Monday, 30 May 2011

Welcome Breathless Press author, Dianne Hartsock!!


Welcome, Dianne, lovely to have you here! I am hearing more and more great things about Breathless Press and I love their covers! How are you finding them as a publisher? Did you work with the same editor on both your stories?

In case you haven't guessed, I love learning how other publishers work when compared to my own - just nosy, lol!

Let's get started, shall we?

Thank you, Rachel, for having me as a guest today.

1) Did you set any goals for 2011?

I think writers always set goals for themselves. Sometimes one’s out of reach! But that’s what makes the small successes all the more fun. I usually write novel length MS’s, without any luck finding a publisher for them. This year I decided to try something new. I flirted a little with erotica in my novels, and thought I’d try my hand at a few m/m short stories. I wrote ‘Shelton in Love’ in January, and after many rewrites, I had it picked up by Breathless Press. I’m published! Finally, I reached a goal I had set.

2) What is the best part of the writing process for you?

There comes a moment in writing where I’m totally immersed in the story. The interaction of the characters is alive and vibrant; the story line is progressing smoothly. I’m right in the scene with them, heading down path A, when suddenly the characters take things into their own hands and go down path B instead. I don’t know what’s down that way! Is it dangerous? Fun? I follow them blindly, letting them lead me where they will. I absolutely love that.

3) The worst part?

The rejection letter. We’ve all seen them. I obsessively check my mail when I send out query letters. When I get a reply, my heart’s pounding when I open it up. They always start out with a nice line, BUT, they can’t represent me, or the story doesn’t fit their publication list for the year. Blah, blah, blah…

4) What is the book you wish you’d written?

There are a lot of writers who’s work I admire, or envy J, but instead of a book, there’s a scene from a movie I wish I’d come up with. Remember at the end of ‘The Six Sense’ where the man realizes he’s actually a ghost? That scene blew me away. I hadn’t seen it coming. What an incredible twist! I started the movie over again, just so I could catch all the clues pointing to him being a ghost instead of real. So well acted by everyone. I wish I could write plots like that one.

5) Favorite author/s & book/s?

Oh, too many to list! Let’s see, there’s everything by C.J. Cherryh. Everything by Dean R. Koontz. Everything by Michael Crichton and Robin Cook and Michael Stewert and Michael Palmer. Oh, and Elizabeth Peters and Patricia Cornwall. If you haven’t noticed, I’m an incurable bookworm!

6) Tell us about your latest release?

‘Shelton in Love’

Breathless Press: http://www.breathlesspress.org/Book/291

Amazon: http://amzn.to/m3VJDe

All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/lCYZ0R

One of the characters in my novel ALEX is bisexual, and though it’s only mentioned lightly in the book, I became curious what it would be like for a man to be in love with another man. How would they interact? How do they fit together? This is what I set out to discover when I wrote ‘Shelton in Love’, and I admit, I enjoyed writing every line of it!

Shelton is falling hard for his best friend and roommate, finding Nevil’s dark good looks and moments of gentleness almost impossible to resist. But Nevil is more interested in affairs of the body than the heart. As Shelton’s desire for the man grows, he wonders if he can change Nevil’s mind. But does he even want to? Nevil might not stay, once he learns Shelton’s secret, and then Shelton’s loneliness would be complete.

8701

7) Tease us with a blurb/short excerpt

Shelton chuckled, already stripping out of jacket and shirt as he crossed to the curtained booth. Tera was always in a rush, bursting with more energy than two or three other people combined.

Stepping into the booth, he quickly changed from jeans into the coffee-brown slacks and white dress shirt hanging on the rack. Slipping his arms through the ivory-colored vest, he slung the coffee-and-tan tie around his neck and returned to Tera's side, tucking in the shirt as he went.

Shelton glanced up at a low whistle, feeling the tingle of a blush in his cheeks under Nevil's appraising eyes. He tried to stifle a surge of excitement that Nevil had come to watch the photo shoot, when he hadn’t seemed interested earlier. Plans must have changed with Percy.

"You dress up nicely," Nevil assured him as he stepped closer to bat Shelton's fumbling hands away from the tie. "Let me do that."

Shelton concentrated on Nevil's fingers on his tie, urging his heart to stop racing before Nevil felt it pounding under his fingertips or heard its wild patter. Nevil's breath brushed his cheek and his spicy cologne sent his senses whirling.

Why was the man so damned attractive?

Shelton hardly noticed Tera slipping a jacket on his arms until Nevil commented on it, rubbing the silk and wool material between his fingers. "Nice."

Shelton glanced at his sleeve and admired the sharkskin pattern of taupe and tan and black checkers. He shrugged his shoulders, delighted with the fit and comfort of the sport coat. "A new one?" he asked Tera.

"I've had the design finished for months but couldn't decide if it should go in my summer or fall catalog."

Nevil finished with the tie and stepped back, looking Shelton up and down. "Definitely summer, though I'd wear a coat like that all year round. Almost any color of slacks would go with it."

"Or socks," Shelton muttered, a reminder to himself as Nevil ran his fingers through his hair, sending sparks of desire through his body as the man mussed his curls.

Nevil tilted his head to take in the overall affect. A lazy smile spread on his face while a warm gleam entered his fantastic eyes. "Delicious." His gaze lingered on Shelton's shoulders before sliding down to his hips.

Shelton wished the coat was buttoned as he felt a twitch in his groin, his body perking up at the attention. The whirl of the camera in Tera's hand recalled him from the tantalizing thought of Nevil's hands on him as well as his gaze, and Shelton moved to stand under the soft light she set up to complement the glow from the setting sun.

He thought he'd feel awkward with Nevil watching as he posed, but instead found the man's presence exhilarating. Shelton knew he looked his best and Nevil's admiring attention bolstered his confidence. Ignoring the stares of a few passersby, he flirted with the camera, losing his inhibition as Tera called encouragements and clicked frame after frame, only calling a halt when the sunlight had gone.

"These are lovely. They'll fill out the catalog nicely," she commented, tilting the camera to show the men a few of her favorites.

Nevil whistled at one in particular, where Shelton had glanced at the camera through lowered lids, a secret smile playing on his lips. The overhead light brought out the highlights in his chestnut hair and lightened his hazel eyes, complementing the warm colors of his ensemble for an overall attractiveness.

"You'll need to stockpile this coat, Tera," Nevil observed, his eyes never leaving Shelton's. "Every man who sees that picture is going to want one for his own." His gaze was intense and Shelton colored at the innuendo.

8) What is your favorite attribute of the hero and heroine?

Shelton is a gentle, lovely man I can’t help but like. Nevil is vibrant, witty, slightly dangerous, yet he truly comes to care for Shelton in the end.

9) What’s next?

‘Shelton’s Promise’ comes out July 8th from Breathless Press!

Also, my paranormal/suspense novel ALEX will be released soon from Solstice Publishing.

AND, I have a short ghost story ‘The Trials of a Lonely Specter’ due out from MuseItUp in October.

Currently, I’m working on another erotica, this time a fantasy novella where my hero is led astray by a beautiful, magical young man.

10)
Tell me where you write?

On my laptop at the dining room table. There’s a large picture window on my left overlooking the garden, and straight ahead, thru the kitchen, is the sliding glass doors to the backyard. I have light and beauty and music all around me. Also, if I try to write anywhere else, I get lazy. When I sit at the table I know it’s time to WRITE.

11)
Where would you like your career to be in 5 years?

I’ve written two fantasy novels that I’m still reworking. I’d be in heaven if they could be published in the next five years.

12) Where can we find you?

WordPress: http://diannehartsock.wordpress.com/

FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/diannehartsock

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/diannehartsock

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4707011-dianne-hartsock

Great interview, Dianne and I wish you all the luck in the world with your novellas after writing novel-length stories as well. This industry can be so frustrating!

Comments?

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Welcome Siren Publishing author, Angela Claire!

Today, I have Siren Publishing author, Angela Claire visiting. Angela has some great stories both published and soon to be published. I love your covers, Angela, really nice. Can't wait to hear more about you and your work.

Take it away!

Who is your favorite author and why?

That’s a tough one. I would say that dating back to my college days, my favorite author has been Raymond Carver. He was writing bleak, incredibly stirring short stories in the 1980s. I couldn’t get enough of him. I would pore over each sentence. These days, though, I don’t much have the time to ‘pore’. I like a quick happily ever after, still stirring, but not so bleak. In this category, I would say my favorite author is Shannon McKenna. She writes sexy, exciting romantic suspense.

2) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Actually, I used to write stories as a kid and give them to people to read. When I was in fifth grade, I wrote a book about quintuplets. So I definitely considered myself a writer back then. When I grew up and started worrying about financial matters, I lost that part of myself and stopped writing (anything fun, that is). A few years ago, though, my husband bought me a cute pink computer for Christmas and the writing just happened again. When Siren agreed to publish my first book, Saving McCade, I was elated. I definitely felt like a writer again at that point!

3) Describe your writing space?

I write in our family room on the couch by the fireplace with the computer on my lap and a cat usually lurking around trying to get on my lap. It doesn’t sound very comfortable, does it? But it works for me!

4) What are you reading now?

I’m ashamed to say I’m not reading anything because I’ve been so obsessed with writing lately. I think the last book I read was Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Before that, I was reading all of Sabrina Jeffries’ books in order. I love her!

5) How many books have your written? Which is your favorite?

I have written five books for Siren, three of which are already out with two coming soon. Trite as it sounds, my books are like my kids...I just don’t have a favorite. (I love them all, kids and books!) I will say that I have a special fondness for
To Catch a Pirate,
though, because it really didn’t sell as well as the others. So it’s almost like I feel bad for the least popular one. At the time of writing it, I actually thought it was my best. I had such fun with writing about a dashing hero who kidnaps the heroine. (I think I’ve always been stuck on that ‘Calgon take me away’ idea!)

6) What comes first, plot or characters?

Definitely the characters. Then I create the plot around them.

7) Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

Not yet! I’m too excited to be writing again.

8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Eat cookies. Really. Big soft sugar cookies. That’s my favorite thing to do when I’m not writing. Consequently, I have to exercise a lot to try to counteract it! I like to watch Netflix streaming too (sometimes while I’m exercising). It is such a great invention, allowing me an endless supply of cheesy movies and old t.v. shows.

9) Tell us about your latest book?

Actually, my latest out is To Catch a Pirate and the one that should be out shortly is called Jesse’s Girl.

To Catch a Pirate is, needless to say, about a pirate. Jamie Banion is a gentleman pirate, the son of a woman pirate. He falls in love with Evelyn, the woman who, unbeknownst to him, has deliberately lured him into taking her ransom in order to catch him.

Jesse’s Girl is a western that takes place after the Civil War. It’s a sequel to Heart of Stone and revolves around two of the characters in that book. Jesse is an easy-going ladies man of a cowboy who lusts after the town princess Regina in the earlier book. At the beginning of Jesse’s Girl, Regina’s father has just traumatically died and she turns to Jesse for comfort, asking him to make love to her. He thinks it would be a crime to take advantage of her vulnerability at that moment, so he turns her down and leaves town. When he comes back almost two years later, he wants what she begged him to take before and she’s having none of it.

10) What’s next for you?

My next one out from Siren is also a Western that takes place in the same Colorado town that Heart of Stone and Jesse’s Girl do. In this one, The Outlaw Takes a Madam, there are twin brothers, one a doctor and the other a gunman. There is a lot of masquerading one for the other and it’s compounded by the fact that the heroine is the secret madam of the local whorehouse who is pretending to be a respectable spinster. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but I have a lot of fun with it.

Thanks!

Angela Claire


Great to have you here, Angela - hope you enjoy your time with me and catch some fabulous new readers!

Comments?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Ellora's Cave author, Desiree Holt is here!

Desiree Holt is one of my biggest influences in the erotic romance genre because I find something different in her stories every time I read them. I am very new to the sub-genre and find reading other successful writers work really helps me to learn and grow. Desiree is one of those authors so I can not recommend her stories highly enough!

What do The Kingston Trio and I have in common?

They recorded a song that it a centuries-old Irish air called The Gypsy Rover, about a whistling gypsy whose music is so seductive that the daughter of the castle's lord runs from her home, her lover and her upcoming wedding to follow the gypsy rover. Her father "saddles his fastest steed and searches the valleys all over" in order to find her.

I love the song so much and the story it tells that I changed it to a modern tale of the daughter of a wealthy and powerful rancher and the cowboy minstrel whose music seduces her.

here, for you, a taste of Hard Lovin'.

Buy it here: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-9285-hard-lovin.aspx

Leave a comment and you might win a free ebook.

Erin Braddock, daughter of wealthy and powerful rancher Rance Braddock, has been to hell and back. So has wandering cowboy minstrel Grady Sinclair. But the moment they meet chemistry ignites between them, erasing everything else. The sex is scorching, explosive, addictive. They can’t get enough each other. The same talented fingers that coax seductive music from his guitar coax powerful orgasms from her body. Seduced by his music as well as the sinfully sexy man himself, Erin runs away with him. Nights she sits in the bar listening to his come-to-me voice promising her the erotic delights he delivers on when they’re back in their room. But will the past follow them or can they build a future together, in and out of bed?

Gypsy rover come over the hill, down through the valley so shady

He whistled and he sang til the greenwoods rang and he won the heart of a lady

Erin Braddock slipped into the dark bar through the back door, squinty against the darkness and found her way to a tiny booth in the corner. The area was so small a second person would be hard pressed to find room in the space but that suited her just fine. She hadn’t come here looking for company. Unless it was the cowboy up on the postage stamp sized stage, alone in the spotlight with his guitar and his smoky voice. Ebony black hair curled down to the nape of his neck and a work shirt and worn jeans clung to his lean body like a second skin. The muscles in his arm flexed as he picked at the strings of the guitar, coaxing a tune from it.

The lights were dim in the smoky club, a sea of black with only himself in the searing white glow of the spotlight. The air was heavy with expectation as he strummed the melody of a love song that whipped its sound over the crowd only to slow like the stroke of a lover’s caress.

You are so out of your mind for doing this.

So what else was new?

She’d just had to get out of the house. Away from the ranch. Away from …everyone. Her father, Rance, who was suffocating her with his protective kindness. T.J. Elliott, the fiancĂ© she couldn’t seem to break away from. The houseful of people all gathered to celebrate a wedding tomorrow.

Hers.

A wedding she didn’t want.

The memories of the nightmare with Cal hadn’t yet faded and her father was suffocating her with his protective kindness. The far too wealthy Rance Braddock was, if nothing else, like a tidal wave that swallowed people up. And then there was T.J. Elliott, her father’s choice for a ‘safe’ and well-connected husband. A way to guarantee her future. No danger there.

Not like Cal, the worst mistake she’d ever made. And she’d wanted safe. Needed it. Her father and T.J. treated her like some child too fragile to be let out on her own. Well, maybe she was. Look what she’d gotten herself into. And didn’t want to get out of, until she’d had no other choice. Now, at thirty, she suddenly didn’t seem to be able to put one foot in front of the other any more.

Until now.

The bad part about being rescued from a situation like the one she’d been in was people were afraid to take their eyes off of you. She didn’t even seem to have the strength to tell them they could look away. She went along to get among, letting herself be swept up in a courtship she didn’t want and a wedding suddenly bearing down on her like a tornado.

She’d come to the bar a few nights ago with her girl friends who had practically dragged her out of the house.

“Have fun,” her father said.

“You’ll be fine with the girls,” T.J. told her. He’d kissed her on the cheek and teased, “Last night out before becoming Mrs. Elliott.”

She was safe with her friends. Girl’s night out was okay. Both her father and T.J. had relaxed.

But her friend Lili had whispered in her ear, ”Wait until you see Grady Sinclair. He’s hot, hot, hot. And his music!” Lili rolled her eyes. “Just listening to him makes your pussy get wet and your nipples poke like diamonds.”

Erin had shivered, skeptical but hopeful. She didn’t think she’d ever have that reaction again. Or want it. The best thing about T.J. was he was nonthreatening. She could always fake orgasms. She’d become a very good actress living with Cal.

So she’d let them coax her out and come to Smoky’s with them and damn but Lili was right. Wrapped in the almost mystical cloak of the music that drifted to her from the stage she’d felt stirrings that she thought long dead. Responses she didn’t think she was capable of anymore. And then she’d come back with them. Again and again, to hear the troubadour with eyes as black as his hair and a rugged face, drawn by the clear, mesmerizing notes of his songs and the sadness in his voice.

About Desiree Holt

Desiree Holt’s writing is flavored with the rich experiences of her life, including a long stretch in the music business representing every kind of artist from country singer to heavy metal rock bands. For several years she also ran her own public relations agency handling any client that interested her, many of whom might recognize themselves in the pages of her stories. She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award for best BDSM book of the year, winner of two Holt Medallion Awards of Merit, and is published by five different houses. Romance Junkies said of her work: “Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.”

You can find her at
www.desireeholt.com
and www.desireeholttellsall.com


Great writing as always, Desiree - okay, we're open to questions and comments!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Welcome Secret Cravings Publishing author, Avril Ashton!!



Welcome, Ashton, so happy to have you here for your very first visit. I have had several Secret Cravings authors here but I still know so little about them as a publisher. Would you mind sharing a bit of insider information in case any of my visitors would like to submit to Secret Cravings?

Great, let's get started with the interview!

1) What is your writing routine? I don’t really have a routine. I just write whenever I get the time. Early morning when my daughter goes to school, at night when the family is asleep. At the day job.

2) Which author/s inspire you to write? All the authors who write romance. I read as voraciously as I write.

3) Which is your favorite romance subgenre to read? To write? I like erotic romance, it’s what I write. Any sub of that is fine. Paranormal, fantasy, Interracial. Anything with amazing plot and great love scenes.

4) How do you deal with criticism/rejection? I deal. Criticism—when coming from a place of respect is always welcome. Rejection I accept as part of writing, they go hand in hand.

5) What do you expect from an editor? Understanding and knowledge of my particular genre. An ability to allow me my freedom to write, but to call me on my mistakes and work with me to correct them without the stifling of my voice, or rewriting my plot.

6) Tell me about your latest release. My latest release is Blindfold Me with Secret Cravings Publishing. It’s part fiction, part fact, and complete romance.

7) Tease us with a blurb or short excerpt. Certainly, here’s the blurb:
Thirteen years ago, Lyric Benson's boyfriend accused her of sleeping with his older brother then disappeared. She never stopped caring, never stopped hoping. Now, all these years later, Lyric is stunned to discover the new owner of her company is one Grayson St. Clair, who never forgot or forgave her transgression.

Grayson wants nothing to do with someone he thinks hurt him so deeply. He can't let go of the past and he can't trust Lyric. It doesn't help matters that while on her watch, the Masonry company she oversaw was hacked into and the company's top secret client list accessed. Reluctantly, Lyric and Grayson team up to find the culprit, with Grayson denying their blossoming feelings at every turn. But when his brother appears, secrets in tow, Grayson will have to choose: live in the past or move on with Lyric.

8) Which is your favorite character in the book? Why? I love the tough heroines, those who give as good as they get. The ones who are in tune with their bodies, their hearts, and willing to put it all on the line for love. Plus, they gotta have smart mouths.

9) What are you working on right now? I’m working on book three of my Wicked series with eXtasy books titled In Wicked Chains. It’s the toughest one yet.


10) Your biggest piece of advice to aspiring novelists? Write.

11) Where can readers find you? I’m at http://www.avrilashton.weebly.com

http://www.avril-ashton.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/writeravrilashton

http://www.twitter.com/#!/AvrilAsh

LOL! Great advice, fabulously delivered...is there anything else to say??

Ashton is waiting for your comments & questions!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Welcome, super mum and Noble Romance writer, Sarah Ballance!


I am so happy to welcome Sarah to my blog today because she amazes me how she writes at all with six kids at home! The fact she writes erotic romance amidst all that child chaos speaks volumes to me...escapism, escapism, escapism!

Take it away, lovely lady...


1) Who is your favourite author and why?

There are many I adore, but if I have to pick one my vote goes to Rosalie Stanton. Her sexy, witty, downright hilarious-at-all-the-right-times writing style is my absolute favorite.

2) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I never wanted to be a writer – I wrote my first novel just because I didn't think I could do it – so my first contract came as a huge shock (especially since it also came from the first publisher I queried). I was absolutely certain I'd get some sort of "ooops" Dear Jane letter, so it wasn't until after my book released and I saw with my own eyes that it was for sale that it hit me, "Hey, I'm an author!"

3) Describe your writing space?

Most often, I'm sprawled on my bed, LOL. I'll go through bouts of staying up late or getting up early, and right now I'm staying up late. After dinner my husband takes over the kids and the household stuff and I shut myself in the bedroom to write. However, I have a netbook with a 10-12 hour battery, so I can truly write anywhere.

4) What are you reading now?

I just finished CRYSTAL'S COWBOYS by J. Rose Allister last night. (HAWT!) I haven't quite decided what I'll pick up next.

5) How many books have your written? Which is your favourite?

I've finished two, and both are published with Noble Romance. DOWN IN FLAMES is a contemporary romance and RUN TO YOU is a romantic suspense. Of the two, I love RUN TO YOU because my voice strengthened, but I mega-love that it's a suspense. I ADORE writing suspense, and on that note, my absolute favorite story is my work-in-progress UNFORGIVEN, also romantic suspense.

6) What comes first, plot or characters?

I have such limited experience as an author, but so far I'd have to say plot. Normally I have an idea before I start attaching characters to it, but for the most part the two aspects develop together.

7) Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?

Not in an epic sense. Sometimes I have trouble focusing on a particular scene, but when that happens I write ahead in the book a bit. Knowing I can just edit those words when I get to them in sequence takes some of the of the pressure off so I can fly through the new part, and normally that's what I need to dig back in to the scene I had to abandon.

8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

We have about six months of boating and beach weather around here each year, and I'm thrilled to spend every moment possible on or near the water. We are a homeschooling family with six young children so that takes up most of my "free" time, LOL, but anything we can all do together is fabulous. Everyone is always outside but me and the baby, who celebrates her first birthday this month.

9) Tell us about your latest book?

Mattie James can't pinpoint exactly when she lost control of her life, but the moment she decided to take it back made the front page of the local paper. Desperate to dodge the fallout— and the tabloids—she jumps at the chance to spend an off-season week in a tiny resort community by the sea. Making the trip with her ex-lover is a complication she can live with; coming face to face with a dead woman is not.

The last thing Sheriff Wyatt Reed expected to find on the storm-ravaged beach was a beautiful blonde with a jealous sidekick, but one look at Mattie left him wanting more. Their first date takes an ominous turn when he gets the call that a woman was found murdered. With a killer on the loose and a troubling lack of suspects or motive, Wyatt has to put his feelings aside to focus on the case. But his vow not to become personally involved is shattered when he discovers Mattie's life is on the line, and this time the truth leaves her with a deadly choice . . . and nowhere to run.


10) What’s next for you?

UNFORGIVEN kicks off a romantic suspense series, of which I have three books planned with the potential to add more. The story brings together two old lovers – Gage and Riley - who thought they were through with one another until his brother turns up dead, and there's only one person who could have pulled the trigger: Riley. When they're reunited, she's staring down the barrel of a loaded gun, and he's got revenge on his mind. The remaining books in the series each pick up with one of the supporting characters from a previous title, although each one will stand alone.

Buy links:
PDF, EPUB, HTML, MobiPocket, Microsoft Reader: https://www.nobleromance.com/Authors/97
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003WKYEJI

Author links:
http://www.sarahballance.com/
http://sarahballance.wordpress.com/
http://www.facebook.com/author.sarah.ballance

Great interview, Sarah - your life amazes me and even more so, now I know the first book you wrote was snapped up! That's fantastic and inspiring. Good job!

Comments?

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Welcome M/M writer, Pia Veleno!!

Great to have you visit with me for the first time, Pia! Looking forward to hearing more about your M/M romances that seem to be taking the US romance market by storm. They are slower on the take off in the UK but I am sure that is set to change. We have just had a new writer join our local chapter who write male romances so I need to learn more about them!

Over to you...

Whenever I visit a new blog or website, I like to browse recent posts to see what the readers see each day. Before I contacted the wonderful Ms. Rachel Leigh about visiting here, I browsed her site and realized she mostly had traditional romance visitors. Six months ago, this would’ve sent me running, but I’m a little bit braver today with three books under my belt, and a forth under contract.
Yes, that’s my way of preparing you, dear readers. I’m not a traditional romance writer. I write M/M, manlove or, to put it bluntly, two men falling in lust and love, sometimes not in that order, and almost always explicitly enjoying it. With me, it is always two men (okay, so there may be some ideas sketched out for three, but that’s for another blog post down the road) and it’s always erotic (hey, when both love interests are men, they’re destined to end up in bed, and often) and lastly, it’s rarely anything like a heterosexual romance story.
Before I lose the purely heterosexual readers, let me back up and explain why people read manlove romances. The majority of readers in this quickly growing niche of romance are actually straight women. Yes, you read that right. Het women gobble up these stories about two men falling in love and, yes, having very explicit (and hot and steamy and… you get the idea) sex. A high number of writers in this genre are also women.
So what’s the draw?
Hey, girls, you like men, right? So wouldn’t twice as many in a story be twice as good?
It’s not just having twice the firm, hard muscles, or double danglies, or even four sweet round ass cheeks, but rather, in my not so humble opinion, it’s two specific things that can only be achieved with two male love interests.
First, men are, whether by breeding, societal influences, or gender stereotypes, not given to expressing their emotions. So, being privy to their internal thought, full of longing, desire, confusion, and fear is sexy on an emotional level. Second, men falling in love with men poses a whole mess of troubling storylines that a man falling for a woman never faces. Will their families accept their unconventional relationship? Will they face discrimination in the office for who they date? What if they live in a state that doesn’t acknowledge marriage between two lovers of the same gender? What happens if one gets seriously ill without a power of attorney in place? Who tops? Bottoms? Does the “women’s work” in their home? Will they get attacked by gay bashers? Will they bicker over whether or not they should hide in the closet? Will they long for a “normal” life with kids and grandkids? Will they live happily ever after? Or even “happy for now”?
Okay, so the last two – happily ever after and happy for now – can and do happen in a traditional romance, but the rest of those challenges are unique. Sure, one could argue that the acceptance of friends and family could be (and is) used as a plot device in het romance, but the impact is stronger, and more dangerous, between two men.
Since I started reading M/M, I’ve found het romances lacking. They’re still well planned and the writing is tight, but a female protagonist no longer catches my interest. That is, unless she’s really a guy in drag, taking his first steps out as a cross-dresser. Now there’s a societal line to cross that simply does not have the same effect with women. Even in historical fiction, a woman dressing as a man is nowhere near as scandalous and taboo as a man dressing in a pretty little dress and glittering stiletto heels.
Too much? Don’t worry. Cross-dressers are a smaller niche of the manlove genre. If you’re interested in M/M (and I hope that I’ve managed to draw at least a little curiosity) try out some of my favorites: Jet Mykles writes a series of fun, sweet stories about rock musicians (Heaven Sent), Ally Blue writes a series about paranormal investigators (Bay City Paranormal Investigations, starting with Oeleander House), and yours truly has corrupted angels and drawn out the sweet, gentle side of demons (Bound By Love).
AllRomanceebooks.com is a great place to start loading up your eReader with hot, steamy manlove stories. Or, take your time exploring readers’ M/M shelves over at GoodReads.com.
Best of all, how about a free sample?
I’ll start gentle with a PG rated excerpt from Fallen, and then, if you’re brave, check out this link to a brief and slightly explicit scene from my ongoing free story, CRANK http://thecrank.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/no-question/ If you enjoy it, click the Table of Contents to the right of the chapter to read the rest of the story.
Happy reading!
Ciao,
Pia Veleno
~*~
Fallen:
Man has free will, and guardian angels have an eternal place in the holy host.
When unexpected feelings interfere with Malchediel's guidance of a mortal being, he must decide if his love for one man is true, or the work of the devil. Charged with the soul of handsome but suicidal Bran Weller, Malchediel faces a new challenge: Bran's steadfast belief that homosexuality is not wrong despite the Church's view of his lifestyle.
In the course of his angelic duties, Mal is tempted to turn a blind eye to long-standing rules of guardianship as he falls in love with his charge. Torn between faith in God and belief that every man deserves love, Malchediel must find a way to balance heart and soul or risk a Fall to Hell.

Excerpt:
Angels can, and do, fall from Heaven. Most of the time it is willingly, like today, but other times, they are cast down for their sins and that Fall is much, much harder. I would rather not discuss this. It breaks my heart to consider the rare brethren who fail so completely that they Fall into the innermost circles of Hell.
A fall is not gentle or graceful, but being as immortal as a sentient creature can get, I am not harmed when I land on Earth. I can be disoriented, which has yet to get any easier with experience, but I accept this and plan my landing accordingly.
Except today.
I land in a crouch, taking the impact through my legs and up my body. A large object looms in my unfocused vision to the left. It hits me, and I sprawl across pavement.
This hurts much more than falling.
Yes, I am an angel, and yes, it is true I cannot die a mortal death. I can, however, feel pain when ensconced in a human body. I close my eyes and take a silent inventory of myself. I hurt, yes, but my injuries are not severe. I will bruise, but nothing is broken. Human body, but not a human mind; I am confident of my diagnosis.
"Oh, shit. I'm so sorry."
I open my eyes to see from where the voice emanates. A blur moves towards me from that direction.
The voice asks, "Are you okay?" The face is still fuzzy, but I am settling slowly into my human senses. "Can you move? I'll call an ambulance."
His words help me snap through the fog of my fall. I grab his arm as he flips his portable phone open. "No," I say, "I do not need an ambulance."
I hurt, yes, but doctors would slow me down and do very little otherwise. I heal quicker than a true human and an angel's physical form can sometimes cause the little hairs on the back of a doctor's neck to quiver. They know, but they do not. Professional instinct is strong, though we often appear the same as our mortal charges.
I blink, my eyes focusing on the face hovering over me. I cannot go to the hospital because I have found him. I cannot explain how I know he is the one; I am a guardian angel, and he is my charge. I know.
He is beautiful in his concern, but I recognize sorrow veiled in his deep brown eyes. "So brown," I whisper. I blink. I had not intended to say a word.
"You're hurt," he says, blushing.
"I will be fine." I sit up, and he turns his hand to take mine and assist me. I am surprised to find I need his strength to steady me. Closing my eyes, I again seek out broken bones or internal injuries. I find nothing, but I am still shaken.
"Are you sure? Look, I'm really sorry."
When I attempt to stand, his hand is there, helping me. With his arm around my waist, I ease myself to my feet. I look up into his eyes. He did not look tall while I sat on the pavement, but now, both of us on our feet, he looks down at me. My heart pounds in my chest, and the adrenaline makes me sway on my feet.
"Shit. I really think we should get you to the hospital." He catches me, though I am not falling. Not any more anyway.

~*~*~*~

Fallen is available in print or e-book format from Silver Publishing http://silverpublishing.info/index/typefilter/book_authors/book_authors_id/49
Thanks for reading!
Pia Veleno

Learn more about Pia at these locations:

Silver Publishing http://bit.ly/piavelenoSP

Great post, Pia! I feel suitably informed about manlove now, LOL! You have definitely given me food for thought and I had never considered the plethora of situations you have to play with that wouldn't come into heterosexual relationships.

There must be loads of questions and comments???



Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Welcome Noble Romance author, Mary Abshire!



Hi Mary!

It's great to welcome another Noble Romance author, I fully intend to submit something to Noble soon as they seem to be growing and growing with happy authors. I don't think there is any higher recommendation than that, do you?

Looking forward to learning more about you!

1) Did you set any goals for 2011?
Yes, I did. My goals for 2011 were to finish 4 novels and read a book per week. Sadly, I'm behind, especially on reading.

2) What is the best part of the writing process for you?
The best part of the process is sitting down and letting the imagination flow. I love it when I can spend an entire day just writing, which only happens on the weekends.

3) The worst part?
The worst part of the process is editing. It's very time consuming, and I'd rather be writing. Sometimes, a scene edit can take several nights. Very frustrating. But, edits must be done. I would never send off a sloppy manuscript.

4) What is the book you wish you’d written?
Difficult question to answer. There are so many out there I love that are so creative. I'm a sucker for vampire novels, so I guess I'd select Keri Arthur's series. I love the main character, Riley Jenson, half werewolf, half vampire. I love the world Keri has created for Riley.

5) Favorite author/s & book/s?
Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson series
Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series
Jeanine Frost - Night Huntress series
Kim Harrison - the Hallows series
Kerrelyn Sparks


6) Tell us about your latest release?
My latest release is Fighting Evil, the third Soul Catcher novel. The book picks up where Catching an Evil Tail left off. Jessie has to prepare for her meeting with the VETOV and her relationship with Drake is crumbling. She has many struggles in this book. And it comes with a surprise ending.

7) Tease us with a blurb/short except

BLURB:
Half-demon Jessie Garrett's battles seem endless. While Jeremy, the demon out to win her heart, teaches her how to fight, Jessie's relationship with her vampire lover, Drake, reaches a breaking point. Adding to her struggles, she must defend her life against a group of vampires who consider her a threat to their existence. Held captive on a remote island with both Drake and Jeremy protecting her, she is tested in ways she's never imagined. Jessie fights back; only her actions do more harm than good. The group offers her a choice, but no matter what she decides, her life will change forever.

8) What is your favorite attribute of the hero and heroine?
In my Soul Catcher series, my favorite attributes for my vampire Drake are his gentleness and his compassion. He's the noble gentleman every woman wants, well, I do anyway. (smile)
As for Jessie, my half-demon protagonist, I like her spunky attitude.
I'll add Jeremy, my demon troublemaker, as a hero because he is at times. He's direct and knows what he wants. But he's sneaky. He makes me laugh.

9) What’s next?
I'm working on edits for the 4th Soul Catcher novel, and then I'll submit it to my publisher. I have a UF novel I'm waiting to hear yay or nay. I'm hopeful in the next month I'll get to start writing again. I'll either start on a sequel to my UF novel, or start a new series. I have several ideas.

10) Tell me where you write?
I write in a spare bedroom decorated in Steelers and Penguins memorabilia. (That's Pittsburgh's football and hockey team) I have a plain desk, crowded with water bottles, pens, a calendar, a notebook, and other papers. I have a tub full of books and shelves filled with books that I have yet to read. Behind me sits a comfy chair where I read, when my cat's not hogging it. The room is a place to work and relax, and conveniently located near the washer and dryer so I can do my laundry while I'm writing.

11) Where would you like your career to be in 5 years?
I'd like to add a few more books in my Soul Catcher series and have a few other PR/UF series on the market. I'd love to write full time, but building a solid writing career takes time. I'm not so sure five years is enough. We'll see.

12) Where can we find you?
http://www.maryabshire.com
http://www.facebook.com/mary.abshire
http://www.goodreads.com/maryabshire
http://twitter.com/maryabshire

Glad to hear you have the same problem with creaking shelves full of unread books, Mary! I have over 200 books still waiting to be read and worse of all...I still find myself buying more, eek!! Thanks also for introducing me to another author to try, I have never heard of Keri Arthur but will certainly be looking her up.

Okay, let's open up for comments!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Welcome erotic romance writer, Cherie Denis!


You write for two publishers I know very little about, Cherie so I'd love you to share something about each of them! I have been coming across more and more authors writing for Secrets Cravings so that can only mean they are a good up and coming publisher.

Let's start the interview and then talk! I am having trouble posting your book covers but if you can resend them, I'll get them up asap.

1) When and why did you decide you wanted to be a published author?

I've always been an avid reader and usually have 4 or 5 books in the process of being read (yes at the same time) There is always a book in every room in the house I'm reading.

One afternoon I finished a book and it was so terrible I said as much to my mom, who lives with us. She agreed it was pretty bad. I mentioned I could probably do better and she dared me to try.

2) What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?

I don't have an agent at this time. When I first started writing I tried to find one and didn't get very positive feedback. In fact one query letter I sent out came back to me with NO THANKS written all over the letter. I drew back on trying to find an agent.

I do have several excellent editors and have only positive things to say about them. They are honest with their edits and don't TELL me what needs to be done. Instead, they make suggestions and so far their suggestions have been right on target.


There was one editor who told me once that something I'd written was impossible. I wrote back and said it was not impossible because it had happened to me and I never heard another thing about it.

3) Favorite author/s?

I really enjoy Susan Johnson and am working on collecting all her works. I also like the older Sandra Brown novels. When I'm in the mood for something sweet and touching I pull out an old Betty Neels. I wish I could find more of her books.

4) What is your typical day?

Last summer I was forced to retire by one of the large firms involved in the market fall. At first I was a little worried about being bored, but have to admit there are still not enough hours in the day.

I set our alarm for 7am every morning and my husband and I manage to drag ourselves out of bed about 7:30. My husband is not a morning talker and I've learned to entertain myself without talking. I usually read while he works a Sudoku. Breakfast at 8:30 or so then we are off to our separate offices. His is in our finished basement and mine in on our loft.

I usually work on answering emails until noon. We eat lunch together with mom and about 1:00 I'm back at my desk working on my most recent manuscript. Either writing or editing, along with answering more emails. It's not unusual for my husband and I to email each other 4 or 5 times a day.

I quit about 4:30 and head downstairs to read the paper and visit with my mom. Mom and I make dinner and we three eat dinner together about 6:00 and watch Jeopardy.


The three of us clean up dinner and dishes and I'm back in my office from 7pm until 8pm most nights of the week. I watch some TV with my mom while my husband works on Sudoku and watches either wrestling or football (yes, he has a college education, but it doesn't seem to matter when it comes to those two sports). We're off to bed by 10:30 to watch Jay Leno. Sometimes I manage to stay awake through the monologue and sometimes not.

And, so another day is gone. I will admit I do clean house now and then and if I ask my husband to clean the bathroom he will without grumbling. But with only three adults in an 1800 sq. ft. house, it doesn't get all that messy or dirty.

5) Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us

My latest release was in March: The Golden Find. I have a book being released in June, one in July and one in Sept.

Blurb from The Golden Find:

The sun was much lower in the sky and a slight breeze had kicked up.

Cliff wandered around in a circle for over an hour wishing like hell he had the guts to tell Lacey the truth and knowing he never would.


Anger and helplessness filled his soul and like a kid, Cliff kicked out at a log. A large rodent ran out skittering away under the foliage. By the time the animal disappeared, Cliff’s heart was pounding like a drum. Damn thing scared the crap out of him.

“Shit.” He kicked at the log several times and when nothing more ran out it seemed safe to park his ass and rest.

How do you tell the woman you love you’re not the man she thinks you are?

Cliff dropped his head into his hands and wished he were someone else. Anyone, but Clifton Ramstaff. Now, there was a sick joke if ever there was one. Ramstaff–hell. His staff was hardly a ram. More like a pimple on the backside of a fat man.

Angry laughter bubbled up and boiled over. Okay, so he’d exaggerated. It wasn’t as bad as that, but his cock sure as hell wasn’t as big as his twin’s. Clay had been blessed with a cock the size of a small child’s arm and he–lucky Cliff–had been blessed with a cock that was barely four inches when it was fully aroused.

There was no way in hell he was going to subject himself ever again to a woman’s eyes.

Hailey Laughlin had cured him of women and sex for good. Her laugher still rang in his ears even after ten long years. He could still see the look on Hailey’s beautiful face when she’d seen his cock for the first time.

God! He would never get the sound of her derisive laughter out of his mind or the smirk follow by her harsh words.

Shit. Why had he been so un-blessed? Why had his identical twin been so fuckin’ lucky? What had gone wrong in the womb? Clay had gotten a nice sized cock plus half of Cliff’s and lucky Cliff had gotten what little was left over.

Personally, Cliff didn’t think his cock was ugly. From the pictures he'd see in magazines and medical books, his penis was perfectly formed–a perfect miniature of a real cock. It was bad enough his cock was small, but the biggest embarrassment of all was the fact his balls were normal sized, which made his cock look even smaller. Not that he wanted miniature balls too–thanks, but no thanks. He had enough fun in his life.

Dammit.

6) Who would you cast to play your hero/heroine in a movie?

I'm not much of a movie buff like I was in my younger years. So forgive me if my choices seem strange.

Hero: John Travolta in his late 30's

Heroine: Keira Knightley

7) Did you plan this book? Or write it as it came?

I'm what's known as a pantser. I get an idea and run with it. I wrote this manuscript several years ago and put it to the side, so I can't remember what gave me the idea for The Golden Find.

I do get ideas from billboards, pictures in magazines, a statement someone has made in casual conversation. I could say they come to me in a dream, but that's not really true.

I may work on a manuscript for days until it's done. Or, I may set it aside and not work on it for several weeks or months. But it's always there in the back of my mind.

It also isn't unusual to be working on three or more manuscripts at one time, not to mention the books I'm reading. I guess my brain likes to multi-task.

8) What surprised you the most when you became a published?

I'd been writing for several years and belonged to a writers group. The group kept at me to start sending out my manuscripts. It was time to sink or swim.

I wrote the first book that got published with Missy Lyons. We sent it out, and it was immediately grabbed up.

I was so surprised and thrilled. I never thought I was good enough to be published

9) Do you have a dedicated writing space? What does it look like?

Yes, I have our whole loft area as my office. It's approximately 12'x16'. I have book cases on three walls. My desk is in the middle of the longest wall and my husband built me a side desk with book shelves as an L to my desk. My printer, paper cutter, computer tower are on the large book shelf to my left To my right on top of a book shelf is a phone and a candle.

Also on my right is a two drawer file cabinet where I keep my CD's and tapes (remember I'm an old-fashioned girl when it comes to electronics). Further to the right is a bookcase filled with three ring binders of finished manuscripts and a fan in case it gets stuffy.

The L side of my desk always has at least 4 binders on it holding current projects. There is a mug warmer, more books on shelves of the desk, my red carved alabaster heart I received from my writers group for becoming pro. The rest is just stuff I need, like my extra pair of glasses etc

10) What’s next for you?

I'm looking forward to the Lori Foster Conference in June, then we'll take a trip to visit our daughter and grandson in Milw. My husband and I are planning an Alaska cruise and through it all, I'll be putting words to paper.

I'll be submitting a new manuscript this week. It's different than I usually write, but I don't want to give the premise away until it's accepted by a publisher.

One little secret: I feel guilty if I don't write every day.

You can find me at my website: www.cheriedenis.net

I'm on Facebook & twitter, although I don't do either very often.

You can also find me on Manic Readers under Author's


Publishers: Siren/Bookstrand

Secret Cravings Publishing

Hot Tropica Books (writing as Evelynne Fox w/Missy Lyons)


Click here to view Cherie's book trailer!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW41GzOHL-w

Great interview, Cherie & I am so jealous of your writing space! Your office sounds amazing - I have a little log cabin at the bottom of the garden but as I live in the UK, it does not see the use it should....instead it's quickly becoming my place to store things that come to die, lol!

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