Thursday, 21 March 2013

New Cover Art! Giving an Inch

Check it out, readers! Here's the gorgeous new cover art by L.C. Chase for my and Amelia C. Gormley's new kinky erotic comedy short, Giving an Inch.

Releases April 15th. Pre-order it now, or add it on Goodreads!

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Get away to Ireland this St. Paddy's day

It's that time of year again! Saint Paddy's day. Here in Northern BC it's wicked cold and snowy, hardly parade and cold (green) beer weather, so I thought I'd leave a few helpful suggestions on how to warm up, Irish style.

First up, you'll want to get my father-in-law's Guinness and beef stew on a nice simmer.

Next, load up your e-reader with a few sexy Irish M/M erotic romances by yours truly!

Salting the Earth
Looking for something edgier, with sexy but deadly sidhe kings? Closeted young Irishman Ronan returns from a disastrous year abroad work program to discover his twin sister has been spending every night with the fairies of Knockma mound. Sidhe king Finnbheara agrees to return her . . . but at a terrible price.
Buy it from Storm Moon Press.
The Druid Stone
Epic urban fantasy more your flavour? Cursed Irish-Cuban-American Sean O'Hara travels to Ireland in order to seek out the help the last of the ancient druids. At first, Cormac Kelly thinks it's all a prank or a plastic paddy fantasy, but then Sean's presence in Ireland awakens the mad old sidhe lords, including those thought long dead . . .
Buy it from Carina Press.
Or how about having it read aloud to you in Ian Ruane's sexy Irish accent? Get the Audible version.
Galway Bound
Want an Irish hunk without the supernatural trappings? Sean O'Hara and Cormac Kelly are suffering from a slump in their relationship, but luckily a trip to Galway--with bags packed full of bondage toys--may be just what they need to rekindle the sexier side of their romance.
Buy it (for just 99 cents!) from ARe.
Out of the Tombs, Exceedingly Fierce
Looking for something free? Canadian photography student Maxwell Lewis travels to Scotland to take some photos of creepy old castles and get over his clingy ex, but nighttime on the moors is no place for a hapless tourist.
Download it from Smashwords.

That's it for me! How about you? Got any Irish-themed recommendations to go with my Guinness?

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Announcement: A Surprise Release!

I've been wanting to do some lighter shortform erotica for awhile now, and a few weeks back, Rachel Haimowitz at Riptide told me they had a gap in their spring schedule so of course I jumped on it. But not before hooking along a new co-writer, Amelia C Gormley, for a ride. I knew we were basically soulmates after hearing tell of an upcoming release of hers (an M/M highlander romance, be still my beating heart!), and co-writing this short with her basically sealed the deal.

It's the first story in what we hope to be a series, all about a romantically dysfunctional and somewhat out of control--but totally consensual--professor/student relationship. The series is called The Professor's Rule, and book one, "Giving an Inch", comes out from Riptide on April 15th. (Pre-orders--and the preceding link--should be going live soon!)

Here's the blurb:
History grad James Sheridan thinks his biggest problem in life is trying to find a suitable outfit for his upcoming Ph.D. candidacy exam. That is, until he accidentally texts a changing room selfie meant for his fashionable sister to his ex, the domineering Professor Carson. 
James and Carson haven't seen each other since James fled their power games two years ago. Back in his undergrad days, Carson was his Professor, and not just in the academic sense: a man of unusual tastes and extreme sexual demands, James had been happy to sate Carson's savage appetites. Too happy, in fact. He never could trust himself not to let Carson push too far. 
Now James is older and wiser, and sharing some seriously flirtatious vibes with a cute menswear rep. When Carson replies to James's errant text, ready to pick up where they left off, James can't help being drawn back into Carson's control. It's only when Carson suggests involving the salesman that James has to ask himself how far is too far, and whether he's willing to go there with Carson again.
It's a funny, light, but simultaneously twisty and complex story about domination and submission and boundaries. And there's a cute Indian salesman in a nice suit. ;)

So, now you know. Cover art and all the rest forthcoming.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Five Favourite Females (in M/M)

Dear Author reviewer Sunita made a post (itself inspired by a post on JesseWave) about why she was no longer reading as much M/M as she once had. Her discussion of declining quality of course resonated with me and reminded me to always make sure my own books are the very best I can write, submit, and edit.

But it's point 4 of her post that really spoke to my concerns as a reader, and inspired this one:
I’m tired of the woman-bashing. Women are evil plot devices, BFFs of the narrator/main character who exist to be sounding boards or comic relief. Generally they can’t get a date or you don’t want them to. It’s lazy, stereotypical writing and no mature genre with standards would put up with it. And that’s if there are women in the books at all. I just finished a short novel in which there are no on-page women. Granted, that may be because the entire word count was taken up by sex scenes, but having no women in a contemporary romance is quite a feat.

