Monday, January 28, 2013

When Characters Take the Reins by Sage Marlowe

 Hi all! I’m delighted to be a guest here today—thank you so much for stepping by!

My name is Sage Marlowe and I’m a multi-published author of gay erotic romance novels. I write stories about real men that face real problems. Usually this works quite well for me but sometimes, as an author, I face some real problems with my characters.

After seeing several couples and a triad on their way to happy endings, I've grown used to all kinds of behaviour from my characters. Some are the quiet kind, some are very noisy, some can't wait to tell me their story, some require a bit of coaxing. Characters are people who sometimes become friends. And sometimes, they just won't go away. The boys from my Sub-Series are such characters. It all started with Francis Hollister. When he first entered the scene in Sub-Mission, he was supposed to play just a minor support role as Pierce's brother and the proud owner of the BDSM club where the story is set. That was the plan. But Francis—France—being the scheming deviant he is, kept sneaking up on me again and again until eventually, he became a very important element in the story.

But that was not enough for him—oh no, far from it. By the time Sub-Mission was submitted and ready for release, he'd already charmed his way into my heart to the point where I just knew that I'd have to tell his story, too. Re-Submission was born.

My first thoughts about the book were to give France the perfect sub to complement the Dom in him, but once again, I found myself with characters who snatched the reins to the story right out of my hand and ran away with it. I'd planned to tell the story from France's point of view, or maybe from his partner, Shae's, but no. Before I knew it, a third guy entered the scene. Tyler. I remember the moment very well. My exact thought was "Oh, crap. What am I gonna do with him?" I had never intended to write a threesome, least of all in a story that was so clearly meant for two, a Dom and his sub. Tyler was persistent, though. Not only did he wriggle his pert butt into Francis' club and ultimately, into bed with Francis and Shae, no, he also took on the role of narrator which, I think, makes for a very interesting constellation. Their story is so interesting in fact, that Re-Submission was nominated Best BDSM Book of 2012 by Love Romance Café.

But that still wasn’t the end of it. When I finished Re-Submission, I knew there would be a follow-up on Tyler's story. I started writing that but then I got sidetracked—again. Noah from Sub-Mission stepped in along with his husband Pierce, and those two grabbed the story along with my mind and ran with it. There was no hope for resistance. I just had to write those two a sequel. At least they were kind enough to deliver the plot willingly. Very willingly, and oh, what a plot. I squirmed and cried and asked them if they were serious so many times. They took me through all the ups and downs of a long-term relationship, through the wear of raising a baby and the tear of mistrust, misunderstanding and jealousy. I cried for them and with them. I loved them for their devotion and hated them for their blindness and stupidity. They told me a story I hadn't expected in many ways and put me through quite an ordeal but it was well worth it. Sub-Culture is, for several reasons, one of my favourite and most personal books.

Now that I’ve told you so much about this series, why don’t you see for yourself what I had to deal with writing those books? If you’re new to this, please note that while each book stands alone, there is an overall story arc that is best enjoyed when reading the books in order of release (Sub-Mission, Re-Submission, Sub-Culture), so here they are in the correct order:

Sub-Mission by Sage Marlowe
MM contemporary erotic romance, BDSM / Novel
Heat level: Total-E-Melting
Published by Total-E-Bound Publishing

How far would you go to save the one you love?

Pierce Hollister is a down-to-earth businessman. Most of the time. His romantic side has him secretly dreaming of Mr Right, a family and happy ever after.
Noah Conway is a single father who doesn't believe in happy families anymore. When his daughter's life is at stake, he would sell his soul to save her but as a sadistic Dom takes an interest in him, he sells his body instead.
A shared session at a BDSM club leaves Pierce intrigued and soon he finds himself willing to do anything in his power to heal the wounds that life has left on Noah's soul. When he realises that the very thing Noah dreads the most might just be what he needs, Pierce sets out on a mission – but maybe it's just not in his power to save Noah.
Will Noah be able to battle the demons that haunt him and find the happy ever after Pierce has dreamed up for them?

Buy links

Also available in print!

Re-Submission by Sage Marlowe
MM contemporary erotic romance, BDSM / Novel
Heat level: Total-E-Melting
Published by: Total-E-Bound Publishing

Rubbing a toppy sub, a submissive Top and a Dom with attitude together is guaranteed to send sparks flying — but what will they ignite?

Meet Tyler Kane. Ballsy and headstrong, he's far from being the submissive type. Francis Hollister, Dom and proud owner of a BDSM club, couldn't agree more — and yet, as Tyler carelessly suggests a bet, Francis sees an opportunity arise and decides to take him up on it.
Soon Tyler finds himself in Francis' club and about to be trained as a sub. When Shae, the gorgeous Top Francis has assigned to teach him, doesn't appear to be quite as dominant as his role would lead to believe and Francis turns out to be a rather versatile Dom, Tyler sees a perfect match just waiting to be made happen. Too bad though that he's the only one who sees it. Or maybe he isn’t?
Curious to find out what happens when you rub a submissive Top, a toppy sub and a Dom with attitude together and what exactly the sparks from that explosive combination ignite, Tyler enlists the help of Pierce, Francis' brother, and his partner Noah, and sets out on a mission.
While Tyler's plan seems to work out astonishingly well, it seems that there's more than one man in the club who is pursuing a hidden agenda…

Buy links:

Sub-Culture by Sage Marlowe
MM erotic romance / BDSM / contemporary, novel (sequel to Sub-Mission)
Published by Total-E-Bound
Heat rating: Total-e-melting

When life gets on top, delving into a sub-culture may be just what it takes to keep a sinking relationship afloat

Five years after the bumpy start to their relationship, Noah and Pierce have settled well into their lives as a happy couple. The arrival of a new child should have made their matrimonial bliss complete, but the strain of raising a baby and a teenager, combined with a lot of pressure in their jobs, is beginning to take its toll.
In the midst of what already is a potentially explosive situation, Noah’s younger brother Jonah comes to stay with them, forcing Noah to face the issues he still has regarding his homophobic parents and adding to the emotional pressure he is under.
When Noah starts behaving oddly and Pierce just can’t seem to put his jealousy to rest, the cracks in their relationship become too severe to ignore any longer. They struggle to keep their sinking love afloat but as Noah craves the comfort a certain sub-culture can offer, Pierce finds himself wondering just how far he is willing to step out of his own comfort zone to save their love.

Buy link
Sub-Culture will also be available from most reputable distributors after January 28th, 2013

About the author

Sage is a multi-published author of gay erotic romance and loves taking romance to the edge. The edge of passion, the edge of pleasure, the edge of propriety.
Hopelessly in love with books from a very early age on, Sage has dreamt of writing one for years while working on the day job instead. It took a very persistent character in the company of a much-adored Muse to finally get the first novel going. The fact that this gorgeous guy was gay came as a bit of a surprise, but it explained a lot.
Ever since, Sage has been the willing slave to all the fascinating guys who just keep queuing up and want their stories told. This has resulted in several published books and countless manuscripts at various stages of completion, so there's always something to work on—preferably at night when the rest of the house is asleep.
Sage's characters often have a dramatic and sometimes traumatic past and need to battle some demons to be with the one they love. But don’t worry, they get quite a lot of naughty action along the way to keep them happy and there will always be a happy end!

Contact and buy links

Sage’s website & blog:
Twitter: @SageMarlowe
For all books published with Total-E-Bound, go to:
For all books published with Siren-BookStrand, go to:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Always A Way Through Roadblogs in Writing

Recently, I had yet another fun round of "holy shit" moments with Blogger. I found myself with a guest blog and no way to upload the photos as blogger wasn't allowing me to upload pics from my computer. I had less than a day to get this blog up and was in full panic mode.
Three hours I tried, until I decided to try and use Google's Picasso Web Album. I'd never used this before but as it was an option to upload photos from on Blogger, I decided to check it out. In being brave and clicking on the link, I found it already contained some photos from my blog. Don't ask me how, I have no idea. 
So with great trepidation, I logged onto my Google account and went to work learning Picasso Web Album.
The result: I got the blog up for my guest which included her book covers, and I learned how to use Picasso Web Album to save my guest blogger book covers. *phew*
I now have an excellent place to store pics. PWA wasn't as technical or scary as I feared. It's a bit convoluted to use, but a great back up if Blogger should ever not allow me to upload them directly.
I would have never clicked on the Picasso Web Album link if not forced to explore other options to accomplish my goals. How many times do we face huge obstacles in our lives and need to think outside our comfort zone?
It's probably the best sort of learning experience, even if it's forced upon us and we hate it at the time.
I'm not a fan of things going wrong, but being willing to think on your feet, not give up and realize there is always another way to your goal, keeps me from being buried by the stumbling blogs in my life. Haha, did you catch that one, "blogs".
Anyway, we all face challenges in life and in our writing. The trick is to be willing to learn new skills when needed.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bacon on the Couch by Ivy Bateman

The other day as I was lying the couch in a fog of regret and wondering exactly how my friend and I managed to share a package of bacon when she was over for breakfast, I was also listening to a book called This is How by Augusten Burroughs. The book is straightforward and he talks about a lot of things I believe to be true, but have never been able to articulate. I could ramble on and on about all of the passages that resonated with me, but I'll just stick to one of his topics: confidence.
Now, I will be paraphrasing because I've only listened to it once, so if you know of the book and you feel I'm getting it terribly wrong, just bear with me. In essence what I'm going to talk about is my interpretation of his words as they filtered into my bacon filled brain.
Mr. Burroughs states that confidence is not more intelligence and it's not more knowledge. He says that confidence is focus. If you have to stand up in front of a room and give a speech or do a presentation, and you have focus on what you're doing and not about what the people in the room are thinking about you, you will be, or at least appear, confident. Because the reality is that even if you really know what you're talking about, if you start to worry or care about what the people in the room are thinking about you, you will lose your focus and you will not appear confident.
While still pondering why I'd consumed so much bacon, I was moved by what he was saying. I'd never thought about confidence that way before, and agreed that he was right. I'm quite a nervous person. I worry a lot and in groups of people I can be overcome with shyness and all I want to do is leave. I assume that people are thinking negatively about me and that to them all I must appear to be a big loser. However, when I'm on stage, when I'm in a play, I'm completely comfortable because I have focus. I stop thinking about what the people around me are thinking and my focus in 100% on why I'm up on that stage. After a production, I've had many people tell me how confident I am on stage. I've always brushed it off and said something like "Oh, I'm just being silly" because acting is just something I love to do. But when thinking about confidence as something that comes across when you have focus, then yes, I guess from time to time, I have a lot of confidence; which, as person who feels a lack of it often, is nice to know.
In my latest book from Breathless Press, Baby, You're Cold Inside, my lead character is a powerful, cold, and yes I must admit, a very mean person. She likes to get her way and she will do almost anything to get it, but, is Lily Sinclair confident?  When examining it from the definition Mr. Burroughs gives to the word confidence, I believe she is. One of Lily's character traits is that she really doesn't care what people think of her. Some of you, if you read my book, may believe that her iron exterior is just a mask for her insecurity and perhaps you're right. Much like the definition of confidence, characters can be interpreted in many different ways. For good or ill, Lily is who she is: sexy, strong and more than likely would never do what I did and eat half a pack of bacon for breakfast.   
Blurb for Baby, You're Cold Inside, By Ivy Bateman 
Lily Sinclair isn't in the Christmas spirit.
Successful, sexy and headstrong; being nice is too overrated when being naughty is so much more fun. However, there are those who believe that her cool interior stands in her way of true happiness. On the night when something a little bit colder than Lily takes her on a journey to her past, she goes along for the ride, but...
Will her guide show her just what it will take to melt her icy soul?

Excerpt from Baby, You're Cold Inside By Ivy Bateman
"Oh yes, my dear, just a little bit further...come on honey...just bend over a little further. Come on now—just a little bit lower, that's it." I bite my lip to keep from screaming. "That's right keep it up, keep it up...I'm so close, yes, baby keep it up—no, no, no! Not now!"
I lean over my desk and punch the intercom. "Phillip! Get your ass in here now!"
He doesn't respond to my holler. Maybe he has the volume turned down. He's done that before, the bad boy, trying to ignore me. What kind of assistant does that to his boss? One that doesn't last that long, that's who.
I punch the intercom button again, harder even though it won't make a difference, but I'm desperate and my buzz is quickly fading away.
"Phillip! Don't ignore me! I need to see you in my office now!"

Again, he isn't doing anything! Okay that's not true. He's still doing something. He is still filing and bending over, which is a marvel to behold, but his moves are being wasted! I open my desk drawer and pull out a squishy ball. I chuck it at the mirrored glass that stands approximately twenty feet from the front of my desk. Phillip jumps and screams like a girl. He glances at the mirrored glass looking slightly shamefaced. He can't see me, but he knows I can see him. Wow, he's a good looking guy...who isn't moving!

My morning good time feeling is being quickly defeated by the anger that is starting to build up in my system. I throw a second ball against the glass. Another girlish scream erupts from Phillip, but this time he springs into action. He hot foots it to my door and opens it at top speed. He's breathless and nervous which is perfect; it's the way I like my men.

"Yes, Ms. Sinclair? Is there something I can help you with?" He runs a hand through his shiny brown hair and steps into my office.

"No, Phillip, I just like to throw things at my wall to hear you squeal. Thank you for being so obliging." I am sarcastic to the point of it being farcical, but my lovely yet sometimes a little dim assistant doesn't pick up on it even a little.

"Oh, that's fine, Ms. Sinclair. I-I-I like to squeal for you." He blushes and looks at his large, polished shoes. "I'll go back to my desk and listen for another ball. Thank you for making me aware that you like my noises." He backs toward the door, his face now the shade of a ripe tomato. It's adorable, but I don't have time for adorable.

Ivy's Blog: Ivy B Misbehavin' 

Twitter @IvyBateman.

Book trailers on You Tube:

Write Ivy at

Ivy's books available at Breathless Press,,,

Friday, January 4, 2013

No Social Media until Your Writing is Done

This is my action plan for 2013.
Why, because my biggest time-suck comes from my playing on social media sites rather than writing. Yes, I love email, Twitter, Triberr, Linkedin, and Yahoo groups. It's what I usually check in with before every getting down to writing. This can take anywhere upward of an hour or more. I'm suspecting many of you are the same way. Yes, I see a few people ducking down in the back. haha.
Well, not in 2013.
I needed to plan of action to get more writing done and came up with this idea. This means that I will only check in with my social media after I've written. How much writing, you ask. For January, I'm not putting a word count on it, so a paragraph or a chapter, either will be acceptable. February, I will enact a specified word count per day.
What do I hope to accomplish?  The act of sitting down and writing first will instill the muscle memory and discipline that I need to finish another book. Slowly, I will become accustomed to this strict writing regimen and will see the resulting pages written.
I admit that I do best in a structured environment, so I'll put these restrictions on myself in order to get more done. The holiday, as much as I love them, always set me back a bit. We won't even mention that 2012 wasn't a very good writing year. I got sidetracked on a consistent basis.
Anyway, that was then but we are moving forward now.
This plan must come with a part "B", of course. In my next blog post, I'll share that part with you.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Mary Corrales! Welcome 2013 Resolutions

Did you make any New Year's resolutions? It's a popular activity. I wonder how many people keep those resolutions. I can't say I'm very good at keeping mine, but I think the act of making them is about wishes that hopefully lead to constructive action and success more than anything.

There are resolutions to lose weight, make more money, get a better job, find love, become successful, build a business, make a name for oneself, etc. Aren't these all things that relate to wishes for a better life? 
Of course, what you hope for can only come to pass if you have a plan of action behind your dreams. There must be concrete steps. For instance, every author knows that to "sell" a book, one must first "write" the book. So the concrete steps are to sit down and write…everyday, no matter what. Want a better job? Work the resume, and apply to jobs. Concrete steps.
So what is my main resolution for 2013?
I'm going to finish writing at least two books this year. Yes, I'm going to buckle down, keep my butt in that chair and get those stories done. I have a plan of action for doing this. It's called, "no social media until your writing is done."
I'll talk more about it on the next blog post, but as the name suggests, it's a hardcore time management technique that I believe will lead me to write more often.  
So, what is your main resolution for 2013? Do you have an action plan? Post it in the comments section and we'll all cheer you on!
Cheers for a great 2013!