Timeless love against an ancient enemy–who will rise victorious? with M.D. Grimm – Post + Excerpt

January 14, 2016

Timeless love against an ancient enemy--who will rise victorious-

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Hi everyone! My name is M.D. Grimm and I am the proud author of “The Shifters” series, of which “Predator and Prey” is the latest book. I plan to run “The Shifters” into the 20s before coming to that epic battle that will conclude everything. Hopefully, at that point, all loose threads will be tied up neatly and we can all leave this strange world I created satisfied.

But until then….

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“Predator and Prey” is book #9 in the series and the last of the “historicals” for a while. Yes, I know the 1970s are hardly “historical” in the usual sense, but they aren’t current times, so I just lumped this story in with “Hunted Guardian” (#7) and “The Serpent and the Angel” (#8). I have two more historical stories in the series to write, but those are for later.

First the blurb:
Vietnam War vet turned deep-sea treasure hunter Digger Sullivan scratches out a living, and this new commission is just another job—albeit an exciting one off the Florida coast in 1977. But while exploring the area, Digger and his crew encounter a lot more sharks than they expected.

Reef and his shark shifter clan are charged with protecting a vital, magical secret—two of four scrolls that, when brought together, could annihilate shifters across the world. But Reef can’t keep his head in the game around this intriguing diver, and it’s not long before Digger takes one of the scrolls topside. Reef now has two missions: seduce Digger and recapture the scroll. Despite his attraction to Digger, Reef’s priority must be reclaiming the scroll.

But when Reef’s true identity is exposed, Digger is scared and appalled, and rejects him. Yet Digger might change his mind when his crew is captured by the very person who commissioned them, and Reef and his shark clan are the only things standing between them and death.

Are you all intrigued yet??

Now, for what you’ve all come for: the dirty deats on “Predator and Prey.” First of all, it came about because I really wanted to write a story about a shark shape-shifter. I have a particular fondness for sharks and hope to swim with them one day. What can I say? I’m a little odd. The biggest challenge this presented, however, was trying to reconcile the inherent “alieness” of a shark’s emotion with the more familiar one of a human. It was a similar challenge that “The Serpent and the Angel” offered, since Tobias was a snake. But sharks are even more alien and practically emotionless. But I needed Reef to be relatable, so that was a delicate balance I had to keep. I decided that the best way to approach the situation was to pick a few key features of the shark I wanted to emphasis and stick with them, giving them as much play as possible. Reef is practical, territorially protective, and isn’t ashamed by what he wants. He just goes and gets it. He’s refreshingly free of human idiosyncrasies… at least at the beginning of the story. He was a fun character to play with, and I liked him more and more as the story progressed.

Digger, however, I knew right off: ex-soldier looking for freedom on the ocean, living by no one’s rules but his own, and befriending those society didn’t want. Yeah, I liked him a lot. I have a soft place in my heart for those who serve, and I wanted to try my hand at bringing one to life. It was intriguing to put Reef and Digger together, and even I couldn’t have guessed how well they would click! They “get” each other on a level that most could only dream about.

I consider this story my most ambitious yet. I had zero knowledge of scuba diving, treasure hunting, boats/ships, the Florida coast and waters. For that matter, I had to research the 1970s and be grateful my story was set mostly in isolation on a boat. College work had nothing on the massive research project I dumped on myself. Jeez. But it was all worth it. I am very proud of the end product and though some of my research didn’t end up in the story, that wasn’t the point. I needed to know all those tedious details if I was going to make everything seem real. If it wasn’t real for me, how could I make it real for anyone else?

Most of my story ideas come from the question “what if?” I’m a big fan of asking “what if?” and letting it lead me down winding paths filled with plot bunnies. This has served me well for “The Shifters” series since I wanted to distance myself from the classic wolf shape-shifter stories and experiment with other animals. Don’t get me wrong, I love wolves, but there are so many interesting, beautiful creatures out there, and I didn’t want to limit myself. This strange world I created is full of life, various and magical, and yet connected and fragile. That’s one of the themes I work with through most of the stories—the idea of connectedness. We are all connected to each other, and if one of us fails, it’s a loss to everyone. In my series, the world essentially has three sorts of players: shape-shifters, magical people/fae descendants (the Knights and the Agency), and mundane humans who are oblivious to the war waging. It’s a massive, dysfunctional family, and there aren’t many who know how the war all began.

“Predator and Prey” answers some of those questions. The main villain in the story has an intimate connection with Arcas, the main villain of my series. Also, for those who’ve read “Hunted Guardian” and “The Serpent and the Angel,” I’m sure you’ve guessed the connection between the villains in those stories and Arcas.

Arcas is more than he appears. But more on that at a later date.

“Predator and Prey” also continues the storyline of the four ancient scrolls that act as keys to unlock a weapon that can annihilate shape-shifters. The scrolls will feature heavily for the next three books, then a new facet of the war will emerge. To keep things organized for myself, I split the books up into parts (of which there are five) and kept to specific themes and connected events.

Part 1 has all been published and includes: Psychic Moon, Love is a Whirlwind, Blind Devotion, Hunter and Hunted, Healing Minds, and Master’s Blood.

Part 2 is what I’m working on now: Hunted Guardian, The Serpent and the Angel, and Predator and Prey. There will be three other stories in Part 2. Happily, Shifting Moon has been accepted by Dreamspinner and due out in April/May 2016. Shifting Moon will be based in current times and chronologically follows Master’s Blood. It also includes Derek and Brian from Psychic Moon. I was very happy to meet up with them again! I missed them.

Because I’m super excited with the progress of the series, I’m going to reveal the titles of the next two books… drum roll please… Feather and Scroll (#11) and Kindred Truths (#12). While Feather and Scroll introduces new characters, Kindred Truths will revisit some fan favorites… *cough* Poe and Nordik *cough*

As you can see, I’m moving right along and hope to have Feather and Scroll done perhaps by the end of 2016. But no promises! You know how life can happen.

Since I’m sure you’re done with my rambling, here’s an excerpt!

That’s when they all heard something smack hard against the starboard side, causing the boat to rock slightly. Everyone jumped up from the table, and for some reason Digger decided to race to his bedroom and thrust the tube inside before following the rest on deck. He’d learned long ago not to question his impulses, and it had saved his life more than once.
“The lights!” Digger said.
Kevin and Felipe flicked on the large spotlights and scanned the waters. It wasn’t long before the light flickered on something pale in the water.
“Put it back.” Digger pointed. “Put it back over there.”
Felipe followed orders and swung the light back around. What it illuminated made everyone freeze in shock. A pale, naked man was floating facedown in the water.
“How—” Hook started but then he let off with a cry when Digger dove into the water. The sudden motion jerked everyone into action. More lights were turned on and directed at the motionless man and their captain, who swam straight and sure through the dark night waters. Jewel dashed below to grab blankets while Angie threw a rescue donut attached to a rope into the water. Kevin and Felipe kept the lights trained on their captain.
Digger quickly reached the man and flipped him over, slipping an arm under his chin. He turned back to the boat, thankful it was summer and he was at the surface. The temperature was mild but carting the dead weight of the man through the water taxed him. How long had the man been in the water? And why the hell was he naked? Digger gripped the donut and watched Angie and Felipe pull on the rope, reeling them both in. He hadn’t thought before he dove into the water. One minute he’d been on the deck and the next the sensation of swimming in inky black water with the unknown lurking beneath made him grimace in agitation. He gritted his teeth, trying not to dwell on the fact that the man in his arms wasn’t breathing.
Digger’s entire crew helped drag him and the naked man onto the boat. He shivered as a wind rose up and accepted the blanket Jewel draped over his shoulders. Angie wrapped the rest around the man before she bent to give him CPR. She managed to give him only one breath before his eyes popped open and he began coughing and gagging. Angie rolled him onto his side as he sucked in air, and Digger closed his eyes, taking a deep breath. Thank God.
Soaking wet and shivering slightly, Digger pulled the blanket tighter around his shoulders and could only ride the wave of relief that flooded inside him. It had been a while since he’d saved anyone’s life, and this hadn’t even been in a war. Just an odd, random occurrence.
“Sarge?” Hook gripped his shoulder.
Digger grunted before opening his eyes. He considered the man who was now sitting up, wrapped tightly in several blankets. Jewel and Angie each had a shoulder and were rubbing his back and arms. The man wasn’t very old, if Digger was any judge. He couldn’t have been past his midtwenties, and Digger remembered his body had been slender, his skin cold. And where the hell had he come from?
The spotlights glared off pale skin that had a strange, almost translucent quality, and Digger gave a start when he realized the man’s hair was silver. Not blond, not gray, but freaking silver. How was that even possible?
Then the man opened his eyes and a sharp black gaze met Digger’s. A zing of familiarity pinged inside Digger before quickly fading. There was no reason for it; he’d never seen this man in his life. He wasn’t a forgettable one. The man continued to stare at Digger though, breathing heavily, shivering now and then. Digger couldn’t read what was in those black eyes but he was intrigued despite himself.
“Can you tell us your name?” Jewel asked.
The man jerked slightly at her voice and glanced at her. Digger looked away, realizing his gaze had been held captive. Mentally cursing himself an old fool, Digger struggled to his feet. Hook grabbed his arm to steady him.
The man turned back to watch him, a puzzled expression on his face.
“My name is Reef.” His smooth voice was pleasant to hear.
Digger raised an eyebrow.
“Reef?” Angie scoffed. “What sort of pansy name is that?”
“Angie!” Jewel scolded.
“Calls them like I sees them.” She stood and walked below decks.
Reef watched her go and Digger thought he looked amused rather than insulted.
“I’m sorry, Reef,” Jewel said, continuing to rub his back. “She’s a foul person on her best days.”
Reef shrugged. “It’s my name and I like it. No one else has to.”
Digger smiled. “Good sentiment for most things in life.”
Reef returned his attention to Digger, and Digger realized he wanted it to stay there. Old fool. What would a young buck want with you? You’re twice his age!
“Where’s your boat, kid?” Hook demanded. “Your clothes? One would think you’d just bubbled up from the depths.”
For a moment a look of panic seemed to cross Reef’s face but then it was gone, and his expression was smooth and unaffected. Digger wondered if he’d imagined it.
“Give it a rest, Hook,” Jewel said as she started to help Reef to his feet. “Hasn’t he been through enough? Are you hungry, Reef? Thirsty?”
“I’m fine. I just—” He suddenly gripped his head and wobbled. Digger found himself by Reef’s side, supporting him as Jewel was doing. His own blanket fluttered to the deck as his focus centered entirely on Reef.
“Sarge, don’t you think we deserve some answers?”
“In the morning is early enough, Hook.”
Hook scowled and part of Digger was surprised by his sudden defense of a stranger. But when Reef began to lean against him and his unique scent filled Digger’s nose, an urge to protect overcame him. The feeling intensified when he realized Reef couldn’t be taller than five feet and that, added to his slender form, made him appear fragile. Then another feeling rose up, one he hadn’t felt in years. He almost welcomed it, relieved the war hadn’t taken away his sexual drive, as it had some men’s. But most of him was wary of it as it caused him to forget his control and lower his guard.
But then Reef looked up at him, gaze steady and direct, and smiled. It wasn’t a smile of puppy dogs and kittens, but one that a shark might give potential prey. A challenging, hungry smile, and it shot a bolt of lust straight to Digger’s gut. He reassessed his initial thought that Reef was fragile. There was steel in that gaze. Unconsciously, his grip on Reef’s arm tightened, and Reef’s smile became knowing even as he looked away. With help from Jewel, they managed to get Reef below decks.

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And that’s it for now!

Who is your favorite couple in my series? Or, if you haven’t read any books yet, what’s your favorite shifting animal? Or shifter series? I’m always on the lookout for new books and series to dive into!

May dragons guard your dreams,
M.D. Grimm

You can find me at:
Website: www.mdgrimmwrites.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001710645622
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&query=md+grimm
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/md-grimm

Happy Birthday by B.D. Roca: Tattoo Stories

January 13, 2016

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Hi guys, it’s B.D. Roca here with my third and final release day post. Before I start though, don’t forget to hit the comments for a chance to win a copy of Happy Birthday!

Here’s the great Reese Dante cover:

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How do you all feel about tattoos? Do you have any? I’ve heard about tats located in some pretty wild (and painful!) places, but as you can tell from Reese’s artwork, one of the MC’s, Nick, has a very particular tattoo of a phoenix down his chest. For him it’s a marker of who he is and what he’s lived through:

…He wasn’t like a lot of the MC members. Didn’t have tats up and down his arms, neck. He hadn’t liked being publicly marked, having anything that gave others something to remember. But clothing off….

That was a different matter.

“Shit,” Jake muttered, drawing back to look at him.

The overhead light was still on, harsh. It lit the wiry, tough muscularity of Nick’s torso perfectly. He’d always been obsessed with wings, and the tattooist had suggested an angel. An eagle. Then a dragon. No go.

She’d groaned. “You’re a tough one. What else do you like besides wings?”

He’d laughed abruptly. “Closing doors.”

She’d stared at him for a moment and then nodded, done a quick, rough sketch. And so he’d gained the phoenix on his chest. Gray-scale, the thing roared and raged from below his beltline to up over his nipples, surrounded by flames, every feather and claw incredibly fine.

There were other tattoos. Ones that didn’t matter so much, one on his hip, a couple on his back.

But the phoenix—Jake traced it with a fingertip. “That’s real art.”

Nick tried not to shiver at that simple touch.

“Yeah. The inker was good. Recommended to me as being pretty damned amazing. They were right.”

Jake blinked at it and gave Nick’s face a sudden shy look. “I thought about being an artist once. Ended up in IT instead. You know, the sensible career option.”

Since Nick didn’t know shit about career options, he could only nod.

“Ignore me,” Jake muttered. “You don’t need to hear that garbage.” He bent his head and traced his tongue over Nick’s collarbone. “You taste like salt. You taste… so good.”

Those two guys have wicked hot chemistry. But as different as their backgrounds are, Jake understands Nick:

“This tattoo,” Jake muttered, now tracing the phoenix soaring over Nick’s chest. He bent, outlined it with his tongue. “It’s your life.”

The phoenix. Rising from the flames. Surviving.

Personally, I love tattoos. I think — when they’re good, they’re real art and can have an intensely personal meaning. You just have to find the right artist. And tattoo parlors always look intriguing, one way or another.

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Photocredit: Tattoo Parlour via photopin (license)

Somehow, for me, tats always go with some good thrashy rock, so I’ll finish up here with an AC/DC classic. As an Aussie, and with Happy Birthday opening on a road trip heading across the highways from Melbourne to Sydney, Highway To Hell couldn’t be more appropriate. Hit the YouTube link for a view and a retro listen! Enjoy :)

So guys, I’ve had fun over these posts talking some about the background to Happy Birthday, sharing some of the soundtrack I had playing while writing and my other obsessions… like tattoos!

In the comments section I’d love to know if you have any tats, and DID IT HURT? Cos I’ve always wanted to get a large ouroboros—a serpent devouring its own tail, a symbol of rebirth and reinvention—tattooed on my back.

No wonder I gave Nick a phoenix tattoo! So for a chance to win a copy of Happy Birthday, tell me your own tattoo stories, for better or worse ;)

My Bio: B.D. Roca spent her early years in Brisbane, in a series of crumbling old houses laced with the smell of frangipani and surrounded by the hum of cicadas. Her gran raised her on ghost stories, quirky family history, and told her to beat up anyone who gave her attitude. This was not advice she took, although it does make a certain amount of sense. It may also account for her love of tough characters with a heart of gold.

Between the old houses, feral cats, steamy heat, and history lessons, it was pure Australian gothic. She’s traveled a lot since then, but those times are still a powerful influence both on her worldview and writing.

Say hi to me here:

http://bdroca.wordpress.com
Twitter: @bd_roca
https://www.goodreads.com/BDRoca

Happy Birthday’s (short list) buy links:

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon Global

It’s also available through:

Amazon worldwide
Apple
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks

Curious about just how the story opens and haven’t read the full first chapter excerpt? Click here on the title’s link: Dreamspinner Press

 

A Scene of Hungry Love from The Couple Next Door by Rick R. Reed

January 12, 2016

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Below is an excerpt from my latest, The Couple Next Door, and it’s a scene where two lost souls—Jeremy and Shane—at last unite, under very difficult circumstances. See, Shane has been physically and emotionally abused by the man with whom he lives. Jeremy has been witness to it and has tried to be a friend, to help, to perhaps even be a savior. He’s tried to keep a respectable distance.

But the pull between these two men, as you’ll read, is just too powerful….

EXCERPT
Does my knowing the truth make me an accomplice? Does Shane knowing the truth make him an accessory after the fact to murder?

What, I ask myself for the thousandth time, have I gotten myself into? The answer comes to me in an image: Shane, smiling, the delight clear in his icy blue eyes when he first sees me. 

A man. It’s always a man. If I could learn to live without men, I’d be happy, I tell myself.

Good luck with that.

I go into the kitchen, grab some oranges and a couple of protein bars from a drawer. It’s a meager breakfast, but it’s the best I have to offer.

Knock, knock, knock and Shane opens the door. His eyes are rimmed in red. He looks as though he hasn’t slept—like me. He wears a torn and faded navy blue T-shirt and gray sweatpants. I can see the outline of his cock through the loose jersey fabric. My mind wanders away from danger, scaling other exhilarating heights.

He looks breathtaking. All I want to do is hold him, comfort him, and go from there—proceed directly to his bedroom, do not pass go. Why am I thinking of sex at such a horrible time, when he has shared with me the truth of his history? Now is the time for talk, not lovemaking. Yet the lust persists like an itch right in the center of my brain. There’s only one way to scratch it.

It’s like he’s read my mind. He takes the fruit and the protein bars from me and turns away to set them on the arm of a chair near the front door. Then he comes back to me and enfolds both of my hands in his own.

The moment is too charged with something, some kind of electric connection, for words. Talking would break the spell. The silence is delicious and weighted.

His hands are warm, verging on fiery, feverish. He tugs me toward him roughly, and before I know what’s happening, I’m in his arms. This is no friendly “hello” hug. This is an embrace born of hunger, of desperation, of an animal need for comfort. His mouth seeks mine, starving, and the merging of our lips and tongues is like some kind of communion. It’s more than passion. It’s the uniting of two lost souls.

And with the thought of lost souls, I realize why we both feel such a connection. In his famished kiss, I can feel not only his need for me but also mine for him.

We stop only long enough to turn, to head toward the bedroom. Shane never lets go of at least one of my hands. I can almost feel his need to cling, to ensure I don’t escape.

I welcome it.

He kicks the door closed, and then he’s on me like some kind of jungle cat, ripping the few clothes I wore off, scratching me in the process. I will not see the claw marks until later, until they appear red and scarlet on my flesh. I will rub them, treasuring the memory connected to them. Now, though, there is only animal want and the desire, deep-seated, for human comfort that only oblivion can provide 

We tumble on one of the two beds crammed into the room together, so hungry we can’t stop devouring the other. Not just cocks but nipples, armpits, the crooks behind knees, the tender, sensitive flesh of our thighs, the smalls of our backs. Fluid—saliva, come, tears, all flow, and we exchange them. Greedily.

He mounts me. I mount him. We are in such a haze we almost forget the condoms and the lube.

Almost.

Time stands still as we fuck. As we suck. As we wait, breathless, and do it again.

 It’s not until I am lying in Shane’s arms later, when our respiration and heartbeats have returned to some semblance of normalcy, that we speak.

 I mince no words. “Why did he do it?”

BLURB
With the couple next door, nothing is as it seems.

Jeremy Booth leads a simple life, scraping by in the gay neighborhood of Seattle, never letting his lack of material things get him down. But the one thing he really wants—someone to love—seems elusive. Until the couple next door moves in and Jeremy sees the man of his dreams, Shane McCallister, pushed down the stairs by a brute named Cole.

Jeremy would never go after another man’s boyfriend, so he reaches out to Shane in friendship while suppressing his feelings of attraction. But the feeling of something being off only begins with Cole being a hard-fisted bully—it ends with him seeming to be different people at different times. Some days, Cole is the mild-mannered John and then, one night in a bar, he’s the sassy and vivacious drag queen Vera.

So how can Jeremy rescue the man of his dreams from a situation that seems to get crazier and more dangerous by the day? By getting close to the couple next door, Jeremy not only puts a potential love in jeopardy, but eventually his very life.

BUY

Dreamspinner Press ebook http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7139

Dreamspinner Press paperback http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7140

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018TN4G6I

Amazon paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Couple-Next-Door-Rick-Reed/dp/1634766482/

AllRomance eBooks https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thecouplenextdoor-1928415-145.html

 

NOH8Rick

Rick R. Reed Biography
Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Raining Men and Caregiver have both won the Rainbow Award for gay fiction.  Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

FIND RICK

Web: http://www.rickrreed.com
Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed
E-mail: jimmyfels@gmail.com

 

 

Sometimes It Takes Getting Angry with Andrew Grey

January 11, 2016

SOMETIMES IT TAKES GETTING ANGRY

Sometimes stories grow organically from inside and others seem to spring from thin air.  An idea will spark and from that a story will grow.  The other type of story for me, stems from something I see or hear that makes me angry and really pisses me off.  Fire and Rain is that last type of story.  I was in my own home town of Carlisle, PA and saw a man curled up in the doorway of one of the downtown shops. It was after dark and I was walking in a bit of a hurry to get somewhere.  I saw the man curled up out of the weather most likely to sleep when a police vehicle pulled up and the officers got out to move the person on.   I have to admit that I probably would never have noticed the man if the police hadn’t appeared, but I did.  I saw a dark ghostly figure rise out of a jumbled heap on the tile of the store entryway.  He grumbled something and began to shuffle down the sidewalk.  The cops knew him by name and told him to head on down to the Salvation Army where there was a shelter.

The whole scene tugged at my heart and made me angry.  We live in a country with huge gas guzzling cars and people as rich as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.  Most of us have plenty of food and nice homes, cars, boats, you name it.  Yet here are people with nothing and our solution is to move them to a shelter where they’ll be out of sight and out of mind.  Sorry for the preaching, but this gets to me.   Anyway, out of that scene came the idea for Jos and once I got to know him, he informed me that he has a young brother, surprise… surprise.  I never saw that one coming.

That set the basic scene for the start of Fire and Rain.   From there I learned what a hard long road it was for someone to make it from living on the streets being able to rebuild their lives and that it takes determination and the help of a lot of people who are willing to spend the time and give support and care.  Each of my stories touch my heart in some way, and they all have a happy ending, even if the road to get there can be curvy to get out.  But for me, this particular story, while it has a happy ending, also ends in a kind of social triumph for Jos and Isaac.

 

Check out Fire and Rain today!

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Finding Inspiration in A Kind of Truth with Lane Hayes – Post + Giveaway

January 9, 2016

Finding Inspiration in A Kind of Truth

New York City is one of those special places that offers seemingly endless inspiration. Famous landmarks, world-class restaurants, eclectic neighborhoods and hands down, some of the best people-watching in the world! For any writer, it’s a must. I could sit on a park bench in Central Park or in a SoHo café all day and never get tired of listening to the different dialects and observing the diverse crowds.  People rushing to work in designer coats and fashionable boots or tourists in sensible walking shoes carrying selfie sticks. I can hear Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” and I swear I believe it when he sings, “if I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”

That’s exactly how Rand O’Malley feels when he lands in Manhattan with two buddies and a big dream to take the music world by storm. A Kind of Truth pays homage to the brave souls who are willing to set fear aside to aim for the loftiest of aspirations. Rand is one of those guys. He’s willful, wild hearted, cocky and supremely confident that his band, Spiral, has what it takes to make it to the big time. Well… once he finds a reliable guitarist. Details that make most people stop and reconsider their motivation or sanity don’t stop Rand from taking chances and making wild leaps of faith.

I’ve been asked a few times if I’m like any of the characters I’ve written. I can say with the utmost sincerity, I am nothing like Rand, though I wish I was. Lol! I love being around people who exude a palpable energy and seem more vibrant when they’re engaging in the world around them rather than observing. Writers are generally consummate voyeurs. You might find me sitting on that park bench, but Rand wouldn’t last long enough for his latte to cool before he’d jump up to move on to the next location.

A Kind of Truth was an absolute joy to write. I loved setting book one of my newest series in my favorite U.S. city. I’ve made a point to visit NYC a couple times a year over the last decade or so. It was helpful to have a visceral understanding of the streets Rand and Will walked, the food they ate and the music they’re passionate about. Moreover, I loved these characters. Rand’s relentless energy and sense of humor contrasted well with Will’s serious nature. If you’ve read any of my previous books, you may have guessed this is an “opposites attract” story. The rock star and the geek. Ahh… it never gets old!

This is ultimately a story about finding your truth beyond the thrill of attaining a goal. It’s about the things we give away in order to achieve the impossible. And making room for what we learn we can’t live without to find our own kind of truth.

Giveaway Opportunity!

Travel is a huge inspiration to me. NYC is definitely number one on my list of places I love to visit. It’s followed closely by San Francisco, Washington DC, London and Paris. Do you see a trend? I’m a city girl! Walking through a crowd city and soaking up the sights and sounds is absolute heaven! I’d like to giveaway 2 $10 gift cards to Dreamspinner Press.  For a chance to win, all you have to do is name your favorite place and why you love it.  For example… I love Manhattan. It’s a walkable city with tons to do and see. Central Park is an absolute must. Here’s a picture of the park I took on my last visit in November. Gorgeous!

 

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Thank you so much for stopping by today! I’ll be checking in often to say hello, so please be sure to leave comments!

Happy Reading!

Lane Hayes xo

 

A Kind of Truth is available now! In English & German (Die Wahrheit, die ich meine…)
Dreamspinner Press:

A Kind of Truth

Die Wahrheit, die ich meine…

Amazon

Contact the Author:

Lane’s Blog: http://lanehayes.wordpress.com

Twitter:  LaneHayes3

Facebook:  LaneHayesauthor or Lane Hayes

Email:  lanehayes@ymail.com or lanehayes3@gmail.com

 

*Here’s an inspiration pic of Rand, by the way ☺.  Swoon…

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Life’s a Zoo with Meg Harding – Post + Giveaway

January 6, 2016

Life's a Zoo

Hi all. I’m Meg Harding and my novella Fixer-Upper comes out today. Dakota and Jake’s story originally started as a much shorter anthology submission, that I then extended by about ten thousand words and submitted on its own. Despite the holiday timing, it’s not about Christmas or even New Years. But it is about new beginnings, so the new year is a fitting time for Fixer-Upper’s release.

I don’t know how many of you have seen Frozen—I’ll admit I’ve only seen it once—but there’s a song in it about the guy being a bit of a fixer-upper. I’d forgotten about the song, until one of my friends who was attending a wedding mentioned that the bridesmaids wanted to dance to this song in regards to the groom. I thought that was a little mean, but the idea of a fixer-upper stuck with me. But I wanted to twist it a little.

People on a whole tend to see themselves as fixer-uppers, and the house in this story is a metaphor for how Jake feels about himself. But Dakota, who is doing a large part of the fixing of the house, doesn’t view Jake as in need of a fix. He’s not waiting for Jake to change. He’s waiting for Jake to realize that he’s a-okay. He wants Jake to be comfortable with himself. I like the idea that Dakota doesn’t view Jake as something that is broken, but that he accepts and is willing to work with the fact that Jake does. It’s not his job to make Jake see the truth—that’s something Jake has to do on his own—though he can help him. This is a bit of a slow burn as far as things go, and that’s important to the story. Dakota is very careful of Jake.

One of the biggest influences on me for this particular story was the idea of meet uglies. I didn’t want characters who met in a cute way, where everything went to plan before the bumps appeared. I wanted to explore characters overcoming awkwardness and embarrassment because they kept making mistakes. I liked the idea of a character falling in love with someone because they messed up, because they were unintentionally a little hazardous. Throughout the beginning of the story, Jake has a series of accidents that all lead to less than desirable results for Dakota. This was partly influenced by my own experience—in that I’m as awkward as awkward gets. If I’m trying to flirt, or impress someone, chances are I’m going to end up falling on my face. Jake’s got my inability to look competent in the face of an audience in spades.

In the majority of the things I write, I like to slide my own interests in. If you’ve read any of my past titles, you’ve seen mentions of Sherlock Holmes, Marvel, LOTR, etc. This story isn’t an exception. The first date Dakota and Jake go on is to a zoo, which may seem like a not very adult date type of thing. But it’s literally my idea of a perfect date. I LOVE zoos. I spent the last year living abroad, and I tried to go to a zoo in every country I visited. It’s important to me that somehow, someway, animals are included in my stories. There’s even a majestically named puppy that appears at the end (yet another interest of mine popping up). But back to the zoos. This scene was very much inspired by the zoos I’ve been to in the last year, and the frankly amazing things I’ve seen.

So here’s some pictures I took that can help you picture just what these two were marveling at.

 

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Now, for the fun part. A giveaway! Want to win a copy of one of my previous books with Dreamspinner? Comment below to let me know what your best first date was and one person will win a backlist title of their choice!

 

You can find me at:

WordPress / Twitter / Facebook / Dreamspinner / Google + / Amazon / Goodreads

Check out Fixer-Upper by Meg Harding – out today!

 

Stay Focused, Live Free with Evan Gilbert – Post + Giveaway

December 30, 2015

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Greetings, all. This is Evan Gilbert, here for the release today of
my novella Eyes on Sparrow.

 

People and events in my own life often provide the spark that drives my fiction writing. Several months ago, I casually mentioned to a friend that I wanted to do another gay romantic story involving blue collar men. This friend has a fetish for construction workers and suggested (demanded, actually) that I include at least one in my new endeavor. That inspired the creation of Kele Smith, the sexy young Native American man who becomes a teasing object of desire while building a house. Originally, I was going to pair him off with an older construction worker. That changed when a cousin of mine graduated from high school in May. I asked her what she planned to do next, and she explained that she would be attending the college her parents chose, as well as pursuing the course of study they selected for her. Her interests, she further explained, lie elsewhere, but her parents were footing the bill, so what could she do?

 

I don’t usually stick my nose where it doesn’t belong, but I went to my aunt and uncle on my cousin’s behalf and told them she really wanted a different career than the one they were pushing her into. They told me my cousin had been directionless her entire time in high school and was still directionless, which is why they made the choices they did for her. I couldn’t get them to see that their daughter’s perceived lack of aim had more to do with their always leading her by the hand while she was growing up rather than stepping back and letting her do her own thing.

 

The discussions with my cousin, aunt, and uncle caused the character Morgan Breck to spring into the story. Newly graduated from high school, he’s a young man who has never asserted his independence, even sublimating his sexuality to the will of his parents. Religious themes worked their way in with Morgan and his parents, which led to Kele getting the “Sparrow” nickname. I wanted to use a title that played off the old gospel hymn “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”

 

Here we are on the cusp of a brand new year, a time for making bold decisions, changing direction, taking chances and taking control. Is there something you’ve wanted to do with your life but haven’t for some reason?  Have you decided to make a leap of faith in the coming year? Leave a comment with your resolutions, or share your thoughts on living freely and independently. After seventy-two hours, all commenters will be entered into a drawing and the winner gets to select an eBook from my backlist.

 

Thanks for reading, and all the best to you in 2016.

 

Get your copy of Eyes on Sparrow here!

 

Winners from There You Are Release Party

December 25, 2015

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MERRY CHRISTMAS to all who celebrate! And thank you to everyone who joined me for the There You Are Release party yesterday. It was a fun way to spend Christmas Eve.

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Dreamspinner   Amazon   All Romance   Barnes&Noble   Apple   Kobo   Google Play

And remember that Dreamspinner is having a great holiday 25% off sale through 12/28!

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And now… drum roll please… the three winners of a CJane Elliott ebook of your choice are…

LOUISE

DALE

H.B.

Please be in touch with hayley@dreamspinnerpress.com and she will get you your free ebook. It can be this new release or any of my other ebooks, including one of my novels.

THANKS ALL… AND HAPPY READING!

There You Are Release Party – Wrap Up, Giveaway Reminder, and Upcoming Events

December 24, 2015

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Before we end the There You Are party today, I wanted to mention two other novellas relevant to There You Are. Wild and Precious is Book One of the series. And Alex Harrison from Mercury in Retrograde makes a cameo appearance toward the end of There You Are in a scene at the same river rafting lodge featured in that story.

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Also, I’m excited to say that Wild and Precious is being made into an audiobook with a great narrator, KC Kelly.

Future writing plans: Book Three of the Wild and Precious series is under contract and will be released in May/June 2016. This one features Sandy, Phineas’s nephew, and is titled Sand-Man’s Family.

There You Are Buy LinksDreamspinner   Amazon   All Romance   Barnes&Noble   Apple   Kobo   Google Play

Remember that Dreamspinners is having a 25% off sale for the whole store through December 28!

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ALL THIS AND A BLOG TOUR TOO!

I have an exciting There You Are blog tour lined up with giveaways and intriguing interview questions, so I hope you’ll join me at these tour stops:

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GIVEAWAY: I will announce the giveaway winners tomorrow. Three people will be chosen at random from all who commented today on any of the blog posts. There’s still time to leave a comment and win a chance at a free ebook of mine, your choice.

Thank you for joining me today, and happy reading!

There You Are Release Party #6 – Sexy Excerpt feat. a Jealous Cody

December 24, 2015

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For the last post, how about some heat? Cody, being bisexual, is completely attracted to both the masculine and feminine qualities of Phineas. As we saw in the last excerpt, he finds Phineas as Phanny a huge turn on.

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This excerpt comes several months into their relationship after another Phanny Hill performance at Janelle’s. Cody is beginning to struggle with jealousy and goes a bit caveman on the guys who are swarming around Phanny in the lobby. He retreats to the dressing room to wait for her.

EXCERPT

Ten minutes later, Phinney, aka Phanny, came into the dressing room where Cody had holed up. No one was around at the moment, although there’d been a near-constant stream of queens coming in and out.

Cody jumped up, prepared to apologize for his caveman act in the lobby, his stomach doing a flip at the way Phineas was advancing on him in all his Phanny Hill glory, something dangerous flashing in her eyes. “Phinney, I—”

“Wait.” She—for he could only see Phanny in this moment—pushed the dressing room door so that it was almost closed, then shoved Cody up against the wall, her ruby-red talons digging into his shoulder. Cody grunted in surprise when she used her other hand to grip his cock through his jeans. A wave of her perfume tickled his nose and he hardened to the point of pain. God, she was glorious, her glittered breasts peeking out of her low-cut bodice, her big brown eyes framed by the false eyelashes. She unsnapped his pants and he found it difficult to breathe, even more so when she pulled down his zipper ever so slowly.

The hotness of the moment was enhanced by the door not being fully shut. Cody could hear people walking by and talking as she finally slid her hand under his briefs and took hold of his cock.

God, yes.

She looked up then, pinning him with a seductive glance, her ruby lips curved in a knowing smile. “You like?” she asked huskily, then licked those sultry lips.

“Um-hmm,” he rasped, unable to tear his eyes away from her mouth and that pink tongue. His cock twitched under her hand.

“You’re such a bad boy, scaring away all my men. I think I should punish you, hmm?” she purred, giving him a stroke for emphasis. “But I’d rather reward you, because that was smoking hot.”

“Ok-kay.”

“What do you want? And ask nicely. Phanny’s a lady, you know.”

Cody felt the room spinning as he tried to get out the words, the world having narrowed to the smell of her perfume, the feeling of her warm fingers on him. “Will you… please… suck me?”

****

I think I’ll be a tease and stop here! Thank you for helping me celebrate the release of my new book. I’ll be back in a bit with a wrap-up post.

There You Are Buy Links: Dreamspinner   Amazon   All Romance   Barnes&Noble   Apple   Kobo   Google Play

Question: Easygoing Cody finds himself jealous for the first time in his life and he doesn’t like the feeling.  Have you ever been jealous in a relationship? I have!

GIVEAWAY: Make sure you comment because three people who comment during the There You Are  Release Party today will win a CJane Elliott ebook of their choice. You can leave a comment any time. I’ll be checking throughout the day!