Honorary Blogger Post

Honorary Blogger Skylar M. Cates: Dedications + Giveaway!

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Dedications

by Skylar M. Cates

Do you know what irritates me? When my kindle skips over the acknowledgements and dedication pages and always takes me to the first chapter. Maybe I’m a nerd, but I enjoy reading the author’s notes and acknowledgments.

Secrets of You, the fourth book in my Sunshine and Happiness series, has a special dedication. Before I write about it, and I’m a little choked up to do so, I wanted to reflect on some of my previous dedications and what they meant to me.

As I went back to various books and the dedications, each one did have significance. Here are a few that I wanted to share:

Exposed: A first book really is a baby, so who better than Mom to dedicate it to?  A day or so before Exposed was to be on the coming soon page at Dreamspinner, I had a nerve-jangling attack. The book wasn’t ready! It could still be better! I’m taking it back! Mom came to my rescue.

It was my mom who reassured me, cheered me on, and made me take that final leap of faith. She really was my hero that week.

Dedication: And for my mom, my eleventh-hour champion

The Guy from Glamour: Aware of the dedication to my mother in my first novel, my sister said all her friends teased her. Where was she in my acknowledgments? She had to defend our sisterly bond from the doubters.  Although she was joking (sort of), I could tell she wished a book would be dedicated to her too. The Guy from Glamour seemed a perfect choice. The book had sisters, after all, lots of them. Siblings played an important role in the book.

Dedication:  This book is dedicated to Karen, my big sister and my friend

Lovers, Losers, and You:  This wasn’t the first novel that I dedicated to my kids; however, it was the first novel they all took an avid interest in discussing. No, they haven’t read it (yet), but my kids often heard me bemoaning plot and character points with my husband (who nodded in all the correct places), and they began to offer “help”.  In the book, there’s a reality cooking show, and at the time, my daughters loved shows like Cupcake Wars and Master Chef Jr., so I used some of that for inspiration. Each one of my kids wanted to create a judge. I have three kids= three judges. I took notes on the gender, personality and looks. I used what they told me. One day I would love to see them actually read about the judges that they helped their mom create. For now, it makes me smile when I reread those competition scenes.

Dedication: For Ariana, Jared, and Talia—thanks for the judges!

Secrets of You: My original person to thank was my husband. He is the best at giving me time to create. I had the dedication there, ready to go.

Then I changed it.

Editors don’t often get the credit they so richly deserve. They can take an author’s words and improve them. They can talk you off the ledge. They can make you shine. If you’re lucky, as I have been, they are also friends.

At the start of Secrets of You, my head editor Sue was leave, for reasons I didn’t know, but I was assured she was coming back for the second half of the editing process. Sadly, Sue was unable to return. For personal reasons, she had to leave DSP for a longer period.

Although the substitute editor was excellent too, I missed my friend. Only Sue had been with me through the creation of the Sunshine and Happiness series to here. She once joked “I speak Skylar,” and that was for real. She got me.

I decided my hubby could get some other dedication (and had been in other dedications already). Before the final draft went to print, I altered the page.

Dedication: For Sue Adams.

Sue, I miss your expert eye and warm heart. Be well.

There is a second part to my dedication in Secrets of You.

Without readers, writing can be a lonely and frustrating task. On the bad days, it’s enough to make a writer want to stick the manuscript in the closet.

I certainly have felt this way. But then I wonder if somebody is actually waiting and wanting my book? And I push through the doubts.

If you ever are considering sending a writer a small note of appreciation, I’m here to tell you to do it. It matters. A whole lot!

Dedication:

To the loyal readers of this series—you’re the miracle that makes me want to write. You’re the bright sunshine in my day. Thank you!

Writers do not have to leave dedications; it’s optional, but I always do it. How often do we get a chance to thank the important people in our lives? These days, especially, I want to remember to be grateful.

So, guys, next time the kindle jumps to the first chapter, maybe scroll back? Take a look? You never know what dedication is waiting.

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About Secrets of You

secretsofyoufs_v1It’s never easy to find redemption.

Carrying scars and regrets, River Darcourt avoids too much intimate contact. Among his friends, he is known as a quiet loner. Forget about love—it’s not something he will consider—until sweet, young, and tempting Morgan Hayes becomes his housemate. River closed his heart long ago, but the attraction is impossible to deny.

Morgan Hayes needs a change. He is moving out of his critical father’s home and in with his friends, including his secret/not-so-secret crush, River. Having feelings for River is a terrible idea. But what is a guy to do when the annoyingly sexy mechanic is just across the hall?

While Morgan has overcome ugliness and is ready for love, he’s just not sure River ever will be. They have both experienced pain in their lives. So Morgan dares River to take a chance, and love will either break their fractured hearts in more pieces or, just possibly, make them whole again.

Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon

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About Skylar M. Cates

Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. Skylar dreams about spending her days writing her novels, walking along the beach, and making more time for her good friends. On a shoestring budget, Skylar has traveled all over in her early years. Although, lately, the laundry room is the farthest place she has visited, Skylar still loves to chat with people from all around the globe.

Find out more about Skylar on her Blog, Facebook or Twitter.

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Skylar has graciously offered up a copy of the Secrets of You e-book or choice E-book from her backlist to one lucky winner!! The giveaway starts now and ends March 10, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just comment below with who you would dedicate a novel to and why?

Good luck!

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

Honorary Bloggers Kelly Wyre & AF Henley: The Character Discussion + Giveaway!

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The Character Discussion

by Kelly Wyre & AF Henley

Welcome to the Breaker (Exile, Volume 1) Blog Tour and Giveaway! We’re both super excited about this new release and thrilled to be able to share it with you. Throughout this tour, we’re going to be introducing many of the characters within, and associated with, Exile’s bizarre shores, as well as introducing Exile itself. Then we’re going to top that off with a quick little teaser.

However, before we get into any of that we wanted to remind you that we’ve got a couple of awesome giveaways going along with the tour so be sure to read through to the end to find out how you could win either a Silver-plated Starfish Anklet (just by leaving a single comment!), or the grand prize of a signed, print copy of Breaker, a coordinates bracelet with the Believe. Seek. Prove. reminder so you can always find your way back to the island of Exile, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market.

The Character Discussion

AF Henley: *looks up, petrified* What do you mean, “YOU start it this time?”

Kelly Wyre: I think I meant exactly that. And now I’m questioning my life choices. As usual. Ahem. HI EVERYBODY! We’re here to keep on discussing Exile: Breaker characters. Who’s up today, Henley?

AFH: Loaded question, Kelly.

KW: *eyes Henley* Hm. Do you need a second? Does today’s character just… do it for you?

AFH: Aw, Kelly. All our characters do it for me. But Mithra *is* a pretty cool one.

KW: I like her.

AFH: She does the thing… with the thing… that we wrote about.

KW: Yes. That thing. The give-the-Barrier-its-creepy-ass-vibes-thing. Mithra is one of the people who maintains the Barrier on the Island, which is the thing that helps guard it from the overly-militarized-completely-freaked-out-and-trigger-happy world. Unfortunately, it makes Eddie see the Kraken.

AFH: Damn. She’s good at what she does then.

A great big thank you to The Blogger Girls for hosting us today, and another to you for joining in on the fun. Best of luck with the giveaway and we hope you enjoyed the post!

Until next time,

Kelly Wyre and AF Henley ❤ Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Honorary Blogger R Phoenix: Behind Too Close + Giveaway!

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Behind Too Close

by R Phoenix

Hello everyone,

Thank you for taken an interest in me, my work, and what I have to say. Much like Skylar, the main character in my contemporary book Too Close, I have a groan-worthy sense of humor. He didn’t get it from a stranger, but with some of that groan-worthy levity I would like to talk about some deeper stuff.

“I’m dealing with a lot of scary things. I think you have to react to them. And you either laugh at them or you go insane Or you shut off from everything and everyone. Trying not to feel.”
–Death Masks. Jim Butcher.

I’ve been surprised by how many people genuinely want to know about the motivation behind Too Close. I’m not here to tell you everything you read was true, even though my experiences have heavily colored the story depicted in this book. Unfortunately, all too often we run into the question of why people stay in an abusive relationship, and that is something I would like to touch upon in this blog post.

What did the grape say when it got crushed? Nothing. It just let out a little wine.

There’s a misconception that if you’re that miserable, you’ll head out and never look back, but it’s not quite that simple. I’m hoping Too Close gives a better approximation of why people stay. Of course, Skylar’s story is as purely unique as that of any other abuse victim. The reasons for staying vary greatly from person to person. To give you an idea, they tend to come down to thing like love, hope, fear, isolation, lack of resources, children, confusion, guilt, self-worth and social pressure. It is rarely just one thing, and often an amalgamation of several.

We don’t have any vegetable jokes yet, so if you do, lettuce know.

From a young age, we are taught responsibility by our parents, and that responsibility extends to honoring commitments. Then through media, we are often given the message that true love will conquer all and that you should give everything up for a chance at such unique happiness. Love demands sacrifice, love requires you to work on it. Love means that in the end all the hardships will have been worthwhile, because then it was true love!

Do not trust atoms. They make up everything.

We aren’t taught what true love actually looks like though, and all too often, we aren’t taught how much sacrifice is too much. When faced with abuse, reaching out for help becomes hard, because no one wants to admit that maybe they made a mistake in believing their heart and following their emotions. Maybe the situation is abusive, but it also provides financial stability, and wouldn’t it then be silly to leave that behind? Or what if there are children involved, and they are a good parent to them; would you deprive your children of that because you’re feeling undervalued? What if they also tell you that they love you? That they didn’t mean it and will never do it again?

