DECEMBER 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
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Dreamspinner is seeking translators to translate selected titles into French, Spanish, German, and Italian. If you are a native speaker of one of those languages and would like more details, contact email@example.com
Why did you decide to write romance stories?
I am a romantic at heart and even with an adventure story or even an erotic story, I just can't help adding that extra element of emotion. As much as gold and glory, I think that everyone wants love!
What are the differences in M/M romance written by men opposed to that written by women?
I often find that men want to write about adventure and danger while women often want to write about emotional conflict and interrelationships between characters. That said, the best writers know how to balance all those aspects, whether they are male or female. And I think the best stories are the ones with characters who exhibit emotion and care about their relationships, while the story unfolds around them.
How were you introduced to M/M fiction?
When I was about 18 I began to discover that a lot of fiction writers were including characters that did not fit the normal M/F formula, and that it became more acceptable to have gay relationships within their stories. Also at about that time I discovered gay men's magazines which almost always included M/M fiction. Of course, as a gay man, I wanted more of that. My first published story was in one of those gay men's magazines. Still, of course the vast majority of fiction was not about M/M romantic relationships, so in order to satisfy my craving as a reader, I had to write about what I wanted to read.
What are five of your favorite books/series?
Dune series by Frank Herbert
The Baroque Cycle series by Neal Stephenson
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
Centennial by James Michener
Carribean by James Michener
Why did you decide to try to publish your stories?
I believe I am a born storyteller. I think I inherited it from my grandfather who used to sit me and my four brothers down on his porch swing in the Arkansas evenings and spin fantastic tales while we listened breathlessly. I always read voraciously and found my imagination conjuring up stories even as I read them. In high school I wrote my first novel when a student teacher allowed me to do so in lieu of a regular semester's work in English. I spent many years raising a family on my ranch in British Columbia where I confined my writing to letters and birthday card poems until finally I packed up and moved to the city to pursue my life-long dream of being a writer. Now I write every day. Of course it is nice to get paid for what you like to do, so publishing my stories helps in that way! I also have a real desire to share what I have to say, and perhaps to change the world for the better in my own way as a writer.
A writer, actor, and personal trainer, Jay Starre once owned a horse ranch in the rugged interior of British Columbia. Jay now pumps out gay erotica from his downtown apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia, only two blocks from the beach. He won second place in the 2002 Mr. BC Leather Contest and was nominated for a 2003 Spectrum Award for one of his gay-themed science fiction stories. He takes advantage of the mild Vancouver weather by cycling and hiking nearly every day. You can e-mail Jay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, but now lives in a sleepy Mississippi town.
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 participates in role playing events and can be found running around in costume during at least one Renaissance festival and one fantasy convention a year. Her first novel, set at a fantasy convention, comes out in October. Nessa L. Warin
Mark tossed a breadcrumb to the seagull who was keeping him company. At least, he thought it was a seagull, some beady-eyed white and grey scruffy-looking bird who had lost all fear of humans. He was sitting on a stone wall, looking out at the Bay of Hanalei, on the north shore of Kauai. This was as far as he had ever been from home, and as far as he could get from the mess he'd left behind in San Diego.
He supposed he could have gone to the Arctic Circle, or Siberia. Both of those places were farther away than Hanalei, but if he was going to run away like a baby, then he damn well was going someplace warm, with tropical breezes, wildly overgrown vegetation, surfer boys, lots of surfer boys with salty skin and longboards. Naturally they were off limits after the latest... He didn't even know what to call it. Screw up was too mild. Fuck up was about right but he wasn't sure he had ever said the f-word out loud. He'd said it in his mind quite a few times the last month.
The seagull got closer, and Mark tried to stare him down. "Look, pal, I gave you the crumb. Now you go quietly. That's the informal contractual relationship between you and me." He almost thought the bird was sneering at him.
"He wants some poi. Or maybe some rice. If that's the bird who usually hangs around here, he's a fiend for rice."
Mark turned around. A beach food cart had set up a couple of yards behind him, with the name Magic Dragon painted on the side. The dragon illustration was goofy, sort of chubby and green. Slightly cross-eyed. "Nice dragon. Did you paint it?"
"Yes, I did!" The kid looked pleased. Uh, oh, surfer boy alert! Board shorts and sun-bleached blond hair and a sunburned nose. Oh, God, he had freckles! "I used the song as a guide."
The kid started singing then, the old Peter, Paul and Mary song about Puff the Magic Dragon. When he got to the line, ...in the land called Hanalei... he spread out his arms, embracing the beach, the bay, blue skies, bluer water, palm trees and boys and food carts.
"No way! I haven't heard that song in... I don't know how many years." He looked back at the bay, with waters so blue and clear it caused a funny pain, right under his breastbone. With the sleepy little town and the sunshine, and the air, the sweetest, warmest air Mark had ever smelled... He took a deep breath, then another. "I love the air here. You can't imagine how good it feels for me to breathe like this." He stood up, walked over to the kid's cart. The stalker gull was on his heels, just a bit too close for comfort. "So what do you serve?"
"Bowls," the kid said. "Hawaiian fast food. So in the bottom, you get rice or noodles. Or poi, though not usually. That's for a special occasion. Then you have your veggies and fruit. Then on top some meat, like roasted pork, or grilled chicken. You mix it all together, eat it with chopsticks. A different bowl every day. And I've got soda and bottles of water."
"So what do you have today?"
"Today's Wednesday, so I have white rice with grilled mango and roast pork. It's good, man. This food will bring you to your knees."
Mark felt the ominous soft touch of feathers against his ankle. He decided not to make eye contact with the bird under any circumstances.
"That sounds great. I'll take a bowl." He had never eaten mango in a dish, like a regular food, and he wondered about the economic viability of a cart that sold only one thing every day. But the kid looked happy, Hanalei looked happy, the sun looked happy. He sat down on the little picnic table and opened the bottle of water the kid handed to him.
"I'm Joe. What did you mean about breathing? You said it was good for you to breathe here."
"I have asthma. Bad asthma, and allergies."
"My uncle has asthma. He says it's been good since he came here to live. No volcanoes. No pollution. What are you allergic to?"
"Some days I think everything. But for sure I'm allergic to strawberries and cats. And I know that because my boyfriend just tried to kill me with strawberries and cats."
Joe set the bowl down on the table, handed him a pair of bamboo chopsticks, and took the seat across from him. "No way. I gotta hear this."
"He's a minor league baseball player. And he decided a couple of months ago that the only way he was going to get into the majors was if he gave up being gay. So first he was just going to be celibate."
"Huh. I didn't know you could do that, just decide not to be gay anymore."
"You can't." But I've always loved the dumb pretty ones. He didn't say this out loud. "So he decides that he doesn't want me to die of a broken heart. It will be easier if I break it off with him. So the first thing he did was he made this big bowl of fruit salad with strawberries. There was a dressing made of Cool Whip so I didn't see the strawberries until it was too late. Of course I have an epipen on me at all times. That one I just passed off as an accident."
Mark took a bite of his bowl. It was so good, the roast pork and the mango together rich and sweet. "This is really good."
"So he said the fruit salad was all a mistake?"
"Yep. Which I was ready to believe, until he brought the kitten home. With a pink bow around her neck. She was sitting on my bed when I walked in, a long-haired cutie with a squashed-looking nose. My thing with cats, it's really bad, and it took a couple of hours in the ER, thinking and breathing through a nebulizer, before I started to wonder what was up. So I just asked him."
"What did he say?"
Mark took another bite. "He explained his plan. He said he wasn't trying to kill me, he just wanted to get me to break up with him. So my heart wouldn't be broken when he wasn't gay anymore."
Joe was grinning, biting down on his bottom lip. "So what did you do?"
"I broke up with him."
The kid was staring down at the bowl. "Have you ever eaten mango before?"
"I'm not sure I have. It's really good. I love the flavors."
"Are you allergic to cantaloupes, too, or just strawberries? I mean, I'm just wondering..."
Mark felt the faint, familiar buzzing around his mouth, a tiny bit of numbness and swelling. "Oh, no. Not here." He felt in his pocket for his epipen. It was back in his room, in the bottom of the suitcase. "Shit. Why does it always have to be the best tasting food?"
The kid was up, digging a cell phone out of the pocket of his board shorts. "Rinse out your mouth with the water," he said. "And just breathe, man. We've got the sweetest air in the world in Hanalei. Just keep breathing."
And he did, and he could. Three minutes later, a man jumped off his bike and ran over to the cart. "What's happening?"
"Allergic reaction to the mango, I think. He's allergic to strawberries and cantaloupes."
The man looked at Mark, grabbed a stethoscope out of the pocket of his shorts. Mark stared down at his bare feet.
"Yes." His voice was wheezing now, but Mark was still calm, the sweet air against his face like the soft hand of a lover.
The man pulled an epipen out of his bag, jammed it down into Mark's bare thigh. "There you go, partner."
"Thanks." Mark looked up, saw the chubby, cross-eyed dragon on the cart. "Thanks, Joe. You might have just saved my life."
"Hey, what about me? I'm the one with the epipen." He sat down next to Mark at the picnic table, took his wrist and felt for the pulse. "It would be bad for business if Magic Dragon Hawaiian Bowls started knocking off the tourists right in the center of Hanalei Bay."
"My fault," Mark said. "Too much talking and not enough thinking. Hey, did you come on your bike?"
"When we need an ambulance, we hook up a surfboard to the back, and lash the victim tight, then I ride the bike up to the clinic. I'm Jeff. I'm the PA in Hanalei."
Mark looked up, stared into blue eyes the color of the sea, and as sweet as the air in Kauai.
"Hey, you ought to tell my Uncle Jeff about how your last boyfriend tried to kill you. His last boyfriend tried to kill him, too. But with a surfboard, not a kitten and some fruit salad."
Jeff smiled, and the laugh lines next to those blue eyes caused something to roll over in Mark's chest. "Why don't you come on back with me. I'll monitor you for awhile. Keep an eye on that heart rate."
"I don't think I need to go to the clinic, but..."
"I wasn't going to take you to the clinic. I've got a pair of hammocks on my porch and an afternoon nap on my agenda. As soon as you can breathe normally, you can tell me a story."
Mark wasn't sure if it was the epipen or the blue eyes causing his heart to race. "Okay, yes, good idea." He turned to the kid. "Thanks, dragon-boy." He looked around for the seagull, pointed a finger down at him. "Don't even think about following me. I know what you're up to."
The seagull took one step after them, then another. Joe folded his arms and watched them walk away. Then he tossed a handful of rice on the ground.
|WHAT I'M READING Ariel Tachna, Social Media and Review Coordinator
Summer Song by Louise Blaydon
Billy Bronner is, to all appearances, every inch the 1950s American dream: handsome, clever, captain of the high school football team, looks good enough in tight jeans that people can even forget he's Jewish. Then the new guy on the block, the enigmatic Leonard Nachman, turns his head, and over the summer Billy discovers a new world of romance and love—in a man's arms.
But when Kit O'Reilly, Billy's best friend and shadow, comes home after spending the summer with relatives, he finds Billy acting... differently. Soon enough, it becomes obvious that this change is related to Len, and Kit will have to decide if he'll accept the relationship Billy and Len have forged, or if he'll push Billy and their longtime friendship away.
Ariel's thoughts: Summer Song is a deceptively simple story of two friends and a newcomer, three boys on the cusp of manhood, struggling with themselves, their futures, and for Billy, with his sexuality. When you dig a little deeper, though, it's a story of acceptance, of friendship that endures, of digging down deep in your soul and finding the truth of what you believe, not the platitudes the world around you professes to be true. Told from the poit of view of all three main characters, Summer Song gives us not only the love story of Billy and Len through their eyes, but also through Kit's eyes as he comes to terms with the things he discovers about his best friend. And the epilogue, which I won't spoil here, brought tears of joy to my eyes. - Ariel Tachna, Social Media Coordinator
Free Short Story:|
Sweet Blue Love by Sarah Black
Calls for Submissions - Contest
News - What I'm Reading - Recommended Reads
About Us - Unsubscribe
New Releases - Coming Soon
The following authors will host Meet the Author events at Dreamspinner Press's Goodreads group next month. All Meet the Author events are from 1 to 6 pm EST unless otherwise noted:|
J.L. O'Faolain - Dec. 3
Jamie Fessenden - Dec. 10
Isabelle Rowan - Dec. 17
H.B. Pattskyn - Dec. 24
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 2012
Men of Steel
Edited by Julianne Bentley
Shazam! Who better to safeguard a man's heart than a hero? Mr. Fantastic may be out there on a wing and a prayer, playing a Longshot, but a handsome He-Man has the power, courage, and derring-do to see his quest for true love through to the happy ending. For romance of superhero proportions, check out these Men of Steel.
Editor's Note: Classic superhero themes in contemporary settings encouraged.
Submission Deadline: January 16, 2012
Time Is Eternity
2012 Daily Dose
Edited by Lynn West
"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity."
-Henry Van Dyke
Millennia, centuries, decades, years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds... if it's a love for the ages, then past, present, or future has no meaning. In these stories, time travelforward or backward, for an instant or for a lifetime—is the way to fulfilling romance.
Editor's Note: Contemporary and Historical settings only. No Bittersweet Dreams. Because of the packaged nature of the set, all stories need to stand alone. No sequels to or spin-offs of previously published works, please.
Submission Deadline: March 1, 2012
Edited by Anne Regan
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Whether it's a dog, cat, horse, snake, hamster, bird, ferret, goldfish, or something more exotic, owning a pet or working with animals has been proven to make people happier. In these stories, animals of all sorts should serve as the catalyst for bringing lovers together. Bonus points for working unusual or exotic animals into the story.
Editor's Note: No paranormal, no bestiality.
Submission Deadline: May 21, 2012
Don't Try This at Home
Edited by Julianne Bentley
Bonked heads. Rough carpet. Burned dinner. Awkward silence. Bitten lips. Startling length. Spilled wax. Pinched fingers. Shattered wineglass. Closet quickie. Flat souffle. Broken bedframe. Shower sex. Overzealous spanking. Embarrassing ex. Lost wallet. Terrible taste. Sore shoulders. Noxious odor. Absent date. Unbelievable girth. Kitchen canoodling. New toy. Stained sheets. Backward compliment. Stifling pillow. Locked handcuffs. Aching ass. Missing keys. Torn seams. Wrenched back. Angry cat. Overeager pass. Uncooperative zipper.
Something always goes wrong in real life. Fortunately, love blunts the edges so that romance trumps adversity.
Editor's Note: Humor a plus, no rape/nonconsensual situations, contemporary genre only.
Submission Deadline: July 16, 2012
2012 Advent Calendar - A Story a Day in the Month of December
Edited by Lynn West
When it comes to romance, ageless images are carried forever in your heart: A candle in the window burning bright. Warmth billowing from an old stone hearth. Snowflakes falling from the night sky under a full moon. Twinkle lights glinting in a lover's eyes. Romance during the winter holidays is evergreen, and these stories will get you in the mood for love. Your Christmas present to yourself!
Editor's Note: Because of the packaged nature of the set, all stories need to stand alone. No sequels to or spin-offs of previously published works, please.
Submission Deadline: Sept. 1, 2012
Snow on the Roof
Edited by Anne Regan
"Just because there's snow on the roof, doesn't mean the fire's gone out in the furnace." There's something to be said for maturity and experience, and in all of these relationships, at least one of the lovers is over forty. Whether it's a May/December romance, a second chance at love, or finding a soul mate later in life, these stories prove that it's never too late for love.
Editor's Note: At least one of the couple must be age 40+.
Submission Deadline: Nov. 19, 2012
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.
By Mickie B. Ashling
"...This book is about a relationship which doesn't work anymore. A very brave and rather uncommon topic in a sequel. And though I originally was upset about this I now accept that sometimes it's just not working. This story isn't pretty. It's harsh and painful. The characters go through betrayal, hope, love and bitter acceptance... Overall this book is nothing for the faint-hearted. There is a lot of bitterness and very raw emotions. It's not always an enjoyable read but it's a well done story."
Nimue at Endlessly Bookish
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.|
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