28 December 2011

Rose & Thorn Release Day Extra!

It's release day! *happy dances* And you don't even have to go out in the cold to buy yourself a copy. Isn't that convenient? ;-) Just pop on over to Torquere Books and you can buy it right now! Whee!

Here, as promised, is a scene you won't find between the covers of the book. I hope you like it!

ROSE & THORN by Maia Strong
Torquere Press, December 28, 2011

"There's a new fellow in town for auditions," said Jasper.

His sister, Jade, looked at him with one eyebrow raised in challenge. "There's a hundred new fellows in town, and all for Rose and Thorns auditions," she reminded him. "And I only care about them if they're bringing their business to my pub."

It was in that very pub that the two of them currently sat. It was past closing time, and they were the only ones there. Even the boy who swept the floors had long since finished up and gone to bed.

Jasper shook his head and persevered. "No, I mean, I think this fellow's got potential, you know?"

Her reply was cautious. "What makes you say that?"

"Just something about him. He's got a presence."

"He'd be a damned poor actor if he didn't."

"No, no. There's an air about him that feels like the mountains."

Jade sighed with a weariness that was only partially due to long hours on her feet tending to customers. "You and your mountains."

"They're your mountains, too."

She shook her head. "We live here now, boyo. You need to let go of the past."

"I have!" he protested.

She turned on her seat and leaned an arm on the wooden bar. Her keen eyes regarded him closely. "Have you? Jasper, you're my little brother and you know I want you to be happy. I'm just worried about you, is all."

He knew what she meant. There was no way he couldn't. He looked away. "I'm fine."

"I'm sure you are." Her tone belied the words.

The empty bar room was quiet around them. The few lanterns that were still lit glowed warmly. The darkness beyond the windows was absolute. They might have been the only people left in the world.

It was Jade who finally broke the silence, her voice soft and kind. "I just don't want you getting your heart broken again. You open it up so quickly, and you hurt so much when someone disappoints you like that."

He met her gaze once more, and this time he held if fast. "I'll be careful. I promise."

Letting that subject go, Jade chose another. "And what about the job? If you don't get it? How will you be then?"

"I can handle it," he said firmly. "I'm an actor. I'm used to rejection. I know how not to take it personally." He gave her a little smile, which she returned.

"All right," she relented. "Maybe I'm worried about you for no good reason. You're a grown man, and I should mind my own business."

Jasper reached out and took her hand in his and squeezed it gently. "You're family, and don't you dare."

They both chuckled at that.

"In that case, off to bed with you, young man!" scolded Jade, a twinkle of mirth in her bright blue eyes. "You need your sleep. You may well be starting a new job in the morning, and they're going to want your best work."

Grinning, Jasper called her on her contractions. "First, you say I won't get it, and now you say I will?"

She made a dismissive noise and waved a hand at him. "Since when does logic apply to theater, or to me, for that matter? Now off you go!"

He hopped off the bar stool and stood up especially straight. "Yes, ma'am!" Letting his amusement go, he reached out and hugged her. "Thanks, sis."

She returned the embrace warmly. "I'm always here for you, Jasper."

"I know."


I hope I've managed to pique your curiosity. Why not pop over to Torquere's site and pick up a copy for yourself. And while you're at it, pick up a second one for a friend!

Happy (almost) New Year!

27 December 2011

Rose & Thorn Excerpt!

Yesterday, I promised a steamy excerpt that'll warm you up. Here it is. ;-)

ROSE & THORN by Maia Strong
Torquere Press, December 2001

Clad in only undertunic and drawers, he padded softly to the brazier. The scent of maple syrup and cinnamon had begun to permeate the air of the closed-up room, making it smell sweetly delectable. His cock grew semi-hard as he inhaled the sweet aroma; he'd always been a sucker for all kinds of sweet sensations.

Jasper carefully dipped his little finger into the cauldron and licked the drizzle of syrup from it. It was warm enough and utterly delicious. He was ready to wake his sleeping lover.

Eamon lay on his side, face half buried in the pillow. The bed was narrow, but not so narrow that the two of them couldn't manage what Jasper intended. Jasper smiled, thinking ahead, and his cock grew fully hard. He crouched by the head of the bed and pushed dark brown hair from Eamon's flushed cheek.

"Wake up, boyo," he murmured. "It's time for that dessert I promised you."

Eamon mumbled something as he had before and batted a hand out around his face as if swatting at a pestering fly. Jasper's smile widened. He'd found Eamon sexy, funny, talented, and smart. This simple, sleepy gesture made him endearing, too.

"Come on, sleepyhead," he tried again, a little louder this time. As he spoke, he trailed one hand down Eamon's bare arm, across his belly, and along the waistband of his breeches. The combination of words and actions finally roused a waking response.

Eamon opened one eye, took a moment to focus, and smiled. "I am so glad it's you," he said softly.

"Oh yeah?"

"Mm-hmm. Of all the possibilities, you're by far the best one."

Jasper grinned. "Thank you."

Eamon inhaled deeply. "What's that smell I smell? It's... mmm." He let the breath out in a sigh.

"Dessert. It's ready for you if you're ready for it." Jasper rose and took a step back in one fluid motion.

Eamon pushed himself up into a sitting position. He blinked drowsily and focused on Jasper once more. "I see you're ready." He looked pointedly at where Jasper's drawers were tented out.

"Very." Jasper grinned.

"So what's for dessert?"


"Oh?" He raised an eyebrow, making Jasper think of the arch mother figure he'd played while they were singing earlier that night.

"And me."


"And something both sweet and hot. Do you have a towel I could borrow?"

"Huh? Sure." Taken by surprise by the change of subject, Eamon immediately dropped the expression he had adopted and pointed to the foot of the bed. "Hanging on the rails, there's one."

Jasper took it and used it to safely move the little cauldron from the brazier to the table.

"So what is it?" Eamon asked again. He rose and steadied himself with the bedpost before taking the few steps to where Jasper was carefully stirring the concoction with a wooden spoon. Jasper ran his index finger along the back of the coated spoon, testing again for temperature and deeming it ideal. He repeated the gesture and held up his finger, offering it to Eamon.


Smiling with a double hunger, Eamon took the offered finger in his mouth and sucked the sweet liquid from it. "Mmm! Maple!" He licked his lips.

"Spiced with cinnamon and cloves. I recommend you finish undressing," advised Jasper. "This stuff sticks. You have paid for laundry service, I trust." He smiled mischievously.

"It's included in the price of the room."

"That's good. Now, about those breeches?" He looked down at the clothing in question and back up into Eamon's eyes -- dove gray in the lamplight.

Eamon hurried to undo his flies and nearly fell trying to get out of his pants too quickly. Jasper laughed and steadied him. "Don't hurt yourself. That would take all the fun out of this."

"Not if you kissed it and made it better," Eamon responded.

Jasper laughed again. "You're quick on your feet."

"But hopefully not in bed." Eamon grinned and wiggled his eyebrows.

"That, too, would take all the fun out of this," joked Jasper.

Finally, Eamon managed to get his breeches and drawers off, leaving them in a pile on the floor. Jasper shook his head and ignored the clutter in favor of the nearly perfect naked man standing before him.

He looked Eamon over with a keen eye, taking in details he'd glossed over at their first coupling and in their rushed bath this morning.

Eamon was slim, but his shoulders were broad and square. He had the suppleness and flexibility of the fighter and dancer that he was. His arms didn't bulge with muscles, but instead were smoothly sculpted by hard work and training -- sinewy and strong, the kind of muscles that only fully showed themselves when they were being used.

Jasper liked that, liked his men lithe and lean, but not too lean. Eamon could use a little bulking up, in his opinion. He was too much like a starving student, which was so far from the truth as to be almost laughable. Jasper had seen the man eat, and he was very good at it. It was part of why Jasper had thought of tonight's dessert. But first, it was Jasper's turn to dine.


Check in tomorrow for a special release day extra!

26 December 2011

Rose & Thorn Cover Art and Blurb!

Hello, everyone! I hope you're all having a joyful holiday season and that you gave and got all sorts of lovely presents!

Release day is nearly here for my m/m/f novel Rose & Thorn! I thought I'd share a few presents, myself. Things like...cover art!

I really love the colours, don't you? And the text is super-cool, the way it looks all rose-viney. :-)

And a blurb!

Eamon Quinn is an actor with designs on a position with Rose & Thorn Theatrics. As a new university graduate, he's up to the acting challenge. He's not so sure he's up to facing life in the big city. That is, until he finds a friend in Jasper Davison. Jasper is intrigued by Eamon, sure that he's a fellow mountain-born soul, which is something Jasper's been missing in coastal Yanuk. When both men are hired by Rose & Thorn, the kindred spirits soon become lovers--and catch the eye of the company's head apprentice, HJ Greenhills.

Bad luck plagues the theatre--accidents, injuries, and a sudden death--leading to rumors of a curse. Weaving sexual energy with Druid magic, Eamon and Jasper seek the truth behind the rumors. But confirming the curse is only the first hurdle. They need to figure out who cast it and how to end it before it causes more harm. Even together, the two men aren't strong enough. Druid magic works best in threes, and so they seek HJ's help to lift the curse. The three put their bodies and energies together to call up the magic they need to try and set things right.

Tomorrow, I'll be posting an excerpt to whet your appetite further! It should warm you up nicely if you're having a cold, cold winter. ;-)

07 December 2011

"The Speech You've Been Waiting For"

It's 30 minutes you will not regret spending. I promise you.

Or if you'd rather read it (or the embedded video doesn't work for some reason), the full text (and video) can be found here.

05 December 2011


You must read this article RIGHT NOW. Anyone who believes in "libraries, books, words, ideas" cannot help but be moved by this wonderful collection of anonymous art. I know what I'm doing first the next time I go to Edinburgh: I'm going all over town to see these Mysterious Paper Sculptures.