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The Story of the Dueling Muses

Muse:  A person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.

Hello Readers!

I usually blog on the 7th of each month, or thereabouts, but I decided to wait because of my –

*BLMorticia clears her throat*

Oh, I’m sorry BLMorticia’s new release Where There’s Smoke. For those who know Sharita well, she writes under several pennames and she chooses the penname for the story based on the characters, subgenres, and or tones, of the story. At times, this complicated process hasn’t exactly worked. For the N’awlins Exotica series, it was a mix of all three at that time. Me, starting out, then BL, doing the next three, before Rawiya took book six and I closed it out with book seven. The series was a success, but it had Shar thinking, never EVER do that again, because why? It’s easy for readers to be confused as to who is writing what.

So after that pleasant debacle, Sharita decided to affirm the muse or penname in the beginning. She also figured out what each muse liked to write. I, for one, am complicated and write characters who are already out the closet. I rarely write questioning characters. Also, the more drama the better which is why Nola Exotica as well as the paranormal and Immortals were made for me.

BLMorticia is the snarky muse, writing characters who are or were military or musicians, hence Under the Gun and Hirah Blaze. Some of the comedy in BL’s stories is legendary too which is why many books by BL are considered comedy.

Then there’s Rawiya who writes mostly sweet romance with very little drama, but she also writes damaged characters. Something About Jayden and Mocha Kisses are examples. We all write gay romance, but our characters, the subgenres, and or tones of the story define us.

By looking at Nola, you can see how that could be complicated, especially since BL and Rawiya wrote the het and trans romances in the collection.

Don’t look at me. It was her fault for coming up with such a complex plot.


What a mess, but things seemed to right itself until Where There’s Smoke came along.

Where There’s Smoke was on the bloody to-be-written list for years, until Shar decided to give it a whirl in 2016. Where There’s Smoke is an MMM with gay characters who are comfortable with their sexuality. (me) It has a character who is proper and slightly overdramatic in Myles Greyson. (me) It also has a snarky military man who is tattooed and very handsome in Jonas Sandbauck. (BL) And the last character is for the most part very sweet, but he has some issues. (Rawiya) Add that all together along with the very angst-ridden, drama filled plot and…


We have yet another dilemma.

*BLMorticia chuckles*

Hush, BL!

It really was a conundrum that Shar fought with for weeks. Another story that crosses through all three muses, but in the end, with all the complication, angst, and sexiness, Shar decided to award it to BLMorticia, because the book fits her subgenres or tones better. There are complications, drama, a former military man, lots of sex, and most importantly, a lot of comedic one-liners that I usually don’t do. So for that reason, Where There’s Smoke is a BL story. And, because BL usually writes shorts, this will be her longest book to date.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter does it? It’s still Sharita Lira’s work, but Shar is crazy and neurotic. What can I say?


Better to exhibit the crazy on the page instead of in public, right?

Anyway, I’m very happy to share the storyline with BLMortcia. I believe she did the story justice and I surely hope you’ll give it a read. As for us, the dueling muses, we’ll promise, not to make Sharita choose between us again.

*BLMorticia smirks*


*Michael crosses fingers behind his back*

* * * *

Now you see what I have to deal with on a daily basis?

*pulls hair out*

Thanks Michael for making me look crazier than people think I am. I hope you all enjoyed this blog and will check out Where There’s Smoke from BLMorticia, one of my many pennames.

Thanks for listening!



Santiago Mendoza

Chicago nearly destroyed me, but moving to Cobalt, I found everything I needed to put my life back together. Or…almost everything. I have an amazing man, a job I love, and a budding career as an author. Why does it feel like something is missing?

Jonas Sandbauck

Being a gay firefighter in a small town like Cobalt is tough, but the day I met Santiago in a coffee shop, all the struggles in the world wouldn’t keep me from his side. I’m ready to give him everything, including a white picket fence home filled with all the strange antiques he could ever want. But first I have to clear the path to our future, by digging through the wreckage of his past.

Myles Greyson

I’m no stranger to heartbreak, but I’m a man who knows how to get what he wants. Chaos in my life stole the man I love. Between my Fortune 500 company, my mother’s failing health, and my sister abandoning her daughter for drugs, I barely have time to breathe. But I rise above it all to give my niece the family she deserves. Which means getting my man back, no matter what—or who—tries to stand in my way.

Three men. Three different lives. And a chance at love just out of reach.

TRIGGER WARNING: Flashbacks and mentions of rape. On page violence.



This one is a good exchange between Myles Greyson and his partner at the firm, Garrett Barnes.

 After an hour or so of watching and recording Macy’s baby acrobatics, I drove to my financial firm I co-ran and owned with Garrett in the west loop. With the help of his parents, we bought this building three years ago, free and clear. Then Garrett’s dad brought in his team of hardhat professionals to rehab the structure for free and turn it into a modern, functional office. The success of Greyson, Barnes, and Associates had quickly risen, making us one of the top ten minority owned financial firms in the United States. Apparently when talking about money, few saw the colors of our skin as a detriment. They only cared about sound advice on how they could protect their financial futures.

“Good morning, Diana.”  I greeted our executive secretary the minute I stepped off the elevator.

“Morning, Myles. Remember, meeting at eleven and then a lunch with Gleason Jarvis.”

I recalled the meeting, but not the lunch with one of the biggest homophobes this side of the United States. He was one of our top clients though and to his credit, he barely flinched when he moved his fortune to us, from a bigger firm downtown. However, that didn’t stop him from barraging me with insults about my “choice” of orientation. I had to grin and bear it for him because the advice we offered was very profitable.

Attempting to hide my oversight, I smiled at her and nodded. “Right. I believe we have reservations at his favorite restaurant, Toureg Café?”

“Yes, at one p.m. Do you want me to call and…”

Diana seemed to detect my apprehension about this meeting. “Oh, no, that won’t be necessary. Little of what Jarvis said would make me unhappy.”

I changed the subject. “Did you know Macy started rolling?” I leaned over her desk, still in disbelief.

Diane gasped. “Really? Congrats on that. She’s such a doll. When are you bringing her back so we could swoon over her more?”

“Soon. No worries there. I love bringing her in and making Garrett do most of the work,” I chuckled. “I’ll show you the video before we leave for the day, because it is truly precious.” I slapped her desk and walked towards my office just down the hall.

Turning the knob, I waltzed in to my office, taking in the amazing view of the downtown area. Someday we would expand and move closer in the loop to take one of those high rises, but I was in no rush because I truly loved this building.

“Hey, Myles.”

I looked up from my desk and nodded at my business partner. “Hey. Did you sleep well after that meal for two?”

Garrett walked in with a huge grin. “Sure did. You missed a good one. And the wine tasting was great too.”

“Sorry. I wasn’t in the mood for socializing last night. I’m better today, but I’d much rather go home to my little niece than be around a bunch of stuffy people.”

“Listen to you being all fatherly and stuff. One thing I will say, little Macy has grounded you a lot. You’re less of an arrogant prick and more caring. No offense.”

I cocked an eyebrow. “None taken. Tell me how you really feel, Garrett. Don’t hold back. It’s only your best friend you’re talking about.”

“Aw, Myles, you know I’m right. When you lost Pierre, you were pretty miserable. Then Santiago made you somewhat happy again. When he left, you went back to becoming Jekyll and Hyde. At least now, with Macy, you keep your bipolar tendencies in check a little more. When she’s not around though, ooh boy. I’m just glad I’m not your man.”

I turned up my lips and leaned back in my chair, crossing both arms over my chest. “And you claim to be my bestie.”

“Man, I am. If I didn’t love you like a brother, we wouldn’t be running this firm together. Remember what you always tell me. Your best friends are honest with you no matter how bad it hurts.”

“That’s true. While we’re at it, let me get a list together to tell you about yourself.”

“Haha. That’s okay. I can be hard to live with. Sherri tells me that all the time. You both love me regardless, so…”

“Yeah. I suppose that’s true too. Anyway, did you need something or just to tell me what an insufferable bastard I am.”

“There is that, and I wanted to invite you out on Saturday.”

“Where to this time? Another wine tasting with queer professionals?” I asked with a cocked brow.

Garrett sighed and shook his head. “For the record, it wasn’t that. It was for professionals to mix and mingle and it said all people were welcome. We took it to mean for gays and straights to network and drink.”

“Uh, huh. Anyway, what is it you’re talking about Saturday? I’m pretty sure this will be nothing I’m interested in.”

“See? Look at you acting like a douche.”

“Well, according to you that isn’t hard for me,” I answered with a smirk.

“Nope it isn’t. Again, before I was so rudely interrupted, this is a gathering for financial professionals. Lewis Dempsey is the speaker and I know how fond you are of him.”

“I’m about as fond of him as I am of cancer.”

“Yeah, but you gotta admit he knows his stuff. And since he’s gay too, I thought it good for you to meet other gay professionals and find a new partner.”

“Mhmm. And I suppose you’re sending me to this place alone.”

“No, no. I’m going too for moral support, but the minute you make a connection, I’ll make myself scarce. I’ll hang out by the punch bowl or something. Shoot the shit, make golf games. Hey, I got no problem with making myself fit in with any crowd.”

Garrett was right. He didn’t have all those hang-ups about queer people some other straight men of color seemed to have. He was one of a kind, which was why we’ve been friends for ten out of my thirty-eight years.

“So…” Garrett stood in one spot, regarding me and awaiting my response.

I supposed I could humor him and have a night out on the town with my best friend.

“Yeah, I guess. I’m really not interested in hooking up with anyone. However, it would be good for networking. And even though he’s a blowhard, Lewis knows financial strategies.”

“Now you’re talking.” Garrett clapped his hands then rubbed them together. “So, it’s a night then. I’m picking you up at seven, just in case you go home with anybody. And Sherri said she’ll watch Macy to give Sarah a night off.”

“I’m sure Sarah would like that. Still, I don’t intend to go home with anyone. I will allow you to be my designated driver though in case I overdo it.” I told him, then looked at my phone that pinged with a message.

That was so great. You must come down here so I can play with her very soon!

Noticing Santiago’s reaction, I smiled to myself, knowing I would be making that trip, a lot sooner than later.


Bio: BLMorticia entertains her readers with hot and smexy sex, humor, and lots of swear words. She attempts to incorporate metal music or the military in most of her works. Nothin’ sexier than metalheads or military servicemen and women!


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Bio: Sharita Lira

Romance and erotica author Sharita Lira believes that love conquers all. Writing sexy stories of people who might be complete opposites, but somehow make a lasting connection that often leads to a happily ever after.

Happily married and mother of two, Sharita never allows complex plots to deter her from writing the story. Inspired by heavy music, attractive people she’s seen in person and on the internet, Sharita always has a tale on her brain.

In addition to being a computer geek and a metalhead, Sharita loves live music, reading, and spending time with family and friends. She’s also a founding member and contributor to the heavy metal ezine FourteenG.

For more information, please visit and if you’re a fan who would like exclusive updates on her writings and chances to win prizes, sign up for the newsletter!

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