June 27, 2014
Kate Pavelle reporting here, chatting about research for Breakfall, and we also have a book give-away!
I take my research seriously – so it should be no surprise to you that I’ve been practicing martial arts longer than some of you have been alive. Aikido was my first love. I was new in the country and didn’t speak English and got bullied some. A bit of training went a long way. It had to do with posture and confidence rather than fights – but it worked. Back in the 1980′s, rivalries between styles and schools ran strong. Ki Aikido split away from Aikikai, and my teachers thought very poorly of all other martial arts. Which was, frankly, a mistake.
When I travel somewhere new, I search for a dojo to visit. I am always welcome, either as a visiting black belt of a related style, or as a brand-new beginner who seeks cross-over knowledge. Years ago, I was sent out on a job to Prague, interpreting for several US businessmen at a trade show. There was a Goju Ryu Karate dojo two blocks away from our hotel. I was welcomed with open arms, and got to work out for free.
They did so many things differently! Different fist formation, cross-body blocks, different stances. The katas looked vaguely familiar – but only for the first few moves. First we worked hard, then we partied hard. On my last night there, my hosts invited me to lead a class and teach them all something from the Shorin Ryu style.I tried, they tried. Teaching karate in Czech was difficult. I decided to end the class on something EVERYBODY knows: kata San Shin. “Three Breaths,” it is called. Short, slow, meditative. What could go wrong? I announced the kata and we bowed. Yet, to my shock, they all started to disrobe! I stood there, fully dressed in my gi, as a long row of men stripped to do this one kata bare-chested. The lone woman karateka wore her jog bra.
We did the form. Our movements were identical for the first three steps – and the we marched to the beat of our own drummers.
When we were done, we bowed to one another, suppressing laughter. My host instructor thanked me. Then he turned to his class, and said: “We all study different styles. We do different punches and different blocks, but despite all our differences, one thing is very important. We do it all in the same spirit.”
I miss those guys, and I hope they’re doing well. I wrote up a magazine article about my experience, and Black Belt Magazine paid me $75 for it. It was the first time ever I got paid or a piece of writing.
QUESTION: How many of you out there practice, or have ever practiced, a martial art? Include your email address. The most colorful answer wins a free copy 0f “Breakfall!”
Link to my old “Karate in the Czech Republic” article:
June 27, 2014
And now for something fun – an excerpt.! I used to live in Boston, and I’ve practiced Aikido both under the late Kanai Sensei, and under the instructors of competing Kokikai Aikido in New Jersey. Writing about my first martial art, and my favorite post-college city, is a lot of fun.ge
Sean is pretty kickass, don’t you think? And cute, too. Even though I study something else now, Aikido was the right thing for me during my high school and college years. I, too, used to lead my own aikido club in college. I bless my old training every time I fall off a bike, or slip on ice come winter! If you need to learn how to fall safely, look up a class in your area.
He stopped at the sound of soft thuds and muffled cries. Unconsciously, he shifted his weight forward and took a few cautious steps into the deep shade. What he saw shocked him.
“Hey! Stop that right now!” The words ripped out of his throat like a kiai at the sight of three guys ganging up on one. The intended victim was short, his face red with tears and bruises, and his arms were hunched around his middle as he huddled into the corner between a dumpster and the rough brick wall.
The three stopped to look up. The one who seemed in charge wore a scarf tied around his head and a down vest. He looked Sean up and down and gave a bellow of laughter that bounced off the alley walls.
“Whatcha gonna do ’bout it?” Sean straightened himself.
Keep one point.
Just like in practice.
“It’s not right for the three of you to beat up on one small guy like
that. Leave him be.”
The leader nodded at his friend—a tall, lanky fellow in a red plaid shirt and construction boots. “Just shut ’im up, Jack, why don’tcha.”
Jack nodded and sauntered over to Sean. With sudden speed, his hands shot out to grab Sean’s shoulders.
Just like in practice.
Sean stepped back. Jack overreached, but Sean caught his grasping hand and shoved the guy’s elbow into his ill-shaven face. Sean spun, but instead of gently letting his uke down, he allowed him to gather speed. The man’s sandy blond head hit the dumpster with a sickening thud. Sean let go of Jack, allowing his body to slide down the rusty surface. A glistening trail of something wet and dark smeared against the remnants of bright blue paint.
Tsuki kokyu nage. A timing throw.
June 27, 2014
How’s your Friday? The coffee’s good? Work’s about to go well?
Well, good! Same here!
Now if you’ve read the blurb, you know that “Breakfall” will have all kinds of explicit content. There will be both sex and violence, as this is a book about two martial artists in love. The younger one, Sean, becomes subject to sexual assault.
Note that I didn’t use the word “victim.” Sean refuses to be a victim – he’s eager to play bait and catch the perp. Let’s see how Asbjorn deals with his role of lending quiet support from the sidelines! He so wishes he could just go and kick some ass on Sean’s behalf – he truly does – but this is Sean’s fight. Asbjorn’s the side-kick in the first volume of the Fall Trilogy.
Before you turn your nose and say, “Oh, this is not my favorite cup of morning roast,” rest assured that I researched the whole thing in person. Popular statistics would have us believe that almost one third of women and almost one tenth of men will be subject to sexual violence at some point in their lives. This is not a downer book. This is not a life is horrible and unfair kind of a story. Quite on the contrary! Nothing will please Sean more than getting out there and getting even. And when it’s all over, he will fight his way through the aftershocks of such a life-altering event, and move on. He will be stronger for it – just you wait.
So buckle your seat belts and get ready for action!
June 27, 2014
Good morning! My name is Kate Pavelle and I’ll be posting from DSP’s site today. It’s my pleasure to have you lovely people pop in and out for the release party of “Breakfall.” This book is the first of the “Fall Trilogy”. Check out the blurb below, and the link!
Now, this is a very high-tech release party, because I happen to be on the road, and will be working off a mobile hotspot. I’ll do my best to post and check in throughout the day, but I might get to some of you a bit later than usual. Make sure to leave your email addresses when you answer questions, so that I can catch up with you later.
Sexual assault doesn’t discriminate. Aikido instructor Sean Gallaway learns that when he falls prey to a violent stalker. Asbjorn Lund, a karate sensei on campus and a Navy vet, yearns to teach Sean how to survive. How to overcome. How to recover. Sean feels hunted and alone as the stalker escalates, testing his boundaries. With the entire dojo at his back, Sean resolves to play bait. He will catch the predator stalking him and reclaim his sense of self if it’s the last thing he does. Yet Sean’s hunger for justice clashes with Asbjorn’s protective streak, and their budding romance might not survive their war of wills.
June 26, 2014
Are you stuck trying to figure out who’s who in our “School’s Out” contest? Worry no more, we’ve got some hints for you! To narrow down the guessing, here is a list of possible authors you can choose from. Now, take a good, hard look and see if you can match the name to the cute photos!
Rick R. Reed
Dawn Kimberly Johnson
Michael J. Bowler
And remember, you have until June 30th at 11:39pm Eastern to send in your guesses to hayley [at] dreamspinnerpress.com! 3 winners will be chosen for some great prizes!
June 26, 2014
Tabloid Lies by RJ Astruc
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
The tabloids are getting Melanie’s secrets and nobody will cast Jack in an acting role. When the truth comes out, dreams could shatter. Tabloid Lies by RJ Astruc, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.
Soap actress Melanie Potter wants a gay best friend, and Jack fits the bill nicely. They share an apartment, their time, and mutual friends Katie and Roo—another soap actress and her obligatory gay friend. Drinks and gossip fill their free hours, and anyone who sees them thinks they’re a carefree and happy bunch. But someone is telling Melanie’s secrets to the tabloids, and Jack can’t figure out why nobody in town will cast him in an acting role. When the truth comes out about who is behind the sabotage, everyone’s dreams could shatter.
Length: Novella (72p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: June 26, 2014
Buy as an eBook (ISBN: 978-1-63216-145-1)
June 26, 2014
Organic Chemistry by Andrew Grey
Brendon Marcus lives for his work. A boy genius who fast-tracked his way to college professor by his early twenties, he doesn’t know any other way to be. People confound him. So when Josh Horton, the assistant football coach, pursues him, Brendon isn’t sure what to make of him.
Josh has his own problems. His successful parents aren’t particularly happy with his career path, and some of the players don’t like having a gay assistant coach. He begins to have doubts, but Brendon makes the world look a little brighter.
But when Brendon’s department head starts to make trouble, Josh and Brendon discover that standing up for each other is the first step to standing up for themselves.
Length: Novella (3 hours and 36 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: April 8, 2014
Narrator: Nick J. Russo | Buy as Audio Book ($14.95)
The Boy Who Came in from the Cold by B.G. Thomas
Todd Burton has had enough of small-town Buckman. His abusive stepfather calls him a fag; his friend Austin makes him realize he may be gay, but Todd doesn’t want to admit his stepfather is right; and he dreams of being a chef. Three good reasons to flee his hometown and pursue greener pastures. But when Todd reaches the big city, his luck runs dry. Soon he can’t pay his rent and gets evicted. In the middle of a snowstorm.
Gabe Richards is a wealthy businessman with enough wounds of his own to make him afraid of ever being intimate again. But when he sees Todd outside his building, freezing to death, he takes pity on him and takes him in from the cold.
To their mutual surprise, Todd and Gabe find themselves drawn to each other. “One night” turns into a week. Maybe letting a man in from the cold can melt the ice around Gabe’s heart—and maybe getting evicted will turn Todd’s luck around.
Length: Novel (7 hours and 57 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: April 9, 2014
Narrator: Charlie David | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)
Dark Horse by Kate Sherwood
Dan thinks about just driving, leaving the whole mess behind. He’s got enough money. He could just arrange to get his stuff and his horse shipped to wherever he’s going. Taking off is what he used to do when things got to be too much, and it worked pretty well, really.
Dan Wheeler thought he’d found lasting love and stability with his life and work partner, Justin Archer. But when Dan finds himself alone again, still working as a horse trainer for Justin’s parents, he has to find a way to accept that his perfect life is gone forever.
Then he meets billionaire Evan Kaminski, who arrives to buy a horse for his younger sister, and Evan’s lover Jeff Stevens, a horse trainer who seems to understand more than just Dan’s job. Struggling to deal with all the upheavals in his life, Dan finds himself drawn to both Evan’s mercurial passion and Jeff’s quiet wisdom. Is Dan strong enough to take a chance on new love, or would it be better—safer—for him to be alone?
Length: Novel (16 hours and 5 minutes) | Genre: M/M/M or More | Release Date: April 9, 2014
Narrator: Peter B. Brooke | Buy as Audio Book ($24.95)
Unearthing Cole by A.M. Arthur
Cole Alston swore he’d never return to his childhood home in rural North Carolina, but when his mother dies, he inherits her hoarded property. He hopes to sell everything and use the money to start over in Canada, far away from his abusive ex-boyfriend. It’s a daunting task, and Cole has no idea where to start. Luckily for him, the local antique store owner, Jeremy Collins, volunteers his services in sorting the hoard. Their professional relationship soon evolves into a personal one, but Cole must overcome his past and his anxiety before he can accept a new man in his life or the possibility of a happy future.
Length: Novella (4 hours and 7 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: April 9, 2014
Narrator: JP Handler | Buy as Audio Book ($14.95)
Dex in Blue by Amy Lane
Ten 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.
Length: Novel (10 hours and 28 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: April 15, 2014
Narrator: Sean Crisden | Buy as Audio Book ($24.95)
Second Chances by T.A. Webb
Mark Jennings is at a crossroads. His finance job in the Atlanta nonprofit scene stresses him out, his mother is dying, and his relationship with Brian Jacobs has crashed and burned. He needs a distraction, some way to relax, and a massage seems like just the thing. He never expected his massage therapist, Antonio Roberto, to become his best friend.
Despite their differences—Antonio is a divorced single father—the two men forge a firm friendship that weathers Mark’s reconciliation with Brian and Antonio’s questionable taste in women. Over the years, Antonio remains constant in his support, though others in Mark’s life come and go through a revolving door.
When a young boy runs away from the group home where he works, Mark finds another door opening. Through it all he holds on to the things his loved ones taught him—about family, about friends and lovers, about life and death. Most importantly, he realizes that sometimes the greatest gift of all is a second chance.
Length: Novel (7 hours and 0 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: April 15, 2014
Narrator: John Solo | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)
Zero at the Bone by Jane Seville
After witnessing a mob hit, surgeon Jack Francisco is put into protective custody to keep him safe until he can testify. A hitman known only as D is blackmailed into killing Jack, but when he tracks him down, his weary conscience won’t allow him to murder an innocent man. Finding in each other an unlikely ally, Jack and D are soon on the run from shadowy enemies.
Forced to work together to survive, the two men forge a bond that ripens into unexpected passion. Jack sees the wounded soul beneath D’s cold, detached exterior, and D finds in Jack the person who can help him reclaim the man he once was. As the day of Jack’s testimony approaches, he and D find themselves not only fighting for their lives… but also fighting for their future. A future together.
Length: Novel (13 hours and 21 minutes) | Genre: Mystery/Suspense | Release Date: April 15, 2014
Narrator: Alan Smith | Buy as Audio Book ($24.95)
Outlast the Night by Ariel Tachna
Office manager Sam Emery is unemployed and out of luck. When his emotionally abusive wife demands a divorce, he contacts the one person he has left, his brother, Neil. He doesn’t expect Neil to reject him, but he also doesn’t expect the news of his divorce—and of his sexuality—to be met with such acceptance.
