Let’s go on an Escapade! With Dolce – Post + Giveaway

April 11, 2016

Let's go on an Escapade

 

Hello! My name is Dolce and I’m a fiction writer. My new contemporary romance novel, Escapade, will be released on Monday April 11, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press. I’m very excited to meet you, and truly hope that you enjoy Escapade!

I started writing fan fiction around nine years ago as a hobby during the summer between undergrad and graduate studies. I was working a telemarketing job to pay the rent (and support my diet of cheap white wine and chicken souvlaki from the nearby greasy spoon) and found myself with a lot of free time. Writing was a fun way to be creative and get some scenes out of my head. It also brought me to a fandom community that was supportive and caring, where I met many dear friends that I am still close with to this day.

I have a background in theatre and music. My writing started very script-like—very barebones. My style has grown through the years, but I still tend to prefer simple. I write in a way that mimics, in my mind, the eye of a camera or the view of an audience. We live in a world where most watch television and films regularly, and I definitely try to tell stories in a similar style. Luckily, the wonderful editors at Dreamspinner helped me get some of my floating limbs and eyeballs under control!

Escapade was inspired by my own summer reading experiences. When I was younger, I would stock up on romance paperbacks from the library before I went on vacation. There were many different genres and scenarios, but the pairings were only men with women—no same sex couples. I wanted to write a romantic comedy that featured two men falling in love in an exotic, beautiful location with lots of adventure and fun. It might sound silly, but it’s always been a dream of mine to have my book published and available in an airport bookstore. Maybe someone who feels left out by the standard romance novel pairings on the shelf would pick up my book to read on vacation.

DOLCE Escapade blue trio art

Escapade is light and something to read at the beach, but also tackles realistic issues people face. Loneliness, the prick of discomfort you feel when you’re single amongst couples—even if you don’t want a relationship, balancing your personal and professional life, and growing into adulthood with your family.

The main character, Lucas, deals with all of those things. He is wealthy and successful, but in the eyes of his family, he’s still just Lucas. The secondary main character, the charismatic Jack McQueen, deals with the same issues, though he comes from a completely different place compared to Lucas. My hope is that in reading Escapade, readers see both characters growing together to conquer loneliness with love, laughter, and kindness.

I wrote Escapade over the course of about five months. It began in a writing challenge where a friend prompted me to write a story about someone needing a date for their ex-boyfriend’s wedding. I didn’t give myself any sort of word count goal per day, though I knew that this was going to be novel-length based on the journey I wanted the characters to go on.

Escapade came at a time when I was about to make a jump from working two time consuming jobs to one that had more of a freelance vibe. Something in my gut told me I should move on to the freelance job to free up time for writing. Looking back, I’m so, so happy I did it!

Research for Escapade was fun! Not to spoil anything about the plot, but I had a chance to write luxurious accommodations and activities that I’ve never included in my other stories. I’m a foodie and love incorporating cooking/meals into my stories. It was cool to learn that, if you vacation in the Bahamas, you might drink Kalik beer or eat fresh conch. Now I just need to manage a beach holiday of my own!

Music plays a huge role in Escapade. I love soundtracks and while I wrote Escapade, I listened almost exclusively to music from the eighties. Something about that era of music fit with Escapade. Fun, sexy, a bit silly—songs that when the DJ throws them on, you know all the words (even if you’re a bit tipsy) and want to dance. Here is a link to a playlist I made while writing, that includes lots of songs from my process:

https://play.spotify.com/user/dolcepiccante/playlist/1Pq1vipoL6ravQ1iCAd7Ne

 

Strangely enough, when I was editing Escapade, I listened to a mix of pieces from the Star Wars soundtracks, especially “Rey’s Theme” “Cantina Band” and “The Imperial March.” I have no idea where that mix came from, but I listened to “Rey’s Theme” for hours on end while editing in a café. Maybe that’s why one of my next planned projects has to do with a futuristic world!

All this talk about music and the beach makes me want to go on holiday. Please leave a comment with your favorite song (or songs) that you would put on a vacation playlist for a chance to win an Escapade eBook! I will randomly pick the winner in three days. My choices would definitely include some tropical Duran Duran (much like the Escapade soundtrack), along with the Beach Boys and Weezer.

Thank you for taking the time to read my guest post! I hope you enjoy Escapade!

Love,

Dolce

Check out Escapade today!

DOLCE Escapade Cover

 

BLURB

Twenty-nine-year-old Lucas Thompson is at the top of the corporate ladder. But when his lifelong friend and ex-boyfriend invites him to his last-minute destination wedding in the Bahamas, Lucas realizes his corporate success can’t hide his private loneliness. Nor will he be able to escape seeing his family at the wedding—and having to explain, yet again, why he’s rich, handsome… and still single.

Fate and a taxi ride change everything when Lucas meets the charismatic and clever Jack McQueen, who just so happens to be a male escort. Jack’s presence on Lucas’s arm at the wedding keeps questions at bay, but their pretend relationship turns into something more after ten days of sun, sand, and sex. And before the trip is up, both men will discover that what started as a simple escapade in paradise might just lead to their very own happily ever after.

 

BUY LINKS

Dreamspinner eBook
Dreamspinner Paperback
Amazon eBook
Amazon Paperback
Barnes & Noble (eBook and Paperback)
Kobo eBook
All Romance eBook

 

DOLCE Escapade Blue text art

AUTHOR BIO

Dolce is a twentysomething New Yorker who loves to write, cook, sing, and laugh. She got her start writing fan fiction and is excited, and a touch frightened, to make the jump to original fiction. She is a big fan of the band Muse, who inspired her to choose a single word for her pen name: DOLCE. Plus, Cher has the one name thing going for her, too. Everyone loves Cher.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Website: www.dolcewrites.com
Tumblr: http://haydolce.tumblr.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dolcewrites
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dolcewrites
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dolcewrites/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29457376-escapade
Redbubble: http://www.redbubble.com/people/dolcewrites

When Characters Take Over with Tara Lain

April 4, 2016

when characters take over

Hi all! Welcome! You probably know that most romance authors think of themselves as either plotters or pantsers. We either plan out our books meticulously or we write “by the seat of our pants”. In truth, many of us are some combination of the two. That would be me. I’m Tara Lain and I write the Beautiful Boys of Romance. I think of myself as a plotser– one who creates a basic story arc with characters, basic conflicts, and highpoints and then let’s the story write itself in between. It’s a fun way to write because it keeps you on track while still allowing for surprises.

Usually.

But every now and then, a character steps in and changes everything. They have a story to tell and they plan to tell it no matter what you had in mind! That was the case with my new book, Prince of the Playhouse, book 3 in my Love in Laguna series. The hero, Ru Maitland, played a role in Knight of Ocean Avenue, book 1 in the series. If you read Knight, you remember that Ru is a snarky, flamboyant fashion designer and a deep and true friend to Shaz, the hero of that book. While I didn’t write a lot about Ru in Knight of Ocean Avenue, I still thought I knew him and knew his story. When I submitted the idea to Dreamspinner, I described a clandestine love affair between my out-and-proud Ru and a hugely successful action movie star who stays hidden deep in the closet, Gray Anson. Considering the consequences for gay action stars who come out, that seemed like plenty of conflict for one book.

Oh no.

Ru had different ideas. I was writing along early in the book. My hero Ru, whom we’ve seen watching Gray in the movies and learning that he’s to make costumes for Gray at the Playhouse, is walking home in Laguna at night. Suddenly, a guy shows up and tries to rob him. Now that surprised me a bit, but I liked it. But then – Ru fights back! I won’t tell you any more except to say that Ru took over this story and changed or should I say escalated the fundamental conflict by a lot. He wanted this history told his way. I must confess. I loved the ride – and hope you will too.

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Here’s a nibble from Prince of the Playhouse

 

Prince of the Playhouse by Tara Lain – Not What He Seems!

 Dreamspinner Press—

eBook
Paperback

Amazon
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Driven by his desire to become a successful fashion designer and concerned with hiding his questionable past, Ru Maitland’s obsession with action movie star Gray Anson on the big screen has replaced his social life. Then obsession and reality collide when Ru is asked to design fashion costumes for a special performance of Hamlet at the Playhouse in Laguna starring none other than Gray Anson. Gray turns out to be a compelling mix of shy and brash and, despite a high profile engagement to a female socialite, the signals Gray sends Ru have his libido doing the salsa.

Gray Anson has everything any person can want – great wealth, huge fame, a job he loves. For that, he’s given up any semblance of privacy and the right to say no to the thousands of people who depend on him and the millions who love him. He sees everything he’s ever wanted just outside the bubble of his life, but how can he make the compromises needed to embrace it? When Ru’s shady past crashes into Gray’s paparazzi-haunted present, both men have to learn that sometimes the only acceptable compromise is the whole truth.

 

“Looks like you been shopping. Buy something for me?” The guy stepped closer. Thin, pale, probably drugs.

Ru stopped and faced the man. Not much older than he was. Twenty-four? Twenty-five? But lots of hard living. I know about that. “No, I didn’t. Why? Are you hungry? Need food?”

The man frowned. “No, asshole. I need your money, so why don’t you reach in those fancy fag pants and toss me your wallet?”

Frozen calm. Jesus, he remembered the feeling so well. Too well. Walk away. Get out of here. “No, I don’t think I’ll be doing that.” He tossed his hair out of his eyes. “You should know that I’m not as easy a mark as you’re expecting, so you’d do well to just leave, okay?”

“Oh yeah? And why the fuck would I do that, pretty fag boy?” He swung his hand wide, and the moonlight glistened off the blade of a knife.

