Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Relief and Joy

So, yesterday started off a little hectic.  My seven-year-old was not happy to be woken up at 7:00 for school.  Usually, she is up between 6:00-6:45 on her own.  My son is always up by 6:30.  Anyway, she was very grumpy and dragged her feet having breakfast and getting dressed.  My husband was working from home as he had to watch my son and let me have the car to go to an appointment with my neurologist.

I finally got her motivated to get ready for school.  After I walked her to the schoolyard, I came home and grabbed the stupid excuse for a Christmas Tree I had purchased at Walmart on Saturday.  I had brought it home only to discover the box that should have contained three pieces of a non pre-lit tree with stand, contained only two pieces of a pre-lit tree without a stand.  A total fuck up by Walmart that almost sent me into cardiac arrest I was so enraged.  Luckily, my husband had time between preparing dishes for our dinner party that evening to run out and grab a much better tree at Home Depot, so I could rest before putting it together, fluffing it up and putting the lights on it that afternoon.

Anyway, I took it back yesterday and I was very calm and polite while I explained the situation.  I made sure to mention that I have Multiple Sclerosis and get fatigued very easily and suggested she write a note on the return that staff should ensure that the right thing is in a box if it is on the shelf.  Don't know if it will do any good.  The lady at customer service was very apologetic and I'm sure she was appreciative of the fact that I wasn't yelling at her.

I left a bit early for my appointment at 11:30 with my neurologist, which was a good thing since I had to drive around the parking lot for ten minutes before finding a parking spot.  When I got to the MS Clinic on the sixth floor, I was a bit nervous to see the waiting room absolutely packed with patients.  I signed in and then settled into a chair with my Kobo ereader, prepared to be waiting at least an hour if not longer.  To my surprise my name was called after about ten or fifteen minutes.

My doctor is very matter-of-fact and within moments we were both looking at my MRI brain scan on his computer.  He pulled up the scan from 2008 to compare them side by side.  I tried to follow his cursor as he pointed out fuzzy white spots that were the lesions in my brain.  It soon became apparent that he was noticing improvements in the lesions in the most recent scan, and some had even disappeared.  He seemed very upbeat as he looked the scan over, and he didn't seem to be picking up anything new.  He then checked the radiologist's report and sure enough it said "...overall improvement and no new lesions."  I was so happy to read that.  It was exactly what I had hoped for.  I had no illusions that there would be no lesions at all, but the fact that the lesions were less obvious on the recent scan and there were no new lesions.  Well, that was just awesome.

He then sent me downstairs to give some blood as they were gathering some info on MS patients for some research.  Something to do with whether there are some particular antibodies that seem to affect the safety of one of the newer drugs.  I was happy to volunteer since it would only take a few minutes and then I could head home.  While I was having the blood drawn, my doctor came down and told his wife that I was a writer of erotica and that he had given me her email address to send her some info on the books I had written.  His wife came out and we got talking and she sounded intrigued by the idea of trying out a m/m romance for a change.  She and the other ladies were quite fascinated by my publishing ventures and surprised when I told them that straight women were driving the market in this genre at the moment.

Anyway, when I got home there was no-one there.  My husband had taken my son to kindergarten and was volunteering there for 'Scientists in the School' day, so I couldn't call him with my news.  I called my parents but they weren't home.  I decided to post a status update on Facebook since I couldn't bear to keep quiet.  I was so thrilled with my results.  As of right now, I have about 25 'likes' on my status, more than I've ever had before.

When my husband brought the kids home from school they were all very happy to hear that my brain looked really good.  I finally got a hold of my mom and she was very relieved also.  I imagine she will be conveying that info in her Christmas cards this year.  It is truly a wonderful early Christmas gift for me and my entire family.

I will continue taking my medication and getting the rest I need when I need it, and hope for another three years during which my lesions either remain stable or improve.  Obviously, writing m/m erotic romance is having a positive effect so far ;)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Book Trailer for The Crush!

I had a book trailer made for The Crush by the same company that does my covers:

Trailer - The Crush

I really like it and I think it conveys the plot of my story nicely.  I like the song too.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hot Man Alert!

Hey all.  Since my blog is about erotic gay romance, prostate research is not an unrelated topic ;)  And as a daughter, wife and mother, the health of all men is incredibly important to me.

My good friend, Richard Corneau, has been growing a very hot mustache as part of the Movember fundraising initiative in support of Prostate Cancer Research.  Here are some photos:



Now, seriously, how hot is that???

Please consider supporting Richard with whatever amount you can donate:  Movember for Prostate Cancer Research

And, uh, let's start a petition to make him keep this sexy mustache...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Interview with Xavier Axelson!

I am interviewing the lovely Xavier Axelson today.  Xavier is an author of erotic romance who lives in Los Angeles California.

Hi Xavier - thanks for agreeing to be my subject today!


So, how long have you been a writer?

Always and forever.

What thrills you about writing?

Never knowing what’s coming next.  I think I write to indulge in my love of the unknown.

What motivates or inspires you?

I’m motivated by my characters to tell their stories.  I’m inspired by everything.  Literally.  I could read a magazine and the last page will inspire me.  A piece of old furniture.  A dead field in winter.  I love nature and there is always inspiration there.

What is your strongest area: plot, character, setting, theme?

I’ll go out on a limb and say setting. 

Do your stories have a purpose other than to entertain?

It’s funny; my first thought isn’t about entertaining people.  I think my writing’s purpose is to tell a story and hopefully people will ride along on the story train.

I see that you have been involved in the sex industry for quite awhile.  What are your thoughts on prostitution?

I think prostitution should be legal.  I have known many prostitutes in my time, they need protection, and safe places to be tested and have health services. 

I totally agree with you.  Kink and BDSM?  

I love people who are willing to explore their sexual needs in a healthy, sane, safe, legal way.  You’d be surprised what people you know are up to in the bedroom.  Trust me.
 
No doubt!  Porn?

I think it will always exist and it definitely needs a governing body that is protecting performers.  There are many predators in the porn ocean.  I always tried to protect and do the best I could by the men and women I represented.

Do you think the general American public has outdated views on sex in general?  What do you think of the way sex is perceived/portrayed in many European countries?

I think people need to let go or we’re in trouble.  I think there would be less rape and sex crimes if we had a more open dialogue about sex, sexuality.  I think the Europeans are onto something.  I don’t understand how we missed the progressive boat when it comes to sex.  It’s maddening, truly unbelievable but I have hope.  The rainforests are disappearing and we’re concerned about which celebrities are Gay?  And Who made a sex tape?  Who cares?  Umm polar bears are vanishing.  Worry about that.

What do you think about the recent popularity of gay male romance fiction?  How do you feel about straight women writing stories about gay male relationships?

I think it’s great!  I think Gay Romance is the new black.  It goes with everything and makes you look thinner.  I love that woman write about men.  I hope it will give them a better understanding of what it means to be a Gay man and expand their creative horizons.

Please tell us about your latest release.

My latest release is The Birches with Seventh Window Publications.


~~~

Perfection isn’t everything, although it’s everything Leo wants.  His desire to become the perfect chef may keep him at the top of his class, but it drives his friends and family crazy while keeping love and passion on the back burner.  That is until he meets Dock, owner and chef of the new and popular restaurant, The Birches.  Although Dock isn’t a trained chef, Leo finds the food he cooks delectable and the man behind the food irresistible.  The lessons taught at the hands of an untrained cook may be just what this uptight chef needs to let go.

~~~

What are you working on right now?

I’m editing my full-length novel, which is an erotic horror/fantasy trilogy.  I’m hoping I can handle it.  I have all kinds of dangerously sexy stuff going on.  Keep your peepers peeped.

Thanks again, Xavier!  Xavier can be found on FacebookTwitter, and his website.  Xavier is also a sex advice columnist at the LA Examiner.

Here is an excerpt from Xavier's most recent release, The Birches:

He pulled into the parking lot of The Birches and sat on his bike a minute. He felt nervous, like he was about to meet a celebrity and the self-doubt that plagued him made him queasy.   
“You gonna sit outside or come in?”
Leo jumped at the sound of the man’s voice. He pulled his helmet off and looked around, but didn’t see anyone.
“Over here.” 
Leo looked just past his left shoulder and saw a man emerging from the nearby woods that surrounded the little restaurant.
“Oh, hey,” Leo called out, his voice cracking.
“You looking for something to eat?” the man asked, coming closer.
Leo was shocked to find himself riveted to the spot, staring at the man who came towards him. 
The man offered Leo a rough, calloused hand. “I’m Dock,”
“Hey,” Leo managed weakly.
“I was out back, picking blackberries, they grow wild around here.  I thought they’d make a great dessert. Don’t know what kind of dessert, but how can you go wrong when you have stuff like this?” He said as he offered up a large, wooden bucket half-full of dark, purple black berries.
There were purple smears across Dock’s white tank top that seemed barely able to contain Dock’s impressive chest. There were several brown freckles on Dock’s shoulders, next to where the strap of tank top clung to his body.
“Lucky berries,” Leo said under his breath.
“What?”
Sweat ran down Leo’s back, he felt so nervous. For a brief moment, he thought of hopping on his bike and taking off.  Instead he said, “Um, nothing, sorry, I just wanted to come by and--” 
“You want to come inside and have an iced tea or something?” Dock asked, “It’s hot as hell out here and I know I need to cool off.” He swiped a hand across his face and left a smudge of blackberry juice across his cheek.
Leo’s heart was pounding, what was it about this place, this man?


Monday, November 14, 2011

Sweet Memories ...

I was going through some photos last week and came across some special pictures that brought a smile to my face and made me remember being twenty-one, horny, and desperate to get into the pants of a hot fellow student named Phil.  I thought his name was kind of nerdy, but he dressed like a punk, had blond messy hair, blue eyes and exhibited intelligence and humor.  He was in my English lit class and also my Psychology of Religion class.  So we shared some interests.

We struck up a friendship.  I remember going out for coffee just a couple of days after he had his wisdom teeth taken out.  He still looked hot, even with a slightly swollen jaw.  He said he was fine but made the mistake of ordering nachos.  By the end of the meal his mouth was hurting him.  Poor baby.  We had a great talk.  That was when (and I still remember this) he confessed that he had a fantasy of being with an older woman who knew what she was doing in bed.  At the time I felt disappointed, because I was a virgin and did not have much experience at all, besides some french kissing and groping that I did in high school. But now, of course, as a 42 year old woman, I think fondly of his (and no doubt, alot of young men's) fantasies of being with an older, experienced woman ;)

We joked a lot and I asked him if he'd pose for some pictures as I was developing an interest in photography and he was really good looking.  He agreed.  He was considering doing some modelling and could use some portfolio pictures.  I also hinted that, if he was interested, we could arrange for some alone time at my brother's downtown apartment one evening that week.  He said he was totally into that, with a cute little grin.

So I arranged for some time at my parents' house, where I was then living, to do our photoshoot.  He arrived on time, in his standard outfit of black jeans, black shirt, Docs, suspenders and leather jacket.  Yum.  I was nervous, especially since this photoshoot was more or less a pretense to be able to stare at him without reserve for an hour or more and have some pictures of him at hand whenever I wanted to look at him again.  I mean, I wasn't a bad photographer, and I did want to see what I could get with soft light and a willing subject.  But, really, it was all about sex.  He didn't seem to mind.

We had a fun photoshoot, as you can imagine.  I got him into some sexy poses.  I ended up with some really nice pictures of him.  As I looked at them last week, I was reminded of Terry Cyr's images and the similarities, although my subject was clothed, were obvious.  No wonder I am so fond of his work...

Later, at my older brother's apartment (that he kindly lent me for a few hours while he and his girlfriend went out), Phil and I shared a beautiful and innocent early sexual experience together.  We were both really nervous at first but I remember finally getting up the nerve to kiss him.  After that, things moved along quite swimmingly :)  His was the very first erect penis I ever saw, in the flesh.  And it was a beautiful one.  I was absolutely entranced with it.  I couldn't stop touching it.  His whole body was beautiful and I explored every inch of it.  He was twenty-one don't forget and pretty damn turned on.  I loved his reactions to me.  I remember he liked the black underwear and bra that I wore.  He touched and explored my body too, but I remember the most fun for me was touching him.  I liked being in control ;)  And the physical feelings were so overwhelming that I was more comfortable making him lose control.  He taught me what to do with my hand to make him come.  I was an excited and eager student.  It didn't take too long, of course.  When he did come, and I watched his cock spurting in my hand, it was a wonderful feeling and a beautiful thing to watch him lose himself in the pleasure of it.

The entire experience was just incredible.  We laughed at our awkwardness and nervousness and just had a great time getting to know each other in that physical way.  It never progressed to intercourse.  I wasn't quite ready for that yet and so terrified of accidentally getting pregnant.  And he was terrified of getting me pregnant.  I'm glad in retrospect, since when I did eventually lose my virginity, the experience was extremely painful and not enjoyable at all (even though I was with someone I cared deeply for at the time), except for the sense of maturity and accomplishment that followed.

I don't know where you are now, Phil, or what you've done with your life, but I want to thank you for giving me that introduction to male pleasure and for letting me have those photos to look back on forever.




Sunday, November 13, 2011

Holiday Matinée - December 3rd!

Here is the cover for my Christmas short story, Holiday Matinée, due out Saturday, December 3rd!


So put on your jingle bells and read a hot little something to get you into the Holiday spirit...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Let Him Sing.

My husband and I do not have a subscription to any newspapers.  But once in awhile, The Ottawa Citizen insists on providing us with a few weeks of regular freebies, to try to tempt us into subscribing.  I was kind of pleased at first, but when I read an article in yesterday's paper and started swearing and stressing out, I realized that this was exactly the reason why we don't get the paper.  I inevitably read something that pisses me the fuck off.

Yesterday it was an article about Yves Roy.  Mr. Roy has been a driver with OC Transpo for a number of years.  He likes to sing while he drives.  He has a good voice and knows many songs by heart.  During his first few years on the job, his then supervisor sent him many letters commending him on the positive response that was being received about his singing.  People commented that his voice cheered them up and made them look at their day a bit differently.  I no longer ride the bus on a regular basis.  But I do remember a bus driver who occasionally sang and was very polite and helpful to his passengers.  I remember hearing him singing and I remember exchanging pleased smiles with other passengers.  How nice it was to hear something besides squealing gears and honking cars as the bus made its way through the city.

Apparently, the head honchos at OC Transpo have now asked Mr. Roy to cease and desist, claiming that several letters have been received from people who do not enjoy his singing.  This makes me incredibly upset for a couple of reasons.  First, this driver is doing what he loves and sharing the gift of his voice and cheerful spirit with the people of Ottawa.  And now he is being told to stop?  Right.  How dare you try to inject a little levity and lightness into this serious city?  And, secondly, to the people who wrote in to complain:  don't you think a little bit of impulsive singing in an atmosphere that is routine and boring could be excused, even if, on some occasions, you cannot find it in yourself to smile?  I mean, seriously.

Ottawa's Mayor has now come out in support of OC Transpo's decision to quash Mr. Roy's singing.  But his argument is rather silly.  As my friend Cath put it in her Facebook update yesterday:

So our mayor thinks the singing bus driver needs to be shut down b/c if he's allowed to sing, then who knows what will happen next "people bringing huge boom boxes on the bus and playing rap music or karaoke machines...." First of all "boom boxes and rap music" - is he living in a Spike Lee movie from 1989? Secondly, karaoke on the bus? would be pretty great. Siiiiiigh wonder why Ottawa has a reputation for being boring/uptight/bureaucratic

Anyway, I was pleased to see this Facebook Page has been started to show the support of most Ottawans for the Singing Bus Driver.  Please 'like' this page to show your support for Mr. Yves Roy and hopefully get him singing again.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Naked Man Project Website Launched!!!

My good friend, Terry J. Cyr, launched his new website yesterday!  This project has been a long time coming and is a beautiful tribute to Terry's artwork.  Please make sure you have a look at what this amazing man can do with light and a camera...

http://www.naked-man-project.com/joomla/en/

Good Friends and Important Messages

My friends, Morgan and Richard, came over last night for dinner.  My husband, excited to use our brand new stove to cook for our guests, made French onion soup, pumpkin ravioli and dinner rolls, all from scratch (except for using won ton wrappers to make the ravioli).  Sooooo delicious.

My two kids were so excited to see Morgan and Richard.  I have made a point to tell them that these two men live together and love each other in the same way that their father and I do.  I think they recognize the love these two men share and appreciate their warmth, humor and kindness.  Of course, the two men had to do their duty in reading bedtime stories and playing games before the kids went to sleep and we could eat our dinner.  But they did so, as usual, with enthusiasm and without complaint.  I am so glad that my son and daughter will know from such a young age that the gender of the person you love doesn't matter - it's the love that's important, and the respect and kindness with which you treat your partner.

Thank you, Morgan and Richard, for demonstrating this very important lesson, once again :)

Morgan, me, and Richard at Capital Pride 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Virtual New Release Party for The Crush



Jack Claridge’s sister, Amy, has a big crush on her English professor, Michael Donovan. When Jack agrees to accompany her on an outing with the object of her affection, the last thing he expects is the professor’s reaction to him. One surreptitious hand-job later and Michael is hooked. But will Jack ‘use him and lose him’ or does Jack care for the professor more than he thinks? And what will he tell Amy?


I am hosting a virtual New Release Party for The Crush on Goodreads during the afternoon of Thursday, November 10th.  Here is the link:

http://www.goodreads.com/event/show/224215?utm_medium=email&utm_source=event_response

I really hope some of you can join me there to chat and get down and dirty about what you like to read in a m/m romance novel :)  If you don't have a Goodreads membership yet, it's free and it's lots of fun if you like to read.  The group that is running this event is the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, with over 4000 members.  Come and join in the fun!

Of course, there will be at least one free copy of The Crush up for grabs as well.

~ Elizabeth

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hot Men in Kilts.

These lovely blokes were kidnapped from the Facebook Wall of the lovely Michael Tattersall.


I have never wanted to be in the middle of a quintuple-layer Scottish sandwich more than right now... and, yes, I would eat an entire haggis to get there...  Did Robbie Burns right a poem about this?  He should have.

Thank You

Thank you all for the support on my post earlier this week.  It is nice to be able to write down my fears and insecurities and share them when I am really feeling them.

Feeling better now.  My novel-in-progress, Three Kings, is coming along nicely.  I am getting really excited about it.  I had originally hoped to finish it by Christmas.  I know that isn't going to happen.  My new target is to finish the rough draft by end of February and to submit a first draft to MLR Press by end of March.  If I get it done earlier, then great.  I am about to send the synopsis and the first two chapters in their very rough form to my friend Terry Cyr, who is going to try to create an image for the eventual cover.

Terry and his image editor (and sometime model), Thor Pace, are gearing up for the launch of the new website on Friday afternoon.  I will be linking to it on this blog when it goes live.  So very exciting.  They have done an amazing job and there are such beautiful images to be seen and, if you like, purchased.  Terry's work is unparalleled in its raw emotion and romantic beauty.  He uses light to expose the naked male form in all its classic glory and natural splendor.  I highly recommend visiting his new site this weekend and touring around.  (Yours truly wrote the descriptions for the different Style Galleries :)  I'm quite proud of them.)

And I'm beginning to conceptualize the project that I will undertake once Three Kings is finished.  It will be a hardcore BDSM m/m romance.  I'm currently doing lots of, ahem, research for that one :) including attending some educational seminars at the Technokink event here in Ottawa on the 12th, and speaking to people who are currently living this lifestyle.  It is completely fascinating and I am looking forward to translating all of this research into a very steamy manuscript.





Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Weighty Thoughts...

I have had weight issues since my twenties.  I have lost weight a few times, only to put it back on.  I was at my heaviest (not telling how much) when pregnant with my second child.  Then, a couple of years ago, I got rid of the weight from two pregnancies and looked and felt better than I had in a long time.

Now I am falling back into my old habits and seem to feel hungry all the time.

But I kind of had an epiphany today.  I think I am eating in order to hide from myself and the world.  This whole adventure of becoming a published author of m/m romance, while it has been amazing and exciting, is also scary as shit.  I have put my deepest, most erotic fantasies out there for anyone to see.  I have not really used a pen name.  Although Elizabeth is my middle name, everyone knows it is me, even my neighbours.  I refuse to hide, because I see nothing wrong with what I write.  But it is still a very personal part of me that is now out there for the world to see.

MLR Press just published my second book, The Crush.  I am worried that it is not as good as my first book.  What if people don't like it as much as Exposure because it doesn't have the 'character with a disability' angle?  What if it tanks?  I act all brave online but, at times, I am a quivering, frightened mess.

I am also becoming friends with many very attractive gay men, both online and face to face.  It is great, but I cannot deny that it revs my engine too.  I worry all the time that I am being too forward or exposing too much my fascination with and attraction to gay men.  I'm not afraid that they are going to hit on me or anything (I am a woman, after all, and not a spring chicken).  I'm afraid they are going to find it distasteful or exploitative.

I'm also allowing myself to delve into the leather/kink community a little.  I have always had a yen to explore this lifestyle, not necessarily as a participant, but definitely as an observer.  But I'm afraid of my own desires.  What if I really like what I see?  What if I want to try something that my husband isn't interested in?

I think that I am turning to food to anaesthetize this feeling of fear and exposure.  And, I suppose, to hide myself in a fat suit so that I won't have to deal with my own sexual power.

I love my husband and would never cheat on him.  I need him in so many ways and feel blessed to have him in my life.  I don't want him to feel like I am yearning for something that he can't give me.  Because I'm not.  He gives me everything and then some.  He is open to trying pretty much anything in the bedroom.

Ever since I figured this out this morning, I haven't felt tempted to overeat.  I've decided that I don't want to be fat.  Chubby, voluptuous, I can deal with.  Once I get below 160 lbs my ass starts to disappear anyway.  Right now, at about 180 lbs, my ass is perfect.   My belly and boobs, though, are getting a little out of control.  I know if I can lose 10-15 lbs I will look much more proportional.  And sexy.  And bloody gorgeous (for a 42 year-old mom).  If I can just find another way to deal with this ever present fear.  Of not being good enough.  Of being so 'out there'.  Of being slightly perverted.  Lol.

Maybe instead of turning to food, I can turn to sex.  I know my husband would be on board with that.  Literally ;)