The Renn Faire and the Importance of Setting in This Same Flower

June 13, 2014

Hello again! I’m Gus, back to promote my newest novel release, This Same Flower. Both this book and the previous book in the series, On Tinsel Wings, are set in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One of the most important locations in both books is the fictitious Allegheny Mountains Renaissance Faire.IMG_7706

I set these stories at a Renn Faire only partly to indulge my love history, weaponry, and elaborate period costume. More importantly, I needed to create for Patrick and Yu a safety zone, a place where they could be themselves and be accepted apart from their problems with their families. I spent many years living and working at Renn Faires, and there’s a very strong sense of family among the people who work, live, and travel together. Many people at Renn Faires are nerds who have a hard time fitting in elsewhere–god knows I was one–and they bond over finally having a place to belong. Life can be difficult for people like Patrick and Yu, and it can be difficult for anyone who is either gay, socially awkward, interested in things different from their peers, artistic, or just not adhering to what society dictates they should be. For Yu and Patrick, the Faire is a place where they can be themselves, and their unique talents gain them admiration from others instead of scorn. It’s where they make some of their best friends and staunchest allies.

Because of the abuse Patrick suffered at home, he spent most of his time as a teenager hiding and trying to be invisible. His friends at the Faire where the first people to encourage him to come out of his shell, and he discovered a love of performing that not only nurtured his sense of self-worth but allowed him to eventually make a good living as a drag performer.

For Yu, the Faire was a place to receive training in traditional methods of blacksmithing and weapon-making from his mentor, Wade. But on another level, Yu fit in at the Faire because he could surround himself with people who believed, as he did, that preserving such knowledge was valuable. To Yu’s parents, his desire to become a blacksmith and make swords and armor is a frivolous fantasy, but the people at the Faire view Yu as a talented artist.

I included the Faire and many of the people who live and work there because, even though they are in their twenties in this book, Patrick and Yu are still growing up, and growing up can be hard at the best of times. For people who are different, it can suck. My characters needed support, and they needed a safe bubble where they could be who they are, at least some of the time. I think this is something all young people need–a judgment-free zone and a place of support. For me, and for my characters, they Faire was and is a place to feel comfortable around like-minded people.

Any other Renn Faire goers out there? What’s your favorite thing about the Faire?

And if you don’t go to the Faire, what’s your happy place? Comic book conventions, books clubs, sports teams, gaming groups, volunteer organizations? Where’s the place you feel most free to be yourself?

Meet the Boys

June 13, 2014

Hi! Gus here again as the This Same Flower release day party continues. This Same Flower is a long book at 108K words, and so there’s a big cast of characters, all with their own stories and parts to play in the main plot. I thought you might like to meet the main couple though. Patrick and Yu met at the Renaissance Faire where they both work in On Tinsel Wings. They have been living together for two years, and while it hasn’t always been easy for them, they love each other and are ready to take the next step.

 

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Patrick Harford really doesn’t have any family beyond the alcoholic father who kicked him out and a mother who has started over and tries to forget he exists. What he does have, however, are two groups of very supportive friends: his coworkers at the Renaissance Faire and the drag sisters he performs with. Patrick is loyal and hard working. He thinks of other before himself, sometimes to his own detriment. While he was once shy and preferred to go unnoticed, Patrick has blossomed performing drag and at the Faire, and now he loves entertaining people. He’s creative and resourceful and makes all his own costumes and props.

 

 

 

 

 

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Yu Elion is Patrick’s boyfriend. He’s also estranged from his family because he dropped out of engineering school to follow his passion: forging weapons and armor using traditional methods. His parents were not pleases and withdrew their support, financially and otherwise. Yu worked hard to put himself through art school, which he is about to graduate at the start of This Same Flower. Yu works as a blacksmith and weaponsmith at the Faire, and while everyone agrees his work is superb, very few people are able to get close to him. Yu suffers from horrible social anxiety and hates being around large groups of people. He often has trouble expressing himself and picking up and subtle social clues. Many people think Yu is cold and aloof, but those who have become his friends know he’s generous and unselfish with his time and his affection. Yu is a little possessive and sometimes feels uncomfortable at how many guys admire Patrick when Patrick performs.

 

 

 

Are there any readers who have met these guys before?

What kind of MCs are your favorite in romance?

Do you like books about established couples, or do you prefer to read about guys falling in love for the first time?

This Same Flower

 

Release Day Party–This Same Flower by Augusta Li

June 13, 2014

Hello everybody and happy Friday! My name is Augusta Li or Gus. To celebrate the release of my novel, This Same Flower, I’ll be here on the blog for the next few hours with posts about the book, pictures, excerpts, giveaways, and discounts. Please feel free to leave comments or ask me anything you want to know!

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Sequel to On Tinsel Wings 

Two years after taking a leap of faith and moving in together, Patrick Harford and Yu Elion decide to make a lasting commitment. Yu will soon graduate art school, while Patrick continues to gain fame and financial stability performing as a drag queen. They want to take the next step on their journey together, but they disagree as to where their path should lead. Patrick longs to put down roots and make a home close to the friends who have supported him. But the realization of Yu’s lifelong dream lies on the other side of the world. Can Patrick leave his comfort zone and seize the day for the only man he’s ever loved? And what will that mean for his career, the friendships he depends on—and for the friends who depend on him?

Either Patrick or Yu will have to sacrifice his dream. But while they struggle to find a solution that will make them both happy, a friend’s cry for help removes Patrick’s options. With their future together sidetracked, he can only hope their love is strong enough to weather separation.

More here.

Branded release party: Giveaway winner!

June 1, 2014

Congratulations to Ashavan, who won the $10 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate from today’s giveaway! I’ll be emailing you to get  your Dreamspinner username so you can get started on that to-be-read pile with your DSP store credit.

And thanks to everyone else who stopped by to chat! I could talk about hurt/comfort all day, but my time here on the Dreamspinner blog is up. (Feel free to Tweet me any time, though! I’m always up for a hurt/comfort discussion! * g *)

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My next release will be Finding Home, which is available for preorder now. It’s the second book in the Dropping Anchor series, which is near and dear to my heart since it has a hefty amount of hurt/comfort in it.

In book one, Niall is adrift after the death of his longtime partner. He’s not looking for love when Ethan rolls into his life; in fact, he’s pretty hesitant to jump at the chance at happiness. Ethan becomes his anchor, helping him work through his grief and finally start living again. In book two, randy playboy Ian Mackay starts to tire of the no-strings-attached life he’s carved out for himself, and Niall helps him realize that it’s time to grow up and form some healthy commitments. His determination to turn over a new leaf coincides with meeting Luke, who is Ian’s polar opposite in many ways, and as their relationship develops Ian has to learn how to navigate life with actual responsibilities. Book three is in the works right now, and it focuses on Frank and Warner, who we meet in Finding Home, and their rocky journey to expand their family.

You can find an excerpt from chapter one of Finding Home on my website.

 

Buy Branded

Bru’s website

Follow Bru on Twitter

 

Branded release party: Which June release are you looking forward to the most?

June 1, 2014

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For anyone just joining us, I’m Bru Baker, and I’m here today talking about my latest release, Branded. It’s part of the Dreamspinner anthology Mended, which includes 30 different hurt/comfort stories.

As I said earlier, I’m a complete hurt/comfort junkie. When I saw the call for anthology submissions go out for Mended I jumped at the chance to write Branded, which was based on an idea that I’d been batting around for more than a year. Most of my works have some sort of hurt/comfort in them, but it’s usually firmly in the emotional angst category. I’d been shying away from writing Branded because of the graphic nature of the hurt in it, but Mended seemed like the perfect vehicle for it.

I’m eagerly awaiting each of the Mended releases this month, since I enjoy reading hurt/comfort almost as much as I enjoy writing it. I’m also pretty excited about Finding Home, the second book in my Dropping Anchor series, which comes out June 23.

What June Dreamspinner release are you looking forward to the most? This is your last chance to enter to win that $10 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate, so be sure to weigh in. Each comment on my Branded release party posts counts as an entry, so if you missed earlier questions be sure to go back and comment on them before 9 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, when I’ll be drawing the winner.

And while I’d be plenty flattered, you don’t win any extra entries by answering Branded or Finding Home. (Though you’d get a big smile from me!)

 

Buy Branded

Bru’s website

Follow Bru on Twitter

New Releases: May 30th, 2014

May 30, 2014

Bound by Desire by Tempeste O’Riley

 

Seth treats James with the trust and love his sub desires. There’s just one thing left to do: Seth needs to put a collar on James.

A Spin-off of Designs of Desire; Desires Entwined: Book 1.75

 

Despite his past abuse, James has come to terms with his relationship with his Dom and lover Seth. Seth treats James with all the trust and love his sub desires. There is only one thing left to do to make it all complete: Seth needs to put a collar on James.

 

Length: Free Short (20p.) | Genre: BDSM | Release Date: May 30, 2014

Buy as eBook ($0.00 ISBN: 978-1-63216-039-3)

 

 

 

A Fine Mingling by D.W. Marchwell

 

While working with the fire station house, Ben meets and falls for Alistair. Can Ben learn what it means to be accepted for who he is?

Benjamin “Big Ben” Forrester came from a wealthy family, went to the right schools, and had handsome men falling at his feet. But all Ben has ever wanted is a man to love him unconditionally. Being a firefighter won’t bring Ben fame or riches, so where will he find true love and acceptance?

 

Alistair McInnis lives with his older sister, Abigail, and her deaf son, Jared. Alistair left his job as an editor to take care of his nephew when Abigail divorced and enrolled in law school to provide a better future for Jared. But Abigail is falling in love with the policeman next door, and Jared won’t need Alistair forever.

 

While working with the station house to oversee the rebuilding of a play castle burned down by vandals, Ben meets and falls for Alistair. Can Ben learn what it means to be accepted for who he is? Can Alistair accept that life comes with no guarantees? They soon find happiness is a fine mingling of hanging on and letting go.

 

Length: Novel (214p.) | Genre:  Contemporary | Release Date: May 30, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-744-8) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-743-1)

 

 

 

The Silence of the Stars by Kate McMurray

 

When hiring a contractor to renovate his kitchen sends Sandy into Everett’s life, Everett is only too happy to accept the chaos.

A Spin-off of The Stars that Tremble

 

Sandy Sullivan has gotten so good at covering up his emotions, he’s waiting for someone to hand him an Oscar. On the outside, he’s a cheerful, funny guy, but his good humor is the only thing keeping awful memories from his army tours in Afghanistan at bay. Worse, Sandy is now adrift after breaking up with the only man who ever understood him, but who also wanted to fix him the way Sandy’s been fixing up his new house in Brooklyn.

 

Everett Blake seems to have everything: good looks, money, and talent to spare. He parlayed a successful career as a violinist into a teaching job at Manhattan’s elite Olcott School and until four months ago, he even had the perfect boyfriend. Now he’s on his own, trying to give his new apartment some personality, even if it is unkempt compared to the perfect home he shared with his ex.  When hiring a contractor to renovate his kitchen sends Sandy barreling into his life, Everett is only too happy to accept the chaos… until he realizes he’s in over his head.

 

Length: Novel (200p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: May 30, 2014

Buy as eBook ($6.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-894-0) | Buy as Paperback ($14.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-893-3)

May 26 Anniversary Giveaway

May 26, 2014

May 26 Dreamspinner Press Seventh Anniversary Giveaway Contest is Island House by Bru Baker.

Who doesn’t love an island setting for a book? For today’s Dreamspinner Press Seventh Anniversary e-book contest, share your favorite “Island Destination” themed DsP book or series.

All comments, likes, shares, re-tweets on this blog, the DsP Facebook page and Twitter will be entries to win one of ten e-book copies of Island House by Bru Baker. You have until 8:00 pm tomorrow, May 27th for eligible interactions.

Hello

May 26, 2014

Hello there! I’m thrilled to be here and am ready to chat with all you Dreamers! My latest novel, The Only Guy, was released today, May 26th.

The chat will begin at 10:00 EST

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BLURB: Aaron Weiss knows how to escape. Years ago, he ran from a romantic disappointment and impulsively joined the Army. Now, he’s forced to take a medical discharge and readjusting to life at home proves a challenge.

 Jesse Ross knows how to hide. He realizes he’s an oddball, and that he’s an outsider within his own family. He also knows his secret love since childhood, Aaron, only wants his good-looking, favored older brother. Yet Jesse could never completely abandon his intense feelings for Aaron. Over the years, Jesse was a faithful pen pal to him. Still, he’s shocked to his core to find Aaron on his doorstep.

As long-buried secrets and past hurts take center stage, the two are overwhelmingly drawn to each other. But it’s their future that may force them to risk everything.

 

PRIZES: I will be giving away two eBooks for The Only Guy  later today

May 25 Anniversary Giveaway

May 25, 2014

May 25 Dreamspinner Press Seventh Anniversary Giveaway Contest is The Enlightenment of Daniel by Eli Easton.

Everyone loves a little bit of suspense! For today’s Dreamspinner Press Seventh Anniversary e-book contest, share your favorite DsP series.

All comments, likes, shares, re-tweets on this blog, the DsP Facebook page and Twitter will be entries to win one of ten e-book copies of The Enlightenment of Daniel by Eli Easton. You have until 8:00 pm tomorrow, May 26th for eligible interactions.

Because of Jade Release party-only contest winner

May 25, 2014

Just a quick follow up. By fair, random means (I put all the names on papers and threw them off the top of the bannister, and picked the one that landed on the highest step :) ) I’ve picked the winner of the $15 Dreamspinner book money and Vasquez and James ebook. (Drumroll…) And the winner is—

balloons pixabay free to use Nickie!