Jennifer Cierra, JMS Books LLC, Small Gems

Jennifer Cierra Would Just Love To Give You FREE Books!

Read on to see how!


Hi, Jennifer, and welcome to The Novel Approach! I’m so glad to have you here with me today. Let’s just jump right into things and have you tell us a little bit about yourself before we get to the contest portion of the program.

Q. When did you decide that writing was going to become more a serious pursuit than a hobby?

I’m not sure I ever decided it, honestly. I’ve admired the writing of J.M. Snyder since I discovered it via a book of free shorts years ago, and I’d dreamt about publishing with her press, but it takes a while to work up the courage to submit anything. In my freshman year of college, I submitted a novel-length work which was rejected; it took me over a year to submit anything again. But when I did, J.M. accepted it, and I’ve been whirling to keep up with where it’s taken me since.

Q. What was your first published story, and how long did it take you to write it?

Singing Alone,” and it took a lot longer from first word to completion than it did to actually sit down and write it. I usually have about six projects going on at once, and “Singing Alone” was no exception. I wrote the first couple thousand words at a coffee shop while feeling really overwhelmed and alone during a year studying abroad in Germany, and then I set it aside for a couple of months. I later found it, reread it, completed it, edited it – a process which took about a week in itself – and submitted it. About six months altogether (which is really long for a 10,000-word short), but I was working on a lot of other projects simultaneously (including getting settled in in a foreign country, which is a task in itself).

Q. Have you always written M/M Romance? If not, how did you find your way to it?

I’m a yaoi convert. The first yaoi anime I watched was Gravitation, which in retrospect could easily have been heterosexual, but I was fascinated by the fact that it wasn’t. I fell into slash FanFiction from there, writing it throughout high school, and ended up with almost a hundred stories by the time I decided to turn to my own characters. At that point, they were so out-of-character they were almost unrecognizable when compared to canon that I was getting complaints, so I think it’s a good thing I decided to create my own.

Q. Of all the characters you’ve created, who would you say is your favorite and why?

It’s hard to say – I always adore the one I’m working with – but characters like Dan Rorney, the narrator of “Champagne Bubbly,” and Andy, the protagonist of my current project, are always fun. They’re completely normal people and have no major issues, but they’re plagued by little neuroses which are extremely fun to aggravate. Dan, for instance, is a perfectionist, and each little thing that goes wrong sends his blood pressure skyrocketing – usually straight to his face, which stresses him further, because he hates blushing. Making sure his hair is out of place, his tie rumpled, and of course, his top-shelf champagne nonexistent is my calling; I poke him with a stick and wait to see how vivaciously he explodes.

Q. If you could offer one word of advice to a writer just starting out, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to create your own characters and tell the story you actually want to tell. I didn’t realize if I focused on the stories I wanted to tell and made them my priority, an audience would develop on its own. Most people are willing to take a risk on someone or something new, so long as it’s well-written (and sometimes even if it’s not). Figure out what it is you want to write and write it, no matter what anyone says – that’s the first step, and although it’s a big one, you’ll never regret taking it.

Q. If you could trade lives with any one fictional character, just for a day, who would it be and why?

Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files. He’s a kick-ass wizard, and no matter what anyone throws at him, he always comes up fighting – and he manages to save the world every single time, no matter what he has to sacrifice to do so or how little recognition he gets for doing it. Harry is my hero.  I’d probably die within six minutes of stepping into his shoes, but I’d kill for the chance nonetheless.

Q. Have you ever read something and thought, damn, I wish I’d written that? If so, what was it?

All the time. Someone wiser than me (on Twitter, I believe) said the only writers who think their writing is great are the bad ones, and I’m definitely an adherent to that axiom. Whenever I pick up a book by Jim Butcher, Orson Scott Card, or Brandon Sanderson – that man is magical, I swear – I become absolutely drenched with discouragement because I know I will never be able to tell stories like they do. But then their stories pluck me up and transport me to new worlds, and I am encouraged with them simultaneously, because I’m honored to live in a world which produces such amazing storytellers.

The more encouraging moments are when I read through my own stories and stumble across a passage that just works and can answer that thought with, “Wait, I did write that! But how?” It doesn’t happen often, but it makes all the rest worth it.

Q. Where’s your favorite place to write?

I found a wonderful spot in Heidelberg, Germany, right under the crook of a centuries-old sandstone bridge, where I could watch the water flow by, type on my iPad, glance up at the crumbling castle from time to time, and listen to the sounds of the old-town city center behind me – a beautiful mixture of snippets of half-decipherable German and horrid American accents…that was wonderful. Failing that, because the year in Germany is over and I’m back in California (and the flight is really long), I like coffee shops. I need background noise, be it musical or vocal, and while I’m extremely introverted when I’m writing, the semblance of life going on around me is comforting and encouraging. I like at least pretending life isn’t passing me by.

Q. How would you describe your sense of humor? What makes you laugh?

It’s always the little, quirky things. I’m endlessly entertained by the twists and snags of language. For instance, there are at least three words for “comfortable” in German. “Angenehm” refers to the metaphoric and social atmosphere, when one is comfortable talking to someone; “bequem” is reserved for physical comfort, as in couches, chairs, and cafeteria stools; and “gemütlich” is this wonderful conglomerate of a word encompassing “cozy,” “welcoming,” “warm,” “open,” “homey,” and twenty other terms I can’t list off – it has no direct translation into English. On the other hand, “böse” is an adjective which relates everything from unruly in the phrase, “Bad dog!” to the “evil” appellation of a James Bond villain. These things – the little mysteries of language and life – never fail to tickle me.

Q. Do you have news of any works-in-progress you’d care to share with us?

It would be counter-productive to describe all the half-written stories I’m working on, because I never know which narrator will be talkative next, but I’ll let you know what’s slated for publication in the near future. “Blast Off” is a short piece on a man determined to get his ex-lover back after a six-year absence, no matter what the lover says, and will be published in November. It’s special to me because it’s set in a futuristic society which, while it doesn’t get much screen time in the short, is the setting of an in-progress novel where I can play with water worlds, spaceships, and genetic mutations, all the while staying true to my M/M self. (I didn’t have enough science fiction toys as a child, apparently.) Next after “Blast Off” will be “Valentino’s Valentine,” a tale of what goes wrong when you actually hold to those “okay-to-kiss” lists some couples make before entering committed relationships; as the prize in a soda-can contest, Will wins a date with movie star Vincent Valentino, but he soon realizes the real romance is the one waiting for him at home. Finally, in March, “No More Lonely Lullabies” will pick up Cole and Jake’s story a year after “Singing Alone,” where the happily-ever-after Cole predicted hasn’t quite arrived. I’m very excited to announce my first print book, an anthology of three of my music-centric stories, will be published in April under the title “Heartsong,” which I find quite fitting; the goal of romance is, after all, to sing to readers’ hearts, wouldn’t you say?

Q. Where can we find you on the internet?

My homepage is www.jennifercierra.weebly.com, and links to all of my stories are available there. (A convenient releases newsletter subscription button, which is feeling quite lonely lately, is also there.) Past that, I’m available on Twitter (https://twitter.com/CierraJennifer) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/JenniferCierra). I love hearing from readers, so please drop me a line!

Q. Would you be willing to share an excerpt from one of your books with us?

Of course! This is from “Champagne Bubbly,” my newest release (which is also up for grabs as a freebie give-away – check out the details below!):

About half of the guests had arrived when, after checking my hair and making sure the sweat wasn’t too visible under my armpits, I finally exited my office. Andrea, looking stunning in a navy blue, knee-length sailor dress I was fairly certain was from Guess, leg-enhancing patent leather heels, and her long dark curls, gave me a relieved grin.

“Hey — glad to see you. I was starting to worry you’d gotten lost in the desk-clutter.” Andrea was always complaining about my addiction to paper scraps, but I just couldn’t work my iPhone the way she could. Too old-fashioned, maybe.

I forced a smile, ignoring Andrea’s immediate suspicious reaction. “Sorry about that. I’m here now.”

“Uh … okay. Listen, Dan, do you know where the champagne is? I can’t find it.”

“It’s coming,” I promised, but before I could answer Andrea’s confused expression, Mrs. Cameron, my eclectic boss, grabbed my arm, pulling me aside.

“Danny!” she whispered, voice horror-filled. “It’s an emergency!”

“What is?” I asked, mind racing. Did the caterer forget the vegetarian canapés? Was there a recall on GQ scarves? Did someone die in the living room?

“I’ve been looking at that book of yours, and there’s a typo.”

My heart stopped beating. If Mrs. Cameron, who was notoriously blind as a bat, could see it, it was glaring. And on my first real book, too … Voice low, I asked, “Where?”

“Here, right on the back,” she answered, grabbing my elbow in her claw-like fingers and leading me to the white-clothed table with the advance copy of my book enshrouded by white roses and quill pens. My pride and joy — my baby, even if my mother was convinced it was just trash fiction.

She lifted the book, flipped it over, and pointed to the promotional blurb. I blinked at the familiar text, confused. “Where?”

“Right there!” Taking in my baffled expression, she read, “‘Jacob, a successful auto mechanic in the L.A. Basin,’ blah-blah, ‘has always felt something was missing in his love life — but then he meets Charlie Somers. In his eyes, Jacob starts …'” She stopped, looking at me expectantly.

I blinked. “… what am I supposed to be noticing?”

“Sweetie, the pronoun’s wrong! And you call yourself an editor? You wrote ‘his’!”

“Uh … Mrs. Cameron …”

“Right there, see? ‘In his eyes’?”

“Mrs. Cameron,” I coughed to clear my throat, “I told you the book was slash fiction, didn’t I?”

“Well, yes, but I don’t see horror elements having anything to do with a simple typo …”

“Horror elements?” I chuckled despite myself. “Mrs. C, I think you’re thinking slasher fiction. Maybe. I’m honestly not sure. Anyway, slash fiction means two guys. You know, homosexual? Gay?” Me?

