Thursday, July 29, 2010

Keta's Winner!

Just popping in to let you know that Marybelle was the randomly chosen winner of Keta's Steamy Half Dozen giveaway. Since you included your email, Marybelle, Keta will be contacting you directly.

Thanks to all who dropped in and left comments!

Review: Gay Friendly by Kim Dare

Gay Friendly

By Kim Dare

Total-E-Bound, 2010

Shy, gorgeous Ellis is eighteen, a recently-out-of-the-closet gay virgin. When his equally gay cousin Harry invites him to share the expenses of a room at a so-called “gay friendly” resort, Ellis figures that it will be an opportunity to make the acquaintance of some other young men who share his orientation. Instead he finds himself being grabbed and fondled by strangers attracted to his boyish good looks. The situation is sufficiently alarming that he starts to wonder whether he might not be as gay as he thought.

Dominant Mitchell Thompson rescues Ellis from the good-natured, drunken attentions of some of the guests and takes the young man under his protection. Although Ellis knows almost nothing about “leather and stuff”, as he puts it, he instinctively craves Mitchell's authority.

Ellis nibbled at his bottom lip until he realised Thompson was frowning his disapproval of the habit. He released his lip from between his teeth. “Sorry...I--” Ellis cut himself off.

“If you have a question, ask it. Half sentences make it sound like you're incapable of complete thoughts.”

“Should I call you sir, too?” Ellis rushed out.

“Would you like to?”

Ellis tilted his head on the side and studied the other man. He was some years older than him, probably in his thirties. With blond hair cut short, he was handsome in a serious sort of way. And, in a way Ellis couldn't define, he looked very much like the kind of man who should be called sir. The ideal held a curious appeal.

“You wouldn't think I was hitting on you if I did?” he checked.

“I believe I'm capable of resisting the inclination.” Thompson's lips twitched as if he was tempted to smile.

“Sir.” Ellis let the word linger in his mouth. It felt nice there. When he met the other man's eyes, Thompson looked amused.

Mitchell does not ask anything from Ellis-- the younger man wears his collar at the hotel only as a sign that no one else should bother him. However, the Dom recognizes the young man's natural submissiveness. Almost without encouragement, Ellis surrenders to his temporary master, allowing the more experienced man to guide him into the worlds of both D/s and gay sex. Although Mitchell originally took Ellis under his wing out of sympathy, by the time their vacation ends he feels a great deal more.

Gay Friendly offers Kim Dare's signature style of homoerotic D/s, focusing on the emotional interactions between the Dom and the sub. She rarely invokes the physical trappings associated with BDSM—spankings, beatings or bondage. There's no overt BDSM activity in this story. Instead, Ms. Dare is mostly interested in trust, obedience, devotion and responsibility. Her sex scenes are intense because of the connection between the characters, not because of the pain or extremity of their activities. Personally I find this take on power dynamics refreshing after reading way too many stories where the authors are obsessed with the physical. Kim Dare understands that D/s can be loving and even gentle while remaining arousing and challenging.

Ms. Dare knows how to get into her characters' heads—and their hearts. If I have any complaint about Gay Friendly, it's simply that the happily-ever-after was too easy. There are no obstacles to Ellis' and Mitchell's love. The fact that Ellis has zero experience with men doesn't seem to matter. This feels rather unrealistic. Of course this is a very short work (less than fifty pages), with little time for complexities or conflicts. Ms. Dare would rather focus, I think, on the developing relationship. But some obstacles might have made the story even more satisfying.

I should mention that Ms. Dare has pledged all royalties from Gay Friendly to the Ty Hafan Children's Hospice (, an organization dedicated to offering comfort, care and support for life-limited children and young people and their whole families. So if you'd like to read a sweet—but nevertheless hot and explicit—M/M BDSM romance and build up some positive karma at the same time, go buy yourself a copy today!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Keta's Steamy Half Dozen

Today I'm delighted to welcome my delightful and prolific colleague Keta Diablo. Keta's doing a blog tour to promote a half-dozen of her sizzling M/M erotic romance titles. Furthermore, she's giving one of these books away! All you need to do to be eligible is leave a comment on her post. And I have to say, if at least one of these blurbs or covers doesn't make you salivate, you must be an android!

Blood Oath – Vampire Gay Fiction, Amber Quill Press

Link to Purchase:

Also available at All Romance Ebooks:


When Kale MacDonald's beloved grandmother dies, she leaves him a letter urging him to travel to Savannah, GA to find his destiny. Kale is confronted by a strange, decadent man who appears to be stalking him. He's also confronted by a trio of rogue vampires intent on killing him. Mystery and danger collide in the City of Secrets, and no one is who they appear to be.

* Blood Oath made the top ten best-seller list at Amber Quill Press the first month of its release.

* * *

CROSSROADS: Shadowland - Contemporary Paranormal Gay Fiction Series

Phaze Publishing,

Also available at All Romance Ebooks:


Frank must travel to Louisiana to solve another missing persons' case. This time, Rand insists on accompanying Frank to get a hands-on introduction to the PI business. Evil forces are at work in the bayou. Frank is pitted against a centuries' old ghost and races against time to save two innocent young men from eternal damnation. Rand gets caught in vortex of prejudice when he encounters a sinister duo bent on violence against gays. Sinister machinations converge in a maelstrom of retribution and hate. Frank must pull out all the stops to save the young men and the man who holds his heart.

* Shadowland is the 4th novella in the best-selling series CROSSROADS. The first three novellas were combined and are now available in print here:

* * *

Hot and Sticky - Contemporary Gay Fiction

Amber Quill Press,

Also Available at All Romance Ebooks:


It’s been extremely difficult for Hugh Landon, an up-and-coming lawyer in Washington, D.C., to control his sexual fantasies about his paralegal, Milan Vassar.

When his career hangs in the balance over a missing file, Hugh must call Milan at the midnight hour and plead for assistance. Hugh’s determination not to mix business with pleasure disintegrates when Milan arrives at the office not only to help him, but to confess he’s held the same secret desires for his boss

Hot and Sticky made the top ten best-seller’s list at the publisher’s web site the first month of its release.

* * *

Lip Service - Contemporary Gay Fiction, Noble Romance


After their recent tiff, Bryan took off for Japan on business and left Navarre home to stew. Now Bryan is expected home after two long weeks, but fate has other plans--mechanical problems with his plane and no rental cars available. So what's a desperate man to do? Find his own means to get to the man he loves. When he finally arrives, Navarre has second thoughts about challenging fate. Bryan has company in his hotel room!

* Previously published in the Spank Me Twice anthology (voted BEST EROTIC BOOK of 2009 by Love Romances Cafe).

