I’m guest posting today over at Guys Like Romance, Too! My post is all about first times. Check it out!
I just got a lovely package of Rainy Days paperbacks in the mail, and so to celebrate I’m giving one away! Enter before February 6th to have a chance to win!
We have a contest winner, thanks to the helpful tools at Random.org.
Giselle, congratulations! You’ve won a digital copy of New World Rising. Check your inbox!
As for me, I have the flu. Spent most of my new year in bed. Hopefully I’ll be back soon, but for now I have to rest and recuperate. I hope you all have a great start to 2013.
I want to wish everyone a safe, warm and happy holiday. I’ll be back after Xmas before taking a few more days off for the New Year.
Under my Xmas tree was Aliens, Smith and Jones by Blaine D. Arden and Destined by Catriana Sommers, as well as the yuri graphic novel Girlfriends by Morinaga Milk. Looking forward to reading and reviewing those in the near future!
I’ve been looking at a few publisher submission calls lately, and there’s one thing I’ve noticed on every single one. A HEA (Happy Ever After) or at least a HFN (Happy For Now) is required. There’s not one call that I’ve found that wants tragic, sad or uncertain endings. I’m not attacking any publisher for this. They’re only commissioning the stories that they can sell, but I personally find it a shame that in romance genres especially, people feel the need to have everything work out for the best. That’s not how real life works, really, is it? We all die. We all have somebody we’ve loved and left behind, for good or ill.
I understand that after all the persecution and real-life tragedy for GLBT people around the world that this is a genre that needs happy endings badly. We need to know that our lives as GLBT people aren’t destined to be sad, broken shells. I argue that tragedies don’t have to be about self-loathing, that a tragedy can be a positive thing in the right hands, shaped with the right message. Courage is one thing we all need in spades, and there’s nothing I find more inspirational than the stories of people who rise up against evil regimes at the cost of their lives.
Tragedy can bring hope and deliver a message. We learn from the mistakes we make in our lives. The people we’ve lost brought something to our lives that can never be replaced, but we are always stronger and better for having known them. Sometimes a tragedy is the total end of all hope, but that can serve as a warning not to take people for granted or not to let people hold power over you. Some books would be totally meaningless with a happy ending, and some settings don’t lend themselves well to a happy resolution due to their horrific nature. Besides, there are many ways to overcome adversity. Death may be the end, but it does not always spell defeat. If you can die with love on your lips in a world that is trying to take that from you, have you not in fact won?
I understand why people seek out happy endings and avoid sad ones. Romance readers are looking for escape from their real lives. We’re looking for a wish fulfillment fantasy in which all of life’s challenges are surpassable and the Big Misunderstanding is resolved with intelligent, adult communication. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m partial to some fluff myself, especially around this time of year. Sometimes I want to read about gay weddings at Christmas or Santa kissing the elves. Especially when I turn on the T.V. to see nothing but tragedy. I love happy endings as much as anyone else, but sometimes I like to cry as well. Sometimes I like to watch people mess things up so badly they can’t put them back together. Sometimes I enjoy the unbreakable spirit of a person whose last words are in defiance of hate, or whose lives, while short, bring change to the lives of others. I love heroes, but they’re still heroes to me if they die or fail. It’s the act of trying that defines the human spirit.
The first book I ever wrote was a tragic lesbian romance. Both of my protagonists died at the end, but the ending was open to the idea that they might see one another again in a future life. I’ve written many sad stories since then, including New World Rising. Some of the best compliments I ever got about my stories were the comments that said that I made people cry. I liked to feel that I moved people that much. The fragility of human life always fascinates me. I’m frightened of dying or losing the people I care about but I also believe that the sum of our lives is in what we do with them, not how they end.
Let me know how you feel about tragedies. Do you love them? Do you loathe them? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a digital copy of New World Rising in .pdf, .pub or .mobi. Leave your e-mail address in the comments if you want to win. A winner will be picked on December 31st.
Now in a revised second edition, Heart Of The Sun is absolutely FREE! Download the e-book at All Romance.
A war based on cultural misunderstandings with the alien Karalian race has plagued Humans for over two hundred years. Thrust into this war is Alan Watson-Karvakian, a patriotic fighter pilot who fights in the war to protect his family back on Earth. He believes with all his heart that he’s defending Earth from a wicked alien race hellbent on its destruction.
Everything’s about to change for Alan. When his ship crash-lands on contested planet Rinax One, he meets Karalian Vash Zor’Vina, who rocks Alan’s expectations by saving his life. Vash is being pursued by Karalian commandoes determined to execute him, and Alan finds himself mired in complex Karalian social issues. He’ll have to re-evaluate his views if he wants to save Vash, and come to the understanding that not everything he’s been told by his government is the truth.
Add the fact that Vash is attractive and stirring in a way that Alan hasn’t felt in years, and the stage is set for an internal struggle that will take both of them past differences, politics, and personal doubts into a romance that will change their lives forever.
A story written for the Goodreads Gay Science Fiction Group’s 500 Member Challenge, based on the following prompt from user Bluesky39:
“I would like to read about a future human race at war with an alien race. Two soldiers, one from each side, are the only survivors left on an alien planet and have to work together to survive. They should fall in love and have an HEA but the conflict between the races doesn’t have to be resolved. Maybe our heroes escape to another galaxy or find asylum on a neutral planet. The military aspect and the clash between the differing races and cultures are key to the story.”
Visit the prompt thread at: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/998902-story-prompts-writers-come-pick-a-prompt
Check out my new book trailer for Rainy Days for some quotes from the novel! For those who are curious, it took me about an hour or so to make in iMovie. Nothing too mind-blowing, but it gives you an idea of what the book is about if you’re still unsure about your interest.
I’ve started work on my latest novel/novella. I’m still hammering out the names of the protagonists since they’re being a little cagey about them, but I have a first scene written that I think is awesome (if very violent) and a second scene that needs a little polish but is getting there.
I’m very excited about this project. I keep scribbling little ideas down on scraps of paper to use later. I think this one could even become a series. I’ll share a little excerpt once I have something I can show.
In other project news, I still have my Heart Of The Sun novella to clean up and submit to the Goodreads M/M Sci-Fi Group challenge, and Written In The Snow is still demanding my attention. Not to mention promotional work for Rainy Days! My schedule is packed, so apologies if I don’t hang out on Goodreads and Twitter as much.
I do want to extend my congratulations to all the winners of the Rainbow Awards as well as the honorable mentions. You’ve given me a lot of books to consider reading!
When Michael Williams helps stranded motorist Ashley Fallow, little does he know Ash will make him question everything he’s been taught about what a man should want. Michael’s a married man, though – not the greatest partner for a man like Ash who just wants to settle down.
The chemistry between them is undeniable and leads to a one-night-stand, which soon blossoms into a full blown love-affair. Michael struggles to keep his family afloat while seeing Ash on the side. Ash brings some baggage of his own to the relationship; secrets that could draw them closer or drive Michael away.
Torn between his family and the man he loves, Michael must choose between them or risk losing everything. But it’s not so easy to just leave his stormy marriage when his seven-year-old daughter Taryn smiles up at him. His wife Michelle may be selfish at times, but she genuinely loves Michael despite their problems. Ash is ready to leave for California if Michael can’t commit. Michael knows somebody will get hurt, but it’s too late to walk away. He knows he must face up to his feelings and the consequences if he’s to achieve any real happiness, but that’s easier said than done in small-town America.
Rainy Days is available now! (Please wait 5-7 days for the paperback edition to be available on Amazon.)
I won’t win NaNoWriMo this year.
I’m totally fine with that.
I’ve planned my story out a little differently to how I originally envisioned it, but finally things are making sense in my head. I’m estimating 10-15k should finish the story. Which will bring it to 35-40k.
I don’t believe in padding, and I won’t pad a story to meet an arbitrary deadline. NaNoWriMo serves its purpose by getting people to write and in the end, a finished novella is far more useful than an unfinished novel. I’ll actually be glad to finish this story over Thanksgiving so I can edit it, hand it over for the challenge it’s for and get back to some Serious Work.
I have two potential new titles for the Hearts On Fire novel, as that name is too generic in my opinion and I’m not happy with it. One title is Rainy Days, since rain plays a large part in the story. The other is Drive You Home, since getting a ride is how the affair begins. If you have opinions, please, let me know. I want this novel finished and out the door by the end of the year. I never thought I’d be sick of looking at one of my works but the line-by-line edit of this book is a muse-killer.
After that I get to clean up Written In The Snow and commission cover art. I’m hoping that novel won’t be so much of a pain to edit. The sci-fi comes so much easier to me than the contemporary. I know that’s not what a lot of readers want to hear but the muse is boss here, sorry.
One day I’d love to get a publisher so I can hand off some of these tasks and get better feedback, but I’ve heard some very scary stories in the last week or so that have made me swear to do some real research before ever signing anything with anyone, ever. Some days I’m reminded that I’m a real newbie in the writing/publishing world and I need to tread very carefully.