FEBRUARY 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?
Actually, I didn't. I decided to get a Master's degree in Creative Writing so I could get a raise as a teacher.
(Getting my administrative degree was right out!) I got about halfway there and dropped out because I hated leaving
my kids two days a week, but I didn't stop writing. My focus was going to be fantasy—and all my self-pubbed books
ARE fantasy or UCF. The problem is, there was an awful lot of smex in my fantasy, and nobody knew where to put
that. Not having a niche is not having a publisher, really—and since I couldn't seem to stay away from the
romance—or the smex—writing m/m was a natural extension of what I was writing anyway. (And it's sort of
You've written both very short short stories and very long novels. How do you decide what length a story merits?
I don't. The story I'm telling does. If I'm telling the story about a really intense moment--like, say, "Gambling
Men", it's all about the moment, and the details and the backstory have to be lean and sparing, or the moment is
lost in the the weight of all the moments that led up to it.
If you're writing about an intense personal situation, like, say, Keeping Promise Rock, that's a case of a lot of
moments, small and large, leading to a large defining moment, and as long as that defining moment is kept in the
focus, ("I'm not okay.") then the story that leads up to it is as long as the depth of the emotions warrants. (So,
like, KPR was pretty long, and so was Making Promises.)
If you're writing a book about an intense personal and political situation... well, you end up with Bitter Moons I &
II--that's 500K of blood and angst, and I still worry that I didn't spend enough time telling that story. (Blood
and angst takes a lot of words. Trust me. I know.)
How were you introduced to M/M fiction?
Oddly enough, it was my own imagination that did it. I was continuing a short story I wrote for the Master's
Program (called "Vulnerable") at about the time Prop 25 was being defeated in California. (This was the Proposition
that SHOULD have made Prop 8 illegal to even put on the books. I hate politics sometimes. Really hates 'em.) So
I was walking around my neighborhood, thinking about my story, and getting upset because I knew that love was not
always nice and pretty in a pink and blue box, and it seemed so obvious! And then I went to write my little vampire
romance (which was released two years before Twilight, thank you!) and suddenly my hero seemed to have as much
chemistry with his male leader as he did with his female love interest. The result was the 150 year romance between
Adrian and Green--and a fascination with the idea of two strong men struggling with the emotional and communicative
limitations that come with being men in our society. I haven't lost my interest in this—in fact, it's become one
of my favorite things to write about.
What are five of your favorite books/series?
The Harry Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, the Ty/Zane books by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux (these two writers
were my very very first m/m authors--thanks, guys!), the first two books of the Danny Valentine series by Lilith
Saintcrow, The Hallows series by Kim Harrison, and absolutely anything written by Robin McKinley.
Why did you decide to try to publish your stories?
There is a real satisfaction—something true and ringing and inescapable—about having somebody say, "Your
characters feel like family." Writing something that moves a person is an ultimately powerful experience--and when
you do that well, and when people tell you that what you made them feel is positive, or that it made them think or
feel something they'd never imagined before—that feels like you're changing the world for the better. Isn't that
what everyone wants to do with their lives? Make a better world?
Yeah. Me too.
Amy Lane been married for twenty-plus years and still believes in Twu Wuv, with a capital Twu and a capital Wuv, and she doesn't see any reason at all for that to change.
Visit Amy's web site. You can also e-mail her directly.
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 at about the same time that she got back on a horse after a twenty-year break. She'd like to think that she's far too young for it to be a mid-life crisis, but apparently she was ready for a few changes!
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 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. Lyn Gala
By Tia Fielding
It had been ten months since he left. More days than I cared to count. I sat there, behind the helm of the old wooden boat my father had wanted me to have after grandpa Jones died.
I did this often. When it wasn't too windy or raining, I would sit there. Stare at the lake, hope and dream. Hope that he'd come back to me. Hope for inspiration that had gone away with my tall and lanky muse. Dream... dream of the past, of his hands on my body, his lips against mine. How his taste lingered in my mouth for such a short moment after the last kiss we shared at the airport.
The silence of the lake felt like home to me since I hated cities, and he was a cowboy at heart, born and raised in Texas. To him, this place and my little boat had been a refuge just like it was for me.
The endless hours we spent inside the cabin, making love in the narrow bunk bed. Or on the deck, in the summertime, when the sun would burn his golden curls and warm our bodies as we lay there together, exhausted by the all-consuming love we had for each other. When the first ripples of the waves hit the extremities of our bodies, we'd smile to each other just for a moment, before our love spread through us, blowing our minds as we came, screaming each other's names into the silence of the lake and the surrounding woods.
Together we could do anything. I could write, as he was my muse. He could compose his music, for I was his inspiration. The songs he'd write for me were as beautiful as he was. My words on the paper often lacked his beauty but they were always heartfelt, always about him on some level, even if no one else could tell that but him and me.
For two years I had him. For two years he came here to this lake with me almost every weekend and holiday. We'd stay in the small cabin we had by the shore—away from civilization and without electricity. We carried drinking water with us from the city along with our food. The basics were all we needed besides my laptop and his guitar. We were happy, always happy.
Eleven months ago he got a recording deal. I was happy for him, but I needed to set him free when they asked him to tour with other new musicians. After long conversations we finally agreed not to stay in contact. When the recording and the tour ended, he'd come back to me if he still wanted me.
To see him get on that plane.... It broke my heart. For weeks I was a mess, barely having the strength to breathe. I lost weight and my ability to write. My muse was gone. Where would I find joy and inspiration again?
The lake and the boat felt so empty without him. I knew the tour would end in early September, that much he had managed to tell me before I made him shut up about the details. I didn't want to know. I didn't want to have a date to dread, only the knowledge that eventually he'd come back to me if he still wanted to.
It was late October now. I hadn't been here for more than a few days since he left ten months ago. I couldn't bear the memories of him, of our love, of everything I had lost. Why had I come now? Because I could be lonely here, surrounded by memories, rather than in the city, surrounded by people I didn't want to see.
So I sat there, steering my little boat into the dock. I should eat. Sometimes I had an appetite, mostly not. But I wanted to live, not die, so I ate something every day. Maybe it wasn't living, barely existing, but I was still here, wasn't I?
It was cloudy, but it had been warm in the morning. Now the wind was picking up and a chill ran through my body. Dressed in just a T-shirt and jeans, I reached for the thick sweater he had bought me for our first anniversary.
That date was closing in; it would be our third anniversary soon, in less than a week. But he wasn't coming back.
I surprised myself by breathing in a shaky breath. I hadn't cried once since he left, and I wouldn't start now.
Jumping onto the little dock, I tied the boat, letting my gaze sweep the forest on the other side of the lake. The colors were lovely, my favorite time of the year but I couldn't enjoy it.
Sighing, I pulled the sweater over my head and then rubbed my cold hands together, trying to create enough friction to warm them a bit.
I looked towards the nearby cabin. I would have to make a fire in to the fireplace for warmth during the night. I had neglected the fire this morning so I knew it was...
And then I spotted it. A faint trail of smoke floating towards the sky from the chimney. At first it made no sense at all.
Nobody else knew about this cabin. Only my parents who never came here... and him.
My heart beat faster; my breathing picked up.
I ran to the cabin, threw the door open and saw him there, sitting on the loveseat near the fireplace with a book on his lap—as if the last ten months were just a bad dream.
He raised his stormy blue eyes to look at me and the smile I loved more than anything in the world appeared on his perfect lips.
"Miss me, darlin'?"
Dreamlands by Felicitas Ivey
The Trust and its battle-hardened recruits are fighting a horrific war, a war between the humans of this world and the demons of the Dreamlands. In this shadowy battle, Keno Inuzaka is merely a pawn: first an innocent bystander imprisoned and abused by the Trust, then a captive of a demon oni when taken to the Dreamlands.
But oni Samojirou Aboshi treats the human with unexpected care and respect, and the demon only just earns Keno's trust when a team from the Trust arrives to exploit the Dreamlands' magic.
As the war spreads across both worlds, Keno is torn between them. If he survives, he faces a decision: go home and carve out a new life under the Trust's thumb... or stay in the Dreamlands and find freedom in love.
Julianne's thoughts: Dreamlands is the sort of book that makes me reconsider my feelings about certain genres. On reading the back cover, it's not the sort of story I'd be drawn to, but Felicitas Ivey successfully weaves together such seemingly contradictory elements as science fiction and mythological Japanese spirit-worlds, love and violence, honor and depravity. The skillful writing is what makes it work, along with some truly captivating characters from both worlds. What ultimately makes a story work for me is not the plot alone but the characters and their connections to each other. Dreamlands has this in abundance.
By Mickie B. Ashling
"An emotional story which tells of three very different men brought together through illness, and manages to make what could have been quite a maudlin tale into something hopeful and ultimately uplifting."
Jenre at Reviews by Jessewave
by Sam C. Leonhard
"Tainted Blood by Sam C. Leonhard is a novel that reminded me why I love reading. I was hooked from the first page and I could not put this book down. The world building is creative and richly detailed. I was enchanted by the idea of hidden worlds that exist along side this one, worlds where many different kinds of supernatural creatures live. Humans know about these worlds but they are terrified. Anyone suspected of having the blood of a paranormal creature is persecuted. This world sparked my imagination and felt very believable to me."
Christina at Romance Junkies
Another Enchanted April
By Eric Arvin
"I love the way Eric has balanced his boyish sense of naughtiness and his grown up sense of wonder... If you love a love story mixed with humor and wonder----not to mention hunky naked guys---I'd recommend checking this out. It's a charming update to the original."
Doug at Unnatural Devotions
Free Short Story:|
Waves by Tia Fielding
Calls for Submissions - Contest
News - - What I'm Reading - Recommended Reads
About Us - Unsubscribe
New Releases - Coming Soon
The following books will have a limited number of signed copies available on a first come, first served basis:|
Clouds and Rain by Zahra Owens
Wings of Love by Scotty Cade
Accompanied by a Waltz by Andrew Grey
Island Song by Alan Chin
Woke Up in a Strange Place by Eric Arvin
Bless Us with Content by Tinnean
Rocking the Boat by Christopher Koehler
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:
Jake Mactire - February 5
Felicia Watson - February 12
Scotty Cade - February 19
Zahra Owens - February 27 10 am - 4 pm br>Join the Dreamspinner Press authors at Love Romances Cafe on February 24 from 4-11 pm EST. br>
Join one of our editors, Julianne Bentley and author Marie Sexton at Escapade in Ventura, CA, Feb 25-27.
Counterpoint: Dylan's Story by Ruth Sims was named to the inaugural Over the Rainbow List of LGBTIQ books for adults by Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Round Table of the American Library Association.
Congratulations to all our nominees for the Love Romances Cafe Best of 2010 Awards:
Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane - Best Contemporary Book
Branded by Clare London - Best Fantasy Book
A Taste of Love by Andrew Grey, Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane, and 72 Hours by Clare London - Best GLBTQ Book
A Brush of Wings - Best Anthology/Multi-Author Book
Strawberries for Dessert by Marie Sexton - Best Cover
Dreamspinner Press - Best E-Publisher
Love Means... Freedom by Andrew Grey, Keeping Promise Rock by Amy Lane, 72 Hours by Clare London - Best Book All Around
Shawn Lane, Serena Yates, RJ Scott, Beth Wylde, Heidi Cullinan, Rick R. Reed - Best GLBTQ Author
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.
Dark Divas Recommended Read: Fish and Chips by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux|
Dark Divas Recommended Read: You Can't Choose Your Family by Zahra Owens
Night Owl Reviews Top Pick: Why Nileas Loved the Sea by Ariel Tachna
Fallen Angels Recommended Read: Unexpected Guest by Andy Eisenberg
Joyfully Recommended: Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane
Blackraven's Reviews Recommended Read: Love Means... Freedom by Andrew Grey
Literary Nymphs Golden Blush Award: Match Maker by Alan Chin
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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