Category Archives: Whatsits

Happy Birthday Focus on Fantasy Romance!

I love the ladies over at Focus on Fantasy Romance. They are fun and eager to work with anyone. They actually hosted like six of us at once when we were promoting Crazy Spring Called Love and it was a blast.

So, I am of course delighted to celebrate their first birthday!

Go to here to win books, ebooks, hair jewelry and other miscellaneous swag, and whatever their bonus prizes are.  Contest runs until August 25th, but even if you miss the chance to win stuff, do check them out. Focus on Fantasy Romance is a clever, fun podcast talking about one of my favorite genres. Help them grow!

test banner

Love Across The Universe: Excerpt from Breathless

Love Across the Universe

Twelve Stories of Science Fiction Romance

Set on Intergalactic Shores

 3D Love Across the Universe

NOW AVAILABLE

From Stars and Stone Books

 

Amazon iBooks Kobo GooglePlay

 

Summer love is summer love, no matter the planet. Climb aboard your spacecraft and travel across the universe with these twelve tales of love on beaches in the future and among the stars.


Breathless: by L.J. Longo

A soldier and a café manager find themselves trapped beneath the surface of a resort by the deadly beasts native to the planet. As they fight to survive, they discover danger is a potent aphrodisiac.

 

As part of a hidden military outfit protecting rich civilians as they vacation on the resort planet Pangaea, Nathan Oyola planned to keep secrets, fight aliens, and maybe tan under the rays of an artificial sun.  What he did not expect was to fall for his so-called boss, the manager of the café located directly above the aliens’ nest. When the native wildlife starts behaving more aggressive and strange than usual, how will Nathan keep them secret and keep his new-found love safe.

 

Excerpt:

“Mott. Your little girlfriend is early again. Tell him to f— off.”

Sarge marches at the front of the company, but her voice carries over the bloated carcasses of tonight’s kills—about twenty ten-footers. My platoon guards the rear in case their stench attracts more roaches looking for an easy meal.

When I look past the pile of tentacles and blood to the omni-pit’s mouth, the concrete is bleach white. Overhead UVs are on. Tianjin Ki is in the warehouse above.

“10-4, ma’am.”

The company chuckles as I jog by. Even the grunts know I’ve got a thing for our boss, but the idea of Old Iron-Jaw dating the planet resource manager makes them laugh.

And it should. It’s fucking ridiculous. Tianjin Ki can do better than a lead-head.

I hand my ruck to Sarge as she asks, “You got a clean apron?”

“Nope. But I got a dirty one.” I hand her my helmet and head to H.Q.

“Mott!” Sarge barks.

I turn, my Shock-87 raised, radiating heat in my metal hand, ready to roast.

Not exactly civilian attire.

“Oh.” I kill the charge and hand Sarge my gun and my clips. She smiles, wrinkling the scarred skin around her unblinking electric eyes. “Wash-up good, lover-boy. Gotta look cuddly for Mr. Ki.”

There’s nothing cuddly about my face. I see it when I change my BDU for my civvies and Moon Kaa apron in H.Q. Or more accurately, I see the cybernetic gleam of my jaw and right forearm because the shadows have swallowed my dark skin. What’s left of my reflection is a half-metal ox squeezed into a too-tight uniform shirt. Just some asshole cyborg impersonating a civilian. Badly.

My platoon strips the shells and hacks through thoraxes. Ro-Jo, my second-in-command, finds time to tease. “Take one for the team, Iron-Jaw.”

I wave her off and ignore the platoon’s chuckles, until How-Town pipes in. “Yeah, maybe if you treat Ki real nice, we’ll get a raise.”

I scowl at him from the stair and the laughter silences. How-Town, only six months on the roach path, holds a machete like it’s a teddy bear and quivers under my glare.

“Sorry, sir. I didn’t mean to speak out of turn.”

“You better be sorry,” I answer somberly. “I always treat my bitches nice.”

The platoon laughs and returns to liquefying the dead roaches.

There’s a galaxy of tubes and conveyor belts overhead that connect the port to fifty feet of stock shelves. Moon-Kaa Cafe is the largest restaurant on the planet, which isn’t as impressive as it sounds since BABs has only been inhabited for fifteen years. Still, the fresh water ocean, the miles of green beach, the dozens of luxury resorts bring vacationers from all over the galaxy. The visitors outnumber the permanent population by six to one. And nearly all of them will eat at least once at Moon-Kaa Cafe.

Tianjin Ki’s office stands next to the shelves with windows to the warehouse and the backroom. The door’s propped open. Too early for him to do paperwork. He’s in the backroom—I glimpse his milky skin, his red tie through the shelves. Doing our job.

Tianjin can do every job at every resort on this fucking planet with about ten minutes notice. Not only does he open the cafe three or four days a week, I’ve seen him pull shifts at the deli when Graham had the flu and at Quassar’s grill to give Ms. Jessica time off to plan her daughter’s wedding. Once I spotted him at The Boiler Room behind the bar, which still makes my heart flip a little. I don’t think he saw me, though I’d never managed the courage to visit the men’s only club afterward. If he saw me, he recognized me. The crowd was entirely vacationers. Besides, there are precious few cyborgs on BABs. They all work nights at Moon-Kaa Cafe.

Tianjin steps into my full view, pausing before the sliding doors between the kitchen and the shelves. He smiles for himself. That’s the kind of person he is. Sweet, cheerful. Even with all his power, Tianjin says ‘thank you’ to the lead-head who takes out the trash.

Even across the warehouse, I can appreciate the crispness of his white shirt on his slender shoulders, the neatness of his sleek black ponytail, the way his trousers accentuate the curve of his ass.

I’d like to mess up every part of his calm.


About the Author:

L.J. Longo is a queer author, a geek, a feminist, sometime pirate, and is an ARe best-selling author of Erotic Romance. An Evernight author, L.J.’s work appears in The Dishonest LoverDark Captive: Manlove Edition, and Evasive Love. L.J.’s story “The Scarf” appears in Owned by the Alpha: Manlove Edition and the first book of L.J.’s first series, Hiring the Tiger: Heart of the Mountain is now available.

​Find more thoughtful, hot erotica at Graceful Indecency where L.J. offers free erotica and contests to win romance e-books. L.J. also sometimes takes a break from writing and messes around on Twitter and Facebook.


Amazon: L.J. Longo

 

Love Across the Universe

 Twelve Stories of Science Fiction Romance

Set on Intergalactic Shores

 3D Love Across the Universe

NOW AVAILABLE

From Stars and Stone Books

Amazon iBooks Kobo GooglePlay

Summer love is summer love, no matter the planet. Climb aboard your spacecraft and travel across the universe with these twelve tales of love on beaches in the future and among the stars. Includes stories by USA Today Bestselling Author Traci Douglass, Cara McKinnon, A.E. Hayes, Sheri Queen, M.T. DeSantis, L.J. Longo, K.W. Taylor, Mary Rogers, Elsa M. Carruthers, Emmerite Sundberg, Serena Jayne, and Oriana Maret.

Traci Douglass – “A Dream to Build a Kiss On”

A Dreamworld Short Novella

Can passion bloom between a bookish botanist and an analytical android?

 

Cara McKinnon – “The Pirates and the Pacifist”

Kai doesn’t believe in violence. Sam and Dek believe the ends justify the means. Will passion be enough to bridge the gap between the pacifist sent to broker galactic peace and the space pirates hired to keep him away at all costs?

A.E. Hayes – “Tristan’s Tryst”

One mysterious being. Two lovers who find her. Can this threesome handle the heat of this scorching summer?

Sheri Queen – “Red Sand”

If she can only save one thing, which will it be—the red beaches of Mars or a love she can’t imagine living without?

M.T. DeSantis – “The Princess of Sands”

Secrets and lies. Can they be each other’s freedom?

L.J. Longo – “Breathless”

The manager of a resort planet and the head of its secret defense unit team up to save the guests—and discover danger is a potent aphrodisiac.

Serena Jayne – “You Only Love Once”

Carpe diem the hell out of love.

K.W. Taylor – “Reprogramming”

Alex didn’t want to be marooned on an alien planet with a robot, but it may just be exactly what she needs.

Mary Rogers – “Breakfast on Pluto”

A chance meeting of two people unaware of their destiny with each other results in an unbreakable bond, but even duty has its boundaries. Will love help them break free—and will love be enough?

Elsa M. Carruthers – “All B+ut You”

In a world where looks are so important that Genetic Modification is standard procedure, how will those without Genetic Modification cope, let alone find love?

Emmerite Sundberg – “Fluid”

She’s everything she’s ever wanted but with one flaw—they can’t actually touch.

Love Across the Universe 3D Book Closeup sm.jpg

Get your copy of Love Across the Universe now!

Amazon iBooks Kobo GooglePlay

First Chapter of “Seaweed and Silk”

Crazy Little Spring Called Love: Eight Magical Stories of Fantasy Romance is coming soon! This delightful fantasy romance anthology features eight magical stories inspired by the awakenings and renewal of springtime. If you like fairies, djinn, gods and goddesses, druids, mermaids, magic, and true love, then pre-order on Amazon!


They gave me my own author page and cover: L.J. Longo – “Seaweed and Silk”

Seaweed and SIlk
Svildna is not the type of mermaid who suns herself on the ice all day. She can kill a shark, scour a keel, and patch a sail as easy as they comb their hair. So she’s more than capable of escorting The Apple Jack and its crew to the warmer southern waters. When a storm blows the ship off course, she finds herself in dangerous waters, under suspicion, and falling in love with the last man she’d expect.


Excerpt from “Seaweed and Silk”

“Gonna be a bitch of a storm.” Gekko grumbles at the bow over my head.

I can’t see nothing but sunrise water from my station below the bowsprit of The Apple Jack. The sky, redder than shark’s blood, bathes the ice flows and barely penetrates the black ocean. The breaking water flares around my tail in icy splashes, and I lean out of the merrow shelf, holding the metal bar. High above Gekko stands shivering on deck, bundled to her long green nose in her over-sized quilt.

“Well, look who’s here! Morning, Ms. Wizard. I never saw you up so early. You gonna disappoint the wolves and take your share of breakfast for a change?”

I’m not entirely sure what a wolf is. When I asked they said they could turn into wolves, that it was a kind of animal. Something like a shark only on land and in packs. Four men in our little eight-person crew are wolves.

The wind-chill reddens the tip of Gekko’s nose and floppy long ears. A goblin from the tropics, even a wizard like her, has no business being this far north. “Can you feel that storm, Seaweed?”

“I’m a mermaid, ain’t I?” I’ve given up on getting the crew to say my name. Svilnda is apparently too hard for land-dwellers. “Told Captain about it last night. By the course he set, he means to barrel under it before it breaks.”

“Hope we’re fast enough.” Gekko clutches her blankets tighter.

Hoping it will sooth her fears, I make a show of my magic and move a chunk of ice noisily away from the bit of metal, canvas, steam that keeps her afloat. “Captain knows what he’s doing.”

“More than you do certainly.” The goblin plops down at the bow and looks out at the wild water.

The waves chop across the horizon. Little mountains of white foam with only occasional towers of ice to break the endless ripple of the sea. Below the waves, a blue whale keens for her calf; I hear it in my mind. They’re running from the storm.

“Did you talk to Tan about this storm?” Gekko calls down.

Instantly, thoughts of the storm disappear, as if the danger of tumultuous skies cannot coexist with Tan and his warm smile.

It’s a funny thing about how his smile changes his face. He’s fierce ugly when you don’t know him. The fellow ‘s enormously tall and made of stone. I don’t know what race that makes him. Not one I’ve ever heard of, though I suspect stone-people don’t make a habit of swimming in deep water. With the pebbles across his face and arms grating when he talks and a bare chest that’s just a wide swathe of sheets of sliding stones which he only covered with a weird half-dress thing called an apron, he looks strange and hard. Until he notices you and he smiles. Then you hardly notice the pebbles and certainly when he start chatting in his deep voice or whistling soft, sweet melodies it’s hard not to like him.

The name Seaweed is Tan’s fault, but I’d never hold it against him. He was only teasing because I wear woven kelp instead of seashells. Seashells are for the mindless rich maids who sun themselves on the ice all day and comb their hair and flirt shamelessly with sailors and other idle fools. I’m not pretty, or rich, or idle. I’m a merrow who can scour your keel, weave you a seaweed shirt, or patch your sail. I can tan a seal skin and kill a shark better than I can comb my hair.

And sailors like Tan and the wolves never give me a second glance. In a way, I’m proud to be above their leering—means I’m part of the crew, not some pretty thing to look at—but I’m sometimes a little ashamed too. Everyone likes to be beautiful now and then.

Though Tan, when he smiles, can make anyone feel special.

“Seaweed! Did you—”

“Why would I talk to the ship cook about the storm?” Of course, that’s no reason to sit and smile thinkin’ about him when there’s a goblin wizard waiting for your half of the conversation. “What’s he gonna do? Bake it away?”

Gekko snorts. “Don’t be nasty, mermaid. Tan’s got more experience with ships than you ever will. Captain only hired you because you bid cheaper than any other merrow in the job auction. It was a mistake and I’m not much interested in being aboard the ship that suffers from a water-witch’s learning curve.”

I stare hard at the sea until I’m sure I’ve swallowed my pride. No sense in annoying the wizard. Not when she’s right.


Find the anthology on social media and online:

STARS AND STONE BOOKS: http://starsandstonebooks.com/
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34686292-crazy-little-spring-called-love
FACEBOOK RELEASE PARTY: https://www.facebook.com/events/2062183134008615/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/starsstonebooks
ANTHOLOGY WEBSITE: http://starsandstonebooks.com/crazy-little-spring-called -love

Shameless Slash Contest

Here’s the thing:

I love Slash Fanfiction.  I ship people in real life, so of course I got my start writing (and editing) m/m fanfiction. There’s an art to properly adapting to another author’s style and getting their character’s right, while adding appropriate sexiness.

For myself, I never keep it fanfiction. I find the kernal of the story and characters and let a new story and setting grow from the base.

Partly as an experiment, and partly because I have no publisher for these shorts yet, I’m making a contest. Right here. Right now.

Read my totally free stories from the category Shameless Slash Contest, and be the first to guess what novel/movie inspired this story in the comments and you’ll win a copy of my next book, The Dishonest Lover!

Find the stories here for the rest of December and January! Good luck.

the-dishonest-lover-evernightpublishing-dec2016
You know you want me for free…

The Dishonest Lover is an Editor’s Pick

Just found out in this latest round of edits, that my soon-to-be-released novel, The Dishonest Lover is an editor’s pick at Evernight Press!

I’m so excited to share this story with the world!

I’ll be honest… I’m not entirely sure what Editor’s Pick means.  I asked Evernight. It’s that seal on the cover because an editor really liked the novel. Personally, I’m choosing to believe due to the season, that this is a major award and my particular story single-handedly ushered some highly-imaginative, dazed but clearly precocious editor into the dawning of her sexual life.

You can find The Dishonest Lover here.

Probably major… Like the most major award ever… The Majorest!

From One Rural Queer to Another…

I met my friend when we were infants.  And although his dad was a doctor and mine worked at a paper factory, we were friends from kindergarten through fifth grade. I was never invited to play at his house, but we would meet every day he could in the summer. We sat on the school bus together during sixth – eight grades, though we never had any classes together and rarely spoke.  In high school, we did not have common friends, but we would spend hours talking about our fears of being ostracized, our confusion with sexual identity, and our constant desire to leave the rural place we were born and find out place in the outside world.

If you’ve heard my mugging stories, he’s the slight person who was with me in New York City, presenting as fem, when I fought off our attacker while I was presenting as male.

After that one trip, he returned to our hometown. I went to New Jersey and you know how that turned out.

In October 2005 while I was a sophomore in college, my friend committed suicide.

I’ll never know for certain if he was really gay or trans. But I do know it was the hate in that town that killed him.

I never thought I would see the day when the ugliness of my hometown would be given the kind of power that it has been given tonight.

By electing a sexist, homophobic, racist, abilist, anti-immigration, anti-Islam hate-monger, we have sent a message to every person in America who is different.  People like my friend are waking up to hear that the weak and frightened hatred of my in rural town – the hate and the fear that killed my friend – has the power.  We told every rural American who is not a typical white cisgendered male that they deserve to be hated and that they should be afraid. We told them their lives don’t matter.

I want to send a different message. I want people in those communities – the Muslims, the disabled, the racial minorities, but especially I want to tell the rural queers like me and my friend – there is nothing wrong with you.

You do not deserve hate.

You do not deserve blame.

You do not deserve to die.

If it seems like the majority of people in rural areas of America don’t want you, get out of the rural areas.  Please. If you live in among people who make you feel unsafe, get out.  If you live among people that make you hate yourself, get out.  If you are considering self-harm or suicide, change your location before you take your life. Please.

I’ll tell you the same thing I told my friend every single time I visited him. It’s hard to change. It’s scary to go to a new place.

But when you find people who will accept you for you, it’s worth it.

I promise.

Please, live.

Dark Captives in Print!

Just found this in my inbox!

Dear Authors,

 Your anthology is now available in print. It will appear on Amazon within one week, however highest royalties are earned through the createspace store.
Thank you!https://www.createspace.com/6646049

Everyone has a dark side… Dark Captive is an exclusive collection of dark erotic romance stories featuring alpha men with fierce sexual appetites. They’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. And they have their sights on one man. Possessive and bold, these heroes give their conquests exactly what they crave-to be taken … to be owned. Any resistance offered will be tested, but in the end love rules. Kidnapping, abduction, and sexual slavery are just a few of the titillating taboo themes in this hand-picked manlove anthology.

Taught First Writing Class

Today, I taught my first creative writing class for FELS.  I’ve lead workshops before and I’ve taught college level classes before, but this was the first time I got to do the thing I’m going to Grad school to do.

It was fun. Nerve-wracking, but fun.

This thing I must want to talk about is what this class really responded too. There were a couple things that made some people just light up and I think I ought to lead with those in the future.

First was the explanation of Hero + Conflict = Story which is what I called the course. I started by talking about writing techniques (pantsing vs. plotting). These are different writing techniques, both are valid ways to tackle a project.  A pantser “writes by the seat of their pants”, asks mainly “what if” questions, and make everything us as they go.  This means they sometime write into a wall, don’t know the end, and run out of steam.  Stephen King and Neil Gaiman and Nora Roberts are pantsers. A plotter is someone who meticulously organizes their story beforehand, asks mainly “what happens next”, and writes a pretty clean first draft.  This means plotters sometimes think about stories and never actually write them, get blocked if they run into a section of the story they have not outlined, or run out of inspiration and write dryly.  J.K. Rowlings, James Patterson, and J.R.R. Tolkien are plotters.

The basic building blocks of any story are a good central character and an interesting conflict. Someone we care about and the bad thing that happens to them.

For example, you can get away with a lot of the same story in a romance novel or murder mystery because we care about the character.  Sherlock Holmes, Monk, House, all rely on the same formula crazy guy solves mystery and it’s the strength of that character that makes these successful.  A romance reader knows the main characters will end up together and the writer has to have strong conflict and characters to “trick” the reader into believing they could fail.

At the same time, a writer can get away with having less interesting characters if the conflict is fever pitch height. There’s been a million movies about war, but we are still super interested in them because the stakes are so high. Action films and horror books can have flimsy characters and still be successful because of the conflict. Think about any movie or book you’ve read where you can describe the car chase or the plot, but refer to the lead as “that blond guy” or “the woman- you know… her-”

Obviously a writer wants to do both of these things at the same time.  We want a Rick from Casablanca, who’s cynic and romantic, a coward and a hero and we want to see him facing against the Nazi’s while choosing to lose the love of his life.  We want Isla from Frozen to have terrifying life-ending powers and free herself from confusion, repression, and fear at the same time.

So the most important things are having strong characters and getting them into trouble.

The final thing I talked about was the seven points of storytelling.

  1. A person
  2. in a place
  3. has a problem.
  4. They strive and fail to resolve it.
  5. Strive and fail.
  6. Strive and fail.
  7.  Resolution.

 

I read two stories to the class: “Carpathia” by Jesse Lee Kercheval and “Strongman” by Wendy White-Ring and walked them through seven points with those as examples.

Then I had the class point out to me the seven points in Little Red Riding Hood:

  1. Red Riding Hood
  2. Is in the woods between two safe places
  3. Where she meets a wolf.
  4. She fails to recognize the danger of the wolf’s charm
  5. She fails to listen to her mother’s advice to stay on the path
  6. She fails to recognize the wolf.
  7. She is eaten by the wolf (saved by hunter and learns her lesson).

 

I went on to tell the next part of the story and how the same structure is used as she gains knowledge and power.

  1. Little Red
  2. Goes into the woods a second time
  3. Where she meets a second wolf.
  4. She succeeds in not speaking to this wolf.
  5. She succeeds in staying on the path.
  6. She succeeds in getting wisdom from her grandmother.
  7. She and her grandmother drown the wolf.

The second part of the story is not as well known as the first because: sexism probably.  But also because the first can stand on its own, while the second on its own would be dull.  When Red never loses, when she does everything right she is not as interesting.

 

Then as a plotting exercise, we plotted a story based on the seven points.  The homework was to flesh this story out and to send me a story less than 10 pages to workshop by July.

Next class will start out with by using prompts we wrote  that day to pants a story. Then we will talk about some basics of character development.