Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A Volatile Relationship Between Two Famous GAY Poets!

As some of you probably know, I occasionally write Gay Romance. And I enjoy writing in a different genre now and then. In fact, the passionate/sexual relationships between men have always intrigued me. My penchant for wanting a glimpse into their love affairs has me surfing the Internet for hours. By the time I'm done, I have a gazillion windows open on the computer. (I know...I should be writing).

The other day I happened upon an article about two famous poets--Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine. Their volatile story, as written in detail on Emily's Poetry Blog more than piqued my interest.

Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud were two French poets who made a huge contribution to world literature. Their relationship is called passionate, disastrous, “wrong.” Paul Verlaine was a man of subtle spiritual organization, easily succumbed to someone else’s influence, and Rimbaud was called a young genius scoundrel. Arthur Rimbaud, the free-spirited French poet whose openly gay lifestyle shocked even the most avant-garde artists of London and Paris in the late 19th Century. Whatever it was, their relationship gave birth to beautiful poems, which are still read by those around the world.

When Arthur Rimbaud turned 16, he decided to write to Paul Verlaine, at that time already known to the poet. The young man admired Verlaine’s creativity and attached his poems to his letter. To the great surprise of Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine liked his poetry, and even invited the young man to Paris, paying the way.

Paul Verlaine grew up in completely different conditions, his mother loved him very much, and from childhood he was easily succumbed to someone else’s influence. Already at a young age, he tasted alcohol and hashish. But, what was most frightening for the poet, is his attraction to men. Paul Verlaine believed that this was unnatural. He tried to “heal from this disease,” by tying himself in bonds of marriage. The chosen poet was Mathilde Mauté de Fleurville. Being a 17-year-old girl, she was portrayed in Verlaine’s verses. In 1870 they were married, and soon Matilda became pregnant.

In 1871, Arthur Rimbaud appeared at the poet’s door. He looked terrible: disheveled unwashed hair, dirty clothes, a cold look. When he was invited to the table, the provincial poet constantly belched, gurgled, and spoke with his mouth open. Matilda was horrified, and Paul looked at the young talent as bewitched. Rimbaud took the poet’s wife as an enemy, and in conversations with Verlaine, he called her “the rat.” Verlaine introduced Arthur Rimbaud, who was 10 years younger than him, to his circle. Friends did not know how to relate to the poet’s protege. His talent was recognized by all, but the terrible behavior of Rimbaud repelled people.

Rimbaud had a detrimental effect on Verlaine. If earlier he somehow held back the “demons” inside himself, now they broke free. When Verlaine moved to the side of homosexual love, the images of Minerva and Venus immediately disappeared from his poems. Verlaine began to get drunk on a daily basis to the point of unconsciousness. The poet preferred absinthe and became very aggressive when drunk. Verlaine began to beat his wife, but after the fights, he begged forgiveness from Matilda. One day he almost provoked a miscarriage. In the end, she could not stand it and filed for divorce.

In the passionate relationship between the poets, aggression was constantly present. Once, Arthur wounded Paul with a knife in the thigh and arm. He did not report it to the police. After a while, Verlaine had already shot at Rimbaud, and that debacle ended with a 2-year prison sentence for him! Rimbaud rejoiced at this turn of events; he grew tired of the adult, always drunk lover.

After Verlaine was released from prison, they met for the last time. Their conversation ended in a quarrel. Rimbaud found some wealthy patrons and went to the colony. As for Paul Verlaine, every year he fell ever lower. The only “bright spot” in his life he claimed was the connection with the “brilliant scoundrel”.  Rimbaud died at 37 years old. It is this age that is called critical for poets. Paul Verlaine died of pneumonia in Paris at the age of 51.

The above account of the two lovers would make for a great fictional story in its own right. And while my stories don't include men who knife or shoot one another, I think they're just as exciting!

I hope you'll take a look (if you like raunchy gay romance). All are available for #FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Thanks so much for stopping by today!

A Contemporary Office Romance

          A Gay Vampire Romance

 A Contemporary Romance

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Welcome to #SatSpanks - Cradle of Dreams - #eroticrom #timetravel

Welcome to Saturday Spankings. This is my first time participating in this blog hop. Since I have several #eroticromance #ebooks that involve spanking, I couldn't resist signing up. 

Don't forget to visit all the blogs on the list below to read excerpts from their books! If you like corporal discipline with a little spanking tossed in for excitement, I think you'll enjoy visiting the other authors included in the blog hop. 

The "DREAMS" trilogy (Cradle of Dreams, Whisper of Dreams, Scoundrel of Dreams) have several tropes in common: Time Travel (who doesn't love to travel back in time?), Erotic Romance, Suspense, and Second-Chance love.

The first book in the series, Cradle of Dreams is a short read but packed with passion, romance and  suspense. What happens to the woman who was injured in the opening chapter, and what happens when she travels back in time and meets the one man who turns her blood to liquid fire? 

About Cradle of Dreams: 

Roane Bradfield returns from the war with nightmares of every battle etched in his brain. But his worst nightmare comes true when he discovers the woman who promised to wait forever is betrothed to another man.

He’s been through living hell, has nothing more to lose other than the last shred of his sanity. He intends to confront Kendrick Moreland at Dowager Huggin’s Grand Ball, and when the perfect opportunity lands in his lap, he whisks the treacherous wanton into a secluded library. He will know the reason Kendrick cut him from his life with such callous disregard.

She might be wearing a betrothal ring on her slender finger, but her traitorous body tells him it’s not over between them. As far as he’s concerned, it will never be over between them.

*Scorchingly hot trilogy
* Featuring Calypso, the time-traveling feline
* Stories can be read as stand-alones and do not contain a cliffhangers.
“The author was able to transport me back to 1865 with just a few words. I felt like I was at the ball and wished I was in the library rather than Kendrick. Roane proved himself to be quite the Alpha man: See. Want. Take.”

Reader's will love her characters and will want to know more about their lives and their world they live in, I know I do. What made this a magical story was Roane's determination to get to the woman he loved and claim her before she was married to someone else.”
Her eyes widened as she stared into his with fear and expectancy. She wanted him too; he felt it with every beat of his savage heart. He stalked toward her, lowered his head and captured her mouth. Devouring her lips was like laying claim to heaven. Velvety smooth, they moved against his. He didn’t have to force her lips apart to gain what he sought. The moment he ran his tongue over her bottom lip, she allowed him access.
Breaking from the kiss, he held her back from him. “Take off your dress. Do it now before I rip the damn garment from your body.”

“You’re not serious!”

“Oh, no? I shall count to three. If you intend to salvage the dress, I suggest you remove it.


Her fingers trembled when she slipped the dress from her shoulders. His mind

screamed: Soon she will be mine; heart, soul, and body. Excruciating pain shot through him when her foot connected with his groin.  Contemplating the feel of his rod inside her, he had let his guard down, trusted her.

She bolted toward the door, fumbling with the gown near her shoulders. Despite the pain, Roane lunged through the air and took her down by an ankle. He couldn’t allow her to walk from this room. Their bodies tumbled about the rug, her kicking and clawing, him doing his best to keep her flailing arms from scratching his eyes out. Near the settee, he managed to haul her to her feet, turn her around and hold her against him. Her breaths came in pants and a quiet sob escaped.
Long moments passed and neither spoke. Finally, on a whisper her words reached him. “I can’t reach the buttons.”

Monday, February 10, 2020

Is It Time to Relaunch Your Back List? #amwriting #ebooks

Has your book fallen off the radar?

Here's some tips to help you relaunch your books, no matter the genre.
The most powerful part of a relaunch is getting a new cover. Search through the top sellers in your genre on Amazon, and don't forget to look at the "Also Bought" Amazon supplies on those pages
Do the bestselling covers in your genre all have something in common? If so, take note of what it is and think about what your cover should look like (without copying someone else's cover). Graphic artists can be specific to genre. Some specialize in urban fantasy, others historical romance. Shop around; find a suitable cover artist that works in your genre without breaking the bank.

Take a look at the bestselling 'thriller' covers these days. They're often quite plain, very simple, and seldom have images of people. The fonts are large and chunky with perhaps the background in one color and the font in a contrasting color.

While you're looking at the bestselling covers, take time to read the blurbs. They are vastly different today than they were five years ago. Don't forget to read the sample Amazon provides. Look at the Point of View (s) in the book and the style and formatting. Are those "bully romances" written from two perspectives? His and hers in alternating chapters? Is reverse harem written in first person or third?

Pay attention to categories and look at Amazon's keyword pages. At one time, the keyword "werewolf" was very popular, but soon became saturated. Now werewolf falls under the umbrella of 'shifters'. Yes, Amazon updates these category pages from time to time.

Relaunching a book, no matter the genre, will take research and studying on your part. In the long run, this research should pay off. 

You'll also need to look at promotion sites where you can show off your beautiful new cover and blurb. Many of the old promotion sites, for example, in gay fiction, no longer exist and new sites have cropped up. When you relaunch, you want to determine the best sites for marketing your genre. Do they provide blog tours, reviews, cover reveals--all important elements you should take into consideration.

You want to treat the relaunch with as much detail and enthusiasm as you did when you first launched that book the first time. 

Important: There are millions, tens of millions even, of people who are in the market now that weren't around when your book was new. Read that again. There are millions of readers that never saw or read your book when you published it several years ago. You want to reach them by knowing where they're looking for books in your genre.

In the meantime, here's a book that will help you understand, step-by-step, how to relaunch those books that have fallen off the radar. This is only one example. There are many books that go in-depth for relaunching your back list.

Good luck, and keep us posted. Did you relaunch a book that was collecting dust, and how did it go?

I'm in the process of relaunching all eight of my gay fiction novels. It's a lot of work that has required rewrites, new covers, new blurbs, new categories and new back matter (this has changed since initial release.)

Here's one I just relaunched on all venues. How do you like the new cover?

Long Hard Ride
Western Romance/Suspense

 A prison break…a past they can't forget…a passion they can't deny.

The Civil War has devastated a Nation.

Grayson Drake, Special Agent for a covert spy agency, must assume the identity of a physician in order to break Corporal Marx Wellbourne out of Elmira prison─better known as Hellmira to prisoners housed there.

Corporal Wellbourne is a Confederate military strategist with an Eidetic memory. He has memorized every strategic battle plan the Confederacy hopes to implement in upcoming battles.

Drake’s orders state he is to return Wellbourne to Richmond, VA, where the generals of the Confederate Army can extract the battle plans entombed in his brain. 

After Grayson is allowed entry into Wellbourne’s prison cell, he discovers not only is Wellbourne courting death from malaria and pneumonia, he recognizes him as a man he fell in love from afar several years ago.

Grayson must come up with a plan to rescue Wellbourne and then keep him alive while a brigade of soldiers, led by the villainous warden, Britton Darkmore is in hot pursuit.

Will they live through the long hard ride back to Richmond?

* * *
This is one of those stories that twists your gut into knots. The angst, the passion, the betrayal. A must read for lovers of gay historical romance with substance, high risk tension, suspense and heart pounding sex.”

“This was such a great book! The character dynamics between Gray and Marx kept me on my toes and the chemistry was steamy hot. Definitely on my re-read shelf.”


Thursday, February 6, 2020

Calling All #Readers! The 2020 Winter Games Are Here - #ebooks

Hi Friends, fans and #Readers:

We have a fantastic event in store for you - The 2020 WINTER GAMES

Winter Games is a month-long reader challenge, featuring up to 60 BESTSELLING & AWARD-WINNING AUTHORS

Readers, if you LOVE a challenge and are willing to write Amazon reviews for some Bestselling and Award-Winning Authors–Winter Games is for YOU!

Readers will be eligible for fantastic prizes including Amazon gift cards, swag, free books, and tons of fun! Click HERE to join our Facebook Reader Group.

Winter Games is Bigger, Better, Super Organized, and the best reader challenge on the planet!

💎 Winter Games’ hosts will post games, giveaways, prizes, and incentives along the way in our Author and Reader Facebook groups.

💎 A $200 GRAND PRIZE will be awarded to the READER who reads and posts Amazon Reviews for the most books. The Grand Prize will be in the form of a $200 gift card.

💎Additional prizes will be awarded to other reader participants, which may include swag, print books, and gift cards.

💎The most reviews on BookBub and/or Goodreads reviews as well as Amazon reviews.

💎The reader who attends and participates in the most Host Parties during the event.

💎The reader who interacts with authors and encourages other readers during the event.

💎 Smaller prizes will be awarded by the host during the month-long event, such as smaller gift cards, swag giveaways, digital copies, or Audible versions of various books written by participating authors.

Let's have some fun! I'm crossing my fingers you join the Winter Games, read some great books and win some fantastic prizes! 

Here's the link again for all
#booklovers and #readers:

See you there! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Best Westerns In History - #cowboys #romance

Hey, thanks for stopping by. We're talking Westerns today--the best westerns that ran for years on TV. I remember as a child watching some of these shows and loving them. Rawhide – what's not to love about Rowdy Yates (a young and handsome, Clint Eastwood)? At times he was wild and impetuous in the earliest episode. Favor had to keep a tight rein on him.

I suppose we can blame Rowdy Yates for my love of writing and reading #WesternRomance. So here are the 12 Best in History (or so they say!)

The longest-running Western of all time and one of the longest-running television show.

The Wild Wild West
A blatant attempt to blend the Western and spy genres. Lasted for four generations but was eventually cancelled due to its violent aspect.

"Bonanza" was the second-longest-running Western television show (behind Gunsmoke). Its theme song was an instrumental version that was very popular with viewers Remember Little Joe and Hoss?

Have Gun Will Travel
The character of Paladin, Richard Boone, was an icon of the Western genre. ''Have Gun Will Travel,'' one of television's classic western series, was produced by CBS from 1957 to 1963. As Paladin, Mr. Boone played a black-garbed, San Francisco-based gunslinger who carried engraved business cards that announced ''Have Gun, Will Travel. Wire Paladin, San Francisco.''

With its rousing theme song, "Rawhide" was a cultural icon. It ran for seven and a half years in total. It also introduced the world to a young Clint Eastwood, who would become the savior of the Western genre in the 1970s.

The series followed the adventures of the Maverick clan. While the cast changed somewhat, 124 episodes were produced in total.

Through 108 episodes, it retained its popularity before ending its run in 1963. The show starred Clint Walker, a native of Illinois, as Cheyenne Bodie, a physically large cowboy with a gentle spirit in search of frontier justice who wanders the American West.

The masked man who fought for justice. Don Alejandro de la Vega (portrayed by George J. Lewis) was a hot-tempered cattle baron (or ranchero) with a strong sense of morality and fair play.

The Lone Ranger
It starred Clayton Moore as the title character and Jay Silverheels as Tonto. Hi-Ho, Silver!

The Guns of Will Sonnet
The Guns of Will Sonnett From 1967 to 1969, "The Guns of Will Sonnet" was broadcast by ABC. The series starred veteran character actor Walter Brennan as Will Sonnett, and Dack Rambo as his grandson, Jeff, who were searching for Will's son, James

Kung Fu
This Western-Eastern mashup was a trailblazer in a number of ways. It starred David Carradine as a man who travels the Old West using martial arts to make his way.

The Virginian
It ran from 1962 to 1971. Each episode was a movie-length 75 minutes. James Drury and Doug McClure were the only performers who appeared in all nine seasons of the series (season numbers follow cast members name). James Drury as The Virginian (Seasons 1–9) Doug McClure as Trampas (Seasons 1–9) Lee J. Gary Clarke as Steve Hill (Season 1–3) Roberta Shore as Betsy Garth (Seasons 1–4)

One of the Westerns I really enjoyed writing was CHASING THE DEAD. I loved researching the Native American history and think Sacheen, the Indian maiden in the story turned out to be a very intriguing character!

About the book:
In 1884 New Mexico, Madrid Arrende finds herself kidnapped by the Apache. Determined to rescue her, her wealthy father realizes there is only one man capable of bringing her back alive...Deacon Bannister. Deacon doesn't give one whit about the large sum of money Don Erasmos Arrende has offered him to find his daughter. He only cares about bringing the woman he left at the altar a year ago home.

A ghost is terrorizing the Apache village and the young maiden, Sacheen, has been banished by her People for unleashing Uday's wrath. Now, Deacon, Madrid and Sacheen must flee for their lives across the rugged New Mexico landscape with the evil spirit in hot pursuit.

Will they make it back alive to Madrid's father's hacienda or will
Deacon lose Madrid forever?

This Western Romance has received some wonderful five star reviews! Read them here on AMAZON