Guest Post – Ashley Ladd: Why I write M/M and Transgender Romance.

I write erotic romance in many of its forms: MM, MF, MMF, MFM, MMM, and transgender. Perhaps I’ll try my hand at an FF romance one day as well.

I’ve been asked why I write in so many different genres.

In my mind, MM, MF, FF, and transgender aren’t really different “genres” but merely different characters and couplings. I write primarily contemporary erotic romance and within that, there are many characters and thus many types of pairings. Why should sexual preference be viewed differently than racial, religious, or any cultural difference?

It doesn’t matter to me what someone’s sexual preference is. And it shouldn’t matter to other people.

I didn’t always feel this way, however. When I was seventeen my fiancé revealed he was bi-sexual by kissing another man fully on the lips in front of me. Then he tried to convince me that he wasn’t cheating on me by having a boyfriend. He also convinced me that all men were sexually attracted to other men. I was scarred for a long time, believing that men didn’t like women. I also thought they were huge jerks.

Fortunately since then, I’ve matured and met many wonderful gay, lesbian and transgender people. Specifically, I’ve been befriended by a wonderful gay man. He’s one of the nicest, most interesting, and fun people in my circles and he’s been in a beautiful monogamous relationship for more than twenty years. His union is stronger, better than most of the heterosexual couples I know.

Then three years ago my thirty year old son told me he was really a female, that he had been extremely unhappy living as a male. His very life was at stake he was so unhappy. Since then, she’s gone through a sex change operation and is now a woman. Her wife stayed with her and they are much happier than when she was a man. Their children are happy and they are a beautiful family. Oh, there have been some bumps along the way. My daughter had to change jobs as her employer wasn’t happy about her transformation. Luckily, her new job is terrific and she just received a large raise and she now earns almost double my salary. Our aunt and uncle don’t want anything to do with her and haven’t spoken to her since the announcement. However, her siblings and grandparents are supportive and she also has many new friends.

As her mother, I’ve also experienced a bit of intolerance about her. This angers me for her sake and everybody like her. Two coworkers stopped being my friends when they found out. I’ve also heard there’s juicy gossip going around the office regarding my daughter which isn’t surprising as she once worked with me when she was still a man. However, my three best friends are very supportive and accepting.

I’m happy that we live in a large cosmopolitan metropolis that is tolerant of different lifestyles. My biggest fear when I first learned about my daughter’s change was for her safety. So far that fear’s been for naught. Most people have accepted her.

My hope is that people will accept other people for who they are, not who they think they should be. People are people. We’re all unique and we all have our differences. I’m heterosexual but I have flaws. I have a cleft lip and palate which I’ve received flack about over the years. I have a heterosexual friend who was born with Spinabifida and people give her a hard time too because of her disability. Discrimination in its many forms is terrible. No one should have to suffer from it for any reason. And so sometimes I write MM or transgender romance and sometimes I write MF romance. I don’t see that changing.

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TH2014Blurb

Guy Rogers is extremely attracted to his new realtor, Tom Beaudreaux. As a passionate vegetarian and animal activist, he’s ecstatic that Tom is a kindred soul. He could never be with a carnivore. Unfortunately, Tommy isn’t really a vegetarian or animal activist. He never said he was either, he just didn’t eat meat when he was with Guy. And maybe he emptied his house of all meat and dairy products before inviting Guy over. In fact, Tommy’s family owns the most popular barbecue restaurant in town and if his family has their way, he’ll manage the new location.

When Guy finds out that Tommy eats meat and his family owns a restaurant that is a monument to eating meat, he’s livid and doesn’t know if he wants anything else to do with Tommy.

But then Guy’s life gets crazy –his dad’s paranoia blossoms into violent dementia, he gets arrested for picketing a doggy mill, and then he winds up in even more legal trouble. When Tommy sticks by him through all his trouble and does everything he can to help him, Guy wonders if he’s been too militant and narrow-minded. Perhaps he can learn to live with people who have opposite views.

TH2014Excerpt

Guy finished his meal, wadded up his napkin and dropped it on his plate. “Do you think it will take long to find more houses for me to look at?”

“I’ll make you—it—my priority. Just give me a couple days.” Damn! A Freudian slip.

Guy reached over as if to put his hand on Tommy’s, but stopped in midair. His eyes softened and hope flickered. “I’d like it if you made me, not my business, your priority.”

Tommy’s throat went dry and his heart flipped over. “Do you mean what I think you mean?”

Guy lowered his hand and took Tommy’s in his. “I think so. I like you—a lot. You’re handsome and charming and I feel a connection. I know it’s quick, but I’m a forthright, fast kind of guy. Besides, if you find me a house as rapidly as I want, you’ll be out of my life before I can do anything about it. Do I have a chance with you?”

Tommy wanted to jump up from his seat and shout, “Hell yeah!” But his inner angel was quarreling with his inner devil about work ethics. It wasn’t as if real estate agents had long-term contracts or dealings with their clients. They found a home, closed the deal then moved on to the next client. He supposed it wouldn’t be the end of his career if he got together with one client. Feeling as if his heart had leapt into his throat, he turned his hand over and squeezed Guy’s fingers. “Yeah. I like you a lot too.”

Guy looked like he was about to let out a whoop of victory then remembered where he was. Instead, he lowered his voice to a husky whisper. “I’d invite you to my place, but my dad would be a buzz kill. Do you have your own apartment?”

Tommy swallowed a gulp. “I do in Davie. If you don’t mind the long drive.”

“You’re a funny, funny man, Tom Boudreaux. I’ll follow you to the ends of the Earth.”

Tommy licked his suddenly dry lips and his cock twitched. In mach three, blood was rushing into it. “So I did hear that?”

“Yeah, babe, you did.”

He liked being called ‘babe’, especially by Guy. He threw several dollar bills on the table, which included a generous tip, then he stood, hoping the evidence of his arousal wasn’t noticeable. From the amused glint in Guy’s eyes, it had been noted.

Purchase Links

https://www.totallybound.com/business-or-pleasure

 

TH2014Author

Ashley Ladd bioAshley Ladd is a disabled Air Force vet that is hard of hearing but still loves language, especially the written word. She loves a sexy man, especially one with a military background and they’ll often pop up in her stories. She also loves cats and has been known to empower a cat with the gift of speech. Unfortunately he wouldn’t shut up. J She loves to plug into Pandora and sip Diet Coke while writing, usually with a cat or kid at her side.

connectwiththeauthor

 Emailchinara@aol.com | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Shelfari | Amazon

 

 

Zee Kensington – Finally Home Blog Tour & Giveaway!

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Thank you for having me for tea today, Charlie! It’s lovely to be here. I thought since my new novel, Finally Home, is about travel, I’d talk a bit about writing the cities that my characters visit.

I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to visit some of the biggest cities in the world. As a child, I was dazzled by Mexico City’s Christmas lights and rooted for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their home ball park. As an adult, I navigated New York City’s labyrinthine subway system, walked Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, and drifted on a long-tail boat through the heart of Bangkok.

LA smogI treasure all these memories, and writing about locations I’ve visited before is a way for me to go back again. Not only to experience the sights and smells, but the thrill of exploring a new place for the first time.

That’s how my short story, Krung Thep, City of Angels, was created. I had recently returned from two amazing weeks in Southeast Asia—my first trip off the North America continent—and I was eager to relive the adventure and excitement.

I’d remembered a photo exhibit I’d seen in Bangkok comparing it to Los Angeles (since both cities are known in their respective cultures as “The City of Angels”) and I thought it’d be poetic to write a story about an LA native lost in Bangkok. Hence, Marco, my novice backpacker, was born.

Now he needed a romantic interest. I have a bit of an obsession with New York City, and Manhattan seemed the natural choice as a hometown for the more worldly character, culinary travel writer Chris.

So, Marco and Chris meet in Bangkok, and relive some of my own favorite adventures—visiting the Grand Palace, taking a long-tail boat ride, and gazing down at Bangkok by night from the top of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel (though I didn’t do what they did up there).

It was a little more challenging when continuing their story in Finally Home. Where Krung Thep was all about two Americans connecting abroad, Finally Home is about, well, coming home, which for Marco and Chris were Los Angeles and New York respectively.

I’d spent my childhood in the LA area, Marco’s hometown and the first location of Finally Home. However, “Los Angeles” is a big area, more of an identity shared by numerous of cities spanning across hundreds of miles. Someone in Santa Monica would have a completely different experience than someone in East LA.

Upper_East_Side_2I pulled on my childhood memories and recollections of a more recent visit to capture the feel of LA suburbia–the ordered grid-work of city blocks, the gorgeous orange sunsets shining in the smog-choked sky, the working- and middle-class folks that had never seen a movie star in the flesh. These memories helped me hone in on Marco’s experience as a suburban kid from Culver City, a city west of downtown Los Angeles (and not unlike the area I grew up in).

New York posed its own set of challenges. My experiences there were more recent, but fleeting. Where I once was a resident of the Los Angeles area, I’d always approached New York as visitor. Which made Marco’s perspective as an outsider easy to write, but how to get into the headspace of Chris, the native?

I remembered my day walking through Manhattan’s Upper East Side: the way the cool October light cut between the towering, knife-gray buildings, the manicured perfection of the “ladies who lunch” as they strolled between boutiques, the relentless flow of 5th Avenue foot traffic that didn’t slow down for anything, even a big-budget movie shoot clogging up an entire block.  I tried to image what it would be like for Chris—who had spent four years bouncing between third-world countries and existing on street food—to return to that sharp, relentless way of living.  It’d be pretty damn disorienting. That I could certainly write.

It was a lot of fun revisiting some of my favorite cities, and it only encourages me to keep traveling to find more fodder for my stories.

How about you?  Have any places you’ve visited inspired your stories? If not, what are some of your favorite places to visit by book?

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TH2014Blurb
After one night in Bangkok turned into ten days trekking together, novice backpacker Marco and seasoned travel writer Chris parted ways thinking they’d never see each other again. Three months later, Marco still can’t forget the greatest adventure of his life—or the gorgeous guy he shared it with. Too afraid to come out to his family, Marco is suffocating in his suburban Southern California life, until Chris announces he’s coming to LA.

Chris has spent the past four years wandering alone, rebuilding himself from the ashes of a failed journalism career. He arrives in Los Angeles eager to eat, write, and resume the sexy, casual fun he had enjoyed with Marco. But when Chris finds his friend is a terrified closet-case at home, he’s determined to help Marco confront his fears.

Priorities change when Chris’s father suffers a stroke, and Chris rushes to New York City to face a harsh homecoming with the family he abandoned. When Marco defies his parents to be at Chris’s side, Chris begins to realize there may be more to their relationship than just work and play, and that Marco may be the one to show Chris what it means to finally be home.

Purchase Links
Dreamspinner Press eBook | Dreamspinner Press paperback

 

TH2014Author
Zee Kensington discovered a passion for writing erotica in her freshman year of college, and has been crafting sweet and sexy stories ever since. Inspired by her years working and playing in San Francisco’s LGBT community, she is especially drawn to tales that explore the joys and challenges of queer identities.

An almost-native Californian and a card-carrying geek, she currently lives in the SF Bay Area with her husband and toddler. When she’s not writing or catching up on her sleep she enjoys watching films, playing video games, experimenting in her kitchen, and dreaming of the day her son is old enough to travel the world with her.

connectwiththeauthor

Blog: http://zeekensington.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/zee.kensington
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZeeKensington
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4563478.Zee_Kensington

 

TH2014Giveaway

Finally Home Blog Tour and Giveaway

Join me on my blog tour (August 29-September 12) and enter to win an autographed book bundle of Finally Home and Two Tickets to Paradise!

Enter Here via Rafflecopter!

 

Lily G. Blunt – Paint the Sky Spotlight Tour & Excerpt

Paint the Sky E-Book Cover

Paint the Sky

by

Lily G. Blunt 

Genre: M/M, Contemporary Romance and Erotica

Length: 65,000 Words/230 pages

Release Date: August 30, 2014

ASIN: B00MSYA1JQ

 

 

TH2014Blurb

 

A love of art…

A mutual interest in art draws two shy university students together. Ben admires Vinnie’s painting of the university building, so Vinnie invites him to an exhibition of his artwork. From a wealthy family, Ben purchases some of Vinnie’s art and arranges for the artist to personally hang the paintings in his apartment.

Starry, starry night…

Ben commissions Vinnie to paint his portrait, in order to spend more time with the artist. On the night of the sitting, Vinnie fingerpaints the starry night on Ben’s chest… and they kiss. They begin a relationship beneath the night sky, God’s own canvas.

But every relationship has its ups and downs and so it is with theirs. When Ben thinks Vinnie spends too much time with a fellow artist, his jealousy drives a wedge between them and forces Vinnie into the very thing Ben dreads.

Hold tight to your dreams…

Ben and Vinnie will have to walk through fire before they can find one another again. But if they believe, and if they keep their faith in the night sky and each other, just maybe they can make their dreams of love come true.

 

TH2014Excerpt

 

Vinnie led me across the room, pulling me by the shirt. “Lie back on the sofa for me and I’ll paint you.”

As if in a dream, I settled my head against one arm of the sofa, my legs dangling over the other end, scarcely breathing now. Vinnie knelt on the floor beside me with an open pot of paint in his hand.

Teasingly, he dipped his index finger into the dark blue paint as if it were cream he would lick off. His finger connected with my skin and he made short strokes across my chest, the coldness of the paint making me shiver.

Mesmerised by the closeness of his beautiful face, the view of the night sky through the window, and the picture forming upon my chest, I watched as dab after dab and stroke after stroke he built up a mix of shades, until a dark night sky with the moon and stars were there to be seen—a masterpiece, drying on the warmth of my blazing skin, a transient thing of beauty. His fingers skimmed my skin causing gooseflesh to ripple in waves down my arms and thighs. My nipples pebbled in response to his touch.

And when he was done, his lips met mine in a languid kiss; how our first kiss should have been—sweet, innocent, and full of promise. He pulled away, smiling down at me.

This was the beginning of something special.

 

Purchase Links

 

Amazon UKAmazon US

 

 

TH2014Author 

Lily G. Blunt writes contemporary gay romance and erotica. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page—there never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!

Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels four years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work.

Lily has several self-published stories available on Amazon. She is also published with Torquere Press and Wayward Ink Publishing.

Easily distracted from her writing, Lily makes videos using clips from gay-themed movies and posts gorgeous pictures of men kissing or making out on her tumblr and Facebook pages. Lily is also an avid supporter of GLBTQ rights and advocates equality for all.

Lily lives in central England with her rather bemused husband, two twenty-something children, and a ‘mad as a bag of frogs’ Shetland Sheepdog. 

 

connectwiththeauthor

WordPress: http://lilygblunt.wordpress.com

Blog: http://lilygblunt.blogspot.co.uk/

FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/LilyGBlunt

FB Profile: http://www.facebook.com/lily.blunt.75

Tumblr: http://bobloving.tumblr.com/

Tumblr: http://lilygblunt.tumblr.com

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/BoyonBoyLoving?feature=mhee

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BoyonBoyLoving

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6586037.Lily_G_Blunt