December 29, 2013

Sunday Snippet #10 -- The Wolf and His Diva

This week's Sunday Snippet is from my upcoming release The Wolf and His Diva. This is a scene from the beginning of the book and both characters are in their fox-forms.


Image courtesy of [Marc Aert] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.


Billy pressed both hind paws against George’s belly while he angled with his forepaws for George’s neck. George nudged his face aside before gently licking from Billy’s snout to his chest, grooming him.
See? That’s what I mean! I know you’re all for the big wilderness and all that but… can’t we go home and have sex on a bed? You remember what’s it’s like, right? A real bed, I mean?
Images flashed up in front of George’s inner eye; images of Billy in his human form—a small, lithe man with finely toned muscles everywhere and the most beautiful green-blue eyes. Oh, and he also had the thickest, albeit softest, auburn hair George had ever felt.
Hello-ho! You’re doing it again! Billy singsonged.
George nipped sharply at Billy’s left ear. I’m old. I’m allowed to be sentimental.
Billy snorted. You’re forty-three. That’s not old.
You’re twenty-eight. I’m from the Stone Age in comparison to you. I even have the gray hair to prove it.
Dork, Billy said with a great deal of affection in his voice. Seconds later he pleaded, Come on, George, please. I want to eat a warm meal. I want to sleep in a comfortable bed with you curled around me. I want you to make love to me in our bed, not on a hard and frozen ground.
We padded our den. You’re not lying on frozen ground, George retorted then made the mistake of gazing into Billy’s eyes and surrendered. All right, we’ll go home.
Oh, splendid! Billy crooned. After flipping onto his side he bounced to his feet. He was already climbing out of their den when he called, Last one home has to cook!
Hey! George shouted.
He received no answer. After crawling out of the den himself he searched for Billy’s paw prints in the snow and gave chase.

December 27, 2013

Cover Reveal: A.R -- Lady's Destiny





BLURB

When dreams haunt you in the most delicious ways and fate pulls you into destiny’s path, what can be done other than to accept and submit to it.

Can Iria truly get what she’s always dreamed of or will it always just remain a memory? Being a rare creature such as her with exceptional beauty and rarity of existence should be enough.  Though, all she wants is her desire, her destiny… To be with a man—one man.

Are these dreams she’s having real? Could she really take on human form and become a Lady to be with the man she craves?

Dezso discovers a magical creature—a being of incredible light and peace. He is drawn to it again and again, and his feelings grow with every encounter. He carries a dark secret that he wishes never existed. The only thing that truly brings light upon his existence is the beauty that warms his heart but seems to only exist in his head—with dreams and visions of a magical woman, full of heartwarming light.

Will he ever know true love and happiness? Will he ever be able to lighten the weight and share his dark secret with another...?

Darkness is growing stronger, weakening the light and killing off what makes the world a beautiful place to live in. Enter a world of fantasy and dreams, passions and temptations. A world where dragons, unicorns, magic and mermaids really do exist. A world where love WILL conquer all!

To be released January 2014.



Bio:
A.R. was born and raised in Bronx, NY and is the oldest daughter of two girls. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science and Information Technology, which was only briefly used. She’s a mother of two entertaining teen boys (as well as a lovely fawn Chihuahua, whom she considers her furry daughter.) She’s also a wife to a delightfully handsome and amazingly funny man-beast. She loves anything dragon and fantasy related. In her free time she enjoys exercising, writing, listening to music, hiking, cooking, dancing and reading. She also loves a great adventure in and out of a book!
She writes to free her mind of its constant wondering and clutter. She thrives on the fact she can share some of it with readers that have the same passion for a great story.

Stalker links:




December 26, 2013

MA Church: Wrapped in Leather

Please help me welcome fellow DsP author MA Church, who is here to talk about her upcoming release "Wrapped in Leather".




A riding crop and a blindfold doesn't make it BDSM. There is a big difference between being kinky and being in the scene. It's not a sexual thing to me, it's a very spiritual thing.
~ DominaBlue




Hey everyone! I’m M.A. Church and I’m here to talk about my latest release, Wrapped in Leather. It’s the first in the Wrapped Up series and focuses on BDSM. BDSM is an acronym of B&D (Bondage & Discipline), D&S (Dominance & Submission), and S&M (sadomasochism). BDSM refers to any or all of these things, and a lot of stuff besides.


There are as many ways to practice BDSM as there are people, and Jase, the Dom, talks about this in the story. Tying up your lover is BDSM; so is flogging that person, or bossing that person around… or any of a thousand other things. BDSM is highly eroticthough not alwaysand can involve sex or sexual tension, the action highly psychologically charged. BDSM is not necessarily hardcore sadomasochism; it can be remarkably subtle, sensual, and soft. Pinning your partner to the bed and running silk or ice cubes or rabbit fur over your lover's body qualifies as BDSMspecifically, of a variety called sensation play.



The fundamental principles for the exercise of BDSM require informed consent of all involved parties. Since the 1980s, many practitioners and organizations have adopted the mottooriginally from the statement of purpose of GMSMA, a gay SM activist organizationsafe, sane, and consensual which is commonly abbreviated as SSC. Everything is based on safe activities, participants must be of sufficiently sound/sane mind to consent, and that all participants consent. 
Mutual consent makes a clear legal and ethical distinction between BDSM and such crimes as sexual assault or domestic violence.

~Photo permission granted by Gregory Anton http://rav-photography.com/





Release date: January 3rd
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond


Blurb:
To celebrate his decision to take the next step with his boyfriend Ian, Toshi Baylor plans a romantic evening at their favorite steak house. Toshi starts the special weekend with a bang by surprising Ian at home with lunch. There’s a bang all right, but it’s between Ian and another guy.

Jase Taylor’s auto repair shop and the BDSM club, Wrapped Up, keep him busy while he waits for Mr. Right, instead of Mr. Right Now. He’s a Dom, but playing with the club’s submissives isn’t providing the usual stress release. After a day from hell, he deserves a good meal at his favorite steak house.

Toshi and Jase find a mix-up with their reservations: a table for Baylor, not Taylor. When Toshi invites Jase to dine with him, they discover a mutual affection for leather and a shared belief that trust must be earned.

Before they can explore their common interests, Toshi suffers a series of attacks by vandals. Jase’s protective instincts kick in, but both wonder if it can lead to anything permanent.




Excerpt:
An hour later, head spinning and body weak, Toshi gasped for air. Little aftershocks of pleasure shot through him, his body tightening spasmodically until Ian’s dick softened and slipped out. They collapsed on the den floor.
“Damn,” Ian mumbled finally as they lay there, still breathing hard. “Now, that’s what I call dessert. You’re a good fuck, Toshi.”
Toshi rested his head on his arm and rolled his eyes, the warm fuzzy afterglow fading abruptly. There were times he truly wished Ian would just keep his mouth shut. “Now that’s romantic.”
“What can I say?” Ian slapped Toshi on the ass. “I’m not one for sappy words.”
Toshi sighed, thoroughly disgusted. “You don’t have to be a poet, but jeez, can’t you come up with something better than I’m a good fuck?”
Ian braced himself on an elbow and looked down at Toshi, a lopsided grin on his face. “You’re a really good fuck?”
“Be still my heart.” Toshi shook his head. I give up. This wasn’t the first time he’d mentioned this. Ian just didn’t get it. Actually, Ian didn’t get a lot of things lately. “I’m going to take a shower. You coming?”
“Can’t. I need to head home. I’ve got an early day tomorrow. Rain check?” Ian rolled to his feet. He removed the condom and dumped it in the nearest trash can. “Speaking of which, I’m going to have to cancel our date tomorrow night. I have to work late.”
“Are you kidding me? Again?” Toshi huffed out a breath and stood. He grabbed a blanket off the couch and wrapped it around his slim hips. The earlier warmth from their lovemaking had retreated. This was happening all too often. That damn loan company Ian worked for must really be growing. All Ian did was work, and frankly, he was getting annoyed. “Dammit, Ian—”
“Hey, babe, I know, okay? But what can I say? They’d be lost without me.” Ian quickly dressed and kissed Toshi on the lips. He grabbed his keys off the coffee table. “Call you later.”
With those parting words, he was gone. Stifling another deep sigh, Toshi locked the front door and walked to the bathroom, then threw the blanket in the hamper. Rattled, he started the shower. It was a shame his own boyfriend had the ability to make him feel like what he said… a fuck. After he tested the water, he stepped inside the stall. The sex was good, but that’s all it felt like—sex. There was something missing—something had been missing for a while.
Toshi soaped the loofah and washed his hairless chest and stomach. He was beginning to feel more like a fuck buddy than a boyfriend. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but something was off. Dammit, he wanted more. He wanted a relationship. He wanted a partner who would share his life but who also took control in the bedroom. The last part was a problem for Ian. Ian was trying, but he just wasn’t quite what Toshi dreamed about. Oh, Ian was all for spanking his ass. He’d even tied his hands to the headboard with a pair of cuffs Toshi had bought off the Internet, but Ian was just… playing. That was the best way to sum it up.
Then there was Toshi’s fondness for anything leather, which had earned him a few strange looks from Ian. He’d tried to explain his need, but Ian didn’t get that, either. Leather was nothing more than another material to Ian, but to Toshi, it was so much more. Ian wasn’t serious about the more kinky things Toshi wanted to try. He didn’t exude the dominance Toshi needed so badly in the bedroom.
They’d talked about what he wanted to do. They’d even watched a few DVDs. But Ian as a Dom was a total joke. Ian also thought Toshi’s affection for leather was downright weird. He’d had gone as far as to say he wasn’t interested in bringing leather into their sexual relationship. Toshi didn’t know if he could just shelve his need. After sex, he felt incomplete. Then there was Ian himself—always breaking dates, not returning his calls, most times in a hurry to go… like tonight.
He finished his shower and dried off. He wiped the steam off the bathroom mirror and stared into his own cocoa-colored eyes. “Maybe I should rethink what I’m planning. Maybe.”
Toshi turned the light off and yawned. Guess he’d be calling it an early night after all.




Author bio:
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



December 25, 2013

Wednesday Briefs: Hope #13

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used this prompt: "the power of love"



Hope #13


I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think. I couldn't move.
The words laid out with the tiles blurred until a gray haze concealed them from me. Nothing made sense, and yet, everything clicked into place. I wasn't a child, but I so wanted to believe this message. I wanted Shane to come back from the dead for me, even if it was in puppy form. The power of love was supposed to be the greatest power on earth, wasn't it?
A firm bump against my knee caused me to suck in air. The haze vanished and, instead, I panted and trembled. My hands clenched and unclenched of their own accord. Every muscle in my body vibrated. Light-headedness became an issue. I locked my knees, but they shook so badly that I gave up. As soon as I did, I found myself sitting flat on my ass on the floor, wheezing.
Hope climbed atop my thighs, whimpering. His paws might be small, but they still dug into my flesh. I snatched him by the nape of his neck and held him up in front of my face, hissing. “This is impossible. I don't know what game you or someone else is playing here but it'll stop. Right now.”
Hope wailed. It was a high-pitched, long-drawn wail that raised the hairs on my arms. I gritted my teeth against a myriad of emotions rattling me. Hope struggled in my hold and, with all his might, he tried to get closer to me.
You're Hope,” I said. My voice cracked when I added, “You're not Shane.”
Hope writhed in the air. If I didn't want to hurt him I had to let go of him. I lowered him onto my legs and he immediately launched himself at my chest, barking and climbing up on me. For a moment, I resisted.
But when he rubbed his small face against my cheek, I gasped and clasped my arms around him. He stilled right away and pressed his fluffy body against me. His breath came in sharp bursts, tickling my face, and his heart raced.
You can't be Shane,” I repeated.
Hope wiggled out of my arms, then climbed back on the coffee table. There he shoved tiles apart and grouped them into new words. I waited while he busied himself. My mouth was so dry, and blood kept pounding in my ears, toning down some of the scratching noise Hope made whenever he pushed a tile around.
When he barked, I asked, “Are you finished?”
Hope bopped his tail once on the table and fixed his marble-like eyes on me. As I rolled onto my knees to read his new message, a chill surged through me. A wave of heat followed the icy sensation, and I knew my eyes had to be large as saucers, maybe even as large as a plate because these eyes... they reminded me of Shane.
Shane's eyes had been dark, so dark, and they'd twinkled, depending on how the light fell on them. I'd been attracted to Shane's body, yes, but once I'd looked into his eyes, I'd been a goner.
My pulse sped up so much, I feared to lift off any second. With great effort, I pried my eyes off his and read the new message.
GIL IT IS REALLY ME SHANE
I swallowed. This was impossible. It couldn't be. And yet, a small part of me believed this strange little creature.
I opened my mouth several times, never sure what to say, or even if I'd be able to form words. In the end, I listened to my own awed voice asking, “Seriously?”
Hope bounced to his feet, barked and swished his tail from one side to the other.
Shouldn't you thump your tail to answer my question?”
Hope blew out a breath—something Shane had done too whenever he was exasperated—and then knocked his tail once on the table.
Really?” I asked.
Hope did it again. Tears sprang to my eyes so suddenly that I had no chance to prevent them from spilling over. A harsh sob tore from my throat even as I opened my arms. Hope—no, Shane—pushed away from the table and sailed through the air, his eyes lit with joy.
Shane,” I sobbed, while I hugged him as tightly as I dared.


TBC


  Or you can visit us here:
 http://wedbriefsfic.com

December 22, 2013

Sunday Snippet #9 -- Attachment Strings (Jeff Woods Mystery #1)

This week's Sunday Snippet is from Attachment Strings (Jeff Woods Mystery #1).



I couldn’t sleep like this. I felt smothered, suffocated, and out of my element. Alex fell into a restless sleep, which didn’t help my insomnia one single bit. In the end I pushed him off me and sat up. Sleepily, he blinked at me. “What’s the matter?”
You’re emanating heat like an oven. I can’t sleep like this.”
That’s the nicest euphemism for I-hate-cuddling-so-get-the-hell-away-from-me I ever heard.” Alex scooted to the edge of the bed, bringing as much space between us as possible. “’Night.”
I stared at his naked back while I settled against the pillow. Two grown men couldn’t lie comfortably and sleep in Alex’s small bed. No way. We were crammed together like sardines in a box; no one could sleep like this. I tried to convince myself of this for the next half hour. In the end I turned on my side and whispered, “Are you still awake?”
No,” came the muffled reply.
I’m cold.”
That caught Alex’s attention. Sounding more alert he asked, “Seriously? Want me to get you another blanket?”
I rolled my eyes while I looped one arm under his head and the other around his waist. I pulled and he obediently shuffled backwards into my arms. His ass molded perfectly against my crotch and his back felt like it belonged pressed against my belly and chest. A funny thought somehow. It was also a very new thought for me, one I’d never had before. I tightened my hold around his trim waist and wondered if tomorrow would bring even more revelations. I wasn’t sure I could take more mind-boggling thoughts.
Since overanalyzing wouldn’t get me any nearer to a much desired sleep, I placed a firm kiss on Alex’s neck.
He chuckled. “You really hate cuddling, huh?”
Absolutely,” I agreed.
Think you can sleep now?”
Yes.”

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3951

December 20, 2013

New Contracts!

I'm very happy to announce that I signed two new contracts. One is for Unicorn Rescue, a novelette, that will be published by extasy books.

Image courtesy of [Victor Habbick] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This morning I signed a contract with Dreamspinner Press for Secret Chemistry 2. Estimated publication date is August / September 2014.



I'm very, very happy. :)

December 19, 2013

Goddess Fish Promotions: C M Michaels -- Dangerous Waters


Dangerous Waters
by C M Michaels

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

For Emily Waters, a nature-loving, small-town girl with an overprotective father, heading off to Boston University to study conservation biology is a dream come true—until a chance encounter catapults her into a mythical world she’d do anything to escape.

The latest victim in a rash of abductions near campus, Emily is brutally attacked before being rescued by a powerful new friend. She survives the ordeal, only to find herself held captive and presented with an impossible choice. While preparing for the unimaginable life she must now embrace clues soon emerge that Emily may not be entirely human, and her physical transformation awakens goddess-like powers that her new family cannot begin to explain. Dealing with her human first love, the not-so-platonic relationship with her coven “sister,” and her new vampire sort-of-boyfriend further complicates matters, not to mention being secretly hunted by the psychopaths who attacked her. And as the only known offspring of a once all-powerful race, the climactic battle is only the beginning of her journey.





Excerpt:

Fight or flight excerpt

Would you stop already?” Teresa grumbled, glaring at her ever-pacing brother. “No one’s following us. Relax.”

Travis finished scanning Beacon Street and ducked back into the alleyway. “God damn it! Do you ever listen? I told you we had to cool it for a while. What the hell were you thinking?”

The bitch spilled her drink on me.”

He sighed and tiredly rubbed his eyes. Arguing with her was like trying to reason with a bratty three-year-old grabbing candy in a grocery checkout line. “So we’re homeless because someone accidentally got diet coke on your shirt?”

Quit being such a queen,” Teresa said with a huff. “You know Stefan thinks of us as his kids, which is totally weird by the way. All he’ll do is make us listen to his rules again. If you wouldn’t have talked me into running, we’d probably be watching TV by now.”

If Stefan and Alexander just wanted to talk, they would’ve waited until we got back, not raided our feeding room like a two-man S.W.A.T. team. This is serious, Terr. If they find us, they’re going to kill us.”

For the first time in as long as he could remember, his snarky, narcissistic sister looked vulnerable. She crossed her arms to conceal her jittery hands and looked into his eyes. “So what do we do? I’m not living on the street again, or in the skuzzy-ass hotels we used to stay in.”

Travis placed a comforting hand on his baby sister’s shoulder. “Things aren’t like they used to be, sis. Even you have to admit that Stefan taught us a hell of a lot. Once we get out of town, we can trance a bank manager and get all the money we need. I thought we’d head south—you always wanted to see Orlando.”

Acting as if he hadn’t even spoken, Teresa shrugged off his hand and headed further down the dimly lit alley, veering around overflowing dumpsters and piles of loose garbage before slumping back against the brick wall behind her. “And what about the skank who started all this? We just leave her to her fairy-tale life, sipping wine in her mansion?”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

C.M Michaels grew up in a small town in northern Michigan as the youngest child of a close-knit family of seven. He met his wife, Teresa, while attending Saginaw Valley State University. Together they’ve provided a loving home for several four-legged “kids”, including Sophie, their eternally young at heart, hopelessly spoiled Spaniel.

He has always enjoyed writing, and still has fond memories of reading his first book, a children’s novella, to local grade schools when he was 14. Dangerous Waters, the first book in the Sisters in Blood series, is being published by Freya’s Bower on September 5th, 2013. C.M. is currently working on the second book in the Sisters in Blood series along with a Fantasy romance.

When he’s not writing, C.M. can be found curled up with a good book, watching movies or hitting the hiking trails with his wife. An avid reader since discovering Jim Kjelgaard novels in early childhood, his favorite authors include Kelley Armstrong, Peter V. Brett, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Claire, J.R. Ward, Laini Taylor and Tessa Dawn.

C.M. currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

Social Media links:







Buy links:

Buy links:








 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
C M Michaels will award a $50 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter.  (Three randomly drawn hosts will win a $25 Amazon/BN GC).
 
 
 Follow the tour and comment to increase your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/10/virtual-book-tour-dangerous-waters-by-c.html

December 18, 2013

Wednesday Briefs: Hope #12

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week.

Hope #12


Hope shoved tiles this way and that way, but after five minutes curiosity fled me. He was playing—nothing more, nothing less.
I went over to the dropped boxes and scattered game pieces to collect them. It took me almost a quarter of an hour to clear up the chaos from the floor and stack the games back on their shelves.
Now come on, Hope. We really need to—” I cut myself off after turning around.
Hope sat on the coffee table, his chest pushed out with obvious pride, and barked. He'd ordered the tiles in neat rows, which was amazing given that he could only use his nose to push them around.
I headed toward him, a frown in place. A sudden unease, some kind of inner tension, coiled in the pit of my stomach. What would I find there? Would the tiles be arranged randomly? Or would the letters form words? Which of these possibilities would disturb me more?
My footsteps faltered until I stopped altogether. Hope tilted his head to the side then stretched out his left forepaw to me, as if he was inviting me to come closer. I couldn't keep my lips from twitching into a smile.
This is freaky, totally freaky, you know? And not in a good way. I have no idea what to think of you or... or anything really,” I whispered. And wasn't that the truth? Since Shane's death, I'd lost sense of reality, of time, of friends and family. My whole life had been turned upside down, and I didn't know where I was or what to feel other than how much I hurt.
Hope hopped down from the coffee table and ran to me, his tail wagging wildly. When he reached me, he barked and bounced around me in circles. I lifted my hands in a gesture of surrender. “All right, all right! I'm coming.”
He butted his head against my shins, probably to get me going, but I couldn't force my legs to obey. With a heavy sigh, I crouched down, grabbed Hope's neck and pulled him between my knees. Hope yipped and licked my hands, face, whatever he could reach with enthusiasm. I let him be while my stomach twisted further and further.
Eventually, he calmed down and looked up at me with his dark, shiny eyes. I stared back at him, still mulling why I couldn't shake the feeling of remembering something, someone. He was just a puppy. A beautiful one, but still just a dog.
He whined and I kneaded the thin flesh behind his ears to soothe him. His whines grew in intensity and volume, though, so I cupped his little face in my hands. He stretched his nose up, sniffing the air.
I'm scared to see what you did,” I confessed. “You're no normal dog, you can't be. You're too smart and too determined.”
Hope thumped his tail on the floor once.
Was that a 'yes'?” I asked.
Hope repeated his earlier action and I added, “Once is for 'yes'? How do you say 'no'?”
He thumped his tail twice and his eyes grew smaller, as if he was laughing at me.
Two thumps for 'no'? Is that right?”
Again, he thumped once. I shook my head. “See, that's what I mean. You're not normal. Absolutely not. What if you're some kind of demon?”
For a moment, Hope held his breath. Then he expelled it in one long rush. He pushed my hands off his head, turned around and trotted toward the coffee table. There he laid his forepaws on the table's edge and gazed at me.
I guess there's no getting out of it, huh?”
Hope knocked his tail twice on the floor. I rose to my feet and followed him on legs that threatened to give out under me. Why the hell was I so scared? There was nothing to be afraid of! Just a few tiles brought into order by a puppy. Ordinary people all experienced these things from time to time...
I grimaced, gulped in a breath, and looked at the tiles. My heart pounded in my chest when I realized Hope had indeed formed coherent words. As I read them, all color drained from my face.
HI GIL I LOVE YOU IT IS ME SHANE


TBC


  Or you can visit us here:
 http://wedbriefsfic.com


December 17, 2013

Dawn Kimberly Johnson: Button Down

Please help me welcome fellow DsP author Dawn Kimberly Johnson, who is here to talk about her new release "Button Down".

(available on December 23rd)

Blurb:
When he finds himself captivated by a movie-star handsome stranger he meets in a bar, lawyer Ford Reilly watches a simple one-night stand develop into a taste of what living honestly might bring him.
Out and proud Gus Hansen has built a small architectural firm from nothing, but could lose it all as he tries to break a contract he signed before knowing about the project’s antigay ties.
After Ford discovers he spent a passionate night with the man on the other side of the dispute he’s handling, he finds himself in more than one quandary. He can either maintain the status quo, enforcing the contract to the letter, or he can defy his overbearing father and break free of the closeted life he's built for himself in order to be with Gus.
Gus has his own choices to make. He knows the sting of loving a man who hides himself, but the longer he lingers in Ford's presence, the more difficult it becomes to deny their attraction
 
  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What do I want to say? Well, writers are often asked how they come up with their ideas. I believe the most frequent and accurate answer is: we can pluck them from anywhere. It depends on what catches our eye or piques our interest. A photo, a news story, a weird family member, a song, a memory from childhood, each or several of these could spark and get those writer wheels turning.
We’re all influenced by the world around us, so even if the genre of our story is science fiction or fantasy, our daily lives will feed it, shape it. It can be revealed by what our characters say and do or by addressing some injustice we’ve set up in our fantasy world that we struggle with in our contemporary reality. Or maybe we write because we have something to say, something to mouth off about.
My novel Button Down is set in a fictional southern town called Timothy, Georgia. It’s a small, safe, picturesque community where people don’t always lock their doors and everyone knows, or knows about, everyone else…or they think they do. Into this tiny town I introduce Gus Hansen, an out and proud architect based in Atlanta, who has had to work hard and struggle for everything he has. He’s white, a bit of a slob, and heartbroken. He falls for Ford Reilly, a lawyer, who is closeted and the youngest member of a prominent black family in Timothy. He’s a man who, though three years older than Gus, is locked up tight in who he thinks people expect him to be.
I may be an African American lesbian, but it’s Gus who lets me say most of the stuff I want to say in addressing the lingering conflict between the gay community and the African American community. At first anyway, because ultimately, it’s Ford who, caught between the macho “real man” myth of the black community and his faith, also gets the chance to speak up for me.
There’s a wee bit of me in every character, my thoughts, my hopes, my desires, and whatever speck of wisdom I’ve retained over the years. But I don’t want to get too heavy. After all, this is a romance, so there’s plenty of humor, heartache, and hope. Also I must mention the hot sex and sensuality, the attraction between these two fine men.
Mention accomplished.
In building this novel, I surrounded my main characters with those who loved them first, who supported them, and who knocked them upside the head when necessary. I constructed obstacles, usually in the form of homophobes and opportunists, but even among those folks who love my MCs, there is growth to be had. And we all need the opportunity to grow and do better, treat each other better.
That’s what I wanted to say.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bio: A native of West Virginia, Dawn Kimberly Johnson earned a BA from the Marshall University W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications and worked as a copy editor at The Charleston Daily Mail for eight years.
 
Twitter: @Dawn_KJ | https://twitter.com/Dawn_KJ

December 16, 2013

Goddess Fish Promotions: Aedan Byrnes -- Through the Oracle's Mist


Through the Oracle’s Mist
by Aedan Byrnes

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

In the blackest night, with the moon and stars to guide him, she would always be there waiting…

Cyrenna thought she died the day she watched Tynan and his brothers jump through the banishment portal in an act of solidarity with Rigor. Little did she know, it would be the first of many deaths she would experience in her quest to claim his heart. She would surrender not only her immortal soul, but a mortal one repeatedly. Through a deal with the great Oracle, she has multiple mortal lifetimes to change the direction of her future and have a chance with Tynan.

Her journey spans the ages from the GenPei War in Japan and the Silk Road west, to Cromwell, the Three Kingdoms and modern times, bringing her one step closer to forever until she makes a misstep. Then, the burden falls to Tynan. The only thing that is absolute is her fervent hope that he will come, but there’s one big problem.

Through it all, he doesn’t so much as know her name.



Excerpt:

I am informed that she has been given a choice to stay in his home or return to the teahouse, but as of yet, her decision had not been voiced. I should leave her with Yoritomo. I know I will not stay here long now. He will take great care of those in his household. Remembering her request, I cannot help but wonder what her choice would be. Kicking myself all the while, I explain the situation of how years earlier she had been in my care before the war and that I had contacted Zhawei to teach her. I relay too, her enquiry too about serving one day in my house.

As a Shikken Regent, I would soon have a house to serve. I enquire carefully if her choice can be amended to include my home. As fortune, or misfortune would have it, since we are in Kyoto, a messenger is dispatched to Zhawei for confirmation of my tale. Confirmation comes back the same night. Zhawei herself returns with the messenger to relay the tale and I think to verify that I was in fact the Daimyo she had met years ago. The Yoritomo asks me to accompany him to speak to Michiko.

From the corner, I see her eyes fly wide when he tells her he has to rescind his offer. Only when he goes on to explain that another benefactor has come to light, that it was me, and that Zhawei has confirmed the tale I have told him does she seem to relax. Then she begins to cry. I know little of women. I know less of women’s tears. Unsure what to do, I wait…


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

There is no simple description for Aedan Byrnes. Obsessive, dreamer, reclusive, compulsive, outdoorsman and wordsmith would be among the list if one were started. The displaced Gael lives in the upper Midwest with family between jaunts wherever the road takes him. A frequent traveler, he is as likely to be found rock climbing or spelunking as sitting fireside dreaming or aimlessly floating away.

A lifelong lover of words and writing, he claims a diverse reading appetite and his writing reflects the myriad influences. A self-proclaimed 'reader's writer', he looks for the emotional and the sensory in word combinations, not just the visceral comprehension of phrases in the stories he crafts and his love of all things literary shines through.

Twitter AedanByrnes
fan made video trailer:http://youtu.be/wdW5BBP6wcs


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Aedan will be awarding one of two journals (with the winners' choice of covers) to two randomly drawn commenters and an Erian Crest necklace as a grand prize to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

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



December 15, 2013

Sunday Snippet #8 -- Too Good to Be True?

This week's Sunday Snippet is from Too Good to be True? (sequel to Seizing It).


 
Will you tell him about the seizures?”
Honestly? I didn’t want to because he’d want to see me more frequently. He’d also want to take blood samples, do tests, and all that shit. On the other hand, I owed it to Dale. “Yeah.”
Can I come with you?”
Wanting to make sure I’ll tell him everything?” I asked. I kept my voice light because I understood why he mistrusted me.
Dale smiled at me. “Yup. Got a problem with it?”
I shook my head. “No.”
Seriously?”
Well, I’m not happy about it, but I get where you’re coming from.”
So you’re letting me go with you because you feel guilty?”
I flushed a very bright red. At least it felt like I was blushing profusely. Oh well, at least my skin color would match my hair color. “Would you rather have me throw a tantrum? Because I have it on good authority I’m excellent at that.”
A grin spread over Dale’s face. “You’re the best at that.”
Too bad there are no contests for that particular specialty of mine.”
Dale pulled at me until I sat completely on his lap. I pushed my head under his chin, exhaustion taking its toll on me. For a while we sat there in silence, both lost in thoughts.

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3604



December 13, 2013

Goddess Fish Promotions: Christine Amsden -- Cassie Scot Mystery Series & Guest Post: New Author Advice


Cassie Scot Mystery Series
by Christine Amsden

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BLURB:

Book One
Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.



Book Two
Secrets and Lies

Cassie Scot, still stinging from her parents’ betrayal, wants out of the magical world. But it isn’t letting her go. Her family is falling apart and despite everything, it looks like she may be the only one who can save them.

To complicate matters, Cassie owes Evan her life, making it difficult for her to deny him anything he really wants. And he wants her. Sparks fly when they team up to find two girls missing from summer camp, but long-buried secrets may ruin their hopes for happiness.


Excerpt (from book one):

At random, I picked up a bottle of perfume from the top shelf and read: “Induces powerful lust. Spray on your intended and make sure you are the first person they see. Lasts about an hour.”

The thing you have to understand about any magic is that there are good ways to use it, and bad ways to use it. The concept of black magic is a hotly debated topic among sorcerers. Even death, in self defense, is a shade of gray. As I stood there, reading the functions of the various love potions, I thought of all the innocent and harmful ways they could be used. A couple in a committed relationship might have a lot of fun with a spray of lust. On the other hand, using it on an unwilling victim...

I shuddered as I replaced the bottle and accidentally knocked one of the neighboring bottles of perfume to the ground. It shattered, splashing perfume all over my open-toed sandals.

Crap.”

What happened?” Evan asked, his voice hard and alert. I could hear him moving closer.

Stop! I don't want to see you right now.”

Which potion was that?” Evan asked, still in that hard-edged voice of command.

I pointed to the row of similar bottles on the top shelf. “Lust.”

One of the little bottles floated away from the shelf, but I did not turn around to see what Evan was doing with it. Instead, I started looking through my purse for a pack of tissues to clean the mess off my feet.

Cassie, I have some bad news for you.”

Worse, you mean?”

This potion doesn't take affect until you actually look at someone. Your hour starts then.”


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Award-winning author Christine Amsden has written stories since she was eight, always with a touch of the strange or unusual. She became a “serious” writer in 2003, after attending a boot camp with Orson Scott Card. She finished Touch of Fate shortly afterward, then penned The Immortality Virus, which won two awards. Expect many more titles by this up-and-coming author.







Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/117845642477854934607/posts

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Guest post: New Author Advice
What would I tell a new author?
Mean it. You can write for fun or for personal reasons, but if you want to be an author (of a published work intended for public consumption) than you can't dabble. You have to mean it. Meaning it is more than just loving it. You can be in love with the idea of writing, or particularly with the idea of getting published. To mean it, you have to embrace the entire process from fledgling attempts that belong in the trash can, through YEARS of growth and practice, culminating in the publication of a work of art. And that work of art isn't going to be the next Harry Potter. If you mean it, then you love it for what it is and not for how many books it sells.
The biggest problem I see with new authors – and I run into a lot of them since I teach workshops and do mentoring – is that they don't want to work for it. They want it to be easy. Somehow they get it in their heads that it is easy. That you're born knowing how to write or that some people are natural writers whereas others never could be.
Do you know why I can write? Because I've been doing it nearly every day of my life since I was eight years old. And I'm still learning knew things. I get better every year.
New authors these days are often seduced by the ease of publishing. You don't have to jump through the same hoops you used to have to jump through. You don't have to get published – you can self-publish. It takes a few minutes to put a kindle up on amazon. And it shows.
I'm not making a case for traditional vs. self-publishing, but I am saying that when I look into the world of authorship I see new authors getting into the professional arena too soon and for all the wrong reasons.
So bottom line: If you want to be an author mean it. Do the work. Do the time. Spend years practicing. Decades. Accept rejection and don't let it discourage you or convince you to take meaningless shortcuts. If it's not hard, it's not worth doing. Mean it.

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

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2013/09/virtual-book-tour-cassie-scot-mystery.html