Midsummer (Love’s Labours 1) now available for pre-order

MidsummerFSJohn Lyonel, a long-time theater professional and teacher, heads to Virginia to play Oberon in the Theater in the Woods’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, intending to focus on his work. John is recovering from the tragic loss of his family and needs a break. The last thing he expects is to become captivated by Michael Hilliard, the professional actor playing Puck, especially since John has never been attracted to men, let alone one so much younger. 

They rush headlong into an affair, which falls apart dramatically over secrets that John and Michael are keeping from each other. A steep learning curve, the gossipy cast of the show, and the sometimes sinister magic of the woods conspire to keep them apart. But stage lights and stars might work their magic and help them define a new future.

ISBN-13978-1-63216-984-6        $3.99      Release date: May 20, 2015

Now available for pre-order from Dreamspinner Press.

(p.s., there’s a 25% off sale at Dreamspinner through April 20th, so right now you can pre-order for just $2.99).

Amazon pre-order will go up approximately a week before the release date.

This is the story for you if you want intense monogamy, sweaty summer sex, and, although this is a contemporary non-paranormal romance, hints of magical realism and changelings.

This is book 1 of the Love’s Labour’s series. Book 2 is currently scheduled for August/September 2015, exact date to come.

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Room 1024 — now available!

room2014Yesterday was release day for Room 1024 and we’re super excited that it’s in people’s hands.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s the scoop!

When Cameron takes his submissive boyfriend Noah to a gay men’s leather convention in San Francisco, Cam expects to spend the week exploring their relationship and experimenting with non-monogamy. What he doesn’t expect is to run into his own former dom, Lou, in an embarrassingly public reunion.

While Noah is enthusiastic about the opportunity to play with the former international leather title-holder, Cam is more wary. He and Lou have unfinished business. A four-way encounter with Lou and his sub Stephen could be great fun—or it could show Noah that Cameron can never quite be the dom he wants and needs.

As Cameron and Noah work through the uncertainties in their relationship, Noah is offered everything he ever wanted, in a completely different way than he ever expected, leading all four men to discover that sometimes the only way forward is to revisit the past.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Room-1024-ebook/dp/B00VU85MSG

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-room1024-1778353-147.html

Torquere Press: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4373

(This is a novelette (~12,000 words) for people who want relationship processing and responsible non-monogamy along with some flogging and fisting.  You know, as you do.)

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The Czar of Wilton Drive Blogtour: Why the American leather scene may be on life support (with giveaway!)

As Erin & I gear up for our own leather scene themed release this week (Room 1024 will be out on Wednesday), we’re happy to host RP Andrews with his new gay lit title, The Czar of Wilton Drive and his thoughts on the current state of the gay men’s leather scene.

Additionally, you can enter to win a chance at a $25 Amazon gift card at the end of this post.

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Czar CoverThe Czar of Wilton Drive is the story of Jonathan Antonucci, a 21 year old, barely-out-the-closet gay man from suburban New York who overnight finds himself a multi-millionaire, thanks to a bequest by his late gay great uncle. Uncle Charlie has unexpectedly died of a heart attack, leaving him the sole owner of several of the most successful bars in Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale’s gay ghetto, making Jonathan the Czar of Wilton Drive, Wilton Manors’ main drag.

Flying down to Lauderdale to claim his bequest, Jon encounters Uncle Charlie’s dubious friends and business associates, and is immediately submerged in Lauderdale’s scene of unbridled sex and heavy drugs. He also discovers his great uncle’s memoirs which reveal truths not only about Jon’s own past but also what may have really happened to his uncle.

AUTHOR BIO:

RP Andrews spent most of his life in New York City as a public relations executive before relocating to Fort Lauderdale in 2002, where he enjoyed a brief, second career teaching writing at a local university.

Website: http://www.rpandrewsgayfiction.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ray.andrews.92?fref=ts

Blog: http://str8gayconfessions.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RPAndrews1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7944092.R_P_Andrews

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Why the American Leather Scene May Be On Life Support by R.P.Andrews

RP Andrews PicA few Saturday nights ago, I was getting a drink at the Ramrod, the official leather watering hole of Fort Lauderdale where I live, when this hot dark Latin guy tapped me on the shoulder and asked with a smile that could sell dog shit, “Aren’t you our neighbor across the canal?” Brazilian born Gabriel then went on to introduce his equally hot partner and fellow Brazilian Rodolfo, and explained they had just had their closing and we’re moving in. Gabriel was a corporate exec in Miami, Rodolfo a college professor teaching MBA hopefuls, and that they had been living in Chicago before coming here.

After apologizing in advance with a lascivious grin that they might be skinny dipping in their backyard pool that faced the canal, Gabriel made a very telling remark, “Besides the friggen winters, the leather scene in Chicago is dead. It’s all here now.”

It’s a conclusion I came to a while ago.

I know I’m talking in generalities and there are always exceptions. Like the short haired no-tits gal who’s a soccer mom, or the nelly cancer specialist I used to work with back in my hospital executive days who had the wife and five kids. But something’s terribly wrong with the leather scene here in the U.S. (I can’t speak for Europe since I’ve never done the scene there with the exception of London’s Hoist) and that terrible wrong is old age.

The Leather Generation is fast becoming the Denture Cream Generation.

For many younger guys, wearing leather is more a fashion statement than a symbol of who they are as gay men. (Some of these ironing board body boys look like their harness is a trainer bra.) Ditto with the emerging “jock” look: hockey gear, football shoulder pads, high socks. It’s all about looking the butch athlete even if some don’t have the body to match.

When I got into leather over thirty years ago, it was more than just looking tough. It said something about your persona, in and out of the bedroom. No-nonsense, rough and ready, not prone to bullshit, with man-to-man sex that included sweat and spit and pleasure on the edge of pain. Squeeze the right nip of today’s young bois and chances they’ll yep, “ouch!”

Sure we’ve got our high profile leather events. Take International Mister Leather or IML in Chicago which one of my buddies said has nothing to do with the contest and everything to do with fucking the days and nights away at the hotel. But a hot humpy 34 year old who adopted me as his Daddy on a recent visit to Chicago has been going to IML for over a decade and tells me numbers are declining. (I still wanna do IML once in my life before go to Great Leather Hell.) And at a recent Folsom Street in San Francisco, a rough and tough 6’ 4” friend of mine told me the only sex he had was a blow job from the leather shop clerk fitting him for a new harness.

Lauderdale hosts a Leather Weekend, climaxed by the crowning of the Mr. Ramrod who will go to next year’s IML to represent the bar. Though Ramrod where the last contest took place was packed, I saw very few faces under thirty-five. I’m an old fart and know all about gay and leather history, but having some ancient gay historian get up on stage and cry on about how he’s outlived all his “boys” or and that we should be more “inclusive” to the leather women in our aging and dwindling leather “community” does not make for a hot and horny time. The only reasons you had a crowd out on a Sunday night was to gawk at some bare asses and maybe, just maybe, score which, if you wanna talk about gay history, is what bars were once all about.

Yet from what I’ve seen and heard from other guys, the Ramrod, located in Fort LauderBottom, and doing brisk business five nights a week, is probably among the top two or three leather bars left in the U.S. today. (The Fort Lauderdale leather scene plays a pivotal role in my novel, “The Czar of Wilton Drive.”)

So what does that tell you, huh?

For further proof of what I’m saying, just look at the state of many leather bars in this country.

New York City, where I used to play extensively for decades before I headed down to Florida, had at least three or four Leather and Leather-friendly hangouts, now all gone. The Spike, The Eagle, and, of course, who could forget the Anvil where they fucked right on the bar. Then in the nineties along came the Lure, the quintessential leather bar, located in a former slaughterhouse in the Meat Market. I remember in those first months the place still stunk of the carcasses that had hung up there just a short time before. There the bouncer wouldn’t let you in if you were wearing sneakers.

Today, I think that bouncer would have a stroke if he saw how some guys in South Florida stroll into the Ramrod, dressed in a leather vest or harness, Bermuda shorts and floppies. Guys, it’s like some hunk suddenly talking to you about French Provencal furniture instead of car engines. Blows the image. And the hard-on.

Recent revisits to some of the other haunts of my younger days have proven the old cliché true: you can’t go back.

Recently I was in the gay villages of both Montreal and Toronto and neither town’s leather haunts were worth the price of a beer – or the cost of going there. For what I spent on these trips, I could have had the best rentboys in Lauderdale – in my bedroom.

Certainly St. Catherine’s, the main drag in Montreal’s Gay Village, looked festive on my last visit in May of 2012. A vast stretch of the street had been transformed into a pedestrian promenade which I found out later they did every spring. All the bars and restaurants had decks jutting out onto the carless street, which was already brimming with people though I couldn’t help but be bothered by the fact that Montreal’s legendary leather bar, Eagle Noir, was populated not with rough and tough levied leather boys but tired old middle aged men there for happy hour.

After a so-so stint at GI Joe’s, the Village’s butch bath house, I returned to Black Eagle at about 10, ready to strip my shirt off in the still comfortable high sixties temperature and found the crowd non-descript and young, not leather at all. Had things changed here, too, as they had in almost every guy and leather haunt in the U.S.? I decided to keep my shirt on.

Two French Canadian twinks were standing by the pool table blocking the way to the upstairs bar. “Excuse me,” I murmured. The taller of the duo stared at me menacingly. “Excuse mois,” he repeated sharply several times. OK, first the bar sucks, then I come up almost empty at the bath house, and now I got a Frenchie scolding me in a bi-lingual country and a tourist section that lives off Americans and other Canadians. Somehow, this trip wasn’t working out.

Even on Friday and Saturday night, the guy bars, crowded with older men in the afternoon, were now populated mostly by the young, and the streets were spilling over with str8 twenty somethings either visiting the str8 clubs that had popped up in this once very gay neighborhood, or just milling around, in a menacing gang-like fashion, that put me a bit on edge.

As for Canada’s other gay hot spot, Toronto, unlike in Lauderdale where you find a mix of ages in most of our bars, T-Town’s scene was classic Generational Divide. All the young, mostly girly guys with their girlfriends, hung out in Woody’s, hands-down T’s most popular bar, which served as the Pittsburg hotspot in “Queer As Folk,” while the over 40 crowd huddled like refugees in Black Eagle, T’s leather bar.

In fact, while Woody’s was hopping almost every night I was in town, Black Eagle was – shall I use the politically correct term? – “quiet” Thursday and even Friday night. Saturday night, however, was the exception. The bar had just re-opened its lower renovated level and I was enveloped in the kind of masculine crowd I craved for. A few guys I had chatted with on line or had seen my profile on one of the hook-up sites came up to me and made me feel welcomed. One even bought me a beer – NSA. And this shirtless, rapidly aging exhibitionist still turned a few heads while I strolled around, so no complaints.

One thing Black Eagle has over our Ramrod here in Lauderdale is a rather large lightless backroom, which was sweaty wall-to-wall Saturday night. Sorry, but I need the visual to get my motor running.

Sunday afternoon I returned to the Eagle for its fabled afternoon barbeque in its huge upstairs sun-bathed outdoor patio. Ah, it was like that scene in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” when Bette Davis slowly comes out of the shadows into the light. They were old, all so old, you know at that stage where old guys are using their harnesses as brasseries.

Ah, but to have been around for the real heyday of Leather, back in the fifties and early sixties in those alley hideaways of New York or Chicago or San Francisco when S and M sent a guy’s cock into a St. Vitas Dance of twitches.

The next best thing is to visit a sleaze hole like London’s fabled warehousey Hoist which I had a chance to check out for the first time the winter of 2008. It was like taking a time machine back 20, 30 years, one living HD, 3D porn flick. Naked butch men with bodies by God and Sir Steroids dancing on a stage across from the bar, their nine inch poles hard enough to hang clothes on; dark corners crowded with groping men, and upstairs, some guy in the shadows getting perpetually fist fucked like an automaton on a ride in Disney World. Hell, a few butch boys worked my tits over so bad I had to put them up in casts for a week. Rough bunch. I visited Paris on that same trip but wasn’t able to get to Le Glove, a fist fucker’s paradise (I opted for Sun City, a local sauna with a Turkish bath motif and got my euros’ worth). But friends tell me Five Finger Harry, as Le Glove is known by the in-crowd, is still alive and well.

So why aren’t the young guys turning to leather in greater numbers to replenish the race here in the good old U.S. of A.? Maybe because they’re over all the hang-ups about being gay that we, the first few generations who followed on the heels of Gay Liberation, were still saddled with, and who turned to leather and all its masculine smell and feel and image, perhaps, to convince ourselves and the world that we were men first. After all, when gay marriage is being discussed in Congress and the Supreme Court, what’s left to prove?

My prediction is that in a decade or less, that as its traditional aging clientele drop off their chaps at the local thrift shop to be made into Prada purses in Vietnam, and trade their cock rings for a TV remote, leather bars and stand-up guy bars, if they exist at all, will go mainstream gay – read young and swishy with lots of girl girls – or even str8. The bottom line is that to stay in business, to sell those six dollar drinks with fifteen cents of liquor in them, to survive, bars that were once exclusive retreats for a mysterious “men only” leather scene will have to capitulate – and some have already – to whatever and whoever walks through the door.

In my book, “The Czar of Wilton Drive,” two rival bar owners argue about the long-term viability of the leather scene. Finally, the one who’s convinced it’s time has come and gone, ends the argument on a very practical note, “If dogs could drink, we’d run free dog biscuit nights.”

Once, I ran out on a trick that wanted me to perform asphyxiation sex on him. In my panic, I left behind my favorite leather vest. In all the years since, I’ve never been able to find a vest that fit me as well as that one did.

And now I realize I never will.

Czar Banner Final

Enter the RaffleCopter giveaway with this book tour: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/555033ec3/

Posted in books, gay lit, Other people's books, Writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Room 1024 Book Blast

Next week our blog tour for Room 1024 starts, which will include lots of blog posts about the whys and hows of this story, but today you can enter to win an e-copy the story through our book blast with Pride Promotions.  Visit any of the sites below to check out an excerpt and enter the rafflecopter promotion.

pridepromobig

Parker Williams
MM Good Book Reviews
Love Bytes
Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents
Inked Rainbow Reads
3 Chicks After Dark
Molly Lolly
BFD Book Blog
LeAnn’s Book Reviews
Wake Up Your Wild Side
Charley Descoteaux
My Fiction Nook
Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
Rainbow Gold Reviews
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
Cate Ashwood
Amanda C. Stone
It’s Raining Men
Michael Mandrake
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

For now, you can preorder this novelette through Torquere. Pre-orders will receive it the night of April 7. Available at Amazon and other retailers by release day, April 8.

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Coming this week: 1024 Blog Blast & Starling Paperback Giveaway

Erin & I are currently gearing up for what feels like a wall of releases: Room 1024 (April 8), a BDSM M/M/M/M novelette; “Adjunct Hell” in Young Love, Old Hearts (May 1); Midsummer (a date in May to be announced soon); Phoenix (June 10); and Twelfth Night (likely in August); and with even more to come!

While we type away on over 60 blog posts for those various tours (so if you have a topic you’d like us to address, do let us know!), we do have a few fun things to share with you now.

First up, to get ready for the release of Phoenix, we’re doing another giveaway for a paperback copy of Starling over at Goodreads. You can enter between now and June 3. Must be over 18 and in the U.S., Canada, or the U.K. to enter and/or win.

We’d also like to remind LiLA fans (and anyone else) that if they sign up to our mailing list (just drop your email address in the field at right), you’ll get our once monthly newsletter (it’s the only time we email you and we never share your information), which includes information on upcoming releases, and starting on April 1, a free short-short story. April’s will be about LiLA’s Liam and Victor; May’s will be about Alex and Gemma.

1024blastNext, this Friday, there will be a “blog blast” for Room 1024.  Our blog tour will actually start on release day, but on April 3, you’ll be able to get previews of the story, enter for a chance to win a copy, and, I think, check out some advance reviews. We’ll post links to all of the sites and the contest details on Friday morning.

We also have some fun guest posts coming up here from authors both in the M/M romance and gay lit spaces. If you’re interested in us hosting you on your blog tour, just drop to erin.and.racheline@gmail.com — we’ll happily accept most books on the LGBTQ+ spectrum (romance and otherwise), and are open to non-LGBTQ+ books if they really excite us and/or help to promote diverse romance.

Finally, if you are in NYC, don’t forget to visit us at the 7th Annual New York Rainbow Book Fair on April 18th, from 12-6pm.  We’ll be selling paperbacks of the LiLA books, Best Gay Romance 2015Racheline’s lesbian werewolf novella, and more!

Posted in BDSM, books, events, lgbtq, Love in Los Angeles, Midsummer, New release news, Phoenix, Room 1024, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There and back again: A Los Angeles recap

The most important thing anyone really needs to know about Hollywood is that the theater that hosts the Oscars is in a mall.

Really.

It even has an outpost of middle-America’s goth depot, Hot Topic.

Speaking of goth… despite the fact that my & Erin’s vampire duology, Snare is still a work in progress, I have to confess that vampire mythology is something really core for me in a way that very much relates to my experience of Los Angeles.

Say what you will about Anne Rice, but her The Vampire Lestat was how I learned that it was okay that I had emotions, and that the expression of them didn’t make me weird, bad, manipulative, or a liar. My father may have threatened me with exorcism for reading the book, but that book — and the idea of vampires by extension — saved me. So while it’s not a part of Rice’s vampire mythos, the idea of needing to be invited into a space is a superstition by which I have long lived my life and my ambition.

