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The Marrying Kind by Jay Northcote

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Title: The Marrying Kind
Series: Owen & Nathan – part 2
Author: Jay Northcote
Genre: contemporary m/m romance
Length: 35,000 words approx
Release date: Friday 17th April 2015
Publisher: self-published (Jaybird Press)
Editor: Sue Adams
Cover artist: Garrett Leigh

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Buy links:

Amazon.com / Amazon UK / ARe / Smashwords

Series info:

The Marrying Kind is a sequel to The Dating Game. It continues Owen and Nathan’s story, so I recommend you read The Dating Game first. Jay have no firm plans for more stories about Owen and Nathan. The Marrying Kind has a definite happy ending, so please consider their story complete for now.

Blurb:

Nathan wants to put a ring on it, but is Owen the marrying kind?

Two years on from their first date, Owen and Nathan are living together and life is good—except they’re not on the same page about marriage.

A traditionalist at heart, Nathan wants it all: the wedding, the vows, and a pair of matching rings. Owen, on the other hand, believes marriage is old-fashioned and unnecessary. They don’t need a wedding to prove their commitment to each other. Love should be enough on its own.

All it takes is one moment of weakness on a night out to force the issue. Owen finds himself engaged after a half-drunk proposal, and Nathan’s enthusiasm sweeps him along. But as the big day approaches, the mounting tension finally combusts.

If he’s going to save their relationship, Owen will need to decide once and for all if he’s truly the marrying kind.

excerpt

Nathan glanced surreptitiously at Owen sitting beside him as Jack and Simon spoke their vows. Jack’s voice was quiet but sure, and Simon’s rang out clearly over the assembled crowd.

Owen’s gaze was fixed on the couple, and his eyes were suspiciously bright. As Nathan watched, Owen cleared his throat and wiped what Nathan assumed was a tear out of the corner of his eye.

Nathan suppressed a smile and turned his attention back to the groom and groom. So much for Owen’s protests that he didn’t see the point in weddings and that they were outdated, pointless events that were stupid even for straight couples unless they were religious. Even if he didn’t believe in the principle of marriage—gay or otherwise—it was nice to see he wasn’t totally immune to the emotion of the occasion. Nathan was going to enjoy taking the piss out of Owen later. But in the meantime, he reached for Owen’s hand and squeezed. Owen squeezed back.

Nathan’s eyes were moist too by the time they’d finished. The part where the celebrant said “I now pronounce you husband and husband” really set him off. Simon looked so utterly radiant after he and Jack finally stopped kissing and turned to face the wedding guests, hand in hand. Jack was flushed and awkward compared to Simon. He obviously wasn’t happy being the centre of attention, unlike his new husband, but his smile was genuine and the joy rolled off both of them, touching everyone in the room.

Nathan sighed. Owen’s hand was still in his. Their fingers were tangled together casually—just like their lives. They’d been in a relationship for over two years now, living together for half of that, and Nathan had never been happier. But looking at Simon and Jack, he wanted more. He wanted that. But he was afraid to ask Owen, because he was pretty sure what his answer would be, and it wouldn’t be the one Nathan hoped for.

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I was thrilled to discover Jay was writing more of Owen and Nathan’s story. I’d enjoyed The Dating Game and as with most HFN story endings you always wonder what might happen to the happy couple in the future.

In the Marrying Kind, one character embraces the idea of marriage, whereas the other sees it as outdated, nothing more than a piece of paper, and not necessary as they are perfectly content living together and he’d be happy to maintain the status quo with the guy he loves. So, there’s a difference of opinions from the start—perfect for future conflict and angst.

And Jay’s boys happily supply us with plenty of angst-filled moments as they argue and worry about their wedding arrangements. This is so true to life. People have second thoughts about the commitment and finality of the big day, even those who believe they have found their soul mate. Don’t doubt that the boys ever stop loving each other. We still get plenty of hot bedroom scenes and tender moments within the story. We also get to build a wider picture of the characters and their family situations as the wedding plans get underway.

I’d guessed how the conflict would resolve itself before it actually happened as Jay had planted clues along the way, but that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book. Their story was rounded-off beautifully in my opinion.

(A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.)

about_the_author

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats.
She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

Social Media Links

www.jaynorthcote.com

Twitter

Facebook profile

Facebook Author Page

Jay’s books

 

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Craving Stains by Alina Popescu

Blog Tour and Guest Post – Craving Stains by Alina Popescu.

I’d like to welcome friend and fellow Wayward Ink Publishing author, Alina Popescu, as she stops by on her blog tour.

Where I find inspiration

To write stories, I need to be inspired. Otherwise, typing even a measly hundred words can turn into a dreadful chore. Luckily, finding inspiration is a lot more easier than finding all the time I need to write. Every little thing I run across can turn into a story idea, but some sources are more effective than others and I try to revisit them as often as I can. So I thought to share a few of my go-to sources, as knowing how to jolt your muse awake always comes in handy.

Folklore and myths

These are absolutely awesome when I try to write something that’s either fantasy or supernatural in nature. I don’t have a favorite source, it can be Greek mythology, or Egyptian, or Sumerian, or Christian (that was the case for the Lost Angels series). Folklore is also amazing at times, as some of the strangest stories are passed on through it.

My werewolf series Tales of the Werewolf Tribes—of which you’ll get the first sample in early July with Strength to Let Go—started out after I researched the myth of the Dacian great white wolf. That somehow turned into the Dacian Wolf alpha and now there are about four books planned in this series.

Gadgets and science shows

I love reading news about gadgets, seeing concept designs and finding out everything about tech advancements. Science shows, either those explaining things or those exploring theories, are another fun way of getting inspired for futuristic stories. I’d add medical or anatomy features here, as sometimes they can lead to quite interesting plots.

Books and movies

I read quite a bit and I watch a few movies each month. I should also add TV shows. I find them inspiring as I stumble across ideas or concepts or philosophical or moral dilemmas that I’d solve differently. Reading across genres and watching movies and shows of all kinds is probably why I don’t ever stick to one genre when I write, so there!

Manga, anime, and animations in general

Manga and anime are a great source of inspiration for me. Maybe because there are a lot of supernatural and scifi series out there. Maybe because they vary from incredibly sweet to very dark. But the worlds I’ve discovered in this genre are always impressive. I find comic books and animations in general great at depicting alternative worlds, fantasy or science fiction, in a way that not very many movies can, not without a lot of money thrown into it.

Music and visual arts

Lyrics or a melody will always be a great source of inspiration for me. Devil’s Trill had a lot to do with my Lost Angels series. Simply because it led me to thinking about the nature of temptation, about what constitutes a sin, and what defines pure feelings.

Sometimes a painting or a photo can inspire a character or an entire story. It happened with the photo of a forest where the trees all had yellow leaves. It created a whole new assassin type of character for a science fiction piece I was working on.

I hope this either helps you find your own inspiration or, at the very least, gives you a better sense of where my stories come from 🙂

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Title: Craving Stains

Author: Alina Popescu

Length: novella

Genre: gay, gay fiction, science fiction, paranormal, gay romance

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

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Synopsis

Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment.

Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?

Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.

Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.

But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?

excerpt

I MUST have fallen asleep at some point, Wynn thought. He must have slid into this dream, surely, as that was the only explanation for the room he was currently in. A bed with dark silk sheets took up most of the room, flanked by two nightstands. A stained pizza box was thrown on one of them. On its path to the nightstand, the box had knocked down a can of soda, the liquid a messy stain on the carpet. Clothes were piled up all over the chair and desk next to the window. Wynn would guess there was a pretty old laptop under that messy pile of garments, but he couldn’t be sure.

The door was flung open and a dark shadow entered the room. As it approached Wynn, he could tell it was a man. Tall, dark, and generally huge. Wynn gripped the window pane he was leaning against. He lifted his gaze to the man’s face, and a sly grin greeted him. The man’s dark brown eyes swam with mischief, and his full lips parted to reveal a bright smile. He was breathtakingly gorgeous, and Wynn suddenly found it hard to breathe. He stalked closer and Wynn finally noticed what he was wearing: combat boots, black leather pants, and an old leather jacket over his bare upper body. Muscles bulged under his olive skin, and Wynn couldn’t suppress the urge to lick his lips, his nostrils flaring at the stranger’s spicy, masculine scent.

“And who might you be? All alone here in my room. That’s not a very safe place to be in, kid,” the man warned in a deep rumble.

Goose bumps quickly covered Wynn’s skin from his neck to his shoulders and down his arms. He blinked a few times, trying to remember his name and to get some words out. The man’s reached out to his face, cupping it. His thumb brushed Wynn’s cheek, and he swore he could have swooned at the touch. His very first touch from someone who was not a doctor or his mother.

“I… I… sorry, I don’t know how I got here,” he whispered. “I’m Wynn.”

“Doyle,” the man said firmly, right before his lips crushed Wynn’s in a bruising kiss.

Wynn gasped and clung to the stranger’s leather jacket, distracted by the surprisingly soft material. A warm tongue pushed past his lips and found his own, swirling around it. Wynn’s knees went weak, and he whimpered. He was falling, and embarrassment was his only emotion. Strong arms caught him. Doyle chuckled, and Wynn felt the tremors in his body.Well, at least I can amuse the man.

“Feeling okay, Wynn? You look like you’re about to faint like a teenage girl after her first kiss.”

Doyle’s teasing should have embarrassed him further, but the man’s voice made Wynn shiver, heat pooling in his groin, his stomach twisting painfully.

“Hey, stay with me,” Doyle demanded, shaking him a little. As Wynn was still having a little trouble breathing properly and holding himself up, the stranger helped him to the bed, pushing him down to sit on it.

“That couldn’t have been your first kiss,” Doyle said, arching an eyebrow and pushing back a little to give Wynn a once over. “I know it’s my birthday, but did they pick up a virgin for me?”

“Pick up a virgin?” Repeating Doyle’s words didn’t help him much, but Wynn still felt like saying it over and over again. What was the man talking about? “I am a virgin, but no one picked me up. Like I said, I don’t know how I got here.”

Book Trailer

 

Buy Links

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon AU / Amazon DE / WIP / ARe

giveaways

Prizes:

1 x $20 WIP Giftcard and 3 x ebook copy of Craving Stains by Alina Popescu

ENTER THE RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE

about_the_author

profile

Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

Social Links

Site & Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads / Google+ / Amazon

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Brothers LaFon: Crucial Lessons by Joseph Lance Tonlet

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 Brothers LaFon: Crucial Lessons

Part One of the Brothers LaFon Series

Joseph Lance Tonlet

Novellette: 16,000+ words / 56 pages
Genre(s): Gay, Erotica, Psychological Thriller

Alexander LaFon lives a nightmare, but he deals with it. Deals with the fact that his mother abandoned him as an infant, deals with the fact that his father is never home, and deals with the fact that his older brother, Jeremiah, tortures him.

He dreams of escaping his mobile-home prison and finding a normal life. Of breaking free of his agony, finding a woman to love, becoming a teacher.

But some horrors you can never outrun. There’s nowhere to hide. Some nightmares chase you in your sleep and steal your freedom like a brutal thief. Some brothers never give up and never answer why.

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This book contains graphic violence, gay erotica, non-consensual sex, forced submission, incest, child abuse, and animal cruelty.

***UPDATE: TUESDAY APRIL 15, 2015***
***BANNED BY AMAZON***

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For a full list of alternate marketplaces, please visit

Joseph’s Website

or see the links below

Watch the Trailer video HERE

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five-stars

This first part of Jeremiah and Alex’s story is a superbly written, dark and gripping tale. It begins and ends in the present. In between, are scenes from the brothers’ childhood, from when they are young boys and in their late teens. We discover in graphic detail how Jeremiah gains control over his younger brother, both physically as well as mentally, has him living in fear of punishment and desperately wanting to beg for his brother to stop this abuse. Alex learns what his brother wants and succumbs to his routines. We witness this forced submission, the pain Alex endures and the scars that are inflicted for Jeremiah’s gratification, sexual and otherwise. Jeremiah is unpredictable in his words and deeds, and like Alex, we don’t know what he will do next. And this makes for superb and arousing reading.

So yes, the story contains animal cruelty, incest and a sadistic psychopath who is turned on by his own violent actions. But for me, there’s another aspect to this story and I’m hoping this will be explored in subsequent parts. Despite Jeremiah claiming he hated his younger brother and needed to cause him pain and humiliation, there’s an undercurrent of an erotic connection between these boys. I’m wondering if this will be the next stage of their relationship, building on the fear and the routines from their past.

Buy links:

Self Published / All Romance eBooks / Barnes & Noble / Kobo US

about_the_author

Joseph is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing.

A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.

Author Links:

Facebook / Twitter  / Ello / Google+ / Pinterest  / tsū 

The Eye And The Arm by Andrew Q. Gordon

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New release from Andrew Q. Gordon

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: The Eye And The Arm

Series: Champion of the Gods Book 2

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BLURB:

After defeating Meglar at Belsport, Farrell returns to Haven to recover from his injuries, but Khron, the god of war, has other ideas. He gives Farrell a new mission: free the survivors of the ancient dwarf realm of Trellham from their three-thousand-year banishment. To fulfill Khron’s near impossible task, Farrell will need the help of his distance ancestor, the legendary wizard Kel. But Kel has been dead for a thousand years.

Farrell finds information hinting that Kel is alive, so he moves his search to Dumbarten, Kel’s birthplace. To reach Dumbarten unannounced, Farrell and Miceral disguise themselves as mercenaries on board a merchant vessel. Their journey is disrupted when pirates attack their ship. While attempting to subdue the attack, Farrell is struck down by one of Meglar’s minions.

Unconscious and trapped in his own mind, Farrell’s only chance for survival rests with Miceral and the peregrine king Rothdin entering his thoughts and helping him sort fact from illusion. To reach Farrell, they will need to rely on an untested spell from one of Kel’s spellbooks. If they succeed, Miceral can guide Farrell home safely. If not, Farrell will destroy not only himself, but Miceral, Rothdin, and everyone around him.

DSP Publications

Length: 99,775 words/296 Pages

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Watch the Video Trailer HERE

 excerpt

“Relax, my friend.” Klissmor’s presence calmed Miceral’s growing anxiety. “You won’t feel my presence.”

Miceral took a deep breath. “Will I be able to hear?”

“Every word. Ready?”

“No, but let’s do it.” He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

“I need your eyes open for everyone to see.”

He snapped his lids open, blinking several times before could focus again. “Sorry.”

“Master Teberus.” Miceral knew the words came from him, but as promised, he didn’t feel anything. “I have Masters Erstad and Wesfazial as well as Wizard-Priestess Glendora. Ask your questions to Miceral and we four will also hear you.”

“Astounding.” The elder Arlefor glanced at the high priestess. “All four at once?”

“Wizard.” Miceral had heard that tone enough to know Klissmor’s mood. “Maintaining this link, this far away with this many minds, is a strain. If we are to save Farrell, you must focus on him.”

“Of course. My apologies.” Teberus bowed deeply. “My examination of the one who did this to Farrell confirmed that he is no wizard.”

“Then how in the eight gates of Neblor did that man defeat Farrell?” Even though Teberus couldn’t know, Miceral recognized the voice as Wesfazial’s.

“The obvious answer is the correct one. A wizard gave this man the weapon.”

“But Farrell could defeat all four of us and all the other wizards you brought with you and not be tested.” Erstad’s steady temperament sounded tested. “No weapon used by a nonwizard should be capable of this.”

Teberus raised the crest of his hairless eyebrow. “But since that is what happened, we must use it as the basis of our search for a cure.”

No one answered. As the silence dragged on, Miceral’s anxiety slowly returned. If Haven’s senior wizards didn’t know what to do, who could?

“Tell us what happened.” Erstad’s request almost didn’t register with Miceral.

“No,” Klissmor said. “Show them. Let them see the memory.”

Miceral closed his eyes and focused on reliving the attack. The clarity of the image caused his chest to tighten, making it hard to breathe. He knew the result, but watching it again, almost in slow motion, added to his agony.

When the image played over again, he realized Klissmor must have been guiding his thoughts.

“My apologies, old friend—the need is great.” Klissmor’s voice didn’t interrupt the stream of images.

“Do whatever you need. Just find a way to save Farrell.”

“Your friends are doing all they can. Have faith that Lenore will send us what we need.”

When the memory started for the third time, he didn’t find any comfort in Klissmor’s assertion. The Six wouldn’t—couldn’t—help. He needed something that didn’t exist—a great wizard like Heminaltose or Kel.

“In theory, I recognize the magic.” Erstad sounded confused. “But I’ll need to find a reference to be sure.”

“What about Farrell?” He knew he shouted, or at least what Farrell told him passed for shouting, but he couldn’t prevent it. “He could be dead before you find that.”

“It can’t be helped, Miceral. I need to be sure before I suggest a counterspell. If I’m wrong, whatever I try might kill him.”

“He is in no immediate danger.” Teberus put his hand on Farrell’s forehead. “But my fear is the number of spells that draw on him for power. I can only give him but so much. If he doesn’t wake, his body will burn out.”

“Do what you can, Master Teberus. We’ll begin searching immediately and contact you when we find the answer.” When Erstad stopped speaking, Klissmor’s presence left with him.

“Hurry. Please.” Miceral knew no one heard him.

BUY LINKS

DSPP / Amazon.com / Amazon UK / ARe Omnilit

about_the_author

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Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.

He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day and not get the shakes.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website / Facebook Page / Facebook Profile /  Twitter / Google+

Email: andrewqgordon@gmail.com

GIVEAWAY

FIVE Winners will win one e-copy of ANY book* each from DSP Publication’s backlist.

*Giveaway is of any currently released DSPP book, which excludes the books that are on pre-order and “The Eye And The Arm”.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Release ~ The Island Keepers by Kristopher Quentin

 Release Day for Kristopher Quentin’s

The Island Keepers.

THE ISLAND KEEPERS FRONT COVER

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They could hardly have been less alike.

David is striking, tanned, smooth, charismatic, blond with an ice melting smile, and possesses an unmistakable gift as a fiction writer, even at twenty-one. Wyatt looks as plain as paper, short by comparison, mildly hairy, white as a ghost, graceless, a celebrated oil painter. He is single and he is out. David, raised a strict evangelical fundamentalist, is embarrassed by his own virginity. Both men are sent to Puffin Island and, within days of their arrival a young woman washes ashore, frozen and unresponsive after her kayak crashes against the rocks.

David and Wyatt save her life. Days later, Wyatt is charged with rape. While the authorities investigate, the woman’s nineteen year old identical twin brothers paddle their way to Puffin to teach Wyatt a lesson. Their goal, to avenge their sister.

The bond between David and Wyatt increases during island duty, and just when things seem as good as they can get, David distances himself from Wyatt. During David’s absence, Wyatt meets a hometown computer whiz who makes it quite clear that he wants Wyatt for himself. But, David’s heart struggles with his imbedded childhood dogma and lethally homophobic parents, propelling him to establish an unthinkable bond of love with Wyatt, and, when the inthinkable happens, Wyatt is once more left alone and he moves forward because there is a lot at stake.   He turns to the most unlikeliest of characters to fill the void, a person who will teach him an important lesson; that love is all about choice and on making a decision, he must sacrifice a need that had been created by his past with David.

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excerpt

from The Island Keepers

Thayne wasn’t next to me.

Gradually, I awoke, the reality setting in that his side of the bed was empty.

I figured he’d simply crawled out to take a leak. I knew he needed to leave early, about seven my time, to be at work by eight-thirty his time. Minutes later I discovered the head vacant and that it wasn’t even four forty-five, yet. I could not find him anywhere in the apartment. I hoped to spot him on the balcony searching for dawn’s early lights, but no; still far too early even in this mid-August time frame.

My angst bubbled over when I saw his vehicle wasn’t in the car park.

“What the fuck?” I shouted.

Did he get a phone call in the night summoning him home? Upstairs I scrounged for my cell phone, searched for a hand written note, not that it would be like him to write one. But lo, tucked into the handle of the coffee pot, where I couldn’t miss it, I found one of my index cards.

My name is Thayne, not David. You ain’t near ready for me.

“What the fuck?”

I tried his cell phone, but he had turned it off, sending my pounding heart directly to his voice mailbox.

“Thayne, what happened? Call me. Please.” I prepared a pot of coffee and plopped onto the sofa. My deductive abilities prior to caffeine were near nil. Did I do something or say something during the night that offended him? I sipped on the hot black liquid as my head gradually drifted back into the game of life. I took my cell into the bathroom with the ringer volume on high, hoping he’d call while I showered. I needn’t have bothered. No call came in, so after dressing, I called him again. His phone remained off and being this hour on a Monday morning business calls were unlikely. I suspected it would remain off for hours. But why? What could I have said or done to cause such a dramatic reaction. I read his note again, and a thought came rushing over me like the cascading waters of Dickson Falls in Fundy National Park.

How do you fix something like that? Or could Thayne be spot on, that I wasn’t ready for him? I vaguely remembered kissing and cuddling him in the middle of the night.

I must have called him David, but what else did I say? What else did I do? Did I attempt sex with him thinking of him as David; telling “David” how much I loved him, and how thankful I was that he returned to me?

Oh, I could see that happening, but I had no independent recollection of such an event. I swallowed more coffee. Conversely, I also knew that in times of trouble my mind worked overtime creating a litany of worst possible scenarios like when they charged me with raping Brenda and I saw myself on a chain gang with a pick-axe.

So maybe I did none of those things, just like I never raped Brenda. Maybe I said something earlier in the day that stewed in his mind. Thayne’s inferiority complex could be an undetonated grenade in times of stress. I wondered what time he left and how far he had travelled toward home. Hopefully that’s where he was headed.

After making more coffee, I tried calling him again, this time while sitting on the pot. I might as well have been sitting on Neptune. The results were the same.

Standing on the veranda overlooking the bay I used the peaceful scenery to think. No, think is too strong a word. I stood there for an hour watching the lights, listening to the neighborhood birds protesting their predawn duties, filling the early morning airwaves with their unique and varied songs. I was in no mood for all that screeching and chirping and pecking and warbling and hooting this morning. Normally, I enjoyed the early avian sounds of nature, but I could find nothing in that cacophony to savor at this moment.

I reached for my wallet, car keys, and cell phone, pocketing them with a couple of pens, index cards and a handkerchief to help me deal with the allergies that fucked with my nose and throat this time of year, ragweed now coming into full bloom.

Seated in my parked car, I palmed my phone to try Thayne once again, spotting an inbound voice mail.

I knew who originated it without listening. I felt like a man with his hands tied behind his back, a hood over his head and a rope around his neck.

“Wyatt, do not call me no more. After your love affair with David last night I know you are too sweet on him to care about your ignorant hick even a little. I know I’s just a stand in for David. Nothing more. And it smarts so bad I can’t takes it.”

The trap door opened.

I fell into a deep and dark malaise, choking on my own conflict and phlegm.

My head crashed into the steering wheel.

I screamed.

Anyone walking past my vehicle in the darkness of that predawn hour would have thought I had escaped from the psychiatric ward.

I remembered David walking out on me once, too; that Sunday back in November, 2010, leaving me alone at the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel in Fredericton; also because of another guy.

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BUY LINKS:

Amazon.com  /Amazon UK / CoolDudes Publishing /

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Kristopher, in a nutshell, please describe what The Island Keepers is about.

Young love interspersed with tragedy on an ocean bound speck of land that exists in a political limbo.

Population two.

The five main characters are: David, a born-again Evangelical and wannabe novelist; Wyatt, an out and proud gay guy, an oil painter with some impressive regional credits; Thayne and Shayne, a set of identical uneducated twins brothers; and the island itself, where they come to know one another, sometimes under difficult circumstances brought about, in part, by their upbringings and diversified live styles.. A weather related kayak crash and a tobacco induced lung disorder create challenges, as well. The lads are all about twenty-years old, plus or minus.

Where do you write?

Wherever I am, usually my office well before sunrise. But I’ve written in motel rooms, aboard cruise ships, as a guest at friends’ homes and in my car parked along the banks of a river.

What led up to the creation of The Island?

An accident, I guess. I was looking for a new story to tell when, on the internet, I stumbled across this geopolitical anomaly not all that far from where I live. Learning that two men lived on that barren island alone for twenty-eight day stretches, triggered days of mind opening research, months of writing and editing, and fantasy galore. The fun part was creating the characters and the circumstances that are their lives.

What was the time frame for writing The Island?

The first draft was written between March 17 and June 18, 2012. It has been edited time and time again since, by me and others. The story begins in October, 2010.

How did you find your agent?

I was seeking an editor / proof reader, and this wonderful dude from RSA (Republic of South Africa) responded to my pathetic internet plea (Gay Authors.net), warning me he was a harsh, hard-nosed editor. He turned out to be a genius and a pussycat (but not without claws).

What were your 1-2 biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?

That “content editors” can be so ignorant and biased. When an editor tells me I can only use the word “rhubarb” to reference a plant, or challenges the fact that Jamaican or Irish coffee contain alcohol, tells me the French preposition “de” is a racial slur, or eliminates two of the four principle characters, this author’s confidence level takes a hard hit. When the publisher backs-up such empty-headedness, I run out of gas.

Looking back, what did you do right that helped you break in?

I came to know one Louis J. Harris better and better. He’s a crack editor, an excellent grammarian a wonderful cheerleader, a literary advisor, a hardworking agent, and is now my publisher. His husband, Louis C. Harris is insightful and artistically creative. Look at the cover on this book. I hope to meet these dudes in person someday.

Did you have a platform in place? On this topic, what are you doing to build a platform and gain readership?

I don’t know. This is my first rodeo and being closeted I find myself between a rock and a hard place. Certainly learning to use social media will be vital as will placing copies on consignment at bookstores. Scheduling book signing events, perhaps in conjunction with other authors if any are willing to be seen with me. These are my only thoughts at the moment.

Websites?

Facebook, Twitter, Gay Authors. I’m sure there are others.

Best piece(s) of writing advice?

Write what you know, chill on the adverbs, shun the clichés, show don’t tell, don’t screw up what person you are writing in, or get lost in your own timeline…particularly as you edit, research every detail you question. And remember active verbs beat the sperm out of passive verbs.

Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?

My main man and I have been together for more than thirty-years, and I’m a biological father and grandfather.

What’s next?

I’ve written three other M/M novels, so I’m hoping THE ISLAND KEEPERS is successful enough that having another one or two or three published is less of an uphill exercise. And yes, I’m ninety-two pages in a fourth.

Book Interview

Considering the length of The Island Keepers, what kind of research went into it?

Lots. While I live and work within a stone’s throw of Canada, I am not a Canadian. I researched every aspect of the island in question (it does really exist, but it’s not on the map as “Puffin Island”). I studied its size, history, bird life, “guards,” sovereignty…or lack of it, its landscape, and geographical position in relation to other land masses. It also involved hours of reading about the province of New Brunswick, the city of Saint John, the town of Grand Falls, and the tiny town of Cutler in Maine. In fact I undertook special trips to the island, Saint John, NB, Cutler and Machias for background and color. I’d been to Grand Falls many times before.

Research about the Canadian Coast Guard, Saint John Regional Hospital, the New Brunswick Correctional Center, the University of New Brunswick, New Brunswick criminal law, COPD, painting with oils, and the life cycle and habits of Atlantic puffins also joyfully consumed my time. Aspects such as border crossing formalities, the Trans-Canada Highway and other geo-political references were familiar to me.

Since the characters are all imaginary there was no research per se, just note taking so I was consistent with each of their features, backgrounds, phobias, likes and dislikes, and goals in life.

The Geopolitical references to the Island are very important because the island itself is a character in the book. How have things changed there since you began writing the book.

I know of no changes on the real-life island itself. It is still claimed by both the U.S. and Canada. It continues to be staffed by two male Canadian Coast Guard employees. I read where the puffin population was down last summer. Some claim a food shortage for them due to climate change.

David, to me, is the most wonderful character I have ever read. I place him in the same bracket as Billy Sive in The Front Runner, how do you develop such amazing characters?

David was a fantasy character, the “man of my dreams.” His COPD mirrors my own life as was his desire to publish a novel.

Wyatt is just awesome, he’s a very sexual person, could his nature be drawn from real life characters whom you may have known?

Yes. More a composite of a few people I’ve met over the years, some from my college days. As sexual as you see him, he was not a slut; indeed he was a virtual virgin until finding himself on the island with David.

The relationship between Wyatt and Thayne is a slow burn, but necessary as both loved David albeit in different ways, would you say that their coming together was foreseen right from the moment Wyatt met him?

No. Wyatt was totally committed to, and enthralled by David, even though he had “bad thoughts” from time to time. Thayne had no idea he was gay until sometime after meeting Wyatt and David. He had no idea he was sexual at all except for an occasional JO. But witnessing true love made both twins realize how incomplete their lives were. Filling that void the way they did was undoubtedly genetic.

The end of the book is absolutely stunning and emotional. In fact there are several moments in the book which I classify as highly emotional. Do you write emotion from an emotional point of view? What I mean is, do you cry too when you write emotional moments?

I weep when I see animals in distress, especially the wee ones. But I can have an emotional breakdown for weeks on end if (when) I need to have one of my dogs put down. In terms of my characters, I come to cherish (most of) them, especially my protagonists / narrators and their supporters. I feel them, their joys and defeats, their heartaches, and their losses. And yes, I’m a big crybaby.

The Island is a wonderful story of love, loss and tragedy, yet it ends on a note of uplifting hope. What would you tell David if you were to meet him in real life?

“David,” I’d say. “I wish I could be just like you, minus the respiratory problems and the religious history.”

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Message from CoolDudes Publishing CEO

When I first read The Island Keepers two years ago, I fell in love with the leviathan scope of the novel. It took me to places I have never been, it enthralled me and blew me away. The book has been five years in the making and during that time it has been through several edits. Without giving too much away, you have my assurance that the characters and the island itself will leave you with a lingering sense of joy, and above all hope. There is such a thing as true love.

Debut author Kristopher Quentin lives a quiet life close to this island.

You won’t want to miss this amazing book to be published on the 1st April. Available through Amazon, and the CoolDudes Publishing website.

Louis J Harris

March 2015

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about_the_author

Kristopher Quentin has been writing for decades. He is a businessman and journalist by trade, a man up at 3:45 every weekday morning for a stint on the news desk; a little earlier on weekends to write fiction in his man cave.

An upstate New Yorker by birth, he now lives in the most rural area of far Maine, USA, on 54-acres of land: wooded, lawns, driveways, and a few buildings including his four thousand square foot home which he calls the white house; because it is.

His property is home to moose, deer, rabbits, raccoons, porcupines, fox, weasels, black bears, and one Bard owl. He loves reading gay romances among other forms of fiction; non-fiction; and memoirs most of which he considers to be fictional. Traveling, dining out, boat riding are among his passions; that and flying his own single engine airplane when he was younger.

New Release ~ Out of Order by Eric Gober

Rob was the one who got away.

Trent stumbles upon him during a trip to San Francisco…

Right before a deadly earthquake…

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Title: Out of Order

Author: Eric Gober

Length: short story

Genre: M/M, gay romance, contemporary

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Synopsis:

After bombing a job interview, Trent wants to get to the airport and fly home. But high up in a San Francisco skyscraper, he stumbles upon Rob, an old crush who mysteriously vanished from his life. Little does Trent know he’s about to be broadsided. In a moment, Rob will make a startling confession, old feelings for him will reignite, and the city’s worst disaster in decades will erupt around them. Can the two survive the deadly shaking? Or will they perish in the shattered, blacked-out city?

*originally published in the Stranded anthology

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Buy links:

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon AU / WIP / B&N / ARe

excerpt

Rob emerged from the hallway wearing an Oakland A’s baseball cap.

“I didn’t know you were a baseball fan.”

“I’m not much of one, really, just supporting the home team. I’m going to a World Series party after our drinks.”

“You live in Oakland?”

“Yep.” He came and stood very close to me and pointed. “South of Cal’s clock tower, near Rockridge BART Station, so I take a train into the city for this project.”

“So many trees. It must be pretty there.”

“I like it.”

“Does Chris live with you?”

He shook his head. “We split up.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Me too.”

“Well, if you ask me, it’s Chris’s loss, not yours.”

“Trent, what I meant was I’m sorry I wasn’t completely honest with you in Arizona.” He looked at me as if I knew what he was talking about.

“What do you mean?”

“Chris was my boyfriend, not girlfriend.”

As I gazed into his handsome green eyes, comprehending his revelation, a crust around my heart ruptured, and feelings I’d stored for him rippled through me. I felt the office sway as I tried to steady myself.

Then my knees buckled and everything shook.

Plate glass quavered. Lobby chairs lurched. Kaleidoscopic serigraphs rattled and fell off walls. Fluorescent light tubes popped from fixtures and shattered around us. A big beige computer monitor flew from the reception counter and exploded on the parquet floor.

Rob seized my arm and tugged me under the counter. The ground vibrated beneath my hands and knees, and the ceiling cracked so hard I feared it was caving and rubble from floors above would bury us. Something hissed, and I felt drops soaking my suit. I looked up. The fire sprinklers were on. Rob grabbed me and pulled me close, and I shut my eyes and nestled against him hard. If I were going to die, at least I’d be in the arms of someone I’d loved.

about_the_author

Eric’s fiction often explores complications and entanglements in romance. His debut novel, Secrets of the Other Side, won three Reader Views literary awards, including Best Fiction Book of the Year. Describe by critics as “an emotional journey of love, loss, and self discovery” and “an incredible coming-of-age story,” the novel chronicles one gay youth’s quest for love and happiness during the tumultuous eighties and nineties.

His short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies, including Encore, A Likely Story, Stranded, First Time for Everything, and Best Gay Romance 2014. He earned his MFA in creative writing from Wichita State University.

Eric grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and has lived in Arizona, Kansas, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Today he makes his home in Los Angeles, where he enjoys trail running, spending time with friends, and working on new short stories and his next novel.

Social links:

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads 

Guest Author ~ Mia Kerick

A warm welcome to Mia Kerick whose YA novel, Inclination, is released today.

Hello, Lily and thank you for welcoming me to your blog on my Inclination blog tour. You asked me if I have a philosophy that underpins my life and I can definitely say yes. I will explain.

The philosophy that underpins my life…

When I wrote The Red Sheet I did a great deal of research about Mahatma Gandhi. His words of wisdom and his courageous life philosophy spoke to me. I often referred to his humble philosophies as I wrote that book. And in Inclination, principles similar to Gandhi’s speak to Anthony, although he hears them through the words of Jesus Christ.

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Where there is love there is life. To me, this says it all, because I interpret this statement to cover so much essential ground. Where there is love, there is peace. And a peaceful world allows for life to go on. When you love or feel loved, you feel alive—euphoric and content, which allows you to live life to its fullest. And love is what it takes to carry us through the hardest moments in our life. Love is a reason, a purpose, an endpoint, and a path to get there. In Inclination, Anthony is motivated to continue plodding through his struggles because of the love he feels in his life. His love of God, his family, and his friends provide him with the joy of life, as well as with a reason to hope when his outlook is bleak.

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Be the change you wish to see in the world. This quotation requires you to live in the way in which you envision the world to be at its best. You cannot merely think about the changes you wish to see—you need to actually BE THEM. In Inclination, this is hard for Anthony to do as he is a thinker, a writer, a listener, and a truly cerebral person. He needs to stand up and act on his beliefs in order to make positive change occur for himself, as well as for others. He needs to step out of the safety of his comfort zone and be the change. These words of Gandhi are similar to this message of Jesus Christ. So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:17) And this: My dear children, let us not love in word, neither with the tongue, but in deed and in truth. (I John 3:18) Anthony knows that he must stand up and act in the interest of the good of mankind.

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The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness Is The Attribute of the Strong. Forgiveness may well be an attribute of the strong, but it is a gift, as much as for the one who offers forgiveness as for the one forgiven. It is a balm on the wound of the injury done to you. Gandhi’s attitude toward forgiveness again brings to mind the words of Jesus. Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22) In Inclination, Anthony is called on to be forgiving of himself, as well as of people he has long considered to be his friends. He also has need of forgiveness, which is freely given.

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For many people, standing alone is about the most intimidating thing they can be asked to do. Gandhi knows that finding the courage to stand alone in the interest of doing the right thing is very difficult but must be done. And as far as Inclination goes, Anthony knows that Jesus had to stand by himself when he was crucified and died for the world’s sins. And Anthony must stand alone at various times throughout his struggle with accepting his sexual orientation. There are times when it is necessary to stand alone in order to start off on the right path.

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I love and believe in the above statement because it speaks to the very essence of goodness. We can look at it in terms of a country’s greatness, and we can also think of this quotation in terms of an individual’s greatness. If I am strong and powerful, I should not be judged by how I relate to those who are like me—those who can benefit me if I benefit them. I should be judged by how I treat those who can never even hope to pay me back, because that is the true spirit of selflessness and goodness. Anthony knows that Christ lived a life of selfless service, never once wondering how or if he would be rewarded. Anthony wants to live as Christ did, a life of life of service and giving. This ties into the following quotation, which is what both Christ and Gandhi believe we should all attempt to achieve.

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There are times when the research I do for a book profoundly affects me. The research into Gandhi’s philosophy for The Red Sheet, as well as my searching into the words of Jesus Christ for Inclination, both qualify. In these two humble, wise, and virtuous men, I found similar inspiration and life principles I can strive for.

MANY THANKS FOR SHARING WITH US, MIA.

~O~

RELEASED TODAY

Inclination by Mia Kerick

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Publisher: YoungDudes Publishing

Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris

Length: 70, 000 words

Genres: Young Adult, Gay, Romance, Christian, Spiritual, Contemporary

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Sixteen-year-old Anthony Duck-Young Del Vecchio is a nice Catholic boy with a very big problem. It’s not the challenge of fitting in as the lone adopted South Korean in a close-knit family of Italian-Americans. Nor is it being the one introverted son in a family jam-packed with gregarious daughters. Anthony’s problem is far more serious—he is the only gay kid in Our Way, his church’s youth group. As a high school junior, Anthony has finally come to accept his sexual orientation, but he struggles to determine if a gay man can live as a faithful Christian. And as he faces his dilemma, there are complications. After confiding his gayness to his intolerant adult youth group leader, he’s asked to find a new organization with which to worship. He’s beaten up in the church parking lot by a fanatical teen. His former best pal bullies him in the locker room. His Catholic friends even stage an intervention to lead him back to the “right path.” Meanwhile, Anthony develops romantic feelings for David Gandy, an emo, out and proud junior at his high school, who seems to have all the answers about how someone can be gay and Christian, too.

Will Anthony be able to balance his family, friends and new feelings for David with his changing beliefs about his faith so he can live a satisfying life and not risk his soul in the process?

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excerpt

I’ll pass on the Kool-Aid, thank you

It sounds like a joke, but it’s all true. Every student who volunteers his or her time on a weekly basis at an animal shelter, a hospital, or a home for the elderly receives a free lunch on the last Monday of the month, putting to rest the veracity (got that word on the last SAT practice test I took at my desk in my bedroom the other day) of the old idiom, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” And as I spend every Sunday afternoon patting and playing with cats at the Centerton Humane Society, I qualify. If nothing else, it gives Mom a day off from making me lunch.

“It was so disgusting.”

I drop down into my usual seat in the cafeteria beside Laz, my tray with the bowl of free macaroni and cheese, a slice of bread, and milk, sliding onto the lunch table in front of me. “The mac and cheese?” I ask. “Last time I had it the stuff wasn’t too bad.” It’s not one of Mom’s gourmet lunches, but it gets the job done.

“No, Anthony.” Emma Gillis rolls her eyes and swallows her bite of free mac and cheese she earned by reading classics to the elderly on Saturday mornings at the New Horizons Elderly Center. She gulps in a breath and informs me with her usual haughtiness, “I was telling everybody about these two old men I read to last Saturday who think they are some kind of couple. They actually kissed each other.” She fake-gags.

“I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw that!”

For my own personal reasons, I gasp, while everybody else snickers.

“Those old dudes must be losing it, as in, they could have Alzheimer’s or something, and they forgot that dudes belong with ladies, not other dudes.” I glance over at Lazarus, who abruptly stops babbling to suck down the first of three cartons of chocolate milk. “But seriously, that’s messed up.” Laz wrinkles his nose in distaste and runs his hands through his shaggy dark hair, before moving on to carton number two.

I’m basically frozen, my hand still hovering over the slice of wheat bread on the corner of my tray, my mouth hanging open. I might even be drooling.

“It’s not their fault, Emma.” Elizabeth-the-devout always takes the case of the underdog. It’s how she’s wired. “They’re just sick in their minds.” She sends Emma a you-ought-to-be-ashamed-of yourself sort of frown. “We, as Catholics, are called to compassion.”

Everyday single day at lunch since freshman year, I’ve sat with the kids from the Our Way youth group. In fact, the other kids in my grade have long referred to our lunch table as “Our Way to Survive Cafeteria Food”, which somewhere along the line got shortened to the “OWSCF Table”, which eventually morphed into “awe-scoff”. I have always felt safe and secure sitting at the awe-scoff table. These are the kids I’ve prayed with three times a week at Our Way, and the ones who I was confirmed with in ninth grade. I’ve collected toys for the poor with these kids—in fact, for three years running we’ve made sure that no child in Wedgewood missed out on having a small stack of Christmas gifts, and that brings about some major bonding. We’ve shared weekends camping in the Maine woods, singing and holding hands and sometimes crying when the Spirit moved us.

This is my safe spot at school, like my tiny room is my alone spot at home.

“If you ask me, all fags deserve to die for going against Christ and everything that’s natural. They should be forced to drink poison Kool-Aid, like those cultists had to do down in Jonestown…’member that?” Is that Rinaldo Vera who just suggested mass murder as the “final solution” to the gay problem?

Sweet, passive Rinaldo—the gentle giant. Um, not so much.

“I saw a TV movie called the Jonestown Massacre.”

“I caught that too…those people were warped.”

The conversation drifts away from the vileness of homosexuality, toward the disturbing personal stories of the few survivors of the Jim Jones Cult Kool-Aid Massacre. But I’ve heard more than enough, in terms of stuff that pertains to me.

Feeling as if I’m going to lose what little lunch I ate, I jump up off my chair and race toward the boys’ room in the hall near the cafeteria.

Maybe there really is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Buy links:

 YoungDudes Publishing | Amazon.com | Amazon UK | Omni Lit

about_the_author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

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Find Mia at:

Facebook / Twitter: @MiaKerick / Pinterest

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