July 28, 2014
With his fauxhawk, sleeve tattoos, and visible piercings, Ridley Corbin has the whole badass vibe going on in spades. The image serves him well as the self-proclaimed protector of the underdog, and he wants nothing more than to be Alex Firestone’s hero.
Alex, a mild-mannered library assistant, has moved to Slater, a quiet college town, hoping to hide from his past. He keeps to himself, but that doesn’t save him from catching the unwanted attention of the campus bully. But not all is as it seems. Alex’s past comes calling, and it’s time he becomes top dog.
RIDLEY CORBIN was the protector of the underdog, a role he’d come into as a direct product of his upbringing. A squirrely little kid, he had buckteeth, bright red hair, and was a good ten pounds and two inches shorter than the next smallest kid. A runt, and an ugly one at that, he’d been bullied nearly every day of his first three years at Gates Elementary School.
During those early days, he’d drop to his knees next to his bed and beg God for a little brother or sister. It would have been cool to have had a sibling to play with—even if he or she were forced to play with him by their mom. Apparently something had gone wrong during his birth, though, and they’d had to pull out Mom’s baby box. But hey, at least the prayers had been good for something—he got a puppy.
The summer between third and fourth grade, Ridley thought he’d gotten the next best thing to a sibling. Brock Hanners moved into the house next to his, and Ridley thought that, since they were the only two kids on the cul-de-sac, Brock would want to play with him. He was wrong.
Brock was huge; well, at least to Ridley’s scrawny little ass he was. Much to his dismay, Brock bullied him too. He used to steal Ridley’s bike, take his toys, even came over once and knocked down his clubhouse. Granted it was only a couple of kitchen chairs and old blankets and he was the only member, but it was his. Instead of the friend he had hoped for, Ridley found himself even more miserable after Brock moved in. He was being picked on at school and now bullied at home as well.
However, Ridley was a smart kid and Brock, well, he wasn’t too bright. Brock had been held back a couple of years—hence why he was so much bigger than everyone else. So when classes resumed in the fall, they came to a little agreement. Ridley would do Brock’s homework and Brock would keep Ridley safe at school. Brock was like his own personal bodyguard. Not a perfect arrangement, but he learned some great study habits doing the work of two, and it saved him a crap-ton of ass beatings.
Brock moved away during their junior year of high school, but by then Ridley had had his teeth fixed, his hair had changed from Bozo red to a nice chestnut color, and, most importantly, he’d grown. He was still scrawny, but he was inching up on six feet and had a wicked bank shot.
It would have been easy to become one of those kids who felt that just because he’d been bullied his whole life, it was now his turn to be the bully. Instead, he became more like Brock, except Ridley did it for free and he was a lot smarter. Okay, he was nothing like Brock. He never took advantage of someone and he’d never failed a class, but he did take to the protector part.
So it was only natural that he was on the move as soon as he heard Kyle Bouche’s familiar sneer—Hey, nerd boy. Where can I find a book on Gustave Courbet?—on the other side of the books he was searching through. Damn, he hated that guy. Kyle was the big man at Slater University. Quarterback for the football team, student body president, as well as president of his fraternity, blah, blah, blah. Ridley didn’t normally pay attention to the shit that went on around the campus, couldn’t care less. He kept his head down, stayed to himself, and worked hard to keep his grade point average at a 4.0. The only reason he knew about Kyle’s activities was because the fucker liked to brag about them. Personally, Ridley thought Kyle was a complete and utter dickhead.
Ridley eased his way around the aisle, and there in the next row was Kyle, smirking at Alex Firestone. Ridley was about to step in and teach Kyle a few manners, but stopped when he saw Alex glare at Kyle and say, “Look it up on the computer like everyone else.” Alex then went back to sorting the books in his cart.
Ridley tensed and his hands tightened on the Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood he was holding as Kyle moved up close to Alex. Kyle puffed his chest up in an obvious attempt to intimidate Alex. The idea made Ridley crazy and he wanted so badly to slap Kyle up against his thick head. The little bantam rooster had no idea who he was messing with. Yes, Ridley fancied himself protector of the underdog, but with Alex the need was even sharper. It was personal. If Kyle laid so much as a finger on Alex, Kyle would be washing the cold blood from his face later. Ridley had to bite down on his lip to keep from laughing at the irony.
“Do you have any idea who you’re talking to?” Kyle snarled.
Ridley shifted slightly, fighting back the urge to pounce when Kyle put the cart between him and Alex and leaned in close. He couldn’t see Kyle’s face but clearly saw the narrowed gaze and challenging look Alex gave him in return.
“Yeah, you’re the guy who is going to use the computer to search for your book like everyone else,” Alex informed Kyle without so much as flinching.
Alex worked in the library, and although Ridley didn’t really have a need to be in the library—with his major in mechanical engineering, most of his studies were done hands-on or on the computer—he found himself drawn there anyway. Basically he was there to gawk at the star of his wet dreams, Alex Firestone. No, he wasn’t a freaky stalker. He just hadn’t built up the nerve to approach the sexy man. Okay, it might have been bordering on stalkerish since he’d been doing quite a bit of gawking over the last six months, but damn, it was Alex Firestone.
Alex was the same six-foot height, and although he tended to wear dress shirts and slacks that were a bit big for him, Ridley could tell Alex had an impressive build beneath the cotton material. He also had the most amazing gunmetal-blue eyes Ridley had ever seen. Oh, and then there was the fact that Alex had a head full of unruly blond curls and the biggest and sweetest dimples ever. He also wore heavy-framed black glasses, and the bow ties he sported were just too adorable for words. Basically, Alex worked the fuck out of cute.
Read more and get your copy here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5260
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 18, 2014
To send you off, here’s one more excerpt from my new novella, THE BREAK-IN. I hope you enjoy it.
June 18, 2014
It’s Aidee again, back to talk about Time Travel (since my story THE BREAK-IN features time traveling characters).
Time Travel holds a special place in my heart. It’s perilously close to being something that I just don’t believe in and yet something I want to believe in.
Scientifically, we can look into the past right this moment and see things happening decades, centuries, millennia ago. Just look up at the stars. That light had to travel all the way across the galaxy to get to us and it originated a while ago.
We also have photo, video, and fossil records to tell us about the past. All of those things can allow us to travel back in time in our imagination.
But what about the future? We only have predictions and science fiction for that. There’s no real way to travel forwards in time right now or physically backwards. And if we did, would we somehow be able to kill our own grandfather and then negate our own existence? Or would we split off from our original timeline and be creating a new one, one where our grandfather wasn’t really our grandfather, and yet we were still born?
My favorite theory of time travel involves wormholes (fun fact – my favorite form of space travel is also by wormhole). Since a wormhole can connect two very specific places in spacetime, theoretically, you could pick both the place and the time that you arrive at–instant time travel.
Of course then you have the whole noodle effect (or spaghettification) that you have to go through to pass into and back out of a wormhole. Due to the gravity inside the wormhole, you’ll be stretched out like a long spaghetti noodle by the time you arrive. But you know, if I’m taller, I’ll be able to reach the shelves at the top of the cabinet.
Okay [rubs hands together] who’s up for Italian?
June 18, 2014
I thought you might like a short excerpt from my novella, THE BREAK-IN.
June 18, 2014
It’s Aidee, again.
My characters, like me, are a little quirky, a little unique. Here are some things you might not know about them despite reading their first story “The Applicant” and the new novella, THE BREAK-IN.
Five Quirky Things About Dr. Forbes Pohle
1. Forbes prefers to wear pants, not jeans. This probably has something to do with how he was raised. He was often put on display by his parents and therefore didn’t have a lot of casual playtime.
2. Forbes finished his undergraduate college degree at 14 and had his second graduate degree at 18. He described attending classes as sitting next to giants who looked at him as if he was the experiment instead of whatever the instructor was cooking up in the front of the hall.
3. Forbes has an unfortunate habit of building his friends instead of making them. He has always been more comfortable interacting with a robot or even a computer than interacting with humans. That is not to say he’s not competent at social interaction. He is quite adept at securing research grants and contracts to fund his work.
4. Forbes’s house is located outside the city, not rural, but beyond the suburbs. It’s a very large house with its own attached laboratory. It also has a garden that he pays landscapers to keep for him. In the center of the garden is a fountain with a bench beside it where he likes to sit and think at dusk.
5. Forbes still has a teddy bear robot shaped dent in his blast chamber door from when Future Oliver first time traveled back to meet him.
Five Quirky Things About Oliver Lennox
1. Oliver likes to dress in hacker chic: black t-shirt, hoodie, black jeans, red Chuck Taylors and black nail polish. But he’s not averse to wearing a leather jacket hand-me-down when he’s out on his motorcycle in the Fall and Winter.
2. Oliver’s favorite color is black (as evidenced by the clothes choices he makes) because he thinks of black like a rainbow. It’s what you get when all the colors are mixed together. One of his favorite childhood memories is of making a cake with his mom and being allowed to frost it himself. He added all the different food colorings in the bowl with the white icing and it made black frosting. It was the best tasting cake he ever ate.
3. Oliver has a tattoo of Newton’s gravity formula on the inside of his hip. He first read about Sir Isaac Newton in a partially torn children’s book that he found at the Hill Lake Farm Residential Center.
4. Oliver lost both his mother and his stepfather in a car accident when he was a teenager. It was very late and his stepfather was tired when he lost control of the car and slammed into a concrete barrier. Oliver still wonders if his stepfather had been drinking that night.
5. Future Oliver has used Forbes’s time travel device more than the one time that Forbes is aware of. This will come back to bite both of them in the future.
I hope you liked looking into a little bit of the history behind Forbes and Oliver. Is there anything you’d like to know? Favorite meal? Cats or Dogs? Zombies or Vampires?
June 18, 2014
I’m Aidee Ladnier and I’m so excited to be on the Dreamspinner Blog to celebrate the release of my very first standalone title, THE BREAK-IN.
I’ll be here for a few hours, posting goodies and answering any questions you might have about my roboticist and his favorite wayward programmer. Leave a comment. Don’t be scared.
This is actually the second story of mine that includes Forbes and Oliver, but it’s definitely a standalone story. In the first story, “The Applicant”, a young Forbes met an older and wiser Oliver, who he thought was applying for a research assistant position. In THE BREAK-IN, Forbes is now the old and wiser of the pair, with a young Oliver again at his door but this time trying to rob him. How will Oliver get past Jeepers the robot cat, and why does switching sides look so attractive when a hot roboticist is involved?
Blurb: Ten years ago, roboticist Forbes Pohle received a visit from time-traveler Oliver Lennox. “Wait for me,” Oliver said. Now a decade has come and gone, and Oliver has returned. However, Forbes never dreamed Oliver would reappear as the point man for a gang of technology thieves breaking into his lab. He finds the younger Oliver just as sexy and even more annoying; still, he must convince him their happily-ever-after is meant to be—but he only has the time it takes his robotic cat Jeepers to thwart the thieves to do it. After waiting so long, he could lose everything in the span of seconds.
Don’t forget to enter my Rafflecopter giveaway!
May 29, 2014
For a Price by Hallie Burton
A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title
After meeting preppie Trey, neighborhood bad boy Bobby decides to try something new. But being in a relationship is tricky and takes work. For a Price by Hallie Burton, a Harmony Ink Press Young Adult title available from Dreamspinner Press.
At seventeen, Charles “Trey” Maddox Taft III has had better years. His father ran off with a younger woman, and with no alimony or child support, his family has to move from affluent Coconut Grove to a rough neighborhood near Miami’s Little Havana. It’s a completely different world, but Trey is determined to make the best of a bad situation, if only no one finds out he’s gay.
On Trey’s first day in his new territory, he’s saved from being run over by local bad boy Bobby Cruz. Bobby is an unabashedly gay, sexually active high school senior who’s tired of one-night stands. After meeting preppie Trey, Bobby decides to try something new. Things go well at first, but being in a relationship is tricky and might take more work than either wants to do.
Length: Novel (180p.) | Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Gay | Release Date: May 29, 2014
May 17, 2014
That’s all the time I have. I have to finish packing because I’m due on a ship in a few hours.
I’ve enjoyed being here and sharing things with you.
Before I go: who won the free copy of Ordinary People? Debra E., your account of the rabid baseball fan and his mistimed call to work made me laugh out loud. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a copy of Ordinary People in the format of your choice.
May 17, 2014
I love researching for my stories. Most of the time I can do the research online but sometimes I have to go places and talk to people.
When I was writing The Courage to Love, I traveled a few hours north to the Coringa area in Queensland to the land David and Carl moved to. With Ordinary People, I spent hours on the phone with a nurse friend and made a couple of visits to the local police station.
I don’t know about other people, but I always feel a bit nervous when I enter a police station. It’s like they’ll notice something about me that isn’t quite legal and I’ll get caught there while they extract interminable explanations from me. And I just know they all recognise me now when I walk down the street now. All those questions about kidnapping and drugging people surely got me noticed. Without the answers, Ordinary People would have been pure fantasy.
I used to have a friend who was a police officer. His favourite party game was one where you had to describe something that you passed on the way to his place before he gave you your first shot. He and his mates would set a situation up, like a car parked a few blocks away or someone standing on a corner. Driving to parties at his place were quite nerve-wracking. Funnily enough my descriptions of things I saw became very detailed after a few shots!
How much do remember of a trip when you’re driving from one place to another?