Outer Alliance Pride Day

“As a member of the Outer Alliance, I advocate for queer speculative fiction and those who create, publish and support it, whatever their sexual orientation and gender identity. I make sure this is reflected in my actions and my work.”
Outer Alliance Pride Banner
This is the Pride statement of a recently formed group called the Outer Alliance. Today is our version of Pride Day, and all supporters of the group like me are posting this statement on their web sites followed by a bit of their own work.
It’s quite true–I have trouble writing things that are completely heterosexual or heteronormative. In my mind, all my characters are somewhat bisexual, but the plot of every story doesn’t always leave room to bring that up. But I try to fit things in where I can. For me, of course, “queer” doesn’t just mean gay/lesbian, but bisexual, gender-queer, and poly-tribal-BDSM as well, “queer” encompasses all the intentional rejections of hetero-dominant sexuality and marriage.
This meant I had to give the heroine of my otherwise quite “straight” romance novel, Mind Games, a gay male best friend, as well as keep coming up with ways to challenge the heterosexuality of Kyle, my straight male protagonist of the “Magic University” books. And he is straight, or at least straight-ish. There are lots and lots of gay and bi characters in the books, but Kyle is one of the straightest of the bunch.
Here’s a segment from Magic U book one, “The Siren & the Sword” which illustrates what I mean. “Magic U” is about a college student who arrives at Harvard only to discover he belongs in one of their four magical residential houses. (Think Harry Potter Goes To Harvard.)
This scene is at a New year’s Eve party, and Kyle is one of the few undergraduates around for the holiday:
The pristine beauty of the first snow had faded by New Year’s Eve, as rain and sleet and more snow piled on, and Kyle didn’t see the sun for a week. He would be spending New Year’s Eve at Scipionis House, where a couple of the diehard graduate students had declared a party. Kyle was curious what a party run by Scips would be like, picturing a bunch of people gathered around a Scrabble board.
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Roasted Eggplant Pasta Sauce

Time to write this recipe down before I forget it.
Eggplant Sausage Pasta Sauce
aka another great way to use up what comes from our farm shares
3 greek lamb sausages
cubed eggplant, one big mixing bowl’s worth (probably 2 regular sized eggplants)
3 small onions
3 cloves garlic
3 medium to large tomatoes, or a can of diced including juice
fresh basil and parsley
a few fennel seeds
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
a green or red bell pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 425.
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Sink yr teeth into this…

It’s Live! The third of my three erotic vampire anthologies from Ravenous Romance just went live on their site. Boys of the Bite is the gay male companion volume to Women of the Bite (lesbian) and Bites of Passion (het).
I have a sneaking suspicion this one may end up the best selling of all three…

The book includes:
Wanting Needing Having by R. R. Angell
To Be Beloved by Pepper Espinoza
Lost in Translation by TammyJo Eckhart
The Love of a Faithful Servant by Teresa Noelle Roberts
The Sin Eater’s Prince by Keta Diablo
The Last Brother by Ken Panadero
The Devil’s Half Acre by Ryan Field
VAMMP: Conquering Dissension by Bryl R. Tyne
I hope you enjoy it!
More info on Ravenousromance.com

My Worldcon Schedule!

My Worldcon Schedule!
Please note, I do NOT use 24-hour time like the con committee does. It fucks me up. So this has been translated to AM/PM time that doesn’t trigger my numeric dyslexia. (All numbers become synonyms to me.)
Panel: Food: Ancient, Modern, Future, Near and Far
Friday, 2pm – 3:30
And apparently I’m the moderator! Oooh, yum yum yum. I shall endeavor to make it fun. I wonder if I can encourage the panelists to bring examples of food some in the audience might consider “alien”? With panelists Ana Cristina Campos Rodrigues, Cecilia Tan, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Jon Singer, Richard Foss.
Party: Circlet Press and IO9 Party!!
Friday, 8pm to ~2am (kind of depends on how tired we are, ya know)
There will be the usual Circlet Press Smorgasbord of Smut, as well as a station to download erotic fantasy ebooks to your jump drive! Plus CD-ROMs. (And printed books too, of course. Unless they get seized at the border. Cross your fingers.)
Reading: At the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading!
Saturday, 10am!!
Sadly, the con assigned me a reading slot so early on Thursday it was before my scheduled arrival in Montreal. I will, however, join this awesome group of writers for a Broad Universe kick-ass style Rapid Fire Reading. I have already picked out a nice hot section of MAGIC UNIVERSITY to read. Hopefully after lots of tea I will be awake enough to read after the party the night before!
Signing: As in, I will be autographing in the designated area.
Saturday, 6pm – 6:30
Sometimes they are fussy about letting people sell materials in the autograph area, but if they let me I will usually have a small selection of things with me, since most con dealers these days don’t carry actual books any more… (I’m very happy to point people to any dealer who *does* want to carry my books and CD-Roms, though…!!)
Panel: Sex Toys of the Future
Saturday, 10pn – 11pm
With Donna McMahon, Howard Davidson, Judy T. Lazar, Pat Rothfuss, Ctein
One of my perpetually favorite topics! “How neuroscience, pharmacology, computer engineering, molecular biology and virtual reality are altering the landscape of possible sex toys and diversions.” Rawr.
Kaffeeklatsch: With me!
Sunday, 11am – 12 noon
Sit down with me for an hour. This is when I usually tell publishing horror stories, give writerly advice, and regale people with tales from the life of the fabulous erotica writer/editor/publisher. Or we can talk about food, travel, baseball… whatever you want. Will it be weird if I bring my own tea? (I am a tea snob.)
Broad Universe: covering the BU table
Sunday, 12:30 to 3:00pm, roughly
Still tentative, but I will probably try to help out at the BU table during this stretch between the ‘klatsch and the next panel.
Panel: Rainbow Futures
Sunday, 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
with Catherynne Valente, Cecilia Tan, Graham Sleight, Jason Bourget, Lila Garrott-Wejksnora
The con’s description: “How does media SF deal with gay and lesbian characters? Is the real world moving too fast for the genre? Can SF show us a future where sexual orientation isn’t a big deal?” But you know this is actually the panel where everyone goes to cruise everyone else, right? (Yes, I did meet my first girlfriend at a “Gays and Lesbians in SF/F” panel at an Arisia back in 1991. Why do you ask?)
I’d kind of like to have a Harry Potter fanfic meetup, if anyone’s interested? Tell me if you are and I’ll start trying to wrestle that into the schedule too! best possible times are: Friday noon, Friday 4pm or Sunday 5pm? Ping me if interested and I’ll figure out where!

MAGIC UNIVERSITY is launched!! Read an excerpt…

Well, it’s here!!!! Or more specifically THERE.
And “it” is MAGIC UNIVERSITY, the erotic fantasy novel I have been talking about forever! The one I was writing every single night between midnight and 3 a.m. because that was the only time in my schedule I could find to write!
I worked so hard on this book. It’s the first of a four book series, so a lot of things had to be planned out, considered, and weighed, but like just about everything I’ve written, part of the magic was in how things I hadn’t realized were important took important turns in bringing it all together.
I had lots of support from my friends in HP fandom. It’s no secret that this book is, in many ways, my take on a Harry-Potter-ish scenario. J. K. Rowling didn’t invent the trope of the neglected orphan who suddenly discovers previously unknown magic either in himself, in his heritage, or in the world (thank you Cinderella, Frodo, et. al.), nor did she invent magic wands, spells, flying brooms, or even the concept of a magic school (precedents too many to name, but I’ll give a nod here to Wizard’s Hall by Jane Yolen) or learning magic as a metaphor for coming of age (tip of the hat to A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin, which was one of my favorite childhood books).
MAGIC UNIVERSITY is the book (series) I’ve been wanting to write to satisfy the cravings that the Harry Potter books brought up in this adult reader, but which couldn’t be satisfied in a “book for kids.” So I get have my openly gay characters, my sex magic, and my moral ambiguity. Magic does not come as easy in my universe, either; wands cannot be used like guns.
As the marketing copy goes: “Kyle Wadsworth arrives at Harvard eager to start his new life as a college student away from the cold and distant great-aunt who has raised him. But he walks into a building that only magical people can see, confusing both himself and the administrators of Veritas, the secret magical university hidden inside Harvard. There he first sees a beautiful girl who seems magical to him in every way.
Soon Jess is tutoring Kyle in the ways of magic, sex, and love. But trouble is afoot at Veritas. Rumors abound that a siren is haunting the library, and when Kyle’s best friend is attacked, Kyle is determined to use his newly learned skills in erotic magic to catch the culprit. But which is more important, his quest for justice or his search for true love?”

Without further ado, here’s the first chapter, for your reading enjoyment! And I sincerely hope that you do enjoy it!
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Zen and the Art of Farm Shares

When we sat down to dinner the other night at my “let’s use up some farm share stuff” meal with my Baitcon widow friends, it was the first time I’ve had the urge to say grace over a meal ever. The connection of the food to the land and to my own health and happiness had never been clearer. I didn’t end up saying anything (though we did toast), but here’s what I was thinking:
Dear creative force of the universe, serious thanks for making such wonderful and amazing forms of sustenance for me and my species. Thank you for caring for our animals and the people who care for them, and for this planet and the bounty that it provides. It took weather and soil and human effort to bring all this to my table and for that I am grateful.
Since several people have asked, here are the details on the farms and how to join the CSAs:
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Summer Dinner

My posts on Twitter yesterday as I was cooking what I deemed the “Baitcon Widows dinner” prompted many people begging for the recipes.
See, me and two friends got together partly because our spouses are all off at this annual private party in the woods where about 100-150 of our closest friends camp out together and make a lot of ice cream.
My goal was to use up some of the stuff I got from our two farm shares. We’re in a meat CSA and a vegetable CSA, and we get veg every week! And I’m the only one here most of this week so it’s a challenge to eat it all up. And we’ve been falling behind on our meat consumption, too, meaning we have like 15 steaks to eat up in the freezer.
So, it went something like this…Continue reading →

Whipped Cream this time!

Whipped Cream Reviews just gave Mind Games “five cherries”!
A few choice bits:
“Mind Games is brisk, fast-paced, ironic and completely sexy. The writing is crisp and concise with characters any reader can easily identify with. The point of view never jumps, and the scenes are well described and packed with delicious adjectives. Writing premonitions, visions or even telepathy is a challenge for any author while maintaining the story flow and not confusing the reader. Mind Games pulls this off beautifully. There is never any uncertainty for the reader and I must award the author “TWO THUMBS” way up on a job well done!”
“Ms. Tan is a talented story-teller. This is my first story I have read by her, but I know it will not be my last. Wonderful job for a writer who is definitely a must keep in the business. Don’t miss out on this yummy, naughty novel.”

Dang, and another one…

This time from ParaNormalRomance reviews:
The review is mostly a plot synopsis, but features the headline “Scorching hot with a touch of suspense” and finishes off with this nice blurb: “Cecilia Tan brings together love, suspense, and scorching sex in a story well worth reading. I would love to read a sequel to see what more trouble Wren and Derek can get into.”
If I’d known there would be so many reviews, I would have just waited and posted them all at once…

MIND GAMES keeps getting reviewed favorably (happy dance)

I’m pleased to say my paranormal erotic romance, MIND GAMES, has garnered another rave review. FIVE STARS! From Manic Readers Review, a romance review site.
Excerpts: “Ms. Tan is going to blow readers away with Mind Games! Superb from beginning to end, I discovered new faith in the paranormal erotica genre.”
“Fans of Ms. Tan’s erotica will rejoice at her venture into the paranormal world. This was such a treat for me… I certainly hope this won’t be Ms. Tan’s only foray into the paranormal world because Mind Games is definitely an all out hit!”
Here’s a link to the whole thing: