men’s nail polish

Men Wearing Nail Polish; Behind the Candelabra; FREE Excerpt Cowboy Bad Boy

For the past few weeks the topic of men wearing nail polish has been following me around for some reason and I decided to look for some viable links and post about it.

I’m not sure this would be considered gender bending. From what I gather the men who wear men’s nail polish are straight, have no inclination to be cross dressers or transgenders, and it’s nothing more than a fashion statement from them.

A few years ago, Josh Espley, a former marketing exec for a sex toy company called Fleshlight, noticed that his kickboxing friends were wearing polish to cover their banged-up nails. The practice was becoming popular, he noted, with the mixed martial arts crowd: Former Ultimate Fighting Championship star Chuck Liddell famously sported dainty pink fingernail polish in fights. Espley occasionally reads Us Weekly—to help him chat up women, he says—and saw polish on male celebrities such as Zac Efron, Jared Leto, Dave Navarro, and Johnny Depp. So in 2009, as a way to supplement his income, he created Blakk Cosmetics. Its first product was Alpha Nail paint, which the company sold in $12 pens in colors like “cocaine” (creamy white), “burnin’ rubber” (dark navy), and “gasoline” (charcoal gray).

I’ve seen the trend first hand. I have a few straight friends with teenage sons who are basically your typical high school jocks and they’re painting their toenails in multi-colors. And frankly I’m thrilled to see this. I have to admit I’m usually very conservative with colors, in fashion and in design. My house is about twenty shades of taupe. My clothes run from black to white, with shades of gray in between. But I’ve often wondered why men in our society are so regulated to the same business suit they’ve been wearing for over a century now. It changes in little ways. But it’s still the same old business suit. Maybe this nail polish trend will kick off a few more interesting ideas for men’s fashion, because it’s pretty damn dull as it stands right now.

What I also find interesting is that I wrote a few blog posts a few years ago about men painting their toenails. No need to pat me on the back 🙂  I even wrote a short story about it in a Christmas anthology titled, “Tipsy Pink,” way before this became a new trend. It will be interesting to see if this catches on with the mainstream. So far, it’s an isolated trend from what I can see.

 Behind the Candelabra

The new HBO film about the life of musician Liberace is airing this Sunday, and I wanted to post about it one more time in case someone missed it. I did post about it here.

And it has bravura performances from film stars Matt Damon as a hunky, often bewildered Thorson and Michael Douglas as Liberace himself, letting his middle-aged paunch show in an explicit depiction of a sex and drug-laced relationship that puts a new, jarring vision of the easy listening pop culture icon onscreen.

I’ll be watching for several reasons. One, I remember Liberace as a kid and always wondered about him…he lived a basically closeted life in public in spite of his flamboyance. Two, I want to see how they handle the topic. I wasn’t too thrilled in the previous post I wrote…link above.

It’s interesting. So they couldn’t find one single gay actor to play the part of Liberace’s lover? I know. I’m supposed to be open about that and all actors should play be able to play any role regardless of their sexual orientation. It’s just that I don’t see anyone breaking any doors down to offer Jeffery Self…or other openly gay actors…any lead roles in feature films. That idiot Brett Easton Ellis didn’t think Matt Bomer could play Christian in 50 Shades.
I hate to harp on something. And I love Matt Damon. I really do. But I recently posted about Matt Bomer playing the lead the Fifty Shades film adaptation and how people thought he was too gay to play Christian. Evidently, no one thinks Michael Douglas or Matt Damon are TOO STRAIGHT to play these gay roles in Behind the Candelabra.

I’ll be posting about this again early next week. The problem is no one does talk about these things, and Hollywood gets a away with things no one else can get away with.

Free Excerpt from Cowboy Bad Boy

The title of my upcoming novel in the Bad Boy Billionaire series is “A Cowboy in Love.” I pulled out a lot of emotion with this book, and I set it in Texas on a ranch just outside Dallas. I wanted a main character this time who was grieving for his husband, and I wanted to show the stages of grief he goes through, which includes meeting someone new and starting all over again. In this particular scene below, the main character goes horseback riding with someone his sister is trying to fix him up with…someone he doesn’t want to be fixed up with. It also shows how Bailey can be a little mean sometimes.

This is the unedited version.

Bailey patted Cyclone’s neck and smiled. “He has a little more energy than most horses, but he’s perfectly harmless. Would you like to ride him?” He figured Devlin would try to climb into the saddle and Cyclone would start jumping around the way he usually did. He also figured when Devlin realized how unpredictable Cyclone could be, he would climb down before they started and he would ask to ride the other horse. Bailey wasn’t sure he could ever break Cyclone, but he had a feeling he could break Devlin.

            But that’s not what happened. The instant Devlin slipped his olive green shoe into the stirrup and threw his long leg over the saddle, Cyclone started jumping around and Devlin pulled the reins and said, “Knock it off.” Then he glanced down at Bailey and asked, “What are you waiting for, an invitation to the prom?”
            So Bailey climbed up on the other horse and didn’t say a word. When they were ready to leave, Bailey’s head jerked sideways and his eyes popped open as Cyclone went up on his two hind legs, screamed, and took off in a fast gallop. Bailey followed Devlin and Cyclone with the same wide eyes, amazed at the way Devlin knew how to control the unpredictable horse. Devlin showed no signs of fear; he didn’t complain or glance back once. He continued at the same incredible pace toward the back pasture, and Bailey had trouble keeping up with him. Though Bailey knew how to control Cyclone, no one other than Christopher had been brave enough to ride him for any length of time.

            It was amazing to watch in the distance. Cyclone jumped over fences, rocks, and even a tree that had come down in the last storm. Devlin held him steady and never wavered. By the time they reached the farthest stretch of the ranch, near the creek where Bailey had embarrassed himself with Garrett, Devlin slowed down and came to complete halt. He glanced back at Bailey in the distance and said, “If you’re having trouble keeping up with me, I can go slower for you.”

            Cyclone didn’t stop jerking and fidgeting once, even though they stopped. This didn’t seem to bother Devlin. He remained in the saddle and moved with each jerk and move as if he’d anticipated them. But more than that, he showed no sign of fear whatsoever. His voice didn’t even go up when Cyclone went all the way up on his hind legs and spun around.

            When Bailey caught up with them, he asked, “Are you sure Cyclone’s not too rough for you? Maybe this was a mistake. I should probably be riding him. I’m used to his quirks.” He started to feel a little guilty about setting Devlin up this way. The guy wore bad shoes, but Bailey didn’t want to see him get hurt.

            Cyclone went up on his back legs again and he made that loud bray sound. Devlin remained steady and said, “It’s cool. I like a horse with a little life in him.”

            Bailey shrugged. “Maybe we should rest here a little.” He pointed to the trees. “There’s a creek over there.”

            Devlin hopped out of the saddle without waiting for Bailey. He patted Cyclone’s head, looked into his eyes, and said, “You’re not so bad.” Then he smiled at Bailey and said, “Would you like any help getting down.”

            Bailey frowned and said, “No thank you. I can manage.” Then he hopped off his horse and guided him to a tree.

            While they tied the horses to separate trees, Bailey noticed how casual and restrained Devlin behaved with Cyclone. When Cyclone tried to jerk away and pull back, Devlin looked into his eyes and spoke with a clear even tone. And he spoke as if he were speaking to a human being who could actually understand him. “Whoa, boy. You’re not the one in charge. I’m in charge.”

            Bailey flung him a look and said, “I have to admit that for a guy who rides in Chatsworth you sure do know what you’re doing.” He’d said Chatsworth as if it had left a bad taste in his mouth.

            Devlin shrugged and said, “I live in LA, cowboy. But I grew up on a ranch in Montana.” He patted Cyclone’s neck again and laughed. “Hell, I’ve ridden stronger horses than this one bareback.”

            His smug attitude made Bailey’s skin crawl. He’d been so worried about him getting hurt it hadn’t occurred to him Devlin might actually know what he was doing. Bailey felt a little foolish, and he didn’t like feeling that way. He preferred to be the one in control. So he decided to turn things around and test him in another way. Only this time he was certain about whether or not he wouldn’t wind up embarrassed or vindicated.

            “I think I’m going for a swim in the creek,” Bailey said.

            “In the creek?” Devlin made a face.

            “Sure. It’s great.”

            “But there’s a fantastic swimming pool back at the house,” Devlin said.

            “If you’re not interested, I’ll go alone,” Bailey said. “I hope you don’t mind that I swim in the nude.” He turned and headed to the creek, leaving Devlin standing next to the horses with a confused expression.