Posts Tagged With: Dreamspinner Press

Honorary Blogger K.L. Hiers: Creating a New Religion + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Creating a New Religion

by K.L. Hiers

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy out there! My name is K.L. “Kat” Hiers, and I love to write. My newest release is called Acsquidentally in Love, and it’s that tried and true story of boy meets tentacle god, boy has to solve murder for tentacle god, and they fall in love.

It’s a fun ride full of magic, mystery, lots of laughs, and yes – scads of tentacle shenanigans. The first time I wrote anything with tentacles was a smutty birthday gift for a dear friend. After that, I was hooked. I wanted to write more, and I knew I had to create some sort of universe in which it was practical for a human being to encounter a creature with tentacles. Aliens are very popular for this genre, but I wanted to do something else.

A lifelong fan of fantasy, I decided to draw on my love mythology to make my own little magical world. I was definitely inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and a film called Cast A Deadly Spell, a noir detective fantasy based on his works. Tentacle gods sounded like a fun idea, and that led me to a most fantastic undertaking and the topic of this post:

Creating a new religion.

There’s a lot to think about when you’re creating a faith, and this wasn’t technically the first time for me. Way back in mortuary school, I took a sociology of religion class. The final project was to take everything we’d learned over the semester to create and classify our own religion. Mine was the Holy Church of the Great Mother Cat, a monotheistic faith who worshipped Hello Kitty and bathing was an elaborate and sacred ritual. It was pretty ridiculous, but it did teach me so much about how to structure a religion.

So, here’s your first task. You need to decide if you’re going to have many gods or one god. There are certainly other aspects to consider with your deity worship, like animism and totemism that are found in Shintoism and Native American religions. For the sake of brevity, we’re going to keep it simple and leave it at polytheism versus monotheism.

If you were a kid like me who loved the Egyptian and Norse mythologies, you’re probably gonna want to do something with multiple gods. From a writing perspective, it gives you options to create more divine characters and you can set up an entire pantheon of deities to play with.

Which brings us to our next task: how to structure the gods. Will there be a leader of your gods like Odin, or will your gods be more loosely organized and informal? Perhaps there is a higher tier of gods who all work together to make big decisions for mankind instead of having a single leader. You could even have gods who rule over separate realms like Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus did. The possibilities are endless, and you can customize your gods as you wish!

It is worth mentioning that if your gods are going to be a big ol’ family with multiple generations, I would highly suggest making a family tree to keep them all organized.

Now that you have your basic structure for all of your gods and goddesses, now it’s time for the fun stuff. You need to decide what kind of worship followers of this religion will practice, do they have any sacred texts or symbols, and what are their afterlife beliefs.

How do followers of your new religion pay tribute to their gods? Do they made animal sacrifices to appease them or have highly ritualized prayers to communicate with them? Do they leave out a bowl of milk before the sun goes down to make that finicky cat god happy? Have fun with it, be creative, and find something that fits the new gods you’ve created.

You should also consider the creation of any significant religious holidays and big life event rituals, such as births, marriages, and deaths. How would the faithful people of your new religion react to these situations? Do they embalm their dead for entombment, burn their bodies in pyres, or do something else entirely?

All of these questions can usually be answered by consulting a sacred text, and that’s the next part of designing our new religion. Most faiths have some sort of text that provide instruction for worship and behavior. These could have been handed down directly by the gods or written by men and women who received the information through visions or direct divine communication. Instead of one text like the Bible, there could be multiple sacred texts.

Or, if you’d like, no text at all! The religious beliefs could have been passed down from generation to generation as stories or poems. Perhaps the founders of your faith don’t have a written language and created an oral tradition to pass on their faith instead. It could all be in song form and holy words have to be sung to avoid offending the gods!

Another important part of a religion is a sacred symbol. Just as Christians have the cross and Hindus the om, what kind of symbol would be sacred to the worshippers of your faith? How would they use it? If they equate their divine with the sun, for example, would they revere sunburst patterns and tattoo them? Would they make a unique geometric shape based on a specific constellation where they believe the gods dwell and embroider it into their clothes? These are just a few ideas, and there’s so much more you could come up with.

Last but not least, the ultimate question – what happens after death? This is a big one because religions are often classified by their end game. You need to choose is your faith going to be cyclic with a traditional pattern of reincarnation or apocalyptic, where there is a defined end – whatever that may be!

Your religion can be whatever you want it to be: silly or serious, weird or traditional, just be sure to have fun with it! I hope this has been helpful if you’re thinking about creating your own unique faith and has given some insight into how I made the religion for the magical world of Acsquidentally In Love – my new release out now!

Thanks so much for having me!

-K.L. “Kat” Hiers 

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

Book Review: A Novel Murder by K.C. Wells

Reviewed by Ami

Title: A Novel Murder
Author: K.C. Wells
Series: Merrychurch Mysteries #3
Heroes: Jonathon and Mike
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 197 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 11, 2020
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Hosting the Merrychurch Literary Festival is just the distraction Jonathon de Mountford needs. Placating his father and keeping his boyfriend, Mike Tattersall, happy is proving an increasing struggle. But the small event takes on new proportions with the appearance of Teresa Malvain—former Merrychurch resident turned famous murder mystery novelist. But is something about the quaint village setting of her books a little too familiar?

Teresa’s sudden death is certainly something right out of one of her stories, and Jonathan and Mike soon discover there are villagers who might not want the inspiration behind her books revealed.

When it emerges Teresa’s severe allergic reaction was no accident, Jonathon and Mike are compelled to investigate, aided by a few people keen to help them discover the truth. But they’re trying to work out what is fact and what is fiction, and the line between the two blurs constantly. And as for their relationship, Jonathon finally comes to a decision…. Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Ami's Reviews, Book Review, Guest Reviewer, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Blogger Rhys Ford: License to Stalk • Part Three + Giveaway!

Hello!

And welcome back to my world of dragons, intrigue, hot guns, fast cars and a grumpy, slightly anti-social Chimera of a Sidhe and an Unsidhe who really only wants to hunt monsters and go home to his probably carnivorous cat. My name is Rhys Ford and I’ll be your guide today as on July 14th, I’ll take you back to the Kai Gracen series for Book Four — Silk Dragon Salsa.

If you’re following the blog tour from the beginning, you can skip this bit and head to the serialized part of the story but if this is your first time with me, let me ramble a bit about my grouchy special kitten, Kai. I’ve used the past three books to set up his relationships and world and kind of settling him for what should have been a changing environment. He’s never really had a lot of contact with the elfin and never really wanted any. Ryder, the Lord of the Southern Rise Court, blew into Kai’s life like a hurricane with a grudge and Kai’s had to not only learn how to get along with the man but also adjust to the fact the elfin are in his life to stay. Not something Kai ever wanted. He was raised by humans, thinks of himself as human, and was pretty happy about it.

Then his world changed and he was dragged kicking and screaming and probably stabbing into a bit of elfin affairs even as he knew it would probably be the death of him.

And in Silk Dragon Salsa, I really turn his world upside down.

It was a long time coming and Kai, in his true quick-on-his-feet fashion, knows he must change with it. Because the Merged world is going forward — with or without his approval — and this time, he has a chance for a bit of happiness, if he can find it in the chaos storm hunting him down in Silk Dragon Salsa.

License to Stalk • Part Three

by Rhys Ford

“I hate salamanders.” This wasn’t news to Jonas. Especially considering he probably heard me say that exact same thing at least twenty times since we’d hit the tree line. “It’s like they’re pissed off because they’re not real dragons and gotta take it out on everyone else.”

It was a shit job. But shit jobs meant money in my pocket — well Dempsey’s pocket — and I liked eating.

Until — if — I got a Stalker’s license, I couldn’t claim bounty on anything I took in except for a black dog. The ainmhi dubh were like feral pigs, legal to hunt at any time of the year and anyone with enough guts to go after the insane abominations some Wild Hunt master dragged together from spare body parts could cash in on any state’s reward for its skin. The bigger the pelt, the bigger the payout and since no one could ever figure out a way to breed the bastards, any black dog anyone caught and killed was definitely one more monster taken off the land.

Salamanders were a different story.

They were a pain in the ass and came in different flavors, everything from the sleek, fire-gilled ones to the rhino-sized sewer dwelling monsters who liked to chew on concrete foundations. There was a make and model for any kind of trouble and the particular piece of shit salamander we were after today was a spotted Martin’s forest warbler.

Or as many farmers liked to call them… damned chicken munchers.

The diamonds I’d dug for would be enough to keep us going for six months but I didn’t like living too close to the edge. When we did, it was usually me that went into the dirty to get us out and if I didn’t dig through dragon shit again any time soon, I’d be happy. Dempsey tapped out of the run so it was just me and Jonas stalking the tree line. Montana was filthy with forests but there was enough clear land and townships to support a healthy farming and cattle industry.

Although a slimy reptilian predator the size of a lion and able to slither under chicken wire to eat livestock went a long way into making a rough, hardscrabble life even harder.

“You okay with getting your Stalker license?” Jonas dropped his hot little verbal ember into my lap, his eyes scanning the thicket for any sign of movement. “It’ll mean you being able to cut loose of Dempsey. Be your own man.”

I gave him a long look then answered, picking my way carefully through the pile of dead sticks and leaves as silently as I could. “I owe Dempsey my life. Not going to up and leave him now. If the old man needs me, I’m there. Just like always. Going to be a time when he can’t do this life any more. Got no savings. Don’t even have any land he can call his own. It’ll be my time to take care of him then.”

“Like you’re not doing that now?” He rumbled, stopping suddenly. “That it? Over there?”

“Nah, deer.” If we weren’t on a run, I’d have taken a shot at the buck. Venison was good eating and we had enough room in the solar-powered cooler in the back of the truck to hold at least a quarter of it. The rest could go to the families who’d hired us to hunt the salamander but now wasn’t the time. “Look, they might not even let me have a license. I’m not human. Shit, there’s still places I have to hide my ears and face so I don’t get shot when we go inside. It’s a crap shoot, Jonas, but one I’m willing to risk.”

“You’re just a kid, Kai.” Jonas sounded like he was trying to argue a point but I wasn’t sure what it was. “You should be in school, cruising for a Saturday night date so you can get your first kiss and complaining about doing homework. The family was talking about it and they’d like you to come down. Live with us in San Diego —”

“I’m not a kid, Jonas. Never have been,” I cut him off. “First kiss has come and gone. Just like my first kill. That life? It’s not mine. Save it for your kids because I’m not going to live it. Now let’s go find that damned slimy bastard so I can get something to eat. And on the way out, keep an eye out for that deer. Be nice not to have to pay for a steak.”

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, Giveaways, Honorary Blogger Post, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , | 52 Comments

Book Review: The Night Wolf by Parker Williams

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: The Night Wolf
Author: Parker Williams
Series: The Wolves of Lydon #1
Heroes: Gareth & Sean
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 197 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 26, 2020
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: The night wolf is a legend told to scare children into obeying their parents. It is said that to control a night wolf is to harness limitless power….

Gareth Blackthorn has been Alpha of the prosperous Lydon pack for nearly two decades. Breaking with tradition, Gareth doesn’t take over other packs by challenge. Instead, he lets wolves come to him and petition for admittance. He’s had his pick of the best, the brightest, and the most talented.

Until now.

A power-hungry Alpha desires Omega Sean Adler’s talent… and his submission, whether given freely or not. He’s been on the run since he was fifteen, surviving any way he could, until one night, he knows he’ll finally succumb to the injuries from his latest attack—and he’s ready to go. That’s when Gareth finds him, and Gareth’s wolf insists on claiming Sean as his mate. But there’s something mysterious about Sean, something tied to the mark on his shoulder….

Now Gareth must decide. Will he keep Sean despite the dangers that will arise, or will he throw the young man back to the wolves? Continue reading

Categories: 3 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Were-Geeks Save Wisconsin by Kathy Lyons

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Were-Geeks Save Wisconsin
Author: Kathy Lyons
Series: Were-Geeks Save the World #1
Heroes: Josh & Nero
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 244 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 14, 2020
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: When badass werewolves battling supernatural evil realize they need tech support, they recruit a group of geeks with hilarious—and romantic—results.

Chemist Josh Collier is having a blast at a comic book convention when he gets the shock of his life—he’s a werewolf! WTF? Before he can howl, he’s whisked away to a secret lair by Nero, a hot guy dressed as a Roman centurion. Josh’s former life is over, and his genius is needed at Wulf, Inc.

Nero has no interest in babysitting a trainee were-geek when he’d rather be killing the demon that wiped out his entire pack. While Josh analyzes the monster’s weapon, wild passion ignites between him and Nero.

With destiny and their pack in the balance, can they survive the demon out to destroy Wisconsin? Continue reading

Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Under the Covers by K.C. Wells

Reviewed by Ami

Title: Under the Covers
Author: K.C. Wells
Series: Dreamspun Desires, #100
Heroes: Chris & Jase
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 218 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 17, 2020
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Can they find their HEA in Romancelandia?

Chris Tyler loves his job. He photographs some of the hottest guys on the planet, but none stir him like Jase Mitchell. He’ll never let Jase know – he values their friendship too much to spoil it.

Jase is looking forward to the Under The Covers Romance convention. It’s a great opportunity to connect with readers who want to meet their favorite cover model, but more importantly, with agents who could advance his career. Too bad the only person he yearns to connect with is Chris.

What Chris wants is Jase in his life, but he’s afraid that’s sheer fantasy. What Jase desires is a Hollywood dream, but that will mean leaving Chris behind. What both crave is a real-life romance and their own Happily Ever After.

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Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Ami's Reviews, Book Review, Guest Reviewer, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Love Has No Direction by Kim Fielding

Reviewed by Ami

Title: Love Has No Direction
Author: Kim Fielding
Series: Love Can’t #3
Heroes: Parker & Westley
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 218 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 14, 2020
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Yet another series of poor decisions lands Parker Levin back in his mother’s house, working at her coffee shop, and feeling like a failure. Then he learns his ex-boyfriend has died by suicide and things go from bad to worse. When he meets a handsome stranger, he doesn’t have much left to lose.

Ten years ago Westley Anker made a grave mistake. Since then he’s lived in near isolation, supporting himself by making custom furniture and only rarely connecting with other people. When he attempts to make amends, he encounters Parker, a beautiful and colorful young man, and he agrees to Parker’s impulsive request to join him.

Together, Parker and Wes find quick friendship and fierce attraction. But Wes’s past demons haunt his footsteps, and Parker’s struggle to plan a future has him stumbling through life. Then they uncover evidence that suggests Parker’s ex’s death might not have been a straightforward suicide, and every path seems to lead to dead ends and destruction. Can Parker and Wes find their way to lasting love when the route is hidden? Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Ami's Reviews, Book Review, Guest Reviewer, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Prodigal by T.A. Moore

Reviewed by Nikyta

Title: Prodigal
Author: T.A. Moore
Series: Lost and Found, #1
Heroes: Morgan & Boyd
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 242 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 11, 2020
Available at: DSP & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Fifteen years ago Sammy Calloway disappeared on his way home from school. Now he’s back… or is he?

Boyd Maccabbee has spent his life second-guessing his actions on that fateful day. What if he’d done something differently? Maybe Sammy would have made it home safe and never become Cutters Gap’s most tragic famous son. Or would it have been Boyd who was never seen again? When the police find new evidence on the disappearance, Boyd hopes to finally get some answers.

The last thing Morgan Graves needs is to be dragged into some old case about a missing kid. He doesn’t know why police hit on his DNA, but he’s not Sammy Calloway. He thinks he’d remember being kidnapped.

He knows he’d remember firefighter Boyd.

Drawn into the complex web of suspicion, grief, and anger that has knit Cutters Gap together in the years since Sammy’s disappearance, Morgan struggles to hang on to himself when everyone already assumes they know him.

And somewhere, the truth about Sammy Calloway is waiting. Continue reading

Categories: 3.5 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Nikyta's Reviews, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossing Nuwa: Trials by Sean Ian O’Meidhir & Connal Braginsky: Exclusive Excerpt!

Blogger_Exclusive Excerpt

Exclusive Excerpt from Crossing Nuwa: Trials

by Sean Ian O’Meidhir & Connal Braginsky

Enjoying the weightlessness as the plane lifted into the air, I studied my boyfriend as he excitedly watched the world shrink below us. His enthusiasm for everything sent sympathetic thrills through me, and I was soon grinning.

It had been an unexpectedly blissful couple of months with only one small hiccup. A week after Robbie moved in, for some strange reason I felt the need to define the parameters of our relationship. It was a first for both of us. Many firsts. I was his first everything; he was my first boyfriend. I can’t remember how the conversation started, but vaguely recall me saying that I’d like to get some clarification.

“We haven’t really talked about us.”

“What do you mean?” he had asked, his lips naturally curved curiously. One of the things I learned was that Robbie is never plagued with the same doubts about relationships that it seems like the rest of us have. Or at least that I have had my entire life. He’s wholesome, and I know how that sounds, but it’s true. His very nature is one of trust and acceptance.

He had never experienced any doubt until I stupidly said, “Well, exclusivity, monogamy, I don’t know. Just curious what you want.”

“I don’t understand. You’re my boyfriend….” Though his curiosity had turned to confusion, I pressed on.

“Yeah, but that’s for now. I just don’t want you to feel held back. You know, if you want to bang someone and—”

He shook his head, his confusion intensifying and darkening into something else. “Why are you saying this?”

“I just don’t want to break up over—”

“Break up? Why… why would we ever break up?” His emerald eyes shone with tears that had made my heart immediately ache. I had done that to him. If I live to be a thousand years old, that look will always haunt me. That with a simple and quite stupid misspoken phrase I could hurt him so much.

“Why are you frowning?”

I turned to find him gazing at me intently. Robbie took my hand, shaking his head with concern.

I chuckled. “Ah, sugar… just about how foolish I was.”

“You’re gonna have to be more specific,” he said with the sweetest smile that had me falling back laughing. My boyfriend had quickly caught on to sarcasm and the importance of a good burn.

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Categories: Book Promo, Excerpts, LGBT, Published in 2020 | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Dead Man Stalking by T.A. Moore

Reviewed by Susan65

Title: Dead Man Stalking
Author: T.A. Moore
Series: Blood and Bone #1
Heroes: Took & Madoc
Genre: M/M Paranormal
Length: 260 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Available at: Dreamspinner Press & Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads

Blurb: Agent Luke Bennett proved that humans could rise just as high in the ranks as their vampire colleagues—until a kidnapper held him captive for a year and turned him without his consent.

Now he’s Took: a reluctant monster afraid to bite anyone, broke, and about to be discharged from his elite BITERs unit.

When an old colleague suggests he consult on a BITERs case, Took has little to lose. The case is open and shut… but nothing is ever that easy. As he digs deeper, he discovers a lot more than one cold case is at stake, and if he wants to solve this one, he’ll need the help of the BITERs team. Even if that brings his old commander, Madoc, back into his life. Continue reading

Categories: 4 Star Ratings, Book Review, LGBT, Published in 2019 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment