Welcome to Julia Talbot's blog!

Welcome, everyone! Here's where I blather about writing, life with my wife BA, and my two basset hounds! I love to hear from readers, so comment here or email me!

Monday, September 29, 2014

BA Tortuga Talks about Say Something


Hey, y’all. I wanted to take over my wife’s (still incredibly cool, btw) blog and squeal about my new release, Say Something.

Sometimes you write something and it’s more than another story. Sometimes it burrows down into your soul and you find yourself lost in a whirlwind of information.

These boys are that for me.

Mike and Jenson were born in a rush. I was taking a few days off writing. I’d just finished writing The Terms of Release and I wasn’t ready to take on another intense pair.

I wasn’t ready, damn it, but the boys didn’t give a rat’s ass.

Kenny Chesney came on the radio, I started crying, and six months later, I stopped.

Mike and Jen are dear to me and now they’re y’all’s. Be good to them, huh? They deserve it.

Much love, y’all.

Say Something is out today from Dreamspinner Press and I’m proud enough to bust.

Official Blurb:

Jenson has loved Mike his whole life, but he has never known how to tell Mike how he feels. After high school Mike leaves for college and his Hollywood dream, while cowboy Jenson stays behind in their small East Texas hometown. Neither man knows what to say to go beyond friendship, even though they come together through all of the best and worst times of their lives. The most amazing moments keep bringing them back together, but through huge love and terrible loss, sickness and health, their timing never seems right to take their relationship to the next level. When the universe gives them one final chance, Jenson must overcome his fear and say the most important something before it's too late.

Paperback buy link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5481

Ebook buy link:


Where to find BA:

http://www.batortuga.com -- website

batortuga.blogspot.com – blog

@batortuga on twitter



He parked his old Chevy out on the maintenance road and watched the last rays of the sun go down. He pulled out the pack of smokes and tapped the end against his palm a few times before pulling off the plastic. He’d have one while he waited.

The humidity made everything lazy, even the mosquitos, and he couldn’t help but think that tomorrow he was going to be out here, just another redneck driving down gravel roads acting like that was something special, and Mike would be in his perfectly clean little Toyota with his boxes and his books, heading to the East Coast.

It wasn’t fucking fair.

Oh, not that Jenson wanted to go back East anywhere. What he wanted was Mike. The trip to the beach had given them some stolen kisses and a few quick gropes, but Jenson wanted more.

He wanted full-on naked. He wanted to fuck. He wanted to hear Mike beg for it. He knew Mike would.

The very thought made his dick hard in his jeans and made him curse when his cigarette burned his fingers.

He heard a husky chuckle. “You ever going to learn how to smoke, man?”

Jenson turned to see Mike wandering over, coming to sit next to him on the tailgate. On the wrong damned side.

“Scoot, man,” Mike said, and he did, because he was always willing to do for Mike.

“What’s up, Mike?”

“Been a long couple days. You?”

“Been trying to decide if I have to apply for jobs.” He sighed. “You all packed?”

“I am. Yeah. I wish you were coming. It looks like a kick-ass campus.” Mike took a smoke, lit it, and the flame shuddered in the wind.

“I ain’t smart like you.” What else could he say?

“I’m not all that. I just….” Mike shrugged. What was Mike going to say? That Mike had tried? Because that was the God’s honest truth. Mike fought for it, worked hard.

Jenson did too. It just didn’t matter. He wasn’t school material. He lit another cigarette, trying not to cough. Lord.

“You think you’ll stay at home?”

Like it mattered. Neither one of them could afford long-distance phone calls, and Jenson, well, shit, he wasn’t much of a letter writer. Maybe postcards, if he remembered to buy stamps.

Jenson nodded. “If they’ll let me. If not, I’ll try cowboying out with the C Bar.” Mr. Carlson ran a huge Beefmaster operation.

“Such a cowboy.” Not like Mike. He was gonna be something bigger than a shiftless drover.

“I don’t know what else to do. Be a drunk like my dad, I guess.” He laughed, trying not to sound so damned bitter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Labels in fiction, or why I hate the word Manlove

Okay, I know it might piss some folks off, and that's not my aim here. I want to say that upfront. I'm making a very personal statement about the label "manlove" as it applies to what I read and and write.

I hate the word Manlove. At its most harmless it seems relatively easy to understand. A construct, like bromance or manhug, used as a descriptive. People wield it to indicate male/male fiction in the same way they say I write m/m, pronounced em-em at conventions or to people on the bus who ask what people write when faced with a writer. For what it's worth, I also dislike the em-em phenomenon, as well, because it's a way of ducking the commitment to say I write gay.

Now, don't get me wrong. I understand the distinction people are trying to make. The long and rampaging argument about GLBT fiction versus gay romance versus women writing romance with two men has worn people down, and they see Manlove as a compromise, I think, one that removes the need for the bluster, one that finds commonality with other writers who pen the same kind of prose. I have more than once been told by readers that I write really average guys who don't seem gay so much as into this one man they've fallen for, which is absolutely fair. I like to explore all sots of relationships without stereotypes, I think. At least I hope that's where I land in the great scheme. I can happily point out a good many books I've written, though, where the characters identify as everything from in the closet to way out and flaming!

! Why then do I hate Manlove?

Because I think it's disingenuous, at best. At worst, it's like "girl on girl action" a phrase designed to delineate lesbian film/fiction/media from girls getting it on to titillate men. Saying I read and write Manlove is tantamount to admitting I'm willingly misappropriating someone's culture, that I'm co-opting part of the GLBTQ experience for my own use and discarding the rest. As someone who self-identifies as part of the queer community (a woman married to a woman, mostly bi on the sliding scale of sexuality) the whole idea of taking the LGBT out of gay romance makes me squirmy and uncomfortable. The idea, too, that readers want what one m/f author at a con recently called "Alpha-Alpha males" in their romance and that no gay man can provide that also makes me a little nuts. I know at least three gay men writing romance alongside all of us right now that would qualify as the kind of alpha males readers love to see.

I think that taking the LGBT out of the "m/m" romance equation widens the gap between detractors who say women shouldn't be writing gay romance rather than closes it. I think,very much like Emma Watson recently said so eloquently, gender (and I'll add in sexuality) should be a spectrum. It's okay for men to be sensitive. It's okay for women to be strong. And it's okay for gay men and lesbians and bisexuals to be represented in all sorts of different ways, rather than being pushed aside in favor of a fetish-ized fantasy of men on men or girl on girl action. The implication of Manlove just makes me grit my teeth before I shout, "You keep saying you support the gay community, so why isn't it okay to be gay? Why does it have to be Manlove?"

I'm eager to hear what y'all think. Feel free to discuss, but please keep it friendly!



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Georgia Knights excerpt

Hey y'all!

How about some menage action?

"Alton has a place almost up to the falls," Caid whispered, breath hot on her neck.

"Okay." She sounded like a phone sex worker, all breathy and husky.

They packed up the pizza and headed out, Alton hustling them back to her little rental SUV. He didn't give either one of them time to think, either, just groped them both impartially.

"Alton, you're dangerous. Sit in the back seat."

"What? Why?" He pouted at her, but Caid punched his shoulder.

"Because no one can drive with you all over them, Alt. Get."

She gave in to her baser instincts and went up on tiptoe to kiss the corner of Alton's mouth. "I have to focus, huh?"

"Oh." Alton blinked, those pretty gray eyes bright. "Got it. I'll just sit in the back and..." He made an unmistakable motion with his hand.

She swatted him, chuckling. "Now, now. Don't pop too soon." She winked at Caid, offering him a quick kiss, too.

Caid surprised her with a kiss that curled her toes, capturing her mouth for a long moment before moving away. He went and sat in the passenger seat, staring, focused.

"Oh." Wow. Okay. Driving.

Driving would be good.


"Yeah. Turn left at the light, honey." Alton pointed before sliding into the backseat, his hand patting her ass on the way by.

"Georgia." She got moving, got behind the wheel and got them going. The windows were down, the wind cooling off her too-hot skin, even as the humidity made things a little sticky.

"Huh?" Both Alton and Caid said it, both of them staring at her.

Lord. It was like watching howler monkeys tilt their heads when they heard a whistle. They were never going to stop with the pet names. "Nothing. Left?"

"Left." The town they'd gone to was only fifteen minutes down the road or so from Haley Falls, which kind of boggled her high desert girl mind. Where she lived you had to drive two hours to get anywhere.

It got darker and darker as she drove, the trees thick. She started to worry -- what exactly was she doing? Heading into the woods with two men she didn't know?

"Okay, right here, sugar." Warm hands fell on her shoulders, Alton rubbing a little.

She slowed down, those thumbs working out the tension that had started building.

"It's okay, honey." What, did they both read minds? Caid was all about soothing her, too.

They parked in front of a simple, sweet-looking cabin, all of them breathing hard enough that the windows fogged up. The sound of hunting hounds made her jump a little. "Should we go in?"

"You bet. Come on in, folks." Alton led the way, the place a combination of historical log cabin and newer log home. The inside was just as much a mixture, with simple hooked rugs and a couple of fine art prints on the walls. That was about all she got to notice before Alton turned and grabbed her, though, spinning her for a kiss.


Her arms wrapped around his neck, and she pushed up into the kiss, her body rubbing against Alt all the way. Caid moved up behind her, hands sliding around her waist, and his heavy heat pressed against her, somehow far more aggressive than she expected. It made her moan, found her hips rocking back and forth between them, caught in a perfect position.

Find it here! And Amazon and ARE!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A few tips for authors who are going the self-publishing route

Hey y'all

Most of you know my alter ego, Lorna, is a publisher. I don't format the book files or create covers, but I do market, categorize, advertise, deal with distributors and write checks.

Today I was poking around the new releases on ARE and saw a couple of self-published books that had some great covers. So I clicked on one to see what it was about.



The blurb was very non-specific. The hero was mentioned, and he falls in love, but they never tell us with whom. (who? I hate who and whom)

So I looked for categories. Um. Nope. Romance general, uncategorized.

So, I thought, maybe tags. Nope. Nada.

Okay, so the second book seems to indicate that these are m/f, right? Maybe. The love interest's name is unisex. Mainly girls, but who knows?

Y'all, can I share something I've learned in 15 years of romance work and 20 of library circ work? People want to know what they're getting. That's why library cataloging was invented. To make it easy to find what people want, or need, to read. Tell me if it's m/f or m/m or menage. Tell me, since it's clearly dystopian in this case, if it's futuristic, or alt universe, or steampunk. Tell me if it's bdsm or vanilla. Hell, give me a flame rating! Fill out your whole meta data! I'm not even going to go read the sample if I have no idea if this is something I want to read.

I'll pass right by and go for a book with just as cool a cover that tells me, "You like what I'm about!"

Take the time, y'all. Tags are so important, and so are categories. Ponder them for a bit. You're not narrowing your readership, you're helping your readers find you.

Gotta say, they were neat covers, though!



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Georgia Knights- New release- or how I finally got this book done!

Georgia Knights is a mmf menage. I've been writing it, honestly, for years. For long enough that I had to go back in after beta and update some technology and such. Not kidding.

It took so long because I have a love hate relationship with menage. I love to write it, and read it if it's well done. A lot of my readers hate it, and are happy to tell me why. They don't want girl parts in their m/m. O.O Wide eyes. Okay. So, we're just gonna negate an entire gender. Or as Alton from Georgia Knights would say, why cut yourself off from half the people who could give you orgasms?

On the other side of the coin, I have people who tell me they like menage as long as the boys don't touch. Oh, my boys touch. They touch a lot. Have you met a man? If he's gonna do a threesome with another man, there will most likely be touching. Lalala.

So, I got discouraged. I put this one aside. I debated writing more menage for TQ, where my audience is mostly m/m readers. But darn it, I like putting the B in GLBTQ. So I pulled that sucker out and finished it.

The re-write process was fascinating on this one. I haven't pulled out such an old WIP in a long time, because I usually don't have time. Writing to deadline means new ideas that are flowing fast and furious, not a slow reworking of an old theme. The whole process was akin to visiting with my 39 year old self. (I am 44 now, do you can do math on how long I let this one sit). All of my old bad habits were there, but so was some of my former writing innocence, some of the lost oomph, if you will, where I made up new phrases and silliness just for the sheer joy of it.

I love this book, and am so proud I finally buckled down and got it out. Half of a writer's struggle is overcoming our nerves at how an audience will receive our work.

The other have is just that we have to be nuts to want to do this for a living.

Here;s the lovely cover

Here's were to get it

Here's the blurby

When anthropologist Georgia Cortez heads to rural Georgia from New Mexico, she’s on the trail of a juicy old legend. Haley Falls seems like just the place for old-time ghost stories and spooky hauntings, but she’s on the hunt for something far rarer, a survival of an old sect of medieval knights.

Caid and Alton are Haley Fall natives, and they used to be best friends. A falling out years ago ended in them not speaking, even after Alt left town and returned older, if not wiser. They unite when it comes to a nosy scholar like Georgia picking apart their heritage, and putting their whole town in danger. When boys meet girl, though, they decide wooing is far better than scaring the lady off, and they set about distracting Georgia in the best way.

While their three way romance heats up, so does the intrigue in Haley Falls, until the three of them are facing a danger far worse than falling in love with each other.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Snog for Sommer

Our friend and fellow writer Sommer Marsden is having a rough time, so this is for her!


"True." He backed up. "How did you hear about Full Moon Dating?"

"I'm on a shifters forum, and people were talking about it. I don't have the best luck with relationships, so I thought, how about something new?"

Relationships. How adorable was that? Wolves mated. That was why you didn't have any luck with someone who wasn't right for you if you were one of them. It was all chemical.

"I like it. I found it through a friend. I don't get much choice up my way."

"I bet." Aiden chewed the coffee off his bottom lip, and Ben wanted to do that for him, bite a little. Chew a little.

Maybe a lot. "I'm glad they sent you."

"Me too. You smell so good..." Aiden leaned in, nostrils flaring.

"Do I?" He carefully sat his coffee aside, then Aiden's. Then he yanked the man up over his lap to take the kiss he needed.

Aiden's groan was sharp, less surprised than needy, to be honest. The man wrapped around him, loving on him, and he took the kiss deeper, sealing their mouths together.

He kept his eyes open, staring as he watched every second, every expression on Aiden's face. The man was focused, tongue pushing against his, fighting with him. All he could do was push back, and that gave him the idea to press Aiden down on the couch, reversing their positions.

Aiden gave a sweet little squeak, holding him tight as he learned how that sweet body felt underneath him. Oh, yummy. He circled his hips, letting Aiden feel him. They were both into it -- hard and needing, bellies rubbing together.

He reached between them, frustrated as hell with the cloth keeping them apart. Ben needed to feel skin. Aiden's sweater came off easily, showing a sweet little belly, coppery curls just peeking from the low-slung jeans. He traced them to the button, popping those jeans open.

Short and thick, Aiden's prick fit right his hand, like a flame on his palm. Perfect. He rubbed up and down, the open zipper scratching him some.

"I... Oh." He got a wide-eyed look, a shocked gaze that was glazed with need.

"Uh-huh. You’ve been alone too long, honey." Pushing those jeans down some more, he rocked his hand back and forth.

Aiden's shoulders left the sofa cushions, eyes rolling back in an expression of pure fucking bliss. The man was starved for touch, for sensation, as the food proved. Sweet. Sensation, Ben could provide. He loved to touch, loved to mark beautiful skin.

What amazing fun they were going to have, the two of them.

He pulled back, and Aiden followed his hand when he let go. "Just let me get naked, honey."

"You've got amazing hands." Aiden helped him with his shirt, the touch feather-light.

"You think so? I'm glad you like them." He was, as he intended to use his hands on Aiden in a hundred different ways, and that was just tonight.

"I do." Aiden's fingertips brushed over his nipples, his ribs.

Ben stretched a little, showing off. He was long and lean, but he knew he looked good. He worked hard.

Aiden's lips joined his fingers, every touch too gentle, too careful, like Aiden was afraid to make him feel.

"You can bite a little, honey. I won't growl." Much.

This one is from Full Moon Dating: Aiden and Ben, available here



Saturday, September 13, 2014

How we know things are meant to be, or the weirdest house buying thing

So, y'all now we've been looking for a house. Back in July, we thought we'd found our dream home. Way too big, and pretty old, but well worth the price, so we put in an offer.

Everything that could go wrong, did. The roof inspection went poorly. There were termites. Repairs were promised, lots of lies were told. The closing date went back and forth like a yo-yo. We tried hard, but in the end, we just had no confidence that the house wasn't a money pit of hidden damage, so we terminated the offer almost a week after all the repairs were due and not delivered upon.

That was a Thursday. We started looking at houses again on a Sunday, and we found one we really liked. Made an offer on Monday and bam. They accepted.

Now, how do we know house 2 will most likely close on the 30th as planned?

No one is lying. We have a full disclosure. The inspection is set for Monday with no objections from the owner.

And we're planning the space, looking obsessively at pics of the interior, placing our furniture.

The only plan we ever made for the first house was tentative paint colors. That's it. We never believed it, never got excited. Now, we're making lists and planning Two Men and a Truck and... Yeah. Woot.

Somehow things fall into place when they're meant to be.

How cool is that?



Monday, September 08, 2014


No, not the video game.

The 6 inch monster under our kitchen island



Send help. Or a flamethrower



Saturday, September 06, 2014

Free Read: Inspiration, by Julia Talbot

Hey, y'all! Look what I found on the hard drive. This was written years ago for a now-defunct web newsletter and contest. It was under a different pen name back then because I was trying to diversify, but I thought it would be fun to toss it up here.


By Julia Talbot

“Can you imagine? Some people just have no sense of self-control.”

Theo had been listening to the woman with the pierced nose and the hundreds of tiny braids for at least a half hour. She was going on and on about how her best friend liked to fuck outside, where people might see her, where she could feel grass under her feet.

“It takes all kinds, Jen,” the other girl said, and watching the purple Mohawk bob above her head, Theo kind of agreed.

He wasn’t much for sitting in coffee shops in the city. Theo only did it when he had to meet with his agent, who was worth chancing the traffic and the city dwellers for. Eamon not only sold Theo's art at a fucking premium, he was the most beautiful man Theo had ever met, with soot colored hair and bright green eyes. Not to mention the body that seemed sculpted by Michelangelo or someone.

“You have that look on your face,” Eamon said, as if thinking of him had magically conjured him up.

“Which look is that?” Theo asked, smiling and waving Eamon to a seat.

“The one that says, ‘I hate the city; it’s almost as entertaining as an ant farm'.”

Theo laughed, drawing looks from the black-clad denizens all around them, people frowning at the bright sound. “Anything for you, babe. Besides, I’ve been eavesdropping.”

“What have you been hearing?” Eamon waved to the little waiter, completely at ease with the setting, and with having a little drama queen sashay over and flirt with him.

“Outdoor fucking. You ever done it?” There, he thought. Let’s see how comfortable Eamon was with that.

“When I was in college? Sure. These days, grass in my ass just doesn’t appeal.”

Staring, Theo chuckled, sure Eamon was either lying or exaggerating. “No way. You?”

“Believe it or not, I went to school in the northwest. You don’t go there and not be outdoorsy.”

“No shit? Tell me about it?” He and Eamon had this great chemistry, but they’d never acted on it. Oh, they flirted. They teased. They got hard. But Theo had always thought they were just too different.

Those high, bottle-tanned cheekbones went red, Eamon glancing about before leaning forward and lowering his voice. “What? It was my sophomore year, I was on a hike. Shit, this sounds like Penthouse letters.”

“You know I take my inspiration from nature, honey,” Theo said, batting his lashes and feeling not quite ridiculous. “Lay it on me.”

“Shit.” Shifting in his chair, Eamon waited for the little waiter to set down his espresso and croissant before going on. “There wasn’t much to it. I mean, there was a hiking guide I had the serious hots for, so I got him to take me out along the river. Just me. I wasn’t sure, but I thought he was family, you know?”

Theo nodded, leaning his elbows on the table to get closer. He could almost smell the old growth forest and hear the rushing water.

“So I did all the obvious shit. I took my shirt off when it got hot. I rubbed against him every chance I got. I wiggled and flexed…”

“And what? He wasn’t interested?”

Eamon laughed, the sound low and intimate. “He was. I think he was just worried that I was jailbait.”

”So what did you do?”

“I finally just grabbed him. Kissed the sap right out of him. He didn’t need much more encouragement,” Eamon said, eyebrows going up and down.

Theo waited for more, poking Eamon when he trailed off. “So, what did you do?”

“Fuck, Theo. Do you want a blow by blow?”

“Yes.” Was he going to deny it? Hell, no. His cock was hard in his jeans, his hand twitching with the need to reach down and rub it.

“I sucked him off, okay? I wasn’t so good at it back then, but he didn’t seem to mind. I took his jeans off him and got down on my knees and sucked the Hell out of him.”

Somewhere from the vicinity of the pierced and painted girls there was an outraged gasp, but Theo paid it no mind. “Did he help you out, too?” he asked, having to clear his throat to get the words out.

“Yeah. He pulled me up and let me lean on him while he jacked me. I remember the sun coming down through the trees. We stood right next to the water, so the spray off the rocks cooled me off while he heated me up. He held me against his chest and stroked me off and I swear, I thought he was the strongest man in the whole fucking world.”

The words seemed to ring loud, even though Eamon whispered them, his eyes closing, long lashes shadowing his cheeks.

Jesus fuck, he was beautiful.

Theo squirmed, trying to find a comfortable place for his cock in his too-tight jeans.

“Okay, then. You really have done it outside, huh?”

“Uh-huh. Did I inspire you?” Wicked. That smile was purely wicked.

Adjusting himself, Theo got up and headed for the bathroom. “You did, honey. You surely did.”


Three weeks later, Theo stood back from his easel and stared at his most recent painting with a critical eye. Then he smiled. Yeah. Yeah, it was good.

The scene was a lot lighter than his usual work, a lot more… almost Impressionistic. Swirls of green and blue, with just the hint of two flesh tones in the center, the painting felt natural, sensual, drawing the eye right to the two figures who seemed to entwine.

It was everything he’d hoped it would be.

Theo grabbed his phone, smearing linseed oil on his cheek. The stupid thing rang and rang, making him dance a little with impatience. One he was ready to make a move, Theo hated to wait.

“Eamon McClellan.”

“Hey, Eamon. Theo. I have something new to show you.”

“Theo! Good to know. You going to bring it into the city for me to see?”

Staring at the canvas, Theo shook his head, feeling his cock start to harden, just like that. “No, Eamon. I think this time you need to come to the boondocks,” he said. “You need to see it in its natural setting.”

“Okay, man. I’ll come out this week.”


They hung up not long after that, and Theo pulled off his soft sweats, heading to the window seat to give himself a hand. With any luck, he could get Eamon to see that nature was still damned inspiring.

There was nothing like the great outdoors.


Copyright 2007 Julia Talbot (originally published electronically under another pen name)



Wednesday, September 03, 2014

a writer's crisis of confidence, or how Julia can be a speshul snowflake

I have people tell me all the time I've been at this writing thing long enough that I should never have a crisis or faith. I am, to toot my own horn, regularly top ten bestseller on ARE and Amazon. I have won awards. I get very nice emails from fans, and I have a healthy presence on social media. In short (I know, too late) I am a decently successful ebook first author who makes a living off what I do, and I love it.

And now, for the darkside. (duh duh duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh)

I have terrible confidence issues, just like all writers. A writer friend, Shannon West, mentioned on social media today that 13K into her latest WIP she decided it sucked. That happens to all of us. So does rejection (my latest lesbian story, for example, was turned down after being in the running for over a month past the deadline). Then? My beta for said lesbian story's self pubbing adventure told me it would be nice to see some conflict among the fluff...

Crickets chirping

Julia picks her crushed-bug self up off the floor with a spatula.

On the heels of a review of the first Minerva Howe book on Amazon that said I was more boring than paint drying, and an editor telling me my erotic m/m story was, well, sweet but not hot, I may be developing a complex.

Now, does that keep me from doing my word count? Nope. It does, however, remind me that art is subjective, and that all artists, including authors, deal with putting their work out there in the world and occasionally getting beaten down for it. It's totally easy when things are going well to tell authors who are in a slump to pull their socks up and move on. It's another thing entirely when you're the stressed out, smooshed roadkill on the side of the publishing highway.

So, today I pull up ye old socks and take a good look at my lesbian story, do re-writes on a novel where the plot was so thin it was see-through, and work on the next Minerva Howe book despite the one crappy review. I may have the best job in the world, but it still requires a lot of practice and, you know, work. Even when I would rather be a speshul snowflake and go eat ice cream all day.