Monday, June 28, 2010

What Romance is...

According to  Kimberlee Shortland:

Now, this is a really interesting and informative blog post. I enjoyed reading it, and I think she did a pretty good job tracking the evolution of the romance/erotica genre.

Just one thing I would quibble with: Why, oh why are all things gay so often piled together under erotica, and 'nuff said?

"Erotica also allows same sex partners, advanced sexual experimentation, S&M, bondage and other fetishes, even self-pleasuring. There seems to be few limits... "

I know we write sex between men. But it isn't all sex, all the time. Sure there's gay erotica, and obviously gay porn, but there is also plenty of gay romance out there, where sex never even happens. There are plenty of books written for young adults featuring gay protaganists, and I've read a few fantasy books with strong homoerotic or homoromatic overtones, but narry even a kiss between the men (or women) in question. For the love of humanity, people, stop it. Being queer does not make us sex fiends. There's no need to keep us segrigated from the masses.

/rant. For now.
(Yes, I know. I complain about this alot, but it bugs me.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Free Read: Who Says Shamrocks Aren't Lucky?

Ever wonder where authors get their ideas? You'd be surprised how small an incident or how inconsequential a turn of conversation it takes to blossom into an entire story. Sometimes, the idea isn't even mine. In the case of my Irish Lovers, as I like to call them, the idea came from a number of oh-so-helpful fellow authors and readers.

You see I was innocently perusing one of my favourite yahoo groups one day, when I saw an interesting post go by that went something like this:
"Come vote for your choices for this month's chose your own m/m romance."
Now, I was intrigued, so I followed the link. Much like leaving a trail of gum drops leading down a woodland path, Kris lured me into her domain. I followed blithely along. And found myself at Kris's blog, where, indeed, she had a post up asking her blog followers to make choices between some odd picks indeed.

You see, the idea is that she thinks up the craziest things she can manage, as to who the characters in a story should be, where the story should be set, what the story should feature by way of props and interesting complications. Then her chosen writer, or victim, as she likes to call them, must take the choices the readers have decided on, by majority vote, and incorporate them into a holiday themed story. Sound crazy?

Crazy fun, is what it is. Just call me Hansel. I followed that trail of candy, and walked right into the witch's hut (not that Kris is a witch! She's actually one of the nicest people I've come across on the web) I immediately said to myself:

"Self, you can do this! This is fun!!! Volunteer!"

And me self, being the pushover that she is, volunteered to take up the challenge. Kris laughed herself silly at the idea of an author volunteering for this crazy assignment.
And from prompts such as: A character with green skin, A set looking like an Irish Pub, A rugby player who wants to be a twink, a potato shaped like Bono and a dildo with green shamrocks, my Irish lovers, Ian McVeigh and David MacDougal were born. My story was to be ready to go live by St. Patrick's Day.

Check out the post:
Mission accomplished. Kris, my friend, the joke's on you, because not only did I write your story, but David and Ian are back for round two; Good to be Home, soon to be available at Loveyoudivine, and round three is already in the works.

The PDF version of Who Says Shamrocks Aren't Lucky, with a lovely cover, that you can download to your e-readers is now available!.

And by the way, that's Kris's title. Great, isn't it?

Please do check out the other authors' stories while you're there. There's some really great, entertaining stuff. I tell you, this has generated some very off the wall stories from some terrific authors.
Bring it on, Kris! I meet your challenge and raise you another go at your silly game!!!

Blurb: Ian's budding relationship with David seems to focus on the one thing David is both fantastic at, and loves; sex. Ian's not sure he can keep up. When David's past comes calling, and David goes running, Ian is not sure what to think. He has no idea where he stands with his new lover, only that he's sure he doesn't want to share.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Review of Spinning

I haven't had a review of one of my stories in what seems like a really long time. This one was interesting, and full of really good points. I'm flattered about the comments about my writing, and had to nod my head in agreement about the world-building, the length and the ending. The good news is that this is only the first book in the series, and the next will be out in October. There will be more of Ken and Mikko and the new oder of the world they live in soon. If you're at all interested in seeing what Kassa at Rainbow Reviews had to say about the story, here's the link:

"The writing is once again top notch, as expected of Samms, and the emotion connects with the reader immediately. "

(Sorry. I really couldn't resist, and that is such a fantastic compliment. I'm all ablush and yet indulging in self-pimping at the same time. Go me.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Spinning Release

You may or may not have heard me mention this around. I've been very excited about ths book. It's very close to my heart for many reasons. It's a little dark, and was a little scary for me to write, but I think it has turned out fantastic, and it does end on a hopeful note. If you liked Poor Boy, you might enjoy this, though it's more paranormal and post natural disaster than urban grit. I hop you like it.

BLURB: Ken has fallen in love twice in his unnaturally long life. He's spent the rest of it trying to forget what falling out of it feels like. Not even the end of civilization has distracted him from his own misery, and now, desperate and achingly lonely, he calls the one person who's never hung up on him.

Mikko lost Ken once, letting life get in the way of love, and ever since the day Ken ran, he's been trying to track him down. He's honed his skills over the years, tracking Ken through the morass of men and ugly affairs, waiting for the chance to make things right.

Ken thinks his messy past is a secret from Mikko, and is too ashamed to admit any of it. Mikko has secrets of his own, things he's discovered about their very nature he's sure Ken's not ready to hear. Back together, after years of cat and mouse, Ken has to learn to trust a man he knows isn't telling him everything, and Mikko has to figure out how to fix something his own negligence might have destroyed beyond hope of repair.

Ken gazed out the back window of the house to the waves; dark, rolling mounds lifted the horizon and dropping it again into the abyss on a rhythmic schedule. Gulls wheeled and cried over the water, white dots between the grey overcast and the darker ocean.
"Newfoundland?" The incredulous accusation jerked Ken's attention back to the phone call, "Seriously?"

"What about it?" Ken tossed his soccer ball up and caught it one-handed. Held in his other hand, the cool plastic of his ancient cell warmed against his ear.

"'s a rock, for starters." Mikko's indignation echoed thinly across the poor Atlantic connection. "Nothing grows there."

Ken's breath caught and his grip on the phone tightened. "So?" Belligerence, he noticed, had no echo. "You can't re-grow a broken heart, anyway." Gardening is for idiots who fall in love. He fixed his gaze on the barren rocks outside the window, taking comfort in their never-changing strength. The waves rose and fell on the same cadence as his breathing. Or maybe it was the other way round.

Silence didn't echo either, strung out along the line. He hung up. Sea waves splashed up over the rocks. He gulped in great breaths around the jagged edges. After a moment, the chirping ring tone soothed over his uneven breathing, and he flipped the phone open.
"I know it's tough, Kenny."

"You don't know fuck all." He snapped the phone closed again. A minute passed. Another. His knuckles ached. If he loosened his grip, he'd throw the damn thing. It wasn't Mikko's fault. Or the phone's. Still, he turned it to vibrate and tossed it onto the coffee table as another minute ticked past. The ring's vibration carried it almost to the floor before he lunged after the phone. His momentum carried him to the window and he leaned his forehead against the glass. The waves rolled in steadily as he opened the phone and held it to his ear.
"So where are you staying?" Mikko's voice drifted, soft over the connection. He never stayed properly hung-up on.

"Why does it matter?" Ken turned away from the ocean view and tossed the ball. This time it thumped off the wall, onto a bare table behind the couch, and obediently back into his hand, just like a soccer ball should. Gravity was predictable that way. Not like men.

"Because if I know you," came Mikko's reply, "and I do, you searched out some pre-furnished dump of an apartment and are sitting on someone else's lice-ridden mattress bouncing that ball of yours against paper-thin walls. Any moment now, an irate neighbour's going to come screaming down on you, and I should know where to send the cops after your bruised and bloodied self."
"It's a room, actually." Ken caught the ball on its second trip and hugged it against his chest. "I'm not sitting." He glanced at the grungy couch and grimaced, turning back to the comfort of the watery view. "No one wants to live this close to the ocean since the Wave hit. It was cheap."

"Even better."

"Shut it."

"So. Where?"

"What difference does it make?" You let me go. He smothered the logical, unwelcome follow-up that'd been impossible to stop, and Mikko had never been far, oceans notwithstanding. He always, always, answered his phone. Maybe he was a bit more like gravity than he was like other men.

"Kenny" Mikko's voice caressed his soul, even over the crappy connection. "Talk to me. Tell me what happened." He could be so gentle.

Ken's fingers shook as he closed the phone on that sweetness—that gentle caring.

Not even a minute passed before the phone amplified his trembling with its vibration. He opened it, brought it to his ear. This time, Mikko did not speak.

"Everyone leaves," Ken whispered at last, into the waiting silence.

Buy link: