What’s in a Name?

January 21, 2015

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In my novella, What’s in a Name?, the viewpoint character, barista Jimmy Patterson, has noticed that the burly, bearish bartender of Stonewall Saloon wears a different nametag every time Jimmy and his boyfriend come in.  This unleashes curiosity in Jimmy.  What’s the bartender’s name?

Jimmy understand being given a embarrassing name at birth.  After all, his mother named him for the Bible by her hospital bedside: King James.  Fortunately, there was the “James” in there which he immediately turned into “Jimmy.”  And he always had the backup of his initials, K. J.

But Jimmy wonders what it would be like to have no useable parts to a given name.  What if both of the bartender’s names were horrible–especially for someone over six feet tall and burly–and even his initials can’t be used?

In writing the novella, I had to come up with at least seven plausible given names that would be embarrassing for a big, gruff man, names that couldn’t be abbreviated to be acceptable for a bartender.

What are your guesses as to the names I came up with?  What names would you never, ever want as your first name?

What’s in a Name? Excerpt Included

January 21, 2015

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Hi, again!  Author Pat Henshaw here.  So you might be wondering what my novella What’s in a Name? is about.  Maybe an excerpt setting down the basic premise might help, right?  Well, here’s an explanation from point of view character, barista Jimmy Patterson:

* * *

“Okay. How’s this for a deal?” He [the burly bartender who's not telling his first name] put down his knife and fork and leaned into the table, stabbing me with his eyes. “I’ll give you a week to guess my name. Seven chances. Every day you can ask a few questions, then come up with what you think my name is. If you’re right, I’ll buy the best bike for you and teach you how to ride it.”

“And if I’m wrong?”

“You owe me a kiss.” He leaned back in satisfaction.

“A kiss? One measly kiss?”

“Oh, I don’t want the measly ones. I mean a real, God of Love kiss. Something to set my ass back a couple a notches.”

Now I really laughed. Right. Me, giving him a humdinger of a kiss? Right. Who were we kidding? Oh, well. Didn’t matter because I was going to accept his challenge.

* * *

Easy enough.  All Jimmy has to do is guess the bartender’s name.  In the meantime, Jimmy decides he’ll call the bartender “Guy.”  It’s not the perfect name, but it’ll do.

If you were Jimmy, what would you choose to call “Guy”?  Would you rely on the fact that he was a big, bearish man?  Or would you go with a generic name like “Guy”?  And if you were “Guy,” would you be insulted by the name Jimmy chose?

Hello!

January 21, 2015

Wow! Pat Henshaw here.  I’m really excited about being with you today. As a first-time author, I’ve had a blast wading through all the edits, cover design, and other bits and pieces of turning my manuscript into a real book.  Now that the actual publication day is here, I thought I’d share with you some of my peripheral thoughts and inspirations for my novella, What’s in a Name?  Stay tuned for more blogs from me.  In the meantime, join me today at the following blog sites where the book will be featured:

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Rhys Ford’s Dirty Rings: A Cole McGinnis Ringtone Set Voiced by Greg Tremblay

January 9, 2015

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So a funny thing happened on the way to a tweet, Greg Tremblay, the fantastic narrator of my Dirty series, texted me and said… hey, you should giveaway a custom ringtone. Or something to that effect. There was some discussion. A few emails and then well, long story short—there may have been some pixilated shots of whiskey and banter but a plan was formed. A plan so cunning I could have stuck a tail on it and called it a weasel.

Mostly, it involved Greg. And your phone. But it was still a plan!

After a furious, intense process of queries, eliminations, debating on who said what, we came up with a set of phrases from Cole, Bobby, Jae, Claudia, Scarlet and one from Maddy then Greg went to work. And returned to me with a brilliant sound bites forged by a narrative master—in the style of the characters’ voices.

So dear reader, as a thank you for everything you’ve done for Greg and me, I’d like to present the entire set of ringtones—twenty one in total—FREE, as a gift to you.

Available in Android (MP3) and iPhone (formats for Android and Apple phones, Greg has also graciously included the WAV files if that’s your thing. Download links to the zipped files are provided below.*

A great humongous thank you to all of the blogs who helped me with this guerilla gifting. This swirled up on Tuesday and Greg just MADE it happen. He is the voice of the series and I am forever grateful for his talent.

If you’ve not tried out Greg Tremblay’s narrations, please do so. He makes audiobooks fun and damn, he brings Cole and the others to life.

Greg Tremblay’s body of work can be found here—and yes, the Dirty series is there but so are many other lovely audio books. I highly recommend one of Greg’s audiobooks, a comfy chair, a pair of headphones and a nice hot cup of coffee… or tea… with or without whisky.

* These are copyrighted and available free for individual use. The files included in the zip cannot be sold by third parties nor can they be altered in anyway as to destroy the integrity of the original work. Animals were test subjects for these sound files and while the cat could not have given less of a shit, the dog seemed mighty interested. Please note, neither own nor use a phone or a computer so results may vary.

Love you all, and really, Thank You.

Rhys Ford

Dirty Rings Android MP3

Dirty Rings Apple M4a

Dirty Rings Apple M4r

Dirty Rings Wav

MOMENT OF IMPACT release day party – post 4

January 7, 2015

It’s Karen Stivali, one last time for the day! I’d like to thank everyone who has stopped by and commented and helped me celebrate the release of my New Adult novel MOMENT OF IMPACT.

If  you’ve missed any of the earlier posts, please scroll back to find an excerpt, some teasers and some info about me. Also please leave a comment  (on any of the posts) to be entered in a drawing to win a Warwick Rowers 2015 Calendar! (I’ll announce the winner in the comment section on this post on January 8 at noon EST). 

I’d like to leave you all with one final teaser for MOMENT IF IMPACT. Earlier I talked about how first kisses are my favorite thing to write. This clip kinda shows that I like to write second kisses almost as much. Okay…maybe just as much. *cheers*

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MOMENT OF IMPACT release day party – post 3

January 7, 2015

Hello, Karen Stivali still here for the day, celebrating the release of MOMENT OF IMPACT the first book in my New Adult series Moments In Time.

I mentioned how much I adore the handsome model who graces the cover of MOMENT OF IMPACT. Here are some more beautiful shots of him with some teasers from the book. If you haven’t checked out the two earlier posts today, please do—and leave comments on any of them to be entered into the contest for a chance to win a Warwick Rowers 2015 Calendar!

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I just love the way his eyes sparkle. He’s the perfect Collin.

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MOMENT OF IMPACT release day party – post 2

January 7, 2015

Hello all! It’s Karen Stivali, here to tell you some more about my brand new release MOMENT OF IMPACT, the first book in my New Adult series Moments In Time.  If you missed the first post of the release party, please scroll back or click the title so you can see more info about the book.

In keeping with the theme of firsts I’m going to talk about my own favorite first—first kisses. Not only are first kisses among my favorite personal memories, they’re my very favorite scenes to write in every single book. I love the build up, the sexual tension, the OMG-is-this-really-happening feeling. *sigh*

There are a lot of “firsts” in MOMENT OF IMPACT but I’m going to give you all a peek at the ever important First Kiss…

EXCERPT:

Don’t blow this. Not now. Not when he’s right here. So close. So… Forcing myself to move, I reached out and clutched at his shoulder. His skin was smooth, warm. I pressed my fingers into his flesh with enough force, he flinched. His gaze darted to mine, wary.

Swallowing hard, I willed myself to maintain eye contact. “I didn’t think I wanted that, until I met you.”

Tanner’s gaze raced back and forth between my hand, which was still gripping his shoulder, and my eyes, which felt like they were about to bulge out of my skull. I couldn’t blink. Couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think. Do something. Say something.

Then his mouth crashed into mine.

I like kissing. I always have. Even though I wasn’t super into any of the girls I’d been with, kissing was the one thing I still enjoyed. Warm mouths, wet tongues, moving together. It felt good. I seriously thought I’d done some decent kissing in my life.

I was wrong. Tanner’s mouth on mine for one fucking second proved to me that what I’d done before might have looked like kissing, might have felt like kissing, but was like the frozen french  bread pizza version of kissing. Nothing like the real thing.

Nothing like this.

His tongue swept into my mouth, hot and velvety. His hand gripped the back of my neck, tugging me upright. Everything fell away. Disappeared. The whole world was this one kiss. I could have drowned in it and died happy.

Tanner pulled away, breathing hard, his forehead pressed to mine. The room spun like a carnival ride.

“You okay?”

His voice sounded lower than usual. Deep and gravelly. I gave a shaky nod, and he tipped his head back, looking at me.

“You sure?”

“Yeah.” My heart beat double time as I realized he still had his hands on me. And he was still naked. And I was probably harder than I’d ever been in my entire life. Jesus.

“We can stop.”

“No.” That wasn’t what I wanted. Not at all. “I just… I mean… we’re roommates. What if this doesn’t work out?”

Tanner’s lips pulled into a grin so sexy my brain turned to oatmeal. He rubbed the back of my neck. “So, one kiss and you’re already thinking about what happens if we break up?”

I shook my head. “I don’t know.”

“Let’s see how we feel after another kiss.”

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Take a moment to leave me a comment and tell me: Where did your all-time best first kiss take place? 

Each comment will give you one entry in a giveaway for a Warwick Rowers 2015 calendar (more details in previous post).

Stay tuned for more posts…in the meantime come follow or chat with me on Twitter or Facebook!

Release Day Party for MOMENT OF IMPACT

January 7, 2015

 

 

Hello Dreamspinner readers! My name is Karen Stivali. Welcome to the release day party for MOMENT OF IMPACT, the first book in my New Adult series Moments In Time!  Let me take a moment to introduce myself, then we’ll get down to the good stuff (book talk, sexy guys and a giveaway!).

With all the unfortunate news lately about people stealing identities and using fake photos I want part of my introduction to be a photo. It’s really me. This was taken in the foyer of my home in NH a few months ago. It may not be the most professional looking photo, but the main reason I post photos of myself is so people can recognize me when I attend conferences because meeting readers and other authors is one of my favorite parts of being a writer!

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MOMENT OF IMPACT represents a lot of firsts for me. Although I’ve been a published contemporary romance author for the past four years this is my first m/m novel and I couldn’t be happier about having this debut with Dreamspinner Press. While my other novels have all had m/f pairings for the romantic leads in the stories, I often had secondary characters who were GLBT characters—and I don’t mean just the stereotypical gay BFF for comic relief—I mean complex characters with lives and relationships of their own who were essential to the storyline. I was actually attempting to work on a different novel when Collin and Tanner, the main characters in MOMENT OF IMPACT started talking in my head non-stop and I knew they needed  a story of their own. I love all the characters I’ve created, but I have to say these two hold a special place in my heart. Not only did I have a ridiculous amount of fun writing about them, but Collin is the first character who’s ever inspired me to write in first person. My characters always chatter away in my head but something about his voice told me he needed to be the one to tell his story in his own words.

Now for a much more important photo, here’s my beautiful cover for MOMENT OF IMPACT. When I stumbled across the photo of this model (and by stumbled across I mean after hours on end of searching stock photo sites) I found this image and immediately knew that model was Collin—-everything about it, the lovely blond hair, the insanely blue eyes, the expression that mixes innocence and heat—it was him. I’m extremely grateful to the wonderful and crazy-talented art department at Dreamspinner for using this photo and crafting it into such breathtakingly beautiful cover—it’s perfect!

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Here’s the blurb…

Outside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who’d disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner’s not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.

Since this book represents firsts for me (first book with Dreamspinner, first m/m romance, first person point of view, first book in a new series) and it’s the first month of the new year, I’d like to offer a calendar as a giveaway. Not just any calendar—my favorite calendar—the Warwick Rowers 2015 calendar. If you’re not familiar with the Warwick Rowers, they’re a lovely group of gorgeous British rowers who raise awareness to fight homophobia in sports through their organization Sport Allies. And their beatiful (and award winning) charity calendars make it difficult not to support their cause!

My giveaway will run for the entire day (I’ll choose one winner at random at midnight and contact them the next day). To enter the giveaway leave a comment on this post (or any of the other posts I make on this site during today’s release party) and tell me what your favorite kind of “first” is—first date? First kiss? First day of school? First bite of a pizza you’ve been drooling over the smell of on the entire drive home from the pizza place? (Now I want pizza.)

Also for an extra entry in the giveaway pop over to Facebook, like my author page, and leave me a note saying you saw me here!

You can purchase MOMENT OF IMPACT at Dreamspinner, Amazon, All Romance E-books and other retailers or add it to your TBR list at Goodreads.

And if you’d like to know more about me or my other novels feel free to visit my blog or follow me on Twitter.

Check back for other blog posts here throughout the day—I’ll be posting teasers, an excerpt and a few more pictures. And don’t forget to leave me a comment for a chance to win the calendar!

Get to Know K.C. Wells

January 6, 2015

Do any of your characters haunt you and if so, why?

I really don’t think any of my characters haunt me. Sean’s predicament in Learning to Love: Final Exam, now, that’s another matter. I cried writing those scenes. Even now when I read the scene before he goes in for surgery, I tear up.  What comes across is how scared he is – and how much he loves his husband Michael.

Please give us the inside scoop on your upcoming release, A Bond of Three.

This was one of my first ideas for a book, back in 2012, only it wouldn’t leave me alone. Having said that, the novel changed direction when I got to the chapter introducing Prince Sorran. He was….different. And when I got my head around that, I suddenly had a very different plan for the story.

I met with author Chris Quinton in the summer of 2012, when she came to visit the Isle of Wight where I live. I outlined the story for her. She listened intently, and when I’d finished, she looked me in the eye and said, “you have to write that book.” Whoa.

I admit to being a little nervous. So far I’ve written either contemporary or BDSM. This was A, an MMM story, B, a fantasy and C with an added dash of paranormal for good measure – yeah, nothing liked anything I’d written to date. When I first started sending chapters to my betas, I was getting the same response….

“I don’t like fantasy.”

“I don’t like ménage.”

“Hell, woman, give me MORE!!!!”

I sent an advance copy to a friend who doesn’t normally ‘do’ ménage – three guesses what her response was? LOL

So yes, I am awaiting the response from my readers with mixed feelings.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

HA! My close friends would say, “But she’s always writing!!!!” Er, I read, I love watching movies, I knit, I used to paint, but writing is far more satisfying. But there’s always my notebook not far away – I’ve learnt by now to keep it close. Ideas come ALL the time! But yes, it’s true that if I were writing more, I’d be a happy bunny.

What’s one of your guilty pleasure?

OOOH….Snuggling up with a good book, usually one that I know really well – the Deviations series by Chris Owen, ANY of the Jarhead series by Sean Michael,  the Jock Dorm series by Bobby Michaels, (One of the first MM series I ever read and I still love them)

Then there’s my other guilty pleasure… and nope, you’re hearing NOTHING about that one! ;-)

_____________________________

Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. Wells always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way.

K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, where the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….

K.C. now writes full time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

K.C. can be reached via e-mail, on Facebook, or through comments at the K.C. Wells website. K.C. loves to hear from readers.

Sweet Fire Release Party – Sarah and Shannen Brady Part 6

January 3, 2015

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Sarah here, ONE MORE TIME!

Check out Riverfront Park in the daylight.  Nice, huh?  This is where Aaron and Ramón like to go running. Hot, sweaty, beautiful men, pretty flowers. Perfect.

OK, that was totally random, though I really love that run-through-the-park scene.

If you’ve enjoyed your jaunt through Spokane with the boys and would like to see more, feel free to check out the other stops on our blog tour. Here they are:

January 2 (I know, that was yesterday but you can still check it out.) Interview with J. Scott Coatsworth at www.queerscifi.com

January 4 Visit with Tracy St. John, Queen of Kalqorians at Wicked Words, www.tracystjohn.blogspot.com (Sexiest aliens ever! I own every book.)

January 5 Guest blog with Tara Lain, creator of the Harker Pack series, among other amazing books http://taralain.com.

January 6 Guest blog with Dreamspinner author Anne Barwell at Drops of Ink http://anne-barwell.livejournal.com.

January 7 Guest spot with Tempeste O’Riley, (wait a minute while I go all fangirl over her Designs of Desire series. Sweet and kinky-hot at the same time. Awesome. OK, we can go on now.) http://tempesteoriley.com/blog/

January 12 Guest spot with Elizabeth Noble on Emotion in Motion http://www.elizabeth-noble.com

If you want to know more about our weird and wonderful publishing journey or our books, both out and in progress, feel free to check out our own web site www.sbradybooks.com, like us on Facebook at SBradyBooks or follow us on Twitter @sbradybooks.

It’s been a long day of Book Release Excitement but it’s time to wrap it up. The prize winner will be contacted tomorrow. Thanks so much to Dreamspinner Press for letting us have the blog today. Thanks to Tricia, our senior editor, and all the other editors who helped knock Sweet Fire into shape to publish, and to Paul and Haley and Rose and Naomi and all the rest of the Dreamspinner team. We couldn’t have done this without your help. Andrew Grey, because we love your books, we forgive you for making off with our original title. If we had to lose it, it’s an honor to lose it to you. (The working title of this book was Fire and Water and now we know why DSP made us change it.)

I hope everyone enjoyed this peek into Sweet Fire. We’ll leave you with my favorite scene out of everything I’ve ever written, where Ramón takes Aaron to his favorite bear bar and we find out Ramón’s not so uptight after all.  Good night everybody and thanks for stopping by.

 

Excerpt:

Ramón set a pair of tall green glasses on the table and slid onto the stool at right angles to his own chair, facing the dance floor.

“So you come here now and then, do you?”

Ramón’s cheek twitched. “Maybe a little more often than that.” He scanned the room and nodded at yet another person waving at him. “Most of the gay contingent of the county’s cops, firefighters, and EMTs come here. The band has a regular gig here too. They’re pretty good.”

“I bet they are, but the next time you say you’ve been somewhere a few times, I’ll have to assume you’re full of shit.”

Ramón grinned at him and raised his glass in a toast just as the sound system roared to life. The bass player plucked out an opening riff that had Ramón jerking his head around to stare at him, then dropping his face into his hand. Concerned, Aaron put a hand to his shoulder. What the hell? He didn’t understand what was going on until the bass player stopped and the lead singer stepped up to the mike.

“Looks like we have some old friends in the crowd tonight!” The man’s voice was deep and smoke-raspy, and he was looking right at their table. Ramón looked up and shook his head, clearly telling the man no way.

Del Rio!” The massive drummer had a massive voice, and the chant was quickly picked up, first by the band and Ramón’s loud friends at the bar, then by the rest of the patrons.

Rio! Rio! Rio!” Ramón pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes for a minute while Aaron stared incredulously. It was obvious as soon as they walked in that Ramón was well known here, but he certainly never expected anything like this.

It quickly became clear that the noise wasn’t going to stop until the man did whatever the hell it was they wanted. Ramón slid off his chair and touched Aaron’s cheek with an apologetic smile, then turned and walked quickly to the stage, while the chant turned into a roar of whistles and cheers. Merciful gods! Aaron watched in stunned amazement as Ramón, solid, serious Ramón set one hand on the edge of the stage and vaulted onto it. He stood with his back to the room for a long moment, plucking in what Aaron assumed was a nervous tic at the buttons at the cuffs and the front of his shirt.

Shocked as he was to see his quiet lover leap onto the stage, he was still unprepared for what came next. The oldies bass riff came again, and Ramón turned quickly around, ripping off his shirt at the same time. The dark cotton shirt drifted to the stage floor, leaving Ramón in a thin wifebeater tank that gleamed whitely against his beautiful copper-brown skin. Aaron tried to swallow with his suddenly dry throat and gulped at his sticky drink.

Somehow the smooth baritone voice was the least shocking part of this whole incredible experience. As a soulful rendition of “Stand By Me” rolled over him, Ramón held his eyes, and the rest of the room faded completely away.

The first verse and the chorus came to him from the stage, and then, miraculously, unbelievably, it got even better. On the second verse, as the rest of the band started a smooth vocal backup, Ramón took the small headset that the lead handed him and started down the stage stairs. His eyes never left Aaron’s as he prowled down the steps and skirted the dance floor toward their small table.

The second chorus came, intense and soulful, and Ramón’s hand slid down Aaron’s throat and chest, taking all the air out of his lungs in the process. He struggled to breathe as the instrumental break gave Ramón an opportunity to lean in and run his mouth butterfly light along Aaron’s jaw and over the sensitive spot under his ear. The tiny headset mike his lover wore picked up a faint echo of two pounding heartbeats that blended seamlessly with the heavy bass line. By the time he pulled away, it was all Aaron could do to let him go, watching with his heart in his throat, tears in his eyes, and all the blood in his body in his jeans. The final chorus brought Ramón back up to the stage, moving back up the stairs with that panther-like grace that kept the eye of every man in the room riveted to his magnificent body.

The song ended, and the crowd went wild. Aaron hardly heard any of it as he sat frozen in his chair, gripping his hideous green glass with one hand and pressing the other to his chest, trying to get his rioting pulse under control. An erratic flame danced wildly in the glass candleholder. Suddenly Ramón was there, sweeping him out of his seat and into his arms to a fresh surge of whistles and cheers from the crowd. The band started a new song, without Ramón this time, and the two of them moved effortlessly together on the dance floor. As the space filled up with grinding, gyrating men, Ramón’s mouth came down over his, and Aaron knew, without a doubt, that the happily-ever-after he’d been waiting for all his life was right here in his arms.