Lila Leigh Hunter: Around Iowa in One Novella + Giveaway

February 23, 2017

 

 

Hi, everyone! This is my first time stopping by the Dreamspinner’s blog. I’m Lila Leigh and I hail from Puerto Rico, but I currently live in Southern Texas. I’m here to talk about my new release, Dating in Retrospect. I’m sure you’re wondering why Iowa then? Well, the answer is simple. Love. Aww! Nah. I did marry an Iowa boy and that’s the reason writing this story felt right. I have traveled to Iowa many times over the years—having the chance to experience the different seasons and visit many of the settings I used for my story. Plus, all the ones that didn’t make the cut.

The States of Love novellas are more than a simple love story, they’re the narrative of a state. They bring loves into a unique frame of mind. These stories can’t take place anywhere else but the state in which they were written for. What makes the main characters’ relationships move forward is not a blank canvas, but their connection to the soil. It’s what makes them real and gets the reader cheering for a happily ever after.

I do need to accept that I didn’t include the whole state, but I tried to cover the Southeastern corner. Giving the reader the opportunity to visit the same places someone living in the area travels to on a regular basis.  I started our trip at Clay’s and Aaron’s home—the place in which they fall in love for the first time, college. Providence University is a fictitious name, but there’s a University in the same area. The restaurants they visited exists, as well as, the Burlington boardwalk, and the views of the Mississippi.

If you have been following my blog tour, you probably read about Riverside and their Star Trek date. Yes, Riverside is the future birth place of Captain James T. Kirk, and Clay & Arron enjoyed a day at their Trek fest. Then, a whole weekend at the Field of Dreams. Staying at a bed and breakfast and taking part of their ghost comedy show.

There are several other places they visited around the state, and they do return home for some time as well. But, their connection deepened with each place they visited. Some of them they had traveled to when they were in college and others were a first for them. I think that doing more than to seeing each other once a month added to the intensity of their relationship. And, they would have a beautiful backdrop to tell their kids all about. Which, according to Aaron’s father—Drew—would be many.

I don’t know about you, but I have never traveled around just for a date. Never more than forty-five minutes that is. What about you? Any long-distance relationship with a happily ever after? And to make it more interesting, your comments will be entered for a chance to win a $20 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate (giveaway ends 2/28 -midnight US-EST).

Don’t forget to stalk me around social media. I love to talk books. <3

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ctHk41
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Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/HunterRomances
Blog: https://lilaleighhunter.wordpress.com/blog

Let the fun begin. ☺

~ Lila Leigh

Check out Dating in Retrospect today!

 

Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter

 

Blurb:

Giving the commencement speech at his alma mater doesn’t fit Clay Keller’s meticulous schedule. As Chief Executive Officer of Travel Mogul—the largest travel connoisseur company on the West Coast—he has no time to get back in touch with his country roots. He left fifteen years ago without a second look, but a medical scare makes him change his mind about the speech and brings him face-to-face with his only regret.

Time always moves slower in Southeastern Iowa, and Aaron Grant loves it. He’s added solar farms to the Grant Lanes portfolio and has been teaching at the local university for a decade. The last thing he needs is to have his tenure application compromised by the return of his ex-boyfriend. If he had known who the commencement speaker would be, he would never have volunteered to be the administration liaison.

A proposal—to date for a year—will help them discover that time changes a person, even when everything else stays the same.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

 

Muse Inspiration and Sinspiration w/ Remmy Duchene and BLMorticia

February 22, 2017

 Inspiration and Sinspiration

 

 

Inspiration for Bryan Daystar

 

Muse inspiration for Brian Daystar

 

SL: Greetings all. My name is Sharita Lira and I write as BLMorticia. My character above is Brian Daystar, a descendant of the Lakota tribe, born in Great Falls Montana. The story behind Brian is complicated. He’s had issues in his life that have haunted him for years. When he moved in with Cyrus Abrams (MC from book 1 Wounded Hearts) he did so to run away from his past and hopefully start a new life. Like my other character Cyrus, he believes he’s broken and has pretty much settled for quickies and one nighters to take place of what he really desires. In book one, you can tell how much of Cyrus has rubbed off on him. His mannerisms, his flippant mouth, as well as his use of swear words. However, he’s got a heart of gold and he’s looking for someone to mend his heart while he tries to pick up the pieces in his life.

The songs I picked on this playlist are Waffle and Broken Down by Sevendust, Deep Inside by Hardrive. (Um, really Brian picked that), Stripped by Depeche Mode, Say Yes by Floetry, and Play by Jeremi Carey.

I won’t go through why each one inspired me, only a couple because they speak to his character. The songs by Sevendust totally make up Brian. A ragged soul with a past that has literally haunted him.

In Waffle, lead singer Lajon talks about Making my life something more. That is what Brian is asking of his potential mate. To make his life more worth living. No, he isn’t suicidal, but this young, gorgeous man thinks he might need more than just an average guy to make him whole again.

Broken Down – Obviously in the same vein. Brian feels he needs saving. Lajon sings, “If I can feel again, would you tell me now or wait till I’m broken … save me now I’m broken.” Another lyric that covers the bases when it comes to my character. In that song I felt it a cry for help for someone to love him and help him mend.

Say Yes – Say Yes is always on my writing playlist. When I write my love scenes, I usually have this going along with a few other select tunes. I look for songs that are sexy and sultry. Brian is a sexy and sultry character. The gorgeous hair, his brown eyes and hot body. Okay, I must confess I’m a sucker for this model. Just take a look at my other covers with this man on it. Although I had used the model Umid before, no other model seemed to have the look I had for Brian. So I used him again, and I promise you I am done with him.

Lol

Ah yeah, back to the song. Say Yes is sexy. It put Brian in a mood especially when it seemed his would be partner was in denial. “All you gotta do is say yes, don’t deny what you feel let me undress you.” I could totally see that in Brian, trying to convince Ren to let himself go and feel a little bit. I adore this song and I believe it fit my character perfectly.

 

Sinspiration for Renord Kline

Hey all, Remmy Duchene here. I am the headcase behind Renford Kline, the former New York ADA who is now retired, seeking to find a new place for himself. He has a lot to figure out about who he is, what he is and where he wishes to be.  He’s suave and laid back but he does have a bit of a dirty mind. Renford is a whole other kind of sexy. The music that inspires him had to be flirty, naughty but not too obvious about it.

Music is a huge part of my writing. I have a song for practically every scenario, from sex scenes to fight scenes. Music is the one thing that soothes and angers and puses me to write better.  So there are a few songs on our playlist but I’m only going to go through a few of them.

Closer by Nine Inch Nails – I was watching a tv show right before we started writing this  book and this song was playing. Of course I had no idea who sang it so I hit google with a line from the lyrics. Aside from the naughty line that says I want to f*&k you like an animal which is a part of Renford’s personality. He like it a little freaky from time to time, I loved you can have my isolation, you can have the hate it brings. You can have my absence of faith, you can have my everything. Renford feels alone, trying to figure out who he is. Even though he has friends and people who love him, there’s a part of him that feels ashamed to just be figuring what he is. Renford needed to be able to give up the sadness in all of that and rely on Brian to kind of hold his soul if you will.

Talk me Down by Troye Sivan - I wanna sleep next to you, and that’s all I want to do right now. That line is the one that got me the first time. Renford is the type who believes that something to make the world perfect again, all you need is your lover’s arms. Sure it seems weird for a man his size and as pretty as he is, but he can be kind of a softie. I mean, come on, how could he not get lost in Brian’s arms? Is that even possible?

Bilingual by Jose Nunez – There is a time for making love and then there’s a time for things to be a little moure raunchy, rougher, harder. But it isn’t the kind of rough that happens all the time. Renford is the kind who will give you an order, you disobey, you are punished – in the bedroom of course. But he does it in a sophisticated way, a bid boss kind of way. My thighs in anticipation of deep penetration gets me high sums up what Renford wants Brian to feel, to say, to think.

Insatiable by Darren Hayes – I love writing romance – not just sex but a softness in words, deed and caresses that come with falling, with wanting someone so desperately that no matter what you cannot go away. Renford falls headfirst into the emotions that come with love and the madness it causes. I fall asleep inside of you there are no words only truth. Ever since I was a teenager, I loved this song. Darren Hayes had always been one of my favorite, from Savage Garden to his solo work. This song always made me feel things I never understood until I got older. There’s a soft, sexiness in this song that Renford holds dear as well. It’s not all about the rough tumble. Sometimes, romance is necessary.

BL and I have a playlist put together with all the songs we used to inspire Renford and Brian’s tale. You can find find it HERE.

Contest time – Tell us about your favorite song that gets you in the mood and give us your favorite lyric from it. We will chose one we like the best and that person wins a free copy of Wounded Pride!

 

Check out Wounded Pride today!

 

Wounded Pride by Remmy Duchene and BLMorticia

 

Blurb: 

Renford Kline is straight… right? He got over his experimentation in college and moved on. Then how does he explain his blush-inducing fantasies about Brian Daystar? Fantasies he’s having when he should be focused on his career move from attorney to professor. When Brian comes to New York, Renford knows he’s in trouble. Everything about Brian attracts him—from his tight body to his beautiful, dark hair—but Renford is straight… right?

Brian Daystar needs a break. He’s been working nonstop to turn his Montana ranch into a safe haven for at-risk youth—so much so that he can’t even bring himself to care when he finds out his partner, country star Corey, is cheating on him. Their relationship has been over for a long time, but it might take his feelings for Renford to make Brian accept it.

Both men have decisions to make. Renford must come to terms with who he truly is, and Brian is going to have to decide if he will shun his happiness or embrace it.

 

Remmy Duchene
https://remmyduchene.wix.com/remmyduchene
https://twitter.com/remmyduchene
https://remmyduchene.blogspot.com
https://www.instagram.com/manluvlikeaboss

BLMorticia aka Sharita Lira
http://thelitriad.com/
http://blmorticia.wordpress.com
https://twitter.com/AuthorSharitaL
http://instagram.com/sharitalira/

A Letter from Cupid’s Helper (w/ comments by Cupid himself) by Ari McKay + Giveaway

February 20, 2017

A Letter from Cupid's Helper with Ari McKay

 

Hello, everyone! Dr. Derek Chandler here, welcoming you to the release of “Letters From Cupid”, the story of how Dr. Macon Pinney wooed and won me, thereby saving me from a life devoid of love and romance. I’m excited that you want to read about us, because I think Macon is the most incredibly romantic man I’ve ever met. He might not seem like it at first glance, because he’s quiet and isn’t the most sociable of men, but as I discovered when he started writing to me, there’s a lot more under the tweed jacket and bow tie than you might believe.

Not that I knew Macon was Cupid at first. I suppose it’s not uncommon to not see what’s right under your nose, but I plead preoccupation with the sorry state of my personal life. I was definitely in the midst of a self-pity party after my partner Mark decided that malaria and hemorrhagic fevers were more exciting than I was.

That’s because Mark was an idiot who didn’t realize what he had. But his loss was my gain. I still can’t believe he could decide to traipse off to South America even after hearing you read Donne.  

There, you see what I mean? Macon is definitely a romantic! *blows Macon a kiss* I didn’t know about his fetish for Donne at the time, but I’m grateful for it, since apparently a recitation brought me to his notice. Which was why, when I was feeling sorry for myself and bemoaning it to my friend Justine, Macon decided to do something risky, out-of-character, and incredibly sweet by writing me a note of encouragement to bolster my ego and inform me that things weren’t quite as hopeless as they seemed.

I was definitely surprised that anyone would leave me such a note, and I had more than a few moments of worry that it was from a student. Not only would it be inappropriate, but I admit to a tiny bit fear of having picked up a stalker. But the tone of the letter was far more mature than I would have expected from a student, and it spoke to me in a way that I couldn’t ignore. That’s why I wrote back.

To be honest, I thought the note from “Cupid” was going to be a one-off. I assumed you’d either find it either amusing or silly, but I didn’t expect you to write back. I was surprised when I saw your response, and I wasn’t sure I should keep writing you. I was afraid I might slip up and give myself away, and then you would be disappointed to realize your Cupid was the department’s biggest introvert.

*Gives Macon a besotted smile* An introvert, yes, but a sexy and intriguing one. I suppose the important thing is that I did write back, and Macon replied, and… well, I don’t want to give too much away. But I had definitely noticed Macon even before our correspondence began, though I was under the mistaken assumption that he was still lusting after a rather delicious Spaniard who’d been a visiting professor at the university. Their affair wasn’t exactly a secret, and after tall, dark, and Latin, I didn’t even think I could be Macon’s type.

That’s why I dismissed any thought that Macon could be my Cupid, and yet I felt drawn to Macon, wanting to get to know him better. Perhaps my subconscious mind hadn’t given up on the possibility, but I was surprised and pleased that my overtures to Macon were well received, and we began to talk and interact more, even as our correspondence continued.

I was surprised but pleased as well. I’ve always had a difficult time connecting with people. I’m aware I have a reputation for being aloof, but the truth is, I hate trying to make small talk because I never know what to say, and I’ve never been good at making the first move, whether in a friendship or a relationship. Putting that note on your door was one of the most forward things I’ve ever done.

Believe me, I’m grateful every day that you did it. Perhaps we would have eventually managed to get together in some other way, but, then again, perhaps we wouldn’t, and that’s something I can’t even bear to think about!

But to return to our readers, Macon and I hope you’ll give our story a chance, and get to know us as we get to know one another.  Our “lovely dictators”, as Macon refers to Ari and McKay (and which can be taken in two ways, he says) have done a credible job of relating our tale. I think it’s a rather romantic one, and, if you’re like me, it’s impossible to have too much romance in your life!

 

Our lovely dictators would like to gift a copy of a story from their back catalogue to one lucky reader. For a chance to win, please comment with the title of your favorite romantic book, poem, or song. Let’s spread the love!

 

Check out Letters from Cupid today!

 

Letters From Cupid by Ari McKay

Blurb:

After breaking up with his partner, English professor Dr. Derek Chandler feels like a failure who will never win at romance. His aloof colleague, Dr. Macon Pinney, disagrees and pens an anonymous note of encouragement to Derek, which he signs “Cupid.” Thus begins an exchange of correspondence, a courtship through words where the two men find out they have a great deal in common. Meanwhile, Derek reaches out to Macon, not knowing Macon is his anonymous pen pal. Derek reveals through his letters that someone close by has piqued his interest. Could he mean Macon—or has Macon missed his opportunity and lost Derek to another man?

Perhaps the time has come for Cupid to put in an appearance, and when better to do so than Valentine’s Day?

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2015.

 

If you’d like to contact Ari McKay, they can be found at:

Website: http://arimckay.wordpress.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mckay/266185570179748
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ari.mckay.7
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AriMcKay1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6153630.Ari_McKay

Shifting Views: The Grass is Always Greener… w/ Meg Harding + Giveaway

February 15, 2017

The grass isalways greener... with Meg Harding

 

Hi everyone! I’m Meg Harding, and I’m here to get all mushy about the end of a writing era for me. Shifting Views released on February 10th, and it’s the fourth and final novel in my Carlisle series. Finishing one novel was a huge feat for me, so to be able to complete an entire series is something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to accomplish. I love these guys, plain and simple. They banged—quite literally at times—around my head for over a year, constantly surprising me but also fairly willingly letting their stories be told.

Denver is the last man standing, and he was the most challenging to write. Shifting Views is far from an angst fest, but Denver, to me, provides the most out of the series. Beneath his perfect, happy façade is a creative person who has hit a wall. He loves what he does, it’s his genuine passion, but sometimes what we love gets skewed with time. It becomes a job. We can’t cope with the ever growing amount of excess stress attached to what was once something pure and fun.

Ethan is another man doing what he loves, with life circumstances that are completely different to Denver’s. While his job is a source of stress, he allows himself to be the biggest weight on his shoulders. Ethan’s a man stuck in his own head. His job is the one thing he thinks is going perfect and rarely ever doubts. It’s the good kind of stress. One could even say all of his confidence and self-worth are poured into it.

Shifting Views is a love story about the grass always being greener on the other side. As people we always want what we don’t have, we think of bigger and better. And that varies from person to person. Denver thinks Ethan is amazing because of how hard he’s worked and how focused he is. He likes the simplicity Ethan brings to his life. The honesty. Meanwhile Ethan’s busy comparing himself to a standard no one else is. He’s thinking about how he doesn’t measure up. He thinks Denver has the perfect life, and maybe he doesn’t fit in it because he’s just himself.

We let doubts rule us more often than not, and it doesn’t normally lead to a happy ending. If you had to take a leap, cast doubts aside for a day, what would be the first action item on your list?

Answer to win an ebook copy of Checking it Twice.

 

Check out Shifting Views today!

 

Shifting Views by Meg Harding

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon

Barnes and Noble
Kobo

Blurb:

Successful fashion model Denver Carlisle is finally living on his own. He’s got a new apartment, a neighbor who has a problem shutting his blinds, and a local bakery with an owner who makes his knees weak. It’s raining men, and Denver hasn’t gotten any in a long time. Going out on a limb, he asks Ethan Monahan out and resorts to a little exhibitionism for his neighbor. Only to be turned down by both. That’s a first.

Ethan Monahan runs his own bakery and has a new neighbor who walks around naked. The latter is a little too distracting. When his naked neighbor turns out to be none other than model Denver Carlisle—and the customer who asked him out—Ethan tries to make amends. In a purely friendly way.

Friendship leads to more, and both men find themselves in over their heads with emotions and compromises. Denver has trust issues that could span the Sahara, and Ethan is a product of the foster system with a chip on his shoulder and a serious wariness of those with money. There’s only one way to reconcile their issues: work together.

“That’s in the past. It didn’t happen because we’re starting over. So shake my damn hand and introduce yourself.”

Find Meg Harding at:

Website: Megharding.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cumberstone61
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MegHardingWrites/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

 

Meet the Cast of Wolfmanny w/ Julia Talbot

February 14, 2017

Meet the Cast of Wolfmanny with Julia Talbot

 

Hey y’all!

I’m Julia Talbot, and I’m here to talk about Wolfmanny, my newest release.

A lot of folks have asked me, why would you write a book about a m/m/m threesome who have five kids?

The answer is really that I’m a masochist.

I had the darnedest time with names and such, and keeping kids straight.

When it came to the bedroom scenes, I had all these body parts… Also pronouns.

The thing is, it was worth it. I wanted to create this huge family, one that doubled as a wolf pack, solid and sure. Kenneth, the alpha, is like a duck. He’s calm on the surface, and paddling furiously underneath. His assistant Miles is the glue. He holds them all together. Then there’s the new manny, Jack. He’s tough, ex-military, and kind. He’s just what this family needs.

So, who are the major players here?

Jack — Manny. Ex-military. Hired on to tame the wild teenager of the Marcon pack

Kenneth – Head of the Marcon house and pack. He inherited his dead sister’s kids and loves them fiercely.

Miles – Mild mannered assistant, who turns out to be brave, loving, and amazing.

Simone – aka Monie – The eldest Marcon kid – she’s a teenager, and just starting to shift into a wolf again. She’s hysterically hormonal and wants to be cool, but is a sweetheart down deep

Ginny and Thomas – while Thomas as older, the middle kids come as a set since Ginny idolizes her brother. She’s a tomboy, he’s a gamer geek. They both love animals.

Jim and Joe – these are the twins, and they’ve just changed from being wolves all the time into being human all the time until they’re teenagers. I think of them like the triplets in Brave. All giggles and mischief, but so good.

Nadine – Fox shifter, head of security. She knows all.

The triplet minks – they all have H names. You know their father is as confused as I am. Security for the children…

I could go on and on, I know. I tend to write casts of thousands. But I do love them all! I hope this listing helps everyone keep the main family all together!

XXOO

Julia Talbot

Check out Wolfmanny today!

Wolfmanny by Julia Talbot

 

Blurb:

Three hot werewolves, sexual tension thick enough to cut with a knife, an impending Colorado winter, and a rambunctious pack of werewolf pups. Stand back and watch the fur fly.

When Kenneth Marcon loses his nanny to a bite from one of his inherited kids, he knows he needs someone strong to contain five werewolf children. What he finds isn’t a stalwart nanny, but a werewolf manny named Jack. Kenneth and his assistant, Miles, aren’t sure if Jack is what they need, but he’s what they have to work with.

Jack’s got what it takes to keep the kids busy—and attract both Miles’s and Kenneth’s attention. The two old friends have been circling each other for years, but with Jack as the final piece to the puzzle, it’s time to finally act on those urges. When Kenneth is forced to travel instead of solidifying the bond with his new mates, Jack and Miles take desperate measures to get him back, even as they save the kids from one disaster after another. Amidst the chaos, they have to learn how to become not just a pack, but a family.

Author Bio:

Stories that leave a mark.

Julia Talbot loves romance across all the genders and genres, and loves to write about people working to see past the skin they’re in to love what lies beneath. Julia Talbot lives in the great mountain and high desert Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner, Samhain, and Changeling Press. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. She also writes BDSM and erotic romance as Minerva Howe. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at www.juliatalbot.com

“The mountains are calling, and I must go”

Links:

www.juliatalbot.com
@juliatalbot on Twitter
https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

The Seventh Flower: Office Romance the 18th Century Way w/ Ingela Bohm

February 14, 2017

 

Office Romance the 18th Century Way with Ingela Bohm

 

It seems fitting that my first publication with Dreamspinner, The Seventh Flower, grows from quintessentially Swedish soil. The novella forms part of the World of Love series, and I’m so excited to be contributing to such an ambitious theme. Writing from my perspective as a Swedish person has been really inspiring in a myriad of ways. I’ve never dug especially deep in my background and culture to create my stories – in fact I’ve almost avoided it, setting the scene in Wales, England, and France instead of Sweden. But this time the country was supposed to be an important part of the story, and working from that premise was an unexpected joy. The novella practically wrote itself.

However, the most inspiring thing about this project was a minor theme running through the romance between my main characters Christer and Henrik: a historical friendship, or bromance if you like, between Carl Linnaeus and Peter Artedi. To begin with, I never meant for them to make an appearance in The Seventh Flower, since I’d sort of planned to write a book specifically about them, but there you have it. Writers don’t always get to decide.

Of these two men, Linnaeus is undoubtedly the most famous. He’s the ‘father of modern taxonomy,’ the scientist who created a system for categorizing plants and their sexuality – the formal classification that explains why plants look the way they do and how they’re related to each other. At twenty-six years of age, he walked by foot from Uppsala to the north of Sweden to gather new and unclassified plants and incorporate them in his taxonomy. At that time (the 1740’s), Lapland was mostly a wilderness. Linnaeus followed the rivers, gathering specimens and studying how they all fit together. He camped out in the woods, finding shelter in bivouacs, surviving without modern clothing, and almost drowned one time when he was surprised by a spring flood. Through his work, he also systematized how plants were named, and there is even a flower named after him: the linnaea borealis, commonly known as the twinflower. Small and shy, this delicate pink beauty fascinated Linnaeus more than any other plant.

Perhaps you already know all this, but what about Artedi? Who the heck is he? Well, if Linnaeus created the taxonomy for plants, Artedi did the same thing for fish. Much less is known about him, but he was as important for his field of ichthyology as Linnaeus was for botany. He came from the north of Sweden and grew up on a farm. You can just imagine him as a small boy, going fishing in the local lake and becoming fascinated by the sleek, rainbow-glinting bodies gliding by beneath the water. How the light bounced off those silvery scales, how tiny details in their physiognomy set the species apart… and having no one to share his enthusiasm until he went to study at the university in Uppsala and met Linnaeus. The two seem to have become inseparable, and no wonder: taxonomy is kind of a nerdy passion, so when you meet someone who shares that interest it must seem like Fate. The two men even made a pact to publish each other’s work if one of them should die, and unfortunately this is exactly what happened. At a mere 30 years of age, Artedi fell into an Amsterdam canal and drowned.

022 (3)

Curse him for drowning. It really messed with my plans. I wanted to create the ultimate office romance with these two as my leading men, because I have such a weakness for stories about people who share an interest and are creative together. I don’t know why. There’s just something inherently romantic about working towards the same goal, especially if it happens with something the people involved are used to working on alone. Just imagine it: finding the one person who can help you become more than you can be yourself in an area you care deeply about. Swoon-worthy, no?

I first tried on this concept in my historical romance Rival Poet, in which Shakespeare and Marlowe fall in love through the power of words. I also explored it in my Pax Cymrica series, where Michael and Jamie communicate through music and build an entire career on their shared passion. But in the case of Linnaeus and Artedi, there was this tiny irritating detail of major character death that made the whole thing difficult to pull off.

Solution? I had Christer and Henrik in The Seventh Flower share my fascination for them. Instead of putting my two historical heroes center stage, I made Christer their chronicler and Henrik a modern day botanist. In this way my main characters could mirror what I saw in the intense friendship between Linnaeus and Artedi: the finding of a soul mate in the unlikeliest of places, because of an obsession they thought no one shared.

It just gets me every time. Even now I’m writing a story about two actors falling for each other as they work on a successful TV series, repeating myself yet again. So am I the only one who gets off on this, I wonder? Or are there others out there who enjoy fantasizing about people who work together while also falling for each other? I’d love to know about your favorite work-related romance scenarios – maybe you have a thing for musicians, or actors, or scientists like Linnaeus and Artedi? Maybe you’re married to your office crush? Maybe you can even give me some tips for future books? Please hit me with your best shots!

 

Check out The Seventh Flower today!

The Seventh Flower by Ingela Bohm

Blurb:

Christer is too old to believe in fairy tales. He’s not the kind of guy to pick the proverbial seven flowers on Midsummer’s Eve so he can dream of who he will marry, and he certainly isn’t the type to fall for someone he’s just met. Especially not a womanizing blogger named Henrik.

Besides, Christer’s previous marriage didn’t end with a happily ever after. Therefore, he has no interest in gifting his heart to someone who lives five hundred miles away and probably isn’t even gay. His family is right: it’s time he grew up and stopped dreaming.

But Midsummer’s Eve in Sweden is a magical night, and Henrik won’t stop flirting. As the midnight sun shines down on the misty woods, maybe there’s room for one last dream.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

 

Ingela Bohm

Author Bio:

Ingela Bohm lives in an old cinema, tucked away in a northern Swedish forest where she can wander around all day long and dictate her books. She used to dream of being an actor until an actual actor asked, “Do you really need to do it?” That’s when she realized that the only thing she really needed to do was to write. She has since pretended to be a dietician, a teacher, a receptionist and a cook, but only to conceal her real identity.

Her first imaginary friend was called Grabolina and lived in her closet. Nowadays she has too many imaginary friends to count, but at least some of them are out of the closet. Her men may not be conventionally handsome, but they can charm your pants off, and that’s all that matters.

Ingela’s more useless talents include reading tarot cards, killing pot plants and drawing scandalous pictures that no one gets to see. She can’t walk in heels and she’s stopped trying, but she has cycled 12 000 miles in the UK and knows which campsites to avoid if you don’t like spiders. If you see her on the train you will wonder what age she is.

To get updates on Ingela Bohm’s work, please sign up for her newsletter or connect at her

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Books by Ingela Bohm

The Pax Cymrica series:

Just Playing
The Road Taken
Release
Cutting Edge

Standalone novels:

Rival Poet
Not Safe For Work
Last Communion
All You Can Eat

Short stories:
Seven Thousand Minutes
Strings Attached
The Subjunctive Mood
Beneath The Mask

 

Buyout – A Love Story: Lost in Lisbon w/ Dev Bentham

February 13, 2017

 Lost in Lisbon with Dev Bentham

 

I had the opportunity to go to Lisbon, Portugal last spring. Buyout-A Love Story was born out of that trip. Lisbon is a beautiful city. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few of photos from my time there.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a travelogue or one of those long, boring slide shows. Just a few shots to give you a feel for the book.

Most of the story is set in the Alfama, an old neighborhood with winding streets and a castle at the top. The castle plays and important part in the story. The walk up is steep.

DevBentham1

Fortunately, there’s a tram and the view from the top is worth it.

Too bad the guys are too consumed with their own drama to truly enjoy it.

There have been plenty of times in my life when I should have been paying attention to the beauty around me but I was so wrapped up in my emotional soup to even notice. Has that ever happened to you? If so, did you catch it before the moment ended or realized too late?

 

Check out Buyout – A Love Story today!

 

Buyout A Love Story by Dev Bentham

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

 

Blurb:

Everyone deserves a second chance. Or do they? Sean and Martim fell in love at Harvard. Things broke apart when Martim fell into a downward spiral of addiction after his father died. Sean kicked him out but has regretted it ever since. He’s never gotten over losing Martim. But then, not many aspects of his life have lived up to his collegiate dreams.

When he’s sent to evaluate Martim’s family hotel for foreclosure, Sean is once again in the position to put Martim out on the street. In the time since they parted, Martim has pulled himself together, although both health and financial problems linger as a result of his years as an addict. Can the two men bridge the gap of distance and time to rekindle their relationship, or will they fall apart again under the burdens of guilt and disease?

Set in Lisbon, Portugal, this is the story of lovers reunited after more than a decade apart, and their second chance at romance.

 

Author Bio:

Dev Bentham has lived in way too many places and had far too many jobs. She’s finally settled in frozen northern Wisconsin where she teaches online and draws on her former lives to write love stories about mature men searching for true love. Her restless feet take her globetrotting whenever she gets the chance, but most of the time she’s tucked up in her office in the woods dreaming about romance and adventure.

She’s the author of many gay romances, including a DABWAHA finalist, a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention and a Rainbow Awards Finalist.

Website: www.devbentham.com
Twitter @DevBentham
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dev.bentham
E-mail: DevBentham@yahoo.com

Sign up for Dev’s Monthly News Flash, every month a little news and some flash fiction

Z. Allora – A Love Letter to Artists

February 10, 2017

A Love Letter to Artists with Z. Allora

 

I truly love art. I hunt it everywhere I go. I adore standing in front of a piece, imagining what the artist tried to convey. What did the artist want me to feel/think/understand?

Art has the potential to instantly convey a message more accurately than a million words. At the same time, the viewer is allowed to appreciate the things they need to see and take with them.

I remember attending a student exhibit in Philadelphia. The piece that captured my attention was a dead fish nailed to a board. That’s all:  just a dried fish attached to a weathered 2×4 with a nail.

At the time, it annoyed me. Well, if that’s art I could do better. But that piece stood the test of time, and it stayed with me. When I had the opportunity, the memory of a dead fish nailed to a board gave me the courage to ask a Chinese Brush Stroke master to teach me watercolor.

Now, years later, I see how that one work containing three items was so much more. It affected how I view art. That simple creation makes me ponder how seemingly simple actions have far reaching implications, and how something can be more than the sum of its parts. (Granted, I’ve given a lot of power to a dead fish on a board. For all I know, it could have just been the product of a lazy art student, and it’s just my interpretation that gives the piece brilliance.)

In many ways, The Craving is my love letter to artists. It honors their talent and their impact on the world. Whether it’s Monet, Botticelli, Klimt, Paul Richmond, Catherine Dair, PL Nunn, Young Fan Chin, Yamane Ayano, K-Koji, and many others who create pieces that make the world a better place. Artists make us think, reflect, and feel. In the best case, viewing art allows us to give to others, changes our thinking on a subject, or encourages us to make a positive change.

The Xantha star system takes the power within art seriously and is credited throughout known space for developing dimensional art. Dimensional art’s ability to morph and to travel beyond its nature determines the level of dimension it achieves.  These distinctive works have been credited with preventing wars, helping to focus efforts on positive outcomes, and is utilized in negotiations. As the planets of the system are guided by art, the artists and those who guide them are quite powerful.

First & Second dimension:  non-dimensional and convey an image and makes you feel.

Third dimension: morphs and allows the viewer to question a concept.

Fourth dimension: conveys complex information.

Fifth dimension: can influence thoughts.

Sixth dimension: changes people’s actions and promotes the direction of their efforts.

Any artists that reach the third dimension are honored with a place at the Ambrosial monastery. They become initiates and follow a strict regimen. In return, they are given training and support so they may release their full artistic potential.

Life in the monastery is filled with discipline. The Principles of Purity is the foundation. All activities are scheduled. Diet, exercise, sleep, and release are prescribed in precise amounts.

Initiates and monks wear protective units that are removed every eight-sleep cycles allowing for a nonorgasmic release. It’s believed that sexual energy should be refocused back into their art and not wasted in pleasure.

In the purest form, dimensional art is a powerful vehicle that makes the star system a better place, though it can be used to forward agendas that suit certain individuals and not for the betterment of the Xantha star system. The Craving highlights some of the divisions between the monastery and the ruler of the star system.

Art has the power to speak when we aren’t able. It has the power to heal and give hope. Thank you to all the artists on our planet for sharing your talent with us.

 

Check out The Craving today!

 

The Craving by Z. Allora

 

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon

 

Blurb:

The craving is an undeniable urge that drives K’Dane citizens to find their life mates—if only to sate their uncontrollable physical longings.

Thrilled at being named a Chosen, Phoenix Dotir leaves K’Dane to become an artist-monk who will create dimensional art capable of changing worlds. Living by the monastery’s Principles of Purity will surely help him overcome the craving. But he never accounted for star chaser Zadra Solav.

Zadra doesn’t believe in rules and makes his own future. Fate separates him from the man he loves, but one touch renders him helpless to his own desires. Bonding with a monk is forbidden, and Zadra’s family sends him to deep space to avoid disgrace. Unable to give up, Zadra must find a way reunite with his Chosen.

Tormented by enforced separation, Initiate Riva Quinton struggles with his vow of chastity and risks all to rescue his lover. Together with his Eros, he stows away on board a star craft to follow his heart.

Four men defy destiny and tradition for love… but their love is a crime punishable by death.

 

Author Bio:

Z. Allora believes in happily ever after’s for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her words to open hearts and change minds.

To contact Z. Allora:

E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com
FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora
Website: www.zallorabooks.com
Twitter: @ZAllora

 

Pipelines in Paradise: Tropical Research w/ Foster Bridget Cassidy + Giveaway

February 9, 2017

 

Tropical Research w/ Foster Bridget Cassidy

 

This is Foster Bridget Cassidy and I’m eager to share my debut novella with you.

Pipelines in Paradise follows Palmer Simpson, a thirty-three-year-old high school teacher, who packs up and moves to Oahu.  There, he throws himself into the surf culture, trying to reconnect with his younger self.  Along the way he meets friends and foes, and even a lover, skilled surfer Riku Usami. His new circle of support helps him adjust to life on the island.

As an Arizona native, the setting of Hawaii presented a challenge to me.  I’ve been to the ocean a handful of times, but never experienced the kind of culture you get living next to the water.  Naturally, in Hawaii, these norms take center stage.  They’re integral to everyday life.  This meant I had my hands full with research.

I watched movies–everything from travelogues, like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, to documentaries, like Highwater (2009).  I listened to surfing podcasts and traditional Polynesian music to steep myself in as much of the local flavor as possible.  I read up on surfboards, the different sizes, shapes, fins, etc. needed for different beaches.

The most interesting aspect of this was the food. Regional cuisine reveals much about people and their way of life. I feel it’s important to get these details correct. It adds to the credibility of the story and the characters.

Researching food is the most rewarding experience a writer can have. However, there is a snag when trying to find Hawaiian seafood in Arizona.  There’s also the fact that I don’t eat seafood. The other option was to try this fabled delicacy of Spam.

One of my close friends grew up on the island of Guam, and when I asked her about Spam, she was eager to share with me.  It’s a staple in her family’s dinner routine.  Comfort food.  For me, she made Spam and rice.  Of course the stigma of canned meat was foremost in my mind, but I pushed on.  For science.

Spam and Rice

And it actually surprised me how delicious it was!  The grilled Spam was perfectly salty, and mixed with short grain Calrose rice, the duo was exceptional!  Or maybe it’s that my friend is just an amazing cook.

There’s a ton more recipes I’d love to try.  A whole new culture I can explore.  I’ve taken my first steps, and I know they won’t be my last.

So what’s the most bizarre thing you’ve eaten?  Add your comment about the most interesting/adventurous thing you’ve tried, and you may win a copy of Pipelines in Paradise to can see that Spam in action!  A winner will be selected on February 12th.

Or, if you don’t feel like waiting, Pipelines in Paradise is available for purchase now.  Dive right in and soak up some of that Hawaiian sunshine.

 

Check out Pipelines in Paradise today!

Pipelines in Paradise by Foster Bridget Cassidy

Blurb:

One is trying to heal a broken heart, the other, a broken family.

After separating from his partner of nine years, Palmer Simpson flees to the island of Oahu to pursue a carefree life of surfing. There, he meets Riku Usami, a more skilled surfer—but one with a bad attitude and a boatload of family drama. A contest between the two men leads to friendship and the possibility of something more meaningful. When a tsunami threatens the island, a friend is stranded out on the waters of the deadly Banzai Pipeline. Palmer and Riku must face the dangers of the barrel waves and the looming forces of nature in order to get their friend to safety. If they survive, they’ll have to contemplate what their future together will look like after the storm blows through.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

 

About the Author:

Foster Bridget Cassidy has wanted to be a writer since becoming addicted to epic fantasy during high school. Since then, she’s studied the craft academically and as a hobby. A million ideas float in her head, but it seems like there’s never enough time to get them all down on paper. Her favorite things include taking pictures of her dachshunds, sewing, staying in pajamas all day, and laughing with her husband.

E-mail: FosterBridgetCassidy@gmail.com
Blog: fosterbridgetcassidy.wordpress.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FosterBCassidy
Twitter: @FosterBCassidy 

 

Revisiting Inheritance w/ Sean Michael

February 8, 2017

 

Revisiting Inheritance with Sean Michael

 

Hello Dreamspinner Press Readers,

It’s always so gratifying when a publisher is willing to take in an orphan book and re-publish it, so a big thank you to Dreamspinner for taking on Inheritance.

One of my favorite things about going with Dresmspinner on this reprint is the new cover for the book – isn’t it a beauty? And it tells a story – two men, one a cowboy and one not, and the lone bear at the bottom speaks of kids, but also of melancholy which any book that starts out with the parents of six kids dying in a crash is bound to have at least a little of.

While this book was written in 2008, I think it holds up pretty well as a Contemporary. That brings up the question – when does a book stop being a contemporary and start being a historical?

I think anything after the year 2000 is definitely a contemporary, and I might even go as far back as 1990, but the 1980s have a definite vibe, in everything from politics to fashion and music, so I’d label anything set in the 80s or earlier as historical. What about you?

 

Check out Inheritance today!

 

Inheritance by Sean Michael

 

Blurb:

Cash McCord’s life is pretty much perfect. He owns the family ranch, loves his work, and invites the occasional cowboy into his bed. But everything is turned upside down when his brother Jack and Jack’s wife Val are killed in a car crash, leaving behind six kids.

Cash is made guardian of the children, along with Val’s brother, Brad Rafferty—a man who couldn’t be more different from Cash if he tried. A Yankee, Brad is a video-game developer who works twelve-to-fourteen-hour days at his desk. They lock horns as soon as they set eyes on each other. Neither man is happy to have the other around, but neither is willing to give up custody of his nieces and nephews.

It’s up to these two polar opposites to keep the kids together and give them a family again. But first they’ll have to keep from killing each other.

 

Buy links:

Dreamspinner
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Excerpt:

“Hey.” Ben gave him a smile, the boy looking more and more like his father every day. Christ, he could remember when Ben was a newborn, and now the kid was a teenager.

Cash tipped his head in Brad’s direction. “Evenin’. The kids in bed?”

“They are. I’m hoping they stay there till like noon tomorrow.” He grinned, knowing it was a pipe dream. “How’re you doing, Ben?”

Ben shrugged his skinny shoulders, light blue eyes that matched Cash’s staring at Brad. “I’m okay. Talking to Uncle Cash.”

Brad leaned against the porch railing. “Yeah? Good. Talking’s good.”

“I guess. Uncle Cash says we’ve got to think about going back to school, about what all we’re going to do.”

“Yeah, he’s right. I know it seems kind of harsh, but life goes on, and you’ve got to get back to it.” They all needed to move forward, see past what had happened.

“Right. Back on the horse and all.” Ben crossed those long thin arms. “So which one of you is leaving?”

“What makes you think someone’s leaving, Ben?” Brad wasn’t going anywhere, and he didn’t think Cash was planning on ditching the kids anytime soon. Which, if he was honest with himself, he was glad about. While he could maybe understand why Val had six kids, he couldn’t imagine having to look after them on his own.

“What? Both of you have lives, both of you have jobs. What? You’re going to split us up?”

“Nobody wants to split y’all up, honey,” Cash said. “Neither one of us.”

“Cash is right. Nobody is splitting you up. The six of you are more important than anything else, okay?” God, how long had Ben been worrying about this?

“So, what? What are you two going to do?”

Cash sighed. “We’re trying to work that out, honey.”

“I’m not a kid. I need to know.”

“What else do you need, Ben? What do you want to happen?” Brad knew what he wanted, knew what Cash wanted. He figured it was only right Ben let them know what he thought.

 

Bio:

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com
BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/
TWITTER: seanmichael09
INSTAGRAM: seanmichaelpics