Recipe for a Dreamspun w/ Shira Anthony + Giveaway

September 15, 2017

Recipe for a Dreamspun

 

Today is release day for Finder’s Keeper! I’m so excited to share this romantic paranormal story with you dreamers. For this special post, I’m offering up reader’s choice of one of my Dreamspinner books—any except Finder’s Keeper. The winner from this special contest can choose whatever ebook format they like, or choose an audiobook instead. To enter, just comment on the blog post!

Finder’s Keeper is my first novel in the brand new Dreamspun Beyond line of contemporary paranormal stories that are romance-forward in the tradition of the old category romances from Harlequin and Mills & Boon. Finder’s Keeper is the sweet story of a half-human, half-fox spirit named Kit who guards a gate between the human and spirit worlds and Zane Mayer, an engineer who inherits the old gothic brownstone where the Gate is hidden.

Kit is a hybrid, human and fox spirit, and the Dreamspun Beyond line is a hybrid as well. It’s one part romance and one part paranormal. Of course, romance is front and center with the Beyond line, but there’s also enough worldbuilding and paranormal fantasy to satisfy those of us (me included!) who love a bit of otherworldly mystery with their romance. Not a huge paranormal or fantasy reader? I think you’ll still enjoy the Beyond line, and, who knows? Maybe you’ll grow to love this wonderful genre.

Now you’ve got the recipe for a Dreamspun Desire, I hope you’ll join Zane and Kit as they explore their deepening feelings for each other, as well as the spirit world both men are bound to by destiny. Will they figure out a way to bridge the chasm between them and build on the ties that draw them to each other? It’s a Dreamspun. You can count on a sweet HEA. You’ll just have to read the story, though, to see how it all works out! -Shira

 

Check out Finder’s Keeper today!

 

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Blurb:

The truth might ruin his dreams—or make them come true.

When Zane moves into an old gothic brownstone, he discovers the house comes equipped with a caretaker—Kit, who lives in the basement. Zane is immediately drawn to the charming and attractive Kit. But Kit is much more than he seems. He is a two-hundred-year-old half-human, half–red-fox spirit who guards a Gate between the mortal and spirit worlds—a fact Zane should recognize, but doesn’t.

Orphaned at a young age, Zane never learned he comes from a long line of mystical Keepers. Kit needs Zane’s help to protect the Gate, but how can he tell Zane of his legacy when that will crush Zane’s dreams of traveling the world? If he takes up the mantle, Zane will be bound to the Gate, unable to leave it. But when Zane realizes Kit’s true nature, and his own, he’ll have to make a choice—fight to protect Kit and the Gate, or deny his destiny and any chance of a future with Kit.

 

About Shira:

Shira Anthony was a professional opera singer in her last incarnation, performing roles in such operas as Tosca, i Pagliacci, and La Traviata, among others. She’s given up TV for evenings spent with her laptop, and she never goes anywhere without a pile of unread M/M romance on her Kindle. You can hear Shira singing “Vissi d’arte” from Puccini’s Tosca by clicking here: Shira’s Singing

Shira loves a great happily-ever-after and never writes a story without one. She’s happy to write what her muse tells her, whether it’s fantasy, sci fi, paranormal, or contemporary romance. She particularly loves writing series, because she thinks of her characters as old friends and she wants to visit them even after their stories are told.

In real life, Shira sang professionally for 14 years, and she currently works as a public sector attorney advocating for children. She’s happy to have made writing her second full-time job, even if it means she rarely has time to watch TV or go to the movies. Shira writes about the things she knows and loves, whether it’s music and musicians, the ocean, or the places she’s lived or traveled to. She spent her middle school years living in France, and tries to visit as often as she can.

Shira and her husband spend as many weekends as they can aboard their 35′ catamaran sailboat, Land’s Zen, at the Carolina Coast. Not only has sailing inspired her to write about pirates and mermen, her sailboat is her favorite place to write. And although the only mermen she’s found to date are in her own imagination, she keeps a sharp lookout for them when she’s on the water.

Passing the Time w/ Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga

September 14, 2017

passing the time with julia talbot and ba tortuga

 

Hey y’all!

BA is supposed to be doing a blog about Finding Mr. Wright, her amazing new Dreamspun Desire. It’s the second Leanin’ N book, and it’s about a Texas millionaire cowboy and a Colorado wedding planner.

Sadly, BA has been in the hospital on and off for about a week, so she asked me to send y’all her week in pictures, just to make y’all smile.

Hugs, and as BA says, much love,

Julia (BA’s wife)

 

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BA’s many pokes at the ER

 

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ER room # many?

 

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In the cardiac care unit with rainbow narwhal

 

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Sonny, begging me to bring his mom home.

 

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Hospital as of today…

 

Send all the good thoughts, y’all! She needs them!

