Friday, January 30, 2009

2008 Gaylactic Spectrum Awards

Gaylactic Spectrum Awards
PO Box 73602
Washington, DC 20056-3602

For Immediate Release
January 29, 2009
Contact: Rob Gates

Washington DC: -- The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the 2008 Gaylactic Spectrum Awards. The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards were created in 1999 by The Gaylactic Network, the premiere organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) fans of science fiction, fantasy, and horror (SF/F/H), to honor works in SF/F/H that deal positively with gay characters, themes and issues. The independent Gaylactic Spectrum Awards Foundation was created in 2002 to manage and further the mission of the awards, which is to educate and raise awareness of GLBT content in SF/F/H. Nominations for the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards are open to everyone. Winners and a short list of recommended works in each category are selected by a jury. The 2008 Awards were presented in three categories – Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, and Best Other Work - for works originally appearing in calendar year 2007.

The novel selected by the judges as the best science fiction, fantasy or horror novel with significant positive GLBT content from 2007 was Wicked Gentlemen, by Ginn Hale, published by new independent publisher Blind Eye Books. This atmospheric novel combined unique fantasy elements with theology and mystery and incorporated complex emotional and relationship content between its two main characters. This was author Ginn Hale’s first novel, and the first title published by Blind Eye.

The work chosen as the winner in the short fiction category was Ever So Much More Than Twenty by Joshua Lewis from the anthology So Fey, available from Prime Books. This story of a man’s realization that middle age does not preclude the magic of love from one’s life was rich and sweet. Much like the Best Novel winner, this was the author’s first published story.

Other novels recommended on the judges’ short list were Daughters of the North, by Sarah Hall (Harper Perennial); Ha’Penny, by Jo Walton (Tor); Hero, by Perry Moore (Hyperion); Hex, by Darieck Scott (Carroll & Graf); Ink, by Hal Duncan (Del Rey); Lady Knight, by LJ Baker (Bold Strokes Books); Spaceman Blues, by Brian Francis Slattery (Tor); Vintage, by Steve Berman (Lethe Press); and three novels by Elizabeth Bear – a first for the awards – Dust (Ace), New Amsterdam (Subterranean Press/Far Territories), and Whiskey & Water (Roc). Short Fiction short list titles include three additional titles from the So Fey anthology – A Bird of Ice by Craig Gidney, Charming: A Tale of True Love by Cassandra Clare and Ruby deBrazier, and The Coat of Stars by Holly Black; four titles from the anthology Alleys and Doorways from Torquere Press – The Reflection of Love by Julia Talbot, Side Effects by M. Decker, The Steel Anniversary by Valerie Lewis, and Were by JoSelle Vanderhooft; Bittersweet, by Steve Berman (Endicott Studios); Dancing on the Head of a Pin by Kiernan Kelly (Torquere); Dividing the Sustain by James Patrick Kelly from the anthology New Space Opera (Eos); The Healing by Leigh Ellwood (Phaze); Medusa’s Touch by Catherine Lundoff from the anthology Crave: Tales of Lust, Love and Longing (Lethe Press); and Prime Suspect by K S Augustin (Total-E-Bound). These recommended works show remarkable variety in content, tone, publishing house size, author experience, and genre.

In the Best Other Work category – for works that do not fit in either of the two other categories - the judges identified the following recommended works: the comic book series 52 by Greg Rucka, Grant Morrison and others (DC Comics), the comic book series Buffy Season 8 by Joss Whedon and others (Dark Horse) and the comic book series Y The Last Man by Brian Vaughn, Pia Guerra and others (Vertigo/DC); the television show Torchwood (BBC) and the special episode of the television series Battlestar Galactica, Razor (Universal/Sci-Fi Channel); the films Socket (Dark Blue Films) and Stardust (Paramount); and the anthologies So Fey: Queer Faery Fiction edited by Steve Berman (Prime Books) and Alleys and Doorways edited by Meredith Schwartz (Torquere Press).

The 2008 Gaylactic Spectrum Awards were presented at Gaylaxicon 2008 in Washington DC on October 11, 2008 at a banquet celebrating ten years of award winners. Winners in the Best Novel and Best Short Fiction category receive physical awards and a cash prize. The 2009 Awards will be presented at Gaylaxicon 2009 in Minneapolis MN in October 2009.

For more information about the Gaylactic Spectrum Awards, including a complete listing of all nominated works from 2008, a handout listing winners and short list recommendations with brief descriptions, or to nominate works for the 2009 Gaylactic Spectrum Awards, you can visit the website at or send email to

Gaylactic Spectrum Awards
PO Box 73602
Washington, DC 20056-3602

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Today's Chocolate

Today's chocolate was an interesting treat: a bit of 60% dark with lemon bits from a company called Kras. According to what I could find on the Net, Kras is Croatian, and if they have a website I can't find it. This bar was a gift, I imagine from a gourmet store or maybe Target, since they are fast becoming a source for such things.

I let this bar sit too long, it had tempered a bit but the snap didn't sound diminished. Unfortunately I wish I could provide a better review - having come back from a fever and with my throat still sore, I didn't enjoy this bar as much I have others. The lemon bits were rather chewy...lemon is not a fruit flavor I'd normally associate with chocolate, but perhaps in a better frame of mind I'll think differently. There is still plenty of bar left to sample and hopefully enjoy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

All Excitable Romance

Just got my ARe alert today letting me know that Excitable Gals is now for sale at All Romance eBooks! Woo-Hoo! You can click here to buy it today.

Speaking of exciting, I just finished a hot hot hot flash Dareville short for Phaze Books's free erotic story giveaway for Valentine's Day. It's called "Daring Hearts" and takes us into the lives of Dareville's favorite quartet as they celebrate the day as only they can. I hope you love it. Look for "Daring Hearts" and other Phaze freebies this February.

I'm a lousy singer, too, where's my book deal?

The publishing industry crumbles all around us. Layoffs, hiring freezes, moratoriums (moratoria?, feh) on manuscript acquisitions...and what do I see this morning on my feed but the announcement of the release of the memoirs of Sanjaya. Yes, you know who he is. Don't deny it. You watch that damn show, and you probably secretly rooted for the off-key, tone-deaf Sanjaya while he waved his ponytail hawk, Flock of Seagulls on acid haircut and butchered some Gwen Stefani tune. Ah yes, I admit I watched that episode - we were treated to the music that inspired dear Gwen, who was apparently only really inspired by Sting and...herself.

Sanjaya has a book out with a major publisher.

Sanjaya has a book out with a major publisher.

Sanjaya. Has. A. Book. Out.

Memoirs! He's younger than me! He's not yet legally old enough to drink. What's to remember? What he has done since leaving American Idol? Is there really enough to warrant memoirs?

To hell with writing. Where's my Aqua Net?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Yes, we can

We, the undersigned, propose to Romance Writers of America:

1. A move for total inclusion in PAN for those who qualify based on the current $1000 earnings, non-vanity, non-subsidy guidelines, meaning that all PAN members are eligible for every PAN benefit, including entrance in the RITA competition.

2. The removal of the exclusion of those who don't qualify for PAN, but are ePubbed or small press pubbed, from the Golden Hearts contest.

3. The refund of entrance fees to every PAN member who entered but was disqualified from the RITAs due to the addition of the phrase "mass-produced."

eBooks and indie presses aren't going away, and neither are the authors. In this world, we often experience this great phenomenon called "evolution," though it doesn't always happen as quickly in some places as it does others.

If you are an ePublished author in good standing with the RWA and agree to the above, please consider signing this petition. RWA is supposed to be a support network for romance writers, and they should support ALL who join.

Saturday, January 10, 2009 is open!


Dareville is online!

Introducing, the new home of erotic romance.

Hello, everybody! I'm pleased to announce the grand opening of, the official website of my Dareville romance series. If you have enjoyed the books, I'll hope you'll stop by and take the tour, meet your favorite characters (and a few new residents to be featured in new titles), and enter to win a free, signed copy of any of the four print books available in the series. Check back often for the latest issue of the Dareville Shopper, and watch for news of new releases and print dates.

While you're out and about, be sure to stop by The Starlight Lounge, the new monthly online newsletter of Phaze Books at Stay updated on reviews of Phaze Books and upcoming author appearances, and enter the monthly drawing for free eBook downloads!

Thank you always for your support. Here's to a sizzling hot 2009 and many more romantic stories to come.

Stay daring,

Leigh Ellwood

Swing on in to The Starlight Lounge

The Starlight Lounge is open! Phaze Books' new monthly newsletter spotlights Phaze authors and their works, updates readers on booksignings and conference appearances, and offers aspiring authors tips on getting published. Check us out each month and don't forget to enter our book giveaway, where one winner receives a free paperback and one runner-up a free download.

Happy reading!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Week in Chocolate

Yes, I'm still eating it. I know it's been a while since I last reported my chocolate adventures, mainly because I've been slowly whittling away at the Lindt basket. I keep some truffles at my work desk, limiting myself to one a day, which is really all I need. The milk chocolate ones are especially good as an after lunch treat.

This week, though, I took a few days to cleanse the palate with some substitutions. The first bar is another Christmas gift, a pleasant reminder of a trip to Biagio Chocolates in DC. Patric Chocolate is created, I'm told, by one guy with a setup in his living room in Columbia, Missouri. He makes three distinct dark varieties, each a different cacao content. To taste any of them, however, you'd think they were single-origin imports from Honduras or some other exotic locale.

I have, or had, all three bars. The 67% dark is gone now, leaving behind the fond memory of a healthy snap and a fruity nose. Tart on the tongue, this selection finished buttery smooth and has tempted me to buy more before the maker runs out of this batch.

Today, I took a different direction with a bar bought today at local Greek deli. ION Chocolate is a Greek brand, and there were two varieties available - milk and milk with almonds. I chose the latter to justify the health value of almonds and indulged in a bite after lunch. As far as milks go, I found it close to the texture and taste of Cadbury - creamy and sweet and complementary of the nuts. For three bucks, however, this probably won't be a regular purchase if I can find a comparable bar cheaper. If I do find a dark bar from this label, though, I might give it a try.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Authorhood - Now 100% Bling Free!

Let me say right now, I never set out to get rich by doing this. My hope is to make enough where I don't have to work full-time at another job in order to contribute to family finances. The way things are going, I could achieve this goal through a combination of public school for the little one (a quality school, at that), and some of that Obamojo in the next four years. I'd be happy with the time to write and publish with maybe 15-20 hours of slinging lattes.

Therefore, I'm not bothered by recent articles of how publishers are tightening their belts by cutting back on the champagne and caviar retreats in favor of conference calls and Papa John's. I should be surprised to hear of such luxury in the industry, since I've met a number of NYT Bestsellers who have claimed their publishers gave them so little, if anything, to use toward promotion. No lobster lunches awaited them on every other stop of their world tours; one author, in fact, once showed to a signing and there were no books! Makes me wonder who's getting the massage, 'cause it sure as hell isn't me.

Reading this article reminded me a bit of my days with Big Internet Company, my first SEO job. I worked in-house as part of the marketing department, dinking on all our sites at a time when META tags were still relevant. I feel almost guilty about that job, considering how much had been spent on retreats and fancy dinners and outings, and how much money had been thrown at Web endeavors with so little thought to it. That's why I'm still not there - there's no company anymore. I imagine many of the higher ups at these houses are worried the same thing could happen to them unless they zip their wallets.

Then I read another article about how some publishers are gambling big with certain titles, offering Sarah Silverman $2.5 million to write a book. That's a lot of Papa John's. I'm funny, too. Where's my check?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Moving on up, to a deee-luxe apartment in the sky...

If you have tried to visit my site recently, don't panic. I am in the process of moving everything and starting fresh. My friend Nona is going to help me get a new site in gear. Just a matter of point the domains and taking care of other technical crap. More news later.