Neil takes Sam to Lang Downs, the sheep station Neil calls home. There, Sam learns that life as a gay man isn’t impossible. Caine and Macklin, the station owners, certainly seem to be making it work. When Caine offers Sam a job, it’s a dream come true.
Jeremy Taylor leaves the only home he’s ever known when his brother’s homophobia becomes more than he can bear. He goes to the one place he knows he will be accepted: Lang Downs. He clicks with Sam instantly—but the animosity between Lang Downs and Jeremy’s home station runs deep, and the jackaroos won’t accept Jeremy without a fight. Between Sam’s insecurity and Jeremy’s precarious position, their road will be a hard one—and that’s without having to wait for Sam’s divorce to be final before starting a new life together.
Length: Novel (6 hours and 20 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: April 16, 2014
Narrator: William James | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)
Letting Go by M.J. O’Shea
Drew McAuliffe has lived in the small town of Rock Bay most of his adult life. He’d like to be happy, but not at the cost of having his private life under his nosy neighbors’ microscope, so he keeps his bisexuality under wraps.
After a messy breakup that caused him to pack up and move to Astoria, on the Oregon coast, Mason Anderson decides to avoid drama of the romantic kind. All he wants is to start over—alone.
But Drew and Mason were meant to meet. The long looks and awkward half hellos chance offered were never going to be enough. But when they do finally come together on the worst night possible, misconceptions and problems from their pasts get in the way. Until Mason learns to trust again—and until Drew learns to let go of who he thinks he is—a real connection is nothing but a pipe dream.
Length: Novel (6 hours and 17 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: April 17, 2014
Narrator: Tom Vilot | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)
My Only Sunshine by Rowan McAllister
Tanner Wallis is nearly at the end of his rope the night Mason Seidel finds him lying next to the mangled body of a cow on the back pastures of the Seidel family’s Wyoming ranch. Recently out of the hospital after he and his boyfriend were brutally beaten, Tanner is jobless, homeless, and almost penniless. His desperate hope is that Mason will believe he’s innocent of the senseless crime and give him a place to heal, both physically and emotionally, until he can get on his feet again.
But Mason already has enough on his plate. He’s only been back on the ranch a few months, ten years after his father kicked him out for being gay, and only because his sister begged him to come help after the man’s disabling stroke. With all his responsibilities—running the struggling ranch and keeping his sister and father off his back—Mason can’t really afford the distraction Tanner represents. But he can’t just abandon the attractive young man either. There’s trouble in spades on the ranch, but if they face it together, Mason and Tanner might find a future with a little sunshine.
Length: Novel (7 hours and 56 minutes) | Genre: Western | Release Date: April 22, 2014
Narrator: Jason Clearfield | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)
Brokenhearted by Cate Ashwood
Oliver Parrish has been alone in the world since he was born. So when Sheriff Owen “Mack” Macklin shows up on his doorstep to deliver the news that Oliver’s sister has died, he’s beyond surprised. Still, Oliver returns with Mack to Hope Cove, Maine, hoping to get to know the sister he never knew he had. As he tries to snap these new elements into his solitary life, he’s not sure how they might fit.
His life is shaken up further as he falls in love with the irresistible town of Hope Cove, and with Mack, its equally irresistible sheriff. But when he receives devastating news about his sister’s cause of death, Oliver doesn’t know whether to stay and fight for love and a good life, or cut his losses and run.
Length: Novel (6 hours and 17 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: April 24, 2014
Narrator: John Orr | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)
Strong Enough by Cardeno C
When twenty-two-year-old Emilio Sanchez sees handsome Spencer Derdinger walking by his construction site, Emilio makes it his goal to seduce the shy professor. Getting Spencer into bed isn’t difficult, but Emilio soon learns that earning the trust of a man deeply hurt will take time and patience. With a prize like brilliant, sweet Spencer on the line, Emilio decides he is strong enough to face the challenge.
Spencer is surprised when he’s approached by the gorgeous construction worker he’s admired from the safety of his office window. Acting spontaneously for the first time in his thirty-eight years, Spencer takes Emilio home. When the casual hookup turns into the potential for love, Spencer realizes that if he wants to build a life with Emilio, he’ll need to be strong enough to slay his personal demons and learn to trust again.
Length: Novel (7 hours and 5 minutes) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: April 28, 2014
Narrator: Aaron Pickering | Buy as Audio Book ($19.95)
A Casual Weekend Thing by A. J. Thomas
Doug Heavy Runner left the life of an openly gay Miami police officer and returned to his home on the Salish-Kootenai Indian Reservation when his mother got sick. In the two years since she passed, he’s carved out an empty life as a small-town deputy, relying on out-of-town one-night stands to keep him sane. Then he meets Detective Christopher Hayes, and they share a wild night so incredible Doug breaks his own rule and allows a one-night stand to grow into a weekend of amazing sex.
When Christopher travels from San Diego to Montana to deal with his abusive brother’s suicide, he doesn’t expect to find the man he spent the weekend with to be handling his brother’s case. He certainly doesn’t mind spending more time with Doug—but then an arsonist destroys the house Christopher inherited from his brother, and Christopher and Doug discover they are the primary suspects.
As they investigate, they discover Christopher’s dead brother has set them on the trail of a psychotic pedophile who will stop at nothing to silence his last victim. However, the search for the victim goes horribly wrong, leaving Doug hospitalized and Christopher at the mercy of the killer….
Length: Novel (11 hours and 29 minutes) | Genre: Mystery/Suspense | Release Date: May 7, 2014
Narrator: Andy Babinski | Buy as Audio Book ($24.95)
Brian’s Mate by Hollis Shiloh
Brian is the alpha of the least impressive pack of wolves at the whole Moon Ceremony. When a human is discovered uninvited in their midst, he bonds with the man to save his life.
Luke doesn’t know about all this wolf stuff, but he’s starting to develop feelings for the gentle man who rescued him. Both Brian and Luke expect to quietly dissolve the bond later. But feelings intervene, and some bonds are not so easy to cast aside.
Building a life together as alphas will take love and hard work—especially when new wolves keep inviting themselves into their lives.
Length: Novella (4 hours and 32 minutes) | Genre: Werewolves/Shapeshifters, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal | Release Date: May 12, 2014
Narrator: Stone Canon | Buy as Audio Book ($14.95)
June 25, 2014
Jay Walking by Jacques N. Hoff
Simon—a bird store owner—knows avian shifters exist. But he doesn’t expect proof to come in the form of hottie cop and blue jay shifter Jay.
Welcome to the avian shifter world of Undercover Peckers. Where love is instant the moment you find your mate. Where there’s only one true pecker for every man. Where the sex is so hot it will singe your tail feathers. Where bird-watching is both a recreation and a preoccupation—that usually leads to feathers flying.
Simon Spoonwell—intrepid bird store owner and history geek—knows avian shifters exist. With so much myth and lore, there must be a touch of reality. But he doesn’t expect his proof to come in the form of hottie cop and blue jay shifter Jay Azure. It’s an innocuous ticket for jaywalking that brings them together, but an inescapable attraction, a love of awful puns, and a shared need to protect the vulnerable will make them true mates.
Length: Novella (100p.) | Genre: Paranormal, Werewolves/Shifters, Humor
Release Date: June 25, 2014
Buy as eBook ($3.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-023-2)
Red Rogue by Evan Gilbert
While on a quest to track down the person who placed a curse on Myron, Anoki learns the true nature of their relationship.
Sequel to Brown-Eyed Devil
Necromancer Anoki doesn’t understand his deep love for Myron. They have only known each other a few days, but it feels like they have loved each other for a lifetime. Because of the curse that transforms Myron into an uncontrollable monster, Anoki had no choice but to condemn him to hell. Now the only way he can reunite with Myron is to track down the person who placed that curse and remove it.
But Anoki’s quest leads him to long hidden family secrets and draws the attention of demonic forces determined to stop him. Slowly the true nature of his relationship with Myron comes to light, and that places him in a final confrontation with the deadliest obstacle standing between them—his merciless, powerful mother.
Length: Novella (194p.) | Genre: Erotic romance, Paranormal, Angels and Demons, Ghosts/Spirits
Release Date: June 25, 2014
Buy as eBook ($5.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-746-2)
Soul of a Merman by Alana Ankh
To help break the curse placed on the ocean centuries ago, Caspian must help Stefan love again, but he’ll need the Sea Witch’s assistance.
Centuries ago, the sorrow of a spurned mermaid cursed the ocean. Now the fate of the sea rests on the shoulders of her great-nephew, Prince Caspian of Atlantis. Upon inheriting his ancestor’s magical voice, he is also entrusted with breaking her curse by finding true love with a human. But Caspian doesn’t believe love comes at the swish of the tail, at least, not until he meets oceanographer Stefan Firth.
In spite of the bond that forms between them from the beginning, Stefan’s skepticism and his heartbreak over a lost love keep him from even considering a relationship with Caspian. Caspian has no choice but to follow the path his great aunt once did and resort to the Sea Witch’s assistance. He must help Stefan love again if he is to break the curse and bring them their fairytale ending.
Length: Novella (162p.) | Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale, Paranormal Other | Release Date: June 25, 2014
Buy as eBook ($4.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-823-0)
Technically Dating by Jena Wade
When Bruce runs into Westley after a night at a club, he tries to get the details right and finish what they started.
Meek and mild Bruce Collins decides to set aside his life in technical support for the evening and try a wild night on the town. Self-described nerd Bruce meets suave Westley Taylor at a club, but the night doesn’t go as planned. When they run into each other the next day, Bruce is determined to get the details right and finish what they started. Westley is impressed and invites Bruce on date after date. Bruce figures they’re technically dating and might even be in a relationship, until he accidentally overhears a phone message intended for Westley. Every aspect of their time together comes into question. Now, it’s time for Westley to set the facts straight.
Length: Novella (94p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: June 25, 2014
Buy as eBook ($3.99 ISBN: 978-1-62798-780-6)
A Moon Too Far by S.A. Garcia
Sleeping with the son of a scorned mother wasn’t the best decision Tanner ever made. Trusting Denzantalen might be the best of his life.
Stranded on a moon smelling of rotten eggs with tunnel ghouls attempting to eat him, Captain Tanner N’tirant meets a legend and finds the truth is a lot hotter than the myth. A scorned mother landed him on this rock, and while sleeping with her son wasn’t the finest decision he ever made, trusting Denzantalen, a gene-spliced hybrid thought to be extinct, might be the best decision of his life.
Length: Nap-sized Dream (54p.) | Genre: Science Fiction | Release Date: June 1, 2014
Buy as eBook ($2.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-096-6)
That’s Who I Am by Jayden Brooks
Under the care of Sophie and Donovan, Jared begins to heal. He learns to trust just enough to act on his attraction to Donovan.
Jared Winters’s life has been little more than a collection of moments where he didn’t think before opening his mouth. Always a bit different, he’s learned to accept an existence on the outside looking in. But one day, his mouth lands him in a position that nearly costs him his life. Only the timely intervention of Sophie, his twin Conner’s ex-girlfriend, saves him.
Siblings Sophie and Donovan Carrigan step in and offer support, comfort, and a place to call home. Under their care, Jared begins to heal and learns to trust just enough to act on his attraction to Donovan. He just hopes it’s worth the risk.
Length: Novella (66p.) | Genre: Contemporary | Release Date: June 1, 2014
Buy as eBook ($3.99 ISBN: 978-1-63216-097-3)
June 25, 2014
AA: Hi, Phil. So sorry for holding you up like this. Are you sure you’re okay?
PD: Yes. Accidentally got caught into that net. My own fault. Thanks for letting me out, though. I’ll be fine. (pause) So, while I’m here, you said you had some questions?
AA: Well, yes, if you want… Tell me about your best friend.
PD: Oh, yes, Caspian. (PD blows a jet of water throw blow hole.) He’s great. You know, what with being a merman, you’d think he might be more arrogant. Some mermen are, and I was a little worried when I was a calf, because I didn’t know what merman I’d be assigned to. Of course, that turned out to be stupid. He’s really kind and sweet, and he loves the ocean a lot. We’re very close.
AA: He sounds nice. So you watch out for him?
PD: Yes. Every merman has a dolphin companion. We’re always a perfect match, and I knew from the moment I met Caspian that it would be my duty to help him.
AA: Why do I have the feeling you don’t mean that in a casual way?
PD: Probably because you’re a clever authoress. (His voice turns sad, and he seems to be frowning despite the perpetual smile on his face.) It’s true. Caspian has a lot of responsibilities. He’s always been a romantic soul, and he wanted to find true love, and instead, he was stuck with trying to force a relationship with a human he didn’t know. To top it off, he had to give up his tail!
AA: That sounds awful.
PD: It is. I mean, Caspian’s tail is really a thing of beauty, but it’s not just that. It’s a part of him. He shouldn’t have to change for someone he loves.
AA: So he did meet someone, I take it?
PD: Sort of. He met a human, but… It’s complicated. Humans are stubborn. I worry about Caspian sometimes, worry that he’ll do something stupid. His great-aunt died because of a human. I don’t want the story to repeat itself.
AA: I’m sure it won’t.
PD perks up visibly: You’re probably right. If there’s anyone who can bridge the gap between humans and mermans, it’s Caspian. And Stefan isn’t so bad either.
AA: Stefan is Caspian’s human?
PD: Yes. He’s an oceanographer, so he’s very respectful of our ways, and he’s respectful of Caspian too. I mean, he’s not handsy with Caspian’s tail like other humans I know. The only problem is that I don’t think he understands exactly how he feels.
AA: They’ll find a way. If they love each other, they’ll find a way.
PD: Truer words never spoken. And now, I’m sorry, but I really have to go.
AA: Thanks for answering my questions, Phil. It isn’t every day that a dolphin speaks to me.
PD whistles and clicks in a final greeting, then swims away. In the distance, a green tail disappears into the water.
June 25, 2014
So you can’t have a release party without a story excerpt. Or at least that’s what I think. Anyway, the excerpt on the DS website doesn’t show the meeting between my main characters so I decided to post it her. Enjoy and tell me what you think!
STEFAN LEANED against of the bulwark of the boat and idly watched his brother diving again and again into the depths of the ocean. Just like Rick had wanted, they’d come here to attempt to find the nonexistent Little Mermaid doppelganger.
It was a waste of Stefan’s time, but since he’d agreed to it, he allowed himself to relax and enjoy the pleasant sea breeze.
The ocean had become silent and peaceful after the storm. Stefan loved these quiet times, when he could take in the smell of salt and freedom, when he could look out into the distance and see only water. From the corner of his eye, he caught sight of motion next to the boat, but it was only a dolphin, performing one of its amusing but highly intelligent dances.
“Hey there, guy,” Stefan greeted the dolphin with a chuckle.
It said “hi” back by shooting a stream of water through its blowhole and making a few whistling noises. As the dolphin approached him, Stefan leaned slightly over the rail. He knew all too well that dolphins were wild predators, but this particular one had come to him of its own accord. It seemed friendly, and if Stefan had to guess, it must be accustomed to humans, at least to some extent.
Stefan petted the dolphin’s snout, and the sea creature released a sound that Stefan could have sworn was laughter. Unfortunately Rick chose this exact moment to interrupt them and emerged from the water.
“What are you doing, Stefan?” he asked as he removed his scuba mask. “Help me look.”
The dolphin whistled in protest and dove back into the water, splashing Rick’s face. As Rick spluttered and gave the sea mammal the finger—and wasn’t that an interesting gesture to make toward a dolphin—Stefan shook his head.
“I said I’d come with you, but I never agreed to playing along with your ridiculous game.”
“You’re just being stubborn,” Rick pointed out, disregarding the dolphin that was now porpoising in the distance. “You know as well as I do that I can’t go too deep, even with the scuba gear. We need the diving suit.”
Stefan resigned himself to the inevitable. The sooner he proved to Rick his idiotic merman didn’t exist, the faster they could go back home. He was loath to use the Newtsuit for such purposes, since he couldn’t afford making repairs to it if something broke. However, Rick wouldn’t have asked him along at all if he hadn’t anticipated the possibility of needing it, and he wouldn’t give up even if Stefan refused.
“Fine. One hour. After that we’re going home, and in the morning, we’ll get you scheduled for a psychiatrist visit.”
He was about to retrieve his atmospheric diving suit from the depths of his boat when the unlikeliest thing happened. A head covered in moist, blue-green curls emerged from the water. Stefan froze, simply staring, his world going a little fuzzy around the edges. It couldn’t be…. Could it? The blue-eyed beauty had to be some unlucky swimmer, one with a very interesting hairstylist, yes, but definitely not a merman.
His knees kind of went weak when the body attached to the head emerged as well. The new arrival lifted himself up to the deck of the boat using just the strength of his arms. Even if he simply leaned against the protective railing of the deck without actually progressing past it, his actions still revealed an emerald green fish tail. Stefan had the urge to take off his glasses and wipe them clean—because he really couldn’t be seeing this.
At first no one spoke. The strange creature looked from Rick—who remained in the water—to Stefan, holding on tightly to the railing of the boat like he was trying to keep himself anchored there. Stefan had no idea what had prompted the beautiful being to come to them, but God, he wished…. He really wished he could touch him. No. He needed to get a grip. This was not the time for Stefan’s neglected libido to nudge him, especially not toward someone of a different species. This was the discovery of a lifetime. And really, given that the merman had just propped what would have been his ass against the deck, he could slide back into the water at any moment, at which point Stefan would lose him.
If another civilization existed in the depths, they might have a solution to the problems Stefan had been fighting for three quarters of his adult life. Toxic waste pollution, oil spills, garbage dumping—the oceans were suffering, and Stefan knew it. As an oceanographer, he’d tried to do his part in controlling it, but he wasn’t the Captain Planet his brother accused him of being, and his insistent efforts had proven to be uncomfortable for his bosses—who had their own, more “practical” interests.
He had to be careful so as not to startle this marvel of nature. Obviously his brother didn’t have such qualms, because he exploded at Stefan. “See, I told you I saw a merman.” He glowered at Stefan, then swam back toward the boat, approaching the merman—shit, the merman!
“Hello. I’m Rick.” When the creature just watched him warily, Rick brought his hand to his chest and repeated his name more slowly. “Rick. Me. That’s. My. Name. Rick.”
Stefan had the distant thought that his brother looked like an idiot while trying to talk to the quiet merman. The creature didn’t seem very impressed, either, and didn’t mimic Rick’s words like Rick undoubtedly wanted.
With a tremulous smile, Rick insisted, “Me. Rick.” Pointing to the merman, he asked, “You? What’s your name?”
The merman didn’t display any interest in communicating with them. At last Rick appeared to lose his patience and reached for the merman’s tail—that lay dangling over the edge of the deck, within Rick’s reach. Rick seemed fascinated with it, as his gaze had gone to the shining green scales more than once.
Before Rick could reach his goal, Stefan’s dolphin friend appeared out of nowhere, slamming straight into Rick and keeping him from touching the merman. Rick fell back, and Stefan cursed, more than aware that angry dolphins could and had killed people before. The dolphin released threatening clicking noises, no longer seeming all that friendly.
“It’s okay, guy,” Stefan tried to say as he leaned over the edge to help his brother. “I’m just going to get this idiot out of your hair. All right?”
A soft whistle came, not from the dolphin, but rather from the merman. The dolphin backed away, taking position next to the still watchful merman. The interaction fascinated Stefan, and it made him want to ask a million questions, which would probably be ignored.
For the moment what mattered was that he managed to retrieve Rick from the water successfully. His brother spouted curses and insults—vicious ones directed at the dolphin and its mother. Stefan guided him to sit down and peeled off his scuba suit to look him over. “I’m fine,” Rick grumbled at him, wincing. “Dolphin didn’t hit me all that hard.”
Stefan palmed his brother’s ribs, watching his face closely as the man took a couple of deep, shuddering breaths. He found no protruding bones, so his brother’s injury was unlikely to be life threatening. Nevertheless, cracked or bruised ribs were still something that needed to be dealt with carefully, lest it grow into a more serious affliction. “Be that as it may, you might want to lie down for a while. I’ll get you some painkillers and ice, and you can go below deck for a while.”
“Are you kidding me?” Rick glowered at Stefan and shot to his feet. “I always knew you blamed me for your own failure to hold on to the best thing that happened to your ungrateful ass. But I don’t care about that. I’m not going to allow you to—”
A soft melody filled the air, more beautiful than any symphony that had graced human halls. Rick’s eyes rolled in his head, and he swayed on his feet. He’d have undoubtedly fallen, but Stefan managed to catch him at the last moment. Stefan grunted, making a mental note to tell his brother to lose some weight if he planned to swoon a lot in the future. Not that he could blame him. The song…. That beautiful song. It was simply spellbinding. Stefan wanted nothing more than to lose himself to it forever. Maybe he’d have done exactly that, but it would have been unpleasant and embarrassing if he’d dropped his already unconscious brother.
Slowly, carefully, Stefan set Rick down on the deck chaise longue. He took a couple of deep breaths and removed his glasses, then wiped them clean with his shirt. When he put them back on, he looked back at the spot where the merman had been. Still there. Thank fuck.
All right, Stefan needed to find something, anything he could tell the creature. Any moment now the beautiful being would leave, and Stefan would lose his chance. First of all he had to learn if the merman’s voice had something to do with Rick fainting. After all, he couldn’t risk Rick’s dizzy spell meaning he had internal bleeding.
“You have my apologies,” Stefan began, “for my brother’s idiotic behavior. I gather it’s rude for someone to try to touch your tail? Did you knock him out with your voice?”
The merman didn’t answer, simply looking at Stefan with eyes so blue Stefan could easily get lost in them.
“I appreciate you calling off your dolphin,” Stefan continued. Still faced with silence, he asked, “Can you give me a sign if you can understand? I feel like an idiot, rambling here without knowing if I’m even getting through to you.”
When the reply came, Stefan almost thought he’d imagined it.
“Phil,” the merman said softly.
His speaking voice was like the whisper of the waves on a particularly calm evening, the mating call of the whales, and the laughter of the wind put together in a package that would be understandable for the human mind. By some miracle, Stefan managed to suppress a moan at the sound. Focus, Stefan. This is important. You have to give this beautiful creature a good impression of the human race. Rick’s rant had obviously upset the merman, so Stefan needed to fix it. Of course, that would have been easier if Stefan had actually understood what the merman meant.