4 Stars, Anthology, Paranormal Romance, Reviewed by Lana, Storm Moon Press

Review: Blood Embrace – An Anthology

Title: Blood Embrace

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Storm Moon Press

Pages/Word Count: 133 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: Vampires have become the ultimate erotic figure in paranormal literature, but the creatures in “Blood Embrace” are more than just pretty immortals who suck the blood from their victims or companions. This anthology showcases M/M short stories that have unique ideas in the vampire genre, taking them beyond their traditional settings and extravagance. No angst-ridden “sparklepires” or caped Transylvanians who “never drink… wine” here! These tales show off the new and wonderful things that can be done with this tried and true erotic theme. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Cornelia Grey, Erotica, Reviewed by Rena, Storm Moon Press

Review: Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders by Cornelia Grey

Title: Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders

Author: Cornelia Grey

Publisher: Storm Moon Press

Pages/Word Count: 65 Pages

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Benjamin Pepperwhistle has one overriding desire: to handle the glorious machinery that is a gun. So when he decides to run away to join the circus, it’s only natural that he should seek out the legendary pistoleer, Cole Beauchamp, and beg to be his assistant. Life in the circus has definite ups and downs, but as Benjamin settles in to his role, he finds that some perks are even better than he’d anticipated. Continue reading

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4.5 Stars, Blaine D. Arden, Reviewed by Lisa, Storm Moon Press

Blaine D. Arden’s “The Forester II: Lost and Found” Is The Long Awaited Follow Up To A Great Beginning


“It was more and more difficult to hold on to hope, and yet, all I needed to survive another day was to gaze into Taruif’s eyes and have Ianys’ arms around me.” – Blaine D. Arden


Title: The Forester II: Lost and Found

Author: Blaine D. Arden

Publisher: Storm Moon Press

Pages/Word Count: 88 Pages

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Blurb: “The Guide mentioned puddles, but I envisioned lakes, deep treacherous lakes, and I was drowning.”
Continue reading

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Cornelia Grey, Storm Moon Press

Characters of the Circus of Wonders – A Guest Post by Cornelia Grey


Hello, everyone, and thank you for having me around to talk about my newest release – Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders!

I sat down with the good intention of writing a post about how I create characters… and instantly found myself stumped because, well, the truth is I don’t.

Writers often talk about how they don’t feel like they’ve created a story, per se, but it’s more as if the story simply came to them, poured out of their brain already formed. For me, it’s partly true in regards to the story: the plot comes to me as if by magic and, within moments, the general gist of the story pours down on the page and I don’t really know where it came from. But then, I very deliberately work and think and tinker to craft a full, well-structured plot, so I know where that came from. It is, instead, absolutely true for my characters.

One of the common tools suggested to writers who need to come up with a character is the information sheet: a list of detailed questions about your character’s past, attitudes, preferences, how he would feel and react in certain situations, what was his teddy bear’s name… well, those have never worked for me. The characters come to me on their own terms, and reveal only what they feel like at the moment…

Over the years, I have accumulated a ton of inspiration pics – for settings, props, fantastical creatures, and for characters as well. So I like to browse around them for a bit, in case any of those jumps out, because I really like having visual references for what I’m working on!

When I start writing, apart from the physical aspect, I usually have just a rough idea of the personality and the general attitude of the character. Only rarely do I know a lot about their past at the beginning. It’s like I have just met a new friend, and I get to know them as I follow them along in the story. Sometimes a big revelation about their past slips out during a bit of dialogue, or as the character is thinking to himself, and surprises even me! It’s such an exciting adventure to discover who they are and how they think step by step.

Sometimes, I get halfway through the story and still don’t know the character’s name. I have pages and pages of potential names written down, but somehow I get through all of them without any of them jumping out at me. So maybe I try one for a while, then another… but there’s no way around it: the right name will pop out right away, and until that happens, nothing will work. Sometimes, instead, the names slip out naturally as I write, which is luckily what happened with Benjamin Pepperwhistle (yes, even with that surname!) and the handsome pistoleer, Cole Beauchamp. It is really quite perplexing to wonder where the heck those names may have come from – they just appeared on the page as I was typing, and I could swear I hadn’t come across the surname Beauchamp in years, let alone Pepperwhistle!

Benjamin and Cole were a pleasure to write. They came to life on the page easy as pie, almost on their own, complete with their contrasting personalities… and a magnetic attraction to each other! I hope you will enjoy getting to know them :)!

Benjamin Pepperwhistle and the Fantabulous Circus of Wonders
Now Available for $2.99 at Storm Moon Press

Benjamin Pepperwhistle has one overriding desire: to handle the glorious machinery that is a gun. So when he decides to run away to join the circus, it’s only natural that he should seek out the legendary pistoleer, Cole Beauchamp, and beg to be his assistant. Life in the circus has definite ups and downs, but as Benjamin settles in to his role, he finds that some perks are even better than he’d anticipated.

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K.A. Merikan, Reviewed by Lynn, Storm Moon Press

Lynn Reviews K.A. Merikan’s “Fear (The Copper Horse #1)”


“You are the evil scientist of your desires.” ― Tristan Taormino


Title: Fear (The Copper Horse #1)

Author: K.A. Merikan

Publisher: Storm Moon Press

Pages/Word Count: 258 Pages

Rating: 3 Stars

Blurb: London

1907, twenty years into the zombie Plague
Continue reading

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K.A. Merikan, Storm Moon Press

Reuben, The Poor Baker Who Became A Stallion – By Agnes Merikan


Ah, Reuben, the poor bugger. The main character of our alternate history, Victorian, pony play novel, The Copper Horse: Fear, and he’s been through so much. Zombies, as well as the malnourishment and overpopulation of London that followed, crushed the world he knew. The chaos took his mother, brothers, and sisters, leaving him with a dominant father. But on the upside, Reuben’s father had a trade that was necessary for the proper functioning of the city. As a baker, he was able to establish himself in the East End.

This seems like a turn for the better, but a baker’s work was far from easy in Victorian Britain. Much more so in an alternate history world like ours, where access to food had been drastically limited. The city is enclosed within high walls, and even with some of the farmland won back from the undead, grain and other produce are scarce.

The work itself was very demanding historically. All the mixing was done by hand. Just imagine the young man in our book who was to become a proud stallion in the future. He was spending most nights bent in half over a trough, kneading all the ingredients and inhaling flour… along with all the potentially hurtful solid substitutes. No wonder the life expectancy of a baker was just forty years. And after a whole night of making the loaves and minding the fire in a time without thermostats and timers, he can only sleep so much before his father wakes him up, angry at his slacking son.

Bakers in the Victorian period worked on very tight profit margins. Bread made up a large proportion of the daily diet, especially among the lower classes, so it needed to be available and affordable. And what does the Victorian baker do when flour gets even more expensive than it used to be (or when he wants to earn more money for that matter)? He substitutes for a third of the flour with something else. And it can be anything as long as it doesn’t kill the customer on the spot. Ingredients of choice included chalk, clay, sawdust, or even iron sulfate and plaster of Paris. Ugh, horrible!

But the king of treacherous additives was alum. It’s now frequently used in modern detergents, so the thing that we now use to clean our bathrooms was used to adulterate food back in the day. It used to be extremely popular because of the Victorian obsession with white bread. Wholegrain artisan breads that we now see as healthy were considered inferior back then. In addition to being a whitener, alum retained water, making the loaf feel more substantial. The worst consequence of those actions was that bread, this staple of the urban pauper’s meal plan, was not nutritious enough to keep the consumer healthy. People would eat enough to fill their stomach but still become anemic and sickly. And obviously, in his situation, poor Reuben was eating the same adulterated bread as his customers. And adulterated it was at every stage of the food chain.

Along with animal fat, which was used for the dough, there are scarier things to be expected in the loaves baked by Reuben and his father:

Quality ingredients were too expensive for their neighborhood, so they had to subsidize for at least part of them with cheaper replacements, compromising on taste. Of course, that didn’t stop his father’s ingenuity one bit. If a customer tried to complain about finding some lice in the bread, the old man would say it was cumin. Cumin! They hadn’t seen proper cumin for a few months now.

A man working so hard needs his protein. But milk was frequently consumed after it had gone sour, with the acidic taste neutralized by chemicals – and I’m not even joking. No wonder that many people, especially children, were getting ill back in the Victorian period. And while meat was expensive in the nineteenth century, in the world of our Zombie Gentlemen series, it becomes even more scarce. For the sake of his own health, and in order to offer a broader variety of foods at the bakery, Reuben risks his life roaming the sewers and hunting for rats.

Over the years, he’d gotten proficient at finding good places for hunting, and he always returned home with at least a dozen of the rodents that made up a substantial part of his and his father’s diet. He actually liked their meat, which was good, because he wouldn’t be able to afford anything else, anyway. Reuben’s father also used it to make pies, their most expensive product. Officially it was ‘pork’, or ‘duck’, or even ‘pheasant’ when his father felt very fancy. But it was what it was and always tasted the same. Nonetheless, it was meat, and no one liked to be hungry, so customers would come and eagerly order suspiciously cheap ‘pork’ pies. After twenty years in locked up London, they probably didn’t remember what proper pork tasted like anyway.

And on top of that, Reuben’s social life isn’t too great, either. His relationship with his only remaining family member is virtually nonexistent and based on survival. Mocked because of his freckled skin and fiery hair, trapped in mindset that doesn’t allow him to get close enough to anyone to reveal his true self, he is lonely and miserable. With the life he’s been leading, even the prospect of becoming a human horse isn’t all that daunting. After all, what could be worse than a lice-infested life spent sleeping in the same bed with cockroaches and eating rat pies? Surely not becoming a prized stallion and getting all the sugar cubes he wants.

But that’s the path that awaits him in The Copper Horse: Fear, which my co-author and I hope you will pick up from Storm Moon Press. It’s available now in both ebook and print formats, and we hope the unique combination of an alternate Victorian setting, a backdrop of zombies, and a hearty dose of pony play will entice you to give it a try! Perhaps, like Reuben, you might find the change in scenery thrilling.

The Copper Horse: Fear – by K.A. Merikan – NOW AVAILABLE!
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Blaine D. Arden, Storm Moon Press

Going Commando In The Forest – By Blaine D. Arden



Whether reader or writer, we all know that moment when one of the characters is about to strip. And I’m not talking about his t-shirt. This post is not about whether or not he has chest hair. No. I’m talking below the belt.

We sit on the edge of our seats in anticipation. A belt is removed. The first button pops. Or a zipper is teased open. Maybe, he pushes the waistband down a little. Or loosens his drawstrings…

And that is that moment. Whether contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, or historical, we’re all thinking the same thing: “What is he wearing underneath?”

I definitely remember the scene in “The Forester” when Kelnaht spies on Taruif and Ianys while they’re undressing… and it suddenly hit me. What were they wearing underneath? What did I want my Forest men to wear?

These days, the question is mostly about boxers, briefs, or going commando. But what would men wear in a fantasy setting like mine? A simple, mostly harmonious, community, where the people take care of each other. And might even be sewing each other’s clothes. Would underwear even be practical in such a setting? Would it be necessary?

With the internet only a click away, I ventured on a short but interesting journey that led me past loincloths, braies, and codpieces to Greeks and Scots not wearing any of these items. And my decision was made. My Forest men would wear simple trousers, tied at the waist with drawstrings, made of fabric to suit the weather, but no underwear.

Of course, when I went back to finishing that scene, I had Kelnaht close his eyes for a moment, so he ended up missing the part where Taruif and Ianys took their trousers off… Poor Kelnaht. Still, the research was fun, nevertheless.

So, what do you like to see men in the fantasy genre wear beneath their clothes? And what do you least like to see them wear?

The Forester II: Lost and Found

Buy Link

“The Guide mentioned puddles, but I envisioned lakes, deep treacherous lakes, and I was drowning.”

One turn has passed, another Solstice is just around the corner, and having an illicit affair with not one but two lovers-smith Ianys and shunned Forester Taruif-is taking its toll on Truth Seeker Kelnaht. If it isn’t sneaking around to find some quality time with his lovers, it’s heavy rainfall hiding traces of a missing stripling, or waiting for the elders to decide whether or not to set Taruif free. And if that’s not enough, Kelnaht fears that in gaining one lover, he might be losing another, as Ianys seems to be pulling away from them, and it looks like someone is, once again, trying to frame Taruif.

Excerpt:

“Ustion!”

I was glad I wore my trousers tucked into my high boots, as the mud sucked at them with every step. It had been raining off and on for the past two weeks. The leaves of the few evergreen oaks and parulm trees scattered throughout the forest dripped water, and twilight threw the woodland into a cold and eerie darkness. Cloak wrapped tightly around me and wings folded, I tried to ignore the drizzling chill brushing my fingers as I held my hands out in front of me, energy flowing freely as I scanned for Ustion’s footsteps.

“Ustion!”

Step by step, I circled the area at the foot of Moors Mountain surrounding the mouth of the hunters’ cave, while my apprentice, Brem, did the same on the other side of the cave’s entrance. Even with the floating lanterns hovering above us, I could find little trace of Ustion. There had been plenty in the cave. Just outside, same thing, but the farther I moved away from the cave, the less I found. At this point, I’d be thrilled to find even the tiniest trace that would tell me where Ustion had walked off to. I muttered a prayer to Ma’terra, hoping something would turn up soon. Deeper into the forest, the search party bellowed out for Ustion every couple of paces.

“Ustion!”

Ustion, son of Ashyu and soon-to-be carpenter’s apprentice, had been staying with Ashyu’s hunting group when he disappeared. It was tradition to take their older children with them once a turn for a break in routine. According to the hunters, Ustion had been doing fine—couldn’t shoot a rabbit even if it stood still, but made the best arrows—until three nights ago, when Ustion and Ashyu had argued, and Ustion had walked off to blow off some steam. When he hadn’t returned that evening, Ashyu had assumed he’d gone home to sulk. At sixteen turns, Ustion was old enough to find his way back, but when the hunting group returned to the village earlier today, Ustion hadn’t been home. He hadn’t been anywhere in the village.

“Ustion!”

Three nights was a long time for a stripling like him to be missing.

“Do you think we’ll find him soon, Master Kelnaht?”

Ashyu, a tall tree elf built like an oak, looked old in the flickering light of the lanterns. Lines were etched into his face, lines of worry, lines of regret. He’d been mumbling prayers since we started our search, staying close to Brem and me as we searched for traces. Every time we paused or bent down, he held his breath. His sighs when we found nothing sounded heartbreaking.

“I hope so,” was all I could answer to that. Truth was, I had no idea. The lack of traces was alarming, the nearing darkness even more so. I hadn’t expected the absence of traces, hadn’t expected the search to take this long. We weren’t prepared to spend the night in the forest, and once the night creatures stirred, the fire would be needed for protection more than light. The sooner we found Ustion, the sooner we could all go home. I hoped Taruif wasn’t waiting up for me.

“Ustion!”

Grabbing some herbs from my pouch, I sprinkled them over my cold hands and rubbed them together to cleanse them and protect them from the worst of the cold. When my hands started tingling, I took a deep breath, muttered a prayer to Ma’terra to guide us in our search, and renewed my focus. Hands extended, I felt my way through the rubble and the mud, moving farther and farther away from the cave. Every now and then, Brem and I met up in the middle, but we had nothing new to tell each other. Neither of us could find anything, and we were both reaching the limit of our powers.

“Ustion!”

In the end, I had no choice but to call it a night. We could barely see our hands in front of us, the wind had become fierce and close to freezing, and Brem and I needed to stop before we ran out of energy. Standing amidst his hunting group, Ashyu begged and screamed for us to give it another hour, stamping his feet into the mud and swinging his fists to punctuate his words.

I shook my head. “Look at your friends, Ashyu,” I told him. “You’ve all just returned from a week long hunting trip. They need a good night’s rest.” I gestured at Brem and I. “We need a good night’s rest to replenish our energy. We’ll restart our search in the morning and gather as many elves as we can to combine our energies. We will find your son.”

Ashyu sagged against a tree, disappointment and pain clear in his expression. Two of his group had to help him back on his feet before they could lead him back to the village. We walked in silence. I couldn’t stop myself from scanning the ground every couple of paces with what little energy I had left. Next to me, Brem did the same. A desperate act, or idle hope, maybe, but we’d never lost anyone in the forest before, and we weren’t planning on doing so now.

