Friday, August 31, 2012

BIG GAY BLOG WEEK! With Ellis Carrington

*Ellis Carrington is a new friend! ( I'm making so many this week!) Romance requires a hopeful ending and that is why Ellis Carrington is driven to write it. She loves to create original stories that are gritty, witty, and a little unexpected, just like the heroes who inhabit them. Her men come in both human and non-human form because spirit guides and vampires deserve happiness too. Her favorite things are great friends, great music, and books that make her sob like there's no tomorrow.*

Love Heals (The benefits of romance in the gay community)
By Ellis Carrington

I recently watched a really interesting movie on Netflix called Private Romeo. This gay adaptation of Romeo and Juliet—set at a men’s military academy as a statement about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell—was fascinating to me for a couple of reasons aside from its political statement: The pronouns were not changed. Juliet’s character was played by a handsome young man but was referred to as “she” throughout. The ending of the movie, however, was slightly different. The lovers lived.

Ohmygod. A happy ending?? F’real?


When questioned about changing the story ending, the film’s director stated emphatically that the world needs to see more gay love stories that end well. God bless you, Alan Brown, I am with you all the way.

I get a lot of interesting reactions when I tell people I write male/male romance. Derision. Amusement. Bemusement. Genuine interest. Excitement. Porn Jokes. You name it, I’ve probably heard it.

I am grateful beyond measure for the enthusiasm I get from readers across the spectrum. What concerns me is that within the gay community—that’s where I feel like sometimes gay romance takes the most heat. So I’d like to talk a little about why I write romance and why I see it as beneficial to humans in general and the gay community in particular:

  • Improved Mood – The core rules of romance are these: the focus must be on the love story, and happy ending required. This means that no matter what trials and tribulations your couple faces you can be guaranteed a satisfying resolution at the end of a romance story. There’s a lot of ugliness in the world, and sometimes we need to crawl in bed with a book that gives us a little hope that maybe sometimes love can win the day. Stress and depression is a serious concern especially in the LGBT community. Everyone needs a happy place. I once had a reader tell me that paranormal romances like mine helped her get through a major depression. Love heals, even when it’s fiction. Yes, really.
  • Improved Sex Life – Whether it’s with a partner, your hand, or your favorite battery-powered toy, romance and its associated erotic bits can increase sexual desire, blood flow, interest in exploration, etc. Sex burns calories, improves your self-esteem, gets rid of headaches, reduces cholesterol, and improves monogamy in existing relationships—yanno, if that’s your bag.
  • Awareness – Thanks to e-publishing, LGBT romance is less constrained than mass-market romance, and can more easily touch on controversial subjects. Drug abuse, suicide, homelessness, child molestation and rape, DADT, and the bazillion and one ways that living a closeted life in our various cultures around the world can affect a person’s health and sanity. Just because the ending has to be positive doesn’t mean there can’t be plenty of angst and pain along the way. A good author writes true to life characters with varied pasts, just like we have in real life. Covering these topics in romance causes readers to consider subjects of importance they might not have otherwise. As a civilian, my eyes were opened to the insidious impact of DADT when I started researching an in-progress military novel.
  • Pick your flavor – I once thought I didn’t care much for romance. I thought it was all historical Harlequins with windblown women in poofy dresses, riding horses on the cover. Well those books are still out there, sure. But there are also men who turn into werewolves and the vampires who love them. Everything from sweet, young adult gay romances with nothing but kissing to BDSM stuff with whips and fisting. Angels and spirit guides. Lesbian Gothics. Trans* romance. Male/male Amish romance and tentacle erotica (I swear I am not making this up). You name it, it’s out there. Don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tasted a few.
  • Advocacy and Allies – Here’s a biggie, in my opinion. I have readers all over the LGBT spectrum. Many of my readers are also straight women. For a myriad of ways and reasons they across the genre of gay romance, and they begin to read it--maybe because they realize that they think sex between two men is hot or maybe because they just like the story. Or both, or for some other reason entirely. But what they become, are advocates for the LGBT community. They realize that same-sex couples falling in love is beautiful. DADT was unfair. Parents kicking their kids out for being gay is vile. They speak up about it; they vote their conscience at election time. We need these people on our team, and in my opinion if it’s the happy ending and a little smexing that gets them there, then rock on.
 Find out more at

Thursday, August 30, 2012

BIG GAY BLOG WEEK ! Double POST! S.A. Meade & Danielle DeVor

*This post was written by M/M author S.A. Meade who I have interviewed here on the blog before.* 

I’ve been at a bit of a loose end when it came to coming up with a post for this series of blogs. I just can’t get into a serious frame of mind. So I got to thinking (as you do) about gay actors that I admire and settled on David Hyde Pierce.

He’s been with his partner for 25 years, which kinda puts the romantic antics of his co-star from Frasier, Kelsey Grammer into interesting perspective. Kelsey, God love him, has been married four times and most states in the U.S. wouldn’t recognise Hyde Pierce’s marriage. Something very wrong there. But, personal life aside, it’s Pierce’s portrayal of Niles that just blows me away. Niles was obsessive-compulsive, prissy, and so bloody uptight. What made the character great wasn’t just the writing, but Hyde-Pierce’s physical acting—the tight, controlled movements, the little touches, brushing imaginary specks of dust from his immaculately tailored suits, wiping down chairs in restaurants before he sits down.
This little scene just cracks me up. Not only is he a fusspot, but he’s a bit of a weakling too.

So, that’s my little post. It’s a bit frivolous but I think it’s good to recognise that the LGBT community has contributed and continues to contribute to the Arts. There are so many actors I could’ve focused on but David Hyde Pierce will always hold a special place in my heart because of the unforgettable Niles Crane.

* Danielle DeVor is the author of the debut YA novel Riding on the Tail of the Devil from Eirelander Press Date TBA*

I honestly believe that if I were a specific member of a church, when my YA fantasy, RIDING ON THE TAIL OF THE DEVIL, is published- I would get thrown out. For sure. Not, because one of the characters is gay, but because of the way I’ve basically blown apart religion in the book. But that’s a whole other story.
I try to place my characters in unusual and awkward situations as much as humanly possible. For this one, especially with YA, involving characters from many walks of life was important to me. Besides, how could I resist making Nosferatu into his own person, giving him soul, and also, as it just happened through writing the book, deciding that he was gay.

While having physical disfigurements (Bald head, long pointed teeth, and actually part bat), Nossy is very self conscious. So self-conscious that when he finally approaches his best friend, Mathias, with the fact that he has fallen in love with him- he does it in such a way that is so outlandish, that Mathias can’t help being shocked. Appearing naked amongst rose petals to a straight man isn’t exactly the way to go with this.

So, for Mathias, dealing with Nossy’s tail flap underneath his scrotum is waaaay too much to handle. But, being a good friend, Mathias simply tells Nossy to get dressed, and he’ll be back later after he calms down.
I think being gay, and having to deal with added repercussions when dealing with rejection is probably one of the hardest things to have to deal with. Not only is there the usual sting of the rejection, but there is still a lot of prejudice, and I imagine that it has happened more often than not that a friendship is destroyed.

Besides being vampires, Nossy and Mathias are rather normal, except for the small part that they both are stark raving mad. But, that has absolutely nothing to do with their sexual orientation. Being alive, caring, and strong is what’s important after all. I think it would do a lot of people good to remember that.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

BIG GAY BLOG WEEK: Alex Carrerras

* Alex Carreras is a new friend, but I am very happy to have him contribute this week. Alex writes HAWT M/M books.  Alex Carreras believes there is nothing sexier than a hot, naked man with a cocky attitude and a sultry smile.
Always on the hunt for inspiration, you will find Alex wherever there are attractive men, hopefully in a state of undress. And since he lives in South Florida where the average yearly temperature is a balmy 82 Fahrenheit, there is certainly no shortage of inspiration.* 

alex- YUM!

Alex's book! YUM YUM YUM!

So... We're all smut monkeys 'round these parts... so let's get to the fun questions first! What's you favorite kind of sex to write? 

Alex: That is an easy question to answer. I only write gay sex.

How did you get started writing the smut?

Alex: After attempting to write a mainstream romance (straight) my partner suggested that I should write gay romance instead. I am so glad I listened to him…this time.

Can you give us a little taste of your writing?

Alex: Here is a blurb from, Cruising with Destiny from my publishers website, SirenBookStrand.
Nate squeezed his eyes shut, unsure of what was to come, if anything. As if he was being answered, he felt a hand slide over his thigh and under his towel, finding his cock and balls. Nate went rigid.
His eyes shot wide open, checking to see if they were being watched. The man sitting across was snoring softly, his mouth wide open and his neck craned toward the ceiling.
He turned to face the stranger sitting closer than he remembered. His towel was piled loosely over his cock, and his eyes shut as if he were asleep, but he wasn’t. He was jerking him off. Nate’s cock grew as he gazed at his own cock-covered towel rising and falling from the stranger’s skillful manipulations. He swallowed the lump of hard lust stuck in his throat.
What are you doing?”
A slow smile crept over the man’s handsome face, but his eyes remained closed. “If you don’t know what I’m doing, then I must be doing it wrong.”
Uh…you definitely know what you’re doing,” Nate whispered. “But I don’t want to get caught.”
The stranger stroked harder. “That’s part of the fun.”
Nate kept his eyes peeled at the slumbering man as he loosened his towel and opened his legs wider while the stranger stroked his cock with the perfect amount of pressure.
Relax,” groaned the man. “Enjoy it.”
Nate was enjoying it, but the relaxing part might prove a little more difficult.
The stranger slid closer and bent over Nate’s cock, pushing away the towel before taking it hungrily into his mouth. A groan escaped from deep within Nate. If he were smart, he’d jump up and push the man away and take off, but his silken lips riding his shaft convinced him to stay.
Nate squeezed his ass cheeks together, holding on for the ride.
The man sucking his dick knew exactly what he was doing. His timing and expert lips and tongue made his balls jump and kick begging for release.
He reached down, filling his fists with the man’s head, feeling his short hair scratch along his sensitive palms. At this point, he didn’t care if he got caught, he needed to shoot his load and make a future date so they could do this again, next time under less conspicuous circumstances.
The stranger quickened his pace while clenching his throbbing cock with both hands, riding the length up and down. He pumped faster and deeper, milking the rigid muscle, readying it for release.
Nate watched the expert cock sucking as if he was having an out-of-body experience while still keeping an eye on the sleeping occupant a few feet away, the exhibitionist experience new and thrilling.
His lover’s body was muscular and tanned. It was the body of an athlete, sinewy and defined. His cock was thick and long, swelling to a plump, bulbous head that would bring great pleasure and pain pushing into his hole, he imagined. His balls rested across one thigh, swollen and large and red. Nate wanted to take the sack into his mouth and feel the heft fill him as he slid his tongue over the smooth, round mounds, feeding on them. He had to taste him, to possess him.
Nate was desperate.

Okay... now for the lightning round-- First answer that comes to mind... ( but feel free to elaborate ) 

Sexiest place in the world?
Alex: Barcelona, Spain.

Sexiest Man?
Alex: Any man from Barcelona, Spain.

Sexiest woman?
Alex: The Spanish actress, Victoria Abril.

Biggest Misconception about being a smut writer?
Alex: That I’m gagging for it 24/7. That is only half true. 

 Kink or Vanilla?

Alex: Vanilla, with a little light spanking and nipple play sprinkled on top.

Book every person should read...

Alex: Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire. It is simply brilliant.

* go check out Alex around the web* 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BIG GAY BLOG WEEK: Alice Loweecey

*Alice is another dear friend. She is a former nun and as you will see, she's straight, but an ally to the GBLT community. Her soon to be released book, Veiled Threat, focuses on a gay couple whose adopted child gets kidnapped by religious extremists. Check out Alice here*

[WARNING: Highly judgmental and opinionated opinions follow.]

It's a good thing I haven't been a nun in nearly three decades. The Vatican Inquisition that's going all Torquemada on hardworking US nuns right now would have a field day with my new book.

I write ex-nun Private Eye mysteries. My main character, Giulia Falcone, is working not to be such a fish out of water. She balancing who she’s trying to be (a regular human again) with the best parts of who she was. She still volunteers at a soup kitchen, has a willing ear for anyone in trouble, and is a devout Catholic.

In my third book, Giulia’s friends who run the soup kitchen have just adopted a baby.

My point?

Giulia’s friends are gay. And Giulia helped them with the adoption by testifying on their behalf. Because she’s an ex-nun and a Catholic who also believes that a loving family is a loving family. Simple.

The gay characters in the book are—wait for it—regular people who go to work, make dinner, change diapers, and watch TV. All those things that regular people do. Because that’s exactly what they are.

Giulia doesn’t preach against them, doesn’t try to stop the adoption, doesn’t attack them with Bible verses. Doesn’t, you know, judge them.

The Vatican Inquisition—sorry, Commission—just slammed US nuns for daring to help the poor and the sick without haranguing them about following to certain verses in Leviticus. I can see them treating Giulia to a good ol’ auto-da-fé for her perceived lack of adherence to the important things. Because there are dozens of verses in the Gospels where Jesus spoke about “teh gays” and how “ebil” they are (the important stuff, right?), and none where he spoke about feeding the hungry and tending the sick and visiting prisoners.

I won’t bother to search the five translations of the Bible I own to check on that.

People ask me how much of myself I put into my fictional ex-nun detective. The answer is: She’s a good cook. I’m a good cook. That’s about it. She might or might not reflect some of my own views on what’s important in life. And what’s important to the Creator of Life.

Monday, August 27, 2012

BIG GAY BLOG WEEK! Post 1: Alex Harrow

* Alex Harrow is a friend and a writer and I am fortunate enough to love her dearly and have no way of pinning down her sexuality. I like that. This is a conversation between two of her characters, one who happens to be gay. Read more about Alex at *

“So when did you figure it out?” Coras asked, drying a chunky whiskey glass with horrible squeaking noises.
“Figure what out?” I tried not to look if there was even one clean square inch on the gray rag she was using as a towel. Probably a good thing that whatever she served here could dub as a first grade degreaser.
As if on cue, she set the glass down and poured me another one. I knew something was up when she didn’t look me in the eye. “You know,” she said to the dirty dishwater. “The gay thing.”
Low Side liquor might hide many sins and kill even more germs, but it was also meant to go down fast and without thinking and not come back up your nose.
“Fuck, Coras,” I wheezed, eyes watering. “Who paid you off? You trying to kill me?”
Coras held up her bony hands. Then poured me a double, because we both knew I knew better than to ask for anything that came from a tap here. “Just asking. Small talk, you know. Should give it a try sometime.”
I pushed the glass away. “And you’re thinking that’s the kind of thing I’d want to chit-chat about? What in the Seven Hells makes you think that’d even make a good story anyway?” I shook my head. Somewhere Marten and Ish were probably laughing hard enough to piss themselves. If corpses could do either of those things, that was. Okay, there was a thought that needed glossing over.
Coras shrugged and went back to squeaky-torturing unsuspecting glasses. Good thing, too, that way she missed the goose bumps crawling up my arms.
“Just seemed like the thing to ask.”
“Right.” I eyed the vaguely brownish-colored drink in my glass. “So when did you figure out you were straight, huh, Coras?”
She gave me a blank look. “Well that’s not the s--”
“If you’re about to say ‘it’s not the same’, I swear to the Gods, Coras, I am going to forget about our little truce and I will punch you. It’s exactly the same, ‘s what it is.”
Except for when it isn’t, of course. But this wasn’t the time to drudge up pasts, drag skeletons out of closets—pun fucking intended—and talk about shit that’d probably make one hell of a story or at least for a damn colorful psych file.
“I’d tell you not to quit your day job, Coras, but I guess small talk’s what earns you the bigger tips. So let’s just say keep your labels for your whiskey bottles. They don’t really stick to people all that well.”
For the next few minutes silence fell, only interrupted by the sloshing of dishwater and some seriously furious squeaking. The light that reached through the cracked front shutters of the place cut through the smoke that hung thick enough to hide a body in. Speaking of.
I slapped down a tenner on the cracked countertop and pushed back my chair. “Anyway. It’s been fun as always, but you know how it goes: places to be, people to shoot. Which reminds me, there’s this guy once came out to me right in the middle of dumping a body. Freaking out about how shit, he was gay and his psychiatrist can’t fix him. Maybe I should’ve sent him your way.”
Coras looked up. “He got a better story than you?”
“Don’t know. I mean, I would’ve loved to listen, but hell, we were getting rid of evidence. Seriously. Priorities.”