RSS Feed

Tag Archives: guest post

Guest Post ~ Layla Dorine

A warm welcome to my guest author,

Layla Dorine

Hi Lily, thank you so much for giving me the chance to pop into your blog today. I love having the opportunity to connect with readers and talk about different things. One of the things that’s been on my mind for a while is how much I love the Paranormal Genre and Shapeshifters in particular, but how tired I was of the same animals shifting over and over again. There are so many shapeshifter myths in mythology to work with as a springing off point, and it was easy for me, when I sat down to write Serpent’s Kiss, to decide that the species of shifter Darian, my bodyguard character, would be, was snake.

I know, eww to so many people, but, I grew up with snakes. My old man raised them. We had pythons and boas and while they are not cute and cuddly like a cat or a dog or even a bunny, they have very distinctive personalities, mostly calm demeanors and can certainly teach a person a thing or two about patience, focus, and the art of stillness.

Have you ever seen a snake coiled, waiting, ready, tasting the air? It’s a thing of beauty. I love to photograph snakes when I come across them on the trail, their beautiful colors and scale patterns, the brightness of their eyes.

They’re not slimy, I’m not sure why so many people think that, but they are actually kind of soft and warm, and smooth unless they are shedding. I suppose if one is in water it can feel slippery, but a dry snake is not a slimy thing and they are clean animals.

I digress though, my point was, I wanted to do something different and work with an animal I loved that was too often viewed as something sinister. Not that there aren’t sinister characters that Darian encounters, there are, but there are good ones too, and a whole society that began to unfold and come together.

I actually have plans to do a series of 3ds Max images of some of the underground world and flex some of the design muscles I haven’t used in years to breathe even more life into this world that sort of appeared in my mind and wouldn’t go away. So I hope that you’ll put aside any fears or loathing for Serpent’s to give them a try. You might find their world as beautiful as I have.

 

 

Serpent’s Kiss by Layla Dorine

While searching for their missing sibling, Zaiden and his sister, Kaandhal come across the last pure blooded psy-clairvoyant of their kind. Unfortunately for them, Darian has no idea what he truly is and isn’t much interested in learning, or in helping them locate their brother, Zxex.

A bounty hunter by trade, who’s been all but banished from his family due to his visions, Darian’s a bit cynical about his ability to be of any assistance to them. Never-the-less, Zaiden brings him back to their home Rhumba, where Darian discovers that very little is what it seems.

With plots unfolding all around them and discoveries about his own heritage leaving Darian reeling, he is left with the choice of whether to embrace who and what he is, or spend every moment with them a prisoner on the fringes of their society.

Add in a pesky little bond that only seems to grow the more time he and Zaiden spend together, and several factions looking to gain possession of him and Darian is left wondering if his visions just might be the least of his troubles.

 

 

It took him back to another time, to home, when he was still too young to fully understand just how differently he was being treated. In those days, when the flashes of the future he glimpsed showed moments of sadness, he did everything he could to cheer the other person up. When he caught glimpses of troubled times, he attempted to give warnings, going so far as to throw himself between his older brother and a heavy piece of iron seconds before it fell. His leg had been broken for his efforts, but it was better than the vision he’d received of his brother with a huge, bloody gash in his skull, twitching in the hallway.

Blinking back the memory, he drew away from her touch and its warmth. “It only seemed to scare them more,” he admitted.

“But that was no fault of yours,” Kaandhal insisted. “The fault lay with them. Everything you attempted to do was out of love for them, and they repaid that love with scorn and fear, pushing you aside for it. You did not deserve that. Now we are giving you a second chance, but this time, it is up to you to take it. You can hold on to the pain that you carry, you can continue to lash out at the world over the actions of a handful, or you can stand up and be a man and do what you were born to do.”

He was silent for a moment, studying her.

“And if I choose not to use my gifts?” he asked. “If I choose to keep burying them, then what? Your brother seems convinced that someone is going to come hunting me. I’ve got nowhere to go. Will you throw me out of here if I don’t do what you want?”

Tight lipped she shook her head, regarding him sadly. “No. This is your home for as long as you choose to live in it.”

The shock must have registered on his face because her expression changed. “I am so sorry that you’ve grown up to be so skeptical of people.”

“I…” he stammered, shocked at the honest emotion in her voice. “Thanks.”

She smiled then, a soft one, honest and kind. “I have faith in you, Darian. You are capable of great things and I know you will help us bring Zxex back home where he belongs.”

“I wish I was as sure of that as you are,” he admitted. “Kyle…Zxex and I had one hell of a falling out.”

“Might I ask what it was about?” she asked.

Another heavy sigh escaped him as he sank down on the edge of the bed and buried his head in his hands. “He saw me the same way that you do, but more than that, when I looked into his eyes I accidently saw the future, my future and how it related to him.” Darrell shook his head. “I couldn’t handle it, the trust, the expectation. You do know what I do for a living, right? Why there were guns all over my place?”

“Yes,” Kaandhal acknowledged. “You are a bounty hunter, or were, you will not need to make that kind of a living here.”

“And you know that I use my gifts to help me find the people I’m chasing,” he prompted. “That I dig around in the heads of their friends and family until I find the clues I need to locate them. Then I bring them in and I collect on their misfortune.”

“You regret it.”

“How can you tell?” he asked. “Reading my mind again?”

