What’s Cooking with Lex Chase! Recipe + Giveaway

August 18, 2016

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Hello, everyone! I’m Lex Chase and today I’m here to dish about my new release Urban Fairy Tale!

Urban Fairy Tale is the grand finale to the Screw-up Princess and Skillful Huntsman Trilogy where our heroes dude Princess Taylor Hatfield and his true love jackass Huntsman Corentin Devereaux take one last journey to save all of Enchant kind.

The villain of the series is Taylor’s brother, Atticus Hatfield who is generation’s current Snow White. And with Snow White, comes the iconic apple. Atticus himself is actually allergic to apples and all things apple related. From the fruit itself, to the pectin, to even the very scent of apple potpourri.

However, fairy tales are full of sweets from cakes and cookies, to gingerbread houses to lure in unsuspecting children.

How about this sweet and deadly treat to stop Snow White in his tracks? Why don’t you try to save the world with my grandmother’s very own applesauce cake? Enjoy this wicked delight!

 

Applesauce_Cake

 

Applesauce Cake by Phyllis Emerson

Cream:

1 cup sugar

½ cup Crisco (aka shortening)

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp ground cloves

1 cup chopped raisins

Dissolve 1 tsp baking soda in ¼ cup hot water.

Stir into 1 cup cooked sour applesauce.

Mix with sugar and spices.

Add 1 ¾ cup flour.

Mix well and bake for 40 minutes.

 

Do you have a favorite dessert? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to click the graphic to enter the giveaway!

 

Check out Urban Fairy Tale today!

 

Author Bio:

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” Now, she’s on a mission to make the world a hell of a lot more interesting.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. Her pride is in telling stories of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. If you’re going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva, her DVR is constantly backlogged, she has intense emotions about Hannibal’s Hannigram, and unapologetically loved the ending of Lost. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind.

Flying Fish: Hi, I’m Sedonia and I’m a Yaoi Freak.

August 17, 2016

Sedonia Guillone and I'm a Yaoi Freak

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to become a part of Dreamspinner Press! Thank you for coming to check out my guest post. It was a great day when I got the acceptance e-mail for my Sword and Silk series. My name is Sedonia Guillone. (I’m the person underneath. Sitting on my back is my cat, Molly Kaufman. She likes to climb on  my back if I happen to bend over while I’m working at the counter, lol).

I’ve been writing M/M since 2006, beginning with my multicultural contemporary, Danny’s Dragon. That’s when I got hooked on writing in this genre. Until then, I had built up a backlist that consists of plenty of M/F and M/F/M ménages both historical and contemporary, such as Manwich and Lady of Two Lairds. But once I got bit by the M/M bug, those stories began pouring out from under my pen, especially yaoi inspired stories set in both feudal Japan and modern-day Tokyo (for example my White Tigers series which features a cast of hot guys who live and work together in a men’s hotel in Shinjuku ni-Chome, Tokyo’s swanky gay quarter.)

Flying Fish and the two following stories (upcoming from DSP, of course!), Blind Love and Blossom of the Samurai are the only exclusively samurai historical novellas I’ve written. I wrote a couple of short stories of very high heat level in my backlist some years ago, but these are stories of epic love, enduring loyalty beyond human endurance and the power of love to bring about redemption and soul-healing. In each story, a masterless samurai has given his heart to his beloved and nothing will stop him from ensuring that love survives and flourishes.

I hope you’ll want to read Flying Fish and that if you do, you’ll love it. Have you ever read samurai stories before and if so, how did you enjoy them? I’d love to hear from you and please keep in touch. You can find me at my website: www.sedoniaguillone.com

Blog: www.sedoniaguillone.com/blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sedonia.guillone
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SedoniaGuillone
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/915705.Sedonia_Guillone

All the best, Sedonia

Check out Flying Fish today!

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Blurb:

In eighteenth century Japan, during the golden age of samurai and of the Kabuki theater, young actors known as “flying fish” traveled the countryside, performing for audiences by day and giving their bodies to their samurai patrons at night.

Genji Sakura is one such flying fish, yet he dreams of finding the man he can give his heart to and leave the loneliness of his itinerant life behind. Though he loves theater, he doesn’t love every part of his profession, especially some of the patrons. So when a handsome ronin comes upon him stealing some solitude for a bath in a hot spring and their encounter turns passionate, Genji’s surprised and delighted.

Daisuke Minamoto’s past fills his life with a bitterness that grips his soul and makes him dangerous. Yet passion takes him when he spies on a graceful young man bathing naked in a hot spring. He has always loved women, but he can’t deny the call of his heart.

After an afternoon of sexual bliss, his heart and soul are tormented and torn. Keeping this miraculous lover will require giving up the one thing that has kept him alive for years: his hatred for the lord who murdered his wife. If he loves another, how will he go on and who will he become?

A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.

Real World: Dan and Weldon with BA Tortuga

August 13, 2016

Today, Real World’s Dan and Weldon drop by for an interview with BA Tortuga.

Dan and Weldon

 

Hey y’all, it’s BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things cowboy and redneck.

Stares at Dan and Weldon. Okay, y’all. Make with the cute.

Dan: Whut?

Weldon: She means pretend that we’re all classy and shit, honey. Like romantic heroes.

Dan: Didn’t I give that up when I left the service?

Weldon shrugs: It’s our job, apparently. We’re supposed to be swoon worthy.

Jakob: Dad, did you just say swoon worthy?

Weldon: I totally did. It’s completely on fleek.

Jakob: Oh my god. I’m totally out of here.

Dan: Babe, what’s a fleek?

Weldon grins: Something that makes my kids roll their eyes and run for the hills. I intend to use it daily.

Dan: You know, cowboy. Kissing me does the same thing and it’s way more fun.

Weldon: And it’s probably fleeky too.

Ta da. My boys.

 

Much love, y’all.

BA

Check out Real World today!

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Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
All Romance Ebooks

 

Blurb:

A Love is Blind Novel

Dan White is trying to acclimate to civilian life after a long career in the military with multiple combat deployments.

Now he’s home in the Austin area, living with his brother Dixon, Dixon’s husband, Audie, and their two nine-year-olds. During the New Year celebration, Dan meets Abraham Weldon, and the connection is instant.

There’s a kiss. There’s a dance. There’s a proposition.

Then Dan finds out Weldon is bisexual.

And a dad.

With five kids. Five kids, one of whom is a blind fifteen-year-old.

Weldon has been in love twice in his life—with his high school best friend, Blake, and with his wife, Krista, who he met in a Dairy Queen as she was crying over a positive pregnancy test. Love number three hits Weldon like a hammer when he meets Dan.

But since Dan isn’t interested in a guy with kids, they might only get one night together.

 

About BA Tortuga

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

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

 

Tia Fielding: My Dreamspinner Journey So Far

August 10, 2016

Tia Fielding joins us today to chat about hew new book One Step Forward.

My Dreamspinner Story So Far

In 2010, I had been writing fan fiction for a while. I loved to write, and I’d been doing it as an escape of my problems with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. I’d been studying business—that’s the closest I can easily describe it in English anyway—and it hadn’t quite panned out for me. I’d loved some of the studies, but the depression had snuck back up on me and there I was, unable to study or maintain a day job.

The fan fiction I wrote was 95% slash, meaning male/male pairings. At some point I figured, hey, there has to be actual books, original stories, out there, right? Some of the people I knew in fan fiction circles wrote original stuff and a couple of them got publishing deals, and I started to wonder, what if…?

I think I found Dreamspinner Press quite randomly. I started to read their books and gaze upon the submission calls page longingly every now and then. I realized they were awesome as a publisher, I never read a “bad book” by them, and they sort of became the ideal for me when it came to gay romance.

One day I saw a call for submissions for a cowboy themed anthology. It was immediate, how I got the idea and started writing, thinking I’d never get in but what the heck, at least they might give me feedback. I wrote a story called Auld Lang Syne, sent it to Dreamspinner, and pretty much forgot about it.

I got a reply many, many weeks later. They said they didn’t want the story for the anthology. My heart was crushed, but then I read the rest of that email. They wanted to know if I’d let them publish the story as a standalone instead, outside the anthology.

Now, for those out there not familiar with the publishing side of things, anthologies make very little money for the authors of the stories. More authors, less money to divide between them, and you pretty much end up one of many inside the theme, especially if you’re a new author. Being published separately means people notice you. You get all the royalties from the story for yourself. I jumped up and down, and answered yes as soon as humanly possible.

Before Auld Lang Syne came out, another story of mine beat it to it. Unwind was published part of the 2011 Daily Dose which was all about first times, whatever that meant. A bit over a month later Auld Lang  Syne was published, and there it was, the elusive writing thing had finally “paid off,” if only in a small way.

Because my writing original fiction had kicked up a notch and I’d produced my first novel in November of 2010 during NaNoWriMo, the next book of mine that got published was By Any Other Name. That book has many fans who tell me about their love for it still, and I find that miraculous in itself. My very first novel and people love it five years later? Yeah, whoa.

In 2012 I had six releases, in 2013 three (two of those were novels), and in 2014 two (both novels, one of which I co-wrote with Anna Martin who I’d originally met during the fan fiction days and who still is one of my best friends.) Things had started to wind down for me. The depression was getting worse and worse, and that had started to affect my muses in a way I hadn’t expected. I had to give away all my deadlines, knowing I wouldn’t make them anyway. That felt like giving up, but it was all I could do at that point.

Things got pretty bad, writing wise. Last year, I only had one release, the short story Up To Boil, once again part of the Daily Dose anthology. My mental health had rendered me incapable of doing the one thing I now knew was the thing I wanted to do with my life: writing.

I had an old story, all the way back to the very beginning of my writing career, that I’d never finished. Around the end of 2015 I took a look at that story and decided it was time to write the rest of it. It took me surprisingly little time to finish it, and a whole lot of editing and pre-reading by friends and beta readers, but I managed to submit it to Dreamspinner Press in a timely manner (I’d asked for a deadline for it, just so I had a schedule for the story if they wanted to publish it.)

By some miracle, they wanted the story. It had a different name originally, but we changed it into One Step Forward during editing. It was a tricky story to write, which meant it had been more than five years coming. It was even trickier to finish, in some way, because one of the main themes in the story is depression and the long road to recovery. I wasn’t there with the recovery, myself, still aren’t, so it took some wrestling with my head to get it done but there it is!

I guess finishing the old story kicked up my writing again, because somehow I ended up claiming a state for the States of Love collection and wrote a story about Colorado with surprisingly little effort. That story is now in the editing stages, and I’m writing a story for the World of Love collection, too. Because I’m from Finland, still live here, I wanted to write the World of Love story for my country. Fingers crossed I make yet another deadline in a long row of many yet to come!

