Paris in the Springtime with Ariel Tachna

March 14, 2016

Who doesn’t love Paris?  And Paris in the spring may be my favorite season. Rather than try to put into words things that defy explanation, I thought you might enjoy seeing some pictures of just why I love it so much.

IMG_1461

This isn’t any special street. It’s actually right up the street from our hotel, but turn your head and suddenly you’re staring at the Eiffel Tower.

 

IMG_1464

 

Or at other pieces of interesting architecture. Notice the tile design on the roof line of the curved turret.

IMG_1465

 

This one goes to show one of my favorite things about France. Old buildings aren’t torn down. They’re repurposed for a new and different use.

 

Okay, enough architecture. How about some spring pictures…?

 

IMG_1549

IMG_1469

IMG_1556

IMG_1529

 

Not every day is beautiful in Paris, but even the dreary ones are dramatic.

 

IMG_1481

 

And if you get really lucky, you get sunsets like these.IMG_1484

 

And if you know the right people, you might even get…

 

IMG_1491

Lambs! (Okay, so that one doesn’t have anything to do with Paris, but it is in France in the spring and it was too cute not to share.)

Now that I’ve spammed you with pictures, you’re probably wondering what that has to do with At Your Service. Anthony has the chance to visit Paris in the spring as part of his job, and the last day he’s there is one much like I had when I took the first set of pictures (along with the hundred others I didn’t make you look at). He and Paul, a native Parisian, spend the day in the city doing their best to avoid tourist spots. They wander the residential streets and an out-of-the-way park and bask in the glory of Paris.

IMG_1478

 

Excerpt:

“What a perfect day!” Anthony said as they climbed the stairs to street level at their destination. “I’m not sure I’ve ever been in Paris on a day like this.”

“Have you ever been in Paris in the spring?” Paul asked. “Because this is not unusual for this time of year.”

“No, it’s either been in the summer when it was hot and not a breath of air to be found in the city or in the winter when it was cold and gray. Before I came in the summer the first time, I used to joke that the pictures on the postcards with blue skies behind the monuments were staged, with a huge blue cloth hung behind the buildings. I’d seen the buildings, but never the blue sky.”

“Then I’m glad we decided to spend the day outside,” Paul said. “You can visit the museums on cold, rainy winter days or the hot summer ones when you have to escape to somewhere with air-conditioning.”

“I’ve done plenty of escaping both kinds of weather, but not today. Come on. I want to see the park.”

“Let’s find food first. We can carry it with us until we’re ready to eat, but otherwise we’d have to come back out of the park when we get hungry,” Paul suggested, although the eagerness on Anthony’s face made him want to hurry so he could see Anthony’s reaction to the park. He didn’t come all the way across town often, but he had attended a cousin’s wedding several years ago and remembered well the manicured lawns and ornate stonework of the follies. They could easily spend hours wandering through the park, and this way they could do it undisturbed.

They found a charcuterie nearby and stocked up on ham and thinly sliced sausage, and the bakery next door netted them two baguettes to share. They walked back to the main entrance of the park through the wrought-iron gates tipped with gold leaf. “Even away from the center of town, everything is so ornate,” Anthony commented.

 

Blurb:

When Anthony Mercer walked into Au cœur du terroir, he was looking for good food and a pleasant evening spent with a friend. He never expected to meet—and sleep with—Paul Delescluse, a waiter at the restaurant. After spending a magical week together in Paris, Anthony must return to his life in North Carolina, while Paul remains in France.

Despite the distance and the lack of promises between them—Paul wants sex, not a relationship—Paul and Anthony forge a solid friendship. Then Anthony’s job takes him back to Paris, this time to stay. Paul is thrilled to have him back, but Anthony has a harder choice: be another of Paul’s conquests or fight for the relationship he knows they could have, if only Paul would believe it.

Still with me? Awesome! Share a picture of springtime in your favorite place to be entered to win a copy of At Your Service!

 

About Ariel:

ariel bio pic

When Ariel Tachna was twelve years old, she discovered two things: the French language and romance novels. Those two loves have defined her ever since. By the time she finished high school, she’d written four novels, none of which anyone would want to read now, featuring a young woman who was—you guessed it—bilingual. That girl was everything Ariel wanted to be at age twelve and wasn’t.

She now lives on the outskirts of Houston with her husband (who also speaks French), her kids (who understand French even when they’re too lazy to speak it back), and their two dogs (who steadfastly refuse to answer any French commands).

Visit Ariel:

Website: www.arieltachna.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ArielTachna

E-mail: arieltachna@gmail.com

 

Buy At Your Service in eBook or print

GRL or GayRomLit: If You’re Going, Here are Some Ideas on How to Tell Folks Where You’re Going

March 12, 2016

grl_logo_0imgres

Since today is the day registration opens for GRL, I thought this post was appropriate. It’s also appropriate as talking points for telling people why you love gay romance.

I once overheard some people talking about what they tell friends and family about their attendance at GRL, a retreat, as we all know, for lovers of gay romance. For a reason that’s alien to me, some of the people I overheard felt the need to not be totally open about the event they were attending. As a gay man who’s been out of the closet now almost more years than he was in, the secrecy is a bit hard to understand, but I guess there are still people out there who A. care what someone else thinks about how they spend their off time or B. there are people (like, say, maybe a teacher at a parochial grade school) who knows their association with ‘gay’ literature might be frowned upon.

Whatever the reason, I offer the following to help you decide what to say when people ask you about where you’re going and what you’ll be doing when you attend GRL.

For the straight folks in your life who have never heard of m/m romance

Now, for those of you who are open about where you’re going and people who don’t know your tastes in reading ask something like, “Gay romance? Why gay romance? You’re not gay, are you?” This is such a silly question, as if we have to confine our reading tastes to only who we are. Reading a book with African-American characters and you’re white? Why? Reading a story that’s about aliens from Mars and you’re not one? Why on Earth?

When you put it that way, you begin to see what a silly question it is. It would be like me, as a gay man, saying I don’t read stories with straight characters. I’m not straight, so how could a book about straight people possibly interest me?

Because I’m human! Because we’re all human! And our needs, desires, hopes, aspirations, and despair do not divide us; they unite us.

If someone wonders why you read m/m, you might clue them in that, in the end, you like reading about people falling in love. People. And then you might use the opportunity to tell them what’s so wonderful and different about m/m romance and why it makes sense not only for you to read, but why it also might make sense for them to step out of their comfort zone and give it a try.

For the gay folks in your life who wonder why m/m romance and not just gay fiction

And here, it gets a little trickier. I heard someone say on Facebook recently that m/m romance is by and for straight women and that gay romance is by and for gay men. Putting aside the inanity of trying to classify who reads and writes love stories, you still might have to talk to gay friends about what they might perceive as reading in a genre that’s not gender-appropriate for you, especially if you happen to be a gay man. Again, the same thing I said above applies–we’re all human. And human love stories, whether they’re about gay people or straight people, have a lot more in common than they have differences. Most of us want to find our happily ever after. Most of us have trouble getting there and may even have the misfortune of kissing a few frogs that did not turn into princes along the way. M/m, gay fiction, gay romance (my personal preference) whatever you want to call it, if it centers around two people falling in love, then it’s blind to gender and you really don’t have to defend your reading choices. Tell them that…and tell them that reading or writing about love is about our shared human experience and has very little to do with what’s between our legs, but what’s between our ears. And we all have that in common.

What to tell those who simply cannot know

So you may fall into the camp of someone, for whatever reason, must keep your attendance at a gay-related event on the down-low. I wish the world weren’t a place where this was sometimes necessary, but if it is in your case, you have lots of options (and these you can say without even lying). Tell ‘em you’re attending a fan convention for fiction, a romance convention, a get-together with other readers like you to compare notes and meet your favorite authors. See, the specifics are nobody’s business but your own. Yet, I urge you, if you possibly can, to be open about where you’re going. Come out of the closet! You might be surprised that people are not as judgmental or surprised as you think. And by being open, you bring the possibility of the good news of m/m fiction more out into the world at large.

What to tell people if you’re an author

I can only speak for me, and the answer to that question is easy. I come because I want to connect with my tribe. For each of the four years I’ve been coming to GRL as a featured author, my experience is always the same: it’s like a family reunion. It’s a chance, for almost a week, to be with the people I write for, the people who ‘get’ me and I them, and to connect with others who write what I do and be go fan boy on them. It’s truly a retreat…into a perfect world where everyone likes the same stuff as I do. I am not big on swag or giveaways. My best giveaway, I’ve always thought, is a smile and a hug. Those are the things that give me my biggest return.

And speaking of gay romance

BigLove

What I think of as my best gay romance–BIG LOVE–comes out on April 4. But you can preorder you copy in ebook here or in paperback here right now!

BLURB

Teacher Dane Bernard is a gentle giant, loved by all at Summitville High School. He has a beautiful wife, two kids, and an easy rapport with staff and students alike. But Dane has a secret, one he expects to keep hidden for the rest of his life—he’s gay.

But when he loses his wife, Dane finally confronts his attraction to men. And a new teacher, Seth Wolcott, immediately catches his eye. Seth himself is starting over, licking his wounds from a breakup. The last thing Seth wants is another relationship—but when he spies Dane on his first day at Summitville High, his attraction is immediate and electric.

As the two men enter into a dance of discovery and new love, they’re called upon to come to the aid of bullied gay student Truman Reid. Truman is out and proud, which not everyone at his small town high school approves of. As the two men work to help Truman ignore the bullies and love himself without reservation, they all learn life-changing lessons about coming out, coming to terms, acceptance, heartbreak, and falling in love.

 

NOH8Rick

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). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. 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:

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RickReedWRITER
Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/
Website: www.rickrreed.com
Email: jimmyfels@gmail.com

 

 

Once Upon a Time… with Rowan Speedwell

March 10, 2016

ONCE UPON A TIME...

Hi, I’m Rowan Speedwell, and I’m delighted to announce that my novella Night and Day is being re-released by Dreamspinner. I hope that y’all are as happy as me, because I love yez and want you to be happy! So sit back and I’ll tell you a little story….

 

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who looooved fairy tales, and started studying history so she could find out where and when those beautiful castles were… only to find out that the only fairy castles in the world were built by a crazy man named Ludwig of Bavaria barely more than two hundred years ago. But that was okay, because by then the little girl had discovered that the stories history told were much more interesting than fairy tales.

In her pursuit – she was literally the only person who received a Master’s degree in the Department of Humanities, Division of History from the University of Chicago in 1981 (everyone else was in the Social Studies department, blech) – she learned about culture and art and science and philosophy and music and literature and all the good stuff, not just dates and places and names. And she learned about mythology, and how the true stories of mythology – particularly Greek mythology – told you more about the people and places and times as any dull ol’ Social Studies book (blech).

Particularly when she graduated from Edith Hamilton’s Mythology to Bulfinch’s Mythology, and then stuff got really good. The things those gods got up to!

Night and Day plays with the gods, although the names have been changed to protect the innocent – assuming we can find any. It’s based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. I don’t know if you know that story, but basically it’s this: Orpheus was a brilliant musician, who Apollo and Dionysus, both gods of music, fought over because each wanted him to be their worshipper. Apollo won out, but Dionysus (or Bacchus, if you know that one better) wasn’t going to let the insult go. Ain’t that just like a god? Sheesh. Anyway, the only thing Orpheus loved more than music was his wife Eurydice. Sadly, she died, and was taken away to Hades. Orpheus went after her, because you apparently can do that sort of thing in mythology, and was brought before Hades himself and his own wife Persephone. He played for them and the music was so beautiful the two promised him anything he wanted, so of course he asked for Eurydice back.

But there was a catch. (Usually is with these god guys.) He had to lead her out of Hades (Hades being both the place and the god, as anyone who’s seen Disney’s Hercules would know) but couldn’t look at her. So he did, and just as he stepped out of the tunnel from Hades, she stumbled and cried out, and he looked at her instinctively – but she was still in the tunnel, still in Hades, and so she faded back into the darkness.

Poor Orpheus went mad with grief, wandering the wild places. And Dionysus’s groupies, a bunch of crazy women called Maenads, who ran around drunk on Dionysus’s grapes (he was also the god of wine) wearing animal skins and eating raw bunnies, came upon him and tore him apart. There may have been cannibalism involved. So Dionysus got his revenge.

Of course Nate Pederowski is a tougher character. He’s survived the First World War and the loss of his lover, and the loss of his career and family and pretty much all illusions he might have still had. But unlike Orpheus, the music keeps him going. And just because there’s some strange stuff going on in the Starlight Lounge, it doesn’t mean he’s going to give up. Even if his new lover has a tendency to catch fire in sunlight, and a local gangster is trying to lure him away, and the clubfooted chef has a volcanic temper, and people around Nate are just a little bit weird. But he gets by and even starts to see a future…

Until he meets the Maenads…

(Insert evil laugh here.)

And maybe, maybe, we might find ourselves at the Starlight again someday. Because I love me some myths and magic.

What’s your favorite myth? And why?

Email: rowan.speedwell@gmail.com
Twitter: @rowanspeedwell
Facebook: Rowan Speedwell
Website: www.rowanspeedwell.com

Check out Night and Day here!

NightandDayFS

Blurb: 

Nate Pederowski is about as far down as he can go when he’s tipped to a job as a singer in a speakeasy. Dishonorably discharged for being queer, broke and homeless during the Great Depression, Nate is embittered and lonely. The club’s handsome owner, Rick Bellevue, and his sister Corinna are wowed by Nate’s voice and offer him the job.

But the Starlight Lounge is much more than an ordinary supper club, and Rick and his sister much more than just the owners. It’s not ’til Nate gets caught up in a gangster’s plot that he discovers just what secrets they’re hiding. Nate’s life is going to change in ways he can scarcely imagine, let alone believe.

 

Ancient Greek Mythology Meets Hot Gay Sex with Arthur Griffin

March 9, 2016

Ancient Greek Mythology

What up, fellow fans of all things M/M!

My name’s Arthur Griffin, and I’m taking over the Dreamspinner Press Blog today for a totally boss reason: my erotic novella, The Lusty Adventures of Theseus, is being released today!

As an ardent fan of two dudes doing the ol’ bone dance (especially when I’m one of said dudes), I guess it seems only fitting I would eventually try my hand at writing erotica. That plus the fact that I’m, like, a HUGE nerd means it’s no real surprise that the story is set in the magical world of Greek mythology.

Ever since I was a little kid, I loved Greek mythology. For one thing, it always seemed pretty naughty to me. Everyone was hooking up and no one was wearing a lot of clothing. I know, sign me up, right?

But the other real reason was all the fantasy-esque tropes. Gods! Witches! Magic weapons! Studly heroes riding winged horses! That stuff is SO my jam. I was all about it as a little kid, and I’m all about it as a grown-ass man.

For you hardcore Greek myth fans out there, rest assured that Lusty Adventures sticks very close to the script of the original legend, just with, you know, a lot more descriptions of male genitalia. I mean, I take some artistic license with the story, like making King Minos of Crete an orgy-happy psycho, but most of it is pretty true to its source.

The biggest change I made to the story is the addition of male nymphs. Why male nymphs? Well, I wanted there to be a race that was basically the elves from Lord of the Rings, and nymphs, which are always kind of ambiguously described, seemed like a good fit.

All right, look, the truth is I wanted to explore my erotic fascination with Legolas, all right? Congratulations, you got me. Blame young Orlando Bloom. It’s his fault.

If you enjoy The Lusty Adventures of Theseus, guess what? There’ll be more where that came from! After all, there’s a whole lot of source material to tap into. Next on the horizon is The Lusty Journey of Perseus, aka the horniest, randiest, penis-full-iest version of Clash of the Titans you’ll ever read.

And that, my friends, is a solemn vow.

Now, for those of you who prefer romance over erotica, I do try to endow my stories with some actual emotional stuff. Any story that makes you laugh, cry, and get turned on is a win in my book, so that’s what I’m hoping you’ll get from mine.

There’s actually two love stories in Lusty Adventures, and I’m pretty proud of the emotional payoff for both of them. One is between Theseus and his lover, Pirithous (which is a legit mythological relationship), and the other features Iphitrion, a slave boy who I made up. Like I said, I stick mostly to the original myth, but it was a little shy on supporting characters, so I didn’t think padding it with some original creations would be too much of a crime.

One last thing, and I know this is maybe unusual for a M/M erotica piece, but it also actually passes the Bechdel test. For those not in the know, the Bechdel test measures how a work of fiction treats female characters by asking if there are at least two female characters who speak to each other about something other than a man. Though it’s an admittedly brief exchange, it happens in Lusty Adventures.

So, bottom line: if you like funny, sexy stories with hot naked guys, gods, satyrs, minotaurs, swordfighting, magic, and… um… I mentioned hot naked guys, right?… then you’ll love The Lusty Adventures of Theseus.

Now, as I said, I’ve always been a fan of Greek myth, and Theseus and the Minotaur has always been a special one to me. What’s your favorite myth? Let me know in the comments! It can be from anywhere and any time in the world—it doesn’t have to be Greek myth, specifically. And bonus points for mentioning how it can be turned into a hot guy-on-guy sausage fest! I’d love to hear all about it.

 

For more Arthur Griffin-y goodness, you can follow me on the interwebs!

Twitter – www.twitter.com/MrArthurGriffin

Facebook - www.facebook.com/MrArthurGriffin

Email - MrArthurGriffin@gmail.com

Check out The Lusty Adventures of Theseus today!

LustyAdventuresofTheseus[The]FS

Blurb:

The myth of Theseus and the Minotaur has never been quite this steamy!

Handsome Theseus journeys to Athens to claim his birthright as heir to the throne, and along the way he meets the roguish Pirithous, who teaches him all about matters of the heart—and body. When they reach the city, Theseus is shocked to discover that his father, the king, has a tradition of sacrificing young people to the Minotaur, the monster that inhabits the island nation of Crete.

Theseus and Pirithous, along with Iphitrion, a slave boy they befriend, set out to slay the Minotaur. After learning Crete is ruled by a mad tyrant with a fetish for orgies, Theseus puts his new skills to the test, fighting, flirting, and fornicating his way through the ranks, working his way past soldiers, satyrs, and gods alike as he attempts to accomplish his goal and save his city.

It’s a Kind of Magic with Tam MacNeil – Post + Giveaway

March 8, 2016

It's a Kind of Magic

Ever knocked on wood? Ever thrown a little salt over your shoulder? Maybe it’s because you secretly believe in magic. I grew up in a family that carefully saved the wishbones from fowl and hung horseshoes over doors (tips facing up, if you please). Grandma read tea leaves, and kept the clock that stopped the day Grandpa died. When I was growing up, as far as I was concerned, the world was full of unseen powers and the occasional charm or spell during the day was only to be expected.

The question I always asked myself (and never got answered) was who you’d call if the supernatural world got rowdy and out of control. I figured there had to be some kind of supernatural police force. Some folks who knew about monsters and gods and modern magic, who could break bad luck curses no matter where they came from, and who could prosecute the criminal elements of the unseen world.

Salt and Iron is the story of one of those families. You’ve heard of them, the same way you know about knocking on wood. They’re the van Helsing family.  Sure, they have an old Dutch name, but this branch of the family settled in the US a hundred years ago and they’re thoroughly American these days. Now it’s not just vampires, now whether it’s sidhe, Loa, or fay, a god or a monster, they hunt them all. It’s a family tradition. And they’ve got a big ol’ family secret too.

Lucky for James van Helsing, youngest son and total screw up, he doesn’t have to deal with monsters and magic alone. He’s got his best friend Gabe to lean on. So what if James is maybe super ultra in love with Gabe and can’t bear to tell him? It’s enough to have Gabe in his life, even at a distance. That is, until the monsters make Gabe one of their own.

 

Giveaway: We live in pretty rational times, but let’s face it, from horoscopes to playoff beards to lucky socks, we still believe in magic. Tell me about a magical practice you learned as a kid and where you grew up to enter to win a copy of my short story Four Alternative Christmas Presents.

 

Contact info: I write all kinds of stories, from contemporary romance (as T Neilson) to superhero stories and urban fantasy (as Tam MacNeil). If you want to keep up with my latest releases, get reading recs, read musings on plot and story structure, and if you want to know the best chocolate I’ve tasted lately, you can find me at TwitterFacebookTumblr, or, even better (because, hey, inside scoop and book giveaways!) you can sign up for my newsletter at Mailchimp. 

Check out Salt and Iron today!

SaltAndIronFS

Blurb:

James van Helsing is the youngest son of the famous monster-hunting family—and the family’s big disappointment. He’s falling in love with Gabe Marquez, his oldest friend and son of the family the van Helsings have worked alongside for years. Things get even harder for James when he becomes what he and everyone else despises most—a magic user.

He didn’t mean to evolve into such a despicable person, and he knows using magic is illegal, but there’s nothing James can do about it, no more than he can stop himself from loving Gabe. Just when things can’t seem to get worse, he and Gabe are called to help nab a network of magicians who are changing destiny. Not just any destiny, but the destinies of the van Helsing and Marquez families. James foresees a terrible fate, one in which monsters emerge from the cracks, along with his dark secret. And that’s when people start to die.

That 80s Song with Grace R. Duncan – Post + Giveaway

March 7, 2016

That 80s Song

Hello! Thank you for joining me today on the Dreamspinner blog! I’m really excited to celebrate the release of my second Forbes Mates book, Patience, with you! There’s a huge blog tour going with the release and lots of opportunities to win prizes, so be sure to keep up with the whole thing to get all of them.

This is the first stop on the Music Clues part of the blog tour. Links to all the stops can be found on my website at the blog tour page: http://www.grace-duncan.com/graces-blog/patience-blog-tour

I’m a huge music fan and when I sat down to write Patience, I’d figured out pretty quickly that Chad was, as well. Jamie’s human mate, in fact, has an almost unhealthy obsession with 80s music (and the 80s as a whole). He also has a tendency to quote (or, rather, refer to them since I didn’t want to get into copyright trouble ;) ) the songs as well.

This led me to end up with some twelve different 80s songs hinted at in the story. So, for each of the twelve songs, one of the blogs in the tour (twelve of them) will host a clue to a song as well as the answer and excerpt to another of the songs. There’s no order to it, I used a (probably faulty) twelve-sided die to decide the order. The Rafflecopter below will have an entry to the big giveaway for each of the twelve clues.

For today, I’d like to offer up one of the answers first, then we’ll get to the clue to another farther down.

The song is Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds from the 1985 film, The Breakfast Club. I admit the clue is a tough one, but hopefully you got it before finding the answer here!

You can see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdqoNKCCt7A

And the excerpt from Patience:

A few minutes later, they both had fresh drinks and Chad’s laptop set up across their two tray tables. Chad opened up a folder of movies and glanced over. “Ever seen The Breakfast Club?

Jamie shook his head. “Is this another eighties thing?”

Chad grinned. “Only the penultimate in eighties movies. John Hughes—the director—is legendary for teen angst movies during the eighties, and Breakfast Club is, like, the top from him.”

Jamie chuckled. “All right. Go ahead.”

They put their headphones on and Chad clicked Play. Jamie recognized the song that started as one he’d heard on Chad’s Pandora station a number of times. He grinned at the screen, whispering along to the lyric about not forgetting. He only remembered a few of the lines, but Chad, of course, was mouthing along with the whole thing.

He got lost in the movie, surprised to find himself thoroughly enjoying it. It wasn’t that he didn’t like comedies, he’d just never seen himself as an ’80s teen angst fan. He actually had to stop himself from whistling along when the students did. He slapped a hand over his mouth a few times to keep from laughing out loud. And when Bender pumped his fist as he crossed the football field at the end, Jamie did too, right along with Chad.

 

And the next clue is here:

“Sammy Hagar’s voice came through the speakers, complaining about driving slow…”

For twelve of the stops on the tour, there will be a clue (the reference) to one of the songs and an answer with excerpt for one of the other songs. You can see which blogs are participating on the blog tour page above.

Each tour stop will have an individual prize as well as an entry into the grand prize.  Good luck! And thanks for participating!

Follow tour here.

Blurb:

Jamie Ryan was almost ready to accept he’d never find his destined mate. They’re uncommon to begin with and same-sex versions downright rare. Since his gay best friend found a destined mate, Jamie figured he was out of luck. Until end of semester stress forces him to go through the full-moon shift early. Stuck in wolf form, he runs into none other than his destined mate. Who’s human.

Chad Sutton has always had good instincts. They served him well as a detective and continued on when he went private. Those instincts tell him there’s something about the dog that comes up to him while running away from animal control that isn’t quite right. He works to put the pieces together, but is unsuccessful until his dog turns into a human before his eyes.

Jamie has no idea what a shifter’s mate bite will do to a human. He’s terrified to try—and possibly kill his mate. They hunt together for answers while working together on a case for Chad. It’s easy to see they belong together, but Jamie fears the gods gave him someone he can’t keep.

Buy links: Dreamspinner ◊ Amazon ◊ AReB&N ◊ Kobo

About Grace:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination.  She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble.  Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States.  She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics.  She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Find Grace here:

Website  ◊ FacebookTwitterYouTubeGoodreads

 Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Countdown to Bound, Part 3 with SJD Peterson

March 7, 2016

Over the next few weeks, join me as we catch up with old friends from Pup, Tag Team, and Pony, all leading up to the exciting conclusion of the Guards of Folsom series, Bound, coming March 14.

 

From Pony: Max and Aiden

 

KICKED BACK on the couch, feet resting on the coffee table, Aiden took a swig of his beer and looked over at Max. “My mom and dad keep asking when they are going to get to meet you.”

“I’m looking forward to meeting them,” Max responded without taking his eyes from the TV.

“I really think we should make plans when your schedule eases up a bit.”

Max nodded. “I’m good with whatever.”

Aiden turned his attention to the TV and tried to find some interest in the program, but he couldn’t. He was bored. “How can you watch this crap?” he finally asked. “You’re smart, educated, a man of the world, and you’re watching actors run around the bush acting like outlaws. It’s embarrassing.”

“Appalachian Outlaws is reality TV. You know, like real. These are not actors.”

“You’re kidding me, right?” When Max didn’t respond, only continued to stare at the ridiculous antics of the men defending their moonshine, Aiden added, “You can’t actually think this crap is real?”

“It’s entertaining to think so,” Max drawled and waved a dismissive hand at the TV. “I’d love to go running around the mountains, try living off the land.”

“Daniel Boone you are not. I don’t think you’d last past dark,” Aiden snickered.

Max clicked off the TV and tossed the remote on the coffee table before turning on the couch to better face Aiden. “Was that a jab at my manhood?”

Aiden ran his gaze appreciatively over Max’s crotch and licked his lips. “I’d never jab that. Suck, kiss, stroke, absolutely. But never jab such a fine instrument.”

“Quit trying to suck up, ’cause it’s working. Now, stop looking at my dick and answer the question. You really don’t think I would survive past dark?”

“They don’t have Internet or cell service up there on a good day. I’ve also been in your closet. Not so much as a decent pair of walking boots or shoes. If that wasn’t bad enough, your aversion to bugs makes it almost a guarantee you’ll be running in search of the first luxury hotel. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I’m just saying you’re not quite made for that kind of adventure.”

“And you are, Mr. Indiana?” Max countered.

“I grew up on a dairy farm. I’m conditioned for hard work and bugs. And shit, lots and lots of shit. You, on the other hand….”

“I, on the other hand, what?”

“I’m gonna get another beer. You want something?” Aiden pushed to his feet.

“On the other hand, what?” Max repeated, following behind Aiden.

Aiden pulled a beer from the fridge and refilled his mug. He stepped out of Max’s swatting distance before finally admitting, “You’re not cut out for labor-intensive work.”

“Is that so?” Max challenged. He stepped up close and grabbed Aiden’s hip, jerking him forward. “I’d say I can handle some very intense work. I’m man enough to ride your ass hard enough for you to tap out.”

“Apples and oranges, Max. Apple and oranges. And may I reiterate here, no bugs when you’re working me.” Max was a madman when so much as a fly got inside the condo. He hated anything that swarmed, flew, or crawled if it had more than four legs. The thought of Max roughing it was pretty funny, and he couldn’t hold back the snort the idea produced.

“I do believe you’re laughing at me.” Max’s hold on Aiden’s hip tightened.

The hard hold and the growl in Max’s voice went straight to Aiden’s groin, and he rolled his hips against Max’s. “Would I do that?”

“Yes, you would, and lucky for you, I suddenly feel the urge to prove my manliness rather than spank your naughty ass.”

“Oh really? And just pray tell, how do you plan to go about that?”

Max slid his free hand around Aiden’s waist and grabbed his ass. Max leaned in and ran his tongue up the side of Aiden’s neck to the sensitive area beneath his ear.

“Hmm, I’m thinking of pushing you down to your knees and shoving my cock down your throat.” Max nipped Aiden’s earlobe, causing him to shudder and arch. “Or better yet, bending you over the island and shoving my cock up your ass would be pretty damn manly, don’t you think?”

Aiden tipped his head to the side, giving Max all the room he needed to lick and taste and nip. “I’m thinking both would show your manly prowess, so I’m good with either. Both suits me too.”

“Both, huh?”

“Uh-huh.”

“On your knees, boy.”

Aiden dropped to his knees without question as Max unbuckled his pants. The instant Max exposed his beautiful hard cock, Aiden opened his mouth and it watered in anticipation.

“Greedy little slut, aren’t you?”

“Only for you.”

“Good answer,” Max praised. He fisted his fingers in Aiden’s hair, holding his head still as he guided his dick to Aiden’s mouth. He ran the tip over Aiden’s lips, painting them with the arousal seeping from the slit.

Aiden moaned wantonly at the delicious flavor and lapped at Max’s cockhead, seeking out more of the rich, bitter taste. But Aiden wasn’t the only greedy one. Max obviously wasn’t satisfied with flicks and swirls of tongue if the way he pushed deep into Aiden’s mouth with one hard thrust was any indication. The sudden movement triggered Aiden’s gag reflex, but he recovered quickly, tilting his head back slightly and relaxing his throat.

Having an aggressive and dominant lover, Aiden had learned quickly to give up control, and he did so willingly. It still amazed Aiden that he got off on being forced to his knees and having his mouth fucked so forcefully, but he did and big-time. He loved the slight sting of pain from the tight grip Max had on his hair, the snap of his lover’s hips as he pushed deep and hard because he knew Aiden could take it.

They picked up their familiar rhythm, Aiden gripping Max’s lightly furred thighs, not restraining or encouraging, only holding on, loving the way the muscles flexed and rolled beneath his palms. Max began to tremble slightly, the moans and grunts growing in frequency and intensity, signaling that he was beginning to chase his orgasm and then….

Ring. Ring.

Max froze midthrust, his flared cockhead resting on Aiden’s tongue. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”

Aiden pulled off Max’s cock with a pop. “You’re not going to answer that now, are you?”

Max bent and searched his pants pocket. “I have to. I’m on call.”

“Seriously?” Aiden tried his best not to pout, but it was hard with Max’s thick and ruddy cock just inches from his face. He briefly thought about sucking it back into his mouth, but if it was a patient in distress calling for Max, it would be selfish to demand Max’s attention in such a situation. He hated to share Max, but in this case, he’d concede.

“Who is it?” Aiden asked when Max looked at the display on his cell and frowned.

“It’s Blake.” Max pushed the On button. “Hi, Blake. You caught me at a bad time. Can I call you back in a minute?”

“Several minutes,” Aiden whispered.

Max held up a finger as he listened to whatever it was Blake was saying, a thoughtful expression on his face.

Aiden knew from the way Max rested the cell phone in the crook between cheek and shoulder while he pulled up his pants and fastened them that whatever the conversation was, his and Max’s playtime was over.

“Have you called the police?”

Aiden jumped to his feet at the mention of the law and stood next to Max, trying to hear what was being said.

“Okay, yeah, I get that. Aiden and I are on our way.”

“What was that about?” Aiden asked with concern.

“Tek needs our help. Apparently something about wicked scary motorcycle clubs, Feds, danger. I didn’t understand it all, but from what I could decipher from the quick ramblings, Jamie has been kidnapped and they can’t go to the police. They need our help.”

“What can we do?”

“Don’t know yet, but Blake asked us to come to the club and I told him we would be there.”

Aiden didn’t know the guys at the club as well, but he’d begun to build a strong relationship with Ty, and the few times he’d met Micah and Mason, he’d grown fond of them. But Max was extremely close to the other members, thought of them as his extended family. And if Max wanted Aiden there, then he’d be there and do whatever he could to help out Max’s family.

 

Purchase Pony

Preorder Bound

BoundLG

Blurb:

Tek Cain & Jamie Ryan work at the Guards of Folsom BDSM club. After two years on the run from their old motorcycle club and the Feds, Tek & Jamie are finally able to relax and enjoy their new life in New York City. But the past won’t stay buried, and when the MC resurfaces, it’s Jamie who pays the price. Tek and the rest of the members at the Guards of Folsom must work together to get back one of their own.

In this, the final installment in the Guards of Folsom series, everyone must come together, bound as one in their quest to find Jamie and bring him home once and for all.

 

sjd-peterson

SJD Peterson, better known as Jo, is a bestselling and award-winning author of gay romance. She lives in Michigan with her Itty Bitty Kitty and Little Man. She does her best writing when under pressure of deadlines and at 3:00 a.m. when the world is quiet. Jo loves to tell stories about real people with real flaws. The happily ever after isn’t guaranteed unless it’s earned through hard work and growth. Oh, but when it’s comes, the rewards are all the better!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SJD.Peterson
Blog: sjdpeterson.blogspot.com
Twitter: @SJDPeterson
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/4563849.S_J_D_Peterson
E-mail: sjdpeterson@gmail.com

For the Love of Sports with Teegan Loy – Post + Giveaway

March 4, 2016

For the Love of Sports

Hello! I’m Teegan Loy and today my fifth novel with Dreamspinner has been released. Love Simplified is the follow-up story to Love Complicated.

 

Blurb: Life is about making choices. For nineteen-year-old Jalen Marten, the choices he makes will not only affect his life, but the life and career of his superstar tennis player boyfriend, Austin Suter. Jalen spends the summer following Austin around the pro tennis circuit playing the supportive friend as Austin adjusts to life on tour.

Keeping secrets from people is hard enough, but when the media, a horde of new fans, and staff and family who all think they know what’s best for Austin are involved, it’s even worse. Coming out to the world is not an option, so Jalen is forced to hide in the shadows. It doesn’t always work, and Jalen begins to wonder if they should stay together. The next choice could make or break them as a couple, and both men wonder why love has to be so complicated.

 

These two stories were born while sitting in a tennis center watching my daughter compete and practice for countless hours, something she has been doing since she was four years old.

Listening to the sound of the tennis ball popping off the strings was the soundtrack for both books. Occasionally I would listen to actual music while writing, but most of the time I’d let the sounds of practice or matches fill my ears.

Sports have always been important to me. I grew up playing softball and volleyball, running track, curling and figure skating. I’m lucky enough to still count several of my teammates from days long ago as good friends. And now I’m enjoying watching my daughter become, not only a wonderful athlete, but also a strong, confident young woman.

I’ve had people tell me sports aren’t important in the grand scheme of life, but for me, they shaped who I am today, and I will forever be grateful to my family and my coaches who taught me how to compete and how to handle defeat and success with grace.

Most of my stories involve sports and the Game, Set, and Match Series is no exception. The main character, Jalen, is a total sports klutz, but falls for the golden boy of his high school, who is headed for life on the professional tennis circuit.

Love Complicated follows Jalen and Austin as they fall in love and navigate through high school. In Love Simplified we find out what happens after high school graduation. Austin begins playing pro tennis and Jalen wonders if he fits in Austin’s world. Choices must be made, good or terrible.

I’m giving away an e-book copy of Love Complicated or any book from my back list. I want to hear what sports are your favorites. It can be from your old glory years of competing or maybe you found a new sport you adore to play or watch. I know I still love watching the games I grew up playing.

I’ve been a faithful hockey fan since childhood. Going to high school and college games became a thing we did as a family on the weekend. To this day I watch the NHL, college, and an occasional high school game. I have season tickets to my college team.

Maybe you’ve met a sports figure, secured an autograph, or went all fangirl or fanboy over an athlete. I’ve met a few athletes and attended a few special sporting events. If you want to hear my fan stories, ask and I’ll tell.

And obviously I love to watch my daughter compete in tennis, volleyball, and fast pitch.

Tell me your special sports stories in the comment section below and in three days I will choose a winner to receive either Love Complicated or any other book from my back list.

 

You can find me on social media at

Twitter: https://twitter.com/teeganloy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teegan.loy

Email: teeganloy@gmail.com

Check out Love Simplified today!


LoveSimplifiedFS

 

The Big Day is Here! With Ken Bachtold

March 3, 2016

The Big Day is Here!

Hi, I’m Ken Bachtold and I will have the excitement of seeing my new book Mood Indigo being released. The first paragraph of this book came to me almost unbidden and the rest of the story just followed, one scene after another. I do not use an outline, each scene from the beginning suggests the scene that should come next. This bothered me, until I read an article about Stephen King – and he doesn’t use an outline either! So I now feel vindicated. As the story is told first by Bill Ward and then by Johnny Desmond, I had to be careful to keep the time sequences in order, and let each one move the progression of the story further when their next section occurred. I had to make sure that when old song star, Sadie’s character was introduced it would fit a timeline where she could have been a contemporary of Dinah Shore and Peggy Lee. At present, I’m working on an entry for Dreamspinner’s States of Love series. As I live in New York, I was very lucky to be able to secure New York as my state! The story is going along just fine. It’s semi-autobiographical, as I came to New York and started my own theater company, A Company of Players, which became its title. As Mood Indigo is the title of my book, I would like to ask you if you have a favorite song of your own. Or, perhaps a singer from the big band era. If so, please let me know! I have a website which you can find by entering www.KenBachtold.com. You can find me on Facebook and I Tweet almost daily. I also have a Tumblr account that at present is being refurbished. I hope you will enjoy Mood Indigo!

Check out Mood Indigo today!

MoodIndigo_postcard_front_DSP

Blurb:
What happens when a powerful connection forms between two damaged strangers?Found injured by the side of a road, Bill Ward suffers from retrograde amnesia. Having no recollection of his past, he feels like a nobody. Romance is definitely not an option for a nobody. Jazz singer and piano player Johnny Desmond, on the other hand, is emotionally dead from the ultimate betrayal. But from the moment their eyes meet, there’s no fighting it, and with their friends’ encouragement, Bill and Johnny decide to get to know each other.Bill’s memories are hovering at the edge of his mind, tormenting him with fear and doubts about what he has to offer. Johnny also has a past—one that could endanger his life. It might have been love at first sight, but it will take courage and commitment to see it through to love that lasts forever.
Author Bio:
Ken Bachtold graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA and an MA in acting and directing and a minor in art. Passing up a great teaching job and surrendering to the “lure of the big time,” he came to New York. After pounding the pavement and finding it wanting, he decided to shape his own destiny and founded A Company of Players Repertory Theatre, producing and directing five plays. Always an avid reader, his two-year-old Kindle currently stores 400 books, mostly MM romance. Often frustrated at finding exactly the type of story he favored, he thought, What the hell, I should write one. And so he did!

 

Dragon Appreciation with Susan Laine – Post + Giveaway

March 2, 2016

Dragon Appreciation

Hi, everyone. My name is Susan Laine. I’m a Finn but I write in English. Today is release day of my paranormal gay romance, Stealing Dragon’s Heart. This is the sixth in the Lifting the Veil series but it is completely a standalone, so you don’t need to have read the previous books. You can find the story from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, and other retailers.

Here’s the blurb:

“A Lifting the Veil Story

Notorious master thief Finn Grayson is hired to break into a high-class skyscraper in New Shanghai and steal a priceless artifact known as the Shard. But someone’s gotten to the Shard first—and the penthouse suite turns out to be a dragon’s lair.

Cameron Feilong, Guardian of the Earth Shard, is ancient enough to realize that he and his unbidden guest are being used like puppets on a string. Forming a shaky alliance is the only way for them to survive and to stop their ruthless foes.

Unfortunately, Finn and Cam seem to be forever one step behind. To learn more about their clandestine enemy, they travel together from walled Asian cities, barren tundras, and underwater temples to secret paranormal clubs and legendary elvish cities. Finn and Cam must learn to trust each other before it’s too late, for bringing together the five Elemental Shards will spell the end of the world.”

**********

Today I’m here to talk a bit about the behind the scenes, and to do a giveaway of one (1) e-book.

My mother introduced me to ancient Chinese culture, art, and literature when I was a child. Ancient China felt like a mythical land, far removed from contemporary Finland. I’ve wanted to write a story based on what I’d learned for a long time. The setting is an alternate contemporary Earth, and about a decade after the mysterious Veil lifted, reshaping our reality. Our boring human world and the magical realm of myths, legends, and folklore ended on a collision course, irrevocably changing our planet.

What’s so special about Stealing Dragon’s Heart then? The answer: Dragons! Specifically Chinese dragons that are depicted as wise, good, and honorable. I may wish to be a werewolf myself if I could, but of all the mythical, paranormal, and supernatural creatures I most wanted to meet a Chinese dragon.

Their effect on Chinese mythology is substantial, and they appear far more complex than their monstrous counterparts in Western myths. The Chinese dragons are typically shown as snake-like creatures that move on four legs, and they have characteristics of turtles, fish, serpents, and the like. These beings represent positive powers, and they control rain, floods, typhoons, tsunami, and other water-related phenomena. Dragon was an imperial symbol of power, strength, and good fortune.

I mostly kept that image with my dragon. Cameron Feilong is an immortal dragon. But his powers connect with the element of Earth, not Water. His sacred duty is to guard the Earth Shard. He is wise and powerful, and he is a sign of good luck for his human and flawed anti-hero, Finn Grayson, a thief who ends up in the lair of the dragon but manages to get through unscathed. Mostly, anyway.

Picture taken from Wikipedia.

My dragon is many things. Among them an artist and a poet. For the art, I was influenced by Wǔ Xíng paintings depicting the five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The natural themes of the art style were inspired monumentally by the landscapes of ancient China, most significantly by Huángshān, or the Yellow Mountains. Below are, a picture of Huángshān, and an ink Wǔ Xíng painting of Huángshān, both taken from Wikipedia:

As you can see, Huángshān, or the Yellow Mountains, and their scenery were common subjects of artwork and poetry an ancient China, and even today through photography and film. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), tens of thousands of poems were written about Huángshān alone, and a school of painting was named after the region.

The cover of Stealing Dragon’s Heart, which depicts the Wǔ Xíng painting style, was done by the extremely talented Anne Cain.

Cameron Feilong, my ancient dragon, shares my love of Wǔ Xíng artwork and poetry, and he even lives high in the Yellow Mountains. I adore ancient Chinese poetry, and the multitude of interpretations. In the story Cameron talks about his favorite poems and poets, among them Dù Fǔ and Li Bai, two essential poets of the Tang period. Below is an English translation of one of Li Bai’s poems, Long Yearning.

“Long yearning,

To be in Chang’an [capital city of the Tang Dynasty].

The grasshoppers weave their autumn song by the golden railing of the well;

Frost coalesces on my bamboo mat, changing its color with cold.

My lonely lamp is not bright, I’d like to end these thoughts;

I roll back the hanging, gaze at the moon, and long sigh in vain.

A beautiful person’s like a flower beyond the edge of the clouds.

Above is the black night of heaven’s height;

Below is the green water billowing on.

The sky is long, the road is far, bitter flies my spirit;

The spirit I dream can’t get through, the mountain pass is hard.

Long yearning,

Breaks my heart.”

(Poem: http://www.chinese-poems.com/lb.html)

As you can see, there’s a connection between literature, painting style, and nature. The aesthetics of these three always pleased me as a child, and now as an adult, ancient China inspired me to write a story about a wise dragon and his perilous adventure with a human thief.

So there you have it. My thoughts on Stealing Dragon’s Heart. I hope you liked reading my sort of intro into the story and the ancient Chinese culture.

I’m doing a giveaway of an e-book (Stealing Dragon’s Heart, or anything from my backlog), so if you’d like to enter, comment below with an answer to this question: “If you could be any mythical or paranormal being, which one would it be, and why?” Good luck, everyone!

Thank you, DSP Blog, for hosting my guest post, and thank you readers for stopping by!

Author Bio:

“Susan Laine is an award-winning, multi-published author of LGBTQ erotic romance. Her favorite pastimes include listening to music, watching action flicks, eating chocolate, and doing the dishes while pondering the meaning of life.”

Find Susan online:

Website – http://www.susan-laine-author.fi/
Blog – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5221828.Susan_Laine/blog
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/susan.laine.author
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Laine_Susan
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5221828.Susan_Laine

Find Stealing Dragon’s Heart online:

Dreamspinner Press – http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7488
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Stealing-Dragons-Heart-Lifting-Veil-ebook/dp/B01BO6TYU0/
Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stealing-dragons-heart-susan-laine/1123402484?ean=2940157914202
All Romance eBooks – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-stealingdragonrsquosheart-1983709-143.html