Category Archives: LGBT

Cover Reveal: Just a Week by Jena Wade

 

JenaWade_JustAWeek_COVERLG

Release: July 14th, 2016

Publisher: Loose Id

Blurb:

Just a week is not enough time to fall in love, but Fate doesn’t care. Seth’s carefully crafted plan for how his life will go doesn’t include falling in love with a guy in his horrible hometown. He wants to start a new life anywhere but at home. Until Maddox storms in with his multi-colored hair and carefree attitude.

Long distance relationships don’t work and Seth isn’t into gambling with his future. But the more time he spends with Maddox, the more he’s willing to throw caution to the wind. Now his plan for the rest of his life has been turned upside down and seems to include things Seth never thought possible, including a lifetime of happiness in his hometown.

 

Excerpt:

I headed out the door and grabbed the book I started a few days ago out of my car. In high school I would always go to the park and read when it was nice out. My parents were happy knowing I got fresh air, and I was happy just to get lost in the world of whatever book had captured my attention.

I found my usual bench unoccupied. Thank goodness. It sat underneath a giant oak tree that provided a good amount of shade. About a hundred feet away sat a set of playground equipment for kids. Since it was Sunday evening, there weren’t many kids around.

The screech and clicks of skateboards on metal had me looking around like I’d just entered a parallel universe. What the hell?

Where there used to be old basketball hoops with raggedy nets, there now stood a half-pipe and other random obstacles used for skateboarding tricks. A half dozen teenagers and young adults whizzed around each other. Some on boards, others on rollerblades. All of them moving at high speed.

There was a lot of laughing, and every so often someone shouted, “Check this out,” before trying some stunt on the rail, usually resulting in a fall or stumble.

Squealing kids on a swing set I could drown out. But this, I wasn’t so sure about. It was new. And distracting.

One young man in particular stood out. Mostly because he had bright orange hair that spiked in every direction, possibly looking like it could impale a person if they were to touch it. Like a cactus. He also looked a bit older than the teenagers that surrounded him, which might explain why they all seemed to look up to him like he was a god.

He wore a black zip-up sweatshirt, though it was warm enough to go without, and jeans that were skintight.

Once I started watching him, I noticed that the other skaters watched him too. He had talent. He kept his balance well, and his moves seemed effortless. While the other skaters floundered and wobbled as they zoomed around, he kept calm and collected.

I didn’t understand the appeal of skateboarding, especially on a half-pipe. What was the purpose of putting yourself in harm’s way like that? Might as well throw myself down a flight of stairs if I wanted to break a bone.

Orange-haired Guy stood on the deck of the half-pipe. He stared down the slope below, his face unreadable. He didn’t call the others to gather around and watch, though I had a feeling they would anyway.

He took a deep breath and hopped on his board.

I held my breath, like I was the one up there. I watched in wonder as he gained momentum, back and forth, up and down the half-pipe. Once he had enough speed he began his flips. It looked amazing to me. Him flipping in the air, his feet staying on the board as he spun, then landing perfectly to do it all over again. I guess I had never bothered to watch any skateboarding before. Maybe I would have if they had looked like this skateboarder.

My nose pressed against the chain-link fence that surrounded the skate park before I even realized I had walked closer. At least I started breathing again.

He stopped just as quickly as he started. Landing back on the deck of the half-pipe, like he hadn’t just done something incredible. And maybe it wasn’t to him; maybe that was just another day in the life. To me it was pretty cool.

The other skaters around cheered and gave him high fives as he made his way through the park. Just like that, he left. He hit the sidewalk and hopped back on to his board, flying down the street like it was made for him.

I snapped out of it. What the hell just happened? I don’t gawk. I never gawk.

I rushed back to my regular bench, picked up my book, and headed home, no longer in the mood to read. At least not outside. At home inside my room there wouldn’t be any distractions. Visions of the orange-haired guy floated through my head, and I couldn’t shake them. I blamed the jet lag.

Never mind the fact that I didn’t fly home. Nor did I go through any time zones. Traveling had tired me out, and I wasn’t thinking straight.

Just a week. Then I would be back where I belonged and where things were normal. Routine. The way I liked it.

 

Bio:

Jena Wade began writing in January of 2013 as a New Year’s resolution and so far she has stuck to it.

Jena lives in Michigan with her husband, two dogs, and one brand new baby boy. By day she works as a web developer and at night she writes. She was born and raised on a farm and spends most of her free time outdoors, playing in the garden or tending to her landscaping.

Links:

The Jena Wade: www.thejenawade.com

Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/authors/erotic-romance-authors-g-k.html?cat=699

Twitter: thejenawade.twitter.com

 


Balancing Act is Out! #giveaway #MMRomance

 

balancingact

It’s here! It’s here! It’s really, really here!

I’m so excited for everyone to catch up with Kyrie and Greg, and to meet Andy–finally!

 

Blurb:

Greg Dwyer and Kyrie Li are living the glorious couple life in New York City. Or are they? When struggling actor Kyrie lands a modeling job, he’s ecstatic to have extra cash to spend on his best-friend-turned-boyfriend.

Of course, Greg is suspicious Anders Berglund, the gorgeous and androgynous Swedish cover model the designers love to pair with Kyrie, is after his man. And maybe Kyrie encourages a growing closeness with the guy?

Greg is probably to blame if Kyrie is drawn to the openly gay and seriously beautiful Andy. With Andy, Kyrie can be himself, as loud and proud as he’s always been. But Greg’s sexuality stays firmly locked in the closest except when he’s with Kyrie’s supportive family or alone with the man he loves.

To make matters worse, Greg’s out-of-touch mom meets with financial ruin and moves in with the couple, forcing him into the closet in his own home.

Can Greg find a way to stand up to Mommy Dearest and win back a love he fought so hard to reach? He discovers the road to pride begins at home and with accepting oneself first. Otherwise, it’s just a dead-end street.

Excerpt:

Two changing screens filled a large portion of the next room. A woman stood at the rack of clothes, organizing and examining them. She beckoned Kyrie over. He recognized some of his attire hanging before her.

“I’m not confident about the fit in the chest, Daphne.” A soft voice with a delightful Nordic lilt came from behind the screen to his right.

The tall brunette turned. “Let’s see. I can take it in if need be.” Daphne put her hands on her hips, and Anders Berglund stepped out. He wore a black ball gown with ebony feathers accenting the bodice. They created a starkly jagged edge against his bare skin. The material gapped before his pale chest, and Daphne was immediately behind him, tugging, marking the fabric with a piece of chalk.

“Hey.” Anders smiled and waved his fingers at Kyrie. “Pleasure to meet you. Ky-ree, right?”

“Close. Rhymes with dearie.”

“Kyrie,” Anders tried again. The subtle extra accent on the first syllable didn’t belong but pleased Kyrie immensely.

He grinned like a fool. “That’s me. I’m absolutely-positively-beyond-excited to be working with you.” He stepped forward, hand out, and Anders Berglund took the offering. His grip wasn’t overly firm, soft skin hiding delicate bones beneath.

“My agent sent me your test shots once he found out we were working together.” The words were slow and measured, especially striking on the heels of Kyrie’s run-on exclamation. Anders’ accent hinted of British influence on certain words. Must have learned the Queen’s version. “The camera really loves you.”

“I’m just hoping not to look like a troll next to the world’s current it model.” Kyrie knew he was attractive; he could claim pretty even, with the slight Asian slant to his unusual amber eyes. They popped against the light brown of his skin, accented further by thick, long lashes every woman he met was jealous of.

But Anders Berglund was flawless. His face was already made up: kohl-ringed turquoise eyes framed with what had to be fake lashes, his skin powdered to pale perfection, and berry-red lips with just the right amount of fullness and a perpetual sexy pout whether he was dressed as a man or a woman. His bone structure was impeccable, including high cheeks and the graceful neck to go with his six-foot-tall, ultra-thin frame. Straw-blond hair was piled on his head, escaped locks artfully framing his face. Women wished they looked like him. Men wanted to fuck him, at least until they realized the gorgeous supermodel was actually a man downstairs. And certainly, some men were still hot for him afterward.

Anders Berglund was far from Kyrie’s type, but he could appreciate iconic beauty when it stared back.

“Hah. I don’t think you could ever be a troll.” Anders scratched his shoulder with two fingers where the tip of a feather had to be driving him insane.

“I’m tempted to do stick-on boobs.” Daphne yanked tight again. “But Syd wants you completely feminine with your natural parts. She likes how skinny you are.”

“Whatever she wants.”

“Yeah, I’ll stitch this up a bit tighter.” She unzipped the back of the dress and slid it down. Anders stepped out and stood in black stockings held up by a garter with matching briefs. He waved at Kyrie, all bright white skin, jutting ribs, long limbs, and sharp hip bones. He looked breakable despite his height, like a piece of fine china.

“Get dressed,” Daphne snapped at Kyrie. “We don’t want to keep Syd waiting.”

“I would have come an hour early just to avoid hearing that a thousand times.”

Anders’ mouth twitched up. Daphne glared.

The off-white tux behind the other screen wasn’t part of the stash of clothes Kyrie had taken home. He’d been measured at the callback, and the powers that be had custom ordered additional pieces. He slipped into the slim-leg cream pants. If the benefactors of the Spectrum Spectacular truly had cut corners with some of the underthings, the suit was an exception. It draped precisely over his hips, and he twisted to check his ass in the full-length mirror in the center panel of the screen. The silk shirt pressed cool kisses to his chest with every movement he made.

In shape from almost daily running, Kyrie normally relied on skintight pants and formfitting shirts to best display his attributes, but this designer-cut clothing thing he could totally get used to. He scrutinized his butt again as he shrugged into the jacket with black-trimmed lapel.

If Greg could see me now…

Kyrie knotted the black bow tie and stepped out wearing a grin and a kick-tail tux. Daphne was fussing with Anders again, his ball gown back in place.

“What do you say, Andy? May I have this dance?” He swept into a low bow.

Anders gave a soft laugh. “Of course.”

“You’ll need your lifts first.” Daphne pointed toward a pair of black dress shoes. The soles were at least an inch thicker than normal.

“Huh.” Kyrie stepped into the shoes, grumbling and shooting death rays with his eyes. Daphne finished with Anders, and it was Kyrie’s turn to be plucked like a Thanksgiving turkey. By the time she sent him out to the first shoot staging, Kyrie had begun to wonder why anyone would want to be a model.

 


Find Balancing Act:

Liquid Silver Publishing

Amazon

All Romance eBooks

Google Play

iTunes

Kobo

Add Balancing Act to Goodreads!

 

 

***To celebrate the release of Balancing Act, I’m giving away a beautiful silver choker necklace with abalone pendant!***

Click away!

necklace
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

 


What I #AmReading

These:

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It’s writing research, not personal (no, my teenager doesn’t have an eating disorder and hopefully never will).

I know this reading list makes Andy’s book sound like a ton of fun. :-/  You’ll just have to trust I’ll find a way to make it amazeballs.

I’ve finished Beyond Magenta. It’s a quick read I’d recommend to anyone who is at all curious about what life can be like for young transgender people. This is just a taste, really, but I think it could be a useful introductory text, especially for parents trying to understand and help their transgender child (some stories are a lesson in what not to do or say, of course). It’s brief (to a fault), but worth the read. I was glad it included some nonbinary viewpoints, though the scope could/should have been much greater, IMO.

Now I’m reading Answers to Anorexia, which addresses nutritional deficits and how they can aggravate the anorexia cycle. Pretty interesting for a grim topic.

In other news, the release day for Balancing Act is June, 27th, so mark your calendars! 🙂 I’ll have a cover reveal soon…but for now, here’s the disguised version. Mwahahahhahahahahha!

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Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses by Heloise West

Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses by Heloise West releases on April 19, 2016. It’s the sequel to Hitting Black Ice, so I recommend you pick up the first in Heloise’s Heart and Haven series right now (if you haven’t already) so you’ll be primed for book two next week. Both novels are action-packed and sure to please any MM mystery lover!

HeloiseWest_SendLawyersGunsandRoses

Blurb:

When Hunter and Alex (formally Shawn) are given the vacation of a lifetime, it’s a chance for them to pay attention to romance and get out of the path of danger. The tiny Caribbean island of Saba is gorgeous, the first to have marriage equality, and the Sabans are the nicest people on earth.

There’s lots of rum poolside for relaxing and a room with a mirror on the ceiling for passion. Hot karaoke nights, cold beer, and new friends.

Their new friends Orfeo and Max, and Max’s sister Talisha, share a troubling secret. Alex and Hunter want to help. As a hurricane bears down on them, a dead body surfaces, and a purple backpack loaded with stolen jewels leads a pair of dangerous men to the island.

Alex would rather poke his own eyes out with a pointy stick than call on his old enemy Nick Truman for help; he’d also do anything to keep Hunter out of danger. But even his nemesis can’t reach them now.

Once again, they only have each other to depend on as their paradise is about to become hell on earth.

 

Hitting Black Ice:heloisewest_hittingblackice

ER physician’s assistant Hunter guards his heart carefully, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for Shawn, the front desk clerk.  He keeps his distance from relationships for a reason, but just can’t help himself when it comes to Shawn.

Shawn is on the run from the law and love to protect himself and anyone else involved. One man is dead because of him, and his life now is simple and easily thrown into a bag at any hint of danger. Until he meets Hunter, and he no longer wants to run.

Forced into a hostage situation, buried passion explodes in the aftermath, and sex in the supply closet brings their hearts back to life. Tentatively, step by step, they begin to explore a relationship together until the past catches up with Shawn.

FBI agent Nick Truman has finally found his man, but when Shawn escapes, he focuses his attention on Hunter. Shawn returns, even though it means sacrificing himself to save Hunter from the man who framed him for murder.

Buy Links:

http://www.loose-id.com/hitting-black-ice.html

http://www.amazon.com/Hitting-Black-Ice-Heloise-West-ebook/dp/B00QJEJ7VO/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hittingblackice-1689874-340.html

 

About Heloise West:

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

Where to find Heloise:

Blogs: https://velvetpanic2.wordpress.com/

Website: http://heloisewest.wix.com/heloisewest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heloise.west.1

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heloisewest/

Email: heloise_67@hotmail.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/velvetpanic

Tumblr: http://heloisewest.tumblr.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8188216.Heloise_West


Debacles and Other Words I Can’t Spell

I’ve been editing this week–like, seriously in the trenches where my editor points out I used look too frequently and so I replace one such occurrence with gazed and search to see where the next nearest gaze falls and it’s too close, so I try peered, but there’s a jeered nearby and it’s too rhymey, so I change it to glanced but glanced at his pants sounds like I ripped it from Dr. Seuss, so I rewrite it to say He picked his nose, because that hasn’t happened yet, I’m quite sure of it, but I’ve already substituted one of a billion pulls for a pick and it’s right. Freakin’. There. FUCK ME! Go back to the start…back. Didn’t I just read that word? I type it into my find box, the entire screen lights up like the Fourth of July, and my head explodes.

This sort of dog-chasing-its-tail crap. All day. For days and days.

Okay. Enough complaining, because the good thing about editing is I’m sending round one (the biggest, baddest round, really) off today after a final spellcheck. And my editor made some glowing comments about Balancing Act (she hasn’t even read Hard Act to Follow and loved Kyrie and Greg’s 2nd installment–so happiness and confetti!).

Oh, and the other great thing about editing?  I missed the latest M/M brouhaha while my eyes were bleeding. Score!

Truly, as much as I enjoy the gossipy aspect of poring over posts and comments and wasting my entire day, I’m happy I (mostly) missed it.

The mostly is because I did happened upon Alexis Hall’s post last night. I decided his lovely breakdown of  the situation was all I really needed, so pardon me if I’m less informed than I should be to write a post alluding to this shit show. 🙂 I’m assuming he outlined the basics, and I’m only weighing in on one minor topic here.

It’s late, and my head exploded earlier, remember?

Anyway, AH’s post reminded me I’d been meaning to take a Kinsey test for years now, but had avoided it because who likes tests? I did it, though (after opening the link and wishing aloud it wasn’t too long). Score again! It was super short, and it turns out I’m bisexual! Sleep with a few girls in your wild and single years and you get a label (and not the “slut” one I usually identified with–hey, I owned it so it didn’t own me).

Kinsey

 

I don’t care in the slightest about labels. I’ve always gone with mostly straight (with plenty of room for persuasion), but I’ve been married to my lovin’ man for, well, forever now, so mostly straight suits fine.

Oh, and while I’m on the bi train, this is a fun site to click around, full of stuff and things. Ride on the bi train, ooo ahhh eeee ahhh ooo ah!

So, my point, if ever I could make one, was AH’s post reminded me of an old review of Forever is Now. Basically, someone had taken offense to my use of “sexual preference.” I immediately asked the only guy (at the time) in the M/M crit group I was in if he thought it was offensive. He didn’t, but said he could see why some people might dislike it. I vowed to never use it again, but had a niggle about why. Of course I don’t want to offend readers. Ever. Times change and perfectly serviceable terms from back in the day become hate speech every so often. It happens, and I try to keep on top of the evolution of language as much as possible.

But my sexuality has always been a thing I decide on. I decided long ago that I mostly like men, and occasionally like women depending on…well, I guess the usual considerations. Personality. Intelligence. Looks. How much alcohol I’d consumed. Never have I hooked up with a random woman at a party (unlike men). They’ve all been women I was friends with. Loved or at least liked a whole hell of a lot. So, clearly there were other factors at play there–a deeper connection than purely physical.

But to act like preference didn’t have a part is silly. Of course it did. I prefer men in the grand scheme of things. I chose a man to hitch my cart to for better or worse. But I could have chosen a woman if the right one had come along and knocked my socks off.

And I’m not saying (and I won’t reiterate AH’s thoughts about gay kids of religious families who grew up having the “IT’S A CHOICE AND YOU’RE MAKING THE WRONG ONE” drilled into them) that some people will (and should) dislike that terminology. I’m just saying it applies to  me and maybe other people, too. I’m going to avoid it out of consideration for those it bothers, but I don’t hate it either. <Plunks down 2 cents.>

 

Okay.

Enough philosophy for one day. I just sent those edits and now I’m going to go exercise this ass so it remains appealing to members of both sexes, you know, depending where they are on the Kinsey scale.

 

-Kimber

 

 

 


Balancing Act is Official! #LGBT #Gay #Romance

I just signed a contract for Balancing Act with Liquid Silver Books! It feels good to be back in the saddle after a rather long writing hiatus, and I’m trying hard not to let the Samhain news tarnish what is usually one of the greatest highs I know. I’m also plugging along on the new book in my Shooting Stars series starring mega-model Andy (who you’ll meet in BA. By the way, I love shortening Balancing Act to BA. Cracks me up). So far so good with the current WIP. You can check out my Pinterest board for Vic, Andy’s smokin’ hot bad boy bodyguard. I’ll keep adding, so feel free to follow along for more of my inspirational photos. 😉 I think you’re going to love these two and I’ve definitely fallen for them, so that certainly makes the writing easier.

To celebrate BA releasing sometime in the next three/four months, I’ll give you a teaser (unedited, of course)kyrie. 🙂

 

Blurb:

Greg Dwyer and Kyrie Li are living the glorious couple life in New York City. Or are they? When struggling actor Kyrie lands a modeling job, he’s ecstatic to be able to pitch in for his share of the mortgage and to plan a secret birthday vacation for his best-friend-turned-boyfriend.

Of course, Greg is suspicious that Anders Berglund, the gorgeous and androgynous Swedish cover model the designers love to pair with Kyrie, is after his man. And maybe Kyrie is encouraging a growing closeness with the guy.

Greg is probably to blame if Kyrie is drawn to the openly gay and seriously beautiful Andy. With Andy, Kyrie can be himself, as loud and proud as he’s always been. But Greg’s

sexuality stays firmly locked in the closest except for when he’s with Kyrie’s supportive family or alone with the man he loves.

To make matters worse, Greg’s out-of-touch mom meets with financial ruin and moves in with the couple, forcing him into the closet in his own home.

Can Greg find a way to stand up to mommy dearest and win back a love he fought so hard to reach? He discovers the road to pride begins at home, and with accepting oneself first. Otherwise, it’s just a dead-end street.

(NSFW) Excerpt:

Kyrie loved being the seductive bottom; getting Greg all worked up with his teasing and flirting. Backing off while Greg simmered. Then Kyrie would stoke him higher, pressing further until Greg eventually broke and became the domineering top. Usually they let the game go for a while, pushing each other’s buttons in their own drawn-out version of foreplay.

The sliver of pain slicing down Kyrie’s crack paired succulently with the throbbing wood pressed against his lower belly. All signs told him they were going straight to sudden death—no warm up, no scrimmage, just hot, fast action. Game on.

“What’re you gonna do to me?”

“I should make you beg.” Greg grabbed Kyrie’s hard-on with his other hand. “Make you drop on your knees and suck me off. Then get me hard again for your turn.” Kyrie whimpered, his mouth filling with saliva. “Get my cock nice and wet before I feed it to that greedy ass of yours.”

“Yes.” It was a husky wanton word, more moan than speech. Kyrie closed his eyes and in the darkness the scruff he adored grazed his chin and cheeks as Greg’s lips covered his. His tongue split Kyrie’s mouth open, not like he didn’t want it, but the coy act was a tough one to break. Well, Greg broke it. Butchered it. Tenderized Kyrie’s tongue with his own until Kyrie’s thighs quivered and the strip of spandex jammed up his ass became another lover he wanted to hump when his pelvic thrusts pitched him away from the hard slab of man rutting against his front.

Greg cupped Kyrie’s balls again. “Whose are these?”

“Yours.” Kyrie’s breath stuttered while Greg dragged fingers over his cock, a bit hard, a bit rough. Absolutely perfect.

“Whose dick it this?” Greg milked precome from Kyrie like a seasoned farmhand, leaning down to bite Kyrie’s lower lip nearly hard enough to draw blood. Kyrie groaned.

“Yours, Greg.”

“Turn around.” In case Kyrie wasn’t about to follow orders, Greg spun him so his palms slapped the wall, his face pressed to cool paint as Greg slid warm hands up and under Kyr’s mesh top. He pinched his erect nipples, eliciting a gasp, and then stroked Kyrie’s satin-covered dick before heading back toward his waistband. Kyrie braced for another tug upward, but Greg surprised him by yanking his underwear down. The burn on his crack flared and abated, and then Greg’s fingers, slick with spit, were drifting down the cleft and pressing against his hole like a balm.

“Whose tight ass is this, Kyr?”

Jealous horny Greg had to be Kyrie’s favorite sex toy. “It can be yours.”

Greg punished, or maybe rewarded him, with a thick pointer finger piercing him fully, no warning. Kyrie sobbed, cheek hitting the wall. Greg’s mouth found his earlobe, biting, and then licking, his finger fucking Kyrie slowly while the hard cock caged in fine wool mimicked the action against Kyrie’s lower back. “Just mine.” Greg growled against his ear, nipping at the delicate skin below before sucking it into his mouth for a second. “You don’t want me marking you for your photo shoot, you better give me the right answer.”

————–

Yay! Sorry for the HUGE wait on this book. Hopefully it will be worth it! 🙂 By the way, if you haven’t read Hard Act to Follow yet, you might want to get on that since Balancing Act continues with Greg and Kyrie’s story (as well as introduces Andy, who gets the next book).

-Kimber

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Free story when you sign up for my totally unspammy newsletter!


Villains with Vaginas

I was on social media the other day (shocking, I know) and stumbled over a thread that piqued my interest. Someone had read a book in which women seemed to be vilified to the point of misogyny. The disappointed reader said it was a theme she’d been running into frequently and numerous other readers chimed in that they had the same issue with MM books. I haven’t read the book in question, so I can’t speak to its content, but women being portrayed negatively in gay romance is hardly a new phenomenon. Readers have been complaining about it for years.

When I first began writing MM, rumblings about women being cast as conniving harpies abounded on review sites–every female in nearly every book was pure evil. Or there were no females in books, in other cases.

Female sorcerer with two troll beasts

Long ago, I vowed to be super conscientious about how my female characters came across. And then I largely washed my hands of the worry. Seriously, I’m the girl who likes to joke that women can’t do X because their vaginas are so cumbersome they get in the way. I used to go to parties in HS to challenge dudes to mercy competitions just to prove what a bad ass I was. Well, and to drink (shot for shot with the guys, of course). Yeah, also to get laid because treating men the way I perceived they’d treated women since the dawn of time–like a piece of meat to be used–was my shtick, I’m rather ashamed to say (they rarely minded, for the record, so I guess I won’t feel too guilty).

My point is, I’m not the girl who thinks women are in any way inferior to men (really–why would any woman think that?). I mean, we squeeze squalling 8 lb beings from our bodies and then we’re like, give me some fucking pizza and let me walk around or I’ll drown you in breast milk. If anything, I’ve got a chip on my shoulder when it comes to how undervalued women are.

Yet, whenever I see these posts, I get paranoid.

I shouldn’t. I know I shouldn’t. I am woman, with better plumbing, carpentry, and electrical skills than most men I know. Hear me roar. I won’t even mention my chest hair (I blame gin).

Oh, but people were complaining about the evil fictional ex-wife! The evil mother-in-law!

Well, I’ve written a character mid-divorce in a nasty custody battle. Yes, his wife came off witchy, but she’d given her best years to a guy and wanted to keep her kid. No, she wasn’t nice to her soon-to-be ex-husband, but I’ve seen more ugly divorces than I can count, and I don’t think a bit of reality is untoward. Guaranteed, if I’d been writing from the ex-wife’s POV, Gio would have looked like a total cobnobbler.

Not that anyone has accused me of defaming women. But the conversation makes me rethink every female character I’ve ever written. Was she too bitter? Did I make all women look bad by writing one woman going through a shitastic stage in her life? Should I never write female characters I wouldn’t want to be friends with IRL? Should I never write a female as an antagonist for fear of being labeled a misogynist?

I have more awesome women than bitchy women in my books, when I do the math. Probably equal amounts antagonistic men to antagonistic women. Realistically, someone needs to be the adversary in contemporary romance.

And then I just wrote a rather unlikable mother-in-law(ish)…

Maybe exes and MILs are overdone at this point. Maybe that’s the problem, in which case, contemporary MM may be overdone too because, well, as I know I’ve complained before, we can’t just pull a (sexless) monster out of our asses to make a villain.

Now, is Greg’s mom in my latest book (Balancing Act~~Coming soon to a website near you! Shameless plug!) absolute evil? No. Not even remotely. Matter of fact, she’s based on a woman I happen to adore. Is she a horse-pill to swallow? Oh, you bet your ass. On the flip side, Kyrie’s mom is a love, she just doesn’t get major screen time in this book. Same for his cool friend, Liv.

Nice can be boring, TBH. Suspense doesn’t come from that totally humorous Comic-Con scene I keep contemplating. A book needs to move forward and then get kicked in the teeth to make it step back. It needs tension. Bad guys and bad girls.

Sigh. No one was complaining about my characters, so I know I shouldn’t get all twitchy about this. And, yes, if I happen to come across a book that makes me think the author hates women, I’ll get way fucking twitchier, but I hate how this conversation makes me think twice about using female characters at all. Much like complaints about authors writing persons of color incorrectly make me nervous about just writing any damn character that comes to mind.

I don’t want to shy away from female characters–or any characters. Occasionally, I even want to write a hard-nosed bitch. Just as sometimes I want to write a psychotic would-be murderer who happens to have a penis. Neither one makes me a misogynist or a misandrist.

I guess I’ll just keep reminding myself of that and follow wherever my characters lead. No fear. After all, they’re in charge–even if that means they come off a little cunty sometimes.

Hey, don’t we all?

-Kimber

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Keeping it Real #amwriting

So, I’m finally nearing the end of my self-edit for Balancing Act. I know I’m suuuuuuper slow, but I like to fool myself into thinking that means it will be better than if I was suuuuuper fast. Right? Here’s to hoping.

Anyway, I’ve been stalled on plans for the next book for a long time now. I’ve got an idea of what will happen–I know Andy’s story fairly well, but this entire time I’ve been dreading writing it because I think it will be hard. Like, really hard. I haven’t been able to plan a love story, because all I can see is darkness. I couldn’t visualize the happy times amid all the issues. Until a few days ago, when I finally got a solid mental picture of my other MC and it all clicked.

I know it will still be hard.

Image courtesy of kangshutters at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of kangshutters at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Andy has baggage, so this book can’t be a walk in the park. I mean, even with that fancy wheeled luggage, he can’t drag it behind him for a stroll around the grounds– not without sore arms and a twinge in his back. Not without mud puddles and dive-bombing pigeons, stray baseballs and rude joggers throwing monkey wrenches at every turn. Hell, I’d just stay home with all my baggage and save myself the trouble.

But it MUST be a walk in the park! It’s a romance, dammit! That’s what I do! No matter how tough my characters have it (and they MUST have it tough, because they are meant to be real–they’re real in my head and I need them real in my readers’ hearts and the only way for that to work is for my guys to bleed), they still deserve the rainbows and cooing doves and ice cream sundaes.

Well, I figured it out (safe for me to say from the only outlining stage). Life isn’t sunshine and roses for any of us, but if we have someone who loves us unconditionally, who wants to make every moment sunbeams and park walks and flowers, well, it will be. Eventually. Certainly some of the time. And hauling all that baggage is easier with an extra set of arms (especially an extremely diesel set of tattooed arms–yes, I’m getting excited about this character. Suffice it to say, I’m having good times on Pinterest fleshing this guy out).

Anyway, all those rough spots will only make the good times better, the rainbows brighter, and the romance sweeter. At least, that’s what I’m banking on.

-Kimber

 

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How About a #Freebie?

I realized this morning I wasn’t going to do a Wednesday post this week because it’s already Thursday. Doh! That MLK day really screwed with my head. I’ve been wonky all week (more wonky than usual, I should say).

The newsletter signup and freebie are a go, after much agony from Calibre for some reason I still haven’t figured out. So, make my pain worthwhile and use this link to sign up for your free e-copy of “The Ferryman Cometh.”

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I won’t spam you, I swear on all that is good and holy. I’ll only send the rare newsletter to let you know when I have something new coming out. Promise. Realistically, I can barely make myself blog, so that should give you an accurate sense of how often I’ll compose newsletters.

Okay, I’ve spent entirely too long in front of a computer today. I’m going to go pour a glass of wine and make some freakin’ meatloaf so kids can tell me it’s yucky in an hour because that’s the kind of day it’s been.

XOXO,

Kimber

 

 

 


Huge #Ebook #Giveaway

usb key

Fellow Liquid Silver author Layna Pimentel cooked up a massive month-long giveaway to celebrate the relaunch of her newsletter. The grand prize is a flash drive with 40 romance e-books of all sub-genres (including my Crossed Hearts). You could be reading for free well into 2016!

Jump on the Rafflecopter link to be in the running:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

By the way, I hope everyone had a phenomenal holiday, and that 2016 will be your best year yet. Sorry I’ve been a shit blogger/writer lately. I make no promises or resolutions, but I’ll see if I can get my crap together once these hobbits climb back on the big yellow angel of mercy. Balancing Act is done and in the editing stage. I’ll put the pedal to the metal in the next few weeks, and try to get that out to my pub and off my plate. ❤

Peace,

Kimber

 

 


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