Friday, December 28, 2012

The First Kiss Blueprint in Yaoi ran this quote on Facebook the other day:

“The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender; because this kiss already has within it that surrender.”
― Emil Ludwig

This is an awesome quote, especially where yaoi is concerned. Every Fujoshi anticipates that first kiss between Seme and uke. For me, that kiss is even more important than the first time they have actual sex. Ludwig's reasons are my own for this obsession with the initial lip lock. That kiss does tell me a lot about how the relationship will unfold through the rest of the manga or anime. This works for yaoi novels as well. A kiss is a far more personal act than a sex act. Perhaps because it is more eye to eye. I'm not sure why, but many professional sex workers deem the kiss as something so special that it is not a part of the paid act. Kissing isn't necessary to get a client off. That act can be 'saved' for people who mean something more.

For example, in Junjou Romantica, Usagi-san had already gotten Misaki off with his hand before any kiss happens. He didn't kiss the young man until Misaki tried to comfort him after a devastating loss. That kiss is long, open mouthed and quite intimate. Their bodies are completely flush. Usagi-san's kiss is overwhelming to Misaki that first time just as their relationship and their lovemaking tends to overwhelm him. During that kiss, Misaki surrenders himself at the same time he is comforting Usagi-san. And that is how their relationship unfolds. Everything about the dynamic between those characters – including the humor – is in that kiss. Misaki isn't shouting at Usagi-san at that moment, but he had been a few seconds earlier. Everything between them is there.

The first kiss looms largely in my erotica. The kiss reflects how the characters will make love and how the dynamic between them will work. For example, there is the first kiss in A Soldier's Choice.

“I didn’t think your eyes could get any darker,” he whispered, swallowing hard.
“You’ve watched my eyes, Vincent?” I whispered in return as I stepped closer to him.
“How else would I know how much trouble I was in back then?”
I smiled at him. “How much trouble are you in now?”
He tried to glare at me. “I’m the rookie here. Will you just do something?”
“So much for my carefully planned seduction,” I sighed stepping almost flush with him.
“Dammit, Rik...”
I took his mouth then. I’d always wanted to shut him up mid-tirade, but I’d never dreamed it would be while claiming such a delicious kiss. That sauce with the wine was really nice on his tongue. His mouth was hot and sweet. His lips trembled with the newness of the kiss just before he opened for my tongue. I wondered if this was his first.
I hoisted him up on the counter so that he was above my head. Vincent deepened the kiss as I undid his ponytail and sank my fingers into that thick, silken mass. Hardcase may have been a rookie in this, but he was always a lightning fast study. He was ravaging my mouth with that deadly tongue and weakening my knees by the time the rice cooker clicked off.
Vincent tore his lips from mine, but I had him by that glorious mane of hair. He wasn’t getting far. Those hooded amber eyes met mine as we panted at each other.
“Supper’s ready,” Vincent rasped.
Lord, I didn’t want to let him go, but I did. Patience was something I always harped on when Vincent was in my squad. I couldn’t give in to the intense wave of lust washing over me. I reluctantly released his hair then set him on his feet. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. I wanted to grab him again; he looked so beautiful in that aroused state.

Rik kisses his subordinate mid-tirade. Tirades were and are a frequent form of communication between them. Rik is very pleased at finding a very satisfying way to end one. Initially, Rik dominates the kiss, but soon Vincent is asserting himself and taking what he lusts for. The kiss becomes a duel for dominance that is a hallmark of their love life. The only difference in the first kiss is that it is Vincent's very first. He is less sure of himself then than during the kisses that follow. However, that uncertainty does not stop him from fighting for control. And that is a huge feature of his relationship with Vincent.

In Ensnared, the first kiss comes after Andreas gives himself to Darius as a sex slave for a year. They had done nothing more than dance together before this:

“Relax, Andreas,” a voice said from behind him.
Andreas put his hands down and removed his helmet. Darius was walking toward him with the air of a man in full command of a situation. His beautifully long, silken hair gently stirred in the breeze. His eyes were covered by sunglasses, making his face look cold. Andreas wondered if he should be worried as he came very close. Somehow, he found the courage to get off the bike and face him.
“What happens now?” Andreas asked, trying not to tremble.
Darius removed his sunglasses and gazed intently at Andreas.
“I will offer you my protection in my home while this contract on you is investigated,” Darius replied. “It is obvious that the only way you will be completely safe is in my custody.”
“I can't argue with that,” Andreas said. “But what do you want in exchange for this protection? I don't have very much.”
Darius smiled at him. It was a beautifully predatory smile that sent a chill down his spine.
“I want you, Andreas. Wasn't that clear the other night?”
“You want a lover?”
Darius shook his head. The smile, like his eyes, grew hotter.
“We will be lovers, but that isn't enough for me, exquisite Andreas,” he said softly. “I want you to be my Dami. I want to own your body, mind and will for at least a year.”
Andreas felt like the ground dropped from beneath his feet. His body was reacting even as his mind was rebelling. He wanted Darius like he'd never wanted anyone before, but could he give himself so completely to someone he barely knew? Could he risk turning him down? What would he become if he accepted?
“Trust me, Andreas, and submit to me completely. Now.”
That voice made him hard and weakened everything that was trying to fight this. His final thought before he spoke was that Viktor would never let him hear the end of it.
“Yes, Darius,” Andreas said softly as he met the Cosi's gaze. “I will be your Dami. I submit.”
“Good,” he murmured, taking Andreas by the hand.
They threaded their way through the vehicles until they could see the would-be hit squad. They were quite safe as the Cosi security team outgunned them and were on a hair trigger for any movement. Andreas couldn't believe that they remained with all that firepower and the police still there. How much were these guys being paid or what were they facing if they failed? The security shield dropped.
“Attention,” Darius said in a booming and commanding voice. “Andreas Hesper is under my protection from now hence. He is my property and as such, you will have to take on the Cosi and me to get to him.”
Andreas inhaled sharply causing Darius to turn toward him. The Cosi's eyes were hot as he dropped Andreas' hand to grab him by the hair at the back of his head. Finally, those full, firm lips were on his. Then, that tongue was pushing inside his mouth, claiming him more forcefully than words could. The kiss was voracious and demanding. Andreas responded even as his knees weakened and he sagged against the larger man. Darius lifted his head and smiled down at him.
“Yes, Andreas. You are mine,” he murmured.

This kiss is the blueprint for everything intimate between this Seme and this uke. Darius is demanding and possessive from that point hence. Andreas always buckles under the heat and intensity of his kiss. His knees buckle even faster once he has known Darius as a lover. His submission becomes more and more complete with each surrender. And it all begins with that first kiss.

Okay, I need to go watch or read or watch some yaoi now. Links to longer excerpts can be found in the menu on the left. Links on where to purchase the print and ebook versions are there as well.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Preview

Like everyone else, I'm running around like a crazy person. So, No blog until mid-week. But there will be another animated card and some special treats on or about Christmas day. Thanks for your patience. Oh, and a reminder. All my yaoi titles are being featured at All Romace Ebooks for only $1 a title! The sale lasts until 12/31/ Go to:

Treat yourself as a reward for all that holiday hard work! Remember to check back for the card and the blog!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bent-con Wrap Up & Manga Review

Bent-con (it's like Comic Con – only gayer) was bigger and better than last year. I only got to see one day, and it was still jam packed with fun. There were even more booths with indie comics, film and book vendors. And there were really cool panels that go behind the scenes in all these geek oriented, creative industries. It took a little longer to have long, drawn out conversations with these great vendors, but it was still possible to do so. Do you want to find work as an artist? There were people to hook up with. Do you want to know how to get your own book published? There were people to answer that. There were even people who could talk to you about where to pitch that screenplay. For Fujoshi, there were lots of beautiful artwork of any type of male beauty (from lithe young bodies to the biggest bears) in all states of undress everywhere! There was even a stage with beautiful men to draw. They weren't as naked as the art that was available for sale, but they were very pleasant to see nonetheless.

My goal for this year's convention was to introduce gays and lesbians to Yaoi. I had a couple of encounters with both groups during this year's Yaoicon. I was a bit taken aback by a pair of gay men who had come to Long Beach to check out the convention dismissing Yaoi as fetish based porn. Meanwhile, the lesbians who spoke to us were puzzled over other lesbians who were obsessed with the genre. I wasn't sure if I could disuade the one opion or explain the obsession, but I was certain that I could talk about the evolving nature of yaoi and the direction I felt the genre was heading. To that end, I ran a panel called Yaoi 101 where I covered the initial types of yaoi were stories with no plot or point (the original definition of the word) to manga and anime series like Junjou Romantica that had complex character arcs and were increasingly dealing with the realities faced by gay men in Japanes society. Ironically, shortly before the convention it was announced that Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai, the spinoff to Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi, was going to have it's own anime series . This series deals with a homosexual relationship between co-workers. One of them is a widower with a young daughter. These mangas and animes have had the best character arcs and the highest emotional and professional stakes ever seen in yaoi. They are proving to be very popular with a growing audience. By fortunate happenstance, I spoke after a panel run by Lyn Jensen on the early history of yaoi. The genre was well represented.

Women Make Queer Genre was my other panel and one that I was blessed to moderate for a second time. Pioneer indie comic artist, Wendy Pini, and Iconic TV show writer and producer, Jane Espenson, were the speakers once again. They talked about how they came to write gay characters in their work and the kind of reception that departure from the mainstream attracted. Jane Espenson had been trying to write a gay character on Battlestar Galactica since her arrival on the writing staff. Finally, she was able to reveal that Felix Gaeta was gay in literally the final scenes shot of the series. “If not now, when?” she had argued. Ironically, the grief she got over writing a gay character was for taking so long to do it. Wendy Pini has already written an epic gay romance that takes place in a world where sexual orientation was a non-issue. Wendy Pini's Masque of the Red Death presents powerful and comples characters who just happen to be gay. Still, Jane's statement gave her pause about Elfquest, the legendary indie comic series that she created with her husband, Richard Pini. In the wake of that panel Wendy decided to write a same sex romance for the current series that 'will have a lot of drama but will also have a happy ending.' This already compelling panel broke major news on the US comic scene!

You can see more of my Bent-con photos here:

I can't wait to see what next year's Bent-con brings! I hope to see a lot more Yaoi fans. This convention really appreciates all that is Bishonen, and it really loves Cosplay! 

Manga Review: Hoshi no Yakata or Palace of the Stars by Tori Maia

This manga was highly recommended by some attendees at my panel on BDSM at Yaoi-con. I was complaining mightily about how badly the BDSM lifestyle is done in most yaoi. These attendees promised me that I would really like it and that it was amazing. That is a tall order to fill with me. And this is not just because I'm snarky or prone to nit picking. I understand that this is fiction. I get that works like these are meant to be looked on as fantasy. My experience has been different.

Because I talk publicly about being a Dominatrix, I hear from a lot of people who seem to have trouble separating fact from fantasy. And these aren't just net friends. I have personal acquaintances who think that the writings of the Marquis Du Sade were an instructional manual! For the record, they were fictional work that brutally satirized the social mores of that time. I've had to advise many a reader that they might not want to jump into a hard core S&M scene with someone that they barely know from the internet. I nearly ended a friendship with a long time friend that I knew was not interested in being anyone's sub, because he insisted that there was some way that he could be comfortable with those scenes. The woman in question was smoking hot. He did not find a way to be comfortable, but he didn't stop until he ended up in the ER. I cannot give bad BDSM a pass because it's fiction.

Hoshi no Yakata is an anthology series that centers around the employees and clients of an upscale BDSM brothel. Overall, I found the first volume interesting. I disagree with the negative reviews that claim there are no pots and no characters. That is not fair and not true. It may be hard to notice the characters in the middle of all those whips and chains and many dildos of ever size and shape. I do wonder why they used that many dildos when everyone is male. But I digress. I'll get back to why the dildos are a problem later.

The first story, Kneel Down and Kiss my Boots, was an impressive start. In it, the Number One Dom is startled to realize that he has fallen in love with a client and that that love is not returned. During their last session together, the Dom cannot help but give some much needed advice to the client to pass along to his lover on how to play hard in scenes without causing injury. The scene was really hot. There was a nice character arc for the Dom, and the information was quite good. Things go down hill rapidly after that for me. There is the mysterious Master encouraging a trainee Dom to kill his boyfriend, so that he could be a great employee. Really?! If he can kill a man he professes to love, why is it not likely that he will kill a client who is simply annoying? What kind of business model is that?

After the brilliant information in the first story, we move on to making Dom's available as subs at a special price from special clients. NO!! Doms may do that in their personal lives with their lovers, but that is a bad idea for a pro. What if I'm a client of that Dom who I view as the pinnacle of power – the only one who could take me down, and I see said Dom crawling by on a leash held by someone who looks like a child (I'll get into that later)? That would be my last visit to that bordello. And as I am really vexed by that plot, I get the Master himself being drugged by his Number One (BAD) and being worked over by their most submissive of subs (WORSE). To have such a strong beginning followed by these egregious transgressions was jarring. It became difficult for me to read through to the end of the volume.

