Category Archives: Author Interview

4.5 Stars Humingbird House by Kenzie Cade – #MM #Romance #Holiday #Giveaway #AuthorInterview

HummingbirdHouseMD

Title: Hummingbird House
Author Name: Kenzie Cade
Publication Date & Length: December 1, 2014 – 51 pgs

Synopsis

To honor his grandmother’s final request, Trenton Appleton drops everything to visit the family’s ancestral home: Hummingbird House, where he experienced his first kiss and first heartbreak with Callum Eason.

Eight years ago, confused by his attraction to Trent, Callum reacted badly. But with help he never expected, Callum found himself and learned to accept who he was.

Now Trent is back at Hummingbird House, and Callum has his opportunity to salvage their friendship, at least. But Trent is less receptive than he was all those years ago. Still, Callum is determined to show Trent he has changed and keep his promise to Trent’s grandmother. When past mistakes repeat themselves, Callum must break the cycle before his last chance with Trent passes him by.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This short work was a lovely, sweet read, and I was able to finish it in an afternoon. I really enjoyed it.
I like reading stories about realistic, relatable experiences–in this case, loss and grief. I think this is great because it shows that regardless of who the people in the story are, we can all connect with losing a loved one or making poor choices in our youth. Ms. Cade reflected the core humanity of the characters very well.
I also liked that this wasn’t a “magically rescue you from your grief” kind of story. Trent goes into his trip believing he’s alone, but he’s reminded that other people share his loss and care about him. That he also finds romantic love is just a bonus, and I felt this was drawn very well.
The one thing I wasn’t fond of was the way the point of view switched from first to third person, depending on whose perspective we were seeing. I think this is personal preference, though, and not a flaw with the writing. It’s the sort of thing that would probably not bother other readers, and some will even like it better.
Other than that, this was a good read and I definitely want to read more from Ms. Cade.
4.5 stars
Amy

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AuthorInterview

1. What interested you about writing a holiday story?
I am addicted to holiday tales–short, lengthy, and all those in between. There’s something about the cold weather and holiday time in general that brings people closer. I like the thought of curling up by the fire with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate, which I do regularly in the winter. We look for warmth in the most common and sometimes uncommon of places. The first place I turn to is a book. Holiday stories especially romances are full of love and warmth that leave me with with a happy smile when I’m finished reading. That was my hope in writing a holiday focused story.

2. What inspired you to write this story?

Hummingbird House is a bit personal to me. There are pieces of me and my life all throughout the story. To date it was one of the most difficult for me to write. When the call came out for Celebrate! I thought long and hard about where I wanted to go with my holiday story because I had no doubt I wanted to write one. I first started off with Trent on his way to Greece after a break up but the joining of he and his counterpart was all wrong, and then I went to visit my grandmother. She is my Astrid. My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007 and we’ve walked a difficult road with her for a long, long time. The less she remembers, the more I find myself wanting to write something down to cement the beautiful, strong, perfect woman she once was. Then there’s Trent. Luckily, I’m not alone in taking care of my grandmother, but a lot of who Trent is and his experiences with Astrid and her memories come from actual conversations with my grandmother. Like I said it was a difficult story to come by, but in the end it is the most rewarding I’ve written so far.

3. What interested you in writing gay fiction?

Oh gosh. I’ve been reading m/m for four years, almost five, now and playing at writing for about two and a half. I’ve been writing on and off for a lot longer, but nothing worth mentioning. I’ve had several ideas for a long time and haven’t had the knowledge as to how to organize them, but I was gifted with a great friend who mentored me and has pretty much encouraged and guided me through everything I’ve done so far. I’m pretty lucky. When it comes to m/m… well, I love the genre. In all things, love is love and it’s my goal, not matter how small or large, to make that message known through my writing, through word of mouth, and by my actions.

4. Is there a special significance to the house? someplace in your own life that it represents or is similar to?

Hummingbird House is significant to Trent in that it’s the one place that feels most like home to him. Astrid was his grandmother, the only mother figure in his life, and his best friend for as long as he could remember. Hummingbird House was the home of her heart and whether Trent wanted to accept it or not, the house was the home of his heart as well. It was also the place where he met Callum for the first time, the place where he shared that first fateful kiss with Callum. There is a lot of significance to Hummingbird House. I think most of all, though, it’s where Trent finds who he is and what he wants.
As for having a place similar in my own life. There is one. I haven’t been in a while and now that I think about it, maybe I’ll write a story set there one day. I have a couple friends who have a family home in Bear Lake, Idaho and while I lived in Utah we spent a few weeks out of the summer and winter at the cabin. It was an amazing place. The history in the walls was apparent. There was such a quiet reverence about it. So yes, I guess, there is a place in my life sort of similar, albeit not exact. Mind you, this is every much after the fact and Hummingbird House is in no way based off of my friends’ family’s cabin.

AuthorBio

Kenzie Cade was born and raised in the South where she spends her days in the sometimes stressful field of private medicine observing interesting people and committing them to memory for later use. When she isn’t reading, experimenting with recipes, or being distracted by social media, Kenzie spends time with her family, friends, and the Pomeranian/long-haired Chihuahua mix who likes to keep her company while she writes. As a young girl, Kenzie dreamed of princesses and their white knights. As an adult (or sort of adult), she dreams of princes and their proverbial white knights, which she attributes to fellow Arkansan S.E. Hinton and her novel The Outsiders. Writing to keep the fictional voices at bay, Kenzie enjoys the journeys her characters travel to find their happy endings, and she loves the challenge of writing a great love story.

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5 Stars for Turquoise by Rain Carrington – @RainCarrington #MM #Romance #AuthorInterview

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Title: Turquoise (Enchantment Book 2)
Author Name: Rain Carrington
Publication Date & Length: December 7, 2014 – 350 pgs

Synopsis

In the mountains of New Mexico lives a group of boys who are inseparable. That is until they grow up and one of them leaves the rez to fulfill his dream.
One of the boys misses him more than the others. A love that started as children grew with him and when Angel Quintana left New Mexico, Garcia Blacksnake had to occupy his time until the love of his life returned. Angel came back when tragedy struck, with secrets he does not want this old friends to know. Secrets about the life he lived as his dreams came true, turning to nightmares he could not run away from.
Can childhood friends help save him from a sadistic man who holds Angel’s dream in his hand? Can Garcia’s love help him to trust himself and others again?
Warning this has light BDSM and descriptions of noncon.

Review

FiveStars

This book contains some violent abuse, rape and eludes to underage, forced sex. If these are going to bother you, don’t read.

This was a wonderful story. The characters were all so very real. Carrington did an amazing job writing the relationships amongst the entire group of boys. As a reader, I was able to glean all of their different personalities, their quirks amongst each other and the love that they had for each other.

The two main characters, Angel and Garcia had an epic love for each other. While I was slightly skeptical at the beginning of this book, it turned out to be an incredibly fast, easy read, with a lot of heartfelt moments, moments where I wanted to do real harm to some characters and a story that I loved watching unfold.

Angel and Garcia… two men, one soul. That’s pretty much all I can say about them. They are perfect for each other. The other boys/men in this story were just as vital; they helped create the family support network, despite both main characters having amazing families, sometimes the family you choose is even more powerful.

I would definitely recommend this story.

AvidReader

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AuthorInterview

What is your all-time favorite book?

The Stand by Stephen King. There was not one thing not covered in the book, the aftermath of the virus killing off 98% of the population, the people left, the things left for the people to keep using! Then add in some supernatural stuff, and bam, you have a winner!
What is the last thing you want to hear before falling asleep at night?

I love you!
What talent do you wish you had but don’t?

Singing! I always wanted to be a singer, but I’m so tone deaf my dogs howl when I sing. Roseanne Barr is Pavarotti compared to me!

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AuthorBio

Rain Carrington started writing when she was just a teenager in Trinidad, Colorado but didn’t start writing M/M romance until much later. Through the years many of her gay male friends told stories of heartache and the struggle to find “the one” so she told them stories, fantasies all about them and their future cowboy, fireman, biker or policeman. When she found a writing site that encouraged her to write them down she started what was an adventure like she never had before.

Her first story, Cabin fever, about a young man searching for love and finding it wrapped in a member of a mafia family gained her readers who cheered for more. She knew then that she had found her place in the world. To make stories of love and kink that not only her readers but she could get lost in as well.

Rain now lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado but has traveled most of the US. Her last road trip to San Francisco gave her characters still coming out…no pun intended…in her newer stories. Rain has severe scoliosis which makes it hard for her to do all the things she used to love but it did give her the time to write that she never had before. She fights for lgbt rights from her home as best she can now and keeps in close contact with her friends that fight on two good legs to point them where they should go. She is a fervent believer that one door never closes without another opening so there are no limits she can’t get past.

Of all the people in the world no one has encouraged and supported her like her friends, many of them writers themselves, and her family. There is never a dull moment in her home where laughter is in the air 24/7 and everyone knows to avoid the computer screen when she sits in front of it. They never know what kind of beautiful man love they may see. Rain calls it research, they call it, “there she goes again!”

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The Alpha King by Vicktor Alexander Spotlight – #MM Romance #Paranormal #BDSM #AuthorInterview @VVeeB

The Alpha King Cover Photo

Title: The Alpha King (Passion Hero #1)
Author Name: Vicktor Alexander
Publication Date & Length: November 30, 2014 – 285 pgs

Synopsis

Centuries after the destruction of Earth, destiny is being fulfilled and plans are in motion to restore not only the Earth, but mankind, to its former glory. One family is fated to bring about this amazing destiny. One man puts it all in motion, the day he crashes onto the wolf-planet of Tumaro and meets his mate.

Talon Versuthion always knew that some kind of way, life was going to screw him over. His parents died when he was just a boy and he can’t remember a thing about them. He was adopted by a great family only to have them tell him that he is a Vermithian, one of the most despised humanoid species. Even worse than that? He has no idea that a prophecy was made about his family, one that mentions that someone from the Versuthion family will bring back a pure human race. And there are people out there who will stop at nothing to make sure that never happens. No matter what.

While on a delivery for the GPA with his adopted sister Josie, however, Tal’s space shuttle crashes onto Tumaro, the notorious wolf-shifter planet. Tal is lucky to be alive, though Josie can’t be found. He is desperate to find her, but destiny steps in and history is changed forever. Because the Alpha King of the planet, Blazell Roughshire, is Talon’s mate. And before the two men can even settle into their new relationship they must deal with conspiracy, murder, kidnapping and a centuries old plot to completely eradicate the human race.

Will Blaze be able to keep his mate safe from those who would see him dead? Is Tal truly the only one left from his family who can fulfill this centuries old prophecy? And can Tal, who has made it a point to never fall in love with anyone, open his heart and let Blaze be Passion’s hero?

Warning: This book contains references to abuse, rape, torture, and violence. It also contains hot sex between a young man with an affinity for celebrities that may sound familiar to you and his hot possessive Alpha mate. This is a R&P Whips & Chains novel which means the story contains BDSM elements. BDSM is a Lifestyle and while certain elements of it are not dangerous, please do not engage in any part of the BDSM Lifestyle without a trained professional on-hand.(This is a re-edited, re-published novel. The publisher has been changed. Over 22,500 words have been added to the original)

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AuthorInterview

Do you name your books before or after you write them? How about the synopsis?

Some of my books I know the name for as soon as I start. Some of them I don’t have the name for until after I get the first 5k words written. Some of them aren’t named until I save them the first time, but that’s only happened once (The Beginning-Sons of Adam, 1). With the synopsis, I usually get an idea for a book, or a scene will play out in my head and I’ll sit down and start writing. Sometimes I’ll write 1500 words, sometimes it’s more (Daddy’s Boy I wrote 3,000 words the first time, I sat down to write it) and when I finish I’ll know in what direction the book is headed and then I’ll write the synopsis for the book (or even the series) and save it in my WIP folder.

Do you read books? What genre is your favorite?

Of course! I don’t think you could be a good author without being able to read and hone your craft better. Someone who is a doctor doesn’t just always practice medicine without attending lectures, reading up on new procedures, attending new classes, and practicing.

I don’t know that I have a favorite genre. Just like with my writing I love them all. I do grow annoyed with some of them at some points and I’ll have to stop reading them and move on to another genre for a bit (there was one point where I was like “If I read about ONE MORE G-DDAMN MISUNDERSTANDING IN A CONTEMPORARY I’M GOING TO PULL MY HAIR OUT!” Then I realized it wasn’t the authors fault, it was just that my reading palette had grown stale and I needed to refresh it. So, just as if I were at a wine tasting, I rinsed my mouth, and moved on to paranormal for a time. When I came back to contemporary later my brain was ready for it again.)

What is one tip that you wish someone had told you?

The words “that” and “be” are evil. According to my editors I use them a lot. They’ll all probably jump on here and say “yes.” I’m waiting for them to shout out a chorus of “YOU REALLY DO, VICKTOR!” Other than that? Keep writing outside of the lines and out of the box. It’s going to make people uncomfortable and annoy people, but pushing people to their limits is what I do best. LOL.

What is one thing not included in your bio? Something random that most people don’t know about you?

Every year, starting December 1st until 11:59pm on December 31st I watch Christmas movies… religiously. Every day. Without fail. I may be a Messianic Jew, but I love myself some Christmas movies.

If you couldn’t write in the genre you normally write in, what genre would you chose?

I actually have a number of different pennames that I am going to be writing under for different genres (I already have it planned out. LOL), so if I weren’t writing M/M romance and fiction, I think I’d probably be writing Horror/Thriller, Sci-fi, or Historical Fiction. So probably General Fiction just to encompass them all.

Do you have any special rituals/habits that you do when you write?

I always have music playing in the background when I write. It’s soft because of my screenreader, but it plays in my headset. I also have my cigarettes sitting next to me on the table, a cup of coffee, my medication. And before I start writing I have to put on my rainbow rings. And I have just acknowledged that I don’t have OCS (Obsessive Compulsive Situation) it’s a full-on disorder (thanks Taylor Law) and the rings have to be put on in a certain order, the left on first and then the right one, and they have to be on before I even set foot out the door to set up my laptop. I usually check my email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and I put up my #VicsMorningSong video (that’s whatever song is playing in my head when I wake up) and once I do that, then I can start writing.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your latest book?

Well, the first time I wrote The Alpha King I sent it to my friend, Angel, who told me to get rid of a lot of it. What he told me to get rid of ended up being over 20k words. I don’t know how that would have changed the book from what it is now. But other than that, no. I love how it is. I love what I’ve made it into. With the re-release of the book, I added 22,500 words and added the scenes I wanted to add the first time around, and I think it really gives readers that insight into the characters, and the relationships that they were looking for the first time.

Do you have anything specific to say to your readers?

THANK YOU! My readers know that I don’t call them fans, because for me, personally, that puts me and them on a level that I’m uncomfortable with, so, calling them readers, is perfect. Thank you all, so much for your constant support of my work. From the rough work of Unthinkable (and yes, I’m re-writing the first 4 books of the Tate Pack series, don’t worry, that’s happening soon) all the way to alternative historical world of Groom Of Convenience, and now to the re-release of The Alpha King, you all have been there with me through it all, offering support, encouragement. You have asked me when books were coming out, teased me about books turning into series, telling me when books made you cry, when they made you think, and when they made you change (those were always my favorite). I love hearing when I’ve pushed you to your limits, and I love it even more when I hear that your limits have been changed because of one of my books. You all rock my face off. I know that I have the greatest readers ever. Thank you so much. And you all know I don’t cry unless my emotional tank overflows, so just know that I feel the feelings on the inside.

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you break it?

Sometimes. It depends on why I’m experiencing it. If it’s because I didn’t listen to the characters and wrote what I thought the story needed instead of what they said was going to happen, then I’ll go back and fix the story (It’s You, Then Breathing was one such story. The MCs told me they were into fisting and exhibitionism. I balked and yelled NO! They stopped talking to me for a while. When I went back and fixed it, they went back to talking to me.) If it’s not because of that then I’ll take a break, do some reading, maybe watch television. I’ve actually found that one of the greatest um… laxatives… for my writer’s block is “Torchwood.” If I put on that show, usually within a few episodes I can start writing again. If even that isn’t helping, it can be that other characters are trying to talk. So I’ll open up a blank document and see if someone else is talking. And if that doesn’t work either, I’ll take a nap. One of those things will work.

What’s next for you as a writer?

I’m finishing up The Servant Duchess Of Whitcomb which is the sequel to Groom Of Convenience which released from Dreamspinner Press on October 17th. After that I have a short from MLR Press that I need to write, then Daddy’s Boy for Rooster & Pig Publishing, Inc. needs to be written. But my next release is Delicious Mistake from Totally Bound which is book 3 in the Mistakes series. It’s got some BDSM in it, so it’s definitely something to look forward to.

Quickies…

Dog or Cat? Dog

Favorite Color? Red

Favorite curse word? Fuck (Tastes delicious doesn’t it?)

Short or tall? Tall

Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving (even though I love watching Christmas movies)

Morning or Night? Night

Ninjas or Pirates? Ninjas (Invisible Gaylord Ninja Dom here!)

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Excerpt

“Where the hell are my clothes? More than that. Where the hell is my sister?” Talon yelled, pulling the bedcovers up to his chin.

Blazell laughed heartily, not at all deterred by his mate’s little freak-out. “Your clothes were destroyed in your accident, my love. I took the liberty of removing the hospital gown you wore when I brought you here to our bedroom,” he stated with amusement.

“Our bedroom?” Talon questioned in a small, hesitant voice, quivering with fear and shock. “Yes, love, our bedroom. Where we will sleep and make love, more so the latter than the former.” He didn’t know how to respond about the man’s sister. He hadn’t heard anything about there being anyone else found at the crash. He would fully admit he was being rather selfish at the moment and only wanted to focus on his mate’s well-being and Talon’s sudden appearance in his life. Once they were fully bonded, Blazell would look into Talon’s missing sister. Blazell knew that made him an asshole, but, at the moment, he couldn’t bring himself and his wolf to feel ashamed.

Talon shook his head in bewilderment. “But you don’t even know me, and I certainly don’t know you!”

“My soul knows yours, my heart embraces yours, and my life and I were made for you as yours was made for me. I know you in the deepest parts of me, even though my mind may not,” Blazell declared. “You were made for me,” he said as he placed his hands on either side of his mate’s face, his thumbs delicately caressing Talon’s cheeks. “As I was made for you.”

AuthorBio

Vicktor “Vic” Alexander wrote his first story at the age of ten and hasn’t stopped writing since. He loves reading about anything and everything and is a proud member of the little known U.N. group (Undercover Nerds) because while he lives, eats, breathes, and sleeps sports, he also breathes history and science fiction and grew up a Trekkie. But don’t ask him about Dungeons & Dragons, because he has no idea how to play that game. When it comes to writing he loves everything from paranormal to contemporary to fantasy to historical and is known not only for being the Epilogue King but also for writing stories that cross lines and boundaries that he doesn’t know are there. Vic is a proud father of two daughters one of whom watches over him from Heaven with his deceased partner Christopher. Vic is a proud trans* and gay man, and when he is not writing, he is hanging out with his friends, or being distracted by videos of John Barrowman, Scott Hoying, and Shemar Moore. Vicktor has published numerous bestselling novels and has a WIP list that makes him exhausted just thinking about. He knows that he will be still be writing about hot men falling in love with each other, long after he is living in an assisted living facility, flirting with the hot, male nurses.

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4.5 and 3.5 Stars for Miracle on Mistletoe Lane by Derrick Knight – #MM #Romance @derrknight

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Title: Miracle on Mistletoe Lane
Author Name: Derrick Knight
Publication Date: October 20, 2014 –

Synopsis

Joe Koehler and his six-year old son, Joey, are down on their luck. Currently, Joe is unemployed due to a bad economy and taking care of a medically complex son. Recently father and son became homeless due to their apartment catching on fire and Joe being without any insurance. They are forced to live in Joe’s old red pick-up truck. Eventually father and son take refuge at Hope House, a local homeless shelter, which is run by a kindly, yet mysterious, elderly woman named Emily.

Sidney Maier recently inherited his grandparents home but the house is in desperate need of repair. Skills Sidney greatly lacks. He befriends a fellow church member Emily who is the Interim Director at Hope House. Sidney tells Emily that he needs help with remodeling his new home. Also, he confides in her, that he is lonely and wishes he could meet someone special.

Emily and her assistants orchestrate for Joe and Sidney to meet where an instant attraction forms between both men. Joe and Sidney embark on a journey of courtship, but soon a negative force learns of their budding romance and wants to stop it at any cost. Emily and her assistants must all use their special talents if Joe and Sidney are meant to live happily ever after.

