Saturday, February 28, 2015

Don't shame M/M Readers


I have a book coming out next week, and I really should be promoting that, but instead, today I’m going to talk about shame.

I adored books while I was growing up.  I was very lonely on an isolated farm, and books were my friend.  I was allowed to borrow four books from the Council library once a month when we visited.  Otherwise I had to make do with the books in my bookcase, and my brothers’ and sisters’ collections.  And being the youngest (by a long shot) of nine children meant I had some weird stuff to read.

We didn’t have a computer.  I didn’t have friends (for we were too isolated).  My siblings were all years older than me and into their own stuff (and mostly moved out of home by this stage).  We had one TV and I was allowed to watch Home And Away at 7pm on weeknights, A Country Practice at 7:30pm twice a week, and Friday Nights At The Movies.  Otherwise the TV was off.

By the age of nine, my allergies were beginning to manifest, and so I kept to my room for I was allergic to most things outside on the farm.  I was… cut-off, dead, going-around-the-twist.

That all changed when I was eleven, and a rare week-long holiday at my cousin’s house introduced me to Dolly Fiction.  I was hooked.  They were romance stories featuring 15-to-17-year-old girls who did some awesome stuff while dating some really nice guys.  And the best part – the books were available at the newsagency, in bulk, for a cheap price.  So on our fortnightly shopping trips, I would go to the newsagency and buy ten of them with my money.

A couple of years later I had been shuffled off to my oldest sister’s house (ie Mum and Dad were both busy with the ‘favourite’ child, meaning they needed somewhere to dump me) and I was probably being bored (sulking) as only a thirteen-year-old can be, when my sister shoved a book at me.  It was a Mills & Boon novel called Rise of an Eagle by Margaret Way – I still have that very book to celebrate my introduction to the genre.  I devoured it.  M&B books were readily available in newsagencies (thank the Lord!), and my mum occasionally agreed to take me to the second hand bookstore where I could buy them 30 at a time.

Why did I love them?  They were everything I wanted.  I travelled the world via those books.  I met so many people, ate different foods and dressed in different clothing.  I received my sex education via those books (yeah, thanks Mum) and learned about grooming.  I learned basic French, Italian, Greek and Spanish.  I learned how to address royalty, how to act in a social setting, and how dating your boss is not always the best way to go.  I met some tough women, some broken women, some marshmallow women and was entertained.  And the best part?  No surprises at the end.

As an extremely insecure child, I liked this immensely.  I really have no idea what triggered my emotional uncertainty as a child, but I always needed something/someone to cling to.  I required constant reassurance that my family were still there and I didn’t like change.  Romance books gave me my security.  I always knew that on the last page they would be together.

For the next **cough** twenty or so years I continued to read M&B – or at least a variation of them.  Silhouette, bodice rippers, erotic romance – I did them all.  I did Vikings, vampires, Victorian misses and more.  Cowboys and cyborgs, werewolves and westerns, sheiks, shifters and Scotsmen, time-travel and true stories.

Yet, I can count on one hand the number of people who didn’t shame me for my reading material.  Twenty years and if someone saw what I was reading, they never said, “Hey – that’s great.”  Instead what I got was a roll of the eyes and something along the lines of, “Oh, please.  Not that trash.”  

I even got to the point where I was self-depreciating about it.  When someone said to me, “Have you read *insert latest blockbuster here*” or “You should read…” I would turn to them and say, “If it doesn’t have a picture of two people kissing on the front, I don’t read it.”

But why should I be ashamed of admitting I read that stuff?  If you look at the figures, it’s the most successful genre ever.  But people would make me feel ashamed to read it.  Why?  Because it made me happy?  Because it offered the reader hope and emotional fulfilment?  Because it wasn’t about a secret agent who treated women like garbage, or the latest theory on alien invasion?  Because it wasn’t offered in hardback at a cost of $30 per story?  Because it wasn’t written by a man???

I refuse to be ashamed that I used to read Mills & Boon.  I refuse to be ashamed at the fact I like a HEA ending.  Romance may trite, but maybe I like that.  And do you know what?  Publishing figures show that a lot of people (ie not just women) like that too.

Why am I writing this in a blog?  Because today I read something that made me angry.  It was an opinion about “women” who write M/M.  Now, apart from generalising with their huge, broad brush there about all women who write M/M, this person pushed some buttons with me.  They shared their opinion that fictional gay characters in M/M are unrealistic.  They claim that all characters are either femme stereotypical gay men, or conversely alpha males who the writer then causes to break down in tears for the creation of soap-opera trope.

Obviously this person has read, what – two books in the genre?  Because whoa-there-baby.  I just cannot, cannot, cannot agree with you there.  I find the myriad of characters in the M/M genre to be fantastic.  You can find the entire spectrum of people – brave, hiding, handsome, not-so-handsome, nerdy, butch, nurturing, socially awkward – and everything in between.  They range in age and size and experience.

The writer of this opinion, went on to say that women writers create characters to emotionally satisfy the women readers of their books.  Tropes such as the alpha male brought to his knees in an emotional scene, the gay man conveniently left with the baby, the feminine gay who needs a big protector.  All of these ideas were discussed and ridiculed, and then we were told that women writers should stop writing that sort of crap.

Oh, go and stuff a sock in it.

For a start, if you don’t want to read it, don’t.  But I will not have you sermonising at me, and telling me what I should be writing and making me feel ashamed for what I read and write.  Don’t make me feel ashamed for liking it when a strong man can be soft enough to cry tears over a situation.  Don’t make me ashamed for liking the big protector or the gay-dad.  Because this is fiction.  This is what provides me with the escape from my life.  This is what makes me happy.

And I’m not the only one.  Because from sales figures, I would say there are a lot of people (ie not just women) who also like the “cliché” of M/M.

Just like there is no shame if you are homosexual, bisexual, transsexual or whatever you want to call yourself.  Just like there is no shame if you like a little S&M in the bedroom, a little bit of role play or even inviting a third.  There is no shame in reading what you like. 

I’m making a stand.  I don’t come over to your house and tell you what to do – in your bedroom, in your political stance, in your eating habits.  Why should you tell a collective group of “women” what they should read and write?

So read with pleasure what you like.  Because money talks, and if people don’t like it, they won’t buy it, and then writers won’t write it.

And talking about buying?  My new novel is out next Friday.  Preorder links here:



How to contact Renae:
Twitter:  @renaekkaye

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ask Andrew - What's In a Name?


Hi Andrew

How do you decide on the names for the characters in your books?  Do you have a list of names and as you are writing decide which name will fit which personality?

Mary

Dear Mary

After writing over a hundred stories, character names are definitely becoming a bit of a struggle.  Some names can be reused while others are so definitive for their stories that I could never reuse them no matter how long ago I wrote the story.  Geoff, Eli, Sean, Red,  When I'm writing a story I try to pick a name that fits the feel I want the character to have.  It doesn't always work, but that's what I try to do.  There are times when I give the character one name to start the story and then change it later.  Dominic is sometimes very helpful with names, as well as titles.

I wish I had a list of names that I want to use, but I don't.  I sometimes think of people I meet or the names of folks I used to work with., but that well is running dry.  Sometimes I use web sites.  For example the Professional Bull Riders web site has a lot of men with unusual names.  A visit can sometimes yield interesting results.   I hate to say it, but mostly I wing it. 

Now there are exceptions.  If I am writing a character with a specific ethnicity, I will check out popular names in that language or country.  For example, when writing A Spirit Without Borders which is set in Liberia, I did extensive research on names for that country so my characters would feel authentic.  I did the same for One Good Deed and The Good Fight stories.  Sometimes alot goes into choosing a name and other times it can be easy and the perfect one appears immediately.  (Red came to me right away, so did Bull)  Either way I try to choose each character name to suit their personality. 

Hugs and love
Andrew

Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

Visit Andrew on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/andrewgreybooks  and you can join Andrew's fan group All The Way With Andrew Grey.

Follow him on Twitter:  @andrewgreybooks

Visit Andrew's web site:  www,andrewgreybooks.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Get Better Julia!


<sean> waves
 <sean> evening
 <BA> Hola!
 * BA leans
 <BA> Miss Julia has a terrible cold
 <BA> and she is NOT HAPPY
 <BA> so she gets the night off.
 <sean> oh colds suck
 <BA> nods
 <BA> I told her at least she'll be better by Florida, right?
 <sean> nods
 <sean> she must be
 <BA> yes
 <BA> O.O
 <BA> So, my blind dad/cowboy dad book comes out Friday
 <BA> I'm tickled pink
 <sean> oh very cool
 <BA> nods
 <sean> you let me beta that one :)
 <BA> I named it Ever the Same
 <sean> it was yummy
 <BA> because I read the lyrics to the Rob Thomas song
 <BA> and went OMG IT'S DIXON AND AUDIE!
 <sean> heeee
 <BA> Also, you should know that I named Audie after Audie Murphy
 <BA> whose museum is in Greenville
 <sean> who is....
 <BA> (damned Canadian)
 <sean> yep
 <BA> he was America's most decorated WWII Combat Soldier
 <sean> oh that's cool
 <BA> then he was an actor
 <BA> he was in The Red Badge of Courage
 <sean> neat
 <BA> The Cimarron Kid
 <BA> Gunsmoke
 <BA> The Unforgiven
 <BA> Hell Bent for Leather
 <sean> *grins*
 <sean> and you know I haven't seen most of those
 <BA> (believe it or not, I won the board game for 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon because I stumped the creators with Audie Murphy)
 <sean> heeeeee
 <BA> He was in The Texican
 <BA> at any rate, he's from Greenville
 <BA> and so, when I was thinking of names
 <BA> Audie came up
 <sean> that's cool
 <BA> nods
 <BA> Dixon is an Austinite
 <BA> to the BONE
 <sean> so, weird ;)
 <BA> duh
 <sean> as in keep austin weird
 <BA> ;-)
 <sean> grins
 <BA> he's a hipster
 <BA> I cannot WAIT to do the Dallas, Greenville, Austin trip
 <sean> missing it?
 <BA> nods
 <BA> lots
 <BA> now, I guarantee by the time the 2 weeks is done?
 <BA> I'll be going, "home home home"
 <sean> nods
 <BA> but right now I WANT TEX-MEX
 <BA> and bluebonnets
 <sean> heeee
 <BA> it SNOWED here today
 <sean> yay!
 <BA> no
 <BA> no
 <BA> spring is supposed to come Valentine's day
 <sean> I love snow
 <BA> I am 100% finished with this whole thing
 <sean> heeee
 <BA> I love seasons
 <sean> me too, but winter is the best season
 <BA> Spring is my absolute favorite, though
 <BA> the others are all just fine
 <BA> monsoon season sucks a little bit
 <sean> I bet
 <BA> which reminds me, I need to get a quote on a new swamp cooler
 <BA> *writes that down*
 <BA> by the by, the voice starts again tonight
 <sean> nods
 <sean> yeah
 <sean> looking forward to it
 <BA> who are the judges now?
 <sean> Blake Shelton, Pherell, Christina and the hottie also known as Adam Levine
 <BA> huh
 <BA> I don't understand the whole Pharell thing
 <BA> he seems nice enough
 <BA> but I'm not sure that I'd call him particularly musical
 <BA> then again, I'm OLD
 <sean> lol
 <BA> and I can take or leave Christina
 <BA> I quite liked Shakira
 <sean> Blake and Adam are my favorites
 <sean> especially their byplay
 <sean> *grins*
 <BA> aren't they everyone's?
 <sean> oh, I liked Shikira too
 <BA> I mean, the other judges are just there for filler
 <sean> heeee
 <sean> nods
 <BA> I think Julia headed back to bed. She is not a happy camper.
 <sean> Tell her to keep her germs to herself ;)
 <sean> and to feel better.
 <BA> no shit
 <BA> with my luck I'll be heading to Florida with the plague
 <sean> that would suck
 <BA> just think, next week we can blog in our hotel room
 <BA> AT DISNEY
 <sean> how fun will that be?
 <BA> nods
 <BA> I'm ready
 <BA> if by ready I mean completely and totally unprepared
 <sean> LOL
 <sean> I'm looking forward to it
 <BA> me too
 <BA> very much
 <sean> I can't believe it's coming up next week already
 <sean> that'll be march
 <sean> MARCH
 <sean> O.O
 <BA> yeah
 <BA> I'm just... O.O
 <BA> @.@
 <sean> nods
 <sean> I'm kind of spaced tonight
 <sean> Mondays are hard
 * BA chuckles
 <BA> let's just hope that there's not a week of them
 <BA> and remember, next Monday we'll be together!
 <sean> wooo!
 <BA> :D
 <BA> okay, love
 <BA> I have 122340293572039485270 things to do
 <sean> so a light evening ;)
 <BA> and a sicky Mcsick sick wife
 <sean> nods
 <sean> have a great week
 <sean> *hugs*
 <BA> It's going to get better
 <BA> damn it
 <sean> give julia my best
 <BA> I shall
 <BA> love you so
 <BA> *waves and poofs*
 <sean> you too :)
 <sean> night

If you have a topic you’d like us to chat about (or any other favorite things you'd like us to share), please let us know. We’re totally up for that.

You can find us on Twitter at @seanmichael09, @juliatalbot and @batortuga.

Sean’s website is http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com
Julia’s is http://www.juliatalbot.com
BA’s is http://www.batortuga.com

Facebook:
Sean -- https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites
Julia -- https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor
BA -- https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Sean
smut fixes everything

Monday, February 23, 2015

I Tried it at Home - Cutting Tomatoes by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday! Today I have my next installment of I Tried it at Home. This time, I tried this method of cutting cherry tomatoes. I've never found cutting cherry tomatoes to be particularly difficult but the video looked neat so I gave it a go.

1. First, I washed my pretty tomatoes. 

2. Next I put them on a plate. I put the plate on a cutting board because I'm neurotic.

3. Knife is ready to go - you can see the size as compared to the plate and tomatoes. Seemed too small.

4. Knife switch - this one is bigger. It should go all the way through.

5. I put the 2nd plate on top of the first. So far so good.

6. You can see there's a bit of gap, seemingly perfect for a knife. At this point, I was pretty excited about the prospect of the "hack" working!

7. Knife went in.

8. After going all the way around, I took off the top plate. You see where the knife is, right? Back at home plate so I'm expecting cut tomatoes.

9. Well, some of them are cut. Or more like a small portion of them is sort of shaved off. Hmm. Let's try again.

10. Top plate back on! 

11. Cutting again.

12. Okay, so I got a few more slivers cut, but this is by no means impressive.

13. I'll save you time by saying I did this a few more times. 

14. After each round, I put the "cut" pieces (I would describe them as slivers) into this bowl.

15. I was still dealing with this - pretty much whole tomatoes.

16. I decided I didn't have time for what had to be the slowest cutting method ever and I didn't want tomato silvers so I put the remaining tomatoes on the cutting board. 














17. Remember how the video claimed this method didn't squish the juice out? My plate says otherwise.


18. I went back to the normal cutting method and in a couple of seconds, had nicely chopped tomatoes (pieces not slivers). 
 

19. I put salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar on them.

20. Added them to lettuce.

21. And what felt like a million years later, salad!

CONCLUSION: I'll stick withe old-fashioned chopping method.

Have a super week and let me know if you see any video "hacks" I should try.

CC




Saturday, February 21, 2015

Coming Soon – Shawn’s Law (with excerpt)


With every author, there has to be a spark that starts off a new book.  Sometimes it will be a song or a location.  Sometimes a situation or scenario.  Sometimes a picture of a handsome guy or maybe a not-so-handsome one.  For me, the ideas come from different places.

For Loving Jay, what came first was the character of Jay who is loosely based around a friend of mine.  For The Shearing Gun, it was the concept of a gay shearer.  For Safe in His Arms, it was the scenario of an anonymous hookup of opposites.


Then came Shawn’s Law.  I have to make really, really bad confession.  I wrote this book because I knew that people in other parts of the world are terrified of the Australian wildlife.  So I decided to put a humorous slant on the story of this guy who gets attacked by different Australian creatures.  For those who can’t stand the thought of coming to Australia because of all the dangerous, venomous, deadly, scary creatures?  This book is for you.  It has a simple message – it is very rare to die from these things, and most of the time, if you keep out of their way, they’ll keep out of yours.

Okay – so poor Shawn is bitten and stung more than once.  But newsflash – this is a HEA book – he survives!

The reason I wrote this book was to cheer myself up.  I’d just finished writing Safe in His Arms and some of those themes were dark (for me **cough**) and I was feeling mopey and yeah-yeah-whatever-depressive.  I needed some happiness.  So I created Shawn.

Shawn is a lovely guy.  He’s happy and upbeat.  He’s irrational and neurotic.  He’s gay but has never had a relationship that’s worked out.  He’s dated some losers, and then he managed to snag himself a good looking, personable guy who was interested in him – only to have that guy arrested in front of him on their coffee date.  He has no illusion about his looks – he’s short, nerdy-looking and rather… ah… curvy.  And he also has the handicap of his family – his crazy/ditsy sister and his crazy/Alzheimer’s stricken mother.  So when Harley comes into his life, he can hardly believe it.

Harley’s the kind of guy I would love to be.  He’s out to save the world, one organised protest at a time.  Nothing fazes him because he’s so laid back.  He only works to earn enough money so that he can jet off to the next world cause – the clearing of the rainforests, honour killings, human rights, AIDS.  Harley is working toward world peace – and has never come across someone like Shawn before.

The attraction between the guys is fantastic – but attraction is only one part of the equation.  They need to learn how to compromise and work with the other person, especially when one of them requires frequent first aid. 

Oh, and BONUS??  There’s a lot of naked swimming that goes on too.

Excerpt, Shawn’s Law

“Shawn,” Harley’s voice warned me. “If you don’t start stripping off in the next five seconds, I’m going to climb out of this pool and push you in. Then I am going to take off all your clothes and leave you with nothing to wear for the rest of the day while they dry.”

Still I hesitated. What did Harley see in me? It’s not like I was a sex god or anything.

“Five….”

Would he expect me to initiate something sexual? Did he want to make love with me?

“Four….”

Maybe I was just the “fat chick” of the gay world. The one he thought would be an easy lay. Which I was. He probably thought I was desperate. Which I was.

“Three….”

I was definitely willing to give him a blow job right then. And I was only a little bit hopeful he would give me one too.

“Two….”

Too? Too? Oh, sugar in a teacup. Two! How did the countdown get to two in such a hurry?

“One….”

I stood up, forgetting about my erection for the moment, and shuffled off my shoes. I pulled my polo shirt over my head before I could overthink my situation. My pale white skin was blinding. I hesitated and glanced at Harley, who was lounging in the water but watching me very closely.

“Are you sure you want me to do this?” I asked.

“Absolutely,” came the confident reply. “You can’t leave me hanging now.”

With the word hanging, I remembered something of mine that should’ve been hanging and was not. I quickly covered my boner and blushed bright red.

“I—”

“I know. I have eyes. And they’re waiting. I showed you first, so you can’t be embarrassed now.”

Flubber-hubba-bubba. Could I do this? I looked at the pool. There were about five steps to the edge. Four if I ran. I could shuck my shorts and throw myself into the relative security of the water. I would be covered in under two seconds.

“Shawn—”

Taking a deep breath, I pushed my shorts and underwear down over my erection, over my thighs, and allowed the material to drop to the ground. I left them there, threw my glasses on the table and hurried toward the pool edge. I dove in.