Wouldn’t you want to believe that, knowing that a relationship is a commitment, takes work, and true love is worth it? Besides, where would you go? You can’t go back to your parents because you can’t work out your relationship. You’re an adult now…! Maybe you already know you should leave, but you’re afraid what your partner will do to you or themselves if you do. Maybe, after so long, you have started to believe your partner when they say they love you, but you make them so angry…! You kind of had it coming, right? You could have been nicer. And they’re not that bad. Other people have it much worse!

I tried to catch some fog. I mist. Continue reading

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Honorary Blogger Erica Cameron: Nemesis Playlist + Quotes & Giveaway!

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Nemesis Playlist

by Erica Cameron

I can’t usually listen to music I know when I’m writing. Inevitably, I end up singing along and getting distracted from whatever I’m working on, so I’ve stopped trying to force it. That means I don’t usually create a playlist of music until after the first draft is done. Most often, I’ll be listening to something and one line will spark an “Oh, that reminds me of _____!” thought. This is how my book playlists get built. Slowly. Song by random song.

A note: the list below is in order based on band name, not anything book specific.

The Wicked Ones – 10 Years
Ticking Bomb – Aloe Blacc
Daniel in the Den – Bastille
Angel With a Shotgun – The Cab
Can’t Change Me – Chris Cornell
Seven Devils – Florence + The Machine
The Pretender – Foo Fighters
Wait it Out – Imogen Heap
Not Alone – Linkin Park
Wretches and Kings – Linkin Park
You Can Run, But We’ll Find You – Matchbook Romance
Youth Without Youth – Metric
Zero Sum – Nine Inch Nails
What Am I Becoming? – POP ETC
Ghost – Sir Sly

Listen to the whole list on Spotify here. Continue reading

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Honorary Blogger M.A. Church: The Inspiration Behind In Enemy Hands + Giveaway!

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The Inspiration Behind In Enemy Hands

by M.A. Church

About a year ago, I was taking a break from writing and was goofing off on the Internet and ended up on Google Images. Originally I’d typed in vampires, then an incubus caught my eye, and from there it was a short trip to looking at fey-type characters, lol.

Since it was so long ago, I don’t remember why I was looking at these types of beings—probably needed character inspiration pictures. Then it happened… I ran across an image, one drawn by an artist.

I swear, my world actually stopped. In the artist’s rendition, one character had long black hair and the other had long white. I was so fascinated with the picture, I scrounged around on the Internet until I found who drew it and her gallery. Unfortunately, she’s French, so I couldn’t speak to her, but I saved the link.

The black-headed one (Adlar) is actually what the cover for In Enemy Hands is based on. His pale, pale skin, jet black hair, and pointed ears caught my attention. There was this look about him—introspective, but also restrained violence.

I knew then I had to write these two characters.

When I write science fiction, I usually start with the characters. Once I have them, and know their background, the world building starts from there. The picture I used for inspiration had the character standing side-by-side. The dark-headed one was standings upright with his arms crossed. The white-headed one (Varo) is slightly bent at the waist, his arms crossed, and leaning over a post. They’re both looking into the distance. There is an ease between the two of them, and I knew somehow that was going to be very important to the story.

There’s also a lot of play on imagery in the story. Good guys usually wear the white hats, right? *Points at Varo* There’s Varo with his white-blond hair. Then there’s Adlar, with his pale looks and black hair. Bad guys were black hats, right? *Grin* One of the things you often see in my stories is that appearances can be deceiving. Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2016 | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Honorary Blogger KJ Charles: A Soundtrack to a Story (All in Fear Anthology)

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A Soundtrack to a Story

by KJ Charles

I have a number of bad habits—biting my nails, inadvertently swearing in public, intentionally swearing in public, putting too much chilli in food—but the current worst is probably saying, “Sure, I’ll write a story for that!” without knowing what the story’s going to be about. This summer I found myself having once again done this, with a 15K queer horror story to write, a deadline fast approaching, and a screen as blank as my mind.

I actually find it had to convey how stuck I was. I spent the whole of a Sunday making compote as avoidance therapy, while listening to my favourite album (the cast recording of the recent Sweeney Todd stage production). I had no ideas at all. I went and moaned in my online writers group, where we all firmly agreed I just needed to think of one damn thing and if—

Sorry, wait, hang on, shut up. Did you say Sweeney Todd?

A lot of people will tell you Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street who murders people and makes them into pies, is either a folk myth like Robin Hood, or a real person like Jack the Ripper. But Sweeney was a literary creation, from an amazingly weird, dark and horrific early Victorian pulp tale called The String of Pearls, serialised weekly in 1846-7. This Sweeney is an unrepentant murderer, nothing like the wronged man driven to insanity in the Stephen Sondheim musical.

Sondheim repurposes a lot of the original tale’s characters, as so many people have over the years in adaptations. Johanna, the brave and determined heroine of The String of Pearls, becomes a helpless victim in the musical, confined to a lunatic asylum by an abusive judge (as happens to a different woman in the book). Sondheim invents a young romantic hero, Anthony, rather than using the original love interest, Mark Ingestrie, a man gone to the bad and presumed dead who is imprisoned by Todd to make the famous pies. Mark’s role as victim is taken in the musical by a boy, Toby, who also works for Todd in the book. The book uses as investigator a character ignored by Sondheim, Colonel Jeffery, seeking his friend who was murdered by Todd. (And when I say friend, they are specifically said in the book to have had an “almost romantic friendship… Thornhill made the colonel’s breast the repository of all his thoughts and all his wishes, and a freedom of intercourse and a community of feeling ensued between then, which, when it does take place between persons of really congenial dispositions, produces the most delightful results of human companionship.” Draw your own conclusions.)

The original Sweeney Todd is a brilliant read. The musical is one of my all time favourites; I’ve seen four different stage productions. The whole story has been reconfigured again and again by different writers with different preoccupations, taking the elements and characters, rolling the dice. What the hell, it was my turn. I bet my writing group a pot of freshly made compote that I couldn’t come up with a queered version of Sweeney Todd, and had a full plot and two thousand words by lunchtime the next day.

Just like Sondheim and everyone else, I repurposed the characters. So Johanna’s friend Arabella Wilmot became her lover; Colonel Jeffrey remains an investigator with a missing man to find; Johanna’s lost, wretched love Mark takes on a new role. I resurrected a brilliant piece of London history about the liberty of Alsatia, an area where the laws didn’t apply for the story, and I rewrote the British Empire while I was at it, because why the hell not.

And I had the soundtrack of Sweeney Todd in my head all the time, whispering, threatening, shrieking.

Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd
He served a dark and a vengeful god
What happened then, well, that’s the play
And he wouldn’t want us to give it away

Not Sweeney
Not Sweeney Todd
The demon barber of Fleet Street.

(Those who know the musical may pick up a few Sondheim quotes in the story. Happy spotting!)

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About All in Fear Anthology

 

unnamedCompany by Roan Parrish

Nick Levy’s family is falling apart and he has no friends, but at least he can escape into the world of his favorite comic book series, The Face of the Vampire. Naturally, when the vampire in question shows up one day, Nick is enthralled. After all, what could be better than his own personal fantasy made real? Except that Nick isn’t exactly sure whether Michel is real or not. And when the arrival of a new boy in school promises romance, Nick sees a side of Michel he never could have imagined. This Michel is cruel, jealous . . . and he’ll do anything to keep Nick for himself.

Love Me True by Kris Ripper

Palmer’s life is as good as it gets. Well, okay, so he hates his mind-numbing office job. But he’s found a hot, smart, incredibly kinky guy. The sex is explosive. The power play is off the hook. And if he gets his way, Jon will soon be his husband.

When Palmer asks, Jon says yes. For the first time ever, Palmer thinks things might be really good. Sure, bad things happen in the world—to other people. But this is all he needs: Jon at the end of the day, in their bed, arms around him.

How could he have possibly been so stupid?

The Price of Meat by KJ Charles

Johanna Oakley will do anything to save her beloved Arabella from the cruelty of Mr Fogg’s madhouse—but ‘anything’ turns out to be more than she bargained for when she finds herself working for a man suspected of worse than murder. As Johanna is plunged from the horror of Sawney Reynard’s barber shop into the foul, lawless labyrinth at the heart of London, can she or anyone get out alive?

His Mouth Will Taste of Chernobyl by Steve Berman

Joining Zeta Psi isn’t Steve’s dream, it’s his dad’s. Nevertheless his dad’s gift of the mysterious Bailey flask gets Steve an in to the frat house, and maybe his best shot at being accepted on campus. But the flask’s silver sheen may only be lighting his way into the darkness at the heart of the frat—and the darkness he’s learning is within himself. Steve wants to choose who he is, but choices are dropping like flies as he learns the true mystery of the Bailey flask. How does he give back a gift that’s also a curse?

Legion: A Love Story by Avon Gale

STAFF SERGEANT JASON ESSEX, YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING ORDERS FROM THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS:

REPORT TO: CAIN INSTITUTE [ADDRESS REDACTED]

ACTIVE DUTY COMMITMENT: GUARD AN ENTITY CURRENTLY HELD IN AN ENCLOSURE AT THE CAIN INSTITUTE. RECORD DAILY MEASUREMENTS. KEEP ANY AND ALL PERSONS FROM ENTERING OR LEAVING THE FACILITY. ENSURE THE ENTITY REMAINS COMPLETELY INCARCERATED. OBSERVE THE ENTITY WITHOUT ENGAGING.

ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS: THIS ASSIGNMENT WILL BE CARRIED OUT IN FULL ISOLATION. PLEASE BE ADVISED.

Beauties by J.A. Rock

When Dr. Lester Usole attends an event at AI developer Carnificiality, he’s introduced to Beauties: artificial beings designed to provide tailored sexual experiences for their human owners. Lester isn’t interested in sex—but he is fascinated by Ira, a Beauty too violent to be sold.

Lester convinces Carnificiality to give Ira to him. Lester has always wanted the chance to work with an adult AI, and around Lester, Ira isn’t violent. He’s strangely innocent, uncannily perceptive, and his company does much to ease Lester’s loneliness. Except something’s not quite right: Ira roams at night, even when Lester’s sure he’s locked Ira’s door.

Soon Lester is certain of only one thing: Ira has a secret. Something that will link their pasts and change the course of their future—if Lester is willing to face what’s on the inside.

Available at: Open Ink Press  |  Amazon  |  B&N  |  ARe  |   Apple  |  Kobo

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About Authors

Steve Berman: Steve Berman loves to tell stories that are both queer and weird. He was a Zeta Psi back in his college days at and remembers being hazed. He survived and graduated and even earned a Masters Degree in Liberal Studies. He has written and sold over a hundred articles, essays, and short stories. His YA novel, Vintage, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award.

Find out more at Steve’s Website.

KJ Charles: KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, and a cat with murder management issues. KJ writes mostly historical romance, mostly queer, often with fantasy or horror in there.

Find her on Twitter, pick up book info and free reads on her website, get the infrequent newsletter at kjcharleswriter.com/newsletter, or join her Facebook group, KJ Charles Chat, for sneak peeks and exclusives.

Avon Gale: Avon Gale wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it — even if it was a bit weirder than the other, more normal hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after — though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

Connect with Avon on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or sign up for her Newsletter.

 

Roan Parrish: Roan Parrish lives in Philadelphia where she is gradually attempting to write love stories in every genre.

When not writing, she can usually be found cutting her friends’ hair, meandering through whatever city she’s in while listening to torch songs and melodic death metal, or cooking overly elaborate meals. She loves bonfires, winter beaches, minor chord harmonies, and self-tattooing. One time she may or may not have baked a six-layer chocolate cake and then thrown it out the window in a fit of pique.

Sign up for her Newsletter to receive updates about new releases, works-in-progress, and bonus materials like sneak peeks and extra scenes! Find out more on her Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

Kris Ripper: Kris Ripper lives in the great state of California and hails from the San Francisco Bay Area. Kris shares a converted garage with a little kid, can do two pull-ups in a row, and can write backwards. (No, really.) Kris is genderqueer and prefers the z-based pronouns because they’re freaking sweet. Ze has been writing fiction since ze learned how to write, and boring zir stuffed animals with stories long before that.

Find out more on Kris’ Website, Facebook or Twitter

J.A. Rock: J.A. Rock is the author or coauthor of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A. has received Lambda Literary and INDIEFAB Award nominations for Minotaur, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Pauline Reage Novel Award. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Find out more on her Website, Blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Categories: Book Promo, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog Tour Serial: That Time Kai Rescued A Shoe (part 3) by Rhys Ford + Giveaway!

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That Time Kai Rescued A Shoe (part 3)

by Rhys Ford

Thank you for following the Mad Lizard Mambo tour. My name’s Rhys Ford and well, we’re going back to the first character I wrote for this genre, Kai Gracen.

When I first began to write seriously, I went with an urban fantasy featuring a bisexual elfin character named Kai Gracen. The first book was Black Dog Blues and to make a long story short, DSP Publications approached me about publishing it after I’d self-pubbed it following my publishing a few books with Dreamspinner. DSP Publications hadn’t started yet but it suited their catalog and well, it’s a Dreamspinner Imprint so of course I was on board.

Now, after a few years, I would like to introduce to you Kai’s second adventure, Mad Lizard Mambo. It takes place a little bit after Black Dog Blues and well, life’s just gotten more complicated for Kai. I hope you enjoy it as well as the three short pieces I’ve done for this tour.

The first, When Kai Fell in Love, is written a little bit after Dempsey took him in. He’s young in this section and while his Singlish isn’t great, he understands a lot of what he hears. This is two parts.

The second, When Kai Discovers He Does Not Bounce, is when he’s about in his early teens(ish) and he’s on a disaster of a hunt with Dempsey. This is in four parts.