XXOO

Julia

Check out Finding Mr. Wright today!

 

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Blurb: 

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including weddings. And misunderstandings. Colorado wedding planner Mason O’Reilly lands a major contract: a two-hundred-guest wedding at the Leanin’ N Ranch, where his friends Ford and Stoney are working to provide a safe space for GLBT events. The Wright/Preston ceremony is a destination wedding, and as the grooms are from Texas, everything is done over the phone and email. There’s no way that could lead to trouble, right? Oops. Oil tycoon Noah Wright isn’t happy about the impending disaster, but he admires Mason’s quick thinking and grace under pressure. And that’s not all he likes about the out-and-proud wedding planner. Even though Mason’s interested in Noah, his Mr. Right can’t possibly be a rancher from Dallas. Can he?

 

 

Earning His Trust Exclusive Excerpt + Giveaway

September 11, 2017

Earning His Trust

 

What do you do when the pure emotion of a picture grabs you, and you can’t do anything but write the story you get when you see it? Well, that’s what happened to me when I saw the image that spurred me to write the following scene below in this exclusive excerpt. There’s happiness and joy in the picture, but to me, I knew there was more beneath the surface going on… and that is just what happened when it came time to write this chapter.

Happy Baby Boy And Dad Play Together

 

Exclusive Excerpt 

 

“Why don’t we go out to eat? The three of us? And before we go to the restaurant, we could stop at the park. Micah would love the swings.”

“Why don’t we stay in?” Evin was on the floor next to Micah, who was sitting in just a diaper, his blocks and a ring stack in front of him. “He’s happy playing with his rings right now, and if we take him to the park, I’ll have to bundle him up, which he hates. And I thought I’d make stew.”

“Well, I need to head over to my house and get some clean clothes for tomorrow. You could come with me.”

“It would be faster if we stayed here. You’re coming back, right?”

“Yeah.” Ben hated the anxiety in Evin’s voice as he walked out the door. He was distracted the whole drive over to his house. He didn’t like the way this was going. He’d seen more and more signs of Evin’s unwillingness to leave the house. The last time he needed groceries, he did an online order. He said it was because Micah was running a low-grade fever and it was too wet and cold to take him out.

He might be primarily an emergency room physician, but Ben knew the signs of post-traumatic stress. Evin was restless but didn’t want to leave the house. Anytime it was brought up, his anxiety level went through the roof.

He was allowing his house to become a barrier between him and the big, bad world. Worse, he refused to admit to his fear or his coping mechanism of avoiding life. Maybe it was easy for him to slip into because he’d done it before when Micah was born, but Ben thought he’d made progress, that he’d decided to rejoin the world.

Now he was locked away from it again. Ben didn’t know what to do, what to say, to make this fear better. Sure, they lived in a liberal area. Nine times out of ten, hell, ninety-nine times out of one hundred, openly gay couples were safe. Violence wasn’t the norm, but Evin had been the victim of too much of it, and worse, he was afraid of it spilling over onto the people he loved.

So he was holding on tight to where he was comfortable, to his safe zone.

And Ben had no idea how to fix it.

 

Check out Earning His Trust today!

 

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Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

 

Blurb:

Evin lost the only two men he ever loved. But he might get a second chance with one of them—if he’s willing to take the risk.

Following the death of his husband, Evin is living in Portland and raising the infant son they had through a surrogate. Six-month-old Micah is his life, and if it means no time for activities or friendships beyond his minuscule support network, that’s a sacrifice Evin is willing to make. When he suffers a burn baking teething biscuits, the last person Evin expects to encounter in the ER is Ben, his lover from college—and the man who left him without a word of explanation.

Ben knows it won’t be easy to earn Evin’s trust and prove he’s not the same man Evin once knew, but he can’t bear to watch Evin struggle to care for Micah, hurting and alone. He wants back in Evin’s life, as a friend and hopefully more, but Evin’s heart is fragile, and the years have changed him too.

 

Author Bio:

The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she’s a MM romance author: “Why gay fiction? Why write men when you’re a woman?” and her answer is: “Why the hell not!” Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started… Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing.

Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she’s a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.

Social Media:

Cia’s Stories: http://www.ciasstories.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alicia.nordwell
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AliciaNordwell
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4479520.Alicia_Nordwell

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j. leigh bailey’s Sundried Tomato and Basil Scones + Giveaway

September 2, 2017

sundried tomato and basil scones

 

I’m so excited to celebrate the release of STALKING BUFFALO BILL, the first in my Shifter U series, which is part of the new Dreamspun Beyond category line. I had so much fun writing this book and I can’t wait to introduce the world to Donnie—a hyperactive, highly distractible coyote shifter—and William—a placid-until-pissed buffalo shifter with a mysterious past.

Donnie isn’t like the rest of his family; he has no desire to work in the oil fields and raise the next generation of coyote shifters. In fact, what he really likes to do is bake, a very un-coyote-shifter occupation. Which is why, when he finally gets the nerve to approach the super-sexy William, he comes bearing baked goods. More specifically, he comes with his savory scone concoction.

Everyone has that thing that they are asked to bring to family events, right? For me, it’s my scones. I once found a “base” scone recipe that everyone loved. I then challenged myself to be creative with it, trying all sorts of ingredients and flavor combinations. One of the scone versions I came up with was the very sundried tomato scone recipe Donnie uses to approach William.

Sadly, I don’t have a picture of one of the Sundried Tomato and Basil Scones I’ve made, but I’ve included an image of another of my family favorites—a super sweet, decadent Butter Pecan Scone.

Scone

Below is the actual recipe for the Sundried Tomato and Basil Scones. I modified a Simple Scone recipe I found at AllRecipes.com several years ago to create this savory treat. I’m not convinced that this would make a good breakfast pastry, but I can assure you that it goes wonderfully as a carb option with dinner or as a savory brunch treat.


 

Ingredients:

2 cups All-Purpose Flour
¼ cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
8 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, frozen
2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
½ cup Sour Cream
1 Large Egg
1 oz Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil
½ cup Fresh Basil Leaves (rinsed and patted dry)
2 cloves Fresh Garlic
1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda. Grate the butter into the flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in butter (mixture should resemble coarse meal), then stir in half of the shredded parmesan cheese.

2. In small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg until smooth.

3.  Using a small food processor/small blender (seriously, it needs to be SMALL), blend basil, garlic, and tomatoes into a course meal; add basil/tomato mix to sour cream and egg mix.

4.  Using a fork, stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. The dough will be sticky in places and there may not seem to be enough liquid at first, but as you press, the dough will come together.

5. Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7-to-8inch circle about ¾-inch thick. Brush melted butter across the top and sprinkle on the remaining parmesan cheese. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on a cookie sheet (preferably lined with parchment paper), about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden (about 15-17 minutes). Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Bon Appetit!

 

**GIVEAWAY**  Are there any recipes or treats you’re know for? Something you are asked to bring to every family dinner or picnic? I’d love to know. A commenter will be randomly selected to win an autographed copy of either of my Young Adult Dreamspinner Press books GUYLINER or DO-GOODER (Winner’s choice).

 

Check out Stalking Buffalo Bill today!

 

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Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks
GooglePlay

 

Blurb:

A buffalo walks into a cafe. Sounds like the start of a bad joke, but for coyote shifter Donnie Granger, it’s the beginning of an obsession. Donnie is a little hyperactive and a lot distractible, except when it comes to William. He finally works up the nerve to approach William but is interrupted by a couple of violent humans.

While William—don’t call me Bill—is currently a professor, he once worked undercover against an international weapons-trafficking ring. Before he can settle into obscurity, he must find out who leaked his location and eliminate the thugs. He tries keeping his distance to protect Donnie, but the wily coyote won’t stay away.

It’ll take both Donnie’s skills as a stalker—er, hunter—and William’s super-spy expertise to neutralize the threat so they can discover if an excitable coyote and a placid-until-pissed buffalo have a future together.

 

 

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Author Bio:

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

About the Shifter U Series

A fun, male/male take on shapeshifter romance, the Shifter U stories include characters who shapeshift into more than the average apex predator. Sure, there are wolves, tigers, and bear shifters, but there are also coyotes, owls, beavers, bison, and more.

All books in the series center around Cody College, located on the outskirts of Cody, Wyoming, where the occasionally furry have a safe place to further their education. Affectionately known as Shifter U, the school offers shapeshifting students a “special track” which gives them the chance to learn important subjects like mathematics, philosophy, and, most importantly, how to hide their secret identity from local humans.

Maintaining secret identities is tough. Dark secrets, old enemies, mythical heritage, and a mysterious illness challenge the stealth skills of even the sneakiest students and staff. While these shifters struggle to handle their type of “normal,” thorny complications of attraction pop up—always at the worst possible times.

Social Media Links

Twitter @JenniWrites (http://twitter.com/JenniWrites )
Facebook @JLeighBailey (http://www.facebook.com/JLeighBailey )
Instagram @j.leigh.bailey_author (https://www.instagram.com/j.leigh.bailey_author/ )
Website (www.jleighbailey.net )

 

 

 

Remember When? with SJD Peterson + Giveaway

August 24, 2017

 

 

Remember When-

 

So, I’m trying to come up with a blog post and I look over at my mom and ask;

Me: What’s the first thing that pops into your head when I say, remember when?”

Mom: Remember that time when I didn’t have indoor plumbing.

Me: Um, no. I wasn’t born. But seriously, that’s the first thing that pops into your head?

Mom: Yes, you don’t know how horrible it is to go out there and go in a slop pot?

Me: Nope! Nope! Nope! This conversation is over. *Sigh*

 

This wasn’t what I had in mind when I was thinking of romantic or cute memories. I guess I should have been more specific. Especially when talking to Linda Faye. She is after all my mother and where my evilness comes from lol.

 

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I shall be more careful this time. You and your significant other are having a romantic candle lit dinner. She/he looks into your eyes and says;  “Remember When…..”

Finish the sentence and one person will win any ebook copy from my back list.

“Good Luck”

 

Check out Remember When today!

 

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BLURB:

Life is simple and hopeful in youth. Luke and Nelson are best friends exploring their budding sexuality. They have big plans for the future, and nothing can stand in their way or tear them apart—except a family move that puts a continent between them.

Ten years later Luke and Nelson meet again, but nothing is simple anymore. As strong as the attraction remains, obligations and expectations come between them as Luke is forced to honor family responsibilities over the desires of his heart.

Impossibly, fate sees fit to offer them a last opportunity to see what might have been. Will the third time be the charm, or is trust so badly broken it is impossible to repair? Can they recapture the innocent love they once knew and make up for all the wasted years? In a love story that spans half a lifetime, two friends destined for each other will have to fight hard for their happily ever after.

 

J

 

Meet Jo Peterson

SJD Peterson, better known as Jo, hails from Michigan. Not the best place to live for someone who hates the cold and snow. When not reading or writing, Jo can be found close to the heater checking out NHL stats and watching the Red Wings kick a little butt. Can’t cook, misses the clothes hamper nine out of ten tries, but is handy with power tools.

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

AUTHORS AMAZON PAGE

Pirate Dreams

August 23, 2017

pirate dreams

 

Hey, everyone!

First of all, thank you so much for hosting me today. It’s wonderful to end my blog tour with DSP. The last months have been a blast and much was due to you guys. Writing Changing Tides was a dream come true, but everything that came after — the editing process, the art cover design, the blog tour — was absolutely amazing. As the saying goes, I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun with my clothes on. <grin>

Anyway, about Changing Tides.  I was such a huge fan of Errol Flynn and his movies when I was growing up that I think this book was meant to be. For years I toyed with the idea of writing a pirate story, until one day I couldn’t take it anymore and just decided to try it.

I found an awesome soundtrack on youtube, spent hours poring over books and the internet to find everything I could about those amazing battleships, the weaponry and clothing for the time period, and about the Caribbean Sea and islands. And along the way I lost myself in the story and fell in love with Brett and Devon, the main characters.

I was a little nervous putting it out there since this is my first book in years, but it was well worth it. I loved the end result and I’m blown away by the reviews so far. I hope you guys enjoy sailing across the Caribbean Sea with my crew as much as I did.

Take care.

 

Check out Changing Tides today!

 

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Blurb:

While most pirates sail in search of riches, Captain Devon Hall, the infamous Phantom of the Caribbean, is driven by vengeance. Devon has sworn to put an end to the corrupt governor of Jamaica and break the ruthless man’s stranglehold in the Caribbean.

When Devon is wounded and stranded on land, an unlikely rescuer comes to his aid. Brett Campbell is nothing like his uncle, the governor, and his goals are not so different from Devon’s. Brett longs for freedom, but his obligations to protect those under his uncle’s control keep him from fleeing. Throwing in with Devon might increase both their chances of success—and survival.

When the governor’s attempts to destroy Devon escalate and place Brett in danger and in the hands of the ruthless and depraved pirate Captain Blackburn, Devon must risk everything to save the man he loves and repay his enemies.

All Devon’s ever wanted is his ship, his freedom, friends who stand by his side through thick and thin, and someone to love. But facing dangers at sea and on land, Devon wonders if they will live to enjoy it all.

Author Bio:

Alex Standish lives in Lisbon, Portugal, a beautiful and sunny country in Europe. She loves to read, travel, listen to good music, rock the vacuum cleaner like Freddie Mercury, and hang out with her friends. When she’s not at her day job or trying to win the lottery, she’s typing away at her laptop, Probie, writing homoerotic romance. She’s a multigenre author, striving to create engaging plotlines and characters that could stand on their own and hopefully tug at one’s heartstrings. In the last eight years, Alex has written one short story and four novellas.

Social media info: http://www.facebook.com/xanderstandish

The Town of Plenty by TA Moore + Giveaway

August 16, 2017

the town of plenty

 

Thank you for having me over today to talk about my new novel Bone to Pick by TA Moore, which will be available from Dreamspinner Press on August 14.

