Andrew Q. Gordon, DSPP's Genre Talk, Giveaways

DSP Publications Presents: Genre Talk and a Giveaway with Carole Cummings and Andrew Q. Gordon

DSP Publications

Hello, all you lovely genre readers! As we do sometimes here at Genre Talk, today is a turn-the-tables day. Andrew Q. Gordon has been talking to a lot of fabulous authors and has brought you a ton of brilliant things, a very generous giveaway among them, so I’m handing the reins over to him today. Please be sure to look for the Rafflecopter widget and rules later in the post, but for now, please welcome DSP Publications spec fic author Andrew Q. Gordon!



With Purpose, my paranormal novel coming out on October 6, 2015, I thought it would be a good time to talk about just does paranormal mean. Ask, ‘what is paranormal’ and you’re going to get different answers. How do I know? Because I asked a bunch of other authors to tell me what it means to them. I also asked them to name their favorite paranormal book (one of their own and one from someone else.) I think you’ll find the answers interesting.

Since this is my post, it is best if I lead the way.

I like my paranormal without shifters and vampires. Those things are part of the paranormal universe, but they’re not what I think of when the question comes to mind. I prefer my paranormal, Supernatural like, with things that are not quite right. Think Highlander, or Charmed or Heroes. I think of Superheroes in a world where no one really knows they exist. Clearly my world view isn’t everyone’s.

I like paranormal to have a whiff of something different, but not enough to require a new universe, ala Harry Potter. Take this world, add a dash of something different, shake it around, and viola! You have type of book/show/movie/story.

Little wonder that Purpose is exactly that. My ‘world’ is our world. It draws on my observations and experiences living and working in Washington, DC. Tossed in the mix is the Spirit of Vengeance. A creature of energy that takes over humans to act as its host and requires them to exact vengeance on the guilty. There is but the one and the world as a whole is largely ignorant of its existence.

To answer the questions I asked everyone else: name two paranormal books, one of mine, one of someone else.

From me it would be Purpose. You can learn more about that below.

invisible-f-220x330From someone else, that’s really a harder question. There have been so many I’ve really enjoyed over time, but one that I’d recommend is (In)visible, by Anyta Sunday. When you read this you get a glimpse into the amazingly creative mind of one of my favorite authors. Rune is invisible to world. No one can see him unless he wants them to, except Scott. Being visible, however, has an adverse affect on people, so Rune doesn’t let people see him often. But somehow, Scott isn’t affected. He can see Rune and he doesn’t get sick.

I highly recommend the book. It’s a wonderful read and Anyta does such a great job with not only the characters, but the paranormal element.

Larry Benjamin:

What attracts me to paranormal is the stories are set in the real world, the world as we know it…with a little extra thrown in. I love the idea of the extraordinary thrown in alongside the mundane, the ordinary. And that gives us, the reader, a choice: Believe, or don’t believe, the choice is yours. My parents are West Indian so we grew up hearing stories about curses and powerful Obeah women with spirits trapped in bottles. I was born with a “caul,” and so could see ghosts, only at the time I had no idea why I was seeing people no one else could. Decades ago after returning to a trip to St Croix, I mentioned my friend and I thought we’d seen a werewolf in a field of sugar cane. My parents at once pronounced his name and said, “I can’t believe he’s still alive.”

Believe, or don’t believe, the choice is yours.

vampirerising-fVampire Rising, is an example of my own paranormal fiction. It is very much grounded in the world, albeit a world that is at once futuristic and retrospective. It is an allegorical novella very much focused on the plight of Vampires as they move among humans. That they are an allegory plays into the idea of believing and not believing, that is: are they really Vampires as we think of Vampires, meaning Vampires really exist, or are they something else, simply different, other?


513+ThK+6rL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_One of my favorite paranormal books is Red Caps by Steve Berman. He an extraordinary writer, and the stories in Red Caps, allow you find romance, solve a mystery, jump into an unworldly place that is at once familiar and ordinary and remarkably different , all while teasingly telling you: Believe, or don’t believe, the choice is yours.

Another favorite paranormal book—and I have been saying this for years—is Andrew Q. Gordon’s Purpose, for all the reasons stated above. I am so happy it is being re-released giving many others a chance to discover a story that is both real and unreal, ordinary and extraordinary.

Believe, or don’t believe, the choice is yours.

Shira Anthony:

SmBloodandGhostsFSI particularly love paranormal stories that incorporate high fantasy or sci fi elements. I also love paranormal stories where the main character is thrown into a new universe/reality and we learn about the new world along with him/her. But most of all I love paranormal stories that are strongly character driven, with characters I can relate to.

One of my own paranormal books:

Blood and Rain (Blood #1) – love between a vampire and a vampire hunter with a high fantasy bent (magic, time-travel)

Buy It: AMAZON || All Romance eBooks || Dreamspinner Press

23755911One of my favorite Paranormal books would be:

Broken Ink, by Jack Pyle

Fascinating and original concept. Special ink in tattoos give the ability to control minds or be controlled by others’ thoughts. Romantic elements and a HEA, but far from a typical romance.


Scott Coatsworth:

51puIJJRPVL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I really like books with a paranormal or magical twist. Something that makes me think, even days later, about the story I just read.

My own story that’s closest to this is Between the Lines, where a Chief of Staff to a Republican Senator finds a medallion that lets him see what people are really saying behind their words.

Buy it: AMAZON




One book I really liked in this vein was Stephen del Mar’s The Demise of Bobby and Clyde, a great little gay ghost story set in Stephen’s Bennet Bay world. Sexy and twisty-turny.

Buy it: AMAZON


Rick R. Reed:

What type of paranormal stories I like:

Although the genre is paranormal, I like stories that are grounded in reality. Take the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. She gives us a world populated by witches, vampires, shapeshifters, mindreaders, and more, yet they are grounded in common folk who wait tables, short order cook, and so on…you know, like real people. The grounding in reality makes the paranormal, to me, that much more compelling.

One of my paranormal books:

med_BlueMoonCafeThe Blue Moon Cafe, which I like to think is the first werewolf story that contains a homophobic werewolf killer. Here’s the blurb:

Someone–or something–is killing Seattle’s gay men.
A creature moves through the darkest night, lit only by the full moon, taking them, one by one, from the rain city’s gay gathering areas.

Someone–or something–is falling in love with Thad Matthews.

Against a backdrop of horror and fear, young Thad finds his first true love in the most unlikely of places: a new Italian restaurant called The Blue Moon Cafe. Sam is everything Thad has ever dreamed of in a man: compassionate, giving, handsome, and with brown eyes Thad feels he could sink into. And Sam can cook! But as the pair’s love begins to grow, so do the questions and uncertainties, the main one being, why do Sam’s unexplained disappearances always coincide with the full moon?

Buy it: AMAZON

51ANGe2+wML._SX338_BO1,204,203,200_And a paranormal book that’s not mine:

I already mentioned Charlaine Harris (wonderful!) but for this, I’ll stick with m/m paranormal and would give a shout-out to John Inman’s SPIRIT, which combines the paranormal with humor in an awesome way.

Buy it: AMAZON

Amy Lane:

For me, writing paranormal or fantasy stories gives human beings a great chance to explore what it means to be human. We can’t read about shape changers or elves or fantastic magical lands unless the characters resonate with us–and that means we need to look at the essence of what makes people people— whether they’re vampires, aliens, or tentacle monsters. So I love romance in my fantasy– I think it’s essential. I don’t mind sex (duh!) because it’s a human or alien/human or werewolf/human or elf/human thing, and the communication and family that is built into mating and sex is important when defining a community– large or small. I need there to be individuals in my fantasy world, and personalities in my tropes, and I need to feel that if I fell through a hole in the sky and encountered the blue-skinned, pointy-eared, warrior prince/princess of whatever tribe I’m meeting, the two of us could be friends–or enemies, or lovers–but on a personal, visceral level and not just because the prince/princess is well endowed or worships flowers or built like a brick shithouse.


My most reason fantasy story is called Immortal, and it’s a dark, dark fairy tale. I’ve always felt that creating another world is an opportunity to explore the more painful things in this world, and I did that in this book, possibly more than any other. My hero isn’t always nice, and he’s not always admirable, but he does redeem himself in the end.




I’m going back to one of my first inspirations here– Robin McKinley’s Beauty. This was a first person fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and when I wrote my own version (Truth in the Dark) I wanted more than anything for that story to touch people’s hearts the way this story touched mine.



Jordan Hawk:

51qYg+LGuML._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_My favorite type of paranormal stories are the ones were the paranormal element–magic, ghosts, whatever–feels integrated into the world around it. Good world building makes or breaks a paranormal for me.

When I was writing SPECTR, I spent a lot of time trying to figure what a world where people could summon demons would look like–and the reasons people would have to do it anyway, even when they ought to know better. ;) The first book, Hunter of Demons, is currently free on Amazon and elsewhere.

Get It Free: AMAZON



An author who does this sort of paranormal world building fantastically well is Jordan Castillo Price: her Psycop books, starting with Among the Living, blew me away.



Cheryl Headford:

The pull of the paranormal for me is that there are no boundaries. Things that define and confine humanity no longer apply. I like paranormal stories that take the norm, even mythical norm, and twist it. I have a soft spot for vampires: always have and always will. There’s something about darkly brooding that appeals, and the whole licking and biting of necks is so sexy

HostageFor one of my own, I will stretch the definition a little, I think, and recommend my new YA Hostage. There is nothing in the book to confirm or deny that Astrin and Rowan are human at all. However, assuming they are, they have abilities that set them apart and. I believe. qualify them as being paranormal.

In the world of Hostage, there are four Houses, each associated with one of the cardinal points and its magical associations. For example, Astrin Raphael comes from the West and his house is therefore associated with ‘watery’ things. He is able to manipulate water, and has some influence over the emotions of others. House Gabriel is in the North, and its prince, Rowan Gabriel, manipulates earth.

As well as their ‘gifts’ Astrin and Rowan are able to speak to each other within their own minds, which comes in very handy after they get caught up in a revolution. Of course, by that time they’re well into their quest to locate and rescue their guardians, and are deep into enemy territory.


dark_love_live_oak_cover-2 One of the best series of books I have ever read is The Live Oak Tales by Stephen Del Mar. There are all sorts – shifters, witches, gypsies, fairies and kind of a vampire. I LOVED the whole series. It’s an absolute must for all paranormal lovers. It’s extremely well written, rich in lore and fantasy and with cracking stories. They are light on the sex and heavy on the story, but what sex there is, is mindblowing. Did I mention I love them?


Charlie Cochet:

Hell&HighWaterHiRes300 I love all types of Paranormal stories, though I admit I’m not took crazy about horror. I love a good paranormal romance, and I’m not fussy about which creatures are involved as long as the characters draw me in.

Hell & High Water is the first book in my THIRDS series which is a paranormal series with a twist on shapeshifters.


There are so many amazing paranormal books out there. One of my favorite series (and I have many), is the Whyborne & Griffin series by Jordan L. Hawk, book 1 being Widdershins. Such fun books.



Lexi Ander:

I enjoy paranormal stories that are out of the ordinary, that takes a trope and completely flips it into something fresh and exciting.

PrintOne from me would be: Dragon’s Eye which is about three of Sumeria’s sons struggling against the odds to keep their people from being irradiated by a vengeful goddess. This is the fifth book in the series that deals with the transformation of Tristan, Ushna, and Brian, and how they finally bind themselves together after spending so many lifetimes apart. There is only more more book left in the series.




Sword of the King by Megan Derr. One of my favorites where everyday humans “who bear dragon potential are stolen away and turned into beasts, their former lives lost forever. They are drugged to compliance and trained to fight in the notorious D Pits for the profit of the crime lords who breed them.” Loved the concept and the lore behind the origin of the dragons. This is part of a series (one of my favorites) but can be read as a standalone.


M.A. Church:

Oh goodness, there are several types of paranormal stories I enjoy, but I’d have to say my favorite involves shifters. I’ll read just about anything with a shifter in it, lol. And while I love werewolves, my favorite types are werecats. But then, I’m a cat person so that comes as no surprise!

Out of all the paranormal books I’ve written, Trouble Comes in Threes is my favorite. The shifters, of course, are werecats.


Bailey Bradford is one of my all-time favorite paranormal writers. Her world building and characters keep me turning the pages every time!

Cliff – Leopard’s Spots series (Book #12) is my absolute favorite of hers.



PurposeFSPublisher: DSP Publications

Cover Artist: Angsty G

Release Date: October 6, 2015

Blurb:Forty years ago the Spirit of Vengeance—a Purpose—took William Morgan as its host, demanding he avenge the innocent by killing the guilty. Since then, Will has retreated behind Gar, a façade he uses to avoid dealing with what he’s become. Cold, impassive, and devoid of emotion, Gar goes about his life alone—until his tidy, orderly world is upended when he meets Ryan, a broken young man cast out by his family. Spurred to action for reasons he can’t understand, Gar saves Ryan from death and finds himself confronted by his humanity.

Spending time with Ryan helps Will claw out from under Gar’s shadow. He recognizes Ryan is the key to his reclaiming his humanity and facing his past. As Will struggles to control the Purpose, Ryan challenges him to rethink everything he knew about himself and the spirit that possesses him. In the process, he pushes Will to do something he hasn’t done in decades: care.

Preorder Links:



Watch the Trailer:


About the Author:

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Enjoy The Journey!

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

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

Follow Andrew:

On his website:

On Facebook:

On Twitter: @andrewqgordon,

Or just email him:


From Wayward Ink Publishing:

A Closed Door

From DSP Publications:

The Last Grand Master: (Champion of the Gods – Book 1)

The Eye and the Arm: (Champion of the Gods – Book 2)


From Dreamspinner Press:


Self published:

Ashes of Life


The Giveaway:

Enter to win a DSP Publications E-Book of your choice

Rafflecopter Giveaway

3 Stars, Andrew Q. Gordon, DSP Publications, Reviewed by Jennifer, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Review: The Last Grand Master by Andrew Q. Gordon

Title: The Last Grand Master

Author: Andrew Q. Gordon

Publisher: DSP Publications

Pages/Word Count: 40 Pages and 350 Pages

At a Glance: The short prequel was cute, and the novel was good, but there were parts that dragged on in the middle after an explosive beginning.

Reviewed By: Jennifer

Blurb: In a war that shook the earth, the Six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For the three thousand years since, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity.

But then a new wizard unleashes the power of Neldin. Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, uses dark magic to create an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will.

One by one, the sovereign realms fall. Soon the only wizard who can stop Meglar is Grand Master Farrell, the Prince of Haven, the hidden home of refugees. An untried wizard, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

While helping Nerti, queen of the unicorns, Farrell saves Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen to be Farrell’s mate. But Farrell approaches love with caution, and before he can decide how to proceed, Meglar invades a neighboring kingdom. Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Farrell pushes himself to the limit as he and Miceral fight not only to stop Meglar but for their very survival.


Review: Both First Love (the FREE Prequel) and The Last Grand Master are being reviewed together, so let me talk about the prequel first.

First Love is a short, forty page story in the Champion of the Gods fantasy series by Andrew Q. Gordon. It follows Farrell visiting his birthplace of Yar-del and falling for Cameron, a handsome Lieutenant. Though short, I enjoyed Farrell’s hesitation with Cameron and the nervousness surrounding a first love. It was sweet, and I hoped to see that in the next novel. Actually, I was hoping Cameron would still be around, but, like most first loves, it clearly wasn’t meant to last, but it gave Farrell a brief respite from his secluded life.

On to The Last Grand Master. The beginning was explosive. I mean, seriously. It starts with Farrell meeting Nerti, queen of the unicorns, and running off to help people being attacked by the evil wizard Meglar. There’s tension, some humor, a look into Farrell’s powerful magic, and world building. We learn of the different races that coexist, the evil that is Meglar, and watch some badass Muchari warriors. We also meet Miceral, the one the gods have intended for Farrell.

I love Miceral. Of all the characters he was the best to me. He’s consistent, strong, puts up with Farrell, and is just all around awesome. At first I was a little wary because he seemed to fall for Farrell so quickly, but given that the gods—who do communicate with the people and aren’t just myths—basically said, hey, this guy is the man you’ve been waiting for and is the love of your life, then I can let it slide.

Farrell, on the other hand, started to drive me crazy. He starts off strong and rushes into action. I loved the tension of those scenes, wondering if he was going to make everything work. But as the middle of the book neared, his character was inconsistent to me. One moment he was a strong, composed leader, the next he was showing off with his magic and playing ridiculous pranks and doing things he’s never done, and then he’s freaking out thinking Miceral is going to leave him because he cried about his dead mother and mentor. I had to put the book down at that point and walk away for a moment. He was overly dramatic and often bemoaned his past. Meanwhile, there are people around him who have lost a whole lot more than him.

He also repeats things a lot, which was distracting, and the tub scenes were overused. It seemed like every few pages Miceral and Farrell would end up in the tub to talk or relax, or fool around. Farrell also sometimes used his magic for mundane things that bothered me. He has a servant who cleans his room, but he can magically empty his tub, move chairs around, conjure handkerchiefs, and the like, but can’t wave a hand and have everything cleaned instantly? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but sometimes a little less detail is more.

There are a lot of other characters. Sometimes it’s hard to remember who they all are, and sometimes I forgot some of them. But it’s a large world, and the author is going epic level with the series, so that’s to be expected. How the author kept track of them all and never seems to mix them up in the book I’ll never know! Not everyone is important, and some people show up once or twice and then fade away, so don’t worry too much if you read this book and, like me, forget who some people are.

The author doesn’t throw in gratuitous sex scenes, so if you’re looking for that, this is not the book. In fact, thinking back, I don’t think any of the sex actually occurs on the page. If it does, I don’t remember it, but I do know they were quite a few fade to black scenes and some mornings after with gentle teasing, which was cute. But remember, this book is a fantasy, and is not meant to be strictly a romance. It just happens to have two men at the center who do fall in love. Adding sex scenes to the book wouldn’t have furthered any plot. That said, the book could have been a lot shorter—and as a result more cohesive—had the middle section been reduced. Some of the section breaks were only a few short paragraphs and didn’t seem to add much to the story.

Though I seem critical of the book, I did like it. After the middle section, it does pick up again towards the end, and I was drawn back into the story, and the tension rises to the levels it had in the beginning. The ending was sad, as there is a war going on, and not everyone is going to make it, but at the same time it was satisfying. The author clearly left it open for another book, but doesn’t leave the readers hanging so that you’re screaming for him to finish, which is great. And you will want to read the next book because this story is far from over.

Will I read the sequel to this? Yes. I want to know what’s next in store for Miceral, Farrell, and everyone else. I want to see how Farrell grows and matures throughout the series as he becomes more confident in his roles and loses that doubt he sometimes has.


You can buy The Last Grand Master here:



Andrew Q. Gordon, DSP Publications, Giveaways

Interview and Giveaway: The Eye and the Arm Blog Tour With Andrew Q. Gordon


Welcome to Andrew Q. Gordon, who has stopped by on The Eye and the Arm blog tour today. Andrew answered a few questions for me about the series and is also offering the chance for THREE readers to each win an e-copy of The Last Grand Master, Book One in the Champion of the Gods series. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Good luck!


TNA: Andrew, tell us, if you will, a little bit about the world you’ve built in the Champion of the Gods series. What are some of the things that make it complex, unique, and magical?

Andrew: Geez, the history of the world in three sentences?  Nendor is the world where the story takes place. There are seven gods who worked together to create the world. Things were going fine until one—Neldin, the God of the Dead—decided he wanted to be God of everything.  There are unicorns, giant falcons, called Peregrines—who communicate mentally with everyone. One of the main characters—Miceral— is a Muchari, a race that look perfectly human but they’re immortal and have greater strength, speed, endurance, etc.  There are dwarves, wizards, a race I can’t name without spoiling things, and other creatures.

The title of the series refers to the two sides in the war. The gods can’t fight each other directly or else they’d destroy the thing they’re fighting over. Instead the fight is conducted through champions.  Farrell is the Champion of the Six—the six gods who don’t want Neldin to take over.  Nelidin’s champion is Meglar, who we learn early in Book One, is Farrell’s father.

Same sex pairings are seen as no different than opposite sex pairings.

TNA: Because epic fantasy translates so well into epic cinema, if The Last Grand Master and The Eye and the Arm were optioned for film, who would you cast in the leading roles?

Andrew: You know I’m so bad at this. I don’t know that I have a specific person in mind. Andrew Garfield—the actor who played/plays Spiderman now would be a good Farrell.  Miceral is bigger, so I’d go with Chris Hemsworth. (Sorry for the superhero theme working here, but I promise not to cast Robert Downey, Patrick Stewart or Ian Mckellen.)

Kel is not in the movie, but he’s referred to and we do get ‘see’ his image, and since I love him, I going to cast him as well.  I think Victor Garber would be perfect for Kel.

Last I suppose we need to cast the bad guy—Meglar. I don’t see him as an ugly, evil emperor ala Star Wars. He was handsome and charming when he courted Farrell’s mother.  Gerald Butler or Eric Bana would be the type to play him.

TNA: As you’ve written and pictured scenes and settings in your mind’s eye, where would your dream filming location be?

Andrew: For The Last Grand Master – the Rocky Mountains. I think that would be similar to the Trellham Mountains where the story starts.  For Book 2 The Eye and the Arm that’s a bit harder as a lot of it takes place at sea, but for the land setting Rome comes to mind – some place old, warm most of the time, a country surrounded by water  (that’s mostly true for Italy). Dumbarten is an ancient kingdom that has used its geography—it’s an Island nation off the coast of Lourdria, one of the three main continents of Endor—to prosper and become a military power.

TNA: What are some of the scenes you’d most love to see come to life on film? What makes them special?

Andrew: Each book has some that I’d really like to see, but since we’re celebrating the release of The Eye and the Arm, I’ll pick some from there.  (Thought I’ll keep to things that are in the blurb so as to not give away too much.) The first would be the fight scene—everyone seems to love battle scenes—where Miceral uses his enhanced strength and speed in the fight against the pirates. He does a few things in the fight that would play well on the big screen.

The second would be when Miceral and Rothdin—Farrell’s adoptive father who looks like a giant falcon—have to enter Farrell’s mind to free him from the trap he’s in. The scene would play well to special effects, but it’s also one of the emotional daggers of the book.

The last scene would be when Farrell finds an image of Kel—the ancient wizard who was the Champion of the Gods before Farrell.  It’s not Kel himself, but a magical image. I love Kel, he might be my favorite character in the book, even though he’s not really in the book. He’s thousands of years old, powerful, been a king, gave it up, and now answers to no one but the gods.  He’s got a personality to match.

TNA: As both a reader and author of heroic adventures, what do you feel makes a hero heroic?

Andrew: This is a tough one. There are many types of heroes. Frodo was a normal hobbit with no powers, yet he took down the mighty Sauron. Or Ripley in Aliens. Those are certainly heroes.  Then there is Obi Wan, someone who has great power, but sacrifices himself for the greater good.  And there are the Vanyel’s who use their power to protect.

For me, I prefer those heroes who have great power that use it for the greater good. They might or might not make survive, but they fight on anyway.

TNA: Whom do you credit for your love of fantasy? Are there certain books and/or movies that are, and will always be, favorites?

Andrew: J.R.R. Tolkein was my first ‘favorite’ author. I think I started reading him not too long after he’d died. After him there was Stephen Donalson and the Chronicles of Thomas Convenant, David Eddings, Mercedes Lackey and many others.  Lackey is the one who taught me that you could have gay main characters in fantasy—which after the homophobic crap from Robert Adams I read when I was coming to terms with myself, that was something I needed to read.

TNA: What are you working on currently? Will you share with us a bit about WIPs and upcoming releases?

Andrew:  So, what’s next? Oh, how I wish I didn’t have to work full time, the things I would write.  For now I have four things in various stages of being done;Kings of Lore and Legend—which is Book 3 of Champion of the Gods. KOLAL should be out in March of ’16. DSP Publications is going to re-release Purpose in October and I’m working on a follow up novella that will answer some questions raised and not answered in Purpose. Purpose is an urban fantasy novel set in Washington DC. Its main character is the spirit of vengeance.  The novella is scheduled for release in February of ’16. The other two things are contemporary MM Romance. Although this is something of a departure for me, it’s actually the genre where I started writing.  I’ve got two stores in various stages of done. Not sure of a timeline for those two.

TNA: Thanks so much for being here with us today, Andrew. It’s been a pleasure. :)

Andrew:  No, thank you for having me. I appreciate all the support you give me and the other authors.


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

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

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

Buy Links: DSP Publications | Amazon US | OmniLit/ARe


1769247Blurb – The Last Grand Master: In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin’s evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell’s mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin’s evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost he and Miceral their lives.

Buy Links: DSP Publications | Amazon US | OmniLit/ARe


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

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

Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Google + | Email



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Andrew Q. Gordon, Carole Cummings, DSP Publications, DSPP's Genre Talk

Guest Post: Genre Talk With Carole Cummings and Andrew Q. Gordon

DSP Publications

Ha, a weekend invasion from a couple of DSP Publications’ misfit toys! Hello, everyone! I’ve got Andrew Q. Gordon with me today, and because he’s awesome and generous, he comes bearing a gift. We’ve got a special price for The Novel Approach readers! So stay tuned ’til the end of the post.

For now, let’s jump right in and let Andrew tell us about his high fantasy novel, Book 1 of the Champion of the Gods series—The Last Grand Master:


tna-dspp--andrew q gordon for 03-08In a war that shook the earth, the six gods of Nendor defeated their brother Neldin, god of evil. For three thousand years, Nendor and the Seven Kingdoms have known peace and prosperity and Neldin’s evil was nearly forgotten.

But then Meglar, wizard king of Zargon, unleashes the dark magic of the underworld and creates an army of creatures to carry out his master’s will. One by one, the sovereign realms fall as a new war between the gods threatens to engulf Nendor.

Leading the opposition to Meglar is Grand Master Farrell. Young and untried, Farrell carries a secret that could hold the key to defeating Meglar—or it could destroy the world.

Farrell is joined by Nerti, queen of the unicorns and Miceral, an immortal muchari warrior the Six have chosen as Farrell’s mate. As Farrell and his new allies make plans to counter Neldin’s evil, Meglar forces their hand when he invades a neighboring kingdom. Rushing to help their ally, Farrell and Miceral find themselves in the middle of the battle. Cut off from help, Farrell attempts an untried spell that will either turn the tide or cost he and Miceral their lives.


Carole: Thanks for being here with us today, Andrew. How about we start off with genre, since that’s why we’re here. Tell us about yours.

Andrew: I write in many genres: High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, and some Contemporary. I’ve got a definite Sci-fi story in my head that I want to write, but that’s so far down the future work in progress (FWIP) list that it’s hard to really say I write in that genre. But if I had to pick one genre as my primary one, it would be high fantasy. I’ve been a Tolkien fan for almost forty years and after his books, I read almost any fantasy book I could find. After reading Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series, a story with a positive gay character, that sealed my love of the genre.

Carole: *high five* on the Tolkien! ;) So, was the Lackey revelation part of why you chose to write M/M?

Andrew: For me M/M is not so much a choice as part of who I am. The lack of positive images—and in many cases, no images—of gay protagonists, made me want to write about people like me as the ‘good guy.’ To me it’s personal. It’s who I am. I’ve spoken to other authors—men and women, straight and gay—and it’s the same for them. Either they are gay, or they have a child, sibling, best mate, whomever is important in their lives, etc., who is gay. We—and I include all the other authors in the MM genres—write as much to educate as to entertain.

Carole: Wow, I love that answer. Okay, so tell us about the Champion of the Gods series.

Andrew: The Champion of the Gods is a High Fantasy story that will be spread over 5 books. Book 1: The Last Grand Master was re-released February 10, 2015, and Book 2: The Eye and The Arm is due April 14, 2015. The series is going to follow Farrell, the last good grand master wizard on the continent of Ardus as he tries to stop Meglar from conquering the Seven Kingdoms of Ardus and ultimately the world.

Book 1 introduces us to Farrell, his life partner Miceral. We see them meet, fall in love, and ultimately experience how the war is going to test their relationship. There is a better than average chance Farrell won’t survive the final conflict, and that affects how he approaches his time with Miceral. We also meet his companions, Nerti, a unicorn, the giant peregrine brothers Grohl and Takala, and some of the lesser wizards who are helping Farrell prepare.

Book 2 begins the journey to the other continents of the world as Farrell and Miceral search for weapons to use in the fight. They are also searching for Farrell’s distant ancestor, the legendary wizard Grand Master Kel who disappeared two thousand years ago. Farrell is convinced Kel holds the key to many of the tasks he must complete before the final battle.

Carole: So definitely the highest of high fantasy. Awesome. Now, the Champion of the Gods is being published through DSP Publications, Dreamspinner Press’s imprint for nonromance genre novels. Tell us about the relationship in The Champion of the Gods and why it doesn’t fit the accepted definition of Romance in the M/M genre.

Andrew: A M/M Romance book means the romance is the primary plot device. Getting the two main characters together and keeping them together is the resolution to the story. That isn’t the case with the Champions series. In Champions, getting Miceral and Farrell together is just the start. Together they are going to take on the enemy who is trying to turn the world into an extension of Neblor (their world’s equivalent of Hell.)

In this, Champions is similar to stories like David Edding’s Belgaraid, or Tolkiens Lord of the Rings. There is an ultimate evil to be fought, and the main character is the one to do the fighting. Unlike those stories, however, Farrell isn’t a normal hobbit taking on the all-powerful Sauron, or Garion, a young but really powerful wizard about to take on a God. Farrell is a powerful wizard chosen by his gods to fight another powerful wizard, Meglar, who was chosen by his god.

So the romance is there, but it’s a small part of the story instead of the main conflict and source of tension.

Carole: Mm, sounds like one of those meaty plots a reader can really sink their teeth into. So tell us about the evolution of this story. What was its earliest incarnation as a concept and when did it begin to take the form of Champion of the Gods?

Andrew: Like most stories, Champions didn’t pop out like Athena from Zeus’ head. It took years to fully form. The initial version was a scene that will never make it into the book/series. That was a battle scene where the two sides have been fighting and Farrell activated a defensive spell to bar Meglar’s army from pursuing his forces. Only several of Meglar’s warped creatures scurried through before the wall was dropped. As the enemy pursues the tired rear guard, Farrell sends magical help. In the end, it looked very pretty and what not, but in practice it was completely silly in the context of the story that evolved.

Since then I’ve tweaked and changed and fixed and altered and…you get the idea. One thing I did that I’m glad for, is I wrote almost all five books before I submitted the first one. The end and epilogue are written and all that remains is to weave the final strands into the story and all five will be done. The benefit, I found, was to find ‘problems’ in the earlier books that would have boxed me into a corner. For instance, in book three I wanted to do something, but it was in total conflict with something earlier, but the new twisted needed to remain to keep the story from turning contrived. So, during the rewrite of book 1, I made changes that helped keep the story on track. I’ve also been incorporating those changes as I go over the rough draft and clean it up before submission.

That is when the story started to resemble what you see now.

Carole: Which begs the question: do you have a file of scrapped scenes on your hard drive somewhere, and how often do you use it?

Andrew: I have a fairly large file of ‘unused’ scenes. Pretty much because I wrote the entire series before I started to publish it, I have been pulling scenes out and saving them for future use. Not so much in Book 1, but quite a bit in books 2 & 3. In Book 3 that I’m finishing up the third draft right now, there was a major shift in how I presented a situation. It was more than just a tweak or a change of scene. I ended up fundamentally changing the cause/effect of a fairly key element of the story. It kept the element intake, but it made it more ‘believable’ in my mind. That said, there was a lot of information that I need to work into the overall story in order to get the end to stay on track. Enter the file of misfit scenes.

I’ve cut those sections, titled and put markers in the rest of the text to ensure I know where to find the scenes and more importantly, where to put them. I’ve used a fair number of misfit scenes so far, but I expect several will end up on the cutting room floor.

One last thought on this, there are some scenes that won’t make it into the books but they are nice background stories for the universe. At some point I might go back and use them either as blog posts or short stories to give a bit more depth to the to the overall world.

Carole: And I’m sure you’ve got fans who would just love to get their hands on those scrap files, Andrew. ;) One more question before you go: Why did you feel this story needed to be told with the M/M dynamic?

Andrew: I really can’t say why it was important for the story, but it is necessary for more than just – I wanted a gay character in my epic fantasy story. Suffice it to say, there is a reason why the gods made sure Farrell was attracted to men, and a reason why they sent him Miceral. Anymore and I’d give away something I want to hold onto until book four.

Carole: Perfect, Andrew, and thanks so much for being here with us today.

Readers, as promised, Andrew has generously arranged for a special sale price for you, and we’ll tell you more about in a moment. For now, please enjoy this intriguing excerpt from The Last Grand Master:


Excerpt: “Prince Jursten.” Farrell’s voice drew all eyes to him. “I’d be remiss in my friendship if I didn’t warn you about your dinner companion.”

Alicia’s jaw tightened so much her lips almost disappeared. Ignoring the daggers she shot him with her eyes, he plastered his best court smile on his face. “She’s an expert conversationalist who will surprise you with her wit. Don’t let the pretty face fool you; she’s even smarter than she is lovely.”

For the first time since Farrell met her, Alicia blushed.

“And how is that a warning?” Jursten turned back to Alicia. “A compliment such as that is hard to disagree with.”

The color deepened in Alicia’s cheeks, prompting her to glare at him. “It would appear….”

“Princess, did you tell Jursten we might go riding tomorrow?” Farrell arched an eyebrow, daring her to risk her invitation.

Peter sniggered next to him, then busied himself arranging his silverware when his sister looked his way. Jursten looked from Farrell to Alicia, then back.

He grinned at Farrell before turning to his new companion. “How badly did you make him blush?

“He was almost as red as Prince Kerstand’s shirt.” She pointed to the scarlet tunic signifying Honal’s royal colors. “But it was an innocent mistake. Twice he answered the door shirtless and sweating. What else was I to think other than my virtue was at stake?”

Miceral roared, but Farrell kept his smile without turning red. “Help me out here. Miceral, what was that comment she made about us being—”

“That was an honest mistake too.” Alicia looked fit to burst as she spoke through clenched teeth.

“Payback?” Kerstand asked.

“Of course.” Farrell nodded seriously. “She delighted in making me squirm. I thought she enjoyed the feeling. I guess I was wrong.”

Jursten took Alicia’s hand and patted it fondly. “Maybe later I can tell you some of the things I said to embarrass him. For instance, the time he met the Count of Durtress’s youngest son. Poor Farrell’s eyes nearly popped out of his skull when he heard the young man was interested in him.”

Farrell rolled his eyes but stopped when he saw Miceral staring at him.

“Son of a count?” He smirked. “How come I never heard this one?”

“Because the oaf had cabbage between his ears and couldn’t speak in complete sentences.” Farrell tried to frown but couldn’t keep it from turning into a smile. “But he was nice to look at and—”

“Oh my.” Alicia giggled. “You can make yourself blush. I’m impressed.”

“To be fair to Farrell,” Jursten said, drawing attention back to him, “Fentar was quite handsome and athletic. If he understood politics a bit better, he might have gone far.”

“What happened to the strapping young Fentar?” Alicia turned her head slowly toward Farrell, eyebrow raised.

Farrell cocked his head to the right, looking toward Jursten. “He did join with the son of that Arvendian clan chief, Gelg, didn’t he?”

“Sub-clan chief,” Jursten corrected. “They counted his strength and athleticism more highly than having an advanced degree.”

“Poor Fentar.” Farrell sighed.

“Why?” Alicia looked confused. “Sounds like he found his perfect mate.”

“Oh, he did.” Jursten laughed. “It’s just, well, Endor is one of the few kingdoms devoted to the God of Wisdom. Fentar wasn’t an especially adept follower and never really fit in at court.”

“If I recall correctly”—Farrell smiled at his friend—“you arranged for Gelg to bring his son to court when you knew Fentar would be there.”

“Your memory is somewhat selective.” Jursten turned to Alicia. “Fentar was very taken with Farrell. I mean, he swooned whenever Farrell came near. It was… embarrassing to his father and my father. Farrell heard that Gelg’s son was attracted to men and was looking for a mate. He let drop that bit of information in a most suggestive way.”

He glanced at Farrell, who shrugged. “What? Your father was about to exile Fentar. All I did was mention how it might be a good match.”

“Wait.” Alicia put her free hand up, leaving the one under Jursten’s. “How did you know Gelg’s son was looking for a mate?”

Jursten smirked. “Gelg wanted to match him with Farrell, who of course had enough of the handsome but dumb-as-a-stone type.”

“So why did you get involved?” Miceral’s expression told Farrell he’d have to give more details up when they were alone.

“Um… well….” Jursten suddenly looked uncomfortable.

“Jursten owed me a favor.” Farrell earned a look of gratitude from his friend. “I ran interference when a particularly obnoxious mother wanted to pair her equally obnoxious daughter with Jursten at a state dinner. I made sure she sat next to me instead.”

“And that helped how?” Alicia seemed amused and kept stealing glances at Jursten.

“Sitting next to the Prince of Haven is an honor every mother dreams of for her unmarried daughter.” Jursten’s chuckle became a full laugh.

“Unless the prince isn’t interested in women.” Farrell tried to look innocent. “Then it becomes a wasted social opportunity.”

“It sounds like you two have quite an interesting history together.” Alicia smiled coyly at Jursten.

“Jursten was my first real friend.” Farrell turned serious but still smiled. “He wasn’t a teacher, mentor, vassal, subject, court dandy looking for something, or any of the other people I dealt with on a daily basis. We were both young, and aside from him trying to fix me up with all sorts of hideous men—”

“Please, you told Duchess Helena I mentioned her daughter to you fondly.” Jursten rolled his eyes. “Do you remember how much trouble we both got in when Father had to deal with the old battle-ax?”

“Not attractive?” Kerstand asked.

“She was forty-three and I was twenty-four!” Jursten pointed at Farrell. “He knew the Duchess was desperate to find a suitable husband for Jonice, and his little comment had the old woman practically sprinting for my father’s chambers.”

“That was the closest Clement ever came to yelling at me.” Farrell nodded at the memory. “But the two-hour lecture on the finer points of marriage diplomacy was enough that I never did that again.”

Alicia turned to Jursten. “You will have to tell me more about your adventures.”

Peter rolled his eyes, but his sister kept flirting with Jursten and didn’t notice.

“After dinner,” Jursten said, smiling back, “it would be my pleasure to regale you with some of our more amusing adventures.”


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

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


Get your copy of The Last Grandmaster for only $.99 (this week only!) at DSP Publications and Amazon.

Want to make sure you don’t miss Book 2 of the Champions series? Follow Andrew via his website, or like his Author Page on Facebook.

You can also follow Andrew on Twitter, Google+, or his personal Facebook page.

Andrew Q. Gordon, Anyta Sunday, Dreamspinner Press

(Un)masked by Anyta Sunday and Andrew Q. Gordon

“Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.” – James Arthur Baldwin

Oscar Wilde once said, “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Well, Jayden Walker and Graham “Gristle” Thistle may not live in the literal gutter, but they’re barely one small step up from there, living in a place they’ve dubbed “the hovel”, dreaming of the day they’ll book the Tory Street Theater where they’ll direct and perform one of Jay’s plays. It’s a reach-for-the-stars dream that seems as if it might never be fulfilled, but that doesn’t keep Jay from trying, nor does it keep him from hiding his continued failures from Gristle to save his brother from the disappointment of knowing that dream might never become a reality.

(Un)masked is a story of mixed mythologies and a play-within-a-play that follows the same thematic elements as Anyta Sunday’s wonderful (In)visible, in which a centuries old curse obscures its bearer from being seen as he truly is. It’s a story that might just make you believe we each have a soul mate whom no one else can see for who he truly is because no one else can see that person with his whole heart.

This is the sentimental and dramatic story of Lethe Cross, the young man who is carrying the curse that masks his true identity and causes others to see him, for better or for worse, as the person they most want to see. It’s an affliction that’s been passed down from his many times great grandmother and a misery he’s determined will die with him. This is a story of love and loss and sacrifice, the story of a determination that propels a man to do what he must, in order to remain set on his convictions and to stay the course regardless of the costly forfeit he must make.

It was fortune that brought Jay and Lethe together; it was magic that made Jay see Lethe for who he really is. It was love that helped them endure and persevere to their happy ending, and it was faith that made their dreams come true.

(Un)masked is a heart-tugger of a romantic story that maybe didn’t resonate quite as deeply with me as (In)visible, in a book-to-book comparison, but (In)visible did set the bar fairly high, so even not quite meeting that standard still left room for a pretty enjoyable read in (Un)masked.

Buy (Un)masked HERE.