July 24, 2013

Writing Update

So, before I vanish for a while (vacation--YAY!) I wanted to let you know that I finished writing and revising the first draft of "Sacrifices (Jeff Woods Mystery #2)". I'm very happy with it and especially with the end.

I know I said I wanted to write a story about an angel and his human mate (and I'm postponing this particular story forever!) but... well, I decided to start writing the third Jeff Woods Mystery when I'm back. I've enjoyed writing the second one so much and love all the characters and their interactions, so I think it makes the most sense to stay with them for a while. :)

Enough rambling from me. Hope you're all having a good time!


July 23, 2013

Lily Velden: The Race Is On, Book 2 of How The Light Gets In

Today's guest is fellow DsP author Lily Velden. She's bringing you a treasure hunt--make sure to join!



Hi, All! Lily Velden, here!

As warned on my blog, I’m popping up everywhere again as I go on the Pre-Release Promo Tour for THE RACE IS ON, BOOK 2 of HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN!

I didn’t want you all falling asleep in your chairs reading yet another interview about me, so I decided to host the TRIO Treasure Hunt. Anyone wanting to know more about Book 1: Same Page or Book 2: The Race is On, please visit my blog!

I hope those that are here having participated in Clue # 1 are enjoying it thus far!

The lovely Chris T. Kat was kind enough to say yes to hosting the second stop of the Hunt – Thank you, Chris! 
 
(For those stumbling across the TRIO Treasure Hunt for the first time Stop #1 was at WORDS OF WISDOM FROM THE SCARF PRINCESS, and, yes, you can still participate – the TRIO Treasure Hunt is open until 9th August, 2013)

I’ve kept the rules and clues simple as I want it to be fun and not a chore, and I’ve tried to make the “treasure” worth pursuing!

There are mini prizes along the way as well as two major prizes at the end. 


 
PRIZES
Mini Prizes: At each stop on the hunt you can enter the draw to win an open voucher redeemable with Dreamspinner Press of $6.99.
All you have to do is leave a comment!
Winner will be drawn within 7 days of my visit!


Major Prizes: By participating in the TRIO Treasure Hunt, collecting all four answers and logging them in on my blog by the 8th August you will be in the draw to win a $25 open voucher redeemable with Dreamspinner Press. There are two up for grabs!


COME AND JOIN THE FUN!


Okay, here goes!


TRIO TREASURE HUNT
There are only four stops on the Treasure Hunt.
At each stop you will be given an excerpt to read from THE RACE IS ON (TRIO)
Contained within the excerpt is the answer to a question / clue which will be asked at the end, and don’t worry, I will make it easy!!!

Each answer will only consist of ONE word.
Each word/answer is part of a four word sentence that relates to THE RACE IS ON. By the end of the Hunt you will have the entire sentence!
Write that sentence in the comment box provided on my blog and you are in the draw!

Winners drawn and notified 9th August, 2013
(If anything is unclear or ambiguous, please make contact, and I will do my best to explain in plain English!!!!)



THE RACE IS ON: BOOK 2 HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN
SUMMARY
Hollywood heartthrob Jaxon Moncrieff and Liam Lassiter are finally on the same page: committed and in it for the long haul. Now they just have to prepare for the inevitable fallout when they reveal their relationship. Between Jaxon’s career and Liam’s need to prepare for a life in the limelight, they decide to wait until filming of Jaxon’s latest project has wrapped.
Unbeknownst to them, the relentless paparazzi photographer Rafael Cacciatore, aka the Hunter, notices a change in Jaxon and is determined to be the first to break the story of who has captured Jaxon Moncrieff’s heart. In the meantime, Liam and Jaxon have enough on their plate working out the not-so-little issue of how and when Jaxon will come out to his family. The paparazzi aren’t even on their radar. The race to out Jaxon is on, and Liam and Jaxon don’t even know it.


EXCERPT
Rafael
There’s something different about him. Leaning back in my chair, I stared at the two images of Jaxon Moncrieff smiling at me from the screen of my laptop. After taking a scalding sip from the steaming cup in my hand, I grimaced, more at the bitter taste of the instant coffee than from its heat. God, what I wouldn’t give for a cup of good Italian coffee—the fucking instant crap at this hotel will be the death of me.
Placing the offending cup beside my computer on the flimsy dining table I was also using as my desk, I leaned forward, studying the images. The one on the left was of Moncrieff as he exited the studios of Jimmy Fallon, which I’d taken a little over twelve months earlier. He looked relaxed, smiling as he chatted with a group of adoring fans, the button of his suit jacket open, his shirt untucked.
My gaze shifted to the photo on the right, which I’d taken that very morning. He was still relaxed, still smiling, but there was definitely something different about him. What is it? Several long minutes passed as I peered closely at the image, trying to pin down the change in him.
He looks… content?


*****
TRIO TREASURE HUNT CLUES # 2
I’m in the 1st paragraph
In writing I am often used in conjunction with other words such as rather and other.
I am 4 letters long
I am word # 52 in the paragraph
I commence with the letter ‘T’



HAPPY HUNTING
and I hope to see you on the 30th at Andrew Q. Gordon’s!

 
Interested in reading the first book? Have a look here:



SAME PAGE: BOOK 1 HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN


COVER BLURB


He was like the only splash of color in a black-and-white photograph.


The man was beautiful.


At an exhibition opening in Sydney, jaded Hollywood heartthrob Jaxon Moncrieff lays eyes on publicity-shy artist Liam Lassiter for the first time and is immediately captivated. But he doesn’t get far into their first conversation before he realizes what he’s feeling is attraction, which brings him up short. Jaxon has always been a womanizer.


Despite his reservations, Jaxon makes a play for Liam, but Liam has his own issues. Unlucky in love and orphaned at sixteen, he is reluctant to open his heart to anyone, and dismisses Jaxon out of hand. 


Driven by a need he doesn’t understand, Jaxon organizes a return to Sydney to film his next project. If he can’t be with Liam, maybe they can be friends. Of course, that creates a whole new problem. Now Jaxon is falling in love for the first time. How can he move their relationship from friends to lovers without destroying the trust he’s worked so hard for?

LILY VELDEN

The Race is On
Buy Link : Dreamspinner Press

Same Page
Buy Link : Dreamspinner Press

Gay as Mardi Gras

Author links
Twitter: @LilyVelden

July 17, 2013

Skylar Jaye: The Flame

Please help me welcome fellow DsP author Skylar Jaye, who is talking about her debut book The Flame.



The Flame by Skylar Jaye

Thanks so much for having me here, Chris! I’m psyched to be able to share with everyone here about my debut book, The Flame.

The Flame is a long novella at about 40,000 words, or 162 pages. It’s m/m romance, published with Dreamspinner Press.

This book follows Jeremy Ashe, a sophomore at Samuin College. Samuin is the number one school for magik users—where elemental mages rule and all other magik types are sent to the bottom rungs of the social ladder. Jeremy has a wind core, but he chooses to study runic magik instead of wind magik and though it’s not popular, he hasn’t yet regretted that choice.

Jeremy only has a couple friends, but he likes it that way. He content with staying in the background. Except, when he meets Marcus Smith—the fire mage prodigy of Samuin—the spotlight finds its way to him. After all, it’s not everyday that “The Flame” of the college asks out a relative nobody on a date. Still, Jeremy finds he can’t say no to Marcus no matter how uncomfortable all the gossip makes him.

As Jeremy and Marcus begin their relationship, a series of fires begin to sprout around campus. When at first everyone brushed them off as accidents, it soon becomes clear that they must be the work of an arsonist.

Jeremy finds himself falling for Marcus, but Marcus is a senior and Jeremy feels their relationship is doomed to failure because of that. Then Marcus is arrested for supposedly being the infamous arsonist and everything gets a whole lot more complicated.


I hope that people want to check out my novella. It’s a quick read, though it deals with a lot of social commentary that can be related to our own world. If you like magik, young romance, and a subtle mystery—then you’ll probably like The Flame.

I’m currently giving away a copy of The Flame at my blog. To enter the contest, just comment at the relevant blog post over there: http://www.skylarjaye.com/?p=538.





Buy Links:



Blurb:
Despite the stigma against magiks other than the four elemental types, Jeremy Ashe works hard toward a degree in runic studies, navigating his way through family disproval and school clique politics while trying to figure out what he wants to do with the rest of his life. What he never figured on is The Flame, Samuin College’s fire mage prodigy, Marcus Smith. Sparks strike and threaten to raze Jeremy’s plans to the ground. When strange fires begin to burn all over campus, clues point to Marcus. Suddenly life isn’t just complicated, it’s dangerous.

Excerpt:
From the end of the first chapter.

Shrugging to himself, Jeremy took a shortcut through the edge of Shifters’ Yard on his way back to his dorm.
He heard Marcus before he saw him, the Flame’s low voice mixed with laughter as he called out to someone. Jeremy looked up and laid eyes upon the fire mage.
Marcus was leaning against a large tree, dressed in a black winter coat and bright red gloves that matched his hat. Unlike Jeremy’s own thrown-together outfit, he looked fabulous and fashionable and completely in control, even as he laughed aloud. From Jeremy’s angle, he could see those amber eyes fixated on someone, and Jeremy followed the look.
A gorgeous speckled leopardess pranced in the snow, her large tail flicking in Marcus’s direction. Her coat was ripe with snowflakes, indicating that maybe she’d rolled, or perhaps someone had dumped some on her. Either way, it was making Marcus laugh.
The snow leopardess shook herself and then stood, her form rippling into her human shape. And Jeremy had been correct about her gender, he realized as one of the most beautiful females he’d ever seen brushed the last of snow off her white winter coat. Her hair was so blonde it was almost white, like the fur of her leopard form, and her eyes were brilliantly blue. She looked like a Swedish supermodel, with all the grace and poise of a queen.
“It’s hardly polite to laugh at a lady, Marcus,” the woman said with a haughty sniff. Regardless of her ire, she stepped right up into Marcus’s space.
Marcus let her. “I didn’t mean to upset you, Freya,” he said, though his tone wasn’t very apologetic.
Still, Freya seemed mollified. “If you say so, darling.”
“I do,” Marcus insisted. He rested a hand on her shoulder. “Come on, I’m hungry. I don’t suppose you’re free for lunch?”
Jeremy frowned. He felt like he was eavesdropping on something private, though it was a public area. He wondered if Marcus and Freya were dating, or if they would be by Valentine’s Day. They would be a striking couple, he thought, trying to combat his sudden disappointment.
After all, he’d only talked with Marcus twice, and just because the man had asked for his name didn’t mean anything. He cursed Hani for putting that into his head. But feelings weren’t always rational, so regardless of how, intellectually, he knew that Marcus probably barely remembered him, he still felt the stirrings of jealously at seeing him with such an attractive companion.
Jeremy bent his head and slowly began to walk again. He’d have to pass the two lovebirds, but they had no reason to know he’d been standing in place for the last five minutes watching them, so they’d probably just ignore him.
Except, as Jeremy passed by, he couldn’t help but glance up. Marcus was looking at him, and their eyes met for the briefest of moments.
Jeremy turned away, thinking the moment lost, until he heard a startled “Jeremy?”
Blinking hard in surprise, Jeremy turned back. Marcus stared at him, and he nodded. “Hi, uh, again.”
“How are you?” Marcus asked.
“Um, good, I guess,” Jeremy said honestly.
Freya looked between the two of them, her eyebrows raised in apparent shock. So this wasn’t usual Marcus Smith behavior, Jeremy thought.
“Introduce me to your friend, darling,” Freya told Marcus.
“Right.” Marcus flashed her a smile. “Freya, this is Jeremy Ashe. Jeremy, this is Freya Cantalini.”
Jeremy smiled at her, pushing away the last of his earlier jealousy. Freya seemed nice enough, and she didn’t deserve that kind of negative emotion from a stranger. “Nice to meet you.”
“Likewise,” Freya said. She turned, and Marcus’s hand slipped from her shoulder. He seemed surprised by the motion, as if he’d forgotten it had been there.
Jeremy cleared his throat. “Well, I should go….”
“No, you don’t have to,” Marcus said immediately. His eyes narrowed for a moment. “I mean, if you want to. If you have class… I’ll walk with you.”
Freya snorted and they both looked at her, Jeremy with a confused expression and Marcus with a small blush on his cheeks. “Good luck with that,” she said, though Jeremy had no idea who she was addressing.
With a swish of her hair, Freya took a couple of steps, gracefully sliding back into her leopardess form. Her tail curled around Marcus’s leg as she passed. She glanced once more at Jeremy with those piercing blue eyes before bounding off into the snow.
Jeremy felt his head begin to throb and he winced, unsure of the direction the whole conversation had taken. “I didn’t mean to scare off your girlfriend,” he said finally, because Marcus was just looking at him and it seemed the polite thing to apologize for.
“Girlfriend?” Marcus asked. “Oh, Freya? No, we’re just good friends.” He laughed, shaking his head. “I wouldn’t date her if you paid me. She’s far too frightening.”
Jeremy tilted his head. “I can see that.” And though it shouldn’t, some of the tightness in his chest dissipated.
Silence stretched between them for a moment, uncomfortably awkward. Jeremy shifted and then suddenly Marcus sighed aloud, rubbing a hand through his hair. “Look, Jeremy,” he began.
“Yeah?” Jeremy asked warily, wondering what the point of this whole thing was.
“I don’t usually do this,” Marcus began, his face twisting. “Actually, I never do this.”
And despite the clich├ęd nature of that line, Jeremy took the bait. “Do what?”
Marcus cleared his throat. “Jeremy, would you go on a date with me? This Friday.”
“You want me to… be your Valentine?” Jeremy gaped.
“Please,” Marcus said. “If you want to, that is.”
“Why?” Jeremy asked suspiciously. He wondered if this was all a big joke, the Flame’s manner of picking on someone. “You don’t know me. You don’t really know anything about me.”
“I know that,” Marcus said. “But isn’t that one of the points of dating? Getting to know someone?”
“Oh.” Jeremy bit his bottom lip, his heart beating quick enough for him to hear. “I… I don’t know what to say.”
“Yes?” Marcus’s amber eyes bore into him, setting his cheeks ablaze. “You could say yes, Jeremy Ashe.”
And he shouldn’t, he really shouldn’t. Dating the Flame of Samuin College would bring the spotlight onto him, and he didn’t want that, but Marcus was looking at him with so much interest—the barely hidden passion of just meeting someone who called to him—and he couldn’t say no.
“Okay,” Jeremy murmured. “Okay, yes.”
Marcus’s bright smile washed away any amount of regret he might have felt at agreeing.


About Skylar Jaye:
As a writer and a person, Skylar Jaye is eccentric, eclectic, and excitable. Of her many hobbies, she enjoys some of the weirdest and most ridiculous activities out there. From medieval recreation to equestrian games, D&D, muggle quidditch, and beyond. She loves learning, but all of those interests (psychology, anthropology, and sociology) tend to lead her back to her main passion, writing.


Social Links:

July 15, 2013

Tali Spencer: Thick as Thieves

Please welcome my friend Tali Spencer, who is chatting about her newest release Thick as Thieves. If you haven't had the chance to read the book yet--you should! It's such a fantastic book! You'll fall in love with the characters, their interactions and the setting. It was a delight to read Thick as Thieves!

Barbarians and Basilisks




When writing Thick as Thieves, I came to a point where I needed some sort of magical object to serve as a goal for the first of the heroes’ adventures. Because the object was part of a spell that locked a slave collar, I came up with the idea the object was also alive. That led me to make the object an egg—and because it was a magical egg in a rip-roaring fantasy, I made it a basilisk egg.
Basilisks have lots to recommend them. Even the name sounds wonderful. It comes from the Greek for “little king.” Their power to turn anything they look at to stone is rooted in some fun history. Current wisdom says the inspiration for basilisks came from ancient Greeks who’d seen cobras in their travels. By the time the Middle Ages came along description of this exotic reptile had crossed with that of cockerels, or roosters, and the animal acquired its legendary status. According to myth, a basilisk is the “king” of serpents and resembles a cross between a snake and a rooster. It has a crest on its head and possesses both a killing gaze and poisonous breath.
How cool is that? Deadly, not terribly big according to most sources outside of the Harry Potter universe, and feared by all.
Here’s where the SPOILER tag comes in… don’t read further if you want to be surprised while reading the book!

* * * *
Vorgell the barbarian has a chance to break the basilisk egg but spares it, preferring to steal the egg instead. Hilarity ensues when the egg hatches in his pocket. Turns out basilisks imprint on the first creature they see upon hatching.
Once Petal the baby basilisk hatched, there was no putting her back in the shell. As a writer, I had no choice but to run with her. She claimed Vorgell’s heart and those of a few readers as well. A barbarian and his pet basilisk make a good team! Furthermore, she always remains a deadly, unpredictable force, both in this novel and in sequels to come.
And here’s where the author admits she loves Petal so much she commissioned some mugs with the cute little basilisk. 

 
Soooo cute! :)


How about an excerpt?


Excerpt:

Something hard poked Vorgell’s hip and he adjusted his seat. He had shifted position earlier to give more room to the contents of his pockets, but this was different. A click of one object hitting another was shortly followed by more sound. Something in his pocket was moving….
The basilisk egg! If it broke, they would have no payment for the sour old witch Ibeena. If there was one person left in the land in whose debt he did not wish to find himself….
Vorgell eased his hand into his pocket, only to be greeted with a vigorous nip. He bit his tongue to hold back a cry and snapped his hand back. Blood welled red on his pointing finger.
Why, you—” Apparently basilisks had teeth.
He shoved his hand back into his pocket, this time quickly, and scooped out the contents. The rock with the crystals, the leather bag containing his fire kit, and two copper coins spilled onto the fur coverlet. The basilisk egg was still encased in guardian crystals, but there was now a large chip on the exposed end of the egg. A tiny, pointed beak peeked through the hole. Now that he could see what he was doing, he picked up the egg again and watched the little basilisk chip away at its shell.
Would the old crone Ibeena want an egg that was hatched? He could hardly force the creature to stop what it was doing. With a shrug, seeing as Madd was sleeping, he decided to help. Vorgell grasped one of the guarding crystals between his fingers and then pried and wiggled until it was loose. He carefully slipped it from the rock to give the hatching beastie more shell to break away. He did this twice more until most of the egg’s surface was cleared.
All at once the egg split and a hideous little head popped out. The basilisk’s beady, slit eyes fixed on Vorgell. He recognized that gaze. The eye had looked quite a bit larger as it stared at him from the green jewel of Madd’s collar, but it was the same. He grinned a greeting and watched the slimy thing struggle to free a pink, clawed foot. He could not say for sure just what a basilisk was, save that it had very long toes and what looked like a beak on its snout. Some sort of wet, rosy feathers plastered its skull, but the rest as it emerged appeared to be soft, scaly, and green, not unlike a lizard. When it freed the last of four little legs, it tumbled, tiny tail and all, into Vorgell’s waiting hand, where it quivered in the cup of his palm.
Well, look at you,” he said, putting aside the now vacant egg and its prison of rock. He thought better of touching the poor newly hatched creature, not knowing if that would be wise, and simply cradled it against his body where it would find warmth. Now that it was free of the egg, he could see the rosy feathers continued from its head down its back and it had a cute little tuft at the end of its tail. It didn’t look quite so ugly now.
Aren’t you pretty?” he said softly. “You’re pretty as a petal.” The basilisk strove to move forward, but he prevented it from leaving his hand, and it huddled, trapped against his body, looking up at him with unblinking, jewel-like eyes. The little thing had magic in it. That much he could tell, but if it had any powers, he couldn’t say. “You don’t have a mother to name you,” he murmured, because all things that entered the world must be named to assume their proper place, “so I’ll have to do. Because you’re pretty, I’ll call you Petal and hope you’re a girl.”


For more of Petal’s story, here’s the blurb for the book and information about where to find it, and me. 
 
Blurb:

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.

Author Bio

Tali Spencer fell in love with writing at an early age and never stopped. Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college and enjoyed a series of interesting careers including respiratory therapist, airport executive, and raising three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to Lebanese cookbooks, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle. 
 
Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
E-mail: tali.spencer1@gmail.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer
Twitter: @tali_spencer

July 14, 2013

Guest Blogging & Giveaway



I'm guest blogging at Sid Love about Attachment Strings. I hope you'll have a look and enter for a chance to win a copy of Attachment Strings (e-book or paperback).

Oh, and then I have a recommendation for you: Tali Spencer's Thick as Thieves. Such an enjoyable story!

July 10, 2013

This and That

After my diagnosis with diabetes I'm now taking meds. I'm still adjusting to them and the nausea was terrible in the beginning. It's getting better but let's just say my interest in food waned considerably. ;-)

On the other hand, my numbers are much, much better and I also feel better. Well, except for the nausea. Often my sight blurred suddenly (doc explained that this happens when the glucose level is too high) and for the last three weeks that didn't happen once. It's really nice to see the world without blurred edges.

