Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Guest Blogger KC Burns

Titles - The Bane of My Existence.

So, titles. Perhaps bane is a wee bit excessive, but seriously… coming up with titles for me is painful and vexing. Surprisingly, to this point, none of my titles have been changed by editors. Choosing a title is the very last thing I do when writing a book, and I find it agonizing. The problem with a title is that it has to catch a reader’s attention as well as provide some hint about the plot or characters or setting or genre… sometimes all four. Not a simple endeavor at all.

When I chose the title for my first book, MIA Case File
s: Wolfsbane, I had a picture in my head of a nerdy bureaucrat typing up a report about a confidential investigation, and applying a ‘code name’ to the investigation. That particular case involved werewolves, hence Wolfsbane. Seemed a perfectly logical leap for my office worker.

The same theory worked for the sequel. I pictured my same boring clerk reporting on another agency investigation, this time involving vampires and two brothers. And so, MIA Case Files: Blood Relations was born. Imagining my clerk didn’t mean I agonized any less, though! Oddly enough, the third book in the series, wh
ich I’m working on now, my office worker was more proactive. It’s one of the few stories I’ve written where I had the title in hand before I even started. As soon as I knew what creature the MIA operatives were fighting, the name fell into my brain.

Spice ‘n’ Solace spent its creation days under a folder called ‘rent boy’. It’s the story of a brothel owner on another planet who gets mistaken for one of the escorts he employs. Even though I’d decided on the name of the brothel fairly early on in the story, it wasn’t until I was title hunting at the end when I realized I could call the book by the same name as the brothel!

My newest book, due out in late summer from Loose Id, is called Trompe L’Oeil. It’s an art term meaning trick of the eye, and despite how perfect I think the title is for the book, I thought for sure my editor would change it! But, if you consider the manuscript was filed under a folder called ‘cursed painting’, perhaps you can see why Trompe L’Oeil works.

The title of a book needs to do a lot of heavy lifting, and I’ve certainly chosen books based on title alone (heck, I’ve chosen books based on the font of the title and nothing more). One of my favorite titles is The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks by Josh Lanyon. Caught my interest immediately, with both the ‘ghost’ idea and the slight absurdity of a ghost wearing socks. Another title I like is The Good Thief by James Buchanan. The juxtaposition of someone breaking the law while remaining an admirable person is made utterly clear in the title, making you want to know what makes the thief good, or how he’ll redeem himself.

Do you have any favourite titles? Ones that grabbed your attention right away, demanding you buy the book? What about titles that make you scratch your head, wondering why that particular title was chosen?

I’d like to thank Simone for having me visit today, and I’ll leave you with a short R-rated excerpt from Spice ’n’ Solace (unfortunately I don‘t have any excerpts for my upcoming release yet). You can find me on the web at and I’m on Twitter and Facebook as well.

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Every year, Jathan One-Moon faces increasing pressure that he marry and have children. What Jathan really wants is a male mate that can enjoy both playful sex and his more dominant nature. To tame his stress, Jathan orders a male escort from Spice 'n' Solace, the premier male brothel in the Galactic Alliance—and is thrilled to be sent a man whose air of innocence and obvious desire for Jathan arouse him like never before.

Jathan doesn't know he has mistaken Kazha Deinos, the owner of Spice 'n' Solace, as his escort. Kaz doesn't intend to pleasure Jathan personally, but his powerful masculinity is irresistible. Kaz has dreamed of a man who'd take charge and indulge his hidden cravings—a man just like Jathan.

With their explosive passion and unexpected tenderness, Jathan and Kaz soon want to stay together—if Jathan's position and Kaz's secrets don't tear them apart...


The unmistakable lurch of a shuttle docking coincided with the chirping of Jathan One-Moon’s comm unit. Bram Hakers was beginning to piss him off. Jathan silenced the device, wondering what the alliance’s undersecretary would do if he turned it off. He’d talked to Hakers every day of his trip to Elora Ki, and he wasn’t doing it again. For some reason Hakers—and the rest of the alliance—treated this brief sojourn as nothing more than an exotic vacation for Jathan, with the alliance picking up the tab.

Jathan did charge the alliance an enormous amount, but they were the reason Jathan had been forced to become a negotiator in the first place. His other negotiations paid well, but they were on a much smaller scale. For the Ankylos negotiations, Jathan charged the alliance in proportion to the almost unimaginable consequences of failure. Because if Jathan failed, the human race could be snuffed out.

Every year he returned to Elora Ki, the site chosen because of its position as the farthest planet from the center of both the Ankylos Empire and the hub of planets ruling the Galactic Alliance. Every year he repeated the negotiations on behalf of the human race.

In truth he’d do the negotiations for free. Diabolical not to, since the Ankylos wouldn’t negotiate with anyone else after his father died. Without him the Ankylos Empire would renew the Wolframite War with the Galactic Alliance. But people didn’t respect things they got for free, and Jathan wanted the alliance to respect his services. Unfortunately Hakers acted as though the exorbitant fees meant Jathan was his slave for the length of the negotiations. With the Ankylos refusing to negotiate with anyone but a person in his father’s bloodline, he was a prisoner of sorts.

A knock sounded at the door to his quarters.
“Come in.” The military escort to his headquarters had arrived.
“Sir. We made good time. We’ve docked early.”
Dammit. Should he contact Spice ’n’ Solace? With his escort due to arrive the next evening, was it worth altering those arrangements? “Yes, thank you. I’m almost ready.”
Jathan fastened his bag and hefted it to his shoulder.
“Sir. Let me take that.” The well-put-together soldier moved into Jathan’s personal space, took the bag and smiled.
Jathan looked down at the man’s face, assessing his motives. The blond was good-looking, although broader and more muscle bound than his usual type.
The soldier used his firm chest to pin Jathan against the wall—under other circumstances a move like that would have made Jathan’s cock swell. Before the negotiations, though, the aggressiveness didn’t work for him.
“We’re on unexpected furlough for the night.” The soldier might have been making conversation, but the erection pressing into Jathan’s hip made his words an invitation.
“Tempting.” Jathan pushed all inflection out of his voice and painted on his most disdainful expression. This wasn’t what he needed. Not now. Military men weren’t equipped to give in, to submit. “But not a good idea.”
The blond quirked a brow. “Sure? Everyone knows how you spend your nights on Elora Ki.” His hips undulated against Jathan’s. Lies, clearly. If everyone knew what he did—he peered at the shorter man’s name patch—Williams would know this wasn’t the approach to take.
Although the forthright invitation was at odds with a man on duty, starfuckers were rather single-minded. He’d fucked others, but it made him uncomfortable. Still, the blond was quite attractive.
“You going to be part of my escort on the return trip?”
“Mmm, I think so.”
On the way home might be a different story. “We’ll talk then.”
“Yes, sir.” Williams stepped back before leading the way out of Jathan’s quarters. In many ways Jathan preferred to pay for his pleasure. No strings, no expectations on the part of the escort and Jathan could take what he needed to make it through another year of negotiations.
Jathan took out his comm unit, still unsure if he wanted to call for an escort. The unit chirped in his hand. Undoubtedly Hakers again, toadying little suck-up. Screw it. He’d had enough. Jathan turned the device off, determined to pretend that for at least one night no one relied on him to save countless human lives.

Text Copyright © 2011 by K.C. Burn
Cover Art Copyright ©2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Guest Blogger - PD Singer

Good morning, I'm PD Singer. Simone has very graciously invited me to post today, so thank you! I write gay erotic romance, very often set in the mountains of Colorado, though I've been known to wander into the Indian Ocean or Ireland.

I've been working on a short story where the two of the three main characters work in a warehouse store. These aren't crazy/sexy jobs, just useful, necessary, and many of us have done something similar. I need the store as a setting -- it's almost a character in its own right, but I'm going to have to find the dramatic tension in something besides what they do for a living.

Some professions just lend themselves to drama. Medicine is easy -- life, death, health. Doctors and EMTs, who plunge their hands into the blood as needed, have more inherent excitement, but there are other health care professionals who have stories to tell. Lawyers come with conflicts built in. Cops and firemen, where harm is part of the job description, have plenty to make their lives interesting. I admit to setting an entire mountain on fire just to keep a couple of forest rangers too busy to think about sex for a while.

Construction trades lend themselves to gay romance -- it's hard not to smile at the thought of a hunky guy wearing nothing but trickles of sweat between the hard hat and the tool belt. What these guys do is sexy -- build something or tear it down, repair it. Creating usefulness with a heap of materials and some tools is an automatic rawr, even before getting a look at the abs. Guys who work with their hands have the edge of knowing how to do something most of us don't. Knowledge is sexy -- it doesn't have to be rocket science. Add in a glimpse of butt crack when he's bent into the hood of a car or sticking out from under the sink, and I'm there. Thanks, Eden Winters, for giving me Joey Nichols and an old pickup truck to dream about.

Dancers and athletes are more aware of their bodies than most people -- their conditioning and health is their livelihood. Even if you don't follow the sport, the conflicts that arise from the characters' winning, losing, or even being able to play, can make the story memorable.

But not everyone is a doctor or a carpenter, a dancer or a sports star, closeted or not. The guy behind the video counter has a story, as Marie Sexton reminds us, with more going on inside his head than one night's rental or two. It's a different kind of story when the characters have low profile professions -- an accountant will be a different flavor of appealing than a baseball player, a truck driver will have another sort of story to tell than a rock star, but it's worth the read, as AKM Miles showed.

I've written stories about the pirate captain and also about the man who built the boilers for the steamship. I've written about the ski patrol and the man who runs the lift. And I'll read about everything from pilots to playwrights, from hookers to handymen. Give me something just a bit offbeat in a profession much beloved in our genre, because cops and cowboys can have fresh and interesting stories.

What kinds of jobs have you never seen in an m/m romance but would like to? Is there a profession that sets your pulse racing just by reading the blurb? Have you ever read a story featuring a character in a job that you didn't think you'd like, but did?


PD Singer lives in Colorado with her slightly bemused husband, two rowdy teenage boys, and thirty pounds of cats, all of whom approach carefully when she's in a writing frenzy. She's a big believer in research, first-hand if possible, so the reader can be quite certain PD has gone face first down a ski slope, been stepped on by rodeo horses, acquired a potato burn or two, and will never, ever, write a novel that includes sky-diving.

Her novels Fire on the Mountain, Snow on the Mountain, Fall Down the Mountain, related Mountain short stories and other shorts can be found at Torquere Press. Look for Prep Work, coming from Dreamspinner in late summer, and Maroon: Donal agus Jimmy from Torquere in the fall.

Follow the adventures at

Sunday, June 12, 2011

It's GAY DAY!!



Sunday, June 12th is Gay Day at my Yahoo Group. Gay Day is the one day a month when the best authors in GLBT Romance stop by to post excerpts of their new and upcoming releases.

The following authors will be generously offering giveaways you can enter to win:

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Elizabeth Noble - Marked Yours

C. Zampa - Candy G.

Tara Lain - Volley Balls or The Scientist and the Supermodel

S.J. Frost - Natural Instincts

Belinda McBride - A signed Uncommon Whore poster

JL Merrow - Camwolf or Sex, Lies and Edelweiss

Jambrea Jo Jones - Tell Me Now & Saddle Up 'N Ride

Alan Chin - Haji's Exile

Ariel Tachna - Choice from Backlist

Pia Veleno - Man Whore

William Neale - A New Normal

Barry Brennessel - Tinseltown

Simone Anderson - To Love Again

Serena Yates - Saving Zeke

Sebastian Blade - Redeem Me

Jaime Samms - As Advertised

Kimberly Gardner - Dressed to Thrill

Lou Harper – Hanging Loose

Angel Martinez - Boots

Charlie Cochrane - An ‘I love Jonty and Orlando’ T-shirt

Devon Rhodes - Stranger In Black

Z.A. Maxfield - Rhapsody For Piano And Ghost

Gale Stanley - One Night in Bangkok


Geoff Knight & Dare Empire will be offering up FIVE books!

Winners Choice of either The Cross of Sins or Drive Shaft

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The amazing Authors below will be popping in and out to chat & post excerpts from their latest books:

S.J. Frost - Black Heart Down

Alan Chin - Butterfly’s Child

Willa Okati - Make a Right

Geoff Knight - Curse of the Dragon God

Lynn Lorenz – The Hearts of New Orleans Series

Charlie Cochrane - All Lessons Learned

Z.A. Maxfield – All Stirred Up

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The day will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST in the Ethan Day Yahoo Group where we’ll be posting excerpts, running contests for free books, and chatting about all the new and upcoming releases from your favorite authors.

I hope everyone will stop by to catch up with your favorite authors and join in all the fun!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Time Travel

This Week over at Writers Evolution we're talking about the eras we would like to visit.

There is no guest blogger this week, but you can find guest bloggers Jaime Samms here and Amber Green here.

The question now is do I want to start the week off with a free read or the weekend? Thoughts.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guest Blogger - Jaime Samms

Thanks so much, Simone, for inviting me to your blog, today. Every time I sit down to write a new blog post, I find myself staring at a blank page wondering what I'm going to say that readers haven't heard a thousand times already. It's worse that actually writing, by far, becasue at least with writing a story, you get to make stuff up, have fun and tell someone else's story for a few hours, and people get that. As far as me and my life go, I'm pretty much an open book.

Unlike some of the characters in my latest release, I don't keep much back, and that means there's rarely anything new to say! lol! My guys, though, they can be full of secrets and half-truths.

Blurb: Tyler's life perked up when he met Jake. So what if long-time friend Marty can't stand him and his landlady has no use for his new beau. Tyler's determined not to see the dark side of his lover. It's his own fault for believing people don't go around keeping secrets and lying.

Tyler should know better. He's an ad executive. He knows the packaging is what sells, and Jake is quite a package. His lover is no slouch when it comes to false advertising, either, and when Tyler finds out the truth, It hurts. Weathering Jake's lies and secrets gets easier with the help of new friends, Libby and Steven. In fact, Tyler figures that maybe a lot of things would get easier with Steven.

Tyler should have known better. Not even someone as seemingly perfect as Steven Jessop is completely as advertised. This time, though, Tyler has to make a decision. After all, sometimes, even if what you see is not what you get, what Tyler's uncovered in Steven might just be what he's always wanted.

Cover Art for As Advertised

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Tyler blinked at him. "Is there some reason I shouldn't want to go to a party?"

"Because it is a party." Jake perched on the arm of Tyler's couch and looked down on him. "You don't do parties. You're the one told me that."

"I know, but Maynard mentioned it. It sounds decent."

Jake studied the label on his beer, picking at the corner of it. "Now you go to parties because your boss tells you to."

"He didn't tell me to. He just mentioned it."

"Is he going to be there? That why he mentioned it to you?"

"Oh my god. You've got to be kidding me," Tyler chuckled and sipped his beer.

Jake just looked at him.

"Seriously? Are you jealous?" Tyler asked.

Still Jake said nothing.

Tyler grabbed Jake's arm and yanked him down. "Come here."

For an instant, Jake resisted, but Tyler licked his lips, lifted his eyebrows and pulled a little harder. Jake slid down, squeezed his cheeks into the crack between Tyler and the arm of the couch and took Tyler's chin in a loose grip. "Doesn't it bother you?" he asked after another swig, keeping his searching gaze on Tyler.

"What?" Tyler frowned.

"That he uses the fact you like dick to scope out new clients."

"What?" Tyler hitched back a few inches, putting some space between them.

"Think about it. You do know who's throwing this party?"

"Jessop. I don't know his first name. I don't even know what he does. Maybe Maynard just mentioned it because he thinks I've been working too hard lately. Unlike someone I know, who gets all the easy clients and the padded expense account." Tyler set his beer down and wiggled closer, hooking his finger into Jake's tie and prying it loose.

"If you think those clients are easy, my dear, you've got another think coming. I just have a knack for handling self-absorbed, insane people. You, though. Maynard's working you to the bone and not giving you enough credit. Jessop is a dream account. If he doesn't give it to you…." A hard edge visible just in the shadows of Jake’s expression told Tyler there was something he wasn’t saying, though what it could be, he had no idea.

"Anyway." Tyler gravitated a little toward Jake, touched his face, ran his fingers over the angles. "Not talking about work right now. It's a party. We never go anywhere. It's time, don't you think?"

Jake grinned, leaned close so everything blurred together. so that The sullenness turned to lust, and defensiveness to desire. "You never complained about that before."

The bass rhythm of Marty's music reverberated through the apartment. Tyler's heart sank. He did so much better when he slept.

Jake nearly growled as he grabbed hold of Tyler's chin and forced his attention away from the shared wall and Marty's insomnia. His face darkened, and his fingers tightened around the neck of his beer bottle. "You need to move."


"Come on." Jake took his hand and stood. "Let's go into the other room." He shot a glare at the wall.

Without letting go, Tyler pulled him back down. "If it bothers you so much, we could just go to yours."

"I told you. They're renovating. The whole building is a mess." Jake cast a venomous glower at the far wall.

"Right." Still, Tyler didn't get up, and Jake sat back down next to him. Tyler was tired of his attitude towards Marty, his insistence they stay in all the time—everything. In four months, Tyler still hadn't seen Jake’s apartment. He was determined to get his way about something. He fixed his gaze on Jake. "About the party, then?"

"You just want to show me off, admit it." Jake puffed out his chest slightly and tilted his head.

The edges of his mood seemed to smooth over with the motion, though they didn't disappear completely. Tyler had yet to find whatever it would take to get Jake to really, truly relax.

"Come on." Jake trailed a few experimental kisses along Tyler's jaw. "Say it: 'I admit I want to show off my hunky new boyfriend.' You know it's true."

A slow smile spread across Tyler's face. "Maybe."

"Tell you what." Jake set down his beer and slid closer, fingering Tyler's collar, and undoing the buttons of his shirt at a slow but steady pace. "You let me have my way with you tonight, and I'll take you to this party tomorrow. You can schmooze Jessop to your little heart's content." He ended with fingers on Tyler's nipple and gave a sharp squeeze and tug.

Tyler gasped and jerked, hardening in a rush of hot blood. "You drive such a hard bargain."

The words rasped over a sudden need, and he licked his lips in anticipation. Jake might be a demanding lover, but he was also an attentive one, and he knew exactly how Tyler liked things. His heart sped up at the thought of Jake taking over and being in control for an evening.

"And yet…." Jake ran his tongue tantalizingly over Tyler's lips. "You’re such an easy sell."

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