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A Look at Where We Came From
By Lynn West
Editor in Chief, Dreamspinner Press
Dreamspinner Press started small.
In summer 2006, Elizabeth North officiated her brother-in-law’s wedding to the man of his dreams. Later that weekend, she happened upon her brother-in-law reading a Harlequin romance while lounging next to the pool. Obviously, there was something wrong with that picture. When Elizabeth asked, his reply was simple: “They don’t write romances for people like me.” He’d been through the struggles and dark times, and he’d emerged on the other side to live happily ever after. He wanted to read those stories. Elizabeth’s first thought was that he couldn’t be right—there had to be gay romance out there somewhere. But her Internet searches didn’t turn up very much, only a handful of publishers and very little of the work was remotely romantic.
Soon after, while visiting with a group of close friends, she made the offhand comment that someone should start a publishing company that specialized in gay romantic fiction, focusing on treating the authors well and producing quality books that felt good to hold. That group of eight—the founders—stayed up most of the night brainstorming what an ideal company would look like. Those ideas birthed Dreamspinner Press. The name came from the idea and then goal of making authors’ dreams come true. The founders consider themselves family, and we built the concept of family and support into the press from the ground up.
Six books a year, we thought. That would be awesome, we thought. We started with two a month. After the first month, the schedule jumped to six short stories and a novel a month. We should have known then that our close-knit group of overachievers who loved romance with a passion wouldn’t be able to leave it at that.
We believe in growing in small sustainable steps and attribute our success to careful planning and a commitment to quality. Our business plan is not to be everything for everybody, but to consistently produce quality gay romance diverse enough to be entertaining. We do our best to provide every customer and every author the greatest experience possible.
Dreamspinner Press is now an international full-service publisher. We publish stories from 3,500 words and up in several genre categories and eBook formats, as well as audiobooks and translations in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Turkish and Hungarian. Novels of 60,000 words+ are published simultaneously in paperback. In eight years, Dreamspinner has built a catalog of more than 1,200 titles written by more than 500 authors from six continents. The press now operates three imprints: Dreamspinner Press, specializing in gay romance; Harmony Ink Press, devoted to LGBTQ+ Teen and New Adult fiction; and DSP Publications, a boutique publisher of specialty genre fiction. Dreamspinner Press also features two House lines, Timeless Dreams and Bittersweet Dreams, and a category romance line called Dreamspun Desires will launch in January 2016. Dreamspinnerpress.com has more than 30,000 registered users.
But we always remember that we started small, and without our authors and readers, we still would be. We work hard to convey the closeness and support of a small publisher to every author and customer.
We count ourselves lucky to have built relationships with authors from Europe (and around the world!) during our years of publishing, many of whom are still publishing with us in 2015. It’s why we encourage our authors to attend conventions and conferences large and small, like Euro Pride Con. Authors and readers alike are the lifeblood of gay romance and other LGBTQ+ fiction—they write it, they buy it, they read it, they ask for more.
Don’t miss these great books by European authors, all released in 2015:
Anthony & Leo by Sue Brown
A Novella in Frankie’s Series
Watching Marchant train his new sub leaves Tony unhappy at not having found a Dom of his own. Running Marchant’s BDSM club, Tony sees who the Doms prefer and it isn’t him—too big, too old, and too hairy. When his friend Jordan suggests he look outside the club, Tony’s mind turns to Leo, a man he met in a traffic jam. Tony manages to arrange a date and happily learns Leo is funny, very toppy, and not averse to Tony’s lifestyle. As a bonus, Leo sells sex toys.
When tragedy strikes the club, Tony fears he can’t help the mourning club members, but Leo offers his unwavering support. After such a tough start, Tony believes Leo is the Dom he’s been looking for… until he catches him kissing another man.
The Gilded Scarab by Anna Butler
When Captain Rafe Lancaster is invalided out of the Britannic Imperium’s Aero Corps after crashing his aerofighter during the Second Boer War, his eyesight is damaged permanently, and his career as a fighter pilot is over. Returning to Londinium in late November 1899, he’s lost the skies he loved, has no place in a society ruled by an elite oligarchy of powerful Houses, and is hard up, homeless, and in desperate need of a new direction in life.
Everything changes when he buys a coffeehouse near the Britannic Imperium Museum in Bloomsbury, the haunt of Aegyptologists. For the first time in years, Rafe is free to be himself. In a city powered by luminiferous aether and phlogiston, and where powerful men use House assassins to target their rivals, Rafe must navigate dangerous politics, deal with a jealous and possessive ex-lover, learn to make the best coffee in Londinium, and fend off murder and kidnap attempts before he can find happiness with the man he loves.
Under Glass by Rebecca Cohen
Creating planets and guarding the stars leaves novice planet builder Kai Faewiva lonely. For members of Kai’s species who are born with an organ called a caerellon, their true love, their Sun or Moon, is identified at birth. But the novices are people who have lost their perfect love, and Kai’s Sun is long dead, killed in an accident when he was five years old. Or so everyone thought.
After recovering from another bout of the unidentified illness he has battled for years, Kai returns to work. But his quiet day at the planetarium is thrown into chaos when scans of Goka Prime, one of the planets in the Sol-Alpha2 system, picks up a life-form that shouldn’t be there. Kai’s Sun, Oliver Gyin, is alive and well, but how he got to be on Goka Prime, no one knows. Now he needs to be brought home.
Ollie has lived most of his life in the City of Harrea, never guessing he is from another planet. Surprised to find a stranger means the world to him, Ollie wrestles with his loyalties and the drive to return with Kai. To leave Goka Prime, he must give up everything and everyone he knows. But twenty years apart means Kai and Ollie face a fight to secure their destined future.
Lord Heliodor’s Retirement by Amy Rae Durreson
Unlikely hero Lord Adem Heliodor saved his queen’s life during the Screaming, a magical attack on his city, but his broken nerves have forced him into an unwanted early retirement to his country estate. Adem thinks his life is over, but retirement holds some surprises. First, there’s his new librarian, who turns out to be not just the first love he thought was dead, but also someone surprisingly knowledgeable about political intrigue. Then there’s the assassin in the orchard and the discovery that the Screaming was just the first attack on the city.
Falling by Suki Fleet
Josh’s idea of a romance is curling up alone and reading a novel with a happily ever after. He’s made his flat a safe haven where the walls are covered with beautiful words and his living room ceiling is a map of the universe.
Angus may be shy and inexperienced, but he’s incapable of hiding anything, especially his attraction to his older neighbor.
When Josh admits to Angus that he’s gay, he doesn’t expect Angus’s reaction. Angus’s obvious interest terrifies Josh. For years he’s managed to keep the world at arm’s length and avoid getting too close to anyone. Well, anyone except Eleanor, Angus’s mother, who helped Josh rebuild his life after he was hospitalized for depression. But Josh still thinks he’s broken. His past has left scars he thinks are too deep to heal. Despite Josh’s defenses, Angus begins to mean more to him than just the cute boy next door. If Josh can take a risk and let someone into his isolated world, he might have a chance for a real-life happy ending.
A Casual Thing by Annabelle Jacobs
Patrick Mason travels to Bristol to spend the summer with his brother, Ben. He’s cat sitting for the first two weeks while Ben goes on holiday. But Ben neglected to tell him he wouldn’t be doing it alone. Will Adams—Ben’s mate and Patrick’s long-time crush—is staying in Ben’s guest room while he waits to move into his new house after a breakup.
Against his better judgment, Patrick convinces Will that a little no-strings fun is just what they need. Patrick doesn’t want to get involved with a guy on the rebound, and Will isn’t interested in starting something serious with a student. But Patrick’s never been good at separating sex from feelings, and this time is no exception. As their weeks together draw to a close, they need to decide if they have something worth pursuing or if it’s really just a casual thing.
Despite the Odds by Chris T. Kat
Never judge a book by its cover.
Michael Campbell can’t hold a job for more than a few days. He’s lucky his foreman is giving him another chance with the solar panel project at an elementary school in Atlantic City. When he spies a man walking strangely in front of the school, Michael laughs, assuming he’s drunk or high. Little does he realize that Joshua Stone, a teaching assistant, has cerebral palsy, and he’s having a bad muscle control day. Taking a tumble right in front of the handsome construction worker is just his luck.
When Michael learns the truth, he feels bad for his cruel behavior. He offers to give Joshua—and his tricycle, the Racing Rhonda—a lift. Joshua accepts the help, and suddenly there’s a gorgeous man breezing into his life, turning his world upside down. But Michael has more issues than his inability to hold down a job, and neither man is sure if they’ll be able to overcome their fears in order to be together.
Fireworks & Wild Cards by Susan Laine
Sequel to Devil’s Own
The Wheel Mysteries: Book Three
When Gus Goodwin’s friend and mentor, Juliette Hayes, asks him to find out who’s stealing small sums from the cashbox of her Moonlight Haven Coven, Gus agrees. What’s the worst that could happen? They catch a small-time thief and, with any luck, retrieve a few bucks. Gus enlists the help of his boyfriend, PI Niall Valentine, and Niall’s retired police officer father, Owain, to go undercover and solve the mystery.
On the night of the next full moon ritual, however, the coven is struck with a fatal blow.
Now Gus and Niall face more than a murder mystery. The coven is torn apart, and along comes an eccentric psychic and Tarot master—plus a familiar face both Gus and Niall had hoped was long gone. As fireworks ignite and wild cards are spread, Gus and Niall have their work cut out for them.
Forbidden Monastery by Sam C. Leonhard
Rage: Book One
Rage is a seasoned assassin, and he lives by his own rules. One of them forbids him to kill children, and at sixteen, his new target is definitely too young to die. Instead of breaking her neck, he kidnaps Lucinda of Babylon—and soon finds out the girl has the knack to annoy the hell out of him.
As if taking care of a stubborn girl isn’t enough of a burden, Lucinda’s best friend Keiran joins their escape. And falls in love with Rage. And totally ignores the fact that the man in black, who cannot and will not use magic even to save his own life, does not love him back.
Staying one step ahead of a madman who is desperate to end their lives, Rage and his unwilling companions travel to the Forbidden Monastery, a place where horrible magical experiments once took place. There are ghosts screaming for their blood and dangerous, wild magic is always ready to strike. At the end of the day, two people are dead, and Rage realizes with bitter clarity that his heart can break just as easily as it did when he was young.
Dancing Days by Clare London
The day Glen Carson loses his wallet is the day that changes his life. The wallet is returned by Aston Walsh, a man he hasn’t seen for twenty years. He and Aston had a passionate and intense romance when they were in their late twenties, and Glen thought their love would last forever. But his dreams were horribly shattered by a shocking confession from Aston, and they parted for good—or so Glen assumed. Now, two decades later, they’ve lived many years apart, created new histories, and built successful lives. Yet the spark between them is still there. Aston wants a second chance with Glen, but Glen is more cautious this time around. He has to decide if Aston’s regret is genuine, and if surrendering his heart to Aston again is worth the risk.
Signs by Anna Martin
After spending most of his life in special schools, Caleb Stone now faces public high school in his senior year, a prospect that both excites him and threatens to overwhelm his social anxiety. As a deaf teenager, he’s closed himself off to the world. He speaks a shorthand with his parents and even finds it hard to use American Sign Language with people in his local deaf community. But Caleb finds comfort in his love of photography. Everything he can’t express in real life, he posts on his Tumblr.
Struggling to reconcile his resentment for his father’s cruelty with the grief of losing a parent, Luc Le Bautillier scrolls through Tumblr searching for someone who might understand his goth look and effeminate nature. When Luc reblogs a photo by Caleb, sparking a conversation, they both find it easier to make friends online than in person.
Luc and Caleb confront their fears about the opinions of the outside world to meet in New York City. Despite Caleb’s increasing confidence, his parents worry he’s not ready for the trials ahead. But communication comes in many forms—when you learn the signs.
Nothing in Common by Jay Northcote
(Available late July 2015)
Three sexy lighthearted reads that are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
An accident with a cardboard box is the start of a beautiful friendship—with benefits—between newly out Mark and gorgeous removal man Jamie. As Jamie initiates Mark into the joys of gay sex, “nothing serious” might turn into something important to both of them.
Noah’s nothing special. Average height, a bit on the skinny side, and cute but rather geeky, he’s relentlessly ordinary. He certainly doesn’t expect to be noticed by Sol, the gorgeous stranger Noah sees on his commute home most days. Noah’s friend, Dom, has a plan to get Sol’s attention—if Noah is willing to take the risk.
Aiden gets talked into joining a team for the Mad Mucker—a twelve-mile muddy slog over an obstacle course—and Matt agrees to be his training partner. Attraction flares, and they embark on an intense physical relationship. But keeping to their “no strings attached” agreement might prove as much of a challenge as the race.
A print-only anthology of Nothing Serious, Nothing Special, and Nothing Ventured.
Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens
When a material witness changes her story during a court interrogation, allowing the man who assaulted her little boy to go free, Senior Crown Prosecutor Finn DeHavilland’s legendary self-control goes out the window. His subsequent suspension from appearing in court leaves Finn with time on his hands. Desperate to continue working, and after regularly attending his mandatory psychiatric sessions, he accepts a delicate case involving a fraudulent Scotland Yard police detective.
Excited to be assigned to the case, DS Tommy Drummond, who has had a soft spot for Finn since Finn defended him during an internal investigation, and his partner, Stevie Fielding, begin uncovering evidence. A series of seemingly random occurrences muddle their investigation. Believing they’re on the right path, the team pushes forward, until Tommy’s apartment goes up in flames. Offering Tommy a guest room in his home turns up the heat on the growing feelings between Finn and Tommy. But Finn’s baggage may be too much to deal with, and paranoia threatens to tear them apart. As the net around the corrupt detective tightens, it becomes clear he must have had help from high places, and Finn and Tommy become pawns in the game.
Landfall by Kate Pavelle
Sequel to Swordfall
The Fall Trilogy: Book Three
When Sean wins a powerboat in a mail-order sweepstakes, he and Asbjorn fly to the Bahamas to pick it up. They’ve been married for two years, slaving to finish school and to make ends meet. Instead of intimate quality time, they’ve been passing each other like two ships in the night.
How far Sean and Asbjorn drifted apart becomes painfully clear as they’re stuck on the boat together. Don and Adrian sail down to meet them for a relaxing get-together. Sean’s mind drifts to an old invitation to swing with their best friends, while Asbjorn takes ill-advised risks on the sea. Nature intervenes. Marooned on a deserted island where cell service winks in and out, they have no way of knowing when help will arrive. Survival’s at stake, and they have only each other to lean upon. The solitude and struggle against the elements forces these two stubborn, loving men to finally talk.
And then a body washes up on the shore.
Make Me Soar by K.C. Wells
Collars and Cuffs: Book Six
Anyone who frequents Collars & Cuffs knows Dorian Forrester is built for pain, including Dorian himself. But everyone has it wrong. For six years, Dorian’s chased a feeling that remains tantalizingly out of his reach. Unteachable, Dorian can take anything and everything a Dom can throw at him. Still, it’s not enough. Dorian needs… something more. Something he won’t find at Collars & Cuffs.
Dorian’s search takes him out of the safe environment he’s known for years, out of his depth, and into a realm of deep, dark trouble.
Alan Marchant has been watching Dorian with interest for a while and knows there’s more to Dorian than his label of “pain slut” suggests. When Dorian disappears, Alan and his friend Leo set out to find him. But the disoriented young man discovered cowering in a hotel room is not the Dorian they know and love. That Dorian is shattered. It’s up to Alan to pick up the pieces and show Dorian there are better ways to fly.
They may be off on a new journey together, but their destination will rock them both to the core.
The Baker by Serena Yates
A Workplace Encounters Book
Ian Wallace works as a baker for his tyrannical father in their family owned Scottish Bakehouse in Casper, Wyoming. He wants to represent the bakery in the upcoming Tartan Day competition, but his father refuses to reveal the secret ingredients that make them so successful—unless Ian gets married and has a son, proving he is fit to continue the family line.
Just before New Year’s Eve, Cameron Lewis, a former Marine turned police detective, comes into the bakery for donuts for his department and some black buns for himself. Cameron is hooked, and as his visits become more frequent, they stir Ian’s father’s suspicions. But threats can’t stop Ian from donning his kilt and entering the competition anyway—to show his father what he can do on his own. Though he might not have the secret ingredients, Ian and Cameron might still discover a recipe for happiness.
We invite readers and authors to visit our websites, and we hope you’ll consider yourselves part of the family.
Dreamspinner Press – Where Dreams Come True…
International publishers of quality gay romantic fiction since 2007
DSP Publications – Off the Beaten Path. Worth the Journey.
A boutique publisher of specialty genre fiction