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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Designs of Desire
by Tempeste O’Riley
Series: Desires Entwined, Book #1
Genre: M/M, BDSM/Kink (lite), Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel / 200 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Published: July 29th 2013
Available: amazon | amazon uk | allromance | rainbow | b&n

Blurb:

Artist James Bryant has forearm crutches in every color from rainbow for fun to sleek black for business. He even has a pair with more paint splatters than metal. After his family’s rejection and abuse from a man he thought loved him, James only just gets through the day by painting. He lives in constant fear that he’s not worthy of anything, let alone love.

As CEO of his company, Carrington Enterprises, Seth Burns is a take-charge kind of guy, and he is instantly smitten by the artist helping with his newest project. When he witnesses James suffer a panic attack, a protective instinct he never knew he had kicks in. He truly believes nothing is unobtainable—including James—if he’s willing to put in the time and effort.

James is shy and confused by Seth’s interest in him as a person. With Seth’s support, can he work through his fears to finally find the true love he deserves, or will someone finally land the crushing blow he won’t survive?

Excerpt:

James gestured to the chair across the conference table and hoped Seth would sit. He hated to be stood over. Seth smiled and settled into the chair indicated. “Now, what can I do for you, sir?”

“We, Carrington Enterprises, are beginning a new venture and hope you can help with designs. Companies I can manage; design and draw, not so much.”

James nodded at Seth’s pause.

“Let me start by explaining the project you will brand. We’re opening a new hotel chain. This will be a little different than your usual hotel, though. Each site will be more like a large bed and breakfast, but they will cater to the GLBT community. It’s often an issue when a couple wants to vacation. They have to consider the area, the hotel, the other patrons even if they want to do something as simple as hold hands. That is, if they don’t want to be met with hate or possible violence.”

James wasn’t sure which impressed him more, the wonderful idea behind the hotel or the deep, commanding voice that instilled confidence in everything he said.

Obviously unaware of James’s internal dialog, Seth continued his spiel. “With our liberal policies and views, we have decided to make a place where judgment doesn’t exist. At least, that’s the theory.”

God, that voice! He shivered.

“Also, each site will have a club, bar, or restaurant attached. So, this will be an ongoing project, not a one-shot deal.” When finished with his little speech, Seth seemed inordinately pleased with the idea.

No wonder Brian gave me the account. He didn’t realize he had spoken aloud until Seth glowered at him.

“Excuse me?” Seth snapped. “I was assured you have no personal issues or biases that might hinder your ability to provide the needed work. Was I incorrectly informed?”

“No. No, sir. I apologize for my comment. It was out of line,” James said in a rush, trying to smooth over the obvious irritation his thoughtless words had caused.

“Are you able to do the branding or should I continue elsewhere?” Seth demanded.

“You misunderstand, Mr. Burns. I had wondered why I was given your account, considering I’m not one of the senior designers and your account would normally be reserved for one of them. Now that I hear what the project is, I understand why I was chosen.” He knew he was babbling but he couldn’t help it. “You see, I’m the only openly gay designer here and my family runs a small bed and breakfast. This project is perfect. In fact, once we have the branding set up, I’m sure I can point you in the right direction for some specialized marketing. Magazines, newspapers, websites, etcetera. We will help you with all of that, as well.” James tried to restrain the extent of his excitement over the project, but was unsure how successful he was. He didn’t want to seem flippant or inexperienced after admitting he was a junior designer with Skye Designs. Seth raised an eyebrow and smiled.

“Excited, are we? Carl said you were the man for the job. I guess he was right if enthusiasm counts. I have a full write-up of what we need and what we do and do not want to incorporate into the brand.” His smile fell and he became all business again. “This is an upscale getaway, not a high-priced bathhouse.”

“Understood, sir. I think the idea will work in areas with a large enough population of GLBT and open-minded people.” His hands itched to begin sketching and planning.

“Good. Once you’ve read over everything and start your designing, I want you to visit the site we chose for the first hotel. It’s here in Milwaukee, so it shouldn’t be too far for you. Would you be ready by Friday?” At James’s accord, Seth opened his briefcase and began pulling out folders and large manila envelopes and setting them in front of James. He paused, peered up at James, and blinked hard. “I should call someone to carry these things for you,” he mumbled, glancing at the items and toward James’s crutches. “You can’t fit all this in your bag.” James pinched the bridge of his nose while counting to ten in his head. Why do they always see the sticks instead of me? “Mr. Burns.”

“Seth, please,” he interrupted, giving James a soft smile. “Seth, Chase acts as my assistant when needed. He will tend to anything I can’t transfer up to my officepersonally. There is no need to be concerned.”

A strange look flashed across Seth’s face, but his expression quickly returned to his previous in-command smile. “Very good then.” They chatted a bit about ideas and plans before Seth shifted his coat sleeve back to check his watch. With a slight frown, he said, “Well, I need to head back to the office. I will leave this all in your fine hands, James. Please call me here.” He pulled out his business card and wrote something on the back. “I look forward to our next meeting.” Seth held out his hand. James flexed his fingers and clasped the offering. He knew this was for work, but somehow it felt different this time. Warm and strong, the grip shot tingles up his arm. Seth seemed to hold on a little longer than necessary for business needs. It had been so long since a man touched him, at least without violence or pain. James shook off the thought he might be interested. Beautiful men like Seth didn’t waste their time on guys like him. Besides, he wasn’t certain he wanted to go down such a painful road again.

James stood in the doorway, watching Seth saunter out the main doors, wishing for something, though not really sure what.

Visit the author at: http://tempesteoriley.com/



Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Faery Truth
by Vicktor Alexander
Silver Publishing
M/M Romance/Paranormal/Contemporary
Heat Index: 5 Flames
Release date: Aug 3 2013
https://spsilverpublishing.com/the-faery-truth-ebook-p-1511.html


Princess Eeirana is asked by her brother Eeian to help him find a way to stay in the human realm with his mate Thomas and she rushes to help him even though she's a bit resentful of his good fortune. Colliding with her brother as she comes through the veil, Eeirana is surprised to find that her body has changed and she is now a man, something she always felt she should be. Living her life as Eeiran, he meets his own mate, Philip Sands, at a McDonald's and the two begin to date.

But when Philip reacts badly to finding out Eeiran's secrets, that he's a faery and used to be a woman, will Eeiran lose his chance at a happily ever after? And when evil plots are revealed and have a connection to Eeiran's family, will Philip stay and fight for his mate and their future family or will he run away?

***


Livin' on the Edge
by DeeDee Brock
Silver Publishing
M/M Romance/Contemporary/Rock Stars
Heat Index: 3 Flames
Out Now
https://spsilverpublishing.com/livin-on-the-edge-ebook-p-1506.html

Brothers Wes and Scottie formed their band 'Edge' seven years ago. Wes has always known that he prefers men, but he's never indulged with a fan until Micah. Will he deny his once in a lifetime chance at true happiness?

Brothers, Wes and Scottie Townsend, formed their band 'Edge' seven years ago. At the top of the alternative scene, they're enjoying the perks of their success. Well, Wes had been, up until he spots a gorgeous fan he can't seem to take his eyes off of. Wes has always known that he prefers men, but everyone including his brother is none the wiser. And he's never indulged with a fan. Ever. Until him. After one passionate night with Micah Jameson, Wes' closet status is in jeopardy. Will he open his heart and risk all that's he's built, or will he bury himself in lies and deny a once in a lifetime chance at true happiness?

CONTENT ADVISORY: This story contains both MM and MF sexual situations.

***


Man in the Mirror
by D.J. Manly and A.J. Llewellyn
M/M Romance/BDSM/Contemporary/Supsense
Heat Index: 4 Flames
Out now
https://spsilverpublishing.com/man-in-the-mirror-ebook-p-1504.html

David was his first, and nothing will stand in his way to get back what belongs to him. Nothing!

Four years ago things had been very different. In trouble with the mob and suicidal, Aaron's twin brother, Troy, needed to get rid of his life. So he'd handed it over to Aaron. And when Aaron's impersonation of his twin brother was revealed, Aaron feared losing the man he loved, his brother Troy's husband, gorgeous personal trainer, David Alvarez. But by some miracle, David had fallen in love with Aaron, realising that Aaron was good and true, the contrast to his twin, and there was forgiveness. When Troy's insane plot to let his twin take the fall of his screwed up life unravelled and it appeared Troy's life was over, Aaron had hope that his life with David could truly begin.

