persimmonfrost: (caddy)

Here’s the cover art for my upcoming release with Silver Publishing.  It’s by the very talented Lee Tiffin.  Isn’t it a delight?

Devil in the Details: Rafe is a young man with a problem. His lover, a wealthy and powerful man, has become increasingly demanding and possessive, and is occasionally abusive. Gavin is prepared to do anything to get what he wants.

What Rafe wants is a little peace and security. And he wants it with the owner of the new cafe in the neighborhood.

Driven to despair by his lover, Rafe calls on his half-brother, a demon named Grim, to help settle things.

Here’s a taste:

Rafe returned to Maraczek’s café about eight-thirty the next morning. He’d brought a book and was prepared to read while he waited, but Dave saw him and let him in. “They’re cooling. Come on in back and we’ll have milk and a cookie to start the day.”

“Really? In back?”

Dave laughed. “That’s right. The Inner Sanctum! C’mon. I don’t want anyone seeing you in here and rapping on the window.”

They went back into the kitchen and Dave pointed him towards a stool. Then he brought two big glasses of milk to the table. “Chocolate syrup? I make my own. You really should try it.”

“Oh sure, why not?” The butterflies started flitting around inside Rafe’s stomach. Was Dave going to put the moves on him with chocolate syrup and cookies? Rafe had to admit it would be a novel approach and one he could appreciate, but he wasn’t sure if it was such a good idea. Hard on that thought came the certainty he didn’t really care too much if it wasn’t a good idea.

“Why not indeed? It’ll make you feel like a kid again.” Dave fetched a big cobalt bottle, and a plate full of cookies. “These are also known as never-twice-the-same-cookie because I use whatever’s on hand.”

They were huge, heavy cookies that smelled heavenly. “What on earth is in these?” Rafe asked.

“Try it and see if you can figure it out.”

It was something to distract him from the awkward but very exciting attraction he was feeling for Dave. On the first bite he got oatmeal, walnuts and chocolate chips. “Chocolate chip oatmeal, right?”

“That’s a start. What else?”

Rafe took another bite. Dave was watching him closely. Watching him take bites, watching him chew. Rafe nearly forgot how to do both, but then the flavors tugged at him. “Not raisins, but… wait,” There was an almondy quality to the dried fruit. “Dried cherries?”

Dave seemed pleased. He nodded as he mixed chocolate syrup into the milk. “Right. And?”

“Coconut?” Dave confirmed it. “Spices…” There was the rich, friendly aroma of cardamom, the brightness of cinnamon and the warm bite of clove. And more, a whole lot more, but it remained mysterious. “It’s sort of like pumpkin pie spice with some cardamom, but not really,” Rafe said. ” Honestly, that’s as far as my thinking takes me.”

Dave patted his arm and Rafe almost shivered. He liked touching Dave far too much for his own good. “You did really well. There are some sunflower and chia seeds in there, and the spice is my own garam masala blend today with some extra cardamom because I love the stuff. The last batch I made with bits of crystallized ginger, and orange flower water. The next one? Who knows?” He grinned and took a big bite of his cookie.

Rafe sipped his chocolate milk and was again distracted from watching Dave by the flavors. “What’s in this?”

“Just chocolate syrup.”

“Oh no, there has to be something else.”

“Nope. That’s what it tastes like when you use real cane sugar and very good raw cocoa.”

“It’s amazing. It’s got this… I don’t know what to call it.” Sensation was coming at him far too fast; he was having a hard time sorting it all out.

“It’s rich and it’s a little musky, fruity, and kind of warm, isn’t it?”

“Yeah! Man this is good. You should sell this.”

Dave reached out and ran his finger over Rafe’s upper lip. “Chocolate milk moustache,” he said with a chuckle.

This time Rafe did shiver a little.

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The SVG Facepalm v2.0

If you haven't already heard, the Romance Writers Ink chapter of the RWA (Romance Writers of America) are hosting a writing contest, and yay, go them, contests are a good thing, right?  But if you check the rules, you'll find that they specifically state: "MTM will no longer accept same-sex entries in any category."  Since I don't identify as a romance writer even through I write them or as a gay/lesbian writer even though I write m/m and f/f as well as m/f relationships, I don't have a horse in this race in terms of genre.  But I am offended on behalf of every writer of gay or lesbian romance.  I'm damn offended on behalf of those writers who I consider friends.

You might say "So what?  They're a chapter of a group that you don't really have a lot of interest in.  What's the big?  Gay romance is big, it's hot, it's happening.  So what if they want to be prissy little princesses about it?"   But the point isn't the contest, not really, not for me.  It isn't even really about the organization, though I think that if they're going to eliminate a big hunk of the human race from their romance arena, they really should be honest about it and call themselves "The Heterosexual Romance Writers of America."  Then both readers and writers could make an informed choice: Support bigots or support inclusiveness?  This contest should be about creativity, not about ghettoizing consenting adults.  (I sure hope nobody out there is getting ready to ask me: "Oh really?  You want them to accept stories about necrophiliacs, puppy fuckers or baby rapers?" because I will ask you what part of "consenting adults" you're simply not understanding.)  I don't have a stake in the contest, but I do have one in human decency.

How big an explosion do you  think you'd have heard if they'd written: MTM will no longer accept mixed-race entries in any category. or: MTM will no longer accept entries about non-whites in any category. or:  MTM will no longer accept entries with disabled characters in any category.?  But somehow the RWA seems to think it's different when it comes to same-sex love and romance, and I don't get that because  you can write a novel about how the hero rapes the heroine and she falls in love with him, and they are totally down with that.  But two guys falling in love and wanting to be together forever?  Two women going through hell to be together?  Nope, sorry, queers need not apply.  What's wrong with this picture?  What's wrong with people who think that sort of bigotry is okay?

It's not.

If you want to read more about this, try:

And if you want to add your name to a petition stating that the RWA shouldn't be in the business of discrimination, you can find it here

 

 

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Tracy Rowan

August 2013

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