Posts Tagged ‘lgbtq’

Guest Post

Guest Post: “Daisy” by Amy Lane

Fish Out of Water Amy Lane

I live a tiny life—most of us do, unless we’re traveling.  But for most of us, work is a thing of routine. Even writers, whom many people assume simply write when the “muse” moves us, set hours when we write for a living. “These are the hours I work. This is when I have to be productive. I can quit when these tasks are done.”

And outside of work, the rest of our lives are often circumscribed. I swear, I could put my car on an electric track that went from the gym to one kid’s school to the other kid’s school, to Del Taco to the grocery store, and 80% of the time, those are the only places I’d need to go.

But in spite of having a predictable tortoise life, I have a rather hoppy rabbit mind, and if it doesn’t have new places to hop to, I shall go simply mad.

Books are my escape—but reading time is limited to in my car as I’m waiting for my kids to get out, or a few precious pages a night before I fall asleep. On the whole, most of my brain travels happen from talking to other people.

Talking to strangers is my gateway to the world.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Writing Above the Covers” by Jenn LeBlanc

The Trouble With Grace Jenn LeBlanc

We’ve all heard the old outside the box analogy. I’m twisting it just a bit—because I can. Publishing in general likes to box everything because that makes it easier for marketing strategies. To put it in the most simple terms, they want to know which shelf to put it on in the bookstore.

I don’t fit very well on the shelf in the bookstore. I tend to write beyond the box, and above the covers. I don’t want to hold my characters back because they need to fit on a specific shelf. Writing character driven stories is my jam, my peanut butter, my sourdough and my candy. In doing so I don’t follow a lot of trope rules. What that means is that I have characters you’re not likely to meet in other stories interacting with some that you probably would.

That’s what I love to do most, and why most of my stories are time travel. Taking a modern day professional Dominatrix and tossing her back into stuffy old Victorian England and then…What happens next? An awful lot, as it happens.

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Aural Pleasures

Aural Pleasures: The Soundtrack of Caleb’s Heart

First and First Santino Hassel

It’s no secret that many authors are inspired by music. There are times when I’ve sat in the car while stuck in traffic and briefly focused on whatever song was playing only to be hit with an idea for a scene, plot, or character.

This happened to me with After Midnight (“I’m Mad” by The Deadweather), Stygian (“La Lugubre Gondola, No. 1”, composed by Liszt), and there have been several songs that struck a chord within me while I’ve worked on the Five Boroughs novels. “The Hills” by The Weeknd not only inspired me while writing First and First, but a character in a future novel as well.

First and First is the story of Caleb Stone—a thirty-six year old gay man with a life that’s envied by most. He was born into wealth, he’s a brilliant financial analyst, and lives in a gorgeous penthouse in the Financial District of Manhattan. To others, he has everything. However, Caleb’s point of view is very different. He doesn’t think he’s accomplished anything to be proud of. He’s repressed. And he’s afraid of never being loved.

The book is sexy (probably my most erotic romance to date), but it’s also very emotional. The songs in my First and First playlist reflect that. Below, you’ll find my top five Caleb songs and explanations as to why they’re so revealing about what’s in his heart.


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Guest Post

Guest Post: “The Gay 90s” by Kate McMurray

Ten Days In August Kate McMurray

Last time I was here, I talked a little about what it was like to be gay in the 1920s. My new novel, Ten Days in August, is set in 1896. So what kind of difference does going back in time thirty years make?

The 1890s were a rough time for LGBT people. There was new scholarship on homosexuality and an increased recognition of it in some medical circles, but in the U.S. and Europe, prosecution for sodomy was on the rise. “Gay” as we think of it now wasn’t really a thing yet; men who we’d call gay or bisexual now often married women but hooked up with men on the side. In New York, men could go to find other men in dance halls and clubs, particularly those in what is now the East Village, along the Bowery or tucked into Bleecker Street. Men of the 1890s had their own version of the hankie code, too—men seeking men could identify each other by certain markers: a red ascot, dyed blond hair, a certain way of dressing.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Guest Post

Guest Post: “When an English Professor Writes Dirty Books…” by Paul Russell

Boys of Life by Paul Russell

“I see you’ve got another dirty book out,” one of my colleagues remarked recently.

“A very literary dirty book,” I gently corrected him. I tried not to take his comment amiss, though it did make me sigh. And remember—

—my dissertation advisor haranguing me for having thrown away my promise as a serious scholar.
—a senior administrator at my college lamenting, “I’m all for having well-known writers on the faculty, I just wish we weren’t saddled with this one.”
—a student confessing that his parents advised him not to study creative writing with me, given the kind of books I write.

I always have to remember that I am not entirely respectable.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “What does JCP stand for?” by Kasia Bacon

Although I grew up reading an eclectic mix of books, testing and sampling everything on the menu, mysteries and paranormal novels were always the ones to make my juices flow into overdrive.  I devoured them manically.  That fascination has stuck with me forever.

Within the M/M genre, my cravings for top grade whodunits are satisfied by Josh Lanyon’s outstanding prose.  In the paranormal department, there’s a whole solid crew, who regularly feed my habit – Astrid Amara, K.J. Charles, Ginn Hale, Lou Harper, Jordan L. Hawk, and Nicole Kimberling amongst others.  However, one author would get my vote, if she ever decided to run for the president of the M/M Paranormal Republic.

This author is Jordan Castillo Price.

JCP is a creative institution.  Recognised by a cool three-letter acronym, and preceded by the reputation of her awe-inspiring back catalogue, she is also a gifted artist.  I know – whoever said life was fair, was a mean bastard, lying through their teeth.  A pox on them.  And halitosis.

JCP is best known for her excellent series PsyCop.  It is, naturally, precisely my jam, as it fuses paranormal with mystery and suspense.  Nevertheless, for the purpose of this post I’ve chosen three other books from JCP’s impressive repertoire.  In my view, they perfectly illustrate the scope of the imagination involved in her writing and its first-rate quality.  While they could not possibly differ more from each other, they are all five star reads for me.  I recommend this diverse mini-selection for readers who are yet to take the plunge into JCP’s works, and fans of PsyCop who have never ventured beyond the world of Vic and Jacob.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “A Book Research Meet Cute(ish)” by Roan Parrish

Out of Nowhere Roan Parrish

I know nothing at all about cars. I can change a flat tire, jump a dead battery by following the schematic on the jumper cable tag, and dump some oil in that sucker, but beyond that I’ve got nothing. I don’t know which cars are expensive, don’t care what kind of car someone drives, and don’t notice them in the first place. Once a friend told me to meet her at her car and laughed her ass off at me when I asked what her car looked like. We’d been friends for five years.

In Out of Nowhere, Colin Mulligan is a mechanic. I made him a mechanic in the first book in the series, In the Middle of Somewhere, long before I knew he’d one day have his own story—that is, before I knew I’d have to deal with … ya know … cars.

But I’m a persnickety perfectionist, so I knew that in order to get the tenor of working as a mechanic right I’d need to do some research. I started where any sane researcher would: I did google searches like “how do cars work?” and “insides of a car.” Eventually, I found a series of YouTube videos by a mechanic who once did special effects for films, which were useful and fun. But I still felt like I wasn’t getting it. And damn it, I wanted to get it!

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Aural Pleasures

Aural Pleasures: TORQUE by Charley Descoteaux

Torque Charley Descoteaux

I’m thrilled to be at EverAfter Romance to chat about the playlist for my new release, Torque. Thank you so much for having me!

Every time I start a new story I get to know the characters through music. I’m a huge music lover and listen to a variety of genres, depending on my mood and the story I want to tell. It usually takes me a while to figure out the right music for a story but once I’ve created a playlist I listen to it on repeat. A lot. So much that when a song from a book’s list plays on the radio I’m instantly in that character’s head again—which is a big help during edits!

Torque started with a cool old car and at first I thought the soundtrack would be the Eagles. The car is from the 70s and I like the Eagles—I could listen to them on repeat for three or four months!—but it didn’t feel quite right. I’d written half the book before I knew Mick well enough to realize he wasn’t an Eagles fan.

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Guest Post

Guest Post: “Religion and Romance” by Lauren Gallagher

The Best Laid Plans Lauren Gallagher

Though religion doesn’t usually go hand in hand with erotic romance, the subject plays a big role in The Best Laid Plans, my newest ménage from Samhain Publishing. Gabe is a Christmas-and-Easter Catholic married to Shahid, a devout Muslim. Shahid’s religion is a core part of his life, and also a stumbling block in some areas—triggering tension with his in-laws, harassment from patients at the emergency room where he works as a nurse, and keeping him and Gabe from being approved for adoption.

I wouldn’t call The Best Laid Plans a religious romance, though. While Shahid’s religion plays a significant role in his life and in who he is, the story isn’t about his beliefs. They are what they are, just like Gabe’s Catholicism.
Religion is one of those divisive topics, like politics or the Kardashians, that’s generally not to be discussed in mixed company because a civil conversation can quickly explode into a heated argument. And in my early days as a romance author, I was strongly advised to keep religion out of my romances.

Naturally, I didn’t listen.

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Q&A

Q&A: Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell of STRONG SIGNAL

Strong Signal Megan Erickson Santino Hassell

Thanks for having us on Ever After! Strong Signal releases Monday, and it’s about a deployed soldier who strikes up an online relationship with a video game streamer. Readers had some questions about Strong Signal and the co-writing experience, so we compiled their questions to answer for a blog post.


How did you come up with the idea?

S: I think the original kernel of the idea came up months ago when we were discussing streamers and cam girls. I totally forgot why we were discussing this, but it led to us going on Twitch and watching a streamer named Kaceytron (who basically spends her entire stream lampooning the stereotype of ‘sexy gamer girl’, and silly dudebros not understanding that she is trolling them).

So I was like “Megan, you have to write a story about Kacey!”, and after a month or two it came up again and were both so excited about the notion that we decided to take the plunge and write it together as a gay romance. We couldn’t find any super popular openly gay streamers besides Sky Williams, so we thought that would be interesting to explore when coupled with the rampant homophobia and sexism in gaming, and the tendency for gay internet figures to be fetishized.

How did you think you might be a good fit to write together?

M: Well, we were fans of each other’s work before we became friends. So there was always a mutual respect for each other as writers. I think that’s the number one necessity for co-writing–respect. We first thought our personalities meshed well in regard to being pretty easy-going and not egotistical. And as far as the writing style… we just kinda went with it.

How did writing work? Were you each responsible for one character? And if that’s the case, how did dialogue work?

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