March 10th, 2009

andrew potter

2009 Eppie Awards

ANTHOLOGY - COMPLETE (ROMANCE / EROTICA): Three's Company by Angela James, Editor, Lorelei James, Jess Dee, Jayne Rylon—Samhain Publishing

ANTHOLOGY - SINGLE TITLE STORY / NOVELLA (ROMANCE / EROTICA): Walk Among Us by Vivien Dean—Samhain Publishing

CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE: Love with a Welcome Stranger by Lynnette Baughman—Wild Rose Press

CONTEMPORARY EROTIC ROMANCE: Til Death Do We Part by Madison Layle and Anna Leigh Keaton—Cobblestone Press

EROTICA: A Good Student by Elliot Mabeuse—eXcessica Publishing

FANTASY / PARANORMAL ROMANCE: Final Words by Teri Thackston—Cerridwen Press

FANTASY / PARANORMAL EROTIC ROMANCE: A Wolf At Her Door by Kate Willoughby—Ellora's Cave

GLBT: Orientation by Rick R. Reed—Amber Quill Press

HISTORICAL / WESTERN ROMANCE: Draegon's Lair by Linda Ciletti—Wings ePress

HISTORICAL / WESTERN EROTIC ROMANCE: Mirage by Monica Burns—Samhain Publishing

INSPIRATIONAL FICTION: Shadow of the Soul by Sylvia Rochester—Wings ePress

MYSTERY / SUSPENCE / HORROR ROMANCE: Hot Shot by M.J. Fredrick—Samhain Publishing

MYSTERY / SUSPENCE / HORROR EROTIC: If Not For You by J.L. Wilson—Cerridwen Press

SCIENCE FICTION / FUTURISTIC ROMANCE: A Greater Art by Ainsley Davidson—Amira Press


ARIANA AWARD: Dead in the Water, Cover Artist: Judith B. Glad, Published by Uncial Press

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Beth Kery: Romance with Intense Emotional Strains

"Sending warm greetings from Beth Kery in Chicago, Illinois, USA to Elisa and the readers of Rosa is for Romance! I'm flattered to be asked to come and tell you a bit about my work.

I'm relatively new to the publishing industry, having first been published at Ellora's Cave in 2007. I published several books and short stories and small presses, such as Whiskey Creek Press and Samhain. Things moved rather rapidly for me, and by May of that year I had written a manuscript entitled OUT OF THE ASHES. ASHES was the book that I hoped to acquire an agent with, and eventually sell to the New York publishing market. By October of 2007, I had signed with the energetic Laura Bradford from the Laura Bradford Agency.

Much to my shock and amazement, several weeks later OUT OF THE ASHES sold to Berkley Publishing. The title was changed to WICKED BURN (which better reflected the 'heat' level of the erotic romance). WICKED BURN is the title that won the best erotic category at AAR. For those of you unfamiliar with my work, my books are best described as romances with intense emotional strains that also include very hot sex scenes. I know I write them sexy, but the romance always comes first for me.

Since WICKED BURN sold to Berkley, I have kept very busy. I sold three books to Berkley in a separate contract in their Heat line. So I have three books coming out with Berkley in 2009--a time travel erotic romance called DARING TIME on 5/5/9 (Sensation), a contemporary erotic romance called SWEET RESTRAINT on 7/7/9 (Heat), a contemporary erotic romance called PARADISE RULES (Heat) on 12/1/9, and another contemporary called RELEASE in February 2010.

It has been an interesting journey. I feel very supported by my family, agent and editor. Perhaps most importantly, I've gained knowledge, compassion and strength from my fellow writers. The romance community has proven to be warm and welcoming--including the romance lovers in Italy! I visited your beautiful country just last year for the first time, by the way. I took my niece to the Eternal City and promptly fell in love with the sights and the lovely people.

I thank you for inviting me to introduce myself. Happy Reading!" Beth Kery

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Object of His Desire by Ava March

Ava March is a new author for me, but I heard about her work in the past; she is an historical romance writer with the bonus that she writes man on man relationship, so she brings together two things I love so much. So when I saw that there was a new historical novella by her, of course I launched myself on it. And I'm not disappointed! I usually tag as "breeches rippers" all those stories where men dressed in thos frilly but so beautiful garments, and if one of the men proceeds to "rip" them off from the other man, even better. Not always this happens, but when an author manages to write a breeches rippers, with the rip part, without having the men loose their masculinity this is definitely a plus.

Henry Shaw is a country man; third son of an above the average but not wealthy family, he sought his own fortune in London. And then London was also the place where he can satisfy his secret "dark" desire easier than at home. Henry prefers the company of men, and he met a man, Markus, who not only was willing to teach him a thing or two about loving a man, but also introduced Henry to the most exclusive inner circle of London's best society. The relationship with Markus was doomed, but not since it was a man on man relationship, but since Markus was not an honorable man, and Henry puts honor among everything else. And this is the reason why Henry took notice of Arsen Grey, Marquis of Somerville. All right, Arsen was also an handsome man, but above all Henry was drawn by his behavior. Pity that Arsen was without doubt out of his league and also straight. So it was quite a surprise when Henry receives the invite to the one week country party holds by Arsen in his estate; oh, Henry knows that this one is not the classical meeting, but more a way for Arsen to choose his new mistress among all the ladies, of easy virtue, that will attend. And the other men will have the chance to amuse themself with whom will be not chosen by Arsen. But Henry is not interested in women, he has an unrequited love only for Arsen.

By the classical standard, Object of His Desire is a pure savage romance: the dashing lord, wealthy and handsome, a notorious rake but also a man of honor; the blushing country "virgin" (well, not exactly virgin in this case...) who has nothing if not his good look and his virtue; the unspeakable offer to be the kept mistress that obviously the virtuous country mouse will honorable reject... or not? well is this or not a savage romance? and our two hero are they or not both willing men? Once the boundaries of society are overcome by the convenient set of an orgy in a country house, and also by the wealth of the lord, what prevents them to enjoy the carnal pleasure? And so free rein to an erotic night that rivals with the best historical erotic scene I read (gay and not).

I like as the author manage to blend the rules for historical romance with the erotic elements, all mixed up with the gay romance. I like as all seems realistic, and how both men don't loose their role of men: true, they are in love, or lust, with another man, but neither of them is the "female". Arsen maybe is a bit more selfish, Henry maybe is a bit more respectful, aware of the difference in class between Arsen and him, but both of them are aware of their valor, and of what they can bring to their relationship. Pity that this is only a novella, since I wouldn't mind to read something more than one night in their life.

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle
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Behind the Cover: Don Sipley

Don Sipley is an illustrator who resides in Jersey City. He graduated with a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts, NYC.

Over the years, he has worked for numerous magazines, book publishers and advertising agencies, domestic and abroad. Some noteable Illustration clients include: Vogue Glamour, Harlequin, Entertainment Weekly, KLM Airlines, Footlocker and the Port Authority of NJ.


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"I believe in taking care of myself and a balanced diet and rigorous exercise routine. In the morning if my face is a little puffy I'll put on an ice pack while doing stomach crunches. I can do 1000 now. After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower I use a water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial mask which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion." Don Sipley
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Kind Hearts by Evelyn Martin

This is another of those little books from an English LGBT publisher, Wayward Books, that between 2000 and 2006 published an handful of very worthy books and then stopped... I'm still hoping that this is a temporary stop, since all the books I read so far are really interesting, all of them with this subtle English humor that would have made worth to be read the book even if it wasn't a gay romance, but the fact that there is also the romance makes them really, really nice.

Ryan is a former police officer who took a leave of absence to go back to his University study; now fresh with his shining degree, but no more an innocent man, he has to decide what to do with his life. Ashton arrives to help him take the a different path: he is working for a private investigation firm and he needs a new partner; since he likes Ryan (and no, at first not in "that" way), he puts a good word with his boss and Ryan has a new career in front of him. Ashton is also ready to help him with his private life, always finding not one, but two willing girls at time to spend a good time together. Of the two man, Ashton is the more easygoing, the one who apparently thinks less and acts more, but Ashton has some best kept secret in his past, secrets that he hasn't revealed to Ryan neither after they are partner for five years. Even if Ryan seems the mind of their duo, he is actually a simple soul, and for him the things are always clear, and what he thinks, he does and says, he has no secret for no one, even less for Ashton, who he is starting to consider not only his partner but also his family.

During a drunken night, Ryan and Ashton end in bed together; the morning after both of them feigned a sudden and useful amnesia, but as I said before, Ryan is no a man to keep secrets, and in few time he realizes that this evolution in his relationship with Ashton was the only possible, and that he wants to go further that path. If the alcohol helped them once, maybe it will do also a second time, and Ryan sets things to get again Ashton drunk and willing. But when the things between them seem to get better, Ashton's past make its appearance: Ashton is not a simple man, a commoner, he is the nephew of a Duke, and now his grace wants that Ashton comes back home to help him with a delicate matter. Obviously Ryan, as Ashton's partner, will tag along, but this new side of Ashton adds trouble to trouble: not it's not more only a question of wrong gender, but also of different birth right.

All the book is mostly focused on Ryan and Ashton's relationship, from the beginning friendship to the ending love; I really like as the author deat with both Ryan and Ashton's reaction to this evolving situation: Ryan is almost resigned, he realizes that he likes, and maybe loves Ashton, he understands that he likes what Ashton did to him, and that, even if he never played along that inclination, he was not against the idea to be with a man; and so when the unthinkable happens with Ashton, after the first awkward morning when he first thinks to deny it, he realizes that it's not the end of the world, and then instead it's probably only the logical consequences to their special relationship. On the other hand Ashton has again the easy going attitude that he has with almost everything: he likes it, it is something that makes both of the happy and no one displeased, and so why not? There is no recriminations, no regrets between them; no deny what they are feeling, only the necessary time to be comfortable with it. No angst and no rage, they pass without a break from friends to loves in a very easy way. And the lovemaking between them is always considerate and tender, very, very enjoyable.

The second part of the book is also a nice full immersion in a big and old fashioned all aristocratic English family, complete of a little mystery that lead our heroes to investigate between the walls of an old abbey turned big country estate; a really nice set that reminds me a classical and old fashioned (and English!) sleuthing novel.

Amazon: Kind Hearts

Reading List: list&view=elisa.rolle