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Vampire Claus by Robert Winter: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Vampire Claus

by Robert Winter

On a cold winter’s night, Taviano scaled what passed in America for an historic building. From its roof, he hurtled to the belfry atop St. Stephen’s Catholic church. Rising out of a crouch, he turned slowly to survey the Boston streets below.

A recent snowfall had left rooftops and trees in the park across the road limned in white. Strands of lights wove in and out of metal window guards and dripped from ledges like icicles. Gold tinsel crowns and stars dangled from lampposts. Through windows, Christmas trees glistened.

Moved by the season—and sentimentality, he supposed—Taviano had come to a place he’d never before visited in many decades of wandering. As happened in recent years, though, when Christmas neared he longed for his childhood in Naples. In the nearby town of Quincy, he’d overheard references to Boston’s Little Italy. He therefore found himself in the North End to seek out those descended from his erstwhile countrymen.

He listened for a reaction from the passersby some thirty feet below. No one had noticed his body soaring overhead. Not surprising, since the Christmas bustle caught up most of the people crowding the streets. With any luck, he’d be able to relax for one night. He’d like to avoid whatever vampire claimed the area as its hunting ground, and continue to dodge the attention of any humans.

Low temperatures had everyone below on Hanover Street bundled in coats and scarves. His own thin black shirt and trousers—ideal for quick movement but not for passing unseen—would invite comment should someone spot him. A single observer would pose no trouble. He’d simply modify a memory or two and be on his way. But using preternatural gifts meant relaxing his tight control on the demon that shared his body. He hadn’t fed it in a few days for lack of a deserving victim. Hunger would make it more difficult to influence.

Far better if he could escape notice in the first place.

From inside St. Stephen’s voices rose, singing their devotion. It was “Silent Night” though he’d learned the song with different words. It was barely eight-thirty and he could identify forty-seven adults and children in the nave below. The scent of incense drifted to him, mixed with candle wax, communion wine, and boughs of evergreen.

Christmas customs had greatly changed over the decades. That was something he knew mainly from spying through windows and listening to radio and television programs. Even the rituals of Mass were different than when he’d last been inside a church. Lurking on the outside was as close as he could come. But other traditions had changed only slightly. He imagined the altar draped in white and purple as the priest led the celebration of the Nativity.

Peering down through a glass window of the belfry to see if he was right, he caught his own reflection. Thick black hair lay mussed from the bitter wind, and dark eyes glittered unnaturally like chips of obsidian. His full lips looked mischievous, belying his reserve.

Scruff perpetually darkened his cheeks. He’d been three days without shaving the night he was turned into the creature that stared back at him. Even if he bothered with a razor, the beard returned promptly. He’d heard often when he was alive that he was handsome. Still, symmetrical features and olive skin did not disguise that he was something other than human.

No, even if entering a church were not forbidden, he didn’t belong there anymore. No matter how much he missed it. Continue reading

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Cheryl Headford: My Writing Process + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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My Writing Process

by Cheryl Headford

To me writing is like breathing. I can’t live without it. I get restless and unhappy if I am unable to write for any lengthy period of time and I am never happier than when lost in my own words. Writing has got me through tough times.

I do most of my writing sitting on the sofa in my tiny living room, surrounded by cats and balancing my laptop on a rickety old Ikea lap table) not the one that sits on your lap but the one that has one leg with a splayed foot at the bottom that you slide under the chair) It’s so old and rickety that I can’t even put my coffee cup on in next to the laptop anymore because it slides right off.

Strangely, when I’m writing on my laptop, I have to have quiet. I can’t listen to music or watch television. I don’t have a television anymore, since my son took to his room (or should I say cockpit as it looks more like the bridge of The Enterprise than a bedroom) I usually have a couple of PC games open, like Fantasy Mosaics or logic puzzles, that I do in between writing if I get stuck or need a moment out of the scene. Otherwise I don’t really have much awareness of the room around me because I’m living the story with my characters. In fact, that continues even after I stop writing. I often channel one or other of the characters for most of the time I’m writing the book, and sometimes for a period afterwards. That’s why I love to write characters like Draven because he is so much fun to be. I had an absolute blast making jam sandwiches the Draven way, but my son was not impressed.

I’m not happy to only write at home, though. When I had to catch a train to work, I would write (in my head) on the way to the station, (in a book) on the station and on the train, and (in my head) from the station to work. These days, my son is at college and I spend a lot of time waiting for him in a coffee shop, and of course I write. I like to write with ink pens. Sometimes, if I’m doing research, I like to keep notes of the research in a book, with plastic pockets, summarized by a visual essay. I can tell at a glance at the visual essay what the notes in that pocket are about. Quite often, I write the essay if not the notes with dip pens and coloured inks.

I am a total pantser and I don’t plan anything before I start writing. I usually have one or two scenes in mind, and maybe a loose storyline, and of course the characters. I then open a word document and just start writing. I see where things take me. If the story is strong enough, it will simply carry me along. Because I am living it, seeing what the characters see, hearing what they hear, feeling what they feel, it’s easy to let the story flow and so what if I don’t know where it ends until I get there because that just makes it more fun writing it.

Sometimes I come to a situation where I know where I want the story to go, but I don’t know how to get there. Then, I have to figure out scenarios and test out hypotheses to find a way that fits the story and the characters. Occasionally I have to re write earlier bits for continuity and to make better sense, but I’d say situations like this only crop up once or twice a book. It’s easier when writing fantasy because you don’t have to logic test everything. Magic is a great means of getting fantastical, even impossible things done. Continue reading

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Author Q&A: Matthew J. Metzger + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Interview Banner

What inspires you to write?

Nothing really. I just need to get the stories out of my head, and as I like to think I’m pretty good at writing, it’s the best way for me to do it. The stories can spring up out of literally anywhere. Sometimes a single line of dialogue in a film has spawned a whole book!

Is it true that anyone can be a writer?

No. I know it’s not fashionable to say it, but no. Writing is a skill like any other, and some people don’t have it. And some people cannot learn certain skills no matter how much you try to teach them. Just ask my mate who’s been trying to teach me how to change my light fittings for the past year! I’m useless! Writing is no different. Some people can, some people can’t, and that’s all there is to it.

Do you pen down revelations and ideas as you get them, right then and there?

Yep! My desk is littered with notes on receipts, and my email account has a lot of three-line emails sent from my phone. The back of my hand has seen some ink abuse in meetings, too.

Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?

The middle of the cafe is my specific place! I can’t write at home at all. I just end up playing with my cat, or doing endless rounds of Candy Crush Saga. But if I sit down in my local Costa, I can do a book in three weeks. My record word count was 14,000 in a single Saturday.

Had any of your literary teachers ever tell you growing up that you were going to become a published writer one day?

Several of my English teachers, yes. Pretty sure they didn’t envisage queer romance being the core of it, though!

Have you ever left any of your books stew for months on end or even a year?

Yep. Hell, a lot longer than a year! A pair of books I’m working on right now, Tea and Coffee, are five years old. They’ve been rewritten to death. I have a five-part series that’s been on the shelf for two years, and a steampunk story that was originally written in around 2015. I have so many ideas (242 in the folder, last I checked!) that I don’t waste time trying to force a book that isn’t working. I put it aside and do something else. And as Tea and Coffee prove, I’ll eventually get back to them! Continue reading

Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Author Q&A: Christa Tomlinson + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Interview Banner

Seven Questions with Christa

Hello! Thank you for having me on your blog today. I’m thrilled to release my latest and last in the Cuffs, Collars and Love series: A Sniper’s Devotion. This story features Hector Castillo, our cocky sniper from Houston Police’s Department’s elite SWAT team and Miguel Delgado a childhood friend of Hector’s. A Sniper’s Devotion is a friends to lovers romance, but it’s also about growing and learning who you are.

Are there any types of scene you find hard to write?

Yes, sex scenes! I know lots of romance authors say this but it is so very true. I don’t want a sex scene to just be a mechanical description of body parts and thrusting. I want there to be emotions involved as well. Sometimes it’s love. Sometimes it’s anger. Sometimes it’s joy. To convey the physical parts and the emotion and the attraction and arousal takes a lot of work.

What do you do when you feel stuck with writer’s block?

Well, after I get over the frustrated cursing, I take a step back for a while. Then I sit down and figure things out. First, I re-read the scene to get a feel for it. Am I trying to force it to go where it doesn’t want to go? Do I not have enough information? Is it in the right point of view? Once I’ve answered those questions, I can usually figure out what I need to do to get back on track.

How do you handle a story that doesn’t go as you planned?

I used to try to brute force a story to go where I wanted. But after struggling with The Detective’s Pleasure to force it into a mold, I realized that wasn’t the way to go. Now, if I have a story that wants to do something different than what I planned, I let it. I save my original plans of course, then I let the story take me in the direction it wants. I am a plotter when it comes to writing, but I’ve learned that it’s okay to deviate from the original script when necessary. Sometimes the story and characters evolve in ways that call for a change. And I’m okay with that.

What else do you use to immerse yourself in the story (music, visuals, etc.)?

Music is a big help in my writing. I always choose a song that fits the mood of the song that I’m writing. I’ll often listen to it over and over again on repeat while I work on a scene or chapter. It really helps me to set the mood and to block out distractions. I also like visuals, although I don’t rely on them as much. I normally only have three or four photos of my main characters, their homes and general style of the story’s environment.

Who do you write for (your audience or who you hope to reach)?

I write for anyone who wants to read about two people falling in love, the struggles they endure to get to their happy endings, and the hot sex they’ll have along the way.

What do you wish people knew about your books or characters?

That they aren’t perfect. My characters are lovely, worthy book boyfriends. But they will mess things up. And that’s okay! They will learn from their mistakes and become better lovers, boyfriends and husbands. I promise.

What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on re-launching my Champions of Desire series. I initially decided to shelve it because book one didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. But after seeing so much love for Chance and Devin and wishes for Tre and Brandon’s story, I’ve decided to give it another go. Book one is currently being re-edited and will have a cool and sexy new cover. Book 2 is under way and I can’t wait to share it with you all next year.

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About A Sniper’s Devotion

 

Officer Hector Castillo, a sniper on Houston’s elite SWAT team, is content living alone as a perpetual bachelor. But when he opens up his small apartment to a friend in need, their close quarters awaken long suppressed desires Hector can’t help but acknowledge.

Miguel Delgado’s unfortunate detour down a road he never intended to travel ends in a big wake up call, but he vows to get himself back on track. Though he’s always looked up to Hector, Miguel isn’t a kid with hero-worship anymore, and his schoolyard protector has matured into a strong and caring man – who happens to look damn sexy in his SWAT uniform.

Though their physical attraction to each other is undeniable, Hector and Miguel try hard to resist and protect their friendship. Until one night changes everything…

A Sniper’s Devotion is a loving and sexy, friends to lovers erotic romance. Hector and Miguel’s story is part of the Cuffs, Collars and Love series, but it is a stand-alone novel.

Available at: Amazon

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An Excerpt from A Sniper’s Devotion

“Aaaagh!” Miguel squeaked again, ducking his head into Hector’s shoulder as a mass of zombies burst into the shop where the hero and his family were hiding. “How are you not dying at this?” he asked in an agonized voice.

Hector held back a grin at Miguel’s over-the-top reaction. After the things he’d seen on the police force, it would take more than a jump scare to freak him out. “I’m trembling on the inside,” he said.

“You are not,” Miguel answered with a dry laugh. He started to pull away. “Sorry about that.”

Hector stopped him. “You’re just going to jump back on me anyway. Might as well stay here where I can protect you from the zombies.”

Miguel snorted another laugh, but after a moment’s hesitation, he settled back against him. He rested against Hector’s chest, with his bent legs laying half over one of Hector’s. As the movie played on, the hero and his crew making a perilous escape from the zombie horde, Hector brought his hand up from the back of the couch, absently running it through Miguel’s hair. The curls were soft, sliding through his fingers.

Eventually the action on screen slowed, giving both the hero and the viewers a moment to breathe. Hector’s attention wandered from the screen, and he realized it was strange to have his hand in another man’s hair. He and Miguel were so close, and it was such a habit from watching movies with dates that he’d done it without even thinking. He abruptly stopped. Sitting there stiffly, his hand frozen in Miguel’s hair, he wondered if he should apologize. Before he could decide, Miguel turned his head slightly, his lips brushing Hector’s neck as he spoke.

“That felt nice,” he said in a soft whisper. “Keep going.”

His chest suddenly tight, Hector relaxed his fingers and slowly started playing them through Miguel’s hair again. His eyes were on the TV, but he wasn’t really watching the movie. Neither was Miguel. His face stayed turned into Hector’s neck, warm breath softly blowing over his skin. It was a surprise and yet not when Miguel pressed a kiss to his throat.

At that moment, Hector should have moved away from Miguel. Hell, he should have gotten off the couch altogether. But he didn’t. He sat there, letting Miguel brush more kisses up and down the side of his neck. A hand landed on his thigh. Hector swallowed hard, then turned to look down at his friend.

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About Christa Tomlinson

Christa Tomlinson is an exciting up and coming author in erotic romance. Her first self-published novel, The Sergeant, was an Amazon Best Seller for Gay and Lesbian Erotica for seven weeks straight.

Christa graduated from The University of Missouri-St. Louis with a degree in History. She loves to create stories that are emotional and lovely with sex that is integral to the characters’ romantic arc. Her books include straight couples, curvy couples, gay, and multicultural couples. Love is love and everyone should have their story told.

Christa lives in Houston, Texas with her two dogs, and is a retired roller derby player

Find out more about Christa on her WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagramNewsletter, BookBub or email her at contactchrista@christatomlinson.com.

 

Blog_Tour_Giveaway

As part of this blog tour, Christa is giving away Three Cuffs, Collars and Love series Swag Packs!! To enter, just click the link below!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.

Good luck!

Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Author Q&A: Nicky Spencer + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Interview Banner

I’m so excited to be here to talk about my new novel, A Bolt of Blue. It’s an m/m/m contemporary romance, and it’s my very first book! I really hope readers end up loving these three boys as much as I did.

Today I’m doing an author Q&A! Since this is my first book, I don’t have a huge amount of experience to draw from for some of these questions, but I gave it my best shot.

Where did the desire to write LGBT romance come from?

LGBT romance is my favorite genre to read! So naturally it’s the genre I want to write. I’ve tried writing other genres, and I actually do have the seed of an m/f romance I plan to write eventually, but LGBT is what inspires me.

How much research do you do when writing a story?

The majority of research I’ve done so far is just about the setting. This book is set in the Chicagoland area, and I’ve only been to Chicago once for one day so I did a lot of research about the city. How long would it take to get from point A to point B using X method of transportation? Which hospital would this character go to? What is the weather like in January? February? March? I did fudge some of it a little bit, so if you live in Chicago please don’t judge me too harshly.

One of my MC’s is on the baseball team at University of Illinois Chicago, so I did a lot of research on their baseball program as well, figuring out what their playing schedule is like, which teams they play against, where they travel to. Mitch’s baseball schedule in this book is based on UIC’s actual 2016 schedule, though I fictionalized some scores, and I think I have them play on a day when in real life the game was canceled due to snow.

But aside from settings, I’ve mostly tried to write about things I have personal experience with so I don’t have to do too much research! I don’t know if that means I’m super authentic or just really lazy.

What are the best sources you’ve found for giving an authentic voice to your characters?

I think the best source is just reality. I like to think that all my characters have distinct voices, but the truth is they all have a little bit of me in them. So I just channel that part of me, and then I see what comes out! Like the character of Ian, for example, is really just my snarky side with the filter removed completely. Mitch is the more conservative part of me, the part that wants to be a good person and do the right thing. The part that’s very family-centric. And Dusty…Dusty’s the least like me, actually, but he has bits of me. He’s no nonsense. He’s a realist. He has a very deep core. And he’s a closet musician.

What’s harder, naming your characters, creating the title for your book or the cover design process?

Title, hands down. Naming characters is pretty easy. Most of the time I just sort of know what their name is, and in cases where it doesn’t come right away, I’ll figure out how old the character is, and then I’ll just look up popular baby names from the year they would have been born and go through the list until I find something that jumps out.

And cover art? Easy peasy. You just hire someone incredibly talented and let them take the reins! Although I admit it was a bit challenging to find stock photos that I felt accurately represented my characters. In the end I’m really happy with how that turned out.
No, the title is by far the hardest part. Although the blurb comes in at a close second.

Tell us about your current work in progress and what you’ve got planned for the future.

I am currently writing a YA novella about a romance between two boys who are seniors in high school. It’s very different from A Bolt of Blue—there’s no sex in it at all! My goal for that one is to explore just how romantic you can be with just kissing. It’s a bit tropey, but I hope the characters and their relationship can transcend the somewhat cliché premise.

And then when promo for A Bolt of Blue slows down and I have a little more time to breathe, I plan to really focus in on my f/f novel. It’s a romance between a bisexual woman who finally gets to explore the lady side of her sexuality for the first time, and a lesbian woman who’s been burned in the past by girls who were just “experimenting.”

Do you have any advice for all the aspiring writers out there?

Don’t quit! I actually started A Bolt of Blue probably…five years ago? Maybe more. Don’t give up—we live in a time where it’s easier than ever to get your book out there, so if you want to write, DO IT! For me, I really struggled to finish anything I started. I found that joining a critique group where I had people giving me constant feedback and looking forward to the next chapter really helped give me the motivation to finish. So find yourself a cheering section and keep plugging along!

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About A Bolt of Blue

Ian Golinski has been in love with his best friend since he was fourteen years old. When he finally decides to confess his feelings, he finds that his perpetually single friend isn’t so single anymore. What’s a boy to do when he has to share the love of his life with someone else? Especially someone so damn hot?

Dusty Smith has finally found The One. The only problem is The One clearly has feelings for someone else, even if he doesn’t realize it. Dusty has to convince his lover that they’re meant to be. But how does he do that when the other man turns out to be perfect for them both?

Mitch Becker likes things nice and simple. But as his relationship with his boyfriend heats up, he starts developing feelings for his best friend. Suddenly his life is one big complication. How can he choose between two soul mates?

Find out what happens when three men ask the question: What if we don’t have to choose?

A Bolt of Blue is an m/m/m contemporary romance with a happy ending and no cliff-hanger. It is approximately 90,000 words and is a stand-alone.

Available at: Amazon

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An Excerpt from A Bolt of Blue

I’m not sure I heard him right. Even if I did, I need to make sure I’m really clear on what he’s saying. “What do you mean?” I ask.

Ian sighs into my ear. “I mean, what if it was the three of us? Together?”

“All three of us?” I’m like a parrot.

“Yeah.”

“And how would that work?” I know how it would work sexually. I’ve seen plenty of porn, and there are a lot of really creative possibilities when you get three guys together. Just thinking about it is getting me hard.

But I don’t think that’s what Ian means. At least, that’s not all he means.

“Well, I don’t know exactly. It’s not like I’ve ever done it before. But I think…I mean, you have feelings for me, right?”

He sounds so timid asking, and I wish he was here so I could show him how much he doesn’t need to worry about that.

“You know I do.”

“And I think Mitch does too. I hope he does. And I know how you guys feel about each other. So if we all feel that way, then why can’t we be together? There wouldn’t be anything to be jealous of. We would all be in it together.”

I have to admit, it sounds appealing. Like really, really appealing.

But it won’t work.

“Mitch would never go for it. He’s way too traditional. He wants the white picket fence, the kids, the dog. The whole domestic bliss thing. He wants to get married. You can’t be married to two people.”

“Not legally, no. I know it’s crazy. I’m just thinking out loud, mostly. But I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s the only way we all get what we want. Why can’t we all have what we want?”

“Because that’s not how life works.”

“Well, it should.”

Yeah, it should.

“It would be nice,” I say.

“Can you picture it?” Ian asks. “Will you think about it with me for a minute?”

“Okay.”

“So imagine you and me. It’s a Sunday morning, and we sleep in late and then get up and make breakfast. Are you imagining it?”

I nod, and then remember he can’t see me. “Yeah,” I say.

“Imagine we spend the whole day just hanging out. Like we did that one day, remember? Only we don’t have to keep our distance. We can touch each other. I can brush your arm with my hand when I walk by you in the kitchen. You can kiss me in the bathroom when we’re brushing our teeth.” The picture makes me smile.

“And then imagine that Mitch comes home. He was on a road trip, and he’s tired. And you’ve made dinner for him, and we all eat together. And then we sit on the couch, and I rub Mitch’s feet and you play with his hair. We’re watching some dumb movie on Netflix. Can you see it?”

“Yes, I can see it.” I can, too. And it’s so sweet it makes my chest ache. I can practically smell Mitch’s hair, and hear him purr at Ian’s touch. He loves to have his feet rubbed.

“And then the movie ends, and we all go to bed. Together.”

I smile at that. “Who’s in the middle?” I ask.

“Me,” Ian says without hesitation.

I imagine myself spooned around him, my hands brushing along his stomach while he pushes his ass into my groin. And all the while I’m looking into Mitch’s eyes. He’s on his side facing us, reaching out to touch Ian’s face, but he’s looking at me. He’s so content and happy. He’s in love.

I see him kissing Ian. Softly at first, but then with more intensity. I see my own hand running up and down Mitch’s arm while he presses his body against Ian’s. I hear the soft, wet sounds of their mouths moving together, and I reach out with my own tongue to trace the shell of Ian’s ear.

“Dusty? Can you see it?” Ian asks, breaking into my reverie.

“Yes,” I breathe.

“Is it beautiful?”

“It’s perfect.”

“Tell me again why we can’t have that?” Ian asks.

I think about what Erik said to me the other night, about how I always play it safe. And where has it gotten me? He wasn’t just talking about my career. Maybe it’s time I took a risk for love. Honestly, at this point, I have nothing to lose.

“Maybe we can,” I say.

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About Nicky Spencer

Nicky Spencer is a romance writer of all pairings. Nicky is a firm believer that love conquers all–that’s why her favorite theme is forbidden love. If two (or three!) people shouldn’t be together, Nicky will find a way to get them there. When you love someone, nothing else matters.

Nicky live in Salt Lake City, Utah with no husband, no kids and a part-time dog. She loves to read, write, listen to podcasts, watch baseball and waste time on the internet. She is firmly anti-oxford comma.

Find out more about Nicky on her Website, Newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or email her at nickyspencerauthor@gmail.com.

Blog_Tour_Giveaway

As part of this blog tour, Nicky is giving away an ebook copy of A Bolt of Blue!! To enter, just click the link below!

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway unless otherwise stated but are still welcome anyway.

Good luck!

Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wheels Up by Annabeth Albert: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Wheels Up

by Annabeth Albert

I’m delighted to bring you an exclusive excerpt from my latest release WHEELS UP. This is a sexy forbidden romance between an officer and an enlisted man. As an author, one thing I always like is how the first love scene always changes EVERYTHING. So I brought you a little snippet of how thing start to change for Dustin and Wes, even before they learn who their real identities are.

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What the fuck am I going to do with you now? The question kept him up long after Dustin’s breathing had softened, little huffs that said he was deep asleep. Wes wasn’t sure he could go back to being chat jerk-off buddies after this. Dustin made him want things, things he’d almost given up on, things he had no room for. Over the course of their online friendship, he’d come to acknowledge how much he enjoyed being a dominant, but more than that was also how much he enjoyed Dustin and the way he submitted, the way it wasn’t the entirety of their friendship, but just one part of a multi-layered whole. Once wasn’t nearly enough, but it was all they’d ever have. Not quite asleep, he let himself drift on that knowledge for a long time.

And as if needing to punctuate that realization, his phone went off in the middle of the night, clattering from where he’d left it on the night stand after shedding his jeans earlier, returning in his boxers to lie next to Dustin, who’d stayed dead to the world. Even now, Wes’s phone vibrating up a storm, Dustin remained asleep.

The message was from the base. He had five hours to report. They did this sometimes, a test of readiness. He had no way of predicting whether it was training or the real deal, no way of knowing whether he’d be kept at the base or gone days or weeks or months. It was just the way it was, but for the first time in a long time, he groaned at the message.

He wanted just another few hours with Dustin. Wanted to wake up with him. Didn’t even want morning sex as much as just more time. Sharing breakfast. Talking. Making sure Dustin wasn’t too freaked out by what had happened. But it wasn’t to be.

He scrambled around, gathering his things, flipping on a low light. He was zipping up his jeans when Dustin finally stirred. “What…where you going?”

Hating the vulnerability in Dustin’s sleepy eyes, Wes went to crouch next to the bed. “I’ve been called back. Nothing about you, I promise. It’s the job.”

“I understand.” Dustin nodded sharply, but his eyes stayed wary.

Fuck. Wes hated this. “I’m going to try to be on chat later, but if I’m not, it’s because I was…called away. The job. Not you. This was amazing.”

“No regrets?” Dustin’s head tilted to the side. His hair was all messed up, adorable bedhead, and Wes wanted nothing more than to crawl back in next to him, mess him up further.

“Absolutely none.” Acting on instinct, Wes pressed a fast kiss to Dustin’s forehead. “You?”

Taking a moment, Dustin finally shook his head. His eyes were shuttered, the distance back between them, instead of the coziness they’d enjoyed post-sex. And it was Wes’s fault, and nothing he could do to fix it. “No regrets. Drive safe.”

“I will.” It was hard to swallow around the lump in his throat. “Message me?”

Dustin nodded, and Wes couldn’t tell whether or not to believe him. Hell, he couldn’t even guarantee he’d be around to get the message anyway. Fuck, this sucked. He gave Dustin another fast forehead kiss, still not trusting himself with more. He was already going to miss Dustin like crazy, so there was no sense in making it worse. The call was just another reminder of what he couldn’t have in his life right now, no matter how much Dustin made him wish otherwise.

No regrets, he reminded himself as he hurried to his jeep, eyes stinging with more than just the chilly early morning air dogging his steps. No regrets. Continue reading

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Book Blitz: (Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo + Excerpt & Giveaway!

(Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo

Walker has two wishes: to perform the play of his dreams alongside his best friend at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre, and to meet that special someone. Someone he’d go to the ends of the earth for. Someone who might only exist in fairy tales.

When Jay meets accordion busker Lethe Cross, it’s like living a dream come true. Lethe’s music captivates Jay, and he resolves to meet the man who plays so beautifully. But then he discovers Lethe’s life is more like a nightmare. The phrase “down on his luck” can’t begin to cover it. Determined to help, Jay does some snooping for answers—and winds up on the wrong end of a centuries-old curse. The good news is there’s a way to break it. The bad news is it might cost Jay his life.

This book was previously published by Dreamspinner Press. This updated 2nd edition has some rewritten parts and has been line edited again.

Available at: Amazon

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Honorary Blogger CB Conwy: The Desire to Write + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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The Desire to Write

by CB Conwy

CB Conwy answers the question, “Where did the desire to write LGBT romance come from?”

If there’s one question every MM writer both love and hate, it’s the “Why do you write this genre? You’re not even a guy! None of your readers are guys!”

(Actually, there are quite a few male readers. But let’s not, you know, confuse the case with logic).

To me, there are two answers. The first one is very simple: I like men. A lot.

The second one is more complicated, and it’s not one I’ve often seen mentioned – but as a matter of fact, I think it’s shared by the majority of readers: MM breaks the gender stereotypes of straight romance. And dear God, do those stereotypes need to be broken.

Romancelandia is a great place to escape for a few hours from the real world. It’s a place that’s emotionally generous and very entertaining. It’s a happy place for many, many readers, me included. But why on Earth should we have to put up with a genre that often pictures the female protagonists as weak, dependent, and powerless compared to their male counterparts? And yes, I get that it’s a fantasy, I get that nobody would act that way in the real world. I also get that I’m probably being unfair to a lot of well written straight romance. But even so: I’m not entertained by seeing women being side characters in their own life while the men decide where the plot goes. I’m a modern, driven woman with a career and a life of my own; I simply can’t see myself in those women. Not even for a couple of hours of entertainment.

That’s where MM romance gives a breath of fresh air. I simply don’t think I could have written the A Russian Bear books with a female protagonist and got any romance publisher to accept it.

That’s also the reason why the character type nicknamed “chick with a brick” (well, actually, it’s another word – you know which one) is the single most despised character type in MM romance. It takes us right back to those clichéd gender stereotypes, and they are, as a matter of fact, equally offensive to women and men. Nobody deserves to be a side character in their own life.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m deeply judgmental towards straight romance – but I do think that’s why a lot of women like MM.

That, and because they like men. Continue reading

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Release Day Blitz + Giveaway: Life on Pause by Erin McLellan

Welcome to the Life on Pause blog tour! Follow along as I stop off at several blogs this week to learn more about this small town m/m romance, which follows a nerdy museum worker and a high school choir teacher as they watch way too much sci-fi on Netflix, wear ridiculous historical costumes, and fall in love.blogger_bee_trans

About Life on Pause

Niles Longfellow is a nerd, and not the trendy type of nerd, either. He wears a historically accurate homesteader costume to work every day, has a total of one friend, and doesn’t know how to talk to guys. So when he gets a flat tire and the hottest hipster ever stops to help him, all Niles can think is that he’s wearing his stupid cowboy getup. Normally, Niles feels invisible to other men, but he’d take that invisibility any day over Rusty Adams seeing him in suede and fringe.

Rusty moved to Bison Hills to help his sister raise her daughter, and nothing is more important to him than that. He’s also fresh off a breakup, and isn’t prepared for anything complicated. But then he meets Niles. Rusty sees Niles as more than a clumsy, insecure guy in a costume. He sees a man who is funny, quirky, and unexpected.

Nothing about their connection is simple, though, especially the lies and insecurities between them. Niles doesn’t know if he can trust Rusty with his heart, and when Rusty’s sister decides to move away, Rusty doesn’t know if he can stay behind.

Available at: Riptide Publishing and Amazon

blogger_bee_trans Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , | 8 Comments

Author Q&A: S.J. Foxx + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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How important is research to you when writing a book?

I suppose it depends on what it is I’m writing. I make sure to know my stuff before I attempt to write it. For ‘The Valet,’ I already had a base knowledge of the 1920s and the period before. I’m a complete history nerd and love classical civilisations, as well as the periods between 1800s – 1940s. When I wrote ‘The Valet,’ I already knew a lot about servants and the sort of lives they lived because that world fascinates me.

What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?

I always handwrite my first drafts. There’s something so free about writing with a pen, it makes my writing flow so naturally. So, I always do this and then type up later.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?

I have a very haphazard schedule. I always keep one free day on the weekend to dedicate to writing. I also write on two or three evenings after work. I take my laptop to my local coffee shop and smash out as many words as I can. It doesn’t produce the fastest results but it’s an improvement from my once a week schedule I used when writing ‘The Valet.’ I’m getting better at writing more frequently, and a lot faster on the days I do write too. I think it’s important for writers starting out to not worry about how long it’s going to take. As long as you keep going, you will finish!

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I know I shouldn’t, but I actually hate outlining. Instead, I get a basic plot, have a very rough idea of something that might happen in the next two to three chapters and just write. I’ve tried to make outlines or even just bullet points of ideas but it really stumps my flow and produces less interesting writing for me. What’s been working for me lately is just to write and then fix later.

What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?

Finding faith in yourself and believing that this is a story worth writing. After that, I always find the first edit terribly difficult too.

What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?

The initial write! I love getting the first draft down on paper and barfing out all of my ideas. It’s something I do really, really quickly. Continue reading

Categories: Author Q&A, Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, LGBT, Published in 2015 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment