Thursday, October 17, 2019

Cleaning!!!!!

Sick truth is I watch cleaning videos to relax. I know it might some like a nightmare but it gives me new ideas, educates me, and inspires me.

Things I do every day:
1) Make my bed
2) Spot vacuum floors
3) Laundry 1 load of clothing 1 load of towels (smaller loads = less time folding & putting away)
4) Errands
5) Reset the room I'm leaving
6) One of the things from my cleaning schedule

*** Resetting a room means before I leave a room everything is returned to it's place. Resetting is probably the biggest habit I have that keeps my world calm.
But to reset everything has a place. If things don't have a home things can become cluttered.

**Decluttering your items is essential for your peace of mind and your calmness of space.**

My informal cleaning schedules:
Monday: Bathrooms
Tuesday: Dust & Vacuum 2nd floor (Review refrigerator: clean & toss & plan)
Wednesday: Dust & Vacuum 1st floor
Thursday: Clean car
Friday: Organize something
Saturday: LOL > nothing unless I have to
Sunday: LOL  > nothing unless I have to
or (if I have less time I use this schedule)
Monday: Dusting
Tuesday: Vacuuming & Mopping
Wednesday: Kitchen deep clean (everything off the counters)
Thursday: Organize something
Friday: Deep clean something/Errands
Saturday: LOL  > nothing unless I have to
Sunday: LOL  > nothing unless I have to

I'd be remiss not to include Zack and Andrew. Yes, cleaning & organizing is HOT! At least Zack thinks so... it's the control. When your environment is clean and organized it suggests you're in control of yourself and your world and sometimes NOTHING IS HOTTER.


Rejected. Heartbroken. Devastated.

Zack Davis wanted to serve only one man, Andrew Nikeman. He was denied because Andrew thought he was too young and because their brothers were together. So Zack crushed his submissive tendencies and focused on being the perfect Dom, giving every sub he played with something he couldn’t have.

After years of denying his submissive side, Entwined’s charity auction “Are you Dom Enough to be a sub?” gives Zack an excuse to get a little of what he’s always craved.

Andrew doesn’t know when his infatuation turned into more, but it kills him to see Zack with a constant parade of submissives. He’d refused to jeopardize his brother’s relationship or become Zack’s regret; however, Zack isn’t a kid anymore, and his brother’s relationship is unbreakable. Now Zack’s popularity and success as a Dom might ruin Andrew’s dreams of collaring him, but he can’t wait any longer to confess his feelings or he risks losing the man he loves forever.




Happy Cleaning!
Hugs, Z.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Heartbroken Characters... Meet Blaze Parker


My plots bunnies hop over to me with an emotionally wounded and scarred. Maybe it’s my Masters in Psychology but I feel the need to understand why they are acting a certain way. So when this entered into my brain:

Olympian Blaze Parker doesn't do relationship longer than twenty minutes until he brings home rock star Drake Keys.

I went crazy trying to find out why? How did Blaze get so hurt he didn’t want a relationship? (Note: I knew he wasn’t aromantic because he wanted love and companionship but wouldn’t allow himself to have it.) Why? Why! WHY!

Excerpt for Rocking Thin Ice:
It happened seven years ago, but every sharp and painful detail had etched itself into his brain like the drama went down yesterday. He had been such an idiot. 

He couldn’t believe he’d gotten his first invitation to a party thrown by the other skaters. Maybe they were finally accepting him. But even better, Trent would be there. 

During the party, Blaze had sat mostly by himself in a chair off to one corner as the others talked in little groups scattered around the room. 

He felt like an outsider, observing them, until Trent approached him. 

“You want to go someplace and... talk?”


Trent’s invitation had Blaze tripping up the stairs after him like an eager puppy.

There wasn’t much talking. Trent unzipped his pants and asked,
“So, Blaze, do you spit or swallow?”

“I gargle. Want to see?” Blaze tried to be bold yet graceful as he dropped to his knees. He was thrilled to have the guy he was half in love with offer him exactly what he wanted to do. 

Even now, mortification swamped him. He hadn’t had much experience, but he’d idolized Trent since he was ten, so he never even considered Trent didn’t feel the same way. 

Rooted in his brain was how calmly his older brother, Luke, took the fact that Blaze had become infamous at eighteen. Trent and his friends had posted the G-rated parts of the hidden video they had taken, ensuring Trent remained anonymous but Blaze’s stupid comment could be heard, and the bobbing of his head clearly implied everything that happened. As much as Blaze missed his parents, he was grateful they hadn’t been alive to see him humiliated in such a way. 

His coach had already been on him about being too gay. Blaze had tried being more masculine. He wanted to please his coach and the judges, he really did, but that simply wasn’t him. His scores suffered for his inability to pretend to be someone he wasn’t. 

The announcer broke into Blaze’s trip down Bullshit Lane.


So not only was Blaze betrayed by his crush in his mind he had lost everything. His hurt morphed into anger because rage is easier to vent then sadness. He was forever changed by those terrible events but as with many horrible things life can throw at us, there’s usually a silver lining. This path leads him however indirectly to something or someone he never expected.


Here’s Rocking Thin Ice’s Blurb:
Can a sexy rock star show a relationship-phobic ice skater that there’s more to life than gold medals?  

When ice-skating’s bad boy Blaze first glimpses Drake, every fantasy he’s ever had flares to life. Not only is rock star Drake sexy as sin, his songs awaken a longing in Blaze that he’s denied for years. But Blaze Parker doesn’t believe in relationships—at least not those that last more than twenty minutes. 

Drake Keys has dreamed about the sensual ice skater for years. When Drake is kicked out of his band because of his bisexuality, he drives across the country to finally see the man he’s had a crush on skate live.   

Though the attraction is instant and intense, both Blaze and Drake have baggage that puts any relationship on thin ice. Blaze is driven by a long-ago betrayal to prove himself a champion, and Drake, uncertain about the future, hopes to resurrect his music career. As they take a road trip together, Drake romances Blaze, hoping to melt his heart and show him that love is possible… but not without some tough decisions.


BUY LINKS
Dreamspinner:


Sooooooo even as heartbroken plot bunnies hop over to me I will happily ever end their sweet little asses whenever I can! 

Many hugs, Z. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Zombies Suck






As you know I've re-written, re-covered, and re-edited the entire series. Club Zombies 1-3 will be out by the end of 2019.
I'm currently working on Club Zombie #4:  Zombies Blow.
I've decided to put the series in Kindle Unlimited and on Amazon. I'm hoping folks who don't know me will give my zombies a chance.
Remember Z. Allora's zombies are hot & aching to find their mates!

Zombies suck... but mine swallow!



Here's the blurb: 



Forget undead corpses searching for brains. These zombies crave a different kind of head that keeps them young forever. Club Zombie offers a safe haven, providing sexy ways to extract what zombies need from patrons, and the opportunity to find their destined mate.

Alex Waterman lives in a desolate world of loneliness and suffering until discovering… it’s not his life. Suddenly he’s swept away to a place where his desires aren’t evil—they’re a mark of the dominant he’s born to be—and appreciative stares and aggressive flirting replace fear and self-loathing. But one-night stands aren’t on the menu: Alex seeks “the one” to complete the missing piece of his soul.

Boy-next-door Ulrich calls to Alex, as does the gorgeous but self-destructive Cutter, and an element of irresistible danger clings to bad boy Storm. How can Alex decide between three tempting possibilities?

Maybe he should keep them all…

This is a sexy happily ever after with much lighthearted fun. Zombies suck but mine swallow.




Thursday, September 19, 2019

Interview I did on Editing


 As I'm in the process of re-editing my Club Zombie series for the third time I can tell you I've learned the importance of a professional editor, copy editor, and proofer. 
(Also fascinating how much I've changed as a writing since these were first released by Stiff Rain 10 years ago)

The Interview on Editing
1)    Tell us a bit about you and your writing (e.g. what do you write, how did you get into it, are you with a small press or do you self-pub?)
I write rainbow romances involving BDSM, and contemporary about characters who are on the fringes and edges. I explore different orientations like demi-sexual, pansexual, BDSM-oriented, etc. as well as writing about people scattered along the gender spectrum. My goal is to validate everyone’s experience.

I partner with Dreamspinner Press on most of my work but I’ve done some self-publishing for the books that need more of a niche audience. Like I’ve just re-edited and re-covered my Club Zombie series polishing the book for their first release on Kindle Unlimited later this summer.

2)    What do you enjoy most about the editing process?
Polishing my words and stories so everyone can enjoy my Z. speak. Each round from rough draft to beta readers/critique partners to editors to proofing the manuscript becomes more of what is in my head. The process is thrilling. I’m so appreciative of all the wonderful people who spend time on my words to make sure I’m getting all my words on the page.

3)    What do you find hardest about the editing process?
Sometimes when someone finds something I’ve missed a thousand times or something I didn’t mean a certain way gets picked up I’m happy but I feel incredibly stupid for having missed that.

4)    What are your general thoughts on editing as part of the overall publishing process?
Authors should understand what their priorities are. Is it to write a best seller or to write your heart song. I define heart song as the story you long to tell but you don’t know if you’ll find the audience for it.
Yes, I know everyone wants to do both… awesome but only a handful of authors are able to do both. Everyone else needs to understand the consequences of their decision.
If you’re writing in a popular genre and sub-genre which is consistent to your brand chances are you will do as well as you do with your other such books in your backlist.
However, if you’re writing your heart song that may only be read by your core fans, then you need to be okay with that. Granted it might be a huge hit if so great but the reward to writing exactly what you want is just that: writing exactly what you wanted while not caring about the market or your intended audience.


5)    What are your top editing-related tips for authors?
A) Listen to your trusted beta/critique partner/editors. Take a day or a week to sit with the feedback given to you. See what makes sense. Ask them clarifying questions. (Keep in mind these are the people who don’t want you kicked in the teeth in reviews. Remember you trust them, that’s why you have asked them for feedback.)
B) Paint with paragraphs. Most readers don’t like long paragraphs with a ton of stuff happening. It’s difficult to keep it all straight, and skimming can result. (Keep in mind if you write romance, you want the readers come to with you on a journey of love and excitement so they need all the important parts.)
I love white space. It moves the reader and allows them a moment so the action or dialogue can have impact before moving to the next thing.
C) Sex scenes are about connection and love (usually if it’s a romance). This isn’t about you and what you do or don’t do in the bedroom. Allow the characters to be themselves.
D) Read dialogue out loud. (Keep in mind where they are from, where they live, their educational background all impacts their word choice and how they speak.)
E) Know your brand and your audience. No matter how awesome a hamburger joint is it’s not going to do well in a vegan town… It’s not about the burgers it’s the wrong audience.
Don’t try to force a romance reader to choke down non-happily ever after (unless you’re branding yourself as such). Fulfil your contract with the reader to the best of your ability. Brand yourself accurately.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Social Media as Rocking Thin Ice’s Matchmaker


In a long ago dark time before the Internet, I found my own true love by taking out a personal ad, so I’m always fascinated to explore how hook-up/dating sites and social media play a part in today’s romance. Many real-life romances I know of have started with the use of a phone app, a retweet, or a Facebook like.

We live in an age where people can Google you, and see what you are doing via your social media presence. It’s exciting and a bit worrisome but I must admit I love the idea of websites helping people find love for thirty minutes or love for a lifetime.  

My guitarist Drake Keys has watched Blaze Parker skate on YouTube for years. He follows him on Twitter, and since he’s made a name for himself as Midnight Shadow’s guitarist he’s thrilled when Blaze Parker likes one of his tweets.

Blaze isn’t immune to likes either.

Check out this excerpt of Rocking Thin Ice:
Blaze checked his Instagram. Pictures of last nights competition got a little under ten thousand hits. Not bad. He checked his Twitter.

A shiver of excitement ran through him when his notification said Drake Keys liked three of his posts. No big deal. He had several actors, actresses, and singers following him. But every time the guitar player hearted his entry, it felt like the ultimate approval.


He loved that hed be skating to music Drake Keys helped create. Scrolling through the pictures Drake posted, Blaze caught his breath on oneDrake onstage, playing the guitar, his head thrown back like the picture captured him in the middle of ecstasy. Each frozen pose held poetry in his body language that spoke to Blaze.
Blaze caught himself. Stupid, but he couldnt stop from liking a couple of Drakes pictures, but not all, because he didnt want to look like he rode the like train to Stalkerville.
He saved the one of Drake onstage. Was that his orgasm face?
Drake orgasming... the thought got lodged in Blazes brain, so he jerked off to the delicious vision.


May you find your happiness with or without social media!

Thank you for letting me share Blaze and Drake with you. I hope this introduction to Drake and Blaze has whet your appetite for more.


 

Rocking Thin Ice’s Blurb
Can a sexy rock star show a relationship-phobic ice skater that there’s more to life than gold medals?  

When ice-skating’s bad boy Blaze first glimpses Drake, every fantasy he’s ever had flares to life. Not only is rock star Drake sexy as sin, his songs awaken a longing in Blaze that he’s denied for years. But Blaze Parker doesn’t believe in relationships—at least not those that last more than twenty minutes. 

Drake Keys has dreamed about the sensual ice skater for years. When Drake is kicked out of his band because of his bisexuality, he drives across the country to finally see the man he’s had a crush on skate live.   

Though the attraction is instant and intense, both Blaze and Drake have baggage that puts any relationship on thin ice. Blaze is driven by a long-ago betrayal to prove himself a champion, and Drake, uncertain about the future, hopes to resurrect his music career. As they take a road trip together, Drake romances Blaze, hoping to melt his heart and show him that love is possible… but not without some tough decisions.

BUY LINKS
Dreamspinner:


Big hugs, Z.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Know The Definitions of Labels You Use


Whenever labels are used I always worry we will use them to pathologize (to treat as unhealthy or abnormal) or that those labels are used to justify certain actions or behaviors without looking deeper.

BDSM roles/labels often get negative assumptions slopped on them because people’s definitions can be sketchy. We’ve talked about how subs are not doormats a lot but people still can see subs as less than. People who identify as sadists can be seen as psychopaths. People who identify as Dom/Master/Mistresses/Top can also be seen as uncaring, overbearing assholes… now while that is the case for some it has nothing to do with the definition of their role.

Identifying with one role does not completely describe any single one of us, so let’s try not to paint with a wide brush.

I’m going to share an excerpt from Secured and Free because my researcher Orion can explain it better than I can.


Excerpt from Secured and Free:

Orion opted to ask Marcus a question. “So do you really identify as a sadist?”

“It’s what I am. I don’t mind labels....”

Orion added, “As long as they aren’t used to pathologize....” “What?” Marcus stared at him.

“Sometimes people take a label and then make sweeping assumptions about every person who identifies with that label, or the label is used like a diagnosis that may or may not fit.”

Marcus exhaled hard. “Yeah, like when I say sadist, everyone jumps to Silence of the Lambs.”

“My guess is most people don’t understand the difference between sociopath, psychopath, and sadist. And they probably assume every sadist expresses himself or herself the same way.”
Marcus made a quiet noise and changed the color he used.

Orion erupted with facts. “Did you know that sadists have a greater capacity to have their amygdala stimulated?”

Marcus stopped coloring, dropped his marker, and raised his head. His big eyes probably took in Orion’s nervousness. His lips turned up, and one perfectly shaped eyebrow arched. “Are you talking dirty to me, Orion?”

“Only if you want me to.” Marcus opened his mouth, but Orion didn’t want to go down that path, so he shook his head. “Um, the amygdala is part of the brain that’s connected with strong emotion.”

Marcus leaned forward, put his elbows on the table, and started playing with his purple strands. “Oh.”

Did the man realize how sexy that twirl-twist action was? The slow, rhythmic, sensual swirling of Marcus’s hair made Orion hard. Ah, from the knowing expression, Marcus understood exactly what he was doing.

Orion shook his head to think beyond the lust. What was he saying? “Um, yeah, usually a sadist is super tuned in to what others are feeling.”
Sitting back, Marcus gripped the table. “Yeah, I don’t need someone on a mental crucifix experiencing anguish, but I’m into witnessing the exquisite sensations I’m providing someone else.... The intensity....”

He raked his fingers through his hair. “It’s perfection.”

Holy fuck! Orion wanted to beg him to share the depths of power exchange. No words came to mind, and the moment dragged out between them.

Marcus grabbed Orion’s hand. “You’re trembling.”

Orion couldn’t meet his gaze, so he stared at his half-colored mandala. He was desperate to taste the extremes Marcus could offer, but there was no path between that desire and action.
Marcus studied him, which caused Orion to shift in his seat.

He beat a hasty retreat to the safety of his mind, reaching into the files where he stored information on studies. “Do you believe in Decety’s theory of sadism?”

“What? Who? Dirty talking to me again, you tease.” Marcus’s russet eyes sparkled, and his dark red lips twitched.

Orion grabbed on to facts to allow himself some sanity. “The concept that love and pain are somehow linked in infancy and that connection creates the sadist’s hunger to mix the two.”
Marcus shook his head. “My mother, who I love very much, never hurt me or laid a hand on me. So that isn’t me.”

At the risk of sounding like he was conducting research, Orion asked, “So why do you suppose your sadistic tendencies developed?”

A pop song came on. The bouncing music and lyrics seemed to make their conversation heavier.
Marcus shrugged and leaned forward. “I can’t speak for everyone, but I have a theory about how I became me....”

Excitement spiked within Orion. He’d already guessed Marcus wasn’t the type of person to build himself up at the expense of those around him, and he wouldn’t get off on someone cowering in fear. But begging to come—

Focus. “Yes?”

“Masochists get off on pain.” Marcus tugged on his hair.

Orion nodded in complete understanding. “Yes, we’re sexually gratified by physical and sometimes mental pain. It fulfills a need others don’t have.”

“Subs want to serve. Masochists want to hurt.”

The oversimplification didn’t liquefy Orion, but the wave of desire almost drowned him. He yearned to do both of those things for someone worthy.

“Well, as a masochist, I crave that torment, and as a sadist, I want to provide the pleasure of pain to others.”

“So the sensation you seek is what you give?” Orion asked. “And with your heightened senses, you might even experience a scene in some ways more fully than a Dom.”

“Exactly!” Marcus exclaimed. “I think you’re the first person to get what I’m saying.”

Yes—no! Backing up. “Well, there’s not a lot of research on sadists. There would be ethical issues, but there was a study that showed sadists aren’t that rare.”

Marcus opened his eyes wider. “Really? What study?”

Orion loved that Marcus wasn’t put off by his verbal deluge. He got off on sharing information; maybe he really should have listened to his parents and gone into teaching. “A couple of years ago, Dr. Paulhus published a study in Psychological Science. Students were asked to choose among distasteful work tasks. Over 50 percent chose to be exterminators or exterminator’s assistants as opposed to cleaning toilets or enduring pain from ice water.”

Marcus frowned and tilted his head. “Okay?”

“The bug killers were given three bugs in a container. The bugs were given cutesy names like Muffin. The exterminators needed to drop the bugs into a coffee grinder.”

Marcus scrunched his face. “Ew!”

“Don’t worry, there was a hidden compartment. No bugs were hurt. But the machine made crunching sounds.”

Marcus winced. “That’s sick! I couldn’t do that.”

“A couple of subjects quit, but some asked for more bugs....” “Really?” Marcus appeared green and about ready to make a run to the trash bin.

Nodding, Orion continued, “In later studies, Dr. Paulhus had subjects compete, using computer games in separate rooms. The winner could blast the loser with noise from zero to ten, even though the winner had to finish a boring assignment if they wanted to blare noise. The subjects who scored high on the sadistic tendencies would go out of their way to punish the loser. And it wasn’t even about retaliation, because when the subject lost, the participant who was connected to the experiment always chose zero.”

Marcus hmmmed.

“Dr. Paulhus believed this showed sadists are not rare but vary in degree of expression. Sadists function like everyone else. I mean, of course you know that.”

Marcus chuckled. “But even though I’m a sadist, I wouldn’t want to blast noise for the fuck of it.”

“Exactly. I also never understood why most depictions of people who are sadistic also characterize them as being psychopaths.”

Marcus twirled a marker between his fingers. “Okay? Why?”

“Psychopaths hurt people as a byproduct of getting what they want, whereas a sadist will make an effort to hurt people because they want to experience the pain through their subject.” Orion couldn’t seem to shut up. “That, and psychopaths lack empathy.... I guess movies linking sadism with psychopathic personalities don’t ring true for me. Not that there aren’t some people who might be both, but I think it would be the exception not the rule.” Orion’s dissertation ground to a halt.

Marcus nodded. “It’s true. I’m all about the empathy... but I wouldn’t want to hurt or inflict pain on someone who wasn’t going to get into it. I need them to want the sensation.”

Orion would so get into the pain Marcus could offer and love every excruciating second of whatever—

No! “I think when we step away from the labels and strict definitions, we find that most things are on a spectrum.”

“So I’m on the sadistic spectrum?” Marcus asked.

“Yes, and your streak of masochism pulls you off the median.” Seeing he’d lost his coloring partner, he clarified, “Top of the bell curve.”

“Off-center?”

“Right.” Orion added purples to his mandala.

Marcus cleared his throat and swapped out his markers for silver and gold. “That’s why Hunter and I need a third. Someone who can enjoy the pain I want to share and be submissive to Hunt.”
Orion saw one problem. “Hunter doesn’t—”

“I can play the sub for Hunter, but I don’t long for direction. Following instructions and staying within boundaries, that’s just not me.” Marcus made quick strokes of the gold along the rim of his artwork. “He’s not into the sensation I need to share. Though he’d tolerate it for me, I want to do that with someone who craves pain... who needs the experience as much as I do. To have someone allow me to make them feel to that extent is heady. In his profession, pain doesn’t equal good.”



How people express/experience BDSM roles are unique and individual. But understanding the basic definitions and then making sure those actually fit can help.


Entwined Dreams: Book Two      Secured and Free
An abusive Dom robbed Orion Gordon of his love of BDSM, destroying his confidence and leaving him unsure he’ll ever find peace through submission to another. Still, deep inside, his longing continues.
Marcus Sadir loves Hunter Dixon, yet can’t be the one thing Hunter truly desires: a sub to control. And Hunter can’t find satisfaction in the sadistic aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, while Marcus thrives on inflicting and sharing pain. When Marcus convinces Hunter they should find a third on a permanent basis, they discover Orion might be the key to bridging their differences and joining them on a deeper level.
But they must help Orion move past his trauma enough for him to enjoy new facets of BDSM and kink again. Their journey toward becoming whole—together—won’t be without challenges. Can Orion trust enough to try again?



Buy Links


Always seek your own truth.

I’d love to hear from you so comment here or use the contact information to touch base with me privately.

Many hugs,
Z. Allora

To contact Z. Allora:
E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com
FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora
Twitter: @ZAllora
Dreamspinner: https://bit.ly/2Jv14r1

BIO: Z. Allora believes in happily ever after for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her the opportunity to open hearts and change minds.