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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The incomparable Amy Lane

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

Edmond Manning – hotel soap really is lucky! :)

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

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

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

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

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

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

DC Juris and Michele L. Montgomery

Michele L. Montgomery and Rick R. Reed

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

The wonderful Jamie Fessenden

The inexhaustible K.Piet

The lovely Amy Lane and the electric Ariel Tachna

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

And I’m Off To GayRomLit Land…

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

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

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

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

Here’s a recap of the lucky winners:

Winner: trisha2144

Winner: Boxtersushi

Winner: Rosie M

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

Winner: Melora

Winner: Anna

Winner: Nancy

Ready or not, Albuquerque, here I come!

Abigail Roux, Riptide Publishing

The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy The Gravedigger’s Brawl Here

Anne Tenino, Riptide Publishing

Love, Hypothetically by Ann Tenino

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

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

No balls and lots of errors.

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

Swing and a miss…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy Love, Hypothetically Here

Ethan Day, Geoffrey Knight, Smashwords

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, not really, but it should be.

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

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


Dreamspinner Press, J.P. Barnaby

Aaron by J.P. Barnaby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buy Aaron Here

Dreamspinner Press, Isabelle Rowan

The Road to Byron by Isabelle Rowan

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

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

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

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

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

Buy The Road to Byron HERE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As you wish…

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

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

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

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

K. Piet, Storm Moon Press

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press

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

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

Some things that make me smile:

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

Yes, I said knitting and llamas. Go figure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press

Hey Y’all! It’s Amy Lane’s Turn To Celebrate The Countdown To GayRomLit 2012. Look What She’s Giving Away To A Lucky Winner!

One lucky reader is going to go away from this contest two whole books richer, because Amy Lane‘s giving away a copy of both, Chase in Shadow (Johnnies #1), as well as Dex in Blue (Johnnies #2), which has just been released today by Dreamspinner Press. In case you missed it, Amy talks a little bit about her heroes Dex and Kane, who were introduced in Chase in Shadow, in a blog post on Mary Calmes’ site HERE. Give it a look when you have a minute.

In the meantime, here are the blurbs for both books:

Chase in ShadowChase Summers: Golden boy. Beautiful girlfriend, good friends, and a promising future.

Nobody knows the real Chase.

Chase Summers has a razor blade to his wrist and the smell of his lover’s goodbye clinging to his skin. He has a door in his heart so frightening he’d rather die than open it, and the lies he’s used to block it shut are thinning with every forbidden touch. Chase has spent his entire life unraveling, and his decision to set his sexuality free in secret has only torn his mind apart faster.

Chase has one chance for true love and salvation. He may have met Tommy Halloran in the world of gay-for-pay—where the number of lovers doesn’t matter as long as the come-shot’s good—but if he wants the healing that Tommy’s love has to offer, he’ll need the courage to leave the shadows for the sunlight. That may be too much to ask from a man who’s spent his entire life hiding his true self. Chase knows all too well that the only things thriving in a heart’s darkness are the bitter personal demons that love to watch us bleed.

Dex in BlueTen years ago David Worral had plans to go to college and the potential for a beautiful future in front of him. One tragic accident later, he fled to California and reinvented himself as Dex, top porn model of Johnnies.

Dex’s life is a tangled mess now, but the guys he works with only see the man who makes them believe even porn stars can lead normal lives. When Kane, one of Dex’s coworkers, gets kicked out of his house, the least Dex can do is give him a place to stay. Kane may be a hyperactive muscle-bound psycho, but he’s also a really nice guy. What could be the harm?

Except nothing is simple—not sex, not love, and not the goofy kid with the big dick and bigger heart who moves his life into Dex’s guest room. When they start negotiating fractured pasts and broken friends, Dex wonders if Kane’s honest nature can untangle the sadness that stalled his once-promising future. With Kane by his side, Dex just might be able to reclaim the boy he once was—and if he can do that, he can give Kane the home and the family he deserves.

To be eligible to win, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post and you’ll be automatically entered. Please be sure to include your email address in your comment, as well, so we know how to contact you. One lucky winner will be drawn at random and notified at the close of the give-away. Good luck!

**Entry deadline for this contest is Friday, October 5, 2012 at 11:59pm Pacific time (2:59am Eastern).**

Kate McMurray, Loose Id

Across the East River Bridge by Kate McMurray

“Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes.” – Voltaire

Brooklyn, New York, 1878—it was an exceedingly dangerous time to be a gay man. In fact, for Theodore Cummings Brill and George Washington Cutler it was downright deadly. A crime that held all the earmarks of a double homicide was dismissed by the police as a murder/suicide when it was discovered that Teddy and Wash were so much more than simply dear friends. For more than a century, it was believed the men died as a result of a lovers’ quarrel, just punishment for their perversions according to the moral judgments of the time—but their tormented spirits have clung to the physical plane, languishing in a purgatory of history’s making, just waiting for their moment of truth to see the light and to set them free.

When Christopher Finnegan shows up at the now historic Brill House on a research mission for his boss, the last person he expected to meet with was his arch-nemesis Troy Rafferty, the home’s curator. Finn and Troy share a past layered, in turns, by competition, acrimony, and uncontrolled lust…always followed by anger and regret on Finn’s part. It’s a history that, for Finn, has constructed a wall, brick by contempt filled brick, between them, and has shaped his perception of their shared past, making Troy the scapegoat for Finn’s academic failures; not that Troy is entirely innocent, but he’s certainly not entirely to blame either. It’s been a decade and a half of antagonism and contention between the two men, but circumstances never cease to keep throwing them together. Now it seems more paranormal intervention than serendipity that has put them on a path toward reconciliation. The big question, however, is whether the feelings they have for each other are their own, or merely the ephemeral strains of the love Teddy and Wash felt for each other. When Troy and Finn begin digging into Wash and Teddy’s private journals, begin to piece together the circumstances of their deaths, it opens a hole between the physical and metaphysical realms, and becomes exceedingly clear that the ghosts of a long ago past will not allow Troy and Finn to rest until a name is given to their killer.

Across the East River Bridge is a seamless merging of the past and the present, of two distinctly different romances separated by more than a century, wrapped within a mystery that ties them all together in the present. The story is a careful unraveling of secrets and clues that push Troy and Finn in the direction of a future that can hold together only if they can find a killer who’s been dead for more than a hundred years, then come to trust that what they feel for each other is real. This is one of those books that not only entertained but also informed, which resulted in a really lovely read for me.

Kate McMurray is a GayRomLit participating author. You can check out Kate’s blog HERE.

Buy Across the East River Bridge HERE.

Daniel A. Kaine, Self-Published, Smashwords

Dawn of Darkness (Daeva #1) by Daniel A. Kaine

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” – William Shakespeare

Nearly a century ago, humans and vampires lived together peacefully, even amidst the religious prophesying that their integration would most certainly bring about Armageddon one day. When a great plague swept across the globe and decimated nearly all the world’s population, it appeared the prophets were right and the vampires were indeed a scourge, and the resulting demise of the human race. It’s now the year 2105, vampires and humans are once again predator and prey, but within the dystopian landscape of what had once been France, one civilized community still exists among the ruins, Rachat, a stronghold in which an army of young men and women with supernatural abilities become lethal weapons in the fight against the vampiric enemy.

Mikhail Hart and Ashley White are two newly minted soldiers in the Silver Dawn Battalion, two young men with powers that give them an advantage in this war against the undead. They, along with their preternatural comrades, have been spoon-fed from the propaganda vessel, taught to believe that the course of their history was directed and dictated by the nightdwellers who have the power to control their thoughts and feed on them like human cattle. But the truth is that the truth is still out there waiting to be discovered. And when Mik gets a little too close to those truths, life as he knows it becomes something more like a small corner of hell, where the devil he knows is every bit as dangerous and the devil he doesn’t, and some of the worst lies are the lies he tells himself, for those are the lies that convince him the one person in the world he loves is lost to him forever.

The battle lines are drawn, and Mik has chosen sides. It’s the invisible line of warring ideology that has separated him from Ash, and now they’re on opposing ends of the personal and political agenda that has sprung from the deception and manipulation of the puppet regime. It is the fine line they both toe but cannot cross until they learn to trust that their love is the most powerful weapon they have in this battle between good and evil, and that survival can mean the difference between living or merely existing.

If you’ve read any small amount of paranormal fantasy over the past few years, you might feel, like me, that vampires have been done to death. After reading everything from Bram Stoker’s original to those of the sparkling variety, I feel like I’ve seen every possible permutation of the bloodsucker theme in between, but I have to say I was very pleased with Dawn of the Darkness, Daniel A. Kaine’s self-published debut. Mr. Kaine’s vampires are a mixed bag of daywalkers, nightdwellers, those who have striven to hang on to a bit of their humanity and to prove they’re not all the soulless monsters they’ve been made out to be, as well as those who are very much the monsters vampires have always been. There’s no attempt to bend or break the roles and rules, no sensationalizing for the sake of introducing something different. These vamps are sometimes horrific, sometimes entirely humane, and I liked the contrasts.

