Louisa Bacio’s Alphabet Soup

There are men and women falling in love every day. Sometimes the person in love falls for someone who doesn’t love them back. And sometimes the person is so filled with love that they need more than one person to share it with. At the end of everything, it isn’t the gender of the lovebirds that capture our hearts, but their story.

I guess that is part of the reason author Louisa Bacio enjoys writing so many different romantic combinations.

Within the realm of my erotic romance fiction, and life, I truly believe in the saying, “Love Knows No Bounds.” I’ve been asked about the diversity of my F/F fiction, combined with the M/M romance, and the M/M/F ménage. The letters that represent the sexes start to look like a mixed-up alphabet soup, but when it comes down to it, it’s not the gender of the individual but the person.

The erotic paranormal series The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf began with A New Orleans Threesome. At the opening of the novel, the M/M couple of Lawrence, a vampire, and Trevor, a werewolf had already been established, and they’d been exclusive for five years. Then Lily, the witch, came into the picture, and spiced up the dynamics.

As I was working on the second novel, Chains of Silver, which features Trevor’s sister, Silver, and her love interest Nick, who also happens to be a vampire hunter, I continued to get feedback from readers and reviewers that they wanted to see how Lawrence and Trevor originally got together. Since the story existed within my brain, I decide to share their history with the holiday release, The Vampire & The Werewolf: A New Orleans Christmas.

The story has naturally progressed over time. I didn’t set out to jump into the M/M world because of its popularity or to hit a niche market. For me, it’s all about that love experience, and how two people find each other, and become intimately involved.

The other series I’ve written is Sex University, with the erotic thriller Physical Education, and the F/F follow-up All-Girls Academy. The first book introduces the secondary characters of Sam and Johnny, and their story waits to be told. As an exchange student from India, Johnny’s required to return to his county. After experiencing the (sexual) freedoms of California, and more specifically San Francisco, Johnny wants to remain in the United States.

My goal as a writer is to give voice to these diverse characters, and to realistically show their journeys toward love. When I cast out for the perfect mate, I listen to their preferences. Species – whether it’s overcoming the perceived conflict between vampires and werewolves – or gender doesn’t matter since love knows no bounds.

Here’s a glimpse at my M/M paranormal (some events, such as the trip to the absinthe bar, were inspired by my time in New Orleans during GRL 2011):

The Vampire & The Werewolf: A New Orleans Christmas

Vampires and werewolves don’t mix … or do they?

Before there were three, there were two. When a vampire swoops in to save Trevor from a rogue gang’s blood sport, the werewolf must fight his own inhibitions. The magic of New Orleans and the holiday season bring together these two unlikely lovers.

Available via Ravenous Romance and on Amazon Kindle.

Here is what Rebecca Leigh, author of Dirty Housewives, has to say:

“In her first foray into the m/m genre, Ms. Bacio sets the pages ablaze in this sexy Christmas tale featuring two irresistible characters from her The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf series. There’s nothing better on a cold winter’s night than cozying up with the vampire and the werewolf as they come together in this sizzling story. This is my Christmas present to myself.”

And here is Louisa’s generously offered prize:

Contest: Enter to win a .pdf of my upcoming novel The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf: The Voodoo King, book 3 in the series, when it’s released. Or, if you like, you can choose a copy of a book from my backlist.

Grazie!
Louisa Bacio

http://www.facebook.com/louisabacio
http://www.twitter.com/louisabacio
http://louisabacio.blogspot.com
http://louisabacio.com

To enter: comment below and let us know if you have ever read any f/f romances. What did you think? There is no right/wrong answer. One winner will receive their choice of pdf from Louisa Bacio.

Contest is open until Friday, May 25th at 11:59pm (PST). Winner will be randomly selected and notified on Saturday.

**Please note that for the purpose of this – and all posts on MANtastic Fiction – gender refers to individual identity regardless of birth, lifestyle, degree of pre/post op, or any other terms of social or medical distinction. Any characters identifying as male are men, any characters identifying as female are women.

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Anel Viz sows his Wilde Oats

Most authors write because they just can’t help it … the story is coming out one way or another. But when that same author feels the story … the world … the situations … they just created doesn’t fit in any of the standardized publishing venues, our real-life heroes have to seek out a safe haven in which to entrust this new work.

Here is Anel Viz to talk a little about a place he has found that seems to suit him just fine.

A mere half-dozen years ago, I knew there were such things as m/m books, but I had no idea they constituted a genre, and I certainly never dreamed I would write one. I didn’t even imagine I would become a writer of fiction. Life is full of pleasant surprises.

While all my books to date have dealt with some aspect of gay men’s lives, everybody seems to agree I don’t write traditional romances. Still, evidently many of them come close enough to interest publishers. When I write a story that deviates too far from the standard, I often place it in Wilde Oats. I sort of got my start there, and I have provided a story for every issue. The zine is very open to experimentation. It’s a good place to submit if you feel like pushing the envelope or exploring a new path.

For my contests, I’m inviting readers to compare my freebie Wilde Oats stories with one of the books chosen for the GRL challenge, which are perhaps the closest I have come to traditional romance. Tell me what these stories have in common and how they differ from the challenge books to win a copy of one of my next two publications, which (no surprise!) by the way, are none too traditional.

MANtastic has set out the rather complicated rules below. See if you can find subtle differences. Clearly, these Wilde Oats stories are darker and don’t exactly end happily. Not that they end tragically. There is plenty of hope for a better future after trying times. And don’t forget to look for similarities as well.

Nan Hawthorne recently interviewed me on her Historically Off Center blog. There I speak at length of how I write and what I aim for as an author. Check it out. It will give you a context for reading my work if you haven’t yet and, if you have, you may see what you’ve liked (at least I hope you have) in a new light.

Here are Anel’s suggestions on which freebies to check out.

If they read City of Lovely Brothers, they compare it with either:
1) The Fire Eaters (Two men, once partners in the Portland police, who have been given new identities under a government protection program, meet by chance and must now come to terms with the traumatic event that separated them many years before.)
OR
2) The Frenchman (Canada in the 1830s. A clerk for the Hudson’s Bay Company takes an interest in a gruff fur trapper and the half-breed boy who lives with him.)

If they read The Best Christmas Ever, they compare it with The Father of Free Men, a novella that appeared in 2 installments: chapters 1-5 (In a Bronze Age culture, the spoiled heir to the richest family in the city is granted exclusive use of the beautiful slave Golden Eyes to satisfy his lust.); chapters 6-10 (The slave Golden Eyes becomes a pawn in the struggle for dominance between the family matriarch and the young master’s new bride.)

There are 2 e-books up for grabs so there will be 2 winners. Here is what you are playing for:

The July novella, “Les Ardoises”.

blurb:
Félicien works as a waiter at Les Ardoises, a café-bistro in Villefranche-sur-Mer on the French Riviera. When his girlfriend leaves for a two-week visit with her family, he’s hit on by Joel, an American in France for a business conference. Félicien feels secure about his sexual identity and has swung that way before. He doesn’t risk getting involved as he might if he hooked up with a woman.

As it turns out, Joel will be in town more than just a day or two. He’d like to see more of Félicien, and after that one-night stand, Félicien wouldn’t mind seeing a lot more of Joel, either. Before long, people have seen them with each other often enough to put two and two together, and Félicien begins to question who he is and what he wants from life.

The August novel, “New Lives”.

blurb:
Three people trapped in dead-end situations give up nearly everything they’ve ever known hoping to find a better future:

Otis lives alone and without prospects in a dying Nevada village. He has given up hope the man who took advantage of him years ago will return and dreams of becoming a gay porn star.

Jared, an abused runaway, can’t stay forever with the kindly trucker who picked him up hitchhiking. They need to find a safe place for him to live.

Larry Jordan, a closeted collector of valuable gay erotica, has reason to fear the residents of his conservative, middle-class community will soon know about his secret life. He has only one friend, and they haven’t known each other that long.

They’ve never met one another and never will, but their stories intertwine in unusual and unexpected ways.

You can find more of Anel’s published work on his GLBT Bookshelf.

To enter, comment below in regards to any of Anel Viz’s Wilde Oat stories. Best case is a brief compare/contrast reply using the suggested stories listed above … but any observations will be counted. Did you find these stories outside of the norm? Would you be interested in more widely published works similar to these stories?

Please include which prize you would prefer … BOTH being an acceptable answer 🙂

Prizes are e-books not yet published. Winners will receive their e-book in the format of their choice, following the official release date.

Contest is open until Sunday, May 20th at 11:59pm (PST) to allow for reading time. Winners will be randomly selected and notified on Monday.

Congratulations Barbra and Linda! You both win an an upcoming release from Anel Viz! I will be contacting you individually about claiming your prize.

Power Play with Silvia Violet

Silvia is certainly no shrinking violet when it comes to the dynamics between her romantic couples. Be it a romantic gesture or an in-your-face-knock-down-drag-out, someone is always coming out on top. Please welcome her as she tells us why her characters are a-ok with that.


Hello! I’m Silvia Violet and I’m crazy excited to be going to GRL!

*Comment on this post to be entered to win a copy of your choice of one of my ebooks.*

My writing has taken me on historical journeys, into the heat of contemporary relationships, through worlds of shifters and vampires, and far into the future on distant planets. I’ve created m/m, m/m/f and m/f pairings. I have heroes who are vampires, werewolves, astronomy professors, deer shifters, bakers, and Regency rogues. Is there anything that characterizes all these stories?

The one theme that pops up in nearly all my writing is D/s. In some books like Abandoned, it’s overt and in others, more subtle. Intimacy between my characters may include spanking, flogging, restraints, etc, or it may include nothing more intense than a commanding tone, expectation of obedience in the moment, or holding a lover’s hands down.

But at some point during the sex scenes, one of the lovers dominates his partner. In some stories, the same partner remains dominant in bed. In others their roles may be reversed regularly or in a single special instance.

One theme I’ve returned to many times is sexual submission as a way to let go of stress. Letting go and letting a partner dominate can ease tension like a good massage, but domination from a trusted partner goes deeper to an emotional or even spiritual level.

In Abandoned, Lark has longed for Derek’s dominance for years. After spending six months hidden away in a jungle, his men capture Derek, putting Lark in the position of Derek’s interrogator. But Lark doesn’t really want information from his former partner, he wants lust and, though he doesn’t dare hope for it, love. After Lark forces Derek to admit that he still cares for him, he lets Derek take the lead, and he finds the release his submissive soul has been craving.

Galactic Betrayal 1: Abandoned available at Silver and Amazon.

Blurb:

Lark Zaccaro and Derek Carlson were partners and friends. Lark wanted more. Then someone at the Intergalactic Investigations Bureau sold them out to enemy aliens. Lark was forced to abandon Derek to the enemy, and Derek bought the IIB’s story that Lark betrayed them all.

When Lark’s deep cover mission and Derek’s new job in search-and-rescue collide, the desire simmering between them explodes. Lark needs Derek’s help to escape a new enemy, and Derek needs to discover the truth about what really happened on that alien planet. Can they overcome lies and betrayal and find the love and comfort they seek, or will their past forever keep them apart?

Excerpt:

Lark Zaccaro smiled as he stepped out of the dripping jungle heat, and into the prison building. Even inside, the stale air was so splyvin’ hot it belonged in an oven. He didn’t know how anyone could breathe. Not that he was supposed to give a fuck if his prisoners got air or not. He took as deep a breath as he could and headed straight for the interrogation room.

A few hours earlier, his guards had discovered a man crouched in the underbrush, spying on their enclave. Lark’s morning had been hell so far, and a vicious interrogation suited his mood perfectly. The two guards flanking the door stepped aside, so he could enter what was truly more of a torture chamber than an interrogation room. At least that’s what it had been for his predecessor, and the longer Lark lived on Lancarina, the more he found himself becoming like the man he’d assassinated and replaced. He pushed that disturbing thought away. He wouldn’t dwell on how low he’d sunk since he’d left his partner to die in a Lithusian prison cell.

The captive hung from the ceiling, suspended by a heavy chain circling his bound wrists. His toes barely scraped the floor, forcing his arms to support the weight of his large body. The dirty chain bit into his wrists, and blood dripped down his arms. In this squalid jungle, he’d have a deadly infection in no time. Lark would have to do something about that. The man had a ship with advanced defenses. Thus, he was Lark’s ticket off this cesspool of a planet.

The man’s clothes hung in shreds, and Lark couldn’t help but admire his muscular body. His gaze slid over the captive’s hard thighs, the impressive bulge in his pants, and the well-defined and disturbingly familiar planes of his chest. When he saw the man’s face, he froze. No. It couldn’t be. His former partner would have no reason to be here. But Derek Carlson, the man who had haunted Lark’s nightmares and his fantasies every day for the six Old Earth months he been in this hellhole, was right in front of him. Chained. Suspended. His to do with as he pleased.

Lark’s cock hardened, pressing against the confines of his pants. His body knew what it wanted from Derek, but his mind was less sure. Retribution? Forgiveness? A hot fuck before he threw him in prison to rot? Salvation? His gut knotted at that thought, and he fought to keep his guards from noticing how off kilter he was. He had to play his role, not rush this moment.

There would be time later, in his private quarters, to decide what he wanted to know and how he was going to get the information. If the vessel they had captured in the jungle was Derek’s private issue ship, then he’d finally forsaken the lying scum at the Intergalactic Investigation Bureau. They might say their mission is to protect everyone in the five galaxies, but they only care about protecting their own asses. Lark intended to find out why Derek had left, but his guards would play no part in that interrogation. Derek was his.
Lark took a few steps toward the prisoner and studied him. He’d wanted him for years, from the moment they were assigned to work with each other at the IIB. Derek had turned down all his advances, saying they should keep their relationship professional. But now Derek was his prisoner, not his partner. If he wanted to live, he’d do whatever Lark told him to.

From the way Derek limply hung in his bonds, he was either unconscious or doing an excellent job of faking it. His former partner had fought hard from the look of him. A livid bruise stood out on one cheek and purple splotches decorated his ribs. A deep gash on his arm had dripped blood trails that were now dry. He would have to tend to Derek’s wounds.

Lark needed the man’s piloting skills. If he were going to kill Derek for believing those liars from the IIB when they told him Lark had turned traitor, he intended to do so with his own hands after they got off planet. Fortunately, he kept a fully stocked first aid cabinet in his quarters. He just needed to find a way to get Derek there without making his men suspicious.

Nothing but fear and the promise of a huge payoff on their next deal kept Lark’s men from turning on him, in the same way he’d turned on the man he had been sent here to investigate. He pulled a long thin blade from his boot and pretended to examine the sharp edge as he circled Derek. He had to suppress a gasp when he saw the maze of scars criss-crossing Derek’s back. If he let himself think about how Derek got those, he might be sick right here.

“Leave us,” he said to the guards who were eyeing the prisoner in obvious hope of getting some play time.

To check out more from Silvia Violet, please visit her website, blog, and facebook.

So, as requested, any comment on this post is a chance to win 1 e-book of your choice from Silvia Violet’s backlist. Multiple comments mean multiple entries. Contest is open until Saturday, May 12th at 11:59pm (PST). A winner will be selected and notified on Sunday.

Congratulations Peggy! I will be contacting you directly so you can claim your prize.

Meet Miho Li

A few weeks ago MANtastic Fiction was approached to take a look at a book by a relative newcomer. With no idea what to expect, I stole a bit of time and sat down and read. And had I read it straight through then it probably would have only taken an hour or two to wrap up … but that isn’t what I did.

I would bet that I doubled that time because I kept laughing. Or calling up the other girls in the bookclub to tell them about some cool part. Or re-reading parts out loud to my sister who kept looking at me funny since none of the scenes I was reading her followed each other so I can only imagine what she thinks the book was about.

Incognito, by Miho Li, is fast paced, mysterious, well written and entertaining. The humor is, at times, both outrageous and dry. And the romance is so subtle in its beauty. A definite addition to my “highly-recommend” list.

Here is the Blurb:

When Ren sees the new transfer student—Shin, black hair, storm-cloud-gray eyes, and more beautiful than any guy had a right to be—he makes it his mission to get to know him. Too bad Shin is about as sociable as fungus, and about as likable, too. But Ren isn’t good at giving up, so he takes on the challenge of cracking Shin’s titanium shell. What he finds underneath, though, is way more than he’s prepared to handle.

People are disappearing in Akita, and Shin might be behind it. As Ren’s feelings grow for the reserved man, so do the number of missing person reports, and Ren doesn’t know if their budding relationship is enough to withstand both the well of secrets and the organization Shin works for.

Available from Siren.
Miho Li – website

Here she is to discuss a bit about the origins of Incognito.

Thanks so much for hosting me, and letting me talk a bit about my writing. As an Asian American, I like to write stories that reflect both sides of how I was raised. As a result, I draw a lot of my inspiration from both cultures. This blend of Eastern and Western is the reason I chose Akita International University as the setting for my latest release Incognito. There’s a strong mix of students from all over the world, and the undergraduate program is unique in that all courses are taught in English.

In terms of what you can expect from the relationships, I love writing about characters whose personalities clash. There’s a fine line between like/attraction and dislike/annoyance, and it’s fun to watch the characters zigzag back and forth, creating confusion and friction, both figuratively and literally. Ideally, the characters would challenge each other—mentally, morally, maybe even physically.

I’m admittedly not very good at writing heavily sweet romance (which is not to say I don’t enjoy reading it or that I never write it, because I do in both cases). But when I approach romance in my writing, I think about subtlety, and by ‘romance,’ I don’t mean physical attraction, which can be instantaneous. I mean a real, slow-burning, emotional investment that transforms into love. This building emotion should be conveyed throughout in small ways—little gestures, lingering looks, shifts in thought or reactions like conceding to something they wouldn’t normally give into. Oftentimes, the characters have no idea it’s even happening.

The characters I write aren’t naturally inclined to romantic gestures or voicing (or even thinking about) their feelings, so that sort of tenderness has to be earned. That moment when one of them finally says or does something—it’ll almost be out of character, which should hopefully make it feel that much more significant.

Who formed first in your mind, Shin or Ren?
Ren formed first. Originally, Ren was supposed to be the mysterious transfer student, but as Ren’s personality became clearer, I realized he just didn’t possess the needed subtlety.

Shin barely seemed to tolerate Ren in the beginning, was that the appeal to writing their dynamic?
The best part about writing these two is that they can argue and take jabs at each other, and understand that their words aren’t born of pettiness or anger—it’s just one way that they communicate. They don’t take it personally. In fact, Ren finds it hilarious (Ren finds most things hilarious). At first, Shin resents the way Ren can provoke him into a reaction, but Ren is so compelling (and infuriating) that Shin just can’t help himself—and eventually, he starts to enjoy the banter as well (but he would never admit it).

I love the balance of their interaction … Ren with his in-your-face confidence and Shin with his quiet patience … and the subtle shift into romance. What do you think finally won Shin over?
I think it was Ren’s sheer tenacity. Shin, who’s pretty good at rebuffing people, has never met anyone like Ren before, and he isn’t quite sure how to deal with him. The physical attraction grows into admiration and reluctant friendship, which opens the path to something more. In a way, Ren represents many of the things Shin has never believed he could have (or want).

The humor comes in some of the most unexpected parts, is that how your mind works or is that solely the character you created?
It’s a bit of both. I often have to mentally edit the sarcastic quips or snipes of humor that pop up in my head as I’m writing something more serious. But with Ren, I didn’t have to hold back—in fact, Ren’s antics are well beyond the normal, and I often found myself second guessing what I’d written because it seemed too comedic (or just weird). But it fit Ren so I kept it.

As I was reading, it seemed fully formed as a visual in my head. How has some of the yaoi anime influenced this story?
I’m a fan of archetypes. Anime and manga are teeming with them, although in yaoi, they often feel more like stereotypes than archetypes. Archetypes are like an outline or a skeleton—you begin with a frame and then you build around it until you’ve got something whole and three dimensional. Yaoi stereotypes, though, drive me crazy (not a fan of the controlling seme and the weepy uke), but there are mangaka who break away from those stereotypes and create fully fleshed, intensely sympathetic characters. Ren and Shin were inspired by the desire to do the same. At face value, Ren is obnoxiously happy, but he hasn’t always been that way, and you have to at least wonder why he’s so adamantly optimistic. Shin takes a lot of pride in his job and what he can do, but he isn’t a drone. He questions the path his parents set out for him while, at the same time, fully committing to it.

Siren in known for their series work, do you plan on revisiting Ren and Shin or the characters of Akita International University … or create stories independent of each other?
I didn’t have any plans for a series when I wrote Incognito. But I do actually want to explore Shin’s background a bit more and provide answers for things I only alluded to in the story. I also want to expand on those internal conflicts I mentioned above. Shin and Ren don’t have an easy future ahead of them, and it will be interesting to see them take on the challenges.

Personally, I can hardly wait for more.

In the meantime, here is a chance to win an e-book copy of Incognito for yourself. Just leave a comment below letting us know you’d like to be entered. Or chat her up and say hi … she’s very nice. She will probably even say hi back 🙂

Contest is open until Friday, May 11th at 11:59pm (PST). A winner will be selected and notified on Saturday.


Congratulations Tracey! I will be contacting you directly so you can claim your prize.