the women who love to love gay romance

FREE Gay Excerpt: Stepbrothers In the Attic; Hallmark’s Love On a Limb with Trevor Donovan; "The Women Who Love To Love Gay Romance" Author Oleander Plume Wins Flogger Award;

FREE Gay Excerpt: Stepbrothers In the Attic

I finally submitted Stepbrothers In the Attic to the publisher, with the cover copy. You can read more posts about this here and I’ll post more when I get a release date.

Here’s the cover copy, and the excerpt is below at the end of this post. This excerpt shows a little more of the intense homophobia (and shame) the characters face. 


David, Marcus, and their four children are charmed with more love than money. Their happy family is blessed with so many wonders in life they never even think about being different, and never forget to take time to be grateful for everything they have.

And then one quiet evening a regular family celebration turns into a deadly catastrophe. The family is left in a state of confusion. They are forced into making a life change that leads them to a remote mansion in New York’s Hudson River Valley, which then leaves them vulnerable to all of the gay shame, hate, and homophobia they’ve managed to avoid so far. 

When they find themselves at the mercy of a wealthy, abusive old grandmother they never knew they had, and a gay father so desperate for money and approval he’s willing to go through gay reparation therapy, the only thing that keeps them strong is their love. As the nightmare continues and they’re brought to the brink of death, there’s only one thing left to do. 

Will they be able to escape from this surreal nightmare of homophobic abuse and sexual innuendo their twisted grandmother has forced upon them? Or will they succumb to the dismal existence they’ve been forced to endure in an attic that is filled with nothing but shame?  
Hallmark’s Love On a Limb with Trevor Donovan
I’m not sure what the people over at the Hallmark Channel think about being mentioned with a book that just won a Flogger Award (below post), but I think there’s a cross over with these genres, and in some ways the two genres are related. In other words, the same people who might read a book like the one below…or one of my own erotic romance books for that matter…are the same who might watch a TV movie like Hallmark’s Love On a Limb. The only difference between a Hallmark movie and an erotic romance is that people will admit openly to watching Love On a Limb, but they’ll read an erotic romance discreetly and never mention it to anyone.

In any event, this new Hallmark movie, Love On a Limb, that’s airing on October 1…this weekend…looks interesting, especially to a tree hugger like me. If you’ve seen any photos I post with my home on social media you’ll know just how many trees I have on my own property. And I love each one of them. 
Love On A Limb is an endearing new Hallmark movie that is making its way to television this weekend. With Fall and Autumn setting in, Hallmark fans are looking forward to all of the upcoming holiday movies. Love On A Limb is about a park and recreation’s employee who chains herself to an old oak tree to keep it from being chopped down. Hallmark’s Love On A Limb is directed by Mel Damski and written by Erik Patterson and Jessica Scott. According to the Internet Movie Database, Love On A Limb, which was originally titled Seeds of Love, stars Ashley Williams as Aimie, Trevor Donovan as Kyle, Jefferson Brown as Mayor Tom Parker, and Marilu Henner as Zee.

As you can see, the entire cast looks pretty impressive. And, this film will kick off what Hallmark is promoting as “Fall Harvest.” There will be a new original film every Saturday at 9 pm, and after that I believe they’ll begin the holiday romances. You can check that out here

Here’s a link to the Hallmark web site where they have a preview of Love On A Limb.


And here’s the link to the excerpt, above.



The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance Author Oleander Plume Wins Flogger Award
It’s nice to see that an author I took on for my own anthology, The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance, was actually part of an award winning anthology recently. When I was gathering authors for The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance, I knew I had a damn good group of writers from the start. And I also knew they’d go on to write for more publications and do wonderful things.
I’m not part of this anthology with Riverdale Ave Books, but I think it’s important to support and spread the news about anything small publishers achieve. And in this genre, this is a big award. 
From my inbox: 
 Congratulations to

“Tie Me Up, A Binding Collection of Erotic Tales”

for winning

The Best BDSM Anthology of 2016 Golden Flogger Award!


You can check out the book at the publisher’s web site, or here on Amazon. According to the e-mail I received, the book will be on sale through October 31, at 50% off regular price. I think the sale is only at the publisher’s web site and you have to use the coupon TMUFlogger


Excerpt: Stepbrothers In the Attic (There is a small spoiler alert. It’s not that significant, but it’s there, so you’ve been warned.)


           While Eric and Brad went over to Marcus so they could hug him, Jasmine turned toward their grandmother and glared at her. “I hate you, old lady, and I hope you drop dead in your sleep tonight.”
            Marcus jumped up and said, “Jasmine.”
            Eric, Brad, and Kevin stood next to the bed waiting to see what their grandmother would do.
            Their grandmother lowered her gaze to Jasmine and they locked eyes for a second. Without warning, their grandmother lifted her arm, flung it back, and then smacked Jasmine in the mouth so hard she sailed across the room and landed next to the table.
            Before any of them even had a chance to react, Brad ran over to see if Jasmine was hurt and Kevin ran up to their grandmother and kicked her in the shin. Their grandmother screamed and she kicked Kevin back so hard he wound up on the floor beside Jasmine in tears. Then the grandmother raised both arms up in and shouted at all of them. “I will not have this kind of behavior in this house. Do you understand me?”
            “Mother,” Marcus said. “Don’t hurt them. Please.”
            “Shut up, Marcus, you little faggot, you weak excuse for a human being,” she said. “You never were good for much, and you have nothing to say in this matter. You obviously can’t control your children and someone needs to do it.”
            Marcus squared his back and looked her in the eye. “Don’t touch my kids, mother. I won’t have it. I’ll leave if you ever hurt them again.”
            Their grandmother glanced at their father and laughed in his face. It was the first time Eric had seen the old hag laugh about anything. “Then leave,” their grandmother said. She stepped away from the door and gestured toward the exit. “I certainly didn’t ask you come back here to fly that silly rainbow flag over the front door, you homosexual degenerate.”
            This was the first time since their other dad died that Eric saw a sign of strength in Marcus. He grabbed Marcus’s arm and said, “Let’s go, dad. I’ll help you pack. We don’t have to stay here.” He glared at his grandmother. “That bitch is crazy.”
            Marcus stood there and said nothing. His shoulders slumped again and he turned to face the wall.
            Their grandmother laughed again and this time she glared at Eric. “Watch your vulgar mouth, young man. You’re not too old to whip. You’re not going anywhere, because you don’t have anywhere to go. And while you are in my home you will listen to what I have to say.”
            “Do something, dad,” said Brad. He sounded as if might get down on his knees and beg.
            Marcus remained silent.
            Their grandmother pursed her lips and glared at them all.  “Tell them about your therapy, Marcus, and tell them that you’ve just completed your first round and that you’re on your way to living a good, clean, decent life. Tell them you’ve found God and you are now repenting for bedding down with another man and doing unthinkable things to a man in bed. Tell them you are not a dirty little degenerate homosexual whore anymore who will do unthinkable things with men.”
            When Eric saw that Marcus wasn’t going to say anything, he faced his grandmother and sneered. “You’re a sick, evil old woman with a dirty mind. You talk about what’s good and decent and clean and you have the filthiest mind I’ve ever come across. You’re the one who needs to repent, not our father. We had a good clean life until our other father died and you know nothing about us. How dare you pass judgment on us with the excuse of your God.” Then he looked into her eyes and glared. “You might get away with whatever you want with everyone else, but you’ve met your match with me, old lady. I’m not afraid of you.”
            She looked at Eric and shrugged, as if nothing he’d said meant anything to her. She knew she had the proverbial upper hand and she seemed to enjoy it. “I don’t want to know anything about you either. You’re all nothing to me. You’re not even related to me. You’re trash. For all I know you are all nothing more than four little bastards that my son picked up off the street because no one else wanted you. So let me make this clear, young bold man with such a big mouth, so you understand me fully. Homosexuality is a punishable sin, and a sickness. I will give you everything you need to survive, but you’ll never get anything else from me. I didn’t ask for you and I don’t want you here at all. The only reason you are here is because I’m so determined to cure my son from the sin of homosexuality. No one else will ever find out you were here.”
            As his grandmother turned to leave, he saw no point in replying to her. He knew for certain now there was something intrinsically wrong with the woman and there was nothing rational he could do or say to change her. He now knew why his father had left this house a long time ago. He also saw that she’d beaten down their father to the point where he was ready to submit to anything, and he didn’t want to make it worse. Eric would figure out a way to get even with her in time. He silently made a vow that night to get her back in ways she could never dream. For the time being, he would pretend to obey her and let her think she’d won.

            
Uncertainty



New Adult Gay Romance



   


Free Excerpt: Gay Sex; Straight Women; Public Sex Danny Brown

Public Sex Danny Brown

Rapper, Danny Brown, had oral sex on stage this year and he talked about it everywhere on social media. At the time, he mentioned something about sexual assault. It turned out to be false. From Brown:

I gave up on trying to be a dad to Kitty Pryde. I didn’t want her to write that piece. People get their dicks sucked every day, B. It shouldn’t be a big deal. I just felt embarrassed because I wasn’t all the way hard yet. With a little more time she could have got the full power.

You can read more here, where there are links to Kitty Pryde and a good deal more of what it’s like to be on the road with a rapper. I love rap music. I love these dumb promotional pieces. I found it interesting and highly entertaining to see just how far some will go for attention.

As a side note, I read snark about Danny Brown not being hard, as if this is the most important thing all men are required to do in life. And God forbid they don’t live up to that expectation. That’s sexist against men. You know how most men say, “It’s not you, it’s me,” when things don’t go as planned in bed. Well, most of the time that’s a lie.

Free Excerpt: Gay Sex; Straight Women

I’ve been wanting to post this excerpt from The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance, but there’s been a lot happening lately. So I decided to make a point of doing it today. The following free excerpt is from a short story trilogy by Bella Stanberry. Because of its adult nature I’ll post the g-rated part here on google blogger and you’ll have to click the link to read the adult version at my other web site, Ryan-Field.com

From the raw unedited version:

 

On the night of Luke’s twenty-first birthday…the actual date, not a day before or two days later…Gina picked us up in her Mercedes and we drove into Manhattan through the Lincoln Tunnel and parked in an indoor garage in the theater district. Although Luke and I would have been happy to eat near the theater, Gina had flatly refused to “sit with the fucking tourists in a toned down version of what Times Square used to be,” and we took a cab to the trendy restaurant in Chelsea where she’d made reservations. After that, we took another cab back to the theater with barely enough time to take our seats as the curtain went up.
            After the show, we took another cab to a gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen called Therapy, where we ordered a round of martini’s and sang Happy Birthday to Luke. I wondered how he would feel in a gay bar, but he stood there with a casual smile and not a hint of discomfort. While Gina and I were singing, a nice looking guy who reminded me of one of the drunken frat boys who had fucked me on the web cam once walked over to Luke and put his arm on Luke’s shoulder. He smiled and said, “Happy Birthday, handsome.”
            If Luke felt uncomfortable at that moment, he didn’t show it outwardly. He smiled and said, “Thank you.” And then he put his arm around me and said, “My boyfriend took us to the theater tonight to celebrate.”
            Well. No one had informed me I was dating Luke. I rubbed Luke’s stomach and smiled.
            The guy who looked like the drunken frat boy sent me a snarky glance and said, “Isn’t thatnice.” Then he left without another word, never to be seen again.
            When the nasty little guy was gone, and I realized Luke’s arm was still around me, I glanced at Luke and asked, “What was that all about, boyfriend?”
Gina laughed and said, “Pretend you’re Luke’s boyfriend while we’re in here. It’s easier that way. If they think he’s alone they’re going to be hitting on him. And if they think he’s with me they’ll never believe he’s straight and they’ll only hit on him more. We’ve been through this before, trust me. It’s easier this way, honey.”
            I knew she was right. Gay men love to believe straight men in gay bars are really gay. When word that Luke and I were there as a couple spread through the bar faster than e-mail, no one hit on Luke again and we finished our drinks in private. I was curious about one thing, though. When Luke removed his arm from my shoulder, I asked, “Don’t you feel awkward in here with all these gay guys? They are looking at you like they want to eat you alive.” Even though no one came up to him again, he continued to get stares and whispers.
            Luke laughed and said, “It’s cool, man. I know who I am.”
            Gina and I exchanged a quick glance.
            Then Gina shrugged and said, “It’s really no different than when you and I go to straight bars and women come up to you, Cole. They don’t know you’re gay and they want to get into your pants. Does that bother you?”
            I thought about that for a moment and said, “I feel a little uncomfortable, but I think it’s flattering. For the most part I don’t mind.”
            “That’s exactly how I feel,” Luke said. “It’s flattering.”
            At that moment, watching his calm expression, I felt such an overwhelming sense of respect for him I wanted to hug him as hard as I could. But I didn’t want Luke to misunderstand and think I was trying to come on to him, so I smiled instead and said, “I guess it’s the same thing no matter how you look at it.”

By the time we returned to Gina’s car, she asked Luke to drive home because she wanted to stretch out in the backseat and sleep. She’d always been like that, one of those people who could fall asleep in a moving car and never give it a second thought. We once drove all the way to Provincetown and she slept through the entire trip. She said it helped pass the time. So I sat up front with Luke all the way home and we talked about the play we’d seen that night. Although we had discussed books in the past, I was amazed at some of the observations he’d made about the characters, the plot, and even the sets in the play. To my own chagrin, I’d thought of Luke as a nice, good-looking jock type who cared more about working out and playing soccer than studying. And when I discovered he went so much deeper I almost wanted to apologize aloud to him for not giving him the credit he deserved.

When we were only a few miles from home, Gina suggested we go back to Luke’s apartment for one more drink to celebrate his birthday. “It’s only two in the morning,” she said. “And I’m wide awake now.”

I wasn’t tired, but I felt awkward about going back to Luke’s with them. “Maybe you should drop me off at the dorm first. You two probably want to celebrate alone tonight.” I figured Gina had a few secret birthday plans for Luke that didn’t involve me. And I didn’t want to put them in the awkward position of asking me to take a hike. As it was, I was beginning to feel a bit intrusive.

Luke grabbed my wrist and said, “No way, dude. We both want you to come back with us.”

“Seriously,” Gina said.

So I nodded and said, “Okay.”

On the way up the steps that led to Luke’s garage apartment, we whispered and giggled so we wouldn’t wake the older couple who lived in the main house. When we entered the apartment, Gina went into the small bedroom to use the bathroom and Luke gestured to the living room and told me to make myself at home.

While I glanced at the neat apartment with shiny hardwood floors, an exposed wall of brick, and huge clean windows, Luke went into the small recently renovated kitchen and made three martinis. I walked to a black leather sofa facing a large flat screen TV and sat down in front of a long glass coffee table. For a single guy, I was amazed at how well he kept the place…even his desk was neatly organized, with even stacks of books and a laptop screen so clear and free of smudges and dust it looked as if it had never been used before. It even smelled clean in his apartment: wax and pine soap. When I thought about how I’d left my dorm room that night with a stack of dirty underwear and socks next to my bed I felt a twinge of guilt. My roommate was even worse. I’d seen him throw jock straps and sweat socks over lamp shades.

When Gina returned to the living room area, I was surprised to see she’d changed her clothes. She was wearing one of Luke’s white button down shirts and nothing else. The shirttails covered all of her private parts when she was standing. But when she sat down on the other end of the sofa I could see she wasn’t wearing any underwear. I didn’t say anything. And all she said was, “It’s so good to get into something comfortable.”

A moment later, Luke walked into the living room area with a small tray and three ice cold martinis in cocktail glasses…not actual martini glasses. Gina made a snide remark about the glasses and he ignored her. When he rounded the corner and slid between the glass coffee table and the black leather sofa, I noticed he’d removed his pants and he was wearing gray boxer shorts with tiny black diamonds. When he set the tray on the table, I saw a couple of joints, an ashtray, and a small red cigarette lighter. He sat in the middle of the sofa, between Gina and me, and spread his legs so wide I noticed the fly in his boxer shorts open up. I quickly looked down at my lap so no one would think I was looking at his crotch. I wanted to lean over and peek inside, but I didn’t want him to think I was like those other guys back at the bar in New York.

“Hey, we need some fucking music,” Gina said.

“You’re right,” said Luke, and then he leaned toward me and reached for a remote device that controlled a sound system for his iPod on the stand where his flat screen TV rested. He didn’t seem to have any set musical preference. He pushed a button and Mumford & Sons started to play.

We all reached for a drink and Gina made the toast. “Here’s to turning twenty-one years old today,” she said. She lifted her glass higher and laughed. “Now it’s legal for you to do anything you want, Luke. And I hope this will be a night you’ll remember.”

After we clicked glasses, we sat back on the sofa and Luke lit up a joint. As we passed it around, we joked about the classes we were taking, some of the professors we all had in common, and about this one guy who went to our gym and always smelled of garlic when he perspired.

The conversation took a slight turn when Luke lit the second joint. He passed it to me and said, “So are you still seeing that creepy frat dude?”

I laughed. He took me by surprise and I was so stoned I didn’t know what else to do. “I’m not actually seeing him anymore,” I said. We hadn’t officially broken up; it had just tapered off. “I mean it’s not like we were engaged or anything so it wasn’t an actual break up. We got together sometimes; we don’t anymore. I like dick; he had a nice dick.”

Gina howled. “I like dick, too.” She loved dirty talk. Not outright filth. The harmless kind of dirty talk you can laugh about.

Luke nodded and said, “I see.” Then he stared at me and said, “How come you’re the only one sitting there in clothes. Take those pants off, man. Get comfortable.”

My face grew warm. I didn’t know how to respond.

Gina laughed and said, “He’s a shy little bird. He’s afraid to take off his pants.”

She knew me too well. I sat up and said, “I’m not afraid to do anything.” Then I stood up, kicked off my shoes, and pulled off my pants.

Only I’d forgotten that I was wearing a thong that night instead of underwear. When Gina saw this, she pointed and said, “Now that’s more like it.”
Luke laughed and slapped the back of my thigh. “Go dude. I want underwear like that.”

I was so wasted by then I didn’t care anymore. I gave Luke a playful shove for slapping me and sat down on the sofa again. When I shoved Luke, he fell into Gina and she spilled her martini on his leg. She started to laugh, and Luke turned to me and shoved me harder than I’d shoved him. I shoved him back, we all started laughing, and Luke wound up on top of me. He pinned me to the sofa on my back and held my arms down so hard I couldn’t stop laughing. He was stronger than I was, but I didn’t fight back as hard as I could have. The truth is I didn’t want him to stop.

While he hovered over me, laughing at how simple it was to control me, Gina leaned over and yanked his boxer shorts down to his knees. When I looked up and noticed he had a full erection, I blinked and said, “Dude, put that thing away.” Gina hadn’t exaggerated about his dick.

Although most guys would have seen all this coming way ahead of time, I guess I’ve always been slow to recognize the simplest things. I still thought we were all just hanging out like friends, getting stoned and listening to music. It never occurred to me that Luke wanted more that night, or that Gina wanted more, too. I didn’t fully grasp the moment until Gina pushed Luke forward and said, “Make him suck it, Luke.”

The next thing I knew Luke’s knees were next to my shoulders and his half of his erection was in my mouth. Even if he had given me time to think about this, I doubt I would have refused. While I took him, Gina stood up, she removed the white shirt, and she started to kiss Luke while I sucked him off. After that, Luke wound up on the sofa naked, with his legs wide open. As he leaned back and closed his eyes, he held both of our heads in his palms while we took turns between his legs.

We all wound up in Luke’s bed that night, with Luke in the middle, Gina to his right, and I was on the left. Although it’s still a blur to me because we were all so wasted, I do remember a few details. I made out with Gina in Luke’s bed while Luke took turns between our legs. I also remember kissing them both at the same time, with Luke on top of us rubbing his hairy legs between our smooth legs. At one point, Luke put on a condom and told us to get up and spread our legs. I hesitate to go into any more details about this because what happened that night wasn’t just about sex between three wasted fools. I didn’t know this at the time. We connected in a way I didn’t think was possible, with the kind of emotional intimacy I never thought I would find. I already loved Gina in a very special way. But didn’t realize how I felt about Luke, at least not emotionally. He made it all so simple and natural that night what we shared became something beautiful and scared. I discovered a calmness about Luke that balanced out Gina’s wild energy.

When I opened my eyes the next morning, my head was on Luke’s shoulder and my hand on his chest. I felt panicky when I realized what had happened the night before and all I wanted to do was get up and run out of the apartment so I wouldn’t have to look either of them in the eye. Gina would think I was trying to steal Luke. And Luke would think I’d seduced him and taken advantage of him while he’d been stoned. Then I thought about the way Luke had fucked me and I felt a sharp pain in my stomach. At that moment, I wasn’t certain I could ever face him again.

As I turned to get climb out from beneath the covers without waking them, Luke grabbed me, pulled me closer, and asked, “Where are you going, man?” He threw his leg over mine and I felt his erection in my side.

I hesitated. I didn’t know what to say. I wondered if he remembered what had happened. “I guess I should leave now.” I wanted to get out of there before Gina woke up. I wasn’t sure I could ever face her again. Gina had never been wasted enough in her life to forget anything.

“It’s early, man,” Luke said. “Let’s stay in bed for a while.” Then he kissed me on the lips and rubbed his bare foot against my leg.

Gina moved closer to Luke. She didn’t open her eyes, but she said, “That was hot last night, guys.”

“Cole wants to leave,” Luke said to Gina.

She yawned and said, “Cole, shut the fuck up and go back to sleep. It’s too early to get up.”

When she said this, I figured she was okay with what had happened the night before, so I reached down and cupped Luke’s balls in my palm and I went back to sleep.

50 Shades Movie Fan Site; New Author Highlight; Owen Keehnen Wild City Press

50 Shades Movie Fan Site

I have to admit I’m not big on fandom personally. I’m just not wired that way. But I do think it’s interesting that 50 Shades move fan sites are already popping up all over the web. Also, when I write these posts and share them on social media I know that some people don’t like 50 Shades and they can be very vocal about it. I’m not one of them, and I try to be objective with posts like this and I’m only passing information along to others. In other words, this isn’t an Amazon or Goodreads forum to slam 50 Shades or praise it. It’s just information. And looking at it objectively, on the most pragmatic level, 50 Shades has sparked interest in reading, has helped people who work in publishing get bonuses during a difficult time, and has inspired a great deal of discussion.

Here’s one fan site I found this morning. I actually heard it mentioned on my local Philadelphia news channel.

The gorgeous and talented Charlie Hunnam will be Christian Grey in the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey.

We know this is going to rock the world of FSoG fans…positively and negatively…especially those that have supported their favorites for so long now, but having watched Charlie in Sons of Anarchy, as well as other movies, it’s not difficult to see why E L James and Team Fifty felt he could portray this iconic character. As Jax Teller fans will tell you, he has a depth of emotion to bring to the role.

New Author Highlight

I’ve posted a lot about The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance this summer, so I’m not going into more details about that right now. But I did want to mention something about one of the authors who contributed to the book, Oleander Plume. She wrote the short story, The Courage to Jump, which is a sort of fantasy/reality mix where a straight female m/m author actually meets two of her sexiest gay male characters. In the fantasy, the main character releases her emotions and her innermost apprehensions. And the title of the story is symbolic to the theme.

When I first read the story myself, I fell in love with it. It was exactly what I’d been hoping for with The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance. And yesterday I was thrilled to hear that this same author just signed a contract for a new release with Cleis Press.

From my inbox, with permission from the author.

I am also very excited to tell you that one of my stories will be included in the next Violet Blue anthology from Cleis press, Best of Women’s Erotica 2014, due out in November, I just signed the contract. Of course, you were the first person to publish one of my stories, and for that I will forever be grateful. I still remember how completely terrified I was as I hit the send button, and then how crazy elated I was when I got that email from you telling me I had made the cut. Wow.

I know that feeling all too well as a writer. I don’t think think any of us ever get over that fear of pushing the send button.

In any event, Oleander Plume has won contests, here. The story that won her the award is titled, The Night Shift. And this is her web site. I think she’s someone to watch in the future.

Owen Keehnen Wild City Press

I noticed by accident that an author I met a while back, Owen Keehnen, has some new titles out with Wilde City Press. I met him about eight or nine years ago when I was still submitting work to LGBT print publishers like Alyson Books, and he put up a few of my stories on a web site that I believe is now defunct. Even though I’d been published in print many times by then, it was the first time I ever saw anything I’d written actually on the Internet. And I’ve never forgotten the encouragement he gave me at the time.

And now I’m looking forward to reading his new releases with Wilde City Press. We’ve also been in a few anthologies together and I’ve read his work and loved it.

This web site gives a few more details about Owen.

This is his author page at Wilde City where you can check out his upcoming books.

And this is one of the books we were in together.

Here’s something about one of his Wilde City books. From the sound of the blurb, I think it might be something interesting for those who think they know all there is to know about gay people, but really don’t. History is important.

The LGBT Book of Days is a reference book, a fun trivia compilation, and a tool for further investigation into our rich, colorful—and profoundly challenging—past. Year by year, month by month, day by day, this book chronicles the unforgettable events and incredible lives that have forged our history and made us the strong, brave and proud community we are today.
Compiled by gay author and historian Owen Keehnen, this comprehensive and important book has been written in appreciation of those who have come before…

Justin Timberlake’s Letter; Women Love Gay Romance; She’s Not Happy with Kobo

Justin Timberlake’s Letter

Justin Timberlake wrote a letter to his fans. Because I think Justin Timberlake IS pop culture, and this blog is partly about pop culture, I wanted to post about it. This is a link to his web site.

The last time I wrote you an open letter, it was in January and I promised that it would be a “Big 2013.”

Since then, from The Grammys to the release of the first part of The 20/20 Experience to the crowd’s response at the VMAs, it’s been a wild ride. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.
This letter is to tell you that we’re not done…Not even close.

On Sept 30th, the second half of The 20/20 Experience, “The 20/20 Experience 2 of 2”, comes out. Since all these songs were written together over a year ago, it’s been so hard to wait this long to release them. I can’t wait for all of you to hear The 20/20 Experience in full.

So..below is a short clip of the recording of the experience so you can get a feel of what those 20 days were like. It was like no other time I’ve ever had in the studio.

Catch your breath, TN Kids. We’ve still got the 3rd and 4th quarter to go.
This is too much fun.

He’s a very good businessman.

Women Love Gay Romance

The title of this book is just too long for a blog post title, but I wanted to post that The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance will be released this Friday, August 30th. I’ll also be posting more about it this week, with excerpts and other pieces of info. The book will be a .99 e-book for the initial release, and may go to print. I haven’t decided on print yet. This one will be distributed in as many places as I can get it, and will not be part of KDP select because I don’t want to lock into the Amazon exclusive this time. I not only like to support web sites like Allromanceebooks.com, but I think readers need choices.

Table of contents for Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance. The book is 60,000 words.

