Scotty’s Cade’s Life Changing Moment – Post + Giveaway

June 11, 2016

Scotty Cade's

Father Cullen Kiley, a gay Episcopal priest on hiatus from the church, decides to take his boat, T-Time, from Provincetown, Massachusetts, to Southport, North Carolina, a place that holds an abundance of bittersweet memories for him. While on a run his first day in Southport, Cullen comes upon a man sitting on a park bench staring out over the Cape Fear River with his Bible in hand. The man’s body language reeks of defeat and desperation, and unable to ignore his compassion for his fellow man, Cullen stops to offer a helping hand.

Southport Baptist Church’s Associate Pastor, Abel Weston, has a hard time managing his demons. When they get too overwhelming, he retreats to Southport’s Historic Riverwalk with his Bible in hand and stares out over the water, praying for help and guidance that never seem to come. But Abel soon discovers that help and guidance come in many forms.

An unexpected friendship develops between the two men, and as Cullen helps Abel begin to confront his doubts and fears, he comes face-to-face with his own reality, threatening both their futures.

Hi All,

Scotty Cade here. First I’d like to thank Hayley and everyone over at Dreamspinner Press for allowing me to hijack their blog for the day to tell you about my latest novel, “Losing Faith,” which just released yesterday.

I hope you enjoy hearing about the inspiration and later in the posts you can read an excerpt and I’ll tell you how you can win a book of your choice from my backlist.

Well…I have to say I’m a little nervous about this one. This story deals with religion, faith, and the power of our dreams to help us cope with reality and sometimes guide us to things that are right in front of our faces.

As most of you know, I was raised in the South where you never speak of anything negative or distasteful. LOL! Therefore speaking about politics and religion were definitely not part of our daily lives. My father always preached to stay away from such topics because they are very personal to many and you never know who you might offend.

To that end, I did manage to stay away from politics in this novel, but religion didn’t get off so easily. And not just one religion, but I wrote about two with totally different ways of worshiping.  This book called to me so strongly, that after a million internal debates and talking it over with my husband Kell, I couldn’t not write about it. And… to hell with etiquette!

However, as you read this post and hopefully the book, you’ll keep in mind that I criticize or fault no religions as everyone has a right to worship as they see fit. In America all people are entitled to their religious freedoms and beliefs, which may not match mine.

So here goes. “Losing Faith” was inspired by one single moment in time. One instant when I made a decision that altered my life forever.  Oddly enough the other party involved has no idea the affect the chance encounter had on me and probably never will, nor will I ever know what could have happened if I had acted differently. The only difference in my encounter versus the one in the book is that the fictional character did the right thing where I lacked the courage—a decision I will regret for the rest of my life.

Here’s how it went. Kell and I were on our boat on our yearly trek down south from our home on Martha’s Vineyard and had just arrived in a little town called Southport, North Carolina. It’s really a charming town and we’d been there briefly and really liked it so we made arrangements to stay for about a month and a half to really get a feel for the little town, before we moved farther south to Charleston, South Carolina for the rest of the winter.

Now I know North Carolina has been in the media for some not so good reasons lately, but this was before the HB2 and believe it or not, we saw no signs of discrimination and were treated with respect and dignity. Of course we didn’t skip down the dock hand in hand in blue checkered gingham dresses. Not that that’s a bad thing. Well maybe the blue part cause I look better in black. Anyway, hats off to the people of NC for rising above the politics and the opinions of a handful of miserable, misguided and bigoted people. Sorry, I digress.

Anyway after eight days on the water we were very excited to finally get to our temporary home in Southport. On our first morning at the marina, I went for my usual five-mile run and chose a route I remembered from a previous stay which weaved through the little town and eventually took me onto the Historic Southport Riverwalk. It was a beautiful morning, and the sun was just above the horizon, causing the dew on the grass to sparkle. I remember it so vividly.

So, I was running along at my usual pace, enjoying my solitude and listening to southern gospel music, which I always run to, when I saw a man sitting on a park bench quite a distance ahead of me. Even from my vantage point, his body language seemed ominous and overwhelmed. His elbows were resting on his knees, and he was staring blankly out over the Cape Fear River. As I got closer, I saw the man was extremely handsome, well-groomed, clean-cut, and very nicely dressed in a crisp white shirt, dark slacks, and a tie. The type of guy one might describe as metrosexual. And he was holding a book and rubbing his thumb gently over its cover.

Then the man moved his book a certain way and the sun reflected off of something gold. I knew instantly; he was holding the Holy Bible and the man really looked like he needed a friend. All sorts of possibilities ran through my head. Death. Depression. Illness. He was clearly struggling with something. I continued running toward him, trying to decide if I should stop, but I looked around, and there was no one except the two of us in the park. There were plenty of open park benches and swings overlooking the river, so I could think of no good reason to stop at his particular bench. In addition, I was fearful if I stopped, he might think I was trying to rob him—or even worse trying to pick him up. Although warm and welcoming, North Carolina is still very conservative. So therein lay my dilemma. Take a chance on being considered a thief or quite possibly a pervert or offer assistance to help someone who might be in need.

I think you know where this is going. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the courage to stop, and I ran right past the guy. Truly, I don’t even think he saw me as he was so deep in thought. I did greet him as I passed, but if I got a response, I didn’t hear it.

I cursed myself all the back to the boat, I told Kell and the friends who were on board with us about my experience, and they seemed unaffected, but the encounter stayed with me all day and night.

The next morning, I ran again. The same time and the same route. And I did that every day we were there—over a month, but I never saw the stranger again. Of course, this sent my mind into a tizzy of guilt. Was the guy sick? Did he lose a wife or parent or husband? Even worse, was he so distraught he took his own life? All these ideas plagued me and stayed with me. Even after I started this book. Early on I struggled with where to take the story. His desperation was obvious but it could have been anything. Do I go the sick or suicidal route or take the story somewhere else?

And before I start telling you about where I took the story please know although I am a very spiritual person, I’m not a particularly religious one. I have my own personal relationship with the man upstairs, but I’m not a fan of organized religion. In my humble opinion, organized religion sometimes gives a certain group of people the right to discriminate against others who are not like them in the name of their God. Those of us in the LGBTQ+ community have most recently seen this regarding the right to marry. I won’t give this woman any more publicity by mentioning her name, but you know to whom I’m referring. On the flip side of that coin, sometimes organized religion helps people be accepting of others. So there. I’m trying to be diplomatic.

Anyway, I focus on two very different religions. The Episcopal Church and the Southern Baptist Church. I did a lot of research on both, and apart from their mutual love of the Gospel, they have very little in common. Their interpretations of the Word are very different to say the least. The Episcopalians welcome everyone to worship. They even ordain women and gay men as priests and bishops, while on the other hand, the Southern Baptists do not believe in women as ordained ministers and believe homosexuality is a grave sin. In fact, if you are gay, you will only be welcomed into the church if you denounce your homosexual desires and seek their help to change your sexual orientation through prayer, fellowship, and whatever other methods they see as fit.

Now this is generalizing a bit, and the last thing I want to do is offend, but for the record, I got all my information from the Southern Baptist Convention’s official website and the Episcopal Church’s official website. Their beliefs are clearly written there, and all you need to do is Google either to see what I mean.

However, the next part of the book delves into the power of our dreams. Many people believe dreams are an open doorway to our souls, a possible way for our lost loved ones to communicate with us, a vison into the past or future or even a warning system abiout something coming your way. And… I just happen to be one of those people.

But many others believe dreams are just our subconscious validating things we want to believe. Things like getting one last look at a lost loved one or simply knowing they are okay and have moved on. Things along those lines. In addition, when some people dream of a tragedy, they take it as a sign and try to avoid a certain situation, while others simply dismiss it as a nightmare triggered by something they saw on television or something someone said. In this book, Cole’s dreams are portals, for lack of a better word, for Cullen, his deceased husband to come back and try to help him move on with his life.

The story is not just about religion. It’s a story of loss, identity, hypocrisy, need, and love. Writing it has helped me gain a little closure by giving my characters the happy ending I so hope my stranger enjoyed and easing my guilt a little for not stopping to help a fellow man in need.

I really hope you enjoy the excerpt!

Now. If you read this blog post and feel comfortable posting a response, I’d love to hear about any experiences you’ve had with dreams making a difference in your life. For instance, shortly as my mother died, she came to me in a dream. She was beautiful, pain free and gleefully happy. She smiled broadly and told me she was where she needed to be and we would be together again someday. The dream eased my pain and helped me grieve properly, for her and for me.

So I’d love to hear about your personal experiences with dreams. Everyone who posts will be entered into a drawing to win a book of their choice from my backlist, so please take a minute and share your story. Maybe it will help someone else who might be struggling with something similar. Now on to the excerpt.

Oh wait. I almost forgot. Here’s where you can find me and “Losing Faith”, as well as my other stories.

 

www.scottycade.com
https://www.facebook.com/scotty.cade
https://twitter.com/ScottyCade

Check out Losing Faith today!

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
All Romance eBooks

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, most 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.

Excerpt:

A couple of weeks had gone by, and Cullen and Abel had settled into something almost resembling a relationship. Every hour that Abel wasn’t working, they spent together. Abel had seemed distant at times, something Cullen couldn’t quite put his finger on, but the distance had seemed to disappear just as quickly as it came. Maybe Abel was just getting used to his new life and Cullen.

It was Sunday morning, and Cullen was sitting alone on the flybridge finishing his third cup of coffee. Abel had left just under an hour ago, claiming he needed to put the finishing touches on his sermon. He was in the pulpit this morning as Pastor Williams was away on church business. Abel had asked him to attend the service, and not wanting to disappoint Abel, he’d reluctantly agreed. But Cullen had to admit he was as jittery as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

This was the first time he would be in church for an actual service since Cole’s memorial mass. Yeah, he’d stopped in at Abel’s church as a last resort when he was so worried about him, and the experience had been a bittersweet one, but that was just him and his thoughts. Now he would have to listen to God’s word, and he wasn’t sure he was ready for that. Abel had asked very little of him during their time together, and so he’d promised.

Just before the service started, Cullen slipped into the church and took a seat in the last row on the end—close to a door in case he needed to escape. He looked around nervously and locked eyes with Abel, who was sitting off to the side of the pulpit with his Bible in his hand. Abel flashed a crooked smile, obviously very aware of why Cullen had chosen that particular seat, and Cullen smirked and then smiled broadly.

Cullen felt himself relax a little when the music started. Music always had that effect on him, but this music wasn’t at all like his church—he corrected himself; his former church—where the organ blared as the precession made its way down the aisle. This was less pageantry and had more of a celebratory feel to it. When the song ended, Abel took the pulpit and welcomed everyone, regulars and visitors alike, glancing at Cullen a time or two. When he got into his sermon, Cullen was not surprised to see that Abel was a natural in the pulpit. He was sincere, which was the most important thing, but he was also commanding and soft-spoken at the right times. His sermon today focused on the death of Jesus. He talked about how much of an injustice it had been, but that according to the Bible, it also happened according to the plan and purpose of God. Abel examined the Crucifixion in light of the doctrine of providence from the perspective of God, Jesus, and the human participants. He preached that although the Crucifixion was a mystery we cannot fully understand, the injustice of the Crucifixion accomplished God’s plan from eternity to demonstrate the breadth of his love by redeeming sinners.

Cullen thoroughly enjoyed the sermon, but he couldn’t help but think Abel had preached it partly on his behalf because of the way he felt about God taking Cole from him. And if the truth be told, his defenses were starting to crumble, little by little. Sitting in this strange church, listening to another man preach, Cullen realized how much he missed the fellowship of the church. Everyone here was different in some way, but they were all there for one reason: to worship. And that made their differences fade away, at least for one hour on a Sunday morning. Cullen also sensed that he missed his relationship with God, but that was a little harder to admit to himself right now.

After the service, while Cullen was waiting for Abel on the steps of the church, Agnes Williams approached him.

Abel had warned him that she’d been her normal busybody self, quizzing him about his and Cullen’s friendship, how they knew each other, and specifically about Cullen and his church, so Cullen had been on guard.

“Good morning, Reverend,” she’d said in a haughty tone. “How nice to see you supporting your seminary mate Pastor Weston.”

“Oh, we were never seminary mates. And good morning to you as well, Mrs. Williams.”

“But you said—”

“What I said was a mutual friend from the seminary told me Abel was assigned here, so I looked him up when I was passing through.”

“Oh, silly me,” she said. “I must have misunderstood. You’ve been in Southport… what? A couple of weeks now? I imagine you’re probably thinking of moving on soon.”

“Not really. I like Southport, and I’m on no schedule, so I have all the time in the world.”

“Tell me, Reverend, how does an Episcopal priest get so much time off?”

“I’m on leave at the moment,” Cullen said without missing a beat. “I live in a seasonal town with very few parishioners in the winter months, so the church assigns an interim priest so I can have the winter off.”

“How nice. At any rate, I’m a little surprised to see you here.”

“Oh? Why is that?”

Agnes chuckled. “Come on, Reverend, it’s no secret the Southern Baptists think very differently from the Episcopalians.”

“That’s very true.” Cullen dipped his head and picked at something on the steps with the toe of his shoe. When he looked back up, Agnes was glaring at him.

“But we all have one thing in common. Don’t we?” he said.

“I suppose that’s true. But—”

“You ready?” Abel yelled, cutting Agnes off and bouncing down the church steps.

“I am,” Cullen said. “Good to see you again, Mrs. Williams.”

“Same here, Reverend.”

 

When the two men reached the sidewalk and crossed the street, Abel stopped and looked back. Agnes was still standing on the steps watching them, one arm crossed over her large bosoms, a finger on her chin, and her head cocked to one side. She waved, and he waved back before he turned and they started walking.

“I swear that woman is two Corinthians short of a Bible and the nosiest thing I’ve ever seen,” Abel said, picking up his pace. “Was she pumping you for information?”

“Yeah.”

Cullen related their conversation to Abel.

“Something about her rubs me the wrong way,” Cullen said. “I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’d watch out for her if I were you.”

“I will. Hey, how did you like my sermon?”

“It was great. You’re a natural in the pulpit.”

“Really? I’m always a little unsure of myself and my sermons. They seem old and boring.” Abel paused. “I would love to make them more relevant to today. You know? Something young people can identify with, or something that brings the message in a way that makes more sense today.”

“Why don’t you?”

“Pastor Williams,” Abel said flatly. “He believes in teaching the word in its truest form. As it was written. Just old school, I guess. And since he’s the boss, I have to follow his rules.”

“But I don’t understand how anyone can believe something written over two thousand years ago is still relevant in its purest form. Yes, the meaning and the message will always be relevant. But today’s society needs more. Can’t he see that faith is getting harder and harder to sell? We are no longer a society that follows blindly. The Word and the message need to make sense to people before they will embrace it. It needs to be explained so that it can be applied to life today.”

Abel stopped, put his hands on his hips, and smiled broadly. “Now this is the passion I knew was boiling just below the surface of Reverend Cullen Kiley.”

Cullen blushed. “Sorry. I guess I got a little carried away.”

“Don’t apologize. I love to see you this way. The church needs more passion like this.”

“I don’t know about that, but thanks. It felt kinda good to rant just a little.”

“Cullen! You are wasting your calling. I’m gonna get you back in church if it kills me.”

Blurb: 

Father Cullen Kiley, a gay Episcopal priest on hiatus from the church, decides to take his boat, T-Time, from Provincetown, Massachusetts, to Southport, North Carolina, a place that holds an abundance of bittersweet memories for him. While on a run his first day in Southport, Cullen comes upon a man sitting on a park bench staring out over the Cape Fear River with his Bible in hand. The man’s body language reeks of defeat and desperation, and unable to ignore his compassion for his fellow man, Cullen stops to offer a helping hand.

Southport Baptist Church’s Associate Pastor, Abel Weston, has a hard time managing his demons. When they get too overwhelming, he retreats to Southport’s Historic Riverwalk with his Bible in hand and stares out over the water, praying for help and guidance that never seem to come. But Abel soon discovers that help and guidance come in many forms.

An unexpected friendship develops between the two men, and as Cullen helps Abel begin to confront his doubts and fears, he comes face-to-face with his own reality, threatening both their futures.

When Opposites Attract with Lane Hayes – Post + Giveaway

June 10, 2016

The opposites-attract trope is easily my favorite. I love the play between two characters who are sure they have nothing in common with one another and yet, somehow they can’t stop thinking about each other. Where is he from? Why does he dress like that? What’s his favorite color? The moment one person realizes his curiosity for silly details has taken on an obsessive quality is when the fun really begins!

A Kind of Romance is a multi-layered book that touches on familial relationships and how they influence other facets of life. Zeke is a ruthless Wall Street executive who loves to win. He’s driven to create a world that in no way resembles his upbringing, though at first glance, his family is a loving one. Benny is Zeke’s complete opposite in all ways. He’s a sweet-natured, out and proud gay man who loves fashion and has a soft spot for all things fabulous.  His over-the-top mannerisms are an automatic turn off to the serious Zeke. Until they aren’t. And suddenly Zeke’s consumed to know anything and everything about the pint-sized younger man with a penchant for eyeliner and bright colors.

I love the notion of what we think we want leading to the discovery of what we really need. To some degree, it’s something we can all relate to. The opposites-attract allows for a level of self-analysis that adds depth to the characters and potentially, the overall story. I’m a sucker for a strong MC with a big personality and a wicked sense of humor. If he suffers from a faulty moral compass at times, it only makes him more interesting to me. It means he’s human. Perfectly imperfect, yet hopeful. Zeke’s journey toward love ultimately is also about self-acceptance. If we can’t have it all… isn’t it best to choose the path to travel with the people we love the most?

Giveaway time! So I have to ask… what is your favorite trope? Are you partial to friends to lovers? Mistaken identity? Friends with benefits or fake boyfriends?  (Frankly, I love them all! LOL.) I’m going giveaway four $10 Dreamspinner Press gift cards. All you need to do is tell me your favorite trope and why you think it’s makes the best “kind of romance”. ☺  I’ll choose the winners on June 12 at 9pm PST.

Thank you for helping me celebrate my Release Day for A Kind of Romance! Enjoy Benny and Zeke!

Happy Reading!

Lane Hayes xo

**I want to share this photo from my most recent trip to New York City, where the A Kind of Stories series is set. This is a bench in Central Park looks so inviting and yet lonely too. It’s featured in a scene from A Kind of Romance. Pretty, isn’t it?

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Blurb for A Kind of Romance by Lane Hayes

Zeke Gulden is a ruthless Wall Street exec. His hard-edged, no-nonsense attitude has served him well in the cutthroat business world, but less so in his personal life. When he finds out his ex-boyfriend cheated on him with a coworker, Zeke can’t let go—not until he finds a way to get even. However, his meddlesome father has other ideas. The new hire at the family-owned bagel store is somewhat colorful, but his dad is sure he’s the perfect man for Zeke.

Benny Ruggieri is a fiercely proud New Yorker who dreams of making it big as a costume designer in the theater. In the meantime, he’s working two part-time jobs in the food biz. When his new boss sets him up with his successful son, Benny has zero expectations. If nothing else, he figures he can entertain himself by making the uptight businessman squirm. Instead, the two become unlikely friends with an inexplicable attraction they can’t ignore. Benny might be the one to help Zeke set aside his quest for revenge, if he’s willing to let go and forgive what he can’t forget… and give in to an unexpected kind of romance.

Excerpt from A Kind of Romance by Lane Hayes

“For fuck’s sake… all I’m asking is for you to play a part for one night. If you think about it, we should be getting good at this by now. Between our pretend dates and the half-dozen times you’ve randomly announced we’re boyfriends over the last few days, I’d say it’s practically believable.”

“So ask me nicely,” I insisted with a teasing grin.

He growled and clenched his teeth before adopting a faux syrupy tone. “Will you please attend my cousin’s wedding with me, Zeke?”

“I’d be honored.” I waited for him to look into my eyes before I continued. “But we should probably practice at this boyfriend thing. You know… to get in the mood.”

Benny snickered as he leaned into me. “What do you propose?”

“Kiss me.”

“That’s it? Just a kiss?” He licked his lips and inched close enough that our knees bumped.

“For now… yes.”

I reached out and ran my thumb along his jawline. His normally smooth chin was scruffy. I’d always liked scruff on a guy. Especially in the morning. Just the brush of my cheek against Taylor’s used to make me hard. And as the differences flickered through my mind, I realized my attraction to Benny had nothing to do with having a “type.” Benny was nothing like Taylor. One man oozed testosterone, and the other had the faintest smudge of eyeliner under his lashes. Maybe it was a simple matter of liking him. Benny was… refreshing. He made me laugh, and he didn’t shy away from a fight.

I pulled him from his barstool so he stood between my thighs. Then I tilted his chin and licked his bottom lip before covering his mouth. The connection was light, but damn, it was perfect. Thoughts of writhing naked with him in my bed flooded my memory. Maybe it defied expectation, but it was hard to ignore the physical pull. We fit. Like a puzzle piece or a missing song lyric. I licked his lips in a request for entry and deepened the kiss. I let my hands roam over his shoulders and down his back before resting them on his pert ass. When we parted for air, I ran my fingers through his hair and pressed a chaste kiss on his forehead.

“So maybe we should go back to bed… to solidify the arrangement. You know, like a handshake.”

Benny snorted and pulled out of my arms. “Way to ruin a moment.”

“Sorry.”

“You’re not sorry. I know what you’re doing. You don’t want me to get the wrong idea, so your plan is to occasionally say offensive things to remind me why I’d be a complete idiot to think you’d be a candidate for a ‘real’ boyfriend. Am I correct?”

If I was completely honest, I’d conceded there was an element of truth in his statement, but I’d been around the block a couple of times. Admitting it wouldn’t ingratiate me to him. I gave him a smug grin instead and smacked his ass.

“Don’t be rude. I’m a gentleman.”

“I know your type, Zeke. And you, my friend, are no gentleman.”

Lane Hayes Bio

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions in the 2014 and 2015 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow Lab ever in an almost empty nest.

 

Books by Lane Hayes (Dreamspinner Press):

Better Than Good, Better Than Chance, Better Than Friends, Better Than Safe, The Right Words, The Wrong Man & The Right Time

And A Kind Of Truth  and A Kind of Romance

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Contact Information:

Website: http://lanehayes.wordpress.com
Twitter:   @LaneHayes3
Facebook: LaneHayesauthor
Email:   lanehayes@ymail.com

Charlie Cochet Drops by for a Chat About THIRDS: Beyond the Books!

June 8, 2016

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Hello, all! Charlie Cochet here celebrating the release of THIRDS Beyond the Books: Volume 1! Thank you so much for joining me on another stop of the blog tour. Today our resident cheesy doodle crunching THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley is sharing with you one of his many, many, playlists.

Music plays a huge role in the THIRDS world—including the flash fiction stories—and more importantly, in Dex’s life. It makes up a big part of who he is. As you may know, Dex lives and breathes eighties music. Although he also enjoys some modern tunes, as well as songs dated before 1980, his heart belongs to the big hair bands, classic rock, and electro pop of the eighties. Here he’s put together a special playlist for the love of his life Sloane Brodie. I’m sure Sloane is weak at the knees just hearing it. Well, he’s certainly something.

I have a feeling Sloane’s going to have trouble getting through sexy times with a straight face if this playlist is involved. I see much lip syncing coming from Dex, and not nearly enough restraint from Sloane. Picture it. You know you want to. Here’s a little scene to help you along.

***

Sloane sat against the headboard, naked under the blankets, his wide eyes on Dex as his boyfriend lip-synced around the room to Diana Ross’s “Chain Reaction”.

“This isn’t sexy,” Sloane murmured, not sure what to make of the spectacle before him. “I was promised seduction. You and I clearly have very different definitions of what seduction means.”

It had started out great with Dex stripping for him to Aerosmith’s “Angel”. It was followed by Chicago’s “You’re the Inspiration” then a couple of cheesy and sappy love songs, which Sloane had endured, lost in Dex’s bright blue eyes, pouting pink lips, and that tight little ass wiggling in his sky blue boxer-briefs. Then it all sort of spiraled downhill.

Dex jumped on the bed singing about explosions. Sloane wanted explosions. He’d been promised explosions. Dex was definitely sexy. The faces he was making as he lip-synced were… something else. Dex ignored him, dropping to his knees as Debbie Gibson’s “Lost in Your Eyes” came on. Sloane was lost all right. Lost in Dex’s determination to sing rather than get jump his bones. Was he losing his appeal?

Sloane arched an eyebrow at Dex. “You got carried away, didn’t you? You hijacked your own seduction playlist and now I’ve got—What is this? “Cherish”? Seriously?”

There was only one thing to do. Sloane locked his gaze on Dex, stealthily got up while Dex had his eyes shut tight giving it all he had to Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is”, and then he did what jaguar Therians did best. He pounced.

Dex let out an impressive yelp as Sloane grabbed him, lifting him into his arms.

“Ooh, are we having An Officer and a Gentleman moment? I knew I should have added “Up Where We Belong” to the playlist.”

“I’m hijacking my seduction back,” Sloane said with a low growl, tossing Dex into the middle of the bed before climbing over him and pinning him to the mattress. He kissed Dex passionately, thrilled by the noises coming from Dex and the way he writhed with need under Sloane. He was going to show Dex real seduction. His hands roamed over Dex’s smooth, soft skin, his mouth devouring Dex’s plump lips until they were forced to come up for air. Beneath him, Dex let out a breathless chuckle.

“What’s so funny?” Sloane asked, bemused. Mischief filled Dex’s pale blue eyes.

“Nothing.”

Sloane narrowed his eyes. He kissed Dex again, determined to teach him a lesson. To show him how it was done. He pulled back suddenly.

“Wait a minute.”

Dex bit down on his bottom lip. Sloane stared down at him. He looked gorgeous and sinfully ravished. He also had “guilty” written all over his pretty face.

Sloane gasped. “You did it on purpose!”

Dex burst into peals of laughter.

“Oh, you sneaky little bastard.”

Once Dex managed to catch his breath and his laughter downgraded to a chuckle, he planted a kiss on Sloane’s jaw.

“So, you gonna teach me how it’s done?”

How…?

Sloane grinned wickedly at his delicious prey. “Challenge accepted.”

***

Dexter J. Daley’s Songs to Seduce Your Jaguar Therian Partner by:

Dexter J. Daley’s Songs to Trick Your Jaguar Therian Partner into Seducing You When You Should Be Seducing Him.

Angel – Aerosmith
You’re the Inspiration – Chicago
Endless Love – Lionel Richie
I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston
Lost in Your Eyes – Debbie Gibson
Cherish – Madonna
I Wanna Know What Love Is – Foreigner

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What music do you enjoy listening to? Any recommendations for Dex?

***

ABOUT THE BOOK

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Genre: Gay Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Length: Novella
Published: June 8th, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Ebook ISBN-13: 9781634773072

Join us as we celebrate the THIRDS universe with this collection of flash fiction stories written to prompts submitted by fans. Sometimes we want to know more about our favorite characters. Where they came from, how they became who they are, their families, friendships, and past heartaches. These snippets of moments in time offer an inside look at the lives of our favorite THIRDS characters. Whether it’s first shifts, the forging of unbreakable bonds, or a night full of shenanigans, these stories are sure to enrich your THIRDS reading experience.

** All royalties earned from THIRDS Beyond the Books are being donated to Big Cat Rescue.

 

ADD TO GOODREADS

PURCHASE LINKS

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks | Barnes & Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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.

Website | THIRDS HQ | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Newsletter | DSP |Amazon |Goodreads

GIVEAWAY

Big Cat Rescue Tote bag with Big Cat goodies inside!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

June 1 – MM Good Book Reviews
June 6th – Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy
June 7 – Oh My Shelves
June 8 – The Novel Approach
June 8 – Dreamspinner Blog

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Release Day Event: June 8th – Love Bytes Reviews

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Check out the THIRDS on Pinterest.

Finding Home with Kim Fielding – Post + Giveaway

June 8, 2016

Finding Home

Hi! I’m Kim Fielding, here to talk to you about my brand-new book. Love Can’t Conquer is my 14th novel, and it released last Friday. I have to tell you, release day never gets less exciting.

Like several of my other books, this one is set in Portland, Oregon. I grew up there, and while I’ve spent the past decades elsewhere—mostly California—Portland still feels like home. A big chunk of my family still lives there, so I visit at least once a year. In fact, I was just there two days ago, and after a week in beautiful Vancouver, BC, I’ll be back in Portland for a few more days.

What makes a place feel like home? I’ve thought about this a lot. About eight years ago, I had an unexpected chance to visit Zagreb, Croatia, for a week. I’d never been there and had never given it much thought. But almost immediately after I arrived, I thought, I could live here. Something about Zagreb called to me, even though I didn’t speak Croatian. Maybe it’s my ancestral roots, since one of my grandfathers was from Trieste, Italy, which is only about 100 miles away. Maybe it’s the locals’ penchant for sipping espresso while sitting in cafés—one of my favorite activities. Maybe it’s the combination of a long history and a good dash of quirkiness. After all, Zagreb is home to the Museum of Broken Relationships, among other attractions. In any case, I looked for additional chances to live in Zagreb, once for a semester and then again for a month. I’ve visited for a few shorter periods too. And although my command of the language is still extremely rudimentary, Zagreb is home.

So what calls to me about Portland, aside from my family? I like the weather. My husband, a 4th gen Californian, complains about the rain. But what better climate to do my favorite things: read, write, and drink coffee? I like all the green and the proximity to ocean and mountains. And I like Portland’s quirkiness, of course.

Neither of the characters in my new book are originally from Portland. In fact, Jeremy and Qay came from the same small town in Kansas. But Jeremy moved west long ago, and Portland is very much his home today. Qay’s a newcomer, unsettled in many senses of the word. I think he deserves a place to call home too.

What makes a place feel like home to you? Comment here with your answer. I’ll randomly choose one commenter to win a signed print copy of my novel Stasis.

***

Speaking of homes, please come visit my virtual one: KFieldingWrites.com

I’d also love to have you drop in on Facebook: facebook.com/kfieldingwrites

Or pay me a visit on Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

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Check out Love Can’t Conquer today!

Blurb:

Bullied as a child in small-town Kansas, Jeremy Cox ultimately escaped to Portland, Oregon. Now in his forties, he’s an urban park ranger who does his best to rescue runaways and other street people. His ex-boyfriend, Donny—lost to drinking and drugs six years earlier—appears on his doorstep and inadvertently drags Jeremy into danger. As if dealing with Donny’s issues doesn’t cause enough turmoil, Jeremy meets a fascinating but enigmatic man who carries more than his fair share of problems.

Qayin Hill has almost nothing but skeletons in his closet and demons in his head. A former addict who struggles with anxiety and depression, Qay doesn’t know which of his secrets to reveal to Jeremy—or how to react when Jeremy wants to save him from himself.

Despite the pasts that continue to haunt them, Jeremy and Qay find passion, friendship, and a tentative hope for the future. Now they need to decide whether love is truly a powerful thing or if, despite the old adage, love can’t conquer all.

Werewolves, Witches, and Zombie Dogs…Oh My! With Stephen Osborne – Post + Giveaway

June 8, 2016

Werewolves, Witches, and Zombie Dogs…Oh My!

My name is Stephen Osborne, and I’m a spooky story junkie.

Today I’m pleased to announce the release of Under a Blood-red Moon, the 5th book in the Duncan Andrews series. Duncan, Robbie, and I have been through a lot together. We’ve dealt with nasty ghosts, ghouls, vampires, and demons. And with Under a Blood-red Moon, we get…werewolves! I love werewolves. Always have. Ever since I saw Lon Chaney Jr. in The Wolf Man, I’ve been fascinated by those wonderful lycanthropes. The beast within. The primordial power. It was inevitable that Duncan would have to deal with a werewolf pack sooner or later.

And werewolves come in many forms, of course. There are the half man, half wolf types that walk upright, snarl a lot, and have a lot of yak hair glued onto their faces. There are the ones that actually become wolves and run around on all fours, howling at the moon. Some become wolves by magic, some by being bitten by a wolf. What a lot of people don’t realize is that quite a lot of the werewolf lore we know was made up by screenwriter Curt Siodmak. When he was writing the movie The Wolf Man, he invented a lot of stuff. The pentagram on the hand of the next victim was a Siodmak addition to the lore. And if you pay attention to the movie, you’ll notice that the full moon isn’t important (that came later). In The Wolf Man, it’s the autumn moon that causes the transformation, which must make things tough for a lycanthrope when he’s got evening plans anytime during the fall.

I’ve loved spooky stories my whole life. I recall staying up on Friday nights to watch horror movies on channel 4. The Wolf Man, Dracula, and Frankenstein were all favorites. But even better was a soap opera that was on when I was a wee child called Dark Shadows. I used to rush home from school to catch the happenings at Collinwood and the Collins family, who dealt with werewolves, vampires, and witches on a daily basis. I love Dark Shadows to this day, and I credit it for giving me a love of story, and a love of the macabre.

I hope everyone enjoys Under a Blood-red Moon, and the continuing adventures of Duncan and Robbie. To celebrate, I’d like to offer a free copy of one of my backlist titles! For a chance to win, please comment (with your email or some way to contact you) and tell me one of your favorite horror stories. It can be a short story, a novel, a movie, a TV show, or even a true ghost story you know of. A winner will be chosen on June 11th. Good luck, and thanks for everything!

If you’d like to contact me, you can find me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/stephen.osborne2 or my website https://authorstephenosbornecom.wordpress.com

Check out Under a Blood-red Moon today!

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Blurb:

Private Detective Duncan Andrews is back, along with the usual gang: Robbie, Gina, Nick, and Daisy, the zombie bulldog! Duncan is trying to figure out how his boyfriend, Robbie, will fit in with the team now that he is no longer a ghost. That worry is soon set aside when Duncan accepts a new case to locate a missing young man named Graig Betz. Duncan soon learns Graig is part of a werewolf pack that is terrorizing Indianapolis. The pack is led by a witch, Ashley Campbell, an old rival of Gina’s. Duncan and his team must try to rescue and cure Graig and stop the wolf pack from destroying an entire city.

 

Workplace Romance: Love in Bloom or Courting Disaster? with Julie Lynn Hayes – Post + Giveaway

May 26, 2016

Workplace Romance-

Hi, I’m Julie Hayes, long-time Dreamspinner author, here to talk about my new novella, Bad Dogs and Drag Queens, first book in my Rose and Thorne series.

Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners —on and off the clock. They’re federal undercover agents, and they met when they were first assigned to one another. It wasn’t exactly a match made in heaven, but five years later, they are very much in love and very together.

They work primarily in the southeastern part of the country, but have traveled as far as LA (don’t remind Vinnie, he’s still steaming about that!). They have a government-paid apartment in Richmond, Virginia, and life is good.

Vinnie and Ethan come from different backgrounds, but that doesn’t matter. They’re totally devoted to one another. Vinnie might come off as a little insecure, and a whole lot mouthy, but he’d protect Ethan with his life. And ditto for Ethan, who is a very laid-back, very gallant and sweet guy. They fit together perfectly.  Now. In the beginning… now that’s another story.

Vinnie and Ethan are sent to Roanoke to help out with a mugging problem and end up with more than they bargained for. After that, they’re assigned to go undercover in one of the biggest gay bars in Roanoke to find out who’s harassing patrons and employees. It seems inevitable that Vinnie will end up in a dress!

I originally introduced these two in a 500 word flash that I posted on FB, a story so short they didn’t have names. I thought that would be the end, but my good friend Chris T. Kat said she’d like to know more about them. And suddenly, Vinnie and Ethan were born! I am very grateful to Chris for that!

Have you ever had a romance that began in the workplace? I’ve met both my husbands that way. Not exactly a stirring commendation lol If you did, how did it work out for  you? Would you recommend it or advise against it? Leave a comment below and I will pick a winner (in 3 days), and that winner will receive their choice of books from my backlist.

I look forward to hearing from you!

 

Julie Lynn Hayes

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Check out Bad Dogs and Drag Queens today!

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Blurb:

Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners—on and off the clock. Federal undercover detectives, they’re part of a covert task force designed to promote goodwill between the feds and local authorities. They lend an unobtrusive helping hand wherever it’s needed. No credit required.

Vinnie and Ethan work primarily in the Southeast region of the United States and live together in Richmond, Virginia. A mugger problem brings them to Roanoke, where Vinnie is thrown out as bait to catch the man who’s been snatching purses in a city park, but they end up with more than they bargained for. Why is Vinnie always the one who has to wear the dress? Ethan says it’s because Vinnie looks much prettier in a skirt. How can he argue with that?

Expecting to return to Richmond afterward, Vinnie and Ethan find themselves assigned a new case instead. They are to go undercover at The Stroll, one of the biggest gay nightclubs in Roanoke. Someone is terrorizing both the customers and the performers. Could they be dealing with a hate crime? Someone has to protect the drag queens of Roanoke, so it’s Vinnie and Ethan to the rescue!

The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.

Five Years, Six Books, Two Men: Sentries

May 25, 2016

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Hello, I’m Elizabeth Noble. The final book in my Sentries series, Ringed Love, was released a few days ago on Monday, May 23. Five years ago on that same date the first book, Marked Yours was first released. It was re-released as a second edition in 2013. I’m very grateful that Elizabeth North and Lynn West let me set the release date for Ringed Love on what was the five year anniversary of the Sentries series. That date also marked five years for me being a published author.

Marked Yours was my very first full length novel to be published.

Since this is likely my final official post with Dreamspinner Press for the Sentries series I thought instead of focusing on the last book, Ringed Love, I’d go through some of my favorite parts from each book in the series. For those of you who haven’t read the series this isn’t very spoilery, more like a teaser.

The series blurb created by Dreamspinner Press beautifully gives a much better overview than I ever could:

Three hundred years ago, natural disaster reformed the face of North America, and the people who lived in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains would never be the same.

Now, the master/slave bond in New Colorado has become a sacred rite of service, protection, and, sometimes, for the lucky, love. Follow Nick and his beloved Master, Todd Ruger, a sentry of the territories, as they struggle to survive together amid the collision of old superstition, new beliefs, territorial war, and the ever-present danger of the natural and supernatural frontier.

So, lets begin at the beginning!

Marked Yours will always hold a very special place in my heart since it was the first of my novels accepted for publication. It began my series and was the starting place for the world building I did for Sentries as a whole. When I think of one part of Marked Yours that immediately comes to mind as my favorite part is toward the end of the book. Nick, a slave, meets a woman who has some serious misconceptions about his life. While this woman gets to know Nick he changes her perceptions, which in turn prompts her to try to change the way people think about slaves in general. It’s also the first time Nick refers to the place he and Todd live as their home, not Todd’s home.

Together Bound is the first book that shows them really working on a case. There are sections of Todd and Nick working separately and we get a good look at them as a working team. I created a truly oily, creepy bad guy who is a type of shifter for this book. There are two scenes that stick out for me. The first of those scenes is a fight scene between Todd and this shifter who has taken his form. There is a lot of fear and anger created by this creature, a kelbit, and it all comes to light in this confrontation. My second favorite scene is where Todd and Nick acquire two horses, Obi and Arenite, who become important minor characters in the series. Obi is the horse on the book cover. This book sets the tone for the series because it shows how Todd and Nick have learned to use their positions in their society as weapons in their arsenal.

Chained Hearts was the second most difficult book in the series to write. There are sections where Todd and Nick struggle with psychological terror and depression. Of that book my favorite scene was the most fun to write. It was an action scene that involved Todd fighting an assailant on a fast moving wagon. I love action and this scene in particular turned into one of those take your breath away bits of action. In this book we see so much of how the bond between Todd and Nick grounds and centers them. Their bond is powerful and solid and sees them through one of the most frightening times of their lives.

Collared Souls is my favorite book in the series. Todd and Nick return to Nick’s childhood village. There they discover clues and facts about how their culture and slavery in their society came to be. In this book they also learn how Sentries evolved. The Rugers lives are changing and this book really shows the events that precipitate those changes. My favorite scene in this book is another action scene and it involves Obi and Arenite, the two horses on the book cover. Racing horses off a moving train and blowing stuff up–yeah it doesn’t get any better than that. Did I mention I really love writing action?

Tethered Pair is a fun book. It’s my little personal shout out and tribute to the TV show Maverick, which might be one of my all time favorites. There are a number of references to that show I worked into the dialog and plot. I even hunted down the series theme song and played it while writing some of the scenes. Another part of the book came from more personal inspiration. I went to the grocery store to buy coffee beans. Some of the beans got stuck in the door and I ended up causing coffeegeddon! Pounds of coffee beans everywhere. This book is another one where the guys work independently of each other and really shows off their skills. Todd’s as a gambler and con-man and Nick as a powerful psychic. There’s danger and banter aplenty. My favorite scene is Nick duping a gun-running demon into a game of pool and then hustling him.

Ringed Love was so difficult to write. There maybe other Sentry stories in my future as free reads or short stories, but this is the last novel of this series. I’ve lived with these men in my head for almost seven years, the thought of saying goodbye still makes me tear up. In this book more than the others we get to share the quiet times with Todd and Nick as well as a few of their big, happy events. They’ve lived their lives on their terms. Todd and Nick are sentries, protectors and the scenes in this book show that again and again in a number of ways. I think maybe my favorite scene is a bar scene where they’re chasing down yet another creature intent on harming innocent people and they run into someone from their past. This young man was so influenced by them as a boy he wants to follow in their footsteps, after taking a few interesting missteps he convinces them he’s a worthy student.

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The story of Todd and Nick Ruger is above all a love story and I hope you enjoy their journey. It’s been an honor to have told this story. Excerpts and reviews of all the books can be found on my website Emotion in Motion.

I welcome questions about the series and let’s have a little give away, shall we? This series has many supernatural elements, what’s your favorite supernatural bad guy? Which of the book covers in Sentries is your favorite. Leave your email in your comments and I’ll contact the winner. I’ll leave this contest open until Sunday May 29 and will pick two people to receive the ebook of their choice from my backlist (anything published in 2015 or earlier).

Happy Reading!

Elizabeth

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Of Robots, Romance, and Real Possibilities with Asta Idonea – Post + Giveaway

May 25, 2016

Of Robots, Romance, and Real Possibilities

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!

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Blurb

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.

Author Pic 2015

Chat with Asta Idonea!

Blog: http://www.nickijmarkus.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NickiJMarkus
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickiJMarkus
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nickijmarkus/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4567057.Nicki_J_Markus
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolamarkus
Amazon Author US: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO
Amazon Author UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO
DeviantArt: http://aleera21.deviantart.com/gallery/
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/nickijmarkus

Early Beginnings with C.M. Lievens

May 24, 2016

Early Beginnings

Hi, I’m C.M. Lievens, author of A Good Enough Reason.

I started writing when I was a kid. I still remember a story about a ghost and two twins I wrote when I was about eight as a gift for my grandmother. I don’t remember how it ended, but it sounds interesting. I just might add something similar to my ever-growing to-write list.

After my first steps as an author, I stopped writing. I found other things to focus on. I’ve always been very art-oriented. I paint, I draw, I make jewelry. You name it, and I’ve probably tried it, but nothing held my attention for long.

I came back to writing a few years ago. I graduated from college when my son was one, and since sending him to daycare would have cost me more than I’d earned by finding a job, I stayed home with him. I used the time to read, but there’s only so much you can read before even that becomes boring. Shocking, I know.

Then I started to think that I could do that too. I could write. It would be hard, because English is only my third language, but it would be something that would break the routine.

The first book I wrote was a mess. I reread it recently, and I wanted to strangle the main character. At the time, though, I thought it was good, even though no one seemed to want to publish it.

Once it was done, I started another one. I’d just started reading gay romance, and I decided to dip my foot into that for a series of reasons that would require a blog post of their own, so I’ll skip them.

That’s how my first published book was born. I kept it short, because writing an entire novel in English scared me, and I sent it to the publisher thinking I’d never hear from them. I didn’t stop writing, though. I’d planned that book to be the first book in a series, so I started writing the next book. By the time it was published, I’d written six novellas.

I wrote only about shifters for close to two years, but I felt it was time to step out of my comfort zone, to try something new. That’s how A Good Enough Reason was born.

A Good Enough Reason is my first full-length novel, and my first book without any kind of shifters. I hope people will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

What about you? Do you have a passion you discovered later in life?

 

Excerpt:

“Eeelliiis. Do you have a crush on Mr. Shea?”

Luckily for Ellis the table they sat at was mostly empty, but Anna’s voice was loud. From a few tables away, Dale Stephens looked up from his tray and over at them, a question in his eyes when he saw Ellis watching him.

Ellis shook his head and looked down again. “Anna, please. Do you really need to give people even more reasons to make fun of me?”

Anna offered an appropriate repenting expression, but Ellis wasn’t fooled. He knew that now she’d discovered a juicy bit of gossip, she’d pounce on him like a lioness on raw meat once they were away from prying ears.

“Are you done writing?”

“Of course.” She wrote the last word with a flourish and gave Ellis a triumphant smile. “All done. Now we can have fun.”

“After school, you mean?”

“Nope. I mean we can gossip.”

Ellis groaned. “You know, my being gay doesn’t mean I like to gossip or go shopping. Sometimes you seem to think I’m one of your girlfriends or something.”

Anna patted Ellis’s hand. “I’d never take you shopping. You have the most awful taste I’ve ever seen.”

Ellis looked down at his Platform 9 3/4 red T-shirt. “What’s wrong with my clothes?”

“Honestly? I think you’re the only one in this school who actually gets the meaning of your T-shirt.”

“You do too.”

“I was coerced into learning about it.”

“Oh, please. It’s not like I tied you to the couch.”

“You said you wouldn’t help me with my English homework if I didn’t watch the movies! All eight of them!”

“Hey, I did you a favor. They’re classics!”

“Classics?”

“Yes. It’d be sad if no one here got the T-shirt.” Ellis shook his head. It was better than talking about hypothetical crushes on teachers, but he knew he wouldn’t be able to make Anna see the flaw in her ideas. It wasn’t the first time he’d tried—and failed.

“They’re just books, Ellis.”

Ellis snatched his hand back. “Take that back!”

“Ellis,” Anna said with a laugh.

“Anna! It’s like me telling you statistics is boring!”

“You do, at least once a day, five times a week.”

“But—”

“Let’s agree to disagree on this one, okay? I don’t expect you to start liking statistics, and you stop trying to educate me in geek stuff.”

“I get the shirt.”

Ellis turned to the side to see who was talking and froze. Anna fluttered her eyelashes at Dale. “Really?”

“Yeah. Awesome books.”

“I can’t believe all the hot ones are geeks,” Anna said with a groan.

Ellis cringed, waiting for Dale to tell her off, but he only chuckled. “You think I’m hot?”

Anna gave Dale a shocked glance. “You think I’m blind? Are you fishing for compliments?”

Dale pressed his hand over his heart. “I would never.”

 

Check out A Good Enough Reason today!

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Blurb: 

High school seniors Ellis and Dale are as different as day and night, or so Ellis believes. Ellis loves to write, while Dale loves soccer. Ellis has only a handful of friends, and Dale is Mr. Popularity. But when they’re partnered up for an AP English project, Ellis learns different can be good. Really good.

Dale Stephens has it all: friends, a hot girlfriend, mad soccer skills—and a secret. He’s bisexual, but because he’s never been in love with a boy, it’s always been easier to keep that part of himself hidden. Until Ellis changes everything.

As their love grows, Dale realizes it’s Ellis he wants to be with—only he’s not ready for the world to know about them, especially after the way his mom reacts to the news.

But when they are outed by a bully who has made a career out of tormenting Ellis, Dale and Ellis must face down their fears and try to stay together. What will happen when the bully goes too far? Will Ellis come out of it unscathed?

Author Bio:

C.M. Lievens is a penname Catherine Lievens uses when she writes stories with little to no sex, and more specifically, Young Adult ones.

She lives in Italy with her husband, three cats, and her son, who luckily isn’t going to be a young adult for many years to come, because Catherine is not prepared for that just yet. She loves to write about different people and situations, hence the need for a penname.

When she’s not putting pen to paper to plot her next story, writing while avoiding her kid’s questions (he’s way too curious for his own good), or talking to her cats, she can be found hiding in the bathroom, because that’s the only place where she can read in peace.

E-mail: lievens.catherine@gmail.com
Blog: https://cmlievens.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catherine.lievens.9
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/CM-Lievens-1659898224299254/

 

For the Love of Secondary Characters with Thianna Durston

May 23, 2016

for the love

Today my book Becoming Rafe was released. If you aren’t familiar with the Men of Falcon Pointe, the series is about a fictitious town in northern Washington State. A town where gay men who have been rejected elsewhere find home.

The first two books of the series were based in the home of Dr. Cory Venerin. The first introduced Cory and his roommates and the man he fell in love with, Trent Farnsworth. It saw the two of them through Trent’s issues with his family and church and through their HEA. The second involved a new roommate and David, one of the secondary characters from the first book. In Becoming Rafe, you will see Cory, Trent, David, Bastien, and Alan again, but you will also meet a brand new host of characters who will hopefully capture your heart like they have captured mine.

While the story centers around Rafe and Levlin, there are also many secondary characters that come to life. It’s interesting as an author just how much you can fall for a secondary character. The leads? Yes, it’s easy to fall for them. But for a secondary character to leap out so much that you know you’ll be using that character in plenty of books to come is always big. At least for me. And in a series like Men of Falcon Pointe, it’s perfect, because all the major characters and some of the secondary ones do pop up in each of the books.

In Becoming Rafe, Rafe’s two best friends, Finnean (Finn) Sneller and Santiago (Santi) Santos, became an integral part of the story right off. It’s kind of funny. When I started writing the book, my original plan was to have Rafe and Finn get together. But as always happens, my muse knows better. The moment Santi appeared in the story, I knew he and Finn were meant for one another. Figuring out which of the men would be Rafe’s partner took only a little more writing.

How do Rafe and Levlin meet? Take one gay club, add in a leech who tries to take Rafe into a back room, and add a large muscled man who defends him and you get….

BecomingRafe_postcard_front_DSP

 

Becoming Rafe

Eighteen-year-old Nephi Norton goes to Falcon Pointe University to find himself. Away from his conservative family, he hopes to discover if his attraction to men is the real deal. Encouraged to be someone a little different, he starts using his middle name. “Rafe” quickly makes friends, some of whom use a paddle to dispense caring discipline, and he lives it up—until midterms hit and he realizes he’s flunking statistics class.

When Scotland native Éigneachán Jackson Levlin offers to help, Rafe is eager to accept—not only because Levlin is a psychologist, but also because he’s out and proud and hot as hell.

As their relationship heats up, Rafe decides to spend one last Christmas with his family before he tells them. When his little sister outs him to his siblings, they turn out to be fully supportive, and he takes heart—until he introduces Levlin to his father, who brutally dismisses both of them. Now Rafe must come to peace with his father’s rejection or risk losing Levlin—and all he has become at Falcon Pointe—forever.

 

Buy links:

Are
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Dreamspinner Press eBook
iTunes
Dreamspinner Press Paperback

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Thianna Durston is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.

 

Find her at her:

Website – http://mm.thiannad.com/
Blog – http://blog.thiannad.com/
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