These are not nits. Let's look at this as a business. Even high end bordellos that are allegedly above the law will not cross any line that will endanger their guests or their employees. Drugs would be verboten. Using them on the boss would get an employee fired at the least. They may get beaten to death by a guy who encourages employees to snuff their boyfriends. And then we have clients and employees that look like children. That is incredibly dangerous for a place that trades in discretion. One disgruntled client or employee could bring down authorities on a place that has children about. I'm painfully aware that the drugging of sex partners and shota and incest are a part of yaoi (oh, I forgot to mention that there was incest in one of the scenes). That doesn't mean that it isn't lazy writing.

Now, in the category of nit picking, there is the look of the characters. This is beyond Bishonen. I really couldn't tell that they were men or girls for the most part. That took me out of the pleasure, because I like to look at males that are pretty but very clearly males. And then there is the constantly being in fetish gear even in off hours. Real pros don't do that. They need to get out of their 'Dom space' or 'sub space' every so often for their own sanity. And I think a reader can tell who the Doms are even in civvies on in nothing at all. It's in the way they stand or their expression. I had a server at a bar on his knees when I was in frumpy clothes fresh from the farmers market. I even had a little push cart of vegetables. I raised a brow at him rather than reaching for my martini. He got on his knees to bring the glass closer – as he should have.

I'm not sure if I'll read all five volumes. I'll have to be persuaded that the other stories are more like the first.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Preaching Yaoi at Bent-con and New Book Review

I'll be at Bent-con  next weekend. I have three panels, so far. One of them is a repeat of the panel I did at this year's Yaoicon on localizing manga for the Digital Manga Guild (DMG). It's a fun panel about the process of translating, editing and lettering a manga goes through before it's released in the US. There is a lot of controversy on the internet about the guild and how its workers are treated. There is also some debate about DMG titles and how much the original mangaka have to do with it. I take on all of those issues. In the end, I hope to attract talented people who love manga into joining the Guild.

The other panel is Yaoi 101 and It's Impact on Japanese Pop Culture. That's a long and lofty title for what will likely be one really naughty panel. I've got lots of bishie images and even some video clips. This panel will introduce yoai and its history to a room full of gay men who look at the genre sideways. I'll also discuss how it has evolved from its 'plot what plot' origins and how it is having a real impact on pop culture in Japan. I will have lots of snippets of the rampant fanservice offered in current anime. It will be a fun panel that is also quite flame war worthy. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have found it interesting. I'll share all the images and snippets I use in the blog next week. If any of my gentle readers are in town, come on by. It's a very cool convention with a lot of great guests. Check it out on the web page.

Book Review
Saying Goodbye at Ocean Isle  by Kimberly Hunter

What would you do if you lost the love of your life?
What would you do when you finally had to let them go?
And what would you do if you were given a second chance at love?
For Laine Abernathy and Sean Pike, losing their lovers in tragic accidents was devastating. But over a year later, Laine has realized that holding on to the past is futile. Sean’s not ready yet to say goodbye. Deep inside, he knows he should. Unfortunately, the mind is willing but the heart isn’t.
Through grief and sadness, the two form a bond that develops into much more over the course of a month long stay at Ocean Isle Beach.
Then a night of passion sends Sean running. Thinking he’d pushed too hard, Laine returns to his life, disappointed and down. He’d shared something with Sean he never thought to have again.
Three months later, Laine receives a text. “Meet me at Ocean Isle. Need to say goodbye.”
Is his chance for happiness gone before it even begins? Or will two broken hearts finally be mended? There’s only one way to find out...

I must confess that I read this book with grave misgivings. I'm not one for romantic tragedy. I don't read for catharsis. After I've had that 'good cry,' I end up ticked off for being made to cry. However, Saying Goodbye at Ocean Isle is far more complex than the typical tear jerker and more brave. This book looks at what happens after a perfect union of soul mates is brutally ended when the survivor has to choose whether to go on with life or follow into death. Kimberly Hunter manages to take on a potentially depressing topic with a deft touch. She manages to economically render and fully realize two very different couples complete with family histories early in the book. Blaine and Sean's love stories with their partners are miraculous. The loss of their life mates is incredibly poignant and painful. It's hard to believe that either man is willing or able to really move on. That journey is intense and wrought with suspense and really, really hot. Talk about sexual tension! As a reader, I felt guilty about the lusty thoughts about men who've endured such tragedy. Not that those feelings kept me from wanting to read more. That conflict was nerve wracking. And then there was the question of whether the intense, mutual longing would be acted upon. Would either man be able to grab that second chance at real happiness? Saying Goodbye at Ocean Isle is an amazing ride that manages a great deal of moving and exciting drama in a very short span. And that was a good thing. I don't think I could have survived a longer roller coaster ride.

Next week – The Con report and a Manga review!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Joys and Terror of an Insane Seme

I've blogged a lot about the possessive Seme and a bit on Seme on Seme relationships, but there is a Seme I really adore but don't see too often that I'd like to talk about today. The Insane Seme has all of the characteristics of the typical Seme – gorgeous, strong, passionate, possessive and sex crazed. On top all of that fun, this Seme is quite a bit nuts. I have few examples, so I'll talk about the first one I ever ran across and my absolute favorite.

Usami Akihiko from Shungiku Nakamura's Junjou Romantica has all the traits of a great Seme, including great wealth and talent. When I first saw the show, I was thinking 'Okay, another arrogant Seme about to set upon this poor, vulnerable young man.' The spooky room full of toys gave me pause, but it wasn't until Usami-san was seated beside that big stuffed bear on the sofa that I realized he was bonkers. By the end of the first episode, I was madly in love with this Seme. Usagi-san's state of mind is the result of complex situation within his family during his childhood and his being a writer. For the most part, writers are wacky. How wacky varies from writer to writer.

Usagi-san is really, really wacky. That's quite a combination with arrogant and possessive. One might think that it would be too much for 18 year old Takahashi Misaki to handle. But I think that the overt nature of Usagi-san's zaniness revealed the vulnerable side of this rich and powerful Seme to Misaki. He could see through all of this man's formidable defensiveness better than people who have known the man for decades. Misaki knows and understands Usagi-san better than his brother who has been his best friend. This gives the uke a measure of power in the relationship. That power grows as Misaki takes on more and more responsibility for aspects Usagi-san's life. All of this began because Usagi-san was obviously a bit nuts.

Junjou Romantica's premise does not seem to be exciting. At it's simplest, the plot revolves around an orphaned college student who lives with a writer who has family problems. Their lives are filled with deadlines and the occasional family squabble. The beauty of the pair Shungiku Nakamura created and this manga and anime is that even without the high drama and threat of violence, they are fascinating and exciting. Despite the love of teddy bears, Usagi is a real Seme and quite capable of going to find his uke and drag or carry him home. Usagi-san is also not afraid to strip said uke naked and pound into him that he belongs to said Seme. Usagi-san's instability makes the story very scary to me. He has a lot to lose if he snapped and did something in a public setting. Misaki is very afraid that his Seme will do something unwise in front of the wrong people. He would never lose his money – unless he managed to spend it all on too many suits for Misaki. But he could lose his writing career which is more important to who he is as a person than the money. There are people in Usagi-san's life who want to protect that career, but they don't realize that his survival as a writer and a man has become wrapped up in his relationship with Misaki. That misunderstanding and Misaki's reluctance to admit that he has fallen in love with a man makes Junjou Romantica really scary sometimes. Usagi-san is crazy enough where Misaki is concerned that he is willing to risk everything to keep his uke beside him.

There are other insane Semes, I'm sure. Takano Masamune of Shingiku Nakamura's spinoff series, Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi is certainly nuts. However, he isn't the kind of gleefully batty that Usagi-san is. I'd love to see more variations of the arrogant and possessive Seme. I would certainly welcome the humor that a nutty Seme brings to a story. I'd be very interested to hear other opinions.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Song of Achilles Review -- Yaoi Fiction by a Major Publisher?!

The Song of Achilles by
 Madeline Miller  

The legend begins...
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia to be raised in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. “The best of all the Greeks”—strong, beautiful, and the child of a goddess—Achilles is everything the shamed Patroclus is not. Yet despite their differences, the boys become steadfast companions. Their bond deepens as they grow into young men and become skilled in the arts of war and medicine—much to the displeasure and the fury of Achilles’ mother, Thetis, a cruel sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.
When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece, bound by blood and oath, must lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

I am publishing a review of this book not just because it is a fantastic read. I devoured all 600 some odd pages in a day! It was that engrossing. I am also making the effort to publish a review, because it should be praised and noted that such a book was published and promoted by a major publishing house at all. At the heart of this re-imagining of Homer's Iliad is a homoerotic love story. If you really want to draw a fine point on it, The Song of Achilles is basically fanfiction and slash at that! This is in no way a slam from me. I wrote slash fiction for many years for fun and as writing exercises. I still write it when certain needs arise. Beyond that, there are dozens of writers and small presses publishing homoerotic fiction in every genre in a niche arena, because of lack of interest from the major publishers and hostility from much of the Romance community.

The Song of Achilles is beautifully written. Though the character lived in another time and is thought of as more myth than man, Miller makes Patroclus so empathetic that it is easy to slip into his shoes and see through his eyes. In many ways, Patroclus is more heroic than Achilles. He faces everything the legendary warrior faces without all of his physical strength and without the graces from the gods. Through him, the reader takes that epic journey of Achilles' rise to near godhood and his fall into legend. But this journey feels real as do all the emotion felt by these young men. Their love is portrayed as something that is not only natural it is also the most logical thing to happen. Achilles has the burden of his mother's and the god's expectations from his first breath. There are few could keep his closest counsel. Patroclus had once been a prince and heir to a throne of his own. Who better to be a companion to a future king and god? Friendship grows over time and depends naturally into an intense love that can withstand all that their world and the heavens above could visit upon it.

The love between Achilles and Patroclus is also very earthly in the fulfillment of their desires. This novel is sexually sophisticated. Sex fuels even the most lofty ambitions amongst this cast of kings and queens and demi-gods. The couplings are beautifully written to reflect each character and the nature of the relationship. Patroclus revels in his enjoyment of Achilles' beauty while the intensity of Achilles' regard makes Patroclus feel beautiful, wanted and loved. Even when they come together without time or preamble, these sex scenes are lyrical and moving.

Though I was familiar with the Illiad and have seen many versions of Achilles' story on big screens and small, I was surprised by how Miller told this version and deeply moved by the end. But I will not spoil things here. I cannot say that the book is perfect. There is an issue with the point of view that vexed me because it was easily corrected. But that small issue is not enough to keep me from highly recommending the book. I also urge those who already read this genre to read the book. Then, write to the publisher and let that company know that you'd like to see more like this. And make it clear that there are a lot of titles in this genre out there worthy of the national stage. Maybe this book can start a most welcome trend.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Paddles, Panels and Yaoi-con 2012

Room mascots.
This year, Yaoi-con was in the Los Angeles area at the Westin Hotel in Long Beach. This was very exciting for me as it was a fairly simple commute on public transit from my house. I wrote a blog about that several weeks ago. I took my own advice and went practically door to door for a couple of bucks. The other big change this year was that convention was run by Digital Manga. I will leave comparing the fan run, San Francisco conventions to others. This was only my second Yaoi-con ever. Last year, my husband and I stuck close to the room as that was my first real trip anywhere since before I was diagnosed with cancer. I was still getting my sea legs beneath me. Thus, I can't really comment on a difference between the two conventions. I thought the hotel was a nice bit of luxury without being crazy expensive. I really liked that it was a short walk from every kind of store and restaurant a traveler could imagine. That was a pleasant change that saved us a ton of money on food. At first, I thought the convention should have been in Downtown LA near Little Tokyo, but I realized that the parking would have been even more expensive along with everything else. The other problem with my reporting on the convention as a whole is it seems like every time there was a main event in a ballroom, I was having a panel or trying to grab some food before or after a panel. This is my long winded way of saying that the views here are highly subjective. If anyone out there wants to share their Yaoi-con photos or experiences, I'll be glad to post them here.

There were too many cool Cosplay photos to post here. You can find them and the references from which the costumes came (for my readers who do not know the titles) here:


Yes, I was the one with the hand carved, Hello Kitty paddle at the BDSM panel. One of my colleagues from filmmaking, Sunshine Lliteras, has a very creative and slightly twisted friend who makes these incredible works of art. This was one of the pounds of props that I brought to the BDSM panel. It was nice to see all the old toys today. It's been some time since I used them. They added many pounds to the luggage that we took to the convention, but there was a very good reason why I need them. The depictions of the BDSM lifestyle in most media, as I told the panel, bear as much resemblance to reality as CSI: Miami bears a resemblance to law enforcement. The toys I brought to the panel – even the Hello Kitty paddle – can hurt like hell. In the wrong hands, their use can cause debilitating or even life threatening injury. The point of my talk was that I understand that this is fantasy, but some readers or viewers may still want to try out some of those scenarios on a partner. The panel covered the difference between a Seme/uke relationship and a Dominant/submissive relationship. They often look similar, but there is a key difference. Mainly, it comes down to consent. I covered stories where the ukes were ties up and sometimes even spanked. Wild Boyfriend, a manga title I localized as an editor, is full of tied up ukes who are usually drugged as well. In only one case was there consent and a negotiation of roles – the first story. Both happen quite quickly and in the midst of some crazy action, but both elements essential to a BDSM arrangement were there. The audience seemed to be with me on that point. They also seemed to like my take on Sensitive Pornograph – one of my favorite examples of real BDSM in yaoi. The only resistance I met – and I fully expected – was my take on Ai No Kusabi. I was hugely unhappy with the ending of the original anime. I consoled myself by reading the entire series of light novels, hoping to find many beautifully described scenes of seduction and surrender. I did not find that. In my opinion, Iason and Riki's relationship was Stockholm Syndrome, not BDSM. After all, I got so annoyed at that series that I wrote Ensnared. I cover that in copious detail in the blog, Flame Wars,The Forever War and Ai no Kusabi. I was not chased down the corridors of the hotel with torches and pitch forks. In fact, I got hugs after the panel. I've never had that happen before. It was very, very nice.

The other panels went pretty well. I think I was most nervous about Digital Manga Guild panel as I was representing far more than my own interests. I hope that I was able to convey how much fun we have working through the challenges each title presents. I really hope I made it clear just how much support we get from Digital Manga and the other teams. Localizing often doesn't feel like work to me. And most of all, I hope it's clear that we have the approval of the mangaka and the Japanese publisher in this effort. Even if the audience doesn't join DMG, they will know that buying licensed and localized titles is the best way to support the artists and keep them working. I was overjoyed to find that there was a fan who loves our team's book and wanted to know how to search for only those titles or for other teams she liked. Later on, others who attended that panel told me that they followed our books. That was a hug of another kind. That was thrilling and gratifying. The panel I was least happy about was Anywhere, Anytime, Anyhow. The idea sprang from twitter discussions with other teams on the strange stuff they encounter in their books. I had hoped to get examples from the other teams to share in the panel. The problem was that I may have made the call for examples too close to the convention. I didn't get enough responses in time. All I had was my own titles and I had largely talked about those. I was disappointed, but the audience was very sweet. One fan came up afterward to ask about places where those new to yaoi could come and chat. I'm now toying with the idea of a Facebook page for reviews and discussions and perhaps a Google+ hang out. I'd like to do it, but I'll need some help to administer it. If I can get some volunteers, I'll do it.

Aside from my own panels, I kibitz on the Bent-con  to help raise awareness of how much geeky fun that  event is. I think it's a great convention, because of its size. I was able to mingle with the special guests last year in a way that would be impossible at an even like Comic Con. I really enjoyed talking to the filmmakers these about features or shorts they were debuting at the convention. No one would want a Q&A taken up with the find of film shoot minutia we tend to like to talk about with other producers. There are some really cook vendors there as well, Bent-con is a gay comic convention, but it is very welcoming to everyone. I was glad to see them at Yaoi-con.

Hamlet Machine and Starfighter Webcomic

My one bit of fangirl fun was to see the amazingly talented and very sweet Hamlet Machine. She did a panel this year at Yaoi-con on her art and on her sci-fi yaoi webcomic, Starfighter. I discovered Starfighter while I was recovering from cancer surgery. I was immediately hooked by the stark yet powerful drawing style and on the story of the gentle and intelligent navigator, Abel and his brutal and emotionally complex gunner, Cain. The story is a sophisticated dance of Seme and uke, Dominant and submissive and intrigue and suspense. I was surprised that Hamlet Machine was also inspired by Ai no Kusabi when she created Starfighter. I'm also humbled and amazed that she thinks well of me. I'm still giddy from our last encounter! And I can't wait for her next pages!

Manga Update
Our Localizing team, Heaven's Blade now has a Facebook group! To keep up with our next titles, come on by and join:

Next time there will be a discussion about insane Semes. Also, I'll review a homoerotic novel that not only was published by a mainstream publisher but also was critically acclaimed!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Yaoi-con Coverage Sneak Peek!

This box of horrors is just a fraction of the fun had at Yaoi-con this past weekend. The full coverage blog will go live on Wednesday, Oct 16th! There are photos and insights galore!

Sign up for the newsletter to be sure not to miss it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Doujinshi: Space Cruiser Yamato -- Diplomacy

Of course, this is all Jon's fault. He was watching a subtitled version of Final Yamato online while I was lounging on the sofa recuperating from the first cancer surgery. I happened to glance over during the climax of the film and found myself transfixed and deeply puzzled. There was Leader Dessler, once sworn enemy of the Yamato not only coming to the ship's rescue in its most dire hour, but also lovingly sniffing and caressing a flower left behind in tribute by Kodai when he and the Yamato crew thought the Leader had been killed. Dessler addressed Kodai alone – no one else seemed to be relevant. He put his ship between Kodai's and those who sought his demise. It was epic...and kind of sexy.

Jon noticed my eyebrow had gone up. He said there was no way Kodai would ever hook up with Dessler. He had Yuki, his longtime girlfriend. In fact, he married her at the end of the film. My eyebrow remained up. I was in need of a challenging writing exercise. At that point in my treatment, I was reading a lot but doing no writing beyond my blog. It was merely an exercise, but it produced Mercy Mission, a story I was quite proud of. I wrote a second story in my grand seduction scheme called State Visit. That was very amusing and, Jon thought, quite touching.

I would have left it at that. But then, I went to Yaoi-con last year. I did a panel there on rape and con-con in yaoi fiction (I'm against it – vehemently). One of the attendees asked in frustration over my stance how a writer could get together two strong male characters without one of them using force. I told her that it's called seduction. A skilled lover can make anything sound reasonable if there is an attraction between the characters. Since all Yaoi posits that there is always an attraction, there is always an opening for seduction. Jon mentioned my tinkering with Space Cruiser Yamato as a case in point. I decided then that I should finish the trilogy and put it online before I'm asked about it at the upcoming Yaoi-con.

Without further ado, I give you Space Cruiser Yamato – Diplomacy, a Doujinshi. Considering the source material, I can't really call it slash. Though given that there are bestsellers that are, in fact, fanfiction, I am calling this a re-imagining. Haper-Collins, I await your call and fat advance check.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Yaoi-con 2012 Preview

Go to: for information.
Next weekend, October 12-14, I will be at Yaoi-con! I am very excited to be getting my Bishonen fix in my own back yard. This year, Yaoi-con will be at The Westin Long Beach 333 East Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, CA 9080. There are some fantastic industry guests that include the mighty Hamlet Machine from Starfighter Web Comic, Jo Chen from Guilt/Pleasure , Alex Woolfson from Yaoi911 and Artifice and the great guys from Bent-con The Guest of Honor is Uki Ogasawara , mangaka of the Yaoi classic, Black Sun.

Panels, Panels, Panels

I have three and most likely four at Yaoi-con this year. I am pleased to be representing localizers from the Digital Manga Guild (DMG) on a panel called Localizing for the Digital Manga Guild for Fun and Profit. The Guild needs many more translators, editors and letterers for its growing catalog of licensed titles. I'm going to make a strong case for joining up. I will have a fun power point presentation and hopefully a lively Q&A session toward the end.

Yes, he is. But that's the least of his issues.
Of course, if it's me, there must be some BDSM. My first panel of the convention is Exploring Dark Fantasy: BDSM in Yaoi. That will involve a scary fun power point presentation and props that are even scarier. Those props haven't been used in a convention since the one where I collared and palled a naughty Klingon and had Battlestar Galatica's Richard Hatch on his knees. That was a fun one. Where was I? I will take the bdsm presented in various manga and light novels on its on terms. However, I will be drawing a distinction between what the mangaka and authors describe and what is reality in the lifestyle, including how rare it is that actual consent is given from the uke or submissive (nope, not letting that go). And I will get a little bit literary on everyone with a discussion of what it means that so many major authors and mangaka choose bdsm as a theme rather than a vanilla gay relationship.

The third panel stems from an amusing aspect of many manga the localizers have completed. It is unusual when vanilla sex in a bedroom at night happens between Seme and uke. The Panel Anywhere, Anytime, Anyhow explores the many places and strange implements involved in Yaoi hook ups. Have a mentioned the bud vase with water AND a flower??? And don't get me started on the school Nurse's Office! There will be a power point presentation of some of the manga pages for illustration.

The fourth panel that I may be a part of is the Bent-con panel. It is a really cool convention that covers anything an attendee would find at a comic-con only gayer! All geeks are welcome. I will be talking about the incredible panels I attended there and the amazing people in the industry fans got to have near one on one contact with. This year's convention will be even better!

I really hope that my gentle readers in the Southland and beyond can visit. Tickets are still available at the door. Aside from my panels, there are so many wonderful industry and attendee panels. Beyond that, there is merchandise for every yaoi fandom out there. There are people in astonishing cosplay outfits. And there is a great feeling of connection that comes from finding out that you aren't by yourself in this niche. Last year was my first Yaoi-con ever. I felt such a great vibe there in general and from the folks at Digital Manga in particular, that I joined the guild. That has been a great experience for me personally and professionally. I am beyond excited that the company is running the convention.

For those who can't make it, I will be doing videos based on the power point presentations. But I hope you can make it!

Book Updates
As I posted in my last blog, there is a three chapter preview of A Soldier's Destiny available on this site. Click on the link at the top of the menu on the right called A Soldier's Destiny Preview Chapters. Meanwhile, The next installment of Ensnared is in my brain and wanting to get out. I'm hoping to have excepts of that by the end of the year when we release A Soldier's Destiny. Thank you for all the notes of encouragement. I'm even thankful for the notes yelling at me to write faster.

The next blog will be all about Yaoi-con. My Hubs and I have a new camera, so we'll get lots of photos of everything. I hope to give full coverage like a news feature. It's been some years since I've covered anything as a reporter, but I thought I'd give it a try.

For my next regular blog – Insane Semes and Why We Love Them.

Monday, September 24, 2012

New Yaoi Title Preview and Bookfair Yaoi Online Sale!

Colonel Rik Heron and Major Vincent Greven are retired from the extreme dangers of Falcon Squad's near suicide ops, but somehow danger keeps finding them. It's bad enough that their romantic vacation was overshadowed by the presence of the being whose blood produced their mutation. If Simon Molinar is still alive and as young as Rik and Vincent, how can he be anything else but the vampire about whom rumors whispered? Why is he stalking them? Rik senses that the being needs something from them. That's the only reason Molinar didn't try to attack them that he can think of. The Foundation Benefactors and the military brass think that idea is crazy, but they were willing to give them leeway place him in custody. There are too many mysteries about the beginnings of the Altereds that Molinar could answer. But that's only half of their problems. A squad of washout soldiers have escaped exile and seem to be headed for a confrontation with Rik and Vincent.  Meanwhile, Bobby Greven and his love are trying to plan a wedding without the press finding out. And one of Rik's more volatile trainees has decided he is in love with him. Life for the pair is as crazed and dangerous as ever. This time, however, they are determined that nothing and no one will come between them.

Read the first three chapters HERE
Join the newsletter (at the end of the menu on the right) and get A Soldier's Destiny at 30% off list price for paperback and ebook when it is published. We'll also take care of sales tax and delivery!

Bookfair Bonus!
 Enjoy all the savings of attending the West Hollywood Bookfair from September 30 to October 6! All Sybpress Yaoi titles are 30% off for paperback and ebooks. Sales tax and delivery are included! Go to:
We take paypal, and credit cards!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

DMG Localizers! Panel at Yaoi-con

Will you help spread the word?
I know some fellow DMG Localizers follow this blog (thank you, sweeties!). I've been asked to do a panel at Yaoi-con about what we do. I have a request that will help me represent us all a lot better. Please, take a look at this post on our official team blog:

Thank you!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

How A Gorgeous Yaoi Book Cover is Created

The book will publish this December!

The artist behind the beautiful book covers and banners on this page, Adrianna Ferguson, kindly gave readers here a peek into the process that produces these extraordinary pieces. The cover she is discussing is the one for A Soldier's Destiny -- the third novel featuring my hot mutant soldiers, Colonel Rik Heron and Major Vincent Greven. You see the results to the left. I wanted two other soldiers on this cover as they figure largely in the story. I wasn't sure how Adrianna would fit Bobby Greven and Viper and make the cover look as dynamic as her others. Boy, did she ever! I think this is the tastiest one yet! So enjoy her insightful and amusing chronicle of how she put the cover together. For those who'd like to follow more of her work, her blog is here:

Friday, September 7, 2012

Yaoicon Commuting Advice

For those commuting to the convention on the trains for LAX to Long Beach, I have some information, links and travel advice that will come in very handy. Just go here:

I'll have some more updates very soon.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Updates and Yaoi-con

I haven't disappeared! I've been doing my filmmaking thing for the last couple of weeks. I just sent my registration in for Yaoi-con. I have also applied for two very naughty panels. I will talk about those if they are accepted. I am about to post a blog about commuting by public transit from LAX to the convention hotel. So, I'm still here!

Meanwhile, here is a pretty picture to look at. For the un-cropped image, click this link:  It's another image of how I see Andreas. His hair is shorter, but this is the body I imagined -- lean, but well toned and strong, tawny in color. I haven't written them in a while, but I miss Darius and Andreas. However, they must wait. My focus is on finishing the latest Soldier's book, A Soldier's Destiny. I just received the artwork for the cover. I will share that shortly before Yaoi-con. I'll be putting up a major excerpt in advance of the book's publication. Only then, can I work on the next Ensnared.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Belated Yaoi Day Prezzie -- Fiction with Pretty Pictures

Andreas didn't think of himself as enslaved. After all, he had begged for the collar the first time while in the throes of a lust so strong, he truly believed he would die if he was not allowed to come. The heaviness of the collar and the bite of the ear tag were the price he willingly paid to feel that big, warm hand grasp his erection and work it until his mind and body exploded with hot, shimmering pleasure. The collar and the tag were the price he paid to see that angelically beautiful face in the throes of ecstasy. It was well worth the price.

Andreas demanded the collar and tag the second time. He had been fighting his body and his heart against the incredible magnetism of his beautiful Owner. Those vibrant, blue eyes could be as cold as a clear, winter sky, but when they turned on him, all Andreas could feel was heat. His body vividly recalled how those big hands felt on his skin. He could feel the strength in that embrace and the weight of that hard muscled body in his dreams. He still wanted his enigmatic Owner. His body craved that skillful, sinful touch like it needed air, but Andreas could not give in to those desires. Andreas would not give in until he had the collar back around his neck and the tag attached tho his ear. He needed to be owned once again. He wanted to be certain that he would never be without that touch again.

Darius knew that Andreas was fighting his own body. He could see the conflict in those amazing green-gold eyes. He could hear the slight tremble in his voice. That Andreas was his was without question. If Darius decided to press the issue, all of those struggles could be ended with one long, hot kiss. Andreas would fight for a little while. He would probably call him a bastard in that exasperated way Darius enjoyed hearing. However, he would have given in to his body if Darius pressed him. But he would not. It was not enough for him to know that Andreas was still his body, mind and will. Everyone in their worlds needed to know that all the beauty and charms his cheeky Dami – trained plaything – possessed belonged to Darius alone. It had to be publicly known once again that any trespass upon what was his could mean death.

To Darius, the wait was worth all of the restless nights without Andreas in his bed. During that sinful, open mouthed kiss after he placed the new collar and tag upon his Dami, Darius felt Andreas' knees buckle with great satisfaction. It was a simple matter then to carry that lean, lithe body to his bed. There, Darius quickly stripped Andreas but took his time just looking at him as he lay shackled to the headboard. Andreas did not fight being restrained. He was, in fact, erect as he watched Darius undress with hunger and anticipation in those beautiful eyes. How he had missed just looking at that sleekly muscled body. It pleased Darius to no end that Andreas still wore the gold body chains even after the collar was removed. They made him look like the wanton, sensual Dami that he was. That body deserved to be worshiped, so Darius took his time relearning that firm, sweet, tawny flesh with his hands and his lips and his tongue. Andreas' moans and cries were music to Darius' ears. He held him down as he drew out the torment long promised when they were separated. There was much that Darius planned for that first encounter in such a long time. He was determined to draw that time out as long as possible, but Andreas was more enticing than he imagined. One word said in such a lust drenched moan was enough to derail all of Darius' well thought out plans.


It was the word he wanted most to hear from Andreas. Darius couldn't bear one more second without taking the body struggling against him. His Dami ceased his struggles during a long, deep kiss. He used that heated exchanged to move one of Andreas' long legs to hook around his waist. Andreas moaned loudly as Darius pushed his thick length into that long missed, tight heat. It was in his head to draw that out as well, but that was impossible. Once Darius was surrounded by that throbbing tightness, he was driven to ride hard toward completion for them both. Andreas tore his mouth away from the kiss to cry out Darius' name and to see his in the throes of near painful pleasure. The expression on his Dami's beloved face struck him to the core.

“Mine!” Darius exclaimed.

Andreas gasped. His face flushed. Slowly, he raised a trembling hand to push the long blond hair back to better see his expression. The bliss of their joining was still on that beautiful face. His eyes were nearly black with desire as he gazed down. Andreas smiled and drew a shaky breath.

“Yes, Darius. I'm yours.”

Darius smiled his most angelic smile. He released the shackles then turned onto his back with Andreas in his arms. With that, Andreas finally found himself where he had longed to be after all those lonely nights – draped across that powerful body and held by powerful arms heading to sleep.

No matter what was said by those in both of his worlds, Andreas knew he wasn't enslaved. He was, however, totally enthralled and thoroughly ensnared.

To read more from Ensnared Volumes One and Two, there are free chapters in the Menu on the right. To purchase, Now in print on HERE
Ebooks for all types of players available on Smashwords HERE
Kindle Ebook Available HERE
Keep checking in for the PRINT VERSION this week! 
Check out full chapter excerpts under Hot Links in the Menu on the right side of this page!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy Yaoi Day Part Two!

Have a taste of the second yaoi manga I edited for the Digital Manga Guild. This one was really crazy!

Wild Boyfriend

Tough guy Ran thought Keitatsu was shy and vulnerable as he longed for him from afar. Then, when a brutal act brings them together, Ran discovers that he’s the one in need of a rescue and Keitatsu is more than he or anyone else can handle! Sakira’s long awaited debut collection features hot couples in the wildest first encounters ever! [localized by L.W. Hubbard, D.L. Warner, and Hentai Tenshi]

 “Wild Boyfriend – Bousou Kareshi © Sakira. All rights reserved. Original Japanese edition published in 2009 by JUNET Co.,Ltd” This title is available for Nook here or to read online via EManga here: .

Read about all the most recent TOO HOT titles here:

Happy Yaoi Day Part One!

Have a taste of the first yaoi manga I edited for the Digital Manga Guild.

Again Tomorrow

Shunya’s office is buzzing with wild rumors. Vice President Yuusei Saotome, son of the President and heir to the company, is missing! Most believe he ran off to escape an arranged marriage that would benefit his father’s company. Only Shunya knows that the VP has amnesia and is staying with him in his apartment. The Yuu that Shunya knows is not the coldly handsome VP who barely noticed his underlings. This Yuu is easygoing and likes to cook for Shunya. Yuu even seems to want Shunya in his arms as much as Shunya wants to be there. For a while, Shunya lives in a dream with Yuu. But doubts nag at his conscience. What if Yuu has another love who is searching for him? What will happen when his memory returns? Would Shunya be forgotten or hated by Yuu?

Nabako Kamo's Again Tomorrow is available on Kindle, Nook and Emanga :

(Again Tomorrow - Ashita Kara Mouichido © Nabako Kamo. All rights reserved. Original Japanese edition published in 2010 by Taiyoh Tosho Publishing Co., Ltd.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sakira's White Hot Wild Boyfriend is Available Now!

Find out just what is UP with the bud vase or, for that matter,  the blood pressure cup or that cotton swab. And then, there are the hot encounters in daring places or mundane places. Oh, let's not kid around, they happen everywhere - the emergency stairwell (very popular), the school nurse's office, a flower shop, a dojo. I think there was a rodeo and a space ship. There's a reason this title is TOO HOT for Amazon Kindle!!

Here's the skinny on Sakira's Wild Boyfriend:

 Tough guy Ran thought Keitatsu was shy and vulnerable as he longed for him from afar. Then, when a brutal act brings them together, Ran discovers that he’s the one in need of a rescue and Keitatsu is more than he or anyone else can handle! Sakira’s long awaited debut collection features hot couples in the wildest first encounters ever! [localized by L.W. Hubbard, D.L. Warner, and Hentai Tenshi]

 Wild Boyfriend – Bousou Kareshi © Sakira. All rights reserved. Original Japanese edition published in 2009 by JUNET Co.,Ltd” This title is available for Nook here or to read online via EManga here: .

Read about all the most recent TOO HOT titles here:

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Andreas Comes Alive, Naughty Freebies and Protective Ukes

I have to preempt my planned blog to have a flailing fit over a photo I spied in a web magazine called This image appeared on Friday. Maddeningly, there is no name for the model. There is no listing even for an agency!! Anyway, feast your eyes on the embodiment of Andreas Hesper from Ensnared. He would have no beard or mustache, but that's him! I was distracted most of the day trying to find out who represents this dreamboat. I was hoping to hire him to do some photos for posters and the like. Alas, there was no info on him to be had from the website or the photo. At any rate, it isn't often that I've seen an near perfect representation of a character in real life. I thought my readers might enjoy looking at that face as much as I did.

Now, where was I?

Naughty Freebies

I'm planning on doing a few convention appearances this year. Thus far, there is The West Hollywood Book Fair in September, Yaoicon in October and Bent Con in December. For those occasions, I am planning on giving away some fun merchandise that is in keeping with the themes of my yaoi books. This has made for some entertaining things turning up in my search history. I'll bet you never thought about how many kinds of key words it took to find novelty packets of mini lube. The right word is pillows. Pillows??!! I found them on Amazon, believe it or not. Little did I know that putting them on my wish list or favoriting something on Etsy like the 'Pocket Sadist' mini flogger would end up on my Facebook page. Not that I hide my interests or the nature of my writing, but an image of a big bucket o' lube (really, amazon?) or an image of a mini flogger is waaaay more 'in your face' than I ever am. Ah, well. On the plus side, I did find a lot of really cool things to give away at these events. And no worries if you aren't planning on attending any of them1 I'm planning on contests that will coincide with the events where my readers can get a chance to win some or all of these items. Along with the naughty things, there will be fun stuff like illustrated short stories featuring my yaoi men and an illustrated cookbook by Vincent Greven and a Dami ear tag and collar from Ensnared. I'll have more details and images of all of the freebies closer to the events.

Onto my original topic of the day!

Protective Ukes

I've talked a lot about possessive Semes, because I adore them. What's the point of being a Seme if it isn't to be crazy possessive? I've also talked about the headstrong uke. There is another type of uke that I adore reading and watching and writing. I really adore the protective uke. That trait seems to be counter-intuitive. The definition of being a uke is being submissive to a dominant partner. Such dominants are powerful people. How could a uke think his Seme would need protecting? The Seme's I like the best are very complicated. As powerful as they really are, there is always some vulnerability in the Semes I like to follow and most definitely in the ones I like. Let's take one my very favorite yaoi couples, Akihiko Usami and Takahashi Misaki of Junjuo Romantica. Usami or Usagi is a very powerful man. He is wealthy and successful and well regarded. His confidence is so absolute that it often drifts into arrogance. Yet, from the beginning of their relationship and before they were really lovers, Misaki sensed that Usagi was fragile emotionally. He is protective of him even from his own brother's insensitivity. Later, he is vehement in defending Usagi against anyone who had a bad word against him – even if those words were true. I adore the complex interplay between these two adorable men.

My own ukes are very protective of their Semes. Darius Galatea of Ensnared Volumes 1&2 is literally the most powerful being on the planet. Yet even he is vulnerable if he has a perceived weakness or eccentricity. His choice of Andreas Hesper as a lover alone could endanger his life. Andreas is sensitive to this concern from the start of their relationship. He is very protective of the image Darius presents while they are together. Though Andreas cannot bear the thought of being apart from Darius, he is consumed with the concern that their relationship will cause his lover's downfall or even his death. Many of his actions during Volume Two, including cutting himself off from his oldest friend, are about protecting Darius from forces that are almost as powerful as he is seeking to take his position and his life. In the Soldiers books (A Soldier's Choice and A Soldier's Fate), The physically powerful Colonel Rik Heron is vulnerable from forces in the military that helped create him and he is emotionally fragile. Upon his return from oblivion Vincent has two purposes in life – loving Rik Heron and protecting him from all threats. Vincent is also willing to protect his lover from even those closest to them. In both cases, the ukes biggest fight in protecting their respective Semes is with the Semes themselves. Often, it is their own behavior that causes the biggest problems. For Andreas, this is a very delicate dance he must do with his Seme. Darius was literally bred to lead. His words are like laws – they must be obeyed. It is difficult to get him to accept that he even needs protecting let alone allow others to act on his behalf. Vincent, on the other hand, can be much more direct. He makes sure his lover eats and rests. And everyone knows that to cross Rik means that Vincent's powerful anger and his dangerous abilities will be aimed squarely at the threat. This facet to these love stories makes them more compelling for me as a reader and a writer. Hopefully my readers will feel the same. For links to excerpts from these books or links on where to purchase the books, see the MENU to the right.

Next time, an exciting preview to the next yaoi manga I worked on for DMG. It's Sakira's white hot Wild Boyfriend!