Conjuring the Flesh by Brandon Fox

April 13, 2012

Can Ander and Thane draw the power they need to overthrow the tyranny that threatens their future? Conjuring the Flesh by Brandon Fox, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Pledged to Magic: Book 2

Ander’s days as a musician in a hall of companions are over. Initiation into a secret band of mages strained Ander’s body and dazzled his senses, but mastering the ecstasy required to perform magic was only part of the challenge. Fighting a tyrant’s scheme to seize the vast power concealed in the magical realm had nearly cost his life—and joining forces with Thane, the leader of the mages who use pleasure to gain power, has definitely cost him his heart.

Ander’s talent as a musician and his budding prowess with sex magic are no match for an empire’s legions, and even Thane’s brilliant plans can’t defeat the zamindar and his fearsome weapons. Ander and Thane will have to not only take their powers of ecstasy to new heights, but also confront Thane’s painful past, a past that may contain the key to overthrowing the tyranny that threatens not just them, but all they hold dear.

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Novel

Men of Steel anthology

April 10, 2012

What’s hotter than superheroes? Gay superheroes! Men of Steel, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Shazam! Who better to safeguard a man’s heart than a hero? Mr. Fantastic may be out there on a wing and a prayer, playing a Longshot, but a handsome He-Man has the power, courage, and derring-do to see his quest for true love through to the happy ending. For romance of superhero proportions, check out these Men of Steel.

A Raven’s Ruse by Eon de Beaumont
Administrative Leave by Ryan Loveless
Collision Vector by Liam Grey
Behind the Mask by Jeanette Grey
Meant to Fly by B.G. Thomas
That Which Doesn’t Kill You by Pearl Love
Act One by Kim Fielding
Bulldog and Smash by David Connor
Right Hand Man by Elinor Gray
First Timers by Michael G. Cornelius
Prototype by Claire Russett

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Anthology

Music Inspirations for Coming Home

April 9, 2012

MJ back, talking about my book Coming Home, out today from Dreamspinner Press! This post is about inspirations — and as those who know me will tell you, my biggest inspiration is music.

 One of the things I nearly always do when I’m writing a book is I make a playlist on my iPod. I listen to those songs in the car, when I’m doing laundry, thinking and forming characters and scenes in my mind. Sometimes the music plays a more concrete role, like a title or a character name, but sometimes it’s all in the atmosphere. Coming Home is a warm, sleepy, small town story, that takes place in spring and early summer. The music I chose kind of molded the scene and the feel of the story. I thought I’d share a couple of the songs with you:

This is Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs. They’re a Washington Band that I was listening to around the time that I was working on the finishing touches. I like the sleepy melancholy:

watch?v=qgiiyKHx8uY

Both of these songs were on the original playlist. I can’t hear them without thinking of Lex and Tally:)

What if You – Joshua Radin

watch?v=wWSi3p3t5ak

Matt Nathanson All We Are

 watch?v=j1ZWxbm_9s4

And here’s an excerpt to go with my inspirational music:) In this short scene Lex is starting to realize  how he feels about his employee:

His family thankfully dropped the subject of Tallis Carrington for the rest of the meal. Lex could tell it was on his mother’s mind, though. Her face showed it. He was grateful that she’d let it rest but knew that a shop visit wasn’t far off. If there was one thing his mother was, it was protective, and she had a very clear memory of Lex’s year as Tally’s number one victim. He shook his head a bit at that thought. No, he was never Tally’s victim.

Tally was a different person than the dick who’d ruled the school with his gang of apes in lettermen’s jackets. Tally was… real and hardworking and interested in learning new things. Lex couldn’t believe how much the new Tally had superimposed itself in his mind over the old snarling image that had been imprinted there. Now all Lex could see was the way he smiled or how he went out of his way to help as much as he could… oh Jesus. It’s too late.

Lex excused himself soon after dinner was over, claiming early mornings and breakfast rushes as he backed hastily toward the door before another well-meaning intervention could start. In the peace and quiet of his car he admitted what he’d been avoiding all week, especially during the tenseness of Friday night.

“I want him,” he muttered, testing out the words to see how they felt in his mouth. “I want my straight employee who also happens to be the same guy everyone in town hates. Except me.”

Oh, God.


Just a Taste

April 9, 2012

Hey again, this is MJ O’Shea back, talking about my book Coming Home. I wanted to share a little bit more about the book and add a couple of excerpts:)

This book is driven by two characters who had different but equally rough childhoods. One came from a loving but poor home, and was tortured at school, the other, a rich home not exactly filled with love — he spent most of his teens living a lie…and being cruel to others in a misguided ploy to fit in.

We have Tally, or Tallis Carrington, former rich boy who has fallen on hard times and desperately needs to find a job in the town where he used to be practically royalty and a big bully at the local high school

And we have Lex, who was nerdy and soft, tormented by Tally and his gang of friends. He’s come back as a successful business owner, handsome, confident, but still harboring a grudge at the boy who’d hurt him so much in the past.

When the tortured and the torturer meet again years later, sparks fly — although not necessarily the good kind. Tally is clueless, Lex is angry, and, well, you’ll see the results:

The coffee shop was in one of those turn-of-the-century brick buildings that seemed to line the streets of small towns all over Washington. From the outside, the place looked cheery and inviting, nestled among the renovated lofts at the far end of Old Main. A good sign, Tally hoped. The door was flanked by two potted Italian cypresses and inlaid with stained glass. There was a quaint hand-painted “open” sign dangling from a hook near the top. The hinges squeaked when Tally pushed it open, but even the squeak was oddly homey.

Inside the shop was even better. Warm and fragrant, the air drew him in and enveloped him. The walls had been painted spring green and decorated with framed black and white photographs of the surrounding beaches. Miles of old woodwork and wainscoting gleamed glossy white, and the floors were stained a warm cherry color. He longed to sink into one of the soft, cushy armchairs and close his eyes for about a week. But he couldn’t. He had work to do—and at that moment, his work was convincing one damn business in his wretched hometown that he wasn’t the big loser they all seemed to think he was.

Tally heard a shuffling sound coming from behind the high granite-topped counter.

“Hello?” he called tentatively. “I’m here to fill out an application.”

There was a small crash and a muffled “shit.”

Tally leaned over the counter to see what all the fuss was. There was a man kneeling on the floor trying to hold a halfway slit bag of coffee beans together while at the same time balancing a stack of white plates with his knee so they didn’t crash to the floor and break. Tally fought laughter as he leaned over to right the stack of plates.

“Thank you so much!” came a relieved voice… a relieved voice that made Tally’s heart pound in his chest, throbbing and trying to be noticed as if it were saying “pay attention to this one.” The rest of his body responded in that one short moment, hardening, quickening, coming to life. Tally gave himself a mental slap on the wrist. Really. Not the best time for that.

The man started to stand, turning slowly with the slit coffee bag still balanced on his thigh.

“Hey, not a problem. My name is—” Tally’s voice stuck in his throat, like he was some little kid with his first crush. The other guy’s name must have been gorgeous—sandy hair somewhere between brown and blond, a little shaggy and curling at the ends, big hazel eyes with long curly lashes and a mouth that Tally could have spent hours kissing. Tally wanted to drool. He stuck out his hand and tried to repeat himself. “My name is—”

After one look at Tally, the stranger’s beautiful face had gone from friendly to scathingly irritated in a matter of nanoseconds. “Yeah, I know who you are. I don’t really think I need the help after all.”

Not another one. Tally started to panic.

“Listen….” He paused, hoping for a name.

“Lex,” the man supplied grudgingly.

“Listen, Lex,” Tally repeated. “I know everyone in this town hates me. Obviously even people I’ve never met. But I really need a job, and you wouldn’t have had an ad in the paper if you didn’t need someone to help you. Couldn’t it maybe be possible that you might put aside whatever it is that you’ve been told about me and my father and just take a chance that maybe I’ll be a good employee?”

Lex cocked his head to the side, regarding Tally silently. Talk about nerve-wracking.

“Everything I know about you tells me you won’t.”

Tally backed away toward the door. “It was a long time ago,” he mumbled. “People change. Even me.” Or maybe people were never really what they seemed.

Lex gave him one more long pensive stare, completing Tally’s humiliation. Everyone who remembered him hated him, and it seemed that his reputation had spread to gorgeous strangers as well. He wanted to crawl back to his grandmother’s house and hide in his room to lick his wounds. Was I really that bad? He reached for the handle on the paned- glass door.

“You know what?” Lex’s voice surprised him. He froze. “Fine. I’ll give it a try. Not like I’ve had any other takers.” The last part was mumbled, but Tally heard it just the same. “I start early. Five on weekdays, six on Saturday and Sunday.”

“That’s okay,” Tally said quickly, ready to agree with nearly anything.

“Do you know how to make coffee?”

“No, but I worked in restaurants for years.” Please let that be enough.

“I’m not going to want to tell you how to do things twice.”

“I learn quickly.” Tally hated to feel hope welling in his chest, but it was there—faint yet insistent. As grudging as beautiful Lex seemed to be, there was finally someone willing to give him half a chance.

“Then I’ll see you in the morning. Five. Not even a minute late.”  …

I don’t think I’ll be spoiling things too much to say that soon Lex starts to notice that Tally might not be the jerk he used to be…and not only that, but Lex is actually very attracted to him. And so the fun begins:)

He was foaming a latte, the fourth pumpkin spice of the night, when he felt Tally’s presence behind him, close and warm and looming. Tally brushed up against him and reached around Lex’s shoulder to grab the big cinnamon shaker that was sitting on the counter right in front of Lex.

“Sorry,” he muttered quietly, right up against Lex’s ear. “Molly wants cinnamon sprinkled on her muffin.”

Shivers burst across Lex’s skin. “It’s okay,” he tried to mumble back. His voice came out in a squeak.

He felt the warmth of Tally’s breath on his neck, and when he inhaled he could smell him, spicy and sexy and lingering in the air. Tally hadn’t moved. The moment stretched, excruciating and hot. Lex felt every single one of his crashing heartbeats. Why doesn’t he move? He has to know what he’s doing to me! And then Tally did move, but closer, just a small little movement, the difference barely perceptible other than from the wash of warmth that Lex felt deep in his belly. There were fingers brushing lightly at his hip, a touch that could be interpreted in so many ways, and then he was gone—back to chatting with Molly Bates, the girl who always wanted cinnamon sprinkled on her chocolate muffin.

Lex clenched his jaw. Get a grip, Barry! But he couldn’t. His pulse thundered, turning his face red, making his groin throb painfully. He had to stare at the counter and do multiplication tables in his head for long moments before he could even consider turning to place the drink on the counter without making a public spectacle of himself.

“You okay, Lex?” There it was again—that light touch, on his shoulder this time, and Tally’s voice so concerned against his ear. Lex’s stomach quivered and clenched in on itself.

“Yeah, just hungry I guess,” he lied. “Got a little lightheaded.”

“You want me to make you a bagel with cream cheese? You probably need to get some carbs in you.”

No, I need you in me. Or maybe me in you. I don’t care as long as I can fill my mouth with your skin.

“Sure,” Lex answered weakly. He’d have to choke the bagel down. Bread wasn’t even close to what he wanted to swallow.

Moron. That’s Tallis Carrington. Tallis jerk-of-the-century Carrington. Straight, asshole… well, reformed asshole. Maybe. Point is, hands off!

In the self-lecture department, Lex knew he’d get an A for effort. It was the follow-through where he failed. Couldn’t seem to talk his body into listening… or his mind, for that matter. They both kept screaming “I want him!”

“Here, eat this, Lex. You’ll feel better.”

A toasted bagel with cream cheese was placed in front of him, accompanied by another hand on the shoulder. Lex stood at the counter, breathing slowly and trying to slow his racecar libido down before it crashed all over the place.

“I’m good. Thanks.”

Lex was surprised by the sharpness of his voice. His lust and self-annoyance had come out of his mouth aimed at the undeserving Tally. He turned to apologize, but by the time he’d turned, Tally was on the other side of their space, taking an order from two giggly teenaged girls who made no secret of the fact that they were checking him out. Lex thought he might look a bit hurt, but he hid it with an open smile and flirtatious banter. The two girls ate it up, flipping their hair and applying lip gloss. Tally silently handed Lex the girls’ drink order, then turned to wipe off the counter.

“Hey, Tally. I’m sorry. It’s been a long week. I don’t want you to think I’m a big asshole, I’m just—”

“Really, don’t worry about it. I understand. No hard feelings.” Tally gave Lex a shy smile. “You better make those two girls their drinks before they eat me alive,” he whispered. “I think one of them tried to slip me her phone number.”

Lex returned the smile, glad that he could breathe again. “You should escape while you have the chance,” he whispered back. “I think I can take it from here if you want to get home.”

“You sure?” Did Tally look disappointed? No, more like you’re projecting your own shit onto him.

“Yeah, I’m sure. Go get some rest. I’ll see you Sunday morning.”

Tally untied his apron and gave Lex another one of those killer shy smiles. “Night, Lex. I’ll see you Sunday.”

Okay, that’s it for this post! Hope you’re enjoying the excerpts so far. I’ll be back soon with some more:)

:) MJ


Coming Home by M.J. O’Shea

April 9, 2012

Can Tallis convince Lex his misspent youth is in the past? Coming Home by M.J. O’Shea, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Tallis Carrington ruled Rock Bay with his gang of jocks and an iron fist—until a scandal destroyed his family’s name. Ten years later Tallis is dead broke, newly homeless, and on the walk of shame to end all walks of shame. He needs money and needs it fast, and Rock Bay is the only home he knows. But the people of Rock Bay haven’t forgotten him—or the spoiled brat he used to be.

The only person in town willing to overlook his past is Lex, the new coffee shop owner, who offers Tally a job even though he appears to despise Tally based on his reputation alone. When Tally discovers his gorgeous boss is the kid he tortured back in high school, Lex’s hot and cold routine finally makes sense. Now Tally has to pull out all the stops to prove he was never really the jerk he seemed to be. After all, if he can win Lex’s heart, the rest of the town should be a piece of coffee cake.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Hi There:)

April 9, 2012

Hi Everyone! It’s MJ O’Shea here, and I’m celebrating the release of my first full length Dreamspinner Press release Coming Home. It’s a contemporary romance set in the fictional town of Rock Bay, Washington about an ex bully and the guy he falls in love with:) You know what? Why don’t I start with the cover and the blurb?

Dead broke and newly homeless, Tallis Carrington is on the walk of shame to end all walks of shame. Back to Rock Bay, where he’d once ruled as high school aristocracy with his band of jocks, and tormented a freshman named James Barry. Until a scandal reduced his family’s name to little better than a curse word. He needs a job, and fast, so he can put the town in his rearview mirror once again. But the people of Rock Bay haven’t forgotten him, or the kid he used to be.

The only person in town willing to overlook his less than stellar reputation is Lex, the new coffee shop owner, who seems to despise Tally based on his reputation alone. Tally is desperate, so he takes the job, not understanding Lex’s hot and cold routine until he discovers that his gorgeous boss isn’t the newcomer he thought, but the very same kid he used to torture in school. Now he’ll pull out all the stops to prove he was never really the jerk everyone thought him to be. And if he can win Lex’s heart, the rest of the town should be a piece of coffee cake.

Since I’m new to the Dreamspinner blog, here’s a little bit about me too:)

M.J. O’Shea has been writing romance since algebra class in sixth grade (when most of her stories starred her and Leonardo DiCaprio). When she’s not writing, she loves listening to nearly all types of music, painting, reading great authors, and on those elusive sunny days in the Pacific Northwest, she loves driving on the freeway with her windows rolled down and her stereo on high.

You might have seen me around facebook…probably a little bit too much when I should be writing! That’s all for now. I’ll be back later to talk about the main characters and give you an excerpt:)

My Website

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No Quarter by L.J. LaBarthe

April 3, 2012

Will Gabriel and Michael’s poor timing doom their relationship to the destruction of war? No Quarter by L.J. LaBarthe, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Book 1 of the Archangel Chronicles

You would never know it from his flamboyant lifestyle, but Gabriel’s not just the cheerful, fun-loving adoptive father of a pair of indulged young adult humans. He’s an Archangel, commander of Heaven’s legions of Seraphim, and despite his apparently easy virtue, he’s harboring a serious crush on his superior officer, Michael.

For years Michael has devoted himself to developing a team of humans, the Venatores, to aid in the fight against Hell. He’s been pining after Gabriel for centuries without hope, believing himself to be too serious to attract the other Archangel’s interest. He’s happy to discover that he’s wrong, but their burgeoning relationship is stymied by a major problem: an egomaniacal human is recruiting demons and fallen angels in a bid to take over the world. It’s up to Michael and Gabriel, and the rest of the Brotherhood of Archangels, to beat back the forces of Hell before the Earth is overrun.

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Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length: Novel

Written in the Stars by Alix Bekins

April 2, 2012

Will an astrology column be the end of Bailey’s career or the beginning of a lifetime of love? Written in the Stars by Alix Bekins, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Bailey McMillan’s life is a mess. The general public blames him for his former employer’s nuclear pollution, resulting in professional disgrace. Humiliated, he takes a job as an editor at a science magazine run by his best friend, John. That part isn’t so bad; Bailey is fond of John, who seems to find Bailey’s abrasive nature amusing.

Unfortunately, working for John also leads to writing an astrology column in exchange for getting free rein in some op-ed articles—and then being sued over one. The (totally coincidental) accuracy of the column offers opportunity for further professional disgrace if anyone discovers its author—and then Bailey digs himself a little deeper.

In an attempt to prove astrology is bogus, he agrees to an experiment to date someone from each star sign. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Bailey’s got a stupid crush on John, who stubbornly insists on a detailed breakdown of every date—bad and otherwise. Bailey’s luck has to improve sometime… right?

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Tribulation by Etienne

March 20, 2012

Will Philip and Charles put Philip’s murder accusation behind them or are those responsible still on the loose? Tribulation by Etienne, available from Dreamspinner Press.

Two weeks after Philip d’Autremont is acquitted of his wife’s murder, it’s time for him and his partner and lawyer, Charles Barnett, to start building their life together. But it turns out that not everyone in Atlanta is as ready to leave the trial in the past as Charles and Philip, and a surprise attack leaves Charles in the hospital and Philip’s arm in a sling.

With thoughts of their own mortality fresh in their minds, Charles and Philip make a decision that will change their lives forever. Future plans and home renovations take their minds off the attacks, but the danger isn’t over yet: the people behind the attacks are still at large, and they weren’t acting alone.

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Novel

Sounds of Love by Susan Laine

March 19, 2012

Can Sebastien overcome Jordan’s defenses while learning to trust his own heart? Sounds of Love by Susan Laine

What does love sound like? If you hear it, will you heed its call?

Police officer Jordan Waters is recovering from a shooting by moving to a new apartment in a new town and taking a new job. In other words, he’s lonely. His first instinct is to relieve his anxiety through uncomplicated sex—until he meets a man so far out of his league and experience that he stumbles for the first time.

Police volunteer Sebastian Sumner may be deaf, but his spirit, openness, and sense of humor give him the strength to get through anything—even the emotional defenses of Jordan Waters. But it’s his own family history that poses the biggest challenge. Can he learn to trust Jordan with his heart, or will his upbringing blind him to the sounds of love?

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Genre: Contemporary
Length: Genre