Category Archives: romance

Sold! “Chicago” + Uniform Appeal

I’m happy to announce that my short story “Chicago” will appear in the Dreamspinner Press First Time for Everything Daily Dose Set, to be released in June.

Tonight, I’m reviewing final galleys for my story “Discovering Columbus,” which is part of the Uniform Appeal anthology, set for release on April 11. There’s cover art, too, check it out!

Uniform Appeal Anthology

Inching Closer

One final beta on the novel received, and comments incorporated. I also made a few more passes to fix some formatting and wording issues and get it generally in better shape. The synopsis is written, and my other beta has said Wednesday for her comments, so there’s a chance I might get this thing submitted by next weekend!

That assumes I survive another move first, of course. 🙂

>Sold!

>My cop short “Discovering Columbus” has been accepted for Dreamspinner Press’s Uniform Appeal anthology. Release date is April 11. 🙂

>Model Student review at Fallen Angel

>Teresa at Fallen Angel Reviews has posted a very happy-making review of Model Student. Things I particularly love to read: This is the first book I have read by Ms. Connor and it won’t be the last.

Thank you, Teresa!

>A "4-Cherry" Review for Model Student

>Very happy to say that Whipped Cream Reviews has given Model Student 4 Cherries. A brief excerpt:

There is a lot going on in this short story, but it’s not short on detail or emotion. Shae Connor writes with such fluidity that I didn’t want to stop reading, even after the last page.

Thank you so much, Tiger Lily!

>NaNo Day Nine: Ahead of the Curve

>I got down about another 1,400 words last night, bringing me up to 19,670 words total. I’m still ahead on word count for now, but I’m not expecting to get much done the next two days, between working and getting ready for my weekend trip. Starting Thursday evening, though, writing will be my main focus, and I hope to hit at least 40,000 words by the time I go to bed Saturday night. Having limited internet access will probably help on that front!

>2010 Advent Calendar Set on sale!

>Dreamspinner’s 2010 Advent Calendar Set Naughty or Nice, which will include my story “Sharing Christmas,” is on sale now! For $39.99, you get a holiday-themed story every day in the month of December.

Price goes up on November 1, so act fast! 🙂

>Seven Questions With Rachel West

>The Cellmate
By Rachel West
eBook, Dreamspinner Press, June 16, 2010

Let’s start with the basics: what’s your story about, and how can readers get their hands on it?

The Cellmate is a novella about two men who find love in the unlikeliest of places. The story focuses on Andy Bingham and Jesse Cohen, two genuinely good guys who have made some genuinely bad decisions and end up sharing a prison cell. They quickly begin a relationship that starts out as just sex but, to their mutual surprise, turns into something more. It’s available at Dreamspinner Press [link above].

How did you get started writing fiction?

Like a lot of other romance/erotica writers, I started in fanfiction. It began as nothing more than a fun hobby, but I found that I absolutely loved it, and it started taking up more and more of my time. After a while, I decided to branch out and try my hand at original writing. My first book, Everything Under the Sun, came out earlier this year.

Where did the inspiration for The Cellmate come from?

I never know how to answer inspiration questions. I had an image in my head of two guys in a jail cell having strictly physical sex, with no kissing, no false intimacies, and yet somehow, it meant something more than that to both of them. And I couldn’t stop thinking about that image, and the story that might lie behind it, so one day I sat down and just wrote it out. But where did the image come from in the first place? I haven’t the foggiest idea. Sorry, that’s not very helpful! 🙂

How long did it take you to write and revise the book—start to publication?

The Cellmate happened very quickly; from start to finish, about two weeks. I didn’t submit it for publication until much later, though. And it is not a full-length book—it’s only about 21,000 words long. Still, that’s much faster than I usually work. Everything Under the Sun, which was 58,000 words, took about six months.

How much time do you spending writing—by the day, week, month, however you define it?

Probably more than I really should. Heh. I pretty much am writing all the time, or plotting or planning my writing. Except for those times when my dang job gets in the way. Or, y’know, sleep, or food, or being married. 🙂

How do you write, physically speaking? Longhand, laptop, desktop, inside or out, at a desk, comfy chair, in bed?

Yes. Well, almost all of those—strike longhand and outside. But I’ve made thorough use of all the rest of those options.

Other than simply finding the time, what’s the most challenging part of the writing process for you? What comes easiest?

For me, writing the sex scenes is the easiest. The most difficult is deeply emotional scenes, especially confrontations. But all of that is definitely eclipsed by the difficulty of finding the time.

Thanks so much again for having me, Shae!

>Seven Questions With Mickie B. Ashling

>Loving Edits
By Mickie B. Ashling
Paperback & eBook, Dreamspinner Press, June 14, 2010

Let’s start with the basics: what’s your new book about, and how can readers get their hands on it?

My latest novel is a m/m/m romance about three men in crisis. Don’t let the blurb scare you [full blurb on the Dreamspinner website].

Loving Edits celebrates the joys and sorrows of true love while exploring the human spirit. When bestselling novelist Mick Henley contacts his editor and former lover, Paul Alcott, after a seven-year absence, hearing Mick’s voice reinforces what Paul has known all along—he still loves Mick—but his hopes are dashed when he learns Mick is in a loving relationship with Tono Garat. Mick soon reveals he’s been diagnosed with a fatal disease, and Paul and Tono must figure out if they can overcome their differences to provide the loving support necessary to sustain the man they love.

How did you get started writing fiction?

I had a mother who was a voracious reader. She always had a book in her hand, and it was a natural thing for me to gravitate toward her favorite pastime. English and literature were favorite subjects in school, and my vivid imagination just made for a great combination.

How much time do you spend writing—by the day, week, month, however you define it?

I write every day from 3:00 A.M. to 5:30 A.M. Then I get ready for my day job. I never take a break from my schedule, even when I’m on vacation. If nothing new comes to mind, I edit. I’m one of those lucky people who can survive on five hours of sleep.

What’s the most challenging part of the writing process for you?

Finding the perfect words for what I want to say. For instance, it’s always difficult to come up with fresh and different ways to describe a sex scene. There are certain key words that are used to death in this genre (m/m), and I find it challenging to come up with variations of the same.

What comes easiest?

Plotting. I never seem to run out of ideas. Having four sons is very helpful when you’re writing about men. Our conversations usually start with my question and their reply which goes like this. “Eww, don’t ask me that” or “Promise you won’t put this in a book” or “You want to know how to say WHAT in a different way?” It’s always fun to hear the shock, followed by the burst of laughter. I’m amazed I get anything done, but I must say that they have been very helpful with all the ick questions I throw at them.

How do you write, physically speaking? Longhand, laptop, desktop, inside or out, at a desk, comfy chair, in bed?

I use a desktop when I’m at home and a laptop when I’m traveling. I never write in longhand anymore. I can’t write as fast as I create, and it’s frustrating , not to mention difficult, to read my own scribble once I get done. I love computers. They’ve made a huge difference in the way I write. There’s nothing more exciting to me than filling up a blank screen.

Do you write just one story at time, or do you usually have several works in progress?

One at a time. I can’t move on to the next project until the one I’m working on is completed, edited, and submitted. Even after that, I’m on tenterhooks until I get word that it’s under contract. Then I can relax and start on a new story.

What are your long-term goals as a writer?

Quitting my day job is something I dream about. I want to have more time to write, so I’m working toward that goal. As for the actual writing, I enjoy reading historical fiction but have never attempted that genre. I’d love to try my hand at it someday. And who doesn’t dream of the movie deal? That’s the ultimate fantasy for a writer, isn’t it?

Find Mickie on LiveJournal and at her website.

>Seven Questions With Anne Brooke

>New short stories by Anne Brooke:
Angels and Airheads
eBook, Torquere Press, June 12, 2010
Martin and The Wolf
eBook, Amber Allure Press, June 13, 2010

Let’s start with the basics: what are your newest stories about, and how and when can readers get their hands on them?

I have two new stories coming out in June. First off, there’s Angels and Airheads, a gay comic short story. Ricky has been secretly in love with his best friend Jez forever, but he’s never dared confess his feelings as he thinks Jez is too high-class for him. One evening, a mysterious angel, Madred, appears to persuade Ricky to take a chance on love. But Ricky doesn’t believe in angels, and Madred is forced to take desperate measures in an attempt to show the reluctant Ricky the truth. When the angel leaves, can Ricky find the courage to declare himself to Jez and what will happen if he does?

My second publication is Martin and The Wolf, a gay fantasy short stBoldory. When lecturer Martin meets the mysterious Lucas at a neighbor’s midsummer party, the attraction is instant and hot. The two men soon start a relationship, but Martin is puzzled by Lucas’ behavior. He’s not like any other man he’s ever known, and Martin wants to find out why. But when one August night, he tracks Lucas to the depths of the local park, he realizes more eye-opening truths about his new lover and the pack of strange wolves he runs with than he’d ever before thought possible.

How did you get started writing fiction?

I’ve been writing poetry for years, but in 2000 I went through quite a difficult time and found I couldn’t write any more. I complained so much to my mother that she (bless her!) got quite snippety and told me to stop worrying about the poetry and just write prose instead. It worked! I started writing fiction, and found I enjoyed it so much I just kept on going. Even when the poetry came back.

How much time do you spending writing—by the day, week, month, however you define it?

I tend to write something every day, however small. On Mondays to Wednesdays, I write in the evenings, usually short stories, as during those days I work part-time for my local university. On Thursdays and Fridays, on my days off, I concentrate on the current novel, and I also spend some time over the weekend on it, too. In that case, I like to write about 1,000 words a day, just to keep it ticking over. It used to be 2,000 words, but that was way too much and it was driving me mad, so I scaled it down!

Do you write just one story at time, or do you usually have several works in progress?

I like to have several on the go, but only one in each genre. At the moment, I’m working on the third novel in my fantasy trilogy, The Executioner’s Cane. I’m also working on a lesbian erotic short story, Butterfly Girl. Alongside this, I work fairly regularly on a spiritual novel, The Prayer Seeker’s Journal, which I’m blogging on a fortnightly basis.

And, of course, the poetry pops up every now and then too!

How do you write, physically speaking? Longhand, laptop, desktop, inside or out, at a desk, comfy chair, in bed?

I write fiction straight on to the computer in my spare room. I have a terror of laptops, so it’s a desktop computer! In terms of poetry, I always write it out longhand in my living room or at the dining table, and then type it up onto the computer.

What’s the most challenging part of the writing process for you? What comes easiest?

In terms of fiction, the most challenging part is working out what the characters are going to do next! As I don’t work to a definite plan, but only have a vague notion of where things are going, I sometimes find I write my characters into a corner and then have to try and get them out of the crisis—it does make it more exciting that way though, if tricky.

Strangely, the part of the process I do enjoy—where many don’t—is the editing. I like seeing the whole concept when it’s done and then making it work properly—I get a lot of satisfaction from that.

As for the poetry, the most challenging part is not being too wordy! I’m a great believer that less is more, so it does make cutting fun.

What are your long-term goals as a writer?

This is a question I always find hugely difficult to answer. I’m not sure I really have a long-term plan, though I’d like to keep writing and producing books that people enjoy. On a practical level, I’m looking forward to the publication of the first novel in my fantasy trilogy, The Gifting, which has just been accepted by Bluewood Publishing, so I’m hoping they might take the second and third of the trilogy, too, depending on how things work out. I’m also hoping to produce a chapbook of some of my haikus (I write one a week and include them in my blog) at some stage, but I suspect it won’t be soon.

Apart from that, I’d like to go on developing as a writer and enjoying where this very strange but never dull vocation takes me!