Monday, April 7, 2014

Another Man's Treasure

Woot! Thanks to everyone who participated in the WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS BLOG TOUR. We love you. And congrats to the prize winner, Leah!

Now Lisa Henry and I would like to direct your attention over to the Next Thing.

Which is kind of an odd thing. It's an MM non-romance. There are still people with feelings for each other, but be warned that it's more psychologically focused than love focused, and contains violence, kidnapping, and noncon. Lisa and I wanted to be able to go in a bit of a different direction than we typically go in our romances, so we'll be self publishing this one. No release date yet, but, erm, once we figure out this SP thing, we'll set a date!

So if you're still with us after that, here's the cover and blurb:




Ilia Porter is Chechen mob boss Mikhail Kadyrov’s greatest treasure. After leaving home at eighteen to escape his verbally abusive father, beautiful, selfish Ilia has lived with Mikhail, proud of his ability to bring such a powerful man to his knees to worship. But when Ilia’s father, a police captain, kills Mikhail in a raid, Ilia’s world falls apart.
Entering to pick up the pieces is Mikhail’s younger brother, Nick—impulsive, power-hungry, and dangerous. When Nick tells Ilia he’s taking everything that belonged to Mikhail—including Ilia—Ilia is too lost in grief to fight. Nick takes Ilia prisoner in the apartment Ilia once shared with Mikhail and grooms him for a very important mission: to kill Ilia’s father and avenge Mikhail’s death.
Ilia wants no part in the plot, but being Nick’s ally is preferable to being Nick’s victim, so he begins to warp himself into the monster Nick wants him to be. Hope arrives when Nick takes another captive: Patrick, a shy massage therapist who’s stronger than he seems. Patrick and Ilia must join forces to escape Nick—and to keep each other whole as Nick does everything in his power to break them.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS Available Now

Hi all! WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS, Lisa Henry's and my romantic suspense novel, is now available in ebook and print from Riptide and Amazon, and in ebook from ARe and Kobo.

Riptide
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback
All Romance ebooks
Kobo

I checked to see if it was on Barnes & Noble yet, and while I didn't find it, I did find Everyone Sleeps, a children's book in which "A pug suffering from insomnia explores the world of sleep, traveling far and wide to observe and contemplate the sleeping habits of different types of animals." You might want to check it out; it looks adorable. 

Lisa Henry and I kick off our blog tour tomorrow. If you follow along and leave comments, you can win a copy of MARK COOPER VERSUS AMERICA plus a $20 Riptide gift voucher. Here's where we'll be:

March 24, 2014 The Jeep Diva
March 24, 2014 Elisa - My Reviews & Ramblings - Spotlight Stop
March 25, 2014 The Blog of Sid Love - Spotlight Stop
March 25, 2014 Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess - Spotlight Stop
March 26, 2014 Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
March 26, 2014 All I Want and More Books
March 27, 2014 Tracy's Place
March 27, 2014 Cup O' Porn - Spotlight Stop
March 28, 2014 Book Reviews & More by Kathy
March 28, 2014 Joyfully Jay
March 28, 2014 The Blogger Girls - Spotlight Stop
March 29, 2014 Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews
March 30, 2014 Prism Book Alliance
March 31, 2014 Slitsread - Spotlight Stop
And on March 25-26, we'll be participating in a Riptide author chat at the Goodreads BDSM Group. Hope to see you there!
Update: It's on Barnes and Noble now too!

Friday, March 14, 2014

May I Proudly Introduce Ember Leigh?


Oh, it’s a special day indeed. My best friend since childhood has just released her first romance novel, JADED, under the name Ember Leigh! I asked her to spend her release day on my blog, and she said yes. Good thing, or I would have stopped speaking to her and forced one of our other friends to pass along notes explaining why I was angry.



Ember and I began our smut obsession at—I’m estimating we were thirteen, Ember, because I was still in band at the time—at thirteen, with CHILDREN OF THE PORN, an erotic fanfic starring the cast of FRIENDS, Tom Cruise, and Hanson. We tried our hand at writing romance novels when we were sixteen. Mine ended up full of cheating, scheming, abuse…and whips. Hers was kind of the plot of Two Weeks Notice.

I think she understood the game faster than I did.

We still like different things in our romances. But that hasn’t stopped ultra-vanilla Ember from entering the Kingdom of Man-kink to give me a guest post.

Take it away, Ember!                                                                                                                                                                                                         
EL: When it comes to luck in the universal grand theme of things, I really lucked out.

Growing up, I had a dense group of 4 best friends. Definitively 'the weird kids', we were so weird that most people didn't bother teasing us. This led to more weirdness, which eventually led to acceptance and even *gasp* some respect for our weirdness. We were the kids making dying-animal noises in the hallway amongst ourselves, scribbling notes constantly to exchange in Spanish class (which would go on to become novels), and rearranging posters in public spaces to spell the word 'poo'.

The five of us gelled around age 13. That was almost 20 years ago. We're still best friends to this day.

Another way in which my universal luck runs deep? J.A. Rock is one of those childhood best friends.

She and I started writing together when we were about 16. We held weekly editing meetings in the local library and revised manuscripts of dubitable quality (all romances), struggled with plot questions (like, "I think my story doesn't have a plot") and considered title choices (should it be titled 'Perfection' or 'Imperfection'?).

My universal luck didn't just bring J.A. Rock to me as a best friend, the universe brought her as my editor and First Reader. She's like my right-hand woman on the ship that navigates strictly prose. Storms on those seas constitute character inconsistencies and plot holes, which are no picnic to weather. Sometimes entire characters disappear into the dense chop of adjectives and adverbs, which rage hard against the stern of the ship.

I'm writing this article and I still don't understand why I got dealt such a fine hand in the Eternal Soul Mate Friend Category. If this were poker, my cheeks would be twitching with the strain of containing my satisfied smirk.

Even though J.A Rock and I have been writing and editing together since we were 16 years old, our styles have always been very different (well, unless you count hilarious as a style). As well as our topic matter.

See, it was JA who introduced me to BDSM. And I don't mean that she tied me to a chair and calmly informed me of a safe word before beginning a very physical lesson about BDSM, but rather that she took the time to explain all the shades and permutations and quirks and, of course, what it even stands for.

Entering her world, albeit with only a Press Pass and no privileges to touch or to linger too long, was fascinating. It was a completely different world all together.

In fact, her world made me realize just how vanilla my world actually was.

So we're all clear, I very much prefer and choose my vanilla world. But when it comes to book blurbs and interesting summaries, well, my novels just feel so boring in comparison.

I know J.A. Rock is the most famous M/M BDSM author out there (right? I come from Hetero World, so, I could be wrong), but just so everyone is clear, my novel coming out today is M/F Contemporary Erotic Romance. I'm going to make a list of what my novel doesn't offer so there are no false hopes.

And by the way, my novel is Jaded. A construction crew shows up to remodel Isabella's house, a surprise gift from her meddling mother, but what nobody expects is that her love life ends up completely remodeled as well when hunky Luke sets his sights on her. Though she's sure he's just a player using the wrong head, Isabella quickly learns there's more than meets the eye. Will she let her guard down and let him in, or will she be forever Jaded?

J.A: Ooh, I just got tingles. Let’s see this list, shall we?

THINGS JADED DOES NOT CONTAIN:

1.     Spanking. My characters don't spank each other for any of the following purposes: fun, chastisement, to induce humiliation, sexual pleasure, or theatrical reproductions.
What about for money?
2.     Gay sex. Pure hetero sex here, which means vaginal penetration enacted by a penis. Between grown, consenting male and female adults. But in male/female pairings. Only.
I’m confused.
3.     Anal. My characters do not participate in anything anal, which includes the use of the following implements: fingers, penises, plugs, vegetables, dildos or vibrators. My characters do, however, have anuses, which are not referenced at any point in the narrative.
Major editorial oversight.
4.     Brats. Jaded contains no brats, which, according to my J.A. Rockducation, are back-sassin' young men who are seeking the guidance of an older, wiser dom to obtain discipline they both crave yet reject. My characters are generally well-rounded adults and, while Luke is a bit egotistic and makes bad choices from time to time, he can own up to it and nobody would call him a brat (not to his face, at least).
Lol, pretty good! Though brats can also be old. And any gender. Why, Ember, you could write a m/f brat story, if you wanted…
5.     Mark Cooper. Unfortunately, you can only find this guy in Mark Cooper Versus America, which you can buy from J.A. and Lisa Henry here.
(I did not even tell her to say that. She’s just a really good friend.)

After all this, if any of you are interested in reading Jaded, you can find it here. Thanks for letting me on your blog, J.A. Rock! Let's be real --- despite all the complex, stimulating, sometimes weird flavors in the world, what's the best ice cream topping for a fresh, warm m/f contemporary brownie? VANILLA.

WITH SPANKING SAUCE!!!!

Ember, you should know that you’ve taught me a great deal about vanilla heterosexual intercourse. And while I’m a little sad that you did not take my suggestion to change some of JADED’s sexual content and retitle the book ISABELLA AND LUKE DO ANAL, I think it was probably for the best. I’m so, so lucky to have you in my life, and I’m so proud of you. Thank you for being here.

JADED is out now from Breathless Press!

And you can find out more about Ember Leigh here:

Blog
Facebook

Hey, Ember, bring JADED over here so BY HIS RULES can make out with it…


Monday, March 10, 2014

What's Going On Up in Here?

So I've been a horrible blogger--but good news! It's because I'm writing lots of stories. And when I get done writing each day, I generally want to eat everything in my kitchen, not blog about writing. But here's an update:

Writing Projects

1. Lisa Henry and I are hard at work finishing the third installment of our PLAYING THE FOOL series, which  is about a straight-laced FBI agent who protects (and does some other things with) a terribly unreliable witness to a murder. PtF starts releasing in December.

2. It's only two weeks until WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS comes out from Riptide! Lisa and I could not be more excited to share this book with you. We had a really excellent time writing it. You can find out more and/or can preorder it at a discounted price in print or ebook format here.

3. I'm plugging away at a novella I hope to have ready sometime this year. Kind of sad, kind of creepy, and kind of fun, it lets me play in one of my all time favorite settings: carnivals! But, like, weird sex carnivals.

4. Over the last couple of years, I've had an on again, off again relationship with a book called THE TAMING, a sort of present-day gladiator type story. A draft has been complete for well over a year. And I hate it. A lot. It is a horrific, ugly, plotless mess of a book. But I also won't stop working on it. Clearly some part of me doesn't want to surrender. But I can't tell anymore whether it's because the characters and the story are worth saving, or just because I want to win. I've tried gently broaching the possibility to myself that "winning," in this case, might mean knowing when to give up. (Which also happens to be a major theme of the book.) We'll see what happens.

5. There's still time to register for Bondage Expo Dallas, which runs April 25-27 and looks like it will be a lot of fun. I'll be in the Authors' Corner with some fellow BDSM writers, and we will strive to make it the coolest corner in the place. Although really, all the corners are going to be cool. You should totally go! To find out more about the expo and look at what authors will be there, click here.

Life Events

1. Lisa Henry stole my chocolate.
2. I finally beat my grandmother at cards.
3. There's a bear loose in my town! MARK COOPER LIVES!!!


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Book, Different Name


I have a new book out now, under a different name. It’s not exactly a romance, though it is a love story, if that makes sense. There’s no steaminess, and no kink, and no tidy HEA. But it does focus on an evolving relationship between two men. If you’re into spec fiction, feel free to check it out!



It's called THE SILVERS, and here’s the blurb:

B, captain of the first crewed mission to the Silver Planet, does not think of the planet’s native race as people. Silvers may look human, but their emotional spectrum is severely limited. B allows his team to capture, study, and even kill the creatures. 

When B bonds with a Silver called Imms, everything changes. B’s not sure if Imms’s feelings are genuine or imitation, but B’s growing friendship with Imms becomes his anchor in a strange world. Following a shipboard fire that kills most of B’s team, B takes Imms back to Earth. He sanitizes the story of the fire—for which Imms bears some responsibility—so that Imms is recast as its hero rather than its cause. 

Life on Earth threatens the fragile connection between the two men. As Imms seeks independence from a bureaucracy that treats him like a test subject, he begins to experience the gamut of emotions—including a love B is frightened to return. And as B and Imms’s story about the fire threatens to unravel, Imms must use all he’s learned about being human to protect B.


THE SILVERS is now available from these places:

-Bold Strokes Books website--you can get it in all ereader formats here, plus you can get it as an part of an ebook bundle of BSB's February titles. And you can read an excerpt.
-And it should be available at B&N, Kobo, and iBooks soon!

Friday, February 7, 2014

My Favorite Gay Non-Romances

So... I'm not entirely down with labeling books with gay characters "gay fiction"--as though that's a different kind of fiction from "regular" fiction. But I'll admit that labeling books LGBTQ helps me find the LGBTQ books that I want to read. So I'm gonna go ahead and do a post on my favorite "gay books." Just because. Heads up, I don't think any of these could be considered romances, except maybe #3. But if you like to read in other genres, I can't recommend these stories enough.

1. DREAM BOY, Jim Grimsley. One of the few books I can read multiple times and it still packs the same punch. A haunting story about a boy who's being sexually abused by his father and finds solace in a relationship with an older boy at his new school. Set in the South in the seventies. The ending is brutal, but there's a lot of beauty in the book.



2. THE HEXSLINGER TRILOGY, Gemma Files. I just read this, and I'm bursting to share the love. Or the gore. This trilogy is everything I ever wanted: bloody, set in the old West, full of magic (literally), great characters, gorgeous language--seriously, if you like gothic-western-horror-fantasy, READ THIS. The main character is completely devoid of morals, and yet SO COMPELLING. Think the epic scale of The Lord of the Rings, but wayyyy more violent, and not so much good versus evil as various shades of evil versing each other, and a far more racially and sexually diverse cast.

3. Anything by Steve Kluger. I think ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE is his only one where a gay couple are the central characters, but everything he writes is hilarious and real, and THE LAST DAYS OF SUMMER still makes me cr--er, makes my allergies act up.

4. THE CATCH TRAP, Marion Zimmer Bradley. I love circus settings. So much. This was one of the first novels I read that had gay characters, and it's still close to my heart. It was also one of the first books to make me think about consent issues between partners who want each other, but aren't, um, old enough.


5. MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL, John Berendt. God I love this book. Creative nonfiction about the murder of Danny Hansford in Savannah in the 1980s by his lover Jim Williams. Zany side characters abound. And greatest cover ever.



6. MAURICE, E.M. Forester. You had me at "written in 1914 and not published until the 1970s." This book is beautiful. That is all.

7. KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, Manuel Puig. I love the way this story's told. All dialogue. Two men. One prison cell. It's about two political prisoners in Argentina who form an unlikely friendship. I told my high school Spanish teacher I loved the book and she found me a copy in Spanish. I can only identify about three words in it, but I kept that copy even after my English copy was long gone.



I'll stop now. I don't usually do public book recommendations because I feel unqualified to tell people I don't know well what to read. But this is as close as I will get to shaking you all by the lapels and staring crazily into your eyes and telling you to read these books.  If nothing else, do it for fear of my crazy, crazy eyes.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Big Welcome Back to Kay Berrisford!!

Oh, I’ve got a treat for you all today. There’s a reason I keep inviting her back, and it’s not just because she’s incredibly organized when she sends me her posts, whereas every time I go to her blog I’m a total slob and mess up all her nice clean counter tops. Ladies and gentlemen, Kay Berrisford is here with a sweet, daring, kinky book called BAD SLAVE, which I harassed her into letting me beta read. Welcome back, Kay!

1. Tell us about your new release!
Bad Slave is a BDSM love story set in a fantasy universe (the realm of Galataan) where the rule of the king is absolute. The current king, Lyam, just happens to have an appetite for pretty, male sex slaves, and what the king wants the king gets.

Jay and Alix, our heroes, become embroiled in the machinations of Lyam’s court, as a reluctant slave trainer and his slave respectively. The story explores the awakenings of their true desires as a Dom and his sub, while they learn to resist Lyam’s increasingly cruel demands and fall in love. Though, of course, defying the king is going to get them in a *lot* of trouble…

So, there’s a lot of spanking, bondage, dildos, sword fights and rescues, and a fair bit of angst… but ultimately it’s a romance. Jay and Alix both have a lot of heart, and I hope their story does too.
Just an aside on the title… Bad Slave. That was originally just the working title but a couple of people (one of whom might or might not have been J.A.Rock!) told me they’d like to read a book with that name… and hey, so did I. On realizing it wasn’t *just* me who liked it, I kept it!

WHO WOULD NOT READ A BOOK CALLED BAD SLAVE? Seriously?

2.  I was lucky enough to get to beta read most of this one (I STILL DON’T KNOW HOW IT ENDS!!). It’s so fun! What sparked the idea? And what made you want to keep going with it? (Besides my incessant demands that you “Do the one about the librarian and the slave.” J)

I had to joggle my memory to remember this, but I first dreamed up the original scenario—a former warrior sent out to fetch a sex slave for his king and ending up picking the worst possible guy—walking home in the rain one night. It was over two years back and just a little daydream to cheer me up. I’d played with the characters in my head ever since.

Then after I’d told you (J.A.) the idea last year and you told me to write it—and, frankly, I like being told to do things —it was my love for the characters that kept me going. In fact, this was one of my most joyful writing experiences, probably because of that. I’m still in love with Alix and Jay, and would like to revisit them some day.

So why do I love them? I’ve compared Alix elsewhere to a modern speed freak…but, to be honest, that’s not really a comparison that needs to be made, because he *is* a speed freak. When we first meet him it in the book, he’s careering downhill at breakneck speed in one of his inventions in order to impress his mates…which all goes horribly wrong, of course. Being a pain slut is part and parcel of the same sense of adventure, though his thrill-seeking nature also means he’s constantly getting into trouble in the authoritarian world he lives in. And when he ends up as a royal sex slave… well, it’s only going to go badly till he finds the right Dom to take him in hand.

Oh, I’m waffling now. I’d better not go so much about Jay, apart from to say—what’s not to love about a warrior-turned-librarian-turned-reluctant!Dom?

Nothing. Nothing is not to love.

3.  This one seems to have more of a formal BDSM element in it than your historicals. Was this harder or easier to write than the kink in your past books?

In some ways, it was a lot easier. As we’ve chatted about before on this blog, in most (though not all) historical cultures, shared knowledge of BDSM as an acceptable practice simply didn’t exist, so activities such as spanking for pleasure/pain have to evolve organically from the story and/or the chemistry between the characters.  In my fantasy realm of Galataan, I could import some of the modern rules and practices of BDSM to the king’s court and harem— though Jay and Alix still have a fair bit to learn as they’re thrown in at the deep end.


4. If you could go back in time and do some ye olde BDSM, what era would you choose and what would be your pervertibles of choice?

Haha, I’d stay here, in the realm of roleplay, safewords, and clean and easily-available lube. I’m a coward.

But, if I was a little more adventurous… well, I’d fancy a bit of Victorian kink. Tightly-laced corsets and canes have a great appeal, and I’d love to have a snoop around Victorian England too. Mind you, fun back then might be pricey. Victorian dildos cost over £2, which is over $200 in modern money, though their sex manuals advise carriage candles can do a good job if funds are tight, and of course, you can use the rest of the box for some hot wax play. Hurrah!

Crog, bring me my time machine!

5. At one point while I was reading I compared the tone of BAD SLAVE to Dickens. It seemed to me to have that same kind of madcap dark humor combined with vivid characters and dastardly deeds, plus a real tenderness between the MCs. I hope that was a flattering comparison and that you don’t, like, hate Charles Dickens or anything. For future reference, what author would you most want to be compared to and why?

Oh, I’ll take Charles Dickens, thank you very much! I’m actually quite a fan, though like with the films of Steven Spielberg (er, yeah, I have a weird connection between those two in my head) I’m not always into the small boy POV and sometimes find the sentiment a bit mawkish. But otherwise, I like Dickens. His descriptions are breathtaking, and I like the humor usually. I’ve read his complete works, save Little Dorrit (long story, but I can’t be bothered with that one.)

Who else would I like to be compared to? At the risk of sounding a tad sycophantic—though I bloody well mean it—I’d love to be compared to Lisa Henry or J.A. Rock one day! There are several other fabby m/m writers I’d kill to be compared to as well. Sarah Waters or Hilary Mantel would be awesome too.

Holy crap, Sara Waters YES!! Would give anything to be compared to Sara.

6. You’ve written a few short stories as well as novels. What are the challenges of writing a short story versus a novel? Do you prefer one form over the other?

Overall, I prefer novels. I was terrified to write a short story till recently, as I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. Fundamentally, you have to do the same things—character arc, conflict, beginning, middle, and end—in way less words, and that’s pretty damned tough. I hope in my couple of efforts so far, I’ve more or less pulled it off, but you have way less time to win over and satisfy a reader.

7. Finally, what’s on deck?

Plenty! I’m going to be announcing my second full-length novel of the year over at my blog pretty soon. All I can say for now is that it’s contracted to a publisher, and it’s about a merman and a pirate. It’s got less BDSM than my last few books, but plenty of captive kink. I’m also working on my first contemporary m/m story (no paranormal and no BDSM – sorry!) and when that’s done, I’ve got a sci-fi/shifter/prison story in the works, which I need to finish and that should be a lot of high-stress fun.

Merman, now, please. Need all of these!

If you folks enjoy Bad Slave, I’m brainstorming ideas for a sequel, which will focus on King Lyam and what happens to him after the events in the first story. Chances are, it will be darker than the first book and the BDSM might get a little more hardcore. I’d like to check in on Alix and Jay again too, but we’ll see how things go. So, basically, I’m flying off in lots of different directions, hopefully learning as I go about what readers want to read and improving in the art of delivering entertainment. I love to write, but I also love to please J

Thank you so much for being here, Kay! See below for details on BAD SLAVE and Kay’s giveaway!



Bad Slave by Kay Berrisford. Published by Loose Id. Genre: LGBTTQ, BDSM & Fetish, Fantasy & Paranormal.

Blurb: When the king commands former war hero Captain Jay Ghair to find him the perfect royal sex slave, Jay’s quiet new life as a librarian is shattered. Jay discovers the boy he’s looking for in Alix, a lowly miner and wannabe court scientist, whom Jay can’t help but secretly adore. However, teaching the rebellious Alix to be a docile slave is difficult. Alix will behave for just one man, and it isn’t the king. It’s Jay.

Standing by while the king’s treatment of Alix becomes cruel is torturous for Jay. He longs to return to his library, yet he can’t bear to leave Alix, or his people, unprotected. To rescue Alix—and save the realm from the increasingly tyrannical king—Jay must confront the demons of his military past and take up the sword again. But his most important battle must be won through returning Alix’s love and learning to master this bad slave who submits only for him.

BAD SLAVE BUY IT NOW LINKS




Twitter: @kayberrisford


GIVEAWAY TIME!!! If you'd like to win your choice of two of my Greenwood novels Bound for the Forest or Bound to the Beast) in ebook or paperback plus a $10 GC CLICK HERE!