Monday Musings – How about that Female/Female?

Is F/F romance the next big thing? There are definitely signs that it’s growing in popularity. More and more authors are writing F/F and publishers are increasingly asking for submissions of this Romance sub-genre. I think I understand why women are attracted to M/M romance. It’s a progression of sorts. Waaaay back in the day sweet romance was risque. Then romance was a little less sweet. Then along came erotic fiction. Then BDSM and gay fiction. Let’s face it, many of us like delving into areas that are slightly taboo in our reading. It’s a safe way to buck the system and tickle our fancies. So it makes perfect sense that, after accepting and finding such wonderful value in M/M fiction, women would turn to F/F to explore that action. #:0) I’m guessing many women will enjoy this type of fiction too. Although you don’t get the same complete mental escape you would while reading about two men finding love together, I believe readers will find female romance intriguing.

I do believe female romance will become a larger part of the Romance market in the near future. It makes perfect sense. And besides, there is a side benefit…this type of fiction would most likely bring a LOT more male readers into the romance genre. I’m just sayin’…


Monday Musings – To Angst or not to Angst…

…that appears to be the question in m/m fiction.

I’ve noticed a predominance in contemporary m/m fiction for stories with lots of angst. I’m personally not a great fan of angst. I understand that any good story has some angst in it. Romantic tales are so much more powerful with the inclusion of an anti-happiness theme.  So angst definitely has its place in romance fiction, as it does in real romance. I’m only questioning the levels. More than any other type of romance, m/m fiction is saturated with angst. And, in many cases, these books are very popular.

So it leaves me wondering, does the market inspire all these angsty tomes…or is the demand more organic in nature? There’s no question, gay romance is of a fashion right now. The gay lifestyle is experiencing a wider acceptance than ever before. But like any other concept fighting for acceptance in society, gay romance still bears the scars of that battle. For the human animal, part of healing is tied up in uber-examination of that which wounded us. I think that’s the organic part of how gay romance is portrayed.  As writers, we feel the need to reflect and explore those old wounds. Besides, it can make for great stories.

The market side is less explainable and probably more fickle. Today’s angsty smash hit will most likely be tomorrow’s, “meh” moment. It’s the way of things in the fiction world. But that’s okay. By its very nature, humankind is in a constant state of evolution, each of us evolving at different times in our lives and with different levels of intensity. That’s why fiction can remain popular for decades and even centuries.

And the good news is, like fashion (think bell-bottom pants and tie-die, bleurgh!), if we absolutely hate a current trend we can rest assured that it will pass. And if we love it we know it will come around again!

Happy Reading!

Monday Musings – It’s all About Your Point of View!

Since I started reading Manlove romance, I’ve discovered that much of it is written in first person point of view. This surprises me because, as an author who loves reading and writing first person, I’m constantly told that first person limits your audience. But I have to wonder, since women are statistically the largest buying group of Manlove romance, if there isn’t a reason first person seems to dominate in this genre.

Is it easier for a woman to put herself into the story this way?

Manlove romance is arguably one of the hottest genres right now and has been for some time. Just look at the bestseller lists at any of the etailers and you’ll see that Manlove romance dominates. Women love the genre! At first glance this may seem strange. Why would women enjoy reading about love and sex between two men? Why not between two women?

Maybe these fans love stretching the envelope a bit. Maybe it’s the tang of forbidden fruit that attracts them. Or perhaps they want some insight into how the male mind works. Whatever it is, a well-written Manlove story flies off the shelves, eagerly consumed by a rabid and adoring audience.

But women (and men) who love reading fiction mostly read because they want to escape into someone else’s skin for a while. They like a hero/heroine they can understand as well as identify and commiserate with.

So how can a woman climb into a man’s head?

There’s no question the differences between the sexes is vast. Men don’t think the same way women do. But romance is romance. Love is love. And a woman reading a romance written in first person finds it easy to slide right into the narrator’s life and feel what he feels, while still enjoying these important differences.

Maybe that’s why first person is so popular in Manlove romance. Maybe it’s just a fluke that 2 out of 3 m/m books I pick up are written in first person. Either way, I’m just glad there are so many great books representing Manlove out there and so many talented authors to keep writing them.

Happy Reading everybody!


Book 1: Blood-Hound Paranormal Series

Book 1: Blood-Hound Paranormal Series

Blurb: Bounty hunter Matthew Blood is a Bloodhound shifter, so tracking things comes naturally to him. But when one of his skips gets blasted out of a fourth floor window, Matt goes after the only other person in the vicinity, and gets fairy-smacked himself.

Rum leaves the safety of the mound to bust a fairy dust ring and rescue some captured fairies. In the process, he quickly finds himself the target of the sexy bounty hunter tracking one of the dealers. Trapped and being pursued on multiple fronts, Rum asks Blood for help.

Blood is happy to lend a hand, but he soon discovers fairy dust isn’t the only addictive thing about a fairy.

Book info and more…

Sneak Preview – Hoaley Inexplicable – February 28, 2013

Hoaley Inexplicable

Book 3: Hoale Construction Mysteries

Bringing Bobby’s Gym into the twenty-first century should have been fun. But the dead guy draped over the weight machine definitely took the joy out of it! 

The Hoale Construction gang has taken on the task of bringing Bobby’s gym into the twenty-first century. But the dead guy hanging from the new lat machine is putting a serious crimp in their timeline. When Bobby becomes the number one suspect for the murder, Adam and the gang are forced to try and clear him. But who is the guy? And was Bobby really the last one to see him alive? Questions only seem to multiply the deeper they dig. Until they uncover a connection with a group of thugs who call themselves the Indiana Mobsters. Things just continue to spiral downward from there.


Bobby’s Gym was a living, breathing time machine that had decades earlier burrowed into a dingy side street in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana like a hungry wood tick. In a world of fancy workout clubs, complete with juice bars and power yoga classes in mirror-walled studios, Bobby’s was the squat, ugly cousin with buck teeth and stained knees. The scent ambiance at Bobby’s consisted of a potent mix of old urine, mold, and dirty armpit sweat. The visual atmosphere was Rocky-esque, complete with the saggy, beat-up old boxing stage and stained and cracked concrete flooring that carried enough old blood in its pores to keep a crime scene unit busy for the better part of a year.

Unfortunately, there would be no problem identifying the donor of the recently added puddle of blood beneath the brand new lat machine. The bright red substance was still dripping from two tidy holes in the dead guy’s forehead, whom at that moment was hanging from the pull bar, his knees resting on the hold down pads and his head drooping toward his chest.

“Double tapped.” CC informed the group standing around the ghoulishly decorated machine. “Textbook shots.”

“So you’re saying it’s a professional job?” Adam asked hopefully.

Bobby glanced over and gave him a tight smile, obviously understanding why Adam had asked.

“It appears that way. But anybody who knows how to shoot could have made it look like a mob hit.” The careful way CC avoided looking at Bobby spoke volumes. Bobby was in a precarious place, and CC was trying really hard not to let their friendship interfere with him doing his job.

Sirens sounded outside the building and Maddy hurried toward the door. “I’ll let them in.”

Adam thought she was a little too enthusiastic about playing doorman for the crime scene unit and CC’s backup. Her ashen complexion was probably a good hint as to why. Maddy was too proud to hork up her breakfast in front of everybody. She’d probably walk into the alley to take care of business.

A moment later, two technicians dressed in khaki slacks and black polo shirts with a Crime Scene Investigations patch on the pocket came through the door and greeted CC. The taller of the two men frowned at the assembled group. “Please tell me you haven’t tromped all over our crime scene?”

CC lifted a light brown eyebrow. “The body was discovered by the owner. He called me immediately and I examined the scene and pronounced the victim deceased. Nobody else has been within twenty feet of the body.”

The tech nodded and they headed across the gym, CC leading the way.

Adam glanced over at Mink, who’d been uncharacteristically quiet since they’d walked into the gym an hour previous and found the body, with Bobby standing over it. The diminutive Realtor stood a few feet away, chewing his fingernails as he kept his gaze averted from Bobby. Adam took Mink’s arm and walked him away, toward the door. “Are you all right, buddy?”

Mink’s pretty gray-blue eyes widened theatrically. “You mean ‘cause I may have just gone into partnership with a murderer and I have about twenty thousand of my retirement money tied up in a venture that’s just been ripped off the tracks by the arrival of a copiously bleeding corpse?”

Adam grimaced. “Yeah. All that. But you know Bobby didn’t kill this guy right?”

Mink sighed, throwing the aforementioned possible murderer a quick look. “My heart knows it. My head isn’t so sure. And my bowels are pretty sure the world is upending and I don’t have an “oh shit” bag to hold me over until it rights itself again.”

As Mink’s eyes grew suspiciously bright with unshed tears, Adam took pity on him, pulling him into a hug. “Come on, now. You’re gonna be fine. CC’s going to get to the bottom of this. There’s no way Bobby had anything to do with it.”

Mink nodded, sniffling, and pulled away. “I’m gonna go see how Mads is doing. She’s had enough time to cough up her kidneys by now.”

Adam watched his friend shuffle despondently out the door. He wasn’t fooled for a minute, Mink wasn’t worried about Maddy. She was made of sterner stuff than all of them put together, he just needed to go someplace and lick his wounds in private.

Adam rejoined Bobby in distant vigil as the CSU guys zipped the corpse up into a big, black bag. “This really sucks, huh?”

Bobby turned a haunted gaze his way. “Mink left?”

“Yeah, he’s checking on Maddy.”

Bobby’s laugh sounded bitter. “I wouldn’t blame him if he made a run for it. This is certainly no way for us to start a venture together.”

Adam just nodded, unable to think of anything to say that wouldn’t smack of false comfort. “So, who was that guy, Bobby?”

Bobby opened his mouth to respond and then slammed it shut, stiffening. CC was coming back their way. And he didn’t look happy.


Stay tuned for more…