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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

MLR Press: https://goo.gl/9YvKYu
Amazon CA: https://goo.gl/uAELdC
Amazon US: https://goo.gl/6OyYTp
Kobo: https://goo.gl/TdTZkB
B&N: https://goo.gl/6phQfP
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/w1m7rP
iTunes: https://goo.gl/TChKPr

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.

 Website  |  Facebook author page  |  Pinterest  |  Tumblr

 

 

Guest Post ~ Layla Dorine

A warm welcome to my guest author,

Layla Dorine

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Serpent’s Kiss by Layla Dorine

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

He was silent for a moment, studying her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You regret it.”

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

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

 

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

Interview with Layla

The film you can watch time and time again…

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

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…

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

The poem that touches your soul…

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

The song that means the most to you…

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

 

 

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…

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

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

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

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

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

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

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

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto your child…

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

The philosophy that underpins your life…

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

 

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

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

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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.

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

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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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Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon US   |  Amazon UK 

 

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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

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NickiJMarkus

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickiJMarkus

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Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4567057.Nicki_J_Markus

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolamarkus

Amazon Author US: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO

Amazon Author UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO

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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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

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