Love Bytes is proud to be a featured blogger for GRL 2017 and we are kicking our tour of with the wonderful Felice Stevens.
Felice wrote a wonderful post about her love for GRL and brought with her a wonderful giveaway for our readers
Welcome Felice 🙂
I could write another blog post on why I love GRL—It would talk about the camaraderie of a like minded group of readers, authors and others who come together to celebrate their love of Gay Romance. Or maybe I’d write about the friends I only get to talk to on line all year and the absolute joy of seeing them when I first get to the hotel. It truly is a little family we’ve created in this internet corner of the world, made even more special for me by a group of people I’ve come to love like family.
Then there are the organizers; Reese and Ethan, Carole and Teresa and everyone else who work so tirelessly to create this warm and drama free environment where we can sit from morning to evening, drinking copious cups of coffee or margaritas, or whiskey or champagne…you get the picture. We sit and chat about books and characters in books and how no one, not one single person, thinks we are odd or weird or off the rails when we talk about loving these characters like they’re real to us. Because they are. How ever long it takes us to write a book, whether it be a month or three or six, we live inside these character’s heads and their bodies. We cry with them and laugh with them. We own their fear and their pain. We share their joy when they fall in love. And we like to imagine that maybe we know they’re living that happily ever after we so adamantly demand they receive. Because it’s romance, damn it! These men deserve their HEA as much as anyone.
But I’m not writing about that. I’m writing about why we need GRL; why it’s so damn important. Because maybe there’s that young man or woman who isn’t quite sure where he or she fits in. Maybe they don’t know who they are. And maybe, just maybe they’ll go on the internet not expecting to find anything or anyone they can relate to and they pick up a book about two men falling in love. Or two women. Maybe they’ll read a book that tells them it’s okay to have feelings for both men and women. Or maybe they’ll discover terms like asexual, pansexual, demisexual and know that there’s a place for them now. Maybe they find that book about a transgender man or woman finding their happily ever after and they think “Hey. I never knew there were books like this. Maybe that could be me one day. Maybe I’m not alone.”
I went to a conference several weeks ago where I and another MM author sat with our books on display and a woman walked in, looked at our books and pursed her lips as though sucking a lemon. She shook her head and said. “Oh I don’t read books like that.” It turned out she was an author. And instead of feeling angry I felt sorry for her, at all the wonderful, talented beautiful love stories she’s missing out on because of her small-minded bigotry.
So that’s my post on GRL. We need GRL because we need to show authors like Ms. Lemonface that she doesn’t get to win. That people DO want to read these stories. I can’t wait until October to see everyone again. And I really, really need GRL so I can see Steve Leonard again.
Beneath the famous Brooklyn landmark, love is hidden but not denied:
All his life, Alexi Kharpov has dreamed of traveling to unknown exciting places instead of working at his family’s frozen custard stand on the famous Coney Island boardwalk. Every year is the same until a gorgeous man picks a spot in front of his stand to sing, captivating him with his beautiful voice. After two summers of listening, it might finally be time for him to cross that boardwalk and take a chance.
Opera singer Cameron Maxwell has traveled the world, but the sight of the beautiful man serving custard to tourists touches his heart like nothing ever has before. A summer fling might be exactly what he needs to put his problems out of his mind, but the last thing Cam expects is to want the summer to last forever.
It’s a season of discovery for both men who learn to dig deep within their heads and hearts to decide whether secrets old and new should remain buried, or if love is too important to keep hidden under the boardwalk.
I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.
I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.
Social Media Links:
Bookbub Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/felice-stevens
Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/felicebooks
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/felicestevensauthor/
Facebook Reader Group: Felice’s Fiercest: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1449289332021166/
Felice brought a wonderful giveaway for our readers
Enter the link to have a chance to win a $5 amazon GC