I have not, for example, ever taken a studio tour when in Los Angeles. For me, studios are places of work and of aspiration to the work; they are not places I go unless I am requested to do so.  I do not, and never have, given myself that permission, and if that makes me feel like I’m missing out (friends have had some pretty cool experience while on these tours), that’s okay.  It just makes me work harder.

IMG_1257So it was a little complicated when, on this recent trip, I attended two Paleyfest events at the Dolby Theater which, yes, also plays host to the Oscars. For Angelenos, the Dolby is just one of those places where you see concerts or attend other events.  For me, it was just weird.  Although as I rubbed my hand back and forth on the red velveteen of the seat, I felt nothing.  No magic, no frission, no regret… not even any static electricity.

Instead, I was sort of annoyed by the overzealous air-conditioning and preoccupied with where to go to dinner.  Tourist Hollywood is my least favorite part of Los Angeles, and I had to spend a lot of time there during this recent trip.  It did not make me fond; it did make me sad.  Like any big city, Los Angeles harbors a lot of hope and a lot of desperation.  Los Angeles just does those things differently than any other.

IMG_1263This trip was the trip where I fell in love with LA’s food culture, discovered the location of Alex and Gemma’s shitty apartment when they first move to the city, and found the nerve to swim in the ocean for the first time in years — largely because of the freakish heatwave that accompanied me to and from the city.  I also learned how everything connects. I’m a non-driver and assumed I’d get by as I usually do, with Lyft and Uber. But somehow, I did everything I needed to on public transit and now have this keen sense of the shape of life there, all mapped at the right angles of bus routes.

IMG_1283Without those bus routes, I would not have discovered the absurdity of Larchmont, which seems likely to be useful in the project Erin and I refer to as Secret House; or where, on the edge of Los Feliz, Minette (a character you’ll meet in the fourth book of the Love in Los Angeles series) likes to buy her 1950s-style dresses.  I wouldn’t have finally gotten to the Observatory; taken shaky video for Erin at Our Lady of the Angels; nabbed fairly mediocre macaroons at ‘Lette; or been able to drag my ass both to the WGA West library and Burbank on the same incredibly difficult and stressful day (scheduling fail, my friends, scheduling fail).

Unlike my last trip to LA, this time I didn’t cry when I left.  I didn’t feel desperate or sad or scared by the things the city arouses in me or the parts of me thatIMG_1342 always get left behind there. And I didn’t feel ashamed by the gap — sometimes positive, sometimes negative — between where I am now and where other people expect me to be. This time, Los Angeles was just a place I go because I write stories, my own very much included.

So what was the magic weird serendipity that happened this time? I’ll confess, getting a yes on book 2 in our series with Dreamspinner while I was awkwardly standing in the middle of the Beverly Center was pretty amusing.  So was a friend sending me a link to this piece by Roxane Gay, when I returned — we were there the same weekend and clearly experienced some of the same pursuits and inconveniences (although her trip was notably more glamorous).

But, the really good stuff?  That would be telling.

I will, however, say this: If you ever need perspective on your dreams in order to stave off fear or force yourself to buckle down and work even harder?  Just remember that the Oscars are totally in a mall.  With a Hot Topic. And a California Pizza Kitchen.

Just take a right when you see the Sanrio and fly straight on ’til midnight.

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35% off at Torquere Press for the rest of the month!

For the rest of the month, you can get 35% off everything in your cart at Torquere with code Spring2015.

room2014You can pre-order Room 1024 for $1.94 (it releases on April 8 for $2.99 and pre-orders will receive it the night of April 7th): http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&products_id=4373

Starling SmallDoves SmallYou can get Starling for $3.89 (list price is $5.99):http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=97&products_id=4269

Meanwhile, Doves is $4.54 (list price is $6.99):http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=69&products_id=4344

Evergreen CoverEvergreen is also $1.94 (list price $2.99):http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_108&products_id=4328

td-lakeeffect1400And “Lake Effect” is $1.62 (list price $2.49): http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_93&products_id=4208

Meanwhile, if you’re a fan of the Love in Los Angeles series, we recommend signing up for our newsletter (enter your email in the box on the right hand margin of this site).  We only contact you on the first of every month, we never share your email address, and this month since we have met some subscriber goals, we’ll be sharing a mini story set in the LiLA universe about the start of Victor and Liam’s relationship.  While we’ll share that with the general audience via this website eventually, you get first crack at it.

Posted in BDSM, books, Doves, Evergreen, Lake Effect, Love in Los Angeles, Room 1024, Starling, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment