Do you love love? You're in the right place.
-By Chelsy Ranard
By Chelsy Ranard
There are many misconceptions about the MM romance genre, and its origins and modern progression is no exception. Gay romantic literature has been around for a long time and there is a common misconception that MM romance originated from those roots. It makes sense to assume that a genre of fiction about a sexual relationship between two men would start with homosexual literature written by men, for men. However, the truth is that the progression of MM romance started with fan fiction and slash fiction, and then created its own subgenre from there – and was mostly written by women.
Fan Fiction
Fan fiction is where it all started as far as MM romance goes. Fan fiction is fiction written by fans about the characters, setting, or idea of an original piece of work. The practice of creating a story based on another has been around as early as the 1930’s, but the modern phenomenon gained popularity with the Star Trek fandom in the 1960’s. Even back then, women dominated this genre with 90% of fan fiction authors being female by 1973. In this genre, authors were able to take characters, places, and ideas that they loved from other works and put them in a world that they created. Their own imagination, their own love interests, and their own storylines created a piece of work that allowed them to do what they wanted with their favorite books, movies, or television shows.
E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey is one fan fiction book that has gained widespread popularity in recent years – and it’s based off of an extremely popular phenomenon many know of called Twilight. There are many legal issues with fan fiction and its connection to copyright infringement, but authors like Stephanie Meyer, author of the Twilight Saga, and J.K Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series have embraced much of their fan fiction, even including links to them on their websites.
Slash Fiction
The appeal of fan fiction was to take characters, places, and ideas from a work that you love and creating something of your own out of it. Slash fiction is a subgenre created from fan fiction that takes this idea to a more sexual place. Think Spock and Kirk in the throes of passion and you have the right idea. Slash fiction took fan fiction and romance and meshed the two together creating an entire collection of work created by fans showcasing their favorite male characters engaging in lovemaking. Harry and Draco from Harry Potter, Sherlock and Watson from Sherlock, and Stiles and Derek from Teen Wolf have all been portrayed in popular slash fiction by fans of their original shows. And, of course, this genre is also primarily written by women who want to see their favorite male characters in loving embrace.
Slash fiction is originally based on sexual relationships between male characters, but there are also slash fiction works depicting a whole array of characters, genders, and cross-show pairings being created from the original slash fiction. These genres stemming from slash fiction include fem slash fiction where female characters are portrayed together sexually, real person slash about celebrities, and many others with the same idea.
MM Romance
Fan fiction is about expanding existing stories that are popular, slash fiction is about expanding those stories in a homoerotic fashion, and MM romance is creating a story about two men in a romantic relationship with an original storyline. Take away the big fan base, the characters that have already been created, the story lines they have, and their environments and leave the skeleton of the idea and you have a genre that focuses on romance about two men. MM romance was created from an idea that anyone can write sexual stories about the male characters they love, and it morphed into a genre on its own that focuses on original work. Authors create their own characters, settings, dialogue, story lines, and background and create a world that showcases two men in a romantic sexual relationship. And it was all started by the idea that you can write the next part of the story of a fandom you love.
The progression of MM romance is a surprise to many that aren’t familiar with the genre and its beginnings. In a genre that focuses on homoerotic stories, it’s natural to think that the background in this type of literature would stem from the homosexual literature that has been written for generations. However, the modern view of this phenomenon starts at an unexpected place and took some interesting turns to get where the genre is today. The world of MM romance and homoerotic fiction is full of surprises.
-By Mary Grace (Not related to Aria)


M/M romance novels that have been written by women, for women have been considered by some cultural appropriation or fetishization of a sexual relationship between two men, but it isn’t. It’s a fantasy.

There are a thousand and one reasons women love M/M romance novels. They explore relationships without a competing element (no other ladies), they explore a relationship of equals, and for straight women, it means that all of the characters in the story can be sexualized. We sure didn’t read Twilight because Bella was an interesting character, we read it for the super-hot vampire-werewolf action!

“Bella is my favorite character” - Said no one... ever...


What Romance Novels Do For Women
Romance novels offer women an escape into a world filled with romance, adventure, and the opportunity to quench a thirst for a plethora of fantasies. Whether you want to know what it’d be like as a monk-hermit high in the mountains with a group of your best friends care taking for an ancient stone temple or if it’s about reintegrating love back into your life. Whether it’s the lack of female characters that allows women to completely escape into the sexual fantasy, or just a lack of pressure that the mental distance gay romance offers; MM romance novels are an escape into a new world for many women.

Why it Isn’t Really About Gay Men


While MM fantasies do include relationships between two men, it’s rare that they accurately depict a relationship. While this could be harmful if those romance novels spread inaccurate information (like that dinosaur cloning wouldn’t get you immediately eaten by a T-Rex, or that condoms shouldn’t be worn) that is not the norm, and when it is stated, it is clearly in a fantasy setting.

