Thanks to Raine for letting me blog on her site this week. She’s letting me do just about anything, so I thought I’d talk about writing two genres – gay and het romance. And pimp my new het romance, The Ambassador’s Daughter, from Etopia Press. (see below for blurb and excerpt)
I started writing romance stories I wanted to read, with lots of graphic sex, ‘cuz I couldn’t find any at the bookstores. This was before I discovered the internet and e-publishers and all the wonders they held in e-ink. Like most people, I wrote het romance, or straight romance, or traditional romance, or whatever you want to call it. A man and a woman meet, fall in love, and fight for a HEA.
Only, in my books, there was always this other guy…the hero’s best friend, or his pain in the ass co-worker, or whatever…but he was there, bumping up against the hero, causing lots of fun, tension, and angst. This guy was never gay. He was another alpha, or a beta, someone who was faithful, trusting, and whom the hero counted on through thick and thin. Basically, they had a bromance.
When I discovered gay romance, the light bulb went on and I said, “GACK! That’s what I’m supposed to be writing!” and I haven’t looked back since.
But, I do still write het romance. There are still some stories I want to tell with heroines and heroes in them. And despite what anyone might think, you can’t always take a het story and wave your magic wand and *poof* gay romance or vice versa!
This story, The Ambassador’s Daughter, was one of those. It came to me, characters insisting that Brett be a woman, not a man. So I wrote it that way, I had to ‘cuz part of Brett’s problem is she’s trying to be the son her father never had. My husband dared me to write a sci-fi, and this is my version. It’s a space regency, made from my own world and rules, and with my brand of science…which means not too technical, ‘cuz frankly my eyes glaze over…I slept through most of Tom Clancy’s books.
And in spite of all my cries for hot sex, this book is fairly tame. For me, anyway. Brett and Stephen are joined by Brett’s father, the Ambassador Jonathan Butler, and Stephen’s mother, Lady Diane, a lovely widow, and Duke Brandon, Diane’s father-in-law, and Stephen’s grandfather. My editor said, “Hey, cool. It’s 24 meets Jane Austin with a female Jack Bauer.”
I guess it is. Brett kicks butt, but she’s also a fish out of water, trying to fit in to a society she can’t quite understand, least of all the damn gowns all the women wear. But if she wants Stephen, she’ll have to make it work. And she’ll have to save the day, the planet, and the rest of the known worlds, in slippers and a floor length gown.
So, getting back to writing in two genres, I have about six het romances published (check them out on my website) and frankly I’ve struggled over the “should I have two pen names” question the entire time.
Just the thought of having two websites, two emails, two of everything, makes me very, very tired. I suppose if I didn’t work a full time job, have kids, a husband, and a house, it’d be a no-brainer. But I do, and it makes my brain hurt. Seriously. Like get the Excedrin Migraine and pop the damn top now kind of hurt.
Okay, now that I’m properly medicated, I’ll tell you the truth. I’m going to give it a try, but on a scale I can handle. I’m going to try a self-published book, a re-release of a het vampire romance I wrote called Warriors at Heart, and I’m going to put my name as L.L. Lorenz. It’s not completely different. And it’s just to see if the name impacts sales. Sort of a “Testing. Testing.” Who knows? If it works, I just might go with it and do a whole new website and second email. If not, it’s no biggie.
But just so you know, you can find links to of my books, gay and traditional, on my website. http://www.lynnlorenz.com I hope you’ll give them a try – if you read het, try a gay romance – if you read gay, try one of my het romances. It won’t kill you, and you might just like it, or at least, tolerate it.
Remember, when you open your heart, you open your mind.
The Ambassador’s Daughter
Release date: August 5th, 2011
For Brett Butler, following in her father’s footsteps has been easy. When she’s called to take her mother’s place as her father’s, retired space general Jonathan Butler, social secretary, she finds mom’s high heels difficult. Fitting in isn’t Brett’s strong suit, she’s more a leader, but if she’s to find a new life on New Commonwealth among it’s aristocrats,
long gowns and courtly manners, she’s have to do a lot of bending. But what’s a former Old Earth Marine supposed to do, when intrigue, danger and weapons of mass destruction keep getting in the way of her new romance. And what is Jonathan Butler supposed to do about the lovely Lady Diane, the first woman to tempt him since the death of his beloved wife four years ago?
Especially when Brett’s fallen for Lady Diane’s son, Lord Stephen Brandon.
“Now, Brett. Let’s knock ‘em dead,” Ambassador Jonathan Butler whispered into his daughter’s right ear. She tucked her long black hair behind her ear, a recent habit she’d picked up in order to hear him better.
“Right, sir. Weapons locked and loaded.” She reached out to straighten his red ascot and run her hand down the lapel of his suit. The black tails looked good on him. The man was built to wear a uniform, and it didn’t matter which one it was.
“You present the gifts, Brett. You know I hate that sort of thing.”
“I’d planned on it.”
“It’s only fair after all; you selected them.” He touched her chin with the back of his hand and winked. “I would have brought them something awful, like a stuffed buffalo head.”
“Not the one on the wall of the library back home? That’s your favorite! You wouldn’t have parted with Old Bill, would you?”
“And give up great-great-great Grandfather’s trophy? Not for all the ambassadorships in the galaxy.” He shook his head.
“It’s time to go in.” Brett motioned to the servant who was waiting for them to enter the ballroom.
“Right. Damn the torpedoes,” he intoned in her ear.
“Full speed ahead,” she answered as they stepped through the carved double doors and into the Grand Ballroom.
* * *
“Good Lord, Brandon, who is this?” Johann leaned over to his cousin.
Stephen looked up. The most beautiful woman he’d ever seen stood in the doorway on the arm of an older man; the ambassador from Earth, if he recognized the insignia on the sash correctly.
“I have no idea. The new ambassador’s wife?” Stephen asked. Breathe, boy.
“Lucky bastard.” Johann looked closer. “No, too young. The man must be her father.”
“God, I hope so. I’ll slit my throat if she’s married to him.” Stephen looked for a place to put down his drink. He found an empty tray on a stand and left his glass there. Taking a quick look at himself in the reflective glass of the garden doors, he tried to get that lock of hair that always fell over his brow to stay put.
It seemed his hair did not intend to humor him in his moment of need.
Turning back to the crowd and taking his place at Johann’s side, Stephen watched the young woman and the ambassador make their way toward the ceremony hall, stopping every now and then to speak to various people.
“Stop her, Cousin. Introduce us, in the name of God and my grandfather,” Stephen whispered hoarsely.
“Practically no difference there.” Johann snorted. “You’re pathetic, Cousin. The first fresh pretty face you see in a year, and you’re falling over yourself to get to her. Look around, man. You’re not the only one.” Johann motioned with his drink around the ballroom. Conversation in the room had halted as everyone turned and stared at the pair.
“Good Lord! Has she no sense of propriety?” Helena joined her husband to stand at his elbow. “What is she wearing?”
Stephen took his eyes off the stranger’s face and looked at her clothes. The suit she wore looked like some sort of leather, black and white with silver buttons. Long fringe ran down the underarms and across the back of her long fitted jacket and dangled from the hem of her knee length riding skirt to the tops of her boots. Her black-tooled boots were trimmed in silver on the toes and heels.
Stephen’s face broke into a wide grin. “A riding skirt and boots, I believe.”
“Good Lord,” Helena said with a gasp.
The young woman had pulled her waist length black hair back on one side and held it in place with a silver and turquoise jeweled comb. The other side fell loose. The color of the turquoise matched perfectly her blue-green eyes.
“Well, she’s like no one I’ve ever seen,” Johann admitted.
“She’s so exotic,” Stephen murmured. “So very off world.”
“She’ll never fit in here. She’s doomed,” Helena declared, and everyone nodded.
“Then, we must save her.” Stephen stepped forward.
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