“No, it is in the sound of your voice and the sorrowful look in your eyes. It’s in the way you are curling in on yourself, as if you wish to hide. You do not have to be ashamed here either, Darian. None will hold your past against you. This is a clean slate. All you need to do is embrace it.

 

US Amazon  |  UK Amazon  |  DE Amazon  |  JP Amazon   |  CA Amazon  |  AU Amazon

Interview with Layla

The film you can watch time and time again…

There are several and it all depends on what mood I’m in. I love Memoirs of a Geisha, and no matter how many times I watch it, I find myself getting drawn into the story and beauty and cruelty of their world. I think it’s because I see it as this ultimate performance art, and I marvel at how much talent it had to take to be successful. The story itself too, is haunting and sad and just the kind of tone and mood that resonates with me. Another I can watch over and over is Waiting to Exhale. I remember falling in love with the book first, at a young age, before I was actually married the first time but it was after that marriage that I found myself connecting even more fully with the story and the women in it, the lost dreams and the betrayals. The third movie that is a go to for me is The Crow. It appeals to that darker side of me that loves the atmosphere created but also the struggles of the characters and the way death isn’t always the end. I used to write bits of dark fantasy/dark urban paranormal and it was always a Crow like feel I was going for when I shaped those stories.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…

I love to go down to the old creek bed west of town when its dry and poke around and see what I can find. So far, I’ve pulled out a latch pen from a gate from the 1800s, American camel fossilized teeth, fossilized bison teeth and one cave bear tooth. It’s fun to play armature archeologist and to have actually taken my finds to someone who specializes in Ice Age animals and have her authenticate the teeth. Last year rains kept the river high so the creek stayed flooded, I have my fingers crossed that this year will be a dry one, I miss poking around among the rocks and sand.

The poem that touches your soul…

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost. The first time I encountered it was in reading The Outsiders by SE Hinton, when Ponyboy reads it to Jonny and they both talk about how they are gold when they are young but the things that they see and experience tarnish that and how youth is like the dawn of your life when everything is shinny and bright and gold. It resonated with me because in those words was also a deep and profound sadness, that no matter what we tried to do, we wouldn’t be able to hold on to that innocence and those golden moments would be lost.

The song that means the most to you…

Spoke in the Wheel by Zakk Wylde. I always loved him when he played guitar for Ozzy, but his work on his own has been on a different level, deeper, more profound and heartfelt and then add in his voice and it’s to swoon over. That whisky roughness of it that echoes with haunting pain comes through in spades in Spoke in the Wheel and that chorus… “Someday you’ll know just how it feels, shattered, cast aside, stripped of your pride like you never nothin’ special baby, makes you feel, like another spoke in the wheel.” It’s something I’ve strove to capture in several of my characters, that pain of being abandoned, and when I need help tapping into the words, I just sit and listen to Zakk, and it all comes together.

 

 

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…

Oh wow, it’s funny, because there was only ever one thing I wanted to be more than an author, and that was a musician in a band and tour the country. I did get to play in the band, a metal band in high school, I played guitar, but we never did anything with it besides some shows around the city and practicing in a friends back room. I love music though, to this day I have my guitars though I rarely touch them. When I do, there’s a disappointment there that still depresses me, makes me wonder if I’d I have been good enough, if I’d stayed on that path. I guess that’s why so many of my characters are involved in music in some way.

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

I wanted to be like SE Hinton, write a book while still young, she was 15 when The Outsiders came out, I was 12 when I tried my hand at it. What I worked on was probably closer to a fan fic of the Outsiders, it had all original characters but anyone with eyes would have been able to draw parallels between the two. What it did though, was show me that the worlds that were in my head, the things that played there like slow moving movies, could be put into a format to be shared with others, if I dared. I wasn’t sure I’d ever dare show anymore. I always felt like the odd one out, staring off into the distance listening to the characters in my head instead of other people. I was afraid that if I shared those worlds people would just laugh and think I was crazy so for years, I turned my attention to poems and lyrics. Those were safer. They were still me expressing feelings and thoughts, but its wasn’t on the same levels as the things that lived in my head.

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions…

I love this question, because I love to travel, and if I only get 24 hours, then I’m going to make it count. Drop me on a beach, in Hawaii or back on Guam, I want to surf again and walk in the sand and pick up shells. I want to swim in the warm water, snorkel and take pictures of the fish on the reef. I want to sit on a rock, watch the waves and listen to the sound of them crashing. I want tropical drinks and to leave footsteps in the sand, swim at night, have a bonfire, and recapture childhood moments that were simply amazing.

The figure from history you would most like to buy a pie and a pint…

Jim Morrison of The Doors. I’ve always admired his words, especially his poetry. He wasn’t afraid to slip into the dark side of things, dance on the edge, portray a world in which there was both light and chaos all swirling together. He wrote about finding oneself on the highways of American, in the cities, and in the people one encountered as well as the beasts. He wrote about how we were all human and animal and spirts were all entwined and I would love to ask him where it was he felt most at home and how he found the courage to be so free.

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto your child…

Live your life the way you want to live it, don’t let anyone, even me or your dad, tell you what you should love or focus on or care about. Don’t set yourself up for regrets, don’t get caught up in drama, don’t worry about what others are doing, make your own path, and forge ahead like you’re on a mission, you’ll be happier for it. I promise.

The philosophy that underpins your life…

Just do it. Don’t worry about what others might say, if it’s impulsive so be it, if its scary or odd, oh well. Just, don’t talk yourself out of things. It’s not stupid, it’s only stupid if you don’t give it a shot. Everything else is a learning experience. Even failure.