This novel is introspective speculative fiction, a blend of horror and young adult romance. It’s a story of betrayal and of healing and forgiveness, at once altogether gory, then utterly poignant in its portrayal of the broken pasts that have shaped who Mik and Ash have become. Though the going was a bit slow at times, and there were some rough edges to this gem, I was thoroughly invested in the journey and am looking forward to its continuation in Origin of Darkness, book #2 in the Daeva series.

Daniel A. Kaine is a GayRomLit participating author. Find out a bit more about Daniel HERE.

Buy Dawn of Darkness HERE.

Dreamspinner Press, Rhys Ford

Welcome To Dorthi Ki Seu, The Gentlemen’s Club Where The Kisses Are Hot, The Secrets Are Hotter, And The Books Are FREE!!

Cole McGinnis is an ex-cop turned PI. Kim Jae-Min is a man with a dirty little secret, one shared by his cousin – past tense – because now Jae’s cousin is dead, and it’s beginning to look a little less like suicide and a lot more like murder.

Enter the down and dirty world of Dorthi Ki Seu (Dirty Kiss), a sex club where the men are hot and Scarlet reigns supreme over her kingdom. It’s a place where mystery and murder go hand-in-hand with sex and secrets, and this is the place where you could win TWO FREE BOOKS from their author, Rhys Ford: Dirty Kiss, and the sequel (due from Dreamspinner Press on September 28, 2012), Dirty Secret.

Check out the blurbs for both books!

Dirty KissCole 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’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.

Dirty SecretLoving Kim Jae-Min isn’t always easy: Jae is gun-shy about being openly homosexual. Ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis doesn’t know any other way to be. Still, he understands where Jae is coming from. Traditional Korean men aren’t gay—at least not usually where people can see them.

But Cole can’t spend too much time unraveling his boyfriend’s issues. He has a job to do. When a singer named Scarlet asks him to help find Park Dae-Hoon, a gay Korean man who disappeared nearly two decades ago, Cole finds himself submerged in the tangled world of rich Korean families, where obligation and politics mean sacrificing happiness to preserve corporate empires. Soon the bodies start piling up without rhyme or reason. With every step Cole takes toward locating Park Dae-Hoon, another person meets their demise—and someone Cole loves could be next on the murderer’s list.

One lucky person will win a copy of both Dirty Kiss and Dirty Secret. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post, and you’re automatically entered. Please be sure to include your email address in your comment so we know how to contact you. Good Luck!

**One winner will be chosen at random and contacted by Rhys Ford. Entry deadline for this contest is 11:59pm Pacific (2:59am Eastern), Sunday, September 30, 2012**

Amber Allure, Amy Lane, Dreamspinner Press, Eden Winters, Less Than Three Press, P.D. Singer, Piper Vaughn, Rhys Ford, Xara X. Xanakas

Here’s What’s Coming Up In My GayRomLit 2012 Countdown!

The excitement continues, as give-away after give-away leads up to October 18th’s “Desire in the Desert”. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect to see in the coming weeks.

Eden Winters’ Diversion contest ends tonight at 11:59pm Pacific time (2:59am Eastern), so if you haven’t entered to win, hurry and do it before it’s too late!

Beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, September 26th, Rhys Ford will be bringing her Cole McGinnis Mystery series to the show, where sex and murder are intimate acquaintances. Rhys will be offering one lucky reader the chance to win both books in the series, Dirty Kiss and the upcoming Dirty Secret. You won’t want to miss it!

On October 1st, it’s all Amy Lane, folks, and she’ll be here to offer up the chance to win two books to one lucky contestant–Chase in Shadow, as well as the newly released (10/1/12) Dex in Blue, starring Dex and Kane, two characters who were introduced in Chase and Tommy’s book. Click HERE to see what Amy had to say about her boys and their story on Mary Calmes’ blog. And make sure to stay tuned!

Piper Vaughn & Xara X. Xanakas have a new release coming on October 10, 2012 from Less Than Three Press, called The Party Boy’s Guide to Dating a Geek, the first book in a news series, the “Clumsy Cupid Guidebooks”. Beginning on October 6th, you’ll have the opportunity to register to win a FREE copy of the book, which will be awarded to one lucky reader. Be sure to watch for it!

And finally, capping off the celebration, P.D. Singer will lead things into the homestretch with a two book give-away to one lucky contestant, Fire on the Mountain and Snow on the Mountain, the first two books in her series “The Mountains”, starring Jake Landon and Kurt Carlson, two fire rangers whose passion ignites one hot summer in the mountains, and carries on to the snowy slopes of Wapiti Creek Ski Resort. You won’t want to miss this contest, coming on October 11th!

It’s a hellagood time to be a fan of M/M romance!

Dreamspinner Press, Eric Arvin

Subsurdity: Vignettes From Jasper Lane by Eric Arvin

“Suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium.” – Cyril Connolly

Getting a glimpse at the residents of Jasper Lane was a bit like peeking into the windows of a museum for the artfully deranged, and the scrim of Eric Arvin’s screwball suburbia is in the curb appeal that has nothing to do with manicured lawns and gingerbread trim, and everything to do with the mad-scape of the people whose secrets and lies and wondrous proclivities make me want to settle there and fill my lawn with pink flamingoes and ceramic gnomes, and host my own parties that will become legendary in the annals of debauchery and depravity.

Subsurdity is a block-party sitcom where the morality is policed by Melinda Gold and her mother, a harpy of an old woman whose only redeeming feature is the comedic gas-mine of her chronic fart problem. Eric Arvin skewers the illusion of the perfect suburban neighborhood with a voyeur’s eye view of exactly what goes on behind closed doors on Jasper Lane, where Cassie Bloom holds court and hosts gay porn parties, where out of work husband and expectant father, Steve Jones, becomes a gay-for-pay porn star—and suddenly keeping-up-with-the-Joneses takes on a whole new meaning. It’s the place Gayhound the homosexual dog calls home; where “Better Homes & Gardens” meets “Murder Most Likely”; where “good Christian” is an oxymoron of biblical proportions that threatens to strangle the very life out of seventeen-year-old Patrick Gold; where nothing spells humiliation like your tongue stud getting stuck in the UPS guy’s Prince Albert—for all your neighbors to witness—and where, amidst all the absurdity, a lovely little romance blooms between Rick Cooper and James Tucker. That is, if James can find the strength to come out of the closet.

Folks, Subsurdity ain’t your mama’s daytime soap opera, that’s for sure. It takes the monochromatic suburban life and transforms it into an in-living-color satire where the characters put the “fun” in dys-fun-ctional, and I’d gladly turn off my Kindle and tune into that fun, if only to gawk and wonder why my life is such an utter snooze.

Eric Arvin is a GayRomLit participant (and fellow Hoosier. :-D). You can visit Eric’s blog HERE.

Buy Subsurdity HERE.

Eden Winters

GayRomLit Contest Kick-Off – Win a copy of Diversion by Eden Winters!!!

It’s FREE FICTION FRIDAY, which means that one lucky person is going to be eligible to win Diversion, the story of an ex-con who chooses the right side of the law over eight more years in prison. Check out the blurb:

Drug dealers aren’t always on the streets; sometimes they sit in offices and board rooms, selling merchandise in official looking bottles instead of little cellophane bags.

When given a choice between eight more years in prison or using his “expertise” to assist the Southeastern Narcotics Bureau’s Department of Diversion Prevention and Control, convicted drug trafficker Richmond “Lucky” Lucklighter takes the sentence with the illusion of freedom. Cynical and unwilling to admit he’s begun to care about his job, he counts the days until his debt is paid. His sole obstacle to getting his life back is the rookie he’s assigned to train before he leaves; a rookie who quotes pharmacy texts, hasn’t paid his dues, and has the obnoxious tendency of seeing the good in everyone – including the target of their investigation.

Former Marine Bo Schollenberger dreamed of becoming a pharmacist and watched the dream turn into a nightmare of PTSD-fueled prescription drug abuse. Battling his demons daily, he wakes up every morning, wondering, “Will this be the day I give in?” To keep his license, he must now put his skills to use for a diversion control task force, deal with a crude partner with too much attitude and no brain-to-mouth filter, and take down a drug lord who reminds him of his favorite cooking show hostess.

The bad guys don’t stand a chance — if Lucky and Bo don’t strangle each other first…

Now, all you need to do for a chance to win your choice of a print or e-copy of the book is leave a comment on this post; it’s that easy. Please be sure to include your email address in your comment so we know how to reach you!

And be sure to watch for the sequel, Collusion, coming in the Spring of 2013!

**One winner will be chosen at random and contacted by Eden Winters. Contest Deadline is 11:59pm Pacific/2:59am Eastern, Tuesday, September 25, 2012**

Brita Addams, Dreamspinner Press

For Men Like Us by Brita Addams

“’Tis very true, my grief lies all within;
And these external manners of laments
Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
That swells with silence in the tortured soul.”
– William Shakespeare

The casualties of war are not only the poor and unfortunate souls whose lives bleed out on the battlefield. There are times that death would seem a welcome peace when compared to the far more insidious torment of the memories that can bury a man under the weight of his conscience until there is nothing left for him to do but to try to atone for the sin of his self-preservation.

Benjamin Wilmot paid a horrific price in battle, not for the cause of King and country but for the cause of his feelings for another man. He was offered the choice between two savage evils, and the course he chose was one for which he suffers the travelling, both body and soul. It is a path that now has led him to the back alleys of Cheapside, where Preston Meacham sells himself for the sake of survival. It is the place that for Ben, who had no intention of engaging in anything but honesty and penance with Pres, falls in love with the man for whom Ben can mean nothing but sorrow and condemnation.

They say confession is good for the soul, but how can it be good when the confessor and the crime are mutually exclusive? How can a man be absolved of his sins when the sin is not a mark upon his own soul, but another’s? Those are the questions at the heart of Ben and Pres’s conflict, and they were, at times, a moving and motivating factor in my love for this book, a story about repairing the past and reclaiming the truth.

Brita Addams’ Regency romance, For Men Like Us, is an erotic journey of pleasure and punishment, of hurt and healing. It is the story of two men whose lives are entangled by horror and secrets and lust and passion, and whose bond is tested by suffering and sacrifice.

Desire and despair, damnation and deliverance set the perfect tone for the novel, in a time when, for men like Ben and Pres, love held the very real threat of death. It is where condemnation ends and compassion begins, where mercy and forgiveness transform, and a happy ending is the reward to the reader who can endure the pain along the way.

Brita Addams is a GayRomLit participating author. To learn more about Brita, visit her blog HERE.

Buy For Men Like Us HERE.

Charlie Cochet, Torquere Press

Small Gems – In His Corner by Charlie Cochet

“You cannot love a thing without wanting to fight for it. You cannot fight without something to fight for.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

Five years ago, Eli Mayhew’s heart was broken by Jessie “The Demon” Dalton, former Heavyweight Boxing Champion, and the older man Eli loved…still loves, if the truth be told. But things were not meant to be at a time when Jessie was at the lowest point of his life and his career in the ring was going down for the count. Jessie made sure Eli left “for his own” good, but what’s good is entirely questionable when what’s worse is the misery of being apart.

Eli’s Uncle Jasper is looking for a new cornerman for Jessie, whose career is little more than a pale shadow of his former glory days. Jessie hasn’t had much worth fighting for since Eli left, but Eli’s back and has jumped at the chance to become the man Jessie needs, and still wants, in his corner. Jessie merely needs to found the courage and confidence to reach out and take what he wants.

In His Corner is Charlie Cochet’s contribution to Torquere Press’s Charity Sip Blitz. It is a supremely sweet short story of faith, hope, and a second chance at love, set in the 1920s. The setting and language reflect the decade perfectly, and the storytelling is dependably charming, as I’ve come to expect from this author, whose heroes are always men I want to spend more time with.

Charlie Cochet is a GayRomLit participant. If you’d like to get to know Charlie better, you can find out more about her HERE.

Buy In His Corner HERE.

Amy Lane, Eden Winters, Piper Vaughn, Ramblings, Rhys Ford, Xara X. Xanakas

Countdown To GayRomLit 2012

In exactly one month from today, I’ll be heading to the Indianapolis airport at the bootie-crack of dawn to catch a flight to Albuquerque for the second annual GayRomLit convention, Desire in the Desert. I’ll be showing up at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino with my roomie, Rhys Ford, and a heaping helping of fangirl squee to be spread around equally, guaranteed. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to be going—check out the list of attendees HERE, and you’ll see why.

Between now and the time I leave on October 18th, I’m going to concentrate all my efforts on reading books written by the authors who’ll be attending the retreat. I wish I could say that I was going to read at least one book by every author showing up this year, but that’d be humanly impossible. In spite of my mad reading obsession, I do need some sleep in order to function. But in celebration, I’m going to be hosting some GREAT GIVEAWAYS from some of the authors who’ll be there, including Rhys Ford, Piper Vaughn & Xara X. Xanakas, Amy Lane, and Eden Winters just to name a few, so make sure to stay tuned in.

Trust me when I tell you that for me, this is like the holy grail of fandom. I am going to make every effort to conduct myself with at least a modicum of dignity, but I’m making no promises. As long as I don’t get maced or no one calls hotel security on me, it’ll all be good.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.