Honorary Blogger Post

Honorary Blogger Sara Dobie Bauer: Revisiting the Past + Excerpt!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Revisiting the Past

by Sara Dobie Bauer

My new novel, We Still Live, takes place in a small fictional Ohio town called Hambden. This is the home of Hambden University, a place shrouded in darkness following a tragic shooting the spring before our story begins. Yes, Hambden is fictional—but the setting of We Still Live (and subject matter) is very, very real.

There are those who say, “Write what you know.” Eh, I’m not a big fan of that old literary adage. Sometimes, though, sometimes, I completely understand writing what I know, especially when it comes to setting. 

I attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where I earned my creative writing degree and probably lost half my liver. (It’s a party school and annually hosts one of the biggest Halloween celebrations in the country.) When I considered the setting for We Still Live, Athens came immediately to mind, although I didn’t want to set the book literally in Athens because I don’t want the horror of a shooting to linger over any school—even if the shooting is fictional.

As I wrote, I time traveled. In my crazy brain, I went back to Athens for We Still Live. Granted, I pay my alma mater a drunken visit every two years or so. I know the place better than I know Cleveland, where I currently live. Still, I conjured memories of Athens, Ohio …

The way Ellis Hall (the arts building) smelled.

How my favorite tree (a white sycamore on College Green) changed with the seasons.

The scent of wet leaves and clove cigarettes as Halloween approached.

The frigid wind of winter.

The wicked spring rainstorms that made rivers run down Court Street.

The weeping angel statue in the cemetery up the hill.

Many of these references make their way into We Still Live because setting in a book is almost as important as character. In fact, the setting can be a character. I love when I successfully invoke a place—its sights, sounds, and smells—for my reader. Athens (Hambden) was easy to invoke due to my familiarity, and it was fun revisiting a favorite place from my past.

I’ve done this with other books, too. The Bite Somebody series is based in Longboat Key, Florida, where I’ve vacationed every spring for years. Destiny’s Dark Light is in Charleston, South Carolina, where I lived and lost and loved. Of course, I’ve imagined places, too. In the Escape Trilogy, for instance, I couldn’t literally travel back to New Orleans in the early 1800s—but I could research. I could also dream.

That’s why I’m not big on the “write what you know” thing. Writing is about imagination. Most of the time, it’s fun to not write what you know and see what new things you learn.

What setting from your past deserves to be immortalized? Or what new setting would you like to create? Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger A.F. Henley: My Oh-So-Very-Biased Notes + Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

My Oh-So-Very-Biased Notes

by A.F. Henley

Hello! And thank you for joining me on the last stop of my But by the Grace of Dog release tour. I hope everyone is excited for a two-part giveaway (details further down the post) and an exclusive excerpt (also following below). As always, sharing with the fine group of readers within this genre has been a blast, and I’m honoured to be here at The Blogger Girls to tie up all the loose ends and give everyone one final shot at the prizes.

But by the Grace of Dog is one story about many newfound loves – the love between two men, the love between a person and a dog, and also the love of one’s self. It follows Thom Baron’s journey along the path of a brand new relationship—the thrills, the fun, the obstacles, and the self-realisation—as Thom learns how to not only express himself, but also deal with himself. The dog helps an awful lot with that process. As dogs tend to do with pretty much anything we ask them to.

Personally, I don’t know what I’d do without my fur babies. I only have two these days as apartment living can be a bit limiting:

But, it’s only been a few years since I’ve had to leave the animal rescue portion of my life behind (foster, rehab, raise-and-release, all very above board and sanctioned). So, I thought it would be fun to set the mood for this upcoming series, and end this blog tour by running through my oh-so-very-biased notes on the different kinds of animals I’ve met along the way. Some were rescues, some were pets, but they were all an amazing part of my life for some time.

If you enjoy, agree, or even if you completely disagree with my assessments, please feel free to share in a comment!

  • Dog – I have been blessed by the fact that I’ve never known a bad dog in my entire life. There have been some that were cautious, and some that didn’t really care much about anything or anyone beyond their own personal human, but they’ve all been wonderful and I consider every one of them—even the cautious and disinterested ones—some of my very best friends in the world.
  • Cat – What to say about a cat that hasn’t already been said a hundred times? How about this: cats are actually far more lovable than comics and memes make them out to be. They do get bored easily, though. Also, many of them, no matter how lovable they are, just cannot stop themselves from serenading you at three in the morning. Just make up whatever lie you need to in order to keep loving them when they do it. I usually try to tell myself that it’s his way of protecting me from the evil spirits that rise in the night. Or that he’s making sure I’m not dead. 
  • Raccoon – These little fellows definitely get a bad rap that, for the most part, they don’t deserve. They can be as lovable as a dog, and as clever as a cat. They will defend what they believe is theirs, as they should, but if they feel comfortable and are in an unthreatening environment, they are so, so, soooo chill. Peanut butter sandwiches will win you all kinds of appreciation.
  • Squirrel – Speaking of raps that aren’t deserved… cute, right? Sweet? Adorable? *sound of a loud error buzzer* At their very best, these furry little demons-on-speed are cheeky. At their worst, they are the devil’s own. They will destroy everything you love and laugh at you while you curse them out. They are super soft and look really adorable when they’re sleeping, though.
  • Rat – The rodent version of a dog. Loyal, smart, trainable, and they’ll eat just about anything. Once they get to know you they will never forget you.  
  • Possum – It’s hard to get too close to something with saw blades for teeth. But like most things, if you’re calm and patient and feed them good stuff, they’ll probably let you live.
  • Mouse – Here’s the thing about mice: if you’re wondering if you’ve managed to separate the females from the males, all I can tell you is that you haven’t. Also, if they’ve been together for longer than two-point-four minutes, it’s too late. You are now the proud owner of six mice. Whoops, now it’s fifteen. Thirty. Eighty. Four hundred. It’s too late for you. They now own your house and are evicting you to make room for the nineteen-hundredth generation.
  • Fawn – Looking into the eyes of a new fawn will show you the deepest secrets of the universe. Be careful, once you know, you can’t un-know. 
  • Bearded Dragon – The chillest (and chilliest) animal known to humankind. If you’re warm, and you are because you’re alive, then you are its best friend.
  • Chinchilla – This animal was sculpted out of the soft down found under the feathers of angel’s wings. It is also as fast as hot snot.
  • Flemish Giant – Not an actual “giant” unless you’re referring to all the other rabbits, then yes, it is the rabbit version of Andre the Giant. If you’re thinking that a rabbit the size of a medium dog would be absolutely adorable, then you are 100% correct.
  • Ferret – As if a cat and a squirrel had a baby. Which means they can be completely wild and also amazingly loving. Plus, they don’t scream like a dying demon at three in the morning.
  • Hairless Guinea Pig – Also known as the House Hippo, which is a reference that you won’t get unless you’re Canadian and of a “certain age.” Think hot water bottle come to life, with a tiny little hippo face and a tendency to squeal when you open the fridge door because it knows the strawberries are kept in there.
  • Canada Goose – not as evil as everyone says… unless they feel threatened. Then, oh good gods, run. Hide. 

I know I’m missing some, but I’ve taken up enough of everyone’s time already. I hope you enjoyed the post, and I truly hope you’re inspired enough with my love of all things furry, scaled, and feathered, to check out But by the Grace of Dog. Don’t forget to keep reading for an exclusive excerpt, the giveaway, and that handy little purchase link in case you just can’t wait another second to own your very own copy.

Man + Dog + Neighbour = True Love (but does it equal a HEA?)

Lots of love to the Blogger Girls and all my thanks for hosting me today. It’s been a blast. And tons of love to you, too, for joining me! It’s been a blast. 😊

All my love,

AF Henley ❤ Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , | 14 Comments

Honorary Blogger Isabelle Adler: Writing Fantasy Romance + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Writing Fantasy Romance

by Isabelle Adler

Hi, I’m Isabelle! I write LGBTQ romance in a variety of genres, including sci-fi, paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary. My newest release, The Wolf and the Sparrow, is what you may call a classic fantasy story, complete with its own unique world and magic system. Set in a pseudo-medieval world, it focuses on two heirs of noble families that enter an arranged marriage for political reasons and are initially less than impressed with each other. But as the plot progresses and the political situation around them threatens to escalate into a full-blown war, they team up, driven by the duty to protect their subjects. Together, they must face sea-raiders, hostile magic-wielders, and old enemies, but the hardest trial of all are the dark secrets from their past that might yet tear them apart.

Today I would like to talk about the inspiration and the challenges behind writing a fantasy romance novel. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by story of whimsy and imagination—from fairy tales to hard sci-fi and high fantasy. The Lord of the Rings was one of my favorite books growing up, and had had a huge influence on me, both as a person and as a writer. However, it wasn’t until much later that I discovered the combination of fantasy and the romance genre, and, specifically, queer romance in fantasy. These stories (such as Lynn Flewelling’s amazing Nightrunner series) had opened a world of new and exciting possibilities of representing characters that don’t often feature in mainstream fantasy and speculative fiction.

For me, the most challenging thing is definitely finding the right balance between interesting worldbuilding, an engaging plot, and a romance that would satisfy the reader looking for that exciting emotional rollercoaster that culminates in a sweet Happy-Ever-After. I tend to focus on the plot when I’m planning the story, but ultimately, it’s all about the characters and their journey. In a fantasy setting, the stakes can be quite high (in The Wolf and the Sparrow, the fates of entire realms hang in the balance), but the emotional obstacles the main characters have to overcome must feel just as important. The external conflict must intertwine with the transformation each character undergoes inside—and just as the case is with perils and adventures, the heroes have to look for each other for help and support. It’s not enough to rescue each other and save each other’s lives—it’s all about opening up to each other to let love take root and blossom amidst the adversity.

Hopefully, I’ve managed to hit just the right level of excitement and romance in The Wolf and the Sparrow and create characters that the readers could relate to. This book had been a labor of love, and I hope people will have as much fun reading the story as I had writing it! Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Annabeth Albert: Russ & Esteban’s Guide to Hosting the Holidays + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Russ & Esteban’s Guide to Hosting the Holidays

by Annabeth Albert

Hi! I’m so happy to be here today talking about MR. RIGHT NOW, my holiday romance release which is out now and also in KU. It’s a neighbors-to-lovers, fake boyfriend, opposites attract romance with all the flavors of a season I love so much.  I love list posts where the characters get a chance to take over the spotlight, so I thought I’d bring you Russ and Esteban’s tips for how (not) to host the holidays! 

  • Plan ahead! Holiday breakups have a way of throwing off ALL your careful plans, so be sure you love the one you’re with ahead of time!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help! That cute neighbor next door? Maybe he owns the pot you need AND might be just what YOU need too! 
  • Get inventive! Cocktails in juice glasses? Improvised Appetizers? Don’t be scared to try new things! 
  • Make extra! You never know when the perfect fake boyfriend will come along to be your new plus one. 
  • Decorate! Beige is not a holiday color scheme, my friends. Think color! 
  • Try new things! Foods, flavors, and traditions from other cultures can add something special to your holiday season. 
  • Find someone cute for cleanup duty! Be careful not to go falling for him though…
  • Be sure to snuggle up afterwards to celebrate your successful gathering! 
  • Eggnog flavored first kisses are the best! 

Want more Esteban and Russ? I hope you check out MR. RIGHT NOW! Thank you so much for having me stop by today! 

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Jodi Payne: Soft Limits + Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Soft Limits

by Jodi Payne

Hello!

I’m Jodi Payne and I’m dropping in to tell you about the MCs in my new book, Soft Limits. Soft Limits is a prequel in the timeline of the Deviations Series that can be read at any point along the way, or as a stand alone as well. There are no spoilers for the series.

For those of you unfamiliar with the series, it’s set largely in a very formal gentleman’s BDSM club. The series centers around Tobias and Noah, a Dom and sub who are both members and whom are set up by Bradford, the owner of the club and one of the MCs in Soft Limits. The other MC is a young man named Nikki, and Soft Limits is about how they meet, and Bradford’s history, including how Bradford comes to own the club.

Bradford is very formal both as a Dom and in his personal life. Eccentric and fastidious, Bradford has high expectations of himself, his subs, and the other Doms at the club. He is so focused on the safety and well being of his members that he is completely caught by surprise when Nikki comes along.

When we meet Nikki, he is homeless and hungry and broke, unable to buy himself more than a cup of coffee. Bradford is instantly drawn to the need in the young man, which he recognizes very quickly is for more than just food. But Nikki is independent, sarcastic, rough around the edges… and Bradford finds his attraction to the young man confusing and frustrating.

Bradford is known for his signature calm and capable demeanor, and Nikki has a way of shaking that foundation like no one he’s ever known before. Nikki is very used to being independent and taking care of himself, but Bradford’s nurturing manner and warm welcome are very hard to resist.

We get to see how these two come to know themselves better through the eyes of the other, and how they both grow and change for the better.

Thanks for reading!

Jodi Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Eden Winters: The Creation of an Author + Excerpt!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

The Creation of an Author

by Eden Winters

Many years ago my friend John said to me, “You’d never understand my world.”

This hurt me deeply, as I loved him dearly and wanted to understand the hardships he faced as a gay man, which launched a mission for me. How do I gain understanding? Being an avid reader, I immersed myself in the printed word in my quest for knowledge.

I stumbled upon my first gay romance novel, A Bit of Rough by Laura Baumbach, and fell in insta-love with the genre. One day while discussing a novel with a friend and fellow fan-fiction author, she said, “We could do this, you know” and challenged me to write a novel while she did the same.

As I was going through a hard time at the moment, I pretty much cut myself open and bled on the pages of The Telling, my very first novel, released ten years ago.

All of a sudden the stories in my soul took flight: the Diversion series, a narcotics crimes series based on actual cases in the pharmaceutical world; The Angel of Thirteenth Street and Fallen Angel, which tells of the struggles of youth aging out of foster care; flights of fancy such as Naked Tails, A Bear Walks into a Bar and Two Bears and a Baby (co-written with the above-mentioned friend, P.D. Singer), and many more. To date I’ve written twenty-three full-length novels, then returned to the love of my teenaged years, science fiction.

Six years ago I wrote The Sentinel for a campaign on Goodreads, which was well received. Readers wanted more. What sprang to mind was, not a continuation of Stone and Connell’s story, but a tale in which they are secondary characters, and we learn more about the sentient ships Stone mentioned.

Consorts of the Red King takes place in the same universe, with cybernetic soldiers, princes in disguise, and mercenaries who aren’t as bloodthirsty as they’d like others to believe. The name Van Orskey even occurred to me before the first word hit the page.

This book represents the latest chapter in my writing life. My journey to enlightenment has also continued, filled with PFLAG meetings, PRIDE parades, and a personal campaign to educate the masses on the importance of Spirit Day.

I’ve met many new friends along the way, opened myself to new experiences, and have grown exponentially as a person.

All because of love.  Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Honorary Blogger Post, LGBT | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Honorary Blogger Jocelynn Drake: Why Vampires? + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Why Vampires?

by Jocelynn Drake

October always puts me in the mood for spooky stories and the paranormal. I love witches, warlocks, demons, shifters, and of course vampires. 

I have always loved vampires, and it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the scary, rip-your-head-off vampires or the sexy, brooding vampires. Though, I will admit that my preference runs for the more violent and misunderstood vampires.

I love their magic and their myth. I love all the crazy variations and complex rules. 

My very first published book was called Nightwalker and it focused on the adventures of a vampire named Mira and a vampire hunter named Danaus. Their world was dark and violent, where everyone was waiting to betray them and the only people they would depend on were supposed enemies. 

When I first started writing about vampires I was entranced by the idea of humans suddenly having immense power and few consequences. How would it corrupt them? And what kind of person wouldn’t be corrupted, but see it as a means to a new kind of responsibility.

Now, many years after the conclusion of Mira and Danaus’s story in the Dark Days series, I’m back to vampires for a slightly different reason. With the Lords of Discord, I’m now looking at four brothers who had made a monumental decision to change their lives forever to protect a loved one. Is that sense of family and loyalty enough to hold them together?

And can love save them when everything starts to fall apart?

Another great reason to jump into a vampire novel is the great variation on this old monster. Are they dependent on blood? Can sunlight kill them? Can they eat food? Can they go into a church or temple? Did they really strike a deal with the devil?

Each new vampire novel brings a new spin on an old story.

With the Lords of Discord, I’ve rewritten the rules a little bit to give you a different kind of vampire that is both powerful and vulnerable. 

And, of course, some magic.

Because I think we could all use a little magic in our lives.

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Edie Danford: Falling For A Song + Excerpt!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Falling For A Song

by Edie Danford

Hi, everyone! I’m excited to share my new book Second Song with you!

Healing, music, and love are big themes in the book, and, while I was writing it I found myself thinking a lot about how falling for a song is similar to falling in love, whether it’s a friendship, a romance, a long-term partnership, or a fling.

Sometimes you know immediately, from those first few notes or those first few moments after meeting someone, that it’s gonna hit a groove in your soul. I knew within five minutes of meeting my best friend in college that we were going to become forever-sisters!

And sometimes you notice the song or the person because it’s so dang jarring. There’s a beat or an attitude that catches your attention because it’s unlike anything you’ve experienced before. You can’t get it out of your head. You’re intrigued and, over time, with more listens, more conversations, you’re hooked. This is how it was for me and my husband!

And then there are those times when a song or someone you meet is just ugh. Awful. Not your taste. But then something unexpected occurs—maybe your ears are in a different mood, or you see the person in a new light—and what once grated like nails on a chalkboard affects your senses with shocking smoothness. If this song were a romance novel, it would be enemies-to-lovers!

Well, when the heroes of Second Song meet and spend time together they go through a whole gamut of melodies.

At first it’s melancholy. They share a tragedy in their past and they’re unsure they can get beyond it. The tunes they inspire in each other might be too intense to bear.

But then, as they get to know each other, the tune changes and both men want to learn its layers, keep listening. Soon, it’s on both of their playlists, but neither of them knows it’s been put on Repeat!

When they’re forced to leave each other, the music stops and the silence is awful. In the end, they realize the unique harmony they make together is one they simply can’t live without. 

What’s better than a love song? A love song with a happy ending!

Thanks so much for reading and for having me on the blog!

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Isabelle Rowan: Furborn + Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Furborn

by Isabelle Rowan

First of all I must thank The Blogger Girls for allowing me to visit their blog and introduce my new novel!

Although Furborn is not my first novel, it’s my first YA title so I’m pretty nervous about its release. However, I am proud of it and it has a whole lot of things that I love – horses, dogs, foxes and of course a young goth guy meeting a mysterious redhead in the dark depths of a eucalyptus forest.

Spencer is a gentle teenage boy who wears all the gothic trappings – long black hair, pale skin, lip piercing and Marilyn Manson t-shirt. Connor Coutts couldn’t be more different! His hair is long but dark red, his skin is equally pale and … perhaps they’re not so different after all? 

That’s where the magic happens! Furborn is a tale of first love and discovery with all its missteps and first touches. It is set in sheep country Australia where both boys are outsiders.

Connor lives in a small cottage with his sister and gran. They have minimal interaction with the world outside theirs because the little family has a very big secret that has never been told – not all foxes are just foxes!

Spencer is intrigued with the feral redhead and has been since the moment he saw him disappear into the forest when they were both young boys. There is something magical and Spencer feels it long before he knows anything about the secretive Coutts family.

Someone was watching them. He was perched on the top rail of a fence staring with a look that definitely wasn’t a country welcome. Spencer smiled. The boy didn’t smile back. He slid down from the fence, turned his back on them and walked into the gloom of the eucalypt forest. The last thing Spencer noticed was the swing of his long red plait.

The intrigue is still there when they meet again as teenagers:

Beneath the cool leaf canopy the air was rich with the smell of mulched earth and a hint of summer flowers and forest herbs. Spencer filled his lungs. A Rainbow Lorikeet screeched loudly above and dropped a chewed gum nut that bounced off his shoulder and onto the ground. He jumped. His startled heart thumped a little faster, but he shook his head and bent down to pick up the seed remnants. The hard casing was crushed by the tough beak, and only some of its contents eaten. He threw the nut into the undergrowth and caught sight of movement at the corner of his eye. Spencer stood very still. He didn’t hear anything other than the rustle of leaves above, but there was definitely someone there. A gum nut hit him square on the side of the head. 

That was no parrot!

A young man around his age or maybe a bit older leaned against the rough bark of a tree. He was shorter than Spencer, but not much. His skin was as pale although his long hair was a rich dark red – not ‘ranga’ orange red, but a deep red that, Spencer decided later, matched the glass of wine he’d been given at Christmas.

“Why’d you do that?” he asked, not appreciating the silent scrutiny of the teenager’s glower.

“I’ve seen you before haven’t I?” Spencer tried again. “Years ago down at the fox tree. You were watching me then too.”

“Go back to your sheep,” he said. His voice was quiet but echoed around the trees.

“They’re not my sheep they belong to my grandparents. I’m Spencer, what’s….”

That was as far as he got when the other boy turned and walked away. The figure merged with the forest and all Spencer could see was the hint of red hair until that too faded.

“Seriously?” Spencer called out. 

He picked up another gum nut and threw it in the direction the feral vanished.

There are many questions that Spencer needs answered:

Why are the city horses wary of Connor? Why do the farm dogs growl at him? How did Connor end up naked in the moonlight without the cast on his broken leg?

But for answers to be given there needs to be trust.

Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

Honorary Blogger A.E Via: Bishop + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Honorary_Blogger_Post

Bishop

by A.E. Via

Well hello all!!

I’m really happy to be here to talk about my latest release entitled: Bishop: A True Lover’s Story. Bishop’s story is my twentieth book I’ve written, and I still can’t quite believe it. A lot of people – especially my family – has asked me why I started writing gay romance, and all I can say is that it’s in my heart. 

When I first wrote Blue Moon Too Good To Be True in 2013 I never imagined it’d be received with such love by such an amazing audience. This has been the greatest experience of my life and I’m far from stopping. 

I hope you’ll enjoy this new one.

xxxxxx

Adrienne V.

I am celebrating my writing anniversary in the best way! Which means showering my readers with gratitude gifts and tons of love letters. Without you all, my words would be unheard. For a chance to be adorned with love and appreciation, join my lively Facebook group and party with me. You can drop in anytime for some mature MM fun.  https://bit.ly/2Ku4jAx
Continue reading

Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post | Tags: , , | 2 Comments