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Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: Kane & Miki + Giveaway!

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415 Ink: Rebel

by Rhys Ford

Hello and welcome to the 415 Ink: Rebel Blog Tour. I’d like to say I’m Rhys Ford, your host but the truth is, I am merely a stealer of space and time. Their space, your time. BUT I hope I can make it worth your while.

Because dudes, I’ve got a book I want to tell you about.

If you know me at all, you know I have a few tattoos and well, have a hardcore love for art. Skin art to be exact. It’s a difficult medium and well, there’s a culture surrounding it as well. Being a tattoo artist is more than a profession, it truly is a calling, or it is for the great artists, the ones who push at the boundaries of skin and ink and do fantastical things on a living canvas.

The 415 Ink series hopefully will capture a part of that culture and also showcase five foster brothers who have made their own family. Set in San Francisco, I will introduce you to each of the five in a series of books where they find love and in some cases, their true path in life. The first, Rebel, is about Gus, the true middle kid in the bunch, and the man whose love he’d won, lost and hopefully will love again.

As all of my blog tours, I want to present you with something unique at each stop as well as a giveaway. So, for each blog, I will give you a story (or part of a story as I’ve split most into two pieces) about a tattoo… involving a character from one of my series. Check out the blog stop list to get a sneak peek at the characters!

The giveaway? You’ll be entering to win a $20 USD gift certificate to the online retailer of your choice!

Now, onto the tales of tattoos and where you can find Rebel, on sale December 29th through Dreamspinner, Amazon and other fine bookstores.

*****

San Francisco — Kane Morgan and Miki St. John

There were very few times in his life when Miki was by his side as he strolled past the Fisherman’s Wharf sign. That path was usually reserved for Rafe, Sionn and Connor, especially when they were on a run or hitting up the old crab shack for lunch. It seemed odd to have his rangy, too-pretty rock star of a lover walking next to him in bright daylight and not be headed to Finnegan’s.

Even stranger were the stares Miki pulled in as he walked by small crowds of people. He knew Miki was famous. He couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing Miki’s voice rotating through a song list, and there’d been more than a few times when they were out and someone approached cautiously, eager to get Miki’s attention but reluctant to interrupt.

That was when Kane remembered he shared Miki with the world. It wasn’t a bad thing, especially when he watched his prickly lover turn bashful and shy. He could talk music for hours — and had, blowing their reservations at a dinner once — but just like the star Kane wore, Miki had a calling and enthusiastic fans were simply part of it.

Even if Miki hated the attention, he always stopped and listened, smiling when Kane knew he wanted to die a little bit inside when all eyes were on him, and he could see their faces. It’d taken a long time for Kane to understand the difference. Up close and personal was hard but on stage, Miki saw nothing but heard their voices, a chorus chanting back the band’s words, filling in the silence Miki often nursed inside of himself. Performing was a way for Miki to bathe in the music and touch the stars.

“You always stop. You have to stop.” Miki snorted with disgust when Connor innocently suggested the band excused themselves from fan encounters. “They’re the reason we’re up there. Somebody worked at a shitty job so they could see us up on stage. They might have eaten ramen for month for those tickets or even that album. Yeah, they don’t own us but they’ve invested in us. And all I’ve got to invest in them is time so I’m always gonna stop.”

While Kane agreed with the sentiment, today he hoped no one reached out to touch his rock star. Today was a long day coming, a gift he’d promised himself years before. Today was the day he would finally become a Morgan cop.

“It’s shitty the parking structure so far away.” Miki shivered a bit, ducking his head down when the light turned green, and they had to dash across the street through the chilly rain. “’Course I guess I should just be fucking glad there’s a parking structure. Remember when you had to circle around a lot? And we used to have this beat-up old van that was bigger than a Cadillac so we’d have gigs down here at eight but came down to park in the afternoon and feed the meter just so we had a spot.”

“You know, that’s one of my biggest regrets… not seeing you guys play before.” Kane snuck a look at Miki’s pale face, worried that he was setting too hard of a pace for Miki’s blown out knee. “You must have had some really kick ass shows.”

