Hi all! The lovely Michael Rupured has invited me over to his blog today for a little chat about my venture into Historical M/M Romance and my love for writing the Roaring Twenties and Dirty Thirties!
Hello everyone, and welcome to Torquere Press’ Charity Sip Blog Hop!
As you may know, every year Torquere Press and its participating authors pick a charity benefiting the LGBTQ community and puts out a submission call for short stories based on a theme. Those authors who take part donate 100% of the royalties earned on these stories, with Torquere matching the donation.
This year, the charity chosen was NOH8, and the theme was leather. I knew I wanted to take part in this. Not only would it offer me the chance to write a story folks might enjoy, but the proceeds would be going to a wonderful charity. My first challenge was writing a story that fit with the leather theme. When you think romance, certain things tend to come to mind, but being an author of historical romance, the first thing that came to my mind was boxing, and given the eras I write in, the next logical step was a story set during the roaring twenties when boxing was exceptionally popular, thanks to such boxing giants as Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney. The sport had evolved from illegal, bare-knuckle brawling in dusty saloons into huge sporting events attended by thousands of men and women.
As I sat down to write In His Corner, I knew it would be as much about the fight for love, as the fight to win the match. I got an image of two men, a young college educated fellow who came from a humble background, and his hero, Jessie ‘the Demon’ Dalton, the world heavyweight boxing champion he fell in love with.
In His Corner isn’t about how Eli and Jessie meet and get together, it’s about second chances, and finding courage. Eli has been around Jessie since he was eight years old, his boyhood crush developing into something deeper as he grows up, but just when Eli finds the courage to tell Jessie how he feels, everything comes crumbling down around them. Jessie has lost his title, his reputation, and before he knows it, he’s lost Eli–something he hasn’t recovered from even five years later when Eli walks back into Jessie’s life, determined to find out why Jessie pushed him out. Only Jessie isn’t the same, confident, imposing man he used to be, and when Eli sees how much Jessie needs him, he steps up to the challenge. Not only is he intent on showing Jessie that he’s all grown up and here to stay, but that what they felt for each other is worth fighting for.
Love is a powerful thing, and for me, reading romance is more than just the guilty indulgence many believe it to be. It’s not just about hot guys getting it on (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it’s about the courage these men show, the stand they take as they follow their hearts against all manner of adversity.
Romance tells stories of what people are capable of when they lose their hearts to someone, of how fiercely they’re willing to fight for that love. Love transcends gender, and more importantly, stamps out hate, reaching out and touching that part of us that yearn for something deeper and greater. Love has the power to make amazing changes, as long as there are folks willing to listen.
♥ Giveaway ♥
For a chance to win a $10 Torquere Press Gift Certificate and this handmade, vintage-style boxing notebook, just leave a comment below.
♥ Rules ♥
*** Please make sure to leave an email address for the delivery of your prize should you win.
** Blog hop ends at midnight (Est) November 11th.
* Winner will be announced on the blog Monday, November 12th.
*** To rejoin the hop, just click on the Charity Sip icon at the top of this post. ***
Hello all, and welcome to the Blog Hop Spot’s Howloween Blog Hop! Join over 270 + authors for a chance to win lots of nifty prizes!
♥ ♥ ♥
Starts: Friday October 26th
Ends: Monday October 29th @ Midnight Eastern Time
Winner: Will be posted Tuesday October 30th on the blog
To Enter: Just leave a comment on this post.
Prize: An eBook of your choice, a signed print copy of the Masks Off! Anthology along with the swag pictured with it below. (Includes signed postcards of book covers & exclusive designs, vintage style mini card holder, vintage flower bookmark, When Love Walked In bookmark, Vintage style ‘Capture the Magic’ notebook, and handmade vintage style 2013 calendar)
To check out the rest of the folks taking part in the blog hop, just click on the blog hop poster up there on the left hand side.
♥ ♥ ♥
Now I don’t go trick or treating these days, but when I was kid, that was the thing to do. I lived on a block filled with kids, so our parents would round us all up and a small group of them would take us from house to house for blocks while the rest of the parents sat chatting on someone’s front steps. They’d also give out candy to the other kids that came by, and brought us cupcakes and refreshments when we came back for a rest before moving on in the other direction.
Yep, back in the 80s, our parents did Halloween in style. There was no egging going on, or toilet paper flinging. At least not in the little suburb town where I lived. It was a big ole block party where we ate candy until we got sick and ran around on a sugar high flailing and jumping, and scaring the bejesus out of folks every time they heard the phrase, “hey, mom, look at me!” And did I mention the money? Because everyobe knew everyone, we could always count on the apartment tenants who didn’t have candy to give us a dollar or two. With costumes, moms went all out, because they all knew how to sew and didn’t want to get outdone by Mary Sue next door. The mom rivalries were hilarious. If one baked chocolate frosted cupcakes, the other had to bake chocolate frosted cupcakes with sprinkles. The bling on some of those cupcakes could blind you if you weren’t careful.
So let’s talk costumes! When I was a kid, I was something different every year, some of them rather questionable now that I think about it. Off the top of my head, I remember being: A pumpkin (yep, that’s right), Raggedy Anne, a Cabbage Patch kid, a Care Bear (the pink one), an Egyptian princess, a ballerina, and who knows what else.
As I got older, I was a knight, a medieval princess, a soldier from the American Revolution (it coincided with a school project), a gypsy, a pirate, a 1930s gangster with Tommy gun (you were waiting for that one weren’t you!) That’s all I can remember at the moment. There’s photographic evidence of course, but I have to hunt them down in my mom’s Narnia-sized cupboard of family photos.
Did you dress up for Halloween and go trick or treating? What were some of your costumes?
*** Don’t forget to leave an email address in your comment in case you win!
Hello all! Well I’m finally back home after an amazing experience at my very first GayRomLit Retreat. I was there for five days and I still didn’t get to meet everyone!
As a newbie author, I was SO nervous, but soon the nervousness gave way to excitement, even if I was pretty much in a constant state of awe at everything and everyone. The organizers did the most amazing job, and I could honestly say I felt at ease there. It was just so incredible being surrounded by like-minded folks who had all gathered to celebrate the genre they love so much. Everyone was friendly and approachable, and the hotel staff totally rocked.
|Me at my author signing table. I promise I will have
print books for Atlanta next year, and not just postcards!
I wish I would have taken more pictures, but I was so busy gaping and gawking at everyone most of the time, I kept forgetting I had a camera with me. I had also intended on posting and tweeting, but sadly my phone had no signal unless I stood outside the hotel. Next year I plan on having a much better provider. Anyway, it was a fantastic event with a little bit of everything for everyone, from Q&A’s with your favorite authors to publisher sponsored events that included go-go boys and a piano cabaret.
The most exciting thing of all, was standing in the hall on the very first day, and having a small group of readers come up to me to tell me how much they loved my swag, and how they loved my stories. That was when it really hit home that I was a published author. I must have looked like a crazy person, just smiling from ear to ear and thanking them. Getting to chat with folks about my books, and hearing them asking for more was an over-the-moon moment for me. Now, onto some pictures!
I just had to have a picture with Damon Suede in his kilt. The man has an incredible amount of energy and good cheer. I really don’t know how he does it. I also got to hear all about how he got his very first kilt, and the seven that came after.
I also have to mention Jacob Flores because aside the fact that he and his husband are just so sweet, Jacob has the most amazing smile. You just can’t help but smile when he’s around you. It’s infectious.
Also, Aleksandr Voinov who is as charming and wonderful in person as he is online. I was so happy he was able to attend GRL and that I got to meet him, and hug him!
I was so happy that I got to meet and hug Cole Riann from The Armchair Reader. He is without a doubt one of the sweetest guys I’ve met! There were plenty of folks I wish I’d had the chance to sit down and chat with much longer, and Cole is certainly one of them. Not that I don’t plan on chatting with him online. (Now that we’ve met, Cole, there’s no escaping me!)
You’d think it would be easy to find the time to sit and chat with everyone, but there were hundreds of attendees, plus non-stop events going on inside and outside the hotel. Also, I spent a good deal of time discreetly staring at people’s name tags, which hopefully I won’t have to do so much next year!
I was so excited to finally meet Jay from Joyfully Jay, and Lisa from The Novel Approach. Two amazing ladies who I have every intention of cornering next year for longer chats!
My author posse, though we’re missing the lovely Kim Fielding, and Lorraine Ulrich. From left to right, Hayley B. James, S.A. Garcia, me, and Ana Bosch. Behind the camera, the awesome Manda Krowhop.
I roomed with Kim Fielding (can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of you, Kim!), and S.A. Garcia who I had such a great time chatting with.
I got to meet my online buddy Hayley B. James, and oh my god, she had me in tears at one point during the bowling party. I’ll never look at a smurf the same way again. She also had some fantastic swag, and a talent for sketching classy penis’s. We’re talking top hat, tails, and monocles folks.
We all took a field trip to Old Town, which is filled with charming little gift shops. This particular shop had lots of um.. interesting gifts. One of them being this little bug type thing with a wobbly head poking out of it’s body. We couldn’t work out what it was, but it looked like fun!
This is the extremely talented Ana Bosch. It’s no secret I’m a fan of both her writing, and her art. I bought my copy of Bonds of Death where she sketched Riley for me. Total fan-girl moment. She bought these special fellas. We thought maybe they were some spiritual deities or something of that nature, but apparently when she asked the shop lady they were just angel drag queens. Yep, that shop had it all!
This car was parked on the sidewalk at Old Town, so of course I had to have a picture of me standing next to it. It’s gorgeous and I want.
Another classic car parked just across the street. It’s like they knew I would be there. My sparkly senses also tingled, leading me to a shop filled with all sorts of jewelry. I bought a huge gaudy yellow owl ring with rinestones. It’s amazing, and takes up most of my ring finger! If you don’t believe me, scroll back up to the photo of me sitting at the book signing table. That huge yellow thing is the ring.
Chili garden next to one of the shops in Old Town. Of course everything we ordered to eat while in Albuquerque had peppers in it, even the mash potatoes, and sushi!
One of the three delicious cakes provided by MLR Press for their hosted Day of the Dead party. They didn’t just look yummy, but tasted yummy, too! We also had some equally yummy Sangria. A big congrats to the lovely Kaje Harper for her award from MLR for being their highest eBook sales author!
MLR also had some amazing Sugar Skulls, but unfortunately I could only admire them as I’m still not allowed to eat anything hard or too crunchy due to my recent dental surgery, but aren’t they just so pretty?
Heather C. sent me this amazing photo of my Torquere Press Bowling Party Team. From left to right: Gyn, Heather C., Hayley B. James, Manda Krowhop, Me, and our amazing cheerleader Joyfully Jay! They all kicked my keister in bowling, but I had so much fun!
This experience has been unlike any other. I got to meet my publishers, and some of the wonderful folks who make my books happen. The Torquere Press bowling party was so much fun. A big thank you to everyone who played, and those who came to cheer us on. I’m big enough to admit that I totally had my keister handed to me at bowling by the rest of my team. The Dreamspinner Press Cabaret was so much fun, and I got a hoarse voice from all the singing. The piano player was amazing, and whenever I hear Barbie Girl, I’ll be thinking of GRL. Ariel, you looked amazing!
Thank you so much to everyone who made my first GayRomLit so spectacular, and a big thank you to all the organizers who worked so hard, to all the publishers, reviewers, authors, and readers I met. To those of you I chat to online, you are even more awesome in person. To those who didn’t get to go this year, I hope we meet next year.
Hello all! I thought it was time to post a little update of what’s been happening and what’s coming up. I’ve been a little quiet social media wise as I’ve been getting everything ready for my first time at GayRomLit! I am so excited, and nervous, it’s crazy. I can’t wait to meet everyone! Oh my god, exclamation marks on everything!!! Okay, I’m calm now.
By Monday I know I’ll be trying not to freak out over things like connecting flights, swag arrival, making an arse out of myself, and so on. I’m also doubly nervous, because it will be my first ever public appearance as published author Charlie Cochet! I have had lots of fun shopping for this trip, and have even bought myself a cowgirl hat for the Gentleman’s Juke Joint Wild Wild West Party! Woot! I love hats, so how could I resist? Also I’ll be taking along my favorite hat, this gray little number with black feathers:
♥ On the story front, I’ve completed the first edits for Mending Noel, my sweet little Christmas novella from DSP, and I’ve picked my cover art. So stay tuned for some sneak peeks soon!
|Just some artwork I put together for it.
The necklace is featured in the story, so I
made myself a replica which I’ll be
wearing at GRL! I know, I’m such a geek.
♥ Julius’s book, A Rose by Any Other Name has passed 60,000 words, and is officially a novel. It’s also entering the beta-reading stage, and should be ready to send off to the pubs any time now. I hope you all will enjoy reading about Julius as much as I enjoyed writing about him. I tell you, the little so-and-so did not make it easy!
♥ Johnnie’s book is also under way, and I’m fixing up Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue, which has gone from a short story to a novella.
♥ October 26th-29th is the Blog Hop Spot’s Halloween Blog Hop, so make sure to drop on by for a chance to win some nifty prizes. More info to come soon!
♥ A big, BIG thank you to all the lovely folks who have left reviews over the past few weeks, and for my most recent release In His Corner. I’m always so very grateful for reviews whether they be glowing or not, because it helps me get an idea of what I may be doing right or not so right. Also I know writing a review isn’t easy, and I appreciate the time and effort put into them. I always enjoy chatting to people and hearing their opinions, and if I don’t comment, it’s not because I don’t care. I’m a new author, and somewhat camera shy, so I’m still feeling my way around, and I certainly don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. That’s just the way I am. But if anyone wants to chat, discuss one of my books, or ask questions, I’m very approachable, and you can find me in about a dozen social media spots, including right here on my blog.
♥ Since I’ll be at GRL from Wed the 17th of October until Monday the 22nd, it’ll probably a little quiet around here. I’ll have my netbook with me, so I might be able to post a few things, but we’ll have to see how it goes. I’ll most likely be tweeting. I think that pretty much covers everything. Stay tuned for some nifty stuff coming up in November, including more special guests!
Hello all! Today I’m a guest over at H.C. Brown’s blog where I’m chatting a little about the gay community in the 1920s, and 1930s, the end of the Roaring Twenties and start of the Dirty Thirties.
What do you like best about these time periods?
Hello all! Torquere Press will be hosting a bowling party at GRL on Saturday starting at 5:00 pm over at the Fun Connection (just across the parking lot from the Hard Rock), and I’m so excited to be a part of it!
Authors will be hosting their own lanes and there’s a limited number of attendees per lane. Each author will have swag for attendees, along with a prize for the highest score on their lane.
Torquere Press will also have swag, books available, and a $100 gift certificate for Torquere Books for the highest score on all the lanes!
Currently the authors attending are:
Want to join the shenanigans?
Email kristi (at) torquerepress (dot) com with your full badge name, let her know you want to attend, and if you have a specific author you want to be assigned to. If you are NOT bowling and just want to be a spectator please specify that. The authors may not have swag for every spectator however if you are on the list, Torquere will have a goodie bag for you!
(The book signing–which I will also be at– ends at 4 pm and everyone has free time for dinner from 4-7. The Fun Connection does offer pizza, hot dogs, etc so you can have dinner there during the bowling party. )
I’d love to see you there!
Over this past week, my tbr list–as it has a habit of doing frequently, has grown once again. A good deal in part to some wonderful recommendations. I have a few books in particular that I hope to get around to between writing and wrapping things up for GRL. I don’t even remember what I was doing when I came across this enchanting novella by JL Merrow.
Muscling Through is a lovely tale about Larry Morton– a Cambridge art professor, and Al Fletcher, the big, rather frightening looking fellow Larry stumbles across in a dark alley one night, and mistakes for a mugger. Physically, Al is imposing, what with his size, many tattoos, and scars, but inside he’s a warm, gentle man. Those of you who know me, know I love those big lugs with a heart of gold, and I just absolutely adored Al.
Al is sweetly naive at times, and I love that the story was written from his point of view, so you get to see the world and the people in it through his eyes. Then there’s the way Al sees himself, a lot of it having to do with how people treat him, and your heart goes out to him, especially since he takes it all in stride. He doesn’t believe himself to be smart or clever enough for a pretty and refined fella like Larry, and it takes him a while to understand what Larry wants with him other than sex. Al’s honest and straightforward, seeing things for what they are even if at times he doesn’t understand what’s going on. But the story is so well written that although Al may not understand, you do, either through Al’s reactions, thoughts, or questions.
I loved how Larry accepted Al for who he was and wasn’t ashamed of him, even when Larry’s snooty parents disapproved of their relationship. The two men are opposites in almost every way, yet they bring out the best in each other, and I loved watching their relationship blossom. I was in the mood for something sweet and heart warming, and this story had me with a smile on my face almost through out, except for the part where I got a little misty-eyed. Granted, it doesn’t take much for me, but the characters are just wonderful and nabbed me from the start. The plot centers mainly around the relationship, which personally, I don’t have a problem with. When characters are endearing, I’m happy to follow them on their journey, wherever it may lead.
Muscling Through is a sweet novella about a fella who is more than what he seems to be, and the patient, understanding man trying to convince him of that. Perfect for curling up with a spot of tea or hot chocolate. I highly recommend it.
Also available from Samhain Publishing