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Review

FourandHalfStars

This was a warm and cozy Christmas read, with all the magic associated with the holiday.  The author had me believing in miracles.
Joe was a lonely dad down on his luck, if something could go wrong it did for him and his son Joey.  The author had you hoping good things would happen to  them.  Sidney was a man looking for a permanent relationship, who had a horrible friend, Glen.  I loved Emily and all her friends, their part of the story was adorable.  The characters truly came alive in this story.
The story was well written and flowed easily. It was a perfect light hearted Christmas read to help you believe in miracles. I enjoyed it very much.
Sherry

ThreeandHalfStars

This was a cute story that sometimes had me laughing and other times had me saying, “Awww.” It was a relatively quick, fun read for a full-length novel.
Although the writing was so-so, the plot was entertaining enough to make up for it fairly well. I enjoyed the two main characters, Joe and Sidney, but I especially loved Joe’s son Joey and Emily and her crew. I actually felt that some of the side characters were better developed than the central ones.
My one main concern was with the sex scenes. I’m a pretty big fan of sex when it fits the context of the story, but here, I really felt that it didn’t. It drew me out of rather than further into the story. For the most part, the story had the feel of a sweet Hallmark Christmas romance–which, honestly, I loved. I think the words spent on Joe and Sidney’s intimacy would have been better used in developing them as people or showing us more “behind the scenes” of Emily and her helpers.
On a similar note, the sex scenes were also only so-so. I thought there were some odd metaphors (like comparing it to National Geographic…that was a little strange). I couldn’t tell how much was tongue-in-cheek and how much was serious.
At the same time, there were plenty of very obviously funny moments (Sidney’s payback to his friend Glen for being a jerk was absolutely one of my favorite scenes in any story ever, but I refuse to spoil it for readers; I swear I laughed for a good 30 minutes). I adored Emily and there was plenty of good-natured humor on her part, too. The end was a bit cheesy, but it definitely fit the overall tone.
To be honest, I would love to see the author write another story about Emily and Company helping another sweet couple on their way to happiness. If that ever happens, count me in to read it.
3.5 stars
Amy

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AuthorInterview

What was the inspiration for all the complications in this story?  The medical challenges, the economic challenges and more?

Unfortunately too many good families have been negatively affected by this stagnant economy.  All of us know someone whose life has been dramatically impacted and have lost their homes due to foreclosure and losing their jobs after years of being a dedicated employee.
In 2013 I remember watching a documentary on the Food Network about hunger in America.  One of the families was a single dad and his son.  The dad had recently lost his job.  He talked about the financial hardships. His young son had such a positive outlook on life given their life hardships.  I think partly inspired me to create the “Joey” character in my story.  In my story, Joey understands that his dad and him are homeless but thinks of their plight as an adventure.
Since I work in a Children’s hospital with medically complex kids, I thought my knowledge and experience could bring an unique quality to the story.

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Excerpt

When Joe lifted his head, he saw the man he had been fantasizing about since Joey was discharged from the hospital. He quickly stood up then nervously swayed back and forth. Partly because he was nervous seeing the man whom he secretly desired, but also because he did not want Sidney to know that he was living here at a homeless shelter. He did not want Sidney’s pity.

“Oh, I…” Joe struggled to find the right words.

“The church hired Mr. Koehler to finish remodeling our library,” Emily said smoothly. “We needed someone right away and by the Lord’s work Mr. Koehler was available. My assistants and I think he is a Godsend.”

Emily’s cell phone began to ring. “I need to take this call. It’s my husband.” She looked at Joe. “Would you be willing to give Mr. Maier a tour of Hope House while I take this call?”

Before Joe could respond, Sidney interjected.

“I would like that very much.”

The excitement in Sidney’s voice did not go unnoticed by either Joe or Emily.

“Good,” Emily said, taking her husband’s call as she walked away.

For a few moments Joe and Sidney just stared at each other, both men wanting to say something but too afraid. Finally, Joe mustered up the courage to start the conversation.

AuthorBio

Derrick Knight was born and grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. Derrick earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. For the last seventeen years, Derrick has been employed as a neonatal nutritionist in a neonatal intensive care unit at the largest teaching hospital in Illinois outside of Chicago.

Growing up Derrick was an avid reader of mystery novels. Agatha Christie was his favorite author. Ever since childhood Derrick dreamed of becoming a writer. He planned on writing mystery novels until a couple of years ago he read his first gay romance novel and he became hooked on the genre.

When Derrick is not writing, he is working on restoring his Arts & Crafts home, tending to his garden, and being an advocate for improving infant nutrition. Currently. Derrick resides in Peoria, Illinois with his two cats Iris and Madison Grace.

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4 Stars for Saving Crofton Hall by Rebecca Cohen #AuthorInterview #MM #Romance @R_Cohen_Writes

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Title: Saving Crofton Hall
Author Name: Rebecca Cohen
Publication Date & Length: November 24, 2014 — 240 pgs

Synopsis

Benjamin Redbourn, Earl of Crofton, has no intention of giving up his beloved ancestral home without a fight. Faced with his mother’s gambling debts, forgery, and the possibility of foreclosure by the bank, Ben vows to make Crofton Hall pay for herself. But opening an Elizabethan manor house to the public isn’t a one man job. With time running out, Ben needs help—and fast.

