Romantic Resort w/ Ari McKay

June 1, 2017

Romantic Resort

 

Hello, everyone! Ari here, and I’m so very glad you decided to drop by to spend a few minutes with me on the release day for our new Dreamspun Desire story, Breaking Bonds! This is the second book we’ve written featuring one of the Walker boys, from our big family of Texans who love food, family, and romance, and we hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it!

I probably tend to get carried away with my excitement over the stories McKay and I write, but like many authors, we put so much of ourselves into our stories that we can’t help but become attached to them. I found myself more than a little attached to Liam Walker, our MC who takes a break from the cut throat competition of the New York culinary scene to try to get back his sense of perspective. The place he chooses to do that is a fictional resort called The Overlook which happens to be set in a very real place – Maggie Valley, North Carolina.

I’m not a professional chef, although I do love to cook and have a fond wish to someday own a bakery. But one thing I brought to this story was my experience with the food service industry. I spent several years while I was in school working at a country club in Miami, where my cousin was the maitre d’. We catered parties of up to seven hundred people in the big ballroom, and so I became intimately familiar with how big commercial establishments are run. The executive chef of the place was a large, loud, demanding man whom we all called Chef Ray. He was a perfectionist in all things, and while the catering staff were mostly teenagers like myself, we learned quickly to adhere to his standards or risk a tongue lashing that could reduce anyone – the boys included – to tears. There’s a little of Chef Ray in Liam, I have to admit, and while I’m sure Chef Ray has passed on by now, I hope he wouldn’t mind.

Liam was interesting to write because he has so much drive and determination, and knows exactly where he’s going and how he’s going to get there. Or he does until he meets a certain dark haired, dark eyed resort owner who needs help, and that throws a bit of a curve into all his carefully laid plans. But love has a tendency to do that, doesn’t it? That’s the core of Liam’s conflict, because he learns that the issues he had thought were so overwhelming in New York suddenly mean nothing in the face of finding someone he really desires and connects with, someone he comes to realize that he wants more than he wanted his career. And yet he isn’t free to just walk away, either. I’m sure a lot of us have been caught in a similar situation, torn between desire and obligation, between love and duty. It’s a hard place to be in, as Liam discovers, and no matter what choice you make, you feel like it could be the wrong one.

Fortunately for Liam, his personal happily-ever-after was assured, but it doesn’t always work out like that in real life, alas. But that’s one of the wonderful things about fiction — you can use your own experiences, and yet make sure the outcomes are everything you want them to be.

So now I want you to share with me! Tell me what real life experience you have that you think would make an interesting story? Who knows, maybe our next story we’ll be asking for your input!

 

Check out Breaking Bonds today!

 

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Blurb:

From the frying pan into the fire.

After a critic’s review attacks both Chef Liam Walker’s culinary skills and his personal life, Liam can no longer take the heat of the cutthroat New York City restaurant scene. He needs to get out of the kitchen—at least long enough to cool down and regroup.

At the Overlook Resort in North Carolina, Liam meets owner Carter Galloway. Carter has a passion for the hospitality business to rival Liam’s own, and it’s not hard to see where their shared interests—and attraction—could lead. But Carter has no interest in a fling, and Liam has no intention of walking away from the career he fought so hard for. If they want a taste of happiness together, they’ll have to find the courage to break the bonds threatening to pull them apart.

 

About Ari McKay:

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full-time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.
Visit Ari on:
Website: arimckay.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mckay/266185570179748
Twitter: @AriMcKay1

The Image of Old Town Stone Acres with Pat Henshaw + Giveaway

May 31, 2017

 

the image of old town stone acres

 

Hi, I’m Pat Henshaw, the author of the Foothills Pride contemporary gay romance series. Today’s the release day for Frank at Heart, #6 in the series. Like the other five novellas, Frank can be read as a standalone, so you don’t have to have read any of the other books to enjoy this one.

When I first realized I was writing a series about a fictional Gold Rush town that was suffering growing pains as it entered the 21st century, I had a hazy idea of what the place looked like.

My husband and I liked to get away whenever we could and explore the Sierra Nevada foothills outside Sacramento where we live. There we would eat lunch in small town cafés and stroll around community parks which often sported elaborate bandstands.

As is the fictional town of Stone Acres, these communities were struggling with how much of the past to keep and how much to let go when the year 2000 rolled around.

Should they keep the wooden sidewalks, the hitching posts, and the crumbling facades? Or should they rebuild and refurbish? Do they appeal to tourists’ interest in history or outdoors activities?

When it came time to work with an artist to design a cover, I was at a loss. I knew I wanted something that reflected both the old and the new. But most gay romances I’d read had a naked or near naked torso and nothing much else on the cover.

While that would have been an easy solution, it wouldn’t have reflected what the books were about. As a reader, I think it’s important that the cover give an idea or a feeling about the book. Sure, I can get this from the blurb, but the first visual impression is important to me too.

Fortunately, through the randomness of draw, my cover was assigned to AngstyG. She not only held my hand through the process, but understood how to meld the idea of old meets new in all the covers she’s designed for the series.

In fact, we’re so in tune that the cover for Frank at Heart was perfect from the first submission. I couldn’t (and didn’t) change a thing—including the bird on the roof of the hardware store. (I love the whimsy of it.)

The covers follow a simple pattern, but even using that and a similar color palette, they all reflect their stories. Not only are the central characters depicted, but a building like one found in typical Foothills towns and images important to the story are included.

AngstyG is so good that after Redesigning Max released, a gay friend of mine asked to be introduced to one of the cover models. I had to tell my friend that not only did the guy not exist, but that, as AngstyG put it, he was Frankensteined, meaning she’d built his image from photos of four different men.

As an artist she’s so good that the jagged scar Adam from When Adam Fell got as a teen looks and feels real even though it’s just smoke and mirrors, as she described it.

The publishing process includes so much more than my writing a book and having editors who smooth it out. So if you feel as if you’ve met these characters as you begin reading the stories, part of the reason is that AngstyG has set you up to like them.

It’s been my privilege to work with all the people at Dreamspinner in getting my books to see the light of day, but one of the people I’m particularly grateful to is AngstyG.

Do you have a favorite book cover that you think wonderfully illustrates its story? Please share it with us below in order to win a copy of one of my backlist titles.

 

 Check out Frank at Heart today!

 

FrankAtHeart_postcard_front_DSP

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble
Google Play

 

Blurb: 

Everything about thirty-five-year-old Stone Acres hardware store owner Frank McCord is old-fashioned—from his bow tie and overalls to the way he happily makes house calls to his dreams of lasting romance, true love, and marriage. Frank’s predecessors have run the store and been mainstays in the small California town for over a century. While genial Frank upholds tradition and earns the respect of friends and neighbors, he fears he’s too dull and old to attract a husband.

Then handsome thirty-six-year-old electronic games designer Christopher Darling and his fifteen-year-old son, Henry, come into his life. Christopher has everything Frank could want in a potential partner: charm, kindness, and compatibility. Also, he’s a terrific father to Henry. When their Stone Acres home turns out to be uninhabitable, Frank offers the Darlings temporary lodging in his ancestral farmhouse, where he and his tenant Emil reside. Since Emil thinks Frank is his, sparks fly. Suddenly, Frank’s monotonous life promises to explode with love and threatens to change him forever.

 

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Author Bio:

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

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

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

Author media links:

Website: http://patbooked.blogspot.com
Website: www.pathenshaw.com (under construction)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pat.henshaw.10
Twitter: https://twitter.com/phenshaw
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pat-Henshaw/e/B00BPDEDEA/
Email: patoisca@yahoo.com

 

 

How Was Secured and Free Born? w/ Z. Allora

May 30, 2017

secured and free

 

 

Greetings! Thank you Dreamspinner Press for allowing me to share some information about how Secured and Free was born.

To celebrate the release of Secured and Free I’ll be giving away 3 e-books, 2 audiobooks of Lock and Key (Book #1 of Entwined Dreams) and a $20 gift card to Dreamspinner Press. Details below.

 

How was Secured and Free born?

Orion Gordon, one of Secured and Free’s main characters had a secondary part in Lock and Key. One of my critique partners (Danny Brüggemann) hadn’t even finished reading the beta read for Lock and Key and she private messaged me on Facebook.

Danny: “So Orion’s story is next.”

Z: (my head screamed YES, but that wasn’t the original order of the story) Um, no. Why?

Danny: His story is next.

Z: … No, actually Xander’s—

Danny: Orion gets a happy ending, so who is it? Marcus? Although what about Hunter? (she completely ignored my attempts at denials) Marcus? It’s Marcus, right? But Hunter…

Z: … (the plot bunny threw a lightning bolt at my head) Damn you!

Danny: Why not—

Z: Don’t say it. I know…

Danny: (LOL) Orion does need a village just ask Xander.

Z: (growled & pouted)

Then I did what was destined to be and wrote Secured and Free.

And that’s how my story priority order changed, and how Orion got his happily ever after in book two of Entwined Dreams.

I want to share some excerpts from Lock and Key as well as Secured and Free. I think this will help remind you where his path took him.

This first snippet is when meet Orion in Chapter 2 of Lock and Key (Entwined Dreams #1). Since the main character, Zack Davis is 18 years old I show him dipping his toes into the BDSM pond. Chapter 2 is a BDSM 101 class and basic demonstration.

 

Excerpt of Lock and Key:

Once the chuckles and laughter died down, Jason continued. “As you can see, we are pretty relaxed here. Still, Orion and I have talked about what we’ll do tonight. We both worked out the expectations of this scene. He’s shared with me his limits, and I’ve shared mine.”

A murmur raced through the crowd.

Jason grinned. “Ah, I see. You don’t think someone in the Dominant role has limits or should explain those to the sub?”

No one said anything.

“Orion?”

Orion shrugged and said, “I wanted more intensity with the impact play than Master Jason was willing to give me. He told me his limits, and I need to respect them or find a new play partner.”

Zack understood that kind of raw had-to-have-it need.

Jason nodded. “Neither partner should be forced into a place they’re not comfortable in. I’m not saying limits shouldn’t be pushed and boundaries can’t be adjusted, but there’s a process… a negotiation for that.”

Orion frowned but didn’t say more.

Later on, in Book #1 we find out Orion’s need for rougher play had gotten out of hand.

 

Excerpt from Lock and Key:

There was a brief silence, which Tony broke. “I want to continue discussing abuse versus discipline.” Everyone glanced around them until all gazes fell on Orion Gordon.

Zack had never played much with the researcher because he couldn’t meet Orion’s need for pain. Though they’d had plenty of discussions about the progress being made in cancer research.

Fuck, no. Zack did recall he’d noticed Orion with more than one blackened eye; the guy had said it was a work-related injury. Shit! Today the guy sported two black eyes, a swollen cheek, and a split lip. How had he missed the way Orion flinched when someone made quick movements around him?

Orion shrugged but wouldn’t meet anyone’s stare. “I don’t see the big deal. They’re mostly the same thing.”

What? He couldn’t be serious. Zack had to say something.

“Discipline is what a submissive submits to in order to learn, grow, make atonement, or find subspace. Abuse is nonconsensual and serves no purpose other than to vent anger or torment another in a non-agreed-upon way.”

When Orion didn’t look at Zack, he continued, “Even if you agreed to discipline, you didn’t agree to the willful disregard of your personal welfare.”

There was silence until someone across the room said, “Safe, sane, and consensual, right?”

“Or RACK.” Zack threw the term out there.

Someone new asked, “What’s RACK?”

Joey Junior cleared his throat and got everyone’s attention. “Risk-Awareness and Consensual Kink. Nothing is completely safe. Driving a car isn’t completely safe, but we have seat belts and airbags. It’s about being aware of the risks and trying to minimize the potential issues.”

Tony asked, “I never understood why consensual kink instead of sane?”

“Well, think about it. Do you want someone not in the lifestyle telling you what sane is? Because I’d bet their definition is different than ours. If I give consent to explore breath play, I don’t want someone telling me that I’m insane. That’s between me and my Master.” Joey Junior glanced around the group.

Many gazes drifted back to the man who had everyone’s worry.

Orion peered up with a glint of defiance. “What if the play was consensual?”

“Was it?” Zack doubted Orion had given consent.

Orion folded his arms and pressed his lips together, which reopened his lip.

Xander, Orion’s best friend, pulled a tissue from his pocket and dabbed at the blood.

Orion grabbed the tissue and snarled, “Don’t. I’ve got this.”

Zack shook his head. “I find it difficult to imagine a contract or a discussion between a Master and sub, or even a slave, requesting consent to beat someone in the face.”

Tears sprang to Orion’s eyes, and he glanced away from the group.

Zack surveyed the other subs. Shit. Entwined was meant as a safe haven, but it happened even here. He’d never wanted anyone to experience the betrayal and violation he had. “Is this something that happens frequently?”

No one would answer until Sam said, “On occasion. Even with all the members being vetted, a couple Doms who don’t understand power exchange make it through.”

“What happens?” Jesus! Zack dug his fingernails into the chair, but he kept his voice even.

“Usually word gets out, and no one will scene with them, so they vanish.”

“Who did this to you, Orion?” Zack demanded, but the guy stubbornly refused to speak. Well, fuck no. Not happening again.

“Do you want that to happen to someone else? Do you want this guy to hook up with Xander? Or anyone else?” Zack wanted to wring the guy’s neck for protecting someone who needed his ass kicked.

“You know I like it rough.” Orion’s admission dared those around him to say something about it.

“There’s a difference between rough and out of control. A Dom should never be out of control. No one should be abused under the guise of BDSM play.”

Xander said, “Orion, don’t make me. You should say who, or I will.” He stroked his friend’s hair.

Orion pressed his lips together into a frown, but ultimately, he coughed up the name. “Dom Henry.”

“That fucking bastard,” one of the subs three seats away from Zack yelled out. “I’d like to explain the difference between discipline and abuse to him.”

Which brings us to the first chapter of Secured and Free. A few months have passed. Orion’s trust has so shaken he can’t even do a light scene.

 

Chapter 1 Excerpt Secured and Free:

“Cancer!” Orion couldn’t breathe.

Stop! Stop! Can’t be tied!

Everything needed to cease. Squeezing his eyes shut, he called out, “Cancer!”

The ropes vanished from around his wrists as if they had never been there.

It was no good. What kind of submissive was he if surrender was beyond him?

No! Trust. Can’t. No!

Zack spoke to him, but Orion couldn’t piece together the meaning of his words.

Andrew’s deep dominant voice cut through the building terror.

“Orion, I’m wrapping a blanket around you, and then I’m moving us to the platform.”

Blanket. Yes. Hide. No more.

Flat on his back, Orion burrowed into the warmth, hoping it might protect him.

Stupid. Idiot. I’m good for nothing. I can’t even—

Wanting it all to stop, he pressed closer to the body generating heat. The scene ended like it had too often in the recent past. There was a time Orion would have cut out his tongue rather than use a safeword. But now he used the word to make everything end before anything could even start.

“You’re with us. I’m lying next to you.” Zack’s words comforted him. Orion held on as Zack wrapped his arm lightly around Orion’s middle. Andrew stroked his hair. “You’re safe, Orion. Just breathe. Draw air in through your nose and out through your mouth. Inhale and exhale nice and slow.”

Orion gasped.

“Easy. In through your nose and out through your mouth,” Andrew instructed again.

Failed. Again. Don’t deserve to be held and petted. Can’t even breathe right.

The weight of disappointment threatened to bury him further in the abyss. Everything he believed about himself was… a lie. He focused all his energy on catching some air. Following these simple directions was the least he could do.

Inhale. Exhale. Even breaths. There. He had his respiration under control. His heart would slow eventually.

How many times had he been in one of these back rooms of Entwined? Probably countless times since he’d joined the BDSM club right after college. This room was like all the other nonthemed rooms. It was white with a padded platform for various activities. A supply cabinet stood in the corner to assist a Dom who needed to purchase something. Eyehooks decorated the walls at various heights, and it also contained a sofa, a chair, a bench, towels, blankets, and a fridge with water and juice. It had just about everything a Dom or a submissive required to live out their BDSM dreams.

Blinking to clear his vision, Orion muttered, “I thought I’d be able to handle straightforward bondage.”

Damn it. How things had changed. In the past, he’d never sought to play with either of these two men because they weren’t willing to give him the harsh treatment he needed.

Now, look at him. Had they even gotten a chance to secure the first knot on the rope before he called an end to the scene?

Was he that damaged?

To enter the giveaway: Simply leave a comment about the type of BDSM you enjoy reading or participating in. (Winners will be picked June 5th)

Many hugs,

Z. Allora

Check out Secured and Free today!

 

SecuredandFree_postcard_front_DSP

ebook
paperback

 

Entwined Dreams: Secured and Free Blurb

An abusive Dom robbed Orion Gordon of his love of BDSM, destroying his confidence and leaving him unsure he’ll ever find peace through submission to another. Still, deep inside, his longing continues.

Marcus Sadir loves Hunter Dixon, yet can’t be the one thing Hunter truly desires: a sub to control. And Hunter can’t find satisfaction in the sadistic aspects of the BDSM lifestyle, while Marcus thrives on inflicting and sharing pain. When Marcus convinces Hunter they should find a third on a permanent basis, they discover Orion might be the key to bridging their differences and joining them on a deeper level.

But they must help Orion move past his trauma enough for him to enjoy new facets of BDSM and kink again. Their journey toward becoming whole—together—won’t be without challenges. Can Orion trust enough to try again?

 

Bio:

Z. Allora believes in happily ever afters for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her the opportunity to open hearts and change minds.

To contact Z. Allora:

E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com
FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora
http://zallora.blogspot.com
www.zallorabooks.com

Athletic Idols w/ Sean Michael

May 23, 2017

ATHLETIC IDOLS

 

Hello, Dreamspinners.

My latest book with DSP is a reprint about a former Olympic swimmer and his coach. And there’s a reason why Justin is a swimmer. Out of all the summer Olympic sports, I have to admit that the swimming, specifically men’s swimming, is my favorite. It has been for a long time, too.

I can remember when I was younger, cheering on Victor Davis and Mark Tewksbury – both Canadian swimmers who competed I the 1980 and 1990s – and how upsetting it was when Victor Davis was killed. I still get excited when I see Mark Tewksbury either participating in Olympic coverage or hosting a TV show.

Then came the Michael Phelps era. How can you not love watching someone who so excels at what they do? Nobody else swims like him and he’s left an amazing legacy of 28 Olympic medals, most of them gold. I have to admit that the Olympic men’s swimming isn’t going to feel the same in 2020.

I shared mine, so tell me, what’s your favorite summer Olympic sport?

 

Sean Michael
Smut fixes everything

 

Check out Golden today!

 

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Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

 

Blurb:

After winning Olympic gold four years ago, Justin retired from swimming, and he’s been floundering ever since. The Fourth of July finds him contemplating doing something stupid, so Justin calls up his former coach, Chris Jarvis. To his surprise, Coach answers.

When Justin retired, Chris cut all ties with the swimmer he’d fallen in love with. He never wanted Justin to love him just because it was easy. But he’s been waiting for Justin to reach out, and he’ll gladly take Justin back into his life.

When he finds out Justin is drowning in a pool of self-doubt and the belief that his happy years are behind him, Chris realizes he made a mistake letting go so suddenly, and that Justin needs structure and a firm, dominant hand to keep him on the right track. It’s time to remedy his error—as long as he can convince Justin that it’s really love.

 

Excerpt:

Chris pulled up in front of the apartment complex where Justin lived. Sure enough, there he was, lounging against the side of the building. Chris waved, engine idling.

Tall and blond, the all-American looks marred only by the red nose that proved there’d been too much drinking, Justin came over, smiling crookedly. “Coach.”

“Hey, kid. Get on in.” He smiled, let himself admire a little. Justin wasn’t his swimmer anymore; he was allowed to notice.

Justin slid in, buckled up, his blue eyes fixed on Chris. “How’s it going?”

“It’s going. How about you?” He headed back out into the road, headed for the all-night Denny’s.

“I….” He could hear Justin’s swallow. “It’s going.”

Uh-huh. Drinking. Calling him out of the blue. It wasn’t going great, if he was any judge. And when it came to Justin, he was. He’d had to be a hardass with Justin after the kid retired, simply because Justin needed to find his way. Chris hadn’t been angry when Justin announced his retirement. The kid had gone from the games to surgery and had spent months rehabbing. The time had been right for Justin to stop competing.

Bio:

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

 

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com
BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/
TWITTER: seanmichael09
INSTAGRAM: seanmichaelpics

A Day in Pamplona with Laura Bailo

May 23, 2017

a day in pamplona

 

By the end of The Sun Still Rises, Erik has fallen in love with Pamplona just as he has fallen in love with David. But since the San Fermín festival is not the best time to walk around and see everything Pamplona has to offer, I thought I could take you along on a visit. I’m going to show you three of my favorite places in this city. Are you ready?

I love our walls, they were built between the 16th and 17th centuries, and they’re some of the best preserved ones in all of Europe. Nowadays they’re the perfect place for a walk and leisure activities.

 

 

The city also organizes some activities around them, like the vertical dancing or the “walls under the moon light,” during which the wall is illuminated by candlelight and there’s music, food and drinks.

Then, inside the walls, there’s the old city itself, with its narrow streets and colorful houses. If you walk around quietly, you can almost hear the houses speak to you. Between my favorite streets there’s the one that leads to the Cathedral, called Calle Curia. The names come from calle de los curas, which would roughly translate as Priests’ street. And I just told you this one is the street that goes up to the cathedral, so you can probably guess where the name comes from. It’s a narrow street that’s shadowed almost all the time, but the view from one of its ends is just amazing, especially if you manage to see it when there are still few people around.

And then of course there’s the cathedral itself, although the exterior is nothing to write home about, in my opinion. I believe Victor Hugo once described it as having “donkey ears”. I probably wouldn’t go that far, but I do believe the exterior doesn’t do the rest of it justice.

Of course, having said that, now you’re all dying to see the interior, aren’t you? I guess the last thing you expect after seeing the neoclassical facade is to find a gothic interior.

But that’s not all. I don’t have pictures, but you can also see the patio, the small monastery where the monks that tended to the cathedral lived, and the kitchen, which has a medieval fireplace, one of the few you can find in Europe. All in all, it’s one of the biggest and most complete religious complexes in both Spain and the continent. So don’t let the exterior discourage you and come inside. You can go up to one of the bell towers too, and I promise you the view is worth it.

So tell me, have I convinced you? Are you writing Pamplona down as one of your possible travel destinations? If you are, you can always let me know, and I’ll gladly send you information. I could even give you a tour!

Check out The Sun Still Rises today!

 

SunStillRises[The]RGB_postcard_front_DSP

 

Blurb:

Erik’s father lived for Pamplona’s yearly festival and the running of the bulls. Now he’s gone, and Erik flies to Pamplona on a whim to see the festival his father loved—without booking a room first. He’s looking at sleeping on the ground until friendly David from the tourism office offers to share his home.

When Erik realizes he trusts David, that he might even be willing to face his anxiety to get to know David better, he begins to understand what this trip could mean. Pamplona is even more beautiful when seen through David’s eyes, and Erik might have traveled around the world just to find himself. But can he hold on to his newfound confidence—and to David—when it’s time to go home?

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

 

About Laura Bailo:

Laura Bailo is a veterinarian and a teacher in training who can do surgical sutures but can’t sew on a button to save her life.
She lives in Spain with far too many books and boxes full of notebooks. She loves exploring the narrow streets of Pamplona and she’s known to have gotten lost in her own city. She loves reading, singing and trying out new cooking recipes, and if she’s feeling adventurous she may try to do all of these at the same time.
She loves hearing from people and you can find her at:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/laura.bailo
Twitter: @LauraBailo
Website: laurabailo.wordpress.com

 

Michael, Reinvented: Reviving Old Landmarks w/ Diana Copland

May 19, 2017

Reviving Old Landmarks

 

When I sat down to write ‘Michael, Reinvented’, I knew I wanted to accomplish several things. As a continuation of the first book, I wanted readers to learn more about this group of friends. Of course I wanted to get Michael and Gil together, officially. They’ve been dancing around each other for months at this point, snarking and giving each other grief but with an undercurrent of real desire. Michael has a history that makes his initial inability to consider a relationship with Gil more understandable, but he’s too proud to explain himself. Gil wants Michael; he has since he first saw him. But he wants an ‘ever after’, and Michael doesn’t believe in those. He wants to, though. He really, really wants to.

I also wanted to provide more detail about Delta Renovations, Restorations and Design, the company the group of friends started together. David and Jackson from ‘David, Renewed’ are featured prominently in this book, as are Vern and Manny.  Also featured is a major job that will put ‘Delta’ on the map; the restoration of a local landmark, the ‘O’Banyon Mansion.

 

 

The O’Banyon Mansion doesn’t exist as such. It is a real place, however, and it sits on a hill above Spokane, Washington.  Finished in 1888, the Glover Mansion was designed by locally famous architect Kirtland Cutter for one of the founders of Spokane, James Glover. He and his wife Susan, and the 12 servants it took to keep a house that size clean and running, lived there for several years. Their history isn’t the stuff of fairy tales; apparently Susan suffered depression due to the fact she couldn’t have children. Old Glover actually divorced her because she was ‘barren’. Nice guy. He married a much younger woman two days after his divorce was final, and she couldn’t have kids, either. I’m guessing old Glover was the culprit there, but in that era men didn’t admit it. There’s even a rumor that Susan, who died in a mental hospital, haunts the house. Frankly, if I were her I’d be haunting old James, but that’s just me. My fictional founder, Paddy O’Banyon, is a much nicer guy who was much nicer to his bride.

Gil Chandler, my gentle giant who was a house painter in ‘David, Renewed’, is actually a bit more than that. When the men of Delta are touring the mansion during ‘Michael, Reinvented’, it’s impossible for them to ignore a mural on the ceiling in the massive entry way.  It features a really ugly peacock that is obviously in need of restoration, and the owner of the property, a man named Richard who looks suspiciously like Rick R. Reed, ( I should probably tell him he’s in my book, huh?) asks if Gil is the ‘muralist’. (The mural exists on the Glover Mansion ceiling. It was painted over at one time because one of the six owners in the history of the house thought peacocks were bad luck. The original rendering was found and the mural restored in 2005.) The owner compliments Gil’s paintings at a local children’s hospital, and Michael is stunned. How could he not know the big man was an artist? It’s a moment that sends Michael off to learn more about Gil, and what he finds out changes everything.

 

 

Most of my books take place in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve lived here for over twenty years, and it’s a place of true beauty. A transplanted Southern Californian, I’ve come to appreciate the four seasons. Springs and falls are stunning in Eastern Washington, Winter lovely if you happen to like frost and snow, summer not so hot or humid that you want to escape. It’s a place just now catching up with the western part of the state in terms of gay visibility and gay rights. Unfortunately, it’s also a place where obvious prejudice still exists. My sister warned me before I moved here that it was conservative, and it is. It’s a pretty red part of a mostly blue state. We have our fair share of hate speech and hate crimes, the recent tagging of the Martin Luther King center with swastikas just one example. I have gay and trans friends who live here, and while it’s getting better it still has issues with equality.  I love living here, but I recognize its issues. It’s one of the things that make setting my books here so interesting!

If you read ‘David, Renewed’ I hope you’ll come along as Michael and Gil butt heads before finally figuring each other out!

 

Check out Michael, Reinvented today!

 

Michael, Reinvented by Diana Copland

 

Blurb:

Cute hipster and interior designer Michael doesn’t do love—not after his ex screwed him over. Sex is a different story, though, and the gentle giant who’s painting the mural in the old mansion they’re restoring might be perfect hookup material. Gil is just Michael’s type with his solid muscle, wicked sense of humor, and the hazel eyes that seem to see into Michael’s soul.

Trouble is, Gil does do love. He wants romance and forever, and he’s set his sights firmly on Michael. Michael’s not going there again.

Yet when Michael is the victim of a vandal who’s been plaguing the men working for Delta Restoration, Renovation, and Design, Gil is the first person he tells. No matter how he fights it, it’s becoming harder and harder to deny he’s crazy about the guy—even if that thought terrifies him. But the true fear sets in when the criminal behavior escalates, and Michael realizes he might have lost the chance to tell Gil how he feels—forever.

 

About Diana Copland:

Diana Copland began writing in the seventh grade, when she shamelessly combined elements of Jane Eyre and Dark Shadows to produce an overwrought Gothic tale that earned her an A- in creative writing, thanks entirely to the generosity of her teacher.
She wrote for pure enjoyment for the next three decades before discovering LiveJournal and a wonderful group of supportive writers, who encouraged her to try her hand at original gay fiction.
Born and raised in southern California, Diana moved to the Pacific Northwest after losing a beloved spouse to AIDS in 1995.
She lives in eastern Washington with three obnoxious cats, near her two wonderful adult children.

You can find Diana at her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/diana.copland
Her Twitter: @DianaCopland
Her webpage: www.diana-copland11.com
And you can email her at: diana.copland11@gmail.com

Can’t Resist Collaborating w/ Chris Owen and Tory Temple

May 2, 2017

Can't Resist a Collaboration

 

Hi there! Tory Temple and I are so excited about our latest release, Adding it Up. This is the second book featuring Trey, Deuce, the puppies, and all the mayhem that goes along with them. We’re also thrilled to be releasing both of the By the Numbers books in an anthology!

These stories stemmed from Tory’s Oceanside Fire books and my fascination with her character, Trey. He appeared, my heart went ping, and I asked her a million questions about him. She was gracious enough to share what she already knew and make up answers for things I wanted to know that she hadn’t had reason to consider, and then the inevitable happened.

“Uh, honey? There’s a dude in my head who has a crush on your Trey. And he’s got a pregnant dog.”

Luckily for me (and for you!) she’s my bestie and had time to play with me. It didn’t take long for Trey and Deuce to take root and take over. Before long we were working away and trying to piece together a relationship that had more external pressures that either of us were really used to writing about. It isn’t a merely romantic relationship between two strong minded men, it’s a relationship involving an ex, a child, three dogs, a crew of firefighters, a wanna-be-grampy… Things got hectic quickly!

Because of all those factors I really feel that this relationship is true and honest, bringing romantic reality to the story. Life is life, and the true love and romance in this story is how these two guys make it work, and how they show each other that they’re in love.

If you’ve read the first book, you could see how Trey and Deuce show that they love each other. What moment touched you as a reader? What did they do that proved to you that they were meant to be together?

I’m a sucker for the grand romantic gesture. Share a gesture you’ve been party to – acting or receiving! – for a chance to win of our books.

 

Tory can be found at the following places:

www.torytemple.com
https://www.facebook.com/torytemple
https://twitter.com/ToryTemple?lang=en

Chris can be found her

Site: http://www.chrisowen.net
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/chris_owen
Blog: http://www.chrisowen.net/chrisblog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100015072407034

 

Check out By the Numbers: Adding It Up today!

 

By the Numbers: Adding It Up by Tory Temple and Chris Owen

 

Blurb:

Dogs, a young daughter, and shift work make for an unpredictable and never boring life for new couple Deuce and Trey. Trey is keeping his ex-wife out of their hair, but Deuce is determined to forge a truce between them all. Trey is vehemently opposed to a friendship between Deuce and Holly—she’s the last person Trey wants more interaction with. Deuce persists, however, and tensions between them could spell the end of their relationship.

They’ll have to find a way to make it all add up again—or lose everything.

Jeff Adams: Using a Romance to Create a Romance

April 27, 2017

 Using a Romance to Create a Romance

 

Despite my love of hockey (and the Detroit Red Wings), the first thing that came to mind when I decided to pitch a Michigan-set story for States of Love was Mackinac Island and the movie Somewhere in Time.

Here’s how the elements came together for me to write Somewhere on Mackinac.

Mackinac Island holds many childhood memories for me. I grew up in Flint and my family would occasionally take the trip up. I think I developed my hate for bridges going over the Mackinac Bridge when I was five or six. It’s currently the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere (the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan, is the longest). In my young view, it was terrifying to go over. What was more fun was when my grandfather bought a plane, a four seater Cessna, and we could fly to the island for the day.

Mackinac was wildly different than any place I’d seen. First off, there were no cars. You got around with horses, bicycles or on foot. I didn’t fully get it back then, but the place was of another time—and it still is. I did know it was very different than other places I’d been, like Flint, Detroit or even out of state to visit relatives in Texas.

What I vividly remember, besides the horses, is the fudge. Ryba’s Fudge Shop was delicious—and it still is too. Earlier this month, I had a box shipped to me for the first time in a couple of years. You have to be careful with the stuff. As I note in the story, you have to be careful not to eat too much. Its creamy richness makes it’s easy to eat more than you should.

Years later, after my family moved to Alabama, I was reminded of Mackinac Island when I saw the 1980 film Somewhere in Time starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. I caught the movie one day while I was home sick from high school (the same way Jordan in Somewhere on Mackinac sees it). I liked Christopher Reeve and there was time travel in it, so why not?

I admit, my sixteen-year-old self didn’t quite get the romance. A few years later though it clicked. The lengths to which Elise went to find Richard across the decades was incredible. It was matched only by Richard’s search to find out who she was and get to her at all costs. The combination of intense love and heartbreak makes it one of my favorite films.

The film was mostly shot on Mackinac Island, especially in and around the Grand Hotel. To this day, the Grand holds a Somewhere in Time weekend each October to celebrate the film.

The film, and specifically the celebration weekend, was the perfect setting to create a romance. Jordan has loved the film since he first saw it and, currently single, he’s finally taking the trip to the Island from Chicago. Jordan soon finds himself in the company of Miles, an Island native and stable owner.

It was tremendous fun taking advantage of what the Island and the SIT weekend had to offer to create the opportunity for these men to fall for each other. It’s not all smooth sailing, of course. Not only is there the distance to consider with Jordan living in Chicago, there’s other obstacles on the road to happiness.

I hope you’ll pick up a copy of Somewhere on Mackinac and see for yourself how Jordan and Miles, along with some help from the amazing setting, find their timeless love. If you’d like to read an excerpt, you can head over to the book page and read chapter one.

And if you do make the trip to Mackinac with Jordan and Miles, I’d love to hear what you think of the journey.

 

Check out Somewhere on Mackinac today!

 

Somewhere on Mackinac by Jeff Adams

 

BLURB

How far would you go for the man of your dreams?

Now that he’s single, Chicago businessman Jordan Monroe can finally take his long-desired trip to Mackinac Island for the Somewhere In Time fan celebration weekend. On the first day, Jordan finds himself attracted to Miles Colter, a handsome local stable owner who is giving horseback tours of film locations.

Jordan is surprised and charmed that Miles pursues him. When Jordan learns the stable is in trouble, he wants to help despite Miles’s resistance. As their relationship grows personally and professionally, Jordan dreads the issues that face them—an ex who won’t let him go, the complications of a long-distance relationship, and a secret he knows he shouldn’t be keeping.

Can Jordan and Miles find a way to forge a love as timeless as the romance in their favorite film?

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

 

Somewhere on Mackinac Blog Tour Schedule

April 26 – MM Good Book Reviews
April 27 – Dreamspinner Press Blog
April 28 – Open Skye Book Reviews
May 1 – Kimmers’ Erotic Book Banter
May 2 – My Fiction Nook
May 3 – Divine Magazine (Release Day!)
May 4 – Love Bytes
May 5 – The Novel Approach
May 8 – Two Chicks Obsessed

 

Jeff Adams

Author Bio:

Jeff’s written stories since he was in middle school and became a gay romance writer in 2009 when his first short stories were published.

Jeff lives in rural Northern California with his husband of twenty years, Will. Some of his favorite things include the musicals Rent and [title of show], the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey teams, and the reality TV competition So You Think You Can Dance. If forced to pick his favorite book it would be a tie between Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and David Levithan’s Every Day.

He also co-hosts the weekly show Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast with his husband. You can learn more at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

Links:

Website: http://jeffadamswrites.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JeffAndWill/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterJeffAdams

 

Fishy Riot: 9 Weird Things w/ Lindsey Black

April 26, 2017

 9 Weird Things with Lindsay Black

 

Weird things happen in Australia. I mean…obviously. We have the world’s longest fence. That’s…weird. I like to think a lot of what makes Australians unique is their sense of humour, and I think that stems from the weird stuff that happens to us. So I thought I would talk about nine ‘weird’ things that have happened to me (or just weird things) that in some way influenced Fishy Riot.

  1. 1. I met my partner. This really has nothing to do with the book, even though it has everything to do with it. Because my partner is one of seven children and the oldest is a riot squad officer. He’s obnoxiously tall—6’11—bald and weighs something like 120kg. He’s literally the largest person I have ever met, so I stole his job and his size for the twins. Not his personality though, for which you should be grateful.

  2. 2. I’m a music teacher by day. Some students of mine were carrying a Korg keyboard in its nice hard-case, got distracted and walked into a door. One dropped their end and stumbled forward. The other end smashed the second student in the face, breaking their nose and giving them the best shiner I’ve seen in years. The paperwork I had to fill in was spectacular—there were maps involved and everything!

  3. 3. In 2015 230kg of methamphetamine worth $156million was discovered trying to enter Australia in 20000 bottles of lemonade. Lemonade! It’s hard to take our epic drug war seriously when it’s being hidden in a shipment of 20000 lemonade bottles. Who the hell needs that much lemonade? How did they not think someone was going to look at that and go ‘oh hey, wait…I don’t think that’s lemonade’? I was, when I learned of this bust, sitting with a friend drinking lemonade. They kindly sprayed it all over me as we watched the news report. Australians love to sit around and talk about things that have absolutely nothing to do with them, but you can’t really blame us when people are shipping lemonade-meth.

  4. 4. I’m nervous about sharks. When I did my scuba diving course I was disturbed when the majority of the insurance waiver I signed read something along the lines of ‘if a shark eats me I understand it’s not your fault, or the sharks, because clearly I’m delicious’. So I was horrified when on my first dive we went down and right there was a grey nurse shark. To settle my nerves the guide then took us through a shark nursery. He obviously didn’t know me well. But what’s really interesting is that on average about 3 people die from shark attacks in Australia each year. If you remove firearm murder-suicides, that’s not a very different statistic to the likelihood of being shot dead in Australia. So, I’m just as likely to be eaten by a shark as I am to get shot, and yet people wonder why Australians think being shot is a little weird. Incredibly, more people have been eaten by sharks in the last decade than police officers who’ve died on duty.

  5. 5. I love to bushwalk (or, hike, if you don’t speak Aussie). I really, really love to bushwalk. Preferably solo long distance. I’ve done a few great Aussie walks, like the Overland Track, the Great Ocean Walk, the Great South West Walk…you get the idea. My love of hiking stemmed from my parents taking me on long walks as a kid in the rainforest. I’m a waterfall addict. I was once out on a walk in the Dorrigo reserve with some mates when we found ourselves in the odd predicament of hanging off the side of a ravine over the side of a waterfall (it’s really best not to ask and just go with it). My mate slipped and caught himself but rained a nice sized rock on me and I fell. Luckily, it was a waterfall, so other than a big splash nothing truly horrible happened. Oh, except the rock hit my arm and I didn’t know I’d broken it until six months later when I fell off an entirely different waterfall and hurt the same arm. The doctor was suitably amused by my stupidity and I was just happy I didn’t have to have it re-broken to fix it since you know…I’d already re-broken it myself! Awesome!

  6. 6. My first phone was a Nokia 3310. Despite having recently upgraded to a google pixel, my 3310 is still fully functional. Which is great, since they’re making a comeback and all, so I’m going to be all cool again and increase my cool-credit with my students who didn’t believe me about how amazing my ‘old dud phone’ was. It’s not that surprising though. Most Australians have a 3310 in the bottom of the kitchen drawers, they just can’t find the charger. Randomly, I’ve had the same mobile phone number since I was 15. That’s crazy. Not one stalker. I feel this says more about me than I would like.

  7. 7. Where I live the dirt can kill you. Yeah…the dirt. Melioidosis is a horrible thing, look it up. This has nothing to do with Fishy Riot, other than it may explain why Australians are so blasé about everything. I mean, if the ground you’re walking on can kill you, why worry, right? Fascinatingly, Melioidosis has been considered for weaponization/chemical warfare. It’s a scary world we live in.

  8. 8. I was once bitten by a white tail spider. I have a cool scar on my leg from the bite. At the time, I just assumed I had an ingrown hair or a weird pimple, right? A week later I’m having rotting flesh carved out of my thigh. Those things are so gross! Again, it should come as no surprise that Aussie’s are blasé about injury. I’ve also been bitten by a total of seventeen red-back spiders, but that’s a whole other story.

  9. 9. Thongs in Australia are the national shoe (or should be, though I think we would have to fight Brazil for the honour and they dance martial arts while we just drink beer so I think maybe we should let that fight slide), not a string you shove up your… you know what, it’s a shoe okay? I mention this because despite being on the Perchance to Dream line I had to change an awful lot of Aussie slang to words no one here would ever use because no one else would have understood what was being said. Like doona. This is not the same as a quilt, folks. I had no idea ‘you weren’t born in a tent’ was an Aussie-ism. I do now.

Australia’s a weird place. Weird people live here as a result. But that’s what makes it fun. I hope you have fun reading Fishy Riot even if it’s a tad…well, weird!

P.S This was the first waterfall…

 

Check out Fishy Riot today!

 

Fishy Riot by Lindsey Black

Dreamspinner Press / Amazon / B&N

Blurb-a-rama:

Most people think riot squad officer Taylor Jameson is an asshole. Little do they know his apparent indifference stems from having a meddlesome family always butting into his business. And little does Taylor know he’s about to stumble into a situation that’ll make indifference impossible.

When everything goes horribly wrong at a political rally on a harbour ferry, Taylor encounters Sietta Salisbury. The son of a wealthy politician, Sietta is a revered—but presumed dead—musician, and an enigma who is so strange, Taylor is compelled to look into his background. What he discovers draws him into a bizarre mess of prisoners, politics, and attempted murder that makes him realise what he’s been missing.

Falling in love isn’t hard. Trying to convince someone else you’re worth loving despite your crazy family and the people trying to kill you? That’s a whole other can of worms.

 

About Lindsey Black:

Lindsey Black lives in Darwin, Australia, where the weather report permanently reads ‘humidity at 100%, only going to get worse’ for ten months of the year and ‘monsoon at 4:00 p.m. for exactly fifteen minutes’ for the remaining two. Between teaching and studying full-time, she escapes this oppressive environment to bushwalk for weeks on end wherever the mobile phone reception has zero bars for as long as possible and the weather report reads something along the lines of ‘blizzard likely.’ She enjoys martial arts, music, and mayhem, which explains the untidy state of her home where she attempts to write while splitting her minimal amounts of spare time between her incredulous husband, lazy Chinchilla cat, and crazed Siberian husky. If you expect her to sit and have a chat, it’s best to have a matcha green tea latte with almond milk on hand and your hiking boots within reach. Oh, and be sure to bring a guitar for impromptu jam sessions.

You can find Lindsey on facebook / twitter / www

Getting Political w/ Laura Lascarso + Giveaway

April 25, 2017

 Getting Political with Laura Lascarso

 

Oftentimes readers ask, what inspired you to write this story? Usually, I can point to exact experiences, current events, and other creative works that inspired a story for me. In the case of THE BRAVEST THING, it was a poem, a television show, and a tragedy.

The poem is “Trevor” by Ocean Vuong, a deeply personal account of a love affair between two teens, one of whom is struggling with his sexuality in the face of an unaccepting father-figure. I loved the intimacy and honesty of this poem, and it made me want to translate into story-form the stakes and risks associated with coming out in a community that doesn’t approve, and the bonds we form with friends and lovers that must sometimes supplement or supplant the love and support we would otherwise receive from our families.

The television show is Friday Night Lights (Texas Forever). FNL covered a wide range of sensitive subjects, including racism, addiction, sexual assault, and poverty, but it didn’t touch on homophobia, which is a shame because it’s an important conversation, and FNL could have given the topic wide and diverse exposure. Similar to FNL, I wanted to recreate the small-town Texas vibe, the almost godlike status of football players, and the conflicts that occur when you have to break away from the herd to stand up for what’s right.

The third inspiration for me was more accurately a motivation. I was at the very early stages of drafting THE BRAVEST THING when the Pulse shooting occurred. I don’t think mainstream America has given this tragedy the gravitas it deserved. Nor do I think enough discussion has been had about the ways in which toxic masculinity saturates every aspect of our lives, from the way our children are conditioned at an early age to act a certain way to how we as a society idolize athletes and celebrities at the expense of accountability.

The Pulse massacre galvanized my commitment to exploring the roots of homophobia, and in particular, how hate crimes affect already vulnerable individuals, for instance, those struggling with addiction and recovering from abuse. I also wanted to show why a victim might choose to let a hate crime go unreported, as are two-thirds of hate crimes in the U.S.

Some authors prefer to keep politics out of their writing. For me, all of my writing is political. Part of the reason I chose early on in my career to write for young adult audiences is because I am actively trying to change hearts and minds. While THE BRAVEST THING deals with heavy topics that may be more appropriate for older audiences, I would say that these are precisely the conversations we need to be having with teens while they are still forming their opinions on the world. (Adults should be having these conversations as well, so please don’t think I mean for them to be excluded.)

Because the main characters in THE BRAVEST THING are teens, it would have been a hard sell in the adult mainstream market. On the other hand, mainstream YA publishing would not have touched it, not necessarily because of the violence, but because of its graphic depictions of gay sex. This too was a deliberate choice on my part because young people (and adults) of all sexual orientations should be offered the opportunity to read and learn about a variety of sexual experiences, so that two men kissing doesn’t shock or offend, but is met with a shrug or a sigh and maybe even a, “isn’t that romantic?”

So my final sentiment is to say I’m grateful to Dreamspinner Press for being so supportive of my creative works, so wonderful to work with, and offering me a platform to publish stories that are outside of mainstream so that I might find my readers, and they might find me as well.

I hope you’ll give THE BRAVEST THING a try. If you have any questions about the story, please feel free to email me at lauralascarso(at)yahoo(dot)com. Thank you for your patronage!

 

Check out The Bravest Thing today!

 

The Bravest Thing by Laura Lascarso

Dreamspinner Press eBook
Dreamspinner Press Paperback
Amazon

Blurb:

High school junior Berlin Webber is about to reap the fruits of his hard work and land a football scholarship—if he can keep his sexuality a secret from his best friend, Trent, and their homophobic coach. Then Hiroku Hayashi swerves into the high school parking lot on his tricked-out motorcycle like some sexy comic book villain, and Berlin knows he doesn’t stand a chance.

Hiroku is fleeing his sophisticated urban scene to recover from drug addiction and an abusive relationship when he arrives in Berlin’s small Texas ranch town. Initially sarcastic and aloof, Hiroku finds in Berlin a steady, supportive friend who soon becomes more. As Hiroku and Berlin’s romance blossoms, they take greater risks to be together. But when a horrific act of violence tears them apart, they both must look bigotry in the face. While Berlin has always turned to his faith for strength, Hiroku dives into increasingly dangerous ways of coping, pushing them in opposite directions just when they need each other most.

Two very different young men search for the bravery to be true to themselves, the courage to heal, and the strength to go on when things seem darkest. But is it enough to bring them back together?

Laura Lascarso

About Laura Lascarso:

Laura Lascarso aims to inspire more questions than answers in her fiction and believes in the power of stories to heal and transform a society. She lives in North Florida with her darling husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. Her debut novel, Counting Backwards (Simon & Schuster 2012) won the Florida Book Award gold medal for young adult literature.

For social critiques, writer puns, and Parks and Rec gifs, follow her on Twitter @lauralascarso

Facebook: /lascarso
Twitter: @lauralascarso
Web: lauralascarso.com

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