The third, That Time Kai Rescued A Shoe, is a few months after Dempsey retired and he’s moved into his warehouse in San Diego. This is in three parts.

Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to enter the giveaway on this blog! Follow the stories as they unfold on the tour and enter to win a $20 USD Gift Certificate at the e-retailer of your choice at every stop! See below for more details.

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That Time Kai Rescued A Shoe (part 3)

The newt was huge. Larger than a lot of dragons stomping around the lava fields in Pendle pretending to be apex predators. Okay, it might not have been that big but it was certainly bigger than a standard tiger. Not one of the saber toothed ones, just a standard.

One thing for sure, the tiger would be a lot prettier.

Cave newts were somewhat see-through, mottled geckos who waddled at alarming speeds and preferred to spend their time partially submerged in muck and water. Normally, they were harmless, inedible blobs of gelatinous meat without much interaction with the human world, hibernating much of their life away.

Until they woke up and then an insane hunger drove them from their happy little mud packs and up towards the surface where they feasted on pigeons, rats, fish and the occasional bunny. It was a cyclic life of sleep, raging hunger, frenzied feeding then more sleep.

Problem was, they grew while they slept, using up their energy reserves so when they woke again, their only instinct was to consume everything in their path. And if they’d eaten something particularly large, they doubled or sometimes even tripled their size during their slumber. Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

Honorary Blogger Joseph Lance Tonlet: Strength in Submitting + Giveaway

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Strength in Submitting

by Joseph Lance Tonlet

Merriam-Webster defines submission as:

An act of submitting to the authority or control of another

The most important word in that definition, as it applies to this article, is act. As a submissive, I believe that act of giving is a gift, and it’s something I take enormous pride in. Indeed, nothing that I can see within the definition implies something being done to me (without my consent) or being taken from me (without my consent). Additionally, there’s no implication of weakness – which is another important point.

I’m going to veer off for a bit, but I promise to return to the topic. *smiles* I don’t’ know if it applies to all authors, but the often repeated I’m a reader first, and an author second definitely rings true for me. Books are my passion, they’re my entertainment, my escape, and they’re my hobby. Throughout my life books have offered me a safe place. In my teen years they allowed me to escape a strictly religious home life and venture into worlds where being gay wasn’t an unequivocal sentence to a fiery place of damnation. Later, as an adult, they offered a level of entertainment, with their gay content, no television show or trip to the movie theatre could even come close to matching. And, now they’re the vehicle I use to tell my own naughty stories.

When I pick up a book, I’m filled with hope. The hope that I’ll meet characters I can relate to, hope that I’ll ‘see’ places I might long to visit, and hope that I’ll experience stories that will stay with me long after those dreaded The End words are read. My challenge in finding those books has grown as, over time, who I am has changed. Of most significance is my self-identification as a submissive.

Phetra H. Novak, of the review site Seduce Me With Words, said something in her review of Grif’s Toy that so matches my feelings they could’ve been my own words. I found her entire review stunningly beautiful, but I’ve placed the (paraphrased) comment which struck me hardest here:

“…[so often] the submissive is portrayed as a person who has to be convinced by the more dominant partner of what they need; like a child who needs a parent to explain why it’s important to brush their teeth. That aspect, that hint of “parent/child” behavior (for the lack of a better comparison), drives me absolutely bonkers.”

Another phrase I often hear is It takes more strength to kneel before than it does to stand over. Although I certainly appreciate the intended compliment toward submissives, I’m not sure there is more fortitude in either role. I’m not a Dominant and, therefore, I have no concept of the strength required to assume that position or mindset. However, I can surmise it’s simply a different type of courage. Neither is better, or stronger, or more valuable. In Wes’ Denial, one of the main characters, a younger Wes, is on a journey and finds himself under the tutelage of a far more experienced Dominant. Below, we join Wes, Thomas, and his sub, Henrik in a teaching moment:

“Henrik climbed onto the table and assumed a hands-and-knees position. Thomas, with a tap to Henrik’s inner thigh, silently ordered his legs wider apart and then ran a finger over Henrik’s exposed hole.

“Why are you here, Pet?”

“My sole purpose is to please you, Mirus.”

“You see, Weston, the important thing is his gift.”

I looked at him, perplexed. “His gift?”

“You said you were here to learn, is that right?”

I nodded. “Yes. Absolutely.”

“Then the first thing I’d like to share is my philosophy on The Gift. That philosophy is what everything else is based on.”

He was talking to me, looking at me, but his finger never ceased its gentle strokes over Henrik’s exposed hole.

“He gives me—all subs give us—a gift; a gift of self. He has no idea what I’m going to do to him this evening; it could be toe-curling pleasure, or pain so intense he’ll be screaming and begging me to stop. Or perhaps both.” His hand abandoned Henrik’s ass and softly ran up the man’s tight back. “Isn’t that right, Henrik?”

His muscles tensed and his torso arched slightly at the soft touch. “Yes, Thomas. I am yours to do with as you please. To use in the way which offers you the most pleasure.”

I stood slightly to their side and had a clear view of Henrik’s refined profile. “The desire to please aside, do you hope for something in particular tonight, Henrik?” I asked.

Thomas’ hand moved down his back, past the puckering hole, and gently palmed Henrik’s low hanging balls. “Yes, Wes. I do. Mirus knows exactly what pleases me. Of course I want that, desire that. But if he decides I’ll not have it then I’ll find my pleasure in knowing I’ve served him well.”

“He does this because he knows—because I’ve communicated, on the most basic level—how deeply I appreciate what he’s giving me.” Thomas steadily rolled and massaged Henrik’s nuts in his palm. “There’s no doubt in his mind how much I value him. Without their gifts, Weston, we’d be alone without an outlet. There are those who quite mistakenly judge submissives as less than, and us Doms as better than. That we, because we’re the aggressors—because we’re male and assertive—that we somehow hold a higher position, or that we’re somehow better. This can be a costly mistake. One I hope you’re never guilty of making.”

In my experience, most submissives freely relinquish control to a Dominant not because they need to, not because they seek a parental figure, and not because they are broken and require fixing. We offer the gift of kneeling because it brings us pleasure. And, we are thankful for the gift given to us when a Dominate accepts our offering. My partner and I have been married for nearly thirty years and maintain a self-styled D/s relationship. I won’t go into specifics, but like Wes and Grif, we have very distinct Vanilla and Chocolate times. Thus, when I kneel I’m not kneeling for my husband, rather I’m kneeling for my Dom. A Dom who respects me. A Dom who accepts my gifts. A Dom who offers me his gifts in return.

If you’re an author and you happen to be reading this, know I appreciate – beyond words – reading your portrayals of strong, healthy, fully fleshed out submissives. If you’re a reader and you also enjoy these types of characters, perhaps Grif and Wes might just be your thing.

Peace,
JLT
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About Wes’ Denial

23211354Wes has spent his life looking for that one special guy who will understand and love him—all of him. From his tender vanilla side, to his darker debauched side.

Throughout high school, his successful career in the Marines, and as a BDSM Dom, he’s remained confident his partner is out there waiting to be found.

However, several events shake his normally unflappable self–assurance.

And, even after he finds Grif, will his past catch up with him and possibly drive his soul mate away?

Available at: PayhipAmazonSmashwords and ARE

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About Joseph Lance Tonlet

JOSEPH is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing.

A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Ello | Google+ | Pinterest | Tumblr (18+) | Goodreads | YouTube

Blog_Tour_Giveaway

As part of this blog tour, Joseph is giving away several awesome prizes!! 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.

Don’t forget to check out JustJen’s review of Wes’ Denial to see what she thought of it!

Good luck!

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2016 | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Honorary Blogger Alicia Cameron: Inherent Cost – Behind the Scenes

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Inherent Cost – Behind the Scenes

by Alicia Cameron

    Writing Inherent Cost was utterly exciting and exhausting! More than any other book I’ve written, this one has stretched out over time, location, and setting in ways that none of my other books have done. My normal book-writing process looks a little like this: get some inspiration, come up with a loose plot, write a little bit of an outline, and then start filling in, almost from beginning to end. The first book in the series, Inherent Gifts, was written from the first to last page over about four months, without ever taking a break. For Inherent Cost, the process was turned on its head. I started with a handful of scenes, written when I wrote the first two books, and put aside because they just didn’t fit yet. That handful of scenes sat, untouched, for the better part of a year before I returned to them, giving them the love they rightfully deserved. I wrote the majority of the plot for the first draft while I was at a local hospital, visiting a friend who had a mysterious growth in her stomach. I have no doubt that the medical setting influenced much of what I wrote.

As much as I loved parts of the story, there was just something “off” about it. It didn’t flow, it didn’t always make sense, and the transitions from one scene to another were sort of “blah.” Two editors and about eight hundred revisions later (okay, I think it was closer to 18, but you get the point), I am proud to say that it is “on!” If I went back in time and told my previous self that I would not only write a third book in this series, but that I would spend so long editing and refining it, I would have told me that I was out of my mind! I think current me agrees. This book has always come in leaps and bounds—my record for a single day’s word count was just over 12,000, but I’m guessing a lot of those words got cut. Normally, I write with some sort of plan; for Inherent Cost, it was more of a passionate explosion. The stories were just so alive, so vivid in my mind, and I dumped them out as quickly as possible. Even during rewrites, I would spend hours or days thinking, plotting, planning, and discarding, only to come upon a wonderful plot idea, which I would type out as quickly as my fingers could jab the keyboard.

This book, more than the others, also required a good deal of research. If anything, I needed a better understanding of politics. I had a lot of guidance from the team at ForbiddenFiction in this process, which was vital, because my last encounter with politics, government, or history was back in the tenth grade. I also spent a lot of time researching online, trying to find societies to model mine after. In the process, a lot of the social justice and disease-related elements seemed to meld into one issue, and the Ebola Virus epidemic in 2014 helped me to structure a lot of my medical thoughts. I created the “rotting disease,” loosely based on this epidemic. The public panic and the human rights offenses that were committed in the name of stopping the spread of Ebola seemed fitting, and placing it in a world where human life was already undervalued seemed the perfect opportunity to say more about the story but also about our world.

 

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About Inherent Cost

25305885A train wreck outside Hojer injures Jere and Wren, destroying their anniversary bliss, and thrusting them back into the dangers of their home, where slaves like Wren are treated as animals. While Jere struggles for consciousness, Wren is seized with the other slaves. When Jere comes to the rescue he is furious to find Wren kenneled, neglected, and abused.

For the last two years, Jere has been using his status as a healer to protect Wren and his second slave, Isis. Wren’s controversial fire talent is getting harder and harder to hide, Isis is desperate to escape to her family in a free state, and Jere’s compassion is making enemies of powerful slave owners. Meanwhile, upcoming elections are stirring political unrest. Jere supports a reformation that could improve the lives of Arona’s slaves by treating them in human clinics like Jere’s, instead of sending them to animal healers. But the slavers are only motivated by the threat of an untreatable infectious disease spreading inexorably towards Hojer.

The more Jere becomes involved in politics, the more his clinic and his household come under scrutiny, prompting the Arona slave regulation board to harass Jere, questioning his ability to manage his clinic, and threatening to take away Wren and Isis. The two slaves are preparing to be evaluated, when Jere stumbles upon information that could separate the three of them forever.

 

Available at: Fantastic Fiction Publishing

Check out what Jen’s review of Inherent Cost to see what she thought of it!

 

 

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About Alicia Cameron

Alicia Cameron has been making up stories since before she can remember. After discovering erotica during a high school banned books project, she never really turned back. She lives in Denver, Colorado with two tiny dogs and a rabbit who conspire regularly to distract her from doing anything productive. By day she works in the mental health field and is passionate about youth rights and welfare. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, glitter, and punk rock concerts.

 

 

Categories: Book Promo, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2016 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger R.J. Scott: Do You Want Another Book? + Giveaway!

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Do You Want Another Book?

by R.J. Scott

So, Montana 2 released and the emails and posts began. The end of M2, The Rancher’s Son, has an ending that intrigued (thank goodness it worked!) and I’d added at the end that the next book would be out in October 2016.

That didn’t go down so well. That was a long time, but I said that I was writing Legacy, and Sanctuary, and that Montana would happen on time.

And then I listened to the readers, to the ones who emailed me, and being an independently published author I have wiggle room in my schedule (which is planned through to Jan 2018 now – my editor is crying). So I pulled M3 forward, A Cowboy’s Home became my new focus, and the book flowed really nicely.

Only I didn’t know it was going to be quite so dark, but then, how dark could I go before offering Justin redemption.

The thing I love most about being an author – apart from the fact stories and writing are my first love outside family – is the emails I receive, or the comments in reviews.

If you love a book, tell the author. I know I do, in fact I fan girl Jordan L Hawk, Marie Sexton, Charlie Cochet, Avery Cockburn, and more! I would love to hear from you, and I promise I always reply!

Do you write to authors you like?

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About A Cowboy’s Home

29424694One burned and broken man finds his way home. Can he find peace in the arms of a man easy to love?

Justin made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, battling domestic terrorism, never the man he really was, using hate to avenge the death of his best friend. The friend he’d killed.

What he doesn’t count on is getting shot, and if he’s going to die he wants it to be on Crooked Tree soil. Home.

Sam is as much a part of Crooked Tree as any of the families, and the offer to buy into the ranch is a dream come true. But falling for a hidden, secretive, injured man isn’t the way to keep his head in the game.

Available at: Love Lane Books & Amazonblogger_bee_trans

About R.J. Scott

RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing. 

RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

You can check out more about RJ on her BlogFacebookTwitterLibrary ThingGoodreadsPinterest or email her at rj@rjscott.co.uk.

Blog_Tour_Giveaway

As part of this blog tour, RJ is giving away a $25 Amazon or Are Giftcard, multiple Ebooks from RJ Scott’s Backlist!! 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.

Don’t forget to check out Susan65’s review of A Cowboy’s Home to see what she thought of it!

Good luck!

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2016 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment