14 June 2016

Orlando :'(

Beauty follows pain.

It's time to get shit done.

 Love must win in the end.

21 May 2016

Cosplay and my inspiration for "All 'Ships May Sail" - Part II

My main characters in All 'Ships May Sail (title taken from my many years spent on the House of Tucker Bulletin Board, in case you were wondering) bond over their fellow fandom, Xena: Warrior Princess, and their love of cosplay. In case you're curious about my own costuming street cred, I offer the following true story.


I'm a geek. In fact, I am a whole lot of kinds of geek. My friends and I started going to conventions in costume more than a decade before the term "cosplay" was coined. One of my many geekdoms over the years was, is Xena: Warrior Princess. "In a time of ancient gods, warlords, and kings" -- also known as the 1990s and early 2000s -- my friends and I went to several Xena conventions, usually in costume. Sometimes we participated in the fan costume competition. One year, at the big convention in Pasadena, we won.

Picture if you will, a hall full of some 3000 fans of the show. They're seated in chairs and standing along the back and sides of the room. There's a raised stage up front where we've watched the show's actors talk, tell stories, and answer questions over the past few days.

Now, it's Sunday. Things are winding down, and it's time for the costume competition. Three friends and I entered as a group. Xena, Warrior Princess, Amazon Queen Gabrielle, Amazon Wanna-be-Queen Velasca, and Amazon Queen-to-be Ephiny.

We lined up backstage with everyone else who wanted to compete their costumes and waited for our turn. Eventually, finally we were called up to the stage.

We didn't have a plan. We didn't even have a pose. I guess we figured we'd let our costumes speak for themselves. We'd worked hard and knew they were good. So we stood on stage letting the costumes do the talking. And after a few moments, we realized it wasn't just the costumes you could hear.

Somewhere out in the crowd, people had begun singing the Amazon theme music from the show.

Whoa. ... We need to respond.

We straightened up our line, raised our masks, and gave the Amazon salute.

The crowd went nuts. People were standing and saluting back. They're still singing. They're cheering. We were rock stars.

Now what? This is going to get awkward in a second. What do we do? We should go. Leave them wanting more. Yeah! Leave them wanting more.

So we lowered our arms, and with our heads held high like the fictional royalty we were pretending to be, we proudly left the stage.

I feel a little sorry for whoever had to follow that. Someone must have; I don't believe we were last to present. We were, however, the last ones called for the awards because they always announce the grand prize winners last.

The prize itself was a $100 merchandise credit. I don't even know what we spent it on. It doesn't matter. That wasn't why we did it. We did it because we're geeks and geeks love what they love unabashedly, unashamedly, unapologetically with everything they have to give. The best prize we got was that crowd, 3000 of our fellow geeks strong, spontaneously bursting into song. For us.

20 May 2016

Welcome Guest Blogger Asta Idonea!

I'm thrilled to introduce you to my fellow Theory of Love author Asta Idonea!

Asta Idonea
18 May 2016
Torquere Press
Short Story/MM/Sci-Fi
Heat Level: 1

When the Teludazi attack Captain Evander Starr’s squadron, he is the only survivor. Taken prisoner, he refuses to answer their questions. Nonetheless, he finds himself drawn to their leader, Kaname. What secrets lie behind Kaname’s strange lilac eyes, and will Evander soon find it’s not only his body held captive, but also his heart?

He wasn’t certain how much time passed. He drifted into a fitful slumber, and upon waking, a small light in the corner of the room illuminated a jug of water and a bowl. The latter contained a porridge-like substance—tasteless but not unpleasant. He didn’t hesitate to eat and drink this time. The water had been safe, and Kaname’s speech about not saving him just to poison him had rung true. So, he wolfed the meal down. The moment he finished eating and set the bowl aside, the light turned off.
He must have fallen asleep again, because the next time he came to, he sensed a presence in the room. He turned toward it and heard a soft chuckle.
“Hello again, Captain Starr. How are you feeling?”
“Okay,” Evander muttered. His aches and pains were gone and he felt more rested than he had in a long time. But he wasn’t about to share that with Kaname. “Don’t you wanna turn the light on?”
“Why bother when I can see you perfectly well already?”
“It’s true then? About your eyes?”
Evander had heard the tales ever since he was a boy. The Teludazi were the monsters parents used to discipline wayward children. They were the creatures talked about at night around the campfire. It was said all their eyes were that odd lilac color because they could see equally well in light and dark. It was pointless hiding from them beneath your bed or in the closet—they would still see you.
When he made captain and joined the fleet, Evander’s superiors had striven to suppress such rumors. It was bad for morale, Evander supposed, if you believed your enemy had superhuman abilities. In all other respects, the Teludazi were like them—humanoid, with a similar life span—and that was what the generals expounded. But on the ships, out in deep space, the crew talked. And it seemed the stories had been true all along.

Author Bio & Links
Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.
Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!
As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.


19 May 2016

Cosplay and my inspiration for "All 'Ships May Sail" - Part I

All ’Ships May Sail was, in part, inspired by a real incident. Years ago, while the show Xena: Warrior Princess was still in production, I attended a convention with my friends and fellow Xena fans. I was dressed as Gabrielle, complete with dyed strawberry-blonde hair and green contact lenses to complete the image. On the bulletin board in the con’s registration area was the message that Lori finds at the beginning of the story. I replied to it just as she does, but I never met that Xena so that was as far as things went. I still sometimes wonder who wrote that note and if they ever found the Gabrielle they were looking for.

18 May 2016

We are go for launch!

All 'Ships May Sail, is now available for immediate download!

Torquere Books /Amazon US / Amazon CA

All 'Ships May Sail by Maia Strong

Lori is new in town and looking to make friends, and maybe more. Hoping to meet people who share her interest in cosplay, she attends a local sci-fi/fantasy convention. Kara is a cosplayer who enjoys moderating costuming panels and hooking up for a con-weekend fling with a sexy fellow geek girl. They connect in their fandoms and in bed, but do the two share enough chemistry to take their relationship into real life?


They strolled through the corridors of artwork, but Kara noticed very little of it. She was far more interested in her companion than in the semi-pornographic fairy paintings that seemed to be the focus of the current section they were in.
Lori stopped in front of a particularly evocative image. “Oh my. That’s...bendy.” She tipped her head to one side, leaning almost past horizontal.
Kara examined the picture in question. “Yeah it is.” She turned her head the opposite direction. It was like the artist had channeled Wendy Pini’s art and applied it to the Kama Sutra. “Is that physically possible?”
“Maybe if one actually had wings? I think we’d have to try it to find out for sure.”
What had she done? Lori scrambled to find other words. Correct her faux pas and quickly. “I mean, not we, per se. I meant, one. You know. Generic. I mean-- Unless you wanted-- We could-- Shit. Sorry. I’ll stop talking.”
To her astonishment, Kara laughed. “Let me help with that.”
Suddenly Kara’s lips were on hers in a kiss that swiftly grew more passionate than was strictly appropriate for the public setting.
Lori brought her hands up to Kara’s shoulders and pushed her off. Not far. She didn’t want to be misunderstood. She just wanted not to be caught snogging next to a bunch of erotic fairy art. Just in time, too, as a trio of tweens in steampunky Girl Genius outfits came around the corner at that moment. The three girls stopped in front of the display and immediately began to point at the artwork, giggling and whispering.
“Sorry, I couldn’t resist,” said Kara in a low voice, and Lori couldn’t help noticing the flush in her cheeks and desire in her eyes.
She pulled Kara around the next corner and then another. “It’s all right. I’m glad you did it. I just think...we should maybe find a quieter spot?”


Want the whole Theory of Love anthology? Of course you do! Here are places to find it!
Torquere Books / Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Amazon DE

16 May 2016

The Countdown Continues...

Title: Theory of Love
Authors: Kayla Bashe, Alain Bell, M.D. Grimm, Asta Idonea, D. C. Juris, Dale Cameron Lowry, Lila Mathews, Charles Payseur, Jessica Payseur, Maia Strong, Lynn Townsend, K.S. Trenten.

Edited by Deelylah Mullin
Publisher: Torquere Press
Cover Artist: Kris Norris
Release Date: May 18, 2016
Heat Level: 5
Pairing: both M/M and F/F stories
Length: 80,000 words


Romance - Contemporary, Erotic Romance, F/F Romance, M/M Romance
Science Fiction – Hard Science, Romantic, Futuristic



In Theory of Love, we wave our geek flag high! Tales from deep space, sci-fi realities, technology, academia, and cosplay are brought together in this collection. In Dale Cameron Lowry’s Far From Home, long-distance spouses fan the flames of passion while fighting to save humanity. Meat Space by Lynn Townsend, brings virtual space and the real world crashing into a new reality. Asta Idonea’s Captive shows us that love can form in any manner of situations. Beta Tester by Charles Payseur immerses the reader—and the characters—in a virtual reality that brings a friendship to a whole new level. K.S. Trenten’s A Symposium in Space, love is a different meal to every guest. Unexpected Dilemmas by Jessica Payseur long-distance lovers face hijacking and natural disaster to be together. Kayla Bashe’s Medic to the Hivemind a stranded student is saved by a mysterious voice with secrets. Being Jake by Lila Mathews shows readers that smart is sexy. In D.C. Juris’ Torn Apart, love provides the will to survive. Shattered Space by Alain Bell shows how love can grow from destruction. Maia Strong’s All ‘Ships May Sail connects cosplay, fandoms, and something more. Trash and Treasures by M.D. Grimm gives us a deal made in interstellar space that could be more than either party bargained for.

In theory, love is easy.


Torquere Press

Theory of Love


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