I love writing for my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. When they put out a call for erotic stories set in exotic locales for their hottest line, I was all-in. I’d written a story for them earlier that I set in my favorite city in the world — Vancouver, Canada. When my editor confirmed that Canada was considered an ‘exotic location’, I knew where I was going to set my story.
Now, I’m Canadian. Aside from politics, guns, and a few other diverging issues, we are a lot like Americans — we consume much of the same media, face the same climate change threats, and speak the same language (although the accents vary — and I threw in a character from my ancestral province of Newfoundland for that extra Canadian diversity).
Anyway, I had my location. I brought in a couple of characters from a previous book (don’t worry, this new book is a complete stand-alone), then I needed a scenario. In a moment of solemn reflection, I realized the story I wanted to tell — the story I needed to tell. I had a studio executive from Hollywood heading to Vancouver to wait until a crisis blows over. My previous story set in Vancouver involved the movie business (a huge industry up here in Canada), so I had everything I needed. Oh, I needed another hero. Enter a genuinely nice naïve young man, making his way in a world he doesn’t always understand.
Okay, I named him Seamus (a good Newfie name). I named my studio executive Frank and called the book Vanishing in Vancouver. I wrote the book, felt good about it, and sent it off to my editor.
The editorial team came back with a few changes. Like the title. It didn’t really say sexy. This was supposed to be a story about an American coming to a foreign land and having a sexy affair — the series is, after all, named Passport to Pleasure. (Other titles included Sorrento Seduction, Steamy Cairo Nights, Hot Highland Fling, Getting Lucky in London, and Pacific Persuasion. Oh, and also, Frank didn’t scream hero to them.
I wracked my brains. Then pulled in a couple of friends. One suggested Valentino — named after Rudolph Valentino, the sexy Hollywood actor. And the character could be nicknamed Val. Hence Valentino in Vancouver.
The editorial team loved it, and the project got the green light.
I worried about the sensitive nature of the topic, and a friend who was reading the book for me expressed concerns after the first chapter. In fact, she wrote to me and asked if she was safe to proceed. I assured her I’d never do anything against my own moral code — and this is a gay romance, not a political statement.
But can a book be both?
I’m inviting readers to take a gander through the book. Go in with an open mind. This is one take on a very real issue facing workplaces today. (And other scenarios as well, but I went with work to set my story.)
And I’d love to hear from you. For a chance to win a $5US Amazon Gift Card, can you think of a book that tackled a tough topic? A book that resonated with you? One you think the world should read? Feel free to comment, and a random commenter will receive the GC.
Valentino in Vancouver
Hiding out may be the hottest thing he’s ever done.
When I need to get away from the heat in Los Angeles, I head to a friend’s house in Vancouver, Canada. I just need to hide out. Oh, and that cute redhead? A mighty fine way to pass the time. Will this fling become something more by the time things cool down?
When I’m invited to my boss’s house for a party, I’m thrilled. And nervous. Then I meet a guy who helps me relax. Even when I find out who he is, I keep coming back for more. Only it turns out I might be way over my head. Can I get out before I fall for him?
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Valentino-Vancouver-Passport-Pleasure-Gabbi-ebook/dp/B0B8XNB5FX
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Valentino-Vancouver-Passport-Pleasure-Gabbi-ebook/dp/B0B8XNB5FX
Universal Book Link: https://books2read.com/Valentino
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/valentino-in-vancouver-gabbi-grey/1141978548
Add it to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61953018-valentino-in-vancouver
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling author Gabbi Grey lives in beautiful British Columbia where her fur baby chin-poo keeps her safe from the nasty neighborhood squirrels. Working for the government by day, she spends her early mornings writing contemporary, gay, sweet, and dark erotic BDSM romances. While she firmly believes in happy endings, she also believes in making her characters suffer before finding their true love. She also writes m/f romances as Gabbi Black and Gabbi Powell.