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A.B. Gayle – Why Straight Women Love Gay Romances

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Our final guest blogger this week is Australian m/m author, A.B. Gayle. And let me just say…WOW. Have you read any of her work? No? Then bloody well get to it. It is hot, emotional, incredible and will stay with you for a long time.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, A.B. Gayle…

Lexx

 

Thanks Sami, Jess, Lexxie and Rhian and for having me.

Why did I choose to write m/m?

Good question.

Why does any female write m/m for that matter?

The easy answer is that if one man is good…
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…. then two men must be better.

Make them gay (not suggesting that Thor or Wolverine are that way inclined 🙂 ) and story ideas just jump out of the page.

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But what’s wrong with the normal male and female scenario? Why write about gay men?

Aussie author, Geoffrey Knight, posed this question to a number of authors and reviewers and compiled the answers into a book: “Why Straight Women Love Gay Romance.”downunder4

As a gay man, he found the whole concept fascinating.

Some gay men are disturbed by the thought of females writing and reading gay sex scenes, but others seem to get it. After all, heterosexual females and gay men have one huge factor in common. They both love men! They both appreciate the beauty of the male body. Many have *gasp* even gone to bed with a male!

Mind you, gay men often suggest we don’t know what it feels like to get a blowjob, but many of us know exactly what it feels like to give one!

So, with just a little research the mechanics are not that alien.

But why did I start writing them?

Over the centuries, writers have covered every angle of the traditional m/f romance. In every writing style, in every location. I devoured so many that I was looking for something different, especially as I’ve been there, done that in real life and have got the hubby and two kids to prove it! Writing stories with male heroes allows me to get “outside the kitchen” and into areas most females can’t or won’t venture.

Perhaps part of me always wished I could be the fireman who went in and rescued people, or was able to casually stroll into a bar and feel that my gender didn’t make me feel conspicuous.

When I was writing “Red+Blue” Red+Blue3I was very aware that most scenes would have been impossible with a male and female. The story wouldn’t have worked the same way. Men have a lot more freedom to go places and the strength to do different things. That immediately creates a difference in what is possible to write about and the scenarios that can be explored. For example, my characters go canoeing in the wilds of Minnesota and the Quetico. Yes, females can do those sorts of things – I am living proof of that fact – but different factors would be present. More rigid constraints on behavior. Expectations.

Caught05medresEven when I had Danny, my hero in “Caught” walk up to Nathaniel Taylor, a total stranger, I was reminded that if he had been a female, the chance of that sort of thing occurring would be unlikely and, if it did, another set of expectations would be in force. All set by society and circumstance.

Like it or not, our gender restricts us to certain places and actions.

Yes, there are always exceptions to the rules and paranormal and fantasy are great ways to explore these.

But it’s not just the expanded horizons that result from having two male main characters, there are also a whole new set of conflicts that come into play.

And even the mushiest romance needs conflict.

But conflict with two guys isn’t just arguing about who is going to top and who is going to bottom – although that has been the case in some books – it can be about egos, whether they’re out or not, their willingness to let their guard down and admit they actually care for each other. Especially as the typical male finds it difficult to express their emotions. Plus, the outside world adds a totally different flavour in contemporary m/m romances. Life is not easy for a gay man growing up. While things have definitely improved, there is still a lot of homophobia around. Many of the older generation still see homosexuality as an aberration.

But there are also more positive sides to heterosexual women writing gay romances. The whole concept of love and romance shouldn’t belong exclusively to straight relationships. Yet, a happy future seems an impossible aim for gay men (and women) who are still coming to terms with the fact that they can be openly gay.

Many still bear the scars of years of feeling left out. Not wanted. Excluded. Every book they read, every movie they watched never depicted them in a positive light, assuming they were included at all. Gay men often bemoan the fact that they had no positive role models while growing up. People they could identify with.

Until now, most gay fiction reflected this reality and the stories were rarely happy. Let alone had a happy every after. Just when they finally won their freedom from laws which prevented them from being who they were born to be, they were hit by the scourge of AIDs. Some heartless members of society even told them that they deserved this fate. It was the will of God. So, to suddenly have a genre where being gay is not only accepted but is celebrated is something that they find quite amazing. For years, the concept of love and a happy long, lasting relationship felt an impossible dream. Yet, m/m romances show how that can happen. This is starting to make them believe it is possible.

How do I know this for certain? Since I started writing m/m romances, I’ve got to know a few gay authors. I’ve emailed them and interviewed a few on my blog. http://www.abgayle.com/my-blog—reviews–interviews.html

One, Don Schecter, is now 75 and didn’t come out of the closet until he was in his forties. “You just weren’t allowed to be gay in those days,” he told me. We have become internet friends, have skyped and beta each other’s stories. He makes sure I get the nuts and bolts right.

I’ve also been fortunate to meet and become friends with the Sydney-based author, Barry Lowe who delights in telling the story how someone
Portrait of a sexy naked man in bedroomat high school, accused him of being camp. He’d never heard the term before. After being told it meant he was a homosexual, he went to the library and looked up that word, saying, as he closed the complete Oxford dictionary with a thud, “Wow, so that’s what I am. Great!” (Or at least, that’s the story as Barry likes to tell it.) Even though he’s been with his partner, Wally, for nearly 40 years, the thought of men writing about love just didn’t occur to him. He mainly wrote gay erotica because he thought that’s all gay men wanted to read. He’s still amazed that his romantic style stories like “A Red Rose Before Crying” sell so well.

Gay men in books, movies and plays rarely had a happy ending. They died tragically, or their love was thwarted. Think “Brokeback Mountain” or even “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

That’s assuming gay characters were included at all.

Like the villain in a murder mystery, because of who they were, they often “got what they deserved.” Even now, although gay characters are being included more, they are often the stereotype bitch queen from hell or the soft, femme type. Rarely do we see the burly gay bears or the ones who don’t flaunt their gayness.

When I attended the Mardi Gras after party as research for my novella “Mardi Gras”mardigrasFinalMed I was astounded by the sheer number of gay men there. Thousands of people spilled out of the Hordern Pavilion and neighboring entertainment areas. Every variation was present, including some leather men dancing to a DJ, or just milling around, chatting. Attending some of Sydney’s great drag events proved great inspiration for my recent release “Leather+Lace.” leather+lacemres

Yet, even at Mardi Gras, I was conscious that when they left the area, they would have to stop holding hands and scuttle back into the box that society demands they live in.

In books they can escape that boundary.

I really feel that by giving them their happy ending, authors are helping to change things for the better. Writing in the gold rings and the picket fence, puts the issue of gay marriage onto the agenda. Showing the effect that homophobia has on their lives reminds us to ensure that our children have a more enlightened attitude. Reading about people being forced into the closet by the expectations of parents and society helps us understand the difficulties of coming out.

Lecturing (telling) people to behave in a more tolerant fashion doesn’t work.

Showing them situations and making them feel these issues as they walk in the shoes of the characters for a couple of hours, I believe can, and will, change people’s minds. That’s assuming they need changing. Yet even those who are already enlightened can gain a sense of affirmation.

Yeah, it’s hot writing and reading about two gay men getting it off, but more than that, literature – even when it masquerades as a light-hearted m/m romance – can help change perceptions. If properly researched and respectful towards gay men, by reading it we learn about the issues they face which helps us to support them when they need it.

It’s interesting that when we did a poll of subjects for panel discussions at our upcoming inaugural OzmmMeet the option for discussion that received the most votes was “Injecting realism into m/m romance” and “Are we stereotyping gay men and what would constitute an acceptable HEA for them?”OmmM Logo_TransparentWeb

Thanks to the internet, this blog probably extends far around the world. But anyone who lives locally or would like to join a group of authors, reviewers and readers on the weekend of 11-13 October. we’d love to see you there. Check out our webpage for more info http://www.ozmmmeet2013.com.

Thanks to Down Under Divas for inviting me along. You gals rock!

 

PS: I have to thank Jess Dee especially, as her interest and encouragement when I chatted about the plot of my first story, an m/f romance was what gave me the courage to start writing in the first place. It was eventually published by Total eBound and called “Isolation.”

 

BIO: A.B. Gayle hasn’t been writing stories all her life, instead she’s been living life. Her travels have taken her from the fjords of Norway to the southern tip of New Zealand. In between, she’s worked in so many different towns she’s lost count, shovelling shit in cow yards, mustering sheep, being polite to customers, trading insults with politicians. Sometimes she gets confused as to who needs what where. Now living in Sydney, Australia, she finally has time to allow her real life experiences morph with her fertile imagination to create fiction that she hopes readers will enjoy.
Her writing centres on the theme “Opposites Attract” and the first two books in the series, “Red+Blue” http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2952 and “Leather+Lace” http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3658 are out now with Dreamspinner Press who also published the novella “Caught” http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1975. If you want to read more about A.B. Gayle and her work, check out her website http://www.abgayle.com.

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E.E. Montgomery–When the Path Becomes Clear

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Today I’d like to welcome our special guest, MM author E E Mongtomery. A native to Australia and my own adopted state of Queensland, E E has worked in several occupations before finding her passion in writing. A dedicated people watcher, E E finds stories everywhere. In a cafe, a cemetery, a book on space exploration, or on the news, there’ll be a story of personal growth, love, and unconditional acceptance there somewhere

Welcome E E!

When the path becomes clear..

I was with some friends on a dress-up picnic in a cemetery – you know, one of those very ordinary days. We’d each chosen a decade of the twentieth century, had to find a headstone from that decade and create a short story about the person who died. My decade was the forties and I was wearing an authentic 1940s fox stole, complete with five little foxes, tiny noses, ears and feet intact. Please don’t ever ask me to look directly at the stole or touch it with my bare hands. It creeps me out.

 I’d found a number of headstones from the 1940s but none of them resonated with me so I was just wandering around, reading all the inscriptions. I’d stopped in front of a tall headstone and had been staring at it for a while before I worked out why this particular headstone from 1915 grabbed me.

The epitaph was heart breaking. The young man who died had obviously been well-loved, but his headstone hadn’t been erected by his family. It had been placed there by ‘his loving friend’. A set of initials protected the identity of the friend.

So there I was, in the middle of a perfectly uneventful day and realization dropped on my head like a collapsing building.

The reason this man’s family had nothing to do with his death or interment, I decided, was because he was gay.

I had a friend in school who committed suicide after his father said he’d rather have no son than a gay son. I’ve spent years watching and trying to help adolescents struggle with their identity and the bullying that can occur when you seem a bit different. I’ve listened to parents virtuously claim they love their children unconditionally but won’t have them in the house until they decide to change their ways and have a ‘proper’ relationship with a woman (or man). I’ve been ready to scream at every bigoted arsehole I’ve met, but until that day in the cemetery I hadn’t worked out a constructive way to get my message across.

JustLikeaDateFinalSA week after my visit to the cemetery, I wrote my first M/M romance: Between Love and Honor, published by Dreamspinner Press. It doesn’t have a happy ending, but that didn’t matter to Dreamspinner Press. They loved the story and took it anyway. The sequel, The Courage to Love, which does have a happy ending, is due for publication with Dreamspinner Press in August/September this year.

 In between those two stories, I’ve written others that have also been published by Dreamspinner Press. Another short story, In Another Life, is scheduled for publication with Escape Publishing on 1 September this year. All of them have a message that self-acceptance and unconditional love are key to happiness.

I also write Science Fiction and one day in the not-too-distant future hope to be able to announce publication of my first SF novel. To see my published works, as well as some free short stories, visit my website: www.eemontgomery.com. I publish a new entry on my blog every Saturday at http://eemontomgery.blogspot.com.au, and you can find me on Facebook: Ewyn Elaine Montgomery.

Blurb: Just In Time

 

Sequel to Just Like a DateEEs Book
Just Life: Book Three

 

Mark Mendelson’s life is close to perfect: he has good friends, a successful business, and a solid reputation in the jewelry industry. He fought hard to get what he has after nearly losing it all fifteen years ago, when his then boyfriend, Cole Porter, stole his designs.

 

When a handsome man enters Mark’s store to request a commitment ring—a design Mark made specifically for Cole—Mark wants nothing to do with him. All he can think about is his rage at Cole’s betrayal, something he thought he’d dealt with long ago. But Mark’s would-be customer, Dr. Liam Watson, returns to the shop, thinking Mark might provide some answers. For years Liam has tried to convince his cousin Jon to leave Cole, who abuses him. As the relationship between Jon and Cole disintegrates, a fragile new one forms between Liam and Mark—but Mark can’t move on until he confronts Cole once and for all.

Thanks for posting with us today E E!

 

Tara Lain – writer of the Beautiful Boys of Romance

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RC ~ Today’s guest is Tara Lain. I was lucky enough to ‘meet’ Tara when we were both contracted by the same publishing house, Etopia Press. And each year at RT we manage to grab a few seconds to say hi in person. And I have to say she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Now you all get to meet her too! Take it away Tara!

 

Ready to Meet the Beautiful Boys of Romance?

Hi everyone. I’m Tara Lain and I write the Beautiful Boys of Romance. Thank you so much to the Down Under Divas for inviting me today to their MM romance celebration!  There’s some FREE goodies down at the bottom of this blog so be sure to check them out.

Yep, I write MM romance. Have you ever read one? I’m guessing many of you have but If not, you might want to give it a try. After all, the average reader of MM romance is a woman between 20 and 60. And most writers of MM romance are women. Surprising, huh?

I had never read M/M romance until a few years ago.  In fact, I didn’t even know that M/M fiction existed and, if I had known, it wouldn’t have occurred to me to read it. I didn’t own an e-reader so I bought my paperbacks from Amazon. But I did like erotic romance. I was reading a favorite  erotic romance author’s MF paranormal books and loved them, so I ordered another book of hers from Amazon without reading the blurb! Imagine my surprise when it arrived and was a M/M book. I started to read, kind of looking over my shoulder to be sure no one was watching!  I loved it and was totally hooked! I was writing my first novel at the time, a MF romance about an older female scientist who has a passion for her younger male research partner. I loved the dynamics of the MM so much, I added another man to the story and Genetic Attraction was born. It’s an award-winning MMF ménage. Then I had to go back and explain how the two men fell in love in The Scientist and the Supermodel. Just like that, I was a MM writer!

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Now I write my Beautiful Boys of Romance in all descriptions. One of my recent releases is a quirky, LGBT contemporary erotic romance called Hearts and Flour about the unlikely attraction between a vegan, raw-food fanatic and a cupcake baker.

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I currently have 17 published books, three more in various stages of contracting, and three works-in-progress. All but one have either gay or bisexual heroes. As you can tell, I’m thoroughly hooked on writing MM fiction. Here are a few things I’ve learned reading and writing male/male books:

  • Male/male books have fewer gender stereotypes. It’s not unusual in these books for both men to be hunky alphas, for one of them to be more effeminate but still very dominant, or any combination. My artist character in Fire Balls is tiny and effeminate but also a black belt in karate and a dominant in bed, while big, hunky JJ LaRousse in Snow Balls is more queen than quarterback.
  • If you are a female reader, you don’t have a woman in these books with whom you automatically identify so you get the experience of identifying with a man. And you get to choose which one or ones you most want to relate to.
  • If you’re a gay man reading a M/M book, you get to see your world imagined by someone who has no limitations of your real life constraining the fantasy. No “but that never happened to me so it can’t happen.” You get a bigger fantasy.
  • You get to see two men (or more if you read my books LOL) in love which is very cool. It’s not the same as women in love with men. It’s just not. Since, for many male couples, marriage and family isn’t yet the common practice (hope it will be soon), the relationship has to be about more than security or fulfilling family or societal expectations. There’s a “pure love” quality to MM romance which I find just irresistible.
  • Gay or bisexual men still bear huge burdens of discrimination so, even if those issues play a small role in the story, you get to admire the bravery of men who declare their love for each other.
  • Men can be just as sappy and emotional as women. I know. I read MM romances by male writers too.  The deeply felt emotions pour from the pages and the ever-after is just as happy.
  • And, of course, the simplest reason. If like me you adore men, then two is better!

I think authors of gay romance contribute to people’s understanding of the world and help us see, as Jambrea said, that sex is sex and love is love. I’ve had and continue to have many gay friends who have made my life better and I’m happy, in a small way,  to be able to pay that forward.

But all the serious stuff aside, if you own an ereader, you don’t even have to glance over your shoulder like I did to see who’s looking!  LOL I hope you’ll let some beautiful boys creep into your reading among those alpha males and feisty females.  Bet you’ll be a convert too.

I have a FREE read for you. Over at the MM Romance Group on Goodreads, you can download my newest release, Love You So Hard. This story was written to a prompt from a reader and here is the picture I used as inspiration!

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I also hope you’ll come over and check out my brand new website www.taralain.com . I just switched over to the new format, and hope you like it. Leave me a comment and let me know if you do.

Last but not least, leave me a comment with your email on this blog post and I’ll give one commenter an ebook copy of Hearts and Flour.

And don’t forget my next release is Cataclysmic Shift, a MM paranormal, and it’s out July 23rd!

Thanks so much for coming by! : )

 

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Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 20. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

 

Jambrea Jo Jones ~ Why I Love and Write M/M Romance

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The last week of June here at the Down Under Divas is dedicated to some of the most amazing, incredibly, talented m/m and m/m/f authors we Divas know. The GLBT genre is a powerful one and what better way to start this last week of GLBT writers than with Jambrea Jo Jones.

The Divas know Jambrea Jo Jones (aka JJJ) via International Heat You may know her via her hot hot hot m/m and m/m/f books. Don’t know who Jambrea is? It’s time to start….NOW!

Lexx

The wonderful world of m/m (man on man action)

Hello, my name is Jambrea Jo Jones and I love gay men. I love gay men in love. Okay, now that I feel like I’m standing up in an AA meeting I’ll tell you a little more.

I first found out about gay romance by winning a story written by Ally Blue. It was a good story so I thought I’d try reading another and picked up a TA Chase story. I was hooked. I loved seeing two men meet and fall in love. I can’t explain it, I just—love it. Of course that is reading gay romance. I never thought I’d write it. Or…um….watch gay porn. But I did and I do.

It started off innocently enough. I had a story about a brother and sister. She was in a predicament because of her brother. It was supposed to be because of who her brother was sleeping with. At first it was a girl, but the story wasn’t working so I gave him a boyfriend and boom! Story ready to be written. His book would be second and I’d written myself into a corner. It was an erotic romance so I would have to write about sex. What did I know about gay sex? Nothing. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I couldn’t even picture it. Hell, I had a hard time picturing straight sex  most of the time and I really didn’t watch straight porn. I don’t like it.  I put his story aside and wrote a sweet m/m romance called Runaway Man. Only real sweet thing about it was the lack of sex.

Then one of my publishers had a call about flowers and their meanings. At the time someone in my life had died and I had a strong feeling and needed to write a story. It’s called Heart Song and with that story I wrote my first sex scene. I had to explore and I asked around about where to find gay porn. I had no idea, like I said I didn’t even watch straight porn.

Boy it was fun finding sites and I never went back. I am proud to say that I LOVE GAY PORN. Lol  And in watching it found out that sex is sex just as love is love. I think that is the most important thing and I’ll say it again. Sex is sex just as love is love.

(Hottest cover EVER! ~ Lexx)

I mostly right gay romance now in about any genre—sci-fi, romantic suspense, contemporary and paranormal, even some horror. I’m willing to try anything once when it comes to writing because I also read just about anything.

Why write gay romance? I mean, I’m not gay, so why? It feels right and my characters are gay for the most part. If I tried to make them straight, I wouldn’t be able to write my stories. I think that is the way of most writers. If you force something in a story, it doesn’t flow. You need to go with what feels right for your people. Like I have a marine series—there might be a gay character in there, but the main guys that are getting a story? They aren’t gay. Same with my shifter series—well, I ended up with a main couple being gay, but that came along as I was writing the story, which happens to some great series. The Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward, The Troubleshooters by Suzanne Brockmann, Hearts of Fame by Lexxie Couper and Because series ( I don’t know if it has an actual series name) by Mari Carr.

So is gay romance for you? Maybe not, just like with any book people will love them, like them or hate them and that just goes with what you like to read. Like I’m not big on inspirational romance, just isn’t my thing. Nothing wrong with that because there are plenty of books around for each of us.

Thank you to the Down Under Divas for having me on their blog and I hope you enjoyed my talk on gay romance. You can find me at www.jambrea.com or email me at anytime at binojo2@yahoo.com if you have any questions.

Welcome to the diva couch – Kelly (Smutty Kitty)

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If Blogger Week at the Divas must come to an end (*sigh*) at least it’s ending on a high. With the very wonderful, very lovable Kitty Kelly from The Smutty Kitty.

Kelly is another blogger who has become a very close and very dear friend of the Divas.

She’s also become a vital part of my writing life, and an integral part of my personal life. I would miss my daily texts with her horribly  if they ever stopped. (And now that Kelly has finally worked out there’s a time difference between Texas and Sydney, I’m enjoying her texts even more.)

😉

We love and adore this Kitty Cat, and welcome her to the Divas blog

Jess

1)   

     Who is Kitty Kelly, and why Kitty?

When I started joining Yahoo groups to talk about these wonderfully smutty books I found I noticed there were a fair share of Kelly’s roaming around.  My email has been kittykelly28 since I was 12 and my mom always called me kitten, so my reader alter ego was born.  KittyKelly doesn’t hold back.  Lol  She doesn’t get embarrassed and has no problem showing you what’s under her tutu.  And when the ears are on, the filter is gone! 

Jess & Kelly

 

2)    How did you become involved in the wonderful world of romance books?

I’ve always loved reading.  I always participated in the summer book clubs at my library growing up and dominated them for that matter.  But after I finished the Harry Potter books there wasn’t anything that captured my interest.  Now this may come as a surprise but I had never even read a romance novel before.  The DVD of Twilight was about to come out and I thought it looked interesting.  I was discussing it with a coworker and she suggested I read the books.  She let me borrow all four of them.  4 days later I was begging for more to read. 

(Jess says: And there it is! Twilight.)

So she gave me Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series.  The Carpathians get a little dirty but nothing too much.  I started looking online for more books and came across the wonderful world of Amazon and the Kindle.  It took a while for me to actually get a kindle but thanks to the app on my phone I was able to get my first freebie-Regina in the Sun by R.G. Alexander.  I was amazed.  Authors write dirty books?  And I can read them?  I was hooked ever since.  I started joining Yahoo author groups and found out about RT and I’ve never looked back.  I love this world.  The readers are awesome.  The authors are so wonderful and generous.  I’ve made so many new friends that I would have never met had it not been for these books.  I’ve even become friends with so many of the authors I love (I certainly view all of the International Heat girls as my friends).  I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for this wonderful world of romance enthusiasts.  Well damn I got a little misty eyed there.  Lol

(Jess again: Kitty we all love you too. Just like we love this whole world of romance enthusiasts.)

Sami, Ive, and Jess RT 2011

3)    Tell us all about your blog.

It’s called The Smutty Kitty, and as the name implies I like my books on the smutty side.  I review, pimp, and host guests within all genres and heat levels.  I think reviewing is fun.  I like to talk about my books with friends so I thought why not type what I’m thinking for the whole world to see?  I have one rule and that’s that I do not post negative reviews.  There is so much negativity in the world I like to keep my blog a happy place where people can come read about a new book or author and win some awesome shit.  Heh, I made it all the way to question 3 before I cussed!  That might be a new record!  😉 

4)    Do you work alone or are others blogging/reviewing with/for you?

It used to just be me, but my EDJ and life was becoming a bit much for my growing blog so I put out a call a few weeks ago for some help.  I have such a wonderful following that I got quite the response.  I now have seven wonderful ladies (my Pride) helping me dig through my ever growing review pile.  I’ll be introducing them on my site over the next several weeks.

5)    Do you have preferred genres – you know books you gravitate to?

I really don’t.  Well other than I like my sex.  Lol  I love it all: paranormal, contemporary, sci-fi, BDSM, and just about anything else you throw at me.  I will give anything a try.  I think that is what helps keep me wanting more.  If I get tired of contemporary I just read a paranormal and flip flop back and forth.  With the changes in the romance market being flexible means I always have a steady flow of amazing books to read. 

Okay, now let’s have some fun…

1.     Name your celebrity free pass

Alexander Skarsgård AKA Eric Northman-back the F off he is MINE!!!!

(Jess says: Kitty, you know I love you. But don’t even try lay a finger on that man. Just…don’t.)

2.     Tell us about the worst day job you ever had

My time spent in retail was not exactly awesome.  Lol  But honestly I’ve been pretty lucky to never really hate any job I’ve had.  Did I enjoy it all the time? Hell no! But hate?  Ehh not really. 

3.     Describe your blog in 3 words

Amazeballs, Smutalicious, Meow

4.     If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you’d buy for yourself?

A shit ton of corsets and tutus!!!!

(Jess intervenes: So, it seems Kitty’s given up altogether on the not cussing thing…)

5.     What food will you absolutely not eat?

There are so many things I won’t eat.  It would probably be easier to say what I will eat.  Lol

6.     Describe your favorite outfit

I kinda already did.  Lol  Here I’ll show you instead.

Kitty tutu

7.     What is your worst vice or habit?

OMG I have so many.  Lol I don’t think it’s a bad thing but I sing all the time.  Like seriously all the time.  I don’t even realize I’m doing it most of the time.  I only notice when other people point it out to me.  I also have a tendency to sing what I’m doing.  Like singing about getting dressed or cooking.  I’m just kidding about the cooking…I don’t do that.  Lol 

8.     As you’re typing the answers to these questions, what are you wearing? (That’s not a naughty question unless you have a dirty mind)

I should lie and say a corset and a tutu, but sadly I am in my paw print Jamie shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt.  It’s hot as hell here right now. 

9.     Do you prefer a hairy or smooth chest?

Smooth…I am not a fan of a hairy man.  He can have some but I’m gonna need him to trim it up if it’s more than a little. 

         Tattoos—love or hate?

LOVE Give me a man with tats and I am a happy girl.  I have three myself and I want more!  Stupid EDJ gets in the way of me having too many more though.

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You can contact Kitty Kelly through these links:

The Smutty Kitty Blog

Facebook

Twitter

CONTEST TIME

Kelly is running a contest – all you need to do is leave a comment about her blog or about your favorite place to visit on the net when you’re in the mood for romance, and she will pick two winners.

The prizes?

For peeps living inside the USA – a choice of book from her bookshelf (And she has AWESOME books!)

For peeps living outside of the USA – A $10 Amazon gift voucher.

Welcome to the Diva couch – Didi (Guilty Pleasures Reviews)

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The Divas have been noticing an interesting phenomenon over the last year or two. On days when we have book releases, we unfailingly wake to find a notification on Facebook that a review has been completed and we can access it over at…Guilty Pleasures.
I’m not sure if you know what a thrill it is to wake up to a review of your new book. Of course, if it’s a bad review, it’s not so thrilling. But when it’s a good review, or a review where the reviewer has taken the time and energy to give a detailed and heartfelt report about the book, well, it’s an awesome feeling.
And on release day, Guilty Pleasures ensures that we get to experience that awesome feeling at least once.
I seriously love this site, and I love their reviewers.
As writers we are cautioned over and over to remain utterly professional when it comes to reviewers, to say a simple thank you for the review and to move on. Well, it’s impossible to do that with Guilty Pleasures – because all of the reviewers we’ve had the pleasure of meeting are just too darn nice to keep our distance. We love reading their reviews of our work, and we love chatting with them on social media.

We Divas rate the Guilty Pleasures Reviewers:

I, for one, am eternally grateful Didi started this amazing blog/review site, and I’m delighted she joins us here today.

Jess

 

1)    Tell us about DiDi.  Ahh my life is a bit boring…but since you asked I’m TEXAS born and raised.  I successfully raised a daughter all on my own, well with the emotional support of my parents, it really does take a village.  Reading has been my passion since I was young. When I had my daughter I stopped reading to devote my all to raising her.  When the first Twilight move came out, as a bonding event, I went with my daughter, my Momma and my sister-in-law.  I had not read the books and oops! still have not. BUT watching the movie I found myself wanting to read adult vampire romances (can you tell I’m Team Edward) AND combined with the fact my daughter was now in high school, with a busy social life, leaving me at home alone, I had time to read again.   I went to Barnes & Noble and found HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE VAMPIRE by Kerrelyn Sparks.  I ended up going through all of the book in the series, I read one book a day.  I was hooked into reading paranormal romance, I devoured everything I could get my hands on.  While at B&N some hot as hell book covers caught my eye, they had sexy cowboys on them but were  $15. So I held off.  One day I was on a bus ride with my daughter’s dance team and decided to download the Kindle app and look up the sexy cowboy book, it was under $5 so I bought it.  It was LONG HARD RIDE by Lorelei James and WOW I was instantly addicted. My sheltered little brain was shocked for a bit too, I was like THEY WRITE MENAGE in books?  THEY WRITE ANAL SEX in books?? OMG I want more!!!  So I flew through her Rough Rider’s series and then started looking up books on Samhain, which is how, THANKFULLY, I first found y’all, the wonderful, naughty, amazing DOWN UNDER DIVAS.

      (Jess says: So, anyone noticing Twilight popping up again?)

2)    Tell us about Guilty Pleasures: The history, the blog/review site, the success and how it’s grown in both size and popularity.  AHH Guilty Pleasures started out as a kinda joke.  My friends Becky Condit, Kimber Oliver and I were tired of snarky, mean reviews so we were going to start a review site that “reviewed” mean reviews….it was called “WTF? Book Reviews.”  Early on we realized that our original goal wasn’t a good one because it would just bring attention to the mean reviews so we decided to review for real and changed the name to Book Pimps Reviews.  Our goal was to review with respect, fun and to talk like we talk in real life.  So in our reviews you would find dropped ‘gs and improper use of grammar, but you also would feel like you were talking to friends.  After a couple of months Becky decided she wanted to start a blog to focus on MM romance, so she left us and started Mrs Condit and Friends Review Books: http://mrsconditreadsbooks.com/  I changed the blog name for the last time to Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews and Kimber and I were reading/reviewing books like crazy.  Readers started taking notice and the site grew by leaps and bounds, we were overwhelmed.  At this point I do want to say if it wasn’t for advice from the wonderful Francesca at Under the Covers Book Blog: http://www.underthecoversbookblog.com/ and Julie at Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks: http://yummymenandkickasschicks.com/ I wouldn’t have known how to build followers.  Both of these ladies answered a HELP email from a stranger and gave me invaluable information.

3)    You have many awesome reviewers over at Guilty Pleasures. How did you find such True Gems?  THANK YOU!  I love and appreciate each and every one of them. If not for them GP would not have grown. Each reviewer is very passionate about books and love to talk about them.  How did I find them?  Most I met through an online yahoo group for readers, and we became friends, so I roped them in.  It came to a point where we were overwhelmed with review requests so I put out “NOW HIRING” reviewers posts and carefully selected additional reviewers.  I really can’t define how I pick them, it’s just a feeling and I have been blessed enough to go from being a stranger to them to considering them great friends.  We are spread out all over the United States. Many of us have made a point to meet each other in person if we are lucky enough to get the opportunity.  Bottom line I was extremely lucky in finding such a great group of women and I wouldn’t trade the friendships I’ve made for the world.

4)    You’ve just been sent an ARC of that book you’ve ALL been waiting for. How do you decide who gets to review it? THAT is a tough one.  Fortunately each reviewer has a distinct taste and it’s not often more than one wants the same books.  BUT when that happens I either put their name in a hat and draw or have them pick a number and use random.org =)

5)    How did you become involved in the wonderful world of romance books?  Looking back I realize I loved reading as young as 6 yrs old, but of course as I got older I wouldn’t admit it. THEN one day when I was about 14 yrs old and sitting in the bleachers, bored, waiting for my younger brother to finish baseball practice one of his friends mom’s asked if I liked to read, I said I used to and she handed me WAYWARD WIND by Dorothy Garlock. It was a historical romance and I was hooked.

6)    Do you have preferred genres – you know books you gravitate to? Currently, I love Erotic, Paranormal and Contemporary.  Cowboys, Billionaires, Motorcycle Clubs, ALPHA men period do it for me.  I tend to stay away from cliffhangers, serial (the kind where it’s like a chapter is released at a time) and New Adult.

Okay, now let’s have some fun…

1) You are granted your wish to a night to remember with just one man (or woman).  Who would it be?  Blake Shelton (as long as part of this wish keeps his wife Miranda from killing me, she has that East Texas crazy, I will cut you if you mess with my man thing going on.  I love Miranda but don’t want her to open a can of whip ass on me)

2) Ooooh, wait. Now you have your second wish granted. A night with TWO others. Who would they be?  

(And remember, this is an erotic romance writers’ blog. We’re not talking about a pleasant evening chatting over dinner…) OH MY!  Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan =) 

3) So, you’ve just heard terrible news report on the radio. There’s a cyclone coming and you have ten minutes to get out of your house, get in your car and drive as fast as you can. You just have time to take five items with you.

What are they, and why have you chosen them? My phone, my tablet, my favorite picture of my daughter and my dog.  Why? Because those are the things I can’t live without.

4) Ooh, remember that time you’ve tried so hard to forget? That excruciatingly embarrassing moment, when you wished the floor would open up and swallow you. When you blushed fifteen different shades of scarlet. Go on then. Don’t be shy. Tell us all about it… Oh this happens quite often.  A recent really embarrassing one is..this past December I was working temp at an office where I hoped to become permanent.  I was on the phone with a customer who asked how the weather was.  I said “Oh it’s a bit nipply.” what I meant to say is “Oh it’s a bit nippy.”  My supervisor, an older lady, was right by me, looked up and then busted out laughing, I couldn’t even try to play it off.

5) Ice cream or chocolate? Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy Ice cream

(Jess says: OMG, why can we not get that flavor here?)

6) George Clooney or Brad Pitt? Brad Pitt as seen in the recent Esquire magazine

7) Angelina Jolie or Jennifer Aniston?  ME!!! lol  Angelina Jolie

8) Eric or Sookie? GASP!  Another I haven’t read or watched…

(Jess: *Shaking head sadly*)

9) Steak or salmon? Steak baby!!!  I’m a TEXAS girl J

10) Heels or sandals? Flip flops, not only am I a TEXAS girl, I’m a BOI (born on Galveston Island)

11) Harry Potter or Twilight? Twilight

12) Dogs or cats? Dogs

13) Snakes or Spiders?  Spiders (as long as they aren’t from Down Under, y’all got some scary spiders down there)

14) You are offered your final meal. You can have anything you want. What would it be?  A can of whip cream served on Blake Shelton.

(Jess says: Awesome answer.)

I want to thank y’all so much for interviewing me.  I am honored to have been asked by some of my FAVORITE authors.  I will be traveling to RomCon on Thursday but I will make sure to stop by and say “Howdy!”

(Jess says: Thank you for coming. You know we love you too. And enjoy Romcom!)

 

Please come stalk Guilty Pleasures and make our Guilty Pleasures yours!!

 

Website

http://www.guiltypleasuresbookreviews.com/

Twitter

@GultPlsureBkRev

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Guilty-Pleasures-Book-Reviews/305163142832854?ref=hl

Goodreads

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4391611-guilty-pleasures

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the Diva couch – Taryn (My Secret Romance)

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Please welcome Taryn from My Secret Romance to the Down Under Divas today.

We’re especially thrilled to have her because we thought she wouldn’t have time to blog here. Taryn is in the middle of moving across country, and frankly, we have no idea how she has time to breathe, never mind blog. (Seriously, perhaps we should call her blog Wonder Woman’s Secret Romance!)

Taryn’s blog is a feast for the eyes, and when you make your way over there after reading her post, beware. You might find yourself spending ages browsing!

Oh, and here is something you didn’t know about Taryn:

She held my fantasy in her arm.

Twice!

I kid you not. Read on to see what I mean.

Jess

Tell us about Taryn

Hmmm…I don’t know! Haha I hate talking about myself! I never know what to say! Let’s see….Taryn is a very short and small, but an opinionated chick. To be frank- I don’t beat around the bush. I have no time for that and say it like it is. Seriously. I’m just topping in at 5 feet and I have a big mouth. I’m actually very shy but won’t open up until I’m comfortable enough to. Though, you’d never know it through facebook. Everyone is pretty shocked when I say it. But it’s true. 

(Jess popping in to say: anyone else thinking about Dawn now? Remember? The blogger who described herself as quiet?)  😉

What else… I’ve been with my husband since I was 17. We met on the set of a music video actually where he played the boyfriend and I was a backup dancer. It’s true, I swear! We were married two years later and now have two boys. People see me and assume I’m 18 years old, and the older sister of my kids. It’s cool for the most part, but sometimes it can get annoying.

(Jess again: *Ahem* Where is the video???)

 

Tell us all about My Secret Romance Book Reviews – how it began, how it’s grown, what it’s all about.

It all started by chance really. See, I’m a horrible writer. I’ve always struggled with it. Not as in writing books or anything, just writing in general. I became an avid reader about five years ago and started reading reviews. I was so impressed by the reviews and wanted to write some, but also very intimated by them. The more I got to thinking the more I realized that the only way I’m going to get better is if I start writing. And so I did. A few months later, I wanted to start a blog to share all the books I love to read, but I didn’t have a name for it. I told my husband about the idea and asked for name suggestions. Tony said, “Taryn, you have sex with your books every night. How about My Secret Romance?” And so it stuck! Hahaha And that’s how My Secret Romance began.  

(Jess says: Taryn’s hubby sounds like a genius!)

As MSR grew, I realized I needed reviewers to help. So I put an add out. Long story short, I now have eight reviewers who are the best girls I could’ve asked for- Nadine, Lee Anne, Janna, Amanda, Crystal, Bridget, Alyssa, and Sophie. Some know them as “Taryn’s Girls” LOL Truthfully? I totally credit them for the reason why my blog is still going. Right now I’m in the process of moving from New York to Florida so my girls stepped up and took it over for me. I’m in shock really by how much they’re doing for the blog and helping. They do so much to contribute to the blog and I could never thank them enough for all that they do. My Secret Romance is not just my blog, but it’s their blog as well.

My Secret Romance is a very honest review blog. We don’t star rate books, but we will post any review for any book so long as there is no author bashing in it, which my girls know. I don’t believe in star rating on blogs and I don’t believe in only posting only reviews higher than three stars either. That’s not being honest to me. I feel like that tends to sway readers so I’d rather let them decide once reading a review.

How do you pick which books to review or authors to interview?

For the most part I’m pretty easy going. I want blogging to be fun-not stressful-for my girls so I let them decide what to read. When a review/tour request comes in, it will get posted in our review group and whoever wants to read it can. Sometimes when the review comes in, the author will request an interview or guest post. Or if after reading any book and we want to interview the author, we do. Really, I have no strict rules on my blog. Everything goes!

What was the first romance book you read, and how did your love for romance develop from there?

It’s funny, because before I started reading I hated sappy romance books and refused to read them! I like to say I was just young and dumb at the time and didn’t know what I was talking about!

It started because of Twilight actually.

(Jess again: Anyone else noticing a pattern with Twilight and bloggers?)

I was picking my kids up from school one day when a mother turned to ask me a question, mind you- I had like no friends because I’m so damn shy that I couldn’t open my mouth! One of the mothers said to me, “Have you read Twilight?” I said, “What’s Twilight?” She nearly threw the hardcover at my head and said read it. I remember looking at the book and telling her it’s going to take me a years to read a book that size. Needless to say, I finished it in two days. I loved it, but realized I need a more adult read (and sex!). So the first adult romance book was *I think* the Sookie Stackhouse series. Or it could have been the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Or The Dark-Hunter series. I really can’t remember. When I found I actually liked to read, I started reading everything super fast and the time just started to blend together.

Do you have preferred genres – you know books you gravitate to?

Anything with romance for the most part! Oh, and hot sex too! J I do love reunion romances, cheating, and love triangles. Those are my favorite. If you asked me this four years ago I would’ve said only paranormal romance. Now it’s contemporary romance.

Rubs hands together Oh shit. This make me nervous!

You’ve told me you’re easy…now prove it.

Here are some fun questions for you to answer. The skies the limit with these. Feel free to say ANYTHING that comes to mind.

Your ideal threesome: You and…? To be quite honest, I’ve never, ever thought about this! Haha And that’s probably because my hubby can WORK IT BABY. For real. I’m not lying. Sometimes I feel like I went horseback riding bareback style afterward. Sometimes I even say… never mind.  Hey, you asked.

Your ideal MMM threesome? ^^^ see above.

The one person you would never say no to is…? (And yeah, I mean no to a hot night in bed—or out.) Hubby of course! He is the life of the party

If you could have a quiet dinner with one famous person, who would it be? Mariah Carey. I love her. I know, I know…people laugh when I say her, but I like her!

Heels or flats? I like both. I love to wear heels to go out, but I also like to drink when I got out and worry about falling! Haha No, no. I’m not a sloppy drinker. I just like to have fun, but those cracks in the sidewalk come out of nowhere!

Chocolates or crisps? Chocolate

Coffee or milkshakes? Coffee!!!!!!!!!!

Men or women? For what? To be president? Men. To cook? Woman.

Dogs or Cats? Cats

Your favorite romance book ever? Come on now. You know that’s not an easy question! If I had to pick, I’d say Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward. I love mean bastard heroes. The meaner the better for me.

Your favorite movie ever Dirty Dancing. Gahhh I love that movie!

Worst movie? I watched one with the hubs about a month ago but can’t remember the name for the life of me. I do remember thinking that I couldn’t believe I sat through the whole thing because it was that bad.

The most embarrassing moment of your life? Now why would I tell you that?

(Jess says: Coz these are the juicy details we need to know!) )

 Bill or Eric (and if you say “who?” I won’t be able to post the interview.)

LMAO!!!! 

Go ahead, eat your heart out!!!!

 

 

Oh, yes. TWICE!

*Jess just fainted with jealousy.*

(Does Taryn not know Eric is my not so secret fantasy?)

And on a lighter note…OMFG!!!!! You met Eric/Alexender Skarsgard? You touched him??? OMFG!

Maroon 5 or Jason Mraz Maroon 5!

Star Wars or Star Trek? Neither! I can’t stand either one.

Titanic or Terminator? Titanic

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Any Special links?

I’m a goodreads whore. I love that site- http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2724584-taryn-at-my-secret-romance

Blog- http://www.mysecretromancebookreviews.com/

Facebook-  https://www.facebook.com/MySecretRomance?ref=hl

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