Table of Contents

Introduction                             by Ryan Field

The College Years                     by Bella Stanberry

Graduation                               by Bella Stanberry

Sienna Rose                              by Bella Stanberry

Fallen Angel                             by Anna Black

Baby Got Bach                         by Giselle Renarde

A Touch of Therapy                  by Morgan Honeyman

Changing Curses                      by Li Blaine

The Facilitator                          by Tilly Hunter

The Courage to Jump                by Oleander Plume

Lustful Wishes                         by R. Noir

She’s Not Happy with Kobo

There’s a post over at The Passive Guy blog today where an author of Christian books claims she’s not happy with Kobo and she’s thinking of leaving. Among other silly issues, this is one thing that she’s not thrilled with:

Too much hassle, too few sales. A few months ago, I responded to a survey put out by KWL and added numerous comments about how difficult it is to market to owners of Kobo readers. Since then, their monthly newsletters have included tips on marketing. However, none of those articles specifically addressed marketing to Kobo readers. This continues to be a point of frustration for me. Either no one owns a Kobo or they aren’t following the same book blogs, reader websites, and social media as Kindle and Nook readers are. Less than 0.5% of my sales are through Kobo, compared to 7 – 10% on Nook, and 85% Kindle. (The rest is spread out over Sony, iTunes, and Smashwords).

Most of my books are on Kobo, here. These are my books out with publishers, and the books I have indie published through Ryan Field Press. I have never had a single issue with Kobo with the indie books, and from what Tony tells me the people at Kobo are very easy to work with on tech issues. I own two Kobo e-readers myself, and I’ve posted here about Kobo multiple times in the past two or three years. I love them. In fact, I do read a great deal on my iPad, but I still prefer my Kobo e-readers to the iPad for reasons that range anywhere from comfort to book purchases. As far as sales go, I’m not unhappy with them and as a businessperson I believe in supporting as many retail web sites where e-books are sold as much as possible so that readers have choices. In other words, if only 100 of my readers buy my books on Kobo, I want them to have that choice. Surveys are a waste of time.

I also think authors really need to stop thinking so emotionally and start thinking more like business people…especially if you’re going to indie publish. This isn’t about a popularity contest, or what makes you feel more comfortable. This is about getting a product…a book…out to as many people as you can so they can have the freedom to buy your book in places that make them feel comfortable. It’s their comfort zone that matters the most, not yours.

 
 

Thierry Pepin Official; New Release Dates

Thierry Pepin Official

I once posted about a male clothing catalogue called International Male, and the product of this catalogue, UnderGear. This is how I described both catalogues back then:

Over the years International Male evolved in various ways. When all the tacky flashy Vegas styles of the 1970’s went bust and the more conservative 1980’s preppy look took over, I thought for sure they’d go out of business. The only people who wore the clothes from IM in the 80’s and 90’s were people who were either stuck in a time warp or didn’t know any better. But IM didn’t go out of business and the catalogues kept coming. Though I’ve never ordered clothes, I have ordered underwear and things like boots and accessories I can’t find in retail shops. And in all these years, the one thing that has always remained the same in IM are the horse-hung male models posing in sheer underwear, showing off their goods.

The important part of that particular post is to understand that even though gay men are taught heteronormativity from birth, it’s impossible to change certain things about them, and one of those things is the innate attraction (emotional and physical) they have for other men. It doesn’t get more complicated than this at the most fundamental level. The problem is, and has always been, young adult gay men have little with which to identify and that’s mainly because they are terrified to let anyone know they are gay. And it was catalogues like International Male and UnderGear that kept them sane through puberty. Neither of the catalogues are pornographic, and yet there’s always been a certain brand of sexuality, and homoeroticism, that has attracted gay men. If a young adult gay man is caught with one of these catalogues under his bed, he can always use the excuse that he’s only looking at for the clothing. It’s plausible; most parents believe it because they don’t want to know the truth.

I’ve personally kept my subscription…and account…with Undergear through the years because I sometimes see accessories I like. But I also like to see the models, even to this day. And in the most recent issue I spotted a male model named Thierry Pepin that literally made me open the catalogue just to see what he was wearing. Of course they don’t give you the names of the models up front, so you have to do a little research to find out more about them. But in this case, with Thierry Pepin, all it took was a simple search and I came up with all this, below. As a side note, the male models in all the catalogues are always worth checking out, however, in this case, with Pepin, there’s just something different about him that’s impossible to ignore. Of course that could be subjective, and maybe it’s just me, but I think if you check out the following links you’ll tend to agree with me. Great looking men are all over the place, but only a few have the extra something you can’t define.

This is Thierry Pepin’s official web site. There’s no copy to paste here, but this is all about the image and it’s been done in a very artistic, professional way. There are also a few videos, all pg-rated, and a contact page and a forum for I guess what could be comments. The forum is empty, but I think it would be interesting to start a discussion over there.

Now this is where it gets more interesting. Pepin isn’t just a model. He’s also been in a film, and he’s owned a restaurant in NY.

GM and founder of the defunct New York restaurant T Poutine.

Discovered by Giovanni Model Management in Montreal.

Studied fine art and design at Marie-Victorin College.

Appeared in an unaired television series, called “Plantation”.

Walked the runways of major fashion shows all over the world. Modeled for distinguished world-class brands including Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ralph Lauren, and others. Appeared in numerous publications such as Esquire, GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Uomo Vogue, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Major ad campaigns for Polo Jeans, Silver perfume, Romance by Ralph Lauren, and Belvedere Vodka.

The restaurant was called T Poutine. For those in the US who don’t know what Poutine is, I actually did post about this once, too. It’s one of my favorite comfort foods of all time.

The film Pepin starred in is titled, Danny in the Sky. And if you follow this link, you’ll find a very emotional scene. I haven’t seen the film. It’s now on order.

Here’s an interview Thierry Pepin did. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but it’s fun and not everything has to be earth-shattering all the time.

I did a little more research about Pepin that I’ll post in the future. And the reason is that I think he has that same pop culture appeal that not everyone has, just like the late Joey Stefano. What surprises me is that we haven’t seen more of him, so to speak. I wish I could post photos of him here, but I hate to infringe on anyone’s copyrights. But there are plenty of photos on the web, and you can check out the links I’ve provided, or do your own search. The only thing I didn’t seem to find was anything about future projects.

New Release Dates

The next book in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal, is coming out this Friday. I’ve posted about this book here, before. And it’s one of my favorites because it gets into a lot of issues we all deal with online these days, especially the fear of online stalkers.

And on August 30th, which is only a few weeks away, I’ll be releasing the anthology, The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance. I’ve posted about that here, too. And I’ve been in touch with all the authors who contributed to make sure they know when the release date is. I always hated nothing more than not knowing about what to expect with a book I contributed to, and even though I have no immediate plans to do another anthology for a while, I want each author who contributed to feel as if they really are a part of something. And some of these authors are brand new voices; book releases are always exciting. Too many editors don’t take that into consideration, and I’ve never been sure why. If it wasn’t for the authors they wouldn’t have an anthology in the first place. They should get over themselves.

More to come on this book in the upcoming weeks.

 

New Bad Boy Billionaire Release July 26th; Silicon Valley Sex Scandal

New Bad Boy Billionaire Release July 26th; Silicon Valley Sex Scandal

Right now I’m actually working on the last book in the Bad Boy Billionaire series, “Small Town Romance Writer,” which is running way over word count and will probably wind up being close to 100,000 words this time. I hate giving a word count to any book because most of the time the characters usually drive me as much as I drive them through the storyline. And in this book, which covers a span of about twenty years, I didn’t even realize I’d reached the halfway point at 52,000 words. The basic theme revolves around two best friends who meet at the storied Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where one takes the path of writing steamy gay fiction for money and the other writes literary gay fiction for academic praise. It’s how their lives evolve and connect that makes the plot so involved, and makes this book much longer than others in the series.

In any event, I don’t have a release date for that one yet, but all the other books have been finished and submitted to the publisher, and on July 26th the next book will be released, which I’m told will be Bad Boy Billionaires: The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal.

As a side note, more than a few have e-mailed me about whether or not the books in the Bad Boy Billionaire series have to be read in order. They don’t. Each book is a stand alone, and each book focuses on a different theme and set of circumstances.

And, I will be posting more very soon about the release date of The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance. Contracts are in, edits have been approved, and it’s off to copy editing for a final read.

Here’s the blurb for The Silicon Valley Sex Scandal.

Shannon Winn is known as the world’s most capricious gay billionaire and the owner of the world’s safest, coolest social media web site, lovemetender.com. When Shannon meets a guy named Terry on his own web site, he considers it fun and games, not looking for a relationship.

And that’s because Shannon already has an open relationship with his personal assistant, Justin. Although they aren’t committed to each other, Shannon’s not looking to meet anyone else for love. This bad boy just wants to fool around with Terry and forget all about him the next day.

It’s unfortunate for Shannon that Terry doesn’t realize this, because after their first and only time together Terry not only falls in love with Shannon, he begins to stalk him and imagine them as a couple. In the course of one week, Terry follows Shannon’s every move, showing up unexpectedly and seducing Shannon with great success.

When bad boy Shannon finally realizes the fatal mistakes he’s made with Terry, and he knows for certain he’s really in love with Justin, it just might be too late for them. Will Terry’s crazed infatuation with Shannon ruin Shannon’s chances of true love with Justin? And will delusional Terry finally snap and kill them all?

 

Do Book Blog Reviews Count? The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance Update

Do Book Blog Reviews Count?

There’s an interesting post today over at The Passive Voice by a book blog reviewer, Big Al, from Writers in the Storm Blog. He discusses a few things I’ve always wondered about book blog reviews, and compares book blogs to large publications that review books like the New York Times. I think whether or not you agree with him will come down to how you shop for books and how you vet reviews for books nowadays. And I hate to say it’s generational because I know that my own readership ranges widely in age, but I do think that most people in the mainstream under forty-five are getting most of their information online, and in places that don’t charge for it…including book reviews. To make it simple: I’m talking about the difference between people who still write checks to pay bills and those who do it all online.

I agree with the basic point Big Al is making in a general sense, but I also still have to wonder about the significance of book reviews from book blogs for genre authors. In other words, I don’t think book blogs are going to help or hurt the biggest authors with the biggest books and the biggest publishers and agents. But there has been a virtual explosion in the past decade with genre authors and e-publishing who are not Patterson or Grisham. And many of these smaller genre authors are making a small living from writing e-books and catering to a readership who only reads e-books, both self-published and with small start up e-presses. These are the authors that The New York Times…or any other large well known book review publication…will most likely never review. And that’s because so many changes have been happening in the past decade in the way people read e-books and reviews now as compared to five or ten years ago. The same authors in genre fiction that are gaining a readership and selling e-books would not have sold ten print books a year ten years ago.

As a reader, I used to check out the New York Times Book Review weekly. I lived for it. But that was pre-Internet when we were all still reading print. In the past five years I don’t even think to look at New York Times Book Review anymore (unless I find a link and I can read it online for free), and I don’t think I’m the only one because from the looks of how all print publications are suffering, including The Times, a lot of people are finding their reviews in other places, and I have a feeling it’s a combination of book blogs and retail web sites like Amazon. In fact, I rarely read anything in print anymore except for a few magazines I’m still clinging to until the subscriptions run out. A good example would be this week’s Time Magazine book section where they talk about beach books for the summer. It was so dated and so hokey and so out of touch with what I normally find online from book blogs and book review web sites I found it almost endearing in a gentle, harmless way. Kind of like old fashioned charm.

Big Al said this, with regard to book blog reviewers:

The biggest difference I see is that we aren’t normally professionals. I don’t mean our blogs aren’t run in a professional way (I think most try) or that we make just a trivial amount of money for our efforts (although that is reality for most). But the typical newspaper or magazine review was written by a fellow author or at least someone who was a professional writer. Today’s book blogger, while sometimes an author or a wannabe, is more likely to be an avid reader who can manage to string enough words together to write a review.

Maybe this is generational, but I can’t say that for sure because I have no idea how old Big Al is. And as I said, a good deal of my readers vary in age. But the main reason I vet book blogs and retail web site reviews as opposed to “professional” reviewers is because I want reviews that are not written by so-called professional writers…if there actually is such a thing anymore. I don’t want to be snarky here, and I truly do enjoy writers like Joel Stein from Time Magazine, but the only differences between Joel Stein and a writer at a small blog are a few good connections and a little bit of luck.

I do think that I would have fully agreed with Big Al five years ago. But the changes in the way people get all information in the past five years have been so drastic I can’t help but wonder where all this is headed. As I also stated above, I also think Big Al’s post is still valid for big authors with big books, but I do think that book reviews from book blogs can, and do, influence the success of books written by smaller genre authors.

Getting a review from any particular book blog isn’t going to make or break your marketing efforts. Few book blogs are going to give your book the boost that a review from The New York Times Review of Books or Publisher’s Weekly would do.

It’s hard to agree with the first sentence in that paragraph if you know genre fiction and you’ve been up against good and bad reviews from book blogs. Book blogs can, indeed, make or break marketing efforts for some genre authors, especially in romance. And of course the second sentence makes sense, but how many book reviewers at The New York Times are even paying attention to the millions of dollars readers are now spending on e-books in genre fiction like romance. And I think you have to subscribe to PW to read the reviews, and most readers aren’t going to take the time or spend the money to do that when they can get their reviews for free on book blogs that are most likely just as good, if not better, than the so-called professional book reviews. This might sound terrible, and I really don’t mean it to sound that way, but I have two good friends who still believe the only place to get a good book review is The New York Times.  However, these people are not computer literate, they still have a flip top cell phone they only use in an “emergency,” and they listen to records on a stereo. If you ask them what Angry Birds is they’ll tell you it has something to do with nesting and territorial rights. And, their TV still has a rounded edge screen.

I do agree with the last sentence in Big Al’s post. I think this might be the most important part of the post. If you are a genre author it is important to get as many book blog reviews as you can to help spread the word about your book. However, I also think book blogs and book blog reviews are highly underestimated these days by those who don’t fully get the power of online book reviews or the way they can influence readers.

I can’t say this is the case for everyone, but I found Fifty Shades of Grey on a book blog a few months before it went mainstream. No one knew it would become a big book. I posted about it here several times, and then I told everyone I knew about it. I get an average of about 6,000 hits a week from this blog, which isn’t huge. But if 1000 other people did the same thing I did, as a result of reading a book blog, and they told as many people about FSoG as I did, then I think that might be a good example of how important book blogs are nowadays. I also know other cases where genre authors have made out very well as a result of just one book blog review (good and bad), and that review actually sparked their marketing efforts.

The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance Update

Contracts went out, edits went out, and I’ve heard from all the contributing authors in the upcoming anthology, The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance. I’m planning on an August 1st release date, but that could be subject to change depending on tech issues that can, and do, arise in the beginning.

I am still on the fence about how to distribute the book. At first I was leaning toward Amazon and KDP select. But that would tie me up for three months with an exclusive, and I’d really like to make this book available on Allromanceebooks, and other retails web sites, too. So as of now, I’m heading more toward distribution as widely as possible. I know readers have favorite web sites and I’d like to accomodate everyone.

Here’s the raw introduction I wrote for the beginning of the book. It’s also subject to change, depending on my last minute thoughts before publication. But I do think you can get a good idea of how it felt for me to work on this book.

When I first imagined the concept of an anthology of short stories about The Women Who Love to Love Gay Romance, I wondered about how many responses I would receive in the calls for submission. The next aspect that made me stop and wonder was whether or not I would receive the kind of stories I wanted to include in a book like this. In other words, I wasn’t looking for M/M Romance written by women in the classic sense. And I didn’t want boring, drawn out academic diatribes about gay men in M/M Romance. I was hoping to receive stories about women who not only love gay romance, but were willing to include strong female characters in gay romance as active participants in the actual romantic storylines. But more than that, these stories also had to be plausible…or at least reasonable…as well. In the same respect, I didn’t want to place any restrictions on the authors, and I wanted them to run with their fictional fantasies, so to speak.

            An unusual thing happened. The moment I opened the first story submitted for the book and I started reading I couldn’t put it down. In fact, I hesitated to open the next story because I was worried it wouldn’t be as good as the first. But the same thing happened the second time: I couldn’t stop reading. And that’s literally what happened with each story that followed. What is even more interesting is that none of the stories are similar, and yet they come together in this book and complement each other in a way I could not have predicted. Some of the authors have been published before, and some are brand new voices. And when I was finished reading all the stories, I found that’s it’s not only possible to include female characters in gay romance, but there’s a deeper emotional meaning that taught me a few things I didn’t know.