JANUARY 2011 M/M ROMANCE NEWSLETTER|
Welcome to our newsletter. We hope the content on this page is both informative and entertaining. We welcome feedback; you can send it to the Newsletter Editor. Also, please visit the Dreamspinner Press blog! Follow the blog to see author posts, book excerpts, contests, and other news from the press about M/M romance. Enjoy!
Ariel Tachna, Social Networking Coordinator, Dreamspinner Press
Why did you decide to write romance stories?
I never actually did set out to write romances—I just started by writing about characters I love, having sex. I am pretty character-driven in my focus, in writing, reading, movies, TV, and life. People interest me. One of the most interesting things that most of us do is fall in love and have sex. So it seemed like a natural thing for me to write about.
Why choose a porn star for a character?
Because porn stars (and all sex workers) are just normal people too. I was also inspired by the Sindustry anthology, but the real reason is that When Work is a Pleasure was written for a friend, who specifically asked for a regular guy and a porn star falling in love.
How were you introduced to M/M fiction?
Eons ago, when the planet was still cooling, in the dark period known as "the 1980s", I saw Torch Song Trilogy with a friend. The struggle and difficulty queers face resonated deeply with me, even before I realized I was bisexual. All through high school I was a huge fan of Anne Rice, Mary Renault, Patricia Nell Warren, Armistead Maupin, etc, as well as the movies that began to come out at that time, finally portraying homosexuality in a more positive light.
What are five of your favorite books/series?
I'm sort of an omnivore, so you'd have to narrow that by genre for me to even know how to begin. So instead: The Wizard of Oz series, Laurie R. King's Mary Russell mysteries, Dorothy Sayer's Lord Peter Wimsey series, Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, and James Heriott's All Creatures Great and Small series are all books I have read several times in my life and plan to read again. I like to be amused, taken away to somewhere idyllic (particularly England), and I want lots of witty conversation.
Why did you decide to try to publish your stories?
Well, i was writing anyway—I figured it couldn't hurt to try to get some money out of it! I mostly write because I love it, and the money is secondary. I try to write what feels real and true to me, which is why I have a difficult time with Happily Ever Afters—Happily For Now is more my style. I love praise, but I'd rather write something that I'm proud of, even if no one else likes it.
Alix Bekins lives in the coastal mountains of Northern California with her partner and their dog. She's been writing for as long as she can remember in a variety of genres, including fiction, erotica, poetry, and nonfiction and has even managed to get some of it published from time to time.
Alix is pretty sure she's the only person in the world who wears a plastic Viking helmet as a thinking cap when she battles writer's block. She always wins.
You can visit Alix's blog.
Win an eBook copy of your choice of one of this author's works. Clues are available in author bios on our web site.
This author started writing in the back of her science notebook in third grade and hasn't stopped since. When she isn't writing, she teaches in New Mexico.
E-mail the Newsletter Editor with your answer. A winner will be chosen randomly from the correct answers. Contest ends the last day of the month.
The correct answers to last month's question: This author has lived in Spain, the Phillipines, and the Middle East, and has written five novels for us, including two BDSM titles. Mickie Ashling
Arriving at Harmony
By Marcus Maichle
"Don't come home." Derik sat on the steps of the dormitory, staring at his phone. He'd hung up nearly half an hour ago, and the words still stung. "Don't come home."
A few weeks after starting college, he'd worked up the courage to visit the campus LGBT group, and attended one of their talks. It inspired him to take the important step of coming out. His plan was to go home for a weekend, and tell his family there. It gave him enough time to meet with group counselors and prepare for the talk. But when he called to arrange a ride from the bus, Mom got inquisitive about the reason for the visit, and wouldn't let up. Finally, it burst out.
"Mom, I'm gay." This started an argument, ending in the most painful words he'd heard from his mother.
After hanging up, Derik just sat on the steps, unable to believe what had just happened. Other students passed back and forth, as if he wasn't there, some nearly barreling into him. He hardly noticed the near misses, but then a voice startled him.
"What? Oh, sorry, am I blocking the way?" Derik asked, not really caring. At least he didn't until he actually looked up and saw a handsome face smiling down at him.
"Not at all, but if it were possible, I'd say you were blocking the sun, you look so gloomy. Normally I wouldn't pry, but you look familiar. Didn't I see you at the talk yesterday?"
"Um, yeah," he answered, standing. "I'm Derik," he said, extending his hand.
"Cary." He took Derik's hand, giving him another great smile. Derik looked shyly away. "So, what about those clouds?" Cary asked.
Derik looked at the clear fall sky. "Oh, that. Like you said, I was at that talk last night, and decided to call my mom. It didn't go well."
"I'm sorry." Cary's voice was soft and genuine. "Some parents seem to know already, and some take it pretty hard. You okay?"
"I suppose. I didn't plan on telling her on the phone, it just popped out. And I was hoping to talk it over, but now she doesn't want me to come..." He tried to say 'home' but the word caught in his throat. Cary still had Derik's hand in his, and now he moved his other hand to cover Derik's.
"Look, I know it hurts. But don't judge her just yet. She's probably just shocked by the news. Most parents come around eventually." Without really saying so, Cary showed that he had gone through a similar time. "Now, you can't just sit around moping. Come on, I know what you need."
Derik's eyes widened and he drew his hand quickly back from Cary's.
"Oh, not that, silly," he laughed. "My, you have been taught to think the worst, haven't you?"
"I'm sorry." Derik lowered his eyes, afraid he'd just terribly offended the first person to show him real kindness.
"Don't worry about it. If it's any comfort, I don't date freshmen. What I meant was," Cary flourished his hand, and his voice became campy. "Darling, you need to see a show!"
I can't believe I'm doing this, Derik thought, climbing into the cab after Cary. Cary had said that he had planned to see a concert the next night, but he would take Derik tonight. Derik didn't know what to expect, and Cary was being secretive. They arrived at a community theater, and Cary insisted on paying for the tickets. Derik was so amazed at the space that he hardly noticed the posters for the show. Only when they'd settled into their seats did he notice the title on the program he'd been handed.
"A gay chorus?" he asked Cary.
"Yes. Most big cities have one. It's about to start."
The show wasn't at all what Derik expected. He pictured someone who looked like Harvey Korman in drag on the Carol Burnett Show, belting show tunes like a bad Idol hopeful. Instead, the curtain rose on a stage full of men in shirts and ties, and the show started with a jazzy number, including pairs of men dancing together. Derik was amazed at the singing, which he thought made the proud church choir back home sound like a grade school recital.
Between choral numbers, some of the men performed solos of love songs, originally by female artists, without changing the lyrics to sound like they were singing to women. There was a man in drag, but he didn't look silly at all. Elegant would have been the word, and after her song, she received a standing ovation. After that came the campy drag queen, with overdone make-up, singing a parody of the previous number. Derik found himself laughing, and then felt an elbow in his side. He turned to meet Cary's gaze. "What?" he asked.
"This is the first time I've seen you smile," he beamed. Derik's smile widened, and they both turned back to the show.
At the intermission, Cary asked, "So, what do you think?"
"I'm stunned," said Derik. "Where I'm from, if two men got up and sang to each other or danced together, they'd be run off the stage, or worse. Can I ask a silly question?"
"How do they decide who dances backwards?"
"Why, the better dancer of course. Ginger Rogers fans have known this for ages." Cary's eyes glimmered as he spoke, and Derik found himself just staring for a while, before finding a way to break the silence.
"Do you dance?" he asked.
"Sometimes," was Cary's casual answer.
"That depends on my partner," he winked. "Let's get back to our seats."
The second half contained a few more comedy numbers, and then the show ended with the chorus singing "No One is Alone," which Derik recognized from a musical he'd seen on PBS, Into the Woods. Now he realized what was so special about the group. They were all outcasts, like him, who'd created a place for themselves. He had longed to go to college in the city where it was okay to be different, and he ended up finding that he wasn't different after all. He found himself crying. Cary took his hand again, and gave it a squeeze.
"Thanks," he told Cary after the show. "I never knew there was such a thing."
"That's why I brought you. You looked like you needed a friend."
"You said that you planned on coming tomorrow. Do you still want to?"
"Okay, and I'll pay this time. I owe you."
"Don't worry about it. What are friends for?"
Well, actually, I was wondering about your rule about dating freshmen."
"Oh? Well, it just so happens there's an exception if he's the one who asks me out."
"In that case, let's have dinner before the show and make it a date." Derik was amazed at his own boldness. Cary smiled and nodded, but didn't move. Riding his new wave of boldness, Derik leaned forward and put his arms around Cary. They held the embrace for a moment, then Cary took Derik's hand and they walked out of the theater. Once they got outside, Derik breathed the cool air and turned to the night sky.
"I can see it now," he mused.
"What?" asked Cary. In response, Derik turned and looked Cary in the eye.
A Note in the Margin by Isabelle Rowan
John McCann, a man who judges life by the tally of an accounts ledger, has a supreme goal in life: To achieve, live, and enjoy the rarified executive lifestyle. But he's encountered one problem: The migraines are going to continue to get worse unless you make some major changes in your lifestyle. What you need is a 'sea change'... Perhaps buy a nice little business in the country, settle down, something easier to occupy your time...
While John knows the doctor is right, he just can't resign from the job he's fought so hard for. He decides the sacrifice of taking a year's leave of absence won't interfere too much with his plans, and so he finds himself running Margins, a cozy little bookstore, with the help of the former owner's son, Jamie. John expects to put in his year, get his stress under control, and then get back to business.
What John doesn't expect is how Margins and its denizens draw him in, particularly the quiet, disheveled man who takes refuge in the old leather chair in the second-hand book section. John's plans for an unattached year of simple business crumble when he meets David and is forced to reevaluate life, love and what he really wants from both. John and David are forced to come to terms with their pasts as they struggle to determine what possible future they might build together.
Ariel's thoughts: I read A Note in the Margin when it first came out, but I picked it back up recently because I needed a good cry, and this book is guaranteed to give it to you. It's not a sad book so much as it is an emotionally powerful one. Isabelle Rowan could have taken the easy way out and let John and David's romantic relationship magically fix all of David's problems, but she didn't. She dealt with the real challenges of homelessness and overcoming that in a book that is full of heart-warming (and heart-wrenching) moments as well as a cast of secondary characters guaranteed to make you smile.
By Nick Hanson
"username: 7mark8 is a compelling story and Nick Hanson brings Mark vividly to life. I highly recommend this unique and entertaining novel."
Kathy at Blackraven's Reviews
by Clare London
"Clare London takes you on a ride for 72 Hours that will have you holding on by your fingernails."
Elise Lyn at Sensual Reads
Free Short Story:|
Arriving at Harmony by Marcus Maichle
Calls for Submissions - Contest
News - Recommended Reads
About Us - Unsubscribe
New Releases - Coming Soon
The following books will have signed copies available to the first 20 customers:|
Tono by Mickie B. Ashling
Dignity Takes a Holiday by Rick R. Reed
According to Hoyle by Abigail Roux
The following authors will host Meet the Author events at Dreamspinner Press's Facebook Fan page this month. All Meet the Author events are from 1 to 6 pm EST unless otherwise noted:
Ariel Tachna - January 1
Lesley Hastings - January 8 from 3-6 PM EST
Sue Brown - January 15
Rick R. Reed - January 29
Join Ariel Tachna, Nicki Bennett at Arisia in Boston, MA, Jan 14-17.
K.Z. Snow, author of Mongrel, was interviewed at Love Books and More.
Andrea Speed, author of Infected: Bloodlines, was interviewed at Love Books and More.
Charlie David, author of Shadowlands, was interviewed at Out Front Colorado and at 2B Magazine Online.
Ethan Stone, author of In the Flesh, was profiled at Jessewave's blog.
Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux, authors of Fish & Chips, were interviewed at Jessewave's blog.
Ariel Tachna, author of The Matelot, was interviewed at Drea Becraft's blog.
Eric Arvin, author of Another Enchanted April, was the featured author at Sole Focus.
CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS|
In order to give all our potential authors the best service and attention, Dreamspinner Press no longer accepts simultaneous submissions. |
See the Open Calls for Submissions page for further details.
Limited Calls for 2011
Everyone loves a man in uniform. From the Armed Forces to civil service, it's often a matter of logistics to balance work and love in life, and these men are specialists, up to the task of finding romance amidst crime, fire, and military service.
Submission Deadline: Feb. 14, 2011
First Time for Everything
2011 Daily Dose
From true love's first innocent kiss to finally getting down and dirty on the kitchen floor, there's a first time for every sort of cherry to be popped. Whether discovering the ravenous thrill of sex or the heartwarming power of romance, these men are going to take the plunge and try something new—something romantic or kinky, daring or safe, passionate or relaxed, even comforting or scary—all in the name of love.
Submission Deadline: March 11, 2011
Ahoy, me proud beauty, shiver me timbers! I ask ye to sail me jollyboat on the high seas, lubber, but will ye dare to accept? On offer be a pirate's life full of danger and risk, and not just to yer neck, but to yer very virgin heart! There's many a bodice to be ripped—or perhaps I should say many a codpiece to be snapped—and should ye be graced enough to cross bones with a corsair, don't be an addlepate! Heave ho, lad, handsomely, and show him how ye bury yer treasure!
Pirates didn't only sail the high seas in historical times. Modern-day renegades and futuristic rebels are just as ripe for adventure and plunder. No matter the time, place, or circumstances, bad boys steal affection as often as they salvage treasure, and in these stories of romance, a rogue's black heart always conceals a center of gold.
Submission Deadline: May 23, 2011
Enter the hallowed halls of higher learning, where there's a lot more to life, sex, and love than what these men can get out of a book. They'll give English a slip of the tongue, practice their Interpersonal Communication skills, and learn about the birds and the bees in Biology. Join them as they see why flexibility is important in Phys Ed, figure the odds of finding the perfect mate in Statistics, flirt and woo each other with poetry in Literature, and discover why Chemistry is a double entendre.
Submission Deadline: Aug. 15, 2011
I'll Be Home for Christmas
2011 Advent Calendar
It's the most fervent dream of the holidays: to have a life full of blooming romance and enduring devotion with love, joy, and even a touch of lust to warm the cold winter nights. No matter what holidays are celebrated, the idiom holds true: home is where the heart is.
Submission Deadline: Sept. 12, 2011
Two Tickets to Paradise
A vacation is exactly what these men need to find love in their lives. It may be about looking for a little fun, gaining a fresh perspective after a breakup, or building up the nerve to take the plunge. Whether they travel by plane, train, or automobile, none of them want to go it alone. They're hoping romance will be the ticket to finding paradise in another man's arms.
Submission Deadline: Dec. 30, 2011
Dreamspinner Press is accepting submissions for our in-house genre Timeless Dreams, romantic M/M historical fiction with happy endings. While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma. You can visit the rough and tumble Old West, travel the ancient kingdoms of desert sheikhs, see the black and red lacquer of the Far East, or dance in dramatic Regency England. No matter where or when, in the romantic worlds of Timeless Dreams, our heroes always live happily ever after.
Manuscripts of any story length may be submitted. You must follow general submission guidelines for short stories for proper consideration. Please list "Timeless Dreams" in the subject line of your submission.
Dreamspinner Press is accepting submissions for our in-house genre, Bittersweet Dreams, stories of M/M romance with nontraditional endings. It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
Manuscripts of any story length may be submitted. You must follow general submission guidelines for short stories for proper consideration. Please list "Bittersweet Dreams" in the subject line of your submission.
Fallen Angels Recommended Read: A Taste of Love by Andrew Grey|
Fallen Angels Recommended Read: Trust Me by Jeff Erno
Whipped Cream Reviews Best Book: An Earlier Heaven by D.W. Marchwell
Dark Divas Recommended Read: Sweet Son by Heidi Cullinan
Blackraven's Reviews Recommended Read:Why Nileas Loved the Sea by Ariel Tachna
Night Owl Reviews Top Pick: Well Traveled by Margaret Mills and Tedy Ward
Joyfully Recommended: Counterpoint: Dylan's Story by Ruth Sims
Joyfully Recommended: Transcending Limits by Nicki Bennett and Ariel Tachna
Launched in May 2007, Dreamspinner Press offers quiet romance, supernatural passion, out-of-this-world lovers, kinky explorations, and heated dreams—a little taste to whet your appetite for romantic homoerotica. We hope you take a little time to be enchanted, romanced, and loved by enjoying the publications of Dreamspinner Press.|
We appreciate your patronage! If you have feedback, please e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Dreamspinner Press, 4760 Preston Road, Suite 244-149, Frisco, TX 75034, USA. Thank you!
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