Both male and female authors (of a variety of QUILTBAG orientations) engage in woman-bashing. But while women writers are criticized for it, male writers are called out much less frequently. All too often, gay male authors are valorized as something special whether their work is good or not, whether they insult their readership (which is majority female) or not.
I think this is an important criticism to make, and I never get tired of reading it or discussing it (and if you're the same, the discussion going on in the comments of Sunita's post is an incredibly fascinating and worthwhile read). I hope that my own books prove my commitment to doing better. So in the spirit of rewarding authors who do well, here's a list of my favourite M/M female characters.

The second book, because Ben's so sexy ;)
1. Various Characters in Under the Hill by Alex Beecroft

The two Under the Hill books are truly remarkable for their wonderful characterization, both of the main couple and the supporting cast. The female characters are no exception to this rule. They're agents in the plot with diverse personalities and goals and motivations, and they exist to do more than help or hinder the main relationship (which is the base measurement of a good female character in an M/M, in my eyes). They're also women of colour, which makes them unique on this list. Queens and goddesses and priestesses from British, Irish, and Indian mythology. Each unique and compelling and well-rounded with virtues and flaws. Seriously, if you haven't read these books you truly are missing out on a pair of gems.

2. Donata in Dark Soul V by Aleksandr Voinov

Donata is a dark horse. Reading about women being cheated on isn't a topic I enjoy, and in the first few volumes of Dark Soul, we're told that Stefano is in love with her and doesn't want to let her go, despite how compelling he finds Silvio. It's a great, genuine conflict with no obvious resolution, but Donata herself isn't all that compelling: she's beautiful and poised and, well, arm candy. A very pretty doll on a shelf. In the fifth book, however, she really comes into her own. How she responds to Stefano's admissions, how she chooses to resolve the series' romantic conflict, is a breath of fresh air. Donata easily could have just been an object, a woman acted upon, even if her arc came to the same end, but instead she has more agency than you ever expect. She determines her fate, she drives the story's resolution, romantic and sexual. All of it combines to make me think that maybe that was the plan all along: to have her first appear somewhat shallow and flat, but then surprise you in a very good way.

3. Angelica in Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander

Shattered Glass isn't a perfect book by any means, and the concept behind Angelica seems dangerous on the first pass: the gay main character's fiancee, the latest in a line of seemingly disposable women he can't commit to. Latest and last, because of course by the end of the book he realizes he's actually been gay all along. Angelica could easily be a shrew, an over the top example of why all women are just totally wrong for the main character, but she's not. She's a human being, and the book doesn't automatically forgive the main character for his behaviour toward her just because he's gay and figuring himself out. Part of his arc includes acknowledging Angelica's feelings, talking things over with her, making up like adults. If only all exes and beards in M/M could be given those same (very basic) dignities.

4. Tate in The Usual Apocalypse by Christine Price

Tate's one of my favourite character types: the sidekick/assistant who's frighteningly competent at their job (think Ianto Jones of Torchwood). But Tate is more than someone to move the plot forward by keeping the hero from having to do all that boring research and paperwork. She's smart and funny, full of memorable snark and some of the novel's best lines, a character with wit and drive who totally "clicks" with the hero and who you as a reader just really like spending time with. Sometimes that's all you need.

5. Natalie in Shivaree by Cara McKenna

Okay, this is a bit of a cheat because Natalie is an actual POV character in this hot series filled with M/M/F sex. However, I'm including her because this isn't a typical romance (M/M, M/M/F, or otherwise), and Natalie represents an intrusion on an established gay relationship. In your typical M/M book, you can only imagine how badly Natalie would be written and treated, and in an M/F/M, she'd be some kind of irresistible goddess that is just too perfect and lovely and sexy for only one man. Here, she's an actual woman, someone I found it easy to relate to. She's attracted to a pair of hot guys, has no concept of the substantial issues in their relationship, and stumbles right on in, shamelessly chasing her desires while also helping both men to work out their issues. I won't spoil the ending, but I will say it's unpredictable and massively satisfying, and what's more, Natalie is never once cast off as a homewrecking whore, nor a kindly saviour, here to selflessly magic away a gay couple's troubles. And the sex is pure wish-fulfillment. ;)

So there's my list of favourite portrayals. Have your own? Disagree with mine? I'd love to hear from you. :)

And if there's any M/M authors reading, take this as a challenge! Include a positive, well-rounded female character with a life and motivation of her own in your next work. Go on, do it!