Sunday, December 8, 2013

Stage Fright - Now Available in Paperback Format



A lot's happened since the last time I made a blog entry. My second novel, Single Use Only, was released by Loose Id, I self-published my previously released short story, Right Street, Wrong House and now…Stage Fright, my first full-length novel, is available in print.

I received my author copies just the other day and it felt like Christmas had come early. I love ebooks, the ease and convenience of buying a book from home and being able to read it in seconds, but there's nothing like holding a book in your hands. And now, if you want to get your mitts on your own glossy, paperback copy of Stage Fright you can. :)

Available at: Amazon

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up and a Short Story

A couple of weeks ago I visited Seattle and took part in the first ever Gay Romance Northwest Meet-Up. 

The event, hosted by Old Growth Northwest was the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and focused on LGBTQ romance fiction. 



The half day meet-up took place at the amazing Seattle Public Library where authors, publishers, editors and cover artists, took part in discussion panels and met with readers. 

The topics were interesting, the discussions lively and the swag was sweet. Some of my favorite goodies were the man-shaped tootsie rolls Anne Tenino gave out and the naughty word fridge magnets. I got to meet some of my online friends, in person, for the first time and I made some new friends too.

Everyone enjoyed the subsequent happy hour and meet and greet at the Hotel Monaco and it was great to see readers chatting with some of their favorite authors. A few authors did readings too. I wasn't quite that brave, but maybe next year. The date's September 13, 2014, so mark your calendars.

Prior to the meet some attending authors wrote stories, which were posted on the group's Goodreads site. I wrote Perfect Weekend, a flash fiction piece. I'm posting it below, but check out the above link to see more stories. 

Hope to see you at the meet-up next year. 


Perfect Weekend

“Look, a whale!” Jon pointed, leaning over the ferry’s railing and craning his neck.
Steve’s stomach stopped trying to turn itself inside out long enough for him to grip Jon by the back of his raincoat, though in Steve’s current state of abject misery he wasn’t sure he’d have enough strength to stop his boyfriend going overboard.
Jon wriggled excitedly in his grasp. “Look.”
The downpour obscured everything, even the islands off to their left. Was it portside or starboard? He didn’t know. Didn’t care. He’d never be on a boat again if he had his way. “Where?”
“You missed it.” Jon straightened and turned to look at him. Jon’s blond hair stuck to his forehead and he blinked rain out of his eyes. “Are you feeling any better?”  
“Some.” The fresh air helped. So did being outside, away from the steamy, and not in a good way, cabin with its noise and heat: All those sweating bodies, children, dogs. Nothing smelled worse than wet dog, except maybe several wet dogs.
“You don’t have to stay out here. Go back inside where it’s warm,” Steve said.
“I’d rather be with you.” Jon bit his lip. “I wanted our first anniversary to be perfect. A romantic weekend in the woods, a cabin, a real fire, no one around for miles. I’m so sorry. I didn’t know you’d get seasick.”
“It’s not your fault. I’ve never been on a boat before.” Steve nudged Jon with his shoulder. “Guess Caribbean cruises are out though.”
Jon smiled at him. “We’ll just have to fly somewhere next year.”
“I’ll be fine once I’m off this damn ferry.” He hoped.
“The cabin has a hot tub.” Jon bounced with excitement. “We can sit out under the stars and smooch.”
He liked the smooching idea. He’d kiss Jon every chance he got, but sitting outside in the middle of the woods once the sun went down… He bet they’d be a mosquito buffet.
But Jon wouldn’t know that. He’d admitted the closest he’d been to camping was making out with a guy in a park ranger costume at a Halloween party. He was in for a shock, but that was Jon, impulsive and optimistic. He’d made the effort to surprise Steve and Steve didn’t want to disappoint him.
Steve had quietly cancelled the reservations at their favorite Italian restaurant, prepared to put up with bugs and poison ivy if it made Jon happy.
“We’ll be back on dry land soon,” Jon said. Water dripped off his nose. “Well, land anyway.”
****
The docking process seemed to take forever. The ferry shuddered and groaned as it rubbed up against the dock.
Steve doubted he’d ever want to have sex again. He sat in the car taking shallow breaths as Jon chattered away about walks on the beach. They’d be on the island soon. They would find the cabin and Steve could lie down until his seasickness passed. Then maybe he’d try to convince Jon a nice quiet soak in the hot tub would be more fun than running around poking at clumps of seaweed.
Steve navigated as Jon drove. By the time they got to the cabin the rain had eased to a drizzle
“This can’t be right.” Jon stared at the abandoned shack huddled at the end of the potholed lane. “It’s supposed to be rustic chic, but this is…”
“A dump,” Steve said.
“We must have turned off too soon.”
“The directions were clear.”
Jon turned in his seat, his face reflecting his disappointment. “What should we do?”
Steve shook the key out of the envelope. “Let’s check it out.”
The lock resisted, but gave way as Steve wrestled with it. This was the place.
The cabin was one big room. Steve explored, his hopes for a romantic weekend disappearing, along with his nausea.
The stone fireplace looked useable, but he couldn’t say the same for the battered stove or coffeemaker. He’d had better stuff in his starving student days. He aimed a kick at the lumpy couch.
“Steve.” Jon stood beside a brass double bed tucked in a corner. Even empty the middle sagged. “Where’s the bathroom?”
“Probably out back.”
“Outside?” Jon sat abruptly, as if his legs had given out.
“It’s okay babe. We’ll start a fire, warm the place up. Then maybe check out the hot tub?”
Jon tried to smile. “I forgot about that.”
The hot tub was a disappointment. When they brushed all the pine needles off the lid, the tub was empty. Well maybe not entirely empty, something had used it for a home, if the nest of needles and fluff was anything to go by.
Jon dropped onto the back steps; his shoulders slumped almost as much as the roof. “This place sucks.”
“It’s not so bad.” Steve sat beside him. “The woods are beautiful.” He stretched out and picked a handful of blackberries from the brambles encroaching on the porch. “We’re away from the city, just you and me.”
“Can you eat those?” Jon eyed the blackberries, a thin line of worry between his blue eyes. “They’re growing wild.”
Steve popped one into his mouth, relishing the tart taste as it burst over his taste buds, reminding him of summers past, the dusty heat and sunny days of his boyhood. “Just think of them as organic.”
He touched a blackberry to his boyfriend’s lips and watched as Jon chewed and his eyes widened. “That’s good.”
“You like that?” Steve asked.
 Jon opened up for him and Steve fed him another and another, watching the delicate pink of Jon’s tongue stain purple with blackberry juice. His mouth looked ripe, luscious.
Steve helped himself to a kiss, licking his way into Jon’s mouth, tasting, teasing. Mm, so sweet. Everything he needed for a perfect weekend, right here in his arms.
“You’re feeling better.” Jon’s cheeks were flushed, his eyes bright.
“Much better.” Steve stood and held out his hand. “Let’s go inside and I’ll show you how good I feel.”



I've written a couple of other flash pieces about Jon and Steve before. Click Skinny Jeans and Cops and Rubbers to read them.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cover Reveal for Single Use Only



It's here. The gorgeous cover for my upcoming release Single Use Only. That's Chris (in the shirt) and Mike, two of my characters from Stage Fright, which released in January this year. I'm really excited about Single Use Only. I hope you will be too.  


Mike is tired of the hook-up scene, Chris hasn’t even been to a real gay bar, but when the two men meet they discover they have much more in common than a mutual friend.

Blurb:

Mike Strenton is tired of the hook-up scene. All the men he meets in the Las Vegas gay bars are interested in only one thing and only one night. Been there done that. About to turn thirty-eight, Mike avoids casual sex until his need for contact is too great to ignore. He secretly longs to meet someone who sees beyond his laugh lines and broad shoulders to the sensitive lover underneath. A man who will choose him rather than the early morning walk of shame.

Twenty-seven year old Chris Bennington has never even been to a gay bar though he’s into men as well as women. He sees the funny side of just about everything, even his first time with Mike. Chris wants a lover who doesn’t have a problem with his quirky sense of humor, his inability to cook or his bisexuality and he thinks Mike fits the bill. All he has to do is convince the big guy he’s not just sticking around for breakfast.


Click here for an excerpt. 

Available October 1, 2013 at Loose Id

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Single Use Only - Coming Soon


(Unofficial) Blurb for Single Use Only


I just finished writing the blurb for my next novel, Single Use Only. It's being published by Loose Id and is scheduled for release October 1, 2013. I can hardly wait to see the cover.


Single Use Only shares the same Las Vegas setting as my earlier release, Stage Fright, but this time the story focuses on Jesse's friends Mike and Chris.

Gotta love Vegas

Premise: 

Mike’s tired of the hook-up scene, Chris hasn’t been to a real gay bar, but when the two men meet they discover they have much more in common than a mutual friend.

Blurb:

Mike Strenton is tired of the hook-up scene. All the men he meets in the Las Vegas gay bars are interested in only one thing and only one night. Been there done that. About to turn thirty-eight, Mike avoids casual sex until his need for contact is too great to ignore. He secretly longs to meet someone who sees beyond his laugh lines and broad shoulders to the sensitive lover underneath. A man who’ll choose him over the early morning walk of shame.

Twenty-seven year old Chris Bennington has never even been to a gay bar though he’s into men as well as women. He sees the funny side of just about everything, even his first time with Mike. Chris wants a lover who doesn’t have a problem with his quirky sense of humor, his inability to cook or his bisexuality and he thinks Mike fits the bill. All he has to do is convince the big guy he’s not just sticking around for breakfast.

Loose Id


I loved writing Mike and Chris's story. They're a couple of special guys who deserve their happy ending and I was glad to make that happen.





Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kayelle Allen's New Release - Keeper of My Pleasure

I'm doing a bit of a shout out for Kayelle Allen today. She's written that rare beastie, a M/F BDSM story…with a male sub. Keeper of My Pleasure is out today. 

Why did I write a male submission story? It's a genre I enjoy reading but can rarely find. I also write male/male romance, which I originally began writing for the same reason. Now, it's available everywhere. The hero in Keeper of My Pleasure, Koo Ayakura, is no weakling. He plays sports. He's a college graduate. He can handle anything his mistress throws his way, with grace and strength. There is nothing weak about a submissive partner. The sub must be able to trust the dominant, and that is not an easy thing to do. A good D/s relationship might be one of the hardest types to maintain. It requires constant adjustment, and the willingness to change. There must be trust between the partners, and that only comes after proving worth, because trust without reason is little more than hope. 



Keeper of My Pleasure
By Kayelle Allen
Rai trusts Koo to submit. To keep him, she must trust her heart.
A Romantica® BDSM erotic romance from Ellora's Cave
This book is in the Taboo line -- one of the Ellora's Cave Quickies

A recent college graduate, Koo hires Rai as his attorney after thieves total his car and then dare to sue him. She wins, and takes him out to celebrate. Dinner leads to the hottest sex in his life, and a long-term relationship as her submissive. He adores the way she makes him feel, and the way she makes him burn. He longs to show her he has more to offer. He has a heart, and it's hers, if only she'll let him give it.
A successful attorney in her late thirties, Rai has a penchant for handsome young men with long hair. Koo, her newest client, becomes more than her usual boy toy. He likes being tied up and whipped, and he yields the way she'd always dreamed. But he has a future ahead of him, and she's a jaded lawyer. He wants sex, not love. Right? He wouldn't stay with her forever. She trusts him to submit. To keep Koo, Rai is going to have trust her heart.

Inside Scoop: Our hero willingly submits to his Dom lady love and all her toys in their BDSM play, including whips and bindings and more.
Word count: 7170
Genre: BDSM Romance
ISBN: 9781419946592
Author: Kayelle Allen
Editor: Victoria Reese
Cover art: Ellora's Cave
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Trailer for Keeper of My Pleasure http://youtu.be/pXmsf8gb6DI
Music is "Road Adventure" from iStockPhoto, used with permission.

Inside Peek: Keeper of My Pleasure This free, illustrated eBook provides insight about the book, its characters, and its creation. When you click the link, it will either offer you a download, or open in a new window, depending on your settings. To read it, you need Adobe Reader, available free. http://is.gd/meet_Rai_and_Koo


About the Author
Kayelle Allen is a multi-published, EPIC Award winning author. She writes Contemporary Romance, Gay Romance, Erotic Science Fiction Romance, Mainstream Fantasy, BDSM, and non-fiction. She likes to attend Science Fiction conventions, and has been a speaker at DragonCon, Outlantacon, and Gaylaxicon. Kayelle is the founder of the author-mentoring group Marketing for Romance Writers, and manages the successful Romance Lives Forever blog. She is a US Navy Veteran, and founded the graphics and eBook conversion company The Author's Secret. Kayelle is married to her personal hero, and makes her home in the southeast.

Homeworld http://kayelleallen.com Unstoppable Heroes Blog http://kayelleallen.blogspot.com Twitter http://twitter.com/kayelleallen Facebook http://facebook.com/kayelle.allen Pinterest http://pinterest.com/kayelleallen/ Goodreads http://goodreads.com/KayelleAllen Romance Lives Forever http://romancelivesforever.blogspot.com/ Marketing for Romance Writers http://marketingforromancewriters.org/ The Author's Secret http://theauthorssecret.com


Sunday, July 7, 2013

You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up - Pole Dancing in the Library

Pole Dancing: It's Not Just for Strip Clubs Anymore


In an earlier post I confessed my love for weird news stories, remember? Here's one that tickled my fancy. Seems some libraries are willing to think outside the box in order to attract new patrons.

In January of this year a library in Scotland hosted pole dancing classes as part of their Love Your Library Day.

Not this kind of pole dancing.

Photo courtesy of Barwick-in-Elmet Maypole Trust. http://www.barwickmaypole.co.uk


This kind of pole dancing. 

Photo by Usien Available under CC BY-SA


All my local library offers is free internet. Just imagine old Mrs. McTavish's surprise when she popped in to return her Maeve Binchy paperback.

Honestly, you couldn't make this stuff up. As always, I've attached a link to the original story.

I read it in a newspaper so it must be true.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Web-based TV Shows - All the Colors of the Rainbow

MFRW Colors of the Rainbow Bloghop



The Times They Are A Changing

A few years ago who would have thought they'd see the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell? Or Jason Collins, the first active professional athlete to come out, marching in a gay pride parade? 

Still, positive change can be slow and when it comes to entertainment such as movies and television, LGBT characters are about as common as hens' teeth. 

GLAAD (previously known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), which monitors and promotes the image of LGBT people in the media, reports that the number of LGBT characters in the 2012-2013 television season (that's primetime broadcast programming) is a whopping 4.4%. Up from 2.9% last year. (See the full report here.)

However, while TV networks are slow to change, gay-themed web-based internet shows are popping up more and more often. (In the title for this post I called them TV shows, but technically that's not correct.)

I fell in love with The Outs, a 7 episode show about two men coping with life after their relationship ends. It's funny and poignant and realistic. Adam Goldman, who co-wrote the show with Sasha Winters says, "The internet provides a really incredible opportunity for representational content about minorities." 

Husbands is a comedy show about an athlete and his campy boyfriend. The couple marry during a drunken Las Vegas Weekend. The first season's episodes are short (less than 2 minutes each), snappy and fun. Josh Whedon, who guest stars in the second season, said, "Husbands is full of the kind of whip-smart remarks you wish you'd written yourself." 

I've watched and enjoyed both of these shows. In fact I've watched The Outs more than once. I did some online research and found several other shows though I haven't had time to view the following: 

Where the Bears Are, a show about three hairy roommates in LA, trying to solve their friend's death.
Hunting Season is based on the book The Great Cock Hunt and follows Alex, a twenty-something single blogger living in Manhattan. 
Eastsiders is a dark comedy set in the Silverlake area of LA (the same area as Where the Bears Are is filmed). The story examines infidelity and its affect on a gay couple.    

Several of these shows (like The Outs and Husbands) used the Kickstarter funding program to solicit money to make additional episodes. That these shows exist and are popular within the gay community makes me optimistic that they might just pave the way for more realistic representations of LGBT characters. Maybe even in mainstream TV shows.

So consider checking a few episodes out and let the creators know that you like their work.

And if the summer weather's so nice you can't bring yourself to stay indoors to watch TV (or web-based shows in this case) here's your chance to win an ebook copy of my most recent release, Stage Fright (perfect for reading at the beach). 

All you have to do is leave a comment between June 14 and midnight June 16th EST to be entered for a chance to win. Tell me who your favorite LGBT movie, TV (or web-based show) character is. Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.




Stage Fright Blurb:


After six months dancing in a Las Vegas all-male revue, Jesse Snowe is used to being groped by enthusiastic females, but he's more interested in Val, the sexy new bartender. Jesse's tired of the closet, but when he thinks of coming out he gets stage fright. The thought of telling his fellow dancers he's gay makes his palms sweat and his heart race and not in a good way. Dating Val under the watchful eyes of the dance captain could reveal Jesse's secret and might be more of a gamble than Jesse's willing to take. For Val Tremain the glamor of Vegas is wearing thin. He's even less enamored with his new job, but knowing he'll see Jesse's beautiful body makes it easier to go to work. When Jesse hints he's interested Val can't believe his luck. But Jesse's latest dance routine encourages a little too much audience participation and Val struggles with jealousy.

 Jesse knows his job's hard on their relationship and being closeted doesn't help. Strangers slap his butt every night, yet he's afraid to touch his lover in public. If he wants this relationship to work Jesse may have to reveal more than just his body.


Excerpt:


Jesse watched Chaz, their dance captain, work his magic. Chaz was an old hand at stripping and made it look so easy. He had a woman from a bachelorette party up onstage. She reached around and gripped his ass hard, her fingers digging into tanned flesh. Chaz pulled her to her feet. Jesse could see his muscular ass bunch and flex as Chaz mimed grinding against her.
Jesse looked over at the bar and sighed. The new bartender was wiping the counter. He wasn’t even watching the show. Maybe the new guy wasn’t gay after all. The guy behind the bar seemed more interested in dirt than dancers.
Jesse scrambled into his next costume, then nodded to Eric, their MC, from the side of the stage. “And now, ladies. Here’s the newest member of our revue and the baby of the group, Firefighter Jesse.”
Jesse bounced onstage to shouts and catcalls. He did a couple of backflips, then slapped on his helmet. His routine went off without a hitch, but as usual he needed to mentally gear himself up for the finale. He grabbed the crotch of his tear-away turnouts and yanked them off, leaving him in nothing but his T-bar. After six months of working as a dancer, he still felt kind of stupid wearing the minuscule thong, but he was grateful for the no-nudity policy. It helped him maintain the illusion that he still had some dignity. He spied a table that didn’t have too many drinks on it and jumped into the crowd.
The audience loved it. Jesse danced the length of the table, shaking his ass for the screaming women—and saw the bartender watching. He faltered, then recovered, leaping lightly off the table, squeezing through the press of bodies. He smiled and high-fived outstretched palms on his way as other hands reached for his chest, his butt, even trying for his package. His ass was slapped at least three times before he managed to return to the stage.
“Let’s hear it for Jesse. Who wants Jesse to put out their fire?” Eric asked the enthusiastic audience.
Backstage Mike threw Jesse a towel. “Holy shit, they’re wild tonight. I wasn’t sure you were going to make it back in one piece.”
Jesse wiped the sweat from his face and chest. “Me neither.” He shook his head, smiling. “Gives a whole new meaning to audience participation.”

Buy link: Stage Fright




HERE'S ANOTHER GIVEAWAY
Free to everyone -- No entry needed.
Download your favorite version of the exclusive Marketing for Romance Writers (MFRW) Rainbow Excerpts Book, with 60 pages of excerpts and samples from our authors. This version features gay romance. 

Download for Adobe PDF

ETA

The bloghop may be over, but the MFRW Excerpts Book is still available. Just click on one of the links above and download.

The winner of the copy of Stage Fright is…Urbanista. Congratulations, I'll contact you offline.


Thanks for visiting everyone and thanks to all those who left a comment.

MFRW Colors of the Rainbow Bloghop