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
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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
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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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Songs of Love by Scotty Cade

January 3, 2018

Songs of Love

 

Happy New Year All!

I like to thank my publisher Dreamspinner Press for allowing me to spend a little time with you in the New Year and chat about my latest release, “Someone to Kiss.”

Today I’m gonna talk about the inspiration for the story and some of my novels. “Someone to Kiss” as well as several of my books are inspired by music. Music has always been important to me and a very large part of my life. One of my fondest memories was riding on the back of my mother’s Hoover canister vacuum cleaner as a small child while we cleaned house singing along to greats like Dinah Washington, Keely Smith, Brenda Lee and Timi Yuro. Those artists and songs have stayed with me throughout my life.

In 2016 I released “Only Forever” which was inspired by an old song of the same name. It has been covered by many people, such as Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and Dean Martin, to name a few. But my favorite version is by Kay Starr. Here’s a link if you care to take a listen.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOzokJG0jNA. I first heard the song two winters’ ago while watching an old black-and-white movie and after the first line, I sat up and listened intently. For some reason the song tugged at my heartstrings. It appealed to the romantic in me so deeply, I just had to write about it. The lyrics are very simple but very powerful if you allow yourself to really listen to them. Since then I’ve written two more books inspired by, or titled after a song that touched me. “Someone to Kiss” is one of them.

I’m not sure how many of you listen to country music but “Someone to Kiss” was inspired by a song sung by the newcomer Brett Young titled “You Ain’t Here to Kiss Me.” It’s about a guy flying home alone right after a breakup on New Year’s Eve. We’ve all been there, maybe not flying home, but spending a New Year’s Eve alone after a breakup. Again, the lyrics touched me so much I had to write about it. Here is a link for it as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bMgyDyfDWk.

For me, there are two things that I can always count on to trigger a memory or inspire me in some way. A song and a scent. The whiff of a certain cologne on the air can remind me of someone or the scent of a shampoo or soap I used while dating a certain person can always make me think of that person. The smell of certain foods can also trigger an emotion or memory.

Secondly music. OMG! I had an “our song” for almost everyone I dated for any length of time. And still today, I can hear a song and it takes me back to a special time with a special person, or a memory of my parents or my mother grandmother.

Which brings me to my next novel “From a Jack to a King,” which will be released in a few months by Dreamspinner. It was named after one of my grandmother’s favorite songs, sung by Ned Miller. Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPMhQhYYSNo. I heard it on Sirius radio one late night driving from Martha’s Vineyard down to South Carolina. Kell was asleep and it was me and the radio and the song. I listed to every word and by the next day I was writing the story. I hope you’ll enjoy it as well.

Well, I have a word limit to adhere to, so I have to end this now. But it was great sharing a little of me you won’t read about in a bio and I hope you’ll drop a note below just to tell me what triggers great memories in you. Is it a song or a scent or something else? And if you do, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win an ebook of “Someone to Kiss.”

Thanks for spending the time with me and I wish you and yours all the goodness the New Year has to offer.

Check out Someone to Kiss today!

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Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
iTunes
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

 

Blurb:

Dane McCormick’s job negotiating leases and building out furnished office suites takes him all over the country. He stays until the job is done—and then he moves on. As satisfying as the job is, it leaves him no place to call home and no chance to build a personal life. After arriving in Greenville, South Carolina, for a job, a severe stomach virus knocks Dane for a loop. He finds a local urgent care clinic… and a tall, dark, and handsome doctor who goes well above and beyond his duties to treat Dane. The doctor’s bedside manner makes Dane forget all about his stomach flu.

Carter Baldridge has dedicated his life to caring for others. Since graduating from medical school, he has spent all his time and energy building his urgent care business. But the morning he steps into his examining room and sees Dane McCormick on the table, he realizes it might be time to devote some attention to a part of life he has neglected. The spark is there, but so is a major obstacle in the form of Dane’s peripatetic lifestyle and a bad experience in Carter’s past. Both have to decide if the risk is worth the reward.

 

Author Bio:

Scotty Cade left Corporate America and twenty-five years of Marketing and Public Relations behind to buy an Inn & Restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with his partner of over twenty years. He started writing stories as soon as he could read, but just five years ago for publication.  When not at the Inn, you can find him on the bow of his boat writing gay romance novels with his Shetland sheepdog Mavis at his side.  Being from the south and a lover of commitment and fidelity, all of his characters find their way to long healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there.  He believes that in the end, the boy should always get the boy.

Here’s where you can find me:

www.scottycade.com
www.facebook.com/scotty.cade
www.twitter.com/ScottyCade
scottycade@gmail.com
scotty@scottycade.com

 

 

Slow Burning by BA Tortuga

December 28, 2017

slow burning

 

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things cowboy.

Cimarron and Zack are one of those slow burn books – the ones were I wondered if they were ever going to spark, but once they did, they shocked the hell out of me with their fire.

Grins.

I love that – that sudden, surprise spark. My wife and I were having a chat about that – how when that spark happens, we just sigh. There are too many books to list where that happens, so I started thinking movies.

Oh, now that I can do. *grins*

5. Buttercup and Wesley in The Princess Bride. Inconceivable.

4. Bunny and Richard from Desk Set. Lord, I love a Hepburn/Tracy movie.

3. Stella and Dot in Cloudburst. What? You didn’t expect a septuagenarian lesbian movie to make my list? *snorts*

2. Sally and Gary in Practical Magic. *whimpers with joy*

1. Han and Leia, Star Wars. OMG

 

Much love, y’all.

BA

 

Check out Slip today!

 

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Blurb:

Love is a fragile thing, and it can slip through your fingers if you don’t hold on tight….

When Zack Jung’s AA sponsor and friend commits suicide, he’s desperate to hold it together, and there’s only one place he can turn. He calls Josh and Kris, and they take him back to their ranch outside Santa Fe.

A cowboy to the bone, Cimarron Duran cherishes his orderly life and routine. He likes his neighbors, Kris and Josh, but he has less than no interest in the hipster personal trainer who comes to stay with them—or at least, he plans to fight his interest in favor of his solitary life and his art.

But some things are as inevitable as the weather, and when Zack and Cimarron finally come together, they find they don’t want to let go. It won’t be easy, though, for two men with pasts like theirs to forge a happy future together.

 

 

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

Holidays Carols w/ Sean Michael

December 21, 2017

Holiday Carols

 

Hello Dreamers,

With it being the holiday season, I’m thinking of cookies and carols and gifts. Ryan’s favorite carol is What Child is This, while Alex loves I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.

My favorite is the Huron Carol as sung by Tom Jackson, which I’ve shared the words to below. What’s your favorite?

The Huron Carol

‘Twas in the moon of wintertime
When all the birds had fled
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead
Before their light the stars grew dim
And wandering hunters heard the hymn
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria
Within a lodge of broken bark
The tender Babe was found
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Enwrapp’d His beauty round
And as the hunter braves drew nigh
The angel song rang loud and high
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria
The earliest moon of wintertime
Is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory
On the helpless infant there
The chiefs from far before him knelt
With gifts of fur and beaver pelt
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria
O children of the forest free
O sons of Manitou
The Holy Child of earth and heaven
Is born today for you
Come kneel before the radiant Boy
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria

 

Sean Michael

Smut fixes everything

 

Check out Daddy Needs a Date today!

 

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Dreamspinner Press
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Blurb:

With four girls, single dad Ryan Withers has his hands too full to look for romance. He’s not complaining—he loves his daughter and the three nieces he adopted when their parents died, and he would do anything for them. He’s caught off-guard when his mother and daughter conspire to play matchmaker.

Alex Bernot works in disaster relief, his job taking him all over the world for extended periods of time, helping others. He’s staying with his aunt while he’s home, and she sets him up on a blind date. Finding a special someone isn’t really on his mind, but he goes to make his aunt happy.

Ryan and Alex enjoy each other’s company more than either of them expected, and they soon make a second date. Their lives are complicated, though, in very different ways, and soon family needs and their jobs conspire to pull them apart. They’ll need to figure out how to work through the things keeping them apart, but first they’ll have to decide if they even want to….

 

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:  https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? w/ Pat Henshaw + Giveaway

December 14, 2017

Where do you get your ideas

 

Short Order, the 8th and last of the Foothills Pride stories, releases on December 13. When I was thinking about blog pieces to write, I realized that a lot of readers want to know how an author gets an idea and develops it to use in a fictional piece, in this case a novella.

Since John, a minor character in When Adam Fell, is one of my favorite peripheral characters, I knew I wanted to write about him finding his happily ever after. I also already knew from Adam that John had a troubled past, but had finally found himself by becoming a sous to celebrity chef Adam.

But whom could I put with John? For reasons readers will discover in the story, John is leery of tall, dominating men, so his lover would have to be someone smaller, not the tall, dark, and handsome guy of romance cliché.

When my husband and I had a layover for a cross-country flight, we sat in a waiting room where a short, wiry man from the airline went from customer to customer explaining to those who needed it how the airplane’s Wi-Fi worked with their computers. The young man had a quick sense of humor and was very patient. The instructor also had a tattoo of computer parts—a motherboard, some chips, and a screwdriver on one of his his forearms.

His look and his personality traits were perfect as a foil for serious, driven John. But what kind of tattoo would John’s lover have? Whatever it was would have to reflect his passion, just as the computer parts obviously were an integral part of the airport instructor’s life.

A more important question was whom John needed in order to stop shutting himself off from people and be able to grow into a loving relationship. The more I thought about it, the more I realized he needed nourishing and patience. What better person for that than someone who loved plants and saw plants as a way to change the world?

I’d read a piece sometime back about a project to bring plants into inner city school rooms and public housing. Not only would the plants enrich the air, but they also responded to TLC on the part of their owners. In addition, they wouldn’t be an added expense for those who were trying to make ends meet.

As I read the article, I could feel the writer’s passion about getting a grant to put common, easy-to-grow houseplants in at-risk households and classrooms. Wouldn’t John’s perfect mate have this same passion? And John’s need to be lovingly looked after would parallel that of a plant that would produce gorgeous blooms.

John’s backstory, his horrific experiences in San Francisco after his parents had disowned him, came from a tiny article in the Bay Guardian that I’d read years before and that lingered in my mind. Remembering it, I now had all the pieces for my story. Now I just had to sit down and write.

I’m not sure this really answers where ideas come from and how they become a story, but these are the pieces that came together for Short Order.

Do you have bits and pieces running around in your head from things you’ve heard or people you’ve seen that you wish were parts of a book? What are they? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have somewhere we could all share these snippets?

I’d love to hear from you and am offering a $10 Dreamspinner Gift Card to one randomly selected person who answers this piece.

Happy holiday, everyone!

Peace.

Check out Short Order today!

 

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Blurb:

When recent horticulture graduate Dr. Fenton Miller arrives in Stone Acres, California, he thinks his only concern is which job offer to accept after spending the holidays working at his cousin’s plant nursery. But after he rents a room from another shorter-than-average man, sous-chef John Barton, Fen falls in lust.

While he’s attracted to Fen, John’s got bigger concerns when two men from his past arrive in town and pressure him to return to San Francisco. Although John tries to stop Fen from getting involved, Fen realizes his lover is in trouble and is determined to protect him.

As the holidays get closer and Fen makes his own enemy, the joy of the season gets lost in the ill will around them. To ensure love triumphs, Fen and John must stand tall to show that short, dark, and handsome is a recipe for love.

 

Author Bio:

Pat Henshaw, author of the Foothills Pride Stories, has spent her life surrounded by words:  Teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs.

Pat was born and raised in Nebraska where she  promptly left the cold and snow after college, living at various times in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California.  Pat enjoys travel, having visited Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and Europe, including a cruise down the Danube.

Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion.  Fortunately, her incredibly supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away while writing fiction.

Author media links:

Website: http://patbooked.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pat.henshaw.10
Twitter: https://twitter.com/phenshaw
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pat-Henshaw/e/B00BPDEDEA/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6998437.Pat_Henshaw
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+PatHenshaw
Email: patoisca@yahoo.com

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

[Previously in the story, Fen and John had gone out on a date for a beer at the local Stonewall Saloon, and John had said goodnight with a “See you next time.” Fen’s been wondering when that would be.]

Next time turned out to be a couple of days later after I got back from work. I felt like a tractor had run over me, and I smelled like fir-tree resin. My apartment, on the other hand, smelled like I could eat it. Any doubts I had about John’s cooking ability dried up as I walked into my kitchen to survey my frozen dinner choices. Talk about haves and have-nots. Whatever he was making downstairs smelled delicious.

I was just settling on a Hungry-Man spicy fried chicken and mashed potatoes dinner, a gourmet delight ready to go in six-to-eight minutes, when he knocked on my door. I was so tired I carried my rock-solid dinner with me.

“What the hell is that?” John recoiled, taking a step back and staring at Mr. Hungry-Man.

It wasn’t hello or how are you, so I stood still to get my bearings. I held up the box and peered at it.

“Dinner. Why?” Nothing seemed to be falling out of the box. Why was he getting so upset?

He laughed a few rusty barks, which quickly turned into guffaws. Tears streamed down his face.

“Hey, not all of us are cooks.” I lowered the box. “You need something? Cup of sugar, maybe?”

His laughter tapered off and died. He wiped his cheeks with his fingers, then stared at the tears a minute, surprise shining from his eyes. Finally, he looked at me, his eyelashes stuck together in a few places. “Yeah. I need you.” His voice slid over me like smoky molasses. It slowly dripped into my imagination.

If I’d been less tired, I would have jumped him right there. But while the spirit was willing, the body was wilted lettuce. He’d asked for help. I could give him help. Just barely.

“Sure. Let me take a shower and eat, then I’ll be right down.” I started to close the door, but he grabbed my Hungry-Man and walked it back to the freezer. He shoved it in with the others. His face scrunched in a grimace.

“Just put on some shoes and a coat. You’re eating downstairs.”

My tired brain recorded one more whiff of the aroma coming up from his kitchen, and I did as he commanded. It was next time, and I was sorta ready.

His place, like mine, was furnished in jewels from the past. As I expected, our floor plans were almost identical except he had a front and back door. His fireplace was alight with a warm, cheery fire. His rooms ranged from stately and formal to cozy and intimate. But none reflected the holiday season: no tree, no garland, nothing.

“You should come down to the nursery.” With a groan, I sank into the dining chair he’d indicated. “We can fix you up with a tree and evergreen swags.”

He put a plate in front of me without comment. The best-looking roast beef and new potatoes stared up at me. I started to drool. While he set his plate down and sat, I breathed in the home-cooked meal and then sighed.

“This looks perfect. Thanks. I’d call it pot roast, but I’m sure it has some fancier name.” I was babbling, trying desperately to be polite and not dig in like the starving man I was.

He laughed and pointed to my plate with his fork. “Just eat. It is pot roast. My variation on straight Yankee Pot Roast.”

Even though his eyes twinkled, he said it without a grin. I laughed. In response his smile lit up, and he laughed with me. Now I knew the green light was on. We could become friends with benefits. Or even landlord and tenant with a booty bond. Tonight, if I wasn’t so damned tired and hungry.

We ate in silence. Now I felt more than ever like we were becoming friends.

As I sopped up the last of the gravy with a piece of roll, I looked around. Since I worked in the glut of Yule paraphernalia, I again noticed how beautiful but bare of holiday cheer the rooms were.

“You don’t celebrate Christmas?” I wondered if maybe he was Jewish or atheist or something.

“Not really.” He grimaced. “You’re probably up to your eyeballs with it now.”

I nodded. “I could use your help tomorrow night if you’ve got the time.”

“Sure. With what?” He looked interested, which I took to mean he wasn’t just humoring me.

“I picked out a tree and need to get it up the stairs.”

“Huh?” He sat back and looked like he was studying me. “So even though you work in the middle of the holiday crap all day, you want to bring it home with you?”

I nodded. I wouldn’t exactly call it crap. Besides, who didn’t like the holiday season? Bright lights, often cheerful people, foods and snacks made with tons of sugar. True, a lot of annoying songs, but I could overlook them. One more verse from Trini Lopez, though, and I’d have to shoot someone—probably myself.

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Well, you smell good. I’ll give you that.”

I laughed softly as my dick perked up, but I was too tired for any follow-through. “I smell like a fucking Christmas tree.” My eyes were drooping.

“And I smell like a pot roast.” He got up and started clearing the plates and utensils. Ordinarily, I would have helped, but I couldn’t move. It occurred to me I was going to have to go outside and get my ass up the stairs in order to be home. Then I drifted.

As we tackled the stairs, I tilted into him like I was drunk, only I wasn’t. Just so fucking tired. His body felt wonderful next to mine. I could snuggle and sleep on him.

We’d reached the top of the stairs, and I was panting. I handed him my key and muttered, “Can you unlock it for me?”

He opened the door.

I leaned, resting against his back.

“Thanks for dinner, handsome,” I slurred.

Then he turned, and I kissed him, a little sloppy and a lot off center. But I managed to make it lips on lips.

He stepped back, a shocked look on his face, but lust shone from his eyes.

 

Other titles in the Foothills Pride series:

What’s in a Name?
Redesigning Max
Behr Facts
When Adam Fell
Relative Best
Frank at Heart
Waking the Behr

Jenn Burke’s Fave Canadian Places to Set a Book + Giveaway

December 13, 2017

Jenn Burke's Top 5 Places

Whenever possible, I prefer to set my books in Canada because, well, I’m Canadian. Setting my books close to home is fun, and I don’t see enough books set in the True North. But there are only so many books I can set in the Ottawa area, so here are some other locations I’ve got on my radar.

 

Toronto

Toronto is Canada’s largest city. Seriously, it’s huge. At last count, the GTA—Greater Toronto Area—is home to nearly 6 million people, and it’s just as cosmopolitan as, say, New York City or L.A.

The CN Tower in Toronto

Why I want to set a book here: The Toronto area is so diverse. You’ve got upscale areas and rundown areas; harbourfront and countryside (or close enough). You’ve got major business and industry located there, as well as huge national sports teams, and museums, and tourist attractions like Canada’s Wonderland, and…yeah, you get the idea. It’s a treasure trove of a setting.

Any ideas or works-in-progress: A few! I’m working on plotting out a Toronto-set paranormal mystery featuring a demon who broke free of his summoner and a witch-knight with PTSD and a service dog who have to work together to solve a series of murders.

 

Prince Edward Island

PEI—also known as the Island—is Canada’s smallest province. With a population of just under 150,000 people, only slightly more people live there than in the Ottawa suburb I grew up in! It’s largely a rural community with a focus on farming (potatoes!), tourism and fishing. Fun fact: you can drive from the east point of the Island to the west point in about three hours.

Wind turbines on the east point of Prince Edward Island

Why I want to set a book here: I love PEI with a passion. It’s my favourite place to visit. The pace of life is so much slower than Ontario or other urban centres, so you really feel like you get a chance to breathe while you’re there. There’s a rich history, too—PEI is the home of Canada’s most famous literary heroine, Anne of Green Gables, and it’s the birthplace of Canadian Confederation (kind of like the US’s Declaration of Independence). It’s like a small town in province form.

Any ideas or works-in-progress: I have a sweet contemporary mostly plotted, about a university student who has to abandon his dreams of a mainland career to take over his family’s goat farm and goat soap business suddenly to support his sister, and a school acquaintance who comes to his rescue when times get tough.

 

Almonte

Almonte, Ontario, holds a special place in my heart because it’s my adopted hometown. We moved here in 2013, and it was honestly the best choice we ever made. It’s just far enough away from Ottawa to be out of the hustle and bustle of the city, but close enough that it’s easy to access Ottawa’s conveniences, and it still has a lovely small-town feeling to it.

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Downtown Almonte, Ontario

Why I want to set a book here: On our first night here, someone told us that Almonte is this really interesting mix of yuppie and redneck—and it’s totally true. You have the wonderful ruralness of the Ottawa Valley and Lanark County mixed with the hipster/yuppy artist vibe of upscale gift shops and galleries. There’s a Riverwalk right next to the Mississippi River (not that Mississippi River…this is another one) where you can watch the water as it works its way through rapids and a couple of dams.

Any ideas or works-in-progress: I have ideas for a couple of contemporaries, one of which involves a sugar shack farmer (someone who collects maple syrup) and his best friend, and the other is about a kids’ hockey coach and the father of one of his players.

 

Alberta foothills

I spent a good chunk of my early years in Edmonton, Alberta, and the prairies will always have a place in my heart—but some of my best memories come from spending a week at a horseback riding camp and ranch in the Alberta foothills when I was 10 years old. It was an incredible experience.

Why I want to set a book here: When you think of a book set in the West, you normally think of the western or southwest states. Canada has a west, too—one that is often overlooked. I would love to introduce readers to this area that was dear to me in my childhood.

Any ideas or works-in-progress: I have thoughts about a LGBTQIA+ guest ranch set in the foothills. I’d like to write a romantic suspense in this setting, but the plot isn’t jibing for me yet.

 

Cape Breton

Cape Breton is part of Nova Scotia and is situated off the province’s east coast, connected to the mainland by a causeway. Unlike PEI, Cape Breton is not at all a tamed environment. There are a few farms, and towns polka-dot the landscape, but mostly it’s filled with wilderness and mountains. It reminds me a lot of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta—smaller, of course, but the same level of wildness.

Part of the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Why I want to set a book here: The wilderness of Cape Breton calls to me. When my family visited this summer, I was inspired over and over again by things I saw. Like a barely visible cabin tucked on the side of a mountain, only detectable because of powerlines and a hole cut in the trees. Or a distillery in the middle of nowhere that uses spring water from the nearby mountain to make absolutely delicious single malt whiskey.

Any ideas or works-in-progress: I had some thoughts on a story set in the same world as The Gryphon King’s Consort, but nothing has really jumped out at me yet. I’ll need to keep thinking about it!

Thanks for joining me on my wishful tour of Canada! If you’ve ever visited Canada, please share your favourite spot in the comments section—and if you haven’t visited Canada, let me know where you would like to visit.

 

Check out The Gryphon King’s Consort today!

 

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Blurb:

Love takes flight.

The sudden death of the Gryphon King throws the kingdom of Mythos into uncertainty, and Crown Prince Luca rushes both his coronation and an arranged marriage to a man he’s never met. Eirian is young and idealistic, and while they both want what’s best for their people, their philosophies couldn’t be more different. While Luca believes in honoring tradition, Eirian is determined to infuse modern values into their kingdom of magical creatures. When given the choice between loyalty to his husband and his own crusade, Eirian makes a decision that might doom their marriage.

Still, Luca is committed to making their union work, and that means forgiving his brash consort. But when Eirian becomes the target of a deadly conspiracy, Luca must act fast—or forever lose the chance to explore their burgeoning love.

 

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Author Bio:

Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.

Jenn is the author of The Gryphon King’s Consort from Dreamspinner Press and the co-author of the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (with Kelly Jensen) from Carina Press. She’s also the author of Her Sexy Sentinel, a paranormal romance from Entangled Publishing.

She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Thank you so much for joining me on The Gryphon King’s Consort blog tour. Enter for your chance to win one of two $25 store credits for Dreamspinner Press!

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Celebrating Chanukah w/ Avery Duran + Giveaway

December 12, 2017

Celebrating Chanukah

 

Thank you so much to Dreamspinner Press for hosting me today to talk about my novella, Ahava is Love. Ahava is Love came out this summer, but the majority of the book takes place during Chanukah, and the themes of the holiday – faith, miracles, and resilience – run through the story.

I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a Chanukah blog party. Since no celebration is complete without food, conversation, and gifts, I’ll spend the rest of the holiday visiting different blogs to share recipes, stories, excerpts, and a great giveaway. Tonight is the first night of Chanukah, and I hope you’ll join me for the rest of the holiday!

In the fall of 2000, I lived and worked in Brooklyn, NY. I loved my job and was enjoying the city life, yet I felt like something was missing.  I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was. In a real life plot twist, I was speaking to a friend about my need to shake up my life, on the same day she had just spoken to someone who mentioned they were interviewing for American group leaders for a 10-day trip to Israel. She suggested I apply; I took her advice, and I got the job.

On December 25th, 2000 (my 31st birthday), not knowing any of my fellow voyagers, I boarded a plane to Israel. I spent the next 10 days traveling with a group of young adults. Being in a land with such history, making new friends with diverse backgrounds, seeing members of my family who had settled there, celebrating Chanukah while in Israel, all added up to one life changing experience. For me, it was not about romance, I did not find love or a happily ever after with someone else—but I did find myself, and I came home much more comfortable in my own skin.

When I was thinking of writing for the World of Love line, I was intrigued by the concept of taking my own adventure to the next level. What would happen if one of the group leaders fell in love with another? Layering romance (and sexytimes) on top of such a meaningful experience would be so powerful. Same sex leaders share a room, so if there is a mutual attraction, resistance can be futile – and frustrating!

I loved writing this book, using my journals, pictures, imagination, and a whole lot of research to create Josh and Yaron’s world. Josh is frustrated with where his life is going and hopes a change of scenery will help him find his way. To that end, he accepts a position as a group leader for a tour of Israel. He meets Yaron, the Israeli security guard for the group, who lost his boyfriend in a terrorist attack a few years earlier. Yaron now lives his life without strings, looking for the next good time. Their chemistry is off the charts, but they are in different places – both emotionally and physically. Making a relationship work between them would really take a miracle.

Thanks for taking the time to get to know a little about me and my writing process. I will be sharing more over the coming days, so please join me when I visit the below blogs. They have been kind enough to host me to celebrate Chanukah with Ahava is Love!

Ahava is LoveAhava is the Hebrew word for love, I think you’ll enjoy falling in love with Josh, Yaron – and Israel!

Check out Ahava is Love today!

 

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Blurb:

Brooklyn Realtor Josh Perlman desperately wants to settle down. Unfortunately he can’t find a man who wants the same. Tired of disastrous dates, he travels to explore his heritage.

Yaron is an Israeli security guard and medic charged with looking after Josh and his pilgrimage group. For Yaron, the need to protect has become more a duty than an honor since he lost his long-term boyfriend to a terrorist attack—a loss that continues to haunt him.

As they embark on their journey through the Holy Land, it’s hard to deny the attraction that sparks between Josh and Yaron. Yet with America calling Josh home, and Israel, and the death of his lover holding Yaron prisoner, it seems only a miracle can keep them together.

But Israel is an ancient land, one that has seen miracles before. Surrounded by structures that have been destroyed and rebuilt time after time, Josh and Yaron might just learn that their futures can be found in the wisdom of the past.

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

 

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About the Author:

Parent Association President by day, Romance Author by night, Avery Duran enjoys the best of all worlds. She’s a minivan-driving, cupcake-baking, soccer mom, who works outside the home while raising three rambunctious boys. Easily distracted by shiny things, Avery found making up stories in her head was an effective way to fool people into thinking she was paying attention. Eventually she decided to write down one of those stories, and her alter-ego was born.

She’s always been a voracious reader, Avery’s mother still brings up the time her school called because she refused to stop reading during math class. Avery is pleased to confirm that she has managed just fine without whatever important math lesson was being taught that day.

A native New Yorker, she often incorporates her favorite city into what she writes. During the day, while driving, watching endless YouTube videos, or animated shows with her offspring, she plots her stories. At night, when her husband and children go to sleep, Avery sits in a quiet house and puts those words on paper. She loves spending her down time creating a world filled with people loving and laughing their way to happily-ever-after.

She’d really love to hear from you!

Author Social Media Links

Website & Blog:  http://www.averyduran.com/ Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Avery-Duran/e/B018RE20I0 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/the.avery.duran Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheAveryDuran Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/averyduran18/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/averyduran0234/ Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14742913.Avery_Duran BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/avery-duran

 

Giveaway

Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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PLUS, enter to win a $5 Dreamspinner Gift Card. Simply tell us what one of your favorite adventures has been in the comments and you’ll be entered!

 

Other Tour Hosts

Dec 13: V’s Reads
Dec 14: Pointedly Blunt Reviews
Dec 15: Samantha Macleod
Dec 16: Ebs and Her Reads
Dec 17: Pick a Genre Already

Bobby and Paolo by Joe Cosentino

December 8, 2017

Bobby & Paolo

 

Dreamspinner Press was like a far-off panacea for me. I had read so many of their terrific novels, secretly wishing I could join the ranks of their talented writers. After majoring in theatre at college (you guessed it, I’m a drama queen), I acted professionally in film, television, and theatre opposite stars like Nathan Lane, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. That morphed into becoming a playwright, director, and now college theatre professor/department chair. However, the thought of being a Dreamspinner Press author continued to haunt me. So, with laptop in hand I adapted my hit one-act play, An Infatuation, into a novella and sent it off to Dreamspinner Press with an email and a prayer. I was elated two months later when the contract arrived!

Many readers told me that novella made them laugh, cry, feel incredibly romantic, and remember their first love. That little story changed many people’s lives—including mine! Since An Infatuation was loosely based on my high school days, I next wrote a companion novella, A Shooting Star, loosely based on my college days. The two e-book novellas did so well that Dreamspinner Press released them together in my own paperback anthology, In My Heart (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention).

The writing bug had bitten. Dismayed that classic fairytales were vacant in terms of gay characters, I next had lots of fun writing The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Open Skye Book Reviews Favorite Audiobook of the Month), my comical gay take on my favorite fairytales. Dreamspinner Press published the first very popular e-book novella and audiobook (performed by the multi-talented Joel Leslie), and I just finished writing the second novella in the Adventures from Fairyland series now.

Finally, in recalling my amazing trip to the magical, gorgeous, and romantic island of Capri, I wrote a short novella also published by Dreamspinner Press, A Home for the Holidays. In the story, Bobby, a young, Italian American law student traveling to Capri during the winter holidays meets his quaint Italian relatives, and falls in love with his handsome, muscular, sexy Italian distant cousin, Paolo. In reading the e-book novella and listening to Joel Leslie’s versatile performance in the audiobook, listeners felt as if they could see, hear, taste, and touch the captivating characters and romantic locations. Many also begged to find out what happens to new couple Bobby and Paolo after they leave Capri and head for Bobby’s home in Philadelphia. Since I was writing my two other popular MM series (the Nicky and Noah mysteries and Cozzi Cove), I thanked the readers for asking, and filed that away for future. The future is now in The Perfect Gift, Bobby and Paolo’s holiday story, book two, published by Dreamspinner Press.

The two-part novella begins a year after A Home for the Holiday ends. Bobby and Paolo are living in Philadelphia as a junior lawyer and junior fashion designer. When Paolo proposes, Bobby’s family and friends are intent on giving the couple a gaudy, elaborate wedding against their wishes. Bobby and Paolo jump through quite a few holiday hoops and finally have their perfect December wedding (December Grooms). A year later, since it’s again Christmas time, the couple tour many of the quaint and wonderful holiday sites in their area featuring elaborately decorated trees and wreathes, Dickensian villages, Victorian carolers and bell ringers, vendors selling hot mulled cider and roasted chestnuts, and bay-windowed shops. They exchange beautiful gifts, and enjoy spending Christmas with Bobby’s eccentric family and hilarious friend Jared. While playing department store Santa, Bobby’s father suffers a heart attack. A man in a Santa suit, who Bobby assumes is his father’s replacement, brings the young couple to the hospital room of a sick little boy. Could this boy be the holiday gift leading to happily ever after for Bobby and Paolo (An Unexpected Present)?

Will there be a third Bobby and Paolo holiday novella? It’s up to the readers. This time, if they ask, I’ll follow orders right away.

Thank you, readers, for your love, support, and requests for more Bobby and Paolo holiday stories. And thank you, Dreamspinner Press, for making my holiday wish come true. I hope everyone enjoys my special holiday gift novella to you. Please know that it comes wrapped in a huge ribbon of love.

 

 

What reviewers said about A Home for the Holidays (Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories, Book 1):

“I adore the character of Bobby…the heartwarming family moments…the love the author has for Capri and the people there flows off the page in every word he has written…..When you finish reading this story, you will want to book your own flight to Italy and boat to Capri.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

“Joe Cosentino’s holiday novella, A Home for the Holidays, delivers in every way that a romantic, feel-good story should. Every book I read by this author continuously pulls me in and wraps me up like a warm blanket.” Kathy Mac Reviews

“The one thing you can’t escape when reading Cosentino’s books is his humour; it’s what draws me back time and again to this author. Sometimes the humour is subtle, sometimes it’s unashamedly overt – every time it is hilarious.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

I’m going to go on record saying that Joe Cosentino pretty much has me at hello. His writing style is incredibly smooth with beautiful details that never feel like too much or too little. Even in this very short story, I felt like I was right there in Capri with Bobby. Both the scenery and Bobby’s emotions are painted with lush, vivid detail…exceptional writing and beautifully gift-wrapped love story.” AM Leibowitz

 

 

Excerpt:

“Hi, Mom. What are you doing?”

“Sitting home alone like a dog.”

That’s Mom’s logic. If their house isn’t full of people eating and carrying on, she’s alone.

“Where’s Dad?”

“In his den, watching the game on TV as usual.”

I’m Bobby McGrath. Since this is my story, I should tell you more about myself. I have frizzy red hair, green eyes, and a swimmer’s body, thanks to the pool at my gym. The swimmer’s body is thanks to the pool. The red hair and green eyes are courtesy of my dad’s side of the family, which my mom calls the Bad Seed. And I passed the bar. I don’t mean I’m a recovering alcoholic. I aced my bar exam, and I’ve been a junior lawyer for nearly a year now.

“Bobby, are you listening to me or thinking about one of your cases?”

“I’m listening, Mom.” I sat on the window seat in my Victorian apartment’s turret and gazed out at the carolers appropriately dressed in Victorian garb as they sang in front of the department store across the street. That’s the department store where my father is manager and plays Santa every December. “How did Dad’s physical go with Dr. Sherman?”

“He said Dad’s overweight. Like we didn’t know. For that we shelled out a thirty-dollar co-pay.”

“Did you mention how Dad’s been forgetting a few things lately?”

“I told him how your father forgot to take out the garbage, sweep out the garage, and chase the squirrels out of our summerhouse in the backyard.”

I couldn’t help thinking Dad’s memory lapses were intentional.

“Dr. Sherman asked Dad some questions, like Dad’s birthdate and our anniversary.”

“And?”

“Your father never remembers things like that, so I answered for him.”

“Mom, you shouldn’t have—”

“Your father’s fine, except for an enlarged prostrate.”

“That’s prostate.”

“Don’t correct your mother, especially now.”

“What’s wrong?”

“You know I don’t like to burden you with my problems.”

“All right. I should get on my laptop to do some research for a—”

“I’m worried about your sister.”

“Which one?”

“Both of them.”

I took a sip of Lemon Zinger tea and braced myself for a long story.

“They work so hard at their jobs and taking care of the kids, they never see their husbands.”

My sisters’ know-it-all spouses? “Is that a bad thing?”

“Watch your mouth, mister. I’m your mother. In my day we never disrespected our parents, no matter how wrong they were about everything. And we never took drugs.”

“I don’t take drugs, Mom; neither does Paolo.”

“But plenty of young people today are drug addicts, Bobby. They say they’re nervous. If young people are nervous, they should do what I do, and take a Prozac.”

As Mom rambled on about the sad state of our youth, I glanced over at the antique cherry coffee table to a framed picture of Paolo and me smiling in front of the Mascobello villa in Capri, Italy. That’s where I met Paolo, when I visited my extended family. Don’t freak out. Paolo is a very distant cousin. He has dreamy sapphire eyes, wavy chestnut hair, more muscles than a daytime television star, and a little-boy pout that makes me want to take care of him for the rest of his life. Which I do. Since Paolo was quite the playboy in Capri, I had my doubts about our relationship. But we’ve been living in boyfriend bliss here in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, for a year now.

 

Check out The Perfect Gift today!

 

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Blurb:

Back in America after finding “A Home for the Holidays” and each other in Capri, new couple Bobby McGrath and Paolo Mascobello are ready to tie the knot during the winter holidays. Their families, friends, and pastor offer more advice than sages on speed. So, young lawyer Bobby and fashion designer Paolo are caught in the matrimonial holiday circus. Will a shocking turn of events somehow lead to the perfect wedding for the December grooms?

The following Christmas, Bobby and Paolo aren’t feeling the holiday spirit. They have a nice apartment, designer clothes, entertaining and supportive friends and family, but little time for each other. While out shopping in their quaint local holiday village, Bobby and Paolo encounter Gregory, an adorable seven-year-old who changes their lives forever, offering them a true holiday miracle… if they’re willing to accept it.

 

Author Bio:

Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday stories: A Home for the Holidays and The Perfect Gift, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, (Lethe Press), Drama Luau, Drama Detective; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. He was voted 1st Place Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015, and 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Romance Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine. He has also won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions including for In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star. 

http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

Julia Talbot’s 5 Favorite TV/Film Shifters

December 8, 2017

julia talbot shifters

 

Hey, y’all!

I’m here to give you a little info about Fangs and Catnip, my very first Dreamspun Beyond from Dreamspinner Press.

Carter is the new manager at the Dead and Breakfast Inn, and he falls for vampire silent partner Fallon, who is sure they don’t need a were-cougar as a manager…

I love shifters. Love them. The owner of the Dead and Breakfast is a bear shifter named Tanner, and Carter is a mountain lion. If y’all love shifters like I do, stick around here for my five favorite shifters in movies and TV.

 

5. Teen Wolf. I love the whole cast, but I especially love Derek Hale, because he’s older, a little death wish obsessed, and obnoxiously hot. I like the Teen Wolf spin on were-ism, too, where they don’t fully shift unless *spoiler spoiler spoiler* they evolve.

4. David Kessler from An American Werewolf in London. Played by David Naughton. Plagued by the dead. He cracks me up, and the werewolf effects are so BAD now, but I still have love love love.

3. Paul Gallier in Cat People. OMG y’all. Yes, I am aware Malcom McDowell is old now. He wasn’t then, and as twisted as this whole movie is, he was omg hot. Like take me instead if her hot. See it! Uhn.

2. The Harry Potter shifters. Prof. McGonagall turns into a cat. Remus Lupin is a werewolf, Sirius Black is a grim… This makes me happy. I love a magical world where shifters are varied and are not all young and broad shouldered and man boobie popping…

1. Oz, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Oh, Oz. Let me count the ways I love you. Oz was an accidental werewolf. (check trope, boop.) He was completely willing to be chained up during the full moon. (Bondage. Boop.) The one thing he loves the most is the thing that sets him off (tragic hero. Boop) He’s played by Seth Green with this immense humor and subtlety. (boop) Oz is the most like the shifters I write off all of these, and that’s why he’s #1.

 

XXOO

Julia Talbot

 

Check out Fangs and Catnip today!

 

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Blurb:

A romance worth fighting for—tooth and claw.

Solitary vampire Fallon Underwood gets all the social interaction he needs being the silent partner at the Dead and Breakfast B and B high in the Colorado mountains. Change is hard for Fallon, so when his business partner, Tanner, suggests hiring a new manager for the inn, he’s adamant that they don’t need help, especially not in the form of bouncy werecat Carter Hughes.

Carter is a happy-go-lucky kitty, and he loves the hospitality industry, so the D and B ought to be a great place for him. He falls for Fallon as soon as he picks up one of Fallon’s novels, and begins to woo the vamp with gifts. When Fallon finally succumbs to Carter’s feline charms, the results are unexpected, to say the least. Their mating will have irreversible consequences—for their bodies and their hearts.

 

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 and Changeling Press among many others. 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”

www.juliatalbot.com
https://twitter.com/juliatalbot
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CC Bridges’s Last Stop on the Tour + Giveaways

December 6, 2017

CC Bridges

 

Thank you all for joining me on the last stop on this blog tour! Stick around until the end for not one, but two different giveaways (one exclusive to this blog!).

I love writing science fiction, because I love creating and exploring new worlds. The thing about the setting in Angel 1089, is that it’s not a far off planet. But rather it’s our own Earth, scarred by natural disasters, to the point where the privileged have abandoned the planet to live in cities floating in the clouds.

But the people down below haven’t given up. They’ve scavenged and formed their own version of society. This cobbled-together world is where Gabriel 1089 finds himself trapped, prevented from returning to the floating city of Heaven after losing one of his wings in a fight with demons.

Jeff Werth, the man who rescued Gabriel, opens his eyes to this new world. And while Jeff and Gabriel grow closer, Gabriel also comes to love the city itself, and the people who’ve fought to make a new world here: Jeff runs a junkyard and helps fix old equipment, Ronnie runs a restaurant/community center to keep the people together, Hank and Ian provide their own form of entertainment. Can Gabriel find his place here?

 

Giveaway time! To win a signed paperback copy of Angel 1089, leave a comment on this post answering this question: What job do you think you’d want to have in a post-apocalyptic society? Winners will be chosen Dec 11th, 12:01 am EST.

To win one of four $10 Dreamspinner gift certificates, check out the following link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/16f80d4e4/?

 

Excerpt

Gabriel followed Trixie out of the truck, feeling very small as Jeff drove away. Since he’d awoken in Old Trent, Jeff had been the one constant fixture.

Kayla took his hand, her skin warm. Perhaps he was the one made wrong, his own body temperature too cold for humans. Unmodded humans, dammit. He was still human.

“Don’t go too far,” Kayla told him. “It’s easy to get lost if you’ve never been here before.”

As she led him through the walkway between the fences, he grinned at how she’d taken on the adult role. He resolved to hold on very tightly, knowing he would be lost if he didn’t have her. Trixie trotted along on Kayla’s other side.

Once they passed through the gate—and there was no checkpoint to keep anyone out—the market stretched before them, a maze of tents and stalls, filled with items of every color imaginable, on racks, in piles, thrown on the ground, hanging from hooks and poles. Some tables held tiny mechanical parts—neural nodes with twisted wires, specialized circuits, and in one case an old-fashioned metal hand, probably from back before synth-skin was invented. Others displayed anything from decorative jewelry to old rubber tires, pipes, and water purifiers. Gabriel saw crates clearly marked with the Heaven Corp logo, and he clenched his fists. So this was where the demons disposed of their thievery.

People gathered around barrels of fire, selling whatever meat they were roasting. The scent burned his nose and made his belly roil, nothing like the bland nutricubes he’d grown used to eating. Still, it smelled far better than the pit of garbage they circled around, surrounded by flies and bees and other creatures Gabriel didn’t look at too closely.

They lived so differently, these people of the earth. They were dirty and rank, they ate animal flesh, and they were loud, crowding in on Gabriel as he and Kayla tried to move past the more popular stands. He hunched his shoulders in, afraid of strangers walking past, not wanting anyone to accidentally brush his wing. He wanted no one but Jeff touching him.

He could almost feel Jeff’s hands on him now, running down his back and making him shiver. Kayla looked up at him, and Gabriel realized he’d actually shuddered. What was it about Jeff that made Gabriel want that gentle caress again?

 

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Blurb

A deal with the devil….

Gabriel 1089 is an angel—an enhanced and cybernetically modified human designed to protect the city in the sky called Heaven. He follows Heaven’s orders and fights its enemies. But when an attack by demons leaves him trapped on the earth below, missing both a metal wing and his network-enabled halo, he’s cut off from his home for good and at the mercy of one man.

Jeff Werth is used to demons in need of his mechanical expertise showing up on the doorstep of the junkyard he runs in Old Trent. However, he doesn’t expect to be stuck with an injured angel. Jeff owes the demons for saving his daughter’s life, so he does what they demand—he nurses the angel back to health and keeps close track of him as a possible pawn in the high-stakes war between Heaven above and the demons below. But he doesn’t expect the effect Gabe has on his heart, or having to choose between his daughter and the man he’s come to love.

 

Bio

CC Bridges is a mild-mannered librarian by day, but by night she writes about worlds of adventure and romance. When she’s not busy solving puzzles in an escape room, she can be found diving into comics or binge-watching superhero movies. She writes surrounded by books, spare computing equipment, a fluffy dog, and a long-suffering husband in the state of New Jersey. In 2011, she won a Rainbow Award for best gay sci-fi/futuristic novel.

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