Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Guest Post & Giveaway: Can This Be Real by LE Franks

Mad Dogs and an Englishwoman named Sue…

What I’ve come to love about this community of authors—the ones writing gay romance, is that when we get together, there are no significant barriers between us. It might take a moment or two to rub away the shyness, but once that first step is taken and a connection is made…we run amuck.

If you looked for me today, you’d find me sitting perfectly relaxed at a lobby table in the Portland Courtyard with JP Barnaby, Sue Brown, and KC Wells all under an electric sign, all laptops unfurled, all fingers furiously typing. The ease of our association light years beyond that first fall foray into the unknown, even though KC was just a name on my social media feed up until a day ago.

But my first foray into the great unknown occurred at Gay Romance Literary Retreat in Albuquerque in 2012. It was October—one of the perfect months of desert living, and the Albuquerque Hard Rock Hotel was a jewel on the edge of town. I didn’t know anyone planning to attend and was a bit of a wallflower (stop laughing) and more than a little nervous by the prospect of meeting so many new people that I developed a two-prong strategy to cope:

1) Arrive early and meet people
2) Volunteer

Number two is self explanatory – giving yourself something to do by volunteering gives you something to do, an opportunity to meet like-minded people, and an anchor to cling to in the rough seas of the unknown.

It was a great experience, it was how I met Damon Suede and Heidi Cullen that year and able to dust off my old warehouse management skills for an evening. Number two works.

Number one was a little more controversial.

Strategy number one “Arrive Early” was actually an abbreviation for “Arrive Early So I Can Meet As Many GRL Attendees As Possible, As They Walk Through The Lobby” or simply the acronym: AESICMAMGAAPATWTTL.

I can hear the gulps from the collective wallflowers springing up across the country, from here. Yep. Former wallflower here, I went out of my way to walk up to anyone that looked remotely connected to GRL that first Tuesday. The first person that walked into my little web was Sue Brown. Have you met Sue Brown? Have you read any of Sue Brown’s stories?

It was a serious fangirl moment. I had a boob signed by her within five minutes. Seriously.

Stepping out of the box (in that example, waaaaaay out of the box) made a connection that will last a lifetime. I’m confident that will remain true. I brought her home with me after Tampa’s RainbowCon last week and she became part of the family in a very literal sense.

But Sue wasn’t the only connection I made that first GRL. There were so many kind and supportive authors, friendly bloggers, readers who shared a passion for the material that I can’t hope to list them all.

And on every subsequent convention or meet up, every chance encounter on social media, or in real life, these connections only become stronger. It may be a small community, but it’s a very strong one. Thank you Sue, we’ll definitely be missing you when you make your way back home. But you won’t be the only one.

Happy trails until we meet up again.


Chef Christian De Guisse can't trust a man who doesn't love his food, while Detective Andrew Simmons won't let any man close who thinks he's broken---somewhere between these two points, love is possible, but only if they get real.

When Chef Christian De Guisse accidently outs Celebrity Chef Jordan Slayer during a fight in front of The Times entertainment reporter---it only gets Christian ex-boyfriend status and a one-way plane ticket to culinary exile in Oregon. But a fortuitous meeting with Detective Andrew Simmons at the Portland airport keeps Christian and his collection of exotic herbs out of the hands of Homeland Security, starting the chemistry simmering between them. Andy isn't much of a foodie and for a chef who communicates love through his cooking this may be one hurdle too high...until they're finally ready to get real.

Buy Links:
MLR Press: http://www.mlrbooks.com/Bookstore.php?bookid=LEF_CTBR

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00JXRCPDG

ARE: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-canthisbereal-1489668-149.html?referrer=509531de39c1c


LE Franks lives in the SF Bay Area, surrounded by inspiration everywhere. After years of ignoring the voices in her head, LE is finally taking off the filters and giving the stories free rein. These days, she can be found frequently writing about sexy men who desperately need a happily ever.

LE writes M/M Romance in a unique mix of humor and drama with enough suspense to produce fast paced stories filled with emotion and passion and featuring characters that are quirky and complicated. LE’s men are living in the margins--they're in the middle of their journey, doing the best they can while searching for a connection to something bigger than themselves. With a little effort and a lot of luck they may actually find their happily-ever-afters.

Published by MLR, DreamSpinner, and WildeCity Presses.

Web: http://www.lefranks.com 
Twitter: @Boxtersushi 
Blog: LEFranks.wordpress.com 
FB: LE Franks


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  1. You made my GRL. LE. I was petrified until I signed your boob... and there's a phrase I never thought I'd say.

  2. Have a wonderful time at GRL!



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