Sunday, October 30, 2016

An Introduction, by Christa Tomlinson


Hello, everyone! I'm Christa and I'm the newest member of Cafe Risque. I'm so excited to join this group of amazing authors. I'll get started by introducing myself.

I've been reading romance since I was a preteen. Actually, I was probably reading them before I should have been. My big sister used to let me read hers, but would make me promise not to read the spicy parts. I always promised, but ended up reading them anyway. Ooops!

I started reading m/m when I discovered e-books around 2005 or so. Katie Anderson and Evangeline Anderson were some of my first m/m reads. And I started writing m/m after I made a foray into writing wrestling fan fiction. Yep, you read that right. I'm a big fan of professional wrestling. I've even started a series set in that world. Showing Him the Ropes is the first book in Champions of Desire. I totally nerded out and fell in love writing Chance and Devin's story. You should check it out.

But for the most part, I'm still learning my way in this wonderful world of m/m romance. I have lots of plot bunnies and thoughts on the genre and I can't wait to share them all with you.

Thanks for reading!

Christa

Friday, October 28, 2016

GRL Recap by Felice Stevens


Last week I attended my second GRL (Gay Romance Literature) convention. Almost 400 of us descended—for want of a better word—on the Westin in Kansas City to talk about our love for gay romance books. There was dining at fabulous BBQ restaurants, huge cinnamon rolls pancakes and maybe (just MAYBE) a few margaritas and glasses of Prosecco were consumed. 

What struck me this year as it did the last was the absolute devotion both readers and authors have for this genre. People travel from all over the world to come for four days to sit and talk about gay romance. How awesome is that? Pictures and videos were taken and books, Kindle covers, and programs were signed and while readers were excited to meet authors, I personally was so excited to meet some of the people I'd only known through a computer screen. And yes, I was also thrilled to meet authors whose books I have loved from when I first started reading gay romance.

And don't forget the swag. There were buttons, bookmarks, chocolate, pens, mini handcuffs, rainbow bracelets, chocolate, lip balm, magnets, chocolate.....  It all made my little swaggy heart happy.

The coordinators of the event do their ultimate best to create a safe space for everyone and they succeeded. I strongly urge everyone to try and come as either a reader or author. You can be as social as you choose and I know all I saw was smiles. 

Oh and the margaritas are not mandatory but do help.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

JUMPSTART is here by Riley Hart


The last book (novella) in the Crossroads series it finally here. It's such a bittersweet feeling. I like the feeling of accomplishment. I love knowing that I gave all of these characters their happily ever afters. I'm proud of each book...but I will also miss them. When I think about it, the missing is sort of good. I think it's better to miss them, than to overdo it. Than to want to hang on so much, I'm writing stories that don't need to be written. That's always the place I try to find in my writing. I want people satisfied. I want to feel satisfied in a series but I don't want to hang on longer than I should.

Anyway, that's enough rambling for me. I hope you enjoy Christian and Beckett's story. I had so much fun writing it. The motocross part was my favorite. I definitely plan to write more motocross books in the future. Oh, and I made my husband a trainer :)





Buy from:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iBooks

Kobo

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Ask Andrew - The Negativity - Andrew Grey


Dear Andrew

How do you deal with negative comments to your books or even in your personal life from those that don't support LGBT equality? It seems like there's SO much hate in the world today.

Thx, Kendra

Dear Kendra

Comments about my books are relatively easy to deal with.  After all this time, I simply let them roll off my back.  I have to.  No matter what there will always be someone who doesn't like a story simply because it doesn't resonate with them and that's okay. It's part of what's great about stories, they touch people differently. 

Now for the more difficult part of your question.  It isn't easy being out and available and yes Dominic and I have been targets for hate a few times.  When it happens it can be frightening beyond belief.  But we're firm believers that you can't let the hate win.  And the best way to do that is to keep moving forward and to do your best to be happy. 

See hate needs darkness and quiet to fester and breed.  Its like mold.  But when you shine the light on it and call it out for what it is, hate tends to wither and die.  It may seem like there's a lot of hate in the world, but there is so much more goodness and happiness.   And I like to concentrate on that.  Its a good part of the reason I write what I do because love trumps hate.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Happy Halloween and a contest from BA Julia Kiernan and Sean


happy Halloweenm, y'all! For some of us it's our favorite holiday! What's yours? Comment on this post (With whatever as long as it's polite) and we'll pick one random commentor to win a $10.00 Amazon GC! We'll draw a winner on Halloween and announce here next Tuesday!

XXOO

Julia

Sean’s website is http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

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

Kiernan's is www.KiernanKelly.com

Facebook:

Sean -- https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites

Julia -- https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

BA -- https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Kiernan -- https://www.facebook.com/kiernan.kelly

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Cover Reveal, The Straight Boyfriend by Renae Kaye



Okay!  The time has come to show you my new pretty!

I'm excited for the third book in the Loving You series - Aaron and Vinnie's story.  So without further ado:



Blurb:
Loving You: Book Three
Aaron Hall has never been able to remain faithful to a single woman, and for most of his life, he’s dated two women at once. Recently his girlfriend tracked him down and knocked on his door—and his live-in girlfriend answered. Now he has no girlfriend and a mortgage he can’t pay by himself.
Vinnie Rosello needs to change his life—get a better job, stop drinking all his money away, find himself a serious boyfriend… and move out of his parents’ house. Aaron needs help with his expenses, so they become housemates.
Even though Aaron harbors some misconceptions about gay men and Vinnie misses his large Italian family, both men find comfort in their friendship. It’s a good arrangement until everything between them changes
Vinnie falls in love with Aaron, and Aaron is shocked to realize he feels the same. There’s only one problem—he’s still straight. He’ll have to overcome his fear of labels in order to love the man who’s captured his heart.
Release Date: 21 November 2016


I'm very proud that I've actually managed to get to a THIRD book in a series.  Now you guys just need to wait for #4 and #5 **wink**

The Straight Boyfriend is currently available for pre-order from Dreamspinner HERE (and at a discounted rate this weekend!)

How to contact Renae:
Email:  
renaekaye@iinet.net.au
Website:  
www.renaekaye.weebly.com
FB:  www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9
Twitter:  @renaekkaye



Thursday, October 20, 2016

Odds and Ends by Riley Hart


As you guys are reading this, I will be flying to Kansas City for my very first GRL!! I'm so excited. I can't wait to meet everyone, to be around so many lovely book people! My books have been packed and sent. I have a few more I'll have to carry in my suitcase along with my swag. Other than that...I haven't done much of anything. LOL. I really need to get going!

Also, my newest young adult novel, TURN THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN, written under the name Nyrae Dawn is out today! This book is probably one of my favorite books I've written. I'm so proud of it. It really means something to me for so many different reasons. I hope you guys will give it a shot and I hope you enjoy it!


Hunter Donovan’s life always seemed perfect, but there was something rotten beneath the shiny surface. When the truth comes out and his dad is sent to prison, Hunter can only react with anger. His rage boils out of control, leading to a violent incident at school, and then to Hunter being sent to a mental health facility—Better Days.

Hunter doesn’t see how therapy can help him. If it can’t change the past, what good is it? It’s not like he can go back in time, see the horrible things going on right under his nose, and put a stop to them. No, he should have found that strength when he had the chance, and now it’s too late.

There is a ray of light at Better Days, though, in the friendships Hunter forges. Anxiety-ridden Casey, uninhibited Rosie, recovering bulimic Bethany, and Stray, a self-harmer who’s never had a home, lighten Hunter’s feelings of isolation.

Despite the connections he’s forming—and even the love blossoming between him and Stray—Hunter can’t escape his shame and remorse. If Hunter can’t open up and find a way to deal with what happened, he might end up another casualty of mental illness, just like one of the friends he’s grown to love.

Amazon

Harmony Ink

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ask Andrew - Plotter or Pantser - Andrew Grey


Dear Andrew

Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you know how a book will end when you begin writing it or do you make it up as you go along?

Dawn

Dear Dawn

Okay, I think I need to explain what we're talking about first.  Writers tend to fall into two categories.  Plotters and pantsers.  A plotter outlines the story in some detail, knowing at least the basic outline of the story and the twists and turns that the story is going to take.  A pantser begins with an idea and begins writing the story letting it unfold as it progresses.

I am most definitely a pantser for the most part.  I generally start with two characters and a situation, and write the story from there.  I don't usually have an outline or even a roadmap to the story.  Sometimes I have a clear view of the ending and at other times I don't.  It depends on the story. 

There are stories where I act a little more like a plotter.  When I'm writing a suspense story, as Dirk, I tend to outline more because of the mystery and suspense elements that require more planning.  A good example is the upcoming Playing with Fire.  The plot is complex so I spent more time planning it out.  But for the most part I fly by the seat of my pants.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Favorite 5 Halloween movies with BA, Sean, Kiernan and Julia


What's your fave halloween movie?

Sean Michael

I've got among my selections, a vampire, a werewolf, a monster, a mummy and a zombie!

Dracula Untold

Gingersnaps

Victor Frankenstein

The Mummy

Warm Bodies

Kiernan Kelly

Halloween. Nightmare on elm street. Nightmare before Christmas. American werewolf in London. Any of the original Universal Monster movies.

BA Tortuga

Halloween, The Haunting of Hell House, Nightmare on Elm Street, Poltergeist, Scream (I will be adding Cabin in the Woods to the list, but I'm not giving any of these up)

Julia Talbot

Deep Blue Sea, Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Rose Red, Ghost Ship.

Tune in next week for a Halloween prize contest!

XXOO

Julia

Sean’s website is http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

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

Kiernan's is www.KiernanKelly.com

Facebook:

Sean -- https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites

Julia -- https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

BA -- https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Kiernan -- https://www.facebook.com/kiernan.kelly

Monday, October 17, 2016

Foster an Author by Cardeno C.


Happy Monday! This post is late because I'm just coming back from vacation and digging myself out of my emails but I want to make sure to thank Beantown Bitches Book Page for featuring me this week as part of the Foster an Author event. Please check out their blog for a giveaway and other fun stuff. :)



Have a great week.

CC
www.cardenoc.com

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Journal of a Novelist Part 2 by Renae Kaye



Last week I gave you guys a peek into my freaked out world as I took my first steps in being a novelist.  Those steps happened (for me) at breakneck speed.

When I wrote Loving Jay I never expected it to be published.  It was only through encouragement from a few key people and the bravery that came from some unknown well inside me that I actually managed to send it off to Dreamspinner. 

Part of the headache of being an author – especially one published through a traditional publisher – is the lag time.  You will see that I’d written my first four published novels (Loving Jay, The Blinding Light, The Shearing Gun and Safe in His Arms) all before the first novel was published.  I wrote them “blind” – without considering what sort of reception they would have from an audience.

I also wrote them all before I had to think about things like blogging and website updating… and before I had all my wonderful friends to distract me on FB. **wink**

You can also clearly see the crippling self-doubt every author goes through.



So let’s continue the journey:



20 March 2014
 - ANOTHER FREAK OUT DAY!
 - Heard from Paul regarding the cover of The Blinding Light & also [editor] saying she is starting editing.  THEN – OMG!!!
            Release date!!
 - I’m on DSP’s website!  There is my book.  My author profile has been up for a couple of days.  But FREAK!

- Also, forgot to update journal about 2 events:
            1.  Submitted Safe In His Arms.  Now an 8 week wait…
            2.  There is an anthology call out for a story about Bears.  3000-12,000 words to be submitted before the 14th April.  I’m going to try and do it.  I’ve been researching Bear culture & have written 3k so far.  We’ll see…

4 April 2014
 - OMG!  Total Shock.
 - So I sent in Safe on the 15th of March & counted 8 weeks to acceptance/rejection time.  Then today, a mere 2½ weeks later they’ve accepted **shocked hand-drawn face** !

7 April 2014
 - This Bear anthology book is not going well.  I’m not liking it.  Let’s get it finished today & see what it looks like in the morning.  It’s just not “me” to write short.  I’m not liking anything that is coming out at the moment.
 - I hope it’s just nerves re: Loving Jay release + first edits on TBL + OMG too much on my plate.

11 May 2014
- Wow – didn’t update for a while.  Loving Jay was released quietly – and freaked up the charts like I never imagined.
 - I needed to sell approx 200-300 eBooks to cover my advance.  I thought this would take about 2 months.  It took 3 days.  It has been getting awesome reviews.  As of yesterday it had sold more than 200 books on the DSP website and more than 500 on Amazon US that I can tell.  AND JUST WOW.
 - The Blinding Light got three edits & is off to proofing.
 - The Shearing Gun is due for 1st edits on the 18th.
 - My Bear anthology submission was accepted 2 days ago.  Guess what I get paid for it?  $55US.  YAY!  Plus I have to pay $35US for copyright.  *disgruntled face*
 - Currently working on Shawn’s Law.  Just under 60k.  Not liking it.



And there my attempt at a journal ends.  I was never good at keeping diaries.  I’d forget about them after a while.  As you can see my life just exploded.  I was dealing with a new release, edits finished, edits starting, acceptance and writing a new book all at the same time.  For a first time author, this was pretty hard.

Now I can see that it’s a cycle.  I find it very hard to cope with the cycle, and those authors who (seem to?) do it effortlessly are my champions.  At any one time you’re writing a book (or ten), plotting the next, editing at least two and promo-ing one.

You can also clearly see, for me, what it’s like to write.  I never like anything I write… while I’m writing it.  I didn’t like my anthology story, I didn’t like Shawn’s Law.  I remember a cartoon I saw once about the emotions of an author, showing a graph that swings from “I’m a brilliant writer!” to “I’m crap at this” and then back again.  For me it always happens at about 65-75% of the story. 

I first 3-4 chapters of my story are the easiest to write.  I fly through them.


Then you start getting into the heavy stuff and it drags a little.  You set up the conflict and point out all the pitfalls.  You make it hard for your character.  You chuck in some angst.  You wonder where the hell this story is going and which of the three brain cells in your head thought you could be a writer.  Goddamn it.  It sucks.  Writing sucks.  You suck.  Stupid.

I hate that part of the story.  The writing days are torture.  Your character limps along at a rate of half a chapter written per day.  You go back and reread your stuff so many times to make sure it makes sense.  You doubt yourself.  You run away.  You clean the shower instead of writing the story.  You vow to give up writing and live a simple life where you grow your own vegetables and never need money because you can cut your own hair….

I’m not sure if other writers get this way – although it appears they do.  It takes something to push through.  To persevere.  To keep going.  Each author needs to find their own way through that dark patch.  What brings me through is stubbornness.

When I was twenty-one, I took a job as an administrator.  On Day 3 I nearly quit the job.  But I’m stubborn and I don’t like it when others get the better of me.  I stayed in that job for 5 years, loathing my manager every single minute of the day, but she wasn’t going to win.  That same tenacity gets me through the dark bit of writing.  I tell myself that it’s crap and will never be published, but I’m determined to finish the book, just because it’s not going to win.  That book will not beat me.  I don’t care if I’ve wasted my time writing it and that it’s never going to see the light of day.  I write it because I’m stubborn.

And I push through.

The last 10-15% of a book is usually pretty cruisy too.  By that time you can see the end.  You’ve resolved the conflict (or you’re just about to) and it’s just a matter of getting the words onto the page.

So, if any of you are out there, dreaming of writing and saying you can’t do it?  Try it.  I did.  It was weird, exciting, soul destroying, beautiful, eye-opening and so grand I never even dreamt a tenth of what it could be.  I have no writing experience, no training and no help.  But I flew…  and I’ll never forget that moment.  That first release….  That first book…. 
I flew....


And the freak outs.

Yeah.

They were funny.  And I’m glad I managed to capture a glimpse of them by writing them down.

How to contact Renae:
Email:  
renaekaye@iinet.net.au
Website:  
www.renaekaye.weebly.com
FB:  www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9
Twitter:  @renaekkaye

Friday, October 14, 2016

Packing Up by Felice Stevens


This is the final weekend before GRL and of course I'm thinking I'll never be ready. Silly of course because I have everything....don't I?
Swag, and books and candy...wait, no I don't  have candy. Put that on the list. What clothes to wear-check the temperature. Dig out the sweaters.
I loved my first GRL last year in San Diego. I got to meet friends I'd only known on line and fangirl over authors I've been reading for years and never thought I'd meet. It's such a low-key fun event. I can't thank the organizers enough. 
Next Friday, which happens to be my birthday, I'll do a post from GRL and show everyone what's going on. 
But for now, back to my list and checking it twice, three times.....

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ask Andrew - Stories that Change and Other Questions - Andrew Grey


Dear Andrew

I have asked questions before but this one is a little different.  I follow your pictures of you and your husband.  I read and review as many of your stories as I can.

Can you think back on your writing career and picture a standalone or series that just didn't turn out where, when, or how you wanted?

As quickly as your mind works and produces we have not seen shifter books from you although you work closely with authors who write lots of those.  Don't get me wrong you are blessed with words but is there a reason you don't?


Sheryl H.

Dear Sheryl

I have to tell you that there are often stories that don't turn out the way I envisioned them.  The characters often take on a life of their own and pull the story in its own direction.  One example is Accompanied by a Waltz.  I had intended that story to be about one character healing after loss, and it was that. But I ended up with other sub plots that came out of nowhere and in some ways tried to steal the show.  Another example is the Range stories.  I just set out to write a western story and ended up creating a whole world over seven books that was so real to me.  If I'm honest, I'm happiest when a story takes unexpected turns.  I always love seeing where my characters will take me.

As for shifters, I have written a series of shifter books under the pen name Dirk Greyson.  The first one is Challenge the Darkness and the second is Darkness Threatening.  I have written a third, Darkness Rising which is in editing.  Take a look at these and see what you think.

I hope you have a great day!
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

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Promo it! with BA, Julia, Kiernan and Sean


It's a promo week for us here at the Cafe Risque. Here are four titles for you.

BA

When the boss is away, the cats will play.

When Robin heads to North Carolina with his boss to help design and build a new conference center, he has a bunch of surprises in store for him. The building site is in the middle of nowhere, his boss is being weirder than usual, and he meets not one, but two of the hottest men he’s ever seen in his life. If he can just get his boss Terry to leave him alone with them, Robin knows Casey and Travis could rock his world.

Casey and Travis might play, but they’ve never thought of mating with a third man. Their immediate need for Robin is something they don’t question, though. What they do want to know is how Robin can possibly be unaware he’s a cat shifter. Can they help Robin find the other half of himself and convince him he’s what’s missing in their relationship at the same time?

Available at All Romance Ebooks.


Julia

Little bear comes into his own.

Midnight Rodeo, #3

Ben Ursa has been out of the Midnight Rodeo game for a while, recovering from a terrible head injury. When he comes back, he finds a whole new place in the pecking order, his trained horses in high demand.

He also finds rodeo clown and grizzly shifter, Ozzie, who rejected him for being too young before. Now Ozzie thinks he's just right, even if he is a little black bear. Can Ben really recover and become Ozzie's mate, or will his family scheme to keep him "little bear"?

Available for pre-order at All Romance Ebooks.


Kiernan

Love and compassion, when least expected, helps the hopeless soar.

Midnight Rodeo, #5

Gargoyle Killian has the unenviable job at Darque and Knight Rodeo of wrangling the sideshow acts. When he meets Micah, one of the freaks from a new troupe contracted to perform, he's instantly drawn to the poor, pathetic creature. The more he learns about Micah’s situation with his reprehensible handler, the more determined he is to protect Micah.

Trapped painfully between two forms—man and snake—Micah knows nothing about his past except for what his handler tells him. The attentions of the gargoyle boost his mood, but what can Killian do to help him find the truth he seeks?

Available for pre-order at All Romance Ebooks.


Sean

There’s a shift of power happening in Hell, and nothing will ever be the same.

Kerr has been with high demon Horatio’s household since his age of majority. A natural submissive pleasure demon, for the last seven years he has been untouched by his master Horatio and his job has morphed into a more managerial role. Still, it’s a shock when goons from Master Belial’s house arrive at his doorstep to inform him he’s been sold and his new master expects him to come immediately.

Lost by Horatio in a card game, Kerr finds himself in the Belial household, where Ceris, Master of the Harem, takes Kerr under his wing. Kerr is not only honored and used as he was made to be, but he is given a newly acquired demon, Harmony, as his own to train. The three pleasure demons have a rocky start together, but they have all the time in Hell to figure out how to work together and it isn’t long before they begin to care for one another.

Meanwhile, Belial has waited for thousands of years for Horatio to admit that he’s actually a submissive. When it appears that is never going to happen, Belial arranges for his best friend to lose a card game in which he’s offered himself as the prize. Horatio can’t believe Belial would do this for him, but the council puts their seal of approval on the bet, and he has no choice but to offer himself to Belial, who immediately gets to work convincing Horatio that he’ll be so much happier as Belial’s sub.

Will Kerr and Horatio find joy in their places in the Belial household? Only time will tell.

Available to pre-order at All Romance Ebooks


Got random questions? Comment or email one of us :)

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

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

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

Sean
smut fixes everything

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Journal of a Novelist by Renae Kaye



I’ve told my story before – of how I came to be a novelist.  I like the word “novelist.”  It has the meaning of “one who writes literary prose” but novel also means “interestingly new and/or usual.”  I like wrapping the two of them up.  I’m a novel writer.  And you can choose which definition of novel you like.

My story to be a novelist really took root in January 2013.  I decided I’d write myself a book because I wasn’t enjoying the stuff I had been reading.  So I took the bold step in deciding I would write one for myself.  One that would never be published because I wasn’t good enough for that, but one that would make me laugh.  I’d never tried to write a book before.  So I sat down and typed out a book I lovingly call “Windmills” which was a MF romance.  I’m still working on publishing it now.  But once it was finished I started working on Loving Jay because I really did want to read MM romance, so I tried writing that.

I started writing Loving Jay in April 2013 and finished it in 12 weeks.  Then I showed my BFF, and with her encouragement I actually told NR Walker (one of the Australian MM writers I’d contacted and she actually talked back!) that I’d written a book.  She basically said “Send it to a publisher – what do you have to lose?”

So I did.  I swear I need a bravery award for that.  By sending your manuscript to a publisher you are saying, “I think this is good enough to be published.”  And I wasn’t sure. 

Six weeks later Dreamspinner sent me a contract.  Three days later I began to believe that they hadn’t accidentally sent it to the wrong person.

In October 2013, I signed a contract with Dreamspinner to publish Loving Jay and decided that I would jot a few notes down in a little orange journal book I have – just major milestones that I went through on my journey to be a novelist.  I thought it would be amusing to transcribe parts of it out to you so you can laugh too.  I've only edited parts out that pertain to me keeping a record for tax purposes.

[From my journal…]


October 2013
 - signed contract for “Loving Jay” with Dreamspinner Press.

