Friday, September 21, 2012

Coming Soon - Passionate Cooks


I'm happy to announce that I have been selected as a featured author in the upcoming Passionate Cooks cookbook, coming this fall from AllRomance! This is a free cookbook with recipes by over 100 authors, and my contribution is a homemade pizza roll appetizer - something I make for a lighter alternative to Totino's. I'm looking forward to seeing the entire book, and I hope to be featured on AReCafe with my story about the recipe.

Will post the link when the book is ready. :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Turning Stories into Stories by Lucy Felthouse

Me Want Food welcomes Lucy Felthouse!

Firstly, I want to say thank you to Leigh for having me on her blog – thanks!

So, turning stories into stories is the topic of this post. I'm a very nosey person—I admit it. I like to know what's going on, I ask people lots of questions and I eavesdrop on conversations. I also encourage people to tell me stories—true ones, though. Why? Because they often provide the best inspiration for turning into erotic stories.

My latest release, Ditched, is a good example of this. I have a friend who fairly recently left the British Army, and although he'd never tell me anything classified, despite how much I pestered him, he often gave me snippets about what life was like, what sort of things happened day to day, and so on. One particular story he told me was about when he and a fellow soldier were on exercise on Salisbury Plain. Somehow they screwed up timings and ended up waiting for their pick up way earlier than needed. Then the weather turned shitty, and they had to shelter in a ditch.

A fairly interesting tale all by itself, especially if you love hearing that kind of thing, like I do. But I took it and stored it in the back of my mind until I decided to write my first gay story. For some reason, that snippet surfaced and I turned the incident into something utterly different. The basis is the same, of course, but I added two fictional colleagues who happened to be bisexual and threw them into a heated situation which ended up turning into something even more heated ;)

So, there you have it. Turning a story into a story. I give people I talk to fair warning—anything you may say may be turned into an erotic story. I don't want any complaints ;)

*****

Private Damien Stone is living in a nightmare. He’s out on exercise on Salisbury Plain with Lance Corporal Michael Scott—who also happens to be a huge pain in the arse. He’s a teacher’s pet who seems to delight in bossing Stone around. But that’s not the real reason Stone appears to dislike him so much. It’s because Stone—who’s bisexual—is seriously attracted to his superior, but he can’t do anything about it, because Scott is straight. Or is he?

Buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/ditched/

*****

Excerpt:

“This can’t be fucking right!” said Lance Corporal Michael Scott, checking his map for the umpteenth time.

“I can assure you, Scott, that it fucking is,” responded his colleague, Private Damien Stone. He nudged the other man, pointed to a place on his own map, then raised his arm and indicated a rise in the ground in the near distance.

“See, that’s that long barrow, so we are in the right place.”

Looking at the barrow—one of the many on Salisbury Plain—then down at the map, and finally at his compass, Scott had to agree.

“So where the fuck are they, then?”

Stone had no answer for that one. He looked up into the lightening sky, which in the distance was being slowly tinged with pink, but saw no sign of their pick-up helicopter. Straining to hear even the faintest sound of rotor blades, Stone remained silent. Hearing nothing, he shrugged.

“Dunno. Perhaps we got the time wrong, or something?”

“I hope not, otherwise they’ve gone without us!”

“Nah. We’re early, if anything. The sun’s only just coming up.”

Sighing, Scott stuffed his map and compass into a pocket, and said, “Well, I guess we’d better find somewhere to shelter. I don’t like the look of that.”

The that he was talking about was an ominous-looking black cloud being buffeted in their direction by the wind, which was picking up rapidly.

“With you on that one.”

On an unspoken command, the two of them immediately split up and started to look around for somewhere they could keep out of the wind and imminent rain. It wasn’t long before Scott shouted out, and Stone immediately turned and headed in the direction of his colleague’s voice.

When Stone arrived, Scott had already removed his backpack and dropped it into the ditch he’d found and was striding down the slope to join it. Luckily, there’d been no rain over the past few days so the ground was dry. If the coming rainstorm ended up being heavy, it was entirely possible they’d get wet arses, but for now at least they’d be reasonably comfortable.

Following his colleague’s example, Stone shrugged off his pack. Turning, he saw that Scott was standing with his arms out, ready to catch it. Tossing it, he gave a curt nod of thanks before heading down into the ditch.

Once there, he saw that some scrub covered a couple of sizeable rocks, meaning that they would at least be able to sit down. It would have to rain pretty damn hard for the water level in the ditch to get as high as the top of the rocks, so they’d be all right until the chopper arrived.

He hoped.