For me, writing has always been a part of me. It’s my identity, a thing that nurtures me. When depression gets the best of my writing muse, it gets worse. On those times when the depression lessens, my muses perk up and I manage to write some. After I write, I feel better, and the depression takes a step back. So far those steps have been temporary, but let’s hope I’ll manage to kick this thing enough to be able to write full time one day!

In any case, my journey with Dreamspinner Press has been nothing short of wonderful. Once, I never thought they’d want to publish me, and yet here I am, five years, seven novels, and many other stories later, and still feel like part of the family.

Thanks for reading my books and this blog post! I hope you enjoy One Step Forward, and the Finland story whenever that one comes out. In the name of writing about my home, I wanted to ask you this:

If I—or any other foreigner—came to your home town, what would you show me?

For me, the obvious choice would be the nature around where I live. Like in the above picture of me. That is from a place called Koli, which is one of Finland’s national landscapes and definitely one of my go-to spots if I ever got a foreign visitor!

Come find me on social media:

Website –  http://www.tiafielding.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authortiafielding
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tiafielding
Instagram: https://twitter.com/tiafielding

Check out One Step Forward today!

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Blurb:

Sam Becker, a horse whisperer, agrees to take one last job before retiring to his Texas ranch. It’s clear as soon as he meets the Taylor family in Kentucky that he’s in for a challenge. What he doesn’t expect is the way his own wounds reopen. He’s never really dealt with the suicide of his mentally ill wife, and he won’t be able to ignore that hurt forever.

Joshua Taylor and his horse, Calla, were a force to be reckoned with on the eventing circuit until an accident ended their careers. Most of the pain is on the inside, however, and Sam knows those injuries are the slowest to mend. Sam’s unique methods help Calla and, surprisingly, Josh, but he’s still lost without riding. Their feelings for each other come hard and fast, and Josh starts his first steps of recovery, but Sam needs to return to Texas eventually. Even if Josh is able to move past the accident, they’ll still have a long and difficult journey to make before they can be together.

 

About Tia:

Tia Fielding is a thirtysomething Scandinavian who is a lover of witty people, words, cats, sarcasm, autumn, and the tiny beautiful things in life. Tia struggles with stubborn muses and depression, but both are things she has learned to live with. Tia identifies as genderqueer, but isn’t strict about pronouns. Why? Because luckily, in her native language there aren’t gender-specific pronouns. Being a reclusive author living with her fur-babies is another fact of life for Tia, among the need to write that seems to be a part of her psyche.

Tia Fielding

Hot Summer, Cool Reads with Vicki Reese

August 9, 2016

Vicki Reese joins us today to talk about her new book, What the Carpenter Saw.

Hot Summer, Cool Reads

 

Hi all! I’m Vicki Reese, a new to Dreamspinner author and I’m really excited to be part of this amazing group of authors. So, pull up a chair, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, put your feet up and relax and we’ll chat a bit.

There, isn’t that better?

Like other authors I’m here to tell you a little about me and a little about my book, What the Carpenter Saw.

Right now it’s mid-summer where I am and hot as blazes with high humidity (about 93 degrees F with 95% humidity). Ugh. Thank goodness for AC – and ice, especially in my tea. I’m partial to either English Breakfast or Green Mint. Or I make my own with homegrown mint – they call it “Meadow Tea” in these parts, but I just call it good. It’s really refreshing on a hot day. Sometimes, I just toss pieces of frozen lemons and some fresh ginger into water along with some ice. What’s your favorite beverage on a hot day?

I live in a small town in Amish country, which was the inspiration for my story. I’ve never lived in a big town. Okay, not never, but even the “big city” I lived in for a very short time was actually rather small by most standards. I’m a country girl at heart, and so is my character, Jake Cramer. I love the slower pace of a small town. For us, taking twenty minutes to get from one end of town to the other is a huge traffic jam. And we can always avoid the main drag by taking the back roads around it. There’s nothing like driving through fields waving with ripening wheat, pale green spikes of corn coming up, cows and mules chewing the grasses in their fields. Though I will admit that the “aromas” aren’t always mouthwatering (more like eyes tearing up). I have to laugh when I see air fresheners with “Fresh Country Scent” as their title. The people who name it obviously haven’t ever been to the country when the farmers have just fertilized the fields with manure, or had to scrub skunk from their dog. Not the best smell in the world.

Big cities may have their neon lights and excitement, but for me, that doesn’t compare to sitting on the front porch swing at dusk watching the fireflies blinking through the yards or seeing the real stars up in the sky.

But just because we’re small doesn’t mean we don’t have our troubles. They just may not be as prevalent as in bigger cities, but we have them. And that was the basis for my story. Drugs, theft, murder – we have them here too, unfortunately. But when you have a good support system, as my characters Alex and Jake do, it can mean everything.

I hope you enjoy reading “What the Carpenter Saw” as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 

EXCERPT:

Chapter One

 

JAKE CRAMER stared out the kitchen window at the thick woods behind his dad’s house. A mixture of brilliantly colored hardwoods and evergreens edged with a gurgling stream—so different from the harsh rock and sand of the Middle East. Though he wasn’t cold, he shivered a little as wisps of steam rose from the water, forming tendrils of icy fog along the bank. Frost had coated the lawn and garden overnight and was still visible in the areas the sun hadn’t yet touched. South Central Pennsylvania was so much better than the Middle East, and he loved the small town of Robinwood. It was the kind of place where you knew your neighbors and the shopkeepers by their first names. The kind of place that was great to grow up in, raise a family in. The kind of place it was good to come back to.

“Jake? You okay?” his dad, Micah, aka Big Mike, asked.

Mike came to stand next to him as Jake nodded. “Yeah. Just looking at the trees. I missed this when I was over there.”

“I know what you mean. Though where I was stationed wasn’t as bad as Afghanistan, I can’t say I was fond of the desert when I was there.” His dad clapped him on the shoulder, and Jake fought back a wince. The scars there still bothered him, but he refused to let it show.

His dad handed him a coffee thermos. “You ready to get to work? Your brother’s already on his way.”

Jake nodded and turned from the view. His dad had served in the Gulf War. Different area, same scenery. The Pennsylvania landscape held Jake’s heart. And work with the family construction company was exactly what he needed. Hammers and saws and wood. Building things, not blowing them up or shooting them full of holes. Though coming home hadn’t been easy. His family, especially his mom, had coddled him to the point of smothering him. He loved them all dearly, but he also needed to find his own way. It was slow, but he was getting there. “I’m coming. We working on the Johnson place today? I’ve got the cabinets ready to go in.”

“No. There’s a delay on the flooring for the kitchen. We’re working the McKenzie lot today. I want to get it under roof before the cold sets in. Sam will handle the crew there. I need you to go to the old Wilson place and make a list of what we’ll need to do there and in what order. The new owner wants to do a complete overhaul. He’s turning the old mansion into a B and B. I’ll meet you there after I do a supply run for your brother.”

“Works for me.” Jake shivered and grabbed his heavy jacket from the peg next to the back door as Mike opened it. Though he’d been back for a month, the cold October air still chilled him after the heat of the Middle East. Even with the cold, he’d rather be working a site than doing paperwork, but Mike was the boss, and Jake didn’t have a whole lot of choice in the matter.

The chill also made his left arm and leg ache more. At least, what was left of his leg. Because of his injuries, he could no longer do ladder work, definitely not roofing. He was still too unsteady to work a sloping roof. But honestly, he didn’t mind too much. The awkwardness and pain meant he had most of his leg, unlike a lot of other servicemen and women he knew. Sure, metal held parts of it together and it ended below the knee, but that was enough for him to get around with a prosthetic. He rarely needed to use the hated wheelchair anymore. As for his arm, it still worked, sort of. Just not nearly as well as before. Heavy scar tissue and tendon damage made it more of something to fill his sleeve than an actual working arm, though the therapists said he would get some use back the more he worked it. But he’d lived, unlike two other members of his team. And it was also the reason he was stuck doing estimates instead of site work.

(For the full excerpt, click HERE and click on the excerpt link)

 

Check out What the Carpenter Saw today!

 

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Blurb:

Wounded warrior Jake Cramer returned from the Middle East missing part of one leg and with a partially paralyzed left arm. He feels useless in his family’s construction business, but carpentry is all he knows. He needs to relearn how to work and how to live. He can’t even consider finding a man to love. Who would want him this way?

Alex Ford is a top-of-the-line architect who’s tired of big cities and wants to settle down, maybe run a small inn. The mansion he inherited from his grandparents might be the ticket to his dream, but it needs a lot of work. When he meets the handsome builder, he knows he’s made the right decision. He just needs to convince Jake that his scars don’t matter. Unfortunately, Alex’s greedy family has other ideas, and they’re determined to ruin Alex’s plans and take the inheritance for themselves—even if they have to kill to do it.

Bio:

Vicki Reese has been married forever to the one person who accepts that she lives in a fantasy world most of the time. She’s even been seen at the beach building worlds for her stories out of sand. In addition to creating fun characters, fantasy worlds, and suspenseful situations, she also enjoys and is very good at things like writing policy and procedures manuals and setting up continuity and organizational spreadsheets, both of which she has actually earned money doing. She has a master’s degree in library science so likes things organized. Okay, so her family thinks having the spice rack alphabetized it a bit much, but she has no trouble finding what she needs when she needs it. And just because her extensive library is cataloged and organized, that doesn’t mean she’s obsessive. Honest. When not writing, Vicki works as an editor, helping other authors with their manuscripts. When not doing either one of those, she can be found in the kitchen whipping up gluten-free, lactose-free, other allergy-free meals for her family. Or watching the world go by from her front porch swing.

Where to find Vicki:

Website: http://www.vickireese.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorVictoria
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorVictoria

The Losing Game: Love in a Time of Loss with Lane Swift – Post + Giveaway

August 8, 2016

Love in a Time of Loss

Hi! I’m Lane Swift and I’m here to tell you about my new release, The Losing Game. It’s a story about two men, Lucas Green and Dante Okoro, who experience tragedies in their lives which they struggle to move past. Still, through pain and heartache, they find each other, and eventually find the love and the strength to move on. It’s a dark and weighty tale, with a hopeful and happy ending.

The story is set on the fictional Roseport Island, but is loosely based on Portsea Island in the south of England. It’s home to the city of Portsmouth which has a long naval and maritime history, as well as a lot of modern redevelopment. The whole island has a wealth of character and atmosphere.

The street below provided the inspiration for Mill Street where Dante has his shop:

Old Portsmouth day.jpg

 

The story is also set twenty years in the future. The main reason I chose to do that was because I wanted to explore how future technology, especially surveillance, might affect our everyday lives, behavior and freedom. How pervasive will social media be? Will CCTV really protect us from crime? Or will criminals find ways to get around it? These were important things to consider for this story, because Lucas wants to get away with a crime without getting caught.

A lot of authors will say that writing can be a cathartic experience; that their craft can help them to work through things that have caused them difficulty in their lives. This turned out to be the case for me with The Losing Game, though I didn’t realize it until the first draft was almost finished! In 2015, I lost two family members, one of whom was especially dear to me. Another was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and another had a tragic accident which has left her permanently disabled. For almost a year, I was mired in so much grief and helplessness, it’s little wonder those feelings found their way onto the page

The Losing Game is a testament to the strength of the human spirit, and Lucas’s and Dante’s indomitable capacity to give each other and themselves a chance at love, in spite of how broken they are when they meet. But their future continues to get brighter, including after the end of this story. I’ve just finished the first draft of a sequel with a working title of The Gamble in which the two men work together to help a friend in need. I hope to have it ready for submission in a couple of months.

One of the things that keeps Lucas going through the tough times is his dream to travel. He wants to visit East Asia—a place he’s never been to before. I’ve travelled to a few countries in Asia, yet there are places much closer to home that I’d like to visit but haven’t. For example, Edinburgh in Scotland. How about you? Is there a place you dream of travelling to? And is it on the other side of the world, or somewhere much closer to home?

Leave a comment by 12th August 2016 and two lucky winners will each receive a copy of my first solo release with Dreamspinner Press, Dormant Heart, plus a voucher for $15 to spend in the Dreamspinner store.

You can find out more about me, Lane Swift, at:

Website: http://laneswift.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lane.swift.9
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaneSwift
Or you can email me at mrslaneswift@gmail.com

Check out The Losing Game today!

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Blurb:

Winchester Crown Court, October 2035: Richard Shaw leaves, a free man.

Grief-stricken and angry, Lucas Green is hell-bent on revenge against Richard Shaw, who killed his sister. Lucas has heard of a man who can help—the handsome and urbane owner of a boutique sex shop with a head for planning crimes. But Dante Okoro has a past he’s desperate to keep buried. Though Lucas piques his interest in more ways than one, Dante turns him away. Still, he wonders if he made the right decision….

An unexpected death brings Dante and Lucas together once more. This time they can’t ignore the chemistry between them. But courting a lover with lies is a dangerous game. Dante has been spying on Lucas, convinced he has plans to kill Shaw. Lucas has been spying on Shaw, waiting for the right moment to strike. If Dante admits his suspicions to Lucas, he’ll surely lose him. If he doesn’t, Lucas might do something reckless—and end up losing everything.

When Fate Falls Short: Sources of Inspiration with Brooke Edwards

August 4, 2016

Sources of Inspiration

Hi! I’m Brooke Edwards, and so very glad to be back with DSP for the second time, with “When Fate Falls Short” in the Bittersweet Dreams line. I was beyond excited when I received the contract offer for this one after having such a great experience with my first piece “Mens Rea” in the Never Too Late anthology last year. This has been wonderful, right from the initial edits and cover art production all the way to the final galley before my part was done. As the first time I’ve been involved in the promotion side of things, there were so many different things to consider and do this time that were completely new.

It has been especially good over the last few weeks, having lots of things to learn and do, because I find that I work best when I have several things to concentrate on at once. It means much less panic about the impending release! If I sit there and have to focus strictly on one thing my mind wanders very quickly to the very furthest thing from what I’m supposed to be doing. This causes major problems when I’m doing things that require absolute undivided attention, but luckily writing seems to work better for me when I’m a little distracted. It’s not at all unusual for me to have my laptop or a notebook up on the kitchen counter while I’m experimenting, or satisfying a craving. Writing and food often go hand in hand for me.

One of my favorite things to do once I have settled on the characters for a story is to spend some time figuring out what their relationship with food is. Sometimes it works out because my MC will have a favorite food that I share and I can justify making batches and batches of it as research. This was part of the reason for the immense amount of hot chocolate I drank last winter, on behalf of both Sean and Nathan. Sean’s fondness for marshmallows is something I don’t share, unfortunately.

When the laptop isn’t in the kitchen with me, chances are it’ll be in front of the TV instead. I wrote ‘Mens Rea’ I was binge-watching ‘The Office’ for the first time and now, every time I hear the music from the opening credits, I’m taken right back to the nerves and excitement of putting together my submission email. The entire process, from writing to submitting, lasted about as long as it took me to watch the entire series.

In comparison, the writing, rewriting and submission of “When Fate Falls Short” was stretched out over nearly 12 months so there was a lot less consistency in sources of inspiration. I cycled through a lot of shows while I was writing it, most notably ‘White Collar’, ‘Swamp People’, ‘The IT Crowd’ and ‘Friends’. It was pretty emotionally draining at points so funny, lighthearted shows helped. I had to drag myself away from the story more than once before I found myself down the rabbit hole. I didn’t go into it with a clear plan for what I wanted to happen, only the central idea of the tangle between Nathan, Sean and Jesse. When I finally realized where the story was going, it was less of a jubilant epiphany and more of a soul-crushing realization that neither Sean or Jesse were going to get their happy ending with each other. My iTunes was playing through an old Blink 182 album and ‘Feeling This’ came on. For anyone who doesn’t know it, the inspiration for the title came right from a line in the song and I had it on loop more than once during the rest of the writing process. I doubt I’ll ever be able to listen to it without drowning in a sea of feelings about Sean, Jesse and Nathan.

Do you have any songs like that? Ones that are associated so strongly with a person or event or feeling that you get sent back in time every time you hear them?

I’ll pick one lucky commenter to receive a free copy of “When Fate Falls Short” so make sure to leave the email address you have registered with DSP in the comment, and I’ll end this with a little excerpt to hopefully pique your interest!

 

- Brooke

 

September 2010

Sean and Isaac, along with Jacob Lawson, launch their tech startup at the end of February in 2010. Isaac’s inheritance from his grandmother funds a large portion of their initial setup, and the three sink a not-inconsiderable amount of their savings into the business. By the middle of June, things are getting uncomfortably lean, but in July something clicks. By September they’re viable enough that their first investor approaches them.
Nathan’s squadron of firefighters invades the office for an impromptu party at midday on the twenty-fifth of September, after a night shift. Nathan smells like a strange mix between soap and smoke when he wraps himself around Sean and hums happily into the side of his neck.
“I’m so damn proud of you,” he says, and Sean honestly thinks it’s the greatest moment of his life.

April 2012

Nathan and Sean put a down payment on their house in March and move in on April 11. Nathan takes two weeks off, and Sean pretends he’s going to work from home even though Isaac and Jake both know he has no intention of doing any such thing. They still let him leave the office the Friday before moving day with grins, exuberant congratulations, and a truly terrifying garden gnome with a polka-dotted bow around its neck.
Sean promises them it will sit right by the front door, and that night he laughs himself almost sick at Nathan’s horrified expression when he shows him.

Around dusk on the twelfth, after two hectic days of moving, Deanna stands up and surveys the front yard. Her clothes and gloves are dirty and dusty, but her smile is bright. The gerbera daisies are vivid spots of color in the otherwise sparse garden beds.
“There,” she says, and Sean bites back a playful jab at the sight of tears in her eyes. “Now you can pick your own flowers instead of ransacking my garden.”
Nathan beams at them from the other side of the yard, where he’s patting the dirt down around another patch of daisies. Tania and Richard are laughing from the driveway, and Sean thinks he might explode with the joy swelling in his chest. Not even the slightly pained expression his father has worn all day can take it away.

Check out When Fate Falls Short today!

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Blurb:

Childhood sweethearts Nathan Maxwell and Sean Adams took ten years to realize they belonged together, followed by ten years of bliss. When it is snatched away, Sean is left alone with the aftermath. Lost and grieving in a world that doesn’t make sense without Nathan by his side, he struggles to keep himself afloat… until he meets Jesse Lawrence.
The shadow of a congenital heart defect has hung over Jesse like a dark cloud all his life. Nathan’s death saves Jesse’s life—providing the heart Jesse needs to survive—and a chance encounter between their best friends plants Jesse in Sean’s orbit. But how well can a love triangle between a dead man, his grieving lover, and the one with his heart beating in his chest possibly turn out? Real feelings and pure intentions might not be enough.

Bio:

Author, dreamer, fangirl and foodie – twenty-something Brooke Edwards will always call Australia home no matter where the wanderlust takes her. Her tertiary education bounced from history and linguistics to criminology and history and even went as far as nutrition and sports/exercise science. Making ends meet through a similarly wide variety of jobs from education, retail, fitness, hospitality and finance means she never has any shortage of inspiration for characters or their adventures. Writing, closely followed by the culinary arts, has been her longest-running and most consistent passion and her greatest dream would be to one day not have to do anything else but write. Until then, she can probably be found in a caffeine-induced haze either behind her computer or in the kitchen.

www.brookeedwardsauthor.com
https://www.facebook.com/brooke.edwards.52459
http://twitter.com/bedwardswego

Gratitude for Second Chances with K-lee Klein

August 3, 2016

Gratitude for Second Chances

Hi I’m K–Lee, I’m new to Dreamspinner Press, and I’m really excited to be here. I guess I’m new and old at the same time because to use Brett Taylor’s voice, “This ain’t my first rodeo.”

Unbreak My Heart goes live on August 5. It’s my first book with Dreamspinner and since it’s a re-release, it’s been meticulously re-edited with a few add-ons and tie-ups to some scenes and interactions between characters. I’m so happy to know that it will soon be available to readers, in this new, even-better version.

You see, this book is my own personal favorite, and in 2013 it was my first book with a new and excellent small publisher, who sadly closed their doors earlier this year. That was heartbreaking, not only for the grief of losing a company that I considered to be my family, but for the loss of so many other friends and family members in the form of my characters in books that went out of print. I can tell you that when you lose a publisher and your books vanish off retailers’ shelves, it feels like they’ve disappeared off the face of the earth. They will no longer be swimming in the online ocean and no one new will be able to meet those beloved characters or read their struggles.  Basically, it’s like starting from scratch to get your books back into play.

Self-publishing was an option for me, but not for Unbreak My Heart. It’s special and meaningful and I couldn’t even think about it simply disappearing, or being released imperfectly in my early attempts to figure out self-pub. Brett Taylor and JT Campbell are the most important characters I’ve written to date—that’s to say, they are closest to my heart. (Something we definitely won’t tell the rest of my guys.) I had also already written and published four sequels for Brett & JT and if the original book in the series wasn’t safe, the others would be lost as well. So it was a great comfort when Dreamspinner offered to give Brett and JT a new home.

I have Cody Kennedy to thank for helping me find the courage to submit the manuscript to Dreamspinner for re-release in the first place. He was with me every step of the way, a real trooper in my corner when I was afraid to try. Thank you, Cody. Of course, I highly doubted the book would be accepted, but when I received the contract from Elizabeth North, I’m certain that I squealed like a teenager at a One a Direction concert or me at a photo op with Sebastian Stan.

