Explosive Distractions by BA Tortuga – NSFW

February 22, 2018

explosive distractions

 

“Wait.” Sonny lifted his head, feeling the bridge of his nose cut through the thick, humid July air like a dull knife through cake. Fucking Florida in July. He could be under a palm tree in Aruba. “We’re in Florida for fireworks? How patriotic of you, Precious.”

“Yep. There’s a warehouse over there full of them. You’ll have to dock for a couple hours and then I’ll be back.” Oh. Someone was getting bored.

“Whut?” Something didn’t add up. He’d been promised new boots and maybe a corny dog. Not so much with the corny dogs in Aruba, so he took any chance he could to get them in the States.

“I’m going to go… explore a bit. Restock. Uh. Create a touch of private chaos. Nothing fatal. You’re going to go stalk the pier and buy some fudge.”

“Nope.” He rolled to a sitting position, crossing his arms and shaking his head. “We were supposed to stalk the pier for fair food together.”

“I can’t blow up the warehouse from the fair, Sunshine.”

“Right. Because that’s more important than keeping your redneck happy.” He batted his eyelashes, rubbing his bare chest.

MJ arched one eyebrow, mouth open to snap something back, eyes following his hands.

“You’ll catch flies…” Sonny pinched one of his own nipples, just grinning to beat the band.

“Huh?” Must be boredom; it took more to distract his Precious from a paying gig.

“With your mouth hanging open that way.” Sonny spread his legs, letting it all hang out. “Don’t you want to make me happy, MJ?”

“I do. I make you happy, asshole.”

“Well, come make me a happy asshole and show me you love me more than explosions.” That was pushing it, and Sonny knew it, but he couldn’t help it. He’d been pushing his Precious since they met.

“I don’t know… I’m damn fond of explosions…” MJ wandered right up to him, hand cupping his balls and giving them a roll and a tug.

Little hairs stood up all over his body, and God knew he had enough of them. Sonny moaned a little, licking his lips. “I know…”

“Mmhmm.” MJ’d forgotten all about the boom; Sonny could tell. He fucking rocked at this whole ‘distract the terrorist’ thing.

He reached out and grabbed one lean hip, his fingers sliding over ink and skin. “‘Course, I like fast cars. But I like you better.”

“You like me in fast cars.” MJ stepped closer, palming his balls, fingers sliding behind. “You like blow jobs in muscle cars where the truckers can fucking look in and be jealous.”

“And you like hand jobs with hostages in the back seat. We’re well matched.” Yanking MJ down on his lap put his balls in danger, but made his cock pretty damned happy.

“Uhn. Hey.” MJ grinned down at him, leaned in to bite the living Hell out of his bottom lip.

“Mmmm.” Hell, Sonny figured he’d forgotten the question, too. Naked skin trumped just about anything. He just grabbed that tight ass, pulling MJ right up against him.

“Weren’t we… uh… Yeah.” MJ shrugged, pushed fucking hard and toppled them, landing square on top of him so that their mouths crashed together.

Licking and biting, he took the kiss, his mouth opening under MJ’s. Goddamn. MJ said he was oral? That man could flat out kiss.

“Sunshine.” MJ tilted his head, just a little, and that fucking kiss went deeper, MJ just fucking his mouth.

Sonny rolled them, pushing MJ down on the deck, his hands on those strong shoulders so he could hold MJ down and hump like he was riding the pony or some shit. Who was fucking distracting who, yeah?

Those little fucking noises MJ made? Settled right in his balls, sweet as anything. His back arched, his hips working away, rubbing his cock against MJ’s belly. Ping! Friction. Go him. Sonny liked friction.

“Gonna have deck burn on your knees. My ass.” Fucker was laughing at him.

“Adds spice, Precious.” He’d show that man deck burns. Pushing back, Sonny knelt up between MJ’s thighs, spreading and lifting until he could bend and lick the line of skin behind MJ’s balls.

“Oh. Oh, fuck. Sunshine.” Uh-huh. Yep. Just like that.

The way MJ’s legs curled around his shoulders made Sonny feel like a god. A horny, really hard god who wanted to just fuck until sunrise.

“Fucking need you.” MJ’s fingers were scrabbling on the deck; he could hear them and Sonny knew MJ wasn’t thinking about any explosions.

“Gonna give you everything.” His tongue moved those balls back and forth and he could feel the skin shiver and draw up, could feel MJ shudder. Then he went for that tight little hole, pushing his tongue right in.

MJ grunted and jerked, this raw-ass sound coming out as those thighs on his shoulders went tight as stone.

Yeah. Somebody loved his mouth, yes they did. Goddamn, he loved the way MJ spread for him. Fucking needed it all the damned time. Sonny worked that tiny ring of muscle until it was loose, open for him. Yeah. Then he’d go to town.

He just heard MJ’s voice, begging for it in that fucking surfer dude accent, asking for his prick, hot and hard and ‘goddamn it, Sunshine, now’.

Laughing for the sheer joy of it, Sonny lowered MJ back down, his own thighs pushing against the insides of MJ’s, opening the man wide.

That little son of a bitch could spread like butter for a hot knife, cock curving over that pretty belly, hole right there, begging for him.

“Jesus fuck, Precious. Make a dead man come.” He was very much alive, though. Damn. Sonny pushed his cock right where it wanted to go, just grunting and squeezing in.

“Sonny.” MJ blinked up at him, eyes rolling like dice. Yeah. Hell, yeah. This was only fucking his.

Never anyone else’s. Just like his hairy redneck ass was MJ’s. All the way to the ground. He started rocking, just pushing and moving, needing more.

MJ got up on his elbows, adding his strength to their fucking, causing pure electricity to slide down Sonny’s spine.

“MJ. Christ.” Though Christ should wait for the second coming, not the first. Which was close. Very close.

“Yeah.” MJ’s hands found that leaking cock, started pulling and tugging and giving him a show.

“Oh, fuck. Fuck. Soon.” He was gonna explode. He’d never been in that man without feeling like he was gonna die happy.

“Uh. Uh-huh. Uh-huh.” MJ nodded, too-long hair bouncing as that pretty ass went tight-tight.

His eyes rolled, too, just like MJ’s had, and Sonny let out a surprised grunt. He was coming so fast he hardly had time to tense up, just shooting like crazy. There was spunk all over his belly when he came back down, MJ relaxed and moaning under him.

“Oh.” Humming, he stroked MJ’s hip, licking sweat off one cheek. “Better.”

“Uh-huh. Much.” MJ was blinking nice and slow, humming as his tongue traced the line of the scar leading up MJ’s face.

His fucking mark. Did it get any better than that? “So. Corny dog?”

“Mmm. I do like those. Do I get funnel cake too?”

“You do.” He’d get anything MJ wanted as long as they didn’t blow anything up.

“Okay. Maybe we can find a nice quiet place to blow each other during the fireworks tonight.”

“Oh, that sounds like a fine idea, Precious. The best you’ve had in an age.” He stroked that wild hair, smiling at the sky. Yeah. That would set off all sorts of sparks.

***

Man, they’d eaten more than a bunch of middle-aged stoners at an all-you-can-eat banquet.

And MJ could say that from experience.

They’d splurged and found a top floor hotel room, with balcony and wet bar and bed the size of the boat.

MJ fucking approved.

He was sprawled on a deck chair, sunglasses on, wearing nothing put a pair of Miami Heat shorts and a smile.

He may never look at a corny dog again.

A cold, wet bottle hit his belly, making him jump. “Looking good, Precious.”

“Mmm.” Sonny was being all smug about the distracting, no-explosion thing. He’d be irritated if it wasn’t sort of cute. Vaguely. Besides, he was too full to blow shit up.

“Good food, huh?” Sonny flopped down on the chair next to him, long legs just going on and on.

“I’m never fucking eating again.”

“Bullshit. You’ll work it off. I promise.” Oh, listen to that drawl. It always meant good things after a nap happened.

“You think so? You think you can get my heart racing? I mean, I could be blowing shit up.” He reached out with one foot, tugged the hair on Sonny’s leg.

“Ow. I think I could, for sure. In fact, I have a fine track record.” Those long fingers slid over his foot, Sonny teasing him a little.

“Yeah, well, I admit that funnel cake thing? Almost as good as chocolate. Maybe better than sex.”

“I’m not sure I want to take a backseat to fried bread.” Still, Sonny was grinning huge, nodding. “It was good, though.”

The first splash of light hit the sky, the colors just a little dull because it wasn’t quite dark enough. “Ah, it’s starting.”

“Uh-huh. We should move closer together.” Putting actions to words, Sonny scooted his chair on over, right where they could press up together. Oh, warm.

“You know, I…” He was sure he had some deep, internal, political statement to make about Independence Day. He did.

Hell, it was probably fascinating.

But Sonny’s lips crashed into his, hard enough to derail him, to send him flying away with the little flecks of magnesium and copper that were burning.

Sonny never let him talk politics.

Fuck, that was good. All that naked skin pressing up against him, Sonny sucking his tongue until his eyes crossed. Yeah. His legs spread, toes curling up as Sonny’s fingers wrapped around his balls, tugging enough that he felt it in his belly.

That man had the fastest hands east of… Well. Anywhere he could remember. Except maybe Singapore. Wait. That would be west, right?

Then Sonny tugged a little harder, rumbling deep in his chest, and MJ lost track of why he gave a shit. Look. Purple lights. Red. “Damn.”

“Mmmmhmm. Damn, Precious. Look at all the sparklies.” Those fingers moved just right, making his whole body bounce on the chair.

“Uh. Uh-huh. I.” Yeah. Lights. Jesus, Sonny had amazing fucking hands.

“You like that, huh?” Oh, Sonny knew just how much he liked it when those rough fingers slid behind his balls, pressing hard at the tiny strip of skin there.

“Fuck.” One of his legs jerked up, just like there was a button back there, controlling him.

“MJ. Hotter than any Fourth of July…” Sonny kissed him again, making his head spin, extra little lights going off behind his eyes. The deck chairs creaked and groaned, reminding him a little of fucking on the boat, of the way everything moved for them as they played.

“What do you want, Precious?” Oh, he was supposed to think when those lips wrapped around his nipple and Sonny’s fingers traced his hole?

His foot slammed onto the concrete, hips pushing up as he groaned. Those teeth caught him, the sting and burn just enough to make toes curl. Sonny bit harder, really making him feel it when one finger slid inside him, scratching all the way in. Oh, God.

“More.” The lights just kept flashing – reds and blues and purples and fucking greens.

“More? Like this, more?” Two fingers, then three… yeah. That was more. That was ping and stretch and goddamn.

“Uhn.” Yeah. Yeah. He pushed up, staring into Sonny’s eyes, just about ready to pop off. “Sunshine.”

“Fucking love that look. Love how you want it.” Those dark eyes stared right back, Sonny smiling for him, that razor’s edge grin that meant the man was right there with him.

“You love me.” Oh. Dude. Fireworks. Fucking fireworks.

“I do. Now, Precious.” Those fingers pushed in hard, pegging his gland, Sonny growling for him deep and low.

“Now.” He jerked, coming so hard that the fireworks just burst, colors firing. That his fucking eyes were closed was completely beside the point.

“Fucking beautiful.” Sonny crawled right into his chair, knees on either side of his thighs, that hard cock humping his belly.

He grabbed Sonny’s ass, pulling up and scooting down at the same time. He got his lips wrapped around Sonny’s prick, pulling hard, needing that bitter-salt.

“Shit! MJ. Harder. Touch me.” Those strong muscles went so tight, so hard, Sonny giving him everything.

He sucked hard enough he saw stars, fingers tapping the tight, hot little hole.

“Uhn!” The last explosion was always the best. Sonny filled his mouth, gave him all that heat and wet and bitter, just boom. Incendiary.

They slumped down, the chair just creaking like an old house. It worked though, held them both up. It was hot. He could taste Sonny. The smell of cordite was in the air.

Life was fucking amazing.

***

Sonny woke up, every muscle tensing up when he reached over to pat MJ’s butt and it wasn’t there.

Really, the lack of MJ butt was a terrifying thing. The man should still be asleep, ass up in the air, ink showing stark on that skin. If MJ wasn’t asleep, and Sonny couldn’t hear the shower running, it was time to get up and move.

Rolling out of bed, Sonny started looking, even peeking behind the curtains.

Nope.

No MJ in the room.

No MJ in the bath.

No MJ shoes.

No MJ little black bag.

Goddamn it.

He damn near missed the note, taped on the fucking a/c unit. “Sunshine. Morning. Look over the water. M.”

Sonny threw on a pair of jeans and shirt, grabbed his gun and tucked it in his waistband and pulled out his own little kit full of syringes and vials. Only then did he open the sliding glass doors and go out on the balcony.

Just like magic, one explosion after another started, warehouses full of fireworks just going straight to Hell.

Okay, not even MJ was that good. Where was the little fucker hiding with the detonator?

He scanned the roof of their hotel, where their little paradise was from the night before. No MJ. Okay. Okay, find the most likely places, Redneck, he told himself.

He turned around, looking away from the fireworks and saw the little fuck, three balconies over, drinking a cup of coffee and watching him.

Oh, that little bastard. Fucking motherfucker. The explosions were bad enough, but to leave him our of it… Sonny lifted his hand and gave MJ a one-fingered salute, turning and marching right back into the hotel room. He’d pack his shit and leave that little fuck for the police.

MJ appeared before he got all packed, looking about as cool as a cucumber. “Enjoy the show?”

Sonny took a deep breath and let it out his nose. “Are you stupid?”

“Not last time I checked. IQs change.”

“They must.” His little kit was the last thing he put it away, and Sonny sure did think about using it, first.

“Right. Okay, then. I guess I’ll see you at the dock. My fee will’ve transferred by then.” MJ grabbed his laptop and ditty bag, heading straight for the door.

“Fee…” What the fuck? “You never mentioned a fee, Precious. You just said you wanted to blow up fireworks. I think I might have to beat you…”

“You’d have to catch me first.” One eyebrow went up. “I know how you feel about the random jobs. Money was good, though. Real good.”

“Uh-huh.” Casually, slow-like, Sonny moved close enough to tackle MJ. “You know what’s worst? You left me asleep while you went to work.”

“You looked cute.” Cute.

Fuckhead.

He was not the one who came out swinging on cute, though. Really. His hands clenching meant nothing. “What are you going to do to make it up to me, Precious?”

“There’s a muscle car show starting at noon and I have a wad of cash. What do you think, Sunshine?” The asshole actually cracked a smile, eyes dancing.

Oh. Well. That could work. “Is this car show far enough away that we won’t have to leave it at a run?” He wanted to actually look this time.

“You know it. It’s a holiday weekend, after all, and it would look odd, to leave so soon after that terrible accident.”

“There you go. Okay, then. We’ll go. You buy me a nice car, Precious, and I’ll blow you in public.” MJ would like that. All danger man.

“Works for me.” MJ pushed close, tugged him down into a kiss that made his ears ring. Mmm. Coffee. “Let’s go get waffles.”

“Waffles…” Sonny blinked, following his cock, which was following MJ. “Sausage?”

“All you can eat, Redneck.”

“You’re cruising, Precious.” His hand landed on MJ’s ass, just hard enough to sting, but he wasn’t mad anymore. Nope, his mood improved apace.

“I was just trying to give you fireworks.”

Uh-huh. Just. Pure philanthropist, his Precious.

Balls to bones.

End

Copyright 2007 BA Tortuga

***

Much love, y’all.

BA

 

Check out Road Trip Vol. 2 today!

 

RoadTrip2_postcard_front_DSP

 

Road Trip Collection

The course of love is a rough ride, but for ecoterrorist MJ, ridge runner Sonny, physicist Paddy, psychic Neil, genetically enhanced English professor Duncan, and the assassin known as Cowboy, the road to romance is a heart-stopping trip—one full of kidnappings, explosions, secret programs, and supersoldiers. They’re an awful ragged bunch to be considered heroes.

Under Pressure

Sonny and MJ’s retirement may be in jeopardy, but at least they’re together on a new boat—with no annoying hostages. Then Cowboy, MJ’s old friend, gets in touch, bringing with him a host of complications, including Professor Duncan, who has ties to the Program. A call for help from Paddy sets them all on a collision course with a deadly specter from the past. As MJ makes his plans, Sonny is shaken by the possibility of losing everything.

Walking on the Sun

Sonny is determined to raise hell to hunt for MJ—problem is, will MJ know anyone, or himself, once they catch up to him? Neil and Paddy are healing but reluctantly join the effort, as Cowboy and Duncan help Sonny prepare for a showdown. Sonny might be ragged, but he’s MJ’s hero, and he is not about to give up on the most important thing in his life, even if it kills him. Will everyone survive the last epic battle, or will they go out in a blaze of glory?

First Edition of Under Pressure published by Torquere Press Publishers, March 2009.
First Edition of Walking on the Sun published by Torquere Press Publishers, September 2010.

 

 

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

An Interview with J. Scott Coatsworth

February 19, 2018

 

an interview with j. scott coatsworth

 

Describe yourself using an animal.

Okay, so this one is easy. It’s clearly a mongoose with a rainbow tail LOL… The whole mongoose thing got started when we launched our web design business back in the nineties just before we moved to Hawaii. We needed a business that was portable, and chose web design, but when it came to a name for the business, we were stumped. So when we visited Kauai to look for a condo, and the only “bad” news was about a possible mongoose loose on the island, “Mongoose on the Loose Web Design” was born.

Flash forward a few years, and Mischief Corner Books asked me for an animal to represent me. Mark and I were already the “Mongoose Boys,” so it was an easy leap.

And the rainbow tail?

I’d bought that at pride the year before, and it seemed to fit.

The lovely and talented Catherine Dair did the logo to make it all official. :P

 

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done in the name of research?

It’s not weird, not really. But it was kinda cool. When I was writing “Through the Veil,” a story about a post-climate-change San Francisco, I needed to “see” what a thirty or forty foot rise in sea level would really look like. So Mark and I hopped into the car and drove to the City, walking the route for part of the story. It was a really cool way to see how folks might get around on rooftops and on top of covered walkways that would still be above water in such a scenario, and I think it added a great level of realistic detail to the story.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t stop. When you feel like your writing is shit, don’t stop. When you are roundly rejected by every major fantasy-sci fi publishing house in New York, don’t stop. When you are exhausted at midnight trying to finish a story and have to go to bed to get at least a little sleep before work the next day, don’t stop. Keep writing. Keep submitting. You will get there.

 

How does the world end?

You’ll have to read “The Stark Divide” to find out. LOL… but seriously, who the hell knows? I suspect it won’t, but might continue on in a form almost unrecognizable to us today, whether or not we manage to tame climate change.

 

How long have you been writing?

Oh, that’s a loaded question. LOL… I’m turning fifty this year, and started when I was in Fifth grade, or about the age of 11, so… 39 years? Holy crap. I first started SERIOUSLY writing after high school, and I’ve been working to make a career out of it for about five years now.

 

What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?

So many things.

After “Lander”, the next up is “The River City Chronicles,” the book form of my successful web serial about a group of friends (mostly queer) in Sacramento. It will be my first self-published work.

In October, “The Rising Tide” comes out – book two of “Liminal Sky” (after “The Stark Divide).

Sometime this year, Mischief Corner Books should start releasing “Marionettes in the Mist,” a four author serial I participated in over there, as a trilogy.

I’m already writing my 2019 releases – “Ithani” will be the last book in the Oberon Cycle, and “The Shoreless Sea” the last in the “Liminal Sky” trilogy.

Oh, and I have a bunch of stories coming back to me from anthologies and the like that I might either turn into an anthology, release as self-published stand-alones, or expand to full novels. Or all three!

Check out Lander today!

 

Lander_postcard_front_DSPP

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks
QueeRomance Ink
Goodreads Link

 

Author Bio:

Scott was ushered into the fantasy and sci-fi world at the tender age of nine by his mother. He devoured her library of Asimovs, Clarkes, and McCaffreys, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were. He decided that if there weren’t gay characters in his favorite books, he would just have to write them himself. Scott runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, communities that celebrate fiction that reflects queer life and love.

Facebook Profile: www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/
Author Website/Blog: www.jscottcoatsworth.com
Dreamspinner Page: www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_1189
QueeRomance Ink Author Page: www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/
Goodreads Author Page: www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ

Births and Dedications w/ j. leigh bailey + Giveaway

February 12, 2018

births & dedications

 

Thank you for joining me to celebrate the release of CHASING THUNDERBIRD (Dreamspun Beyond #13), the second book in my Shifter U series.

The release of CHASING THUNDERBIRD is a bit of a bittersweet moment for me. I’d dedicated it to my aunts (both of whom had the unforgivable habit of calling me Fer-Fer!). One of them, my aunt Sharron, lost a battle with cancer before I had the chance to show her the dedication.  She loved words in all their forms—she was a poet, an actress, a story teller, a voracious reader—and I think she’d have been tickled to see the shout-out in one of my books. While going through her things, I came across a letter my grandmother wrote to my grandfather (who was stationed in Europe during World War II) telling him of the birth of their first child, my aunt Sharron.

 

dedication

In CHASING THUNDERBIRD, much of Simon’s family history (and his relationship with his grandfather who was battling cancer) drives his determination to prove to the world that thunderbirds exists. So when I came across a document from my own family history, it was too perfect not to share. And, it feels like a fitting tribute to Sharron, who’s birth stopped a war (so to speak…).

So here’s the letter. I’ve typed exactly how it was written, spelling and punctuation and all. And, head’s up, there’s some pretty frank descriptions of a birth 1940s-style…

 

Wednesday afternoon
August 15, 1945

My dearest darling Eddie (daddy)

 Yep! Honey it’s all over with except the shouting and I aint talking about the war! I hope you have my cable by now. Sharron Kay arrived about ten minutes after six last night. Darling I wish you could see her! She is a perfect little doll. Lots of black hair and eyes that are so dark blue that they look black. She is, I’m sure, the most wonderful little girl ever to be born.

Yesterday morning I got up feeling fine except every time I moved I almost left a puddle of water behind. Pa brought me down. Got here at 12:30 and I still felt fine except I was still flooding. The nurse brought me in and undressed me, then took me to the bathroom for an enema. About two o’clock I started having pains five minutes apart but they were easy. About three thirty they came every two or three minutes and got harder and harder. Was in a bit of misery from about four until five minutes till six when they had me on the push cart and took me to the delivery room. Things really began to happen fast and furious then and about the third hard pain I had out popped the baby. It was fine from there on out and I’ve never had a single hurt. President Truman was just starting his VJ speech when Sherry made her debut with a loud bawl and by the time she quit crying, the Pres. was thru talking. Sure starting the life out as an important one isn’t she? Guess she is too!

She sure is grand. I sorta hoped for your sake that it would be a boy but we can have him when you come back. She is so bright eyed and lively. After they bathed her when she was born they brought her in and I darn near blew a fuse with pride. She is so sweet. Then this morning at six they brought her in to nurse. When she snuggled her little pug nose up against me I felt like I was the only woman in the world. And how she did suck. She is a regular glutton although there is nothing much but watery milk in my breasts yet. I hope I can continue to nurse her.

I’m so glad the war is finally over. Now maybe you can come home to us before too long. We sure hope so.

We love you very much Eddie and hope you are half as tickled as we are. I really feel wonderful. Loads of love and hugs and kisses. Toots + Sherry

 

Anyway, I love that my aunt was born literally as the US’s involvement in World War II was ending, and I love that I got her same fascination and appreciation for words and stories of all kinds.

 

**GIVEAWAY** I’ll be giving away an access code for the audio version of Stalking Buffalo Bill to a random commenter who shares with me: Do you have any fun family stories that carried down through generations? Superstitions?

 

EXCERPT

Back at home, I’d barely hung my coat up when my phone quacked at me. I smiled at the familiar ringtone. Years ago, I’d set my phone to quack like a duck whenever my grandfather called. My mother cringed at the noise. I didn’t know if she objected to the not-very-refined sound or if she resented the relationship I had with my grandfather. I’d been named after him, but they were a little disturbed by how closely I followed in his footsteps. I knew absolutely that she blamed him for my interest in cryptids, especially thunderbirds.

I wondered if somehow Grandpa knew I needed someone to talk to. It wouldn’t be the first time a phone call came at exactly the right time. Hitting the Accept icon, I lifted the phone to my ear. “Hey, Gramps. What’s up?”

“Hey, kiddo. How’s Wyoming treating you?”

My breath caught a bit. Every time I spoke with him, it seemed his voice grew shakier and weaker. It was a constant reminder, a subtle countdown to the day he’d no longer be a part of my life. I made sure my own tone was light, free from worry, when I answered. “Oh, you know. The semester just started, so things are a little unsettled. I’m getting there.” For a second I considered telling him about my evening. He’d always given me good advice, or just let me vent if that’s what I needed. And he always knew which I was looking for without me having to clarify. But he didn’t need any additional stress in his life. I pulled my phone away for a second to check the time. It was after ten here, which meant it was almost midnight in Illinois. “A little late for you, isn’t it?”

Grandpa snorted. It was weaker, rougher than it used to be, but I took comfort in the sound. “I’m retired, boy. I set my own hours.”

I bit back a laugh. He might set his own hours, but Loretta, the nurse at the assisted-living facility Grandpa stayed at, would take away his phone if she knew he was up so late. The thought sent guilt eating at my guts. I hadn’t called in a few weeks—too busy with the new house, new school, new job. I shouldn’t have let it go so long. Grandpa had stage four lung cancer, and his condition was worsening almost daily. Weeks-long gaps in phone calls were inexcusable.

“So, what’s up? You know I’m happy to talk with you, but it is a little late for you to call.”

He harrumphed, and nostalgia and grief nearly overwhelmed me. I was going to miss that about him. “I got a strange phone call.”

“A phone call? From whom?”

“Called himself Richard Smith. Said he was a researcher. Claimed to be interested in the family legends.”

Doubt twisted in my gut. “The family legends?”

Another wet cough and a wheezing breath. I knew the muffled sound I caught next was him spitting into a tissue. Lung cancer sucked.

“In fact,” Grandpa said after clearing his throat, “seems he ran into an artifact from 1897 that he thought I’d be interested in.”

I stilled. It couldn’t be. “You don’t actually think….” I couldn’t bring myself to voice the question. What were the chances after all this time?

Back in the late 1890s, an ancestor of mine had shot a huge bird out of the sky. Its feathers were pitch-black, so dark that light didn’t reflect off them but was instead absorbed into the filaments. He claimed its wingspan was nearly twenty feet—larger than any living bird on record, then or now. It had a hodgepodge of features that, in combination, didn’t fit any other known bird species. According to his journal entry—and a very badly executed drawing—the animal had a relatively narrow sternum with unusually strong flight muscles, a broad wingspan with primary feathers that tilted up like an Andean condor. Instead of the condor’s nearly featherless neck and head, this bird’s head more closely resembled the shorter-necked, sleek-feathered, and hook-beaked golden eagle. Unlike either the condor or the eagle, it also had a pair of long paddle-shaped feathers that stretched out nearly a yard behind the broader, denser tail feathers.

So my relative did what anyone would do with such a creature. He dragged the local newspaperman—the only person in a fifty-mile radius who had a camera—to take a picture of the fantastical bird. The Arizona newspaper even ran the article. But not too long after, all copies of the newspaper and the photographic image plate had disappeared.

 

Check out Chasing Thunderbird today!

 

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BLURB

A Shifter U Tale

A legendary love.

Ornithology professor Simon Coleman’s reputation is at risk, and the only way to save his name is to prove thunderbirds are more than creatures of Native American myth. Grad student and part-time barista Ford Whitney has a lot on his plate, but it’s also his duty to make sure the resident bird nerd doesn’t discover shape-shifters—like himself—live on campus.

When a series of incidents related to Simon’s search put him in harm’s way, Ford’s instincts kick in, and they become closer than is strictly proper for student and teacher. Ford is forced to reveal his secrets to Simon, and their relationship is put to the test—Simon must choose between salvaging his reputation and protecting the man who protected him….

 

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Author Bio

j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending. For upcoming releases and appearances information, sign up for her newsletter athttps://t.co/FfL9gFVJLQ.

Social Media Links

Twitter @JenniWrites 
Facebook @JLeighBailey
Instagram @j.leigh.bailey_author
Website

Maple Dreams by Emjay Haze – Recipes + Giveaway

January 31, 2018

maple dreams

 

Hi everyone. Thank you DreamSpinner Press for hosting the next stop on my blog tour. My new release, Home is Where You Are is set in rural Vermont at a maple orchard and sugar house.

I love pure Vermont Maple syrup. But, it’s not just for pancakes. There is Maple Sugar, Maple Cream, and my favorite Maple leaf candy.  And, maple syrup is a great substitute for white sugar. You use less and it has a lot of nutrients and anti-oxidants.

I thought it would be fun to share a few maple syrup recipes, including the drink Darla makes for Eric, Vermont Harvest Moon and a surprise at the end.

 

Maple Cream

There’s only 1 ingredient for this tasty treat that’s sweet like maple syrup, but has the consistency of peanut butter so you can spread it on toast or pancakes.

Ingredients
Pure Vermont Maple Syrup

Basically, you want to boil the syrup (don’t stir) until it reaches 235 degrees, or according to Spruce.com, 24 degrees over the boiling temperature of water. Add a little butter or oil to keep the foaming down

Once it’s done, you want to cool the pan, using an ice bath and then pour into glass containers.

All directions are here at Spruce.com. They also have a great recipe for Maple Leaf Candy, Courtesy of Spruce.com.

 

Traditional Vermont Maple Pie

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups pure Vermont Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 – 9 in unbaked pie shell

Visit VermontMaple.org for the entire recipe, courtesy of Vermont Public television.

 

Eric’s Vermont Harvest Moon

When I first searched for a cocktail made using maple syrup, I found several different versions, but I can’t find the one I based the one in the book on any longer, so I improvised.

Ingredients
3 parts Hard Apple Cider
1 parts Cranberry Juice (Not cocktail)
1 (or 2) shots vodka
Teaspoon maple syrup
Slice of Orange

Pour hard apple cider in a glass
Then add the cranberry juice
Pour shot of vodka into the glass
Add the maple syrup
Stir
Top with slice of orange

 

Vermont Maple Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (Grade B preferably)
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts

For complete directions, visit SimplyRecipes.com, courtesy of Simply Recipes.

 

And last but not least, the ultimate comfort food. This is my recipe. My family loves it!

Mrs. B’s homemade Chicken Pot-Pie

Ingredients
3 cups chicken broth (made ahead of time)
½ cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup cubed potatoes
1 cup peas
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced onions
½ cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups cooked chicken small pieces ( I bake chicken tenders at 350 for 30 minutes and then shred)
1/4 cup flour (I use glutenfree)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp pure Vermont maple syrup

Directions

If cooking chicken, make it first and then cut up
On medium-high, heat to boiling chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme,
Add carrots and potatoes and cook till tender, about 10 minutes
Remove bay leaf
Add wine
Mix flour and cream and whisk together
Slowly stir in flour/cream mixture until it thickens
Add celery, onion, and mushroom
Remove from heat
Fold in peas, chicken and maple syrup
Pour mixture into 4 individual oven safe bowls or one pie pan
Cover each with pie crust (I use gluten-free)
Melt 1 tsp butter and 1/4 tsp maple syrup
Brush butter mixture over each pie crust
Crinkle the edges, and fork the middle three times
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown

Giveaway:

I have a rafflecopter giveaway of 3 e-copies of Home is Where you Are, and a Grand prize of the e-book and a gift pack of Vermont maple syrup and maple candy.

 

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Check out Home Is Where You Are today!

 

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Blurb:

For a chance at a future filled with love, he’ll have to face a painful past.

Eric, recently dumped by his boyfriend, is summoned home after his dad suffers a stroke. His family farm in rural Vermont holds memories he’d rather forget, but he—with his degree in agricultural business—is needed to clear up a predicament with the bank. In trying to forget the bad, Eric has also lost sight of the good: green meadows dotted with grass-fed dairy cows and the sugar maples that once produced the area’s finest maple syrup. With Eric’s help, they will again.

A captivating farmhand named Phil tempts Eric to give the countryside another chance, but before they can consider being together, Eric must move past more than his feelings for his ex-boyfriend—he’ll need to stand up to the ghosts that sent him running from the farm in the first place….

 

Emjay Haze profile pic

Author Bio:

Emjay Haze is a Pennsylvania girl living in a Virginia world, growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs and moving to Northern Virginia to follow her now husband of twenty-plus years. She has two kids in college, a year-old puppy named Max, a black-and-white cat named Tux, a gecko named Rex, a yellow tang called Reggie, and we hear the eels are coming this week.

The family pastime is baseball, specifically the Nationals. She’s also a huge Redskins fans and loves classic rock. Emjay graduated with a degree in Creative Writing in 2015 after realizing it was the only thing she really wanted to do.

She has a wide and diverse work history in the fields of travel, hotel management, high-tech communications, web development, real estate, and the nonprofit health care industry where she has held positions such as travel agent, hotel concierge, web programmer, Realtor, account manager, and many, many others, giving her a varied and unique set of experiences that she draws upon in her stories and characters.

Emjay fell in love with the m/m romance genre after discovering the world of fanfiction several years ago and hasn’t looked back. Her family keeps asking when she’ll write something they can read, but she’s still having too much fun with her boys. Her goal is to broaden the minds of those who might not normally pick up a gay romance because it’s more about the person than the sexuality. She’ll take you on a roller-coaster journey, but you’ll always get a happy ending.

Website: www.mjhauthor.com/emjayhaze
Twitter: @emjayhaze
Facebook: www.facebook.com/emjayhaze
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14254769.Emjay_Haze

 

Falling Into Place w/ Deanna Wadsworth + Excerpt

January 30, 2018

falling into place

 

I’m really excited about all the positive feedback I’ve gotten so far about two of my favorite heroes I’ve written, Forrester and Kyle from LA FAMIGLIA, the second official Men of Gilead book. My holiday advent story WELCOME HOME, SOLDIER also takes place in my Ohio small town of Gilead, if you’d like to catch all of the books so far.

Forrester and Kyle have been in my head for a long time, and they have  through many unfinished versions and rewrites. When I finally realized that Kyle was deaf (all the clues had been there for me but I wasn’t seeing them) the story just fell together so very quickly. I brought along an excerpt to share of they way they flirt before their first date.

Enjoy!

Men of Gilead 3

 

Excerpt:

“So, Forrester.” Kyle said his name in a way that never ceased to send shockwaves down his back and straight to his cock. “How does one go about trading in books around here?”

Forrester pressed his groin closer to the back of the checkout counter, not wanting his thin khakis to reveal what Kyle’s voice did to him. He knew it wasn’t an accent anymore, but the soft way Kyle spoke lured him in like a siren’s song.

Since no one else waited to check out, Forrester took a moment to soak in those gorgeous hazel eyes, then smiled impishly. “First you have to bring them in.”

“That would be helpful.” Kyle’s generous mouth cracked a grin.

He tried his damnedest not to picture those downright kissable lips wrapped around his cock while he ran his fingers through Kyle’s sun-streaked hair.

He’d always had a thing for blonds.

He plucked up one of the flyers from the counter. Somehow he managed to sound professional, educated even, when he handed it over. “Our policy is we only take gently used books.”

“Mine are in great shape.”

“I bet they are,” Forrester drawled.

“They’re like new,” he insisted. “No folded corners, never dropped one in a tub either.”

“Good to hear. I hate it when people ruin a good book.” Dammit, now I’m picturing Kyle in a bathtub!

“Me too.” Kyle folded the flyer and tucked it into his pocket.

“For every book you trade in, we give 15 percent off the purchase of a new book or 25 percent off a used one. And for every three books, you get a free used book or half off a new one.”

Kyle flashed those pearly whites, making his eyes crinkle and his dimples deepen so much Forrester longed to flick his tongue inside them. “Guess I got some free books coming.”

“I guess you do,” he quipped. “Do you want to buy these today or wait till you do the trade?”

Kyle withdrew his card. “Nah, I’ll buy them now. I’ve been dying to see what happens since you got me hooked on this series. And Scott already signed this one.”

Forrester offered him a sideways smile. “I’ll just give you 15 percent off on good faith.”

“Gosh, you don’t have to do that.”

Good Lord, the guy said gosh. Could he be more adorable?

When Forrester noticed Holly watching them, he resisted the urge to stick his tongue out at her. Instead, he shrugged off Kyle’s modesty and entered the discount into his computer. “No problem. Just make sure you bring me some good stuff, capisci?”

“Will do. Thanks a lot.”

Forrester swiped his card, then offered Kyle another inviting smile. The one Ma called his suck-up smile. “Can I get you anything else? Answer any more of your questions?”

Kyle kept smiling. “No. You’ve been pretty thorough, as usual.”

“You sure?” he prompted, unable to stop flirting so shamelessly. “You don’t need to know anything else? What’s on the bestseller list? Today’s weather? The meaning of life?”

“Forty-two.”

Official report: Forrester was in love with Kyle Benson.

Or at least in serious lust.

His grin widened so big he swore his face might crack. “A Hitchhiker fan. I should’ve known.” He tore off the receipt and slid it forward for Kyle to sign.

“Hells yeah.” Kyle laughed.

Forrester bagged the books. “Receipt with you or in the bag?”

“Bag’s fine.” He accepted his purchases, then cleared his throat and fiddled with the bag. “All right, um, thank you, Forrester. Always a pleasure.” He extended a hand and Forrester took it, electric jolts running through his blood at the feel of those lightly calloused fingers.

“No problem,” he managed, not letting go.

Kyle kept his gaze locked on Forrester, blinking and glancing from his eyes to his mouth. Warming, Forrester ran his thumb across the back of his hand. He couldn’t believe his forwardness, but Kyle had some kind of tractor beam sucking him in. Powerless against its pull, he stroked the soft skin once more with a nervous, light touch, pulses of heat and desire stirring inside him.

Forrester let go and cleared his throat. “Um, Kyle?”

“Yeah?”

The phone rang, shattering the moment.

Sighing, he snagged it on the third ring. “Thank you for calling A Novel Idea. This is Forrester, how may I help you?”

“Hey, it’s me.”

Only real friends or family could answer a phone with an “it’s me.” Lucas Beale was the former. Though totally weird, and he hated sports of all kinds, Lucas was Forrester’s “boy best friend”—Holly having the honor of being his “girl best friend.” He didn’t know what he would do without either of them.

“Hey, Lucas, what’s up?” He tried not to sound annoyed at the telephone cockblock.

Kyle waved goodbye. “I guess I’ll see ya later, Forrester.”

“Can’t wait.”

“Can’t wait for what?” Lucas asked in confusion.

He covered the receiver, hoping he didn’t sound lame to Kyle. “I mean… uh, I can’t wait to read that book together?” His entire body froze in one breath of anticipation.

Kyle cocked his head to the side, then smiled. “Absolutely.”

Still grinning, Kyle turned and walked away.

Ignoring Lucas as he started talking again, Forrester watched Kyle’s spectacular ass as he headed to the door. A woman was coming in and, like a perfect gentleman, Kyle held the door for her. Outside, Kyle slid on and strapped his helmet. Then he threw his leg over and straddled the chrome-and-black Sportster parked out front.

I got something he can straddle and ride…. Forrester’s skin flushed all the way to his toes. Was Kyle a top or a bottom? Being versatile, he really didn’t care. As long as there was manly skin touching his, lots of kissing, and he got to come, Forrester was a happy camper. But the prospect of finding out what Kyle liked made his entire body warm.

He watched Kyle put his bike into gear and walk it back out of the space. As it did every time Kyle left, a deep ache settled in his stomach.

God, I just need to marry him.

 

Check out La Famiglia today!

 

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Blurb:

Forrester Giordano comes from a huge, nosy Italian family, and with their homophobic jokes and slurs, he’s decided to stay in the closet. He finds respite in his bookstore in the quaint village of Gilead—where he has a huge crush on one of his customers, Kyle Benson.

Kyle is determined to live his dreams, and though life isn’t easy being deaf, one by one he’s making them come true. He’s scored a great job practicing law, bought a cute bungalow where he can finally have a big flower garden, and he has a dog he loves, Jasper. Now he just needs one thing to complete his happiness: a family of his own to make up for the one he never had.

Forrester and Kyle’s relationship starts off hot and heavy, and neither man can deny the depth of their connection. When Forrester’s little brother gets mixed up with their heroin-dealing cousin and his mother falls ill, Forrester has a decision to make—maybe the hardest of his life. For the first time, he’s found a man worth coming out for.

Unfortunately nothing ever goes according to plan with la famiglia.

 

Author Bio:

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions for different RWA chapters, including President of the Rainbow Romance Writers in 2017. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. An avid reader, she also loves gardening, cooking, music, and dancing. Often she can be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

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You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth FacebookTwitter

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller like Amazon

World Building w/ Kris T. Bethke

January 25, 2018

World Building

 

Hi everyone! I’m Kris T. Bethke, and my newest release, Ghost of a Chance, is out now. It’s a contemporary paranormal for the Dreamspun Beyond line. And the first of a series.  I hope you’ll get a chance to check it out.

World building is pretty much imperative when crafting a story. Even more so when it’s not a straight-up contemporary. As a reader, I’m pretty invested in world building. When I read a sci fi, fantasy, or paranormal, I want to know how things work. I need to know. And more than that, I want all the rules inflicted on the the inhabitants of the world to make sense and to be upheld throughout the entire story.

World building is hard, but when it’s right, it’s so worth it. And I’ll be honest. That’s one of the reasons that I’ve shied away from writing anything but contemporary romance up until now. Getting all the details down, making sure they make sense and work, and don’t fall apart as the story progresses is a difficult thing to do.

I cheated a little in that regard. My story is contemporary. But it’s an alternate universe, one in which some people have a genetic marker that allow them to die and come back to life. And where others have a gene that makes them predisposed to see to the care of others. This was where I had to put all my skills into play, because I needed to figure out how that all worked.

To be honest, this was easier than I expected. The whole thing sort of fell into place for me. As soon as I figured out that it was genetic, and I could half base things on science, I had an easier time. And opened up a whole other avenue for me to explore, considering the ability was hereditary. And it gave me a lot more to play with when writing the story (and its subsequent sequels.)

And since it was semi-science based, I knew other things as well. Ghostwalkers’ genes regenerate at much faster rate than regular humans. It’s why they can heal fast enough to live again after a mortal wound. They don’t get sick. They live a lot longer than other humans. But there comes a point when the cells wear out, and long about a hundred and twenty or so, they die a natural death. Decapitation or a total destruction of a ghostwalkers body will kill them earlier than that.

Of course, there’s also the anchor gene as well. Those who carry this gene have an innate need to care for others. They have the ability to bond with a ghostwalker if the two connect deeply on an emotional, physical, and mental level. These bonds are incredibly rare. Guardians are anchors who have developed one step farther. A Guardian also develops telepathic abilities they can use to read other people’s thoughts and emotions.

Once I had all those details, the rest fell into place. From there, I could write Blake and Derek’s love story as they navigated their new relationship and tried to balance it with their job. And a whole host of secondary characters to help them on their way.

I’m not one for scary ghost stories, but this book isn’t that. It’s a different kind of paranormal romance, and I hope you’ll get a chance to check it out.

 

Check out Ghost of a Chance today!

 

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Blurb:

Only love makes life worth living—over and over again.

Ghostwalker Blake Jones dies every day. It’s his job and how he helps trapped souls cross over. But to return to life, he needs an anchor. His new partner, Derek Scott, is a surprise. Not only is he male, but his appearance belies a caring and gentle heart underneath. Despite attraction and a strengthening relationship, they know they shouldn’t take things further.

But there’s a big difference between knowing and doing.

Their growing love presents a problem, though not the one they expect. Blake and Derek have to decide if they should take their relationship to the most permanent level—an unbreakable metaphysical bond. Doing so offers both risk and unimaginable reward. Can Blake let go of his fears and put his complete trust in Derek in order to have the happily ever after he’s always craved?

 

Author Bio:

Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long.  An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head.  She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project.  Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time.  A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures.  She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head.  She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.

Find her on her site https://kristbethke.com Facebook https://www.facebook.com/people/Kris-T-Bethke/100014524539852 or on Twitter https://twitter.com/kristbethke

 

Creative Collaboration w/ Jeff & Will + Giveaway

January 23, 2018

creative collaboration

 

Thank you for joining us here on Dreamspinner’s blog as the tour for The Hockey Player’s Heart continues. This book marks our first collaboration on a novel as co-authors. Will has worked with Jeff as a beta reader, editor and sounding board for several years. The Hockey Player’s Heart, however, is the first time we’ve written a book from start to finish together.

This feel-good, second chance romance, part of Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun Desires line, was a great chance for us to  work together. The line, which focuses on the swoon-worthy tropes of classic category romance, quickly became where we turned our focus as a project that we could create together.

Creative collaboration can be a tricky thing, but we’ve found our groove. It started with coming up with a trilogy of stories in a connected universe followed by developing characters along with deciding on tropes and basic plot. We needed enough to pitch Lynn West on our idea. Thankfully we got the nod to go ahead and write.

We enjoyed digging in and creating Caleb and Aaron’s story for The Hockey Player’s Heart – what made Caleb and Aaron tick and the details of their second chance. Putting a pro hockey player and a grade school teacher together proved challenging occasionally, but we’re happy with the results and hope you will be too.

As this book comes out, we’re refining our process so that it’s smoother as we work on the story in the series. And even beyond this trilogy, we’re looking at more category romances to write because we enjoy working in this particular sub genre.

Make sure you also check out the link to the Rafflecopter because we’re giving away an e-book copy at each tour stop plus there’s a grand prize of an autographed paperback for a US winner or a $10 Amazon e-gift card for an international winner. Make sure to check out all the stops to maximize your chance to win.

We hope you enjoy The Hockey Player’s Heart and would love to hear what you think. If you read it, please consider leaving a review on your favorite site or dropping us a comment on one of our websites.

Check out The Hockey Player’s Heart today!

 

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Dreamspinner Press
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Blurb:

Hometown hero. Hockey superstar. Perfect boyfriend?

When hockey star Caleb Carter returns to his hometown to recover from an injury, the only thing he’s interested in is a little R & R. He never expects to run into his onetime crush at a grade school fund-raiser . Seeing Aaron Price hits him hard, like being checked into the boards. The attraction is still there, even after all these years, and Caleb decides to make a play for the schoolteacher. You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take, right?

Aaron has been burned by love before and can’t imagine what a celebrity like Caleb could possibly see in a guy like him. Their differences are just too great. But as Aaron spends more time with Caleb, he begins to wonder if he might have what it takes to win the hockey player’s heart.

 

 

Jeff&Will

Bio:

Jeff Adams and Will Knauss are husbands, authors, and podcasters based in Northern California. They write gay romances, sometimes together and other times separately. Jeff also writes young adult LGBT fiction. Together they host Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast, a weekly show devoted to gay romance literature and the pop culture they love.

Websites:

Jeff: JeffAdamsWrites.com
Will: WillKnauss.com
Podcast: BigGayFictionPodcast.com

 

HPH-BlogTourGraphic

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

E-Flat Inspiration by BA Tortuga (NSFW)

January 18, 2018

E-Flat Inspiration

 

Howdy, y’all. I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and country music addict.

This story features Markus and Sebastian from Fighting Addiction. This piece is set ten years before the novel starts, but it was the story they wanted me to share.

Much love, y’all.

BA

 

***

 

E-Flat Inspiration (m/m, NSFW)

 

Sebastian looked across the postage stamp sized stage at the finest son of a bitch that had ever slinked out of West Texas and into Nashville.

Dark and tight, with eyes like buttons, Sebastian was into the man — up to his neck.

They tended to glomp together — songwriters and pickers, solo artists and bands, deep South boys and the Texans.

Fortunately for him, Sebastian was a fucking Cajun and he’d just rub all up in anybody’s business.

Tonight he fully intended to find out all about Markus Kane’s business.

Markus Kane, who was sitting there, head bobbing a little with the music, foot tapping while he sucked back a beer. That mouth was like all the good sins.

Seb was sure that he needed desperately to be introduced to at least five or six sins, immediately if not sooner.

As soon as Bruce Walker finished his set, of course. Seb was seriously considering talking to the man about starting a band. Bruce sounded a little like a goose with a head cold when he sang, but damn, the man could pick, and it sure sounded like he could write a song.

When he glanced back at Markus the man was staring at him, and there was interest there, not just friendly.

He met that look head-on, making the clearest offer he could without getting his ass handed to him.

Come get me, gorilla man. I could use a nice, hard fuck. We could play alligator wrestlers.

Markus stood, those long, long legs moving, bringing the man to him. “You want another beer?”

“Nope. You want to take a walk?” He didn’t need to be fucked up to get what he wanted.

Dark eyes scanned the room, and he knew Markus was making sure no one was watching. It was a thing, and Sebastian understood it. “You know it,” Kane finally said, nodding toward the door.

“Rock on.”

He nodded to Bruce, to Seeley, and then took his Cajun ass out, whistling on the way.

Markus followed, warm and solid behind him, almost too close, but not close enough.

“I got a place. It’s tiny, but not foul.”

“I share with three other guys.” Those pretty lips twisted wryly. “Yours is a better bet, huh?”

“It’s a closet, but it’s my closet and there’s a bed in it.” Thank god, Mamma sent money. Lots of money.

“I like beds.” One hand slid over his ass for a moment, almost like a promise.

“I like fucking. Sucking, too. I’m also not opposed to handjobs.”

A short chuckle came from behind him. “I am not opposed to any of that.”

“Excellent news.” He turned down an alleyway, leading Markus up a short flight of stairs.

“Oh.” When he turned around, Markus was still at the bottom, staring in the general direction of his ass.

He rolled his hips, nice and slow. “Come get it.”

Markus hit the stairs like a locomotive, charging up, reaching him just as he unlocked his little apartment. The big guy pushed him inside, and Seb’s back slapped against the wall, Markus kissing him hard.

He hooted, legs wrapping around Markus’ hips, heels digging in but good so he could rub. The man was like a giant jungle gym. Hard. Hot. Solid.

Markus tasted like hops and barley and pure heat and Seb pushed into it, fucking Markus’ lips for all he was worth.

With a low moan, Markus lifted him higher, hands under his ass.

Oh, Jesus fuck. He loved that — the strength, the power, the need. “More, cowboy.”

“Uh-huh. Bed.” Markus took him right over to the bed, which was sort of central to the apartment, laying him down.

He pulled Markus’ shirt out of the second tightest pair of jeans in history, then sucked in his belly so Markus’ fingers could work on the fly of the tightest.

Markus had picker’s fingers, clever and quick. His jeans were open in no time.

His cock battered its way out of his fly, pushing right into that touch. “Touch me.”

“Hell, yes.” That big hand closed around his cock, pulling. There was nothing gentle about it.

“Fuck!” He rolled up, his eyes rolled back, and he thought seriously about giving praise.

“Hot as a firecracker, Cajun.”

“You know it. Don’t stop on me, now.”

“No.” Markus kissed him again, and it was like eating something too hot, burning his lips. They ate each other up, tongues duelling, and suddenly Markus’ prick was sliding alongside his, fat and heavy, and his hand joined Markus’.

The heat ramped up a thousand degrees, and they were both straining to get to the endgame but he was sure enjoying the ride.

Markus grunted, and it was blisteringly hot, damn near musical, and he dug his thumb into the dripping slit.

“Fuck! Fuck, man. I need.” Marcus really got into it, humping and pulling at him.

“Got you. Got you, come on and we’ll start over.”

“Okay.” Those eyes met his, like two holes burned in a blanket, and Marcus came like a ton of bricks, wet and good on his hand.

His balls drew up, and he curled up, humping in a random syncopation until he lost it, shooting his brains out the tip of his cock.

Markus stared at him, panting, his chest heaving. He was so beautiful that Sebastian knew he was utterly lost.

“Hey.” His smile grew, slow, from the pit of his belly.

“Hey. That was– I could write songs.”

“Yeah?” He reached for a pad of score paper, a pen. “I got a couple of guitars.”

Markus sat up, too, stretching a little before grinning. “Can we get naked to write?”

“Oh, hell yeah. I write best in the buff.” He made a show of looking Markus up and down. “You know, I’m all about inspiration.”

“Well, I’m happy to be inspiring.” Markus wiggled out of his clothes before grabbing a guitar.

He hooted, grabbed his baby acoustic, strumming an E flat. “So, what do you think of Beer-Soaked Heaven as a hook?”

 

 

Check out Fighting Addiction today!

 

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Blurb:

Country hat act Markus Kane is skeptical when he’s asked to do a joint tour. He hasn’t seen Sebastian Longchamps since he gave up drinking—and since their compulsion for each other nearly cost them both their livelihoods. But Markus’s career is on the downhill slope, while the country-fried Cajun rocker’s star is still rising. His label thinks it’ll be a match made in ticket-sales heaven.

Sebastian knows better. One wrong move and Markus will break his heart all over again. This time he has much more to lose.

Time has changed both men, though, and while Markus and Sebastian try to fight their addictions, the big music industry machine has plans for them that don’t include a quiet retirement. Can Markus convince Sebastian that there are things in life more important than adrenaline and control? And can Sebastian make Markus understand that all he really wants is his music and his man?

Second Edition

 

About BA Tortuga:

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

How Karaoke Bars Work in China w/ Z. Allora + Giveaway

January 15, 2018

how karaoke bars work in china

 

Greetings! I want to thank Dreamspinner for the opportunity to share a little bit about me, China and my new release The Great Wall. To celebrate I’ll be doing a giveaway: 3 e-books of Secured and Free, 5 e-books of Finally Fallen and a $20 gift card to Dreamspinner. (Details about the giveaway are below.)

KTV

KTV stands for Karaoke TV in China which comes in two variety. One is family friendly for singalongs with friends and loved ones while munching on snacks. The other is a “special” KTV where young women are part of the singing experience. They will pour alcohol, light cigarettes, sing, and see to the businessman’s every need depending on the establishment.

How can you tell the difference? My song loving friends in Suzhou taught me the family safe KTVs are near shopping centers while the “special” KTVs are more upscale looking.

Why are they popular? I was told Karaoke is where people could let their emotions out. I watched my friends become very emotional while singing love songs to their significant others or single friends weeping during songs of lonely and loss. In some cases, it provides a safe place to let out your feelings almost like therapy. Though most times Karaoke is a night out and it’s fun.

 

The Great Wall Excerpt:

Styx was relieved Li had picked the KTV they went to and not Indigo. This KTV had a family-friendly, cool, space theme. It wasn’t sleazy at all. There was no line of aggressive girls whose sole purpose was to get the customers to buy them drinks while they pretended each singer was the best she’d ever heard. The KTV girls usually harbored hopes of giving the men a completely satisfying experience, either right in their private karaoke room or at the nearby hotel, for tips. In contrast, this establishment allowed wannabe singers to croon in peace without pressure.

The band got there early. Styx enjoyed the beginnings of his first- ever vacation from work. Li and Indigo purchased a room with the minimum time to get them on the right door with the other singers.

Not to waste the money and to kill some time, everyone sang a song. They cheered each other on as they lazily flipped through the automated playlist and watched the bad videos accompanying each song on the room TV.

When Jin’s turn came, he stood and faced the group. Into his second beer, Styx relaxed as he admired how Jin’s golden hair shone and sparkled in the dancing lights that Indigo had figured out how to operate.

Jin surprised him by singing a very sweet love song. His soft voice trembled with emotion as he sang the words while staring directly at Styx.

Styx had heard the lyrics a thousand times before, but they were never meant for him. Could Styx dare to hope Jin meant the words and that they were directed at him?

Staring into Styx’s eyes, Jin sang to him, pouring love and hope into the song.

Styx’s heart expanded with even more affection for Jin. He tried in vain not to blush, though he felt his face heat up.

When the song ended, Jin bit his lower lip and glanced away. He scurried back to the couch and took a huge gulp from his bottle of beer.

Styx needed to let Jin know he returned the affection, but he couldn’t respond in words. He took his cue from Jin and stole Li’s turn.

The relaxation alcohol had given him allowed the luxury of expression. No one said anything, but his friends—somehow in the last few months, Indigo and Li had become good friends—watched him closely as he chose a simple but heartfelt song to sing back. His voice cracked a few times with all the emotion he tried to keep reined in.

Jin’s eyes were brimming with unshed tears by the time Styx finished the song. Styx stood frozen with the microphone still gripped in his hands as he stared at the man he adored, hoping the song conveyed all he might never be able to say.

The moment was broken by Indigo’s low whistle. “Is my Mandarin fucked, or did Styx proclaim he loves Jin more than a mouse loves rice?”

Indigo’s bewildered seriousness made everyone laugh.
“What? Mice love cheese not rice,” Indigo proclaimed.
Li wrapped an arm around Indigo’s neck and pulled him down into

a quick kiss, probably trying to shut him up. Then he said, “Think about it. There’s much more rice than cheese here, Indigo.”

To Enter the Giveaway: Leave a comment telling us have you ever Karaoked? Winners will be picked on Jan 19th.

Many hugs, Z.

Check out The Great Wall today!

 

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ebook: http://bit.ly/2krcnoY
paper: http://bit.ly/2AyafHa

 

Blurb:

Destiny will be decided by a battle between heart and mind….

Jun Tai “Styx” Wong loves two things: playing the drums and his best friend, Jin. But being a good Chinese son means he can’t have either—he’ll have to marry a girl of his parents’ choosing and settle into a traditional job. His move to the bigger city of Suzhou is both a blessing and curse, as living with Jin makes it harder for Styx to suppress his desires. Nearly dying while trying to eradicate his feelings serves as a wake-up call for Jin, who takes extreme measures to keep Styx safe from harm.

When given a second chance at life and happiness, will Styx be able to claim the future he wants with Jin, his bandmates, and his music? Can love and hope grow with the constantly looming threat of Styx’s parents ordering him home? Great things await—if Styx finds the courage to break down the wall that stands between him and everything he wants.

Author Bio:

Z. Allora believes in happily ever after 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 the opportunity 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
Blog: http://zallora.blogspot.com
Queer Romance Ink: www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/z-allora
Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/z-allora-637

Scene Commentary w/ Anne Barwell + Giveaway

January 10, 2018

Scene Commentary

 

Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for Prelude to Love, a Dreamspun Desire novel from Dreamspinner Press.

I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter.

Finding blog post topics when writing heaps of posts for a blog tour can be a challenge. A friend suggested I flip through the book, see where it opens, choose a paragraph or two from that page, and blog about it.  I did that years ago with a story, and wrote it like a DVD commentary so here goes.

Unfortunately due to my days off since the beginning of the year being stat holidays my hardcopies of the book are still sitting at the Post Office ready to pick up—I hope!—so I opened my galley and chose my excerpt using a random number generator instead.  I’m not including an excerpt with this post as you’re getting an exclusive one as part of the commentary.

“Joel’s very good, isn’t he?” Mavis asked, yet it sounded more like a statement than a question. “I often hear him playing when I’m in my garden, although I haven’t for a few months. I had hoped I’d missed it because I’d been out rather than he’d given up. Talent like that should be nurtured, don’t you think?”

Mavis is Joel’s neighbour.  She reminds Joel of his gran, always knowing what’s going on, but would be the first to offer help if it was needed.  I included her in the story as I wanted to show a bit more of Joel’s world apart from his immediate friends, family, and work mates.  And it’s always nice to know neighbours are looking out for you.

“Yes. He is very good.” Marcus glanced at his watch. He’d been gardening for an hour, his thoughts distracting him for a good amount of that time. Good thing he did a lot of this kind of work on autopilot. Nevertheless he double-checked to make sure he hadn’t targeted anything that wasn’t a weed. He stood back to take a better look and smiled, satisfied with a job well done.

While Joel plays piano to relax and work through whatever is getting to him, Marcus gardens.  I liked the way they’re different, but in some ways the same in that.

“You’ve been working hard.” Mavis nodded approvingly. “If I get to the point where I can’t do my own gardening, I’ll keep you in mind.”

This is a reminder that although Marcus enjoys being outside and what he does for a living, it is still his job.  The fact that he does gardening for Joel because he wants to says a lot about how he feels about him.  Usually people don’t want to continue their job at a weekend, but do something else.

“Thanks.” Marcus didn’t want to get into a discussion about how what he’d done that afternoon was something he’d wanted to do for himself—and for Joel. “I should probably head inside. It’s been nice talking with you again.”

“Thanks. I’d hoped to catch you at some point so I could thank you for your work in person.” Mavis handed him a small basket. “I’ve made some muffins and thought you and Joel might enjoy some.”

This also shows the tone of the neighbourhood, that people are looking out for each other. It’s one of the reasons I like living where I do—we’re still part of a city, but it’s not a huge one so still very personable.  Also, as a side note, I usually make a batch of muffins each week which is why there are muffins in her basket.  Although it’s not specified, they’re blackcurrant/blackberry as that’s what I was making when I wrote that scene, and I have bushes/vines in my garden which keep me well supplied each year. It’s also another case of whatever I’m baking making its way into the story.  Or vice versa. I made several batches of scones a few years ago while writing Cat’s Quill.

“Thank you, that’s very kind of you.” Marcus was surprised by her generosity.

Mavis smiled. “It’s the neighborly thing to do. I’ve kept an eye on Joel for some time now, as he does work so very hard.” She lowered her voice. “It’s lovely seeing the two of you together and knowing he’s got someone like you looking out for him when he gets caught up in things and works too hard. Sometimes you have to help people who don’t help themselves, you know?”

Mavis is very observant, and knows Joel a lot better than he realises.  But it’s not just Joel who needs Marcus as Marcus needs Joel to remind him when he’s withdrawing and not talking about stuff he should be.

Marcus wasn’t sure how to reply to that. Joel hadn’t been kidding when he’d said that Mavis knew everything that went on in their neighborhood. “Thanks,” he said again. “When is the best time to return the basket?”

“Oh, just leave it on my front doorstep. Goodness me, it is late. I’d better go fix dinner. Bye, Marcus.”

Marcus doesn’t know the half of it. Mavis wasn’t in my original outline. She turned up when I was writing  with the comment that those boys need someone to look out for them, and then was in more than just this one scene. I’m reminded of the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Apparently it needs pretty much that to get these two together too!

 

Check out Prelude to Love today!

 

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Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

 

Blurb:

Music speaks directly to the heart.

Two very different men face turning points in their lives after the collapse of long-term relationships….

Joel is a music teacher who knows it’s time to forget his ex and move on, while Marcus runs a lawn-mowing business and has come to Wellington to escape the reminders of a recent breakup. Although they’re opposites, when Joel and Marcus connect, their romance has the potential to hit all the right notes.

Too bad neither of them feels ready for new love.

With family and friends in common, dating is risky—things could get messy if it doesn’t work out. The sweet song of possibility draws them to each other, though, and they share a kiss following a Chopin prelude.  But it will take some practice and perseverance to find their perfect harmony….

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour here:

https://annebarwell.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/blog-tour-prelude-to-love/

 

Bio:

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

Website & Blog: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.barwell.1
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sylvrebarwellhoffmann/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115084832208481414034/posts
Instagram: https://instagram.com/anne.barwell
Twitter: https://twitter.com/annebarwell
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4862410.Anne_Barwell
Queeromance Ink Author Page: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/anne-barwell/
New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/491382394538058/
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