Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rave Review for Legally Wed from Boys In Our Books

Just came across an amazing review for Legally Wed at Boys In Our Books. It doesn't get any better than:

"More than a romance, more than a personal journey…it belongs in a class of its own. Expert storytelling with strong, solid cast of characters, I can tell you one thing, I am adding my name to Rick Reed’s fan club...I laughed, I squirmed, and I wept…and honestly, that tells me all I need to know. It’s an absolutely remarkable and inspiring tale of love." 

Read the whole review here

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Gay Man Seeks Straight Woman for Marriage

This gets my main character in a whole lot of trouble (as drunken decisions often do), but yet there's a silver lining because maybe this is what leads him to that elusive man he's yet to find to find.... (from Legally Wed)

Gay Man Seeks Straight Woman for Marriage 

So, you’re probably sitting there looking at that headline of mine and thinking, “WTF?” Why, you might very reasonably ask, would a gay man seek a straight woman for marriage? Yes, it has been done, but usually by confused people who did not intentionally set out to join their lives in sexual incompatibility.

First off, sister, get the word sexual out of your mind. This ain’t about sex, nor will it ever be. Nosireebob, or nosireejane, or whatever. This is about a marriage of the minds. A marriage, if you will, of the hearts.

Except for in the bedroom, everybody knows that gay men and women get on better than just about any other combo. And if you don’t agree, move along, there’s nothing for you to see here.

So, now that she’s gone, we can talk. Why do I, an avowed homosexual, want to marry a straight woman? Especially when gay marriage is now legal here in Washington?

Number one. Kids. I want ‘em. You want ‘em. And it’s just easier when you make an omelet with and an egg and sperm. Yum! Of course, the mixing would be done in a lab and not in the natural way, which for me, and I do apologize, is out of the question. I haven’t taken the drive up Vaginal Way and I don’t intend to point my Chrysler in that direction anytime soon.

But I think a gay dad and a straight mom could be a kid’s dream parents.

The other reason I want to marry a straight woman is because I love you ladies. I have two sisters, I have a mom, my best friends have always been girlfriends, and not in a campy slang way, either. I confide easier in women. I enjoy being with them—I tend to be more relaxed, more myself.

Why does a marriage have to be about sex, anyway? Don’t those fireworks fade after a while anyway?

What do the good, long-term marriages have in common? It isn’t the old in-and-out.

No, it’s companionship. Respect. Making a family. Wanting to grow old together.

I have just come to the rather stunning conclusion, at the ripe old age of 38, that a marriage, for me, would be better with a woman.

As Mary Magdalene sang in Jesus Christ Superstar: I’ve had so many men before, in very many ways…. Well, me too. And not a one of them has worked out. Maybe you’ve had similar experiences.

So, maybe you and me, we could be a match? I’d look good on your arm, I’m Italian and some other stuff, but the Italian wins out in my coloring (dark), hair (dark), eyes (green), nose (big), and smile, totally warm. If it matters, I’m about 5’11” in pretty good shape, currently tipping the scales at 175. I keep my hair cut short and usually sport a little goatee. I’ve been told I’m cute by many gay guys.

But not cute enough to marry, I guess.

Maybe you’ll feel differently.

Should we meet up for coffee and find out if this crazy thing just might work?

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said. (Victor Hugo)

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Haters Gonna Hate: LEGALLY WED Gets Reviewed at the Conservative

So I woke up yesterday morning to find my latest gay romance, LEGALLY WED, has been reviewed by a very straight man on the national news blog,

The reviewer had some begrudgingly good things to say about this "oddity", the gay romance, but the comments below the review are absolutely HATEFUL! Example: "A must-read for deviants and disturbed..." "So sick of the freaks..." "...keep to themselves and quit bragging about really isn't anything to be proud of...."

Check it out and, if you feel like it, rise to my defense (and that of gay romance literature). Here's the link:

If you'd care to see for yourselves how "deviant and disturbed" the book is:

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Genre I Love: A Guest Post by Sid Love

This is my comfort zone. Paranormal. Sci-fi. Fantasy. I enjoy the books I read in these genres (obviously, not all!) and books on vampires have held my interest for a long time until I’ve had enough. I won’t lie, I have read Twilight and I liked it too. But I can’t say I enjoyed every sub-plot in the series. So, that book remains quite lower on my ranking list - the top two being the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead and Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris. I have followed the VA series with loyalty and not a single book in it had disappointed me. The unique story of Rose and Lisa – their fight against the evil and the romance – is unforgettable. Unfortunately, the spin-off didn’t hold that kind of interest so the first book sits on my bookshelf catching dust.

The Sookie Stackhouse stories are equally intriguing. Charlaine’s writing style is what I love so I am reading this series very patiently. I haven’t worked through ALL of the books, but I am getting there! Everyone keeps telling me the end is going to surprise me and I keep warning them – No spoilers please! ((because I already know… ha!)) :P

We have got some great contributions in M/M genre as well. One fine example is the series by our very talented Jordan Castillo Price. Again, I am yet to read all the novellas in her Channeling Morpheus series but what I have read so far, the author has given a new meaning of sexiness to these mythical creatures.
Anyways, reading paranormal books brings pleasure to me. So, my debut book had to be in the same genre too! Holding on to Hope isn’t based on vampires but they have a lot to do in it. After all, villains play an important role, don’t they?

Bradley Parker has waited twenty years for Mr. Right, and on Valentine’s Day, he finally finds him. It’s love at first sight, and Brad even loses his virginity to the man of his dreams. But when he wakes up the next morning unable to remember anything—even what the man looked like—his best friend, Leslie, is convinced he imagined the whole thing. Brad knows he didn’t make up the best night of his life, but he has no idea of the danger he’s putting himself in as he struggles to recall the details of his perfect man. His search may lead him to parts of New York City he never dreamed existed and a war being waged in the shadows.

“Okay, remember how I said it is huge?” Brad finally spoke, and Leslie nodded her head to let him know she was all ears. “Well, it is. Last night, something happened, something unimaginable… beyond any of my wildest dreams. I never thought….”

“Brad.” Leslie yawned. “To the point, please. I don’t have all day.”

“Okay, all right! What happened is….” He paused, plastering a big grin on his face. She tried very hard not to roll her eyes, letting him tell her at his own pace. “Last night, my dear, I finally got laid!”

When he broke the news to her, Leslie’s subsequent yawn was cut short by the initial shock she went through. Her body jerked forward, now fully awakened. There wasn’t any amount of caffeine that would have made her feel as lively as she felt at that moment.

This was definitely huge, and not just for Brad. Over the years, Leslie had constantly tried and consequently failed in hooking him up with several guys. Bradley Joseph Parker had the arrogance of a drag queen, she thought. He was too picky when it came to dating and relationships; never wishing to settle for anything less. He dreamt of a guy whose mere presence would take his breath away, who would be so handsome that every girl and every gay guy in the world would yearn to have him in their lives. “Such a guy would only belong to me, holding my hand in a roomful of envious people,” he would say with a smirk. “I would look around and say to them ‘Suck it up, bitches! He is mine!’”

Brad had wasted years with these stupid fantasies, and he had remained a virgin. So Leslie never thought the day would come when Brad’s whining would ever end.

But it had. And Leslie thought she would faint, even with the adrenaline rushing through her veins.
“Wha—?” She became aware of the fact that she had left her mouth hanging open for too long and shut it immediately. A smile crept across her lips, getting bigger by the second, and it turned into a cheek-hurting grin. “Oh my God! Shut up. Seriously?” She quickly sat up, hopping on the bed to cross her legs.

“Very seriously, Les.” Brad’s cute face beamed with wonder and excitement. Leslie couldn’t blame him. She remembered the day she had had sex for the first time, and even though it was a while back, she couldn’t forget the bliss she’d felt after finally losing her virginity or the hunger she felt for getting some more. Leslie was ready to bet that Brad was experiencing similar whirls of emotions in him.

“Last night, on Valentine’s Day…?” she asked.

Brad gave a nod. “On Valentine’s Day.”

“That’s so funny.” Leslie laughed out loud. Even though Valentine’s Day never meant anything to her, something this huge happening to her best friend did force her to consider it a special day. “Okay, you have to tell me everything, dude! Don’t leave out a single detail. I don’t care if it’s too much information. I just have to know. How long has this been going on between you two?”

Brad laughed. “Not too long. I just met him yesterday.”

“And you slept with him already?” Leslie’s mind was drawing up the picture of the perfect guy in her imagination, a guy who had managed to entice someone like Brad in such a short time. She was sure he would be down-to-earth, with an impeccably charming personality. “Way to go! I won’t deny it; I like the spontaneous Brad. Who is this guy, by the way? Do I know him?”

“No, you don’t.” His smile wavered a bit.

“Well, what’s his name?”

Leslie watched him hesitate for a moment. “I… don’t know.”

It took her by surprise.

“I think my devilish side just had a mind-blowing orgasm. You not only have sex with a guy for the first time, but you are also telling me it was simply a one-night stand?” She put her hand over her heart and mockingly said, “Mama Les is so proud of her boy!”

“But Les,” he knitted his eyebrows together as he stood up and came over to sit by her side. He took hold of Leslie’s hand, and she felt his grip tightening when he said, “It wasn’t a one-night stand. Definitely not, uh-uh.” He shook his head, and she immediately wondered if he was trying to convince her or himself. “It was special to me, and I could tell it was special for him too. Why else would he go to extremes to make that night an unforgettable memory? He lit up hundreds of scented candles in the room for me, and there were rose petals all over the bed where we did it.” Leslie didn’t miss the blush forming on his face again as he spoke. “There was champagne, sweet music, and he was a perfect gentleman. He kept asking me if I was sure about this.”

“WOW! Sounds utterly cheesy to me….” Leslie said, although she was quite impressed by all of it and maybe a bit jealous too.

Brad let go of her hand and sighed. “It was damn romantic.”

Leslie moved her gaze around the dorm room, scrutinizing it. “I am guessing it wasn’t here you did it then?” She inquired, turning to face him and watched him slowly crossing his legs like she had.

“No, he took me to his place.” Brad had his mouth open to probably add something more, but he stopped abruptly, scrunched his nose up, and glanced at her with some doubt. “I think it was his place… I don’t know. Where else would he take me?”

Leslie noticed uncertainty, even when he shrugged. What Brad was saying didn’t make any sense to her. “The champagne! Did you have too much of it?”

He frowned. “God, no! Why would I want to give him the impression I’m an idiotic drunkard on our first meeting?”

Of course she didn’t believe him. “Right, says the one who’d put Britney Spears to shame with his underage drinking. Seriously, dude, I’ve had to pick you up in a drunken state from God knows how many parties by now. So don’t shit me by saying you didn’t have any amount of alcohol in you last night.”

Brad reddened and carefully said, “I may have had a little bit of alcohol.”

Typical. Leslie rolled her eyes. “Weren’t you at Ian’s party last night?” She tried to keep her face straight as she asked. The party he had gone to was for all the single men and ladies from their college. Leslie knew exactly how that turned out every year by the end of the night.

He gave a nod in reply.

“Well, maybe you did it at his place?”

“No, it can’t be because we were partying at a nightclub last night.”

“Since when do nightclubs allow in a bunch of twenty year-olds?” she asked, certain they must have been stopped at the door for IDs. She couldn’t say about the others, but Brad’s cute baby face did give away his age.

“They don’t, but Ian somehow knew a few guys working at this nightclub that we went to, so we were able to sneak in.” He grinned.

Leslie suddenly wished she could have joined them. “Lucky you!” Now she couldn’t wait for May to arrive; that was when she turned twenty-one. She had been planning it in her mind forever. “So you met this mysterious guy in that club?”

“Yes, I think so.” Brad chewed on his lower lip.

“Well, what did he say to you? What did he look like?”

Brad turned sorrowful. “If I only knew….” He hung his head down and began to pull on his hair. “Fuck, Les!” He yelled, then looked up, scowling at her. “I can’t seem to remember any of it. The only thing that has managed to stay stuck in my memory is the mind-blowing sex that I had with him. I even remember all the positions we did it in, and God, that guy has the stamina of a wild lion, I tell you.”

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Sid Love grew up in one of busiest cities in the world, Mumbai, listening to the excerpts of Indian epics from his father every night. While it served as an inspiration back in time, he has always had an ambitious mind. In 2007, when he had just turned sixteen, he decided that he would make his lifelong dream come true—to become a well-known, respected author some day.

Ask him and he would refuse to accept that he is obsessed with books. Or movies. Or TV shows. Addicted may even be the right word. He is a die-hard fan of Jane Austen’s romance novels and loves to reread them time and again.

You can find him on Facebook: or tweet him anytime:, or simply e-mail him at

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

What Gay Marriage and Straight Marriage Have in Common

Note: This post originally appeared on Mrs. Condit & Friends Read Books on February 7, 2014.

The release of my latest book, Legally Wed, has me thinking a lot about marriage. Gay. Straight. And to illustrate the course my thinking takes, here’s an example of two weddings—one gay and one straight—that my husband Bruce and I attended a couple of summers ago.

Two summers ago, Bruce and I were honored to be among the guests celebrating the nuptials of our dear friends, Chris Lopez and Jeffrey Martel. We have known the couple since they first met and couldn’t have been happier to be a part of the joy, love, and happiness that was part of this special day.

The wedding had several unique things going for it. For one, the setting: groom and groom stood said their vows outdoors, within the wolf and elk habitat of Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo as their backdrop. Seeing big-tusked elk meandering about behind Jeff and Chris and the minister was a bit surreal, but somehow fitting: the wildlife setting complemented what was a very natural joining together of two people in love, committed to the other. When the ceremony paused for the classical quartet to play a lovely rendition of “Ave Maria”, it seemed the wolf pack to the right of the ceremony actually paused to listen. They had been restless before and, honest to God, they all quieted and became still as the music floated out on the summer night air.

I wanted to list a bunch of other things that made this wedding unique, but you know what? I can’t think of another one. And that’s a good thing.

Later that same summer, Bruce and I went to the wedding of his niece in Minnesota to her groom and the thing that struck me about these two weddings–one gay and one straight–was not their differences, but their similarities.

Both were held outdoors in a gorgeous setting (our niece was married to her husband in a botanical garden), settings one might say were blessed with both temperate weather and an abundance of natural beauty. Both had a misty-eyed captive audience, united in witnessing the joining of two lives as they began their journeys together down life’s highway. Both, and this one is the most important, displayed a palpable feeling of love and happiness as not only the couple getting married was swept up in the joy of the moment, but also their friends and family.

After Jeff and Chris’s wedding, we headed inside for dinner, where a Grizzly bear, not three feet away in his sanctuary, watched from behind a glass wall (a heavy glass wall). We then all moved to another building for dessert and dancing.

At the reception, the same feeling persisted: the atmosphere of love and commitment, strong enough to be like a scent in the air.

I said to Bruce, “You know, if some of those people who opposed gay marriage could be here tonight and see all these people—friends, family, wedding party—coming together with such happiness and deep love, I think they might see this day as not something to be opposed, or hated, or feared, but exactly what it is: two people who love one another and who want to make a lifelong commitment to the other and have that promise witnessed by the people they hold dear.”

I’d like to believe that the folks who oppose gay marriage do it out of fear or ignorance. I’d like to think they’ve never had the privilege of witnessing what we saw last night—the spiritual uniting of two people. How, I wonder, could anyone be opposed to something as pure and simple—and profound—as love.

Because marriage—gay, straight—is really just about that: love. And it’s not about what’s between our legs, but what’s between our ears…and in our hearts.

Love is love. Why on earth, or in God’s name, would anyone want to deny that to their fellow man or woman? We can only be strengthened, as families, as a society, by encouraging and celebrating love and commitment.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Tilda Swinton and Gay Propoganda

Tilda Swinton risked arrest waving a rainbow flag in front of the Kremlin in violation of Russia’s new homosexual propaganda bill. And she wants everyone who can to re-blog it in solidarity.
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Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Wonderful Amazon Review

The most wonderful thing for an author is when a reader totally 'gets' you. That was the case with this spot-on Amazon review:

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True love is worth waiting for!, February 8, 2014
This review is from: Legally Wed (Kindle Edition)
This is not the typical romance story, at least not in the sense of man meets man, they deal with some issues, fall in love and live happily ever after. In most books the story is centred around the main characters, allowing us, the reader, to get to know these men as they discover each other.

However this book is more one man’s journey as he reaches the point in his life where he wants marriage and a home and a family. Duncan’s latest relationship is a bust as a finds he was on a totally different wavelength to the man he just proposed to. In his grief he decides that marrying a straight woman (in an open fashion) is the way to go. He places an ad which leads him to Marilyn.

Marilyn is a driving force in this book and is absolutely wonderful – a strong, tell-it-like-it-is woman who agrees to marry Duncan after they get to know each other. Duncan and Marilyn’s whole arrangement sounds absolutely insane to me however the author does such a great job of providing insight into Duncan’s frame of mind and reasoning that somehow it makes sense that he would do such a thing!

Yes, I wanted Duncan to find the man of his dreams earlier. Yes, I wanted the interaction between the two men to happen earlier (it was fabulous when it finally did!) but Duncan’s journey needed to be experienced to make his happy-ever-after all that more special.

This is a story that reinforces that there is someone out there for everyone. You may need to wait a while to find them, things might not always be perfect and there can be pain but you need to grab true love when you find it and make the most of it. Don’t settle for second best because everyone deserves the magic.

I loved seeing the little reflections of the author’s own life woven throughout the story. If you don’t know much about Rick R. Reed, do check out his bio/website or the blog posts he’s done in conjunction with this book release and you will see what I mean!

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Wise Words from Amy Lane

I recently read a post author-extraordinaire wrote for Rainbow Romance Writers and I felt compelled to share it with you. Thoughts like these contribute, I'm sure, in large part, to her being such a wonderful and popular storyteller. 

Can Note
By Amy Lane

The thing to remember about word choice is that words have layers, accretions of time and history stacked upon them, like colors made mixed (combined, swirled, distorted) with a palette knife and hand-mixed oil/mineral paints. A tiny bit (smidgen, dash, soupcon) too much tint, and the picture goes murky (dark, black, inky) as a politician’s soul (pitch, night, an old whore’s heart, an preacher’s conscience).

A tiny bit too much tint (brightness, light) and the picture (portrait, landscape, study) blinds us with optimism. As my daughter (spawn, offspring, child, kid, immediate female descendent) says, “Mom, if you made us look any better in print, people would think we crapped (shit, farted, expelled) rainbows and burped (barfed, belched, regurgitated) daisies. She is right—although my spawn do shit rainbows and burp daisies—her point remains: every word, every detail helps to build a complete picture of plot, setting, character and theme.


I have always had a love affair with language.

When I was in fourth grade I was mocked by my peers for telling my teacher that I had a more “specific” answer.

When I was in high school, when we were asked to write sentences with our fifteen vocabulary words for the week, I strung my sentences together into a story.

When I taught high school, we would review the student’s vocabulary lists every week, and I knew word, definition, part of speech, a host of synonyms, and context from memory—and, more importantly, from instinct.

I became words.

But until I sat down every day to write, and to write more, I don’t think I mastered them.

For one thing, that whole “less is more” idea didn’t even (permeate, penetrate, seep) into my consciousness until I had a deadline and a specific idea that I had (was obligated, was challenged, was forced) to get across in 20K or less. For another, the idea of “genre” fiction hadn’t quite percolated. It is important that we don’t let prose suffer in genre fiction, true—but falling in love with our own prose is not nearly as conducive to good storytelling as falling in love with our own characters.

I’m lucky—I had an excellent travel guide through the wooly paths of the English language. Six years of teaching George Orwell’s essay, “Politics of the English Language” made me aware of the pitfalls of using the AP English student’s vocabulary list as a map to the fantastical (amazing, gorgeous, orgasmic) land of perfect illustrative word choices. Thanks to Orwell—and I knew that essay almost by heart for a while—I was able to avoid using every fifty-cent word I possibly could, when a dime’s worth of verbiage would do. But it was more than that.

Years of interpreting works written by true masters of the English language made me aware of the difference in word choices, not just the simplest of word choices. Would I rather my alien landscape be “hot and dry”, “oppressive and sterile”, or “scorching and barren”? Each choice is like a different trail for the reader’s thought process to take. If I pick “hot and dry”, the words are so common that my reader will automatically look for another emphasis. There is no room for other interpretation, some other plot device must provide conflict. Who can focus on “hot and dry?”

If I choose “oppressive and sterile” I’ve implied not only an outside force in the word “oppressive”, but almost a moral judgment in “sterile”. I’d use “oppressive and sterile” if there was a government conflict, or some sort of alien force to fight, or if the narrator needs to fight his or her own prejudices against the new environment. Those two words have already done part of my plot and thematic work for me, just by describing the landscape.

But what if I used “scorching and barren”? Those are very sensory specific words. “Scorching and barren” describes the strip of I-5 between Bakersfield and the Grapevine—no political conflict, no underlying plot, just sheer, stinking inhospitable land. Those words emphasize a conflict of environment only.

And so on.

The official word for this sort of differentiation (discernment, implication) is “connotation vs. denotation”—and when I was teaching, I spent all year weaving this idea through vocabulary lessons, literature interpretation, and writing workshops. The difference between connotation and denotation is as important as the difference between “anti-personnel device” and “bomb”.

Denotation is the specific, exact dictionary meaning of a word. Connotation is what the word means to our ears and our hearts.

Connotation and denotation are the difference between “sensual”, “erotic”, and “kinky. They’re the difference between “erotica” and “porn”. They’re the difference between “weird” and “unique”, between “old-fashioned” and “antiquated”, between “clueless” and “oblivious”.

Connotation and denotation are the simple distinction between what things mean intellectually (denote), and what they mean emotionally, (connote). The difference between these meanings in a word can destroy a work.

Hell, they can start a war.

Think I’m kidding?

I grew up in a town with a population that was over 50% Mormon. Those kids were my friends, my peers, my playmates. One day, in a discussion with my grandmother, she called the Mormon religion a “cult”. When I protested, she said, “Look it up. In the dictionary, a ‘cult’ is a religion that’s been around less than two-hundred years.” Sure enough, our version of Merriam-Webster had a definition very close to that.

I didn’t have the words connotation or denotation in my arsenal (my education was small-town at best) but I did know that you couldn’t do that. I remember, very clearly, saying, “Grandma, that’s not what people are going to hear when you use that word. There’s a power to words like ‘cult’ that you can’t find in the dictionary.”

She didn’t believe me of course, and I stalked off, pissed and irritated (which, for the record, is the way I get around my stepmom a lot too—I do not have good karma in store for me when I’m older) but also convinced I was right. Then I became an English teacher, and God gave me the magic (mystical, enchanting, powerful, power-filled, otherworldly, alchemical) words: Connotation and denotation.

Word choice.

The gut feeling that all writers need to inform them on choosing the colors for their word pictures wisely.

Find out more about Amy Lane here.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Man Who Inspires Me--Every Day--to Write Romance

Note: This post originally appeared on Dawn's Reading Nook, January 2014.

Why write romance? I get asked this question a lot and the answer lies in the little story, I’ll tell you below. It’s a story about finding one’s own happy ending—and how, today, even two men in love can end up Legally Wed.

My husband Bruce and I were having dinner at a little French bistro in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle on my birthday last year and, as the wine flowed, we talked. He told me how content he was with his life and that, really, there was nothing else he could wish for. I felt the same way. It's nice when you're on the same page. He said we had something special and that one word summed up what we had. I'll get to that word later.

But it wasn't easy getting to this page in the book of our lives. And thinking about Bruce and me has made me think about my other special love, and that's writing. If any of you out there have followed my career at all, you'll know that, lately, my stories have plotted out the course of love just as much as they have the build-up of suspense or horrifying revelations. I can proudly say I am now just as much a romance writer as I am a horror or dark suspense writer.

You may wonder why my writing has slipped off in this new direction. I certainly have. And I think it has a lot to do with Bruce. See, we're happy. We're content. We're settled and in a love that only continues to grow with the passage of time.

I don't know if this is a leap of logic that makes sense but I think that I am more drawn to writing stories that map out the connections made by the human heart these days because I am not expending as much energy seeking out that connection in my own personal life. Now that I have found my one true love, my soul mate, I can open up and write more freely about what draws people together and what keeps them apart. I find those connections fascinating and I don't believe I could write about them objectively until after I had found, after much searching, a relationship that would work for me, one that would nurture and sustain.

Before Bruce, there was a marriage to a woman and a child. Both of those were—and still are—wonderful in their own ways. But trying to live a life that was not my own was not only emotionally exhausting, it was dangerous in many ways. With a lot of heartache, I had to let that dream, which really was never for me, go. I came out in my early thirties, in a world where gay marriage was not really even being discussed yet and the specter of AIDS loomed large. It was not necessarily a good time for a gay man to be experiencing the world and finding himself. But then, when is it ever a good time? But my point is I went through a lot of searching, a lot of experimenting, a lot of bad choices, always in search of love, and always coming up empty-handed.

A lot of those disappointments occurred because the real love I needed—the love of myself—I had yet to discover. I look at my thirties as my true adolescence, with its attendant growing pains.

It wasn't until I was 43 that I met Bruce. Gone were the hopes that I'd meet a special man in some bar or even a gay social group. The era of the Internet was on us in a big way and I placed an ad with the headline, "What's Your Story?" Bruce was one of several who responded, and the only one with whom I connected. He sent me some pictures of himself. He said things in his very first response to my ad that resonated.

I wrote back. He wrote back and we started a daily correspondence that would last two weeks, two weeks before we even laid eyes on one another, even though we lived less than two miles away from the other. We began to get to know each other and we both liked what we saw, what we read in our lines to each other, and what was between them. We had both reached a stage where we were ready for the other. Timing is everything.

We met in person and it was magic.

I won't say we didn't have some bumps in the road, though, getting to where we are today. Nothing really good ever comes easily. But Bruce and I were always willing to talk--whether it was face to face or through e-mails (and now texts and Facebook updates!). The line of communication has always been open and I think that's what's made the difference with us.

It's also made it possible for me to be able to sit back and be more objective about writing romance because finally, at age 55, I finally, finally, have a handle on what works and what doesn't. Until I had that key, I honestly believe I couldn't have written convincingly or effectively about romantic love.

So you can expect two things from me—one, that I will always be in love with Bruce and two, that you will enjoy many more stories of love and romance between two men—because of Bruce and what he gave to me.

Oh, and that one word I alluded to above? The one Bruce used when he said it summed up what we had?

That word was family.

Legally Wed Blurb (Dreamspinner Press/2014/Contemporary Romance)

Love comes along when you least expect it. That’s what Duncan Taylor’s sister, Scout, tells him. Scout has everything Duncan wants—a happy life with a wonderful husband. Now that Seattle has made gay marriage legal, Duncan knows he can have the same thing. But when he proposes to his boyfriend Tucker, he doesn’t get the answer he hoped for. Tucker’s refusal is another misstep in a long line of failed romances. Despairing, Duncan thinks of all the loving unions in his life—and how every one of them is straight. Maybe he could be happy, if not sexually compatible, with a woman. When zany, gay-man-loving Marilyn Samples waltzes into his life, he thinks he may have found his answer.

Determined to settle, Duncan forgets his sister’s wisdom about love and begins planning a wedding with Marilyn. But life throws Duncan a curveball. When he meets wedding planner Peter Dalrymple, unexpected sparks ignite. Neither man knows how long he can resist his powerful attraction to the other. For sure, there’s a wedding in the future. But whose?

Legally Wed Excerpt
Same-sex marriage had just become legal in Washington State and Duncan Taylor didn’t plan on wasting any time. He had been dating Tucker McBride for more than three years and, ever since the possibility of marriage had become more than just a pipe dream, it was all Duncan could think of. He had thought of it as he gazed out the windows of his houseboat on Lake Union, on days both sunny and gray (since it was late autumn, there were a lot more of the latter); he had thought of it as he stood before his classroom of fourth graders at Cascade Elementary School. He had thought of it when he woke up in the morning and before he fell asleep at night.

For Duncan, marriage was the peak, the happy ending, the icing on the cake, the culmination of one’s hearts desire, a commitment of a lifetime, the joining of two souls. For Duncan, it was landing among the stars.

And for Duncan, who would turn 38 on his next birthday, it was also something he had never dared dream would be possible for him.

And now, too excited to sleep, he was thinking about it—hard—once again. It was just past midnight on December 6, 2012 and the local TV news had pre-empted its regular programming to take viewers live to Seattle City Hall, where couples were forming a serpentine line to be among the first in the state to be issued their marriage licenses—couples who had also for far too long believed this right would be one they would never be afforded. Many clung close together to ward off the chill, but Duncan knew their reasons for canoodling went far deeper than that.

The mood, in spite of the darkness pressing in all around, was festive. There was a group serenading the couples in line, singing “Going to the Chapel.” Champagne corks popped in the background.


Duncan couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he watched all the male-male and female-female couples in the line, their mood of jubilation, of love, of triumph traveling through to him even here on his houseboat two or three miles north of downtown. Duncan wiped tears from his eyes as he saw not only the couples but also all the supporters, city workers, and volunteers who had crowded together outside City Hall to wish the new couples well, to share in the happiness of the historic moment.

And then Duncan couldn’t help it, he fell into all-out blubbers as the first couple to get their license emerged from City Hall. 85-year-old Pete-e Peterson and her partner and soon-to-be-wife, Jane Abbott Lighty, were all smiles when a reporter asked them how they felt.

“We waited a long time. We’ve been together 35 years, never thinking we’d get a legal marriage. Now I feel so joyous I can hardly stand it,” Pete-e said.

It was such a special moment and it was all Duncan could do not to pick up the phone and call Tucker and casually say something like, “Hey honey, you want to get married?”

Legally Wed Buy Links
Dreamspinner Ebook
Dreamspinner Paperback
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback
AllRomance eBooks

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