Jana Denardo – Snowbound

August 16, 2015

Even though Snowbound was written before The Darkest Midnight in December, it takes place a year later and has something the novella doesn’t: a threesome. The trio is reeling from a loss when they find themselves stranded up on Mount Washington in a blizzard. All they want is to get home and lick their wounds but their headquarters is over in Oakland. Today, it’s just an annoying drive plagued with one-way streets but in the 1930s, it would have taken considerable effort to get there, including going down one of the Inclines, the funicular trains that dotted Mount Washington, and then across the rivers.

Before I go further, let’s have a look at the fantastic cover Paul Richmond did.

 photo SnowboundFS_zpsctqrarxj.jpg

Isn’t it great?”

Caleb, Temple, and Agni are more than glad to have a little forced time off. They’re all hurting, Temple most especially who suffers from PTSD, or shell shock as it was called then. He deals with his pain the only way he knows how, by trying to get intimate with his partners. I’ll talk more about this aspect of Temple later as it’s important.

I didn’t want them to just fall into bed immediately. It seemed like a very unlikely thing for them to do given the year in which this story is set and the level of repression in that time period. Also, they have a great working relationship and would have to wonder what this might do to it?

Caleb and Agni are aware Temple is in pain and aren’t sure if this is a good idea, not to mention the two have been lovers for some time. If this is a mistake will their relationship survive it? Is this really the right move for Temple? At this time period PTSD wasn’t particularly well understood and they are all young with a lot to learn. And of course, the big question, will they even live long enough to see it through?

What are some of your favorite hurt/comfort stories out there and what attracts you to the hurt/comfort trope? The comments will be open until tomorrow to give everyone a fair chance.

Jana Denardo Snowbound – Excerpt

August 16, 2015

Swing music blared out of the static Temple had been dialing through, making him grin. “That’s better. I want to dance.”

“Must you do that here?” Agni asked. “I was listening to the orchestra before you barged in.”

“You go be boring somewhere else.” Temple waved him off. “I’m going to dance and this is the only radio, so….”

Agni cast a look at Caleb. “I’m regretting not taking him up on his earlier offer.”

When Temple perked up, Agni added, “On going out in the snow. I could have buried him up to his eyes. Maybe that would have kept him out of trouble.”

“I honestly doubt it,” Caleb replied as Temple started gyrating to the music.

Agni lost interest in his book and his tea as he watched Temple. Caleb knew the look in Agni’s dark eyes: honest amusement. “You look very silly dancing by yourself, Temple.”

Nonchalantly Temple danced his way over to the bay window. He pulled the curtain shut, then spun over to Caleb, yanking him up from the couch. “Dance with me.”

“I don’t know how to swing,” Caleb protested, stumbling after Temple.

“I’ll teach you.”

“I’m a horrible dancer.”

“He really is,” Agni put in.

“Nonsense, you’re trainable,” Temple assured him. “I’ve seen you fight. You know how to move. You just have to figure out how to do it to music.”

“Don’t blame me when you lose a toe,” Caleb said, trying to find the beat in the wild music. He gave up and let Temple spin him around.

Agni laughed, watching them. Temple managed to make the complicated dance steps look easy, but Caleb felt like he was wrestling a many-armed demon. The occasional seductive touches Temple lavished on him only served to help that image. Finally Caleb managed to trip them both, and Temple ended up half-over the back of the couch.

Temple buried his fingers in Agni’s curls while he dangled over the couch, trying to drag Agni in for a kiss. Agni put his hand over Temple’s face.

“Don’t even think it.”

“Come on, dance with me, Agni. You’re right, your partner’s awful. He’s going to maim me.” Temple pouted.

“I warned you,” Caleb snorted.

“I’m busy, Temple.” Agni hefted the book he hadn’t been reading for a while.

Temple pushed it down, leaning in for that kiss, then froze. He cocked his head, listening intently. Caleb shut the radio off. The sounds of screams echoed loudly in the night. Cursing, the trio ran for the door where boots, winter gear, and weapons waited for them.

Jana Denardo’s release party for Snowbound & Soldiers of the Sun.

August 16, 2015

“Hello, Jana Denardo here ready to chat with you all. Thanks for stopping by! The next two stories for my Soldiers of the Sun series are going to be released this month and I’ll spend a little bit of time talking about them both. Snowbound, a short story, was out on the 14th and Soldiers of the Sun, a novel will be out a week later on the 21st.

Both of them are part of the Soliders of the Sun series which begins in the novella The Darkest Midnight in December. Snowbound was the story that started the series. It was originally written for Dreamspinner Press’s Necking anthology (now out of print) and I was very happy Dreamspinner was willing to revamp it a little and re-release it. Snowbound was the first written but the second story chronologically. It bridges the time between the novella, The Darkest Midnight in December, where demons ruin Christmas and the upcoming novel, Soldiers of the Sun.

In Snowbound, Caleb, Agni and Temple are trying to make it home to their headquarters in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh. They are reeling from a huge loss and get trapped in a blizzard in Mount Washington. They want to use the time to heal and strengthen their relationship, moving it to a new level. Too bad for them demons lurk in the snow.

Soldiers of the Sun follows immediately on the heels of Snowbound. Caleb, Temple and Agni know they’ll be getting a new partner and have no idea what to expect. All they know is things will change. Complicating things further is that people are dying in the city, sacrifices to raise a powerful devil, a true prince of hell. They have to find out who is behind it and stop them before it’s too late. Worse, Temple’s past has come back to haunt him.

I love urban fantasy, both reading and writing it. So share some of your favorite urban fantasy/paranormal titles.

Buy Links: Snowbound – http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6743

Soldiers of the Sun – eBook http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6759

Soldiers of the Sun- paperback – http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6760

Where to find me:

http://jana-denardo.livejournal.com/

http://twitter.com/#/JanaDenardo

www.facebook.com/jana.denardo
Website : (coming soon) http://www.janadenardo.com/

Man’s Best Friend with K. Lynn

July 22, 2015

-POP

Hello, all! K. Lynn here, talking about my new novella Must Love Dogs.

This novella was a labor of love and had its origination as an anthology piece. The story expanded outward and I wanted to see where it went, so the anthology submission didn’t happen. Instead, I went on a journey with my main characters, Colt and Ben and Dr. Jay, to discover how Ben’s recovery was still an ongoing process, but a determined veterinarian is going to be a vital part of that.

I’ve always been drawn to stories that feature characters dealing with life changes, including disabilities. For this story, I knew I wanted to focus on an artist who became blind, to delve into how he had to adapt and what that might mean for his future. However, it wasn’t until I was in the middle of writing that I realized just how challenging writing from the viewpoint of a blind character actually was. Ben can’t describe what’s going on around him visually, he doesn’t know what his new love interest looks like, so he must rely on other senses to ground him. I enjoyed the challenge, though. It stretched my creative muscles.

Ben took me places that I didn’t know I would go to, but that’s similar to all my characters. I never know what they might reveal, what kind of personality or secrets they might have, which makes the writing process all the more fun. With Ben, he has been through quite a lot in a short amount of time. He lost his boyfriend, his sight, and his livelihood. He has walled himself away to begin his recovery process, and his closest companion is his guide dog, Colt. When that connection is put in danger, Ben couldn’t realize what a fortunate situation it might actually turn out to be. He wasn’t looking for love, but it found him anyway.

Dr. Jay was a fun character to work with because he’s so different from Ben. He hasn’t been touched by tragedy, and he’s got a constantly upbeat outlook on life. All I knew going in was that he loved animals and he was going to fall in love with Ben. All the rest was up to Dr. Jay, and he certainly delivered. When Ben tries to push him away, Dr. Jay’s just that more determined to make their relationship work. And that determination is what helps see them through the ups and downs of what life throws at them.

And, of course, Ben and Dr. Jay would never have gotten together if it weren’t for Colt. He was their basis for introduction and remained a vital character throughout the story. Ben loves Colt, Dr. Jay does as well, and he is the third point in their triangle. The three of them together makes for a very strong unit, and I foresee Colt being an important part of a marriage ceremony if Ben and Dr. Jay make it down the aisle in the future. For now, he’s happy to stay by their sides and bask in the happiness that they are creating.

***

Speaking of dogs, do you have a favorite? Maybe you prefer poodles over pugs. Great Danes over Greyhounds. Or are cartoon dogs your preference? Leave a comment with your favorite dog, real or otherwise.