Miki wrinkled his nose as if he’d just been served a large helping of bitter melon stew. “Not back then. I mean there are a lot of places down here that have good music but the ones that hired us were just looking for some background noise while everybody drank. We played covers mostly and there were some nights we drank more than what we were paid but it was fun. Mostly. Sometimes, not so much but that’s what happens when you’re in a band. This is the same place that we went to for Ichi, right? They’ve got a dog named… Earl.” Continue reading

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , | 66 Comments

Honorary Blogger Morningstar Ashley: The Begin Again Series – What to Expect! And Other Future Projects + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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The Begin Again Series – What to Expect! And Other Future Projects

by Morningstar Ashley

When this series started it was just going to be a standalone of Mac and Bennett, but Jaden snuck in loud and clear and said “I want a damn happily ever after!” so, of course, he gets his wish. And the poor guy he’s going after doesn’t stand a chance. I wonder if people have figured out who it is? 😉

Then, there’s Allie, who in the course of writing A Different Light, I fell in-love with! I mean she is the kind of person I’d love to be, with her tattoos, throwing gender norms out the window, and complete sass! She has fought so hard in her life to be true to herself in a town that would love for her to go quietly back to where she was hiding. She will get her story after Jaden, and it will most likely be a novella at some point next year. AND, it’ll be a F/F story but one that for those that do not enjoy those, they can skip it without worrying about missing any important developments.

Then just this past week, two things happened LOL. First, Mac and Bennett decided they weren’t quite done. There’s just one more story they want told and it’ll most likely be a Christmas story, mainly because of scheduling. And it’’ be sappy and cute with all kinds of lovey stuff if Mac has any say. The second thing that happened is a secondary character decided he too wanted his HEA. If you’ve read the book and you remember Jesse, the senior boy that was about to graduate high school, you will see him in the future, although I’m not quite sure when.

So, what is this series about? This is about beginning again, starting over to find your happy. Sometimes that means working through a problem from the past, or working toward something for your future. Like Bennett had to work passed his judgements and his fear. Mac had to work passed the hurt caused by his parents and the guilt he carried for the last ten years. All the characters who live, or work, or move to White Acre will find their home, find their love, and most of all find themselves.

Lastly, regarding the Love By Design series, Peter’s book will be coming, I promise! He’s being a bit broody and quiet letting Bennett and Jaden step up and get theirs first. I think he just wants to put off finding his guy because he’s a chicken, but hey, that’s just my opinion. My goal for him is mid-year as long as he cooperates! After Peter, brings us Ben! It’ll be a busy year! Continue reading

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

Honorary Blogger Mickie B. Ashling: Eighth Day of Christmas + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Eighth Day of Christmas

by Mickie B. Ashling

Happy Holidays and thank you for helping me celebrate the release of my Christmas novella, Being With Him. This is a standalone featuring Zeb and Alex, the newest members of the Horizons family.    

As part of my 12 days of Christmas blog tour, I bring you a different recipe each day from Alex’s kitchen aka Southern Living. This man can cook and Zeb is the lucky recipient of his vast culinary arsenal. 

Continue reading

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Berkley Bookmas Featuring Julie James and Her Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipe + Giveaway!

The Blogger Girls are so excited to participate in Berkley Bookmas and we’re hosting Julie James’ favorite holiday cookie recipe today! Berkley Bookmas is chock full of exclusive content from authors like exclusive excerpts, deleted scenes, author recipes and more! Check out the calendar of events below:

Now for Julie James’ favorite holiday cookie recipe!!

Need Cookies for the holidays? I’ve got your back.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things about the holidays was my grandmother’s cookies. She used to spend days baking, and when we visited her house every Christmas Eve, there would be platters and tins of cookies seemingly everywhere.

Over the years, my cookie recipe book has expanded, but below are two classics that have been party of my family’s holiday traditions for years. Both are kid-friendly, adult-friendly, easy to make, and loaded with chocolate (generally a requirement for all my cookies, snickerdoodles excepted.) Enjoy!

Snowball Cookies Continue reading

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Honorary Blogger Davidson King: Character Inspiration + Excerpt & Giveaway

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Character Inspiration

by Davidson King

Snow started it all. Seriously. It was over a year ago. We were having a very long winter and it seemed to never stop snowing. Layers upon layers. I remember thinking how everything blended together and how when something fell through the snow it became one with it.

This made my mind wander and I actually pictured my daughter and how if she had white hair I wouldn’t find her in all the sparkling white snow. As my mind dug deeper she morphed into he, Snow. His story of why he’d be blending into the snow. Was he running, hiding, who was he?

I went home and started writing what he looked like. White blond hair, like fresh fallen…snow. Eyes so blue they almost glowed and were like blue fire when he was angry. Skin that challenged his hair for the right to be alabaster.

I then knew his personality would have to be just as sharp, amazing, and unique. I knew he’d be snarky and brave. He’d challenge and submit. He’d be outstanding.

Snow was light and there’s always darkness that accompanies light. Together they make a shadow. That was when Christopher came to be. His dark hair, dark eyes, olive complexion. His broad body and rough attitude was the polar opposite of Snow. Together they would mingle and become an eclipse.

I knew these two would be my characters. Christopher was born from Snow. I guess you could say they were born for each other.

Inspiration came with the weather and then with the light. Odd as it may sound that’s how they came to be.
Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Honorary Blogger Sera Trevor: About the Characters + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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About the Characters

by Sera Trevor

What’s in a name?

Well, a lot when you’re writing. When I’m writing a book, picking the right name can bring the whole character together. The wrong name, however, can leave me floundering. Sometimes the names come to me immediately, but other characters are more of a challenge.

In Curses, Foiled Again, I knew what to name my vampires right off the bat: Felix, one of my MCs, and his sister, Cat. I wanted my vampires to have a feline quality to them. I love how cats have dual identities—on the one hand, they can be very sleek and elegant, and are very efficient predators. On the other hand, they can also be ridiculous, as a million cat memes can attest to. Felix is named after the famous cartoon cat, and Cat—well, I think that’s self explanatory.

My other MC, John, was a little tougher. I wanted a sensible name that wasn’t very flashy, since John is a stoic person. I also wanted a very English name, to connect him with the centuries old curse that plagues him, which originated in the British colonies in the American colonial period. I think “John” fits the bill.

For John’s best friend, I wanted a Spanish name to reflect her Latina heritage. I have always loved the name “Dolores,” which derives from La Virgen María de los Dolores, which translates to “Virgin Mary of Sorrows.”  I shortened it to “Lo,” partly because “Dolores” feels a little old-fashioned for a young lady, and partly because “Lo” sounds like “low” and more directly hints at the “sorrow” connection. Lo isn’t a particularly sad person, but she’s someone who has faced sorrows in her life and come out stronger for it. Part of her role in the story is to show an alternative to the way John deals with tragedy—which is by shutting down and checking out of his own life. Lo faces things, which makes her healthier.

And finally, my villain, Richard, who had the wrong name for half the time I was writing the story. I called him “Gene” because it has some Old Hollywood connotations to me because of Gene Kelly, and he’s a character with a huge connection to Old Hollywood. But for the life of me, I could not figure his character out! His motivations were very slippery to me, and I spent a lot of time floundering. Finally, I made a list of some famous villains to see if anything jumped out at me. It worked—I picked Shakespeare’s Richard III as his namesake, and from then on out, I understood him completely. To say more would be spoiling things, but needless to say, he is a very tricky person.

I don’t think it’s necessary for authors to always have complex reasons behind the names they choose, but I do think that it’s a great opportunity to add an extra layer of meaning. It might not be something readers pick up on, but for me, having the right names helps shape the story. Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, 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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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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Honorary Bloggers Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott: He Was Never Supposed to Stick… & Excerpt + Giveaway!

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He Was Never Supposed to Stick…

by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

There are your plans…

And then there are your characters’ plans.

Sometimes it’s best to let your characters win.

Rinda Elliott and I are plotters. We have to be with two people working on the same book. No plot outline means lots of chaos. We are both writing at the same time, and we must have a solid idea of what the other is planning, where she is going.

Of course, it’s not planned to death. There’s room for improvising, changes, or going completely off the rails if a really good idea strikes.

In short, you leave room for the magic that you can’t plan for.

And Geoffrey Ralse was pure magic.

His first appearance was in a scene in Shiver, book one of the Unbreakable Bonds series. We first see him drunk and crawling all over the gruff and grumpy Dr. Ashton “Snow” Frost. He was supposed to be one of those one-off, adorable and funny characters that enhances a scene but is ultimately forgotten.

But Geoffrey was never forgotten.

When readers took a chance on Shiver, they asked if they’d seen more of Geoffrey. Rinda and I were also asking if we’d see more of Geoffrey. He was flirty and sassy and so much fun to write. We could feel his hidden depths and wanted to explore them.

So…we gave Geoffrey a bigger, more important scene in Shatter, book 2 of the Unbreakable Bonds series. That particular book also included Sven Larsen, who would also find a home in Psycho Romeo with Geoffrey.

As before, Geoffrey shined.

He appeared again in Torch, book 3, and had some touching words to add in Devour, book 4, when we closed out the series.   

Of course, by the end of Torch, Rinda and I had started to scheme a new future for Geoffrey, where he would get his own book, his own adventure, and his own happily ever after. He’s a great, dynamic character. He’s not at all what we expected when we first introduced this sexy club kid in Shiver, but we fell in love.

Psycho Romeo with Geoffrey and Sven was amazing fun to write. It was like watching one of your children grow up over the years and finally achieve the happiness that you always hoped they would find.

We hope that you love Geoffrey too. Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Honorary Blogger L.M. Brown: Technology – The Bane of Our Lives + Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Technology – The Bane of Our Lives

by L.M. Brown

Technology is great, when it’s working properly, but when it goes wrong it can be a frustrating nightmare.  We’ve all been there.  An operating system update that stops our favourite program working correctly, a frozen screen when you haven’t yet saved that amazing scene you just wrote, or even worse the Blue Screen of Death that appears in a flash and signals that your computer has some serious problem that, if you’re like me, you have no clue how to fix.

Technology today does things that most people couldn’t even imagine thirty or so years ago.  So imagine what it might be able to do in another hundred years.

That is part of the concept behind Holographic Havoc.  The story is set in the near future where inventions are becoming more and more complex and are able to do even more than they do now.  I set the story 2102, though considering how quickly our technology evolves, it may be that the invention that the story revolves around is something that is not only around, but already obsolete by the time that year arrives.  Not that I am going to be around to see it any event.

So, what is this invention I am talking about?   

Well, it is a holographic personal assistant that is designed to help the user in all aspects of their life. Whether it is organising meetings, booking a restaurant, doing your shopping, or maintaining a good relationship with the mother-in-law, this fictional invention is there to help.

Amazing right?  

But what about when that piece of technology decides to go wrong?   After all, the more complicated the program, the more likely it is to have bugs that are designed to drive a person completely insane.

I hope you enjoy reading about what happens when Hayden’s holographic assistant develops an unexpected bug.  

Feel free to share your own techie horror stories here – we all have them and it sure is nice to know we are not alone when we’re screaming at our computers to just work!

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About Holographic Havoc

Hayden Knight’s job is simple. All he has to do is sell his father’s latest invention to Tate South, the Acquisitions Manager of the biggest supplier of the best in cutting-edge technology. The virtual assistant is designed to help the user in all aspects of their life, but Hayden views the holographic helper as nothing but a nuisance. Keeping his annoyance to himself is relatively easy until a major technical glitch causes Tate to see and hear Hayden’s assistant.

Hayden and Tate are thrown together while they try to figure out what has happened, and the chemistry between them is electric. Hayden soon finds that convincing Tate that he needs a Holo-Assistant isn’t as important to him as persuading him he needs Hayden in his life.

The attraction is mutual and the sparks fly. If only they could get rid of their holographic third wheel.

Available at: Amazon

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An Exclusive Excerpt from Holographic Havoc

After picking up Hayden’s car, a self-driving sporty model that was as comfortable as it was sleek, they settled in for the journey, with Randy hovering in the back seat.

“What sort of information can the assistant access about individuals? About me?”

“Anything that’s public knowledge.”

“Care to demonstrate?”

“Randy, please tell me everything you know about Tate.”

“Tate South, aged twenty seven, date of birth 6th May 2075. Owner of ED Electronics and Head of Acquisitions.”

“What about personal stuff?” Tate interrupted.

“Personal?” Hayden asked.

“My name, age, job, and stuff like that is all public record. What else can it find out?”

“Randy, personal profile of Tate please.”

“Tate South, single, currently ranked as number ninety in the top one hundred most eligible bachelors in England. Sexual orientation—gay. Sexual health status—clean. Last long term relationship was between February 2097 and October 2100. Infrequent user of gay hook-up app—” Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2017 | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment