blog

Have you signed up for your chance to win free ebooks?


 

Do you like free stuff?Stephen Colbert wants it now!

Sign up for my monthly newsletter now, and you’ll be automatically entered into a monthly draw for a free copy of one of my books. There are also exclusive sneak peeks and extras only available to newsletter subscribers!

In each edition I also feature books from other gay romance authors, news and discussion from the world of M/M romance.

Get on the list today!

When two young Amish men find love, will they risk losing everything?


 

I’m thrilled to announce the launch date for A Forbidden Rumspringa, my new M/M Amish romance! It’ll be available September 3, 2014, at Amazon, All Romance Ebooks and other online booksellers.

Photo credit: keebosr / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo credit: keebosr / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Meet Isaac and David

In a world where every detail of life—down to the width of a hat brim—is dictated by God and the all-powerful rules of the community, two men dare to imagine a different way. At 18, Isaac Byler knows little outside the strict Amish settlement of Zebulon, Minnesota, where there is no rumspringa for exploration beyond the boundaries of their insular world. Isaac knows he’ll have to officially join the church and find a wife before too long, but he yearns for something else—something he can’t name.

Dark tragedy has left carpenter David Lantz alone to support his mother and sisters, and he can’t put off joining the church any longer. But when he takes on Isaac as an apprentice, their attraction grows amid the sweat and sawdust. David shares his sinful secrets, and he and Isaac struggle to reconcile their shocking desires with their commitment to faith, family and community.

Now that they’ve found each other, are they willing to lose it all?

More coming soon! A Forbidden Rumspringa: available September 3, 2014

What’s your fave gay movie kiss?


 

I’m a sucker for a great kiss. The other day over too many cocktails, a friend and I were discussing great moments in M/M onscreen kisses, and it got me to thinking about which movie or TV kiss is my very favourite if I had to pick. Surprisingly enough, the kiss that jumped to mind is from a movie I’ve never even seen: No Night is Too Long. (The only reason I haven’t watched it is because it sounds incredibly depressing, and I’m rarely in the mood.)

But this kiss? This kiss is not depressing. It is spectacular. Oh, the longing. Not to mention the eye fucking! It’s intense and tender at the same time, and makes my knees weak.

Okay, I’ve shown you mine. What’s your fave movie/TV gay kiss?

Is it possible to perfect the writing process?


 

Is it possible to perfect the writing process? I don’t know, but I’m giving it my best shot! Leta Blake tagged me on Facebook for the Writing Process Blog Hop, so here goes nothing.

worst thing

1. What am I working on?

Right now I’m writing a contemporary novella for an M/M military men box set coming this fall with fellow authors including Cat Grant, SE Jakes and Aleksandr Voinov. In my story, tentatively called Arctic Fire, an army captain scarred from Afghanistan reluctantly goes to the far north on a fact-finding mission — and discovers more than he bargained for in the Canadian Ranger sergeant who leads him on patrol in the forbidding and dangerous arctic wild.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That’s an interesting question. Not to mention a tough question! With every book I write, I try to tell a unique and compelling story, and create characters readers will remember. But I think every author has a similar goal, so I can’t say I really differ in that respect. I’ll just be honest here and say I don’t know. All I know is that I try to write the best damn book I can every time.

3. Why do I write what I do?

That’s an easy one! Because I love two men together. I was involved in writing and reading slash fanfic for years, and when it came time to write my first book in 2006, Love Match, it seemed only natural to write a love story between two men. While I read books of all genres, gay romance remains my favorite to write. It gets my pulse racing and my fingers flying on the keyboard.

4. How does your writing process work?

123497214751334466_WTuFElVo_b

That’s about it in a nutshell! But to break down my process in greater detail:

a) I write full time from home, and I start by seven or eight a.m. (Okay, some days it’s nine.) I write for a few hours, and then go to the gym for a lunchtime yoga or dance class. Then come home for shower and lunch, and back to it until seven or eight p.m.

b) I don’t listen to music, although I have my trusty white noise machine running if my neighbour’s shih-poo is in a particularly barky mood.

c) I usually do a three-act outline when I start a new book, with varying degrees of success. (Sometimes the characters are very stubborn!) But I find I can only do so much planning, and that the story unfolds on its own as I write. I can’t plot out every story beat ahead of time. But once I get into the characters’ heads, they come alive, and so does the book.

At the end of the day, the vital part of my writing process is to sit down, shut up, and do the damn work. Write the words, and the rest falls into place.

What’s your writing process?

Tennis fever takes hold early this summer!


 

While I always watch the French Open, it’s not usually until Wimbledon that I get really fired up about the tennis season. In fact it was during Wimbledon in 2005 that I was inspired to write my first book about two closeted gay tennis players, Love Match.

raonic

Is that a tennis ball in your pocket, or are you… Oh. It’s a tennis ball.

Oh Canada!

But this year Roland Garros has been very good to Canadian tennis fans, with Milos Raonic becoming the first Canadian man in the open era into the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament, and Eugenie Bouchard the first Canadian woman to the quarters at Roland Garros since Helen Kelesi in 1989.

I’ll be glued to the screen on Tuesday when Milos and Genie play their matches. In the meantime, a new plot bunny about a scorching romance between a player and tour trainer (physical therapists who come on court to give aid if a player is injured) is nibbling my brain…

Are you watching tennis this week? Who are you rooting for?

Win a free M/M romance and get exclusive sneak peeks from upcoming books!


 

Enter your email address below to sign up for my monthly newsletter, and you’ll be automatically entered into a monthly draw for one of my backlist ebooks or a future release.

tumblr_inline_mh8ynjYwk71qz4rgp

Exclusive sneak peeks

In last month’s newsletter I shared a scene from A Forbidden Rumspringa, my gay Amish romance coming this fall. In June’s edition you’ll get another taste of Isaac and David’s secret love affair — only available to newsletter subscribers.

Sign up now, and in the coming months you’ll also get exclusive giveaways, free reads from terrific authors, and much more from the world of M/M romance.

Get on the list today!

Picspam: Michael Sam and his boyfriend being adorable


 

I’m over at Romancing the Jock this week talking about Michael Sam’s historic draft into the NFL, and I thought it would be fun to also do a picspam of the adorableness that is Michael and his bf Vito Cammisano. Enjoy!

sam12n-7-web

article-2626327-1DBC9B4D00000578-305_306x423

vito-cammisano-michael-sam-picture

Vito-Cammisano-Michael-sam-boyfried-photo1

t0clEXA D4ddnLs

7953f1e6-4d7f-418a-9c33-205be437d78c

Should there be sex in YA romances?


 

A few weeks ago I asked what you think about fade-to-black sex in adult romance novels. Now what about sex in YA novels?

tumblr_m5j9gjezxN1r66us2

I have no problem at all with sex scenes in YA. Obviously these scenes can’t be as erotic/explicit as scenes in adult books, and fade to black is fine. But sexuality should certainly be addressed. Teenagers are sexual beings, and I think the idea that when a person turns 18 they are magically an adult is ludicrous. Teens younger than that do have sex, and even if they don’t, they are very curious and interested in it. There’s nothing wrong with that. Plus, in many countries the age of consent is below 18.

I was reading bodice rippers when I was 13 (thank you, Virginia Henley, for my realization that oral sex was not French kissing), and I certainly wanted to read about teenagers dealing with sex. As long as we keep treating sex as taboo, hang-ups that last into adulthood are going to remain.

Romance and sex are natural bedfellows

My YA novel, The Next Competitor, does feature tame sex scenes. The characters do happen to be over 18, but that was a function of the story and had nothing to do with the sex. Since my target audience was teens, the scenes weren’t graphic, but sex was a natural part of the romance. I didn’t think twice about including it.

And of course this isn’t to say that YA romances must have sex scenes. Just that sex and sexuality shouldn’t be ignored if characters aren’t the magic age of 18. I’m not encouraging teenagers to run out and have sex, but I think YA novels should address sex with the honesty and realism young people deserve. If violence, abuse and drugs are fair game, why not an honest depiction of sex?

What do you think?

Why I’m never, ever working in an office again


 

I had an epiphany yesterday. Something sparked a memory of my last day job (as a marketing communications writer), and I felt the shiver of dread and anxiety I experience every time I worry that I won’t be able to make a living as a full-time romance author. But this time I realized something vital: I don’t have to go back to an office job.

I suppose it’s pretty stupid that it’s never occurred to me that going back to corporate writing isn’t my only option. I don’t have to work nine to five. I could do anything. I hated sitting at a desk in a cubicle all day doing work I wasn’t passionate about and never would be.

All in all I had four “career” jobs, beginning in 2000 as a copywriter at an ad agency. While the jobs were fine for the most part, they were a means to an end. They never made me happy — they made me able to pay my bills. Most of you probably feel the same way about your job, although I hope you don’t. I hope you’re doing something that excites and challenges you.

Farewell Sunday night blues

For me, writing romance novels full time is a dream come true. I don’t miss a single thing about office jobs. Zip. Zilch. Nada. I love working from home and setting my own schedule. I love only looking at the clock to marvel at where the last three hours have gone. I love having peace and quiet. On Sunday nights I’m excited for the week of writing to come.

Take a deep breath and enjoy your life

In Provincetown last summer I went on a dune tour with my friend Christy. One of the guides was a former lawyer or accountant (I’d had a fair bit of wine, so I can’t recall which) who had ditched it all to be a dune buggy tour guide. He had zero regrets. I thought of him yesterday as I realized there’s no reason I ever need to go back to an office job. Sure, not working in an office would very likely mean less income. But I don’t have kids, and I’m frugal. If I had to get another job, I’d love to do something active and outdoors.

Of course for the foreseeable future I’ll be putting my heart and soul into making it as a full-time romance writer. I have so many books planned, and still not enough time to write them all. It’s a good problem to have. And when I worry about the future now, I know that whatever happens, I don’t ever have to work in an office again.

Have you had any epiphanies lately?

Don’t you forget about me: new amnesia romance!


 

This week I have the pleasure of editing Leta Blake’s new novel The River Leith. The title is a play on Lethe, one of the five rivers in the Hades of Greek mythology. Lethe was the river of forgetfulness and oblivion, and in Leta’s book Leith Wenz is a young boxer who wakes from a head injury to discover he doesn’t remember the past three years of his life. He especially wishes he could remember his friend Zach, who visits him in the hospital and makes him feel a strange longing — and attraction. Which is all very confusing, since Leith doesn’t remember being gay or bi.

I’m a sucker for a good amnesia tale, and especially for hurt/comfort. I roll around in these tropes like a pig in poop, and Leta knows just how to push readers’ buttons and deliver on the angst and romance. This M/M romance should be out by early June, and I’m excited for you all to read it! Also, check out the dreamy cover by Dar Albert:

the-river-leith-web-copy

How about you? Do you enjoy the amnesia trope? How about hurt/comfort?