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Nancy Gideon’s PRINCE OF POWER: Sexy Sunday Snippet

15 Oct

Hey Gang! Nancy Gideon’s got a contemporary romance for you today that takes place in New Orleans, and has a sexy cast of spies and clans.

Obsessed with an enemy – the only female to ever walk away from him . . .

Colin . . . Prince in the House of Terriot

Brawny, cynical negotiator for his clan, Colin Terriot sees a move to New Orleans as an escape from a painful past and his reputation as a legendary lover. What he didn’t expect was to fall hard for a rival spy, the female who tricked and betrayed him by leaving his bed for his brother’s. Now, he now must work with her, up close and personal, as the envoy for her clan. Things are about to heat up.

Determined to have him – even if having him means losing all . . .

Mia . . . Strong-willed Guedry heir

Denied her rightful legacy, Mia Guedry plans to stake her claim over the bodies of those who killed her family. But best laid plans fall before her desire for the one male she can’t resist, the one who will never trust her once burned by her necessary deceptions. Saving her Terriot prince from plans already in motion may cost more than her inheritance . . . the price could be her life.

Excerpt from PRINCE OF POWER, House of Terriot series, Book 2

The alley behind the Shifter club, Cheveux du Chien, was lit by a single flickering bulb. As Colin thumbed his key fob, the lights to his ride flashed like lightning strikes in a complement to his mood. He turned up his collar as the first fat raindrops fell, then came to a dead stop. The vehicle had a new hood ornament. His blood pressure dropped to his groin.

Mia Guedry perched on the front of the rental, knees spread slightly to accommodate the indolent dangle of her hands. “What took you so long, Dreamy? Hashing out world peace?”

“Get off.” He started around the car, refusing to look where his eyes wanted to go.

“I was hoping to, but you’re not making it easy.”

As he crossed in front of her, one sexy leg stretched out at crotch level to bar passage and the other set up a road block behind his butt. He stopped but refused to turn, demanding, “What do you want, Mia?”

“You.”

His shoulders rose and fell in aggravation. “You’ve had me and made it very clear I was nothing interesting enough to hold your attention. Stop messing with me. I don’t like it.”

Both legs began a suggestive rubbing. “Maybe I was wrong.”

“You are wrong.” He faced her abruptly, hands gripping those tempting bare calves hard enough to leave unintentional bruises. “Everything about you is wrong. You’re bad news I don’t need. You want my brother, take him. He’s a big boy. Be his problem. I’ve got my own.”

Mesmerizing dark eyes fixed on his. He couldn’t look away as she said what he hoped was the only true thing to come from between those red lips.

“I don’t want your brother. I want you.” Rain fell heavier, misting her features, wetting thick black hair, molding the fabric of her top to glorious breasts. “Colin.” Just his name.

All reason fell away.

He reached beneath the scandalously short skirt, tearing away nearly non-existent panties as she pulled at his belt, yanking open his jeans. He jerked her toward him so abruptly, she fell back against the hood of the car, one leg over his shoulder, the other curled about his waist. She arched, crying out at the force of his deep entry. When she tried to reach up for him, he caught her wrists, pressing the backs of her hands to the shiny paint job, holding her in place to receive his aggressive thrusts.

The light flickering behind him cast Colin’s features in harsh ridges and shadows. His eyes gleamed hot and gold. As intensity built with the speed of a bullet train, his lips curled back from savagely clenched teeth, undeniably the most rawly sexual thing she’d ever seen. Or imagined.

Too soon! His fierce plunging strokes were friction on eager tinder, striking flame, searing Mia with waves of combustive heat. The sight of him taking his own rough pleasure against the backdrop of seething heavens, head thrown back, big body shuddering, made her come in a deluge until wrung dry and trembling as he finally went still, continuing to pulse inside her. His breaths panted hard and fast for a long minute as she tried to recover from their quick and totally devastating union.

And then he stepped back, leaving her gasping and ridiculously weak, to zip, buckle, and regard her as if something earthshaking hadn’t just happened between them. His flat tone brought spinning emotions to a halt.

“Where can I drop you off?”

She blinked. Like his laundry? Like an annoying obligation?

Her knees snapping together just a tad late to protect her pride, Mia wriggled off the car, leaving her imprint on its hood. The way he’d left his on her emotions.

“Get ready for fifty shades of tall, dark and deliciously dangerous! 5-Star!” – Book Bling

“Hopelessly addicted” -Darynda Jones, NYT bestselling author of the Charlie Davidson “Grave” series

BUY LINKS:

Amazon,

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Kobo 

Nancy Gideon is the award-winning bestseller of over 60 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays tossed into the mix, and is currently testing the “Hybrid author” waters. She works full time as a legal assistant in Central Michigan, and when not at the keyboard, feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl.

DEPTH OF FIELD: Sexy Sunday Snippet with M/M Author Riley Heart

7 Oct

Kris Michaels: Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk with me! I’m thrilled to get to ask you questions. Okay, I’m done fangirling now. (Not really, because she’s Riley Hart, y’all!!!)

Riley Hart: Hahaha. Thank you so much for having me! I’m happy to be here.

Kris Michaels: Okay, first question: I know you publish under two names, Nyrae Dawn and Riley Hart. What was the impetus for two pen names?

Riley Hart: I was writing a lot of YA at the time and had a lot of younger readers. I was worried about having the books too connected. I didn’t want one of my thirteen-year-old readers looking me up and a super erotic excerpt popped up or something. LOL.

Kris Michaels: How long have you been writing?

Riley Hart: My whole life if feels like. LOL. I’ve always loved it. I won my first writing contest in third grade. But writing for publication? About… eleven years. It was a long road for me. I started before self-publishing was really a thing, so I did the agent and submission hunt. Took writing classes, that kind of thing.

Kris Michaels: Do you write full time?

Riley Hart: Yep!

Kris Michaels: I must admit I automatically one click anything you write under either name. I love the character driven stories you create. Walk us through the process you use to develop your ideas into stories or are you a fly by the seat of your pants type writer?

Riley Hart: I’m a combination of a plotter and a panster. I always have a basic story idea and I also know my characters really well from the start. What is their backstory? Their goal, motivation and conflict? What makes them tick? What connects them to the character they’re falling in love with? Sometimes I have a few key scenes in mind. Then I just write. Beginnings are always the hardest for me. Once I get about…15k into the book, I start breaking it down by scenes, making sure I know what’s coming next and that I’m on the right path to get my characters and their story where they need to be. I usually plot out a few scenes at a time.

Kris Michaels: Does the process change when you collaborate?

Riley Hart: Not really. The plotting part then just becomes more of a phone call and talking it out with someone. Well, that’s kind of a lie. Usually we just write until we’re much farther along than I do on my own before we stop to figure out where things need to go next.

Kris Michaels: Which of your published works is your favorite and why? (Sorry, you can’t say all of them.)

Riley Hart: That really is hard for me. I love them all for different reasons but of course some are closer to my heart. A HUNDRED THOUSAND WORDS because I relate to Tobias so much. TURN THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN because of how important it is for me to speak up about mental health and mental illness. COLLIDE because no one loves like Noah and Cooper. CROSSROADS because that book took on a life of it’s own. DEPTH OF FIELD because I fell so in love with Shane, Van, and their story, but also Shane’s mom (which goes back to mental illness for me). Also, BROKEN PIECES because it challenged me the most.

Kris Michaels: Which book was a struggle to write and why?

depth of field meme

Riley Hart: BROKEN PIECES challenged me more than anything else. It was so different from anything I’d done and I knew I had to get it right, to make the relationship between the three men not only make sense, but show they really were three pieces of a whole. It needed to be equal parts that didn’t work without the other for the story to be told the right way.

Kris Michaels: Can you tell us a little about the project you are working on now?

Riley Hart: I’m working on the second book in the LAST CHANCE SERIES (following DEPTH OF FIELD). It’s Ryan and Caleb’s book. I’m super excited to tell their story and Ryan is really talking to me.

Kris Michaels: For anyone who hasn’t read your stories, I can attest to the fact that your couples are amazing and each story is wonderfully unique and absolutely enthralling. I’m curious though, did any of your guys demand you write their story even though you were supposed to be working on different projects?

Riley Hart: Oh absolutely!! I planned to write the second Blackcreek book when I had a dream about Mateo, Josiah and Tristan. That idea hit me hard and I couldn’t ignore them! I was supposed to write ROCK SOLID two when the idea for CROSSROADS hit. Bryce would NOT shut up! LOL. I was glad because I loved him, but I’ve had some writers block on ROCK SOLID two, ever since then. And I was also planning on writing WILD SIDE three when DEPTH OF FIELD demanded my attention. I have to follow the muse!

Kris Michaels: Do you still get butterflies when you hit publish?

Riley Hart: Every. Single. Time. It will never stop scaring me or exciting me. If it does, I shouldn’t be doing this.

Kris Michaels: What does Riley do to have fun?

Riley Hart: Write. LOL. Seriously, outside of my family, it’s basically my life. I like to watch my hubby and girls ride motocross.

Kris Michaels: If I strand you in the middle of nowhere and tell you that you can only access three author’s books for the next three years, who would you pick to read? Why?

Riley Hart: OMG. So hard… David Levithan, JR Ward, and Axios by Jaclyn Osborn

Kris Michaels: I am giving you a magic wand. You now have the power to change one thing in this world. What would you change?

Riley Hart: All the hate, anger and ugliness going on in the world today L

Kris Michaels: Have you set any professional goals that you are still trying to achieve?

Riley Hart: The most important thing to me is to keep being passionate about what I do, to be proud of every book I put out, and to write stories that touch readers’ hearts.

Kris Michaels: Any shout outs? People you’d like to thank for giving you that extra push, the shoulder to lean on or someone who believed in you when you didn’t think you could do it?

Riley Hart: I talk to Devon McCormack and Christina Lee daily. I would likely lose my mind without them. My bestie Kelley York always has my back. She’s an incredible writer and I’ve learned a lot from her.

Kris Michaels: Riley, thank you so much for helping me expose the Lady Smut readers to your fabulous stories. I can honestly say you are one of the sweetest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I adore your work and wish you every success and happiness in your future endeavors.

Riley Hart: Thank you so much! That really means a lot to me. I had so much fun. Thanks for having me.

Blurb for DEPTH OF FIELD:

Shane Wallace has made a decent life for himself in Last Chance. He built his own home on his mom’s property to take care of her, owns an automotive repair shop, and when he wants to get laid, Portland isn’t too far away. Not too shabby for the boy who spent his childhood getting bullied and feeling alone. Shane’s content to leave his past behind him…until one of his childhood tormentors comes back to town.

Maxwell Sullivan never planned to step foot in Last Chance again. Here, he was Maxwell, a teen who suffered in silence while everyone thought he had the perfect life. Now, he’s “Van,” the erotic artist and photographer. He’s only here to help his mom tie up some loose ends after his father’s death and to apologize to Shane. After that, he’s heading back to LA for good.

Shane never thought he’d have anything in common with Maxwell, but there’s a depth to Van that surprises him. Van knows what it feels like to be alone. He sees Shane in ways no one else does. There’s a shared connection neither can deny. Somehow, despite their rocky history, they get each other.

It’s not long before the two are so drawn to each other that they tumble into bed—sometimes with Van’s camera involved. Their chemistry in and out of the bedroom is undeniable. Except nothing is ever black and white. Shane can’t leave his mom and Van’s life is in LA. With two different lives pulling them in opposite directions, their picture-perfect ending might not be in the cards. 

Excerpt for DEPTH OF FIELD

Shane’s body was overheating. His pulse thumped against his skin. Christ, he was fucking hungry for the other man, hungry to slide his dick between Van’s ass cheeks and revel in all that heat around him. He wanted to just let go—fuck and feel free in ways he wasn’t often able to do. Wanted to step outside his world, and pretend it was something different.

“What are you waiting for?” Van asked him, his brows pulled together.

“Nothing,” Shane replied. He finished removing his jeans and then grabbed his lube from the drawer. There was an unopened box of condoms inside, which he tore into before plucking one out. “Get on your hands and knees for me,” he told Van who did it. His sexy, tight, ass was there and waiting for Shane. He climbed on the bed, leaned forward and licked it. Wanted to push his face in it and eat at Van’s hole until he lost his damn mind.

He wanted to make the other man come harder than he ever had before. Wanted to prove that even though he stayed in this tiny down, on the same goddamned property he’d grown up on, that he was experienced and knew what he was doing. That he could make Van scream, could make him come in a hundred different ways.

On his knees behind Van, he rubbed Van’s pucker with his thumb, and watched him tremble. “Nothing like a tight, little hole. I can’t wait to see it stretched out, taking my dick.”

Van looked over his shoulder with a cocky, grin on his face, “Then give it to me.”

Shane’s fingers shook, so much pent-up energy racing through his body, as he ripped open the condom and rolled it down his erection. He opened the lube with a snap, squirted some in his hand and rubbed his prick before adding more to Van’s hole. He pushed the tip of his finger inside, just to play with him, as he rubbed his other hand over Van’s ass.

Christ, he still couldn’t believe he had this man in his bed right now.

“Give it to me, Shane.”

Hearing Van say his name almost pulled him out of it, but just as quickly as it happened, his need took over again. Not just his need, but the fact that there was not one thing about Van that reminded him of the boy he’d been. Neither of them were the same.

“Ask me again,” he said.

“Give it to me, please. Make me see star—no, fuck that. Make me see all those damn colors you use when you’re blowing glass.”

Well…when he put it like that.

Find Riley on social media:

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Website

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Riley’s books & buy links:

DEPTH OF FIELD
AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2vTwpzj

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2ime7lS

ROCK SOLID

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2ilTHcr

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2ikv93E

COLLIDE

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2imdJne

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2v9F1Pu

STAY

AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2wiGhnB

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2vTMTI0

PRETEND

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2vjM7Ac

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2xmsPM3

RETURN TO BLACKCREEK

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2x7LMCP

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2g0GGnP

BROKEN PIECES

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2vYDxZI

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2x7MYq8

FULL CIRCLE

AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2vjTE2h

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2x7vIkF

LOSING CONTROL

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2v9b6qJ

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2imdicz

CROSSROADS

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2fZKd63

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2wsyEes

 

Booked author Leandra Vane on BDSM romance, writing male/male sex scenes and #ownvoices

16 Jun

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

As soon as I heard about the new BDSM romance novel Booked by Leandra Vane, I knew I wanted to read it. Actually, as soon as I saw the sexy cover with a man’s wrists handcuffed and the words “Detectives Were His Ultimate Fantasy” at the top, I knew. Isn’t that a wonderful feeling? I don’t know if there’s a specific word for it besides “anticipation,” but I get tingly when I see a book and immediately know: You’re going to be mine.

Isn’t this a HOT cover?

I’m pleased to report that Booked was every bit as sexy and fascinating as my initial inkling indicated it would be. Vane, a prominent sexuality blogger and author, has spun a small town romance that’s kinky, smart and edgy, with a fast pace that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could (it’s for sale in print and ebook, but I’m a sucker for print). There are many layers to this romance novel, which features a kinky bisexual male protagonist, Nate, a writer who volunteers at the local library and also suffers from nerve damage. He has a BDSM mistress, Charlotte, who’s just started dating the also kinky Ian, but then Nate also falls for his town’s hunky new librarian, James. All that, and there’s even a happily ever after!

I wanted to learn more about the process of writing Booked, which seemed extra fitting for Pride month, so I emailed Leandra Vane and here’s what she had to say about writing male/male romance, #ownvoices, the mental side of kink and BDSM, self-publishing and much more. You can follow her on @Leandra_Vane on Twitter to find out what she’s up to next, and she also has an original tale, “A Stolen Story,” forthcoming in my November anthology Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 3.

Booked author Leandra Vane

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: How long have you been writing erotica and how did you get involved with it? How is writing erotic fiction different for you than writing nonfiction about sex and kink?

LEANDRA VANE: I’ve been a reader of erotic fiction since I was a teenager. It has been a constant and important aspect of my sexuality for my entire sexual life. But I didn’t start writing erotica until I was 25 years old. I had been surrounded by a lot of sex negative attitudes growing up and had the basic impression that romance and erotica wasn’t “Real Writing.” But in 2013 I launched my sexuality blog The Unlaced Librarian where I reviewed non-fiction sexuality books that had been really helpful in my life. This bolstered some confidence so I started writing erotic stories and submitting them to anthologies. At first I just wanted to experiment and see how it felt to write in the genre. What I discovered was the kind of writing that suited me so well I could grow and thrive as a writer. June marks my four year anniversary as a sex writer and I’ve genuinely never been happier.

I think writing erotic fiction is interesting because it lets me explore certain topics from the perspective of different characters as well as exploring how the setting is infused into the sexual aspects of the story. For example, a lot of my stories take place in small Midwestern towns and that flavor certainly impacts how my characters work through their relationships and kinks. Writing non-fiction is more focused. I tend to take one viewpoint and keep it as concise as I can. It’s more structured in order to be effective as sex education and help people work through aspects of their sexualities without becoming overwhelmed.

Both types of writing are rewarding. But I love the ability to see different perspectives around a topic and explore the harsh and painful aspects in a creative way. There are some aspects of sex, disability, and embodiment that are difficult for me to write in non-fiction. But I dive right in with these themes in fiction because I’m more emotionally connected and my characters can serve as an outlet for all the different ways I feel about things, even when these feelings conflict.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: You’ve written that while the idea for Nate and James came to you easily, you almost didn’t write Booked because you weren’t sure you could do justice to a male/male plotline. What made you push past that initial resistance?

LEANDRA VANE: Ultimately I just loved my characters so much I couldn’t not write them. At first I felt like I was somehow “stealing” an experience that was not mine – being a gay man. But when I looked at certain characteristics and qualities of my characters, I saw that I was bringing a lot of my own experiences into the story and the characters. I asked friends and readers of an array of sexual orientations and body identities if they would like to read a story about a librarian and a tattooed novelist exploring kinky role play together and the answer was a resounding yes. I’m now open to writing a lot of different pairings I haven’t been in the past. I’m a romantic erotica writer and readers need and want interesting characters in a variety of pairings. So I’m going to write the ones that interest me. I’m easily seduced by my characters so this breakthrough has been really freeing.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Since this was your first time writing a male/male romance, I’m curious about how the experience was similar and different from the pairings you’ve written in the past. Were there aspects of it that you struggled with more than when writing female characters?

LEANDRA VANE: At first I was a little caught up on trying to do things the “right” way and doing justice to my masculine characters. I asked both gay and straight guys in my life how they felt during and about sex. I learned a lot, but I was mostly struck with how their experiences with sex and romance were not so different from mine. I certainly kept some things in mind but ultimately I focused on making unique and complete characters. Once I got rolling, I was led by their unique pasts, motivations, and desires. Confronting this challenge has made me more aware and able to write well-rounded characters no matter what body or sexual orientation they possess, which is invaluable for me as a writer and an experience I’m so grateful to have had.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: There’s a gradual education about BDSM that unfolds for James, who’s had kinky fantasies but has never acted upon them until he gets together with Nate. Nate and Charlotte recommend books for James to read and they have plenty of detailed discussions before they actually try anything kinky together. Why was this important to both the story and to you as an author to have this slow buildup?

LEANDRA VANE: I personally think it’s important to bring a more varied level of sexual experience to erotic stories. One of the reasons I didn’t try to write erotica myself for so long was because I felt I was sexually inexperienced or not kinky enough. But there are way more people I know who are curious about or just beginning to explore aspects of sexuality than people who have had loads of hardcore, creative, kinky sex. I started wondering, why can’t I have characters who haven’t been sexual with a lot of partners? Why can’t I have a main character in a BDSM story who had fantasized about BDSM but had not tried anything yet? These were more interesting stories to me and ones I connected to.

Also, I feel like talking about sex and desires is intimate and vulnerable. I’ve read a lot of erotic stories where the action happens so fast and the characters go into the sexual situation nervous and sort of looking at each other from the corner of their eye and then things just happen. It’s exciting and all, but I don’t think the tension or excitement is lost when characters talk about things first. In a way, some of the dialogue scenes in Booked felt very erotic to me.

Communication and understanding yourself as well as your partner is a high value for me as a sex educator so I try to infuse this into my fiction when I can.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Something that stood out to me is how much attention is paid in the book to making sure there’s both consent and participation from both tops and bottoms in the BDSM scenes. At a play party, Charlotte asks Nate, “What is it you want out of this scene before you’re at the mercy of my hand and mood?” This struck me as different than a lot of the dominants I’ve read about. What does this level of care toward the submissives from dominants in the book signify about their relationships?

LEANDRA VANE: I personally find it erotic and enticing when the top is fully engaged with the bottom and the scene. It’s a personal preference but I often get turned off if there’s not at least a hint in an erotic story that all partners are consenting. When I play in kink scenes with my current top, I still always ask things like if I can touch him or if it’s okay that we do certain things in a scene and he does the same for me. We’ve been playing together for over a year.

I feel this reiterates the underlying friendship that the characters have for each other outside the dungeon. Sometimes I feel sexual or kink relationships somehow fall outside of parameters of being supportive friends toward each other and I wanted my characters to have a foundation beneath their power dynamics.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Another aspect of BDSM that I really liked was that you explore the psychological aspect of kink as much as (if not more) than the physical side of it, which is often the main image vanilla people have of BDSM. During their first time playing together, Nate tells James that he likes being blindfolded even though it’s “its own special kind of torture” because “It forces me to really give up control.” For Nate, what makes that giving up of control so arousing?

LEANDRA VANE: The psychological aspect of BDSM was really important for me in the book. I wanted it to be just as prominent as the physical aspects in the story.

For Nate specifically, giving up control is a complete matter of trust. Since he can’t feel half of his body, being blindfolded means he will not know if he accidentally gets hurt or even where the top is touching him. As a disabled person with nerve damage, I can say giving your partner complete control over your body like this takes an astounding amount of trust. Call me a vulnerability slut, but when you trust your partner that much, I find it really hot. Considering Nate had a very bad relationship based on lies and mistrust in his past, this is a personal development aspect of his character that shows he is moving on, investing in healthy aspects of his new relationship, and growing as a person.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Nate also compares the physical pain he suffers because of his nerve damage to the kind he craves in kink as a submissive, the main difference being he has control over the latter and can stop it at any point. Can you elaborate on that connection between unwanted and wanted pain?

LEANDRA VANE: Unwanted pain is terrible and for many people is a non-negotiable part of life. Not having a choice is perhaps one of the most difficult things to cope with in life. BDSM is all about choice, negotiation, and consent. When elements of pain feel good, it can be empowering to play with it and help you cope with the times in your life that you have no choice but to endure the pain.

I also know that certain aspects of pain can be very pleasurable but physical pain from sickness, chronic conditions, or illnesses can frighten people away from harnessing pain for pleasure. Having a character that goes through both experiences was important to me to include in the ongoing conversation about BDSM, which I feel I can contribute to through fiction.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: While the heart of Booked is the romance between Nate and James, Nate is also bisexual and a submissive to Charlotte, something that James takes very much in stride and is even interested in learning more about. Was it tricky to navigate the various relationships among the three of them as well as Charlotte’s other partners?

LEANDRA VANE: This aspect was not tricky in the sense that this is how I see things and how I experience sexual attraction. I get into a bad habit of thinking everyone is a bisexual polyamorous person and my friends have to remind me that isn’t how it works. (I can still dream!) Early feedback I received warned me that perhaps the aspect with Charlotte would not be believable or that James wouldn’t be okay with Nate having a Domme. I took a chance and developed this aspect of my characters anyway. I hope that in exploring the motivations and attitudes of my characters that the relationships feel natural and genuine. I’m toying with writing a sequel in which Nate, James, Charlotte, and her partner Ian have formed a loose BDSM-based Polycule. We shall see.

But, just like writing sexually inexperienced characters, I decided there was nothing wrong with writing sexually fluid characters too. It reflects my own experience of my sexuality and of some of my friends so I feel the representation in fiction is important.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Since the library where James and Charlotte work, and Nate volunteers, plays such a central role in Booked, I’m curious about the connection between books (and reading and writing) and romance in the novel. Clearly, all three are huge book lovers, and books play a central role in both entertaining and educating them, so I’m curious what you see as the role of books in Booked.

LEANDRA VANE: In the story both Charlotte and James first stumble upon their kinks in books: Charlotte in history books and James in a book about detectives and crime. Nate is also a novelist who uses his writing to explore some themes in BDSM. All three are indeed book lovers and though each character possesses their kinks for different reasons, it is the element of books that binds all three of them together.

My idea initially was to have the library serve as a metaphorical symbol for a church. It’s an historical building that becomes a sanctuary for my characters. Through the stories and information in books my characters transcend the mundane aspects of their sexuality to engage with their bodies and their fantasies in a deeper, more textural (and enjoyable) way.

It’s also a blatant relay of some of my experiences working at a library in the past. Whether it was the cute white haired lady who checked out mountains of “bodice-rippers” or stories of romance, sex, and violence that I read in the microfilm reels of my local newspaper, the library was and is a well of human experience. Sexuality is part of that experience I wanted to bring forth.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Booked is an #ownvoices novel, meaning that you, like your protagonist, Nate, share certain elements in common, such as having nerve damage. Can you share how your experiences with nerve damage relate to Nate’s, and why the ownvoices element is important to you, and to readers?

LEANDRA VANE: I used to think I shouldn’t write about disability in my fiction because people would call me a self-absorbed “Mary Sue.” But I learned that most of us carry around shame and never grow because we guard our secrets and experiences from each other. I believe by sharing our stories we can all learn and grow together. So I started mining the experiences living with a disability has given me and putting them into some of my stories. All my life I’ve turned to books to have the conversations with me that people in the real world were unwilling or unable to have. So I encourage all writers to share their experiences. You don’t have to be disabled to learn things from disabled characters. And if you do share the experience of disability, there might be pieces of your own puzzle you find in the story. So now I don’t shy away from writing about disability in my fiction.

As for Nate and I, one of the most amazing things I’ve found in experimenting and playing with BDSM scenes is how I experience sensation play and pain when I literally cannot feel over half my body. Exploring this through another character was not only fun but nurturing to me in validating my experience of sex.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: Along the same lines, James has to overcome some of his preconceived ideas about BDSM as he learns what it’s like in real life for Nate and Charlotte. Did you have any stereotypes or misconceptions about BDSM that you had to unpack when you started getting involved with it?

LEANDRA VANE: I had always viewed my kinks as a “dirty little secret.” This bit of my soul I kept wrapped up in a shoe box in a dark corner that I only took out every once in a while. I thought if I let it out my whole identity would be dictated by the fact that I was a fetishist who had kinky thoughts.

Becoming involved with the BDSM community and the fantastically supportive world of erotica writers has changed all of that. Imagine, well-rounded, kind, creative people who are also kinky as fuck. Amazing!

I believed in a stereotype that if you’re kinky, it infiltrates every part of your life until you’re just a sex-crazed drone intent on only one thing no matter who you hurt to get it. (Did I mention earlier I was surrounded by a lot of sex negativity growing up? Yeaaahhh.) But now I know the complexity and deeply human aspects of kink and BDSM and I’ve brought it into my life in a healthy way, embracing my kinks and unleashing my creativity as an erotica writer.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: You self-published Booked, as well as several other books, such as your memoir Trophy Wife and fiction A Bloom in Cursive and Cast From the Earth. Why did you choose self-publishing, and do you have any advice for new authors looking into self-publishing?

LEANDRA VANE: I honestly chose self-publishing because of the combination of things I write about. BDSM/Multiple pairing and disability? Yeah, that’s probably a Venn Diagram not many publishers want to see in a pitch. But just because there aren’t oodles of people wanting to read what I write, they are out there. I’m more interested in getting my work to the readers that need to read it or appreciate it the most rather than going the traditional route right now. And I’ve found the small or independent publishers that publish really unique erotica anthologies are a great fit for my work and are the stories I want to consume as a reader. I’ve found a wonderful home for my work this way and I love it.

Of course this did not happen overnight. Before I became a sex writer, I published books under two different pen names, submitted work to lots and lots of lit journals, and launched and folded two blogs. My books and stories were half-baked and my platform was unorganized. I made mistakes. But I learned from them.

As far as advice, I would say work on becoming a better writer first and foremost. Don’t focus on things like awards or accolades. Read, read, read then write, write, write. Find a book that makes you think “how can I make readers feel the same way as I did when I read that last word?” Practice.

Also, even if you self-publish some work, do submit stories to outside publishers. It helps you network, keeps you writing, and builds your CV. It also gives you practice for coping with the business of writing when your work is declined (and it will be declined). But write new things. Try again. Listen to feedback.

Finally, I say this as a joke, but really, you might also want to convert to Buddhism. Your ego is your worst enemy once you start putting work out there. Managing it well will help along the way.

RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL: This week we’re celebrating luck here at Lady Smut in honor of the release of Lucky by Elizabeth SaFleur. Does luck play a role in Booked for any of the characters?

LEANDRA VANE: Every time I pick up an erotica book or write a sex scene, I truly feel lucky to be living in a time and place where we can read and write about sex and relationships. A little over 100 years ago things like the Comstock laws prohibited the sending and receiving of “obscene” materials including books and sex education writing. So I feel lucky to be living in a time and place where technology allows me to not just write but also self-publish my work.

My characters comment in places how lucky they feel to have met each other. Also, there is an historical undertone of the small town they live in with buildings from the 1800’s and the tragic stories of people that lived before them. My characters definitely feel lucky that they were able to work through their kinks in time to still have plenty of life left to enjoy them.

Booked by Leandra Vane is available now in print and as an ebook.

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This post is part of our Lucky week at Lady Smut, celebrating the release of the latest Elite Doms of Washington erotic romance novel, Lucky, by Elizabeth SaFleur! If you like hot , hunky dominant heroes, you don’t want to miss this book.

Lucky by Elizabeth SaFleur

Billionaire, entertainment investor and resolute bachelor Derek Damon Wright and dance studio owner Samantha Rose are unprepared for their mutual attraction to one another. She desperately wants to have a baby, and family doesn’t match Derek’s sophisticated life of private jets, vacations in the Caribbean and his BDSM activities. Yet a magnetic passion draws them closer—at least until their past mistakes arise and threaten all hope of a real future.

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Rachel Kramer Bussel (rachelkramerbussel.com) has edited over 60 anthologies, including Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 and 2, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Begging for It, Fast Girls, The Big Book of Orgasms and more. She writes widely about sex, dating, books and pop culture and teaches erotica writing classes around the country and online. Follow her @raquelita on Twitter and find out more about her classes and consulting at eroticawriting101.com. You can follow Rachel on BookBub to get notified about new releases and ebook sales.

For the Love of the M/M Erotic Romance Genre

26 May

by Elizabeth SaFleur

My first Male-Male (M/M) erotic romance was Joey W. Hill’s Rough Canvas. The story of Thomas and Marcus will always have a place in my heart, and not just because the story is hot as Hades. At some point in the story, I lost sight of the character’s gender and simply relished in their journey. This book proves #LoveIsLove and started my quest for more M/M stories.

When his father dies, Thomas is forced to abandon a burgeoning art career in New York. As difficult as it was to give up his lifelong dream, it’s nothing next to walking away from the man he loves. Marcus taught him to embrace who he is, a sexual submissive who responds to the touch of only one Master. But why would the sophisticated Marcus need some farm kid from the South?

Then Marcus shows up and offers him a way to continue his art career and help his family. There’s only one hitch – he asks Thomas to spend a week with him in the Berkshires. Thomas knows he should refuse. But he’s never been able to say no to his Master.

But, somewhere along the lines, life took over and I didn’t pick up another M/M for some time. This isn’t because I didn’t want to, just chalk up my lack of M/M reading to general life overwhelm.

So, I asked a large Facebook group with a lot of M/M erotic romance lovers this question: What is the one book someone should read when seeking to explore the M/M erotic romance for the first time? Below are few names that came up a lot. I mean, a lot-a lot.

I haven’t read these titles yet, but they’ve been added to my TBR pile.

  1. Cambria Hebert. Her books Rev and Blur were named, specifically.

Trent Mask puts the REV in revolution.

A line has been drawn.
Indie vs Pro
Here at GearShark, we’re straddling that line to bring you exclusive coverage of what some have dubbed the war of racing.
Every war starts with a spark and ends in revolution.
Drew Forrester was the spark,
but his second-in-command is the REVolution.
What does it take to stand brave in the face of opposition?
Resolve of steel…
Stubborn will…
And a heart that refuses to give up.
It isn’t just the drivers in this war.
The revolution is about more than just racing.
It’s about shattering labels and taking risks.
So we asked Trent Mask: Truth or Dare?
His answer?
Both.

  1. Kindle Alexander. Specifically, Always. Given how many awards it’s received, no wonder! 

Favorite All-Time M/M Romance 2015 Member Choice Awards Goodreads
Book of the Year 2014 Member Choice Awards Goodreads MM Romance
Book of the Year 2014 Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews
LGBT Book of the Year 2015 eLit Awards

Born to a prestigious political family, Avery Adams plays as hard as he works. The gorgeous, charismatic attorney is used to getting what he wants, even the frequent one-night stands that earn him his well-deserved playboy reputation. When some of the most prominent men in politics suggest he run for senate, Avery decides the time has come to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. With a strategy in place and the campaign wheels rolling, Avery is ready to jump on the legislative fast track, full steam ahead. But no amount of planning prepares him for the handsome, uptight restaurateur who might derail his political future.

Easy isn’t even in the top thousand words to describe Kane Dalton’s life after his father, a devout Southern Baptist minister, kicks him out of the family home for questioning his sexual orientation. Despite all the rotten tomatoes life throws his way, Kane makes something of himself. Between owning a thriving upscale Italian restaurant in the heart of downtown Minneapolis and managing his long-term boyfriend, his plate is full. He struggles to get past the teachings of his childhood to fully accept his sexuality and rid himself of the doubts brought on by his religious upbringing. The last thing he needs is the yummy, sophisticated, blond-haired distraction sitting at table thirty-four.

3. Sloane Kennedy – Her Protectors series was recommended.

 But what I felt most was the perfection of what these two men were giving me. And I knew in that moment that I would do anything to keep it. Anything. –Cole

After four years abroad, artist Jonas Davenport has come home to start building his dream of owning his own art studio and gallery. But just as he’s ready to put the darkness of his past behind him forever, it comes roaring back with a vengeance.

The only thing keeping ex-cop Mace Calhoun from eating his own gun after an unthinkable loss is his role in an underground syndicate that seeks to get justice for the innocent by taking the lives of the guilty. Ending the life of the young artist who committed unspeakable crimes against the most vulnerable of victims should have been the easiest thing in the world. So why can’t he bring himself to pull the trigger?

After years of fighting in an endless, soul-sucking war, Navy SEAL Cole Bridgerton has come home to fight another battle – dealing with the discovery that the younger sister who ran away from home eight years earlier is lost to him forever. He needs answers and the only person who can give them to him is a young man struggling to put his life back together. But he never expected to feel something more for the haunted artist.

Cole and Mace. One lives by the rules, the other makes his own. One seeks justice through the law while the other seeks it with his gun. Two men, one light, one dark, will find themselves and each other when they’re forced to stand side by side to protect Jonas from an unseen evil that will stop at nothing to silence the young artist forever.

But each man’s scars run deep and even the strength of three may not be enough to save them…

4. Mary Calmes. This cover and title alone begged for one-clicking.

Deputy US Marshal Miro Jones has a reputation for being calm and collected under fire. These traits serve him well with his hotshot partner, Ian Doyle, the kind of guy who can start a fight in an empty room. In the past three years of their life-and-death job, they’ve gone from strangers to professional coworkers to devoted teammates and best friends. Miro’s cultivated blind faith in the man who has his back… faith and something more.

As a marshal and a soldier, Ian’s expected to lead. But the power and control that brings Ian success and fulfillment in the field isn’t working anywhere else. Ian’s always resisted all kinds of tied down, but having no home—and no one to come home to—is slowly eating him up inside. Over time, Ian has grudgingly accepted that going anywhere without his partner simply doesn’t work. Now Miro just has to convince him that getting tangled up in heartstrings isn’t being tied down at all.

5. Riley Hart. Yes, please.

Oliver Hayes wears his heart on his sleeve, and his friends never let him forget it. Every Friday night spent at Wild Side, their favorite West Hollywood bar, Oliver’s lack of hookups becomes the hot topic. It’s not that he doesn’t want a good time. He just wants it to mean something, which is a lofty goal when he’s still pining after his childhood crush, Matt, who left ten years ago to start a new life in New York City.

Matt Daniels has always felt most at home seated at a piano. He might not have entirely fit in with his family and friends, but he was always able to find himself in music. Or at least he did before he gave up his dream a lifetime ago. Now, he has a successful modeling career and should be enjoying every second of it. Yet nothing feels right, and Matt fears he’s losing himself.

Just when Oliver decides to get over Matt for good, Matt waltzes back into LA. As Matt struggles to understand what he’s missing in his seemingly perfect life, he falls right back into leaning on Oliver for support. Things aren’t what they used to be between them, though. They tumble into bed together, and it’s hard not to continue ending up there. For the first time in years, Matt’s inspired to compose again, reigniting a spark he thought long extinguished.

But as always, Oliver can’t keep his heart in check, and soon Matt realizes he’s gone for Oliver too. The biggest question is, can he fully give himself to someone if he still hasn’t figured out how to love himself?

6. Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. Mmmmm….

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions-
can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

~~~~~

In no way is this the definitive list.  But it’s a start! As usual, I thought it would be easy to identify. Not so. Many great authors who write in the M/M genre exist. Other authors whose names were raised by our “non-scientific but can-totally-be-trusted” group are listed below. Many of these authors write both M/F and M/M, are best-sellers and have won awards. But they most definitely won reader’s hearts as their names were raised as “must-read.”

Alanea Alder
Kris Michaels
Lucy Lennox
JJ Harper
Annabeth Albert
Felice Stevens
Seth King
Golden Czermak
Ella Frank
Nicole Edwards
Amy Lane
Rhys Ford
TJ Klune
Damon Suede
Aimee Nicole Walker
AE Via
Amber Kell
Cardeno C.
Carol Lynne
Kele Moon
Annabella Michaels
Faith Gibson
Aria Grace
Devon McCormack
Samantha A. Cole
Lucy Lennox

Let us know what you think. Do you have a favorite M/M book we should know about? Hit us up in the comments so we all may grow our TBR mountains.

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Elizabeth SaFleur writes contemporary erotic romance and she’s not afraid to get graphic about it  — “it” being the sex, the BDSM or Washington, DC society, which she regularly features in her series, the Elite Doms of Washington. Join her Sexy, Saucy, Sometimes Naughty exclusive reader’s group or follow her on Bookbub and Amazon.

Check out her latest book, LUCKY, where our heroine learns
when a man tell you who he is, believe him.

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