The Tropes That Never Grow Old with Clare London

November 3, 2016

The Tropes That Never Grow Old with Clare London

Today my book Romancing the Wrong Twin is released at Dreamspinner Press. This is maybe the most fun I’ve had writing a book for years! The inspiration for this story of identity swap came from the romantic comedies I’ve watched and read over the years – and I hope the readers get that feeling too.

The Dreamspun Desires line is an initiative at Dreamspinner to re-tell the popular Harlequin/Mills and Boon romance stories from a male/male point of view. It’s a chance to embrace the tropes we all know but still bring a fresh perspective. Many people think romance tropes, i.e. clichés, must be stale and tired after being reiterated time and again over the years. But as readers, we all know how a type of book can attract us, don’t we? We always want good writing, sympathetic and sexy characters, a plausible and often exciting plot. But we also have personal preferences, for example, a theme of ‘friends to lovers’ , ‘opposites attract’, ‘rich man/poor man’, or ‘mistaken identity’. Those stories will never grow old in our hearts, and every author brings their own special style to the telling.

So I hope you enjoy the series – and especially my own contributions, starting with Romancing the Wrong Twin. It was written for your entertainment, and shared by me as well!

 

 Check out Romancing the Wrong Twin today!

 

 Romancing the Wrong Twin by Clare London

 

BLURB:

How tangled can a romantic web get?

When gruff mountaineer Dominic Hartington-George seeks sponsorship for his latest expedition, his London PA insists on a more media-friendly profile—like dating celebrity supermodel Zeb Z.

Zeb can’t make the date, so he asks his identical twin, Aidan, to stand in for just one evening. Aidan, a struggling playwright, shuns the limelight to the extent people don’t even know Zeb has a sibling, but he reluctantly agrees.

When the deception has to continue beyond the first date, Aidan fights to keep up the pretense. Dominic likes his sassy, intelligent companion, and Aidan starts falling for the forthright explorer. But how long can Aidan’s conscience cope as confusion abounds? Will coming clean as “the other twin” destroy the trust they’ve built?

Buy links:

Dreamspinner
Amazon (your local store)
All Romance Ebooks
Kobo
B&N
iTunes

AUTHOR BIO:

Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her here:

Website: http://www.clarelondon.com
E-mail: clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk
Blog: www.clarelondon.com/blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarelondon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/clare_london
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/clarelondon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/clarelondon/
Google+ : https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ClareLondon/posts

 

EXCERPT (PG):

“I know you didn’t want to do this,” Aidan murmured.

“What?”

The music was louder than when they’d arrived. Maxima was more club than restaurant and someone had upped the volume, but Aidan had no problem hearing Dominic over the background music.

“Go on this date. Be with me.” Aidan felt the devil rise up in him. “You said it yourself: we’re not much of a match. I expect your usual partners are far more impressed with your credentials.”

“My… what the hell?” Dominic looked genuinely surprised. “I don’t know what you’re on about, but I don’t set out looking for someone to impress. I want someone who’s good company, a strong character. Who’ll give as good as he gets.”

Aidan couldn’t help the wash of pleasure he felt at the indirect compliment. “No. I meant… well, you probably date bears like yourself, usually.”

“Bears?”

Shit. Aidan knew he’d slid onto thin ice, but his stupid tongue wouldn’t stop blabbing. “Sorry. I just meant tough guys like yourself. Big. Burly.” Could he sink any further into the pit he was digging?

But it seemed to have broken Dominic’s introspective mood. He started to laugh uproariously. “Burly? Does that mean you think I’m hairy too?”

H-G. No! Dominic! Aidan gulped. What was he meant to say to that after he’d been sitting there, peeking at the dark hairs curling over the neckline of Dominic’s shirt, wondering how far down the rest of it went? Whether Dominic’s legs were as deliciously furred, whether there’d be a decent treasure trail down to his groin that a man could tangle his fingers and nuzzle his nose into, to smell the sweet warmth of male skin….

Hairy skin. Strong arms. Warm, muscular thighs. Oh fuck.

The goose bumps ran over every inch of Aidan’s skin.

“I am hairy, can’t deny it. You like that idea?” Dominic’s voice was low and growly. He couldn’t have failed to notice Aidan’s sucked-in breath, the tensing of his stomach muscles. “Do you want to check out my hairy credentials?”

Aidan stared at him. Was that a joke? Was Dominic really attracted to him? Aidan had never found his build much of an advantage. Yes, he and Zeb were blessed with excellent bone structure, and in Zeb’s case the grace of a dancer, but out in the bars and clubs Aidan always seemed to blend into the background.

Ah, but he was meant to be Zeb now, wasn’t he?

“I think you’ve misjudged me, Zeb.” Dominic’s voice was very close to Aidan’s ear now. He’d placed his hand over Aidan’s, pressing Aidan’s palm onto Dominic’s thigh.

“I—what do you mean?”

“I wouldn’t have thought you were my type, I admit. But there’s a spark between us, isn’t there?”

Oh God, yes. But Aidan couldn’t admit that, could he? He gulped, wishing he’d eaten three pies, if only to soak up the effect of the champagne. The warm, heady excitement from his newfound courage wasn’t as robust as he’d thought.

Dominic smelled really good: a mix of vanilla aftershave, or maybe just soap, and a breath of tannin from the wine. Aidan couldn’t help it; his lips opened slightly and his tongue slipped out to moisten them.

“Dear Christ in heaven,” Dominic said on a ragged sigh. “You’re really gorgeous.” He sounded shocked. Aidan remembered him saying it when they met at Dominic’s house, but now there was an extra rumble underlying his voice. “Say my name again. I like it. Most people call me Dom.”

“Dom… Dominic.” Aidan heard the words but barely registered speaking them aloud. He was fixated on Dominic’s mouth, not his own.

Their lips touched.

Aidan gasped. It was the lightest of touches, but like the heaviest bolt from the blue. It was as if Dominic had breathed a flame into him through his mouth. His whole body shivered with excitement: a trickle of pure, heated delight on his skin compared to the sweaty air of the club. Dominic rested his hand lightly on Aidan’s shoulder, at the junction with his neck. He slid his fingers to the front of Aidan’s throat and stroked the hollow under his Adam’s apple.

It’s not enough! Aidan wanted Dominic to slide his hand down under the T-shirts—remind him why he was wearing so many, none of which actually fitted properly?—and touch his skin. Properly, firmly, with need.

With a soft moan of pleasure, Dominic leaned in to take the kiss deeper.

Aidan responded very, very willingly. He slid his outer arm around Dominic’s waist and pulled them closer together. Dominic lifted his other hand away from Aidan’s and rested it on Aidan’s knee. Their lower halves were hidden by the table, and Dominic’s knee pressed very tightly against Aidan’s. His large hand squeezed gently, and then slowly, teasingly slid up between Aidan’s thighs. He nudged harder, trying to push Aidan’s legs farther apart.

Aidan’s head was swimming from the kisses. Dominic’s mouth was still on his, his surprisingly soft beard rubbing along Aidan’s jawline, his breath quickening. When Aidan twisted to get even closer, he felt the heat from Dominic’s groin and Dominic’s solid erection against his hip. He wanted to climb onto his date’s lap, however ridiculous or rash that seemed. Instead he ran his free hand behind Dominic’s neck and leaned in, excited despite himself at making out in a semipublic club. Dominic had cupped Aidan’s cock and balls, trapped inside Zeb’s skintight jeans. Now Aidan was aroused too; the seam of the jeans was pressing against his flesh, causing a strange, awkward, intoxicating pain. He half closed his eyes, relaxing into the embrace, enjoying Dominic’s firm caresses under cover of the table. It had been a long time since Aidan did anything like this, a long time since he’d wanted to do it, in fact.

He wanted more, needed more. Ached for more—

And that was the exact moment a camera flash went off in his face.

 

When Writing On Fire Went Awry with Alicia Nordwell + Giveaway

November 1, 2016

 On Fire Release Tour

Hi! My name is Alicia Nordwell, aka Cia, and for the most part, I’m a big ole pantser. Yes, yes, it’s true. Plotting? Not my strong suit. I like playing fast and loose. Sure, sometimes I get an overview of the story to come, but chapter to chapter? Nope. And I’m never surprised when the story doesn’t quite go the way I thought it would. On Fire, my story set in Washington for Dreamspinner’s States of Love series, was no different. The basic elements of the story stayed the same as my original idea, but the way I thought Scottie and Jax would meet each other and connect turned out completely different.

Characters do have a life of their own, even in my head, and their journey sometimes takes a sudden right turn. When I first submitted my synopsis idea for On Fire to claim Washington as my state, it was meant to focus on how they meet—the fire—and then the immediate aftermath as they realize they’re still alive. But Scottie and Jax had more to their relationship that they wanted me to share, a real romance where readers could see them learn about each other just like people do in real life. But how to show that? Dating as an adult isn’t something I ever had to figure out, having met my husband at just sixteen, but that gave me an idea of how to spin the story I thought up to the one the characters were pushing for.

My husband and I had a comfortable connection from the moment we first met, one that pulled us together. But what if the characters of On Fire had a beginning that was more… fiery? The idea for the wildfire was already there, so that part was easy. But that meeting went from a moment of connection to a moment of disconnection. Yet I needed to write a romance, so they’d have to overcome that. How do people who have a rocky beginning connect once they get past that ‘Maybe he’s not a total asshole’ moment? What kind of dates do adults go on?

Fortunately, with the theme of showcasing the best parts of Washington, Scottie’s and Jax’s personalities and hobbies gave me a ton of ideas. I tailored their dates for two men who love the outdoors, yet could accommodate an injured person. Luckily there are a lot of both indoor and outdoor activities here year-round. If you like hiking there is a short window from early summer to early fall where most of the trails are passable before they become quagmires of mud. My favorite time is when the leaves are still on the trees but the frost is out to color them in the early morning hours. The Ape Caves near Mt. St. Helens provide two options for the easy to difficult level hikes inside this amazing lava tube, and during the winter months snowmobiling is very popular in the area.

Washington is also famous for the Columbia River Gorge with its strong winds and active sports for those who love the water. Like rafting or kayaking? The Little White Salmon is the perfect place for those. Windsurfing or parasailing? The Columbia River, the border between Washington and Oregon, provides a huge playground. A few hardy souls brave the cold, cold ocean to surf, though far more enjoy the kite flying or clamming in the small coastal towns that are full of charming shops and fresh seafood restaurants.

Frosted Leaf at Dawn

Enjoy watching sports more than playing them? We have the Seahawks, the Mariners, the Sonics, Washington State University Cougars, Gonzaga Bulldogs, and the University of Washington Huskies as the major college and professional sports teams. My husband and son are huge fans of the Huskies, and I’m a Seahawks gal; I’m even wearing my florescent green long-sleeve shirt with my name on the back—birthday present—right now. Nothing beats a rainy, windy winter day than lounging about on the couch with chips, dip, cheese, and crackers and sports! If you just have to get out but the weather is bad, the major cities in Washington are a smorgasbord of tourist sites. Seattle is well-known for the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and the EMP interactive music experience museum. Another well-known quirky site that goes well with the eclectic vibe that this part of the state has is the Olympic Sculpture Park.

Of course, I couldn’t share all these great places in Washington, and many others I didn’t mention, in On Fire. You’ll have to read it to find out just where Scottie and Jax go on their dates and how much fun they have.

In the meantime, how about you share one of your dating stories. Was it an indoor date? Fun in the outdoors? Did that date lead to a long-lasting relationship or was it a disaster that ended all hope for more? Don’t really have a memorable date to share? Tell me what your ideal date would be where you live. One person who comments on this blog will win a $5 Dreamspinner Press gift card. The winner will be selected via a Random.org drawing and announced in three days, so please make sure I have a way to contact you in order to get your Dreamspinner Press account email to staff as soon as possible!

Want to learn more about my past or upcoming work? Interested in free weekly flash fiction? Make sure you check out my blog, Cia’s Stories, and social media so you don’t miss out on all my updates!

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

Check out On Fire today!

On Fire by Alicia Nordwell

Blurb:

Nothing beats getting out of the concrete jungle and into the quiet of the forest. Website designer Scottie Ness is taking a well-deserved vacation from the grindstone, and he plans to spend it in the solitude of Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest around Mt. Adams. He’s prepared for everything—except the lightning storm that traps him in a wildfire.

The firefighter who rescues him sustains serious injuries and ends up in the hospital. Jax Quintero might be abrasive, but the guy saved his life, and Scottie wants to thank him. As they spend time together during Jax’s recovery and exploring the state’s landmarks when he’s released from the hospital, Scottie discovers there’s more to Jax than a smart-ass adrenaline junkie. Jax reassesses his opinion of Scottie as an arrogant city boy who has no business in the mountains. Though Jax’s wounds prevent them from taking things as far as they’d like for a while, they can’t deny the heat building between them—and this is one fire they don’t want to put out.

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

Ready or Knot, Here Comes Book Three with K.A. Mitchell

October 24, 2016

Ready or Knot Here Comes Book Three

Take a Chance On It with Dane and Gideon is ready to make you cry.

In the creative world, I’m a creature of impulse. I guess I’m like a monkey who’s found a new stick. I don’t bother to look at it before I’m charging off to see what I can do with it. I almost never plan ahead. I get an idea and charge in, figuring everything out as I go. I’ve never planned to write any of my books series, they just happen when characters won’t let go. But when I got the idea for Take a Chance On It, I realized it was the last book in a series, not the first. The scene that sparked my interest, wondering why someone would agree to be best man when he was in love with the groom, really only worked if you knew some of the history. The best man and groom had friends there, friends who knew the whole story. At first I was excited to get so many characters all at once, then I was overwhelmed by the idea that I’d have to tell these other stories first before I could get to the one that started at the wedding I could see—feel—so clearly.

All that planning, an alien concept to a seat-of-the-pants writer like me was daunting. I had a lot to figure out before I could even start to get the words down (my favorite thing about writing). That maybe why I thought these books would come out in 2014 and 2016 is into the last quarter before book three hits the store. Despite the extra length brain gestation, I wouldn’t change a thing. I love each of these books, and I’ve had a great time meeting all these characters and their families and seeing them off to their happy endings. It’s been a great way to celebrate the national legalization of marriage equality, with stories about couples experiencing love in all its beautiful, complicated, frustrating, and joyful ways.

 

We’ve had nationwide marriage equality now for over a year, and I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of hearing about all the amazing ways it’s changed lives for the better. Please comment with something you’ve seen or read or experienced in our wonderful trip toward equality.

 

Check out Take a Chance on It today!

Take a Chance on It by K.A. Mitchell

Blurb:

Sequel to Risk Everything on It
Ready or Knot: Book Three

Left at the altar by his long-time lover, Spencer, and in desperate need of quality health insurance, Dane Archer can’t say no when his best man and best friend, Gideon DeLuca, steps in. But Dane and Gideon have history, tangled and passionate and complicated.

After seventeen years of cat and mouse, Gideon has realized Dane isn’t the kind of man who ever wants to be caught, and he’s stopped playing Dane’s game.

For Dane, it’s never been a game, but sexual fidelity isn’t his strong suit. Love is too beautiful for limits, something he’s never been able to get Gideon the control freak to understand. Now Dane has nothing but limits, including the timeline on his paper-only marriage to Gideon.

Gideon’s the only person Dane trusts enough to lean on, and Gideon will do anything to get Dane through this crisis. Anything but fall for Dane again.

Living together forces Dane and Gideon to stop circling and face what’s been between them all these years. They just don’t know if they have the power or the time to make things right.

What they do know is that they’re not ready for it to be over.

 

About K.A. Mitchell:

K.A. usually just checks in for her mail as she’s rarely in the real world. Her imaginary friends are so much fun to hang with. They’re more interesting than she is to talk to, too. Feel free to email her with questions about them. If she has anything to say, she usually says it on Twitter. K.A. loves the amazing escapes fiction provides. In the real world, she lives with her wife in upstate NY and is grateful for all the stories in her head.
K.A. Mitchell: http://www.kamitchell.com
Wordpress: https://authorkamitchell.wordpress.com/

 

Guyliner: Inspiration All Around with j. leigh bailey + Giveaway

October 21, 2016

Inspiration All Around with j. leigh bailey

Hey, all! My name is j. leigh bailey and I’m really excited to be here today talking about my recent release GUYLINER, which came out on October 17. I’m an office drone by day, but when I’m not stuck behind my cubical, I write male/male Young Adult and New Adult Romance. There’s just something about helping my guys discover the world of acceptance, relationships, and romance that keeps me coming back to my computer.

Every author has that one book they wrote that means the most to them, or that holds a special place in their hearts. For me, GUYLINER is the one. Despite being the fifth book I’ve released, this was the first book I wrote. It was the first story that called to me so much I couldn’t put it away, no matter how much I struggled to put the thoughts and experiences of my characters into words.

I can’t even explain what it means to me to see this book out in the world. There are no words. Part of that is because of Taco Bell Guy.

Whenever someone asks me about where I find my inspiration, my answer is usually pretty random. You know, a word or a phrase, an idea, something like that. Rarely can I actually say that I was inspired by an individual. That’s not the case for GUYLINER.

For this book, I found my inspiration at Taco Bell.

I blame fate. Maybe blame is the wrong word. I credit fate.

As a single woman who spent a lot of time driving for work, and to and from work, and to and from different organizations’ meetings and events, I spent an embarrassing amount of time (and money) at fast food restaurants. One night I broke habit and actually went inside my local Taco Bell. A couple things are significant here: first, 99.9% of the time, I specifically chose restaurants that had drive-thrus. Second, it was raining the proverbial cats and dogs, so I had total incentive to stay in my car. But for some reason, I chose to eat inside.

My cashier was a young guy—probably fifteen or so. He had shaggy black hair that hung in his face, and he didn’t look up at me once during the ordering process. Normally I’d have been upset by this—I’ve worked enough customer service jobs that I tend to be a pretty harsh critic when people don’t at least try to appear friendly and open. But I’d noticed he had some pretty severe burn scars and skin grafts on his arm, from his wrist and up over his elbow. I figured he was probably shy, and maybe a little self-conscious, so I decided not to be too judgey.

When I’d paid and gotten my receipt, I said, “thank you.” It was then that he looked up. This kid, this shy, self-effacing kid was wearing thick black eyeliner that showed off bright blue eyes. The combination intrigued me. I’d seen guys in eyeliner before, but the ones I’d see rarely seemed so shy and withdrawn. Added to this dichotomy were the burn scars.

Man, my imagination went crazy. I wanted to know everything about this kid. I wanted to know how he’d gotten burned, why he wore eyeliner, what he was like when he wasn’t manning a register at a fast food restaurant, everything. I couldn’t ask him, though. Not only would it be awkward, but it was none of my business and I didn’t want to be completely rude or invasive. So I let my imagination tell the story.

I ended up spending a very uncomfortable hour sitting at a table in that Taco Bell with my brain creating a character and a plot, the story prompted by this kid. In my head, Graham (the eyeliner-wearing character in GUYLINER) was going to be a bit of a loner, a little bit moody.

Let’s just say that Graham evolved a lot from this first incarnation. But neither he, nor this book, would have been written if it hadn’t been for Taco Bell Guy.

To this day, I have no idea who this kid is, or his background, or where he is now. But I seriously owe him (and maybe fate) a huge hug for his role in bringing GUYLINER to life.

 

GIVEAWAY—I want to hear from you! Have you ever made a spontaneous decision and it ended up being the absolutely right choice? For me, it was skipping the drive-thru and going inside for a change, which led to meeting the perfect inspiration. Which, in turn, ultimately ignited my writing career. Does anyone have any similar stories? Tell me one, and a random winner will receive their choice of a book from my backlist (Do-Gooder or an anthology).

 

For more about me, my books, or upcoming appearances, check out my website (www.jleighbailey.net) or subscribe to my (very infrequent) newsletter. I can also be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+

Check out Guyliner today!

Guyliner by j. leigh bailey

BLURB:

Seventeen-year-old Connor works his butt off to maintain the golden-boy persona he’s created. He has the grades, the extracurriculars, the athletics, and a part-time job at his dad’s shop… every detail specifically chosen to ensure the college scholarships he needs to get the hell out of the Podunk town where he lives. The last thing he needs is an unexpected attraction to Graham, an eyeliner-wearing soccer phenom from St. Louis, who makes him question his goals and his sexuality. Sure, he’s noticed good-looking boys before—that doesn’t have to mean anything, right?—but he’s got a girlfriend. There’s no room on the agenda for hooking up with Graham, but the heart doesn’t always follow the rules.

As he and Graham grow close, other aspects of Connor’s life fall apart. Family pressure, bad luck, and rumors threaten to derail his carefully laid plans. Suddenly the future he’s fighting for doesn’t seem quite as alluring, especially if he has to deny who he really is to achieve it.

 

 j. leigh bailey

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.

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Website  |  Newsletter

Rain and Whiskey: Heart Muses with BA Tortuga

October 11, 2016

Heart Muses

 

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all the voices in my head.

I call them my muses. I know that the traditional idea is that you have one muse (and let’s be honest, that’s my girl. She’s the heartbeat of all the voices in my head. She’s the reason I believe in happy ever after, right?), but I tend to refer to the guys as muses. Walk with me here, huh?

I had written a few stories before Rain and Whiskey. Amos and Dave from Stress Relief broke my heart. Will and Dean from Latigo were a painting of the men I grew up with.

But Galen and Shane?

They hit me like a freight train. Complete amazing broken men that took over my brain for 3 novels and, after more than ten years, still make me smile.

I can tell you exactly what either muse would do in any given situation. I can see Galen sitting in the bar that first night he met Shane, hat pulled down low, quirking his fingers to draw Shane closer.

I love all my muses. I do, but there are some that I live in my soul. Characters that are right there, telling me I could write more about them. I could play with them again. I could let them out to be real just one more time. Sonny and MJ from the Road Trip series, Coke and Dillon from Roughstock, Sage and Win from the Release series – they’re all these kinds of muses.

But Galen and Shane were the first ones. The first heart muses. The ones that are still right there in my ear, whispering about bars and bait shops, storms and motorcycles and hot sex under the moon.

Grins

They’ll never shut up. Thank God.

Much love, y’all.

BA

Check out Rain and Whiskey today!

Rain and Whiskey by BA Tortuga

Blurb:

Stormy Weather: Book One

Galen Frost buys a house and a bait shop in a small Florida town to get away from his life as a semipro football player. When he meets good-time bartender Shane Barton, the heat between them is instant and intense—like the burn of good whiskey.

Galen and Shane don’t have much in common beyond their healthy libidos and their love of a good time, but the intoxicating heat brings them together like rain on the ocean, whipping up a frenzy of weather… good and bad. When trouble blows ashore, they will have to ride out the storm that breaks between them as Galen’s past rears its ugly head.

 

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
All Romance Ebooks

About BA Tortuga

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

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

Getting to Know Lynn Lorenz – Post + Giveaway

October 10, 2016

Getting to Know Lynn Lorenz

Hello! I’m a new to DSP author, but not new to publishing. I have over 30 books/novellas as Lynn Lorenz, writing gay romance and another ten or so het books under another name.

I’ve won awards, been a best seller on ARe and Amazon, but I’ve had my ups and downs. I’m so honored to have DSP re-release some of my books and I’m very impressed with everyone I’ve dealt with at DSP. Thanks!

In case you don’t know me, I’m originally from New Orleans, though I’ve been living in Texas for quite some time, like half my life now. My kids are Texans, but they have deep roots in my home city.

For a long time, I’d wanted to write, to celebrate, my hometown, New Orleans. It weighed on me, especially after Hurricane Katrina. My friends and family were impacted by this storm. It tore families apart, decimated a city, and yet, the courage and determination of the people to rebuild, to restore Nola to the beauty it had been, inspired me.

So I began writing a series of novellas set before, during and after Katrina.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Waffles and Wings is one of the first ones I wrote. Charlie’s Mission came soon after. I heard not only my friends’ stories, but my family’s stories, about the events, the destruction, and the situations people found themselves in and how they survived.

Believe me, I didn’t have to stretch too far to find plot bunnies, or in Nola, plot nutria.  They’re sort of like bunnies on steroids and they swim in the canals all around the city. I heard about the men from the city’s homeless shelters, who were bused out to places like Baton Rouge, before the storm, and who chose to come back and help rebuild, despite having nothing.

The characters, Tony and Scott, and their experiences, are mixtures of men I knew, who had survived despite Katrina’s best, and came out the dirty side of the storm, stronger and more alive than ever.

New Orleans

During the storm, my father, who lived in Metairie off Veteran’s Blvd and Powers Blvd, came to live with us. His apartment was on the second floor, but he’d evacuated to our home in Katy, outside Houston. He lived with us for six months, as the city recovered enough to let citizens back in. He was one of the fortunate people, he had a home to come back to, on the second floor, with no flooding. But with no electricity for three to four months, and no one there to clean up, you can imagine the state of the place when he returned. Mold covered everything, because New Orleans grows mold like nobody’s business. The contents of the fridge had liquefied and oozed out, all over the kitchen floors. The smell was…unforgettable.

He was in his late 70’s and the entire time he lived with us, all he wanted was to go back home. New Orleans is like that. It calls to you, captures you and won’t let you go. I knew a lot of people while I lived there who never strayed farther than say Lafayette or Biloxi. No reason, they’d tell you. Got it all right here. Ya, you rite!

So he went back, cleaned the place up, even the duct work was black with mold. Nothing my brother or I could say to him would make him stay one day longer than he needed. He’d call once a week to a neighbor, who stayed, believe it or not, and check to see if the power was on, and if they were letting people back into the city.

Rebuilding

When he got the “power’s on. Water’s on, but you can’t drink it” message, he was packed and heading home.

New Orleans calls to me too. It’s like it’s in my DNA. Certain times of the year, I think, hey, who’s playing at the Jazz Fest, when does Mardi Gras start, who’s riding in the parades that I know, it should be time for the French Quarter Festival.

And of course, the food really calls my name. Every time I go back, I have my dining schedule set. Where I’ll eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and with which of my friends who still live there. My dreams are filled with fried shrimp po’boys, muffalettas, snowballs, grits and shrimp or grillades, gumbo, roast beef… my favorites.

And every time I go back, I take a ride to the lakefront, where the 17th Street canal broke its levee. A little stroll down memory lane, of the destruction still marring the city. The blocks of neighborhoods where houses are missing and you can see from one block to another through the gaps.

So these two books, they are a part of me and the city that care forgot.

I know what it means to miss New Orleans.

 

Can you tell me about the place you miss the most? One lucky commenter will an ebook copy of On the Streets of New Orleans.

 

Check out On the Streets of New Orleans today!

 

On the Streets of New Orleans by Lynn Lorenz

Blurb:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Waffles and Wings

A year after Hurricane Katrina, Scott is back in the city he loves, the city that offered him sanctuary from rural Louisiana and its prejudices, but living in a homeless shelter can be almost as dangerous as the streets.

The storm cost Tony his family, his home, and his direction in life. Now he’s squatting and stealing to make ends meet, and he’s lost all hope of things getting better.

When Scott and Tony meet, they realize it’s time to stop merely surviving. It’s time to start living again. Together.
Charlie’s Mission

Charlie is an ex-addict plagued by memories of the past. He’s doing penance working at a homeless shelter, staying away from men, drugs, and anything resembling happiness. He’s convinced he doesn’t deserve more.

Devon is determined to keep the dealers out of his neighborhood. No one operates there without his permission. When he brings a sick young man who was selling drugs to the mission, he meets Charlie and can’t stop thinking of the man with the haunted eyes. He’s determined to give Charlie a taste of pleasure, despite Charlie’s claims that he’s not worthy of it.

Author bio: 

Lynn Lorenz is an award-winning and bestselling author who grew up in New Orleans but currently lives in Texas, where she’s a fan of all things Texan, like Longhorns, big hair, and cowboys in tight jeans. She’s never met a comma she didn’t like, and enjoys editing and brainstorming with other writers. Lynn spends most of her time writing about hot sex with even hotter heroes, plot twists, werewolves, and medieval swashbucklers. She’s currently at work on her latest book, making herself giggle and blush, and avoiding all the housework.

Website: www.lynnlorenz.com
Twitter: @lynnlorenz
Facebook: Lynn Lorenz

Balloons Everywhere with A.J. Marcus

October 5, 2016

Balloons Everywhere with A.J. Marcus

 

As my States of Love book, An Enchanting Liftoff comes out. I’ve stopped by to say a bit about inspiration and the thrill of hot-air balloons. I want to start and say a bit about how this series came to be. It was something I thought of as I was preparing to take my parents on a cross-country trip. Traveling for writers is fun, or at least for me it is. I’m always looking for new and interesting ideas for books. To that point, I thought it might be really cool if I could sit down and write a series of books that used a different state as a back drop for each book. Needless to say, I quickly squashed the idea of doing it by myself…fifty books is a lot of work, and it could be fifty two if I decided to include Washington DC and Puerto Rico. I bounced the idea past my good friend and co-author Caitlin Ricci. She loved the idea, but agreed it would be more than even the two of us wanted to take on. We decided to approach Dreamspinner with the idea and the rest is history. We’re in the middle of this great fifty book series and seeing love from all sorts of angles and from all over the country.

So when I had to stop and think about which state I wanted to write about, I was torn. There’s a ton of things I could do for Colorado and Texas, both states I know really well, but I’d recently come up with a cool idea for a book centered around the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. I’ve been to the event several times and love every minute of it. Having been to other balloon shows in different states, I know that there isn’t a show that really compares to what they put on in Albuquerque. It also seemed to be the perfect place to set a romance.

I don’t think it is possible for a writer to truly capture the air of the balloon fiesta. There is so much going on, all in a different direction, but I did my best. I hope when folks read the scene where our main character, Rusty, first comes down onto the launch field, they’ll get some feel for the controlled chaos that is a mass ascension at the balloon fiesta.

One of the things I love to do is take pictures. I don’t know how many pictures I’ve taken over the years at the event, but I’m always rushing back and forth from one end of the launch field to the other as I get the most out of my time there. Now, I hate to admit this, but I haven’t been back since I got a digital camera a few years ago. Life gets busy sometimes, and keeping my readers happy takes up a lot of my time. I have been to the Colorado Springs balloon fest with my digital and I know it’s a lot less expensive than developing all that film used to be. Even with I had a friend who could get me discount processing, it was almost more than the trip from Dallas to Albuquerque to get all the rolls I’d take processed and then there was the thrill of printing all the slides. I think I incorporated a little bit of my photographer self into Rusty’s photographer friend Tyler, although I’m not the womanizer Tyler is.

Right now, economic hardships hit everyone to one degree or another. Balloon tours are a specialty tourist trip across the world. There’s a group that does some a couple of counties over from where I live here in the Colorado Rockies. I’ve seen adds for ones down in New Mexico. To me it seemed like the perfect thing for our other main character, Chad, to do. He’s a pilot who loves ballooning and I think everyone should have a chance to make a living at something they love. But Chad’s business is having financial hardships. I had to come up with a way Rusty could help. Thus Rusty became an advertising man with a plan. It all meshed out really well is a sweet tale as Rusty and Chad find themselves adrift in the blue skies of New Mexico and lost in each other’s arms.

Have any of you been to a balloon festival? What is your favorite part? What makes balloons special for you?

Web Contact Info:

Website: www.ajmarcus.com
Email: andy@ajmarcus.com
Twitter: twitter.com/#!/aj_marcus
Facebook: http:// www.facebook.com/authorajmarcus

 

Check out An Enchanting Liftoff today!

 

An Enchanting Liftoff by A.J. Marcus

Blurb:

The sky’s the limit….

It’s wealthy advertising executive Rusty Donovan’s first time at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. When he scores a ride on a hot-air balloon in rainbow colors, he’s as captivated with the balloon’s pilot, Chad Holmes, as he is with the breathtaking experience. Rusty learns Chad’s business is struggling to the point where he might have to close it down. Fortunately, Rusty has some ideas about promoting Chad’s Santa Fe based tour company, and he also has some ideas about what he’d like to do with Chad. As they work together and get to know one another, the future—both for the business and for them as a couple—looks as bright as the brilliant New Mexico sky.

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

A Nice Normal Family: The Four Elements with John Terry Moore

October 4, 2016

The Four Elements with John Terry Moore

I’m John Terry Moore, I began using my middle name around twenty years ago and it sought of stuck. I was a civil celebrant here in Australia at the time (I’ve since retired to concentrate on writing) —- but using the middle name helped differentiate me among the competition. I’ve continued to use it because I rather like it! Terry is a family name and also my late Dad’s name so it’s sentimental for me as well.

*****

A Nice Normal Family” launched September 30th.

It’s my second novel to be published by Dreamspinner Press, the first was “Black Dog” in 2014.

On Sunday, October 2nd. we’re holding the Australian launch at our home here in Geelong, Australia.

My partner Russell and I celebrate our 33rd. anniversary the same day.

*****

Firstly and importantly “A Nice Normal Family” has a love story between two guys. It’s important because it carries the story from the beginning to the end. They meet as ten year olds and at the end of the book they’re mid-forties —in 2035.

Intrinsically linked to one of those characters is dyslexia, the central theme for the book.

My partner Russell’s dyslexia, how it affected him as a young person and how it has played out in his subsequent life has been my inspiration.

The word dyslexia comes from the Greek language and means difficulty with words. Individuals with dyslexia have trouble with reading and spelling despite having the ability to learn, they just learn in a different way.

It’s a trait affecting up to 13% of the population.

No two dyslexic people are affected alike, just like the rest of humanity they’re all different from each other.

But importantly, one of the generalities of dyslexic people is that almost all of them have at least average to high intelligence.

Some of their differences actually allow them to think on a different level altogether!

Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Sir Richard Branson, Walt Disney, Jay Leno, Whoopi Goldberg, Nelson Rockefeller, Agatha Christie, Steven Spielberg, Harry Belafonte, Winston Churchill, and Richard Strauss were all dyslexic, as were many other famous people through history.

So the storyline is embedded with our dyslexic hero who goes from a council employee to being the nation’s leader; but only after he becomes part of a successful partnership with another guy.

*****

The third element or theme involves Australian politics. How we’ve had to suffer the idiotic behavior, the name calling, the personal attacks, snouts in the trough, etc. where politicians would rather score points by denigrating their opposition than doing what they were elected to do — represent their electorates and run the country!

Where even within political parties the factions are fighting it out regardless of the disunity it promotes. The treachery of it all, as factions turn on their leaders, further alienating the public.

And all the while the media is having a ball, always ready to whip up a story where none exists, never letting the truth get in the way of a good story.

And the public, the people who put them there as their representatives, are forgotten.

Sound familiar?

Yes it is depressingly so, but I turn it into a good read! Trust me! Our hero does things to Australian politics and the Australian federal parliament that only people with commonsense could initiate!

And there’s not too much of that around these days!

The fourth and final element or theme is Asia. And the relationship (or lack thereof) that Australia has with Asia.

It is predicted that by 2050 50% of Australians will be able to trace their ancestry back to Asia at the current rate of immigration. Yet as a nation we tend to ignore many of the relationships and business opportunities so close to the north.

Russell and I are great travelers. In particular we’ve spent some time every year for the last 25 years or so usually in some corner of Asia. The knowledge we’ve picked up has been most useful in putting this book together. Thailand has a strong presence in the book for the very best of reasons. Thailand has never been colonized by the Europeans, the Thais managed to keep everyone at their borders, including the Christian missionaries and consequently as a nation is quite unique in Asia and the world. As a result the Thai people are a very natural race, there are very few moralistic hang ups and a sense of family exists that is second to none in our experience.

It’s no accident that the two children on the front cover are somewhat Asian in appearance, perhaps Eurasian!

The book charts the progress of Australia heading blindly towards economic oblivion long after the mining boom, and rather than exploring new markets, and new income, tries to trim her sails, turning inwardly, blithely cutting back on the essentials of health and education, unaware of the potential economic benefits of her closest neighbors.

Not China, not India, but ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations. Ten of them, —– Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar (or Burma) and the Philippines.

Most of them even now with a burgeoning middle class, not so concerned with the cost of imported goods, but with quality products and reliability of supply.

So whilst this may also appear a dry topic, it does take you on a tour of the ASEAN countries and is quite entertaining. Trust me!

*****

When we travel I carry my trusty iPad with me and usually find I can concentrate better than at home without the distractions of my own office. About a third of “A Nice Normal Family” was written at Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand in August / September last year while we were there on six weeks vacation. We had a small apartment and I wrote for around three hours a day.

*****

I’m currently working on “A Little Bit Different” the first of three shorter books in a series called “Love in the Australian Bush.”

“A Little Bit Different” explores a subject which fascinates me —- love between two guys who both identify as straight. There is plenty of evidence to suggest both factually and in fiction that there are many same sex partnerships out there with one straight partner, the other gay.

But seldom where partners both identify as straight and each make the journey to being part of a same sex relationship.

So I hope it will be a good read!

*****

Does Australia as a background to a storyline interest you?

What about the exotic locations within South East Asia?

What about the cut and thrust of political life, the intrigue, the treachery and the potential danger of an extremist group plotting to bring down a government?

Or a beautiful love story involving two friends, one gay, one straight who finally commit to each other, allowing each other to bloom?

The love affair where the dyslexic boy goes from a council employee to the nation’s leader, his true potential unlocked by the partnership?

 

John Terry Moore

John Terry Moore
Teller of Tall Tales
email: johnterrymoore@bigpond .com
https://www.facebook.com/johnterrymoorefiction/

Author of:

“Black Dog” published by Dreamspinner Press 2014
“A Nice Normal Family” published by Dreamspinner Press 2016
“Rhythm” on the Awesome Dude website

Check out A Nice Normal Family today!

A Nice Normal Family by John Terry Moore

Blurb:

Jackson “Jacko” Smith is dyslexic, but like many people affected by the learning disability, he is highly intelligent. His best friend Sammy Collins helps him get through school and unlocks his potential. Jacko progresses through the ranks of local government until Mother Nature intervenes and the straight boy and the gay boy become a couple.

As Jacko and Sammy start a family and challenge social mores, Jacko enters politics, horrified at the direction the Australian government is taking. With Sammy by his side, he can achieve anything and rises through the ranks to the highest office in the land, driving Australia away from its British colonial roots and engaging with its neighbors in Asia like never before. Economic growth results, and while most Australians are supportive, a small group of extremists might endanger everything Jacko has built—including his life.

Through the love and the strength of their partnership, Jacko and Sammy rise above their ordinary lives. Because love is never ordinary.

 

Warming Up the Night with Charley Descoteaux – Post + Giveaway

September 22, 2016

Warming Up the Night

Hello! Charley Descoteaux here, to talk about my new release Safe House.

Well, actually, I’m probably on an Amtrak train as you’re reading this, on my way from Portland to Seattle for the Gay Romance Northwest Meet-up! If you’ll be in the Seattle area Saturday the 24th I hope you’ll drop by the Seattle Central Library and check us out. Admission is free this year and the day will be packed with games and panels and giveaways and an after-party at the Rendezvous!

This week I celebrated the release of Safe House, the fourth book in my Buchanan House series. One thing that’s played an important role in the series is food. Not only does the cast feature a few chefs, they’re all foodies to one level or another. In Tiny House (Book 3) Nathan came up with a special event and it’s back in Safe House: Guest Chef Night.

Let me back up a little. If you’ve been following the tour it won’t surprise you to learn that my original plan for the series was for Kyle to end up with Derek. They’ve been best friends with benefits for years so it seemed like a natural way to go, with the added bonus of pairing a Japanese hero with an African American love interest (or vice versa—since they’re both core members of the family it could have gone either way). I haven’t seen many male-male Romances with main players like this and thought it would be a fun story to write. But Alex had other plans and she swept Derek off his feet in book one.

I still feel a little bad that Derek ended up as a subplot instead of the star of a book (even though I never heard him complain about getting an HEA without jumping through flaming hoops to get there), but since his spouse identifies as female most of their road to the altar took place off page. I love Derek, though, so he gets a turn to be the guest chef in Safe House. In Tiny House some of Derek’s backstory came out and he’s from the Southwestern US, so he creates a Southwestern feast for Guest Chef Night. This part of the story takes place in late February, which is the perfect time to enjoy steaming bowls of Chile Verde and spiced hot chocolate. And that steamy atmosphere is perfect for flirting.

A few Trato Hechos didn’t hurt the flirting. Here’s a recipe I found for the drink while researching Derek’s feast, followed by a nice long excerpt.

3/4 oz Pineapple-Infused Mezcal

3/4 oz Green Chartreuse

3/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

3/4 oz Lime juice

Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice.
Shake, and strain into a coupe glass.

To make your own Pineapple-Infused Mezcal, peel, core and chop a whole pineapple into 1-inch cubes. Add to a large jar or other container with a lid, and add a 750-mL bottle of mezcal. Let stand for 5 days and strain before using.

***

And now the excerpt!

Bran suppressed a blush, but only pulled it off because most of his blood had pooled into his lap the first time Kyle touched him. As soon as their table was served, last (one of the drawbacks of being friends with the proprietors), Bran noticed immediately that Kyle was not a lefty. If he wasn’t careful, their elbows would be knocking together all through the meal—which also had probably been scripted by Nathan. Paulie too, if Bran knew him at all. They really were shameless.

It would be a shame to disappoint them.

He decided to let Nathan’s plan unfold as he’d envisioned it, so he stopped being careful about where his left elbow went while he ate. A gentle nudge against Kyle’s arm earned Bran a smile. If that smile made Bran sigh, it just as easily could’ve been the food. If anyone was paying attention.

It sounds and feels like sex waiting to happen in this room anyway.

Or maybe that’s just me.

The rest of the meal passed quickly and with surprisingly little conversation around the table. Bran guessed the rest of the men were so at ease with each other as longtime friends that a silent meal didn’t make anyone uncomfortable. If he hadn’t been so preoccupied with the man beside him, and thoughts of how he could get him alone, Bran would have been far less comfortable with the silence. He was used to directing the flow of any scene he found himself in, or at least making a good show of it, but tonight he wasn’t accomplishing that. He devoured the heavenly food and told himself there would be time to take control of the situation later.

When everyone had finished their quesadillas and chili, which sounded simple but tasted delightfully complex, Nathan stood again. Bran had been attracted to Nathan since the first time he laid eyes on him, but right then he found his fascination had dulled to a simple appreciation for his beauty and sense of style. He would have been happier focusing his attention on the man beside him, but Kyle wasn’t the one delicately clinking his knife against the rim of a wineglass.

“Derek, that was heavenly, darling. Thank you for a lovely meal.” Nathan smiled in the direction of the kitchen, and all heads turned to look at the chef—happy and handsome, he also looked tired and a little bit wilted.

Not surprising. If everything Bran had heard about Guest Chef Night was true, he’d even made the tortillas from scratch. Considering the full dining room had a capacity of thirty-five, that meant a bit of work.

The diners all applauded. Someone near Bran whistled—not at full volume, but enough to be heard over the applause and smattering of cheers. He could’ve sworn it was Kyle, but since all Bran could see was the back of his head, he couldn’t be sure.

When the noise level began to taper off, Nathan cleared his throat and drew the spotlight back to himself. “Once all the tables have been cleared, we’ll start the dessert course. Buñuelos are traditionally served with hot chocolate, so we have that. If you’d rather get your party started faster, we also have Trato Hechos—a fruity, spicy drink with mescal. Choose your poison, men, but if you drink, please don’t drive.” Nathan winked in Bran’s direction, and even though a groan or two was audible from the dining room, his smile didn’t falter. “No need to fret, gents. We have a designated driver and a van that seats about ten—a dozen if you’re friendly—leaving at eight for dancing in Lincoln City!”

Bran started to worry that he’d already had too much to drink when he pulled his attention from Nathan and realized their table had been cleared and fresh plates set. Servers descended on the room with drinks—steamy mugs on one tray and pitchers with light greenish drinks in martini glasses on the others—filling the room with the aromas of chocolate and pineapple. Brandon took a mug, as did everyone at the table except the two new guys.

Paulie laughed his infectious laugh. “You two are incorrigible. Do you plan on remembering any of this weekend?”

The smaller of the two men, delicate, with pale skin and auburn hair and fingertips stained black—Garrett—laughed and raised his glass. “Not if I can help it.”

Before anyone could comment, the kitchen doors opened again and flooded the room with such cinnamony goodness that all conversation stopped. The servers worked even faster than before, leaving plates with three crispy circles stacked like pancakes and dusted with powdered sugar.

“Oh, God, I love these.” Paulie sighed and picked up his fork even before his plate arrived. “Be careful, they’ll be hot.”

Bran watched as their desserts arrived, catching a whiff of something fruity along with the cinnamon. He’d just taken a bite when a warm hand clasped his shoulder. He jerked in surprise and turned to find Derek standing between him and Kyle, a hand on each of their shoulders.

“What do you guys think? Ever had a tortilla cookie before?”

Bran shook his head. “Good. The whole meal has been delicious.”

“Thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it.” Derek grinned and might have pulled Kyle closer but might not have.

Which is none of my business.

Bran wanted to say something more, to show his appreciation and maybe not seem so much the stereotypical plodding hick, but he didn’t get the chance. Derek dropped a kiss onto the top of Kyle’s head and then sped around the table doing the same for the rest of the Portland family before moving farther into the room to mingle. Bran watched as he worked the room, chatting with almost everyone and basking in the well-deserved kudos aimed in his direction.

The buñuelos disappeared in moments, crispy little cinnamon bombs with sugar and sugary syrup that Bran thought meant an extra workout or two so they wouldn’t show on his gut. Then the dining room started to clear.

Kyle turned to Bran for the first time since they’d started eating and looked him straight in the eyes. “Are you going into town?”

“Hadn’t planned on it. You?”

Kyle shrugged, an elegant gesture that sent a shiver down Brandon’s spine. “I’ll save the van space for paying guests.”

Bran didn’t point out that he hadn’t seen Kyle drink one drop of alcohol. He could barely form the thought while captured by Kyle’s gorgeous dark eyes. It took a few beats too long, but he finally recovered enough to speak. “I haven’t had anything to drink—” He checked his watch. “—for almost an hour. If you wanted to go dancing, you could ride with me.”

“Sounds good. I need to work off some of this food.”

Bran didn’t want to seem overeager, but he did fold his napkin and place it beside his plate. When he uncovered his lap, his dick seemed to take that as a signal that it was game time and jerked to life. More than one way to work off extra calories.

 

Thank you for reading!

This post was about food, so let’s continue that in the comments. What would you make if you were the guest chef at a beach resort? Or if you’d rather sit in the dining room and be served, what would you like to find on the menu?

Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter before you go!

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway (9/12/2016-10/01/2016):

Three winners! Prizes: One signed paperback of Safe House (US Only); one ebook copy of book one of the series, Buchanan House; one backlist book (any ebook except Safe House)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Check out Safe House today!

 

Safe House

 

Blurb:

Kyle Shimoda is an asshole magnet, has been for as long as he can remember. At forty-seven, he doesn’t see much chance for improving his luck in love. His friends who run Buchanan House, a gay retreat on the central Oregon coast, know he wants to find “someone nice” to settle down with, and they set him up with Officer Brandon Smith. Kyle has a turbulent history with law enforcement, but he can’t deny his attraction to the buff cop.

Brandon has been a police officer in Lincoln City almost since the day he graduated from high school over thirty years ago. He’s cultivated the facade of a serious, disciplined law enforcement officer, but beneath his overdeveloped chest beats the soft heart of a drama queen. A cancer scare shifts Bran’s focus from finding a serious relationship to having as much sex as he can—putting his goals squarely at odds with Kyle’s. If he can’t find the courage to be honest about his feelings for Kyle, the happiness they’ve both been searching for could slip through their fingers.

 

Tour Dates & Stops:

Sept. 12: MM Good Book Reviews

Sept. 19: My Fiction Nook

Sept. 20: Alpha Book Reviews

Sept. 21: Open Skye Book Reviews

Sept. 22: Dreamspinner Blog

Sept. 23: Love Bytes

 

About the Author

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Rattle my cages:

Blog:  http://cdescoteauxwrites.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/charley.descoteaux.3
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CharleyDescote
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/charleydescote/

 

Series: Buchanan House
Book Number: 4
Release Date:  September 19, 2016
Pages:  200
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Taming the Wyld: In the Name of Research with Lucie Archer – Post + Giveaway

September 20, 2016

Taming the Wyld: In the Name of Research

Hello everyone! I’m Lucie Archer, another States of Love author here, and today I thought I’d offer a little insight into a few things I learned while writing Taming the Wyld. But first I should probably start with a little background since I’m new around here.

When I stumbled on the open call for the series, I wasn’t exactly looking to write my first novella. I had just begun researching publishers for the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo, but as soon as I saw the word Alaska, the idea for the book formed in my mind and I couldn’t shake it. I took a leap of faith, sent in my claim, received the go ahead, and immediately set out to write. Or rather, I started scouring the web in the name of research.

As a self-proclaimed nerd who loves learning, nothing gets me more excited when starting a new project than the research I know will go into it. I get to learn all sorts of things I wouldn’t have thought to look up otherwise, and then I get to mash them together and sprinkle them into a nice plot with handsome guys and call it a day. What’s not to love?

So without further ado, here are the top five things I learned about the great state of Alaska:

1) It’s not a frozen wasteland

This might seem obvious, but I’m a bit guilty of associating snow with Alaska. It does snow there, A LOT, but the summer temperatures range from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which sound like heaven to me to a Texan like me. There are also vast acres of green forests teeming with life, but I bet when you hear the word Alaska, the first images that form in your mind are of their infamous glaciers and near-frozen animals trudging through snow. Maybe even a random polar bear or two.

Taming the Wyld is set during the summer months, and there are scenes involving a few lakes and natural forests, but there is also talk of polar bears, in particular the fascinating factoid Jake, my MC, mentions on the connection of polar bears and Sasquatch.

2) Glacier ice is blue

While not necessarily restricted to Alaska, even though it has around 100,000 glaciers, this is a little tidbit I did not know. Glaciers are huge, which means they weigh tons and tons. All this weight puts pressure on the ice molecules and essentially changes them. This change affects the light waves they reflect and absorb, and because of this [insert long-winded scientific explanation] they appear as a beautiful blue.

3) Alaska is the biggest state with one of the smallest populations

This is probably another intuitive fact some may know, but I thought I’d provide a little comparison to illustrate the point. Alaska is twice the size of my home state of Texas, but there are more people living in my hometown of Fort Worth, almost 800,000, than there are in the whole state. That doesn’t even include the rest of the crowded DFW metroplex that I’m used to, which contains over 6.5 million people.

In contrast, the fictional town of Two Pines in Taming the Wyld has about 600 residents. I can really relate to JD, my second MC. He’s from Los Angeles, and I had fun toying with his culture shock.

4) Boomtowns

Like with many western states in the US, Alaska had its fair share of gold rushes in the 1800’s. During my research on geography, I came across many towns, or former towns, that once burst at the seams with thousands of people but now currently boast populations of a hundred or less. And some, maybe most, are now ghost towns.

Why did I bother mentioning this? Because I’m a huge history nerd who loves boomtowns, and there is also a very real and possibly haunted hotel by a hot spring Jake and JD visit in the book. The town of Circle, Alaska, where the hotel is located, started as a mining supply town.

And finally…

5) The indigenous history

I can’t go into much about this because there were so many different indigenous populations in Alaska, and I don’t have time to cover them all in a blog post. I’m half Native American myself, and I kind of wanted to pay tribute to that history with Denny, who is half Alaska Native as well as Jake’s best friend and co-pilot.

In the book, Denny makes Jake and JD Eskimo ice cream, or Akutaq, which is a native dish traditionally made with whipped fat mixed with berries, fish, greens, and sometimes reindeer. Not sure how good that sounds to most of our modern day American pallets, but it was a staple for thousands of years for native inhabitants.

And there you have it, a crash course on Alaska that should wet your whistle until you can pick up a copy of my debut novella!

Check out Taming the Wyld today!

Taming of the Wyld by Lucie Archer

Blurb:

The Witness Protection Program dumps JD Smith practically at the ends of the earth—in Two Pines, Alaska—to protect him until he can testify against a dangerous gang. He tries to stick to his story and keep his head down, but it’s impossible to ignore bush pilot Jake Wylder, a sexy loner with quite a reputation around the small town.

Flying medical supplies around Alaska suits Jake’s wild streak and love of freedom. He’s perfectly content to keep his romantic encounters casual—at least until he meets JD. Something about the nurse makes Jake think settling down might not be such a hardship. Now he just needs to convince JD he’s serious—which won’t be easy, given his past.

For a relationship to stand a chance, JD must testify so he can return to Two Pines as the man he really is—and Jake must grow into the man JD needs him to be.

 

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet Lucie:

Lucie Archer is a student of the universe who is obsessed with the stars, in love with beaches, and crazy about dudes falling in love. Her weaknesses include a big heart, the sun, self-doubt, and kryptonite… probably. Not the exact recipe for a supervillain, but she has plans to take over the world nonetheless.

Her first foray into nonacademic writing started with fanfiction—hardly an original origin story—but after a few years of honing her craft with other people’s characters, she realized she was perfectly capable of creating her own. Her underground lair, somewhere in Texas, is now overflowing with them as she prepares to unleash them on an unsuspecting world one book at a time.

As a realist, she works hard to write stories that are as honest and accurate as possible, regardless of whether that means staying up till 5:00 a.m. researching circumcision in the Ol’ West or refusing to quit until she knows exactly what the runway in Circle Hot Springs, Alaska, consists of. (It’s gravel, in case you were wondering.)

When she’s not writing, she can be found tending to her garden, playing with her four-legged children, procrastinating, or planning world domination. Although she does spend an awful lot of time fending off random plot bunnies that threaten to derail her WIPs.

Website & blog: www.luciearcher.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/luciearcherwrite
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/writerluciearcher
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Lucie_Archer