Thank you, Bailey for welcoming me to your blog today. I’m delighted to introduce my new novel, Little Rainbows, to you and your readers and I hope you’ll enjoy my thoughts on writing about couples in various gender combinations.
A lot of authors – I’m tempted to say most but since I don’t have any statistics to prove that I’ll stick to ‘a lot’ – appear to write in one spectrum of the romance genre exclusively. And, before I continue with this post, I’d like to say there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Over the past eighteen months or so, I’ve discovered I’m an equal opportunity romanticist. The couples I write are the couples who take up residence in my head and won’t shut up until I’ve told their story. Not long after I finished the first draft for Little Rainbows, I started a novella together with another author. The characters in Strangers in the Night (which is also released this month) are both male. The story I recently submitted to Totally Bound Publishing features two men while the novella I want to write next features a male/female pairing.
About a year ago I worried about whether or not I should use a different pen name for the different subgenres. In the end I decided against that course of action. Both stories were being assessed by (different) publishers but had been submitted under the same name; it seemed a bit late in the day to change my mind. Furthermore, and in my mind far more importantly, I’m a firm believer that love is love regardless of the gender of the people involved. I couldn’t escape the feeling that using a different name for different subgenres would somehow indicate that I saw a difference between them. I’ve decided I do not want to make that distinction.
Just as there are writers who write exclusively in one (sub)genre, there are readers who stick to one or the other. Having the name Helena Stone on the covers of both could, in theory, confuse some readers. I like to think most readers are far too intelligent to be so easily confused. It is up to me to ensure my covers and my blurbs make it perfectly clear what the book is about and who the characters in the story are, so that potential buyers of my books won’t have a doubt what they are getting their hands on.
Little Rainbows includes one scene featuring two men. The resort in this book is the only one of its kind in Ireland and I couldn’t imagine it not catering to all possible combinations of male and female. My writing, present and future, will be as inclusive as The Blowhole is in Little Rainbows. In this day and age that shouldn’t be an issue.
Title: Little Rainbows
Author: Helena Stone
Genre: BDSM, Contemporary
General Release Date: 20th March
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Available on Early Download on the 20th Feb
Heat Rating: Burning
Book Length: Super Novel
Blurb for Little Rainbows:
When Jason Hudson and Heather Staunton first meet they are young and sure they are wrong for each other. As a result they spend a summer admiring each other from a safe distance.
Twenty years later Heather is coming out of mourning, having lost her husband and Dom eighteen months earlier. Jason, now the owner of an exclusive sex resort on the west coast of Ireland, struggles with the loss of his desire to dominate.
Jason’s resort is about to celebrate its first anniversary and party planner Heather has been hired to create the perfect celebration. Their reunion comes as a big surprise to both of them.
Old and familiar attraction, battles with new and conflicting emotions as Jason and Heather work together to organize the ultimate BDSM event. Overcoming the issues between them isn’t the only obstacle Jason and Heather face. In the background lurks a threat both to Heather’s independence and Jason’s livelihood.
The ballroom wasn’t quite as grand as the name made it sound. It was impressive though. Dim lighting gave the long, wide space an intimate atmosphere, in stark contrast to the bright and airy impression it made during the day when natural light streamed in through the many, large windows. Now, the only bright lights were aimed at the stage and the four-piece band. Heather took a moment to watch the musicians. She liked the double bass, not something you usually saw accompanying a keyboard, drums and guitar. It worked better than she would have expected. The bass gave the music a richer, fuller sound. When the band broke into Fly Me to the Moon, shivers ran down her spine. Boy, the man could sing.
“This is wonderful, Jason. You’re right. They are good.”
She leant closer into him, loving the feeling of his arms around her. She felt safe and wanted. When he pushed her to the dance floor and turned her so she faced him, she smiled and was delighted to see her happiness returned.
“They’re a local band. They play here once a week and are always a success.”
He clearly wasn’t exaggerating. The dance floor was busy, despite the relatively early hour. His arm came around her and pulled her close. She reached up and put one hand on his neck, just below his hair, enjoying the feel of it tickling her skin. She placed her other hand on his chest, and cherished his steady heartbeat underneath her palm.
He was a good dancer. She could have been floating across the floor. She got lost in the music, Jason’s presence and the pressure of his hand on her lower back. Her body responded when he pressed her tighter into him. Just being close, even without any intimate touches, was enough. She smiled as she realised it was quite possible he could feel her nipples harden against his chest. Just as she could feel his cock growing against her belly.
“This is just what I needed.”
Heather smiled up at his face. His brown eyes were focused on her and filled with more emotions than she could possibly name. The lust she detected didn’t surprise her since she could feel his body’s response to her growing harder. But there was more. The worry still wasn’t completely gone although it did appear to be battling with—she wasn’t quite sure what to call it—satisfaction, maybe?
“You feel good in my arms, beautiful.”
His smile, at least, was relaxed. And his mouth was oh so hot and soft when it pressed down on hers. She pressed back, wanting more, needing to be closer, and welcomed his tongue when it slipped between her lips.
The music played and they moved around with their lips glued together. She couldn’t get enough of the taste of him, his smell or his strong body swallowing her smaller one. One song turned into another, creating a medley for their coming together, a soundtrack to her reawakening.
The realisation that she could stay here forever came as a shock. In his arms, floating through a room surrounded by people who were little more than a vaguely outlined background, she felt safe. She wanted to press closer still, except there was no space left between them. She’d crawl into him if she could. The feeling scared as much as it delighted and she refused to investigate those reactions. She would enjoy this evening, this feeling, this sense of coming back alive. Everything else could wait.
Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.
The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.
Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.
Helena Stone can be found in the following places:
Totally Bound: https://www.totallybound.com/little-rainbows