When looking at a typical MF romance novel, there is a regular character formula, with the female character being a blank slate that could be anyone, but that often leads to a vapid, empty character, devoid of deep thought. Evolving that blank slate character means isolating some readers from the experience; whereas a relationship between two men evolves in a way where a woman can imagine herself with one or both of the characters. Much like lesbian porn, where it’s not about those women being actual lesbians, in a loving committed relationship, having relations after a magic evening. But rather the idea that either of those women would be open to the viewer joining in and a distinctive lack of gender competition in the scene.

MM romance novels aren’t about championing the gay community, or fetishizing a real relationship between. It’s about lust, romance, and relationships that involve two people of the gender that you are attracted to.

Does MM Romances’ Fantasy Status Make it OK?


Fantasy has a pass, it’s the backwash from our society. While we could spend this time picking through why some women like MM romance, or why it’s not about gay men, or why it might be kind of about gay men, that time would be wasted. All fiction draws elements from real life, but that doesn’t make them all statements about society.

Fantasy novels and movies are a way for people to read and watch what they want to, at the scary end of fantasy there are murder romance novels, and at the soft end of fantasy, there’s dragons and love. It’s all okay to think about, to want, to love, to read, and write about. Because that’s what you like, and you can’t change that.




Enticing Journey Book Promotions presents...
Wrapping Up Cover Reveal Week
More Than Friends Series by Aria Grace
Final Day: Looking for Home & Choosing Us
Available Now
Evan was heartbroken when Nick left him two years ago to live a party life. He focused on his job as a truck driver and put his own needs on the back burner.
Georgie is a favorite at Paddles, providing personal entertainment to anyone looking for a sexy femme boi. 
When they meet at a party, it doesn't seem like more than a superficial connection. Neither expect to find actual happiness from each other. 
A sweet and heartbreaking story that you won't be able to put down until it's finished.
 
 
Steve and Joey have a perfect life. They're happy with the home they've built together and have no plans to change anything. When Joey runs into Adam, a past coworker from his days at a male brothel, old feelings are stirred up.
Adam has been living on the streets, barely getting by, but not without resorting to a vice he thought he'd long kicked. He's losing hope and afraid to trust anyone when Joey walks back into his life.
While searching for a missing friend, Joey finds Adam in a park. Sick and alone, Joey can't leave him. He takes him home, knowing he and Steve can help him find what he's looking for.
It's awkward at first, but feelings between the three men quickly develop. Promises for a future are made but Adam has no intention of being around long enough to see them fulfilled.
Born and raised in beautiful California, Aria enjoys the year round sunshine and laid back environment of the west coast. Her career started out in tech writing and web development and has evolved into all things marketing with fingers in everything related to book publishing. 
She lives with her husband and two children and more pets than she can keep track of. Despite her crazy schedule, she loves the time she carves out to read and write. Whether it's on the beach or on the couch at 2am, she is a woman obsessed!

She loves to hear from readers so please feel free to drop her a note or visit her at www.ariagracebooks.com.

If you'd like to know when Aria's next book is coming out or where she'll be signing, join her mailing list at: http://bit.ly/AriaGraceFanList

Cover Reveal Week Recap

                                                                                                                 
 

Cover Reveal Week
More Than Friends Series by Aria Grace
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Series is Available Now
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Enticing Journey Book Promotions presents...
Cover Reveal Week
More Than Friends Series by Aria Grace
Day 4: My Name is Luka & Finally Found
Available Now
Brad spends his days swinging a hammer and his weekend nights pouring drinks just to keep his nose clean. At only twenty-one, he's already had enough trouble to last him a lifetime. But when he realizes the boy upstairs has new injuries that coincide with loud shouting matches from that apartment, he knows he has to do something to help.
What the fuck is that? I open my eyes and take a look around the room. I must have fallen asleep on the sofa because there’s a game show on TV and shouting coming from the apartment above me.
I grab the remote and turn off the screen, leaving my apartment in silence as I strain to hear what’s being said through the ceiling. I can’t make out anything more than jumbled words but the wall shakes as something pounds against it. My guess is a fist but it could be anything.
The building is silent for a moment then another pounding on the wall and something falls to the ground. After hearing a door slam, there’s a soft dragging overhead that gets me worried. More worried than I was before.
I don’t like to butt into other people’s drama. It’s not my business. God knows I’ve been on the other side of curious stares and concerned looks in my time. And all I ever wanted was for people to look the other fucking way and not ask me what’s going on. But the slow dragging above me has me picturing a dead body being shoved into a suitcase or something. Maybe I shouldn’t have mixed beer with the pain killers because I’m not usually so dramatic.
While I’m contemplating whether this is the kind of shit that happens every day while I’m at work, I hear another door slam and pounding of boots on the staircase.
I take a step into the shadow of my hallway and watch as a heavy set man in some kind of uniform jacket lumbers past my window with a lunch box in his hand. He’s probably in his early fifties but is wide enough that he could do some damage if he wanted to.
The image of the boy from earlier makes my heart stop. Did this guy and that kid come from the same apartment upstairs? I never noticed who moved in because I’m rarely home. I work all day then head to the gym and eat out every night, unless I’m working at Ray’s. I only come home to sleep and change so I’m never around during normal human hours.
The sound of shuffling above me sets me at ease. At least someone is alive up there. I decide to give him ten minutes then I’m going up. I’ll ask to borrow a cup of sugar or some lame shit like that. I just need to make sure there isn’t someone bleeding out upstairs because I was too lazy to check on them.
I watch the clock. Time seems to be crawling until I can’t wait any longer. I grab a small coffee cup and step outside. It’s not exactly a measuring cup but I don’t cook or bake so I don’t have that stuff. I do, however, drink an assload of coffee so this will have to do.
Just as I take my first step on the stairs, I see the kid from earlier. He’s sitting on the top step with his head leaning against the railing and his eyes shut. If I couldn’t see his narrow chest taking shallow breaths under the bloody wife beater, I’d think he’s dead.
I clear my throat quietly to get his attention. He rouses slowly then opens his eyes. I expect to see surprise but the fear reflecting back at me is heart breaking. “Hey, you okay?”
I take a step forward and he leans back and shakes his head. Does that mean he’s not okay or he doesn’t want me to move any closer?
“It’s okay.” I raise my hands out in front of me. “I just wanted to check on you.”
“I’m fine.” His voice is so quiet I almost don’t hear him. He opens and closes his mouth a few times like he tastes something funny then he looks around with a panicked expression. “I’m gonna be sick.”
I take the steps three at a time and reach him as he bends over the rail and pukes. I don’t want to spook him but he doesn’t look stable and I don’t want him to take a header over the side so I stand close enough behind him to grab him if he leans too far over, without actually touching him.
After he empties his belly and spits a few times, he seems to be more coherent. But he still doesn’t look at me and his body is tense again. “Sorry about that. Um, I should go lay down.”
I take a step back and nod. “Is there anyone home that can keep an eye on you?”
He frowns as he looks up at me. “I’m not a baby. I’m fine by myself.”
I offer a small smile and pat his arm gently. “I know. I just mean, if you’re feeling sick, you might get worse. Is someone home that can get you to the doctor if you need to go?”
“I don’t need a doctor.” He stands to his full height of six feet, exactly my height. “I’ll be fine.”
I take a deep breath and look around. The small complex is unusually quiet. There doesn’t seem to be another soul out tonight. “Look, I’ll feel a lot better if you aren’t alone. Want to hang out with me for a while? I was gonna order a pizza.”
“No, thanks.” He glances up at me but his eyes stop at my mouth. “Um, I’ll be okay.”
Now I’m watching his mouth. His full lips look extremely kissable even though I know he just puked. He’s classically handsome with a sharp jawline and nose that may have been broken once or twice. It’s perfect.
“Come on.” I lift my hand and show him the cast. “I just broke my wrist and I’m stuck home for a couple weeks. It’s only been a few hours and I’m already bored out of my mind. Just help me eat a pizza so I don’t inhale the whole thing and turn into a ball of dough while I’m waiting for this to heal.”
The corner of his mouth turns up just a bit. Seems like he doesn’t smile too often. That makes me want to give him a reason to smile even more. “Yeah, okay.”
“Great.” I watch him steady himself for the climb down the steep staircase. I climb just a step ahead of him so if he does lose his balance, he won’t go far before I can catch him.
We get inside my place and I walk to the fridge. “Want some water or…” I dig around toward the back. “I’ve got a can of 7-Up in here. That might settle your stomach.”
“Anything’s fine,” he says quietly.
I look up and see he’s swaying on his feet, still standing just inside the door. “Have a seat, um, I don’t think I caught you name.”
“Oh, Luka. My name is Luka.” He reaches for the can of soda I offer and takes a seat in the far corner of my couch. “Is this okay?”
I notice he’s gesturing to his position on the couch. “Of course.” I can feel my brows furrow as I watch his timid motions. “You can sit anywhere you want.”
“Thanks.” He leans back and pops the top on the can.
“Anytime, Luka.” I sit in the armchair next to him. Close but not too close. “I’m Brad, by the way.”
His eyes meet mine and hold there. Afraid to make any sudden movements, I don’t even breathe while he’s inspecting my face then letting his eyes linger down to my chest.
That’s when I remember I’m not wearing a shirt. No wonder he was scared when he first saw me. The dragon wrapped around my side and blowing fire across my belly is probably a little intimidating. “Sorry.” I stand and walk across the room. “Let me just grab a shirt.”
Luka quickly turns away without saying a word. He’s certainly a quiet kid. Nothing like me when I was his age. What is his age anyway?
I return wearing a faded Seahawks t-shirt. I’m probably projecting but he seems to be almost disappointed.
“So, Luka,” I open a water bottle and take a seat, “Wanna tell me what happened to your head?”
“Walked into a door.” His words sound rehearsed, almost instinctive. And very obviously a lie.
“I know that’s not what happened,” I say calmly, hoping to win his trust. “You can tell me the truth. I might be able to help.”
His eyes grow wide and he shakes his head, then winces at the movement. “You can’t. I’m fine.”
“Okay,” I want to comfort him in some way but there isn’t any appropriate way for me to touch him so I don’t move. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to. But, I promise not to judge you or cause any trouble.”
I pause to see if he’ll respond. He doesn’t but his eyes flit to mine before they lock on his hands in his lap.
“Just know that if you want to talk, I’m here.”
Luka nods almost imperceptibly then pinches the bridge of his nose.
“Headache?”
“Yeah.” He takes a slow breath then peeks over to me. “You got any Advil I can borrow?”
I smile at his choice of words. Unless he thinks he’s gonna puke it back up and return it to me, it’ll be a gift instead of a loan. “No Advil with a concussion but I’ve got some Tylenol around here. Gimme a sec.”
With his eyes still closed, he takes a sip of the soda and relaxes into the back cushion. The couch isn’t fancy but it’s damn comfortable. I head into the kitchen and dig through a basket on top of the fridge where I toss random stuff. There are rolls of gauze and packets of antibacterial ointment and several half full containers of pills.
I spill two white and red capsules into my palm then set the bottle on the table in front of Luka. He’ll need more later if he feels as bad as he looks.
When I realize he’s asleep, I take a moment to really look at him. His chiseled features bear zero resemblance to the man I saw leave his apartment earlier. He must look like his mother, unless that asshole that knocked him around isn’t actually his father. Maybe he’s a stepdad. Who the hell knows? What I do know is that he needs to rest and I don’t want him to leave.
It takes me a minute to battle with myself over whether or not to wake him. I know it’s fine for him to sleep even if he has a concussion but he doesn’t look comfortable at all. He’ll wake up in more pain than he started in if I don’t get him to lie down.
“Luka,” I whisper, nudging his arm. That’s when I notice all the bruises on his arms that are in various states of healing. Fucking bastard must do this on a regular basis. “Luka, how about you lie down so you’re more comfortable.”
He doesn’t respond so I start to get nervous that maybe he has slipped into a coma but then he wakes with a jolt. “What? What happened?”
“Nothing,” I say, rubbing a clear patch of his arm. “I just wanted you to lie down so you can get some rest.”
He looks at me with confusion for a minute then remembers where he is. “Oh, thanks but I should go home. I’m really tired.”
My hand instinctively closes around his arm, holding him in place. He tenses and fear fills his eyes as he slowly looks down at my hand.
I immediately release my grip and step back. “Please, stay.” I give him a small smile that I hope looks concerned and not creepy. “I’ll wake you up every few hours to see how you’re doing. But I’ll worry all night if you’re up there alone.”
He watches me for a long time. His eyes move from mine to my mouth and then to the hand that was just holding his bare skin. He is considering it but still on the fence.
“I promise you’ll be safe here.”

For the past six years at the University of Oregon, Trey has been completely focused on studying. With no time for relationships, he’s had to rely on the occasional hookup to fulfil his physical need for companionship. Now that he’s almost done with his Masters in Biology, his attention is on his career. Relationships will have to wait. Again.
Chuck is hitching his way down the coast, taking odd jobs to survive while trying to stay off the radar of an abusive ex. He just wants to get to L.A. in one piece so he can start over. His job skills are limited, but even working in porn will be better than what he’s running from. Hiding is hard but Chuck isn’t ready to be found.
Born and raised in beautiful California, Aria enjoys the year round sunshine and laid back environment of the west coast. Her career started out in tech writing and web development and has evolved into all things marketing with fingers in everything related to book publishing. 
She lives with her husband and two children and more pets than she can keep track of. Despite her crazy schedule, she loves the time she carves out to read and write. Whether it's on the beach or on the couch at 2am, she is a woman obsessed!

She loves to hear from readers so please feel free to drop her a note or visit her at www.ariagracebooks.com.

If you'd like to know when Aria's next book is coming out or where she'll be signing, join her mailing list at: http://bit.ly/AriaGraceFanList

Cover Reveal Week Recap



 
Cover Reveal Week
More Than Friends Series by Aria Grace
Day 5: Looking for Home & Choosing Us
Stay Tuned..Coming August 26, 2016
HOSTED BY: