Thursday, November 11th, 2010
New Release: Forsake Not in the anthology Honorable Silence

Today is Veteran’s Day in the United States. I grew up near a Navy base and my father worked there as a civilian electronics engineer. My uncle was in the Air Force, my first husband was an ex-marine. So I have a lot respect and love for our military. Thank you, all of you, for your service.

Then my oldest son joined the Army. Yep – I’m an Army Mom. Regardless of what I feel about any particular choices of our government, I have a huge amount of love and respect for our military and those who volunteer to serve our country. I find Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell especially heartbreaking and I had already had a germ of the idea for Forsake Not for a while but when I heard MLR Press was going to produce an anthology for Veteran’s Day this year based around Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, I had to submit Forsake Not.

The anthology is available TODAY from MLR Press. I’m sure it will appear on other sites soon but it’s out NOW! And, as always, I’d love to hear what you think!

Blurb:
Our men and women in uniform sacrifice daily to serve our country. But what about the additional, voluntary sacrifice that each gay person in the military makes daily when they don their uniform? We ask these men and women to not only serve their country but serve in silence and denial, sacrificing not only their physical lives but their emotional ones too by denying them their right to love. Four talented authors weave tales that describe how living a lie pulls at the hearts and souls of good servicemen, whose only desire is to do their duty to their country…honorably. In AFTERBURNER, two fighter pilots let their hearts soar despite regulations. THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE STORE provides a glimpse into the U.S. Army prior to the institutionalization of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. A sniper and infantryman find that love eases the pain of being forsaken in FORSAKE NOT. And STRATEGIC MANEUVERS reveals the intricate steps that can lead to love while in uniform.

Here’s a new excerpt for you to enjoy.

Forsake Not
(c) 2010 by Maura Anderson

Leo jolted awake, bolted upright and reached out for his gun only to realize it wasn’t there. Hell, he wasn’t in his hootch at all. He wasn’t in Iraq anymore or even his base barracks. He rubbed his dry, scratchy eyes and forced them to focus on the sterile hotel room he’d rented, as his pulse slowed to a less panicked rate. A quick scan of the room showed nothing amiss. Why had he woken up?

Right.

He was in the hotel near Arlington he’d checked into yesterday when he’d decided to stay in Virginia instead of doing what he usually did on leave; hanging about on base. At least it was one of the longer-stay hotels, so he had a small kitchen and sitting room as well as a bedroom. It made it seem a little more like a home, however temporary— not that he’d really had one of those since the day after his high school graduation. The same day he’d enlisted in the Army. The same day he’d come out to his father who’d immediately disowned him, and hadn’t spoken or communicated with him since. As far as his father was concerned now, he had never existed, and if he had other relatives, he didn’t know them.

A wave of loneliness swept through him. The Army had become his focus and it seemed strange to be off-base and out of his normal life. The life he’d sacrificed a lot for, but the life that gave him a purpose and a feeling that he could make a difference. The life that might be ripped away because of one stupid loss of control. He needed to get his head on straight and he wanted to be near Terry until he had some idea of what was going to happen after his attack on Barker, and his announcement that he was gay. To hell with getting tricked into violating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; no one had even had to trick him or ask, he’d nearly screamed his secret out instead. It seemed like a smart idea to not be near the base, or his fellow soldiers, right now.

God, he was a fucking moron.

Leo dropped his head into his hands and groaned. How could he have been so stupid? His cell phone chirped from across the room, and Leo’s head jerked upright. What the hell? No one ever seemed to call him—no one that was still living, anyway. Maybe the battery was low or something.

He tossed the covers off his legs and eased out of bed, stiff despite spending the night on a bed more comfortable than he’d even seen in six months, let alone slept in. The rough skin of his boot-worn bare feet caught on the commercial grade carpet as he walked over to retrieve his phone. The display showed one missed call and a message, but he didn’t recognize the phone number listed. Maybe it was a wrong number.

Leo pressed the button to retrieve his voicemail and stretched a bit while he waited through the stock voicemail greeting. When prompted, he pressed the button to play the recorded message.
“Lion, it’s Star. Sorry to interrupt your leave but I wanted to let you know I overheard Barker saying he reported the bar incident and what you said about being a fag to the CO today.” A long pause and Star continued, sounding a bit hesitant. “The team is behind you, you know. We have your six. Barker is a worthless ‘git and should be shot by someone— not necessarily the enemy either. I’ll let you know more as I get any intel. Later.”

Oh, crap. It had happened. What the fuck was he supposed to do now? Maybe he could just lie and say he wasn’t gay at all; that he’d just said it to piss off Barker because he’d insulted a dead friend and teammate. It would be his word against Barker’s then, and the team would probably back him. No one trusted Barker anyway. God, but he hated lying, and he hated making other people lie for him even more.

But if he admitted he was gay, his career was down the crapper. He’d get discharged and not only would he be alone, he wouldn’t have the Army or the job he loved either.

Why the fuck had he been so stupid?

BUY IT HERE!

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
Hot Comfort is Now Available

Hot Comfort

I’m so pleased to finally be able to announce that the Hot Comfort anthology is finally available from Manlove Romance Press!

This print anthology includes my two stories – Bittersweet and Giving Thanks – as well as stories by Jet Mykles, Kimberly Gardner and Luisa Prieto.

You can see more about this great anthology at ManLove Romance Press’s website.

Friday, August 28th, 2009
Writing Bittersweet….

Bittersweet

Now that Bittersweet is out, I’ve had some questions about it and wanted to share what happened during the writing of Brand and David’s story. It taught me a few things, trust me.

When I signed up to write two stories for the Hot Comforts anthology from Manlove Romance Press, I pitched the ideas for Giving Thanks and Bittersweet. Several other authors also joined the anthology and it was scheduled for around Thanksgiving 2008.

Because these stories are part of an anthology, it means they really can’t be too long. 20,000 words is a LONG story to have in an anthology. So there’s a maximum reasonable size the editor and publisher expect.

Giving Thanks went pretty well and relatively quickly. I’m happy with it and it really told the whole story I wanted it to.

Bittersweet is a whole other case. I knew a bit about the conflict and the fact it’s very much based on not judging someone by their appearance or what you think they might be like. When I started writing the story, though, I really got into these characters. I sent the first chapter to my test readers and one of them immediately replied that this was NOT a short story.

But it had to be. It needed to be. I literally spent months fighting with this story and trying to force it into an appropriate size and structure. But it fought back. Every time I tried to force Brand and David to get in bed, it came out horribly. Every time I tried to gloss over their personalities and foibles, they seemed like plastic characters. I rewrote it so many times I delayed the whole damned anthology. My deadline was blown and I was so frustrated and in despair it was awful. There’s just no way these characters would behave that way.

Finally I had to step back for a bit from my attempts to force my will on the story and I wrote another chapter, letting myself write what was demanding to be written. There’s a lot of background. There’s a lot of detail and some scenes that don’t have to do with sex but let the readers learn more about who these two people are.

I liked it. It flowed again.

So I finally accepted I could not shoehorn a Happily Ever After into this story. I took it to the point of a Happily For Now but there’s a lot more of this story to come. I’m going to write the rest of their story and see if I can sell it because I want to tell it. There’s pain, misunderstanding, assumptions, sex and love to go.

I know I’ve seen one opinion so far that there wasn’t enough sex and I spent time on things that didn’t matter. I hope that’s not the majority opinion because I love these two characters and the have a compelling and beautiful story to finish. But I did want to share what happened to me while I wrote this story :)

Bittersweet can be purchased from Aspen Mountain Press!

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009
Bittersweet is available from All Romance Ebooks

You can now buy Bittersweet from All Romance Ebooks

YAY!

Friday, August 14th, 2009
Bittersweet is out TODAY!
August 14, 2009

Bittersweet

The standalone ebook of Bittersweet is out today from Aspen Mountain Press!

You can get your copy here.

Be sure to let me know what you think, too.

Blurb:
Erotic chocolatier Brandon makes all sorts of tempting and tasty creations that celebrate love and sex. Too bad he’s given up on finding love for himself after his last lover told him he wasn’t worthy of a real relationship just before he dumped him.

When David picks up an order of chocolates for his best friend’s wedding, he wonders if the muscular, tattooed Brandon will taste sweet or bittersweet… After David finds out that Brandon is gay, he needs to step up and let the sexy chocolatier know he’s interested, but can he screw up the courage to do it?

Read an Excerpt here: