HOtP Release Party: Pagan Moon by Nikki West

November 10, 2014



To celebrate the release of the Hot Off the Press anthology today, some of the authors will be sharing with you a little glimpse behind each of their stories.


Hi, I’m Nikki West.  I love paranormal romance and urban fantasy.  My latest story, “Pagan Moon”, is a bit of both.

My main character, Mark, is a popular urban fantasy author and his latest book is a big hit.  His life ought to be complete – but without his partner Jerome, who is on a long term overseas assignment, their apartment feels empty.  Throwing himself into his research for his next novel, he does that thing the internet warns you not to do – speaks the words of an ancient prayer aloud.  But the redheaded incredibly hot pagan god who answers is more known for making mischief and causing chaos than answering prayers.  And mischief is exactly what he does at Mark’s book signing.  He then offers Mark a deceptively simple invitation…

This artwork was so striking it was the direct inspiration for my story.


“Das Reheingold” by SceithAilm


Here’s an excerpt: 

“Remember me?”

The dark, smug, dirty tone hit him like an electric charge and he looked up so quickly from the table he nearly got whiplash. 

He stared at the man – or what appeared to be an ordinary if incredibly hot man – in front of him with a combination of unease and guilty lust and overwhelming curiosity.  “It’s not like I could forget you.”  It’s not like he could forget the six foot plus, impossibly handsome, long lean sizzling very male supernatural creature he had accidentally conjured up a few nights ago while working on his new book. 

So it hadn’t been a dream after all.  Or else, he was still dreaming.  “Uh, L–?”


“Pagan Moon” is my second story for “Dreamspinner”.  My first, a werewolf story called “Hunting”, was published earlier in 2014 in the “Juicy Bits” collection.  My earlier work includes contest-winning poetry on vampire and other supernatural themes.


Author bio:
Nikki West lives in California with her cats. She started writing stories when she was eight years old; these stories always featured two guys having adventures together and being very close friends. Once she discovered M/M erotica in her twenties, her stories about “two guys having adventures together” involved the guys becoming very very close indeed! She’s been writing fan fiction for ages. This is her first venture into the world of original male/male fiction.

Dreamspinner Page:


Buy Hot Off the Press here.



HOtP Release Party: The Fully Lit Review by Elle Katie Lune

November 10, 2014



To celebrate the release of the Hot Off the Press anthology today, some of the authors will be sharing with you a little glimpse behind each of their stories.


Hello, all! I’m Elle Katie Lune, and I wrote “The Fully Lit Review,” part of the Hot Off the Press Anthology. I live in the Southeastern United States, but my real home is here on the internet. I’ve always loved stories, so much so that I had to start writing them myself. I got into m/m romances via fan fiction and owe fandom a big thank you for making me see the light. When I’m not reading or writing, I work a boring day job where I spend most of my time thinking about reading and writing.

This is my first published story, so I’m excited but also incredibly nervous! I think every first time author has that fear of what their reviews will be like. That’s what inspired “The Fully Lit Review.” Once the hard part of writing is done, and the exhilaration of being accepted somewhere starts to fade, dark thoughts start to creep in: Will they like me? Will I be able to accept the bad reviews with quiet dignity and grace, or will I go off the deep end if someone so much as critiques a typo? I write reviews for a small entertainment blog, and I sometimes write bad ones, so I know both sides of this situation. The truth is, giving bad reviews can be fun. But getting them is not.


“Review” is a light-hearted story about first-time novelist Kevin Zhou (for visual inspiration, I used actor Osric Chau and may have “borrowed” the first name of his Supernatural character). Kevin’s book received dozens of great reviews—and one awful one from an editor named Sam Calcutt. Sam eviscerated Kevin’s book on his blog, the Fully Lit Review. (A bit of wordplay here, as “lit” is used to mean both “literature” and “intoxicated.” A fun fact that didn’t make it into the final draft is that Sam basically gets drunk to write his reviews.) Kevin tries not to let the bad review get to him, but he just can’t. He becomes so obsessed with Sam and seeking revenge that he goes to a literary convention to confront him, armed with proper ammunition: Sam’s own badly reviewed novel. However, Sam is not what he expected.


Kevin confronts him, but things do not go as planned, Kevin letting slip a certain detail he’d admired from Sam’s book. Embarrassed, Kevin runs off, but that’s not the end:


He was on his second scotch when someone sat beside him at the hotel bar and said, “So what did you like about the sex scene?”

Kevin turned slowly to see Sam’s shit-eating grin lighting up next to him. Kevin took another sip of scotch.

“How did you find me?” Kevin asked, looking straight ahead across the bar.

Unfortunately there was a mirror, so he could still see Sam’s smirk. “I just followed the trail of run-on sentences and dangling modifiers. Seriously, though, this bar’s right across from the hall. I could see you the second I looked out the door.”

Kevin sighed. “I’m sorry I tried to confront you—”

“Oh, I don’t give a damn about all that anymore.” Sam waved it off like he would a fly. “Or at least I don’t if you tell me what you liked about the sex scene.”

Kevin sighed again but gave in. “It was sexy, I guess.”

Sam nodded like he was listening to a college English lecture. “So the emotion of the scene worked? You felt it was able to capture what the characters were feeling at the moment?”

“Yeah, you’d be great at writing Harlequins.”

Sam squawked, and Kevin grinned into his scotch.

“Harlequins!” Sam shouted. Several people shushed him, and he lowered his voice. “Harlequins? Are you serious? I’m a literary author. I write things that matter.”

“Sorry. How about porn?”

Kevin chuckled at the glare that earned him.

Sam sniffed. “At least there was some redeeming quality about my book. Yours, on the other hand, is currently acting as mulch in my mother’s garden. Though I suppose that could be seen as a redeeming quality. That should be the blurb on the back—after shooting through a goat, makes great dirt.”


Sam might be hot, but Kevin still hates him. A lot. So much. And he doesn’t want to have sex with him at all. Nope….

This story was a lot of fun to write, and if anyone enjoys reading it a tenth as much as I enjoyed dreaming it up, then I’ll feel accomplished.


Author bio:
Elle Katie Lune lives in the southeastern United States, but her real home is on the internet. She’s always loved stories, so much so that she had to start writing them herself. She got into m/m romances via fan fiction and owes fandom a big thank you for making her see the light. When she isn’t reading or writing, Elle works a boring day job where she spends most of her time thinking about reading and writing.

You can visit her Dreamspinner author page at

You can also check out her blog,, follow her on Facebook,, or keep up with her ramblings on Twitter @ElleKatieLune.


Buy Hot Off the Press here.

HOtP Release Party: Jester Hinkel and the Thrust of Destiny by Madeleine Ribbon

November 10, 2014



To celebrate the release of the Hot Off the Press anthology today, some of the authors will be sharing with you a little glimpse behind each of their stories.


Jester Hinkel and the Thrust of Destiny is a short story about a romance reviewer who hates his job and needs a little supernatural encouragement to believe in love again.

I was originally encouraged to write this story by a few friends who were members of what they dub a “questionably bad romance” book club. They’d find a romance that they strongly suspected was awful, drink cocktails and eat food inspired by the books, and then tear the plots and characters apart. Sometimes they’d be pleasantly surprised–though they could find something bad about even the most highly-rated books. Sometimes they’d admit defeat and couldn’t finish a book, it would be so bad. And their critiques were harsh, though usually spot-on. I lived in fear that one of my own books would eventually find its way into their once-a-month meetings. (They have since disbanded, much to my immense relief.)

Jester Hinkel’s pet peeve—this concept of a Thrust of Destiny—started out as a general complaint from the book club’s members. In a few of the books they read, there were these short, unsatisfactory sex scenes that never did anything for the club. There would be all of this subtle play that built up to a sex scene, and then BAM. There’s his initial breeching, her orgasmic pleasure, and then the curtain falls. One thrust. No joke.

Therefore, since I happened to be the only author they knew, I was constantly told not to make the same mistake.

Thus the Thrust of Destiny was born. And Jester Hinkel, romance reviewer extraordinaire and non-believer in a thing called love, has to read those types of books over and over and over for his job. Whether he wants to or not.


