Friday, September 30, 2011

6 Steps to FREE Publicity: A Book You Need To Read

While Donuts and Desires isn't a review site, I came across a book I absolutely needed to share with you.
6 Steps to FREE Publicity by Marcia Yudkin is a brilliant marketing tool that I highly recommend to absolutely anybody. Seriously. Anybody, any business, any market. Its applications are just that broad, and yet as I was reading this book I felt, every step of the way, that Yudkin was speaking directly to me. That's no mean feat!

Let me backtrack a bit, because I've left a few things out already. First off, what is 6 Steps to FREE Publicity? Well, it's a book about marketing and promotions, at a base level, but when I was reading it, I found myself reflecting upon the little examples Yudkin provided. Although it's non-fiction, it was on my mind the way a novel would have been. I actually looked forward to coming home, making myself a nice cup of tea, and sitting down with Yudkin's book.

Another little detail I managed to omit is that it's the third edition of 6 Steps to FREE Publicity that I'm talking about. I haven't read the first two, but I gather the third deals more with internet promotion--score!

When I flipped through this lime green paperback in the library, it was Yudkin's approachable writing style that drew me in. This book contains information I needed to know, but its delivery is what most impressed me. A book about marketing could very easily be boring. 6 Steps to FREE Publicity is not. A book about marketing could be so general that the reader can't imagine how it might be applicable to her business. Not the case, here. Yudkin provides examples from a broad range of entrepreneurs and somehow, miraculously, even when she's describing a publicity method utilized by a pet care business, I could always see a way to apply those ideas in the promotion of my books and myself as a writer.

And, getting right down to it, most of the people reading my blog are probably writers. If you are an author, as I am, and you feel like you need a stronger foundation in promoting your work but you don't want to spend a fortune doing it, read 6 Steps to FREE Publicity. Yudkin cites many examples from authors, including writers of romance fiction, which are particularly applicable to our endeavours.

I honestly can't believe how much I learned from this book. Although I was taking notes all the way through, Yudkin's use of concrete examples and amusing anecdotes helped to cement various concepts in my mind. I can't over-emphasize how approachable her tone is. Yes, this is going to sounds super-flaky, but as I was reading this book I kept thinking, "She gets me! Marcia Yudkin really gets me!"

6 Steps to FREE Publicity is an invaluable resource for indie authors. I'm so glad I picked it up--and you will be, too!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sapphic Signs: Seeking Light in the Shadows

Welcome to our third week of showcasing Torquere Press' line of lesbian erotic romance, Sapphic Signs. This week it's Aries and...
by Moondancer Drake

Solanaceae has been fighting this war for a long time, determined to save the Fae homelands from the sickness infecting her people. She had always been so certain who the real enemy was. Man. Certain, that is, until she meets Maven. The Magi woman is fascinating and beautiful, but the secrets she reveals challenge everything Solanaceae has ever known. Maven warns of dangers in the darkness, dangers that threaten to devour both Fae and human alike. Dangers, Solanaceae is told she is destined to face.

Together she and Maven are Creation’s last hope for survival, but first Solanaceae must defeat her own hate before it consumes her. Will Maven’s love be enough?


I sat on the edge the bed, hugging myself around the waist. I wanted to believe she was right this time, that what he said didn’t mean anything. I wanted to believe that there was no Void, no great destiny. I wanted to believe that things could go back to being the way they had always been. The trouble was as a child of the sign of Aries, a creature of battle, of vengeance, I’d never had any use for lies. Now, when I wished it most, I couldn’t even lie to myself. “I don’t know what to do. I’ve always been so sure of things, sure of the truth, sure that I knew my place in the order of things. Now I’m not sure of anything.”

The bed jiggled as she sat next to me. “I can’t imagine what that’s like. I’ve always been one to question things, to doubt that what I knew was all I needed to know. Maybe I’m just more used to being in the dark about things, always seeking answers.”

“Seeking answers? Yeah, that was always my brother’s job, knowing things, researching, questioning.” My brother. Wasn’t he the one who said this was all crazy? “Now I don’t even know how to find out what’s true and what’s not.”

“You’re shivering.” Maven wrapped an arm around my shoulder and her warmth sent a deeper shiver through me. “I didn’t think your people felt temperatures like hot and cold.”

I looked up at her. Curiosity and worry mingled in her expression. My brother had been right about her kind. Those eyes, there was something not quite human there, something that called to me. I wish I knew the response. I wish I knew the right song, the proper chord, the magic thing that would make the perfect connection between my soul and the one that called to me from behind those eyes. “I’m an outcast, Maven. There always comes a loss of power with banishment. The price of disobeying the Courts. My people did not approve of my mission of vengeance. They demanded that I stop my visits to the surface, that I not fight the enemy I witnessed destroying the Fae. I refused. I knew what needed to be done. I knew who the real enemy was…” I looked down at my hands, hands that had been washed with blood more times than I could fully recall, and I found myself wondering. Had all the blood spilled by these hands been guilty? Could some have been that of the innocent tainted by the Void? Was there any way I’d ever know for sure?

Tender hands grazed my cheek, and then the other, wiping away tears as fast as they fell. I closed my eyes, allowing the grief this moment, giving myself permission to release what needed to fly free. I felt warm breath on my face, and before I could stop her, Maven kissed away a fresh tear. “No. Wait.”

I opened my eyes, and I could still see the wetness glistening on her lips. “My tears. They… they can have a narcotic, even a hallucinogenic effect on humans. I’m not sure what they would do to a Magi.”

Maven smiled. “A walking pharmaceutical. How convenient.”

“Not always.” I hesitated. Why did I care so much what she thought? Was I frightened she might turn away from me if I told her the truth? I had always been one to say what I thought, never holding back, never sugarcoating facts, so why did the words cling to my tongue now?

“What do you mean?”

I drew in a cleansing breath, to steady myself before speaking. “As it is well known the Fae are tied to the land, but what many people do not understand is that there are more different types of Fae than there are stars in the universe. We could be tied to a particular animal, plant, stone, element, emotion, anything… and we are not just similar to that but we are borne of the spirit of that thing. For me, I am born from the heart of the nightshade and have been blessed and nourished beneath the Aries sun. There is poison in my blood, as deadly as the most venomous snake, in my tears… they are the mind-altering toxins of the nightshade herself.”

“I guess that makes you dangerous.”

“No.” I said. “That makes me deadly.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Everybody Wants Free Shower Sex

I pay attention to search terms. I obsess over web stats. These are the things I devour at 3 in the morning, when sane people are tucked safely into bed. That's how I know there are many, many people who arrive here at Donuts & Desires after searching: Free Shower Sex or free sex in the shower or erotica shower story or even freeshowersex, all one word, like they're so eager to find it they can't even bear to hit the space bar.

Okay, I hear you, et voilĂ ! Free Shower Sex: an excerpt from my story THIRD RAIL, which is available on its own as an ebook and also in my trans erotica anthology MY MISTRESS' THIGHS. For the lovers of erotic showers, here is shower sex!

Excerpt from Third Rail

by Giselle Renarde

"Are you sure you’re okay?”

He turned to look at her, one hand on the glass door. His hard gaze put her in her place.

“No, I’m not okay, I’m horny as hell!” he growled, grasping Kokoro around the waist.

“What?” Kokoro cried as he pulled her under the fall of steamy water and closed the shower door. How could Martin go from a state of collapse to…this? Not that she was complaining…

He spun her around so her face stopped inches from the beach-pebble shower wall, her hands and forearms pressed against the smooth rocks. “I can’t go to work until I’ve fucked the life out of you.”

The wet silk of her chemise clung to her flesh as Martin forced it up and over her ass. It’s amazing how heavy silk can feel once it’s waterlogged. Particularly when it’s heaped on one’s lower back while one stands on tiptoes.

Brief flashes of caring moments flickered before Kokoro’s eyes as she tumbled into ritual submission.

“Are you a cock addict, Kokoro?” Martin grunted.


He was close behind her. His erection, slick with soap and warm water, rested against her ass cheek.

“You want cock?”


“You need it?”

“Hell, yes.”

Teasing her, he brushed his hard cock gently between her cheeks. God, she just wanted to grab that thing and shove it inside her wet cunt, but it wasn’t her place. She would speak when spoken to and do as instructed.

“Whose cock do you need?”

“Your cock.”

Martin chuckled in that very domineering manner of his. “Oh, so I’ve got my own little cock addict, do I?”

Kokoro surged at that term, “cock addict,” so filthy and raw. She had to speak those dirty words, feel them in her mouth. “Yes, I’m your cock addict, yes. I need your cock. I need it.”

His knees were bending; she could see them when she looked down. His knees were bending and his cockhead was sitting at the entrance to her wet cunt.

“Do you love my cock?”

“Yes, I love it.”

In a move of tremendous generosity, he thrust inside her all at once, all in one motion, and Kokoro was propelled forward. Her arms strained as she struggled to keep her face away from the beach-stone wall.

“What do you love?” he asked, plunging deep inside her cunt.

“I love your thick, hard cock,” Kokoro gushed, immediately fearing she’d said too much. A one- word response was all that was required. Two words, perhaps.

“How much do you love it?”

“So much.”

“How much?”

“So much…” She wasn’t sure what kind of answer he was anticipating.

“How much?” he asked again, grasping her slippery hips and fucking her so hard it panged.

“So much I would crawl naked through brambles for just one lick of it.”

That was too many words. He wouldn’t like that response. Kokoro braced herself, squeezed her pussy muscles tight so he wouldn’t go away. The worst, most sadistic thing Martin could do at this moment would be to pull out.

And that’s precisely what he did.

If you want more, buy the book! (I know, I'm a tease.)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Quick Six PRO with Jean Joachim

This one's a two-parter! Stay tuned for the second half of this interview next week:

Quick Six PRO
Interview with Jean Joachim

Q: What's hot on the market these days?
Paranormal seems to me to be cooling a little though it is still hot. Erotic romance is hot now, but there are always readers looking for contemporary and historical romances, too.

Q: What's the most time-consuming part of a writer's life?
It's a tossup between promotion and writing, though writing usually takes up the most time, as it should. That includes editing, re-writing and researching.

Q: On the topic of ebook piracy, hunter or head in the sand?
I tend to be head-in-the-sand because I am so busy writing new books right now. I'm too new to worry about that.

Q: What should a writer's priority be?
Writing, always. If you're not creating new books, you're not moving ahead. No one wants to be considered a one-book wonder. You'll have nothing to promote if you spend all your time promoting and not enough writing.

Q: How do you handle a bad review?
I stomp my feet. I cry, or at least tear up, call a friend, rant in a private Facebook group, have a glass of wine, reread the review to see if I agree with anything it says...then when I've convinced myself the reviewer doesn't know beans, I move on.

Q: What advice do you give aspiring authors?
Keep writing! Write every day and don't give up on your dream.

Jean Joachim
Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights
Now and Forever 1, a Love Story

Blurb for: "Now and Forever 1, a Love Story"

Callie Richards was no stranger to heartache. Her parents were killed when she was sixteen. Left with her older sister, she fell into a romance with good-looking, Kyle Maine. They became engaged and Callie’s future was set until he was killed in Iraq. Two years later, she pulls herself together to get her Master’s degree and restart her life on her own.

Working and studying at Kensington State University, Callie meets Mac Caldwell, the handsome dean. Together they fight a deadly campus drug ring with heart-breaking results. This is an emotional story, not a cookie-cutter romance, that will make you laugh and cry as Callie struggles to make a new life, find love and her happy ending.

Buy link for

Friday, September 23, 2011

Call for Submissions: Holiday Short Stories

Hello writerly people! I have a call for submissions to share, and this one's from my mainstream ebook publisher, Untreed Reads. This is not a call for erotica. Just thought I'd point that out, since i know many of us focus on sex... sex... SEX! Or maybe that's just me. *ahem*

Untreed Reads is announcing an open call for short stories for our holiday season. Please note the following:

1. The holidays we are interested in are Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and New Year's. We are looking for Hanukkah and Kwanzaa stories in particular.
2. Short stories may be in any genre (except religious, erotica, children's or anything above a PG-13 romance), but must encompass one of the holidays listed above.
3. The short stories will NOT be in an anthology, but rather published as stand-alone stories. All will receive our standard short story line covers.
4. Previously published material is fine providing electronic rights have reverted to the author.
5. Stories may not be shorter than 1500 words or longer than 5000.
6. Deadline for Thanksgiving submissions is October 31, 2011. Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah is November 15th. New Year's is November 30th. Submissions received after these dates will not be considered.
7. For this call, we can only accept works where we can be granted worldwide English rights.
8. This is an open call, and may be reposted and resubmitted everywhere.

All submissions should be sent to Jay Hartman, Editor-in-Chief, at Submissions should be in Times New Roman, 12pt and DOC format attachment. Submissions may NOT be submitted as either PDF or in the body of an email. Stories sent in that manner will not be considered. Please indicate the holiday in your subject line in the format: HOLIDAY: NAME OF STORY.

Once we have selected our stories for the season, all authors will be notified as to the final status of their submitted manuscript.

For any questions regarding this call, please direct them to Jay Hartman at

Jay Hartman
Untreed Reads Publishing

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sapphic Signs: Pisces by Adrianne Brennan

It's the second week of our Sapphic Signs celebration, and today's featured lesbian title from this astrological line at Torquere Press is...


by Adrianne Brennan

Marissa Balik would do anything to get away from her job on Jupiter Station, including transferring to another post on board the space vessel Ichthyes, whose destination and true objectives are not what they initially appear. Soon she’s thrust into a world where alien technology, space exploration, and solving mysteries are every day events, and the new assignment proves to be complicated further by her increasing attraction to its captain, Victoria Van Maanen.

When a mission turns both strange and dangerous, Marissa must fight not just to keep from succumbing to her feelings for Victoria, but to stay alive. Can she rely both upon her wits and her captain to survive?


With great caution Marissa backed away from Dr. Naida, keeping her in her field of vision the entire time. “C-captain, what the hell is going on here?” She managed to speak just above a harsh whisper, her throat tight.

She heard a rumbling sound from somewhere behind her. Turning towards it, she saw a large machine rattling. Then it began to fall—right over where Captain Van Maanen stood.

“Victoria!” Adrenaline racing through her, Marissa sprinted and shoved the captain out of the way. The two collapsed onto the ground, Marissa falling onto Van Maanen. A great crunch and a thud, and the machine landed on the floor mere inches from where they were — in addition to blocking the door leading out.

The noise rang in Marissa’s ears, and her breath came fast and hard. She looked down and realized with a start that the captain’s body lay pinned beneath hers. She could hear the captain’s own panting, feel her chest rising and falling. Warm and soft, but firm. The sensation was too familiar, way more pleasant than the circumstances called for.
Now is really the wrong time to get turned on by the captain.

And Marissa had addressed her by her first name.
Professional, gotta keep this professional....

Buy Now from Torquere Press:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quick Six PRO with Dakota Trace

Quick Six PRO
Interview with Dakota Trace

Q: What's the most time-consuming part of a writer's life?

I'd have to say the editing part. It seems like I'm always editing something. That could be an illusion though. The actual writing flies by so quickly because I'm usually in a groove, whereas the editing portion of it seems to take more time because I'm fixing, analyzing and adjusting problem areas. Probably because it uses a different part of my brain than the creative part the writing does.

Q: On the topic of ebook piracy, hunter or head in the sand?

I'm probably more along the lines of head in the sand. I periodically check on my titles by googling them and even when I do and find them, I get extremely frustrated by the piracy sites themselves that I give up. Of course, I realize they aren't going to make it easy for me but I have better ways to spend my time, like writing the next book in my series.

Q: How do you handle a bad review?
First I cuss out loud at the computer, then talk to my hubby, before I pick apart the review to see why the reviewer didn't like it. If I think it's a valid reason...something I could've done better, I take it into consideration as I write my next book. If not, I figure everyone is entitled to their opinion and forget about the review.

Q: What advice do you give aspiring authors?

Find a good beta reader/editor that isn't necessarily you're biggest fan. Unfortunately those that are have a tendency to say, "I love it!" and it could be the worse thing they ever read. It's kinda like asking the hubby, "do you think this makes me look fat?" Do you honestly expect him to tell you does?

Q: Do you have a preference for short stories or longer works?

If you'd have asked me this question six months ago, I'd have said longer works. But as of late, I've been pushing myself to see if I can write stories that are less than 10K. I can say I'm enjoying the challenge, even when I fail - such as my recent story that ended up being 12K instead of the 10K I was shooting for.

Q: Do you find yourself writing for the market and not for YOU, or self-censoring in any way?

Honestly I can say I try to stay on top of the trends of what's selling, hence my most recent foray into writing m/m. I've never in the past thought of even attempting it, until I received several requests to write a book for a secondary m/m couple from Nisey's Awakening and Taming Kalinda, but before I do, I decided to test the waters and write a short to see how well it goes over.

Q: How have the people in your life reacted to your career as a writer?

For the most part, my family has been very supportive...sometimes too supportive. And why do I say that? It's one thing to have my adult sister and brother to say, "Cool, meet my sister, the smut writer." (that's an inside joke btw) and another to have my son giving out my books marks to his teachers at school. (True story - the little bugger gave all his sixth grade teachers one of my bookmarks. Mom and him had a to have a discussion between what the difference is between Romance and Erotic romance and why it wasn't appropriate for him to be giving them out) *shakes head* But otherwise my dad and husband are my biggest fans - and my dad has read everything I've ever written.

Dakota Trace is author of:

Bozka Metjka, better known as Mistress Olivia, has everything she's ever wanted: a successful BDSM club, wonderful friends, and as many horny subs as she wants begging at her feet for the privilege of pleasing her. But now approaching her fortieth birthday, she realizes that something is missing: her Joie de Vivre - and she knows just the man to bring it back – a security consultant, twelve years her junior, who claims there's not a submissive bone in his body.

While Jude Larson won't deny the effect the little brunette has on him, he's in serious denial of his submissive nature. So what if he deliberately wagers against the lovely Domme in hopes of losing so he can spend a little bit of quality time with her? That doesn't make him submissive does it? All too soon he's going to find out when danger stalks Olivia's club and he's called on to protect the sexy Domme of his dreams from a madman.

Buy from eXcessica Publishing

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Six Sentence Sunday - Eclipse the Stars, trans lesbian erotic romance

Six. Sentence. Sunday-Sunday-Sunday!

Today's 6 come to you from my very latest release, a trans lesbian erotic romance short called Eclipse the Stars.

Eclipse the Stars is part of Torquere Press' 2011 Charity Sip Blitz, which means all proceeds from the sale of this ebook go to this year's charitable organization, It Gets Better. I don't usually push hard for you to buy, buy, buy, but this is for queer youth, so... buy, buy buy!

Short little set-up: Jody is an actress who isn't getting a hell of a lot of work these days. She's worried about fading looks, and monstrously jealous of her girlfriend Renata, a post-op trans woman who seems to wake up more beautiful every morning:

When they stopped at a light, Renata took one hand off the wheel to grab Jody's. "What's wrong?"

Jody forced a laugh as she flicked down the passenger visor. She fluffed her bangs with her spare hand. "You know, a few years ago I would look in the mirror and see Jackie from
That 70's Show. Now I look in the mirror and see Jackie from Roseanne."

Eclipse the Stars is $1.99, and my royalties as well as the publisher's share, cover artist's, everybody's--everything gets donated to It Gets Better. You can buy this transgender lesbian short from Torquere Press.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sapphic Signs: Age of Aquarius

In case you missed Lara Z's intro last week, I'll briefly recap by saying that "Sapphic Signs" is a line of lesbian fiction available from Torquere Press. Every week I'll be featuring a different book from Sapphic Signs. I don't have a story in this line and I have no vested interest in promoting it, beyond the fact that I'd like to see lesbian fiction selling big-time because I looooooove it. :-)

Without further delay, here's this week's Sapphic Sign:

The Age of Aquarius

by Sofia Antonia Milone
Young and often political English artist Charlotte Hope clashes with renowned New York Times art critic Rachel Stein, whose praise is hard to earn. Set in the late sixties in New York City during the infamous Summer of Love, and with a backdrop of national and international conflict, tension builds between two women, who find themselves working together toward a common goal. Charlotte learns she doesn’t have to like everyone she sleeps with, while Rachel discovers quite the reverse. Eventually they learn that tragedy can bring people to their senses, and bring them together.

“Why are we doing this?” Charlotte asked plainly one afternoon as they lay in post-coital slumber for the usual designated ten minutes. That slumber seemed to now include a little chatter, she noted.

Jefferson Airplane blared out though small tanned speakers, something about joy dying and the truth being lies. Rachel picked tobacco from her teeth. “Because it’s fun.”

“Depraved is what it is.”

“I prefer to think of it as decadent,” Rachel blew a cigarette circle at her before answering the question. Charlotte frowned at the act, squinting to avoid the gray cloud that was advancing. “I don’t know,” Rachel said. “I’m sure there’s some psychological bull crap behind it. For you I imagine it’s about power, forcing me to submit to your will.” She smiled. “Personally I just prefer angry sex; it’s generally better.”

“Is that why you do your best to enrage me?” The question was clearly rhetorical.

“You say it like I have to try, darling!” Rachel drawled, smiling indulgently.

Buy from Torquere Press:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More Thoughts on the Disembodied Torso

Last week I wrote about “the man with the chest,” the strong Alpha male, and why he’s a character who doesn’t tend to show his disembodied head in my work. It got me thinking about the kinds of men I DO write about, and the many, many qualities a man can have aside from…a chest.

I’m not big-time into men, personally, and even when I was, the sort of man who drew my attention was not the type you’d generally see on the cover of a romance novel. But I’ve written many, many, many male characters over the years, so who are they?

The first “hero” (if you want to call him that) who springs to mind is Sandy from my novella Only Angels. If you judged him based solely on the cover of the book, you’d surely take him for a man with a chest. He HAS a chest, and a bare one, but he’s actually the most angelic of all the angels in the story—he’s a virgin, if you can believe it. A sweet, innocent virgin boy who is working essentially as a male prostitute at the “Only Angels” cougar club to help his family. Awww…so sweet. So, if a man’s not a “strong Alpha Male,” he might just be an innocent virgin like Sandy.

Next I think of Lawrence from the Audrey & Lawrence series, primarily because this character is based very much on the man whose mistress I was for 10 years of my life. Kind of hard to forget. Lawrence is trapped in a sexless marriage, and I guess I sort of portray him as falling victim to Femme Fatale Audrey in these stories. He doesn’t want to cheat on his wife. He tries to resist. He thinks of himself as a good man…but…well, Audrey won’t take no for an answer. Yes, he jerks her around a bit over the course of the series, but we see both characters’ vulnerabilities front and centre as we explore their relationship. So, if a man’s not a “strong Alpha Male,” he might just be desperate for love, like Lawrence.

Another male character who comes to mind is Professor Selyph from Secrets of the Solstice Sacrifice. Looks-wise, I modeled him on Professor Snape (yes, from Harry Potter) because…yeah, I think he’s monstrously hot. Selyph is a fay mystic in historical Wales. He’s a recluse and a curmudgeon, but when Trysta appears on his doorstep, he is entranced by her. Still, as a magical hermit and a solitary fairy, he doesn’t really know how to interact with her. I find his cluelessness in the domains of romance and seduction pretty adorable, actually. So, if a man’s not a “strong Alpha Male,” he might just be an awkward but loveable loner like Selyph.

I love geeks and wimps, hippies and hipsters, scrawny guys in skinny jeans, virgins and sweetheart loners. Not all male characters have to be Alphas, right? Not if you like girls on top.

What do you think, readers and writers? Have you encountered and enjoyed male characters who were not your typical “man with a chest”? Do tell!



Monday, September 12, 2011

Quick Six PRO Interview with Daisy Dunn (Part 2)

Quick Six PRO
Interview with Daisy Dunn
Part II

(If you're counting, yes there are more than 6 Q&A's today. If you're not counting...forget I said anything LOL)

Q: Have you ever encountered any unprofessional behaviours from editors, publishers or other writers, that they might not even realize are damaging?

Daisy Dunn: I have been very fortunate. I found a wonderful publishing company, Secret Cravings Publishing, and the writers there are like family. It been nothing but a wonderful experience.

Q: What do you look for in a publisher?

Daisy Dunn: First, I want my book to fit in with what they are selling and supporting. Secondly, I want good communication between the authors and the publisher. Third, I want good communication between the authors and the publisher...I can't stress that point enough, it's so important.

Q: What makes an editor great or...not so great?

Daisy Dunn: Again it comes down to great communication. If you don't agree on a change/edit, you need to talk openly with your editor. They need to hear your point, but you need to also listen to theirs. I have also lucked out with an amazing editor.

Q: Do you have a preference for short stories of longer works?

Daisy Dunn: I love them both. I write both and even though short stories are "somewhat" easier to write, with novels, you can go into so much more depth on the characters, plot and scenes. I still love to write/read both.

Q: If you've ventured into self-publishing, what are the pros and cons?

Daisy Dunn: I've never ventured into self-publishing, but my sister has. She loved it the experience and I never heard her say anything negative about it. I don't know much about self-publishing, but I think I would miss the support I get from my publisher and fellow authors at my publishing house.

Q: Do you find yourself writing for the market and not for YOU, or
self-censoring in any way?

Daisy Dunn: I totally write for me. I write exactly what I would love to read. Between the story lines and the sex scenes, I write what appeals to me and lights my fire :)

Q: How have the people in your life reacted to your career as a writer?

Daisy Dunn: Everyone has been extremely supportive and kind. They want to read my books which is wonderful, but kind of daunting. I couldn't be happier though.

Q: Any promo tips for fellow authors?

Daisy Dunn: Blog like a fiend and get together with other authors to promote each other's work. It gets your name and books out there to more people. Make friends with fellow authors because only they know what you are truly going through. :)

The Portal

Cole Evans has been in love with Gianna Thomas from the first
moment he laid eyes on her when he was a student at the University.
He pursued her relentlessly, but Gianna would not date him because
of their ten year age difference. She broke his heart when she pushed
him away for good, afraid to be known as a Cougar.

Five years later, Cole is now twenty-nine years old and is ready to fight
for Gianna. Before he does, he takes one more trip through the portal
he created into the alternate universe he has stumbled across. He has
been chosen as a guard for the ruling queen of this world and is
shocked when he sees that one of the prisoners is Gianna. He needs
to get her out of this place, away from the hungry gaze of the queen
and into his arms once and for all.

It can be purchased at:

Friday, September 9, 2011

"Why should the guys have all the fun?"

Here's a post and a host and contest for you who love lesbian erotica and romance as much as I do. Today we've got Lara Zielinsky introducing a lesbian line at Torquere Press, new this year, called Sapphic Signs. I didn't hear about this line until after the fact, so I don't have a story in it, but I love love love good lesbian romance so I wanted to share the existence of Sapphic Signs with you. Every week I'll be posting the blurb and excerpt from a different story, so stay tuned!

And now, after that "brief" introduction, I'll turn it over to Lara:

Torquere Press runs a number of themed lines annually, and the results are a nice series of stories featuring the gay guys, issuing one per month for the steady enjoyment of readers.
I thought, but why should the guys have all the fun? I had been previously published by Torquere Press in a toybox. I only write F/F so I kept looking through their calls for submissions for more F/F opportunities. The guys had color boxes, birthstones, and themed calls for more toyboxes. The birthstones idea intrigued me, but I thought we grrls should be a bit different: the zodiac.

Sapphic Signs!

In 2010 I approached the editors at Torquere with my idea. They loved it, but I had to get 12 committed authors. There could be no cancellations, no last minute pull outs. So I went to my favorite F/F author hangout, Sapphic Planet, and let them know my crazy idea. And I got the 12 commitments.

Sapphic Signs was born! Since January 2011 Torquere Press has released 8 of the novellas. Each story stands alone themed around one of the zodiac signs.

We've got contemporary love fests and historical romances. There's shapeshifters and space drama, and more. We've got first time writers making wonderful debuts and fan favorites making steamy contributions.
And the grrls are having all the fun!
So if you are into sapphic adventures with lots of romance, check out Sapphic Signs at Torquere Press all this year.

Here's the entire list of titles (signs) and authors, and approximate release dates, so mark your calendars! And shop Torquere Press's Sapphic Signs page today!

Now available!
January - Age of Aquarius (Aquarius) - Sofia Antonia Milone
February - Pisces (Pisces) - Adrianne Brennan
March - Seeking Light in the Shadows (Aries) - Moondancer Drake
April - Stubborn as a Bull (Taurus) - DL King
May - Mirror Image (Gemini) Cheri Crystal
June - The Lady Wants More (Cancer) Adriana Kraft
July - Skylar's Pride (Leo) - Lara Zielinsky
August - Kenna's Virgo (Virgo) Jolene Hui

Coming Soon (look for it around the 21st of the month):
September (Libra) Ann Cory
October (Scorpio) Sarah Ettritch
November (Sagittarius) Jodi Payne
December (Capricorn) Dalia Craig


Two random commentators will earn $2 gift certificates to Torquere's online store. Answer this question in your comment within 24 hours from the time of this post.

What's your sign, and do you think you match up to its typical qualities?

~ Lara Z

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thoughts on the Man with the Chest

My goodness, disembodied torso, what a fabulous chest you have! I see that you’re paired with a gorgeous woman on this cover. I guess that means you’re straight. I’m also going to assume, based on the fact that you have no head, that you are driven entirely by your animal nature. If there were a wolf on this cover, I’d be convinced. But even without the wolf, I’m sure you’re a man’s man with your feelings buried deep inside, where only this woman, who is so much like me we could paste my picture over her face, can find them. Men like you are my secret desire.

…actually…they’re not. Not MINE, which puts me in the minority around the romance community. But that’s okay, I’ll just sit in my corner with my head against the wall, scribbling away about queers like me. (As a queer woman, I am allowed to say that. Don’t call in the referee just yet.) I’m a loner anyway. And maybe someday someone will discover one of my stories curled up in a bottle and find they actually like it. Maybe. Some day.

Okay, I’m being a little melodramatic here. All I really intended to write about (in a totally non-melodramatic way) was that the stuff readers love, devour, guiltlessly consume, is exactly the stuff I don’t write. So, the bestsellers, the money-makers, the man-with-the-chest books… they’re not mine. That’s not what I write. It would really help pay the rent if I did…but I don’t.

I actually have a story to accompany this confession. It’s kind of a nice story. About a month ago, I was approached by a publisher I work with often and love, love, love. They wrote to tell me the love is mutual, so much so that they wanted to commission some novellas from me for a new erotic romance line they’re looking to introduce.

Wow! That was a huge compliment. I felt all warm and fuzzy until I read the submissions guidelines for the line: hetero only, no gay content, no BDSM. Must feature a “strong Alpha Male hero” and “feisty” but loveable heroine.

So, I’m sure the majority of romance writers would crack their knuckles, lick their lips, and pound one out on the keyboard (a story, of course), but all I could do was stare at those words, “strong Alpha Male” and…okay, I admit it, I cringed a little bit. I did. Strong Alpha Males have got to be my biggest turn-off in the history of everything. Maybe it’s a “lesbian thing,” but I don’t think that’s it, not entirely. I suspect there are women out there who identify as straight and would agree with this appraisal. The grunting, salivating, dominating and domineering “man with the chest” is…yucky. Yes, I realize he is the fantasy of the many, but he is sooooo not mine.

And please don’t get me started on how much I hate hearing a woman described as “feisty”—my feminist Spidey Sense finds “feisty” an infantilizing word, in that it minimizes women who speak out against patriarchal oppressions of all kinds, including unwanted male attention…but I said I wasn’t going to start, didn’t I? So I won’t.

Anyway, I went back and forth a lot on this one. It was an honour to be asked to produce work for a new line. The publishers knew they were taking a chance, setting foot outside their normal terrain, and they asked me to come with them. I never want to end up in anybody’s bad books, and I feel like turning down work is just…not a good idea generally. But I knew in my gut what they were asking for was not consistent with the work I produce. It didn’t appeal to me, and I really didn’t feel I could make a story work if neither my heart nor my hips were invested in the project.

But I said to myself, “You’re a writer—you should be able to produce any kind of story you’re asked to.” And maybe I could…but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. (The KFC double down is an excellent example—you can probably afford to buy yourself bacon sandwiched between two deep-fried pieces of chicken, but does that mean it’s a good idea?)

In the end, I wrote my publisher back and politely declined the commission. It means a lot to me that I can devote my time to writing queer fiction, fiction that appeals to me and that represents who I am in this world. A lot of readers love the man with the chest, but a lot of writers write him. In fact, I’m sure the number of books of this type currently on the market far exceeds the demand for them.

And let me clarify: I don’t have anything against people who write the man with the chest, or people who read him. It’s just not to my taste, just like my transgender stories, or my lesbian stories, or my bisexual or otherwise queer stories, or my adultery stories, or my hipster stories, or my stories that are erotic without any romantic component at all…aren’t to everybody’s taste. That’s cool.

Before I hop away, I should also mention that I often hear writers stating, with the voice of absolute authority, that ALL women love the man with the chest. Some say that it’s a “natural” component of a woman’s existence to love the Strong Alpha Male, and…kids, that’s not cool. It places me, my taste, and my sexuality under erasure, and I have no desire to be erased.

If I'm writing about guys, they're probably going to be shy or nerdy or guilt-ridden or, or, or... There are exceptions, I'm sure, and I don't write any of this to be unpopular, but the Man with the Chest? He's not for me. Which is okay, because if you like him...more chests for you! :-)



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Watch the Book Trailer for Stacy's Dad Has Got It Going On

This is just some silly fun. Since the title of my book 'Stacy's Dad Has Got It Going On' is obviously based on the song 'Stacy's Mom (has got it going on)' I figured I'd head to the music video for inspiration. I'd actually never seen it before I looked it up on YouTube, and it was such a funny little 80's throwback that I decided to go that route for the book trailer too.

Here it is, the book trailer for STACY'S DAD HAS GOT IT GOING ON:

Watch on YouTube:

Stacy's Dad Has Got it Going On is available as an ebook:

and in print:


Giselle Renarde
Canada just got hotter!