Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Book Spotlight: Impact Velocity by Leah Petersen


Impact Velocity
Book 3 of The Physics of Falling
nby Leah Peterson
M/M Sci-fi/Fantasy
Available from Amazon | BN | Indigo

Book Description:

Jake has finally found peace and a family with the man he loves. But when the unimaginable happens, Jake finds himself on the run with his greatest enemy and the man who betrayed them both. If he can't find a way to bring down the man who now wields the power of an emperor, he'll lose not just his own life, but his daughter’s as well.

Praise for Fighting Gravity and Cascade Effect

Fighting Gravity is like if Ursula K. Le Guin and Orson Scott Card could co-author a book without exploding. On the one hand you have the liberal and social science aspects of Ursula K. Le Guin, and on the other hand you have a character-driven story that isn’t afraid to be entertaining.
 – author Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Ms. Petersen has penned a riveting story that will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride and leave you breathless at the end.”
 – Readers Roundtable (recommended read)

“IMPACT VELOCITY lives up to its title in the best way possible...turning what you think you knew from the previous books on edge before giving the characters a spin.”
 – K.D. McEntire, author of Lightbringer

***

Excerpt:

6 December 303, 5:30 Imperial Standard Time, 7 lbs 9 oz, Marquilla Sophie Cho Ayana Helen Dawes-Killearn
 
Ummm, yes. I was there.
 
I know. I was just looking at the record again.
 
You’re such a sap.
 
So are you.
 
Me?

You don’t hide it as well as you think you do.

***

 
I always was better at math than I was at life.
 
Yet, somewhere in the year or two following Blaine’s conviction and “execution,” for all he had done to Pete and me, I found a peace with my life that I’d never expected. A lot of that time fogs and runs together in my brain, but I have a vague sense of how it happened. Not just one moment or choice, but a cascade of the events of my life, toppling to their inevitable conclusion. Chance, circumstance, choice, and just plain dumb luck, good and bad. I might have understood it better if there were a formula I could have used to confirm the results.
 
She came to us on a crisp winter morning. For the empire, a princess had been born, an imperial heir, a figurehead and symbol, a future sovereign. But, cocooned in the nursery, Pete and I met our daughter for the first time. The empire knew her as Princess Marquilla Sophie Cho Ayana Helen Dawes-Killearn, Heir to the Imperial Throne. We called her Molly.
 
We’d had a year of practice at parenting. Owen Blaine was two years old when he became my ward and moved into the Family rooms. Two was not an easy age, and I’d thought I was prepared for Molly, but the reality of parenting a newborn made my head spin.
 
She was tired, yet she didn’t sleep, she wanted to eat, then she didn’t, instead she threw up, and pooped more than should be possible for such a tiny body. Then she did it all again. Those days hazed into long hours of sleeplessness and confusion, the keen edge of despair when you realized you were powerless to make her happy, the utter frustration of matching wits or engaging in a battle of wills with someone who was three days old, and losing.
 
But there was something magical in her tiny perfection, the astonishing phenomenon of her contented little sighs, the way her mouth screwed up and then opened in a wide yawn from that little mouth. The utter bliss of realizing you’d figured it out, or just gotten lucky, and she was sleeping in your arms, a tiny bundle of the most important atoms in the universe.
 
I remember Owen, sitting in Pete’s lap, his chubby little arms still dimpled at the elbows, cradling “his baby.” He would stare at her so seriously sometimes, as if trying to puzzle out this mystery the universe had thrown into his family.
 
There were nights I was beyond exhausted but sat up long after it was my turn to sleep, just to watch the way Pete would look at her as he held her, brushing a worshipful finger over her chin and nose, smoothing her little eyebrows when she’d scrunch up her face in sleep. I knew I made Pete happy, that he treasured our marriage. But Pete with his daughter was another thing entirely. I couldn’t have been jealous if I tried.
 
And thus for a while I had a family, and happiness, and peace. I tried to remember the last time I’d felt so content, so hopeful. Besides snatches of time in between the crises that defined our lives, I could only compare it to the three years Pete and I had been together when we were teenagers. So stupidly confident, so invincible, before the disaster that was my treason and the years we both paid for it afterward. For those first years, though, Pete had been quietly happy, and I had too.

I had also been determinedly blind to anything I didn’t want to see, believing that was the same as Pete’s clean, uncomplicated optimism and hope.
 
I was no longer a child to believe something simply because I wanted it to be true. I had children of my own, and I had to be better than that for them.
 
I tried.

***

Visit the author at http://www.leahpetersen.com/

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Six Authors/Six Days Interview & Giveaway Debbie McGowan


About the Author:

Debbie McGowan is an author and publisher based in a semi-rural corner of Lancashire, England. She writes character-driven fiction, covering life, love, relationships—the whole shazam. A working class girl, she ‘ran away’ to London at seventeen, was homeless, unemployed and then homeless again, interspersed with animal rights activism (all legal, honest ;)) and volunteer work as a mental health advocate. At twenty-five, she went back to college to study social science—tough with two toddlers, but they had a ‘stay at home’ dad, so it worked itself out. These days, the toddlers are young women (much to their chagrin), and Debbie teaches undergraduate students, writes novels and runs an independent publishing company, occasionally grabbing an hour of sleep where she can!

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I rarely plan out my stories, usually just going with the flow, especially at the start, where I might have a vague idea of where the story is heading, but prefer to go where it takes me. It can be quite hairy at times. For instance, when I was writing ”A Midnight Clear”, the homeless girl (main character) finds a stray cat, and all the while I was writing the story, I was thinking, please let the cat be OK. I genuinely have no (conscious) idea what’s going to happen.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

My characters always take over the story! I let them too – eventually. When I’m working with new characters it takes me a while to reach a point where I trust them enough, but once I let them hold the reins they take the story to amazing places. It actually feels a lot like the experience of reading a story written by someone else.

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

I love a bit of romance, but I don’t think much like a woman, so I tend to identify more with men in general, and gay men in particular. A lot of my friends are gay men, so perhaps it’s a little bit about writing what I know.

Do you write in other genres besides M/M?

I do, and in fact I don’t consider the M/M I write as distinct from the rest of it. I write realist contemporary fiction, which incorporates same and opposite gender relationships, both male and female, but also everything else – a bit of crime, the supernatural, family, growing up, etc.

What is your favourite food?

Cheese. I love it. All of it. Well, all except the dodgy grated parmesan that’s sold in pots off the shelf. My favourite cheese is Swiss Emmental, which is nutty and quite tangy, yet sweet and smooth. It has holes in it like cartoon cheese. Fun and delicious!

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Oh, I am definitely a morning person, but I tend to burn the candle at both ends. My real low point is mid–late afternoon, when I get hardly anything done. Coffee is my saviour.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

I’m very much a home body, but if I did venture out I’d really loved to travel the US and meet up with all the amazing authors I know whom I have only met online – we have a whole road trip planned out based on where they live. 

Do distant places feature in your books?

Occasionally I send my characters of to distant places. I had two characters go to Nepal to deliver a catering ovens to a remote Himalayan village. I also have a few characters who have made the trans-Atlantic migration (both ways), plus characters who are non-UK (most of my stories are based in the UK) and moved to England prior to the start of the story.

Do you listen to music while writing?

No, as I can’t, which is a bummer, as I have permanent tinnitus and sometimes it is so loud I can’t concentrate. That said, my novels In The Stars Part I and In The Stars Part II have many chapters based on songs, where I tried to capture the story, or the ’feel’ of the song in the chapter. For example, I killed a character (it was awful, I cried a lot) and used Robbie Williams’ ”Morning Sun” as my inspiration, trying to capture the feeling of the song, the sense of numbness that follows losing someone we love. I can’t listen to the song now without being wracked with guilt and loss.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

I’ve had a couple of releases in the past month, and another one coming on December 15th, which are all stand-alone stories, but are also part of my series, Hiding Behind The Couch, plus one of them is in Boughs of Evergreen Holiday Anthology. Crying in the Rain came out on November 11th, and it’s “M/M” romance. It’s the story of Ade Simmons, a radio producer trying to leave behind an abusive relationship, and he meets actor Kris Johansson at work. ”A Midnight Clear” is the story in Boughs of Evergreen, and it takes place a year after Crying in the Rain. It’s about a homeless girl who arrives in George and Josh’s hometown, George and Josh being friends of the previously mentioned Kris Johansson. So, ”A Midnight Clear” is not M/M romance, or even romance, but George and Josh are an established couple and they are very romantic and in love (their story is partly told in First Christmas and Breaking Waves). Finally, there’s Red Hot Christmas, which comes out on December 15th, and it’s mostly F/M romance. The main character, Shaunna, is the aforementioned Kris Johansson’s ex-wife (Kris is bisexual), and it’s F/M, not M/F, because Shaunna is a strong, confident, sexy woman.

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

I have learned that Beta readers are indispensible. Every author needs people they trust to be honest and who know their way around a book. Authors should listen (discerningly) to what their beta readers say. Also, it doesn’t matter how much marketing you do or money you spend. It’s a combination of the right cover, the right blurb and the right social networking that gets an author noticed. Of course, you need a good product too, so making sure books are properly edited and proof-read is also a must.

Is there anything you would do differently?

I wish I’d started writing for real earlier. I’ve always written, but didn’t properly set about writing a novel until I was twenty-five, and it took me seven years to finish. It was published in 2004. After that I got quicker! I didn’t write anything else until 2007, and the rest of it has happened in the seven years since.

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

Mostly it’s just life experiences that have influenced, and continue to influence my writing. I’ve been around a while and met so many incredible people, and I watch and listen all the time, so I learn stuff that is often less obvious, or kept hidden away deliberately. It’s been a colourful life so far, so I have lots to write about!

What are three words that describe you?

Workaholic, brainiac, introvert

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

Hm, well, I’m a dog person – I like dogs more than people. To them, every new thing is their favourite thing. That’s me with books. 

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

Crying in the Rain (ebook and paperback)

For many years, Ade Simmons has been an outsider, trapped in an abusive relationship, seeking sanctuary in his job as a radio producer, and in the checklists he makes in an attempt to regain control of his sorry excuse of a life.

Actor Kris Johansson is patient, gentle and passionate—everything that Ade’s ex-boyfriend is not. When Kris takes a role in one of Ade’s plays, the attraction is mutual and instant. It is the turning point for Ade. He can either stay on the same path, with Fergus—the bully who has repressed, used and isolated him from his friends and family—or he can look in the other direction, towards Kris—the handsome actor with family and friends who readily accept him.

But Fergus will not give up his punchbag so easily—can Ade finally find the strength to fight back?

***

A Midnight Clear (from Boughs of Evergreen)

It's a cold, desperate December when a young girl flees home, in search of food, shelter and the real Santa Claus. Stranded in George and Josh's hometown, she discovers that the spirit of Christmas can be found in the most unexpected of places. Includes the story of The Little Match Girl, by Hans Christian Andersen.

ABOUT BOUGHS OF EVERGREEN
Boughs of Evergreen is a two-volume collection of short stories celebrating the holiday season in all its diversity. Penned by authors from the UK, the USA, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, these are tales of the young and the not-so-young from many different walks of life.

Themes of family, friendship and romance take readers on a journey through some of the major holidays, both past and present, including Thanksgiving, Advent, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Eid, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas and New Year. In each we find at the very least hope, and often love, peace and happiness.

Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization [USA] providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

RELEASED YESTERDAY/TODAY:

Checking Him Out For the Holidays

Freelance engineer Sol Brooks doesn't do the festive season. He thinks it's boring and overly sentimental.

With the rest of the household laid up with 'the flu', Sol's planned on using the time to crack on with some work.

His mother, however, has other ideas.

And so does Sol's husband, Adam.

A stand-alone holiday special featuring Sol and Adam from Checking Him Out.

List of previous books if any

LGBTQ Romance and Relationships
Crying in the Rain (novel)*
First Christmas (novella)*
Breaking Waves (novella)*
Checking Him Out (novel)**
Sugar and Sawdust (short story)**
Champagne (novel)

General
‘Time to Go’ in Story Salon Big Book of Stories

Sci-fi/Fantasy Light

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down
No Dice
Double Six

*Stand-alone stories from the world of Hiding Behind The Couch.
**Part of the Love's Landscapes Anthology
(Don't Read in the Closet 2014)
MMRomanceGroup.com

HIDING BEHIND THE COUCH SERIES
The ongoing story of ‘The Circle’…
Nine friends since high school;
Nine friends for life.

The Story So Far…
(in chronological order: novellas and short novels are "stand-alone" stories, but tie in with the series - think Middle Earth—well, more Middle England, but with a social conscience!)

Beginnings (Novella)
Hiding Behind The Couch (Book One)
No Time Like The Present (Book Two)
The Harder They Fall (Book Three)
Crying in the Rain (Short Novel)
First Christmas (Novella)
In The Stars Part I: Capricorn–Gemini (Book Four)
Breaking Waves (Novella)
In The Stars Part II: Cancer–Sagittarius (Book Five)
A Midnight Clear (Novella)
Red Hot Christmas (Novella)
Two By Two (Season Six - 2015)


Any websites/places readers can find you on the web

www.debbiemcgowan.co.uk
www.hidingbehindthecouch.com
www.beatentrackpublishing.com/debbiemcgowan
Twitter: https://twitter.com/writerdebmcg
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/beatentrackpublishing
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/deb248211
Tumblr: http://writerdebmcg.tumblr.com/
LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/writerdebmcg
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+DebbieMcGowan
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4401329.Debbie_McGowan

***

Giveaway:

We had a bit of trouble with email, so Debbie's interview didn't get up on time for the Rafflecopter giveaway. So instead, just leave a comment and your email below to be in with the chance to win a copy of The Chosen, my M/M novel. Winner drawn on Dec 31.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Author Interview & Book Spotlight: Christmas Spirit by David Connor


About the Author:

David Connor wanted to be a soap opera writer ever since his 8th grade English teacher wrote atop one of his papers “You should get a job writing for As the World Turns.” David has written for soap opera publications and for a radio soap, and now writes steamy romantic stories—soap operas in print. He has written several novels and novellas, and has also contributed to a number of anthologies in the gay erotic romance genre.

David also writes stage plays, and humor and satire from the home he shares in upstate New York, the setting for many of his books, with his kitty cat, Molly. David believes he is also sometimes visited by loved ones no longer here on Earth, including the spirits of Max, the dog, and Mrs. Fat Pants, the cat, not only at Christmas, either.

Check out David’s Facebook author page here:  And talk to him on Twitter @DannyCinicic.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I have a general idea of who, and quite often I think I know what—but I find myself saying quite often “I didn’t see that coming.” In Christmas Spirit the whole Shelf Elf thing just came about as I was writing and in Tidings of Comfort and Joey Down Under Seth’s parents were originally his friends.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story? 

Yes. And sometimes I let them. In Quadruple Flip Erika refused to be a secondary character and she now wants her own sequel. We’ll see.

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

I have loved writing since I was in grade school. I wrote a bunch of stuff for magazines and when I tried to write a novel, doors seemed to slam in my face. This was a welcoming market. I hopped on board for some of the anthologies and met some wonderful people along the way. I am also a gay guy, so… there is that. 

Do you write in other genres besides M/M?

Yes, but nothing is really out there as far as books are concerned. I have been featured in Soap Opera Digest  and Mad Magazine.

What is your favourite food?

Mashed potatoes are right up there. 

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Morning. I love the solitude of morning when it’s too early even for the cat. I love the way the sun shines through my kitchen window when it rises over the mountain.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

Scotland. It looks so very lush and green.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Tidings of Comfort and Joey is set in Australia. Quadruple Flip travels from Japan, to Canada, to the U. S., Great Britain, and Russia, following a gang of athletes on their Olympic journey. Double Flip was set in London as well. But don’t judge my writing on that book. I was pretty darned green. 

Do you listen to music while writing? 

I prefer total silence.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release? 

I have three Christmas stories out: Tidings of Comfort and Joey, part of Dreamspinner Press’s annual Advent, which is very exciting. I also have Christmas Spirit from Secret Cravings about two young men making the transition to maturity with the help of one’s ghostly grampy. And finally, from Loose Id I helped my writing partner with Shepherd, Wise Man and the Little Drummer boy, a blush-worthy M/M/M tale where we put three characters from three different stories we never really got to fleshing out into one lusty tale. It felt so good to give them their happily ever after.

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

To better know my audience. When I wrote Double Flip I had no idea what the genre was all about. What I wrote—though possibly enjoyable to a few people—was more like a cross between a Mad Magazine piece and the kind of story from gay nudie mags. 

Is there anything you would do differently?

Yes. Do you think they’ll let me rewrite Double Flip?  Can we go back in time a couple years?

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

Stick with it. You have to love what you do, because every book is not going to be a bestseller and every review is not going to be 5 stars. You’re probably not going to get filthy rich either.

What are three words that describe you?

Funny, introverted, creative.

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

Old school Catcher in the Rye holds up for me. Men never grow all the way up (a theme in Christmas Spirit) and there is a little Holden Caulfield in every adult male. I was also quite taken with John Irving’s In One Person. There are some great takeaways from that story, including a passage about how writers can never be completely content with their own lives, otherwise they will never be able to create other worlds.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

From Tidings of Comfort and Joey Down Under: Seth Anderson thought he was a finalist in the Hot Jack cologne modeling contest for King's Department Store, but Sandy King, upon reviewing Seth's photo and resume, just wanted to jump him like a horny kangaroo. Seth quickly learns there is pain behind Sandy’s bravado and a sweet, lonely man behind the act. A holiday romance blossoms like the flowers on an Australian Christmas Bell. When Seth, used to a family dynamic without boundaries, oversteps by outing Sandy to his estranged grandmother, however, everything changes. Sandy is furious. He breaks things off with Seth and threatens to return to the US. As Christmas approaches, any chance at happily ever after seems as likely as a snowstorm in Sydney. It would take a miracle from above to set things right. Good thing ‘tis the season.

List of previous books if any

Rated XXXMas

Amazon Author Page

Dreamspinner Press Author Page

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web

https://www.facebook.com/mmromcomsinprint?ref=hl

***


Christmas Spirit
by David Connor
M/M Contemporary/Christmas/Holidays

Scattered, irresponsible, and hurting inside, Aidan, has gone cold when it comes to love. Everyone he loves leaves him. Just as Kip comes close to thawing his heart, tragedy strikes again. Aidan’s grampy, the only family he has left, is rushed to the hospital. His last words to his grandson encourage him to become a better man, one worthy of Kip. Fearing he never will be that man, Aidan breaks things off. One year later, over Christmas, in the warmth of the Florida sun, the couple reunites. With the help of Aidan’s grampy’s spirit—which only Kip can hear—they try to find their future in life and as a couple.

Excerpt:

Christmas past, 2013.

I believed him—silly me—so I slipped off my shoes and sat on the bed. I smiled shyly when he pulled on my arm until I was lying beside him.

“We ain’t never done this before.” Aidan smiled back.

“No.”

“How come?” he asked.

“Professional boundaries?”

Aidan laughed. “Be they gone now?”

“I’m not sure.” I really wasn’t.

“Or you just feel sorry for me?”

“Not sorry. No.” I searched my brain for what I was feeling. “Protective,” I offered. “No. That’s not it. I guess I wanna make you not be afraid of…” I didn’t dare toss out the word love again. “Of… ya know.”

Aidan said nothing. His blue eyes found my ombre though and they told me I’d said something meaningful.

“What?” I asked.

“Nothing.”

Bare leg to bare leg I felt a chill. “Brr!” I suddenly said. “Get up. You’re still cold.” And so was I.

Aidan got out of bed without argument. I pulled back the top sheet he’d been lying on and guided him beneath it. The view as he splayed his legs to scooch to one side let me know if we ever did have sex, I’d be in for a workout.

I picked up the sand-colored quilt from the floor and threw that overtop of him as well. Then I picked up my computer tablet.

“You getting in?” he asked.

“I’ll be the top.” Damn me and my nervous malapropisms. I decided not to correct myself. That would only draw attention. The smirk across Aidan’s thick, pale lips told me it didn’t really matter. “You were outside smoking, weren’t you?” There, I turned attention back on him.

“Just cigarettes.”

I smiled. Aidan was funny.

“Is that about me?”

“Yes.” I settled next to him. I tucked the covers in around him, for more warmth and also as a barrier between his body and mine. The sheets smelled good, like laundry soap and dryer sheets. Aidan, his scent, wafting about from when he’d stirred, smelled like cigarettes and winter. “You should have worn a coat. At least shoes.”

“And I shouldn’t smoke.”

He always seemed to know what I was thinking. I agreed with a sideways nod.

“I was under the portico,” he said. “Wasn’t that cold.”

“Is it snowing hard?” I asked.

“Not yet.”

Available from Amazon





Saturday, 20 December 2014

Six Authors/Six Interviews & Giveaway Jonathan Penn


Six Authors over six days who have all contributed to the Boughs of Evergreen Anthology.

ABOUT BOUGHS OF EVERGREEN

Boughs of Evergreen is a two-volume collection of short stories celebrating the holiday season in all its diversity. Penned by authors from the UK, the USA, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, these are tales of the young and the not-so-young from many different walks of life.

Themes of family, friendship and romance take readers on a journey through some of the major holidays, both past and present, including Thanksgiving, Advent, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Eid, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas and New Year. In each we find at the very least hope, and often love, peace and happiness.

Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization [USA] providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. For more information, visit: www.thetrevorproject.org.

Today our interview is with Jonathan Penn

***

About the Author:

Jonathan grew up in The South. While new to the world of writing, he has been inventing tales for at least fifty years. He was probably also making stuff up during the two years prior to that but, as this was his pre-verbal period, there’s no evidence one way or the other. He enjoys gardening. He gardens, and enjoys red wines, cooking, theatre, singing and, of course, writing. Jonathan reminds himself every day how fortunate he is to have shared the best and worst of the last thirty-three years with the man of his dreams. He loves hearing from readers, so please feel free to contact him.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

If you look up Obsessive-Compulsive Anal-Retentive Personality Disorder in Webster’s, there’s a picture of me. I begin with a vague outline of everything, and then start filling it in. Then, I tend to work both from the beginning forward, and from the end backward. I hear “pansters” talk about how they work—my favorite author sits down with her characters in mind and a general idea of the story, and then she just starts typing. I keep telling myself I should try it sometime, but it’s just too scary. I guess I’m a bit of a control freak?

 Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Gay men in love, pushy? Are you kidding me? (*LOL*)  Actually, I love the times when they’re yelling and waving to get my attention and trying to convince me to tell it their way. It’s the other times that make me crazy—when they just sit there staring at me in stony silence, and all I can do is stare back. Well?  Anything?  Argh!!!

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

I’m a gay man, so discovering this genre—the only form of media other than porn where I’d encountered characters who were like me, and were portrayed in a positive light—felt a lot like coming home. I’ve never looked back.

Do you write in other genres besides M/M?

Not so far. I’d like to write The Great American Novel someday, but then, who wouldn’t?

What is your favourite food?

Eggs Florentine.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I am a creature of the night.

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

I’d love to go back to Hawaii. We were there for two weeks a few years ago and seriously considered attempting to make arrangements by phone for the sale of our house and belongings back home so we could just stay forever. All of Europe is also on my bucket list, but Ireland in particular as that’s my ancestral home.  I also have a fascination with Japan, but I turn chicken when I think about actually going there.

Do distant places feature in your books?


So far, only in a peripheral way. In Raising Cade, Alan is a retired Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those experiences in distant places formed him into the man he is today, but the places themselves aren’t actually featured. I would very much like to write stories set in far-off lands, because I believe that to really capture the essence of a place it’s best to spend time there, and I adore travel!

Do you listen to music while writing?

Definitely! One part of the extensive planning I mentioned before is doing an in-depth interview with each of my characters. I find out what kind of music they like, and then I have that playing in the background when I’m writing their scene. Of course, sometimes, they argue over the remote, and it can get a bit messy.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?


Well… there’s a link at the end of this interview to my very latest release, Turnabout, that came out last week, but I’m really here today to talk about the one from three weeks ago, Homme for the Holidays. It’s a short story sequel to my first novella, Raising Cade. I wrote the novella as part of the annual Don’t Read in the Closet writing event at the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads. Deb McGowan, the publisher of Boughs of Evergreen, read it and liked it enough to ask if I’d consider writing a holiday short with the same characters. I had mixed feelings for about a minute, until she mentioned it would be a fundraiser for The Trevor Project (thetrevorproject.org), and then I jumped right on the bandwagon. I’m delighted for the opportunity to support their crucial work in crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBT youth aged 13-24.

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

I’ve learned to ignore the little voice that seems to enjoy telling me I’m not good enough and I can’t do this. Well, not ignore so much—that never works—more like pat him on the head and say, “There, there, Dear. We shall see.” I’ve also learned more grammar in the last nine months than I did in fourteen years of school… probably because now, it matters! (*LOL*)  I’ve learned a lot by studying the works of authors I love, but maybe almost as much by reading works I dislike, and analyzing why I don’t like them. So far, I’ve only worked with two publishers. They were as different as night and day, but both effective in producing results. I think my biggest lesson has been to set aside “personalities” and work to build healthy relationships.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Yes, I would have started thirty years sooner if I’d had any idea there was a way to face ridiculously difficult challenges and at the same time have more fun than I’d ever imagined possible!

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

To some extent, everything I’ve ever seen, heard, read, thought, smelled (*LOL* you get the picture) comes into play when I’m writing. The things that seem to leave the most lasting impressions on my mind are those it classifies as “clever,” so writings by the likes of Edward Albee, Tony Kushner, David Sedaris, Gore Vidal, Thornton Wilder, Noel Coward, Tennessee Williams, Armistead Maupin, Harvey Fierstein, and Oscar Wilde have all been influential. Oh! Gosh! I just noticed… they’re all gay men… Hmm… I think that might have something to do with it as well.

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

As a newbie on the scene, I’m in no position to pontificate. I will say that what was most helpful as I was starting out was the encouragement and support of old friends combined with the kind and generous assistance of new friends who were already doing what I wanted to do.

What are three words that describe you?

Cheerful, garrulous, and insecure.

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

My favorite author is Kaje Harper. My favorite book is Into This River I Drown by Tj Klune.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book:

Homme for the Holidays (from Boughs of Evergreen)

Cade Bishop is finally on the mend from a traumatic event that happened almost five years ago. That healing didn't really start until last April, when he met Alan Troxler.

Alan has problems of his own, but he's noticed over the last eight months that the more time he shares with Cade, the more easily he's able to put his troubles to rest.

They're traveling together to Asheville, North Carolina to renew a Christmas tradition that was an important part of Alan's past, and to introduce him to Cade's parents—one of the few worries he hasn't been able to let go.

List of previous books:

Raising Cade  http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Cade-Alan-Book-ebook/dp/B00P8LRRRK

Turnabout  (from the Kickass Anthology for Eric Arvin) amazon.com/Kickass-Anthology-Keira-Andrews-ebook/dp/B00QU9GBXK

Websites/places readers can find you on the web:

email:  JPennwrites@gmail.com

blog:  JPennwrites.blogspot.com

Amazon:  amazon.com/author/JPenn

Goodreads:  goodreads.com/JPenn

Twitter:  @JPennwrites

Facebook:  facebook.com/JonathanPennWrites

Google+:  google.com/+JonathanPennWrites

***

Giveaway

One lucky winner will win all six stories

Matthias Williamson — Holidays with Drum and Bell!

Amelia Mann — Always Have, Always Will

Debbie McGowan — A Midnight Clear

Jonathan Penn — Homme for the Holidays

K.C. Faelan — A Little Christmas Magic

Ofelia Gränd — From All of Us to All of You

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, 19 December 2014

A Likely Story Anthology Spotlight & Giveaway


ALS banner
Title: A Likely Story
Type: Anthology
Authors: Eric Gober, Asta Idonea, Michael P. Thomas, kirifox, Frostina, Lily Velden, Taylin Clavelli, jn olsen, L.V. Lloyd, Louise Lyons
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Genre: gay romance

Synopsis

Suspend rational thought.
Leave logic at the door.
Be ready to roll your eyes and pick your jaw up from your lap.
The tales in A Likely Story don’t let truth get in the way of telling a good yarn.
They might push your buttons or make you laugh.
They may make you scoff or spit out your coffee.
You might even scratch your head in disbelief.
Whatever your reaction, the one thing they are guaranteed to do is entertain you!
ALikelyStoryCover

Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QH3RJOE/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00QH3RJOE/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00QH3RJOE/
WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/a-likely-story/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-alikelystoryawaywardinkpublishinganthology-1693182-145.html

Giveaway

Be among the first readers to buy A Likely Story and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $20 gift card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Video trailer:

http://youtu.be/YaARJQ5Srts

Stories included:

THE BIRTHDAY GIFT
Eric Gober
A sexy and mysterious stranger . . .
A luxurious Las Vegas penthouse . . .
And one very bizarre timepiece . . .
It’s gonna be a birthday Nick will never forget.
A WHALE OF A TIME
Asta Idonea
An Australian surfer and a British Marine Biologist meet in the strangest of circumstances in this tale of Biblical proportions.
DUDE MAMA
Michael P. Thomas
When button-down biracial lawmaker Cassidy Uematsu meets hardscrabble fry cook Buford “Jax” Jackson, it’s lust at first sight.
They’re only too happy to jump into the sack, and when Jax loses his condom mid-getting-to-know-you, Cassidy urges him forward, damn the consequences. 
What’s the worst that can happen? 
THE WITCHING HOUR
kirifox
When Jeremy was killed in service to his country, Mason lost everything.
Now Jeremy is back…
But is it really him?
Eternity may not be just a concept.
THE GIFT
Frostina
He searched high and low in the tiny town he lived in, exasperated, sad, and desperate!
He wanted something special for the two most important people in his life.
JUSTIN GAYLORD
Lily Velden & Taylin Clavelli
A Quaker with size issues
A jock without size issues
And a sex therapist who likes to solve size issues.
Should be a match made in heaven.
PERFECT
jn olsen
Seeing your favorite action hero on the screen…
What could be more perfect?
Will’s about to find out.
CHIMERA AIR
Taylin Clavelli
An airline entirely staffed by gay people
Where there customer isn’t always right…
WIZARD’S SPAWN
L.V. LLoyd
The magic in Aelith was dying.
The only way to restore it was for the King to marry and produce an heir.
Why was he taking so long to choose a wife?”
THE LAST APPOINTMENT
Louise Lyons
Dr. Glen Wright loves his young male patients – sometimes a little too much.
When handsome Martin Reynolds visits him with a rather personal problem, Glen finds he can’t keep his hands to himself…

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Six Authors/Six Interviews & Giveaway Matthias Williamson


ABOUT BOUGHS OF EVERGREEN 

Boughs of Evergreen is a two-volume collection of short stories celebrating the holiday season in all its diversity. Penned by authors from the UK, the USA, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, these are tales of the young and the not-so-young from many different walks of life.

Themes of family, friendship and romance take readers on a journey through some of the major holidays, both past and present, including Thanksgiving, Advent, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Eid, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas and New Year. In each we find at the very least hope, and often love, peace and happiness.

Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization [USA] providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. For more information, visit: www.thetrevorproject.org.

Today our interview is with Matthias Williamson.

***

About the Author:

Matthias Williamson has always had characters in his head. There were times when he was little when he couldn’t go to sleep because there was too much talking going on. He finally stopped one day and started writing what the characters were saying, and stories emerged. Finally, he’s finishing the stories.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow? I’m a total pantser, well I think I can also be called a plantser, because sometimes I’ll be going and then all of a sudden, I’m plotting out where the next scene will go.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story? 

Yup, my current WIP became a Threesome, because Aaron just had to keep showing up.

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

Josh Lanyon. And as a gay man, I remember growing up and not having anything positive to read. (I’m fairly old.)

Do you write in other genres besides M/M?

I do, I’ve got another pen name, where I touch on much more racy things.

What is your favourite food? 

Something I created at work, I asked for a Chicken Quesadilla without the tortilla and had it placed on a bed of french fries. It’s my version of Irish Nachos.

Are you a morning person or a night owl? 

I’m both, I find that I’m not a mid-afternoon person.  I can go to bed at 1am, wake up at 6am and crash around 2pm right after lunch.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why? 

I’d love to go to England, because I’ve got so many friends over there.  And Genoa, Italy, I’ve got a passion for the Middle Ages.  I’ve got a sick desire to travel the path of the black death. (Oooh, plot bunny)

Do distant places feature in your books? 

I’m working on an Urban Fantasy, it’s fun to tweak places.

Do you listen to music while writing?

Yes, I’ve got several playlists on Spotify.  In fact, I create playlists and then stories pop in my head when I hear them.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

Holidays with Drum and Bell follows the relationship of two high school boys, it begins with Christmas and ends just after graduation.  The story touches on several holidays: Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Saint Patrick’s Day, and Earth Day.

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

I’ve learned that if you don’t submit it, you’ll never know if it’ll get accepted.  It’s like the story about the frog on the log.  He wanted to get off the log, but he never did, because he always wanted to do it.  He never did it.

Is there anything you would do differently?

Actually no, I think I needed to wait as long as I did to feel comfortable enough to submit when I did.

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

Everyone.  I’ve never been surrounded by a more helpful group of authors.  Encouraging, cheering, helping.  From idols who chat with me online, to brand new discovered authors who are going through the same fears and joys that I am.  I think being in this Anthology has also helped with support, as we are all constantly cheering on one another.

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

Ask questions, don’t be afraid to submit.  Believe in what you are writing, listen to your beta readers and beta editors.  Have fun, eat chocolate, dance in the rain. Because when you get that email of acceptance you’ll be jumping out of your pants.  The last story I sold, I’ve looked at the email a hundred times to make sure it was accepted.

What are three words that describe you?

Jovial, naughty, & humorous.

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

Josh Lanyon, a couple of years ago, I read 25 of his stories.  I’d just gotten my nook and I couldn’t read them fast enough.

Excerpt:

Holidays with Drum and Bell!

I jumped over the cliff without looking and asked, “And your heart wasn’t with your girl either?”

He gulped his coffee. “No. We fought because I wanted something else. I wanted someone more like…” He took another huge gulp of coffee. Speaking into the huge mug amplified his words. “More like you.” The blush rose in his cheeks.

Breathing coffee, not air , proved not to be the best thing. Coughing ensued, and by coughing, I really mean I was spitting it up as I laughed. Then I made the biggest faux pas. I couldn’t believe there was still coffee left in me, but the next thing I knew it was all over his chest . My face was bright red from the coughing jag and the blush of embarrassment. Foam was everywhere, mostly dripping from my nose, and if his shirt was any indication of what I looked like, I’m pretty sure I looked like a mess.

“Oh my god, Jeff… you…” Jonah ran to the counter and got a cup of water. He also brought some napkins, which he threw at me, and grabbed at my coffee. It was hot and slipped out of his hand, slamming onto the sofa, exploding between us. We were now both covered in latte foam. It was horrendous.


List of previous books if any: This is my first published story.

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web  -
www.matthiaswilliamson.com

@MatthiasW65

https://www.facebook.com/MatthiasWilliamson65


***

Giveaway:

One lucky winner will win all six stories

Matthias Williamson — Holidays with Drum and Bell!

Amelia Mann — Always Have, Always Will

Debbie McGowan — A Midnight Clear

Jonathan Penn — Homme for the Holidays

K.C. Faelan — A Little Christmas Magic

Ofelia Gränd — From All of Us to All of You

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Six Authors/Six Days Author Interview & Giveawaty Amelia Mann


Six days, six authors will be interviewed and each are giving away a story. All the stories are from the Boughs of Evergreen charity anthology and all proceeds from the book will go to the Trevor Project. You can buy the anthology here


Today our interview is with Amelia Mann

About the Author:

Amelia Mann was born in Scandinavia, and has worked in theatres all over Europe and the US, before returning to live in the cold, dark North. Writer of MM romance, her hurt/comfort-themed novel ‘Count Your Blessings’ has recently been nominated for the Goodreads MM Romance Member's Choice Award 2014 in two categories.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I have a plan. Boring, isn’t it?

Before being published, long time ago, I dreamed of writing a book, sitting under an apple tree with some white sheets of paper and a pen. I would begin with ‘Once upon a time’ and keep on writing – there was hopefully several days of good weather - until I reached the words ‘The End’.

That’s not how it works. At least not for me.

There are certain milestones in a story, and they must be very clear to me before I can start working. When I’m ready to begin, I know the way a new story starts, I know how it ends, and I know most of the major turning points. I have an idea about characterization, but the main characters are still quite roughly outlined and a bit square. Their personalities haven’t yet appeared in full detail.

In making a first draft, I never work on the scenes in chronological order. I always start with writing the beginning, then on to some of the plot points and from there I connect the scenes. Very early on I finish the final chapter, because I need to see if I’m going to reach my goal in a way that is believable, and if my characters develop the way I want them to. Maybe I will need to change some scenes, let different things happen along the way that motivates my heroes, but the beginning and the end stands, and pray I’m on the right path. By the time I’m working on the second draft I know my characters thoroughly and can go into much more detail about everything.

I see my first version as a very detailed plotting – not as a badly written first draft in need of a terrible amount of re-write.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

One thing I’ve learned is this: the scenes where my character interacts in bed between the sheets – or in a back alley, for that matter – show me their true colors. A friend once told me: “You know, when a person drives a car, it’s the only time when he or she shows their true personality. The barking at other drivers, the nose picking, the singing behind the wheel – so totally different from the person you meet at work or at home. It pours out from their inner core when they think no one is looking.”

It’s the same with sex. My heroes are never as true as when they are intimate, and I need to learn from them. So writing the steamy scenes is prioritized – I never know everything about my main characters until then. The outcome might slightly change the way they are portrayed in the novel.

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

Besides the privilege of filling a novel with true love, and the steamy scenes everyone is expecting, writing M/M romance gives me a chance to make my voice heard in the fight for equality. Falling in love is always a big adventure. Falling in love when you don’t fit the mold created by society is an even bigger adventure.

Do you write in other genres besides M/M?

I’ve sold some short stories for ladies’ magazines in my home country. It was sweet little stories about old ladies and their cats and similar themes and it was a very long time ago. I find it hard to believe I did actually manage to write something without a strong love story. Today I know I’m going to stay in the gay romance genre, because that’s where I want to be and where my life experience is useful.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

It’s 2 a.m. as I write this. I would say a night owl.

Do you listen to music while writing?

No. I want it nice and quiet. Kids in bed. Dog sleeping at my feet. Husband gagged.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

“Always Have, Always Will” is a part of the holiday anthology Boughs of Evergreen. The proceeds are being donated by the 24 writers to The Trevor Project, so it is very important to me that readers buy the book and support the project.

At the time when I outlined the story, I was deeply engaged in helping a friend who went through a rough time, breaking up from his man. It was chaos, emotionally and financially. Listening around, I was surprised that so many of my gay friends in long-term relationships never bothered about paperwork. And the story was born.

Since it is a holiday themed anthology, some of the scenes in my story of course take place around Christmas. But it can just as easily be read all year around. You won’t choke on eggnog or get prickled by Christmas trees. I promise.

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

Collaboration!

Getting one of my manuscripts back from another round of editing, there was a note from my wonderful editor at the end of a chapter:

“Not so long, Mrs. Tolstoy. War and Peace has already been written.”

The few words, all written with such humor, taught me a lesson for life. I thought writing was a lonely job and/or a job for those with tough skin. Oh boy, was I wrong!

There are many working on my scribbling before it’s on Amazon:

I love my two American betas, helping me read and comment the manuscript until it reaches a stage where it’s okay enough to be submitted to a publisher for the next editing process. I’ve worked with my betas for a long time, through different stories, and I can always imagine them on the other side of the world, tearing their hair when opening a mail from me with 65,000 words for correction and me wanting their input yesterday. We laugh together when they don’t shy away from proofreading language of all calibers. “Honey, I think you should go with cock here instead of dick.” I have gotten grammatical corrections in sentences that would make anyone blush. But never my betas.

I love my editor for her talent and never-ending enthusiasm. She does her special kind of magic, and suddenly she’s lifted the writing up to a much higher level. When she’s done with my novel, it shines with a new glow I never imagined I was capable of. She’s so kind she still claims it’s all my doing.

I love my cover designer, and I love my proof readers. I love my beta for setting up my website. There is a lot of love around. A lot of people.

It’s the collaboration that makes writing fun.

I also love being nicknamed Mrs. Tolstoy, by the way. If you didn’t get the joke, google the phrase “longest novel ever written.”

Is there anything you would do differently?

Besides wishing I was born in an English speaking country, making English my first language?

M/M romance is a wonderful genre with so much potential for the future. I wished I had started writing romance in general much earlier. I’m a genuine hardcore drama-queen with a severe case of angsto-holism, always ready for a sweet romance, and I tried to hide it before. But I am much wiser now.

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

I know I should rank world famous authors here, and I do admire them and get inspired by them. But there are other heroes, and some are very close to me.

I have two buddies I’ve known almost my entire life. They’re now pushing ninety and have been a couple for almost sixty years. They have done it all. They came out to their parents when being gay was illegal and classified as a mental illness. They moved in together when believing in a legalization of same-sex marriages was regarded as pure science fiction. They were never allowed to bring their life partner to work functions since they weren’t the expected “Mr. and Mrs.” They've experienced how the fight for equality slowly changed their lives until that day when they could stand in front of everybody and say “Here we are.”

My friends have spent their lives supporting each other, loving each other, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, always putting the other one first, even though they were never allowed to call each other “husbands.” They are my role models, and they are my inspiration. Thanks to them I do believe in love.

I attended their wedding last year. They now qualify for the same privileges as any old married couple. I think it is wonderful to finally see the new shiny wedding bands on their hands marked by a long life. Go marriage equality!

When it comes to surviving the workload of writing, it’s my sister-in-law who is my hero. She wrote a thriller, years ago, and I thought, if she can, damn, so can I. I sat down and wrote my first novel. The result was infantile and terrible, so its best asset was the fact it heated up my house one evening when I burnt the script in the fireplace. But I didn’t give up. I’m still grateful to her for showing me just how much effort you have to put in if you want to finish a novel.

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

Read! Read, read, read. As much as you can get your hands on. Read the genre you want to write so you are updated on the current style. Read the classics, read a play, read poems, read everything that can help you find your own voice. Try to read poorly written books and analyze what it is you don’t like and have to avoid. Read the steamiest books and analyze what exactly it is that turns you on and why. At the end of the day, it will help you become a better writer.

And remember – some say it’s the eighth novel you write that makes it through the eye of the needle, and it’s the truth, so don’t give up. Never give up. Keep on writing.

What are three words that describe you?

Stubborn. Softy. Too kind.

That was four words.

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

Will you be upset if I say Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë? It’s very conventional, I know. The storyline has everything, and the language, ah… wallowing in Brontë’s words is as pleasant as sinking into a hot bathtub on a Friday evening after work. If you look closely at everything I write, you will find a small reference to Jane Eyre, but in order to do it, you have to know the book forwards and backwards. It’s my little gimmick.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

A story from Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology

ALWAYS HAVE, ALWAYS WILL
by AMELIA MANN

Jay thinks official commitments aren’t necessary in a relationship. For the last fourteen years, he has loved waking up beside Gabriel, watching their two adopted kids grow up—even enjoyed painting the fence once in a while and paying his part of the mortgage on their New Jersey home. To Jay, that’s a family. No papers or ceremonies will make their relationship better than it already is...though Gabriel has a different opinion. Their lives are turned upside-down a month before Christmas, when he collapses in the plumbing aisle of the store. In the aftermath, Gabriel discovers that Jay’s only legal next of kin is his long-time absent father, and later Jay has to confront the painful memories of growing up, and the real truth behind his parents’ divorce. But perhaps now Jay might be ready to give Gabriel a Christmas gift he will never forget.


ABOUT BOUGHS OF EVERGREEN 

Boughs of Evergreen is a two-volume collection of short stories celebrating the holiday season in all its diversity. Penned by authors from the UK, the USA, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, these are tales of the young and the not-so-young from many different walks of life.

Themes of family, friendship and romance take readers on a journey through some of the major holidays, both past and present, including Thanksgiving, Advent, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Eid, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas and New Year. In each we find at the very least hope, and often love, peace and happiness.

Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization [USA] providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. For more information, visit: www.thetrevorproject.org.

List of previous books if any

Count Your Blessings, 2014. Published by M/M Romance Group@Goodreads

Nominated in two categories, Goodreads Member’s MM Romance Choice Awards 2014.

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web

http://amromance.wix.com/ameliamann

***

Giveaway:

Matthias Williamson — Holidays with Drum and Bell!

Amelia Mann — Always Have, Always Will

Debbie McGowan — A Midnight Clear

Jonathan Penn — Homme for the Holidays

K.C. Faelan — A Little Christmas Magic

Ofelia Gränd — From All of Us to All of You

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Six Days/Six Authors Interview & Giveaway KC Faelan


Six days, six authors will be interviewed and each are giving away a story. All the stories are from the Boughs of Evergreen charity anthology and all proceeds from the book will go to the Trevor Project. You can buy the anthology here 


Today our interview is with KC Faelan, author of A Little Christmas Magic.

About the Author:

KC currently writes contemporary male romance but plans to spread her wings and delve into other m/m genres in the future.  She enjoys reading about m/m in almost every setting from paranormal, to sci-fi to historical backdrops. She loves men, from the Alphas to the omegas, and all the pretty boys in between. Intelligence and humor whet her appetite. Toss in a course of UST, a dash of angst, season with fluffiness, and she dives right in. For dessert, it’s HEA all the way.

KC lives in Northern California with her husband and two rescue birds.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?

I use a combination of both methods. The story pops into my head with certain elements, the ending lines or the characters, and starts to fill itself in. I don’t have an outline that I’ve written down because I can’t stick to one. But I do have a vague idea of what I would call a ‘ghost outline’ floating in my head. I’m a visual person so I can ‘see’ where a certain section needs to be inserted into the storyline. It’s like a timeline with chunks missing and I need to insert the puzzle pieces. When I write, I skip around throughout the story. I sometimes write the beginning, then switch to the end, then go back to the middle.

A friend and I chatted once on the style of writing I did, and he mentioned it was similar to Picasso’s painting style. My friend had watched a documentary on Picasso and Picasso would start with a stroke of paint in the upper corner, than move to the lower left in a different color, then a spot somewhere else. The viewers couldn’t figure out what he was painting until more and more color was laid on the canvas. There was no rhyme or reason for his methods, at least to them, until they saw more and more of the canvas filling in. That’s how I write. I know what the end product is sort of going to look like and I know the framework where parts need to go. The story fills itself within the main structure of that framework. But between the beginning and the end, there’s a whole lot of ways that detail can color itself.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

Oh yes, most definitely. In “If At First You Don’t Succeed,” the story I wrote for the M/M Romance Group’s Love’s Landscapes event, Julien was the first character to pop into my head. He’s bratty, talkative, energetic and has a smart answer for just about everything. It’s quite fun when the characters take over because it makes the writing so much easier.

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

I find the M/M genre sexier. I love men, and where one is good, two is better, lol.

Do you write in other genres besides M/M?

Not at the moment. I did write an M/F fic once for a fanfic holiday event, but everything else I’ve written has been in the M/M genre.

What is your favourite food?

That’s a hard one. I love a lot of food. I love comfort food especially, think Mac n’ Cheese and Pumpkin or Squash stuffed Ravioli. But I also love Sashimi and Tonkatsu. I prefer milder foods and stay away from spicy, strong, or smelly foods. For instance, I won’t go near Blue Cheese.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Definitely a night owl. I usually get my best ideas after midnight.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

I’d love to visit the UK again. I’ve been to London and Scotland and loved it. Northumberland was especially beautiful and peaceful. I’d also like to visit Australia because of the birds. Taking a birding tour would be amazing. I also want to take a vacation, by train, up the West coast and through Canada.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Usually not. I tend to keep my stories local and immediate to the character’s work or home.

Do you listen to music while writing?

No, it’s too distracting. I can listen to news in the background because it’s white noise for me. But music has melodies, lyrics, and emotions swirling through the songs. That combination pulls me away from the emotions I’m experiencing with my characters.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

I was approached by Debbie McGowan, editor and publisher of Beaten Track Publishing after I participated in the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Love’s Landscape event. She asked me if I’d like to write a story for a holiday Anthology where the proceeds would benefit the Trevor Project. I said yes.

ALCM is set around the weeks leading up to Christmas and is about how, even if a person doesn’t believe in the magic of Christmas, the magic is there in the most of surprising ways. It can have a profound effect on a person’s life, if given the chance. The story is also about love and forgiveness.

In this story Ryan, one of the MCs, realizes a lot of things about himself that he hadn’t considered. He needs to come to terms with certain parts of his personality that he never took a close look at before. He’s never had too, because he’s the sort of person who is lucky enough to have everything. Good family, friends, education. He’s eaten from a silver spoon and that’s why he can’t see things about himself and how the way he was raised affect his behavior.

Boone is Ryan’s best friend. Little known to Ryan, Boone has wanted to be more than good friends since they met. Boone keeps his feelings under very tight wrap because he has issues that make it difficult for him to form a close romantic relationship. He guards his heart closely.

Boone and Ryan’s friends are Greg, the mutual friend that introduced Ryan to Boone, and Tai, Greg’s boyfriend.

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

Since I’m new to writing, I'm still learning quite a bit like how to pull a story together. As to publishing, thank goodness for Debbie McGowan, she takes care of that part.

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

Since I started writing in fanfiction, I’d have to say JK Rowling because HP was the fandom I wrote in. But she didn’t actually influence my writing, so much as create the base that got me interested in writing. I don’t think any author influences my writing.

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

Oh gosh, since I’m a newbie myself I’m not exactly a fount of wisdom yet, lol. I can tell you some of the things I’ve learned by mistake.

Keep a pad of paper and pencil, or recording device by your bed. This is to save any ideas that hit you in the middle of the night or when you wake. Because once the day gets hold of you, that idea will likely fly out the window.

Make sure you have a good idea of what your characters are like before starting to write your story, else you may end up rewriting everything several times as the character’s personalities evolve.

Get yourself a great editor and beta readers. They are worth their weight in gold, and then some.

What are three words that describe you?

Curious, Creative, Introvert

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

Favorite book is actually, The Harry Potter series. Would it be too vain to say I enjoy my own stories?

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book:

A Little Christmas Magic

It's the day after Thanksgiving and Ryan Forsyth is helping his friends decorate for Christmas. Little does he know that the weekend will usher in a profound change to his life, a chance for happiness if he isn't too afraid to reach out and grasp it.

Boone Ainsworth has been friends with Ryan since junior high, ever since their mutual friend Greg Hayes introduced them. Since the day they met, no one has stood a chance at claiming Boone's heart except Ryan, but Ryan is so deep in the closet, he hasn't got a clue.

Their happily ever after is just a step away, until a panicked decision changes everything. From that point on, things don't go smoothly, and Ryan and Boone make mistakes neither may be able to forgive. But it's the holidays, and Ryan is banking on a little Christmas magic to help smooth the way.

List of previous books if any:

If At First You Don’t Succeed (Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s 2014 Love’s Landscapes Event)

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

Beaten Track Publishing: http://www.beatentrackpublishing.com/?n1=authors&id=62

Goodreads:  www.goodreads.com/author/show/8147151.K_C_Faelan

Blog:  www.kcfaelan.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Faelan/658723390912190

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kcfaelan/

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/kcfaelan

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Giveaway:

One lucky winner will win alll 6 stories!

Matthias Williamson — Holidays with Drum and Bell!

Amelia Mann — Always Have, Always Will

Debbie McGowan — A Midnight Clear

Jonathan Penn — Homme for the Holidays

K.C. Faelan — A Little Christmas Magic

Ofelia Gränd — From All of Us to All of You

Monday, 15 December 2014

Six Authors/Six Days: Interviews & Giveaway Ofelia Grand


Six days, six authors will be interviewed and each are giving away a story. All the stories are from the Boughs of Evergreen charity anthology and all proceeds from the book will go to the Trevor Project.

Today, our interview is with Ofelia Gränd, author of From All of Us to All of You

Ofelia Gränd lives on the southern west coast of Sweden with her husband and their three children. At the moment she's on parental leave. She could give up her glamorous life as a stay-at-home mom, and go back to her job as a teacher if she wanted to. But why not take advantage of the situation when she's living in a parental leave utopia? Enough about her being a parent, you think, and you're quite right. Ofelia is a ’No Poo practiser, a pescatarian who bakes her own bread and makes her own soap. Now you wished that we'd stuck to the children, don't you?

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow? 

I plan just about everything in my life but not my writing. I have things I want in there, of course, and once I have those scenes in my head I want to get to them as soon as possible, but I mostly just let the story flow. I don’t know if it’s a good strategy, I tend to jump back and forth in the text while writing, adding, deleting, and moving things around. Sometimes I don’t know what I’m doing *laugh*.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?

They do! Sometimes I can’t get them to behave, it’s quite frustrating. I should be in charge of the story, shouldn’t I?

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

I don’t know, I find the lack of too-stupid-to-live heroines really liberating.

Do you write in other genres besides M/M?

Well, I’m a new author so I haven’t written much of anything. I like M/M, I like reading M/M, and I like writing M/M, so that’s what I do for now, but you never know what will happen in the future. What I write isn’t especially heavy on the romance. I want my stories to have more than just the tumbling-into-bed scenes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but you’ll probably never see me write erotica.

What is your favourite food?

Food? Do we have to do food?

I can’t come up with anything, sorry. I’m a pescatarian which means I eat fish but no other meat. I love inarizushi with peanuts.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Morning person! My brain stops working somewhere around six in the evening. I do most of my writing in the evenings when the kids have fallen asleep, but that really isn’t ideal for me. Some days I just stare at the screen even though I know what I want to write.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?

I’m quite boring when it comes to travelling, I like to be at home. I have this romanticized idea of the American South, and I’d love to go to New Orleans some day, but I doubt I will.

Do distant places feature in your books?

Not yet, but you’ll never know. Maybe they will in the future.

Do you listen to music while writing?

No, I need peace and quiet which is why I do it in the evenings.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?

From All of Us to All of You is a short holiday story that takes place in Sweden—which isn’t distant for me since I live here. Simon is pretty miserable, Christmas is close and with Christmas comes a whole lot of anxiety since Simon’s dad is an alcoholic and likes to celebrate with some Christmas whiskey. But while Simon is worrying about the coming holiday, he meets Hannes. He is instantly drawn to Hannes, but Hannes isn’t gay—or so he claims. Simon tries to ignore his attraction and just be friends with Hannes, but it’s hard, and in the end he thinks he’s deluding himself into seeing things that just aren’t there. But as Christmas is approaching, Hannes tries to make him feel better.

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

Probably loads. What I can see for myself is that my language is improving. English is not my first language and when I first decided to write in English I was scared that I wouldn´t be able to get my message across, but I’m learning new things everyday. And thank God for good beta-readers and editors, right? I don’t know much about publishing, I’m relying on Debbie McGowan at Beaten Track Publishing for everything that has to do with that part at the moment.

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

Anything can influence me, it can be something someone says or does, a song, a movie, a dream, anything that makes an idea pop up in my head. I don’t have a person that I can point out and say that he or she influences me, it’s just things in everyday life I guess.

What are three words that describe you?

Hungry? No that’s just right now. Erm…it’s really hard to come up with three words. I’m a bit of loner, quite strange (or so people tell me), and punctual—yes, I know that sounds really boring, but if it’s one thing I can’t stand it’s being late.

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

Oh, I don’t know, there are so many great books. My first thought was the Harry Potter books so I think I’ll go with that. *Laugh*

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

Simon hates the Holidays. It’s the same every year - awaiting the dreaded Christmas Eve, when his father gets drunk, while the family fake Christmas spirit and strain to hear the TV over Dad’s snoring. This year, Simon’s sister is celebrating Christmas elsewhere, leaving him to deal with their parents on his own. But there’s a glimmer of hope. A work colleague introduces Simon to her son Hannes at the Lucia Day celebrations, the trouble being that Simon mistakenly believes it’s a blind date, and as if that isn’t embarrassing enough, Hannes wants them to be friends, and Simon’s starting to see signals that aren’t there. He’s beginning to wonder if he’ll make it through Christmas with his sanity intact.

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web

Website: http://ofeliagrand.com/

Mailinglist

Instagram: http://instagram.com/ofelia.grand (@ofelia.grand)

Google+: google.com/+OfeliaGränd

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ofelia.grand

Facebok page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ofelia-Grand/1405427199716172

Goordreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7874960.Ofelia_Gr_nd

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Giveaway Prizes:

One lucky winner will receive a copy of each story.

Matthias Williamson — Holidays with Drum and Bell!

Amelia Mann — Always Have, Always Will

Debbie McGowan — A Midnight Clear

Jonathan Penn — Homme for the Holidays

K.C. Faelan — A Little Christmas Magic

Ofelia Gränd — From All of Us to All of You

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Cover Reveal: Moment of Impact by Karen Stivali

Title: Moment of Impact (Book 1 of the Moments In Time Series)
Author: Karen Stivali
Length:  33.000 words / 140 pages (novella)
Genre: New Adult, contemporary romance, gay romance, M/M
Release Date: January 7, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
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Synopsis

Outside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who’d disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner’s not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.

Pre-order Moment of Impact

Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5855
*Discounted price for pre-orders
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Excerpt

Don’t blow this. Not now. Not when he’s right here. So close. So… Forcing myself to move, I reached out and clutched at his shoulder. His skin was smooth, warm. I pressed my fingers into his flesh with enough force, he flinched. His gaze darted to mine, wary. 
Swallowing hard, I willed myself to maintain eye contact. “I didn’t think I wanted that, until I met you.” 
Tanner’s gaze raced back and forth between my hand, which was still gripping his shoulder, and my eyes, which felt like they were about to bulge out of my skull. I couldn’t blink. Couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think. Do something. Say something. 
Then his mouth crashed into mine. 
I like kissing. I always have. Even though I wasn’t super into any of the girls I’d been with, kissing was the one thing I still enjoyed. Warm mouths, wet tongues, moving together. It felt good. I seriously thought I’d done some decent kissing in my life. 
I was wrong. Tanner’s mouth on mine for one fucking second proved to me that what I’d done before might have looked like kissing, might have felt like kissing, but was like the frozen french  bread pizza version of kissing. Nothing like the real thing. 
Nothing like this. 
His tongue swept into my mouth, hot and velvety. His hand gripped the back of my neck, tugging me upright. Everything fell away. Disappeared. The whole world was this one kiss. I could have drowned in it and died happy. 
Tanner pulled away, breathing hard, his forehead pressed to mine. The room spun like a carnival ride. 
“You okay?” 
His voice sounded lower than usual. Deep and gravelly. I gave a shaky nod, and he tipped his head back, looking at me. 
“You sure?” 
“Yeah.” My heart beat double time as I realized he still had his hands on me. And he was still naked. And I was probably harder than I’d ever been in my entire life. Jesus. 
“We can stop.” 
“No.” That wasn’t what I wanted. Not at all. “I just… I mean… we’re roommates. What if this doesn’t work out?” 
Tanner’s lips pulled into a grin so sexy my brain turned to oatmeal. He rubbed the back of my neck. “So, one kiss and you’re already thinking about what happens if we break up?” 
I shook my head. “I don’t know.” 
“Let’s see how we feel after another kiss.”

About the author

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. Her lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life.

When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her at:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/karenstivali
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/KarenStivaliAuthor
Website: http://karenstivali.com
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karenstivali
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/KarenStivali
E-mail: karenstivali@gmail.com
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