September 28, 2013

More favorite books in 2013

So, after almost six months I thought it might be a good idea to post a new list with books that made an impression, stayed with me for a long time or which I re-read.

David Edding: The Elenium (The Diamond Throne, The Ruby Knight & The Sapphire Rose)

Now for the first time in one thrilling volume–the three magical novels that make up David Eddings’s epic fantasy The Elenium.

In an ancient kingdom, the legacy of one royal family hangs in the balance, and the fate of a queen–and her empire–lies on the shoulders of one knight.

Sparhawk, Knight and Queen’s Champion, has returned to Elenia after ten years of exile, only to find young Queen Ehlana trapped in a crystalline cocoon. The enchantments of the sorceress Sephrenia have kept the queen alive–but the spell is fading. In the meantime, Elenia is ruled by a prince regent, the puppet of the tyrannical Annias, who vows to seize power over all the land.

Now Sparhawk must find the legendary Bhelliom, a sapphire that holds the key to Ehlana’s cure. Sparhawk and his companions will face monstrous foes and evil creatures on their journey, but even greater dangers lie in wait: for dark legions will stop at nothing to reach the radiant stone, which may possess powers too deadly for any mortal to bear.

Note: I love this book to pieces! The characters and dialogue were so much fun and the story itself gripped me.


Josh Lanyon: Winter (The Haunted Heart #1)

Still grieving over the sudden death of his lover, antiques dealer Flynn Ambrose moves to the old, ramshackle house on Pitch Pine Lane to catalog and sell the large inventory of arcane and oddball items that once filled his late uncle's mysterious museum.

But not all the items are that easy to catalog -- or get rid of.

Note: Josh Lanyon at his best. Loved the prose, the characters and the storyline, and I'm very much looking forward to the next book in this series.

Tali Spencer: Thick as Thieves

 After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.

Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.

Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.

Note: Another book I loved. The world-building is intriguing and the main characters relationship developed in a fantastic manner. Oh, and there's a baby basilisk which steals the show. ;-)

Sean Michael: Pushy Bottom

Darren Black has been watching beautiful, aloof sub Nikolai for some time. Nic is the pushiest bottom he’s ever seen. Doms don’t stick with him for long, but Darren plans on being the one who does.

After spending a night together in one intense scene after another, Darren introduces Nic to the pleasures of waking up with a lover.

Could Darren be the one to claim Nic?

Note: The cover is very eye-catching, right? This story had the right balance between kink and a sweet romance for me. Another book I thoroughly enjoyed.

 Julie Lynn Hayes: Revelations

Judas has never been very popular, not in any incarnation that he and Jesus and the others have lived through. But he doesn't care about that. All he cares about is following the instructions of God as set forth in the script that they follow. And Jesus. For Judas has secretly loved the son of God for over two thousand years.

But now he decides that enough is enough, and he's tired of watching Jesus die far too early, and for what? This time Judas is determined to see that Jesus lives a long and happy life, no matter what price he has to pay to accomplish matter if he has to make a deal with the devil himself.

Revelations is a story of what could be, told by those who play it out, time after time after time, unbeknownst to the rest of mankind. They've come back again, for yet another round. But this time is going to be different.

Note: I hesitated a while before I read this book and while I initially had trouble getting into it, once I did I couldn't stop. A slow-burning romance that left a smile on my face.

That's my list this time. Of course I've read a lot of other books and enjoyed them but these were my favorites. What are your favorite books from the last months?

September 25, 2013

Goddess Fish Promotions: Megan Slayer -- Switching Gears

Switching Gears
by Megan Slayer



Ethan’s about to meet his match in the last person he ever expected.
Ethan Long is a man on a mission—finish well and he gets to keep his ride at Flash Racing. Continue to crash and his racing days will be numbered. Other than being behind the wheel of a race vehicle, this good looking hot shot hasn’t got the first clue how to harness his ego or his talent. Until he locks gazes with Royce. Then all bets are off.
Royce Darden doesn’t play around. His no-nonsense attitude propelled him to the head of the merchandise sales at Flash. He’s good with numbers and facts…and a crop. Few people know about his wilder side and what he needs in bed. He sees the inner submissive in Ethan screaming for a turn. Can Royce convince the young driver that switching gears could be the key to his racing future?



You’re only hot shit until the next wonder kid comes along. Prove why you’ve got staying power so Collin will have to keep you around.” Royce gasped for breath. Few people worked him up to the point of yelling. Ethan had made the short list. Royce shoved both hands into his hair. “Maybe no one has ever told you no, but I will. Stop being a shit so you can do what you love.”

Ethan didn’t say anything for the longest time. He stared toward the floor and shuffled his boot-clad feet.

Thanks,” Ethan mumbled. “Collin told me we needed to hang out more. Said you’d be able to sell my crap better if you got to know me. Sounds like you already do.”

