Monday, April 30, 2012

In the Month of Meh

Today is April 30th and here in Canada that means taxes are due... like... now.  I spent most of yesterday working on mine, all the while feeling like Homer Simpson in that episode where he gets audited.  Remember that one?  No?

I can't believe I managed to find it online, but here's what I'm talking about (N.B. I used to be like Ned Flanders):

Taxes aside, I'm ready for the coming of May.

For me, April's been the month of "meh"--especially when it comes to reviews.  In my years of writing, I've had my share of 1-star reader reviews, and I've had my share of 5-star reviews, but this April has been the month of three.  Or, on a scale of poor, fair, ok, good, excellent my work has garnered an "ok." Meh.  Everywhere I look, I see "meh."

Even books like "Friends of Dorothy" (my cross-dressing cowboy MMF menage) which has garnered nothing but 5 stars in the year or two it's been on the market seems to have been slapped with a three.  More "meh."  Not that readers can't rate my books however they please, it just seems like a trend this month.

Maybe I should just shut my gob and count my blessings--my threes could be ones.  My mehs could be baaaaads.  (Although, when it comes to other authors' books, I find I only read 1-star reviews.  Does anybody else do that?  I never read the 5-stars.  Am I the only one?)

Work aside, May Day happens to be the four-year anniversary of my first date with my Sweet.  Stay tuned, because tomorrow I'll let you know how we're planning to celebrate--and it involves YOU.  In fact, we can't do it without you.

So be here tomorrow, same bat wings, same leopard leggings... or... how does that go? *smirk*


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Where Am I?

I'm not here.

Really. I'm not.

Today, I'm guest blogging at two (count 'em, TWO) other blogs. That's why I'm not here.  I can be in two places at once, but not three.  I'm only human, after all. *smile*

Okay, if you're interested in finding me today, I've revived my post "What Is Smut? (Baby Don't Hurt Me)" originally seen at Sommer Marsden's blog at Flirty Author Bitches.  I blog there the fourth Tuesday of every month.  Here's the link:

I'm also at Romance for the Rest of Us, which is Torquere Press' blog, with a brand new post called "How Do You Measure It?"  I could keep you in suspense, but... nah, I'll keep you in suspense.  If you want to know what's being measured, read my post:

Right.  I was never here. *wink*


Monday, April 23, 2012

Quick Six PRO with Annabeth Leong

Quick Six PRO
Interview with Annabeth Leong

Q: What advice do you give aspiring authors?
Annabeth Leong: Never forget your commitment to writing. This is why I prefer the word "writer" over "author." It sounds obvious, but there are plenty of times I spend hours tracking down calls for submission, doing promo and maintaining my online presence, or passing proofs back and forth with a publisher. When I finally sit down and write for ten minutes, I think, "Wait a minute! I like doing this!" 
There are so many forces pulling a writer away from actually writing. But it's the essence of what we're trying to do — the verb to the noun. Love for the act of writing is why I got into all this in the first place. The act of writing is also the only part of the process that's under my control. I can't make people buy my book, but no one can stop me from getting down another 100 words. 

Q: What do you look for in a publisher?
Annabeth Leong: My partner is very data-oriented. We sat down recently and ranked the publishers I work with and know about according to four criteria: how well they pay, the quality of the work they put out, how much I like to read what they publish, and the quality of my relationship with the people there. 
I work with plenty of publishers who don't score high in all four criteria. How much I like to read their books will often trump other considerations for me. But organizing my impressions this way helped me get away from some publishers that weren't productive for me to pursue. 

Q: What makes an editor great or...not so great?
Annabeth Leong: A great editor can give heavy criticism that still inspires. This person is operating in deep service of the story and the writer's vision, and communicates this clearly. When I am dealing with edits from someone like this, I have the sensation of puzzle pieces coming together, no matter how difficult or arduous the edits actually are. 
A not so great editor leaves me feeling flattened and shamed, usually by taking on a punishing tone. Even trivial edits with this tone can kill the joy of a piece for me. 

Q: Do you have a preference for short stories or longer works?
Annabeth Leong: I love to read and write short stories. I mostly buy anthologies and they're mostly what I write for also. I like that short pieces are self-contained, and that I can burn through a diverse collection of reading and writing in a manageable period of time. I feel it would be better for my career to break myself of this — novelists seem to have a better chance of achieving self-supporting income levels. But I struggle to leave my love behind, and even the stand-alone work I have published would more properly be called novellas than novels. 

Q: Do you find yourself writing for the market and not for YOU, or self-censoring in any way?
Annabeth Leong: I definitely self-censor. I had to dip my toes into erotica bit by bit — I am a deeply kinky person, but it was hard for me to reveal that as a writer. I would be reading extreme blood play lesbian BDSM, and then publish a vanilla story about a straight married couple. I have started to get into more of my true kinks recently, but I have to say that what has been happening with PayPal and censorship on book-selling sites has had a chilling effect on me. I wish I were brave enough to be on the front lines of this issue, but I have struggled a long time being comfortable with my own reading preferences in private — I have been edging into this, but find it difficult to take a stand in an already embattled situation. 
That said, one of the things I admire about Donuts and Desires is that you have really taken this on. I hope you sell millions of copies of your lesbian anal fetish erotica. 
I admire publishers who publish without fear, and I mourn the loss of those who have decided to back off or shut their doors. Republica Press's closure, for example, is a big loss — they carried Remittance Girl's excellent nonconsensual story, Gaijin, among other things. We've also lost Freaky Fountain Press, and Pink Flamingo has backed off some of the subject areas it used to cover. I'm not privy to all the reasons that publishers on the vanguard of freedom of speech have been dropping lately, but I can't imagine the current climate has been helping things. 
There are others still out there — such as Forbidden Fiction, one of my publishers — but I am almost afraid at this point to name them for fear that I will inadvertently invoke the wrath of PayPal. 

Q: Any promo tips for fellow authors?
Annabeth Leong: I haven't sold boatloads of copies of anything myself, so take what I say with a grain of salt. But I have observed a frantic attitude about promotion that I don't think is helping anyone. Some of the things writers are being told to do for promotion may not make sense for everyone, depending on the work or the stage of the career. For example, people are told to do giveaways, and it definitely works for some people. But I have also seen authors doing giveaways with no sign that it is widening their audience or causing anyone to buy the book who wouldn't have already. Publishing is changing, and there are no magic formulas. I think writers should stop and think about how their promotion time and money are best spent. 

Author Blurb: 
The Snake and the Lyre
an F/F and other short by Annabeth Leong
Published by Forbidden Fiction
Eurydice longs to marry Orpheus, but his self-centered love for his music blinds him to her sensuality. A cruel Naiad seduces and kills Eurydice, unleashing the full hunger of her desire. When Orpheus braves the Underworld to save his lost Eurydice, can he pull his bride away from its depraved pleasures?

Find Annabeth Leong:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Call for Submissions: Successful Self-Publishing

Hi Everyone! Last Year I contributed an article to a best-selling book called How To Write Hot Sex. Editor Shoshanna Evers now has a call out for a new book about self-publishing. If you've got a self-publishing secret to share, here's your opportunity to tell the world:

 Call for Submissions - Attention Self-Published Authors!

Successful Self Publishing: How We Do It (and How You Can Too!)
Edited by Shoshanna Evers, #1 Amazon Authorship Bestselling Author

Call for Submissions: Deadline May 21th, 2012

This call for submissions is open to any self-published author, including traditionally published authors who are also self-publishing.

How did you find success as a self-published author? The goal of this anthology is to give pre-published writers and authors considering self-publishing the inspiration and advice to help them start on their own path to self-publishing success.

There are many different ways to quantify success, and we are looking for all of them. While we are looking for bestselling self-published authors to submit essays, if your sales are modest but you finally realized your dream of having your story told, then that is its own form of success, and we welcome your submission as well.

Some questions to consider while writing your essay include:
  1. Why did you choose to self-publish?
  2. Have you tried publishing traditionally, or are you published traditionally as well? If you are also traditionally published, what are the benefits to self-publishing that drew you to it?
  3. What sort of process did you put your book through before you published it? Editing, critique groups, beta-readers?
  4. How much did it cost you to self-publish your book? What did you pay for cover art, for editing, formatting, etcetera? Did you do it all yourself?
  5. How many books do you sell a day/month/since you started?
  6. Is your book available for print? How did you go about doing that, and are your books selling better in ebook format or print?
  7. How important are reviews for you? How do you get reviews for your book(s)?
  8. What do you think is the future of publishing?
  9. What’s the most important piece of advice you have for a writer looking to self-publish?
Contributors whose essays are chosen for the anthology will receive a $20 payment plus a free Smashwords coupon to download the anthology upon its release.

The essays will be contracted on a non-exclusive basis, meaning the contributor retains the right to re-publish the essay as he or she pleases. Previously published blog posts or interviews on the subject of self-publishing will also be considered but original material is preferred.

Tell your story in 750 to 2000 words and include a 50 word bio with links to your website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon/B&N/Smashwords pages.

Submit the essay as a Word doc or rtf and name the file Successful_YourName. Email the attachment to shoshanna.evers @ yahoo. com (no spaces) with Submission in the subject line.

About the Editor:

Shoshanna Evers edited and self-published the #1 Amazon Authorship Bestselling writing anthology How to Write Hot Sex: Tips From Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors. In addition to being published by Ellora’s Cave, The Wild Rose Press, Cleis Press, and Berkley/Jove, Shoshanna has found success with self-publishing, hitting several Amazon category bestseller lists and quitting her day job to be a full-time writer.

Sexily *Evers* After...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lesbian Erotica, Volume 9: Sex in Public / Lucky Opportunity / Fisting / Used and Abused

Last week I mentioned that my original fiction is included in a new series of erotic ebooks edited by Barbara Cardy and published by Robinson (the "Mammoth Book of..." people).  

Today I'd like to showcase another one of those mini-anthologies, which is listed at Amazon as: 

Lesbian Erotica, Volume 9: Sex in Public / Lucky Opportunity / Fisting / Used and Abused

Product Description

SHUSH by Kannan Feng
Marjo wants to get her hands on a special book at the library, and her girlfriend Kendall wants to get her hands, and much more, on Marjo.

BLACKOUT by Giselle Renarde
Zahra can't concentrate on her own housewarming party once quirky Casey shows ups. In stark contrast to all Zahra's jaded friends, this slender red-head is ebullient and carefree as a grown-up Pippi Longstocking. When a blackout shuts down the city, the new home-owner is enthralled to introduce Casey to a new world of sensuality. But you know what they say about assumptions, and Zahra soon discovers her mistake . . .

A FIST FULL OF FUN by Dominique James
Siobhan has planned a special surprise for her submissive lover Julia's birthday, a way in which they can confirm their mutual love by proving they can cast aside jealousies. Siobhan has arranged for several of their lesbian friends to use Julia in any way they want, and Siobhan promises not to be jealous. After visits from most of them and a day of sexual delight and torment, along comes local LGB Charity organizer Imogen, who turns out to be far more dominant than Siobhan; so much so she takes over both of them.


These anthologies are only $0.99 if you can believe it.  I'd start snapping them up now just in case that's an introductory price.  Here's the buy link for this baby:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Lesbian Erotica 6: Fem Dom / Spanking / Sex Al Fresco / Voyeurism

I'm in here.
I think I've neglected to mention here on the blog that I've recently contributed to a whole bunch of mini-anthologies edited by Barbara Cardy.  I know they're available from Amazon (not sure where else) and I also know that at the moment they're only $0.99!

Most of these pretty little books feature 3 or 4 short stories by such notable authors as Sommer Marsden, M. Christian, Kay Jaybee, and... ummm... me (do I deserve to be on this list?) so we're talking about reliable erotica writers, here.

I'm hoping the low price tag doesn't scare readers off these collections.  More and more, I think readers are equating $0.99 with "crappy writing" so hopefully people will take a look at who's on the roster for these books and buy them up.  Who knows?

Anyway, because I've neglected to feature these Erotica works published by Robinson (The "Mammoth Book of..." people) here at D&D, I'm starting now, and I'm starting with a little ebook called "Lesbian Erotica 6."

I picked this one to feature because it contains my story "First Night on a Waterbed," which is a Wanda & Janelle story.  Remember them from my Torquere Christmas Sip "Full to Bursting"?  Yup, same pair.  This story is about the first night they spend together in Wanda's big annoying waterbed.

Seriously, have you ever slept on a waterbed?  I hate them with a passion.  Thank god the 80's are over.

Lesbian Erotica 6 contains:

SHY GIRL by Kannan FengTanya's a shy girl, but her girlfriend Valentine knows exactly what shy girls need. When Valentine wants to hear a very special word out of Tanya's mouth, she's willing to use some very unfair (and painful!) tactics to get her way.

THE CHASE by Chris WestlakeJennifer is on holiday in France with her friends when she spots a French girl she desperately wants to say 'Oui' to. She follows the girl into the woods, and it is quickly apparent that the girl is not going on a picnic (unless 'eaten out' got lost in translation). Jennifer ends up on all fours on a wooden boat in the middle of a river (and no, she has not dropped a penny).

FIRST NIGHT ON A WATERBED by Giselle RenardeJanelle has never spent a night on Wanda's waterbed. She's not convinced there's anything to like about a mattress full of liquid until Wanda shows her the joys of sex on the sloshing waves. But how will Wanda react when Janelle blurts, 'I love you' for the first time?

HEN DAY by Eva HoreOrganizing a Hen's day for her sister gives this sister more on the day than she bargained for. Who would have thought a Hen's Day could turn into a passionate affair for more than two of the guests.

Buy Now from Amazon:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Call for Submissions: Catharsis: Trans Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence

Hello My Friends!

I stumbled across this call for submissions today and I'm SO glad I did.  This book will document trans women's experiences with sexual violence and assault.  No wonder it's called "Catharsis."  I've written hundreds of stories over the past 5 years, and if there's one thing I've learned it's that writing is an incredibly effective way of dealing with your shit.  So much of the clarity in my life has come through exploring my life experiences on the page.

But enough about me! Here's the call: 

Call For Submissions 4/3/12 **Please Share & Repost!**

Catharsis: Trans Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence is seeking written submissions from trans women who are willing to share their experiences of sexual violence and assault. The goal is to create a book-length collection of personal essays and stories from trans women about their individual experiences. Through compiling these stories, we hope to counteract the tendency of broader feminist dialog to deal with the subject of violence against trans women as hypothetical, ethereal, and comparatively minimal. We also hope that such a compilation would reinforce the place of trans women among all women and help to bring support and healing to our often overlooked communities.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS IS JULY 31ST, 2012!  For Submission Form Please go to:

What We’re Looking For: Stories of personal experience from self-identified trans women who are survivors of rape, sexual assault, or other sexual violence. Submissions should be roughly 2-5 pages in length and focus primarily on individual experiences and feelings. Because every individual processes these experiences in different ways, the “tone” of the collection will be left to the contributors. Anger, humor, grief, healing, indifference, etc. are all welcome themes. Those wishing to remain anonymous will have that wish respected and not be named in the final publication. Anonymity will be granted to the degree at which it’s requested, so please make your needs clear with your submissions.

Why Trans Women Only? The perception that trans women are less often targets of sexual violence is incredibly pervasive, even among allies to the trans community. This erroneous assumption is deeply rooted in cissexism, transphobia, and transmisogyny. While sexual violence affects many communities and is often taboo or “invisible” in those communities, trans women’s experiences are uniquely derided and ignored. This results in the isolation of trans women survivors, a culture of silence within broader trans communities, and a false pretense for the exclusion of trans women from feminist conversations about rape and assault. The purpose of this collection is to give voice to and encourage dialog around the specific reality of sexual violence against trans women. We are interested in work by trans women of all backgrounds, regardless of transition status, race, class, education, ability, age, orientation, or occupation. Any survivor of sexual violence that self-identifies as a trans woman is encouraged to contribute. To send submit your story, go to:

Anyone wishing to assist this project is encouraged to **forward this call for submissions widely.**

If you want to help further or have any questions please contact

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What's the Deal with Medical Fetishes?

...I mean airplane peanuts.  No, I mean medical fetishes.  (I've been watching a lot of Seinfeld reruns lately...)

This has been a super-crappy week for me, health-wise.  Usually I can talk myself out of getting sick (mind over matter, dudes) but this time things were getting a little extreme.  It was more pain than I could handle, and the illness was overtaking me.

So I visited my doctor.

Friends, my doctor is GORGEOUS.  Seriously.  I wish you could see her, because she is just so luscious and pretty and lust-worthy.  Every time she steps into the waiting room and calls my name, my heart goes kathump-kathump and I giggle a bit.  And she makes me laugh!  

She's beautiful, intelligent, and funny--no wonder my mother always teases that I'm going to run away with my doctor.

But, hey, when a stunning young woman is always begging you to take your pants off so she can get all up inside you (for that annual pelvic exam you're always putting off), your mind starts to wander.  Okay, I'll stop putting this all on "you" and admit MY mind started to wander.

Medical erotica has existed at the periphery of my awareness right from the start of my career, when I was an author with the now-defunct Dark Eden Press.  We hosted an author chat/meet and greet sort of thing for readers, and were scolded by a "big New York agent" when some authors started talking about how hot their doctors were, and making jokes about pelvic exams.

Hmmm... I hope no self-proclaimed "big New York agents" are reading this post, or I might get in trouble.

Anyway, that was the beginning of my awareness that medical fetish existed within the erotic canon, but in fact I've never thought much about it.  I know Bryn Colvin of loveyoudivine writes it, but I've never read any. Hmmm... maybe I should.  After seeing my beautiful doctor today, I think I can relate.  Hell, maybe I'll even try my hand at writing some one day.

But I want to hear from YOU, readers.  What's it all about?  What appeals to you about medical fetish erotica?  This is your chance to tell all!


Giselle Renarde 

FREE READ: More Than Anything, trans lesbian erotica

I mentioned on Twitter the other day that I'd received an acceptance on a story I don't remember writing. This is the one.  

I totally remember all this stuff happening in real life (oh baby, that was a good night!), but I have no idea when I wrote about it... which is kind of scary, but at the same time if you want to pay the rent writing short stories, you have to be incredibly prolific.  I guess it's only natural that I can't keep up with myself.  Or maybe I had some kind of sexual hangover at the time.

Anyway, "More Than Anything" is an original transgender lesbian erotic short written by me (apparently! LOL) and you can read it FREE at Oysters & Chocolate:


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Don't Go Breaking My Heart (Or Anyone Else's)

Once upon a time, I wrote a blog post about how writing made me a better person.  Normally I'd grab the link for you, but I just "upgraded" to Blogger's new format and at the moment I have no idea how to do anything. (I was lucky to find the "compose" button. Why does everything have to change every 3 months?)

Anyway, in that post (which I believe was called "Writing Made Me A Better Person") I talked about how I came into my writing career expecting every other author to be out to get me.  What I found instead was the kindest, most generous group of people I'd ever encountered.  Other writers helped me tremendously in the beginning, when I didn't know what I was doing.  Other authors interviewed me on their blogs and helped promote my work, which is why I've always provided similar opportunities here at Donuts & Desires.  (Check out the tab that says "Advertise With D&D" for free as well as paid promotion options available to everyone.)

In the beginning, my writing was weak.  I'm the first to admit it.  I would never pretend that I came into my career in a state of perfection, or that I'm anywhere close to that now.  Whether you're a writer or you do something else for a living, think about your first day on the job.  Hell, think about your first year, your first five years.  When I worked in business I was definitely one of those people promoted beyond my level of competency, going in to the office every day thinking, "I wonder if my clients realize I don't know what the fuck I'm doing." 

Anyway, back to the early days of writing.  In my first year or so writing for the erotica market, most of my stories were rejected, and the ones that were accepted required huge overhauls and rewrites.  Luckily, I was able to work with some incredible editors.  In its initial incarnation with Dark Eden Press, my first ebook The Birthday Gift went through three grueling rounds of edits.  I swore I would never write again, but I learned so much through the editing process that I gained back my confidence.

And the other part of that confidence came from fellow authors, who were always willing to help. Always.  They were unbelievable kind and encouraging even as they helped shape me as an author and improve my craft while maintaining my voice.  I owe them a debt of gratitude I couldn't ever hope to repay.

Not to hearken back to the good old days, seeing as they were only 5 years ago, but lately I've seen camaraderie among authors disintegrating.  

It makes me very sad.

I see this group of authors attacking that group of authors.  I see authors who sit with perfect posture attacking authors who write while standing on one foot.  Authors who take one route to publication attack authors who choose another route.

Help used to be offered everywhere.  Now all I see is attack, attack, attack.  "They suck, their books are crap, they shouldn't be allowed in our playground. Banish them all!"

If I were entering the publishing sphere today as an author standing on one foot and I saw all the terrible, hateful bile being spewed by authors with perfect posture, I would turn tail and run.  Yes, I'm really that sensitive.  

Without the support I received from other industry professionals, I wouldn't have had the confidence to TRY improving my work.  I would have stopped writing.

No, I'm not saying I believe all authors should be coddled like "kids today" who can do no wrong (ha!), but I am saying that nobody ever improves without encouragement.  We writers get enough shit thrown at us in the course of a business day.  (Like, ever notice how if your book changes someone's life they write you a lovely email, but if a reader wants a fatwa called against you they post it to Amazon?) The last thing we need is factions attacking factions, and feeling right and good in cutting others down to size. 

Authors, we all live in this glass house together.  Why are we throwing stones?

Compassionate Hugs,

Giselle Renarde 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Life is Magic

Has this ever happened to you? (I don't mean the sweet girl kiss in the image above, though I did want to mention I found that card at So adorable, right?)

I mean this: You need to buy a gift for someone you love. You have a history of giving great, thoughtful, often quite expensive gifts, but this year the money's just not there, and the creative juices aren't flowing either. You go shopping and browse around, picking up this and that, but you know nothing's quite right. Nothing's perfect, not even close, and you can already hear her voice when she opens it: that high-pitched, put-on, "Ohhhh... thank you..."

Sound familiar? I can't be the only person on the planet this happens to. :-)

My girlfriend's birthday is coming up. Had you guessed? I'm usually a really awesome gift-giver, but part of the problem is that as soon as I spot something she wants or needs, I buy it and give it to her. I give her presents all year round, and I've been spending quite a lot of money recently. Too much money, in fact. Right now, my bank account can't handle extravagance.

I went shopping this weeking and picked up a few small gifts, but nothing impressive and nothing Sweet's going to be particularly excited about. After spending far too long in the shops, I walked home, weaving through the residential streets between there and here. I felt defeated. I wished I could have found something my girl would love, even though she said not long ago, "I don't need presents--all I need is YOU."

Early evening and the air was still sweet with the smell of spring. I was coming up on my building, maybe 5 minutes from home, when I saw it. IT. The perfect gift. The thing my girlfriend's been looking for everywhere and not finding anywhere.

I won't tell you what IT is, on the off-chance Sweet stops by the blog. She doesn't come here often, but I don't want to ruin the surprise. Anyway, the WHAT isn't the important bit. This was an incredible, serendipidous find. After shopping all day, watching my pennies and finding nothing to write home about, I spotted the perfect gift sitting on my neighbour's lawn with a sign on it that said FREE.

Life is magic. This is the proof. When you need something, it'll come. It'll be right there on your neighbour's lawn, and it won't cost you a dime.


Also, if you want something free from me, pick up a copy of "6 Erotic Shorts by Giselle Renarde"--available for $0 from many retailers, including 1PRF and ARe.

Monday, April 2, 2012

More Free Stories: Lesbian Public Sex at Every Night Erotica

I love giving you all little gifts of fiction. I make a conscious and devoted effort to supply the reading public with as much original, awesome, FREE smut as I possibly can. (That's one of the many reasons I feel so personally betrayed when readers choose to steal my books instead of purchasing them, but that's a topic for a day when I'm feeling ranty).

I'll keep this short and sweet: I've got a FREE READ for you at Every Night Erotica!

It's called "Little Lamb on Bay Street" and it's about a quirky lesbian couple in costumes gettin' it on right there on the city sidewalk. NB: Bay Street is a downtown Toronto street known as the (heart?) of the financial district.

Anyway, it's free and it's for you!