Midsummer — great reviews and on sale!

MidsummerFSMidsummer is currently on sale in several locations.

From now through May 28, you can get it for 25% off if ordered directly through the Dreamspinner site, bringing the price down to $2.99.

For those of you who like to buy your books through All Romance, for their buy 10, get one free program, it’s 20% off there for $3.19.  That sale will last through the end of May.

Midsummer has also been getting some great reviews!  Carly’s Book Reviews says “Midsummer is a beautiful blend of classic and contemporary themes.” (4 stars).

Meanwhile Inked Rainbow Reviews says “I appreciated how the authors handled John’s discovery of his sexuality. I’m always excited to see genuinely bisexual men represented well, and John is incredibly well-written. I loved how even in his inexperience, the maturity of his age showed and he wasn’t afraid to put Michael in his place when Michael tried to pin him down to the identity Michael preferred. The writing is superb, and it’s clear the authors know their craft.” (5 stars).

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Midsummer — Out today!

MidsummerFSErin & I are super happy that release day has arrived for Midsummer, which we jokingly call the book (novella) we never meant to write.  But write it we did,and we hope you’ll enjoy it. Book 2, Twelfth Night, will be out late this summer and we’re currently working on Book 3!

This is the book for readers who want summer romance, magical realism, absolute monogamy, and, of course, a clear HEA.

Midsummer (Love’s Labours 1)

John 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.

All Romance | Amazon | B&N | Dreamspinner | Kobo

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Hop Against Homophobia & Transphobia — Show your favorite LGBTQ organizations some love

So Erin & I are participating in the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia (click on the image at left!), in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Say that three times fast.

The blog hop is specifically for those who write, publish, review or are otherwise involved in the world of LGBTQ fiction. When it comes to the romance space, I think there’s a lot of discussion to be had (and that is being had) about the perception that LGBTQ romance is really m/m romance and that it’s really being written for straight women. The thing is, just like human sexuality, it’s almost always more complicated than that. So while those are important/awesome/difficult discussions, we’re not going to do that here today.

Instead we just want to remind people that hey these things still exist, and that they are global issues, that even from within the community are not always addressed as comprehensively as they should.

To that end, we’d like people reading this who support specific organizations that aim to advocate for or help LGBTQ people in any sort of need, to comment here, with the names of and links to those organizations.

On May 25, the day after the hop ends. Erin and I will dump all the commentors into a random number generator, and choose a winner.

We’ll then make two donations on behalf of the winner (or a person the winner names or anonymously, etc. as appropriate). One will be $25 to Lambda Legal. The other will be $25 to the LGBTQ organization of their choice.

So tell us about organizations you support and what they do — no matter how big, no matter how small, no matter where they are located. Hopefully that can help drum up support above and beyond the small donation this blog will make.

Meanwhile, be sure to click on the icon for this hop to visit the other over 100 blogs participating.

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What’s coming up, maintaining the schedule, and New Story Energy

Actual picture of our actual office, mid-edits. You should be afraid.

Right now, J. Alex Cook is trying to figure out what family means to him. There’s a kid named Nate who’s about to have what he hopes isn’t the most awkward coming out party Nashville’s ever seen.  Michael has the (not so) bright idea to propose to his boyfriend on a stage at a theater in the Virginia woods. And a tech geek on a business trip in Budapest just saw his boss shoot a guy in the head.

Erin and I write a lot of stories at once, and we put a tremendous amount of pressure on ourselves to get everything done fast, so we can do the next thing, so you can read the next story, and so that we can keep up with the ever-accelerating pace of Romancelandia.

Sometimes, it makes me long for the genres and careers of friends who publish a book one year and promote it the next year.  Right now we’re staring down two blog tours (Midsummer and Phoenix) with more to come soon.  If I list it all, I’ll go a little bit crazy.

The reality is, despite this rapid fire year, the publication schedule is going to slow down soon.  Sort of.

Phoenix will come out June 10, but you almost certainly won’t be seeing the next Love in Los Angeles book until 2016.  There’s a bigger time jump there, between books 3 and 4 (which we’re in revisions on now), and it’s a natural place for a little bit of air, but we wanted you to know. It’s also a point that we’re really going to want to sit down and talk about the series; it has been and continues to be so personal to us, but it’s after book three that we can really begin to talk about why and what we’re up to with it.  We’ll also be sure to keep providing you with LiLA story tidbits while you wait in our mailing list, which you can sign up for at right.

After Midsummer, which is out on May 20, you’ll get its sequel Twlefth Night late this summer.  We’re working on the third book there now also, and that may edge in in 2015, but we’re not sure yet.

You’ll also get Off-Kilter, a PG-rated short story about Scottish Country Dance, this summer. And, we hope, that story about the kid in Nashville, which is due for submission this week. Probably a few other shorts too.

We have an anthology project happening we’ll tell you more about in the fall, and Racheline’s long-mentioned big announcement really is coming soon.

Meanwhile, we’ve put something new on the calendar, somewhere between now and Secret House, our HEA triad story about age differences, generational trauma and being the children of immigrants.

The new thing is a spy duology — one book is M/M, and one is M/F.  If you saw me on Twitter talking about our sex-worker heroine (it’s her job, it doesn’t drive her plot, she doesn’t give up her job to have an HEA), that is related to this.

We have no idea why it didn’t occur to us to write about spies (or sex workers) sooner. After all, I’ve seen every James Bond movie and travels all over the world; Erin works in international affairs.  And spy stories are, at core about logistics (Erin), farce (me), and over- and underestimating people in the right combinations.

None of any of this would be possible without our army of first readers who check for accuracy on things like queer culture in Rome (LiLA 4), how to encrypt data in pornography (Spies), and whether to call that thing in set dancing a reel or a hay (Off-Kilter).

One of the reasons we write about polyamory as much as we do (it’s not in all our stories, but it is salient in Love in Los Angeles and Room 1024 — and if you want monogamous narratives we recommend our other work instead), is because we think it’s applicable to a lot more than love or sex.

It’s applicable to work. To hobbies. And to which book we’re writing this week. Life is often all about managing New Relationship Energy even when that’s not with a person, but with a project. You can worry you’re falling out of love with the thing that isn’t new, or you can see the energy you’re pouring into the new shiny thing reflected back in all the other stuff you love too, and become deeply invested all over again.

So that’s the story we’re telling right now.  Not just in all the stories that we’re writing currently and need to be writing right now (but, as we’re trying to convince ourselves, not Right Now), but by writing at all.  Somehow, this post doesn’t even include all the projects in the hopper.  But they’re waiting for us, and we will get there.

Thank you always for being patient and enthusiastic and delightful and curious and critical and engaged with our stuff.

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45% off at Torquere through May 11!

torquerecouponTo celebrate Mother’s Day, Torquere Press is offering a great coupon: MOM2015 will get you 45% off both Torquere Press & Prizm (their YA imprint) now through now through May 11th.

That means that you can get a lot of our titles at a great discount, and because we’re compulsive like that, we’ve already done the math for you:

Starling is just $3.29 – http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=97&products_id=4269

Doves is just $3.84 – http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4344

Evergreen is just $1.64 – http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4328

Room 1024 is just $1.64 – http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4373

Lake Effect is just $1.37 – http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=79_93&products_id=4208

 

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Guest Post: Stacy Osteen (Young Love, Old Hearts)

ylohToday we’re pleased to welcome Stacy Osteen, author of “New York Minute,” here to talk about her first experience writing M/M romance:

“New York Minute” is my first time writing gay fiction and I loved writing it. Colton is a little indecisive in the beginning but once he makes a decision it’s full steam ahead, upcoming cliff or not. His counterpart Seth is the younger factor in the equation and where Colton is hesitant and thoughtful before a decision, Seth is leaping off cliffs. He’s not afraid of falling and thinks he can tightrope walk without a net. The interactions between them, Seth baiting Colton even though Colton should have the wisdom to know better amuses me to no end.

Writing from a male perspective was great because it was much more about the five senses. What Colton could see, hear and touch. Here is a little excerpt to show you what I mean: 

They both got into the music, and Colton felt it course through him once more. He barely noticed when it was Seth dancing with him instead of a stranger. He let the beat dictate his moves. They were incredibly close when their eyes met. Colton felt nervous excitement shoot through him. He remembered what Seth had said at dinner about his crush on Colton, but with the look Seth was giving him, he somehow couldn’t believe it was all in the past. 

Website: www.stacyosteen.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stacyosteenbooks

Twitter: @Torn_Treasure
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/StacyOSteen
Endless Days of Summer to be released July 1st

Young Love, Old Hearts
A Supposed Crimes Anthology

Editor: C. E. Case

Stories by: A. M. Leibowitz, Adrian J. Smith, Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese, Geonn Cannon, Helena Maeve, Kassandra Lea, Lela E. Buis, Ralph Greco Jr., & Stacy O’Steen

 Everyone hears “He’s too young for you.” “She’s too old for you.” Not between these pages. This anthology crosses the age gap with nine enchanting stories of cross-generational relationships. Some are sweet, some are sexy, some are heartbreaking. One is downright murderous. The protagonists are gay men or women searching for true love or trying out what’s right in front of them.

Lesbian

“Verso and Recto” by Geonn Cannon
Discovering their mutual love of reading leads a literature student and her professor to take a step neither of them expected.

“A Blizzard’s Blow” by Adrian J. Smith
Lollie dashes from the house in the middle of a blizzard in search of something she’s not sure she’ll find, but she hopes to never again see the same cold, blank stare Kimberley gave her.

“Slice” by Ralph Greco Jr.
When Germane relinquishes her more-than-slight kinky relationship with Lila to begin a new one with younger A.J., she finds a flirty, fun and wholly different “Slice” of life opening up for her.

“That December” by Lela E. Buis
Celia finds that older women and the politics of genetic engineering aren’t what they seem.

Gay

“The Arrangement” by Helena Maeve
When he is summoned into his Dom’s study after a mutually satisfying scene, Cyril knows he’s in for something worse than the play they normally get up to.

“New York Minute” by Stacy O’Steen
Stuck in his depressing hometown for far too long, Colton jumps at the chance to return to his beloved New York City. But when some odd coincidences click into place, he needs to find the truth hidden in the lies.

“The Artist as an Old Man” by A. M. Leibowitz
1985 is a big year for Kenny Anderson. Sent to interview artist Aaron Rubenstein, making a grand reappearance after a three-year absence, Kenny digs beneath the surface to understand Aaron’s life—and maybe his own.

“Adjunct Hell” by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese
Phil may be in his 50s, but he’s still a student, and the fact that Carl—who’s barely 30—is dating him would bad enough even if Carl wasn’t waiting for good news from the tenure committee.

“Say You Do” by Kassandra Lea
Keegan Bancroft is hoping to avoid a complete meltdown before his date. But there’s something he really wants to ask Richard.

 Buy Links:

|| Amazon USA || Amazon CA || Amazon UK || Kobo || Smashwords || B & N || 

Add to Goodreads

About the Publisher

Supposed Crimes, LLC publishes fiction and poetry primarily featuring lesbian characters and themes. The focus is on genre fiction–Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, Action–rather than just romance. That’s how we set ourselves apart from our competitors. Our characters happen to love women and kick ass.

“Supposed crimes” refers to the idea that homosexuality is outlawed, and that our authors are being subversive by writing. As times change this becomes more tongue-in-cheek, but can still apply broadly to our culture. Christians writing lesbians and men writing lesbians are also subversive ideas in this industry, and we promote people bending the rules.

|| Website || Facebook || Twitter ||

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Guest Post: Helena Maeve (Young Love, Old Hearts)

ylohToday our guest is Helena Maeve, author of the M/M short story The Arrangement, here to talk about puzzling out the short story:

Before I attempted The Arrangement I would have laughed at the suggestion that I could write a complete story in less than five thousand words. Brevity and I are not mates. I like my sentences long, my characters hard to grasp in the first, oh, let’s say ten or so chapters. Regardless of genre, the novels I best enjoy reading involve sequels. But then it’s also true that I enjoy a challenge.

My initial idea for The Arrangement involved a lengthy character arc, multiple parts—none of which were in any way suited to the short story format. Without the luxury of pages and pages of context with which to buy a reader’s goodwill, a short story has only a few lines’ worth to grab the attention. Yet there’s no point in hooking the reader if the characters aren’t sketched out fast enough to reward that indulgence.

I vacillate between writing lengthy backstories for my characters and plunging in with only a vague idea of what they’re about. For The Arrangement, I couldn’t afford the latter. It seems counter-intuitive, but the shorter the story, the more necessary I feel it is to have a clear picture of who does what to whom and why. There’s no time to figure it out in the text, much less to hint at events later on in the story. By the time ‘later’ arrives, we’re already wrapping up.

Setting is equally constrained. A novel can span decades or the breadth of Middle Earth. A short story doesn’t have the luxury of sprawling. I imagine a short story as a theatre play, with one or two changes of décor at the most and with the understanding that whatever happens on stage, it’s conceivably contained within a few days at most. Everything is immediate and of the utmost importance, and reflection is in short supply—conveniently, this lends itself well to characters stumbling into misunderstandings that further the plot.

Yet just as a full-length novel, a short story without a climax and resolution won’t be very satisfying. In The Arrangement, conflict comes to a head almost unilaterally, as Cyril refuses to go away quietly after a breakup with his much older partner. The crisis that sparks said conflict is the breakup itself, but without a character willing to claw his way back into a relationship, the mix-up that sparks the separation might never be resolved.

Short stories are like puzzles. They’re a pain to untangle and they dissuade us from letting our thoughts roam, but as I’m sure my fellow Young Love, Old Hearts authors will agree, it’s so rewarding to figure them out.

Website: helenamaeve.com
Twitter: @HelenaMaeve

Excerpt from The Arrangement:

August was at his desk, dress shirt open at the collar, tie and suit jacket absent. Ruthlessly beautiful. His idea of casual somehow still left him looking powerful and business-like. He plucked his rimless reading glasses off with a smooth gesture, but tension lingered in his expression.

After six months, Cyril could tell when something was wrong.

“Have a seat,” August suggested with strained formality.

Less than an hour ago, he’d been edging Cyril to the brink of climax and back again, relishing his cries like a true sadist.

Their bedroom dynamic was too overwhelming to set aside at a moment’s notice. Cyril complied, annoyed with himself for the meek show of obedience.

“Thought we already debriefed…”

“It’s not about that.” August folded his hands. “It’s about our arrangement.”

Cyril’s heart slid lower into his knees. The wide stretch of a sturdy wooden desk divided them. It was an effective visual barrier; Cyril could pretend he’d been summoned to a supervisor’s office rather than his lover’s. The similarities were striking.

“I’ve enjoyed these past months… I’d like to think that you have, as well.”

“Yes,” Cyril blurted out.

Don’t say it. Please don’t say it.

August pressed his lips into a thin line. “I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to count this week’s fee—”

“You want to end it.”

Young Love, Old Hearts
A Supposed Crimes Anthology
Editor: C. E. Case

Stories by: A. M. Leibowitz, Adrian J. Smith, Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese, Geonn Cannon, Helena Maeve, Kassandra Lea, Lela E. Buis, Ralph Greco Jr., & Stacy O’Steen

 Everyone hears “He’s too young for you.” “She’s too old for you.” Not between these pages. This anthology crosses the age gap with nine enchanting stories of cross-generational relationships. Some are sweet, some are sexy, some are heartbreaking. One is downright murderous. The protagonists are gay men or women searching for true love or trying out what’s right in front of them.

Lesbian

“Verso and Recto” by Geonn Cannon
Discovering their mutual love of reading leads a literature student and her professor to take a step neither of them expected.

“A Blizzard’s Blow” by Adrian J. Smith
Lollie dashes from the house in the middle of a blizzard in search of something she’s not sure she’ll find, but she hopes to never again see the same cold, blank stare Kimberley gave her.

“Slice” by Ralph Greco Jr.
When Germane relinquishes her more-than-slight kinky relationship with Lila to begin a new one with younger A.J., she finds a flirty, fun and wholly different “Slice” of life opening up for her.

“That December” by Lela E. Buis
Celia finds that older women and the politics of genetic engineering aren’t what they seem.

Gay

“The Arrangement” by Helena Maeve
When he is summoned into his Dom’s study after a mutually satisfying scene, Cyril knows he’s in for something worse than the play they normally get up to.

“New York Minute” by Stacy O’Steen
Stuck in his depressing hometown for far too long, Colton jumps at the chance to return to his beloved New York City. But when some odd coincidences click into place, he needs to find the truth hidden in the lies.

“The Artist as an Old Man” by A. M. Leibowitz
1985 is a big year for Kenny Anderson. Sent to interview artist Aaron Rubenstein, making a grand reappearance after a three-year absence, Kenny digs beneath the surface to understand Aaron’s life—and maybe his own.

“Adjunct Hell” by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese
Phil may be in his 50s, but he’s still a student, and the fact that Carl—who’s barely 30—is dating him would bad enough even if Carl wasn’t waiting for good news from the tenure committee.

“Say You Do” by Kassandra Lea
Keegan Bancroft is hoping to avoid a complete meltdown before his date. But there’s something he really wants to ask Richard.

 Buy Links:

|| Amazon USA || Amazon CA || Amazon UK || Kobo || Smashwords || B & N || 

Add to Goodreads

About the Publisher

Supposed Crimes, LLC publishes fiction and poetry primarily featuring lesbian characters and themes. The focus is on genre fiction–Westerns, Science Fiction, Horror, Action–rather than just romance. That’s how we set ourselves apart from our competitors. Our characters happen to love women and kick ass.

“Supposed crimes” refers to the idea that homosexuality is outlawed, and that our authors are being subversive by writing. As times change this becomes more tongue-in-cheek, but can still apply broadly to our culture. Christians writing lesbians and men writing lesbians are also subversive ideas in this industry, and we promote people bending the rules.

|| Website || Facebook || Twitter ||

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