Visual Inspiration w/ Laura Lascarso + Giveaway

November 22, 2016

 Andre in Flight: Visual Inspiration with Laura Lascarso

I’m a visual person. Perhaps part of the reason I wrote my main character, Martin, as a fine artist was to compose all those masterpieces I wish I could paint in real life. Instead, I get to paint with words.

And for the visuals, I’ll have to rely on the artists at Unsplash.com and their amazing photographs to help tell the story of Martin and his youthful muse, Andre. I’ve put together an inspiration board that’s a combination of their characters, talents and the setting–sunny, Miami, Florida. The colors are vibrant and the men are hot, just like Andre and Martin and their blossoming love affair. Take a look and I hope you enjoy reading ANDRE as much as I enjoyed writing it!

 

Collage for Andre in Flight by Laura Lascarso

 

Check out Andre in Flight today!

 

Andre in Flight by Laura Lascarso

 

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

 

Blurb:

When up-and-coming Miami painter Martin Fonseca encounters youthful pretty boy Andre Bellamy washing dishes in the kitchen of La Candela, he swears he’s known him before, intimately. But Andre only arrived in Miami weeks ago, after running away from small-town Alabama and his abusive father. When Martin discovers Andre trading sexual favors for a place to stay, he offers him a room in his studio apartment. As roommates only.

What starts as a playful friendship turns into something more as Andre begins posing for Martin, whose true passion is painting fantastical portraits. Martin’s obsession with Andre grows until they are sharing more than just flirtatious conversation. But when an eccentric art collector buys one of Martin’s paintings, Martin’s past jealousies resurface and threaten to destroy what he and Andre have so lovingly built.

 

Laura Lascarso

About Laura Lascarso:

Laura Lascarso lives in North Florida with her darling husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. Her debut novel, Counting Backwards (Simon & Schuster 2012) won the Florida Book Award gold medal for young adult literature. She aims to inspire more questions than answers in her fiction and believes in the power of stories to heal and transform a society.

For social critiques, writer puns, and Parks and Rec gifs, follow her on Twitter @lauralascarso

 

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More Than Friends? with J.R. Loveless – Giveaway + Excerpt

November 9, 2016

More Than Friends with J.R. Loveless

Release day is always exciting! Today is November 9th and the release of my newest novella You Belong With Me. There are some of you who may know me from my first novel from Dreamspinner Press, Touch Me Gently, but for those who don’t, I’m J.R. Loveless, and I have been writing gay romance for a little over ten years now. Dreamspinner gave me a chance in 2010 and I have been publishing with them ever since. My long term dream is to be able to spend my days writing, but until then, I work in an office as a manager of a System Support department while dreaming up countless stories I hope to bring to you all someday.

Many of us have experienced, or are experiencing right now, the most painful of all type of loves – unrequited. There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching from afar as the person we want to be with showers their affection and attention on someone else. Except when they’re your best friend and they don’t even realize you’re in love with them. Because then it’s an up close and personal view that you wish you never had to witness.

In You Belong With Me, Scott is in love with his best friend Craig and has been for some time. He’s been there to experience the heartache of Craig falling for someone for the first time and then having to listen as Craig tells him everything about the relationship, including the night Craig lost his virginity. The story is told from the POVs of Scott, Craig, and Scott’s twin sister Karen, giving you the perspective of an outsider who cares very deeply for Scott and would love nothing more than to knock some sense into Craig. Maybe some will be able to relate with Scott and some may even be able to relate with Craig, but hopefully by the end of the story you’ll be cheering for them both. Just don’t hate on either too much because without communication misunderstandings happen and yes, Craig does do something which some may find unforgivable, but you’ll have to read the story to find out!

Keep reading for an excerpt to whet your taste buds and give you a glimpse of what is to come in You Belong With Me.

Want to win a free e-book copy of You Belong With Me or have your choice of one of my backlog if you’ve already pre-ordered or purchased YBWM? Then post a comment answering this question: What is the one thing you’ve wanted more than anything in the world and did you get it? A random winner will be chosen from the commentators! Please include your email address so I know how to contact you. :)

Check out You Belong With Me today!

You Belong With Me by J.R. Loveless

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press
All Romance eBooks

 

Blurb:

Scott has been in love with his best friend Craig for years, but watching Craig with his manipulative boyfriend has worn Scott down, and he knows he needs a break from the pain and maybe a change of scenery and perspective. His twin sister, Karen, convinces him to spend a summer in Paris.

Karen is sick and tired of seeing Scott suffer, and she’s not going to stand for it anymore. She confronts Craig and tells him what he’s been missing by spurning Scott’s affection in favor of a jerk who mistreats him.

When Craig unknowingly breaks Scott’s heart, Craig opens his eyes—and his own heart—to the possibility of a future with Scott. He plans to use the time while Scott’s abroad to orchestrate a romantic surprise that will show Scott they belong together. But when he sees Scott with another man at the airport, Craig fears he’s too late.

Excerpt:

Scott

Anger and hurt simmered beneath the surface as Scott slammed the door behind him. He was glad the house was empty, because he didn’t want to talk to anyone. The fact that for the first time in four years Craig wasn’t there at lunch and didn’t even text him made him so angry, but the anger paled in comparison to the pain he felt. As the lunch hour had ticked by and he came to the realization Craig wasn’t coming, it had felt like a sharp knife in his stomach. A hollow feeling had swamped him on his way home. His best friend had forgotten him.

Scott’s eyes stung but he gritted his teeth and refused to let the tears fall. He wouldn’t allow Derek to do this to him. He wouldn’t cry. He tossed himself across his bed and buried his face in the pillow. Somehow Derek had guessed his feelings toward Craig and, whenever he could, went out of his way to make Craig hurt Scott without realizing it. The bastard was so coldhearted he made the devil seem nice.

Scott had gotten each and every one of Craig’s texts, but he knew if he responded, Craig would get the brunt of his pain and anger. Before he spoke to him, he needed to get control of his emotions. If he didn’t, he’d wind up blurting out something he shouldn’t. More than likely it would be about Derek being an asshole, and it might cause a rift between them too wide to repair. He’d lose Craig for sure.

Scott allowed his mind to drift as he lay there. The internship to France being offered by Emerson was starting to look better and better every day. Maybe some time away would be a good thing. If he could get over the way he felt about Craig, his emotions could even out and he wouldn’t constantly have to worry about destroying their friendship. Closing his eyes, he concentrated on breathing in and out slowly. Eventually he started to fall asleep. Only there was no peace, even in his dreams. Immediately he started dreaming of Craig.

Craig kissed his way down Scott’s spine, lips traveling over each vertebrae slowly. He smoothed his calloused hands over Scott’s arms and shoulders with calculating accuracy. Scott moaned when he felt Craig’s hot breath on his lower back, just above his pale rear end. The moan grew louder as Craig slid the tip of his wet tongue along the beginning of the crease leading to Scott’s tight entrance. Sweat built along his skin in a fine sheen at the roar of pleasure that rushed through him. Craig tenderly spread Scott’s cheeks open with his strong hands, baring the puckered channel dying to feel him inside. A small cry rattled in Scott’s throat when his tongue came into contact with Scott’s hole. Quick lapping motions against him made Scott’s cock throb painfully against the sheets. But when Craig probed into his body, Scott heard himself shamelessly begging, “Please.”

He felt Craig smile. “Please what?” Craig asked huskily.

“Craig,” Scott whimpered.

“Tell me.”

“I want you inside of me,” he growled in frustration.

Craig laughed softly and rose up to press the full length of his body over Scott’s. Scott could feel Craig’s hard prick rubbing into the crease of his ass. “Do you, Scott?”

“God yes,” he hissed.

The blunt tip of Craig’s dick nudged the entrance to his hole. Scott reached back with one hand to grip at his hip to try to pull him inside. He shuddered when he felt Craig drop a kiss on the nape of his neck. His firm lips grazed Scott’s ear as he whispered, “I love you, Scott.”

Just when he started to enter him, Scott heard his name again from a distance. Then someone was shaking him. “Scott, wake up.”

Find Me Here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjrloveless
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jrloveless
Blogger: http://jrloveless.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.jrloveless.com

Siblings! with Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes + Giveaway

November 4, 2016
Siblings! with Venona Keyes and Kim Fielding

 

In our story, Running Blind, Kyle Green needs to depend on his slightly older sister, Lily, to help him get his bearings while he adjusts to his new life without sight.  They are the two youngest of the Green brood, and they have a good relationship, though they bicker and cajole each other.

We, Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes, sat down and discussed our own sibling experiences. Maybe you will pick up on a few traits we gave to Lily and Kyle.

Where are you in the sibling birth order?

Kim:  I’m the oldest. My brother is 3 years younger and my sister is almost 9 years younger. I think I can blame my control freak tendencies on my birth order.

Venona: I’m the oldest of five in the family.  We have a two part sibling group: the original three, and the two afterthoughts.  The original three, me, a sister, and a brother were born within three years.  Thirteen years later, my parents had my little brother, and four years later, my little sister came along.

Which sibling are you closest to in the family?

K:  Probably my brother because we’re closer in age. My sister was only 8 when I moved out of the house, so we had fewer childhood years together.

V:  I am closest to my littlest brother (the one I wanted my mom to return when she told me she was pregnant).  Nearly five when I left for college, he grew up and I only saw him in snippets as I didn’t return home after I left for school. I think it’s because we are the two oldest of each of our groups, we bonded. The next is my sister, who is a year younger than me.

Do you find that you still treat each other the same way as you did when you were growing up?

K:  Nope. We’re mostly grown-ups now. We hardly ever argue, and I’m probably less bossy. All three of us are married, too, which tends to change family dyamics.

V:  Yes.  We modeled our behavior on my mother’s family—we all argue at the top of our voices, butt in over each other, and fiercely defend each other.  Per my sibs, I’m generally the peacemaker, motivator, and the bossy one (birth order!). We all still crack up at the stupidest things. My youngest brother and I still giggle like kids when he brings out the Beavis and Butthead voicebox.

What do you and your siblings still do that may baffle your parents?

K:  My entire family gets along pretty well and we tend to be like-minded. I would say my parents don’t understand our tastes in music, although that’s nothing new!

V:  Argue. Not angry fighting, but arguing about certain topics. My dad is the only child of an only child. One time, while the five of us were arguing over something (as adults), he said he was glad he was an only child. I told him he should’ve had siblings—they would’ve kept him humble. He didn’t appreciate my wisdom. Imagine that!  My late mom, on the other hand, came from a family of four girls.  The house she grew up in was always busy and loud, so nothing phased her.

What are things you have in common with your siblings—and what sets you apart?

K: All three of us have undergraduate degrees in psychology (my brother and I both have law degrees too), we all love animals, and politically speaking, we’re all on the same page. But they still live in Oregon, our home state, while I’m exiled to California. And I’m the only one who’s reproduced.

V: We have our parents in common, we’re politically on the same page, we all love animals, we’re all loud, and no one can do mischief better than we can when we’re together.  After that, two of my brothers and one sister are married and have children. I’m widowed with no children and my youngest sister is engaged.  We also have varying degrees of schooling: I have my Master of Public Health, youngest brother has his Bachelors, youngest sister has her Associates working towards her Bachelors, other sister has had some junior college, and my other brother apprenticed as a grandfather clock builder and repairman. We’ve all scattered into the winds: My youngest brother just moved to Texas, my other brother is in South Dakota, one sister is in New York, and my youngest sister and I are still in Illinois, our place of birth and growth.  One other thing: I am the only dark-eyed, dark-haired child. Sisters are (real) blond and blue-eyed, one brother is curly blond (now bald) with light brown eyes, and the other brother is a curly brown haired (now bald) with hazel eyes.

What’s the worst thing you ever did to a sibling?

K:  When my brother was 3, my parents went out for the evening, leaving us with a babysitter. I accidentally-on-purpose locked him in the bathroom.

V: Hmmm…Nothing comes to mind. However, if you ask what we did to our Uncle Charles when he watched us (the original three) over a weekend…now that is another story. Let’s just say I’m a babysitter that knows all the tricks my little charges can pull.

What makes you most jealous about your siblings?

K: My brother lives on a beautiful farm and drives a really cool car. My sister has great taste in music and is really good at crafts. They both live a lot closer to our parents than I do.

V: Not jealous, but I admire my sibs for who they are: NY sister has the biggest heart and is very crafty, SD brother struggles with his addictions and wins most of the time, TX brother who patiently explains technology to me just as he patiently explains complex math to my niece, and my littlest sister’s pluck in the face of adversity.  Besides, I drive the cool car (laughs).

What makes your siblings special to you? Make a comment and be entered in the Rafflecopter giveaways listed below.

Check out Running Blind today!

Running Blind by Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes

 

Dreamspinner Press: http://syurl.net/jx5MLt
Amazon: http://alturl.com/7jcr3

 

Blurb

Kyle Green is on top of the world. He and Matt have been together for ten years, and—as the voice of Ecos, the wildly popular anime character—Kyle is treated like a rock star in anime circles. But in an instant, a stroke leaves him blind. When photographer Matt gets the opportunity of a lifetime, Kyle reexamines their relationship, discovers it has been a safety net rather than a true romance, and sets Matt free to pursue his dream. Kyle’s life and career as he knew them are gone, and he must now find the courage and creativity to draft a new plan.

After being away for fifteen years, Seth Caplan comes home to Chicago to care for his mother and to partner with a small start-up tech company. He and Kyle meet after Kyle’s collision with a child’s sidewalk toy, and they hit it off. Kyle wants to get back into running, and Seth becomes his guide. As they get to know each other, they start seeing each other beyond their three-times-a-week runs. But Seth’s revelation of the dark reason why he left his career in California sends the relationship into a tailspin andleaves both men running blind.

Bios

Kim Fielding is very pleased every “me someone calls her eclectic. Her books have won Rainbow Awards and span a variety of genres. She has migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States and currently lives in California, where she long ago ran out of bookshelf space. She’s a university professor who dreams of being able to travel and write full “me. She also dreams of having two perfectly behaved children, a husband who isn’t obsessed with football, and a house that cleans itself. Some dreams are more easily obtained than others

You can reach Kim at:

Facebook—http://facebook.com/kfieldingwrites
Twitter—@kfieldingwrites
Website—http://kfieldingwrites.com/

Venona Keyes is a modern woman who believes in doing it all; if doing it all is only in her head. She amazes people that she can be wholly unorganized yet pack a perfect carry on suitcase for a ten day trip to Paris. Ms. Keyes is a believer in the just in time theory, and can be seen sprinting in airports to the gate before the plane door closes.

Venona has experienced love and loss at the deepest level, and is thankful for writing and daydreaming, for it kept, and still keeps her sane. Writing also introduced her to some of the most supportive and wonderful people, to which she will always be grateful.

Venona is a voracious reader, loves her feline boys, volunteers at an animal shelter, attempts to cook everything in her CSA boxes, is an accomplished speaker, is a seasoned triathlete, and enjoys swimming, biking, hiking, skipping, dancing, and her beloved overgrown garden.

You can reach Venona at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/venona.keyes
Website: http://www.venonakeyes.com/

Rafflecopter Giveaways!

Make a comment and be entered into win a giveaway!

Giveaway #1 – All (US & International)

Audio Books, E-Book, and DSP Gift Certificate
- 3 Audio Books (Treasure, The Downs, and Guarded)
- E-book Coming of Age
- $20 DSP Gift Certificate

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Giveaway #2 – US Only

Manga (Graphic Novels), Audio, and E-Books Manga:

Traditional Japanese Manga (translated into English): Borders Manga Volumes 1-5 by Kazuma Kodaka American Manga: Longitudes and Latitudes, Volumes 1 – 3 by True Teargem & Tprinces American Doshinji:  Kindly Assistance (A Sherlock Holmes & John Watson Romance) by Halloween Panda
Audio Books & E-books - 3 Audio Books (Treasure, The Downs, and Guarded)
– E-book Coming of Age

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Giveaway #3 – US Only   Bento Ensemble, Audio, and E-Books
Bento Ensemble
Bento Box Lacquered wooden chopsticks Handmade drawstring cloth bag with decorative stitching
Audio Books & E-books
- 3 Audio Books (Treasure, The Downs, and Guarded)
- E-book Coming of Age

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Villains We Love to Love with Alexis Duran

November 2, 2016

Villains We Love to Love with Alexis Duran

Hello! It’s great to be here on the Dreamspinner blog for the first time. My name is Alexis Duran and my novel, Matthias: Order of the Black Knights, is being released today!

Matthias was both fun and challenging to write. Challenging because it’s my first foray into the genre of contemporary thriller, and fun because—well, writing is always fun for me—but this story was especially enjoyable to craft because it features two of my favorite elements; a sexy bad boy and a scorching enemies-to-lovers relationship.

When Thianna Durston first approached me with an invitation to write a book in the series, Order of the Black Knights, I said yes without thinking too hard about it.  How could I resist the idea of a man cursed to be a killer with one chance at redemption?  Add to that the twist that there was only one person out there who could save him from this fate—a person he considered his mortal enemy—let’s just say this m/m writer’s imagination set fire.

As soon as I signed on to the project, Matthias began to take form.  The idea of a charismatic cult leader had been simmering in the back of my mind for a long time, and this seemed like the perfect vehicle for him to finally emerge and take center stage.  I liked the concept of the “villain” also being the protagonist.  I usually start from the view point of the man who’s destined to fall in love with said villain, but this time the crux of the story revolves around Matthias and whether he will succeed in overcoming his past (and there’s a lot to overcome, with several lives as a killer behind him!) or if he’s doomed to repeat the same violent cycle yet one more time.

So what is it about sexy villains we love so much?  Personally I think it’s the power and confidence they exude, and the fact that they can break all the rules and behave in ways nice people like us wouldn’t dream of doing.  In a relationship, they create a fantastic amount of conflict. This challenges their dueling partner and potential lover to the utmost, creating a dynamic that forces both parties to either grow or be crushed.

The stronger the villain, the tougher the “good guy” has to be.  Once Matthias strolled onto the page and announced himself, I knew I would have to create an opposite who was worthy of standing up to him.  Dylan might have started out as an innocent college boy crushing on the mysterious Matthias, but he quickly developed an interesting past himself, with a military family and a constant need to prove himself.  Not only is his natural goodness offended by Matthias’s activities, but he’s got this law-enforcing, honor upholding background to answer to. He’s no one to be steamrollered by Matthias and it wasn’t long before I found him to be just as interesting a character, with complexities and pitfalls of his own.

And this is why I think the enemies to lovers trope is so enticing.  While meeting someone closely aligned to you is of course the natural way to go, and can strengthen both members of the couple, falling in love with your polar opposite makes for a true test of love vs. will.  It is quite the conundrum to decide to enter a relationship with someone who you know is bad news. Worse if the person is possibly dangerous. The good news from a writer’s standpoint is that the more the good boy has to wrestle with his own inner demons, the more fully realized and fascinating he will be. It’s easy to get lost in the shadow of a personality as large as Matthias so I gave Dylan lots of good reasons to put up a fight.

Then comes the fun part.  I get to place these two guys in a room together and see how they behave. If I’ve done my job and created the right characters for the part, their scenes together just flow out of me and I can hardly write fast enough to keep up with them.  This is sheer joy from a writers’ perspective and I hope it reflects on the page.  Sometimes I felt like all I could do was get out of the way as Matthias and Dylan sparred, lied, manipulated and fell in love, then dealt with the potentially deadly consequences.  I hope you enjoy reading Matthias as much as I enjoyed writing him.

So who is your favorite bad boy villain? Do you have a favorite couple who started out as enemies? One lucky commenter will win a gift certificate to Dreamspinner Press! Simply enter your answer along with your email address (can include name [at] email [dot] com) and a winner will be chosen!

Check out Matthias today!

Matthias by Alexis Duran

Blurb:

From Louisiana swamp rat to revivalist huckster to skilled con artist, Matthias Krall clawed his way out of poverty using his natural gifts of grift and manipulation to become the leader of an exclusive retreat center. Exploiting the guise of spiritual guru, Matthias seduces the rich and powerful into turning over their lives and fortunes to his control. But wealth and a small cadre of loyal followers can’t protect Matthias from the betrayal he knows is imminent. Everyone wants what Matthias has, except for one man who wants to destroy it. Dylan Connelly is a reporter who’s determined to prove the charismatic recluse is not only a fraud but a murderer.

Irresistibly drawn to Dylan despite the warnings in his gut, Matthias lures Dylan to his island retreat, determined to destroy his enemy once and for all.

About Alexis Duran:

Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She’s worked in museums, finance, film production, and for several performing arts organizations. Her favorite job so far has been inventorying the collection of a haunted Victorian Mansion. She is the author of the Masters and Mages and Edge of Night m/m fantasy series as well as several standalone romances. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference and first runner-up from Love Romances Cafe. She lives with one dog and four and a half cats. She is always working on the next novel and has several new ideas brewing at all times.

http://alexisduranblog.com
http://twitter.com/AlexisSDuran
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8332457.Alexis_Duran
http://www.facebook.com/alexis.duran.18294

When Writing On Fire Went Awry with Alicia Nordwell + Giveaway

November 1, 2016

 On Fire Release Tour

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

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

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

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

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

Frosted Leaf at Dawn

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

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

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

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

Cia’s Stories: http://www.ciasstories.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alicia.nordwell
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AliciaNordwell
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4479520.Alicia_Nordwell

Check out On Fire today!

On Fire by Alicia Nordwell

Blurb:

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

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

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

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

October 21, 2016

Inspiration All Around with j. leigh bailey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Check out Guyliner today!

Guyliner by j. leigh bailey

BLURB:

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

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

 

 j. leigh bailey

BIO:

j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.

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Getting to Know Lynn Lorenz – Post + Giveaway

October 10, 2016

Getting to Know Lynn Lorenz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Orleans

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

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

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

Rebuilding

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

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

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

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

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

I know what it means to miss New Orleans.

 

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

 

Check out On the Streets of New Orleans today!

 

On the Streets of New Orleans by Lynn Lorenz

Blurb:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Waffles and Wings

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

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

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

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

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

Author bio: 

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

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

Building Thalazar: the norrgel by E E Montgomery + Giveaway

October 3, 2016

Building Thalazar

Welcome to release day for Warrior Pledge. It’s a fantasy story set on a world I created piece by piece when I needed a place for my Mafdeti to live.

When I was first planning the world for Warrior Pledge, I made a list of the types of things a world would contain. There would be land and oceans, mountains and valleys, rivers, swamps and plains, jungles and deserts. The climate would change depending on where on the world you were. I decided that, like Earth, Thalazar would have cold poles and a hot equator. That made a lot of things quite easy. I had native peoples and invaders, although only one of each. Then I thought about the animals, insects and birds and tried to decide how many of each I would need to make the world at once recognisable yet different to Earth.

I made pages and pages of notes of different animals that a farming community would need to have, like cows and sheep, possibly dogs, cats, hens, bees, flies, wasps, worms. Then I got stuck on what to call them. Everything I came up with sounded made up and ridiculous, so I backtracked. I started asking myself different questions.

How important were these creatures were to the story? Yes, Rim came from a farming valley, but he wasn’t a farmer. He was the leader so his interactions with animals would be different. Then I took it a step further and decided that Rim wasn’t the main character anyway, so it didn’t matter how he interacted with farm animals.

So what animal/bird/insect on Thalazar was unique to the planet and was also important to the story? It had to be a native to the planet and had to impact on every living thing. The original inhabitants of the planet would be wary of it but also comfortable in its existence. It would be wide ranging and a threat to everything it came across. I decided it was a bird.

Have you looked closely at straw-necked ibis? They’re freaky. They have hard beady eyes and thready feathers around their necks like they’ve been dragged backwards through a wormhole. They could easily be descendents of some alien invader from the past. That’s where my thoughts for the norrgel originally began. The norrgel look a little like an ibis and a cormorant have mated with a penny whistle and a gothic haberdashery shop. These are my original sketches of the norrgel with behavioural annotations. They changed a little during the course of writing the book, but not a lot.

You might notice on my notes that the trailing threads have fine hairs that secrete a poison. That was my next inquiry.

When I was a child my mother told me a story about a young man she nursed. He had tetanus and the slightest sound set off the most violent spasms in his body. The muscular spasms were so strong they broke bones. He used to scream with the pain but the noise of the screaming only made the spasms worse. It was vicious. It was also perfect for my norrgel.

The norrgel hunt in flocks. When they sight prey they dive, one after the other, and whip the threads trailing from their wings and tails against their target. The whipping raises welts where the skin thins and allows the tiny hairs left behind to penetrate. The skin splits and the poison rushes in. The effect of the poison is immediate, the muscles go into spasm. The pain is excruciating, not just because of the spasming muscles but because the combination of the spasms and the poison liquefies the muscles, bones, sinews and tendons.

Everything dissolves.

While they’re still alive.

The poison works its way inwards so things like the brain, heart and lungs are impacted last. The victim is aware of what’s happening every step of the way. It’s brutal and horrifying. Anyone who experiences the thrash of norrgel threads is dead within two hours. Anyone who sees a death by norrgel is changed forever.

The Mafdeti and the Imperials live under a norrgel sky. Their lives are lived around norrgel breeding season, when the birds are more active, and sunlight—norrgel hunt during daylight hours. They have norrgel watch set every day and hides to retreat to when the cry of ‘wings up’ is heard. The hides are large enough to shelter small flocks of farm animals. Once the hunting flock passes over, they emerge to continue their work.

The norrgel have one natural predator but they haven’t been seen for a thousand years. The people of Thalazar have stopped wishing for their return. Their lives now include daily watchfulness and regular deaths by norrgel.

Now we get to the fun part. Think back to my description of the straw-necked ibis. I’d love to hear about an animal/bird/insect you look at and think ‘that’s an alien’. I’ll pick two as winners who will have a choice of any ebook from my backlist.

 

Check out Warrior Pledge today!

U

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
ARe

Blurb

When the two moons of Thalazar cross orbits, the Warrior Pledge must be completed or the cat-shifting Mafdeti nation will face annihilation. There are four who can save the people and their land: the Silver Shining from Rock, the Great Heart Farseeing, the Changeling, and the Pure. They must find each other before time runs out.

Silver-eyed Checa is Captain of the Guard for the Mafdeti. Thanks to the friendship and loyalty of Heath, son of the Mafdeti Matriarch, Checa has survived and thrived after a childhood of horrific abuse. He knows Heath is his Bond-Mate but refuses to bond with the younger man because he feels he isn’t worthy. Nor does Heath’s mother approve of her son bonding with a lowborn warrior.

Together they face deadly wing-strikes from carnivorous birds, earthquake, betrayal, ambush, and an enemy invasion, only to be confronted with the possibility that the Warrior Pledge will bond Checa and Heath to others. If Checa is to complete the Warrior Pledge, he must overcome the belief that he doesn’t deserve Heath’s love, and fight for the one man who can make him whole.

Author Bio

E E Montgomery wants the world to be a better place, with equality and acceptance for all. Her philosophy is: We can’t change the world but we can change our small part of it and, in that way, influence the whole. Writing stories that show people finding their own ‘better place’ is part of E E Montgomery’s own small contribution.

Thankfully, there’s never a shortage of inspiration for stories that show people growing in their acceptance and love of themselves and others. A dedicated people-watcher, E E finds stories everywhere. In a cafe, a cemetery, a book on space exploration or on the news, there’ll be a story of personal growth, love, and unconditional acceptance there somewhere.

You can contact E E Montgomery at eemontgomery11@gmail.com; on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ewynelaine.montgomery; on Twitter: @EEMontgomery1; or at her web site: http://www.eemontgomery.com/ and blog: http://www.eemontgomery.com/blog.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall… with M.A. Church – Post + Giveaway

September 26, 2016

Mirror Mirror

I’m willing to bet if we checked Remi’s closet, he’d have a T-shirt with that on it lol. Another T-shirt he has says: Be careful when you follow the masses…. Sometimes the M is silent.  Remi is connoisseur of snarky T-shirts. It’s one of the things he’s well-known for. He likes to make a statement. ;)

Remi Shirt Saying

Hello everyone! My name is M.A. Church, but most people call me Michelle. Or just ‘M’. I’ve dropped by to talk about the next book in the Fur, Fangs, and Felines series, It Takes Two to Tango. It releases September 26th. This book centers on Remi and his mate, Marshell. Out of all the betas in the West Falls Clowder, Remi would’ve been the one perfectly fine with a mate who was human. But is that who his goddess gives him?

Of course not.

*Grin* That’d be too simple. Instead, she gives Remi a mate who’s not only dominant than him, but who’s also just as toppy. Marshell is a Vetala, a snakelike nonshifting paranormal who must have blood to survive. But unlike vampires, the Vetala are very much alive. The Vetala’s eyes, when aroused or threatened, changed to an eerie blue with a black, vertical iris. They also have fangs, but they’re not like the fangs you’d see with vampires. Marshell’s are different… more gnarly.

Then there’s the venom Marshell can use to paralyze his victim as he feeds. The venom can be used for other things too. *Grin* Can y’all guess where I’m going with that? The pair dance around each other while they try to figure out how to make a mating work, thus the title. Then Marshell is attacked. *Whew*

Oh, if that isn’t enough, there’s a twist at the very end when Aidric meets his mate.

Out of all the characters in this series, Marshell may possibly be my favorite. He’s a tough guy, and often feared because of what he is. If threatened, he’ll kill with no regret. But under that tough exterior…. Oh, who am I kidding? He’s still tough guy, but his loved ones are the most important people in his life. He’ll do anything for them.

This series is based on racism, but it’s viewed through the lens of speciesism. The werecats, especially the elders in the clowder, are resistant to accepting anyone who isn’t like them. They’re not particularly fond of humans either, as Kirk can tell you. Then there’s the issue of how women are viewed… think 1920s, and there you go.

The West Falls Clowder is undergoing change, and it certainly hasn’t been painless. *Grin* And I’m not through with them yet. I’m working on Aidric’s book now, then after that will be the Brier’s. That’ll be the last one in this series.

I’m doing a giveaway to celebrate the release of Tango. As I mentioned, Remi has a wardrobe full of snarky T-shirts dedicated to funny sayings. In order to enter the giveaway, tell me one of your favorite sayings that you’d like to see on a T-shirt. A winner will be chosen and that person will get to pick one of my backlist of books.

~M

Check out It Takes Two to Tango today!

It Takes Two to Tango

Blurb:

Can two very different men find the love they need to survive?

Remi Ginn’s an easygoing werecat with a love of snarky T-shirts. He would be perfectly happy with a human mate. Is that what the goddess Bast gives him? Of course not. Instead she gifts him with Marshell, a Vetala, a snakelike nonshifter who drinks blood to survive. A man who’s just as toppy as Remi—and even more powerful than the West Falls Clowder’s Alpha and heir apparent.

While Remi is deciding whether he can handle the fates’ choice, hunters attack Marshell. Afterward, in an explosion of passion, Remi and Marshell mate and Remi declares Marshell his. Now they have to figure out how to make their relationship work as they dance around each other.

The clowder is in turmoil, and Remi’s acceptance of Marshell rocks the very foundation of the insular group. The consequences will be far-reaching. And if that isn’t problem enough, the situation with the hunters is far from resolved… as proved by the appearance of an Alpha werewolf.

 

About M.A. Church:

M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a fulltime job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it! When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two grown children. She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Rainbow Romance Writers, and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

Twitter: @nomoretears00
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/MA-Church/173797619379487
Decadent Delights: http://machurch00.blogspot.com/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.A.-Church/e/B007A8JA4C

 

Some of My Best Friends Are Ghosts w/ Stephen Osborne – Post + Giveaway

September 24, 2016

Some of My Best Friends Are Ghosts

Hello! My name is Stephen Osborne, and I’m here to tell you about my new release, Raven’s Rest. It’s about ghosts, disembodied voices, seances, and, of course, love.

I blame Dark Shadows.

For those who don’t know, Dark Shadows was an late afternoon soap opera which ran from 1966 to 1971. Unlike other TV soaps, however, Dark Shadows dealt with vampires, witches, werewolves, and ghosts. Lots of ghosts. Kids used to race home from school to catch up with vampire Barnabas Collins and the other members of the cursed Collins family. Ah, those were the days.

Ever since Dark Shadows, I’ve loved a good spooky story. Stephen King quickly became a favorite writer, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Hell House by Richard Matheson. TV shows? Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, American Horror Story, and Stranger Things are on my watch list. I can’t seem to get away from the ghostly tales.

As if that isn’t bad enough, I sometimes spend the night in haunted locations. I’ve visited (and written about) the Coronado Performing Arts Center in Rockford, where shadowy figures are seen and spectral perfume can be smelled. Many a night I’ve spent at Willow Creek Farm, a private residence that’s listed as one of the most haunted houses in Illinois. At Willow Creek, I witnessed a chair falling over for apparently no reason, heard footsteps above me when no one was upstairs, and had a flashlight turn on and off by command. This flashlight, I must add, was old and dented, and it took one heck of a twist to turn it on!

Ghosts pop up in my own writing all the time. There’s Robbie, the late lover of Duncan Andrews in the Pale As a Ghost series, who died ten years ago but still hangs around. In Rat Bastard, Weasel masquerades as the Phantom Lady of Kennedy Hill Road—a real local legend in these parts! And, of course, there’s the Raven’s Rest Inn, which boasts several spirits. One of them, that of Coleman Hollis, becomes very familiar to Michael Cook.

And it continues. Currently, I’m working on another Duncan Andrews story, as well as bouncing around ideas for a possible sequel to Raven’s Rest. The ghosts just keep coming, keeping me company.

So let’s have a contest! To win a copy of one of my backlist titles (Duncan Andrews, one of the Weasel books, or anything you like!) tell me your favorite ghost story. It can be a personal experience, or a scary novel or story you’ve read! Let me know what’s kept you up at night!

 

Check out Raven’s Rest today!

 

Raven's Rest by Stephen Osborne

BLURB:

Michael Cook has left his abusive lover and settled in the small town of Banning, Illinois. Having nowhere else to go, he checks into the Raven’s Rest Inn and soon learns that the haunted reputation of the hotel is well deserved. Michael gets a job at a local café, where he meets Trey Ramsey. Though Michael has misgivings about starting up a new relationship, Trey seems to be the complete opposite of Michael’s controlling ex, so he decides to give Trey a chance.

Life at the Raven’s Rest becomes increasingly frightening when the ghost of Coleman Hollis appears in Michael’s room. Coleman seems to want something from Michael, and the mystery deepens when Michael discovers he’s the spitting image of Coleman’s lover from years ago. Together, Michael and Trey must discover why Coleman’s spirit is drawn to the Raven’s Rest—and to Michael.

BIO:

Stephen Osborne lives in Northern Illinois with Christine, the diva border terrier mix, where he works at a food packaging plant, testing food. So basically he makes brownies for a living. His loves include Doctor Who, Dark Shadows, and Broadway musicals. A mystery fanatic, his favorite authors are Rex Stout, Ellery Queen, and the wonderful Agatha Christie. His goal: to be the Phantom of the Opera. Not play the part…he wants to find an opera house to haunt!