GayRomLit, Guest Contributor

Poppy’s Post-GRL Follow up (as requested!)



Poppy’s Post-GRL Wrap Up

Well, it’s happened again. The GayRomLit retreat is over. I’m back home, snuggled up on my couch and reflecting on an amazing week. True confession: I’m really sad. I miss everyone already. I knew I would, but it’s so hard to explain what it’s like to leave behind folks you’ve bonded with on such a deep level.

So, instead of being maudlin Poppy, I thought I’d share a few special memories with you of my week in Atlanta with the amazing authors and readers of this genre. To say I broke out of my shell a little more this year would be the understatement of the century.

First up, I did as promised in my pre-GRL post and tacklehugged the lovely Lisa (goddess extraordinaire of this blog) and the amazing Rhys Ford. It was worth the trip alone for those two moments! As I expected, Rhys tried to feed me. She does not approve of my microwave dinners. LOL. As to Ms. Lisa, I can’t believe it was the first time we’d met! I feel like I’ve known her forever! (And isn’t she absolutely gorgeous???)

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There were so many new faces for me at this year’s event. Some of my favorite new friends were found in the lobby of the Melia. Just sitting around chatting…it’s really the best part of GRL (amazing parties notwithstanding).  I particularly loved getting to know the Book Addicts crew. I might have glomped onto the adorable Glenn (isn’t he so huggable?) and am working on forgiving him for never delivering my promised coffee. And Cindi, lovely lady, you are a dear with the most amazing energy I have ever encountered. Thank you for greeting me with such a lovely smile and big hug.

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Remember me saying I broke out of my shell a little bit? I have proof. Yes, that’s me, wrapped around Charlie Harding, cover model for Accidental Alpha. You have no idea how glad I am that the room is lit in red lights…because believe me when I tell you, I was redder than I’ve ever been before!

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But that’s part of the magic of GRL, isn’t it? Doing things you’ve never done before, meeting people you have only the slightest connection with and realizing you have so much more in common than you ever imagined.

A few other shout outs to new friends: those of you who shared my table at the Dine With An Author event (L.A. Witt, Eugenia Worst, Nate, K.C. Wells, Brandi, Taylor, Christian, and JoJo) thank you guys for such great conversation!

Have I mentioned how hysterical it was to ask Rick Reed and B.G. Thomas if they wanted to taste my beaver? I still giggle every time I see their faces! In my defense, it was a bag of beaver nuggets that Xara Xanakas had brought along from Texas. But oh…the look on their faces. Priceless!

To Lorelei and Madysn, who made me feel like a princess for the night of the formal, thank you! You guys helped me walk into that room with confidence I didn’t have. It means the world!

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And to my “outside lobby” friends: Jackie, Denise, Suzie (yes, I’m wearing red right now!) Michelle and all the others I’m forgetting…thank you for sharing those moments with me! For my Kelly, who is so magically delicious, and Kade, my little hush puppy, you guys are adorable. Thank you for letting me give you silly nicknames! And for Doug, a new friend who did something nice for me, even though he barely knows me. You are a doll face. Gah, I know I’m leaving out a gazillion people from this list, but you all know who you are!

Another great about GRL? Fangirling. Oh yes. I did it. To one author in particular: Eric Arvin, you are a dreamboat. Seriously. I admire you more than you can possibly imagine, and seeing you sitting in my Q&A…wow. It was amazing. Catching your eye helped me remember how incredibly brave you are, and it helped me find my own courage. Thank you for your kind words and support. I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one…

So now that I’ve gushed a bit, I’d like to switch to a more serious note for a moment. Some of you know that I suffer from severe anxiety. There’s no way I could have survived the week in Atlanta without the support of my posse.  The folks in this picture…

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there are not enough words to thank them. They held my hand when I trembled walking through the crowded lobby, bodyguarded me on packed elevators, and gave me giant hugs when it got to be too much. For the posse members not pictured, well, you know who you are. Each of you gave me the strength to walk out of the hotel room with a smile on my face and my head held high.  I heard from so many people this year that they have the same issues. Folks who had a hard time leaving their rooms, who couldn’t attend some of the events, but braved it anyway. You’re all an inspiration to me. Some of you out there might think you can’t come to GRL because of similar issues. Believe me, you can. No one there will judge you. The best compliment I received the entire week was a reader who saw me at a weak moment and said they had no idea. It’s hard being vulnerable, but there are ways to make it through. You don’t want to miss this experience, even if you do have to spend time locked away in your hotel room decompressing. And if it gets to be too much, just hunt me down. Trust me, I understand.

I’ll see you all next year in Chicago—if not sooner!

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A sassy southern lady, Poppy Dennison developed an obsession with things that go bump in the night in her early years after a barn door flew off its hinges and nearly squashed her. Convinced it was a ghost trying to get her attention, she started looking for other strange and mysterious happenings around her. Not satisfied with what she found, Poppy has traveled to Greece, Malaysia and England to find inspiration for the burly bears and silver foxes that melt her butter. Her love of paranormal continues to flourish nearly thirty years later, and she writes steamy love stories about the very things that used to keep her up all night. If her childhood ghost is lucky, maybe one day she’ll give him his own happily ever after.

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Visit her on her website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

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Resplendence Publishing, Simone Anderson

Do You Feel The Tide Changing? Simone Anderson Does, And She Wants To Give Away Prizes!



Thank you, Lisa, for the opportunity to say ‘hi’ to everyone! I’m looking forward to GayRomLit coming up in Atlanta in a matter of days! It’s a great chance to meet readers and hang out with friends, both new and old.

Changing Tides, a New Reality book, is coming out on Wednesday, October 23rd from Resplendence Publishing, and in celebration of my new release, I want to give away two copies of Changing Tides and two books from my backlist (winner’s choice), one each to two winners!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED



About Changing Tides –

Growing up in a world where change is feared, life is planned and predictable. The final step into adulthood is celebrated at age 25 with three life-altering choices.
Brett DeMarco is a First Lieutenant in the country’s Security Forces and is pretty sure he knows what his choices will be. When his lover dies, he throws himself into his work until he runs into gorgeous Orion Hellman, a manual laborer on base who never talks and changes everything he thought he knew.

UNEDITED Excerpt –

The gray, early morning sky matched his mood.

First Lieutenant Brett DeMarco pushed himself harder. The same cloying emotions that had motivated him in the field and helped him secure his promotion into the intelligence arena grabbed hold of him, driving him through the base along an increasingly difficult course. Familiar terrain slipped away as images of Teran Prescott’s battered body pushed its way forward. Brett ground his teeth and clenched his fist, his chest tightened and tears fell fast.

No! He chastised himself.

No. He was stronger than this. Stronger than a memory. Stronger than images that would never leave him. Grasping for other emotions and memories, he pushed his body harder, needing to outrun the pain. Brett stumbled and fell. He landed awkwardly, sprawled over the ground and a body. Shaking his head, he tried to make sense of what had happened and where he was.

“What the—” he started to say, pushing himself up. Brett stopped and stared at the man beneath him until he started squirming. Carefully Brett pulled himself to his feet and held his hand out to help the other man up. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t watching where I was going. Are you okay?” Brett asked looking down at the man in the dirty tan coveralls. Shorter than himself, haunted golden brown eyes looked up at him before turning away. His dark brown hair was long enough to be pulled back. Very few men he’d met had hair that long and certainly no one on a military base. “Excuse me, are you okay?” He asked again, laying a hand on the man’s arm.

The man shrugged and tried to turn away.

“I’m Lieutenant Brett DeMarco. Are you hurt anywhere?”

Concern flooded Brett. A head injury maybe. He’d never heard of injuries that rendered a person conscious but speechless. Brett worried the inside of his cheek. He wasn’t a doctor and his knowledge of medicine was limited to little more than what was needed on the battlefield. Medicine had been Taren’s plan. His lover had wanted to be a trauma surgeon, but the state education counselors hadn’t thought his aptitude high enough for that. Two weeks before his twenty-fifth birthday, his fiancée had learned he’d been assigned to general medicine instead. Teran had been irate. Brett pushed the memories aside.

“Are you okay?” Brett asked again, not hiding his concern or softening the demand.

The man shrugged again.

Brett tried again. “What is your name?”

The man frowned and shook his head.

“What is your name?” Brett insisted. Taking a deep breath, he ran his fingers up the other man’s arms, watching for signs of pain or discomfort.

The other man flinched and stepped back.

Brett instinctively tightened his grip on the man’s biceps. “I’m not trying to hurt you. I just want to make sure you’re not injured. I don’t think you’re okay.”

The man frowned again, but stepped forward.

“Do you understand what I’m saying?”

The man nodded.

“At least it’s not a language issue,” Brett muttered. “Where are you hurt? Point to it, if you won’t tell me.”

The man shrugged again.

Frustration welled up. Brett took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “If you don’t answer me, I’ll have to take you into the base hospital.”

The man’s features contorted into fear and he pulled back, struggling to escape.

What the hell was going on? Brett asked himself. “Okay. Okay. Stop. No hospital.” Brett frowned and rubbed the back of his neck with one hand. The man understood him, but refused to answer his questions. “Can you talk?” he asked finally.

The man shook his head no, giving Brett one of the first definitive answers since he’d bumped into him. “Okay, so you can’t talk. Do you have a name?”

A nod this time.

Brett rubbed his neck again and returned his hold on both of the smaller man’s arms. It was a start. It didn’t answer the big questions though. “Can you write your name down? In the dirt maybe.”

A head shake no.

“Do you have anything that tells me who you are?”

The man stepped back, pulling against Brett’s grasp.

Brett blew out a breath. Something was seriously spooking the other man. “You look about my age.” Brett bit his cheek again. “You don’t have to show me your ID.” Muscles flexed under Brett’s fingers. “Since you can’t tell me if anything hurts, I want to check you for injuries. I landed pretty hard on you. Okay?” Brett softened his voice. “I promise, nothing more than that.”

The man hesitated then nodded.

Brett ran his fingers along the other man’s arms and shoulders, down his back, up his neck and over his head. Pushing occasionally, watching him closely for any reaction. It was a technique he’d learned from Taren. The man stiffened, flinching when his fingers traveled to close to the man’s ass. “Does it hurt from the fall?”

The man shook his head.

“Do you hurt anywhere else?” Brett asked, standing in front of him once more, rubbing his thumb over the other man’s hand. “Thank you. I wish I knew your name, you’re cute.”

The man shook his head and opened his eyes wide. Unzipping the coveralls to his waist, he pushed the fabric to one side and pointed to a patch on the right side of the shirt above where a pocket had been at one time.

“Hellman? Your name is Hellman?” Brett asked. “This is your last name?”

The man nodded.

Brett smiled then frowned. The man’s brow furrowed in response. The shirt under the coveralls might have been military issued at one time, but the slight fading and missing pocket meant it should have been thrown away. It wasn’t something security forces personnel would wear. Nor were they ever allowed to have long hair. Most civilian males didn’t even have long hair, the government frowned on it. “You aren’t in the military,” Brett said flatly. “Who are you and why are you here?”

A look passed quickly over Hellman’s face and disappeared before Brett could pinpoint it. Hellman blew out a breath and showed him the other patch. He pointed to himself and the ground, then to Brett and away from them.

Brett hesitated before nodding. Special staff personnel were civilians assigned to the security forces and as far as he knew there were only a handful. It was a special position reserved for certain selected people.

Brett mentally stepped back. The other man was gorgeous. He wasn’t ready for a relationship of any kind. But sex was something he could handle though, if the other man was willing. Sex without a permanent relationship was encouraged by government officials, who in the interest of limiting the number of children people had and the drain on resources, had ruled that anyone not married underwent sterilization the day after they turned twenty-five. Brett ran his thumb across the man’s arm slowly, hoping for a sign of encouragement from him.

Hellman stepped back breaking all contact. He pointed at Brett again, then to the road he must have come down.

Brett looked around. At some point he’d left the main road and had taken a hard dirt-packed trail. “What is it?” Brett asked, reaching for Hellman.

The other man slipped from his grip and pointed from him to the road and stomped his foot. Brett backed away as anger and fear chased each other across Hellman’s face. There was no mistaking what the smaller man was trying to tell say. Brett needed to leave. Now.

“Okay, I’ll leave,” Brett said, raising his hands. “Will you be safe here alone?”

Hellman nodded.

“Can I see you again?”

He shook his head no vehemently and picked up the shovel.

Brett nodded, reached out and cupped Hellman’s cheek, wincing internally at the man’s flinch and weary gaze. Stroking his thumb along Hellman’s face, Brett closed his eyes briefly and memorized the sensations before turning and running back toward the main part of the base. Something was off about the entire situation, Brett knew it in his gut, the same way he knew there was something special about the smaller man.

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Amber Kell, The Joyful Approach

Amber Kell Doesn’t Bite…Hard. No, Really! And She Wants To Give Away An Awesome Prize!


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Hello future GRL attendees! I have to admit GRL was the first conference I attended as a professional writer. I went to the GRL in New Orleans, which was a blast as it gave me an excuse to visit a city with my hubby without kids. (Shh, they don’t know what a great time we had.)

You’ll probably have a different routine than I do when you get ready for events. Mine usually starts with a panic attack that GRL is a few weeks away and I haven’t ordered my swag yet. I then inform my children I am heartlessly abandoning them to their grandmother. Older son promptly plans his exit strategy, calling in favors from his friends who owe him sleepovers. Younger son starts hopping in excitement, or because he has to pee, he likes to hop so it’s kind of hard to determine why sometimes. Hubby confirms that I did indeed get plane tickets and hotel reservations and it wasn’t a dream I had in a caffeine-fueled bout of creativity. Eventually I show up with swag, hubby and clothing (which isn’t optional even at GRL).

This is the third year I’m attending GRL. If you’ve never attended GayRomLit before I’ll give you one piece of advice. Talk to people, especially your favorite authors. We wouldn’t have shown up if we didn’t want to see our fans. If we appear standoffish it could be because we don’t handle social situations well. Some authors aren’t comfortable in crowds, so you’ll find them hanging out in a quiet corner. Go say hi. Introduce yourself. Ask them about their latest project. Some authors don’t like to talk about themselves, but get them started on what their favorite character is up to and…well you might need a chair and a big drink before they’re finished.

I have to admit I’m not a social animal. Give me a rainy day and my laptop, and I can happily spend hours tapping away on my keyboard. Hubby says it’s good to get out. Something about me turning into a hermit or…I don’t know, I sort of stopped listening the third time I heard the speech. I go to GRL to meet with my author friends who I don’t get to see in person often, and to visit with my fans who I see even less.

This year in Atlanta I’m once again dragging my hapless hubby along, if nothing else because it’s fun to watch him blush. Though I have to admit the game he picked out for my author spotlight with Stephani Hecht and RJ Scott had me blushing. Say hi to him. He’ll be the one with the cane, pointing people toward me so I can’t escape socializing.

Most of all have fun. We’re a friendly bunch. Most of us don’t bite and are happy to chat with anyone who wanders our way.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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bondedbroken_800My latest release is Bonded Broken part of the Thresl Chronicles series.

Book Four in the The Thresl Chronicles series.

Friln had always counted on his lover to be there when things go wrong. But when one brief moment of death breaks his bond with his Thresl mate, he loses the only thing in the world he needs to make him happy.
For the past ten years Friln, the king’s Captain of the Guard, has lived with and loved his Thresl mate Nelrin. When an assassination attempt catches Friln in the crossfire, he is killed. In the brief moment before he’s revived, the bond to his lover is shattered.

At Friln’s death Nelrin loses everything. Bereft of the only person he’s ever loved, Nelrin turns back into his cat form and runs away. Unfortunately he falls into the hands of a pair of scientists who have different plans than redemption for the Thresl race.

Readers can contact me at amberkellwrites@gmail.com or visit my blog at http://www.amberkell.com

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Rhys Ford

Minions… Minions… What Would You Do For A Free Gift Card?


And a Whiskey and Wry World Tour All-Access-Pass, hmmmmm???


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Well, Rhys Ford and the Sinner’s Gin boys would like to know because to coincide with GayRomLit 2013, Rhys is offering the chance for one lucky minion…errr…reader to win a backstage pass just like the one shown here, as well as a $20 Gift Card to the E-tailer of your choice!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

And now, I give you… Minions :-D


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Deanna Wadsworth, The Joyful Approach

Deanna Wadsworth Is LOOKING FORWARD TO GRL 2013 With A Giveaway!


I am very excited to be on The Novel Approach today! Thank you for having me!

With GRL less than a week and a half away, I cannot tell you how happy I am to be going. Last year was the first time I attended the event, in Albuquerque New Mexico, and it was the highlight of my autumn. This year I am excited because I have print books to sign at the Saturday Book Fair! Yay! EASY RYDER is not my first book. I have many other titles, including my popular THE NAUGHTY NORTH POLE series, where Santa’s elves have candy flavored come! LOL

Oh yeah, I’m getting well known for that!

EASY RYDER was a special story for me because it showcased a different style of my writing. My 1Night Stand books are sexy contemporaries with sweet endings, and my Christmas books are erotic comedies, much like my erotic fairy tales. So it was exciting for me to be able to fully develop two characters over a longer number of pages. With a dozen books for readers to enjoy, I plan to bring lots of goodies for everyone at GRL. So make sure you come find me because my favorite part about attending GRL is the camaraderie of being surrounded by friends.

I kept telling everyone it was like my Facebook came to life!

I met a lot of new people, and finally got to meet some people that I was already friends with online. Wednesday I will be teaching a class with Brita Addams at the RRW workshop helping writers overcome the dreaded passive voice, and I am going to be helping with the big Scrapbooking event during the Fun Faire on Friday so I should be easy to find. I adore being surrounded by my fellow authors and readers and can’t wait for all the fun!

What about you?

What are you looking forward to in Atlanta?

I would love to hear from you! One lucky commentor will win an e-book copy of my book ACCIDENTALLY BEAUTIFUL, the second in the three-part series of my 1Night Stand books from Decadent Publishing.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Blurb:

Martin Baird is perfectly content in his safe, predictable job as head concierge for Castillo Resorts, but when a handsome stranger whisks him away for a night of tropical escapades—first visiting an isolated gay bar then to a secluded beach where erotic delights await—Martin’s world is thrown upside down. He’s never met a man like Garret Fisher, but it seems he has been waiting for a night like this all his life.

Could something truly beautiful come out of this accidental meeting? Or was it really not an accident at all?

Author Bio:

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

Like Deanna on Facebook and find her online here: Twitter, Blog, Goodreads

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller

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Dreamspinner Press, Lex Chase, The Joyful Approach, Videos

And Now, The Joyful Approach Countdown To GRL 2013 Is Pleased To Welcome Lex Chase To The Party!

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Lex Chase is attending GayRomLit for the first time as a Supporting Author, and she’s excited to meet readers, pick the brains of her peers, and attend the Masquerade as a Walking Dead survivor. She even has a shovel for her costume. A shovel! Bound to be epic.

She is the creator of the Checkmate series (Pawn Takes Rook, and Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check) for Dreamspinner Press which tells the tale of disgraced superhero Memphis Rook and his climb to redemption alongside his sidekick/boyfriend Hogarth Dawson. The series is full the dizzying highs, the terrifying lows, and the creamy middle. It’s pretty much the dark and angsty tale of Batman told from the perspective of a hyperactive chipmunk.

To purchase Checkmate you can see Lex’s Dreamspinner Press page here and you can also find her on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Lex decided to do something different for the Joyful Approach and give this YouTube reading thing a shot! This Contest Is Now Closed.

Enjoy the show!


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Pawn Takes Rook: Cashing the Reality Check Blurb

Even after eleven months of keeping the mean streets of Axis City safe, superduo Checkmate—Hogarth Dawson—and his boyfriend, Memphis Rook, still receive the cold shoulder from the Power Alliance. Undeterred, Hogarth brings his intense focus to bear on Rook, and after Hogarth makes an accidental marriage proposal, it becomes all too clear Rook isn’t quite at the same place. But before life gets awkward, duty calls.

Booted-off female contestants of the romantic reality show Single and Super are being found in comas, and Checkmate needs to get to the bottom of it. As part of Rook’s plan, he cleans up his bad boy image and goes undercover as a bachelor looking for love among twenty-five frenzied women. Against Rook’s wishes, Hogarth sneaks onto the set as a cameraman to investigate the case on his own. With questions unanswered between them, emotions run high, distracting them and feeding a trap of their own making.

Where To Buy:

Dreamspinner Press

Goodreads:

Cashing the Reality Check

Bio:

Lex Chase is a journalist by day and a writer by night. Either way you slice it, she makes things up for a living. Her style of storytelling is action, adventure, and a dollop of steamy romance. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes it’s never a party until something explodes in a magnificent fashion, be it a rolling fireball of a car or two guys screaming out their love for one another in the freezing rain.

Lex is a pop culture diva, an urbanite trapped in a country bumpkin’s body, and wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse. She has learned that when all else fails, hug the cat.

She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine residing in the ‘burbs of Northwest Florida where it could be 80F and she’d have a sweatshirt on because she’s freezing.

You can find her on those Facebook and Twitter things at:
Facebook
Twitter
And her blog

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Ramblings

The Joyful Approach – Countdown To GayRomLit 2013

Hi, everyone!

The lovely Jay, she of the Joyfully Jay fame, and I are so excited to announce a joint celebration we’ve been cooking up to celebrate our way toward this year’s GayRomLit Retreat: The Joyful Approach: Countdown to GRL 2013!

Joyful approach badgeFrom August 19th – October 6th, we will be spotlighting GRL authors, both here and at Joyfully Jay M/M Romance Reviews and More. Depending upon how many authors decide to participate, we will host up to three guest posts each week per blog. It should be lots of fun and a great way to learn about and meet some of the GRL participating authors, and maybe get to know some new folks as well. So for my readers, keeps your eyes open in August for that to kick off, and be sure to stop by Joyfully Jay and say Howdy-doo (or some such nonsense) to the fabulous Jay and her gang of amazing reviewers.

If you are an author interested in participating, here are all the details you need to know:

For this event, we will be offering special guest spots to GRL registered authors on our two blogs. These guest spots can be used for authors to introduce themselves to our readers in a variety of ways; they do not have to be focused on a particular book or a new release.

We will be heavily cross-promoting each spotlight feature throughout the event, so every author, regardless of blog placement, will get exposure to readers at both sites. However, because of the complexity of coordinating and scheduling so many posts, we are unable to take requests for specific dates. Never fear, though: we will work together to formulate a schedule and alert each author well in advance of your allotted time slot.

If you are interested in participating, we ask that you add your name to the Countdown Spreadsheet. This is a first come, first served opportunity, so don’t delay if you’re at all interested in joining in the fun.

Once you’ve joined the Countdown, all promotional materials (blog posts, announcements, images, etc.) should be submitted to us at lrhoran@yahoo.com no later than Monday, August 12th.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at lrhoran@gmail.com or Jay at joyfullyjay@gmail.com.

Thanks so much for your time. We hope to see you soon!

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Authors, Ramblings

In Which I’m About To Piss Some People Off…

Yes, here it comes, more crap, but I’m not an author, I’m a reader, dammit, and I think if anyone has the right to weigh in on this one, it’s those of us who support this genre with not only our love and commitment but our hard earned dollars as well, so here I go…

I woke up this morning to the one thing I’ve been waiting for since I came home from Albuquerque in October: news about the upcoming registration for GayRomLit 2013 in Atlanta. This is the one and only author/fan event I’ve ever attended, ever, as in, in all the history of my reading. I mean it literally; I’ve never even been to a book signing… Okay, you get it. And while I’d love to be able to paint the picture that I scrimp and save my spare change for it all year long to up the “poor pitiful me” quotient, it’d be a lie, so I won’t go there. Where I will go, however, is here:

We’ve also taken the list of must-have authors (bolding mine) that you the readers have given us and are doing our best to pre-register them before the general author registration begins.

Now, I missed a memorandum here, folks, because I don’t remember participating in a poll in which I was able to weigh in on my “must-haves”. And I’m going to be perfectly honest, some of my “must-have” authors have never even attended a GRL event, so to say that these elite few writers have been selected for me from a random sampling of readers pretty much pisses me off in ways I can’t even begin to describe, and quite frankly, it smacks of the same cliquish attitudes that kept people like me from sitting at the cool kids’ table in high school. What this seems to boil down to, from where I’m sitting, is a popularity contest, and a questionable one at that, in which some pretty amazing toes, and maybe a few feelings, just got publicly trampled on, and I’m almost certain I’m fairly angry about that.

So, I remain puzzled on why a select few authors deserve preferential treatment. When registration opens, you either sign up for the event, or you don’t. I read/review somewhere close to three-hundred books a year, many, if not most, of them bought with my own money. Where’s my preferential treatment, as a reader, huh? The answer is that I don’t deserve any, so why does anyone else? I can understand if an author is on the financial fence or is unable to commit early for whatever reason, I do, but that doesn’t mean I believe registration should be withheld from other writers in the meantime. I hope that’s not going to be the case. I also don’t understand the “author cap” that’s being placed on the event. Readers are coming to meet and greet the authors, after all, so why exclude anyone who has a reason and the means to attend? My feelings on the matter are: the more the merrier!

And now I wait. Before I even consider registering for Atlanta, I will wait to see whom these chosen ones are. If it’s being determined by sales, I remain skeptical. If it’s being determined by how prolific the author, I remain doubly so, because we all know quantity and quality are mutually exclusive propositions, in many cases, and I have news for you GRL organizers—I have a “must-have” author on my list who’s written one, count it, one book to date that I can guarantee was far more brilliant and original than the half dozen books some writers spew out in a year’s time.

I’ll finish with this thought: to see any author excluded from GayRomLit on the basis of his or her popularity would be, to me, the height of irony in a genre, and for an event, that prides itself on inclusivity, wouldn’t it?

And that’s my two cents on the subject.

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