On the Subject of TV and Why You Should Stop Watching Modern Family and Raise Your Standards A Bit

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Before anything else, before I berate the average TV viewer for giving the same old shit staggering Nielsen ratings, I’ll say I need to catch up on Gotham. I really do.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been a big DC fan and the Christian Bale Batman movies killed off what Joel Schumacher’s Batman movies missed regarding my interest in Batman. I make no bones about being a Marvel girl anyway.

But my strange ladyboner for Donal Logue keeps me watching.  Or, I guess it’s not strange, being a redheaded Celt myself. It’s probably something primal and biological in me that’s saying something like, “go forth and make more gingers. And those gingers shall be the finest warriors in the land. Now, ride him like your ancestors rode to kill the Anglo-Saxons.” Or something. Sorry, Donal, if this comes up in a Google Alert for you. My bad. You’re hot.

And I’m sure that Gotham is a great show beyond its fantastic cast. But I’m just Batman-ed out a bit.

Speaking of superheroes, Agent Carter is fantastic and you should all watch it. I’m about 5 seconds away from buying an all 1940s wardrobe and making pincurls and the victory rolls. But beyond that, I’m loving everything about it. Peggy Carter is amazing. I normally love a good lady villain, but Hayley Atwell is killing it and she’s just so freaking charming I can’t even stand it. And the guy who plays Jarvis is not only handsome and has an ocean full of chemistry with Peggy, he also reminds me of a more accessible Benedict Cumberbatch.

Same with Galavant. I wish ABC hadn’t given it the Sunday night kiss of death. I’ve dealt with ABC, Disney, and other Disney owned entertainment companies starting from when I was a lowly cast member at Disney. If they don’t believe in something or someone, they will bury it. Even if it’s currently the funniest half hour on tv.

Tim Omundson is a dream and I love the way he chews up the scenery. He looks like he’s having a blast. Everyone in the cast is on point, though. And the writing is spectacular. Everyone has been going on about Alan Menkin and his songs, so I won’t go into them here (besides, as a 90s kid and a Disney cast member during a time AFTER the golden rebirth and before Frozen, the Magic Kingdom was still very much all about everything between The Little Mermaid and Mulan and it was overkill. And I always liked The Sherman Brothers‘ music better anyway)

And, as a former Disney cast member, I can tell you that the show is strangely like being backstage at Disney. Horny, apathetic royals. Drunks who haven’t bathed in awhile. Out of shape singers and dancers who can barely make it through a number. It’s like Spinal Tap or Waiting for cast members. Someone on the writing staff just knows what it’s like because he or she has been there.

Rounding out my tv watching these days? Jane the Virgin! When a show’s only flaw is that the writers don’t know that Miami doesn’t have fireflies or that a high end hotel would have hurricane windows capable of withstanding at least a 4 (especially in Miami-Dade after Hurricane Andrew–the one that changed all the standards forever), then I’d say that’s a pretty perfect show.

I’m just getting into Hindsight on VH1, but I like what I’ve seen so far. But I love a good time travel-esque story.

And I find it horribly sad that these shows put together aren’t making the numbers that Modern Family or The Voice or Survivor or whatever other tired, played out show makes on its own.

Piper Doone is the author of the highly rated gay erotic romance, Playing Hard To Forget, available from Amazon and Dreamspinner Press and your favorite ebook retailer in paperback and ebook, and the upcoming Something To Die For, releasing March 2015.

She believes that The Parent Trap (1961) is the single greatest Disney movie of the last sixty years and, when she has enough money saved, she’s going to faithfully recreate Mitch Ever’s Spanish Ranch house right down to the vintage appliances.

She realizes that the inclusion of the above statement negates everything she just said about standards. But she encourages you to watch the shows she listed because they are fantastic and deserve just as much of a chance as Game of Thrones does.

On the Subject of Forgiving an Abusive Parent

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Spoiler Alert: You Don’t Have To.

I’ve spent my entire life being told I should forgive and forget that I was so severely injured as a child that I’m still experiencing pain today. That my injuries weren’t properly treated when they happened for fear of a (deserved) arrest or worse puts it over the top.

I am a child of abuse. I am a victim of abuse. I am a survivor of abuse. I did nothing wrong; I am not ashamed of having been abused. I was a child. I couldn’t fight back. Even if I tried, I’d be hurt more. Basic survival instinct no two year old should ever have to know, right?

I’ve heard excuse after excuse from various people “justifying” his actions–he was in a bad place. His job was too stressful. He came from abuse himself.

I was conditioned to believe that until I had my own children. If a person can look at a tiny baby and think that it’s okay to beat her so severely she can’t walk properly for the rest of her life, then that person shouldn’t be legally around kids. I don’t care what kind of stress you’re under. NOTHING justifies that.

So, when my hips–the ones previously dislocated so harshly that I not only have problems with one leg being longer than the other, I also developed scoliosis–starting acting up yesterday at the fair and I had to leave early because walking was getting tough, all the feelings came back up.

This isn’t the first time those old injuries have come back to haunt me. I had to leave my career in professional sports because the pain after a long day would be so great I couldn’t even get out of my car when I got home.

Why should I forgive that? He hasn’t stepped up to pay for my medical costs. He did everything to prevent me getting treatment. Meanwhile, he’s living with his 4th wife, who’s loaded, and spending his days sitting around on his ass criticizing my every life choice like he somehow has the moral high ground.

So, guess what? After 30 years I’m done. I’m not going to listen to every well-meaning person who comes along and tries to tell me it’s better to forgive and forget. I’m not going to take the advice of someone who has never been through what I’ve been through. I’m not going to forgive. I’m not allowed to forget thanks to my injuries. Why should I be forced to forgive?

And why in the hell are people telling me I shouldn’t cut him off? I get to decide what’s best for ME. I know what he’s done to me. My kids aren’t going to be any worse not knowing him. He is a miserable old man who only cares about himself and his problems. Even a birthday text from him is overshadowed by his complaints about his health and his mother and whatever else sucks in his life right now. Why should I have that negativity in my life and in my children’s lives?

My husband doesn’t understand. He can’t understand, I think. He tries, but he had a great dad. If he did something wrong, like refuse to eat his dinner, he probably got a stern talking-to or something take away. If I refused, I was forced to sit at the table until it was all gone, sometimes for hours. At 4. Then if it got too late, I got the belt.

Or worse.

Usually worse. Mostly worse. I remember passing out once when a friend lightly touched me on the back one day in school. I was bruised, flayed, and bloody in some places.

Also, thanks, Polk County School System, for doing your job and calling DCF and helping me get out of a bad situation. Oh, wait. You didn’t. Fuck you.

So, dad, if you’re reading this, I’m done with you. Don’t call me. Don’t text me. Don’t email me. Don’t try to talk to my kids. You yelled at my son once, and that’s the one chance you got. I don’t care that you’re pissed off at my life choices. You don’t have a damn bit of say in what I do. I am an adult and you are not going to ruin this part of my life like you did my childhood.  I don’t forgive you. I won’t forgive you. I don’t have to forgive you. I can’t forget what you did because I live with it every day. I hope you’re happy that you physically broke a person for her whole life. You’ve left your mark in this world. This is your legacy. Not having a child or making a difference in the world. Breaking me is your legacy.  I hope you enjoy it.

I may be in pain. I may be a horrible person. But I’m going to be happy.

By the way, see this book down here? You’re the bad guy. You. Congratulations. There’s another legacy for you. You’re a bona fide villain in a published book.

Piper Doone is the author of the highly rated gay erotic romance, Playing Hard To Forget, available from Amazon and Dreamspinner Press and your favorite ebook retailer in paperback and ebook, and the upcoming Something To Die For, releasing March 2015.

On The Subject of Vacations.

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I woke up this morning and peered into the briny depths of my savings account and figured if I only ate once a day and that was McDonald’s, I could just about afford a three day weekend trip to Middle of Nowhere, California for a long photo shoot in the desert.

My vacation history of late is downright embarrassing and if I don’t get away soon I’m taking this entire godforsaken state with me, starting with the upper east coast assholes who moved here because they wanted a lower cost of living and access to better beaches.

When I say “of late,” I want you to realize that I am talking about the last fifteen years or so.

I had two glorious days in San Francisco in 2003, when our kids were finally old enough to leave with grandma and grandpa for the weekend.

I had two amazing days in DC in 2008, even though the trip was tainted by my husband getting laid off in the middle of the worst of the recession right before the trip (we had planned for a trip to New York to meet Alton Brown at an appearance and then head down to DC. We had already put down deposits for most of the trip and were able to sell off the Alton tickets and rearrange it so we didn’t lose too much, but it was actually losing money not to go ahead and go to at least DC).

I’ve had a couple of road trips to help out friends in need that weren’t vacations at all, but still fun in a “if we survive this trip, we’re going to have great stories to tell someday down the road if we ever decide that a Check Engine NOW light at 4am in Bumblefuck, South Carolina in the rain is ever funny.” I tagged along on a friend’s birthday trip 5 years ago to New Jersey, but it was her trip and was really about her nostalgia and I don’t begrudge her that because it was her trip and her parents paid for it as a present. I did get to see Central Park out the window of a blueberry Toyota Yaris going 40mph, though,  and eat at a really great tapas place in Chelsea.  But, yeah, it was a lot of sitting around in her friend’s houses while they caught up.

But 2008 was 7 years ago. And 2003 was 12 years ago. In that time we’ve been destroyed not once, but THREE times in natural disasters. We’ve been homeless thanks to that same recession and that same job layoff that left us devastated for nearly a year. I personally worked up to 4 jobs at a time to help make ends meet. Sometimes driving 128 miles a day to get to the only job around in the recession. Other times with the threat of a lawsuit over my head because I had signed a non-compete with one job and I was working the same type of job with its direct competition in the next town over.

Fast forward to last summer. My husband announced that he wanted to use his vacation before the next year started (for him, the new vacation time year starts in July). I had just gotten a new job and was actually transitioning out of my old job in professional sports (had to train my replacement and was still there a few nights a week). I had no vacation or time off.

He took a week and took the kids to the Carolinas. I stayed home and worked and cleaned and helped our very pregnant hedgie give birth to 8 hoglets.

I was devastated. I know it was the only time for him and the kids to have any travel that summer, but I missed so many firsts in their lives that I will never get to see and it kills me. They’re 15 and 13 now. I don’t have much time to see many more firsts before they move out.

They came back with photos and stories and inside jokes and I had spent the previous night cleaning hedgie afterbirth out of my hair (don’t ask. She was bleeding and kept trying to escape and it was 4 in the morning and she was more relaxed when I held her and it was supposed to be for a minute and I fell asleep and woke up sometime after Josh Hedge-homme, the beautiful cinnamon snowflake hedgie, had made her entrance into the world).

Plus, we had both worked hard to dig ourselves out of the seemingly never ending hole of natural disasters and unnatural ones. And I didn’t get to share in the success and finally rest on our laurels for a week.

So, for now, I’ll keep working and writing and saving and maybe sometime this year, hopefully sometime this year, I will be able to take a weekend, either by myself or with my husband or a friend, and just get away and do what I want in a place that isn’t here. Just take my trusty Pentax and my even trustier vintage lenses and get those desert shots that are just waiting for me.

I need it. I’m tired. I’m burnt out. My creativity needs it. My body needs it. My soul needs it. People aren’t meant to work and work and scrimp and save and not see at least some personal reward for it beyond the basic “yay, you get to eat and have lights and hot water.” There’s gotta be some promise of fun adventure.

On a side note, it’s the middle of January and we haven’t had a winter since 2010. It’s well above 80 degrees right now. The maple trees started blooming right after Christmas and my acerola bloomed right after. I will have Barbados Cherries in February, a full three months ahead of schedule.  Seasonal depression in a tropical climate is definitely possible. I’m rapidly getting to the point where if I see another fucking palm tree I’m going scream. My daughter and I were walking down our street recently and decided to count the palm trees. We got halfway down and were at 500 and decided that was too depressing.

Trying to look on the bright side: free coconuts.

I need a vacation.

Piper Doone is the author of the highly rated gay erotic romance, Playing Hard To Forget. Available from Amazon and Dreamspinner Press and your favorite ebook retailer in paperback and ebook.

Short, but Pointless

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I woke up this morning with two thoughts.

1. All Girl band covering King Missile’s Detachable Penis.

Just think about that for a minute. It would be fantastic.

2. If relations with Cuba keep getting better, Cuban food is going to be the next big thing.

In my life, it goes Family>Cuban Food>Publix>Everything Else. Unless we are passing a Cuban food joint, and then it’s Cuban Food>Everything else. And we are a Scottish/French Canadian household. But we live in Miami, where you can throw a rock and hit the best of the best in Cuban food outside of Cuba.

Cuban food as a trend across the states, means that anyone can think they can make tamal con lechon or a Café Cubano. And with Starbucks thinking they’ve got the Flat White down, I can only imagine the disaster that would be a Starbucks Cuban Coffee.

So, to sum up: Find me a backing band. We’re going on tour. And, if you have a decent authentic Cuban place near you, go throw large sums of money at it and enjoy the best cuisine on the planet.

Piper Doone is the author of the highly rated gay erotic romance, Playing Hard To Forget. Available from Amazon and Dreamspinner Press in paperback and ebook.

An Update On The Assholes Who Stole My Photo

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I woke up with a massive hangover-like headache, only without the fun of getting drunk the night before. I figured that it would at least put me in the right mood for a fight should it come to one.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when someone tells me they will be at my office at 2 to pick up a check that is rightfully owed them because I am a massive tit and stole their intellectual property and paying them off right the hell today is the only thing stepping between me and a copyright violation lawsuit, which I will definitely lose, I plan for that person to be at my office at 2 to pick up a check.

That is, unless I am a massive tit with a 45 year old interior, a 5 year old temper, and in massive debt to a plastic surgeon.

Needless to say, there was no check waiting for me.

I politely requested that the receptionist call her to find out where my money was. I also politely requested that she tell her my fee was going up every minute I had to wait for it.

No answer.

I then ever so politely suggested that someone be pressing some dough in my hands in the next five or I would just go ahead and sue for the full going rate, the copyright violations, the court costs, and, just for shits and giggles, a percent of every sale made since they started using my photo.

You know what’s funny? Watching a high end real estate agency gather all its employees and ask them to borrow cash to pay me to get me to go away.

The office manager handed me the money like I had ebola and then, with that fake smile/rapid blinking look my mother has perfected so well that it has no effect on me anymore, declared that I was “ever so welcome.”

I hadn’t thanked her yet. After that? I definitely wasn’t going to.

I can play her game, though. I smiled sweetly and told her that I hoped I would never had to look at any of their smiling happy faces again.

Let’s be perfectly clear: I am not the criminal here. If you are caught stealing, you do NOT turn the person you stole from into the bad guy. I am owed compensation and you are owed monetary punishment. And I let you off lightly. You should be grateful that I didn’t take this further.

Don’t fucking give me attitude when you are the shitstain.

Regardless, my wallet is fatter by 10x what the photo is probably worth and they will never steal a photo again. I call that a win-win for me and for art. Not so much for them.

Piper Doone is the author of the highly rated gay erotic romance, Playing Hard To Forget. Available from Amazon and Dreamspinner Press in paperback and ebook.

Yaar. Pirates. Yawn.

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As much as I am an author, I am first and foremost a photographer. Both of these professions are rife with piracy. Something about the art world makes assholes think it’s ok to take what they want and never give back.

So when I was alerted by a great service called Pixsy that one of my photos was being used on a high end real estate website without my knowledge, consent, or usual fee, I was, understandably, livid.

No, I don’t work for “exposure.” I am not a teenager just starting out. The only exposure I need is my ass in your face as I come round to collect my fee. If I had a nickel for every time some crusty rich white guy told me I should be glad for the exposure, but didn’t actually credit me with the photo, I’d have enough to put in a sock and whack the everloving fuck out of said crusty rich white guys.

I make photos for two reasons: personal for family, friends, and myself and professional for money. I don’t come into your real estate office and steal houses from you, so don’t steal photos from me. I can tell you that the particular image they used would normally go for well over $300. The amount of work and timing to get that photo perfect (I don’t post process in photoshop unless something went really wrong. I started out in film where you have one chance and that philosophy has stuck with me) was insane. It had to be at a certain time of the day at a certain time of year and I had to wait for over an hour to get the perfect combination of nature/people/light to get it to work.  I let them off easy by offering to be paid off for a third of what it’s worth.

Mostly because I hate real estate agents more than pirates. I once had a terrible one walk into my house unannounced with a male client (the agent was male, too), and walk into the bathroom while I was alone and showering behind a clear glass door.  I don’t want to deal with them any more than I have to.

I didn’t think much about piracy before becoming a paid artist. Now I have to enlist the help of special services to constantly scour the internet for it.

As much as I liked that Pixsy pointed out the violations, they have thus far been no help recovering money for me. There has been some excuse for every photo. I can easily take down the Pinterest crap that has stemmed from one asshole Tumblr that stole my photo and then uploaded it to Pinterest as her own. I have to deal with that one all the time. But Pixsy refused to help me with a non-profit that stole a photo. Hellooo? NPs have a shit ton of money; more than you think.  And being a NP doesn’t grant you immunity from theft. Another one is outside their jurisdiction, in Russia. Another “looks like a personal site,” but it has ads, so she’s making money.

Even if they did recover money, I’d have to give them a cut. Taking matters into my own hands means I am keeping the whole thing.

How did I accomplish this?

I sent them offenders a letter based on a template I found online:

Hello. I am the professional photographer who took the <redacted> photograph that <redacted> is currently using  online:

(url of stolen photo)

My original photograph is here:

(url of my original photo)

I don’t have a record of licensing this image to <redacted> for commercial use. My regular fee that covers this sort of online marketing is $250-300. I am formally requesting compensation for past usage and future usage in the amount of $100 to settle this today. Taking down the image will not hinder me from seeking compensation as I have already registered your site as using it with the proper legal channels, including Pixsy, a photographer’s advocate who regularly recovers compensation from websites like yours that use photos without permission.  I do not give away my photos for free and you have used my my photo for profit while neither compensating nor crediting me.

You must compensate me for the past usage of my image and credit any future usage–copyright (me)

I don’t mean to be harsh, but photography is how I make my living. You may call me to discuss this matter further.

I got a half assed reply telling me it was their web designer and someone would be contacting me sometime today. Ummm…no.

Second letter:

Yes, I am expecting this call today. I have been informed that the image has been removed from your website. However, I do have many screenshots of each image in use on your website as well as screenshots of the image url which proves that someone in your organization intentionally downloaded the image from my site and uploaded it on your WordPress site.
 As of one minute ago, this image was still online with your infringing url. This is unacceptable and highly unprofessional and, as I stated before, merely removing the image will not hinder my entitlement to compensation.
 You have made sales using my image as an advertisement and have broken copyright law by not compensating or crediting me and my website for example image. I did not grant you or your website designer permission to use it.  This represents a loss of sales on my end and an unlawful gain on yours. We can work this out today without further escalation, but please know that I possess evidence of copyright infringement in your group’s name. 
Let’s settle this today. I am willing to work this out right now. 

I cannot sell a photo that looks like it has already been sold. Sad but true. They owed me for loss of wages.

Within twenty minutes someone called and we worked out the deal. I expect a check tomorrow waiting in their office.

The lesson here is to NEVER let a copyright infringer get away with it. If you create, you deserve to get paid for it. Maybe you won’t get the hundreds you were expecting, but any amount you get from thieves is a reminder to them they are being punished for their crimes.

Piper Doone is the author of the highly rated gay erotic romance, Playing Hard To Forget. Available from Amazon and Dreamspinner Press in paperback and ebook.

Let’s Flaunt Equality.

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When I see great reviews for Playing Hard To Forget, my heart swells. The very notion that people seem to like my work is overwhelming! I don’t know if I’m supposed to send flowers or a singing telegram or something.

But, in more important news, gay marriage is now legal in Florida as of midnight. I am an ordained minister and can legally perform wedding ceremonies in most states, including Florida. Anyone want an author to perform your wedding? Bonus points if we perform it where Pam Bondi can see it. Just buy my book, pay for travel expenses (gas, tolls, food), and you have yourself an officiant.

For a limited time, Playing Hard To Forget in ebook form, is on sale at Amazon for $5.38

Late Night Fic Freebie-The Actors

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This started as a thing between the incomparable R Cooper, who is both an enabler in the best way possible and an inspiration. We started this something like 4 years ago and it was inspired by two hot guys who were doing a play and had some insane sexual chemistry for two characters who weren’t supposed to be sleeping together. Out of respect for the guys, I won’t call them out here, but just know that you’d probably sleep with one or both of them if guys are your thing because they are both that friggin’ hot. However, if you know anything about the theatre world and go back about 4-5 years, you can probably figure out the inspiration for this fic pretty quickly.

The Actors.

It was supposed to be a one hour–two tops–thing. Just a short video to promote the show. Simon wasn’t a fan of it from the beginning. He was a stage actor, after all. What would Oscar Wilde have to say about promoting yourself on Facebook?

But the sacrifice he made to be cast in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a play on Simon’s bucket list, was humiliate himself on YouTube.

The idea was simple enough. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two side characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, had been taken on by a few different writers in different genres and the premise of the short was to theorize what would happen if others in wildly different genres decided to give them a try. Rafael, his co-star, a full five years younger than Simon and as annoyingly vivacious in on stage as he was off, was all for the experimentation and played up every theorized trait to its fullest.

They’d run the gamut from Sci-Fi space drama to Kabuki Theatre, all done for laughs, of course. It had gone as smoothly as it could have until they got to 80s teen comedy.

It was after the fifth or sixth take when Rafael, for some reason, decided to take liberties with the stage direction. Simon knew enough about his co-star now to know when he was getting bored.

Now they were supposed to be playing the two like over the top characters from a John Hughes movie. Not what Simon imagined Tom Stoppard, or for that matter The Bard himself, had in mind for the two bumbling friends of Hamlet.

The line was easy enough.

He’s at the mercy of the elements, to then be punctuated with a lick of the finger to see which way the wind was blowing.

Why in God or Pinter or Wilde’s name the kid decided to give his finger a miniature blow job, complete with eye-rolling and a shit-eating smirk on his face directed towards Simon he didn’t know, but he’d decided he’d had enough of the smug bastard.

Simon wanted to punch that smirk off Rafael’s face every time he looked coy delivering his lines with pursed lips and raised eyebrows. Stoppard isn’t sexy, even being played as a teen sex comedy, and it was driving Simon crazy, even if he was pretty sure that he hated Rafael.

But, and maybe this was the wine they had both agreed they wouldn’t actually drink while taking a break an hour before talking, he’d noticed how much tighter Rafael’s costume pants seemed to be compared to the day before. And he enjoyed the view a great deal–so much so he wanted to pull Rafael close and then shove that smirking face away, shove him over the props table, the arm of a chair, and tear those pants away no matter how furious the costume department would be with him. It was a thought that consumed him sometimes at night and he would always feel conflicted and confused as he came with Rafael’s name on his lips.

The director was yelling something about loosening up, but Simon wasn’t even listening; couldn’t listen while trying to tame an erection that would surely show through his own tight trousers.

Even if it wasn’t as noticeable as it felt, someone surely noticed something, because it wasn’t long after that the director called for a wholly unexpected long lunch and disappeared before the cameras went off.

The Green Room was thankfully empty of people but full enough of the leftover wine and the last of their lunches from the little Cuban place across the street they’d sneaked off to during a twenty minute break earlier that Simon thought he could just about manage a little relaxation before they had to get back to it. Simon didn’t say a word to Rafael as he rummaged through the tiny fridge for his tamal con lechon. He didn’t know what he would say if did speak. It certainly wouldn’t be anything good.

But Rafael leaned against the counter, lazy and inviting, and adjusted his shirt, running his hand deliberately over the sore spot where Simon had shoved him up against the wall two hours earlier, yelling at him about “cues” and “marks” and mostly to stop fucking around.

Simon’s eyes followed Rafael’s fingers, widening when Rafael let out a little moan as he massaged the sore spot. Simon swallowed as Rafael quirked an eyebrow. A noise escaped Simon before he could stop it and Rafael looked almost guilty for a split second before tightening his grip on his skin and pursing his lips in what looked like a half-hearted attempt to repress a smile.

It’s then that what Rafael had been doing finally occurred to Simon, and the anger in his expression faded as quickly as it came.

Rafael grinned then and it was slow, knowing, and genuine. It was also driving Simon slowly out of his mind, but he was frozen with something that could be called fear if he chose to name it, even though Rafael had issued an open invitation.

It was someone’s body that moved forward, Simon was certain of that, but it took a second to realize it was his own, and Rafael’s clever, graceful hands spread out over his chest. A moment beyond that, a moment of his own shocked, heavy breathing, and he felt the buttons on his coat being slid free.

“You know…they say that two actors’ chemistry goes to shit after they sleep together.” It was a stupid thing to say to fill the silence.

Rafael leaned in close, nose to nose.”I guess it’s a good thing we have no love scenes, then.”

He kissed Simon and it was soft and wanting and he could taste the wine on Rafael’s lips. Simon pulled back in surprise, blinking and confused but also completely turned on. He absentmindedly touched his fingers to his own lips, never looking away from Rafael.

“Good?” For once the little shit looked something far less than confident.

“Yeah. Yeah. It’s good.”  Of course it was good. How many nights since they were cast in this stupid play had he thought about it? Simon knitted his eyebrows together. He would have done this ages ago if he had known it would knock the great Rafael’s world off-kilter like this. He could feel Rafael’s breath slow and Simon wanted more, wanted to shock him more, but clever Rafael wasn’t out of tricks yet.

“Oh, Simon. You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into, do you?”

Simon wavered between wanting to rip the smirk off or swallow it whole, but Rafael stared at him with a cocked eyebrow, daring him to make the next move. Simon wisely chose the latter.

Simon knew he was fucked even if he got his way and was the one actually doing the fucking. Rafael straightened to meet Simon’s lips and took control to make this his own–tongue frenzied and hands gripping Simon’s arms.

Simon wanted to win, damn it, so he pushed back and wrestled for control and, God, they both liked the struggle.

Simon had the advantage of height and pressed Rafael against the counter, kissing him hard–harder than he should have, probably, but Rafael didn’t complain.

Simon knew he was not really winning, but it felt so good to drag the little bastard into his dressing room and shove him to his knees. Rafael wasn’t acting when Simon lifted up his chin and slipped his own finger into Rafael’s mouth. Rafael moaned as he sucked on them.

Simon threaded his fingers through Rafael’s hair and yanked his head back–hard.

“Fuck!” Rafael cried out and hearing him swear only made Simon harder and if he didn’t find release soon he thought (melodramatically, of course. This IS theatre, after all) that he might, in fact, die before they finished filming.

He could feel Rafael’s fingers drag across Simon’s erection as he unbuttoned his trousers. Simon’s breath hitched and he tightened his grip on Rafael’s hair as a warning that if he didn’t intend to finish this, he better let him know right the hell now.

Rafael got the hint and freed Simon’s cock from its restraints. He licked his lips and swallowed Simon down as far as he could go. No teasing, no build-up, like he knew Simon wouldn’t be able to function without this, like he knew that it was all his fault and he needed to address the situation personally.

Simon struggled to stay still enough so he wouldn’t choke the tiny psycho, but each time a moan escaped and Rafael made an attempt to go deeper, he faltered and pushed forward. Simon tried to apologize between breaths, occasionally managing only a syllable or turning it into a hiss, but Rafael seemed to like it, keeping pace with Simon’s thrusts and never complaining.

Simon looked down to see Rafael looking up at him with wild eyes and he wanted to lock his hands around his head and hold him there like that until he came. And, lucky for Simon, getting Simon to come NOW–fast and messy–seemed to be Rafael’s only coherent thought.

Simon could feel Rafael’s tongue swirl around him, all hot and needy, parrying every hip thrust like an expert and Simon should have cared that he never pegged Raf as having done this before and he’d kick himself later for not seeing how damned obvious it had always been. Rafael flattened his tongue against the head and Simon suddenly passed the point of no return. He knew beautiful release was on its way.

He tugged on Rafael’s hair and tried his damnedest to let Rafael know he was at the end, but Rafael batted his hand away and instead caressed Simon’s balls. It was–fuck–amazing.

Simon stifled his cry when he came, not knowing if the crew had come back and was roaming the halls outside. He bit his lip and watched Rafael take all of him. There was a fine sheen of sweat on Rafael’s forehead and Simon wanted to lick it off and then taste himself on Rafael’s lips. Rafael finally, finally, breathed again, letting Simon slip from his mouth and it was then that Simon noticed somehow, at some point, Rafael had unfastened his own trousers and was obviously hard and ready for some kind of reciprocation.

Simon pulled Rafael up and kissed him, reaching for his cock and feeling its warmth in his hands. Rafael breathed in, eyes never leaving Simon’s. His breath was so ragged Simon thought he may have found the only way to bring Rafael down a few notches.

“Tell me how I can come, Simon. Tell me what you’re going to do to make me come. I want you to tell me.” Simon knew what his deep baritone voice did to the ladies, but never what it did for Rafael.

Simon cupped Rafael’s chin and kissed him once more before making his way to his ear, letting his lower lip catch on Rafael’s stubble as he went. Each swipe of his tongue across Rafael’s sweaty skin elicited another soft moan that Simon wanted to hear again, but louder, lower, making him cry out and swear.

“You’re going to make yourself come, Raf. I’m going to watch and tell you what I want to see you do. How fast or slow I want you to go. How loud I want you to come. Got it?”

Rafael nodded and swallowed thickly. Simon took Raf’s hand and placed it on his cock.

“Stroke yourself, Raf.” His voice was low and demanding and Raf did as he was told. Simon stepped back to get the best view and Rafael’s eyes were already rolling up into the back of his head.

“Not yet. Slow it down a bit.” As much as he wanted to watch, as much as he liked to watch, he didn’t want Raf to win.

Rafael groaned at the effort of slowing down, but dutifully obeyed as he screwed his eyes shut and leaned in to rest his cheek on Simon’s shoulder. Simon pushed him back so he could watch the beautiful reactions on Rafael’s face as he stroked himself.

Rafael gripped the back of Simon’s neck with his free hand and he knew the skin was red and scratched, but still Simon leaned back into it like he needed it.

“Are you ever going to tease me again, Raf? Are you going get me turned on and frustrated and then walk out like you do? Or are you going to let me fuck you next time?” Simon hoped it was cheating to whisper that low in his ear. “You have no idea how many nights I had to go home and jerk off after rehearsing with you, Raf. No idea how hard I wanted to fuck that grin off your face today filming. Looking coy and so satisfied with yourself. Did you know how hard you were making me even pretending that you wanted to fuck?”

Rafael stroked to the sound of his voice, eyes closed, flushed, and every passing second was more beautiful than the last. Simon could hear the tremendous effort it was taking to answer his question.

“Wasn’t pretending….” Simon couldn’t resist the urge to help Rafael with his task, wrapping his hand around Rafael’s and feeling sweaty, slick fingers and velvety softness underneath. He gently moved his hand to replace Rafael’s and began stroking him. Rafael started to fall apart, breath hitching and that smirk nowhere on his face.

Simon didn’t want to to torture the kid too much longer. He sped up, firmed up his grip, and the small moans escaping from Rafael’s lips got louder, more animal-like.

“Like it, Raf? Show me what you look like. Let me hear what it sounds like. Come on, Raf.”

And when he stopped talking, Simon could only hear the strained whimpers and the sound of slick flesh on flesh in between ragged intakes of breath. It was everything he imagined it would be and suddenly Rafael cried out, shaking, and kneading Simon. Warmth spread across Simon’s hand as Rafael threw his head back, biting off Simon’s name.

Rafael came down like he climbed up–smiling and coy, but flushed and wrecked and absolutely–”Beautiful,” breathed Simon. “Just like I thought.”

He kissed Rafael and glanced at the clock on his wall. “Damn. Our lunch break is over. We have to get back out there.”

Rafael zipped up his trousers and adjusted his costume. He was still flushed and his hair was a wreck and anyone who saw him walk out of Simon’s dressing room would know exactly what they had been up to. And, of course, they both had to get back into character quickly to avoid filming into the night.

“What’s left? How many more of these do we have?” Simon rolled his head around to loosen up his neck.

Simon raised his eyebrow in thought. “Uuuuh,  not many. Musical, cop drama, and sitcom, I think.”

Simon sighed. “Do you think you’ll be able to behave so we can make it out of here at a decent time?”

And there was that smirk again, but a little more shy this time around. “Why? You have plans tonight? Doing something special?”

Simon pulled Rafael close one last time. “I was hoping, well…you.”

Rafael’s eyes widened and he smiled. And didn’t misbehave again until they were alone in Simon’s bedroom later that night.

Piper Doone on Amazon  |   R Cooper on Amazon

2015

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I hope everyone made it to my takeover of the Dreamspinner Press Twitter last night! It was a lot of fun and people asked some really great questions.

The extrovert in me wants to go out and party tonight, but the adult in me knows that I’m running on an hour’s sleep, a double shot of Café Cubano (I told the guy I wanted it so strong I could see the face of God), and a taco. My husband is beat from a rough few weeks at work. I kind of just want to go to sleep. That’s terrible, but I think we’re having a New Year’s Day party.

Resolutions suck.

I don’t have to live up to anyone’s expectations, including my own. I’ll probably just paint my nails more and try not to get eaten by a shark. Both are doable.

If I’m feeling really ambitious, I’ll try to get the perfect shot of the sun lighting up a Joshua tree, because they always look so cool on Instagram.

Maybe finally admit that I really don’t like Game of Thrones and Victoria’s Secret and that’s okay. Veep is a much better HBO show and Aeropostale makes cuter underwear and I’m old enough now to know when I’m paying for quality vs. paying for a brand.

Also maybe fix the k key on my laptop because it’s been sticking for, like, three months.

I have another book coming out in March. It’s set amongst the aforementioned Joshua trees and it’s tentatively called Something To Die For.

I have three more books in the works and I should find time to actually sit and write them.

I hate reflecting on shit, but I did manage to find a new job in a new field after proclaiming that 2014 would be the year I quit professional sports. I found the perfect red lipstick. I perfected the halo braid on my own head. I got left handed scissors and discovered what I’ve been missing all these years.

It’s the little things, you see?

I also signed two book contracts and saw the release of my debut novel, Playing Hard To Forget. That was pretty cool.

Speaking of, Dreamspinner’s Sale on all ebooks ends soon, so act now to get Playing Hard To Forget 20% off. It’s also on sale on Amazon.

Playing Hard To Forget–Deleted Scene Bonus!

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Wow! What an awesome release weekend for my debut novel with Dreamspinner Press! I’ve got a few events left this week including a Twitter Takeover and a few guest blog posts, which I will link to when they are posted.

I’ve finally been verified as myself on Goodreads and I’ll admit there was a time there when I didn’t think that was going to happen! If you’d like to see me over there, head to my author page and learn just how much I cannot fill out a bio seriously.

As a special treat, I’ve decided to release a deleted scene from one of the first drafts of Playing Hard To Forget. This was so early, in fact, that it didn’t make it in the version I submitted to Dreamspinner Press.

I didn’t hate this scene, I just ended up writing a very different scene for the final draft that I liked a lot better because it drove the plot forward better. Some of the dialogue from this scene ended up in the final version, though, but, like a movie, sometimes things end up on the cutting room floor, to be salvaged only for the deleted scenes featurette (that would be this post!).

This scene is unedited by the professionals at Dreamspinner Press, by the way.  And let me just take a moment to absolutely GUSH over the staff at Dreamspinner. Absolute darlings. Love them.

If you have read Playing Hard to Forget, this takes place right after the scene leading up to the chemistry test. If you haven’t read yet (ahem. See links to buy at the end of this post), there’s really nothing spoilery going on down there.

It is, however, a slightly graphic scene of a sexual nature, so be warned if you are in a public place where that might not be cool.

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Ethan fell into bed, barely undressed, thankful for the chance to sleep in on Tuesdays. He was in a deep, dreamless sleep before he could entertain any of his now usual thoughts of Liam.

He awoke some time later and it was still dark outside. It couldn’t have been too long after he had fallen asleep. He felt the side of the bed sink in and a hand on his stomach, up under his work shirt he just hadn’t had the energy to take off. The hand rubbed light circles in the soft hair there and the fingers were burning hot on his skin. Ethan snapped his eyes open only to be met with another hand quickly covering his mouth. The mystery man leaned in and Ethan could see his features in shadow. Liam.

“Shhhhhhhh. You don’t want to wake up anyone, do you? I’d have to leave and I just got here.”

Ethan laid his head back down on his pillow but Liam’s hand remained firmly clamped over his mouth. Liam moved his other hand down to the top of Ethan’s boxers. Ethan didn’t know what he was supposed to do. He didn’t know the etiquette for when a man sneaked into your house and threatened to take care of your raging boner, but kissing the hand covering his mouth seemed like a good start. He let his lips slide across Liam’s palm as much as they could in Liam’s tight grip. Ethan could almost nip and lick a little, too. He stared at Liam over his fingers and Liam, to his credit, let a tiny moan escape.

Liam seemed satisfied that Ethan wouldn’t scream or freak out from being awakened and experimented with Ethan’s mouth, pushing a finger between Ethan’s lips. Ethan sucked on it, working his tongue around it.

“…So good. Just like that,” Liam whispered.

Ethan’s eyes had involuntarily closed again at some point, so all he could do was feel Liam gently thrusting in and out of his mouth and his other hand slide down at the most tortuously slow pace Ethan could imagine.

“I could hear your heartbeat when you saw me this morning. Do you know how hot it is for me to see how much I’m affecting you? I wanted to fuck you up against the building right then. Might have done it, too, if it weren’t for your friend.”

Liam slid another finger in next to the first one and Ethan gave it the same attention, even biting a little. For all the playing cool Liam had done since they met, Ethan could tell he was close to cracking Liam’s tough exterior. The thought made Ethan smile around Liam’s fingers.

Liam lingered at the soft curls below Ethan’s boxers for a moment and Ethan arched to force Liam’s hand where he wanted it to go.

Ethan wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of verbally begging for relief, but he could feel his body respond to Liam. He knew Liam was picking up on every reaction, too.

Ethan needed to kiss him. He pulled at the collar of Liam’s leather jacket to bring him closer. Liam took the hint and adjusted himself to lay beside him, cradling Ethan’s head.

Searing kiss after searing kiss followed and Liam finally circled Ethan’s cock in his fist. Ethan hissed and arched up. He grasped wildly to find something of Liam’s to touch. He found Liam’s neck, all hot skin and sweat, and pulled him even closer.

Liam slid his hand up and down Ethan’s shaft. “Isn’t this the way you like it, Ethan?” He punctuated it with a twist and the confirmation that Liam was watching that night from outside his window made Ethan cry out softly.

“God, so hot, Ethan. I came so hard watching you do this to yourself the other night. Was that show just for me?”

Ethan didn’t answer, but pushed at Liam’s jacket and he finally shrugged it off with some maneuvering, leaving him down to just a thin shirt. Ethan rolled on his side to face him. He ran his fingers over the shirt, finding a hard nipple he couldn’t resist rubbing until Liam’s breath hitched. He then made short work of Liam’s zipper and button and was delighted to find that Liam was as hard as Ethan was.

He could barely hear the soft, “fuck” when he finally took hold of Liam’s cock.

“Like you do on yourself. I want to know how it feels when you think of me.” Even flustered, Liam was still direct and confident and unapologetic.

Ethan complied and the reaction he got from Liam nearly made him lose it right then.

They lay facing each other for a long time, stroking each other and listening to the soft moans and breathy exclamations. Ethan came first, biting back the noise that wanted to accompany it. Liam kissed him through the end of it and moaned into Ethan’s mouth a minute later when he followed. They kissed through the aftershocks and Ethan released him only when the heat between them became uncomfortable.

Ethan rolled onto his back. Lying next to a werewolf he’d just given a hand job to, with his father down the hall and a strong feeling he was losing his mind, did not deter Ethan from feeling relaxed enough to fall asleep almost immediately.

He awoke with the sun the next morning and Liam was gone, of course. The only indication of the encounter was the obvious remains of their orgasms staining his sheet.

“Jesus. What the hell am I doing?” It was not in anger or frustration or disappointment. Just a general observation of his life at the moment.

He discreetly made his way to the washer with his sheets and went downstairs for some breakfast.

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Whoa. Hot, right?

To find out what scene went in its place (in my opinion, the scene that got published is even hotter and it’s definitely more graphic), and to read the story of Ethan Robertson and Liam Kinnaird, pick up a copy of Playing Hard To Forget on Dreamspinner Press in ebook or paperback or on Amazon.