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It could be said that Dreamspinner Press stepped-in to unbreak my heart. You know I had to go there.

I have to thank my publisher for giving me the chance to work with and have an actual cover designed by the fabulous Reese Dante. Her art sweetened the pot to cavity-prone proportions. I also had the best experience working with my new editor, Sue Adams. So here’s a shout-out to Reese and Sue for being helping me so much during this new beginning. I’m excited about being part of this publishing family and the excellent attention and assistance I’ve already been given. I’m also thrilled to have the opportunity to have my book translated and possibly turned into an audio book—I will admit this is an ultimate dream for me.

So if I haven’t mentioned it enough yet, I couldn’t be more grateful to see Unbreak My Heart up for pre-sale on the Dreamspinner site. It’s surreal and awesome and so many other words you don’t want to hear me go on and on about.

Before I go, I’d like to offer a giveaway of an ebook copy of on my backlist to one lucky commenter. Since Unbreak My Heart is a book about second chances, tell me about a second chance you’ve been grateful for in your life or even something you’d like to get another shot at. Leave your second chance memory and an email address in the comments section below.

So that’s it for me. Thanks for stopping by and whether you’re a new reader to the series or have already being introduced to Brett and JT, I hope you enjoy their little world. Peace out.

 

Check out Unbreak My Heart today!

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Blurb:

Brett Taylor’s world collapsed three years ago when he lost the love of his life. Almost as bad as the grief is the advice he’s starting to get from everyone and their brother, telling him it’s time to move on. They’re flat-out wrong. He left his career as a musician and escaped to his ranch because he needs the peace and quiet, and he’s doing just fine. He doesn’t want anyone invading his memory-filled, booze-fueled solitude.

JT Campbell’s world has been defined by his parents’ money, status, and his own empty relationships, until he’s desperately sick of it. A quest to find something meaningful leads him to Brett’s failing ranch. It’s supposed to be a brief stay. JT never wanted to be anyone’s savior or compete with the ghosts of lovers past. Still, he can’t help wanting this gruff and grieving man.

JT’s mind knows it’s a bad idea, but his heart keeps pushing him to find out what lies beneath Brett’s rough and broken exterior. Brett’s not going to make it easy. JT can only be patient, keep his sense of humor, and hope for the day he may be allowed far enough into Brett’s world to unbreak his heart.

Bio:

K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.

Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.

K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.

Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.

Places to find K-lee.

Website – kleeklein.com
Blog – http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Klee_Klein
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kleemoon
Facebook author/reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812548795471921/

15 Ideas for Beating Writer’s Block with Leesa Love

August 2, 2016

Dreamspinner’s staff member, Leesa Love, shares her tips on beating writer’s block.

KEEP CALM AND WRITE SOMETHING

Writer’s Block is no stranger to most dedicated writers. It staunches the creative flow, leaving the most seasoned authored wondering what to write next. There are about as many methods for battling writer’s block as there are remedies for the common cold, so decide which works best for you! Here are some of our favorites.

Set a daily goal.This idea is practiced by many successful authors, including Stephen King and Nicholas Sparks. Whether it’s 500 words or five pages, encourage yourself to write everyday so that it becomes a reliable part of your routine rather than an activity to make time for.

Write badly and freely. A significant portion of writer’s block is caused by fear of bad writing. Give yourself permission to freewrite without the pressure of perfection. Set a timer and write whatever comes to mind; don’t interrupt your thoughts to edit until the end.

Transform a fairy tale...

Transform a fairytale. Another way to take the pressure off of your creativity is retelling a well-known story with your own voice. Having the structure of a story such as a traditional fairytale already in place gives you room to flex your imagination and experiment with your writing. 10 Creative Ways to Beat Writer’s Block Fast

Change your atmosphere. Your surroundings affect the flow of creativity more than you would think. While setting a daily routine may help, if you find yourself stuck at a desk behind a blank computer screen, consider switching things up. Write with a notebook and pen, write at a different time of day or in a different room. Consider heading out to a park or coffee shop for real-life inspiration.

Change Your Atmosphere

Set the mood. Are you writing a sexually charged scene? Light some candles and play soft background music to help set a romantic tone. If you’re writing a more light-hearted scene, sit in the sunshine and play something more upbeat for the right vibe.

Listen to playlists for writer’s block. Similar to study playlists, writer’s block playlists can keep you focused on your writing as well as inspire you by further setting the mood for your story. Find playlists HERE.

Give your characters a new problem. In his book Writer’s On Writing, Stephen King suggests that writer’s block stems from an insignificant problem, or lack of a problem altogether. Raising the stakes for your characters through introducing a new, radical problem can force the story in a new direction and bring out new aspects of the characters themselves.

Take your character out of the story. Make them wash the dishes! Sometimes you can be so caught up in the story, it becomes difficult to separate your character’s motivations from your own. Putting your character in a simpler situation can allow you to flex their personality and create a more solid characterization.

Research and plan. Allow your own story to re-inspire you by researching the elements that brought the story together. Find out more about the town your character is from, or imagine the character’s childhood in the world you’ve created. Whether it’s for worldbuilding or character background, fleshing out a new detail can be the key to the next scene in your story.

Revisit. Recall those moments when you were truly inspired. Read that poem that spoke to you, watch a movie that made you itch to write, or read the first chapter of your favorite book. Remind yourself why you write, and why you chose to be a writer.

Collaborate. Find author forums online or call up a friend to brainstorm ideas. Allow them to offer new perspectives for the scene you’re stuck on, or to inspire you with their own projects and ideas. 6 Coolest Ways to Write a Story

Do mindless tasks. Rather than force creativity to happen, sometimes you need to give your brain a break. Turn down the internal noise and let your mind wander as you take a shower, vacuum, or complete other simple chores. 18 Ways to Cure Writer’s Block

Take on a different creative project. Paint a picture, try a new recipe, or put together a model. Like mindless tasks, small artsy projects give your brain a break from hard thinking, but still encourage your imagination, making creative thoughts flow more effortlessly.

 

Exercise.

Exercise. If getting your creative juices pumping isn’t enough to fight off writer’s block, try getting your blood pumping! Moving your body can clear your thoughts and also keep you healthy. Check out our post on writer’s health for more tips!

Brian Moreland’s Glass-of-Water Technique. This author’s technique for beating writer’s block within 72 hours is all about intention. Before bed, Moreland thinks his intentions for the next day’s writing session into a full glass of water, such as tapping into his creative energy or finding his best writing form. He then drinks half of the glass, and goes to bed. Upon waking, Moreland drinks the rest of the water and immediately gives himself an hour to write uninterrupted. Completed up to three nights in a row, Moreland claims great success at overcoming his writer’s block. 7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block

Time Lost: Writing Time Travel with C.B. Lewis – Post + Giveaway

July 29, 2016

C.B. Lewis joins us today to talk about new book Time Lost and writing time travel.

Writing Time Travel with CB Lewis

Don’t write time-travel. Just don’t. Consider this a little bit of sage advice from someone who has fallen headlong down the rabbit hole of paradoxes and the butterfly effect and can’t get back out.

I’m C.B. Lewis and apparently, I am a complete masochist, because I’m delighted to announce the release of Time Lost, the second book of my time-travel series, Out of Time.

Time Lost begins with DI Jacob Ofori dealing with what appears to be a missing person case. Of course, things are never that simple, especially when he has to investigate the Temporal Research Institute, the place where his missing person worked. Kit Rafferty is the unfortunate technician who gets a bit too caught up in the investigation and his attraction to Jacob. Despite their best intentions, Jacob and Kit are drawn to one another, risking their careers and reputations, in the middle of an investigation that could change history.

Both Time Lost and Time Waits (Book #1) messed with my poor wee writer brain. I started the first story for the Out of Time series years ago (let’s call it the Mark 1), but then realised I wanted to know more about certain characters who would appear in it. So I started sketching out characters. Next thing I know, I’ve written a 300+ page novel which was only meant to be backstory to Mark 1: Time Waits. (For those who haven’t read it, time-travel conspiracy theory turned adventure turned romance with a dash of spy-lite thrown in)

With that out of the way, I was sure I could go back to Mark 1, because I had the characters and I had some of the layers of history all sorted. Right?

HA! Dead wrong!

Trouble is when you go back 20 years in a story to Point A, you can’t just jump to Point X with no explanation. Time is linear, after all, and one event will lead to cascading ripples, and everything changes. So I figure, hey, I know the history of everything that happens between Time Waits and Mark 1 and why certain changes have happened. Can’t hurt to put some of it down in writing.

And so, Time Lost was born.

So, logically, you’d think I would be back to Mark 1 now, wouldn’t you? Turns out that the writer part of my brain is much more interested in time-hopping than I am, because it has just handed me another story, set between Time Waits and Mark 1, and honestly, I think my head is going to essplode with too many ideas.

Time-travel bad, tree pretty.

Just to wind things up here, you can go straight into Time Lost without reading Time Waits, but if you haven’t and you want a chance to dip a toe into the world of the TRI, I’m giving away a digital copy of Time Waits. To win it, I’d love to hear about your favourite point in history and whether or not you would actually want to go back to it if you had the chance. Comment for a chance to win :)

Check out Time Lost today!

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Blurb:

What began with a dead intruder and a missing scientist quickly becomes the most perplexing case of Detective Inspector Jacob Ofori’s career. Nothing about it makes sense, from the incredibly advanced technology found on the intruder to the scientist’s mysterious workplace, the Temporal Research Institute. Jacob’s gut tells him the TRI is hiding something, and the questions keep piling up: Who would abduct Sanders? What is the strange gate in his basement laboratory? How does it connect to similar gates in the TRI?

TRI engineer Kit Rafferty only wanted one night with the sexy older policeman, but Kit’s mouth tends to run away with him when he gets excited, and nothing gets him more excited than cutting-edge tech—like the intruder’s cybernetic eye. Suddenly Kit is pulled into the investigation—and into a relationship that could jeopardize both of their lives. Kit hates lying to Jacob, but he cannot reveal what really goes on at the TRI—time travel. Faced with time-jumping criminals but unable to share that knowledge with Jacob, Kit turns to a man who knows time travel firsthand: Janos Nagy.

 

Author Bio: 

C.B. Lewis is small and Scottish and can often be spotted perched around historical monuments with her notepad and pen. She loves to travel and just has one continent left to complete her travel bingo card. There are no cats, no puppies, no significant others, only a lot of ideas and an awful lot of typing. And occasionally, cake. Never forget the cake.

tumblr: http://cb-lewis.tumblr.com/
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CB-Lewis-369293759939573/