 

LAYLA DORINE lives among the sprawling prairies of Midwestern America, in a house with more cats than people. She loves hiking, fishing, swimming, martial arts, camping out, photography, cooking, and dabbling with several artistic mediums. In addition, she loves to travel and visit museums, historic, and haunted places.

Layla got hooked on writing as a child, starting with poetry and then branching out, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Hard times, troubled times, the lives of her characters are never easy, but then what life is? The story is in the struggle, the journey, the triumphs and the falls. She writes about artists, musicians, loners, drifters, dreamers, hippies, bikers, truckers, hunters and all the other folks that she’s met and fallen in love with over the years. Sometimes she writes urban romance and sometimes its aliens crash landing near a roadside bar. When she isn’t writing, or wandering somewhere outdoors, she can often be found curled up with a good book and a kitty on her lap.

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Tumblr

Author Website   |  Author on Goodreads 

 

Guest Author ~ Alex Jane

A warm welcome to Alex Jane.

Thank you for visiting my blog and agreeing to tell us a little more about yourself.

 

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Doing nothing. I wish I was one of those people that can’t sit still and is super motivated but I’m really, really not. I can only do so much before I need a sit-down and a cup of tea that then ends up stretching into hours of laziness. I genuinely worry that I’m going to get a DVT from watching so much YouTube one of these days.

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

The Stand by Stephen King. I think I must have read it maybe twenty times. I love the story and weep over the characters every time but it’s the additions in the extended version that really get me. Quick studies of survivors who don’t make it for one reason or another. Ordinary people who find themselves trying to keep going in the face of such upheaval. It’s masterful.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever…

One of the happiest that springs to mind is the first time my dog wagged her tail in her sleep. She was a rescue that had been very badly treated and when she first came to live with me, she would who have such horrible nightmares that I would have to wake her up so she didn’t hurt herself. It took a long time to work through all her issues and a lot of patience on both our parts but I knew she’d turned a corner the first time she had a dream so happy her tail was thumping the sofa.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…

I always wanted to travel. And not just a holiday once in a while but spend a year living in France or take a road trip from Seattle to San Diego or backpack around Japan until they threw me out. Giving up on that dream is truly sad.

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

The first time I tried to write down a story…well, actually it’s not so different now…trying to get the swirling images in my brain to translate into concrete words seemed impossible. It took me a long time to even attempt it (and by long time, I mean twenty-five years!) I’m still not sure how managed to get anything written that first time around. I think I simply reached a point where it was now or never. And the result was awful. So, so awful. I’m sure some would argue that’s not changed much either. I still have the original manuscript somewhere. Am I tempted to take a look? No. No, I am not.

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

Make exercising as routine as brushing your teeth because being healthy is everything. Stretch every day because back pain is worse than toothache. Moisturize and wear sunglasses because UV is awful stuff. And don’t say anything about a person behind their back that you wouldn’t say to their face because in the end that’s what people will remember about you.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…

It sounds stupid but when I was in school I had the best umbrella ever. It was a see-through orange thing with just the right sized and shaped dome, and neon orange trim. It’s been thirty years and I’m still gutted that I left it on the bus.

The philosophy that underpins your life…

“Be excellent to each other” Don’t get me wrong, I can be a pissy, vindictive bitch if provoked but my first instinct is to be kind. It costs nothing to be nice or encouraging or gentle. My social skills might suck but I still find it easier to consider everyone a friend deserving of a smile than to be suspicious and judgmental. I don’t think it hurts to be nice to people.

 

Ex-detective John Right likes to watch. There’s no harm in it.

The latest object of his obsession—a twenty-something stranger who chains his bike outside John’s office—doesn’t feel the weight of John’s eyes on him, doesn’t know about the secret recordings or what John does with them in the dead of night. Except when the kid disappears, John finds himself doing far more that just watching.

Reluctantly, John has to start thinking like a cop once more as he frantically tries to track down his mystery man. Although when he finds him, John is left with more questions than answers. And the more he learns, the more he wishes he’d never started looking in the first place.

Can John get to the bottom of the mystery without giving away his own dirty secret? And without giving in to his urge to do more than simply watch?

Well…nobody’s perfect.

A Mr & Mr Detective Story – #1

 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon DE  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon AU 
Smashwords  |   Payhip 

After spending far too long creating stories in her head, Alex finally plucked up the courage to write them down and realized it was quite fun seeing them on the page after all.
Free from aspirations of literary greatness, Alex simply hopes to entertain by spinning a good yarn of love and life, wrapped up with a happy ending. Although, if her characters have to go through Hell to get there, she’s a-okay with that.
With only a dysfunctional taste in music and a one-eyed dog to otherwise fill her days, Alex writes and walks on the South Coast of England—even when her heart and spellcheck are in New York.

www.alexjane.info |  Facebook  |  Facebook Author Page  |

 Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon Author Page

I’ll be at the ShiMMer Book Signing on July 1st in Birmingham, UK if you’d like to get your paperbacks in person!

Guest Post ~ A E Ryecart

When professional turns personal, it’s too late to step back. . .

Smart, young and ambitious, the future’s bright for Jake Stafford—except for his addiction to a man he should have turned his back on years before. When he receives news that forces him to re-evaluate his life, Jake has to kick his habit and go cold turkey for good.

When Oliver Lester walks out on his life in New York and returns to London after an absence of more than twenty years, the biggest piece of baggage he brings back is a broken heart. Powerful and sought after, Oliver is a man whose corporate reputation goes before him but as he stares into his future he sees nothing but work-filled days and empty, lonely nights.

Free of long-term relationships which have left them disillusioned and cynical, neither man is looking to risk his heart. But an invitation to dinner leads to more, and Jake and Oliver find themselves swept up in an affair neither is seeking. Crossing the line and breaking all the rules, both men come to learn what it is to feel whole and complete as they begin to fall in love.

But the past has one final trick up its sleeve. An uninvited guest, a violent confrontation and the fear history is repeating itself leaves them reeling.

As the future they promised each other hangs in the balance, Jake and Oliver are faced with a stark question: can they find the strength to destroy the past before the past destroys them?

Corporate Bodies is the third and final book in the Urban Love series, but it can be read as true stand-alone – there is no need to read the books in order.

Word count: 86,500 approx., a full-length novel.

 

Jake turned back to the bookshelf. Oliver licked his paper-dry lips.

“I’ve read this, it’s my all-time favourite. Seriously, I must have read it at least twenty times.”

Oliver smiled, he couldn’t help it, the delight and enthusiasm in Jake’s voice genuine and unrestrained. Oliver moved closer, and stood behind Jake, who pulled the book from the shelf.

“Oh, wow, your copy is even more beaten up than mine.”

Oliver looked down at the book in Jake’s hand. A book he’d had since he was a teenager, read over and over again throughout the years, pages turned so often they had started to fall out only to be stuck back in, the tape that reattached them now brittle and yellow.

Oliver reached for the book, his hand brushing Jake’s, all his awareness and focus on the man standing just inches from him. Every draw of Jake’s breath, every pore of his skin, every strand of auburn hair, the deep, rich colour of chestnuts. And the heat of him, Oliver could feel the heat from Jake’s skin, he swore he could.

Silence wrapped itself around them. Jake turned his head and Oliver stared into grey eyes turned black, the pupils blown so wide they devoured the irises, leaving only the merest hint of colour. Unnoticed, the book slipped from their hands, and fell to the floor. As their lips joined in a long, slow kiss Oliver had no idea who it was who made the first move, only glad that the move had been made.

An eternity passed before Oliver dragged his lips from Jake’s.

“This is—God, I don’t know what this is.” Resting his forehead against Jake’s, Oliver closed his eyes. What was he doing? Ever cautious, ever careful, what he was doing and what he so desperately wanted to do with Jake was as far from cautious and careful as it was possible to get. He was out of his depth, engulfed suddenly in a world where he had no control. It scared him, but by Christ it thrilled him even more.

Oliver’s heart skipped a beat as Jake’s arms coiled around his waist, pulled him in hard to his body and kept him steady. How long had it been since somebody had been his support, taken his weight, the way Jake was doing those things now? Too long, too damn long. The arms that held him tight, and the body that was solid and strong against his own felt so good. Oliver wanted to stay like this forever and just be held, but he couldn’t do that because like this, in Jake’s arms, they were breaking all the rules. Oliver made to pull away, but Jake tightened his hold.

“I kissed you, Oliver. I’ve wanted to kiss you since I saw you across the floor of that restaurant. I wanted to kiss you then and I want to kiss you now.” Jake shifted his head, seeking and finding Oliver’s lips again.

Hunger clawed at Oliver. Hunger for the man who pressed hard against him, Jake’s need and want matching his own. A man who wanted him for him, not an escort with a wide smile and a willing body only because it was a transaction, business, a sale and with about as much heart and soul.

Little strangled moans escaped from Jake when Oliver pushed back against him. He shouldn’t be doing this, he shouldn’t be kissing with a fervour that matched Jake’s, he shouldn’t be crushing his body against Jake’s and feeling every inch of his arousal meet his own. He shouldn’t be doing any of this because the man he wanted so much it burned was Jake. Twenty years younger, a junior colleague, a man whose career he could make or break, to do this was wrong but wrong had never, ever felt so right.

 

 

Amazon US  |  Universal Booklinker link

 

A E Ryecart (or Ali as her readers know her) writes contemporary MM romance and gay fiction laced with angst and high emotion. Her main men are complex, multi-faceted characters facing tough decisions – the problem is, they don’t always make the right choices. So they suffer, big time. After all, it’s a rocky, uphill road to a happy ever after, but the guys get there in the end. So far, Ali’s stories have been set in and around London, the city she was born and raised in, providing a thrilling, metropolitan back-drop to the main action, but she’s hatching plans to travel further afield.

Ali spends a lot of time writing in cafés as she likes to be within reach of a good coffee! The murmur of conversation, the hissing of the espresso machines and the whirl of the milk frother all provide a welcome background hum to the men in her head, who all shout for her attention.

 

Interview and Guest Post ~ Ashe Winters

 

Title: Never Apart (Captivated in New England Book One)

Author: Ashe Winters

50% of All Book Sales will be donated to The Trevor Project

$4.99 or Free with Kindle Unlimited

Amazon.comGlobal Link

My heart throbbed a merciless, rhythmic beat as I accepted just how precious he was to me.

Nick tumbled hard for the waifish imp crying over a crushed pink donut. They were only little boys, but those big tears caused Nick’s protective instincts to flare and he was forever captivated.

Though the future beckoned, Nick felt conflicted. He had fallen in love, and his aching desire for Cameron had grown deeper than he ever imagined possible. While Nick had always offered Cam his unwavering support, Cameron’s downward spiral of self-doubt and battle for self-reliance nearly push Nick to the edge of letting go.

The thought of him with someone else, loving someone else, wrecked me.

Cam realized he was a little different. He was artistic, flamboyant, and adored sparkly, pretty things. Endlessly bullied for not being “masculine enough”, Cam strived to discover his place in the world. College was supposed to help, but things weren’t going as planned.

Cam gained strength in Nick’s friendship, his personal knight in shining armor. A lifetime of indecisions paired with a surprising hunger for the one man who’d always been his anchor, propels Cam to face reality. Change was happening, whether he was ready or not.

“I promise I won’t ever leave you again, Cam. We’ll never be apart.”

Two men battle their hearts amidst an uncertain future.

When he can no longer hide his feelings, will Nick break his sacred promise to never leave Cam’s side even though his heart and body desperately crave the only man he has ever loved?

Can Cameron find the strength to believe in himself enough to follow his own path, or will his stubbornness keep him from chasing his own dreams and risk losing the man who’s always stood by him?

 

INTERVIEW PROMPTS

The prized possession you value above all others…

It’s not a physical thing. The thing I prize more than anything is the gift of my imagination. It has carried me to places I may never go and places that don’t exist. It has helped me through sad times and lonely times. My imagination allows me to learn, to consider new things. And most of all, my imagination helps me to dream. I don’t even want to contemplate what my life would be like without it.

The regret you wish you could amend…

I wish I’d never listened to people tell me I couldn’t write when I hit my twenties and became serious about writing a novel. They told me no one wanted to read my stories. I let those words put up a block in my mind that kept me from writing for 16 years. It’s the biggest regret I have, because I let others take away my joy. Last year, I finally fought against it and here I am, proving them wrong. I just wish I’d done it much sooner.

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Dr. Pepper and Skittles. They are my obsession and they are so unhealthy. I’d love to cut them out of my life, but I can’t resist.

The film you can watch time and time again…

Howl’s Moving Castle

The poem that touches your soul…

This poem touches my soul in a slightly different way than people usually say about poems. “The Village Blacksmith” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is one that my grandpa and I shared. It was a poem he loved and when he realized I had a passion for poetry at the age of eight, he told me about it. In a way, it was our special thing from the rest of the grandkids. The poem itself doesn’t have a lot of meaning to me personally, but it is what it represents. When Papa died a few years ago, us grandkids were given the option to put something in his casket. I typed up this poem and framed it so it would be with him always. There is never a moment I don’t think of him that this poem doesn’t come to mind.

The event that altered the course of your life…

March 22, 2017. I hit publish for the first time. I went from dreaming I’d be an author, to actually being one. My life, my path, has changed. And nothing will stop me from continuing down this course.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever…

The first time I rode a horse. I was 11 years old. My aunt had horses and she was taking private lessons. She knew of my love for them and talked my dad into letting me take lessons with her. That first moment I sat astride this beautiful horse named Sheena was the happiest moment in my entire life (yes, it even caps publishing my first book), because it was the first moment I felt free. I felt a peace and calmness come over me I’d never known before. The world disappeared and it was just me and this powerful animal beneath me that had enough trust to let me on her back. I’ll cherish that memory forever.

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

I was in 6th grade. I had written little things years before, but I consider this moment the first time I really wrote a fictional piece, not something dictated by your teacher asking you to tell a story that involves Santa Claus. For my English/Literature class, we had to write a story about whatever we wanted. It had to be twenty typed pages long. I had to use a typewriter because we didn’t have a computer. That was the first time I’d really let my imagination loose and the piece I wrote ended up winning a couple of awards at a local writing competition. The story was about a girl who saw herself on the outside of everyone, always looking in. It was fictional, but pieces of myself were written into it. I have always included bits of me in everything I write since that story.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…

Destroy every coffee bean on the planet. So it could never exist again. I will probably get ostracized for saying that, but I cannot stand coffee. I still love all of you who like it, though. Just keep it far away from me. If I knew I’d be safe from the pitchfork wielding mob that would come after me, this would be my mission!

The philosophy that underpins your life…

“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.” Dr. Seuss

I try to remember that even if a single person can benefit from something I say, something I write, something I do, then it is worth it. It just takes one person to make a difference in someone’s life. And you never know who needs you.

Ever since I picked up my first pencil, the voices began to chatter in my head. Those who know about the writing voices will understand! My stories might have been short and horribly misspelled, but I weaved my exceedingly overactive imagination into each one of them. And then insisted everyone read them once, twice, maybe thirty or more times. I might also admit to having used that talent to wiggle my way of out trouble as a kid…frequently.

An introvert to the core, I spend my days as far from large crowds as I can possibly get. Sitting at my desk with my shiny laptop in the quiet of my own home is my happy place. Add a bowl of Skittles and plenty of Dr. Pepper, and I’m ready to write.

Thanks to my degrees in psychology and sociology; I have this wicked little habit of digging around in my characters’ brains and dragging out all their complexities. Oh, and I like to torture them. Don’t ever expect those HEAs to come easily.

Romance is primary in every single one of my stories. To me, love is love. Gender, age, race, religion or any other factor has nothing to do with it. I enjoy exploring people falling in love, the twists and turns as they fight to come to terms with giving their heart away to another. I promise, I will always give my leading characters their happy endings. They might just have to struggle a whole lot before they get there.

