Introducing Emmy and other announcements!

Hello Everyone!

It hardly seems possible, but it’s been almost three years since I sold my first book to Liquid Silver Books. Though that book, Two in Winter, was het, by the following spring, I was writing almost exclusively male/male romances, and my last M/F book was released in May of 2013.

Since then, I’ve found that my M/F readers and my M/M readers, while they might share some overlap, are really two different groups. I had to ask myself two questions: Did I want to continue to write het romances? And did I want to continue to write them under the same pen name?

I decided, as I started requesting rights reversions of my earlier work, I’d like to differentiate between the two with a new pen name. Starting this summer, I’ll be releasing M/F erotica under the pen name “Emmy Alouette.” My first releases under the new name will be a three-part series of shorts called the Steampunk Sex Machine–and yes, it is erotica, and it’s pretty darn filthy-hot stuff. If you’ve been looking for more het fiction from me, it’s on its way!

To my M/M fans, don’t worry, I anticipate my primary focus to remain queer fiction. In fact, this winter I sold two contemporary M/M romance novels to Riptide Publishing, and Rough Road, the second Lake Lovelace novel, will be coming out in late September. In the future, any books you see written as Vanessa North will be queer stories, and books written as Emmy Alouette will be het.

If you want to be kept up to date on what’s happening with the Steampunk Sex Machine and other releases from Emmy, follow me as Emmy on twitter: http://twitter.com/emmyalouette

As always, thank you for reading!

xoxo,

V

Queer Romance Month Has Begun!

October is awesome for many reasons, but this year, it’s awesome for a new reason: Queer Romance Month! We kicked off today with a fabulous party over at Joyfully Jay–including some awesome giveaways, and I’d love if you’d come check it out here: http://joyfullyjay.com/2014/10/giveaway-guest-post-by-queer-romance-month/

Having chosen to not just get involved in the event, but to be a part of the organizing team, I’ve given a lot of thought as to why queer romance is important to me, and it’s honestly an extension of why romance is important to me. Many years ago, I deduced that if I wanted to read about women with sexual agency who actually, you know, survived to the end of a novel, pretty much the only place to find it was the romance genre. And in romance, not only do women with sexual agency survive, they actually thrive.

They thrive.

They are rewarded with a happy ever after.

This, my friends, is in this day and age, still revolutionary. And we aren’t even talking about queer romance yet.

Imagine how my heart swelled three sizes (in a metaphor way, not a take-me-to-the-hospital-now way) the first time I read a romance with queer main characters. Queer people, in a book, who didn’t die. And who lived happily ever after.

I was hooked. Yes, I still read and write het romances, but I made room on my shelves, in my heart, and in my own writing for queer romance, because by god, I want everyone to live happily ever after, not just cisgender heterosexual beauties and their alpha male heroes, but everyone.

Queer Romance is a celebration of everything that makes romance great for queer people, for heterosexuals, for everyone who believes that love is love. Please celebrate with us! Follow the blog at http://queerromancemonth.com to read the amazing contributions of our authors, from personal essays to flash fiction. Tweet to us @queerromance, and share the love.

 

Fall Break and Counting Down to GRL!

It’s fall break, AKA my week of freedom from the daily responsibilities of being a stay at home mom to the wildest six-year-old twins on the planet.  That’s right, my husband takes them to Wisconsin every fall to visit his parents and I stay home and write, with Hank keeping me company. I’m working on a contemporary small town romance with a bit of a hurt/comfort feel and a coming out narrative. It’s much like my other stories in that it’s very character-driven, with a focus on the romantic relationship, self-discovery, and finding a place to call home. I can’t wait to share it with you all!

This week we also passed the “One month until GRL” countdown, so you know I’m totally freaking out, right? Is my swag good enough? Do I have the right clothes? It’s in Chicago–do I even own a coat? Of course all these questions are completely irrelevant when I realize I’ll be spending five days with some of my favorite people on the planet. The company trumps swag, no doubt.

In my preparation for GRL I am ordering some print books to give away, some to sell at the signing, and some to give away here on this blog and on my own personal blog. Do you love paperbacks, want to win one? Leave a note in the comments and I’ll draw a winner sometime this weekend. Your choice of a print copy of The Lonely Drop or The Dark Collector. Due to the enormous cost of international shipping, this giveaway is US-only, sorry!

 

Guest Post: Sofia Grey–Lila’s Wolf

Lila’s Wolf blog tour

 

LW_FB_BANNER_04 (1)

 

 

The one with the fluffy plans and the dark ideas

 

 

 

The Out of Time series was originally intended to be something quite fluffy – a series of super-hot short stories, with characters going back in time, to sample lovers through the ages. Fun, hot, sexy. I might still write that idea one day.

 

When I started work though, and my characters began to talk to me, something different emerged. Darker, more emotional. My ideas for the future society took shape, and I realised my characters wouldn’t be so free and easy. They were constrained by their society, and their own laws.

 

lila hood

 

They weren’t used to love, had no experience of casual, light relationships, and so when they do fall, they fall hard.

 

At this stage, I’ve plans for two more books in the series. The next, Clara’s Airman is set against the backdrop of World War 2, a period when emotions ran high – something my characters will be unused to. The third, Juliet’s Soldier, is going to be set a short time ago, comparatively speaking. At the moment, I’m placing it in the early 1990’s, when mobile technology was just starting out. Only twenty years ago, but a different society from today, and still primitive for my travellers.

 

 

Which period would you like to see a time travel story? Tell me in the comments, and you’ll go into the draw for the blog tour giveaway.

 

 

Excerpt

 

 

What he felt for Lila could not be defined and constrained by the life he was expected to live. True, the rules were starting to relax a fraction and some ranks were allowed to propose their own choice of partner, still to be approved by the Council, of course. But even if he found some way to propose for Lila, he would never be selected as her partner. His odd-colored eyes made him poor genetic material. His only chance for any kind of life with her would be if they left society for a colony. Or if they ran away to another time.

 

If he’d been able to persuade her, they could have joined up with the sprawling communities led by Ambrosius in the mountains. They’d have lived in a remote village, raised a family and led a simple but happy life together. He could see it in his head. Two, three, or even four little children with bright blue eyes and gleaming yellow hair. Chickens running wild, hunting dogs, and ponies gathered around the homestead. He’d be able to show Lila just how much he loved her, and living so far from habitation, it would have been almost impossible for the ghardians to find them.

 

Karma was a bitch sometimes. He’d wanted them to run away and evade the ghardians. Now he relied on them for rescue.

 

 

~

Lila’s Wolf (Out of Time #1) is available 4 September 2014, from Hartwood Publishing

 

Genre: Dark time-travel romantic suspense

 

 

Tagline

 

The only way to save him, might be to leave him behind

 

 

Lilas_Wolf-Sofia_Grey-500x800 (1)

 

 

Blurb

 

When Lila Cammell is abandoned by her time-jump partner, leaving her alone in Britain in the Dark Ages, revenge is the only thing on her mind. She’d trusted Jared Grohl with her life and her heart, and bringing him to justice will be sweet.

Finding him captured and enslaved by the Saxons changes all her assumptions. Now it’s a fight for survival, but the only way to save him, might be to leave him behind.

 

~

 

Video trailer

 

http://youtu.be/mUkzETR_T7E

 

 

 

Giveaway

 

I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card and a swag bundle to one lucky commenter. Just leave a comment at whichever site you visit, and you’ll go into the draw. The more sites you visit, the more chances you get to win J

 

 

 

Links

 

 

Amazon | AllRomance | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Hartwood Publishing

 

 

 

www.SofiaGrey.com

 

Catch me blogging with Allyson Lindt at www.GeminiGirls.com

 

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Sofia.Grey.Romance.Author

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sofiagrey1/

Twitter: @SofiaGreyAuthor

 

 

Blog Tour – find me here:

 

 

Date Host Blog post
8-Sept Barbara Kuhl

 

Google & conspiracy theories
9-Sept Tara Quan Vampire bonding & eye colours

 

10-Sept Parker Kincade

 

Picture books & virtual streets
11-Sept Pippa Jay

 

TARDIS & the grassy knoll
11-Sept Book Boyfriend Junkies Solar powered fridges & the right dress

 

12-Sept Rosanna Leo

 

Battlefield & giant library
12-Sept Diane Saxon Richard Hammond & exotic food

 

13-Sept Cover Reveals

 

14-Sept Bookly Booknatics

 

Ghardians & timelines
14-Sept Love, Lust & Laptops Fluffy plans & dark ideas

 

15-Sept A Coffee Addict’s Book Reviews
16-Sept Barb Taub – Writing & Coffee

 

Paradox & runaways
17-Sept Epic Narrative Book Reviews Beautiful society & Ghardians

 

17-Sept Those Crazy Book Chicks Loophole & ideas file

 

18-Sept Barbara Elsborg Rosemary Sutcliff & history classes

 

19-Sept Loralie Hall

  • Tetris & good bathrooms
    20-Sept JL Simpson

     

    Giant library & dodgy Utopia

     

    ~

     

     

    Sofia Grey

     

    About Author

    Romance author Sofia Grey spends her days managing projects in the corporate world and her nights hanging out with wolf shifters and alpha males. She devours pretty much anything in the fiction line, but she prefers her romances to be hot, and her heroes to have hidden depths. When writing, she enjoys peeling back the layers to expose her characters’ flaws and always makes them work hard for their happy endings.

    Music is interwoven so tightly into my writing that I can’t untangle the two. Either I’m listening to a playlist on my iPod, have music seeping from my laptop speakers, or there’s a song playing in my head – sometimes on auto-repeat.

     

    Check out my playlists on Pinterest

     

    ~

     

    Queer Romance Month

    Happy Saturday, friends! Vanessa here with a special Saturday post to talk about an upcoming event near and dear to my heart.

    I’m thrilled to be a part of the upcoming Queer Romance Month! This October, we’re celebrating romance fiction, queerness, allyship, and most of all, love.Badge 1

    I believe one of the best things about the romance genre is that it’s sex-positive and rewards the protagonists with a happy ever after. I believe it’s important for everyone to be able to find characters in fiction to whom they can relate, and that everyone deserves to have their love and their relationships treated with equal respect and celebration.

    I believe that love is love!

    I hope you’ll join us this October!

    Learn more about the event (and check out the amazing list of participating authors) at http://queerromancemonth.com

    And don’t forget to follow us on twitter: http://twitter.com/queerromance

     

    Double Up releases next week! And Clue #8

    Hello everyone! I’m so thrilled to announce the upcoming release of my contemporary sports romance, Double Up! While the official book release is Monday the 25th, if you pre-order directly from Riptide, you get to download it early and can read over the weekend. Click on the book cover to read the excerpt, see early reviews, and if you like, preorder!

    DoubleUp_500x750

    Knowing he’s loved can make any man fly.

    Fifteen years ago, Ben Warren was a wakeboarding champion: king of big air, ballsy tricks, and boned grabs. Until a career-ending injury left him broken in ways he still has no hope of fixing. Now he takes his thrills where he can get them, and tries not to let life hurt too much.

    Then Davis Fox arrives in Ben’s sporting goods store with a plan to get in touch with his estranged brother by competing in the annual wakeboarding double-up contest. The catch? He’s never ridden before. It’s crazy, but Ben’s a sucker for the guy’s sob story—and for his dimples, too—so he agrees to coach Davis.

    Davis is everything Ben isn’t: successful, confident, and in love with life. And he wants Ben to love life—and him—too. But before Ben can embrace a future with Davis, he needs to remember how to hope.

    And of course, our bingo game continues, and here is clue number 8!

    Bingo Clue 8

    Length Matters

    Oh, you perverts.

    This is a craft post, loves. I don’t blame you for thinking the other, because I do sort of make a career writing about people falling in love and, yes indeed, having sex. However, I also make a career out of writing <gasp!> short fiction.

    By short fiction, I mean anything shorter than category length–under 40k words. Last week, a writer I know was lamenting on twitter how she hasn’t written a novel, and feels pressure to do so in order to be a “real” writer.

    Let’s stop that “real writer” stuff right there. Do you write? If the answer is yes, you’re a real writer. You aren’t imaginary, and the words on paper aren’t pretend. You’re a real writer. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s talk about the craft of writing short, and about making a career of writing short. I’m primarily talking about writing genre romance and erotica, because that’s what I do.

    Writing a novella or short story requires a different sort of focus than writing a novel. For a novella, you pare down to one major plot (in romance, that’s the relationship, in erotica, that’s the sexual journey), and one or two subplots. These subplots need to demonstrate something about your characters and propel the story forward. You don’t have time to meander. For example, in my forthcoming novella, Double Up,  a subplot involves a wakeboarding competition–providing a setting and a timeline, and illustrating character traits about my two main characters. If a subplot can’t enhance or enrich the story in some way, it doesn’t belong. Excise anything that doesn’t belong.

    For a short story, under 10k words, focus needs to be even tighter. You need to perform a little relationship synecdoche. You might have to pick a certain moment, perhaps a proposal, or the first time two characters make love, how they meet, or the moment they realize they are in love–and let that piece illustrate and symbolize the whole relationship. Subplots should be used very judiciously if at all. If you feel you require a sub plot, maybe you really want to write a novella? Think about it carefully–can the story you want to tell be told without that subplot?

    Now, once you’ve written your short or your novella, you need to decide how to publish it. Many agents don’t represent short fiction, for obvious reasons–big publishing houses aren’t buying single shorts. It’s not a productive use of the agent’s time to rep it. Don’t just query them anyway hoping they’ll make an exception. They won’t.

    The good news is, many digital publishers publish short fiction, and you can query them directly. Research the houses that publish your genre carefully, talk to the authors who are published with them, and follow submissions guidelines.

    Are you considering self publishing? Study your market and look at your timeline: For example, there is a market for frequent publication of short form erotica at a $2.99 price point. If erotica writing is your thing, and you can produce a quality short once a month or more, this may be a good route for you. By “produce,” I am talking about having the book professionally edited and formatted, as well as having a professional cover made. This type of timeline favors self-publication, but don’t rule out working with a publisher–especially if that relationship is already there. Talk to your publisher about how you are building your author brand, and your plans for this type of work.

    It is absolutely possible to build a career–or supplement a novel-writing career–with short fiction. Know your story; know your market.

    Do you write and publish short fiction? Would love to hear your strategies in the comments.

    Have questions for me? I’m all ears!