When I entered the village, Ianys stood waiting in the shadow of my dwelling, keeping out of sight until the last door in the village had closed. As soon as I reached him, his strong arms enveloped me, and I sagged against him. His warm mouth claiming mine brought a relief I couldn’t express in words. Ianys knew me well. He wrapped his cloak around me, took my cold and wet hands in his, and led me to Taruif’s dwelling.

Blaine D. Arden is a purple haired, forty-something writer of gay and trans* romance with a love of men, music, mystery, magic, fairies, platform shoes, and a penchant for wearing mostly black and purple, who sings her way through life.

You can find Blaine at blainedarden.com, twitter,facebook, and goodreads.

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Erzabet Bishop, Storm Moon Press

Embracing Diversity With Elizabeth Bishop – Storm Moon Press 4th Anniversary Blog Tour



Diversity has been on my mind of late. I watched a documentary about a young man who was murdered just because he dared to put on a dress and change his name. Another about a girl who was bullied and ended up killing herself. It is everywhere. Racial divides, books being banned for content, fighting about whether gay marriage is legal or not… it never ends. Now we find issues of harassment in the workplace and on football fields. It is rampant in our society and the message is clear: conform or we will make you. I have one word for that. No. I will not. I am who I am and will explore the boundaries of my own mind as I want to.

The current state of the world makes me think long and hard about the things I write about. Let me introduce myself. I am Erzabet Bishop, and I write erotica. Yes, it is a pen name. Under my real name I write horror and young adult fiction. Having a pen name is a must for me for two reasons. One- I separate my erotica from my young adult (you really have to), and two- there are some people that still treat erotica as porn and that is a very unfortunate fact. My first professionally published work was with Storm Moon Press, and I have always celebrated their willingness to tread into waters that can be at times risky and dangerous. They publish the edgy fiction that made my heart sing the first time I got that acceptance letter, and it hasn’t stopped since.

Under my erotic author mask, I am just the same as anyone else. I have a mortgage, pay my bills, and struggle with a leak in the roof and a new puppy that needs to get to the vet. There is always something. In my writing, I grab onto things that make the mundane into something special, whether that is a f/f story about a werewolf cop (When the Clock Strikes Thirteen, Ylva) or my m/f story Holidays In Hell from the wonderful Storm Moon Press. Just released as a single short story apart from its original anthology, it features an incubus with some diversity problems of his own. Demons are supposed to like Halloween, not have a serious kink for Christmas ornaments. I also write for NNP and the basis of my series for them is Pagan based erotica. Yep… here we go with another form of diversity. The point is, there is beauty in every culture, religion and way of life. You just have to be open minded enough to see it and appreciate the good in those around you, no matter their sexual orientation, religious affiliations, sex, gender, or ethnicity.

So, I look at the news nowadays and sigh and go back to writing my stories. More and more, I produce lesbian fiction, although Holidays in Hell happens to be m/f . There is something about looking at love as an all-inclusive emotion that comes out more and more in my writing. Well, that and a little kink with a crochet hook (Anything She Wants – “Hooked”) or a naughty spatula in EPS: Samhain Shadows. Who has the right to tell us who to love? Whether it is an incubus falling for a mortal girl he is supposed to suck the soul from or a lesbian werewolf cop finding a mate in a woman at a convention… diversity is life. It is inclusion. It is the spark that gives meaning. If everyone were the same, it would be a very pastel world indeed. It would be all tea cozies and no naughty corset washcloths or vibrator pouches. Dang. How boring is that?

Exploring the wonderful world of erotic fiction gives us a whole new and nonthreatening way to discover things about ourselves as readers and writers that we never knew existed. I love reading lesbian fiction and delving into the psyche behind how those relationships work in real life. People are fascinating and, as I found with one of my newest projects involving domestic abuse and cancer in a star-crossed lesbian love story, love comes in all flavors. Often just when you least expect it. Thank God.

Erzabet Bishop has been crafting stories since she could pound keys on her parent’s old typewriter. She has only just learned that it is a whole lot more fun writing naughty books. She lives in Texas with her husband and furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies. She can be found on Twitter @ErzabetBishop.

This post is part of Storm Moon Press’ 4th Anniversary Blog Tour! Thank you for joining us, and please take a moment to enter both Erzabet’s Holidays in Hell giveaway and our blog-tour-wide giveaway! The prize is receiving an ebook each month from SMP for 12 months! We hope to see you around the Internet and at RainbowCon in 2014! Happy New Year!

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Alex Whitehall, Alina Ray, K. Vale, Storm Moon Press, Suzanne van Rooyen

Body Art Tells The Story In “Written in Flesh”


“Show me a man with a tattoo and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past.” ― Jack London


Title: Written in Flesh

Authors: Alex Whitehall, Alina Ray, K. Vale, Suzanne van Rooyen

Publisher: Storm Moon Press

Pages/Word Count: 117 Pages

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: For many people, there’s nothing hotter than a man with tattoos. He might get them to commemorate a lost loved one, celebrate an event, or just to look bad-ass, but there’s no doubt the man enjoys showing off his ink. Tribal, classic black and white, or elaborate colored artwork spanning the entire back, each mark has a story, an indelible reminder of the past etched onto the human canvas with care and precision. We’re showcasing four of those stories in Written in Flesh.
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Cherie Noel, Christian Baines, Eileen Griffin, Hayden Thorne, Hayley B. James, Jack Byrne, Jambrea Jo Jones, Kendall McKenna, Storm Moon Press

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week!



Welcome back, everyone, and happy polar vortex! Ugh. Not really. But at least it’s a great excuse to curl up with a good book. We’ve got an outstanding week ahead, filled with reviews, interviews, and giveaways, so here’s what’s coming up in the week ahead.

Monday – Hayden Thorne returns on her Icarus in Flight Blog Tour, with an exclusive excerpt and giveaway.

Tuesday – We’ll have a whole pack of authors with us today — Kendall McKenna, Jambrea Jo Jones, and Cheri Noel — as they tour the internet on the Big Bone Lick Pack Blog Tour, and they’ve got a special little giveaway in store.

Wednesday – Christian Baines is our guest today on The Beast Without Blog Tour, and he’s giving away an E-copy of the book

Thursday – Storm Moon Press is back today with another feature on their 4th Anniversary Blog Tour. They’re offering someone the chance to win a year’s worth of free books from SMP.

Friday – Eileen Griffin is our guest today, on the Alpha’s Claim: Manlove Edition Blog Tour, and there’ll be a giveaway too.

Saturday – Jack Byrne will be here today all the way from down under to introduce himself and his new book The Billabong.

Sunday – Haley B. James stops in on the Polyester Prince Blog Tour. We’ll have an interview with Hayley as well as details on all the goodies she’s giving readers the chance to win.

Until next week, happy reading!

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Kelly Rand, Storm Moon Press

Kelly Rand Interviews Herself For The Storm Moon Press Anniversary Blog Tour



I always struggle with guest author blog posts. I’m too modest to enjoy talking about myself, and I never, even after being published for years, feel like I have anything to say about writing. But I dig Storm Moon Press, and it’s their anniversary, and I want to commemorate this with language.

So I’m doing something a little unorthodox with this one. I’m interviewing myself. ;D

Q. Hi Kelly, how are you?

A. I’m great, Kelly. I’m sitting on my couch eating leftover movie popcorn from last night.

Q. What did you see?

A. 12 Years a Slave. It was an engaging story and sufficiently heart wrenching, but sort of lacking in nuance. I’m not sure how to explain it other than that.

Q. I’ve come to expect these sorts of half-explanations from you. So, let’s talk about Storm Moon Press. What’s your most recent release from them?

A. They just released a short story of mine (about 10,000 words) called Songs From Devil Lake. It also appeared in the Torn in Two anthology, which focused on bisexual men. I loved writing it because I’m a big fan of subtlety – of it never really being clear who the hero and the villain is. And I love writing about bisexuality because I think the majority of people are queer on some level. I think that the main character, Daniel, is actually more in tune with his sexuality than the average person, which is why he encounters resistance, or has a hard time knowing where he fits.

I feel like the male bisexual erotica market is a largely untapped and someone just has to properly find a way into it. I feel like that’s where SMP comes into play. Their releases run the spectrum of sexuality, and they’re pretty bold. They have anthologies on brothers in love, and tentacle sex, and priests getting it on (coming soon ^_-). Their subjects are as broad as sexuality itself. So they’re unlikely to say something like “Uh, I’m sorry, this doesn’t fit the mould of the genre.”

I was also recently in the Legal Briefs anthology with a trans* story called “Honest Lawyers”.

Q. How did you first encounter SMP?

A. They put out a call for trans* romance stories in historic settings, with a suggested word count of 10,000. I wrote a story called Pearl, which is set in the 1920s prohibition era in small town Ontario, Canada. I’ve mostly encountered rejection in my writing life. I’m used to submitting 2,500-word stories, painstakingly written and formatted and snail-mailed, to literary journals where graduate students toss it into the recycling bin. I sent Pearl to SMP, and they not only instantly accepted it, but they were personable! I got to know their names! They were friendly and encouraging and complimentary! There was nary a form letter involved! I could have cried. SMP remembers their authors and has personal relationships with them.

Q. What are you working on now?

A. Argh! How can you ask me that? (Heh.) Will it jinx it if I say? It might, so I’ll pass. As for reading, I just finished a book about Joan of Arc. One of her major crimes, which resulted in her being burned at the stake, was dressing like a man. That’s how sacred gender binaries were then, and I don’t think we’ve reached full enlightenment 600 years later, either. Joan has been embraced by the lesbian community, but now that asexuality has been identified by researchers as a legitimate fourth sexuality, I wonder if she falls into that category. It’s definitely fun to speculate about her sexuality. Is it diminishing everything else she accomplished when I say that? Is it belittling her role as a feminist hero to wonder about these things?

Q. Probably.

A. Well. Anyway… Happy Anniversary, Storm Moon Press!

Kelly Rand can be found on Twitter at @rand_kelly, or at randkelly.tumblr.com or kellyrand.net.

This post is part of Storm Moon Press’ 4th Anniversary Blog Tour! Thank you for joining us, and please take a moment to enter our blog-tour-wide giveaway! The prize is receiving an ebook each month from SMP for 12 months! We hope to see you around the Internet and at RainbowCon in 2014! Happy New Year!

SMP’s 4th Anniversary Rafflecopter Giveaway

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Aleksandr Voinov, Brita Addams, Kingett Reads, Lex Chase, Posy Roberts, Rick R. Reed, Riptide Publishing, Sammy Goode, SE Jakes, Storm Moon Press, T. Strange

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Welcome to another great week coming up, gang, and speaking of welcome, we’ve added a new reviewer to our staff, who we’re so glad to have coming to play in our sandbox! Unlike Robert’s rather spontaneous addition to our crew, this one’s been in the works for what seems like forever now but has actually been more like weeks. Many of you may already know her from her vast repertoire of work for Jesse Wave and Joyfully Jay, but I hope you’ll take a minute to still say hi.

So, without further ado, let’s welcome Sammy Goode to The Novel Approach!



So, what to say about a woman who leads a lovely, simple, ordinary life…

I used to be a stripper and did pole danc…wait….maybe that’s an overshare?

Let me begin again…

I love dogs, but I have a restraining order out against both of my cats…

ok….this is not going as I planned…hmmmm….third time’s a charm?

Hello, my name Is Sammy Goode. It’s lovely to meet you!

I teach small people who never cease to surprise me, and I write plays for them as well…sometimes the plays garner me a boat load of money, sometimes they languish on my “this is such a flop-no one in their right mind will buy it” pile, but always the writing is the thing I enjoy the most.
I read almost as much as I sleep–lots of genres but M/M is by far my favorite.

I am an empty nester except I’m really happy that the nest is, well, empty. I think that either makes me a bad parent or a well adjusted woman. I’m opting for the latter!

And finally? I am so very happy to be here discussing books with you.



And now, here’s what’s in store for the coming week!

Monday – The lovely and delectable Brita Addams is here today with her regular monthly Guest Article. This week she’s discussing the importance of good editing.

TuesdayRick R. Reed is here to answer some very nosy questions about himself and his latest release Legally Wed, and there’s a Giveaway.

WednesdayLex Chase makes TNA a stop on her Conventional Love Blog Tour, and she has a Giveaway too.

T. Strange is also back today with a little Release Day Promo for her new book Amber from Torquere Press.

ThursdayStorm Moon Press is our featured guest with its second installment on the 4th Anniversary Blog Tour.

Friday – Riptide Publishing Presents the SE Jakes Dirty Deeds Blog Tour—you won’t want to miss that.

SaturdayPosy Roberts honors us with her presence on the Flare (North Star: Book Three) Blog Tour, and there’s a giveaway involved

Sunday – Robert is back today with the next installment of Kingett Reads.



And that does it for another week. Until next time, happy reading!

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Derek Bishop, Storm Moon Press

How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Romance by Derek Bishop – And, There’s A Giveaway!



So, I’ve just published my first work of romantic fiction, Incendium. A short time ago, this was something I never would’ve thought I’d be saying. I even would have been insulted if you’d told me this was soon going to be the case.

I used to be disdainful of Romance novels. If you’re a long-time Romance reader, then you’re probably familiar with all the prejudices I used to hold―their covers are absurd and corny, their characters have the depth of an inflatable pool, their plots the complexity of a porno. I was unfamiliar with the spectrum of Romances. In fact, I had never even picked one up. In my mind, they were full of nothing but cliches, over-sentimentality, and ridiculously contrived endings. I had not yet learned to appreciate melodrama when it was done right.

One of the most important things I did as a writer was to join a writing group. This gave me encouragement and support when I needed it, ideas when I was stumped, and kept me from putting some really dumb things on paper. Most importantly, it provided me with deadlines―ones I was actually motivated to meet.

My focus had been exclusively on Fantasy fiction, but my group was composed of a variety of genre writers. Half of them were (and still are) Romance authors. I went in with what I thought was an open mind, but I was not prepared for how much I loved their material. I had no idea of the variety of Romance fiction. I found myself reading a gay Young Adult bildungsroman, an action-packed crime thriller, and an erotic paranormal mystery. All the non-Romance genres I loved had a place as sub-genres in Romance.

But these stories were more than just their sub-genre, they were Romance novels, and I was just beginning to understand what that meant.

If you’re wondering what these books were that won me over, you should check out Alyssa Cole’s Eagle’s Heart, coming soon from Loose Id, and Katana Collins’s Soul Stripper from Kensington (also her second book in that series, Soul Survivor, which gets even better).

I was hooked by my group’s writing. I couldn’t wait to get the next installments, demanding that my fellow writers hurry up and write faster. Soon, my group began suggesting other Romances for me, and pretty soon, I was converted. Admittedly, I do prefer the genre Romances over the standard ones, but that’s also the case with my non-Romance reading tendencies.

One day, my friend Katana recommended that I try writing a Romance myself. At first, I was like, “What! Me write a Romance? But I have a penis! No way.” She showed me an anthology call from Storm Moon Press, asking for submissions of gay romance stories where one of the two lovers was a dragon in some form. The more she and the rest of my group nagged―ahem, I mean encouraged―me, the more the seed took root.

I started off thinking, “This’ll be easy. I’ll just write a story like I normally would, but with more sex in it.”

Wrong.

Everything from making the sex scenes arousing, to producing engaging emotional description, to writing believable and entertaining dialogue took work to get down. I learned a lot more about Romances trying to write one than I did from reading them.

The most fundamental realization I had was that Romances give us the luxury of waxing grandiloquent about love and attraction. Love makes fools of us. When we’re in its grasp, we act like idiots, and we don’t care. We don’t care if we’re absurd, trite, or melodramatic―we embrace it. That’s the magic of being in love. Romance fiction allows us to revel in this fantastic aspect of our nature, of our humanity.

Yes, other love stories talk about how wonderful love is, but they do not approach it in the same extravagantly delicious way. This genre allows us to explore the things we all love about being in love to an unapologetic degree.

My novella, Incendium, had more of a bittersweet ending rather than a typical HEA. For this reason, it was not accepted for the Dracones anthology. Fortunately for me, Storm Moon liked the tale enough to sign it as a stand-alone work. It’s available right now, so please check it out! Dracones is also available from Store Moon and has a bunch of excellent stories as well.

