28 July 2010

False Dawn Blog Party - WINNERS!

Hey there! My week has been nuts, and it's only Wednesday. Oy! However, I have managed to get my act together enough to use my handy-dandy random winner generator to pick winners from this past weekend's new release blog party!

The winner of the coffee mug with the awesome book cover on it is from over on the TQ Social LJ:


The winner of the free download of False Dawn is from right here on the blog:


If you would each be so kind as to contact me at "maia at maiastrong dot com" (with all the necessary conversions to make that a real email address, of course) I can arrange prize delivery.

Foggynight, I will just need a mailing address for you. And, Erika, I need an email address and your preferred format for your ebook.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to everyone who came out party it up at the space barbecue!

26 July 2010

False Dawn - Author Extra!

Where did the weekend go? And on top of that, where did this morning go!? (Okay, I know where this morning went. It went to making two apple pies for the freezer. And there are still apples left for a nice crumble.)

It's the last day of my space barbecue and I've had great fun! I hope you have, too. To celebrate, I have the author extra I wrote especially for Release Day. Just because some lines got crossed and the book actually came out Saturday doesn't mean we can't keep the party going through today. Right? Right!

And along those lines, here's that Release Day Author Extra I mentioned. Hope you like it!

False Dawn by Maia Strong
Available from Torquere Press




NEWS ANCHOR: Good morning. Here’s the early news. Our lead story, a senior engineer has vanished into thin air. Yoshiko Didier reports.


DIDIER: Thank you, Steven. I’m standing outside Section 4 of Sector AP-10 on Aconcagua Deck. It’s beyond here that Senior Engineer Dayan Andrus supposedly disappeared over forty hours ago.

DIDIER CONT. [IRONIC TONE]: Of course, we can’t access the area directly without authorization due to the security precautions around the File Room, and that authorization has not been forthcoming. But is it just the sensitivity of what’s behind this door that’s keeping us out?


DIDIER: What you’re looking at here is the schematic for the section behind me. You’ll note the lack of doors and internal access hatches. There aren’t even ventilation ducts in the area of the alleged disappearance.


DIDIER: Security claims to have no leads in the case. Judging by the obvious inaccessibility of the location, one might not be surprised. But can Lažna Zora’s vaunted security force really be so in the dark as that? Or could there be more here than meets the eye? I believe there’s more to this story than we’re being told. Could this disappearance be a case of experimentation gone wrong? Might Engineer Andrus have been the subject, knowing or unknowing, of new technology designed to transport a human being from one location to another instantaneously?


DIDIER CONT.: I spoke earlier today with the Assistant Chief Engineer Alan Zamyatin who assured me, quite emphatically, that no one in Engineering was performing any experiments along these lines. He denounced such ideas as, and I quote, “ridiculous” and “absurd science-fiction”. Doth the gentleman protest too much? Chief Engineer Johnston was unavailable for comment.


DIDIER CONT.: Given such vehement denial of even the possibility of this new technology, one is forced to wonder what we aren’t being told. Whatever happened here, whatever Engineering’s involvement, or not, in the alleged disappearance, it seems highly unlikely that Security would be completely ignorant of that department’s activities--whether those activities are “secret” or not. Yet, if they aren’t ignorant? I, for one, don’t like to consider the alternatives. This is Yoshiko Didier reporting.



Remember, just comment to be entered to win one of two FABULOUS PRIZES! You have until midnight Pacific Time tonight to enter! I'll announce the winners in the next couple of days. :-D

25 July 2010

False Dawn - Excerpt 2

Here's a rather steamier excerpt than the previous one, so you might not want to read this if you're at work. Unless, of course, you work somewhere totally cool and awesome.

False Dawn by Maia Strong
Available from Torquere Press

"Hi!" Galen barely got the greeting out before Dayan was through the doorway and on him.

Dayan grasped him by his broad shoulders and pulled him into a searing kiss. Startled but willing, Galen opened his mouth to Dayan's searching tongue, and Dayan took full advantage. He swept his tongue along Galen's teeth and tickled the roof of Galen’s mouth, reveling in the taste and feeling, the warmth and the wetness.

When at last they came up for breath, both men were panting. Galen's brown eyes were nearly all pupil, and Dayan was more than ready to fall into them. He'd waited all damned day to show his lover just how proud he was of that promotion.

"Congratulations, Detective," he said, his voice a husky purr of desire.

"I take it you don't want to go out to celebrate." Galen's expression and tone were wry.

Dayan returned the look with a lascivious, one-sided grin. "What do you think?" He pressed his hard, aching cock against Galen's thigh, just below the hip joint, and rolled a little from one side to the other. Galen groaned and leaned in for another devouring kiss. Dayan happily obliged.

Again, they only parted when they had to stop for air. Gasping, Galen smiled broadly. Dayan loved that wide mouth, those straight, white teeth, and dove in for more before either of them properly caught their breath. His head felt light, but whether from lack of oxygen or overload of lust, he didn't know. Didn't care.

Dayan pushed against his lover until they were brought up short by the couch that stood against the outer bulkhead. Dayan released him again and gave him enough of a shove that Galen lost his balance and sat heavily. Without a pause, Dayan straddled him where he sat and began to undo the buttons on his new dress shirt--as much an indication of his new rank as the badge that glinted at Dayan from his belt.

The release of each button was followed by a kiss, a nip, a bite, of Galen's dark, smooth, muscled chest. When Dayan reached the waistband of Galen's tailored black trousers, he tugged the shirt tails up and out, found the last button, and, bent double over his lover's lap, placed a kiss over Galen's navel. He alternately circled it with the tip of his tongue, flicking at the little indentation, and sucked a mouthful of flesh around it. Galen squirmed and shook, just as Dayan knew he would.

Dayan sat up straight, one hand on the clasp of Galen's belt, the other fondling his lover's balls through the taut fabric of his slacks. The outline of his erection was hard pressed just to the left of the fly, but Dayan held off from grasping it. He's been anticipating this all day; he had to take a little revenge and make his lover wait a bit, too.

He leaned in and whispered in Galen's ear. "Is there anything you particularly want tonight?" A gentle squeeze on his sac that made Galen gasp and groan.

"Any…requests?" A tender nibble at the shell of his ear. "Or do you trust me…" Nip. "…to make you…" Nuzzle. "…scream?"

Galen's breath came in short gasps, and Dayan knew he had him. They'd played this game many times, and Galen had never once turned down that particular offer. He looked up into Dayan's gaze and grinned, equal parts defiance and fervor.

"Dare you."

False Dawn - Review!

Okay. So. Much to my surprise, I discovered that False Dawn is available for purchase as off...YESTERDAY! (The wrong book cover is on that page, FYI. I'll be emailing about it shortly. Although the cover that is there intrigues me and I plan to go find out what that book is about shortly, too. :-D )

The review that's posted is rockin'! I'm now going to be happy dancing all through cycle class this morning. ::bounce, bounce::

I'll be back after class to party some more!

24 July 2010

False Dawn - Space Barbecue!

It's SATURDAY and the weather here in deep space is perfect for a backyard barbecue in the hydroponics bay! I've got the plasma grill going and there are burgers (bothy synthesized proteins and real beef!) ready to go on it. Pour yourself a space beer or mix up a space cocktail and make yourselves at home. The UV rays are strictly monitored so there's no need for sunscreen, and on of the best things about barbecuing in deep space... no bugs!

Our hero, Galen, is a big fan of chili cheese dogs and fries, while his hubby is more into broiled salmon and rice pilaf. Me, I'm happy either way. ;-) I think at this bbq, Galen would toss a big T-bone on the grill and Dayan will probably go for some lovely fish cooked in a foil packet with lemon slices and dill. I'm just having a burger, with cheddar cheese of course!

Usually at a summer barbecue I like to bring the fabulous and simple orzo salad I got off of Space Food Network. It's just orzo, arugula, dried cherries, crumbled myzithra cheese, and a little olive oil and lemon juice, and S&P.

While I'm opening the beers, tell me, what do you like to bring to a potluck or barbecue? Do you have your "usual" or do you like to mix it up?

23 July 2010

False Dawn - Excerpt!

I said I would be posting an excerpt very shortly, so here it is, and would you believe it's only PG13 due to the language? What the hell??

False Dawn by Maia Strong
Available from Torquere Press 26 July 2010

Galen tossed and turned in his bed. Usually it felt too small for two people but tonight, lacking Dayan's warm, solid presence beside him, it was like an ocean of space. He should be used to the absence. They worked opposing shifts often enough that it wasn't uncommon for each to spend a sleep period alone. Several, in fact. On nights like that, he would fall asleep safe in the knowledge that his husband was out doing his job and would come home at the end of his shift.

But not tonight. Tonight he didn't know where Dayan was. He didn't know when or how they would find him. Didn't know if they could.

No. They had to. Losing Dayan forever wasn't an option.

Damn it! They must be missing a clue.

Well, duh. He rolled over, disgusted with himself. Of course they were missing a clue. If they weren't, they'd have solved the case by now and he wouldn't be complaining about how the stupid little bed was too big without his husband to share it.

The afternoon's investigations had left them no further along than the morning's. No one had seen anything. No one knew anything they hadn't already disclosed. No one could explain how a full grown adult male could disappear in a corridor that had no doors, no interior ports, and no access hatches. And the ship's chief engineer assured him and Flint quite soundly that there was no experimental new technology that could teleport anyone or make them invisible or shift them between dimensions or any other "science-fiction nonsense" like that.

"Fuck this!" Giving up sleep for a lost cause, Galen threw off the covers and sat up. "Lights to half."

Dull gray light filled the bedroom, enhancing rather than dispelling its cramped dimensions. There wasn't even satisfactory room to pace. He briefly considered taking a mild sedative; there were some in the bathroom's medicine cabinet. What time was it? He looked at the clock in the wall over the bed.

Blue numbers glowed softly. 02:54.

Okay, so the tranq option was out. He had to be up too soon. He should have taken something hours ago if he was going to go that route. Damn.

He wanted a drink.

Galen made a noise of disgust and shook his head. "Not an option," he said aloud to the empty room. He had to get a grip. Getting wasted--again--wasn't going to do him or Dayan any good.

He padded barefoot into the small living room, the light level adjusting automatically as he went from one room to the next. "Play live video. News feed." He sat heavily on the sofa as the wall holograph of the early a.m. news report was projected. The farm report, which covered all hydroponics and livestock updates, was on. He almost smiled. Who needed a tranquilizer when they had the farm report?

Unfortunately, it was just wrapping up. And the next news at the top of the hour was coverage of Dayan's disappearance. Galen watched with growing anger as the news reader's report got increasingly hyperbolic and sensationalist. Barely veiled suggestions that Engineering was tinkering with secret teleportation technology and an experiment that had gone bad. The woman went on to imply that Security was either complicit in the public deception or they were Engineering's unwitting victims. Either way, it made the force look bad. Incompetent at best, and, at worst, a bunch of conspiring liars.

"Video off!" ordered Galen more forcefully than necessary. The projection shimmered and vanished.

"This is bullshit." He needed to get back to work. Find the clue that eluded him. Find his husband.

Decision made, he rose from the sofa, grabbed a quick shower and shave, and dressed. His presence at the station at this hour would raise some eyebrows, but no one would challenge him. The security scuttlebutt network was almost as fast as the ship's computer core. By now it was a given that everyone in the department knew Galen's husband was missing.

He clipped the PG that Flint had requisitioned yesterday to his belt and headed out.


Remember, comment to be entered to win and tune in for more fun as the weekend progresses!

False Dawn Party Time!

We're kicking of a pre-release online space barbecue today! Woo-hoo! and hailing frequencies open!
False Dawn is an m/m erotic romance detective story (Could I have more qualifiers on that genre, please? I don't think there are enough.) set in deep space (Ah! There we go. Thanks for that.) aboard the generational starship Lažna Zora. Police Detective Galen Traub and his partner must find a missing person, and that person just happens to be Galen's husband, Dayan. Dun-dun-dunnnnn!

To celebrate, I'll be partying the weekend away starting TODAY because all weekends should really start on Friday, don't you agree?

To get things going, I'll be posting an excerpt very shortly. Then, later in the weekend, we'll be grilling up the burgers over our specially designed plasma energy barbecue, toasting the marshmallows over the engine core, and swigging back the space beer!

And of course there will be prizes! Just comment on any of this weekend's party posts and you'll be entered to win either a fabulous coffee mug with the gorgeous cover of False Dawn emblazoned on the side, or a free download of the ebook itself! Wheee!

But wait! There's more! Ask me all your questions about this ridiculously subgenred novella and I'll answer them for you in a special Q&A post on Sunday! So hit me with your whos, whats, wheres, and hows; your whithers, whethers, whences; your wherefores and your big old side orders of whys, and I'll do my level best to come up with at least vaguely coherent answers. (And a bonus contest entry to the first person to recognize that list I just gave you. It's not 100% accurate, but it's close enough for those in the know to know. You know? ;-) )

Now, Party ON!

17 July 2010

Tick-tock, tick-tock

The clock is ticking down to release day and that means it's almost Party Time! The spiffy prize I ordered has arrived and some lucky someone will win it! And another lucky someone will win a free download. Woot!

Watch this space...

14 July 2010

I Write Like...

This site was posted to a list I'm on and naturally I had to waste a few minutes playing with it. I Write Like... You simply paste in a few paragraphs of your own work and it analyses it and tells you who you write like. Here are my results.

For my blog posts, I got...

I write like
Vladimir Nabokov

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

For the unpublished novella that I plugged in, I got...

I write like
Isaac Asimov

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

And for everything else I plugged in (and remember I was procrastinating and wasting time, so I plugged in more than a few), I got...

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I find this last hysterically funny since I have never read anything by Stephen King. Oh wait, I take that back. I've read a stage adaptation of his novel Misery. But that's it.

Okay. Enough amusement for now. Time to make some lunch and get back to work.

08 July 2010

Good politics! Who knew they were out there?

You know I try not to get political around here, but as a raging liberal (sometimes literally raging) and a writer of gay erotica, sometimes I have to. This time, there's good news!

See, there's this hateful bullshit of a thing here in the US called "The Defense of Marriage Act". It was basically spearheaded and put in place by bigoted, fearful, and hateful people and it banned (note the past tense because the happy is coming) gay marriage at the federal level, which is a big problem for the few states that have legal same-sex marriage. Well, today, at long freaking last, the "Federal gay marriage ban is ruled unconstitutional". We've had, and continue to have, problems with lawmakers allowing their personal prejudices, and the prejudices of people with a lot of money to spend to back their hate, to make law. What these people tend to forget is that we in the US have this nifty document. It's called THE CONSTITUTION and it says stuff about "all men [being] created equal" and the right to "the pursuit of happiness" and such. We also have this other nifty document called THE BILL OF RIGHTS. Have I read the whole thing? Either of them? Well, no. I admit that parts of it just get a bit dry for me. Point is, there are those who have and who focus specifically on Constitutional Law. I have great respect for these people, and I love it when one of them can prove, from that brilliant source material, that someone else's bigoted opinion is just that: opinion. Not something upon which a law can or should be based. Opinions, belief systems, and what have you, have no place in the legal process, and this judge just called bullshit. I now proceed to happy dance. ::happy dances::

There's another interesting posting about it here: Federal Court Holds DOMA Unconstitutional I don't know anything about the site, but that article makes for interesting reading.

Score one for the good guys!

ETA: I'm skimming the Constitution (I said it gets dry in parts) and just came across this:
Article IV, Section 2:
The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.
I'm no law student, but I would guess this relates (in part) to the whole you're-married-in-state-A-therefore-your-marriage-is-legally-recognized-in-states-B-through-Z thing.

06 July 2010

Gearing up to party!

Edits are in and prizes are confirmed! I'm so jazzed about this next release I can't even tell you! I've said many times that my first literary love is fantasy, and it is. But coming very, very close on its heels is sci-fi. I am not joking when I say that I read Asimov's Foundation Trilogy when I was in sixth grade. Did I understand its full depth and meaning? HELL NO! But I read it and I enjoyed it (and one of these years I'll read it again and maybe I'll get a few more of the layers ;-) ). Yes, folks, I grew up on a diet of J.R.R. Tolkien, Andre Norton, Isaac Asimov, Susan Cooper, William Sleator, and Ray Bradbury. Sure, I read some Judy Bloom...but I didn't like it. And I never read Beverly Cleary. :-P So the fact that I have a space opera coming out is very exciting!

So, the details on the party:
Dates: 23-26 July
Theme: Sci-fi Summer Barbecue! (I have no idea what that means, but we'll figure it out.)
Prizes: A fabulous False Dawn coffee mug (since my characters drink a lot of coffee when they can get it) and a free download of the book!
There will be an excerpt one of those days, and extra scene on release day. There might even be a character interview. We'll see if I can pin anyone down on that. They are very busy people, these characters.

Check back as the date approaches! Standard rules apply: post a comment to be entered to win. It's that simple!

See you soon!

01 July 2010

Next steps taken

I sent the proofed manuscript for False Dawn back to my editor today. Despite the stupid summer cold, I found the brain cells to read it one more time and make the tiny tweaks it needed to make it extra-fabulous.

I spent much of yesterday (when I was much lighter on brain power) making things on Vistaprint. Can you say "blog party prize"? I knew you could! ;-)