Thursday, December 31, 2009

Last Call for New Year - F/F Erotic Romance

As my last official act for 2009, I submit for sale the erotic F/F short Last Call! First, here's all the wonderful sales copy.

400848Last Call - Leigh Ellwood
Lesbian Erotica - $.99 eBook

Buy today at ARe or Smashwords

Dejected and depressed, Janet Stanton hopes her nightly walk will improve her mood. The end of the road leads her to her best friend and a shocking revelation that could change her life. Is Janet willing to take that important first step toward love, or will she miss the last call?

Read an excerpt.

Last Call is one of many back burner stories set aside when I took over for Phaze. It is a simple romance and a brief study of an awakening - I sought to pose the end result of the impact of affection on one who rarely received it.  Wow, I didn't intend for it to sound that boring...there's some spicy girl on girl sex in there, too.

I chose to revive the project in the wake of what I deem a successful run for Share, my last F/F short. I hadn't intended to write so much F/F erotica, but I find it cathartic in a sense. Right now I have several projects open, each a different genre. I am working on an M/M novella, a cougar story, an urban fantasy and a non-erotic mystery. With Last Call as my third lesbian erotic short, I am considering doing some more to comprise a print collection. I've noticed while attending GLBT events that lesbian books tend to move better, so it would be nice to offer something to readers.

Until then, be on the lookout for Dare and Dare Alike, Dead Barchetta, and the as-yet untitled cougar. It is a Dare story, too, just need to think of a good pun. :-) If you're looking for more hot Sapphic stories, check out Phaze's EPIC Award finalist, Sapphistocated, and we sent a nomination to the Lambda Awards, so we're working on some good mojo for that. It is up for Best Erotica Anthology at EPIC this year, but it's competing against another Phaze title for the big prize. Let's just hope we don't split the vote.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Christmas Wish

To all authors in the independent and electronic arena, may you enjoy healthy sales, positive word of mouth, and respect in the industry.

To all readers, may you find that one book this season that makes you wish it wouldn't end so soon.

To all aspiring writers, may you find the time to no longer aspire and to write.

To the self-publishers, may you continue to innovate and celebrate every little victory.

May you all find one new author to enjoy, one new genre to explore, and one day to yourself to do as you wish.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The High-Rolling Gene

Sometimes I think my mother has an ulterior motive for wanting to visit my siblings in the Kentucky/Ohio area. Where they live, she has easy access to the casinos in Indiana - there's a nice Caesar's Palace setup along the river; it's apparently where she spent the day, hoping to double the Christmas gift fund. Mom has few vices, but if Heaven has penny slots she's golden.

I've considered, next time I'm down to visit for a landmark celebration, planning a casino party theme, maybe for her birthday or anniversary. At my old church there are occasional Las Vegas night fundraisers where a casino party rental company will come in and set up roulettes and card tables, but she's more into the slots. Unfortunately, where they live they don't have the gambling cruises because they don't have access to international waters. I've tried to get her to come here so we could take one of the Atlantic City shuttles, but she prefers the Gulf places in Biloxi.

I haven't inherited her yen for games of chance myself, though I've been known to sit on a slot machine for a while. Mom has a system, of course, and often she'll come home ahead. Me, not so much. Maybe a casino party I could fare better if I do all the hiring. :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Gift of TV: How Soon?

For Little One's birthday, we got her one of theose Disney televisions sets. Cute little thing with Mickey ears for speakers, and it's attached to a DVD player. The idea was to give her the opportunity to enjoy the occasional Dora or Wonder Pets video while giving us the television back. Now the question has come whether or not to install something like Satellite Directv in her room so she can watch Nick, Jr. independent of our set.

I'm torn on the issue. On the one hand, she's come to the age where she's playing independently, without coming to me every two seconds for something. I was about that age when I reached that stage, too, and I didn't have anything like Direct TV or a DVD player...or even a TV set to distract me. Back in the 70s, of course, you had - what, three networks and PBS? Sesame Street helped reinforce my spelling and numbers, and Electric Company helped with word recognition and phonics. What Little One watches on TV now, I don't find harmful, but the shows tend to focus more on intrapersonal skills. I know that's important, but I want her to advance in her reading. Therefore, I read to her.

A Direct TV hookup might be in the future; you can still watch Sesame Street, but I don't know what they're showing now. Might have to catch up on the last 30 years.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Leigh Ellwood's Fabulous World Tour 2010 - Give or Take Five Continents

I promised myself for 2010 I wouldn't spread myself too thin as far as cons and appearances are concerned. Yet, in looking at my calendar of commitments, I'll likely do it anyway. I'm nowhere near prepared for anything - though I'm one payment away from securing the RT Faery Ball...and I'm about 20 pounds away from a nice dress for that. If you're in the area when I am, please say hello. Here's what on tap for 2010:

January 15-17, 2010 – Williamsburg, VA – MarsCon - This is a nice small SFF con close to home. It will be my third year attending, and it's always a great time! There are late night adult panels, which I'll be doing mainly. I think this year I might actually costume.

April 17, 2010 – Philadelphia, PA – Philadelphia Book Festival - Not definite, but some authors are seeing about a group table. I sold well the last time I went, and I love Philly.

April 28-May 2, 2010 – Columbus, OH – RT - I'll be manning the Phaze Club booth and sitting on the Faery Ball row Thursday night. I think I'll sign for eBook Expo and Saturday, too. We'll see.

May 25-27, 2010 – BookExpo – New York, NY - I won't have a booth or anything, but I would like to go. I enjoy the Expo.

May 28-31, 2010 – Baltimore, MD - Balticon - I've been invited to speak again this year. More details as they come.

September 16-19, 2010 – Seacaucus, NJ – Authors After Dark Romance Unlimited - This is going to be a bigger event than last year, with more tracks and authors. Not sure what I'll be doing here, but we offered to sponsor stuff. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Sexy Cover Funtime

Amanda Kelsey of Razzle Dazzle Design just sent me my cover for GPS, the M/M short I wrote for All Romance eBooks' 28 Days of Heart. Looking at it alone is sure to send hearts pumping.

Blurbage: When Cale Durbin receives a GPS system for his birthday, he tests it out on the drive to meet a blind date. The blasted device gets him lost, but Cale doesn't mind so much when he ends up at the door of a hunk named Mike who shares many of his interests.

After the setup date fails, Cale discovers the GPS possesses a unique feature - it leads him right to Mike again! Can true happiness be found through a global positioning device, or is Cale headed in the wrong direction?

Proceeds from sales of GPS go to the American Heart Association, and it will be my third charity piece. You can still get All You Need... at ARe to benefit WHY, and in January I have a piece in the next Coming Together volume with Phaze Books!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yuletide Favorites

To get us all into the holiday spirit, I submit some of my favorite videos, ranging from the poignant to just plain nutty.

First, a pairing we'll likely never see again, so enjoy it.

Claymation. This was our Pixar back in the day.

Get ready for the Airing of Grievances.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

All You Need... Is Love

Today is an anniversary many people don't wish to acknowledge. It's surreal in a way to think it's been nearly thirty years, yet the music sounds fresh and relevant, as though we're hearing it for the first time. A few years ago, while visiting friends in Connecticut we went into New York City for sightseeing. When asked what I wanted to see, foremost in my mind was Strawberry Fields.

To get there, we had to pass the Dakota. We all know what happened there. Even today, people walk past and shiver. I have pictures taken from across the street, but for some reason I couldn't bring myself to cross and move closer. That experience partly inspired this story I've put up for sale.

I wanted to do something to commemorate the life, rather than his senseless end. With this story, while short, I hope to convey some kind of feeling about what the music means to one person. I've decided, too, to donate what I make off this story and give to WHY, an organization devoted to eliminating hunger. John supported the charity, and Yoko continues to do so - perhaps this is one little step to take. When I'm able to, I'll try to match sales with my own contributions.

All You Need... - Buy Now!
DLP Books, $.89, Gay, Erotica

Follow-up to Leigh’s story, Surveillance. On a pilgrimage to New York City to pay their respects to a fallen hero, Dean and Troy imagine a life of peace and celebrate a night of love.

Proceeds from the sale of this story are donated to WHY, promoting solutions to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

All I Want for Christmas...and Every Day After

As my priorities shift to acquisitions and marketing for Phaze Books, I am given the opportunity to glean from readers their Christmas and beyond wish lists. Often I receive mail from readers what to expect with regards to a specific author or genre, and from this and our sales I craft calls for submission.

More than once I've been asked what Phaze wants. Essentially, we accept all subgenres of erotic romance, and we wish to publish a variety of stories. If I had to craft my own wish list, I would ask for this:

Ideal word length: 25K - 60K. This is a good length range for eBooks. If you write between 40K and 60K you are print eligible, but if you write a series of 20-25K novellas we can look into a bound anthology, too. Pricewise, books at this length go for $3 to $6, and as I tell authors, the longer you write, the better the payout.

M/M Romance and Erotica - The G in GLBT remains a strong genre for us, and it's my wish to acquire more stories that emphasize the romance in this subgenre. I've had readers inform me that they have seen our titles in certain gay bookstores around the US, and I'm happy for the exposure. As most of the authors I edit write M/M, I am always open to reading more.

Interracial Romance and Erotica - I/R, particularly with an African-American heroine, is a popular genre for us. I am definitely interested in growing this type of work. Category length and novel length (45K and up) is especially in demand among readers, and while the majority of our I/R is contemporary I'd like to mix it up with some paranormal and fantasy, shifters, and BDSM.

F/F Romance and Erotica in Novel Length - Every time we set up for a Pride event, readers ask for lesbian romance. We've enjoyed critical success with our Sapphistocated anthology, and are planning to bring Lisabet Sarai's Exposure to print for our next events, but I would like to publish one or two more exclusively F/F novels in the coming year, HEA ending.

Steampunk - The submissions for my anth call are slowly steady, probably because I haven't set a hard deadline. I may need to do that to light a fire, but in the meantime I'd love to have more steampunk, het or GLBT, for the coming year.

Please note, we do accept works of 10K, and works of 5-9K if submitting for our Binaries line. Our submissions page details everything we will and will not accept.

Right now, Phaze Books is scheduled through next spring, so if you have something for next summer, we are always open. Original works for new authors to our house, please, and feel free to contact klively (at) phaze (dot) com with questions.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Me Want More Food- One Blog is Not Enough

It occurred to me that I have close to 80 posts on chocolate alone, the majority of which are reviews of bars and delights I've sampled over the past year. Given the wealth of information, I decided the subject is worth it's own space, so I have copied those posts over to a new blog, Odd Chocolates. The name should be self-explanatory - I've tried quite a few odd combinations of chocolate and savory flavors over the years - bacon, thyme, chili peppers - and as I recently went into an order with a friend for some Japanese Kit-Kats (they'll put chocolate on anything, apparently), it's only going to get odder.

Not only that, I'm going to experiment with video blogging, since the experience of chocolate should best be displayed in multimedia. We don't have WonkaVision yet, but this is the best I can do. Head over to Odd Chocolates now and watch my reaction to biting into the last of the Polly Waffle bars.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Aural Sex

Some time ago I saw a call for submissions for an upcoming publisher of audio romance, called AudioLark. I recognized one of the staff names as somebody who has worked with Phaze Books on a freelance basis, and as that person did very well by us I figured why not give it a shot. I've mentioned here before how we have attempted to put some of our titles to audio - we even had a cover template, and I went so far as to record two of my stories on my own, Double Dare and Jack of Hearts. It's still my goal to see that project through. If I could polish the audio files I have done, maybe that will still happen soon.

Anyway, I was offered a contract to have Truth or Dare recorded, and after some internal deliberations I accepted. I'm curious to see where AudioLark goes with these projects. They will launch in March with a number of titles - stories I've seen on Samhain and other eBook publishers. At Phaze Books, the authors retain audio rights, so if any other Phaze titles will appear here I cannot say yet. As for the rest of the Dareville novels, I will wait to see how the progress with Truth pans out. If the quality is good and the book is well received, I'd be happy to negotiate the contracts for the other three main novels. For now, we'll see.

It's exciting to think a story of mine will become an audio book - it's cool to think people will download the book into iPods and iPhones and listen on the plane or elsewhere. You might know I've been trying to get Truth translated into German, and that's been a pain in the ass. One day it'll happen, I have so many dreams.