Author Bio:
Madeleine Ribbon lives on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland, but was born and raised in Iowa. She still gets claustrophobic in forests and prefers to see her tornados coming. Madeleine strives to perfect the art of procrastination and is a huge nerd. When she isn’t writing, she spends much of her time playing video games, brewing beer and mead, and trying not to blow up the kitchen while trying new recipes.


Twitter: @MuddyRibbon

DSP page:

Buy Hot Off the Press here.

‘HOtP’ Release Party: Love in the Time of Magics by Fil Preis

November 10, 2014



To celebrate the release of the Hot Off the Press anthology today, some of the authors will be sharing with you a little glimpse behind each of their stories.


I’m Fil Preis and I’m honoured to have a story in “Hot Off The Press.” My story’s called “Love in the Time of Magics” and it’s a tribute to online fandom.

I’m a German-Canadian writer who’s been active in online fandom since the mid-1990s. I’m proud to know so many creative people who celebrate their love of their favourite TV shows, comic books and movies by making and sharing their own work online, whether it be fan fiction, fan art, crafts, customized toys, doujinshi and fan comics, cosplay, analysis of themes and ideas, plot theories, or even just the people who enjoy fan contributions and give feedback to the creators. When I saw the call for submissions for “Hot off the Press,” I knew I wanted to write a story that would serve as a tribute to all the incredible people I’ve met through online fandom, the relationships that got their start because of fandom, and to the existence of fandom itself.

If you’re part of an online fandom, you’ll know that I’m talking about a very special experience. If you’re not, I hope this story is a window for you onto a fantastic and yet very real community that can be shared between people all over the world.

“Love in the Time of Magics” is the story of two fans who, through sharing their fan fiction online, find out that they just might share a great deal more.


Here’s an excerpt.

Could he really do this? Could he really, actually see Kevin in person?

Could all those things he’d dreamed about happen in real life?

Justin stared at the computer screen, realizing he was on the brink of a life-changing decision. Up till now, even though he’d know that there was another person just like him on the other side of his screen, something in his mind had still thought of his relationship with Kevin as fiction. The animated show on TV; the role-playing games; the fanfic stories. No matter how realistic the characters or how strong his emotional responses to them, these things weren’t real.

And part of him, that part that insisted that all he was ever going to be was a sad, lonely geek living his life alone in a little room with just his computer, his cartoons, and his amateur writing for company—that part was telling him now that if he dared make that trip, it could ruin everything. What if Kevin didn’t like him when they met in person? What if he didn’t like Kevin any more when the White Sorcerer was gone and a regular human being stood in WhiteIce’s place?


Enjoy the story!


Author bio:
Fil Preis is a German-Canadian writer who’s been active in online fandom since the mid 1990s. She writes from an office filled with action figures, dolls, yaoi manga, comic books and animation DVDs.

You can visit her on Facebook at

Her Dreamspinner author page is


Buy Hot Off the Press here.





HOtP Release Party: The Geometry of the Circle by Rhidian Brenig Jones

November 10, 2014



To celebrate the release of the Hot Off the Press anthology today, some of the authors will be sharing with you a little glimpse behind each of their stories.


Cyfarchion o Gymru —or, for those of you who don’t speak the language of God’s own country—hi from Wales.

My husband, Mike, and I have had a mixed year. We lost our two good old dogs, Gelert and Cai, back in June. The boys were nearly sixteen and riddled with arthritis among other things, so we felt it only right to let them go. They were brothers and we were somewhat comforted by the fact that they entered, lived and left this life together. We now have Coco, a naughty but adorable French bulldog pup. We’re enjoying married life after twenty years of living in sin and have almost finished the conversion of an old stone barn into something approaching a home. Work was held up when Mike (not renowned for grace and economy of movement) fell over a plank and broke his arm but we’re nearly there.

I’ve been writing steadily this year. I have four short stories awaiting publication in 2015 and I was delighted that DSP accepted The Geometry of the Circle for its Hot off the Press anthology. Here’s a short extract. Zach has called to see Rowan, who, after some encouragement, reveals what he’s been writing all this time in Zach’s coffee shop:


Almost unable to believe what I was seeing, I returned to the top of the page and slowly read it through again. “Fuck,” I breathed.“They will by the end.” His gaze flickered across my face. “Does it work for you?”
“Work for me?”
“Does it do what it’s meant to do?”
I cleared my throat and focused on the patiently flashing cursor. My heart began to beat, wild with the possibility of where this was going. I hadn’t realized. I hadn’t sensed it but then again, my gaydar doesn’t have a laser focus. Brian had thought he was straight, too, and he can usually scent the queer gene like a great white scents blood. Rowan had been talking about me the previous night; it looked like the conversation hadn’t been confined to my business affairs. “Meant to do? And what’s that?”
His palm came to rest, very gently, very lightly, on the back of my neck. “Arouse a gay man.”
I don’t know about you, but I can check a story over and over again and there’ll still be style or other errors that make me groan. Can’t see the trees for the wood, I suppose. Most commonly I find that I’ve used the same word twice in close proximity and this really makes me mad. DSP editors are eagle-eyed for the grosser mistakes I make—comma splices, usually, and of course, for the occasional slip into British spelling or use of Britishisms which might not make sense to American readers. It works the other way, too, of course. I’ll be jerked out of a story that’s supposed to be being told in a British voice if the American author uses ‘gotten’ or calls a waistcoat a ‘vest’!


Take a look at the photo of Carreg Cennen castle. Mike and I love it. It’s not far from our home and it’s one of our favourite places for a walk. It featured in an earlier story of mine in DSP’s Not Quite Shakespeare anthology.



Take care, all the best and happy writing.



Author bio:

Rhidian Brenig Jones is a Welshman who has herded sheep in New Zealand, taught English in Poland, and run a bar on the Costa del Sol. Now settled back home in Wales, he leads an adult literacy program and writes whenever he can snatch a spare hour or two. Rhidian lives with his husband, Michael, and their two arthritic old Labradors. He is still trying and failing to master the acoustic guitar.

Author page here.

Buy Hot Off the Press here.

HOtP Release Party: Role Model by Becky Black

November 10, 2014



To celebrate the release of the Hot Off the Press anthology today, some of the authors will be sharing with you a little glimpse behind each of their stories.


In Role Model the lead characters are Paul Bradley and Drew McGregor. Drew’s a paramedic, Paul a reporter on a local newspaper in a northern English town. They meet one night when Paul covers an accident scene and witnesses Drew risk his own life to save a young girl. It’s a great story, the hero paramedic. When he finds out later that Drew is gay and out, that adds an extra angle to the story, but is personally important to Paul too. He’s deeply closeted and sure he will never have the same courage Drew has to live an authentic life.

The story explores themes of different types of heroism and bravery. Drew discovers Paul is also gay, but hiding it because, he says, the world of journalism is too macho for him to be out. Drew tells him that only if people are brave enough to be pioneers and stand up every day and be themselves will anything change. That takes a different kind of courage that one crazy act of so-called heroism.

Drew appreciates that he’s the beneficiary of the bravery of others who went before him, working for years for equality and to end workplace discrimination. It didn’t happen overnight, he reminds Paul, and it wasn’t given as a gift. It was fought for and earned, so someone like Drew can be open and honest at work. He challenges Paul to display that same type of courage, even if he never benefits from it himself. Paul is falling for Drew, but Drew won’t enter a relationship with a closeted man. He refuses to sign up for all the pain and angst that brings.

Different types of heroism and bravery are not all equally newsworthy. A one-off act like Drew’s is front page news. But the long battles against prejudice and discrimination don’t make the news, even when people are risking so much to fight the good fight. Even the victories are rarely big news. Marriage equality makes headlines, but a change to the wording of an anti-discriminatory policy, or an “unfair dismissal” verdict at an employment tribunal rarely does.

In the story Paul must find out if he’s someone who’ll have the kind of courage to live authentically the way Drew does, whatever it costs him. If he can fight such a long and bruising battle. In the end can he also be a hero? Because only by finding that courage is he going to persuade Drew he’s someone worth taking a chance on.


Author Bio:
Becky lives in the UK and her writing is primarily fuelled by tea and rainy days. After spending far too many years only thinking about writing she finally started putting words down back in 2003 and hasn’t stopped since, still trying to make up for lost time.

She’s a long time science fiction fan and a lover of all types of stories, but especially those about people who find themselves in the trickiest of no-win situations. She likes nothing more than chasing her characters up trees and throwing rocks at them until they figure a way down.

Dreamspinner Press Author Page:

‘Hot Off the Press’ Release Party: McAvoy Made by Dawn Kimberly Johnson

November 10, 2014



To celebrate the release of the Hot Off the Press anthology today, some of the authors will be sharing with you a little glimpse behind each of their stories.

I worked at The Charleston Daily Mail in Charleston, West Virginia for nearly nine years. I wrote the occasional movie review and personal commentary for the Lifestyles section. I helped proof the pages while they were still slightly damp with ink from the massive, hella-loud press in the back of the building. So, when I saw that Dreamspinner Press was putting together an anthology called Hot Off the Press, I was thrilled. It was made for me, right? I knew all the ins and outs of publishing a newspaper (at least as it was done seventeen years ago…so, I guess, not so much anymore).

But as I pondered the story I wanted to write, I realized I’d already set one of my short stories at a newspaper (What Happened to Larry Alan?), and since all my newsroom knowledge was outdated, it only made sense to veer off in the opposite direction. I went back to basics, scaled things down.

McAvoy Made is about a deeply personal publishing endeavor, one man’s desire to honor a lost loved one, and the way that effort expands his narrow existence. I set it in the Pacific Northwest because I love that region: the beauty, the green, the cloud cover, the cool breezes. Not too fond of the furniture-scooting slugs, but hey, you can’t have it all.

I lived out there for eight or so years, and I wanted my men, Duvall and Preston, to walk the streets I saw in my mind, the fictional streets of Apple Grove, Washington. Duvall is stylish, vain, confident of his appeal, while Preston hasn’t taken the time to think about his. The important thing is that each man finds the other powerfully appealing.

I hope you enjoy my story. I want you to get as much of a kick out of Duvall and Preston as I did. Enjoy Hot Off the Press!


Author bio:
Dawn lives in Huntington, West Virginia, and graduated from the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Marshall University. An avid reader and storyteller since childhood, she was first published by Dreamspinner Press in 2009, shortly after discovering a delightful appetite for gay romantic fiction. Her professional experience includes eight years as a copy editor at a daily newspaper. Her interests include writing, full civil rights for the LGBTQ community, creating original artwork in the form of notecards, and playing silly Facebook games.

The gateway to all that is Dawn is at GLBT Bookshelf:


Get your copy of Hot Off the Press here!




‘Hot Off the Press’ Release Party: Compulsion by Emma Jane

November 10, 2014



To celebrate the release of the Hot Off the Press anthology today, some of the authors will be sharing with you a little glimpse behind each of their stories.


I’m a pantser, rather than a plotter, and I tend to start my stories by just writing something, anything, and going from there. I knew I wanted to write for the Hot Off the Press anthology as writing about writers always appeals to me, so I started Compulsion with the vague notion that I needed to get an author in there. The voice of the main character, Edwin Peach, came to me straight away and so I just started writing about him in a bookstore. I could picture him in my head as being shaky and nervous and so I thought, is he a drug user? No. He doesn’t need drugs.


He needed to steal. I had to research kleptomania – I wanted to find out what Edwin should feel like after he’s stolen. Would he be relieved? Guilty? His theft in the bookstore was a good opportunity for me to introduce him to the love interest, author Kieron Carmichael, and let them hook up again later in the story.
Kieron has his own demons too, of course, and he and Edwin bond over their shared experiences.


Talking of experiences – authors always draw from their own for their stories and Compulsion is no exception. Edwin’s admission of his arrest for stealing vitamin pills comes from the story one of my friends told me about his experience. It was such a silly, wonderful thing to be arrested for and while it was a Big Thing for my friend at the time, he’s able to laugh about it now – just as Edwin does.


I love naming characters and ‘Edwin Peach’ has to be one of my favourite names so far. I spotted the name ‘Peach’ at work from one of our customers and thought it was fantastic. Of course, peaches have such great connotations too – they’re shaped like bottoms and covered in downy fluff! (Plus, they’re very tasty). Kieron’s name came about because I wanted some nice alliteration and an ‘authorial’ sounding name. I have a character in another story called Cameron Carmichael, so I borrowed his name. I hope he won’t mind.