Aaron and David now run a B & B on a beautiful Hawaiian island and life is great until the handsome and charming Randy Carlton buys the house down the beach from them. From the onset, Randy Carlton gives Aaron the feeling that he wants David. And he does.

Randy Carlton has gone to great lengths to get back what he considers to be his. He intends to let nothing stand in his way. He will have David at all costs… even if he has to kill to do it.

Don't miss the exciting sequel to Mirrors by best-selling authors A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly!
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains moderate to extreme BDSM content.

***



Between Good and Evil
by L.M. Brown
Book 2 of Heavenly Sins
Silver Publishing
M/M Romance/Urban Fantasy/Menage/Contemporary
Heat Index: 3 Flames
Out now

Tristan's demonic bargain and the repercussions following his decision to enter into it could tear apart forever the ménage he and his angel and demon lovers have formed.

Tristan, Machidiel, and Alastor are bound together by love, but their lives are running far from smoothly thanks to Tristan's demonic bargain with an incubus. Tristan has two choices, remain with the incubus as his trainee or find a mortal to take his place. Neither choice is appealing.

The three lovers struggle to release Tristan from his bargain, only to find bigger problems on the horizon when a human caught up in the mess is taken prisoner by the Demon King himself, with repercussions that could tear their ménage apart forever.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains a cliffhanger ending and continues in book 3, Between Life & Death.

***

Kingfisher
by Sam Makenzi
Silver Publishing
M/M Romance/Urban Fantasy/Vampires
Heat Index: 4 Flames
Out Now

Halcyon dances around the attraction he feels for Derek, a nurse for the local clinic. The thing stopping him from telling Derek how he feels? His alternate identity--Kingfisher--a vampire killer-for-hire and everything that entails.

Halcyon--Hal--dances around the attraction he feels for Derek, a nurse at the local clinic. The one thing stopping him from telling Derek how he feels? Kingfisher, Hal's alternate identity as a vampire killer-for-hire and everything that entails, including his inaction the night Derek's parents were killed and he was horribly wounded. Hal fears the truth will tear them apart.

And it does.

His honesty drives a wedge between them, but when Derek calls Hal for help, he can't refuse. He'll do whatever it takes to make sure Derek won't suffer another loss, even if it means Hal's life will be forfeit.


Sunday, 28 July 2013
A Gentleman's Gentleman
by Shawn Bailey
M/M Contemporary
Silver Publishing
Page count: 144
http://spsilverpublishing.com/blog/2013/06/08/a-gentlemans-gentleman-by-shawn-bailey/

Divorced rock singer Channing Anderson is looking for a tutor for his 5-year old triplets Dominick, Destin and Drake. They boys are a handful, and it doesn't help matters that Channing is a soft touch. He never had time for them when he was on the road and left most of their rearing to Addie, their mother.

Well, Addie left him for another man, gave him custody of the boys and went on about her life. Channing's sister Virginia thinks Channing is in way over his head. Along comes an English born valet to put some order into the boys' lives and a second chance for love and family in Channing's heart.

***


Little Stalker
by Erica Pike
M/M Contemporary
Ice Cave Publishing
Word Count: 15,860
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/341412

College student Coby is being stalked by a young guy and has no idea why, until someone suggests that the stalker may have a crush on him. The idea both excites and terrifies Coby who is so deep in the closet he can barely manage to think the word “gay” without freaking out.

Little Stalker focuses on the deep, dark closet and internal homophobia.

Buy this book for $1.99 with this coupon: VV83C - Expires August 15th 2013

***


Ravages
by R.A. Padmoss
M/M Contemporary/Established Relationship
Manifold Press
Word Count: 97,000
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/341500

Steve Gavan and Daniël Borghart are professional soccer players for Kinbridge Town – and also secret lovers. All that changes, however, when Steve innocently wanders into a city park and falls victim to a vicious gang of queer-bashers who beat him within an inch of his life. After that there are no secrets any more – and it’s a very long road back, for both of them, from there…


Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Needing You
by Alicia Nordwell
M/M Contemporary/BDSM
Word Count 36,000

Free Readhttps://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-needingyou-1228404-147.html

Blurb:

Cason has depended on his ability to guide him in helping others. He is a widely respected Dom, but he never has the same sub twice. Not because he likes to play around, but because all it takes is once with him for them to learn what they truly need. It's never him ....

Vince has been playing around for a little while, but his lack of focus is a problem for every Dom he's been with. They don't get him or what he really wants. All they see is the hyperactive sub with grease under his fingernails.

Cason can't use his ability to help Vince, but he wants to anyway. Can he help the younger man find the peace of being perfectly centered with the right man?

Excerpt:

Cason looked out on the sea of dancing people. He could see several people he knew from the scene and a lot of newbies out in the crowd. Strokes wasn’t really a fetish bar; it was more of a place for like-minded people to gather and hang out. Still, there was plenty of eye candy, bare skin held in harnesses, mesh shirts, and better yet, nothing at all. His cock stirred as he watched two twinks dance with each other, their hips grinding back and forth to the throbbing beat of the music.

Taking a drink, Cason savored the bitter strength of the alcohol as it trickled down his throat. It had been a long week, and an even longer day making the wooden rocking chair Tiffany had ordered. He deserved the break to relax his aching body. The tiny woman had wanted something her size and carved along the back with moonflower vines, her favorite plant that had grown by the swing on her grandmother’s porch when she was small.

Sentimental, but a lot of what Cason carved for people was. He liked listening to his customers and then carving something to meet their needs out of the responsive wood. It filled a driving force inside him. Rocking chairs, cradles, tables, spanking benches and even dildos had been carved, polished, then boxed up and shipped out of his shop.

It was a good hobby and the way it dovetailed into his other… life, was nice too.
Tonight his body craved a different force. He needed a sub; to control, to please, to drive his cock into until they both came.

There were plenty of options.

“Hey, man.” A hand clamped down on his shoulder. Cason smiled and turned to see his best friend standing beside him with a smaller guy tucked against his side.

“Brandon.” Cason cocked his head toward Page. “Something come out of your mouth that shouldn’t have?” he asked.

Page rolled his eyes but said nothing. He couldn’t with his dark red lips stretched tight around a ball gag that was strapped behind his head. Brandon reached over and pinched one of Page’s nipples, the small nubs already swollen, and the poor guy went rigid.

“Mmph!”

“No rolling your eyes,” Brandon said in his slow, deep voice. Page nodded frantically and Brandon let up on his grip slowly, then rubbed the abused flesh softly, which would only increase the ache over time.

Cason’s cock plumped up more at the small display. He’d met Page a few months back at a munch. Even for one of those informal gatherings Page had pushed limits. They’d talked; Cason even liked him, but the sub’s bratty demeanor wasn’t what Cason preferred in his partners. A glimpse of Page’s inner spirit and he’d known from the tinge of colors in Page that the small man would be perfect for his best friend. All it had taken was an introduction and Page had been smitten with the giant man with a deep voice and very deliberate hands. Just like Cason had known he would. “So, Brandon, having fun?”

“Always.” Brandon ordered a beer for himself, ignoring the imploring look from beneath Page’s lashes that was being sent his way. “He’ll behave and be ready to put that tongue to good use when I finally take the gag out though. Then we’ll both be having fun, won’t we, babe?”

Page’s wink made both men laugh out loud.

The brat had a thing for gags. Cason had an order due in a few weeks from Brandon for Page’s birthday gift; he wanted a wood bit gag that would let Brandon restrain and control Page’s head movement. It had to be silky smooth wood, to protect his mouth, so of course Cason was the best man to order from. He’d made several toys for Brandon over the years.

“So, how is the counselor doing tonight? Found a new boy to fix and find a happy relationship for?”

Like he needed that reminder. Cason hadn’t taken anyone home in a while for just that reason. He’d been in the lifestyle for some time but his particular ability made it difficult to want to play over the last year. One by one, the subs he’d guided through the scenes to their subspace and sent soaring the bliss beyond had thanked him, usually on their knees with their cum still decorating their bodies… and then found someone else that fit the needs his ability allowed them to realize.

He always knew what they needed, but none of them ever needed him.

Cason scanned the dance floor again. Sometimes he couldn’t resist; he needed that connection with them too, as fleeting as it was. He was a Dom and they were looking for something to fulfill them, personally, sexually… both of those intertwined for most of them. Creating their perfect scene and guiding them to it seemed to connect them to the submissive inside, whoever that person turned out to be.

None of the dancing singles on the floor captured his attention though, so he turned away, glancing at the door just as it opened. Maybe he’d order a second drink, if he wasn’t going to play.

“I don’t think there is anyone here that needs me, not tonight.”

His balls ached at the thought. Pleasuring himself was fine from time to time, but he got tired of using his hands on his own cock. He wanted to knead malleable flesh, to stroke and smack it. He wanted hot lips wrapped around his cock while his hand was buried in sweaty blond hair as soft, gray-green eyes stared up at him.

Shit.

He knew better than to go there.

Vince, Page’s roommate, had just entered the bar. Cason had been watching him for a few months, ever since he got to know Page. Vince sidled up to the edge of the bar and ordered. Cason hoped it would be a nice alcoholic beverage, something fruity maybe, or a rum and coke. Those would fit the way the young man seemed, flirty and fun or dark and smoldering when the eyes of interested men were on him. Cason frowned when the bartender smiled back at Vince as he handed Vince a bottle of water, saying something to the cheerful blond who slid his change in pants damn near too tight to get his hands in the pockets.

Someone else had come out to play tonight.

***

Visit the author at: http://www.ciasstories.blogspot.com
Tuesday, 23 July 2013




Autumn Fire
by Cameron D. James
M/M Erotic Romance/Contemporary
Champagne Books/Carnal Passions Imprint
Amazon
4 Stars

Dustin likes the closet. It’s warm, comfy, and dark. Who needs to be out when you can get all the anonymous sex you want via the internet? And, besides, coming out is messy and gets you nowhere—certainly not a relationship. Real gay love is fiction.

When Dustin meets CollegeJock22 for a quick blow-and-go in the university library men’s room, everything he thought he knew crumbles. He can’t get that man out of his head and will do almost anything to have him. The only problem? CollegeJock22 is even more in the closet than Dustin. He’s in so deep he can’t even see the crack of light under the door.

Review:

Dustin doesn't believe in love. He believes in sex, hot anonymous sex with contacts he finds on the internet. Lust is fine, gay love doesn't exist, or that's what Dustin thinks. Things change for him after his first encounter with CollegeJock22, otherwise known as Kyle. Dustin can't stop thinking about him and wonders if he should initiate another meeting, despite usually only meeting a hook-up once and then onto the next one.
Fate steps in and Dustin discovers that Kyle is the new tutor that's been assigned to him. But Kyle makes it clear from the outset that he wants to keep their relationship strictly professional and does not want a repeat of what happened in the men's room. Dustin agrees, but he still can't stop thinking of the handsome student and seeks out some new contacts to try and forget Kyle.

Dustin finds the anonymous sex makes now him feel used and feeling as if something is missing, something he never thought he needed or thought he would ever find. He wants love, he wants commitment and he knows he won't find it in the closet and with one-off hook-ups. The problem is he wants Kyle, but can he convince Kyle to come out of the closet with him?

This was an interesting read and I loved the contrast between Dustin's internet hook-ups and the things he feels with Kyle. I found the explicit scenes between Dustin and the internet guys a bit of an uncomfortable read, but I think that was probably because as a reader we are in Dustin's head and know how uncomfortable Dustin found these incidents now. We're feeling his discomfort.

I did find it a little strange that Dustin, a student at a university in Toronto, in Canada, one of the very first countries to allow gay marriage, felt that gay love was something that didn't exist except in books or movies. Maybe he was just young and didn't realise love could come in any form, whether straight, gay or bi.

Some parts of the book were heart-wrenching, such as one scene where Dustin tries to kiss Kyle and it's that which scares him off completely, rather than anything sexual. It was a turning point for Dustin, after that he knows it's time to come out and face things with his friends, if they will still be his friends once they know the truth about him.

I think the author has done a good job of exploring how difficult it is to come out, even in this day and age. Some of the language is a bit coarser than what I've read before in M/M romances (but most of those were written by women, not gay men), but I don't think the author does it to shock, it is believable that this is how Dustin thinks of things. I think it would have worked better with a little less focus on the sex and more on Dustin discovering himself. But all in all an enjoyable read.

Reviewed by Annette Gisby

***

Guest Post
by Cameron D. James

How I Got Autumn Fire Published

My publishing journey was a little different than most, I would think.

I come from a background of science fiction writing and it was wearing me down.  I have a great series of novels planned, but I needed to step away from it for a while.  My partner and I were talking and I tentatively said I’d like to try m/m erotic romance.  To my relief, he didn’t give me a funny look – he loved the idea!

But still, the question remained of how I was going to do this, having never read an erotic romance.  I tried Googling various search terms, but as soon as you type in “gay” and “erotic,” no matter what the other search terms are, all you get are either dirty fan fiction or porn.  So that wasn’t helpful.

My partner knew of a literary agent that almost exclusively handled erotic fiction.  On a whim, I sent her a quirky email to ask about the genre – who to read, average word count, general tips and warnings, and things like that.  I got a lovely reply back that, among other things, included a list of the authors she represents.  I immediately read three books before planning mine.

Within days I had a dirty story forming in my head.  I sat down with my partner and worked out the plot.  A couple months later I had the manuscript done and finished!

I sent it to the agent for her consideration, but got rejected (but with a super helpful note that detailed why and how I can improve, all of which I incorporated into a revision).

In the meantime, I attended a writing convention that included a live-action slushpile, sort of an American Idol for writing.  First pages from manuscripts were submitted anonymously and read aloud, and a panel of agents and publishers detailed why they would have rejected or accepted it.  Four out of the five on the panel flat-out rejected my first page – but, really, that’s because none of them handle erotic fiction and the concept of a bathroom blowjob was making them visibly uncomfortable.

The one person that liked it, the publisher for Champagne Books, approached me afterwards.  I knew her from a few conventions and she knew I was writing a dirty book – she had correctly guessed it was mine and told me it was excellent!  Long story short, I was invited to submit to Champagne Books, I did, and I was almost immediately signed!

Autumn Fire is now published by Champagne’s erotic imprint, Carnal Passions, almost exactly one year after the publisher said she liked my work.

About the Author:
When Cameron D James isn’t writing gay erotic romance, he can be found studying for his Masters, working in his dull office job, or reading five books at once. But, really, you’re most likely to find him writing. He loves crafting hot, sexy, sweaty, throbbing scenes, interwoven with lust and deep emotions for an orgasmic whole. He writes out of a love of characters, wherever those characters may lead.
website: www.camerondjames.com
email: camerondjames@hotmail.com
main blog: www.camerondjames.wordpress.com
smutty NSFW Tumblr: www.camerondjames.tumblr.com
Twitter: @Cameron_D_James (www.twitter.com/Cameron_D_James)
Monday, 22 July 2013
End of the Line
by Ash Penn
Book 1 in the Dark Love Series

M/M Contemporary/Paranormal
Total-e-Bound

Blurb:

Bookworm David knows the difference between fantasy and reality...until he meets Alex.

Orphan and loner David Greene has always found solace in the dark romance written by his great-grandmother. The book and a crumbling old house on the edge of town are all that remains of his ancestry and the family he never knew. But when David meets Alex, the new owner of the house, his world spins out of control.

Alex is every bit of man and mystery David could have conjured in his wildest erotic dreams, and he is drawn into a strange romance where weirdness becomes the norm. He even begins to sense the spirit of Vincent, the novel's mysterious anti-hero, who issues a warning about the dangers of involving himself with Alex.

As Alex begins to manoeuvre and manipulate David's empty life, the question soon becomes not who is Alex, but what is Alex? And once the truth is out David discovers that the fictional world of his great-grandmother's novel was never quite so fictional after all.

Excerpt:

"Mind if I join you?"

The soft male tones that caressed David's eardrums were far too close for the question to be directed at anyone else. He looked up from the depths of page eighty-two and into eyes as blue as a perfect summer's day. Unexpected heat flooded his cheeks. He adjusted his glasses and scanned the array of empty Formica tables and chairs around them.

"Uh, no, I guess I don't mind," David replied, puzzled. Not that it mattered. He'd be leaving right after he'd finished his coffee.

"Great." The guy offered a dazzling smile. Twin dimples etched perfect hollows in his cheeks. Why this beautiful man should seem so pleased about being granted permission to sit with him wasn't something David wanted to contemplate.

"What you reading?" the stranger asked, taking a seat at the opposite bench. Completely flustered, David had forgotten about the novel in front of him. By the time he thought to look down, the book was being drawn away from him across the table. He lunged, swiping the book closed and into the bag at his side before the guy got a chance to spy the cover.

"It's nothing," he blurted out. "Just a novel."

"Just a novel?" A spark of humour lifted the stranger's tone.

"Yes." David shifted in his seat. "I like to read."

The guy shrugged beneath a shabby leather jacket that looked as though it had led a full and active existence. "That's nothing to be ashamed of. I read too."

David didn't for a moment believe someone as good-looking as this man bothered to read anything past a car manual, and certainly not romance novels. "What do you read?"

The guy's lips tilted into a smile. "Menus, mostly." He reached for the laminated board on a stand between them. "By the way, what's your name? I'm Alex."

Since when had this turned into the kind of conversation where first names were exchanged? The guy had asked to share the table, not life stories. Still, it was a small thing to ask, and David didn't see any real reason not to answer. For a fraction of a second, he contemplated giving a fake name. Something like Frazer, or Zane. Something interesting and exotic, something the complete opposite of who he actually was. But then, when he stopped to contemplate why exactly he'd want this Alex to think better of him, he couldn't come up with a reason. Not one he'd accept anyway.

"It's, um, David," he said eventually.

"Okay, um, David." Alex lowered the menu. His blue eyes loomed closer. "You got a - um, boyfriend?"
David heard the question clear as day, and experienced the shock as vividly as if he'd stuck his finger in an electrical socket. Why would this guy -"a complete stranger" ask such a thing? No one had accused him of being gay since his schooldays. He couldn't understand what he'd done to be accused of it now. "Excuse me?"

Alex set down the menu. "I'll take that as a no." He glanced over his shoulder at the waitress attending to another diner a couple of tables away. "Yo, sweetheart." He clicked his fingers. All four heads in the place swivelled their way. "Over here."

"Wait your turn, sweetheart," the waitress called back, busy writing in her pad.

"I think I should go." David zipped up his bag. How dare this person assume such a thing about him? What a ludicrous question to ask a stranger.

"You've not touched your coffee." He nodded at the still full mug sat on the table.

David glared back. "It's cold."

"I'll get you another. I don't like to eat alone. Oh, hey -"

David rose.

So did Alex. "At least let me buy you lunch, if only to apologise."
"For what?"

"For my uncouth manners. I'm new around here and I don't spend much time in company. Sometimes I say the first thing that comes into my head. And when I do it's usually wrong. You got any idea how many people I've already pissed off and I've only been in town a month?"

David couldn't resist asking, "How many?"

Alex puffed out his cheeks, pressed his palms together then drew them apart like an angler measuring the size of an elusive fish. Then he pushed them together again, as if in prayer. "Please take pity on this tactless, friendless out-of-towner by allowing him to buy you lunch?" He lowered his hands and slid the menu across the table. "Please, order anything you like. It's on me."

David still hesitated. He didn't believe Alex wasn't used to being around people. Men like him were never short of friends. Men like him didn't buy lunch for men like David. Not unless they were desperate for company. Well, he had said he was new in town, so maybe that was exactly what Alex was. Desperate. David had already spent most of his wages this week on his roommate's slice of the rent. Why he bailed Gemma out so often he wasn't sure, but his stomach rumbled its hunger and Alex's eyes kept getting bluer.
"All right." He resumed his seat. "I could manage a sandwich." And while he was at it he could put this guy straight about his sexuality too.

"A sandwich! No way. Go for something hot and delicious, like yourself." An odd sparkle danced in the man's eyes. It wasn't quite mockery, though David never imagined he'd make even lukewarm on anyone's heat scale. "What? You're offended I paid you a compliment?"

"No." David grabbed the menu, grateful for an excuse to hide his blushes - his cheeks the only part of him likely to be considered hot. So much for reaffirming his heterosexuality.

"You looked in a mirror recently? I mean properly?"

David shook his head from behind the menu. He had access to the bathroom mirror at the flat, which he used for shaving and combing his hair. Not for preening. He left preening to men with something to preen over. Like Alex.

"May I?"

David peered over the menu, curious now despite himself. "May you what?"
"Indulge me?" Alex flashed those perfect teeth again. He reached over the table, grasped the arms of David's glasses then guided them carefully away. The world fuzzed over. "Now, if you'd quit screwing up those sexy brown eyes of yours-"

"But I can't see."

"Wanna know what I see?"

"A squinting moron?"

A flash of white bisected the pale cream blur of Alex's face. "Nope. Try, a handsome young guy who's spent too long cowering behind a pair of - What are these?" He held the glasses aloft. "Titanic's portholes?"
"They're my prescription. I've always had bad eyesight. There's nothing I can do. Can I have them back?"
He held out his palm, aware of how his hand trembled, afraid this guy would toss the glasses to the ground and stamp on them like so many others had done before.

Visit the author at:
www.ashpenn.net


Sunday, 21 July 2013
Wanted: Two Doms
by H C Brown
M/M/M Contemporary/BDSM
Hawt Books Publishing
Short Story
Word Count: 8,150

Allromance

Meet the new member of Club Floggers, Aiden, in H.C. Brown's New Sizzling M/M/M BDSM.

Aiden Lovett bass guitarist for Cold Heat has a problem; his Dom walked out leaving his libido stuck on overdrive. Convinced one Master is not enough to satisfy him, he advertises in Club Floggers for two Doms.
They say be careful what you wish for: Will Aiden accept the offer of Logan and Connor and take a ride on the wild side?—Hell yeah!

***

The Current Between Us
by Kindle Alexander
M/M Contemporary Erotic Romance
Novel
Word Count: 107,000

Allromance

Gage Synclair, international, hard-hitting investigative photojournalist, is preparing for the final special report of his career. A story of deception and murder six long years in the making. After spending ten years in some of the worst parts of the world, he’s ready to settle life down and open an art gallery in his hometown of Chicago.

Trent Cooper, electrical contractor, is surprised by the last minute request for a fast-paced electrical remodel, little did he know he’d be immediately propositioned by the gallery’s owner. Being gay in the construction industry isn’t easy, nor is being father to his two young adopted children. Trent keeps his life in separate zones to avoid a short circuit. Will their high-voltage passion break the currents between them forever?

***

The Bitter Rednesses of Love
by Dominique Frost
M/M Steampunk
Loose-id
Novella
Word Count: 21,721
Allromance

Anthony Clark, degenerate genius and impoverished nobleman, finds himself wedded to the painfully proper young aristocrat, Stephen Ayers. They've been pledged since before Stephen's birth.

Will their marriage prove intolerable to them both, or will they find a happy equilibrium, instead? As Anthony teaches Stephen the pleasures of the body, will Stephen be able to teach Anthony the pleasures of the heart?


Friday, 19 July 2013
Hi everyone!

Today, I’m sharing a bit about two of my Amber Quill Press historical/fantasy romances, A Midsummer Night’s Delights and A Midwinter Night’s Delights.

A Midsummer Night’s Delights introduced readers to newlyweds, Julian and Annabelle. They were strangers trapped in an arranged, sexless marriage. To loosen them up, Julian’s father sends them to the Marquis of Demby’s estate to attend a Midsummer Ball. (And this type of ball isn’t for dancing!)

Julian and Annabelle meet the Marquis, Vincent, and his wife, Sabrina. Over the course of their visit, they learn how to open up and explore their sexuality. When they attend the Midsummer Ball, they shed their inhibitions while indulging in their wildest fantasies.

This isn’t your typical historical/fantasy romance - anything (and everything!) goes in this sizzling story - same sex frolics (M/M and F/F), ménage, group encounters, and naughty games.

The book was a lot of fun to write. I loved creating the characters and giving Julian and Annabelle free reign to explore all aspects of their sexuality, secret desires, and deepest fantasies.  Readers and reviewers fell in love with the book and the characters and asked for a sequel, so I gave them one!

A Midwinter Night’s Delights picks up six months after the first book. (If you haven’t read the first story, that’s okay – each novella stands alone as an individual read. And yes, this book is just as hot – if not hotter – than the first one.)

In the sequel, we discover that Annabelle and Julian have taken what they’ve learned and gone wild. Ever since the summer ball, they have been overindulging in all sorts of erotic activities and are more than eager to give in to their desires whenever (and wherever) the mood strikes – even if it’s at a formal dinner party. Needless to say, Julian’s father sends them back to Vincent’s estate to be disciplined and learn self-control.

A Midwinter Night’s Delights is more intense than the first book. From the outset, readers know that Julian and Annabelle are learning lessons and being disciplined – but it’s all for their own good. I sprinkled in some B/D/S/M throughout the story to make things even more interesting. It was fun to explore a different side to the games that take place at the estate house and watch how the characters reacted as they received their ‘punishments’ throughout the book. Readers wanted to know about Sabrina’s background, so I included a bit about how she came to know Vincent and learned all about these naughty games.

Readers enjoyed the story and were wondering about a third book. Stay tuned! Ultimate Night’s Delights is the third (and final) chapter in this erotic saga. It’s scheduled for release on September 2, 2013. Here’s a sneak peek at the plot:

Ultimate Night’s Delights

Julian and Annabelle are back for the final ball!

The Marquis of Demby’s Midsummer and Midwinter Balls changed Julian and Annabelle forever. Freed from their inhibitions, they now help other shy couples explore their sexual urges and hidden desires. But life on Vincent and Sabrina’s estate is anything but tranquil. The notorious Duke of Blackwell has discovered the secret about the naughty balls and is out to destroy the marquis.

Vincent refuses to deny the rumors about the “anything goes” parties he hosts, and turns to his friends for assistance. Together, they devise a plan to defeat the Black Duke…and still find time for a few erotic games.
Full plot summaries, reviews, and hot excerpts are on each book’s page:

A Midsummer Night’s Delights http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/MidsummerNightsDelights.html
A Midwinter Night’s Delights http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/MidwinterNightsDelights.html

I hope you’ll check them out. They were a lot of fun to write! Stay tuned to my website (www.KelliWilkins.com) for updates on the new book!
Happy Reading,
Kelli A. Wilkins

About the Author: 

Kelli A. Wilkins has published more than 80 short stories, 15 romance novels in varying heat levels and genres, and 4 non-fiction books. Kelli invites readers to visit her website:

www.KelliWilkins.com to read summaries and excerpts from all her romances. She also writes a weekly blog http://kelliwilkinsauthor.blogspot.com/ and shares inside looks at her books, writing tips, and more!
Kelli is also here on the web:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kelli.wilkins1
Twitter: www.Twitter.com/@KWilkinsauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1123678.Kelli_A_Wilkins  
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Kelli-A.Wilkins/e/B001JSAB24/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1326933452&sr=8-3
Amber Quill Press Author page: http://amberquill.com/AmberHeat/bio_Wilkins.html
Sunday, 14 July 2013




Fantasy and Faerie
by Annette Gisby
Magik and Mayhem Giveaway Blog Hop
July 15-19

Fantasy is a very popular book genre, especially with me. Our bookshelves are groaning under the weight of so many trilogies, series (5 books, 4, books, 7, books, 14 books and more). J.R.R. Tolkien is considered the father of modern fantasy today, but even before Lord of the Rings (one of my favourites) we had faerie tales. All the stories had elves, faeries, trolls, unicorns or other mythical creatures and magic in abundance.

Faerie tales were not originally designed to be read by children. They were adult tales with adult themes and content. In the original, The Little Mermaid did not live happily ever after with her prince. As the price of having her new legs, she lost her voice and felt as if every step she took was on sharp knives and the sea-witch snagged the prince, leaving the mermaid heartbroken and suicidal.

In earlier versions, Cinderella's step-sisters mutilated their own feet to try and fit into Cinderella's shoes, hacking off toes and heels to squeeze their bloodied feet in. An earlier version of Sleeping Beauty doesn't have the princess wake from true love's kiss, but rather from giving birth, the prince having had his way with her while she was unconscious!

Rapunzel's prince fell from the tower and was blinded when he landed on thorns that poked out his eyes. Snow White's step-mother is tortured and dies at her wedding by being made to dance in red-hot iron shoes. In even earlier versions, it was Snow White's own mother who was jealous of her pretty daughter, not a step-mother. Not really children's tales, are they?

That's what I wanted to do with my fantasy book, The Chosen. I wanted to write a faerie tale for adults. I had the prince and I thought he needed a princess to rescue, only things didn't quite turn out that way. Prince Severin was gay and wanted nothing to do with princesses, beautiful or otherwise. In the end he did rescue someone, but it was a slave, not a princess. A very handsome male slave called Havyn... and that's just where the story starts.

***

For my individual prize I am giving away an ebook bundle for 3 lucky winners. Each winner will get an ebook of The Chosen, New Zealand with a Hobbit Botherer and Shadows of the Rose. To enter, please just leave a comment on this post and what format you'd like the ebooks in - mobi, epub or pdf.

Don't forget to go and visit the other authors on the hop, more prizes to be won on each blog! Full list of authors and blogs are here:

http://indiebloghops.blogspot.co.uk/

***

Main giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Friday, 12 July 2013
Grey's Hidden Fire
by Draven St. James

M/M Contemporary/Erotic Romance
Loose-id
Available from: Loose-id | Amazon


Grey's entire life is wrapped around his job as a firefighter. It is all he has ever wanted. That is until his new coworker Mica Cruz saunters through the door with his smoldering dark looks and dimpled grin. Suddenly he finds himself wanting to get to know what Mica looks like out of his gear and between the sheets.

Mica has one rule…keep his work life and his personal life separate. It was easy enough to follow until he meets Grey and finds that his rule can't stand up to the fire that Grey ignites. There's one big thing standing in the way of all of his lust filled musings. Grey is straight.

In a profession where being gay is often kept quiet Grey must come to terms with his growing attraction to Mica. How much is he willing to sacrifice? Can they come together before someone's hatred threatens to destroy them both?

Adult excerpt after the cut:
Monday, 8 July 2013
About the Author:


At the age of nine, like most kids, Briana Lawrence had a dream. She wanted to be the best “WRITTER” in the whole wide world. Her fourth grade class laughed and wondered how one hoped to become a “writer” if they couldn’t even spell the word. Back then her stories were created with crayons and construction paper. As she grew older they progressed into notebooks and colored ink pens of pink, blue, and purple. When she lost her older brother, Glenn Berry, in a car accident, she stopped writing.

Dreams, however, have a funny way of coming back.

Before she realized it she was grabbing her notebook and pens again. She would write stories that ranged from high school romance to her imagination running wild with the likes of Goku, Vegeta, and the other characters of Dragonball Z. This continued throughout college where she would always end up writing about the space exploits of the pilots of Gundam Wing and other works of fan fiction. Soon she realized that she wanted to do more than that. Her head was full of ideas, full of original characters and worlds that she wanted to share with others.

Thus, she stepped into an English Major with some Women’s Studies on the side.

She graduated Iowa State University in 2006 and moved to Minneapolis with her partner. Here, she tried to get into graduate school, but things didn’t pan out the way she wanted. She ended up working retail, her dream becoming buried by Black Fridays and other busy times of year. Once again, however, that dream returned. She went from immersing herself in geeky fan fiction to actually writing about the geeky things she loved for several anime and video game review sites. However, it was her discovery of National Novel Writing Month that made her go back to creating her own characters and plots.

Now, here she is, an author in the writing world.


Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I do both, actually.  When I get an idea for a book I make an outline for it.  I map out what I want to happen in each chapter, and I write down character names and descriptions.  So I definitely go into a book with a plan.  However, ten times out of ten when I start writing I stray off course.  But I think that’s what makes for a good book, if you just let it happen and go in the direction it chooses to go in.  Usually, I stay on course with the outline in theory.  Maybe it’ll be the right number of chapters, or maybe the first two go the way I want, but certain scenes and events will just go in all sorts of crazy directions.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story? 

My characters want to take over my life!  I’m being serious.  If I’m writing something and take a break, sometimes my characters show up with ideas in the most random places.  Grocery shopping.  The shower.  Oh man, the amount of scenes and plots that I’ve come up with in the shower!  Sometimes, I’ll be out somewhere, and I’ll see someone and think, “Oh wow that’s how I want character A to look,” or, “Character B really, really needs that hairstyle.”

While it’s good to let the story take its own course, sometimes you need to reign the characters in.  It’s important to give them equal time, or rather, enough time to make them memorable.  Even if they’re only in a scene or two, you don’t want “throw away characters.”  You don’t want someone to read your book and think, “Oh god, that guy really didn’t need to be there,” so “that guy” needs just as much attention as your main character, even if he doesn’t show up that often.

What is your favourite food?

My mother’s macaroni and cheese.  It’s this cheesy, delicious specimen of food that’s really, really good.  It’s the food I would always want her to make, and the food I’d get upset about if she made it and I wasn’t there to eat it.
 
Are you a morning person or a night owl?

A bizarre mix of both that tends to make me grumpy in the mornings before I have some sort of caffiene.  I can stay up pretty late if I’m working on something (writing or crafts), but for some reason, no matter how late I stay up, I STILL wake up early in the morning.  As I’m doing this interview, I stayed up until 3 in the morning woodburning, then woke up at 8 a.m.  That is not cool!

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

I dream of travelling to as many places as possible.  In the U.S. and outside of the U.S.  I really want to see the world.  Even travelling through the U.S., things are different state to state.  I can only imagine how different and interesting things are outside of the U.S.  I did get to go to London to study abroad, and I think that made me want to travel more.  The different culture, and places, and food, everything was so wonderful!  I want more of that.  I’ve been living in the Midwest all of my life, and while I love it here, I am always up for going somewhere new.  Why stay in the same place all of your life?  Go out there and see something new.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Actually, “Treat Me Kindly” has an entire new world where the animals come from.  I’m planning a sequel, and I want to travel to new places to get ideas for what that world should look like.  Also, my partner and I have a joint book being published.  This is going to be a series, and we have an idea for one of the books breaking away from the Midwest and taking place somewhere new.  So yeah, distant places are important.  Just a fresh, new location can really do something special for your book.

Do you listen to music while writing?

I listen to a lot of things while I write.  Either the T.V. or my headphones.  I have to have some kind of noise, but it has to be the kind of noise I have control over.  I can turn off the T.V. or turn down the music at any time, but if I go out to a place like Panera or something, I can’t control how noisy it gets.  If it’s music, it tends to be very random music, probably a song on repeat that I have stuck in my head.  As I write this, that song would be the opening from “Attack on Titan,” a new anime series.  For T.V., it tends to be bad talk shows or court shows or cooking reality shows.  Of, if it’s a movie, it’s a bad horror movie.  I need things that I don’t actually have to pay attention to.  As much as I love anime and action movies and old 90s cartoons, I will stop and watch for hours and hours and not get anything done.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?


Sure thing!  "Treat Me Kindly" is an adult supernatural murder mystery with a touch of horror.  It takes place in current times.  Mild mannered Matthew Sharpton is having the worst existence possible.  He lives in his parents' basement after his fiancee upgraded to a better man.  To make his father happy, he goes to a charity auction hosted by the company the old man works for.  While there, he ends up bidding on a beautiful bird and taking it home.  It's here that he discovers that this isn't an ordinary bird.  The bird has the ability to turn just as human as Matthew -- minus the thinning hair.  The woman is more than happy to belong to Matthew as long as he does one simple thing.  "Treat Me Kindly."

Meanwhile, Alex Sampson is a detective assigned to a case where Frank Marko, an ex-rockstar, has been found dead in his home.  The only evidence is a small butterfly that was found by the body.  The strange thing about the butterfly is that it's an extinct species.  After some investigating, Alex discovers that the butterfly came from the same charity auction that Matthew attended.  The whispered promises of "rare" and "exotic" animals ring a deadly truth as more people in the city are killed in bizarre ways, the only evidence being some sort of remnant from an animal.


What drew you to the M/M genre in general?

Isn’t that the million dollar question?  I discovered it at the tender age of 16.  I was obsessed with a little anime called “Gundam Wing” and was looking up pictures and more information when I stumbled across a page about two of the male characters, Heero and Duo.  The page was talking about how the two boys were a couple and it provided some promotional pictures.  Honestly, looking back, there wasn’t anything too scandalous with the pictures (one boy had his hand on the other boy’s shoulder, small things like that) but that picture combined with the “evidence” someone listed made me think, “Oh wow, maybe they ARE together.”

I think it may have been the fact that this was so different to me.  This was the 90s and I hadn’t really been exposed to gay culture.  I can remember clearly one gay guy in one of my classes, and he was very much the sassy gay guy.  I can also remember getting a letter from a middle school friend who had moved out to California, and he had essentially come out to me and about six other people.  He was so terrified about it and all I could think was, “Why?  We’re still friends.”  I also remember a girl on my block saying she was a lesbian, but she was also with men, too, because we saw her one day and she was pregnant.  Back then, we didn’t really say a person was “bisexual,” we called them “confused” because we didn’t know what else to call them.

Predominantly, when I was growing up, the girls wanted boyfriends and the boys wanted girlfriends, so “gay” never came up.  Seeing M/M romance?  It was so different, and things I would read had these couples that went through so much crap to be together, whether it was because they were gay, or because they were gundam pilots in a war, and it was attractive.  It wasn’t the M/F romance that I would see all over the place: movies, television shows, school, and things like that.

Soon I learned about “fandom” and how fans would put characters together who weren’t actually together.  I thought, “oh how fun,” and joined it.  Then, when I turned 18, I found out that there were actual canon M/M anime and manga and... it just spiralled out of control.  

Do you write other genres besides M/M?

I do, most definitely.  My book is a supernatural thriller with some hints of horror.  I write all sorts of things, but there tends to be a M/M couple in there somewhere.  The book itself has M/F, M/M, and F/F.  I like to try and have diversity, and when I write something that has several different kinds of couples I like for them all to feel... normal?  That’s a terrible way to say it, but what I mean is that I want the gay couple and the lesbian couple to flow with the story just like the heterosexual couple does.  I like having characters feel like characters and not just “that gay guy.”  Same thing if I’m writing strictly M/M.  Yes, the couple is gay, but I want people the characters for who they are, not just because they’re gay.

Wow, as I’m writing this, I realize that I’ve come a long way from the fanfiction I would write back when I was 16.



What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?

I think the most important thing I learned -- which may or may not be something that aspiring authors know about -- is that the job isn’t over once the book gets accepted for publication.  There’s a ton of work that comes after that acceptance letter.  Obviously, I knew that there would be some editing involved, but then you have to think about the cover, the back of the book blurb, your author bio, your author picture, dedications, acknowledgements, and that’s all before the book gets published!   There’s a ton of work that happens after publication, which is where I am now.  You have to advertise.  Sure, your publisher will do it too, but you personally have to push the book too.  My publisher gave me free electronic copies to give to reviewers, and there are reviewers all over the place.  Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, blogs, you have to pitch the book to these people so that they want to read it.  Then there’s interviews and giveaways and all sorts of things you want to do to get yourself out there.  So it’s like, you already worked hard to present yourself to the publisher, now you and the publisher have to work to get you out into the world.  Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, conventions, just... anything and everything, you have to do it, because if you don’t love your book enough to sell it, then why should anyone be interested in picking it up?

Is there anything you would do differently?

Honestly?  I would’ve done this sooner than I did.  I was working retail for 6 years at GameStop and, at some point, I had an idea of one day becoming a manager and running my own store.  I told myself this was my dream when, deep down, I knew what I wanted to do: write.  But there are a lot of people who whisper in your ear, you know?  I think they mean well, but their words end up doing more harm than good.  “The economy is bad, you’re lucky you have a real job.”  “Do you know how many people don’t have jobs and are struggling?”  “Writing isn’t a real job, unless if you become famous and can make money.”  I got scared so I stopped trying.  Why jump into something so unpredictable when I had something secure?  Even if it didn’t make me happy, at least I could pay my bills right?  I wish I wouldn’t have been so scared, but the important thing is that I’m here now.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?

Everything around me influences what I write.  The people I see when I go to the store.  My friends.  My family.  Political issues.  Somehow, these things just make it into my works, usually without me realizing it.  I’ll spot it when I reread it, or when I give it to my partner or mother to read before I send it out somewhere.

My biggest influence is my brother, always and forever.  He passed away when I was 13, and even now I’m still trying to do my best for him.  I always wonder if he’ll be proud of the little girl he use to tickle to death all of those years ago.  I’d like to think that he is.  I’d like to also think that he’s reading my book... and probably questioning where I get half of this stuff from.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?

Never give up.  Don’t be afraid to try, and most importantly, don’t be afraid to fail.  Rejection comes with the territory.  It’s o.k. to be upset about that rejection letter, but don’t let it stop you.  Also, don’t touch your story or respond to that letter the day you get it.  On that day, just feel sad, or pissed off, or whatever it is that you’re feeling.  Then, do whatever it is you do that puts you in a good mood.  My partner would drive around with me and we’d get ice cream and chicken nuggets, and just talk.  I’d call myself a loser and a failure and just let it all out.  It’s important to do that.  It’s important to let your feelings go for a day, then get a good night’s sleep and go at it again.

Be prepared for the naysayers.  I was an English major in college and I’ve heard it all.  English isn’t a real job.  Writing doesn’t pay.  Writing is easy.  Bullshit.  Bullshit on all of that.  Writing, or any creative field, is one of the hardest things you can jump into.  It’s hard to be creative enough to entertain people.  It’s hard to keep people engaged in something.  And even if you get your book out there, there’s no guarantee on how it’ll be received.  You’re going to get those bad reviews, and it’s important to not let them stop you.  You can’t please everyone.  Don’t let it stop you.  Just do your best, because there’s going to be people who love what you do.  I had a whole slew of rejections until I found Damnation Books.  I had a bunch of short stories rejected from Dreamspinner Press before I finally wrote something they liked and put in an anthology.  You just have to go for it.  If it’s what you want, then go for it.  

What are three words that describe you?

Just three?  Geeky.  Creative.  Determined.

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?

I read a lot of manga and comics and things like that, and I have a lot of favorites.  I tend to love things that take me by surprise.  I like to be caught off guard.  I don’t like the easy stories, I don’t like things to end in a neat little package.  If the story is harsh and terrible, I don’t expect a cute, happy ending.  For example, there’s an anime series called “Madoka Magica” that looks like the cutest thing since kittens, bunnies, and puppies.  But, when you watch it, you realize that nothing about it is cute.  It’s messed up.  It’s heartbreaking.  It’s hard to watch because you get so invested and it’s not afraid to take your feelings, throw them in a blender, pour the liquid into a skillet, cook it to an unbearable boil until it evaporates into nothing.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

a)  My latest release is “Treat Me Kindly,” an urban supernatural thriller with bits and pieces of horror.  Here is a snippet:

Well, this is new.

Alex Sampson is rarely speechless at a crime scene. He likes to think that he has ‘seen it all,’ if you will, but just in case, he reserves some space in his brain for the extra weird and morbid.

Seeing a man’s neck crushed like a tube of toothpaste takes up all that extra space and then some.

The man’s eyes stare blankly up at Alex, wide and pale, and when Alex leans in closer they look ready to pop out of their sockets. Claw marks brand him, carved into his crunched up neck, the marks so deep that the skin has become loose and flabby, damn near falling off the bone. There’s blood splattered all around the man, across the floor and racing up the wall and over the furniture like a modern piece of art.

Then there are the feathers, bright yellow and stained dark red and brown, scattered in the remnants of a small tornado.

Alex wants to ask questions, but he doesn’t even know where to start. He quietly watches the forensics team takes pictures, followed by quiet murmurs of “what could have done this?” It’s his job to figure that part out, to piece the evidence together. At the moment, his brain can only offer lame, piss poor answers. Some sort of animal attack? Right, because the parakeet next door suddenly had a taste for human blood and sprouted Godzilla feet to trample the man’s neck.

“Sir,” one of the officers—Tony, he remembers—walks over. The kid looks pale, a ghostly shade of white as he fidgets in front of Alex. “You should come take a look at this.”

Alex feels for the unlucky rookie who went from the quiet death of a washed up rock-star to this massacre. He puts a hand on his shoulder as they head to the bedroom, Tony jumping a little before he offers Alex a hollow, half smile. Kid’s not going to make it. Alex can tell by the look in his eyes. He’s ready to go back to checking the parking meters on the street and hearing stories about those gruesome homicide cases instead of actually living
through them.

b)  Coming soon is “Hunters: Seeking the Storyteller,” an urban supernatural adventure book with my partner.  Here is a snippet.  It’s due out this August or September:

Alix crossed over and pulled up a chair, straddling it backward.  “There is a story I’ve heard before, during my hunts.”  Alix paused for a moment, deep blue eyes searching for the proper way to word it, “It… was a rather interesting tale and I want to know if there is any truth to it.  I want to know if there are demons who have the power to… change things."

The creature in front of him thought about that for a moment, silently rubbing his chin in an almost human behavior.  "I am assuming you mean larger things, possibly past things.  There are indeed stories of a specific type of demon who can do that.  But you won’t find him in your world."

Alix nodded.  "I figured as much.  Tell me about him."

"In my world, they call him The Storyteller.  According to our world every living thing has a book where its life and stories are recorded and written down.  These books are stored in a room.”

“A room full of books?  You mean like a library?”

“Library?”  The creature tilted its head in what Alix could only assume was a curious gesture, “Yes, I suppose that is a good word for it if these ‘libraries’ of yours are endless.”

“Endless?  No, nothing like that.”

“I see.  Well, I suppose calling it a library will do for now,” the demon chuckled before speaking again, “The Storyteller is the one who collects these books and watches over them.  But he also has the power to write new books and rewrite events.”  It stopped and tilted its head again.  Unlike the previous demons that Alix had become accustomed to killing this one seemed curious about a lot of things, particularly in Alix’s reactions during their conversation.  The empty holes in its head seemed to always be focused on Alix, studying him, its body shifting in its chair each time Alix frowned, or let out a soft breath.  Soon it spoke again, crossing its arms at its chest in the same way Alix had his arms crossed around the back of his chair, “Why?  Is there something you wanted The Storyteller to change about your story?"

"That is nothing for you to worry about,” Alix said quickly, “Where would I find him?"

The creature shook its head, the movement liquid against the rippling shadows behind him.  "You can’t.  The Storyteller doesn’t leave his ‘library’ and no one else can enter there."

Alix looked at the demon in disgust and stood up, pushing his chair aside.  "So he doesn’t actually exist and you’re wasting my time."  Turning, he moved toward the steps but stopped as the light directly above him snapped out with a small pop.  Alix glanced back at his prisoner.

"In exchange for my life.  If you swear that I will not be harmed by you or your associates, I will tell you what I know about him."

"You’ve already told me everything I need to know.  You also just said that no one could go there or see him."

"No.  I told you what my world believed.  I have met him."

c)  Also coming soon is “Double Hue,” a gay romance urban supernatural thriller with bits and pieces of horror.  Here is a snippet:

He knows that this is a dream.

He’s standing in his dorm room but everything is gray and dull like an old black and white movie.  All of his things are still there -- mini fridge, computer, giant marketing book -- but they look like they haven’t been touched in years, worn and covered in a thick blanket of dust.  There’s a knock on his door, the sound hollow, dead, and as he moves to answer it something in the back of his mind tells him that he doesn’t want to open the door.  He should stay in his room, not come out, and hide under the blankets forever.

Opening the door means disaster.  Opening the door means death.
         
But his feet are moving on their own and he opens the door, greeted to the sight of a man in a suit who shows him a badge.  It’s odd, he thinks, for the badge to be such a deep red.  It’s a stark contrast to the grainy gray world Gable’s standing in to the point of Gable squeezing his eyes shut just to adjust to the suddenly burst of color.  Aren’t most badges made in shades of brown?  Why red?  But he doesn’t get a chance to think about it, the detective is speaking and suddenly Gable finds himself trying to make out the words.

... Detect-... -rice... Ashfor-...

… hate to tell you -- then suddenly the volume is cranked up to full blast.

-- I’m sorry, son, but HE’S DEAD -- then the red begins to bleed off the badge, dripping to the floor until it starts to pull around Gable’s feet.  HE’S DEAD!

List of previous books if any

Nothing previous, everything is upcoming.  I have previous writing experience in the form of different articles and review for anime, manga, and video games.  As far as a full book goes, “Treat Me Kindly” is the first.  I do have a short story published in a gay romance anthology through Dreamspinner Press, and it was released on the same day as “Treat Me Kindly.”

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.

Absolutely!  Please, come find me!

Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/BrianaLawrencesPenAndPaper

Tumblr Writing Blog:  http://brichibiwritesthings.tumblr.com/

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Briana-Lawrence/e/B00D9ULZ70/

 Goodreads Author Page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7055998.Briana_Lawrence




Sunday, 7 July 2013
A Midsummer Night's Delights
by Kelli Wilkins
Amber Quill Press
M/M, M/F, F/F menage and more

At this Midsummer Ball, couples pair up everywhere—but not for dancing!

Young newlyweds Julian and Annabelle are miserable. Their arranged marriage is lacking everything—especially sex. Julian suffers from a lack of confidence and is harboring a secret urge. Annabelle’s longings go unnoticed and unfulfilled, no matter what she tries. But all that changes when they are invited to a Midsummer Ball. Their unconventional hosts, Vincent and Sabrina, introduce them to a world where their most intimate desires and hidden passions are explored—and fulfilled. Swapping and naughty games are just a few of the surprises awaiting them… 

Excerpt:

Julian glanced at Vincent over his shoulder. To his surprise, Vincent’s tan breeches were jutting out in front, straining to hold in his erection. “How would you…do that?”

“I know many ways of pleasuring a person,” Vincent answered as he bent down and kissed him.

His breath caught in his throat. A second later, Vincent’s strong hand closed around his throbbing cock and gave it a gentle squeeze.

He reveled in the sensations washing over him as he returned Vincent’s kiss…The feel of Vincent’s tongue twisting around his…A rough patch of stubble on Vincent’s chin…The expert way he grasped his member…He should stop. Anyone might come along and see them groping and kissing each other. But it felt so good…

Just when he was starting to give in fully, Vincent pulled away.

“I see you have much enthusiasm hidden inside you…when it involves a man.”

His face burned with shame. Once again, he’d given in to a terrible urge and behaved badly. “I’m sorry.” He bowed his head. Why had he done such a vile thing? “I’m a married man. I shouldn’t do that.”
“Nonsense. Don’t apologize. Liking a man now and then has nothing to do with being married. Heaven knows, it doesn’t stop me,” Vincent said with a grin. “Taking a male lover is like having candy, Julian. If you had candy available to you every minute of the day, you’d become bored with it. But…if it’s only given to you a few times a year, then it becomes a special treat. Sometimes a little piece of candy is just what you need to satisfy an urge. Do you have the urge, Julian?”

He nodded. “Sometimes.”

“Good.”

He gaped wide-eyed as Vincent unfastened his breeches and pulled them past his hips. His enormous purple-pink cock was inches from his mouth.

“Then go ahead, Julian. Have a piece of candy.”


Order a copy here: http://www.amberquill.com/AmberHeat/MidsummerNightsDelights.html

Don’t miss the sequel, A Midwinter Night’s Delights. Read more about it at www.KelliWilkins.com
Friday, 5 July 2013
Attracting Anthony
Book 1 of The Moon Pack Series
by Amber Kell
M/M Paranomral
5,000 words
Free download at
allromance

Anthony Carrow never thinks to find the love of his life when he goes to a bar with his best friend Steven Dell. Getting over the death of his lover has been a hard task for Anthony. After two years he’s still broken-hearted and doesn’t have any intention of joining the dating scene. However, going with Steven to scope out a werewolf club to help his friend find a mate leads to unexpected consequences.

Silver, alpha leader of the Moon pack, has been searching for his mate for a long time. Unhappy with the men he meets he’s given up searching for the man of his dreams until Anthony walks into the bar.

Can a man who’s already suffered a loss once be persuaded to give love a second try or will fear hold them back from finding the love they both deserve.

Unlawful
Book 1 of the Freedom Series
by Jessica Freely
M/M Alternate Universe
9000 words
free download at allromance


In a world where being gay is unlawful and slavery is legal, two men fight for their lives, for their desires, and for justice. Larke is a corporate lackey with a secret. Brode is a freedom fighter on the run. Each spells trouble for the other, but the passion between them will not be denied, no matter what the risk.

This short gay science fiction erotic romance is the first story in the Freedom series, set in the universe of Jessica Freely's bestselling novella, His Own Devices.

Flight of Fancy
by Cherie Noel
Book 1 of the Sheltering Sky Series
M/M Paranormal
24,000 words

Free download at allromance

In the time after the meteors brushed past Earth, a host of deadly new disease sprang into being. Mankind rushed to find vaccines, cures, and even ways to manipulate human DNA to enable humankind to better fight off the onslaught of new diseases. Failing on all counts, a handful of intrepid scientists sought instead to find ways to alter man enough to survive in the brave new world he would inevitably find himself part of.

The scientists succeeded only in creating a far worse disease, one mockingly called Ravineux for the near insatiable bloodlust it created in the initial stages… the Ravineux virus cemented a terrible change altering all it affected forever from homo sapiens to homo avius or homo vorax. The Ravineux, as those of the homo vorax species came to be called, spread over the face of the earth like a plague, until the remaining humans were few and far between… and the only hope for human kind’s survival lay not with the humans, but with the Flyers or homo Avius…

This is the story of a young man who did not know he could fly, and of the man who taught him to soar before he had wings.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013
Grime and Punishment (Brothers Grime #1)
by Z.A. Maxfield
M/M Contemporary
Loose-id
4 Stars


The Brothers Grime is Jack Masterson's way of helping people in crisis after disability ends his career as a firefighter. Jack's people get to a scene long after the physical trauma ends. They don't solve crime or rescue the victims. They help people move on. The new job is all Jack wants or needs, until he gets the call about old flame Nick Foasberg's suicide.

Ryan Halloran's cousin Nick has been on a downhill slide for a long time. Despite that, Ryan does everything he knows to help. Ryan only understands part of what happened between Nick and Jack in high school, but after Nick's suicide, Ryan agrees both he and Jack need closure. They work together to clean the scene and despite the situation, heat flares between them.

Jack is keeping a painful secret and fighting his attraction to Nick's lookalike cousin, Ryan. Ryan calls himself a magnet for lost causes and worries Jack might be the next in a long line of losers. Despite his misgivings, despite the past and the mistakes they've both made, Jack gives Ryan something to look forward to, and Ryan gives Jack a reason to stop looking back, in Grime And Punishment.

Review:

I've never read a book where the main character was a crime scene cleaner and it was interesting to learn about such an intriguing, if sometimes gory job. I had to skim a few of the more detailed gory scenes, but that's probably just me, I do the same when watching CSI and have to close my eyes for parts of it. I don't think the author put it in for shock value, it was there to show you the characters' emotional  reactions to it. After all, despite it being his job, Jack has never had to clean up a loved-one's scene before and neither has Ryan, even though he's a nurse and probably sees a lot of things in his job.

Both characters were well-drawn, they both had flaws which made them much more realistic rather than cardboard cut-outs of romance book heroes. No billionaires or supermen here. Jack has never really dated, his friend with benefits, Dave, is a closeted cop who 'doesn't do breakfast' or anything else that might out him and Jack is left wondering if that is all there is? A quick fumble in the dark, then Dave leaves, never staying overnight.

When the gets the call about his ex-lover's suicide, Jack meets his cousin Ryan and is unnerved at the uncanny resemblance between them, but he soon realises that Ryan is nothing like Nick despite their shared good lucks. They bond over cleaning up the suicide scene together, but I found it odd that they would be allowed to do such a thing, knowing the victim and all, but I don't really know if that's how things work in reality or not.

The romance happens a little bit fast for my taste (their first physical encounter happens just before Nick's funeral - in the space of a few days), but it was a very emotional time for both of them, so it could be that they are using sex as a way of dealing with things.

Ryan doesn't know the whole truth of what happened with Nick and Jack and Jack tries to keep it a secret for reasons I couldn't fathom. The truth would show Nick in a bad light, maybe Jack still wanted Ryan to have some good memories of his cousin and was trying to protect him. He should have just told Ryan the truth from the start and not worry about tarnishing Nick's less than stellar reputation anyway. It seemed a forced conflict to me and it got a bit wearing after a while wondering when or if Jack would finally tell Ryan what happened.

I felt a little bit sorry for Dave, he seemed quite upset when he realised that Jack and Ryan were now an item, but maybe he should have realised sooner that Jack wouldn't be happy being in the closet with him forever. Jack wanted and needed someone who didn't want to hide who he was or who he was intimate with.

It's a good book peopled with vibrant characters and an interesting start to the Brothers Grime Series.

Reviewed by Annette Gisby