Ashley Niven has experience managing events, and he also loves history. Being in charge of opening Crofton Hall is a dream come true. As he works with Ben to prepare the house as a venue for lavish weddings and receptions, Ashley finds himself drawn not just to the charm of the house but to the dashing Earl of Crofton. Even if Ashley can look past Ben’s playboy reputation, he fears an affair could prove too much of a distraction.

But Crofton Hall has many secrets, and something hidden for over four hundred years is about to change all their lives.

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 ReviewFourStars

Saving Crofton Hall is an utter delight. Ben Redbourn is the dashing hero, and sexy cad, that is trying to save his family’s fortune. Ashley Niven is the wedding planner of his dreams. It’s a book that’s not totally shallow, and not totally serious.
The British voices that come through are lovely. This modern, gay(er) Downton Abbey has style and pomp and circumstance; And lots of humor. I found myself grinning through the whole book, and I teared up at one small, defiant scene of social justice and good graces.
This book is great for curling up under the covers for in a warm bath. It’s not erotica by any accounts, just a nice story with some good times at the end, and that’s perfectly okay.
~C. E. Case

 

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Excerpt

“How much?”

She wouldn’t meet his eye.

“Mum!”

“Just short of five million to the bank.”

Ben lost his balance and landed heavily on his arse in a nearby chair.

“How the hell did you manage that? I only agreed to borrow five hundred thousand, and that was for essential repairs, and the estate could easily repay the loan in ten years.”

“I approached the bank with a business case for a visitor attraction. They were very enthusiastic.”

“What gave you the right?”

“Your father left us both in charge of Crofton Hall, Benjamin,” she said sharply.

He glowered at her and she deflated.

“I needed the money, and the only way I could get it was to tell the bank I wanted to open Crofton Hall to the public.”

“And they agreed to lend the money without my permission?” he asked carefully, hardly believing his mother’s audacity, but getting the feeling he knew what she was going to say next.

“They might have been under the impression that you’d agreed to it, and I was acting on both our behalves.”

“Really. And how would they have thought that?”

“Your signature isn’t exactly hard to copy.”

Ben covered his face with his hands, understanding what his mother had done.

“I know I shouldn’t have, not without your permission, but I was desperate. And the bank thought our business plan was excellent.”

He looked up at her. Elena’s eyes were red from crying, but there was still an edge of defiance in her face. “How much is left?”

She shrugged. “A few thousand, maybe.”

“And you used Crofton Hall as security?”

“Yes.”

The anger flashed through him, burning through his usual amicable nature. “How could you have been so stupid? Were you even thinking past your own selfishness?”

Elena cowered in her seat.

“You’ve ruined us, destroyed this family!”

“I didn’t mean—”

Ben didn’t want to hear her feeble excuses. “Oh, that’s all right, then. We’ll tell the bank, you didn’t mean it, and they’ll forget all about it.”

Ben reined in his anger. Taking deep, slow breaths, he clenched and unclenched his fists as he regained his calm. He watched Catlin pace up and down. Harry stood slumped against the fireplace, shell-shocked. Now was not the time to panic. He needed to know exactly how much trouble they were in and deal with it. “Get me the paperwork.”

Without argument, Elena jumped to her feet and scurried over to the writing bureau in the corner. From the folds of frills and ruffles of her blouse, she fished out a key on a chain and unlocked the bureau. She drew out a sheaf of paper. “It’s all here.”

“Right, let’s hope my economics degree wasn’t for nothing.” Ben snatched the papers. “I suggest you all keep your distance until I’ve finished reading.”

He sank into a chair by the unlit fireplace, blocking out the angry thoughts as he scanned sheet after sheet. The figures danced before his eyes, and he saw the terms and conditions his mother had agreed to. The interest, compound interest, and payback terms were listed and categorized in black and white with no way of denying the facts. They were in deep shit, the bank would be at the door within weeks, and Ben seethed internally at his mother’s gall.

The effort she’d put into defrauding the bank was amazing, the business case had been full of fine details and promised an excellent return, but little help would that do them now.

Unless….

Ben stared around the sitting room; generations of Redbourns had sat in here. Men who’d fought at Blenheim, Waterloo, and El Alamein —they would never have given in and surrendered Crofton Hall in the face of adversity. And it wasn’t about to happen while Ben was Earl of Crofton either. As much as he wanted to rail against it, their only hope was to convince the bank they were following through with the idea of opening the house to the public.

“We can probably sell the London apartment. That’ll raise around two million. Our trust funds are protected, so we can’t release the equity from those. If we’ve any hope of holding on to her, Crofton Hall is going have to earn her keep.”

AuthorBio

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

AuthorInterview

What motivated you to start writing?

I wrote a lot as I was growing up but stopped when I went to university and pursued a career in science. In my late twenties I needed something to fire up my creativity and I got an idea for a story that wouldn’t leave me alone, so I went back to writing. The result, after several drafts, was Servitude, a science fantasy novel which became the first in in my Reagalos series from Dreamspinner Press.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration for writing?

Escapism. I love my day job, but it can be stressful and deals with very specific things which have to be fixed NOW. So when I write I like to leave the corporate world and escape to where my next story takes me.

What is your writing environment? (Where do you write, what do you do to prepare right before you start writing)

I’m very lucky. I can write anywhere. I do most of my writing on the sofa in my living room, and can tune out the TV. I don’t have to lock myself away in another part of the apartment and often sit with my feet propped up on my hubby. I try to have a notebook with me at all times (I’ve scribbled on the back of receipts when caught without anything better) and regularly jot down a few sentences if I’m on the tram.

What is the hardest part of a book for you? Any particular scene(s)?

This depends on the story, if I’m honest. Sometimes I put in a placeholder for a sex scene and come back to it, or if I’ve something very angsty to do I often write the aftermath before the big scene so I know I’ve fixed my boys before I break them

If you only could write in one genre, what would it be? And if you couldn’t write in that genre what genre would you pick next?

Oh that’s a terrible thing to ask! I write in so many (contemporary, historical, sci fi, fantasy) it would be a real hardship to have to only do one. But my first love is fantasy, so I’d probably say that, and the next, based on my current WIP list would be contemporary.

If you could spend a day with one author, who would it be and why?

Doulas Adams. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy is one of my favourites, as are his Dirk Gently novels. I loved his sense of humor and would’ve loved to have shared a beer with him.

What do you like to see in book reviews? What makes a review better than other ones to you?

As long as the review is honest and constructive then I’m happy as a writer – I accept not everyone will love what I write. As a reader, I want reviews that tell me about the book, but not in so much detail that it spoils the story.

If you could give one tip to new writers, what would it be?

Finish the first draft. Get that story written, you can play with it later. Otherwise you’ll just have a file full of unfinished stories

How do you make hard decisions with your books? Like the title of the book or some of the characters actions?

Once the plot is down and I know it will work, then characters need to do what it takes for the plot to work. I don’t really have an issue with those sort of hard decisions. For some writers their characters lead them, but I’m afraid for my boys, I’m in charge and they’ll do what I need them too. As for titles, I’m been very lucky that up till now I’ve not had an issue… fingers crossed that’ll stay the same!

If you could only use 4 words to describe yourself, what would they be?

Happy, hardworking, stubborn and loving.

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Ryan’s Wizard (Paws and Magic #2) by Beany Sparks – #MM Romance #Paranormal

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Title: Ryan’s Wizard (Paws and Magic #2)
Author Name: Beany Sparks
Publication Date & Length: November 1, 2014 – 157pgs

Synopsis

An alpha ends up with more than he bargained for when he finds his mate…his wizard mate.

After years of no contact, Oliver “Olly” Grey was finally able to reunite with his cousin Aiden. He’s surprised to find that Aiden now has a mate—a male, shifter mate—named Lex. And it’s Lex’s pack mates that Olly is there to help save. What he hadn’t expected was Lex’s brother Ryan.

Ryan Shepherd was happy to have found his brother Lex, and even happier to know that his brother was happily mated. But there is something about Aiden’s cousin Olly that Ryan doesn’t trust, especially when he also smells like the man currently holding his pack members captive. Yet that doesn’t stop Ryan from wanting to hold and comfort the man, and eventually he realizes why—Olly is his mate.

Now the four of them need to plan a rescue mission, but what happens when they run into the two men that had held Lex captive and those same men come to the cabin in the middle of the night?

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Excerpt

Aiden burst out laughing and moved one hand to ruffle Olly’s hair.

“Hey!” Olly exclaimed as he pulled back in order to glare at Aiden, who just smiled bigger and pulled him back into his arms.

“I couldn’t resist,” Aiden said, the laughter evident in his voice.

“Yeah, whatever. Anyway, back to what I was saying, but hopefully without interruptions this time.” Olly looked pointedly at Ryan when he said that. Ryan seemed to be studying him intently, but didn’t utter a word.

Olly looked away and started talking again. “I know where the pack is, or at least, I know where a bunch of canine shifters are being held.”

“How do you know that they’re part of our pack?” Lex asked, sounding like he was trying to restrain his eagerness.

Olly turned to him. “Because I heard a few of the guards talk about how they captured a bunch of them together.”

“And why didn’t you get caught?” Ryan asked, anger in his voice.

“Because,” Olly paused, then sighed. “The house they’re being held in belongs to Walter.”

Aiden gasped and when Olly looked at him, he saw the horror that was on his face.

“How long has Walter had shifters imprisoned on his property?” Aiden asked, outrage in his voice.

“I don’t know for sure, but it would be a number of years.” Olly couldn’t face any of them as he said that.

“Who is this Walter?” Ryan growled.

Olly looked up at him, then looked away as he replied, “My father.”

AuthorInterviewWhat makes wizards so attractive?

Hmmm, good question. I think what makes men in general, not just my wizards, attractive is their personality. My wizards (the main characters so far at least) are good men who want to do the right thing and help the shifters who are captured. They’re kind, sweet, smart, decent men and I think that’s very attractive.
Their ability to use magic can also be attractive, if they’ve got the confidence to back it up.
However, their magic makes them attractive to others, but maybe not for the right reasons. Some people will be jealous and some will want to try and steal their  powers. My wizards have a certain level of magic which they can increase by studying. But lets face it, the bad guys are lazy and would rather cheat and steal powers than sit and read.

AuthorBio

Beany lives in Western Australia. She first started reading romance novels in 2008, but it wasn’t until January 2010 when her Kindle got delivered that the world of erotic romance opened its doors to her, and she hasn’t looked back.

With suggestions and support from friends, her muse—“affectionately” known as PITA—was finally able to break

free, and in January 2014 her first story was written. Since she can’t put PITA back in his box, Beany has decided to give in and team up with him. Together they’ve made plans to write both MF and MM stories.

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New Release & Interview for Desert Foxe by Haley Walsh #MM #Romance #mystery

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Title: Desert Fox (A Skyler Foxe Mystery #5)
Author Name: Haley Walsh
Publication Date & Length: November 7, 2014

Synopsis

Skyler and his friends go to Palm Springs for the annual White Party and find murder!

Out and proud high school English teacher Skyler Foxe and his posse of friends go to the annual Palm Springs White Party for a weekend of fun, frivolity, and luscious men. But there are boy troubles of all kinds ahead. Skyler’s boyfriend and high school coach Keith Fletcher has to endure an embarrassing number of Skyler’s former hook-ups, one of the SFC might be going solo, Skyler encounters unexpected and unwelcome participants at the party, and there’s a murder on the dance floor, literally at Skyler’s feet! Both Skyler and Keith are drawn into investigating more than murder when the FBI asks Skyler to do the unthinkable.

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AuthorInterview

First off, I’d like to say thank you for taking the time to answer these questions so me and my readers can get to know a little bit more about you!

Now for the hard part:

  • Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?

I have a home office and a very messy desk, with the occasional visit (and typing in my manuscripts) from my cats. I’m surrounded by built in bookshelves (the hubster built it especially for me!) and they are just stuffed with books; manga, yaoi, m/m romance, and tons of medieval research books since I also write medieval mysteries under another name. In fact, there is a suit of armor that stands guard behind me. And speaking of behind me, there are even more bookshelves and more books. I have Dr. Who toys, a Shakespeare action figure and a Shakespeare bobble head, knights in armor battling on the shelves, a tiny statue of death (because why not?), some snowmen because I love them, some skulls, some pelts, and a bunch of antique cameras because my hubby is a commercial photographer.

  • Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?

It would have to be Skyler. He’s the excitable/dramatic one and comes off mature when in fact he very often isn’t, jumping to conclusions without thinking it through first. And I’m very much afraid that that is me. Now mind you, he’s very smart, too, so that also works. J

  • If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?

I’d go back to what I did before for fifteen years: I was a graphic artist and art director. Though I’m pretty curmudgeonly now and it’s really best that I work all by myself in a little room writing books.

  • Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?

I’ve been writing for a long time prior to getting published—a LONG time—so the process is the same, though I find myself outlining more. As a “woman of a certain age” I find I can’t remember like I used to, so I’ve got to write it down. What surprises me more is about the publishing industry, how hard it is for writers—even multi-published writers as I am—to make a living at this; how hard we have to work on promotion. It’s sad to know that there are many talented authors out there not being read because they just can’t get the word out, something that the publisher should be responsible for. No wonder so many of us are becoming hybrids: self-publishing as well as going with a traditional publisher.

  • Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?

I’ve read it over quite a few times in the editing and proofing process. Though going back to the first in the series, I think I would have cut down considerably on the erotic elements. I find that books with erotic elements, no matter how well-written the rest of it is—just aren’t taken seriously.

  • How do you come up with new ideas for your story?

Since it’s sort of following a timeline of Skyler’s story from when he met his love interest to all the trials and tribulations he’s had to endure both from his community and family and with solving the mysteries, that I found ideas just bubbled up. We are watching his life unfold, right along with his relationship issues. So ideas present themselves. We also follow the school year since both protagonists are high school teachers. There’s drama among the students as well. This latest books, DESERT FOXE, happens during spring break, so Skyler gets to go to the White Party in Palm Springs for it. And all sorts of hijinks ensues.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I have so many things on my plate! I am continuing my series of medieval mysteries, I have begun an urban fantasy series that my agent is shopping around, and I am currently writing a steampunk paranormal. You can find those things at www.JeriWesterson.com.

  • Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?

I live in the same area as Skyler and am familiar with the problems of LGBT people in this rather stuffy and conservative area of southern California. It’s my chance to poke a stick at it. And Skyler is just fun to write. It’s great to kick back, write humorous situations, and a little adventure.

  • What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?

Since I write in so many genres now, I don’t think there is one outside my genre.

  • Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?

Chocolate. And shopping. Shopping for chocolate.

Thank you so much for taking your time to answer my questions. I wish you much success as a writer!!

Thank you! You can find more about me at http://SkylerFoxeMysteries.com

AuthorBio

Haley Walsh tried acting, but decided the actor’s life was not for her. Instead, she became a successful graphic designer in Los Angeles, her hometown. After fifteen years of burning money in the ’80s and early ’90s, she retired from the graphics industry and turned her interests toward writing. She became a freelance newspaper reporter, wrote articles for quirky magazines, published award-winning short stories, and now writes an acclaimed gay mystery series, the Skyler Foxe Mysteries. She’s lived all her life in southern California, sampling wines and chomping chocolate. Yeah, it’s a living.

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