* * *

Magnolia Heat- Historical Gay Fiction, Noble Romance


North Carolina, 1876: Rumors abound about the dark, mysterious Dominic Beresford in Chapel Hill. Their curiosity piqued, their libidos functioning on overload, Craven and Anthony are intent on obtaining answers about the supposed licentious gatherings taking place every weekend.

When the duo are caught spying on Beresford Hall, their punishment will be swift and severe, and in Craven’s case, dispensed by none other than the stunning Lord of the Manor.

What begins as penance soon veers off to a session of feverish passion where the avenger becomes the pawn in his own game. A male/male historical that will leave you breathless.

Bondage. Forced seduction. Intense and graphic scenes of man love.

* * *

The Devil’s Heel- Pirate Gay Fiction, Noble Romance

Also available at ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS:


Five years ago Drew Hibbard dismissed Rogan Brockport from his life. Now, they meet again at the Governor’s Ball and Rogan will know the reason for the abrupt, unexplained cut. After Rogan saves Drew’s life during a pirate raid, he kidnaps him and the perfect opportunity to extract answers from Drew is finally at hand. Betrayal. Retribution. Undying Love. The Devil’s Heel.

* The Devil’s Heel has been on the best-seller’s list at All Romance Ebooks for two months!

If you’d like to learn more about Keta and her books please follow her blogs:

Keta’s Keep Erotic Blog,

The Stuff of Myth and Men,

And don’t forget to visit her author home, Keta’s Haunt, and sign up for her newsletter for a chance to win more books. Keta gives away three books every month, all year long.

Keta on Twitter:

Monday, July 26, 2010

On Being Professional

I read a lot of blog posts by authors on issues of craft: avoiding unnecessary back story, building tension, developing effective characters and the like. These topics are all important. It doesn't matter how wonderful your ideas are, if you can't express them clearly and dynamically. A solid grasp of the writing craft doesn't guarantee success, but without it success is unlikely.

In this post, I want to consider another aspect of being an author that I believe has a huge impact on success or failure, namely, acting professional.

Most of us write primarily for the love of it. We have a passion for story-telling. Our tales excite us, and we hope and pray they will have the same effect on our readers. We may not really like to consider the business aspects of our authorial careers. Positive reviews are at least as strong a reward as royalties (which is a good thing, because it's tough to make money as a writer!)

However, publishing is a business, and if we want to be successful, we need to treat it that way. In every interaction, we need to present ourselves as responsible adults who take the challenge of writing and publishing seriously – professional authors, not amateurs.

What does it mean to be professional? It has nothing to do with how many books you've published. It's a question of how you behave. Here are some of my thoughts.

1. A professional rigorously honors her commitments. (Pardon the female pronoun—I know there are many male authors of erotica and romance but using a disjunction every time gets really awkward.) When she accepts a deadline, she'll get her work in on time come hell or high water. (If she thinks that a proposed deadline is unrealistic, she'll say so rather than make a commitment she can't fulfill.) If some life emergency interferes, she does her damnedest to notify anyone who might be depending on her. Obviously there are times when this just isn't possible. Overall, though, a professional writer treats her commitments the same way she'd treat the responsibilities of any job.

2. A professional communicates with courtesy and an appropriate level of formality. Being polite is surprisingly important. Disagreements are inevitable--with publishers, with editors, with reviewers and other authors. Acting snarky may be satisfying in the short term, but in the long term it will hurt your career. The publishing world is very small. Offhand negative comments you make on-line can come back to haunt you. With regard to formality, it never hurts to address a publisher as Ms. or Mr. in your first contacts. The Internet breeds a sense of familiarity but (I believe) everyone appreciates being shown a bit of respect.

3. A professional is meticulous and follows instructions. I've edited a number of anthologies. Nothing makes my opinion of an author plummet like receiving a query letter or a submission full of typographical errors and misspellings. It also drives me crazy when an author ignores the submission guidelines regarding medium and format, submitting a Word document when I ask for RTF, or single spacing when I ask for double. My conversations with other editors and publishers confirm that their reactions are similar. If an author doesn't care enough to read and adhere to the guidelines, I assume that she doesn't care that much whether I select her work, either.

4. A professional recognizes that she is not the only writer on earth. Acting like a diva will only get you a bad reputation. Everyone in the writing business is insanely busy. You're entitled to a fair allocation of your publishers' and editors' time but so are their other authors.

5. A professional respects herself and her work. This is the flip side of number 4. Even if you're unpublished as yet, there's no reason to grovel, beg or apologize. Humility is a virtue up to a point, but if you don't have confidence in yourself, nobody else will either.

This sounds a bit like a lecture. I guess I'm wearing my editor hat, expressing my frustration with some of the less professional authors whom I've encountered. I hope readers will forgive my didactic tone and consider my comments in the spirit they're offered -- as collegial suggestions based on experience, from one author (who has been in the business for more than a decade) to another.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Paranormal Creatures: The Top Five

By Tricia Schneider (Guest Blogger)


Vampires are living corpses who drink blood or draw energy from a living host. If a person is bitten by a vampire, they become vampires themselves after they die. Doesn’t sound romantic, does it? But, not much else needs to be said other than the name, Dracula. Bram Stoker helped to popularize this mythical creature with his story of the charismatic Dracula in 1897.


Werewolves are human beings who, usually through a curse or a spell, have the ability to change into a wolf. Traditionally, this is done beneath the light of a full moon. Legends of werewolves date into ancient history. Some speculate that the first recorded story of a possible werewolf-like creature is that of Gilgamesh and his beast-like friend, Enkidu, dating back some 4,000 years ago.


Also known as spirits, specters, and apparitions, ghosts are usually considered humans who have died and passed on to the other side to become disembodied souls. They may be found around the places they occupied during life or the moments before death. Ghosts can be found in many forms and scientific study has been ongoing to discover the truth of their existence. When most other paranormal creatures are written off as folklore or superstition, many believe ghosts to be very real.


Though witches are not considered creatures, but are actually quite human, I’ve added them to this list because…well, it’s my list! Witches are often imagined as mysterious figures able to practice magic and cast spells for either evil or good. Witches have been hunted and put to death for centuries. Often those innocent of practicing witchcraft were sent to their deaths for the mere speculation that they involved themselves with magic in some way. Often, many were suspected of being in league with the Devil


Demons are considered evil spirits or devils commonly found in Jewish and Christian beliefs, though they can also be found in other cultures and religions. They are malevolent creatures of the underworld who seek to sway mankind toward evil, thus gaining more souls for their master, Satan, who resides in Hell.

Thanks to Lisabet for having me as a guest today. Please check out my debut release from The Wild Rose Press. The Witch and the Wolf is a paranormal regency romance featuring (you guessed it!) a witch and a werewolf.


Lord Jeremy North's curse is to become a werewolf during every full moon, turning into a bloodthirsty monster that kills with no remorse. When he finds a woman nearly frozen upon his doorstep, his sense of honor compels him to help her, even at the risk he might kill her himself.

Lillian Merriweather hadn't planned to get caught in a blizzard while traveling the English countryside. Nor had she planned on finding refuge in a house full of secrets. But Lillian has secrets of her own. And what she's running from is not far behind...

BIO: Tricia Schneider worked in a bookstore for 12 years as the resident ‘romance expert’. Now she’s a stay-at-home mom and writes during nap time. You can find her at her website.

Friday, July 23, 2010


One of the best things about blogging is that you can turn even unpleasant experiences into content!

For the last two days I have been struggling to make a trailer for my upcoming release Fire in the Blood. For my last major release, I paid to have a trailer made. It wasn't all that expensive, but I was surprised to discover that I ended up doing most of the work. I wrote the script, located the images, found the music. I reviewed at least five drafts of the one and a half minute video, making detailed suggestions about everything from font to timing. The only thing I didn't do was actually use a movie-maker tool to construct the video itself.

So for this release, I decided I'd try to do it myself. How hard could it be? One of my fellow authors, Kris Norris, has raved about Apple iMovie as a platform for composing videos. Her own trailers are fantastic. (I call her the Trailer Queen!) As it happens, I have a Macbook that my company bought several years ago for a project that never materialized. Normally I use Linux and occasionally Windows, but I figured I'd give iMovie a try.

I'm pretty smart. I mean, I have two masters degrees and a PhD. And I make my living developing software. But I'm almost ready to admit defeat.

As is normal for computer people, I started up the program without looking at any kind of manual. I was confident that I could figure it out. I clicked and dragged and fussed and fumed and got absolutely nowhere with the simplest task (importing my images).

Okay. I gave in and decided to see if there was any documentation. I found a thirty page introduction and tutorial and sure enough, there was the information that I had to put my images into iPhoto first, before I could use them in iMovie. Huh? Well,that was a bit strange, but iPhoto was straightforward.

So. I got my images. I figured out (by frequent consultation of the tutorial) how to drag them onto the time line and set the duration. Great! Now I needed to add the titles.

Back to the manual. I found the right tab for creating titles. Gee, they looked great, flying around, in any color or font that I wanted...Now if I only I could get them to attach themselves to my images...

Then when I'd figured that out, the titles started spontaneously spreading themselves out over multiple images. I had a theory as to why, but I couldn't figure out how to undo the effect. I had to start a brand new project, repeating all my earlier steps...

Then the program crashed.

Didn't someone say that the Macintosh was easy?

I was pretty close to tears. I'm not used to being thwarted by computers. However, I'm planning to take a break and give it another try tomorrow. I've sent friend Kris some questions--perhaps she can explain some of the more arcane aspects of the software. Even she admits that iMovie "has a long learning curve".

I do hope the curve's not too steep. My release is in three weeks!

Thanks for letting me vent. That's another advantage of having one's own blog!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Starting Out Clueless...

By J.E. Taylor (Guest Blogger)

First I want to take a moment to thank Lisabet for having me on her blog Beyond Romance. It really is a pleasure to be here and for anyone who posts a comment, I’ll be dropping your name into a drawing for a signed copy of either SURVIVAL GAMES or DARK RECKONING based on the winner’s preference.

When I started writing again in 2007 I really had no clue of what I was in for. The journey has been wonderfully weird and I’ve come a long way from the newbie with no clue to gaining an understanding of the industry and all its quirky pitfalls.

One of my major mistakes along the way was not know what the hell I was doing with a query and because of that, I burned through my “most wanted agent” list quickly. So the most pertinent advice I can offer to the new writers on the block beyond writing a kick ass story is know what you’re doing with a query letter. If you’re not sure, join a writer’s forum like Backspace ( and the folks there will steer you in the right direction - but you have to be prepared for some real stinging critiques - things that will thicken your skin for later in your career and help you grow as a writer.

After I wrote the Games Trilogy, I knew the first book- Survival Games- would require a small publisher, one that wasn’t afraid of controversial subjects and thankfully, I found eXcessica. They take on some real edgy erotic fiction - from the sweet to taboo - and are very liberal in their selection as long as the writing is strong enough to back the story.

I can tell you - that first acceptance is like a hazy dream, surreal and fantastic enough so you want to do a little jig and squee at the top of your lungs. Then the cover art, the editing, the approval of the proofs comes along followed by the wait. In my case, the wait was over half a year, which in the scheme of publishing isn’t so bad- but it was still excruciating. Then things start to happen closer to the release date - marketing campaigns, blog tours and then the reviews start rolling in.

Each review that pops up in my inbox scares the daylights out of me. I find myself holding my breath, praying and expecting the worst. I’ll tell you, I nearly fell out of my chair when that first review for Survival Games came in. Seriously, the subject matter is so controversial that I prepared myself for negative feedback across the board. But when a 4 star review came out from Manic Readers, I was stunned and then could hardly contain my excitement. I was at my day job, so I couldn’t jump up and down like I just won the lottery - but I have to admit- that’s the way it felt. The write-up blew me away.

It still does. So far the reviews on both my July releases have been 4 out of 5 ratings. Of course, the perfectionist in me would like to see five out of five, but I’ll take four out of five with comments like the book is a page turner and I couldn’t put it down until I found out who won the game.

Now if only I could get on Oprah. ;-)

Like that’s going to happen. Oh well - for the time being, I’m here on the virtual shelves offering up my wares to the general public and hoping like hell they like what they read enough to buy the next book and the next, and the next.

Both Dark Reckoning and Survival Games were released this month (JULY 2010).

DARK RECKONING: Available in both e-book and paperback at

A sadistic killer stalks the secluded college town of Brooksfield, New Hampshire. With bodies piling up and rumors of the murders being part of sacrificial hazing rituals, the FBI plants Special Agent Steve Williams in a fraternity at Brooksfield University. His investigation takes a ninety degree turn into the bizarre when he’s introduced to Jennifer, a clairvoyant co-ed who swears the killer isn’t human.

Steve considers the plausibility of the extraordinary, the unspeakable, even the inconceivable when his notebook starts bleeding cryptic messages. Messages that indicate Jennifer is at the heart of the darkness in Brooksfield.

When she describes her latest vision, a trail of violent deaths, including his, Steve asks the million-dollar question: Is Jennifer trying to help . . . or is she actually the one responsible?

SURVIVAL GAMES: Available in both e-book and paperback at

Until he snatches sexy stock jock Jessica Connor, Ty Aris happily followed his step-brother’s orders, producing some of the most coveted black market porn and snuff films on the street. But the day he grabs her in the parking lot, his life becomes a living nightmare.

Jessica foils his plans, fires his passion, and frustrates the hell out of him. She never gives in to his demands, his pleas or his desires, and yet a psychic bond claims his soul and melts the iron walls around his heart. His obsession sparks a fierce rift when Frank wants to start filming. Ty stalls with any and every excuse in the book, fueling Frank’s fury, but he knows it’s only a matter of time before he loses this game.

With the clock ticking, he scrambles for escape options.

Options that won’t land him in jail . . . or worse . . . a captive in Frank’s sadistic prison.

About J.E. Taylor:

Allegory Assistant Editor J. E. Taylor writes paranormal suspense and supernatural thrillers along with erotic thrillers. Her short stories run the genre gambit, running from horror to suspense to erotic romance and have appeared in Niteblade and Allegory. She has credits in three upcoming 2011 and 2012 eXcessica anthologies.

Ms. Taylor lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Visit her at

Monday, July 19, 2010


Why don't you stay for the night
Or maybe a bite?
I could show you my favorite obsession.
I've been making a man
With blond hair and a tan
And he's good for relieving my

-- "Sweet Transexual", by Richard O'Brien, from The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I'm working on a new book that looks like it's going to be a novel, and I've been thinking about tension.

At this point I've written four chapters, somewhat more than 8000 words. I keep waiting for my two heroes to participate in the incendiary love scene that will bind them together and ultimately make them willing to risk their lives and their freedom for each other. It hasn't happened yet.

Instead, I seem to be still building the tension, turning up the emotional temperature. Let me share a bit of the scenario. In a dystopic near future, amid the ravages of a deadly sexually transmitted plague reminiscent of AIDS, the authoritarian government has rounded up all men with a genetic marker for homosexuality and sent them to remote "quarantine" camps. Dylan has been an inmate at one of these camps for seven years. Rafe is the sole human guard at the camp, supervising the legions of robot guards. He accepted this lonely and boring job as an alternative to a prison term for a gang murder he didn't commit. Dylan has managed to attract Rafe's attention through some daring sabotage of the camp's security. In the latest scene, he has managed to shut-down the generators and lock the robo-guards out of the building. He sends the security code in a private message to Rafe, asking the guard to meet him in the generator room.

This is where the love scene will take place. Yesterday I wrote for three hours, trying to get it to happen. Rafe enters the dark, silent building. He plays his flashlight over the equipment, looking for the man he knows must be there. He experiences frustration, anger, admiration and lust in alteration. Where IS the handsome, clever bastard?

By the end of the day, I got Dylan to reveal himself. He lights a candle and steps out of seemingly nowhere--naked. And that's the end of the chapter.

I was ready to scream with frustration myself. But my characters seem to want to take it gradually, and I guess I should listen to them. If this is going to be a novel, I don't need to be too concerned about word count. As long as the delays are effective in heightening the emotional intensity, presumably everything will be okay.

They'll get their hands on each other in the next chapter. I've just got to relax. But with all this tension, it's hard!

I realized one more thing, thinking back on yesterday's work. The pace of writing is far slower than the pace of reading (at least for me). Sometimes I feel as though I'm inching forward, one paragraph, no, one sentence at time. So of course I have the sense that the story is sluggish. When I reread what I've written, it moves along well enough. The experience of the author in this regard is quite different from that of the reader.

But darn it, I don't know how much longer I can wait!

Friday, July 16, 2010

News and giveaways!


Just wanted to let everyone know that my monthly newsletter is now up on my website. Just go to for information on new and upcoming releases, new contracts, and of course my monthly contest.

For July you can win a copy of my upcoming release Fire in the Blood, the day it comes out! See the newsletter for details!

No sooner did I post the newsletter, though, than I realized I had forgotten to mention some more good news. I just heard that Alessia Brio has accepted my story "Trespass" for the charity erotica collection Coming Together: By Hand. This is one of my favorite short stories, but alas it has been rejected by several editors who considered it to be too dark.

All proceeds from this collection will support The Coalition for Positive Sexuality, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing informative, accurate information on sex for teens.

For more information about all the Coming Together titles, visit

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Love Affair with Gay Romance

By Jaime Samms (Guest Blogger)

Morning/Afternoon (whatever it is where you are!)

Some of you might know me. I'm Jaime Samms. It sounds so pretentious to say 'multi-published author', but hey. I guess I am. I'm still kind of getting used to that. For the most part, I write my stories because I love to write. That other people might get something, even just an hour or two of entertainment out of my efforts is a fantastic feeling.

I started writing a long, long time ago. I started letting other people read my writing, well, less long ago. Why? Because I was a little concerned that maybe I was off my rocker. When I set out to write a fantasy story, I spent way more time writing about the two heroes of the story hanging out, chatting, and...flirting. And not with the bar maids, either. Imagine. So I turned the story into a romance, and introduced those heroes to the bar maids. And got nothin'. They thanked the pretty girls for their beer and turned back to each other.

I tossed princesses and lusty wenches at them, damsels in distress and adventurous women who knew what to do with the business end of a sword. They ignored them all. (Though the did get in a tiff over the princess' brother...)

But they made up. And this is where I finally gave in to the obvious. They just wanted each other, and it was time we all admitted that fact. The scene that followed... :D Use your imagination. I did. And honestly, I never looked back.

I never read a conventional romance again, either. I don't know why, but they just don't seem as...romantic. Is it because of the way society views the whole idea of two men (or two women) together, that in order for them to show their romantic side it encompasses a whole 'nother level of trust and courage and mutual understanding than it does for a het couple? I think that's what appeals to me the most, in fact. In the world as we know it, for the most part, there is an entire set of personal strength a guy has to have to admit his love for his boyfriend to the world that often het people don't even think about. Nobody looks or thinks twice about seeing hubs and I walk down the street hand in hand. But if I was a guy? Or he was a girl? It would require something of an extra effort on my part to make that gesture.

So there it is, in part. My love affair with the gay romance genre is all about that inner strength to stand up and say "This is my man. This is who I love." That appeals to me immensely, and it's a characteristic almost all the guys I write about either have, or are searching for.

As for that couple that started the whole thing, way back at the dawn of my writing career, I never did finish their story. It kinda sucked. (not like That!!!) Ooh. Maybe that was the problem.... Heh. In any case, they remain my archetypes, my muses, and some day, I hope maybe I'll write their story. Or maybe, I do every time I take up my pen. If you're interested in reading any of those stories, you can find them at the links below.

My latest effort: Good to Be Home, you can find at Loveyoudivine Alterotica. (The fIrst book in the series, Who Says Shamrocks Aren't Lucky, is free!!!)

Blurb: Ian's budding relationship with David seems to focus on the one thing David is both fantastic at, and loves; sex. Ian's not sure he can keep up. When David's past comes calling, and David goes running, Ian is not sure what to think. He has no idea where he stands with his new lover, only that he's sure he doesn't want to share.

Excerpt: He was already getting out of the bed, wading through the dust floating in the sunbeams. The morning light shimmered through the hair on his legs and brightened his skin to a warm glow. Two weeks of watching him parade around my flat nearly naked most of the time and he was still the most beautiful man I'd ever seen. Or had the dubious privilege to piss off like that. I hopped out of bed after him.

"David! Wait."

He stopped, turned, hand on hip, and glared at me. "What?" He eyed my aching erection, but his expression didn't change.

"I'm sorry."

"Do ye even know what for?"

I swallowed hard again but said nothing. So much for my erection.

"That's what I thought."

For a long minute, we both just stood there, watching each other. The sun dimmed. The room's temperature seemed to drop along with my hard-on. Finally, he shook his head and snatched up a shirt from his chair by the window.

I blinked. When had it become his chair? I guess since he sat in it every evening with a beer and a book, or a sketch pad, his feet tucked up, hair falling in his face, and just looked comfortable. And he'd only been doing it for two weeks. How fast had that happened?

"You can drive me home, yeah?" He disappeared inside his shirt for a moment, then yanked it down, stretching the tight fabric over hard muscle.


"Home. I do have a place of me own." He stood gazing about the room, bare arsed and sexy as hell, but clearly pissed. "Where the fuck are me trousers?"

"Here." I picked them up from where they were jammed half under the bed and handed them over. It was odd how my hand shook that much.

Good to be Home:


LYD Link:

Where can you find all this writing? Free on my website:

At Freya's Bower:

Loveyoudivine Alterotica:

Total E-bound:

Pink Petal Books:

And coming soon to Dreamspinner Press. I guess I am multi-published.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Places I Remember

There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better,
Some have gone, and some remain.

--In My Life by Paul McCartney and John Lennon

My husband and I were having a Mexican dinner the other night. "Remember the Forest Cafe?" I asked him. "That funky Mexican place on Mass Ave in Cambridge?"

He didn't. As I tried to describe it to him, however, I realized that I wasn't seeing the actual place in my mind. What I was seeing and remembering was my fictionalized version. There is a scene in my novel Incognito set in this restaurant. Now when I try to recall the place, how it was laid out, its atmosphere and decor, it's that scene that comes to mind. The fiction has become more vivid for me than the reality.

I've blogged before about the fact that I'm very place-oriented in my writing. Nearly every story I've written is set in a specific locale, often a place that I know well or have at least visited. I never realized, though, how persistent my mental images of my settings become--strong enough to override or distort actual experience.

Raw Silk includes a scene in a luxury Bangkok hotel called the Montien. The hotel actually exists; many years ago I may have entered the lobby once or twice. Now when I think about that hotel, I clearly recall going up the elevator to the hotel room itself. I remember the thick carpets that mute my footsteps. I can picture the layout of the room, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, the king sized bed where Kate finds wrist cuffs and a collar awaiting her, the mirrored vanity where she watches as Gregory takes her from behind. I could draw a map. It's as vivid as if it happened yesterday--although it never happened, not in the real world at least!

Other authors talk about the way they imagine their characters. I suddenly understand that I see the places where they act out their passions, more clearly than their faces. It's quite bizarre.

I could offer many examples. I just finished writing a Christmas story set in western Massachusetts, where I lived for many years. The two heroes own a house that's mentally borrowed from one of my neighbors, a two-hundred-plus year old farm with the typical rambling barn and so on. However, I added a few touches: a row of evergreens in the yard, a big oak tree, a hot tub on the (non-existent) deck, just out of sight of the street. Now, I can almost feel the alchemy happening, the imagined details distorting my memory of the real ones. I'm willing to bet that in a few months, I'll believe that our thrifty, staid neighbors actually did have a hot tub where they lounged naked under snowy skies!

Sometimes, when I haven't looked at one of my stories for a while, I'll forget the names of the characters. But I never seem to forget where they met, or kissed, or fought. Those scenes are etched clearly into my brain. I rather wonder what this says about me. In any case, I guess it explains why my work has such a strong sense of place.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

To what lengths for research?

By Gwenna Sebastian (Guest Blogger)

I have a regular job, sadly, where I’m a medical biller and coder. While at the lunch table, we somehow got on the topic of snorkeling and scuba diving in Cancun. I off-handedly remarked that I have my “Open Water Diver” certification. My two lunch mates sort of looked at me. To which I said I was researching for a book I was writing at the time and my characters scuba dived. I wanted to be sure I knew what I was talking about.

One lunch mate remarked to the other, “Good God, I hope she doesn’t start writing about an ax murderer next!”

We all thought it was funny, but it did make me think about the fact that I love to research, almost as much as I love writing the story. It’s important to me and a point of pride that if I’m going to write about a character who does scuba dive, for instance, that I actually know what I’m talking about. Was it really necessary for me to take scuba diving lessons? I guess that depends. For me it was since I wanted to write from experience, not just based on what I read. For that novel, I didn’t want to bluff my way through it.

Over the last several years, I’ve been researching and writing about the Vietnam War. I obviously can’t experience it, but I do talk to vets who were there. For several years I even enjoyed the expertise of one Vietnam vet who worked in the entertainment industry as a military advisor for television and movies.

I’ve also handled an M-16 rifle and been inside a Huey helicopter. Again, it’s not the same as being there, but it gives me perspective. Understanding the “GI lingo” of the time, a colorful and often ribald mix that included Vietnamese and French, to me is important. And I can never have enough books on the subject.

The two main characters in my new release, Lost and Found, are both former military. Mark Connor is a Vietnam veteran who at 18 was drafted into the Army. Josh Myers is from another time. He joined the all-volunteer Marines because it’s what he wanted to do and survived the 1983 terrorist bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut.

There are big differences in being a Marine or an Army soldier and it’s important to me to understand what those differences are. Mark and Josh verbally spar and name call, constantly. It’s part of the military culture. In Vietnam, the Navy and Marines called soldiers "dog faces" or "doggies". So when Mark calls Josh an "ex-jarhead" or even "cupcake", both popular Army slurs, it is natural for Josh to call him a "dog face". It’s an understanding where both of them came from. Josh may not have served in Vietnam, but he is a former Marine and in many ways, it’s an acknowledgment that he knows who and where Mark comes from.

Mark calling Josh a "cupcake" right from day one is not a slur on Josh’s sexuality, especially since Mark is also gay. It’s simply typical of an Army soldier to call a Marine a "cupcake". Name calling within the ranks and the services is not only common, it’s expected. My son is a combat medic with the Army National Guard and he was called a lot worse by his sergeants back in basic training. All of his buddies were. In Vietnam, the Army nor the Marines for that matter weren’t nearly so “PC”.

I don’t expect all my readers to understand that, but I still wanted that authenticity. Mark, whose lover was killed back in Vietnam, still goes back to Vietnam almost every day in vivid flashbacks and nightmares. He relives it as if he was still that kid almost 40 years ago, riding in a “slick” or “humping through the boonies.”

I wanted you to experience his Vietnam.

His flashbacks in his POV are vivid and intense when he relives them. He doesn’t experience them as part of his past but rather as part of his present. He’s still a boonie rat in the bush and so he still thinks and speaks like a boonie rat.

It’s important to balance it, though. Not everyone understands all the nuances and differences and they may not necessarily want to. It’s really easy to overdo it- use too much of the research. The old phrase, “Less is more” really does apply. I could easily overwhelm a reader with all things Vietnam, but then what would be the point? The struggle that Mark is experiencing, his growing attraction for Josh, that’s the focus of the story- not his past in Vietnam.

It’s also easy to offend someone, however unintentional. Slurs toward the Viet Cong (VC) or North Vietnamese Army (NVA) can be inflammatory just as slurs against Arabs and Muslims are today. Mark might remember and experience the VC by much less polite names, but using those terms can be highly offensive, even if historically correct.

I hope that I struck a nice balance of authenticity without overdoing it and that you, as my reader, experience just enough of Mark’s Vietnam to better understand his past and struggles. It was an incredible time in our history, one I can’t resist exploring and writing about and will continue to in my future projects.

I’d like to thank Lisabet for inviting me to speak here today. I had a great time and hope to come back again in the future! And remember to thank a veteran, no matter the time they served, as they served for all of us.

Lost and Found by Gwenna Sebastian is published with Lyrical Press:

BIO: Gwenna Sebastian lives in upstate New York with her husband and three cats. Her son is a medic in the Army National Guard, having recently served in the Iraq war. Gwenna has been writing since she was fourteen and has taken a keen interest in the military, gays in the military and especially in the Vietnam War. She’s a vocal supporter of Gay rights, Gays in the Military and Gay marriage. When Gwenna is writing or researching for her next novel, she’s a full time medical biller and coder for a billing company and teaches medical reimbursement part time in the evenings.

Visit Gwenna online!


Live Journal: http://gwennasebastian.livejournal

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Somebody out there likes me...

So, I got an email yesterday from my dear friend and fellow author Ginger Simpson, informing me that she'd given me an award--well, actually two awards. One for being a "versatile blogger" and the other a "you are my sunshine" award.

First of all, thank you, Ginger! I'm honored that you'd think of me in these terms.

When I read further, though, I discover that these awards come with strings attached! These are the blog equivalent of chain letters. I'm now supposed to convey these two awards on fifteen people (for the first award) and five people (for the second).

Sigh. I don't know that many people! I've always been shy, and even on-line, I'm more retiring than most of my colleagues. (It's really hard for me to get up and yell "Buy my book!!" -- even when I think that you should!) To make things worse, quite a few of the people I thought about passing the award to are already on Ginger's list, since she and I share a publisher.

What to do? I don't want to disappoint Ginger. So I decided that I'd break--well, modify--the rules a bit. I'm supposed to tell you seven things about myself that you don't already know. I can do that. Then I'll award the Versatile award to five people and the Sunshine award to just one.

I do hope that will satisfy the powers that be!

So, first things first. Seven new things about Lisabet Sarai:

1. I may have the world's flattest feet. No arches at all. This pretty much zapped my childhood dream of being an astronaut.

2. I can sing most of the songs from at least a dozen musicals. Not to mention quite a few torch songs from the forties. (No, I'm not that old; I learned them from my mom!)

3. I've always dreamed of being a red head. You know, passionate, quick-witted, all that. Obviously I could color my hair, but that wouldn't do it. However, the heroine in my first novel is the red head I always wanted to be.

4. I love to cook. But I hate to follow recipes. I'm what you call "improvisational" in the kitchen.

5. I have a husband who thinks I'm smart, talented and sexy. Yes, STILL! (I'm really lucky!)

6. In addition to being an author, I'm also an editor. I've edited two for-profit anthologies and I'm now the editor for the Coming Together Presents charitable series.

7. I've had pierced ears since I was eleven. I almost always wear earrings, even around the house. Even if I'm not wearing anything else.

Okay, that wasn't so hard. Now, for the awards.

I'd like to give the Diverse Blogger award to the following people:

Jeremy Edwards

Bronwyn Green

Nina Pierce

Charlotte Stein

K.S. Augustin

And the You are My Sunshine award? This is for "community support". Well, this is hard. But I think I have to award this to the Erotica Readers and Writers Association, which of course is not an individual. ERWA offers a forum for aspiring authors, writers and critique groups, and every month, an exceptional collection of how to articles as well as a comprehensive, continually updated listing of markets for erotica and erotic romance. If that isn't support, I don't know what is!

-- Lisabet

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Putting Your Butt in the Chair

By Anita Philmar (Guest Blogger)

To achieve any goal you have to make a commitment.

The biggest for me is putting my butt in the chair. If I'm sitting in my office, then I'll work. It might not be on a story, but it will be on something that advances my career. Whether that is working on the internet, setting up interviews, writing blogs for other people or developing characters, it is working toward my ultimate goal.

I guess hours of fun loving sex isn't enough to write hot erotica.

Boy, do I wish it were.

Instead, you have to spend time at your desk hammering out the frustration on the keyboard. That's how I wrote my latest release "Banished Witch."

In a way, Dannie and I are alike. We both have jobs to do, though at times we'd rather being doing something else.

I only wish I had her skill with magic.


Once a princess of Ardenia, Danella, left her homeland to warn her childhood sweetheart only to be kidnapped and sold into slavery. Learning the dark magic from her keeper, she grew to accept her role as a witch to protect her family and track down the traitor to the crown. But when Omar Mandel, the love from her past, arrives to bring her home, she realizes she can never go home. That doesn't mean she can't use his assistance in her plan for revenge and, in the meantime, live out a few unfulfilled fantasies.

The queen wants her daughter to come home and Omar’s job is to see that it happens. However, Danella isn’t the same sweet girl he remembers. In her place is a sexy woman who excites his lust and claims his heart. He must teach her to trust in his love and face the sins of the past if they are to have a future together.


He followed the quick action of her fingers as she loosened her clothes. His blood raced through his veins in anticipation of viewing her luscious breasts. “And what animal do you usually change into?”

She tugged her blouse from the waistband of her skirt. "It varies. If I’m in a hurry, I usually chose a hawk or falcon and take to the sky. Otherwise, I might choose a coyote or jaguar so I can prowl a little on the way.”

When she dropped her shirt to the ground, he marveled at the creamy white swell of her breasts. The rosy tips drawn in tight peaks spoke not only of her arousal but the cool air surrounding them.

He automatically reached for her, but she avoided his touch by stepping back, then shoved her skirt down her legs. After shedding the multi-colored fabric, she wore only a pair of black, lace-up boots. “If you want to make it to my cabin before the light disappears, you better remove your clothes, too.”

The sight of her exquisite body held him prisoner. Full plump breasts lead to a narrow waist then widened into the round curve of her hips. The light bush between her legs revealed her natural blonde hair color. He smiled and grabbed her around the waist. “And what if I can’t wait until then to claim you?”

A sly grin kissed her lips before a tiny pop broke the silence between them. The smooth texture of her skin changed into the soft caress of feathers as she shrank. The tantalizing aroma of her transformation filled his loins with a barbaric thirst for sex.

A loud call pulled his gaze skyward as a hawk soared above his head. Words filtered through his head. Do you know the hawk’s waltz?

He recalled the mating rituals performed above the trees and envisioned the joy of flying.

After a small hop, he flapped his wings and raced after her. With their destination unknown to him, she quickly outdistanced him. He sped through the air and slowly closed the gap between them. Yes.

The wind rushing over his feathers fought to cool his carnivorous hunger, but the brief teasing fragrance of her lust continued to feed his desire. The sun, escaping the pursuit of the night beast, fell below the horizon. Red, yellow, and purple lights filled the evening sky.

Why flee? he called.

Her answer stroked his thoughts. Oh, but if you can’t catch me, what kind of pleasure could you really give me?

Inflamed by her words and the fire burning through his loins, he soared higher and charted the circles she drew beneath his flight’s course.

Marking her position, he took a steep dive through the center of her path and then moved in a sharp angle upwards. He repeated the maneuver several times, coming closer and closer to her until his wing brushed hers. On his climb back to the heavens, he grabbed her talons.

Interlock in a spiraling fall, her hoarse raspy cry echoed around him. The ache in his cock intensified. How much longer would she make him wait?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Intelligence is Sexy

What kind of heroes do you like? That's a topic that comes up all the time in romance author interviews. Alphas―tall, tough and taciturn, the kind of guys who take over and practically force you to love them? Betas―sensitive, responsible, best-friend type of guys who turn out to have harbored secret passions for years? Anti-heroes―bad boys who break all the rules and maybe even the law, but who are too sexy to resist?

My answer? I like smart guys. How the hero looks doesn't matter nearly as much as whether he's got something special between his ears. In the real world and in fiction (mine and the work of others), I find intelligence to be a turn on.

I'm a sucker for the brilliant nerd type. One reason is that I've known so many. (In fact, I married one!) I spent the first twenty six years of my life in school, getting more degrees than anyone should ever want. In the process, I met and loved my share of near-genius men―guys who could discourse for hours on the subjective nature of reality and the illusion of time, or create a mathematical model of the solar system, or build a functioning computer from bottle caps, paper clips and picture wire.

Why are intelligent men attractive? Well, for one thing, most are less likely to be threatened by an intelligent woman. Instead, they appreciate a companion who doesn't bore them. Insight or intuition often, though not always, accompanies intelligence―my genius guys sometimes knew what I wanted before I did. In addition, my experiences suggest that, contrary to the nerd stereotype, bright men are more highly sexed. Or just possibly they're more desperate, but the end result is the same―more passion!

I've written some alpha heroes, but many of my favorite characters don't fit the mold. One example is Rick Martell in Ruby's Rules. The whole book is a contest of wits, wills and sexual wiles, pitting Rick, a clever, charismatic (but not particularly handsome) entrepreneur against Ruby, the brilliant, subtle young CEO of an international business empire. Despite their fierce competition for ownership of a strategic semiconductor factory, Rick and Ruby find each other irresistibly attractive. In fact, the intellectual games they play only fan the flames of their mutual passion.

Here's a brief excerpt (R-rated), the scene where Ruby first meets Rick.


Bravo.” A soft, melodious male voice, and then the sound of applause. “I’m extremely impressed.”

I pull myself abruptly upright. Did someone dare to watch me and my medieval servitor?

I have just been finger-fucked to exhaustion, yet my first reaction is a wave of total, incomprehensible lust. Incomprehensible because the man who stands between the parted curtains is not at all my type. He is short and wiry. His hair is scraggly and a bit too long around his ears, and he has a dreadful drooping black mustache. He wears nondescript jeans and a khaki shirt.

Somehow, though, he radiates sexuality. His aura is palpable, the air thick and sticky as syrup. He fixes me with his intense, dark eyes and grins. I feel like I am melting. I want to spread my legs wider, desperately offer my swelling sex for him to use as he will.

I struggle with my impulses, close my legs decisively and try to stare him down. “I gather you were spying on me and my admirer.”

Indeed. A most entertaining and instructive tableau.” He enters the balcony-space, letting the curtains close behind him, and picks up the flogger. The knotted thongs dangle an inch above my cleavage. “You seem to be quite an expert in the arts of discipline.”

Hardly,” I say, taking the whip from him, trying to take control of the interaction. “I am just beginning to explore the possibilities. But,” I say, my eyes narrowing to watch his reaction, “I do find myself quite sensitive to my partners’ desires to yield to my power.”

I could see that. You knew what he wanted, and you gave it to him.” He pauses and searches my face. “But, do you know what I want?”

Truly, I have no idea. He seems fascinated by the flogger, but I sense only a hint of submission in him, a playful curiosity totally different from the aching need of my recent conquest.

His eyes play over my body in a leisurely fashion, appreciative, it seems, but not urgent. Surreptitiously, I glance at his fly: an appealing bulk there, but no indication of arousal.

I, on the other hand, am hornier than I have been in weeks. Maybe months. Or ever. My clit throbs like a sore tooth. I lean forward so that my breasts part invitingly, and lick my painted lips.

Tell me what you want,” I purr. “I’m feeling generous tonight, and just might grant your request.”

He leans toward me in answer, and grasps my chin. Strange electricity flows from his touch. My breasts ache. My cunt is on fire.

I want you to take me home with you,” he says with a cryptic smile. And then he kisses me.

I am not sentimental. I am not romantic, susceptible, easily mastered. But I swear, I could drown in this kiss.

His lips are smooth and full, his tongue demanding. He tastes of peppermint, and behind that, an aromatic trace of pipe tobacco. I smell his cologne, something clean, woodsy, Scandinavian.

I do not want to give in, and yet I do. I return his kiss, open my mouth wide to his probing. He senses my partial surrender, and presses his advantage. He has slipped his hand inside my vest, now, and is pinching my nipple hard.

I love it. I am awash with lust. I am dying for him to take me. My sex is liquid, spilling over. My scent rises in the velvet-draped space. I know that I cannot hide my desire, but still I try.

You seem most enthusiastic,” I say, my voice surprisingly steady. “But why should I allow you into my personal space?”

Because you want to,” he says, deftly extricating my breast from its leather casing and planting a kiss on its tip. “And because you think that you will have more control on your home territory. As an interloper, I will necessarily be at a disadvantage.”

He is right. Many women would feel vulnerable, bringing a stranger into their home, but I am more confident on my own turf than in some unfamiliar locale. I am astonished at his perspicacity. Who is this man? He appears so ordinary and yet there is both physical attraction, and psychological intrigue.


Of course, Ruby is as intelligent as Rick. That's a major part of the dynamic that propels this novel. I should have mentioned that smart heroines are my favorites, too.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blending Genres

By Laura Hogg (Guest Blogger)

Hello, thanks for having me here, Lisabet! Being a musician and a writer, I often like to compare the two art forms. They have so much in common. I played music even before I ever wrote my first poem or story, back when I was a kid. It was the ‘70s, and disco was big. I went roller-skating (not roller-blading, lol) once a week at least, and living in the beautiful, mountainous Colorado, my dad used to take us on trips to the mountains all the time. Oh, to visit those crystal lakes or have fun walking around the really cool, charming little mountain towns…and during the drive up, my sisters and I would play with our dolls while listening to the wonderful music our father popped into the car’s stereo. Typically, it was either rock or classical.

I grew up loving both genres. Mozart or AC/DC. You name it; I liked both. As a teenager in the ‘80s, big hair and all, as a listener, I gravitated toward the bands that were influenced by classical music. The great guitarists of the heavy metal genre back then were often classically trained, and one could sometimes hear 18th century progressions incorporated into their complicated guitar riffs or the beautiful keyboard solos—

Sadly, as not a wildly talented musician myself, I attempted to insert the classical influence into my own rock songs, but my keyboard and guitar parts were very simple in comparison.

As a writer now, I love blending genres. I think crossing over from one to another often brings amazing results. So many writers are great at this! It’s fun to pick up a book and read two, or even three favorite genres at the same time. Combining historical with paranormal or sci-fi comes out in my time-travel series, Romeo vs. Juliet, and I try to think of different ways to blend others in my new work. I wonder how many people like to write or read crossover books.

My latest book, Why, My Love, is the second in my Queen Nayda series. Why, My Love is soon to be released with Eternal Press. This book doesn’t blend genres like some of my previous work has, but totally different things have influenced it.

The heroine, Nayda, in this book is a queen in a post-apocalyptic world. She wields a sword, as does her warrior husband, so this story is classified in the fantasy genre with romantic elements, set in the near future. However, Nayda was a spy before the war broke out, and in this book she has to go back to her covert activities.

Here is a little blurb:

What will a queen do to win back her man and her country? Nayda, a warrior queen, and her husband rule over a small kingdom in a post-apocalyptic world doing the best they can to rebuild their city and bring prosperity to their citizens.

A European queen visits and creates chaos. She goes to war with Nayda and takes her crown, and, under strange circumstances steals her husband. Now Nayda must return to her espionage ways. Her missions are extremely dangerous, even more so than battle, where she can at least see the sword coming.

Soon to be out from Eternal Press:

Laura lives in Colorado and has various stories out with different publishers. They range from short stories to full-length novels. Most are romance. Laura likes to write historical, some sci-fi, and paranormal, especially time travel fiction. Her links:

Thanks again, so much for having me! I’d like to know if others enjoy blended genres or not. Take care, and happy reading and writing. -Laura

Friday, July 2, 2010

Soul Mates

By Karenna Colcroft (Guest Blogger)

Soul mates. The concept seems to drive many romance stories. Two people who just plain belong together, who were born to be together. Who see each other and are instantly in love. Who possibly knew each other in a past life and are reconnecting in this one.

But how realistic is it to believe that everyone has a perfect match out there somewhere? Do people really find their lost loves from past lives? Love at first sight is just a fairy tale, right?

I’ve spent a lot of years wondering about soul mates and true love. For many years, those musings came from a pretty cynical point of view. I was in love in high school—at least, at the time, from ages sixteen to twenty, I was pretty sure it was true love. And he loved me, too, I knew he did. Except for the whole part where he constantly told me that he didn’t love me because I deserved better. If true love and soul mates really exist, why didn’t he and I end up living happily ever after?

During my first marriage, for reasons I won’t go into, my cynicism became firmly entrenched. My first husband definitely wasn’t my true love or soul mate. Love didn’t even play a role in the marriage. By the time I ended it, fourteen years after we were married, I’d come to the conclusion that maybe true love existed, but it didn’t exist for me.

However, a tiny spark of hope lingered in my heart, which was why I turned to writing romance stories. At least in writing, I could ensure that people found their soul mates. A little bit of me appears in almost all of my heroines, and through them, I made true love exist.

Fortunately, in 2008 my cynicism was walloped upside the head and dumped into the bay. At a barbecue hosted by a friend I’d met through an online dating site (I wound up with a lot more friends than dates there, let me tell you!), I was walking through the yard when a man stopped me and introduced himself by his chat room handle. I introduced myself and looked into his brown eyes.

His face lit up. I was hit by a jolt like an electric charge. We chatted a little, we danced, we flirted. Before half an hour was over, we felt like we’d known each other forever. Before the end of the night, we were finishing each other’s sentences. By the next morning, we were answering each other’s questions before the questions were asked.

That was two years ago, and in April that man became my husband. And yes, I do believe we’re true matches, soul mates, whatever term you want to use. And I do believe we fell in love with each other, if not at first sight, somewhere around the second or third glance.

In my novel Eternal Love, coming July 8 from Pink Petal Books, Rhys Trevellian and Gwen Davies have a love like that. Well, sort of. Rhys is 935 years old, and has been in love with Gwen since childhood. The problem is, while Rhys is immortal, Gwen is mortal. In her first lifetime with Rhys, he left her because he didn’t want her to learn of his immortality. In her next seven lifetimes, Rhys found her and they rekindled their love, although since she’d reincarnated each time Gwen had no memory of any previous lives with him. And each time, she was murdered by fanatic immortals who wanted to keep them apart.

In the present day, Rhys again finds Gwen’s reincarnation, also named Gwen. Although she has no memories of him, she recognizes him instantly, and soon falls in love with him. Of course, he’s already in love with her, even though she has a different physical form.

Their love gets them through the aftermath of Gwen’s abusive relationship with another man, being chased down by the fanatics, and Rhys’s arrest by the immortal authorities for murder. Through it all, they know they belong together, and they know they’ll have their happy ending.

Just like real soul mates. If such a thing exists.

Karenna Colcroft is the alter ego of a relatively sedate mother, wife, and former teacher. She began writing at age five, and has been writing romance since 2006. She received her first publishing contract in 2009, and since then has published with several publishers, including Pink Petal Books, Siren, and Noble Romance. Karenna is fond of self-imposed deadlines, even when they make her tear her hair out, and is thankful for her supportive family. She lives in the northeastern US with her two daughters, her real-life romance hero husband, and two cats. You can learn more about Karenna at

Eternal Love will be available July 8 at