Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday Shout-Out: Cinder by Marie Sexton

Cinder by Marie Sexton

Shouting-Out Marie Sexton,

I don’t know why I was so disappointed in this short. I guess I had a high expectation in the reading of it, because the author always delivers quality work.

An M/M spin on the classic fairytale Cinderella, where Cinder is the maid slave boy for his aunt and cousins after the death of his parents. When he meets the prince on a day out fishing, they instantly strike up a friendship and Cinder starts to fall in love. Downside, the prince has to find himself a wife by his birthday or lose his title and inheritance.

With the help of an old witch, Cinder is transformed into a woman, and sets out to see his prince for the last time. The set up is very close to the original fairytale, where Cinder loses a shoe and the prince has to find the owner of the shoe. The owner comes with a few surprises but with Cinder still in the mix.

I liked the story and I found it cute, but I guess I was expecting too much. I think it followed too closely to Cinderella. I would have liked if Cinder had went in there as a dashing male and charmed the pants right off of Xavier. I don’t like that he had to become a woman.

I wanted more humiliation for his aunt and cousins. I am a revenge kind of girl and they didn’t get what they deserved.

I did enjoy the build up friendship between Cinder and Xavier; there was an equality there that I really enjoyed.

So Ms Sexton this shout-out is for you. I liked this little offering but didn’t love it. 

3 Pants Off

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Better by Jaime Samms

Better by Jaime Samms
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 240pgs
3.75 (Almost a 4) Pants Off

After filing charges that put his abusive ex-Dom behind bars, Jesse Turbul relocates halfway across the country, hoping to escape his past—but, of course, it's never that easy. When Jesse meets third-year law student Aadon at the library where he works, their mutual attraction is instant and obvious.

Despite the sparks, they just can't seem to make it work. Aadon is mired in guilt over his inability to help his older brother, damaged by events far too similar to Jesse’s past. Jesse is stuck in his own desperate wish to forget the painful shadow that continues to threaten him and any hope of a happy future.

The only way to move forward is for Jesse to acknowledge he’s broken and for Aadon to accept he can’t make him better.

Better is about two men both with a similar past, and trying to make this thing called love work. Jesse a submissive who got the shitty end of the stick with an abusive Dom. Aadon a man who has witnessed the toll rape and abuse can have on a person, his older brother is the victim of that.

Jesse is still mentally/physically suffering from the abuse even years later, and is questioning if he will ever feel for another again. When Aadon appears in his life Jesse finds himself very attracted to the man but fears he is too broken to be anything good for Aadon. They both work to try and find a common ground, but it’s not always easy to meet in the middle.

I really liked Jesse he was a solid character and very believable in his pain. The author really did a wonderful thing in making him accept that he does have a problem and doesn’t pretend as if all is right. Aadon also realizes that he’s not exactly perfect when handling Jesse, and he might be putting his issue with his brother unto him. They’re all very angst, but believable angst.

I did have a few problems with the book, which kept it from being a complete 4 Pants off. I am telling you these boys were hitting the books hard, but unless I missed something *hmm* did they ever attend class? I heard about the classes but never read about them being in class. I don’t know about you, but that really adds to the college atmosphere. I also couldn’t handle the ranting these went on when they got in the mood. I get it you have problems and I appreciate that you realize it but… simmer down on explaining it.

Although Aadon’s brother Ricky was a minor character he really left an impact on me. I think I will remember his character a lot longer than I will Aadon/Jesse. I would love him to have a book of his own book and find some healing. With the level of abuse he suffered, and his mental state. I’m thinking the book would be all kinds of epic, because sex has the power to hurt but it also has the power to heal *real talk*.

Overall, I liked this one. This was my first book by Jaime Samms and will not be my last. I really enjoyed the writing, the pacing was good and I gobbled it all up in a day or so. You should check this one out if you are looking for an emotionally rich story with solid characters. The mother in me really cried for a young Ricky, and that was the hardest part in reading Better. Otherwise, I enjoyed it but not as much as I had hoped.

3 1/2 Pants Off with .25 More

Better was provided by NetGalley

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Safe by C. Kennedy

Safe by C. Kennedy
No Boundaries Press
Short Story: 68pgs
4 Pants Off

They met at ten, they kissed at twelve, and were madly in love at eighteen. Caleb is the captain of the swim team and the hottest senior in school. Nico is small and beautiful and has an Italian father who rules with an iron fist. Literally. Nico is never safe from his vicious father. One morning Caleb forgets himself and pecks Nico’s lips at school. It just seems so natural. A teacher sees them and tattles to the Headmaster. Accidently outing themselves is the least of their problems. The ball set in motion by the school’s calls to their parents may get Nico killed.

YOUNG ADULT HEA: Gay Teen Love, Contemporary, Drama 

Caleb and Nico have been the best of friends since they met at ten at swimming classes. From twelve and on the boys realize that what they feel for each other is more than friendship and they must keep it a secret from others. With Nico suffering abuse from his father, his love for his best friend might very well cost him his life.

The books take us on a journey as the boys grow to adulthood. Their progression into sexual delights, and the jealousy that comes with hiding what they feel for each from their peers. When Caleb forgets himself and kisses Nico at school it unleashes a chain of events that could cost the boys to lose each other forever.

I have to say I really enjoyed reading this book, and liked Nico and Caleb a lot. I really had no problems with the sexual content in the book, because Nico and Caleb love each other so their actions weren’t frivolous. I don’t know about you but teens fool around and I would rather it be based on love. On that note, there is no actual intercourse, just an exploration of their growing feelings for each other.

There is a bit of sad angst offered up with Niko’s abusive dad, which add a little something to the story. Nico and Caleb’s friends also provide a realistic feel to their school life, and they really do come off as teenagers. The doubt, anxiety, and excitement that comes with growing up is offered up well and makes the story all that more believable. I really enjoyed it, and look forward to seeing Nico and Caleb again they are super sweet.

Crazy Talk: I don’t know why I thought this was a BDSM 0_o it really upped my perve to a completely new level. YA BDSM seriously did someone write that? LOL

4 Pants Off

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ARC Review: Like It Or Not (Anthology)

Like It Or Not by Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks, Sean Michael, Gryvon, Stella Harris, T.C Mill, Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane
Storm Moon Press
Novel: 168pgs
4.5 Pants Off

Be it forced seduction/dubious consent, non-violent intimidation, or pre-negotiated fantasy, there is something wickedly taboo about non-consensual sex, where consent is muddled. While rape is a crime of power, focusing on exerting physical control over another person, non-con is all about the gray area where verbal consent is either never given (not a 'yes', but not a 'no' either) or doesn't match the arousal and passion both parties share during the act. In Like It or Not, we push the boundaries of consent without fully breaking them.

When Connor's rent money is due and not even hooking can make up the shortfall, he really is Out of Options. So when playboy Jarrett makes him a very generous offer, he doesn't look too closely at the terms—and lives to regret it.

Then, werewolf Trevor is subjected to Obedience Classes when his pack alpha becomes fed up with his rebellion. Dirk, the wolf charged with this task, though, seems more interested in claiming Trevor for himself, by any means necessary.

Writer Ian Richards has to decide What It's Worth to get his story when his contact meets him in a private club. In fact, Vincenzo has no intention of letting his information go easily, if at all.

In Blindside, freshman Matt is tired of enduring the hazing by (admittedly gorgeous) upperclassman Dylan, when Dylan ups the ante significantly. And as much as Matt wants Dylan, he can't be sure the whole thing isn't one more bizarre prank.

Confessor Isak must resort to Unnatural Means when he is charged with the task of forcing Sain to confess his sins of murder and witchcraft before inevitable execution. Torturing in the name of the Divine is difficult enough, but when Sain's seductive magic takes hold of him, he isn't sure it will be Sain who breaks under pressure to find release.

Finally, Salting the Earth becomes Ronan's only choice when he suspects his sister has been taken by the fairies. However, this only draws the interest of ruthless King Finnbheara, who extracts a price for his cooperation that may be too high for Ronan to pay.

Another winning anthology by Storm Moon Press. I am never a fan of reading them because they disappoint or you love it too much and want more. I really want more of all the stories offered up in this anthology, which is driving me hella crazy because I want more. I really loved/really liked all the stories in this one, if you have no problems with reading non-con then I highly suggest checking this book out.

Out of Options by Angelia Sparrow & Naomi Brooks
I do believe this is my favourite story in the entire anthology. Talk about being totally surprised by the amount of sexy, and gender pushing, and just overall awesomeness that was offered up. When money gets a little tight for Connor, he goes to his last resort, which is tricking. When he’s picked up by Jarret who pays him nicely, gives him tender loving, and wouldn’t mind seeing him again with payment of course. Connor feels like he’s hit the jackpot, but it calls go south when he signs a shady contract and bind himself to Jarret who isn’t as nice as he seems O_O (shady contract dude)

Seriously, I loved this story! Without getting into the politics of gender and all that, this story really pushed the boundaries. I think I blushed I bit, because I found it so incredibly sexy. It’s hardcore and it won’t settle well with most readers but it sure settled well with me.

“I like my boys with tits, and my girls with dicks”
-Out of Options

Obedience Class by Sean Michael
I really liked this one, because what’s not to like? Werewolf, unruly mate, and hot sexy man love. I know the whole mate werewolf thing is played but I’m a real sucker for them. Trevor is rebellious and his pack has had enough so they put Dirk on the case to bring him to obedience. I don’t know if I really liked Dirk methods of reining in Trevor. He truly came across as terrified, so that part really bothered me. Otherwise I totally loved it, and have been thinking about the sex they did/might have had in wolf form. Wanna know how that went down =_=

What It’s Worth by Gryvon
Fucking gawd, another story I want more of. Ian is a bit of a douche and literally hates everything. He does take pride in his work though he feels it all sucks which is contradictory. When one of his assignments leads him to the arms of Vincenzo.  Ian is thinking he takes too much pride in his work and should have left this one alone when he had the chance. It’s all just a little too late, and Ian finds himself tied and submitting to a stranger. I enjoyed this one a lot but just couldn’t handle the deflowering of Ian. So public, so clinical, and just not what I wanted for him. Although by the end, he is less douchy.

Blindside by Stella Harris
Another favourite, just because it was so freaking cute and funny. Matt believes he’s being hazed by upperclassman Dylan when he is called to do his medical and Dylan is getting all up close and personal with his prostate. It might just be all fun and games for Dylan, but Matt is experiencing things he only dreamt of. If only he could walk away, but he keeps going back to Dylan and his special brand of hazing.

Oh Matt you naïve fool you. Prostate check at 18! You should have seen it for it was he just wanted to feel you up.

Unnatural Means by T.C Mill
I am honestly going to admit that I don’t get this story. Isak is to cleanse Sain’s soul by having him confess to murder and witchcraft. It’s not going so well because Sain is stubborn and doesn’t feel he has anything to confess. This one is a bit of a mind fuck, and I was left thinking two things. Sain is a murderer and dabbles in the dark arts, or he’s a con man and has everyone fooled. He uses his ‘witchcraft’ to ensnare a man and then he gets rid of them when he wants to. Either which way, is this really a non-con story? Moreover, which of the characters is the one not consenting? As I said mind fuck!

Salting the Earth by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane
O_O that is all. Seriously, this one really freaked my freak. I am lost, puzzled, and loving all the faery pretty. All I am thinking is that Ronan was crazy, and he was the bait to begin a series of events that will bring us to The Druid Stone. I think this was a nice set-up, and will leave the reader with questions. Is TDS here yet *stomping foot impatiently*!


Overall, really enjoyed this anthology. So many different levels of writing and storytelling and all very unique. Another winner by SMP, and I look forward to whatever creative anthology they come up with next. I guess I should warn and say the whole book is dub-con/non-con but it didn’t feel like it for me. Though it really depends on the reader, which basically means I am hardcore. Loved It!

4 1/2 Pants Off

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What's Happening This Week

Hallo everybody! Hope you are enjoying the warm weather and soaking up the sun. It was a scorcher this past week, hotter than hell I presume and I hate it. I think I might stay inside for the rest of the summer.

June is almost over which brings us closer to my Blogoversary, which I can tell you now will be HUGE. I am just so excited for it, and look forward to everyone stopping by. Lots of wonderful prizes and guest posts.

Weekly Wrap-Up: Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane stopped by for an Interview.
  • Winner of the Hawaiian Gothic Giveaway was Crissy Morris (Congrats Crissy)
  • Elyan Smith stopped by for his Portside blog tour and brought a giveaway.
  • Check out my You're Invited To A Party 

Here's Whats Causing A Pants Losing This Week 

Tuesday: Review- Like It Or Not Anthology by Various Authors.

Wednesday: Review- Safe by C. Kennedy

Thursday: Review-Better by Jaime Samms

Friday: Review- The Cool Part Of His Pillow by Rodney Ross (Delayed)

Saturday Shout-Out: Cinder by Marie Sexton

*That's it for this week folks. Be safe, keep hydrated, and lose your pants when you can.*

Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: The Boxer by Jan Irving

The Boxer (The Contenders #2) by Jan Irving
Short Novella: 121pgs
5 Pants Off

Former boxer Dane Connelly faces losing it all, everything he fought for in The Janitor. He's hiding problems with his fight-damaged eyesight from his uptown lover, Noel Atherton. How can he be a man for him if he can't see to fight or to paint? And now the vicious killer Narone, who almost broke him in the ring, is out on parole, looking for payback. Dane is desperate to protect the man he loves. 

 But Noel has had enough of sleeping alone in their empty bed, aching for Dane, so he devises various exotic scenarios to seduce him, giving his lover the sexual domination he needs. He knows Dane is not being upfront with him, and after being patient for months he's growing alarmed something is really wrong. Now Noel has to use his body and his heart to fight for his beloved boxer.

What can I say that I haven’t said already, I freaking love Dane and Noel. These two definitely have a part of my heart, I just love them together and will never tire of reading about them. I have gone back to simply read over The Janitor numerous of times, and no one is as surprised as me by how much I love them. I bought the Janitor by mistake and I am so happy I did, it was one of the best mistakes of my life.

Noel and Dane are back and I don’t know if I should say better than ever, cus there are a few problems that arise. I can say that they still love each other wholeheartedly, and they are still burning hot. The dynamic of their relationship is so sexy. We have the brawny and strong Dane, the slight and sophisticated Noel, and who is in charge makes things just so sexy.

I think this series is all about healing, these are two far from perfect characters who come alive for each other. They say opposites attract, and for this series it is true. Noel is the intellect and the over thinker, Dane is the voice of reason, he is a pure soul and the world is just too mean for him. Some might describe Dane as being stupid or maybe retarded. I say far from it, he is smart in his own rights, he doesn’t need big words and first rate education. He gets his point across by being honest and keeping it simple. He is no pretender, Dane my man is contender.

An old enemy is back and it creates tension for the couple, a distance I never saw coming. It was beautiful to watch them find their way back to each other. After all the bullshit they been through, they both deserved an awesome HEA.

My opinion is a little bias cus I think these guys are great and I have no bad words for them. So what is the writing is simple, teachers always said to me KISS (keep it simple stupid), sounds bad but you get my drift. There is nothing to wrap your head around just a very beautiful story about finding love is the most unlikely place, and the most unlikely person.

 I am gonna end this with a few lines from the sexiest scene in this book.

“You want it straight up?” Dane’s voice was dark, gravelly, sexy. In contrast, Noel’s voice was a thread as he admitted, “I want to be fucked. Fuck me. Take me like a stranger.” 
I died a little at that part but made it back to read the rest. I effin love these guys and will continue to randomly pick up their story and read it over.

5 Pants Off

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway with Elyan Smith

Help me welcome Elyan Smith to Pants Off! He also brought a great giveaway so be sure to read and comment.

For me writing has always been inherently intuitive. I'm not someone who reads many textbooks or listens to panels or lectures on how to write, I just do what I do, but I remember reading about a panel more or less recently that discussed two approaches to world building. The panelists distinguished between creating the world first and then populating it with a story or making up the world as they wrote the story. 

Now, I write contemporaries almost exclusively, so it didn't occur to me to think of anything I do as world building, per se, but I suppose even with worlds that are as close to the physical reality as possible, they are still worlds that need to translate from the writer's imagination to the page and from there to the reader's imagination. 

The closest analogy I found to explain how a story or a world develops in my head is probably that of a first person video game. Think ego shooter, just less violent (for the most part). Think roleplaying game maybe, where you look at the world through the character's eyes and move your video game character through the world as if you were actually moving in the world yourself. With every step you take, every time you turn your head, a new detail or a different angle or a different aspect appears that remains hidden as long as you don't look at it. The game loads as you progress through it rather than existing and allowing you an overview of the world your character isn't aware of yet. 

On a technical level this plays into style (I tend to write fairly detail-focused) and point of view (very tight third for me, most of the time). On a storytelling level though it leads to the story developing as I write it and as the character discovers it -- I'm obviously not a plotter. 

I generally start with a) a scene and b) a specific tone or atmosphere. Almost automatically there's a character who perceives that specific scene and is somehow connected to that specific atmosphere, without me, as the writer, really knowing anything about that character or the world they're in other than the aspects contained within that first moment. 

Portside opens with weather (windy, wet) and with some details in that world (abandoned building, peeling paint, water in the distance) and only then introduces the character by way of wind creeping into his clothes and pulling at his hair as he stands in the scene. That first idea sets the tone for the rest of the story even if I have, at this point, no idea who the character is and who he will turn into. 

The character then begins to quite literally walk through the world, and like in a video game, the fronts of buildings, associated thoughts, impressions and memories, are loaded into the story to populate the world around the person who leads me wherever he or she is going. It's a very visual way of writing. In fact, I tend to write scenes as if I'm filming them, including panning shots, zooms and close-ups, cuts and different camera angles. 

So ideally, when someone reads a story of mine, it'll be a bit like watching a film. All the necessary details should be in place and implied, unfolding for the viewer as the character moves through the story, building with a few repetitions of themes and ideas and somewhat of a 'that's kinda cool' moment somewhere. 

I only started thinking of this in terms of world building when I began discussing writing with others and kept insisting that I didn't built worlds, I only wrote what was already there. I like the realities of the world we live in, I suppose, and I usually try to put them onto the page as immediate and as direct as possible, allowing the reader to be the person seeing the world the same way I do, and the same way the character does. 

~As part of the Portside blog tour, leaving a comment will enter you into a drawing for a $20 Amazon gift certificate.~

Life on the dole in a dying town is defined by drinking when you can, smoking to pass the time, and, if you’re gay, going down to the barracks at the old port to get some. Iwan’s got the cigarettes and the booze down pat, but he lacks experience, which has him sticking to online porn and watching other people. 

Everyone else seems to have moved past getting what they want, while all Iwan can think of is what could go wrong. He knows who he is, regardless of labels. But no matter how often his best friend Lyn tells him to just go for it, he doesn’t trust other people to see past his mismatched body. 

Paying for what he’s afraid to get for free is a long shot, but it’s better than just watching, and it’s better than porn. It doesn’t change the world he lives in, but it changes him. 

Elyan Smith lives in the southwest of England. He works in research during the day and spends most of his free time writing LGBT fiction. Portside is Elyan’s debut release. You can find him at his Website and his Twitter, and purchase a copy of Portside at Riptide Publishing. 

Please join Elyan at his next blog tour stop here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

You, Me, & Yaoi #6: I Can't Stop Loving You

By: Row Takakura
3.5 Pants Off

Blurb: Kyouji is a Buddhist exorcist, although he can't see ghosts his best friend and lover, Yu, can Maybe they'd go all the way if Yu's incredible supernatural strength could be held in check. How can a steamy, sexy relationship survive such obstacles?

3.5 Pants Off

Thoughts: With reading Yaoi you have to remember that it's all for good fun. Sometimes shit don’t make sense and the characters say some crazy things that wouldn’t work anywhere else. No matter how crazy I found I Can’t Stop Loving You it hasn’t been craziest thing I have read from yaoi.

Kyouji is an exorcist and a Buddhist monk in training. He is in relationship with his best friend Yu and they are in all kinds of blissful love. They want their relationship to go to the next level but whenever Kyouji and Yu get all up close and personal Yu’s super human strength always leave Kyo in pain. Sometimes it’s a cracked rib or really painful scratches, and due to his pain, they can never consummate their love.

Throw in some evil spirits, spirit possessions, and the most interrupted sex scenes ever and you have yourself a funny and charming read. I found this one to be cute, and a little sexy, and I really like Yu he is one of the best ukes ever. I really enjoyed that he wants Kyo a lot and wasn’t even embarrassed about it. Sometimes the bottoms in yaoi can be so annoying and in denial (Misaki I am talking to you).

Overall, enjoyed reading it because it was cute and made me laugh a few times. Originality not there, but what the hell the most fun way to past time is to read some boy love.

Get Interested 

Kyouji & Yu


Monday, June 18, 2012

ARC Review: Hawaiian Gothic by Violetta Vane & Heidi Belleau

Hawaiian Gothic by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane
Novel: 168pgs
4.5 Pants Off

Ori and Kalani were childhood friends too afraid to be lovers. Now in their darkest hour—Ori disgraced and Kalani a wandering spirit—they’ll fight the world and death itself for a second chance.

Gregorio “Ori” Reyes thought there was nothing left for him in Hawaii. A former Army Ranger and promising MMA fighter, his dishonorable discharge turned him into the family disgrace, and his childhood best friend Kalani never could love him back--not the way Ori needed to be loved--even before Kalani’s doctors declared him to be in an unrecoverable coma. Ori’s return to Hawaii seems fated to be a depressing reminder of every chance he never took... until Kalani himself impossibly welcomes him home.

Kalani’s body is bedridden, but his spirit is free to roam, and it turns out it’s not just Ori who had unspoken yearnings. Kalani is eager to prove that he can still savor all the pleasures of this world. Together, they remember all those years of surfing, wrestling, touching and aching but too afraid to act; now, they cross that final barrier and struggle against each other in an entirely different way.

Passionately but tenuously reunited, the pair must solve the mystery of Kalani’s unlucky life, sorting through dark family history and even journeying to the Hawaiian ghostworld. And the greatest terror of their journey is that Ori might have to put Kalani to rest.

I am going to honestly write, that I do not have the freaking words to describe this book. I am huge fan of horror and crazy, since my mom had me watching Twilight Zone at four. The book isn’t scary in a ‘there’s a boogeyman in the closet’. The fear lies within the risks one is willing to take for the person they love, because sometimes it can be bad things, it can be good things, and it can be great things.

With Hawaiian Gothic, there is greatness in this love story. Kind of fucking unbelievable, but made to come alive with the wonderful writing offered up by two authors everyone should be keeping their eyes on. They manage to do a little something new with every book they write, and I can never predict the outcome in their books.

Ori is a Filipino-American who has just been released from the army on a dishonourable discharge. He’s now back home in Hawaii, struggling with some shame and guilt. His visit is bittersweet because he closest friend of many years lies in the hospital in a coma. The best-friend he has loved for many years, the friend he still loves even now, the friend he is willing to give everything for.

Their story is told in a series of flashbacks, and you experience teen Ori and Kalani. There is an organized way to these flashbacks so the reader does not become confused. It’s through the flashbacks you see how important these men are to each other.

With Kalani now in the hospital, Ori and his family has to decide what to do. Others have already given up but Ori refuses to believe that his smiling surfer boy is gone. This is where the story takes a turn, when Ori starts seeing a very real Kalani. His body still remains in the hospital but his spirit wanders and can become corporeal for Ori. Trapped between the living world and the spirit world Kalani finally confesses his real feelings for Ori and the men come together in a passion so explosive I lost my pants numerous times.

Ori finally having Kalani, he now desperately refuses to let him go, and concludes that it has to be some kind of a curse that probably can be stopped. So he goes on a mission to save the man he loves. What he learns about Kalani’s past is sad, and what he has to do to secure Kalani’s future is dangerous. Ori must make his way to the Hawaiian spirit world, and bring his man back to land of the living.

I enjoyed reading this book so much! Hawaii came alive for me, and the characters became so extraordinary. I have always been in love with the paranormal/supernatural, and this book had it tenfold and I was so captivated. It really freaked my freak sometimes, but it’s a good thing when books can throw you a curve ball and then hit a home run.

This book is not traditional in the romance or the writing. So be aware that you will not be getting romance built on rainbows on sunshine, because without the supernatural trope. It’s a hard-hitting book battling real emotions and dealing with loss.

Love, love, and love the interracial love! Filipino-American/Hawaiian-American seriously no pants were invited in the reading of this. I am trying to think of when I read a Filipino in m/m??? I don’t think I have, and this book was a wonderful representation of them as someone with Filipino children, I approve this message.

The sex in this one is hot enough to burn all the hairs on your body. Like dirty, sexy, powerful wrestling, the desire to be on top was just beautiful. Ori and Kalani are very male, and I would pay good money to see them together. The ending of this book is so beautiful, love it to death, and just loved the whole story. If you are looking for a different read? Something that will remain on your mind days after reading it, then Hawaiian Gothic might be it for you.

4.5 Pants Off

Sunday, June 17, 2012

And The Winners Are (Shameless Giveaway Hop)

Stephanie V


Sue Sattler

*Thanks to everyone who participated in the blog hop, and thanks to everyone who entered. Congrats to the winners, an email is on the way to you both so please reply back to me within 48hrs or another winner will be chosen.*

~Feeling blue from not winning? Here's your chance to win a great book. Check out my interview with Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane and comment for your chance to win Hawaiian Gothic~

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Interview & Giveaway with Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane

I am so excited to be interviewing Heidi and Violetta today! They are two very awesome ladies and talented writers, and they are here chatting it up with me. Give a warm welcome to the fantastic duo Heidi & Violetta.

Hi Heidi/Violetta welcome to Pants Off, super excited to have you guys here. 
Heidi: Super excited to be here! Can I take my pants off now?  

Tell us a bit about yourself, and how long you've been writing? 
Heidi: I’m a stay at home mom living in Northern Canada. I’m a history geek. I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. In fact, even before I could physically write, I was dictating stories to my father to write down for me. I don’t think this gives me a particular pedigree or anything like that, but yes, I have definitely spent a long time nurturing this... talent? Inclination? Fetish? Haha. 

Violetta: I was raised by wandering hippies who have since mostly settled down. I went to kindergarten in Japan but have spent most of my life in the United States. I’ve been writing essays formally and informally for many years, but was always too afraid to venture into fiction. A few years ago, I jumped in. 

Heidi: Turns out she had nothing to worry about, because she’s totally awesome. 

Was gay fiction something you always wanted to write? Or did you develop it as an interest over time? 
Heidi: I actually wrote stories about a pair of gay characters back in high school, so it must have started sometime around then! I mean, I’m bi myself, so I never really thought romance needed to be limited to couples consisting of one man and one woman. However, growing up where I did, I never realized that books about gay and bi people could actually sell and find an audience. It was very exciting to me to find M/M after forcing myself to write straight stuff just because I thought that was the only to get people to read my books. There’s this whole period of my wriitng where I am patently forcing myself not to let the LGBT subtext in my stories shine through. Pablo Picasso had his Blue Period, I had my.... nohomo period. It’s really quite hilarious because even my straight books were super duper gay.  

Violetta: The first gay fiction I ever read was The Naked Lunch by William Burroughs, when I was 14. I’ve always sought out stories (mostly in science fiction) that had treatments of sexuality and gender that didn’t conform to what I felt were constricting norms. And I listened to a lot of Bowie during my formative years. I mean a lot. Due to both study and recreation, I’ve developed a fair degree of knowledge of LGBTQ fiction, but I’m not claiming insider status. I look at m/m romance as a fascinating hybrid genre—many of the stories I want to tell fit very well inside it. 

I believe I've read all the books you both have written together and look forward to the others. Most (all) of your stories have a supernatural theme to it. Is the supernatural something you both believe in? 
Heidi: I do, yeah. I don’t subscribe to any one belief system, but I am definitely open to the possibility that there is more in this world than we can necessarily comprehend. I definitely still try to be critical, because there are many many people in this world who want to capitalize on and even exploit those beliefs. I have very little tolerance, just as an example, for phony psychics and the like that make a good living off of manipulating people’s grief.  

Violetta: I believe in the fantastic, in a literary sense. I don’t believe that causality is influenced by the supernatural. In terms of belief, I’m a Buddhist. 

Sex with a corporeal spirit/ghost. Seriously, whose idea was that? 
Heidi: ...I think that may have been me. We decided to write a book set in Hawaii and were looking at different Hawaiian stories, and the ghost stories in particular called to me. And I’ll admit, this isn’t my first time writing ghost sex. Uh. 

Violetta: An invisible man sleeping in your bed... who ya gonna call? Trick question, you get it on with him, write a story about it, and send it off to Loose Id. 

Heidi: I mean, I guess you could call someone, if you were freaky. I’d call Peter Venkman anytime. 

There is such wonderful Multiculturalism/interracial relationships in your books. Will this be something you both you and Violetta continue to write? Because I believe you guys are really setting the bar high for interracial relationships in gay romance/fiction. 
Violetta: Thanks! Yes, it’s something we’re both very committed to writing. We have written a few stories, I think, where all the characters are white, but even in those cases culture and ethnicity play a huge role in the story. More than anything, that’s what we focus on; people not just as isolated generic individuals but as members of families, communities, cultures, and how love and sexuality interacts with all of that. 

Sadly, the bar is kind of low at the present moment. There are some awesome writers and stories out there in IR/MC and I promote them as much as possible. But we don’t have as many writers and stories as we could. People look at it and they only see the risks and not the rewards. The situation is changing for the better, though. 

You have written the intense, sad, and the horror stuff. When will we be reading the fluff? Just good ole guy falls in love with an office worker ^_^ 
Heidi: My god, you know, writing fluff has never occurred to me? Which is crazy because I love rom-coms. I mean, I think I’ve watched The Proposal like eight times, and Bridget Jones’s Diary probably even more, and even The Holiday with Kate Winslet and Jack Black... I also like M/M romance with the same themes and scenarios, although I think it’s hard to get right. Yeah I think we are overdue for some fluff. I know we have been talking about the possibility of writing a contemporary with no paranormal aspects (specifically, a sequel/follow-on to our free short “Harm Reduction”) but given the subject matter I don’t think that has a high likelihood of being fluffy. Fluff... fluff. We may have to discuss this for an upcoming project. This may be all your fault. 

You have a new release out, and one is upcoming. Can you just share a little about them and future plans in writing? 
Heidi: Our current release, as you know, is Hawaiian Gothic, it’s a super angsty super romantic friends-to-lovers ghost story set in Hawaii. With wrestling sex. And there’s an epic quest, too, but we’re definitely proud of the wrestling sex. Its out from Loose Id now, and will be available for purchase at third party retailers like Amazon and ARe on June 29th. 

Violetta: Our novel coming from Carina in August is a whopper. It’s about a young man named Sean O’Hara, who despite his name is not Irish but Cuban-American, and his journey back to Ireland to remove a curse that’s been destroying his sanity and his life. He meets Cormac Kelly there, a cynical modern-day druid who’s more John Constantine than Merlin, and it’s hate at first sight, and then it’s love, but the sidhe are coming after them... it’s a bit like Hawaiian Gothic in that we have a lot of elements and layers, but the plot is even more epic, and the length (>110k) really gives us the space to let the epicness unfold. And yes, it does have a happy ending, but like Hawaiian Gothic, the characters go through hell to get there... and about a thousand years of Irish history. 

We’ve left a little trail of breadcrumbs to The Druid Stone. “Cruce de Caminos” is a prequel tie-in. “Salting the Earth” from Like it or Not introduces a major secondary character from The Druid Stone, and Cormac makes a cameo, too. There are other stories, some free. None of them are romances, and “Salting the Earth” comes with big red flashing warning lights about nonconsensual sex, so we don’t expect that people read all of these (or even any of them) before The Druid Stone; but going back and forth might add to the reading experience. 

Hawaiian Gothic, how did the idea for the story come about? 
Heidi: Well, we wanted to write a novel length work. We wanted it to be a paranormal romance. We wanted to set it in Hawaii and base it around Native Hawaiian folklore. We wanted to have a Filipino main character. It all kind of came together after that! 

When am I going to get a BDSM book from you guys? I can feel it coming! 
Violetta: I don’t know! We’ve had BDSM elements in some books, like The Saturnalia Effect. And we have written a pure BDSM short story that takes place after The Druid Stone, but we haven’t decided how and when to publish it yet. One issue is that while I love reading BDSM, I don’t love BDSM plots. There are hardly any BDSM plots that can actually sustain my interest. 

Heidi: The whole “sex club” set-up of a lot of BDSM stories is a personal squick of mine, so while I love the power dynamics of BDSM, and also the actual nature of the acts from bondage to impact play to confinement, I’d rather write a story that cherry picks elements of the lifestyle and incorporate those into other stories versus BDSM being central to the narrative. Of course, the sex club thing isn’t the be-all and end-all of BDSM (and I’m sure many many practitioners have never stepped foot in such a club), but that, along with some serious asshole Doms, seems to be such a major part of the genre. Please please correct me if I’m wrong, I’d love some recs of good BDSM-centred books with plot and substance that hold my interest while keeping BDSM a star of the story. 

Is there ever an author clash, where you both want to go a different direction with a story? 
Heidi: Oh yes, definitely. I think our finished product is generally pretty smoothly integrated, but there have been times where we will fight each other tooth and nail over things. One chapter of The Druid Stone was a particular battle, I remember. Ultimately you just have to be professional. Sometimes that means stepping away when things get heated, or it might mean ceding control, or trying out something you’re not 100% on.  

Who has it better Top or Bottom (perhaps both)? 
Violetta: Bottom. Less work! 

Heidi: Uh, what she said? 

How do you feel about 3 way romance in books? Believable or Not? 
Heidi: I think in real life relationships can be healthy and fulfilling in all shapes and sizes. I dont’ disbelieve in the possibility or validity of actual 3 way romances. In fiction, though, I’m not too hot on them, personally. I wrote  an M/M/F triad in a secondary relationship for Hawaiian Gothic and love it and wouldn’t have that plotline go any other way, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around the dynamic, in general. Sexual/casual threesomes, bring ‘em on! Actual stable polyamorous relationships and triads? I just don’t think I could really do those justice, not on my own anyway. Violetta is definitely the expert in that arena.  

Violetta: I’m not an expert, just a fan, really! I love menage stories—mainly MMF. I even founded a whole review blog dedicated to them: More Than This. I find menage just as believable as a lot of M/M and M/F romance, and when it comes to science fiction settings, more believable. It’s true, these kinds of relationships happen very rarely in real life, but romance as a genre is a variable mixture of real life details and totally unrealistic tropes. I like approaching these stories as complicated relationship jigsaw puzzles, and watching characters figure out where they fit together and where they don’t fit together. Plus I’m really into bisexuality in fiction. 

Pants, is it better to write with them on or off? 
Heidi: Off. I am a fierce proponent of wearing as little clothes as is necessary in any given scenario. 

Violetta: On, but on fire. 

Thanks so much for being here today. If fans want to keep in touch how can they get in contact with you? and have all our social media links on the first page. We’re most active on Twitter at @heidibelleau and @violettavane.

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