S.A. Garcia's Mutterings, Whimpers and Rants

S.A. Garcia's Mutterings, Whimpers and Rants. World Domination by 2020. Or 2025. Probably never.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Winter Solstice Ramblings & New Cupid Holiday Excerpt

Winter Solstice Ramblings

Here it is, December 20th, which is, according to the Mayan calendar, the day before the end of the world.

I’d love to use the “end of the world” theory during tonight’s seasonal shift at Target. “Come on, these sweaters don’t need to be folded; no one will be here to buy them tomorrow.” If I try that theory on my supervisor, end of the world or not,  I won’t be around for tomorrow’s shift.

It’s a shame how this year the Winter Solstice receives a bum rap. Is it a length issue? Naw, the Winter Solstice is always the shortest day of the year. I find it hard to believe after December 21st, the days grow longer, probably because they also grow colder. No, the pesky Mayan calendar blames 2012’s Winter Solstice for being the end of the world.

How rude.

Come on, everyone loves the Winter Solstice. The Christian Church loved the Winter Solstice to the point they made sure they placed Christmas on the Roman Winter Solstice, which, according to 45BC’s Julian calendar, fell on December 25th. The Romans weren’t happy with merely conquering irritated “pagan” tribes and angry barbarians; they wanted to conquer the calendar. So what if the ignorant pagans had designed monuments which celebrated the Winter Solstice on December 21 or 22. The Romans dismissed the problem. They had a tendency to dismiss, eh?

Gee, think it’s a coincidence Christmas is on December 25 and a week later the New Year begins? Nope. Even back then they wanted an excuse to kick back for a week.

The reality is, before the Christians stole the Winter Solstice’s short thunder, Northern European people partied hard. The Winter Solstice sounded the survival alarm. No more fooling around! Peasants feared their livestock wouldn’t survive the grueling weather; they slaughtered the animals to make sure the family survived the grueling weather. Back in the day this was not a good time to be a vegetarian. The wine had fermented, that is if a peasant could afford wine. The Winter Solstice encouraged people to throw a party celebrating life. Once the party ended, the frightened masses hunkered down to pray they survived the harsh winter months.

As I said, ancient monuments monitor the Winter Solstice. The magnificent Newgrange tomb in Ireland’s Boyne Valley registers the Winter Solstice sunrise. If you can’t attend the Winter Solstice in person, the tour guides will recreate the event for you. The event is a damned impressive experience. In Salisbury, England, Stonehenge records the Winter Solstice sunset. I bet the Druids had ways of telling each other about each event using their mystical hotline. “Ranith, Winter Solstice is a go. I repeat, Winter Solstice is a go.”

“Roger that, Holly. I’ll let you know when we reach Winter Solstice’s end.”

The Winter Solstice is celebrated across the world, from Africa to China. This is a serious multi-cultural event. People celebrate the shortest day of the year knowing the days now become longer. There’s hope.

I won’t mention how the “Christmas” tree, the “Yule” log, mistletoe, ivy and pine greens are holdouts from well before Christianity borrowed the Winter Solstice. Oh wait, I did mention them.

Hey, why not? Regarding the potent Winter Solstice, it’s always good to hedge the bets and embrace the ancient customs. Certain customs remain viable for a reason. Even in this modern time of electricity and seemingly endless power, deep inside everyone a primordial speck celebrates when the days grow longer. The Sun has escaped from the Black God to grow stronger again. The year’s Spring crops will grow. Basic and beautiful.

I refuse to believe the world will end on such a celebrated day. The Druids won’t let it happen. In fact, there’s probably a rumble between the Mayans and the Druids taking place to make sure there’s no misunderstanding.

No matter how you celebrate the season, hope it’s a happy one!

Which leads me to my latest novel “Cupid Knows Best”. Yep, I succumbed. The novel contains a Christmas story.

Here is the excerpt!


When it comes to his professional life, photographer Carl Conrad is at the top of his game. He molds impressionable minds at university by day and jets off to Paris for gallery showings on long weekends. Unfortunately, he pays for it with his disastrous personal life: Carl kicked his boyfriend to the curb after one too many punches, so now it's just him and his hamsters, one of which he suspects may be a space alien.

Then Cupid takes pity on Carl and hits him where it hurts. It takes Carl all of three seconds to fall head over heels in lust with set design student Marcelino Moya, despite the man’s questionable—okay, deplorable—fashion sense. Convincing Marcelino to give him a chance is the hard part, but Carl is up for the challenge, pun definitely intended.

Marcelino plays hard to get, but he isn't immune to Carl's charms. Carl talks him around to dinner, dating, and eventually moving in. There's just one tiny word standing between Carl and perfect happiness. Why won't Marcelino say the “L” word?

I massaged Marcel’s thigh and kissed his forehead. “You created a wonderful party, lover.”
“You really did, Marcelino. Here’s to the return of playful gatherings. You inspire me to drag my sad ass out of my doldrums and throw a private party at the gallery.” Hindy turned and kissed Tim’s cheek. “What am I saying? My fair Tim drags me out in quite an efficient manner.”
Tim fluttered and blushed. “See, I’m stronger than I look.” They kissed in hotter commitment.
How cute. Tim recovered from his near swoon and relaxed back. His fingers curled in Hindy’s hair. I adored how Tim had succumbed to Hindy’s elegant worship.
After he recovered, Tim pointed at our tree. “Marcelino, the tree is delightful. I’ve been meaning to say something all evening.”
“Thanks. When Carl told me he never bothered with a tree anymore, I straightened him, well, you know what I mean, out on the problem. This holiday fiend needs a tree to celebrate the festive season.”
“Of course clever Marcel created our flamboyant rainbow tree.” My witty planner had purchased simple glass ornaments in rainbow colors and artfully arranged them in zigzag waves across the blue spruce. The compact tree’s rounded bulk dominated the room’s right window corner. “I love the sight. I never realized how I missed having a tree.” I stood and bowed toward my guests. “Anyone want more wine?”
Agreements filled the air. I brought an open bottle of pinot grigio and a bottle of Malbec to the coffee table. “Have fun.”
Hindy huffed in annoyance. “Marcelino, when will you properly train this rude beast?”
“Carl isn’t too bad. He’s just a little undomesticated.”
I returned to my cuddle against Marcel. “Why should I bother? You look after me so well I feel content to drift along.”
“That’s not true. I noticed someone has learned how to empty the dishwasher, and no lie, Carl even uses the vacuum cleaner.”
“What a miracle! Dearest, I salute you for transforming Carl.”
“Yeah, right.” I grinned and winked at Cupid, who sat alongside the bewinged Cher doll that passed for our tree’s angel. Yeah, I had started making the domestic effort for my man.
Hindy patted Tim’s knee. His eyebrows performed their usual hairline tango. “Tim, trust me, you are lucky to have found a tidy man. I’ve seen this place when—”
“Stop spreading tales.” I rolled my eyes. “Here’s the deal. Four months ago, Hindy dropped by one evening after Martin and I had conducted a stellar battle over him slapping me. The kitchen table’s contents were sprawled across the floor. During the argument, we tossed our food-filled plates like crazy people. Then we started on the glassware.”
“Too bad you didn’t crack a plate over his evil head.” Marcel scowled and sipped his wine. “Or better yet a grease-filled frying pan.”
“The temptation flirted with me.”
“I wish temptation had flirted you into real action. Enough, enough, I don’t want to talk about the odious man. Tonight I want to celebrate the season with true friends.” Marcel slithered from his sprawl and flicked on the TV. He clicked around until he laughed in merriment. “There it is. Bridget told me about this festive channel.”
Hindy sputtered in disbelief. “How remarkable. They actually broadcast a film of a burning Yule log? Hilarious.”
“A Yule log and traditional Christmas carols. How fun.” Tim raised his glass in glee before he poured Malbec. Damn, his shaky aim almost baptized my floor in dark-red goodness.
Marcel switched on the tree lights. The sparkly glow filled the room.
To my relief, Tim’s wineglass landed on the table before he applauded the festive light show. He seemed toasted enough to forget he held a glass in his hands. “Why did you turn off the lights during the party?”
“I don’t want to burn the living tree’s branches.” Marcel pointed to the large copper bucket holding the tree upright. “See, the spruce has a root ball. We’re donating the merry little tree to whatever city park needs trees. We can visit the spruce like proud parents.”
Hindy’s knowing stare met mine. “We are blessed old farts.”
“I agree.” I raised my glass for a communal toast. Our glasses clinked together without breaking anything although Tim almost fell off the couch. When it came to drinking, the slim blond was a lightweight.
Marcel switched off the room lights and returned to my side. He ruffled my hair. I wrapped my arm around his waist and pulled him close for a satisfied kiss.
We basked in the rainbow tree’s glow while watching the televised Yule log and listening to classic holiday tunes. The cozy scenario made sense. Tim and Hindy looked as settled as any old couple resting on a park bench, well, that is if the old couple wore black leather, black seersucker, or red-and-green plaid wool trousers. They sat holding hands and smiling for no good reason.
A gasp brushed my cheek. Marcel scrambled to his feet and pointed in fine dramatic style. I managed not to drop my wine. “Look, how cool, it’s snowing!” The pale light seeping through the right window framed his broad shoulders.
I admired his proud silhouette. Tim and Hindy stood to occupy the tall front left window. I stood and joined Marcel. There, a couple graced each window. Fitting. Outside the large flakes filtered down in indolent sloth. The streetlights illuminated their stately descent through the naked tree branches. This too made magical sense. I hugged Marcel close and kissed his temple.
Hindy shook his head in dismay. “I fear it’s time to find a cab.”
As he laughed, Marcel leaned over and prodded Hindy’s shoulder. “Why? You can use the spare bedroom.”
“Stay the night?”
“Look, we have plenty of treats and wine. I say let’s sit, eat, drink, and continue the celebration.” Marcel raised his glass into the air.
Tim clapped in glee. “I’m off tomorrow. I say yes.”
Hindy also lifted his glass into the air. “How wise. Why suffer winter’s bite? Jezebel loves her food dispenser, so no worries.”
Familiar thumping made me laugh. “Spazz wants to join the party.”
“Can I meet him in person?”
“Come on, Tim, I’ll let you hold his travel ball.”
Tim cooed in delight. Spazz entered his travel ball and danced in glee. My nutty hamster hated being left out of the action. Einstein stirred and started roaming through the colorful tube tangle. “Wow, Einstein is awake. These guys agree. They want to party. Go ahead, set Spazz on the floor.”
The merry Spazz rolled into the living room. He managed to bounce against Hindy’s and Marcel’s feet before he rolled back into the spare bedroom. I swear that hamster owned superior taste. No wonder, he was an alien.
We settled back into our comfortable cuddles. Marcel winked and kissed my cheek.
This time Hindy raised his wineglass into the air. The Yule log’s flames reflected off the glass. “My dear Tim, love for a pet is a sign of a good man. If you move in with me, will you bring along any pets? As you know, my ancient Jezebel is a sweetie, but she isn’t much on furry intruders. She does approval of you, which is enough for me.” Hindy set down his wineglass and stroked Tim’s long fine hair.
Marcel gasped. He gripped my shoulder until my muscles whimpered for release.
Tim almost hyperventilated. “Hindy, is this an offer?”
My friend flicked his pale left hand flicked through the air in imperial dismissal. “I planned to wait, but since our dear friends have created such a lovely romantic environment for us, I need to ask you tonight. After all, their love brought us together. Wise of them.” Hindy turned and winked at us before he grasped Tim’s hands. He kissed Tim’s knuckles and sighed in adoration. “Care to move in with me, sweetie darling? Care to be my much-needed breath of fresh air and keep dragging me from my shell?”
“Yes, yes, yes!” Their hug created a devoted tangle of black and blond hair.
Marcel’s triumphant smile tried to blind me. I squeezed him close. “Congratulations, matchmaker.”
A brief wing flutter vanished into the sparkling snow. Cupid, you are da man.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Gospel According to Cher and a Giveaway!

As part of the Next Big Thing Blog Hop, I'm here to chat about my new WIP, the second in the Cupid Knows Best franchise. There’s a nasty word, franchise, but this is not really a series. This second book is nothing like the first book in the Cupid realm, entitled, spiffily enough, Cupid Knows Best.

There’s no first POV in this book. Amazing how certain readers despise first person point of view. It makes them break out in hives. When I first started I made the decision to switch to the third POV because this book demanded I burrow into more than one character’s perspective, much like a mental pilot.

In the comments section, let me know your favorite song. One lucky person will win an ebook of Cupid Knows Best.

Time for the TEN questions!

What is the working title of your book?

The Gospel According to Cher. Her song “Believe” plays a huge part in the story.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

As I developed the secondary character Hindy from Cupid Knows Best, I wanted to know more and more about the diva gallery-owner. I gave Hindy a tragic yet weirdly funny love life. This book piles more trauma and drama on the devastated diva until Hindy meets lovelorn Patrice. Patrice is a character I kept dreaming about last year. He’s a frightened drag queen with a heartbreaking romantic past who really needs someone to take care of him, to protect him. The romantically-bruised Hindy does not seem like he can handle the huge task until Cupid steps in to maneuver the pair together.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a comedic gay male romance with vaguely supernatural spice.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?

What a tough question. Handsome Daniel Henney is a great choice for Patrice. He’s a little older than Patrice, but he’s half-Korean, half-Irish which is the perfect blend.

Here’s some pics of him. Cute, right? I think he’d look lovely sporting tiny braids.

Hindy, ahhh, dear, diva Hindy. I need a sexy, commanding man who can flash-freeze someone with a look but who also succumbs to tears when his romances fail. I know Michael Fassbinder seems to be in everything, but he has the right look for Hindy. He’s also the perfect age.

What is a one sentence synopsis of your book?

Really? Ha, I imagine the words being said in the big movie announcer voice, like “In a world torn by turmoil…” yep, that voice. Eeee, well, here goes!

When Cupid brings together a dramatic diva and a drag queen together in the wilds of the Adirondack mountains, who will end up wearing the spike heels in the relationship?

Yeah, what a sucky sentence. I’m not much for one sentences zingers.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I plan to offer the novel to Dreamspinner in February. How’s that for putting the cart before the horse. Is the correct cliché?

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I wrote most of the story during National Novel Writing Month, or, in shorthand, NaNoWriMo, from November 1st to November 21st. I’m finishing the first read through now. Major editing will take place in January.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre.

Cupid Knows Best or my other comedy An Elf for All Centuries. I haven’t read a book like this in the m/m genre which probably means it’s doomed. There's no cops, firemen, cowboys, or shifters.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Like I said, a demanding secondary character and a dream. The combination works for me!

What else about your book might interest the reader?

Hindy and Patrice should not click together. When they grow to understand each other, they realize how much they need each other. As in any good romance, ugly forces conspire to drive them apart, but Cupid, a mystical romance Moose named Big Floyd, Nate Jennings, the FBI profiler turned B&B owner and other characters help Hindy and Patrice’s romance blossom.

Here’s a little unedited excerpt:

Doors slammed shut. Sunglasses assumed positions atop nose bridges. Black hair shook back from high cheekbones. Hindy felt like a fighter pilot ticking off the take-off countdown. They prepared to enter romantic orbit.
Cupid rested on Esmeralda's black dashboard like a spiritual GSP system. The silver lip base shot wobbly sparkles across the interior. Hindy started Esmeralda, revved and roared from the parking lot.
Patrice raised his arms in the air. “Whooo-hoooo! I am outta here!” He almost stood in glee. Good thing Hindy had Esmeralda's top down.
Gleeful laughter seemed like the proper response. Laughter felt fine. Hindy crested the hill into the— fuck no. He slammed on the brakes. The car skewed to the right. Cupid slid down the dashboard until the windshield trapped his blond curls.
Patrice bounced up and down in manic glee. “Big Floyd! Holy cow, its Big Floyd!” His bouncing threatened Esmeralda’s delicate suspension.
Cow? Not the correct way to describe the lumbering beast. Hindy stared in epic disbelief. This could not be happening to him again. Hindy blinked. Hard. The huge animal’s mild brown eyes regarded him in disquieting intelligence. He suffered the damned phantom moose again?
Despite his trapped position between the windshield and dash board, Cupid started twirling. Cher belted out “Believe.”
Big Floyd swayed his antlers from side to side. The men watched as he high stepped around the car shaking his antlers to the throbbing beat. Once he performed a complete revolution, the hairy creature threw back his head and released a braying hoot.
Big Floyd’s head swooped down toward the ecstatic Patrice. He released another hoot. Patrice clapped in delight. The moose turned, shook his tail, and stepped into the pine forest.
Before he disappeared into the old trees, a silver shimmer surrounded his powerful body. Another raw hoot echoed through the foliage before Big Floyd’s tail flickered and vanished through thick pine growth. The strong sunrays illuminated the little dust motes swirling around the pine needles.
Cupid ceased wobbling around. Only birdsong and the creaking of Esmeralda’s springs filled the warm air. Hindy blinked for the fiftieth time.
Patrice’s goose honk laughter snapped Hindy from his stunned panic. He stared at his thrilled lover. Bouncing in joy suited Patrice. “Patrice, you did see what I just saw, correct?”
“Indeed I did, Spike! We have Big Floyd’s double supreme blessing! Whooo-hooo!” Patrice lunged forward to kiss Hindy before he hoisted Cupid into the air. A few glitter flakes drifted to rest on his shoulders. “Floor it, lover! Let’s go to my new home! New York City, here I come to cum!”
Hindy pressed the gas pedal to the floor.


Thanks for dropping by. Please comment! I’ll pick a winner on December 26th.

On December 26th, make sure you hop to these blogs to keep the “Next Big Thing” Blog Hop going strong!

Diane Adams:

Augusta Li and Eon de Beaumont

Elizabeth Noble:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lovely 4 kiss review for "Cupid Knows Best."

Lovely 4 kiss review for Cupid Knows Best. Here's a snippet:

"Ms. Garcia writes such interesting, unique heroes that I find very addictive to read about. Her heroes are quirky and are definitely one of a kind, and I easily become fascinated with each and every one of them. Even though they are a little unconventional, they still come across as wonderfully well-written and humanly flawed men."