Hi everyone – Sorry I haven’t been able to post any personal stuff lately. Since I opened Ai Press, working as a publisher leaves less time for writing. But I assure you I am hard at work on the next White Tigers book, Men of Tokyo: Forbidden Cravings. If you’ve read the series, then you’ll know the gorgeous twins, Mod and Tatou haven’t had their story told yet. So please, stay tuned for that!
In the meantime, in case you haven’t heard, this is my latest release with hot M/M author D.H. Starr. We are pleased and happy to bring you our favorite theme in this collection of novellas. My story, Blind Love is set in the same world as Flying Fish. If you’ve read that story, you’ll remember Genji’s fellow kabuki acting troupe member Aoki, who helped Genji with his makeup and covered for him when his lover came to see him in his dressing room. Well, Aoki doesn’t get his own samurai ry, BUT, he plays a key (and enticing role) in this story as well. Hope you’ll check it out!
Friends to Lovers
Authors: D.H. Starr; Sedonia Guillone
Genre: M/M; Anthology
You pay: 5.79
What do an advertising executive, an Olympic skater and an 18th century samurai have in common? Each is in love with his best friend and knows he’s found his soul mate. But is Fate destined to give him his heart’s desire? A timeless theme explored in three sizzling M/M stories by two of today’s favorite authors, D.H. Starr and Sedonia Guillone.
It Was Always You (D.H. Starr) A drama club geek and a consummate jock—hardly a formula for friendship. Yet Caleb Richards and Kevin O’Brien have been best friends since high school. Kevin’s free spirited ways brought Caleb out of his shell, and Caleb introduced Kevin to a world outside of sports. When Kevin came out to Caleb as gay, all the things he’d thought were wrong about himself suddenly seemed right…except for his inability to say the four words that could open the door to his ultimate happiness: I love you, Kevin. Years later, when Caleb finally faced his fear and plans to finally tell Kevin, “It was always you,” he’s a bit too late: Kevin tells him he’s found someone. How will a friendship ever become more now?
Blind Love (Sedonia Guillone) After a harrowing seventeen-year separation, Hirata Morimasa leaves his home and secure future to search for his childhood friend, Sho. Blinded by illness when they were children, Sho was sent away, apprenticed to a blind masseur (an anma) to learn his trade, and then disappeared. Desperate to find the other half of his heart and soul, Hirata willingly sacrifices the prestige and security of his father’s dojo to find him. When an anma who looks exactly like Sho crosses his path in front of a gambling parlor one day, the man flatly denies he is Sho. Hirata knows better and is determined to get the truth…and to get back the friend he’d lost. However, even though Hirata knows in his bones this man is his soul mate, Sho has…changed…in ways Hirata could not have prepared for in his wildest imaginings, changes that could continue to keep them apart…forever.
Skating For Gold (D.H. Starr) Joined by sorrow, Olympic figure skating hopeful Devon Hayes met champion Lance Dawes at a time when both their worlds were falling apart. Devon lost his mother to cancer and Lance’s family rejected him for being gay. When Devon leaves for college, a door seems to close on any hopes for something more than friendship…until Fate provides a second chance. Devon returns home to train with Lance. As the Olympic trials draw closer and their love grows stronger, the tug-of-war between desire and ambition threatens to ruin everything. If they can’t discover what matters most, they might end up with nothing.
I’m so excited and honored to have Black Lace author (and fellow Gackt lover), Madelynne Ellis on my blog in an exclusive interview. Yay!
Zodiac sign: Cancer, Water Ox
Favorite foods: Cheese, Chocolate, Olives
Music: Gackt and far too many other things to list.
Authors: Winston Graham, JRR Tolkien
Films: Labyrinth, Infernal Affairs, Ashura, Dangerous Liaisons
SG: Hi Madelynne. Thanks so much for being on my blog today.
ME: Hi Sedonia, and thanks for having me. I feel all honoured.
SG: I’ll start with the question all erotic romance authors are asked: What got you into writing this genre?
ME: Well, back in the mid-nineties a friend of mine found the Black Lace book I was reading and suggested that I have a go at writing one. I had no writing aspirations at the time, but it sounded like an interesting idea, so I sent off for their guidelines, and rather a long time later they published my first book – A Gentleman’s Wager. Now, I can’t imagine writing a book that doesn’t include sex in some form, both the act and the complex emotions that surround it are such a large part of who we are.
SG: This is the question I love to ask. Do you have certain guys who inspire the heroes in your books?
ME: I don’t particularly go looking for people who resemble my heroes, but occasionally I stumble upon someone who makes me go, ‘That’s .’ And then I will collect pictures of them. Jonathan Rhys Meyers with long hair always reminds me of Vaughan from A Gentleman’s Wager and Phantasmagoria, while this image (1) of Gackt is exactly how I imagine Takeshi in his wedding outfit in Dark Designs. Gackt in this guise was very definitely the starting point for Blaze in Broken Angel (in Possession). Actually, much of the story was inspired by his promo video for the song Vanilla.
SG: As you know, I’m particularly fond of Takeshi from Dark Designs. Can you talk a bit more about the inspiration for this character as well as the story in general?
I’m not really sure why I decided to have a Japanese character in Dark Designs, other than it seemed appropriate to the setting. The book is about Remy Davies a gothic fashion designer with a yaoi fetish. I wanted to make Takeshi unashamedly geeky but in a cool, slightly aggressive way. A lot of the elements of his character (and those of the others) are references to comics, manga and anime, for example his silver-blue hair and bosozoku (biker gang) background. Really I suppose that book is populated with exaggerations of characters I’ve encountered through life. It was enormously fun to write.
Curiously, many of the video game, comic and music references I included, I expected to be asked to remove in the revisions phase. The fact that they made it to the published version makes me all kinds of happy.
SG: Readers may not know that you won Best Male-Male Sex Scene Scarlet Magazine, 2006 Erotic Fiction Awards for a scene between Takeshi and the other hero Silk. I did love that scene myself! Was writing m/m something that has just come naturally to you or has there been a process of discovering that this is a genre that you love writing in?
I think I’m just wired that way. From the outset, I’ve included m/m scenarios in my work, although until recently I’d never written anything longer than a short story that was entirely m/m focussed. I tend to veer towards the ménage a trois in longer works as it allows for loads of conflict. However, I’m currently finishing up a Regency set story about two men forced to spent a night together in a haunted folly and that’s entirely m/m. Hopefully, someone will love it enough to publish it.
SG: I know that you also enjoy writing historicals. What periods do you favor and why? I’m currently reading A Gentleman’s Wager and I’m impressed by how vividly you evoke the period. How much research do you need to do to achieve this?
My favourite era to write in is definitely Georgian England. There’s such a lot going on in the world, you have rigid social divisions, and most importantly fantastic clothes. I particularly love men’s costumes from that period, as they’re so lavish and pretty with their abundance of beads, buttons, ribbons and lace. The illusion of androgyny fascinates me. I love that the men look like butterflies, but are still sword-carrying alphas underneath it all. Oh, and of course the strength and beauty image feeds straight into my whole fascination with bisexuality.
As for how much research I do… Well, I have a broad idea of the time so I tend to just research specific details as required. I’ve made period costumes in the past, and being in England I have numerous castles and great houses virtually on my doorstep if I want a bit of inspiration. Obviously, there’s a lot to account for, but the most research heavy book I’ve written was actually Passion of Isis, which is a contemporary set on an archaeological dig in Egypt.
SG: What are you currently working on?
I’m still tidying up Pure Folly (mentioned above) and I’m busy outlining the next book in the A Gentleman’s Wager series. I’m keeping the title secret, but this book will wrap up Vaughan, Bella and Lucerne’s story. It takes place shortly after the conclusion of Phantasmagoria and will be very relationship based.
SG: What releases do we have to look forward to in the near future and could you please share a snippet of something for us?
No definite release date for anything in the future at the moment except for a short story, El Alquimista, in Love at First Bite.
This is a snippet from Phantasmagoria.
‘Let go!’ Bella fought against Vaughan’s hold, but remained trapped between the flexing steel of his warm body and the wall. Vaughan quashed her cries, forcing his tongue into her mouth and kissing her hard.
Nobody else ever kissed her with the same knee-buckling intensity, with a taste that washed straight to her quaint. She’d never been able to resist his kiss. Never.
‘Get off me,’ she snarled, when he finally pulled back for air.
‘Not yet.’ He locked an arm across his chest, while his body still pressed against her as unyielding as pig iron, and with his free hand he lifted her hem.
Her arousal exposed, Bella turned her head away from his scalding breath. ‘I’m not your plaything. Not even your mistress.’
‘You’re my lover.’ His breath troubled the pulse point in her throat. ‘If not my mistress, what are you, some slattern that needed a bed for a night?
She snapped her teeth at him, but he merely laughed and pushed his fingers into her heat. His thumb worked bitter circles around her clitoris, driving her onto her toes, gasping for breath. Arousal so thick it felt like bellyache knotted her lower half. Slickly, his fingers worked their magic, driving her to the brink of joy, and transforming sharp words into sharper breaths.
She couldn’t speak. She felt his cock lying unbearably hard against her hip, so full of promise.
‘Sing for me, my nightingale. Come.’ He dragged his lips down the side of her neck and sucked. She couldn’t fight it. Shards of frosty hatred cracked into sparklers of delight. The swirl of his thumb, the twist of his fingers brought such sweet, swift pleasure, her limbs trembled.
Bella’s pulse raced with need and expectation. She managed to win one arm free, and immediately dug her fingers into his bottom. The muscles clenched and unclenched as he rocked against her thigh, taking his pleasure from the friction. The dance of their bodies slowed, as her breaths became shallow and ragged. Everything was concentrated in her clit and the tingle of her nipples. The whole world seemed to contract into one point as she gasped into his chest and her orgasm rendered her soft and pliant.
Bella snuggled against his shoulder, her eyes wet with tears, content for a moment to simply exist in his embrace.
‘Now you’re even.’ Vaughan disentangled their bodies, and stepped back. ‘Don’t ever presume to tell me whom I can bed in my own house.’
She felt the blood return to her face. Her eyes narrowed, but so did Vaughan’s. Was this battle of wills really what she wanted? She longed for Lucerne’s easy smile, the safety of his embrace.
Vaughan was the most exciting, sexually aggressive man she’d ever met. The most perverse, the most infuriating, and it hurt to love him.