by teleportation. “Yes, Father?”
Tanne turned from the horrific images. He pointed beyond the shield. “Mage battle. One burn victim, one corpse.”
His son’s soft brown eyes hardened to stone. “That’s where Mijara and Leonus were exiled. What has that idiot done now? Can you see if Mijara lives?” He didn’t wait for an answer, but stepped forward. “Don’t answer that. I don’t want to know. Let’s go.”
Tanne stepped through the shield wall with his eldest son, each carrying their healer’s kits. They picked their way carefully through the burned area, avoiding all the smoking spots that warned them away from areas still hot. The stench of smoke was thick and hurt their lungs, but it was easy enough to manifest a small breeze to ease their throats without fanning the fire back to life.
Jona reached the unburned body first, and turned him over to assess his hurts and identity. “Father, this one is human.”
The discovery took Tanne aback quite a bit. Human mages did not often venture this way. Tanne knelt beside his son. The human was badly wounded, with claw marks to tell them an earth elemental had done the damage. His face would bear the scars for life, and his left arm was broken in at least two places. He drew breath and moaned when Jona pulled his sleeve back to examine the arm, so they knew him to be alive still.
Jona left Tanne to finish the examination of the human’s injuries while he went to check on the charred remains of the other mage.
“Well, Father, this one is clearly dead, so I’d say your patient was the victor of this mage battle,” Jona said with some irony. The burned body was also facedown, so Jona turned it over. His shout rang out. “Father! It is -- er, was -- the high priest Leonus!”
Tanne glanced up in time to see Jona lift the golden sun disk pectoral Leonus had insisted on taking with him. The priest’s symbol of office was badly melted, but still recognizable. “Are you sure, son? Check the teeth of the skull, if you can.” 
A few moments later, Jona’s voice answered with cool impersonality. “Yes, it is a vampire’s teeth. The fangs are intact.”
A thought struck Tanne. “Jona, search the hut. Mijara may be inside, or nearby.” Jona nodded and left. Tanne continued to bandage what he could of the human’s injuries and pondered what to do about him.
The Valley was a sanctuary for all, but there would certainly be some tension over a full human being in their midst. Of course, when he was healed, if he chose to leave, they would alter his memories. He could choose to forget all he had seen, or remember his stay only as a dream. Humans made everyone a bit nervous. Their aggressive ways and greed were too dangerous.
Tanne shuddered and briefly considered leaving the human to be cared for by his own kind. Then he chuckled at his own prejudices. “Be better than that, fool,” he admonished himself. “By technicalities, this is an intelligent, magic-using creature. He fits the parameters of admittance.”
Another shout rang out from Jona. “Father! Come quickly! Mijara is hurt, as well!”
The human was stable, though badly damaged, and Tanne had bandaged what he could. He left the human lying there and ran to the hut. Jona, his face sickened, knelt next to Mijara’s still form on the floor of the tiny hut. Her face was a mass of bruises, and one eye was blackened and swollen shut. One arm was clearly broken, but had been splinted.
“I feel great pity, for some of these bruises are old and yellowed, as if done some time before. New bruises layered over old shows me Leonus didn’t take kindly to his exile. He apparently took his frustrations out on Mijara.”
If Leonus were not already dead ... Tanne wished he could enact similar painful injuries on him. He clenched his fist and fought the urge to pummel the burned corpse in a frustrated need for justice.
“She’s alive, Father. Rules be damned. We heal, and we don’t take sides in battles that are not our concern. I say we take them back into the Valley for proper treatment.”
Pity for two beings who’d tangled with Leonus warred briefly with the laws of the Valley. “Talamar wouldn’t like this.” Tanne smiled at his vampire son’s ferocious snarl at the hated name. “I know and I agree, Jona. It is right to care for the injured. We’ll deal with the broken laws as we must.”

"Write Drunk..., Edit Sober..." Ernest Hemingway
Lena Austin

Thursday, July 29, 2010

ADULT Excerpt: Blood And Magic by Lena Austin

LG LA_Blood and Magic_500x750 by you.  Buy Link

TITLE:      Blood and Magic [After the Flood 1] by Lena Austin
LIST PRICE:      $6.00    CATEGORY:    Erotica
LENGTH:      55329 words; Reading time: 158-221 minutes
EPUBLISHER:  Aspen Mountain Press  Published: 2009
DESCRIPTION: Kella has lived her life as an outcast, never truly understanding why. Tanne not only gives her answers, but the ability to control her magic, magic so powerful, it could destroy the entire Valley.

Read the excerpt here (Adults only, please:

Now, I may indulge in a bath. She shifted to human, and sneaked into the bathing chamber. The effort taken to scrub three days of grime off was well worth the pink skin. Her scalp itched and her hair felt greasy, so that got the same rough treatment.
She was debating whether to be lazy and soak, or go fix a hearty and more conventional meal when Tanne popped into the tub, causing a huge splash. Her sponge went flying, to impact the wall with a wet plop.
Her small shriek of "Tanne!" only amused him and he grabbed for her.
She eluded his grasp with a wicked grin. "Do you want something, handsome?"
"Indeed I do, my fire-haired heroine. Before, if I know you, you take yourself off to the vampires to see if your friends are settled."
Kella giggled and sidestepped another grab. She climbed out of the tub, wet hair dripping and wearing only a smile of pure devilment. "Really, now? Is that so? Well, then, you must catch me!"
She took off running, knowing her pale buttocks flashing beneath streaming hair would act as an enticement. A splash and the sound of pounding feet let her know he was after her, and the game begun.
Giggling wasted breath, but she couldn't help herself as she darted out the cavern entrance and sprinted down the path to the meadow. The point was to be caught, eventually, but make him earn the right to cover her. If she truly wanted escape, she might shift form, but she didn't want that at all. No, indeed.
He tackled her just as they reached the edge of the meadow, and fell together into the grasses and plants that lined the edge.
Tanne's laughter rang out over the meadow startling birds into flight. "Why did you think you could outrun a unicorn?"
Kella bared fangs in a mock snarl while pretending to fight. "I didn't! But you had to earn your rights, or I might be considered wanton!"

http://www.aspenmountainpress. com/excerpt. php?prodId= 224

Wow It's so Hot...

...We're in a Heat Advisory zone on Weather Bug. The NWS has actually issued a heat advisory warning us about how bad the heat index is. Well, that definitely decided me about waiting to run my errands until tomorrow. Yikes!

"Write Drunk..., Edit Sober..." Ernest Hemingway
Lena Austin

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Star Spangled Banner like you've never heard it!

Blurb Only: Blood And Magic by Lena Austin

There's a link to the excerpt below.

LG LA_Blood and Magic_500x750 by you.  Buy Link

TITLE:      Blood and Magic [After the Flood 1] by Lena Austin
LIST PRICE:      $6.00    CATEGORY:    Erotica
LENGTH:      55329 words; Reading time: 158-221 minutes
EPUBLISHER:  Aspen Mountain Press  Published: 2009
DESCRIPTION: Kella has lived her life as an outcast, never truly understanding why. Tanne not only gives her answers, but the ability to control her magic, magic so powerful, it could destroy the entire Valley.

Read the excerpt here (Adults only, please: http://www.aspenmou

About the Author:
Lena Austin


Saturday, July 24, 2010

ADULT MM Excerpt: Berdache by Lena Austin (NWS!!)

WARNING!! Not Work Safe!

AMPBerdache_fw.jpg AMP Berdache FW picture by voiceomt2002
Title: Berdache
Genre/Line: Alternate Sexualities, Paranormal
Author: Lena Austin

Content Warning: M/M and m/f/m
* * * *
With the swiftness of a badger, Red Wolf's hands clamped down on Lizard's arms. The dream-crazed warrior yanked the Berdache to his chest with total disregard for dignity. All Lizard managed was a gasp of surprise before Red Wolf's lips clamped down on his.
Lizard's mouth was open from his gasp, and Red Wolf forced it open further with his tongue. The violent kiss, full of an unspoken need, aroused in Lizard a burning heat. Tongues tangled and fought, each vying for supremacy. Some force in Lizard demanded he not submit, until he was sure it was truly a choice on Red Wolf's part, and not the dream that made him act thus.
With a moan, Red Wolf broke the kiss. "You with your maiden's hair and shaman's skills. You call to me like no other. I don't understand you or the battles you fight, but I know now that you make war with an unseen enemy. It is enough."
Shock made Lizard's eyes fly open wide. No one had ever explained what he did so simply. "Your dream showed you this?"
Red Wolf's hands roamed Lizard's chest, and even brushed a nipple that hardened in response. "Yes, and after I am done exploring what makes you call to me, I will tell you of it." He grinned, looking remarkably like his namesake. "I will see for myself what the differences are."
A hand calloused from holding bow and club tweaked Lizard's nipple none too gently, radiating pain and pleasure through Lizard's body. It was difficult to think, to remain a proud Berdache, when he wanted to lay back and give his body for study. But his chin jerked up. "Shouldn't you ask? I am no slave maiden to humbly submit to your desires without having wishes of my own."
The grin grew sly and Red Wolf's eyes challenged. "Oh, Lizard? And what is it you wish? We can trade, perhaps." His hand moved to brush and play with Lizard's other nipple. "I seem to remember you telling me you wanted this earlier."
"I do. I will show you what it feels like, while you make your decisions. You will abandon your warrior's silence and tell me what it feels like, or, if you cannot manage speech, simply that you like or dislike what I do." Lizard's own hand crept up to mirror all that Red Wolf did.
Red Wolf's eyes slowly became half-lidded. When he gently tweaked one of Lizard's nipples, the same was done to him. "Agreed. It is a bargain."
"Good. We will stop haggling like sharp old women bargaining with the trader." Lizard bent forward and licked the same nipple he'd pinched a moment before. "How does that feel?"
Drawing a shaky breath, Red Wolf seemed to savor the sensation. He swallowed. "Good. Very good. It is now my turn to taste."
He bent and suckled at Lizard's right nipple. Lizard felt himself harden, and begged the beast within for caution. Yet, when he glanced down after Red Wolf withdrew, he saw that he was not the only one whose chodis rose.
He would not ask for all that could be done in pleasuring one another. He would only give what Red Wolf would take, and no more.
"I want to do more, Red Wolf. Things you may not wish to do in return. You will decide." He bent forward to lick and nibble at the firm pectoral muscle, and felt it quiver in response.
"Yesss," Red Wolf hissed. "I will." He swayed, and his eyes shut.
"Let me know when you wish me to stop." Lizard pushed with his head until Red Wolf lay back on the mat.
"I will selfishly allow you all you wish, for now, " Red Wolf moaned. "What you do makes me harder than stone."
Lizard moved down his friend's body until his cheek rested comfortably on Red Wolf's thigh, relishing every muscle and the salt-sweet taste of his skin. His humming agreement made Red Wolf throw back his head and gasp for air.
The loincloth Red Wolf wore was no hindrance to his questing hands and tongue. The scent of pure male filled his nose, and Lizard drank in the heady richness. How much more would Red Wolf allow, he didn't know, but Lizard would take all he could get.
The first delicious lap from the glistening tip of Red Wolf's chodis was as sweet as honey to Lizard's tongue. He restrained himself from sucking it all in and gobbling greedily. This was for Red Wolf's pleasure, not his own.
He was therefore shocked into stillness when he felt Red Wolf's tentative fingers move aside his own loincloth and grasp Lizard's swollen and aching chodis.
"Like this?" Red Wolf whispered, and licked with a tentative tongue.
"Spirits, yes," Lizard moaned.
"Good. Tastes good. Show me more." Red Wolf licked again.
They lay side by side with one knee bent, facing one another's chodis, and Red Wolf mirrored everything Lizard did. Perhaps he did it with less skill, but the effect was the same as if he were a practiced Berdache of many years.
Lizard took Red Wolf's stalk into his mouth and sucked gently. Red Wolf did the same, and managed it well. While still continuing to swallow all of Red Wolf he could, Lizard played with Red Wolf's berries and found himself played with in return.
But when Lizard slid a tentative finger down to caress just below the sack of berries, Red Wolf stiffened. At first, Lizard was concerned he had gone too far and asked for too much, until Red Wolf groaned, and let go of Lizard's hardness to speak. "Lizard, I will release if you continue on that path."
http://www.aspenmou ntainpress. com/manlove/ historical/ berdache/ prod_265. html

Friday, July 23, 2010

When the Muse Won't Shut Up

It was three AM. My dreams weren't the sweet release of the subconscious, but a worried rehash and argument with my characters of my latest book. Like a critique partner had said in an email, they agreed I'd ended the book too abruptly and "too soon."

Like so many authors, I hate a book by the time I'm done with it. Really. I loved the characters through most of the story, but as I slogged through the process of writing, the tedious details of making sure the reader could see what I saw slowly ate away at my joy until I loathed the whole thing and longed to toss the whole manuscript out the window and delete the files. Only long experience kept me in my chair, grinding my teeth and slogging through.

My editor, bless her, knows me well. She knows a few of the right words at the right time keep me going. She also knows how much I despise a book when I finally turn it in. She wisely takes her time and never gives me a book back in less than a week, no matter how quickly she finishes a first round of edits. In one week, I've had enough time to rest where I realize that I did rush things, or forgot to include a scene, or whatever. Then she hands the edits back to me with more encouraging words.

This time has proven no different. I finished the first draft yesterday, and typically, I want to torch it. I want to do evil things to the characters that have nothing to do with the story. Despite a sleeping pill, the bastards woke me up with nagging comments about how my crit partner was right.

1. They agreed with her that, while the fight scene worked, there's no adequate bridge that makes the peaceful scene that follows work. It's jarring. However, they also agree that nothing much happened other than their wedding.

2. Then they remind me that they don't like tuxes, and neither of them are a drag queen, so now my mind burns with the question of what do gay men wear for a wedding when they hate tuxes, aren't transvestites, and don't get into "weird costume dramas disguised as weddings"?

(I hate those bastards.)

3. Then the Dire Wolf points out that I've established certain shifter species were around as far back as the Pleistocene era of history. The armchair paleontologist in me goes nuts, saying I have to now return with these characters to discover other Pleistocene creatures and explain why the shifters evolved and who went extinct or evolved into creatures we know today. ::Headdesk::

4. Then those bastards point out that I've now established a precedent for a paranormal detective agency with paranormal PI's solving crimes and mysteries. Don't I want to go play with the chupacabre detective, the banshee receptionist, and (who the hell is this??) the "reformed" succubus detective who falls for a defrocked priest? ::scream::

Sadly, they're right. (I'm trying not to shudder and reach for my DH's lighter.) Even more sadly, I'm over my word count and way past my deadline. Likely, my editor and I will have to attack what I've written with a machete, not a scalpel. That's fine. That's what my editor is for. She keeps me from looking like a chump. She and my crit partners keep alternately pounding on my back encouragingly or bopping me upside the head for being a moron. I love them for it.

Yeah, being a writer means I live inside a masochistic sort of insane asylum with people actually encouraging the inmates to commit maximum mayhem. I am not in charge. There's a bipolar sadistic muse in charge. Who let her in?? Oh. Yeah. Me.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Slow Cooker Bariatric Lasagna

Yes, this is my own recipe. Who wants to cook? It's too darn hot! Crock Pot to the rescue!!

Slow Cooker Lasagna for Bariatric and Bandsters.

1 zucchini
1 yellow crookneck squash
2 lbs ground beef
1 small chopped onion (about 1/4 cup, maybe more)
1 26-oz jar spaghetti sauce (your choice)
1 8 oz jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 3.5 oz package sliced pepperoni
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Get your crock out and line it with a crock pot liner. Trust me, you don't want to scrape cheese and marinara sauce off the sides. Do this now, before your hands get wet.

Use a mandolin or food processor to slice the zucchini and squash into thin disks. (If you've got a really tight band, you may process on chop instead.) Put it all in a bowl. Stir it all up. Set next to the crock on the right. (Everything after this will be lined up in order, so clear the counter for this if it's not clear already. Reverse and go to the left if you're a south paw, okay?)

Cook the ground beef and onion in a skillet until the meat is no longer pink. Turn off the stove. Drain off the grease. Add the spaghetti, mushrooms, and Italian seasonings. Stir to combine. Lay down a cloth trivet or kitchen towel to protect your kitchen counter and line the skillet after the bowl of veggies. Line everything else up on the counter either in a bowl or in their packages.

Take about 1/3 the veggies and put them in the bottom of the crock. In order, ladle up 1/3 of the sauce, throw in 1/3 of the pepperoni, 1 cup each of the cheeses. Repeat down the line until you've used up all the ingredients, ending with the cheeses making a gorgeous finish on top. (This forms a cheesy crust for extra deliciousness.)

Cover your crock, put it in the slow cooker heating element, turn to Low, and walk away for 6-8 hours. Use a sturdy serving spoon to dig deep and serve up a pasta-less lasagna!

This makes enough to serve four very hungry adults, but you'll want to sneak a container of leftovers for lunch the next day. My vultures never leave me a drop unless I hide my lunch container before announcing dinner is ready.

Optional: You may of course wish to add more ingredients such as bell peppers, sausage, ham chunks, and any other "pizza" toppings your band will allow.

Lena Austin
Come join the blog tour beginning July 15! Start at

Posted By Lena Austin to Fat Frog Diary at 7/16/2010 10:09:00 AM

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What I'm Learning from Drag Queens

I watched RuPaul's Drag U on Logo last night. I find I'm surprised to feel challenged by the professors, especially Raven. Raven and the other profs made me realize that drag queens have studied femininity objectively and know it like someone like me who lives it doesn't. They do deliberately what I do unthinkingly, and consequently they do it better. Wow!

So, this morning I got up and thought, "What would a drag queen do?" Shower, shampoo, shave, deoderant...yeah, we all have to do those things. It's what goes beyond those basic things that matter. Drag queens must go the extra mile, or they'd be just a guy in a dress. Attention to detail to get the feminine look was the first order of business. I'd already laid out a pair of jeans and a pink camisole. I thought those might be feminine enough, if the DQ was going to stay at home, as I was. However, she'd still put on her face and her jewels, all the way to the shoes.

So I did. I put on my face and went the extra mile. I lined my lips, put on mascara, spiked my hair, and even chose my jeweled pink sandals that matched. I put my pink pearls around my neck and my matching pink pear bracelet on my arm. I was going to be fiercely feminine today!

Surprisingly, I felt fiercer and sexier. I felt like I could take on the world! Drag U has another freshman in the classroom, and I won't miss an episode! Well, just in case I do, I can watch them at and make sure I don't skip a class.

My picture from the Dragulator:

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