This post is a duplicate of the one I put up on the Collections website today. I didn’t have a guest here and was feeling a little lazy—plus, I love to introduce new authors to you all. Be sure to welcome Izzy and take advantage of her special offer!
Good things come to those who wait?
I’ve been writing for years—familiar story—without thinking about a next step! They say, write what you want to read. I write stories about love, lust, romance, relationships, and am now just realizing, hey, someone else might enjoy these suckers. Being a fan of Delilah’s racy romances, I’m over-joyed for Izzy’s debut in the Cowboys Behaving Badly Anthology. I hope you love Deacon in “Something to Talk About” as much as I do, and please reach out if you’d like more of my strong, silent, hunky cowboy! My brand-spanking-new website went live today. Come find me!
Izzy Archer is my pen name… shhhh. She’s badass.
I discovered my love for erotic romance in a writing course: How to Write SEX. I’m currently working on a collection of erotic short stories revised from my old homework assignments.
Paris is my favorite city and will definitely factor into future stories!
I recently moved into an old Victorian in the Boston area, so it’s a good thing I’m handy, own power tools, and can fix things. Although, this place is over my skill level. But what’s more inspiring to a romance writer than crews of interesting workers coming and going? Everyone has a backstory!
I turned into a wine snob from living in California. Reds from boutique vineyards. My favorite kind of day is wine tasting while taking in a view of the mountains.
I believe in true love, soul mates, and the destiny we make. I create strong female characters. Don’t get me wrong, I love an alpha male. But, if there’s rescuing to be done, she’s fully capable.
My stories will always have a happy ending. Otherwise, what’s the point?
I believe good things can come at any time! And if you’re willing to wait until late winter/early spring, I’d love to send you a freebie of my story collection when it’s out! Sign up on my new—as in HITTING-THE-LIVE-BUTTON on 12.30.21 (TODAY!)—website newsletter list. The Mailing List link is on my Contact page. Mention Delilah or Cowboys, and I will send you a book in 2022! Find the link here: Izzyarcher.com
Cafe Paris is for Lovers
SNEAK PEEK from short story, Prêt-à-porter (Ready to Wear) inside Cafe Paris is for Lovers…
Caroline, in Paris for Fashion Week, meets her longtime lover at a café in Le Marais, where he has arranged a special lunch for her…
Caroline wove her way through the outdoor seating of tiny marble-topped tables and caned-back chairs to the inside warmth of the cafe. She inhaled the smell of fresh bread and dark roasted coffee.
“Jean Claude, you waited for me.”
“Caroline, pas du problem. I’d wait a thousand years for you.” Jean Claude stood immediately and discarded the paper on the chair. He kissed her on each cheek, Parisian-style, right-left-right, and then they embraced. Tight at first, like old friends. When his hand lingered around her waist, his lips grazing her neck, Caroline smiled to herself. Only a tourist would think we were just friends.
About the Author
Izzy Archer writes erotic romance with a pen in one hand and a glass of Casamigos Reposado in the other. On the rocks, with a twist of lime. She has a fondness for both cowboys and cowboy boots. Not always in that order. Find out more about Izzy at IzzyArcher.com!
SILVER SOLDIERS: A BOYS BEHAVING BADLY ANTHOLOGY
Editor: Delilah Devlin
Deadline: March 15, 2022
SILVER SOLDIERS is open to all authors.
Editor/Author Delilah Devlin is looking for stories for a romantic erotica anthology tentatively entitled SILVER SOLDIERS: A BOYS BEHAVING BADLY ANTHOLOGY.
Why write a short story for this collection? Well, it’s certainly not about making a lot of money, so why do it at all? I’ve said this before, but here are my thoughts…
Writing a short story for a call for submissions is a chance to flex your writing muscle! It can be a chance to experiment with a genre you’ve never written. If you’ve never written a story in first person but don’t want to begin by writing an entire novel using it, start short! For myself, I’ve written stories in new genres or with fresh themes that ended up being so much fun to write they’ve spawned entire series.
You have a deadline! I don’t know about you, but I have trouble keeping my butt in the chair without one!
It’s a promotional opportunity! If selected, you’ll be joined by 12-15 other authors for the launch, sharing your audiences and, hopefully, picking up new readers along the way. Having your story in the collection is another chance to be “seen.”
And remember, you retain the rights to your story, so you can republish it for individual sale or give it away to attract subscribers to your newsletter. You might even decide there’s more story to tell and expand your short story into a novel.
Here’s what I’m looking for…
SILVER SOLDIERS: A BOYS BEHAVING BADLY ANTHOLOGY will include stories that satisfy the reader who craves stories with older alpha male heroes. Those salt-and-pepper hotties with crow’s feet earned through rugged training and years of combat. Former soldiers finding their footing after their first careers, or current soldiers nearing the end of their military careers. They’re ready to find the right partner to put down roots, ones who aren’t afraid of scars and rough edges.
SILVER SOLDIERS will seek stories with varied settings here on earth, grounded in reality, or soldiers who might be something a bit more than human—supernatural creatures, or even aliens and cyborgs. The only requirement is that these soldiers understand loyalty, allegiance, and real courage.
I’m open to any subgenre of erotic romance you want to write. I’ll accept contemporary, historical, science fiction, or paranormal stories, and I won’t be picky about whether the stories are hetero, LGBT, ménage… Basically, you, the author, can go anywhere your imagination takes you so long as 1) the story is a romance, and 2) you have a bad boy somewhere in the pages!
The anthology will be sold at a low price—my intent is exposure for you and your writing. The more readers reached, the better! You will retain the rights to your story so that, at a later date, you can republish your stories individually.
I’m seeking hot and inventive stories from authors with unique voices, and above all, I’m looking to be seduced by tales filled with vivid imagery and passion.
Published authors with an established world may use that setting for their original short story.
This is erotic romance, so don’t hold back on the heat. Stories can be vanilla or filled with kink, but don’t miss describing the romantic connection between strong-willed individuals learning to trust and love one another. A deep sensuality should linger in every word. Keep in mind there must be a romantic element with a happy-for-now or happy-ever-after ending. Strong plots, engaging characters, and unique twists are the ultimate goal. Please no reprints. I want original stories.
How to submit: Prepare your 2,500 to 5,500 words story in a double-spaced, Arial, 12-point, black font, Word document (.doc or .docx) OR rich text format (.rtf), with pages numbered. Indent the first line of each paragraph half an inch, and double space (regular double spacing; do not add extra lines between paragraphs or do any other irregular spacing). U.S. grammar (double quotation marks around dialogue, etc.) is required.
In your document at the top left of the first page, include your legal name (and pseudonym, if applicable), mailing address, email address, and a 50-words or less biography, written in the third person, and send to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are using a pseudonym, please provide your real name and pseudonym and make it clear which one you’d like to be credited as. Authors may submit up to 2 stories. I will try to respond no later than May 30, 2022 with decisions.
Payment will be $25.00 USD, ninety days after publication at the end of that month.
Who is Delilah Devlin?
Delilah Devlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of romance and erotic romance. She has published nearly two hundred stories in multiple genres and lengths and has been published by Atria/Strebor, Avon, Berkley, Black Lace, Cleis Press, Ellora’s Cave, Entangled, Grand Central, Harlequin Spice, HarperCollins: Mischief, Kensington, Kindle, Montlake, Penthouse, Running Press, and Samhain Publishing.
Her short stories have appeared in multiple Cleis Press collections, including Lesbian Cowboys, Girl Crush, Fairy Tale Lust, Lesbian Lust, Passion, Lesbian Cops, Dream Lover, Carnal Machines, Best Erotic Romance (2012), Suite Encounters, Girl Fever, Girls Who Score, Duty and Desire, Best Lesbian Romance of 2013, and On Fire. For Cleis Press, she edited Girls Who Bite, She Shifters, Cowboy Lust, Smokin’ Hot Firemen, High Octane Heroes, Cowboy Heat, Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors and Sex Objects.
She has also edited Conquests: An Anthology of Smoldering Viking Romance, Rogues: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, Blue Collar: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, Pirates: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, Stranded: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, First Response: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, and Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology.
Direct any questions you have regarding your story or the submission process to Delilah at email@example.com.
Between two evils, I like to pick the one I haven’t tried before. ~Mae West
I’m a film buff. I’ll admit it. And I love old classic movies. My absolute favorite black and white movies are Harvey with Jimmy Stewart and Arsenic and Old Lace with Cary Grant. I don’t watch as many these days because the family surrounding me doesn’t get black and white. If there aren’t explosions and superheroes, and dazzling color, what’s the point?
I included the quote above because Mae West was always a treat on the screen. How she got away with some of the things she said back in the day of strict censorship I’ll never know. She was witty, sexy, and her one-liners still slay.
Anyway, Mae West isn’t why I’m here. I got sidetracked.
The other day, I asked you to vote on your favorite themes for a future Boys Behaving Badly Anthology. I’ll admit, I had my favorite. I thought for sure it would be number one. Also, the times I’ve mentioned my theme to authors, they were very excited to write something for it. However, your choices have me rethinking. Not only do I need to appeal to readers but I also have to attract writers to the project.
So, vote one more time to help me decide. I’m not saying I’ll choose your idea in the end. I have to love the idea, too. However, your choices do influence. And here’s a challenge for you! I put two themes together in a couple of those choices because they looked interesting to me…
(1) Vote for your favorite theme, then (2) offer an idea for a title for the book for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card! The previous titles have been Rogues, Blue Collar, Pirates, Stranded, First Response, and Cowboys. So shorter titles are preferred!
Narrowing it down... Which themes appeal to you the most for the next Boys Behaving Badly Anthology? Choose only one!
Silver Foxes/Military Heroes (40%, 8 Votes)
Silver Foxes (30%, 6 Votes)
Military Heroes (20%, 4 Votes)
Military Heroes/Winter Holiday Stories (10%, 2 Votes)
So, yes, we’re still talking about Cowboys: A Boys Behaving Badly Anthology, and next week, we’ll start a new round of contests and discussion about the authors and their stories over on the Collections website (which reminds me I need to head over there tonight and close out some contests—hint!), but I’d like to begin thinking about what’s next because these volumes take time to put together. The first big decision is the theme for the book. As you can see below, we’ve had some fun themes!
Put your thinking hats on! Offer some suggestions for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!
I’ve been thinking maybe a holiday-themed Boys short story antho would be fun, but there’s also, Military Heroes, Real Men (lumberjacks, construction workers, etc.), Silver Foxes, Royalty, Paranormal Heroes, Aliens, etc. Let me know if any of these pique your interest or if there’s something else you’re dying for me to feature. I’ll collect your ideas then come back with a poll! Have fun with this!
Fan fiction may be the black sheep of the media world, but to me, it’s a fabulous feast of never-ending possibilities. But sometimes, I’ll see commenters post that something “read like fan fiction” and frown at my phone.
Because, to me, “reads like fan fiction” is an amazing compliment.
If you’re not familiar, fan fiction, fanfic, or even just “fic”, is fiction written by fans—of a movie, TV series, book, artist, musician, or other property—about the thing they’re a fan of. Fan art totally counts, too. They’re considered transformative works, and the writers and artists do it for free, for the love of the fandom they’re a part of.
Note: Everyone has their opinions on the legality or legitimacy of fanfic, and I’m not going to get into any of that, so I’m gonna leave this hereand here.
I doubt there’s a fic author out there who hasn’t heard some variation of: “If you want to write so badly, why not write something original and not waste your time on…that.”
It’s not like it’s a new idea. Take the relationship between the Renaissance and the Bible—all that art, all those plays, poems, and stories are pure fanfic.
As a kid, I used to make up stories and spent a huge amount of time in other peoples’ worlds through reading. There weren’t a lot of other children in my neighborhood, but my imagination was a constant companion. One of my elementary school teachers had faith in me, and she helped me actually write some of these stories down.
I’m sure they’re languishing somewhere in storage at my parents’ house, which means I’m seconds away from getting a text saying they’ve been found and they’re in the mail.
As I continued my education, I took a creative writing course in high school and enjoyed my English classes, but in what felt like a nanosecond, I was in college. After graduating, I did everything from insurance to finance to sales. All that time, a starving creature vaguely resembling a blank Word document whispered inside me, begging to be fed. I barely heard it over the sound of life.
When the workday was over I had plenty of time on my hands, which translated to plenty of time spent reading books, or doing late 2000s things online. Soon I was hunting for something new to read. By chance, I discovered the YA book series Twilight.
The story was exactly what I needed to read at the time, and I finished the books as fast as Edward running back to Bella’s house to watch her sleep.
I don’t remember exactly how it happened, and I’m sure wine was involved, but I ended up on fanfiction.net (if you know, you know) and…
It was glorious. I started reading Twilight fanfic, and a lot of it was…really good.
And really creative.
And in some cases, better written than a lot of actual published books.
Even if they weren’t, that’s irrelevant—the authors wrote, and they had fun, and they entertained. Which, let’s be honest, is what any writer should be doing—having fun doing what they do, and entertaining others.
These fans of the series—whether they were trying to fix something they didn’t like about the books, pay homage to what was written already, extrapolate what might happen after the series, or take the characters on their own journeys—were engaged and playing in the Twilight sandbox.
And I wanted to play, too.
For the first time in literal years, I wanted to write again. But where to start? And damn, was I rusty. So I started small, writing short stories and posting them. To my simultaneous horror and delight, people read them and commented. Readers were encouraging. The nervous knot in my stomach relaxed a tad, and I tried my hand at writing something longer, with multiple chapters, and an actual plot. I was hooked.
Most fanfic and blogging sites allow commenting and “liking” in some way, so I was able to get practically instant feedback on my work. I worked with beta readers, and readers and other writers who had more editing knowledge than I did at the time. I read my fair share of fic too, seeing what I enjoyed in a story, what was working and what wasn’t in the narrative. How other authors described things, wove a plot, captured my interest.
Was that first longer story I wrote well-written?
I’ve looked at it since, and while it’s not the worst, it’s far from the best, and certainly not the best I’ve produced. How do I know? Because, with all the writing with training wheels on, I wobbled around, fell and skinned my knees, and, eventually, got my balance, flying down that hill with the wind in my hair and bugs in my teeth.
Genre expectations, characterization, plotting, story beats, description…all of this, and more, was a real-life learning experience I couldn’t have gotten in a classroom.
But the best part was the community, the fandom. Fandoms often get side-eyed for toxic environments, but that’s the internet all over. My experiences with the community were mostly supportive and uplifting. Late-night forum chats with readers and other writers about a plot bunny that won’t leave you alone and encouragement to write it ASAP; a request for a quick beta from a reader you trust before you post something; collaborations with fandom friends who had graphic design experience to make a banner or art for your story. And the friendships, many of which I still have today.
One of the coolest things has been watching fandom friends publish “for real”. I’ve seen lists of authors—many now award-winning, or NYT bestsellers—for signings at conferences or conventions and grinned at the number of names I recognized from fandom.
What makes fic so unique? The writers are willing to take risks, chances, write something you may have never seen or read before. For example, if you’re a fan of A/B/O (Alpha/Beta/Omega dynamics)—surprise! It started as a fanfic trope.
Fic writers often are great at taking the reader on an emotional rollercoaster. The kind that you can’t stop thinking about, that haunts your brain for days after you finish reading. Some fic I’ve read has stayed with me longer than many traditionally published works. And the representation—a lot of fic is populated with characters whose representation has been overall lacking in media: LGBTQIA+, characters of color, characters of different nationalities, disabilities, religions.
I still read fanfic, though and I haven’t written anything fic-wise in a long time. Perhaps it’s time to get back on that horse again, write something for fun when the creative juices aren’t flowing on my personal IRL projects. Play in another sandbox. But even if I never write another word of fanfic, it’s taught me so much about my own abilities, and what I’m capable of as a writer.
Reading fan fiction and writing it gave me the spark I needed to get back to writing, something that feeds my soul. And I hope I’m lucky enough to write something that inspires someone to write—fic or not—too.
Your favorite author may very well have gotten their start writing fanfic. Maybe they still do. So, when something “reads like fan fiction”, it’s high praise. And don’t let anybody tell you different.
I’m curious: Do you currently or have you ever read fan fiction? Written it? Drawn fan art? And what fandom(s) are you a part of?
P.S. If you want to get into reading or writing/posting fanfic, my advice is to start with Archive of Our Own (AO3). The interface is great, and the tagging system makes finding what you’re looking for much easier than the wild west sites of ye olden times.
Ryley Banks writes award-winning bestselling sexy romance between the covers, mostly of the LGBTQ+ variety. She’s a connoisseur of tea and gin and loves language, especially creative profanity. When she’s not begging her characters to behave or reading fan fiction, you can find Ryley at: https://ryleybanks.com/
We (all 15 authors!) are very proud of this edition! Click on the cover above to read more about the stories in this anthology. They’re all spicy and fun and all feature cowboys—whether riding a horse in Texas or wrangling space creatures. We set the price low, not because we didn’t think people would be willing to pay a higher price, but because we want to share it with as many people as we can. There will be a print edition very soon. So, get your copy! The eBook costs less than a cup of coffee—even the straight, unflavored cup!Remember, I have a short story in this volume, too! One related to my Cowboys on the Edge series…
Also, please visit the Collections website for the next wee while. Starting tomorrow, the authors will be sharing photos that depict an aspect of their stories, plus, there will be contests!
And reviews are always much, much appreciated! ~ DD
On Tuesday, a brand new “collection” arrives! Have you pre-ordered your copy? It’s 72,000 words of sexy goodness—all centered around COWBOYS—and it’s just $0.99!!! The authors are eager to share their stories, and we have some fun planned for the release. There will be contests; authors will be sharing snippets from their stories; and did I say contests? Where? Over at my Collections website. Go check it out now! While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!
You can check out the first five of my Boys Behaving Badly collections by clicking on the covers. And yes, they are all just $0.99—not because they’re not worth the full price, but because the authors of these stories want as many people as possible to devour their stories! They’re a great deal and great way to find new-to-you authors!
Comment for a chance to win the download of your choice of
one these anthologies! There will be three winners!