This blog tour is a bit of a departure for me. Usually I do a short story split between the blogs. However, that didn’t really work with Bone to Pick (the characters had met, briefly, before the start of this story but it didn’t go well. Someone might have got punched; someone might have deserved it!). So instead I thought I would give you a spoiler-free introduction to the cast of characters you’ll be meeting in Bone to Pick and tell you a little bit about how I came up with them — and maybe a bit about what I have planned for the future. I hope you enjoy meeting them! I love them all, even the terrible ones.

First of all, though, you’ll want to know what Bone to Pick is about.

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About the Book:

Cloister Witte is a man with a dark past and a cute dog. He’s happy to talk about the dog all day, but after growing up in the shadow of a missing brother, a deadbeat dad, and a criminal stepfather, he’d rather leave the past back in Montana. These days he’s a K-9 officer in the San Diego County’s Sheriff’s Department and pays a tithe to his ghosts by doing what no one was able to do for his brother—find the missing and bring them home

He’s good at solving difficult mysteries. The dog is even better.

This time the missing person is a ten-year-old boy who walked into the woods in the middle of the night and didn’t come back. With the antagonistic help of distractingly handsome FBI agent Javi Merlo, it quickly becomes clear that Drew Hartley didn’t run away. He was taken, and the evidence implies he’s not the kidnapper’s first victim. As the search intensifies, old grudges and tragedies are pulled into the light of the day. But with each clue they uncover, it looks more and more unlikely that Drew will be found alive.

August 14, 2017. Cover Artist: Anne Cain

 

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Plenty — The Location

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Plenty, California is TA Moore’s Castle Rock.

I promise I will try and make sure that is the last time I refer to myself in the third person! Delusions of grandeur aside, Plenty, California is the setting for Bone to Pick. It is a small town in San Diego County, and was created whole cloth by me.

Maybe it is the fantasy author in me, or the life-long Stephen King fan, but when I am settling down to build a series (which I hope Bone to Pick will be the start of) as opposed to a stand-alone book, I want to create the setting as much as I do the characters. I want to control the horizontal and the vertical, the past scandals, the well-known local gossip.

I want to drop Cloister Witte and his dented old Airstream trailer in a caravan park full of year long residents and occasional tourists. Somewhere with a conveniently located beach for him to chase his demons on, and kids playing so Bourneville can steal the tennis balls and bounce off the side of the Airstream.

It means I can give Javi Merlo a cool, minimalist loft space in an industrial area where gentrification has only taken in a couple of apartments. Where he can see some of the town’s best restaurants, but they’re always closed because he rarely makes it in before midnight.

It means I can capture the resentment of a town where the thin line between revitalisation and appropriation was passed years ago. Where people commute for two hours to have a taste of small town living, that they’ve made as much like the city they left as they can. Where the owner of the local hardware store has turned it into a curio coffee shop to appeal to the blow-ins, but still calls them names at the bar.

Of course, it does mean that I have to keep a book bible for the town as well as characters and chronology! I have a map, a sort of generic mid-town outline that I fill in as I go along, little scraps and tats of history that I need. It will get more complicated as it goes on, of course. For now it’s a couple of sheets in a dedicated file, eventually I’ll print it out so I can consult on the go.

The plan is that I will revisit Plenty in the future. I have a new book (hopefully a series) that I’ll starting work on in a couple of months. It will also be set — provisionally, unless it turns out to be a terrible idea — in Plenty.  It’s going to be a very different part of the town, a different tone — but, well, it’s different characters, isn’t it?

After that, well, we’ll see. My little town might not have enough space to carry too many narratives. I made one town though, and I can make more. I’ll probably keep them in SoCal though, it gives me an excuse to visit friends and, as a Northern Irish lass, I envy the weather!

What do you think? How murdery CAN a town get before you have to move on to pastures less red?

 

Check out Bone to Pick today!

 

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 ***

 

Win Liar, Liar or Dog Days by TA Moore

TA Moore

 

Bio:

TA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid when she was a small child. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in a market town on the Northern Irish coast and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a month (although she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing). She believes that adding ‘in space!’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any animal she meets (this includes snakes, excludes bugs), and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach, realized it was really high, and chickened out.

She aspires to being a cynical misanthrope, but is unfortunately held back by a sunny disposition and an inability to be mean to strangers. If TA Moore is mean to you, that means you’re friends now.

Website: www.nevertobetold.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/TA.Moores
Twitter: @tammy_moore

 

 

Agents and Shifters and Knights… Oh My! by M.D. Grimm

August 15, 2017

Agents and Shifters and Knights

 

Good day everyone! Thanks for joining me!

I’m M.D. Grimm and the proud author of The Shifters series with DSP. My latest, “Feather and Scroll” (book 11. Eleven!!) was released on August 9th and I am so stoked! How about I get right to it and talk about some behind-the-scenes info, shall I?

 

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Blurb:

Agent Pan has spent most of his adult life protecting shape-shifters from the Knights—an organization bent on their annihilation—and keeping the secret war in the shadows where it belongs. But the Knights are growing bolder, and a new threat has resurfaced after being buried in the ocean for decades.

The ancient scroll, a key to a devastating weapon, is now in the hands of a recalcitrant Russian hawk shifter named Viktor. As a bird shifter, he knows his duty is to protect the scroll, but he wants nothing to do with the war. He leads a quiet life and wants to keep it that way. But when agents come knocking on his door, he finds it difficult to resist the charms of Agent Pan, especially since this isn’t their first meeting.

Two years earlier they spent a passionate weekend together, neither aware of the other’s true identity. Viktor never really got over Pan. Now with sexual tension at its peak, they must learn to trust each other and work as a team to protect not only their loved ones, but every shifter in the world.

 

First things first: Viktor is Russian. I wrote this story about a year before certain events happened between the USA and, well, the rest of the world. So making him Russian was simply a diversity decision, and I thought it would be fun to write about a gruff, yet kind, Russian hawk shifter. He was a great character to work with and the way he and Pan played off each other kept me interested through the entire story.

Throughout the series I have endeavored to depict not only diverse shifters (wolves and bears, to sharks and snakes!) but also diverse people. A constant thread through the series has been: we may come from different places and cultures, but we are responsible for caring for those around us. My big-bad villains, the Knights of the Dawn, and their leader Arcas, are determined to “cleanse” the world and essentially make it a world of one culture, under one leader. Sound familiar? I wanted my heroes and heroines to come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences, and on the spectrum of identities and sexualities. We are all needed if the world is to be saved and the creatures on it to be protected.

Okay, stepping off my soap box…

In the first draft of this story, I actually didn’t have Viktor and Pan meeting two years before the story starts. I tried to have the initial connection within the confines of the story and it didn’t feel right. Nothing gelled and even *I* didn’t feel any romantic magic. The story moved too fast, and there wasn’t enough time for them to feel the buzz, and I try to avoid insta-love. I don’t always succeed, but I try! So I set the story aside and thought about it. Then the lightbulb went off, and I realized there wasn’t anything preventing me from having them know each other, at least slightly, before the story started. Once I inserted that into the story, everything gelled and I felt the magic and tension. Their relationship felt far more organic. I came up with the solution during one of my cardio sessions. Not surprising. That’s my usual problem-solving venue. That and the shower…

I really enjoyed getting these guys together, and Agent Jin’s exasperation with the two of them made me giggle a time or two.

This story certainly caused me to flesh some creative muscle that I hadn’t needed to before. The cat-and-mouse game between the agents/shifters and knights wasn’t something I’d really done yet, not on page. Trying to think warfare and espionage moves and countermoves isn’t my forte. I hope I managed it enough to make the story at least plausible. At the very least, entertaining. That’s the point of a fiction book, isn’t it? To be entertained. If you learn something, well, that’s a bonus, isn’t it?

“Feather and Scroll” takes place right after the events of “Shifting Moon” (10) and I suggest at least “Shifting Moon” be read before “Feather and Scroll.” But if you don’t feel like, don’t worry. I think you can pick up on things fairly quickly. This series is a true one, and think each book should be read in order, but again, that’s just me. I’m a stickler for starting a series with book 1 and then moving forward. Granted, each book is a different couple, but the overarching storyline runs through all of them.

I’m about halfway through folks. Yep, halfway. I have about 23 books planned, so look out!

Speaking of future books… Books 12, “Kindred Truths” will be available in October. Agent Poe and Nordik are back! It was a hoot to revisit those guys and see where life would take them. There were some surprises and twists as I wrote it, but it all came out the way I hoped it would. Unfortunately for our heroes, the Knights of the Dawn (and Arcas) will be winning a few more battles before their supremely satisfying comeuppance.

 

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Blurb:

Agent Poe loves being part of the Agency—an organization devoted to protecting shape-shifters—and he especially loves his mate of only a couple of months, Nordik, the nigh immortal master bear shifter. He has the best of both worlds—the man he loves and the job he loves. But when Nordik reveals he’s ready to rejoin society and accompany Poe on his missions, Poe must take the next step and make them a full partnership.

After the Agency intercepts a message from Arcas, the leader of the Knights of the Dawn—a cult bent on the annihilation of shifters—meant for his followers, their job gets a whole lot harder. The Knights don’t bother keeping their activities hidden anymore, stretching the Agency’s resources thinner than ever.

After a near-fatal mission almost costs Poe his life, Nordik insists on a break for both of them. They visit Poe’s family in Ireland and learn that true danger lies not without, but within. There’s no greater betrayal than that of a loved one.

 

To keep my sanity, I split up my series into five parts with several books in each part. That way, I could stay with a specific theme and keep *some* order while I outlined each book. The first part was books 1-6 (Psychic Moon – Master’s Blood) and it was simply labeled “Beginning.” It was my introductory phase into my world of shifters, agents, and knights.

Part Two was “Scrolls” where I introduced the mysterious and bothersome ancient scrolls, keys to a weapon of destruction. Books 7-12 are in that part (Hunted Guardian – Kindred Truths).

Part Three will be called “Blood.” There will be maybe four or five books in this part. I won’t say too much, but there is an inevitable effect to the Knights gaining the upper hand against the shifters and agents. A devastating, sad effect, that I introduce slightly in “Kindred Truths.” Watch for it!

Part Four is “Masters” and all about the other master shifters. There will be about four or five books in that part, and all the pairs will involve master shifters.

The last is Part Five, simply labeled “End.” I think there are only three books in that one. The last book will deal with the long life and tragedies of Merlin, the master shifter of all shapes. He has quite a story to tell and it will be bittersweet when I start writing.

So hold onto your hats everyone! I have quite a rollercoaster waiting for you. Care to join me?

My question for all of you is: what mythological creature and/or beast would you want to shift into? Think outside the box, consider that there are: Pegasus, unicorn, manticore, minotaur, chimera, griffin, centaur, faun/satyr, nymph (wood, tree, mountain, water, etc.), mermaid, selkie… Think of the beasts of Egypt, Sumeria, Japan, Ireland… you get the idea. What would *you* want to be and why?

Mine: Dragon (western, either wyvern or the more common depiction with four legs and a pair of wings);

Why?: Fire-breathing, fierce, flying, hoarding gold (though I would hoard books)… you get the idea. Of course I would be blue. I’ve loved dragons since I was a kid, when I read Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. It just grew from there. Yes, “How to Train Your Dragon” is my favorite movie. I’m not ashamed.

And you?

 

Cowboys Are More Than Butts by Julia Talbot

August 10, 2017

cowboys are more than butts

 

Hey y’all! My wife, BA Tortuga and I were talking cowboys. Not at all unusual, since she writes a lot of them, and Dreamspinner just released one of my favorite stories of mine, Sparkle and Shine. Based on a song, Everything That Glitters by Dan Seals, Sparkle and Shine follows friends to lovers Brooks and Evan all the way to the National Finals rodeo in Vegas.

Anyway, the discussion turned, as it often does, to how most comments we see about cowboys in the greater romance world center on Wrangler butts. Now, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate one of those as much as the next cowboy fan. I also like the way cowboy boots tilt that Wrangler butt just so. But that’s maybe a thimble full of what a cowboy is actually all about.

I grew up in cowboy country. No, not Texas, though West Texas was 45 minutes from my backyard. Southern New Mexico when I was a kid was small towns and lots of beef cattle. My grandpa was a cowboy. I would argue my mom was, too, despite the fact that she left Western Colorado young to join the Army. Then I married a Texan whose Daddy is a cowboy. Her brother was a bullrider, and one of her adopted siblings trains horses for a living.

If I’ve learned anything from my experiences it’s that most people see cowboys as an abstract. As an icon of a lost culture. But what I know is true is the opposite. Cowboys are still real, and so is cowboy culture. I see it when I visit my father in law. I see it when I go to the feed store here in a suburb of Albuquerque. I see it at rodeos and on vacation in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It’s still going strong.

I once heard a well-known big 5 author state that she knew she didn’t write real cowboys because she didn’t like how they really were: dirty and bent from hard work, baked and lined from the sun, stubborn and a little foul mouthed. I thought, “How sad”, because cowboys are not cardboard cut-out romance heroes. If you write them with all their flaws, all their scars, and yeah, some dirt on their boots, they come alive in all the best ways. Absolutely, they’re stubborn. Sometimes problematic. Often vain. But, then again, I’ve never met one who didn’t love animals and children, who wouldn’t give you the shirt off his back to keep warm and out of the rain. They’re real people with real joys and sorrows, whether they’re riding the range or sitting in an office somewhere.

Cowboys are far more than just butts, and I hope y’all will help me embrace them in all their weird and wonderful glory!

 

XXOO

Julia Talbot

Check out Sparkle and Shine today!

 

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Blurb:

All that glitters is not gold. No-frills cowboy Evan learned that lesson the hard way while married to a rodeo princess, a relationship that was all flash and no substance. At least Evan held on to his daughter, Cheyenne, and his best friend, Brooks, when the sparkle wore off and things fell apart. Life could be a lot worse.

But it could also be better… if Evan and Brooks took a step beyond friendship. Just as they start to explore their feelings, Evan’s ex-wife sticks her nose in to sabotage them. Suddenly everything is up in the air, and they have difficult choices to make about the rodeo, Cheyenne, and the romance they both want so badly to pursue

First edition published by Torquere Press, November 2007.

 

Author Bio:

Stories that leave a mark. Julia Talbot loves romance across all the genders and genres, and loves to write about people working to see past the skin they’re in to love what lies beneath. Julia Talbot lives in the great mountain and high desert Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner and Changeling Press among many others. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. She also writes BDSM and erotic romance as Minerva Howe. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at www.juliatalbot.com “The mountains are calling, and I must go”

https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

Confessions of a Book Addict by Vivien Dean

August 9, 2017

Confessions of a Book Addict

 

I was nine years old when I read my first adult romance. My school librarian had yet to cotton on to the fact that my two-book allowance at checkout barely got through me a single night, let alone a whole week, so I supplemented my reading addiction with whatever I could find around the house. The Encyclopedia Brittanica. Good Housekeeping magazines. Big band LP album covers and liner notes. I devoured it all. When I got too hungry for more fiction, I finally braved the last frontier – my grandmother’s romance novel stash.

I came by my addiction naturally. Everyone in my family is a reader. Toss in the fact that Grandma was a hoarder, too, and my nine-year-old self felt like she’d hit the mother lode. I lost hours to reading, curled up under a cloth-covered table in the living room with a flashlight or behind the shed if we got kicked outside to play or – blessedly – in my room while my two sisters were elsewhere so they wouldn’t tattle on me. Harlequin happy endings were my crack.

So when Dreamspinner announced their first venture into the same type of trope-y stories a couple years ago, my inner nine-year-old clapped with glee. There might even have been some clapping from my outer self, too. It couldn’t get any better, I thought.

I was wrong. They announced Dreamspun Beyond. My beloved tropes in paranormal worlds. There was absolutely no way I could let the opportunity slip by to write for it.

Out of all the romance I read and write, paranormal is my hands-down favorite. The draw is easy. I’m immersed in a brand-new world with characters who are subject to supernatural forces and still find ways to overcome them. You might ask, how is that different from fantasy or sci-fi? Paranormals, while offering new world rules, are most often grounded in a setting that’s at least initially set in our own existence. So it’s new, but still familiar. For me, that’s the perfect balance.

That’s the approach I took for The Charlatan’s Conquest. In this setting, ghosts exist, and it’s possible to interact with them, but it’s set in contemporary Pennsylvania and New York with very real issues surrounding both heroes. Cruz agrees to take on a ghost hunting job that his best friend can’t because he needs the money to help pay for his baby sister’s medical expenses. He’s a reflection of his working-class family. He throws everything he has into getting past hardships like the financial ramifications from treating his sister’s cancer. On the other hand, Brody has had his own share of troubles. His mother’s death when he was a child. Struggling with his identity in an affluent, conservative community. A distant relationship with his father. All of these and more mold the men who meet under such extraordinary circumstances. They face the incredible, but in a world with which the reader can empathize. That’s my idea of reading nirvana.

The best part about it is that this is the first of a series called “Phantom Fixers.” I get to go back to this world, which is a very good thing because Etienne, Cruz’s ghost hunter best friend, won’t stop nagging me about his own happy ending. For now, though, I’m going to sit back and enjoy Cruz and Brody’s story. I hope you will, too.

Check out The Charlatan’s Conquest today!

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Dreamspinner Press ebook
Dreamspinner Press paperback (buy the paperback and get the ebook for FREE!)
Amazon Kindle
Amazon paperback

 

BLURB:

With love and ghosts, the challenge is figuring out what’s real.

Software engineer Cruz Guthrie needs money for his sister’s cancer treatments. He needs it so badly he’s willing to stand in for a ghost hunter friend and investigate a millionaire’s supposed specters. It should be an easy gig—after all, nobody thinks the haunting is real.

Neurological researcher Brody Weber is furious that Cruz would take advantage of Brody’s father. But his mind changes when spirits manifest—and he realizes Cruz genuinely wants to help. When they learn the paranormal activity centers on Brody, Cruz is willing to fight to free Brody from the entities determined to make his life miserable. With a little help from friends and family—both living and dead—they must figure out why Brody is attracting spirits and how to banish them. Only then can they pursue a future together.

 

BIO:

VIVIEN DEAN is a firm believer that love doesn’t care about gender. That’s why her titles encompass both GLBT and het, erotic and sweet, as well as a wide variety of genres. After growing up in the snowy and isolated Midwest, she went off in search of her creative muse. She performed on stage, wrote and directed indie films in Orlando, then met her British soulmate online. One wedding, two children, and ten addresses later, she resides in the Bay Area where it’s easy to indulge in her favorite pastimes—good theater, great movies, and amazing food.

Vivien is a four-time EPIC eBook Award winner and collaborated with Pepper Espinoza to write as Jamie Craig for five years.

CONTACT VIVIEN

Website: www.viviendean.com
E-mail: vivien_dean@yahoo.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/vivien.dean.3
Twitter: @VivienDean