Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Giveaway & Guest Post by Rachel Haimowitz for Riptide

Welcome, Ladies and Gents of the Lair... I want to welcome you to week long party! Let the party continue...

Let's welcome Rachel Haimowitz to the Lair!

As someone who writes m/m with bondage, do you identify more with your Dom or sub character? Or are their heads equally easy to slip into for you?
From a personal perspective, I’d have to say I identify more with the Dom, as that’s the role I take in real life. That being said, being a good Dom—to me, at least—means doing everything in your power to understand your sub’s motives, needs, wants, desires, fears, secret fantasies, boundaries, even their thoughts from moment to moment. So in that regard, it’s quite possible that I identify more with the sub. Certainly in a real scene, my sub is my entire focus. In my written scenes, the sub the Dom’s entire focus, too. And because understanding a sub’s inner processes is so important to me, I do tend to write quite a bit of my BDSM scenes from the sub’s POV—more, actually, than I write from the Dom’s POV. So I guess the short answer is that it’s easy for me to slip into both their heads, even if the Dom POV comes more naturally to me.

How difficult was it to take that first (or 100th) idea and actually created an entire story from it? 
Short answer? Hard. Ideas are easy; I’ve got more of those than I could develop in ten lifetimes. Taking that first wisp of an idea and fleshing it out into a story-world is a little less easy, but arguably (for me at least) the most fun part of writing. It’s where you can let your imagination fly, where you can explore every possibility, where nothing is set in stone yet and no answer is explicitly wrong. I find it helps tremendously to have at least one person you can use as a sounding board during this stage; they’ll come at it with different eyes and different life experiences, and will invariably find connections you could not.
Moving past the fleshing-out stage and actually sitting down to write is by far the hardest part of creating a story. I’m more of a pantser than a plotter, so I tend to just write for a while and let the world and characters take me where they will. But about halfway through that process, the shape of the story becomes clear enough for me to stop and outline the rest. That’s my compromise between the creative freedom of explorative writing and the tight, well-paced focus of outline writing. Mind you, the beginning almost always needs redoing, or at least editing quite heavily, once I hit the outline stage. In Counterpoint, I cut about 40 pages out of the beginning and wrote about 25 new ones to replace it with. Anchored was a little smoother going, as that story was birthed more or less fully grown right from the start: an adult Athena popping from Zeus’s head. It was only the world details that needed changing in Anchored, as I discovered them along the way. 

I’m always curious where people find their inspiration. So I want to know where you get your plot ideas. Are they just floating around up there in the gray matter? 
For me, I think it’s mostly just about keeping my eyes and ears open. The oddest things can trigger an idea. If you want to hear what triggered the idea for Anchored, hop on over to Nina Pierce’s blog(http://ninapierce.com/blog/), where I did a guest post earlier this week that addressed exactly that. For the most part, though, it’s just totally random. I’ve learned to follow all my little “what if” musings and daydreams, to let my mind play with them and to write them down; you can mine gold in those fleeting thoughts. 
Sometimes there’s a collision of concepts, too. For instance, a couple weeks ago I was watching some crappy crime procedural that was investigating an organ-stealing ring. And then I read an excerpt from a book with an immortal character. Somehow, my brain mashed those two things together and said, “Wouldn’t it be interesting to have some kind of human with regenerative capacity being held captive by a black-market organ ring? They’d take his liver, and he’d grow a new one.” From there I started thinking about what kind of human: Genetically modified? Magically immortal? Cursed by the gods like Prometheus? Not human at all, but an alien with compatible organs? And then I started thinking about what kind of plot I could build around that story. Will anything ever come of it? Who knows. But I’ve got a file full of notes, and maybe one day it’ll be a story.

How does look your typical writing day? Do you write in the mornings, evenings or it doesn't matter to you?
I’m very fortunate not to have a 9-to-5 job, so I have a ton of flexibility in how and when I write. I work my day job from home and set my own hours and workload, with rare exception (scheduled client interviews, or a rapid-turnaround press kit, for example), so most weeks I’m able to spend a good chunk of each day working on my own stuff. I tend to be quite the night owl, so a typical day might see me waking at 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and writing so far into the night I watch the sun rise the next morning. Other times I’m on “normal person” hours, and I go to bed at 10 and wake up at 6 and start writing first thing in the morning. As long as I get enough sleep (and I may be the only person in America who does), I can get the writerly juices flowing at any time of day or night.

Here's an excerpt from my newest release at Riptide Publishing, Master Class: 

Chapter 1

Even stars got star-struck, right? It was perfectly normal. Not embarrassing at all.
At least, that's what Nicky kept telling himself as he stared across the table at Devon fucking Turner, A-lister extraordinaire and, let's face it, hunk to beat all hunks.
And Dom to beat all subs, too. Nicky was certain of it. The way Devon met his eyes with such force across the candle-lit table that Nicky had to avert his gaze. The way he made Nicky feel like the only man in the room, naked at Devon's mercy despite the armor of his three-piece suit and the other six guests at the table, only two of whom he knew but all of whom, he was certain, could see right through his flustered, lust-sick stare.
Shit, he had to get out of here, get some air. Get his head back on his shoulders before it ended up, uninvited, in Devon's lap.
"Excuse me," he blurted, standing up from the table hard enough to skid his chair. He'd forgotten about the napkin in his lap; it swooshed to the floor as all eyes landed on him. Why had he tied his tie so tight? "I uh . . ." He pointed vaguely toward the area where he thought the restrooms were. "Excuse me."
He ran off before he could take stock of all the curious looks. Or, God help him, the knowing one—the absolute, bone-deep surety—of Devon Turner's.
He found the men's room without fuss and pushed through the door, just leaning for a moment on the other side remembering how to breathe. For Christ's sake, this wasridiculous. He performed in front of thousands eight times a week without the slightest trouble. What was his problem now?
He cast a glance at the empty urinals and realized he did kind of have to piss. Took care of it with trembling fingers and a visualization exercise or three to keep his Devon-induced erection at bay. Went to the sink to wash his hands and nearly jumped right out of his shoes when the bathroom door opened, and in strode the object of his fantasies.
This time, when Devon's eyes zeroed in on Nicky's, Nicky couldn't look away. Wanted to, didn't want to . . . didn't matter. Somehow, he couldn't move.
Devon stepped forward. Glided, more like—all grace and easy confidence—snatched up one of Nicky's wrists in a powerful hand and pulled him close. No words, which was probably for the best; Nicky doubted he'd have heard them anyway over his heart thudding in his ears or the Vader-esque rasping of his breath. Just a single silent look from Devon, long and piercing, more a statement than a question: Pay up, that look said. Make good on every single thing you haven’t been saying for the last hour. I know you. I see you. You see me too.
Yes. God yes.
Nicky didn’t struggle when Devon forced his still-dripping hand against his crotch, made him use his pants like a towel—an expensive, pinstriped, tenting towel. Thank God the restaurant was dimly lit; otherwise his erection would show across the room. So would the giant wet spot.
But that was all the thought he gave it as Devon twisted his wrist, forcing Nicky's fingers against his own straining cock. Still Devon watched him carefully, so, so carefully, looking for the argument, the repulsion, the horror. Not expecting to find it, but looking nonetheless. Being responsible.
Nicky ducked his head and thrust his hips forward. I want what you’ve got.
But Devon just yanked Nicky’s wrist out to the side and shoved him so hard into the sink that he only stayed (mostly) quiet because Devon slapped one giant paw over his mouth.
He was still breathing through the pain in his back when Devon pulled his hand away and mashed his lips to Nicky’s, biting until Nicky opened his mouth in another breathless yell—half surprise, half pain, half Oh my God I'm being kissed by Devon fucking Turner, and yes, he was perfectly aware that made three halves, thank you very much. Who could care about things like that anyway when Devon’s tongue was parting his lips, when their crotches were grinding together so sweetly that it took only moments before Nicky thought—with what little thought remained—that a water-wet crotch would soon be the least of his problems.
Until Devon stopped, ripping away and shoving Nicky two-handed to the floor.
But that was okay. Heck, more than okay. Nicky could play this game. He could play it very, very well.
He swallowed a moan and crawled toward Devon’s feet, head down, ass up, inviting—Take what you want, his body said. Beat me, fuck me; preferably both at once.
“When I’m good and ready, whore.” Devon stepped on Nicky’s outstretched hand and sneered down at him with positively withering contempt. Nicky’s cheeks burned as hot as the tender flesh beneath Devon’s heel, but he made no attempt to pull his hand back, to stand up, to take back the offer he’d made. He rather liked it down here, after all. Always had.
But Devon just ran a hand through his hair, straightened his tie, lifted his foot from Nicky’s hand, and left the bathroom without another word.
Nicky waited until the door had closed behind Devon before rising to his feet. What the fuck had just happened? If not for the pain in his back and hand, the wetness at his crotch, and the tingle at his lips, he might have doubted it had happened at all. Too good to be true. Too odd to be true.
Except for the part where it was.
Bracing his hands against the sink, he blinked into the mirror and tried to compose his face into some semblance of normalcy. He did that for a living, for fuck’s sake; why was it so hard now? Faucet. Cold water splashed on hot cheeks with shaking fingers. Towel dry.
His erection was slowly fading. God only knew how long he’d been staring through the mirror, what his friends must be thinking about his absence. He pulled away and forced his feet to carry him back into the dining room—back to his table, to Devon—trying to pretend he wasn’t spending every conscious second wondering how Devon’s cock would taste shoved down his throat. 

Chapter 2

From the front row of the empty theater, Nicky's director sighed loudly enough to carry past the mezzanine.
The stage manager, clearly bored with feeding Nicky lines, read in a monotone from the script in his lap. “And then he will say to them: Anything you did for one of your brothers here, however humble, you did for me.”
Nicky whispered it once to cement it in his brain, then repeated it aloud, eyes roving about his castmates pretending to be sheep on their hands and knees.
He’d not seen too many sheep floating around Manhattan, but he was pretty certain they didn’t usually look so pissy.
Of course, he was pretending to be Jesus, and he was pretty certain the son of God didn’t grind near-strangers in a men’s room and then spend the next day forgetting his lines.
His castmates baaah’d in unison. One dead beat followed. Then another. He was really starting to hate this scene.
Robin elbowed him in the shin. Shit, his line again? He pointed—stage right? No, stage left. “For when I was hungry—”
“God, no!”
A-ha-ha, yeah, because that joke never gets old.
Nicky threw his director a sheepish (a-ha-ha) look and waited for the man to correct him.
“It’s ‘to the eternal fire, that has been ready for you with the devil and all his angels.’ Then‘For when I was hungry, blah blah blah. Jesus, Nicky”—and clearly, no joke intended this time—“what’s gotten into you today?”
Nicky shrugged. “Sorry, boss. Not feeling very well.”
What a lying liar he was. And an idiot, too; here he was in the starring role of fuckingGodspell, the fucking Broadway revival no less, and he couldn’t get his head out of his ass. Couldn’t stop thinking about dinner last night with his actor buddies and their actor buddies, about what it had been like to sit next to Mr. Devon Turner for an hour and a half.
About what had happened afterward.
“All right, you know what? Go home. Get some rest. Adam, get in there for him.”
His understudy peeled out of the house and up onto the stage in two seconds flat, and Nicky, relieved and not nearly as guilty as he knew he should be, offered apologies and a “See you tomorrow” to his castmates. A quick trip to his dressing room to change his clothes and wash the face paint off his right cheek, and then he’d be out of here. The faster he got home, the faster he could jerk off. Or not jerk off; he wondered how long he could deny himself tonight before going crazy, if he could manage to sleep without touching himself.
Without thinking of Devon.
He closed and locked his dressing room door, stripped off his Superman t-shirt, and stood in front of the mirror, twisting around with a hiss to examine the soreness at the small of his back. Shame there was no bruise. He pressed two fingers to the tender flesh and hissed again, smiling.
When I'm good and ready, whore, Devon had said. Threatened. Promised.
Hopefully he’d be ready soon. Still thinking of dinner (and dessert, definitely dessert), Nicky pulled on a t-shirt and a gray hoodie, jeans and sneakers, hung up his Superman tee, and left the dressing room, the strap of his courier bag slung right across the soreness Devon had caused.
His mind was turned so intently toward yesterday’s dinner, toward that moment of instant recognition—his “Domdar” pinging, Devon’s “subdar” clearly pinging just as loud—toward Devon’s laissez faire enjoyment of his food and his drink and all his company but Nicky, whom he’d ignored with such finesse after their encounter in the bathroom that Nicky wouldn’t even have noticed being ignored if he himself hadn’t been staring, fixated, at Devon’s hands, Devon’s mouth, the casual cruelty just beneath the surface of Devon’s boisterous, Ken-doll-handsome face . . .
So inward were his thoughts that when he walked past the last row of seats in the theater, he didn’t notice Devon.
A hand caught his wrist, squeezing hard, and his first thought was “Oh fuck, crazy fan.” Before he could wonder how said fan had gotten into the closed rehearsal, before he could even try to yank his arm away, a big body to match the big hand was pressing into his, lips touching his ear, warm breath whispering, “Not a sound, boy. Not one.” A thumb found its way into a pressure point on Nicky’s trapped wrist, just daring him to defy the order, but Nicky bit his lip and squeezed his eyes shut, held his breath and nodded.
“Macbeth ruins everything,” the whisper continued.
No shit. It was ridiculous to be so superstitious, but at the mention of that cursed play, he couldn’t help but cast a glance over his shoulder to make sure there wasn’t an electrical fire smoldering in the catwalk or an uncovered trap door on the stage.
“Say it, and it ends the night. ‘Macbeth.’ Understand?” The thumb dug deeper and Nicky choked off a grunt, nodded again, short and fast. “Say it now. Once. Practice.”
“Macbeth,” he whispered back, afraid if he spoke any louder, he’d shout, and the whole cast and crew would hear him. They already had enough reasons to be pissed at him.
“Good boy.”
Devon yanked Nicky out the auditorium, through the lobby, into the street. Hailing a cab in the Theater District was an art form, but people stopped for Devon Turner. Heck, some people even stopped for Nicky.
A car pulled over in seconds and Devon opened the door, dragged Nicky inside after him. “Manhattan Plaza, please,” Devon said to the driver as he fastened his seatbelt, never releasing his punishing hold on Nicky’s wrist.
Nicky didn’t bother wondering how Devon knew where he lived.
As the taxi merged into traffic, Devon leaned close and brushed his lips against Nicky’s ear. “I’m going to fuck you so raw your eyes will water every time you sit.” The words were harsh but the tone was a purr, a promise so hot Nicky’s breath caught. “Would you like that?”
No breath, no words. Nicky nodded instead.
“I’m going to make you scream. Not my name—just scream. Would you like that, too?”
Another breathless nod. He felt Devon’s lips curl into a smile against his earlobe, teeth latching on as Devon’s thumb, in perfect mirror, bit deep into Nicky’s wrist.
By the time they reached his apartment, Nicky was sweating and a little nauseous. The cab ride had been like every Manhattan cab ride, all sudden starts and stops and swerves and the vague stench of the thousands of asses that had warmed the backseat before him.
Devon’s grip hadn’t let up for a second, and the pain of that pressing thumb was deep, unrelenting, expanding with every passing moment until Nicky could think of nothing else—nothing but Devon, the power of the man, the power Nicky had granted him and just how, exactly, he planned to use it.

Okay... Your favorite time.... Giveaway Time!!!!
This will be the rule for all Giveaways this week...
All Giveaways will end Friday, November 18th at Midnight....
The winners will all be picked and announced....
Monday, November 21st!
Good luck!

Now time for Rachel's Giveaway!
Rachel has so kindly let me give away anything from her backlist... 
Except Crescendo. Not sure why!

What do I want from you.....
Well, you have to leave your email address ~ A MUST.
You have to be a follower of this blog ~ A MUST.
You must leave a comment or question for Rachel ~ A MUST!

Good Luck!

Master Class can be purchased at Riptide: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/master-class-master-class-1

To find me across the web, you can visit:
Email address: metarachel@gmail.com
Website URL: rachelhaimowitz.com
Blog URL: Rachel-haimowitz.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/RachelHaimowitz
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/rachel.haimowitz
Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4110966-rachel-haimowitz  

The Giveaway for Riptide: 

From October 1 to December 31, Riptde authors and editors will set sail on a massive
Grand Opening blog tour! 

We're gearing up for three months of games, prizes, interviews, chats, and scavenger hunts, and we'd love to have you along! At each stop along the tour, we'll be giving away great prizes - tons of books from our authors' backlists, swag by the boatload, gift ceritficates to All Romance Ebooks, and entries into the Grand Prize drawings for a Nook, a Kindle, and an iPad.

Go check it out!!!

And remember... Keep it Dirty, Smutty & Hussy!
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  1. I just bought Master Class and the Sublime short stories so I can read them all together

  2. I haven't read one of Rachels books yet, but the excerpt stirs my interest for sure!
    Greetings, Ina

    I'm already a follower.
    inale87 at gmx dot at

  3. Enjoyed reading the post.
    Master Class was a good book,i'm looking forward to reading hte next book in the series.


