Ronnie’s Car

November 23, 2015

I thought I’d post a picture of one of Ronnie’s cars.    This is one of his Lamborghinis.



Eyes Only For Me – Excerpt.

November 23, 2015



For years, Clayton Potter’s been friends and workout partners with Ronnie. Though Clay is attracted, he’s never come on to Ronnie because, let’s face it, Ronnie only dates women.

When Clay’s father suffers a heart attack, Ronnie, having recently lost his dad, springs into action, driving Clay to the hospital over a hundred miles away. To stay close to Clay’s father, the men share a hotel room near the hospital, but after an emotional day, one thing leads to another, and straight-as-an-arrow Ronnie make a proposal that knocks Clay’s socks off! Just a little something to take the edge off.

Clay responds in a way he’s never considered. After an amazing night together, Clay expects Ronnie to ignore what happened between them and go back to his old life. Ronnie surprises him and seems interested in additional exploration. Though they’re friends, Clay suddenly finds it hard to accept the new Ronnie and suspects that Ronnie will return to his old ways. Maybe they both have a thing or two to learn.

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I changed in the locker room while Ronnie talked to everyone. His big personality was back, and it was good to see. After filling my water bottle, I went up to the mezzanine to the treadmills. I got on one, dropped my phone into one of the cup holders, then started the machine and began my workout. I had a good view of the workout floor, so I watched as the others went through their routines, talking constantly as they did. A few times I saw Ronnie glance up, making the occasional rude gesture and then grinning like a naughty child. I was about to give him one back when my phone rang. I picked it up and answered it.

“Is this Clayton Potter?” I heard a strange voice ask.

“Yes, it is,” I answered, figuring this was some sort of telemarketing call. I made a mental note to check the do-not-call lists.

“I’m Dr. Greenway down at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Your father listed you as next of kin. He was brought in earlier today. I’m afraid he’s had as many as three strokes in the past few hours.”

Hearing the word stroke, I forgot what I was doing or where I was. The machine kept working even as I stopped, and it pushed me off the back. I stumbled and managed to keep from crashing to the floor but ended up in a heap nonetheless as my legs gave out.

“Mr. Potter, are you all right?”

“I don’t know” was the only answer I could form. My head buzzed and my ears rang, hands and legs tingling. “How is he now?”

“Howard is stable at the moment, but he’s slipped into a coma. Part of it is the body’s way of protecting itself. We need to run some more tests to determine the cause of the strokes, and then we may need to perform surgery to try to correct the blockage in his neck. Is it possible for you to get here? We will need permission to perform the surgery. I can do emergency surgery without it, but I would prefer we time this as best we can.”

“Yes. I’ll see about leaving as soon as I can.” I stared at the phone, sitting on the floor while other people began gathering around me. I scanned the faces, people I didn’t know all asking questions that didn’t seem to register. Then Ronnie pushed his way in, and I took a deep breath as the fog over my mind lifted somewhat.

“What happened?”

“It’s my dad,” I told him. Those words galvanized Ronnie into action. He helped me to my feet and grabbed my things from the machine before turning it off.

“What happened to him?” Ronnie asked.

“Stroke,” I answered. “Got to get to Johns Hopkins.”

Ronnie stared into my eyes. “You can’t drive. Not like this.” Even as he said the words, he was already leading me down the steps and toward the locker room. “Change your clothes.” He left me in front of my locker, and I stared at it, forcing my hands to work. I pulled off my gym clothes and got back into the regular ones. By the time I was done, Ronnie was dressed.

“Where are you going?” I asked.

“My dad was at Hopkins,” Ronnie told me, and then he snatched up my bag and took me by the arm. My head was clearing, and the feeling was returning in my arms and legs, but I still felt shaky on my feet. He half propelled me toward the door, stopped at the desk briefly, and then we continued outside.

“My car is over there,” I said, but Ronnie guided me to his and somehow managed to get both gym bags in the tiny trunk of the Lamborghini.

“I’m taking you down.” He unlocked the car and lifted the door upward. It felt like I was still almost on the ground once I got in. Ronnie pushed the door down to close it and came around to the driver’s side. As soon as he got in, he started the engine, which roared to life, and within minutes we were out of the lot and entering the freeway.

“You don’t have to do this,” I said, a little belatedly, though I was pleased he thought enough of me to take this much care. Ronnie and I were friends, but he was a very busy man whose time was extremely valuable.

“Of course I do.” Ronnie reached over and patted my leg a few times, then returned his hand to the wheel. “When my dad was in the hospital, you came in all the time, talked to him and Mom.” Ronnie’s voice faltered for a few seconds. “She told me how you used to sit with her and just listen while she spouted all kinds of crap. Her words. She said she needed someone to talk with, and you were there.” Ronnie continued driving as I stared out the window. I’d made the drive from Harrisburg to Baltimore more times than I could count. It had been just my dad and me for a long time.

Welcome to the Eyes Only for Me Release Party

November 23, 2015

Good morning!  I’m Andrew Grey and I’ll be hosting the release party for Eyes Only For Me for much of the day right here at the Dreamspinner Blog.  So ask a question, comment all you want.  But especially on this post because I’ll choose one commenter to win the Andrew Grey story of the choice.    So let’s get this party started!!!!


Dream Dishes: Diane Adams’s Tostadas and Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

November 22, 2015

With the holidays looming and our schedules becoming increasingly hectic it’s nice to have something quick and healthy to fix for dinner. I’d like to share a couple of recipes that are favorites at my house. These are my personal recipes and I’ve never tried to share them before so be gentle!

This first one I made up on the fly one night when I needed something quick. What a surprise that the kids love it! I hope you do too.


Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

 pasta plated


 prv ingredients 



  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with foil. Use a single sheet and fit it to the bottom and sides of the pan. Be careful not to tear it. Oil it with some olive oil (or oil of choice).

  2. Wash, slice all vegetables except the tomatoes and garlic. Pile them on the foil lined sheet pan include the whole tomatoes. Crush the garlic cloves over the top. Use more or less garlic to your personal taste. Salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Place in oven on center rack. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Keep an eye on it and take it out when the vegetables are roasted to your taste. Cook pasta according to package directions while vegetables are roasting.

  1. Dump the vegetables on top of the cooked pasta. Make sure you get all the juice in the pot too, you don’t want dry noodles! Toss the vegetables and pasta to combine. and that’s it! Enjoy!!!

pasta plated

  1. This recipe is super adaptable. I’ve made it with Italian sausage and asparagus. Feel free to add cheese, though as much as I love cheese I prefer this dish without. Since I made up this recipe myself, the instructions are not professional. If you have any questions, please leave them in comments and I’ll do my best to answer.


And now…Tostadas!

I didn’t make up tostadas (obviously), but here is how I fix them at home. You’ll notice there’s not much (any) heat in my recipes. I’m not one for a lot of spice, but I’ve nothing against you adding as much as you like.




  1. Roast one small chicken (about 3 or 4 lbs) or use a rotisserie chicken. Let the chicken cool and bone it. Shred the meat.

  2. Chop the peppers and dice the onion. Sauté the onion until soft. Add the peppers continue to cook until fragrant. Add the shredded chicken and Fajita sauce. Cook over medium low heat until heated through. Allow to simmer while you heat the refried beans. If the beans are very thick you can thin them slightly with chicken broth.

  3. Spread a tostada with refried beans, a couple tablespoons. Spread sour cream over the refried beans, add the chicken mixture (don’t over load the tostada!) and then toppings of choice.

  1. That’s it! Yummy tostadas ready to eat. As you can see my choice of toppings doesn’t include lettuce (icky, icky lettuce, boo!) I think some black olives might be a welcome addition next time.


They aren’t beautiful but they are delicious! I usually have sweet tea with my dinner; which will come as no surprise to those who know me.  I also have a collection of really cute cups which makes drinking my tea fun.

Please let me know if you try the recipes! I’ll be happy to answer questions. I hope you enjoy!



Twitter: @d_adams

Facebook: Diane Adams


Dream Dishes: Karen Stivali’s Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites with Maple Glaze

November 20, 2015

Cooking for friends and family is one of my favorite things, not just at the holidays, but all year round. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid and have a collection of handwritten, tried-and-true recipes in a well-worn three ring binder. Growing up with one Jewish grandmother and one Italian Catholic grandmother, food held a very significant place in my life and sharing it with people was a way of bonding and creating powerful sensory-filled memories. That’s a big part of what’s made eating and cooking an important facet of my life and it’s also why mentions of food work their way into every one of my books.

When I tried this appetizer recipe for a party, it was the first platter to be emptied. It combines some of my favorite things (maple syrup, bacon, cinnamon, sweet potatoes) and it’s naturally gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free and grain free so it’s suitable for people with a wide range of food allergies. Also—YUM. Enjoy! And if you’d like to try out some of my other recipes, check out the recipe section on my blog.

~ ~ ~

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites with Maple Drizzle

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes (3/4″-1″)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (more or less, to taste)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 lb bacon strips, halved
maple syrup, for drizzling or dipping
wooden toothpicks

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Melt butter and mix in cinnamon and cayenne.

Toss sweet potatoes in butter mixture.

Dip into brown sugar to give a light coating (press on gently with fingers).

Wrap each cube in bacon and secure with toothpick.

Place on cookie sheet (with rim) or in 9×13 pan. (Or use disposable aluminum pans for quicker clean up.)

Bake until sweet  potato is cooked through and bacon is desired crispness (40-60 minutes depending on size of cubes).

Drizzle with maple syrup and serve warm (with extra maple syrup for dipping, if desired).

Makes roughly 30 bites (you can tweak the amount depending on how many bacon slices you have, etc).


To hear me talk about books, movies, my notorious naughty feline companion BadKitteh, or a host of other topics ranging from food to sex and back again, follow or contact me at any of these places:






E-mail: karenstivali[at]gmail[dot]com

Dream Dishes: Patricia Correll’s Sugar Cookies and Frosting

November 19, 2015

Cut-Out Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting


When my mom was a kid, she and her five siblings lived across the street from their paternal  grandmother. Every holiday season Great-Grandma made hundreds of these cookies and stored them in Tupperware containers under her bed. Six kids eat a lot of cookies!

I started making these cookies with my mom when I was 18 months old. At first I was only able to help cut out the shapes, but as I got older I was allowed to do more. I’m 36 now and I think I’ve gotten pretty decent at frosting these things, and I’ve acquired an impressive array of cookie cutters, including a manatee and a unicorn.

My older son is 6 and loves making these as well. His favorite part is cutting them out…or it might be the frosting process, which  usually involves many, many sprinkles. The baby will be ready to help in the next few months. And, like generations of mothers before me, I’ll pretend to not see when they sneak bits of dough into their mouths…as long as they say nothing when I do it too.

Cookie Dough
(20 minutes. Number of cookies is variable depending on the size of the cookie cutters you use. One batch is usually around 24 cookies)

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Mix dry ingredients together. Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to mixture (don’t kill your mixer’s motor, near the end you’ll need a wooden spoon and some arm muscles to mix it up). Cover dough with wax paper and chill for an hour minimum (overnight is better).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, depending on how you like your cookies. Go to town with cookie cutters, then place shapes 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 6-8 minutes or until edges are brown. Tip: leave them on the sheet a minute to cool before transferring them to a wire rack, they might fall apart if moved too soon.

Tip: To keep metal cookie cutters from rusting (sometimes it’s hard to dry in the little crevices), wash they quickly and then lay them out on a cookie sheet and stick it in the oven while it is off, but still warm. They dry quickly with no rust. But don’t do this with plastic cutters, unless you want to ruin your cookie cutters and your sheets. I only tried that once…

Buttercream Frosting (15 minutes)

I/2  cup butter, softened (not melted!)
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk (variable)

Sift confectioner’s sugar into bowl; mix on low with the softened butter. Add vanilla extract and milk until desired consistency. Color with food coloring and frost cookies. Don’t forget the sprinkles. So many sprinkles! HAHA SO MANY SPRINKLES. Load on that frosting, because the cookies are really just vehicles to convey frosting to your mouth.


Patricia Correll:


Not Quite Skynet with Clancy Nacht

November 18, 2015

Not Quite Skynet

I’m Clancy Nacht, and I’m here to talk about my new book, the sci fi thriller romance, Strange Times.

This isn’t my first time at the m/m rodeo. I’ve written several novels and novellas in the past, including the Black Gold series and The WASPs, which was originally released at Dreamspinner Press way back in my early days of writing. Funnily to me, the books I often read are horror and thrillers, but what was in my heart and soul to write was always romance. I think when it came to romance, I had things to say, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve really started to merge those interests.

Like many kids, I was taken to see the Star Wars series as a child and I loved it. I wanted to be Han Solo (though in the neighborhood I was always cast as Leia–she’s not bad either but hrmf) but I wanted a light saber. I spent hours with other kids playing war with sticks, imagining epic battles between good and evil. As I got older, I read Asimov and Bradbury, planting the seeds for a love of a genre I wouldn’t write in until much, much later.

This is my first longer work of sci fi. I’ve written the odd short story where you can create a very quick sketch of a vision of the future, but this story required me to think a lot harder and more deeply about what this vision of the future was.

I was working for an electric company and spent a good deal of time considering the power grid. As we add more electric conveniences, we are, as with everything in America, adding to an already overburdened infrastructure which may or may not be able to handle it. Pertinent to this particular novel was the concept of the Smart Grid, which is a blanket term for an electrical grid that can communicate with appliances in your home.

Say your air conditioning/heating unit is able to talk to the grid, which is then able to talk to an application on your smartphone. Say you’re on vacation and realize that you left your thermostat set to 72 and it’s 100 degrees outside. You don’t need to pay for all of that extra cooling, so you set it to 85 from wherever you’re vacationing. Thermostats are the front line for this concept, but the idea is to get all appliances on that grid so you can turn lights on or off, check on your fridge, basically control all your electronics remotely.

It’s hardly Skynet, but amusingly, some people are very, very alarmed by this and would write in on social media that the “chatter” between the thermostat and the grid gave them headaches. Others became very concerned that their appliances might be spying on them. Both suggest very interesting ideas and stories, but this idea of appliance spying and our reliance on smartphones is really what inspired the world of thought control in Strange Times.

That world has been hit by war and disaster but picks up the bones of civilization as we know it–now put under the control of a violent right wing extremist who is deadly serious about eradicating homosexuality. There’s also a symbiotic species of alien whose arrival on earth saves us from ecological disaster….but the aliens have their own agenda and are rumored to feast on humans. Those named criminals are sacrificed to the aliens.

Just to be who they are in this oppressive world, our heroes have to become rebels. Homosexuals are given the option to be reprogrammed and join the military or die. One of the main characters, Turk, is an ex-soldier who turns militant rebel. Alex is a young man about to enter college who’d successfully hidden his homosexuality until being caught in a honeytrap set up by the oppressive government. It’s Turk’s job to save him.

On top of being sexy and exciting, I hope this story also gets people thinking. To that end, one of the ideas posed does have to do with our devices. When you think about it, with GPS on in our phones, our banking information, our email, our texts, our contacts…our devices can paint a frighteningly accurate picture of us. Never before have we had such an invasive set of information collected in a one-stop shop sort of place. Yet, it’s just so convenient to have and use.


Do you ever think about the data that is being compiled? Do you worry about that? Do you think only people doing things that are bad should be worried? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

For these and other slightly frightening thoughts, you can find me in spooky omnipresence:


Dream Dishes: Devon Rhodes’s Family Traditions, Cornucopias and Oysters

November 16, 2015

Family histories—so many times you don’t appreciate them until the person who knows the information is gone. And of course traditions you grow up with are hard to break, even little things…like how you keep your recipes.

My grandmothers on both sides as well as my mom all have wooden recipe boxes that sit on their counters, some index card sized, others bigger, with all tons of recipe cards inside. So of course I wanted one too. I didn’t want to buy just any old box—but I had a hard time finding one I liked.

Devon with Marge Sept 2015

Then when I was visiting my paternal grandmother in Rhode Island before I was married, she threw me a surprise bridal shower for my extended family there, since most of them wouldn’t be traveling to attend my wedding. And she gave me one of her recipe boxes that had survived the house fire that had destroyed her house in 1990. She had more than one, she told me, and wanted me to have this one because Red, my grandfather, had made it. It smelled a little smoky, but was in pretty good shape except for a crack on the lid from the heat from the fire or the water from the firefighters or some combination of the two.

Rhodes Family Recipe Box

In a side note— years later my dad came across a sheet of paper with a drawing of a cornucopia inside a book and made a frame for it. When I visited, I recognized that it was the cornucopia on top of the recipe box, that my grandfather had drawn (or more likely traced) to stencil on the top, then tucked into the book.

Anyway, when I got the box from Marge, she also had my relatives write out some recipes to put inside to start it off, and included some of her own, including one of my favorites—Scalloped Oysters.

Everyone’s family has those required dishes for the holidays—you know, the ones where leaving them out would probably cause the world to stop spinning—and ours is no different.

The original Scalloped Oysters recipe came from at least as far back as my paternal great-great-grandmother. The Rhodes side of the family has been in New England since the early 1600s (not a typo), and it’s a dish that makes me think of that part of the country. It was a side dish that my grandmother always made, and so Dad requested it be included in holiday meals when he married my mom. And of course, when I moved out on my own, I brought the tradition with me.

Many people put oysters in their stuffings, or have some sort of scalloped corn dish they make, but this recipe is nothing like either of those. I liken it most to grilled fresh-shucked oysters you get in seafood restaurants—same flavor, just all in one big dish rather than individually. Now I live in Oregon and have access to great oysters, which makes it even better.

Oysters do have a reputation, I know, and while I can’t verify the libido-increasing powers of this recipe, I can say that it’s the one that my guests request the most. ☺ Maybe give it a try this holiday season when pints of fresh oysters are easy to find in the meat section, and let me know what you think! And if you make it on Thanksgiving or Christmas, know that there are Rhodes households from Oregon to Nebraska to Rhode Island having the same dish.



Rhodes’ Scalloped Oysters

2 pints fresh shucked oysters (not canned—you can find them in the seafood section of the meat department)

4 Tbsp reserved liquid

2 Tbsp ½ and ½ or milk

½ c. fine bread crumbs

1 ½ c. cracker crumbs (I usually do half saltines and half Club crackers, but suit your taste—roll and pound in a plastic bag)

½ c. (1 stick) melted butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9×9 baking dish. Mix the crumbs together and stir in the melted butter. Pat a thin layer in the bottom of the baking dish. Add oysters in a single layer. Packed tight is fine. Salt and pepper then drizzle the combined liquids over the oysters. Top with the remaining crumbs Bake 30 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!


When I’m not lost in my imagination, you can find me in beautiful Oregon and at:

My Website:
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Yellow Streak Release Party, #6

November 13, 2015

Susan Laine here, saying big thanks to everyone reading these posts about Yellow Streak by Dreamspinner Press. I hope you’ve enjoyed the excerpts, pictures (few more delicious ones below), and insight into the issues being dealt with in the Heroes At Heart series. Thank you for your company and comments, and I hope you continue to enjoy my stories. Goodbye, and see you around the internet :)


THE GIVEAWAY: Anyone who comments on any of the Release Party posts is part of the giveaway, for one e-book copy of Yellow Streak, Yellowbelly Hero, or any book in my backlog. The winner will be named tomorrow, so comment anywhere and stay tuned! :)


A few last pictures to whet your appetite <3

CrisArt 18 CrisArt 19CrisArt 20CrisArt 21


(CrisArt) The last picture hints at the future of Yancy and Curt’s relationship, as Yancy wants to be a writer and Curt just loves listening to his voice <3


Susan Laine is an award-winning, multi-published author of LGBTQ erotic romance. Susan lives in Finland, where summers are wet and winters long. Thankfully, she’s kept plenty warm by the spark for writing, which kindled when Susan discovered the sizzling hot gay erotic romance genre. Trained as an anthropologist, Susan’s long-term plan is to become a full-time writer. Susan enjoys hanging out with her sister, two nieces, and friends in movie theaters, bookstores, and parks. Her favorite pastimes include listening to music, watching action flicks, eating chocolate, and doing the dishes while pondering the meaning of life.

Susan Laine


Dreamspinner Press e-book
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks

Yellow Streak Release Party, #5

November 13, 2015

Susan here, still talking about Yellow Streak, and Heroes At Heart series by Dreamspinner Press. I’m entering the last hour of my Release Party for Yellow Streak. I hope you’ve enjoyed the excerpts (one more below, a sexy one!), pictures, and insight into the issues being dealt with in the Heroes At Heart series.


Now… the Giveaway: Anyone who has commented on any of the Release Party posts is part of the giveaway, for one e-book copy of Yellow Streak, or any book in my backlog. The winner will be named tomorrow, so comment anywhere and stay tuned! :)



Intense Kiss

Now… time for a steamy, sensual (R) excerpt:

Five minutes later Curt and I lay together on my bed, side by side, butt naked.
His hand rested on my hipbone. Every so often he made a tiny circle with his fingertips, gliding over my skin soft as a feather, a flirtation of touch. For a while we locked gazes. I believe what we did could be called communing without words. He was asking me questions about what we would do tonight, and I answered with wantonness that I was ready for anything.
Finally he slipped his hand over my hip down to the small of my back and gently nudged me closer until our bodies touched. His chest hair tickled my hairless chest. His hot, hard cock kissed my equally needy organ. He shoved one leg between my thighs and thus brought our balls into a nuzzling bond. And his lips fell on mine, the touch at first fleeting, a brief savoring, but soon growing into fiery urgency and a deep-seated need to taste.
Curt used his knee to pry my legs farther apart and then settled between them.
He was on top of me, his crushing weight hovering over me, held back by the strength of his steely muscles. I had to feel him on me, lying on top of me, being mine. When he finally did allow himself to lie down and press fully onto me, we breathed simultaneous sighs of satisfaction. I wrapped my arms and legs around him, pulling him closer, like I couldn’t get enough of him.
His kisses grew harder, more voracious and demanding. His tongue seemed to search my mouth like an explorer in an unknown land. He sucked my tongue gently, though, and I knew he didn’t want to hurt me.
I showed him I didn’t mind his roughness—it was a part of him—and scraped my nails across his back, summoning forth tiny drops of blood. Curt moaned, and his hips bucked into me, his cock rubbing mine.
Hot, sticky droplets landed between our writhing bodies and got smeared. I didn’t know if they were mine or his, precome or pee.
“Shh,” Curt whispered into the kiss, his breath fanning over me. “It’s just us. Forget everything else. I want you. So fucking much.”
It seemed Curt didn’t care what the droplets were.
Therefore neither did I.
Reseizing my mouth, he devoured me.



Susan Laine is an award-winning, multi-published author of LGBTQ erotic romance. Susan lives in Finland, where summers are wet and winters long. Thankfully, she’s kept plenty warm by the spark for writing, which kindled when Susan discovered the sizzling hot gay erotic romance genre. Trained as an anthropologist, Susan’s long-term plan is to become a full-time writer. Susan enjoys hanging out with her sister, two nieces, and friends in movie theaters, bookstores, and parks. Her favorite pastimes include listening to music, watching action flicks, eating chocolate, and doing the dishes while pondering the meaning of life.

Susan Laine


Dreamspinner Press e-book
Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks