Holidays Carols w/ Sean Michael

December 21, 2017

Holiday Carols

 

Hello Dreamers,

With it being the holiday season, I’m thinking of cookies and carols and gifts. Ryan’s favorite carol is What Child is This, while Alex loves I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.

My favorite is the Huron Carol as sung by Tom Jackson, which I’ve shared the words to below. What’s your favorite?

The Huron Carol

‘Twas in the moon of wintertime
When all the birds had fled
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead
Before their light the stars grew dim
And wandering hunters heard the hymn
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria
Within a lodge of broken bark
The tender Babe was found
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Enwrapp’d His beauty round
And as the hunter braves drew nigh
The angel song rang loud and high
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria
The earliest moon of wintertime
Is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory
On the helpless infant there
The chiefs from far before him knelt
With gifts of fur and beaver pelt
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria
O children of the forest free
O sons of Manitou
The Holy Child of earth and heaven
Is born today for you
Come kneel before the radiant Boy
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy
Jesus your King is born, Jesus is born
In excelsis gloria

 

Sean Michael

Smut fixes everything

 

Check out Daddy Needs a Date today!

 

o-daddy-needs-a-date

 

 

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Blurb:

With four girls, single dad Ryan Withers has his hands too full to look for romance. He’s not complaining—he loves his daughter and the three nieces he adopted when their parents died, and he would do anything for them. He’s caught off-guard when his mother and daughter conspire to play matchmaker.

Alex Bernot works in disaster relief, his job taking him all over the world for extended periods of time, helping others. He’s staying with his aunt while he’s home, and she sets him up on a blind date. Finding a special someone isn’t really on his mind, but he goes to make his aunt happy.

Ryan and Alex enjoy each other’s company more than either of them expected, and they soon make a second date. Their lives are complicated, though, in very different ways, and soon family needs and their jobs conspire to pull them apart. They’ll need to figure out how to work through the things keeping them apart, but first they’ll have to decide if they even want to….

 

Bio:

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

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

Sean Michael on the web:

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

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? w/ Pat Henshaw + Giveaway

December 14, 2017

Where do you get your ideas

 

Short Order, the 8th and last of the Foothills Pride stories, releases on December 13. When I was thinking about blog pieces to write, I realized that a lot of readers want to know how an author gets an idea and develops it to use in a fictional piece, in this case a novella.

Since John, a minor character in When Adam Fell, is one of my favorite peripheral characters, I knew I wanted to write about him finding his happily ever after. I also already knew from Adam that John had a troubled past, but had finally found himself by becoming a sous to celebrity chef Adam.

But whom could I put with John? For reasons readers will discover in the story, John is leery of tall, dominating men, so his lover would have to be someone smaller, not the tall, dark, and handsome guy of romance cliché.

When my husband and I had a layover for a cross-country flight, we sat in a waiting room where a short, wiry man from the airline went from customer to customer explaining to those who needed it how the airplane’s Wi-Fi worked with their computers. The young man had a quick sense of humor and was very patient. The instructor also had a tattoo of computer parts—a motherboard, some chips, and a screwdriver on one of his his forearms.

His look and his personality traits were perfect as a foil for serious, driven John. But what kind of tattoo would John’s lover have? Whatever it was would have to reflect his passion, just as the computer parts obviously were an integral part of the airport instructor’s life.

A more important question was whom John needed in order to stop shutting himself off from people and be able to grow into a loving relationship. The more I thought about it, the more I realized he needed nourishing and patience. What better person for that than someone who loved plants and saw plants as a way to change the world?

I’d read a piece sometime back about a project to bring plants into inner city school rooms and public housing. Not only would the plants enrich the air, but they also responded to TLC on the part of their owners. In addition, they wouldn’t be an added expense for those who were trying to make ends meet.

As I read the article, I could feel the writer’s passion about getting a grant to put common, easy-to-grow houseplants in at-risk households and classrooms. Wouldn’t John’s perfect mate have this same passion? And John’s need to be lovingly looked after would parallel that of a plant that would produce gorgeous blooms.

John’s backstory, his horrific experiences in San Francisco after his parents had disowned him, came from a tiny article in the Bay Guardian that I’d read years before and that lingered in my mind. Remembering it, I now had all the pieces for my story. Now I just had to sit down and write.

I’m not sure this really answers where ideas come from and how they become a story, but these are the pieces that came together for Short Order.

Do you have bits and pieces running around in your head from things you’ve heard or people you’ve seen that you wish were parts of a book? What are they? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have somewhere we could all share these snippets?

I’d love to hear from you and am offering a $10 Dreamspinner Gift Card to one randomly selected person who answers this piece.

Happy holiday, everyone!

Peace.

Check out Short Order today!

 

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Blurb:

When recent horticulture graduate Dr. Fenton Miller arrives in Stone Acres, California, he thinks his only concern is which job offer to accept after spending the holidays working at his cousin’s plant nursery. But after he rents a room from another shorter-than-average man, sous-chef John Barton, Fen falls in lust.

While he’s attracted to Fen, John’s got bigger concerns when two men from his past arrive in town and pressure him to return to San Francisco. Although John tries to stop Fen from getting involved, Fen realizes his lover is in trouble and is determined to protect him.

As the holidays get closer and Fen makes his own enemy, the joy of the season gets lost in the ill will around them. To ensure love triumphs, Fen and John must stand tall to show that short, dark, and handsome is a recipe for love.

 

Author Bio:

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

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

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

Author media links:

Website: http://patbooked.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pat.henshaw.10
Twitter: https://twitter.com/phenshaw
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pat-Henshaw/e/B00BPDEDEA/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6998437.Pat_Henshaw
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+PatHenshaw
Email: patoisca@yahoo.com

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

[Previously in the story, Fen and John had gone out on a date for a beer at the local Stonewall Saloon, and John had said goodnight with a “See you next time.” Fen’s been wondering when that would be.]

Next time turned out to be a couple of days later after I got back from work. I felt like a tractor had run over me, and I smelled like fir-tree resin. My apartment, on the other hand, smelled like I could eat it. Any doubts I had about John’s cooking ability dried up as I walked into my kitchen to survey my frozen dinner choices. Talk about haves and have-nots. Whatever he was making downstairs smelled delicious.

I was just settling on a Hungry-Man spicy fried chicken and mashed potatoes dinner, a gourmet delight ready to go in six-to-eight minutes, when he knocked on my door. I was so tired I carried my rock-solid dinner with me.

“What the hell is that?” John recoiled, taking a step back and staring at Mr. Hungry-Man.

It wasn’t hello or how are you, so I stood still to get my bearings. I held up the box and peered at it.

“Dinner. Why?” Nothing seemed to be falling out of the box. Why was he getting so upset?

He laughed a few rusty barks, which quickly turned into guffaws. Tears streamed down his face.

“Hey, not all of us are cooks.” I lowered the box. “You need something? Cup of sugar, maybe?”

His laughter tapered off and died. He wiped his cheeks with his fingers, then stared at the tears a minute, surprise shining from his eyes. Finally, he looked at me, his eyelashes stuck together in a few places. “Yeah. I need you.” His voice slid over me like smoky molasses. It slowly dripped into my imagination.

If I’d been less tired, I would have jumped him right there. But while the spirit was willing, the body was wilted lettuce. He’d asked for help. I could give him help. Just barely.

“Sure. Let me take a shower and eat, then I’ll be right down.” I started to close the door, but he grabbed my Hungry-Man and walked it back to the freezer. He shoved it in with the others. His face scrunched in a grimace.

“Just put on some shoes and a coat. You’re eating downstairs.”

My tired brain recorded one more whiff of the aroma coming up from his kitchen, and I did as he commanded. It was next time, and I was sorta ready.

His place, like mine, was furnished in jewels from the past. As I expected, our floor plans were almost identical except he had a front and back door. His fireplace was alight with a warm, cheery fire. His rooms ranged from stately and formal to cozy and intimate. But none reflected the holiday season: no tree, no garland, nothing.

“You should come down to the nursery.” With a groan, I sank into the dining chair he’d indicated. “We can fix you up with a tree and evergreen swags.”

He put a plate in front of me without comment. The best-looking roast beef and new potatoes stared up at me. I started to drool. While he set his plate down and sat, I breathed in the home-cooked meal and then sighed.

“This looks perfect. Thanks. I’d call it pot roast, but I’m sure it has some fancier name.” I was babbling, trying desperately to be polite and not dig in like the starving man I was.

He laughed and pointed to my plate with his fork. “Just eat. It is pot roast. My variation on straight Yankee Pot Roast.”

Even though his eyes twinkled, he said it without a grin. I laughed. In response his smile lit up, and he laughed with me. Now I knew the green light was on. We could become friends with benefits. Or even landlord and tenant with a booty bond. Tonight, if I wasn’t so damned tired and hungry.

We ate in silence. Now I felt more than ever like we were becoming friends.

As I sopped up the last of the gravy with a piece of roll, I looked around. Since I worked in the glut of Yule paraphernalia, I again noticed how beautiful but bare of holiday cheer the rooms were.

“You don’t celebrate Christmas?” I wondered if maybe he was Jewish or atheist or something.

“Not really.” He grimaced. “You’re probably up to your eyeballs with it now.”

I nodded. “I could use your help tomorrow night if you’ve got the time.”

“Sure. With what?” He looked interested, which I took to mean he wasn’t just humoring me.

“I picked out a tree and need to get it up the stairs.”

“Huh?” He sat back and looked like he was studying me. “So even though you work in the middle of the holiday crap all day, you want to bring it home with you?”

I nodded. I wouldn’t exactly call it crap. Besides, who didn’t like the holiday season? Bright lights, often cheerful people, foods and snacks made with tons of sugar. True, a lot of annoying songs, but I could overlook them. One more verse from Trini Lopez, though, and I’d have to shoot someone—probably myself.

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Well, you smell good. I’ll give you that.”

I laughed softly as my dick perked up, but I was too tired for any follow-through. “I smell like a fucking Christmas tree.” My eyes were drooping.

“And I smell like a pot roast.” He got up and started clearing the plates and utensils. Ordinarily, I would have helped, but I couldn’t move. It occurred to me I was going to have to go outside and get my ass up the stairs in order to be home. Then I drifted.

As we tackled the stairs, I tilted into him like I was drunk, only I wasn’t. Just so fucking tired. His body felt wonderful next to mine. I could snuggle and sleep on him.

We’d reached the top of the stairs, and I was panting. I handed him my key and muttered, “Can you unlock it for me?”

He opened the door.

I leaned, resting against his back.

“Thanks for dinner, handsome,” I slurred.

Then he turned, and I kissed him, a little sloppy and a lot off center. But I managed to make it lips on lips.

He stepped back, a shocked look on his face, but lust shone from his eyes.

 

Other titles in the Foothills Pride series:

What’s in a Name?
Redesigning Max
Behr Facts
When Adam Fell
Relative Best
Frank at Heart
Waking the Behr

Celebrating Chanukah w/ Avery Duran + Giveaway

December 12, 2017

Celebrating Chanukah

 

Thank you so much to Dreamspinner Press for hosting me today to talk about my novella, Ahava is Love. Ahava is Love came out this summer, but the majority of the book takes place during Chanukah, and the themes of the holiday – faith, miracles, and resilience – run through the story.

I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a Chanukah blog party. Since no celebration is complete without food, conversation, and gifts, I’ll spend the rest of the holiday visiting different blogs to share recipes, stories, excerpts, and a great giveaway. Tonight is the first night of Chanukah, and I hope you’ll join me for the rest of the holiday!

In the fall of 2000, I lived and worked in Brooklyn, NY. I loved my job and was enjoying the city life, yet I felt like something was missing.  I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was. In a real life plot twist, I was speaking to a friend about my need to shake up my life, on the same day she had just spoken to someone who mentioned they were interviewing for American group leaders for a 10-day trip to Israel. She suggested I apply; I took her advice, and I got the job.

On December 25th, 2000 (my 31st birthday), not knowing any of my fellow voyagers, I boarded a plane to Israel. I spent the next 10 days traveling with a group of young adults. Being in a land with such history, making new friends with diverse backgrounds, seeing members of my family who had settled there, celebrating Chanukah while in Israel, all added up to one life changing experience. For me, it was not about romance, I did not find love or a happily ever after with someone else—but I did find myself, and I came home much more comfortable in my own skin.

When I was thinking of writing for the World of Love line, I was intrigued by the concept of taking my own adventure to the next level. What would happen if one of the group leaders fell in love with another? Layering romance (and sexytimes) on top of such a meaningful experience would be so powerful. Same sex leaders share a room, so if there is a mutual attraction, resistance can be futile – and frustrating!

I loved writing this book, using my journals, pictures, imagination, and a whole lot of research to create Josh and Yaron’s world. Josh is frustrated with where his life is going and hopes a change of scenery will help him find his way. To that end, he accepts a position as a group leader for a tour of Israel. He meets Yaron, the Israeli security guard for the group, who lost his boyfriend in a terrorist attack a few years earlier. Yaron now lives his life without strings, looking for the next good time. Their chemistry is off the charts, but they are in different places – both emotionally and physically. Making a relationship work between them would really take a miracle.

Thanks for taking the time to get to know a little about me and my writing process. I will be sharing more over the coming days, so please join me when I visit the below blogs. They have been kind enough to host me to celebrate Chanukah with Ahava is Love!

Ahava is LoveAhava is the Hebrew word for love, I think you’ll enjoy falling in love with Josh, Yaron – and Israel!

Check out Ahava is Love today!

 

AhavaIsLove_postcard_front_DSP

 

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Blurb:

Brooklyn Realtor Josh Perlman desperately wants to settle down. Unfortunately he can’t find a man who wants the same. Tired of disastrous dates, he travels to explore his heritage.

Yaron is an Israeli security guard and medic charged with looking after Josh and his pilgrimage group. For Yaron, the need to protect has become more a duty than an honor since he lost his long-term boyfriend to a terrorist attack—a loss that continues to haunt him.

As they embark on their journey through the Holy Land, it’s hard to deny the attraction that sparks between Josh and Yaron. Yet with America calling Josh home, and Israel, and the death of his lover holding Yaron prisoner, it seems only a miracle can keep them together.

But Israel is an ancient land, one that has seen miracles before. Surrounded by structures that have been destroyed and rebuilt time after time, Josh and Yaron might just learn that their futures can be found in the wisdom of the past.

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

 

AveryPortrait

About the Author:

Parent Association President by day, Romance Author by night, Avery Duran enjoys the best of all worlds. She’s a minivan-driving, cupcake-baking, soccer mom, who works outside the home while raising three rambunctious boys. Easily distracted by shiny things, Avery found making up stories in her head was an effective way to fool people into thinking she was paying attention. Eventually she decided to write down one of those stories, and her alter-ego was born.

She’s always been a voracious reader, Avery’s mother still brings up the time her school called because she refused to stop reading during math class. Avery is pleased to confirm that she has managed just fine without whatever important math lesson was being taught that day.

A native New Yorker, she often incorporates her favorite city into what she writes. During the day, while driving, watching endless YouTube videos, or animated shows with her offspring, she plots her stories. At night, when her husband and children go to sleep, Avery sits in a quiet house and puts those words on paper. She loves spending her down time creating a world filled with people loving and laughing their way to happily-ever-after.

She’d really love to hear from you!

Author Social Media Links

Website & Blog:  http://www.averyduran.com/ Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Avery-Duran/e/B018RE20I0 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/the.avery.duran Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheAveryDuran Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/averyduran18/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/averyduran0234/ Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14742913.Avery_Duran BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/avery-duran

 

Giveaway

Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

PLUS, enter to win a $5 Dreamspinner Gift Card. Simply tell us what one of your favorite adventures has been in the comments and you’ll be entered!

 

Other Tour Hosts

Dec 13: V’s Reads
Dec 14: Pointedly Blunt Reviews
Dec 15: Samantha Macleod
Dec 16: Ebs and Her Reads
Dec 17: Pick a Genre Already

Bobby and Paolo by Joe Cosentino

December 8, 2017

Bobby & Paolo

 

Dreamspinner Press was like a far-off panacea for me. I had read so many of their terrific novels, secretly wishing I could join the ranks of their talented writers. After majoring in theatre at college (you guessed it, I’m a drama queen), I acted professionally in film, television, and theatre opposite stars like Nathan Lane, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. That morphed into becoming a playwright, director, and now college theatre professor/department chair. However, the thought of being a Dreamspinner Press author continued to haunt me. So, with laptop in hand I adapted my hit one-act play, An Infatuation, into a novella and sent it off to Dreamspinner Press with an email and a prayer. I was elated two months later when the contract arrived!

Many readers told me that novella made them laugh, cry, feel incredibly romantic, and remember their first love. That little story changed many people’s lives—including mine! Since An Infatuation was loosely based on my high school days, I next wrote a companion novella, A Shooting Star, loosely based on my college days. The two e-book novellas did so well that Dreamspinner Press released them together in my own paperback anthology, In My Heart (Rainbow Award Honorable Mention).

The writing bug had bitten. Dismayed that classic fairytales were vacant in terms of gay characters, I next had lots of fun writing The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Open Skye Book Reviews Favorite Audiobook of the Month), my comical gay take on my favorite fairytales. Dreamspinner Press published the first very popular e-book novella and audiobook (performed by the multi-talented Joel Leslie), and I just finished writing the second novella in the Adventures from Fairyland series now.

Finally, in recalling my amazing trip to the magical, gorgeous, and romantic island of Capri, I wrote a short novella also published by Dreamspinner Press, A Home for the Holidays. In the story, Bobby, a young, Italian American law student traveling to Capri during the winter holidays meets his quaint Italian relatives, and falls in love with his handsome, muscular, sexy Italian distant cousin, Paolo. In reading the e-book novella and listening to Joel Leslie’s versatile performance in the audiobook, listeners felt as if they could see, hear, taste, and touch the captivating characters and romantic locations. Many also begged to find out what happens to new couple Bobby and Paolo after they leave Capri and head for Bobby’s home in Philadelphia. Since I was writing my two other popular MM series (the Nicky and Noah mysteries and Cozzi Cove), I thanked the readers for asking, and filed that away for future. The future is now in The Perfect Gift, Bobby and Paolo’s holiday story, book two, published by Dreamspinner Press.

The two-part novella begins a year after A Home for the Holiday ends. Bobby and Paolo are living in Philadelphia as a junior lawyer and junior fashion designer. When Paolo proposes, Bobby’s family and friends are intent on giving the couple a gaudy, elaborate wedding against their wishes. Bobby and Paolo jump through quite a few holiday hoops and finally have their perfect December wedding (December Grooms). A year later, since it’s again Christmas time, the couple tour many of the quaint and wonderful holiday sites in their area featuring elaborately decorated trees and wreathes, Dickensian villages, Victorian carolers and bell ringers, vendors selling hot mulled cider and roasted chestnuts, and bay-windowed shops. They exchange beautiful gifts, and enjoy spending Christmas with Bobby’s eccentric family and hilarious friend Jared. While playing department store Santa, Bobby’s father suffers a heart attack. A man in a Santa suit, who Bobby assumes is his father’s replacement, brings the young couple to the hospital room of a sick little boy. Could this boy be the holiday gift leading to happily ever after for Bobby and Paolo (An Unexpected Present)?

Will there be a third Bobby and Paolo holiday novella? It’s up to the readers. This time, if they ask, I’ll follow orders right away.

Thank you, readers, for your love, support, and requests for more Bobby and Paolo holiday stories. And thank you, Dreamspinner Press, for making my holiday wish come true. I hope everyone enjoys my special holiday gift novella to you. Please know that it comes wrapped in a huge ribbon of love.

 

 

What reviewers said about A Home for the Holidays (Bobby and Paolo Holiday Stories, Book 1):

“I adore the character of Bobby…the heartwarming family moments…the love the author has for Capri and the people there flows off the page in every word he has written…..When you finish reading this story, you will want to book your own flight to Italy and boat to Capri.” Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

“Joe Cosentino’s holiday novella, A Home for the Holidays, delivers in every way that a romantic, feel-good story should. Every book I read by this author continuously pulls me in and wraps me up like a warm blanket.” Kathy Mac Reviews

“The one thing you can’t escape when reading Cosentino’s books is his humour; it’s what draws me back time and again to this author. Sometimes the humour is subtle, sometimes it’s unashamedly overt – every time it is hilarious.” Boy Meets Boy Reviews

I’m going to go on record saying that Joe Cosentino pretty much has me at hello. His writing style is incredibly smooth with beautiful details that never feel like too much or too little. Even in this very short story, I felt like I was right there in Capri with Bobby. Both the scenery and Bobby’s emotions are painted with lush, vivid detail…exceptional writing and beautifully gift-wrapped love story.” AM Leibowitz

 

 

Excerpt:

“Hi, Mom. What are you doing?”

“Sitting home alone like a dog.”

That’s Mom’s logic. If their house isn’t full of people eating and carrying on, she’s alone.

“Where’s Dad?”

“In his den, watching the game on TV as usual.”

I’m Bobby McGrath. Since this is my story, I should tell you more about myself. I have frizzy red hair, green eyes, and a swimmer’s body, thanks to the pool at my gym. The swimmer’s body is thanks to the pool. The red hair and green eyes are courtesy of my dad’s side of the family, which my mom calls the Bad Seed. And I passed the bar. I don’t mean I’m a recovering alcoholic. I aced my bar exam, and I’ve been a junior lawyer for nearly a year now.

“Bobby, are you listening to me or thinking about one of your cases?”

“I’m listening, Mom.” I sat on the window seat in my Victorian apartment’s turret and gazed out at the carolers appropriately dressed in Victorian garb as they sang in front of the department store across the street. That’s the department store where my father is manager and plays Santa every December. “How did Dad’s physical go with Dr. Sherman?”

“He said Dad’s overweight. Like we didn’t know. For that we shelled out a thirty-dollar co-pay.”

“Did you mention how Dad’s been forgetting a few things lately?”

“I told him how your father forgot to take out the garbage, sweep out the garage, and chase the squirrels out of our summerhouse in the backyard.”

I couldn’t help thinking Dad’s memory lapses were intentional.

“Dr. Sherman asked Dad some questions, like Dad’s birthdate and our anniversary.”

“And?”

“Your father never remembers things like that, so I answered for him.”

“Mom, you shouldn’t have—”

“Your father’s fine, except for an enlarged prostrate.”

“That’s prostate.”

“Don’t correct your mother, especially now.”

“What’s wrong?”

“You know I don’t like to burden you with my problems.”

“All right. I should get on my laptop to do some research for a—”

“I’m worried about your sister.”

“Which one?”

“Both of them.”

I took a sip of Lemon Zinger tea and braced myself for a long story.

“They work so hard at their jobs and taking care of the kids, they never see their husbands.”

My sisters’ know-it-all spouses? “Is that a bad thing?”

“Watch your mouth, mister. I’m your mother. In my day we never disrespected our parents, no matter how wrong they were about everything. And we never took drugs.”

“I don’t take drugs, Mom; neither does Paolo.”

“But plenty of young people today are drug addicts, Bobby. They say they’re nervous. If young people are nervous, they should do what I do, and take a Prozac.”

As Mom rambled on about the sad state of our youth, I glanced over at the antique cherry coffee table to a framed picture of Paolo and me smiling in front of the Mascobello villa in Capri, Italy. That’s where I met Paolo, when I visited my extended family. Don’t freak out. Paolo is a very distant cousin. He has dreamy sapphire eyes, wavy chestnut hair, more muscles than a daytime television star, and a little-boy pout that makes me want to take care of him for the rest of his life. Which I do. Since Paolo was quite the playboy in Capri, I had my doubts about our relationship. But we’ve been living in boyfriend bliss here in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, for a year now.

 

Check out The Perfect Gift today!

 

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Blurb:

Back in America after finding “A Home for the Holidays” and each other in Capri, new couple Bobby McGrath and Paolo Mascobello are ready to tie the knot during the winter holidays. Their families, friends, and pastor offer more advice than sages on speed. So, young lawyer Bobby and fashion designer Paolo are caught in the matrimonial holiday circus. Will a shocking turn of events somehow lead to the perfect wedding for the December grooms?

The following Christmas, Bobby and Paolo aren’t feeling the holiday spirit. They have a nice apartment, designer clothes, entertaining and supportive friends and family, but little time for each other. While out shopping in their quaint local holiday village, Bobby and Paolo encounter Gregory, an adorable seven-year-old who changes their lives forever, offering them a true holiday miracle… if they’re willing to accept it.

 

Author Bio:

Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star, the Bobby and Paolo Holiday stories: A Home for the Holidays and The Perfect Gift, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise, (Lethe Press), Drama Luau, Drama Detective; the Cozzi Cove series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out, Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings (NineStar Press); and the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. He was voted 1st Place Favorite LGBT Mystery, Humorous, and Contemporary Author of 2015, and 2nd Place Favorite LGBT Romance Author of 2015 by the readers of Divine Magazine. He has also won many Rainbow Award Honorable Mentions including for In My Heart/An Infatuation & A Shooting Star. 

http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino

Sucker for Submission Calls by Kris T. Bethke

December 5, 2017

 

Sucker for Submission Calls

Hi there! I’m Kris T. Bethke, and I’m here to talk about how my new release, Hearts and Hazelnuts came to be.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a sucker for submission calls. And when I saw the one for the States of Love collection, I was hooked. I loved the idea of a romance taking place in each of the 50 states, and was quick to put in a claim. But authors were claiming states so fast, I missed out on my first choice.

(It was New York, for those who are curious. Both because it’s where I’m from, and because I wanted to showcase a part of the state that wasn’t New York City. Don’t get me wrong, NYC is amazing. But there’s more to the state that just that. :D )

So I thought I was destined to miss out on this collection. Some months later, I was trolling through the list again (because I was curious) and I saw Montana was back up for grabs. This time I was a little more cautious, but I had a story in my head that would be perfect. So I put it together, planned it out, and sent it in.

And was once again denied, because someone else was quicker than me.

I was disappointed, sure. But I knew whomever had both of these states would do a great job, and I once again thought I was destined not to be a part of the collection.

Fast forward to October of last year, when I thought I’d take a look at the list again. I wanted to see what was claimed and contracted, and what stories I would have to look forward to as a reader. And I was totally surprised to see a few states up for grabs again. And one of them was Oregon.

Cue the spotlight and the ringing bells.

I’ve long had a love affair with the Pacific Northwest, and Oregon and Portland in particular. There was a fire in my belly to write this story, but I wanted to find something that would set it apart. A lot of research later, I had my answer. Hazelnuts. And a whole story to go with it.

But this time, I hemmed and hawed about sending in the claim. I knew, right down to my toes, that I’d get denied again. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I put together my synopsis, sent in the claim, and held my breath.

Turns out, third time really is the charm.

For the next three months, I lived and breathed Oregon. Arm chair traveled and researched, got into my MCs’ heads and really found out what made them tick. I wrote massive revisions when they were asked for, and the result is something I’m supremely proud of.

Jordan and Beck fall in love with each other while already being in love with their home state. And I fell in love too. All over again.

I may have been disappointed in the beginning of my journey, but in the end, I was telling the story that needed to be told. Right place, right time, everything fell into place. And I couldn’t be happier with the result.

Has that ever happened to you?

 

Check out Hearts and Hazelnuts today!

 

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Blurb:

Mechanic Jordan Hart is down on his luck, so he gladly accepts a temporary job servicing tractors at a hazelnut farm in Newberg, Oregon. He doesn’t expect to be attracted to his boss, Beckett Shaw. Still working on embracing his bisexuality, he’s reluctant to start anything, but Beckett’s gentle coaxing convinces Jordan to take a risk.

Beckett has vowed not to get involved with anyone until he can restore the Shaw Farms name as a leader in hazelnuts. But there’s no denying his interest in the shy mechanic who shows up at his door. Just as they begin to find a balance, outside forces threaten to tear them apart. Job opportunities force Jordan out of the Portland area he loves so much. But when danger comes too close to Beckett, Jordan must decide if he can follow his heart to the Willamette Valley… and straight back to Beckett.

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

 

Author Bio:

Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and weekend naps are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with a very fluffy cat and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of the people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated. And she loves to hear from readers, so feel free to drop her a line.
Email: kristbethke@gmail.com
Blog: kristbethke.com
Twitter: @KrisTBethke
Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Kris-T-Bethke/100014524539852

 

 

The ’90s to Now w/ Ken Harrison

November 29, 2017

90s to now

 

Linear Park may not be the first time my fiction has been in print, but it feels like the first time. This is probably due to the fact that my last published book was in 2002, a collection of erotic short stories titled Ten Thick Inches. It was my third published short story collection, the other two being Daddy’s Boys in 1998, and Young, Hung & Ready for Action in 2001. Here it is, fifteen years later, and I have that same sense of pride and wonderment that I had when I published my first book. Although the feelings may be the same, the publishing process has changed quite a bit.

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Back in 1998 you had to send out notices well before your title was released asking for interviews and reviews in physical newspapers and magazines. You also had to call bookstores and ask if you could have a promotional event. It took a lot of time and effort to coordinate all of it. The list of newspapers and bookstores was like gold, so you kept it close and safe.

My most memorable event was at an independent bookstore in Sacramento, CA called The Open Book. It was held in the coffee shop, which was on a raised level overlooking the bookstore. I was promoting Ten Thick Inches at the time and read the last story in the collection. As I read, people shopping stopped and listened, and some of them came into the coffee shop and sat. Of all the events I’d done, that will always be my favorite.

When I self-published Ten Thick Inches to raise funds to begin Seventh Window and to move into publishing, I had no idea how much was about to change. I then published two books by MJ Pearson, The Price of Temptation and Discreet Young Gentleman, both of which sold well and gave me a sense of pride.

In 2007, while I was working with NL Gassert on The Protector, my five-year relationship had fallen apart due to my partner’s heavy drinking and my refusal to see the problems staring me in the face. My own issues with alcoholism were beginning to show, but I was too wrapped up in anxiety, depression and fear to notice.

By the time The Protector came out in 2008, I was renting a room from a friend and working on promoting it the old fashion way. It was all I knew, and I was working on auto-pilot. Not only that, but I had cases of books in storage and print sales were on the decline.

By 2010 I had taught myself how to code an e-book using HTML and CSS. I’d also learned enough Photoshop to save money on book covers by designing them myself. But it was too late. While I was stewing in a dark place, publishing changed, and I was too far behind to catch up.

Despite some successes with titles by Xavier Axelson, Drake Braxton and Brian Centrone, I still couldn’t compete. Other presses had rightfully staked their claim in the market while I was still getting my footing in the new business structure. My drinking was also getting worse, bringing back memories of my failed five-year relationship. I was alone, scared, lost and drinking more often with each passing day. How long would it be until it all fell apart?

In March of 2015 I had had enough and took the first step to sobriety. While in recovery I met a tall, dark and handsome man named Randon. We became friends, texting, hanging out and talking about our lives and our past. One of the first things he said to me was, “I can’t be friends with you if you’re going to drink.” I liked his blatant honesty.

By the summer of 2015, Randon and I began talking on the phone and texting every day. By August I brought him to Colt State Park, where we talked about how much we loved Karen Black and the film, Burnt Offerings. It was at that point when we realized we were more than friends.

In December of 2015, I decided to close the publishing company and become what I called a regular person. It was a difficult decision, one that broke my heart. I had spent years trying to keep the company afloat and felt as if I was letting myself down and the authors I’d worked with. Randon was there to listen and remind me of the success I’d had with publishing, and let me know that I wasn’t a loser. I sure felt like one.

For the next year and half, Randon was concerned about me. He felt that I seemed lost, like I didn’t know what do with myself. Although he was concerned, he didn’t push or make a big deal out of it.

In August 2016, Randon moved in with me. Getting him situated and comfortable kept me occupied, but I was still searching for a project to make me feel fulfilled. Randon mentioned writing something, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back to that. Although Randon insisted that my closing the publishing company didn’t mean I failed, in my mind it did. The last thing I wanted to do was go back to it.

And then the seed of a story using Linear Park as a backdrop planted itself in my mind, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to write it. It wasn’t until I was looking for something to read and went to the Dreamspinner web site that I thought about writing again. I don’t know what made me look at the Publish with Us section, but I did. And there it was, a call for submissions for a line of books called States of Love. And yes, under the list of unclaimed states was Rhode Island. Although I told myself not to bother, all I could think about was Linear Park.

I didn’t tell Randon about the story. I wrote the first draft in short bursts when he was sleeping, I tend to be an early riser. A couple of times he woke up to the sound of me frantically slamming at the keyboard, but he never said anything. He hadn’t mentioned it until I was done with the first draft and told him about the submission guidelines for States of Love. He was thrilled.

I composed the query letter, read it to Randon and had him by my side when I sent it off. When they wanted to see the story, Randon was there when I emailed it. It was an exciting time and I felt the need to remind Randon that they may not accept it. All he said was, “They’ll take it. It’s good.”

Dreamspinner did accept Linear Park, which gave me a sense of pride I hadn’t felt in a very long time. Also, while going through the editing process, Randon and I were married. It was a small ceremony in City Hall, quiet and simple. The way we wanted it. We refinanced the house to put his name on the deed and are now making plans to renovate portions of it. We’re supporting each other and building a life together.

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And now Linear Park is out, Randon is by my side; I’m working on another book, and living a sober life. Everything has come around, back to where it all started. It’s as if I have a second chance at life.  Who says dreams can’t come true?

 

Check out Linear Park today!

 

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Blurb:

Sean and Nick’s life together was a fairy tale: childhood friends who became lovers, high school sweethearts who married after college, both handsome professionals. Sean always enjoyed a few drinks, but after the death of his father, his alcoholism spiraled out of control… and it cost him everything.

When Sean loses his job and becomes too surly and unreasonable to live with, Nick has little choice but to end the relationship. Sean can’t blame Nick for giving up—not after the arguments and the lies—but he longs for the happiness and love they shared before he spoiled everything. He resolves to get sober and win back his husband. But even if he wins his battle with alcoholism, will it be too late to save his marriage?

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

 

Author Bio:

Back in the nineties, Ken Harrison wrote erotic short stories for several gay skin magazines and published three short story collections (Daddy’s Boys; Young, Hung and Ready for Action; and Ten Thick Inches). He stopped writing in 2001 to start a small press, Seventh Window Publications, and worked with several great authors and artists. He closed Seventh Window Publications in December 2015. After a year and a half away, he realized that publishing was a big part of his life and went back to writing.

When he isn’t writing, he enjoys cooking, web design, blowing bubbles in the park, dressing up in costumes, and entertaining. Halloween is his favorite holiday and his house is a popular stop for the neighborhood kids. He believes that the only thing better than telling a good story is watching people enjoy his food.

Ken lives in Rhode Island with his husband, who is an avid reader.

Blog: booksandbytes.blog
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ken9063
Twitter: @Ken_Harrison

Define Romance by SJD Peterson

November 28, 2017

 

Define Romance

 

Growing up with Disney I believed in fairy tales, Prince Charming, and happily ever after’s. Hearts and flowers defined romance for me. My daughter however, had a different view. She grew up loving horror movies, especially Resident Evil. Her idea of romance was marrying Leon and the two of them riding off into the sunset and taking out a horde of zombies along the way.

Throughout the years, my definition of romance has changed. In my twenties and early thirties, a romantic evening was one in which the kids went to bed early and my man and I curled up on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn. When the kids were teenagers, date nights were a must and a weekend getaway even better to keep the romance fresh. Now that I’m a single empty nester, it’s back to Disney. Just like my youth, the only Prince Charming in my life is when I pull out old VHS tapes of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.

In my newest novel Romance Redefined Ben and Hugh have yet another definition of Romance. Problem is, Ben’s definition is the polar opposite of Hugh’s.

 

Check out Romance Redefined today!

 

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Blurb:

Opposites attract, but are some differences too drastic for a romance to survive?

On the surface, Benson Howard Winthrop III and Hugh Bayard have a lot in common: they’re young, handsome, and blessed to be one of the wealthiest couples in the country. Surely they have everything anyone could want. But Ben is no longer satisfied with their long-running relationship. Hugh’s need to control every situation is suffocating him, and Ben needs to know if he can make it on his own merits by following his passion.

But Ben’s mother isn’t about to let her son live in a rundown apartment as a struggling actor. She’s determined to get him back to his rightful place at the top of the social ladder—and back with Hugh.

Rekindling their romance will require more than doing what’s expected. Ben and Hugh need to understand and embrace each other’s differences. They’ll have to support each other even when one makes a decision the other doesn’t agree with. For their passionate love to grow, they will need to redefine the meaning of romance… only then can they find true happiness.

 

So, what about you? How do you define Romance? Leave a comment and one lucky person will win their choice of an ebook copy from my backlist. Good Luck!

~Hugs~

Jo

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Meet Jo Peterson

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

FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

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What’s in a Name? By Kelly Jensen + Giveaway

November 22, 2017

What's in a Name

 

Sometimes I have a name without a story, and sometimes I have a story without a name. Counting Fence Posts remained unnamed until my second revision round when Henry’s habit of counting things popped out of the first paragraph. I loved the idea of naming the book after one of Henry’s quirks, and as I developed this story into a series, the theme of counting naturally followed.

Counting Down had a name before I sat down to write. With the story occurring on New Year’s Eve, this title came easily. I also enjoyed working the counting motif into the story from Marc’s point of view. Henry is the one who counts things, but Marc ends up imagining a ghostly clock counting down the hours to midnight—until he gets distracted by laundry sex.

Counting on You, the third and final novella in this series, was originally going to be called “Counting Out.” I planned the story as Marc’s coming out and had in mind a line where either Marc or Henry said something like, “Don’t count me out.” I often carry around snippets of dialogue I’d like to use in a story. Fun fact: I rarely use them in my final drafts. While I do use an outline, my stories are quite organic and often grow away from what I planned.

It wasn’t until I got near the end of this last novella that the title happened. It came out of another line of dialogue that was in the same conversation I had planned. Marc tells Henry, “I was counting on you…” and there it was, my title. I really love this one because it not only wraps the series, but perfectly encapsulates the emotional arc of this particular novella. This one is the big test and the answer to the question of whether these two have what it takes to not only have a real relationship, but one that works.

So what about my characters’ names? I often put a lot of thought into these, including researching the meaning and etymology to make sure what I’ve picked really fits. As with my titles, I often have a name before I have a story. Sometimes I have a story with no names. Just guy one and guy two. In Out in the Blue, my first novella with Dreamspinner Press, Jared and Fin wore each other’s names all through the first draft. They never quite fit, though, and when it came time to start revising, I switched the names and everything fell into place.

Henry is one of my favourite names. (It’s not weird to have favourites!) I have a list of these and I’m a bit funny about using them because once they’re out there, in the world, they’re done. I can only write one Henry and this is him. This particular usage pleases me very much because Henry is such a personal character. This story started with him and his quirks!

Marc named himself. I have this happen quite often as well—especially when I’m writing from a single point of view and haven’t really given a lot of consideration to the other main character. I know from experience that they’ll let me know who they are as the story progresses and it’s not unusual for me to flesh out their character history after I’m done with my first draft.

HENRY MARC

I don’t generally base characters on people I know. Marc’s last name is similar to that of a friend I had in college, however, and I chose it because I greatly admired this friend. He had the same drive I’ve written into Marc. In his sophomore year, he broke his neck in a diving accident and lost the use of his right hand. As a graphic artist, this could have meant the end of his studies and career—but it wasn’t. My friend learned to draw with his other hand and to this day is successful at what he does. Marc is my tribute to him.

If you’ve been following along with Henry and Marc’s journey, I hope you enjoy this last novella and their happy ever after. (It’s not a spoiler to tell you that’s how it ends. I’m a romance writer, after all.) If you’ve yet to start, this is a great time to do so as the first two novellas are currently discounted at all retailers, including the Dreamspinner Press store!

Thanks for following my tour! At the end of every post, I’ll be asking a question. Leave a comment with your answer (and your email address), and complete the Rafflecopter to enter! There are two prizes, both available internationally. One winner will receive $15 (US or equivalent) to spend at the Dreamspinner Press store. A second winner will receive the entire Counting series in ebook format, gifted through the Dreamspinner Press store.

Q: Do you have a favourite name? (If so, please share!)

 

Check out Counting on You today!

 

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Blurb:

Henry and Marc can’t seem to catch a break. They’ve had two disastrous dates—the first trapped in a car during a blizzard and the second locked in a basement—followed by nearly two months apart. Even though they work for the same firm, their relationship is held together by flying visits, phone calls, and text messages. A joint assignment in Washington D.C. might be more togetherness than they can handle, however.

Henry is still battling insecurity, and this assignment is too important to his career to mess up. Marc is committed. He’s falling for Henry and looks forward to having him permanently on his team and at his side. But the real test isn’t the assignment. When Marc finally lays his heart on the line, can he count on Henry to be there for him, in every way that matters? And can he do the same for Henry when Henry needs it the most?

Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Dreamspinner Press

 

Author Bio:

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Connect with Kelly: Twitter | Facebook | Website

 

Follow the Tour!

11/22 Dreamspinner Press Blog
11/27 We Three Queens
11/28 Love Bytes
11/28 TTC Books and More
11/29 The Novel Approach
11/29 Boy Meets Boy Reviews
11/29 Scattered Thoughts
11/30 Joyfully Jay
11/30 Bayou Book Junkie
12/1 Diverse Reader

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Felicitas Ivey’s Book Collection + Giveaway

November 21, 2017

Book Collection

 

I love physical books. The smell, the weight, the feel of them. New or old books. I’ve had a lot of fun wandering through used bookstores over the years. I’ve found some amazing books that way, books that have been long out of print or on odd topics like the evolution of the British Country house. I don’t hit the newer bookstores because most of my pleasure reading is in ebook form currently. I wander through a new bookstore once in a while, but there isn’t one I can get to easily. And they don’t have the variety a used bookstore has. Book buying is a lot more fun to me than clothes shopping. It also doesn’t help I have a friend who works at a publishing house and occasionally brings home books from work which end up at my house also.

My house became overrun with books, since the house was a lending library for my circle of friends. This was before the ebook revolution, when dead tree books were passed to other people when you were done reading it, so the other person could also enjoy said book. And then there were intense discussions about plot, characterization and other things over dinners or other gatherings. Also a book could be used to prop up your laptop when it overheated and read in the bathtub with very little worry.

My second husband, Mark, used to read real fast and devoured books. Mark lived in a small apartment with his family, so there wasn’t a lot of room for books. And the books usually ended up in my house, because my first husband and I would read them last, after everyone else did, and then they would never leave. And it’s not a very big house either.

Because of the sheer volume of books involved, plus all the books I’ve bought on my own over the decades, there are books all over my house. There isn’t a room in my house that doesn’t have some sort of book collection in it.

I have a couple of bookcases in my bedroom, filled with mostly non-fiction books, mostly military histories (I’m addicted to Osprey Press books!), fashion books and occult books. Plus a small part of my Lovecraft collection. Not only his work, but all the additions and variations of it, like Sherlock Holmes Lovecraft or 50s Pulp Horror Lovecraft.

I’ve wedged in a small bookcase for my cookbooks in the kitchen corridor. I have a lot of baking books, specialty cookbooks like spicy or ethnic cooking or how to eat like an Ancient Egyptian or Roman, as well as cookbooks from the fifties and sixties. I don’t cook a lot of different things, I just seem to collect cookbooks. Also cooking for one is difficult, but none of my books seem to think anyone lives alone. I always end up with leftovers. That isn’t too bad of a thing, because I bring them to lunch at work. But I do get tired of eating the same thing for several days in row.

My study, which used to be the spare bedroom, has more books: languages, Japanese literature and histories, my malexmale romances and the odd book. Since I work at a university, I was able to take courses over the years, all which added to the book collection. I’ve mostly taken language, literature and art history courses through work. That and I was a history major in college, so I have a lot of books from that too.

The library proper has all the paperback and hardcover fiction, some more histories and the gaming book collection. I’d been a gamer for a couple of decades and have books for several systems, like RollMaster, Paranoia and Steve Jackson’s GURPS. Some of those books are really useful for novel ideas. I don’t game anymore because it’s hard to find the time or a good group. Writing takes up a lot of my time.

The TV room’s mostly the out-of-control DVD/Blu Ray collection, since I don’t have cable or internet in my house, so if I want to watch something that isn’t on television, I have to pop in a disk. I also like having a physical copy of what I want to watch, since you never know when it’s going to disappear. You also can find things you wouldn’t if you’re streaming it. I’m very fond of my Cantonese/English laserdisc of ‘Aristocats’. You haven’t lived until you hear “Ev’rybody Wants To Be A Cat” sung in Cantonese with a French accent.

Some of my library is also in the TV, mainly my hoard of knitting books, along with some stray hardcover novels. I have a lot of knitting books, because I nab the ones I like when I can, because they go out of print too fast.

In the living room are all the books that didn’t fit anyplace else are going to line the wall. I have about 20 boxes of books in storage, a legacy of my second husband, Mark, which I’m slowly transferring to my house from storage. There are about fifteen boxes of books I still have to deal with.

I have had several decades of collecting by now, so the hoard is a little out of hand. But I never seem to get the time or have the interest to cull through the collection to get it down to a manageable size.  I know there’s probably a lot of doubles to deal with. There’s always so much else to do so I haven’t been able to cull the collection. What has helped is an app on my iPhone, Libib which is helping me catalog the books and DVDs in my house, by just scanning the ISBN. It’s a timesaver and can be exported to a spreadsheet if you want to.

So books are your friends, even if they attempt to crowd you out of your house!

Giveaway:

I’m doing a raffle for my new book.  A winner will be chosen on November 28, 2017. The winner will be chosen at random from all those who enter.

The winner gets the following: A paperback of my new book “The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed”, a paperback of my first novel, “Dreamlands”, a tote bag with “The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed” cover art. A second tote randomly chosen from my stash of tote bags with another one of my book’s cover art on it. Both are good for groceries, books or anything else you need a bag for.  And three hand knit dish towels. Can double as hot plates also.

 

Check out The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed today!

 

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Blurb:

Billionaire Fathi al-Murzim is a workaholic businessman, too busy running the family’s companies to even think about marriage. Too bad he never told his grandfather he’s gay, because Grandfather just announced a childhood betrothal—to a Bedouin girl Fathi never heard about before…

Ikraam din Abdel was raised as a woman by his avaricious and abusive older sister, who didn’t want him to be their father’s heir. He’d never thought to be married either, and is surprised when his sister informs him of his betrothal.

When Fathi and Ikraam meet, they are drawn to each other in a manner neither of them expected. As the plans for their wedding progress, they both realize they need to tell the other the truth. But can they, with both cultural taboos and family pressures to deal with.

 

Author Bio:

Felicitas is a frazzled help-desk tech at a university in Boston who wishes people wouldn’t argue with her when she’s troubleshooting what’s wrong with their computer. She lives with three cats who wish she would pay more attention to them, and not sit at a computer pounding on the keyboard. They get back at her by hogging most of the bed at night and demanding her attention during the rare times she watches TV or movies. She’s protected by her guardian stuffed Minotaur, Angenor, who was given to her by her husband, Mark. Angenor travels everywhere with her, because Felicitas’s family doesn’t think she should travel by her lonesome. They worry she gets distracted and lost too easily. Felicitas doesn’t think of it a getting lost, more like having an adventure with a frustrated GPS.

Felicitas knits and hoards yarn, firmly believing the one with the most yarn wins. She also is sitting on hordes of books, which still threaten to take over her house, even with e-books. Between writing and knitting, she brews beer, wine, mead, and flavored liqueurs. Felicitas also bakes, making cakes whenever she needs to work out an issue in her novels. Sometimes this leads to a lot of cakes. Her coworkers appreciate them though, with the student workers buzzing about on a sugar high most of the time.

Felicitas writes urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror of a Lovecraftian nature, with monsters beyond space and time that think that humans are the tastiest things in the multiverse. Occasionally there’s a romance or two involved in her writing, with a happily-ever-after.

Website: www.Felicitasivey.com
Facebook: felicitasivey
Twitter: @felicitasivey
Email: felicitas.ivey@gmail.com

 

 

The Cover Artist Made Me Write This Scene by Z. Allora

November 2, 2017

The Cover Artist Made Me Write This Scene

 

 

Greetings! I want to thank Dreamspinner Press for not only publishing The Librarian’s Rake but for allowing me to share this excerpt, and do a giveaway on their blog.                    

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

 

Truth be told I was rather a mess while picking The Librarian’s Rake’s cover. This is my first nondrawn book cover which makes sense because this is my first true (non-yaoified) contemporary romance. Combine that with the fact I have this obsessive need to capture a scene from my book on the cover and you can imagine how pleased the art department is with me… (No, thankfully they were VERY patient!).

I had originally hoped to capture Tristan (the librarian) and Phillip (the rake) pre-library sex. Like maybe Tristan pressed against one of the library bookshelves looking flustered and hot with Phillip ready to debauch him like a duke with the virgin governess of a bodice ripper. But none of the photo covers fit that imagine. Though they offered to rework it for me but I had already gotten attached to the current cover.

It captured the very moment Phillip realized maybe there was more to happy endings than just swallowing. It was at that second he let in the possibility of happily ever after. I knew the pivotal scene happened but I started the scene directly after the realization so the words were not on the page.

Soooooo, I added the moments the cover captured. The night before was BJ 101 and Phillip was still telling himself it was just sex… and then he peers over…

 

Here’s the excerpt for The Librarian’s Rake:

 

An adorable snore signaled that the intense snuggling had sent Tristan back to dreamland. When he rolled over in his sleep, Phillip followed and cuddled up to his back feeling… complete.

He lay there for a long time, listening to Tristan breathe. If Phillip were the romantic sort, he might even believe their hearts had synchronized. Instead he focused on trying to tame Tristan’s wild hair. Blowjob class did no one’s hairstyle any favors.

As Phillip finger-combed the sun-kissed strands, Tristan started making the cutest little sighs. The contented purrs continued, smashing through the crumbling walls around Phillip’s heart.

What was happening?

Phillip didn’t want to let go… even as part of him struggled with the need to escape what his heart craved. Maybe he could—

No! He needed to exit.

Pausing, he leaned over his sleeping beauty and pressed a kiss on Tristan’s cheek. Wait, his sleeping beauty?

Granted, he’d put that satisfied smile on Tristan’s face. But the pleased gratification was simply the result of a cock well sucked not of a relationship. Last night was simply a sexual tutorial. It was just sex.

Tristan wasn’t his.

Though why did everything about this amazing man make Phillip wish he could—

Time for a shower!

           He bypassed Tristan’s bathroom and opted for the guest bath—afterall he was just a visitor. He used the facilities, brushed his teeth, and took a quick shower.

It was ridiculous how a night of good orgasms could make him want…. Ha! What, Tristan sucked his cock and all of a sudden Phillip was looking to settle down? Did coming that hard make him lose track of reality and melt his common sense? Whatever! He needed to get a grip.

He tried to ignore it was the time he had been spending with Tris that made his feelings of lust and friendship morph into—

Shit! How did this happen? He needed to get the hell out of here.

Fuck! Where were his clothes? He not only wanted the barrier clothing would give him, but needed it.

Everything seemed too much.

He wrapped a towel around his waist, braced himself, and opened the door. Damn! His clothing from last night had been washed and folded and set outside the door, along with a plain blue T-shirt, giving him the choice so he didn’t have to wear a T-shirt proclaiming, “Save A Lollipop, Suck A Cock.”

Pulling on his underwear, he chuckled at what Tristan must have thought while washing his unmentionables. They were little more than a black pouch to hide his cock, with bands of rainbow elastic highlighting the availability of his ass.

Phillip wiggled into his jeans and did some knee bends to loosen them. He grabbed the two T-shirts and stared at them.

It was just a fucking T-shirt. However, one yelled fun and flirty, and the other said… I have a boyfriend.

“God, Tris! What the hell are you doing to me?”

How could this be happening? T-shirts didn’t talk! It was a goddamn shirt. He tugged his own on and stared in the mirror. Without product in his hair, he looked a bit of a mess. After a search under the sink, he found a sad can of generic mousse and did what he could.

He washed his hands and headed for the door. Catching his image in the mirror on the back of the door, he stopped. “Shit!” He ripped off his T-shirt and pulled on the other, resettled his hair, and ignored any implications the change in T-shirt meant. Folding his shirt neatly, he told himself he wanted to save it for the next time he went out.

 

Check out The Librarian’s Rake today!

 

LibrariansRake[The]_postcard_front_DSP

 

Blurb:

Opposites might attract, but is acting on that attraction wise?

Librarian Tristan Cooper can’t steer clear of sexy, motorcycle-riding bad boy Phillip—the man is hot—but Phillip is bound to and quiet, bookish Tristan boring, like all Tristan’s boyfriends. Tristan yearns to explore his wild side, the part of himself he’s only allowed into his fantasies, and maybe rakish Phillip is just what he needs to feel free.

Sexperienced hairdresser Phillip is more of a believer in happy endings than happily ever afters. Experience has taught him not to hope for more— until he meets sweet, vulnerable Tristan, who seems genuinely interested in his heart. But Phillip can’t trust enough to see himself as a man Tristan might want for more than a night.

With the help of a pair of matchmaking grandfathers, Tristan and Phillip might and the courage to step beyond their comfort zones and discover what has been missing from their lives….

 

To enter the giveaway by telling us who you are more like the librarian or the rake. Winners will be contacted Nov 8th.

 

Bio:

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

To contact Z. Allora:

E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com
FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora
Website: www.zallorabooks.com
Twitter: @ZAllora
Blog: http://zallora.blogspot.com
Queer Romance Ink: www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/z-allora
Dreamspinner: www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/z-allora-637-a