Incendium is not the last romantic story I plan on writing. Now that I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, I’ve got several other ideas that are clawing to get out. A couple years ago, I would have been horrified at that prospect. But now, I’ve become an appreciator instead of a criticizer. Warming up to Romance fiction gave me the best story that I’ve ever written, and there’s something to be be said for that.

GIVEAWAY OPPORTUNITY

Thanks for joining us on the Incendium blog tour! Be sure to take part in our giveaway! You have several options to be entered through our Rafflecopter, but you get the most entries by leaving a comment on this post! Today’s question is…

Have you ever been skeptical about a genre but been pleasantly surprised when you tried reading/writing it? If so, what genre?

Enter Derek Bishop’s Incendium Rafflecopter Giveaway Here

Derek Bishop grew up in a small Virginia town along the Blue Ridge Mountains. He was raised on Southern Baptism and Star Trek. The Star Trek was the one that stuck. His parents were both teachers and imparted a love of literature and wilderness exploration on him. He went to school at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia where he learned the joys of studying feminist theory, dancing to techno music, and grocery shopping side by side with colonial costumed re-enactors. He left one class short of a Gender Studies major and several classes too far of an English major. His latest work, Incendium, is now available from Storm Moon Press.

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Storm Moon Press

This Anthology Is A Little Taboo, “Like It or Not”


“I like pushing boundaries.” – Lady Gaga



Title: Like It or Not

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Storm Moon Press

Pages/Word Count: 168

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Blurb: Be it forced seduction/dubious consent, non-violent intimidation, or pre-negotiated fantasy, there is something wickedly taboo about non-consensual sex, where consent is muddled. While rape is a crime of power, focusing on exerting physical control over another person, non-con is all about the gray area where verbal consent is either never given (not a ‘yes’, but not a ‘no’ either) or doesn’t match the arousal and passion both parties share during the act. In Like It or Not, we push the boundaries of consent without fully breaking them.
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Angelia Sparrow, Storm Moon Press

Riding With The Moon Ascendant – Angelia Sparrow At Storm Moon Press


In 2010, I was approached by a press I had never heard of to write a gay furry story. They paid me in advance, and I desperately needed the money. So, I went for it, even though I’d never written furries before.

Songs for Guitar and French Harp, mixing furries, dieselpunk and depression era carnivals, took shape. And the advance bought my dentures. I spent a weekend with K. Piet and S.L. Armstrong, sharing a hotel room for OutLantaCon. I enjoyed their company tremendously.

So, slowly, Storm Moon Press started getting more of my work. The last year or so has been frustrating as the company endured growing pains, ballooning and reshuffling and hiring more people. There have been very competent editors. There have been editors who did not know what they were looking at, with regards to genre. (One was horrified that even the nicest characters in my cyberpunk universe were total rotters. That’s kind of in the genre description.) We writers have educated them in some ways. And they have educated us in many more. My writing is better than it was three years ago, thanks to the folks at Storm Moon.

It’s been a wild ride. Storm Moon is willing to take more chances than many presses. When I said “Hey, I have this idea for a post-apocalyptic biker novel,” they said “Send it.” Their story calls have taken me into tentacle sex and pegging, furries and shifters. Oh, and Centaur Roller Derby—although that anthology fell through—and Born Again Evangelical Vampires.

Right now, I have two full-length novels, and four anthology stories with them, soon to be five. Everything from contemporaries to wild fantasy to cyberpunk comes off my pen at their bidding, and I am pleased to write it.

Not everything is erotica either. They were willing to take a chance on a very different vampire novel, one with four sex scenes, and the door closed on three of them, because the plot intrigued them.

In this reality, vampirism is a virus and can be carried genetically. Those carrying the virus who die violently become Undying, immortal vampire hunters. Those who have not yet died are Breathers. Brett, his brother Dennis, their father, sisters and brothers are Breathers. Brett and his older brothers have just retrieved a pair of decapitated Undying whose heads were buried in concrete blocks.

So, for your pleasure, an excerpt from Power in the Blood, from Storm Moon Press.

*****

He carried the bags to the room he shared with Dennis. The kid was still up, reading A Night in Transylvania on the top bunk. Reading and chuckling. Dennis had a ghoulish sense of humor, but Brett supposed it went with the territory.

He set the bag with the cleaned head on the desk and lifted it out gently. It blinked and looked around. That struck Brett funny, as if he were holding a movie prop. He set the Undying’s head on his desk and talked to it as he worked on the other.

Dennis closed his book and hopped down to check things out.

“Can he talk?” Dennis asked. The head rolled its eyes, expressing its opinion that Dennis was being unbearably dim.

“Not without lungs.” Brett chiseled at the concrete. This one was even slimier feeling, and he wiped his hands on his shirt often while he worked. Dennis got him a towel, so that Brigitte wouldn’t yell at them about the laundry. Brett wondered what they had put into the concrete. He suspected it was the ash from the cremation.

The cleared head watched him intently. It was looking better already, with the skin all regenerated—a good looking man of about thirty-five, all sharp angles and keen eyes. “Thank you,” he mouthed again. He stuck out his tongue in the direction of the head Brett was working on. “Sam Hill.”

“Your partner’s name is Sam?” Brett asked, as he finally reached the other head. Thick black hair in odd patches showed through the concrete as he worked his way down. The Undying was already beginning to regenerate, even in the concrete.

The first head rolled its eyes again. Brett shrugged. “I’m no lip reader. Grow some lungs, and we’ll have a nice chat.” He’d found the general line of Sam’s brow now and was working on his nose, a distinctly Hebraic looking nose. “Big nose. I wonder if it’s true what they say about men with big noses.” He gave the head a wink and noticed it barely nodding.

Behind him, Dennis giggled at the naughtiness. “This is wild. Dad was right about it all? Vampires and the Council and Undying and all of it?”

“I guess he was.” Brett concentrated on getting Sam chiseled out. Sam blinked and looked around. Brett cleaned out his ears and dusted the last of the concrete from his eyes.

“Your partner is right here.” He gently turned Sam to look at the other head.

Angelia Sparrow can be found at http://www.brooksandsparrow.com and as valarltd on Livejournal, Pinterest, Etsy, and FetLife, along with Twitter @asparrow16. She can also be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ as Angelia Sparrow and Author Angelia Sparrow.

GIVEAWAYS!

This post is part of Storm Moon Press’ 4th Anniversary Blog Tour! Thank you for joining us, and please take a moment to enter our blog-tour-wide giveaway! The prize is receiving an ebook each month from SMP for 12 months! We hope to see you around the Internet and at RainbowCon in 2014! Happy New Year!


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Anthology, Storm Moon Press

There’s Love Between Brothers In “Fraternal Devotion”


“Because brothers don’t let each other wander in the dark alone.” ― Jolene Perry



Title: Fraternal Devotion

Author: Anthology

Publisher: Storm Moon Press

Pages/Word Count: 186

Rating: 4 Stars

Blurb: When you pit knowledge against emotions, there’s the no-man’s land in between those two opposing forces where taboos lie. Incest is one of the untouchables, a taboo that even in alternative cultures is often still looked on negatively. But how can something that feels so right be wrong? In Fraternal Devotion, the focus is on brotherly love—in every sense of the word. These are tales of love, lust, devotion, and passion as real as any other romance. Why should the fact that the two men are brothers take away from that? This collection may challenge your assumptions and beliefs, but may also melt your heart. Not to mention steam up your glasses.
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Leta Blake, Reesa Herberth, Rhys Ford, Riptide Publishing, Storm Moon Press, VJ Summers

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


It’s hard to imagine in just a couple of days, we’ll be ringing out the old year and welcoming in the new. It’s a clean slate we get every 365 days, a chance to start over and anticipate new possibilities, so here’s hoping your 2014 is filled with lots of joy and the gift of peace.

We’ve got a great week ahead of us as we play catch up on reviews, welcome some great authors, and usher in the New Year with a few giveaways!



MondayRhys Ford is with us today with her latest novel Fish and Ghosts, and there’s a one-of-a-kind giveaway you won’t want to miss.

Tuesday – Happy New Year! The TNA Team has selected our Top Books of 2013, so we’ll not only be listing those, but we’ll also be offering a giveaway to one lucky reader.

WednesdayRiptide Publishing presents the Reesa Herberth In Discretion Blog Tour, so you’ll want to stay tuned for what they have in store.

ThursdayStorm Moon Press is here today to kick off the first of its three 4th Anniversary Blog Tour guest spots.

FridayVJ Summers is our guest today with something that’s sure to be a little entertaining and a lot smexy.

SaturdayLeta Blake visits today with her latest novel Training Season, and she’s also offering a giveaway of the book, so be sure to stop in and say hi.

SundayPhillip MacKenzie Jr. is with us today with an interview and excerpt from his new anthology Bite the Pillow: Six on Sex.



And that’s it for another week. Until next Sunday, happy reading!

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Blaine D. Arden, Storm Moon Press

Blaine D. Arden Wants To Know, What Elf Would You Be?


TheForester_BSBlaine D. Arden here with the opening post for my The Forester II: Lost and Found blog tour! Join me in celebrating and be sure to read to the bottom. There’s a mini-competition I’d love for you all to participate in!

When I was a wee one, I spent a lot of my time daydreaming, and I don’t think I ever stopped doing that. Only, now, my daydreaming mostly consists of me making up worlds for my characters to play in and for others to enjoy. Sometimes I’m not even sure I’m from this world.

This world is fast, full of technology, and we always seem to be on our way to one thing or another. Of course, there are times I have to be surgically removed from my laptop, desktop, and smart phone, but they are more or less necessities of my writing. That said, should I ever survive an apocalypse, I’m sure I’d adjust to writing on cave walls or paper again. Us humans are an adaptable lot, after all.

One of the worlds I like to spend my days in is my forest world. There are no cell phones in the Forest, no cars, planes, or electricity. No money, either. The forest tribes are self-sufficient and provide for all their elves. The harvest is evenly divided, as are the hunters’ catches. A carpenter will make a cabinet for a new tunic or a nice dress for his vowed. I can’t help it, I love the idea of bartering, of helping each other out, and I can just imagine Taruif, one of the main characters in The Forester Trilogy, making me a lovely attic room in my favorite tree where I can write.

Now, I can’t promise that life in the forest is more evenly paced, easier, or quieter, and I’m not saying the small forest communities are perfect. Every tribe has its own problems, from strife between neighbors to common thieves, and even the occasional murder. Not to mention the chance of a ruined harvest or disease among the villagers or the animals they hunt. The tribes can also be quite isolated, other villages are often at least a week’s walk away.

But… it’s certainly a change of pace, and sometimes all we want is a change of environment.

Today, you can all be whoever you want to be, from winged hunter to a wingless baker. You can experience living in the forest’s gorgeous tree-houses and sit in the center, chatting, eating, and drinking with the rest of the tribe. So… who would you want to be?

Feel free to choose from the lists below by picking whatever catches your eye, or if you’re more of a gambling person, throw some dice and see what that brings you.

Because I still need to sort out some of the characters within my current work in progress, I’ll randomly choose one commenter’s Elf for a (small) role in Part Three of The Forester Trilogy, after the blog tour has finished.

1: wings or no wings:
In the forest, there are two species: the winged cloud elves (dice: 1,3,5), or the grounded tree elves (dice: 2,4,6). Choose one, or throw your dice.

2: How to earn our keep in the village:
For that, we obviously need a job, don’t we? Now, since this tribe already has a Guide, a Truth Seeker, and a Forester, those jobs are unavailable at this point. Furthermore, while there can be a little overlap, some jobs are mostly performed by one species of elf. Something to do with different species having different abilities.

Choices for a Tree Elf Choices for a Cloud Elf
1. Smith 2. Healer 3. Farmer 4. Bone Carver 5. Hunter 6. Baker
1. Herder 2. Messenger 3. Hunter 4. Healer 5. Baker 6. Bone Carver

3: We also need fitting Forest names, of course:
1. Kore
2. Roan
3. Vide
4. Guur
5. Ocer
6. Remza

4: Last, but certainly not least, feel free to choose gender and sexuality. No dice, this time. Choose any combination you like:

Male, Female, Trans*, Gender Queer, Asexual, Straight, Gay, Lesbian, Pansexual, Bisexual, and any term I’ve not mentioned. It’s really whatever you feel fits best.

One final note: You can of course make up your own name or profession… but I’ll have to check it against my list of Forest characters to see if I can use it.

Enjoy the game and remember to comment with your results!

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The Forester II: Lost and Found – Now Available for just $3.99!

“The Guide mentioned puddles, but I envisioned lakes, deep treacherous lakes, and I was drowning.”

One turn has passed, another Solstice is just around the corner, and having an illicit affair with not one but two lovers—smith Ianys and shunned Forester Taruif—is taking its toll on Truth Seeker Kelnaht.

If it isn’t sneaking around to find some quality time with his lovers, it’s heavy rainfall hiding traces of a missing stripling, or waiting for the elders to decide whether or not to set Taruif free.

And if that’s not enough, Kelnaht fears that in gaining one lover, he might be losing another, as Ianys seems to be pulling away from them, and it looks like someone is, once again, trying to frame Taruif.

Blaine D. Arden is a purple haired, forty-something writer of gay and trans* romance with a love of men, music, mystery, magic, fairies, platform shoes, and the colours black, purple and red, who sings her way through life.

You can find Blaine at blainedarden.com, twitter,facebook, and goodreads.

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Backlist Book Bump, M.A. Church, Storm Moon Press

M.A. Church Is Doing The Backlist Book Bump – How About A Giveaway of “The Harvest: Taken”?



Blurb:

In the year 2050, humanity finds out they are indeed not alone.

Massive space ships appear without warning above the capital cities of all major nations. The planet Tah’Nar is dying. Chemical warfare has reduced the once-intersexed warrior race to sterility. They need fresh DNA in order to reproduce and have an idea for a harvesting program… and so they turn to Earth.

Earth governments negotiate a lottery, and Dale Michael assumes he’s safe since he’s under the Harvest age limit. How wrong he is. He’s illegally harvested and claimed by Tah’Narian starship captain Keyno Shou. From the moment Keyno sees Dale, he knows he must claim the spirited human male for his own. What he doesn’t expect is a spitfire with a mind of his own—and a deadly disease that will require a risky procedure to cure.

§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§

Hey everyone. I’m so pleased to drop by and talk about my novel The Harvest: Taken. THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

This is the first of two books that cover Dale’s journey through one of the scariest times in human history. But it’s also a voyage of a young human male and alien who both grow, learn, find trust, and fall in love. And their path is not always easy.

You see, aliens come to Earth and yes, we have something they want: DNA, the building blocks of life. And that’s very important to my aliens, the Tah’Narians. They can’t reproduce anymore and they need DNA. They also are looking for mates to reproduce with.

Welcome to Earth, a lotto system, and young males that are harvested between ages twenty-three and twenty-eight. A scary concept, is it not? But it gets even scarier when a Tah’Narian starship captain is given permission to harvest a young male who is under the age limit.

Dale Michael thought he was safe since he was under the legal age limit. He was wrong

Buy links:

Storm Moon Press | ARe | Amazon

Excerpt:

It was in the year 2050 when humanity found out that it was, indeed, not alone in the universe.

They appeared without warning above the capitals of all major nations. The huge, menacing, and completely unresponsive space ships dominated the skies, sending the media into a complete tailspin. The governments of our world argued back and forth on what to do. But, in the end, they did nothing.

First contact came within hours of the sightings. The question of what these aliens wanted prompted emergency closed-door meetings in Norway, held by NATO. Meetings were held by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Union of South American Nations, the African Union and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, among others. The media speculated endlessly. The talks lasted for two days, while the world waited and watched. Early on the morning of the third day, a news conference was held and details were finally released to the public.

The name of their planet was Tah’Nar—and it was dying. Originally, the Tah’Narians were an intersexed warrior race. Chemical warfare had essentially rendered them sterile. Many scientists, from all over the world, eagerly volunteered their assistance to aid the alien race. The benefits to our own world hovered foremost in the mind of every government official present at the meeting. The Tah’Narians required DNA for their harvesting program. Since we couldn’t duplicate their technology, those males who were to participate had to be transported to their world, which, of course, triggered all sorts of questions from people. If these aliens were so advanced, why couldn’t they extract the needed DNA? Why did humans have to be taken off-world? The story had more holes in it than Swiss cheese.

After about a week of this, a press release from our government stated that the two strands of DNA were too fragile to be frozen and transported through space. The release claimed that the nucleobases—the four molecules that form the genetic building blocks of DNA— would be damaged and might even disintegrate once the alien starships jumped to star drive, the method used to travel through time and space so quickly. People, however, could be protected in ways that extracted DNA couldn’t.

Agreements were reached with each government—and boy, didn’t that take a while—that these men would be returned to Earth once the program was completed. Here in the United States a lottery system was set up, and each young man between the ages of twenty-three and twenty-eight was assigned a number. Once a year, for the next five years, numbers would be drawn and a new set of one thousand men would be collected and escorted to holding centers. Medical and psychological tests would be run on the subjects, and, if they passed the tests, they’d be transported to waiting spaceships. Other industrialized nations followed our example and set up their own lottery systems. Word soon leaked that only gay men were being targeted, but our government vehemently denied this accusation.

The media coined the expression ‘The Harvest’ for the times when the Tah’Narians would return to collect these young men. I was seventeen when the aliens first appeared, so my parents assumed I was safe. The final collection would be done before I turned twenty-three. I didn’t fall within the guidelines the aliens had established, so I thought I had nothing to fear.

I was wrong.

Author bio:

M.A. Church lives in the southern United States and spent many years in the elementary education sector. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two children. Her hobbies are gardening, walking, attending flea markets, watching professional football, racing, and spending time with her family on the lake.

But her most beloved hobby is reading. From an early age, she can remember hunting for books at the library. Later nonhuman and science fiction genres captured her attention and drew her into the worlds the authors had created. But always at the back of her mind was the thought that one day, when the kids were older and she had more time, she would write a book.

By sheer chance she stumbled across a gay male romance story on the web and was hooked. A new world opened up and she fell in love. Thus the journey started. When not writing or researching, she enjoys reading the latest erotic and mainstream romance novels.

My links:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook: M.A. Church | The Harvest FB fan page | Goodreads

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M.A. Church, Storm Moon Press

“The Harvest: Taken” Is Sci-Fi Survival Of A Species



“It does seem as if the more one gets the more one wants.” ― Louisa May Alcott


BLURB: In the year 2050, humanity finds out they are indeed not alone.

Massive space ships appear without warning above the capital cities of all major nations. The planet Tah’Nar is dying. Chemical warfare has reduced the once-intersexed warrior race to sterility. They need fresh DNA in order to reproduce and have an idea for a harvesting program… and so they turn to Earth.

Earth governments negotiate a lottery, and Dale Michael assumes he’s safe since he’s under the Harvest age limit. How wrong he is. He’s illegally harvested and claimed by Tah’Narian starship captain Keyno Shou. From the moment Keyno sees Dale, he knows he must claim the spirited human male for his own. What he doesn’t expect is a spitfire with a mind of his own—and a deadly disease that will require a risky procedure to cure.
Continue reading

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Katya Harris, Storm Moon Press

My First Guest Post – Katya Harris & “Dark Menagerie”


500Okay.

*Deep breath*

I’ve never done this before, written a blog post I mean. The extent of my social networking skills is a Twitter account, where I mostly talk about what I’ve read and the insanity of my pet rats. I also have a Facebook page I barely use. To say I’m awkward when it comes to public speaking, even through the filter of the Internet, is a gross understatement, so please, bear with me.

When I was asked by the lovely people at Storm Moon Press to write a blog post to promote my story “Dominant” in the Dark Menagerie anthology, I admit I completely panicked. There might even have been undignified flailing involved. What would I write about? Would I do a good job? What if I messed it up? Would anybody even want to read what I wrote? (I hope the answer to the last question is a resounding yes. Otherwise, I’m going to have a hella short writing career.

After a while—during which I really wondered why I don’t drink—my heart rate finally calmed down, and I had an idea.

The main character in “Dominant” is Kade Walker, a man who struggles to live after his life is ripped apart by a werewolf attack. Now, like the monster that left him for dead, Kade has become a bitter and lonely man who believes that his life is effectively over. Afraid of what he is, Kade has abandoned his family and friends and walked away from his future. He simply exists, struggling to control the animal that lives inside him. Then, into his world walks Jonas Forbeck, another werewolf who offers Kade something he never even knew existed or that he needed: a pack.

To a werewolf—at least my werewolves—pack is a family. Essentially, they are a home, a place to belong. The need, the search, for such acceptance is an idea that crops up a lot in my writing, probably because, for a lot of reasons, I never really had that growing up. It wasn’t until I became an adult and had a family of my own that I finally felt like I was comfortable enough to be completely myself.

It’s been on mind a lot lately, what with the controversy of the plague of misogynistic internet troll attacks and Russia’s heinous attitude towards their LGBT community. Acceptance seems to be in such short supply, and for no good reason that I—or I daresay, any sane person—can see. It is criminal that such backwards opinions born of a willful hate are allowed to fester in the world, a crime against the very spirit of that which makes us human.

In “Dominant”, the only person that persecutes Kade is himself, because he cannot see anything good in his new nature. Like any bigot or misogynist, all he can see are differences and not the similarities. In his case, all he sees is what he is and what he once was. He cannot see the man for the monster he perceives himself to be. Luckily, he has Jonas to show him the way. In the real world, I can only hope that those who persist in intolerance be shown a better way, and I shall do my part by being kind to those who are different, to accept people as they are. I hope someone else does the same for me.

I sound preachy, I know, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded of things that we as individuals might take for granted. To make up for it here is the beginning of “Dominant”. I hope everyone enjoys my story and the rest of the works in the Dark Menagerie anthology!

***

As soon as he walked into the bar, I knew what he was. Even over the sour smells of stale alcohol, cigarette smoke, assorted body odors and the heavy reek of greasy food, I could smell him. The freshness of the wind, the sweet astringency of evergreen, a hint of warm fur, all of it threaded together with the neck-ruffling musk of a wild thing. Familiar, even though I had never seen him before in my life. The burger fell from my nerveless hands, bouncing and falling apart on my plate.

Deep inside me, in the place I let no one ever see, the wolf pricked up its ears and growled.

The man’s face swung toward me, his eyes clashing with mine.

The shock of it reverberated through me, a blow that made every hair on the back of my neck lift in primal warning. Even across the dimly lit room, I could see the flash of fire that danced across the surface of his eyes. A flash I knew mirrored the one captured in my own gaze.

Whoever he was, he was like me and since the only werewolf I had ever encountered was the monster that had tried to kill me, that wasn’t good.

***

SMP_badgeIf you want to find out what happens next, go buy the Dark Menagerie anthology, and if you like my story (or even this blog post) come follow me on Twitter @Katya_Harris. I do say some funny things every now and again.

Thank you for having me on The Novel Approach! I hope it wasn’t too bad for my first time!

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Alex Whitehall, Storm Moon Press

Does Not Play Well With Otters – Forgotten Menagerie & Alex Whitehall


forgottenmenagerie_500As every author out there knows, some days the muse is with you.

And some days he’s wagging his arse as he laughingly prances away. Or he’s lying in a pile of warm bodies, lifts his head, and shrugs. Not my job to come up with the plot.

My short story in the Forgotten Menagerie anthology, “The Greatest of These”, started that way. In fact, it started—in a completely different form—three times.

It all began in December, when I was in a serious car accident. Although my body came out relatively unscathed, my brain had taken a beating, resulting in a serious concussion and three brain bleeds. While I had many limitations after my accident, the worst was that, due to the brain injury, I couldn’t read. As in, my eyes would not both focus on a point if it was too close to my face. (It was bad enough that I couldn’t make eye contact with people and would constantly be looking over their shoulder so I could focus toward them.)

Eventually, after physical and ocular therapy, I recovered. However, I was terrified to put words on the page again. Terrified I wouldn’t be able to (that I’d lost my creativity) or that it would be no good (since I had trouble focusing and stringing thoughts together). But when I saw the anthology call for non-traditional shifters at Storm Moon Press, I knew I had to write something.

Unfortunately, the story that was most forthright in my mind were some horny frogs. I started the story. Trashed it. Started it. Trashed it. Started it… and I’m still working on it. That is not the story I submitted. The frogs were incredibly uncooperative. They had a good concept that wanted to get played with, but they mostly want to play. They aren’t particularly interested in plot. And then I saw this (SFW) image on tumblr.

A religious otter shifter. It was brilliant.

The struggle needed to be faith-based but not the same-old that I’ve enjoyed reading time and again. I wanted new and fresh. I think I did that, but you, dear readers, will be the final judge.

Then came the research.

Thankfully, I have a Catholic friend and was raised Catholic, so the basics were easy to get down. For the finer points related to Mass, Google was my friend. These are all vital parts of the story, but kind of boring to get just right.

Then came the otters.

I needed to study their movements, their behaviors, and listen to their noises. YouTube provided a bevy of options. (Side note: Did you know watching otters play is extremely recuperative when recovering from a car accident? I’m sure studies have been done. Somewhere. After all, they’ve done studies of shrimp on treadmills.)

I can only hope I did them justice.

What’s interesting about otter shifters, and shifters in general, is the contrast—and sometimes antithesis—of the human persona and the animal.

My main character, Daniel, is a very serious young man who is struggling with some new elements in his life. His reserved nature conflicts with his otter nature. While he likes to have fun, he’s more free with his body as an otter. He doesn’t think twice about wrestling or biting or where his little paws are landing. Thoughts that his human self is constantly aware of.

His otter nature also conflicts with his faith. It’s a bundle of confusion that he has to work through. Thankfully, he has a good friend in Liam. A friend who supports him, even though they may have different views. Daniel is Catholic; Liam is not. Liam is also gay and the man who saved Daniel’s life. Their paths are irreparably entwined, and while Liam doesn’t always understand Daniel’s faith, he respects it.

I tried to handle matters of faith carefully. Not only do I not want to offend my readers, but I don’t want to outright offend any person of faith. I wanted to explore faith and religion and look at how they would weave into a world with shifters, but I also wanted to create something that would make readers pause and consider what I’m saying. Hopefully, whether or not the reader is religious shouldn’t matter, as we’ve all had faith in something or someone.

And, sometimes, it takes a little otter curiosity to explore if our blind faith is warranted.

Forgotten Menagerie is now available from Storm Moon Press in both print and ebook formats! I hope everyone enjoys my story along with the other unorthodox shifter stories by Cari Z, Angelia Sparrow, Avery Vanderlyle, and Kate Lowell. Thanks for having me on The Novel Approach today!

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Storm Moon Press

When The Pieces Fall Into Place – “Big Damn Heroines”

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The ideas behind “Folie à Deux”, my short story for the Big Damn Heroines anthology, fermented in my mind for years before I actually sat down to write the story. Most of the time, strands of ideas come together to meet at one point like a spider web. This story was the epitome of that.

I think, firstly, I’ve always been inspired by my best friend, whom Porter’s character is loosely based off of. She’s a very strong-willed young woman, independent and intelligent, an inspiration to a mousy little coward like me! She’s always leading me somewhere, and one day, she led me to the store to buy a CD.

She and I are huge fans of Fall Out Boy, so when they released their album, Folie à Deux, we rushed out to buy it. The music was incredible, and we listened to it nonstop, so whenever I think of that CD, I think of her. Consequently, I had to weave a little piece of her into the story, and that’s how Porter’s character–and the headphone scene–was created.

There is a line in one of Fall Out Boy’s older songs that always gives me goosebumps, and when my friend left–for greener pastures, I always said–the line seemed to become more potent, more meaningful. It’s basically the story of someone who misses someone else terribly, and their headphones act as a conduit, sending thoughts to that other person in the form of lyrics. Well, I just thought that was the niftiest idea anyway, but couple that with a lonely heart and wham! You’ve got sudden inspiration.

I was enamored with the idea that simply thinking about someone while listening to music could transfer your thoughts to their mind. At around the same time, I finally discovered what “folie à deux” meant and fell in love with that, as well.

“Folie à deux” translates to “a madness shared by two”. It’s a rare psychiatric syndrome in which a delusional belief is transmitted from one person to another, and the concept seems strangely romantic to me. That probably means I’m demented, but I suppose most writers are in their own unique ways.

So, I had all these plot threads and influences rumbling around in my head, but at that point, all I could do was kick them around. I let them woo me, but I could never take them back to my apartment; the date always ended at dinner and a kiss on the cheek. Eventually, I just set them aside to let them simmer and hope that something would come along to tie them all together.

Enter Breathe Carolina, another favorite band in my musical arsenal. It was a few years after my initial ideas, so I wasn’t expecting their songs to act as an adhesive to them. I was just listening to them to get me through a particularly hard time and a particularly hard work-out. But listening to music while working out–well, I suppose just listening to music in general–always seems to act as a stimulant for stories. They’re not always cohesive, and they certainly don’t always make sense, but they’re usually very vibrant.

I was listening to Breathe Carolina’s recent album, Hell is What You Make It, and the ideas suddenly came rolling in like waves at high tide. A little piece of the story rode piggyback on each song and melded together effortlessly, and I barely felt my burning muscles or the sweat on my skin. I was completely absorbed in the other world that my songs and I were creating.

This venture into another, slightly skewed universe would become the “dream sequence” that Porter encounters. It was pretty trippy, like falling down the rabbit hole, and I wanted to capture that in the story with the shortened, choppy sentences and scene changes.

Of course, at first, that was all the story was going to be–an acid trip. But, as I said before, plot threads just seem to come together, and if you’re brave enough to follow them, they usually lead you to some pretty amazing places.

I rediscovered my love for the ideas of madness and shared thoughts, and suddenly it all just seemed to make sense. That was when I picked up the thread and followed it. The dream sequence expanded to include my previous inspirations, and at that point, all I needed to do was sit down and create that world.

The two main characters were simple enough to nail down. They’d already revealed their true colors to me in the dream sequence. Blaise was kind of a crazy bitch, of course, and it was easy enough to make her pretty unlikeable. You could breathe wrong on Blaise, and she’d want to fight you, which was fun for me to write. Porter was harder. I wanted her to be different from Blaise, but with shared personality traits. I wanted her to be softer, but still have her own moments of insanity because they share the same madness. They influence each other, they feed off of each other. Blaise leads Porter to do many things but in a lot of ways Porter is her inspiration, much like my best friend and my music were mine.

In the end, it was a lot of things all at once, a melting pot of experiences and lyrics that captured my heart. I’ve discovered that’s usually how the story goes. And I’ve discovered that even the madness that we keep inside, the insanity that we sometimes choose to share with the ones we love most, can be beautiful. Like little pieces of broken glass. Or maybe that’s just how I see things–through a broken mirror.

Big Damn Heroines Anthology — Now Available from Storm Moon Press for just $5.99 (ebook)

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Anne Tenino, Carole Cummings, Storm Moon Press

We’ve Got A Couple Of Fun Things Coming Up This Week, But Boy Oh Boy, Just Wait Until August!

As you may or may not have heard, Jay of Joyfully Jay Reviews and I have cooked up something special for readers this year in our Joyful Approach Countdown To GRL 2013. When we first began discussing the project and whether it was something we could pull off successfully, we never imagined that we’d get the sort of response that came pouring in from participating authors. In less than eight hours, we filled our original forty-two time-slots, quickly bumped it up to FIFTY, and still have authors on our waiting list over and above that fify cap, authors whom we both dearly hope to be able to accommodate as we fill our calendars for the seven weeks between August 19th and October 6th.

Be on the lookout for announcements in the coming weeks, including a list of participating authors and the dates they’ll be scheduled to appear both here and at Joyfully Jay!

But on to what’s on tap for this coming week: on top of some really great reviews, we’ve got Anne Tenino here tomorrow to talk about her newest release, Sweet Young Thang, and she’s also bringing along a goodie or two.

On Thursday, we’ll have a guest post from Storm Moon Press, as they continue their Big Damn Heroine tour.

Then, on Friday, Carole Cummings will be our guest, and she’ll be offering one lucky reader the chance to win her latest novel The Queen’s Librarian.

So be sure to stay tuned, and have a great week!

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