CC Bridges: So Jersey – Post + Giveaway

March 15, 2017

 So Jersey w/ CC Bridges

 

When Dreamspinner first mentioned the idea of the States of Love series, I knew I needed to write for New Jersey. I’ve lived in NJ all my life. I’m so Jersey, I’ve never pumped my own gas. Heck, I’m so Jersey they even filmed an episode of the Sopranos in front of my childhood home.

For such a tiny state, Jersey has a lot of variety. There’s a dividing line between North, Central, and South Jersey, but the location of that line is not always agreed upon. I couldn’t tell you exactly where the split is between Yankees and Phillies fans (and let’s not even talk about the Mets fans:)

But for all our differences, there are a few things all native Jerseyans have in common – besides a hatred of traffic. The Jersey Shore is one of those places. Now, everyone has a different favorite, the shore is over 140 miles long after all.

The Jersey Shore

I moved down the shore about fifteen years ago, and while that still doesn’t make me a local, it’s allowed me simple pleasures – like standing on the boardwalk in the January cold, watching the ocean slam against the rocks. Plus, the arcades are open (and heated) in the winter. There’s a reason I’ve racked up so many game tickets that I’m on a VIP list of points holders.

The Jersey Shore

This is the world where I’ve set Love in the Time of Hurricanes. That magical vacation spot known as the Jersey shore, only long after the tourists have left, and just before the winter blows in. This world is new to Nick, the narrator of the story. He’s chosen to rent a shore house for the winter, to take a few classes at the local community college and figure himself out. He doesn’t expect to fall in love, but then again, he never expected to meet Lou.

I absolutely loved writing Lou. He’s adorable: loves to cook, has an appreciation for vintage things, and is ridiculously good at skee ball.

I hope you enjoy reading about these guys, and experiencing a little bit of my home state. I couldn’t live anywhere else (seriously, I’d have to learn how to pump my own gas!).

Tell me in the comments about your favorite place. Is it home? Is it the beach? Or maybe the mountains? All comments will be entered for a chance to win a $20 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate. (giveaway ends 3/31, midnight EST)

Oh, and I promise to tell the Sopranos story on my blog, so check me out on social media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ccbridgeswriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccbridgeswriter
Blog: http://blog.ccbridges.net/
Website: http://www.ccbridges.net

 
Check out Love in the Time of Hurricanes today!

 

Love in the Time of Hurricanes by C.C. Bridges

Dreamspinner
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Books a Million

 

Blurb

The night Nick Henderson storms into Martelli’s Pizzeria, he’s just looking for something to eat. Along with dinner, he finds Lou Martelli—pizza cook extraordinaire and Jersey Shore native. Nick is renting a Shore house for the winter while taking classes at the local community college as he devises a way to escape the accounting major his father chose for him.

When Lou offers to show Nick around, heat flares between them as they realize they have more in common than domineering families. But it’s not all fun and games on the boardwalk. Hurricane Sandy blows ashore, changing the place Nick was starting to think of as home. His peace is shattered, and it will take everything he has to keep his relationship with Lou from being torn apart by the storm brewing around them.

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

 

Bio:

CC Bridges is a mild-mannered librarian by day, but by night she writes about worlds of adventure and romance. When she’s not busy solving puzzles in an escape room, she can be found diving into comics or binge-watching superhero movies. She writes surrounded by books, spare computing equipment, a fluffy dog, and a long-suffering husband in the state of New Jersey. In 2011, she won a Rainbow Award for best gay sci-fi/futuristic novel.

The Sparky: Writing, Editing, and Publishing w/ Marek Moran

March 9, 2017

Writing Editing and Publishing

 

Hello, Reader!

This is my last post on the blog tour for my novel, The Sparky, which Dreamspinner has generously arranged for me.  The other posts have been mostly about things in the book—rural Australia and its role in the story, music that appears in it and why, the novel Maurice and how that’s connected—but this one is just about some of what I’ve learnt in getting a first novel published.

When I’ve read blog posts or bios by other authors in the M/M romance space, I often see people who have dreamed about being a writer since they were fifteen, or eleven, or eight.  That’s not me.  It never occurred to me that I might like writing.  I did like reading, but I was always the maths kid.  Then I started writing a bit for myself, and it was fun.  Then I wrote a little for others: I posted some free stories at nifty.org, which has rather a different audience from the M/M space.  (Go pick a story at random, look at it, then come back.  You’ll see the difference pretty quickly.)  There were some criticisms—mostly along the lines that the characters didn’t get their kit off quickly enough, being too busy getting to know each other and falling in love—but on the whole the positive response was even more encouraging.  Then, still writing for myself, I sent off a novel-length manuscript.  I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I had looked up the publishers that some M/M writers I like had published with.

And Dreamspinner picked up The Sparky.  I’ve really appreciated how organized and helpful they are, which is great for someone for whom writing is not their main job.  And the editors were very helpful with suggested changes.  (Thank you, kindly editors!)  That’s where I really got to learn about the tension between writing for yourself—which I think is a pretty natural place to start—and writing for an audience.  In part the tension comes from the writer knowing what’s happening behind the scenes, what motivates a character, and the editor seeing it with fresh eyes and realizing that what should be coming across actually isn’t.  One instance for me was with Paul.  The Sparky’s written in first person, from Aaron’s POV, so you pretty much always understand him and what motivates him.  Paul, you only get him through Aaron.  So I got back an edited manuscript which, starting from midway in the story, had comments like “Grr! Paul makes me really angry!” and “I don’t like Paul at this point!”  And I thought, Really?  I like him a lot.  But I came to realise that that was because of things in his backstory that I hadn’t really brought out—they were all there in my head, but that’s not what writing is about.  After editing, Paul’s maybe still a bit unconventional as M/M main characters go, a bit rough around the edges, but hopefully more understandable now.

 

 

Excerpt

The following Friday evening is when I meet Paul’s ex-wife Kaylee. Not meet, exactly. From my desk I hear some arguing in the street, sounding heated, and I hope it’s not a repeat of the disagreement between two drunken pub-goers from a few months ago that led to another neighbour’s car window being smashed.

So I go out my front door, and it’s Paul and a woman. Paul is facing away from me and doesn’t see me, but the woman scowls at me, so I put up my hands in a sorry-to-intrude-on-you way and go back inside. I sit at my desk again, and even though the window’s open because it’s been such a warm day—I don’t shut it, even though that would be polite—I don’t hear anything they’re saying, just the hisses and growls of bad feeling. It could be a disgruntled customer of Paul’s whose wiring is still faulty, I think, but that’s rather unlikely. Almost certainly Kaylee. I think she was pretty, although the scowl made it hard to tell.

I do see Paul carrying a sleeping Sam out to a car, and then Kaylee taking off with more of a screech of tyres than is strictly necessary.

Shortly after that Paul comes to my door.

“That was Kaylee.” The anger’s still there.

“Uh-huh.”

“She just came to get Sam—change of plan. She was supposed to pick her up tomorrow, but she’s just decided, just right now, that she’s leaving early in the morning, going somewhere with this new guy of hers, so it was more convenient for her to pick up Sam now, even though she’s already asleep.” The word “convenient” is layered with scorn.

“Want a beer?” I ask.

“I dunno what I want. Yeah, a beer, ta.”

When I come back with one, he takes it and puts it down on the table, and then grabs the bottom of my T-shirt and starts pulling it over my head. The beer will have to wait.

 

Check out The Sparky today!

 

The Sparky by Marek Moran

Amazon | Dreamspinner

Blurb:

Aaron’s been living in what his friend Howie calls a sexual desert. But an oasis appears on the horizon when Paul, a divorced electrician with a five-year-old daughter named Sam, moves in next door. He’s a country boy from northern Australia, and although he’s never been with a guy before, he has an impression that anything goes in the city. They find that the ordinary things in life—books, footie in the park, looking after Sam—lead them into an unlikely relationship.

But as their relationship slowly deepens, with Aaron spending time on Paul’s family’s cattle station, it becomes clear that Paul might have a harder time leaving the country behind. To him, happiness means a conventional life—including a mother for Sam. Being with his old friends convinces him he’s on the wrong path with Aaron, and he starts a relationship with a girl from his hometown. If he cannot find the courage to go after what he truly needs, he and Aaron will become nothing more than awkward neighbours.

 

Bio:

Marek Moran is, in his day job, a computer science professor.  If you want to know about shortest path graph algorithms, he’s your man.  However, that’s probably not why you’re reading this.  He currently lives in Sydney, Australia, and has previously lived in France, Germany and the US, enjoying travelling around and listening to people talk: he’s learnt to respond to enquiries after his wellbeing with a ça va merci, sehr gut danke or copacetic, thanks.

The only member of his book club to like George Eliot’s Mill on the Floss, he’s discovered that he enjoys writing romance as well as reading it; the other members of his book club don’t yet know this.  He plays piano, squash, and his cards close to his chest.  The Sparky is his first novel.

Author Links

Facebook | Email | GoodReads

Lucie Archer: A Recipe for Paradise – Post + Giveaway

March 1, 2017

 A Recipe for Paradise with Lucie Archer

 

Hello everyone! I’m Lucie Archer, and I’m excited to be back on Dreamspinner’s blog today with my World of Love novella, My Paradise Is You. I had so much fun with my States of Love novella that I couldn’t resist giving it another go on a global scale, and I’m so happy I did!

When I saw the call for the World of Love series, I came up with several plot ideas set in different countries in various places, but in the end, Bermuda won my heart. During my early research I discovered Bermuda was not one solitary island like I had originally assumed but consisted of a group of 181 of them. That really sealed the deal for the castaway story I’ve wanted to write for a while.

Two guys, a small island, snark, banter, and a heaping help of sexual tension. That’s what I call a recipe for paradise!

I’ve never visited myself, but Bermuda has been on my bucket list forever. “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys was my favorite song when I was six, so I’ve had a fondness for the little island paradise for quite some time. Pink sand beaches, beautiful blue water, and some of the world’s best dive spots would be enough to entice most, but add in its rich military history and diverse culture, and you have the recipe for a place I’d never want to leave.

With the setting established, I turned my attention to the main characters. Marc’s occupation as a dive instructor felt like a no-brainer considering the abundance of shipwrecks and coral reefs that litter the ocean floor around Bermuda. He’s technically a local despite having mostly grown up in the southern United States, but I loved the juxtaposition of his familiarity with the islands in comparison to Ian’s, his fellow castaway.

That led me to the idea of polar opposites: one out and proud, the other closeted; one from a low socio-economic background, the other from a wealthy British family; one confident in who he is, the other struggling with who he wants to be. And if that wasn’t already a recipe for disaster—or love—I threw them into a pretty dire situation in which they had no one else but each other to rely on.

Thanks to my love for survivalist shows, I had a lot of ideas about what they’d face cut off from the rest of the world. Food, water, and shelter are obvious needs, but making that unique to Bermuda meant I had to do my research. Good thing that’s one of my favorite parts about the writing process. And since I was writing with the World of Love theme in mind, I tried my best to capture the essence of Bermuda and stick it in the narrative wherever I could. I hope I did it justice.

I’m not sure how well I’d survive in the type of situation I put them in, but I had a blast problem-solving the different scenarios. I doubt I’d last more than a few days marooned somewhere before I buried my head in the sand and gave up, but be sure to pick up My Paradise Is You to find out how Marc and Ian cope as castaways.

Other than loved ones, pets, and books, what would you miss the most about civilization if you were stranded on a deserted island? Let me know in the comments below for a chance to win Taming the Wyld, my States of Love novella!

 

Check out My Paradise Is You today!

 

My Paradise Is You by Lucie Archer

Blurb:

When two very different men are stranded on a deserted island, will opposites attract, or will they end up killing each other—if the elements don’t get them first?

Marc Reed is an expert scuba diver and leads underwater tours of the infamous shipwrecks scattered around Bermuda. When a robbery forces him and his boss’s son—a man he despises on principle—to take shelter on an uncharted island, he might have to reassess his opinion of the spoiled snob.

Ian Blythe-Darcy II lives a life most would envy. He’s a trust-fund kid being groomed to take over his father’s empire of hotels and resorts. But it’s not a life that matches what’s in his heart. He’s in the closet and engaged to a socialite he doesn’t love, but he’s about to get a crash course in being true to himself—and maybe learn money can’t buy happiness after all.

 

Meet Lucie:

Lucie Archer is a student of the universe who is obsessed with the stars, in love with beaches, and crazy about dudes falling in love. She tells stories of romance, love, and life, with a little bit of passion thrown in for good measure. Because what’s life without a little pop and sizzle?

When she’s not writing, she can be found tending to her garden, playing with her four-legged children, or procrastinating. Although, she spends a lot of time fending off random plot bunnies that threaten to derail her WIP’s.

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

Blog tour:

February 23 – MM Good Book Reviews
March 1 – Release day! – Dreamspinner Press Blog
March 3 – Alpha Book Reviews
March 3 – Love Bytes
March 6 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
March 7 – Sinfully Gay
March 8 – Long and Short Reviews

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Nick Wilgus: Time to Take No Prisoners – Post + Giveaway

February 28, 2017

Time to Take No Prisoners with Nick Wilgus

 

Most authors have some ritual they carry out the day their book is published, and while I’m sure most are fascinating, mine involve shots of American Honey and a big hunk of Velveeta Cheese. Believe me, I earned both.

Publishing a book is like having a baby and, I tend to think, far more painful. There’s no epidural for the anxiety that grips you when you realize your baby, your pride and joy, your heart and soul, will be released into the cutthroat world of publishing where anyone with an Internet account and an attitude can say whatever they like. Mama warned us about listening at keyholes, didn’t she? Boy, was she right.

At any rate, today is the day that RINGO AND THE SUNSHINE POLICE hits the shelves, and I am once more reduced to a gibbering, neurotic mess. I could tell you how cool and calm and collected I am and I would be lying, and you wouldn’t like that, so I’ll just let it all hang out.

Publishing a book is hell. It’s not just about hits and clicks and making dough. It’s about a whole lot more. Every book, of course, is a tissue of lies designed to tell the truth about something. And the truer that something is, the more painful it is to write. My problem is that I’m not especially good at writing unpainful things. I tried once. It was the worst eight pages of my life. If I’m going to sit down at a keyboard, I’m going to spill my guts and slit my veins and make a bloody mess of things. That’s how you get at the truth. Grab the scalpel and get busy. If you’re going to say something, well, by God, say something.

My readers—and I do have them, as Ellen might say—know what I’m talking about. I’ve been accused of taking no prisoners. They say like it’s a bad thing.

Like most of my novels, RINGO started with an image in my head and little else. That image was of an older man, about my age, showing up one day at the DHS to pick up a child and get busy with the business of adoption. The child had no arms. And the man, you might say, had no clue. But somehow they found each other … and something happened.

A couple of years ago, gay marriage came to the state of Mississippi in a stunning decision by the Supreme Court. And … something happened. It was the first time in my life that I’d had any rights as a gay man. It was astonishing. Shortly after, I went to the local DHS office and said I wanted to adopt. I waited for them to laugh. They did not. Instead, they handed me a bunch of forms and fingerprinted me and sent me to parenting classes.

Since then, I’ve been licensed, and by Christmas of this year, I will have two chicks under my wings who will have new last names and new futures to look forward to. Both were badly damaged. Both waited a long time for a family. One was in the care of the DHS the longest of any child in this state: 14 years. The other had PTSD from all the crap he’d been put through.

So RINGO is about kids. But it’s also about older gay men who have been living under the gun down here in the buckle of the Bible Belt who are now emerging from the shadows and trying to build new lives and make sense of this Brave New World.

Be warned, gentle reader: If you need your characters to be flawless and gorgeous and rich, you’re in the wrong place altogether. I don’t do flawless. I do wounded. I tend to believe the wounded are far more interesting. And you’ll find plenty of wounded souls in RINGO. You’ll also find a few laughs and a lot of healing.

As RINGO hits the shelves, I will celebrate with my American Honey and a hunk of Velveeta Cheese and anxiously await the reviews. I hope readers will like my baby and say nice things about her. (We all like to hear nice things about our kids, you know.) But no matter what happens, I will know I told the truth about something even if it was just a bunch of lies.

As always, you are invited along for the ride. Might want to bring a box of tissues for this one.

 

GIVEAWAY

I’m giving away three ebooks from my back catalog. To claim one, and to celebrate the fact that RINGO is set in my hometown, Tupelo, Mississippi, I have one question you must answer: Who is Tupelo’s most famous son?

 

Check out Ringo and the Sunshine Police today!

 

Ringo and the Sunshine Police by Nick Wilgus

 

Blurb: 

Thomas, an older gay musician living in a small Southern town, is ready to start a family. He fosters Jeremy, a special needs boy with no arms, and teaches him to play the drums so Jeremy can realize his potential to do anything he wants. Though it takes time, Thomas’s closeted boyfriend Randy steps out of the shadows to be part of what Thomas is working to build. With the advent of marriage equality, it’s a different world in the Deep South—one where the three of them have the chance to be a family.