8 October 2013
 - Received my advance.  Cool.

27 November 2013
 - received 2nd contract for “The Blinding Light” with Dreamspinner.  Over the moon!

3 December 2013
 - received advance for TBL.  If they’re silly enough to pay me…

5 December 2013
 - Have been told 1st edits are coming for Loving Jay about 3rd of January.  Excited but scared.  Sent forms away regarding availability to DSP.  The Shearing Gun is finished.  Will wait & re-edit around Xmas.  15k into untitled WIP.  Features a MC who was a victim of child sex abuse.  Why did I pick such a hard subject?

6 December 2013
 - If Loving Jay makes any money over my advance, I should see some money in October.  Due for release in April-May, royalties paid quarterly, but must wait for DSP to receive money from Amazon.  Hope LJ doesn’t bomb.  Nervous about 1st edits – what if they hate it?
 - Found $5 in my purse.  **smiley face**

18 December 2013
 - I’ve applied for copyright for TBL.  Still haven’t received certificate for LJ.  Still waiting for my ITIN too.

January 2013 2014!!
 - EDITING LJ!  OMG.  Much harder & soul destroying than I thought.  Not completely happy with changes made to the story but I guess my editor knows best.

10 January 2014
 - received my ITIN.

23 January 2014
 - Sent back 2nd edits of LJ.  I’m now calling the story “Hating Jay.”  I have re-read so many times I think I can recite it word for word.   Funny what the Americans pick up on:
            Flat white
ßhad to describe what one is.
            Milo, paracetamol
ßhad to explain.
            They also wanted me to stop using the word “footy.”
            She had problems with what is a bucks night, a hens night & a middy.
            She wanted to change “come” to “cum.”  I refused.


21 February 2014
 - OMG!  DSP have accepted TSG!  I’ve signed but I’m now really nervous.
            Loving Jay: Due out Apr-May
            The Blinding Light: Due out Jul-Aug
            The Shearing Gun:  Due out Aug-Sept
- It took me 8 solid days of working for 2x edits on LJ.  Plus blurb stuff & cover art stuff took more time.  I’ve yet to get proof reads or galley proof for LJ.  So now I need to do all that twice over in the next 3 months?  Plus proofs?  When the hell will I write my next book?

24 February 2014
 - I’ve finished Safe In His Arms.  [BFF and beta reader] has problems with it.  I’m really unsure about it as it is a little different from previous work.  I can’t even think about it at the moment.  My head is so full.
 - ATM I’m re-editing TBL before the editor gets it.  Now I know the things I am doing wrong I thought I would fix them before the editor has to.  It will enable her to concentrate more on the other stuff & maybe produce a better quality mss.

8 March 2014
 - received proof of Loving Jay.  Oh, wow.  Reality!  I have a week to check it.  If there isn’t too many mistakes to correct, then that will be it & they will assign a release date.  What the hell constitutes “too many mistakes”???

14 March 2014
 - FREAK OUT!!  DSP have sent me vellums to autograph & write a brief message on.  HELP!  What do I write?

17 March 2014
 - I’ve created me a website.  SCARY!

20 March 2014
 - ANOTHER FREAK OUT DAY!
 - Heard from Paul regarding the cover of The Blinding Light & also [editor] saying she is starting editing.  THEN – OMG!!!
            Release date!!
 - I’m on DSP’s website!  There is my book.  My author profile has been up for a couple of days.  But FREAK!



LOL – as you can see I freaked out a lot.  You can see why my BFF started calling release days “Freak Out Fridays.”

I hoped you enjoyed this little peek.  Next week I’ll show you the next couple of entries.  Re-reading them brings back all those nerves.  How much I wanted it to be successful but didn’t believe in myself.  How little I knew and how much I had to learn.

(For those who don’t know – an ITIN is an identifying number for US taxation purposes as I have to pay tax to the US.  Is it wrong that I pay tax and Trump doesn’t?)

I also laugh that I was happy about finding $5 in my purse.

How to contact Renae:
Email:  
renaekaye@iinet.net.au
Website:  
www.renaekaye.weebly.com
FB:  www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9
Twitter:  @renaekkaye

Friday, October 7, 2016

Listening by Felice Stevens


This past week in synagogue, my rabbi told us the biggest problem facing people today is that we don't listen. We talk at each other, not to each other. We hear what we want to hear and react.

And I think we, even as authors who use words for a living, sometimes say or write things that maybe aren't  the most precise or well crafted, or might be misconstrued, but instead of saying, "Wow that really hurt. Can we talk about it?" we do what we see in the media so often today, and write crafty little sound bites that on their face read witty and snarky, but in the end serve no other purpose but to hurt and cause pain.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. I don't think there is a person out there who hasn't seen or experienced some form of bullying. But it's growing worse. The advent of social media, be it Facebook or Twitter, has made it easier to hide behind a screen and say things to people we'eve never met, that we would never dream of saying to their face. Sometimes the consequences are more horrific than we can imagine. Unfortunately it's become all to common an occurrence to read about a young child who was so mercilessly teased that he or she saw no way out other than to take his or her life. 



I'm not the social media police but I have always believed in being kind. We don't know what people are going through inside and kindness costs us nothing and in the end can mean everything to a person suffering. So lets take a breath and start listening to each other, instead of talking at each other and we might find we are more alike than we thought. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ask Your Question - Andrew Grey


Good morning.  This spot is usually reserved for Ask Andrew, but questions seem to be scares lately.  If you have one, please send it to me.  andrewgreybooks@comcast.net  I will be glad to answer it for you.  Questions can be about anything at all. 

Have a great day!

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

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Halloween Recipes with BA, Julia, Kiernan and Sean


Here's some of our favorite Halloween recipes for you.

BA

Gluten Free Witch Fingers

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup gluten free flour
1 egg, beaten
sliced almonds

Tump cheese, butter, salt, cayenne in a food processor and whaz until smooth. Add flour and pulse until you have a dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and sprinkle the top with flour. Knead just until you feel like you can make fingers (you ought to get 2 dozen 6 inch fingers)

Put them on parchment lined sheets and brush with the egg and put an almond in the end like a nail (you can dye them with food coloring too -- omg, it's gross and wonderful)

Pop the fingers in the fridge for 15 minutes and get your oven heating (350). Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. 

Ta da. Witch fingers!


Julia

My go to to impress folks on Halloween? 

Eyeball tacos!

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef
1 (1 1/4 ounce) packages taco seasoning mix
12 taco shells
3/4 cup salsa
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tomatoes, small cubes
1 small head lettuce, sliced into small confetti squares
1 (2 1/4 ounce) cans large black olives, sliced
1 cup cheese, Shredded & Long ( cheddar is good, but a Mexican blend would be good too)

Directions

MIix meat and seasoning mix. Shape half of the mixture into 24 (1-inch) balls; place in 15x10x1-inch baking pan and bake at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Brown the remaining seasoned ground beef and add salsa.
Fill each taco shell with a thin layer of ground beef, sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Position 2 meatballs inside the taco shell and add a dollop of sour cream to each. Garnish with olives to make “eyeballs.” Spread the cheese out along to the top for stringy hair.


Sean

Earthworms in dirt

Ingredients:

1 large package of Oreo cookies
1 package (8 ounces) of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups milk
12 ounces Cool Whip (can use chocolate Cool Whip alternatively)
2 packages instant vanilla or chocolate pudding
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Gummy Worms or other Gummy Bugs


Directions:

1.  In a food processor, crush the Oreos until they have a grainy consistency with some large chunks. Set aside.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter (or margarine), cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract together. Set aside.

3.  Combine the milk and pudding mixture until smooth and fold in the Cool Whip. Then fold in the creamed butter, cream cheese, sugar mixture until consistency is rich and smooth.

4.  In separate ramekins, layer the crushed Oreos, pudding mixture and gummy worms/bugs, alternating. The last layer on top should be the crushed Oreos, with maybe a couple worms sticking out. Place a few gummy worms/bugs on top of each cake.

5.  Chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours before serving.



Got random questions? Comment or email one of us :)

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

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

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

Sean
smut fixes everything