Okay, I admit it. Since Shawn’s Law is never too far away from me, I ran for the edge of the pool, kicked my toe on the lip of the pool edge, and fell inelegantly into the water. But at least I was in. Naked. With a naked guy I desperately wanted.

I surfaced and looked around for Harley, blinking myopically since I was now half-blind. He was grinning broadly at me from the other end of the pool.

“Now, that didn’t hurt one little bit, did it?” he chuckled.

I thought of my toe, which was throbbing from kicking it on the pool edge, my skin, which was stinging from my belly flop, and my dick, which was both stinging and throbbing from the thought of being naked with Harley. “Not much,” I admitted.


Shawn’s Law releases on Friday the 6th of March, and is currently available for pre-order from Dreamspinner (link).

How to contact Renae:

Twitter:  @renaekkaye

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ask Andrew - Print vs Electronic


Dear Andrew,
I wondered where you stand on the ebook debate. So many people express dismay at the proliferation of e-readers as they think they herald the demise of real books. (I collect hard copy and have shelves full of books but love the instant gratification of ebooks.) Is your opinion different as an author than as a reader? 
Thank you.
Lynne
 
Dear Lynne
 
I have to say that as a reader I was an early adopter.  My first e reader was a Kindle DX that I took everywhere and once I got used to being able to carry a library of books with me wherever I wanted to go, my purchases of paper books dropped off to almost nothing.  I do still buy some books on occasion, but it isn't very often that I read a paper book any longer.  One of the things I found very early on was not only the instant gratification, but I could afford two or three electronic books for the price of a single paperback in many cases.  As a reader that's huge because I could read more and spend less.
 
As an author I have to say that whether a reader purchases a book electronically or in paperback, makes little difference to me.  I love all my readers and however they choose to purchase my work, I'm happy and grateful for each and every one.  What matters to be as an author is that readers are able to purchase and enjoy my work.  The medium they choose to read the story is fully up to them.  (I guess I'm a reader slut, I'll take them any way, any time, and I love them all.)
 
As for the demise of the paper book...  Throughout history we have receive information in many ways.  Centuries ago, books were produced by hand and took years to make one.  Then we were able to print books by machine and over time they because more available and more people learned to read.  With machines, we could mass produce books. and now we can put them in a file and deliver them instantly to whoever wants them.  The medium may change but with each innovation books and stories became more widely available to more people.  That in my opinion is a good thing. 
 
The paper book will be with us for some time to come, I'm sure of that.  But for me, what's important is the content and making the reader happy.  Yes there is a place in my heart for print books and I'm in no hurry to preside over their funeral, but readers will determine how they want to get their books, either electronic or print, and I'm very happy to let them decide for themselves. 
 
Hugs and Love
Andrew
 
Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

Visit Andrew on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/andrewgreybooks  and you can join Andrew's fan group All The Way With Andrew Grey.

Follow him on Twitter:  @andrewgreybooks

Visit Andrew's web site:  www,andrewgreybooks.com

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

BA YA, new releases and self-pubbing


<Sean> evening
<julia> waves
<julia> how goes?
<Sean> not bad
<Sean> how are you guys?
<BA> been one hell of a week
<BA> but we're coping
<Sean> nods
<julia> mainly I am so sore
<julia> ;)
<Sean> well I know BA lost a hard drive
<Sean> but I don't know why you're sore
<BA> nods
<Sean> what did you do?
<julia> climbed a zillion stairs
<Sean> that does not sound like fun
<julia> well, it was fun to go see Varakai
<Sean> but they made you work for it, eh?
<julia> yep
<julia> down and up, then up and down
 * BA girns
<BA> grins
<julia> I haven't done that since I broke my foot
<BA> she's getting ready for Disney
<Sean> heeee
<Sean> two weeks
<Sean> I think i'm going to have culture shock, though
<Sean> it's going to be warm, right?
<Sean> today was -39C
<Sean> with the windchill
<BA> it'll be warmer than that
<julia> it was 70F in Orlando today
<julia> at 9am
<Sean> I'm going to die
<Sean> ;)
<julia> right now it is 72
<julia> right now
<BA> heeee
<BA> it'll be SO HUMID
<Sean> yes, and that will make it worse
<julia> gosh yes
<julia> I hate to sweat
<Sean> but we're going to have fun anyway
<BA> we are going to have a BLAST
<BA> there will be ears
<BA> and laughing
<BA> and massive amounts of goofing off
<Sean> sounds great :)
<BA> and eating
<BA> I intend to eat all the food
<Sean> nods
<Sean> yes
<Sean> so I have news
<BA> yeah?
<BA> share
<Sean> nods
<Sean> I am dipping my toes into self-publishing
<BA> go team you!
<Sean> I started with Caged http://www.amazon.com/Caged-Sean-Michael-Classic-ebook/dp/B00THWL7Q8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424184622&sr=8-1&keywords=caged+michael
<Sean> and this week I'll be doing Anything for a Byline
<BA> Caged is one intense story.
<BA> Hell, so is Anything for a Byline
<Sean> nods
<Sean> that's what I was about to say
<Sean> *grins*
<BA> are you excited?
<Sean> I am!
<Sean> I think it's cool
<julia> Very neat
<julia> we did that a while back, starting with some lesbian stuff
<BA> *giggles*
<BA> That's a great title
<Sean> LOL
<julia> self-publishing I mean
<BA> "Starting with Some Lesbian Stuff"
<julia> LOL
<BA> Hey, you never know when you're going to find the perfect title
<BA> I found one at church yesterday
<Sean> take me to church
<BA> (yes, I think about writing at church)
<BA> EEEE! I love that song.
<Sean> I know ;)
<julia> But that wasn't the title she came up with
<julia> we won't tell now
<julia> but she will when she's got it written ;)
<BA> nods
<BA> I will
<Sean> heee
<BA> because I'm good that way
<Sean> can you believe it's already midway through February?
<BA> no
<BA> nonono
<Sean> (which I started off writing as December, so if that doesn't tell you where my brain thinks the time should be...)
<BA> lord, December.
<Sean> yeah, the last two months have zoomed by like crazy
<BA> I'm not prepared for dessert, much less the passage of time
<Sean> lol
<Sean> I have to admit, I'm tired this evening
<Sean> I think it was all the sitting ;)
<BA> nods
<BA> LOL
<BA> dork
<julia> blink
<BA> go do some jumping jacks
<julia> man, y'all type fast
<julia> I'm losing the words
<julia> need chocolate, stat
<julia> oh, we did medical research today for BA's new YA
<Sean> that's the opposite of jumping jacks
<julia> BA YA
<BA> BAYA
<BA> YABA
<Sean> LOL
<julia> cackles
<BA> it comes out this week
<BA> not the new one
<BA> Stealing Bases
<BA> EEEEEE!
<julia> shakes pompoms
<Sean> oh that's fantastic!
<julia> yea!
<Sean> give us a link!
<BA> http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6074
<BA> It's a good story, y'all! I swear.
<Sean> woooo
<julia> It is. I got to beta read it
<julia> softball girls in Texas
<BA> nods
<BA> In my hometown
<BA> :D
<Sean> so cool
<BA> my very first YA
<Sean> congrats :)
<BA> I'm so proud
<Sean> :)
<julia> me, too!
<julia> My latest is out on ARE and Amazon now
<julia> did I tell y'all?
<BA> and then next week my next Dreamspinner book comes out -- Ever the Same
<BA> is this the dragons?
<julia> Apparitions, from Changeling
<BA> ooh
<julia> no, this is ghostly roommate
<Sean> ghostly roommate  I love it
<BA> hot vamp/werewolf smoochies!
<Sean> you should share your url, too
<julia> http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=2347
<julia> ta da
<Sean> woot
<julia> grins
<julia> I see a bunch of Sean on the front page at Changeling too
<Sean> yeah, Shibari Auction House: Tony came out last week and they're featuring the Rose & Thorne series to celebrate it http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=2348
<BA> look at us, busy old writers
<BA> chugga chugga chugga
<Sean> yep
<julia> |O/
<julia> crap
<julia> I was trying for yay arms
<Sean> heeee
<julia> that looks more like BA arms
<Sean> you missed
<julia> bad shoulder
<Sean> ;)
<BA> LOLOL
<BA> is that what that is?
<BA> really?
<BA> yay arms?
<julia> picture me demonstrating
<julia> \O/
<Sean> heeeee
<julia> head with up arms
<BA> huh
<BA> learn something new everyday
<julia> OooooOooo
<julia> carterpillar
<julia> <spellcheck please>
<Sean> less r I think
<BA> ...oo0000000oooE
<BA> rattlesnake
<Sean> LOL
<julia> cackles
<julia> ^^o^^
<julia> bat
<BA> do y'all remember making BOOBS on your calculators when you were little?
<Sean> heeee
<Sean> yeah
<julia> yes!
<julia> I have to tell you
<julia> I have this thing for the bank
<julia> a little key fob that gives you a code to put in when you want to access this account
<julia> and it's all numbers
<julia> so the other day I was all, why did they suddenly start putting letters in the codes
 * BA looks
<BA> you were holding it upside down, weren't you?
<julia> yes
<Sean> LOL
<julia> hangs head
<BA> poor poor ditzy Julia
<BA> ;-)
<julia> I am blonde
<Sean> you only get away with that because you're her wife
<BA> nods
<BA> yep
<Sean> *grins*
<Sean> okay
<BA> :D
<Sean> I'm going to say goodnight
 * BA smooches
<BA> sleep well, honey
<BA> :D
<Sean> hugs you guys
<BA> *waves*
<BA> Love you!
<julia> night y'all

If you have a topic you’d like us to chat about (or any other favorite things you'd like us to share), please let us know. We’re totally up for that.

You can find us on Twitter at @seanmichael09, @juliatalbot and @batortuga.

Sean’s website is http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com
Julia’s is http://www.juliatalbot.com
BA’s is http://www.batortuga.com

Facebook:
Sean -- https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites
Julia -- https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor
BA -- https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Sean
smut fixes everything

Monday, February 16, 2015

Home Series 2nd Editions and Call for Fan Fiction/Art



Home Stories Re-Released

All seven novels are re-edited, have sexy new covers, and include the “bonus chapters” that were previously in the Marriage anthology.


Q: Are the books full length novels?A: Yes! Each story is novel length ranging from 53,026 to 94,711 words. The boxed set is all seven novels for a total word count of almost 500,000!

Q: Do I need to read the books in order?A: No, each book is a stand-alone romance featuring one couple, complete with their HEA. The setting of the fictional Emile City is the commonality between the seven books.

Q: What if I’ve read some but not others?A: Readers can start reading the Home books in any order. If you’ve read some of the erotic romances but not others, just pick up the next one that interests you.

Q: Can I buy all of the Home books at a discount?A: Yes, a boxed set of all seven novels is available for $24.95, the price of five, so you get two novels for free. As of the email, the boxed set is only available on All Romance eBooks and Smashwords. It may not be on Amazon due to their pricing rules.

Q: Are the Home books available in a subscription service?A: Each of the books will soon be on Scribd and Oyster so you can read them “free” with your regular monthly subscription. If you don’t have a subscription you can sign up and receive a month’s subscription free and read the Home collection that way!



Contest


Have you read the books in my Home Series? Want to win the re-release boxed set? Then enter the fan fiction/art contest! Contest deadline is February 28.

CC

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy (bleh) Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Bleh.

OMG – I think I just admitted to a cardinal sin of romance authors.  I don’t buy into Valentine’s Day.  Oops.  Shit.  Bugger.  Um.

Okay – maybe if I explain my reasons? 


Now most of you would’ve come across the usual Valentine’s Day Hater’s list before.  Are they really true?  Let us see.

1.  It’s too commercialised.
Oh, yes.  This is one of the Valentine’s Day Haters favourite sayings – and I really have to agree.  It’s hearts and roses and chocolates.  Does the man who buys his wife a dozen red roses love her more than the husband in the next house who buys his wife a single rose?

And what if I don’t like red roses? (Actually my favourite flower is a yellow carnation).  What if I don’t like chocolate (I’ve heard one or two of these weird people exist on our planet)?  The stores would have us believe that the only way to say we love each other is with a card, red roses, chocolates and jewellery.  All costing 50% more, because it’s Valentine’s Day of course.



2.  I don’t need a special day to tell my Significant Other I love them.
Again – an oft trotted out phrase, and one I have to agree with.  Again.  Is this the only day of the year that people tell their loved ones about their love?  No.  And you don’t need to prove it with a red rose either.

If my husband wants to show me how much he loves me, there is a sink full of dishes over there, and the sprinkler in the corner needs fixing…

3. My Significant Other doesn’t require grand gestures.
Hmm – this is a bit shady.  I don’t think my S.O. does require grand gestures.

And I know for a fact, I don’t.  For example, if he ever dropped to one knee in the middle of a crowded airport and started singing at me, while playing a ukulele?  I think I’d bash him with the instrument too.

(Watch video - how to NOT accept a marriage proposal)

4.  Love isn’t about presents.
Oooh, yeah.  This is the one that gets trotted out at Christmas too.  Valentine’s Day is about the love, not about how much loot you scored.  And for a lot of people, you need to make sure you score more than the person in the office next to yours…  **sigh**  Valentine’s Day should not be only about the presents.

But it is.  I got a dozen roses, how many did you get?  My husband loves me so much, he bought me this lingerie set.  Ooo, nice – but look at my new diamond ring.

Bleh.  Yeah – nice ring.  Nice credit card debt too.

5.  You feel obliged to do something.
I’m all about rebelling against society.  If society tells me I should be buying my S.O. a red rose, then guess what I’m going to buy?  A yellow daffodil.  **wink**


All these make sense.  But I’m going to tell you the real reason I hate Valentine’s Day. 

I hate wasting money.

Yes.  You can laugh.  But Valentine’s Day is a big waste of money to the consumer, and a big money spinner for the seller.  What do people buy on VD?  Flowers (which will die in a week)?  Chocolate (which will make you fat and your teeth rot)?  Cutsie balloons (that will be in the bin next week)?  Lingerie?  Jewellery?  Gift cards?  Funny little white teddy bears with red hearts?  And what is a man supposed to do with that?

And I know about the funny little white teddy bear holding the red heart.  I bought it for my husband the first year we were dating.  The bloody thing still hangs around.  My husband tucks it away in the back of a drawer, where we don’t see if for another six months. Until the day I can’t find any more room in the drawer and pull it out to clean it – and end up having to find another spot for the silly bear. 

You see, neither of us have the guts to throw it out.  Because I gave it to him when we first fell in love, and 
                  throwing it out would be like 
                      throwing out our love.  

And we just can’t do it.  That bear has survived sixteen Valentine’s Days now.  I don’t think it was made in China **bloody damn bear**

But yes, I’m a tightwad.  A frugal frump.  A money conscious miser.  I hate wasting money.  $55 for four red roses?  HA!  I feel guilty each time I receive flowers.  I hate the fact they will die in a week’s time.  I would prefer the flowers on the bush.  So I would prefer my husband buy me a bush or a pot plant, rather than cut flowers.

Chocolates?  Umm, yeah.  I supposed to be on a diet.

Balloons?  They wreck the environment.

A card?  Nice – but did you just pay $5 for someone else to say that they love me?


So what am I going to do on Valentine’s Day?  What other things ARE there to do?



Fact:  My husband and I received the keys to our house on VD.  So today is our anniversary.

Fact:  My mother and father moved into their newly built home on VD.  I was two.  My sister received a dozen roses from her boyfriend (she was 17) and they couldn’t find the box where they’d packed the vases.  She had to put them in the bathtub.

Fact:  My mother and father received the keys to their second newly built home on VD.  It was only 8 months behind schedule.

Fact:  My niece had a baby on VD.  No.  She didn’t name her Val. (Thank bloody goodness).  We are off to her 3rd birthday party today.  It’s a Frozen/Elsa theme.  Yay.  **sarcasm**

Fact:  I love my husband as much as I did yesterday, and as much as I will tomorrow. 


So what I am going to do today, is wish my husband happy-home-buying-anniversary, tell him that I love him just like I do each morning, dress three children for a birthday party and attempt an Elsa hairstyle on two of them, and I’m going to live my life.

And if my husband decides to do the dishes in the sink?  Bonus!

And shit…  Look what he bought me! (See point one.)  He does love me.




Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ask Andrew - Sex is Funny


Dear Andrew

Sometimes sex is funny. A position just doesn't work or someone farts or falls out of bed and other situations I can't imagine. Does sex in a book always have to be a passionate joining or can it be a ridiculous failure?

Becky

Dear Becky

I agree with you.  Sometimes sex can be funny, messy, strange, and all of the above.  I remember once when we were on our honeymoon, ages ago, trying to have sex in this bed which was way too small.  Dominic ended up on the floor, I ended up with a bruised arm, and the neighbors on either side of us were none too pleased judging by the pounding on the walls.  All we could do was laugh otherwise poor Dominic's head would have exploded.  So yes, sex can be funny.  (Feel free to share your sex is funny stories.)

Now when writing sex, the kind of sex in the book depends the tone of the book and what needs to happen between the two characters.  Most often sex is used to bring the characters closer together,  cement a commitment to each other, or go along with a declaration of love.  So most of the time, comedic sex doesn't fit the story. 

However if the story is a comedy and it fits the story, then I saw go for it.  In fact there are a number of comedy stories out there. (Eric Arvin's Subsurdity comes to mind) Pick one up and see what happens.  After all, every now and then we could all use a good belly laugh.

Hugs and Love
Andrew

Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

Visit Andrew on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/andrewgreybooks  and you can join Andrew's fan group All The Way With Andrew Grey.

Follow him on Twitter:  @andrewgreybooks

Visit Andrew's web site:  www,andrewgreybooks.com


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!


Roses are red


Violets are blue


BA, Sean and Julia say


Happy V-day to you!



Happy Valentines Day!!!



Sean
smut fixes everything

Monday, February 9, 2015

Releases by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday! The last few days have been busy busy busy with a new novella being released along with 2nd editions of my seven Home books. I'll link the books below and share some answers to questions I've received.

Jumping In - 18k word contemporary novella. All Romance ebooks published this so it's exclusively available on their site for now but it will eventually be available at other sellers too.

Home Collection FAQ

Q: Are the books full length novels?
A: Yes! Each story is novel length ranging from 53,026 to 94,711 words. The boxed set (coming soon) is all seven novels for a total word count of almost 500,000!

Q: Do I need to read the books in order?
A: No, each book is a stand-alone romance featuring one couple, complete with their HEA. The setting of the fictional Emile City is the commonality between the seven books. 

Q: What if I’ve read some but not others?
A: Readers can start reading the Home books in any order. If you’ve read some of the erotic romances but not others, just pick up the next one that interests you.

Q: I've already read the books. Do the 2nd editions have anything new?
A: The novels are re-edited, have new covers, and include the "bonus chapters" that were previously in the Marriage anthology. Otherwise, they are substantively the same.

Q: Can I buy all of the Home books at a discount?
A: Yes, a boxed set of all seven novels will soon be available for $24.95, the price of five, so you get two novels for free.

Q: Are the Home books available in a subscription service?
A: Each of the books is on Scribd and Oyster so you can read them “free” with your regular monthly subscription. If you don’t have a subscription you can sign up and receive a month’s subscription free and read the Home collection that way! 

 He Completes Me 


 

 

Have a great week.

CC