Thursday, April 19, 2012

Guest & Giveaway! Blaine Arden - Diversity As Is

Today I give a big warm welcome to the lovely Blaine Arden who has come to hang out and talk a bit about writing fantasy and creating worlds "where sexuality can be as fluid as it really is."


This is Blaine's first time here at the Place, so please help me give a warm welcome. :) Afterwards, be sure to leave your comments as Blaine has also brought... a giveaway. W00T! Oh yeah, Blaine's latest book The Fifth Son is up for grabs.


Now... I give the Place over to Blaine. Welcome m'dear!

Diversity As Is by Blaine D. Arden

One of the things I like about writing fantasy is that I don't have to adhere to this silly notion that sexual preference matters. Most my stories—there are always exceptions—portray diversity as is, because that's how I wish our world to be. It's the reason I started writing gay romance when I was a sweet, naive idealist at 16/17 years old. Then, I wanted to show the world how beautiful love between men could be, now I just want to write a world where sexuality can be as fluid as it really is.

Let's take the world of 'The Forester' for instance: No one cares that Ianys and Kelnaht were once lovers, and if Taruif wasn't shunned, no one would care about their triad either. Yes, Ianys' wife, Naia, didn't like Ianys' relationship with Kelnaht one bit, but that had nothing to do with the fact Kelnaht was a man—she would have hated Kelnaht just as much had he been a woman. Naia hated Kelnaht, pure and simple, for reasons I can't go into right now. Would she have accepted Taruif as Ianys' lover or anyone else? Probably not. Naia wasn't very good at sharing, she wanted Ianys all for herself.

Moving on to 'The Fifth Son', we find five royal brothers, all with very diverse interests and relationships. Danen, the eldest of the bunch is in a monogamous, heterosexual relationship with Inau. Lerran is involved with Riki a female fellow soldier and both wouldn't mind adding a third to their relationship, of either gender. Endyrr is gay, like Llyskel, and happily attached to Kalnor. Jeon's open to anyone and anything. He is promiscuous, flirts with all and sundry and yet, none of his lovers have ever felt jilted. Of course, Llyskel is certain he'll find one he wants to keep... some day. Finally, Llyskel himself has no intention of ever sharing Ariv with anyone. Luckily for him, Ariv feels the same.

It always amazes me how quick our world changes technology wise, yet how slow we are in accepting diversity. So, my contribution to strive for an accepting world, is letting readers experience, even if just for a moment, a world where a man loving another man isn't frowned upon, where diversity is a fact of life.

The Fifth Son is about Llyskel, the fifth son of a King, who, unlike his brothers, doesn't have a career in politics or the military to look forward to. In a world where everyone possesses magic to some degree or other, Llyskel is powerless, unable to perform even the smallest magic-based tasks. All his life, he's been under constant guard for his own protection from the magical world around him, much to his annoyance. The only time Llyskel feels free is when he paints, where the only spells he needs are the ones he weaves with brush and paint, capturing moments of beauty and giving them immortality on canvas.

Llyskel harbors a secret wish, though, a dark desire that haunts his nights. Only Ariv, a captain in the King's army, seems to sense the truth of Llyskel's needs. The pull he feels to Llyskel is unavoidable, and the passion between them undeniable.  But Ariv isn't the only one interested in Llyskel. The Queen of a neighboring country expresses her interest in the boy's talents, but her true intent goes far beyond a love of art. And what she asks may be too high a price for any of them.

Blaine D. Arden is a purple haired, forty-something writer of gay romance with a love of men, music, mystery, magic, elves, platform shoes, and the colors black, purple, and red, who sings her way through life. Blaine can be found at, and on Twitter as @BlaineDArden

~ Giveaway ~          

The fine details...
  • Giveaway is for an eBook copy of The Fifth Son.
  • Contest closes 9:00PM PST, April 25th, 2012
  • To enter, leave a comment on this post telling me you’d like to be entered in the giveaway.
  • Please include a valid email address or I won’t know where to contact you.
  • Winners will be selected at random using
  • If the chosen winners do not respond to my email within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.
  • Contest is open worldwide.  


  1. Thank you for having me, Amara. It was fun. :)

    I was talking to someone when I remembered of a photo of me at age 17/18, writing my first gay fiction (all handwriting, and I think it took me two years to write it...) on a bench outside the local train station.

    and good luck to all the contestants :D

  2. Blaine, loved the post! :) And now I am simply itching to read "The Fifth Son" as it sounds delightful. *puts in queue, giving it flag to wave and pride of place in the line* It's on my list, and I promise to get it read before GRL...

  3. I feel that so long as it's all safe, sane and consensual then people should just have fun. It doesn't matter how many people are involved or what they're doing so long as everyone involved is happy (including any other partners).
    Sex shouldn't be about judging and categorising; it should be enjoyable.
    Just my opinion :)

    1. I completely agree :)

      Safe, Sane and Consensual it is!!

  4. No one person has the right to tell another how or what to feel. All my moral compass requires is safe, sane and consensual. Past that, I hope everyone involved has a damn good time ;)

  5. Please enter me in the giveaway! I was looking a this book on Bookstrand and was thinking how hot the cover is...! Love M/M romance, especially in a fantasy setting.

    1. Thanks, Lori
      Sylwia really did a great job bringing Llyskel and Ariv to life :)

  6. Count me in, please! I don't usually read fantasy but the MC is a painter so this is my jam! Thanks!

  7. Enjoyed the post!! I am really looking forward to reading The Fifth Son. I loved The Forester. lol...

    :) Thank you for the contest!!



    Thanks for coming to play everyone. And uber thanks to you Blaine for coming to play blog with me :D



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