Release Day Party — Gerry’s Lion

April 24, 2015

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Greetings Everyone! Welcome to the Release Day Party for Gerry’s Lion!

This novel is my first full length novel with Dreamspinner Press and I’m so thrilled to be able to hold a copy of my work in my hands. Today we’re going to talk a little about the story, I’ll talk about some of my inspiration. In there somewhere I’ll give away some e-books, and I’ll be choosing the winners from folks who respond to my end of post questions in the comments. I love to chat, so feel free to ask me anything!

So first a little more of an in person intro from me:

Gerry’s Lion

Gerald Tanner lost the piece of his life he loved most, his husband Adam. When faced with the prospect of another Christmas with a family who thinks he’s better off now that Adam is gone, Gerry decides instead to revisit the memory of when they met, and boards a Christmas cruise on the Sunrise. He’s not expecting to meet Leo Ystrabov. He certainly never imagined the courageous young man would challenge him into feelings of desire and the possibility of a love that isn’t his precious Adam.

Leo Ystrabov doesn’t quite know how to handle the shattered heart Gerry presents so hesitantly. But the offer is precious, and Leo can’t resist. However, with two families none too eager to accept them and a lot of baggage on both sides, their relationship faces an uphill battle. Leo will have to find his courage to be the lion Gerry sees in him.

I know, sounds a little heavy. There’s a lot of angst in this story for some pretty obvious reasons. So, what attracts you to gay romances? Do your prefer a certain kind? I’m a sucker for a period piece. How about you?

A sad Good-bye

April 23, 2015

Well, it’s almost time for me to turn the reins back over to DSP.

Congratulations to Trix for being the winner of the giveaway. Cookie Monster was always my favorite!

I hope everyone will enjoy Arik and Donovan’s story, A Midsummer Dream. I would love to hear from you!  You keep reading and I’ll keep writing!

Blessed Be and Sleep Sweet!

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April 22, 2015

What do you like to see in your romance? Hot sex? Real emotion ? Casual  Humor? What does it for you?

I happen to like all the above, but I want it to be believable and I want it to move at a steady pace. If a story gets too bogged down with filler fluff, as I call it, I can lose interest in a story very quickly. A good story will grab you by the back of the neck and not let go until you turn that very last page. What are your thoughts?

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A Midsummer Dream – Excerpt 2 Adult

April 22, 2015

A spicy taste!

Then he felt it. Donovan’s hand slowly slid up his thigh to his waist. Donovan rose above him. He could hear the audience murmuring as he was slowly stripped before their very eyes. He could hear Jasmine with her pretend moans,

and Henry with his loud growls as the two mimicked sex. Yet his attention was focused on the hands roaming over his naked flesh.

As Donovan kissed his way down Arik’s chest, Arik arched in pleasure. His moan was real. He couldn’t have stopped it, even though he’d wanted to. Arik didn’t want Donovan to know how much his touch affected him. Yet there

was no hiding his reaction. Then he was being rolled onto his stomach. He closed his eyes as Donovan covered him. The upper halves of their bodies were clear of the bower foliage. They rocked together, mimicking an act they had done one incredible night. Arik couldn’t stop himself from wishing Donovan would actually slide inside him. He couldn’t help but want Donovan to take him to that place again.

“Why does this seem so familiar?” Donovan whispered quietly in Arik’s ear as he rocked against him in a feigned dance of love.

“We’ve only been rehearsing it for weeks,” Arik panted as he dropped his head to his forearms.

“Then why do I know exactly what you’d feel like if I took you right now?” he demanded. “How do I know that if I bite you right here, you’ll scream with pleasure?”

 

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Embarrassing Parental Moments – Giveaway

April 22, 2015

We all know some parents live to embarrass their children… naked baby pictures, anyone? Lila Ann Montgomery is no different, though maybe she’s not hide-in-a-corner-until-the-next-millennia type of embarrassing. What was the most embarrassing thing a parent ever did in front of a bf/gf?

Best answer receives a free copy of A Midsummer Dream.

The Winner will be announced at 11:30pm EST.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6298

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A Midsummer Dream – Excerpt

April 22, 2015

Here’s a little snippet for you!

“Don’t you give a shit about anyone but yourself?” Donovan asked. “Or is it all about Arik?”

“You’ve hit the nail on the head.” Arik’s voice had a chill to it as he turned, his long braid smacking Donovan in the chest with how close they were to each other. “It’s all about me. I don’t care about anyone else. If their performance is suffering, that’s not my responsibility. It’s theirs.”

“Why are you always such an ass?”

“I like it. Now if you don’t mind, I have work to do, and you’re preventing me from doing it. If you’re going to buy something, then do so. Otherwise, there’s no loitering allowed.”

“How someone as cold as you manages to play your roles with such heat is beyond me,” Donovan said quietly. “You have no heart.”

“That would be why they call it acting,” Arik said as he turned away and put a book on the shelf.

 

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Some Q&A time!

April 22, 2015

This is my first Author Blog and release party, so please bear with the newbie! One of the things they recommended I talk about is some ‘behind-the-scenes’ stuff, such as what I was listening to when I was writing. I don’t generally have any particular type of music that I listen to. I have a playlist called ‘Writer’s Groove” which is such a mish-mash of genres it’s not even funny.  I mean it goes from Justin Timberlake’s ‘Oh No What You Got’ to Vitas’ singing Lucia Di Lammeermore.

I find inspiration in many different places. A Midsummer Dream was actually inspired by a  film adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Stanley Tucci as Puck and Christian Bale as Demetrius. Michelle Pfeiffer played Titania and Kevin Klein played the guy who get his head turned into that of an ass. Don’t ask me the character’s name because I can’t remember it for the life of me! Anyway,  A Midsummer Night’s Dream has always been my favorite Shakespearean play. You can’t really ‘rewrite’ the work of the Immortal Bard, so I decided to set the story in a theater and to have the troupe performing an adaptation of the play. Obviously, I needed a way for the two main characters to be put together and what better way than to have the director adapt the play in such a way as to really put them together? Thus, Helena became Helenus.

Here’s your question: What is your favorite Shakespearean play adaptation?

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When Opposites Attract… with Nancy M. Griffis

April 20, 2015

Nancy Griffis

Hello Hello! I’m Nancy M. Griffis and my novel, A Most Unusual Wedding, is out today! I’m very excited to be here talking about my latest release with all of you!

Wedding stems from a short story that was published in a charity anthology a few years ago. It centers around Lord Leo Harris and Master Leathersmith Gerald Smithson and their (if I may say so) adorable love story in an alternate Victorian London where magic, aka power, runs rife through the population. Most things in the book echo the real London of the time but to two major things: the power and same-sex pairings being nothing unusual. If you’ve read A Most Unusual Courtship (the prequel, available FREE at Dreamspinner), then you know why, but if not, back in Greek times, same-sex unions were blessed by the Gods and the world simply never went back on that.

Leo, god love him, is as fine a dandy as you’d ever want to know, and shows it in his extremely colorful wardrobe and rakish sense of humor. But he also has that steel of spine that comes from having gotten everything he’d ever needed. He’s a lord, he’s heir to the family fortune and political power, a middle child of three, and has great powers within himself. He could have turned out an absolute horror, but for a good heart, a lovely family, and incredibly inquisitive mind.

Gerald, on the other hand, is a quiet, sweet man who is as steadfast as the day is long in summer. He’s an only child raised by his grandfather, Daniel, after his parents were killed in a terrorist bombing when he was ten. He’s been significantly hurt by mages in his past and so distrusts them all and refuses to do business with any. The lone exception to this is his best mate, Harry Bickley, who’s away most of the time at sea in Her Majesty’s Navy.

I have a wee excerpt below from Courtship that shows the moment Leo and Gerald meet that I think you’ll enjoy.

A friend asked me how in the hell I came up with the idea for Wedding which cracked me up. It wasn’t that I so much came up with it that Leo started yammering in my ear about getting married. Incessantly. Right while I was in the middle of another project. And because he’s such a brat, he got what he wanted when I put down the other novel and started outlining Wedding. Why yes, all writers are crazy to a certain extent, if you didn’t already know that. ;o) Of course, it couldn’t just be about getting married - that would be far too sweet for one of my books – so I did come up with the plague to slow things down a bit and then, well, someone besides Leo was utterly taken with Gerald (he really is the sweetest man) and things kind of went downhill from there for the poor boys.

***

So here are a couple of questions for you readers out there…

What’s your favorite time period for a magic-based novel? Or for any novel, really. This is my first historical novel and the research was both intimidating and fascinating. I believe I’ve come down with the itch to do more novels in other time periods (not related to Leo & Gerald) but I’m curious if there’s a common zeitgeist time period.

When you read books with magic in them, do you prefer fully spoken spells, spells in other/made up languages, or does it not matter? I posted this question to my flist while writing and am wondering if the world at large echoes their responses. :o

***

Alrighty! I’m going to head out now that I’ve taken up your precious time. I truly hope you enjoy Courtship and Wedding, because I just adore my guys and want everyone to love them. Oh! And in case you’re wondering, I’m hard at work on the sequel, A Most Unusual Honeymoon, (A murder mystery for the guys! wheeee!) and hoping to finish soon so as not to keep you all waiting too long.

Thanks for stopping by! This is Nancy, signing off.

 

***

LEATHER ALWAYS felt and smelled like home. From the time Gerald was a small boy leaning against his father’s knee, he’d been surrounded by the crafting of it. Instead of learning his letters, he’d learned good cuts from bad. Instead of playing with boys outside in the busy London streets, he’d stayed inside and watched every cut his father had chiseled or sliced into. His education had eventually included basic reading and maths, but originally consisted of tanning and cutting and creating works of art from all forms of leather.

All his childhood memories encompassed leather in some form, but the most bittersweet had been witnessing his parents don butter-soft leather cuffs on their tenth anniversary. Gerald had peeked through the stairway rails as firelight cast a golden warmth over the room and his parents kissed gently, the cuffs shining and soft on each right wrist.

His childhood had come to a horrible end two days later when his parents had been caught in the blast of a terror attack on Her Majesty’s Theatre.

“Gerald! You done yet, lad?”

Gerald snapped out of the sad thoughts that were just as heartbreaking sixteen years later. He set down the anniversary cuffs he’d been working on and looked up. His grandfather was still strong enough at eighty-three to bellow from the third story of their London home, as annoying as the habit was. “Almost, Granddad! Be up in a few minutes!”

The shop door opened, jingling the bell above it, and in walked a dandy if ever Gerald had seen one. He had the strong features and perfectly straight teeth that were hallmarks of the gentry. He was handsome, no doubt, with lively blue-gray eyes. The fine cotton trousers, satiny shirt, perfectly creased morning coat, and elegant leather boots certainly completed the portrait of a gentleman. The cluster of red and black plumage on the man’s hat made Gerald want to roll his eyes at the puffery.

Before the man could do more than doff his hat to reveal honey-colored hair and smile in greeting, Gerald said flatly, “I serve no mages in this shop, my lord.”

The man paused, head canting aside as he asked, “How do you know I’m a mage?”

“The door was locked.”

“I see. Well, you don’t even know what I’m going to ask of you.”

“I need not know, my lord, to know that I do not serve your kind.”

“My kind?”

“Arrogant mages with no sense of obligation to pay for what they order.”

“I see.” A smile hovered again over the man’s mouth, and then he said, “So if I were to pay you ahead for the work, would that change your mind?”

“It would not.”

“Not even a little?”

The teasing tone prompted Gerald to frown. “My lord, there are many excellent leathersmiths in London.”

The lord walked closer and spun his hat between his palms. “Ah, but you are the best; everyone says so. I need the best.”

Gerald stood to his considerable height. As expected—like most men—the lord came to Gerald’s shoulders. Those blue eyes widened in surprise as the man craned his neck to look up and meet his gaze. Gerald said firmly, “I serve whom I wish, and those of power do not number among them. Good day, my lord.”

The man’s mouth twisted into a moue of disappointment, and he heaved an overly dramatic sigh. “Well. If you’re going to be petty about it and tar everyone with the same brush, then I’ve no choice but to go elsewhere. At least for now.”

Gerald didn’t reply, instead choosing to sit back down and wait for the man to leave. The man again twirled the hat between his palms and then set it atop his head before leaving. Mayhap it was painting all mages alike, but he’d dealt enough with them in the past to maintain his present loathing.

Untrustworthy sods, all of them.

As soon as the mage closed the door behind him, Gerald stood and walked over to lock the door again, then tugged on it to be certain. He returned to his work counter, packed away the anniversary cuffs, and swiftly tidied up the small shop before jogging upstairs to his grandfather’s apartment on the third floor. He reached the door just as it opened, and he intercepted his grandfather before he could descend a single step. If Daniel walked down three flights of stairs, Gerald might end up carting him back up, depending on Daniel’s mood.

Green eyes twinkled up at him and his grandfather said, “It’s about time you came up, you great lout! Where’s me tea?”

Gerald chuckled, then said, “Where it always is, Granddad, waiting to be made in your kitchen. Settle yourself down on the sofa, and I’ll get it started for you.”

Daniel Smithson hadn’t reached his great age without knowing how to take advantage of any kind of situation. That didn’t preclude him from being an excellent grandfather; it just made Gerald’s life a bit livelier. As the old man had taken him in at the tender age of ten without a single complaint, though, Gerald was more than happy to put up with his machinations.

“Saw a pretty thing leaving the shop just now.”

Except for his matchmaking ones, Gerald thought with a sigh. “He’s a lord and a mage, Granddad. I sent him packing.”

Daniel settled down onto the comfortable sofa with a groan and wagged a finger at him. “You’re too fussy by half, my lad. If a lord like that were t’pay me that sort of attention in my day, I’d have lapped at his silver spoon. I’m not getting any younger, Gerald. You’ll need lookin’ after, once I’m gone, no matter your independent ways. It’s not right, livin’ alone all yer life.”

Gerald set the kettle on to boil, slid the half-eaten meat pie into the oven, and turned the dial to warming. So convenient, these new ovens. A small bit of magic spelled to the item itself—no mages necessary—and baking was no longer a hazardous thing where Gerald could accidentally set the kitchen afire. “I need no looking after, Granddad. And besides which, you’ll outlive us all.”

Daniel cackled a bit. “There is that, my lad, there is that.”

 

***

Nancy M. Griffis: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/nancy-m-griffis

Buy A Most Unusual Wedding here!

Threefold Love-Thank You!

April 18, 2015

Thank you very much for joining me today and on through this evening! I had a great time with everyone, and I’m looking forward to doing this again in October when The Shape of Honey is released.

The winners of the signed copies are Angela and Susan.

Please e-mail me to give me your info to send out the books. My e-mail address is Kibrightly@gmail.com. Thanks again for a great release party!

 

 

Ki

E-book: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6278

Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6279

 

Threefold Love-Shakespeare

April 18, 2015

For the old school die hards out there, you will perhaps notice a quote from A Midsummer’s Night Dream in Threefold Love. Bonus points for anyone who can tell me what it is in the comments! You will get an extra chance in the signed book raffle (which draws to a close at 9:30 p.m. tonight). I chose to put the quote in because I’m a Shakespeare hound, but also because I don’t think there is anything more synonymous with love than Shakespeare’s work. A Midsummer Night’s Dream with its endless confusion because of magic and chicanery also appealed to me as something that would be a nice addition to my own work, plus, Andrew’s a high school English teacher. Of course he has a hard on for Shakespeare. I also talk about Romeo and Juliet, something I did not quote because my book is not a tragedy, and also because it’s sooo over used. Lovely, but overused. The other piece of classic love literature I talked about was The Symposium. The Symposium was one of my first literary classic loves, and if you haven’t read it, it’s about a party where a bunch of people get drunk and talk about LOVE. Because that’s what people used to do for fun. Hell, that’s what I still like to do for fun.

 

E-book: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6278

Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6279