Throwback Thursday

Can’t beat a classic! I remember the *scandal* when this first came out!

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Wednesday Words of Wisdom

Welcome to a new, semi-regular and probably temporary feature: VJ’s Wednesday Words of Wisdom  (or W3). It’ll be semi-regular and sporadic because I know most of you are dropping in for the hot menz, like him:

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Yep. That’s the ticket. Sigh… And even *I* get weary of my navel gazing. BUT for the last several months I’ve been ruminating over several truths that I’ve known in my head, but maybe not felt in my gut. I’ve also had a few epiphanies – some in relation to me, some in relation to my “inner circle”. Are some cliched? Of course. But things become cliche for a readon, right?

So, because like my characters, these realizations won’t leave me alone ’til I write them down, you get to skim this post for the sexy guy above, and the music video below and, most likely skip the stuff in between.

So, brace yourself. Deep philosophical truth is hurtling on its way.

A person who will talk about others to you? Will talk about you to others. I’m guilty of “harmless” gossip more often than I feel okay about. Heck, it’s human nature to be curious and to try to “fix” or “help”. 

But it’s not all – not even *mostly* -harmless conversation. (For that matter, what’s harmless in my opinion might be traumatic to you…)

A person who will talk about others – I’m not talking “yo, buy X’s new book, it’s awesome – may or may not spin things to benefit her/himself. They may or may not be telling the truth. Heck, they may or may not even *know* what the truth is. (IMO, that’s the more destructive kind af gossip/back biting.) They may also be telling a truth that’s less than flattering.

So, what do you do? I think a vigorous, vocal defense is more likely to either escalate the situation, or make the gossip look more feasible. My advice? Live your life. Take the high road. Do not engage, because that adds fuel to your nemesis’ fire. Yeah, it sucks. If you need to rant, confine it to close friends. I’d go so far as to suggest you don’t put it on the computer; it’s far too easy to cut & paste in the heat of the moment.

I *know* that’s easier said than done. BELIEVE me, I know. But there’s nothing to be gained from engaging in a flame war – even when both “combatants” use veiled and/or ambiguous references to the incident. 

Okay, so I’ve pontificated and sermonized. Now here’s a fabulous video of a fabulous song by the fabulous Neon Trees. Enjoy!

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Monday ManCandy

The Twitter Edition – Big hugs to all my new twitter friends!

 

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(He’s saying, “Hey, twitter-verse. I see you out there.”)

Saturday Share, With K-Lee Klein!

One of my favorite people in the world is K-Lee Klein. In fact, I’m totally bummed that I’m not hanging out with her in Tampa even as I write this ( Lord knows it isn’t any hotter there than it is here in Detroit today!)

Not only is K-Lee having a ball at RainbowCon, but she’s got a fantastic looking new release coming tomorrow from Amber Quill Press – check it out!

Available Sunday, July 10 from Amber Quill.

Genres: Gay / Fantasy / Shapeshifter / Witchcraft / Magic / Sports / Athletes / Series

Heat Level: 3

Length: Extended Novel (72k words / TBD paperback pages)

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Ky’s a fighter, Blue’s an artist, but together they are truly magical.

*****

Ky’s fought his way to the championship for the third time, but the fight of his life isn’t against an opponent in the boxing ring. He’s fighting a darkness within himself that he can’t ignore and can’t control. If he fails, everything he’s spent his life working for will be gone, and he can’t see a way to win. Only a hint, a hunch, sends him out looking for help in unusual places.

Blue’s a quiet guy, living for his family and the art of his tattoos. He’s built up his shop, Blue’s Dungeon, to be a place for the celebration of art on skin. Simple, friendly, and mostly uncomplicated. He likes it that way. But when Ky shows up in his shop, searching for a lifeline, it’s the beginning of something magical.

*********

http://www.amberquill.com/store/p/2226-Stone-Magic-Book-1-Moonstone.aspx

Excerpt:

It was like a maze of hallways, one leading to the next, with the odd fork in the road here and there. Ky felt like he was being sucked into some weird dimension with a whole lot of portals but no actual people or even signs of life. When the end of the hall was finally in sight, he released an embarrassing sigh of relief.

The last door was painted with the most extraordinary mural Ky had ever seen—two small naked figures with no discerning gender standing beside a flowing river of shimmering waves in bright blues and dark purples. Their arms were extended over their heads, as if they were reaching for the stunningly beautiful sun shining above. Iridescent stars, hearts, and wisps of electric color shot from the points of the sun, the sky a scramble of light purple and turquoise. Ky had never seen anything like it.

But the most stunning part was the dark blue that Ky would have sworn actually beamed with light. It was everywhere in the painting—outlining the sun and bursting from its rays, initiating waves and whirlpools in the water, even shading the landscape in brilliance. The color was mesmerizing, and Ky couldn’t tear himself away from it. He could have stared at it all day, until a painful flash of light and a wave of dizziness swept through him. He slapped a hand on the wall to steady himself, forcing his eyes closed and swallowing a cottony lump in his throat.

“Hey!” Blake’s voice broke through Ky’s reverie. “You okay? Look like you’re gonna pass out or something. Why don’t you come in and sit down? Just drop the box anywhere.”

He followed her voice into the room, his vision blurred and eyes teary, but not before he brushed his fingers over the brilliance of the door’s artwork. It felt warm and gave him a pleasant spark from his fingertips to the top of his shoulder.

“I’m…I’m okay.” He squared his shoulders again, straightening his body to its six-foot form. He struggled to return to reality, squinting as Blake finally reappeared in front of him. “So you, um, you don’t work here?”

Blake turned to look at him, reaching for the box he still clutched to his chest. “Naw. Blue’s a solo act. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, at least in that way. I live close, so I help out all the guys. One of them’s been teaching me yoga so at least I look like I have a purpose around here. You sure you’re okay? You look kinda pale.”

Ky ignored her worries, breathing deeply and swallowing the last of the cotton in his mouth. “I do yoga.”

It was a matter-of-fact statement and totally random, especially since he wasn’t sure TV yoga counted as real yoga. Blake didn’t seem to notice though. She smirked, hoisting the box onto the dark blue counter that appeared to pave the way into the shop. Ky felt like he needed to explain.

“They made us do it in one of my group homes. It’s relaxing.”

“No explanations necessary, man. Just because you’re big and muscly doesn’t mean you can’t have some Zen in your life. We should totally do a session sometime. Oli loves to have new people in his class.” Blake turned away from Ky, and a big voice soared out of her tiny body. “Blue! Get your lazy butt out here. You have an actual customer.”

Ky stepped back at the abrupt change in Blake’s tone and volume. He tripped on the mat by the door, catching himself from completely falling on his ass by grabbing the edge of the counter. He was obviously still a little dizzy but had no idea why.

“Fuck. Sorry,” he said to Blake, as she incredulously looked on at his antics.

“Blake, you aren’t supposed to damage the clients before they pay.”

Ky glanced to the side, and discovered the most incredible sea-blue eyes he’d ever seen. “Um…no, that was my fault.”

Mr. Blue-eyes—Ky assumed his eyes matched his name—flashed a sweet smile, holding a hand out to Ky. “No problem, dude. I’m Blue.”

“Kyle—Ky Adamson. I guess I’m late. Sorry about that.”

Blue grinned crookedly at him with a teasing wink. “We’re not too strict on time around here. Wanna come on through and have a chat?”

Ky could only nod, his heart thumping out a strong bass line in his ears. He wasn’t sure if it was the prospect of the tattoo itself, or the open friendliness of Blue’s handsome face that had him suddenly on edge. Electrified nerves skittered under his skin, trickling down his spine, his palms instantly clammy as Blue tipped his head for Ky to follow him.

There was something about the slighter-framed man that sent a little series of jolts straight to Ky’s gut. It might have simply been the knowledge that he was there so Blue could purposely inflict pain on him — surely not that much though. He hoped. It could also have been the weighty issue occupying three-quarters of his mind. Strangely enough, it was more of a this guy couldn’t possibly be making my dick hard feeling.

Of course, watching Blue bend down to pick up an errant pen, his low-riding jeans sliding down just enough to see the shadows of tattoos sticking up alongside the top of his butt crack, might have revved his engine a little, too.

“Have a seat, Ky.”

The instant familiarity of Blue using his nickname made Ky relax into the big-cushioned couch he’d been directed to. “Thanks,” he muttered when Blue settled beside him, tucking one leg underneath his bottom as he reached for a clipboard on a small table beside the sofa.

Everything in the small room was well used, or in a lot of cases, Ky surmised, just used period. Once he’d finished checking out the decor and necessities, not much more than the couch and table really—and no tattoo machines, needles or bottles of ink. He turned back to Blue, who listed his head to the side.

“You nervous? Not too late to change your—”

“Yeah, I know. Just getting used to my surroundings.” Ky shifted farther back into the worn leather, hoping he gave the appearance of being more relaxed than he actually was. “Interestingplace you’ve got here.”

He forced a pathetic grin, looking to Blue for a reaction, which he received in the form of a low chuckle. Heat seeped into Ky’s cheeks, so he quickly continued, “That…that painting on the door is amazing. I don’t know much about art, but it looks pretty cool.”

Blue’s vibrant eyes lowered beneath long, dark lashes and peeked out from beneath a fringe of messy hair. He had shaggy, dark brown, out-of-control curls, but as he pushed his hair back, Ky saw the distinct tracks where his hair had been shaved close to his scalp on one side. He had an interesting look, to say the least. Not to mention the full beard and mustache that Ky was honestly not sure how he felt about. He’d never been one for facial hair, and found himself wondering if it itched.

“I did it on a whim. Turned out okay, I guess. So, yeah, thanks.” Blue drew Ky out of his pondering, gazing determinedly into his eyes again. “You ready to start?”

Ky twisted so he was facing Blue dead-on. There were still faint flutters of anxiety in his belly, but Blake had been right, Blue made him feel more comfortable than he’d expected.

“Let’s do it. Shoot.”

“Cool.” Blue grinned at him as he clicked the end of his pen, then bowed his head again. Ky caught himself wanting to reach out and touch the dark mop of hair that Blue kept trying to sweep away from his eyes. “Just gonna ask you a few questions. Let’s see…are you high?”

Unable to keep his jaw hinged, Ky gaped at Blue, his eyes wide and burning a little with the effort. “Am I…am I what? High?”

“Around here its question number one. Sorry, but I’ve worked on enough stoned people to know it’s not a good idea. If you’re tweaking you don’t tend to feel the pain as much, but at the same time, you’re more likely to not have put much thought into the art you want on your body. No offense, man.”

Shifting a little in his chair, Ky furrowed his brow. “Not high or drunk. Not offended either.” He definitely couldn’t take offense since he’d asked Blake if Blue tattooed while he was high before even meeting him.

“All right. Ever been inked before?”

“No.”

“How are you with pain?”

“High tolerance.”

Blue lifted his head, his icy blue orbs skating over Ky’s face. “That shiner looks like it could have caused a little discomfort. Bruise on your cheek looks fresh, too.”

He paused, as Ky concentrated on his lap, then looked back up, a slow heat starting from his ears and running into his cheeks again. He’d forgotten about the current state of his face, and suddenly everything felt awkward.

“Not on the run from some mob guys or the law, are ya?”

The sweet smile that accompanied Blue’s teasing put Ky at a little more ease. He forced a half-grin. “Nope. Just a hobby.”

“Dangerous hobby,” Blue said with a low whistle.

Ky immediately wanted to disappear into the concrete floor. Since when did a pair of pretty blue eyes and a sexy voice make him want to do anything but dismiss whoever was behind them? He didn’t blush for anyone or anything—usually. And he definitely didn’t need the distraction to his real purpose for being there.

See? I told you it sounds great, didn’t I?

Monday ManCandy – The Hippie Edition

So, in honor of my weekend at BlissFest, I’m sharing some amazing pictures that are either from or could be from Bliss…

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I actually took this picture last year. I never managed to get a picture of his GORGEOUS face… his name escapes me, but he was the bassist in one of the bands.

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This is another from last year. The plot bunnies were definitely in heat!

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Bluesfest Byron Bay. A gathering of exceptional music and the eclectic and the eccentric. Smiling young man in dreadlocks.

Bluesfest Byron Bay. A gathering of exceptional music and the eclectic and the eccentric. Smiling young man in dreadlocks.

The above three pictures aren’t from Bliss (though that last one comes close!) but any one of them could be spotted wandering the festival looking beyond sexy and jump-able!

Monday ManCandy, take 2

The Mechanic Edition, in celebration of getting my car back with new breaks, an oil change, and rotated tires! (This is take 2 because WordPress has booted me twice! 😦  )

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Stars & Stripes Saturday!

I am a very proud American – we have many flaws, but our hearts are true, and I believe it’s still the best thing going!

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And to my non-American friends, have a beautiful Saturday!