March 15, 2017
Hi there. I’m Cy Blanca, and I have no idea what I’m doing. But before we get into that, I must extend a huge thank-you to the Dreamspinner Press family. Thank you for taking a chance on me. When I say I have no idea what I’m doing, that’s 64089% the truth. I’ve spent all my adult writing life (that is post high school) writing editorials and reviews for other people. Fiction is new territory for me, and for DSP to give me a chance really means so much. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you!
Now with all the gushy stuff out of the way….
Seeing as this is a house that publishes stories of m/m love, I wanted to write about something we can all relate to on at least living vicariously through these characters: romance. I’m not going to wax philosophical (though this early in the morning I’m sure I could come up with some things to say that are both overblown and somewhat space-age-y, but let’s not). What I really want to focus on is the ways in which romance manifest themselves in this story, what it means to my two characters—because romance is probably the main reason why their relationship has worked for so long.
Curtis Ramírez is a poet. Period. His love of words is more than just an appreciation for language. It suffuses everything he does, everything he says. Words have become stitched into his DNA. Just breathing, walking, tasting is poetry. There’s no greater expression of that poetry than when he’s around his lover, Antony James. Antony has a less abstract approach to life, but romance is no less part of his character. He’s brash and unshy, but there’s a softness to him that speaks to Curt, an intangible silkiness that forces Curt to act.
When I was writing these two characters, I put so much of who I am into their creation. I’m more Curt than Antony, what with his love affair with language and his affinity for all things pretty and decadent. However, Antony and I both share a love of really good food and soft kisses, and we both need to feel reassured that they’re safe with the people around them from time to time. Both men are fiercely protective of each other and the people they care about. With that in mind, I had to set about creating a romance that was believable but maybe just a little bit fantastic in scope.
I draw much of my inspiration from music. In fact, most everything I write has a melody in it, something that physically moved me and gave me the emotional weight I needed for each scene. Considering just how in love the two of them are with each other, the music I listened to had to evoke this sense of abundant romance. There was a lot of D’Angelo, Van Hunt, and as I referenced in the story itself, Najubes. All of these artists in their own way know how to bring out the sensuality in the very air they breathe. Scenes that were playful and flirtatious had hints of Amel Larrieux and Van Hunt, while the rawer, more sexual situations were Maxwell, Nujabes, and Anderson .Paak. I wonder what everyone else listens to to create that candlelight and champagne mood between their boys—or with their own significant others. One can never have too much baby-makin’ music.
As much as I wanted the physical feel of my story to come from music, the more tender moments I drew on my experience in college. I got my degree in English writing with a focus on poetry. I can’t even hide it. Curt is most definitely a product of my experiences, while Antony is sort of an augmentation of my personality—maybe bordering on id territory….
When it came to fleshing out a story between them, it all started with a scene. I knew my guys were going to be completely involved with each other. With that—especially in a school setting—comes certain… complications. They want and need to be around each other, especially Curt—he is a poet after all. That idea, the image of needing a moment to reconnect physically, was the first image in my head when I decided to write about my birthplace, Topeka, KS. From there the story of these two men came to me.
Two gorgeous black men in love and incapable of hiding it. Oh, the places they went in my head before I settled where they finally went (not too far, in the end. They are teachers at a primary school after all). That makes me wonder, where are some of the most interesting places people have become… needy? You know, that tense feeling where you just need to touch something? Mine is fairly innocuous, I’m afraid—a friend’s bedroom while there was a party going on in the living room…
But, hey, we can’t all be as adventurous as Curt and Antony, right?
Thank you all for letting me blather on. Thank you again to the amazing DSP family. You all have just made my first experience with a published piece of work so memorable and really fun!
If you’d like to get in touch with me, see exactly how nuts I am:
K-music Twitter: @mindlesscy (if you want to spazz about Korean music with me)
Check out A Teacher and a Poet today!
Shawnee County, Kansas, might not be the most accepting place for a gay couple, but boyfriends Antony James and Curtis Ramírez have made it their home. Both of them work at Pauline Central Primary School, and while Antony is content teaching, Curt would rather pursue his passion: poetry. He plans to resign, but he doesn’t get the chance.
Working together has its risks, and when a student witnesses Antony and Curt sneaking a kiss in the workroom, they’re reprimanded. The school board’s punishment is mild, but some members of the community aren’t willing to let the indiscretion go. That small mistake could cost Antony and Curt their home—or it could remind them that home is in the heart, and as long as they stay strong in their love, they’ll always have a place to belong.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Cy Blanca has enjoyed words since she was in elementary school. They hold magic powers for her, and she loves playing with them to see just what they can do. She got her degree in English poetry, but she’s been doing mostly editorial work for online magazines YAM Magazine, Rock ’N Seoul, and SeoulBeats (yeah… she loves Korean music and gets to interview folks and write about it). She’s exceptionally blessed to actually be able to do exactly what she went to school for, and fiction is a new avenue she’s trying to explore. Hopefully she can make some magic happen with the words she’s been in love with since she was in elementary school.
She’d love to hear from people who want to know a bit more about her, or just want to become homies.
February 9, 2017
This is Foster Bridget Cassidy and I’m eager to share my debut novella with you.
Pipelines in Paradise follows Palmer Simpson, a thirty-three-year-old high school teacher, who packs up and moves to Oahu. There, he throws himself into the surf culture, trying to reconnect with his younger self. Along the way he meets friends and foes, and even a lover, skilled surfer Riku Usami. His new circle of support helps him adjust to life on the island.
As an Arizona native, the setting of Hawaii presented a challenge to me. I’ve been to the ocean a handful of times, but never experienced the kind of culture you get living next to the water. Naturally, in Hawaii, these norms take center stage. They’re integral to everyday life. This meant I had my hands full with research.
I watched movies–everything from travelogues, like Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, to documentaries, like Highwater (2009). I listened to surfing podcasts and traditional Polynesian music to steep myself in as much of the local flavor as possible. I read up on surfboards, the different sizes, shapes, fins, etc. needed for different beaches.
The most interesting aspect of this was the food. Regional cuisine reveals much about people and their way of life. I feel it’s important to get these details correct. It adds to the credibility of the story and the characters.
Researching food is the most rewarding experience a writer can have. However, there is a snag when trying to find Hawaiian seafood in Arizona. There’s also the fact that I don’t eat seafood. The other option was to try this fabled delicacy of Spam.
One of my close friends grew up on the island of Guam, and when I asked her about Spam, she was eager to share with me. It’s a staple in her family’s dinner routine. Comfort food. For me, she made Spam and rice. Of course the stigma of canned meat was foremost in my mind, but I pushed on. For science.
And it actually surprised me how delicious it was! The grilled Spam was perfectly salty, and mixed with short grain Calrose rice, the duo was exceptional! Or maybe it’s that my friend is just an amazing cook.
There’s a ton more recipes I’d love to try. A whole new culture I can explore. I’ve taken my first steps, and I know they won’t be my last.
So what’s the most bizarre thing you’ve eaten? Add your comment about the most interesting/adventurous thing you’ve tried, and you may win a copy of Pipelines in Paradise to can see that Spam in action! A winner will be selected on February 12th.
Or, if you don’t feel like waiting, Pipelines in Paradise is available for purchase now. Dive right in and soak up some of that Hawaiian sunshine.
Check out Pipelines in Paradise today!
One is trying to heal a broken heart, the other, a broken family.
After separating from his partner of nine years, Palmer Simpson flees to the island of Oahu to pursue a carefree life of surfing. There, he meets Riku Usami, a more skilled surfer—but one with a bad attitude and a boatload of family drama. A contest between the two men leads to friendship and the possibility of something more meaningful. When a tsunami threatens the island, a friend is stranded out on the waters of the deadly Banzai Pipeline. Palmer and Riku must face the dangers of the barrel waves and the looming forces of nature in order to get their friend to safety. If they survive, they’ll have to contemplate what their future together will look like after the storm blows through.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
About the Author:
Foster Bridget Cassidy has wanted to be a writer since becoming addicted to epic fantasy during high school. Since then, she’s studied the craft academically and as a hobby. A million ideas float in her head, but it seems like there’s never enough time to get them all down on paper. Her favorite things include taking pictures of her dachshunds, sewing, staying in pajamas all day, and laughing with her husband.
January 20, 2017
Hello dutiful Dreamspinner blog readers! I’m Hunter Frost and on January 18th, Cemeteries by Moonlight, my first novella with Dreamspinner Press was released out into the world. This book is part of the States of Love series and I was thrilled to be able to claim Louisiana as my state of choice. The story is set in New Orleans and revolves around a cast of quirky characters, anchored by the budding romance between a crime fiction writer and a cemetery tour guide. It’s noir-ish mystery at heart, with a dash of supernatural, steamy romance, and loads of New Orleans cuisine!
I’ve visited New Orleans at least five times in the past fifteen years and no one has to ask me twice if I’m up for another trip to the Big Easy. I’m ready now. Let’s go!
Besides the delicious varieties of food, the eccentric yet amazing people, and the nightlife filled with music and laughter, just the “feel” of the place is inspiring. It’s a difficult thing to describe, but something about being in such a history rich city, built on conflict as well as a melding of cultures, calls out to me. Maybe it’s because I consider myself part of the gothic subculture – though I don’t think dressing in black, wearing pale make-up, or dyeing your hair black is necessary to be goth (though I’m sure it doesn’t hurt ☺). I believe goth is a state of mind – the habit of attuning yourself to the romantic nature of humanity, celebrating the macabre of life and death, and loving all aspects of history and literature. But I’m getting too deep here, even for myself. I’m only trying to analyze why I, and many others, feel an instant connection to the Crescent City.
New Orleans and its often violent history make it easy to see why the place draws those hoping to catch a glimpse of the paranormal. Death and suffering is said to bring out the spirits! On one of my visits, a friend and I took a ghost tour, led by a wonderful woman with long graying hair and mischievous eyes, who took us all around the French Quarter. We stopped at numerous landmarks where horrible things had taken place listening to her recount the grisly details and describe the paranormal activity said to go on there. From vampire dens to psychotic lunatics torturing slaves, the stories were bone-chilling. Even though we got a bit of rain during the tour, it only added to the spooky ambience, and to this day my friend still claims a glowing dot we caught in one of our shadowy photos of the Jesus statue behind the St. Louis Cathedral is a ghostly orb and not a water spot. I guess we’ll never know.
That tour inspired the Ghostly Legends & Lore, Inc., tour company in my book. My characters give a variety of tours throughout New Orleans: Cemetery, Ghost, Voodoo, Vampire, and Garden District tours. Finn runs the Cemetery tour though he is well acquainted with the ghost stories of the region, and you get to hear some of those morbid tales if you read the book. It was a blast being able to translate those tour memories into my novel and I hope you get that same creepy feeling when reading it.
I know some ghost tours can be campy, silly, or overly dramatic, but I think it all depends on the guide. Have you ever been on a ghost tour? In what city? How did you like it? I’d love to hear about your experiences.
Check out Cemeteries by Moonlight today!
When a serious bout of writer’s block threatens to delay mystery author Drew Daniels’s newest book, his aunt offers her New Orleans apartment in the heart of the French Quarter as a writing retreat. She neglects to mention that it’s occupied by the enigmatic and sexy Finn Murphy, a cemetery tour guide with a penchant for Victorian attire and a Cajun accent.
A body discovered in an open crypt forces reclusive Drew to deal with Finn’s eccentric group of friends and his underlying attraction to the hot Cajun—despite warnings about Finn’s violent past. Drew might write this stuff, but he’s never had to solve a real-life murder. With a deadline looming and a killer on the loose, this retreat is proving to be anything but helpful for Drew’s novel. Drew can only hope he won’t end up a tragic tale for the Ghostly Legends & Lore, Inc. haunted tour.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
Hunter’s early addiction to the smell of printed books led her to spend most of her childhood in libraries and bookstores. There she fell in love with stories featuring medieval castles, ghosts, and handsome heroes. Though writing has always been a part of her life, after college she went on to explore careers in graphic design, the culinary arts, and dog grooming before returning to graduate school to get her MA in British history. To pay the bills she spends her days working for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, but to appease her overactive muse, she writes the kind of fiction that keeps her sane. She adores romance in all forms, but prefers her stories with two heroes that find their happily-ever-after with each other.
Hunter would rather watch Spaceballs (or any Mel Brooks movies really), despite being born in the same year as Star Wars. She loves Monty Python, MST3K, and cheesy rom-coms from the ’80s and ’90s. Her wacky sense of humor is only paralleled by her hopeless romanticism. She’s a goth at heart and a sucker for men with long hair. She adores everything British, but insists tea be drunk without milk. She’s a pescetarian with vegan tendencies and has two fat little cats named after her favorite beverage – Latte and Java. She dreams of coastal living, marshmallows, and Matt Bomer.
Feel free to connect with her through any of her social media accounts, or send her an email. She welcomes messages from readers and/or Brits looking to adopt.
January 19, 2017
I’m Bonnie Dee, author and sometimes co-author of numerous gay historical novels which you may see on my web site. The Mighty Have Fallen is my first foray into contemporary since my earliest attempt at writing gay romance titled Undeniable Magnetism. I decided it was time for a change of pace in order to keep my historical stories from becoming too familiar. Everybody needs a little shake up once in a while.
Imagine you were to lose not only one of your primary senses but your mode of earning a living, your savings, and your lover all at the same time. That is the fate suffered by Trevor Rowland, the protagonist of The Mighty Have Fallen. Acclaimed star of the London stage, Trevor is struck by a serious illness which leaves him inoperably blind. His boyfriend/ financial manager deserts him after bleeding him dry. Trevor is felled in every way possible and can hardly summon the will to drag himself out of despair and back into life.
Enter Jack Burrows, a hard working East Ender with whom Trevor shares lodgings after leaving a rehab facility. At first, Trevor is too self-pitying and angry to appreciate his friendly flat mate, but soon they forge an unexpected bond beyond anything Trevor expected to ever feel. Through Jack, Trevor finds a way to continue to use his acting talents in a manner he never would have dreamed of, performing a drag act in a nightclub.
I have been writing UK based books for quite some time although I live smack in the middle of the U.S. I jumped at the chance to be included in Dreamspinner’s new Perchance to Dream line, staffed by British editors. I learned from my editor, Sue Adams, not only figures of speech but habits of English folk that I never would have known. She helped me make Jack’s Cockney accent thick and authentic, which I hope readers will enjoy.
As anyone who has read many of my books knows, I really have a thing for cross class romance. While Jack and Trevor may not be separated by the enormous chasm dividing the protagonists in my current work in progress—a gay take on Pygmalion (aka My Fair Lady), their differing backgrounds still bring an interesting element to their love story.
As for featuring a blind protagonist, this isn’t my first venture into writing a disabled hero. I have a het contemporary featuring a blind hero and a het historical with a deaf hero. I’m interested in how the loss of one sense heightens the others. Which brings me to a question for this blog’s readers, if you had to do without one of your senses, which would you sacrifice? Please drop a comment here with your answer for a chance to win any one of my backlist titles. Two winners will be chosen from among the commenters.
You can learn more about me, Bonnie Dee, and my backlist of many romance books at http://bonniedee.com. Find me on FB at Bonnie Dee Author or Bonnie Dee. My Twitter handle is @Bonnie_Dee. I’m not the most active social media person but I turn up occasionally. Most importantly, please take a moment to sign up for my newsletter to learn of upcoming releases. Newsletter signup form
Thanks for stopping by the blog today. Hope you’ll leave a comment and then pick up your copy of The Mighty Have Fallen.
Check out The Mighty Have Fallen today!
Theatre headliner Trevor Rowland is at the peak of his career when disaster strikes. In one fell swoop, he loses his eyesight, his fame, and his boyfriend, who absconds with most of his money. Trevor must take on a flatmate, hardworking East Ender Jack Burrows, to afford the rent. Anger and bitterness have taken up residence in his heart—but Jack shines light into the shadowy corners with his relentlessly sunny disposition.
Jack introduces Trevor to a local drag club and convinces him he can enjoy the stage again. Trevor’s defences slowly come down as Jack becomes much more than a barely tolerated roommate.
But will Trevor’s fragile trust be destroyed when it appears he’s been manipulated yet again by a man he’s come to care for? Will he reclaim his life or crawl back into a shell of defeat? Trevor must learn to trust not only a man, but himself, once more.
About Bonnie Dee:
Bonnie Dee began telling stories as a child, the designated ghost-tale teller at sleepovers. She still has a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch, and a talking cat. Writing childish stories evolved into inventing fan fiction romances and later into writing for publication. Bonnie enjoys reading stories about people damaged by life who find healing with a like-minded soul. When she couldn’t find enough books to suit her taste, she began to write them. Along with frequent coauthor Summer Devon, she has written numerous historical novels, a couple of which have won Rainbow Awards for best gay historical.
Since giving up a day job, she has oodles of time to explore any plot idea that crosses her mind. Contemporary or historical, paranormal or mystery, the genre doesn’t matter so long as there is an abiding romance at its heart.
Street Team: www.facebook.com/groups/BonnieDeeAuthor
Newsletter signup: tinyurl.com/hsdnfzj
December 16, 2016
Charley Descoteaux here, thanks for visiting me on my Holiday Weekend tour! I’m thrilled to be visiting the Dreamspinner blog to talk about the playlist for my holiday story, Book Five in the Buchanan House series.
Holiday Weekend is a Christmas story but it begins a couple of weeks before Halloween. In fact, Ryan and Glenn have their first date on Halloween. Their date starts at Portland’s Pioneer Square where they join a crowd in zombie costumes, gathered to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” before a Zombie Walk through the streets of Portland.
As always, music played a big part in the writing of this book. I love music and it always inspires me. Here is the playlist for Holiday Weekend and an excerpt.
“Thriller”, Michael Jackson: Of course I had to listen to this song to get in the mood for writing the zombie dance scene! It’s a classic.
“Let’s Dance” by David Bowie is the song playing when the guys make it to the all-ages club where they dance on their first date.
“What I Like About You” by The Romantics is playing when Ryan almost makes his move on Glenn. It’s a fun song to dance to—anyone remember the Pogo?
Ryan and Glenn both love to dance and most of their dates include at least a little dancing. For some reason I’ve always pictured them dancing to 80s music—Bowie, Oasis, NXS, Depeche Mode.
Do you have a song from the 80s you like to dance to?
Answer in the comments for a chance at the Rafflecopter prizes!
To find out about the Christmas music in Holiday Weekend, check out yesterday’s post at Aisling Mancy’s blog!
The Buchanan House series is best read in order, so if you need to catch up to enjoy Holiday Weekend, I’ve got you covered. I’ve arranged to have books 1, 3 & 4 priced at .99 during release weekend! Buchanan House, Tiny House, and Safe House are this week’s Weekend Reads! Book #2 is always free at the Dreamspinner store, so that means you can grab the whole series for only $7.96 on release weekend!
Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter!
Subscribe to my newsletter for upcoming releases, exclusive content, and giveaways!
Tour Dates and Stops:
Dec. 15: Aisling Mancy
Dec. 16: Dreamspinner Blog
Dec. 19: All Romance eBooks Featured Author, The Novel Approach
Dec. 20: Hearts on Fire
Dec. 21: Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews
Dec. 23: Joyfully Jay
Dec. 27: MM Good Book Reviews
Dec. 29: Love Bytes
Check out Holiday Weekend today!
Ryan Orchard moved from small-town Idaho to Portland almost two years ago and still feels like a hick. When Paulie Nesbitt dumped him, he wasn’t even surprised. Despite losing twenty-five pounds since then, Ryan’s confidence is nonexistent and his life has stalled. Not only is he convinced the career he wants is beyond his reach, he’s given up on relationships. A new job at a familiar restaurant—and his gorgeous coworker—could be just what Ryan needs to believe in himself again.
Glenn Hernandez might be the only nineteen-year-old in Portland who dreads his days off. Between his horrible housing situation and the ever-present temptation to crawl back into the bottle, Glenn prefers to keep busy. He volunteers at the Elliott Foundation House, a homeless shelter helping LGBTQ sex workers. As an alum of the shelter, Glenn finds it hard to leave his past behind. But when the new server at the trendy restaurant where he works catches Glenn’s eye and works his way into his heart, Glenn finally has a reason to start a new life.
Two days before Halloween, Glenn cornered me in the alley at the end of our shift. I had taken out the trash, and when I turned to go inside, Glenn was leaning in the doorway.
“What are you doing for Halloween?”
Damn, even that sounded naughty. “Nothing.”
“You feel like changing those plans?” Glenn pushed off from the doorjamb and stepped out into the alley. “How do you feel about zombies?”
“What?” I laughed, and finally the tension I’d been holding onto since that night at Kel’s place broke. “Zombies?”
“Yeah. There’s a Zombie Walk, but first they’re going to dance in Pioneer Square.”
Oh, yeah. Glenn dancing is something I’m up for. Literally, it would seem.
“Do you have a costume?” I took a few steps toward the door, and by the look on Glenn’s face, he’d noticed the way my body was reacting to the conversation.
Glenn snickered. “Not really. I figure they won’t care too much if some of the zombies are fresher than others.”
“Good.” Glenn walked right up and into my personal space. He looked up, and his heavy-lidded eyes said maybe he was feeling something too. “I know an all-ages dance party after. If it rains, we can still dance.”
“Yeah. That sounds good.”
Glenn held my gaze for another long moment, and the charge in the air between us had goose bumps rising on my arms. I wanted to touch Glenn (way more than just touch, although that would be a good start), but we were standing in the alley behind the restaurant. It would be even worse to only get a taste and then struggle through the rest of the day, so I stepped back. Just a half step, not enough so it would look like I didn’t want to be near Glenn.
“Then it’s a date.” Glenn winked and went inside.
I watched him go for a few steps and then followed.
Buy Holiday Weekend:
About the Author:
Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.
Rattle Charley’s cages:
Rainbow Snippets Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets/
@QueerBlogWed on Twitter: #QueerBlogWed or https://twitter.com/QueerBlogWed
Series: Buchanan House
Book Number: 5
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 16, 2016
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
December 5, 2016
Master Captain Theodore Gourdin has always loved the ocean. But his devotion to maritime life left little possibility for a long-term relationship. After two failed marriages and numerous unsuccessful relationships, Theo gave up on finding the person who completed him and decided the sea was his soul mate. When offered the opportunity to captain the newly launched megayacht Eternity, Theo jumped at the chance. With Eternity’s maiden voyage looming, Theo focused all his energies on hiring his crew and readying his ship. The last thing he expected was to finally lose his heart in the process.
After twelve years at sea, First Officer Heath Rawlins was restless and in need of a change. A gay seaman’s life could be a lonely one, but to Heath the positives far outweighed the negatives. With excellent recommendations and an impressive résumé, he was quickly offered a position on the private megayacht Eternity. Heath’s heart skipped several beats when he finally met the ship’s captain. He was handsome and charming. And… familiar? Had they met somewhere before? Highly unlikely. But as smitten as Heath was with the gorgeous captain, everything inside him screamed, Abandon ship! Rough seas ahead!
Scotty Cade here again. First off I’d like to thank my wonderful publisher Dreamspinner Press for their never ending support and guidance over the last seven years and for always giving me the opportunity to hijack their blog allowing me to spend a little time with you. Their support along with yours means the world to me so thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
With all that said, today I’m here to chat about my latest novel which released about a week ago. It’s called “Only Forever” and focuses on the unexpected, unexplainable, but deeply strong connection between two men when they meet for the first time. Theo and Heath have been drawn to the sea for as long as they could remember, but neither really knew why. They have both spent their lives feeling like they’ve been looking for something that was always just out of reach. But when they are brought together their connection is to powerful and overwhelming to ignore. Although they fight it all the way, for many reasons, the pull is undeniable.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not pushing any agenda and I’m not sure I’m a complete believer in reincarnation, but I do believe that our time on earth is just a minute of our spiritual journey. I think along the way we meet people, connect with them, befriend them, love them and let them go, until our paths cross again. So that is the premise of the book, accepting and embracing something you can never really prove but know deep inside your heart, without a doubt, it’s your truth.
When I got the brainstorm for this book I sat down and started writing. No research, no outline, just me, Theo and Heath. But halfway through the book, it took on a life of its own, as my books usually do, and ventured off in a direction I had no idea was coming. That’s when I decided I needed to research the stuff Theo and Heath were experiencing. So I stopped writing just long enough to verify a few of my thoughts, but I got so involved in the subject matter I ended up spending countless hours perusing the internet about déjà vu, reincarnation and all sorts of similar topics.
Six hours in, I stumbled upon a site called “Whisper’s from the Soul” by Esther Bartkiw. Trust me when I tell you this site intrigued the hell out of me. Esther is a strong believe in reincarnation. On her sight she talks about what’s going on when you meet someone, have an instant connection and feel like you’ve know that person forever. She believes they are part of your “Soul Group” or “Soul Family.” According to Esther, these are people or groups of spirits or beings who reincarnate with us in various lifetimes and perhaps even in different realms to help us move forward in life, grow in consciousness and learn life lessons.
She goes on to say that she believes that while we are in the heavens waiting for our next incarnation into the physical, we make plans on what we want to experience and accomplish in our lifetime. We look to members of our Soul Group or Soul Family to help us achieve those goals. These members of your Soul Group may have popped up in your past lives as a lover, friend, sister or parent cherishing and caring for you. These spirits may have made an appearance as a nemesis, enemy or someone who deeply wounded you. This does not mean that the spirit does not like you or is bad. On the contrary, this spirit most likely loves you so much that they were willing to come to the planet and be a part of your life that causes you grief and anguish so that you can grow and accomplish what you plan.
Anyway, I could go on and on about this topic, but you get the drift. So when you read this book all I ask is that you keep an open mind and just allow the possibilities to resonate with you. And please don’t call it “instalove.” It may appear as such, but Heath and Theo have known each for many lifetimes. It a mere reconnection of lovers.
Oh. One more thing before I let you get to the excerpt. Let me ask you one question. Have you ever met someone for the first time, had a feeling that maybe you’ve met them before, or even felt like you’ve known them forever? If you’ve had an experience like I’ve mentioned above, tell me about in the form of a comment. If you do, you will be entered into a drawing to win any book from my backlist.
Theo propped his elbows on the table and rested his chin in his hands. He stared at Heath quizzically. “Excuse me for asking, but have we met somewhere before? You seem so very familiar to me.”
“Oddly enough, I thought the same thing when I walked into the dining room and saw you sitting here. But I don’t see how. I think I would have remembered.”
“I guess so,” Theo said. “You probably just remind me of someone.”
“Same here,” Heath agreed.
The two men held each other’s gaze until Heath felt uncomfortable, cleared his throat, and turned away. When he turned back, the captain was still eyeing him closely.
“So tell me,” Heath said. “In your e-mail you mentioned you’d hired a first officer but alluded to the fact that he wasn’t a good fit. Can I ask what happened?”
“Certainly,” Theo said. “As I mentioned in my original email, it’s nothing I can put my finger on exactly. I’ve interviewed about a half dozen potential first officers, and they were all very qualified, but they were young, stiff, and eager to please. I don’t want someone blowing smoke up my ass. I want someone who has my back and will shoot straight with me. And I just didn’t feel he was the one.”
Oh my God! How many gay innuendos can a person make in one sentence? Young and stiff? Eager to please? Blowing smoke up your ass? Having your back? Shooting straight! This is gonna kill me. Look at the bright side, Heath. You might not get the job.
Heath folded his napkin and placed it in front of him. He rested both elbows on the table, linked his fingers, and leaned forward. “Well, sir—I mean, Theo. The way I see it—if you offer me the position, our relationship can go one of two ways. I can do everything you just mentioned and more”—and enjoy the hell out of it—“or I can be 100 percent honest with you and give you my opinion regarding any particular situation when it is solicited. It’s really up to you.”
A smile crept across Theo’s face. “I like you, Heath. You’re straightforward and to the point. I think we’ll get along just fine. By the way, what does the G stand for in your name, G. Heath Rawlins?”
Heat slowly crept up Heath’s face. “Are you sure you won’t laugh?”
“No promises,” Theo said, looking over the edge of his glass before he took a sip of water.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
Theo eyed him warily.
“My first name is Gilligan.”
Theo choked on his water, and Heath thought he might spit a mouthful across the table. The captain wiped the water from his chin with his napkin, smiled, and locked eyes with Heath. “You’re shitting me, right? A sailor named Gilligan?”
“It’s a family name on my mother’s side,” Heath explained. “And while we’re on the subject, if I remember right, your middle initial is G.”
This time Theo squirmed. “It is.”
“And?” Heath asked.
Theo looked from side to side and then leaned in with mischief in his eyes. “Gil-li-ard,” he said softly.
“Your middle name is Gil-li-ard?” Heath asked rather loudly. “How do you spell that?”
Theo laughed and spelled out his middle name. “G-a-i-l-l-a-r-d.”
“When you spell it, it sounds like it should be pronounced Gail-lard. Guy-lard. Or maybe Gay-lard?”
“Welcome to the South, Gilligan,” Theo said. “My family’s originally from Charleston, South Carolina, and it was my mother’s maiden name.”
“Well, at least we have that much in common,” Heath said, now feeling even more comfortable teasing Theo.
“You’re from Charleston?” Theo asked.
“No. But both of our parents apparently blessed us with sucky names.”
Theo frowned. “Really? I happen to like mine.”
Heath’s smile faded. Oh shit. As usual I went too far.
But before Heath could backtrack, Theo burst into laughter. “Oh, who am I kidding? I despise it.”
“Oh thank God,” Heath said. “I thought I’d just ruined my chance at a new job before I even got it.”
“Nope. And for future reference, I don’t take myself that seriously.” Theo looked around for a waiter. “Hey! How about a drink?”
“To that I’ll say, ‘Yes, sir!’”
Once they had their drinks and ordered their dinner, the conversation flowed again.
“So I’ve already told you I’m originally from Charleston,” Theo said. “How about you?”
“Austin, Texas,” Heath replied.
“I’ve been there a couple of times, and I like Austin. A lot. Your family still there?”
“Unfortunately not.” Heath felt the usual tightening of his chest and tugging at his heart each time he had to tell the story about how he’d lost his family, but he pushed through it, as he always did, and explained his situation.
“I’m really sorry,” Theo said. “That couldn’t have been easy for you.”
Heath stared at a ship’s wheel hanging on the wall over Theo’s shoulder and mentally stepped back in time. “It sucked,” he finally said. “In the beginning I had horrible survivor’s guilt, you know? Like I wished the hell I had been home with them. I mean, I kept asking myself why I was spared.”
As the words left Heath’s mouth, they surprised the hell out of him. He hadn’t spoken to anyone, with the exception of a grief counselor at the maritime academy, about how he’d felt after losing his family. Not anyone in over twelve years. But here he was telling Theo all about it.
Theo seemed to hang on his words and appeared to be waiting for more when Heath decided enough was enough. He needed to wrap this up, and quick. “But it got easier, I guess.”
Maybe sensing that Heath was uncomfortable talking about his family, Theo reached over and laid his hand on top of Heath’s—a move that surprised the hell out of him. As soon as their flesh connected, Heath felt the same instant warmth running through his body he’d felt when they’d shaken hands earlier. This time the warmth was accompanied by a fleeting image that flashed through his mind’s eye. But before Heath could lock onto it, it was gone.
Theo’s thoughtful tone and sensitive demeanor told Heath the captain was not only good-looking, he was easy to talk to and seemed genuine and caring. He liked the man more and more with each passing minute.
“I guess we play the hand we’re dealt,” Heath said, trying to stay in the moment.
“You’re right,” Theo agreed, slowly withdrawing his hand.
As soon as Theo’s touch was gone, Heath instantly wanted it back. What was the draw? He sure as hell didn’t know, but he was quickly realizing he was playing with fire. He needed to get a grip on this infatuation or he was going to ruin his chances of getting this job.
“Well,” Heath continued, “if there was anything positive that came from losing my family, it’s the fact that their deaths made me throw myself into my education and career full force. And twelve years later, here I am.”
Theo nodded. “If my calculations are correct, you joined your first ship right after you graduated.”
“Just days,” Heath admitted. “I needed the distraction, or I probably would have lost my mind. Or even worse, killed myself.”
Theo gave him a knowing glance.
“Hey, look,” Heath said. “I’m sorry, man. I have no idea why I went into all this detail. I don’t talk about this stuff.”
“Maybe you needed to,” Theo said. “And I’m glad you felt comfortable enough with me to share a little of your story.”
Theo hesitated and then spoke. “I know this sounds lame, but the more we talk, I just can’t shake the feeling that we’ve met somewhere before.”
Check out Only Forever today!
Scotty Cade left Corporate America and twenty-five years of Marketing and Public Relations behind to buy an Inn & Restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with his partner of over twenty years. He started writing stories as soon as he could read, but just five years ago for publication. When not at the Inn, you can find him on the bow of his boat writing gay romance novels with his Shetland sheepdog Mavis at his side. Being from the south and a lover of commitment and fidelity, all of his characters find their way to long healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there. He believes that in the end, the boy should always get the boy.
Here’s where you can find me:
November 24, 2016
Hello, all! Thank you for joining me here at the Dreamspinner Press blog as we continue to celebrate the release of The Soldati Prince, the first book in the Soldati Hearts series. The Soldati Prince was originally a short story published last year in the fabulous Charmed & Dangerous Anthology from JCP Books. Since then I had planned to return to the Soldati world, expand on the story, and continue the series. The second edition is more than twice as long with even more story, plot, romance, and action! I had so much fun delving back in, and the second book in the series is already with my publisher, and I can’t wait to get started on the third book. This world has been so much fun to write.
Although we start out in the human world, the majority of our story takes place in the Soldati Realm, a kingdom inhabited by different types of magical shifters, but ruled by the Soldati. Just who are the Soldati? They’re a powerful race of tiger shifter warriors who wield great magic. They possess what’s called “the Soldati soul” which manifests itself as a blinding white light when released from within. This white light has the power to vanquish dark magic, and kill demons. The Soldati have been hunting and destroying demons since the beginning. It’s what they have always done, and what they always do: protect the world, and humans from the demons out to harvest souls. It’s not a pretty job, but the Soldati take pride in what they do, and what they do is crucial to continuation of the human race, even if the human race has no idea the Soldati exist. With the help of the Soldati Eye, a mysterious orb that sees all and knows all, the Soldati use portals to enter the human world, going wherever the Eye sends them to stop the vile creatures.
The Soldati prince is more than a prince or intended mate for the Soldati king. It’s a position of power, honor, and privilege, meant to bring the king and his kingdom greatness. Which is why Khalon King is a little miffed when he discovers his prince is a human. Riley may not have been born a Soldati, but he’s about to prove that what’s in his heart is just as great.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Gay Romance, Shifters, Demons
Series: Soldati Hearts
Length: Novella, 97 pages
Published: Nov 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
One moment, Riley Murrough is living a normal life working in a coffee shop, and the next, he’s running for his life from demons, learns he bears the mark of a shape-shifter king from a magical realm, and—worst of all—he’s destined to become the mated prince to the arrogant tiger-shifter he would rather strangle.
Khalon, the shifter king, is equally distraught at the idea of being bound to a human prince, and along with his Soldati warriors, he sets out to return Riley to his own world, where he belongs. On their journey, they might discover why the goddess brought them together—if they can escape the demons and make it to her alive.
First Edition short story published as The Soldati Prince in Charmed & Dangerous by JCP Books LLC, 2015. Second Edition has been re-edited and extended to novella length with new content.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
Check out the Soldati Hearts inspiration board on Pinterest.
November 22, 2016
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!
Check out Andre in Flight today!
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.
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
November 9, 2016
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!
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.
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.
“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:
May 25, 2016
My name is Asta Idonea and this is my first time on the Dreamspinner Press blog, so let me commence with a brief introduction for those who’ve not yet “met” me.
I’m an English-born writer who now lives in Australia. I started writing professionally in 2011 under my mainstream pen name Nicki J. Markus, and in 2014, I branched out into MM, using the alternate pen name Asta Idonea. I work as a freelance editor, and when I’m not busy with that or my own writing, I love going to the theatre and cinema, playing and listening to music, sketching, learning foreign languages, writing to my many pen pals, researching history, mythology, and folklore, and (of course) reading.
Today, I am here to promote Fire Up My Heart, my first standalone release from Dreamspinner Press. This sci-fi novella focuses on a young man named Fane who finds an abandoned service Bot and takes it home. But there’s something unusual about Jo-E, and when Fane finds himself increasingly drawn to the Bot, he must make a difficult decision.
Like many of my story ideas, this one came to me at night. My mind often wanders while I’m waiting to fall asleep, and this story was born from a thought I had during that time. I’d watched some robot-based sci-fi a few days prior, and Fire Up My Heart developed into my personal spin on the theme.
Although I’m not a huge sci-fi reader when it comes to alien worlds and starships, I do enjoy speculative fiction that questions future technology. With new gadgets and gizmos invented every year, I love to consider what else the future will hold and how it will impact our everyday lives. Already technology invades so many things we do, and humanoid robots are certainly on the horizon. When that day comes, I wonder at the ways in which we’ll employ them and the different types of human–robot relationships that might be possible, and that is one of the principal themes in Fire Up My Heart.
Twenty-sixteen is shaping up to be a busy year for me writing-wise with seven new releases already out, two more coming in June, and a number of additional works currently under consideration. Right now, I am working on several projects: three MM short stories for anthology calls closing soon, two MM novellas (one contemporary and one paranormal), a paranormal MF novella, and a Steampunk MF short novel. I often do have a selection of manuscripts in progress at the same time. It suits me to work that way since, if I find I am not in the right mood to continue with one, I can switch to another for the day. Once the first draft is complete, it also means I can set it aside while I work on something else and then return to it with fresh eyes, ready to edit and redraft. So far, I am lucky in that I never run out of story ideas—only time in which to write them. I guess I need a new form of technology to help me draft and edit double-time!
On that note, I’d like to open the floor to comments. If you could have a robot capable of performing any task for you, which task would you choose and why? Let’s try to keep it clean, guys; otherwise, do give your imaginations a workout and be inventive. I will randomly select one commenter to win a copy of my previous Dreamspinner Press release, the contemporary MM short story Northern Lights.
If anyone has any questions for me, please comment below. I’ll be checking this post during the next few days and will do my best to answer them all. Readers and fellow authors are also always welcome to connect with me on social media.
Check out Fire Up My Heart today!
London bartender Fane thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he finds a rare and expensive service Bot discarded in a dumpster, and he takes it home to get it working again. The Jo-E brings some much-needed companionship to Fane’s lonely life, but there’s something different about this Bot, as indicated by its odd behavior. Fane’s developing feelings toward Jo-E trouble him, and things go from bad to worse when a robotics engineer arrives on Fane’s doorstep, demanding the return of his property. Fane is forced to choose between a hefty reward and following his heart. Giving in to his forbidden desires might get him killed—or change his life forever.
Chat with Asta Idonea!
Amazon Author US: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO
Amazon Author UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO