Today’s contest!

July 29, 2011

I’ll be giving away a $5.00 gift certificate to either All Romance eBooks or Fictionwise to a randomly chosen person who leaves a comment today on any of my posts or excerpts.

It doesn’t get easier than that. You’ll have till midnight tonight (Pacific Time) to enter and then I’ll post the winner’s name and how to contact me to get your prize.

Of course, I’d like you to use that to buy one of my titles, but if you don’t, I’ll never know!

Happy Reading!

EM Lynley
http://www.emlynley.com

Blind Items: The Contest

July 28, 2011

Blind Items takes place in New York City and draws pretty heavily from the setting. (This photo is of the intersection in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Boerum Hill, where my character Jonathan lives.) In honor of the city that I also call home and a few other important moments in the novel, I’ve put together a little trivia contest.

Here’s how it works. I’ve got five questions that I’m presenting like blind gossip items. They’re all based on important moments in the novel. Give these questions a shot. (I won’t hold it against you if you have to Google, but see how many of these you know the answer to before you guess.) Leave your answers in the comments here. I’ll draw a winner randomly from the pool of people who answer all of the questions correctly. Winner gets a copy of Blind Items!

Here are the questions:

1. This American songwriter wrote hits such as “Too Darn Hot,” “I’ve Got My Eyes On You,” and “It’s De-Lovely.” In fact, a revival of one of his musicals just won Best Revival at this year’s Tonys.

2. This borough of New York City is the most populous.

3. This bridge, completed in 1883, is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the US. It crosses the East River.

4. This tabloid newspaper—with a gossip section known as “Page Six”—is New York City’s oldest newspaper still in print.

5. Although more energy-efficient cars are making up a larger percentage of NYC’s yellow cab fleet, 60% of the fleet is still made up of this make and model of car. (Hint: this model of car is often also used as police cruisers across the country. Production is scheduled to end next month.)

I’ll draw a winner at the end of the day. Good luck everyone!

Equilibrium excerpt, plus a contest

June 24, 2011

OK, I’m back with the first excerpt that I’m going to post today. This scene is from the beginning of the book, when Michael’s still a newcomer to Burreela and he’s trying to find his feet. Just when he thinks he’s got a handle on things, Ryan Mitchell comes along and knocks him completely off balance. :)

Within this excerpt you’ll find the answers to the following questions:

What is Ryan’s horse’s name, and why do they have to call the vet out to see her?

Everyone who comments with the correct answer goes into a draw to win an ebook copy of Equilibrium.

—-

JANUARY

THE heat hit Michael like a ton of bricks as he opened the door of his borrowed ute, the stifling air heavy with the smell of dirt and animal. A yellow Labrador standing in the shade of the main house’s wraparound veranda barked at him, its tail waving. Where the house’s yard stopped and the farm began, a pair of black and tan working dogs slumped against the stable wall, snapping at flies and ignoring him completely. A scorching wind blew across the open ground, making little whirlwinds out of the dry topsoil and the branches of the big eucalyptus trees flanking the house creak and groan. It snatched at the brim of Michael’s brand new Akubra hat, threatening to send it tumbling into the dirt.

Michael’s stomach churned as he turned and walked toward the stables, adjusting his hat with an unsteady hand. He’d been in Burreela two weeks. Every day of those two weeks, his new boss, Bill, had been shadowing him, looking over his shoulder during his consults and his surgeries, taking him to farms out in the middle of nowhere, making Michael do all the dirty work while he leaned against the fence and chatted to farmers who pretended that Michael wasn’t even there. But apparently two weeks was some magic number, because this morning, when he’d been looking at the appointment book and finishing off his morning coffee, Bill had come into the back room and thrown the ute’s keys at Michael’s head, Michael just managing to catch them before they’d smacked him in the forehead.

“Leave that,” Bill had said. “Take the ute, and go up to the Mitchell farm. They’ve got a horse that needs seeing to.”

Michael had stared at him, his fingers wrapped tightly around the keys. “But I’ve never been to the Mitchell farm before.”

Bill had smiled. “Well, it’s about time you went then, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, but, Bill….”

“‘Yeah, but Bill’ nothing, Michael.” Bill had stepped into the room and taken the appointment book out of Michael’s hands. “Get your ass up to the Mitchell farm, and fix their horse.” He’d turned and walked out of the room with the appointment book tucked firmly under his arm, leaving Michael no choice but to finish his coffee in two huge gulps that burned his mouth and throat, grab his kit, and get in the ute.

When he’d first arrived in Burreela, Bill had given him a map of town and the surrounding countryside. He’d used the map to get to the Mitchell farm, feeling like a bloody tourist and wishing desperately for a GPS unit as he drove with the map spread out half in his lap and half on the steering wheel. Even with the map, he’d still managed to almost miss the farm’s entrance, but now he was here, with his guts turning to water and his legs like jelly, to cure a horse of only God knew what because he’d forgotten to ask.

As Michael got closer to the wide-open stable door, he could see a dark-colored horse in a stall a couple down from the entrance, and two men standing near the door of the stall: a young man, who looked a few years older than Michael’s own twenty-six, facing the stable doorway, and an older man standing facing the horse. They were both tall and broad, but lean, the older man, who looked about sixty judging from the gray in his hair, only just starting to get the belly to go with his age. The younger one nodded toward Michael as he approached the stable door, saying something to his companion, who turned to look at Michael with the exact expression of someone who’d just bitten down on a lemon.

“You’re not Bill.”

Michael tried for a smile, the expression feeling fixed and fake even to him. “No, I’m not,” he said, as cheerfully as he could. “I’m Michael, the new vet. Michael Stone.” He stuck out his right hand; the old man stared at it like it was a snake readying itself to strike. For several long, excruciating moments there was silence while Michael stood there with his hand stuck out like an idiot, but then the younger man stepped forward and shook it firmly.

“I’m Andrew Mitchell,” he said with an apologetic smile. “This is my dad, Greg. This is his farm.”

“Oh yeah, of course,” Michael said, smiling back without bothering to hide his relief. “Nice to meet you.”

Andrew nodded. “Nice to meet you too.”

Silence descended again, but Michael broke it this time, nodding toward the horse in the stall, which he could now see was a bay with a white stripe down the middle of its face. “Is this the horse that you’ve got a problem with?”

Andrew looked toward the stall. “Yeah, that’s her. Charlie. She got herself tangled up in some barbed wire in a back paddock overnight. She must have panicked and tried to pull away from it but just got tangled up more, and some of it dug in pretty deep. We’d take care of it ourselves, but she’s a valuable horse and we can’t afford to have it getting infected. Plus, she’s my brother’s horse, and he was all for getting the vet out.” He smiled again. “So here you are.”

“Here I am.” Michael looked toward the stall again. He’d done his equine placements just like everyone else in his year, but he hadn’t done much horse work since then, so what he knew about them was mostly from books. He steeled himself against his nerves; he could do this. “I’ll take a look at her.”

He gathered himself and headed for the stall door, but Andrew beat him to it, stepping around him and unlatching the door. “I’ll go in with you. She’s a good horse, but she has spent the night tangled in barbed wire. That’s enough to make anyone grumpy.”

“Of course,” Michael said, hoping his tone was implying that he was just about to suggest that himself. He stepped into the stall after Andrew, who’d clipped a lead rope to Charlie’s halter and was holding it with enough slack to give the horse freedom of movement, but not enough that she could turn and bite Michael while he was examining her, for which Michael was profoundly glad. To his relief, the horse didn’t bat an eyelash when he reached a hand up to pat her neck, murmuring some comforting words of nonsense to her as he did so. As he ran his hand slowly down her neck, he was acutely conscious of the attention of the two Mitchell men, whose complete silence told him they were watching him carefully. He could see the problem from where he stood, a length of nasty looking barbed wire wrapped tightly around the mare’s right foreleg, just above the fetlock. The Mitchells had obviously done some work, cutting away most of the wire protruding from her leg and leaving only what was deeply imbedded in her flesh. He squatted down to get a closer look, and when he reached out to touch the leg just above the wound, the mare flinched, shifting away from him so suddenly that he had to slam a hand against the side of the stall to stop himself from overbalancing and ending up on his ass. His Akubra tipped off his head and onto the straw covering the stable floor. He looked up, and Andrew Mitchell was looking down at him.

Andrew smiled. “Sorry.”

Michael attempted a smile and tried to ignore the flush he could feel creeping up his neck. “No worries.” He reached for his hat, brushing it off before standing up. “I’ll just go and get my gear, won’t be long.”

He let himself out of the stall and stepped around Greg Mitchell, slapping his hat back onto his head just before he headed back out into the yard, squinting against the too-bright sun. He hated the hat: it was hot and annoying, and he was sure he looked ridiculous in it, but he had to wear it. He’d inherited his father’s brown hair, but that was where any hints of swarthiness ended, because he’d also gotten his mother’s gray eyes and English complexion, the type of complexion that on her had been described as “porcelain” but on him was described as “glow-in-the-dark white.” He knew from the painful experience of his first two days in Burreela that if he didn’t wear the hat in the scorching summer sun his face and neck would go from snow white to fire-engine red in about five seconds, and he’d be using aloe vera on his blistered and peeling skin for the next week.

He went around to the covered bed of the ute and flipped up the hard top, reaching in for his bag and rummaging through it to make sure he had what he needed before heading back. He could barely see a thing as he entered the stables, struck blind by the bright sun, but as his eyes became more accustomed to the dimmer light, he realized that Andrew and his father had been joined by another man, one who looked so much like Andrew that it had to be his brother. The man looked at Michael as he approached and smiled. “Hi. I’m Ryan.”

Michael’s stomach dropped at the sight of that smile, and he could do nothing but stare at the man, stare into hazel eyes that looked almost gold against the man’s sun-browned skin. His gaze took in the high cheekbones and the square jaw dusted with a couple of days worth of reddish-brown stubble, the brown hair that curled around his ears and at the nape of his neck where it showed under his hat. The edges of the man’s—Ryan’s—hair looked damp, wet from the sweat that glistened on the nape of his neck. Michael’s mouth went suddenly dry.

Ryan raised an eyebrow, and Michael realized that he was waiting for Michael to speak. “Oh. Sorry. I’m Michael. I’m the new vet. In town.”

Ryan smiled. “Yeah, I thought so, what with you carrying a fancy bag and all.” He nodded toward the stall. “You going to go back in there, Doc, or were you going to use voodoo to fix her up?”

Michael’s face heated. “Right. Yes. I’m going back in.” He stepped toward the stall again, but this time it was Ryan who went in before him. He did his best to ignore Ryan’s presence as he crouched in the corner to fish out some syringes and vials from his bag, then stood and patted Charlie’s neck again before reaching out for her leg once more. She shifted again when he touched her, but this time Ryan kept her from shying away; Michael could hear him crooning to her under his breath, and that made Michael’s skin prickle with an almost painful awareness of the other man. He did his best to ignore it, concentrating hard on the horse instead. He gave her some local anesthetic around the wound, and a couple of shots of antibiotics and a tetanus shot while he was waiting for it to numb. Glancing up at Ryan as he placed the needles carefully out of the way next to his bag, he saw that Ryan was watching him. He cleared his throat and made an attempt at intelligent conversation. “Do you know how long she was wrapped up in the wire for?”

That got a reaction, but not one that Michael really wanted, as Ryan frowned, his expression dark and thunderous. “Too long.” He turned his head slightly and raised his voice, directing his next words over his shoulder at his brother and father. “Those back paddocks were supposed to be cleaned up ages ago. I never would have let her in there if I’d known they were still full of crap.”

“Hey, don’t look at me,” Andrew said from behind him. “I thought they’d been done. Otherwise I wouldn’t have let you put her in there.”

“Yeah, well,” Ryan said, his tone still harsh. “I better not find out who didn’t clean it up properly, or they’ll feel my boot up their ass.” He looked back at Michael, who turned away from him quickly, frowning down at the wound as he gently assessed it for numbness, trying not to show how the gruffness of Ryan’s tone had sent a shiver down his spine.

“Right, she’s ready,” he said, more to distract himself from Ryan than give a blow-by-blow account of what he was doing. He took the end of the remaining wire and gently pulled it out of the wound, then set about cleaning the damaged flesh. “Okay.” He glanced up at Ryan when he turned to get bandages out of his bag, feeling a bit more stable now that he had instructions to give. “It looks pretty clean, and even though there’s a bit of swelling there, it doesn’t look as if there’s any tendon damage, which is good. The cut’s deep but not wide, so I’m not going to stitch it up. I’ll dress it, and it can heal on its own. Happy with that?”

Ryan nodded. “Yeah. Do I need to do anything to it?”

Michael shrugged. “Just keep her somewhere where she’ll keep it clean.” He got out some antibiotic powder and puffed it liberally over the wound before starting to bandage it up. “I gave her an antibiotic shot, and now she’s got antibiotic powder on it, too, so it shouldn’t get infected. I’ve given her a tetanus shot as well. I’ll leave you some powder and fresh dressings so that if she does get it dirty, you can change it. In a few days, change it anyway. If it looks weepy or inflamed, give me—” He felt himself blushing again. “Give us a call, and we’ll come out to look at it, but it should be fine. The dressings can come off altogether in about ten days or so.” He tied the bandages off, pulled a packet of wet wipes from his bag, cleaned his hands, then packed up, gathering his bag and the used syringes as he stood. “Okay?”

“Okay,” Ryan said, smiling again and sticking out his hand. “Thanks Doc. Michael.”

Michael had to switch his bag to his other hand before he could shake Ryan’s hand, but as he gripped it, his heart skipped a beat, and he hoped desperately that he wasn’t blushing again. Ryan’s hand was warm, the skin slightly rough, and his grip strong. Michael suppressed a shiver and smiled, hoping he didn’t look as hysterical as he felt. “That’s no problem. Just doing my job, right?”

“Right.” Ryan held on to Michael’s hand for just a moment too long before letting it drop. He stepped to the side to let Michael out of the stall. “But thanks anyway.”

Michael left the stall, nodding to Andrew and Mr. Mitchell as he left. He walked all the way to his ute without looking back, but as he finished disposing of his syringes and stowing his bag in the back and went to climb into the cab, he couldn’t resist. Glancing back as casually as he could, he saw Ryan standing in the entrance of the stables, leaning against the door and watching him. Their gazes locked as Michael closed the ute’s door, and they stared at each other until Ryan moved suddenly, looking back over his shoulder as his brother and father came up behind him. He straightened, saying something to them as they walked past him, Andrew slapping him on the shoulder. All three men headed to the main house, Ryan lingering behind as Michael started the ute, touching the brim of his hat and flashing Michael a grin as he turned the car around and headed down the driveway. Michael watched the house in his rearview mirror until a bend in the driveway put it out of his sight, and he drove the whole way back into town with his stomach in knots.

The Male Room by Carolyn LeVine Topol – Contest results

June 24, 2011

I was so happy to see a number of people participate in the Release Party Contest.  Thank you!

Several of you found all the correct answers.  I put all those names in a bowl and drew the name…

Veara!

I will arrange to send you an e-copy of The Male Room.

I hope all who participated will enjoy the book.  HAPPY READING! :)

The Male Room by Carolyn LeVine Topol – Contest time

June 22, 2011

Hello Everyone!  I hope you’re ready to do a little searching as you visit my website, www.carolynlevinetopol.com

Please comment or use the email link in my author’s page at Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_151 to find the names of the main characters of my first two publications.  One was an ebook, and one was available as both an ebook and in print.

Happy hunting!

Loving Luki Vasquez, Contests, and a Vote

June 20, 2011

Alright, this is an impromptu post, to catch up.

I’ve only given away one of the e-books for the shockingly easy Cover Question contest. Any others out there? Did I miss someone?

I deleted (accidentally, of course) at least one comment. If it was yours, chastise me and try again? The one I remember was about a Great Dane as a possible candidate for a Vasquez and James dog, and I tried to answer it in another comment reply. Anyway, feel free to take me to task.

Finally, I’ve got two more excerpts prepared, but it kind of looks like I’m only going to get to post one. So a vote: rated PG (or maybe even just G—the rest of chapter one), or rated X, short but hot and sweet. I’m looking for a majority here but if I don’t get votes, I’ll have Boudreau choose. And I’ll be honest, he’s arbitrary. Preferences?

Loving Luki Vasquez—about the author… and her assistant (and another chance for a prize)

June 20, 2011

I’m going to go against tradition, here and not talk about myself in third person. (Just call me a rebel.) So here’s a little (very little) first person paragraph about me, Lou Sylvre:

I was born and brought up in Los Angeles county, California, moved north to the Pacific Northwest at age twenty. That’s been a while and I’m still here. I’ve probably stayed because, even aside from family, so many things I love are here—trees, deserts, rivers, oceans. One key ingredient is frequently missing. Sunshine! Which may be why I’m often chained to my computer desk. Which brings me back to the point. Loving Luki Vasquez is my first M/M romance—or romance of any type—to be published. My assistant likes to believe he helped me write it. His name is Boudreau, and he looks like this:

Or, when he’s trying to convince me the plot needs to take a new twist, more like this:

Finally, when he goes over to the dark side, he looks something like this:

That’s us in a nutshell. If you read this, I’d like to thank you:

The first two people to comment on this post will have an ebook version of Loving Luki Vasquez!. All others who comment, well, your name goes in the hat for the final prize.

Loving Luki Vasquez Release Party: Contest! (#1)

June 20, 2011

As I said, it’s time to get the ball rolling with some friendly competition.

Here are the rules: none, really.

Here’s the question: What is Luki Vasquez former occupation? Okay, I’ll admit that’s pretty easy, if you’ve read the blurb, so to be in the running for a prize, answer part two as well: He worked for an organization referred to by three initials—what do they stand for? (If you don’t know, be creative!)

And these are the prizes: First contestant that answers both questions correctly wins an autographed paperback copy of Loving Luki Vasquez. Second person to get both answers right receives an e-book in the format of their choice. Everybody else who answers both parts right gets their name in a hat for the last prize of the day. (And I promise to draw the name fairly! I’ll have Boudreau do it. You’ll meet him a bit later.)

Let the games begin!

Loving Luki Vasquez—release party!

June 20, 2011

Loving Luki Vasquez Cover

Hi everybody and welcome to the party!

My name is Lou Sylvre, and Loving Luki Vasquez is my first book with Dreamspinner Press. It’s M/M romance, contemporary with a bit of an edge. (This is also my first virtual release party, but I’m already having fun.) Before I go any further, I want you to know a little bit about the novel. Read on—here’s the blurb from the Dreamspinner Press website.

“Reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James controls every color and shape in his tapestries, but he can’t control the pattern of his life—a random encounter with Luki Vasquez, ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, makes that perfectly clear. The mutual attraction is immediate, but love-shy Sonny has retreated from life, and Luki wears his visible and not-so-visible scars like armor. Neither can bare his soul with ease. While they run from desire, they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. After it becomes clear that a violent stalker has targeted Sonny, Luki’s protective instincts won’t let him run far, especially when Sonny’s family is targeted as well. Whether they can forgive or forget, Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to save Sonny’s nephew and fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.”

In a little while, I’ll post an excerpt, but right now, I’d like to get the party started with a contest. It’s easy to participate—just comment under the next post.

Starting right now, if you have questions or thoughts about Loving Luki Vasquez or about me, my writing, whatever—I’m anxious to hear from you. Comment here after any post, and let’s talk. (If you’re at the Dreamspinner facebook page, you may have to come here to the blog to comment.)
Now, for that contest…

A chance to win a copy of Lorcan’s Desire

May 30, 2011

Let’s Play Dirty Minds

I thought this was a fitting game since Lorcan hates when people make assumptions. So here are three riddles that you assume are dirty but the correct answer isn’t naughty so beware. Answer one or all three for a chance to win a ebook copy of Lorcan’s Desire. I’ll pick one winner from, not necessarily the correct answer, but the most creative J Good Luck and Have fun with your answers!!! Try guessing from the first clue before reading the next, there are three clues to each riddle.!!

Check out a blurb and Excerpt HERE

I often get laid in an alley.


I often end up in the middle of your split.


When you slip your finger inside me, I’m ready to go.

I have fuzzy balls.


Someone’s going to be beaten.


You start off with love, but that doesn’t last.

I’m long, hard, and powered by batteries.


I give off a steady stream.


People grope for me in the dark.