AUGUST 2012 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
HARMONY INK PRESS IS NOW OPEN!
Dreamspinner Press is proud to announce the newest releases from our new Young Adult imprint, Harmony Ink. Heartless
by J. Roman
Keeping Secrets: Book One
For gay teens in the South, Erwin High School is as good as it gets. The prevailing liberalism means being gay doesn't have to be the focus of your life—which frees up seventeen-year-old Jason Strummer to take on the role of bully. Jason understands his beauty and power and has a reputation to match his attitude. No one but his best friend suspects the cruelty Jason hides behind is a ruse to keep his hellish private life out of the public eye.
Jason has only loved one boy in his life, and that crush on Tommy Johnson ended so badly that they're no longer on speaking terms. When an ex-lover threatens Jason and Tommy steps in to help, the heartless playboy can't help but fall a little bit back in love with him—but Jason will have to choose between keeping Tommy or his secrets.
Young Adult Age Range: 14 to 18 years old
Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover
by Robbie Michaels
The Most Popular Guy Trilogy: Book One
High school can be some of the best years of life—and some of the toughest. Mark Mitchell's strategy for surviving is to emulate the mighty turtle: pull back inside his protective shell and keep a low profile to avoid trouble. And it works—nobody bothers him. Of course, nobody really knows him, either, even in a town so small it seems like everybody must know everyone else.
Mark certainly knows Bill Cromwell, whom he meets officially when his father volunteers him for manual labor at the school. Bill is his polar opposite: outgoing, gregarious, athletic. But when a massive snowstorm traps the two boys together for three days, Mark learns that being popular doesn't mean you can't be bullied or abused—or gay—and that bullying doesn't stop at the school doors.
Mark isn't naïve. He's seen the news reports of gay teen suicides, and he's determined not to become a statistic. But it's not himself he's worried about.
Young Adult Age Range: 14 to 18 years old
Interested in submitting to Harmony Ink Press? You can find our submissions guidelines here
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Why did you decide to write romance stories?
A lot of what I've written isn't romance per se, it's fantasy or mystery or science fiction with a romantic sub plot. I like that sub plot or even the straight up romantic plot because I'm in love with the idea of love. I'm the kind of person who always wants a happy ending (and I really will check the end to make sure it's happy) and it flowed from there. Those are the stories I like to read, so they're the stories I wanted to write.
What made you pick the Greek gods as the characters for your most recent release?
It was a plot bunny given to me, actually. I'm usually pretty good at ignoring them, but I adore mythology and I couldn't resist, especially once I realized there was a myth that led perfectly into the plot behind the mystery.
How were you introduced to M/M fiction?
Way back when the Lord of the Rings
movies first came out, I was reading fanfiction online. At the time I was reading gen or M/F stories, and I stumbled across a slash fiction site. One of the summaries looked interesting and I clicked. Then I realized it was Legolas and Aragorn, and I have never hit a back button faster in my life. But I was intrigued and couldn't stop thinking about it, so the next day I went back and read the story. And it wasn't that bad. So I read another one. And another one. And somehow I ended up reading almost exclusively M/M stories.
I read only fanfiction for a while, but around the time Dreamspinner was starting, I was invited to a local meetup of fandom slash fans by Ariel Tachna. When she was first published, that's how I learned about M/M original stories.
What are five of your favorite books/series?
Only five? Wow. Um. Okay.
Series by Terry Pratchett
and The Mallorean
by David Eddings
series by Sharon Shinn
series by Eoin Colfer
Absolutely anything written by Neil Gaiman
Why did you decide to try to publish your stories?
After that first meetup, Ariel and I became really good friends in real life, and she started reading my fanfiction. Then she told me in no uncertain terms that I was going to submit. She didn't stop poking at me until, well, she actually hasn't stopped poking at me yet. (This is a good thing. I need poking.)
Nessa L. Warin lives in southwestern Ohio with a cat who graciously allows her to pay all the bills and demands pampering on a regular basis. She enjoys wine tastings and travel, and can easily get lost in science fiction or fantasy stories. She's a true geek, enjoys costuming, and can be found dressed up at at least one Renaissance festival and fantasy convention each year. When she's not having fun, Nessa works in Corporate America coordinating the production and mailing of marketing materials and wishing she had more time to write.
Visit Nessa's blog at http://nessa-l-warin.livejournal.com/ and follow her on Twitter @nessalwarin. She can also be reached at email@example.com.
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 claims to be owned by her dog and two children.
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.
Peace Corps agent Steve Inson sighed heavily and bit into his Nutella crêpe. Hell, he'd love to be just about anywhere else right now.
He looked across the table at two dour-faced Asian women. The one on the left was trying hard to rip him a new one. So hard, she didn't seem to realize she wasn't always speaking English. The one on the right—the gorgeous, tall one with the Burberry coat and long hair—was strangely silent.
"Here." Steve silenced the yammering by pulling a Medeco key off his key ring and slapping it onto the little retro bistro table to his ex in the Burberry. "Just take it, honey." While both women stared at him, wide-eyed and slack-jawed, he gathered his takeout containers and started back to his office before anybody could respond. Or before Steve could question his own sanity.
After a year of fighting, he just wanted the whole thing to be done. He didn't need to keep the townhouse. "Live at the damn office anyway," he grumbled. He hadn't dated per se since the split, so he didn't have to worry about having a place to take somebody.
"Hey baby, if looks could kill you'd be arrested!" Bruce Carson, the office's bespectacled IT guru, was hustling across the street. With one hand the guy made a cheesy gun-shooting hand gesture at an unappreciative blond; with the other he was waving at Steve.
Sadly, Steve could see no plausible way to pretend he hadn't seen Bruce coming. This meant not just holding the door, but a ride in the elevator with the office's wannabe Casanova.
"Thanks, buddy." Bruce flashed Steve a smile that looked disturbingly similar to the one he'd just given the blond. "So, let me tell ya about this date I had on Saturday...."
Steve suppressed a shudder as the elevator doors closed.
A few minutes and a litany of psychologically disturbing "Letters to Penthouse" material later, Steve settled himself in front of a mountain of paperwork, a jumbo mug of coffee, and a bottle of lemon-flavored Maalox. He briefly considered killing two birds with one stone by dumping the antacid into his Kenyan Extra Bold. All his altruism had left him exhausted.
A gentle knock following the query helped break Steve out of his reverie. Either Jesse, the office admin assistant, had first-rate ninja skills, or Steve was slipping in his old age. Once upon a time, he didn't startle so easily. The minuscule uptick in the agent's heart rate now was proof to the contrary.
"Hey, Jesse." Steve noticed, with some envy, the way Jesse's shirt hugged the younger man's biceps as he leaned forward to lay a stack of paper's on the desk. Some kind of snakelike tattoo could be seen through the thin, cotton fabric, and today's earring was a diamond stud. A hint of spicy aftershave that probably had a name like "Spike" or "Pickaxe" assailed Steve's nostrils when Jesse leaned close. Oh, to be young and hip again.
As if Steve had ever been hip.
"Those are the files you asked me to copy, sir."
A quick glance told Steve that the papers had been stapled upside-down and backward. Again. "Thanks, Jesse." For all the evidence that pointed to Jesse being a male equivalent of the stereotypical airhead blond, Steve could never quite bring himself to take the wind out of the guy's sails.
By the time Jesse ambled out, Steve had turned his attention to the online Washington Post Classifieds. Since he had just given away the keys to his proverbial castle, he needed some new digs. He was mulling over the pros of renting versus buying when the smells of fresh brew mingled with that spicy aftershave again. Jesse was back?
"Thought you could use fresh coffee."
Steve gestured to the mug on his desk. "I've got some already, thanks though."
"That's probably cold by now. Here, just take this." Jesse pressed the mug into Steve's hand before the older man could protest again.
His gaze narrowed at the young receptionist, annoyed by his short, spiky blond hair. It probably had "product" on it. Word of Steve's divorce being finalized must have been spreading through the office, and he bristled at the implication that folks thought he needed taking care of.
"Thanks," Steve grumbled.
"Looking for a new place?" Jesse all but pressed his nose to the screen of Steve's laptop. Since their interaction typically occurred with the receptionist desk in between them, it was a little off-putting to realize the younger man was a "close talker." Steve had always been a big fan of personal space. Didn't bother him much now, oddly.
"Yeah, my ex and I spent the past year fighting over the townhome. I wasn't really living in it anyway, so I decided to just let her have it."
"Hmm." Jesse quirked one blond eyebrow. "Well, listen," he said as he straightened up and gave Steve a fraternal thunk between the shoulder blades. "If you need something cheap, I've got a condo over near Dupont Circle, and I'm not using all the bedrooms. You're welcome to crash in one of 'em. 'S a short Metro ride to the office."
Huh. Steve appraised the office assistant again, noting that the diamond stud did indeed look real, that Jesse's khakis had the kind of crisp line that came from getting them dry-cleaned, and that the pinkie-ring Jesse sported on his left hand contained a decent-sized hunk of alexandrite. It was Steve's birthstone, and he knew the stuff was pricey. And the guy also had a condo in Dupont Circle? On an office admin's salary?
As if he sensed Steve's hesitation, Jesse lowered his voice and leaned in. "I don't really need the money, Agent Inson, so I wouldn't ask much of anything for rent."
Still a confused by the offer, Steve nodded and tried to smile politely. "Thanks, I appreciate that. I'll give it some thought." Although aside from the fact that it seemed too good to be true, he couldn't think of a good reason to say no.
"Nice place you got here. Big."
"Thanks. My partner was a tax attorney. He left it to me when he passed away. Cancer. 'S been lonely, the past few years by myself."
Oh. Well that certainly explained—Steve's phone rang. He dropped his duffel and frowned at the display.
"You need to take that?" Jesse hefted the bag and left to deposit it in what Steve assumed would be his bedroom for the duration.
"Nah, it's freaking Bruce from IT again. Been having problems with my computer, but I'm tired of hearing about the latest chick he banged."
Jesse smiled politely. He stood with his hands in his pockets and seemed to be studying Steve. "Yeah. He protests too much, if you ask me."
Jesse's smile broadened. "Guess your gaydar isn't very well-honed, is it, Agent Inson?"
Steve snorted. "Guess not." He really was getting old and slow.
Suddenly, Jesse was standing very close. A large, warm hand landed gently on Steve's shoulder. "Agent Inson, do you mind if I ask why you and your ex-wife separated?"
Steve turned. Their two bodies were separated by mere molecules of air. Jesse's blue eyes were warm as he licked his lips suggestively. And yeah, Steve was slow, but the light bulb over his head blinked on. Finally. This roommate thing might end up getting awkward.
He grasped Jesse's chin firmly, enjoying the soft stubble under his fingers as he tipped the younger man's face and moved to brush their lips together. Just barely. "I think you know why," he said.
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New Beginnings by Ellis Carrington
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New Releases - Coming Soon
The following authors will host Meet the Author events at Dreamspinner Press's Facebook page this month. All Meet the Author events are from 1 to 6 pm EST unless otherwise noted:|
Aug 4 - Tia Fielding, Aug 11 - Kim Fielding, Aug 18 - Cardeno C., Aug 25 - Rick R. Reed.
The following authors will host Meet the Author events at Dreamspinner Press's Goodreads group this month. All Meet the Author events are from 1 to 6 pm EST unless otherwise noted:
Aug 4 - Nessa L. Warin, Aug 11 - Anna Martin, Aug 18, M.A. Church, Aug 25 - EM Lynley.
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
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.
The Prince and the Program
By Aldous Mercer
"Well, what can you really say about a book like this except...damn? How do I explain what this book is like without making my own head explode? It has got to be one of the most interesting, humorous, slightly wacky, Oh My God what just happened there? Books that I have read in a long, long time. Mori is a great, interesting, intriguing character. The other characters are all great as well. The storyline is erm, urm, kinda whacky and the romantic interest is really sweet as Mordred's people fall in love with souls. But, what happens when that soul doesn't have a body? And really just wants to be a computer?"
Pixie at MM Good Book Reviews
The Cool Part of His Pillow
By Rodney Ross
"If you want a book that will touch your heart and your funny bone then I highly recommend Rodney Ross's Cool Part of His Pillow. Since I can't give the book a flame rating, I give it a heart rating, full hearts all the way."
Ani Twist at Queer Magazine Online
Tattoos and Teacups
By Anna Martin
"I really did enjoy reading this one; it's light, fun, and uncomplicated. Perfect if you are looking for a fun read with a very happy ending. There's some adorable kid time that had me smiling my ass off."
Darien Moya at Pants Off Reviews
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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