Author: bounddreamer

New author interview!

First things first!

Zeph is the winner from The Fall Guide pool and Kathleen is the winner for the Proud to Be a Vampire Vol 1 pool. Congratulations! Both winners have been contacted and their shipping details are confirmed. Thank you everyone for your participation!

Some lovely new developments in the authorial department. All About Romance picked up a review copy of The Fall Guide and said some very good things. Have you picked up your copy yet? Let me know what you think!

There’s a brand-new interview with me up on Rainbow Book Reviews. Go and check it out! You may learn something that will surprise you. 😉

In upcoming months I’ll be featured on Joyfully Jay as one of the Rainbow Con authors, and there will be other fun things to look forward to as well.

Also there’s news! I’ve signed contracts for Like Stolen Pearls and My Sexual Superhero, two stories that will release in collections/anthologies later this year. Body Option has an absolutely awesome cover I’ll reveal a little later on.

What’s on tap right now? I’ve finished Dragonspire, first draft is a whopping 150k, so I’m faced with editing. Lots and lots of edits. Time to look at due dates on some submission calls, as well.

Have a great week!

Happy New Year PAPERBACK Giveaway!

Welcome to 2014! Let’s get this year started out in style, with a new-in-print fiction giveaway!

These are my two latest paperback releases. That’s right, you can hold this one in your hands! My story Convergence is part of the Proud to Be a Vampire anthology, volume one, and The Fall Guide is my most recent novel. I’ll ship these books anywhere that can receive U.S. mail.

I will be selecting two winners, creating a “pool” for each novel and drawing one winner for each pool. You can sign up for one, or both.

COMMENT ON THIS ENTRY AND STATE WHICH BOOK YOU WANT to be eligible for the giveaway. That’s all you have to do! Make sure to include an email address or means of contact. Winners will be chosen Tuesday, January 21st, morning Pacific time.

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Your choices are from the following:

Fall Guide v3 small

    Eric is a popular beauty blogger, and hopes to use the momentum of that to start his own business selling makeup for men—but his first attempt to launch makes it painfully clear he has a lot to learn and a long way to go.

    Unexpected help comes in the form of Devon: Gorgeous, successful, and far too smooth. He is everything Eric would like to be, all the things Eric is starting to fear he’ll never achieve, and the success that Eric is striving for in both his professional and personal life is jeopardized by Devon’s inability to understand that business and pleasure shouldn’t mix, because they can have disastrous results for both.

You can read more about The Fall Guide, and an excerpt, here.

Proud to Be a Vampire: Volume One is composed of Bundle One and Bundle Two. My story is Convergence:

Convergence small

    Chris and Ling travel the world in search of rare, exquisite curiosities, but treasure hunting is rife with danger and comes with a price. In order to retrieve a lost treasure deep within a perilous mountain, Chris hires on a vampire. But traveling with a predator comes with its own risks, and their venture may collapse into absolute loss unless they can each find the opportunity in one another.

You can read more about Convergence, and an excerpt from the story, here.

I would also love for you to promote my giveaway in any way, shape, or form possible, so that others can have a chance to win!

So if you: Make a comment, Tweet, Facebook entry, tumblr post, or any kind of entry promoting this giveaway on your own social venue (any and all – WordPress, LJ, DW, blogspot, just link me and let me know HERE in comments so I can verify) I will count each promo as an additional chance to win.

Questions? Ask away! Thank you for your support, and I wish you a happy and productive week. ♥ May your reading list be long and bring you everything you love!

Back from hiatus with free fiction!

First up, it’s not too late for a last taste of Christmas with The Mistletoe Maneuver, in which Kenneth Whitaker thinks Zach Yamato has been avoiding him for three years’ worth of Christmas parties, when in fact it’s Kenneth who has been avoiding the risks associated in taking up with someone so young, charismatic, and well-connected. Kenneth has to decide if he’ll put his own desires over his fear of how their relationship could jeopardize his career.

Kayelle Allen has listed The Mistletoe Maneuver on her latest edition of the Romance Lives Forever e-zine.

More content coming soon: update on The Fall Guide, a teaser for my next story cover, and word on all the latest projects. There’s more than enough to keep me working through the new year!

Tonight we’re going to an impromptu wedding and I have a list a mile long to get through, so I’d better get started on that. Happy holidays!

WIP Wednesday returns: The Mistletoe Maneuver

After the long, hard marathon of Nanowrimo, WIP Wednesday makes its triumphant return! And you’d think I would start sharing the manuscript I spent those frantic thirty days writing, but you’d be wrong. Dragonspire is not yet ready for reading consumption.

Instead, I’m going to share the first part of a story I’m kind-of, sort-of writing for Christmas, with the hopes I’ll finish it up on the plane on my way to Chicago later this month. The prompts were mistletoe and May/December, so I’m bringing those elements together along with my own little twist.

This one doesn’t have a summary yet, so I’m just going to launch right into it.

The Mistletoe Maneuver

The worst of all Christmas carols was jangling out its jaunty theme of cuckolding and maternal adultery when Kenneth Whitaker crossed the polished expanse of marble that took him across the vast glass-walled lobby. Kenneth clenched his back teeth and put on a smile for the benefit of Sheila, the receptionist, as he bent to sign in at the front desk. “Seems unfair that they keep you working while everyone else goes upstairs to party,” Kenneth said, as though he hadn’t been working sixty hours a week through the holidays for the past fifteen years. The Vanderbrandt company party was the one free pass for all executives.

Sheila gave him a brief show of red, red lips stretched over very white teeth. “After I sign everyone in, I lock the lobby doors and I get to go upstairs, too,” she replied. “We party all night, after all. I don’t begrudge everyone else the head start.”

Kenneth nodded. Someone from the Vanderbrandt group had left out a Montblanc to sign the register and he penned his name with an offhand flourish, dropping it into the bend where the pages met. He paused and scanned over the list of those present, but wasn’t quite bold enough to flip back a page. “Anyone from the Yamato group here yet, Sheila?”

That earned Kenneth a smirk. “Funny you should ask, when one of them wanted to know if you were here already. Twenty minutes ago.”

“Oh.” Kenneth squared his shoulders and pulled in a slow breath. Time to face the music. Hopefully it would at least be a different carol upstairs. “Better not keep them waiting, then.”

Kenneth’s short walk to the sleek silver escalators beyond the front desk was the march of a soldier going to battle. The Yamato group meant a very specific Yamato would be there waiting for him. The fact that Zach had asked Sheila was his advance notice that yet again, the hunt was on.

The elevator ascended, and Kenneth’s stomach attempted to stay on the ground floor. It had been years since he’d seen Zach Yamato–too young, too sleekly gorgeous, too precocious–and fended off his wandering hands and blunt proposition. He had to close his eyes for a moment to steady himself. “I’ve wanted you for years,” Zach had breathed into his ear, attempted to kiss him, and only when he’d pointed upward with a cheeky grin had Kenneth realized he’d been steered directly under the mistletoe at a darkened corner of the ballroom dance floor.

Kenneth’s eyes popped open when a chiming note heralded the arrival of his elevator at the party floor. The entire top floor of the Vanderbrandt building was a stadium-sized atrium complete with towering crystal skylight and sleek steel girders. They were draped for the occasion with boughs of evergreen punctuated with the bright red splash of holly. A woodsy scent assailed Kenneth’s nose as he stepped out of the elevator, gift bag dangling from the crook of his arm. The anonymous gift swap took place at midnight, and a table already piled high and wide was pushed up against a wall to his right. The table itself was covered in shiny mylar reminiscent of gift wrap. Kenneth added his contribution to the precarious stacks.

He turned to assess the brewing party for danger zones. Christmas with a more rock-driven beat drifted through hidden speakers, and the press of people was hidden partially from view by the staggered placement of three towering firs decked with all the tinsel and lights they could bear. A gauntlet of familiar faces stood between Kenneth and the wet bar at the far end, and the DJ was out of sight in a crow’s nest on the second level that wrapped around one side of the atrium. The other side opened onto a terrace that afforded one of the most spectacular views the city had to offer.

Yamato Senior was visible enough, standing in clear view within a cluster of the Vanderbrandt group’s most elite executives. As always, he wore an impeccably tailored suit and his slight frame and iron-gray hair provided no other tells for the massive clout he wielded. His bodyguards stood an unobtrusive distance apart, hands clasped in front of them, eyes shielded with dark glasses even indoors. His translator Reiko was beside him, stunning in a champagne-colored off the shoulder dress, her black hair newly clipped into a pixie cut. She was all smiles in contrast to Yamato’s stoic face.

There were other important players present, Kenneth noted, accounting for his colleagues, their allies, even a few key business rivals. The Vanderbrandt group’s Christmas parties were legendary, and not to be missed. He started out across the maze of mingling associates and headed for the far side of the room, keeping a weather eye out for a certain youthful storm.

The last time Kenneth had seen Zach, he had promised to make the same offer the following year, and reminded Kenneth he wouldn’t have the excuse of his being underage to turn him down. That had been three years ago.

Last night – giveaway signup and pre-order

This is the last night for two things:

Sign up for my Thankfulness giveaway! Winner will be chosen tomorrow morning.

Pre-order The Fall Guide and save 25% off!

Hope everyone got a great start to their week. The holidays are in the air, and I’m working on Christmasey stories…maybe I’ll be able to share!

Advent sale – save 25% on my titles

adventsale

Happy holidays! Less Than Three Press is having a lovely Advent Sale over on their site.

Head on over and save 25% on all my titles! Including print, if you want to snatch up a paperback or two. 😉 It’s a good time to pick up some stories to tide you over for the holidays.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy!

Thankfulness Giveaway: The Fall Guide, Convergence, and Rocking Hard

I have a cover teaser to show for an upcoming release, but not just yet … I think I’ll wait on it a bit longer. Today is all about thankfulness!

As my thankfulness for all of you, I’m running a giveaway for my latest three releases from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. If you win, you’ll be eligible to choose an ebook copy from those three.

COMMENT ON THIS ENTRY to be eligible for the giveaway. That’s all you have to do! Make sure to include an email address or means of contact. Winners will be chosen Tuesday morning Pacific time.

Fall Guide v3 small

    Eric is a popular beauty blogger, and hopes to use the momentum of that to start his own business selling makeup for men—but his first attempt to launch makes it painfully clear he has a lot to learn and a long way to go.

    Unexpected help comes in the form of Devon: Gorgeous, successful, and far too smooth. He is everything Eric would like to be, all the things Eric is starting to fear he’ll never achieve, and the success that Eric is striving for in both his professional and personal life is jeopardized by Devon’s inability to understand that business and pleasure shouldn’t mix, because they can have disastrous results for both.

You can read more about The Fall Guide, and an excerpt, here.

Convergence small

    Chris and Ling travel the world in search of rare, exquisite curiosities, but treasure hunting is rife with danger and comes with a price. In order to retrieve a lost treasure deep within a perilous mountain, Chris hires on a vampire. But traveling with a predator comes with its own risks, and their venture may collapse into absolute loss unless they can each find the opportunity in one another.

You can read more about Convergence, and an excerpt from the story, here.

rockinghard1_225

    Bailey Kravitz, lead singer of Courage Wolf, is a high-strung, perfectionist diva of a front man. Gunner Lansing, bassist of Courage Wolf, is a laid-back, hang loose ladies’ man who is only serious about guitars and sex. They say opposites attract, but Bailey’s terminal crush on oblivious Gunner is tearing the band apart. Meanwhile, his longtime friend, quiet but intense guitarist Tor Macleod, helps him pick up the pieces yet again. Between annihilating everything they’ve built and reeling from total rejection, there may be a third option Bailey has been overlooking all this time. Problem is, Bailey’s always been more than a little difficult when he’s out to get his way, and that may ruin his prospects after all.

Read more about the Rocking Hard anthology here.

I would also love for you to promote my giveaway in any way, shape, or form possible, so that others can have a chance to win!

So if you: Make a comment, Tweet, Facebook entry, tumblr post, or any kind of entry promoting this giveaway on your own social venue (any and all – WordPress, LJ, DW, blogspot, just link me so I can verify) I will count each promo as an additional chance to win.

Questions? Ask away! Thank you for your support, and I wish you a happy Turkey Day and hope you’ve got as much to be thankful for as I do. ♥ You all are awesome.

Queer Romance Blog Hop: Diversity & Inclusion Version

Welcome to the Queer Romance Blog Hop, where queer writers and readers of queer romance share their thoughts on the genre, as well as a few recommendations for books to read! Everyone participating in this blog hop identifies as queer and also reads and/or writes (or edits, or reviews!) queer romance. For our purposes, queer romance refers to books with:

1. LGBTQ+ main characters
2. In romantic relationships
3. That have a happy ending. (No Brokeback Mountain here, folks!)

I’m Talya, and I’ve been publishing queer fiction through Less Than Three Press for a little over a year now and writing it for much, much longer. I’ve been reading queer fiction since around 1997/1998 back when fiction selection was slim pickings: one shelf, and we were lucky if the bookstore carried even that much. Interestingly enough, that one shelf always seemed to be across, or around the corner from, the Christian non-fiction. I used to work at a Big&Name bookstore and I would trawl the general fiction section while shelving … sometimes you could find gay fiction that way, but it was like searching for Easter eggs. Not only was it difficult, but often you’d find something that was not really to your taste.

It’s been amazing to see how things have really grown and changed over the past decade plus, but at the same time, it seems like there’s still a lot of room for expansion.

1. Let’s start off with the getting-to-know-you stuff: How do you identify and what does that mean to you? Whatever level of detail you’re comfortable with, of course!

I am a bisexual woman, and I’ve been partnered for over ten years with another woman. To a lot of people this would mean I’m a lesbian, as though my sexual preference is tied to the person I’m with rather than who I am. Being with a woman for this long doesn’t make me a lesbian; it makes me monogamous. I think (and research supports) that a lot of bisexuals don’t self-identify because we’re not really well accepted by either straight or queer communities, so we tend to hide who we are in order to make other people more comfortable. It’s easier for someone with a female partner to simply say they’re a lesbian because that’s what most people understand. But I am, and always have been, attracted to people of both male and female genders.

Bisexuality was something that was difficult, at first, for me to come to terms with because there was virtually no representation when I was growing up. You were either straight (the default) or gay (deviant), and I didn’t identify with either. In fact, I fought being associated with the queer community at first because I was attracted to the opposite gender, so that meant I “had” to be straight. It was only once I got deeper into researching sexuality and gender that I started to realize, and admit to myself, that not only was bisexuality an option—it’s been a part of me from a very young age. I simply never had the cultural background to recognize it.

2. What’s your preferred “flavour” of queer romance (e.g. trans*, f/f, m/m, menage with queer characters, etc.) Why?

I don’t have a strong preference for any unless being “in the mood” for one or the other would be expressing a preference at the time. I’ve read and enjoyed all varieties, from trans* fiction, to f/f and m/m, poly in various configurations, and I’d love to read and write a great deal more permutations including and beyond those mentioned above. I enjoy the full spectrum of “queerness,” if you will, and I absolutely delight in finding and reading more than the standard fare. Diversity in fiction is a hugely important issue to me, and it’s reflected in my purchasing habits.

3. Do you write/read/review? Do you think being queer affects your participation or platform in romancelandia?

I write, and I think it’s absolutely affected my participation in romancelandia. For one, I don’t see an overwhelming amount of bisexual or pansexual characters represented. Because that’s a component of my own identity, that’s something that has been reflected in my own writing. Several of my published works include bisexual characters. In one work, the world-building assumes that bisexuality is the default with acceptable preferences to either same or opposite gender. I’ve also tended to include characters that, in my opinion, go against what is generally touted in romancelandia to be the typical gay male main character.

4. What drew you to queer romance?

This seems like a simple question that has a very involved, complicated answer for me! I can’t really boil it down to any one factor. I think at first I had an intense fascination with queer fiction because it was like an entirely new realm of romance opening up to me, and it was something kind of taboo and compelling and embattled. A lot of queer people both exist outside the norm and feel like they are pushed outside it, and I identified with that very strongly and was drawn to it. I was drawn to it for prurient as well as non-prurient reasons. There was a lot of raw sexuality and boundary-pushing in queer fiction, as well as character dynamics, that didn’t exist in the hetero romances I’d read. There was also tragedy—a lot of gay fiction didn’t get happy endings back when I first started reading it, and I wanted happy outcomes for a lot of fictional characters I came to care deeply for. I’m pleased to say the happy ending has come within our grasp and become more plausible, at least. And the happy ending (not to mention the sweet, sweet sexual payoff) is why I favor romance over fiction in general.

5. What do you love about queer romance in general, and/or your specific subgenre?

I love that anything is possible. The sky really is the limit as far as the kinds of characters I write and what kind of people they become, who they love and how they choose to express themselves. There’s always something fresh and new and interesting to write, and new and compelling stories to tell.

6. What’s your pet peeve?

That’s a loaded question. I’m going to assume this is intended to mean what’s my pet peeve about queerness in romancelandia. I would have to say my biggest pet peeve is placing limits on queerness, as though your characters have to meet some marketability checklist before they’re allowed to go forward. Diversity and inclusion is an extremely important issue for me, and I feel like we see a lot of cis* white stereotypically masculine men in queer fiction when the queer community contains a whole lot more than that. I want to see more people from all walks of life.

Conventional wisdom says write what you know; I say the hell with that. Write what’s out there in the world, and if it’s not your personal experience, ask, do research, talk to people, find out more and give an accurate representation of others’ experiences. I want to see and read about more people of color, people with disabilities, people from other countries, people of different sizes and attractiveness indexes, and absolutely more queer people from across the entire spectrum. It’s not only lesbian fiction that is under-represented: it’s genderqueer people, pansexuals, bisexuals, trans* people, and asexuals. Asexuals can be involved in romance too, people!

Basically my pet peeve is lack of representation for more than just a single, narrow slice of what being queer is all about.

(*Cis = people who identify with the gender that corresponds with the sex they present at birth.)

7. What growth would you like to see in the genre, going forward? Any ideas on how to accomplish that?

Absolutely more representation. I think there’s so much room to grow in every direction. We need to start writing for it, but I think publishers need to be encouraged to ask for it as well, maybe by broadening their submission standards, but also with targeted submission calls.

8. Do you seek out other queer authors when you read?

I’m really wide open with my reading preferences. If the author is telling a good story with compelling characters, then I’m there. What I’ve noticed, though, is if I find out that a particular author is queer, I definitely tend to gravitate more toward their work to check it out if I haven’t already, or to continue to support and read it if I already enjoy them. I was so excited to discover Fiona Patton was married to Tanya Huff! I’d really enjoyed her Branion books and that was just icing on the cake for me.

9. How do you feel, in general, about straight peoples’ participation in reading, writing, and reviewing queer romance?

I think it’s great. I’m all for making our experiences more accessible and relatable to straight people. It’s easier for people to become allies if they have something to latch onto and understand. And fiction—telling our stories and sharing how we love—really brings people together in a way like nothing else besides food, in my opinion.

I would never tell people not to read, write, or review queer romance. I might, however, caution people who aren’t queer to keep an open mind about our genre—it’s not always going to be something from their own experience, and they ought to be prepared to be accepting of “otherness.” If a straight person says “that’s not what gay people are like,” or “that’s not what lesbian women are like,” or “there’s no such thing as genderqueer people,” you’re potentially negating other peoples’ lived experiences, and that’s going over the line from participation into imposing and regulating queerness. And that has harmful consequences on both sides.

10. Rec us 3 titles in your chosen subgenre and tell us why you love them.

This is a tough one. Limiting it to only three is really, really hard.

I don’t have a “chosen genre” smaller than queer fiction in general, so I’m going to pick three titles in that wider genre and say why they made the short list.

“Comfort and Joy,” by Jim Grimsley – I come back to this again and again because it says a lot of things about gay relationships that still hold true today, and there’s a clash of privilege, both in terms of class (rich/poor, differing job levels), and ability/disability. It addresses HIV and shows the ways in which people sometimes really have to work at relationships when they may not even be sure that they want to. All this is interwoven into a holiday tale that shows the differences between the two main characters’ very different families, the ways they are welcome and not welcome in both, and how a tentative accord is reached at the end. I also love Jim’s prose. He simply has not written a book I’ve loved as much as this one ever since.

Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite – the author now identifies as trans* and goes by Billy Martin, which I recently discovered when looking for information on whether the author would ever continue the Liquor series. Liquor and its sequels were the first domino that tipped me into a full-blown passion for foodie culture. Poppy’s queer characters were always outstanding in a landscape of literature that had formerly tipped the hat but not really “gone there.” Rickey and G-man were very real to me, and though the novels became progressively darker, they presented a lot of real issues that gay people face in the macho world of the kitchen as well as outside of it and came across in an overall hopeful, functional, lasting way.

Zi Yong and the Collector of Secrets, by E. E. Ottoman. This is the first story of E.E.’s that I’d read that really made me sit up and take notice of their writing. This is a historical, wuxia-style tale that culminates in a relationship between two women, and it was really well done, restrained and artful, and I just loved it. Between enjoying this story so much and beta-reading another ladylove story of theirs that was just fantastic, I started reading other stories of E.E.’s and the topics this author tackles, as well as the broad range of character representation, have ensured I’ll keep following E.E. for as long as they write.

That sums it up for me. If you’ve made it this far, I salute you and hope this post has given you a few things to think about.

Thanks for reading and for following the tour! Be sure to use the links below to check out more great posts from our participants!

Win LT3 December releases

Tuning in from Nanowrimo-land to report that yesterday I broke 100,000 words. My goal is 125,000, so I’m on track and happy to report I’m still enjoying the story. Always a good thing.

Once I’m done with the month I’ll have a rough, very rough draft of Dragonspire. Like all rough drafts it’s going to need to sit in a drawer for a month before I revisit it and start the hard work, but I’m pleased with how things are going and I haven’t hit any bad patches this year so I consider myself lucky.

If you haven’t pre-ordered The Fall Guide yet–or even if you have–Less Than Three Press is offering an amazing giveaway: a copy of all their December releases!

Visit the giveaway thread on Goodreads and leave a comment to sign up for your chance to win. Don’t miss this amazing chance! I’ve never seen such a massive giveaway from a publisher…early Merry Christmas, eh?

Later this week I’m going to post my Queer Romance Blog Hop post, talk about my ever-expanding slate of writing projects, and give thanks by hosting a giveaway of my own. 🙂 Have a great week!

Preorder: The Fall Guide

In two weeks, The Fall Guide is available to buy, which means … pre-order is up NOW!

The Fall Guide is my latest novel, and it’s available at a pre-order discount now through Less Than Three Press. Save 15% off from now until the evening of Dec 3rd if you order through the press.

Fall Guide v3 small

    Eric is a popular beauty blogger, and hopes to use the momentum of that to start his own business selling makeup for men—but his first attempt to launch makes it painfully clear he has a lot to learn and a long way to go.

    Unexpected help comes in the form of Devon: Gorgeous, successful, and far too smooth. He is everything Eric would like to be, all the things Eric is starting to fear he’ll never achieve, and the success that Eric is striving for in both his professional and personal life is jeopardized by Devon’s inability to understand that business and pleasure shouldn’t mix, because they can have disastrous results for both.

There are a lot of reasons I can’t wait to share The Fall Guide with you. And if you give me a few days, I’ll be better able to articulate them, but for starters: representation is important to me, and neither Eric nor Devon are your typical gay cis white males. Eric defies gender norms; Devon is biracial. They have a lot of obstacles in their way, including Eric’s boyfriend Martine, Eric’s own pride, and Devon’s intimidating advantages.

More to follow, but I wanted to put the word out that you can pre-order your copy now!