Before Royce could respond, Ethan met his gaze and grinned. “Now, do you want to fuck?”

You can’t be serious.” So much for the emotional breakthrough Royce had expected.

I can be, and I am.” The grin widened. Ethan winked then headed to the back of the motor coach. “And you can’t knock a guy for trying. Now, where do we sleep while this sucker’s in motion? Ooh! Bunks. Top one’s mine.”

Royce groaned. Dear Lord, this would be a long ride.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

When she's not writing the stories in her head, Megan Slayer can be found luxuriating in her hot tub with her two vampire Cabana boys, Luke and Jeremy. She has the tendency to run a tad too far with her muse, so she has to hide in the head of her alter ego, but the boys don't seem to mind.

When she’s not obsessing over her whip collection, she can be found picking up her kidlet from school. She enjoys writing in all genres, but writing about men in love suits her fancy best. The cabana boys are willing to serve, unless she needs them. She always need them. So be nice to Javier or he will bite--on command.

She also masquerades under the name Wendi Zwaduk and is published through Changeling Press, Decadent Publishing, Liquid Silver Books, MLR Press, Resplendence Publishing, and Total-E-Bound Publishing.


Megan will be awarding a Bracelet/earring set - handmade in team colors of black and red, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment to increase your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

September 20, 2013

Layla M. Wier: Homespun

Please help me welcome new Dreamspinner author Layla M. Wier, who is here to answer some of my nosy questions and talk about her new release "Homespun". At the end of this post you'll also find the link to a great giveaway. :)

Title: Homespun
Release Date: Sept. 18, 2013
Author: Layla M. Wier
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Blurb: For twenty years, Owen Fortescue, a down-to-earth farmer in upstate New York, has had an on-again, off-again relationship with volatile New York City artist Kerry Ruehling. Now that same-sex marriage is recognized in New York, Owen wants to tie the knot. But Kerry responds to the proposal with instant, angry withdrawal. Owen resolves to prove to Kerry that, regardless of the way his family of origin has treated him, family ties don’t necessarily tie a man down. With help from his grown daughter, Laura, who loves them both, Owen hopes to convince Kerry that his marriage proposal isn’t a trap, but a chance at real love.

1-Welcome Layla M. Wier! Please tell us a bit about yourself and your release.

Hi! Thank you for having me! I'm a writer and artist in Fairbanks, Alaska who recently quit my day job (LIKE A FOOL) to focus on writing full-time. Homespun is my first stand-alone novella. I've also had short stories in a couple of anthologies so far, including a story in Dreamspinner Press's steampunk anthology Steamed Up, which will be out in October.

2-In what locale is your book set? Why did you choose this setting?

Homespun is set in upstate New York in the autumn. The plot hinges upon the recent legalization of same-sex marriage, which severely limited the settings that were possible at the time I wrote it (summer and fall of 2012). Also, my sister lives in New York fairly close to where the book is set, which made it easy to get firsthand information! And it's an absolutely beautiful area, especially in the fall -- really a delight to research and describe. As the book took shape, the rural setting became very important to the plot, which hinges on the personality conflict between small-town Owen and big-city Kerry.

3-How long have you been writing?

I have literally been writing ever since I could hold a pencil -- I wrote my first story when I was four years old, and my first "novel" when I was seven, though I didn't finish it. This was an ongoing problem throughout the last couple of decades -- I had a million ideas but never finished anything! I credit fanfic with teaching me how to take an idea and see it through from genesis to completion, and I've been applying that concept to original fiction over the last few years.

4-What compelled you to write this particular story?

I know it's a bit cliché to talk about a story that "wanted to be written" but this was one of those times. Once I'd started thinking about the general idea of two men in a long-term relationship who are forced into a discussion of their future by New York's new same-sex marriage law -- it's like the story and the characters just fell out of my head. I wrote most of it in a couple of weeks. It simply had to be told.

5-What gave you the courage to submit your story to a publisher?

I remember thinking when I was writing the book, "Don't think about getting it published, don't think about anyone else ever reading it; just write it how it wants to be written." But once I was done and had polished it into shape ... I don't know, it didn't feel like a difficult act or one that took courage. Actually, my biggest concern with the book was (and is) not about publishers seeing it, or a fear of rejection from that end. I'm more concerned about what readers will take away from it. I hope very deeply that my portrayal of gay men won't seem terribly inauthentic -- and in particular, a gay man (Kerry) who lived through the AIDS years and was deeply affected by it. I don't want to do a great injustice to that history by trivializing it, and I hope that I've done a decent job with the difficult subject matter.

6-When creating your characters, do you have models in mind or are they totally fictional?

I know a lot of writers have actors or other models in mind, but I've never done that. I think for me, most actors are very indelibly associated with a particular character, and I can't easily decouple them from the other roles I've seen them in. My characters are very much themselves; I can't ever play the "casting" game because it just doesn't work for me.

7-Why did you start writing m/m? Is there something special that draws you to this genre?

It's not a specific desire to write m/m so much as the desire to tell the story of these two particular people in this place and time. I write m/m because I have a lot of ideas for it, but I also have a lot of ideas for f/f and f/m and stories with no pairing in them at all. I'll admit that I've been focusing on the m/m lately because Dreamspinner has been an absolute delight to work with, and I'd love to have more to submit to them. But I can't write exclusively m/m because I start to miss working with female characters and "hearing" female voices in my head. (Even in most of my longer m/m, there tend to be major female characters along with the main pairing -- Owen's daughter Laura is a viewpoint character in Homespun, and the novel I'm working on right now includes the protagonist's sister and female cousin as characters.)

8-What are you reading right now? Do you have a favorite author or genre?

I'm currently reading Nightwings by Robert Silverberg, which is a far-future sci-fi novella that won the Hugo in 1967, and A History of Ancient Britain by Neil Oliver. I am a voracious bibliovore, and I frequently divide my attention between fiction and non-fiction like I'm doing right now -- I love learning stuff, but sometimes a girl (well, this girl) just wants to curl up with an escapist tale of the far distant future. Most of my fiction reading tends to be in the general category of speculative fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy) but I'll basically read anything; I've also been reading quite a bit of romance, mystery, and historical fiction lately.

9-What are you working on now?

I'm writing an m/m novel set in a small Midwest town around Christmas, in which a mysterious drifter with a heart of gold comes to town and starts turning people's lives upside down.

10-When you're not writing, how do you like to spend your time?

I suffer from a terminal case of "too many hobbies". Reading is one of my favorite things, and I want to read ALL the books. But I also enjoy art -- that's actually what my degree is in, and I've worked for the past decade and a half as a graphic designer and illustrator. And I love fiber crafts, like knitting and crochet. (Homespun incorporates both the fiber crafting and the art, by the way. One of the main characters is a painter and the other owns a sheep farm!) I live in a beautiful place -- semi-rural Alaska -- and I spend a lot of time outside in the summer; I keep a garden and I enjoy hiking. I also socialize on the Internet quite a bit, and I'm active in online fandom. The question is how I find time to write in the first place!

11-What are your writing goals for 2013/2014?

For the rest of this year, my main goals are finishing the m/m novel I'm currently working on, and shopping around a mainstream urban fantasy novel I'm looking to get agented. Next year I have a "to be written" lineup which includes submissions for several romance anthologies (including a couple from Dreamspinner Press), an m/m murder mystery which is intended to possibly be the first book in a series, and a sequel to the as-yet-unsold urban fantasy novel I mentioned above. I don't know if I'll manage to accomplish all of that, but I like to set my goals high!

12-Do you have personal goals for 2013?

I'm actually going back to school! In fact, by the time this interview goes live, I will have started my classes. I'm not going to be a full-time student, but I have two very specific goals. I have always wanted to learn a foreign language, and I've always wanted to work on archaeological digs -- probably not as a career, but I'm fascinated by the past and I think that working on a dig would be amazing. (Well, actually it would probably be messy, boring and awful, but it's on my bucket list for sure!) The timing worked out this year to take the introductory archaeology course and a first-year semester of French at the local university, so I'm going for it.

Would you like to share an excerpt from “Homespun”?

How about something just a little steamy? :)


As they climbed the stairs, hip to hip, Kerry’s hand worked its way under Owen’s shirt to caress the strip of skin above the waistband of his jeans, and he knew, then, that it really was going to be okay. They’d begun to fall toward each other once again, as they always did after one of Kerry’s absences, jostling around each other until they found the way to line up and click.

At the top of the stairs he stopped, bringing Kerry to a halt with him. The only light came up the stairs from the kitchen, muting the world into soft shades of gold and gray. Kerry’s eyes gleamed in the dim light, and the slant of his body held a questioning note.

Owen had been raised in a generation and a culture that didn’t express affection in public. He could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he’d seen his parents hold hands, let alone kiss. But here, it was dark, there was no one to see. No one to judge. Distant clinks of dishes indicated Laura’s presence below them in the kitchen. The possibility still existed that she might interrupt them by stepping out to ask a question or to retrieve something she’d forgotten, but as long as he could hear her washing dishes, he knew where she was. They were exposed yet private, and heat rose in Owen’s chest, spiraling outward to tingle down to his fingertips.

His gaze and his attention had drifted down the stairs; now he came back to himself with a thump, back to Kerry’s gray eyes—curious, nervous, anticipating. Back to Kerry’s face, so close to his own that Owen could feel the warmth of Kerry’s breath.

Kerry had his back against the wall, and all Owen had to do was take a single step to press and hold him there. He didn’t; he leaned forward and took Kerry’s mouth instead, and Kerry closed his eyes and fell forward, fell into his kiss.

And that was all it took. They turned and fumbled and bumped their way down the hall, hands and mouths all over each other. Six months. Owen managed to get one sleeve of Kerry’s T-shirt over his shoulder; Kerry had undone Owen’s pants and had a hand inside, when the crunch of wildflower stems underneath their feet made them both jump. Kerry broke the kiss, blinking in surprise. They were in the bedroom; Owen hadn’t even realized it.

“Is there hay on the floor?”

“Wildflowers,” Owen said.

Neither of them reached for a light switch. Kerry usually preferred to make love in the dark. Through the half-open curtains, the blue-white glare of the farm’s halogen floodlights illuminated the room in monochrome, like the light that filters through falling snow.

“I forgot to light the candles,” Owen added, feeling stupid.

Kerry smiled against Owen’s lips. “I don’t give a damn about the candles, sweetheart,” he said, and kicked the door shut before dragging Owen down onto the bed in a crackling of breaking wildflower stems. Owen found himself on his back, his pants around his knees, with Kerry straddling him and rearing back to skin off his T-shirt over his lean body.

In the dim light, his tattoos were stark black on white skin. All were his own design; he’d made a canvas of himself, too. Spider legs and dragon’s wings reached around Kerry’s ribs from the small of his back; an ornate Celtic knot clasped his biceps like a lover’s fingers, and a cherry tree stretched its flower-laden branches across his chest. Low on his belly, a rose bloomed, its thorny branches curling beneath the waistband of his low-slung jeans, pointing lower yet. Owen himself was wide and muscular and covered with a thatch of gray hair; next to him, Kerry was as thin and sharp as a knife blade.

Owen, breathing hard, paused in the act of fumbling with Kerry’s zipper because Kerry had stopped, too, and was just looking at him. His face was a study in darkness and light, his eyes as clear and brilliant as a winter sky.

“Is something wrong?” Owen asked.

Kerry shook his head. “Nothing, just— You, surrounded by flowers, chiaroscuro… I want to paint you.”


I'm also doing a giveaway for my blog tour. Comment on any post in the tour and you'll be entered to win a custom-made scarf, knitted by me for you, in your choice of color and material! All the details are here:

September 18, 2013

Release Day for Hunter's Hunt!

Hunter's Hunt is out today! You can get it at Torquere's website here.

It's also available on All Romance Ebooks here and on Amazon here. :D

And even more great news: I just signed a contract for a shapeshifter novella, called "The Wolf and his Diva" with DsP. Some of you might remember George and Billy from the Wednesday Briefs flash fiction at the beginning of this year... It'll be out in March/April 2014. :)

September 17, 2013

Goddess Fish Promotions: Janice Lane Palko -- Cape Cursed

Cape Cursed
by Janice Lane Palko



Bliss Sherman doesn’t believe in curses—that is until she arrives at Cape Destiny, North Carolina. Bliss comes to the cape determined to make a name for herself and her new firm by accomplishing an incredible engineering feat—moving the Cape Destiny Lighthouse inland before it's swallowed by the Atlantic Ocean.

Bliss, who has struggled with dyslexia, discrimination, and betrayal by her ex-husband and former business partner, Jonathan, faces her greatest challenge when she falls in love with the handsome, mysterious descendant of the lighthouse keepers, Parker Swain, who is vehemently opposed to the lighthouse’s move.

When someone targets Bliss, she begins to wonder if the curse that is rumored to be attached to the lighthouse may be true. Who is sabotaging her dream? Who is trying to harm her? Who wants to kill her? When all clues point to Parker, she dismisses her suspicions, deciding to trust him and her heart. But as the evidence mounts against Parker, she begins to doubt not only herself and her heart, but also Parker.

Can she trust her judgment? Can she trust Parker? Most importantly, when she is trapped inside the lighthouse with him during a raging hurricane, can she trust Parker with her life?

A romantic suspense with all the seaside moody romance of du Maurier’s Rebecca and the spine-tingling thrills that keep you turning the pages, Cape Cursed casts a spell of sensous deception and seductive danger. A Category 5 of a romantic suspense novel,Cape Cursed, barrels in packing a surge of suspense that knocks you off your feet and a blistering romance that sweeps you up and carries you away.


Destroyer of your lighthouse?” Bliss cried, shocked that Parker had shifted from Southern gentleman to bully so quickly. “What are you talking about?”

I’m talking about your jeopardizing a national treasure.”

Bliss was well aware that some of the residents were opposed to the move, but she didn’t expect to be blamed. “Look, I came down here to save it,” Bliss said, trying not to further raise his ire. She wanted this move to go smoothly. Her career was riding on it, and she didn’t need any more enemies. Jonathan Lavere was enough.

What do you know about my lighthouse?” Parker asked, puffing out his chest.

I know that if it’s not moved, it’ll soon be swallowed up by the sea.”

I don’t believe that.”

She tossed her hair back. “Have you checked the beach? There’s only fifteen feet separating it from the Atlantic.”

He sniffed. “Checked the beach? I don’t need to check the beach. I’ve lived here all my life, and I don’t believe it’s worth risking my lighthouse just because some pinhead in the capitol thinks it should be moved.”

Well, I’ve seen the studies, and I’m telling you, Mr. Swain, one more hurricane and your beloved lighthouse could be washed out to sea.”

Parker swept his hand toward the direction of the beach. “I know this place. No one can predict that ocean. With the next storm, it could very well add ten feet of new sand to the shoreline.”

Bliss sighed impatiently. “That’s highly unlikely.”

Parker’s soft brown eyes hardened as he glared at Bliss. “I believe in the unlikely. I know the impossible happens.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

In addition to Cape Cursed, Janice Lane Palko is the author of the romantic comedy St. Anne’s Day and the Christmas novel, A Shepherd’s Song. She has been a professional writer for nearly 20 years. During her career, she has written everything from greeting cards to web content and has taught several classes at the local community college including Building English Skills to Creative and Memoir writing.

She is currently on the staff of the website Popular Pittsburgh and has been the executive editor of Northern Connection and Pittsburgh 55+ magazines, where she also contributed to the editorial content, writing her own column and numerous features. Palko has also been a columnist with the North Hills News Record.

Her work has appeared in publications such as The Reader’s Digest, Guideposts for Teens, Woman’s World, The Christian Science Monitor, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and her essays have been featured in the books A Cup of Comfort for Inspiration, A Cup of Comfort for Expectant Mothers, and Chicken Soup for the Single’s Soul.

A graduate of Union Institute & University with a B.A. in Writing & Literature, Palko has won several awards for her writing including the prestigious Amy Foundation Award of Merit. Her writings have also garnered accolades at the The Kent State Writer's Conference, and she has been selected as Writer of the Month by Oatmeal Studio greeting cards.

She is at work on her next novel, another romantic suspense entitled Most Highly Favored Daughter.

Sign up for her newsletter by visiting:

Keep in touch by following or contacting her at:

You may purchase her novels at:


Janice will be awarding a $25 gift certificate to the OBXstore to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a paperback of her first novel, St. Anne's Day, to a randomly drawn host (US ONLY).

Follow the tour and comment to increase your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  

September 15, 2013

Blog Tour Schedule for "Hunter's Hunt"

Hunter's Hunt Blog Tour Schedule

On September 18th my first book with Torquere Press will release. Naturally, I'm excited about it. In fact I'm so excited I'll probably hide for a while. ;-)

Buy link will follow as soon as it's up!

The lovely Arella made this cool animated banner for me. Below is the original cover:


Wanted: one bear. Must be burly and hairy, and strong enough to paddle. Hunter Bell is on the prowl, and he knows just where to find his prey: at the Bear Trap, a gay leather bar he’s more than a little familiar with. So many men, so little time. He’s just about to pounce on his choice of the evening when a newcomer enters the bar, turning everyone’s head. Adrian Michaels is everything Hunter despises in a man. He’s lean and boyish looking, and he has the deepest dimples Hunter’s ever seen.
And yet there is an immediate attraction, one that neither man can deny. They’re both too astonished to do anything about this apparent interest in one another, and they waste their opportunity. Now it’s up to Hunter to forget about his stereotypical preference and go for the guy that’s just entered his dreams. If only he can admit to himself that Adrian’s what he really wants...

I'd love it you follow some stops during the tour. There'll be an interview with me at Top2Bottom Reviews (don't know the exact date), which will include a giveaway for Hunter's Hunt.

September 18th
Post at Romance for the Rest of Us

September 19th
Guest post at MA Church: Finding a suiting Book Cover

Promo post at Pants Off Reviews

September 20th
Guest post at The Armchair Reader: Preferring a certain Type of Man

September 23rd
Guest post at Julie Lynn Hayes: 10 Things I Didn't Know About Becoming a Published Author

September 24th
Guest post at Mychael Black: 3 published BDSM books I really liked

September 25th
Guest Post at the Purple Rose Tea House (Charlie Cochet): Is it cheating?

September 26th
Guest post at V.L. Locey: A Day in the Writing Life of Chris T. Kat

September 27th
Guest post at Iyana Jenna: Spanking

September 30th
Interview at Indra Vaughn

October 1st
Interview at Lynn Townsend

October 2nd
Interview at A. Catherine Noon

September 10, 2013

Goddess Fish Promotions: Chris Redding -- Along Came Pauly

Along Came Pauly
by Chris Redding



A contemporary romance about a dog that brings two people together who don't want to be. She's a vegetarian veterinarian who needs cash for a no-kill shelter. He's the heir to a hot dog fortune who must give away money before he gains his inheritance. Sounds like a perfect match. It isn't.


There isn’t enough L’Oreal on the planet to cover my white trash roots, Daria Jacks thought this as her black pump went tripping down the long, elegant staircase. Without her. The shoe clicked and clacked against the marble steps.
Her date, Samuel Lafayette, stiffened next to her.

The old adage about being able to dress her up but not take her anywhere came to Daria’s mind. Outclassed once again, her gaze swept over a ballroom filled with people who’d been born into money.

She’d been the kid with skinned knees for every major event in her life, except her birth. Each school picture sported a bandage on some part of her face.

At least there were no reporters at this event. No one to record her gaffe for posterity. More importantly, no one to ask her about her new-found father.
Opting for a more demure stance, she didn’t chase after the footwear. Instead, she held her head high and her arms relaxed at her side as if nothing happened. As if no one could clearly see she wore just one shoe.

The errant shoe would’ve gone farther afield if a hunky man in a tuxedo hadn’t caught it. The catcher had the blackest hair she’d ever seen. And the bearing of a Jersey Italian guy, sure of himself but probably had a heart of gold. That type always did.

A lopsided grin broke out on his face as he glanced up at her. He cocked his head, motioning to the shoe. She nodded and shrugged.

Her heart skipped a beat before she remembered her dilemma. His attendance at this ball meant he was rich. She’d sworn off rich, hunky men.

For good.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Chris Redding lives in New Jersey with her husband, two sons, one dog and three rabbits. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism. When she isn’t writing, she works for her local hospital Her books are filled with romance, suspense and thrills.


Buy link:


 Chris will be awarding a $10 Amazon Gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment to increase your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

September 05, 2013

V.L. Locey: Goaltender's Penalty

It`s a great day for hockey, to quote ‘Badger’ Bob Johnson.

First thing I need to do before I start gushing about hockey and the sexy men that play it, is to say thank you to Christi for having me here. I`m still over the moon about it! Or maybe over the goalie`s net is more apropos.

I`m quite thrilled to be able to bring this story to the public for a few reasons. One, obviously, is that I love the game of hockey. I am a rabidly roaring New York Rangers fan, while my husband is a backer of the Boston Bruins. Hockey has become a huge part of our lives, and serves to bring our family together whenever a game is on, as my daughter is a fan of the sport as well.

Secondly, being able to portray a gay love affair blossoming in the world of ice hockey was a joy. To my knowledge, no one in the NHL has come out as being gay- yet - but the powers that be in the National Hockey League are a step ahead. The NHL has taken a firm stand and announced that they will punish any player who harasses another player about his sexuality. That is incredibly strong stuff and I applaud the NHL for taking such a stance. It`s quite encouraging to see other sports following suit in the fight against passive homophobia in the world of professional athletics.

To see how you can team up with me, other authors, and NHL players for respect, check out the You Can Play Project.



In my story you`ll meet Daryl Hamilton, an openly out gay man who works as a daycare provider. After Daryl attends his first hockey game he has a memorable run-in with the goalie for the Harrison Hawks. Ryan Amirault. When the two meet, it`s not the romantic or glorious first impression that Daryl had hoped for. Goaltender`s Penalty is filled with entertaining secondary characters, ice hockey action, a powerful romance between a man who is out and man who is afraid to come out due, steamy sex, and of course, humor. This novella, while being rather light-hearted, does touch upon some important issues as well.

Goaltender`s Penalty is just one of several stories in the Scoring anthology. I`m betting that you`ll want some asbestos gloves to hold your eReader with!

Here`s a little excerpt from Goaltender`s Penalty. This scene takes place after the rather gruesome meeting between Ryan and Daryl. Daryl has taken a pain pill and is in a rather . . . comical state, shall we say?


The ride home was a psychedelic trip. The cars passing the Lincoln left multi-colored plumes behind them. I was singing that theme song from the old PBS show The Magic School Bus because I was having one hell of a wild ride, just as the song promised. Ryan didn't look much like Miss Frizzle though, but then again my eyes were nearly swollen shut. I tried to get a clearer look. He placed his big hand on my shoulder and pushed me gently back into my seat.

“You need to stop singing that stupid bus song,” Ryan said with a small trace of humor. Or was it aggravation? Oh who knows?!
“You are just too cute! Sing along with me,” I giggled. I love Percocet.
“No. I think you enjoy it too much,” Ryan frowned, wheeling into my apartment complex. I threw up my hands and yelled ‘Wooooo!’ as if we were going through Space Mountain, which in a way we were. Or I was anyway.
“Please?” I pleaded as we cruised past the A and B buildings. I couldn't see much but a purple fuzzy outline of his profile but I could hear him blow out a long breath.
“I do not know the words.”
“Oh, your pants are on fire for that, liar. Wait . . . that's not quite right.”
He sang the song but it was begrudgingly.
I clapped and bounced in my seat. “I love it! That is precocious! No, I think I meant something else. Oh, are we stopping? Did we see Mickey Mouse yet?” I craned my head around to peek through the rear window.

“No, we did not see Mickey.” His voice was fading in and out, and then disappeared. Ah well. It was nice and warm in here. My ass was toasty. My face didn't hurt at all. My brain was okey-dokey, the good Dr. Whatever told me. He gave me ten little pills to take for the pain and a slip for a week off work. I had called my boss, told her I had been mugged, hung up and popped a happy pill. And now here we were!

Where were we?
A cold gust blew over me. I turned from Old Man Winter, wanting nothing more than to curl into this heated throne and take a long nap. Oh man, look at the pretty blue numbers! I poked the stereo numerals gently, lest they get angry with me. Someone was unbuckling me. Their hands moved over my hip, searching for the little hooky thing. What the hell is that called? WOW! This man has hair like the sun! I must touch it!

“You want to get your fingers out of my nose?”
“Sorry,” I snorted. Oh mercy, did it hurt to snort. My mouth was as dry as a spinster's whiskey cupboard. “Where are we?” I asked as he helped me from the Lincoln to the ground.
“We are at your apartment building.” Ryan hiked me up higher on his side. “Building C, yes?”
“Yes.” I leaned into him. He was so strong and firm. My left foot felt like it had suddenly fallen off. I screamed bloody murder. Thankfully my big strong Canuck located my foot and reattached it via super goalie powers of mind control. It didn't even hurt. We paused at the bottom of the stairs. I was rubbing my cheek on Ryan's shoulder like a sexed-up tabby cat.

“You think you can do steps?” he asked after an eternity passed. I had visited ancient Rome while we waited. I met Caesar there and had one of his salads.
“Hail Caesar!”
“Never mind,” he muttered.


If you`re interested in grabbing a copy of the Goaltender`s Penalty, skate on over to the Torquere Press site-

If you`d like to get a copy of the Scoring anthology, you can find it at the Torquere Press site here-

I love to meet new friends and fans! You can find me at-

September 02, 2013

Anne Barwell: Easter Eggs

Please help me welcome the lovely Anne Barwell, who is here talking about Easter Eggs. I know, it's not Easter time, so find out what Anne's topic is all about!

Easter Eggs

A big thanks to Chris, for hosting me J

I love Easter eggs. I'm not talking about the yummy Cadbury caramel ones, although I love those too, but Easter eggs within stories, TV shows, and movies. Easter egg in this case is another name for intertextuality or the way in which texts relate to each other. In other words those lovely cameos, or name/place/whatever dropping, in one story from another story by the same author.

Some authors, comic books, and movies/TV shows do it brilliantly. It's like spotting Stan Lee in Marvel movies, or another character wandering through in a scene without being credited and you're left wondering "hang on, wasn't that...?"

I've always loved references like that, and so as an author it's something I tend to do, especially now I've got a few more stories under my belt. It's one of the reasons I already have names for characters I haven't written yet. The other is the fact they're clambering for their stories to be written and figure if they have names it's more likely to happen. After all, it's easier to annoy me and grow do a bit of character development on the side while they're waiting for their shot in the limelight. Or so they claim.

I don't repeat character names unless it's on purpose. I also tend to not only write in series, but a lot of my stories take place in the same universe, even if not obviously so, so if I can drop an Easter egg in I will. I'm not going to make it obvious, just a "hang on, wasn't that...?" reference in passing rather than something that detracts from the story I'm writing. After all, characters aren't supposed to steal scenes when it's not their story, but that doesn't mean they can't wander through it so briefly that if the reader blinks they'll miss it. If I'm writing something set in WWII in Europe and it's already been mentioned that a certain someone was in the area at the time it's not unfeasible for his name to come up in passing even if that's all that happens.

There's also the fact that I am planning a series that crosses over a bit with something else, once I get that far. Why create a new character when one will happily work in both? My psi guys have been champing at the bit for quite a while now and are not impressed that certain dragons managed to queue jump. *pets them* They'll get their turn and in the meantime if a character needs information and someone happens to work in a library, well it only makes sense for them to help out, right?

I'm sharing an excerpt etc from Shadowboxing today because my current WIP is the sequel Winter Duet, and there might just be an Easter egg in there when I get that far...

Berlin, 1943. An encounter with an old friend leaves German physicist Dr. Kristopher Lehrer with doubts about his work. But when he confronts his superior, everything goes horribly wrong. Suddenly Kristopher and Michel, a member of the Resistance, are on the run, hunted for treason and a murder they did not commit. If they’re caught, Kristopher’s knowledge could be used to build a terrible weapon that could win the war.
When Michel contacts the Allies, hoping they can work together, it isn’t long before the so-called “simple” mission becomes anything but. With both men realizing they can no longer ignore their growing feelings for each other, Kristopher and Michel must fight—not just for a chance of a future together, but for their very survival.

Kristopher laughed then stopped, surprised at his reaction. After all, wasn’t being provided for, as the price for at least attempting to live up to his father’s expectations, the very thing about his life that he’d resented? In a twisted way fate had provided him with the opportunity to move on from that and maybe become the very person he’d always yearned to be.
First things first,” he muttered under his breath, reminding himself of the reason he was here. On the run for murder, theft, and God knew what else, and he was planning his future. He was definitely losing his mind.
His hands twisted the towel over and over while he attempted to calm himself. He took a few deep breaths. There was no point alarming Michel. He had enough to worry about. After returning the now-damp towel to its original hanging place, Kristopher drew himself up straight and walked back out into the main room.
Michel looked up from where he was sitting at the table; he seemed thoughtful. “Feeling better?” Was that concern in Michel’s eyes?
As much as I’m going to be,” he answered, giving a small smile with his reply. Maybe Michel did really care? After all, everything that Kristopher had seen so far seemed to suggest that scenario. Or perhaps it was just wishful thinking? “Is my being here going to be a problem?”
You’ve taken a great deal of risks to get this far.”A determined expression crossed Michel’s face, and he shook his head. “I am certain that the priorities of this mission will be changed to include your safe passage out of Germany.” He slid the case back under the bed and looked Kristopher up and down. “You need to change your clothing into something less conspicuous. The cut of your suit draws attention to you, and you want to be able to blend in rather than stand out.” He opened the wardrobe, pondering its contents for a moment. Finally he pulled out a pair of gray flannel trousers and a nondescript cotton shirt, holding them out in front of him as he obviously attempted to gauge the sizing. “These might fit you. Try them on, and let’s take a look.” Turning back to the wardrobe, Michel chose a dark-colored, woolen zip-up sweater to complete the ensemble. “It’s cold. You’ll need to keep warm.”
Thank you.” Kristopher took the clothing from Michel and headed back into the bathroom, wanting some privacy in which to change. “See you in a minute.” He almost regretted that decision when it brought home just how small the bathroom was, but he managed to only hit his elbow on the side of the sink once. Re-entering the room, feeling quite pleased by his accomplishment and how well the clothes fit he… stopped.
Michel was standing by the bed, clad only in a pair of very form-fitting undershorts. The earlier assumption about his uniform hiding a well-developed physique was quite an understatement on Kristopher’s part. Michel was… extremely good-looking. In fact Kristopher would even go as far as to use the word gorgeous to describe him.
Oh God.
Blushing, Kristopher stammered his apologies and ran from the room, seeking refuge in the small bathroom he’d just vacated. He splashed himself with cold water. What the hell? One look at Michel…. Glancing down, Kristopher willed the bulge in his trousers to disappear. What was wrong with him? This was not the reaction he should be having in response to seeing another man in a state of undress.
His heart was thumping, his skin flushed.
Kristopher groaned.
No, he wasn’t going to allow himself to react like this. He couldn’t, not after putting all this behind him that last time. A small voice whispered to him, reminding him the only other time he’d felt desire such as this was in response to accidently walking in on another man in a similar state of undress. It had to be a coincidence. He wasn’t attracted to other men. He couldn’t be. It wasn’t natural. At least according to what he’d been taught. It was his belief that those teachings had to be right that had prompted him to back away from David in the hope that some distance between them would make it easier to ignore the situation. If he was going to burn in hell it was better he do it alone rather than drag someone he cared about down with him. Hurting David by cooling their friendship was supposed to be better in the long term for both of them.
Yet, he’d still felt an echo of that physical attraction for David the last time they’d met, although the emotions that had once accompanied it were very much mellowed.
That attraction, in hindsight, had at least been easier to hide. He’d never had a physical reaction to David to this degree. David had been, and still was, a good-looking man. Michel…. Kristopher licked his lips, his mouth dry.
Michel looked amazing. He was muscular, yet not overly so; a fine smattering of light brown, almost red hair dusted his chest.
These thoughts were not helping.
Kristopher, are you all right in there?” Michel sounded concerned.
Fine. I’m fine. I just needed to um… adjust something.” Kristopher hated lying, but he wasn’t about to admit the truth. He didn’t want to see the disgust he knew would be reflected in Michel’s eyes. There was no need for anyone to know. It wouldn’t happen again.
This had to be a side effect of the stress he was under. Getting out of Germany would be very dangerous. No wonder his body was reacting in ways it shouldn’t. After all, it wasn’t every day that he discovered everything he’d believed in was a lie and the ideals he’d spent his life working toward weren’t worth the paper they were written on.
Seeing David again had also brought back memories and the emotions of the time they’d spent together as friends.
Kristopher walked out of the bathroom, hoping he appeared much more nonchalant than he felt. “Sorry about that,” he mumbled, hoping he hadn’t made a total idiot of himself.

Buy link:

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing "discussion," and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as "too many." These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of "spare time" is really just a myth.