Author bio:
Emma Jane was born in Somerset, England, in the 80s. She grew up in a little village and then moved to a town where she still lives, but from which she soon hopes to escape. She has been writing stories since primary school, some of which still survive in notebooks in her dad’s attic, and wanted to be an author as soon as she realised it was a possible career choice and “Pony” or “Ninja” weren’t viable options.
She can be found on Twitter @emizzy, on her blog, or her website


View her author page here.


Buy Hot Off the Press here.

Fixing The Hole Release Party – 2

November 5, 2014


Hi all, Katherine again.

It’s lunchtime where I am and what better thing to talk about then food. Riley and Steve share several meals during their courtship in Fixing the Hole. Lunches, dinners, and definitely morning coffee.

I’m a big fan of food LOL. I love food, so much! I like to cook, I like to eat out, I love to read about food, watch cooking shows, and of course eat! So it’s no surprise to me that food creeps into my writing, pretty much all the time. Either they’re eating out or cooking – hmm I’ve never had someone WATCH a cooking show…I might have to think about that in the future. And I’ve never used food in bed – weird.

What do you think? Do you pay attention to what characters are eating? Do you like stories that involve food, maybe stories that include recipes? I know I love stories that include recipes because then I get to try them. Ooh, that gives me another thought, I don’t think I’ve ever written a character that cooked and had it turn out to be a disaster! Something else I’ll have to think about.

I made a recipe one time – it sounded so good. It was a combo pasta/enchilada dish and wow…it was not so good. Hubs and I ended up throwing it out /o\ We just did not like the combination of beans and pasta. So how about you? Any of you had cooking disasters? Or better yet, anyone have any great recipes to share?

I made this not too long ago – okay, well back in August LOL. We had just watched Ratatouille and we were all, once again, really interested in Remy’s Ratatouille. So I scoured the internet, found several recipes, cobbled my own together and made it. Big hit. Really big hit.

Here are before and after pictures.
Before: IMG_1968

And After: IMG_1971

It was a LOT of work but so yummy.

So tell me, wow, I asked a lot of questions up there, I’d love to hear your answers! I’ll be back in a little while with a delicious excerpt for you.


Fixing The Hole Release Party 1

November 5, 2014



Hello everyone!

Katherine Halle here. I’m so excited to be here today to celebrate the release of my novella Fixing The Hole. It’s my first novella with Dreamspinner and I cannot say enough good things about all the people here at Dreamspinner. Everyone from editors to artists to social media types have been so helpful and so understanding. It really has been such a joy to work with them through this process and now the day is finally here!

Fixing the Hole is so close to my heart. It’s a story about a man in his mid-forties and feeling it who falls for the younger contractor he hires to fix the hole in his roof. I fell in love with my MC’s as I wrote them. They both had their endearing qualities and also their annoying qualities. But I’ll get into more of that later. For now, let me share the blurb and the GORGEOUS cover art by Bree Archer. Would love to hear what you think of her amazing art. I was so pleased with the cover. I gave this very vague description of two men, one with glasses, one with a tool belt, a colonial type house, and maybe a pickup truck and this was the gorgeousness Bree came up with. So much more than I had ever hoped for!  Anyway, let me know what you think of her artwork and I’ll be back in a little while to talk about my two MC’s, inspiration, research, and my playlist!



Heavy rains and strong winds slammed an uprooted tree through Steve Crowell’s roof, leaving a gaping hole to match the one in his heart. After his ex left him for a younger man, Steve’s not sure he’s ready to handle another disaster. His best friend highly recommended the contractor, but the man’s already late, and when he shows up with his music thumping, Steve isn’t impressed—until Riley steps out of his pickup truck. Personable, gorgeous Riley talks a mile a minute, which Steve finds both ridiculously endearing and terrifying. Piecing together a heart isn’t as easy as fixing a roof, but Riley might just be the right man for the job.

You can find it at Dreamspinner and other fine retailers today.