Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

Cover Reveal! Crazy Little Spring Called Love

CRAZY LITTLE SPRING CALLED LOVE
Eight Magical Stories of Fantasy Romance
Stars and Stone Books

Featuring: Heather Bythesea, Elsa Carruthers, M.T. DeSantis, Traci Douglass, L.J. Longo, Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, and Mary Rogers

Spring 07 Ebook Final 01

Traci Douglass – “When Hermes Met Eos”
One night. Two star-crossed immortals. Will their vibrant connection survive beyond sunrise?

Sheri Queen – “The Girl with a Broken Wing”
A story of courage and sacrifice–and finding love where you never thought to look.

Cara McKinnon – “Love at Dawn”
Sometimes mortals need a little push from a god and goddess to fall in love…

M.T. DeSantis – “A Hunt for Love”
Can a djinn and a clueless guy beat the clock, avoid the curse, and maybe even find true love?

L.J. Longo – “Seaweed and Silk”
A mermaid: hundreds of miles from her home on the ice, on a ship with a troll, a goblin wizard, and a pack of wolves. What else can go wrong? Oh, right. A flippin’ sea monster.

Mary Rogers – “Spring Fling”
A druid’s bargain gives Carson revenge against his former lover Carrie–at the price of her memories of them together. But did she truly steal his magic all those years ago? Or was the real theft his heart?

PLUS TWO MORE STORIES INSPIRED BY THE AWAKENINGS AND RENEWAL OF SPRING

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR AUTHORS


Find the anthology on social media and online:

STARS AND STONE BOOKS: http://starsandstonebooks.com/
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34686292-crazy-little-spring-called-love
FACEBOOK RELEASE PARTY: https://www.facebook.com/events/2062183134008615/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/starsstonebooks
ANTHOLOGY WEBSITE: http://starsandstonebooks.com/crazy-little-spring-called -love

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Behind the Scenes: The Dishonest Lover

The Dishonest Lover will be my first solo release with Evernight Press and I am so proud of this story!

It’s a typical Christmas story, you know with thugs and criminals and men tied up in abandoned warehouses…

Alright, not so conventional, I guess. George Morrison, a lasped Catholic and non-practicing gay man in Ireland plans on spending his Christmas alone.  Until a dangerous German gang forces him to abduct a fleeing con-artist by threatening George’s family. George is an odd-jobs man, not a kidnapper, and he had no idea how to go about capturing Roy Chantileer.

Until Roy approaches him in the streets of Galway. The American instantly charms then accidentally seduces George, under the impression that George is only a local boy finishing up his last minute Christmas shopping.

Over the holiday, George falls in love with Roy and now, with only a few hours until the gang shows up to kill Roy, George has to earn Roy’s trust and come up with a plan to save him or they might both end up dead.

Sounds exciting right?

This idea first started as a submission for Evernight’s Dark Captives anthology. It ran too long, mostly because George and Roy were too interesting to be contained a novella. Once Uninvited Love was accepted into Dark Captives instead I was free to write Roy and George’s story in full.

I spent about a year in Galway, Ireland and a lot of that local flavor made it into this story.  I hope you get a chance to read it and enjoy experiencing it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Also, it’s an editor’s pick!

teaser-royteaser-george

Shameless Slash Contest

Here’s the thing:

I love Slash Fanfiction.  I ship people in real life, so of course I got my start writing (and editing) m/m fanfiction. There’s an art to properly adapting to another author’s style and getting their character’s right, while adding appropriate sexiness.

For myself, I never keep it fanfiction. I find the kernal of the story and characters and let a new story and setting grow from the base.

Partly as an experiment, and partly because I have no publisher for these shorts yet, I’m making a contest. Right here. Right now.

Read my totally free stories from the category Shameless Slash Contest, and be the first to guess what novel/movie inspired this story in the comments and you’ll win a copy of my next book, The Dishonest Lover!

Find the stories here for the rest of December and January! Good luck.

the-dishonest-lover-evernightpublishing-dec2016
You know you want me for free…

The Dishonest Lover is an Editor’s Pick

Just found out in this latest round of edits, that my soon-to-be-released novel, The Dishonest Lover is an editor’s pick at Evernight Press!

I’m so excited to share this story with the world!

I’ll be honest… I’m not entirely sure what Editor’s Pick means.  I asked Evernight. It’s that seal on the cover because an editor really liked the novel. Personally, I’m choosing to believe due to the season, that this is a major award and my particular story single-handedly ushered some highly-imaginative, dazed but clearly precocious editor into the dawning of her sexual life.

You can find The Dishonest Lover here.

Probably major… Like the most major award ever… The Majorest!

Dark Captives in Print!

Just found this in my inbox!

Dear Authors,

 Your anthology is now available in print. It will appear on Amazon within one week, however highest royalties are earned through the createspace store.
Thank you!https://www.createspace.com/6646049

Everyone has a dark side… Dark Captive is an exclusive collection of dark erotic romance stories featuring alpha men with fierce sexual appetites. They’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. And they have their sights on one man. Possessive and bold, these heroes give their conquests exactly what they crave-to be taken … to be owned. Any resistance offered will be tested, but in the end love rules. Kidnapping, abduction, and sexual slavery are just a few of the titillating taboo themes in this hand-picked manlove anthology.

Behind the Scenes: Evasive Love

evasivelove_9781419945793_msrEvasive Love is my first erotic sci-fi novel to be published. It was released on Oct. 2nd 2013 by Ellora’s Cave and I just got the rights back!

The story is about a bounty hunter who falls in love with his mark and that has been the plot line for over ten years. That’s really the only thing that hasn’t changed since 2003 when I started writing it.

Idea

When I was in high school, I was a campy fool. The biggest proof of this is a novel I wrote called “American Dreams.” This was maybe my third or fourth novel and since I was under 18 and writing about sex it was complete shit. Some bits were salvageable (there’s a particularly nice scene in a basement/volex engine room which made it into Evasive), but some were laughable.

For example, Elliot, the criminal, was actually innocent in the original.  He was an English teacher who had fled Victorian England and it’s anti-gay laws to live in pre-colonial America ( the education system isn’t that bad, I’ll explain in a moment). Before he managed to flee, he married a lesbian who left him in America to adventure. She missed him before long, though, and hired a bounty hunter to get him. The hunter thought Elliot was a con artist and Elliot had no idea what was going on; he was just a horny kid. I mean, I was- I mean… He was conflicted! Yeah. That was my plot.

As it turned out, that story was incredibly important to my career as a writer. The fledgling world Elliot and Alik (the original bounty hunter) inhabited had debuted in a different mess of a novel, but their literal journey that these two took as they walked and fucked all the way up the east coast got me planing and thinking. This story was my first trek into world building and one of the things I hear most often praised in my workshops is my ability to build a world.

The World of the Sectors

For example, I “discovered” Alik was not Alex because the midwife was illiterate. Elliot sees a broken and decayed statue of liberty (I know it’s a cliche, but I couldn’t resist in the new novel, either). There’s even a museum in homage to the fall of America. It was not a mistake that had someone running away from the Victorian ages and into a land inhabited by Native Americans and 1930’s gangsters.

In the ten years after this first adventure in camp, I would build and mold the world of the sectors into the complex future society that you’ll find in Evasive Love and in the other stories that inhabit that same world. Some of my favorite sectors include, Albion, which is a society that combines American materialize and media obsession with Steampunk/Victorian sensibilities, Cirque, which is an anarchy of castes and clowns, and Dockside, which is a mobile fishing community with an accent that is a mix of Louisiana’s Cajun and Northeastern Maine.

First Draft Hunted

I always meant to return to American Dreams and make Elliot into a serious character, a real criminal. I thought it would be fun to explore the moral dilemmas of falling in love with someone you are sending to prison.

Apparently, so did the people at Ellora’s Cave. One day back in 2012, I’m thinking sometime in October, I was scanning contests and content calls when I saw Ellora’s Cave asking for a story of any heat level, any pairing, about bounty hunters. I was intrigued because I remembered the campy old thing I had written in high school. With no serious thoughts of being published, I started to write it.

With in two weeks I had a first draft. I edited, pared down, read and reread until the deadline for submissions came. I spent the week before the submission deadline, checking and double-checking the guidelines, my query letter, my blurb. I submitted it and moved on. I’ve been submitting and moving on for a while now. I wasn’t expecting much.

Then in January, I found out I wasn’t rejected.

Revision

Once I got over the dancing and shouting at Skype (Sweetness was across the ocean when I received the joyful news), I puzzled over the draft I had sent. The one complaint I was given was that the language and sex scenes were too mild.

I was floored by this. I’ve been publishing pornography since I was in college and I always thought the difference between a romance novel and pornography was the language. I had no trouble fixing that; now it’s got reviews about how hot it is.

For the next eight months, my editor and I struggled through the monster that became Evasive Love. I was stunned by the sheer amount of errors that I hadn’t caught, little things I never thought about, and how incredibly inflexible the human body actually is during sex (oh yeah I guess that does kinda sound like he’s wrapping his spine around Kavan… hum, better fix that).

Coming Out as Gay Erotica Writer

By far the hardest thing that came out of this novel (besides your dicks, you sick freaks ) is explaining to my friends and family what all my work has been for.  The inevitable question that comes after the statement, ‘I have a book coming out’ is ‘congratulations. What’s it about?’

I don’t think any other genre writer faces the potential embarrassment and judgment from that answer. Every writer faces criticism whether constructive of not, but few of us are actually risking revulsion with the answer. More than once I’ve muttered, “It’s a romantic sci-fi about a bounty hunter who falls in love with his mark” and quickly changed the subject to the writing process or anything else. I’ve never been so closeted. Yet, I can’t stand having something I’ve worked so hard for met with a sneer and a “Why would you want to write that?”

I have a lot more to write on the topic of shame and sex in America, the inequality given to romance and speculative fiction, and closets in general, but for now I’ll leave off with a very enthusiastic:

It’s a very explicit erotic science fiction romance about a bounty hunter who falls in love with the male criminal he’s after!

TodayEvasive Love Cover (5)
Here’s a thing I never knew about the publishing industry; they give the rights back.  I got Evasive Love back a few weeks ago, just in time for the new novel Uninvited Love. You can now purchase it directly from me here. I also gave it a new cover, because Evasive Love is not set in outer space.

Behind the scene: Fair Deal

1onback.signedgettingthingsdoneIdea

 

This one is kinda nifty actually.

I am an avid read of postsecret.com, which you can get to by clicking on that secret to the left. Or just typing in postsecret.com, unless you’re lazy. Or lack the ability to type.

Postsecret is a brilliant website where people from all over the world send this guy, Frank Warren, their secrets on postcards, some are sad, some are funny, some are a bit creepy. But all of them make you think about the billions of other humans on this planet.

I discovered postsecret when I was in college and every once in a while I would come across a secret that made me think, “whoa, that would be a phenomenal story.”

So I took a bunch of those secrets and turned them into stories.

Revision

This is the only one that is worthwhile. One of the secrets is in Gloria’s confession that when she drives under the overpass she thinks all she has to do is not turn with the road and she will find some peace. There are others hidden in their between this man and woman. I’ve lost and cut out quite a few over the years, but that’s the one that haunts me.

One of the reasons why the other stories didn’t make it was that these secrets are so personal. I don’t want to take advantages of someone else’s suffering and turn it into what to me is a fine art, but to them is just something filthy. Something worthy of a post secret.

Of the actual story:

“A Fair Deal” or as it was originally titled “The Whore of Tuckerton” was a sort of post secret to myself for a while.

I don’t like writing from a woman’s point of view. I’m not sure why.  I feel uncomfortable and I don’t think I do it well, though no one has ever complained.

So for years I worked on this story, amused by it, saddened by it.  I think it’s one of my best, but I was afraid to show it to any of my workshop groups. The only reason I eventually did was because one of my friends caught me doodling a picture of a woman on a tractor and I couldn’t explain her away. That doodle is the cover by the way.

Read it here.

A Fair Deal cover