Automatic pilot. A streak of adrenaline shot up Ru’s spine. He dropped the bag while his other hand slid deep in his pocket. The guy’s eyes widened at the nasty snick of the switchblade in Ru’s hand. In one move Ru stepped forward, wrapped an arm around the guy’s throat, and pressed the edge of the blade against it. “Drop it or you’re going to bleed, esé.”

“Shit.” The man’s body trembled and jerked. He smelled like sweat and garbage. Ru pressed the knife harder. The kid’s fingers loosened on his weapon, and it clattered to the pavement.

Ru took a breath. I could kill him. Easier than figuring out what the fuck to do with him. Think. You’re Ru Maitland. Think. “Sit on the curb. If you run, I’ll chase you, and you won’t like the outcome. Do you doubt I can catch you?”

The guy’s head moved a fraction side to side.

Ru eased his knife away and pushed the guy down to the street at his feet, then grabbed the other knife from the asphalt. He put one expensive shoe on either side of the kid’s thighs and reached for his phone. Shit, cops. Do I want to do this?

You’re Ru Maitland. Just do it.

Teaser #3 - Prince of the Playhouse by Tara Lain

You can find Tara HERE:

Website:              http://www.taralain.com
Blog:                    http://www.taralain.com/blog
Goodreads:        http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4541791.Tara_Lain
Twitter:               http://twitter.com/taralain
FB Page:            http://www.facebook.com/taralain

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

Friends to Lovers: From Hurricanes to Hope with Skylar M. Cates – Post + Giveaway

March 28, 2016

Friends to Lovers- From Hurricanes to Hope

Hello! Skylar, here. Thanks for being here with me today as I release my new book, Close to You.

Last year at the Dreamspinner conference, I sat next to fellow author Eli Easton. When she asked me what new things I had planned for 2016, I immediately mentioned wanting a book with a best friends and a hurricane. Not sure if Eli would even recall this conversation, but I’m thrilled that a year later Close to You succeeded in fulfilling these goals!

 

HURRICANES

When it came to writing a hurricane, I only had to draw on personal experience. For better or worse, I have been through several hurricanes since moving to South Florida.

Behind the book interesting fact: when I wrote the hurricane scene in Close to You, an actual hurricane warning was in the area. Yikes! And yeah, for my next novel, two characters are definitely winning the lottery!

I wanted to capture what it is like to wait out a hurricane. One of my editors, who lives in England, found this pretty fascinating and kept wanting more details. For me, I simply love the man vs. nature idea. Add to this, two best friends who are having trouble with each other, and it was a great to force them together. Coincidentally, this falls into another favorite trope of mine— stranded together.  My idea was that the hurricane brewing outside their home matched the hurricane brewing internally between Tomas and Marc.  But the weird thing about tropes is they often lead to other ones. This was the case in Close to You.

BEST FRIENDS

Confession: I LOVE the friends-to lovers trope! Love!  And I have done different versions of this trope before, The Only Guy or Five Ways a Boy Can Break Your Heart come to mind, but in Close to You my goal was to take the trope even further.

Because Tomas and Marc are not just best friends now, they are best friends from middle school. Having the friendship have its roots so far back really shaped the present day conflicts in the book. I allowed the novel to explore the past fully in order to understand what motivated Tomas and Marc. Digging that deeply into their childhood was like digging for gold. Every time I would uncover a nugget, I would squeal with excitement.  Add to it the sexual chemistry between the guys in their present lives – and POW—emotional treasure.

In real life my childhood best friend and I have lost touch. We stayed friends for over twenty years, but distance and different interests eventually drove us apart. Still, as I write this, I feel a pang of sadness. I might go and contact her. Because although our friendship can’t be the same and I know it, I still love her and  will always  love her for being my first friend.

As for Tomas and Marc, they found their way home. This was a complex book to handle, but it is also a book that I’m extremely proud of completing. Tomas and Marc fought for their happily ever after. They told me time and time again —-their happiness mattered. Many outside forces tried to pull them away from each other, but it was their friendship that brought them back.

Close to You is about hope for me.

 

Question:  Tell me about your best friend from childhood

Giveaway:  Book of choice on my backlist

 

My Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skylar.cates

Twitter:   @SkylarMCates

Blog: https://skylarmcates.wordpress.com/

 

Check out Close to You today!

CloseToYouFS

Blurb: 

It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

Purging my Demons with Wade Kelly

March 25, 2016

Hello good people. This is Wade Kelly here with a special guest post. I’ve had a busy week. On Monday, March 21, I had an audiobook release. Names Can Never Hurt Me is now out for your listening pleasure! I am so very excited as I believe Jack Amber captures the voice of Nick Jones so very well!

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Then, today, March 25, my new novel Bankers’ Hours has come out!

BankersHoursFS

When thinking of what to write about for my blog tour, I asked my fan group The Wade Brigade what kinds questions they would like me to answer. One person, Eric, asked this:

Eric asked: Unlike a lot of authors, you do tend to write CLEAR across the scale. Do you have to balance out writing a tough novel with something lighter? Does it wring you out when you write the tough ones, or does it help you work through your own demons? (If you have any?)‬

SCALE 2016_FB 850x315 8 titles

I found this a good one to answer here. Eric is right, I DO write clear across the scale. So much so, I came up with an “Angst” scale of my own for people to refer to when choosing one of my novels. I believe you need to be prepared  for what you read. I do not want a fan of lighthearted romance to pick up When Love Is Not Enough and have their heart ripped out with out them realizing it until it’s too late. I want happy fans. If you want your heart ripped out, then by all means read my angsty stuff! But I know that I have fans who only want the light stuff. I give it to them straight on what NOT to read.

That said, Bankers’ Hours is on the lighter end of the scale. (Refer to my angst scale image) BH (as I often refer to it,) is #3. If any of you have read my stuff, so far My Roommate’s A Jock? Well, Crap! is rated #2 on the one end, with When Love Is Not Enough on the other end at #10. When I was writing Bankers’ Hours, I was having fun. I was in a relatively good place emotionally for most of the writing of BH and I hope when people read it, they will have fun. Of course it wouldn’t be a Wade Kelly novel without a little angst. I hope some of the struggles are realistic and the emotions my characters go through come across genuine.

Several other novels are not so light and fun. To answer Eric’s question—yes, I work through my own demons when I write. When Love Is Not Enough ( WLINE) was born out of pain. In 2010 when I wrote it I had lost all my friends because I had the audacity to write a book with gay characters. (That book is out of print right now.) I was shunned for portraying homosexuality as acceptable. I was supposed to condemn it, and I had not. This cost me my church family, my friends, and nearly my marriage. Also during that year, I was going through an adoption. This was the toughest year of my life and it poured out through my writing. The main character Jimmy Miller, commits suicide. (this is known at the beginning of the novel.) I had to focus my pain somewhere, and Jimmy, Darian, and Matt came out of that pain. Since then, I have been messaged by many readers who that me for that book. I can see it was needed, and part of me is thankful for the pain I went through because it made my characters very genuine. The sequel, The Cost Of Loving (TCOL) features the persecution I went through involving the church.

My Roommate’s A Jock? Well, Crap! was written right after WLINE. YES, Eric, I had to balance out the tough novels with something light. JOCK was fun. I needed fun after writing Jimmy and Darian. They felt such pain and I had to think of something lighthearted. Cole is my sarcastic self and was written when I was feeling really good about myself.

Names Can Never Hurt Me, is the book in the middle of my scale. I wanted to get back to some angst, but I wanted to come at it from a different side. Instead of writing the character angst happens TO, I wrote from the POV of the love interest of the guy with a hard back story. Nick Jones is sort of slow on the uptake and kind of stupid at times, he’s sort of a slut, but he’s got a heart of gold. RC is my opposites attract love interest for Nick. RC has the really though backstory. This gives some angst, but it isn’t first hand knowledge, which gives it a lighter feel. I actually do the same thing with No! Jocks Don’t Date Guys ( JOCK 2) as I use a harsh backstory in Alonzo’s life, but the main character, Chris, finds out about it after the fact. When the rough stuff is not experienced first hand, it is not as intense.

I wrote NAMES, and a book called Misplaced Affection back to back and both are much heavier than JOCK. So, to balance out the pain, I wrote JOCK 2 and BH back to back. I need the fun!

I just finished writing JOCK 3 and poured my feelings into my characters. Right now I’m writing JOCK 4. Both of these are being written when I have some major emotional upheaval in my life so that will probably translate into tougher emotions. IDK. It’s the JOCK Series so it is supposed to be light. I’m trying! But the JOCK books will end up across the scale, but no higher than a #4.

I think that writing what you feel does help purge the demons. I can also put a happy ending on something that doesn’t feel so happy to me at the time as a way of searching for hope in myself. My goal when I write is to touch on real life situations and connect with what readers feel, and then to give them hope.

So if you are looking for an escape that is somewhat light, then maybe you’d like Bankers’ Hours. It’s quirky and meant to make you laugh, and maybe cry a little. Or, if you like audiobooks, Nick Jones is the character I think shows the most growth of all my books in Names Can Never Hurt Me.

I hope you all have a great weekend! I will leave you with an excerpt from Names Can Never Hurt Me, but after you read that, look for my other excerpts and blog posts for my blog tour for Bankers’ Hours.

The links to all the posts are on MY BLOG, to be updated daily. There are prizes to win and contest rules on those blogs. I hope to see you there!

This is the official tour list of stops:

February 24 – Prism Book Alliance
March 18 – MM Good Book Reviews
March 22 – Long and Short Reviews
March 23 – My Fiction Nook
March 24 – Oh My Shelves
March 25 – Divine Magazine
March 25 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
March 28 – Love Bytes
March 29 – Gay Book Reviews
March 30 – The Novel Approach

For LINKS to all the stops, hop over to MY BLOG.

The BUY LINK for Bankers’ Hours is HERE.

The Names Can Never Hurt Me audiobook HERE.

Here ya go….

 

“Are you going to hide up here all night, or are you going to introduce me to your friend?” My mom smiled pleasantly, but I knew she was irked that I hadn’t already introduced him while we were all down in the kitchen. Not officially anyway. She stood in the middle of my room with her hands clasped behind her back. Waiting. If I didn’t do as asked, she’d probably stand there all night. I could comment about her being intrusive, but really, did I need to? I wasn’t bothered.

“Sorry, Mom, this is RC. RC, this is my mom, Cathy Jones.”

RC held out his hand and shook hers. “RC? Is that a nickname or your initials?” Leave it to Mom to broach the very question I had been dying to ask for a while but hadn’t.

He cleared his throat. “Um, they’re my initials, but also a nickname. My full name’s Raffael Charles Coppola, ma’am.” He looked unsettled as he told her.

“Raffael Coppola,” she repeated. “What a great Italian-sounding name.”

“Yes, ma’am. My father was Italian. My mother’s Greek.”

My mom smiled at RC and looked over at me. “I’m going to lie down and read before bed. Try not to be too loud in here.” She turned and walked out.

I knew her comment contained a double meaning of some sort. We weren’t loud before. She left the door open, and I was fine with it. We weren’t doing anything. I turned my attention to the TV and shot someone else. After a couple of minutes, I asked that burning question, “So, why do you go by RC? Raffy’s a pretty cool nickname.”

“That’s not what they called me in school,” he replied very quietly.

I noticed RC had stopped shooting when his character stood motionless and got killed by the advancing enemy soldier, so I looked over at him to see what was wrong. He was staring at the floor, controller limply held in his grasp. “RC?”

“I was a fat kid in school,” he whispered, however it was very quiet in the room after I paused the game so I could hear him well. He wasn’t looking at me. He was looking down, but I highly doubted he was counting carpet fibers. He continued slowly, “Kids weren’t very nice.”

RC sat very still and he didn’t look up. Am I supposed to say something? I didn’t know what was appropriate to say. “Um, yeah, I know. Kids can be mean. I’ve done some really shitty things.”

“Everyone called me Raffael until second grade. My mom liked my full name, and that’s how I got introduced. Then I remember eating a ham sandwich at lunch one day and some kid had just learned that capicola was a type of ham. He started laughing and slapping the table as if he’d heard some funny joke. When another boy asked what he was laughing about, he said my named rhymed with a type of ham. The whole table started laughing, and by the end of the day everyone was calling me Capicola instead of Coppola.”

“That’s not so bad. I like ham.” I tried sounding positive, but it didn’t help.

Without reaction to my comment RC said, “They all laughed and started making pig sounds. I was already fat and ridiculed by some kids, but when those other kids started oinking whenever I walked by, it only amped up the harassment because then almost all of my class was making fun of me. It went on all year. When I returned in third grade, I hoped it would change, but it didn’t. There were less random oinks in class, but I after threw up on the bus one morning the nickname changed from Capicola to Ralph.”

“That’s not bad. We have a neighbor named Ralph. I don’t see how that’s so awful when you could easily derive Ralph from Raffael.”

He looked at me then, and the pain in his eyes was dreadful. “It is when ‘Ralph’ is accompanied with retching sounds. It never stopped. The noises and euphemisms for vomit continued through high school. Kids didn’t oink as much, but they pretended to throw up when they passed me in the halls. I was called Vomit, Yackhead, Pukeface, and Upchuck. Kids asked questions like ‘Did you lose your lunch?’ or ‘Can I toss your cookies?’ I made the mistake of crying in front of someone in fifth grade, and that’s when it solidified into shameful taunting for the rest of my life. No one ever called me Raffy. It was always something derogatory.”

RC looked away. I guess looking at me as I sat there with a stupid dumbfounded expression glued to my face was not helping alleviate his embarrassment of the personal pain he had endured in school. He’d just revealed the truth behind his nickname RC, and I gave no reaction at all. I should have, but I didn’t know what to say at first. I’d been one of those guys. I was the jerk in school who pointed out the flaws in others and laughed when they puked on the bus. I was never as malicious as RC had experienced, but I also knew I was not very different from that now. How often had I judged others in my head, yet without verbal aspersions?

The main reason I hadn’t called RC fat when I first saw him was because Marcy said it. Hearing her cut somebody down made me feel bad. If I’d have done it first, I don’t think I would’ve apologized. I compared people, but I didn’t look at someone and automatically think fat, ugly, poor, Asian, bad hair, needs a bath…. Okay, I did think that with RC. He’d looked scruffy and unkempt and I postulated he needed lessons in proper hygiene. It was only because I didn’t know him. Once I’d found out about the job and the skin issues, it all made total sense. And now, he looked way better.

However, after hearing someone from his past would make him feel so worthless, I was angry. Raffael was his name, not Ralph or Capicola or—for fuck’s sake—Vomit! And Raffy was my friend. I’d never had a friend who had been bullied like that. I had always been the one joining in the torment of others. I never instigated, but I think it was because I feared getting caught. But if someone else started the teasing, I’d had no qualms assisting… back then. I was different now.

It happened in high school. Somewhere between eighth and tenth grade, our little “gang” gelled, and it wasn’t an issue excluding others. We didn’t need to make fun of them or bully them for being ugly or fat. We tended to stick to our own. We were the “pretty people,” as M-L had put it. Others stayed away by default. We became a gang without the hate crimes. We didn’t beat others up or stuff them into lockers. We hung out and partied and drank and had loads of sex and talked about careers and college and the future. Our gang became a stagnant bubble of “senior year” even though most of us had graduated college and found the careers we’d talked about in high school.

So when RC described his past, I couldn’t help but consider it could have easily been me tormenting him. It wasn’t, and it wouldn’t be now, but it could have been. I felt terrible thinking I had it in me to hurt him like that.

I finally worked up my nerve to whisper, “I’m sorry.”

RC straightened and took a deep breath. He stood up and shrugged it off. “If that was the worst thing to ever happen to me, I think I’d be grateful. But the rest is a story for another day.”

“You didn’t need to say all that to me. Not if it’s painful.”

“Yeah, I did.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s like you said three weeks ago… I feel comfortable around you. I know lots of things about you, but we hadn’t gotten around to me yet. I didn’t want to dump it all on you at once, but I felt like I should start with something. After your mom asked my name, it seemed like the right time.”

My heart warmed. “You feel comfortable around me?”

“Yes. It feels like you’re the first friend I ever had. And if you give me shit over it, I’ll pound you.”

 

BIO:

Wade Kelly lives and writes in conservative, small-town America on the east coast where it’s not easy to live free and open in one’s beliefs. Wade writes passionately about controversial issues and strives to make a difference by making people think. Wade does not have a background in writing or philosophy, but still draws from personal experience to ponder contentious subjects on paper. There is a lot of pain in the world and people need hope. When not writing, she is thinking about writing, and more than likely scribbling ideas on sticky notes in the car while playing “taxi driver” for her children. She likes snakes, can’t spell, and has a tendency to make people cry.

My social media:

Web: www.writerwadekelly.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wadekellywriter
Facebook Fan group, The Wade Brigade : https://www.facebook.com/groups/247976895406172/
Blog: writerwadekelly.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterWadeKelly
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writerwadekelly/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5141623.Wade_Kelly

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=bankers+hours&x=0&y=0

The Places and Spaces of The Worst Bad Thing with J.E. Birk

March 23, 2016

The Places and Spaces of the Worst Bad Thing (1)

It’s finally here: release day for The Worst Bad Thing! This book is close to my heart, as it was inspired by many events in my own life. The tragedy that opens the book is, most unfortunately, very similar to a tragedy that took place within my own community. I began writing this book as a means for dealing with all the emotions our community was experiencing in the aftermath of that horrible event.

Eventually this therapy-writing turned into a story which was very different from those events that first inspired it. As that happened, other events in my life also became inspiration for this book. I decided that Tate, the main character, needed to be somewhere far from his home for this plot to unfold properly …and what better place to have him disappear to than some of the places I had just visited?

And so I had Tate go on nearly the exact trip that my husband and I had recently taken: a trip through Iceland, England, and Paris.

As this book’s plot travels through three beautiful places filled with wonderful people, the specific settings Tate visits often become as important as the other characters he encounters. I so enjoyed writing about these places; in many moments it almost felt as though I was visiting them again. In honor of Tate’s journey to discovery, I thought I’d share my five favorite places that Tate visits in The Worst Bad Thing. With pictures, of course.

#1. The Blue Lagoon.

If you’ve never seen the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, I highly recommend it. What’s not to love? It’s basically the biggest and most beautiful hot tub you’ll ever encounter. No downside.

 

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I give you…the world’s most giant hot tub.

#2. The Globe Theater

The theater standing now may not be the same theater Shakespeare once stood in (we’re like three fires out from that), but it still holds the exact sense of grandeur and importance that you’d expect. Plus there’s a killer gift shop. You know, if you like that sort of thing. Now please excuse me while I hug my King Lear magnet.

 

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All the world’s a stage, and I have no idea who the people standing in front of this one are.

#3. Stonehenge

It’s not on the cover of the book by accident. Stonehenge is incredibly important in Tate and Gabriel’s story—as it should be. You feel the importance and wonder of Stonehenge the moment you walk between those rocks. I only hope I adequately transferred that importance to the pages of this book.

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Somehow the clouds make it even more majestic. Ah, England.

#4. The Louvre

I got lost at least five times in this place. It’s enormous, and there’s literally an important relic around every corner. Travel tip: everyone’s going to crowd in front of the Mona Lisa anyway, so don’t rush to get there. Tate goes right for Hammurabi’s Code, which has its own importance in the story.

 

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This place is so much bigger than it looks from the outside.

#5. The Roman Baths

Did you know that ancient Rome left a giant chunk of itself behind in England? A town called, ahem, Bath still houses several of the ancient Roman baths. It’s a beautiful city in itself (Jane Austin hung out there!), and it’s a strange and wonderful thing to see this piece of Italy just sitting around in the middle of the English countryside.

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I don’t even want to think about how long some of that water’s been there.

What’s the most impressive place you’ve ever visited? I hope you have some on your list that are as magical as the ones Tate and I were lucky enough to see. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy The Worst Bad Thing!

You can follow J.E. Birk’s ramblings on Twitter by looking for @jebirkwrites. She’s also been known to ramble on Facebook as J Elisabeth Birk.

 

Check out The Worst Bad Thing today!

Blurb: 

Iceland, Stonehenge, London, Paris….

To the casual observer, it looks like a dream trip. For Tate O’Reilly, it’s anything but. He’s a man on a mission to rectify a critical mistake, and there’s nothing to hold him back—certainly not friends or family. For Tate, it all comes down to one simple thing—he must fix what he has broken.

What he doesn’t count on is meeting Gabriel Carillo. Gabriel is kind, mysterious, and seems to be on his own mission to ensure their paths keep crossing. But Tate’s hiding an awfully big secret—one he’s certain even Gabriel can’t forgive.

Does a man’s past have to determine his future? In the middle of cities filled with history, Tate is going to find out.

 

Paris in the Springtime with Ariel Tachna

March 14, 2016

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Blurb:

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

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

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

 

About Ariel:

ariel bio pic

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

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

Visit Ariel:

Website: www.arieltachna.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ArielTachna

E-mail: arieltachna@gmail.com

 

Buy At Your Service in eBook or print

Countdown to Bound, Part 3 with SJD Peterson

March 7, 2016

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

 

From Pony: Max and Aiden

 

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

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

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

Max nodded. “I’m good with whatever.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I, on the other hand, what?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Both, huh?”

“Uh-huh.”

“On your knees, boy.”

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

“Greedy little slut, aren’t you?”

“Only for you.”

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

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

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

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

Ring. Ring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Several minutes,” Aiden whispered.

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

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

“Have you called the police?”

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

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

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

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

“What can we do?”

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

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

 

Purchase Pony

Preorder Bound

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Blurb:

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

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

 

sjd-peterson

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

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

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

March 4, 2016

For the Love of Sports

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

You can find me on social media at

Twitter: https://twitter.com/teeganloy

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

Email: teeganloy@gmail.com

Check out Love Simplified today!


LoveSimplifiedFS

 

Spillin’ the Beans on Men of Falcon Pointe with Thianna Durston

February 27, 2016

Spillin' the Beans

Hi, Dreamspinner readers :)

With the new Men of Falcon Pointe book out, I’ve been asked lately why I wrote these books. At first, I responded with just my normal “Oh, my muse was in the mood.” But as more and more people have asked, I figure I might as well spill the beans.

Have you ever read books that became like family? Every book felt like revisiting home. Even though there were new characters in each one and a new storyline, there was the feeling of returning home again each time you picked up that well-loved book.

For me, there are a few series (book and TV) that meet that concept. Harry Potter by JK Rowling is one of my faves. So are the Corbin’s Bend (multi-author), THIRDS by Charlie Cochet, and Whyborne & Griffin by Jordan L Hawk series.  But when I try to describe my love of secondary characters, I always end up referring to the television show Gilmore Girls. Sure, the two main characters were a woman and her daughter, but it was all the secondary characters that made the show sing. Each one was like a friend and I looked forward to whatever crazy stunt they would pull next.

The Men of Falcon Pointe are the same way. In the first book 959 Brenton Street, I introduced you to some very strong male characters. In this book Finding His Home, we have new characters, but there’s also the joy of finding those friends I got to know in the first book, men who have become family to me. One of those men meets the love of his life.

I’m also pleased to say there are two more Men of Falcon Pointe books coming this summer. Yay! More chances to revisit these wonderful men.

What more is coming up for me? Well, besides Becoming Rafe and His Right Choice, the next two Men of Falcon Pointe novels, I’m thrilled about the book Vespar, which is the first book in a multi-author Action/Suspense Romance series Order of the Black Knights, which will be out fall 2016.

So tell me. What books have characters that are so much like family that you want to revisit them again and again?

Check out Finding His Home today!

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Blurb: 

Sebastien Cather moves to Falcon Pointe with a dream to live life his way. Offered a room at 959 Brenton Street, he discovers how liberating it can feel to live among accepting people, especially in a household where they practice loving physical discipline. And he quickly gains a boyfriend in Avery, a fellow student. Unfortunately Avery isn’t his first choice. His roommate David is fascinating and good-looking, and Bastien would do anything to have him—but he doesn’t think the attraction is returned.

Tensions rise as his roommates’ wedding is threatened and his present and past lives clash. Outed by the national media, Bastien knows he will never be able to return home again. Just as he’s sure he can’t handle any more stress, David shows his interest. Bastien slowly makes his way forward, trying to find firm footing in the minefield that is his life. But when his landlord makes an announcement about the future of the house, it may change all of his dreams.

 

About the author:

Thianna Durston is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.

 

Find her at her:

Website – http://mm.thiannad.com/
Blog – http://blog.thiannad.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ThiannaDurstonAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ThiannaDurston
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ThiannaDurston
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13536433.Thianna_Durston
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/thiannad/

 

Men in Kilts with KC Burn – Post + Giveaway

February 26, 2016

Men in Kilts

Hello! I’m KC Burn, and I’m here to talk about Tartan Candy, my new novel featuring a kilted ex-porn star and a blue collar worker, set in Orlando.

Once upon a time… or six years ago… I attended my first Romance Writers of America National Conference in Orlando. It was supposed to have been in Nashville that year, but they had terrible, terrible flooding that necessitated a change in venue. While I felt awful for the residents of Nashville, the move to my (then) home turf meant I was finally able to attend after years of waiting. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a few RWA national conferences since, along with a number of other incredibly awesome romance conferences.

If you’ve never been to a convention dedicated to romance (either as a writer or a reader), let me tell you, they’re primarily women attendees. Each year, I see more and more men, but that year in Orlando, it was probably around 99% women. The convention hotel even changed the men’s restrooms to women’s for the duration of the conference on the main floors to accommodate – which appears to be common practice from what I’ve seen.

The weird thing about the Orlando conference was that I only saw about 3 men, and they were all wearing kilts (and no… I don’t believe any of them were Damon Suede).  My friend Chudney Thomas and I were having a drink on a patio and discussing the odds of having three men in kilts appearing independently at one event. I hung on to that little writing prompt for years. I’d sort of assumed I’d end up writing a ménage featuring three kilted men, but that many hot men in kilts would probably fry my computer. Or my brain. Either way, it was safer to revise the storyline. But I made sure to give a little nod to that conference in Tartan Candy.

I’ve long been a fan of men in kilts. One of my favourite images is an old Vanity Fair cover of Ewan McGregor from 1998. I must admit, I don’t often read magazines nor do I often use visual prompts, but I picked that magazine up and kept the cover. I still have it in my “inspiration” files to this day. And the chicken just adds a certain flair. So hot. Er… Ewan, not the chicken.

Although I’m hoping Raven will make it into your top ten list of kilted men, have you got any favourites, fictional or otherwise?

One random commenter will win an e-copy of one of my backlist titles from Dreamspinner Press.

TartanCandy200

 

Tartan Candy Blurb:

Finlay McIntyre (aka Raven) is a successful adult film star with a penchant for kilts, until an accident cuts short his stardom and leaves him with reduced sex appeal, lowered self-esteem, and no job. He knew his porn career wouldn’t last forever, but he wasn’t prepared for retirement at twenty-eight. While trying to figure out the rest of his life, Raven attends a high school reunion. That’s when a malfunctioning AC unit in his hotel room changes everything.

Caleb Sanderson, an entrepreneur with his own HVAC business, has no idea what to expect when he steps into Raven’s hotel room to fix his AC unit. They’re attracted to each other, but Caleb, closeted, can’t afford a gay relationship, not with his mom pressuring him to produce grandchildren. If he wants to keep Raven—who no closet could hold—he’ll need to tell his family the truth. But Raven has a few secrets of his own. He refuses to reveal his porn past to Caleb, a past that might be the final obstacle to Caleb and Raven having any kind of relationship.

 

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About KC

KC Burn has been writing for as long as she can remember and is a sucker for happy endings (of all kinds). After moving from Toronto to Florida for her husband to take a dream job, she discovered a love of gay romance and fulfilled a dream of her own—getting published. After a few years of editing web content by day, and neglecting her supportive, understanding hubby and needy cat at night to write stories about men loving men, she was uprooted yet again and now resides in California. Writing is always fun and rewarding, but writing about her guys is the most fun she’s had in a long time, and she hopes you’ll enjoy them as much as she does.