Thursday, August 17, 2017

Inspiration for Sharing my Writing

 I've always written or re-written things.

About 7.5 years ago Adam Lambert pulled Tommy Ratliff's hair and kissed him at the AMA. Since I was living in China didn't hear or see this for several months. Here's the original:




I was first shocked anyone would have an issue with it. ((>>>>talk about filters & being sheltered... I couldn't imagine people having such problems over it!!!!!)) 

It kicked off me studying his concert performances across the USA via China's answer to YouTube:   YouKu. I discovered you could judge the homophobia of the state performed in based on how & if there was a kiss during the song Fever

I was enthralled. Of course, Jet Mykles Heaven Sent series was finally available in print (I didn't have a kindle at that point). Sooooo here was a hot rocker making a statement beyond his lyrics.

I dashed some words down... and then Adam Lambert's tour came to Asia. There were protests in Malaysia over fears of him turning their kids gay! Again, I found the lack of education and ignorance stunning. 

It made me realize I needed try to use my voice to promote equality... Hell even if my words weren't perfect maybe I could help forward the agenda of LOVE IS LOVE... I believe now as I believed than with every page we turn hearts and minds are changed. 

 

In 2014, I rewrote the original and republished it with 25,000 more words.  I will always be grateful for those of you who encouraged my early efforts. Thank you.

Many hugs and much love, Z.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Tied Together Was Tied to What?


Early Tokio Hotel fanfiction invites you to imagine twins... who like each other... a lot.
I played with the concept a bit in Tied Together. Though while there was no blood ties between Robin and Josh they were raised as brothers and have the same last name. So naturally the Dark Angels fans referred to them as twins...



This video in particular called to me. I imagined Robin being outgoing on stage but completely different offstage. (The personal vs public personas) When I rewrote this I showed more of his demons: his fear of abandonment, his anxiety, not accepting the kinky side of himself, a deep love he felt he shouldn't have for Josh...

 



Tied Together Blurb:
Josh has loved Robin since the day they met, although he never dared to follow his heart. After the two are kicked out of their house, a night of despair turns into a night of discovery, forever changing them both. One taste of his dream leaves Josh hungry for more, but Robin’s fear of abandonment forces him to pull back, denying them both.

Their fortunes changed. Josh and Robin are now in the limelight with legendary megaband The Dark Angels, but Robin is still the scared little boy inside the rock star who isn't convinced he won't be left behind. He clings tightly to the word "brother" because stepbrothers can't leave, right?

There's only one way for Josh to prove to Robin, now and forever, that the love tying them together can never be broken.





Thursday, August 3, 2017

Interview with Z. Allora by Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words




How much of yourself goes into a character?
A lot. I sculpt the character’s personalities & experiences based on my own life. My stories are set in places I’ve lived or visited (Thailand, China, Bali, Albany, South Carolina). My adoration for BDSM infiltrates almost every story. Several characters struggle with anxiety, which unfortunately I have too much experience with. Their professions echo my own jobs: I have my hair license in NY (like Andrew & Phillip). I’ve worked direct care in Human Services and I’m now writing (like Justin). It truly is easier to write what you know.

Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?
Usually my experiences with travel, or BDSM.  Although in Secured and Free, one of the Doms adores piercing play, but needles = allergy shots for me = NOT SEXY. Fate allowed me to meet Revi at YaoiCon2016. She really enjoys needle play and based on her experiences, needs and desires I was able to add to Marcus Satir’s motivation enriching his character.

In The Craving, I had to generate planets and a star system for my characters to live, which was fascinating. I had to come up with why they evolved (with only a few expectations) into bipeds. I loved coming up with each planet’s societal views on sex, love and relationships.

I spent many, many, many hours in Thailand clubs talking to the fascinating performers… Illusions & Dreams is set in a ladyboy club in Bangkok…. We can call in research if you like.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?
Absolutely! Romances with happy endings are the be all in my world. They have always been tops with me. Seeing a sad movie or reading a non-happy ending makes me annoyed (especially if it wasn’t marketed it as such)… I didn’t care how meaningful it was. The world is horrible enough so I want happy! In my writing, I try to add a little bit of fluffy smexy goodness with a dap of happy.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?
HEA. We’re all going to die. Dark but true. While I’m dancing toward death I need love, hope and happiness as my partners. We get a limit number of moments in this life and my goal is to make as many of them as I can happy (for myself and others).

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?
Romances are my drug of choice now and then. I have turned to them in the worst of times to allow me to escape if only for a little while. And I re-read them with joy to celebrate happiness.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?
I think some folks will always love paperbacks, but how amazing is it that we can hold all of our favorite stories right in the palm of your hand. I think ebooks allow people to explore genres that might not be comfortable having the world know what they are reading. For me: Ebooks are great because I’ve moved 13x in 23 years so not losing my books is an incredible gift. (Though when we left China I gifted reading coffee shops with 100’s of my m/m romances, so some good came out of my loss).

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)
Usually I try to capture a scene… then I find a very patient artist who tries to pull the character out of my head. See Secured and Free’s cover for what that looks like!!! K-Koji struggled with me over many e-mails perfecting Marcus, Orion and even the shadowy Hunter. Ahhhh, it’s glorious to actually show others who is in your head taunting you for years!

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?
No. I love them all! How can any author chose? Though I like my writing in the most recent because I’m struggling to improve with each book.

What's next for you as an author?
The Librarian’s Rake will be released in the Fall.
Then I’m diving back into hot rockers. Going to head to Suzhou China where the fledging rock band Made in China is struggling to catch a break. I can’t wait!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Love Doesn’t Exist?


Z: Orion Gordon joins me today since the title of this blog is extremely anti- Z. Allora! The very idea is—
Orion: Greetings!
Z: Orion, please explain why you insisted on this as the title for the blog post.
Orion: I’m a scientist… a researcher. I live by the scientific method.
Z: (not sure where he’s going but I’m willing to go for the ride) Which is?
Orion: Observe. Question. Research. Hypothesize. Experiment. Test hypothesize. Draw conclusions. Report.
Z: Okay. So, you’ve never observed love therefore it doesn’t exist?
Orion: I didn’t say that! Z., if you knew my mother you’d never assume I don’t know love. I know love… and my best friend Xander…
Z: (hands up) Apologizes, but I don’t get what you’re saying.
Orion: Maybe we should share the snippet. It’s in Marcus Satir’s point of view but the readers will get it. By the way this is the first night I’ve spent any time with Marcus and Hunter. They were club members so of course I knew of them, but never… here’s the clip.


Excerpt:

“So, Orion, you’ve given up BDSM. Have you also thrown in the towel on finding love?”

Hunter sighed, and Marcus could almost hear Hunter’s brain ticking through plans to make Orion’s life safer and happier.
Maybe that was a sappy question, but for some reason, he wanted to know the answer.

Orion leaned back. “Love? That’s simply a chemical process altered by geographic availability, proximity, and sexual attractiveness.”

Hunter thumped his elbows on the table and frowned.

Marcus decided to chase this bunny down the rabbit hole, and not just because Orion had a cute tail… though he did, from what Marc could tell… a really cute tail. “Meaning?”

Orion tapped his fingers on the table. “Okay, first off, I do believe love exists, though I’ll give some credibility to Sternberg’s triangular theory of love.”

“Say who now?” Marcus couldn’t stop the joke. “See, Hunt, I told you we needed a triangle to be completely happy.”

Hunter grimaced and gestured for Orion to explain.

Orion gave Marcus a ghost of a smile, which made his insides go warm and his dick start to get hard. “All types of love are made up of intimacy, commitment, and passion. The specific kind of relationship makes the levels of each vary.”

“Meaning friendships would have different levels of passion than love toward lover,” Marcus summarized.

“Different levels of passion as well as commitment. Though, a later study suggested intimacy was strong in all types of relationships.”

“Okay?” Marcus encouraged. How could anyone boil love down like this? It was insane to narrow the most beautiful thing one could experience in life down to a chemical process.

“The person who raises your dopamine, norepinephrine, and phenyl ethylamine equates to you believing you’re in love.” Orion looked back and forth between them to make sure Marcus and Hunt followed him.

“So, you think elevated chemicals cause feelings of love.” Marcus nodded to reassure Orion they understood, but hoped his tone conveyed they didn’t necessarily agree with him.

“Right, but to have the chemical reaction, the person needs to be in your social realm.” Orion sounded pleased.

Marcus encouraged him. “Geographic desirability?”

“Exactly. Geographic availability is key. You need to meet a person who can do this to you.” With eager excitement he went on, “Although your neuro pathways allowing you to assess others are diminished.”

“Huh?” Hunter tilted his head.

Marcus bit his lip. He’d not give in to the laughter that bubbled just under the surface from Hunter’s reactions.

Orion didn’t seem to recognize Hunter’s cue of disbelief, so he continued and tried to build on his teaching moment. “Serotonin levels of people in love are lowered… usually to the same levels found in people with obsessive-compulsive disorders.”

Damn, watching Orion’s pink lips move made Marcus need a BJ. That was the perfect mouth for giving head, and—

“Wait! You’re likening people in love with folks who have a medical condition?” Hunter folded his arms in front of him.
Orion leaned away from Hunter, but he nodded.

Marcus waved Hunt off but couldn’t stop his own frown from deepening. While obsessing over how active Orion’s tongue would be on his cock, he’d picked up the juicy tidbit of the conversation.

“I guess you think that explains why people obsess over the ones they love.”

How could someone who looked like an adult version of cupid not believe in love? Until Hunt, maybe Marcus might have agreed, but currently he’d do anything for the man he loved, including finding someone Hunt could dominate.

Hunt grimaced. “Or in Orion’s words, the one—”

“Or ones,” Marcus added with a big smile.

Ah, it never hurt to get one’s agenda out in the forefront.

Hopefully, Hunter would be in a giving mood later on, because the combination of Orion and Hunter’s reaction to him was firing up Marcus’s usually quiet libido.

Hunter narrowed his eyes at Marcus for just a few seconds and then continued, “The one or ones who raises your chemical levels.”

“Exactly!” Orion was bright but clearly missed Hunter’s sarcasm.
Hunter’s head wobbled. Maybe that would help the information seep in. “I guess what this means is you don’t believe in love.”

“Oh no. I believe in love. I just don’t believe in romantic love.”

“That’s terrible.” Hunter’s face twisted into an “I’m in complete disagreement with you” expression. The last time Marcus had seen that face was when he convinced Hunter to try Ethiopian food. When Marcus had said the sour, spongy bread wasn’t bad, Hunt gave the same look, but this one was more horrified.

“I guess you don’t want to hear about Hannah Fry’s Mathematics of Love. She uses statistics to figure out the optimal strategy for finding a partner.” Orion shrugged.

Poor Hunt grimaced. “Well, I probably wouldn’t agree with it.”
Marcus rubbed knees with Hunter and gave a smile he hoped would be charming enough to statistically put getting a blowjob at a higher probability, because being left to his own hand tonight wasn’t appealing.

“You guys met when you were in your thirties?” Orion asked.
Marcus nodded. He and Hunter had met right here at Entwined. Hunter was so… everything. “I had just turned thirty. He’s four months older. Proof life does not end at the big three-oh.”

Orion frowned and sighed. “If you followed her strategy, you’d have already settled on a different partner.”

“Thankfully we didn’t.” Marcus smiled at Hunt. He couldn’t imagine not being with Hunter.

His lover growled, “Love is more than chemicals and statistical strategies.”

Ah, there was a thread, and Marcus couldn’t help himself from pulling at it. “So, Orion, you’ve never been in love?”

“I love Xander, my parents, my pets—”

Marcus pushed to clarify. “But you’ve never had a partner you’ve been in love with… ever?”

Orion shook his head. “No.”

“Are you…?” Marcus dug around his brain for the word.

Hunter filled in the blank. “Aromantic?”

Orion stared at Marcus and then Hunter. “I’ve thought a lot about this. I guess it’s not that I don’t experience an emotional need to be in a romantic relationship. It’s more….”

Marcus tried to help him out. “Maybe as a scientist you don’t trust any romantic attachment beyond the chemical?”

Orion shrugged.

“You can’t believe in anything beyond the cold science of it?” Marcus supplied.

Orion swirled his orange juice around the glass. “Unbalanced chemicals can be rebalanced—”

“And then where does that leave you?” Hunter cleared his throat.

“Exactly.” Orion nodded with an urgency that broke Marcus’s heart.


Orion: (frowned)
Z: What?
Orion: I hadn’t realized how Marcus or for that matter Hunter was taking my thoughts on the subject. I guess I sometimes miss the point.
Z: Well, most people believe in and want love.
Orion: Not everyone… certainly not aromantic people.
Z: True, though I still don’t understand… anyway there’s more information about Secured and Free.
Orion: And if anyone wants more information on Sternberg’s triangular theory of love check it out on this link. ((http://www.psych2go.net/according-sternbergs-love-theory-three-components-love-commitment-passion-intimacy)). But first, check out Z.’s Secured and Free.
Hugs, Z. 


Thursday, July 20, 2017

The craving in The Craving


The idea of being biologically driven to sate your physical and spiritual lust with another does something to me. To need that connection with another so bad you can’t think beyond the longing ache.

But what happens when reality and responsibility tries to deny you your heart’s desire? That’s what The Craving explores.

K’Dane is a modestly rich and sexually progressive planet whose part of the Xantha star system. It’s assumed most K’Dane are bisexual, and if there are preferences that can be worked out among the nucleus (the group of 4 they form to raise children). However, before the nucleus is formed, one must have life mates.

The craving pushes each K’Dane into an urgent need to find a person or people with whom they can bond. Phoenix Dotir wants to avoid such a fate as he is marked as a Chosen. His destiny is to live among the other dimensional artists at the Ambrosial monastery. His plan should the craving hit before he’s goes to the monastery is to medicate.

His sister thinks he’s insane and in this excerpt, she sings a life mate song to him:

“First you start tying red knots. Then you need to be tangled in your lover’s twine. Red love knots… Red love knots binding you to the vine….”

In this next excerpt, Phoenix is obsessively tying the traditional K’Dane love knots. Sometimes a person will make as many as a thousand to demonstrate their wish to bind with someone. The tying of red love knots is one of the first signs someone in the craving. This excerpt involves Phoenix, his mother, and the holo doctor. (Zadra is sexy star chaser who sent him into the craving).

He turned away. The need to rip his skin off rode him hard. It was too hot. Pushing off his robe didn’t help.
Feeling his forehead, she exclaimed, “You’re burning up. I’m getting a doctor.”
The light was too bright. He swore he could feel his toenails grow. Every breath increased his requirement for Zadra.
No! This can’t be happening. Zadra! Where are you? Zadra!
Death would easier…. He stumbled across his sleep space to his workspace. Red twine. Where was—
Ah, here it is.
His mother came back into his space. He hadn’t realized she left. She rolled a holo doc in.
“Doctor, please, what’s wrong with my son?” Phoenix’s mother paced back and forth. “Did the healing he had a few sleep cycles ago at his learning place not fix the damage?”
The best holo doctor their living complex employed flashed to life at the question. “I will diagnose.”
Phoenix’s mother studied him as if he were a broken unit in need of repair.
His sister lingered in the doorway. “I told you we should have made him report that incident with Vade. If he’s hurt Phoenix—How long is this going to take?”
Phoenix didn’t hear the answer. He focused on tying another knot and placed the completed design in the satin box where he’d keep the red binding knots.
“Phoenix, please stop. Put these away.” His mother tried to take the box from him.
“No! Not done. One hundred and eighty-eight.” He didn’t want to hurt her, but no one was taking this box from him. No one.
“Doctor, why can’t he stop?”
Fever and restlessness ate at him. He rocked back and forth as he twisted the twine with his blistered and bloodied fingers. Left, right, crossover, twist…. Zadra.
Why was his mother here? Oh right, she waited for the doctor’s opinion.
He shifted to pull at the protector. Sky demons, why was the belt preventing him… nothing should be stopping him. He had to—“Zadra!”
The hologram doctor shimmered and rested a hand on his chin. “There is nothing wrong with your son. All previous medical procedures were complete. Your son is healthy. He’s displaying signs of the… craving.”
Where was Zadra? One hundred and eighty-nine. Phoenix wanted him here. Had to have him. Now. Skin too tight. Off.
He wanted to—“Zadra!”
“Shhhh, son. Don’t scratch yourself.” His mother held his hands to his sides.
No. Knots. He had to tie knots. After jerking away from her restrictive embrace, he moved to the other side of his art table. Took more twine, sliced the red off the spool, and whirled another knot. Each tied bit eased him and ramped him up in equal parts. One hundred and ninety.
His mother gasped at the suggestion. “The craving? What? It can’t be! He’s too young. He’s not yet eighteen seasons.”
“Zadra!” He wasn’t too young. Desire scraped at his insides. He wiped the sweat from his forehead. Why wasn’t the temperature automating?
“It’s rare but has been known to happen.” The holo doc continued, “This process is nature’s way of highlighting every K’Dane has a need to bond with life mates.”
His mother growled. “How could this have happened?”
The holo doc’s voice deepened as if to calm his near frantic mother. “Skin-on-skin contact. One touch has been known to trigger the craving.”
“He’s Chosen. That’s not possible.”
The holo cocked his head to the side and observed Phoenix. “Nothing supersedes the urge, not even being one of the Chosen. His symptoms suggest it’s more than possible.”


The end game of the craving is to find your life mates… or maybe your soul mate.



The Craving Blurb:
The craving is an undeniable urge that drives K’Dane citizens to find their life mates—if only to sate their uncontrollable physical longings.

Thrilled at being named a Chosen, Phoenix Dotir leaves K’Dane to become an artist-monk who will create dimensional art capable of changing worlds. Living by the monastery’s Principles of Purity will surely help him overcome the craving. But he never accounted for star chaser Zadra Solav.

Zadra doesn’t believe in rules and makes his own future. Fate separates him from the man he loves, but one touch renders him helpless to his own desires. Bonding with a monk is forbidden, and Zadra’s family sends him to deep space to avoid disgrace. Unable to give up, Zadra must find a way reunite with his Chosen.

Tormented by enforced separation, Initiate Riva Quinton struggles with his vow of chastity and risks all to rescue his lover. Together with his Eros, he stows away on board a star craft to follow his heart.

Four men defy destiny and tradition for love… but their love is a crime punishable by death.

Buy Links:





Thursday, July 13, 2017

Craving Sci-fi?


I’ve always loved sci-fi. Watching Star Trek: The Next Generation was a welcoming ritual I enjoyed for years. I’ve adored the Star Trek TV shows and movies so much I’ve gone to conventions (*cough* dressed as a captain *cough*).

One of my favorite shows was Lexx: Tales From A Parallel Universe. I remember the exact moment I discovered this TV show. I was in Singapore in my apartment’s communal laundry room and someone had left on the TV. I remember hearing the chant of Brunnen-G Fight Song and chills overtook me. Then the fighter pods zipped across the screen and then I got to see Kai… I stumbled into a chair and sat transfixed forgetting about my laundry until the show was over. I was hooked.

I enjoy following Star Wars, Galaxy Quest, and now Guardians of The Galaxy. There’s magic in Sci-fi. It’s an entirely new world and anything can happen. 

But I never expected to write a sci-fi story. Ally Blue (a wonderful writer, friend, and a giver of plot bunnies) and I were chatting about home improvement shows. She enticed me with the idea of sexy builders and I combined the concept into my space opera.

The builders morphed into artists who were decorating the ruler of the Xantha star system’s vessel as it headed to the capital planet, Viking Haven. The artist and the star chaser who was piloting the vessel had a history… oh I had to know their history. The details unfolded about a biological urge called the craving and what killed me was they couldn’t follow their hearts because their destinies lay in different directions. The Craving was born.

The Craving is first and foremost a romance. I wrote the story to ensure a happily ever after. Love and the romantic pairings (there are more than one) take center stage. Originally, I thought to write two separate books, but the two couples’ destinies were tangled and I was unable to tease them apart.

The book’s focus isn’t on propulsion systems and vessel schematics, but the love between the couples. Of course, we get to explore their societies. How is sex viewed? Does standardized skin tone enforcement eliminate prejudice? What role does religion play in the characters’ life? How does privilege affect the characters? What’s life like in a harem?

I hope you enjoy my voyage into sci-fi.

Many Hugs,
Z. Allora


The Craving Blurb:
The craving is an undeniable urge that drives K’Dane citizens to find their life mates—if only to sate their uncontrollable physical longings.

Thrilled at being named a Chosen, Phoenix Dotir leaves K’Dane to become an artist-monk who will create dimensional art capable of changing worlds. Living by the monastery’s Principles of Purity will surely help him overcome the craving. But he never accounted for star chaser Zadra Solav.

Zadra doesn’t believe in rules and makes his own future. Fate separates him from the man he loves, but one touch renders him helpless to his own desires. Bonding with a monk is forbidden, and Zadra’s family sends him to deep space to avoid disgrace. Unable to give up, Zadra must find a way reunite with his Chosen.

Tormented by enforced separation, Initiate Riva Quinton struggles with his vow of chastity and risks all to rescue his lover. Together with his Eros, he stows away on board a star craft to follow his heart.

Four men defy destiny and tradition for love… but their love is a crime punishable by death.

Buy Links: