Monday, August 1, 2011

Welcome Back Lee Brazil

Greetings fans!

Welcome to Michael's with another guest post.

Now, I'll be having guests posts every Monday and Tuesday only so, please, if you'd like to stop in, let me know!

Today, I'm welcoming back Lee Brazil who is on book Three of his Truth or Dare series. I loved the first two and even though this one switches gears and is hetero,  know I'll love this one as well. 

Let's give him our attention!

* * * *

Writing for the Masses

 A while back I did an interview with Michael in one of her incarnations and she asked me a question that I’m still thinking about to this day.  What it boiled down to was this: Is something erotica simply because it’s about a same sex couple?
First of all, I don’t care for the idea that everything about two male characters is automatically erotica or erotic romance.  Some of my stories have less sex than a typical Harlequin romance does.  Yet, because it’s sex between two men- it’s automatically erotica instead of romance.  I don’t care for the practice, primarily because I classify what I write as romance.  To me, calling it erotica simply because those two people falling in love are both men is wrong. 

This is not to say that I haven’t written some things that are very definitely erotica. Just not everything.

For instance, I think my release tomorrow, Giving Up definitely qualifies as erotic romance.  Why? Because Arden is fond of playing with toys, and the sex scenes are intended to reflect Arden and Brandon’s growth as their relationship progresses.  In the end though, the relationship is the important part.  (Let me hastily add that this is my first and potentially last m/f story- I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again- it was damned hard to write!)

And that’s the definition of romance isn’t it? The journey to love?

I want the readers who pick up my books to be engaged by the characters, to experience their highs and lows, to care what happens to them.  To that end, the sex is a vehicle to understanding the person, not an end in and of itself. 

To me that’s the difference between erotica and romance.  Why is this sex scene on page sixty-two? Does it do anything for the plot or enhance the readers’ understanding of the characters? No? Then out it goes. 

But.  There’s always a but, huh? Here’s where my indecisiveness comes into play.  I think at this time in this society we live in- the majority of readers would be shocked to pick up a romance novel and discover it was about two men…or two women.  So we have to distinguish them somehow, right?

Someday we’ll just have romance. 

Giving Up
Truth or Dare
Book 3
Lee Brazil
From Breathless Press
On August 5, 2011


Can Dr. Arden Grey teach Brandon Blake that giving up control is worth while, with the right woman?

Brandon Blake has a problem.  His family is fed up with his controlling ways. They don’t need him managing their affairs any more.  Brandon doesn’t want to lose his connection with his brothers, but he doesn’t know any other way to live.   He’s been in charge for a long time. Now his brothers are leaving home and making families of their own, and Brandon’s interference has caused some serious rifts. Brandon’s stressful job as CEO of the family production studio and his concerns for his brothers have contributed to the ulcer his doctor recently diagnosed. Therapy is supposed to help Brandon learn how to let go and give up the need to control every thing.  Brandon finds the counselor he’s been sent to intriguing, if a bit intimidating, though she has absolutely nothing in common with the women he’s dated in the past.

Dr. Arden Gray knows about control.  A survivor of marriage to a dominant, abusive partner, she’s spent the last twenty years turning her life around.  She’s learned to take control and has made a career of teaching others to do the same.  Brandon Blake is a surprise.  When his doctor sends Brandon to her, Arden isn’t sure how she can help the man.  But after a few sessions, she sees something intriguing hidden inside Brandon Blake, something that tells her he just might be the man she’s been looking for.  If only she can convince him that giving up control to the right woman will solve all his problems!

He stood automatically, reaching out to shake her hand in greeting and murmuring polite good mornings.  A slight heat rose in his cheeks and he hoped to hell the blush wasn’t visible.  And why the fuck a simple handshake for the doctor should cause him to blush he didn’t know, but something about her made him feel self-conscious and uncertain in ways he hadn’t felt since he was a wild sixteen year old serving as his beautiful mother’s escort to Hollywood’s wild parties.

            He stiffened his spine and forced himself to meet those sharp blue eyes, unwittingly squeezing her hand just a little too tightly.  He watched as the blue eyes flared wide then narrowed, and Dr. Grey gently removed her hand from his.  The flush on his cheeks grew and he felt his stomach churn alarmingly.  He and Trick were about to have more in common than he’d ever thought possible if he couldn’t calm down soon. 

            Dr. Grey led him into her office and he took the same seat he normally did on the plush leather chair in front of the desk.  Somewhat surprised, he noticed that instead of taking the chair adjacent to him as she usually did Dr. Grey seated herself behind the neat steel and glass desk.  Crossing her hands on the desktop, she met his questioning gaze calmly, and Brandon let out the breath he hadn’t realized he held.  His roiling emotions calmed as he took in her stillness, and even his churning stomach was soothed.  This was different, but not wrong. 

            Or so he thought until she spoke. 

            “I’m afraid, Brandon, that I can’t keep you on as patient any longer.”

            Panic flared.  “What? Why not?”  His stomach heaved and he forced himself to breathe deeply through his nose, swallowing rapidly to prevent the consequences of the sudden lurch.  Nothing of his feelings showed on his face.  He had twenty-three years of practice at making sure of that. He couldn’t have heard correctly. 

            “Because I can’t help you in a professional capacity.  I’ve given you the tools to manage your problem, you’re an intelligent man and you can resolve your issues from here on your own.”  Her voice remained the same as it always had, soothing and cool, her gaze untroubled and calm. 

            Damn. How had he come to depend on that calmness in such a few meetings?  How would he deal without the soothing effect her voice had on his nerves and stomach?  Quickly pulling in resources to hide the shocking sense of abandonment he suddenly felt, Brandon grasped the tiny thread of anger and blew it up. 

            He surged upright and waved his phone in her face.  “Fuck.  I could have been at the office heading off a dozen major crises!  See this?  It’s called a cell phone. I have it with me all the time.  Next time you need to change our plans, use it!”


DA Kentner said...

First of all, "Giving Up" sounds intriguing. I love it when an author tests his or her boundaries and forges their own path. Good for you, Lee.

Now the other:
The whole gay is erotica issue always makes me bristle and reach for a soap box. Instead of expounding, I'm just going to agree with Lee and say thank you for voicing your very valid opinion.

In closing, here's a quote from a reader's review of a pair of gay romance books:
"Oh and another great thing about these books is they prove you dont need countless sex scenes to write a good gay romance."

Rawiya said...

Thanks for visiting DA and thank you lee for stopping in

LaviniaLewis said...

Congratulations on your upcoming release Lee, wishing you many sales and great reviews!

It is frustrating that gay romance almost always gets filed under erotica, that's not to say it can't be erotic, because of course it can but I've read many M/M romances that had little or no sex so it's unfair to label the entire genre in this way.

We are romance writers first and foremost whether we are writing M/M, M/F or any other combination.

It would be wonderful to see M/M and F/F romance just listed under romance but sadly as you said yourself, many people would be shocked to read a love story featuring same sex couples and until that issue is addressed in society, I don't see the classification changing anytime soon.

LB said...

Thanks DA and Lavinia! And thank you Rawiya for having me over again!