Tag Archives: gay romance

The final chapters of The Professor’s Rule, now for pre-sale @RiptideBooks #mm #bdsm #romance

The final two chapters of Satish, James, and Carson’s tale are now available for pre-sale at Riptide.

Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4)

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Satish Malhotra is in over his head. What appeared to be the hookup of his dreams turned out to be another man’s kinky sex game, and thus ended his relationship with sweet, submissive James Sheridan before it’d hardly begun.

Or so he thought. Being used in someone else’s domination/submission play should have been a deal breaker, yet James—bruises, boyfriend, and all—is too compelling to let walk away. But James has needs Satish isn’t sure he can fulfill, and it seems his mysterious Professor isn’t willing to share.

Can Satish keep James happy in bed and in life, or will James be forced to choose between his dominant and his burgeoning vanilla romance with Satish?

To the Very Last Inch (The Professor’s Rule #5)

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Just days after their scorching reunion, Professor Evander Carson has kicked his one-time pupil James Sheridan to the curb—and tried to sabotage James’s new relationship with Satish Malhotra. Something isn’t right here, but James isn’t sure he should bother trying to figure out what. Carson isn’t good for him and will never change. He needs to accept that and move on.

Satish knows something is up, too, but he thinks the relationship between Carson and James is worth saving. To do the right thing, Satish will have to make James and Carson confront the secrets they’ve hidden for years and help them to overcome the pain and mistrust they’ve caused.

But if Satish succeeds, where will that leave him and his intensifying romance with James? Will the three of them be able to find the right balance, or will James be forced to choose between the pain and submission he craves with Carson, and the sweet, vanilla stability he’s found with Satish?

And for those of you who have been waiting for the series to be complete before going on the journey with James and his men:

The Professor’s Rule: The Complete Collection

School is back in session.

When undergrad student James Sheridan set out to seduce his way into a better grade, he had no idea what he was signing on for. Professor Evander Carson wasn’t about to trade a good grade for sexual favors, but he was definitely willing to tutor his wayward pupil in far more than history.

By the end of their tumultuous relationship, James not only excelled academically, his sexual horizons had expanded to include pleasures—and agonies—the likes of which he’d never dreamed. But enough was more than enough, and James fled from his Professor, unsure of where his limits lay or if he had the wherewithal to set boundaries.

Two years later, a chance misdial puts James back in contact with his former instructor and brings all his old cravings back in force, leaving him yearning to kneel once again at his Professor’s feet. But James has a new life now, with new sexual and romantic prospects—most notably the charming menswear salesman Satish Malhotra. Still, the pull to return to Professor Carson is a powerful thing. Can James give in to it without giving up his newfound confidence and budding romance?

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Saugatuck Summer is now available for pre-sale @RiptideBooks #mm #newadult #comingofage #romance

Saugatuck Summer, coming May 19 from Riptide Publishing

The pre-order page for Saugatuck Summer, my New Adult/Coming-of-Age romance, is now live at Riptide Publishing.

Hi, I’m Topher Carlisle: twenty-one, pretty, and fabulous. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself. But let’s get real. Walking the fake-it-til-you-make-it road to independence and self-respect isn’t easy. Especially since my mom’s a deadbeat alcoholic, and most of my family expects me to turn out just as worthless. Oh, and I’m close to losing my college swimming scholarship, so let’s add “dropout” to the list.

My BFF has invited me to stay at her beach house on the shore of Lake Michigan. That’ll give me one summer to make money and figure out what I want to do with my life. So of course I decide to have an affair with my BFF’s married, closeted dad. Because that always works out.

Now I’m homeless, friendless, jobless. Worthless. Just like my family expects, right? Except there’s this great guy, Jace, who sees it differently. He’s got it all together in ways I can only dream of—he’s hot, creative, insightful, understanding. He seems to think I don’t give myself enough credit. And if I don’t watch out, I may start to believe him.

If some of you recall, Topher was first mentioned in The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams, my Love Has No Boundaries freebie for Goodread’s M/M Romance Group’s Don’t Read in the Closet event last year. That story isn’t necessary to read Saugatuck Summer, but for those of you who enjoyed Matt and Chris from The Field of Someone Else’s Dreams, be aware that I will be continuing the Saugatuck universe and giving them their own novel in the near future, so go ahead and check that out!

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One month left until Strain! #postapocalyptic #mmromance @RiptideBooks

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One month from today, Strain will be officially released. And remember, if you pre-order from Riptide, not only will you get to download it two days early (4 weeks from today, in fact) but you will also be entered in a drawing to win free Riptide books for a year.

If you’re not sure about Strain, be sure to read the warnings at Riptide, and also check out my Is Strain for Me? post.

 

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Delay on the The Professor’s Rule #1 & #2 drawing

I know during our blog tour, Heidi and I said we’d be drawing the winner January 1, but Heidi has actually been travelling since the tour began, and while I kept track of all the entries, I’m not exactly sure how she wanted to handle the drawing (and, to be totally honest, with all the holiday stuff, I forgot to ask her.)

But we will handle that this weekend. I apologize for the delay.

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Is STRAIN for me? #mmromance #post-apocalyptic #dub-con @RiptideBooks

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Coming February 17 from Riptide Publishing

So, in the past few days, I’ve been seeing a lot of people asking whether or not Strain is for them, because they want to read it but they’re not certain about the content. So I thought I would try to clear up some of the questions.

I’m not really giving any spoilers here; all this information is available in shorthand form in the Warnings and Additional Details tabs of the Strain listing at Riptide Publishing. Definitely check it out.

Even so, I’m going to put this beneath a cut.

Continue reading

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Night Owl Reviews names “Inertia” a Top Pick #mmromance #review #4.5 stars

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It’s always nice to get a review on something you released quite a while back. You can find Inertia here, or check out Impulse as a complete set, here!

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“The Laird’s Forbidden Lover” is named on of Jay’s best of 2013! #mmromance #historical #highland @RiptideBooks @JayHJay

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Jay from JoyfullyJay has named The Laird’s Forbidden Lover as one of her top historicals for 2013! Yay!

 

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Don’t miss your chance to win one of the first two The Professor’s Rule books! @RiptideBooks

Just a reminder, you have until the end of the year to swing by our blog tour stops for Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) and comment to be entered to win in a drawing for copies of the first two books that we’ll be holding New Year’s Day.

While you’re there, be sure to enjoy some of the tidbits we’ve shared. We discuss relationship dynamics, give sneak peeks at TPR #4, and answer some of great questions from interviewers!

Here is the schedule for all our stops:

December 16, 2013 – 3 Chicks After Dark
December 16, 2013 – The Novel Approach
December 17, 2013 – Live Your Life, Buy the Book
December 18, 2013 – Pants Off Reviews
December 18, 2013 – MM Good Book Reviews
December 19, 2013 – Cup O’ Porn
December 20, 2013 – Up All Night, Read All Day
December 20, 2013 – Sid Love
December 21, 2013 – Book-A-Holic Anon- Spotlight Stop
December 22, 2013 – Queer Town Abbey
December 24, 2013 – Attention is Arbitrary

Also, if you swing by Riptide, you can check out my upcoming release, Strain, including THE FIRST THREE CHAPTERS! Enjoy!

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Check out our final Inch by Inch blog tour stops! #mmromance #erotica #giveaway @RiptideBooks

I took the weekend off from updating the blog, so I missed announcing a few blog stops! But there is still time to play catch-up, as the drawing for the giveaway of copies of Giving an Inch and An Inch at a Time won’t be held until New Year’s Day. So be sure to check them out!

On Sunday, we stopped by Queer Town Abbey to answer a few questions, and today Shirley over at LeAnn’s Book reviews has shared a review of Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3).

Tomorrow in our final stop on the Inch by Inch blog tour, we’ll be over at Attention is Arbitrary, where Lisa will be interviewing Heidi and I, so don’t miss that, either!

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Relationship geometry and facts about Carson today on the Inch by Inch blog tour! #mmromance #erotica @RiptideBooks

Today on the Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) blog tour, Heidi and I are over at Sid Love discussing relationship geometry as it pertains to Satish, James, and Carson.

We’re also swinging by Up All Night, Read All Day to share a few facts about Carson you might not be aware of just yet! Be sure to stop by and comment to be entered in our drawing for copies of Giving an Inch (TPR #1) and An Inch at a Time (TPR #2). Each comment means another entry for the New Year’s Day drawing, so make sure to visit as many of our blog tour stops as you can!

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Check out @cupoporn today for a sneak peak at TPR #4! #mmromance #erotica @riptidebooks @heidibelleau

Today in the Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) blog tour, Heidi and I have swung by Cup-O’-Porn to share another excerpt from Every Inch of the Way (TPR #4). Leave a comment to be registered in our giveaway for copies of Giving an Inch (TPR #1) and An Inch at a Time (TPR #2.) If you haven’t caught up on this series of smutty novelettes, now is a good time to do so! Be sure to check out our other stops on the tour and leave comments there as well! Each comment gets you another entry!

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Heidi and I are at Pants-Off Reviews and MM Good Book Reviews today! #mmromance #blogtour

Today in our next set of stops on the Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) blog tour, Heidi and I are sharing a look ahead at Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4) over at MM Good Book Reviews, so if you’re looking forward to the next installment, be sure to check it out!

We’re also giving you a few facts you might not know about Satish at Pants-Off Reviews. I know there are a lot of Satish lovers out there clamoring for more, so here’s a little taste!

Remember that every time you comment on one of our tour stops, you are registered for another chance to win a copy of either Giving an Inch (TPR#1) or An Inch at a Time (TPR#2) so if you’re not caught up on the series yet, this is a great chance to get there!

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Want more Satish? Check out our blog tour stops today @LifeBuyTheBook and @AllIWantnMore ! #mmromance #erotica @RiptideBooks

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Today the Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) Blog Tour is taking Heidi and me to Life Your Life Buy the Book to talk a little about Satish and what it’s like to pick up his story thread again after our step back into the past in An Inch at a Time (TPR #2). Keep following the blog tour for more info about Satish, including a couple sneak peeks at what you can expect from TPR #4.

Cecile at All I Want and More Books has also been kind enough to spotlight us today as well, so be sure to stop by there for another chance to enter the drawing for a copy of one of the first two The Professor’s Rule books!

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Check out some facts about James and an excerpt from Inch by Inch today!

InchByInch_TourBannerToday in the first two stops on our blog tour for Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3), Heidi Belleau and I are visiting 3 Chicks After Dark with a few facts you may or may not know about James Sheridan, one of our TPR protags. We’ve also brought an excerpt from Inch by Inch over to The Novel Approach.

If you take the time to comment and chat with us, you’ll be entered to win an ebook copy of either Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1) or An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2) so if you’re not caught up on this series, now’s a great chance to see what you’ve missed!

Be sure to hit all the stops on our blog tour this week for more chances to win!

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Humiliation #kink–getting the appeal #bdsm #amwriting #mmromance

So, apparently this is my week for rants. No, Mercury is not retrograde. Nor am I PMSing. I have no idea WTF is going on, but be warned.

I’m gonna come right out of the gate saying this: I don’t practice humiliation kink. I’m not a dominant at all, and I have a particular history and set of neuroses that would make anyone pulling humiliation kink with me as a sub pretty bad.

However, there’s this lovely little phrase that I’ve seen used in fandom circles–actually, it started in the BDSM community in the 90s–and I think it needs to be more widely adopted out here in the LGBT romance genre: YKIOK (Your Kink is OK–a shortened form of Your Kink is Not My Kink But Your Kink is OK–as opposed to its self-righteous evil twin, YKINOK, or Your Kink is Not OK.)

I think a lot of us in this genre have been forgetting that. I’ve seen a lot of kink-shaming and a lot of people savaging perfectly good books just for having kinks they don’t enjoy. And it pisses me right the hell off.

But, you ask, if you don’t practice humiliation kink, why do you write it?

Short answer: My characters are not me. They choose their own kinks. Sometimes those kink are things I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot bamboo cane.

Longer answer: My characters are not me. They have their own history, personalities, and neuroses that might make humiliation kink appealing, or even cathartic and healing. But what’s the appeal, you ask? It’s no different than masochism, really. It’s just masochism of a different sort. Instead of getting off on physical pain, one is getting off on shame or emotional pain.

Or, for those submissives who aren’t masochists (physical or emotional) it’s something else entirely.

It can be a removal from self. It can be a test of submission. This is how pain play works for me, in fact. I’m not a masochist. I don’t find pain to be pleasure. But if my dominant can do something to me that I find patently unpleasant, then I’ve truly surrendered, see? I’ve yielded myself, preferences, my will, to someone else and let them have complete control. If it pleases them to hurt me, then I’m pleased to be hurt, not because I enjoy being hurt but because it means I’m not calling the shots and my preferences are not driving the encounter (within negotiated boundaries, of course.)

It’s no different for humiliation kink (except that, for me, it falls outside the negotiated boundaries.) Instead of being removed from control of one’s physical self and preferences, one is removed from one’s ego. If a submissive has given the dominant the power to say or do or force the submissive to do anything the dominant commands, no matter how shameful or humiliating, there is surrender in that. And that surrender can be a beautiful thing.

My first experience writing humiliation kink came from the character upon whom I based Derrick from my Impulse books. It wasn’t in a story at that time, it was in a role-play. He and his partner were talking and trying to get an idea of his turn-ons, and the partner asked if proto-Derrick (who was named Garrick, in the role-play) would want to be nude or perform sexually in public. Garrick’s immediate reaction was “No” but even as Garrick was giving that response, I–being deep in Garrick’s head at the time–knew that if a partner made Garrick do it, he’d do it, even if it was something he would flinch away from or reject otherwise.

So, having made that discovery about Garrick, I had to ask myself why. Why would Garrick do that? And the answer was that his pride, his ego, his sense of self, was his final hold-out, the thing that would always keep him from surrendering entirely. And if he wanted surrender, then the dominant would need to break down that wall.

This is why you see Gavin, in the Impulse books, call Derrick names like “bitch” and “whore” and “slut.” Does he mean it? No, of course not. But it chips away at Derrick’s resistance, puts him in a position where he has to choose between surrendering his pride, or safewording. And once he surrenders his pride, that’s when he becomes truly open and vulnerable to Gavin and gives Gavin complete control, rather than just playing a part.

And in the complete paradox that only makes sense to those who truly understand BDSM, that total surrender becomes a source of even greater pride. On the other side, the sub emerges to say, “Look what I endured for my dom. That took a lot of strength.” It leaves the sub feeling even more confident and sure of themselves (assuming it’s done correctly.)

This is actually a bit of a recurring theme in my books, at least those dealing with kink. I have a lot of prideful characters, so finding various ways to slip past that pride to get to the vulnerability underneath becomes something the dominant must do.

There are lots of ways to accomplish this. Forced exposure and exhibitionism is only one way. Infantilism might be another. Or treating the sub as an animal (where do you think the collar and leash thing comes from?) Toilet play might be part of it, or even just taking away privacy where such bodily functions are concerned.

For example, I have a manuscript I’m working on (Risk Aware) where the dominant character, Robin, denies his submissive partner, Geoff, the right to close the bathroom (or any) door. On one level, it’s just a flat-out control thing. “You aren’t allowed to shut me out of wherever you are.” But on the other level, what he’s doing is depriving Geoff of the dignity of privacy, even when Geoff is using the toilet. Geoff is not allowed to hold back even his most embarrassing moments of biological functioning (arguments of whether basic biological functions should be considered embarrassing aside.) If he farts, Robin might hear it. If he makes a stink, Robin might smell it. If he pees, Robin might watch. Is it because Robin has some sort of toilet fetish and finds these things sexy? No. It’s just about denying Geoff the ability to hold back any part of himself from Robin (again, of course, always within negotiated boundaries, so keep that in mind if you’re going to try this at home, kids.)

We see some of this in The Professor’s Rule, as well. In the first book, Giving an Inch, we see James expose himself to Professor Carson in a way that he finds deeply embarrassing. But that is part of James’s submission, part of what he needs to do to get to the place of surrender he desires. He’s a masochist, so pain play isn’t going to break him down, at least not entirely. He has other hold-outs.

Leta Blake does something very similar in Training Season. The dynamics of Matty and Rob’s relationship and why this sort of play might be appealing and even beneficial for the two of them, I will leave you to discover for yourselves. But there is a moment in the book where, unless you get into the deeper intricacies of what submission and surrender mean in various circumstances, they could seem gross. I know a lot of people go off on “BDSM is not therapy” rants and that is, to a degree, very true. BUT. Just because it isn’t therapy doesn’t mean it can’t be cathartic or healing. Yes, a lot of people practice BDSM just because it’s fun and because it feels good for whatever reason. But we each of us come into it with our own unique set of life experiences and issues, and we each of us might find something within it that helps us in ways perhaps therapy can’t, because it fulfills a need or helps us face a fear, or for any of a multitude of reasons.

And here’s the thing: romance fiction isn’t real life. In romance fiction, people’s issues often infiltrate parts of their lives that in reality, might not be such a big deal. I mean, if I wrote a story about a character with A, B, and C neuroses, and I set it up so that those neuroses don’t come into play when he’s doing BDSM scenes just because he finds BDSM fun and pleasant, most readers would cry foul. Because we’re in his head. We want to know what affect this is all having on him emotionally and psychologically.

Sex isn’t just about tab A into slot B and BDSM play isn’t just about swinging a whip and “oh, ow, that hurts.” Those scenes would be exceptionally boring if we didn’t get into the characters’ heads and go deeper with it on the emotional level (as my esteemed editor Sarah Frantz likes to say, “but what is he feeeeeeeling?”) And going deeper with it includes figuring out how it plays off of and into the neuroses that are part of the character’s journey through the book.

So. Your Kink is not My Kink but Your Kink is OK. Does name calling or toilet play put you off? Yeah, me too. But I’m not my character, and neither are you, and you might find your reading experience enhanced if you look beyond “would I enjoy doing that?” into what the play in question is accomplishing for the character. Because the odds are that if an author has gone there, they’ve done so for a reason. Look for it.

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In other news, Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) is already available for download at Riptide Publishing, and will be available at most other ebook retailers later tonight or tomorrow. And Heidi Belleau and I will be on a blog tour this week discussing James, Satish, and the Professor, and what we can expect from them going into the last two Professor’s Rule books. This will include a couple sneak peeks at Every Inch of the Way (The Professor’s Rule #4) and a chance to win ebook copies of TPR books you might not have read yet, so be sure to check it out!

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Still time to pre-order Inch by Inch @RiptideBooks and download early! #mm #erotica #romance

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Inch by Inch (The Professor’s Rule #3) releases on Monday, December 16. But if you pre-order through Riptide Publishing, you can download it at midnight (Eastern) tomorrow, a full two days early!

Also, starting Monday, December 16 Heidi Belleau and I will be on tour, so be sure to check out our blog tour schedule to see where we’ll be. You’ll get some questions answered about your favorite characters, a couple looks ahead and what you can expect from the future of The Professor’s Rule, and you’ll have multiple chances to win copies of the earlier TPR books in case you’re not caught up yet!

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My books are not a PSA #bdsm #unpopularopinions #50SoG

Okay, so I’m a pretty social-justice conscious person. I’m well-aware of my cis-het white privilege, try to keep it checked as much as I can, try to boost the voices of my LGBT and POC friends to get their message across without speaking over them, and just generally try to live with as much sympathy and empathy and decency as I possibly can.

And here’s the thing. The majority of LGBT romance readers? Are also very aware of social justice issues, and aware of a lot of other sexual minority issues, such as those relating to safe sex and BDSM play. They don’t always handle them perfectly, but they can’t help but be aware of them by social media osmosis. There is not a single author or reader I follow on Twitter or Tumblr who doesn’t make posts or reblogs/retweets about social justice issues.

As the risk of being told “ur wrong” I would hazard a guess that the LGBT Romance audience is at least slightly more educated about these various issues than the common consumer.

In short: our readers are smarter than the average bear (the Yogi kind, not the leather-wearing kind.)

This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a curse because it means that we, as writers, have to pay attention to the details of what we do and make sure we don’t screw up, and that if our characters screw up, it’s because of a deliberate choice we made as authors to go that route, not because we were ignorant. But it’s a blessing because it means that we are not obligated to use our books to educate our readers on social or safety subjects, because they already know the issues at play.

Unfortunately, sometimes the blessing and the curse happen concurrently. Like, for instance, when our characters make choices that are not necessarily safe or correct, and our readers are aware of what IS safe and correct and believe that the author should have had the characters do it right.

The problem is, we, as authors (and especially as authors with an informed audience) are not obligated to make our books Public Safety Announcements.

Let’s take BDSM, for an example.

I’ve been involved with the BDSM lifestyle, whether actively playing or just hanging on the fringes with other not-presently-practicing lifestylers, for nearly twenty years. I’m well aware of the danger of the play we may pursue, how conscious BDSM practitioners need to be about the risks and about consent issues. I’m well aware of the misconceptions the uninformed public might hold and how it can lead them to making unwise or risky choices.

I think there are approximately zero people who are actually informed about BDSM who thing that Fifty Shades of Grey portrays it well, or sanely, or consensually, or safely. And I know some of them feel like the book should be shredded and the author (figuratively) scourged because of how badly those issues are handled. But for me, the way BDSM was handled in that book is not the make-or-break issue.

What is the make-or-break issue for me in that book is that it takes a relationship that already has a metric fuck ton of abusive subtext (Twilight meets all 15 criteria for an abusive relationship, according to domestic abuse authorities, and so does 50SoG because the relationship is based on the one in Twilight), romanticizes it (“the hero isn’t being abusive when he jerks the heroine around, sends her conflicting messages, stalks her, blames her for things that are his fault, and controls her social contact and the information she’s allowed to expose herself to; he’s just angsty and conflicted and enigmatic!”) and then throws badly-done BDSM on top of it.

The result is that it packages BDSM with a romanticized abusive relationship and then markets it to an UNINFORMED AUDIENCE (note that word: uninformed.) The target audience for Twilight and 50SoG is not the same as the target audience for LGBT Romance. We’re talking primarily vanilla cis-het women, either very young or from an older generation that is not as current on social issues, who are often quite ignorant of sexual and BDSM-safety questions, and who are already at risk of mistaking romanticized abuse for romance due to being inundated by images of such relationships in the media all around them.

In other words: the BDSM in 50SoG is problematic, but it’s not THE problem. The problem is the whole package.

But the LGBT Romance audience is different. They’re savvier. They’re less susceptible to being inundated by romanticized abusive relationships from the media because they are not only more informed on the various issues at play, they also read books that largely side-step harmful gender-role tropes and problematic power dynamics prevalent in M/F romance. That means we LGBT Romance authors can relax a little more about the messages we’re sending.

But even if we couldn’t…

Books are not Public Service Announcements. They are fictional narratives intended for entertainment and perhaps even to provide escapist fantasies.

One large issue this particular topic comes back to is the use of condoms, a subject I’ve posted about before. Our audience already knows about the proper use of condoms, and our authors are as well. If the author chooses not to have a character use condoms, it’s because the author has made the choice deliberately, either to further a fictional, escapist fantasy where sex without condoms is sexier, or because it’s a choice they feel their character would make, even if the author doesn’t support it. Our characters are not obligated to live by our (the author’s or the audience’s) ethics and standards of acceptable practices.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Anyone who wants to accuse me of being a proponent of unsafe sex because my character chooses not to use a condom is cordially invited to read my upcoming thriller about the author who goes around ax-murdering self-righteous and moralizing critics who are too ignorant or full of themselves to get the difference between fantasy and reality. Because if my character does it, clearly I’m okay with it, right?

(That thunderous sound you hear is not a nearby bowling alley, it’s my eyes rolling. Yes, hundreds or thousands of miles away. I’m that over it with this subject.)

The same goes for BDSM practices. If my characters choose to do something that would be absolutely Not Okay in the BDSM community (issues of SSC vs. RACK aside) it’s not because I don’t know how to BDSM. It’s because I made a creative choice to have my character do something that I, myself, might not be a proponent of.

Authors who do not condone rape can still write non-con or dub-con escapist fantasy. Because they trust their audience to be sane people who recognize the difference between fantasy and reality.

So before you jump all over an author and savage him or her with URDOINITRONG! stop and ask yourself the following questions:

1) Is the character doing this because the author is ignorant of the subjects at play, or because the author has chosen to take that route for reasons specific to that author, that character, or that scenario?

and 2) Who gave you the authority to demand an author make each and every work a treatise on the safe and proper use of condoms, or BDSM play, or whatever?

It’s really that simple. Authors are under no obligation to pander to your person crusade on “how to condoms” or “how to BDSM” etc. Their only obligation is to tell a story. You’re under no obligation to like it. You’re under no obligation to read it. Just don’t get self-righteous about it or assume objectionable creative choices equate to ignorance. And recognize that you have absolutely no right whatsoever to expect or demand that they do so.

My books are here to tell a story, not to promote a social agenda–mine or anyone else’s. Full stop.

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Woohoo! Acceleration and Velocity both make it as runners-up in the #RainbowAwards

Rainbow Awards – Best LGBT Erotic Romance

Once I knew I was up against Heidi Cullinan and L.A.  Witt, I knew I didn’t have a chance of placing first or second, but I’m beyond thrilled. Acceleration tied in 4th place with Finding Master Right by L.A. Witt, and Velocity ties for 7th place with two other books, which is more than I expected. Congratulations to Heidi for placing first, and to all the other finalists!

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Filed under Acceleration, Announcements, Contests, Velocity

5 stars to Training Season by Leta Blake, now available!

Since Leta has decided to release TRAINING SEASON early so that people can take advantage of the ARe 50% rebate when buying it, I’m going to post the review I wrote last week.

Training Season

Training Season by Leta Blake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an amazing book. Where do I even begin?

Matty. I love that he is so unapologetically femme. He totally owns who he is and that is amazing. But he’s also a very flawed character, in the best possible way. He’s bitchy and selfish and immature at times. But he’s so damn passionate about everything that you just have to adore him.

Rob. If he has one flaw as a character, it’s that he’s a little too perfect and could use a couple flaws. But he’s also the perfect stabilizing, grounding thing Matty needs in his life.

The story. At times it was so hilarious I literally LOLed and other times I literally wept. It took me across the entire emotional spectrum. I love that there were no easy solutions to the dilemma Matty faced, no pat, perfect way he could have it all without sacrificing something. And I love that this book goes a route many wouldn’t, and demonstrates that even when you do make the sacrifices and give something your all, sometimes it’s still not enough. The side characters were well constructed, each having their own subtle influence on the MCs without ever being heavy-handed.

And all of this was delivered in Leta’s smooth, flawless prose. I don’t know how she does it. I envy her the knack for it. She manages to be descriptive without becoming flowery, and there are never any moments (as there almost always are with other authors) where I read a sentence or a paragraph and it just feels clunky and takes me out of the story. She’s truly one of the best authors I’ve read in this genre.

Now, in the interest of transparency, Leta is a friend of mine and I read an earlier incarnation of this book years ago. That said, it’s still an amazing book, and even better for the changes and additions she’s made. Nothing I’ve said in this review has been sugar-coated; every word is 100% true and I would make all these same statements about this book if it were written by a complete stranger.

Anyway, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

GET TRAINING SEASON TODAY AT ARe!

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Cyber Monday! Get a 50% rebate on all my titles @AllRomance #ebooks http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Amelia+C.+Gormley #mmromance

It’s that time of year again! Last year, All Romance Ebooks had a rocking Cyber Monday sale, offering a 50% rebate in store credit on all books! It might not be actually half-off, but it’s double the books for the same price! Since ARe also has this wonderful “Buy 10 Get One Free” thing they do, it’s a great time to stock up and get your free 11th book for the price of only buying 5 books. (If you’re willing to pay $1.50 more, you can buy all three Impulse books separately and get three credits toward your ten books, rather than buying the Impulse all-in-one volume, which would only give you one credit.)

FIND ME AT ALL ROMANCE eBOOKS HERE!

In case you’re wondering, this is what you’ll be paying after rebate:

The Laird’s Forbidden Lover: $2.00
Giving an Inch (The Professor’s Rule #1): $1.50
An Inch at a Time (The Professor’s Rule #2): $1.50
Impulse: The Complete Trilogy: $5.00
Inertia (Impulse, Book One): $1.50
Acceleration (Impulse, Book Two): $2.50
Velocity (Impulse, Book Three): $2.50

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Check out the first three chapters of STRAIN now @RiptideBooks #mmromance #postapocalyptic

The STRAIN excerpt is now available on the Riptide website. A full three chapters! Woohoo!

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/strain

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November 30, 2013 · 7:25 pm

5 stars to Spokes by PD Singer #mm #romance #cycling #review

SpokesSpokes by P.D. Singer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book in its entirety for a long time, having gotten a sneak-peek at the first part of it a while back. I couldn’t wait to discover how things turned out between Luca and Christopher.

I’m pleased to say that the rest of the book was everything I wished for and more. Luca and Christopher are both solid, sympathetic, and flawed characters. They both make mistakes, they both react badly to things, not everything is sunshine and roses and that is absolutely perfect. The subject of closeted athletes is not a new one in m/m romance by any stretch of the imagination, but the way P.D. Singer comes at it makes it fresh for a couple reasons.

First, because cycling. I mean, how many of us who don’t do that particular sport know the first damn thing about it? P.D. has this knack (one I would love to acquire) of taking a subject the reading audience won’t be familiar with (she’s done it before with forestry and rock-climbing and archery) and making us understand it without feeling like we’re getting an info-dump. She works it in very organically, and I love that. I was reading from the POV of a character who knew the sport intimately, and I managed to make out most of what he was talking about without being jerked out of the flow of the story. It’s really superbly done.

Second, because realism. Most athlete/sports stories I’ve read deal with relatively safe sports. Cycling is not one of those, and P.D. tackles that head-on. There are a couple moments when you’re just like, “Whoa. This shit is real.” Most of us don’t expect to see serious danger in our sports, so it really grabs you and jolts you out of any sense of complacency about a pretty, neatly-tied-up ending. Which is not to say the characters don’t get their HEA. They do, but they also have some very serious losses along the way.

Another great thing about this book is the MC’s voice in the narration. There are some LOL moments when a witty line slips in so subtly you almost miss it, and I always love that.

So, definitely a book I would recommend. I enjoyed it enormously.

You can buy Spokes from Rocky Ridge BooksAmazonKoboBarnes and Noble, and All Romance eBooks

View all my reviews

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Lovely early #reviews for Strain @Goodreads #mm #erotic #romance #postapocalypse

As I mentioned before, Strain went up on NetGalley last week, and a couple early reviews have been posted to Goodreads, and they’ve been quite gratifying on a couple levels.

Ashley Williams of http://booknerdash.blogspot.com/ had this to say:

And though the theme of the book revolved around sex as a treatment for the disease (yes I did say sex was the cure!!!), it wasn’t, for me, the forefront of the book. It kept me flipping the pages the whole time.

I loved the post-apocalypse-zombie-ish setting that Gormley creates. You can visualize where you are, without getting bored by all the details. Speaking of details, she does an excellent job explaining the medical necessities behind the unorthodox treatment. They were actually believable!

That one does my heart a lot of good. When dealing with a book based on a fuck-or-die trope, there’s a significant danger that the fuck-or-die situation will come off as nothing more than an excuse to propel the characters into sex they normally wouldn’t have. This isn’t an unfair estimation, to be honest. In a lot of places–especially in fanfic circles dealing with slash and non-canon OTPs–the fuck-or-die trope is used for precisely that reason. I wanted to come at it from a different angle, though. I wanted to make the story not just about situationally-coerced sex, but about the desperate lengths people will go to in order to survive, and about the conflict a character might face when the thing that is saving his body from death is killing his spirit and soul. I wanted to examine the uneven power dynamics inherent in a situation where one character is reliant on another for their very survival, and explore just what is considered “unpardonable” when someone does horrible things in order to save someone else’s life.

Which made it doubly gratifying to read this review from Sue/DavinciKittie at http://gravetells.com:

Even though this story features a lot of sex, it’s not ABOUT sex or even about a D/s lifestyle. It’s about fighting for survival and the life-affirming connections you make with the people you trust to have your back. It’s about brotherhood and love and making the best out of a hard life, and it is haunting… absolutely beautiful. The emotional depth is so tangible, Strain is both heartwarming and endearingly painful, from vivid adrenaline-packed start to aching, bittersweet ending. Definitely a must read for fans of male/male romance!

Yes. Thank you, God. People are getting what I was trying to do and not assuming the “plot” is just a sex vehicle, which would be very easy to do at first blush.

So, yeah, I’m really thrilled with these two reviews, and I hope other readers and reviewers continue to get what I was trying to accomplish with this book. I am sure it won’t work for some people, that they will dismiss it as just being an excuse to get the characters into bed, but it’s nice to see that some people are looking past that at the deeper themes.

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STRAIN (coming Feb 2014) is now available @NetGalley. #mm #gay #postapocalyptic #romance

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If you have a review blog, Strain is now up at NetGalley.

I’m so excited. You don’t even know.

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Catch A Sneak Peek of Inch By Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #3) @thejeepdiva

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Catch A Sneak Peek of Inch By Inch (The Professor’s Rule, #3) @thejeepdiva

Last month, The Jeep Diva hosted an audience participation feature for Heidi Belleau and myself. We took recommendation for the sorts of activities people wanted to see James and the Professor engage in, selected some finalists, and then took a vote. Sensory deprivation won, and now The Jeep Diva is hosting a look at the scene in question, which will appear in Inch by Inch, TPR#3. Check it out, and thanks to The Jeep Diva for featuring us!

Remember also that Inch by Inch is now up for pre-sale at Riptide and pre-ordering qualifies you to enter a drawing for free books for a year.

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