K. Lynn on NaNoWriMo Success and Crossing Gender Lines

My guest today is K. Lynn, another author who’s won the National Novel Writing Month challenge of finishing a novel in a month. She’s here to talk about the finished product, His Womanly Ways.

I’ve written a number of manuscripts over the past few years, full-length novels that are in different levels of editing. And I’ve written quite a few short stories and novellas, all of which have been published to date. However, I’ve only done NaNoWriMo once. The push to write at such a fast pace, in such a short time, is both freeing and terrifying. But, I figured I’d give it a try once. And as a result, I completed the first draft of His Womanly Ways.

This novel is unlike my usual fare of works, and perhaps that’s why it came so fast to me. I let myself go and just saw where the plot would take me. And it turns out that it took me to quite an interesting place. The only thing I knew going in was that I wanted to do a genderswap book, but one that was unlike those I had read prior. I have always been interested in the genre, but I find most of it jumps straight to objectification rather than exploration. You’re turned into another gender, so the first thing you do is feel yourself up and try to have sex with the nearest willing person? I don’t buy that.

Essentially your body doesn’t match your inner self anymore. That should cause some kind of journey to either accept or reject the situation. That’s what I tried to do with His Womanly Ways. Alex didn’t ask for this to happen to him, and the process is gradual, as is his acceptance of the changes. His mind doesn’t match the image he sees in the mirror, and that’s important to realize.

hiswomanlyways_smallAlex is a womanizer. He makes no excuses for it. Yes, he picks up women at the local bar, leaving them with just a memory of a good night and a good lay, but he hasn’t had any complaints yet. That is, until he picks up the wrong woman. Not satisfied to be tossed aside as just another notch in Alex’s bedpost, she curses him, wishing he “knew what it was like for a woman.” And he’s about to find out what she means, embarking on a genderswap journey that he can’t stop.

Alex starts slowly gaining secondary female characteristics. Waking up with his cock gone, replaced by a vagina, was bad enough. Then it gets worse, as his body becomes more like a woman than the man he used to be. Alex tries to hide the changes he’s going through, for fear that someone will discover his secret, but keeping this quite literally “under wraps” might be impossible before the curse runs its course.

With the help of his female best friend, Eve, Alex tries to deal with who he is becoming.  He feels like he’s lost his identity, his mind not matching the body he now has. But Eve sticks by him, and they become closer as Alex’s changes progress. What started out as friendship may become something more before Alex’s journey is over. Perhaps this curse was actually a blessing in disguise.

Did I strike the right balance between humor and drama? Create an interesting storyline with realistic characters, despite the extraordinary circumstances they are in? That’s up to the reader to decide, but I do hope I provide a new way to look at the concept. Because a change in gender is not something to take lightly.

Buy Links:
Torquere
Amazon

About The Author:

writerklynnK. Lynn has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. While in college, K. Lynn increased her involvement in LGBT issues and writing within the LGBT fiction genre. She has become a long-time fan of the authors that seek to explore the commonality that exists within all sexualities and genders. Most of K. Lynn’s work features LGBT characters, many of whom are in established relationships and show how love perseveres through every trial and tribulation that life holds. She also has a particular interest in seeing transgender characters gain a larger foothold within the LGBT fiction genre, hoping that the market for these works expand in the future. Contact K. Lynn at writerklynn@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter @WriterKLynn

Hope Ryan on Location, Location, Location

My guest today is YA author Hope Ryan, here to talk about her first release, The Geek and His Artist. Don’t miss the giveaway!

Hello and thanks so much to Shae for giving me some space today! I really appreciate it.


One of the things I like to do for my stories is to have firm pictures in my head of the locations things take place in. Whether it’s a school, a home, or some other place that’s important to the characters or plot, I like to collect pictures of them. I unashamedly scavenge from Google Maps, as well as a number of other places.

The Geek and His Artist takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a town I am very familiar with. I lived there for several years (and hope to again!), so I like to set stories there. Without further ado, let me show you some of the places important in Geek.

