Backlist Book Bump, Dreamspinner Press, J.P. Barnaby

Ulterior Motives: A Little Boy Lost Short by JP Barnaby

J.P. Barnaby ©

J.P. Barnaby ©

Dedication: The concept for this story is not mine. It came from a naughty story told to me by my deviant little friend Michael Chulsky Kudo

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I don’t often get off to the porn I shoot, but damn, Alex power bottomed better than any guy I’ve filmed. The perfect arch of his back, the way he leaned into it, the fact that Mike topped meant none of it was fake. It might have been awkward editing his friends having sex if he hadn’t fucked both Mike and Alex at one point or another. Now, it was just a really hot day at the office. Continue reading

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Backlist Book Bump, RJ Scott

RJ Scott’s “Guarding Morgan” And “The Gallows Tree” – Excerpts And Giveaway

As part of this author tour I am putting two different books alongside each other and talking about what inspired them.

I suggested comparing Guarding Morgan and The Gallows Tree, and TNA said I should talk about the two books that contrast each other and about why I like to mix things up in my writing as opposed to sticking to a formula.

Guarding Morgan is an adventure story, set in modern day US, and is the first in a series of seven books. The book deals with poor Morgan, who witnesses a murder and is put in danger when the FBI safehouse he’s in is compromised. Immediately the book is a man on the run story, then quickly falls into the world of Sanctuary – an organization that assists when all else is fails. A private organization owned by a millionaire, Sanctuary becomes Morgan’s safe home, and this is how he meets Nik. The story is half adventure, half cabin in the woods, and is the building block for an entire series. I love writing my men of action, my heroes. Continue reading

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Backlist Book Bump, Rain Carrington

It’s Time For A Backlist Book Bump With Rain Carrington



Author Rain Carrington joins us today to celebrate the upcoming release of Wedding Bells and Bullets, the third installment in the Honky Tonk Series. To introduce the newest addition to the family, Rain wants to give you the chance to win an e-copy of books one and two: Honky Tonk and Coastal Cowboys.
Continue reading

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A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week, Anais Morgan, Backlist Book Bump, GayRomLit, Hayden Thorne, Jordan L. Hawk, Nikka Michaels, Paul Alan Fahey, Rain Carrington, Taylor V. Donovan

Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Hi, everyone, I hope you’ve all had an outstanding week. We’ve got another fun-filled seven days coming up, with more guest posts, interviews, giveaways and reviews to come.

Here’s what’s on tap for the week ahead.

MondayTaylor V. Donovan kicks off the week on the Hearsay Blog Tour

And Kris Jacen drops in as well, with a guest article about con etiquette

TuesdayHayden Thorne drops back in for a visit to promote her new book Wollstone, and she’s also offering a giveaway

WednesdayAnais Morgan is our guest today with a guest post and giveaway

ThursdayJordan L. Hawk stops in for a Countdown to GRL visit and to chat a bit about the latest book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, Necropolis

FridayNikka Michaels is our guest on her Lip Service Blog Tour, and there’s a giveaway

SaturdayRain Carrington is our guest with a Backlist Book Bump and giveaway

SundayPaul Alan Fahey is here with a guest post and giveaway for his latest novel Too Long Among the Dead

And that rounds out the week ahead. Until next week, happy reading!

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Backlist Book Bump, Hayden Thorne, Queerteen Press

It’s A Backlist Book Bump Day For Hayden Thorne’s “Renfred’s Masquerade”, And Of Course, There’s A Giveaway


The Novel Approach is thrilled to have Hayden Thorne back with us today to celebrate her Young Adult masterpiece, Renfred’s Masquerade, a book that made my choice for best young adult book of 2011. It’s a gorgeous bit of storytelling, and Hayden has decided it’s time to introduce you to Nicola, the hero of this tale, by offering the chance for TWO lucky readers to win an e-copy of the book.

Enjoy the excerpt and see entry details below!

BLURB: Young Nicola Gregori has always wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a brilliant clock-maker who’s famous for his wild, fantastical designs. But his father instead sends him to school to learn more practical matters. Nicola, stricken with infantile paralysis that left him with a deformed right leg, becomes an object of mockery and cruel jokes in school. He learns that in order to survive his daily ordeals, he needs to vanish in the crowd, to stop aspiring, to stop dreaming, and above all, to believe himself unworthy of respect and love.

Tragedy strikes when Nicola turns sixteen. Gustav Renfred, an old friend of his father, takes on Nicola as his charge and whisks him away to an isolated islet filled with empty mansions and bordered by a bluebell forest. There Nicola slowly learns about the tragic history that tightly weaves together the fates of Jacopo Gregori, Gustav Renfred, and Gustav’s twin sister, Constanza.

Magic, impossible dreams, and unrequited love come together in Ambrosi, the Renfreds’ mansion, where Nicola is caught up in a world of haunting portraits, a ghostly housekeeper, and the mysterious disappearance of Davide, Constanza’s adopted son. When Nicola’s invited to one of Renfred’s magical masquerades, he discovers the answers to riddles as well as the mounting danger that the Renfred family faces with every passing hour. With the masquerades’ existence depending on the physical and mental strength of an ailing Renfred, the task of solving the mystery of Davide’s disappearance before time runs out falls on Nicola’s shoulders, and he has no choice but to depend on things he’s long learned to suppress: courage, self-respect, and the desire to aim for impossible goals.

EXCERPT:

Nicola frowned as he looked around him. The spell had broken somehow, but while it didn’t ruin the charming, colorful, and festive atmosphere of the masquerade, a keen awareness of the magical nature of the assembly now took over. He felt as though he were back in his usual logical self, baffled all over again by the fantastical nature of his surroundings and slowly finding himself being lured away from reality with promises of possibilities that went beyond his limited perceptions.

With that came a very unwelcome question: how would he be able to dance with someone who was, Nicola was now convinced, nothing more than a phantasm created by Renfred? He was the only flesh and blood being in that ballroom, and while the revelers appeared to be real, Nicola attributed that to the remarkable quality of Renfred’s skills.

The music ended, and the dancers whirled to a halt, their laughter replaced by the buzz of conversations. Some dancers left the floor and either took their places in the room’s periphery
or left the ballroom to rest elsewhere. The majority stood and chatted, waiting for the orchestra to rest before moving on to the next piece. No one seemed to notice him, but Nicola didn’t mind
at all. If he were invited to a magical masquerade for entertainment and not interaction, he was pleased for the most part, though he hoped that there would be real food available in another room, for he was sure that he’d be famished soon.

“Then again,” he muttered, sighing and clucking, as he looked around to admire the elaborate costumes of fellow guests, “why should I stay till three in the morning if all I’ll do is stand and watch, uh, ghosts dance and enjoy themselves?”

A surge of restlessness coursed through him, and Nicola abandoned his spot to walk along the room’s perimeter in order to observe the goings on more closely from different places. He deliberately walked close to some of those who stood near the walls, sometimes brushing against guests, but while none of them felt unreal or incorporeal, he remained ignored. Masked men and women pushed past him or didn’t meet his gaze, no matter how long he stood before someone and stared. He felt invisible, almost, the fact that he also wore a mask and a costume to hide his identity adding a degree of irony to the realization.

He had nearly reached the orchestra by now, noting that the musicians were already getting ready for the next dance as they took up their instruments again while turning the pages of their musical scores.

“Will you dance with me?”

Nicola nearly tripped on his own feet at the question as well as the sudden feel of warmth enveloping his left hand. He froze in his tracks and spun around, shocked. The young man in the odd white costume stood before him, holding his hand.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.”

Nicola blinked as he stared at the fellow and then dropped his gaze to their joined hands.

“Pierrot.”

“What?”

The young man in white smiled, releasing his hand. “That’s my costume. I hope it’s acceptable.”

“Oh.” Nicola looked to his left and then his right, not sure what was going on and wondering if now was a good time to leave despite the fact that he’d just arrived. “It’s an interesting costume, I’m sure.”

“So—will you dance with me?”

Nicola frowned, felt the urge to scratch his head in confusion but remembered that he was wearing a hat. Within seconds he went from feeling confused to feeling stupid, then suspicious, then shy. Swallowing, he feigned indifference and nodded. “I suppose.”

Pierrot grinned, perhaps reading Nicola’s bewilderment and the sudden threat of nausea that gripped him, and offered a hand. “We should take our place on the floor, or we’ll get squeezed out of it before we even start.”

“But where’s your partner?”

“He’s dancing with someone else now. It’s all right.”

Pierrot’s eyes sparkled with mischief, a brilliant light that his mask didn’t mute at all. “I swear I won’t hurt you.” When Nicola hesitated some more, he added in a softer voice, “Please.”

“I’m sorry. This is my first masquerade.” Nicola felt sheepish beside his new partner as he was led to the floor, his nervousness taking on a completely different dimension. He’d never danced the waltz before; he’d never danced at all before. He was sure that he’d end up injuring his partner within the first few bars of the next piece. That is, if make-believe people could be injured. The urge to vomit continued to threaten, but he forced it away, reminding himself that this was supposed to be nothing more than good fun. Renfred had taken the trouble to conjure up a themed masked ball for Nicola’s sake and even acquiesced to Nicola’s plea for a normal right leg. Whether or not this Pierrot fellow was a specter that was meant to be his partner Nicola couldn’t tell, but he wasn’t about to be an ungrateful brat, and he chided himself for his nerves and awkwardness.

“Don’t ask questions,” he murmured. “Play along and enjoy what you can.”

He’d just finished his self-directed lecture when Pierrot stopped and turned around. “This is a good spot for us,” he said.

When Nicola stared, his confidence slipping again, Pierrot chuckled. “If it’s your first time, I’ll guide you. It’s really very simple.”

Stepping forward, he gave Nicola brief and clear instructions on how to hold one’s partner, and before long, Nicola found himself in a very intimate and nerve-wracking partial embrace, with his partner smiling down at him, while he could only swallow a dozen times, his eyes unblinking and ready to pop out of their sockets.

“Relax and let yourself move with the music,” Pierrot said. Nicola nodded, his body still rigid. It didn’t help that his partner suddenly leaned close and spoke into his ear next. “I’ll take care of you. Just enjoy yourself.”

The noise of dozens of conversations broke to the beginning strains of the next waltz—one that was as heavy and insistent as it was rhythmic, melodic beauty shedding any pretenses to poetry and speaking of a people’s hardship and enduring pride. The strains haunted with melancholy but romantic images that clung to Nicola’s mind as he danced around the room, awed, mortified, and exhilarated by the strangeness of this new experience.

“Don’t look at your feet. Look at me.”

Simple enough directions, but difficult to follow. Nicola found that he couldn’t look straight into his partner’s eyes, the self-consciousness and embarrassment weaving an uncomfortable thread in the mix of emotions that defined his first dance. But he also felt compelled to, largely because his partner’s eyes exuded intelligence and sadness that affected Nicola in a way that was foreign to him. Suddenly he wanted to know this young man’s story, and suddenly, he wanted to be with his partner all night, though he was still quite fuzzy as to what was going on regarding Pierrot’s acknowledgment of his presence, given his observations on the rest of the assembly’s indifference.

I dithered over whether or not to add a video to this post, and I decided to go ahead with it. It’s a piece that inspired the scene, actually, and I listened to it repeatedly while writing it. Ignore the fact that it’s totally anachronistic to the time period of the story. :)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I’ve lived most of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area though I wasn’t born there (or, indeed, the USA). I’m married with no kids and three cats, am a cycling nut (go Garmin!), and my day job involves artwork, great coworkers who specialize in all kinds of media, and the occasional strange customer requests involving papier mache fish with sparkly scales.

I’m a writer of young adult fiction, specializing in contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, and historical genres. My books range from a superhero fantasy series to reworked folktales to Victorian ghost fiction. My themes are coming-of-age with very little focus on romance (most of the time) and more on individual growth with some adventure thrown in.

ON GENRE FICTION FOR LGBT TEENS:

LGBT teens have all sorts of stories to tell. They’re heroes not only of contemporary adventures or of fantasy and magic, but also of history. The rules might be different – stricter, a bit more frightening given 19th century laws, for instance – but there are still dreams to be shaped, character to be developed, and all of these done within the parameters set by the genre. It’s going to be a challenge, sure, but if it means allowing LGBT kids their own time in the “limelight” of, say, the Victorian stage, I’m game.

THE GIVEAWAY: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Backlist Book Bump, Eden Winters, Self-Published

Turning Plagiarism Into A Happy Ending – A Backlist Book Bump From Eden Winters




A few years ago I stood at a crossroads in my life. It is at this point that I began writing (at the urging of a friend) as a way of dealing with a life suddenly gone belly up. My first novel was born, The Telling, the story of a soldier, returning home to deal with PTSD and the realization that he is gay and wants a partner—something he feels he can’t have in his small Alabama town.

The Telling was too personal to sell. I offered it free to readers on many sites, then wrapped it up as a novel, again free of charge. I’ve met so many wonderful people through the book, readers who wrote to me and are now friends, reviewers who loved the story, and other aspiring authors.

I wanted to put the book on Amazon, but they don’t allow free books. What you must do is add a price, then send them the link to a free site, asking that they price match. I expected the price to go to zero in a matter of hours. It didn’t. This was a gift to readers, and it was unfair that some people paid for their copies and others did not, even at Amazon’s minimum price of .99. As an active member of my local PFLAG chapter, I elected to give all the Amazon earnings for this novel to PFLAG.

Then something happened beyond my worst nightmares. Someone told me that an earlier version of my book, with identical blurb, was being offered on Amazon. Only the author’s name was different. I’m not a well-known author, so if this person hadn’t plagiarized some very notable authors, chances were he’d have gone undiscovered. Not only did he take my free book clear down to the slightly altered dedication with the intent to make money from it, a person claiming to be his editor turned the tables and suggested it was me who did the stealing.

I’ve never had my heart cut out with a dull knife, but it has to feel something like that moment did for me. To make matters worse, while Amazon quickly took down the other plagiarized books, they left mine up for what seemed like an eternity. Each day that I checked and found it still there twisted the knife a bit deeper.

Out of bad rose good. People began to rally around me, some who’d actually witnessed The Telling being created online. Even though they knew they could get the book for free elsewhere, they shelled out their .99 cents to Amazon, to benefit PFLAG.

The other author’s offerings have been taken down, as has mine, and as international law comes into play I’m not sure anything can be done. But, through all the agony of having my work stolen, then being accused of being the thief, a miracle happened. Even at so low a price, PFLAG made a tidy sum. We’re not sure how to spend it yet, but we’re looking at renting a billboard, spreading the word about PFLAG and the good work we’re doing in the community.

In the spirit of Monte Python’s “Wink, wink, nudge, nudge,” the stolen version had a particular error in the copyright that I’m notorious for: using “and” for “any”. The warning reads, “And resemblance to persons living or dead…” This wording is also present in some of my other stories. Yep, that story’s Eden’s all right!

While this is a “Back List Bump” post, and I have many novels I’d love to see spotlighted, I’d like to take this opportunity to promote The Telling. You have two choices: All Romance Ebooks for free, or Amazon for .99 cents, all proceeds benefitting PFLAG. The wonderful P.D. Singer even donated the lovely cover.

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Time in Iraq cost Michael Ritter some of his hearing and a friend whose death he feels responsible for. He’d left Alabama hoping to escape a dull, small-town life, only to return four years later, lugging a duffle full of personal demons.

Cookesville, Alabama isn’t the most welcoming place on earth, particularly for a gay, Hispanic student wanting nothing more than to earn his degree and get back home to Texas. An image of a somber young man that he knows only by name and the stories told by an adoring sister comes to life when Michael returns home, just as Jay is already half-way to losing his heart.

Michael’s biggest battle lies ahead, and he’ll need all the help he can get to find his way in a world where he no longer fits in. Jay’s not sure where he fits either, but it could be next to the war-torn soldier who needs his strength.

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Backlist Book Bump, Erica Pike, MLR Press

Erica Pike Is Here With A Backlist Book Bump Of “A Life Without You”, And A Giveaway!



Thank you so much for having me. The third book in the Boston Boys series, Black Hurricane, came out recently and I’m thrilled to be able to introduce the series to people who haven’t heard of it yet. Even though it’s a series, the books don’t have to be read in a specific order. However, reading them in order will give more insight into the characters and there are cameos throughout the series since it features a tight group of friends living in Boston. They’re more like a family – flaws and everything.

Now, here’s a little bit about the book. You’ll find details for the giveaway at the end. :)

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Blurb:

Jesse’s like a bar of soap: the tighter Adam holds on, the faster Jesse slips away. Or that’s how it feels to Adam. It doesn’t help that Jesse has a girlfriend back home and claims to be straight, but there’s no way with all the sparks and physical intimacy flying between the two roommates.

When Adam believes he has reached his ultimate happiness, the walls come crashing down with a visit from Jesse’s girlfriend.

Now Jesse has to decide if he can come to terms with his sexuality, while Adam has to learn to accept that Jesse might never be able to crawl out of the closet.

Excerpt:

“Mmmh,” Jesse groans on my pillow and stirs in his sleep.

My thigh was pressed against his when I woke up an hour ago, and it’s still there, skin against warm skin. I’m afraid that if I move I’ll spoil the beauty of having his naked body in my bed. So for now I lie on my side and watch him sleep.

The skin over his muscles relaxes and tightens as he breathes. I’ve admired his athletic build since I first saw him. It helped that I got to see him naked on the very first night he moved in.

I’d decided that morning to tell him early and give him a chance to move out if he wasn’t cool with my sexuality. After the last guy left, I was sure whoever moved in would just move right back out after learning the truth about me.

As soon as I opened the door that morning and saw Jesse holding out his hand, my irritation evaporated in a flash. I shook his firm grip and gawked in fascination as with a smile, he introduced himself as Jesse Jefferson.

Now why I didn’t tell him about my sexuality until a full twelve hours later is still a mystery.

“I hope you don’t mind,” he’d said after dropping his dusty blue jeans with a wry smile playing on his sensuous lips. “I always sleep naked, so if you see my admiral saluting in the morning, don’t take it the wrong way, ‘kay?”

His frankness caught me off guard and he flashed me white teeth as he laughed. I didn’t know whether to look at his too-touchable sun streaked hair or his beautifully exposed privates. He seemed so natural standing naked in front of another man that I didn’t know what to think of it. I think I may have blushed.

When he finally ducked under his white sheet, I swallowed down my drool and undressed under my own sheet. My penis throbbed hard against my boxer briefs.

He turned off the lights. The throb kept time for at least half an hour as I stared at the ceiling. His breathing told me he was still awake.

I cleared my throat. “So, why are you moving in now? It’s already been two weeks since school started.”

“My roommate kicked me out because I sleep in the nude.”

“That’s tough,” I said, willing my dick to relax.

“Why didn’t you have a roommate?” he asked.

“Because I’m gay,” I answered.

It was never a secret. I always answered truthfully whenever people asked.

Jesse, snuggled in his sheet, was quiet for a full second before his back convulsed in a rising laughter. “That’s a good one,” he said in between laughs. “I suppose I laid that one out for you. I like your humor, Adam. I’m sure we’ll get along just fine.”

Maybe I should’ve pursued it. It would have been easier for him to really know it and have his freak-out, before I grew to like him too much.

But a perverse part of me was curious to know when he would figure it out and how he would react. Mostly, I really didn’t want him to leave. I thought if we became buddies first he might react more positively.

A month later and he still doesn’t have a clue.

I watch his pure face on my pillow as he draws in slow breaths, so peacefully oblivious of my wild fantasies. The heat from his thigh is almost overbearing.

It’s like I’m lying to him every day. He innocently says and does things that I snatch up and twist into something sexual in my dirty mind. We’ve become great buddies and I’d feel crushed if he left, but it’s time to tell him how things are.

I wonder what he’ll do when he wakes up. Jump out of bed with a scream? Tear the sheet off my body to cover himself and thereby reveal my hard-on? Shove his clothes on and move out? Or slide his arm around my body and kiss me, like I secretly dream about every single day? It’s hard to guess.

Jesse groans again and shifts his body to lie on his back. His cock slides fully erect against my sheet as he moves. What I wouldn’t give to be the object of his dreams right now.

I want to run my hands down his chest, feel the heat of his relaxed body, and let my palm rest on his slow breathing stomach. I want to tuck the other around his neck, push his head upwards, and then slowly lower myself into a kiss. How would he react to that? I could turn it into a joke if he’d get angry. He’s very liberal as it is, so maybe it would be okay. He even smacks me on the butt and winks sometimes when he passes by. Can’t I make homo jokes as well, or do such jokes only work between straight guys?

Maybe I should just pretend to be asleep when he wakes up.

Author bio:

Erica lives in Iceland with her adorable little twin boys. She often says that her real name sounds like Klingon to foreigners. Seriously, if “Eyjafjallajokull” looks like a random strings of characters, it’s nothing in comparison to Erica’s name.

She’s been writing for several years, or ever since reading became an obsession. Aside from a business degree, Erica has taken English courses at the University of Iceland and gulped down anything that might help her in her career as an author. She takes great interest in English, but will break every single grammar rule for the sake of The Voice.

Erica loves hearing from her readers. She’s a friendly, easy-going (if a bit silly) person who doesn’t mind talking about herself in third person.

You can find her at http://www.ericapike.com

Buy Links:

MLR Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | All Romance eBooks

Social Media:

Webpage/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

The Giveaway:

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Backlist Book Bump, Cate Ashwood, Charlie Cochet, Erica Pike, Ethan Stone, John Goode, Liam Livings, Lori Toland, Mary Calmes, Sara York, Sneak Peek

And Now, Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


Happy Sunday, and welcome to another look at what we’ve got on tap for you in the coming week. We’ll have more reviews, including stories in the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar anthology Heartwarming, as well as some other Christmas themed stories. We’ve also got interviews, guest articles, a Backlist Book Bump, and plenty of giveaways in store.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

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MondayLiam Livings is our guest today on his Christmas Serendipity Blog Tour and he’ll also have a giveaway of the book

TuesdayMary Calmes will be here with Quade and Roman from Old Loyalty, New Love. They’re doing an interview and offering a giveaway of the book

WednesdayCharlie Cochet kicks off The Heart of Frost Blog Tour right here and, and she’ll also be offering a giveaway at the end of the tour

ThursdaySara York and Ethan Stone will be here on their Transparency Blog Tour and will be offering a giveaway to one lucky reader

FridayCate Ashwood stops by on her Wholehearted (Hope Cove, Book 2) Blog Tour, and she’ll be offering a giveaway

John Goode – Will be here today with “Where Are We Now?” – Part 4 in his guest writing series

SaturdayLori Toland stops in on her Home for the Holidays Blog Tour with an Interview and giveaway

SundayErica Pike is doing a little Backlist Book Bump of A Life Without You and is offering a giveaway of the book

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And that does it for the upcoming week. Until next Sunday, happy reading!

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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.

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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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A.E. Via, A.J. Corza, B. Snow, Backlist Book Bump, Deanna Wadsworth, Iyana Jenna, John Amory, Josh Lanyon, Lynley Wayne, M.A. Church, Sneak Peek

And Now, Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week


I hope you’ve all had a lovely week, and for those of you celebrating Hanukkah that your holiday time with family and friends has been, and will continue to be, wonderful.

And don’t forget, today marks the start of deliveries for Dreamspinner Press’s 2013 daily Advent Anthology Heartwarming. We’ve got all thirty-one stories we’ll be featuring throughout the month of December, but be sure to check them out yourselves.

We’ve got another busy week ahead of reviews, interviews, blog tours, giveaways, and even a scavenger hunt, so don’t miss out on all the fun! Here’s what we’ve got on tap.

 

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MondayDeanna Wadsworth arrives on her Naughty North Pole Blog Tour and she’s bringing a giveaway just in time for Christmas

TuesdayB. Snow will be here on the A Cunning Plan blog tour, with an interview and the chance for one luck reader to win the book

WednesdayA.E. Via stops by on her Blue Moon Blog Tour

ThursdayJohn Amory drops in to spread some holiday cheer on his A Christmas Caroler Blog Tour

FridayM.A. Church is doing the Backlist Book Bump with a new old book, The Harvest: Taken, and a giveaway

Josh Lanyon will also be here, as he makes The Novel Approach a stop on his A Dangerous Ground Blog Hop

SaturdayIyana Jenna will be our guest today with an article and giveaway of her latest book A Single Black Rose.

SundayLynley Wayne wraps up the week with an interview and giveaway of her latest release A Life Interrupted.

 

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And that sees us through another week. Until next time, happy reading!

We’ll leave you today with a little note from the ever delightful A.J. Corza:

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Hi guys *waves all around*,

Just a quick note this week to say that I am going to be going on hiatus until the New Year. I know, I know, I haven’t been here very long, but rest assured it’s not so much a vacation as just swamped with real life issues at the moment. School finals, work requests (keep those coming, though, please :D), and the reemergence of a father whom I’ve not spoken to in over 10 years has all pretty much culminated with head falling off.

Well, not yet, but that’s why the break—so my head actually does NOT fall off.

I just felt that right now I can’t do justice to my reviews or to the TNA site, and that is not fair to everyone else on the site or our lovely web mistress, Lisa.

Plus, being a bit blunt, I didn’t want the reviews to just suck balls, which I think they would have.

All that said however, PLEASE send me covers that you love if you see them, with the artist’s name if you can find it, or just covers you would like me to review. I’m going to stockpile some reviews for the New Year, and I’d love to include any faves or scary covers you ‘re especially fond of.

I promise I WILL be back!

In the meantime, I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season no matter where you are and that the New Year finds you looking forward to new and exciting ventures. Or reviews in my case!

Happy Holidays and may the good books be with you!

A.J.

P.S. If you have a cover you want to send me, send it here:

coveredreviews@gmail.com

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Backlist Book Bump, Dreamspinner Press, Less Than Three Press, Piper Vaughn

Twas The Fright Before Christmas And All Through The ‘Net, Piper Vaughn Was Stirring…And Giving Away A Book!


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Christmas and zombies and giveaways, oh my!

Hi, all! Thanks to the peeps at The Novel Approach for having me today. I’m participating in their Backlist Book Bump, and being that the holidays are right around the corner, I figured I’d share a little bit of info about Zombie Wonderland, my Christmas horror M/M novella, as well as offer up a copy to one lucky winner. Because nothing says Christmas like droves of the undead. ;) So, if you’re up for a bit of holiday fright, check out the tale of Emery and Ross, two guys hoping to avoid being eaten long enough to go on a proper date. But first, they have to make it through the night.

Blurb:

All Emery wants for Christmas is someone to share it with. It looks like he might finally be getting his wish in Ross, the sexy customer he’s been crushing on for months. But neither of them counted on the zombies, or on being caught in the worst blizzard in half a century. Even with a plan for contending with the zombie hordes, surviving will take a miracle.
It’s not exactly how Emery dreamed of spending Christmas with Ross, but he can’t think of a better way to spend a zombie apocalypse.

**If you can’t wait to sink your teeth into this gory little holiday tale, buy it here.

And if horror isn’t your thing, check out some of my other books! We have a tatted up party boy trying to win the heart of a sci-fi loving geek in The Party Boy’s Guide to Dating a Geek. And in the One Thing books, we offer up sweet contemporary romance with just a dash of angst. Because sometimes a little goes a long way. ;)

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED :)

Bio:

Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, she loves them all (and has a two thousand book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

Website: http://pipervaughn.com

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Backlist Book Bump, Jade Buchanan

Who’s Afraid Of The Big “Black Wolf”? Not Jade Buchanan. Check Out This Backlist Book Bump Giveaway!



Why did I choose Black Wolf?

Black Wolf is one of my favourite stories for a number of reasons. It was originally plotted over drinks with my sister and my cousins and stemmed from a comment my cousin made about licking furry balls… Don’t ask. So, every time I think of the story I do think of my crazy family. But, it’s also the first story I wrote where I just completely let go with my sense of humour. My earlier books had been a lot of fun to write, but I used to hold back on some of the things I wanted to put in them because I thought readers wouldn’t appreciate the quirky stuff. When Black Wolf came out I was pretty floored by the response to it. It changed the way I look at my writing, and really allowed me the opportunity to get rid of my filters. Whether that was a good thing or not is up to everyone else. LOL!

My quirkiness definitely showed up in the sequel to Black Wolf, titled Duck Fart. Duck Fart was written on a dare, when a friend of mine said I couldn’t make duck shifters sexy. I should have known she was trying out reverse psychology on me, but it worked like a charm and I penned a m/m threesome as a result. The third book in the series was pushed back as a result of a demanding day job, but it will feature a hedgehog shifter who finds a big, bad wolf of his own in Rick Black (introduced in the excerpt below).

The book:

Adam Bates is in trouble. He’s virtually penniless, is being threatened by his landlord, and now he’s late for work at his new job. Expecting to be chastened by his boss, Adam doesn’t expect to be provided with a protector instead. He definitely doesn’t expect his minder to be a big, bad wolf with attitude.

Marcus Black has just arrived back home, but he won’t refuse his brother when he asks him to help a little tabby cat. When Adam is threatened by his landlord in front of Marcus, his alpha wolf won’t let him stand by and let it happen.

Adam is about to find strength in submission, and his own set of claws. Marcus is about to find the mate he’s been searching for in a deceptively small tabby. Let the games begin…

Excerpt:

Marcus Black inhaled deeply the minute he got out of his truck. Home. He loved that smell. Fish and saltwater combined with the scent of wolves and all sorts of other creatures of the night. Christ, what did his brothers do, sleep out here? Unobtrusively looking around to make sure he was alone and unobserved, Marcus stepped up to the side of the building and relieved himself. He hummed. Rick was going to hate that.

Done with his first order of business, Marcus walked around Wolf Creek Bar and Grill and stood looking out at the water. He loved it here. Dozens of sailboats bobbed in front of him, spread out along the Discovery Harbour Marina that Wolf Creek bordered. He started down the gangway, nodding at a couple wandering along the docks. Quadra Island was a welcome site across the water. He wondered if his brothers wanted to go camping soon. He itched to be out in his fur.

For a few peaceful minutes, he wandered up and down the dock to his family’s berth. Damn, she looked fine. The Four Howlers was a prime example of why you shouldn’t let your half-wild wolf children name a perfectly good 44’ sailboat.

With that thought in mind, he figured he should finally go inside and figure out what his brothers wanted.

Half an hour later, he cradled his beer protectively in his hand, lifting his arm above the people around him. They were packed like sardines inside the bar, and he desperately needed some fresh air before he snapped and growled at someone. He’d been bumped from behind one too many times tonight, and he wasn’t exactly in the most peaceful frame of mind. The fact that he hadn’t been able to speak to Rick yet just made things worse. What the fuck did his brother want?

Reaching the back of the bar and the door marked Private, he turned his nose up and fought the urge to sneeze at the strong odor of wolf. His brother’s scent was nearly overpowering. What did he do, rub on everything?

“Goddamn bastard.”

He grinned at the surprise Rick had in store the next time he stepped out into the parking lot. The man obviously spent too much time here.

Hey, that’s just what brothers did. Although, he’d take one of his pack over a human any day. The ones crowded into the bar tonight had no respect for personal space or decorum. Fuck, he couldn’t stand this.

Curling his lip, Marcus sidestepped a lady wearing a tiny bit of lace over a stupid excuse for a skirt. She batted her eyes up at him in what she probably thought was a seductive expression, but it only served to make him want to slap her upside the head and tell her to go put some damn clothes on. This night was fast turning into a waste of time.

“This is why I fucking hate coming out in public,” he muttered. The woman stopped with a smile, probably thinking he was talking to her, and Marcus beat a hasty retreat.

He was just about to leave the bar, his promise to Rick that he’d talk to him be damned, when the sweetest scent drifted close to him. Marcus froze, ignoring the body that bumped into his back, and the accompanying curse, to try and pinpoint the scent.

He turned, raising his nose and drawing air deeply into his lungs. Almost instantly, his cock hardened, testing the limits of his jeans. Christ, he hadn’t had that happen since he was a randy teen, popping wood at the slightest breeze.

Snapping his head to the right, his gaze was unerringly drawn to the small man making his way through the crowd. He moved sinuously, gracefully, stepping around people without touching them. His right leg dragged briefly and Marcus frowned.

A low growl came from deep in his chest. He cursed silently, trying to grasp control of his wolf. He couldn’t let it take over in a crowded bar, but it took everything in him to stop from plowing through the crowd and screaming for the assholes around the man to move out of the way. What the hell was wrong with his wolf?

The man had his head tucked down so it was almost uncanny how he seemed to know where to move next. The low light in the bar wasn’t the best for seeing the man’s features, but Marcus felt that they were arresting. Although, it wouldn’t really matter if he looked like the ass end of a hedgehog. He was about ten minutes away from belonging to the big, bad wolf in the bar. Marcus stepped forward, making his way closer to the man, uncaring of the people he was cutting off.

Stripes of brown, ochre and black hair tufted up around the man’s face, with a little black M shaded in the hair right above his forehead. Marcus had only ever seen that on…wait. Being closer to the man made the subtleties in his scent intensify. He smelled like a cat and he looked like a tabby.

Actually, he smelled like more than cat. He smelled like mate. Deep inside him, he felt the wolf give an impatient snap of teeth, anxious to get out and claim what belonged to him.

Marcus grinned, ignoring the two men who abruptly backed away from his feral expression.

He kept his gaze locked onto the small tabby, the man who was completely unaware that he was now being hunted. He licked his lips, starting forward. This was going to be fun.

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The Giveaway:

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Backlist Book Bump, Love Lane Books, RJ Scott

How’d You Like To Win Your Choice Of Any Book From RJ Scott’s Backlist? Check Out This Bump!



Why did I choose The Decisions We Make?

“Decisions” is one of my first written stories, and certainly one of the first from my own publisher Love Lane Books. I love the story so much. Daniel is the young orphan who is taken in by a beautiful family. When I look back at this book I see it as my idealistic book, along side The Christmas Throwaway. With images of how I wish things could be but so often aren’t. This book was originally written as a story for adults but seems to have found its niche in the YA section.
The Book

Daniel Keyes is an orphan, fostered by the Walker’s. The product of a lonely childhood, he is thrown into the chaos of the Walker family and into the life of his new foster brother Jamie.

This story is the journey of Daniel and Jamie finding their place in the world. Through Jamie being a victim of hate crime to coming out to family and friends, there are many decisions the boys have to make before they become men.

“….RJ Scott delivers the goods one more time in this quietly stunning beauty. She grabbed my attention on page one and my heart on page two. And never let either one go….”

“….If The Decisions We Make has done anything, it’s proven to me that RJ Scott has definitely found her place in the YA LGBT genre…”

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Chapter 3

Now

Six feet of sweating, laughing Jamie dove into Daniel’s room, shutting the door behind him and flicking the lock. An irate Mark pounded up the stairs and banged on Daniel’s door seconds behind him.

“Jamie, get your ass out here now so I can kill you.”

His eyes full of laughter, Jamie snorted, flopping down on Daniel’s bed. “I made it in here, dude; you can’t touch me.” It was an unwritten rule between brothers that, in the years he had been with them, Daniel’s room was “home”. There was muttering outside the door, veiled threats and then more banging before Mark stomped down the stairs.

“Hey, Dan.” Jamie finally acknowledged him.

Glowering, Daniel sat at his desk, which was littered with books. He fixed his gaze firmly on his foster brother and the sweat rubbing off of him and onto Daniel’s clean quilt.

“Get your skinny ass off my bed.”

“Two hours practice and a run home; I am fucked, can’t move.”

“You might as well go now and get the beating over and done with ’cause he’s going to get you when you leave, you idiot.”

“Nah, I’ve got you to back me up.”

“Uh huh, calculus and geography. Some of us need to work to get to college.”

“I work.”

“On your jump.”

“I have a good average.”

“Without trying. Imagine what would happen if you actually tried.”

“I try.” Jamie looked a bit hurt. School was an easy journey for him and Daniel both, but Jamie chose to let it ride, sailing close to the wind sometimes but always scraping through. Daniel, on the other hand, worked hard and had an impressive average, one guaranteed to get him into a good school.

“You’re an idiot, Walker.”

“Says the guy studying on a summer day when the hoops are calling.”

“And exactly what did you do to Mark now to make him wanna kill ya?”

“Changed the ringtone on his cell to the Muppets.”

“Uh huh.”

“And then phoned him in the middle of a lecture.”

“Jeez, Jamie, not the English lecture with that girl?”

“Yeah.”

“You are a complete ass.”

“Yeah, but can you imagine Mark I’m-so-popular Walker and his unrequited love in the same room as a Muppets ring tone?” Jamie snorted, and Daniel couldn’t help but laugh. Yeah, that would have been kind of funny. “Anyway, like I said, you got my back, and he’s scared of you.”

“Dude, he’s like half a foot taller than me and built.”

“Nah, it’s the woobly eyes and lips of doom and misery that get him.”

“The what?”

“The woobly eyes and lips of doom.”

“You so just made that up.”

“Yeah, but it kind of fits. One look at your woobly gray eyes and Mark is scared.”

“You are kind of an idiot, Jamie.”

“It has been said, it has been said.” Jamie smirked “Little bit of one-on-one?”

“Like being beaten thirty to two is something I enjoy.”

“Hey, you got two. Trust me, Shorty; that is good.”

“We can’t all be long-armed Gigantors.”

“So?” Jamie sounded hopeful.

“Calculus, dude.” Daniel sighed. He hated calculus, couldn’t see the point of it, and didn’t have Jamie’s instinctive enjoyment of numbers.

Jamie huffed and leaned over his shoulder. “5%, 3.14, xy, there, done.”

“Thanks, but I need the proofs that go with it.”

“I’ll do it with ya later.” Jamie’s voice changed to a whine. “C’mon, dude, let’s go and work off all the crap we eat.”

“The crap you eat.”

“Whatever… c’mon.”

Somehow Daniel got talked into it, got pulled and pushed and finally stood facing a loose-limbed confident Jamie. He bounced the ball, visualizing shooting the hoop… one, feign to the left, two, actually go right, snaking past Jamie’s defenses, three aim and shoot, score a net, taking the score to a glorious fourteen-one. Problem was he missed and Jamie grabbed the ball getting the shot and whooping with glee. Daniel sprawled on his back huffing and sweating and grimacing, even getting to one point was so not working.

Jamie sprawled next to him, grinning. “Fifteen to zero, a new Walker record.”

Daniel couldn’t even string two words together for a comeback, let alone anything remotely witty.

“Jamie, you little freak!”

Shit, Mark.

Jamie jumped to his feet, laughing as Mark launched himself round the corner and the two fell into an impromptu wrestling match on the grass. Mark definitely had the upper hand, finally pinning his giggling brother by his arms to the ground.

“Uncle, uncle.” Jamie couldn’t breathe for the laughing.

“Say you’re sorry,” Mark pushed, a serious expression on his face.

Daniel wished Jamie would stop with the laughing. He was sure it wasn’t going down too well with his brother.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Jamie finally croaked out.

Mark rolled off him, lying sprawled next to him, a superior smirk on his face. “Turns out, little brother, Sarah loves the Muppets.”

And then the two just lay back, looking up at blue sky, laughing like loons.

Neither noticed when Daniel left.

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Buy Links – eBook:

Love Lane Books | Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | All Romance | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Buy Links – Print Book:

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Backlist Book Bump, Kaje Harper, MLR Press

Are You Prepared To Take An “Unacceptable Risk” With Kaje Harper? It’s A Backlist Book Bump Giveaway!



Writing werewolves in the real world.

When Lisa at The Novel Approach offered me a chance to give one of my older books a bump, I wasn’t sure which one to choose. But it turns out, I still can’t resist my first werewolf, Simon. So it had to be Unacceptable Risk.

When I wrote the original draft of Unacceptable Risk, I hadn’t yet published anything, and I hadn’t read much M/M other than my own. But I did read everything else, voraciously, and I loved fantasy and paranormal. I found, while reading mainstream paranormal books, that sometimes I was stopping to say, “Why doesn’t everyone and his brother know these creatures exist?” Because keeping a secret that big, dealing with that many people, is hard. Ben Franklin famously said, “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

I had a yen to write an M/M paranormal novel. But one of my goals when I write is to create, in the middle of a plot that may involve murder or magic, some aura of believability. If I was going to have werewolves, and if the modern society in which they lived was to be totally ignorant of them, then I had to figure out how to make that work. How to create my “Hidden Wolves”.

That was when Simon, my werewolf, spoke up. He told me, with a wry grin, that it’s not really that hard – the answer’s in the Franklin quote. Be ruthless enough, kill people without hesitation when you must, and it can be done. But there is a human, or werewolfian, cost to that kind of iron control. The cost comes in tyranny and innocent lives lost and a world made small in the quest for absolute secrecy. When Simon added, “The Alphas don’t like gay werewolves either,” I knew I had to write a way out of that, for him.

I found I also wanted to reflect, in my human character, the kind of reactions I would have, if someone I cared about told me, “By the way, I’m a werewolf.” And then proved it to me. I’m pretty open-minded, I think. But my reactions would be complex. And in Paul, Simon’s human lover, I got to play with those emotions—with disbelief and fear and wonder and perhaps a touch of anger. Paul is falling in love with Simon, but he isn’t ready to be a werewolf’s mate, or to drink the pack Kool-Aid.

I had fun with writing both these guys and bringing them together—finding them some love and safety against the backdrop of the Pack. And because I seem to write happy-for-now much more easily than happy-ever-after, their story continued in the free short stories and the second novel. The books in this series introduce new couples, but the world they live in is shared, and Simon and Paul still had a road to travel. So I’m going to post an excerpt below, from Unacceptable Risk, and give away an ebook copy of both Risk and the second “Hidden Wolves” book, Unexpected Demands. (Plus, of course, the free short stories, Unsettled Interlude and Unwanted Appeal.) The third “Wolves” book is almost ready for submission, and I hope that I’ll have more chances along the way to explore how werewolves and humans interact, in this modern world of cell cameras and DNA testing, and ages-old Pack in the shadows.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

-Kaje Harper

Unacceptable Risk

Simon Conley was born a werewolf, making him one of a tiny minority in a sea of vanilla humans. The safety of the pack lies in absolute secrecy, sometimes violently enforced. In a species where pack-members are born and not made, being gay is considered a perversion. So when Simon falls in love with a human man, he’s twice damned. Even his Alpha’s grudging tolerance may not be enough to shield him from the hatred of the other top wolves. Then his lover Paul stumbles across pack secrets Simon was sworn to keep, and if the pack finds out, they may both end up dead.

Excerpt:

The canceled appointments meant that for a change Paul had time to finish most of his work before the clinic closed. He took his new dog out for a last walk in the fenced yard, its leg splint carefully protected with a plastic bag. The dog paced beside him on three legs through the hallways, head swinging back and forth as if checking out the place. Outside, it led him along the fence, looking up.

“Don’t even think about it,” he told the dog, amused at his own fancy. “It’s seven feet, you can’t jump it, especially on three legs.”

The dog gave him a look that seemed to say, want to bet? But it made no move to try. Paul was glad, since walking this dog was a matter of mutual consent. It outweighed him by thirty pounds. And with the leash looped back around one of the dog’s shoulders, to keep pressure off the wounds on its neck, he had very little leverage. Fortunately, he had invested in good doors and fences. A friend of his had gone through the nightmare of having a patient escape and get hit by a car. That was never happening to him.

Back in the kennel he ran into a snag. The dog refused to get back into its crate. It didn’t bite, or even growl, or threaten him at all. It just put on the brakes. The crate was barely big enough anyway. Without the dog’s cooperation, Paul could wrestle one part of the creature inside, only to find that the other end was back out on the floor. After ten minutes he stopped, breathing hard.

Sarah and Elise were still up front, closing up. He could ask them to help, but he wasn’t sure even three people could make this dog do anything it didn’t want to do.

“What’s the problem?” he asked the dog. As if it’s going to answer you.

The dog looked at the crate, and paced to the other end of the room to sniff at the row of old concrete runs he hadn’t had time to replace yet. They were much bigger and roomier, of course. But the gates were old and rusty, and the curved shape left a nasty gap open at the bottom corners. A boxer had got its head stuck in that triangular space a year ago and almost choked to death. He hadn’t put a dog in one since. The stainless steel crates were much safer.

“Come on, baby,” Paul said. “I can’t leave until you’re safely locked up for the night, and I am so freaking tired. Kennel up.” He pointed to the crate, hoping the dog would obey the command. “Kennel up. Go to bed. In your crate.” What other commands might an owner have used?

The dog just stared at him, pale eyes unblinking. Then it walked over to the first concrete run, stepped in, and sat down neatly, tail curled around its feet. Paul couldn’t imagine a much clearer response. He sighed. The effort to move the dog seemed unachievable. And after all, the previous owner of the clinic had used those runs for twenty years without problems. And this dog’s broad head was never going to fit in that risky space.

“Okay,” he told his stubborn new pet. “You can stay in there. But if I come in tomorrow morning and you’ve strangled yourself on the gate, I’m going to be seriously pissed.” The dog gave him that open-mouthed smile he usually saw on golden retrievers. He would have sworn the jade eyes were amused. Paul bent to pet the dog once more. Not that he had to bend far. He had no business taking on a dog, especially a big one that would need a lot of exercise. But somehow, he couldn’t resist. Dropping to one knee he hugged the dog, rubbing his face in the soft fur of its shoulders.

“I’m really glad I found you.” He stood up straight, latched the gate securely, and put a stern look on his face. “Now no chewing off the splint, or pulling the wrap off those catheters. Or you’ll be back to the bucket head.”

The dog gave him a tiny wuff, as if in agreement, and he laughed. “Yeah, like you understand a word I’m saying. Good night, Wolf. See you in the morning.”

He was whistling as he left, despite the fatigue, and looking forward to an actual dinner and a full night’s sleep. Even the slippery, snowy drive home couldn’t dampen his mood. But it didn’t survive a call from the police about a break-in.

Paul pulled up in front of his clinic. The door was lit by the flashing blue and red lights of the police car stopped at the curb. The sound of the alarm reverberated in the still, cold air. There was more than enough light to see the gaping hole in the plate glass of the front window. The officer came toward Paul as he hurried up with the keys.

“Why don’t you let me go first and look around?” the cop offered. “In case there’s someone still in there.” Paul accepted the offer and stood shivering on the step, while the other man disappeared inside. After a few minutes the cop returned. “No sign of anyone. Why don’t you check the money and drugs, and tell me what’s missing.”

Paul followed him inside. He punched his code into the alarm box, and the cessation of the noise was a relief. He hurriedly checked the cash box, and the drug lock-box. Both were intact and untouched. Even the drugs on the shelves were in their places.

“Maybe it was just vandalism,” the cop suggested. “Someone breaking the window for fun. I just thought from the size of the hole someone must have gone through it.”

“Shit!”

“What?” The cop hurried after Paul as he ran toward the kennels. Paul lunged into the kennel room and stopped. The place was empty. The first concrete run contained only a drift of grey fur, a few pieces of Vet-rap bandage, and a mound of cotton batting. Wolf was gone…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The “Hidden Wolves” series includes Unacceptable Risk – Book 1 and Unexpected Demands – Book 2, both available from MLR Press, and most ebook retailers, plus two free short stories – Unsettled Interlude – 1.15 and Unwanted Appeal – 2.5, available from Smashwords, All Romance ebooks, and other ebook sites.

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A.F. Henley, Backlist Book Bump, Less Than Three Press

AF Henley Is Doing The Baclkist Book Bump, With A Giveaway Of “Inflori”!



If asked which of my novels is my favourite one, I always say the same thing: I have no favourite — each and every one of my novels tell a different story, a story that was important to me at the time, and, as such, they each have their own special spot on the bookshelf of my soul. Be it the premise of “we can’t choose whom we fall in love with,” or the struggle of obstacles seemingly far too high to scale, or the darker concept of having to make choices that tend towards the lose-lose scenario, I have a hard time writing lover-meets-lover/lover-wins-lover simplicity. Fucked up characters, putting themselves in bad situations, seems to have become the script-du-jour for me.

That’s not a bad thing — not for me, anyway. I’ve read other authors who get quite righteous in their indignation that the characters they write have nothing to do with them or their life. I, however, will resolutely, albeit somewhat ashamedly, admit that is not the case for me. I do, without doubt, expose the dirty little secrets of my heart on the pages of my stories, regardless of whether the concept is placed within plain sight to the reader or not. That kind of story tends towards the dark because, let’s face it, life is hard.

However …

“Choose (a) book to bump,” the Novel Approach asked me, “then … tell a little bit about why that book is special,” and for all the pontification that I do about how I have no favourites, my reply came without hesitation. Înflori.

I could have just spilled a couple of paragraphs about how Înflori was the first M/M novel that I wrote with serious consideration to publication. I could have rambled about how your first love is always the one that burns brightest in your memory. But that would have been white-washing the truth behind Înflori‘s existence. (And truth, no matter how hard you try to bury it, or how long you wear a mask over top of it, will never let you forget how you have let it down.)

Înflori was conceived with a simple question about a short story that I posted entitled Proteja. I paraphrase, but the question was something along the line of, “How in the hell did these two ever meet?” Good question, considering the differences between the two main characters. And I had no answer for it. So I started fumbling along the path of “how” to backtrack these two men’s steps and find a proper reply. You see, Nicolæ is no mere figment of my imagination. And when Nicolæ asks one a question, one best be prepared to offer him up an answer. Lest he visit you in the night and remind you by means of beheaded, yet somehow-still-hopping toads, that he’s patiently waiting to hear from you.

That’s why Înflori is special to me. It was a reply from my subconscious mind to a question posed from somebody valuable, and it became a journey of self-discovery that reminded me why I started writing in the first place — to prove the existence of love in the screwed up heart, mind, and soul of the every-man. The story sorted out the structure of how things don’t have to be perfect for them to work; that the effort and dedication a person gives to a relationship is the true definer of how much love exists underneath the sex and the fluff. You can offer a million rewards, but until you offer up your whole heart, you haven’t made an offer worthy of acceptance.

Thanks for reading,

AF Henley <3

Înflori
by AF Henley
Published by Less Than Three Press
M/M Contemporary Romance

Dustin gave up on being worthy of anyone’s affections a long time ago, drowning his problems in substance abuse and meaningless encounters. He has learned it’s better to avoid love altogether than risk the inevitable moment when it all comes crashing down.

Nicolæ has neither eyesight nor excess, but he does have a wealth of family and intuition. He is nothing that Dustin would have anticipated in a potential lover, but the more Dustin discovers, the more he finds himself willing to accept the risk – even if his conscience and the people in his life keep warning him away.

Purchase Link

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THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Amber Allure, Backlist Book Bump, Rick R. Reed

Consider This Your Official “Orientation” – Rick R. Reed Is Here With A Backlist Book Bump And Giveaway!


RRR authorOne book that I hold near and dear to my heart is Orientation. If my books were my children, Orientation would be the quiet one, the one people would kindly describe as ‘different.’ Orientation, although it won the EPIC eBook Award for Best GLBT novel, is probably one of my least popular books, because it’s so hard to categorize. Is it a love story? Oh yes. Is it a thriller? Yes. Is it a paranormal adventure? Yes.

It’s all of these things and yet it continues to defy categorization. I like to think of it mostly as a love story because it shows how true love can rise above sexual orientation, time, and even life.

I chose this one from the Backlist Book Bump not only because of my pride in it, but also because, with the holidays upon us, this story has the closest ties to Christmas, as you’ll see from the blurb and excerpts below.


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ORIENTATION by Rick R. Reed
Release Date: May 13, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-60272-260-6 (Electronic) 978-1-60272-937-7 (Paperback)
Publisher: Amber Allure

BLURB

Christmas, 1983: A young man, Robert, tends to his soul mate, Keith, who is dying from AIDS. Robert tries valiantly to make this a special Christmas for his lover, but loses the fight late Christmas night.

Christmas, 2007: Robert ventures out late Christmas night and finds a young girl about to fling herself into the unforgiving waters of Lake Michigan. He rescues her, and the two form a bond forged from an odd feeling they share of familiarity, and even love. Neither understands it, since Jess is a lesbian and Robert has never been attracted to women. But there’s more…Jess begins having strange dreams, reliving key moments she couldn’t know about in Keith and Robert’s life and courtship. Robert and Jess begin to wonder if their inexplicable feelings might be rooted in something much more mystical than a savior/victim relationship.

As the two move toward and pull away from each other, Ethan, Robert’s younger lover, plots the unthinkable. His crystal meth-addled mind becomes convinced there’s only one way to save himself, and that is through Robert’s destruction. Christmas 2007 spirals downward to a shattering climax in which both love and lives hang in the balance.

There’s a murder attempt…salvation…redemption…

And a new love is born.

EXCERPT

It was Christmas, 1983. Robert looked outside the bedroom window. Snow was beginning to fall on Lake Michigan; the gray churning waters eating it up as fast as the sky could make it. Below, the traffic on Lake Shore Drive was spare: no commuters hurrying to work this holiday morn; Robert supposed the only people on the road were families on their way to grandma’s house and the unfortunate souls just now returning to their own homes from Christmas Eve revelry. Lake Michigan roiled near the shoreline with huge blocks of ice.

Robert pushed open the sliding glass doors to the balcony and a blast of frigid air hit him. Earlier, the radio had said something about the day being the coldest on record, with a temperature of 12 below, and wind chills much lower than that. But he needed to slip away for just a few minutes, needed to escape the heat set to the mid 80s inside because his lover Keith could not stop shivering, needed to get away from the constant babbling of the TV, tuned to MTV for Keith, and the endless rotation of songs from Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

Most of all, he needed to escape from Keith, who was dying. Robert breathed in and tried not to think about a handsome man, in his prime just a few months ago, now wasting away to a skeletal wraith, and tried to concentrate instead on the crackling in his near frozen nostrils and how the icy air was traveling to his lungs, invigorating, uncomfortable, and terrifying all at once.

Robert was tired. He had spent the whole week getting their penthouse apartment ready for the holiday, in spite of the fact that Keith was unconscious most of the time and when awake, babbled, moving from non sequiter to non sequiter. It hurt Robert that often he didn’t even know who Robert was. And this from a man, who, just a few months ago, had told Robert he was “the one” and that he had no doubt he would spend the rest of his life with him, a promise that was coming true more quickly than either of them could have guessed. But Robert soldiered on, determined to infuse their luxurious home with Christmas spirit, in deep denial of the fact that same Christmas spirit was playing a serious game of hide-and-seek (and winning) and ignoring the fact that his lover was wasting away due to a disease they were just getting around to calling AIDS (although Robert wasn’t even sure their president could be brought to utter the acronym). Robert had called Marshall Fields, explained that he was housebound with a sick “roommate” and could they deliver an assortment of lights and decorations, enough to fill a four-bedroom penthouse with merriment. At first, the sales clerk he got on the phone was hesitant, but sympathetic, explaining how the holiday rush would make the kind of deliveries Robert requested impossible. But when they heard money was no object, Marshall Fields was more than happy to comply, even arranging for next-day delivery of designer ornaments and strands upon strands of tiny white lights. He had talked to the doorman downstairs and had convinced him to send up one of the maintenance men to string the lights all across their balcony outside and, inside, on the three Christmas trees he had had delivered from a lot on Belmont Avenue. Robert snorted as he remembered how he had paid more for their delivery than for the trees themselves. He had made a mix tape of their favorite versions of the holiday classics: Peggy Lee singing “The Christmas Waltz,” Nat King Cole, “The Christmas Song,” Ella Fitzgerald on “The First Noel,” Les Brown and his Band of Renown doing their version of “The Nutcracker Suite.” He couldn’t bear to let Guy Lombardo’s “Auld Lang Syne” play, though. It made Robert cry.

And Christmas, damn it, was not a time for tears.

He had baked cookies, filling the apartment with the scent of anise from the pizzelles his Mother used to make back in Summitville, PA. He had wrapped tons of presents for Keith: sweaters from I Magnin, toys from FAO Schwartz, books and music from Rizzoli.

But Keith had noticed none of it, and hadn’t had the energy to open even one of his presents. Robert had unwrapped them for him, holding each up to his lover’s sleeping face, his wheezing, gaspy breaths giving a kind of thanks. At least that’s what Robert told himself. He had even gotten tickets to the big thing in New York, a play called Torch Song Trilogy. He whispered in Keith’s ear that they would go when “he got better” even though Robert knew he never would. But it didn’t stop him from imagining them in a darkened theater, looking over at Keith to gauge his reaction to something happening on stage. Keith could cry at things like Kodak commercials and Robert imagined him handsome once more, his face lit softly from the stage, with tears rolling down his cheeks. He would return Robert’s gaze, smiling sheepishly, and brushing the tears away. Keith’s sensitivity was a big part of what made Robert love him so much.

1983 had been a hard and wonderful year. Robert had met Keith in a bar called Touché just before New Year’s Eve, 1982 and had never expected the one-night stand between the butch leather daddy and the boy fresh from Slippery Rock State College to go any further than that one night. Robert had liked the grizzled good looks of Keith (thick salt and pepper hair, chiseled jaw line with a Kirk Douglas cleft, and the body of a Schwarzenegger). He imagined running his fingers through the coarse mat of hair on his chest and couldn’t look away from how that same chest was so gorgeously framed by his leather vest. Keith had also worn chaps and tight, faded Levis. Robert had jeans and an Izod shirt on, with Adidas running shoes. He was surprised he had even been admitted to the smoky leather bar, notorious for its backroom antics, but he supposed his youth, blue eyes, and blond hair had convinced the doorman to ignore the leather dress code. Or maybe—more likely—the doorman chuckled as Robert entered the bar, which smelled strongly of sweat, cigarettes, and stale beer, because he felt like he was throwing a Christian to the lions.

They had awakened the next morning in each other’s arms…and Robert had moved in that same week, saying a quick goodbye to his roommate in Rogers Park and throwing a Chiquita banana box filled with books and two suitcases into the back of Keith’s Jaguar.

Somehow it had worked, despite the fact that Robert was only 22 and Keith double that. Their honeymoon had continued throughout the spring and even partially into the summer. Robert quickly adapted to taking care of the penthouse apartment, even quitting his job as an indexer for Encyclopedia Britannica to make sure the two story home overlooking Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan was always spotless. He sharpened his culinary skills and took a course in French cooking. Although there was little need for that because Keith’s favorite foods were all decidedly comfort: macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, roasted chicken, soups, and stews. When Robert made his mother’s Sicilian spaghetti sauce with meatballs and pork spare ribs, Keith could never get enough of it, even though Robert told him that Sunday was the day for pasta. They had eaten well and made love through the winter and into Chicago’s damp and dreary spring. Not right away, but eventually Keith revealed the secret of his wealth and his copious free time: he was a writer of a series of young adult novels that had a teenage witch as their heroine. Adolescent girls would line up when a new edition was delivered to a bookstore, none of them even aware that J.M. Darling was a middle-aged man. He and his publisher had built a fictional life for J.M. and she was a young woman just out of Yale, who had made it big in spite of her orphanage background. The books—and all their translations, different editions, film rights, and more—kept them free from financial worries. Luxuries were never in short supply. Keith turned the books out easily, which left them a lot of time for play. It was almost as magical as the life of his teenage heroine, Heather Marshall. Robert hardly noticed the difference in their ages. It was nothing for them to spend long weekends jetting off to Keith’s favorite places: New Orleans, Key West, and Portland here in the States, or even more extravagant trips on the Concorde to Paris.

The summer was when things turned dark. Like a summer storm, the plague crept up on them with low, almost imperceptible rumblings and flashes of dull light.

ORIENTATION BUY LINKS

Amazon
Audio book
Amber Allure
AllRomance
Barnes and Noble

WATCH THE HAUNTING TRAILER

Rick R. Reed Biography and Contact

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

Visit Rick’s website at http://www.rickrreed.com or follow his blog at http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/. You can also like Rick on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/rickrreed. Rick always enjoys hearing from readers and answers all e-mails personally. Send him a message at jimmyfels@gmail.com


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Contest Details

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Backlist Book Bump, Dreamspinner Press, Rhys Ford

Hey, I Know What! Let’s “Dirty Kiss” And Then Do A Little Backlist Book Bump Giveaway With Rhys Ford!


DirtyKiss_FBbanner_DSP copy


17002306A long time ago—okay, really not that long ago—a couple of years at the most, I wrote a book. Slapped a title on it—Dirty Kiss—and sent it off to Dreamspinner Press in the hopes of someone there maybe liking it.

And they did.

And they bought it.

And I squeed.

No, really. I squeed because damn it, I wanted to toss Cole and Jae out there to the shark-infested waters to see how they would do. *grins*. They swam and I’m pretty sure Cole punched a shark in the nose. Hit fast-forward and I’m looking at a Spring 2014 release for their fourth book, but oh, there is always the start of the journey that has such fond memories.

There were several things I wanted to accomplish with the series. One, to get it out of my head and two, to write about two men from different cultures who meet and fall into a relationship. I wanted to explore the personal trials each of them have to endure because they are gay — from an American and a traditional Korean viewpoint.

Most of all, I wanted the reader to have fun. And maybe throw the book at my head, but that kind of thing is going to just happen. *grins*

dirty_kiss_club_plus_availTo celebrate my first novel with Dreamspinner Press, I am offering a giveaway of ALL THREE of the Dirty series books AND a Dirty Kiss short sleeve t-shirt from my CafePress store. Black, white or any of the variety of colours it comes in… including camo. I’m not sure why you’d want it in camo but hey, someone might. Just leave a comment under the excerpt and you’ll be entered!

Contest Ends Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 11:59pm Pacific time. One winner will be chosen by a random number generator on Sunday, the 24th, and notified via email for prize delivery. International entries welcome!

Good luck!


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Cole Kenjiro McGinnis, ex-cop and PI, is trying to get over the shooting death of his lover when a supposedly routine investigation lands in his lap. Investigating the apparent suicide of a prominent Korean businessman’s son proves to be anything but ordinary, especially when it introduces Cole to the dead man’s handsome cousin, Kim Jae-Min.

Jae-Min’s cousin had a dirty little secret, the kind that Cole has been familiar with all his life and that Jae-Min is still hiding from his family. The investigation leads Cole from tasteful mansions to seedy lover’s trysts to Dirty Kiss, the place where the rich and discreet go to indulge in desires their traditional-minded families would rather know nothing about.

It also leads Cole McGinnis into Jae-Min’s arms, and that could be a problem. Jae-Min’s cousin’s death is looking less and less like a suicide, and Jae-Min is looking more and more like a target. Cole has already lost one lover to violence—he’s not about to lose Jae-Min too.

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And now, an excerpt from Dirty Kiss:

Dabbing a new gauze with alcohol, he returned to abrading my skin. “With Hyun-Shik gone, she doesn’t have to bring Will around to the Auntie or Uncle unless they do what she wants. They’re worried that he’s not going to be Korean enough.”

“Not Korean enough?” I cocked my head back to look at him, curious about what he was talking about. “What do you mean? How can he get less Korean?”

“Like you,” Jae said, as merciless as he was about scrubbing my face clean. “You’re Japanese but not Japanese. You don’t know even the simplest things about being Asian. There’s no connection to your mother’s family or blood, is there? They’re dead to you.”

“Hold up,” I protested, grabbing at his wrists and pulling his hands away from my face. “Just because I wasn’t raised by my mother doesn’t mean her family’s dead. They’re still in Japan being as Japanese as they want.”

“They might as well be dead.” He shrugged, the white shirt catching on the rise of his chest. Jae’s nipples poked ridges into the fabric, momentarily distracting me from what he was saying. “It’s not a bad thing, for you. For Will, his family is right here. Koreans live for their children and their grandchildren. It’s what makes the family go on. Having Will was the only reason Hyun-Shik got married; not because he loved Victoria, but because he had to provide family to live on.”

“So he decided he wasn’t gay anymore because he needed a kid?”

“He wasn’t going to stop loving men but couldn’t afford to be that person anymore.” Jae didn’t struggle out of my hold, settling his knees on either side of my legs. “It was time for Hyun-Shik to grow up and have a family. If he was smart, he would have married a Korean girl, but Vicki was good for Uncle’s business. She came with a lot of connections.”

“You couldn’t have told me this before I headed over there?” I let go of one of his arms, holding the other loosely. Putting the bloodied bandage down on a torn wrapper, he shook his head at me.

“Hyun-Shik put that behind him,” he murmured, dropping his eyes. “Hyun-Shik’s son has to be… sheltered from who his father was. It’s better that way.”

I wasn’t sure if the shyness was real, but the contrite glance he gave me from under his lashes did me in. Victoria had nothing on seduction, compared to Jae-Min. If it was artificial, then he was damned practiced at it.

My hands were in his hair before I even thought about wanting to touch him more. Scraping back the black strands, I paused when I saw the small plaster bandage on his temple. Jae’s eyes widened, and he gasped, unsure of what I was going to do. I had to admit, I wasn’t certain myself, but in the middle of trying to figure out if his cousin had killed himself or if he’d had help, I’d tossed aside my feelings for Rick and was falling for a lying, sleek Korean man. Guilt ate at me, worms of censure working through my thoughts as my thumbs ran over Jae’s cheekbones, bringing a blush to the surface of his pale skin.

“Don’t,” he pleaded. There wasn’t much conviction in his voice. It sounded more like a please than a stop. “You don’t want this.”

“Want this or want you?” There’d been other men who’d caught my interest, but none had really made me lust before. Not like this. I needed to push Jae down and make him scream my name. I wanted his hands on my back and to feel him around me. “No one’s made me need them more since Rick.”

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Backlist Book Bump, Jordan L. Hawk

She Likes The Things That Go Bump In The Night. Now She’s Here To Bump A Book And Offer A Giveaway – Welcome Jordan L. Hawk!



TNA: Why did you choose Widdershins for the name of your fictional city?

JLH: I spent weeks wracking my brain trying to come up with something interesting and/or vaguely creepy without result, so in the first couple of chapters I wrote it was [town name], which got really tiresome after a while. Then one day I while I listened to “Escape Artist” by Zoe Keating (http://youtu.be/yYrcXX4nWOA), I not only had the idea for the scene in the graveyard/woods, but the word “widdershins” popped into my head. I immediately realized it was the name of the town.

To go widdershins is to go to the left, or counter-clockwise, in a circle. It used to be considered horribly unlucky to walk widdershins around a church, and to dance widdershins in a ring of toadstools would summon the faeries. It also comes up quite a bit in magical rituals, so it seemed like the sort of thing a sorcerer would name the town he founded.

TNA: Do you think the series would work as well set in modern times? Why or why not?

JLH: It would be very different, that’s for sure! Whyborne would have been out since his teens, and Christine wouldn’t face the same level of opposition for her gender. Universities have mostly replaced museums as centers of research, although poor Whyborne would hate teaching. Maggie Parkhurst would be the grad student with the hopeless crush on her gay professor. And of course, the atmosphere of fog-shrouded streets, hansom cabs, and gas-lit studies would be replaced by taxis, cell phones, and Googling for insane cults. I think it would work, but it would be a very different series of books.

TNA: If Whyborne and Griffin lived in Massachusetts today, would they be planning a wedding?

JLH: Eventually. It would have to be small and low-key, though, because otherwise Whyborne would have a nervous breakdown. Flowers? Cake? Invitations? Griffin would end up doing most of the planning.

Now I’m imagining what sort of bachelor party Christine would throw for Whyborne. That shit would be epic.

TNA: What was the deciding factor in choosing to set the series in this time period?

JLH: I liked the idea of setting a story in Gilded Age America that wasn’t a Western, because you don’t see that very often. I picked the specific year of 1897 because that was the date of the reproduction Sears & Roebuck Catalog I found on Amazon.

TNA: What made you decide to write the series from Whyborne’s POV rather than Griffin’s?

JLH: When we first meet Whyborne, he’s ordered around by the museum director, bullied by his coworkers, and bossed around by his best friend. He hides in his office and doesn’t like talking to people, and probably comes across as colder and more stand-offish than he really is, especially when he first meets Griffin. If we weren’t deep in his head, we’d think he was a doormat and kind of a prick. So I don’t think it would have worked as well from that aspect.

I briefly considered writing alternating POVs, but it just didn’t feel right. Apparently this was Whyborne’s story and he was going to be the one to tell it. I have toyed with the idea of writing a short story from Griffin’s POV, though. I think it would be interesting, because in his own way Griffin is just as neurotic, just better at hiding it.

TNA: How many books do you have the series plotted out to?

JLH: Five so far! I’m currently in the research and planning phase of book four, Necropolis. If all goes according to plan, it will be out in June, and then book five, Bloodline, in December 2014.

TNA: Name 3 things you like most about both Whyborne and Griffin.

JLH: Whyborne: smart, curious, and has a tremendous inner strength

Griffin: easy-going, loyal, brave

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Some things should stay buried.

Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.

So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.

As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?

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EXCERPT:

Fortunately, it wasn’t long before we arrived in front of Griffin’s house. My stomach roiled as the cab clattered away: I couldn’t quite tell if it was from anticipation or nausea. My mouth felt dry, and my palms sweaty.

Griffin, on the other hand, seemed perfectly at ease as he unlocked the gate and led the way to his porch. Saul awaited us there, sitting tucked back from the snow, his ears flattened grouchily.
“Poor Saul,” Griffin crooned, pausing to pat his head. Saul meowed imperiously and went to the door, pressing his face into the crack until it opened.

“Come in,” Griffin said; perhaps he imagined I needed the encouragement. Perhaps I did need the encouragement. “Do you mind reviving the fire in the study upstairs while I feed Saul?”

“Of course not,” I said, glad to have something familiar to do. While he followed the orange tabby to the kitchen, I went up the stair and into the study.

The fire was well-banked; I knelt down in front of it and stoked the embers, adding a few logs, until the flames snapped and popped cheerfully. Snow built up against the windows; it would be hard for me to get home if it kept up this way.

I could still do the sensible thing and scurry back to my apartment while the weather allowed. But I couldn’t forget the kiss. The way Griffin pressed against me, the way he made my heart pound and my thoughts scatter…

…Was dangerous. I’d spent so many years in control, never yielding, and yet he walked into my life and suddenly I had no will to resist the desire enflaming my skin and stiffening my groin. The high wall I’d built around me had fallen, and I didn’t even know if I wanted it back.

Footsteps sounded on the stair behind me. I climbed to my feet and stood staring at the fire, not quite daring to turn around.

“Would you like something to drink?” he asked.

I considered it, but after my disgrace on Sunday, I couldn’t bring myself to risk it. “No. Thank you.”

He came up behind me, pausing only scant inches away. My body trembled from his nearness, and my lips ached with the need to be kissed again. What would he do? Would he touch me?

His breath stirred the small hairs at the nape of my neck. “Have you ever been with a man?”

I wanted to laugh; surely he was being generous. “No. I-I’ve never even been kissed before.” He might as well know what he was getting into.

He drew in a soft sip of breath, and I braced myself for mockery. “Truly?” he murmured, sounding awed. “Am I really the first to look beneath the cold exterior and see the passion seething within?”

I closed my eyes. His description had nothing to do with me; it couldn’t. “I don’t know what you mean.”

He chuckled softly, and a shiver ghosted over my skin, because he still touched me only with his breath. “Don’t you? You blind me, my dear, with your fire. Carefully controlled, directed only into the outlets you allow, but otherwise left to boil beneath the surface. You’re like a bottle of fine champagne, yearning to be opened. Year after year, the pressure building slowly, with no release. And ever since I met you, all I could think was what it would take to make…you…pop.”

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Well, that was a fun mini-interview!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Backlist Book Bump, Simone Anderson, Totally Bound

Simone Anderson Is Doing A Little Backlist Book Bumping With A Giveaway For Two Lucky Readers



Thank you, Lisa and The Novel Approach, for the opportunity to share one of my favorite books, Smuggler’s Cove – Knight of Pleasure. I love all of my characters and enjoy telling their stories, even the difficult ones, but some touch me more than others. In the case of Knight of Pleasure, it’s Ethan and Dean, specifically, Dean. I know several real-life Deans. Men and women who have come back from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan changed so completely by their experiences that sometimes simple things have become monumental obstacles. As we enter the holiday season and we see our friends and family, it’s easy to forget that not everyone is as lucky as we are. Most service personnel are not able to be with their friends and family for the holidays; for many it’s temporary, but for some they will never return and those who are left behind are left to find their way without them.

As I reconnect with one of my first releases and celebrate a new upcoming release, I’m happy to give away ANY TWO books of mine to one lucky winner. Thank you and I hope you enjoy your time with Ethan and Dean as much as I do.

Note: THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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I’m also pleased to announce that Totally Bound (formerly Total-E-Bound) has put Knight of Pleasure in their new Safe, Sane and Sexy Box Set along with Sean Michael, Kim Dare LM Somerton, and Sage Marlow.

Knight of Pleasure Buy link








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Welcome to Smuggler’s Cove and Discover the treasure of the heart at Smuggler’s Cove.

The brewery was started by three friends and continues to grow and prosper.

Blurb:

Wounded in Iraq, Dean Hudson is forced to give up his dream of a career in the Marine Corps. Nearly recovered from the physical wounds that left him scarred, he resigns himself to a life alone, and begins to deal with the emotional and mental scars the war left behind while he tries to rebuild a life. Having kept his homosexuality a secret for so long, he doesn’t expect to find love or acceptance in the arms of a knight.

On the weekends, successful brewery co-owner, Dom Ethan Moreland dons armour and a sword and fights other knights. The adrenaline rush and stress relief provided by the atmosphere of the renaissance faire also serve as a constant reminder of the love he still hasn’t found and can’t remember having.
When Dean meets Ethan dressed as a knight, he never dreams that he will find happiness and love on his knees while submitting to Ethan.

Excerpt:

Swords clanged together as two armoured men fought in the centre of a large, roped- off area. Dean Hudson sat in the bleachers with his sister and her three children watching the by-play, his gaze on the knight in the maroon tunic with a dragon painted on it.

“Uncle Dean?” a young voice called out. A small hand tugged on his shirt.

“What is it pumpkin?” he asked, pulling his five-year-old niece onto his lap.

“Is that what you did when you were in the Ma’eenes?” she asked, pointing to the knights.

“No, we weren’t lucky enough to have swords,” he smiled. “They didn’t even give us horses.”

“That’s not nice of them!” she said, hands on her hips, looking indignant.

“Jennie, you’re not supposed to ask Uncle about that,” Dean’s nine-year-old, nephew scolded.

“Todd,” Dean’s older sister Carla warned her eldest son. “Dean, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have dragged you here.”

“I’ve never been to a Renaissance Faire before. Besides, it beats staying home and drinking.” Dean shrugged, turned his attention to his niece. “Look, pumpkin, I think that’s the Queen.” He indicated a middle aged woman in a heavily beaded, dark-green velvet gown.

“Queen Isabella Savoy.” Carla wrinkled her nose. “Ethan and Sean call her a fun-hater and a micro-manager.”

“I see. And who again are Ethan and Sean?”

“Ethan’s in the maroon and white tunic with the dragon on it. He’s fighting Lord Darken, Sean, in the green and yellow tunic,” Carla said, pointing to the two combatants before naming the rest of the men in the fight ring.

“Everyone has a different name?” He shook his head. “How do you keep them all straight?” His gaze wandered back to Ethan. Dean had seen him without a helmet on and recognised him from the photographs his sister had sent to him while he was in the desert. Familiar memories tugged at him. Refusing to acknowledge them, he became acutely aware of his surroundings. He hoped the sights and sounds of the faire would keep the memories at bay for a while longer. Now was not the time or place to relive that hell. Smiling, he prayed Carla wouldn’t notice. She deserved to see him happy, deserved a day of fun.

His sister shrugged. “From hanging around them, I know all of the Knights of Steel and a good portion of everyone else here—the ones dressed up anyway. All rennies, the people who do this all of the time, adopt a different name and persona. If you’re observant and patient, you can see scenes unfold just below the surface of the show for the public.”

Dean nodded and shifted uncomfortably in his seat, wanting to bolt. The crowded open area of the faire set his nerves on edge, and he longed for peace and quiet and solitude. Jennie wriggled out of his lap, and he waited for her to climb down to the bench in front of them to join her two brothers before he edged away from Carla.

Dean rubbed his sweating palms on his jeans, thankful the breezy day spared him the awkwardness of explaining why he wasn’t wearing shorts. He hadn’t worn shorts since before his last deployment, when his body and life were changed forever. It was a day like any other, but one he would never forget the day of his last patrol. Two years later, he was looking at an uncertain future as a disabled vet who couldn’t stand on his own two feet without the aid of a cane.

He watched the maroon-clad knight, Ethan, round on his opponent, swing his sword and drive the man to his knees. Kicking him in the chest, he raised his hands in celebration as the man toppled backwards. Half of the crowd cheered. The other half booed. An armour-less man dressed in a black and white tunic bearing the colours and crest of the entertainment troop rushed forward to help the defeated knight to his feet.

“Honour her majesty!”

One after another, the armoured men dropped to one knee, heads bowed in the direction of a short, round, blonde-haired woman, who despite her smile, looked as though she’d just tasted something disgusting. Ethan stuck his sword into the dirt, removed his helmet then knelt on one knee.

Dean inhaled sharply. Long, light-brown hair was tied at the nape of the man’s neck, and beads of sweat ran down the sides of his face. His angular jaw gave way to the subtle lines hidden beneath armour.

“Ethan’s gay, by the way, and single,” Carla whispered in his ear. “I thought you might like him.”

“You told me in one of the letters you sent me. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were trying to play matchmaker,” Dean said good-naturedly, hugging his sister.

“Why shouldn’t I want my brother to find true love?”

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Backlist Book Bump, Jordan Castillo Price

How About A Little Backlist Book Bump From Jordan Castillo Price? And How About A Big Ol’ Giveaway?


channeling-morpheus-series


I’m so delighted you’ve asked me to come talk about one of my backlist titles, Lisa! I’ve always loved vampire stories, and I set out to write the freshest, darkest, sexiest, scariest vampire story I could imagine. My Channeling Morpheus series was completed in 2009, and so it’s quite possible that plenty of readers discovered the genre well after the series wrapped. Here’s a taste of the first story, Payback:


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BLURB

The hunt is on.

Pretty young men and women like Michael’s best friend, Scary Mary, are disappearing from underground goth clubs all over Detroit. For over two years, Michael has been scouring the midwest for buried newspaper articles and obscure medical reports, and now he’s finally pinpointed the source of the problem. Too bad he can’t exactly go to the cops and tell them his friend was murdered by vampires. Since it’s his duty to start wiping out the scourge, he’s posing as bait—and he’s got a bag of sharpened hickory stakes to do the job.

Everything should go smoothly, given the amount of preparation that Michael has put into the hunt. He’s got a practiced repertoire of come-hither eyeliner looks and a full blister-pack of the date rape drug Rohypnol. But he didn’t count on Wild Bill showing up.

EXCERPT

Wild Bill is a vision in spiked hair and scuffed black leather—exactly the type of guy Michael would have fallen for…if he’d ever had the chance. Unfortunately, with a vampire in his sights, Michael has no time for an actual date. Despite his best efforts, it seems there’s nothing Michael can do to shake Bill loose. Looks like they’re in for a wild, wild ride.

I picked up my bag, or satchel, or whatever you want to call it, and checked it again—even though I knew everything was still there. It had to be, because it’d been pressed against my foot, and if anyone had been rifling through it, I would have felt them doing it. Mallet? Check. Wooden stake—hickory, of course? Check. Crucifix? Well, yeah. Like five of those. Rohypnol? Check. Holy water? Check. Eyeliner? Check.

Yeah, eyeliner. It looks good on me. Scary Mary used to say that. She’d sworn up and down that I was one of those guys who could pull it off.

My hand sank deep into the bag and brushed against the eyeliner. Or maybe it was a pen. I inched my fingers down the length of it and felt the tip. Damn. It was a pen. Maybe I could use it for touchup anyway if I sweated off all the eyeliner.

Or else I’d have to find the vampire and lure him out of the club before it came to that.

“Got a light?”

I jumped. I wasn’t scared, though. Just startled. It was way too early for vampires, barely an hour past sunset. But I hadn’t realized there was anyone standing practically on top of me while I was digging through my bag. Or whatever you want to call it.

“I don’t….” He was so hot he was incandescent. “I don’t smoke.”

The guy who’d wanted the light was smiling. Still standing practically on top of me, too. Staring me right in the eye.

You’d think that would be all. He asked for a light. I didn’t have one. And then he would move on. But maybe it was more than that. Maybe he’d just been looking for an excuse to talk.

He slid himself onto the barstool beside mine. I did my best to look nonchalant. He was…amazing. Tall and lean, with ripped up jeans and spiked blond hair, earrings and a snake tattoo on his neck and chipped black nail polish. And he wanted to talk to me.

Couldn’t I have run into him any other night? Like, a night that I didn’t already have a date with a vampire?

“Got a name, Mister Lung Association?” he asked me.

“Michael.”

“Michael, Michael, Motorcycle.” He tucked his cigarette behind his ear and shook my hand. Well, more like he jammed his hand toward me, and I either had to shake it or be knocked off the barstool. “Wild Bill.”

A hot guy who had the balls to call himself Wild Bill, straightfaced no less, was hitting on me in a mostly-empty bar. My mind reeled. I hadn’t been putting on my approachable vibe. I saved that for the vampires. I’d been going through my bag, minding my own business. And here he was, with a cigarette tucked behind his ear, chatting me up.

“Is your name really Bill?” I asked.

“Is yours really Michael?”

I rolled my eyes. He smiled wider, a weird, tight-lipped grin, and planted his elbow on the sticky bar top. “What’s with the purse?”

“It’s not a…look, I’m meeting somebody, okay? Don’t you have anyone else to bother?”

He shrugged and half-turned in his seat to spare a glance for the rest of the place. It’d be a cool enough club once it started to fill up, but right now there was only a scattering of people in it. A tight clique of girls in thick eyeliner and hair extensions dominated a pair of pushed-together tables beside the dance floor. A couple swayed together on the glowing tiles. They were so androgynous you could only tell the boy from the girl by the flat planes of his ass. Fog that smelled like cotton candy wafted around their platform boots. And the remainder of the early crowd hugged the perimeter of the bar, backs to the wall, drinking warily.

I pretty much looked like everyone else there. Black clothes and silver studs. Alone and staring. Except that I’d been staring into my bag instead of cruising.

“I’ll keep you company, then,” Bill offered. “Until she…or he…shows up.”

“He,” I said.

Wild Bill’s smile curled the corner of his lips.

Damn. If only there were some way, any way at all, I could ditch the vampire and take my chances with Wild Bill. But it’d taken me two whole years to track this vampire down and figure out where he’d been hunting. Two years’ worth of newspaper clippings, of Coroners’ reports photocopied by bribable janitors, of buried articles printed out from the Internet, accessed through the library’s computers, that I’d stared at until their letters slipped out of focus when my body forced me to rest my eyes.

Maybe Wild Bill would take a rain check. But I kind of doubted it. Besides, after I left a smoking corpse in my wake, I’d have to get out of town. Fast.


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morpheuscover200MORE ABOUT THE SERIES

Gritty, urban vampire tales

These novelette-length stories are scary as hell and packed with freaky sex. Michael is a waif in eyeliner who’s determined to wipe vampires off the face of the earth. Wild Bill’s got his eye on Michael, and he’s willing to do anything to go home with him. If the romance between Gomez & Morticia gives you goosebumps of delight, if you look forward to Halloween movie marathons all year long, if you’ve got a soft spot for fake fog and black lights, then Channeling Morpheus is the series for you!


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sweetoblivion-200SPECIALS AND EXTRAS

The series consists of ten novelettes and two shorts. The novelettes are available in the paperback collections Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary and A Bitter Taste of Sweet Oblivion.

Official Channeling Morpheus site with bonus wallpaper, flash fiction and character interviews –

Bundle Deals – Save on a Channeling Morpheus bundle at http://jcpbooks.com/bundles. Payback is also included in the $5 JCP Sampler


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The Giveaway

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Backlist Book Bump, Dreamspinner Press, Marguerite Labbe

“My Heart Is Within You” Gets A Backlist Book Bump From Marguerite Labbe



Triquetra Trilogy

Halloween may be over, but it’s still not too late in the year for a little vampire action. Thank you, Lisa, for sponsoring this little blast from the past and giving me a chance to revisit some favorite, old characters of mine, Kristair and Jacob from my Triquetra trilogy. These two were so very different: Kristair, the reserved, ancient vampire obsessed with books and hoarding his knowledge, Jacob, the hot tempered football college star who had no interest in anything outside of scoring the game and in the bed.

Life gets weird when you attract the eye of a vampire, especially one hell bent on discovering a way to stop his descent into madness. He’s hearing a whisper on the edge of his understanding, and the powers he’s developed over the centuries are starting to erode. He knows he’s the last Ancient left, and he knows all of the others have disappeared; he just doesn’t want to be included among them.

At first Jacob was scared by the beautiful stalker who hung around so close, but that quickly changes as he becomes intrigued and attracted to Kristair. Surely, inviting him in to scratch both of their itches won’t be a problem. Next thing Jacob know,s he’d agreed to participate in a old Pict ritual, he’s half covered in tattoos, and a group of younger vampires are attacking him and Kristair every chance they get.

And it only gets crazier from there as Jacob and Kristair lead us through one escapade after another. I suppose that’s what you get when you cross a reserved, bookish vampire with a dominant, overprotective human and both of them too stubborn for their own good. Boy did I have fun with these two, so much so they got three books to tell their story, not the usual one. (Did I mention that Jacob is demanding? He’d love for me to do a fourth.)

So in honor of these two and their shenanigans, I am giving away an e-copy of the first book in the series My Heart is Within You.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

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Blurb: The power of heart and soul holds the key to the survival of the last of the ancient vampires. Kristair is running out of time. His race has faded away, prey to delusion and deterioration, and his only chance to live long enough to find a cure is to bind his psyche to a human vessel in a long forgotten ritual.

Kristair’s chosen vessel is Jacob Corvin, a man of passionate stubbornness and fierce loyalty; he has captured Kristair’s fantasies so completely that he is both the vampire’s greatest strength and most crippling weakness. Drawing upon Jacob’s spirit and Kristair’s resolve, they each bind a portion of their souls to one other. For as long as Jacob carries Kristair’s heart within him, the vampire can continue his quest.

Just when they have hope, their mission is threatened by The Syndicate, a group of younger vampires who attempt to force Kristair to teach them his secrets before he disappears like the rest of the ancients. Battling both The Syndicate’s attacks and his unexpected need and love for Jacob, Kristair’s strength begins to fade, forcing him to make a decision that will change his and Jacob’s lives forever.

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This book is followed by Haunted By Your Soul and Our Sacred Balance.

My Heart is Within You. :
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=997&cPath=56_61_586

Haunted By Your Soul:
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1471&cPath=56_61_586

Our Sacred Balance. :
http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1669&cPath=56_61_586

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Backlist Book Bump, Brita Addams, Dreamspinner Press

It’s Time For The Backlist Book Bump With Brita Addams, And That Means A Giveaway!


Brita Logo
Are you like me, unabashedly in love with the broken hero? You know, those guys that the world has mistreated, and yet, they stoically carry on, sometimes just barely, beneath a thin veneer of bravado.

Such is the case with the heroes of my Regency historical, For Men Like Us. Benedict Wilmot and Preston Meacham survived the Napoleonic Wars, the Battle of Salamaca in particular, though just barely, and came away with deep scars, inside and out.

Their injuries weren’t only physical, but emotional as well. For me, those are the most difficult to weather. We’ve all had them—caused by our dysfunctional childhoods, bullying, failed relationships. Those voices and experiences live one, well past their welcome shelf-life.

Though scars cover Ben’s body, their causes affect him much more profoundly than their existence. The weight of a deeply held secret and the devastating death of a man he deeply loved, makes Ben’s life almost unbearable. Circumstances make Ben feel responsible for Pres, and that sentiment brings the men face to face in a dingy alley outside a London mollie house. As the rain pours down around them, Ben attempts to summon the courage to speak to Pres—not for purposes related to Pres’s job, but because of Ben’s concern for Pres’s welfare. This is the scene I’ve included below and the one that is depicted on the book’s brilliant cover by Anne Cain.

While writing For Men Like Us, I reflected on the men I’ve known, who’ve fought a war and came home somehow different, foreign in their responses, their maturity, their overall look at life. War kills more than bodies. It also kills a person’s spirit, their self-view, their abilities to cope with the very things that make them who they are—or once were. Their souls are scarred, changed, inured to the fear so inherent under the circumstances.

Through the surreptitious act of spying, an unscrupulous sergeant discovers Benedict Wilmot’s sexuality. The sergeant could have fully destroyed Ben’s life by turning him over to their commanding officer, but instead, he chose to use Ben’s fear of further discovery against him, and used torture and shame to manipulate Ben into doing his bidding.

The integrity with which Ben conducts himself makes him a favored employer of men like him. I suppose one might think Ben had gaydar, but he sought out gay men and housed them in the safety of his estate, to help him run the part of home he used.

Given the period in history, when being gay was a hanging offense, I created a world for these men to exist in relative comfort. For Ben and Preston, nothing comes easy, but then nothing in life comes easy, does it?

If you love broken heroes, you might enjoy For Men Like Us. You can find it on the Dreamspinner site

1815

THE mist off the Thames cloaked Ben while the heavily shadowed alley protected him as he watched the male whores go into the molly house. Droplets of rain fell off the brim of his tall beaver and soaked through the fabric of his greatcoat. The dampness had long since settled deeply into his bones, weakening him. He depended more than usual on his walking stick to support his weight.

His driver and all-round man, Briggs, waited a short distance away while Ben watched for the man he’d come to find. Many times, Ben had observed the comings and goings at Mama Lil’s, after having learned the man he sought worked there. From the same vantage point, he’d caught only passing glimpses of the well-groomed, dark-haired man who seemed so out of place amongst the other down and outers. From a distance, Ben thought him to be handsome and quite personable, judging by his interactions with the other men. There also seemed to be a sadness about him, and for that, Ben was aggrieved.

At the sound of two distinctly masculine voices, Ben moved deeper into the alley. He pressed his body closer to the ramshackle building, out of the dim light cast by the nearby streetlamp.

The men passed him by, neither apparently wise to his presence. Unable to resist, he stepped closer to the mouth of the shadowed alley, fairly dragging his useless leg, and looked out after them. The scuffing he’d caused must have alerted them, because one of the men turned, the moon illuminating his face. It was him; the man he sought.

Their eyes met and locked for the briefest of moments. Ben cursed inwardly. He hadn’t intended them to meet this way—him lurking about like a thief, or worse, a desperate man.

The young man clapped his companion on the back. “Go on ahead, Tom, I’ll be along. Gotta take a piss.”
Tom waved a casual hand. “Yeah, yeah, sure. Don’t be too long. There mightn’t be no cock left for ya.”

“Never a fear of that, now is there?”

“S’pose you’re right. See you inside.”

The door slammed, but no louder than Ben’s own heart.

The young man approached, cautious, yet somehow sure. The watery click of his boot heels against the wet cobbles echoed the pounding in Ben’s ears.

He filled the entrance to the alley, a slim-waisted figure clad in a frock coat and breeches, someone who would have been supposed a gentleman in any other setting.

“Can I help you, sir?” The voice was more refined than a moment before.

Ben opened his mouth, but his words were stunted. This was the closest he’d ever been to Preston Meacham. The light from the streetlamp illuminated his handsome face. Ben stared, forgetting himself completely.

“Sir, are you all right?”

Ben resisted a continued stare. “Yes, yes, I’m fine, th-thank you.”

“Is there something you need? You really shouldn’t be out on this street alone. It isn’t safe.

Unscrupulous characters are known to lurk about these parts.”

A slight feeling of indignation overset him. “I believe I am capable of taking care of myself.”

Preston’s gaze dropped to the walking stick, then back to Ben’s eyes. “Then I’ll leave you to it.”

The man took three steps before Ben found the words to continue the conversation. “A-are you available?” he asked on impulse.

A slight chuckle made him feel foolish. “I’m available, sir, if you have the blunt.”

Damn and blast, why must this be so difficult? “Can we go somewhere, alone?”

The younger man pointed toward the house. “Of course, I can get a room.”

“No! Away from here.”

“I’m scheduled to work. I don’t get paid if I’m not on the premises.”

“I don’t expect something for nothing. I’ll pay you for your time, however much you want.”

The younger man came flirtatiously close.

How could I have not noticed the extent of his physical beauty?

“Well then, if money is no object, sir, I’ll go wherever you wish.”

Ben swallowed hard and pointed toward the street. “My carriage is waiting. I live but a short distance from here.”

“You certainly are mysterious. How do I know you won’t slit my throat the moment we’re alone?”

“You don’t, but then, how do I know you won’t slit mine?”

A hint of a smile. “Fair enough. Be warned, I don’t sell myself cheap.”

“I don’t expect you to, and I assure you, you are entirely safe in my company.” Ben handed him a gold sovereign, which he took with alacrity.

Preston flipped the coin into the air. “Where is this carriage of yours?”

“This way.” Ben led him down the street and around the corner, where Briggs waited.

In the light of the carriage lamps, Preston appeared to be upwards of five-and-twenty. Ben’s hands itched to touch his full head of brown hair, to assess whether it was as soft as it appeared.

Preston sat back against the squabs in casual repose, one arm draped languidly over the back of the seat. Under other circumstances, they might appear to be old friends, out for an evening at White’s.
With the need to confirm what he already knew, Ben asked, “What is your name?”

“Preston Meacham. Pres, if you prefer, and what’s yours?”

Ben’s heart thudded. The confirmation made this moment all too real. He turned toward the window. “You may call me Ben.”

“Ben it is, but no last name?”

“For what I want, no last name is necessary.”

Jesus, how pompous. A quick glance ascertained that Preston’s expression hadn’t changed, save for a slight pinched look about his mouth.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that the way it sounded.”

“Quite all right. I rarely get even that much respect.”

Ben’s heart dropped. He’d gone about this the wrong way.

“Whoa.” The carriage slowed, then stopped at Briggs’s shout.

“We’ve arrived.” When Briggs opened the door, Ben got out, then turned to see that Preston had followed him.

“This way.”

They’d gone around to the back of his townhouse. After they entered the kitchen door, Ben dropped his hat on a table beside the door, removed his soggy greatcoat, and left it on a peg outside the kitchen. With as much haste as his war-ravaged leg allowed, Ben led Preston up the servant’s stairs to the second floor.


~*~


And now, how about a little contest information? Brita would love to give TWO lucky readers the chance to win E-copies of For Men Like Us, as well as some great swag, including bookmarks, cover flats, pens, and more!

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED


~*~



Brita LogoBorn in a small town in Upstate New York, Brita Addams has made her home in the sultry south for many years. In the Frog Capital of the World, Brita shares her home with her real-life hero—Clint, her husband of 33 years, and fifteen year old fat cat named Stormee. All their children are grown.

Given her love of history, Brita writes both het and gay historical romance. Many of her historicals, as well as a few contemporaries, have appeared on category bestseller lists at various online retailers.


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Tarnished Gold, the first in her Tarnished series for Dreamspinner, received honorable mention, and is a finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards, historical romance category.

Brita and her husband love to travel. They’ve taken no less than twenty-five cruises and countless long car trips, as well as completed a Civil War battlefield tour, and visits to many sites involved in the American Revolutionary War. Their 2013 wedding anniversary tour of England, Scotland, and Wales gave Brita fodder for many new tales.

On a trip to Hollywood, California, Brita stood in the footprints of some of her favorite actors—Clark Gable, Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power, and many others, at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and she has even kissed Mickey Rooney.

A bit of trivia—Brita pronounces her name, Bree-ta, and not Brit-a, like the famous water filter.

Brita Addams is a mash-up of her real middle name and her husband’s middle name, with an additional d and s.

Readers can find Brita Addams at any of the following places:

Website
Blog
Twitter: @britaaddams
Facebook
Fan page
Goodreads
Pinterest
Booklikes
Monthly column at The Novel Approach

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Backlist Book Bump, Brita Addams, Charlie Cochet, Jake Wells, Jordan Castillo Price, Marguerite Labbe, Simone Anderson, Sneak Peek, Vona Logan

And Now, Here’s A Sneak Peek At The Coming Week!


Jinkies, gang, we’ve got a great week (and month) coming up and I can’t wait to share it with you all.

We’re starting a new series of author visits this month called the Backlist Book Bump. So, what does that mean for you? Well, what it means is that the participating authors who will be coming to TNA throughout the month of November have selected a book from their backlist, one that’s been around for a bit that you may not know about, especially if your new-ish to the M/M genre, and we’re going to show that title a little love, which means you’re going to be given the chance to learn about and maybe even win some great books throughout the month! You’ll definitely want to keep an eye out for that, as well as all the other reviews, articles, blog tours and giveaways we’ll be bringing you in the coming weeks.

Here’s what’s coming up:

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>>Monday: Brita Addams drops in for our first ever Backlist Book Bump, with For Men Like Us

>>Tuesday: Jake Wells will be along with an Interview for his debut novel A White Coat Is My Closet

>>Wednesday: Marguerite Labbe is here with her Backlist Book Bump offering, My Heart Is Within You

And, of course, we’ll have A.J. Corza back with her cover critique of the week

>>Thursday: Jordan Castillo Price comes calling for the Backlist Book Bump, featuring the books in the “Channeling Morpheus” series

>>Friday: Simone Anderson arrives with her own Backlist Book Bump for Knight of Pleasure

>>Saturday: Charlie Cochet has kindly made us a stop on her “The Impetuous Afflictions” Blog Tour

And last, but certainly never least,

>>Sunday: Vona Logan will be here on her Hard ‘n Deep Blog Tour

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And that’s it for this week, peeps. Watch for lots of great giveaways! Until next time, happy reading. :)

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