Welcome to my little corner of the gay erotic romance universe . . . well, half of it, anyway. (You can find the other half at RachelHaimowitz.com.) This is the place to come for sneak previews of new projects, release information, and the occasional M/M book review. I'll also share thoughts on the industry on occasion, and I hope you'll come share yours in return.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Read Crescendo Chapter 1!

Happy Monday, folks! It's a particularly exciting day for me, because today is the first time a long and fully-edited sneak peek of Crescendo is going up on the interwebs. The entire first chapter, in fact. Almost 3500 words. I'm so excited I can't even wait the 23 minutes until it's officially Monday. Ah well, it's Monday in Europe, right? :D

You can find the first chapter at my publisher's book page for Crescendo. Wait--don't go quite yet! Let me tell you about a second exciting thing first: Crescendo pre-orders start today, and there is ten kinds of awesome going down with that. The ten kinds of awesome, let me show u them:

1. For one thing, everyone who pre-orders gets 20% off--you pay $7.99 instead of $9.99 for the ebook, $11.99 instead of $14.99 for the paperback (plus free domestic shipping!), and $14.39 instead of $17.99 for the print + ebook bundle (plus free domestic shipping). I'm not sure how long that special will last, so if you've been waiting for Crescendo, definitely take advantage of it while it's still there.

2. Awesome Point #2 is that folks who pre-order get to download their book a full two days before the "street date"--October 5 instead of October 7.

3. Awesome Point #3 is raffle prizes! Each copy you pre-order gets you entered into a drawing for--get this--a free first-gen Nook pre-loaded with my entire back catalog! A second lucky winner will get signed copies of both Counterpoint and Crescendo, and a third lucky winner will get an autographed print of the gorgeous Crescendo cover art.

Okay, so it turns out there are only three kinds of awesome, but I think they're awesome enough to count for 3.33 points of awesome each, no?

Anyway, off I go, dancing giddily away to wrap up edits. I hope you'll go off to Storm Moon Press and read the first chapter of Crescendo. And I hope it's everything you've all been waiting for :D

. . . Oh, who are we kidding. We both knew I couldn't get through a whole blog post without a picture of Michael Fassbender. So, my present to you. Look, it even unwraps itself!

(Now go! Read Crescendo!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekend Hotties!

Yup, one more day of hottie picspam. I'll get back to real blog posts on Monday, I promise. In the meanwhile, I'm sure you're all absolutely devastated by the alternative ;-)

So, a big pile of my latest two obsessions (and quite possibly my longest-running in many years for this flighty little bird of an-- Ooh, shiny!) beneath the jump.

(Come on, you didn't really think I could go a whole week without posting pictures of Fassavoy, did you?)

(Because, srsly u guise, u guise, srsly . . .


Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Review: Duck! by Kim Dare, 4 of 5 Stars

Morning folks. My sis is in town this week for the first time since December, so I'll be cheating the blog content juuuuust a little by posting some book reviews I did on Goodreads, and maybe some picspam. (Are you tired of Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy yet? Because I have a whole folder of hot naked guys who are not them; I just haven't felt compelled to open it lately ;-p)

Anyway, today I want to share a review for a delightful M/M BDSM book, Duck! by Kim Dare.

A modern day M/M, BDSM retelling of The Ugly Ducking Fairy Tale using avian shifters. 

Raised among humans, Ori Jones only discovered he was an avian shifter six months ago. Unable to complete a full shift until he reaches his avian maturity, he still can’t be sure of his exact species. 

But with species comes rank, and rank is everything to the avians. When a partial shift allows the elders to announce that they believe Ori to be a rather ugly little duckling, he drops straight to the bottom rung of their hierarchy. 

Life isn’t easy for Ori until he comes to the attention of a high ranking hawk shifter. Then the only question is, is Ori really a duck—and what will his new master think when the truth eventually comes out?

My review, beneath the jump.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Chatting with Cassie Exline

Here to wrap up the 2011 All Things Romantic Suspense Tour is author Cassie Exline, who'll be dishing on all things writing and her latest release, Ruby's Deadly Secret. I'm a huge fan of the cover art for this, so let's get started, as always, with the cover and blurb.

What do you get when you add a ruby, diary, secrets, and a mansion? A motive for murder. Sheryl Locke Holmes and her best friend, Dot Watson, have been offered an exciting opportunity to explore Bridgeside, a Victorian mansion, to search for items for their antique shop. Their adventure is short-lived when they discover a diary containing dark secrets and a newspaper clipping with a warning written in what appears to be blood. They get trapped in the attic, Dot is attacked and they find out the owner died inside the house. As if that isn't enough, Jake is spotted with another woman. Clues are pointing to Sheryl as the next target, no matter who gets in the way.

Sound interesting? We've got an excerpt and an interview with Cassie, beneath the jump.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blurb Time!

Morning folks! Crescendo edits are chugging along, and I took a break from them this afternoon to write a blurb for Jungle Heat. I still don't know when the story will be posted, but because I am a merciless tease, allow me to share some plotline with you for this story that is not yet available ;D

It takes a special kind of soldier to kill a man at a thousand meters. But for Captain Pete Miller, one-third of an elite Army Ranger sniper team, zeroing in is nothing compared to coming out. Pete’s been nursing a year-long crush on team member Mitchell Walsh, but even with DADT on its last legs, he continues to guard his heart and his unit’s cohesion.

After all, there’s no room for distraction in the field. Especially on their latest mission, a five-week recon through the ass end of the Colombian jungle. They have orders to assassinate the head of the Morales drug cartel. One bullet, quiet and clean. No firefight, no witnesses, no hint of American involvement.

But the mission goes FUBAR when Pete is captured by the enemy. Try though they might to persuade him, he refuses to give up his team. Luckily for Pete, his team refuses to give up on him either, and the mission he thought would cost him his life might instead buy him a whole new future with the man he loves.

* * * * *

That's it for today, folks. I'd say I'm sorry to tease you, but you and I both know that's not true ;-)

EDIT: In a stroke of rather perfect timing, the story has been posted.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Song of the Fallen Fanfiction Contest!

My amazing publisher is outdoing their amazing selves with a very cool contest in celebration of the upcoming Crescendo release: they are holding a Song of the Fallen fanfiction contest, and the first prize is a 50-page manuscript critique!

I'm a huge fan of fanfiction. It's where I got my start in gay romance (Mulder/Krycek first, then Sheppard/McKay, and now Erik/Charles), and I'm absolutely tickled at the prospect of people coming to play in my Song of the Fallen sandbox. So, if the thought has ever crossed your mind, now's the time. You could write . . .

  • A prequel piece exploring Ayden's or Rik's life before they met. Maybe Rik as a child, or Ayden as a newly minted soldier. Maybe the day Ella was born, or the day Rik's father died, or Rik's first day at the academy at High Court (because, oh man, we all know boys' boarding schools are basically pornos waiting to happen ;-p).

  • A sequel piece speculating about what happens after the events of Counterpoint.

  • A piece exploring a missing scene in Counterpoint. Maybe one of those sex scenes that fades to black, or what really goes on between Ayden and Afi in that red cedar at the beginning of the story, or Ella's first meeting with Kona, or... well, you get the point.

  • A POV shift of an already-written scene. Ever think about how Rik's and Ayden's many arguments looked to Lord Lini? Or what Rik's groom was thinking when they were making love in the next room? Or maybe what it was like for Corporal Ekkja to see elven magic in action for the first time as Ayden fights in the Surge? Or what Rik felt and saw and thought while he was playing violin for Ayden that first time?

Anyway, that's just a few ideas. I'm sure you all can think of many more. Stories need not be erotic, of course, but hey, I'd never turn away smut ;D Feel free to get as dark or indulgent (did someone say hurt/comfort? :D) or even (*gasp*) as fluffy as you want. 

There are three prizes up for grabs: a reader favorite, a publisher favorite (that includes me and my editors), and a door prize. The publisher favorite wins a 50-page critique of an original manuscript--and, of course, the possibility of getting said manuscript published at Storm Moon Press. Don't have an original manuscript? Don't worry; the SMP editors will happily offer constructive feedback on your fanfic offering, plus you'll win an autographed copy of Crescendo and a $20 gift certificate.

There are lots of other neat prizes up for grabs too. And my undying love, of course. Because let's face it--nothing's quite so humbling and flattering and just plain awesome as sitting back and relaxing while other people take your characters out to play.

All the rules are here, at the SMP forum. You do need to register for the forum to participate in the contest, but if you want to post your story anonymously, simply register under a pseudonym.

Want to discuss? Share your enthusiasm? Or maybe share a plot bunny that needs a good home? Just leave a comment below :-) And please--spread the word! Tweet it, Facebook it, blog it, mention it on Goodreads. Then come back here and tell me where you posted it, and I'll enter you in a drawing for a big fat box of awesome Song of the Fallen swag. If lots and lots of people spread the word, said box may even contain an autographed copy of Counterpoint.  

Friday, July 15, 2011

Shiny New Cover Art for a Shiny New Free Story!

Remember the M/M Romance Group's Hot Summer Days event I mentioned last week, full of free gay romance and erotica stories from some of your favorite authors in the genre? 

My story's not up yet (but coming soon, I'm told), but I do have some shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny new cover art for it from the brilliant LC Chase (who also did the cover art for Sublime), and it's so lovely I couldn't wait to share it with you all.

Oh sniper, you mil-dotted your way right to my heart. . . . Wait, that's bad.

Have a lovely weekend folks!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mid-week Hotties :D

Crescendo edits are due in about three weeks, and between that and the Seekrit Project (more on that soon!) I'm doing with Aleks Voinov and another lovely M/M writer, I'm a bit crunched for time. So of course that means picspam instead of a real blog post :D

I'm still on a total XMFC kick, so I bring you James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender being drop dead sexy, plus some fun animated gifs, beneath the jump.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Guest Blog: Worldbuilding in Urban Fantasy: Quick and Dirty

Morning all! Today we have author Amanda Arista in the house to talk about worldbuilding in the UF genre and her new book, Diaries of an Urban Panther. She's also here to give away a $25 Amazon or B&N gift certificate to one lucky commenter on her blog tour, so be sure to leave a comment (with email--more info on that below).

As always, let's begin with a blurb and cover art, and then I'll turn the floor over to Amanda for her insightful post on crafting worlds in Urban Fantasy and a hot little excerpt of her new novel.

Violet Jordan thought the fairy tales her mother wove were just a way to get Violet to sleep, not a way to prepare her for the apocalypse she is the key to preventing. When she becomes a midnight snack for werepanther Spencer Haverty, his infectious bite invokes the first element of her destiny. When Violet's budding instincts allow her to save a boy’s life, she realizes this new gig may come with perks: a slimmer figure, the attention of a handsome Guardian, and insights into her future embedded in her mother's stories. But as push comes to claws, can Violet make the fatal strike against the men threatening her new family, her new home and her first boyfriend in ages?

Coming soon: Book Two of the Diaries of an Urban Panther, Dec 2011

And now to Amanda, beneath the jump.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Heap of Free Gay Romance Stories with Hot Summer Days!

Yep, it's that time of year again! Roughly 130 of your favorite M/M romance authors have gotten together via the Goodreads M/M Romance group to take requests from readers and write stories of "coming out in love, being out in love, and committing out in love." All in the spirit of the M/M Romance slogan: Don't Read In the Closet.  

This is the second M/M Romance free reads project. You might remember the first from last December, when 25 authors got together to write stories for Stuff My Stocking (download it free at Goodreads or ARe). 

This year, we have roughly five times the fun, but the setup was the same: Readers used both a photo and a related text prompt to make requests to the writing community at large, and writers beat and clawed and scratched at each other to snatch up their favorites. (I lost out on three perfect photo prompts before I finally landed the one I ended up loving and writing.) 

Be sure to keep an eye on the Hot Summer Days thread all through July and August, where the mods will be posting twenty-thousand words' worth of new stories each and every day! Already-posted stories include reader favorites like Kim Dare and Jade Archer, and there are stories yet to come from AJ Llewellyn, KZ Snow, Aleks Voinov, Clare London, Amy Lane, Mark Alders, and over a hundred more! And, of course, me ;-)

Speaking of me, here's the photo prompt I picked:

I'm sure you'll be shocked--shocked!--to hear that when this photo went up, people actually came looking for me on Twitter to make sure I wouldn't miss it. Thank you to those folks--you know who you are :-D

And here's a little teaser of my story to come. I don't know when it's going up, so if you want to read the rest of it, you'll just have to check back in the Hot Summer Days thread and read through all those awesome free stories until mine comes up. A terrible hardship, I know. And no excuses about not belonging to Goodreads or the M/M Romance group--it's easy, fun, free, and as friendly as folks can possibly get.

But enough with the alliteration. Here's a page from Jungle Heat, below the jump.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Guest Blog: Breaking Mythology with Louisa Bacio

Morning all! I know a Thursday post is unexpected, but I had so many wonderful guests to feature this week that the only way to bring them all to you was to post an extra day :-)

So today let's welcome Louisa Bacio to the blog. She's here chatting about her new M/M/F book, The Vampire, the Witch, & the Werewolf: A New Orleans Threesome, and she brought a three-page excerpt with her for you to, er, sink your fangs into. She's also giving away a free ebook copy to one lucky commenter, so be sure to say hi, and leave your email address so we can contact you if you win. (And if you haven't checked out yesterday's guest post yet, you'll definitely want to--there's a Kindle up for raffle!)

Before I turn the floor over to Louisa, just a quick reminder that today's the last day of the Where He Belongs release party blog tour, and I'll be at three places today, giving out prizes at all of them! For the complete list of blogs--many of which are still open for prize drawings--check out this post.

And now for The Vampire, the Witch, & the Werewolf with Louisa Bacio.

Haunted by paranormal abilities that she can't control, and plagued by nightmares about a demon that seeks her soul, Lily Anima travels to New Orleans in search of salvation.

In the French Quarter, Lily dives into the paranormal world and enlists the help of an unlikely couple: a vampire, Lawrence Justice, and a werewolf, Trevor Pack.

As the trio encounters ghosts, voodoo and unspeakable evil, will Trevor and Lawrence be able to help Lily turn her powers into a gift rather than a curse? And when Lily discovers that she needs to lose her virginity in order to embrace her powers and get the demon off her back, will the twosome be able to survive as a threesome?

Read the excerpt, beneath the jump.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chat and WIN A KINDLE with Minette Meador!

Morning folks! Today we have guest-blogger Minette Meador in to chat with us about worldbuilding in her new release, A Ghost of a Chance. She's here as part of an extensive blog tour, and at the end of it she's giving away a Kindle to one lucky commenter and a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate to a second commenter, so be sure to visit all her stops and say hello--each comment gets you an entry into the prize drawing.

As always, let's begin with the cover art and the blurb.

Keenan Swanson is your typical, everyday graphic designer. Well, except for the hundreds of pesky, prank-loving poltergeists that make his life interesting (in a Chinese curse sort of way). He finds his situation precarious yet manageable—until witty, smoking-hot coworker Isabella enters the scene and Keenan decides he wants her all for himself. With a horny succubus who has other ideas, a burly city cop determined to lock Keenan away, and an evil entity who’s hell-bent on using Keenan’s seed to create a living demon, the reluctant psychic realizes he just might not come out of this alive—or with heart intact.

Sound fun? Here's a little tease of an excerpt--and one that'll fit right in for readers of this blog ;-)

Keenan headed down Thirty-second Street, turned left onto Hawthorn, and ran like an antelope with a lion biting his tail.
When he hit the crowd outside Taps at full speed, he came to a crashing halt and sailed to the ground, taking down two brawny beer drinkers, their respective girlfriends, and an innocent table that was sitting there minding its own business. Four obviously filled pints of stout flew through the air and the contents rained down on the struggling quintet in a dark brown shower, soaking all of them. Two of the empty pints hit Keenan squarely on the back of the head, one after the other.
The tangled pile of human beings and beer began to disentangle itself, but Keenan’s head was spinning wildly. So wildly, in fact, that he didn’t feel himself roughly yanked to his feet and then off of them, or see the swollen fist appear out of thin air until it was too late. All he heard was a distant son of a bitch and the sound of meaty flesh striking cheekbone.
The sparklers that gleamed in front of his eyes reminded him of the Fourth of July on the coast. He found himself down on the ground again.
“…you stupid prick!” The words soaked into his stupor and he squinted up to see six-foot-six of angry male mountain, a pleading red head attached to the man’s arm.
Not that it would have stopped another blow, but Keenan forced his hands into the submissive position and tried to find his voice. “Oh, man…” he said to the mountain. “I’m really sorry. Are you all right?”

And now let's turn things over to Minette, beneath the jump.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Release Day!

Yay, Where He Belongs is officially out today! It's up now on ARe and Amazon (but please consider buying it directly from the publisher if you're interested, as Amazon keeps 65% of the sale price :O !), and it's already gotten some lovely reviews: 4.75 stars at Reviews by Jessewave, 4 stars at Amara's Place, and 5 stars at Between the Covers. Does that mean I can say the critics are raving? ;-D

Anyway, it's just $1.99 and a great introduction to the Belonging universe, even if you haven't read Anchored. I'm popping into a bunch of blogs giving out free books and swag and talking about the Belonging 'verse and writing in general (I'm particularly amused by my stop at LC Chase's), so I hope you'll join me along the way. Don't forget to comment for a chance to win something at every stop!

In other news, I went to the Fantasy, Future, & Paranormal Gathering tonight at the RWA national convention. I was unable to attend the rest of the convention, but it was nice to jaunt into Manhattan and meet a whole bunch of new writers and editors, several of whom attended the Gathering in superhero costume (photos to come when I'm less exhausted). I also got to meet my writing buddy Kari Gregg in person for the first time tonight, which was most excellent. She and I met up with the electric Damon Suede after the Gathering and nursed drinks for almost three hours in a fabulous little restaurant staffed by gay male models (I shit you not). God, I love New York :D

And because it's apparently become A Thing I Do, let's wrap this up with your daily dose of Michael Fassbender, beneath the jump.

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