Hello, World by Laura Lascarso + Giveaway

March 14, 2018

hello world

 

 

Hi, everybody, it’s nice to meet you. I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Laura Lascarso, and I still feel relatively new to the M/M romance world. I came here from the land of young adult, which is why many of my stories tend to focus around the teenaged years, though I am beginning to branch out into ye olden years of the early twenties.

I think I like the age range of late teens because that is when the world begins to bloom, and life seems at times both unpredictable and terrifying. It’s an emotional time too, and I love delving into all kinds of feelings with my characters, which is what you will find with my latest novel, When Everything Is Blue.

I sometimes write sexual relationships between young adults because I think fiction is a relatively safe environment for people of all ages to explore physical and emotional intimacy. Because there are so few mainstream young adult books featuring LGBTQIA main characters, representing a variety of relationships, sexual or not, is all the more important.

(I don’t know if I’m getting everything right, but I promise you I am trying.)

I came to Dreamspinner Press and M/M romance in a roundabout way. Basically, I kept writing stories that were getting rejected by mainstream for various reasons (the fault is my own), so I decided to go outside the traditional publishing route to find readers elsewhere. And that’s how I came to find you!

The best thing about romance readers, in particular M/M, is your enthusiasm and voraciousness in reading. I’m a bit of an online voyeur so one of my favorite things is to not only read book reviews (mine and others), but also read the comments back and forth discussing the book. I learn so much about readers’ tastes, likes and dislikes. I also find new authors and books to love.

There seems to be a real camaraderie between readers on Goodreads, which is kind of like having a really big online book club, which to me sounds like the absolute best way to spend your free time.

And sometimes there’s a bit of drama, but I feel like that happens in any community where people are passionate about their subject and invested in their relationships.

So, all of this is to say that I’m very happy to be here, and I appreciate all of the encouragement and support readers have sent my way. I can’t speak for other writers, but I truly value your input and feedback on my creative projects and hope that as I grow as a writer, I can continue to craft stories that will entertain and engage you.

–Laura Lascarso

 

Check out When Everything is Blue today!

 

WhenEverythingIsBlue_postcard_front_DSP

 

Dreamspinner Press
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Blurb:

Sometimes the people we need most aren’t bonded by blood but by something deeper.

When they were kids, golden boy Chris Mitcham rescued dweeby Theo Wooten from the neighborhood bullies and taught him how to “be cool.” Now, years later, Theo’s developed feelings for his best friend that “arise” at the most inopportune times. Theo hates lying to Chris, but in coming out, he might lose the one person who understands him best, a risk he’s not willing to take.

When a relationship with another young man goes south, Theo is forced to confront his own sexuality along with his growing attraction to Chris and the stunted, tenuous relationship Theo has with his father. Will Chris abandon Theo when he learns the truth, or will he stand by him in this tumultuous season of self-discovery? In this quirky coming-of-age romance, Theo’s path to manhood is fraught with several awkward firsts, a few haters, but also the tender comfort of an unexpected lover.

 

Author Bio:

Laura Lascarso wants you to stay up way past your bedtime reading her stories. She aims to inspire more questions than answers in her fiction and believes in the power of storytelling to heal and transform a society. When not writing, Laura can be found screaming “finish” on the soccer fields, rewatching Veronica Mars, and trying to convince politicians that climate change is real. She lives in North Florida with her darling husband and two kids. She loves hearing from readers, and she’d be delighted to hear from you.
Website: lauralascarso.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/lascarso
Twitter: @lauralascarso

 

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Exclusive Excerpt by Liv Olteano + Giveaway

February 26, 2018

Liv Olteano Exclusive Excerpt

 

 

” “So, what have you been up to during these last few years?” I asked, and got back to finishing my burger.
He shrugged. “This and that. I worked small jobs, just like this one. I thought about moving from New Jersey for a while, and I finally did it. There was too much history there,” he added in a small voice.
My stomach clenched with guilt. “You moved straight to Seattle?”
“Yeah.”
“How did your family react?”
“They weren’t thrilled. But they’d finally given up on trying to push me out of my gayness in order to marry their neighbor’s daughter, so they didn’t make that much of a fuss either.”
“Are you happier here?”
He looked away. “I guess. Some things are the same, but at least the scenery is new. I’m not trying to rock my own pity party here. It’s just been tough.”
“Did you go through a bad breakup before moving away? I mean, if it’s not too personal to ask.”
“You mean another one, after ours?” he said with his face still turned away, but glancing at me from the corner of his eye.
“Yes.”
“I dated a few guys, but it never seemed to work out. So I can’t say there was any major breakup since us. What about you?”
“I dated casually, but not that much.”
“I don’t know if I should find that insulting or comforting,” he said, frowning. “It would have made more sense if you’d dumped me for someone else. Now you’re saying you dumped me for a series of random fucks?”
I bit my lower lip. “It sounds really bad if you put it like that. I ‘dumped’ you because I was confused and my mind was messed up. It wasn’t about wanting to date anyone else.”
“So I killed your appetite for relationships altogether? Wow.”
I reached out and set my hand over his on the coffee cup. “You know that’s not what I meant.”
We both stared at the point of contact. I felt sparks flying from that simple touch. Goddamn me, I wanted him back so bad right now.
“The fact that you left is still raw, all these years later. It’s why I know I still have feelings for you. If I didn’t, then seeing you again wouldn’t have gotten me too worked up, right?”
“You’re worked up?”
He rolled his eyes.
“I think you’re right. It’s how I know I still love you. Because seeing you did get me all sorts of worked up.”
“But if we do give it another shot, the resentment will pop up every now and then. Or more often. Or all the time. And I won’t act like it’s not there.”
“I wouldn’t want you to pretend.”
“Are you really sure you want to go down this road?” he asked, still staring at our touching hands.
I took a moment to think about it. “Yes. I am sure. And I’m aware that it won’t be easy.”
He looked up at me and smiled. “Where’s the fun in easy, right?”
I smiled back. “Right.”
“My break is kind of over. I’ll get your cinnamon rolls and the café frappe, okay?”
“Thanks for spending your break with me.”
He got up, grabbing his coffee cup and my empty plates. As he was leaving, he said over his shoulder, “I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.”
“I’m happy you feel that way.” ”

 

Check out Lover, Lover today!

 

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Blurb:

Twin souls reunited.

Drew’s always been a fighter: first in martial arts competitions, and now as a dreamcatcher—keeping the people of Seattle safe from spaga attacks that would drain their life force in their sleep. All he has to do to become a full member of Team 32 is complete his first mission.

But the first person he must defend is his ex, Angelo… the only man Drew ever loved, even if he was the one to leave. Drew never got over Angelo, and it seems Angelo might feel the same, despite the heartbreak he suffered at Drew’s hands.

As the chase after a powerful and resourceful caster hits close to home, old feelings resurface. But if Angelo learns of the dreamcatchers, he’ll be a target for the spaga. And how can he trust Drew now that Drew’s keeping bigger secrets than ever?

 

author-photo-Liv-Olteano

About Liv Olteano:

Liv Olteano is a voracious reader, music lover, and coffee addict extraordinaire. And occasional geek. Okay, more than occasional.

She believes stories are the best kind of magic there is. And life would be horrible without magic. Her hobbies include losing herself in the minds and souls of characters, giving up countless nights of sleep to get to know said characters, and trying to introduce them to the world. Sometimes they appreciate her efforts. The process would probably go quicker if they’d bring her a cup of coffee now and then when stopping by. Characters—what can you do, right?

Liv has a penchant for quirky stories and is a reverent lover of diversity. She can be found loitering around the Internet at odd hours and being generally awkward and goofy at all times.
Links:
http://liv.liviaolteano.com
http://blog.liviaolteano.com/
https://twitter.com/LiviaOlteano
https://www.facebook.com/LiviaOlteano
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6952513.Liv_Olteano
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/zZ7T9

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Maple Dreams by Emjay Haze – Recipes + Giveaway

January 31, 2018

maple dreams

 

Hi everyone. Thank you DreamSpinner Press for hosting the next stop on my blog tour. My new release, Home is Where You Are is set in rural Vermont at a maple orchard and sugar house.

I love pure Vermont Maple syrup. But, it’s not just for pancakes. There is Maple Sugar, Maple Cream, and my favorite Maple leaf candy.  And, maple syrup is a great substitute for white sugar. You use less and it has a lot of nutrients and anti-oxidants.

I thought it would be fun to share a few maple syrup recipes, including the drink Darla makes for Eric, Vermont Harvest Moon and a surprise at the end.

 

Maple Cream

There’s only 1 ingredient for this tasty treat that’s sweet like maple syrup, but has the consistency of peanut butter so you can spread it on toast or pancakes.

Ingredients
Pure Vermont Maple Syrup

Basically, you want to boil the syrup (don’t stir) until it reaches 235 degrees, or according to Spruce.com, 24 degrees over the boiling temperature of water. Add a little butter or oil to keep the foaming down

Once it’s done, you want to cool the pan, using an ice bath and then pour into glass containers.

All directions are here at Spruce.com. They also have a great recipe for Maple Leaf Candy, Courtesy of Spruce.com.

 

Traditional Vermont Maple Pie

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups pure Vermont Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 – 9 in unbaked pie shell

Visit VermontMaple.org for the entire recipe, courtesy of Vermont Public television.

 

Eric’s Vermont Harvest Moon

When I first searched for a cocktail made using maple syrup, I found several different versions, but I can’t find the one I based the one in the book on any longer, so I improvised.

Ingredients
3 parts Hard Apple Cider
1 parts Cranberry Juice (Not cocktail)
1 (or 2) shots vodka
Teaspoon maple syrup
Slice of Orange

Pour hard apple cider in a glass
Then add the cranberry juice
Pour shot of vodka into the glass
Add the maple syrup
Stir
Top with slice of orange

 

Vermont Maple Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (Grade B preferably)
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of chopped walnuts

For complete directions, visit SimplyRecipes.com, courtesy of Simply Recipes.

 

And last but not least, the ultimate comfort food. This is my recipe. My family loves it!

Mrs. B’s homemade Chicken Pot-Pie

Ingredients
3 cups chicken broth (made ahead of time)
½ cup white wine
1 bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup cubed potatoes
1 cup peas
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced onions
½ cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups cooked chicken small pieces ( I bake chicken tenders at 350 for 30 minutes and then shred)
1/4 cup flour (I use glutenfree)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp pure Vermont maple syrup

Directions

If cooking chicken, make it first and then cut up
On medium-high, heat to boiling chicken broth, bay leaf and thyme,
Add carrots and potatoes and cook till tender, about 10 minutes
Remove bay leaf
Add wine
Mix flour and cream and whisk together
Slowly stir in flour/cream mixture until it thickens
Add celery, onion, and mushroom
Remove from heat
Fold in peas, chicken and maple syrup
Pour mixture into 4 individual oven safe bowls or one pie pan
Cover each with pie crust (I use gluten-free)
Melt 1 tsp butter and 1/4 tsp maple syrup
Brush butter mixture over each pie crust
Crinkle the edges, and fork the middle three times
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown

Giveaway:

I have a rafflecopter giveaway of 3 e-copies of Home is Where you Are, and a Grand prize of the e-book and a gift pack of Vermont maple syrup and maple candy.

 

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Check out Home Is Where You Are today!

 

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Blurb:

For a chance at a future filled with love, he’ll have to face a painful past.

Eric, recently dumped by his boyfriend, is summoned home after his dad suffers a stroke. His family farm in rural Vermont holds memories he’d rather forget, but he—with his degree in agricultural business—is needed to clear up a predicament with the bank. In trying to forget the bad, Eric has also lost sight of the good: green meadows dotted with grass-fed dairy cows and the sugar maples that once produced the area’s finest maple syrup. With Eric’s help, they will again.

A captivating farmhand named Phil tempts Eric to give the countryside another chance, but before they can consider being together, Eric must move past more than his feelings for his ex-boyfriend—he’ll need to stand up to the ghosts that sent him running from the farm in the first place….

 

Emjay Haze profile pic

Author Bio:

Emjay Haze is a Pennsylvania girl living in a Virginia world, growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs and moving to Northern Virginia to follow her now husband of twenty-plus years. She has two kids in college, a year-old puppy named Max, a black-and-white cat named Tux, a gecko named Rex, a yellow tang called Reggie, and we hear the eels are coming this week.

The family pastime is baseball, specifically the Nationals. She’s also a huge Redskins fans and loves classic rock. Emjay graduated with a degree in Creative Writing in 2015 after realizing it was the only thing she really wanted to do.

She has a wide and diverse work history in the fields of travel, hotel management, high-tech communications, web development, real estate, and the nonprofit health care industry where she has held positions such as travel agent, hotel concierge, web programmer, Realtor, account manager, and many, many others, giving her a varied and unique set of experiences that she draws upon in her stories and characters.

Emjay fell in love with the m/m romance genre after discovering the world of fanfiction several years ago and hasn’t looked back. Her family keeps asking when she’ll write something they can read, but she’s still having too much fun with her boys. Her goal is to broaden the minds of those who might not normally pick up a gay romance because it’s more about the person than the sexuality. She’ll take you on a roller-coaster journey, but you’ll always get a happy ending.

Website: www.mjhauthor.com/emjayhaze
Twitter: @emjayhaze
Facebook: www.facebook.com/emjayhaze
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14254769.Emjay_Haze

 

Creative Collaboration w/ Jeff & Will + Giveaway

January 23, 2018

creative collaboration

 

Thank you for joining us here on Dreamspinner’s blog as the tour for The Hockey Player’s Heart continues. This book marks our first collaboration on a novel as co-authors. Will has worked with Jeff as a beta reader, editor and sounding board for several years. The Hockey Player’s Heart, however, is the first time we’ve written a book from start to finish together.

This feel-good, second chance romance, part of Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun Desires line, was a great chance for us to  work together. The line, which focuses on the swoon-worthy tropes of classic category romance, quickly became where we turned our focus as a project that we could create together.

Creative collaboration can be a tricky thing, but we’ve found our groove. It started with coming up with a trilogy of stories in a connected universe followed by developing characters along with deciding on tropes and basic plot. We needed enough to pitch Lynn West on our idea. Thankfully we got the nod to go ahead and write.

We enjoyed digging in and creating Caleb and Aaron’s story for The Hockey Player’s Heart – what made Caleb and Aaron tick and the details of their second chance. Putting a pro hockey player and a grade school teacher together proved challenging occasionally, but we’re happy with the results and hope you will be too.

As this book comes out, we’re refining our process so that it’s smoother as we work on the story in the series. And even beyond this trilogy, we’re looking at more category romances to write because we enjoy working in this particular sub genre.

Make sure you also check out the link to the Rafflecopter because we’re giving away an e-book copy at each tour stop plus there’s a grand prize of an autographed paperback for a US winner or a $10 Amazon e-gift card for an international winner. Make sure to check out all the stops to maximize your chance to win.

We hope you enjoy The Hockey Player’s Heart and would love to hear what you think. If you read it, please consider leaving a review on your favorite site or dropping us a comment on one of our websites.

Check out The Hockey Player’s Heart today!

 

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Dreamspinner Press
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Blurb:

Hometown hero. Hockey superstar. Perfect boyfriend?

When hockey star Caleb Carter returns to his hometown to recover from an injury, the only thing he’s interested in is a little R & R. He never expects to run into his onetime crush at a grade school fund-raiser . Seeing Aaron Price hits him hard, like being checked into the boards. The attraction is still there, even after all these years, and Caleb decides to make a play for the schoolteacher. You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take, right?

Aaron has been burned by love before and can’t imagine what a celebrity like Caleb could possibly see in a guy like him. Their differences are just too great. But as Aaron spends more time with Caleb, he begins to wonder if he might have what it takes to win the hockey player’s heart.

 

 

Jeff&Will

Bio:

Jeff Adams and Will Knauss are husbands, authors, and podcasters based in Northern California. They write gay romances, sometimes together and other times separately. Jeff also writes young adult LGBT fiction. Together they host Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast, a weekly show devoted to gay romance literature and the pop culture they love.

Websites:

Jeff: JeffAdamsWrites.com
Will: WillKnauss.com
Podcast: BigGayFictionPodcast.com

 

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Scene Commentary w/ Anne Barwell + Giveaway

January 10, 2018

Scene Commentary

 

Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for Prelude to Love, a Dreamspun Desire novel from Dreamspinner Press.

I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter.

Finding blog post topics when writing heaps of posts for a blog tour can be a challenge. A friend suggested I flip through the book, see where it opens, choose a paragraph or two from that page, and blog about it.  I did that years ago with a story, and wrote it like a DVD commentary so here goes.

Unfortunately due to my days off since the beginning of the year being stat holidays my hardcopies of the book are still sitting at the Post Office ready to pick up—I hope!—so I opened my galley and chose my excerpt using a random number generator instead.  I’m not including an excerpt with this post as you’re getting an exclusive one as part of the commentary.

“Joel’s very good, isn’t he?” Mavis asked, yet it sounded more like a statement than a question. “I often hear him playing when I’m in my garden, although I haven’t for a few months. I had hoped I’d missed it because I’d been out rather than he’d given up. Talent like that should be nurtured, don’t you think?”

Mavis is Joel’s neighbour.  She reminds Joel of his gran, always knowing what’s going on, but would be the first to offer help if it was needed.  I included her in the story as I wanted to show a bit more of Joel’s world apart from his immediate friends, family, and work mates.  And it’s always nice to know neighbours are looking out for you.

“Yes. He is very good.” Marcus glanced at his watch. He’d been gardening for an hour, his thoughts distracting him for a good amount of that time. Good thing he did a lot of this kind of work on autopilot. Nevertheless he double-checked to make sure he hadn’t targeted anything that wasn’t a weed. He stood back to take a better look and smiled, satisfied with a job well done.

While Joel plays piano to relax and work through whatever is getting to him, Marcus gardens.  I liked the way they’re different, but in some ways the same in that.

“You’ve been working hard.” Mavis nodded approvingly. “If I get to the point where I can’t do my own gardening, I’ll keep you in mind.”

This is a reminder that although Marcus enjoys being outside and what he does for a living, it is still his job.  The fact that he does gardening for Joel because he wants to says a lot about how he feels about him.  Usually people don’t want to continue their job at a weekend, but do something else.

“Thanks.” Marcus didn’t want to get into a discussion about how what he’d done that afternoon was something he’d wanted to do for himself—and for Joel. “I should probably head inside. It’s been nice talking with you again.”

“Thanks. I’d hoped to catch you at some point so I could thank you for your work in person.” Mavis handed him a small basket. “I’ve made some muffins and thought you and Joel might enjoy some.”

This also shows the tone of the neighbourhood, that people are looking out for each other. It’s one of the reasons I like living where I do—we’re still part of a city, but it’s not a huge one so still very personable.  Also, as a side note, I usually make a batch of muffins each week which is why there are muffins in her basket.  Although it’s not specified, they’re blackcurrant/blackberry as that’s what I was making when I wrote that scene, and I have bushes/vines in my garden which keep me well supplied each year. It’s also another case of whatever I’m baking making its way into the story.  Or vice versa. I made several batches of scones a few years ago while writing Cat’s Quill.

“Thank you, that’s very kind of you.” Marcus was surprised by her generosity.

Mavis smiled. “It’s the neighborly thing to do. I’ve kept an eye on Joel for some time now, as he does work so very hard.” She lowered her voice. “It’s lovely seeing the two of you together and knowing he’s got someone like you looking out for him when he gets caught up in things and works too hard. Sometimes you have to help people who don’t help themselves, you know?”

Mavis is very observant, and knows Joel a lot better than he realises.  But it’s not just Joel who needs Marcus as Marcus needs Joel to remind him when he’s withdrawing and not talking about stuff he should be.

Marcus wasn’t sure how to reply to that. Joel hadn’t been kidding when he’d said that Mavis knew everything that went on in their neighborhood. “Thanks,” he said again. “When is the best time to return the basket?”

“Oh, just leave it on my front doorstep. Goodness me, it is late. I’d better go fix dinner. Bye, Marcus.”

Marcus doesn’t know the half of it. Mavis wasn’t in my original outline. She turned up when I was writing  with the comment that those boys need someone to look out for them, and then was in more than just this one scene. I’m reminded of the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. Apparently it needs pretty much that to get these two together too!

 

Check out Prelude to Love today!

 

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Dreamspinner Press
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Blurb:

Music speaks directly to the heart.

Two very different men face turning points in their lives after the collapse of long-term relationships….

Joel is a music teacher who knows it’s time to forget his ex and move on, while Marcus runs a lawn-mowing business and has come to Wellington to escape the reminders of a recent breakup. Although they’re opposites, when Joel and Marcus connect, their romance has the potential to hit all the right notes.

Too bad neither of them feels ready for new love.

With family and friends in common, dating is risky—things could get messy if it doesn’t work out. The sweet song of possibility draws them to each other, though, and they share a kiss following a Chopin prelude.  But it will take some practice and perseverance to find their perfect harmony….

 

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You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour here:

https://annebarwell.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/blog-tour-prelude-to-love/

 

Bio:

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

Website & Blog: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.barwell.1
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sylvrebarwellhoffmann/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115084832208481414034/posts
Instagram: https://instagram.com/anne.barwell
Twitter: https://twitter.com/annebarwell
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4862410.Anne_Barwell
Queeromance Ink Author Page: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/anne-barwell/
New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/491382394538058/
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Celebrating Chanukah w/ Avery Duran + Giveaway

December 12, 2017

Celebrating Chanukah

 

Thank you so much to Dreamspinner Press for hosting me today to talk about my novella, Ahava is Love. Ahava is Love came out this summer, but the majority of the book takes place during Chanukah, and the themes of the holiday – faith, miracles, and resilience – run through the story.

I thought it would be fun to celebrate with a Chanukah blog party. Since no celebration is complete without food, conversation, and gifts, I’ll spend the rest of the holiday visiting different blogs to share recipes, stories, excerpts, and a great giveaway. Tonight is the first night of Chanukah, and I hope you’ll join me for the rest of the holiday!

In the fall of 2000, I lived and worked in Brooklyn, NY. I loved my job and was enjoying the city life, yet I felt like something was missing.  I just couldn’t put my finger on what it was. In a real life plot twist, I was speaking to a friend about my need to shake up my life, on the same day she had just spoken to someone who mentioned they were interviewing for American group leaders for a 10-day trip to Israel. She suggested I apply; I took her advice, and I got the job.

On December 25th, 2000 (my 31st birthday), not knowing any of my fellow voyagers, I boarded a plane to Israel. I spent the next 10 days traveling with a group of young adults. Being in a land with such history, making new friends with diverse backgrounds, seeing members of my family who had settled there, celebrating Chanukah while in Israel, all added up to one life changing experience. For me, it was not about romance, I did not find love or a happily ever after with someone else—but I did find myself, and I came home much more comfortable in my own skin.

When I was thinking of writing for the World of Love line, I was intrigued by the concept of taking my own adventure to the next level. What would happen if one of the group leaders fell in love with another? Layering romance (and sexytimes) on top of such a meaningful experience would be so powerful. Same sex leaders share a room, so if there is a mutual attraction, resistance can be futile – and frustrating!

I loved writing this book, using my journals, pictures, imagination, and a whole lot of research to create Josh and Yaron’s world. Josh is frustrated with where his life is going and hopes a change of scenery will help him find his way. To that end, he accepts a position as a group leader for a tour of Israel. He meets Yaron, the Israeli security guard for the group, who lost his boyfriend in a terrorist attack a few years earlier. Yaron now lives his life without strings, looking for the next good time. Their chemistry is off the charts, but they are in different places – both emotionally and physically. Making a relationship work between them would really take a miracle.

Thanks for taking the time to get to know a little about me and my writing process. I will be sharing more over the coming days, so please join me when I visit the below blogs. They have been kind enough to host me to celebrate Chanukah with Ahava is Love!

Ahava is LoveAhava is the Hebrew word for love, I think you’ll enjoy falling in love with Josh, Yaron – and Israel!

Check out Ahava is Love today!

 

AhavaIsLove_postcard_front_DSP

 

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Blurb:

Brooklyn Realtor Josh Perlman desperately wants to settle down. Unfortunately he can’t find a man who wants the same. Tired of disastrous dates, he travels to explore his heritage.

Yaron is an Israeli security guard and medic charged with looking after Josh and his pilgrimage group. For Yaron, the need to protect has become more a duty than an honor since he lost his long-term boyfriend to a terrorist attack—a loss that continues to haunt him.

As they embark on their journey through the Holy Land, it’s hard to deny the attraction that sparks between Josh and Yaron. Yet with America calling Josh home, and Israel, and the death of his lover holding Yaron prisoner, it seems only a miracle can keep them together.

But Israel is an ancient land, one that has seen miracles before. Surrounded by structures that have been destroyed and rebuilt time after time, Josh and Yaron might just learn that their futures can be found in the wisdom of the past.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

 

AveryPortrait

About the Author:

Parent Association President by day, Romance Author by night, Avery Duran enjoys the best of all worlds. She’s a minivan-driving, cupcake-baking, soccer mom, who works outside the home while raising three rambunctious boys. Easily distracted by shiny things, Avery found making up stories in her head was an effective way to fool people into thinking she was paying attention. Eventually she decided to write down one of those stories, and her alter-ego was born.

She’s always been a voracious reader, Avery’s mother still brings up the time her school called because she refused to stop reading during math class. Avery is pleased to confirm that she has managed just fine without whatever important math lesson was being taught that day.

A native New Yorker, she often incorporates her favorite city into what she writes. During the day, while driving, watching endless YouTube videos, or animated shows with her offspring, she plots her stories. At night, when her husband and children go to sleep, Avery sits in a quiet house and puts those words on paper. She loves spending her down time creating a world filled with people loving and laughing their way to happily-ever-after.

She’d really love to hear from you!

Author Social Media Links

Website & Blog:  http://www.averyduran.com/ Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Avery-Duran/e/B018RE20I0 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/the.avery.duran Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheAveryDuran Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/averyduran18/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/averyduran0234/ Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14742913.Avery_Duran BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/avery-duran

 

Giveaway

Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

PLUS, enter to win a $5 Dreamspinner Gift Card. Simply tell us what one of your favorite adventures has been in the comments and you’ll be entered!

 

Other Tour Hosts

Dec 13: V’s Reads
Dec 14: Pointedly Blunt Reviews
Dec 15: Samantha Macleod
Dec 16: Ebs and Her Reads
Dec 17: Pick a Genre Already

What’s in a Name? By Kelly Jensen + Giveaway

November 22, 2017

What's in a Name

 

Sometimes I have a name without a story, and sometimes I have a story without a name. Counting Fence Posts remained unnamed until my second revision round when Henry’s habit of counting things popped out of the first paragraph. I loved the idea of naming the book after one of Henry’s quirks, and as I developed this story into a series, the theme of counting naturally followed.

Counting Down had a name before I sat down to write. With the story occurring on New Year’s Eve, this title came easily. I also enjoyed working the counting motif into the story from Marc’s point of view. Henry is the one who counts things, but Marc ends up imagining a ghostly clock counting down the hours to midnight—until he gets distracted by laundry sex.

Counting on You, the third and final novella in this series, was originally going to be called “Counting Out.” I planned the story as Marc’s coming out and had in mind a line where either Marc or Henry said something like, “Don’t count me out.” I often carry around snippets of dialogue I’d like to use in a story. Fun fact: I rarely use them in my final drafts. While I do use an outline, my stories are quite organic and often grow away from what I planned.

It wasn’t until I got near the end of this last novella that the title happened. It came out of another line of dialogue that was in the same conversation I had planned. Marc tells Henry, “I was counting on you…” and there it was, my title. I really love this one because it not only wraps the series, but perfectly encapsulates the emotional arc of this particular novella. This one is the big test and the answer to the question of whether these two have what it takes to not only have a real relationship, but one that works.

So what about my characters’ names? I often put a lot of thought into these, including researching the meaning and etymology to make sure what I’ve picked really fits. As with my titles, I often have a name before I have a story. Sometimes I have a story with no names. Just guy one and guy two. In Out in the Blue, my first novella with Dreamspinner Press, Jared and Fin wore each other’s names all through the first draft. They never quite fit, though, and when it came time to start revising, I switched the names and everything fell into place.

Henry is one of my favourite names. (It’s not weird to have favourites!) I have a list of these and I’m a bit funny about using them because once they’re out there, in the world, they’re done. I can only write one Henry and this is him. This particular usage pleases me very much because Henry is such a personal character. This story started with him and his quirks!

Marc named himself. I have this happen quite often as well—especially when I’m writing from a single point of view and haven’t really given a lot of consideration to the other main character. I know from experience that they’ll let me know who they are as the story progresses and it’s not unusual for me to flesh out their character history after I’m done with my first draft.

HENRY MARC

I don’t generally base characters on people I know. Marc’s last name is similar to that of a friend I had in college, however, and I chose it because I greatly admired this friend. He had the same drive I’ve written into Marc. In his sophomore year, he broke his neck in a diving accident and lost the use of his right hand. As a graphic artist, this could have meant the end of his studies and career—but it wasn’t. My friend learned to draw with his other hand and to this day is successful at what he does. Marc is my tribute to him.

If you’ve been following along with Henry and Marc’s journey, I hope you enjoy this last novella and their happy ever after. (It’s not a spoiler to tell you that’s how it ends. I’m a romance writer, after all.) If you’ve yet to start, this is a great time to do so as the first two novellas are currently discounted at all retailers, including the Dreamspinner Press store!

Thanks for following my tour! At the end of every post, I’ll be asking a question. Leave a comment with your answer (and your email address), and complete the Rafflecopter to enter! There are two prizes, both available internationally. One winner will receive $15 (US or equivalent) to spend at the Dreamspinner Press store. A second winner will receive the entire Counting series in ebook format, gifted through the Dreamspinner Press store.

Q: Do you have a favourite name? (If so, please share!)

 

Check out Counting on You today!

 

CountingOnYou_postcard_front_DSP

 

Blurb:

Henry and Marc can’t seem to catch a break. They’ve had two disastrous dates—the first trapped in a car during a blizzard and the second locked in a basement—followed by nearly two months apart. Even though they work for the same firm, their relationship is held together by flying visits, phone calls, and text messages. A joint assignment in Washington D.C. might be more togetherness than they can handle, however.

Henry is still battling insecurity, and this assignment is too important to his career to mess up. Marc is committed. He’s falling for Henry and looks forward to having him permanently on his team and at his side. But the real test isn’t the assignment. When Marc finally lays his heart on the line, can he count on Henry to be there for him, in every way that matters? And can he do the same for Henry when Henry needs it the most?

Amazon | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Dreamspinner Press

 

Author Bio:

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.

Connect with Kelly: Twitter | Facebook | Website

 

Follow the Tour!

11/22 Dreamspinner Press Blog
11/27 We Three Queens
11/28 Love Bytes
11/28 TTC Books and More
11/29 The Novel Approach
11/29 Boy Meets Boy Reviews
11/29 Scattered Thoughts
11/30 Joyfully Jay
11/30 Bayou Book Junkie
12/1 Diverse Reader

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Felicitas Ivey’s Book Collection + Giveaway

November 21, 2017

Book Collection

 

I love physical books. The smell, the weight, the feel of them. New or old books. I’ve had a lot of fun wandering through used bookstores over the years. I’ve found some amazing books that way, books that have been long out of print or on odd topics like the evolution of the British Country house. I don’t hit the newer bookstores because most of my pleasure reading is in ebook form currently. I wander through a new bookstore once in a while, but there isn’t one I can get to easily. And they don’t have the variety a used bookstore has. Book buying is a lot more fun to me than clothes shopping. It also doesn’t help I have a friend who works at a publishing house and occasionally brings home books from work which end up at my house also.

My house became overrun with books, since the house was a lending library for my circle of friends. This was before the ebook revolution, when dead tree books were passed to other people when you were done reading it, so the other person could also enjoy said book. And then there were intense discussions about plot, characterization and other things over dinners or other gatherings. Also a book could be used to prop up your laptop when it overheated and read in the bathtub with very little worry.

My second husband, Mark, used to read real fast and devoured books. Mark lived in a small apartment with his family, so there wasn’t a lot of room for books. And the books usually ended up in my house, because my first husband and I would read them last, after everyone else did, and then they would never leave. And it’s not a very big house either.

Because of the sheer volume of books involved, plus all the books I’ve bought on my own over the decades, there are books all over my house. There isn’t a room in my house that doesn’t have some sort of book collection in it.

I have a couple of bookcases in my bedroom, filled with mostly non-fiction books, mostly military histories (I’m addicted to Osprey Press books!), fashion books and occult books. Plus a small part of my Lovecraft collection. Not only his work, but all the additions and variations of it, like Sherlock Holmes Lovecraft or 50s Pulp Horror Lovecraft.

I’ve wedged in a small bookcase for my cookbooks in the kitchen corridor. I have a lot of baking books, specialty cookbooks like spicy or ethnic cooking or how to eat like an Ancient Egyptian or Roman, as well as cookbooks from the fifties and sixties. I don’t cook a lot of different things, I just seem to collect cookbooks. Also cooking for one is difficult, but none of my books seem to think anyone lives alone. I always end up with leftovers. That isn’t too bad of a thing, because I bring them to lunch at work. But I do get tired of eating the same thing for several days in row.

My study, which used to be the spare bedroom, has more books: languages, Japanese literature and histories, my malexmale romances and the odd book. Since I work at a university, I was able to take courses over the years, all which added to the book collection. I’ve mostly taken language, literature and art history courses through work. That and I was a history major in college, so I have a lot of books from that too.

The library proper has all the paperback and hardcover fiction, some more histories and the gaming book collection. I’d been a gamer for a couple of decades and have books for several systems, like RollMaster, Paranoia and Steve Jackson’s GURPS. Some of those books are really useful for novel ideas. I don’t game anymore because it’s hard to find the time or a good group. Writing takes up a lot of my time.

The TV room’s mostly the out-of-control DVD/Blu Ray collection, since I don’t have cable or internet in my house, so if I want to watch something that isn’t on television, I have to pop in a disk. I also like having a physical copy of what I want to watch, since you never know when it’s going to disappear. You also can find things you wouldn’t if you’re streaming it. I’m very fond of my Cantonese/English laserdisc of ‘Aristocats’. You haven’t lived until you hear “Ev’rybody Wants To Be A Cat” sung in Cantonese with a French accent.

Some of my library is also in the TV, mainly my hoard of knitting books, along with some stray hardcover novels. I have a lot of knitting books, because I nab the ones I like when I can, because they go out of print too fast.

In the living room are all the books that didn’t fit anyplace else are going to line the wall. I have about 20 boxes of books in storage, a legacy of my second husband, Mark, which I’m slowly transferring to my house from storage. There are about fifteen boxes of books I still have to deal with.

I have had several decades of collecting by now, so the hoard is a little out of hand. But I never seem to get the time or have the interest to cull through the collection to get it down to a manageable size.  I know there’s probably a lot of doubles to deal with. There’s always so much else to do so I haven’t been able to cull the collection. What has helped is an app on my iPhone, Libib which is helping me catalog the books and DVDs in my house, by just scanning the ISBN. It’s a timesaver and can be exported to a spreadsheet if you want to.

So books are your friends, even if they attempt to crowd you out of your house!

Giveaway:

I’m doing a raffle for my new book.  A winner will be chosen on November 28, 2017. The winner will be chosen at random from all those who enter.

The winner gets the following: A paperback of my new book “The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed”, a paperback of my first novel, “Dreamlands”, a tote bag with “The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed” cover art. A second tote randomly chosen from my stash of tote bags with another one of my book’s cover art on it. Both are good for groceries, books or anything else you need a bag for.  And three hand knit dish towels. Can double as hot plates also.

 

Check out The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed today!

 

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Blurb:

Billionaire Fathi al-Murzim is a workaholic businessman, too busy running the family’s companies to even think about marriage. Too bad he never told his grandfather he’s gay, because Grandfather just announced a childhood betrothal—to a Bedouin girl Fathi never heard about before…

Ikraam din Abdel was raised as a woman by his avaricious and abusive older sister, who didn’t want him to be their father’s heir. He’d never thought to be married either, and is surprised when his sister informs him of his betrothal.

When Fathi and Ikraam meet, they are drawn to each other in a manner neither of them expected. As the plans for their wedding progress, they both realize they need to tell the other the truth. But can they, with both cultural taboos and family pressures to deal with.

 

Author Bio:

Felicitas is a frazzled help-desk tech at a university in Boston who wishes people wouldn’t argue with her when she’s troubleshooting what’s wrong with their computer. She lives with three cats who wish she would pay more attention to them, and not sit at a computer pounding on the keyboard. They get back at her by hogging most of the bed at night and demanding her attention during the rare times she watches TV or movies. She’s protected by her guardian stuffed Minotaur, Angenor, who was given to her by her husband, Mark. Angenor travels everywhere with her, because Felicitas’s family doesn’t think she should travel by her lonesome. They worry she gets distracted and lost too easily. Felicitas doesn’t think of it a getting lost, more like having an adventure with a frustrated GPS.

Felicitas knits and hoards yarn, firmly believing the one with the most yarn wins. She also is sitting on hordes of books, which still threaten to take over her house, even with e-books. Between writing and knitting, she brews beer, wine, mead, and flavored liqueurs. Felicitas also bakes, making cakes whenever she needs to work out an issue in her novels. Sometimes this leads to a lot of cakes. Her coworkers appreciate them though, with the student workers buzzing about on a sugar high most of the time.

Felicitas writes urban fantasy, steampunk, and horror of a Lovecraftian nature, with monsters beyond space and time that think that humans are the tastiest things in the multiverse. Occasionally there’s a romance or two involved in her writing, with a happily-ever-after.

Website: www.Felicitasivey.com
Facebook: felicitasivey
Twitter: @felicitasivey
Email: felicitas.ivey@gmail.com

 

 

Sweet Tooth by Kim Fielding + Giveaway

November 20, 2017

sweet tooth

 

I admit to quite a few vices. Some of them harm my bank account and lead to storage issues, like my book and footwear addictions. Others have the potential to impact my health—such as my terrible sweet tooth. I blame my forebears for that one. My ancestors came from Central and Eastern Europe, and I’ve learned during my travels in those places that a predilection for sweets is common. In most cities you can hardly go a block without encountering tempting bakeries or deliciously scented chocolate shops. And don’t even get me started on the gelato and ice cream….

Given my own vice, perhaps it’s no surprise that Peter, one of the main characters in Ante Up, has a taste for sweets. In fact, sugary stuff comprises most of his diet. (You’ll have to read the book to learn why!) It’s a bit of a contrast to the other protagonist’s meals: Ante is a vampire, so while Peter’s gobbling pie and candy, Ante is satisfied with some nice A-Pos. Especially if the blood in question is Peter’s. (Don’t worry—Ante is careful when he snacks on Peter.)

In Peter’s honor, I thought I’d share a somewhat unusual recipe for something sweet. This was my grandmother’s recipe—I have no idea if she invented it or got it from somewhere—and it’s one of my favorite comfort foods.

 

Rose’s Rice Pudding

1 cup raw rice
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp almond extract
7/8 cup orange juice
1 cup raisins

Cook rice. To warm rice, add butter, eggs, vanilla, almond extract, OJ, sugar, and raisins. Mix. Spread in greased 9×13 baking pan. Bake at 325F for 40 minutes. Cut into squares. Can be eaten warm or cold.

What sweet do you have a weakness for? Comment with your favorites, and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter below.

 

Check out Ante Up today!

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Blurb:

Love is a high-stakes game.

A century and a half ago, Ante Novak died on a Croatian battlefield—and rose three days later as a vampire. Now he haunts Las Vegas, stealing blood and money from drunken gamblers and staying on the fringe of the powerful vampire organization known as the Shadows. His existence feels empty and meaningless until he meets beautiful Peter Gehrardi, who can influence others with his thoughts.

An attraction flares instantly, bringing a semblance of life to Ante’s dead heart. But the Shadows want Peter too, and they’re willing to kill to get him. As Ante and Peter flee, they learn more about themselves and each other, and they discover that the world is a stranger place than either of them imagined. With enemies at their heels and old mistakes coming back to exact a price, how can Ante and Peter find sanctuary?

 

Author Bio:

Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Follow Kim:

Website: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/KFieldingWrites
Twitter: @KFieldingWrites
Email: Kim@KFieldingWrites.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bau3S9
A complete list of Kim’s books: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/kim-fieldings-books/

 

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Donovan and Ethan by Anne Barwell + Giveaway

November 14, 2017

Donovan & ethan

 

Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for One Word, the 3rd book in my Hidden Places series from Dreamspinner Press.  I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter.

Although One Word is the third book in my Hidden Places series, it takes place during the last six weeks of the events in book one—Cat’s Quill.  One of the fun parts about that was writing a new relationship for a couple who were already together in a story that had been published a few years earlier.  Instead of describing what that was like as a writer, I figured it might be more interesting to invite Ethan and Donovan to talk about the experience from their perspective.

Silence.

The author clears her throat.  “Umm, guys, that means you.”

There is a muffled noise of clothing being rearranged, and a discreet cough, and then a room lined with books comes into view.  In one corner sits a rocking chair. The cat on it opens a lazy eye, glances at the two men, and then starts washing her paw.

“Bloody hell,” mutters a male voice with a distinct British accent. “What is it with the cats in this place?”

The camera pans the room before settling on two men sitting next to each other on a nearby sofa.  “Technical difficulties,” one of them says in an American accent. “Right, Ethan?”

Ethan rolls his eyes, and slips his hand into Donovan’s. “Yeah, that.”

“So…. ?“ the author prompts. She picks up the cat, settles her on her lap and then takes a sip of kawakawa tea.  “Floor is all yours. Pretend I’m not here.”

“I wish.”  Ethan sounds as though he would have said more, but Donovan squeezes his hand and whispers something into his ear.  Ethan clears his throat. “It’s wasn’t easy,” he finally admits.  “We’ve been together two years now, and although it brought up memories of when we first met, we’ve come a long way since then.”

“And been through a lot together,” Donovan smiles softly.  “I’ll always remember that first time I saw Ethan at the train station.  I thought he was hot then felt guilty as I didn’t think I should be hitting on someone who was worried about a missing friend.”

“I’ve always been rubbish at making friends, and I was still trying to put a… relationship behind me,” Ethan adds. “We took so many steps forward and then back during those few weeks. I was such an idiot.”

“If you were an idiot, then so was I.” Donovan bits his lip. “When I think about how close we came to—”

“Spoilers,” mutters the author, looking up from her tea.

“Says the person who wrote a story with a prologue set six months after the epilogue of the last book.” Ethan doesn’t sound impressed. “So yeah, if you want the truth, it was bloody difficult.  You put Donovan through all that crap again, and made him relive those nightmares. And not only that, you put me in a position when I couldn’t help him like I usually do. So don’t—”

“Ethan…” Donovan leans over and kisses Ethan gently on the cheek. “Sorry, we know how difficult it is to write something like this, and we appreciate the fact that you took the time to write our story. Don’t we, Ethan?”

“Yes.” Ethan pauses for a moment. “I must admit, I enjoyed reliving our first kiss. I’m looking forward to the rest of our future together too.” He glances at the author suspiciously.

She studies her tea. “A future together?  Hey, I’m a romance writer. Of course you’ll get a future together.”

Donovan glances at Ethan. “She’ll make us work for it though. But, whatever happens, we’ll get through it together. Right, Teach?”

“Right.”  Ethan looks over at the author, but she’s gone.  “I love you,” he murmurs to Donovan, pulling him close for a kiss.

“Love you too.”  Their lips meet and the screen fades to black.

 

Check out One Word today!

 

OneWord_postcard_front_DSP

 

Blurb:

A Hidden Places Story

Ethan Leavitt arrives in the idyllic village of Oakwood to search for a missing friend. Having always prided himself on his ability to find rational explanations, Ethan’s trust in concrete evidence and logic is tested by the mystery of Oakwood and Tomas’s disappearance.

Donovan Campbell’s happy, sometimes flippant, exterior hides a past he’d rather forget. As he struggles with his memories and to hold on to the inn he owns with his best friend, the last thing Donovan needs is for some guy he’s only just met to start getting under his skin. When a bank robbery escalates into a dangerous situation, Donovan must embrace a part of himself he can no longer ignore in order to save a future that might never have the chance to exist.

Ethan learns that often the person you’re looking for is not the one you find. But have he and Donovan both realized that too late…?

 

 

Excerpt:

“I’m so sorry, Jane,” Ethan said, “and I apologize for my insensitivity earlier. It was completely out of line.”

She managed a shaky smile. “Thank you for being understanding. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I guess it’s a good thing that I have the day off, isn’t it?”

“I’m sorry for kicking you,” Donovan said after she’d left.

“I can be an insensitive jerk at times. Lord knows, I’ve been told that often enough.”

“Not always. You’ve got a kind side to you too.”

Ethan’s concern for Jane had been real enough, as was his mortification that he’d been rude once he’d seen that she was upset.

“You say that like it’s a good thing.” Ethan retrieved his napkin from the side of his plate and wiped his mouth. “Sometimes it’s not, you know. People take advantage. Not that I’m saying she is, but….” He sighed. “Just forget it, okay.”

“Okay.” Donovan wondered who had hurt Ethan and recently. He’d seen enough to connect the dots. “Lots of assholes in this world, unfortunately.”

“And some decent people too. Oakwood’s been good for reminding me of that.”

“Are you sure you’re okay to come to London with me tomorrow?” Donovan couldn’t help but think that something in their conversation had triggered Ethan’s reaction. He’d said Mitchell and Vincent were good friends. Perhaps it was this acquaintance he’d mentioned? The one who had introduced him to them.

“I’m looking forward to it.” Ethan glanced at Donovan’s empty plate. “Have you had enough lunch?”

“Yes, thanks. I was hungrier than I realized.” Donovan finished the last of his beer.

“I went to see the owner of the Chronicle the other day, but he was too busy to talk and suggested we meet briefly today instead. I’m hoping, as he’s been working at the newspaper a while, he can tell me some old stories about Oakwood that didn’t end up in print. You’re welcome to come if you’d like.”

“Thanks for the offer, but I need to do some work at the inn this afternoon. We had to replace some weatherboards a few months ago, and I need to get them painted before winter.” Donovan wished he could have said yes, but Heidi was stressing about it. If he didn’t get onto it soon, she’d be out there doing it herself, and she did enough already. Part of their agreement in taking on the inn was that they split the workload between them, and Donovan made sure he pulled his weight. “You’re okay to find your own way back?”

“Yes, I’ll be fine. Thanks for asking.” Ethan pushed back his chair and walked over to the counter to pay for their meal. “I’ll see you later, at the inn.”

“Okay. Sounds good.” Donovan didn’t follow him immediately but instead stayed at the table watching Ethan at the counter. His hair curled up slightly at the back, his jacket falling to mid-ass, not quite covering it. He had a very nice ass.

Bet he kisses well too.

Oh fuck. Donovan closed his eyes for a moment. Where the hell had that thought come from? He was falling for the guy, wasn’t he—falling for a guy who wasn’t interested and would be walking out of his life in a couple of days.

Donovan heard footsteps walking away. He opened his eyes just in time to see Ethan disappear out the door. It was time to leave and bury himself in the work he needed to get done. He stood and headed for the door, giving Eoin and his friends a wave as he passed their table.

He hadn’t missed the money the three men had given Craig or the grins they all wore.

Donovan groaned. Great, that was all he needed. The pub door slammed as he stalked through it. Yep, they were running another betting pool all right.

It wasn’t his fault they were wasting their time. They’d find that out soon enough for themselves.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour here:

https://annebarwell.wordpress.com/blog-hops/

November 3 – Open Skye Book Reviews
November 6 – Book Reviews and More by Kathy
November 6 – Top to Bottom Reviews
November 6 – Two Men Are Better Than One
November 6 – Gay Book Promotions
November 7 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
November 8 – Happily Ever After Chapter
November 9 – Love Bytes Reviews
November 10 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews
November 10 – Nic Starr
November 13 – The Novel Approach Reviews
November 14 – Dreamspinner Press Blog
November 15 – Aisling Mancy

 

Bio:

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Authors Speak and Love Bytes.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

Website & Blog: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.barwell.1
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sylvrebarwellhoffmann/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115084832208481414034/posts
Instagram: https://instagram.com/anne.barwell
Twitter: https://twitter.com/annebarwell
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4862410.Anne_Barwell
Dreamspinner Press Author Page: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/anne-barwell-65
DSP Publications Author Page: https://www.dsppublications.com/authors/anne-barwell-49
Queeromance Ink Author Page: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/anne-barwell/
New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/491382394538058/