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Series Tour and Author Interview – Any Summer Sunday and Who Plugged the Dyke? by Steve Schatz #giveaway

SERIES TOUR – NACHO MAMA’S PATIO CAFE NOVELS

Friends, fags, & fun in a little college town  

Any Summer Sunday

 Boys in the Band meets Le Cage in an Indiana drag bar

Who Plugged the Dyke?

 Elections are hard. This one is Murder

 

 

The two books stand alone and can be read in either order, although Any Summer Sunday was written first and contains more background information. It is a more character driven story. Who Plugged the Dyke is a mystery.

Overall Heat Rating: 2 flames. Tawdry, but not dirty. Sex is described as part of a story, but not in detail. No sex scenes. Not romance. Not erotica. Think of gay friends in a bar who might describe a conquest (but not the specifics).

 

INTERVIEW WITH STEVE SCHATZ

The film you can watch time and time again…

There are two that I watch on a regular basis – Were the World Mine, which is a gay retelling of Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Wristcutters: A Love Story. Both are pretty obscure, but are wonderful.

 

The poem that touches your soul…

Two by Maya Angelou – On the Pulse of Morning, which she wrote for and read during Clinton’s inauguration, which was a time of great hope … the end of (we thought) a dark, right wing chapter in US politics. Of course, we have since found that there was more darkness in the wings. But that day was a moment of light and hope.

The second poem is called Love Arrives. She wrote it for a really sappy TV show called Touched by an Angel. One wonderful phrase after another. “In the flush of love’s light, we dare be brave.”

Finally, a contemporary writer – Andrea Gibson is amazing. She uses music and the music of her words and visuals to weave gasping loveliness. Go to youtube and watch Your Life (“you’re pronouns haven’t even been invented yet”) and Living Proof.

At my best, I hope to approach that level of reach right in and grab your heart and make you cry and laugh at the same time.

 

The event that altered the course of your life…

We were living in Hartford, CT and drove up to Western Massachusetts, where a friend of my husband was visiting. She was a well know Yaqui dreaming woman (if you remember the Carlos Castaneda books, his teacher was a Yaqui shaman. A dreaming woman is one who has lucid dreams) who read cards and did horoscopes. I was skeptical, but willing to indulge my husband. The reading was interesting, but no big changes. We headed home.

On the way home, I was struck by a vision, a very clear vision – like I was there. I had to pull over and let the scene play out. It involved a village in high mountains and the people had appointed someone to be in charge of “talking” to the spirits. They had given up their personal duty to create and celebrate the sacred. . 

This person walked through the village, leading an assistant and they went to the top of high place – maybe a pyramid, maybe a mountain and were doing a service and something went wrong and the assistant was killed and the “priest” was frightened, so he declared it was the will of the god. Just because he made a mistake and was frightened.

And I knew that this was how divine sacrifice, an inexcusable act, came into this world.

I cried. It was so real.

And that image guided the creation of my first novel Adima Rising, published by a small publishing house in Texas. I started that trip as a college professor. I came home several hours later on the path to being an author.

 

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise…

People who feel entitled or, even worse, duty bound, to tell others how to live their life when their actions do not hurt others. I’m amazed that being gay is an issue in many places. A guy was recently beheaded in an “honor” killing by his family for being gay. What kind of twisted mind thinks there is greater honor in killing than in being gay? In the US, school systems are forbidden from mentioning gays as regular human beings. Dives me nuts.

 

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

I’d like to meet Mark Twain. I’d like to attend a Billie Holiday show and perhaps give her a hug. For a pie and a pint, I’d pick Douglas Adams. Anyone who can write with that combination of wit and imagination would be fun to chat with, although I suspect we would both be quiet.

 

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

Try not to hurt anyone, especially yourself. Look for what makes you happy, not what you think you ought to do. Each of us decides to come here for an adventure, to learn something from the experience. If it feels right, try it. You can nearly always change your mind.

 

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

We were tearing apart our kitchen. My husband is a designer – the difference between designer and decorator is that a design rips down walls. We had stripped the kitchen down to the studs – everything out and I was spending a lot of time working on it because living in a construction zone doesn’t really bother him, but it makes me all twitchy.

I’m also prone to demonstrate a skill for impressive clumsiness. I somehow banged my hand. Of course, I did what you have to do, even though it does no good. I held my hand up and shook it vigorously.

My wedding ring flew off and promptly disappeared. We pulled out the cabinets. We pulled up the floor. No ring. It was gone.

Thankfully, my husband did not take this as a sign. We are still together.

 

The philosophy that underpins your life…

We are here to experience, learn, and share. The best way to spend my time is intentional, creative, action. Be driven more by I want to than I ought to. And try not to be a dick.

 

The character you enjoyed writing the most

Aunt May, a tiny, old Southern lady who looks ever so proper, drinks ever so much, and was moved out of Honeysuckle Springs when her public reminisces of past lovers became an embarrassment for now respectable and married men of the community, is an exception. I absolutely love her when she sets down her drink, pats her lips with a lace hanky, and lets loose a truly tawdry tale. She is not based on anyone. She popped into the story one day. I don’t know where she came from unless the spirits of Jessica Tandy and Divine happened to be floating by that day.

I love her because I get to channel a sweet, old lady who is absolutely filthy and has grabbed life by the lips and yanked. She’s seen and done it all and has deep knowledge of what lurks in the minds of men, but very little judgement. I have friends who are already insisting that they be the one to play her if the books ever go to film.

 

The book you enjoyed planning/writing the most…

Any Summer Sunday continues to be my favorite. It took nine years because I was doing lots of other things and I never even was sure it would come together. It is a series of vignettes and character studies loosely draped over a plot. I love the characters and how the story resolves. Most of all, I love how the words and music work together to compose an effect. When I’m feeling doubtful, I read chapter 17 and know I have done something good.

 

And the promo

The Nacho Mama’s Patio Café series has two books, with a third on the way, featuring a group of middle-aged homos in a small, college town in Indiana. Many years ago when I was traveling the country doing software training, I would end up in small towns. I’d always go out to the gay bar, if I could find it. In these small towns, the bars were usually pretty well hidden – down an alley and plain fronts with little or no signage. Once inside, it would open up and be a much different place. I was coming from San Francisco and realized these people often had to hide their proclivities. The bar was their real home and the only place they could safely relax and be themselves. I wanted to capture that feeling of the bar being the social center, but turn the clock up, so the boys are now older and more settled and the world is a bit less hateful. The bar, Hoosier Daddy, is still the center of social life and the characters who inhabit the bar and the patio café come on a regular basis to bitch, lie, laugh, and enjoy the comfort of long-time friends.

Any Summer Sunday takes place over a single evening. TiaRa del Fuego, drag diva extraordinaire and dear friend has fallen for a thug and is going to run away to join him in Florida, a certain mistake. The friends must decide how far they will go to rescue a dear friend from her own desires.

The language dances with the music of the performances as the friends explore old loves, jobs, and the meaning of life with great dollops of funny and nasty.

Who Plugged the Dyke is a mystery with the same characters as Any Summer Sunday. It has the same mix of action and fun, actually a bit more action. There are 10 days before the first lesbian judge in Indiana will be elected, but someone is trying to kill her and the friends have to figure out who is spinning the web and how to stop him. I love the characters from Any Summer Sunday and wanted to try to put them into a new situation, to see if there was a potential for a series and if I had the writing chops to do it. It worked.

 

Thank you, Steve.

 

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: Any Summer Sunday at Nacho Mama’s Patio Cafe:

Drag, Songs, Friends, Laughs, Lies, Danger & Redemption

Author: Steve Schatz

Publisher: Any Summer Sunday Books

Cover Artist: James at GoOnWrite

Length:  75 000 words/ 234 Pages

Release Date: June 21, 2019

Genre:  LGBT Humorous Fiction

Trope/s: Reluctant hero, power of friendship, metonymy (Drag – the entire life around performance in a gay bar & Nacho Mama’s represents a safe place where friends gather, gossip, and support each other) 

Themes: Friends, Small town gay, Drag and Performance, Lookin’ for love

It is a standalone story

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Bookshop  |  Any Summer Sunday

 

How far should you go to save a friend from her own desires?

 

Blurb

TiaRa del Fuego is in love and that means trouble for her friends. Every Sunday evening we meet in Hoosier Daddy, our small college town’s only gay bar gather to watch TiaRa del Fuego’s Parade of Gowns drag show. Performance, love, betrayal, spies, and friendship fight to the fore every Summer Sunday.

However, this Sunday, dear TiaRa, thin enough to hate, yet broken enough to love, announces she has found love…yet again…and is leaving after that evening’s show to be with her new man. We know she is making a huge mistake…again. What can we do?

Any Summer Sunday is a celebration of friends, drag, and life. Come and join in the fun.

 

Excerpt from Any Summer Sunday

With few exceptions, the same group of reprobates gathered every week. We are no longer young, but all have spent our years wisely or wildly enough to hold one’s place when the conversation turns a bit too bitchy. We enjoyed our youth, are enjoying the years beyond youth without regret, and occasionally enjoy youths—when the opportunity arises, as it were.

All societies celebrate the young, but in gay circles, this celebration borders on idolatry. Twenty-somethings and now even teeny-somethings who celebrate their coming out are welcomed into a glorious disco summer camp with every conceivable need provided. For those of us who are years past the realization and/or announcement, being out offers far fewer invitations. We often find ourselves between worlds—not certain of a welcome in either gay or straight society.

In “normal” society, it is tiresome to yet again face the “ . . . and your wife?” questions in every new group and to worry if it is going to be an issue. If I have an urge to explore square dancing, must I find a gay square—hmmm . . . Mr. Lynde springs to mind. Sometimes it’s easier not to bother. Then there are those moments when it suddenly pisses you off that you are supposed to feel gratitude merely for being accepted or endured by the dominant pairing paradigm.

 In the gay community, the adulation of youth and horror of aging can make one feel diseased. Even previously enjoyable activities can be snatched away. Take window shopping. I enjoy looking at a pretty pair of pants when it walks by, even if I know it will never fit, I can’t afford it, and the style is all wrong for a man of my years and shape. I look because it is pretty, and I enjoy looking at pretty things. But, if every time I go looking, the trousers, upon noticing my gaze, gasp in horror, turn away with a look of sardonic pity, and begin to whisper with their fellow couture, I eventually will give up looking.

 So, when we find a group and an enjoyable activity where we can simply be, without the need to prove or explain ourselves, then it is something to be cherished. Not misty-eyed, bosom clutching cherished, but those people and enjoyments are simply too dear to give up without a care. Sunday afternoons were like that. That is why, when one Sunday, TiaRa del Fuego—dear, sweet, damaged TiaRa—announced that she had found love, yet again—this time on a dating site and was leaving town to be with her new man who was driving up that very day to help her move—well, we knew something had to be done and quickly.

 

 

BOOK 2

Book Title: Who Plugged the Dyke?

Author: Steve Schatz

Publisher: Any Summer Sunday Books

Cover Artist: James at GoOnWrite

Length: 218 pages 67,000 words

Release Date: July 2020

Genres: LBGT Mystery, LGBT Humor, LGBT Fiction

Trope: Reluctant hero

Themes: Friendship, small town gays, detection, politics

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Bookshop  |  Any Summer Sunday

 

 A gay mystery full to the tits with action and wit.

Blurb

Some Elections are hard … This one is Murder!

Get ready for Excitement, Laughs, Thrills and Fun!

In 10 days she’ll be the 1st in your face lesbian judge elected in homo-hating Indiana. But someone wants to kill her and her little dog too.

The friends from Nacho Mama’s Patio Cafe must put on their big boy panties, get out of Hoosier Daddy, the only gay bar in town, onto the streets and go hunting for the culprit.

Thrills, drag shows, danger, laughs and a kick line of drag queens in judicial robes as the anti-heroes dodge explosions, fire, guns, knives and terror, seek out the hidden mastermind and sashay to the rescue.

You loved Any Summer Sunday at Nacho Mama’s Patio Cafe. Now, the merry band from the small Indiana college town’s drag bar return. It’s an Indiana Election Mystery. Who Plugged the Dyke?

 

Excerpt from Who Plugged the Dyke?

I noticed that the big, bearded Tooth Fairy had moved nearly in front of me. There is something wonderfully wrong about a big ol’ hunka hunka in a pink tutu. I grinned at him. He didn’t grin back. His attention was fixed on Deb. However, he was not smiling. He was just staring. Something in the back of my mind tickled. I started watching him more carefully. He was playing with his magic wand. It was about three feet long and trailed stars and strands of glitter. But he was pulling off the covering and it was looking less and less like a wand and more and more like a weapon. Recalling what I had been told, I looked for Roger or Petunia or one of Nacho’s Twinks. I couldn’t see Roger. Petunia was at the back of the stage, guarding the way in. I saw a couple of cute Twinks, but didn’t know if they were Nacho’s boys or not. I started to raise my hand and kind of gesture toward the Tooth Fairy. I was trying to be cool and not alert him that I had noticed anything untoward. He continued to pull away the spangles. He was looking down at the wand and then up at Deb, and I could see a look of menace grow across his features.

I waved my hands over my head and then pointed down at him. Some in the crowd saw what I was doing and waved, too. They thought it was a celebratory gesture. I began to wave my hands and point more emphatically. I nearly lost my balance, but no one seemed to get the message. No one was heading in that direction. I looked at  he man, who was no longer looking fairy-like at all. He had finished pulling all the detritus off his wand and while I was not a  weapons guy, even I could recognize that what was once a wand  was now, very obviously, a weapon. A blow gun.

He reached into his bag and pulled out, not a handful of glitter, but a rather large  dart with a very large and very sharp point. By this time, subtle was no longer on the table. I waved my hands wildly above my  head, then pointed at the guy. I did not care if he saw. I had to  stop him, and no one seemed to be coming to do anything about it. Deb was talking. The girls were dancing. And the Tooth Fairy  dropped the dart into his blow gun.

 

About the Author

Steve Schatz writes with a crazy mashup of laughs and excitement and humor. Readers can’t stop reading, but don’t want the story to end. Each book is an adventure where endearing anti-heroes struggle against this crazy world and triumph using the twin forces of intentional, creative action and friends helping friends.  Schatz draws on a lifetime of varied and fascinating experiences, from instructional designer and college prof to party clown and nightclub owner.

His series of adult fiction highlights a group of middle-aged gay friends who gather every week in a small, Indiana college town. Mixing drinks, snappy repartee, and the humor and joy of long-time friends, in one book they rescue the fair drag queen from an obvious miscreant. In another, they ride to the protection of a lesbian candidate for judge who is being targeted by mysterious evil-doers. The excitement reveals itself against a backdrop of drag performance and efforts by anti-heroes. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll beg for more. Steve Schatz offers a new voice and a smile for the LGBT community and their friends.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |   Twitter: @AnySummerSunday

Facebook  |   Newsletter sign-up

 

 Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of three ebook copies of Any Summer Sunday,

one of three ebook copies of Who Plugged the Dyke?,

or an audiobook of either book.

Total of 8 giveaways

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Interview ~ Lynn Michaels

A warm welcome to Lynn Michaels.

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

The film you can watch time and time again…

I have two of these…Princess Bride and Fifth Element. I love the quirkiness and how fun they are and both have the best theme – love wins!

The poem that touches your soul…

I have several but The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost has always sat with me, in my heart. To me it was a license to do my own thing in my own way. I’ve never been one to take the same path as everyone else. Sometimes I don’t even take a path, I swing from the trees (like Tarzan) or swim the ocean, or kayak through the mangroves.

The song that means the most to you…

I can’t say this is one song, but many songs. Music is the language of the soul, and so many songs move me. I like songs from the past because they always take me back to a time and place and sometimes people. It’s like memories are locked in every note. I also love what I call mood music. That’s music I play when I write to create an atmosphere of inspiration particular to what I’m writing. I usually have newer music on my writing play lists, but not always.

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

The first story I ever wrote was in the fourth grade. It was about a unicorn and had something to do with escaping a monster by riding on a rainbow…I’ve never been normal.

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

I lost a huge box of photographs, most of them were of my daughter when she was a baby. Some of them were of my father who passed away when I was a kid. These are things that cannot be replaced. Things are just things, but memories are special, and photos are tokens of the past that help us remember our loved ones. I’d love to have that box returned to me.

The philosophy that underpins your life…

We all have our own path to follow, our own lessons to learn, and our own goals to accomplish. I try to help others, because finding success through helping others succeed is the best kind of success. I celebrate everything – all the small moments and every reason I can enjoy life. Recharging my batteries usually happens in nature, on the water. And…always find ways to be happy. Life is too short to miss out on happiness.

Writing inspiration…

That’s probably what I get asked about more than anything, and since I love to hear other writers comment on inspiration as well, I figured I’d say something… The easy thing to say is that I find inspiration from everywhere from music to news articles to nature. I think the more precise moment of inspiration is when something inside me connects to something external and then my brain takes off with it, changing it, molding it, and creating something new. Those moments are priceless.

And the promo…

My newest release ~Holeshot 2

 

Holeshot 2 by Lynn Michaels

Cover and art by Jay Aheer

 

 

When the race is everything, can love be the best reward?

In the world of Supercross, taking the holeshot means one racer leaps ahead of the crowd and into first, leaving the rest of the pack behind. Supercross racer, Tate Jordan, wants to take his holeshot on and off the track, but no one else seems to cooperate. His love life is in turmoil and his sponsors don’t expect him to win. Will Tate find someone new to love and a team that believes in him?

Pilot Mahan is a bodyguard and a street fighter looking to build a future, but his plans get derailed when a Supercross racer catches his eye. Can he make a go at a life with Tate Jordan, on the road?

Bryce Nickel is new to Supercross and adulthood. He’s young and fun, but super serious about what he wants. And what he wants is to win races and Tate Jordan. Will he be able to take his holeshot or will the big Apex bodyguard get in the way? Or perhaps, the three can make a compromise?

A super sexy MMM romance set in the Supercross industry – 18+ please

Amazon  |  B&N  |  Smashwords

 

Lynn Michaels on Amazon  |  Lynn Michales on Facebook  |  Lynn Michaels on Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Interview ~ Leta Blake

A warm welcome to my guest author, Leta Blake.

 

Interview with Leta Blake

 

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…

When I was in high school, I accidentally uncovered information about a friend that was very secret and quite damaging. Unsure what to do, I told my boyfriend about it in shocked confidence, but, of course, in a lax moment he told other people. This was scandalous enough information that it quickly got passed around the school. I felt horrible but no apology could erase it. The friend went to a boarding school the next year to escape the gossip.

I can’t imagine how that has shaped her entire life since, and the information itself was already rough enough. I’d do anything to go back in time and make a better choice. I should have told an adult, but even now I’m not sure who I could have turned to. Our school was giant and the teachers/guidance counselor were strangers to me.

The reason I didn’t go to my mother to begin with was a year or two before I’d told her about a friend at school who had handprint bruises around her neck from where her father had choked her. She was covering them with a turtleneck and showed me while changing in gym class. My mother did nothing (that I know of) about it. So I saw no reason to believe she’d help this girl either. And, also, at the time, I didn’t realize the girl needed help. I see now from an adult’s perspective that she did, but at the time I thought of the situation as consensual.

Regardless, I guess what I most wish is that I could go back and never see what I saw, or know what I knew, and therefore I’d never have said a word to anyone. But that’s selfish isn’t it? I should wish that I could back in time and make the right choice of who to tell. A choice that would have helped her.

Anyway, I’ve written this woman an apology letter as an adult, but even that doesn’t seem sufficient and I don’t know if she got it since it wasn’t acknowledged (which is fine! It wasn’t about me!).

This is one of the few things I truly wish I could turn back time about. It’s haunted and plagued me and there are times I wonder if I’ve been punished enough for it, if I’ve suffered enough in a karmic way for what I did.

AND ON THAT DEPRESSING NOTE, we’ll move on to the next question!

 

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Sugar. It always makes me feel so bad but it tastes so good!

 

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann. It currently has the worst and most misleading cover of all time. The old cover was a more accurate depiction of what to expect. It’s a devastating read and just thinking about it still twists my stomach into knots. And yet I wouldn’t unread it if given the choice. It was vital to me in a deep way.

 

The film you can watch time and time again…

I used to say it was So I Married An Axe Murderer, but I rewatched it the other day for the first time in ages and was so sad to see it didn’t hold up. It was a joy to me in the 1990s and early 2000s. Oh well! Time! It undoes everything’s beauty eventually.

 

The event that altered the course of your life…

Smallville. It started airing in the midst of my deepest, darkest depression and I fell into the fandom. I started writing fanfiction. I started to explore my creativity and I was encouraged in it by fellow fans. I’d never be a writer today without Smallville, as crazy as that sounds. Or maybe I would be writer? Perhaps I’d have come to it from another path? But I’m grateful for the path I took all the same.

 

The philosophy that underpins your life…

If nothing else, it will be interesting.

 

 

 

A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past. 

Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-thirties, he’s long since given up hope that he’ll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He’s fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends.

When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can’t be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion.

But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha–as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn’t sure it’s worth it. But Jason isn’t giving up his destined mate without a fight.

This is a stand alone gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong HFN ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath.

 

Amazon  | Amazon UK

 

 

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

If you’d like to be among the first to know about new releases, you can sign up for Leta’s newsletter here.

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Guest Interview and Review ~ Amy Aislin

A warm welcome to my guest author,

Amy Aislin.

 

Interview with Amy

 

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Sweets. They’re so delicious I can’t resist, even though I know I probably should.

 

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann. It was the first time I ever read a book with a gay romance subplot. It’s what got me reading m/m romance until, one day, I finally allowed myself to start writing it.

 

The film you can watch time and time again…

Twister. Don’t ask me why; it’s not even my favourite movie (The Sounds of Music takes that award), but for some reason I love Twister and I can watch it over and over again.

 

The person who influenced you the most…

My mom. She is truly the strongest person I know.

 

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…

I don’t know if it’s unlikely, but I love astronomy. If I could do that kind of math and physics, I would’ve majored in it in university, but alas, it was not to be.

 

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

Fourth grade recess, when we had to stay inside because it was raining. I started writing an adventure tale about my classmates: we went on a treasure hunt! I can’t remember if we ever found the treasure…I can’t even remember if I finished writing that story. I think that was the first time I ever put a story to paper, and I’ve been writing ever since.

 

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

Oh wow, hmmm. There are so many options. I’m torn between two: renting a lovely cottage in the mountains or on the beach and doing nothing but reading, or renting a lovely cottage in the mountains or on the beach and invite my family along for a get-together (BBQ, games, s’mores, you name it!).

 

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

When I was a kid, maybe nine or ten, my parents gave me a beautiful silver ring with a unicorn on it. A few years ago, when I started wearing rings again, I wore it to work. I took it off in the bathroom because the unicorn horn kept getting caught in my clothes when I was pulling up my pants (sorry for the visual!)…and I forgot it in the bathroom. It wasn’t there the next day; nobody brought it to lost and found. It was just gone. I’m still upset about it. I hate losing things with sentimental value.

 

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

Something that would get me a billion dollars.

Title: The Play of His Life

Author: Amy Aislin

Cover Art: Kris Jacen

Publisher: MLR Press

Length: Novella/143 pages

Release Date: 28th April, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Goodreads

Former best friends turned lovers Christian and Riley haven’t seen or spoken to each other in six years…is there a better time than the holiday season to reconnect with your favorite person?

The last person Christian wants to run into on a visit home to spend time with his mom over the holidays is his former best friend-turned-lover-turned-ex. But there Riley is, in all his tall, chiseled, blondness. The same guy who walked out on him six years ago, breaking his heart in the process. Who knew he’s still in love with the jerk? (Oh yeah, he did. What? Who says denial isn’t healthy?)

Two years ago, Riley was injured out of the NHL, but he’s got his own bakery now and a quiet life selling quiches and cupcakes to his customers. Then Christian unexpectedly walks back into his life, forcing Riley to question his choices. Especially that one choice he made six years ago that walked him out of Christian’s life. Now if only he had the courage to tell a boy how he really feels about him…

 

 

Chapter 3

In the middle of their neighborhood, about halfway between their houses, was a small pond that froze over every winter. Riley was already there when Christian arrived at three o’clock on Christmas Eve, lugging his very, very old hockey gear and a tiny dog.

“Trevor!” The dog took off at Riley’s greeting, making a beeline for him. Already wearing his gear, Riley couldn’t crouch to greet the little shih tzu, so he bent at the waist and gave the dog a pat on the head.

Christian stopped at the edge of the pond and admired the way Riley’s jeans molded to his deliciously tight ass. Riley may not play in the pros anymore, but he still had an incredible goalie butt.

“I see you two know each other,” Christian said, mildly offended at the dog’s abandonment. Trevor clearly preferred Riley over Christian.

“Your mom brings him into the shop all the time.”

Christian grimaced. “You still see my mom?” Riley had mentioned something of the sort the other day, too.

“All the time. I see her more than I see you.”

Riley stiffened for a second as he seemed to realize what he’d said. Christian stood looking at him, unimpressed. Because really, who was it that ran out after they’d hooked up the last time, after his dad’s funeral?

Riley gave him a tight smile that said something like, Yeah, well, the phone works both ways, dude.

Impasse.

They’d have to talk about it sometime, but today wasn’t that day.

“You gonna stand there all day,” Riley joked, “or are we gonna play?”

The twinkle in his eyes told Christian that yes, Riley was aware of the double entendre he’d just uttered.

Oh, they were going to play, all right.

They didn’t bother with skates; the frozen pond was too bumpy for it to be safe. But Riley had brought his old hockey net, so at least they had a real goal.

Christian put on his gear — it was a bit of a tight fit, but it’d do — grabbed his hockey stick and a puck and moved to center ice.

“Trevor,” Christian said, and pointed with his stick. Trevor moved off the ice to nose at some dead plants poking through the snow against a fence.

“Think you’ll finally get one past me?” Riley asked, pulling on his mask. Christian would not call that smirk sexy.

“Finally? You must be forgetting all the previous times I scored on you.”

Now there he went with the double entendres.

“Ha! If by ‘all’ you mean ‘never.’ Bring it, Dufresne. Bet you can’t get one past me.”

“Bet? Okay.” Christian nodded once decisively. “If I get one past you I get to try a shot of Shimmer.”

Riley shrugged, all casual-like. “Fine.”

“And if I don’t get one past you?”

Christian could see Riley contemplating his answer, and even through the cage of Riley’s goalie mask Christian could tell Riley’s ocean eyes were on him, assessing. They swept Christian up and down. Christian could almost feel the heat in his gaze like a physical touch. He obviously had been wrong a few days ago…Riley was just as affected by him as he was by Riley. The heat shimmering between them, even from ten feet apart…. Like he could reach out and grab it. He was sure Riley was going to bet him a blowjob or something and his cock started to stiffen in his jeans.

“I want to know the reason you haven’t moved back here,” Riley said.

Instant boner-killer. No way was he telling Riley shit. Meant he’d have to work his ass off to get the puck past him. Riley hadn’t played pro in two years. He was probably out of practice, right?

Wrong. The fucker stopped all twenty-six shots — yes, Christian counted — with seeming ease.

 

 

This is a lovely, sweet story from a newly published author. You can check out some of Amy’s other writing on her website as there’s a couple of free reads there.

What I like most about this story is that it is a second chance romance. Riley and Christian had already gone through the friends to lovers transition, but had split six years previously because they couldn’t cope with a long distance relationship when they’d started different colleges. And that’s where this story starts. They’ve already got loads of history behind them and were clearly still in love with each other. Yes, there’s a lack of trust on Christian’s part because Riley had left him without a word to continue his hockey career when they’d hooked up again one night and he feared Riley would do the same to him again. And Riley was thinking Christian didn’t care for him because he had no intention of moving back to Ontario. God, if only these boys talked and said exactly how they felt and what they wanted life would have been so much easier for them. But then, us readers wouldn’t have gotten all the lovely angst and anticipation about what was going to happen when Christian returned home after the Christmas holidays. It was great they still got along so well and had fun together despite all their doubts and uncertainties. It was how it used to be between them. The scrapbook and necklaces were lovely touches to their story.

My one main grumble is what appears to be a couple of inconsistencies in the story that should have been picked up by the editing team. The main one being that Christian didn’t know he was entering Riley’s new bakery when he was sent by his mother to buy a loaf of bread. He wasn’t expecting to see Riley, nor did the possibility even cross his mind. Yet in chapter four we see that Christian had saved a newspaper cutting about the opening of the bakery and so was well aware of Riley’s new career and the location of the building. I hardly think this could have slipped his mind, nor did he comment on the fact at the time.

If you overlook these few issues, this enjoyable story is well written, with a distinct voice for each character. There are some touching moments and some great scenes between these guys.  Although originally published in April, I can see this becoming a popular Christmas/holiday read for many, and I look forward to more stories from Amy in the future.

 

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Amy Aislin started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in Oakville, Ontario, she’s a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including traveling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.

Why I write m/m romance

I started writing traditional m/f (male/female) romance many years ago, but it never went anywhere. And by “never went anywhere” I mean I never wrote more than a few thousand words in any given story because I was bored out of my skull by own stories. Not exactly a good sign, amirite?

If you’ve read Suzanne Brockmann’s TroubleShooters series, you know all about Jules and Robin. I’ve been a fan of that series since the beginning. When Jules was introduced, I fell in love. And then there was Robin. And then there was Jules and Robin. And I thought this was the greatest freakin’ thing ever and I wanted more m/m (male/male) romance and I wanted it now. But I didn’t know where to find it. So I started Googling and lo and behold! Gay romance everywhere! And I do mean everywhere; it’s a huge niche market I hadn’t even been aware of, and I gobbled it up as if it was going to disappear when I wasn’t looking.

Less than two years ago I tried my hand at writing m/m romance and finally felt like I’d fallen into the genre I was supposed to write in. It’s what I’ve been writing ever since and will continue to write.

Within the m/m romance community, I’ve found a network of other m/m authors who not only support each other, but who also support LGBTQ rights and activism. Writing in this genre makes me feel at home, even more so than when I wrote traditional m/f romance.

I write because I love it. Because there are people in my head who need a voice. I write the stories I want to write the way I want to write them, in a way that speaks of the characters and their struggles, yet also speaks to me, too. I hope my stories speak to you as well.

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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.

 

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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.

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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

 

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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.

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

Blog Tour ~ Wish You Were Here

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Title: Wish You Were Here

Author: Asta Idonea

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: 8 February 2017

Length: Novella

Genre: Contemporary/Paranormal

Heat Rating: 1

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The death of Oakley’s sister has left his family broken and buried beneath their grief. In an attempt to get out from underneath their pain, they rent an isolated cottage in the Cotswolds. For Oakley, it’s an exercise in futility. He doesn’t see much hope for things to get back to the way they used to be, and he’s bored and restless as he waits out the time until he can return to the city and university. All of that changes when he meets local boy Bobby, and the connection between them is instant. Within a few days, Oakley is ready to walk away from everything to stay with Bobby. However, Bobby has problems of his own, and they might be more than the budding romance can survive. But they might also give Oakley a new perspective on his own situation.

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Summer passed England by that year, as if it shared his family’s grief and refused to intrude upon such solemn days with unwanted sunshine. A cool, wet July turned into a blustery August, and now a dismal September loomed. From the window of their rented cottage, there was nothing but gray skies as far as the eye could see. The fields spread out in a patchwork of shortbread and moss. Plentiful rain meant the grass stood tall, but the lack of light filtering through thick, heavy clouds dulled its various shades of green. And this bleak scene was supposed to make everything better?

Oakley sighed and turned to the sink. He poured himself a glass of water from a spluttering, corroded tap and took a sip. Despite the dubious appearance of the fittings, the water was clean, tasteless, and refreshing. He supposed he should at least be thankful for that. It was likely to be the only pleasant thing this vacation would provide.

 

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Prize: 1 x e-copy of my MM Sci-Fi novella Fire Up My Heart

 

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Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

 

Author Pic 2015

More about Asta Idonea

The prized possession you value above all others…

I have a few. My piano (because I waited so many years to finally get one), my collection of Robespierre books, my autograph collection and stage door photos.

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Chocolate. Though I’m determined to be good in 2017!

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

Another tough one. I’d say either Les Misérables or Eugene Onegin as they are both books I come back to time and time again.

The priority activity if you were invisible for a day…

Sneaking into cinema screenings or theatrical productions. Perhaps I’d play a few pranks on people along the way too.

The film you can watch time and time again…

The LOTR trilogy, Pan’s Labyrinth, and any film from MCU. On a deeper note, probably Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindOnly Lovers Left Alive, and Lost in Translation.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…

I don’t know how ‘unlikely’ these are, but I adore learning foreign languages. In 2017 I’ve also taken up bullet journalling. I’m quite the history buff and have a particular interest in periods of revolution in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Plus I’m a keen snail-mail pen pal.

The event that altered the course of your life…

Backpacking in the US and Australia in 2007. I met a guy along the way and never went home!

The song that means the most to you…

On My Own from Les Misérables and Demons by Imagine Dragons.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…

I’d still love to sing a lead role in a musical.

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

I’d probably waste the whole time procrastinating because I couldn’t decide which country I wanted to head to first! It would be a choice between Iceland, France, and the Czech Republic.

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise…

Bad grammar. And people who leave shops without checking if the path is clear and then dawdle in front of you.

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

Robespierre. Or Sissi.

 

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Blog: http://www.nickijmarkus.com

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Blog Tour and Interview with R. Phoenix

Temper: A Ripples in the Status Quo Story

 

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Author Name: R. Phoenix

Publisher: Self-Published (as Phoenix Publications)

Genre: Paranormal, Dark Erotica

Length: 141 pages

Release Date: July 1, 2016

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Only one thing can keep Ashton safe from the supernatural predators who made the world into their depraved, twisted playground after the Takeover—but it’s the one thing that would steal the last remnants of his freedom. At every turn, society confronts Reese and Ashton with the way humans are treated as mere playthings to be used and discarded. When they realize their own desires and pride have no place in the status quo, Ashton and his werewolf lover understand they’ll have to engage in the deadly games played by those in charge if they want to make a difference.
But Reese isn’t a diplomat, and Ash is only human. Together, they must decide if they’re willing to work with the devil they know in what might change everything or rely on their consciences in a world that has no place for kindness or honor… and if they’re ready to sacrifice everything along the way.

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“You should smile more, ‘lias,” Desideria remarked. “You’re happy, aren’t you?” And with those mocking words, she was gone as though she’d never been there at all, leaving only the lingering traces of death to mark her passing.

Julian shrugged as he rose. “She’s in a mood,” he said mildly.

“Isn’t she always?”

Julian laughed, and Elias wanted badly to kiss the lips that parted in mirth. But as ever, he knew he would taste the vampire’s blood instead of Julian—and he knew better than to risk what they had. “If you only knew, brother. If you only knew.”

Elias shook his head. “You’re welcome to her.”

Julian’s laughter rang in his ears as his stepbrother departed, and Elias sank down into his chair. Even had they shared blood, if his brother had kept to the old ways—if they had lived as siblings of the royal families of old, of the witching families of old—they could have ruled the world together. As it was, between the full weight of the Ivers name and the powers the vampiress could wield, they held influence that staggered those who attempted to defy them.

But no. He had lost Julian, just as he had lost—

“Mr. Ivers?” Spencer asked tentatively from the doorway, where Julian had left it open. “I have a Mr. Dorsey here to see you.”

Elias took in a deep breath, forcing himself to calm. “Show him in.”

“He’s brought a human pet, Mr. Ivers,” Spencer reported. “Do you want him in here or in the kennels?”

Elias considered a moment. “Is he marked?” Spencer nodded, and Elias smiled. “The kennels would be perfect. Take Jace there as well.” He glanced between them, his smile turning sharp as he looked between the former lovers. “Separate kennels. My puppy here doesn’t have the best manners.”

 

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   AMAZON.COMAMAZON UK

 

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Rafflecopter for Blog Tour ($25 Amazon Gift Card + Copy of Collision)

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INTERVIEW WITH R. PHOENIX

What is your favorite book and why?

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. The man is a fucking genius. World-building, characterization, plot… It’s all just gorgeous. I can’t gush enough about it.

What is the #1 most played song on your music list?

Even though Lacuna Coil and Icon for Hire are my favorite bands, somehow this is Radioactive with Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix.

What is your favorite or most inspiring quote?

Oh, man. I love quotes. Quotes are my thing. I’ll be writing about one in another blog, actually, and another later in this interview. So I’m going to have to choose these two:

“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”

― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings

“He saw it in her eyes. The anguish, the frustration. The terrible nothing that clawed inside and sought to smother her. She knew. It was there, inside. She had been broken.

Then she smiled. Oh, storms. She smiled anyway.

It was the single most beautiful thing he’d seen in his entire life.”
― Brandon SandersonWords of Radiance

What chore do you absolutely hate to do?

Cleaning out the duck pools. Oh god, I hate it. It’s hot and annoying and it takes forever because I’m a weakling.

Do you have a favorite time of day/day of week/month of year and if so, why?

Any time I can get quiet, whether it’s late at night or early in the morning. I’ll flip-flop between them depending on when the family’s most likely to leave me alone.

What sound do you love to hear or make?

Cats purring. Just sets me at ease unless there are also little tiny claws digging into my flesh while said cat purrs.

What is your favorite movie?

Dogma. I don’t watch many movies or much television, though.

How do you relax?

I’m sort of a workaholic, so I don’t do much of this. When I’m awake, I’m doing something. But I still do some role playing via Google Docs and so on. I love telling stories with other people and being a part of a world we create together. I also like chatting with people online. Not so much in the real world.

What is your favorite drink?

Coffee brewed straight into hot chocolate topped off with Bailey’s Chocolate Cherry.

What would people be most surprised to know about you?

People are always surprised to find that I have a mini farm filled with the cute and cuddly. I have Muscovy ducks and Silver Fox rabbits and cats and just… things! Oh, and that we eat them.

Can you give the readers a brief summary of your latest book? What led you to write this book?

In the wake of tragedy, two lovers must decide what they’re willing to do and how far they’re willing to go to see the world around them changed—or if they’re able to do anything at all. There are a few darker moments than what’s come before in the series with what I think is a surprising twist thrown in for good measure.

Temper continues my Ripples in the Status Quo series. The first three can be read as standalones, but in books four (Owned) and five (Temper), things really start to come together.

What genre does it fall in?

Temper is Dark Erotica. At its core, it is a love story, but there are no fluffy bunnies or clear skies for these characters. Their path is a difficult one. There’s sex, there’s violence, and there’s a bit of everything in between, I think. As I’ve said, I love quotes, and here’s another one. Tiffany Reisz wrote in The Siren that Erotica is a subgenre of Horror–because “Romance is sex plus love. Erotica is sex plus fear.”

Do you want to share any funny moments or experiences while writing this book, did your characters play well with you?  Did you play well together?

My characters are assholes.

Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they?

Reese and Ashton return from Ravel, the second book in my series, and the story centers primarily around them. Reese is a werewolf who, up until recently, was a bit of a recluse after his lover died. When Ashton, a human, broke into his house to try to steal from him, he sort of started to wake up and see what the world is really like.

There are really mixed opinions on both of them. I’ve had a friend call Reese my Christian Grey, and I’ve had others say he’s sweet and romantic. The fact of the matter is that he’s an entitled rich werewolf in a world where that means he’s pretty much a god, and he doesn’t quite understand what it means to be less than that. Ashton, on the other hand, is a snarky little asshole, and he has a special place in my heart. He wants his freedom so badly, and he knows that it’s not going to happen.

Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?

These characters will be returning in Fracture, which is the sixth book in the Ripples in the Status Quo series!

Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

Alexander Skarsgård. He would be perfect for Reese.

Tell us about some of the other books you have written.

So the Ripples in the Status Quo Books were meant to be a set of standalones that might occasionally cross, but they were never really meant to be a series. Somewhere between Bought and Recoil, though, that changed. Temper is the fifth book in this series. I’m really not that great at brevity, but let’s see if I can summarize:

Series: Supernaturals take over the world. Yay for supes, bad for subjugated humans.

Bought: Werewolf takes the fall for his lover. Bought by an evil witch who wants to break him.

Ravel: Thief gets caught breaking into werewolf’s house (oops) trying to find things to steal to save his BFF.

Recoil: Vampire whore tries to break a human slave from the Rebellion.

Owned: Everything has a consequence. Everything. Continuation of Recoil. Brings back Bought characters.

What scene in your writing has made you laugh the hardest or cry the most?

The final scene in Recoil made me cry my eyes out (spoilers!). An unpublished short with Reese and Ashton made me laugh the hardest.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? Have you held any interesting jobs while you worked on your books?

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I first learned people did this for a living. I had this teacher in 5th grade who would either be proud or appalled at what I’m doing now, and she encouraged me to do more of it. I learned how to write out my demons, and I’ve been doing it since.

Unfortunately, I let people tell me that I’d never succeed, and I let myself languish at jobs I hated. I worked at a bank for almost 10 years! Not really that interesting, but hey. I’m also in school for Cybersecurity, which is what I’m doing while I do…everything else.

What are your ambitions for your writing career and what’s your favorite part of writing?

My ambitions are pretty modest: I just want to keep writing because I love it. My favorite part is getting to explore my own world and get lost in it; I get to play deity for a little while and control everything that’s going on. And then beyond that, I’ve met some amazing people who I never would have met otherwise.

Do you write full or part-time?  If part time would you like to share your J.O.B. with your readers?

I work 24/7. I’m a full time student doing 8 week condensed courses, I’m a housewife and mother, I write, I copy edit for another author, I take care of the mini-farm, I cook, I sometimes clean, I take care of the garden… When it’s close to deadline, fulltime. The rest of the time, I steal moments.

What is the hardest part about writing for you?

Finding time? That and getting started. I write by getting an idea into my head—whether it’s from a word, a phrase, a song, a character—and then I just write. Once I get started, I’m fine, but the whole “getting started” part is where things get a little murky.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I write out of order. I start by getting a vague idea of what I want to do with a book, and then I start writing scenes. About halfway through, I realize I have no direction, panic, write an outline, write around the outline, then go back and put the pieces back together. Editing is fuuuuuuun.

Writing in the field that you do, how would you explain to someone the difference between erotic fiction, erotic(a) and maybe even porn?

In my opinion, erotic fiction is fiction where the sex scenes could come out and the story would be mostly unchanged. They add to the story, but they don’t diminish it if they’re gone. In erotica, the sex is integral to the plot. In porn… Come on, there’s no plot in porn except people getting laid. (Haha, ‘come on.’)

Does your own sexuality come into play when writing your books (i.e. do any of your real life scenarios make it to the page)?

Alas. Since I’m not a gay man, I don’t get to experience these things.

How do you go about writing a good sex scene?

I’m totally good at writing one-handed. Oh. You want a real answer? The characters decide how they want to do it, and I write it.

If you are self-published why have you chosen to take this route over going with a publishing house?

This should come as no shock to anyone who knows me, but I’m a teensy bit of a control freak. I like getting to write what I want when I want; I like setting my own deadlines, picking my own cover artist and growing with her, doing my own editing or getting my own little team to help me out… And I like being able to experiment with pricing and strategies and so on.

…There’s also the fact that most publishing houses won’t take what I write.

In your opinion do you feel a book blurb or the cover art is more important in generating interest in a book and why?

The cover art is the first thing someone sees, but the blurb is what makes them decide whether or not to buy the book. So I have to say the cover art first, because it needs to catch a potential reader’s attention. I know mine tend towards the “simpler” side, but that’s exactly why I love them. 🙂

Who would you say is your biggest supporter?

I can’t name just one person, which is amazing to be able to say. But I’m fortunate enough to have had three people who got me through writing Temper: Brandyjo, Patricia Kristine, and Sharon. I was terrified of writing this book, because I went to places that I’ve never really been before. These three dealt with, uh, quite a bit. You should probably pity them, really.

How do you feel about social media and its impact on the world of literature?

I love connecting with people who are reading my books; I love talking to people online, because I’m very introverted and quiet “in real life.” At the same time, though, it’s draining. There’s also the dependence on Facebook, which frightens me for so many reasons.

What is the one thing you wish individuals would consider when writing a review?

They really don’t have to be anything special or long and drawn out! The fact that you took the time out of your day to write a review still means the world to me and most of the authors I know.

Are there any causes within the LGBTQ community that are a hot button for you or that you are passionate about?

I want to write a story with a bisexual character, which might include M/F scenes. I’m wary of doing it, because I’ve heard readers say they refuse to read books with M/F pairings. It makes me sad, because I would love to see more bi characters in stories. I don’t talk about it much, because I’m actually extremely private about my personal life, but it hits pretty close to home.

Are there certain authors who inspire your writing?

Brandon Sanderson, above all, inspires me—to write faster, to write better, to build better worlds and characters. He writes epic fantasy with a deft hand, and his stories and plots are spectacular. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files taught me a lot about writing urban fantasy—which I don’t really write, but it’s still something I keep in mind when world-building. His villains are also multi-dimensional and fascinating, and in general, his characters evolve beautifully. Tiffany Reisz taught me it’s okay to write erotica and that there can still be a story; she’s also the first author I read who wrote male/male, I think! And Nicholas Bella’s books teach me that it’s okay to push limits, which is one of the hardest things to do.

What sort of book do you enjoy reading in your free time? What was the last book you read? What did you enjoy about it?

Free time? What is this free time you speak of? I love anything with strong, flawed characters. The last book I read was Paper Kisses by R.M. Grace. I loved her prose. She writes like poetry, and it was just a gorgeous piece of writing. (I’m still pissed, lady.)

In this ever changing market, do you prefer e-books or paper books and why?

I really prefer paper books (as evidenced by the five billion I have), but at the same time, I like being able to carry said five billion with me.

What other projects are you currently working on that you would like to divulge to us?

I have a few small things I’m working on—a Reese and Ash short story that’s actually humorous, a story with two new characters from the world (Khaz’s “uncle,” so to speak, and his pet human), and I have this idea for a contemporary book that I might one day work on. Most of my attention is focused on the main RISQ books, though.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us – an exclusive perhaps?

Here’s the start of my contemporary book:

He was the most beautiful man I had ever seen–and I nearly destroyed him. He entrusted me with a heart that had broken so many times that hairline cracks marred its every surface. Instead of locking it away and tending lovingly to it, I held it too tight and squeezed until there was very nearly nothing left.

Until he was gone.

Now, I can make amends.

This time, he’ll stay mine.

 

Many thanks for sharing all this with us and congratulations on your new release.

 

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R. Phoenix has an unhealthy fascination with contrasts: light and dark, heroes and villains, order and chaos. She believes that love can corrupt and power can redeem. Her muse is a sadomasochistic slave driver who thinks it’s terribly amusing to give her the best ideas when she just got comfortable and warm in bed, and she passes on that torture to her readers.

If she had it her way, she would describe the books in her “Ripples in the Status Quo” world as: “Supernatural creatures take over the world and turn humans into pets and food. There’s some sex between guys. And… um… effed up things happen.” It’s probably a good thing she has people around her to remind her that she actually wants people to read her books. (They should really be more diligent, especially when they know she’s writing her author bio.)

She’s an author, stay-at-home mother, housewife, second time college student, and duck herder extraordinaire. She’s learning how to cook without burning the house down, her garden is somehow neither drowning nor drying up, and one day she might remember what that mythical thing called “free time” is. She’s starting to wonder who thought it was a good idea to write bios in third person.

She also tries entirely too hard to be funny, and she mercilessly inflicts her terrible sense of humor upon anyone who speaks to her. Really, it’s not you. It’s her. All the same, she’d love it if you’d say hello, because it makes her day to hear that someone read something she wrote. If they enjoyed it, there’s usually an awkward happy dance and embarrassing sounds of joy to accompany it (no, not that kind of sound, you perv). If all of that hasn’t scared you away, please visit her website at

Website/BlogAmazonGoodreads |

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Confidential Encounters Anthology ~ Interview with Louisa Mae

A warm welcome to Louisa Mae and congratulations on the release of your first story in the Confidential Encounters Anthology.

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Interview with Louisa Mae  

Getting to know you…

What is your favorite movie? Hands down, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Seen it countless times, I am word perfect, and that includes ALL aspects of audience partici….pation.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I either wanted to be a nurse, or a librarian. Not that much different I know. As a child, I loved going to my local library with my dad, and it a such a magical world. Now the thought of being  nurse turns my stomach I get queasy at the sight of blood, my own is fine but when I see things on tv about hospitals, I can’t watch.

What were you like in school?

Very quiet. I know a total shocker. The change happened for me when I left school and went to college, I found my voice and confidence. The rest, as they say is history.

What sound do you love to hear or make?

Thunderstorms. LOVE the sound of thunder rumbling and the noise lightning makes when it cracks through the air.

Now a few questions about your writing…

How long have you been writing and what made you fall in love with writing?

I’ve been writing for five years now. But this is the first story I have published other than some fanfiction. For me, it’s the fact you can express yourself and bring life to characters that (hopefully) people will love.

Can you give the readers a brief summary of your latest story?

Below The Line 

When confirmed bachelor Connor James arrived at work sporting the hangover from hell, the last person he expected to see was his most recent one night stand. Despite Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome being the hottest person he’s ever met, Connor isn’t looking for a relationship, but fate it seems has other plans.

When self-made businessman Jason Birch took ownership of the up-and-coming marketing firm, the only thing he expected to find was another addition to his expanding firm, Ad-Venture. Coming face to face with his one and only random hook up from the previous night throws Jason a curveball. His every thought since he left their hotel room has been about hunting the sexy blond down, but a relationship with an employee isn’t going to happen.

One night was all either expected from the chance meeting, and an office affair is the last thing they need, but they’re unable to deny the passion which draws them together.

What led you to write this story?

I was asked by my good friend, Nicole Colville, well I say asked it more corralled, if I wanted to join a writing project she was planning. Where she would put a charity anthology together to give us the experience of publishing while raising money for a great cause. The charity is getting 100% of the proceeds. Nicole is covering all the editing and cover costs herself. We chose a LGBT charity that works worldwide. The link is here: http://kaleidoscopetrust.com/

What genre does it fall in?

It’s M/M romance.

Please share an excerpt from your story.

As I stared at him, hearing but not taking in the words he was speaking as he addressed us, realisation dawned on me. Well, it more crashed through the door and knocked me flat on my back. I knew the man standing before me, and not just in the ‘he looks kinda familiar’ way. I knew him intimately. I wanted to crawl under the nearest desk and hide, or if not possible, I’d settle for the floor opening up and swallowing me, a portal opening to another dimension. Anything but standing there.

He continued to speak, but I wasn’t focusing on the words coming from his highly talented mouth. Jason was everything I remembered him to be, and so much more. He was a commanding presence—everyone else in the office was enthralled. He was strong, confident and oozed sex appeal. This was the man who’d kept me up most of last night while he ravaged my body, tearing orgasms from it before I finally passed out in his hotel bed, exhausted.

Do you want to share any funny moments or experiences while writing this book, did your characters play well with you?

Did you play well together? The book is set in my home city, and the office building is one I used to work in. There is a character in it, who is based on a manager I used to have. I never intended to draw from real people, but as I introduced them, it just flowed and worked. There is a line that made me laugh as I typed in, in reference to her character. My men, Connor and Jason had their moments, especially Connor, if he didn’t like what I was doing he would sulk. Full on, arms folded over his chest and refusing to talk. He was a lot of fun really.

Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they? Connor James is mid twenties, single, and loves his life. He’s used to not having a care about anyone else, and certainly wasn’t looking for anything more than fun. Jason Birch is a self made business man, driven by the desire to succeed. They both have their own quirks, and Connor made me giggle on more than one occasion with his wit and sharp tongue

Will we be seeing these characters again any time soon? Is this book part of a series?

I have a second book planned, and that will be from Jason’s POV, so we’ll get to hear from him and get inside his mind which I’m really looking forward to. He’s already been in my ear at usually 5am demanding I listen.

What scene in your writing has made you laugh the hardest or cry the most?

With Below The Line, it was a conversation about one of the office managers and the fact she has children. Connor says he thought that dragon’s laid eggs. I am working on another story, and that made me cry as there is a scene where following the death of someone, the simple act of their mug being smashed it emotional. That is something that happened to me, so putting it into a novel meant a lot.

Do you write full or part-time?  If part-time would you like to share your job with your readers?

I write part time, as in whenever I can. I work full time, and have been studying for a  professional qualification in my own time, so fitting time to listen to my demanding men has been difficult at times. The day job? I’m a credit risk controller for a motor auction. Not glamorous, but it keeps me busy.

In your opinion do you feel a book blurb or the cover art is more important in generating interest in a book and why?

I think it’s because when you are looking for something to read, it’s true that we DO judge a book by its cover. It has to catch the eye in the mass of books your see online, if something blends in, or looks like everything else then you won’t stop to look any further. A good blurb will grab your attention, I’ve read a lot of blurbs and then bought the book. I need to intrigued – maybe that’s just me.

Are there any causes within the LGBTQ community that are a hot button for you or that you are passionate about?

At the moment, it’s the whole discrimination regarding which toilet (bathroom) you pee in. WHO CARES! People are comparing these people to sex offenders, STOP IT! I worked for bank about 8 years ago and we had a member of staff going through male to female reassignment. We treated her like a woman, and we all complained and took her side when a manager suggested she use the disabled toilets rather than the ladies. To us, she was a woman and only one person made any fuss about it. Personally, I’ve gone into the mens toilets in bars and clubs when the queue for the ladies has been horrendous. Stop discriminating, it’s the 21st century people!

Who would you say is your biggest supporter?

Without a doubt, Nicole Colville. I met her when we worked together and it was one of the biggest blessings in my life. I know without her constant encouragement, cajoling and downright demanding I wouldn’t have made the leap to publish anything. There are other friends who have told me not give up, Matt, Dora, Sheila and Tash to name but a few. These are people I can message when I’m having a mini meltdown and they understand.

In this ever changing market, do you prefer e-books or paper books and why?

I think with e-books you can carry so many with you, on either a phone or Kindle. It’s opened up a whole new world to so many people. There is nothing like holding a real book in your hand though, I have lots of paper books still and will never get rid of them.

What other projects are you currently working on that you would like to divulge to us?

I have a full length novel that I did for Nano-Wri-Mo in 2014 which I am editing and revising, and I also have another novel I am totally in love with, and have the most stunning cover designed by Jay Aheer. That will be published this year, all being well. Then there is the follow up to Below The Line.

Many thanks for sharing with us today.

 

Confidential Encounters Anthology

Confidential Encounters

 

Authors: Nicole Colville, April Wallington, Louisa Mae, T.A. Reign, Laura Raven

Word Count:147,000

Print Page Count:470

Published By:Hidden Pleasures

Cover Designer:Kellie Dennis from Book Cover by Design

All the proceeds from this anthology will be donated to the Kaleidoscope Trust which promotes LGBT rights internationally. By reading, you’re helping support a very valuable service to our community. Thank you.

 

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When the pressure at work rises, so does the passion. Five sweltering shorts to heat up your kindle and set your pulse racing.

Relationships in the workplace sound like a fantasy come true, especially with your sexy boss, but it’s not all hot encounters in the stationary cupboard and stolen kisses over the coffee machine. Being a couple in both you professional and personal world could make it easier to face what life throws at you, but it could also threaten to drive you apart.

Confidential Encounters includes five short stories, each very different in their own way with equally different men, but all have one thing in common… their professional and personal lives are mixing.

Though the passion and the heat is off the charts, can they turn hot encounters at work into something more, or is that a step too far?

BLURBS FOR EACH STORY

The Newcomer: April Wallington

Mailroom worker Dylan finds himself working as a spy when his sleazy boss forces him to infiltrate a rival company. Living with an abusive father, Dylan is stuck in the closet. Unhappy and desperate to find a way out of his lonely life, but too afraid to do anything about it, he meets a man who could give him the confidence to take that leap — his new boss and the man he’s spying on.

As co-owner of his own business, sharing his home and work life with his best friends, Jamie appears to have it all: an active sex life and an expanding company to run, but he’s looking for more. When he meets Dylan, he’s offered that chance. Moving on means big changes for them both, and with Jamie’s private and personal life so closely connected, both question if a relationship will work and how it will affect the people close to them.

 Below The Line: Louisa Mae

When confirmed bachelor Connor James arrived at work sporting the hangover from hell, the last person he expected to see was his most recent one night stand. Despite Mr Tall, Dark and Handsome being the hottest person he’s ever met, Connor isn’t looking for a relationship, but fate it seems has other plans.

When self-made businessman Jason Birch took ownership of the up-and-coming marketing firm, the only thing he expected to find was another addition to his expanding firm, Ad-Venture. Coming face to face with his one and only random hook up from the previous night throws Jason a curveball. His every thought since he left their hotel room has been about hunting the sexy blond down, but a relationship with an employee isn’t going to happen.

One night was all either expected from the chance meeting, and an office affair is the last thing they need, but they’re unable to deny the passion which draws them together.

 Double Dealing: Nicole Colville

Caught in a messy merger with the mounting pressure to close a multi-million dollar deal, business mogul Ryder Granger finds things are more hostile than the average takeover, but he’s not just interested in acquiring the lucrative Lyon coffee chain. He has an entirely more personal motive hidden beneath his cool exterior and designer suit.

Trace Lyon believes the merger with B&G could be the way out of the closet his strict Southern father keeps him locked in, but there’s one big problem. Ryder Granger is everything Trace wants, and everything his father despises. Two years ago, they shared one incredible night together, but despite the connection and the intense heat, both walked away.

With the deal falling through, Ryder brings an unexpected offer to the table — a more personal type of merger between the two rival families, one Trace is dead against. After all, an arranged marriage in New York in 2016… That could never work out. Taking control in the only way he can, Trace agrees to marry Ryder, but secretly plots to double deal both his father and Ryder. He just has to get this whole absurd wedding out of the way first and ignore how happy Ryder makes him feel.

 Skin Deep: T.A. Reign

Nurse Jai Kapoor lives in the shadows, keeping a barrier firmly in place between himself and the world. Considering himself a freak of nature due to his skin disorder, he hides under layers of clothes, hoping to blend in and become invisible. Lonely, touch-starved, and unable to break out of self-imposed restraints, he keeps his head down and focuses his energy on healing and comforting his patients.

Top of his field in orthopedic surgery, Doctor Lazarus Sukas demands perfection from those who work with him and in his private life. Despite his good looks, his only concern is his job and the patients he operates on, not on a relationship. When an explosive encounter in the operating room brings the two men together, their controlled, lonely lives begin to change. The attraction between them ignites in a firestorm of passion, creating a need so intense, neither can deny.

Beautiful: Laura Raven

With shaggy blond locks, deep green eyes, and a naturally athletic physique, Nathan Finn looks like your quintessential California surfer, but having grown up in Nebraska, he’s never actually been on a board. Like many twenty-somethings in Los Angeles, Nathan and his roommate work together at crappy job in a call center while their band works to hit it big. Sadly, aside from working and the occasional gig, Nathan doesn’t really have much of a life to speak of, and those fleeting moments on stage are the only times he really feels alive. His love life is practically non-existent, and he doesn’t really feel the need to change that.

That is, until a mysterious stranger breezes into the office and wakes him up from his zombie-like existence. Nate’s new co-worker is stunningly beautiful… like, could be a model beautiful — lithe with long black hair, smooth pale skin, and blue eyes you want to swim in. From the moment their eyes meet, Nate wants nothing more than to learn everything there is to know about Skye.

There are questions he’s hesitant to ask, however. Is Skye a man or a woman? And, what does it mean that he doesn’t really care?

 

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Amazon.com | Amazon UK

Available through Kindle Unlimited. Exclusive to Amazon. $3.99 / £3.00

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Born and bred in the the vibrant city of Leeds in the North of the UK. I’ve always loved reading, and one of my fondest memories from childhood was the weekly visits to the library with my dad. It always seemed such a magical place to escape into through the books I read on a weekly basis.

I’d not really thought about writing in my adult life until I was introduced to the world of Fanfiction and after reading so many I found myself making friends through this new media. My friend, Lori, told me to have a go at writing one, and I did. That work took on a life of its own and opened my eyes to the possibilities. This allowed me to get used to plotting a story and while making the characters my own. I also started to beta/pre read for others and discovered, that much to my surprise, they valued my opinion and input.

Making the move to write M/M or slash as it’s known, took me a little longer. After becoming good friends with a wonderful lady from Illinois  who told me (repeatedly), “You should write slash, I think you’d be good at it.” I shied away from the idea for so long, but the seed was firmly sown in my mind and soon took root and a life of its own. I decided to write a short piece as a surprise gift for Angela’s birthday that year. Emailing it to her, given the time difference between the UK and US this meant I was desperately waiting for her to see in and I think I heard her delighted scream. Thanks to this, and working on writing group competition, I soon found that I preferred writing M/M to M/F.

In 2013 fate intervened and I lost my job. Through my new one, I met Nicole Colvlle,  and the rest, as they say, is history. This marked the start of a beautiful friendship. She encouraged me to make the switch to writing original fiction, and I signed up to Nano Wri Mo 2013, but due to changing jobs I couldn’t commit the time needed. In 2014 I signed up again, and smashed the 50K word goal in 30 days, with a story I love and am proud of.

I’ve been beta reading for Nicole over 17 books now (including the 10 shorts in Knights) and the confidence she inspires in me has been invaluable in my joining this anthology and publishing my first work.

 

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Asta Idonea ~ New Release, Excerpt and Interview

First Swallow of Spring

Asta Idonea

16 March 2016

Torquere Press

Short Story/MM

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The first swallow of spring draws Seanán back to the fae circle each year. There he dances with the handsome fae lord, Iorweth. He knows the rules he must follow if he wishes to be free to leave at the end of the night; however, Iorweth is growing ever more inventive in his attempts to trick Seanán into breaking them.

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Listen to an Audio Excerpt

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Amazon | Amazon UK | Torquere Press

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“Seanán will be dancing with none but me.” The words were softly spoken, yet the tone brooked no argument, and at this utterance, the others scurried away and a new figure stepped into view.

A wave of contentment flooded through Seanán. “Iorweth.” He accepted Iorweth’s proffered hand, and Iorweth pulled him to his feet as if he weighed nothing. He gazed up at the regal figure. “I have missed you.”

“And I you. Shall we dance?”

Iorweth swept Seanán into his arms and they spun toward the edge of the clearing. The others made room for them and they joined the chain, circling the stone in a dance of pure delight. The music came from no discernible source, but it filled the air, bright and bell-like, and between its magical refrains, the fae laughed, clapped, and cavorted in the moonlight.

Seanán followed Iorweth’s lead. The rest of the world melted away as he lost himself in the fae lord’s glimmering, emerald eyes. This was the time of year he felt most alive. In the long months between these meetings he survived on memories and dreams. They kept him going, but nothing compared to being here in Iorweth’s arms. The press of his hand on Seanán’s back—that was the brilliant reality. The rest of his life was colorless.

Iorweth pulled him closer until their bodies met. Warmth spread through Seanán and he sighed and rested his head against Iorweth’s chest. Surely they had danced for long enough. Surely Iorweth would soon take him to the stone. Yet, on and on they danced. They twirled and dipped and swayed, never breaking from the circle. Seanán should have felt dizzy. At the very least he should have grown weary. But when he was with Iorweth, he always had boundless energy. So long as their hands touched, Seanán believed he could go on dancing without pause, forever.

Interview with Asta Idonea

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m British-born, but I have lived in Australia for 8½ years now. I was backpacking here when I met my husband on the bus. I just never went home. I worked in admin until 2014, when I left to try my hand as a freelance editor and author. I am much happier now, though I still need to build up a little more editing work.

What would people be most surprised to know about you?

I was almost a translator. I completed a PGDip in Translation, but then I moved here and my European languages weren’t as relevant anymore. I still try to keep up my language skills, though. I have pen pals around the world, I read books in other languages, and I watch a lot of world cinema.

How do you relax?

I have many hobbies: reading (naturally), theatre, cinema, music (I sing and play a few instruments), sketching….

Do you have a favorite quote?

“What a terrible affair life is to be sure; I don’t mean nasty, because it’s glorious and enthralling, but so aweinspiring and unnerving and taxing.”
(Percy Grainger to Rose Grainger (his mother) 23/07/1907)

How long have you been writing and what made you fall in love with writing?

As a child, I loved books. My sister would ask to play with her dolls, and I would ask to read. From as far back as I remember thinking about such things, I wanted to write, but it was something I kept putting off, thinking I wasn’t good enough. In my late teens/early twenties, I started publishing some fan fiction, but then I moved to Australia and finally found the drive to pursue my dreams. I had my first original work published in 2011 and haven’t stopped.

What are your ambitions for your writing career and what’s your favorite part of writing?

My favourite part is giving life to the characters that fill my head and helping them tell their stories. As for ambition, it would be nice to earn more than I spend on my writing, and one day see one of my books on the shelf in a major bookstore, but deep down, I’d be happy simply to know people are reading and enjoying my work.

Why did you choose to write GLBTQ romance? Why not another genre?

Actually, I do write mainstream too (under the pen name Nicki J. Markus). I started out in mainstream paranormal and fantasy, and I continue to write that alongside my MM works. The MM came about through my editing. Most of the manuscripts on which I work are LGBT, and when I started editing for Wayward Ink Publishing, I decided to try my hand at an MM piece of my own for one of their anthology calls. I found I enjoyed it and wrote another, and another…. Much of my former fan fiction was slash, so I guess subconsciously it was a genre I already appreciated.

What scene in your writing has made you laugh the hardest or cry the most?

I’m not sure I can pick a single scene, but the two works with which I had the most emotional connection were The Ragnarök Chronicles (MF Fantasy) and Souls for Sale (MM Paranormal). Both Loki (in the former) and Saul (in the latter) became very dear to me.

Can you give the readers a brief summary of your latest book?

It is a short fantasy MM story, releasing as a single title and within an anthology. It follows Seanán, a young man who is drawn year after year to the fae circle near his home. There he is romanced by a fae lord, who tries to trick him into breaking the rules that will see him unable to leave at the end of the night.

Give us a little insight into your main characters. Who are they?

Seanán lives at home with his parents and helps work his father’s farm. He is bored with his everyday life and longs for the one night each year when he can visit Iorweth. Nonetheless, he resists all attempts to trick him into staying; he wishes to make that choice himself.

Iorweth is a regal fae lord who wishes to trap Seanán in the fae realm, to keep him close forever. Used to getting his way and tricking unwary mortals, at first he fails to see that the way to win Seanán is through openness and love, rather than wiles.

Tell us a little bit about your writing style. When and where is your favorite time/place to write?

I work from home, so the morning and early afternoon I dedicate to editing work. Occasionally I have a day or two free between editing jobs, but mostly I have a steady stream of manuscripts and work seven days a week. The mid to late afternoon (and sometimes into the evening), however, is writing time.

When I have the initial idea for a story, I jot down character notes (full profiles if it’s a novella or novel). I also note some key plot points, but that’s the only planning I do—I prefer to see where the characters take me. I always type the first draft at the computer in my study. However, once that it done I print the work and retreat to the comfy chair in my library/music room for editing. I read through the complete story, making notes and corrections as I go, then it’s back to the study for the next draft. Short stories go through two or three drafts and then a final proofread. Novellas and novels get four drafts, then the proofread.

What sort of book do you enjoy reading in your free time? What was the last book you read? What did you enjoy about it?

I read widely; the only genres I avoid completely are true crime and chick lit. I read (and reread) a lot of classics. I enjoy literary fiction and paranormal/fantasy tales, and I read a lot of non-fiction (in particular books on my favourite historical periods). Recently I finished a book on Victorian London, which I was reading as research for my new Steampunk story. That was interesting and gave me plenty of ideas. Now I am reading an historical fiction piece about a highwaywoman in England during the Commonwealth.

Thank you so much for answering my questions.

I think my readers will enjoy learning more about you!

Good luck in your future writing!

 

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Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel; all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

Author Pic 2015

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Interview by Andrew Q. Gordon

I was recently interviewed by friend and fellow author,

Andrew Q. Gordon.

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Read the interview below or see it HERE on Andrew’s blog.

While you’re there, check out his upcoming story, The Eye and the Arm – Book Two in the Champion of the Gods Seriesto be released on April 14, 2015.

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You can pre-order it here: DSP Publications

INTERVIEW BY ANDREW Q. GORDON

Welcome Lily. Nice to finally get to interview you.

Hello, Andrew. Thank you for inviting me here today.

Let’s start by telling everyone a bit about yourself.

I live roughly in the center of the UK. I am the eldest of five siblings, married with two children in their twenties, and was a teacher of primary pupils for over twenty-five years.

This has been a busy few months for you. You’ve had several anthology stories released since May, you’re doing Free Fiction Friday and you’ve had other books released. When did you first start writing?

Yes, the past year or so has been quite busy for me. I started writing fiction over four years ago now. My first attempts were dire and I cringe when I think of my work back then. I tended to write a chapter and after a bit of editing I posted it on fanfiction.net with only a basic overall plan in place for the longer stories. I’ve since edited these fanfiction stories (four or five times, if not more!) and some are now on my blog as free reads or part of FFF. I’ve come to value using outlines and character sketches when planning a story, however short it may be.

Talk about your sub genre of choice. Which ones do you prefer and why.

I tend to read and write contemporary m/m romance and erotica, plus I’m currently reading Josh Lanyon’s mysteries. There are so many fabulous writers and books on my to-read list. I’m not really in to fantasy or sci-fi, and although I studied history, I have yet to really explore that aspect of the m/m genre.

Tell us about some of your prior releases.

The first two listed below are novels I self-published. The last one is a short story published by Torquere Press in the Take It Like a Man anthology and also released as a separate story.

Paint the Sky

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A love of art…

A mutual interest in art draws two shy university students together. Ben admires Vinnie’s painting of the university building, so Vinnie invites him to an exhibition of his artwork. From a wealthy family, Ben purchases some of Vinnie’s art and arranges for the artist to personally hang the paintings in his apartment.

Starry, starry night…

Ben commissions Vinnie to paint his portrait, in order to spend more time with the artist. On the night of the sitting, Vinnie fingerpaints the starry night on Ben’s chest… and they kiss. They begin a relationship beneath the night sky, God’s own canvas.

But every relationship has its ups and downs and so it is with theirs. When Ben thinks Vinnie spends too much time with a fellow artist, his jealousy drives a wedge between them and forces Vinnie into the very thing Ben dreads.

Hold tight to your dreams…

Ben and Vinnie will have to walk through fire before they can find one another again. But if they believe, and if they keep their faith in the night sky and each other, just maybe they can make their dreams of love come true.

Boys on Film

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What would happen if a gay porn star fell in love with a writer of erotic m/m novels?

Set in an opulent house in San Diego that also serves as a porn studio, the story follows Stefan as he falls in love with Nate, a budding author from England, and in the process comes out as gay. Despite working in a gay porn studio and having sex with his best buddy on a regular basis, Stefan outwardly claims to be straight, although he enjoys the sex and substantial pay from his gay videos. This changes when he meets Nate, who has been given the opportunity to observe the inner workings of Blue House Film Studios to add realism to his latest erotic novel.

The Perfect Size for You

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After updating his Rent Boy blog profile, well-endowed porn star Ty, receives a text requesting an appointment with a sexually inexperienced client. Andy asks Ty to provide him with the necessary knowhow, so if he ever goes on a date with the guy he’s attracted to he’s fully prepared. Little does Ty know this hook-up will lead to a friendship that will subsequently change his life. Can Ty remain friends with Andy or will he always want more? And how will Ty react when Andy finally goes on a date with another man?

Your upcoming book is the Encore anthology. Tell us about it.

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It’s a collection of ten short stories from Wayward Ink Publishing all with the theme of musicals. My story is called Over the Rainbow and was inspired by The Wizard of Oz.

Watch the fabulous trailer video HERE

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Dorian has been cast as Dorothy in his school’s production of The Wizard of Oz.

Like his character, Dorian is about to discover whether dreams really do come true.

Where did the inspiration for Dorian and his love interest, Mark come from?

In my story, Dorian is a newly qualified teacher who is struggling to cope during his first term of teaching. All his time seems to be taken up with preparation and marking, plus all the others things required of him. So much so, his social and therefore his love life are pretty dire. He struggles to gain control over some unruly pupils and is beginning to think he is going to fail as a teacher. He wants to succeed and impress his mentor, Mark Leonard, the Head of the English department in the school. He observes Dorian’s lessons and offers him advice and suggestions for improvement.

Some members of staff at the school are taking part in the end of term production of the Wizard of Oz. Dorian has been cast as Dorothy and Mark is the Cowardly Lion. Aspects of the characters and musical are reflected in their lives and personalities. I drew on my teaching experience for Dorian’s character and some of the events in the story.

What part of the book was the most fun to write and why?

I have a scene that includes my characters telling Wizard of Oz jokes. They are not really funny, but I have a weird sense of humor and was chuckling away to myself as I wrote this part of the story.

What part made you struggle them most?

My plan was to take aspects of the Wizard of Oz and create parallels in the lives of my main characters. Although I roughly knew where the story was heading, I struggled to come up with the Tin Man/Scarecrow’s subplot. I wanted them to be searching for a heart/love and a brain like they do in the movie. It took me weeks to finally weave their story into Dorian and Mark’s plot.

Tell us something interesting that is not in the blurb?

Dorian enjoys wearing women’s lacy underwear.

What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

Can I be cheeky and choose three? I love the initial ‘plot bunny’ where I develop my main characters and imagine some of their conversations and hot scenes together. To me, they are real people who could actually exist in real life. I also love it when the words flow from me as a scene takes shape. But if I’m only allowed to choose one favorite part, then it has to be the finished product. When I look back at the hard work I’ve put into the writing and am proud I’ve actually created a story people enjoy reading.

What’s your least favorite?

The slog of writing when you seem to chip away day after day, only adding a few hundred words at a time, and you think you’re never going to get the story finished.

What have you read lately that most people haven’t read but should?

I recently enjoyed reading L.A. Witt’s first story in the Cover Me series. (Currently free on Amazon). The writing is excellent in my opinion. It was one of those books I thought about when I wasn’t reading it and was eager to pick it up again to see what would happen next. This story has all the elements I enjoy in the m/m genre. I became involved with the main character’s feelings from the start and loved Nick and Andrew’s interaction and their hot scenes together. I felt their longing for each other and their need to be together as they fell in love. Tense and full of suspense, the story was not predictable, although I knew something ‘bad’ would happen at some point.

If you could meet any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

I would love to be able to travel back in time and question the men who wrote the original Gospels and the other books in the New Testament. I know it was more than one person, but their writing has changed the course of history. I’d like to know how much of their work was based on historical events.

What’s a fun – non-writing – day for you?

Spending the day relaxing in the Aqua Sana at Center Parcs. I especially love the steam rooms and the massaging water jets in the pool.

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Besides reading and writing, what else do you enjoy?

Walking. I walk locally at least once a day, usually with my daughter and her dog, plus we often go on hiking holidays. Austria is our favorite location. If you read Opposites Attract, you’ll see it inspired the main location, the beautiful scenery, and even parts of the plot were based on some things that have happened to us on our trips. Not the sex in the mountain hut, though 😦

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Since there is always another story to tell, what are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a short story for another anthology submission. The theme is rough and tumble blue-collar workers. My main character falls for the muscle-packed and sexy handyman he employs to take care of his garden. It’s with one of my beta readers at the moment and will need a bit more polishing before I send it off. I have several rough plans and ideas for other stories, but haven’t decided which one will be my next focus yet.

Last question is all yours – feel free to talk about anything you want your readers to know about you, your book, anything at all.

I’ll be at the Queer Company event in Oxford on May 9th and the UK Meet in Bristol in September. Hope to meet some of you there.

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Excerpt from Over the Rainbow

At last.

Dorian Gartside let out a huge sigh of relief. He quickly dismissed his boisterous pupils and had logged himself off the computer on the teacher’s desk by the time they’d all noisily exited the room.

God! What a day!

Anyone who thought this job was easy should try teaching Pride and Prejudice to a class of fifteen-year old boys. And damn it, he still had a bloody staff meeting to attend before he got to go home.

Dorian scooped up his teaching notes and a pile of books he hadn’t managed to mark at lunchtime and strode out of the classroom barely missing two boys who ran past him. “Walk in the corridor!” he instructed the rapidly fleeing flash of emerald green uniforms, but to little effect.

Dorian sighed again and looked down at the books in his arms.

Yet another busy night with hardly any rest or relaxation.

He wished he’d believed the person who’d told him his social life would be non-existent during his first year of teaching. Marking, planning, staff meetings, talking to snooty parents, in addition to after-school activities two or three times a week. Bring back college days any time. At least he’d had something he could laughingly call a sex life then.

Thank God it was the October mid-term break next week. Time to draw breath for a few days at least.

Dorian slowed his pace as he passed the adjacent classroom and glanced inside hopefully. His search was rewarded, and catching sight of the object of his desire, his stomach fluttered.

“Hey, Dorian. Have you got a minute before the staff meeting starts?”

Dorian flushed a little and smiled. “Sure.” He glanced appreciatively over his mentor and superior, Mr. Leonard. “I wanted to ask you a few questions about my lesson observation tomorrow too, if you’ve got time.”

Mr. Leonard, Head of the English department, was everything Dorian wished he could be—and not just because of the expert control he had over the pupils. He was tall, broad-shouldered, and most of his exposed skin was covered in thick, dark hair that Dorian spent most nights dreaming about; he often imagined what the hairs would feel like if he ran his hands over Mr. Leonard’s skin and what this hunk of a man looked like naked.

“That’s fine, D. Let’s grab a cuppa and talk on the way.”

Dorian nodded and shifted the books in his arms so most of his suddenly bulging groin was now covered. The very thought of calling Mr. Leonard ‘Sir’ was enough to harden his traitorous cock at the most inopportune moments. He usually thought of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett at times like this, but those thoughts often turned to Mr. Bingley and a very wet-shirted Mr. Darcy, and he was no better off.

Dorian did his best to concentrate on their conversation, focusing on Mr. Leonard’s eyes and lips as they discussed his lesson for class 5B the following day. “And I want you to speak up in the staff meeting today….”

“Yes, Mr. Leonard.”

“Look, Dorian, it’s about time you called me Mark. We’ve been working together for over six weeks now.”

Dorian smiled again, his heavy cock filling when his name fell from the older man’s lips. He’d never liked the name his parents had given him and had to suffer being called everything from Dory to Ryan in his teen years, but hearing Mark say it sent a shiver down his spine every time. “Sure. If that’s okay with you, Mark.”

Mr. Leonard—Mark—paused as they approached the staffroom and huffed. “Of course it is, but not in front of the Munchkins, though.” Dorian chuckled at Mark’s nickname for the pupils.

~O~

The Encore anthology is published on 20th March.

Pre-order/buy links:

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

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About Lily:

Lily writes contemporary gay romance and erotica. She loves to explore the relationship between two men and the intensity of their physical and emotional attraction. Angst often features in her stories as she feels this demonstrates the depth of the men’s feelings for each other. Lily is forever writing imaginary scenes and plots in her head, but only a few ever make it to the page–there never seems to be enough hours in the day despite having left the teaching profession to concentrate on her writing!
Lily discovered the wonderful world of m/m romance novels four years ago via fan fiction and went on to write stories in her spare time. With the encouragement of her friends and readers she decided to publish some of her work. Lily has several self-published stories available on Amazon. She is also published with Torquere Press and Wayward Ink Publishing.
Easily distracted from her writing, Lily makes videos using clips from gay-themed movies and posts gorgeous pictures of men kissing or making out on her tumblr and Facebook pages. Lily is also an avid supporter of GLBTQ rights and advocates equality for all.Lily lives in central England with her rather bemused husband, two twenty-something children, and a ‘mad as a bag of frogs’ Shetland Sheepdog.
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Lily’s links and contacts:

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GUEST AUTHOR – GARRETT LEIGH

A WARM WELCOME TO GARRETT LEIGH

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Please tell us a little about yourself

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

Junk, by Melvin Burgess. It tells the tale of addiction for what it really is…a very boring, uninspired way to kill yourself.

There is no glamour or excitement in this book. Just bleak, monotonous destruction.

The priority activity if you were invisible for a day…

I couldn’t possibly tell you that. My brother reads this shit…

The film you can watch time and time again…

I have terrible taste in films. I’m too thick to appreciate the clever ones, and I’m a sucker for a sweeping soundtrack and a tortured hero. That being said, if I’ve had a bad day, I quite often turn to When Harry Met Sally. Pile of utter shite, and I love it.

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…

 Watching my chickens scrap over cabbage leaves. Seriously, I could—and often do—watch them all day. I could even tell you odds of the smallest, most featherless one coming out victorious (pretty good, in case you were wondering).

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…

I have a YA lesbian partial manuscript on an old laptop. I will finish it one day…

Who is the most important person in your life?

Real or imaginary? Ha. No, really…there is no one person, just a feeling…a tie that binds me to some special souls…family and friends. It manifests itself differently with each relationship, but ultimately, they all mean everything to me, and how do you define that?

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

Anger is just a hole where your life could be.

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

Already done, and I got away with it just fine, thank you very much 😉

The philosophy that underpins your life…

Communism…no, really, the old style, back when it was just a bit of sharing and hippie hugs. Some days I want nothing more than to grab the people I love…all of them, and run away to live on a kibbutz.

COMING SOON

Bold (Blue Boy 3)

Don’t underestimate me…

Dancer Kai is the sweetheart of Blue Boy studio. Cute and petite, he’s the slender bottom every top loves to pound. But nothing is ever quite as it seems, and beneath his golden curls and giggles lies something else…an edge no one can quite put their finger on.

Is Kai bored? Or does he crave something more?

Blue Boy Studio is under new ownership. Veteran porn star Jude has seen it all before, and with the help of Kai’s mentor, Cam, they figure Kai needs a change. Enter Matthew, a fellow dancer and the newbie on the block.

Kai isn’t impressed. Matthew is hot and all, but Jude and Cam’s plans seem beyond his reach. Can Kai really do…that? He doesn’t believe it, but with Matthew along for the ride, it’s time to dig deep, be bold, and find out.

Publisher: Loose Id

Released date: August 19 2014

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Many thanks, Garrett. I’m looking forward to reading your latest Blue Boy story.

MY INTERVIEW BY TAYLIN CLAVELLI

 

MANY THANKS TO TAYLIN CLAVELLI AND FOR HER THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTIONS

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CHECK OUT THE INTERVIEW ON HER WEBSITE HERE

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Huge welcome to Lily G. Blunt, Author of Service With A Smile, a story in the Wayward Ink Publishing anthology Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust.

 

TC: Hi Lily, good to speak to you, I loved your book A Darker Shade Of Oxford Blue. Thank you for allowing me to interview you. Would you mind letting the readers know a little bit about yourself.

 

LGB: Hi,Taylin! Many thanks for asking me to be a guest here. We’ve known each other for a few years now, probably from the time I first wrote Oxford Blues.

 

TC:  Not gonna beat around the bush here, read your story and damn girl the pages almost burned under my fingers let alone my insides. It’s a short story, but it sure was smokin’. My jaw dropped right from the first page and only closed when I gulped at the imagery on the page. Totally awesome. Would you mind giving the readers a taste of what they’re in store for?

 

LGB: Mmm, thank you so much… It’s two hot guys in a changing room in a men’s designer boutique! It’s basically a sex scene. Not a lot of plot really!

 

Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of Service with a Smile:

 

Terry caught sight of his reflection in the shop window and smoothed down his wind-blown hair. He glanced up and down, slowly checking over his appearance. A smile grazed his mouth. Pleased he’d chosen a tight-fitting white T-shirt to exhibit his firm torso, his dark eyes shifted to the clothing displayed on the other side of the glass. A pale blue shirt instantly caught his eye, as did a cream-colored shirt with a dusky paisley print. He knew both would suit his tanned complexion.

Terry could certainly do with a new shirt for the party later that evening, but that wasn’t the reason he was standing in front of the designer boutique. A flutter of excitement rippled through his belly and down to his groin, making his cock throb in anticipation. It wasn’t the clothing that had this effect upon him, but the thought of a particular sales assistant inside the shop.

It was late on Saturday afternoon, and the shop would be closing within the next half hour. He didn’t have much time to make his move. Terry hoped he’d timed his entrance just right. Peering beyond the male mannequins poised in the window, he searched out his intended target.

Terry noticed two men about to leave so he moved toward the door.  As it opened, an old-fashioned bell jangled overhead and the two men left the premises. They offered him a genuine smile. One of them winked at Terry, who returned the gesture. Terry watched them head down the street, walking hand in hand, for a few seconds before crossing over the threshold. A smile spread across his handsome face because he now knew only one member of the staff remained to man the shop until it closed at half past five. The one guy he wanted the chance to be alone with. The one guy he lusted after. Ash.

 

TC:Brilliant excerpt, dare I ask what the inspiration was behind it?

 

LGB: Ty Roderick and Asher Hawk from Cockyboys provided the initial inspiration for the story. At the time of writing the original story they hadn’t yet filmed a video together and this story arose out of my expectations for their future scene. Coincidentally, soon after I wrote my story, Helix Studios released a video featuring Jacob Dixon and Matthew Keading in a changing room in a sportswear shop. Several months later, after receiving a request to summit a story to one of Wayward Ink’s anthologies, I dusted the story down and added more to it, changing the names of the characters to Terry and Ash. 

 

TC: On your tumbler, there are some terrific pictures. They’re all beautiful and sensual – I could have stayed distracted for many an hour looking at them. If readers haven’t checked them out, click on the connection at the bottom of the interview – you won’t be disappointed.  How do you produce them?

 

LGB: I post to three different tumblrs. Two are what I call cute and sweet, mainly showing m/m loving, kisses and hugs. The other is NSFW and very graphic. I don’t produce the photographs. I just reblog them from tumblrs or post pics/videos from elsewhere. 

 

TC: How did you get into the whole production gig, from writing to producing videos?

 

LGB: To cut a long story short, via Twilight/Robert Pattinson, YouTube and Fanfiction. My first videos were made using Windows Movie Maker and were photographs of Rob set to music. I progressed to using clips from videos and movies at about the same time I discovered m/m fiction. So the writing, reading and video making merged into one and Bob (Boy on Boy) Loving was born!

 

TC: What’s the difference between producing your own book and working with a publisher?

 

LGB: If I self-publish, I pay an editor, but I format the text, create the cover and upload it all onto Amazon myself. It was a bit daunting the first time, but if I managed to sort through it all, anyone can. Overall, it takes less time than with a publisher, but then I have to do all the promotion myself.

 

TC: Having spoken to E.S. Skipper I see you are both a friend and a mentor to him. How did it make you feel when he got published?

 

LGB: I’m honoured he considers me to be his mentor. We have worked closely now for six months and I have helped him every step of the way. I was thrilled when his first submission we’d worked so hard on together was accepted for publication.  I was chatting to him on Facebook when he received the email telling him the news. It was one of the happiest days of my life. He was over the moon and couldn’t believe his story had been chosen.

 

TC: Coming next are some questions that I’m sure you’ve seen before, but I’m going to ask them anyway. Other than eventually being a famous author, what would your dream job be?

 

LGB: I’d love to visit many places and stay in breathtaking locations, so to be paid as a travel writer would be fabulous job.

 

TC: And, if you could travel anywhere in the world – where would you go, and what is it that attracts you there?

 

LGB: When I travel I like to walk a lot and explore the old towns and the landscape. I’ve wanted to go on a Baltic cruise for a few years now, also to Sorrento/Naples in Italy. I’ve dreamed of going to Bora Bora, but doubt if I ever will get there. And now I know E.S, Skipper, I’ve threatened to visit him one day in New Zealand. The scenery looks unpsoilt and beautiful and he’s promised me a guided tour.

 

TC: Awww that’s wonderful. I agree NZ is a beautiful place.

TC: In general, what inspires you?

 

LGB: To write? Usually a line from a song, an excerpt from a gay-themed scene/movie or just an idea of two guys together that pops into my mind while I’m pottering about. For example, in my WIP, I was inpired by the fiddler in QaF and included a violin playing character/love scene.

 

TC: On a similar note, who out there inspires you?

 

LGB:  No one person in particular. I admire authors who seem to write day in and day out and churn out excellent books. I don’t know how they do it and it’s something I aspire to. I’m lucky if I write for two or three hours a day.

 

TC: Is there a particular subject matter or genre you’d like to branch out into writing, or would you prefer to stay with contemporary romance?

 

LGB: I’m not into sci-fi although I wrote a Star Trek spoof awhile ago. So you never know, I might try my hand at anything. I’ve got a history degree and have contemplated writing a story set in the past, but with a bit of mythology thrown in so I don’t have to be totally accurate! I have a vague idea in the back of my mind for a children’s fantasy story set in Ancient Greece to make use of my years of knowledge from teaching this period of history.

 

TC: Cool, I love stories with an historical element.

TC: What about reading? Is there a specific genre you gravitate towards on the bookshelf?

 

LGB: I only read m/m romance and erotica these days and I’m currently making my way through the many books on my Kindle. I’ll never get done as I’m constantly adding to my library thanks to Amazon’s 1-click! Most of them are contemporary romance with a little angst thrown in and a lot of hot boy loving!

 

TC: What can we hope to see from you in the future?

 

LGB: Paint the Sky is my current WIP. I started planning it back in August and wrote much of it for NaNo. I’ve been re-working it ever since and am close to finishing now. It’s a story inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting and Don McLean’s Vincent. After that, I think I’ll focus on shorter stories and editing, plus E.S. Skipper and I are planning to write something together one day.

 

TC: You don’t have to answer this next question, but I’m curious. Returning to the anthology LLLL, and considering your work was in the Lust section: do you have a wish list of lustful situations and dare you tell us of any?

 

LGB: To watch or read or write? I’ll go for writing! One day, I’ll write a ménage à trois story. I considered it for Boys on Film and included a few threesome porn scenes, but my two main characters insisted they stayed as a couple, so my original plan for the story changed!

 

TC: From the UKGLBT Meet you were at recently, what did you find most useful and what are your best memories of it?

 

LGB: This was my second year at the Meet. Although the sessions are thought provoking and useful as a writer, I found meeting up with fellow authors and readers the most valuable. It was great to see so many people I recognized this year and to talk to people I’ve only chatted to on Facebook. My best memory…apart from meeting you, of course… watching the unicyclist bound by a straight jacket trying to get on to his unicycle with the help of three men from the audience. I don’t think I have laughed so much for a long time!

 

TC: OMG, yes I remember that, it was brilliant and hilarious. I have to admit, the male pole dancer doing the coke advert stuck in my mind. Damn, the abs on him – I don’t think I looked at his face!!!!

 

Huge, huge thanks to you Lily for your time and wonderful answers. It was an honour to meet you in Bristol after speaking to you so often over so many years. Many friendships were made during the meet and I am beyond happy that ours has continued.

 

Lily can be found at the following places: Go check her out.

 

THANKS ONCE AGAIN, TAYLIN

 

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