Saturday, June 30, 2007
As a woman, I know what kind of men I like. As a woman interested in homoerotic relationships, I know what kind of men I'd like to see together. I also know from talking to gay friends that what I'm exploring in my fiction as a M/M iceberg is just the tip. There's a wide world out there, and most of it is waiting to be explored.
So is it an alpha-alpha relationship you're looking for? Or maybe a nice dose of bondage and submission, to watch a strong man submit to another out of pleasure and love? Perhaps it's just a couple of average joes finding out they're not alone? Or maybe... just maybe... it's something a little wilder?
The question remains..how do you like your men?
Friday, June 29, 2007
Anyone who’s read our work knows Barb and I are huge fans of yaoi. The genre’s popularity keeps growing with Western audiences, with certain titles moving 10,000 copies a month, according to this article in Publisher’s Weekly. Meanwhile, a number of online publishers include a category for fiction written in a yaoi-style.
So whaddaya mean you haven’t picked up a yaoi manga yet?!? It's time to dive in!
These are three of my favorite titles, which also make good starters for newbies to the genre. The next time you’re shopping online at Amazon or visit your local Barnes & Noble, drop one into your basket and give it a try. :D
Gerard & Jacques by Fumi Yoshinaga
This two-volume series is the first one I suggest for anyone who’s never picked up a yaoi manga before. With the French Revolution serving as the story’s backdrop, Gerard is an aristocrat-hating author (famous for penning scandalous tales about lesbian lovers) who surprisingly rescues Jacques, a young man indentured to a brothel in order to work off his father’s debts. The series has its moments of political intrigue, drama, humor and tenderness that tug on your heart strings as the two men realize their love for each other is more than platonic. Meanwhile, the art is simple, expressive and compliments the story beautifully. (And for those of you worried about such things, the sex scenes are not too graphic.)
Last Portrait by Akira Honma
This manga offers readers two thoughtful, artistically rendered stories with memorable characters. The first story focuses on a young artist who discovers he’s in love with his sister’s fiancé, but prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the second story in particular. In it, a wet-behind-the-ears FBI agent must work with an ex-member of Bureau who is only days away from being executed for a crime he didn’t commit. It's not the kind of plot I've come across often in yaoi manga, and the action coupled with drama makes for some great tension. As with Gerard & Jacques, there is sex, but not depicted in an overly graphic manner.
And because I can’t resist a good romp…
But…I’m Your Teacher by Yoshino Somei
This volume collects a number of short mangas, all of which *do* contain graphic sex. If cute, blushing penises on every other page aren’t your thing, leave this book carefully tucked away in its shrinkwrap. But for a series of fun, sometimes over the top stories, But I’m Your Teacher will not disappoint. (There is just one short near the end of the book that takes a dark, unexpected twist—but it’s handled in a very interesting way.)
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I received the funniest flame on my LiveJournal the other day. In response to my complaint that, at 167 minutes, the latest Pirates of the Caribbean flick is just too long, an anonymous person replied:
The movies were too long? Or did they just lack male-ass-touching?
Ha! While I'd be lying if I said that a little male ass-touching wouldn't go a long way in making me want to see the movie, mansex isn't the only criteria by which I judge my entertainment.
At least, I don't think it is. *ponders*
I was going to end this little bit of Tuesday musing with a photo of some guys grabbing ass, but I did a Google image search on "male ass touching" and was rather surprised by the results. David Boreanaz in the tub, David Beckham and teammates celebrating a goal, and...Gollum? Not to mention Foghorn Leghorn. Interesting!
While at Book Expo America, we ladies in the ManLoveRomance booth had the opportunity to chat with a number of slash readers. To discuss the whole evolution and popularity of slash fiction was fascinating enough, but then we got into some truly crazy territory. Seems on the Internet, you can find pairings of just about anybody and everybody - many of which will certainly leave you scratching your head. One woman informed us, for example, of a small movement dedicated to Mac/PC Guy Slash!
Hi, I'm a Mac.
And I'm a PC.
And I really like your ass.
Well, boot me up, big boy.
Well, it got me thinking about other unusual pairings I've seen over the years, and it's inspired me to make a list of what I think are the wildest, most bewildering slash couples on the Net. You're welcome to submit a few yourself, maybe we can make a small guide available for those willing to open their minds, if not their mouths (gaped in shock).
My picks from random searches:
Whose Line is it Anyway? - Ryan Stiles/Colin Mocherie: If you know where to look, you'll find stories about this pair. Don't ask me what would inspire such fiction, maybe some fans took the Hoedown game a bit too seriously.
Quantum Leap - Sam/Al: I'll say right now that this is still one of my all-time favorite shows. To know that QL slash exists doesn't surprise me, but I have to admit it would be a challenge given the context of the show. Al and Sam existed in different times, for one. How much fun can you have with a holographic image?
M*A*S*H - Hawkeye/Winchester: I'm sorry, Hawkeye belongs with Trapper. Nuff said.
Dukes of Hazzard - Bo/Luke: Wrong on so many levels. I'm almost afraid to search for Blue Collar TV stuff. Git 'r done, indeed.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
So when I envisage my characters it is not with reference to any existing actors or models, or outside photographic sources. From the beginning I would tend to sketch them out myself, to the best of my admittedly limited ability. For example this guy on the right here is Merlin from my very first novella "Alas, the Red Dragon" (Merlin/Arthur slash). This novella was my first step away from fanfiction, moving to a copyright free character that is open to extensive re-shaping.
And on the left we have the hero of my first fully original novel 'The Broken Sword'. He wasn't a conventionally handsome guy but the interesting thing was that he bears some relation to the eventual cover art by James McPartlin (see full size here). This cover is in fact a portrait of me, thinly disguised as a male character. Mary Sue, anyone? Well, the character 'Deon' is not very idealised and widely loved--in fact he is deeply flawed and most of the other characters don't like him at all--but I probably did identify with him more than any of my later protagonists. So I wonder if I was unconsciously sketching his similarity to me from the beginning?
Thursday, June 21, 2007
If you've read posts by Anne Cain or myself on e-loops or message boards or even here on the blog, you've heard us talk about our beloved Dragon's Disciple Universe. The cornerstone of it all is the three book story arc of Dao Kan Shu--Chinese tong hatchet man and selfish bastard extraordinaire and his minion, companion, fellow assassin Toshiro Itou.
This trilogy has seen it's publishing ups and downs but that's a whole 'nother blog post ^_^. Anyway our "babies" finally found a home with Liquid Silver Books Molten Silver imprint.
If you read last week's post you know that book one Silk and Poison shows how it all began and how Shu seduced and lured Toshiro the "dark side". The excerpt I shared gave you a glimpse into how edgy Shu is as a character and rereading the book in edits has been an eye-opener.
Make no mistake, Anne and I love our characters and their story. Shu is a sick twisted f*ck at times but he is human and Toshiro manages to bring that bit of humanity out that's been hidden--it takes over a hundred years in Shu's life for things to come full circle but it does happen.
Still, in revisiting Silk and Poison and seeing it as a "reader" I was struck again and again at just how dark this story is and I began to wonder how readers will take it. Those who've read Blood Brothers probably won't be too surprised because that story is also much darker in tone than what many m/m fans expect.
Some of our Yahoogroup listers have seen an early version of Silk and Poison and they all found it fascinating, the type of story that sucks you in because it is so different and the populated with characters that are utterly fascinating.
But for readers who are used to our ChildsPrey stories or the traditional romance feel of I Do will be for quite a surprise.
And before I go let me share the complete S&P cover. Click on it to get the full sized version
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Whether it's a specialty store or one for the general readership, I still nurse a heavy heart when I hear of an independent bookstore closing. The latest victim in my neck of the woods is the Norfolk, VA Lambda Rising, which will close forever at the end of the month. This will be the third or fourth business in the Ghent area to close in as many months - one of the other shops was Broad Street Books, which had moved from Portsmouth to be closer to the rising interest in the Ghent district. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep either shop in business.
What makes this news especially sad is that Lambda Rising was the only GLBT bookstore on the southside of Hampton Roads - it may have been the only one in the metropolitan area, I can't be sure. True, the chains do sell books of GLBT interest, but a general bookstore can only hold so much to appease one type of readership. With independent stores - be they gay/lesbian, romance, or mystery - the options are wider for the readership who wants the products.
Of course, it's difficult to ignore the factors that contribute to the demise of such places. When I lived in Atlanta, there used to be this wonderful, huge store called Oxford Books. It was about the size of a B&N but it more resembled the library of an eccentric the way it was setup. Spiral staircases, separate rooms for specific genres...and the signings! Big names. Rita Mae Brown, Sue Grafton, Dick Francis, Colin Powell, Anne Rice! The line looped three times over to see Anne sign Servant of the Bones. By comparison, the B&N across the way held no such events, but in the end they could provide the deep discounts the Oxford could not. I imagine the B&N is still there.
Lambda Rising graciously hosted a number of manloveromance members during EPICon, and served the community well over the last decade. Here's hoping one day the climate will change and become friendly to independent sellers once again.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Aaron Samuels has a secret. He is in love with his boss, Logan Remora. Logan is everything Aarons ever wanted in a man, except he’s straight…and married.
College student, Aaron Samuels is in love with his boss, Logan Remora. After four long years of working under his boss in every conceivable position except the one he wants, bent over the desk with his pants around his ankles, Aaron is ready to give up and move on to greener pastures.
A promising job offer right after graduation seems like fates way of kicking Aaron in the ass. He turns in his notice at work with a heavy heart, though Aaron knows he has made the right decision. After all, he could not spend the rest of his life mooning over Logan.
A torrid, late night tryst with a man Aaron believes to be Logans twin propels him into an emotional tailspin of guilt and confusion. Tough choices loom on the horizon, but Aaron may find that things are not always as they seem.
Man Candy by Amanda Young
Available June 19th at Loose ID
© Copyright 2007 Amanda Young
Aaron spent his evening at home, in his cramped efficiency apartment with only his host of plants for company. One-sided, rambling conversations abounded as he watered his treasures -- a plethora of fern species, an English ivy, and his favorite, a flourishing mother-in-laws tongue -- and talked to them about things he’d never tell another soul.
At midnight, feeling tired but restless, Aaron finally stripped down and crawled into bed. Lying on his lumpy futon and unable to sleep, he rolled over onto his back, squeezed his eyelids shut, and imagined he wasn’t alone. That the man he loved was beside him, holding him close. If he concentrated hard enough, he could almost feel the ghostly touch of Logan’s thick forearms wrapped around him, work-roughened hands exploring his chest and tweaking his nipples.
Said nipples peaked, aching to be touched, and Aaron answered their call, pinching each puckered bit of flesh with just enough pressure to add a sharp bite of pain. Some men didn’t have sensitive nipples, but Aaron did. He loved to have them played with, sucked on. His licked a finger and twirled it around one small bud, wishing it was Logan’s tongue. Imagining how good it would feel if it were.
Fingertips trailed lightly down the midsection of his torso, gooseflesh rising in their wake. They smoothed over the rise and dip of one hipbone, skirted around his cock, and cupped his balls, rolling them in his palm. He added a bit of pressure, squeezing the delicate orbs lightly.
He placed his feet flat against the bed and spread his legs, pushing up. The hand fondling his nipple digressed and followed its counterpoint down his abs to the base of his cock, ringing it loosely. One last rub to his balls and his fingers moved backward, caressing the soft skin behind them, pressing in on the root of his cock, where it could be felt beneath the skin.
Aaron tilted his head back and bit his lip, losing himself in the sensations wracking his body. In his mind, it wasn’t his hands working him to completion, but Logan’s.
Contrary thoughts flittered through his mind, interrupting his pleasure for a fraction of a second. What would it be like to fuck someone he loved, who loved him in return? Would Logan be a snuggler and hold him close while they made love?
In Aaron’s imagination, he did.
Logan’s heat would surround him, his larger body enveloping Aaron’s slighter form. With Logan’s touch would come an innate sense of belonging, of being part of something bigger than himself. For once, it wouldn’t be about the mutual race to get off, but about pleasuring his partner and receiving the same in kind.
Oh, how he longed for that experience.
A soft hand pumped his cock. Fingers fisted around the base of his prick and pulled, adding snug friction. Inching upward, they contracted around the swollen flare of his cockhead and squeezed. The tip of a thumbnail pressed down into the tiny, weeping slit, prompting more moisture to flow. Its pad collected the silky tears and rubbed them over his bulbous cap, teasing the hidden nerves to life before pulling the remaining moisture down his shaft, coating his cock in satiny wetness.
Stroke. Tap. Thumb swirl. Over and over.
The fingers pressing into his perineum moved away. He sucked them into his mouth, wetting them with his saliva. They returned, tips grazing over his hole, teasing.
The taut ring of muscle fluttered emptily, aching to be filled. A single digit filled his need, pressing inside to the first knuckle. His hips lifted, seeking more, and a second joined the first, stretching him open, burning as seldom-used muscles parted and allowed them in deeper, all the way to the webbing.
A low moan bubbled up in his chest and escaped his lips, ricocheting loudly in the still bedroom. The desperate sound echoed back to his ears, driving Aaron to move faster, pump his hips forward and back. Revel in the feel of a tight fist stroking his cock, the pair of fingers twisting inside him, stretching his ass.
Logan’s image -- his dark penetrating gaze, stern pink lips, and stubborn chin -- flashed through the forefront of Aaron’s mind and made him whimper. A fingertip glanced over his prostate, making his balls contract and release. Orgasm slammed into him, making him tremble, wracking his body with shudders as his creamy essence spilled over his palm and splattered over his rippling abdomen.
With Logan’s name on his lips, Aaron came.
As the final tremors subsided, leaving him weak as a kitten, an unintelligible emptiness filled him. His nose began to burn, signaling tears that he forced away by sheer will. His fantasy left him feeling drained and lonely, worst than he’d been to start with.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Adam Holderman isn’t your typical twenty-something college boy. He prefers jazz to Goth, shuns body piercings and street-waif clothing, and despises the lack of vocabulary among his peers. Some call him uptight, but Adam doesn’t see it that way. Just because he prefers his men articulate and well-groomed doesn’t make him a stick-in-the-mud. He simply has standards, unlike most guys his age.
The new employee at Wild Waters Park, where Adam works, single-handedly throws a monkey wrench into Adam’s orderly world view. Buzz Stiles wears eyeliner and black clothes, listens to emo bands, and talks like a teenage skate punk. He’s the polar opposite of Adam’s avowed “type”. So why can’t Adam get him out of his head?
When Adam finally agrees to go out with Buzz, he finds there’s much more to Buzz than a hot body, a sharp wit, and a Goth fashion sense. Buzz is someone Adam can see himself being with for the long haul. But you need more than mind-melting sex to make a relationship last. Can they keep their hands off each other long enough to find out if they have what it takes?
Click here to read an excerpt!
Click here to buy the book!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
I recently finished a M/M novella I hope to find a home for and the idea, supringly enough, came to me as I was watching television. As a horse owner, I watched (until Dish Network no longer carried it), RFD-TV. The farm channel. I watched the horse training programs, and on one such program a western rider put on the long coat (shadbelly) and top hat of a dressage rider. I watched this western rider in dressage clothes and something clicked. Aha!
Riding Partner, my M/M novel from Ellora's Cave features two Olympic show jumper riders. Having a book featuring a dressage and a reining rider falls along in the same themes.
So my idea came from television. I'm sure other writers will tell you they get their ideas in much the same fashion. A show, a comment, even a newspaper headline, something clicks, gives you a character or a plot, and the muse is off and running.
It's all about sparking the muse for slash.
Friday, June 15, 2007
So I thought I'd give everyone a little tease with a snippet of the cover Anne is doing for Silk & Poison. This story is very dark, very hot and very different in terms of romantic elements and I know we're both curious and maybe a bit apprehensive on how people will react to the exploits of our beloved bastard Dao Kan Shu and his not as innocent as he appears protege Toshiro Itou.
Here's a quick intro to Mr. Shu...
San Francisco, 1870
The Chew Kee was a small shop for exotic teas, herbal medicines and oddities imported directly from Hong Kong. A number of signs and posters scrawled with Chinese characters advertised the shop's merchandise through smoke-stained windows. Meanwhile, the characters for poisoned dragon painted onto a corner of the dark glass of the front doors in crimson ink served as a warning for the Chinese that this building belonged to the Wong family, as much of San Francisco's Chinatown already did. Any unwelcome visitors would be dealt with appropriately.
The thought of what was generally considered "appropriate" made Dao Kan Shu smile as he pushed open the door and stepped inside. After all the recent trouble from a number of impetuous rival tongs, the men he worked for were finally beginning to fully appreciate the artistry involved in punishing those who crossed them.
"Mr. Yang is looking for you," the shop owner called out as he stroked his long gray beard with a bony hand and eyed Shu over a cup of black tea. Dao Kan walked in silence to the back of the shop, not giving the older man a second glance. Shu smirked, knowing full well the reason why Yang wanted to see him.
He passed through the door and entered the other Chew Kee-the sprawling opium parlor where only the most favored members of the city's underworld were allowed. Occasionally, some of the more recognized allies or clients of the Wongs could be found entertaining themselves here with one of the family heads, including several local politicians. Tonight however, only a handful of other "hatchet men" lounged around, looking for amusement within this establishment's wood paneled walls. Shu took his usual place towards the back of the parlor and dropped into the padded seat as he waited for a serving girl to bring him a pipe.
The girl who approached, he did not recognize. She was new to the establishment, bright-eyed and eager to serve. Fresh off the boat no doubt, either lured by promises of a rich husband or even sold off by her family as an unnecessary female mouth to feed.
"Good evening and welcome. I am at your service." She licked her painted lips. "For anything."
She handed over the opium pipe then knelt beside the chair.
"Anything?" Shu's sharp gaze followed the curves of her body as he exhaled, a cloud of wispy smoke filling the distance between them. "What a dangerous thing to say..." He laughed softly, his assessing gaze coming to rest on her smooth, painted face. It looked warm and inviting, the sort that promised to deliver on the pleasures inferred by her words. She bore such an enticing look in her lovely eyes, those rich brown depths speckled with hints of green and gold. The soft, yet clearly sensual expression only proved what he'd already expected-that she lacked all knowledge of just whom she was attempting to service.
"You must be new around here, mei mei," an amused smile played across Shu's lips. "I don't remember seeing this pretty face before." He leaned forward and cupped her chin between his thumb and forefinger, turning her head slightly to the left and then to the right. It was a pleasant face, but it could always be lovelier. Yes, with tears of pain running down her cheeks and her eyes wide with terror, she would be lovelier.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
I started reading and writing M/M stories through fanfiction, as many authors I've chatted with started.
Let's see how much history you know? I'll post the answers later this week.
*What year did M/M material enter media fandom?
*What year did F/F emerge?
*By 1985, this material had a name. What is it?
*What fandom was associated with early slash? What couple?
Maybe that will get your brains moving this week *lol* Have fun
Oh, and while you are answering the questions, let us know what fandom you've read in your lifetime :)
Sunday, June 10, 2007
"Be warned that this has very little sex in it."
The sexual revolution has officially come full circle when a lack of sex requires a warning :). I do understand, really, I think it's a fair point. Readers who want hot 24-hour MM nookie may not be best pleased with my angst comedy lite, no matter how good I like to think it is. But what is a woman to do when her characters take a bit of time to get into the mood?
By the way. Buy the booooook, buy the booook, visit my blog. That is all....
Friday, June 8, 2007
We do have plans for a bit more Jun & Koji that should be interesting and quite hot and we're a bit more than halfway done with a story that features CP's rival Miji from Toru's first band, Gothic DeSade. But after that there aren't too many more places to go with the series...at least none that I can think of just now.
Of course all of our stories have ties to our Dragon's Disciple Universe, although they tend to have different tones.
So what do you guys think of series that seem to end quickly. It seems better than to prolong it and run the risk of becoming stale.
Don't forget to come on over and partake of the JUNE BASH loaded with excerpts and prizes and fun galore! The Loose ID Community
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
From the Publisher's Deluxe newsletter, some Book Expo stats:
BEA by the Numbers
Estimated attendees: 36,000
Estimated book buyers: 9,000
Estimated Librarians: 4,000
Percentage increase in librarians from 2006: 100%
Average length of lines for the women's restroom on Friday: 12 people (HA!)
Increase in people in the Javits Center on Friday compared to the same day in 05: Over 2,000
Number of authors in attendance at BEA: 1262
That means 36K people could have seen our booth!
Monday, June 4, 2007
Starting the weekend of June 8th, the Loose ID authors will be stopping by the Loose ID Community Loop to post excerpts for current as well as past releases. We're going to be talking about all Loose ID books!
There will be prizes! Every reader will have a chance to send an email to our prize email address for a chance to win. One $25, two $10 and two $5 Loose ID gift certificates will be given away each of the four weeks. At the end of the four weeks, one grand prize of a Loose ID VIP membership will also be given away.
Offical contest and themes are on the following weekends (yes, Fridays are included in the weekends):
- June 8-10 - All contemporary books
- June 15-17 - All non-contemporary books
- JUne 22-24 - All contemporary books
- June 29-30 & July 1 - all non-contemporary books
All other genres--i.e. BDSM, m/m, BBW, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction--will fall into the contemporary or non-contemporary themes as the author sees fit.
Official rules--including the prize email address and what needs to be included in the emails--will be posted before the contest weekends.
Come join us for some early summer fun!
Saturday, June 2, 2007
Friday, June 1, 2007
To keep a long story short, it all boiled down to this: if people or communities listed certain trigger words in their profile pages, they were shut down. Phrases like"slash", "incest" and "shota" were targeted, which according to the LJ head honchos, 'could encourage illegal behavior'. In the process, many fanfiction writers and communities were slammed since, yes, many fics deal with themes like incest or other controversial subjects.
A number of issues have been raised in the wake of this. Just thinking about something taboo or illegal isn't a crime--neither is writing about it. Certainly not in a fictional sense. But do some topics push the envelope too far? Are there some taboos that should never be broken, especially in published fiction? If so, what are they and why?