Buy links: http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk/published-works/ditched/

*****


Lucy is a graduate of the University of Derby, where she studied Creative Writing. During her first year, she was dared to write an erotic story - so she did. It went down a storm and she's never looked back. Lucy has had stories published by Cleis Press, Constable and Robinson, Decadent Publishing, Ellora's Cave, Evernight Publishing, House of Erotica, Ravenous Romance, Resplendence Publishing, Sweetmeats Press and Xcite Books. She is also the editor of Uniform Behaviour, Seducing the Myth, Smut by the Sea and Smut in the City. Find out more at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk. Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coupon Score - Hot Stuff

Had a great score last Sunday with the new coupons in from the newspaper. With Harris Teeter still on their Mega-Double special, I was able to get the following:

1 small bottle of Tabasco - originally $1.85, had a $1 off coupon which doubled, so I got the bottle free.

2 boxes of Who Nu? cookies (like Oreos, but purportedly fortified with fiber) - originally $3.85 a box, but there was a 2/$4 sale. Has a $1 off coupon which doubled, so I got 2 boxes for $2, or $1 box.

I've decided if I'm able to score a deal with boxed or canned goods, I'm going to put half the bounty in a bag to give to my church's food drive. I have one bag filled to send over next Sunday. They like pastas and sauces, soups and cereals, which can be cheap if you know when to shop. We'll see how I fare next week.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What I'm Reading

I checked out Redshirts based on its interesting premise. A group of new recruits to a starship have figured out that being a new ensign on the Intrepid is akin to being part of an endangered species. I'm about halfway through it - it's like Galaxy Quest meets The Truman Show and is pretty intriguing so far. Will have to see how the rest of it pans out.

I pledged through Goodreads to read 100 books this year, and I have about 40 to go. This last week I read the following:

Clockwork Angels: The Novel by Kevin J. Anderson - 2 1/2 stars (full review at Books That Rock Us)

Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox by Lois Banner - 2 stars (third Marilyn Monroe bio I've read)

The Magic Christian by Terry Southern - 2 stars (nothing like the movie)

It may not seem like I had a successful outing, but I found something to enjoy in each of these books read. I have a trip coming up which will leave me plenty of time to read some more and knock out more slots in the TBR.







Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fun With Coupons

Today I'm hitting Harris Teeter with a load of $1.00 off coupons - they are holding a double special, and I find I can stock up on good pantry staples. It's usually a good time to pick up that extra jar of Nutella and a few packs of MIO liquid, which I go through like water (heh). Since I plan to cook more at home this fall, things like soup starters and pasta are good to have in a pinch, too.

Update: Word of warning if you walk to a register with a stack of coupons - watch the monitor to make sure every last one is scanned. The girl at my checkout - bless her heart, she may have been new - scanned two that didn't take, and when I pointed it out she didn't do anything. I could have been a bitch about it, but I should feel lucky to be in a position where I don't have to haggle over a few dollars. Still, for some it could make a difference, so keep an eye out.

This trip, I double a Dove chocolate coupon and a Milky Way coupon to get some cheap candy - 39 cents a bar after it worked out. I got half a gallon of Silk Fruit and Protein drink for 99 cents, and a crock of Country Crock mashed potatoes for 99 cents. In the end, though, I didn't save more than half on the groceries like I normally do, but I did buy items for which I didn't have coupons.

Next week is a big sale on dinner prep mixes. That should be fun. :-)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Audiobook Release - The Dares That Bind

At long last, the audio version of The Dares That Bind, narrated by Lil Tulip, is available on Audible. Other retailers will be live soon, but you can download the Audible version here.

The Dares That Bind is the first BDSM romance in the Dareville universe, and so far my only true kink title. It's one of my personal favorites in my catalog, and I've hoped to bring Alton and Spring into another story. If I ever get Dare Devils written and sent off, you will definitely meet them again.

Anyway, here's the blurb. The eBook is still on sale, too.

Victoria Robeson is content to live at home and work her dead-end job, despite dealing with her overbearing mother, just as long as she has time to write. When she meets the handsome and mysterious Alton Weiss as Dareville prepares for Brady Garriston's big concert, Vic is unnerved and intrigued by how well he knows her personality and desires.

Alton introduces her to a world of sensuality and submission, encouraging her to become a new woman. But is Alton merely a weekend distraction, or the promise of a better life?

In other audio news, She Loves Me is still in the works, and auditions have come in for The Healing and Jilted. Now to make sure I get some hot covers done!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In Memory of Those We Lost


Photo: Wikipedia by Kim Carpenter

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Release! Rock Til You Drop

Rock Til You DropI am pleased to announce that the second Lerxst book (by my alter ego) is now available in eBook format! Print is coming soon, hopefully in time for Collingswood. Just a reminder, if you bought Dead Barchetta, this is the sequel to that book. Rock Deadly, the revised first book in the series, is still free in eBook format. It's like getting two books for one price!

BUY NOW!

Kindle ~ Smashwords ~ Kobo ~ OmniLit (Nook and Google Play soon)

Just when Matt "Lerxst" Johnston has settled back into a normal routine of strumming chords and squabbling with family, something happens to once again turn his life upside down. Betrayed by his best friends, Lerxst seeks to rebuild his tribute band Dead Barchetta and his career, but murder stalls his plans.

Though he swore never to get involved in another mystery, everybody wants his help to find the killer. Once again, Lerxst sets aside his ES-335 and searches for clues to catch a murderer before another unsuspecting victim faces the music.

~*~

Excerpt (c) Kathryn Lively

A familiar mop of light hair bobbed in the front door window. Jack Kline played drums in our Rush/Grateful Dead tribute band, Dead Barchetta, and was also a partner in the music studio I co-owned with our bassist. Why he picked this formal route baffled me; he’d spent most of his life barging into our home unannounced. “Come on in,” I invited him, but he hung back and shook his head.

“I need to talk to you for a second,” he said, hands in jacket pockets and bouncing on his heels. “I know you have a full house tonight, and I’d rather not be heard by anybody else.”

Que? Jack looked shifty and nervous, like he had a dead body stuffed in the cab of his truck. I’d seen enough of those this year. “Sure,” I said, and closed the front door for good measure. “Let’s talk.” I gestured to the stoop and sat down next to him.

Jack wouldn’t look at me. He fixed on a spot of gravel on the pathway leading to the house. “Joel and I have been talking,” he said, referring to our third musketeer, “and we’re sort of on the same wavelength about a lot of things. The band, the business, stuff like that.”

“Okay, what about them?” I couldn’t follow if I didn’t know where to turn. Business peaked for us now, with enrollment for music lessons higher than it had been in years. As far as the band went, we were in the envious position of turning away offers for gigs because we nearly had a full calendar. I’d like to think that many local venues finally came to acknowledge the genius of my three favorite Canadian musicians and our ability to emulate them so well, but surely my recent celebrity played a part in the uptick of offerings. Few locally based musicians could claim to have escaped certain death in a situation worthy of a TV movie.

Not that I play up the fact for my benefit. I’m happy to have my life return to the bizarre level of normal to which I’m accustomed.

Jack seemed to struggle for words. He wrung his hands and sighed a lot. Whatever he had to say, he probably expected me to explode. It worried me, to be honest. Business was good, but we were by no means millionaires. In this questionable economy, we all knew parents viewed music lessons as a luxury more than a necessity, so we were prepared for a sudden downturn any time. It hadn’t happened yet, but the look on Jack’s face had me thinking of other disastrous scenarios.

“Jack, what is it?” I asked. “Is there a problem with the studio? Do you need money?” Please say no, I thought. Instant wealth didn’t come with the type of celebrity I’d earned.

He shook his head. “It’s not easy for me to say. I’ve known you forever.” His eyes glassed over, scaring me shitless now. This sounded more like an “I have cancer and it’s terminal” announcement.

“Lerxst,” he said, “Joel and I want to take the band in a different direction.”

“Oh.” This necessitated tears? “What does that mean, less Dead and more Barchetta or the other way around?” Our last few gigs had us doing more from our Grateful Dead playlist—not our strength, but we play what the person writing the check wants.

“It means less of both and more of...well, Jack and Joel,” Jack said. “We’ve been working on some original songs, and they’re good. They should be heard.”

“Okay.” I had to admit it sort of hurt to think my two band mates were writing songs without my knowledge. It’s no secret I prefer to play than compose, but I’m sure I could have offered some input on writing the music I’d eventually play. “Well, I’ve never had a problem with that. You know me, I’m always up for whatever you two want to try out. So, you want to bring some of these songs to our next rehearsal?”

Jack sighed again. Any minute, I expected him to slap the back of his hand against his forehead and emit a woeful wail. What the hell?

“We were thinking, Lerxst, of playing them ourselves. In our own band, independent of Dead Barchetta. In fact, we want to leave the group.”

The pound cake I’d eaten churned with the bile in my stomach and threatened to resurface. “Go on hiatus, or just go?”

Jack only looked at me. I wanted to believe I didn’t hear him right, because truthfully this conversation made little sense. Only last weekend we’d played to a packed crowd at an Oceanfront club, and Jack and Joel had neither said nor did anything to indicate they were unhappy with me or the band. I couldn’t figure this out at all.

“Why?” I wanted to know. “It sounds like you want me out of the picture altogether. What the fuck did I do to you guys to deserve this?”