  4. I read Master Class and just downloaded SUBlime. So excited. We'll see what else you come up with.

    sabrinayala at gmail dot com

  5. great review and awesome giveaway

    rebeccabryant562 at hotmail dot com

    Q. where do you get your inspiration to write?

  6. Hi, Rachel.

    I enjoyed the inteview; it was a great read.

    Thank you for sharing 2 chapters of Master Class with us; they were great. This novel is on my must have list.

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  7. Great post! Thanks for the excerpt - I'm really looking forward to reading Master Class :-)

    smaccall AT comcast.net

  8. I am looking forward to reading Master Class. I purchased a copy of Anchored at AAD this year but I haven't had a chance to read it yet!
    GFC follower

  9. Q: How many books will have Master Class?
    Thanks for the large excerpt.

  10. I forgot it! mariaml254 at yahoo dot com

  11. I'm intrigued by your views and experiences in the BDSM world. It has me intrigued to read one of your books which I have yet to do. But your books are definitely on my wishlist.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  12. @Emmettmke: Thank you! I hope you enjoy them :)

    @Ina: Thanks for stopping by!

    @Elaing8: So glad to hear you enjoyed Master Class :) Sublime is very different--vignettes, snapshots rather than a contiguous story--but I hope you'll enjoy that too.

    @Bookishly Awesome: Thanks kindly! I'm currently neck deep (about 55,000 words so far) in a super-kinky total power exchange novel I'm co-writing with Cat Grant. It's been absolutely flying, so I'm cautiously hopeful we can have it more or less done by the end of January, maybe even the end of the year, and out sometime in the late spring.

    @Becca: Inspiration definitely comes from everywhere. Like the immortals/organ ring story, sometimes things just hit you over the head. I do consume a lot of media in my free time--books, tv, movies, theater--and sometimes that'll trigger an idea too. Sometimes just being out with friends or family can do the same.

    @Tracey D: Hello again! :) Thanks for stopping by, Tracey!

    @Bookwyrm369: Thank you very much--I hope you enjoy it!

    @Jen B: Hi Jen! I know what you mean re: AAD; I came home from there with so many books I've barely even begun to dent that pile. Hope you enjoy it when the time comes!

    @Maria: Tough to say right now. So far there are two: the short novella (Master Class), and the collection of ten vignettes (Sublime). I have a whole world of stories in my head with those two boys, but whether or not they ever get down on paper? Who knows. I'm about 13,000 words into a new story with them, but it got put on hold to work on a crazy kinky total power exchange novel with Cat Grant (although Devon and Nicky from Master Class will be making a cameo in the TPE novel :D). I'll probably go back to that other story when we wrap up the TPE book. Eventually, I'd like to tell the whole story of Nicky's training and his and Devon's eventual long-term commitment, and I suspect I'll tell it in a bunch of only loosely connected novellas over the next few years.

    @Joder: Thank you :) Master Class is probably a really good place to start for that if you're looking for a BDSM read.

  13. I went to look for the post at Nina's and didn't see it. If anyone else finds it, let me know, because I'm curious what sparked the Belonging-verse.

    Not entering since I have Rachel's entire backlist already. =)

  14. @Adara: Hello! Bah, seems I forgot the specific link, but it's http://ninapierce.com/blog/one-world-over-the-barely-au-and-the-birth-of-anchored/

    There are links to a bunch of other Anchored bonus content too at http://www.rachelhaimowitz.com/anchored-belonging-book-one.html, and also at http://belongingverse.com.

  15. Loved Masterclass and as a result have picked up counterpoint... Just need to slip it into my to read pile :-D

    Sarah S


  16. Hey everyone!!! I want to thank you all for coming over and taking a peek here! I hope you are all having a great time!!! Hugs to you all!

    Rachel, thank you for coming over to my place and hanging with us!!!! It has been great!

  17. @Sarah: They're definitely two very different styles and story types, but I hope you'll enjoy Counterpoint as much as you liked Master Class, and thanks so much for reading! :D

    @Cecile: Thanks for having me and all the Riptide crew--you're a great host!


I want to thank you for stopping by my place... I hope to see you again!!
I hope you enjoy my little bloggie home as much as I do!
With hugs, love and smiles... Cecile

My Fictional Smutty Boyfriend.... =)