That 80s Song with Grace R. Duncan – Post + Giveaway

March 7, 2016

That 80s Song

Hello! Thank you for joining me today on the Dreamspinner blog! I’m really excited to celebrate the release of my second Forbes Mates book, Patience, with you! There’s a huge blog tour going with the release and lots of opportunities to win prizes, so be sure to keep up with the whole thing to get all of them.

This is the first stop on the Music Clues part of the blog tour. Links to all the stops can be found on my website at the blog tour page: http://www.grace-duncan.com/graces-blog/patience-blog-tour

I’m a huge music fan and when I sat down to write Patience, I’d figured out pretty quickly that Chad was, as well. Jamie’s human mate, in fact, has an almost unhealthy obsession with 80s music (and the 80s as a whole). He also has a tendency to quote (or, rather, refer to them since I didn’t want to get into copyright trouble ;) ) the songs as well.

This led me to end up with some twelve different 80s songs hinted at in the story. So, for each of the twelve songs, one of the blogs in the tour (twelve of them) will host a clue to a song as well as the answer and excerpt to another of the songs. There’s no order to it, I used a (probably faulty) twelve-sided die to decide the order. The Rafflecopter below will have an entry to the big giveaway for each of the twelve clues.

For today, I’d like to offer up one of the answers first, then we’ll get to the clue to another farther down.

The song is Don’t You Forget About Me by Simple Minds from the 1985 film, The Breakfast Club. I admit the clue is a tough one, but hopefully you got it before finding the answer here!

You can see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdqoNKCCt7A

And the excerpt from Patience:

A few minutes later, they both had fresh drinks and Chad’s laptop set up across their two tray tables. Chad opened up a folder of movies and glanced over. “Ever seen The Breakfast Club?

Jamie shook his head. “Is this another eighties thing?”

Chad grinned. “Only the penultimate in eighties movies. John Hughes—the director—is legendary for teen angst movies during the eighties, and Breakfast Club is, like, the top from him.”

Jamie chuckled. “All right. Go ahead.”

They put their headphones on and Chad clicked Play. Jamie recognized the song that started as one he’d heard on Chad’s Pandora station a number of times. He grinned at the screen, whispering along to the lyric about not forgetting. He only remembered a few of the lines, but Chad, of course, was mouthing along with the whole thing.

He got lost in the movie, surprised to find himself thoroughly enjoying it. It wasn’t that he didn’t like comedies, he’d just never seen himself as an ’80s teen angst fan. He actually had to stop himself from whistling along when the students did. He slapped a hand over his mouth a few times to keep from laughing out loud. And when Bender pumped his fist as he crossed the football field at the end, Jamie did too, right along with Chad.

 

And the next clue is here:

“Sammy Hagar’s voice came through the speakers, complaining about driving slow…”

For twelve of the stops on the tour, there will be a clue (the reference) to one of the songs and an answer with excerpt for one of the other songs. You can see which blogs are participating on the blog tour page above.

Each tour stop will have an individual prize as well as an entry into the grand prize.  Good luck! And thanks for participating!

Follow tour here.

Blurb:

Jamie Ryan was almost ready to accept he’d never find his destined mate. They’re uncommon to begin with and same-sex versions downright rare. Since his gay best friend found a destined mate, Jamie figured he was out of luck. Until end of semester stress forces him to go through the full-moon shift early. Stuck in wolf form, he runs into none other than his destined mate. Who’s human.

Chad Sutton has always had good instincts. They served him well as a detective and continued on when he went private. Those instincts tell him there’s something about the dog that comes up to him while running away from animal control that isn’t quite right. He works to put the pieces together, but is unsuccessful until his dog turns into a human before his eyes.

Jamie has no idea what a shifter’s mate bite will do to a human. He’s terrified to try—and possibly kill his mate. They hunt together for answers while working together on a case for Chad. It’s easy to see they belong together, but Jamie fears the gods gave him someone he can’t keep.

Buy links: Dreamspinner ◊ Amazon ◊ AReB&N ◊ Kobo

About Grace:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination.  She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble.  Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States.  She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics.  She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Find Grace here:

Website  ◊ FacebookTwitterYouTubeGoodreads

 Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Countdown to Bound, Part 3 with SJD Peterson

March 7, 2016

Over the next few weeks, join me as we catch up with old friends from Pup, Tag Team, and Pony, all leading up to the exciting conclusion of the Guards of Folsom series, Bound, coming March 14.

 

From Pony: Max and Aiden

 

KICKED BACK on the couch, feet resting on the coffee table, Aiden took a swig of his beer and looked over at Max. “My mom and dad keep asking when they are going to get to meet you.”

“I’m looking forward to meeting them,” Max responded without taking his eyes from the TV.

“I really think we should make plans when your schedule eases up a bit.”

Max nodded. “I’m good with whatever.”

Aiden turned his attention to the TV and tried to find some interest in the program, but he couldn’t. He was bored. “How can you watch this crap?” he finally asked. “You’re smart, educated, a man of the world, and you’re watching actors run around the bush acting like outlaws. It’s embarrassing.”

“Appalachian Outlaws is reality TV. You know, like real. These are not actors.”

“You’re kidding me, right?” When Max didn’t respond, only continued to stare at the ridiculous antics of the men defending their moonshine, Aiden added, “You can’t actually think this crap is real?”

“It’s entertaining to think so,” Max drawled and waved a dismissive hand at the TV. “I’d love to go running around the mountains, try living off the land.”

“Daniel Boone you are not. I don’t think you’d last past dark,” Aiden snickered.

Max clicked off the TV and tossed the remote on the coffee table before turning on the couch to better face Aiden. “Was that a jab at my manhood?”

Aiden ran his gaze appreciatively over Max’s crotch and licked his lips. “I’d never jab that. Suck, kiss, stroke, absolutely. But never jab such a fine instrument.”

“Quit trying to suck up, ’cause it’s working. Now, stop looking at my dick and answer the question. You really don’t think I would survive past dark?”

“They don’t have Internet or cell service up there on a good day. I’ve also been in your closet. Not so much as a decent pair of walking boots or shoes. If that wasn’t bad enough, your aversion to bugs makes it almost a guarantee you’ll be running in search of the first luxury hotel. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I’m just saying you’re not quite made for that kind of adventure.”

“And you are, Mr. Indiana?” Max countered.

“I grew up on a dairy farm. I’m conditioned for hard work and bugs. And shit, lots and lots of shit. You, on the other hand….”

“I, on the other hand, what?”

“I’m gonna get another beer. You want something?” Aiden pushed to his feet.

“On the other hand, what?” Max repeated, following behind Aiden.

Aiden pulled a beer from the fridge and refilled his mug. He stepped out of Max’s swatting distance before finally admitting, “You’re not cut out for labor-intensive work.”

“Is that so?” Max challenged. He stepped up close and grabbed Aiden’s hip, jerking him forward. “I’d say I can handle some very intense work. I’m man enough to ride your ass hard enough for you to tap out.”

“Apples and oranges, Max. Apple and oranges. And may I reiterate here, no bugs when you’re working me.” Max was a madman when so much as a fly got inside the condo. He hated anything that swarmed, flew, or crawled if it had more than four legs. The thought of Max roughing it was pretty funny, and he couldn’t hold back the snort the idea produced.

“I do believe you’re laughing at me.” Max’s hold on Aiden’s hip tightened.

The hard hold and the growl in Max’s voice went straight to Aiden’s groin, and he rolled his hips against Max’s. “Would I do that?”

“Yes, you would, and lucky for you, I suddenly feel the urge to prove my manliness rather than spank your naughty ass.”

“Oh really? And just pray tell, how do you plan to go about that?”

Max slid his free hand around Aiden’s waist and grabbed his ass. Max leaned in and ran his tongue up the side of Aiden’s neck to the sensitive area beneath his ear.

“Hmm, I’m thinking of pushing you down to your knees and shoving my cock down your throat.” Max nipped Aiden’s earlobe, causing him to shudder and arch. “Or better yet, bending you over the island and shoving my cock up your ass would be pretty damn manly, don’t you think?”

Aiden tipped his head to the side, giving Max all the room he needed to lick and taste and nip. “I’m thinking both would show your manly prowess, so I’m good with either. Both suits me too.”

“Both, huh?”

“Uh-huh.”

“On your knees, boy.”

Aiden dropped to his knees without question as Max unbuckled his pants. The instant Max exposed his beautiful hard cock, Aiden opened his mouth and it watered in anticipation.

“Greedy little slut, aren’t you?”

“Only for you.”

“Good answer,” Max praised. He fisted his fingers in Aiden’s hair, holding his head still as he guided his dick to Aiden’s mouth. He ran the tip over Aiden’s lips, painting them with the arousal seeping from the slit.

Aiden moaned wantonly at the delicious flavor and lapped at Max’s cockhead, seeking out more of the rich, bitter taste. But Aiden wasn’t the only greedy one. Max obviously wasn’t satisfied with flicks and swirls of tongue if the way he pushed deep into Aiden’s mouth with one hard thrust was any indication. The sudden movement triggered Aiden’s gag reflex, but he recovered quickly, tilting his head back slightly and relaxing his throat.

Having an aggressive and dominant lover, Aiden had learned quickly to give up control, and he did so willingly. It still amazed Aiden that he got off on being forced to his knees and having his mouth fucked so forcefully, but he did and big-time. He loved the slight sting of pain from the tight grip Max had on his hair, the snap of his lover’s hips as he pushed deep and hard because he knew Aiden could take it.

They picked up their familiar rhythm, Aiden gripping Max’s lightly furred thighs, not restraining or encouraging, only holding on, loving the way the muscles flexed and rolled beneath his palms. Max began to tremble slightly, the moans and grunts growing in frequency and intensity, signaling that he was beginning to chase his orgasm and then….

Ring. Ring.

Max froze midthrust, his flared cockhead resting on Aiden’s tongue. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”

Aiden pulled off Max’s cock with a pop. “You’re not going to answer that now, are you?”

Max bent and searched his pants pocket. “I have to. I’m on call.”

“Seriously?” Aiden tried his best not to pout, but it was hard with Max’s thick and ruddy cock just inches from his face. He briefly thought about sucking it back into his mouth, but if it was a patient in distress calling for Max, it would be selfish to demand Max’s attention in such a situation. He hated to share Max, but in this case, he’d concede.

“Who is it?” Aiden asked when Max looked at the display on his cell and frowned.

“It’s Blake.” Max pushed the On button. “Hi, Blake. You caught me at a bad time. Can I call you back in a minute?”

“Several minutes,” Aiden whispered.

Max held up a finger as he listened to whatever it was Blake was saying, a thoughtful expression on his face.

Aiden knew from the way Max rested the cell phone in the crook between cheek and shoulder while he pulled up his pants and fastened them that whatever the conversation was, his and Max’s playtime was over.

“Have you called the police?”

Aiden jumped to his feet at the mention of the law and stood next to Max, trying to hear what was being said.

“Okay, yeah, I get that. Aiden and I are on our way.”

“What was that about?” Aiden asked with concern.

“Tek needs our help. Apparently something about wicked scary motorcycle clubs, Feds, danger. I didn’t understand it all, but from what I could decipher from the quick ramblings, Jamie has been kidnapped and they can’t go to the police. They need our help.”

“What can we do?”

“Don’t know yet, but Blake asked us to come to the club and I told him we would be there.”

Aiden didn’t know the guys at the club as well, but he’d begun to build a strong relationship with Ty, and the few times he’d met Micah and Mason, he’d grown fond of them. But Max was extremely close to the other members, thought of them as his extended family. And if Max wanted Aiden there, then he’d be there and do whatever he could to help out Max’s family.

 

Purchase Pony

Preorder Bound

BoundLG

Blurb:

Tek Cain & Jamie Ryan work at the Guards of Folsom BDSM club. After two years on the run from their old motorcycle club and the Feds, Tek & Jamie are finally able to relax and enjoy their new life in New York City. But the past won’t stay buried, and when the MC resurfaces, it’s Jamie who pays the price. Tek and the rest of the members at the Guards of Folsom must work together to get back one of their own.

In this, the final installment in the Guards of Folsom series, everyone must come together, bound as one in their quest to find Jamie and bring him home once and for all.

 

sjd-peterson

SJD Peterson, better known as Jo, is a bestselling and award-winning author of gay romance. She lives in Michigan with her Itty Bitty Kitty and Little Man. She does her best writing when under pressure of deadlines and at 3:00 a.m. when the world is quiet. Jo loves to tell stories about real people with real flaws. The happily ever after isn’t guaranteed unless it’s earned through hard work and growth. Oh, but when it’s comes, the rewards are all the better!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SJD.Peterson
Blog: sjdpeterson.blogspot.com
Twitter: @SJDPeterson
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/4563849.S_J_D_Peterson
E-mail: sjdpeterson@gmail.com

For the Love of Sports with Teegan Loy – Post + Giveaway

March 4, 2016

For the Love of Sports

Hello! I’m Teegan Loy and today my fifth novel with Dreamspinner has been released. Love Simplified is the follow-up story to Love Complicated.

 

Blurb: Life is about making choices. For nineteen-year-old Jalen Marten, the choices he makes will not only affect his life, but the life and career of his superstar tennis player boyfriend, Austin Suter. Jalen spends the summer following Austin around the pro tennis circuit playing the supportive friend as Austin adjusts to life on tour.

Keeping secrets from people is hard enough, but when the media, a horde of new fans, and staff and family who all think they know what’s best for Austin are involved, it’s even worse. Coming out to the world is not an option, so Jalen is forced to hide in the shadows. It doesn’t always work, and Jalen begins to wonder if they should stay together. The next choice could make or break them as a couple, and both men wonder why love has to be so complicated.

 

These two stories were born while sitting in a tennis center watching my daughter compete and practice for countless hours, something she has been doing since she was four years old.

Listening to the sound of the tennis ball popping off the strings was the soundtrack for both books. Occasionally I would listen to actual music while writing, but most of the time I’d let the sounds of practice or matches fill my ears.

Sports have always been important to me. I grew up playing softball and volleyball, running track, curling and figure skating. I’m lucky enough to still count several of my teammates from days long ago as good friends. And now I’m enjoying watching my daughter become, not only a wonderful athlete, but also a strong, confident young woman.

I’ve had people tell me sports aren’t important in the grand scheme of life, but for me, they shaped who I am today, and I will forever be grateful to my family and my coaches who taught me how to compete and how to handle defeat and success with grace.

Most of my stories involve sports and the Game, Set, and Match Series is no exception. The main character, Jalen, is a total sports klutz, but falls for the golden boy of his high school, who is headed for life on the professional tennis circuit.

Love Complicated follows Jalen and Austin as they fall in love and navigate through high school. In Love Simplified we find out what happens after high school graduation. Austin begins playing pro tennis and Jalen wonders if he fits in Austin’s world. Choices must be made, good or terrible.

I’m giving away an e-book copy of Love Complicated or any book from my back list. I want to hear what sports are your favorites. It can be from your old glory years of competing or maybe you found a new sport you adore to play or watch. I know I still love watching the games I grew up playing.

I’ve been a faithful hockey fan since childhood. Going to high school and college games became a thing we did as a family on the weekend. To this day I watch the NHL, college, and an occasional high school game. I have season tickets to my college team.

Maybe you’ve met a sports figure, secured an autograph, or went all fangirl or fanboy over an athlete. I’ve met a few athletes and attended a few special sporting events. If you want to hear my fan stories, ask and I’ll tell.

And obviously I love to watch my daughter compete in tennis, volleyball, and fast pitch.

Tell me your special sports stories in the comment section below and in three days I will choose a winner to receive either Love Complicated or any other book from my back list.

 

You can find me on social media at

Twitter: https://twitter.com/teeganloy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teegan.loy

Email: teeganloy@gmail.com

Check out Love Simplified today!


LoveSimplifiedFS

 

The Big Day is Here! With Ken Bachtold

March 3, 2016

The Big Day is Here!

Hi, I’m Ken Bachtold and I will have the excitement of seeing my new book Mood Indigo being released. The first paragraph of this book came to me almost unbidden and the rest of the story just followed, one scene after another. I do not use an outline, each scene from the beginning suggests the scene that should come next. This bothered me, until I read an article about Stephen King – and he doesn’t use an outline either! So I now feel vindicated. As the story is told first by Bill Ward and then by Johnny Desmond, I had to be careful to keep the time sequences in order, and let each one move the progression of the story further when their next section occurred. I had to make sure that when old song star, Sadie’s character was introduced it would fit a timeline where she could have been a contemporary of Dinah Shore and Peggy Lee. At present, I’m working on an entry for Dreamspinner’s States of Love series. As I live in New York, I was very lucky to be able to secure New York as my state! The story is going along just fine. It’s semi-autobiographical, as I came to New York and started my own theater company, A Company of Players, which became its title. As Mood Indigo is the title of my book, I would like to ask you if you have a favorite song of your own. Or, perhaps a singer from the big band era. If so, please let me know! I have a website which you can find by entering www.KenBachtold.com. You can find me on Facebook and I Tweet almost daily. I also have a Tumblr account that at present is being refurbished. I hope you will enjoy Mood Indigo!

Check out Mood Indigo today!

MoodIndigo_postcard_front_DSP

Blurb:
What happens when a powerful connection forms between two damaged strangers?Found injured by the side of a road, Bill Ward suffers from retrograde amnesia. Having no recollection of his past, he feels like a nobody. Romance is definitely not an option for a nobody. Jazz singer and piano player Johnny Desmond, on the other hand, is emotionally dead from the ultimate betrayal. But from the moment their eyes meet, there’s no fighting it, and with their friends’ encouragement, Bill and Johnny decide to get to know each other.Bill’s memories are hovering at the edge of his mind, tormenting him with fear and doubts about what he has to offer. Johnny also has a past—one that could endanger his life. It might have been love at first sight, but it will take courage and commitment to see it through to love that lasts forever.
Author Bio:
Ken Bachtold graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA and an MA in acting and directing and a minor in art. Passing up a great teaching job and surrendering to the “lure of the big time,” he came to New York. After pounding the pavement and finding it wanting, he decided to shape his own destiny and founded A Company of Players Repertory Theatre, producing and directing five plays. Always an avid reader, his two-year-old Kindle currently stores 400 books, mostly MM romance. Often frustrated at finding exactly the type of story he favored, he thought, What the hell, I should write one. And so he did!

 

Dragon Appreciation with Susan Laine – Post + Giveaway

March 2, 2016

Dragon Appreciation

Hi, everyone. My name is Susan Laine. I’m a Finn but I write in English. Today is release day of my paranormal gay romance, Stealing Dragon’s Heart. This is the sixth in the Lifting the Veil series but it is completely a standalone, so you don’t need to have read the previous books. You can find the story from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks, and other retailers.

Here’s the blurb:

“A Lifting the Veil Story

Notorious master thief Finn Grayson is hired to break into a high-class skyscraper in New Shanghai and steal a priceless artifact known as the Shard. But someone’s gotten to the Shard first—and the penthouse suite turns out to be a dragon’s lair.

Cameron Feilong, Guardian of the Earth Shard, is ancient enough to realize that he and his unbidden guest are being used like puppets on a string. Forming a shaky alliance is the only way for them to survive and to stop their ruthless foes.

Unfortunately, Finn and Cam seem to be forever one step behind. To learn more about their clandestine enemy, they travel together from walled Asian cities, barren tundras, and underwater temples to secret paranormal clubs and legendary elvish cities. Finn and Cam must learn to trust each other before it’s too late, for bringing together the five Elemental Shards will spell the end of the world.”

**********

Today I’m here to talk a bit about the behind the scenes, and to do a giveaway of one (1) e-book.

My mother introduced me to ancient Chinese culture, art, and literature when I was a child. Ancient China felt like a mythical land, far removed from contemporary Finland. I’ve wanted to write a story based on what I’d learned for a long time. The setting is an alternate contemporary Earth, and about a decade after the mysterious Veil lifted, reshaping our reality. Our boring human world and the magical realm of myths, legends, and folklore ended on a collision course, irrevocably changing our planet.

What’s so special about Stealing Dragon’s Heart then? The answer: Dragons! Specifically Chinese dragons that are depicted as wise, good, and honorable. I may wish to be a werewolf myself if I could, but of all the mythical, paranormal, and supernatural creatures I most wanted to meet a Chinese dragon.

Their effect on Chinese mythology is substantial, and they appear far more complex than their monstrous counterparts in Western myths. The Chinese dragons are typically shown as snake-like creatures that move on four legs, and they have characteristics of turtles, fish, serpents, and the like. These beings represent positive powers, and they control rain, floods, typhoons, tsunami, and other water-related phenomena. Dragon was an imperial symbol of power, strength, and good fortune.

I mostly kept that image with my dragon. Cameron Feilong is an immortal dragon. But his powers connect with the element of Earth, not Water. His sacred duty is to guard the Earth Shard. He is wise and powerful, and he is a sign of good luck for his human and flawed anti-hero, Finn Grayson, a thief who ends up in the lair of the dragon but manages to get through unscathed. Mostly, anyway.

Picture taken from Wikipedia.

My dragon is many things. Among them an artist and a poet. For the art, I was influenced by Wǔ Xíng paintings depicting the five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The natural themes of the art style were inspired monumentally by the landscapes of ancient China, most significantly by Huángshān, or the Yellow Mountains. Below are, a picture of Huángshān, and an ink Wǔ Xíng painting of Huángshān, both taken from Wikipedia:

As you can see, Huángshān, or the Yellow Mountains, and their scenery were common subjects of artwork and poetry an ancient China, and even today through photography and film. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), tens of thousands of poems were written about Huángshān alone, and a school of painting was named after the region.

The cover of Stealing Dragon’s Heart, which depicts the Wǔ Xíng painting style, was done by the extremely talented Anne Cain.

Cameron Feilong, my ancient dragon, shares my love of Wǔ Xíng artwork and poetry, and he even lives high in the Yellow Mountains. I adore ancient Chinese poetry, and the multitude of interpretations. In the story Cameron talks about his favorite poems and poets, among them Dù Fǔ and Li Bai, two essential poets of the Tang period. Below is an English translation of one of Li Bai’s poems, Long Yearning.

“Long yearning,

To be in Chang’an [capital city of the Tang Dynasty].

The grasshoppers weave their autumn song by the golden railing of the well;

Frost coalesces on my bamboo mat, changing its color with cold.

My lonely lamp is not bright, I’d like to end these thoughts;

I roll back the hanging, gaze at the moon, and long sigh in vain.

A beautiful person’s like a flower beyond the edge of the clouds.

Above is the black night of heaven’s height;

Below is the green water billowing on.

The sky is long, the road is far, bitter flies my spirit;

The spirit I dream can’t get through, the mountain pass is hard.

Long yearning,

Breaks my heart.”

(Poem: http://www.chinese-poems.com/lb.html)

As you can see, there’s a connection between literature, painting style, and nature. The aesthetics of these three always pleased me as a child, and now as an adult, ancient China inspired me to write a story about a wise dragon and his perilous adventure with a human thief.

So there you have it. My thoughts on Stealing Dragon’s Heart. I hope you liked reading my sort of intro into the story and the ancient Chinese culture.

I’m doing a giveaway of an e-book (Stealing Dragon’s Heart, or anything from my backlog), so if you’d like to enter, comment below with an answer to this question: “If you could be any mythical or paranormal being, which one would it be, and why?” Good luck, everyone!

Thank you, DSP Blog, for hosting my guest post, and thank you readers for stopping by!

Author Bio:

“Susan Laine is an award-winning, multi-published author of LGBTQ erotic romance. Her favorite pastimes include listening to music, watching action flicks, eating chocolate, and doing the dishes while pondering the meaning of life.”

Find Susan online:

Website – http://www.susan-laine-author.fi/
Blog – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5221828.Susan_Laine/blog
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/susan.laine.author
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Laine_Susan
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5221828.Susan_Laine

Find Stealing Dragon’s Heart online:

Dreamspinner Press – http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7488
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Stealing-Dragons-Heart-Lifting-Veil-ebook/dp/B01BO6TYU0/
Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stealing-dragons-heart-susan-laine/1123402484?ean=2940157914202
All Romance eBooks – https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-stealingdragonrsquosheart-1983709-143.html

 

Relentless and More with Cheyenne Meadows – Post + Giveaway

February 29, 2016

Relentless

Hi. I’m Cheyenne Meadows and wanted to stop by and share some goodies with you today. Namely, my latest release from Dreamspinner Press entitled Relentless.

This is a story near and dear to my heart. The idea came to me one day when I saw a documentary about the real world situation in Afghanistan with our military service men and woman and the daily fight they face. A section of the show addressed snipers, the role they play, and the training they receive. I saw the incredible shots they made and a story began to percolate, needing to be told, borrowing from reality to tell a heart wrenching, compelling tale about an incredible man. I considered the difficulties, the courage, the commitment a high level sniper must possess and knew I had to create a story that would portray that image in my main character along with a twist or three. That led to the usual ‘what if’ questions, my penchant for writing shifter romance, and voila, Jag was born.

He’s a jaguar shifter, working with a special military unit made up entirely of shifters. They are on loan to the regular military as special ops freelance guys who are highly trained for very unique and difficult missions. To boot, the human population doesn’t know that shifters exist, making the tenuous relationship a bit challenging at times. Just another complication in a whole nest of them when it comes to Jag and his assignments. He’s never had life easy, but has the balls to get the job done. No matter what.

Many readers ask what I listen to when writing, how I write, or come up with ideas. I’ll let you in on a little secret. The ideas come from everyday life. Sometimes, like with Relentless, a television show sparks an idea. Sometimes it’s a song or even the evening news. A character pops into my mind that demands to have his story told. Who am I to argue? I then start with the typical questions. Who is he? What does he do for a living? What is his background? If he’s a shifter, what variety? Each decision gets me closer to understanding the guy. Once that is all set, I start trying to create a scene around him. I’m a plotter, meaning that I like to iron out the important details of a story before really getting started. No, I don’t make an outline. I just jot down notes of what I know and then let it take me from there. Sometimes as I go, my story takes a bunny path, and that’s okay. It basically boils down to the fact that I know where I want to start and where I want to end. The middle gets a bit vague. But, that’s the fun of letting the story have a life of its own.

Oh, as far as listening to music? Nope. I like things to be perfectly quiet. I have an office where I write, a large wooden desk, with my desktop computer on top. The window next to me allows sunlight in and a glimpse of the outside world. I’m very formal about writing in the fact I have to treat it as a job. I try to keep a set schedule and writing at a desk helps to keep my mind on the “job” philosophy. If I only wrote when I felt like it, I’d never get anything done. Writing takes time, effort, and devotion. Thus, it’s butt in chair and fingers on keyboard. Oh, and the kitty sleeping in her hammock next to me doesn’t hurt, either.

What am I working on now? Well, I have a couple of other stories in progress. I can’t seem to stick to writing one at a time, so normally have a few in various stages of completion. Nice in a way because when I finish one, I can just go through my works in progress folder and pick another to work on again. Alleviates boredom that way, too!

Enough about me. Now back to Relentless. Jag meets his new spotter in Afghanistan. Sonar is an ocelot shifter with enough guts to stand up to Jag in his worst temper, yet still has enough compassion to see the man hurting deep inside and step up to help. He vows he’ll keep Jag on track, sane, and alive through this treacherous and emotional journey, no matter the cost to him.

The two kitties might start out flashing fangs but soon realize there’s much more than animosity driving them together.

Speaking of kitties, I have a big question for all of you. What is your favorite kind of shifter? Felines? Canines? Ursines? Be specific. Lions? Tigers? Wolves? Wild dogs? Another variety of shifter? What about hybrids? Tell me what you love to read in a shifter story, what mixes you crave, and what combinations you’d love to see. Comment on this question and you will be entered in the drawing to win a free ebook copy of one of my backlist stories from Dreamspinner. One winner will be chosen two days from now. So don’t be shy and don’t be tardy!

Don’t forget, you can check me out at:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/cheyenne.meadows.10

Blog: cheyennemeadows.blogspot.com

E-mail: Cheyenne1.meadows@yahoo.com

I love to hear from readers!

 

Check out Relentless today!

eBook

Paperback

Relentless-400x600

Blurb: 

Jaguar shifter and sniper extraordinaire, Jag, is tasked with his most difficult and dangerous mission to date—take out the man responsible for his spotter and husband’s violent death. Again.

Sonar, an ocelot shifter, is assigned as the new spotter to the surly and scowling feline alpha. He’s impressed with Jag’s skills but sees more beneath the surface: a grief-stricken and furious man on a trail of vengeance.

Together Sonar and Jag face perils and challenges that test their skills, resolve, and the budding feelings they have for each other. As the death toll rises, so does the heat between them. Their longings could give them the strength needed to persevere, but it also might force them to succumb and sacrifice everything. One thing’s for certain: someone won’t be making it back alive.

 

Author bio:

Growing up in the Midwest, I began reading romance novels in high school, immediately falling in love with the genre, to the point where I decided to write professionally for a career. However, that dream splattered against a brick wall and resulting quick death in my first writing class in college when my professor told me bluntly that I wasn’t any good at it.

I shifted gears quickly, and left my writing dreams behind, eventually settling on being a nurse. A few years back, I stumbled across a fan-fiction writing site on a favorite author’s webpage. I began to read stories others wrote, not only making some wonderful close friends from the experience, but also, really learning to write for the very first time. Here I was able to share short stories, practice my writing skills, and truly develop into a writer. More than that, the experience allowed me to revitalize my dream, as I rediscovered joy in writing.

When I’m not working or writing, I enjoy working in the garden, canning, and seeing my backyard as a living canvas for my whimsical landscaping, and, of course, reading romance novels.

 

Countdown to Bound, Part 2 with SJD Peterson

February 29, 2016

Over the next few weeks, join me as we catch up with old friends from Pup, Tag Team, and Pony, all leading up to the exciting conclusion of the Guards of Folsom series, Bound, coming March 14.

 

From Tag Team: Rig, Bobby, and Mason

IN THE DISTANCE a bolt of lightning cracked, splitting the horizon. The clouds churned, gray swirling billows overtaking the robin’s-egg blue of an otherwise peaceful summer sky. As if even the heavens were manifesting Mason’s anger, bearing witness to Gregory’s defeat and reflecting the sorrow of Charles’s soul trapped in that pine box.

But not today.

Today a brilliant blue sky was above Mason as he kneeled next to the headstone of his late lover, Dom, and friend. The tears of loss and grief were the same, the hole in his heart and soul still present as it would be for the rest of his existence. Yet, as he clutched the box to his chest that contained the remains of his other lover, Dom, and friend, Mason knew this time he’d be able to make it through the agony. Once the tears stopped falling and the grief released its hold on him, he’d be able to stand again. His trembling legs might be weak, but he’d be supported by the two men who had saved him from despair and pulled him away from the edge of the abyss.

Neither Bobby nor Rig said a word as they stood over him like sentries. They couldn’t protect Mason from the painful memories or the agony of loss, but with their strength and love as warm as the afternoon Florida sun, this time Mason knew he’d be okay.

I’m here, Charles, and I brought Gregory. I don’t know if you can hear me. I know you weren’t big on the whole heaven thing or life beyond, but just in case you can hear me, I need you to know there isn’t a day I don’t think about you and Gregory. I miss you both like crazy, but I’m okay now. I still grapple with guilt, you know. Sometimes I hate myself for laughing, smiling, living. But Bobby and Rig are helping me, and each day I’m getting stronger. I even have a few new friends. I know you won’t believe this, but I’m actually a member of a new club and can go there, you know, around people.

Mason smiled through his tears as he thought of Micah and Ty and the rest of the amazing men within the walls of the Guards of Folsom. He turned his attention back to Charles and shrugged.

In small doses anyway. They’re good to me, Charles. Bobby and Rig have immeasurable amounts of patience with me, but I’m scared. I’m still holding back. I want to have with them what we had, but….

Mason choked on a sob, felt the weight of loss crashing down on him, stealing his breath. A hand landed on each of Mason’s shoulders, and then like clouds parting, revealing the sun, the storm passed and he was able to get control of himself once again. Mason blew out a steadying breath.

I realize I’m holding on to the past, that I can’t truly live again, give Bobby and Rig what they need, what they deserve, until I say good-bye and let you and Gregory go. I promise I will love you both always, but I love them too and I want to make them happy, be what they want. But I need to know that’s okay, Charles.

Mason tipped his head back and closed his eyes, Charles’s and Gregory’s smiling faces so vivid it was if they were there with him. Mason wasn’t sure if it was a sign or it was Bobby and Rig, but suddenly he felt as if he’d been wrapped in big, strong arms and a peace settled into him. The tears stopped, the sun drying his damp cheeks, and he breathed deeply and steadily. A gentle breeze began to blow, and Mason knew it was time. One more deep breath and he opened his eyes. He carefully opened the small box and pushed to his feet.

With the loving arms of Bobby and Rig around him, Mason tipped the box slowly. The wind took the ashes, swirled them, some floating to the ground to cover the grave; others swirled and blew out in the direction of the ocean. Gregory would now forever be a part of the water and land he loved so much as well as with his friend and confidant.

Mason, Bobby, and Rig stood together, watching until the last of the ashes floated away. Mason looked up at first Bobby and then Rig with a smile. “I’m ready.”

Bobby placed a soft kiss to Mason’s temple. “So proud of you, baby.”

Rig simply winked at Mason and held him a little tighter. Mason knew this was part of the healing process. Bobby and Rig had been where Mason was standing now. They understood Mason’s grief, had experienced their own when they’d lost their sub. Charles might not have believed in God; Mason couldn’t be sure he did either. However, he had to believe there was a higher power at work. How else could he explain how Bobby and Rig had come to him when he needed them most or that they had been in the same type of relationship he, Charles, and Gregory had and understood. Not only understood, but had lived past their own loss and had been looking for a boy to complete them.

Charles and Gregory were his past, Bobby and Rig his destiny.

The ride back to the house was quiet but not uncomfortable, each in their own thoughts yet silently strengthening each other. Mason had one last task to complete before he could go home.

“You don’t have to do this right now if you’re not ready,” Rig said.

Mason unlocked the door to the house he’d once called home and pushed it open. “I know, but I want to.”

Bobby and Rig hung back while Mason went through each room, making sure everything was clean. He was leaving behind all the furnishings but wanted to make sure he hadn’t forgotten any personal items. He was glad he’d made the trip to the grave first, because as he walked through the house, it was just that, a house. One filled with wonderful memories, but still nothing more than a house. It wasn’t home.

“Mason, he’s here,” Bobby called from the front room.

“Hi, Donavan,” Mason greeted as he stepped out into the living room, extending his hand.

Donavan shook the offered hand. “Good to see you again. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your generosity.”

Donavan was the director and founder of the local homeless shelter for LGBT kids. He was also the recipient of Mason’s house as well as Charles’s and Gregory’s vehicles.

“It’s my pleasure.” Mason pushed into Bobby’s side, wrapping an arm around his waist. “Did you bring the paperwork?”

“I did.” Donavan held up his briefcase.

“Great, let’s have a seat.”

Rig and Bobby took the chairs on either side of Mason. Mason knew he was doing the right thing, but finalizing it on top of the visit to the graveyard had taken its toll on him. He was mentally exhausted. Rig picked up on Mason’s unease and moved his chair closer and laid a hand on Mason’s thigh. It was no surprise when Bobby too moved his chair closer to Mason, his hand landing on Mason’s other thigh.

“I’d offer you something to drink, but I’m afraid we’ve already cleaned out the fridge,” Bobby apologized.

“That’s quite all right.” Donavan pulled a file from his briefcase and slid it across the table to Mason along with a pen. “I believe you’ll find everything in order. I’ve marked all the places we’ll need your signature.”

Mason signed his name to each place a colorful tab indicated without reading the document. He trusted Donavan would have everything in order and, more importantly, had the best interest of the kids in his care at heart. Mason wasn’t sure how he felt at the moment. On one hand, he knew he was doing the right thing. The kids at the center needed this place. A place where they could get away, have some fun, enjoy the beach, and just be kids. Yet on the other hand, it was tough having to say a final good-bye to the last place that tied him to his lost Doms.

With a trembling hand, Mason pushed the file back across the table.

“Are you okay?” Donavan asked. “Do you need a little more time to think about this?”

Mason shook his head and grabbed hold of Bobby’s and Rig’s hands, entwining their fingers. Instantly, their strength surged through Mason and gave him the confidence he needed.

“No, I don’t need any time to think about it. This is what I need to do. More importantly, what I want to do.”

“Thank you,” Donavan said sincerely. “I hope you’ll come back and visit with us. I know the kids would appreciate it.”

“I’ll try.” Mason wasn’t ready to be around a bunch of kids, especially ones who would all be swarming around to thank him. Perhaps one day.

Donavan returned the file to his briefcase and stood. “I’ve got to get back.”

“I’ll get the keys,” Rig offered.

Mason and Bobby stood as well and walked Donavan to the door.

“Have you given any more thought to the name?” Donavan asked.

Donavan had asked Mason to come up with a name for the house. He’d thought a lot about it, considering the place as a camp, but hadn’t been able to think of anything that seemed appropriate. When he stopped thinking of it as a camp but rather a retreat for a family getaway, the name had come to him easily.

“Charles and Gregory’s Sunshine House.”

Donavan stared down at his feet for a brief moment and then nodded before looking up and meeting Mason’s gaze. “That’s beautiful and fitting.”

“Thank you,” Mason said sincerely.

“Here ya go.” Rig handed Donavan the two sets of keys.

“Thanks, I’ll be in touch again soon.”

Mason, Rig, and Bobby each shook Donavan’s hand and then stood together with their arms around the other and watched him leave. Mason had expected to be filled with grief and regret, at the very least a panic attack, but nothing but calmness surrounded him. He truly was ready to try to start making steps toward his future.

“Do we have enough time to walk on the beach before we have to leave for the airport?” Mason asked.

“Of course we do,” Bobby responded. “Let’s go.”

Mason left his shoes on the porch and walked down the path, loving the way the warm sand felt between his toes. He liked living in New York with Bobby and Rig, enjoyed his time at the club, and loved the fact that, with Max’s help, he was beginning to venture out and make friends for the first time. Still, he missed the beach and wasn’t a fan of the cold winters. He doubted he’d ever get used to them. But perhaps one day as his confidence grew, he’d be able to take Bobby and Rig up on their offer and start doing some traveling during the colder months, as they were not big fans of the frigid temperatures either.

Mason had barely dipped his toes into the ocean when the shrill ring of Rig’s cell phone sounded.

Rig pulled it from his pocket, a scowl marring his brow as he looked at it. “It’s Blake.” He pushed the On button and put the phone to his ear. “Hello?”

Bobby stopped abruptly. “There must be something wrong. He knows what we are doing here.”

“Yes, we’re coming back today, why?” Rig asked. “What’s up?”

Dread spread through Mason like wildfire, and he instantly sought out Bobby’s comfort. He snuggled into his Dom’s side as Rig listened, his frown deepening. Whatever Blake was saying, it wasn’t good.

“Okay, we’ll be there. See you tonight.” Rig ended the call and returned the phone to his pocket.

“What was that all about?” Bobby asked.

“It’s Jamie. He’s been kidnapped.”

 

Purchase Tag Team

Preorder Bound

BoundLG

 

Blurb:

Tek Cain & Jamie Ryan work at the Guards of Folsom BDSM club. After two years on the run from their old motorcycle club and the Feds, Tek & Jamie are finally able to relax and enjoy their new life in New York City. But the past won’t stay buried, and when the MC resurfaces, it’s Jamie who pays the price. Tek and the rest of the members at the Guards of Folsom must work together to get back one of their own.

In this, the final installment in the Guards of Folsom series, everyone must come together, bound as one in their quest to find Jamie and bring him home once and for all.

sjd-peterson

SJD Peterson, better known as Jo, is a bestselling and award-winning author of gay romance. She lives in Michigan with her Itty Bitty Kitty and Little Man. She does her best writing when under pressure of deadlines and at 3:00 a.m. when the world is quiet. Jo loves to tell stories about real people with real flaws. The happily ever after isn’t guaranteed unless it’s earned through hard work and growth. Oh, but when it’s comes, the rewards are all the better!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SJD.Peterson

Blog: sjdpeterson.blogspot.com

Twitter: @SJDPeterson

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/4563849.S_J_D_Peterson

E-mail: sjdpeterson@gmail.com

 

Spillin’ the Beans on Men of Falcon Pointe with Thianna Durston

February 27, 2016

Spillin' the Beans

Hi, Dreamspinner readers :)

With the new Men of Falcon Pointe book out, I’ve been asked lately why I wrote these books. At first, I responded with just my normal “Oh, my muse was in the mood.” But as more and more people have asked, I figure I might as well spill the beans.

Have you ever read books that became like family? Every book felt like revisiting home. Even though there were new characters in each one and a new storyline, there was the feeling of returning home again each time you picked up that well-loved book.

For me, there are a few series (book and TV) that meet that concept. Harry Potter by JK Rowling is one of my faves. So are the Corbin’s Bend (multi-author), THIRDS by Charlie Cochet, and Whyborne & Griffin by Jordan L Hawk series.  But when I try to describe my love of secondary characters, I always end up referring to the television show Gilmore Girls. Sure, the two main characters were a woman and her daughter, but it was all the secondary characters that made the show sing. Each one was like a friend and I looked forward to whatever crazy stunt they would pull next.

The Men of Falcon Pointe are the same way. In the first book 959 Brenton Street, I introduced you to some very strong male characters. In this book Finding His Home, we have new characters, but there’s also the joy of finding those friends I got to know in the first book, men who have become family to me. One of those men meets the love of his life.

I’m also pleased to say there are two more Men of Falcon Pointe books coming this summer. Yay! More chances to revisit these wonderful men.

What more is coming up for me? Well, besides Becoming Rafe and His Right Choice, the next two Men of Falcon Pointe novels, I’m thrilled about the book Vespar, which is the first book in a multi-author Action/Suspense Romance series Order of the Black Knights, which will be out fall 2016.

So tell me. What books have characters that are so much like family that you want to revisit them again and again?

Check out Finding His Home today!

FindingHisHomeFS

Blurb: 

Sebastien Cather moves to Falcon Pointe with a dream to live life his way. Offered a room at 959 Brenton Street, he discovers how liberating it can feel to live among accepting people, especially in a household where they practice loving physical discipline. And he quickly gains a boyfriend in Avery, a fellow student. Unfortunately Avery isn’t his first choice. His roommate David is fascinating and good-looking, and Bastien would do anything to have him—but he doesn’t think the attraction is returned.

Tensions rise as his roommates’ wedding is threatened and his present and past lives clash. Outed by the national media, Bastien knows he will never be able to return home again. Just as he’s sure he can’t handle any more stress, David shows his interest. Bastien slowly makes his way forward, trying to find firm footing in the minefield that is his life. But when his landlord makes an announcement about the future of the house, it may change all of his dreams.

 

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/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ThiannaDurstonAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ThiannaDurston
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ThiannaDurston
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13536433.Thianna_Durston
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/thiannad/

 

Men in Kilts with KC Burn – Post + Giveaway

February 26, 2016

Men in Kilts

Hello! I’m KC Burn, and I’m here to talk about Tartan Candy, my new novel featuring a kilted ex-porn star and a blue collar worker, set in Orlando.

Once upon a time… or six years ago… I attended my first Romance Writers of America National Conference in Orlando. It was supposed to have been in Nashville that year, but they had terrible, terrible flooding that necessitated a change in venue. While I felt awful for the residents of Nashville, the move to my (then) home turf meant I was finally able to attend after years of waiting. I’ve been lucky enough to attend a few RWA national conferences since, along with a number of other incredibly awesome romance conferences.

If you’ve never been to a convention dedicated to romance (either as a writer or a reader), let me tell you, they’re primarily women attendees. Each year, I see more and more men, but that year in Orlando, it was probably around 99% women. The convention hotel even changed the men’s restrooms to women’s for the duration of the conference on the main floors to accommodate – which appears to be common practice from what I’ve seen.

The weird thing about the Orlando conference was that I only saw about 3 men, and they were all wearing kilts (and no… I don’t believe any of them were Damon Suede).  My friend Chudney Thomas and I were having a drink on a patio and discussing the odds of having three men in kilts appearing independently at one event. I hung on to that little writing prompt for years. I’d sort of assumed I’d end up writing a ménage featuring three kilted men, but that many hot men in kilts would probably fry my computer. Or my brain. Either way, it was safer to revise the storyline. But I made sure to give a little nod to that conference in Tartan Candy.

I’ve long been a fan of men in kilts. One of my favourite images is an old Vanity Fair cover of Ewan McGregor from 1998. I must admit, I don’t often read magazines nor do I often use visual prompts, but I picked that magazine up and kept the cover. I still have it in my “inspiration” files to this day. And the chicken just adds a certain flair. So hot. Er… Ewan, not the chicken.

Although I’m hoping Raven will make it into your top ten list of kilted men, have you got any favourites, fictional or otherwise?

One random commenter will win an e-copy of one of my backlist titles from Dreamspinner Press.

TartanCandy200

 

Tartan Candy Blurb:

Finlay McIntyre (aka Raven) is a successful adult film star with a penchant for kilts, until an accident cuts short his stardom and leaves him with reduced sex appeal, lowered self-esteem, and no job. He knew his porn career wouldn’t last forever, but he wasn’t prepared for retirement at twenty-eight. While trying to figure out the rest of his life, Raven attends a high school reunion. That’s when a malfunctioning AC unit in his hotel room changes everything.

Caleb Sanderson, an entrepreneur with his own HVAC business, has no idea what to expect when he steps into Raven’s hotel room to fix his AC unit. They’re attracted to each other, but Caleb, closeted, can’t afford a gay relationship, not with his mom pressuring him to produce grandchildren. If he wants to keep Raven—who no closet could hold—he’ll need to tell his family the truth. But Raven has a few secrets of his own. He refuses to reveal his porn past to Caleb, a past that might be the final obstacle to Caleb and Raven having any kind of relationship.

 

You can find me online at:

Website || Facebook || Twitter

About KC

KC Burn has been writing for as long as she can remember and is a sucker for happy endings (of all kinds). After moving from Toronto to Florida for her husband to take a dream job, she discovered a love of gay romance and fulfilled a dream of her own—getting published. After a few years of editing web content by day, and neglecting her supportive, understanding hubby and needy cat at night to write stories about men loving men, she was uprooted yet again and now resides in California. Writing is always fun and rewarding, but writing about her guys is the most fun she’s had in a long time, and she hopes you’ll enjoy them as much as she does.

Political Manifestations with Annie Kaye – Post + Giveaway

February 25, 2016

Political

Hello! My name is Annie Kaye, and I’m honoured to have been invited to introduce my novel Run on the DSP blog.

Amid the tumult of the Iowa Democratic primary, young but brilliant speechwriter Tom McAlindon meets Nathan Harris, the deputy campaign manager for an opposing candidate. Their acquaintance is strictly professional until an impetuous kiss on a cold winter night leads them into a secret romance. As their feelings deepen, both men struggle with the complications of keeping the relationship separate from their jobs and the inner workings of the campaigns.

But in the nation’s most high-stakes political game, no secret is truly safe. When an observer realizes their connection, Tom and Nate discover that striving for the best of both worlds has a much higher cost than they bargained for… and that love can’t survive while Nate is hiding the truth from Tom.

I began writing Run in 2011, before the last U.S election. Writing very slowly, it took me two years to complete the original manuscript. The idea for Run came from an older Canadian folk rock song, called Five Days in July. The song is old enough that I remember it being on the radio in 1994 when I was doing a short, ill-fated stint as a receptionist at a moving company (worst job ever, by the way).

But it was well over fifteen years later when the idea for Run came to me, and it was because of the opening line of that song – “They met in a hurricane”. For some reason it made me think of the old Democratic National Conventions of the 1960s, when the eventual presidential candidate was actually decided there at the convention; delegates camped out on the arena floor under the banner of their state; and the last-minute arrangements and deals that were being made. I envisioned two people – two men – finding each other in the midst of that atmosphere, and eventually leaving it behind, hand in hand, to drive south, choosing each other rather than all the craziness.

Once I committed to the storyline, I had a lot to learn about American politics. My husband is American and quite politically aware, so I likely started off with a greater awareness of the process than the average Canadian would need to. But at times I still struggle to wrap my head around some of the differences between your system and ours – not to mention that the two parties each have their own set of rules about how the candidates are nominated.

Although it was inspired by a song, I don’t tend to listen to music when I’m writing. I like to be really alone when I’m working, and if I can’t have quiet, I have headphones and white noise. I have a nice long rainstorm track that I loop on iTunes, or else this (really letting my freak flag fly, here): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPoqNeR3_UA It’s the NCC-1701-D at idle. For someone who grew up as a huge fan of Star Trek: TNG, it’s the sound of home for me. I especially employ these when I’m writing at work on my lunch. I can sit in my cubicle and be mostly undisturbed.

Last fall I began working on a new story that requires some pretty heavy-duty research, which was put on hold for three months or so as I got into the content editing for Run. I’m looking forward to getting back into the research as it has me making plans to observe some team practices for a particular sport. Although I would call this activity my favourite form of exercise, I know very little about the competitive side of the sport. This manuscript will have two disparate types of athletes intersecting, and will build on a really rewarding volunteer experience I had a few years ago.

Random fact about me: I have IGS – Idealized Grandparent Syndrome. I can’t write grandparents who aren’t warm, loving, accepting people. In every longer story I’ve written, at least one of the characters has a grandparent who has had a profoundly positive influence on them. For me, it’s a way of honouring my grandparents, as well as my husband’s. They were all intelligent, compassionate, lively, and perfectly wonderful characters people; and if I’m fortunate enough to be published again, I promise kind and loving grandparents.

I make no such promises for parents. ;)

What about you? Have you had any older relatives or family friends who’ve had an effect for the better in your life? Tell me about it in the comments, below, before March 3, 2016 at 11:59 pm Eastern. One commenter will be selected to win a free digital copy of Run!

Cheers,

Annie Kaye

Check out Run today!

Blurb: 

Amid the tumult of the Iowa Democratic primary, young but brilliant speechwriter Tom McAlindon meets Nathan Harris, the deputy campaign manager for an opposing candidate. Their acquaintance is strictly professional until an impetuous kiss on a cold winter night leads them into a secret romance. As their feelings deepen, both men struggle with the complications of keeping the relationship separate from their jobs and the inner workings of the campaigns.

But in the nation’s most high-stakes political game, no secret is truly safe. When an observer realizes their connection, Tom and Nate discover that striving for the best of both worlds has a much higher cost than they bargained for… and that love can’t survive while Nate is hiding the truth from Tom.
Bio:

Annie Kaye’s first ‘real’ job was a career in insurance. After fourteen years, the industry had wrung from her everything it could, leaving her desperate for a change that would allow her to flex her long-dormant creativity. She left her job and took several months off, planning to spend them on the couch in her yoga pants. Not six weeks had elapsed before she’d rediscovered a long-lost love: putting words to paper. Since 2009 she has written almost a million words of fiction, each piece bearing a common theme: love and relationships between gay men.

Balancing family, work, creative efforts, and community involvement – and trying to hit the gym once in a while – are all near the top of Annie’s to-do list. At her home in the woods of rural Ontario, Canada, she endeavours to carve out her writing space from amid the joyful noise created by her husband, their two children, one dog, one cat, and the woodpeckers who sharpen their beaks on her windowsills.

Website: www.anniekaye.com
Twitter: @anniekayefic
Facebook: www.facebook.com/anniekayefiction
(More third-party vendor links available on my FB page)