Monday, December 3, 2012

Second Chances by Bottom Drawer Publications


Second Chances Anthology

Blog Tour
November 20 – December 20, 2012


Enjoy this wonderful guest post by author C.C. Lorenz



WHAT DRAWS WOMEN TO MALE/MALE ROMANCE?  By C. C. Lorenz

I can clearly remember my reaction to the first piece of M/M erotica that I read. I had just started dipping my toe into the Twilight fan fiction world and was reading the entries for a contest. Most of the stories were based on M/F relationships, but one entry stood out, where the main characters were both male.

Hm, I thought, clicking the link, this ought to be interesting.
Interesting was the understatement of the year.  I was completely blown away and thinking back, it was a great way to be indoctrinated into M/M romance. The characters were portrayed as men—rugged, tough, difficulty talking about their feelings types of men—but with a hefty layer of vulnerability tacked on. After that, I began devouring everything in the genre that I could find, and can’t deny that a huge part of my enjoyment was that I found it unbelievably sexy. But why?

As a heterosexual woman, I like men. I like the way they look, their faces, bodies and voices.  So if one is good, two is better, right? Sure, this is probably a factor in why women enjoy male romance, but I don’t think it’s the driving force. I'm not at all interested in being a part of the scene, content to be merely a spectator. 

It’s been said that while men are visual, women tend to be more verbal, or textual. It's not really quite that simple, though. In erotic fiction, the writer can establish relationships, allowing the reader to become invested in the characters (and if they get laid). Whether it’s a one-night stand or a more established relationship, a look into the character's motivations helps to create a bond between the character and the reader, giving some context to the situation and more often than not, making the action steamier. And once you know the context, it can be drawn on every time the reader decides to give that hot sex scene a re-read. Erotic stories also allow the reader a certain amount of creative input to the story, and they can tailor their fantasies to their personal tastes, within certain guidelines. The main character is tan and blond, with wavy hair? Your version might look completely different from mine, but I guarantee you that they're both hot.

So, we have emotional investment coupled with creativity, but this holds true for any erotic romance. Where does the M/M part of it fit in to all this?

I enjoy the intimacy and vulnerability between the characters in M/M romance, both emotionally and physically. A certain amount of conflict exists naturally within this genre, and a personal highlight for me is the emotional journey that the characters take. More often than not the path is plagued by self-doubt and the characters find themselves torn between their romantic desires and what other people (or even themselves) might consider socially acceptable. These feelings could be portrayed in a humorous light, or with soul-crushing angst, but that common thread still exists, whether it's trying to figure out if the guy they have a crush on would reciprocate their feelings, or if they would be accepted by their friends and family. At the end of the day, there's nothing sexier than someone who decides to throw caution to the wind and live their life in a way that makes them happy.  

When it finally comes down to the main event, the physical intimacy between male characters has a different type energy than between male and female characters.

Things that might be considered risqué in heterosexual relationships are commonplace in M/M romance and, simply put, two men in a relationship touch each other differently than men and women. Just the act of readying the body for any sort of penetration is shockingly intimate, whether the characters use their fingers, tongues, or toys to prepare more delicate areas. Because of this, most M/M romances emphasize the importance of checking in with your partner and being sensitive to their needs, and I can't think of anything women might appreciate more than that. Even if the sex ends up being rough and dirty, the quiet moments leading up to it usually underscore this point.

Finally, traditional M/F romance stories are usually told from a female point of view and I think many women appreciate the more straightforward approach to sex found in M/M romance. Like I said earlier, it's nice to establish a connection between the characters in a story, but contrary to what a lot people may think, we don't need to be overwhelmed by emotions to enjoy a good sex scene. As a reader, just describe it to me and let me fill in the blanks.

Don't worry, I've got a pretty good imagination.

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

C. C. Lorenz’s short story, “Notice to Appear” features in the Second Chances male/male anthology published by Bottom Drawer Publications in August 2012.

C. C. Lorenz grew up in Southern California and currently resides in Los Angeles where she works in the finance industry. Searching for a distraction from the daily stresses of her job, she stumbled upon the world of male/male romance and fell in love with the genre. Intrigued to explore the unique challenges of gay relationships, C. C. put pen to paper (figuratively) for the first time since her college days and began to write.

When not immersed in the world of M/M romance, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, drinking wine, and driving her husband crazy by acting like a teenager.


Summary:

Josh Campbell is handed a notice to appear in court for a traffic offence, but his humiliation is complete when he comes face to face with his schoolboy crush, Carter Sullivan, in the courtroom. Could this be the start of something with Carter now that age is not an issue?

Excerpt:

JOSH REFLECTED ON how it’d turned out to be the most expensive date he’d ever been on as he climbed the steps into the courthouse. As a student in his last year of college, he didn't have a lot of disposable cash and already found himself a couple hundred bucks in the hole on this thing, having had to fork out for an annoyingly pricey plane ticket to be here.

He hadn't even gotten a measly blowjob out of it.

Walking inside, he found the correct room and settled in for a nice, long wait until his name was called. According to the clerk, it could be five minutes, but was more likely to be five hours. Looking around the room, Josh saw people from all walks of life seated around him. If nothing else, he would be in for some very interesting people watching.

It was several hours later when his name was called, along with a few others, to discuss a plea deal with the prosecutor. He listened as the prosecutor laid out the terms for everyone: a five hundred dollar fine, court costs, and probation until the fine was paid.
Dammit.

The same offer had been made to everyone, even though Josh only had an expired license, and everyone else in the group was charged with driving with a suspended license. When he tried to reason with the prosecutor, she just brushed him off, telling him that he could take it or leave it. Luckily, he didn't have to make a decision until he was called up in court so he had a few minutes to give his dad a quick call.

This was one of the few times it was nice to have a lawyer for a dad. Generally, it was awful because Josh had learned early on that it was nearly impossible to win an argument against someone who argued for a living, but hopefully it would pay off with some brilliant advice in this tough situation.

Josh's dad quickly picked up the phone. “Hey, kiddo! How’s it all going?”

“Not well, Dad. The prosecutor just offered me a deal to plead guilty.”

“Okay, lay it on me.”

“Fine of five hundred and court costs.”

“Ouch. That’s more than I thought it would be.”

“I know! It's the same deal that they offered everyone, but they’d all been caught driving on suspended licenses. It's not fair!”

“Yup. But you should probably take the deal.”

“What?” Josh asked, incredulously.

There was a pause on the other end of the line before his dad spoke again. “Sometimes, kid, you just get screwed.”

“Wow, thanks, Dad.”

“Good luck, Josh. I’ll see you at home later.”

Josh hung up the phone, rolling his eyes before walking back into the courtroom. It didn't seem possible for the situation to get any worse as he settled back onto the hardwood bench, but in that moment, Josh learned never to question a higher power like that, because yes, things could always get worse.

The door behind him opened and Josh saw someone walk in, followed by a line of pre-teen looking kids.
Oh God. Josh clearly remembered doing this in middle school. They were here to watch court proceedings with their social studies class.

He was going to have to stand up in front of all these kids and announce his guilty plea to the judge. How fucking embarrassing. He hid his face in his hands and slumped in his seat, trying to make himself invisible to the school kids. When the door clattered shut behind the kids, Josh shifted his eyes up to find out where they were sitting and made direct eye contact with one Carter Sullivan. The situation had not only become worse but infinitely more humiliating. What the fuck was he doing here?

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞


Book Blurb:

We all know what it’s like to lose out in love … but what if you get a second chance at happiness? Will you grab it, or run?


Book Details:

A collection of five male/male contemporary romance short stories, ranging from 10,500 to 16,000 words. Total length:  70,000 words

Non-Negotiable by T. D. Green

Jacob Kerns, the advertising director for a small national greeting card company, is due for a promotion. His ambitions for advancement are jeopardized when he learns his next big contract will be handled by none other than Alexander Cory, his ex-lover from college. Seeing Alex again opens the old wounds of that long ago betrayal, but Jake endeavors to put personal feelings aside to do his job. If only Alex would let him! When Jake's boss falls ill, secrets come out. Will Jake find love again or is the whole thing non-negotiable?






Heart of Glass By L. J. Harris

Days after arriving in Australia for a working holiday, Zack Doherty is blindsided by the connection he instantly feels to Heath Connors, but circumstances don’t work in their favour.  Zack is uncharacteristically forward in pushing Heath to accept a date when fate gives him a second opportunity.

Heath has only recently had the courage to admit his true self, walking away from his marriage and a good job when he could no longer lie to himself. The attraction he feels for a stranger that fleetingly crossed his path confirms he made the right choice.

Will Zack be the one to mend Heath’s heart of glass?

Better Together By DaNay Smith

Greyson Welles moved to Baltimore so that his long-time partner, Dominic Nash, could fulfill his dream of an internship at John Hopkins Hospital. It’s been four years though, and Greyson is becoming increasingly unhappy. He never gets to see Dominic and his own promising art career is on hold, instead he paints family portraits for a living.

Dominic can see that Greyson is unhappy with the long hours he puts in, but when his solution is to propose to the love of his life, he is surprised that not only does Greyson turn him down but leaves to pursue his own career dreams in New York.

Five years later Greyson can only think of one man able to sooth his wounded pride when there’s a less than stellar response to his latest collection—what will he do?

Dirty Martini By Bette Browne

Daniel Fletcher knocks back his third vodka of the night after running into his ex out with the same lover he had found him with in their bed two months before. He’d ended their relationship that night but coming face to face with them still together makes the pain of the breakup still very real.

Nathan Smith has seen more men than he can count drowning their sorrows in a bottle at his bar. He understands—he’s been there himself. One night a handsome brunette with sad blue eyes makes Nate want to assure him that everything will be okay. The connection he feels from a fleeting touch, as he walks the man out of the bar, shakes and stirs him in ways that he never expected.

What starts out as a means to forget might just be what they both need.

Notice to Appear By C. C. Lorenz

Josh Campbell has had the date from hell—the food was mediocre, as was the company, and to top it all off, he finds himself in strife with the law. When he thought the situation couldn’t get any worse, he comes face to face in the courtroom with his schoolboy crush, Carter Sullivan. Now, not only has he got to pay a hefty fine, he has been humiliated in front of the one man he’s never forgotten.

Could the date from hell suddenly turn into the start of something new with Carter, now that their age difference is not the issue it was back in high school?




Buying Details:

The list price for the book is $6.99, however the book will be discounted for the duration of the blog tour.

To celebrate the start of the tour, the book will be free on our website for 1 day only on November 20. For the remainder of the tour the book will be $4.19 (a discount of 40%)



Author Profiles:

T. D. Green, the author of Fragile Bones, is as passionate about supporting the arts as she is about creating art. When she’s not wrangling words across the white space, she’s deeply immersed in painting. A proud Hoosier, T.D. currently resides in her beautiful home state of Indiana with her husband, three children, and a clutter of curiously devoted felines.




DaNay Smith lives in a small suburb in Michigan with her family. She began writing her stories when she left grade school, eventually trying her hand at poetry as well. She attended Roosevelt University, majoring in English, and concentrated in creative writing. It was at university that her love for male/male novels was born. The school’s history and values are deeply rooted in activism and the fight for civil rights. She learned to see the similarities between the struggles all minorities go through, especially the LGBT community where the fight has just begun. She wanted to write books that were about gay men, not just have them included as side characters or used as tokens like most types of pop culture. DaNay spends most of her days working in data entry but uses her free time to continue doing what she loves: writing.




L. J. Harris was born in Sydney, Australia and now lives in the nation's capital with her husband and twin teenage sons. She has only discovered her passion for writing in the past three years. Shy by nature, she discovered that after her father fell ill, writing down whatever she felt not only helped her deal with the situation but express herself in a way she couldn't before.

Working part-time afforded her the opportunity to explore her sudden drive to write, originally via fan fiction. With her husband's encouragement, she penned a dream sequence around which her novel-in-progress is built.

She loves building the sexual tension between characters and developing interesting plots twists, as well as leaving readers wanting more.




Bette Browne is wife to an extremely understanding husband and mother to two very tolerant children. In her mind they are the most accepting family in the world, allowing her the freedom to indulge her passion for fiction, whether it is reading or writing it.

She enjoys traditional male/female romances, but male/male is her passion. In her mind nothing is more erotic than two (or more) beautiful men finding love together.

For Bette, the fight for tolerance in all its guises is an important one, and hopefully her contribution, even if it is only in the form of the occasional love story, is one she will continue to happily find the time for.




C. C. Lorenz grew up in Southern California and currently resides in Los Angeles where she works in the finance industry. Searching for a distraction from the daily stresses of her job, she stumbled upon the world of male/male romance and fell in love with the genre. Intrigued to explore the unique challenges of gay relationships, C. C. put pen to paper (figuratively) for the first time since her college days and began to write.

When not immersed in the world of M/M romance, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, drinking wine, and driving her husband crazy by acting like a teenager.

Facebook Link (no dedicated website yet): http://www.facebook.com/pages/CC-Lorenz/127079980770976


Further contact details for all our authors, including Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, blogs, etc., can be found on our website:



Something about the publisher:

Bottom Drawer Publications is a new publishing house that specialises in romantic and erotic romance fiction across a range of genres, with both het and gay characters. Our genres include: Contemporary, Historical, Literary/Drama, Alternative Lifestyles, Paranormal/Sci-fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller and Steampunk.

Our books are available for sale on our website as well as over 8 booksellers, including: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore, All Romance, Rainbow eBooks, and a range of others. All reading devices are catered for with a comprehensive range of formats.

We are always on the lookout for fresh and interesting manuscripts within these genres, and from time to time will put out calls for anthology submissions.

Visit our website: http://www.bottomdrawerpublications.net for our new release information and our writing submission guidelines.
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3 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for having us on the blog today, Ursula. We are having so much fun on the tour.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for the great blog post and for promoting the anthology :)

    LJ Harris.

    ReplyDelete