May 26, 2016
Hi, I’m Julie Hayes, long-time Dreamspinner author, here to talk about my new novella, Bad Dogs and Drag Queens, first book in my Rose and Thorne series.
Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners —on and off the clock. They’re federal undercover agents, and they met when they were first assigned to one another. It wasn’t exactly a match made in heaven, but five years later, they are very much in love and very together.
They work primarily in the southeastern part of the country, but have traveled as far as LA (don’t remind Vinnie, he’s still steaming about that!). They have a government-paid apartment in Richmond, Virginia, and life is good.
Vinnie and Ethan come from different backgrounds, but that doesn’t matter. They’re totally devoted to one another. Vinnie might come off as a little insecure, and a whole lot mouthy, but he’d protect Ethan with his life. And ditto for Ethan, who is a very laid-back, very gallant and sweet guy. They fit together perfectly. Now. In the beginning… now that’s another story.
Vinnie and Ethan are sent to Roanoke to help out with a mugging problem and end up with more than they bargained for. After that, they’re assigned to go undercover in one of the biggest gay bars in Roanoke to find out who’s harassing patrons and employees. It seems inevitable that Vinnie will end up in a dress!
I originally introduced these two in a 500 word flash that I posted on FB, a story so short they didn’t have names. I thought that would be the end, but my good friend Chris T. Kat said she’d like to know more about them. And suddenly, Vinnie and Ethan were born! I am very grateful to Chris for that!
Have you ever had a romance that began in the workplace? I’ve met both my husbands that way. Not exactly a stirring commendation lol If you did, how did it work out for you? Would you recommend it or advise against it? Leave a comment below and I will pick a winner (in 3 days), and that winner will receive their choice of books from my backlist.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Julie Lynn Hayes
Check out Bad Dogs and Drag Queens today!
Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners—on and off the clock. Federal undercover detectives, they’re part of a covert task force designed to promote goodwill between the feds and local authorities. They lend an unobtrusive helping hand wherever it’s needed. No credit required.
Vinnie and Ethan work primarily in the Southeast region of the United States and live together in Richmond, Virginia. A mugger problem brings them to Roanoke, where Vinnie is thrown out as bait to catch the man who’s been snatching purses in a city park, but they end up with more than they bargained for. Why is Vinnie always the one who has to wear the dress? Ethan says it’s because Vinnie looks much prettier in a skirt. How can he argue with that?
Expecting to return to Richmond afterward, Vinnie and Ethan find themselves assigned a new case instead. They are to go undercover at The Stroll, one of the biggest gay nightclubs in Roanoke. Someone is terrorizing both the customers and the performers. Could they be dealing with a hate crime? Someone has to protect the drag queens of Roanoke, so it’s Vinnie and Ethan to the rescue!
The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.
May 25, 2016
My name is Asta Idonea and this is my first time on the Dreamspinner Press blog, so let me commence with a brief introduction for those who’ve not yet “met” me.
I’m an English-born writer who now lives in Australia. I started writing professionally in 2011 under my mainstream pen name Nicki J. Markus, and in 2014, I branched out into MM, using the alternate pen name Asta Idonea. I work as a freelance editor, and when I’m not busy with that or my own writing, I love going to the theatre and cinema, playing and listening to music, sketching, learning foreign languages, writing to my many pen pals, researching history, mythology, and folklore, and (of course) reading.
Today, I am here to promote Fire Up My Heart, my first standalone release from Dreamspinner Press. This sci-fi novella focuses on a young man named Fane who finds an abandoned service Bot and takes it home. But there’s something unusual about Jo-E, and when Fane finds himself increasingly drawn to the Bot, he must make a difficult decision.
Like many of my story ideas, this one came to me at night. My mind often wanders while I’m waiting to fall asleep, and this story was born from a thought I had during that time. I’d watched some robot-based sci-fi a few days prior, and Fire Up My Heart developed into my personal spin on the theme.
Although I’m not a huge sci-fi reader when it comes to alien worlds and starships, I do enjoy speculative fiction that questions future technology. With new gadgets and gizmos invented every year, I love to consider what else the future will hold and how it will impact our everyday lives. Already technology invades so many things we do, and humanoid robots are certainly on the horizon. When that day comes, I wonder at the ways in which we’ll employ them and the different types of human–robot relationships that might be possible, and that is one of the principal themes in Fire Up My Heart.
Twenty-sixteen is shaping up to be a busy year for me writing-wise with seven new releases already out, two more coming in June, and a number of additional works currently under consideration. Right now, I am working on several projects: three MM short stories for anthology calls closing soon, two MM novellas (one contemporary and one paranormal), a paranormal MF novella, and a Steampunk MF short novel. I often do have a selection of manuscripts in progress at the same time. It suits me to work that way since, if I find I am not in the right mood to continue with one, I can switch to another for the day. Once the first draft is complete, it also means I can set it aside while I work on something else and then return to it with fresh eyes, ready to edit and redraft. So far, I am lucky in that I never run out of story ideas—only time in which to write them. I guess I need a new form of technology to help me draft and edit double-time!
On that note, I’d like to open the floor to comments. If you could have a robot capable of performing any task for you, which task would you choose and why? Let’s try to keep it clean, guys; otherwise, do give your imaginations a workout and be inventive. I will randomly select one commenter to win a copy of my previous Dreamspinner Press release, the contemporary MM short story Northern Lights.
If anyone has any questions for me, please comment below. I’ll be checking this post during the next few days and will do my best to answer them all. Readers and fellow authors are also always welcome to connect with me on social media.
Check out Fire Up My Heart today!
London bartender Fane thinks he’s hit the jackpot when he finds a rare and expensive service Bot discarded in a dumpster, and he takes it home to get it working again. The Jo-E brings some much-needed companionship to Fane’s lonely life, but there’s something different about this Bot, as indicated by its odd behavior. Fane’s developing feelings toward Jo-E trouble him, and things go from bad to worse when a robotics engineer arrives on Fane’s doorstep, demanding the return of his property. Fane is forced to choose between a hefty reward and following his heart. Giving in to his forbidden desires might get him killed—or change his life forever.
Chat with Asta Idonea!
Amazon Author US: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO
Amazon Author UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO
May 18, 2016
I’m S.A. Ozment and I want to introduce my new novella that will be released by DSP on May 18th. It tells the story of a young guy, “Ashley Stevens”, who is an ER nurse by day and a fan boy by night. However, the only object of his affection is the smokin’ hot and extremely talented “Sebastian Gray”. One night while Ashley is online, Sebastian reaches out to Ashley and thanks him for a job well done. Ashley is in full blown “OMG, I’m talking to Sebastian Gray” and “I’ve drank an entire bottle of wine” mode and fumbles his way through the conversation. Things are going great until Sebastian makes it clear that he believes he is speaking to a “girl” named Ashley. After a minute of contemplating, Ashley decides to let Sebastian think what he wants as long as the conversation continues. A few months later the conversation is still continuing and Ashley still has not told Sebastian the truth out of fear of losing what he has gained with his long time idol, who is now his friend.
As a thank you, Sebastian surprises Ashley with a free airline ticket to NYC to attend a fan gathering and then they can enjoy the city together. Ashley tries to get out of the meeting but Sebastian is not taking no for an answer. Ashley gives in and says yes, knowing that he will have to come clean. I won’t say how the meeting goes but let’s just say Ashley is not the only one keeping secrets.
I originally wrote this story as a submission for the “Star Struck” Anthology. However, to tell the story, it was over the amount of words needed. Therefore, I submitted to DSP as a novella. The story idea came to me while watching the television show “Catfish”. I thought about how I could have two characters innocently catfish each other and still have a happy ending. I didn’t want a mean spirited catfish story, just a sweet story where the two men didn’t set out to catfish each other, it just kind of happens. With those thoughts in mind, “Tangled Web” was born.
Have you ever been infatuated with a celebrity and finally had the opportunity to meet them? Is there a celebrity that you would love to be real friends with? Leave a comment below and tell me your story. I will pick one winner (in 3 days) and will send you a copy of my first book, “Illusions” by PDF format.
Hope to hear from you all!
Check out Tangled Web today!
By day Ashley Stevens is a dedicated nurse; by night he runs multiple social media sites for his crush and all-time favorite actor, Sebastian Gray. After a particularly grueling day at work, Ashley drinks away his misery while dreaming about being with Sebastian—only to realize it’s no dream when Sebastian actually contacts him.
Sebastian asks him to officially run his sites and Ashley is thrilled—right up until Sebastian makes it clear that he thinks Ashley is a girl. And maybe it’s the wine, or maybe it’s a fear that if Sebastian knew the truth, he wouldn’t want him, but Ashley never sets him straight. But keeping the secret becomes a nightmare as Ashley and Sebastian talk online night after night, forging a true connection. And the longer Ashley waits to tell the truth, the more tangled the lies become.
A plane ticket from Sebastian along with an invitation to meet in New York City for a fan event brings it all to a head. Ashley must face Sebastian and tell all, but he might not be the only one keeping secrets.
May 17, 2016
Hi, Dreamspinners! I’m Kate McMurray, author of Out in the Field, a romance between Matt Blanco, a legendary MLB baseball player at the end of his career, and Iggy Rodriguez, a promising rookie player whose star is on the rise.
Those who know me are probably aware that I’m a big baseball fan. Before I wrote Out in the Field, I had long thought that the world needed more romance novels with baseball players. The idea for the book came out of that; I thought the world needed a gay baseball romance, and since I couldn’t find one, I wrote it.
It took me almost a year to write the first edition of the novel. I had to do a ton of research, but not all of it was typical. For example, I wanted to get the cadence of how sportscasters and fans talk about the sport, so I listened to a lot of baseball podcasts. There’s a range of these. A few professional sports journalists do podcasts where they talk about the ins-and-outs of the sport in exhausting detail. There’s also a podcast done by the guys who run a blog about my beloved Yankees, in which they discuss the ins-and-outs of the Yankees in exhausting detail. But that’s good; aside from the fact I find wonky baseball talk really enjoyable, it helped me gain some perspective on what the characters in Out in the Field would care about, what their discussions with each other about the sport might sound like.
I wrote whole sections of the book while parked in my living room with a baseball game on in the background. I think the ambient noise of that helped; it was easy to imagine standing in a stadium with the roar of the crowd around me, or to think about the level of concentration it would take to drown out all that noise. (I mean, have you ever been to a baseball game? It gets LOUD in the stadium.)
I pulled in current events. I remember writing one morning when I saw a news story about fans yelling homophobic slurs during a Yankees game. (If I remember correctly, the fans changed the lyrics of “YMCA” to something like, “You are so gay!”) That’s been an ugly element of the game and its fandom for as long as I’ve been a fan. I’m happy to say that Major League Baseball is cracking down on that sort of thing—shouting a homophobic slur at a player is a good way to get yourself escorted out of the stadium now—but it wasn’t very long ago that this was commonplace.
And then you have the players themselves. I will admit, Matt Blanco is modeled after Derek Jeter a little bit. I’ve been following the Yankees with fanatical devotion since the early ‘90s, so I witnessed nearly all of Jeter’s career from rookie to being the Captain. He’s one of those players that even non-Yankees fans admire. That’s what I wanted Matt Blanco to be—the sort of player everybody likes, who is clearly Hall-of-Fame bound, but whose career is waning. Iggy is entirely a product of my imagination, however. I liked the idea of the contrast between Iggy’s shiny newness and Matt’s slightly more cynical view of the sports-industrial complex.
The first edition of the book came out in 2012, so I’ve been living with these characters a long time. It was fun to revisit them to revise the book for the second edition. I made a lot of updates to the book to reflect how opportunities for LGBT athletes have changed in the last 4+ years. I added some new scenes between Matt and Iggy that I think flesh out their relationship. I fixed some gaffes. (I sometimes get email from baseball fans pointing out tiny flubs. The sad thing is that it’s totally the sort of thing I would notice if I were reading baseball romance written by somebody else.)
So that’s some about the background behind the book. I do hope this new edition has something for both fans of the book and new readers to like.
I’d like to give away a book from my backlist—and if you’re a sports fan, may I recommend The Windup?—so I’ll pick a random winner from the comments. Tell me below if you have a favorite sports romance, sports movie, or just a favorite sport. (Or all of the above.) You have until midnight on 5/20 to let me know, then I’ll pick a winner.
Check out Out in the Field today!
Matt Blanco is a legend on the Brooklyn Eagles, but time and injuries have taken their toll. With his career nearing its end, he’s almost made it to retirement without anyone learning his biggest secret: he’s gay in a profession not particularly known for its tolerance.
Iggy Rodriquez is the hot new rookie in town, landing a position in the starting lineup of the team of his dreams and playing alongside his idol, Matt Blanco. Iggy doesn’t think it can get any better, until an unexpected encounter in the locker room with Matt proves him wrong.
A relationship—and everything it could reveal—has never been in the cards for Matt, but Iggy has him rethinking his priorities. They fall hard for each other, struggling to make it through trades, endorsement deals, and the threat of retirement. Ultimately they will be faced with a choice: love or baseball?
Kate McMurray is an award-winning romance author and an unabashed romance fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. She has served as President of Rainbow Romance Writers and is currently the president of the New York City chapter of RWA. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
May 12, 2016
Welcome to the Dreamers’ Destiny Blog Tour. I want to begin with special thanks to Dreamspinner Press Blog for welcoming me today. I hope you’ll follow the entire tour. There are plenty of chances to win a signed paperback copy from my backlist, $25 at Dreamspinner Press, an audiobook of either Designs of Desire or Caged Sanctuary, and more!
Each tour stop will feature an excerpt along with some question that relates to the post. Check the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to enter your answer to the question. A few stops will have special (additional) giveaways as well, so make sure you check out the whole post!
Today stop is actually the third along out tour (click HERE to find the full tour listing). Now, let’s see what our guys are up to today….
People don’t just materialize into reality simply because you want them to so desperately that waking up breaks your heart.
This isn’t only the tagline for Dreamers’ Destiny, but it pretty much sums up the whole of Liam’s reality at the start of the story. As you can see from the blurb (so nope, it’s not a spoiler, lol), each man believes the other to be just a dream construct. A dream lover and nothing more. HA! Silly boys!
How would you go about dealing with having a dream lover that it’s not the EDJ (evil day job) that makes you want to do vile and probably illegal things to your alarm clock over, but the fact that your lover will poof into wherever he goes when you wake. Oh, and you never know if he’ll be there again that night or if it might not be m o n t h s before you “see” him again.
Liam is about at his wits end with this—especially given how long he’s had/not had Cameron. But when he thinks he sees Cam in the waking world, how can he reconcile that? How would you? How would you deal with someone you knew only existed in your dreams walking right past you, or up to you? I’m not so sure I’d take that too well, LOL.
Cam doesn’t do so well either, as you can see below….
Liam walked beside Cam, noting every nuance of the man he’d been with most of his life, even if they’d never met while awake before. He was entranced with how Cam moved. He thought of the way Cam had spoken using his hands to emphasize and punctuate his voice when they were inside the tattoo shop, and even the little sidestep to separate them didn’t surprise or bother Liam any. Liam had expected it, truthfully, but he’d needed to feel Cam, to know he wasn’t imagining all this, either—that fleeting touch in the tattoo shop hadn’t been nearly enough.
Working with Nosha the last couple of weeks had been interesting, and he’d started to believe Cam might be real. However, seeing and touching Cam was very different from trying to willfully take control of his dreams or debating Cameron’s possible existence. And touching him? Liam suppressed a shiver as he opened the door for Cam to enter the little coffee shop.
“Thanks,” Cam murmured. “You always do things like this in the dreams too,” he added so softly Liam almost missed it.
Liam smiled, hoping Cam could adjust to this new knowledge and glad he’d noticed how Liam acted both in their dreams and now.
Thankfully, it wasn’t busy right then, so they got their coffees and were seated at the farthest table from the other patrons in a few minutes. Liam waited, watching Cam as he fidgeted with his cup, steadfastly refusing to meet Liam’s eyes.
Liam cleared his throat and asked, “Will you look at me, please?”
Cam raised his head slowly before finally meeting his gaze. “I don’t understand how you’re here. You’re supposed to only exist in my head. Well, in my dreams, anyway.”
Liam chuckled, thinking of how he’d made the same argument with Di and Nosha not that long ago about his seeing Cam at the club. “I’m still not entirely certain how all this works, but I’m quite real. As are you, it seems.”
The silver eyes before him flashed a moment before Cam snorted softly, then smiled, almost. “Why don’t you seem more, I don’t know, upset? I mean, this should be just as much of a shock for you as it is for me. Or do you go around invading people’s dreams and doing all those things with others you do with me all the time?”
He blinked hard as he thought about what to say and which questions to even answer.
by Tempeste O’Riley
M/M Erotic Contemporary, Occult/Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Release Date: May 13, 2016 (ebook/print)
Length: Novel / 200 pages
Add to: Goodreads
Liam Grady is the owner of the Feathered Quill, a quirky little bookstore in Asheville, and—though he doesn’t realize it yet—a dream walker. His last relationship failed almost a year ago, and he’s not had the interest or nerve to pursue anyone he’s met since.
Cameron Danu is a tattoo artist from rural Georgia. Cameron is left without a job after his boss, Jose, is forced to close the shop after a heart attack. When Cameron learns Jose has set up an interview for him at a small tattoo parlor in Asheville, he hopes for a fresh start in a new town.
Fate brings Cameron and Liam together, and they realize they’ve met before—in their dreams. A chance encounter and a winged tattoo might lead them to their destiny—if fear doesn’t turn their dreams into a nightmare.
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
Other Works by Author:
Designs of Desire – Simple Desires*+ – Bound by Desire* – Desires’ Guardian –
Temptations of Desire – Truth in Lace* – Desires’ Pride* – Signs of Desire
Micah’s Medicine+ – Caged Sanctuary – Whiskers of a Chance
*shorts in series +shorts in anthologies
(click HERE to find the full tour listing)
About the Author:
Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.
Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. They has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life—especially now that they have joined the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence® (as Novice Sister Eroti-Quill… can’t imagine where that name came from).
Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit http://tempesteoriley.com.
May 11, 2016
I can’t tell you what a thrill it is to be a part of the Dreamspinner team. My name is Jake Wells and my second novel, “Sometimes Love Lasts” is slated to hit the shelves on May 13th.
I’m over the moon excited about its upcoming release but I have to let you all in on a little secret. I’m kind of a fraud. Well, maybe not a complete fraud. I really am doctor; I’m just not really an author. The sad truth is that while I may know a fair bit about medicine, I really don’t know anything about writing. You may then be asking yourselves how it is that I’ve ended up getting two books published. I guess it’s because though I’m not an author, I am a storyteller. Let me clarify. I don’t actually spend a lot of time telling stories; they’re just forever running around in my head. When I’m exercising for example, and am trying desperately to divert my attention away from the seconds ticking by on the Stairmaster’s clock, I distract myself by imagining a story.
That’s exactly how “Sometimes Love Lasts” came into existence. I had spent the evening before at a fundraiser for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s homeless youth project. Good times were certainly enjoyed by all and the festivities were bolstered by an amazing selection of delicious food and liquor. Regrettably, I consumed way too many crab cakes and, to add insult to injury, washed them down with berry mojitos. Because my hangover chastised me for most of the next morning, by late afternoon I felt obligated to compensate for my indulgence by committing to a grueling workout.
With my noise cancelling headphones secured over my ears, I keyed in a challenging level of difficulty into the control panel on the Stairmaster and promised myself that I wouldn’t even consider dismounting until I had surpassed the machines four mile mark. Three minutes into it I found myself wanting to die. It took all my fortitude to try to steady my breathing, to concentrate on the music and to let my mind go blank. Forget that my oxygen starved lungs were burning a hole through my chest and that my legs were screaming in agony. I had to complete my goal.
Slowly, as the endorphins kicked in and I was at least partially able to start ignoring the pain, my thoughts drifted back to some of the speeches that had been given at the previous night’s fundraiser. My exercise induced euphoria gave way to me beginning to consider the problem of homeless gay youth.
Homelessness was kind of a foreign concept to me. Certainly, I had spent some of my youth struggling with coming to terms with my sexuality but my childhood had been mostly idyllic. My parents loved me. Even though I had grown up in a small community where homosexuality was considered an abomination, I never imagined for a second my parents would disown me were they to suspect I was gay. The possibility of being kicked out into the streets was unfathomable.
But, what if I hadn’t been so lucky? What if my parents had been bigoted homophobes and I had found myself tossed out like yesterday’s garage. How would my life have been different? How would I have survived? What would have become of me?
The next thirty minutes on the Stairmaster passed in the blink of an eye and somewhere in the process Rone’s whole life story became trapped in my head. Now, it was just a matter of spending the next several months putting it to paper.
Borrowing from my book’s blurb:
For Rone Forrester, life as a high school student is a roller coaster ride. Though he’s intelligent, good-looking, and athletic, true happiness eludes him. He’s lost his mother to cancer, his hypercritical father is a tyrant, and he spends most of his free time taking care of his little brother, Eli. And to make matters worse, Rone begins to have romantic feelings for his best friend, Carson Harrington.
When Rone is inadvertently outed, his life swirls into turmoil. His father’s homophobia and Rone’s embarrassment at the thought of facing Carson force him to flee to Los Angeles, where he hopes to find a safe haven. Instead, he quickly learns that every moment is dangerous for a homeless teenager. As time passes, Rone navigates through multiple challenges, makes friends who love him for who he is, works hard to achieve his goal of becoming a pediatric surgeon—with all its inherent triumphs and tragedies—and overcomes a failed relationship. Ultimately, his journey teaches him that in order to fulfill his dreams, he has to come to terms with his past.
At the risk of sounding like an overly enthusiastic teen, it would be “awesome” if you would consider reading “Sometimes Love Lasts”. If you need additional incentive, let me take this opportunity to share with you the fact that all the royalties from my book’s sales will be donated to the Homeless Youth Project at the Los Angeles LGBT Center. I feel like I have led a very privileged life and being able to make this donation gives me a chance to play some of my good fortune forward.
Perhaps you would consider joining me in this endeavor.
Far too often, school and home are two of the most dangerous places for our LGBT youth. They are twice as likely to be physically attacked, kicked, or shoved at school; 28 percent of LGBT youth drop out of school because of harassment. After coming out or being discovered, many of our LGBT youth are mistreated or thrown out of their homes. Tragically, fleeing the trauma suffered at the hands of classmates and parents means choosing an even more dangerous option for survival: life on the streets. A staggering 40 percent of the 6,000 homeless youth (ages 24 and younger) on the streets of Los Angeles every night identify as LGBT.
No other organization offers a wider range of programs and services to help LGBT youth build lives that are healthy, equal, and complete. The Los Angeles LGBT Center is an entry point for youth making the transition from the streets to independent living. Its school and community outreach programs help create safe and affirming spaces for young people to thrive.
The Los Angeles LGBT Youth Center on Highland—open seven days a week—offers a place to stay for a night or up to 30 nights, three meals/day, clothing and support groups. Youth can also access a charter high school; GED and college prep program; and an employment preparation, training and placement program. The Center exists to provide whatever support youth need to get off the streets.
In addition, the Center offers medical care, counseling, a 24-bed Transitional Living Program (TLP) where youth can stay for up to 18 months, and affordable apartments for the youth who graduate from TLP. More than 90% of youth exiting the TLP have secured stable housing, and employment and/or scholarships to post-secondary institutions that enable them to live independently. It also offers all LGBT youth (ages 24 and younger) the help they need to achieve their full potential through the Center’s LifeWorks program, which provides one-on-one mentoring; a charter high school for LGBT youth who don’t feel safe or comfortable in traditional schools; college and trade school scholarships, workshops, social activities; and the world’s largest free conference for LGBT young people (Models of Pride).
Thousands of LGBT youth in Los Angeles are in desperate need of our help. They are young, disenfranchised, frightened and without resources. The Los Angeles LGBT Center is doing important and vital work on behalf of these youth but their programs depend on the generosity of donors to exist. If you would like to join me in supporting Youth Services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, please consider making a tax deductible donation directly to them. This can be easily done by going to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s website. The Center has created a link associated with my name to ensure your donation is specifically directed to Youth Services.
Thank you for your consideration. Your generosity helps to save lives.
In the interest of concluding this article in the same “appreciating our good fortune” theme, let me propose a contest. In the comment section, post a practical “play it forward” idea. Suggest something each of us could do to make someone else’s life a little better? A gesture. A donation. A simple act of kindness. Something that would inspire each of us to say, “I could easily do that and the people affected would be made to feel happier!” Best suggestion wins a copy of my first book, “A White Coat Is My Closet”
Best wishes to all of you!
Check out Sometimes Love Lasts today!
About Jake Wells:
Jake Wells was born a dreamer. He dreamed of distant lands, of trying to make a difference in people’s lives, of falling in love, of writing a book, and of all things chocolate. Imagine how fortunate he feels to have seen most of his dreams come true. He’s adventured through the far corners of the world, has a successful career practicing medicine, and shares his life with an amazing partner. Though eating chocolate continues to play a prominent role in his dreams, the icing on the cake has been writing about falling in love in a world where equality is only beginning to be embraced.
When he’s not playing doctor, Jake can usually be found traipsing local hiking trails with his dogs near his West Coast home, in the kitchen trying to replicate some sumptuous dish he saw on one of the cooking channels, or sipping a glass of fine red wine with his friends.
May 9, 2016
Welcome to the What About Now book cruise (tour)! Thanks to Dreamspinner Press Blog for welcoming me today. I hope you’ll follow the entire tour. Lots of chances to win a signed paperback copy of What About Now, $10 at Dreamspinner Press or an audiobook copy of Choices!
Each cruise (tour) stop will feature an excerpt from the story related to where the characters were for that day. Check the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to enter your answer to the question related to the excerpt for the chance to win a backlist ebook for each stop.
Today stop is the second on our cruise and sees our couple in Honolulu, HI. Let’s see what the boys got up to…
“So… tell me about this mobile division. What do we make? What platforms?” He made sure to use the “we” deliberately to gauge Rafe’s reaction. He got what he’d been hoping for. Surprise, pleasure, a smile.
“Mostly Android right now. We have a couple of iOS titles, but very few. They’re a pain to develop for.”
Braden nodded. “Oh yeah.” He made a face that got Rafe to chuckle.
“We’ve got one MMO so far and a lot of the little casual games.”
“Huh. I’ll have to look at it.” Braden looked up again. “See if it’s good enough to have our name on it.”
Rafe raised an eyebrow and smirked. “Do let me know.”
The waitress returned then with their food.
As they started eating, Rafe glanced up. “Have you done any developing for mobile yet?”
With their plates clean, Braden studied Rafe’s face again, but it didn’t look much better. “I think maybe you should go back to the ship.”
Rafe frowned, then sighed as he signed the slip for the restaurant. Braden had tried to take it, but Rafe had beat him to it. He didn’t answer until they were back out on the beach. “Let’s walk up the beach for a bit and see. If I’m not better by the time we get up to the Hilton resort, I’ll go back.”
Braden pursed his lips but nodded. “Deal. What’s up there?” he asked as they turned right and wandered along the sand.
“In the book I’m reading, the main character is from here originally.”
Rafe nodded. “Yeah. And the resort up there is where they get married in the end.”
“Okay, that’s cool.”
“I thought so. Be kind of cool to see it in person. Google Maps only goes so far.”
Braden chuckled. “No doubt.”
They walked in silence, pausing now and again to take pictures of the water or the hotels, or to dodge other tourists. “I thought it would be farther,” Rafe said as they stopped at the end of the beach, next to the hotel, looking out over the water. “The beach isn’t as long as it looks on the map.”
“Google Maps lies,” Braden said, chuckling. “Is it like in the book?”
Rafe nodded. “More or less. She didn’t exactly describe it in excruciating detail. She’s not Tolkien.”
Braden laughed. “That’s good.” He looked Rafe over again, noting he didn’t look any better than when they’d left. “How are you feeling?”
Rafe frowned, rubbing at his temple. “Truth be told, it hurts like hell.”
“Let’s get you a cab and back onto the ship,” Braden said, glancing around.
“Fine,” Rafe grumbled as they walked toward the hotel proper.
It took longer than he would have liked, but Braden managed to get a cab and get Rafe loaded into it. He leaned in and kissed Rafe gently on the forehead. “I’m going to call Mom, pick up a few things, then I’ll be back. Can I come straight to your room?”
Rafe looked up and nodded. “Okay. I’m sorry. I didn’t want to miss Honolulu.”
“Shh.” Braden kissed him again. “We’ll come back. Go get rest. I’ll be there soon.”
Rafe gave him a funny look but nodded again. “Okay. See you soon.” With another kiss Braden closed the door, stood back, and watched the cab pull away from the curb. As soon as it was out of sight, he took out his phone and dialed as he started walking.
Thanks for reading! Remember to keep up with the whole cruise for a chance to win at each stop. And each entry will give you an opportunity to be entered to win one of the three big prizes!
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Five years ago, everything went wrong. Braden Kirk and Rafe Jessen’s long-term relationship started unraveling. They stopped talking, fears mounted, then Braden walked in on Rafe and another man, completely misreading the situation. Without giving Rafe a chance to explain, Braden walks out. Out of their home, their relationship, and the game development company they started together in college.
After months of therapy to deal with the attempted rape Braden walked in on, Rafe begins to understand that his dominant tendencies in the bedroom aren’t a bad thing and that Braden’s submission is likely what scared his partner into silence. But Rafe isn’t ready to let go of the man he loves more than life itself. He arranges for himself and Braden to end up on the same charity cruise, knowing Braden won’t let his phobia—terror of vast, deep waters—rule him.
With a plan and twenty-eight days, Rafe is determined to get Braden back, make him see there’s nothing wrong with being submissive, and find a way to get Braden to stay with him when they get home to LA.
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Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
Find Grace here:
April 30, 2016
Hello everyone, Jerry Sacher here to introduce myself and my newest release: Ocean of Secrets.
I’ve been interested in the Titanic and the people who sailed on board her since first grade, when I was first able to read A Night to Remember by Walter Lord; and for the longest time I wanted to write a Titanic novel of my own, a story of forbidden love on board the doomed ship. In Ocean of Secrets we meet Andrew Elliot, who is a first class passenger, and Matthew Ahearn, a third class steward.
Those were the days when men who loved other men where either imprisoned or forced into loveless marriages, which is exactly what brings our main character, Andrew, on board the Titanic. He is to visit America with his fiancee and her brother as chaperone. Everyone is impressed by the Titanic’s luxury and safety, but while he appreciates these things…. Well, I don’t want to give any spoilers here, so here’s a brief excerpt:
“Come on, jump and I’ll follow you!” Andrew shouted above the rumbling noise from all around them. Matthew held on to Andrew’s hand for a brief second, squeezing, as they gave each other silent encouragement. Then Matthew jumped.
Andrew watched him hit the water, which was now only a few feet below. He took a step off the edge of the deck and leaped. The water was bitterly cold, like a thousand knives being driven into his body. He could barely breathe, but he had to find Matthew. Andrew looked behind him as the lights blinked and went out and the ship towered above him in the darkness. People were jumping, splashing near him, crying out.
He thought he heard someone calling his name, so he swam toward the sound. He only got a few feet before he was showered with pieces of glass, wood, and scraps of metal and sparks; the screech of tortured steel drowned out all other noise, except the voice that persistently called his name.
An arm grabbed at Andrew and pulled him under, but he somehow managed to break free. He came up next to a collapsible boat with a handful of people huddled together inside watching the scene unfold in front of them. Andrew hung on to the side of the boat and followed their gaze.
The ship was breaking in half, sparks lighting up rooms laid bare, the two remaining funnels toppling over. He barely missed being whipped by a torn cable. The forward half of the ship plunged under the surface, sucking in ocean, people, and wreckage along with it. He felt the water pulling him backward, but strong arms grabbed him and drew him aboard the boat. He sat on the bottom and lay against another man’s body. Outlined in the darkness, he saw two men near him with boards, paddling the boat away from the ship. He looked from them back to the Titanic.
I hope you enjoyed that brief scene from Ocean of Secrets.
I was inspired to write Ocean of Secrets about two years ago when I read a book titled Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage, by Hugh Brewster. He gives a look into the privileged lives of the first class passengers on board the Titanic. In his book he introduces us to Frank D. Millet, a noted artist, whom you also meet in Ocean of Secrets. In a letter that he mailed to a friend from Queenstown (Cobh as it’s known today) he mentions “A queer lot of people”, and also that there were many of “Our kind of people” on board. He doesn’t name names, so they are lost forever; but another first class passenger named Archie Butt, the military advisor and friend to President Taft, was mentioned by Mr. Bewster as another gay man also in first class. He was devoted to his mother, he planned White House parties and other social functions, and he also had an eye for women’s fashion. (In a letter he goes into great detail about a female friend’s dress). It could be argued that those were just the times he lived in, when a man could be a mother’s boy without raising suspicion. We also meet him briefly in Ocean of Secrets.
Any information about them is lost to history; but in second class, a Mr. Fynney and his lover, a Mr. Gaskell, were also known to be on board. They were both lost in the sinking.
It was after reading Mr. Brewster’s book that I decided to write a novel about the Titanic. My original idea was to write about Archie Butt, the president’s advisor and friend. But like in any novel, the characters will want to tell their own story. So I set down a story about a romance between a first class passenger and a steward. Men from two different social backgrounds and experiences in those years before the Great War, when classes were segregated from one another, and loving anyone outside one’s own social circle was taboo.
Our main character, Andrew Elliot, is the son of a Scottish noble family. I have to admit that along with our other hero, Matthew Ahearn, he is one of my favorite characters. Like me, he’s bookish and sensitive, and he’s willing to sacrifice his own happiness to make others happy. Again, no spoilers here….
And now a word about the background of our villains: In the days of the great liners there were professional card players, and there were con-artists who worked in teams. A man and woman would be traveling together as brother and sister or a married couple. On the first day of the voyage they would befriend a man — of course, after finding out his financial and social situation from an obliging steward (they knew everyone’s business). Gradually, the woman would tell him tales or her cruel brother/husband/family, and appeal to him for help. He would be reluctant at first, but then she would show up at his cabin in tears/bruised, and the brother or husband would walk in and catch them. To avoid scandal they would oblige him to pay them for silence.
I really enjoy writing historic/romantic fiction. It involves a lot of research into customs, manners, language, and even music. During the writing of Ocean of Secrets, I listened to period music on a Victrola, which is another of my interests, to immerse myself in the 1912 frame of mind. The music is also available on Youtube, especially ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’.
Getting words and phrases correct was another issue. One of the words you will read in Ocean of Secrets is “Josser”, which is an Edwardian term for someone who is a fool/simpleton.
Now for a little about me: I currently live in Chicago with my husband Dean, and two rambunctious cats named Monty and Nicky. Perhaps an adopted child will be in our future. I’m interested in all things historical and collect books and antique phonographs. My favorite machine is a baby grand piano-shaped phonograph from the early 1920′s.
Ghosts and the paranormal are also other subjects that intrigue me. In Ocean of Secrets there are two ghost tales. One is told to Andrew by another passenger, and the second…. Well, again, no spoilers….
I have four other books available from Dreamspinner Press:
The Saint of San Francisco
The Rosary and the Badge
Fair In Love
I am definitely interested in writing another historic romance/fiction novel. Is there any time period/historic event you would like to see portrayed? Leave me a comment/question, and I’ll be happy to answer. The person with the best answer will receive an EBook of one my backlist titles!
Thanks for joining me for the release of Ocean of Secrets.
Check out Ocean of Secrets today!
Andrew Elliot, the son of a Scottish nobleman, is being sent to America, accompanied by his fiancée and her brother. But Andrew’s engagement is not a love match. His family insists that he marries to “cure” him of his feelings for the son of the caretaker on his father’s estate.
Matthew Ahearn leaves Ireland to pursue his dream of becoming a Texas cowboy. In London, a brush with the law almost derails his plans, but Matthew perseveres and lands a job as a third-class steward on a ship bound for America.
Andrew’s and Matthew’s worlds collide as they—and their secrets—are brought together in the magic of an ocean voyage, one that will never be forgotten.
The year is 1912, and they are about to board RMS Titanic….
April 29, 2016
Hi all! Charley Descoteaux here, to celebrate the release of the third book in my Buchanan House series, Tiny House! You might have read the first book, Buchanan House, and if so you’ve already met the heroes: Nathan and Paulie. If not, I’m giving away a free download of the audiobook so you can meet them! Stick around for the excerpt and find out how to enter.
One of the fun parts about writing a series is that I already know some of the characters, of not all of them. I’ve had the chance to hang out with them and get to know them during the writing process. Bringing a supporting character into a starring role and giving him his own HEA is like playing matchmaker for an old friend!
When I started Tiny House I knew Nathan fairly well but didn’t really know Paulie at all. Getting to know him was a lot of fun. At first I only saw him through Nathan and Eric’s eyes. They’ve all been friends for a long time, so that worked out well. But I don’t really get to know a character until I’ve written with their voice in my head so Paulie kept surprising me. Until one paragraph in Nathan’s POV.
Nathan drew his hand down Paulie’s arm and wove their fingers together. “Regardless of how it might look, your friends know you. I know you. So I know I don’t have to worry. I know you’re loyal to a fault. I know you say you love dance mixes, but your MP3 player is full of nineties music like Dave Matthews and Incubus. I know everyone called you PJ until your brother started calling you Paulie when you and his son were both little boys of seven, and I know the noises you make when you come.”
Part of my process when getting to know new characters is to find their music. I’d been searching for a soundtrack for Tiny House, music I could play to get in the right mood to write this story. I thought that would sound like the songs I’d danced to at the beginning of the 21 Century, but somehow it just didn’t feel right. As soon as Nathan told me what music Paulie really listened to, going back and filling in Paulie’s sections became much easier.
Here is my playlist for Tiny House, because it never would have come together without Paulie’s input.
Incubus Make Yourself
“When it Comes”
“I Miss You”
“Out From Under”
Dave Matthews Band Crash and Under the Table and Dreaming
I listened to these songs, in this order, over and over and over for the four months I lived in Nathan and Paulie’s heads. Which made it so easy to get into the right frame of mind for edits, or writing blog posts!
My mp3 player is filled with an eclectic mix of music (or maybe it only looks like it belongs to more than one person). I listen to Alice in Chains, Led Zeppelin, Vince Guaraldi, Metallica, Peter Frampton, Beethoven, Pearl Jam, Slipknot, and I have a list with my favorite jazz standards to soothe jangled nerves after an especially difficult day at work.
What music is on your iPod or mp3 player that would surprise your friends?
Spill, and you could win a free copy of the audiobook version of Buchanan House, the first book in this series!
While you’re thinking about how honest to be about your musical guilty pleasures, check out this excerpt from Tiny House. It’s not from the scene above because that’s too spoilery to share, but this one isn’t. This post was about Paulie so it seems fitting that the excerpt be from his point of view. He’s just finished helping Eric in the kitchen for a celebration at Buchanan House, and is ready for desert…
By the time Eric and Paulie finished the last of the evening’s work, Paulie had a nice buzz going. His thoughts had strayed to his own father whenever he’d had a free second, something which usually led to at least a drink or two. Paul Senior had been gone for nearly twenty years, but Paulie still missed him almost every day. He missed his kind and gentle nature and his quiet confidence as much as the way he’d seemed to have the answer to every question.
As he cleaned up, he smiled as a thought of his parents together came to the front of his mind. His father would enter the kitchen when Mom was working, wrap both arms around her waist, and ask if she’d been nipping into the cooking sherry. As far as Paulie knew, they’d never had any alcohol in the kitchen, so he eventually figured out that must’ve been some kind of code.
The lack of such codes in his own life weighted his shoulders, despite his overall good mood.
A sound startled Paulie from his memories, and he looked up to see Nathan, who was also nearing half drunk but still looked ravishing in his sixties-inspired outfit—orange pants with a subtle paisley print, topped with a simple blue silk shirt. Sometime during the evening he’d abandoned his shoes, and Paulie ached to run his foot alongside Nathan’s sand-smoothed arch.
“Have I told you lately how fabulous you are?” Nathan glided close to Paulie’s side and hugged him.
Paulie’s hands were wet, so he leaned into Nathan’s warmth for a moment.
Nathan held him out at arm’s length and grinned. His skin glowed with tan and with his buzz. Paulie knew the look in his eyes, even if he hadn’t seen it for a while. It made his heart race. “Tonight couldn’t have gone better. Everyone loved your mini s’mores desserts.”
“I’m glad. It was a fun party.”
Nathan’s flush crept from his cheeks, down his neck, and onto his chest.
Almost like when he’s coming.
“Let’s get out of here for a while.” Nathan grabbed his hand. They made it almost to the side door before he stopped. “Oh. Can you? I mean…. Can you?”
Paulie blinked. Between his fatigue (which didn’t bother him nearly as much as it had moments before) and Nathan’s special look aimed right at him….
“Or have you promised—”
“No. I can.”
Nathan’s posture relaxed immediately. He looked even more delicious than he had a moment before, and downright slinky as he cozied up to Paulie’s side. Nathan slipped an arm around his waist and applied gentle pressure to his lower back.
The door opened, and Paulie could only guess Nathan had opened it, because he couldn’t tear his eyes away from the triangle of bronze skin at Nathan’s throat, framed perfectly by the rich blue silk of his shirt. Paulie’s head practically spun with thoughts of the boathouse. Eric and Nathan hadn’t done anything with it yet—they’d been too busy to finalize a plan, let alone to turn Tim loose on it. As they slipped out the side door, Paulie remembered clearing a corner of the workbench so he could bend Nathan over it. Fucking Nathan while surrounded by the strangely charming scene of canoes, oars, and colorful antique glass floats hanging just below the ceiling, flashing colors around the dusty room, was one of his most revisited memories of the previous summer. It had been a long time ago, but the boathouse had seen enough action to become one of Paulie’s favorite places at the camp.
They’d only made it two steps across the porch when Paulie heard footsteps coming from the parking lot. The porch wrapped all the way around Buchanan House, but guests didn’t usually venture around the kitchen side. No reason for them to. There wasn’t really anything there, but the entire way around was well lit just in case. The crash of heavy footsteps came around the corner seconds before Paulie saw the men attached to it.
Nathan squealed in surprise and grabbed Paulie tighter.
The men didn’t notice them at first. They only had eyes for each other and seemed to be laughing about being lost. The pair stopped and pulled back a step when they first saw Nathan and Paulie, as though they expected trouble of some kind. Thankfully, they relaxed quickly. All four of them.
“Sorry, we’re looking for the beach. Where did it get off to?” The men leaned against each other and laughed.
Nathan kissed Paulie’s cheek and took a step away from him. His little smile held a big dose of regret, and Paulie nodded to accept his completely unneeded apology. “Let me show you.” Nathan waved them along. When Paulie turned to go back inside, Nathan took his hand and squeezed.
Paulie followed as Nathan led the couple around the building, down the wheelchair ramp, and through the backyard. Paulie hadn’t noticed the brick border separating the lawn from the flowerbed had been transformed into a path. He grinned, thinking about how little Nathan liked to wear shoes, despite the fact that he owned several dozen pairs. Paulie made a mental note to check out the new brick path in the light; in the dark backyard, lit with fairy lights and a few strategically placed solar yard lights, it made him think of a brick road a la The Wizard of Oz.
They’d almost reached the beach by then, and Nathan had started his story. The story he always told tipsy guests who wanted to go out to the beach. Especially at night. Nathan would remain with them until they came back off the beach, encouraging them to stay well away from the water. Nathan had told the story of how Eric had almost drowned to many guests with a daredevil bent. Since he left out the part about Tim saving him and the two of them falling madly in love, the story usually worked to keep drunken guests safe from the briny deep.
Thank you for reading!
If you’d like to read the whole story you can get your copy of Tiny House, Book #3 in the Buchanan House series, here:
Be sure and grab your free copy of Book #2 “Pride Weekend” here.
I have to keep the folks at the Evil Day Job happy but will be in and out as much as I can today, and throughout the weekend, to chat.
Random.org will choose a winner of the audiobook code for Buchanan House on Sunday evening (US Pacific Time). Have a great weekend!
Tiny House Blurb:
Pride weekend is over, but for Nathan Lucas, the summer is just heating up. He appears to have it all. He’s tall and blond, ripped and handsome, and half owner of Buchanan House, a successful gay retreat on Oregon’s beautiful central coast. But his joie de vivre hides a fear of abandonment. When he was twelve, his mother had triplets, and instead of the cherished only child, Nathan became a scapegoat for his exhausted parents, and he has never truly dealt with that pain.
Portland chef Paulie Nesbitt is head over heels in love with Nathan. They’ve been drinking buddies with benefits for years, while Paulie has not-so-secretly yearned for more. Paulie’s extra pounds and self-doubt have kept him from acting on his feelings. Their friends know they would make the perfect couple, but Nathan and Paulie will have to let go of past insecurities if they want a future together.
April 28, 2016
Hi, I’m S.C. Wynne and I wanted to talk about why I wrote Believing Rory.
“I guess I’m the stupid one for believing Rory.”
I woke up one morning with that line in my head. I don’t know where those words came from, but it started me thinking about all the things that might make a person say something like that. My brain went to suicide.
Suicide is ruthless. Suicide is brutal to those left behind.
But I think it’s sad that when someone commits suicide the natural result is every word they ever spoke and every promise they ever made comes into question. As if the only thing that mattered was their manner of death, not their life. Surely their life should mean far more?
The problem is suicide feels like a personal failure to those of us left behind. I think it’s our nature to think we could have done something to stop it. If we’d only been more loving, more alert. We take on the burden of that person’s death as if we actually were the ones who killed them.
My MC Lane struggles with all of these feelings when his best friend Rory takes his own life. He meets another friend of Rory’s, Baron, who is also devastated by Rory’s death. The two of them form an unlikely, romantic bond that was carefully orchestrated by Rory before his death.
I suppose by writing Believing Rory I wanted to show the struggle of those left behind, and perhaps reinforce that the way one dies can never erase who they were as a person.
Has your life been touched by suicide in any way? I’m willing to admit I had suicidal thoughts when I was younger. I’m thankful I never acted on them, but I remember those feelings very strongly. Did you ever suffer with depression or thoughts of harming yourself? Did anyone close to you struggle with suicidal thoughts?
Leave a comment and let’s discuss this sensitive topic. The two comments that resonate with me the most will win an ebook of their choice from my backlist.
Check out Believing Rory today!
Will Rory bring them together or stand between them?
Eighteen-year-old Lane Graham has always relied on his braver, more confident buddy, Rory. But Rory’s sudden suicide blindsides Lane and sends him into an emotional tailspin. How’s he supposed to start college in a few months feeling this damaged?
Baron MacDonald knew Rory from playing League of Legends together. He was always intrigued by Lane’s online presence, and Rory had promised to set them up. Now that Rory’s gone, Baron has to approach Lane on his own.
On the surface, Baron and Lane couldn’t seem more different. Baron is confident and serious, and Lane is guarded and uncertain. But it’s the pain beneath the flesh that binds these two souls together like barbed wire and cement.