April 28, 2014

"Sacrifices" Release Day!



"Sacrifices", the 2nd Jeff Woods Mystery released today. I'm throwing a release day party on the Dreamspinner Press blog. Here's the link to the first post: http://dreamspinnerpress.com/blog/2014/04/28/sacrifices-a-jeff-woods-mystery-release-day-party/ More will follow throughout the day. :)

If you're inclined to buy it, here's the link to the DSP site.

allromanceebooks / amazon.com / amazon.co.uk / amazon.de

April 25, 2014

"Sacrifices" -- Blog Tour

Only a couple more days till "Sacrifices" releases! I'll be doing a release party on Monday 28th on the Dreamspinner Press blog and would be happy to see some of you there.

From Monday on I'll also start a virtual book tour, hosted by Will's Pride Promotions. I hope some of you will stop by.



In other news: I should be ready to submit the third and last Jeff Woods Mystery in a few days. :)


April 24, 2014

Jaye Edgerton: The Winter Lord

Please help me welcome fellow DSP author Jaye Edgerton!
 

First off, thanks so much to Chris for having me! This is my first ever blog tour for my first ever published book, and it’s all been incredible and overwhelming at the same time! And readers, don’t forget to hop over to my blog at jayeedgerton.com and submit your email address (it’s right there on the left side of the page) for my giveaway!
My first release is a novella called The Winter Lord—and that Winter Lord would be the pretty fellow you see there on Anne Cain’s absolutely gorgeous cover. He’s a fey named Therial, and he and the little land he rules over have been cursed to stay in Winter. Sounds all too familiar to those of us living in the US, hmm? When a human man named Erik comes looking for a way to bring Spring back, Therial decides to make him his Champion. But Erik is torn between his home and Therial’s frozen realm of Azanael.
The funny thing is, I never set out to be a romance writer. This is my first published fiction, but I’m a fantasy writer at heart. As I worked on more “mainstream” novels, I found myself especially fond of the romantic elements, sometimes writing sex scenes in lieu of what I actually meant to be working on! I realized what I needed was to occasionally set aside my dark fantasy novels where terrible things were always happening to good people and just let myself write romance for a bit before going back to the doom and gloom. (Seriously, in the novel I’m working on right now, the heroine dies in the first chapter!) And because I’m a lesbian with an affinity for writing male characters, that meant gay romance.
I hope people enjoy reading The Winter Lord as much as I enjoyed writing it! If you need me, I’ll either be trying to keep the libidos of my mainstream characters in check or elbow-deep in my next romance novella!



Blurb:
When Erik, a human scholar and amateur mage, sets out to find Alfheim, the legendary home of the light-elves, he has nothing to lose. His village suffers under a mysterious Unending Winter, and his lover died in a hunting accident while trying to find food. Erik wants to find a way to end the cold, but he doesn’t expect a beautiful but Winter-cursed fey lord who wants him for his champion—and his bedmate.
Lord Therial is an elemental creature, tied to the land, and the elves of his kingdom revere him like a spoiled but rightful ruler. A spell cast by a rival fey locks him and his little corner of Alfheim into a perpetual Winter that seems connected to the one afflicting Erik’s home. If Erik fails to defeat the enemy, both realms will remain trapped forever.

Excerpt:
Therial, despite everything else, was the most breathtaking thing in the room. He had been a sight to behold the night before, in Erik’s own bed, but now he was groomed and ornamented, done up like a queen. His hair was swept into an elegant bun atop his head, with strands left to float in artistic wisps over his shoulders. The cloth of his robe gave off a hint of glitter like fresh-fallen snow. The cut was the same as before, though, with skin left bare to his navel. The impression of femininity was so strong that it took Erik a moment to reconcile this beautiful creature with the one whose manhood he had tasted the night before.
“Erik, my dear, my sweet…. It soothes my aching heart to see you awake and on your feet.” Therial stood and approached Erik, so graceful that he seemed to drift rather than walk. Therial brushed Erik’s freshly shaven cheek with slender fingers, and against Erik’s will, his cock started to stir again. “Are you well, my love?”
Erik couldn’t quite tell if the fey was being sincere or theatrical. Perhaps Therial saw no difference. Before Eric could answer, Therial pressed on.
“Oh, but you must be starving.” Therial turned to a knot of elves standing by a side door. “Bring our new guest a feast! Roast boar, our finest fish, spare nothing!”
Erik took that moment to glance back at Brija, but she was watching the chatting courtiers, uninterested in the fey lord’s whims. And now that Therial mentioned it, food did sound good. How long had he slept?
With his servants properly occupied, Lord Therial turned his attention back to Erik. “Are you feeling recovered?” He daintily covered his mouth as he giggled. “You seemed healthy last night, of course, but….”
“I am feeling like a man who did not almost freeze to death,” Erik answered honestly, surprised as he realized how quickly, how completely he had recovered from his ordeal on the mountain. Was Therial as versed in healing magic as he was in soul magic? Or had Erik been tended by a healer he’d been too unconscious to remember? Before Erik could ask anything else, Brija stepped forward. “Lord, is there something you would like me to do beyond fetching the human for you?”
Lord Therial smiled at her. “Of course, dear Brija. You are to train him.”
A hint of concern creased Brija’s stoic expression. “Train him for what, my lord?”
“To be my champion, of course!”

Bio:


Jaye Edgerton lives in Columbus, OH, with three ferrets and a long-suffering best friend-slash-roommate. “Eccentric” is a nice way to put it. In addition to fiction, she writes about geek culture for her local alt-weekly. She likes her fluffy happy romance to be about men and her serious dark fantasy to be about women—she’s contrary that way. Before deciding to take her writing seriously, Jaye spent a cumulative five-and-a-half years working in bookstores, used and otherwise. After that she spent seven years in tech support where she mostly wanted to cry a lot, but the experience encouraged her to chase her dream of being a professional writer instead of just writing dirty vignettes about her Dungeons & Dragons and World of Warcraft characters that she showed to all of two people. She’s much too fond of office supplies, out-of-print sci-fi/fantasy authors, and Transformers.


Links:
Buy link on Dreamspinner:

Social links:

April 23, 2014

Wednesday Briefs: Hope #29

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used the following prompt: “What are you growling about now?”

Hope #29

Shane wound himself out of Silvion's hands, wearing a hurt expression. Silvion rolled his eyes as he rose to his feet. “Always the high drama with you, isn't it?”
Shane whirled around, pressed his paws into my shin and barked. I glanced down at him, unsure about the next steps. Shane tilted his head to the side, then growled.
What are you growling about now?” I asked.
He's pissed off at me, and he wants you to carry him,” Silvion rumbled. Shane cast him a scathing look before he directed his dark, liquid eyes at me again.
I pulled him into my arms and cradled him against my chest. “Marisa said you'd bring us to... what was it? A ruin, I think. You know, that place where we can collect dragon scales so Shane can shift back into his human-form.”
Silvion's breathing picked up speed. “You want me...”
Since he didn't seem inclined to finish his thought, I said, “Yes, we want you to bring us to that place. Didn't Marisa tell you?”
Marisa was mysterious, as she always is. She tends to make a mountain out of a molehill.” Silvion shrugged, but his gaze remained on Shane. “You're using this form out of your own free will, right?”
Shane barked and shook his head. Silvion sighed. “I wondered why you didn't talk to me the last three months, and I was really surprised when Marisa told me you wanted to show your mate where you're from. Especially since you were always so adamant that he doesn't need to know anything.”
I pursed my lips. “He had a change of heart.”
Silvion regarded me with something akin to pity. “Sensitive point for you, eh?”
Abruptly, I put Shane on the grass. He yipped when I strode a few feet away. Did everyone know about Shane's secret except me? Why did everyone harbor the impression I was a delicate flower? Sure, I'd never been an extrovert, and I'd rather stay at home to read a book. But that didn't equate to... to... the way everyone looked at me.
The grass rustled when Shane traipsed after me. He pawed at my left leg, whining softly. I stared ahead, catching sight of sloping hills covered with lush grass and cascades of brightly colored flowers.
I swiveled around. “Hey! When we left from the other side of the portal, it was night!”
So?” Silvion asked.
So?” I echoed. “Why is it day here?”
Why shouldn't it? You're far away from home, kid.”
Kid? Did he seriously just call me kid? Fuming, I glared at him. “Thanks for the information, grandfather.”
Shane howled and crawled behind my legs. He even went so far as to slap his forepaws over his eyes. I cast him a worried glance. “Why are you personifying a Disney character?”
Shane's answer consisted of a higher pitched whine. I forced myself to look back at Silvion. Somehow, and despite that he was such a giant, he'd approached me without making a sound. The stormy expression on his face didn't bode well either.
Um, I'm taking it that you didn't enjoy my little quip? Can't take a joke, huh? I mean, come on, you started it with calling me kid,” I rambled, probably digging my own grave.
Silvion's grim expression changed into a delighted grin. He yanked me into a bone-crushing hug that left not much room for breathing. His laughter vibrated through me even as he set me back onto my feet. “You got balls, kid.”
Yeah, yeah.” I flapped my hand dismissively, still panting. “Now lead the way, old man.”
Silvion's laughter echoed through the silence as he strode ahead. I hurried after him with a befuddled-looking Shane trailing me.


TBC

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

April 22, 2014

Goddess Fish Promotions: Unseasonal War by David Englund


Unseasonal War
by David Englund

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

BLURB:

Clark Jackson’s travels, for the first time, put him in touch with an intriguing species remarkably human-like. He becomes instantly fascinated with the Fronents and envious of their advanced technology. Striving to befriend them and learn more, his uncontrolled enthusiasm forsakes the use of appropriate caution and suspicion. Could their cold reception be a byproduct of their war with a vile species in this corner of the universe, or something else?

The magnificent splendor of an unexplored galaxy, new species to encounter and the adrenalin rush of space battle feed Clark’s awestruck hunger for exploration and adventure. Unfortunately, the more he learns the more he questions; including the wisdom of his entangled involvement in their war.

Meanwhile, back home in Des Moines, Iowa, Clark attempts to maintain an inconspicuous lifestyle to avoid attracting the attention of a certain relentless federal agency. His girlfriend’s own secret, however, could unravel it all.

**Even though the book is the second book in the series, it IS standalone



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


Excerpt:

The entire bridge quaked with greater and greater intensity. Standing upright became increasingly difficult with each passing moment, even with the help of safety bars. A ship of this size was not meant to traverse a planet’s atmosphere.

There she is!” A cadet pointed at a screen.

The enemy ship itself still wasn’t visible. However, flames burst up out of nowhere, surrounding a small blank area on the screen. Something was definitely breaking the atmosphere of the planet.

Now! Pull out. Full speed ahead.”

The shaking quickly diminished. Two seconds later, the bridge was perfectly level and moving forward smoothly again.

Now! Target those flames. Fire aft lasers. All engines stop.”

Clark concentrated on the view screens. Lasers connected twice as two explosions erupted amidst the flames. Crew members cheered. Captain Trind quickly put a stop to the celebration as he continued to stare at the screens and rattle off commands. The enemy vessel followed suit and broke out of the atmosphere back into orbit. It came out firing. Lasers once again impacted the ship in several locations.

Fire! Keep firing! Target the smoke! We can see exactly where she is now. Hit her!”

The camera view displayed her approach. The smoking ship passed directly overhead, both ships trading fire, both taking hits. Clark could feel the deck tremble every time they were assaulted.

All ahead one-half. Follow that smoke trail. Fire forward lasers.”

The entire ship jumped three feet as an explosion emanated from below decks, causing those standing to lose their footing. A few seconds passed. Several crew members shook their heads and struggled to stand. It took a few more seconds to regain composure. Clark felt the ship slow down.

Sir . . . the engine room . . . the engine room is gone. Completely.”


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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

David Englund is a storyteller (science fiction author) and teaches economics at North Dakota State University. His first two titles, Upsetting the Tides and UNSEASONAL WAR are available on Amazon. Camouflaged Encounters is due out in late 2014 and the fourth and fifth books are in progress.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
David will be awarding a digital copy of Unseasonal War to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop during the tour.

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

April 18, 2014

Dreamspinner Press Spring Break Sale!

Dreamspinner Press is having a Spring Break Sale from April 17th to April 20th, which means the whole store is 25% off. Good time to go shopping for new books. :)

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4915
 
Here's a short excerpt from Sacrifices, Chapter One:

Mine to protect.
Mine to love.
These were the words I had thought so fiercely about half a year ago. I meant them then. I still do. Even though life has changed in the last months.
Expelling a breath, I did my best to lie still in Alex’s small bed.
Can’t sleep anymore?”
So much for me acting all considerate. “This bed isn’t made for two grown men. I’m not sure it’s even built for one grown man.”
What about two grown men and a little boy?”
That’s a recipe for disaster.”
Alex chuckled. I loved that sound—carefree and happy. I pressed a kiss on his neck, then rubbed my nose behind his ear. Alex tried to suppress a gasp as a heavy shiver rolled through him.
Don’t,” he whispered.
I’m kissing your neck, what’s so bad about that?”
I’ll have a massive boner in about thirty seconds, and we can’t do anything about it. And that’s really bad.”
So I can’t even give you an innocent kiss?” I tsked.
Alex pushed his ass against my groin, sliding it up and down several times. My cock took notice immediately. Hissing, I laid a hand on his hip to stop him from moving around. “Okay, okay, I get it.”
Alex awkwardly wound a hand between us and fingered my erection. “Yep, you definitely got something there.”
A grunt followed by a shrill trill caused Alex to snatch his hand away as if he’d been burned. Of all the moments for Sean to wake up.


April 17, 2014

Tim Smith: Lido Key

The Best Book You Probably Haven’t Read

By Tim Smith

I’m pleased to be here talking about my romantic mystery Lido Key, from eXtasy Books. This book originally came out year before last and I felt it deserved another send-off because it’s one of my favorites. It’s the second installment in my popular Vic Fallon private eye series but the books don’t need to be read in order. Lido Key evokes the pulp fiction style of Chandler, Spillane and Westlake, with all of the required elements – tough romantic hero, sexy heroine who’s hard as brass on the outside but soft in the middle, vivid atmosphere, a supporting cast of shady characters and liberal doses of hot sex.

http://www.amazon.com/Lido-Key-Vic-Fallon-Smith-ebook/dp/B0081NXWLC


Vic Fallon has worked on some strange cases since he left the police force to become a Private Investigator, but when a former lover asks him to look into a bizarre blackmail demand, it’s one for his memoirs. Vic hasn’t spoken to Ariel Weston since his last trip to Siesta Key, Florida three years earlier. The end of their affair wasn’t amicable, and Vic swore that the next time he saw Ariel he’d drown her with the nearest Pina Colada. When Ariel gets caught up in a potentially embarrassing sex scandal, she appeals to him for help. Vic reluctantly agrees but finds himself in a real quandary when he realizes they still have feelings for each other. Can Vic solve Ariel’s problem before the blackmailer ruins her life? Will Ariel succeed in convincing Vic to give their failed relationship another chance?

Here’s an excerpt where Vic has a flashback of meeting Ariel for the first time:

Their initial meeting had happened on his first night in town, at a place called The Daiquiri Deck in Siesta Key Village. Vic hadn’t been actively looking for a hook-up when he went there after a day of beachcombing, but when he locked eyes with Ariel Weston from across the bar there was no escape.

Vic moved to the stool next to hers, drawn in like a marlin hooked by a determined fisherman. “Excuse me, Miss, but I’m new in town. Could you please direct me to your house?”

She began with a chuckle that escalated into full-blown laughter, then she playfully smacked Vic’s forearm. “That’s so lame, it’s cute!”

Thank you.”

Her eyes scanned him up and down. “I don’t think I’ve seen you around here before, have I?” she asked in a low, smoky voice.

No. Do I need a reservation to sit here?”

She laughed again. “A smart-ass. I like that quality in a man. Where are you from, smart-ass?”

A whole other world. Would you like me to provide references before we go any further?”

She placed her hand on his on top of the bar and drilled his eyes with hers. “I don’t think that’ll be necessary, but since we’re going to be friends I think I should call you something more formal than smart-ass.”

Are we going to be friends?”

Unless you think you already have enough of them.”

You can never have enough friends. Why don’t you call me Blake?”

Is that your real name?”

No, my real name is Vic. I just use Blake to fool people. What should I call you besides totally hot?”

I like that, but let’s go with Ariel.”

Pretty name.”

Thank you. I’m rather attached to it.” She massaged his hand. “I should tell you something, Vic. I’m married to a rich older man, we don’t have any kids and we’ve always had separate bedrooms. He doesn’t really notice if I’m not home, since he’s only there long enough to change clothes before he meets his latest girlfriend. He doesn’t ask me any questions and I don’t grill him about where he drops his pants. Does that bother you?”

One man’s ignorance is another man’s bliss.”

Ooh, a clever smart-ass. That’s another quality I like.”

And we’re just getting started.”

* * * * 

Naturally, since this is an erotic romance there has to be some steamy sex:

Ariel cupped his face and kissed him, probing his mouth with her tongue. Vic inhaled her scent, which triggered memories of their previous encounters. He devoured her mouth and ran his palm along her smooth back. Ariel pressed closer and moved her hips against his.

She stood back, reached around to unfasten her top and shrugged it off, then wiggled out of her bikini bottom. “You don’t want to go for a swim fully dressed, do you?”

Vic quickly stripped off his clothes. He gazed lustily at Ariel’s still-perfect body. Her 36C breasts were firm, her stomach was flat and there were no tan lines gracing her trim physique. The bikini wax she’d gotten earlier left her pubic patch in the shape of a heart, and trimmed close. Ariel placed her palms on her chest and slowly moved them down her body, pausing to squeeze her nipples. She continued until one hand rested on her stomach and two fingers of her other hand snaked in between her legs.

“You still remember your moves, don’t you?” Vic asked.

“Mm-hmm. I know this always made you hot. Does it still make you hot?”

“Oh, yeah.”

She moved closer, dropped to her knees then took his cock into her mouth. She stroked him with her hand while her skilled, seductive lips worked over him. Vic closed his eyes and enjoyed what she was doing to him. When she felt Vic begin to swell in her mouth she stopped sucking and stood.

“Not so fast,” she whispered.

She took his hand and led him down the steps into the pool. Vic kissed her while his hard-on poked her midsection. Ariel’s hands went to his shoulders, rubbing his flesh while she moved her hips against him again. Vic was getting more into her heat as a dozen lusty scenarios crowded his mind.

Ariel grabbed his hand then led him further into the warm water. When they were several feet in she began a leisurely backstroke to the other end, then rested against the deck. Vic swam to meet her and held on to the tile.

Vic placed his free hand on her neck. “Ever kill anyone?”

“No. Why?”

“Because you’re teasing me to death.”



* * * * 


If you’re in the mood for a blast from the past with a contemporary twist, pour yourself a glass of Scotch, prop your feet on the desk, tip back your fedora and enjoy Lido Key.

It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

One lucky reader who comments on my blog will be randomly selected to win an e-copy of the first Vic Fallon mystery, The Bundle. Good luck!



Bio:

Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author whose books range from romantic mystery/thriller to contemporary erotic romance. He is also a freelance photographer. When he isn’t pursuing those two passions he can often be found in The Florida Keys, doing research in between parasailing and seeking out the perfect Mojito. His website is www.timsmithauthor.com.


April 16, 2014

Winner!

Winner of the Autism Blog Hop is...

H.B.!

Congrats to you, and thanks to everyone who participated! H.B., I'll be sending you an e-mail in a few minutes.


I have some great other news: The Wolf and His Diva won first place for March's Shifter Book of the Month at the Kimichan Experience. Thanks to everyone who voted for George and Billy, I really appreciate that. :)


Wednesday Briefs: Hope #28

Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used the following prompt: “Oh, this should be good.”

Hope #28

Watching my hand disappear had a strange effect on me. Or maybe it was that part of me remained here, whereas my hand was... somewhere else. I jerked it back and held it up. I moved my trembling fingers and swallowed. They looked okay but really, what did I expect? Chopped digits? Aliens gnawing at my fingers?
I cast a glance at Shane, who withdrew his paw as well. He gazed at me expectantly. I stared at my hand, formed a fist, and willed my churning stomach to quit acting like such a pansy.
It won't hurt, right?”
Shane shook his head. He inched closer to the fluctuating surface. How long would he be able to win the battle against his impatience? After all, he must want to shift back into human-form more than I wanted him to, and I really wanted him back.
Can I carry you?” I asked, clenching my hands to fists at my side.
Shane barked and jumped up at me, his tail wagging from side to side like a small propeller. The knot in my stomach loosened up a tad. If only the damn churning would stop, then I might be fine. No such luck, though.
I picked up Shane and cradled him in my arms. He nudged his cold nose against mine. I forced a smile on my face, then took a step toward the portal. I murmured, “Oh, this should be good.”
After closing my eyes, I walked right into the portal. At first nothing felt different, but then a spiraling motion set in. I lost all sense of direction and clutched Shane closer to me. Icy needles pricked my skin, causing me to duck my head, and hope for our journey to end soon.
There you are!” A deep bass voice exclaimed.
I opened my eyes and jumped backward. A giant of a man, clothed in a brown robe, snatched my wrist and pulled me toward him, snarling, “Watch it!”
Before I had a chance to come up with a reply, he swiveled me around, pointing at the collapsing portal. Well, the outer frame still stood there, but the fluctuating surface was gone.
Never stay close to a collapsing portal. You don't know where you might end,” the man rumbled.
I-I didn't know that,” I said in a high-pitched voice.
That much was obvious.” He grabbed my shoulders and turned me to face him. Dark brown eyes scrutinized me from a bearded face. “First time?”
I nodded.
The man clapped a hand on my back, pushing me forward several feet. My back turned into a solid patch of heat, but I had no breath left to say anything. Shane didn't suffer from the same condition, and barked like mad.
Oh! I'm so sorry! I apologize profusely! I didn't mean you any harm,” the man rambled as he knelt in front of me, cupping my face in his ginormous hands.
's fine,” I wheezed.
Are you sure?”
I gave a half-hearted shrug. I wasn't sure of much anymore, but if he felt better believing I was fine, so be it. The man reached out for Shane, who bounced right against the giant's broad chest. He caught him deftly, flipped Shane on his back, and rubbed his belly.
He cast me an amused glance when he said, “He's a pretty thing.”
Shane thumped his tail and snorted.
Are you talking about me?” I asked, slightly taken aback, which might have had to do with the lingering burning sensation on my skin. How could one clap have such a lasting effect?
I'm Silvion, by the way, and since you're the only pretty thing in a ten-mile radius, yes, I was talking about you. Shane has taste, I'll give him that. Not much brain, though.”
I laughed out loud.


April 15, 2014

Goddess Fish Promotions: Turnbull House by Jess Faraday


Turnbull House
by Jess Faraday

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

BLURB:

London 1891. Former criminal Ira Adler has built a respectable, if dull, life for himself as a confidential secretary. He even sits on the board of a youth shelter. When the shelter’s landlord threatens to sell the building out from under them, Ira turns to his ex-lover, crime lord Cain Goddard, for a loan. But the loan comes with strings, and before he knows it, Ira is tangled up in them and tumbling back into the life of crime he worked so hard to escape. Two old flames come back into Ira’s life, along with a new young man who reminds Ira of his former self. Will Ira hold fast to his principles, or will he succumb to the temptations of easy riches and lost pleasures?


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

Excerpt:

So,” Goddard said, taking a long sip from his glass. “You never told me why you decided to contact me after all this time.”

Well…” As I searched for the right words, he quietly set his drink on the polished wood floor. “It’s funny you should—”

The kiss came as such a surprise that I scrambled backward across the divan and almost tumbled over its rounded arm. Whiskey sloshed over the rim of my glass, splashing silently onto the Chinese rug. What remained I belted back in one go before setting the glass on the floor and wiping my shaking fingers on my trousers.

It wasn’t that I was averse to the idea of kissing him, but I really hadn’t expected it. In fact, if I’d seen him start toward me in the first place—he was remarkably quick for a man in his mid-forties—I’d have assumed he was going for my throat.

Goddard chuckled under his breath. “Sorry. Did I startle you?”

You might say that.”

I was also taken aback by the presumption. I had always liked it when he took control, and the hard, whiskey-flavored slickness of his mouth had left me aroused. All the same, I was no longer his plaything. Part of me felt as if he should have at least asked permission.

I forgot my objections when he leaned in a second time, slowly, and cupped my face in his smooth, muscular hands. Now that I was expecting it, the kiss felt like coming home after a long, unpleasant journey. For just a moment, all of my troubles dissolved, and nothing existed except his fingers in my hair, the traces of his jasmine and bergamot cologne, and the smooth, familiar contours of his mouth.

And then as suddenly as he had moved in, Goddard pulled back, leaving me confused, disappointed, and blinking in the gaslight and shadow.

Why did you come, Ira?”

To ask you for money,” I said.

I know. I know. But every drop of blood in my head had surged to my cock, and I found myself incapable of the higher functioning required for either diplomacy or deceit.

Perhaps that had been the idea.

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

Guest post

 
“Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
Today is a gift, which is why they call it ‘the present’.”


This cute little rhyme has been attributed to everyone from Eleanor Roosevelt to Joan Rivers to Li’l Wayne. I like it because it has a good beat and you can dance to it. But if you think about it, history is really more of a mystery than most people might imagine.

When people speak of ‘history,’ the first thing that comes to mind is Great Events—names and dates taught in school (hopefully) and committed to official records. But to me, the most interesting questions aren’t about What, Where, and Why, but about Who and How.

History is filled with people just like us—unimportant in the greater scheme, but main players in their own lives and the lives of those around them. They all lived, became ill, worried about things, enjoyed activities, made mistakes, fell in love, wondered about their place in the world, found work to occupy their time, confronted moral dilemmas, made friendships (or at least alliances), ate, drank, and eliminated…. But in very different ways.

How does a person get from here to there in the absence of airplanes and automobiles? How does s/he send a message without telephone or internet? How does a city dispose of its human waste without plumbing? How was infection treated before antibiotics? How were bones set? What sort of skills did a person need to support himself or herself? How did an intelligent person with no means acquire an education, and what sort of education would it be? What did people eat and drink? These questions fascinate me—not the Great Deeds of Great People, but the whos and hows of everyday lives so different, but at the core, so very similar to mine.

A mystery story generally concerns the solution of a crime. But though the basic crimes against the social contract remain fairly consistent over time (theft, murder, assault, etc.), there are hundreds of things that have been considered criminal in different times and places that were considered acceptable in other times and places. When I consider a crime for a novel, I like to use historical differences in the definition, as a tool for examining the values of my time and place (early 21st century urban United States).

My new book, Turnbull House (book two of the Ira Adler mysteries), examines opiate production in Victorian England—not illegal—as well as same-sex relationships—highly illegal. In addition, we have a struggling charity, winsome orphans, and two people who are now artistic legends, but in the story have yet to achieve celebrity. There are friendships and betrayals, mistakes, injuries, and redemptions. And pastries. There are quite a few pastries.

But in the end, the greatest mystery is, as always, the human heart—where it will lead us, what it will cause us to do…and how to clean up the mess afterward.

Turnbull House is available through Bold Strokes Books and all the usual suspects.

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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Jess Faraday is the author of the Ira Adler mysteries and the standalone steampunk thriller The Left Hand of Justice. She also moonlights as the mystery editor for Elm Books.


Twitter: @jessfaraday




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Jess will be awarding a two-book set (paperback) of Turnbull House and its predecessor, The Affair of the Porcelain Dog to a randomly drawn commenter between this tour and the NBtM Review Tour.


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

April 12, 2014

Autism Blog Hop


April 2nd of every year is Autism Awareness Day, and the seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2014. I'm pleased to take part in RJ Scott's Autism Blog Hop.


Autism Fact: The UN declared 2 April as World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) in 2008.


Many of you know that I work as a Special Ed teacher, but not everyone knows that my daughter (now 9 years old) has Asperger's syndrome. Even fewer people know that my husband has it too.

Living with someone who is categorized as “special needs” is challenging, no doubt about it. Both my husband and my daughter still take things literally, which sometimes results in confusing conversations, but by now we're good at untangling misunderstandings quickly and we always laugh about them. Then there's also the fact that both of them still look to me for cues when we're in new social situations, or if there are a lot of unknown people around us. I admit that it irked me years ago because it was exhausting to keep the conversation flowing while still cuing both of them in, and let's not forget that our son is the complete opposite. He's a natural charmer who picks up on subtle signs, etc. very easily.

On the other hand, my husband and my daughter are both highly intelligent (frighteningly so, sometimes), very determined, and absolutely open-minded. Let's take for example the fact that I write gay fiction. Before I told my husband about it, I worried—because I'd heard horror stories from other women. It was stupid of me to be concerned because my husband just smiled at me and told me how happy he was that I was so excited about it. He always has my back, and even helps me with the plots sometimes.

My daughter is a fighter. Even when she's afraid of new situations, she still puts herself in them because “it has to be done”. Although life is certainly harder for them, they welcome it with open arms. My son adores his sister, and still drops everything as soon as she tells him she's got time to play with him. They all are a great source of inspiration for me.

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For the Autism blog hop I am giving away a $10 Amazon gift card. If you'd rather receive one of my books, that's fine too. The contest will run till April 15th and random.org will pick the winner. All you need to do is leave a comment with your e-mail address on this post to be entered.

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Don't forget to follow RJ's Blog Hop for Autism Awareness!

April 11, 2014

Goddess Fish Promotions: The Zoastra Affair by Victoria Pinder


The Zoastra Affair
by Victoria Pinder

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BLURB:

A hundred years from now, Earth has trading partners with alien beings, mostly humanoid. However, going into space brought forth an unknown enemy who attacks Earth at will.

The Zoastra is part of the Earthseekers, an organization originally designed to go into space. Its new mission is to find Earth’s enemies.
Ariel is stuck on a Victorian planet and steals Grace’s body and life to get off the planet. Grace must get her body back before Ariel bonds with Grace’s husband, Peter. Then there is Cross, the man on a mission to find those who killed his family. Ariel is attracted to Cross, but she’s stolen someone’s life.



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Excerpt:

I’m going to have to steal someone else’s body to get out of here.

Ariel, are you listening?”

Ariel Transcender stared dumbfounded at the mother superior of her prison, a/k/a Aulnale School for Orphans. “Yes, mistress.”

She had no idea what happened, though she pasted a fake simpering smile of appreciation on her face. Ms. Rochelle walked away.

A few minutes later, Ariel looked out the window again, tuning out Rochelle’s mind numbing lecture on what was proper behavior when near a man. The boarding home on this planet gave the stupidest lectures of the galaxy. Her lips curled into a sneer. Women were not excited to be bound to men.

Could I do this to someone else? Do I have any other choice?

Lenchena, the teenage girl who’d stolen her adult body and taken off on Ariel’s ship, needed to be found. And Ariel refused to listen to the daily drivel about always listening to a man.

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Guest post


1: I broke the point of view rule of two main characters only in a romance. There are four. And two love stories. Ariel and Cross. And Peter and Grace. It's a body switch and I didn't know how else to write it.
2: Having aliens be humanoid makes storytelling so much easier. It just means that the aliens have different beliefs, different powers. Ariel's stolen body came from a genetic abnormality in 0.0004% of all female Sheratons.
3: The Sheraton home planet is like a hotel. So many people suspected strange sexual stuff to pop out. None of that happens. The Sheratons are just backwards in women's liberation, but that doesn't mean on the whole they believe in bad behavior. They are very much the opposite. They must marry at age 18 and it's for life.
4: Ariel is not original a Sheraton. She was a Grinder but someone else stole her body. No one helps her so she has to steal Grace's body.
5: Peter and Grace were going to be my fairy tale story. Ariel was supposed to be evil villain. However Ariel has good reasons she stole Grace's life. And she has her own set of morals. As they were both likeable to me, it became harder to write anyone as a villain. But then divided loyalties are to me much more fascinating, even in contemporary settings. I love TV dramas.



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Victoria Pinder grew up in Irish Catholic Boston before moving to the Miami sun. She’s worked in engineering, after passing many tests proving how easy Math came to her. Then hating her life at the age of twenty four, she decided to go to law school. Four years later, after passing the bar and practicing very little, she realized that she hates the practice of law. She refused to one day turn 50 and realize she had nothing but her career and hours at a desk. After realizing she needed change, she became a high school teacher. Teaching is rewarding, but writing is a passion.

During all this time, she always wrote stories to entertain herself or calm down. Her parents are practical minded people demanding a job, and Victoria spent too many years living other people’s dreams, but when she sat down to see what skill she had that matched what she enjoyed doing, writing became so obvious. The middle school year book when someone wrote in it that one day she’d be a writer made sense when she turned thirty.

When she woke up to what she wanted, the dream of writing became so obvious. She dreams of writing professionally, where her barista can make her coffee and a walk on the beach, can motivate her tales. Contemporary romances are just fun to write. She’s always thinking whose getting hurt and whose story is next on the list to fall in love. Victoria’s love of writing has kept her centered and focused through her many phases, and she’s motivated to write many stories.

Member of Florida Romance Writers, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA, and in Savvy Authors.

Visit Victoria online at:




Tumblr: victoriapinder.tumblr.com







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 Victoria will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.


 Follow the tour and comment to increase your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  
 http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/01/virtual-nbtm-book-tour-zoastra-affair.html