“Lerxst, it’s not you. It’s us.”

“Jesus H.—”

“You’re not making this easy on me. Neither of you are.” Jack shot up and paced the gravel walkway. “Joel was supposed to come with me, but he chickened out. Said he thought it’d hurt less with just one of us here, and I’ve known you longer.”

Yes, I was supposed to feel bad for Jack because he drew the short straw and had to come alone to wrench a knife in my heart. “It was my idea to form a band,” I told him, trying to keep my voice from cracking, “and now you’re dumping me for no reason.”

“It’s not like that, guy. You got a good thing going with Diane now, and you’re going to want to see more of her. That means more trips to Jersey—”

“Which has not interfered with my work or the band,” I was quick to point out. “She is not a Yoko, so don’t even think of pegging her like that.”

“I never said she was, Lerxst. I like Diane, she’s great for you. Me,” Jack rocked on his heels again, eyes skyward and blinking away tears, “I want something like that, too. I don’t think I’m going to get it playing Rush songs fifteen to twenty nights a month.”

“Jack, I don’t care what we perform onstage. I do this because I love the band and you and Joel are my closest friends.” I stood now. I wanted to shake some sense into my friend. “I don’t understand why you feel it’s necessary to eject me from the group or leave it, whatever. The quality of my guitar playing hasn’t declined...is this because of what happened earlier this year?” Seriously, I didn’t ask to become involved in a cult-directed murder-suicide. At least it ended well for me, until this point.

“That’s not the issue. I’m glad you found your dad and sister and all that. We’ve just grown apart and want to do something else.”

“Grown apart? Fuck, Jack!” He looked genuinely frightened by how my voice carried in the night, but I didn’t care. Let them hear me in Williamsburg—I wanted the world to know how my heart broke to hear this.

I did oblige him by adding more softly, “If you’re leaving the group, I’m keeping the name. I came up with it, and you have no business using it if you’re not doing Rush covers.”

“That’s fine, man. We were going to let you have it.”

Well, fuck you very much for tossing me that bone, I almost said.

Jack reached into his jacket for a large manila envelope, which he handed to me. Inside I found a thick sheaf of papers and a check made out to me for twenty-five thousand dollars. “What the hell?” I cried, and thumbed through the thick contract of legalese. My heart numbed with every sentence I read.

They wanted to buy my share of the business. The fuckers might as well have sat shivah for me; they obviously considered me dead to them.

“You’ll find that’s a fair amount,” Jack was saying. “It covers your share of the studio and the equipment. Also, the PA system and all shared rigs. We…” he faltered and continued after swallowing, “we figured we could use them more quickly.”

“I don’t believe this.” I flipped to the end of the dissolution agreement and saw that Jack and Joel had already signed it. “You’re taking all the equipment and leaving me with nothing?”

“You’re getting twenty-five grand, Lerxst. It’s not like we’re taking your stuff away. You have plenty there to start over.”

I didn’t want to start over! I was happy with the status quo. “How long have you two been planning this?” I asked.

Jack looked down. “For a while now. You’ve been so busy with Diane lately, I don’t blame you if you haven’t noticed.”

“I notice plenty, Jack. You and Joel really know how to keep things quiet.” I rolled up the sheaf and batted it into my hand. “So, what? You found another guitar teacher? You’re going to take my students, too?” I’ve had some kids coming to me for lessons since they literally learned to walk. What were they going to think when they showed up at the studio to find a stranger in my chair?

“We’re going to let people know to call you if they still want lessons from you, Lerxst. We’re not trying to ruin your livelihood, we’re just...we’re making some changes.”

“Funny way of showing it. I still have some personal effects at the studio,” I said, thanking Ged I hadn’t left behind my Alex Lifeson signature ES-355. “Can I least come by tomorrow and pack up?”

“Uh, you know,” he scratched behind his ear, “we can drop it off later...”

“Fine. You know what? Fuck you, and fuck Joel. Both of you, up the ass with red hot pokers by a Dominatrix with bad eyesight. Give me a pen.” Of course he’d have one at the ready, and when he pulled it from his jeans pocket I snatched it and signed the damn thing on a raised thigh. Shoving the check in my pocket, I threw the agreement at Jack and turned without saying goodbye. Jack, my best friend since elementary school, wanted nothing more to do with me, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why. I didn’t see the sense in asking again, or saying anything more.

“Lerxst?” he called after me, but I kept walking.

“Matt?” he tried again. I couldn’t remember the last time he used my given name. Just as well he went back to using it. Everybody calls me Lerxst, except for strangers who don’t know any better.

I pulled the front door behind me so hard the foundation rattled. It did the trick, though. I couldn’t hear Jack’s voice anymore.