You can connect with me at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashewinters/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashe_winters

Or sign up for my newsletter for news and updates at:

Website: www.ashewinters.com

 

 

Tales from The Edge Series Blast

 Guest Post by L.M. Somerton

oyx-0xgq_400x400

New beginnings

There’s a line in a song by rock band The Editors, “Some things should be simple; even an end has a start”, which has resonated with me recently as I come to the end of a book series. Tales from The Edge consists of eight books and four free short stories and began almost four years ago with Reaching The Edge. The main characters, Olly and Joe, have inhabited my head ever since and letting go has proved anything but simple. I wish they were real – they’d make really good friends and I think a night out with them might be an adventure!

I didn’t want to write a never-ending series where readers forget what the whole premise was about and characters become formulaic caricatures. That’s boring for the reader and the writer. But, I never imagined how involved readers would become with the fictional lives of a group of kinky, loving men who overcome their problems with the help of friendship, perseverance and a healthy dose of snark.

Whilst writing Tales from The Edge, I frequently found myself accidentally creating characters with the potential for stories of their own, so I may have to indulge in a few more short freebies when the urge takes me! In the meantime, the final book in the series sows the seed for a new set of stories I’ll also be starting this year. So the end really is a start.

Thanks so much for hosting me. xx

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 4

 

To celebrate the final book in the series, you can enter a Rafflecopter prize draw here.

Five lucky winners will receive an ebook of their choice from my back list.

(Draw open Jan 10 – Jan 31 2017)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Driven to The Edge

“So, fans of the Tales from The Edge series, buckle up. Here is the next story that you’ve been waiting for. And those new to the series, it’s never too late to start. You won’t be sorry. This is one of my favorite m/m, BDSM series. Enjoy!”  Becky Condit for USA Today.

Scorched Edges

“The characters are intelligent, spirited, and needless to say smoking hot.  Between danger and drama Scorched Edges has it all.  This series consistently gives readers smoldering, sensual, and engaging stories to enjoy.  Scorched Edges is another must read.” Joyfully Reviewed.

Rough Around the Edges

“The sex…HOLY COW! I love how Harry takes charge – his Dom juju made my heart beat faster.”  Inked Rainbow Reads

A Double-Edged Sword

“This pair have love, respect and honesty to help them through and ‘contract’ their new relationship. The story was real, the secondary characters important and the sex was sizzling!”  Prism Book Alliance

Dancing on the Edge

“Sensual dominance rules the day in Dancing on the Edge where desire sets the standard in tasteful erotic love play.”  Joyfully Reviewed

Living on the Edge

“Living on the Edge is Yummy! This quick read is loaded with great characters, sizzling M/M sex, and engaging twists.”  Jeep Diva

Reaching the Edge

“Oh, and Olly? My favorite character. God he’s just a freaking dervish. He’s like a Gremlin. Don’t feed him sugar. EVER. You’ll see.”  Mrs Condit & Friends

 

tales-from-the-edge

 

Series Blurb

The Edge is a training company with a difference. It’s weekend clients come for classes in bondage and domination, not team building and problem solving. The management, staff and customers of The Edge do not lead boring lives. In fact they have a habit of getting themselves into all kinds of trouble. Put dominant, possessive alpha males together with bratty, loveable submissives and sparks are bound to fly. Tales from The Edge are their stories.

bindingtheedges_9781786515193_email

Blurb for Binding the Edges (Book #8 in the series)

Never let go of the one you love.

After recent traumatic events, Olly is finding it hard to get his head around what happened. While he tries to deal with a maelstrom of emotions, renovations at The Edge are in full flow, alongside preparations for tenth anniversary celebrations. Joe, his Dom, recognizes Olly’s delicate state of mind and does his best to reassure him. A trip to the New Forest with their friends, Aiden and Heath, helps the healing process.

Returning home, Olly and Aiden focus on preparations for the party. When Aiden is called away, Olly takes a walk to clear his head, keeping his eye on a brewing storm. To his horror, he discovers Mark Vickery, an old enemy, has landed on the island by boat and is out for revenge.

With Olly missing and the storm raging, Joe, Heath and Aiden set out on a rescue mission that unfolds in a way none of them expected. Can the storm wash away the past or will Olly and Joe’s future be destroyed by a twist of fate?

 

bindingtheedges_800

 

Excerpt from Binding the Edges

Olly tilted his head back to get a proper look at Joe’s face. Joe’s expression gave no indication of remorse or guilt, just his usual serene certainty that everything was under control. His control. He pressed a finger against Olly’s lips preventing him from forming them into a pout.

“Who knows what’s best for you, sweetheart?”

Olly ducked his head, escaping Joe’s finger. “You do, Sir.” In Olly’s mind, nothing was more certain. Joe only ever acted in Olly’s best interest, even to his own detriment. “But you don’t have to worry about me.”

“That’s for me to decide, Oliver. After everything you’ve been through recently I didn’t want you to be on your own.”

“Because you’re a psychologist and you were analyzing me?” Olly asked.

“No, because you needed a friend. I know what you’d do if you had too much time on your own to think. You’d mull over every detail of what happened and start to blame yourself, wish you’d handled things differently. Then you’d start worrying about all the what ifs with that creative imagination of yours, and end up having nightmares for weeks.”

“You know me too well, Sir.” Olly nuzzled against Joe’s chest, absorbing his warmth.

“I have better things to do with you in bed than watch you toss and turn in your sleep.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“So no sulking with Aiden. He’s a good friend.”

“The best. Now I understand why he didn’t run away when I interrogated him about what he and Heath got up to last night. I think you did me a favor, Sir.”

“That grin is far too wicked. I suspect you need to be punished.” “Ooh, yes please!”

“But you have packing to finish because we need to get on the road if we’re going to make it to Hampshire in time for dinner.”

“You’re no fun, Sir.” Olly was torn between wanting to play with Joe and his curiosity about their destination. He would also get to see Carey and Alistair. Maybe some of his other friends, too. “What do you want me to take?”

Joe gave him a curious glance. The press of Joe’s fingers under his chin tilted Olly’s head back. “This isn’t like you. Usually you’d have two enormous suitcases stuffed to bursting by now. What’s going on?”

“Sorry, Sir.” Tears that seemed to come all too quickly stung Olly’s eyes.

“Hey, now. None of that.” Joe kissed away a tear. “Are you having a tough time making decisions at the moment?”

Olly nodded. He worried that if he spoke he’d have a full-on nuclear meltdown. “Well, it’s a good job you have me, isn’t it?”

Olly bobbed his head, feeling a bit like a nodding dog toy. His head felt too heavy for his neck and a wave of exhaustion washed over him. He wanted to grab a pillow, one that smelled of Joe, hug it tight and drift off to sleep.

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header

Buy Links for Binding the Edges

Pride Publishing  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy

 

LM lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

LM is winner of the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Award for best novel and the 2016 Golden Flogger Award for best BDSM novel in the LGBT category. She has received multiple Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards and won the Action and Adventure category of Divine Magazine’s Book Awards in 2015. You can track her down online here:

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 9

 

Pride Publishing page  |  Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest   |  Amazon Author Page

 

oyx-0xgq_400x400

 

 

Guest Post ~ R. Phoenix

 

A warm welcome to R. Phoenix and congratulations on your latest release.

Thank you for sharing a little about yourself with us.

 

The prized possession you value above all others…

My phone. That thing is my life and my security blanket. No matter where I am, I can talk to my friends, who are by and large scattered across the world. I have several hundred books so I always have something to read. I have several other apps so I can play games (though I don’t) and entertain myself.

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Buying new books when I already have a to be read list a mile long. It’s like a disease.

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

I will never, ever be able to get Nicola Haken’s Broken out of my head. I’ve been affected by books before, but James and Theo’s story impacted me on a deep level. There’s a terrible stigma surrounding mental illness, and sometimes it can be extremely isolating. It’s hard to know what it’s like on the other side. To read a book that explores the issue from both sides — afflicted and loved one — is a revelation.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…

I am actually in the Master’s program for Cybersecurity Studies currently. When I left my job last year and we decided I’d go back to school, I was surprised to find out just how much it interested me. My homework sometimes takes me forever because I get sidetracked just reading about it.

The poem that touches your soul…

I write a series I’m currently in the process of (heavily) editing and re-releasing. It’s a paranormal dystopian series that I’m extremely invested in, emotionally. The poem I always go back to for it is ‘The Second Coming’ by William Butler Yeats. I can almost repeat it word for word.

The song that means the most to you…

“You Were Wrong” by Icon for Hire. It’s been my anthem for a while now as I work to do things I’ve never done before. Writing Too Close, my first contemporary romance about abuse, has been difficult for me, and sometimes I need the reminder that I’ll never get anywhere unless I try. I recently got a tattoo on the inside of my left wrist of one of the lyrics that says, “i never lost a war unless i didn’t fight it ;”

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

My mind has always been a very scary place. Just saying. Even the things I wrote when I was 11 or so had some dark themes and explored elements I probably shouldn’t have even been that aware of. *cough*

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…

Letting people tell me that writing was pointless and that there was no future in it. I stopped writing for a long time, and I wish I hadn’t. You never get anywhere if you never try — like I said, I never lost a war unless I didn’t fight it.

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

My son is four, and the thing I try to impress upon him the most is that people are people, and love is love. Decency and kindness always have a place in the world, even if it is sometimes difficult to remember.

 

Too Close by R. Phoenix

tooclosecover

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 5

Skylar Orion’s life has been complicated ever since his mother abandoned him and his sister Evie. Making ends meet seemed impossible until Tate Chandler took them in — his knight in shining armor who promised to make life about more than just surviving. But Tate is not the man he seemed to be, and even his whispered I love yous and generous gifts do little to soothe the pain he causes. Knowing he can’t give his sister all that she deserves without Tate, Skylar stays with him, relying on bad puns and a worse sense of humor to keep up the charade.

He will do anything for his sister, even if that means acting the responsible adult and going back to his old high school to meet Dexter Weston, the hot math teacher who can make even algebra interesting. Sparks fly between the two of them, but with his dependence on Tate, Skylar isn’t free to follow his heart. He wants what is best for Evie, but can he pass up the chance to find love that heals instead of harms?

Warning: This book contains scenes of domestic abuse and violence that some may find triggering to read.

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header

 

Amazon.com |  Amazon UK

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Add on Goodreads

add-to-goodreads-button31

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 6

 

My phone buzzes, and I glance down to see a text from Tate. I slide my finger across the screen to unlock it, but Evie gets up, snatching it from my hands. My heart starts to race.

“We’re having an intervention, remember?”

Damn it. If I don’t answer soon, Tate’s going to get pissed. “And I’m not the one on the receiving end,” I say, my voice sharper than I intended. “Phone.”

The look on her face is wounded, and she hands the phone back without a word. Guilt coalesces in my gut, making me feel a little sick.

“Yeah, okay,” she mutters. “Sorry I want a few minutes with my brother without Tate here with us.”

I want to argue that he isn’t really here, but she’s right. He’s always present, even when he’s not bodily nearby. I waver. I know better than to ignore the message for long, but this is my sister. Yet I’m doing all of this for her, and if I piss him off, we might end up back in the same situation I’d fought to get us out of.

I give a quick response, pretending I don’t notice her hurt.

“He’s doing a lot for us,” I say softly, and she makes a derisive sound. “Evie…”

“Yeah. I know. He’s a saint,” she snaps.

I hate this. I don’t want to fight with her. Not now, not ever. I know she doesn’t like Tate, but she can’t deny that he’s been more than generous. “I didn’t say that.”

“You don’t have to.”

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 9

 

Facebook Profile  |   Facebook Page |   Website |  Twitter

1cxf7ueg

 

Things that go bump in the night… Guest Post by L.M. Somerton

A big thank you to Lily for giving me spooky space on her blog today to talk about my ghost story, The Portrait.

14886365_935497526594030_2136027961_n

Things that go bump in the night…

I recently read an article by Susan Hill, author of The Woman in Black, about what makes a good ghost story. It made me wonder if the same principles would apply to an erotic ghost story.  How do you create the atmosphere needed when the core of the tale is an MM romance?

It’s one thing to sit around a campfire spinning spooky yarns and controlling your audience with the drama of the moment. Unfortunately it’s not possible to issue atmosphere instructions in the preamble to the book:

  1.  Do not read unless you are situated in an appropriately spooky setting. E.g. graveyard, abandoned asylum, haunted house.
  2. Weather must be atmospheric – fog, heavy rain, thunder and lightening are all acceptable.
  3. Watch a really good horror film to get yourself in the right state of mind i.e. ready to jump out of your skin at the least provocation.
  4. Switch off all lights and read by candlelight.

I have to confess that when I wrote The Portrait and its sequel Black Dog I wasn’t consciously considering which elements would work when it came shivers of fear. I was more worried about shivers of desire between the two main characters. In either case there is a fine line between giving your readers a thrill and sending them into fits of laughter. How do you avoid the traps and pitfalls of stereotypes but still give your readers what they need to really feel the atmosphere you are trying to create? In this day and age we are exposed to every imaginable take on the supernatural. Films and computer games bring our worst fears to life at the touch of a button. Is it even possible to create that kind of atmosphere any more or are readers immune to anything that isn’t in 3D?

I think the same thing that makes a story erotic can make it scary. Imagination. It’s the author’s job to put the pieces in place, to lay the foundations for the reader to then build their own picture – to really see, hear and feel what the characters do.

By happy accident, many of the ‘required elements’ of a ghost story snuck their way into The Portrait, so all those 18th century gothic novels I’ve read must have been lurking in my sub-conscious. Hints of a spectral presence, unexplained noises and shadows, an old house where the memories of past horrors linger – they are all there, aided by the natural atmosphere provided by the wonderfully gloomy British weather.

It only takes the smallest hints and suggestions to capture an intelligent reader’s imagination and I think that works so much better than launching into a full-blown terror-ride from the first line. Shakespeare put it well in the Scottish play:

By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.

My characters, Garrick and Tristan, know that something evil objects to them being together. Finding out why and working out what to do about it is intertwined with the story of their developing relationship. I wanted my characters to tingle in all the right places; the fear and anticipation of what might happen adds something unpredictable to their romance and turns the heat up just a little bit higher!

So if you like your erotica with a hint of the supernatural, I think you’ll enjoy The Portrait – here’s the blurb to tell you a bit more:

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 5

 

14914779_935498423260607_587514833_n

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy 6

And a short excerpt to tempt you:

Garrick was bent over a large drawing board, skimming over creamy paper with a soft-leaded pencil. His strokes were confident and he was utterly focused on what he was doing. Suddenly he looked up, his breath steaming in the unnaturally cold air. He cringed and swiped at his neck, rubbing away the sensation of clammy fingers exploring his skin.

“Leave me alone.” His voice was tight with a tension that was mirrored in the set of his jaw. After just a few seconds, the temperature reverted to its normal level and Garrick relaxed with a sigh.

He sat back and took a critical look at the drawing in front of him. A perfect likeness of Tristan stared back and Garrick licked his lips. The image captured the expression that appeared on Tristan’s face every time Garrick looked at him—a cross between fear and desire. A calculating smile curled Garrick’s lips as he pinned the picture to the wall. “You’re mine, Tristan Lindsay. You just don’t know it yet.”

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header

 

14915083_935502329926883_1921600342_n

Amazon US |  Amazon UK | Pride Publishing

 

14872436_935502219926894_887696490_n

 

Amazon US  | Amazon UK |Pride Publishing

 

cropped-Rainbow-Header copy

 

Lucinda lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

LM is winner of the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Award for best novel and the 2016 Golden Flogger Award for best BDSM novel in the LGBT category. She has received Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards and won the Action and Adventure category of Divine Magazine’s Book Awards in 2015.

oyx-0xgq_400x400

You can track her down online here:

Pride Publishing  | Website BlogFacebookTwitterPinterestAmazon Author Page

 

14914904_935498239927292_2075197556_n

%d bloggers like this: