February 27, 2013

Release day for "Too Good to be True?"

Today is the day: Too Good to be True?, the sequel to Seizing It releases. I'm excited about this because I loved writing Kit again. He's having a rough time but ... oh well, I hope you'll read the book. ;-)

 Blurb:

Three months after Kit falls in love with Dale, his epilepsy takes a turn for the worse and his nightmares and flashbacks about his abusive ex intensify. His work at the veterinary clinic and as a freelance translator only add to the stress. As Kit’s life flies out of his control, his last tether of sanity frays as Dale grows frustrated with Kit’s stubborn independence.

Dale wants to be Kit’s rock—to step in to help—but the walls Kit builds may be too hard to break through.
The book is available from Dreamspinner Press here, and should be available on amazon and ARE during the day.



I already did an interview on Sarah Madison's blog and would love if you had the chance to drop by. For a chance to win a copy of Too Good to be True? please stop by at Pants Off Reviews today or at Babes in Boyland on March 7th.

I hope you'll enjoy Kit and Dale's second story!

~ Chris

February 19, 2013

Skylar M. Cates: Exposed

Please help me welcome fellow Dreamspinner author Skylar M. Cates. Skylar is here to talk about her new release Exposed. Look, she brought guests!

Buy links:




Rafe and Daniel have agreed to give us a short interview:
They enter the room. Daniel’s dressed in a Prada shirt and slacks. Rafe’s dressed in a T-shirt and black jeans. Rafe pulls his chair close to Daniel’s. Nodding at him, Daniel gives Rafe a tight smile.


Thanks for joining us! Which one of you wants to speak first?

Daniel: Rafe. He loves to talk. I hate it.
Rafe: Who, me?


Was it love at first sight?

Rafe: No way. I thought he was arrogant and cold.
     Daniel: And I thought he was nothing but trouble.

So what changed your mind?

Rafe: Who said I changed my mind? *laughs* I mean look at Daniel. He’s not hard to…um…appreciate. And, you know, the fact that he’s loaded is a bonus.
                  Daniel: Brat *shoving him playfully *
Rafe: You like that. But seriously, the more I was with Daniel and got to know the real him, the more I saw he was kind and compassionate—
Daniel : Okay, stop. I like your being a brat better. *Flushing*


What is your pet peeve with one another?

Daniel: I could say it’s how Rafe constantly charges right into things and gets himself into trouble, but well…it’s kind of cute.
Rafe: Daniel’s cooking skills or lack thereof. He tries to poison me on a regular basis.
Daniel: We all weren’t lucky enough to learn to cook from our Cuban grandmother.
Rafe: No, some of us had to suffer with servants doing all the cooking. Poor Daniel.


It sounds like you guys have lived very different lives. What do you have in common?

Rafe: Beside our love of bad karate movies? Not much.
Daniel: There’s our cat?
Rafe: Romeo? He’s your cat. You found him in that alley.
Daniel: Really? Then why do I always catch you sneaking him food?
Rafe: I don’t know what you’re talking about, Andrews.
Daniel: Right.


So you have nothing more in common?

Daniel: Rafe might deny it, but I think we both value our family and friends too.
Rafe: Maybe. Okay. We do. Shoot, let’s not get all sappy in this interview.
Daniel: God forbid.


We have time for one more question. If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

Daniel: The ability to heal people, so I could have taken away my mom’s pain.
Rafe: Flying. I’d escape all the shit life throws at me.

Thanks, guys! 



Bio:
Skylar M. Cates loves a good romance. She is quite happy to drink some coffee, curl up with a good book, and not move all day. Most days, however, Skylar is chasing after her husband, her kids, and her giant dog, Wasabi. On a small budget, Skylar has been lucky enough to have traveled all over the country, and she still loves to chat with people from all around the globe. Skylar’s upcoming novel, Exposed, is available with Dreamspinner Press.


Links:
 

February 18, 2013

Valentine's Blog Hop Winners

The winners of the Valentine Blog Hop are:


First prize (10$ Amazon gift card): Ana Smith

Second prize (choice of one of my e-books): Penumbra


Congratulations to you! I'll send you an e-mail now. Please respond to it within 48 hours, thank you!

February 14, 2013

Valentines Blog Hop


Looking for the weekend filled with romance and happily ever afters?
Welcome to the Swept Away Valentines Day Blog Hop! 140+ authors….TONS of goodies to be won.

STARTS:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

ENDS:

Sunday, February 17, 2013 @ midnight.




Who doesn't like romance and happily ever afters? Well, I sure like both! I love writing romance as much as I love reading them.


As usual I'm running a contest. 

First prize is a $10 Amazon gift card.

Second prize is your choice of the following e-books (Too Good to be True? will be available on the 27th!):










Here’s what you do:
Contest:
~ I'd love if you'd join my blog but it's not mandatory to enter the contest.

~Leave me a comment. Tell me what was the last book you read that really got to you.
~Leave me an email address, so I can contact you.

I’ll announce the winners Monday afternoon/ evening by email and on here. Please respond to the email within two days!


Hope everyone has fun during the hop.

February 12, 2013

Too Good to be True? will release on February 27th

Hi all! Unfortunately there will be no flash fiction from me this week. I'm down with the flu (well, I'm sitting again and temperature finally seems to be back in normal range) and couldn't write. Still, here are the other briefers for this week:

Nephylim    f/f
Lily Sawyer      m/m 
Tali Spencer     m/m
Cia Nordwell     m/m
MA Church     m/m
MC Houle     m/m
Victoria Adams      m/f





Too Good to be True? , the sequel to Seizing It will release on February 27th. It's already up on Dreamspinner's Coming Soon Page: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3604

Anne Cain did a marvelous job on the cover!




 Blurb:

 
Three months after Kit falls in love with Dale, his epilepsy takes a turn for the worse and his nightmares and flashbacks about his abusive ex intensify. His work at the veterinary clinic and as a freelance translator only add to the stress. As Kit’s life flies out of his control, his last tether of sanity frays as Dale grows frustrated with Kit’s stubborn independence.

Dale wants to be Kit’s rock—to step in to help—but the walls Kit builds may be too hard to break through.




I'll do a small blog tour, and here are the dates:


Feb 26th: Interview at Sarah Madison

Feb 27th: Giveaway at Pants off Reviews

March 2nd:  Guest post at Helen B. Pattskyn

March 3rd: Guest post at Kim Fielding

March 5th: Guest post at Skylar M. Cates

March 7th: Character Interview at Babes in Boyland

March 14th: Second character interview at Andrew Q. Gordon


I hope to see you around!

February 08, 2013

Julie Lynn Hayes: Revelations

Please welcome back my friend and fellow author Julie Lynn Hayes. She's here to talk about her new release Revelations. (Look at the cover--it's beautiful!) This book will be controversy because of its content but read for yourself:



The Making of Revelations: How it came to be


The idea was born many years ago. Over forty, actually. When I was a teenager. Back then, it didn’t have a name, and it had no real shape. But I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to tell the story of Judas Iscariot. The trouble was I didn’t know how. 

What drew me to Judas, is probably what you’re asking yourself, and that’s a valid question. Ask anyone else who Judas is and you’ll get answers that are probably all variations on a theme of betrayal. I’m not sure exactly when I began to question that, but I do know that when I saw Jesus Christ Superstar performed live back in 1971 (or thereabouts), I had an epiphany regarding him. I saw him, not as the bad guy as often portrayed, but someone who not only believed in Jesus but was willing to do what he needed him to do. For without Judas’ “betrayal” of Jesus, the story would not have worked out the way it did. It needed to happen that way. And if you read the Gospel of Judas, he was the only apostle who trusted Jesus enough to do that for him. Gives one food for thought, doesn’t it?

Very interesting, but where’s the story, I wondered. Was I going to take an historical perspective, research the man and his life? Easier said than done, especially back then. We had no Internet. We didn’t even have computers. Research was all done through books. Libraries had card catalogs, a far cry from today when you can log onto your library website and browse their selection, then request what you want. So I looked and I found bupkus (nothing). I had the Bible, of course, but it tends to be limited on information, as well as a bit biased.

So nothing was written, and I let it go, as my thoughts formulated in the back of my head. In the meantime, I was reading, watching… and learning. King of Kings was my first Biblical movie, and I loved it. Jeffrey Hunter’s portrayal of Jesus is very moving, and I was very enamored of the film. Jesus Christ Superstar – I think I know all the words, I’ve listened so many times. I liked the stage version, but the first film not so much. 

Besides watching these things and others, I read. Christopher Moore’s Lamb, The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. What a fabulous book! I loved it! So much I bought the special edition. And I read The Gospel of Judas! Forty years ago I’d never heard of such a thing. Of course I read the DaVinci Code, and watched the movie. And everything began to percolate inside my head…

Then one day it happened. Judas spoke to me, for the first time. And I simply began to write it down, not knowing what he might say, or where his story might lead. It turned out to be quite the story and took me on quite the journey, and led to places that I didn’t expect it to. If he’d have spoken forty years ago, I would not have been ready to receive his message. But my life up until the moment that I first heard him speak prepared me. And the result is Revelations.

The original title was Kyrie Eleison, a tribute to the Mister Mr. song, Kyrie. Kyrie eleison means Christ, have mercy on us. But then fellow author Marie Sexton, who was reading Kyrie for me at the time, suggested a simpler title. A better title. Revelations. So Revelations it became.

I know there are people who will not like Revelations, and by extension, me. People who will not see the message it carries, only that it does not follow what they believe. But ultimately, no matter what you believe, Revelations is a story of love. Love is the message, and love is something that binds us all together.

Revelations is love.

Thank you for having me here, enjoy your day!




Link to the book trailer
 
Blurb:
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 it...no 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.  


Excerpt:

Prologue: God
            It's not always easy to sit on the sidelines and watch what is happening, to resist the urge to intervene in his best interest.  My son's that is. Jesus. But I do so, because I know it's for his own good.  As well as for the good of mankind. I can't let my concerns as his father override my vested interest in the fate of man. But sometimes that is easier said than done.
            This morning I am not alone. Someone else is with me, someone with his own agenda, although we are not as diametrically opposed as some would imagine us to be. Good and evil aren't the simplistic concepts some would portray them as being—there are more grey areas there than you might think. And rightly so.
            He smirks. Too much for my taste, I have to admit, but sometimes he does have his moments, and he too has a part to play in what is happening in the world of men. Someone needs to fill the role of the villain, after all.
            The stage is being set for the third act, the scripts have been handed round, and the actors are taking their places. Will this time end any differently than the others? That depends on my son, on Jesus. I'm thinking this will be the time when he'll make the change.
            "He'll change nothing," Lucifer interjects, although I've asked him nothing, certainly not inquired as to his opinion. 
            I glance at him. He's dressed to within an inch of his life, and wears the most ridiculous sunglasses I've ever seen. I decide not to comment on his fashion sense. "I think he might, this time. I think he's ready for change."
            Lucifer snorts. "It's been two thousand years, and neither one has exactly caught on yet. Why should this time be any different?"
            "Care to put your money where your mouth is?"
            He eyes me carefully. "I would, but you see you have this whole mystic omnipotent God thing going on. Personally, I don't care for those odds."
            I arch an eyebrow. "I may be omnipotent, but Jesus does have free will  and he does possess the ability to make his own decisions. You think I'd stack the deck in my son's favor? Just to win a bet with you?"
            "Let's say I'm taking no chances." He smiles. "Tell you what, though—give me free rein.  Let me do what I want, and you not say anything or do anything to interfere with me? As far as they're concerned, that is."
            I open my mouth to object, he hastily interjects. "No killing, I swear to it."
            That's better. I still have some measure of control over the serpent.
            "So be it." I agree, turning my attention back to where it had been, to my son.  I'm smirking now. Openly.
            O ye of little faith, watch and learn.



 Revelations is available at MuseIt Up Publishing here.



About Julie:

Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and two cats, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all. Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, and MuseitUp Publishing, and she has also begun to self-publish at various places on the Internet.


Julie's Links:


My Publishers:
Museit Up Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/

February 04, 2013

Sneak Preview: Secret Chemistry 2

Image courtesy of [Evgeni Dinev] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


So, “Secret Chemistry” subtitle is “Shifters: Book One”, and indeed there will be a second book. So far the working title is pretty awesome. Behold, it's “Secret Chemistry 2”. ;-)

What? I never said it would be awesomely good...

I'm really glad that most people liked Tim's younger brother Robin because Secret Chemistry 2 will be about him (although Tim and Jay play important roles as well).

It'll be a while until I can submit the manuscript but I really like the story. Did I mention how much I love the cover Anne Cain created for Secret Chemistry? Yeah, well, since I mostly request her for my book covers (and DSP is awesome because they always make it possible!) I asked her if she might be interested in doing the cover for the second book. She is! :)

Now I only hope DSP will accept the manuscript. At the moment it's still at my beta but she's already working on chapters 21 to 24. The book has 33 chapters altogether and is about 13k longer than the first one.

Without further stalling, here's the promised snippet (from chapter one):



Shut the fuck up and leave me alone!”

Robin felt Tim tighten his grip on his shoulders. Tim seemed to struggle to control his temper before he snarled, “You are not going anywhere without me.”

Robin tried to shrug off his brother's hands, his frustration kicking up a notch when he couldn't free himself. Panting, he shot back, “I didn't come with you two love-sick puppies to be kept as a prisoner! I came with you to help you. Now let me do my own thing!”

You are not going anywhere without me,” Tim growled.

Tears welled up in Robin's eyes, and the urge to stomp his feet like a petulant toddler became almost unbearable. Instead of giving in to this less than mature action, he shoved against Tim's chest, satisfied that he at least managed to throw his brother off balance. “That'll mean Jay will be with us too, which will inevitably lead to the two of you sucking faces. No, thank you.”

Robin, it is too dangerous for you to stroll around on your own.”

What the hell could happen to me? I'm a werewolf for Christ's sake!”

So?”

So what? I can defend myself if a bad man is out to get me.”

You can't even shake me off.”

For a moment Robin was engulfed in a tidal wave of rage, and a sudden red haze veiled his gaze. He was so sick and tired of everyone believing he needed to be protected. Just because he couldn't get Tim to let go of him didn't mean he couldn't fight off another wolf. Allowing the rage to surge through him, he gave his wolf permission to surface.

Robin's canines elongated and his face shifted partially. Tim lifted his hands from Robin's shoulders, clearly startled by Robin's changed appearance. A threatening growl rumbled in Robin's chest.

Okay. Okay, I understand you're suffering. How about we take a run together? I'll just get Jay and—”

No!” Robin yelled. “I do not want your company. Is that clear enough? Or do you need me to write it down for you?”

Hurt flashed over Tim's face, causing Robin to feel guilty for just a moment. But damn, he needed time to himself! As much as he loved to be around people, he also needed time to do as he pleased with only himself for company. Why was it so hard for Tim to understand?

Stiffly, Tim replied, “Crystal clear. You're still not allowed to go anywhere alone.”

Jay sidled up behind Tim, and wrapped his arms around his mate's waist. Immediately, Tim's facial expression changed from irritated to content. Robin rolled his eyes and barely suppressed the urge to make a rude gagging gesture. Those two were lovesick, absolutely and annoyingly lovesick. If that's how true mates behaved Robin wasn't sure he wanted to find his.

Hey, what's all the yelling about?” Jay asked after snatching a quick kiss from Tim.

The usual. He wants to go out alone.”

Jay glanced at Robin, a sympathetic expression on his face. Robin couldn't keep the angry flame within him going. Not with Jay gazing at him like that, which was all the more irritating.

Do you really believe he'll be in danger? Maybe he could just stroll around the house and pastures?”

Robin looked at his brother again, allowing himself new hope. Tim's shuttered expression didn't bode well but if he'd listen to anyone it would be Jay. Robin held his breath as he waited for Tim to answer.

Hesitantly, Tim said, “I don't know.”

What's supposed to happen to him? Neither of us smelled a wolf since we arrived here. Not that I'm all that sure what he'd smell like but you two would recognize another wolf,” Jay replied.

Damn, Robin thought, why hadn't he thought of this argument? He directed a pleading look at his brother, “I haven't smelled another wolf. Come on, Tim, please. I'm going crazy here!”

Tim seemed unconvinced. Now was probably not a good time to tell Tim about the weird and somewhat scary odor Robin smelled since their arrival...

February 02, 2013

Guest Blogger TALI SPENCER: Dangerous Beauty

Please help me welcome Tali Spencer as she talks about her latest release "Dangerous Beauty" and a writer's voice. Even though Tali isn't sure whether she has a voice, I can assure you that she most definitely has a unique one!

Voice

Thank you, Chris, for letting me borrow your blog to talk a little about my latest book, Dangerous Beauty, and also—but first—about something else I’ve had on my mind.

One of the many things I like to read about is what agents and editors look for when reading a manuscript. This interests me because I create manuscripts. Like many writers, I want to write one that appeals to editors and, eventually, to readers. Almost to a soul, they say they are looking for writing that conveys great voice.
That’s all well and good. But what the heck is voice? I’ll tell you: It’s difficult to define. So difficult, in fact, I’m still not sure I have one. 
 
I do have a writing style. Just the other day, someone complimented me by calling my prose “lush…like dark chocolate...” It’s also been called “overblown” and “dramatic” just for comparison. I call it painting with words. I like to create sensual experiences, not just of sex but of my story’s atmosphere. For my new release, Dangerous Beauty, I sought to invoke an atmosphere of sensuality, paranoia, and impending calamity. The main character, Endre, is a captive prince. He’s trying to help his father devise an escape at the same time he’s dealing with conflicting emotions about desiring other men—something his father would abhor. For this book I wanted to create empathy with a man whose life is one of lies, and I used some writing tricks to do so, but do my efforts qualify as voice?

Probably not. Voice within a single story can be calculated; a writer’s signature voice is not. I think that kind of voice has more to do with character and the attitude of the writer toward the character. A writer can have a light, fun-loving voice, or a breezy voice, or sensual voice. An author friend of mine has (to my mind) a playful voice that I think contributes to her success. Other, equally successful authors, come off as respectful, clever, snarky, or chilling.

I looked for definitions of voice online and found everything from academic dissertations to rants about voice being indefinable (and overrated, at that). I never quite found an all-purpose definition. Voice is like pornography. To quote the famous comment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart:
I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it…”
Because that’s the way voice works. I know it when I see it, and other opinions may differ.
And now that I’ve got that off my chest, here’s a blurb and short excerpt from Dangerous Beauty for you to enjoy.





Blurb:

Once the Kordeun family ruled Sebboy…now they are imperial captives of the Uttoran Emperor. Devout and studious, Endre Kordeun loves his family and will do anything to free them, even if that means pretending he’s gay so he can pass messages to his father’s shady allies. With his golden good looks and a beautiful male courtesan posing as his lover, Endre finds Uttor’s decadent society more than willing to believe his ruse.
But when a passionate kiss from a dark, gorgeous man unlocks feelings Endre had been hiding even from himself, lies start to unravel. Arshad, prince of Tabar, is Endre’s match in every way…including a shared love for science and celestial mechanics. Going forward with his charade will be dangerous, and not only because he might be discovered. In that event, even his own father would kill him. How much is Endre willing to risk for love?


Excerpt:

When Arshad came in through the archway, both young men were seated just as he had left them, eyeing each other warily on the bed. They turned to him in surprise.

Yanni, his lip bloodied and swollen and with black beads and streaks of ruined kohl ringing his eyes, glared in thwarted fury. Endre looked as if he was struggling for control. The battles inside the young prince were still being waged. Arshad’s heart went out to him, suspecting from the youth’s state of undress some of what had occurred, but there was no time to offer proper help, nor was he the best man to do it, given his feelings.

Unfortunately, there was no one else. Not a soul in the empire, except perhaps the young man’s remaining family, was going to care very much what happened to Endre. He took a seat on the bed, placing his body between the two young men.

Princeling,” he said to Endre, keeping his voice low and, he hoped, reassuring, “We are going to talk.”

Endre shook his head and mouthed the word no, but Arshad put an arm about his shoulders and drew him tight to his body. With a strangled growl, Endre tried to pull away, but Arshad didn’t let him. He had sensed early on that this hotheaded royal required a strong hand on the reins.

Your anger against this man serves no useful purpose. It cannot continue. It must not,” Arshad said. “But you must talk about it.”

A long minute later, with a sob, Endre yielded and buried his face against Arshad’s cotton tunic. Something had broken in him, something he had held onto for too long.

Arshad moved his right hand over that beautiful golden hair, holding him lightly. “You were hitting Yanni. Why?”

I don’t know…I—”

He did it because he’s fucked up!” Yanni snarled.

When Arshad glared at him to be silent, the courtesan simply dug in his verbal heels.

You don’t think so? Take it from someone who knows. I’ve slept with every fucked up man in Uttor and this one takes the prize! For weeks I’ve put up with his shit. He pretends he wants men…he says he doesn’t want men…he’ll kill you if you even think he wants men. And hell to pay if you actually say it! And you know what’s the most fucked up thing of all about him? He wants men!” Yanni threw up his hands in complete exasperation. “He’s the most fucked up man I’ve ever met!”

That’s enough!” Arshad snapped.

Oh, I’m just getting started—”

Arshad reached over with his right hand and grabbed Yanni by the throat. That at least did the job of silencing him. While the dark-haired youth clawed at his arm, Arshad met those justly famous brown eyes and growled, “Stop talking, or I will leave bruises you cannot hide with your pretty hair.”

********

Dangerous Beauty is available at Resplendence Publishing and also at AllRomance.


Thanks for allowing me to visit, Chris! I’ll leave some links for anyone who wishes to contact me. I’m pretty easy to find. 

My Amazon.com author page. 
My Goodreads author page.
I'm on Facebook
and Twitter