“Oh!” Blinking owlishly behind her spectacles, Mrs. Cameron turned back to the book, pursing her frog-like lips. “Oh. Well, of course then, dear. Now where did that slang come from? Kids these days.” I smiled, extricating myself from her, but not before catching her muttering to herself, “They really publish that stuff these days? Who buys it?”

That’s what I’m hoping to find out, Mrs. C, I thought wryly. I didn’t get two steps, though, before being captured by Wynn Smith, an old classmate of mine, whom I had invited for the sole purpose of guilting her into reviewing my book after its official release, tomorrow. “Dan!”

“Hey, Wynn! How are you?”

“Fine — happy birthday!” She was all smiles for another thirty seconds before her expression reverted to the sneering smirk I remembered from college, the one that had made her so famous in the newspaper-and-blog world. “Listen, Dan, the appetizers are great, but do you have anything harder than coffee? I’m absolutely craving some bubbly, and I know you’re probably holding out for the toast, but I would be so grateful if you could snag me a glass …”

I cringed. “Yeah, I’m sure …” How long did it take to drive out from Walnut Avenue, anyway?

As if on cue, I heard the doorbell ring. Excusing myself from Wynn, I hurried to the door, hoping beyond hope it wasn’t just another party guest.

My prayers were, for once, answered. Standing on the front step, a muscular man with spiked brown hair and cheerful chestnut eyes waited with a black crate propped against his hip. He brightened when he saw me, and I opened my mouth to ask him to bring the box in the kitchen door where the guests wouldn’t see him, but then I caught sight of his dimples and my voice stopped working.

Cocoa skin and chocolate eyes and a smile that said sin and salvation simultaneously, he was the protagonist of one of my novels brought to life.

Thanks again very much for being here today, Jennifer! I hope you’ll come back and visit again soon!

Okay, how would you like a chance to win some FREE books from Jennifer Cierra?! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and you’ll be automatically entered. The first place winner will receive a copy of Jennifer’s newest release, Champagne Bubbles, and the second place winner will receive a copy of Melting Wax and Burning Feathers. Be sure to leave your email address in your comment, as well, so we know how to contact you. Good luck!

**Deadline for entry is 11:59pm Pacific Time (2:59am Easter) on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012.**

Standard
Jennifer Cierra, JMS Books LLC, Small Gems

Small Gems – Champagne Bubbly by Jennifer Cierra

“It may have just been a moment to you, but it changed every single one that followed for me.” – (pleasefindthis – Author of the book I Wrote This for You)

Sometimes there is a lovely symmetry to all the possible things that can go wrong with the most carefully laid plans, when one of those wrongs turns into something so very right. For Dan Rorney, a few missing bottles of champagne turned out to be one of the best non-gifts he could ever have hoped for even though at the time, he’d have gladly murdered his little brother for flaking out on him and potentially ruining not only his birthday but the launch party for his new novel, as well.

But as fate or fortune or whatever name you give those happy accidents that seem to stage interventions at the most opportune moments and snub their noses at the whims of mortal men would have it, Dan makes a chance phone call to Shamrock Off Sale, a call that brings Chris Tennyson knocking on his door, bearing champagne and inadvertently turning Dan’s thoughts toward something that, to that point, he’d only ever dreamt of in his philosophies.

Reading a man can be difficult when the signals being sent out are mixed, and an evening of what seemed to be connection turns into questions without clear answers, but hope is there nonetheless that what you think was there was truly more than the ephemeral bubbles popping in the champagne you shared. Longing becomes need and need becomes risk at the expense of possibly being wrong, but not to try is to surely fail, and failure or success becomes the difference between staying and running away.

Champagne Bubbly is a story that once again left me wanting for more, but in only the best possible way. Jennifer Cierra seems to have a gift for teasing me with her charming men at their romantic best, giving me just enough to make me fall in love with them before bringing things to a close and allowing my imagination to take over, picturing all the most wonderful possible scenarios for a long a happy future for them.

Available for purchase in all formats from:

**WATCH FOR CONTEST DETAILS HERE.**

Standard
Dreamspinner Press, Mary Calmes

But For You by Mary Calmes

“How would this do: and they all settled down and lived together happily ever after?” – J.R.R. Tolkien

Literary history is rampant with the names of legendary couples who will forever be linked, one with the other: Romeo and Juliet, Heathcliff and Catherine, Rhett and Scarlett, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. The list is endless. For those of us who love M/M romance, though, well, our lists look a little bit different than that of the classical mainstream. Our lists include names like Ty and Zane, Adrien and Jake, Victor and Jacob. And I know my list wouldn’t be complete without Sam Kage and Jory Harcourt.

It takes a huge amount of dedication, love, and commitment for an author to build the lives of their characters from little more than the first spark of an idea, then to construct an entire world around a first kiss and on to the hardships and trials that will eventually lead them to a happy beginning. It’s sometimes a slow and painful and arduous journey, one that at times might cause you to wonder if the author is trying to gut you where you sit because you see and know what the characters can’t—that it’s all going to be okay in the end.

But with as much dedication as it takes to create these lives, it takes just as much determination, if not more, to know when it’s time to say goodbye. And that’s what But For You felt like to me—a slow, sweet goodbye, but not in an entirely heartrending way because Mary Calmes made it all okay in the end. She made it so that Jory stopped running away when things got tough, made it so Sam stayed too, fighting for the love that was so difficult for him to claim in the beginning, made it so Sam and Jory stood together and fought for their family, fought to keep them safe from a man straight out of Sam’s past, a man who wasn’t who he pretended to be. It was the perfect beginning to their ending—or maybe the perfect ending to their beginning. Either way, knowing that Sam and Jory are forever lingering out there in the realms of ink and paper, carrying on, finding trouble where ever it’s to be found, and loving each other; well, that makes the farewell just a little bit easier.

Because Mary Calmes did what she always does best: made it all okay for us in the end.

Buy But For You Here:

Standard
Josephine Myles, Samhain Publishing

The Hot Floor by Josephine Myles

“Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it.” – Les Brown

Josh Carpenter wants. He wants and needs something so badly that he’s willing to reveal certain truths that he’d never before imagined admitting aloud, neither to himself nor to anyone else. And especially not to Evan Truman and Rai Nakamura, the couple about whom Josh harbors certain fantasies.

The Hot Floor is a story narrated by a lonely and starving man, who wants and needs but doesn’t know how to ask for what it is he desires. Josh is a man who yearns for simple and ordinary things: someone to love, someone to love him in return, to be a part of something bigger than himself, to find someone to embrace him for nothing more than that he’s willing to give everything of himself, and all he wants in return is to hold a place of value in that relationship. Never would Josh have imagined that he’d find all of that and more within the hierarchy of a partnership between himself and a loving and committed couple.

Josephine Myles has written a lovely and compelling story that explores the complications of a ménage relationship; the jealousy, the fear, the uncertainty of exactly where and how to fit in, the confusion of the absolute certainty that it’s possible to fall in love with two people equally and with absolute abandon and commitment, and the utter certainty that until you give voice to your wants and desires, you run the risk of going without all of those things that are right there in front of you for the taking.

While this story is undeniably erotic, I found it to be much more provocative in its exploration of the whys and hows of a couple who seemed perfectly content in what they had but were willing to rebuild themselves around a man who brought another layer of something to their relationship they didn’t even know was missing. Within Josh’s passive submissiveness, the three men found something that strengthened their foundation, a natural spectrum in the sexual order that completed them in a way they hadn’t thought possible. In a world that embraces monogamy, Evan and Rai and Josh break the rules; Josh isn’t merely a placeholder in a relationship that was missing something or was broken. No, he becomes a necessary component in the completion of a picture that now makes perfect sense.

Of course, this is all presented in Josephine Myles’ most charming and clever way, with all the witty banter and loveable characters that I’ve come to expect from her stories. This story made me want to imagine these men far into the future and hope they were still finding their happily-ever-after together.

The Hot Floor is available in all formats at:

Standard
Allen Mack, JMS Books LLC

Phallic Worship: World Wide & Centuries Long by Allen Mack

I’m not sure which eye-popping feature of Phallic Worship: World Wide & Centuries Long caught my eye first, the title or the cover model. I’ll say the title—if I say the cover model, it’ll make me seem shallow. But whichever it was, one thing is certain: Allen Mack has written an interesting read, especially looking at it from a straight woman’s perspective, as this short work of non-fiction chronicles some of history and religion’s most glorious observations and celebrations of the penis.

Let’s face it, male genitalia has gotten a lot of attention over the centuries, as a symbol of virility and fertility, given form and power and awareness in both swords and guns, and complementing the oral fixation in cigars and cigarettes. Sigmund Freud dedicated a portion of his life’s work to the phallic symbol and psycho-sexual development and the pleasure principle, although at some point along the way, some very wise person once observed that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. And I suppose it could also be said, then, that a penis is just a penis, which is true but not nearly as much fun as imagining all its various and fundamental significance.

The whole concept of penis worship is interesting, really, proving that throughout the centuries, a man’s fascination with his own member—as well as fascination with others’, in a world where sexual relationships between men were once very readily accepted as significant, and at times also seen as a power exchange—has evolved into an utterly instinctual preoccupation with it. Little boys (I have two of the delightful little creatures), from the moment they discover there’s something there between their legs to grab hold of, can’t seem to leave it alone! More power to them, I say.

Phallic Worship: World Wide & Centuries Long perhaps captures a very definite component in the kinship between a significant niche of women and men—we both can very much appreciate the celebration of and love for the male physique. I know I, for one, am a fan, and reading Allen Mack’s enthusiastic tribute to the penis and all the ways in which it’s been glorified and venerated throughout time makes, at the risk of again seeming shallow, absolute and perfect sense to me.

Available To Purchase In All Formats Here:

Standard
Carina Press, L.B. Gregg

Men of Smithfield: Adam and Holden by L.B. Gregg

“Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.” – Michael Pritchard

Holden Worthington wasn’t always stricken by panic attacks; at one time he was a world traveler who chronicled his global experiences in the books he wrote to make his living. But that was before his ex-lover betrayed him in front of Geraldo Rivera and all the general Geraldo-viewing population. Now, to a large segment of the Smithfield population, Holden’s just a hermitic, gay porn writing pariah, so he keeps himself to himself not by choice but by circumstance and fear. That is, until Adam Morgan enters the picture and suddenly makes Holden want to do things he hasn’t done or wanted to do for a very long time.

My first impression of Men of Smithfield: Adam and Holden was that it felt very claustrophobic. Odd, no? Well, yes, but it also sort of makes sense, and here’s why. This installment of the Smithfield series takes place almost entirely inside Holden’s house, because Holden is agoraphobic, you see, and his home is not only his sanctuary but his sanity, as well, which is why the story felt so close and crowded—the reader is wedged into a confined setting that’s helped along entirely by the tight prose of the author, who takes a man who panics at the mere idea of stepping across the threshold of his home, even to go only as far as his own backyard, and throws him a houseful of people to contend with, as well as a dead body that’s discovered behind his gardening shed; a body that’s discovered by Adam, a young man with a past and a disability, who is now Holden’s gardener…and his biggest temptation.

Did the gardener do it? Before that question can be answered, the cops have to figure out who the body is…was, and Holden also has to prove who it wasn’t, then prove he himself is not only innocent of murder but is also incapable of having committed the crime in spite of some very recent and inconvenient evidence to the contrary. And he has to do this all while dealing with an ex-lover, a philandering drunk of a brother, a soon-to-be ex-sister-in-law, a nosy priest, and a stern but loyal housekeeper. It’s enough to make anyone crazy.

Men of Smithfield: Adam and Holden does what this series has done so well from the beginning, with its intriguing little mystery paralleling the budding romance between two men who probably shouldn’t work, but somehow they do. These are not perfect men in a perfect world; they’re men who’re just a little bit broken but together shore each other up and make any- and everything a perfect possibility.

I just wish I knew there were more to come.

This Title Will Be Available on November 26, 2012 from:

Standard
Torquere Press

Kristi Boulware Announces Some Exciting Changes At Torquere Press

Hey y’all! I am still recovering from my first year at GayRomLit. It was an amazing experience for Torquere Press as a whole. I was able to meet SO many great authors, great readers and just overall wonderful people. The organizers Carol Lynn, Theresa, Ethan, Damon and Heidi were just phenomenal in all aspects. The volunteers were just running their little butts off especially Brandi and Randy. They were everywhere all at once it seemed. The events were great from the pictionary, kinky crafts, karaoke, scrapbook party and more. Torquere hosted a great mexican luncheon down in Old Town where we gave away tons of books for NOH8, enjoyed yummy food and made a big announcement.

Those of you that have been friends/fans of Torquere Press for the last almost 10 years know our history. We were started by Shawn (BA Tortuga) and Lorna (Julia Talbot) because no one else out there at the time was willing to publish M/M. They wanted a place that was a safe haven to publish what they were passionate about writing. Well in the last 10 years Torquere Press has grown and flourished, as with any business there were some ups and downs but overall the company has had a steady upward growth streak. Prizm Books is the Young Adult imprint from Torquere Press that was started in 2007 and has recently gone through a complete overhaul. All this being said, at our luncheon Shawn announced that she is stepping down as President of Torquere. Shawn is an author at heart and wants to write. That is her passion and what she “does”. Lorna also is working towards the same goal. These two amazingly brilliant women knew that with the growth of the company continuing that this was a great time to pass on the torch. I, Kristi Boulware, have a background in business management and marketing. I will be running Torquere Press and Prizm Books as the General Manager and Submissions Editor. We will be adding on staff as we continue to grow and hopefully by mid next year Lorna can also step down and focus solely on her writing. We are so excited about the growth that is happening from updating our cover art on new and backlist releases, adding special calls, opening new genres and so much more.

Now, back to GRL. We also hosted a bowling party that the authors and readers seemed to have the best time. We laughed, cheered, jumped around, drank beer and generally had a great time. Both of our events seemed to really help the attendees with the chance to get out of the hotel and have a chance to be out and about.

Overall GayRomLit was a great experience and we are already planning next year in Atlanta. Hope to see you all there and feel free to let me know what types of great things you suggest us to do when we get there.

Thank you,

Kristi Boulware
General Manager – Submissions Editor
Torquere Press, Inc.
http://www.torquerepress.com
Romance for the Rest of Us
GLBT Romance

Prizm Books, a subsidiary of Torquere Press
http://www.prizmbooks.com
There’s Room Under the Rainbow
Young Adult Fiction

Standard
Alina Ray, Storm Moon Press

“Hell Bound” and Devil’s Night Anthology with Alina Ray – Welcome Alina!

Hi, everyone! Alina Ray here. Thanks to Lisa and The Novel Approach for allowing me to take over your blog to talk about my story “Hell Bound” in Devil’s Night.

I was scrolling through the anthology calls on Storm Moon Press’ website when one caught my eye. They wanted stories all about demons and devils. At first, I scrolled right past it, because I’m usually not a very dark person, and I didn’t think I would be able to write dark. But my mind never let it go; it circled around and around until it came up with an idea.

Now, I know that there are tons of different ways to write about demons. I could have gone literal; I could have gone subtle, more human. I mean, the ways to write about devils and demons are about as endless as the meaning of the word demon itself. What truly makes something a demon? I decided to take the literal approach. I decided to make my main demon a demon in Hell. One who actually works for the devil himself. I went with the interpretation of a demon that I feel most people picture when they think of a demon; red skin, dark hair, horns.

Once I decided that I wanted my story to take place in Hell, I had to decide what, exactly, would happen there. Do demons just sit around all day worshiping a devil? I wanted my demons to have a purpose. And what better purpose could they serve than punishing those souls who are sent to Hell for their misdeeds on Earth?

Enter Craig, my other main character. He was sent to Hell to atone for all of his wrongdoings, but he doesn’t know what he did. As an aside, I originally had him stand in a seemingly endless line to get into Hell, but the editor pointed out that the television show Supernatural had already done that. I haven’t seen Supernatural, so I was a bit bummed that my oh-so-clever idea had already been done. Although, looking back, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. :)

Upon his arrival into Hell, Craig is assigned to a young demon named Karawan, and then the fun begins. Karawan is determined to punish Craig and make him feel genuine remorse for what he did. The problem with this, aside from the lack of Craig’s memory, is the fact that Craig actually likes his punishments. They turn him on. This is something that Karawan hasn’t encountered before, and it flusters him. So, along with the help of his mentor, Moloch, he comes up with creative ways to deal with Craig.

On the one hand, this story was a lot of fun to write. I got to experiment with things that would really push the envelope with “real” people. Craig is already dead, so it’s not like anything I could come up to do with him would kill him again. I liked being able to let that side out of me a little bit. On the other hand, I was really surprised where my mind took me.

Some of the scenes in this short story are pretty dark; at least, I think so. But it’s Hell, so I don’t think it would have been complete without at least a little darkness. Especially with creatures whose entire existence is to punish people. Over the years, they would have had to come up with extreme ways to punish some of the more extreme cases.

One thing I did was I didn’t make Hell permanent. People are only there for the period of time it takes them to feel truly sorry for what they did. Not to get too philosophical, or religious, but it never made a lot of sense to me that people were sent to Hell for all eternity for their misdeeds during their relatively short life. It seemed to me that Hell should just be a stop on their way to whatever afterlife is next. Yes, these people have to account for what they did, but should they really feel guilty for all eternity? It’s a theme I kept in mind as I wrote my story, and I hope readers don’t mind it!

Again, I want to thank Lisa and The Novel Approach for allowing me to take over this blog! I hope you enjoy reading “Hell Bound” as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Alina Ray is the proud author of two Storm Moon Press short stories. Her 1980’s tattoo-centric story “Powder” is included in the Written in Flesh, and her devilish short “Hell Bound” will release in the Devil’s Night anthology.

Standard
Abigail Roux, Aleksandr Voinov, Amy Lane, Ariel Tachna, Charlie Cochet, DC Juris, DH Starr, Eden Winters, Edmond Manning, Ethan Day, J.P. Barnaby, Jacob Z. Flores, Jamie Fessenden, K. Piet, M.J. O'Shea, Marie Sexton, Michele L. Montgomery, P.D. Singer, Piper Vaughn, Ramblings, Rhys Ford, Rick R. Reed

I’m back, sick as a dawg, and suffering from sleep deprivation. Man, was it worth it!




I’m not even going to lie… GayRomLit 2012 was the most fun I’ve ever had with all of my clothes on. Heh. Shhhh, sorry I went there. :-D

Bonnie (a lovely fan whose last name is escaping me), Rick R. Reed, Michele L. Montgomery, Me, and Rhys Ford at dinner

But seriously, let me tell you, there are very few things I will leave my family for, and GayRomLit 20–, yes, all of them—for many years to come, I hope—is the one event for which I’ll put the hubby on full-time kid duty and bid them all farewell, even if it means they eat like crap the entire time I’m gone (Hey, they were all alive this morning, so I count it as a Daddy Success; although #1 son is suffering from some gastrointestinal issues. ::insert “God, mom, you’re so inappropriate!” here::), and even if it means I have to suffer from sleep deprivation ::dear gods:: and a miserable cold every single time afterward.::sniffles:: :-P Trust me, it’s so very worth it.

The lovely, lovely Eden Winters and P.D. Singer

There were dozens of stellar moments from the weekend, starting with the sheer number of amazing and talented people I met, both authors and readers alike, topped only by the fact that now I get to call at least a few of those wonderful people “friend”. I don’t know what they’ll call me, though. Probably “Restraining Order”. And I finally got to meet two women whom I’ve loved for years — Michele L. Montgomery and Rhys Ford — and had the thrill of meeting so many of the authors of whom I’ve been a rabid fan for what feels like forever!

Yes, there were some embarrassingly bad fan-girl squee moments for me–ugly crying all over Amy Lane in the middle of a crowded restaurant, tackle-hugging Piper Vaughn in an elevator, ninja-leaping over the arm of a chair in the hotel lobby so I could hug Aleksandr Voinov (who I didn’t know was going to be there), threatening to club Marie Sexton over the head so I could steal her freaking amazing boots, and asking waaaaaay too many questions in the Author Q & A with Lynn Lorenz, M.J. O’Shea, Abigail Roux (who is really Ty Grady in disguise), and J.P. Barnaby. They were sick of me before it was over, I know, but dammit, how many times do you get a chance to sit down with authors and ask them deep and thought provoking questions such as: Abigail, do you make up all the sayings on Ty’s t-shirts? ::eyeroll:: Yes, I asked that question. Am I an idiot? Why yes, yes I am. Whatever. ^_^

The incomparable Amy Lane

And I’m going to sneak this one small thing in here too, which was just an amazing, amazing experience for me–listening to Edmond Manning read a passage from King Perry! They gave me the entire seat, but I only used the edge, swear. I don’t think it’s any big secret that I have a deep burning passion for that book, like a sick love for it, so listening to him read and getting to meet him in person was an over-the-top moment. He’s funny and charming and his kindness radiates from him in waves. AND, I’ve had the privilege of reading the first three chapters of book 6 of the series, King Daniel, which was one of his giveaway items. ::heaven:: I’m all verklempt from the awesomeness of it.

Edmond Manning – hotel soap really is lucky! :)

Some of my most wonderful memories didn’t revolve around the scheduled events at GayRomLit at all, though. They revolve around the dinners I had the immense pleasure of sharing with Rhys, Michele, Rick R. Reed, DH Starr, Jacob Z. Flores and his husband Bruce, and Jamie Fessenden. Yeah, the conversation was wildly inappropriate–ask Rhys about when she was little and gnawed on her cousin’s nuts when he sat on her face (she can show you on the dolly where the bad touch happened), or ask Rick R. Reed about his sexy-ass sword and tool…er, I mean tulle, pics. Oh, ha! Or you could ask him about the story he wrote about the guy who air-launches a carrot out of his bum-hole. Yes, he went there. I read the story. It really exists. And how’s this for a supremely bad move on the restaurant hostess’s part: They sat a family with children next to us–can I get a witness? It was a caca bad move on the restaurant’s part, for sure, right guys? But my after dinner conversation with DH and Jacob about education and diversity and the responsibility I feel toward raising decent and compassionate human beings? Well, that was pretty much just the perfect way to end the evening. It proves there were actually some grownup moments among all the “Dear God, did we really go there?” times.

Jacob Z. Flores, his amazing hubby Bruce, and my lucky breath mints

So, now I’m brain dead. It was a C-I-L-L my brain cells D-E-D sort of weekend from which it’ll take days to recover, and all I can say is, Atlanta 2013. If you want to attend an event where fun spills over into friendships, GRL is the one. I know I’ll be there.








Michele L. Montgomery, DH Starr, and a case of the big rainbow balls

Charlie Cochet, who is pocket-sized, adorable, and I wanted to bring her home with me!

The amazing Ethan Day. I had had many gin & tonics here. :-P

DC Juris and Michele L. Montgomery

Michele L. Montgomery and Rick R. Reed

Q&A with Abigail Roux and J.P. Barnaby

The wonderful Jamie Fessenden

The inexhaustible K.Piet

The lovely Amy Lane and the electric Ariel Tachna

Standard
Heidi Belleau, Violetta Vane

Galway Bound (Layers of the Otherworld 1.1) by Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane

“For the voyeur, fiction is what’s called going all the way.” – William H. Gass

Well, seems I’m a story-bound voyeur, i.e. – “an obsessive observer of sensational subjects.” Who knew? Okay, I confess… I knew a little bit. Okay, a lot bit. But please, Cormac Kelly and Sean O’Hara most definitely qualify as sensational subjects, so why, in the name of all that’s sexy as hell, would I want to look away?

The erotic vignette, Galway Bound, takes place a year or so beyond the end of the epic The Druid Stone, during a time in Cormac and Sean’s relationship where life and work have done little to continue fanning the flames of their passion. Oh, they love each other, to be sure; they’re just looking for a little somethin’-somethin’ to spice up their sex life, and holy hotness, did they find just the thing. It seems that Sean’s discovering he very well may be a sexual submissive, and Cormac? Well, Cormac’s no stranger to BDSM and has no issues with giving his man exactly what he needs. He even has the toys to do it, and he’s not at all afraid to use them.

If you haven’t read The Druid Stone and want to read a short, steamy, and kinktastic little love scene between two men who’re all about pushing boundaries and limits through dominance and submission and denial and fulfillment, then Galway Bound provides just that, and does it beautifully.

If you have read The Druid Stone, became invested in the relationship between Cormac and Sean, in their journey and all the adventure that came along with it, then Galway Bound is a lovely scene between the two men who’re beginning a new journey of building trust and exploring new and sensual ways of redefining what it is they’re involved in and all the possibilities that it holds for their future.

Either way, Heidi Belleau and Violetta Vane have written a provocative and evocative scene that made me wonder if I myself have any limits at all on what I find thoroughly seductive.

Buy Link

Standard
Carina Press, Diana Copland

A Reason to Believe by Diana Copland

“Obsession is a negative passion.” – Paul Carvel

One man’s twisted obsession turns to murder in Diana Copland’s tautly written and immensely suspenseful A Reason to Believe, the story of Detective Matthew Bennett and his involvement in the investigation of missing six-year-old Abigail Marie Reynolds, on Christmas Eve.

There are things that are horrifying; then there are things that are so utterly beyond comprehension, things that defy reason and sanity, the sorts of things that give you nightmares and haunt you through your days, that leave you scarred and scared to believe in anything good anymore. In the life of a cop, that’s a little truer than for most. In the life of Matt Bennett, it seems to be the rule rather than the exception. Left devastated by the murder of his partner and lover, in a sad case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, Matt is the detective who discovers little Abby’s body. But it wasn’t jarring enough to have made the gruesome discovery. No, it was made even more disturbing by the fact that it was little Abby herself who led Matt to her dreadful hiding place in the basement of her own home.

Thrown off the case and put on administrative leave for doing nothing more than telling the truth, Matt is forced to stand on the sidelines and watch as his department bungles and botches its way through an investigation with no leads and no other viable suspects than Marc Reynolds, Abby’s father—or at least none they’re pursuing. Though Matt’s own instincts tell him the man is innocent, that’s not much to go on when his opinion holds little to no credibility with his homophobic boss, who now thinks he’s delusional, as well, and is looking for any reason to fire Matt. Desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures, and sometimes desperate people—even those who are jaded and those whose job it is to deal in tangible proof—will do whatever it takes to get to the truth.

That’s where renowned medium Kiernan Fitzpatrick comes into play, and it’s when he and Matt begin to work together to solve Abby’s murder that things take a turn for the incredible. It’s a race against time, as Abby’s spirit becomes more agitated that her father is in danger of being convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. It’s a race against the odds as the physical danger to both Matt and Kiernan escalates, the closer they get to the ugly truth and the more evident it becomes they’re fighting against men who’re supposed to be the good guys.

A Reason to Believe is the perfect blend of murder mystery, romance, and the supernatural, and if you look closely enough, you might make some connections to the case of another murdered six-year-old girl; though in the book, unlike in real life, justice was served. This book was an edge-of-my-seat, couldn’t-put-it-down read, with a red-herring or two thrown in just to keep me guessing at the identity of the killer, all the way to the big reveal.

Not only were Matt and Kiernan completely wonderful in their roles as romantic heroes of the story, but Diana Copland also populated her entire cast with the perfect blend of both the good and the bad, and I’d love nothing more than for these two men to take this paranormal crime solving business seriously enough to come back again and again. And soon.

Available In All E-Formats Here

Standard
Carina Press, L.B. Gregg

The Men of Smithfield: Seth and David by L.B. Gregg

“I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this, but first impressions are often entirely wrong.” – Lemony Snicket

I feel like I’m getting really redundant when it comes to L.B. Gregg’s books. I mean, honestly, ::pfft:: she makes this storytelling business look so flipping effortless ::yawn:: that I’ve run out of ways to give up the booyah! without repeating myself. ::headdesk::

Recap:

Brings the funny – check
Delivers the shmexy – check
Throws in some drama and suspense – check
Perfect timing and fast paced – check
Awesome couple – check and double check

Seriously, what more is there to say? “The Men of Smithfield” series, now three books in, with one more to come, population – fab, is one of those series I can see myself reading over and over again. In fact, I’ve already read Seth and David twice. Why? I’m not even sure I can answer that without being redundant.

So let’s look at the facts: Seth Weston is really a bit of an arse, not on purpose I don’t think, he just can’t seem to help opening his mouth and inserting his giant, erogenous feet into his big old gob. He’s grumpy, bossy, judgmental; he had intimate relations with a massage table… Oh yeah, he went there because David Cooke was just doing his job, poking and prodding and soothing all of Seth’s non-sexual bits and pieces, but it felt so damn good that Seth exploded right there between the sheets while birdies warbled and Celtic music thrummed ethereally in the air like a backbeat to some new age-y porn flick.

And let me tell you this: David Cooke was not amused.

David is every single thing Seth never thought he wanted: tattooed, pierced, fey…an underachiever. But see, Seth was guilty of the sin of judging a book by its cover, when that book was far deeper and more complex, far more eloquent and enigmatic, than Seth could ever have imagined, and it isn’t long before Seth wants to dig into the story of David and try to unravel all of his infinite surprises.

The Men of Smithfield: Seth and David is the story of two men who are entirely opposite but end up having one very important thing in common. Two small things, actually, two little girls they love. Okay, maybe there’s a third bigger thing too; they can’t keep their lips and hands off each other, and it’s that irresistible attraction that becomes a foundation for their family.

A deadbeat dad, a jealous ex, blackmail, kidnapping: there’s plenty to keep things interesting in this one, start to finish.

Buy Men of Smithfield: Seth and David in E-Pub Here

All Other Formats Here

Standard
Amber Allure, Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press, Eden Winters, Ethan Day, Geoffrey Knight, K. Piet, Less Than Three Press, P.D. Singer, Piper Vaughn, Rhys Ford, Smashwords, Storm Moon Press, Xara X. Xanakas

And I’m Off To GayRomLit Land…

It’s early. Early! ::yawns:: But there’s something a little less difficult about getting up at 4:00am when you know you’re off to the airport for a long weekend of fun, right? Sure, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. ::Starbucks::

I want to take a minute to do two things. First, to say thank you so much to all the authors who very generously donated their immense talents to my GayRomLit Countdown Celebration. Without the help of Eden Winters, Rhys Ford, Amy Lane, K. Piet, Piper Vaughn & Xara X. Xanakas, P.D. Singer, and Geoffrey Knight & Ethan Day, there wouldn’t have even been a celebration to be had, so I will forever be grateful for your kindness and participation.

Second, I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to the fans of all these authors, who stopped by and left comments. I’m sure your interest in them and their work is greatly appreciated and extremely gratifying to each and every one of them.

And last but not lease, a big congratulations to all those who have received, or will soon be receiving, their prizes!

Here’s a recap of the lucky winners:

Winner: trisha2144




















Winner: Boxtersushi






Winner: Rosie M






Winner: K. Piet’s “Surrender” and one backlist book: pearls

Winner: Melora






Winner: Anna






Winner: Nancy




















Ready or not, Albuquerque, here I come!

Standard
Abigail Roux, Riptide Publishing

The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux

“The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.” – Italo Calvino

Gravedigger’s Tavern wasn’t always a tavern. At one time it was simply a Victorian home that has, since its origin, become a house of horrors, a place enlightened by a darkness so evil that the spirits of the long-suffering dead haunt the in-between realms, searching for escape. It is a place where things go bump in the night, a place where Ash Lucroix and his co-workers begin experiencing strange phenomena that, at first glance, seem easily explained away. But Gravedigger’s is a something wicked this way comes sort of place; a double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and caldron bubble sort of place. A you’d best start believin’ in ghost stories, Dr. Case. You’re in one kind of place. It is a place where a long-dead evil seeks out the lost, and yearns to drag them into his own special brand of hell.

And Ash could very well have a one way ticket there.

Wyatt Case is the head curator for the Virginia Historical Society, whose job is on the line if he can’t come up with an exhibit to draw crowds to the museum. Ash is a flair bartender at Gravedigger’s, a man who is unlike anyone Wyatt has ever met—or wanted—but their attraction to each other is immediate and undeniable. Their first meeting leads to a bout of hot, drunken sex; though in a display of oops-I-totally-effed –up, Wyatt sneaks out afterwards without a word or backward glance, unsure of himself, of what had just happened, or of what to do about a man to whom he shouldn’t have been attracted in the first place. Wyatt treats Ash like a one-and-done but quickly comes to regret it, because it seems Ash Lucroix is a man Wyatt won’t soon or easily forget.

The trick is they both need to survive long enough to discover if there will be a future for them to look forward to.

The countdown to the Gravedigger’s Brawl is filled with creepies and crawlies and spooks and shivers, and the very distinct possibility that Ash may well be losing his mind as things get stranger and more macabre, not to mention more malevolent. Wyatt and his best friend Noah Drake begin digging into the very sordid history of the house, and the deeper they dig, the more frightening the house’s history becomes, as they unearth the crimes of a vicious and sadistic man who has managed to cross the thin barrier between the physical world and his purgatory.

The Gravedigger’s Brawl is a spooky/sexy/sublime ghoulies and ghosties story that throws in a little romance on the side. Or maybe it’s a spooky/sexy/sublime romance that throws in the ghoulies and ghosties on the side? Either way, Abigail Roux has delivered. I was going to go on there, but that’s really all there is to say. Seems to be my opinion of all the books I’ve read by this author, which is why she remains a favorite.

Abigail Roux is a GayRomLit participating author. You can find her blog HERE.

Buy The Gravedigger’s Brawl Here

Standard
Anne Tenino, Riptide Publishing

Love, Hypothetically by Ann Tenino

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese

Ooooh, back in high school, star baseball play Trevor Gardiner did the unforgiveable: He outed his boyfriend. We’re talking a forced out here. We’re talking, threw him under the team bus, backed it up and then ran over him again, and poor Paul wasn’t even aware he was playing the game. That’s how Trevor’s steamy encounter with Paul in the gym locker room went from homerun to sacrifice play in the bottom of the ninth when they got caught. Trevor changed up, went for the bunt when he should’ve swung for the fence, and struck out to lose the game.

No balls and lots of errors.

See, Trevor was destined to make something of a life for himself in the big leagues, and jeopardizing that by being an out gay athlete wasn’t part of the game plan. When it came time to choose between having a boyfriend and having a shot at a major league contract, Paul came in somewhere lower in the equation than the guy who cleans stray tobacco spit off the locker room floor. (Is that even a job? I doubt it, but it works here.) But to be fair to Trevor, he was young, he panicked, and he also seriously miscalculated that Paul would understand and go along with the story.

Swing and a miss…

Well, it’s nine years later, Paul’s a prickly bastard who’s tutoring over the summer at Calapooya College, and guess who’s just recruited him to tutor the women’s softball team? Yep, you guessed it, their new coach, Trevor Gardiner, who’s retired from baseball and is now apparently looking for another at-bat with Paul. Make sure to pay very close attention to the prickly bastard part, though, because Paul is not about to make it easy for Trevor to just take a base on balls again.

Are we done with the baseball metaphors yet? I am.

So let me just paraphrase Paul and say, dammitall, this book pushed my humina-humina buttons. Ann Tenino has written a funny story that is, not so surprisingly, also a little bit touching, witnessing Trevor trying to make amends for his mistakes and Paul warring between his attraction to Trevor and his deep-seated and lingering bitterness over Trevor’s betrayal. That Paul is most definitely a man who can hold onto a grudge, and he’s not about to let Trevor forget that that single mistake all those years before won’t be something that’s easily forgiven either, especially when Paul lets his mouth get ahead of his brain and nearly blows everything up when it’s not at all what he meant to do.

Love, Hypothetically is a short and simple story about the complex issue of being outed before you’re ready, about forgiveness and second chances, and about discovering that, against all the odds, you find yourself trusting the one you never thought it possible to believe in again.

But that’s all part of the game of love, folks.

Ann Tenino is a GayRomLit participating author. You can find her blog HERE.

Buy Love, Hypothetically Here

Standard
Ethan Day, Geoffrey Knight, Smashwords

Wanna Catch A Fox? Leave A Comment And You Just Might!

“Secrets are made to be found out with time.” – Charles Sanford

Are there any two authors who were destined to collaborate more so than Geoffrey Knight and Ethan Day? I mean, Knight and Day? Come on. It’s synchronicity, isn’t it? Well, let me tell you, I’m thinking this was a long time coming and they should just keep it coming for a very long time. All the things I love about their work individually, is something to celebrate collectively in To Catch a Fox, the story of Jonathan Fox, a hardboiled New Orleans Private Investigator who’s up to his eyeballs in family secrets, murder threats, and some steamy manlovin’ with Tucker Wilder, a down-on-his-luck screenwriter who finds himself up to his eyeballs in family secrets, murder threats… Yeah, you get the picture.

There’s danger and action galore, explosions and explosive intrigue, when past sins and a sinister betrayal threaten everything Jonathan had believed to be true about his father and the way in which he died. A rich and colorful palette of characters paint the landscape of this story with vibrant personalities and just the right touch of humor, suspense, scandal, angst, and romance.

There’s even an albino alligator. Yes, you read that right, and trust me when I say she (he?) takes a right nasty bite out of crime.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, there’s an evil, evil ::shakes fist:: cliffhanger to bring this installment of the series to a close. You didn’t think Jonathan and Tucker were going to ride off happily into the sunset just yet now, did you? Where would the fun be in that? No, you’ll have to tune in next time for the continuing saga in A Fox in the Hole, Book two in the Knight and Day Fox Mystery Series, coming soon to theaters near you.

Okay, not really, but it should be.

Geoff and Ethan are busy gearing up for GayRomLit 2012, but I have them here in spirit today to offer one lucky reader the chance to win To Catch a Fox. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and you’ll automatically be registered to win! And please make sure to leave your email address in your comment so we know how to contact you! Good luck!

**Contest deadline is 11:59pm Pacific (2:59am Eastern) on Wednesday, October 17, 2012. The drawing will be conducted on October 18th, the first day of GRL, so there may be a slight delay in either Geoff of Ethan contacting you with your prize. Thanks in advance for your patience.** :)

BUY LINK

Standard
Dreamspinner Press, J.P. Barnaby

Aaron by J.P. Barnaby

“Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.” – Aristotle

J.P. Barnaby’s Aaron is the story of a boy, Aaron Downing, who, at the age of sixteen, suffered through a crime so horrific that it left behind untold scars, both on his body and in his mind. Lying on the cold and unforgiving floor of a filthy garage, Aaron became lost forever to the boy that was and was reborn a mere shadow of the son, the brother, the someone with so much potential and promise in his future. Now, at eighteen, he is little more than a chimera of a living, breathing human being. He is a boy who merely takes up space in a world in which he believes he no longer belongs, lost in the haze of the drugs the doctors, who don’t know what to do for him, prescribe to try and keep him tethered to some semblance of reason in a life that he can’t possibly make sense of, suffering from the untold burden of both survivor’s guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder. Aaron’s life is the very personification of a living hell.

Spencer Thomas lives under a burden of a wholly different sort, but when one is suffering, the degrees by which that suffering is measured become negligible. Pain is pain, and anguish is not a competition, but it can be a source of communion, especially when there is empathy there, as well as the ability to communicate in a common language. Spencer is burdened by the mistaken beliefs of the uninformed that his deafness also means he’s developmentally challenged, which couldn’t be further from the truth. No, the only limitation his deafness has placed upon him is the inability for people to see beyond his handicap to the kind and beautiful boy who is so much more than his disability.

Aaron is the story of two young men, one who doesn’t want to be touched or seen, and one who wants nothing more than to be touched and seen for more than his inability to hear. It is the story of how their lives intersect, through fate or fortune—the reason why doesn’t really matter in the end. What matters is that their having met begins a cautious and courageous journey toward healing and perhaps even a little hope, not only for them, but for Spencer’s father as well, as Aaron’s afflictions become the roadmap to his own redemption.

This is the story of a family’s struggle to hold itself together with a fingertips’ grasp on what they’re trying to define as their new normal. It’s a story, for a mother and father, of knowing when to hold on and when it’s time to let go, of discovering the strength to encourage a damaged son to spread his new wings and to fly again, even if it means flying into the face of all his fears.

Pain is reading a book in which the author makes her characters suffer such unimaginable horrors that it spoke to me on a visceral level. As I read Aaron’s story, I vacillated between wanting to crawl into my own skin to save myself from every parents’ worst nightmare of a crime committed against their child, and wanting to crawl into the pages of the book and try my damndest to make this boy all better. Or if not better, at least to show him that though there’s surely evil in this world, it can’t possibly persevere where there’s also love and kindness.

Fortunately, J.P. Barnaby did that for me.

J.P. Barnaby is a GayRomLit participating author. You can find her blog HERE.

Buy Aaron Here

Standard
Uncategorized

P.D. Singer Is Bringing The Fire And The Snow Today. Look What She’s Offering To A Lucky Winner!

“Love and doubt have never been on speaking terms.” – Kahlil Gibran

Jake Landon and Kurt Carlson have been navigating the slippery slope of a relationship that Jake isn’t altogether sure how to maneuver through. Oh, there’s no question he loves Kurt, and Jake can say with almost utter certainty that Kurt loves him too, but where there’s room for even the smallest inkling of a doubt to fester beneath the fragile skin of something new and still growing, that doubt can become a lesion which could very well sound the death-knell of their romance.

Jake finds himself being hounded by the media and under some very influential scrutiny after rescuing a boy from a ski lift, while Kurt lands himself in an attention-mire of an entirely different sort. Jake finds himself the reluctant hero, while Kurt finds himself the unsuspecting rentboy, a predicament he will not abide by on any terms, not even those spelled out in the contract he signed but didn’t read. Though when the alternatives come down to either playing along or instigating the worst possible scenario imaginable, Kurt is forced to choose between the lesser of two evils until he can figure a way out from under the thumb of a glorified ski-pimp.

All the action, suspense, danger, and steamy sex that lit up the forest in Fire on the Mountain is back for another round in the sequel, Snow on the Mountain. Jake and Kurt have settled at the Wapiti Creek Resort for what should’ve been a quiet and routine season of ski lessons, tourist entertainment, and steady paychecks, but it soon becomes clear that those best laid plans will be doomed by the whims of jealousy and greed, by competition and contempt, and might be tangled a little futher by a fellow employee who develops a serious crush on Jake.

Snow on the Mountain is a story of love and doubt and faith, the faith that you’ve trusted your heart to the right person even though you can’t seem to find the right time or the right words to tell him so, and even though all the evidence points toward betrayal. This is a story of endurance and in the bonus short story Mistletoe on the Mountain, of finally finding the courage to lay a very public claim on the person you can see as your future.

P.D. Singer takes the reader to the summit of the mountain and with a single push, propels you full-tilt right to the very end.

P.D. Singer is here today to offer one lucky reader the chance to win PRINT copies of both Fire on the Mountain and Snow on the Mountain, books one and two in “The Mountains” series! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, and you’ll automatically be entered to win. Be sure to leave your email address in your comment, as well, so we know how to contact you. Good Luck!

**Entry deadline is 11:59pm Pacific (2:59am Eastern) on Monday, October 15, 2012**

Buy Link Fire on the Mountain

Buy Link Snow on the Mountain

Standard
Dreamspinner Press, Mary Calmes

Just Jory – A Sam & Jory Ficlet by Mary Calmes

Just-JoryJust Jory by Mary Calmes

We had been waiting for three hours as the negotiations continued. My ass was numb since I was sitting, along with everyone else, on the cold marble floor. I had my hands on my knees and those PlastiCuffs on my wrists, waiting to hear what the next wave of demands was going to be.

“I’m so dead,” I grumbled, letting my head roll back and clunk against the side of the desk I was close to.

When a couple of people gasped, I understood my mistake.

“No one is going to die,” the gunman, bank robber; whatever he was, however he should have been classified, corrected me.

“Oh, not you,” I shook my head, giving him a dismissive wave even though my hands were both inseparable from one another. “My partner’s outside.”

It took a minute for the wave of surprise to recede so he could talk to me. He even pushed up the ski mask when he did it, rolled it up so I could see his face.

“Oh crap,” I moaned.

“Oh crap what?”

“Are you gonna kill us now?”

“What?” He seemed startled by my question.

“Sam says that the only time guys show their faces to hostages is if they plan to kill you.”

Instantly there was whimpering, crying and breath-catching from all over the room.

“No-no-no,” he soothed me as well as everyone else. “Let’s all just settle down. We don’t plan to hurt anyone as long as the cops outside cooperate with us.”

I squinted at him and he noticed.

“You don’t believe me?”

“No, I just…Sam said and…” I shrugged. “I mean he knows about this kind of stuff.”

“Sam? Who’s Sam?”

“My partner.”

“The one who’s gonna kill you.” He clarified.

I nodded.

Snort of laughter from him. “Lemme get this straight. You’re more scared of your little boyfriend outside than of me, here, in front of you, with a gun?”

“Oh hell yeah,” I almost whined. Just imagining Sam Kage pacing outside in the street was making my stomach flip over. “And he’s so not little.”

There was nothing else to do. The guy in charge, who was standing right in front of me, had asked for some food and a bus to take us all to the airport with him and his partner. It was the same bullshit that all bank robbers did to waste time in real life as well as in the movies. So it was understandable, since we were in a holding pattern with nothing else to do, that he knelt down on one knee, huge ass automatic rifle pointed at my head, and asked me why I was so scared.

“Okay,” I said, scooching up because my ass was falling asleep, wiggling until I was a little more comfortable on the floor of the First Community Bank downtown off Pearson. “See, I was only supposed to be using the ATM outside to make a deposit, but there were no envelopes so I had to come in here to get one and––”

“That’s not what I ask––”

“But the whole time we were driving over here from lunch, Sam was like, ‘Why do you have to do this now, why can’t you just wait until we’re closer to home, why do you have to be so OCD about this kind of crap, why can’t you just––’”

“I still don’t––”

“But I wanted the check in there,” I cut him off. “I need it in case Dylan puts through an order for some printing that we had done and––”

“I want to know why you’re more scared of him than––”

“So,” I interrupted again, glaring that time, “we get here and he’s already annoyed and I promised to be right back out, and since I wasn’t and then the alarm went off and I got stuck in here…dude, I’m so dead, you have no idea.”

“And how does that––”

“I mean, it’s not like he’s gonna shoot me or anything but––”

“Shoot you?”

“Well, yeah,” I squinted at him. “I mean he could if he wanted. He’s a U.S. Marshall and he has this 10mm Smith&Wesson that’ll blow a hole through you as big as a dinner plate.”

His eyes fluttered and I figured he was bored, but I was really worried about the house arrest I was going to have to endure because of this latest debacle.

“I should just run away,” I moaned.

“You––”

“Not that I could. I mean disappearing, changing my name, altering my face… None of that would stop him. If he wanted to find me, he could do it in a heartbeat. He’s got a whole Federal database at his fingertips, for crissakes. I mean, it would be one thing if he was, like, hunting you, for instance,” I said, gesturing at the man squatting in front of me. “That might take him like ten seconds longer, after he ran down all your known associates and all that crap, but he’d find you too. And the man is tenacious! He had to find these drug cartel guys once, and he spent two years in Columbia, but he found everyone, and they’re either dead now or rotting in prison.”

The partner inhaled sharply and I looked up at him.

“Can you imagine? There you are living your life and then, bam,” I yelled. “He just shows up out of the blue and drops the hammer on you. And it’s not like he doesn’t have this mad-crazy temper sometimes, and this revenge streak a mile long. The man is just unstoppable. And you know, I bet some of those guys he busted in South America would have loved to come home to the US. But I know he left them in some cesspool somewhere just so they could get the whole Midnight Express experience.”

“Jesus.”

I turned back to the leader with his ski mask up. “In all seriousness, though, he’s not gonna actually shoot me, but I won’t be able to get on the bus with you to, like, wherever you’re going. I mean, he’d either be on it or on top of it or like I said, he’d just shoot you in the head. Sam always says that Kevlar would be fantastic if it came in full body armor. But your neck, and your collarbone, and of course your head…all that’s vulnerable. And he’s like a really good shot, like crazy good, like sniper good. Oh, I know,” I got excited, thinking of a good frame of reference as I smiled at them. “Do you guys watch Bones? Like David Boreanz’s character, like that––he’ll just put a bullet in your brain.”

The first guy, the guy in charge, who no longer had his rifle pointed at me, took a breath. “You’re saying that along with the cops, there’s a U.S. Marshal out there who wants to kill me and my partner?”

“Well, yeah,” I shrugged, lifting my hands. “I mean, you put PlastiCuffs on me, which are a bitch to get off, by the way. Like, in the movies people just cut them off with a knife or something, but you can’t. There’s a special tool you have to use to clip them. It’s just as bad as when––and they do this all the time––they have a character flip the safety on a revolver.”

“There’s no safety on a revolver?” The lady beside me asked.

I scoffed at her, shaking my head. “Yeah no, it’s so stupid.”

“Really? I had no idea.”

“And you wouldn’t,” I patted her knee. “Unless you lived with a cop or a guy who knew his guns.”

“Are you married?” She asked me.

I beamed at her. “Yep, have been for awhile. We’re waiting to hear from an adoption agency on a kid right now.”

“Oh,” she cooed.

“Look at me!”

I turned back to the guy who had not pulled his ski mask off.

“You need to talk to your––”

“Did you know that the SWAT guys are all about saving the hostages and just shooting you dead? Sam told me.”

“Serves them right,” the lady beside me said. “I have kids at home.”

“We all do,” the man on the other side of me said. “And I really like the sound of your husband. He sounds like a shoot first, ask questions later kind of guy.”

“Oh no,” I shook my head. “He’s wonderful and kind and loving. It’s just, you know, this is gonna make him psychotic. And he’ll be worried about you guys too, and like I said, his gun is like a cannon and he knows where to aim it.”

I looked back up at the guy standing above me with the rifle.

“Are you okay? You look sort of gray.”

Without warning, he bolted toward the back of the bank and out of sight. His partner, the guy whose face we couldn’t see, yelled for him to stop and then tore after him.

“Now where are they going?” The lady asked.

“I dunno,” I said, leaning forward to try and see.

“My name is Felicia, by the way, Felicia Jones.”

“Jory,” I said, turning my head to smile at her.

“Tony,” the man on my left chimed in.

I looked over at him and grinned. “Great to meet you both. Maybe we should all have lunch sometime when this is over.”

They both agreed that would be lovely, and some other people offered as well.

When my cell phone rang a bit later, I looked over at the counter where it was. The robbers had put them all there when they collected them. I wasn’t sure if I should move or not.

“What do you guys think?” I asked the collective.

Tony shrugged. “I don’t see anybody, I say g’head.”

“You want me to go grab it?” Another guy asked from a few people away from me.

“No, I got it,” I told him, getting up, hearing Sam’s ringtone: Raindrops by Stunt.

Walking to my iPhone with the hot pink metallic case––it needed to be bright, otherwise I lost it––I touched the answer button and then the speaker.

“Jory?” He yelled at me.

“Hi,” I smiled down at the phone because his picture was there, and it was one of many that I loved. He was squinting at me and his brows were furrowed. God, he was cute.

“Hi?” He was annoyed. “What the fuck is going on in there?”

“Not sure,” I said, looking around. “We seem to be alone. Have been for like the last, what,” I asked, my eyes flicking to the others, “five minutes?”

“I say ten,” Felicia offered.

“About that,” Tony agreed.

“Yeah, like ten minutes at least,” I said back into the phone. “I think they might have bailed.”

Heavy sigh. “Have everyone sit down, we’re coming in.”

Of course he was coming in; they’d be lucky if he didn’t kick the door down and lead the way. Who needed a battering ram when you had Sam Kage with you?

“Okay, sitting down.”

Minutes later, watching the SWAT guys come in was ten kinds of awesome. The doors flew apart; five guys rushed in, dropped to one knee, yelled at us to get down, and froze there. The second wave came in and rushed across the room, forming a sort of phalanx around us and then finally, the last guys charged across the room to the other side.

Once everyone yelled the all clear, Sam came charging into the bank and I could tell he was mad, probably because the SWAT commander had made him wait, but when I lifted my hands and waved, I saw him breathe as he charged toward me.

“Oh, Jory, your man is fine.”

“I know, right?” I smiled at Felicia, watching him; the fluid stride, his massive shoulders, his height, all of him strong and virile. He still made me breathless even after so long.

Kneeling down in front of me, hands on my face as he looked me over, I watched his brows furrow. “Are you all right?” He asked, his voice deep and resonant, even lower than normal because he had been scared.

I leaned forward, put my cuffed hands over his head so they were around the back of his neck, and smiled wide. “I’m fine.”

He let out a shaky breath, wrapped me in his arms, and hugged me tight. When he stood up, easily, even with my added weight, I had no choice but to wrap my legs around his waist. Normally he didn’t like public displays of affection, but this seemed all right. He carried me out, one hand on the small of my back, the other on my ass. He walked me to his monster SUV, a Chevy Suburban, put me in the passenger seat and locked the door.

I tapped on the window, and he rolled it down with the remote control fob thingy in his hand.

“Yes?”

“Don’t say yes like I’m bothering you!”

He was waiting.

I lifted my wrists for him. “Aren’t you going to take these off?”

“You’re kidding, right?” He asked, and the window rolled up between us.

“Sam Kage!” I yelled at him through the glass.

One beautiful copper colored brow rose before he turned and walked away.

By the time he got back, I had eaten the leftovers from lunch and chugged one of the water bottles he kept in the tiny fridge behind the driver’s seat.

“It’s about time,” I groused at him as he got in.

He grunted. “It seems you scared the crap out of the bank robbers with stories about me. They found them ten blocks away in their hotel room, packing.”

“How did they get out?”

“Same way they got in––through some service elevator that leads to the alley.”

I had to process.

“What did you say?”

“I don’t… I didn’t say anything to them. Not really.”

He was squinting again.

“What? I didn’t. I was just worried that you were gonna be pissed at me.”

“I am pissed at you.”

I groaned. “Could you just take these cuff things off already, please?”

He reached into the console between the seats and pulled out the clipper for them. I was free seconds later.

I was massaging my wrists as I turned to look at him. “That was mean.”

“You are a trouble magnet.”

“I am not.”

The look I got was disbelieving.

“I just… Things happen sometimes.”

“Sometimes?”

I shrugged.

“Come here.”

I moved fast because really, any excuse to get into Sam’s lap was one I would take. I wrapped my arms around his neck and stared into his beautiful, smoky blue eyes. He grabbed hold of my ass and yanked me forward, shoving my groin into his rock-hard abdomen.

“I think you made the news,” he grinned at me.

“I did?” That was fun.

He leaned in and I kissed him. My lips melted over his, my tongue took the tour of his hot mouth and mauled him until he finally had to pull away to breathe.

“Why weren’t you scared?” He asked me, panting.

“Because you were right outside. Why would I be scared?”

“What if I couldn’t get to you?”

“You?” I chuckled. “Not be there to save me? Is that even possible?”

“No, it’s not,” he assured me, hand on the back of my head, fisting in my hair as he recaptured my mouth for a second round.

By the time I was squirming in his lap, whimpering with need, we had to move the car and he gently, but firmly, put me back in my seat and pulled the seatbelt around me.

“Hurry up and get home,” I ordered hoarsely.

“I’m hurrying but you––oh,” he suddenly cackled, and I heard the ring on his car phone at the same moment. “Hello?”

Why was he smiling? Why––

“Sam?” came the brisk, no-nonsense tone over the line. “Where––”

“You saw the news,” Sam said, turning to me, his smile out of control as I put my head back and groaned a little too loudly.

“Is that Jory? Jory!”

“It’s not what you think,” I promised my older brother, Dane Harcourt.
Sam started chuckling.

“For heaven’s sake, Jory! You’re a trouble magnet!”

And between my brother yelling and my husband waggling his eyebrows at me, I knew it was going to be a long drive home.

“At least you’ll get laid when you get there,” Sam promised me, whispering.

And that was an excellent point.

“Are you listening to me?” Dane was fuming.

Unfortunately, I was.

Buy But For You HERE.

Standard
Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press, Ramblings

A Review…Sort of… Dex in Blue by Amy Lane

“Love is when one person knows all of your secrets… your deepest, darkest, most dreadful secrets which no one else in the world knows… and yet in the end, that one person does not think any less of you; even if the rest of the world does.” – Unknown

Excuse me while my thought train runs off the rails for a bit. Happens more often than not. My youngest has ADHD, and I know exactly whose genetic jackpot he tapped into to inherit it. ::raises hand:: This is why I read so much; because when I’m reading, my brain is in constant motion while the rest of me can practice being still. I have something to focus on and can do it in near total silence, as the rest of the world and all its sensory overload disappears while I get lost in the words and worlds an author has created. Put me in a seat in a movie theater and I can guarantee near constant fidgeting and time checking. At home? Fuhgedaboutit. My family has learned not to bother pausing a movie and waiting for me anymore, because I’ll likely never come back from whatever it was that distracted me in the first place.

See? Now I’m rambling. This will end up a review of sorts at some point, I’m sure of it.

So, I’ve been doing some thinking recently about what makes a book infinitely re-readable. Why is it that with some books, a single read is enough, while other books I can read over and over again until I can nearly cite the text verbatim? And sometimes it’s not the entire book but a single scene that I’ll go back to, because it’s the point in the lives of the characters where everything comes home, settles in and makes sense, the defining moment in which all the stars and planets align and create that brilliant burst of, “Aha, I get it now.”

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Is it? I’d like to think I’m not alone in this.

So, what’s brought on all this rambling and randomness? It’s Amy Lane’s Dex in Blue, the story of two men whose lives have been filled with a series of perspective altering moments. David Worrall’s transformation began with the bliss of surrender to his best friend Dexter Williams’, but the hairpin turns and stop-sticks that fate loves to throw in the road to happiness quickly threw David into the living hell of surviving the death of first love. It was an event that drove him from his Montana home to California, where he became…

David became the Dex that never was and would never be. He became the man who denied his Self because there would never be another Dexter Williams in the world against which David could measure his emotions. He became the man who supported himself in gay-for-pay porn. He became the man who finally was able to confess the pay wasn’t the component at all in the gay part of his life’s equation. He became the man who, for all his complicated secrets and painful past, learned that sometimes the black and the white of it all can be as simple as simply being.

Carlos Ramirez would never describe himself as a smart man, but that doesn’t mean he’s stupid either. Carlos merely sees things in their simplest possible terms because to complicate things by borrowing extraneous variables from multiple sides of an equation simply doesn’t make sense to him. No, Carlos adds up to a man who doesn’t try to be obtuse; he’s just a man who has to measure the degrees of any given situation until they form an angle he can understand. For Carlos, there is right and there is wrong, there is good and there is bad, there is truth and there is lie, and rarely is there ever a tangent in which the lines blur into a gray area of uncertainty. Carlos simply is.

Or was, until he became Kane and began having sex with men for money. Then he became the man who would do whatever he had to, to keep his sister away from her abusive husband, to protect her and his niece, to pay that niece’s medical bills when Leukemia threatened to ravage her tiny body. For Kane, there was no question. It was simple: sex=money. And that was right, even when it left him homeless.

Or it was simple until Dex came into Kane’s life (or Kane barged into Dex’s) and complicated something so simple that it was up to Kane to simplify something so complicated as love and need and want and the sure and unquestionable knowledge that together was good, apart was bad, and that one plus one plus one plus one plus one…equals the family that you make because the one you didn’t choose has erased you from their existence.

And then sex isn’t just sex anymore because losing the one you place above all else is a price far too high to pay, and you come to realize that your body isn’t mere collateral and your worth can’t be pawned off as a byproduct of your job, because your worth is exponentially expanded by your value to someone else, and your secrets become not-so-secret anymore, but it doesn’t matter in the end because the character of a man is measured by the sum of all his various parts, not the rare and individual negatives that are themselves negated by all the positives.

And so is Dex in Blue, the sum of all its various parts that add up to a bright and beautiful love story, one that I’ll become lost in again and again because, like Kane in his simplest form, stuff makes more sense when I can feel it.

Buy Dex in Blue HERE.

Standard
Dreamspinner Press, Isabelle Rowan

The Road to Byron by Isabelle Rowan

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way and not starting.” – Buddha

Matthew Kellett is at the crossroads, at that all important summer in his life when every choice he now makes will matter, not as a child but as an adult. It’s the time when a road trip with his best friend Craig, and Craig’s girlfriend Kelly, will mean Matthew will leave behind the boy that has hidden from who he is, and become the man who must face his feelings and desires, even through the near crippling fear of Craig’s reaction to the truth.

The Road to Byron is a story that delicately addresses the issues of coming out, physical and sexual abuse, and Matthew’s sexual awakening with Damien Reeves, a college boy he meets and falls for on his journey. The sweet simplicity and urgency of their attraction is a contrast to the complications that lay within Matthew’s relationship with Craig, one that’s tangled in the painful truths of Craig’s life which have left scars that create a rift between them, and very nearly tear Matthew and Damien apart before they’d even had a chance to begin. But it’s also the beginning of Matthew taking control of the direction his life will go rather than standing back and allowing life to happen to him, and ultimately becomes a story of growth and courage in the face of fear.

If you like realistic literary fiction, stories that don’t erroneously manufacture a happily-ever-after but remain true to the idea that the present and the promise you find there can be every bit as satisfying, The Road to Byron is both of those things, as well as a first-love story that had me rooting for Matthew and Damien to find their road to each other after losing their way.

Isabelle Rowan is a GayRomLit participating author. You can find her blog HERE.

Buy The Road to Byron HERE.

Standard
Less Than Three Press, Piper Vaughn, Xara X. Xanakas

Piper Vaughn and Xara X. Xanakas Are Here To Offer You A FREE Guide To Love And Romance!

“In the arithmetic of love, one plus one equals everything, and two minus one equals nothing.” – Mignon McLaughlin

Ashley Byrne is the consummate party boy, the pretty guy who takes sex wherever he can find it, with whomever catches his attention at just the right time. He’s the apprentice tattoo artist who dreams of bigger things with his best friend Ty. The question, however, is whether he has the focus and can summon the motivation to make that dream happen.

Felipe Navarro is to geeks what Ash is to players—he represents. Fee is the guy who speaks binary code, very likely knows Han Solo’s birth date, can debate in great detail who the better Enterprise captain was: Kirk or Picard. In other words, they don’t even come close to speaking each other’s language. But… There’s always a but, isn’t there?

But the laws of attraction are more guidelines than dictate, and sometimes breaking the rules is well worth the effort to discover that something that may appear to be inconceivable can be something entirely amazing because even though it feels like you’re mostly dead in the water, mostly dead is still slightly alive and true love is a miracle worth living and fighting for.

The Party Boy’s Guide to Dating a Geek is the sweet, funny, and utterly charming story of two guys who really just shouldn’t add up but manage to find the missing variable—trust—and solve the equation of how to fall in love with someone who is on the opposite end of his spectrum. It’s a story about changing who you are, not for anyone else but yourself, if for nothing else than because you’ve found someone who makes you want to be more than what others see. Ash and Fee are a slow and steady build up to something much bigger than themselves, because really, you just can’t rush miracles.

There are fire swamps to survive, rodents of unusual size to slay, Humperdinks to defeat… No, wait, that’s the wrong book, but The Party Boy’s Guide to Dating a Geek is no less about finding and fighting for true love, and knowing, in the end, that there’s plenty of magic to be found in faith.

Wish you, too, could get your hands on a Clumsy Cupid Instruction Manual?

As you wish…

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post and you’ll be automatically entered to win a FREE copy of The Party Boy’s Guide to Dating a Geek (coming October 10, 2012, from Less Than Three Press). One winner will be drawn at random and contacted by Piper Vaughn or Xara X. Xanakas, so be sure to leave your email address in your comment. Good luck!

**Contest ends at 11:59pm Pacific (2:59am Eastern) on Wednesday, October 10, 2012**

Piper Vaughn and Xara X. Xanakas are both GayRomLit particiating authors. You can find their blogs HERE and HERE.

You can buy The Party Boy’s Guide to Dating a Geek Here.

Standard
K. Piet, Storm Moon Press

Storm Moon Press Co-Owner/Author K. Piet Is Here Today To Offer You Free Goodies!

K. Piet here, and I’m excited to be presenting you with a giveaway! Read on!

GayRomLit is just around the corner, and I’m very excited for the event, not only because it will be my first time attending the retreat, but also because I’m not attending as simply an author. I’ll be attending as one of the owners of Storm Moon Press. I’ll have a lot of goodies to spread around and plenty of books to show off, which is one of the things I love about my job as marketing director. Nothing beats getting to gush about some of the great stories we have published through the press and showing off the amazing cover art (courtesy of Nathie). I have a publisher spotlight planned that will involve cookie decorating and lots of great freebies, so if anyone here is attending and wants to chat me up, definitely look for me in the Bosque Room when it comes time for the spotlights! We’re going to have lots of fun, and I look forward to chatting with you authors and readers!

Storm Moon Press started up at the beginning of 2010, and we’ve definitely seen the press grow over the last two (almost three!) years. I’ve gone from being a completely unknown, unpublished author to having ten main publications out, not to mention freebies and short stories that have been bound together into collections. It’s a thrill to see how far I’ve come from writing kinesiology essays in college with bad grammar that my teachers never bothered to correct!

In celebration of the anniversary for the first short story I ever wrote solo (Surrender, originally part of the Cast the Cards anthology), and GayRomLit, I’m offering a giveaway here at The Novel Approach! Comment on this post for your chance to win an e-book copy of my short story, Surrender, AND your choice of e-book from my backlist!

BONUS: For anyone who is attending GRL, just mention it in your comment. If you win, you’ll get the option of your choice of the print books I have in my back list instead of it being restricted to an e-book copy! You can then pick up your winnings at GayRomLit, since I’ll be there with you!

This giveaway will close on Monday, October 8th at 11:59pm PST (Pacific Standard Time), so leave a comment now and enter to win!

I hope to see you all at GayRomLit, and if you can’t make it out to Albuquerque this year, no worries! Storm Moon Press will be all over the place next year for conventions, so stay in touch with the press for more chances to win prizes and pick up freebies from our press!

Thanks to Lisa and The Novel Approach for hosting me today! :D

Standard
Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press

The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters by Amy Lane

“Those gifts are ever more precious which the giver has made precious.” – Ovid

Some things that make me smile:

1. A baby’s chubby cheeks, juicy lips, and gummy grins
2. Coffee
3. Carrot Cake
4. Coffee and Carrot Cake
5. Wine (After a few glasses, I get downright giggly, even)
6. Pretty shoes (That’s mostly a manic sort of glee)
7. Books (See: manic glee with a side of giddy)
8. Books about knitting and llamas (See: Wha…? …Then more manic glee and on with the giddy-making)

Yes, I said knitting and llamas. Go figure.

Rance is a man of few words, which is both a blessing and a curse at times, because some of the few words he manages to utter have a way of coming out really, really wrong, but in his defense, he hasn’t had a lot of practice when it comes to wooing and romancing, given the fact that he’s the only gay man in the tiny town of Granby, Colorado.

That all changed, though, when Gertie Humphries passed and left her home and the land it sits on to her great-nephew, Ben, and suddenly Rance had a whole lot he wanted to say but wasn’t quite sure how. All he knew was that he wanted to take care of Ben and make sure he had everything he needed to survive the harsh Rocky Mountain winter, so Rance set about knitting together the whole of his feelings in the careful and colorful composition of his craft, giving away a part of himself and warming up Ben’s parts, in the process, one gift at a time.

In The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters, Amy Lane has offered a sweet and simple little love story in which a self-proclaimed grumpy bastard, played by real life grumpy bastard, Rance Crawford, arms himself with little more than a ball of yarn and a guiding light, and knits his way out of the labyrinth of loneliness and into his bright and beautiful new neighbor’s heart, played by real life lodestar, Ben McCutcheon, the man who becomes Craw’s reason for wanting so much more than what he has.

This is the sort of cozy and heartwarming story that wraps you up like a Snuggie and plops you in front of a warm hearth with a cup of hot cocoa and marshmallows. It left me feeling a little melty on the inside, a whole lot smiley on the outside, one hundred percent sigh-worthy, all around.

Amy Lane is a GayRomLit participating author. Visit Amy’s blog HERE. Enter her give-away HERE.

Buy The Winter Courtship Rituals of Fur-Bearing Critters HERE.

Standard