Someone stole my wallet yesterday and I'm still pissed off because I have to get all those papers new (driver's license, identity card, etc.).

I've been watching the BBC production of Robin Hood and adore this series! It also proved again that I'm odd because I desperately want to read some fan fiction with the Sheriff of Nottingham and Guy of Gisborne as a pairing. In case anyone has any recs I'll love you forever!

Did you see that I changed the headline for my blog from Chris T. Kat to "The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat"? Kudos for coming up with this slogan to Lex Chase, who interviewed me here. I hope to have a fitting banner soon.

To be true to my new slogan, have a cute picture:


July 07, 2013

Sexy Snippet #9



Welcome to Sexy Snippets. This is seven sentences, taken from a work in progress, or published book, and brought to you every Sunday. 

This week's post is from Sacrifices (my WIP, sequel to Attachment Strings):

 
Expelling a breath, I did my best to lie still in Alex’s small bed.
Can’t sleep anymore?” Alex asked.
So much for me acting all considerate. “This bed isn’t made for two grown men. I’m sure it’s not even built for one grown man.”
What about two grown men and a little boy?”
That’s a recipe for a disaster.”


July 03, 2013

Favorite books in 2013 (so far)

Below is a short list of books I've read so far this year and which made an impression on me.

Recently I've re-read Rolf and Ranger's Falls Chance Ranch series. I do that at least three times per year, which means I've read this series, um, well, often. :P  I never get bored of the characters and interactions and still love it very, very much.

Picture courtesy of [Marcus]  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The books that made the biggest impression on me (and I seriously wanted to cry when I finished the last one because I didn't want it to end), are the five books from The Mallorean by David Eddings (sequel to The Belgariad).

I also enjoy the work of Lyn Gala a great deal. She writes in different sub-genres and maybe there's something in for you too. Examples of her work are: Fettered and Claimings, Tails, and Other Alien Artifacts.

Rebecca Cohen's The Actor and the Earl and the sequel Duty to the Crown took me a bit by surprise because I didn't expect to fall in love with Anthony and Sebastian so badly. :)

Some of you know that I liked the first three Nightrunner books from Lynn Flewelling but the fourth and fifth left me cold. I still got the sixth book, Casket of Souls, and wow, did I love this one!


As for my own writing:

I'm working on the sequel to Attachment Strings at the moment. I hope to finish it in a few weeks. After that I'll finally pick up a story about an angel and his human mate again. Then it'll be Kit and Dale's third and last book and after that it'll either be the third (and last) Secret Chemistry story or Jeff and Alex's third story. Now if I only had more time to write. ;-)


So, do you have any reading recommendations for me?

July 02, 2013

MA Church: Shadows in the Night

Today I'm very pleased to welcome my friend MA Church. She's here to talk about her upcoming release "Shadows in the Night", which sounds very exciting!




All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king. ― J.R.R. Tolkien


Hey everyone! I’m M.A. Church and I’m here to talk about my latest book called Shadows in the Night from Dreamspinner, which will be released July 12th. It’s a paranormal/shifter novel that throws together a modern man, named Chip, and Jason, a Native American who lived in a time when the buffalo roamed across the land we now call America.
Now ask yourself this: What if the Native American history we learned as children isn’t precisely right? Is it possible the history books—books written by the White Man—are nothing more than a combination of a few correct facts and many inaccuracies? Could there be more than what we were taught about this proud group of people?
Jason would tell you that long ago The Great Spirit, who they called Wha-tay, created Mother Earth, an untouched land filled with beauty and life. Then her children, The People, were allowed to inhabit the land. The People settled at The Tree of Life—the soul of Mother Earth. The People believed the universe was bound together by the spirits within all natural life—from plants, animals, humans, water, and even the earth itself.
When a child was born to The People, that child was joined with a spirit, a totem. Could be a land spirit, a water spirit, a plant spirit, or an animal spirit. And once bound, that person had the ability to use the gifts the spirit had.
But Time didn’t stand still and, as it moved forward, it brought with it the White Man, who left in his wake a trail of tears and destruction. Very few of the original People survived—and those who did retained the ability to shift, or use whatever ability their totem spirit had gifted them with.
*grin* And welcome to my world of shifters, lol.

Shadows in the Night
~A Leap of Faith Novel



Blurb:

When Chip Riley's beloved granny passes away, she leaves him all her money, her land, and a house that needs some tender love and care. She never mentioned the legacy comes with a Native American shifter who intends to claim Chip as his mate.
Jason Sky has lived since buffalo roamed the land. When his totem spirit, a black cougar, saves a little girl, he doesn’t realize that generations later, her grandson will become his mate, leaving him to take on a modern man with modern ideas. But that’s the least of his problems.
Garon, another shifter with a long-held hatred for Jason, plots to kidnap Chip and lure Jason to his death. Soon Chip finds himself in an untenable position between a rock and a hard place. A leap of faith may be the only way to save himself and the man he’s learned to love.

Pages: 200
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase



Excerpt:

WHERE are you at, Chip? You’re late.”
Chip scowled at the phone as he sipped his warm, forgotten beer. Well now, that was just plain gross. “Tonight’s not good. I think I’m just going to hang out here.”
On a Friday night? Have you lost your mind?”
Chip leaned back, feet on the coffee table, and turned the volume down on the TV. “I’ve lost something, but it’s not my mind.”
Explain, dude.”
After a short, intense conversation, he hung up. Once he’d explained what had happened, Simon tried nicely to talk him into coming on to the bar. When that hadn’t worked, Simon threatened to show up at his apartment with all their friends in tow. Knowing Simon meant it, Chip promised to come to the bar. The last thing he needed was for all of them to show up at his home. He’d been friends with the blond-haired, brown-eyed man since college. Simon was what Chip called a twink. He was a little on the short side, skinny, and young-looking, even though they were both twenty-three.
Chip showered quickly and dressed in an old, ripped-up, faded pair of black Levi’s and a black, short-sleeved knit shirt. He slipped his feet into his cowboy boots and grabbed his keys. Thirty minutes later, he was seated at the table with his friends. The bar was nothing fancy, but it had an open and relaxed atmosphere. It was clean, the food was cheap but good, and the drinks weren’t watered down. Apparently, Simon had passed the word about him losing his job, because no sooner did he sit down than the owner, Gus Hawkins, placed a beer in front of him.
I heard what happened. Sorry, man, it sucks all the way around. This one, and the next if you want it, is on the house.”
Chip didn’t know the owner well, but they had spoken a few times. Most everyone called Gus “Hawk.” He liked the guy, and his friend Simon was in lust with him. “Thanks, Hawk. I guess bad news travels fast, huh?”
Yeah, it does. Simon told me.” Hawk shrugged as he glanced back at someone sitting at the main bar. “But things have a way of working out.”
Hope they work out in the next few weeks.” Chip raised the glass and nodded at Hawk. “Thanks, again.”
No problem.” Hawk left after quickly running his eyes over Simon.
Oh my God, he’s so damn sexy,” Simon breathed to Chip. “I swear, I don’t know what kind of aftershave or whatever he uses, but the scent drives me nuts. Makes me what to climb in his lap and lick him all over.”
Down, boy.” Chip took a sip of his beer. Funny, he hadn’t smelled anything. Hawk was a big man, tall and well defined with muscular arms. He had short dark-brown hair with natural red highlights and hazel eyes. There was a tattoo on his right bicep of a bird. “Why not make a play for him? For the past two weekends you’ve sat in here and made googly eyes at the man, but done nothing.”
Simon looked down at his glass, and for a moment the carefree, happy attitude that was so him, slipped. “I’ve seen the guys he talks to, Chip. All big guys, just like him. And older too. See that one he’s talking to now—the one with the long black hair?”
Chip turned to the bar. Oh yeah, he’d seen the guy earlier. He had his back to them, though, so Chip couldn’t get a good look at him. “So?”
He’s as far away from being a twink as you can get.” Simon frowned at the dark-headed man. “If that’s what interests Hawk, then I don’t have a chance. That guy’s tall, built, and I swear, there’s this air of danger about him. Just like Hawk.”
Yeah, Hawk does have this… I don’t know what to call it. Edge might be a good word.” Chip glanced back at the bar. The guy talking to Hawk had caught his attention from the moment he’d entered the bar. That hair alone had Chip itching to run his fingers through it—it reminded him of a black silken waterfall. No one he knew had hair that long, and this man had hair down to the middle of his back. From what he could see, the stranger had nicely tanned arms. He wished the guy would turn around so he could see his face.
That’s as good a word as any.” Simon sighed. “However you want to put it, the fact is Hawk intimidates me. I want to talk to him, but….”
Chip dragged his attention away from the guy at the bar. “Yeah, well, don’t go giving up just yet. I saw that look he gave you before he walked away.”
Simon perked up. “He did, didn’t he? Wonder if….”
Chip picked up the menu and ordered a couple of appetizers. If he was going to have a beer or two, then they needed food. He split his time between trying to catch a glance of the guy at the bar, talking to his friends, watching the big screen TVs, and listening to Simon plot and plan how to catch Hawk’s attention—and if Hawk was gay or bi. There were times he wanted to beat Simon’s head on the table, then maybe his own. Hell, at this point, maybe even Hawk’s. This game these two played was getting old, and Simon just wasn’t brave enough to make the first move. No straight man looked at another man the way Hawk’s eyes seared into Simon—that’s a fact.
By midnight, Chip was tired and ready to go home. Simon and the rest of their little gang tried to talk him into staying longer, but he’d had enough. As he was leaving, he glanced back at the main bar. The man he’d been eyeing all night had left at some point when he wasn’t looking. Disappointed, Chip made his good-byes, thanked Hawk again, and left.
He drove home, paying careful attention to the speed limit. He’d had maybe a beer and a half and plenty to eat, but still… the last thing he needed was a damn ticket. When he arrived at the apartment building, he parked in his usual spot. Immediately he noticed the antique truck several vehicles down from him.
Huh, wonder who this beauty belongs to?” The damn thing looked as good as the day it was built. “Never seen it here before.”
Chip admired the truck a few minutes before heading down the breezeway to the back of the complex where his apartment was located. As his luck would have it, the light was out.
Well, great, isn’t this just nice and dark?” Chip made a mental note to call the manager in the morning and report it.
This part of the apartment building was isolated, and having no light back here was not a good idea. It was already dark enough with the light on. He’d wanted an apartment in the back because there was a small ravine with woods close by. He’d actually seen a fair amount of wildlife back there, which brought back nice memories. It reminded him of his granny’s home where he’d spent most of his summers. Of course, that meant he didn’t get light from the street.
Whew. Smells like we got ourselves a tomcat around here.” Chip wrinkled his nose as he opened his door. The smell of ammonia was heavy. “I think it’s taken a shine to my little patio area. Wow, that’s strong. God, I hope someone around here isn’t feeding it.”
Chip made a mental note to ask the manager if they could do something about the smell. He locked the door and threw his keys on the bar. He cleaned up his little living area and turned out the lights. With nothing else to do, he got ready for bed.

THE outline of something big and dark moved out of the ravine and crept up the small bank to the back of the apartment buildings. After sniffing the air for danger, it approached Chip’s apartment. He knew what a chance it was taking, but the need to check on the one he wanted drove him to take the risk. Chip hadn’t drunk much that night, but still….
Tomcat… really? The creature shook his massive head. At least you didn’t drink yourself silly tonight over losing your job, then get behind the wheel.
The animal knew where Chip lived, thanks to his granny. For years, he’d kept a check on the human. He was tired of waiting, dammit, but he had promised Chip’s granny he’d give the human time. Little did Chip know the time limit on that promise was about to run out. Death stalked the land; he sensed it. And when death struck, Chip would grieve—for that matter, so would he—but the time was approaching.
He peeked through the blinds of Chip’s bedroom window. Chip was a sheet-covered lump in the middle of the bed, hugging a pillow. The big cat’s heart ached. He could feel Chip’s desperation from where he stood.
Hang in there. It won’t be much longer now. Unfortunately, things are going to get worse before they get better.


Author bio:

M.A. Church

M.A. Church lives in the southern United States and spent many years in the elementary education sector. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have two children. Her hobbies are gardening, walking, attending flea markets, watching professional football, racing, and spending time with her family on the lake.
But her most beloved hobby is reading. From an early age, she can remember hunting for books at the library. Later nonhuman and science fiction genres captured her attention and drew her into the worlds the authors had created. But always at the back of her mind was the thought that one day, when the kids were older and she had more time, she would write a book.
By sheer chance she stumbled across a gay male romance story on the web and was hooked. A new world opened up and she fell in love. Thus the journey started. When not writing or researching, she enjoys reading the latest erotic and mainstream romance novels.


My links:

Twitter @nomoretears00