 

I hope you enjoy Must Love Dogs, and the journey of Colt, Ben, and Dr. Jay. If you want to keep up with my current and future releases (it’s been a busy year for me so far!), you can check out my site at WriterKLynn.com or find me on Twitter @WriterKLynn.

Get your copy of Must Love Dogs here!

***

Author bio:

K. Lynn has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. While in college, she increased her involvement in LGBT issues and writing within the LGBT fiction genre. She is a fan of authors who explore the commonality that exists within all sexualities and genders. Most of her own work features LGBT characters, many of whom are in established relationships and show how love perseveres. She has particular interest in seeing transgender characters gain a larger foothold within the genre and hopes the market for these works expands in the future.

 

Character Interview Cyrus Abrams with Remmy Duchene & BLMorticia

July 17, 2015

WoundedHearts

 

 

 

Character Interview with Cyrus Abrams

 

*audience applause*

 

Michael Mandrake: Hello, good people. Welcome to sitting down with the muses, hosted by Michael Mandrake. I haven’t done a character interview in quite a while and instead of interviewing one of my own, I’m talking with one of my sister, BLMorticia’s saucy characters, the very interesting and blunt, Cyrus Abrams from Wounded Hearts.

 

*audience applause*

 

Cyrus Abrams: *strokes beard, waves to the crowd, and removes Stetson*  Thank ya’ll. Man, that was quite an ovation. I feel like a rock star. Hiya there, Michael.

 

Michael Mandrake: Hello again, Cyrus. So, tell us more about the book you star in.

 

Cyrus Abrams: Well, it’s called Wounded Hearts. It’s starring me and a hot New York Policeman named Zane Ashford. You could say it’s a romance with some angst, and we butt heads a couple of times, okay well, *laughs* more than a couple, but in the end. I get the best of that fine ass cop. *nods overconfidently and tugs on crotch*

 

*crowd whistles*

 

Michael Mandrake: Wow, well, don’t tell us the whole story, Cyrus. We do want to pick up the book. Let’s move on. Tell us more about Cyrus Abrams.

 

Cyrus Abrams: Well, what can I say, Michael, I’m an old bastard who didn’t want anything to do with relationships. I lost the love of my life years ago and I spent a few years in the slammer. I love country music, especially Conway Twitty and Kenny Rogers, my dog, Woofer, and my horse, Minnie. I run a ranch/farm in Great Falls Montana, graining cereal and selling my best cows and hogs to local butchers. I run an honest business … well, now anyway.

 

*crowd oohs*

 

Cyrus Abrams: Like I said, I was all about the five finger shuffle with a side of porn. Then, the city slicker heads my way and things changed. I was only looking to tap that gorgeous ass, and instead, I got a lot more.

 

*crowd whistles and claps*

 

Michael Mandrake: *Michael blushes* Well, we can’t wait to see how that turns out. One last question before we do a speed round. If there is any lesson we could learn from this book, what would it be?

 

Cyrus Abrams: Mike, I’d say to give love a chance ‘cause you never know what joy it’ll bring ya. Hell, who knows if it’ll pass or fail, but dammit, don’t let it pass you by, regardless of how much of an old geezer you are.

 

*crowd whistles and claps*

 

Michael Mandrake: That’s a great lesson to learn. Now, how about a short speed round for fun? I’m sorry, your author put me up to this.

 

Cyrus Abrams: *laughs* Go on ahead. I’m on top of the world right now. *turns to the left and winks*

 

Michael Mandrake: Ah, the other star is here right now. Zane, don’t be shy, please come out and sit with him. Don’t be shy.

 

*Zane comes out and waves at the crowd, take the seat right next to Cyrus*

 

Zane Ashford: Hello there, Michael. *plants kiss on Cyrus’s cheek* I can answer too for fun.

 

Michael Mandrake: Wonderful. Alright, let’s start. Chocolate or Vanilla.

 

Cyrus Abrams: Well, hell, chocolate is always the best. *waggles eyebrows*

 

Zane Ashford:  Good answer….

 

 

 

Michael Mandrake: Why am I not surprised you answered that?

 

*Cyrus shrugs*

 

Michael Mandrake: Lights on or off?

 

Cyrus Abrams: On. I wanna see everything!

 

*crowd laughs*

 

Zane Ashford:  *palms forehead* Oi.

 

Michael Mandrake: Of course you do, Cyrus. Next, glass half empty or half full?

 

Cyrus Abrams: Well, it’s full now. *Cyrus grins*

 

Michael Mandrake: *shakes head* Cyrus, that wasn’t the question. How about, generally?

 

Cyrus Abrams: Alright, Mr. Stuffy. I’ll say half full.

 

Zane Ashford: *laughs and covers his eyes*

 

Michael Mandrake: Last two. Leather or lace?

 

Cyrus Abrams: Who the hell came up with these? I’d say neither ‘cause I may be gay, but I ain’t no fruit cake.

 

Michael Mandrake: *laughs* No, you aren’t, just answer for the audience.

 

Cyrus Abrams: I’ll go for leather then, especially if they’re the assless chaps I gave Ash for his birthday.

 

*crowd laughs*

 

Zane Ashford:  *puts finger to lips*

 

Michael Mandrake: Last one, favorite color?

 

Cyrus Abrams: Anything black, especially for a Stetson. *places it on his head*

 

Zane Ashford:  One of these days I’m going to get him to wear pink…

 

Michael Mandrake: Well, this has been very enjoyable. Cyrus, Zane, thanks so much for stopping by my show today. Good luck to the both of you.

 

Zane Ashford: Thanks, Michael.

 

Cyrus Abrams; Yes, thanks Mike. And all ya’ll rush out and get Wounded Hearts. It’s hot, angsty, and dammit, it’s fun too. Enjoy!

 

*crowd applauds*

 

Excerpt Two – Wounded Hearts with Remmy Duchene & BLMorticia

July 17, 2015

WoundedHearts Chapter Two

“Dangit!” Cyrus winced in pain when a splinter broke the skin on his index finger. Man, don’t be a pussy. It’s just a little—fuck! Knew I should’ve worn gloves! You just gotta be the tough guy, Cy. Cyrus shook his hand and hopped around like his pants were on fire. He only wanted to get the cattle through the gate and onto the fields to begin his chores for the day, and he’d be damned if he allowed a tiny piece of wood to stand in the way of him making some money. After all, this was his only means of paying the bills and keeping food on the table. Cereal graining was honest work even for a not-so-honest bastard like Cyrus Abrams.

Shit.

Still in pain and grimacing from the discomfort, Cyrus sucked on his finger and continued to work with one hand. He needed to get a move on so he’d be able to have everything ready when the truck arrived to pick up his offerings. If he wasn’t ready, the driver would leave without a second look back. He couldn’t have that happen if he wanted to keep beer in the fridge and the utilities paid for the month.

“Eeeee… eee….” The pigs behind him continued making a fuss to get out of the pen.

“Wait your turn, ya hogs! Those bitches right there are my other prime source of income.” For some ungodly reason, nobody really liked buying pork in Great Falls. Beef, on the other hand, was a huge seller, and Cyrus was more than happy to contribute to the market. Money from cereal grain farming could only go so far. He needed cash for spankovision and the whiskey he liked to drink, as well as wages for his assistant.

Cyrus’s eyes narrowed when he glanced at his watch, knowing young Brian Daystar was late… again.

Where is that sonofabitch, anyway?

If only the kid could be as serious about work instead of bedding everybody, Cyrus knew he’d have a model employee. Once Brian got to work, he was a big help, so instead of complaining, Cyrus cut Brian some slack.

If only he were a little older?

Just thinking about the hot Native American babe with long brown hair and beautiful eyes made him hard as nails. He smirked and gave himself a little tug. Whacking off in his dreams of Brian was as far as things would go for Cyrus. He wasn’t interested in long-term relationships with anyone after losing Danny to a gunshot wound to the head.

Instantly, Cyrus’s thoughts of arousal changed to grief. He sucked in a breath and closed his eyes a moment, reliving the whole ordeal.

I’ll never love again.

Nope, he didn’t need anyone after seeing such a horrific event unfold in front of his eyes, and then, to make things worse, they charged him with the murder and sent him to jail for five years until someone finally wised up and acquitted him.

“Falling in love means hurting, and I’m too old to hurt!” Cyrus slammed the gate closed and stalked to the pen where the pigs were bunching up in front, ready to get out. He slipped on his gloves to protect the nick on his finger and shoved the door wide, allowing them to roam free in their part of the yard.

Watching the hogs, he leaned back against the fence and flicked the tip of his Stetson from over his eyes. Looking up into the skies, he squinted from hot sun bearing down on him. Drops of sweat formed on his brow, but he didn’t bother to wipe any of it off.

A little perspiration never hurt nobody.

Cyrus wrinkled his nose and turned his attention to the mud under his feet. He still couldn’t believe how many years had passed since his lover had been mercilessly taken away from him. Attempting to keep from crying, he sniffed and choked back tears. “Danny, sometimes I get lonely, but I know no one will be able to take your place.” Cyrus plucked a toothpick from his shirt pocket and jammed it between his lips. “No one wants me, anyway. I’m too set in my ways and I need my space. I’m better off alone, taking care of the cows and graining cereal, my man. Besides, nothing’s gonna come close to what I had with you.” And they wouldn’t, knowing how picky he was about the men he wanted to bring home with him. Cyrus knew he held them up to a standard that most likely couldn’t be reached.

Although Cyrus knew this to be a fact, he never stopped any man from keeping him company temporarily, but once he got his fill, Cyrus kicked them out without so much as batting an eyelash. He knew it was wrong as hell to force people out of his life, but again, it was for the best.

Cyrus tossed the toothpick away and headed for the barn. With the pigs playing in the mud and the morning chores started, he’d check on the horses. And since he couldn’t find Brian,  he’d even collect eggs, things Brian should’ve been doing for his first duty at eight-thirty.

Cyrus stomped through the mire in the other direction. Just as he began walking, Brian rushed from his car, slamming the door behind him. “Cyrus, shit man, sorry I’m late. Just came from… ah… never mind. I’ll get to work!” Brian stumbled to keep from slipping in the muck. He inhaled deeply, pulled his ponytail from out of his jacket, and slapped the white cowboy hat atop his head. “No need to do anything irrational, Cy. I’ll even stay a little later without pay if you like.”

Cyrus shook his head and smirked. “Naw, man, it’s all right. I know you got a life outside this ranch. Just ’cause I’m miserable don’t mean you have to be.” Cyrus handed him the basket.

Excerpt One Wounded Hearts with Remmy Duchene & BLMorticia

July 17, 2015

 

WoundedHearts Chapter One

A strange beeping echoed around Zane Ashford in that moment between complete, dreamless sleep and being painfully awake. Then his body awakened and he felt his left eye hurting. Not the kind of pain from sitting at a computer too long, or even the sting from accidentally dripping shampoo in the eyes.

Panic set in. His body went rigid and the beeping around him went haywire. Hands held him against the bed, and Zane struggled to get away, to get free. Why wouldn’t they let him go, and why couldn’t he see through his left eye?

Zane surged upward, shouting for help. His mind was screaming I can’t see, but for some reason, something blocked the words from escaping.

His chest heaved, his heart slamming, as someone screamed at him to stop freaking out. But he couldn’t see. One eye was completely covered and each time he opened the other everything was just a blurry mess and that sound was starting to give him a migraine. Two hands clutched at his shoulders, pushing him backward, but he didn’t want to go back.

Please! I just want to see!

“Come on, Big Daddy. Snap out of it. If you don’t stop struggling, they’re going to sedate you!” The hands shoved hard against Zane’s shoulders. “Is that what you want?”

Zane gasped and opened the one good eye he could see through. Everything was a little blurry. Slowly, he came around from his daze and instantly felt like crying. There was no mistaking the tube down his throat. His brain kept telling him to swallow, but he couldn’t and he only panicked more. He snapped a hand from the person holding him and reached for it.

“Zane Alexander Ashford! I swear to God, I will knock you out myself if you touch that tube!”

Still, he reached for it, but the moment he began tugging, there was a nick at his arm. At first surprise stopped him from taking the tube out, then the world crashed in on him, spun, and went dark.

There was no telling how long he was out, but the world swam in on him like a bad movie, shaking horribly into focus. The pain was there again, but this time he remembered what had happened. He could hear the doctor speaking over him as though he wasn’t even there.

“…80 percent vision loss….”

Once again Zane drifted into a quick sleep, but the beep woke him.

“…I don’t know if he’ll ever carry a badge again physical….”

The memory of the heated char of a bullet from a perpetrator’s weapon burned in his mind, the pain unlike any other.

He’d gotten his man at a terrible cost.

“Ash?” a familiar voice called. “Come on, Big Daddy, open your eyes.”

“What for?” Zane’s throat felt rough and he coughed. He wasn’t sure which he preferred yet, the tube in or out. Either way his throat still felt as if he’d swallowed sand.

“So you can see my beautiful face.”

Zane tried to harrumph but failed.

“Because there is a whole world out here!”

Zane wanted to tell Renford to kiss the blackest part of his ass, but he was concentrating on the dryness in his throat. He cleared his throat, trying to be less of a burden than he knew he already was and not ask for something to drink. “How long have I been under?”

“Three days,” Renford replied. “You were in a coma because there was some swelling. They were worried you might have had some damage, but it seems your brain is working just fine.”

“Water.”

Renford reached for a cup on a nearby desk. Zane wanted to take it and drink on his own but he could barely sit up. Renford must have noticed and helped Zane ease forward so he could drink from the straw. He pulled greedily from it.

“Hey, slow down there.”

Zane ignored the warning and sucked until he could barely breathe before releasing the straw. He eased away from Renford and flopped back to the pillow. The hospital smell made him nauseous, and every sound was reason enough for him to worry. Detective Zane Ashford had been in too many hospitals when a perp or a victim was dying. He knew the sounds.

Someone crashed, and a loud alarm with an animated voice screamed code blue! Hurried voices and footsteps charged down the corridors. Someone was hollering for a cart as a voice boomed over the intercom.

The noise was almost too much to bear, but the darkness inside his own head was worse.

“… it really isn’t as bad as it could be,” Renford was saying.

“What?” Zane shook his head to clear it. “Sorry—all the chaos outside kind of distracted me.”

“I know this may be boring, but pay attention! The doctors say you will have to wear that thing for about six months.”

Zane lifted a hand to touch the patch and couldn’t help feeling like a pirate—a horrible one who should no longer be a pirate but cannot give up the life. “Well, shit.”

“I know you don’t want to hear this.” Renford’s voice was raspy, like he hadn’t used it in a very long time. “But it could have been worse.”

“And how could this possibly have been worse?”

“You could be dead.”

Writing Interracial Romance – Roundtable Remmy Duchene and Sharita Lira

July 17, 2015

WoundedHearts

Sharita: Hello there. I’m Sharita Lira. I’m very excited to be part of the Dreamspinner romance team, and with me today is one of my favorite people and authors, Remmy Duchene. In this blog, we’re discussing interracial m/m  or gay romances. We hope to pinpoint some of the issues, misconceptions, and solutions to making more diverse gay romance novels a reality.

Okay, let’s start with the why. Why are we doing this blog? As you know, Remmy and I have a new release, Wounded Hearts, which is part of the Wounded Series from Dreamspinner Press. Being in the genre as long as we have, we’re well aware of the issues that might arise. Let’s bring Remmy in to discuss our first issue.

Remmy:  *waves* Hi everyone. Sharita decided to take me away from my chocolate ice-cream, but we won’t tell her we bite…oh right, issues within the Interracial world. Thinking about it makes my brain hurt, but I guess we have to say something about it right? Well,  first, there isn’t nearly enough interracial, MM couples on these stock photo sites. Have you noticed that Sharita? I mean, sometimes I sit down for hours, pouring through stock photo sites with my cover artist until I get mad enough to want to punch something.

Sharita: I have indeed noticed that, Remmy. With just about every IR m/m book I’ve done, there’s been very little to represent our characters. Not just African American, but Asian, Hispanic, and older men. Thinking about Wounded Hearts, we couldn’t find the right men for Cyrus or Ash, but our brilliant cover artist was able to come up with a kick ass cover, despite the lack of variety. Remmy, what do you think is the solution?

Remmy: I have no idea, man. I mean – I see all these non-interracial covers and these men are holding each other and looking romantic and beautiful, then I look at my covers and the men seem to be on different planets *sigh* I don’t know. If I could, I’d start my own photography studio and take the pictures for IR covers that would look just as beautiful. But short of doing that, there isn’t really a solution.  There is one photographer who took some pictures of African American males, but as you know, my men are not skinny little things–I couldn’t use any of this photographer’s pictures.

Sharita: *sighs* We can’t force more photographers to fit our needs, but we can make them aware with a blogpost like this one. Making diverse books is not just about race, it’s about age, gender, and so on. What about more pictures of beautiful transsexuals? Older men? Women who aren’t just blond with blue eyes. The world is a melting pot and I wish more photographers would offer variety to royalty free sites. So, if you’re a photographer, listen up. Give us more of everything, a wider selection. That’s all. Let’s move on to the next thing. Interracial m/m means leaving most of the stereotypes at home. What do you think, Remmy?

Remmy: Dude, listen, I’ve been telling people that for years. I specifically write Interracial romance/erotica because I don’t think love is one way, or people are one way.  I try to mix them all. People who stereotype drive me crazy. I think I told you about the publisher who told me one day that I should turn my Japanese guy into a Native American guy because Japanese people think black people are dirty and that their relationship would never work? I was righteously P.O’ed. I wanted to tell her that Japanese people LOVE Jamaicans, so much so that they sample our music, a Japanese girl was the Jamaican Dancehall Queen and they adore asking us questions and learning how to cook from us. Right before telling her to…well…you can guess. I had to be classy about it.

Sharita: *blinks* Of course you did. When writing interracial or just fiction, people have ideas for things they think is reality. What happened to love is love no matter what? lol Going back to the issue with stereotypes, I also recall someone telling you to make your black men more “urban.” Umm… I believe we both write all of our men as people, first. Instead of making them poor, why can’t they be rich and gainfully employed? Ash inherited millions and he’s still a cop. Bottom line, people are people and just because some people fit some stereotypes, it doesn’t have to follow those in our books. Now, here I come with a wrench into this argument. I’ve always said, unless that stereotype is essential to the plot, you shouldn’t draw on those when you write. What do you think about that, Remmy?

Remmy: I try to stay away from stereotypes period. I mean, don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need to toss a little bit in there. But stereotyping is boring. I had a reader say to me that writing my Japanese guy with a big…um…*blush and whispers* willie isn’t real because Asian men are small. I blinked and then laughed so hard I almost peed myself. Why? I’ve dated two Asian guys and they were not small. So, yeah, stereotyping just makes people look dumb.  And yes, I said willie *jumps on bed singing, My Bologna has a first name….*

Sharita: *laughs like a hyena* Okay, I’m in agreement on that, however, I can think of one instance in a future story of mine where the Asian character automatically suspects a black man of being a thief. That is what will get the two men together, so yeah I’m using that as the point of conflict, but in general, yes, lets leave them out of fiction. Now, let’s move on. Something that kind of fits the so called stereotype is speech. In Wounded, we have two very different men. Ash, a black cop from New York, and Cyrus an older cowboy from Montana. In that book, we went back and forth with our lovely editors and betas on how they spoke. Not heavy slang, but some phrases, they didn’t understand. Remmy, tell us what happened?

Remmy: Lovely….suuuuure. *cough* *cough* But seriously, yeah. It always drives me a little insane when my editor messages me and go “um…what does “aight” mean. Then we have to go back and forth trying to figure out if it was real or not. It’s hard to write other cultures sometimes. Because where you would like to use certain languages, you just know the headache that will come when the Beta’s and editors who never had a chance to really study these cultures get their hands on the story. You know me, I love using foreign languages so I think that must drive them crazy too lol

Sharita: *laughs* Oh yeah. You throw me off with the French in this latest book we’re doing. lol So the solution? I suppose it’s just betas and editors getting up to speed. The speech gives books a “flavor” if you will. Neither I nor Remmy have characters that talk heavy slang. Only my “Frankie” character in I Like Em Pretty comes to mind because he was from New Orleans, but other than that, it’s not necessary to write a good interracial romance book. Sprinkle a little of the language, don’t draw on stereotypes unless it’s central to the conflict and/or plot, and please, somebody please give us some more diversity in stock photos. Us interracial gay romance authors will love ya forevah! *smooch* Remmy, I think we covered the biggest ones right?

Remmy: *looks up from frowning at my gum that was supposed to be Starbust candy* *Sigh* yup – We could dig into Historicals for Interracial characters but that’s a whole other can of drama we could go on for years about. So yeah, Wounded Hearts is book one in a series that we had fun writing – and will be in your hot little hands soon. For my readers they’re going to be a lil surprised but its a good surprise – trust me *giggles* You won’t be disappointed because this book has all the same Remmy flavour with a whole lotta Sharita shaken, not stirred.

Sharita: Actually, its my wicked gal, BLMorticia and yes, she enjoyed … or sorry, Cyrus loved making Ash mad. These two men were at odds from the moment they got together, but hey, what’s a good romance with the conflict right? Thanks for listening to us rant today. Look for Wounded Hearts to be released, oh shit, today! Haha! Enjoy!

Release Day for Wounded Hearts with Remmy Duchene & BLMorticia

July 17, 2015

WoundedHearts

Blurb: Zane Ashford’s stint in the NYPD comes to an abrupt halt when he is injured in the line of duty. After waking up partially blind in one eye, all he wants to do is crawl into a hole, but his friends and family won’t leave him alone. Reluctantly, he lets his best friend talk him into time away on a ranch in Montana. But the moment he gets there and meets Cyrus Abrams, Zane begins to contemplate murder.

Cyrus Abrams is vulgar, ornery, stuck in his ways, and not about to change for anyone, no matter how good Zane Ashford looks in those jeans. The more they lock horns, the more Cyrus begins to see Zane in a whole new light.  But Cyrus has a past, one that left him in big trouble and more broken than he cares to admit—a past no one told Zane about. Cyrus fears that when Zane finds out, everything will come to a screeching halt.

Sales Links

Paperback    E-Book  Amazon   ARe  

Talking about Zane “Ash” Ashford – Remmy Duchene

July 17, 2015

Hi Everyone!

Remmy Duchene here. I am one half of the writers responsible for Wounded Hearts.  I know a number of you bought the story during pre-sales, thank you *blows you kisses* You are spank-tacular.

Wounded Hearts is a monster of a story. Yes, even bigger than Captive to his Wonder that is now out at Dreamspinner as well. When we were finished I think both Sharita and I had nightmares about the editing process.  I think it was about at 100K when we finally wrote those two horrifying words “the end.” During editing we cut out a lot to what we have now and as I re-read it during the process, I was so proud of my little Zane Ashford.

Okay, as Dylan Thomas wrote in Under Milkwood, to begin at the beginning….

Yes, I know, you’ve seen me write with people before so you know I’m kind of a veteran with that. And it is something I really enjoy doing. This time around I was responsible for Zane  Ashford aka Ash, aka Uncle Zee aka Big Daddy, the African American NYPD officer who is banished to the boonies of Montana so he can heal after a bust goes horribly wrong.

I wasn’t sure what job to give Zane. As you know I’ve written quite a number of cops, Real Estate moguls, software gurus, writers – but this character just gave itself life.  A cop was the only reasonable way to go and when you read the story you will see why.

When Sharita and I wrote this tale, we didn’t really plan anything. We created small bios for each character and then tried sticking to that but as you can probably guess, quickly went off the reservation in all the best ways.

I enjoyed writing Zane because he gives life to my belief that a man can be wealthy and not be a complete jerk. Well sure, he had his brain farts moments, what character doesn’t? But they are necessary, he needs failures to learn from. He needs “Standing on his soap box” moments to be taken down a peg. Even though he could kick Cyrus’ but if he truly wanted to *whispers* Don’t tell Sharita I said that, shhhh.  *runs around room making karate chop sounds* Just sayin’

But seriously, I enjoyed watching his pain and developing his relationships with those around him. Though Zane was unlike any man I’ve ever written (of course he had to be because Cyrus was unlike any lover I’ve ever given one of my men to) it was a good change for me.

So please, do enjoy Wounded Hearts. We put a lot of thought, sweat and love amongst these pages. We are quite proud of the end result and I hope you see, that love can blossom anywhere between any two people. All you have to do is stop fighting long enough, for just a second and love will find away…

Hugs,

Remmy Duchene