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The guys in Geek attend Carrick High School. I used to live not too far from this one and my amazing editor still lives just up the street!
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Early in the story, Jimmy, Ronnie, and Sean go to the AMC theater in an area called The Waterfront to see The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies. I’ve always had a particular fondness for the theater, if for no other reason than just how pretty it is on the outside.
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But the inside isn’t anything to sneeze at, either. The theater Jimmy sees Simon in doesn’t have that middle section, but otherwise, is the same as the picture below. I have seen more than a few movies here.
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After the movie, the guys head down to the Barnes & Noble in the same shopping area. It’s cold—just before Christmas, but not too far to walk in the cold. There aren’t a lot of brick-and-mortar bookstores anymore, sadly, but this one was still open as of June 1st.
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Jimmy and Simon go to the same theater for their first date, but skip the bookstore afterward, heading to the Starbucks, instead.

Simon, Tony, Deck, and Kip are all skaters, living on their boards. Turns out, Sean does a bit of skateboarding, as well and one day after school lets out early, they head over to the skate park at McKinley Park.20150601_11253220150601_112427

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Really? They call these benches? I don’t know any >6 foot tall guy who could be comfortable on this and Jimmy at 6’6″, well, let’s just say he was happy to move when Simon suggested it.
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The half-pipe they moved to when the benches got to them. They were sitting up on the platform to the left.

* * *

Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for chances to win a paperback copy of Geek and $25 to spend at Harmony Ink! Each comment below also qualifies you for an entry to the giveaway. One reader today will win a Geek character trading card of your choice!

tumblr_inline_np30cq2jKj1slfj1n_500http://hoperyan.com/geek-tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Simon Williams spends his lunch periods drawing his geek and trying not to think about the terrors waiting for him at home. He needs to get away from his abusive father before he suffers the same grisly fate as his mother. Because he’s learned the hard way running away doesn’t work, he’s counting the days until his eighteenth birthday.

Jimmy Bennet should be spending his lunch studying so his senior GPA is good enough to get him into college, but he can’t seem to focus thanks to his distracting artist. When he’s given the opportunity to tutor Simon in Trig and discovers Simon’s home-life nightmare, he wants nothing more than to get Simon out of danger. This need becomes more urgent when Simon comes to school the Monday after their first date with bruises, but it takes a broken leg before Jimmy can convince his boyfriend the Bennets really want him.

But the danger Simon thought was past shows up at the most unexpected time, and he must stand up to the fears he’s held so long to protect not only himself, but the man he wants to spend his life with.

You can get Geek here:

Harmony Ink Press Dreamspinner Press Amazon AllRomanceebooks Kobo Barnes & Noble

About Hope:hope (1)

Hope Ryan is an out and proud bisexual, wife of a loving guy and mother to three, including an amazingly brave gender fluid son. She loves to write about the tough stuff, but also wants to see her characters happy in the end. She feels strongly about showing there is hope for everyone, no matter where you come from, how you identify your gender or who you love.

Hope likes to play board and card games and can often be found playing God with her Sims or running around, fighting monsters in a virtual version of Middle Earth. Her TV and movie preferences lean towards anime, sci fi and fantasy, though she’ll never turn down a good happily ever after love story, either. As long as there are explosions or action, she’s happy. She loves to read books of all kinds, though prefers stories about love in its many forms.

Find Hope at her website, email her (hoperyanauthor@gmail.com), or on Facebook.

Indigent: A Charity Anthology

It’s my pleasure to feature a new YA charity anthology today. Indigent, edited by Louis J. Harris and Kimi D. Saunders and featuring stories by five authors, will benefit a group of LGBT charities. It releases on June 15, 2015.

Our nature is to live and let live.

Often disregarding the plight of our homeless, our sick, our tired and our handicapped LGBT fellow beings. It gives us great pleasure in presenting this edition to assist our community members wherever they may be. Many of our community members have nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat, and have no work. The proceeds collected from this book will go to rewarding several charities across the globe. These charities are passionate about what they do. Some take in the homeless and others provide a home for the aged and the handicapped. The charities whom we will be assisting:

  • GALA is a centre for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) culture and education in Africa. Their mission is, first and foremost, to act as a catalyst for the production, preservation and dissemination of knowledge on the history, culture and contemporary experiences of LGBTI people.
  • Lost-n-Found is Atlanta’s only non-profit organization dedicated to taking homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth off the street and into more permanent housing, Lost-n-Found Youth is dedicated to the advocacy and service of youth from 13 to 25 years old.
  • Youth Off The Streets is a non-denominational community organisation working for young people aged 12-25 who are facing challenges of homeless- ness, drug and alcohol dependency, exclusion from school, neglect and abuse. We support these young people as they work to turn their lives around and overcome immense personal traumas such as neglect and physical, psychological and emotional abuse.
  • The Albert Kennedy Trust supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans homeless young people in crisis. Every day they deal with the the effects home lessness can have on young people’s lives.

These charities require funding to assist desperate, needy members of our community and this book is a mere drop in the ocean of how we can reach out socially to them.

indigent_coverIndigent has been produced to entertain and delight and all the stories leave the reader with a “feel good” state of mind.

Frederick Eugene Feeley Jr’s “Indigent”, after which the anthology takes its name, brings the reader to witness an apocalyptic war between the good and evil that rages in one man’s mind. Soon he will know that his problems are insignificant compared to those of others.

Mari Evan’s “Stumbling into Forever” involves a handsome young vampire who will learn that just a sip of blood is the difference between love and freezing to death.

Leona Windwalker’s “If Only the World” takes rejection to another level. A heartbreaking story that is turned on its head by the kindness of strangers.
Shaye Evans’ “Rescued” is a contemporary social statement about the aftermath of a young man’s life after his drink has been spiked at a bar.

M. LeAnne Phoenix’s “Higher Love” takes us on an almost spiritual journey through the minds of two people who have never met, but have spoken on a telepathic level. When they do come together, that bond is already cemented but there is a price to pay.

Buy Indigent at Amazon

Author and Publisher Links

Louis J. Harris
louisjharris@cooldudespublishing.com

Kimi D Saunders (Writes as Leona Windwalker)
https://twitter.com/ShroudedDancer
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leona-Windwalker/890405037684824?fref=ts

Frederick Eugene Feeley Jr
http://www.authorfefeeleyjr.wordpress.com

Mari Evans
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mari-Evans/1412324675676352

Shaye Evans
https://www.facebook.com/ShayeLEvans?fref=ts

M. LeAnne Phoenix
mleannephoenix.com
FB: mleannephoenix
Twitter: @MLPhoenix

CoolDudes Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/pages/CoolDudes-Publishing/1524105151191706
Twitter: @lgbtpublisher

https://plus.google.com/u/0/108242351336143580514/videos

Recommended: Bend or Break Series

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Another in my occasional series of recommendations for books/series. Disclaimer: Just because I don’t mention a certain book/series/author doesn’t mean anything bad! These will simply be ones that really stand out, usually ones that get regular re-reads.

My first encounter (that I remember) with author Amy Jo Cousins was being jointly recruited to write for a workplace-themed anthology for Dreamspinner Press. About the time All in a Day’s Work was published, I started hearing about this book called Off Campus that she had written for Samhain Publishing. Well, Amy Jo being the awesome person that she is, she slipped me an eARC, and I devoured the hell out of it. And then the sequel, Nothing Like Paris. And though I forced myself to wait until I finished the draft of Nobody’s Son, as soon as I was free, I gobbled up The Girl Next Door. (Oh, CASH. *happy sigh*)

(Yes, yes, The Girl Next Door is M/F, but you’ll already be in love with Cash after reading Off Campus, and Steph is all kinds of fabulous, and the sex, including a M/F/M threesome, is ultra-hot.)

And there are MORE BOOKS coming. OMG. (Level Hands will be next up, in August.)

Let’s just say I’m a total Amy Jo fangirl now. :D

Even if the books weren’t awesome—which they totally are—just the cover art would be enough to make me take a look at them. I mean, really, check out this lineup:

bend-or-break-covers-4bks-final

Kanaxa’s work is amazing.

So: Read this series. I have helpfully provided linkage to the first three books below. ;)

Off Campus

Nothing Like Paris

The Girl Next Door

 

Updates and A Look Ahead

1. Nobody’s Son, book 3 in the Sons series, is complete and in beta. After revisions, I plan to have the final version to Dreamspinner by mid-June. Release date will be late in the year (probably November). There’ll also be a short “coda” to the series coming, a freebie slated for New Year’s Eve. It’s my primary writing project right now.

2. My next story for Dreamspinner will likely be what I call “football boys,” about high school seniors and best friends who become boyfriends and then have to weather an on the field injury. It’s about half written, and I want to finish it this year.

3. I’ll also be working on a “crossover” series, one that includes more than just m/m pairings. If I finish all five stories that are on the list, it’ll include m/f and f/f. I don’t know yet if these will be novels or novellas; they’re still in development. And I don’t know yet where I’ll look to publish them.

4. I’ll have another short story coming later this year for the next butt-thology, Butt Villains on Vacation. I probably won’t tackle that until after my sister’s wedding in October, though.

5. I have several other projects on the back burner: a shifter story (OMG worldbuilding!); two possible sequels to the football book; a puppy play novella; a standalone m/f “category”-type romance (aka “a book my mother will read”); a holiday-themed package of previously published stories with two other authors; a set of Christmas stories for next year. One thing that is never a problem for me is having enough ideas. :)

6. My tentative travel plans for 2016 include attending both the RT and RWA conventions, so if you’ll be in Las Vegas in April or San Diego in July, I’d love to see you. :D

Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese on Death and Midsummer

My guests today are Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese, here to talk about their new release, Midsummer.

Death is a thing Erin and I write about a lot. Not in the sense of the tragic tear-jerker love story, but in the sense that death lurks around all of us. It’s in our fears, in our backstories, and hey if you like vampire novels, in our fantasies.

Midsummer is a contemporary HEA about a May/December couple that fall into an obsessive and sexy love affair while working at a summer stock theater together. Each of them have a history with death in their families that color their relationships, their ability to take risks, and the way they roll with surprises. Despite this, both of them do their best to keep their secrets around loss, amplifying the eeriness of the woods that hosts the theater company.

For us, death is fertilizer. If we can’t avoid it, we can at least use it to make our stories — fiction and not — richer. For John and Michael, the loss of their pasts proves to be their own way forward together.

Midsummer Cover

John Lyonel, a long-time theater professional and teacher, heads to Virginia to play Oberon in the Theater in the Woods’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, intending to focus on his work. John is recovering from the tragic loss of his family and needs a break. The last thing he expects is to become captivated by Michael Hilliard, the professional actor playing Puck, especially since John has never been attracted to men, let alone one so much younger.

They rush headlong into an affair which falls apart dramatically over secrets that John and Michael are keeping from each other. A steep learning curve, the gossipy cast of the show, and the sometimes sinister magic of the woods conspire to keep them apart. But stage lights and stars might work their magic and help them define a new future.

About the Authors

Erin McRae is a queer writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University, and delights in applying her knowledge of international relations theory to her fiction and screen-based projects, because conflict drives narrative.

Racheline Maltese lives a big life from a small space. She flies planes, sails boats, and rides horses, but as a native New Yorker, has no idea how to drive a car. A long-time entertainment and media industry professional, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their two cats.

Together, they are co-authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry—Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015)—from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella series Love’s Labours, set in the theater world—Midsummer (May 2015), and Twelfth Night (Fall 2015), is from Dreamspinner Press. They also have a story in Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press and edited by Felice Picano. You can find them on the web at http://www.Avian30.com.

Connect with Erin & Racheline online:

Blog | Facebook Page | Erin’s Twitter | Racheline’s Twitter | Erin’s Goodreads | Racheline’s Goodreads | Erin’s Amazon Author Page | Racheline’s Amazon Author Page

Midsummer Buy Links:

Amazon | AllRomance | B&N | Dreamspinner

Excerpt:

Costume fittings and dress rehearsals means that John finally gets to see Michael costumed as Puck. The human characters are dressed contemporarily, in suits and cocktail dresses that become increasingly disheveled as the show goes on. The fairies, though, are dressed in greens and browns with crowns of strange wildness — thistles, cornsilk, and Queen Ann’s lace. Michael as Puck looks deeply inhuman, covered in leaves as if dragged in from the wooded grounds. For their first dress rehearsal, it takes all of John’s considerable experience and willpower to actually focus on the play and not Michael. As taken as Oberon is meant to be with Puck, he should actually be able to remember and deliver his lines.

“Whose idea was this?” he asks Michael afterward, catching him before he can change. Michael blinks at him with eyes done up in silver and green. John wants to devour him.

“Do you like it?” Michael asks, more distant and coy than usual, sliding his hands up John’s chest which, like his own, is bare.

All John can do is groan when Michael looks up at him from under his lashes. He stands on his tiptoes to kiss John briefly, and then vanishes. When he reappears he’s Michael again, in t-shirt and shorts, but John can’t forget the image of him transformed.

D.K. Dunn on Writing and Hockey

Today my guest is my friend D.K. Dunn, whose first novel, Linemates, was released on Monday from Dreamspinner Press. She brought some pretties, too! :)

Thanks for having me on your blog, Shae!

I’m thrilled about the release of “Linemates,” which is my first novel. “Linemates” is an angsty contemporary romance with a dash of humor about two hockey players with a past who are forced to play together after a trade lands them on the same team.

Having a novel published is a dream come true for me. I’ve enjoyed writing since I was in elementary school and have been writing on and off ever since. The first story I can remember writing was a “Star Wars”/Snoopy mashup for the Young Author’s competition in school. I guess you can say that was my first foray into fan fiction. I wouldn’t write my next fan fic until 1998. I stuck with the “Star Wars” theme writing a Han/Leia tag to “Return of the Jedi.” I remember being nervous before I clicked on the post button. Then the wait for feedback began. Thankfully, the response was positive.

I didn’t start writing or reading m/m fiction until several years later. I accidentally stumbled across some NHL RPS fan fiction when I did a Google search on my favorite NHL player. I was quite surprised to see a story with him paired up with the team’s goaltender. I read it and was hooked. So much so that I end up writing my own series with a different pairing which had a good following in the fandom at the time.

After four years, I moved on to writing “As the World Turns” fanfic. It was in the “As the World Turns” fandom where I met some fellow fans who had original work published. They encouraged me to write an original piece. It took a few years to get my butt in gear, but I did and “Linemates” was the result.

I feel comfortable writing in the world of hockey, being a longtime Red Wings fan, and wanted to set the story in my home state of Michigan. My goal was to bring the exciting world of the NHL to life. One of the challenges I had writing the book was dealing with the hockey terminology. I’m so used to all of the jargon associated with the game, but a reader who isn’t a hockey fan might not be. I had to find a way to describe some of the terms while trying to keep it in the voice of a player.

My two main characters—Derek and Trevor—are far from perfect. They have their flaws and make mistakes, but they try to do the best they can while playing for one of the top teams in the NHL. The story is told in the first person from Derek’s point of view. I tried to get into the mindset of a twenty-three year old man. His thoughts might not always be PC, but I wanted to try to keep it real because nobody is perfect.

I have a few questions for the readers. Do you prefer first person or third? Can you forgive one of the MCs for making a mistake or doing something stupid? What turns you off when reading a story?

I’ll leave you with some hockey hotties!

Kirk Maltby, left, gets interupted from shaving his beard to get a kiss from Kris Draper.  cup final and locker room..Stanley cup winners The Detroit Red Wings.....The Detroit News/DAVID GURALNICK

Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper (retired from the Detroit Red Wings)

Ryan KesslerRyan Kessler is a Center for the Anaheim Ducks. He’s a Michigan native.

Tyler SeguinTyler Seguin is a Canadian born Center for the Dallas Stars.

“Linemates” is on sale at the following places:
Dreamspinner
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
All Romance
Google Play
Beamebooks.de

About the Author

D K Dunn has enjoyed writing since childhood. She penned her first story, which was a Snoopy/”Star Wars” mash up at the tender age of 8. Several years later her imagination is still running wild. Her best ideas come to her while she’s either stuck in traffic or in the shower.

She’s a proud fangirl, who loves “Supernatural,” “Star Wars,” and the Detroit Red Wings. Reality TV is one of her guilty pleasures. A day can easily be wasted falling under its siren-like spell. When she’s not writing or watching too much TV, she enjoys traveling, reading, vidding, cheese and ice cream. She’s a firm believer that you can’t go a day without cheese or a good laugh.

You can follow me on Twitter @dk_dunn
My Facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/dkdunnwriter
My blog is at dkdunnwriter.wordpress.com

WAYWARD SON Release Day!

WaywardSon_smallWheee, it’s here! Wayward Son is now available for your reading pleasure from all the usual suspects and then some! (And it’s still 35% off at Dreamspinner too!)

Dreamspinner Press: Ebook Paperback
Amazon Kindle
B&N Nook
All Romance
Beam-eBooks

Also today, I’m starting a week-long blog tour that includes a shiny Rafflecopter giveaway. Be sure to check out all the stops for my thoughts on writing menage, drag performances, religious themes, and cover art, plus excerpts from Wayward Son and a sneak peek at book three, Nobody’s Son.

Blog Tour Schedule

5/11: The Novel Approach

5/12: Sinfully… Addicted to All Male Romance

5/13: Love Bytes

5/14: MM Good Book Reviews

5/15: Prism Book Alliance

5/16: Joyfully Jay

5/17: Because Two Men Are Better Than One

Wayward Son Release on Monday, but It’s On Sale Now!

WaywardSon_smallSo, as you may have heard, my next novel, Wayward Son, releases on Monday from Dreamspinner Press. But wait, there’s more! This month, Dreamspinner marks its eighth anniversary, and as a result, they’re having sales every week. Starting today and running through next Thursday (May 8–14), all of my Dreamspinner titles will be 35% off. Yes, that includes pre-orders of Wayward Son, and it even includes in-stock paperbacks.

Just for the fun of it, though, here are links to all my ebook titles with the lovely discounted prices. Or, just go HERE and work your way down the list. Great time to grab anything you might have missed! :)

Wayward Son ($4.54)
Unfortunate Son ($4.54)
Sand & Water ($4.54)
All in a Day’s Work ($4.54)
Playing Ball ($4.54)
Grand Adventures ($4.54)
Model Student ($2.59)
En Fuego ($2.59)
The Cabin on the Hill” ($1.94)
Chicago” ($1.94)
Sharing Christmas” ($1.94)
Of Holiday Spirits, Wake-Up Calls, and Happily Ever Afters” ($0.97)

Release Day for Butt Riders on the Range!

ButtRiders_smallIt’s here! The fourth of the “butt-thologies,” Butt Riders on the Range, which includes my story “Faux Cowboy,” is now available from Wilde City Press.

The blurb: Do you imagine blazing gun battles, bandits, and saloons with watered-down drinks when you think of cowboys and the West? We don’t. Our minds go right to horse shifters, bull shifters, were-leopards, urban wannabes, an interrupted journey along Route 66, a man of mystery named Dr. Feel-Good, and high noon at the edge of the galaxy! The fourth time’s the charm as the Butt-Thology authors saddle up, ride their men hard, and put ‘em away wet.

Butt Riders on the Range…the bulls aren’t the only ones being grabbed by the horns!