Cowboys Are More Than Butts by Julia Talbot

August 10, 2017

cowboys are more than butts

 

Hey y’all! My wife, BA Tortuga and I were talking cowboys. Not at all unusual, since she writes a lot of them, and Dreamspinner just released one of my favorite stories of mine, Sparkle and Shine. Based on a song, Everything That Glitters by Dan Seals, Sparkle and Shine follows friends to lovers Brooks and Evan all the way to the National Finals rodeo in Vegas.

Anyway, the discussion turned, as it often does, to how most comments we see about cowboys in the greater romance world center on Wrangler butts. Now, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate one of those as much as the next cowboy fan. I also like the way cowboy boots tilt that Wrangler butt just so. But that’s maybe a thimble full of what a cowboy is actually all about.

I grew up in cowboy country. No, not Texas, though West Texas was 45 minutes from my backyard. Southern New Mexico when I was a kid was small towns and lots of beef cattle. My grandpa was a cowboy. I would argue my mom was, too, despite the fact that she left Western Colorado young to join the Army. Then I married a Texan whose Daddy is a cowboy. Her brother was a bullrider, and one of her adopted siblings trains horses for a living.

If I’ve learned anything from my experiences it’s that most people see cowboys as an abstract. As an icon of a lost culture. But what I know is true is the opposite. Cowboys are still real, and so is cowboy culture. I see it when I visit my father in law. I see it when I go to the feed store here in a suburb of Albuquerque. I see it at rodeos and on vacation in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It’s still going strong.

I once heard a well-known big 5 author state that she knew she didn’t write real cowboys because she didn’t like how they really were: dirty and bent from hard work, baked and lined from the sun, stubborn and a little foul mouthed. I thought, “How sad”, because cowboys are not cardboard cut-out romance heroes. If you write them with all their flaws, all their scars, and yeah, some dirt on their boots, they come alive in all the best ways. Absolutely, they’re stubborn. Sometimes problematic. Often vain. But, then again, I’ve never met one who didn’t love animals and children, who wouldn’t give you the shirt off his back to keep warm and out of the rain. They’re real people with real joys and sorrows, whether they’re riding the range or sitting in an office somewhere.

Cowboys are far more than just butts, and I hope y’all will help me embrace them in all their weird and wonderful glory!

 

XXOO

Julia Talbot

Check out Sparkle and Shine today!

 

SparkleAndShine_postcard_front_DSP

 

Blurb:

All that glitters is not gold. No-frills cowboy Evan learned that lesson the hard way while married to a rodeo princess, a relationship that was all flash and no substance. At least Evan held on to his daughter, Cheyenne, and his best friend, Brooks, when the sparkle wore off and things fell apart. Life could be a lot worse.

But it could also be better… if Evan and Brooks took a step beyond friendship. Just as they start to explore their feelings, Evan’s ex-wife sticks her nose in to sabotage them. Suddenly everything is up in the air, and they have difficult choices to make about the rodeo, Cheyenne, and the romance they both want so badly to pursue

First edition published by Torquere Press, November 2007.

 

Author Bio:

Stories that leave a mark. Julia Talbot loves romance across all the genders and genres, and loves to write about people working to see past the skin they’re in to love what lies beneath. Julia Talbot lives in the great mountain and high desert Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner and Changeling Press among many others. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. She also writes BDSM and erotic romance as Minerva Howe. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at www.juliatalbot.com “The mountains are calling, and I must go”

https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

Julia Talbot’s Top Ten Cowboy Moments

June 6, 2017

Julia Talbot's Top Ten (1)

 

Hey y’all! I’m Julia, and I’m chatting about Riding the Circuit, the third in the Riding Cowboy Flats series. This is an all new novella, and I love Matt and Frost so much. They’re such guys, you know. Just regular Joes making it work.

Anyway, I decided since Frost is a rodeo man, I would do my top ten cowboy moments. I’ve had a lot, from rodeo and bullriding events to just being at my wife’s daddy’s ranch. So here we go, counting down.

10. Watching my wife string fence with her daddy. In yoga pants and flip flops. With the pit bull by her side, killing field mice. It doesn’t get a whole lot more Western than that, y’all.

9. My mom taking us to rodeo practice at NMSU when I was a kid. The college has a rodeo team.

8. Watching cattle drives down the main street. They do it for tourists at the Stockyards in Fort Worth. They still do it for work in Collbran, Colorado and a hundred other tiny towns from Texas to Montana

7. Benson Mule Days in North Carolina. I know, right? NC? But there were mule races and that was harsh. Those boys cowboyed up.

6. Watching my Grandpa Blair ride. He was a cowboy, for sure. He was a water commissioner on Grand Mesa in Colorado, and he spent weeks on horseback, checking water quality.

5. PBR Bullrider Guilherme Marchi recognizing us at events and making the other fans mad by calling us by name…

4. The PBR finals in Las Vegas. The meet and greet the year before Adriano Moraes retired was epic. Chris Shivers, Mike White, Justin McBride, Greg Potter, JW Hart, Ty Murray, Rob Smets… Y’all look them up. EPIC

3. My BIL Jeremy breaking his neck playing redneck polo. Take a watermelon and a stick. Every time you hit the melon, take a drink. Fall off in a ditch and fracture a vertebra. Go back to work three weeks later, climbing cell towers in your halo brace… I never said cowboys were bright.

2. Being told by my brother that a calf can’t buck you off if you sit backward and hold its tail. No. No, it can’t. It will just turn you everywhichways but loose.

1. Cheyenne Frontier Days. The biggest outdoor rodeo in the States and the Daddy of ‘em all. Bonus points because I got to hear George Strait sing I Can Still Make Cheyenne there. I cried like a baby.

Thanks for letting me babble! Now go read Riding the Circuit. Shoo.

XXOO

Julia

Check out Riding the Circuit today!

 

RidingTheCircuit_postcard_front_DSP

 

Blurb:
Riding Cowboy Flats: Book Three

Rodeo cowboy Frost Barton spends most of his time on tour, and that’s the way he likes it. But when his dad dies suddenly, Frost returns to southern New Mexico to attend the funeral and help his mom decide what to do with their small family ranch. Frost is already considering retiring from bull riding and planting his itchy feet in the ground. Meeting horse trainer Matt Morales just adds another pull in that direction, though Frost still isn’t sure he’s ready to give up the circuit—even if Matt makes settling down look mighty tempting.

Matt is old enough to know better, but he falls for Frost anyway. They only have so much time to spend together before Frost goes back on tour, but Matt believes they might have something special. He keeps the home fires burning while Frost earns his living, but Matt hopes he can convince Frost to come home—to stay.

 

Author Bio:

Stories that leave a mark. Julia Talbot loves romance across all the genders and genres, and loves to write about people working to see past the skin they’re in to love what lies beneath. Julia Talbot lives in the great mountain and high desert Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner and Changeling Press among many others. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. She also writes BDSM and erotic romance as Minerva Howe. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at www.juliatalbot.com “The mountains are calling, and I must go”

www.juliatalbot.com
https://twitter.com/juliatalbot
https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

 

Julia Talbot’s Top 10 Real Life Cowboy Experiences

April 6, 2017

Julia Talbot's Top Ten Real Life Cowboy Experiences

 

Hey y’all!

I’m Julia, and I’m a cowboy-o-holic.

Okay, so I write a lot more werewolves and bears and historical dudes. But I love me some cowboys. I mean, I married BA Tortuga, the queen of the down to earth cowboy book.

So, what is it about the cowboys?

There’s the iconic aspect of them. The heroic John Wayne figure, riding off into the sunset. There’s the Wranglers. There’s the work hardened body, a lean, mean fighting machine with a farmer’s tan.

But really, for me, there’s a lot more to it. I grew up watching the rodeo team at the college where I lived practice. I went to visit my grandpa in the summer, where he still did his job on horseback. I wore cowboy boots to school. While I was a suburban kid at best, I’m only one generation removed from people who worked the very land I write about in my Riding Cowboy Flats series.

So, here I give you Julia’s top ten real life most cowboy experiences, so you can see where I’m coming from. Trust me, some were fun, some not so much…

 

10. Being told a calf can’t  buck you off if you ride him backward and hold onto the tail. And trying it. Not true.

9. Getting shot at with buckshot while diving through a barbed wire fence.

8. Watching my wife string fence on her Daddy’s ranch in Texas, while she wore flip flops and threw a ball for the dog

7. Going to watch the tiniest rodeo on earth at the Hunt County fair

6. Buying my first pair of adult cowboy boots at an outlet store in Texas

5. Hitting all the little rodeos in Central Texas over the 4th of July, also called Cowboy Christmas. We must  have gone to 15 in one year

4. Cattleman’s Days in Gunnison, Colorado. The oldest rodeo in CO

3. Cowboy poetry competition in Colorado- holy moustache batman

2. Seeing George Strait at the Houston Rodeo and shaking his hand

  1. 1. Cheyenne Frontier Days, y’all. The Daddy of ‘em All!

 

Check out Just a Cowboy today!

 

Just a Cowboy by Julia Talbot

 

Blurb:

2nd Edition
Riding Cowboy Flats: Book Two

Can an old-fashioned cowboy and a young man on the run from his dark past find a future together?

Herschel is a simple rancher who believes everybody deserves a second chance, which is why he tends to hire underdogs—like Dalton, a young cowboy who needs all the support and TLC Herschel can offer.

Dalton doesn’t think anyone can forgive him for what he did, but Herschel seems willing to try. In fact, he might be the best thing that has ever happened to Dalton. He might even be the one to help Dalton trust in the future again. Just when he’s about to tell Herschel everything, all hell breaks loose. Herschel must help Dalton break free from everything that’s haunting him, or they’ll both end up alone.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2010.

 

Author Bio:

Stories that leave a mark. Julia Talbot loves romance across all the genders and genres, and loves to write about people working to see past the skin they’re in to love what lies beneath. Julia Talbot lives in the great mountain and high desert Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner and Changeling Press among many others. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. She also writes BDSM and erotic romance as Minerva Howe. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at www.juliatalbot.com “The mountains are calling, and I must go”

Author links:

www.juliatalbot.com
https://twitter.com/juliatalbot
https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

BA Tortuga: Blame It On Poppy

March 21, 2017

Blame It On Poppy w/ BA Tortuga

 

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things cowboy.

So. A year ago, my dear friend Poppy Dennison says to the universe at large: I want secret baby books.

I said, “bah.”

I said, “I’m not writing a m/m secret baby story.”

I said, “Stuff and nonsense. Everyone’s going to write a—.”

Then my brain, which functions without any help or assistance from me at all said, “What if there was a cowboy who woke up one morning to find a baby in a basket on his doorstep?”

And Hoss said, “Is there a note? Folks don’t dump babies without a note or a necklace or something.”

And Bradley, Hoss’ Very Good Friend (trademark, patent pending) said, “You got what left on your doorstep?”

Hoss: “A baby.”

Bradley: “A baby what?”

Hoss: “Person.”

Bradley: “Is there a note? Folks don’t dump babies without a note.”

Hoss: “That’s what I said!”

This? This WHOLE thing?

Poppy’s fault.

All of it.

Blame her.

I do.

 

Much love, y’all.

BA

 

Check out Two Cowboys and a Baby today!

 

Two Cowboys and a Baby by BA Tortuga

 

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon

 

Blurb:

A little bundle of joy means big changes.

Hoss McMasters has a working ranch, a bull riding career, a nosy momma, and a best friend he’s been in love with since he can remember. He’s a busy, happy cowboy, living the good life.

Then one morning he discovers a baby on his doorstep.

Well, Hoss does what any reasonable man would do—he calls his momma and his buddy, Sheriff Pooter, and they head to the clinic to see if Doc knows of any suddenly not-so-pregnant girls.

In the meantime, Hoss and his best friend, Bradley, have their hands full trying to care for an infant, run a ranch, and deal with the sudden confession that Bradley doesn’t hate Hoss for coming out to him in high school. In fact, Bradley’s been trying to catch Hoss’s attention for damn near a decade.

 

About BA Tortuga:

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

Forever a Foodie w/ Jon Keys + Exclusive Excerpt

January 24, 2017

Forever a Foodie with Jon Keys

 

Hello! Thanks so much for having me visit on the release of “Camouflage”. I’m so thrilled with all the help from Dreamspinner Press. As always, the editors were so great and I love the book.

I thought I’d talk about an unusual character with several cameos in Camouflage. Who is this rascal? Food. I’ll admit it, I’m a foodie. More than once my birthday and Christmas gifts have circled around something food related. A new cookbook, the latest kitchen gadget, or trying a new place to eat, any of them are great gifts for me. I’ve always heard our strongest memories are tied to smells. I can believe without any trouble. I love trying new things, but comfort foods are such an important part of my life. Everyone has their way of dealing with problems. A great comfort meal is my way of dealing with the crap life deals out. Yes, sometimes the memories are better than the fact, but I’m always up for a good run at it.

Why the obsession with food? I have no idea, it just is. But it also means my characters enjoy food as much as I do. Some like Peter from “Home Grown” are hard-core foodies always looking for the latest food obsession. Others, like Luke in “Camouflage”, love the comfort food they grew up with. He enjoys the food his grandmother made (I’m sure chicken-fried steak was a favorite!), to local specialties, yes, including fried pickles. Luke is sharing his life with Nash by sharing the foods that gives Luke that warm feeling of place.

I think shared experiences with food are an important part of any relationship. The ritual and sharing of food are important in my stories, whether it’s Luke and Nash arguing about catsup or mustard on corndogs from the fair, to Anan roasting fresh taken daggerhorn in my high fantasy series, food plays an important role.

Check out Camouflage today!

 

Camouflage by Jon Keys

 

Blurb:

Nash Gallo and Luke Meyers seem like complete opposites on the surface. Nash is a city boy from Atlanta, while Luke is a rancher from rural Oklahoma. Nash is covered in tattoos and piercings, while Luke is self-conscious about his muscular, hairy body. Luke doesn’t have much sexual experience with other men, while Nash has plenty to go around.

But both men are lonely, and neither of them has ever been in love.

They also both have secrets. For Luke, it’s his shame over an affair with a local closeted and married man, something Nash accepts. Will Luke be as tolerant of what Nash is hiding—his job as a prostitute back in Georgia?

A week-long vacation on Luke’s ranch and the idyllic landscapes surrounding it gives both men the chance to relax and explore the attraction growing between them. But can the budding relationship survive secrets and small-town prejudices? As they search for the place where their lives might intersect, Nash and Luke risk far worse than broken hearts.

 

Author Bio:

Jon Keys’ earliest memories revolve around books; with the first ones he can recall reading himself being “The Warlord of Mars” and anything with Tarzan. (The local library wasn’t particularly up to date.) But as puberty set in he started sneaking his mother’s romance magazines and added the world of romance and erotica to his mix of science fiction, fantasy, Native American, westerns and comic books.

A voracious reader for almost half a century, Jon has only recently begun creating his own flights of fiction for the entertainment of others. Born in the Southwest and now living in the Midwest, Jon has worked as a ranch hand, teacher, computer tech, roughneck, designer, retail clerk, welder, artist, and, yes, pool boy; with interests ranging from kayaking and hunting to painting and cooking, he draws from a wide range of life experiences to create written works that draw the reader in and wrap them in a good story.

Email: Jon.Keys@ymail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jon.keys.773
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Jon4Keys
Website: http://jonkeys.com

 

Exclusive Excerpt

Nash’s stomach knotted as he stared at Luke while waiting to see what he was going to do. The teasing banter they’d been exchanging made him hope they were becoming more comfortable with each other, but now Luke had been stalling on the bank of the lake for at least fifteen minutes. One thing after another kept him from getting into the water. Nash paddled closer, wondering what was going on.

“Luke, come on. It feels great.”

“Yeah, okay. Give me a sec.” He fiddled with the hem of his T-shirt, pulling it up and letting it drop, unconsciously giving a better tease show than some of the strippers in Atlanta. The glimpse of Luke’s flat stomach was having its effect. Nash moved closer until he sat on a submerged rock a few feet from Luke.

“What’s up? I thought everything was okay.”

Luke pressed his hands down his torso and shrugged, his eyes never meeting Nash’s. “Yeah. It’s all good. But, yeah….”

“What? It can’t be that big of a deal.”

“I’m kinda hairy,” Luke blurted out.

“So?”

“Yeah, well. Some people don’t like hairy guys. I tried keeping it shaved but it itches like crazy.” His gaze dropped. “Besides, who would see it?”

Nash stood and made his way up the rocky shoreline to Luke, grabbed his shirt, and pulled it over his head with no further ceremony. He tossed the shirt onto the grass and stood admiring Luke’s chest.

“Your fur is fucking hot. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Now stop being a dipshit.” With a light slap on Luke’s stomach, Nash walked back into the lake, submerging to his neck. The sight of Luke without a shirt sent pulses of attraction through Nash. He hoped the cool water would help bring his cock down from the raging erection it was. But instead he only got harder as he watched Luke climb into the water.

So far as Nash was concerned, Luke’s chest was about as perfect as possible. The dusting of hair across his pecs darkened to a line down his stomach, which disappeared into the cutoff jeans he wore. His broad shoulders tapered to a waist that had a thick Adonis belt coming from both sides. Whoever had Luke worried that he didn’t look hot was a twisted son of a bitch.

Luke started into the water, following Nash. When he reached knee deep, he stepped off a rock shelf and instantly submerged to midchest. Nash chuckled at his gasp.

“Man! It’s kinda cold.”

“Nah, you’re being a pussy. Or are you worried about shrinkage?”

Luke snorted and splashed Nash. “Not me. Shrinkage isn’t a problem.”

Nash shot a rooster tail of water at Luke and drenched him.

“You fucker! I’m gonna get your ass.” Luke launched himself at Nash while the taller man took off swimming. But Luke was a strong swimmer and caught him in a few strokes. He grabbed Nash’s shoulders and shoved him under.

Nash came up sputtering and flipped his head to get the wet hair off his face. “Oh, you want to play that way.”

He grabbed as Luke yelped and dodged. They dove and wrestled until they both gasped for air. They’d moved farther into the lake until the water was over Luke’s head. To keep from being pushed under again, he wrapped his legs around Nash. But now with his crotch pressed against Nash’s stomach Luke’s erection was obvious. Their gazes met. Luke blushed and released the leg lock. “Sorry, didn’t—”

Nash wrapped his arms around Luke and pulled him tight. The kiss he planted went on for several minutes and left them both winded.

“Stop apologizing. You’re not doing anything I’m not enjoying,” Nash said.

Muscular legs wrapped around Nash’s midsection and in an instant they were tight against each other. Luke slipped his work-toughened fingers through Nash’s wet hair and pulled them into a snug embrace. Their lips met again. A slow kiss this time, but the fire it ignited in Nash was like nothing he’d felt before. As the kiss faded away, Luke nibbled at his ear and soon had Nash moaning in response.

Luke released his leg lock, but it seemed to be a reluctant gesture. “I think we better stop while we can.”

New Year’s Resolutions with Julia Talbot

January 2, 2017

New Year's Resolutions with Julia Talbot

 

Happy New Year!

My wife and I were chatting about how I had to do a blog post (and how late I was, sorry to the poor blog organizer) and she wanted to know what book.

“Jackass Flats,” I said, “so it’s a reprint and I’ve blogged all the blogs to be blogged.”

“Tate and Dave! I like them.” She grinned at me. “Have them do New Year’s Resolutions.”

Tate is a cowboy in southern New Mexico. Dave is a military guy stationed at White Sands when the story begins. They have a bit of an age gap, and they have very different lives.

Tate: I plan to build up the ranch a little, maybe adopt a few more horses so Dave can have one. I also promise to talk more. Like out loud. Dave is always telling me to use my words.

Dave: That’s it?

Tate: Well, honey, what else is there?

Dave: Stares

Tate: shrugs

Dave: Okay, so I resolve to make everyone proud this year.

Tate: You already do that.

Dave: Hush and let me talk. I resolve to get back into shape. I’ve eaten a lot of green chile enchiladas.

Tate: You’re just fine. I promise.

Dave: I need to get my paperwork in order.

Tate: You got me there. The guest room is a wreck because of you.

Dave: Well, there you go

They wander off, still chatting…

 

As for Julia, my resolution is to get blogs in on time.

XXOO

Julia

 

Check out Jackass Flats today!

 

Jackass Flats by Julia Talbot

 

Blurb:   

Can a traveling military man and a set-in-his-ways cowboy find a way to make things work?

Tate feels like the best part of life has probably passed him by, which is why the thirtysomething cowboy hits the bars every night. When he meets Dave, a young soldier from a nearby Army base, though, Tate figures things might be looking up. He and Dave get off to a rocky start, but Tate soon finds that he and the kid have enough in common to make things interesting.

Dave isn’t really into the whole don’t ask, don’t tell thing, and he doesn’t bother to hide his relationship with Tate from his friends. Once he realizes he should have been more careful, it might be too late. But Dave is willing to fight for Tate, even if it means taking on the military.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2008.

 

Author Bio:

Stories that leave a mark. Julia Talbot loves romance across all the genders and genres, and loves to write about people working to see past the skin they’re in to love what lies beneath. Julia Talbot lives in the great mountain and high desert Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Dreamspinner as well as many other small presses. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. She also writes BDSM and erotic romance as Minerva Howe.

Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at www.juliatalbot.com

“The mountains are calling, and I must go”

Julia Talbot: http://www.juliatalbot.com
Minerva Howe: http://www.minervahowe.com
Julia’s Blog: http://juliatalbot.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/juliatalbot

Spoilers Ahoy with BA Tortuga

December 20, 2016

 

Spoilers Ahoy with BA Tortuga

 

Hey y’all. I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all sort of cowboys.

First and foremost, if you dislike spoilers and you’re intending to read the third in the Release series, Catch and Release, run.

Run now.

I am fixin’ to tell y’all a secret.

Waits patiently.

Okay, y’all. Everyone that’s left is okay with spoilers? No one is going to write my happy ass screaming about how I spoiled everything? Good.

Because I have to tell y’all. I did it.

I wrote a novel without sex.

It’s okay, y’all get the utter shock out of your system, I’ll wait.

I can hear it now – how can the woman that wrote Rain and Whiskey, the book that has the distinction of having a Dreamspinner proofreader say, “I’ve never seen a book with more sex in it” (let me tell you, my immediate response was, have they read Sean Michael? I’m an amateur in comparison), write a novel with NO SEX?

It’s true. I did.

Dakota Landry is a con, straight out of federal prison. Now, this isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve written other former inmates, most notably Sage Redding from the first Release book. I had no problem writing Sage and Win’s love scenes on screen, but Dakota?

Every time I thought about writing a sex scene with him, something inside me said, no. No. This character, this story, this tale – it isn’t ready.

When I typed the end, it wasn’t ready.

I told my betas, “tell me if I need to add a sex scene.”

They said no.

I told my editors, “tell me if I need to add a sex scene.”

They said no.

I have to tell y’all, that was my instinct too.

Dakota didn’t want his sexual details on screen and, I’ll be honest, I think I made the right decision in respecting that. I hope y’all do to.

Much love,

BA

 

Check out Catch and Release today!

 

Catch and Release by BA Tortuga

Blurb:

The Release Series: Book Three

Dakota Landry just got out of prison after twelve years. If anyone can understand how that feels, it’s his new friend, Sage, who is determined to help him get used to life on the outside—and believes Dakota didn’t commit the crime he was in for.

Jayden Wilson is a former prosecutor who agrees to look into the case at the request of Sage’s lover, Adam. He sets out to prove Dakota is just another “innocent” ex-con, but once they meet, Jayden is more and more convinced Dakota just didn’t do what everyone thinks he did.

Trouble follows Dakota, and nothing is easy as he struggles to figure out how to live, now that he has choices. And Jayden isn’t sure how Dakota, or any lover for that matter, fits into his life. Their path from friendship to romance is a slow one, but Dakota begins to believe he deserves a chance at life, and Jayden falls a little more for Dakota every day. Now they just need to tell each other how they feel.

 

BA Tortuga bio:

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

You can find BA at:

Website: http:www.batortuga.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/batortuga
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/batortuga
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/batortuga/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/batortuga
Blogger: http://batortuga.blogspot.com/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/batortuga/
Tumblr: http://batortuga.tumblr.com/

 

Memory and Imagination with George Seaton

September 12, 2016

Memory and Imagination

Greetings! I’m George Seaton, and I’m happy to be here because Dreamspinner Press has been so kind as to publish and release my novella, “Shane Thorpe Knew Jesus and Rode Bulls.” A long title, but an apt one given the storyline. This novella was submitted for the States of Love submission call which asked for stories specific to an American state. I chose Texas. (As an aside, I believe it was two fellow Colorado authors, Caitlin Ricci, and A. M. Burns, who suggested this themed project to Dreamspinner.)

 

Here’s the blurb:

Eighteen-year-old Joe Vasquez leaves Denver for Texas with Harley Bray, the cow kid who never fit in at their high school. In spite of discovering there’s another side to Harley’s natures—occasional “withdrawals” from roadside convenience stores, a nefarious skill he teaches Joe—Joe shares Harley’s dream of riding bulls and a life together on the Texas plains outside of Abilene. A life that will hopefully see the fulfillment of another of Joe’s dreams—to become a veterinarian.

When a rank bull kills Harley in a rodeo in Longview, Texas, Joe accepts an offer from another bull rider, Shane Thorpe, to partner up and ride the circuit together. The problem is that the blond-haired, blue-eyed Shane found Jesus a long time ago, and he’s torn between his faith and his attraction to Joe. As they make their way across Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona to their final top on the circuit at the National Western Rodeo in Denver, Joe bides his time for what he hopes will be a relationship with Shane as fulfilling as the one he’d had with Harley. His hope for the future, however, are challenged along the way when he discovers that his “withdrawals” have captured the attention of a very dedicated Texas Ranger.

 

That’s the gist of the story without the twists and turns it takes. And certainly without the development of the characters, which is something I think storytelling cannot do without. I fell in love with character development when I first read Charles Dickens—a master of that essential component to all stories worthy of reading.

I had already finished nearly half a story about two young men infatuated with bull riding who happened to live in Texas when Dreamspinner issued the States of Love submission call. Little of the first half changed as I completed the manuscript for submission. Suffice it to say, I was thrilled when Dreamspinner accepted it for publication.

When I tell my husband, David, about story plots I’m working on, he always says, “How do you come up with that stuff?”

My usual response is simply raising my arms, my palms outstretched, and saying, “I don’t know. It’s just there.”

Actually, I do know where it comes from. I think an author has two primary tools—memory and imagination.

We all know what imagination is. As I wrote in a short story not long ago here’s what imagination gives us: “I have a friend who writes in the erotic romance genre. Several years ago he found a publisher for his stuff who just adored his boy-meets-boy, boy-fucks-boy, boys-live-happily-ever-after storylines that defy real life scenarios to the point that he is now interjecting shifters, zombies, vampires, dreary dystopian sagas, and Apocalyptic backdrops into his writing. Suffice it to say, his publisher didn’t bat an eye when he lately presented her with one-hundred thousand words about a beaver humping a muskrat, the critter timing his thrusts to the thump, thump, thump of a steam engine that somehow, in some way powers the production of greenery upon a landscape leveled by the unfortunate effects of several hundred-thousand kilotons of atomic energy released three hundred years prior. I believe it’s called speculative fiction.”

Then there’s memory. For me, memory is the font I dip into for characterization. All of our experiences, whether sight, sound, touch, or smell are cataloged somewhere in our brains (though I read years ago that lab experiments theorized that memory is not in any one place in the brain, but may well reside within the entirety of the organism). Our first love, the loss of a family member, a dog or cat, joy, the smell of onions and green peppers in the frying pan, the sound of a child’s laughter, the sensate reaction to danger, how we perceive the Grand Canyon the first time we see it, the sight of a dead body, the spread of the stars and planets above in a place with no ambient light, the lilt of an Oklahoman’s or Texan’s voice; all of this and so much more is who we are and, for an author, provide the components of characterization. From my memory, I give my characters the traits, idiosyncrasies, movements, expressions, voices, odors and aromas, and certainly, appearances that I’ve cataloged in those overstuffed file cabinets, I keep in my brain for just such a purpose. And, thankfully, I’m able to convey through words what I see in my memory.

As readers, and probably some authors, too, I’m curious what you find interesting or even fascinating about an author’s ability to make a character come alive? How thoroughly do you want to know what makes a character tick?

Once again, I’m grateful that Dreamspinner Press chose to publish this little story.

Website: http://www.gmseatonauthor.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/george.seaton
Twitter: @GeorgeSeaton

Check out Shane Thorpe Knew Jesus and Rode Bulls today!

Shane Thorpe Knew Jesus and Rode Bulls

Coming Home to Sylvan by Jan Irving

August 27, 2016

Coming Home to Sylvan

I’m Jan Irving and a Westener as well as a long-time author. I think that’s why I love to write books set in small towns like those I experienced growing up.

Sylvan, the fictional setting for my anthology of four country stories, is actually also a real country lake town I spent summers in growing up. I walked to the well to get water. We had an outhouse, and no plumbing. You took a bath under a hose or in the lake. And when a summer storm hit, you put pillows on the windows so the glass didn’t shatter from a lightning blast.

I think that the appeal of country life is it puts us in touch with the real rhythms of life. Since I recently moved back to the country, I’m totally aware of this. Bio-regional eating? Oh, yeah. You eat what is in season out here. I go to farmer’s markets twice a week—and often just to the farmers themselves. My flowers come from roadside stands with honor system rusty cans you put your cash into. When you get hot weather, you can smell cow manure coming up from the valley.

There’s an honesty to living in tune with what is truly the real world on our planet. People are, it’s true, friendlier and likely to be a lot more nosy.

Recently I won a bouquet of flowers in the country fair. And everyone in town was saying they’d seen that picture! I had never enjoyed such publicity.

Jan Irving Contest Winner

Wilde Wunder Gardens Contest Winner Jan Irving

I first wrote the Sylvan stories, Sylvan, the story of a down-on-his-luck ex Olympic athlete named Mal and a carpenter  named Leif nine years ago when I was struggling with a diagnosis of dementia for my mother. Like the character Leif, in the story, my parent was my best friend. It hit me hard and I became pretty depressed. So I wrote the story to get some of those feelings out, letting Leif experience them. The story offered me a surprising healing.

I wrote Luke as almost a light hearted comic romance. A cowboy wakes up on a wrinkled bed with a hangover…and discovers a baby lying beside him! What now? Turns out she’s his from a one-night stand. Luke has no idea how to care for a baby. Fortunately Morgan is the town doctor in Sylvan and he offers Luke not only support but a place to live. And of course, Luke the cowboy is going to be attracted to Morgan, a polished Bostonian. Opposites attract.

Nate is another story of healing. A young cowhand helps a father with a mute son to find each other again. It’s my own favorite.

I had long wanted to write a sequel to Luke, called Luke’s Baby and see how my men were progressing. Life keeps moving on and sometimes love can be shattered. I did something terrible to my guys in the new novella and then left them to pick up the pieces. It was an intense story that had me in tears the entire time I wrote it—which was one day since I couldn’t stop writing.

Shortly after I wrote Luke’s Baby, my mother passed away. And Sylvan again offered me a lot of comfort as I did my edits and reread the stories.

I also found myself rereading classic favorite books for about a month, reaching for that solace that only books can provide.

Have readers here experienced that, gone through an intense time and only found comfort in reading? I’d love to hear your stories.

You can find me at my website: www.janirvingwrites

And on facebook: Janice Irving

Check out Sylvan today!

SylvanCollection

Blurb: 

Return to small-town Sylvan in Jan Irving’s bestselling series—reimagined and re-edited with an all-new bonus novella.

The small Western town of Sylvan is a place for new beginnings for those who won’t settle for anything less than true love. These sweet tales of slow-simmering romance and the old-fashioned values of commitment and pulling together when times get tough prove that sometimes the best matches are also the most unexpected.

With the help of a storm, a washed-up Olympic swimmer and a carpenter cracking under the strain of caring for his Alzheimer’s-affected father learn that opposites sometimes really do attract.

A likable cowboy called Happy Nate is determined to help a mute boy speak again—and to help his father move beyond the repression of the Mennonite community to find the love he deserves.

When a hard-partying cowboy is suddenly saddled with a surprise baby, he’s at his wit’s end. Luckily the local doctor is available to help, and if the two men can find the courage to accept themselves and step into a new life, they might just make a real family. They’ll need to lend each other strength when an unspeakable tragedy strikes—and when it’s time to pick up the pieces.

Gratitude for Second Chances with K-lee Klein

August 3, 2016

Gratitude for Second Chances

Hi I’m K–Lee, I’m new to Dreamspinner Press, and I’m really excited to be here. I guess I’m new and old at the same time because to use Brett Taylor’s voice, “This ain’t my first rodeo.”

Unbreak My Heart goes live on August 5. It’s my first book with Dreamspinner and since it’s a re-release, it’s been meticulously re-edited with a few add-ons and tie-ups to some scenes and interactions between characters. I’m so happy to know that it will soon be available to readers, in this new, even-better version.

You see, this book is my own personal favorite, and in 2013 it was my first book with a new and excellent small publisher, who sadly closed their doors earlier this year. That was heartbreaking, not only for the grief of losing a company that I considered to be my family, but for the loss of so many other friends and family members in the form of my characters in books that went out of print. I can tell you that when you lose a publisher and your books vanish off retailers’ shelves, it feels like they’ve disappeared off the face of the earth. They will no longer be swimming in the online ocean and no one new will be able to meet those beloved characters or read their struggles.  Basically, it’s like starting from scratch to get your books back into play.

Self-publishing was an option for me, but not for Unbreak My Heart. It’s special and meaningful and I couldn’t even think about it simply disappearing, or being released imperfectly in my early attempts to figure out self-pub. Brett Taylor and JT Campbell are the most important characters I’ve written to date—that’s to say, they are closest to my heart. (Something we definitely won’t tell the rest of my guys.) I had also already written and published four sequels for Brett & JT and if the original book in the series wasn’t safe, the others would be lost as well. So it was a great comfort when Dreamspinner offered to give Brett and JT a new home.

I have Cody Kennedy to thank for helping me find the courage to submit the manuscript to Dreamspinner for re-release in the first place. He was with me every step of the way, a real trooper in my corner when I was afraid to try. Thank you, Cody. Of course, I highly doubted the book would be accepted, but when I received the contract from Elizabeth North, I’m certain that I squealed like a teenager at a One a Direction concert or me at a photo op with Sebastian Stan.

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It could be said that Dreamspinner Press stepped-in to unbreak my heart. You know I had to go there.

I have to thank my publisher for giving me the chance to work with and have an actual cover designed by the fabulous Reese Dante. Her art sweetened the pot to cavity-prone proportions. I also had the best experience working with my new editor, Sue Adams. So here’s a shout-out to Reese and Sue for being helping me so much during this new beginning. I’m excited about being part of this publishing family and the excellent attention and assistance I’ve already been given. I’m also thrilled to have the opportunity to have my book translated and possibly turned into an audio book—I will admit this is an ultimate dream for me.

So if I haven’t mentioned it enough yet, I couldn’t be more grateful to see Unbreak My Heart up for pre-sale on the Dreamspinner site. It’s surreal and awesome and so many other words you don’t want to hear me go on and on about.

Before I go, I’d like to offer a giveaway of an ebook copy of on my backlist to one lucky commenter. Since Unbreak My Heart is a book about second chances, tell me about a second chance you’ve been grateful for in your life or even something you’d like to get another shot at. Leave your second chance memory and an email address in the comments section below.

So that’s it for me. Thanks for stopping by and whether you’re a new reader to the series or have already being introduced to Brett and JT, I hope you enjoy their little world. Peace out.

 

Check out Unbreak My Heart today!

UnbreakMyHeart_postcard_front_DSP

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Blurb:

Brett Taylor’s world collapsed three years ago when he lost the love of his life. Almost as bad as the grief is the advice he’s starting to get from everyone and their brother, telling him it’s time to move on. They’re flat-out wrong. He left his career as a musician and escaped to his ranch because he needs the peace and quiet, and he’s doing just fine. He doesn’t want anyone invading his memory-filled, booze-fueled solitude.

JT Campbell’s world has been defined by his parents’ money, status, and his own empty relationships, until he’s desperately sick of it. A quest to find something meaningful leads him to Brett’s failing ranch. It’s supposed to be a brief stay. JT never wanted to be anyone’s savior or compete with the ghosts of lovers past. Still, he can’t help wanting this gruff and grieving man.

JT’s mind knows it’s a bad idea, but his heart keeps pushing him to find out what lies beneath Brett’s rough and broken exterior. Brett’s not going to make it easy. JT can only be patient, keep his sense of humor, and hope for the day he may be allowed far enough into Brett’s world to unbreak his heart.

Bio:

K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.

Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.

K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.

Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.

Places to find K-lee.

Website – kleeklein.com
Blog – http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Klee_Klein
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kleemoon
Facebook author/reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812548795471921/