Hello and Welcome to the Dumped In Oz Release Party

January 15, 2014

DumpedInOz MD

Hello, Andrew Grey here ready to chat with all you amazing people. My latest novel, Dumped in Oz was released today.  Here’s a link to make things easy if you need one.  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4577

I thought I would start things off with a giveaway to get the discussion going.  So here’s what I’d like to do.  Dumped in Oz is all about finding your way in life and at one time or other we’ve all felt a little lost.  So to enter to win a copy of Dumped in Oz, please comment about a time when you felt lost and what happened to change that for you.   I’m looking forward to chatting with each of you.

Blurb:

Because of an opportunity he’d be a fool to turn down, Lyle Powers transfers to his company’s warehouse in central Kansas. The last thing he expects is to meet another gay man in the small town, let alone one who captures his interest.

Roger Kypers is a recovering alcoholic with a twelve-year-old daughter he only gets to see for part of the summer. Neither Lyle nor Roger is looking for a relationship, and they fumble at the start, yet emotions build as Roger shows Lyle the landmarks of Oz.

But when Roger’s wicked witch of an ex-wife threatens to take his daughter away for good if he doesn’t act “normally,” he’s faced with the challenge of letting her get away with it, or fighting to accept himself and standing up for what he knows is right.

 

Posy Roberts North Star: Flare – last chance to play!

January 13, 2014

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This will be my last post.

I’m sad that North Star (Spark, Fusion, and Flare) are over. Yet, somewhere along the way, I realized Hugo and Kevin’s teenage story wasn’t one to just throw away, so I reworked it.

I’ve taken their junior year in high school, revamped it, and added 66% more (yes, I’ve done the math).  This book is called Private Display of Affection and written under the pen name Winter Sandberg. Yes, components of Spark are in it but the sexual bits are toned down. If you have a gay or bisexual son or nephew or friend, this might be a book for them. I address issues in PDA that men having sex with men will never get in a traditional sex ed class. I did that so teens might have a place to go for answers. You may enjoy it even more than them, because you get a better glimpse at what’s happening in Kevin’s head in this book, unlike in Spark, where he was often left out of the equation because of how the story was structured.

And It is my hope that I can write Hugo and Kevin’s senior year in high school as well. So far, it is much more Kevin’s story than it is Hugo’s in the planning stage, but that makes sense after Hugo’s tumultuous junior year.

One thing I tend to do is keep storyboards alive on Pinterest. I try to do this for each and every story, so if you want to follow me, feel free, or if you want to follow individual stories, peek around. I play on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterst, Google+, and other places too. I love connecting with new people, but I may be a bit shy at first. I also try to keep Winter Sandberg separate from Posy Roberts for the most part, but keeping up with the various sites does get exhausting.

So for my very last question of the night, what changed between the time you were 16 and the time you were an adult in your romantic relationships? I got a lot more practical or “realistic, ” if you will. How about you? I still expect magical kisses and moments that sweep me off my feet, but not nearly as often as I did at 16 years-old. :)

Symbolism – Flare and North Star – Posy Roberts

January 13, 2014

Have you ever started out writing a story and ended up incorporating a ton of symbolism you never knew you’d truly add until later? Maybe that only works for writers or film makers. But, yeah. The North Star. That wasn’t the title of this trilogy in the beginning. In fact, there was no fancy title tying the books together. And then after North Star was chosen, I felt I had to completely retitle each books.

Yes, I’m a total dork. Let’s just get that out of the way. I live in Minnesota, North Star is set in Minnesota, and… dun, dun, dun, the nickname of Minnesota is the North Star state. It’s all over the place here. We used to have the Minnesota North Stars who were then sold and became the Dallas Stars. That’s hockey in case you didn’t know. Don’t feel bad. All I knew growing up next door in North Dakota was the Vikings (cuz they could never be counted on to win) and the Twins (for occasionally pulling it out of the bag – 1987 and 1991!).

I will now share my working titles because they are so lame. Spark was logically The Lake. Fusion was called The City. Flare was called Grounded or Suburbia, depending on what part of the process I was in. After all, I wrote all three rough drafts very quickly so being creative with the titles wasn’t really on my list of priorities. There were very few edits along the way because I wanted to get my thoughts down as fast as I could. Then I spent ages—a year—editing before I submitted all of these stories.

The North Star became very important after Kevin gave Hugo a gift in high school with an engraving on it. There’s a quote right on the front cover of Spark that shows how important those word were, even if not immediately recognized.

So you’ll always know your way.

Sometimes our characters surprise us, and Kevin certainly shocked me. I knew he was thoughtful when he gave his gift of a keychain to Hugo, but I had no idea how important this would become for years and years. And that wasn’t it. There was more with these guys. They were comfortable with each other in a way that they never felt with anybody else, even lovers or best friends they had over the years. Hugo almost felt this close with his best friend Summer, but not quite. Kevin always had something over him, even if we can never define it. And I’m totally okay without defining it.

Have you ever had that? Have you had some symbol (words, pictures, stars) that had meant more to you than you can share with most people? I think of jewelry I shared with boyfriends in high school. With my husband, I think of little notes he wrote to me, poems, haiku he wrote for me. You don’t have to share exactly what those symbols are if you’d rather not, but how did they transcend typical communication so you truly knew things were different this time?

Also, for those of you who are caught up until book 3, Flare, do you think the first two working titles worked? Why? What should new readers know before delving in?

 

 

 

Posy Roberts Delves Beneath the Surface in Flare

January 13, 2014

So, how do you fit the real world into romance? Or why would you even want to? In Flare, I wanted to.

I started reading romance novels written for teens in the 1980s. I think they went under the monicker Wildfire Romances. OMG, I found a link to the spines of some. LOL! They were set in modern times, and the story almost always ended after boy and girl got together. And then I quit reading romance altogether for years. When I started again, my tastes quickly morphed.

I’ve obviously moved past boy and girl meeting and falling in love, and shifted to men going crazy for each other. But I also love a romance to go beyond the “Yes, I want to be with you” and the “I love you” moments.

I like to go deeper.

I like to see how those couples will survive outside the bubble of initial romance and lust, because that is the true test! Getting past “I love you” is hard, but it is nothing compared to dealing with real life or a chronic illness or a secret you’re positive will change everything.

Some of this comes from my personal experiences. I deal with chronic illness that has transformed me from the very energetic 18 year-old my husband met in college into someone who needed to temper herself and slow way down or I’d be bed bound for days. And then our baby was born. She was beautiful and sweet, but the poor child couldn’t swallow her own saliva without choking/aspirating, and she needed multiple operations to resolve all of her birth defects, not to mention the years of using a feeding tube before she could eat like the rest of us.

So how does a couple survive difficulties like these? Hugo and Kevin lived through the challenges they faced in Fusion. When I named book 2, I was thinking of cold fusion, even if it is still a hypothetical. But how do you survive beyond a bonding crisis like they experienced? How do you still live and love each other without the intensity of emotions you felt during the crisis? Sometimes you can cope better than you can in everyday life. When things become mundane, how do keep interested? And what do you do to keep life from getting stale?

This is what Flare is about and why the cover is green! Haha. It’s about finding life after death. Of course, Hugo and Kevin’s lives are much more interesting than my own ever could be.

That is reality for most of us at one point in our lives or another. Is it grief from the loss of a parent or partner? Is it being laid off or fired from a job? Or substance abuse to cope with? Or is it a medical crisis?

I think this is truly where the meat, the heart is in relationships. This is where it is enriching to watch and read about people growing and becoming more than they were at the beginning, especially when life is crisis free. “I love you” is easy now, but “I like you” or “I’m disappointed in you” might be harder. And how do you move past that so you can continue to grow, not just individually but as a couple?

That is what I really want to explore when I write romance. I want to explore the iceberg underneath.

What sort of depth do you enjoy in romance stories? When is too much, too much?

Have you ever related so much to a character that it’s scary?

Harmony Ink New Release: January 9, 2014

January 9, 2014

Freeing Stella (Being True: Book Two) by Zoe Lynne

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

When Stella’s sister admits to liking a girl, it’s hard for Stella to keep up her own charade hiding behind Steven, the boy she was born as. Freeing Stella (Being True: Book Two) by Zoe Lynne, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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Being True: Book Two

Stella Marshall feels invisible to everyone but her sister Jessica and best friend Jenna. Thanks to their Friday night LGBTQ youth group meetings, she can be true to herself and cast aside the boy she was born as, Steven. The rest of the time, she locks herself away, because if her super conservative, Christian parents ever found out….

When her little sister admits to liking a girl as more than a friend, it becomes ten times harder for Stella to keep up the charade. She wants to stand by Jess and take some of the heat away, and that means coming out of the closet—even if it costs Stella her family and the girl of her dreams, Lillian Nelson. Unfortunately, it’s too frightening to give up the security of hiding behind Steven. But Stella knows she has to be brave, for herself and her sister.

Length: Novella (112p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Transgender, Lesbian | Release Date: January 9, 2014

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-716-5)

Harmony Ink New Release: December 19, 2013

December 19, 2013

The Other Me by Suzanne van Rooyen

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Treasa feels claustrophobic in her own skin. As she spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she may want to be him more than she loves him. The Other Me by Suzanne van Rooyen, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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Fifteen-year-old Treasa Prescott thinks she’s an alien. She doesn’t fit in with the preppy South African private school crowd and feels claustrophobic in her own skin. Treasa is worried she might spend life as a social pariah when she meets Gabriel du Preez. Gabriel plays the piano better than Beethoven, has a black belt in karate, and would look good wearing a garbage bag. Treasa thinks he’s perfect. It might even be love, as long as Gabriel doesn’t find out she’s a freak.

As Treasa spends time with Gabriel, she realizes she might not love him as much as she wants to be him, and that the reason she feels uncomfortable in her skin might have less to do with extra-terrestrial origins and more to do with being born in the wrong body.

But Gabriel is not the perfect boy Treasa imagines. He harbors dark secrets and self-destructive tendencies. Still, Treasa might be able to accept Gabriel’s baggage if he can accept who she longs to be.

Length: Novel (216p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Transgender | Release Date: December 19, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-644-1) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-643-4)

Harmony Ink New Release: December 12, 2013

December 12, 2013

Private Display of Affection by Winter Sandberg

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Hugo and Kevin become more than friends, but keep their relationship a secret. Will they find a sanctuary big enough to hold their feelings? Private Display of Affection by Winter Sandberg, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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Hugo Thorson knows he’s gay, but coming out during high school is not part of his plan. His parents are open-minded, but Hugo doesn’t want to add more stress for anybody, especially his dad, who is fighting terminal cancer.

At a summer job he meets and befriends Kevin Magnus, and before long, their friendship becomes something more. Kevin knows this will anger his overbearing father, so he decides to protect his secret by dating a girl at school.

Hugo plays along, but it’s still hard to watch the two of them together just to make Kevin’s homophobic father happy. And when Hugo’s father dies, he realizes he can’t go on living the lie. He comes clean to Kevin, who decides Hugo’s true feelings are more important than his father’s expectations.

One fact remains: Kevin and Hugo’s relationship must always be hidden behind friendship, lies, girlfriends, or secret kisses. Will they find a sanctuary big enough to hold their feelings?

Adapted as a Young Adult edition of the novel Spark by Posy Roberts, published by Dreamspinner Press, 2013

Length: Novel (210p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: December 12, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-536-9) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-535-2)

Rum & Ginger Release Party! Time to wrap it up I think.

December 2, 2013

It has been wonderful chatting with all of you today. It seems to be winding down so I’m going to bring the chat to a close. I’ll check back and respond to questions, so feel free to ask. Don’t forget that you have until 6:30pm EST tomorrow to enter what I’m now calling the “Name Your Gay Bar” Contest to win a free eBook of Rum & Ginger. I’ve been popping over to Dreamspinner and I noticed that my backlist of eBooks are all on sale! If you want to check something out at a discount now is the time to do it. I recommend the novella Wayward Grace- it’s pirate steampunk and super-fun and also my Christmas-Anti-Christmas story, The Vanguard’s Gift. I really want to do more with those characters but I think the story being a part of the Advent Calendar confused people. But please pop over and check them out.

Rum & Ginger has been a very personal experience for me and I’m really happy that so many of you came out to help me celebrate. We recently lost our local gay bar and I feel like Ben opening his might give me a place to hang out with all the great people that I miss from my old hangout. You can bet they’ll be making appearances. I’ll be doing some more blog posts throughout the month. You can follow me on Facebook or Twitter: @mascaraboy13 to be notified of those types of things.

You may have realized that the title of the book is Ben’s favorite drink, Rum and Ginger Ale. My preferred drink is red wine and I raise one to you now in gratitude. Shall we wrap this up with a toast? What will you be toasting? Goodnight everyone!

Harmony Ink New Release: November 14, 2013

November 14, 2013

Not Broken, Just Bent by Mia Kerick

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

Timmy feels betrayed when longtime friend Ben denies his feelings. If they can find forgiveness, they may be able to move forward together. Not Broken, Just Bent by Mia Kerick, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.

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Braving the start of high school, longtime childhood friends Benjamin Wells and Timmy Norton quickly realize they are entering a whole new world colored by their family responsibilities. Ben is trying to please his strict father; Timmy is taking care of his younger sisters. While their easy camaraderie is still comfortable, Ben notices Timmy growing distant and evasive, but Ben has his own problems. It’s easier to let concerns about Timmy’s home life slide, especially when Timmy changes directions and starts to get a little too close. Ben doesn’t know how to handle the new feelings Timmy’s desire for love inspires, and his continuing denial wounds Timmy deeply.

But what Timmy perceives as Ben’s greatest betrayal is yet to come, and the fallout threatens to break them apart forever. Over the next four years, the push and pull between them and the outside world twists and tears at Ben and Timmy, and they are haunted by fear and regret. However, sometimes what seems broken is just a little bent, and if they can find forgiveness within themselves, Ben and Timmy may be able to move forward together.

Length: Novel (180p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: November 14, 2013

Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-62798-528-4) | Buy as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-62798-527-7)

Island House release party—Getting the party started with a giveaway!

November 11, 2013

Hello, Dreamers! Bru Baker here. Today is release day for Island House, and I have goodies to share! I’m terrified and ridiculously excited all at the same time, and so happy be here with you today! It’s my first novel, so I’m new to the promotion circuit. I figured I couldn’t go wrong if I came bearing gifts.

I’ll be doing giveaways throughout the day here on the Dreamspinner Press blog, so check back for snippets of the book, insights into the characters, and chances to win copies of the ebook as well as other swag. I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite things from the book.

We’ll start out with the blurb and the beautiful cover that L.C. Chase designed.


Island House

ebook paperback

Unable to move on after the death of his lover, British expat Niall Ahern clings to Nolan’s dream of living in the Caribbean by moving to Tortola. Once there, he finds that not even the beauty of the island can fill the hole in his heart. Broke and spent in nearly every way imaginable, Niall wants out of the lonely, miserable, guilt-ridden life he’s carved out for himself.

When Ethan Bettencourt, a wealthy tech guru, shows up in British Virgin Islands looking to purchase a second home, he gives Niall hope that he can move on. Both men fall hard and fast, but Niall finds piloting his yacht in the midst of a hurricane is nothing compared to weathering life’s simple misunderstandings. As their troubles come between them, Niall is left to wonder if he and Ethan are over before they’ve begun.


In Island House, Niall quits his job and moves to Tortola to open up a fishing charter, since that was his deceased partner’s dream. What’s your dream job? One lucky commenter will receive a free ebook copy of Island House. I’ll announce the winner (and the next contest!) in my next post at 12 p.m. EST, so check back then!

Order a copy of Island House

Bru’s website

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