Harmony Ink New Release: November 21, 2013

November 21, 2013

Triane’s Son Learning (Bitter Moon Saga: Book Two) by Amy Lane

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

The evil from Torrant’s homeland becomes too much to be ignored while he’s in school and he must choose: will he be a healer or a hero. Triane’s Son Learning (Bitter Moon Saga: Book Two) by Amy Lane, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

TrianesSonLearningFS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bitter Moon Saga: Book Two

When Torrant Shadow fled his homeland of Clough, he hoped to leave its threats behind.  He spent four years living with the Moons, making sure Yarri had a home; now it’s time for Torrant and his foster brother, Aldam, to leave for the University of Triannon, where Torrant hopes to create a new life enmeshed in healing arts and politics.

Torrant’s new school friends Trieste and Aylan want to teach him about love as he settles in, and at first, Trieste’s tenderness seems to make her the logical choice for an interim lover, while Torrant waits for Yarri to grow up. But Torrant has learned the hard way that nothing is simple when Clough still wields its influence over their lives. More and more, Torrant must call on the cold predator in himself, the part that Aylan most admires. The truth is, Torrant has certain gifts that give him an advantage of self-defense, but using them to protect the ones he cares for may destroy the part of him Trieste and Yarri love best.

As the four schoolmates progress to life beyond education and the evil from Torrant’s homeland becomes too pernicious to be ignored, Torrant must choose his destiny: Will he be a healer or a hero? Only Triane’s Son can be both.

Length: Novel (324p.) | Genre: Fantasy, High Fantasy, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: November 21, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-338-9) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-337-2)

Harmony Ink New Release: November 7, 2013

November 7, 2013

Here’s to You, Zeb Pike by Johanna Parkhurst

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Dusty’s new life is a struggle, after appedicitis ruins everything. At what point in life do you keep climbing your mountain or turn back? Here’s to You, Zeb Pike by Johanna Parkhurst, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

Fact: When Zebulon Pike attempted to climb what is now known as Pikes Peak, he got stuck in waist-deep snow and had to turn back.

That’s the last thing Dusty Porter learns in his Colorado history class before appendicitis ruins his life. It isn’t long before social services figures out that Dusty’s parents are more myth than reality, and he and his siblings are shipped off to live in Vermont with an uncle and aunt they’ve never met.

Dusty’s new life is a struggle. His brother and sister don’t seem to need him anymore, and he can’t stand his aunt and uncle. At school, one hockey player develops a personal vendetta against him, while Emmitt, another hockey player, is making it hard for Dusty to keep pretending he’s straight. Problem is, he’s pretty sure Emmitt’s not gay. Then, just when Dusty thinks things can’t get any worse, his mother reappears, looking for a second chance to be a part of his life.

Somehow Zebulon Pike still got the mountain named after him, so Dusty’s determined to persevere—but at what point in life do you keep climbing, and when do you give up and turn back?

Length: Novel (180p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: November 7, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-525-3) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN:978-1-62798-524-6)

Harmony Ink New Release: October 31, 2013

October 31, 2013

Blood Moon (Insolita Luna: Book One) by M.J. O’Shea

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Noah walked away from Zack after a summer kiss. He returns one year later sweeter than ever, but something’s not quite right about him. Blood Moon (Insolita Luna: Book One) by M.J. O’Shea, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

3rd Edition
Insolita Luna: Book One

Zack met his best friend, Noah, at Harper Lake when they were five years old. Summer after summer, his feelings grew, but he assumed Noah didn’t feel the same. But one night when they were seventeen, Zack kissed Noah… and Noah kissed him back. Zack was sure he did. But the next morning, Noah put an end to their friendship and walked away, leaving Zack with a broken heart.

A year has passed, and Zack goes back to the lake—where every leaf, rock, and turn in the road remind him of the biggest mistake he ever made. He hates thinking about what he lost, and more than anything he wants his best friend back. He figures it’ll be the longest summer ever. But then Noah shows up out of the blue, apologetic and more gorgeous than ever. Noah is sweet and attentive, and Zack can almost believe nothing had ever gone wrong. But there’s something different about his old friend, something not quite right. Zack doesn’t want to ruin the fragile new bond between them, but he has to know… What secret is Noah hiding?

1st Edition published by Republica Press, May 2010.
2nd Edition published by M.J. O’Shea, April 2012.

Length: Novel (160p.) | Genre: Paranormal, Vampires, Werewolves/Shapeshifters, Other Paranormal, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: October 31, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-452-2) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN:978-1-62798-453-9)

Harmony Ink New Release: October 24, 2013

October 24, 2013

Safe by C. Kennedy

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Caleb and Nico met at 10, kissed at 12, and were in love by 18. Caleb must keep Nico safe after Nico’s family finds out. Safe by C. Kennedy, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

2nd Edition

They met at ten, kissed at twelve, and were madly in love by eighteen.

Caleb Deering is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. He comes from a loving home with a kind father and a caring, but strict mother who is battling breast cancer. Nico Caro is small and beautiful, and has a father who rules with an iron fist—literally.

One morning Caleb forgets himself, and he pecks Nico on the lips at school. A teacher sees them and tattles to the headmaster. The accidental outing at school might be the least of their problems, because the ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents could get Nico killed. In the face of that very real danger, Caleb knows he has only one mission in life: to keep Nico safe.

1st Edition published by No Boundaries Press, April 2012.

Length: Novella (90p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: October 24, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-346-4)

Harmony Ink New Release: October 10, 2013

October 10, 2013

Intervention by Mia Kerick

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Kai is free-spirited and sexually aware; Jamie is dark and bad-tempered. With music, Kai helps Jamie overcome an abusive past and find love. Intervention by Mia Kerick, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

As a musician at the popular college café Coed Joe’s, high school senior Kai Manter is never lacking for male attention. Out, proud, free-spirited, and sexually aware, Kai sets his sights on his darkly Gothic and undeniably bad-tempered coworker, Jamie Arlotta, a freshman at the local arts university. Sporting long hair and alluring hippie style, Kai expects his interest will be reciprocated, with satisfying sex as the end goal. That’s what usually happens. But Jamie’s lessons in life have been harsher. Having been sexually abused by his older stepbrother for several years, Jamie has grown an impenetrable outer shell meant to keep the world at a safe distance.

Kai is angry at first when he takes the brunt of Jamie’s bad temper, but after Kai accidentally discovers the abuse Jamie has suffered, he wants to fix things. Kai’s plan is based on what he knows best—music—and he stages a “musical intervention” to let Jamie know he’s not alone and things can get better. When Jamie’s perspective  changes and he emerges from his shell, Kai changes, too, gaining a whole new understanding of what sex can be when love is there too.

Length: Novel (230p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: October 10, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-335-8) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-334-1)

Real Life and Romance … oil and water?

October 7, 2013

From Clare London:

Have you ever read a book and thought – When did he get to do his washing? What did he make for lunch? Doesn’t he ever get harrassed by spam emails? Doesn’t he ever get a spot on the end of his nose? How come he got a parking space so ****** easily when it takes me three circuits of the block to find one? etc.

That is, how does Real Life weave its way into a Romance story? Or *can* it?

I’ve started lightheartedly, but I admit I like my books nowadays to reflect reality as well as romance. To me, they’re not mutually exclusive. When I wrote the story of Red De Vere and Carter Davison in Flying Colors, I wanted to reflect less of the melodrama of their friends Miles and Zeke’s courtship (True Colors), and more of the depth of feeling and respect of two men developing from friends to lovers.

So Red De Vere is a playboy hero, rich, handsome, bold – and living down an outrageously embarrassing event in the first chapter! But he also works hard, cooks pretty good scrambled eggs, gets caught in the rain, likes garlic dough balls, calls his Mum late at night… all the things we all might do.

And Carter is a quiet, serious kind of hero, who works too hard, forgets to shop for food, takes too much sugar in his coffee, has occasional nightmares, isn’t much good at woodwork, argues with his best friend … you get the picture :)

It’s when these apparently commonplace things come together that an author has a chance to bring in the dash of passion and chemistry that certainly make the whole much more than the sum of the parts.

Carter is taking a sabbatical from his engineering job to help launch a youth centre where he’s been doing a few part-time sessions. He’s excited by the young people and their energy, and their need for a safe and stimulating club of their own. Red’s on an enforecd sabbatical of his own – forced on him by his father/boss, after that aforementioned embarrassing event *g* – and he’s clever enough to see that this is a way he can get closer to Carter. His first attempts to help are clumsy and misconstrued – it’s only when he thinks more carefully and surrenders his ego to a common cause that he starts to connect. And Carter – who needs a similar nudge to come out of his shell and stop judging Red in the same shallow way as the paparazzi – begins to blossom with Red’s company and attention.

There are no explosions, mad car chases, creepy stalkers, gore or gratuitous violence – I’m not putting you OFF am I? :) – but there’s a slow burning, amusing, sometimes torturous relationship building up between them. And *I* think they’re cute together! I hope that you do too.

How do YOU feel about the balance of Real Life and Romance?
Have you experienced something mundane that’s been transformed by a romantic gesture?
Have you found romance in the most ordinary of places? Been proposed to in the middle of the supermarket?
Or have you experienced an embarrassment like Red’s, or a joke – only to have it lead to something rather special in the end?

Remember, I’ll choose THREE winners from the commenters on ANY of my posts today, to win a FREE download of Flying Colors.

FLYING COLORS: True Colors: Book Five

While Red yearns for something real, Carter has some sweet, sexy secrets that might surprise even Red. If Carter dares emerge from his shell, and Red pursues a more rewarding path, romance could spark. Then there’s no telling what might happen.

LOGIN at Dreamspinner and  photo button_buy_now_home_zps26ea5419.png

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And in evening news …I’m afraid this is my last post tonight. I’m off work sick today and not fit for much more posting, even to celebrate my new release! :( . The UK is signing off soon.

But the contests are open until Wednesday, so take your time to read and enjoy. And join me tomorrow on Twitter if you can – I’ll need people to talk to :)

I’ll finish with another excerpt from Flying Colors. You saw it here first! Thanks for joining me today :) .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Red could hear voices in the corridor, and so he stuck his head through the open doorway. He could see Carter at the entrance to the center, chatting to a group of half a dozen or so young people. They were all dressed in the usual jeans and jersey tops, but were a mix of ethnicities and ages. Zeke was standing with Pam, halfway between the door and the room where Red was. Two of the youngsters stood in front of the group, as if they were the spokespeople. Curious, Red wiped more sawdust off his hands and stepped out into the corridor.

“We was just passin’.” The young man at the front of the group was dark-skinned, from Asian Indian heritage, with short dark-brown hair and large eyes. He wore narrow-leg jeans, low on his hips, boots with a slight heel, and several layers of T-shirts. He was thin, and the clothes had a chain-store look, but he wore them with an innate style that impressed Red. He’ll be handsome when he grows into his body—and loses that constant scowl on his face.

“Workin’ at the weekend, Carter?” one of the other lads asked, a tall, rangy young man with shaggy chestnut hair and a very freckled face.

“So what’s going on?” one of the girls said, peering over the freckled lad’s shoulder.

“You were all just passing?” Carter asked with a wry smile. There was a babble of laughter and protests. It seemed that the young people were itching with curiosity to see what was happening to their youth center.

The dark-skinned boy looked over Carter’s shoulder and caught sight of Red. “There’s another guy here. Which one’s y’ boyfriend, Carter?”

Continue reading “Real Life and Romance … oil and water?” »

A series? Where did that come from?

October 7, 2013

From Clare London:

FLYING COLORS is subtitled “True Colors: Book Five“.

So when did that happen, Clare? I thought you didn’t write series?
(don’t they say the first sign of madness is talking to yourself? Or is that when you *answer* yourself? LOL)

The story started with Zeke and Miles in True Colors. Then I brought out the set of three short stories – Ambush, Payback and Switch – where Zeke and Miles play sexy games with each other, and the reader has a glimpse into how their life together is progressing.

But still there was the feedback for Red and Carter from the original novel:

“I hope Clare will gives us a sequel on the flamboyant Red and the responsible and solid Carter. These 2 characters are equally if not more appealing!”

“Miles’ friend, Red, is fabulous. I would love to see him and Carter get together and really hope we get to see more of them in the future.”

“Another plus was the budding friendship/attraction between Red and Carter, as others have expressed, I hope Ms. London writes a story for them, I found them compelling as well.”

Well, since you asked so nicely … :)

And so I decided to keep writing in the True Colors world. I felt happy there, I was familiar with the characters’ voices, I had a lot more to tell about them all. But it doesn’t feel like a series, at least not intentionally. It feels like a self-indulgent treat where I can stay in their world and see what happens. Heavens, I can *write* it! LOL. So maybe that’s how it happens? That works for me!

What do YOU think as a reader about series? What are the themes you like to follow? Do you fall in love with the characters starting from book#1, or maybe you’re transported to a wonderful new setting each time? Do you like the epic series where a family business or estate is followed through the generations – like the Barbara Taylor Bradfords I read years ago – or do you prefer a group of friends in contemporary times, all getting a slice of the limelight for their personal tale, like JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series? Let us know!

I’ll choose THREE winners from the commenters on ANY of my posts today, to win a FREE download of Flying Colors.


FLYING COLORS: True Colors: Book Five

While Red yearns for something real, Carter has some sweet, sexy secrets that might surprise even Red. If Carter dares emerge from his shell, and Red pursues a more rewarding path, romance could spark. Then there’s no telling what might happen.

LOGIN at Dreamspinner and  photo button_buy_now_home_zps26ea5419.png

And to follow the progress of Red and Carter’s romance in Flying Colors, here’s the scene where their friendship starts the gentle slide over into something much more…

EXCERPT ~~~~~~~~~

Carter let them both into his flat, yawned, apologized absentmindedly, then yawned again. Red wasn’t sure if it had been a good idea to come back with him that evening. But was he really meant to resist the opportunity to have more private time with Carter? He took a firm grip on the bags of takeaway they’d collected at the restaurant down the street, and stepped inside at Carter’s heels.

“I’ll get plates,” Carter said.

“No problem, we can eat from the containers. Look, Carter, if you’d rather just wash up and call it a day—”

“I don’t want to call it a day.” Carter’s interruption had a hoarse thread to it. “I’m fine. I wanted you to come back with me, Red. For supper. For… company.” Carter smiled, but even that looked tired. “Not that I’ve been much company in return, have I? Snapping your head off at the center. Napping in the car.”

“You’re fine.”

“Yeah, right.” Carter grimaced. He seemed agitated. “Um… did I… was there any…. I mean, sometimes I talk in my sleep. Apparently.”

Red resisted the urge to ask who’d told him that, when had they told him, and why the hell were they in his bedroom? “No. You were snorin’ of course, but I just turned the radio up. That discordant, freaky jazz stuff you like is excellent for drownin’ growls.”

Carter snorted. “Charmed, I’m sure. I do feel odd tonight, though. Maybe it’s that flu virus going around.”

And maybe it’s your own stupid internal slave driver. But Red said nothing aloud.

Continue reading “A series? Where did that come from?” »

Flying Colors releases today …

October 7, 2013

From Clare London :

Good day from the UK to you all. I was up with the lark today and over-excited from minute#1 with the release of Flying Colors! Today I’ll be chatting here on the blog, with some background info that I hope you find interesting, about me, the book and the characters. I’ll also offer a couple of giveaways and plenty of chances for you to ask me whatever you like about the guys I’ve come to love – and hope you have too. And, of course, there’ll be oodles of reading matter in excerpts :) .

Red De Vere appears to have everything—good looks, a prestigious job, attention from the paparazzi, and a choice of lovers. But one day he takes an outrageous step too far at a formal embassy dinner, and the press turns on him. Shocked, he realizes it’s time to find something better in life than partying. He envies the love that his friends Miles and Zeke have, and when he dares to consider that possibility for himself, his hopes and desires rest in his quiet, serious friend Carter Davison.

Carter loved a man who cheated on him, then died violently, and he refuses to make himself vulnerable again. He knows Red is interested; Red has been supportive and admiring since they met. And Carter’s honest enough to admit he’s attracted to Red. But Carter can also think of nothing worse than being the lover of someone in the public eye. Playboy Red must stay an attractive friend, that’s all.

While Red yearns for something real, Carter has some sweet, sexy secrets that might surprise even Red. If Carter dares emerge from his shell, and Red pursues a more rewarding path, romance could spark. Then there’s no telling what might happen.

 photo button_buy_now_home_zps26ea5419.png FLYING COLORS: True Colors: Book Five

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I never thought when I first released True Colors with Dreamspinner in 2009 that not only would readers enjoy the story of the cool businessman Miles Winter and the volatile, outrageous artist Zeke Roswell but that I’d get requests to see more of the secondary characters – Miles’ playboy friend Red De Vere and Zeke’s protective brother-substitute Carter Davison. Red and Carter met in True Colors as follows:

“……
Carter turned around to say goodbye and found Zeke staring at a man on the other side of the street. The man was watching them. He didn’t look like a stalker and he wasn’t hiding. In fact, he looked like he’d been on the way over but had hesitated, waiting respectfully for them to finish their conversation. The man’s eyes flickered between the two of them, and settled on Carter.

Carter felt unsettled.“Who is it, Zeke? Someone for you?”

“You met him once, Carter, at the first show. It’s Red De Vere—Miles’s friend, Mr. Rich Playboy. And I think it’s you he wants to see.”

“Me?”

The traffic stopped and Red was now striding purposefully over toward them.

Zeke pressed Carters arm once. “Be good, huh?” Then before Carter could reply, Zeke had gone, dodging a group of office workers on their way home and cutting through the line of cars and taxis to get across. He was grinning all the way, not bothering to hide that from Carter.

Red De Vere paused in front of Carter, smiling slightly. “Mr. Davison? Sorry to butt in. I called around at your flat with a note, but the man in the downstairs room said youd be here at the bar. It wasn’t far…. I thought I might catch you before you moved on elsewhere.”

Called around with a note? Carter was puzzled. What on earth did he want to send me a note for?

“I wanted to meet you,” continued Red, obviously seeing the surprise on Carter’s face. For the first time he looked uncomfortable. “Dammit, I thought itd be too easy for you to turn me down on the phone. I wanted to explain what I think we need to discuss. Wanted to see you face to face, I guess.”

Carter stared at him. De Vere was as tall as him, though fuller in figure. A stunning man, Carter noted. Striking, classically handsome features; light blond hair cut short over his ears, but longer over the forehead and into the nape of his neck. Wide shoulders. He carried himself very confidently. Yes…. Carter noted again, albeit rather unnecessarily, Red De Vere was a gorgeous-looking man, dressed to perfection in dark linen trousers and shirt, under a well-cut raincoat and finished off with soft leather boots. Footwear like that must have cost a fortune; the clothes even more so. Carter wondered, bemused, why he was considering the economics of another mans clothes. It wasn’t as if he had much interest in fashion. He felt a little disorientated.

Heads turned as the crowd ebbed and flowed around them on the pavement. The admiration was all for Red, of course. Carter looked back at the mans face, and saw amusement sparking in the large, pale eyes. It masked the flicker of uncertainty that had been blossoming there.

“Will you have a drink with me? Since Mr. Roswell has now left?”

“Here?” asked Carter, bluntly.

Red shrugged. It was an elegant, attractive gesture, and Carter suspected that he knew that well enough. “Beer tastes the same wherever, I find. Id sure appreciate your company.”

“Is this to do with Zeke? Is that why you want to see me?”

Red bit at a full, soft lip. “Partly. You have a most direct way about you, Mr. Davison. I must admit I have a quaint distaste for discussin my personal business on the pavement….”

Carter nodded. Fair enough. He appreciated honesty in return, didn’t he? “Im sorry, Mr. De Vere. I must seem very rude. You just caught me by surprise. Lets go back inside and have a drink. Unless youd rather reconsider the venue?”

Reds eyebrows rose very slightly. He looked across at the entrance to Martys, appraising the dull windows and the thick paneled wooden door, and probably smelling the slight aroma of stale beer on the breeze. He looked back at Carter.

Carter smiled, slowly. “Not your usual setting?”

But Red didn’t look either insulted or annoyed. He smiled back, his eyes searching Carters. Despite himself, Carter felt something stir in his gut—something that piqued his curiosity.

“Marty’s will be fine,” Red said. “Lead the way.” His smile was easy and charming, though maybe a little cautious. “And you can buy the first round.”

….”

And the rest, as they say…

While Miles and Zeke fought through their romance with argument and fierce passion, Red began a slow but determined pursuit of the quiet, introverted Carter. They were in the background then. They’re in the front of house by now! If you’re interested to see where that intitial spark took them – how on earth the socialite Red could ever find common ground with the serious, withdrawn Carter – whether all that unresolved sexual tension would ever find its own outlet…?!

Well you’ve come to the right place! Settle back and ENJOY!

~~~Clare London~~~

“Zipper Fall” launch party is now offically over!

September 22, 2013

It was a pleasure chatting with all of you, and thank you for stopping by! The winner of a book of choice is Katherine! Congratulations, Katherine, I’ll shoot you an email. Good night to kind lurkers, too! The 25% discount code “PavelleBlog” is good until Monday at midnight for all my titles and mystery/suspense titles at Dreamspinner Press, so have fun browsing. Don’t forget to check out the free reads under the “genre” button on the left navigation bar – there are some good books in there!

And now I’ll bid you all good night, and go turn into a pumpkin.

“Zipper Fall” release party #7: And what of the dead body?

September 22, 2013

The party is winding to a close, folks. I am so glad you could stop by. This is the next to last post. We still have an autographed book to give away, so if you want your name in the pot, post a reply either here on www.dreamspinnerpress.com/blog, or on Facebook. Don’t forget, the 25% off code is good on my titles and Dreamspinner Press mystery/suspense titles through Monday!

And now about the dead body. The blurb reveals that Jack’s sister, Celia, died under suspicious circumstances. You all know that Wyatt is a climber – that’s one way to break into other people’s space. It turns out that Celia was a climber, too. A very good climber, in fact. Isn’t it ironic that I fell in love with a female character in a m/m novel, and all I have of her is a memory? She never appears – her death took place several months prior to the plot. Yet, she was so much fun! Strong, determined, adventurous. If she was anything like her brother, she was a good-looking, athletic woman. She also wasn’t stupid, being an accountant and a writer, and she had honor and courage and integrity. We need more characters like that – and not only the gorgeous guys we love to read about, the men who fall in love with one another and, despite their flaws, experience true love and devotion and the security of knowing that they have found their place in the world.

I want female characters as good as the guys! I want to love them, and cheer for them, and admire them. What a shame that I had to kill her. Isn’t it just so ironic? Yet, I admit that writing a strong female lead is hard work. There are all kinds of tropes out there, and it’s too easy to fall into a stereotype regardless of genre. Authors end up messing up perfectly awesome female leads in both romance and thrillers. It’s too easy to slip into that well-worn and accepted mold of what we believe a woman should be, or is capable of being. And that, my friends, is exactly why I love writing male couples. When it comes to two guys, they start with the same set of social expectations, even regardless of class. There is no mother who awaits grandchildren. Nobody tells a guy, “You really shouldn’t pursue a PhD in geology, because you have a baby and how will you be flying to Hawaii to take lava samples all the time?” (That’s what happened to me, although it might have been for the better.) Men don’t get pregnant, so there is a whole new freedom associated with casual sex. Even though I acknowledge that men have their own pressures and have to live up to a different set of expectations, this child-related gender stress is the same for both of them. It is this equality of expectations that makes a same-sex, male couple a blank canvas for many a story of love, romance and high adventure. I try not to make my guys stereotypes, either, but I freely admit that when I write, despite all the research I do, I sit alone in a room and make things up. It’s a fantasy. Perhaps I live vicariously through Kai in Wild Horsed, because he is a natural rider with a cat-like balance who attracts equine attention with his soft, perceptive manner. I will never be like Kai. Why, only today I fed my finger to a horse, let him step on my foot, and the SOB almost unseated me when he refused an obstacle. Kai is my equestrian fantasy. If he were a girl, it would get a lot more complicated once the issue of birth control came about.

Wyatt climbs rocks like a lizard. He is fearless – in fact, he lives in a perpetual search of a good adrenaline high. I am scared of heights and the best I can hope for is a good wall with secure equipment. In addition, he’s as kinky as a tangled fishing line. I, a risk-averse and unathletic plodder, live through Wyatt’s grace and carefree comfort no matter how high off the ground he might be. He lets me fantasize about the edges of my own comfort zone.

Sometime soon, my own comfort zone will extend to tackling the pervasive gender issues that all women deal with as they navigate career realities and lifestyle choices. I will find Kai’s balance and Wyatt’s courage, and create a female character that is both credible and kick-ass. She will be a CIA agent, but she will live off her smarts and cunning, not through any special-forces skills. She will be like us, knowing that her clock will soon start ticking.

Until then, I’ll hang out with my pretty boys, and I hope you will, too. Let me know what you find alluring about m/m fiction that ‘s missing from a decent read with a female protagonist! Please drop me a line on that. I will log on again at 11pm EST, put your names in a hat, and one of you will get an autographed copy of Zipper Fall (or Wild Horses, your choice). I will give this book away to honor Celia, the cool, tough broad I have created who died before her time.