Posts Tagged With: The Blogger Girls

Author Q&A: Rebecca Raine + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?

My journey into writing began with fan fiction. I had been reading fanfics for a while when an idea for a story came to me. I began writing it on the bus while commuting to and from work. It was so much fun! Those first stories were my training ground and I learned so much from them. It was when I finished a 30,000 word fanfic that I decided to try writing an original novel that was all my own.

How many books have you written?

The Experiment is my ninth book and I’m already hard at work on number ten. Reaching that double digit is going to be such a thrill. I remember when I used to dream about reaching this point.

How long does it usually take you to write a book?

My times are all over the place. It took me seven years (on and off) to write my first book. The second took only a few months because it was much shorter and came to me quite easily. Most of the time it takes about six months, but I’ve been working hard to train myself to write faster so I can publish more often.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?

The idea for The Experiment came to me one day in a flash of inspiration. I could see a straight man trying to psyche himself up to kiss a gay man, even though he really didn’t want to. I knew they were in a bar, and that he was doing it to satisfy a lost bet, but other than that I had no idea what was going on.

Then the man turned to his friend, who was sitting beside him, and said, “You know, mate, this would be a hell of a lot easier if you’d quit laughing.” In that instant, I knew the friend was the man he would end up kissing, and he would be anything but reluctant by the end of it.

I loved the idea so much I grabbed a notebook and pen and spent the next hour furiously scribbling down every detail I could remember. My flash of inspiration became the opening of The Experiment and that one line of dialogue is still there, exactly the way Patrick said it the first time.

Who are your favorite authors? Have they inspired your writing?

There are so many MM Romance authors I love and admire. Among them are Riley Hart, Roan Parrish, Leta Blake, Lucy Lennox, Eden Finley and Christina Lee. I credit Riley Hart’s Shifting Gears with introducing me to the genre. It was the first MM Romance I ever read, and it got me hooked.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Speed. I’m quite a slow writer. I stress about first drafts and have difficulty getting out of my own way when getting those initial words down. During re-writes I can easily spend a whole morning getting a few paragraphs just right.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a workspace in the corner of my lounge room with my computer and a white board and all that jazz. But I’ll often end up on the couch with my laptop, or just pen and paper. That is especially true at the moment because it’s winter here and I like to stay under a pile of blankets.

When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

Characters are interesting because they can come to me in all sorts of ways. Some walk into my brain fully formed and introduce themselves by name (Jeremy, All the Broken Pieces). Sometimes, I’ll know some major details about them and then learn more as I write about them (Patrick, The Experiment). Other times, I’ll take conflicting pieces of my own personality and find ways to pit them against each other (Amber and Lincoln, Lost in Amber). Hanging out with my characters, and listening to them talk to each other, is one of the great pleasures of being a writer.

Do you aim for a set number of words/pages per day?

I used to try to aim for a set number of words per day, but I gave up on that a while ago because I always ended up failing. When I’m writing first drafts of scenes I can pump out a lot of words in a day. But when I’m rewriting, I can work solidly for a whole day and only end up adding a few hundred words, because it’s the quality I’m improving, not the word count. These days, I focus more on how quickly I’m completing scenes to a certain standard (draft, rewrite, polish). I find this works better for me.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Line edits. Looking at every instance of words like that, was and just in a book to see if they can be cut or reworded is the most boring task in existence.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

I love the part where I have a basic draft of a scene written and I get to rewrite it over and over until it shines. Playing with phrases, getting bits of dialogue just right, making myself laugh, cry or sigh with pleasure. They may take the most time but, for me, those are the magical moments of writing.

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Author Q&A: Leigh Kenzie + Excerpt & Giveaway!

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The prized possession you value above all others…

My kindle! I actually have a backup kindle even. My spouse bought me my first one because we moved so often that carrying 10+ boxes of books was supposedly too much. The kindle was supposed to fix that and in some ways it did, except then I started collecting signed books. I wouldn’t know what to do without my kindle though. I’m an avid reader so it’s a must-have, especially as some books are ebook only. It opened me up to the indie author community.

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…

The temptation you wish you could resist…

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

The priority activity if you were invisible for a day…

Definitely writing. I have two amazing alphas that help keep me on task and I’m positive they would have the same opinion. In fact, they’re usually the ones corralling me away from social media so I can focus. My job is heavy in that area and I’m a workaholic. I also have a tendency to fall down the rabbit hole with YouTube. Thank goodness for alphas that are terrifying! I wouldn’t know what to do without them.

The film you can watch time and time again…

Bad Company with Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins. It’s my go-to for cheering up.

The person who influenced you the most…

My father. He was an amazing man. My love of reading comes from him. Not only that but so many of the lessons he taught our family resonate so deeply. Being active in our community, always doing the right thing no matter what, and never judging another person. Acceptance and love was key for him. I try to embrace his lessons as much as possible.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…

Math. I’m a huge math geek and I still get out my old calculus and differential equations textbooks for fun. It’s relaxing to me.

The poem that touches your soul…

The event that altered the course of your life…

There have been several but I’ll go with the most recent (and applicable). I recently lost two people who had the largest impact on me growing up. It’s easy to push dreams aside. For me one reason is fear. It’s terrifying to put my heart and soul out there and that’s what writing is for me. It’s intensely personal so putting it out in the public is scary. At that point, it’s no longer my words. People will interpret it differently, feel differently about it, and that’s something I sometimes need prodding to remember. The other part is I’m the caretaker. It makes it easy to push aside my dreams and needs for others. Losing the two people in my life who pushed me, well, all I can say is I didn’t have an option at that point to ignore it anymore. If nothing else I hope that I do their memory proud.

The song that means the most to you…

There are two. Ashley Campbell’s Remembering is one. It was written about her father Glen Campbell who had Alzheimer’s. I lost my father to dementia and that song really gets to me each time I hear it. The second is Son of a Preacher Man by Tom Gross. The lyrics were reimagined and was done in partnership with The Trevor Project and PFLAG. If you have a chance, I highly suggest watching the video. I have the song on repeat.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever…

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…

Music. I was a concert pianist and competed regularly. I also played several other instruments. However, a hand injury took that away. It’s something I miss dearly and would have loved to continue.

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

It makes me feel incredibly old but the first one I remember was in third grade. There was a young writers competition and as a school project we all had to enter. I remember being a finalist (I didn’t win). I was most excited that I had something interesting to write about when I sent my grandmother a letter that month.

The way you would spend your fantasy twenty-four hours, with no travel restrictions…

I’m an introvert and extremely shy. For me, I’d love to just read and write. Not have any other responsibilities. I’m a caretaker for an elderly family member and also in charge of my chaotic family, including two high-energy terrors of terriers. I also work a job that keeps me busy with jumping from project to project. I’d love to just have a day to myself. I’d get bored after that though.

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise…

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…

The figure from history you would most like to buy a pie and a pint…

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…

The philosophy that underpins your life…

Do the right thing always. It’s not always easy but I try my hardest to do it, even when it can break my heart.

The character you enjoyed writing the most…

The character you found difficult to write…

The book you enjoyed planning/writing the most…

A little bit of promo…

Il Padrone is the beginning of the Vendetta Series. It does end on a cliffhanger. However, I should be releasing monthly until the series is completed. This is dark M/M mafia with plenty of kink and at times non-traditional.

I am a complete panster and survive on copious amounts of coffee. These characters and the naughty plot monkeys in my head drive the series. Book 1 is just the beginning of this twisted story of vengeance.

Allesandro and Emilio do not have an easy journey in this series. On the surface, you can’t get too much different, the hardened mob boss in his 40s and the sweet naïve 19-year-old kid. People are always changing though, and I hope that is reflected in my work.

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Malthusia Fate by Emma Jaye: Exclusive Excerpt!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Malthusia Fate

by Emma Jaye

“For God’s sake, Clay, help me before Daven comes looking.”

“Aww is Tavvy Wavvy getting all cranky wanky?” Clay pouted. “You know, if you get any further up your own ass you won’t need an omega if you manifest balls because you’ll be able to fuck yourself.”

As usual, the ribbing produced a pillow fight, which Tav won. After Clay surrendered and they’d both got their breath back, Tav took Clay’s hand and pulled their favorite sibling back up to a sitting position on the bed.

Joining forces, they attacked the youngest twins, shoving them into their clothes before telling Per to take them downstairs. Both flopped onto the bed, enjoying the last few moments of peace.

“Talking of cranky wanky, do you think Zepish will actually pull off his new dick if he carries on yanking on it twenty times a day? That would really make my year,” Clay said.

Tav grinned. “‘Fraid not. I checked with Dr. Seten yesterday.”

Clay froze, eyes wide, then fell off the bed in uncontrolled hysterical laughter. It took a whole five minutes before the pair could look at each other without starting again.

Eventually, Tav had themself under control enough to stand. “Come on, you lazy git, it’s time to go and get lectured again.”

Clay groaned briefly before propping themself up on their elbows.

“I hate Sevendays even more than sitting in that damn classroom with the wicked witch and her brats. If that priest stares at me once more while extolling the virtues of ‘obedient omegas,’ I’m going to stand up, walk over to the pulpit and punch the fucker on their big ugly nose.’

Tav scratched their head, wondering how best to approach the subject.

Clay was twelve and nearing the prime time to manifest as an omega. Tav fervently hoped the feisty redhead wouldn’t. But If Clay did become Clayelle while they hated the idea of being an omega this much, they could have real problems adjusting. Recently manifested omegas committing suicide wasn’t uncommon. Although Tav didn’t think Clay would take that option, they didn’t want their favorite sibling to be too depressed if it did happen.

“The priest is only trying to make it easier on the ones who are going to manifest as omegas.”

Clay gave Tav a death glare. “You mean the sanctimonious fucker is trying to impress upon us that we should become instantly submissive if our cocks drop off in the night?”

Tav rolled their eyes. “They don’t actually drop off, they shrink. The bit that’s left still gets hard and makes them climax but what they produce when they do is like channel slick rather than beta cum or alpha semen.”

Clay made a loud gagging noise. “Enough with the revolting biology lecture. I don’t need to know this shit. I’m staying a beta; I’m not submissive enough to be an omega, so forget about it.”

“Not all omegas are on-the-floor submissives. I don’t know how much you remember about Ma, but she wasn’t a pushover. Most of the betas deferred to her, and not only because she was mated to Pa.”

“She talked back to him?” Clay said, eyes wide.

Tav winced. “I never saw her be anything but submissive to Pa, but who knows what went on in private? She certainly wouldn’t have embarrassed him in public; you know how much status means to him.”

Clay clapped Tav on the shoulder as he got up. “Or you can do what I do; make the big angry alphas laugh all the time. Have you ever noticed how many more times Zepish picks on you compared to me? And I thought you were meant to be the bright one.”

At Tav’s confused expression, Clay grinned. “You poor, clueless bookworm. I manipulate everyone in this place far more than any of the alphas. I’ve got the whole lot, alphas, betas, and that bitch, eating out of my hand. The difference is, no one realizes I’m doing it. There’s a beta life of wealth, luxury, and indulgence waiting for me, unlike you, you sad little worker bee. I’ll see you down there.”

Tav sat on the bed, watching the door swing shut on Clay in complete shock.

Muttering, “Son of a bitch,” Tav followed Clay before Daven came to find them.

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Release Blitz: A Brush of Blue by V.L. Locey & Giveaway!

A Brush of Blue by V.L. Locey

The most difficult of life’s choices might be the one we make when we open our hearts to another.

Landon Reece is the ultimate Manhattan athlete. The elite goalie for the New York Metros is rich, handsome, generous, and purposely single. His life has been a whirlwind of fancy cars, beautiful people, museum galas, and championship rings. Landon now has one year left on his multi-million dollar contract, and the talk around town isn’t good. Despite carrying his team to the pinnacle of success, the aging goalie is hearing rumors that his contract might not be renewed next season. Hoping to curtail the rumors and show the Metros he still has what it takes, Landon and his agent set up a press tour to hopefully remind the fans—and Metros’ management—just how important Landon is to New York City.

During one of a hundred appearances on the tour, Landon finds himself a guest on the newest and hottest late night talk show in the Big Apple. There he meets Montrell Pittman, leader of the show’s band, A Brush of Blue, and his senses come alive. He resolves to do his best to woo the upbeat, sexy musician who ignites his blood like no other person ever has. As the two men grow closer, Landon’s ice time shows how happy his new romance is making him. Then a tragedy rocks his world, and Landon finds himself wallowing in despair and in danger of losing the man who might be the only one who can clear his blues away.

Available at: Amazon

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Release Blitz: Red Heir by Lisa Henry & Sarah Honey + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Red Heir by Lisa Henry & Sarah Honey

Imprisoned pickpocket Loth isn’t sure why a bunch of idiots just broke into his cell claiming they’re here to rescue the lost prince of Aguillon, and he doesn’t really care. They’re looking for a redheaded prince, and he’s more than happy to play along if it means freedom. Then his cranky cellmate Grub complicates things by claiming to be the prince as well.

Now they’re fleeing across the country and Loth’s stuck sharing a horse and a bedroll with Grub while imitating royalty, eating eel porridge, and dodging swamp monsters and bandits.

Along the way, Loth discovers that there’s more to Grub than meets the eye. Under the dirt and bad attitude, Grub’s not completely awful. He might even be attractive. In fact, Loth has a terrible suspicion that he’s developing feelings, and he’s not sure what to do about that. He’d probably have more luck figuring it out if people would just stop trying to kill them.

Still, at least they’ve got a dragon, right?

Available at: Amazon

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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

Release Blitz: Off Balance by L.E. Royal + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Off Balance by L.E. Royal

When she lands her dream job, Maya Scott thinks her luck may finally be about to change. Eager to prove herself a successful adult and win back custody of her young daughter, Maya is determined to excel at the Mars Fund. Her new boss, New York’s notorious ice queen, Elena Mars, could prove difficult to please. Their relationship gets off to a rocky start and Maya learns from her coworkers, some who love her while others loathe her, that Elena has Cerebral palsy.

Embarrassed by her assumptions, Maya avoids Elena until the appearance of her Elena’s young daughter at the office opens a line of communication and provides some common ground. A tentative connection blossoms between them and Maya realizes there is much more to Elena than the outward appearance. Between the complexities of learning about disability and navigating the distance between them in age and wealth, they find that what matters in the end is the family we choose.

Available at: Amazon

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Release Blitz: Wild Warrior by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Wild Warrior by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott

Baer Manning

What happens when Baer spills his big secret about monsters and magic to a total stranger?

Chaos.

In Baer’s defense, he really thought Wiley was a lost brother.

This case of mistaken identity forces the cute artist to stay at the plantation house for his own protection while they search for a way to take down a witch.

Wiley Stuart

He never should have gotten in Baer’s Jeep.

But in Wiley’s defense, Baer is really sexy. And funny. And so sweet. And did he mention sexy?

All his life he’d dreamed of superheroes and a life of action. He just never expected to find himself swept up into a world filled with monsters and goddesses.

Wiley will do anything to stay with this magical band of brothers and help them with their fight. He just wished he could be Baer’s soul mate.

Wild Warrior is the second book in the Weavers Circle series. It includes fast-paced action, running through Savannah, secrets, swimming pool fun, shapeshifting, an elephant, sexy times, lots of snakes, insecurity, three crazy old ladies, and magic!

Available at: Amazon

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Blood Oath by A.T. Brennan: Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

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Exclusive Excerpt from Blood Oath

by A.T. Brennan

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.” Ryder glanced at his friend. It wasn’t like Zane to be so cautious.

“What’s going on with you and Felix? Like really. You called him your boyfriend, and you sleep together, but he’s not just with you.”

Ryder paused, trying to find a way to explain what he and Felix had.

“Felix is the only man I’ve ever loved, and he was honest with me from day one. I went into this, knowing he had another partner, so yeah, he’s my boyfriend. But he’s also Luka’s boyfriend.”

“But how can you be okay with that?”

“I wasn’t sure I would be,” he said honestly. “When he first told me, I was jealous as hell. I kept waiting for him to change his mind and tell me Luka was the only one he had room in his heart for, but when that didn’t happen, I started to trust that he loves me as much as I love him.”

“I don’t think I could do it.”

“When you love someone, you accept all of them. Felix is poly, and he’s been with Luka since he was sixteen. If I wanted to be a part of his life as more than just a friend, I had to accept that. It was a struggle. Still is some days if I’m going to be honest, but I can’t expect Felix to change who he is just for me. I’d lose him. Maybe not right away, but that would be the thing that would tear us apart. I’m not willing to do that to him, to us.”

“You’re a better man than I am,” Zane said with a sigh.

“No, I’m not,” he said, letting his head fall back on the seat as he looked up at the ceiling of Zane’s car. “I’m really not.”

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Honorary Blogger Lou Sylvre and Anne Barwell: Adventures in Co-writing

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Adventures in Co-writing

by Lou Sylvre and Anne Barwell

Thanks for hosting us today!

Although this is our second published co-written book, The Harp and the Sea was our first foray into co writing, and an interesting project to figure out how we’d make it work. 

Lou is in the US and I’m in New Zealand, so the first thing we did was set up a regular chat schedule, so we could chat in real time to hash out character details and where we wanted to go with the plot.  Between that we kept in touch with email.

Writing a story set in another time and place meant we not only had to juggle plot and character but also location, history, and language.  We’d read enough of each other’s writing to know that our styles would mesh, and decided the easiest way to approach this project was to take a character each and write his POV.  So I wrote Ian’s POV, and Lou wrote Robbie’s. 

Mostly. 

As we traded scenes back and forth, it was with the caveat that we could tweak our character’s dialogue and actions. As it turned out we didn’t need to do a lot of that as we got to know both men the more we wrote them.  And, when as we wrote more and got into the fun geographical research and plotted routes and journey times, we ended up changing a few scenes, and re-writing them to mesh with our research so only writing from one character’s POV went out the window.  As we got into publisher edits and proofs, I couldn’t remember what I’d written or hadn’t and couldn’t pick the difference between our two ‘voices.’ I’d got the same feedback from our beta readers. 

As we got into this story we both got hit with a lot of real life and family issues, so had to put the project on the back burner for months at a time.  Because of this, we decided early on that we needed to plot the story in much more detail than we’d normally do.  We already had an overview, but we had several sessions on chat breaking it down to chapters and scenes, and working out which scene would work better from which character’s POV. For example, there’s several scenes where Robbie is unconscious so it definitely worked better to have Ian tell that part of the story.

Naturally our characters did what most characters do once you get into a story and they changed parts of the plot on us, so our well thought out chapter numbers disappeared into the sea along the way, but the final result is a better story.  I wouldn’t go into a co-written story without a firm plot in mind, as it’s important to be heading for the same finish line, although I think leaving room for creativity and being open to change is essential.

I’d had a nasty experience with Google docs crashing and taking a lot of work with it, so I was wary of tempting fate with it again so we decided to go old fashioned and use word.

We ran into a bit of fun with that as we were using different versions of it and edits I’d made sometimes disappeared in Lou’s document when they were merged so it worked better to send the same document back and forth and write the story like a round robin. Lou would write Robbie’s POV up to the point where it was Ian’s turn to tell their story, then send it over, and vice versa.  As we weren’t alternating chapters, sometimes I’d write several thousand words before returning it, and sometimes it would only be a short scene.  There were also a few scenes that didn’t quite go the way I was expecting.  But I figure that’s one of those signs that the characters and their story are taking on a life of their own, which is one of my favourite things about writing. 

The big thing I’d stress with co-writing is that both authors need to have good compromising skills, and know when to push for something, and when to let it go. Egos need to be left at the door or the experience won’t be a pleasant one.

We’ve enjoyed sparking off each other, and building something new so much we’re planning more in The Magic in the Isles series, and also took some time in the middle of writing this to co-write a New Zealand Romance too.

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