Yet no one said it would be easy, and they soon learn the foster care system is far from perfect.

Just as Jeremy begins to settle in and thrive, his biological father reappears, demanding custody. Thomas and Randy know the man is unfit to care for Jeremy, but the law says otherwise. It seems they’re the only ones looking out for Jeremy’s best interests, and they face an uphill battle if they want to keep their new family together.

 

About Nick Wilgus: 

I sold my first short story to The Horror Show Magazine at the age of seventeen and I’ve been writing ever since.
From murder mysteries to romantic comedies featuring gay couples, I’ve been channeling my dreams and demons for almost four decades. Along the way, I picked up a Lambda Award nomination, was named one of the best columnists in the state of Mississippi, and had an award-winning movie based on my first novel, MINDFULNESS AND MURDER.

A former newspaper editor, I’m a proud dad who lives in Tupelo, Mississippi right down the street from the house where Elvis grew up.

Find me on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/WilgusWorld/

Visit me on the web:
https://sites.google.com/site/wilgusworld/home

 

Tropical Depression: Sex Then and Now

February 27, 2017

Tropical Depression: Sex Then and Now with BA Tortuga

 

Hooray Sex!

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things cowboy.

So, we talk quite a bit in romance about sex.

How much is too much? If there’s no sex is it clean? If there’s lots is it dirty? What about kink? What about plot? Can you move the story through sex? WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THE SCREWING PARTS?

Well, I have to admit, these days I don’t stress it much. I write the book and the boys tell me how much boinking they need to. Publishers and readers are happy with romance from no on screen pounding to OMG scorching.

It didn’t used to be like that, though.

Once upon a time, a zillion years ago, when m/m romance as a genre was in its new stage, sex was king. Now, I have thoughts about why that was, and my leading theory is that m/m readers were coming to us from slash fan-fiction (hence the / in m/m, yes?).

In slash, one of the joneses that was getting a fix was getting to see (read?) characters actually have sex on page. That was the deal. So readers were expecting to have sex scenes again and again. It was standard to have a sex scene every chapter. It was simply the norm.

Now, here’s the weirdness. When you have re-releases that are in that older arena, I was writing for the audience. We all were. So, if you come from “Catch and Release”, for instance, and then pick up “Tropical Depression”, you might go…

Wait…

Are these even written by the same person?

The answer to that is yes and no. Yes, I wrote it. No, I’m not the same person. Twelve years ago I was dealing with homeschooling a child, I was married to someone I wasn’t in love with, I was running a business and working full time. I wasn’t the same person. The readership wasn’t the same. The publishing world wasn’t the same. Hell, I didn’t even know who Donald Trump was.

Why do I tell you this? Because Galen and Shane were my first best-sellers and I love them and I want to share them with you, but like everything else, we have to honor it from the place in time it was born.

 

Much love, y’all.

BA

 

Check out Tropical Depression today!

 

Tropical Depression by BA Tortuga

Blurb:

Sequel to Rain and Whiskey
Stormy Weather: Book Two

The weather in the Florida swamps is looking a little rocky for retired football player, Galen, his laid-back lover, Shane, and their gator, Vic.

When Galen buys into a football team, promoting and wheeling and dealing are the name of the game. He’s so busy he hardly gets to see Shane anymore, which means a lot of lonely naps on the couch.

Shane is tied up with managing the bar, covering for unreliable bartenders, and serving drinks to good-time party boys. Used to be Galen couldn’t get enough of him. Now he can hardly pry Galen away from the phone, and Shane starts to wonder where he stands in Galen’s life. Will things ever be the way they were?

When Galen starts to forget their dates, the pressure builds, jealousy and hurt swirling into a tropical storm. Galen and Shane need to seek shelter in each other before everything they’ve built is washed away.

 

About BA Tortuga:

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

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

 

Lila Leigh Hunter: Around Iowa in One Novella + Giveaway

February 23, 2017

 

 

Hi, everyone! This is my first time stopping by the Dreamspinner’s blog. I’m Lila Leigh and I hail from Puerto Rico, but I currently live in Southern Texas. I’m here to talk about my new release, Dating in Retrospect. I’m sure you’re wondering why Iowa then? Well, the answer is simple. Love. Aww! Nah. I did marry an Iowa boy and that’s the reason writing this story felt right. I have traveled to Iowa many times over the years—having the chance to experience the different seasons and visit many of the settings I used for my story. Plus, all the ones that didn’t make the cut.

The States of Love novellas are more than a simple love story, they’re the narrative of a state. They bring loves into a unique frame of mind. These stories can’t take place anywhere else but the state in which they were written for. What makes the main characters’ relationships move forward is not a blank canvas, but their connection to the soil. It’s what makes them real and gets the reader cheering for a happily ever after.

I do need to accept that I didn’t include the whole state, but I tried to cover the Southeastern corner. Giving the reader the opportunity to visit the same places someone living in the area travels to on a regular basis.  I started our trip at Clay’s and Aaron’s home—the place in which they fall in love for the first time, college. Providence University is a fictitious name, but there’s a University in the same area. The restaurants they visited exists, as well as, the Burlington boardwalk, and the views of the Mississippi.

If you have been following my blog tour, you probably read about Riverside and their Star Trek date. Yes, Riverside is the future birth place of Captain James T. Kirk, and Clay & Arron enjoyed a day at their Trek fest. Then, a whole weekend at the Field of Dreams. Staying at a bed and breakfast and taking part of their ghost comedy show.

There are several other places they visited around the state, and they do return home for some time as well. But, their connection deepened with each place they visited. Some of them they had traveled to when they were in college and others were a first for them. I think that doing more than to seeing each other once a month added to the intensity of their relationship. And, they would have a beautiful backdrop to tell their kids all about. Which, according to Aaron’s father—Drew—would be many.

I don’t know about you, but I have never traveled around just for a date. Never more than forty-five minutes that is. What about you? Any long-distance relationship with a happily ever after? And to make it more interesting, your comments will be entered for a chance to win a $20 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate (giveaway ends 2/28 -midnight US-EST).

Don’t forget to stalk me around social media. I love to talk books. <3

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ctHk41
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Hunter_Romances
Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/LilaLeighHunter
Facebook Author’s Page: http://www.facebook.com/HunterRomances
Facebook Fan Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/LilasBooks/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/Hunter_Romances/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lila_leigh/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/HunterRomances
Blog: https://lilaleighhunter.wordpress.com/blog

Let the fun begin. ☺

~ Lila Leigh

Check out Dating in Retrospect today!

 

Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter

 

Blurb:

Giving the commencement speech at his alma mater doesn’t fit Clay Keller’s meticulous schedule. As Chief Executive Officer of Travel Mogul—the largest travel connoisseur company on the West Coast—he has no time to get back in touch with his country roots. He left fifteen years ago without a second look, but a medical scare makes him change his mind about the speech and brings him face-to-face with his only regret.

Time always moves slower in Southeastern Iowa, and Aaron Grant loves it. He’s added solar farms to the Grant Lanes portfolio and has been teaching at the local university for a decade. The last thing he needs is to have his tenure application compromised by the return of his ex-boyfriend. If he had known who the commencement speaker would be, he would never have volunteered to be the administration liaison.

A proposal—to date for a year—will help them discover that time changes a person, even when everything else stays the same.

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

 

Muse Inspiration and Sinspiration w/ Remmy Duchene and BLMorticia

February 22, 2017

 Inspiration and Sinspiration

 

 

Inspiration for Bryan Daystar

 

Muse inspiration for Brian Daystar

 

SL: Greetings all. My name is Sharita Lira and I write as BLMorticia. My character above is Brian Daystar, a descendant of the Lakota tribe, born in Great Falls Montana. The story behind Brian is complicated. He’s had issues in his life that have haunted him for years. When he moved in with Cyrus Abrams (MC from book 1 Wounded Hearts) he did so to run away from his past and hopefully start a new life. Like my other character Cyrus, he believes he’s broken and has pretty much settled for quickies and one nighters to take place of what he really desires. In book one, you can tell how much of Cyrus has rubbed off on him. His mannerisms, his flippant mouth, as well as his use of swear words. However, he’s got a heart of gold and he’s looking for someone to mend his heart while he tries to pick up the pieces in his life.

The songs I picked on this playlist are Waffle and Broken Down by Sevendust, Deep Inside by Hardrive. (Um, really Brian picked that), Stripped by Depeche Mode, Say Yes by Floetry, and Play by Jeremi Carey.

I won’t go through why each one inspired me, only a couple because they speak to his character. The songs by Sevendust totally make up Brian. A ragged soul with a past that has literally haunted him.

In Waffle, lead singer Lajon talks about Making my life something more. That is what Brian is asking of his potential mate. To make his life more worth living. No, he isn’t suicidal, but this young, gorgeous man thinks he might need more than just an average guy to make him whole again.

Broken Down – Obviously in the same vein. Brian feels he needs saving. Lajon sings, “If I can feel again, would you tell me now or wait till I’m broken … save me now I’m broken.” Another lyric that covers the bases when it comes to my character. In that song I felt it a cry for help for someone to love him and help him mend.

Say Yes – Say Yes is always on my writing playlist. When I write my love scenes, I usually have this going along with a few other select tunes. I look for songs that are sexy and sultry. Brian is a sexy and sultry character. The gorgeous hair, his brown eyes and hot body. Okay, I must confess I’m a sucker for this model. Just take a look at my other covers with this man on it. Although I had used the model Umid before, no other model seemed to have the look I had for Brian. So I used him again, and I promise you I am done with him.

Lol

Ah yeah, back to the song. Say Yes is sexy. It put Brian in a mood especially when it seemed his would be partner was in denial. “All you gotta do is say yes, don’t deny what you feel let me undress you.” I could totally see that in Brian, trying to convince Ren to let himself go and feel a little bit. I adore this song and I believe it fit my character perfectly.

 

Sinspiration for Renord Kline

Hey all, Remmy Duchene here. I am the headcase behind Renford Kline, the former New York ADA who is now retired, seeking to find a new place for himself. He has a lot to figure out about who he is, what he is and where he wishes to be.  He’s suave and laid back but he does have a bit of a dirty mind. Renford is a whole other kind of sexy. The music that inspires him had to be flirty, naughty but not too obvious about it.

Music is a huge part of my writing. I have a song for practically every scenario, from sex scenes to fight scenes. Music is the one thing that soothes and angers and puses me to write better.  So there are a few songs on our playlist but I’m only going to go through a few of them.

Closer by Nine Inch Nails – I was watching a tv show right before we started writing this  book and this song was playing. Of course I had no idea who sang it so I hit google with a line from the lyrics. Aside from the naughty line that says I want to f*&k you like an animal which is a part of Renford’s personality. He like it a little freaky from time to time, I loved you can have my isolation, you can have the hate it brings. You can have my absence of faith, you can have my everything. Renford feels alone, trying to figure out who he is. Even though he has friends and people who love him, there’s a part of him that feels ashamed to just be figuring what he is. Renford needed to be able to give up the sadness in all of that and rely on Brian to kind of hold his soul if you will.

Talk me Down by Troye Sivan - I wanna sleep next to you, and that’s all I want to do right now. That line is the one that got me the first time. Renford is the type who believes that something to make the world perfect again, all you need is your lover’s arms. Sure it seems weird for a man his size and as pretty as he is, but he can be kind of a softie. I mean, come on, how could he not get lost in Brian’s arms? Is that even possible?

Bilingual by Jose Nunez – There is a time for making love and then there’s a time for things to be a little moure raunchy, rougher, harder. But it isn’t the kind of rough that happens all the time. Renford is the kind who will give you an order, you disobey, you are punished – in the bedroom of course. But he does it in a sophisticated way, a bid boss kind of way. My thighs in anticipation of deep penetration gets me high sums up what Renford wants Brian to feel, to say, to think.

Insatiable by Darren Hayes – I love writing romance – not just sex but a softness in words, deed and caresses that come with falling, with wanting someone so desperately that no matter what you cannot go away. Renford falls headfirst into the emotions that come with love and the madness it causes. I fall asleep inside of you there are no words only truth. Ever since I was a teenager, I loved this song. Darren Hayes had always been one of my favorite, from Savage Garden to his solo work. This song always made me feel things I never understood until I got older. There’s a soft, sexiness in this song that Renford holds dear as well. It’s not all about the rough tumble. Sometimes, romance is necessary.

BL and I have a playlist put together with all the songs we used to inspire Renford and Brian’s tale. You can find find it HERE.

Contest time – Tell us about your favorite song that gets you in the mood and give us your favorite lyric from it. We will chose one we like the best and that person wins a free copy of Wounded Pride!

 

Check out Wounded Pride today!

 

Wounded Pride by Remmy Duchene and BLMorticia

 

Blurb: 

Renford Kline is straight… right? He got over his experimentation in college and moved on. Then how does he explain his blush-inducing fantasies about Brian Daystar? Fantasies he’s having when he should be focused on his career move from attorney to professor. When Brian comes to New York, Renford knows he’s in trouble. Everything about Brian attracts him—from his tight body to his beautiful, dark hair—but Renford is straight… right?

Brian Daystar needs a break. He’s been working nonstop to turn his Montana ranch into a safe haven for at-risk youth—so much so that he can’t even bring himself to care when he finds out his partner, country star Corey, is cheating on him. Their relationship has been over for a long time, but it might take his feelings for Renford to make Brian accept it.

Both men have decisions to make. Renford must come to terms with who he truly is, and Brian is going to have to decide if he will shun his happiness or embrace it.

 

Remmy Duchene
https://remmyduchene.wix.com/remmyduchene
https://twitter.com/remmyduchene
https://remmyduchene.blogspot.com
https://www.instagram.com/manluvlikeaboss

BLMorticia aka Sharita Lira
http://thelitriad.com/
http://blmorticia.wordpress.com
https://twitter.com/AuthorSharitaL
http://instagram.com/sharitalira/

A Letter from Cupid’s Helper (w/ comments by Cupid himself) by Ari McKay + Giveaway

February 20, 2017

A Letter from Cupid's Helper with Ari McKay

 

Hello, everyone! Dr. Derek Chandler here, welcoming you to the release of “Letters From Cupid”, the story of how Dr. Macon Pinney wooed and won me, thereby saving me from a life devoid of love and romance. I’m excited that you want to read about us, because I think Macon is the most incredibly romantic man I’ve ever met. He might not seem like it at first glance, because he’s quiet and isn’t the most sociable of men, but as I discovered when he started writing to me, there’s a lot more under the tweed jacket and bow tie than you might believe.

Not that I knew Macon was Cupid at first. I suppose it’s not uncommon to not see what’s right under your nose, but I plead preoccupation with the sorry state of my personal life. I was definitely in the midst of a self-pity party after my partner Mark decided that malaria and hemorrhagic fevers were more exciting than I was.

That’s because Mark was an idiot who didn’t realize what he had. But his loss was my gain. I still can’t believe he could decide to traipse off to South America even after hearing you read Donne.  

There, you see what I mean? Macon is definitely a romantic! *blows Macon a kiss* I didn’t know about his fetish for Donne at the time, but I’m grateful for it, since apparently a recitation brought me to his notice. Which was why, when I was feeling sorry for myself and bemoaning it to my friend Justine, Macon decided to do something risky, out-of-character, and incredibly sweet by writing me a note of encouragement to bolster my ego and inform me that things weren’t quite as hopeless as they seemed.

I was definitely surprised that anyone would leave me such a note, and I had more than a few moments of worry that it was from a student. Not only would it be inappropriate, but I admit to a tiny bit fear of having picked up a stalker. But the tone of the letter was far more mature than I would have expected from a student, and it spoke to me in a way that I couldn’t ignore. That’s why I wrote back.

To be honest, I thought the note from “Cupid” was going to be a one-off. I assumed you’d either find it either amusing or silly, but I didn’t expect you to write back. I was surprised when I saw your response, and I wasn’t sure I should keep writing you. I was afraid I might slip up and give myself away, and then you would be disappointed to realize your Cupid was the department’s biggest introvert.

*Gives Macon a besotted smile* An introvert, yes, but a sexy and intriguing one. I suppose the important thing is that I did write back, and Macon replied, and… well, I don’t want to give too much away. But I had definitely noticed Macon even before our correspondence began, though I was under the mistaken assumption that he was still lusting after a rather delicious Spaniard who’d been a visiting professor at the university. Their affair wasn’t exactly a secret, and after tall, dark, and Latin, I didn’t even think I could be Macon’s type.

That’s why I dismissed any thought that Macon could be my Cupid, and yet I felt drawn to Macon, wanting to get to know him better. Perhaps my subconscious mind hadn’t given up on the possibility, but I was surprised and pleased that my overtures to Macon were well received, and we began to talk and interact more, even as our correspondence continued.

I was surprised but pleased as well. I’ve always had a difficult time connecting with people. I’m aware I have a reputation for being aloof, but the truth is, I hate trying to make small talk because I never know what to say, and I’ve never been good at making the first move, whether in a friendship or a relationship. Putting that note on your door was one of the most forward things I’ve ever done.

Believe me, I’m grateful every day that you did it. Perhaps we would have eventually managed to get together in some other way, but, then again, perhaps we wouldn’t, and that’s something I can’t even bear to think about!

But to return to our readers, Macon and I hope you’ll give our story a chance, and get to know us as we get to know one another.  Our “lovely dictators”, as Macon refers to Ari and McKay (and which can be taken in two ways, he says) have done a credible job of relating our tale. I think it’s a rather romantic one, and, if you’re like me, it’s impossible to have too much romance in your life!

 

Our lovely dictators would like to gift a copy of a story from their back catalogue to one lucky reader. For a chance to win, please comment with the title of your favorite romantic book, poem, or song. Let’s spread the love!

 

Check out Letters from Cupid today!

 

Letters From Cupid by Ari McKay

Blurb:

After breaking up with his partner, English professor Dr. Derek Chandler feels like a failure who will never win at romance. His aloof colleague, Dr. Macon Pinney, disagrees and pens an anonymous note of encouragement to Derek, which he signs “Cupid.” Thus begins an exchange of correspondence, a courtship through words where the two men find out they have a great deal in common. Meanwhile, Derek reaches out to Macon, not knowing Macon is his anonymous pen pal. Derek reveals through his letters that someone close by has piqued his interest. Could he mean Macon—or has Macon missed his opportunity and lost Derek to another man?

Perhaps the time has come for Cupid to put in an appearance, and when better to do so than Valentine’s Day?

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2015.

 

If you’d like to contact Ari McKay, they can be found at:

Website: http://arimckay.wordpress.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mckay/266185570179748
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ari.mckay.7
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AriMcKay1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6153630.Ari_McKay

Shifting Views: The Grass is Always Greener… w/ Meg Harding + Giveaway

February 15, 2017

The grass isalways greener... with Meg Harding

 

Hi everyone! I’m Meg Harding, and I’m here to get all mushy about the end of a writing era for me. Shifting Views released on February 10th, and it’s the fourth and final novel in my Carlisle series. Finishing one novel was a huge feat for me, so to be able to complete an entire series is something I wasn’t sure I’d be able to accomplish. I love these guys, plain and simple. They banged—quite literally at times—around my head for over a year, constantly surprising me but also fairly willingly letting their stories be told.

Denver is the last man standing, and he was the most challenging to write. Shifting Views is far from an angst fest, but Denver, to me, provides the most out of the series. Beneath his perfect, happy façade is a creative person who has hit a wall. He loves what he does, it’s his genuine passion, but sometimes what we love gets skewed with time. It becomes a job. We can’t cope with the ever growing amount of excess stress attached to what was once something pure and fun.

Ethan is another man doing what he loves, with life circumstances that are completely different to Denver’s. While his job is a source of stress, he allows himself to be the biggest weight on his shoulders. Ethan’s a man stuck in his own head. His job is the one thing he thinks is going perfect and rarely ever doubts. It’s the good kind of stress. One could even say all of his confidence and self-worth are poured into it.

Shifting Views is a love story about the grass always being greener on the other side. As people we always want what we don’t have, we think of bigger and better. And that varies from person to person. Denver thinks Ethan is amazing because of how hard he’s worked and how focused he is. He likes the simplicity Ethan brings to his life. The honesty. Meanwhile Ethan’s busy comparing himself to a standard no one else is. He’s thinking about how he doesn’t measure up. He thinks Denver has the perfect life, and maybe he doesn’t fit in it because he’s just himself.

We let doubts rule us more often than not, and it doesn’t normally lead to a happy ending. If you had to take a leap, cast doubts aside for a day, what would be the first action item on your list?

Answer to win an ebook copy of Checking it Twice.

 

Check out Shifting Views today!

 

Shifting Views by Meg Harding

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon

Barnes and Noble
Kobo

Blurb:

Successful fashion model Denver Carlisle is finally living on his own. He’s got a new apartment, a neighbor who has a problem shutting his blinds, and a local bakery with an owner who makes his knees weak. It’s raining men, and Denver hasn’t gotten any in a long time. Going out on a limb, he asks Ethan Monahan out and resorts to a little exhibitionism for his neighbor. Only to be turned down by both. That’s a first.

Ethan Monahan runs his own bakery and has a new neighbor who walks around naked. The latter is a little too distracting. When his naked neighbor turns out to be none other than model Denver Carlisle—and the customer who asked him out—Ethan tries to make amends. In a purely friendly way.

Friendship leads to more, and both men find themselves in over their heads with emotions and compromises. Denver has trust issues that could span the Sahara, and Ethan is a product of the foster system with a chip on his shoulder and a serious wariness of those with money. There’s only one way to reconcile their issues: work together.

“That’s in the past. It didn’t happen because we’re starting over. So shake my damn hand and introduce yourself.”

Find Meg Harding at:

Website: Megharding.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Cumberstone61
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MegHardingWrites/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

 

The Seventh Flower: Office Romance the 18th Century Way w/ Ingela Bohm

February 14, 2017

 

Office Romance the 18th Century Way with Ingela Bohm

 

It seems fitting that my first publication with Dreamspinner, The Seventh Flower, grows from quintessentially Swedish soil. The novella forms part of the World of Love series, and I’m so excited to be contributing to such an ambitious theme. Writing from my perspective as a Swedish person has been really inspiring in a myriad of ways. I’ve never dug especially deep in my background and culture to create my stories – in fact I’ve almost avoided it, setting the scene in Wales, England, and France instead of Sweden. But this time the country was supposed to be an important part of the story, and working from that premise was an unexpected joy. The novella practically wrote itself.

However, the most inspiring thing about this project was a minor theme running through the romance between my main characters Christer and Henrik: a historical friendship, or bromance if you like, between Carl Linnaeus and Peter Artedi. To begin with, I never meant for them to make an appearance in The Seventh Flower, since I’d sort of planned to write a book specifically about them, but there you have it. Writers don’t always get to decide.

Of these two men, Linnaeus is undoubtedly the most famous. He’s the ‘father of modern taxonomy,’ the scientist who created a system for categorizing plants and their sexuality – the formal classification that explains why plants look the way they do and how they’re related to each other. At twenty-six years of age, he walked by foot from Uppsala to the north of Sweden to gather new and unclassified plants and incorporate them in his taxonomy. At that time (the 1740’s), Lapland was mostly a wilderness. Linnaeus followed the rivers, gathering specimens and studying how they all fit together. He camped out in the woods, finding shelter in bivouacs, surviving without modern clothing, and almost drowned one time when he was surprised by a spring flood. Through his work, he also systematized how plants were named, and there is even a flower named after him: the linnaea borealis, commonly known as the twinflower. Small and shy, this delicate pink beauty fascinated Linnaeus more than any other plant.

Perhaps you already know all this, but what about Artedi? Who the heck is he? Well, if Linnaeus created the taxonomy for plants, Artedi did the same thing for fish. Much less is known about him, but he was as important for his field of ichthyology as Linnaeus was for botany. He came from the north of Sweden and grew up on a farm. You can just imagine him as a small boy, going fishing in the local lake and becoming fascinated by the sleek, rainbow-glinting bodies gliding by beneath the water. How the light bounced off those silvery scales, how tiny details in their physiognomy set the species apart… and having no one to share his enthusiasm until he went to study at the university in Uppsala and met Linnaeus. The two seem to have become inseparable, and no wonder: taxonomy is kind of a nerdy passion, so when you meet someone who shares that interest it must seem like Fate. The two men even made a pact to publish each other’s work if one of them should die, and unfortunately this is exactly what happened. At a mere 30 years of age, Artedi fell into an Amsterdam canal and drowned.

022 (3)

Curse him for drowning. It really messed with my plans. I wanted to create the ultimate office romance with these two as my leading men, because I have such a weakness for stories about people who share an interest and are creative together. I don’t know why. There’s just something inherently romantic about working towards the same goal, especially if it happens with something the people involved are used to working on alone. Just imagine it: finding the one person who can help you become more than you can be yourself in an area you care deeply about. Swoon-worthy, no?

I first tried on this concept in my historical romance Rival Poet, in which Shakespeare and Marlowe fall in love through the power of words. I also explored it in my Pax Cymrica series, where Michael and Jamie communicate through music and build an entire career on their shared passion. But in the case of Linnaeus and Artedi, there was this tiny irritating detail of major character death that made the whole thing difficult to pull off.

Solution? I had Christer and Henrik in The Seventh Flower share my fascination for them. Instead of putting my two historical heroes center stage, I made Christer their chronicler and Henrik a modern day botanist. In this way my main characters could mirror what I saw in the intense friendship between Linnaeus and Artedi: the finding of a soul mate in the unlikeliest of places, because of an obsession they thought no one shared.

It just gets me every time. Even now I’m writing a story about two actors falling for each other as they work on a successful TV series, repeating myself yet again. So am I the only one who gets off on this, I wonder? Or are there others out there who enjoy fantasizing about people who work together while also falling for each other? I’d love to know about your favorite work-related romance scenarios – maybe you have a thing for musicians, or actors, or scientists like Linnaeus and Artedi? Maybe you’re married to your office crush? Maybe you can even give me some tips for future books? Please hit me with your best shots!

 

Check out The Seventh Flower today!

The Seventh Flower by Ingela Bohm

Blurb:

Christer is too old to believe in fairy tales. He’s not the kind of guy to pick the proverbial seven flowers on Midsummer’s Eve so he can dream of who he will marry, and he certainly isn’t the type to fall for someone he’s just met. Especially not a womanizing blogger named Henrik.

Besides, Christer’s previous marriage didn’t end with a happily ever after. Therefore, he has no interest in gifting his heart to someone who lives five hundred miles away and probably isn’t even gay. His family is right: it’s time he grew up and stopped dreaming.

But Midsummer’s Eve in Sweden is a magical night, and Henrik won’t stop flirting. As the midnight sun shines down on the misty woods, maybe there’s room for one last dream.

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

 

Ingela Bohm

Author Bio:

Ingela Bohm lives in an old cinema, tucked away in a northern Swedish forest where she can wander around all day long and dictate her books. She used to dream of being an actor until an actual actor asked, “Do you really need to do it?” That’s when she realized that the only thing she really needed to do was to write. She has since pretended to be a dietician, a teacher, a receptionist and a cook, but only to conceal her real identity.

Her first imaginary friend was called Grabolina and lived in her closet. Nowadays she has too many imaginary friends to count, but at least some of them are out of the closet. Her men may not be conventionally handsome, but they can charm your pants off, and that’s all that matters.

Ingela’s more useless talents include reading tarot cards, killing pot plants and drawing scandalous pictures that no one gets to see. She can’t walk in heels and she’s stopped trying, but she has cycled 12 000 miles in the UK and knows which campsites to avoid if you don’t like spiders. If you see her on the train you will wonder what age she is.

To get updates on Ingela Bohm’s work, please sign up for her newsletter or connect at her

Blog
Amazon author page
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Instagram
Tumblr

Books by Ingela Bohm

The Pax Cymrica series:

Just Playing
The Road Taken
Release
Cutting Edge

Standalone novels:

Rival Poet
Not Safe For Work
Last Communion
All You Can Eat

Short stories:
Seven Thousand Minutes
Strings Attached
The Subjunctive Mood
Beneath The Mask