Interview, tour and contest: Lexi Ander – Songs of the Earth

0

Print

 

First off- why did you decide to name your dogs after vacuum cleaners? 

That would be Hoover’s fault. Before him, we had a Bailey and a Tippy. We had problems coming up with a name after we brought him home. A couple of days passed and my husband made the comment that the puppy was better than a hoover and it stuck. A couple of years later when we picked up another puppy and what to name him wasn’t really a question. We just had to pick which vacuum cleaner name to use. ;)

heart on fire 1You hand write all your books. Is there a reason behind it? 

There are a couple of reasons why I hand write my first draft. One is that I’m mildly ADD. Most would never guess unless you watched me tend the yard or clean the house. I start on one task such as dusting and become side tracked by a dozen things that are “discovered” while dusting. I would be in the closet rummaging through the box in the furthest corner and my husband would ask, “What are you doing?” I would reply, “Dusting.” What should’ve been a ten minute chore takes two hours. The same goes for typing on the computer. Something flickers or beeps and I have look and see what’s up. The “brief” look turns into an afternoon wasted and only 300 words for the day’s count.

What I have found that even if I close out all the social media sites that I still become distracted. Instead of putting my head down and typing my heart out, every blue and red squiggle interrupts me and I have to address the issue now instead of later so that I’m editing every paragraph as I write it. That’s not very productive either.

But give me a pad of paper and a pencil and suddenly I have blinders on. Everything falls away. My mind goes to that Zen place and the words flow. My husband can talk to me and to pay attention to him is like surfacing in a pool of water. Then I’m all huffy because he interrupted my stream of thought. He has learned that if he speaks and I don’t answer to just back away. ^_^ heart on fire

Tell us about your best fangirl moment. 

I think everybody already knows about my tap dancing moment when I realized I was talking to Heidi Cullinan at GRL New Orleans. So I’ll share my new fangirl moment that happened at this year’s GRL in Chicago. But this fangirl moment started at the beginning of the year when I received a tweet from TA Chase about Alpha Trine. I was bouncing in my chair chanting, “Holy Cow! Holy Cow! TA Chase liked my book!”

See, here’s the deal. When I first started reading m/m romance I was lost on how to look for it so I went to my library. They carried TA Chase, Jordan Castillo Price, JL Langley, Abigail Roux & Madeline Urban, and GA Hauser. After reading everything the library had of TA’s, I searched Amazon and discovered a treasure. I quickly devoured everything of hers and explored Amazon’s, “if you like this…” options. I’ve been reading her for five years now, so when I received that tweet—that was The Best, y’all just don’t know. Later she sent me another one after Striker’s release!

Fast forward to GRL Chicago, I go to the registration desk and there she is. I’m like, “Holy Cow! TA Chase!” I kept thinking I just wanted to ask her for a hug and tell her thank you. I cannot remember if I was smiling or what. I barely recall asking her for a hug. She came around and gave me a hug and right in the middle of me saying thank you I started crying. (LOL! I’m crying now just thinking about it.) She told me not to cry and that just made me cry more. Meeting her was the best. THE BEST.

Before coming active in the LGBT community through my love of reading, I have never once fangirled over anyone. It’s not that I didn’t have the opportunity. I went to a book signing for Karen Armstrong a couple of years back. Love her books and I was bit nervous because it was my first book signing but it was nothing compared to meeting Heidi, TA, or Wade Kelly (Another fangirl moment). And I fangirl over different things. TA is my first love of m/m, connecting with her characters, and discovering this place where, for the first time, I freakin’ fit in. With Heidi I love her books but when she blogged about herself and how she struggled, I totally, completely got it. It was like meeting a kindred soul. And Wade—which I haven’t talked about my fangirl moment with Wade—I respect and admire her courage and kindness… and now that I’m crying on my keyboard I’m moving on to the next question!

Sons of Sumeria has a tribe leader who was pretty unwilling to be in that position.  What do you think helps Tristan in his role (aside from the absolutely amazing Ushna, that is!) 

Tristan isn’t over the moon with some of the changes that taking place in in his life. He was comfortable in his little tribe of two and had no plans to change it either. He loves his people and is willing to take the bull by the horns to be the leader the Lycans need. Ushna standing at his side does give him courage to do what needs to be done. So does his friendship with Gregori and the memories of his father, Ramsey, who instilled in him the knowledge of good leadership.

But what stayed with him in those moments of second guessing was the way the Warrior’s of Anat looked at him when he revealed himself. The need for a true alpha, a deep seeded desire to have that guiding hand back as they stared at him. It was then he knew he would do what he had to in order to become what his people needed.

Tell us a little about how you go about world building.

Actually, this is where being ADD really helps with world building! I start with a subject, and just like with dusting, the ‘what if’s’ and the ‘whys’ are the side roads where I start gathering information, keeping what tickles my fancy and discarding the rest.

To the outside world it looks a bit disorganized until I have it compiled into a book. Again, like writing the first draft, the origination of the world building is done by hand. The pieces I keep I write in a binder and include as many visuals that I can of places and characters. I know most people would save everything on the computer or use programs like scrivener to compile their information but for me the process of compiling the information is just as important. As I’m clipping pictures and writing descriptions, I’m mulling over the story I want to write, I move the puzzle pieces around forming a shotty little timeline.

I do write by the seat of my pants, new stuff that suddenly pops in my head is inserted into the story all the time. But I would never be able to complete a story if I didn’t know (roughly) where I was going. World building is an important part of that process. Knowing the rules of the world allows me to make informed decisions on not only what would or wouldn’t be possible but also the choices the characters would have.

I will be honest – Ushna is one of my favorite characters of all time. Where do you envision him and his family in the future? 

That is a hard question to answer without giving away spoilers. Ushna’s had a tough time of it, and even though he’s headed towards his happy ending, the road to get there will be dangerous and rough. In Ushna’s future, he will be surrounded by those who know and love him best.

How do you work out kinks in the plot, or problems you see in the story? 

Ha! Long-winded emails to a dear friend who allows me to bounce issues off of her. Sometimes the act of writing out the issue is all I need to work through the problem and at the end of the long, long email I have that “ah-ha!” moment and I thank my friend for her help and hit send. Sometimes she’ll poke holes in my resolution and I’m back to writing another email working through the issue.

I also talk things through with my husband. He’s the one who helped with the original story for Sumeria’s Sons. He’s always willing to give his opinion. Sometimes I take his advice and other times, not so much. I’ve heard a couple of, “I told you so,” from him when the new publisher re-edited Twin Flames. ^__^

Have you ever co-authored? Who would be your dream co-author? 

Not yet. Vona Logan and I attempted to write a story together in 2013 and schedules and life just got in the way. I’m still holding out hope that we can get back together because the world we built is fantastic.

Who would be my dream co-author? That’s a hard question. A co-author sees my crap of a manuscript before it’s even semi-polished. There’s a vulnerability there that makes me hesitant to put myself out there. But, with lots of chocolate and some liquid courage I would say yes to co-authoring with Megan Derr.

What’s up next for you?

2015 is a packed year for me. First, I will complete and submit the last two books for Sumeria’s Sons: Dragon’s Eye and Releasing Chaos. Then I will start on the 3rd book in the Valespian Pact Series, Bespoken. I’m hoping to at least write the next 2-3 books in that series before the end of 2015. In between those, I will also work on the 3rd book in the ION series. Whew!

Thank you and a bunch of hugs!

Thank you for having me!! *tackles hugs*

 

Book One info: 

Twin Flames (Sumeria’s Sons #1)

Author: Lexi Ander

Print Length: 116 pages

Publisher: Less Than Three Press, LLC (October 1, 2014)

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Shifter

Blurb:

A Lycan descendant of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, Tristan is not as extraordinary as his ancestors. He is an average warrior, unremarkable throughout. But this fact does not trouble him because he has found his Twin Flame, the one person destined to be his, who will love him unconditionally, life after life.

Then his Flame betrays him, leaving him shattered and dying. Brokenhearted, Tristan dissolves the sacred bond and leaves. His best friend, Ushna, accompanies him, vowing to guard and protect him, and Tristan slowly comes to realize that love does not require a sacred bond.

But if he hopes to keep the love he chooses, they will first have to survive ancient secrets, lies, mythical creatures, and the return of absent gods…

Buy Links: 

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NH7Q1J2?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00NH7Q1J2&linkCode=xm2&tag=ggre0e-20

Less Than Three Press:

http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&zenid=aa2g7l0jddpb70jt8bsf3itht6&keyword=twin+flames

 

SOE Tour Banner

 

Series: Sumeria’s Son #2

Author : Lexi Ander

Publisher: Less Than Three Press

Length: 49.000 words

Genre : Paranormal, Fantasy , Urban Fantasy

Release Date: January 7 , 2015

Cover artist: LeBurden Design

 

Blurb:

Thrust into the role of Prince of the Lycans, Tristan strives to find his footing in a life suddenly rife with secrets and lies—and danger. Betrayed by a Goddess meant to safeguard him, desperate to protect his consort and their growing tribe, he can only prepare for the worst and struggle to hope.

And then the worst comes to kill them…

 

Excerpt: Songs of the Earth

I sat on my horse, Dancing Socks, in the middle of the river that cut through my property, the chill of the water numbing my legs. We were stuck, trapped between two creatures of myth and a Goddess of the Lycan race. Behind me, six of my warriors in the fearsome Lupe battle form braced to protect me.

I was in deep, deep shit. For the life of me, I couldn’t see a way out. Two Shirdals―lion-eagles also known as gryphons―one in front of me and one behind, effectively cut off any escape. Socks and I couldn’t outrun these Sumerian creatures of myth. But they were the least of my problems. What held my full attention was the woman standing before me on the water’s edge.

The Goddess Ki, clothed in a long, flowing gauzy dress, wearing a crown of ram’s horns, with a bow and quiver of arrows over her left shoulder and a cudgel hanging from her waist. She held a lion cub’s leash while regarding me with a stern, assessing gaze.

“Tristan Javed Ksathra Janick, Prince of the Enkidu, do you know who I am?”

How could I, or any Lycan, not know her? Regardless of what had happened today, I’d believed there was a solution. There was always a way out as long as I continued to breathe—but this, her, I couldn’t fight and win.

“You are the Goddess Ki, consort of Enki, Lady Life, mother of all living things, Nourisher of Kings. I greet you, Goddess. Do with me as you will.”

From across the water, Ki smiled a very white smile. “Come to me, Tristan. We have much to discuss,” she commanded.

I nudged Socks with my knees and she reluctantly finished crossing the stream, nervously tossing her head and rolling her eyes at the Shirdal. Once out of the water, I guided her a safe distance to the side and dismounted, removing her wet saddle and blanket. Her muscles twitched as she held still for me.

For a moment, I leaned my forehead on Socks’s shoulder. She reached around and nibbled at my hair. Not a half hour ago, I had left the ranch to go for a ride. The morning had offered many revelations with an accumulation of events that changed the course of my life.

After breaking the bond with my Twin Flame, Theo Sullivan, I hadn’t expected to find happiness or to fall in love with my best friend, but I had. Last night we made love, and it had been the best night of my life. This morning I’d awakened to find out I was born of royal blood, and Ushna was my chosen consort. Before I could begin to grasp what that even meant, Caspian MacCuill—one of the Magi—and a group of Lycan warriors invaded my home and attempted to kidnap Ushna and blackmail our friend, Gregori Borchetta, which led to Ushna being shot while trying to protect me.

All I had wanted was an hour. One single, measly hour to gather my thoughts and figure out what the hell we needed to do next. Instead, I sat trapped with no way to escape. The only course of action left to me was to save as many lives as possible. No mortal defied a Goddess and lived. If only I knew what I’d done to draw her attention.

Reluctantly, I straightened, petting Socks’s velvety nose before I removed her bridle. Giving her a smack on the rump, I sent her away. With luck, she’d return home safely and not be eaten.

Ready for whatever fate awaited me at the hands of a Goddess who hadn’t walked the Earth in a very, very long time, I turned to Ki and waited. It couldn’t be taken as good fortune that she was here now.

“Why so gloomy, Tristan? Do you think so poorly of me that you expect to be struck down by my hand?” Ki asked, head tilted to the side as she stared with almond-shaped black eyes.

One Shirdal lay at her feet, allowing Ki to scratch the feathers between its ears. The picture presented seemed surreal, two things that shouldn’t exist in this modern world of skyscrapers, automobiles, space shuttles, and nuclear bombs. Yes, I kept an altar in my room where I left burnt offerings to the Warrior Goddess Anat and Shamash, God of Justice. Believing in the Gods and Goddesses didn’t mean one would manifest into my world and actually speak to me.

“I don’t wish to offend, Goddess. It’s… well… this has been a very unusual day. Right now, I’m assuming the worst because I cannot fathom why you are here—speaking to me.”

She gave me another toothy smile and glanced across the water to the Lupes harassing the other Shirdal. “Please call your warriors to you, Tristan. The Shirdals meant you no harm. They were only playing.”

I barely withheld an ugly snort. Playing with me? I could imagine them playing as they tossed me about with their sharp beaks. Without a word, I lifted a hand to the Lupes and they entered the water, intent upon me as they crossed in a straight line.

Buy Links: 

Less Than Three Press: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=92&products_id=815&zenid=ius66kgebjdch7grh61jqkvsl0

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QR10LF0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00QR10LF0&linkCode=as2&tag=lovbyt0b-20

Amazon.UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00QR10LF0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=19450&creativeASIN=B00QR10LF0&linkCode=as2&tag=lovbytrev-21

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/songs-of-the-earth-lexi-ander/1113844731?ean=2940149973552

AllRomance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-songsoftheearth-1697179-143.html?referrer=5389cc098762e

Lexi Bio PicAuthor: Lexi Ander

Lexi has always been an avid reader, and at a young age started reading (secretly) her mother’s romances (the ones she was told not to touch). She was the only teenager she knew of who would be grounded from reading. Later, with a pencil and a note book, she wrote her own stories and shared them with friends because she loved to see their reactions. A Texas transplant, Lexi now kicks her boots up in the Midwest with her Yankee husband and her eighty-pound puppies named after vacuum cleaners.

Web site:http://www.lexiander.com

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/lexi.ander.9

Twitter:http://www.twitter.com/LexiAnder1

Blog:http://lexiander.blogspot.com/

E-mail: lexi.ander.author@gmail.com

GoodReads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6521302.Lexi_Ander

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour with contest: Chris Scully – Nights Like These

5

NLTBanner300x250

Blurb:  

Starting over sucks. At forty, Miles Koprowski thought he had life all figured out. He had a nice car, a hot young lover, and a cushy job… and then he didn’t. Call it fate, or karma, or a downturn in the market, but this opinionated cynic is now forced to play rent-a-cop in a dying office building in the burbs just to make ends meet. Throw in an unhinged ex, a coworker who hates him, and a hot new boss, and suddenly everything is uncertain.

Miles doesn’t plan on liking the night shift or becoming embroiled in a mystery that reawakens old passions and puts him in danger. And he certainly doesn’t plan on falling for the overbearing head of security, Colton Decker, former soldier and doting dad. But nights like these can change a man, make him start to believe there’s more to life than a high paying job and a warm body in his bed. With a thief on the loose and his new job in jeopardy, Miles will have to decide what’s truly important. He might discover things he never knew he wanted… as long as he makes it through the night. 

Categories: Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Mystery

 

SMNightsLikeTheseORIG_final_v01Excerpt:

“Why don’t you watch where you’re going, dumb—” I managed to sputter before my mouth stopped working entirely and dropped open. The ability to speak, to think, deserted me at the first sight of the hunky stranger standing in front of me, his face contorted with apology as he tried to mop up my sodden jacket with a handful of napkins. He was a few inches taller than me—closer to six feet—and on the stocky side. His broad shoulders filled out a nicely tailored suit, and he projected an air of confidence that I’d never be able to pull off in a million years. He was clean-shaven too, with a dark buzz cut that made me long to run a hand over his head simply to feel the texture. And gorgeous. Did I happen to mention that?

In short, he was the kind of guy you’d want to be stranded with on a deserted island; the kind you could count on to save you. If you were so inclined. Me? I didn’t need saving.

A pair of friendly, light-colored eyes now stared back at me, bemused. Odd that his lips were moving, but no sound was coming out.

“What?” I asked, blinking back to attention. I couldn’t remember the last time anyone had literally made me speechless. Me, Miles Koprowski, who never met a silence he didn’t want to fill.

Hell, I couldn’t recall the last time I’d been on the receiving end of a full-body pat-down either. At least not so quickly. His hands were still drifting over my chest, wiping up the last drips of coffee, and the simple touch was doing alarming things to my heart rate.

“Are you okay?” he demanded. “Did you get burned?” Before I could react, he seized my wrist and held my hand up for inspection. Strong, lightly calloused fingers, I added to my mental list. Working hands. Dumbly, I looked down. The skin on the back of my right hand was red and stung like a son of a bitch, but it wasn’t blistering. I did flinch slightly when he skimmed his thumb over the sensitive area, but not from pain, more from the touch itself. My entire body lit up, as though I’d stuck a finger in an electrical socket. “It doesn’t look too bad. I think you’ll live. Put some aloe on it when you get home.”

“Doctor?” I croaked, because really, that would be too perfect.

“Nope. Just seen a lot of injuries.” His lips twitched with barely contained amusement. “Sorry to disappoint you.” Sense of humor, check.

Words: 69,000 

Sales link

Paperback

DSP: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5936

eBook

DSP: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5935
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SIH5VII
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-nightslikethese-1730465-340.html


Tour Dates/Tour Stops:

26-Jan

Rainbow Gold Reviews

Hearts on Fire

27-Jan

Molly Lolly

Prism Book Alliance

28-Jan

Bayou Book Junkie

29-Jan

EE Montgomery

Inked Rainbow Reads

30-Jan

Love Bytes

2-Feb

Amanda C. Stone

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

3-Feb

Cate Ashwood

4-Feb

Decadent Delights 

5-Feb

EE Montgomery

6-Feb

My Fiction Nook

MM Good Book Reviews

read the reviewBio:

Chris Scully lives in Toronto, Canada where she grew up spinning romantic stories in her head. When the tedium of a corporate day job grew too much, she took a chance and found her creative escape in writing. Always searching for something different, she has discovered a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve.

Author Contact:

https://www.facebook.com/chris.scully.author

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Bree Archer

WillPride

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway: Fissures – DJ Manly

7

tnFissuresBlurb:   (Book 3 of the Spectrum Skies series)

All hell is breaking loose—literally—as rogue vampires, believing humans and vampires should not dwell together, call on demons to help them in their deadly crusades.

Just as Pascal and London prepare for a fissure to occur in Spectrum, London is taken by the vampire rebels, bitten, and tortured. Soon, Pascal presumes the man he loves is dead. But London rises again. Is he a vampire? Pascal isn’t sure, but one thing he does know—London is no longer his.

But Pascal and London have even bigger problems. They need to defend the innocents, and winning this war will depend on convincing the werewolves to side with them.

Which side will win ultimate control over Spectrum? And will London ever remember how much he loved Pascal, or are his memories truly gone forever?

NOTE: This story was previously published with the ISBN: 978-1-61495-945-8. This reissued version of the story has been revised and reedited.

Excerpt:

…When London exited, Pascal was sitting on the step examining the rock he’d found earlier. “So,” he said, “you think Devlin took your words to heart?”

Pascal stood. “Who knows? I made it clear what would happen if he went on a rampage.”

London walked down the path at Pascal’s side.

“You got a headache?” Pascal asked.

“You feel that?” London’s eyes widened.

“Yeah.” He came closer and placed his hand on London’s forehead. “Close your eyes.”

London did as instructed, feeling the cool touch of Pascal’s hand. The pain seemed to simmer a little, then mellow…and float away.

“Look at me now,” Pascal said.

London found himself gazing directly into Pascal’s eyes. “What a pleasant view.”

“Gone?” Pascal asked.

“Yeah. I’d kiss you but there are too many people watching.” London sniggered.

“I don’t care about that.”

“I do.” London stepped away and resumed walking. He knew Pascal was impulsive and might reach out, grab him, and kiss him in front of all these witnesses.

Pascal chuckled.

London slowed his pace and looked over his shoulder at him. “What?”

“Nothing. You need to sleep.”

“I need a lot of things.”

“I could help you with—”

“Never mind.” London smiled now at the thought of what exactly Pascal could do to help him.

“You need me?” Pascal asked when they got to the yellow crime-scene tape.

“Always. Why?”

“Thanks, babe, you too…just that I need to be somewhere.”

“More vampire chats?”

“Actually, more like werewolves.”

“You’re not going alone.” London shook his head, while putting his signature on a paper one of the forensic people handed him.

“It’s perfectly safe. I need to find out what they’re up to. They won’t side with the separatists. There is too much bad blood with the leaders.”

“Oh yeah, Silver was a hunter. But is Silver really in the game?”

“He’s in the background, influencing everyone with his BS. He just hasn’t dared show his face yet. Afraid I’ll rip it off.”

London grinned. “I hear you. Okay, where is this meeting?”

“Nearby. Go home soon, sweetie. Get some rest, okay?”

“For sure. I’ll head home for a few hours, take a shower, and see if I can get some sleep. If you need me, call.”

“I might just surprise you in bed.” Pascal winked.

“You usually do,” London whispered against his ear.

Pascal gave him a discrete kiss on the ear and headed back to his car.

London watched him go. I love you, baby

________________________________________________________________________________________________
Giveaway rules (always have to have them)
Entries are limited to persons 18 years of age and older. You are stating you are of age by entering.
Just one entry per email address will be counted.
Winners will be notified via email. We are not responsible for incorrect email addresses on entries, alas.
Thank you to Amber Allure for generously donating this ebook for giveaway.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: D. J. Manly

D. J. Manly says, “I write not only for my own pleasure, but for the pleasure of my readers. I can’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t written and told stories. When I’m not writing, I’m dreaming about writing, doing something wild and adventurous, or trying to make the world a better and more open-minded place to live in. I adore beautiful men, and I know I’m not alone in this! Eroticism between consenting adults, in all its many forms, is the icing on the cake of life!”

To find out more about D. J., visit the author’s website at www.djmanlyfiction.com.

buy link3

Leave a comment by 1/31/15 at 11:59 PM for a random chance to win a copy!

Giveaway: Light Perpetual Shines – Kathleen Hayes

12

lightBlurb:Sam works as a hospital chaplain and volunteers as chaplain with the local police department. Called to the scene of a domestic dispute, he crosses paths with Frank, best friend of the victim. Though the two share a moment, they go their separate ways… but meet again outside the hospital after one of Sam’s patients dies…
Excerpt:

Two things slammed their way into my consciousness almost simultaneously. First, I had just smacked my hand into the corner of my bedside table. Hard. And second, that obnoxious trilling noise was my pager, not my alarm clock. Yes—I said pager. And, yes, I know it’s 2014. Only two organizations that I know of still use pagers this late into the twenty-first century: hospitals and police departments. Lucky me, I work for both.

After a few more painful misses, I was finally able to lay a hand on the small black box that was blaring in my sleep-sensitive ears. Another fumble or two, and I managed to press the button that lit up the screen. I blearily beheld the phone number to local dispatch. It’s the only number that has ever showed up on that screen. I don’t know why they didn’t just call my cell. It would have been faster and more efficient all the way around, but I’m pretty sure the policies and procedures handbook hadn’t been updated since sometime in the mid-eighties, so pagers it was.

Since I was a little more awake at this point, I was able grasp my cell phone on the first try. I shook my head quickly to dispel any lingering cobwebs before I dialed the number.

I heard two rings on the other end of the line before a professional-sounding female voice answered with, “City of Rockwall dispatch. Dispatcher 3178 speaking. How may I help you?”

I recognized the voice as belonging to one of the regular night dispatchers. “Hey, Annabelle, it’s Sam. You paged?”

“Yeah, it’s a bad one. Domestic dispute—one partner dead—called in by a friend of the family. If you can be ready in ten minutes, I can have Charlie pick you up on her way out to the scene.”

“Sounds good. You can tell her I’ll be waiting.”

Eight and half minutes later, as I was popping the ends of my collar onto its button at the back of my neck, I heard Charlie’s signature two short and one long horn honk. I grabbed my bag and dashed out to the car waiting in front of my house.

She peeled out from the curb the moment my butt hit the seat.

“Hey, preacher man. How’s it hangin’?”

“Hey, cop lady. Much better, now I’m hangin’ around with you.” We both smiled as I gave my usual response.

A comfortable silence settled between us for the rest of the drive. I closed my eyes, recited a prayer for quiet confidence, and prepared myself for the scene I was about to enter.

The red and blue glow cast by the flashing lights of the cop cars already on scene gave everything they touched a surreal radiance. The eerie dance of colored light and shadow in the dark of the night always chilled me to the bone. It didn’t help that the sight of those lights was almost always closely followed by the sight of a brutally murdered body.

Charlie pulled up to the curb behind the cars already parked there—two police cruisers, an ambulance, and the coroner’s van. We both got out of the car, and I followed her inside, making sure to walk only where she walked. I didn’t want to get in trouble for disturbing a crime scene.

We both ducked under some yellow police tape, she flashed her badge to the uniform guarding the front door, and I made sure my police consultant ID was visible hanging around my neck. The collar around my neck was usually a giveaway, but you could never be too careful. I stuck close to Charlie and purposefully looked straight at the floor as we made our way through the front of the house. I didn’t want to see any more than I had to.

The first thing I noticed when we arrived at a well-lit lounge area in the backyard was the tension emanating from the tableau before me. In the middle of the configuration of chairs and benches, and the source of much of the tension, stood a tall, red-haired man with fire in his eyes. I could practically see the smoke coming from his ears as Detective Ronny Haralson continued to talk. It took me a second to process what he was saying.

“You wanna know what I think? I think girly man back there didn’t tell the dead fellow what he was getting into. They get back here, and he discovers a few things a lady shouldn’t have. Things get heated and… ”

Detective Haralson didn’t get a chance to finish. I saw the moment the other man’s hold on his temper snapped. Thankfully, Charlie was a few steps closer to them than I was. She caught the red-haired man’s hand in hers as he swung back for a punch. After a quick, quelling glare in his direction, she turned on Detective Haralson.
________________________________________________________________________________________________
Giveaway rules (always have to have them)
Entries are limited to persons 18 years of age and older. You are stating you are of age by entering.
Just one entry per email address will be counted.
Winners will be notified via email. We are not responsible for incorrect email addresses on entries, alas.
Thank you to Less Than Three Books for generously donating this ebook for giveaway.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kathleen Hayes

Kathleen Hayes is a bit of an all around geek. She has mastered the art of procrastination, is owned by two crazy cats and is excited to have just added a fellow super geek to her clan. Kathleen loves to explore worlds – whether in her head or on page. She welcomes you into her worlds and hopes you have as much fun there as she does!

Blog: http://www.khayes54.blogspot.com
Email: kchayes54@gmail.com
Tumblr: http://kchayes54.tumblr.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5096932.Kathleen_Hayes

LT3

 

Leave a comment by 1/31/15 at 11:59 PM for a random chance to win a copy!

Giveaway: Remember Me Not, My Love – J.D. Walker

14

rememberBlurb: When Terry turned eighteen, he wound end up homeless and alone, abandoned by family and friends for being gay. Though it took him years, he found his feet again. Then a man from his past knocks him right back down again, driving home to Terry that he will never be worthy of friendship or family…
Excerpt:

“Excuse me. Can you tell me where to find the batteries?” I didn’t have much time, as my lunch break was almost over.

The store clerk had his back to me where he kneeled on the floor, since he was stocking items on a lower shelf. As he straightened from his stooped position, I noticed he wore his hair closely shaved on the sides, with a blond mohawk that was about two inches tall. His uniform shirt was short-sleeved, so I could see the tattoos he had inked on both arms. They were really cool Celtic designs. He had an earring in both ears, but holes for more metal ran up and down the cartilage. For some reason he looked familiar, but I couldn’t place him.

When he turned to face me, I saw he had bright green eyes. I thought he was kinda hot, actually. But then, a look of recognition and shock came over his face, and he stared at me like he’d seen a ghost.

When he didn’t say anything after about ten seconds, I said, “I’m sorry, man, but I’m kind of in a hurry. Just point me in the right direction, okay?” I didn’t want to be rude, but I only had five minutes left.

He lifted a shaky finger and pointed behind me. When I turned to look in that direction, I saw an end cap near aisle six that was full of batteries. Duh.

“Thanks,” I said.

I hurried over there, grabbed a packet of AAs, and headed to the cashier. After paying with cash, I thanked the woman behind the counter and jogged to the exit. Before I left the store, though, I felt eyes on me. I turned my head and saw mohawk-dude still staring at me. I didn’t have time to figure out why, since I had only a minute to dash across the street to get back to my job on time.

“Maureen, I’m back,” I announced as I entered Shoe Haven.

Opening the door always triggered a bell to let the employees know when someone came into the store. My boss left the register stand and walked briskly toward me, her handbag swinging from her left shoulder. “It’s about damn time,” she said as she grabbed the batteries and cash from my hand. A ‘thank you’ would have been nice, but I didn’t hold my breath. “Clean up the kids’ shoe area and put the fifty percent off signs in the window while I’m gone. I’ll be back in half an hour.” Probably a lot later than that, actually, but it wasn’t worth my job—or her temper—to complain.

“Yes, ma’am,” I responded as she left the store in a hurry.

It took me most of the hour and a half she was actually gone—no surprise there—just to clean up that part of the store. It was totally trashed. We got a lot of foot traffic from moms, dads, and nannies hauling recalcitrant kids into the store, looking for bargains. Maureen was always conveniently absent when the noise level ramped up, claiming paperwork duties in her office. I found that hilarious, since I did most of the paperwork anyway. I was always covering her ass.

As I placed the signs in the window, I thought about my life and just shook my head. Why was I working in a low-end shoe store for such a bossy, thankless bitch? Oh, right. I’d screwed up my life by daring to be gay.

I thought back to my childhood. Once a rich kid, I’d never had to worry about money. Everything was paid for. The house I’d lived in was totally sweet; my room was practically an apartment on the upper level. If I needed money, I had a huge allowance.

But when I came out to my family the summer I turned eighteen, they cut me off and threw me out of the house.

I, who knew nothing about paying bills or making anything besides coffee, was thrust into an unbending world. My life as I had known it was gone in minutes. I had nothing but the clothes on my back—not even my wallet. I couldn’t go to my so-called friends in the neighborhood because they were cut from the same cloth as my parents. I was now a pariah in this world. But I wouldn’t change my mind. Faking my way through life had gotten old. I wanted to be able to respect myself, if nothing else.

The streets weren’t real friendly to a clueless guy like me, and I was taken advantage of quite a bit. Desperation made me learn real fast how to get by, though. Cardboard boxes to sleep on, garbage bags for protection against the rain. Church missions for a shower and food, sometimes a bed. When it was warm, there were places to sleep on the grass in parks, mostly hidden from security patrols. I learned to sleep lightly, and still did so even now.

I got odd jobs when I could—moved furniture, landscaped, painted. Hell, I even got calluses. Sometimes I sucked a guy’s dick for cash. When you were hungry, you did what you had to. Whatever cash I got was stretched out for as long as possible. A fast food joint was a luxury. I learned to trust no one but myself. When it was winter and bone-chilling cold, I found warmth wherever I could. Sometimes, it was sharing a fire barrel with someone who was bat-shit crazy. I took my chances, especially when it was zero degrees.

 
________________________________________________________________________________________________
Giveaway rules (always have to have them)
Entries are limited to persons 18 years of age and older. You are stating you are of age by entering.
Just one entry per email address will be counted.
Winners will be notified via email. We are not responsible for incorrect email addresses on entries, alas.
Thank you to Less Than Three Books for generously donating this ebook for giveaway.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Author: J.D. Walker

J.D. Walker is a lover of art in all its forms. She loves to explore her world through writing, painting and music, among other things, and immerses herself completely in the creative process.

An author of LGBT erotic romance stories, she likes to write other stuff, too. She is a poet and lover of all things knit and crochet. Oh, and there’s that certain German crime drama series she can’t live without.

She lives in Atlanta, GA with sexy men and women at her beck and call day and night to fulfill her fantasies—or so she’d have us believe. Check out her website atwww.expressionsbyjo.com/jdwalker, or send her an email at josexpressions@yahoo.com.

LT3

 

Leave a comment by 1/31/15 at 11:59 PM for a random chance to win a copy!

Giveaway: Sweetie – Shawn Bailey

18

tnSweetieBlurb:

Gianni Hill takes one look at the handsome new lawyer through the window of his family’s candy store and instantly desires to know him. When they meet, James Lewis makes Gianni smile, and claims he also shares a love for cherry jelly beans. As Gianni spends more time with James, just the feel of the man’s hand, the scent of his cologne and his tender kisses sweeps Gianni off his feet. And despite the objections of his older brother, Gianni knows what he wants and it is to be in a permanent relationship with James.

James’ heart skips a beat every time he passes the Hill Candy Store and sees the youngest brother, Gianni, busily waiting on customers. He likes everything about him, from his sweet innocent appearance to his love for the craft of candymaking. But most of all, he likes the way Gianni’s big green eyes darken with passion when he holds him in his arms.

Valentine’s Day might still be a couple of weeks away, but could Cupid’s arrow have already pierced James’ heart and aimed him to the one man with whom he is going to spend the rest of his life?

NOTE: This story was previously published as part of an anthology entitled Gift Of Love with the ISBN: 978-1-61495-393-7. This reissued version of the story has been revised and reedited.

Excerpt:

..“Would you like to join me for coffee?” Lainie Clark, the firm’s only female attorney, asked James after seeing clients all morning.

“Sure.” He needed a breather and wanted to familiarize himself with his new surroundings. “Let me get my jacket.” James went back into his office and emerged fully suited in business attire. He followed Lainie out the office and to the elevator.

“You’re going to love this place,” Lainie told him. “Copeland’s has the best coffee in town, and next to the coffee shop is a little family-owned candy store. They have sinfully good chocolate and five of the cutest salesclerks.”

They’d known each other since they were kids and their grandfathers were the original cofounders of the law firm. Lainie was at least five years older than him, a great lawyer with a bubbly personality. He supposed she could be considered pretty. She had nice eyes and long blonde hair.

The elevator door opened on the first floor, and they stepped out into the busy lobby. People went in and out of the numerous little shops. Lainie and James got in line and entered the coffee shop. Moments later they exited with their iced coffees.

“Look at the line for the candy store,” James said, watching the customers go entering and exiting the doors.

“The Hills make the best candy in New York,” Lainie said, pulling him toward the window. “That’s Battista, Carlo, Dante and their cousin Adamo,” she told him, naming the four standing near the counters. “And the little cutie at the register is Gianni.”

“Tell me more about the cutie,” James said.

“He’s single, twenty-three, and likes to make candy.”

“I’m impressed,” James said. “How do you know all of their names?”

“I love chocolate,” Lainie confessed. “And Gianni is so sweet. He always gives me samples.”

James chuckled. “I’m surprised at you. He’s a child.”

“You’re just two years older than he is,” Lainie said. “He’s already a famous chocolatier. His parents sent him to Paris to study with the best candymakers in Europe.”

“I didn’t figure you for a cougar,” James teased.

“Don’t be ridiculous. You know I’m into old guys. What can someone his age do for me?” She walked away.

James gazed in at the handsome little chocolatier again. He could think of a thing or two…

________________________________________________________________________________________________
Giveaway rules (always have to have them)
Entries are limited to persons 18 years of age and older. You are stating you are of age by entering.
Just one entry per email address will be counted.
Winners will be notified via email. We are not responsible for incorrect email addresses on entries, alas.
Thank you to Amber Allure for generously donating this ebook for giveaway.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Shawn Bailey

Shawn Bailey writes from New Orleans, Louisiana. Shawn is an avid manga and yaoi novel collector and watches a lot of Japanese anime. When she’s not writing, Shawn works as a financial analyst and looks forward to one day retiring, going to writing conferences and traveling to Asia. Of course, she will first have to get over her fear of flying. She is currently working on several new gay romance manuscripts, which she hopes to get published in the near future.

To learn more about Shawn, please visit her website at http://shawnhbailey.weebly.com.

buy link3

Leave a comment by 1/31/15 at 11:59 PM for a random chance to win a copy!

Coming This Week – 1/26 to 1/31/15

0

Giveaways:  

light

 

remember

 

tnFissures

 

tnSweetie

 

 

Tours:

NLT600x600Banner

SOE Tour Banner

Untitled

the bucket list 400x600

 

RHCM banner

Tour with contest: Meredith Russell – Just Jack

8

Just-Jack 400x600When the line between fairy tales and magic, and the real world become blurred, can love really conquer anything?

Leo Marsh is having a bad day. He just caught his boyfriend cheating on him, and not for the first time, then he falls, quite literally, for a man who has to be too good to be true….

When Leo slips and falls on some ice in front of Jack, Jack sees something all too familiar in Leo’s eyes. For over fifty years, Jack has existed in a solitary life of ice and bitterness. Just like Leo, he was betrayed by a man he loved, and swore no one would ever break his heart again: he gave up on love, and it seemed love had given up on him.

But if by fate or magic, Jack and Leo find their paths crossing for a second time, and with a little guidance from friends, dare to take a chance on each other. The problem is, Jack isn’t the charming and uncomplicated guy Leo thinks he is. When Jack gave away his ability to love, he became something else, someone cold and unloving. He became Jack Frost.

As Jack and Leo get closer, Jack is left torn and confused. Jack yearns for anything that reminds him of his humanity, but the truth is, he feels nothing, not warmth, not love, and he knows he might never be able to love Leo the way he deserves to be loved.

 

Movie mentions

In Just Jack, the character of Leo has a love for two very different genres of movie – horrors and Disney. This is a love he shares with me.

I’m not sure the two genres mix all that well, but I adore horror movies and I adore pretty much everything animated including Disney, Dreamworks, Studio Ghibli.

Some of my favourite animated movies are from the 1990s Disney era, films like The Lion King, Tarzan, Mulan, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Beauty and the Beast, and more.

With animation, you aren’t restricted on what stories you can tell. You can have a talking dragon, or gargoyles that come to life, you can tell stories of magic and make-believe. Obviously with advances in CGI live action films can also do this more convincingly, but for me growing up, animated movies were the best way for fairytales to jump off the page and become more than just illustrations in books or from my imagination.

When writing Just Jack, I drew on the magical tales I enjoyed as a kid, and still enjoy over and over again now as an adult for inspiration. I wanted something that was a mix of magic, romance, adventure, and of course a good helping of angsty drama.

About Meredith

Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing. Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.

Email: meredithrussell666@gmail.com

Webpage: http://www.meredithrussell.co.uk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/meredithrussellauthor

Buy Link

All buy Links will appear here: http://lovelanebooks.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/just-jack-meredith-russell.html

Excerpt

Opening the top button of his jacket, he savored the cold against his chest and gently traced his fingertips over his chilled skin. He breathed deeply, content with his icy touch and the feel of the cool air whipping up around him. What he wouldn’t give to be wrapped up in a blanket of cold. To slip inside the deliciously chilled wind and zip it up as if it were a sleeping bag made just for him.

Holding out his hand in front of him, Jack encouraged the breeze into a spiral that wrapped around his arm and caused a delightful shiver to pass through him. The air glowed the most beautiful shade of blue as it danced around Jack, and his chest ached from the knowledge this beauty was only for him—and those like him—to see. Anyone watching would think he was mad. They wouldn’t see the dance of blue and silver, nor would they hear the wind’s angelic song reverberating in the air.

Jack stroked the breeze as it snaked through his fingers, gently drawing moisture from it and into the palm of his hand. He rotated his fingers, spinning the moisture into a sphere, and then gently teased it with his icy breath until the sphere hardened. The size of a tennis ball, the sphere became a ball of ice, and Jack flicked it into the air and caught it.

“Perfect,” he said.

The ball was smooth, flawless, and transparent. He reached out his other hand and dragged his fingers over the hedge he passed. The leaves of the hedge crackled and curled in on themselves beneath his touch, which left them coated in wintry white frost. All he needed now was someone to have a little fun with. He grinned at the thought.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rafflecopter Link

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f922301b45/?

Giveaway: A.E. Via – Here Comes Trouble

11

Nothing Special Series Banner 12

Blurb: Detectives Mark Ruxsberg and Chris Green are very good at their jobs. Being the enforcers for God and Day’s notorious Atlanta PD Narcotics Task Force causes the crazy duo to get into more trouble than they can often get out of. The pair never misses out on an opportunity to drive their Lieutenants crazy with their dangerous, reckless, and costly stunts, landing them in the hot seat in front God… often.

Ruxs and Green love their jobs and they don’t mind the very demanding schedule that leaves them little time for socializing or dating. It was fine with them, they enjoyed hanging out with each other anyway.

However, most of the men in their close circle of friends and colleagues are pairing off and settling down. God has Day, Ro has Johnson, and their Sergeant Syn has Furious.

For the past several years, Ruxs has only sought out the advice and company of one person, his partner and best friend Green, and vice versa. Both of these alpha males are presumed straight, but neither can deny the heat that’s building in their once ‘just friends’ relationship.

HERE COMES TROUBLE MASTER COVER (2)Excerpt:

At the first touch of Green’s hands to Ruxs’ lower back had him jumping against it. “Shh. Relax, Mark. It’s okay,” Green whispered. He could see the frown-line between Ruxs’ closed eyes.

“Just breathe in deep,” he said while smoothing his palms in an outward motion against the firm muscles. His touch was light at first. Simply letting the aromas permeate through his system to relax him. When he saw the creases began to smooth out on Ruxs’ handsome face, Green began to use his palm over palm technique, rotating in circular motions on one side of his spine and then over to the other. When he started driving out the strain by using a palm on either side of his spine and driving up to his neck. Ruxs began to moan quietly.

Oh god. He’d never heard him sound so relieved.

“Chris,” Ruxs groaned.

“I know it feels good. Relax, I got you,” Green said softly against Ruxs’ ear. He felt Ruxs’ hips flex under him and he wondered for a second if he was putting too much weight on his thighs. So he rose up some and rubbed more oil and began to focus on Ruxs’ broad shoulders. He worked his palms and knuckles into the knots until he couldn’t feel them anymore. Ruxs’ breathing was heavy, almost panting. He should be more relaxed by now. He’d been massaging for over thirty minutes. If it was him, he’d probably be sleep already, but Ruxs seemed to be getting even more anxious. Damnit.

“Come on, man. Try to calm down.” Green leaned in again. He pressed his chest against Ruxs’ slick back and felt him take a stuttering breath. He spoke in the most calming tone his deep voice could muster. “Hey. Shhh. Breathe deep for me. You’re gonna be okay. We’re gonna get through this, man. I’m not going to ever let you go through anything alone. You have me, always.”

**********

Oh my fuckin’ god. He’s killing me. Ruxs tried to take a deep breath but he couldn’t. Green probably thought he was losing his mind or still freaking out about his mom. But Ruxs was struggling with the enormous amount of passion coursing through his body. Green was all over him, pressing that solid chest into his back, pushing him deliciously into the plush mattress with all that brawn, and oh god, it felt so good – too good. He struggled to breathe, not because he was stressed, it was because his sensitive nipples were hard and aching to be flicked, and his cock was like steel trapped beneath him, throbbing and pulsing with every strong stroke Green pushed into his muscles.

Green’s voice was deep and soothing as he tried – to no avail – to calm him. Only thing that would work is if Ruxs flipped over and Green let him rut against him like a wild beast until he came with a roar.

 

1450800_225532627620034_2097788792_nAbout A.E Via: 

A.E. Via is still a fairly new author in the beautiful gay erotic genre. Her writing embodies everything from spicy to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children, her two pets, a Maltese dog and her white Siamese cat, ELynn, named after the late, great gay romance author E. Lynn Harris.

While this is only her sixth novel, she has plenty more to come. So stalk her – she loves that – because the male on male action is just heating up!

Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, and where she’ll appear next.

 

Links 

Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Here-Comes-Trouble-Nothing-Special-ebook/dp/B00Q3UI6VG/ref=zg_bs_7588788011_12

 

AllRomance:  https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-herecomestrouble-1689375-145.htmll

 

Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/here-comes-trouble-ae-via/1120831388?ean=2940150071780

 

Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com

 

Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7354860.A_E_Via

 

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

 

Facebook (Friend me)https://www.facebook.com/authoraevia

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

 

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/A.-E.-Via/e/B00GMNMS4U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

Leave a comment for A.E. by 1/28/15 @11:59 PM for a random chance to win a copy of Here Comes Trouble! 

Guest post with tour and contest: POZ by Christopher Koehler

12

Poz_Blog-Tour-Sidebar-Graphic

 

“Five Authors I Admire” by  Christopher Koehler 

You may be surprised to learn that authors I admire are not romance authors. No offense to my colleagues, but my loves affairs with the works of these authors goes back, in some cases, decades. In any event, it would be at best impolitic to select a handful of m/m romance authors whose work I admire and then have to justify exclusions.

Author 1: Lloyd Alexander

One of the earliest authors I fanboyed was Lloyd Alexander, and his “Chronicles of Prydain” was the first fantasy series I read multiple times. The “Chronicles” sparked a lifelong interest in fantasy, as well as an interest in Welsh mythology that led me back to the original sources, the red and white branches of the Mabinogion. The events in the Mabinogion figure in many fantasies series, including another favorite of mine, Julian May’s Saga of the Pliocene Exile. One thing familiarity wit the Mabinogion taught me is just how unoriginal several supposedly stunning epic fantasies are. Any time a sorcerer animates a forest, just remember, Gwydion ap Don did it first.

We will not discuss the abomination that was the Disney movie, “The Black Cauldron,” no, we shall not.

 

Author 2: Katherine Kurtz

An author I was introduced to as a child and still follow religiously as an adult is Katherine Kurtz. I blame my father for this one. One rainy afternoon at my dad’s house when I had nothing to do, Dad place a copy of Camber of Culdi in my hands and I’ve never looked back.

Her novels resonated with me from the beginning. At their root, they tell the story of a half-magical race called the Deryni, persecuted for the magic in their souls by a powerful medieval Church. What bookish gay lad with a penchant for fantasy isn’t going to identify with that, and with the acceptance the Deryni fought for?

She’s been writing the novels of the Deryni as long as I’ve been alive, and there’s at least one more promised trilogy. I’m terrified she’ll die before she completes it. Ms. Kurtz also serves as something of a cautionary tale to me as I begin my own career as a novelist. She’s written a few other series, but none has had the popularity as her Deryni novels, and after forty-four years, she must be tired of them. But she may well have become a prisoner to her own popularity. I personally have the attitude of, They made you famous, so get busy.

 

Author 3: David Eddings

I found my way to David Eddings some time in junior high, I think. I had a vague recollection of reading the back of a book, something about a boy sent to study sorcery with his aunt. Of course, that book turned out to be Pawn Of Prophecy, book one of “The Belgariad.” Perhaps for the sake of accuracy I ought to say I found my way to David and Leigh Eddings, but as it turned out, his wife had been helping him write his books all along. Later on, I read David’s comments about wanting to develop “certain technical philosophies about the genre,” presumably his pompous mutterings about using Jungian archetypes in crafting characters, which is an amusing conceit, because 1) a lot of authors do that (see Julian May, below) and 2) in his later series all his characters became the same as the ones he created for the Belgariad. By the time my own incisive skills developed enough to figure this out, I didn’t much care. I had been sufficiently impressed and entertained.

It was, I suppose, The Belgariad that had the greatest impact on me, for better and worse. The five books of the original Belgariad were terrified—transporting, riveting, and definitely entertaining. I loved those characters, and reading the books is still like visiting old friends. Sure, I know what’s going to happen, but that’s not the point. I genuinely love those people. I still remember what great fun it was when the final book in the series came out when I was in high school. My parents were out of town and I made a night of it with a new book and take-out for dinner. It was special.

I saw worse because fellow fans of The Belgariad may recognize certain habits of speech, a certain biting sarcasm, reminiscent of a particular Drasnian that is not always welcome in all circumstances. But what the hell.

He—they—wrote a follow-up series, The Mallorean, which despite the claims of it being required by events in the third book of The Belgariad, was totally unjustified. Darling, I’ve read Magician’s Gambit sooo many times, and it ain’t in there.

Later on, the Eddings wrote a completely new trilogy, The Elenium, and among many memorable characters, there was of course the Child-Goddess Aphrael. Typically, there was a follow-up trilogy. It was okay, but nothing every plays like the original.

After a while, all his female characters started turning into Aphrael. It got a bit tiresome, but that was okay. So was the fact that his later books were total sell-outs. I read that his advance for a single book—The Redemption of Althalus—was in the mid six figures. Parse that out and then think about someone offering you that much for a single book. Even if you never read it, you’d already encountered all the characters—Aphrael, Belgareth, Ce’Nedra, etc.

Sell-out City. Mid six figures.

The thing is, however, if someone backed a dump truck full of money up my driveway, I’d sell out, too, and so would you. Furthermore, you’d force feed me the fiber to crap that puppy out, and I’d return the favor.

Both Eddings died several years ago, and my world turned a little grayer.

 

The Fourth Author.

I had to think about this one for a while. Gail Carriger? I can’t get enough of her “Parasol Protectorate” books. I mean, c’mon. They’re just so campy. Werewolves and vampires in a steampunk Victorian London, and half of them appear to be gay? Then, too, I swoon for Biffy, a newly turned werewolf and wounded soul. Not only that, Miss Carriger herself is a lovely person with a wicked sense of humor. When I tweeted her from London about being unable to find Woolsey Castle—home of the Woolsey Pack—and how on earth does one hide a castle? She reminded me the castle was in Barking. Werewolves? Barking?

Oh, come on. You love it.

Furthermore, her YA series, “Finishing School”—for when you want someone finished—is set in the same world and features a strong female protagonist. That’s always welcome. But seriously, a young woman of good family is sent to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality, only instead of curtsies and dresses she’s trained to be an assassin and a spy without her family’s knowledge.

I know, right? I wish had half her panache.

Maybe Miss Carriger will write a series with Biffy as Alpha of the London Pack set in a Mid-Mo London and let me help with the details since I have some expertise in that area. Gail, call me….

Then I thought about Mercedes Lackey and the Valdemar novels. I tend to hide out there when life gets too ugly. Or maybe Julian May’s Saga of the Pliocene Exile, The Great Intervention, and Galactic Milieu Trilogy, three interconnected series that take humanity six million years into the past, into the near future of a peaceful galactic civilization, and back again through the person of one of science fiction’s greatest anti-heroes (and humanity’s worse mass murderer), Marc Remillard. Science fiction and fantasy (and at least in the Pliocene Exile, more Welsh mythology) as opera through nine interconnected novels and the person of one man who manages to survive for the six million years of atonement for his hideous crimes.

But no, I think it has to be Gail Carriger. There’s a humor and a lack of apology for strong personalities that I can only hope to match someday.

 

The Fifth Author

Up until now, the authors I admire could be branded as authors of escapist literature. Of course, so could I, as there’s not a whole lot in Romancelandia the bears a striking resemblance to reality.

But for the final author I admire, I’m going to go with an author of literary fiction. I know, I’m surprised, too! I forget exactly when I encountered A. S. Byatt, besides “sometime during graduate school.” I think I had been told that I must see the movie, “Angels and Insects” because it related to the topic I was considering for my dissertation. If you’ve not seen it, it’s a moving about Victorians, taxonomy, and sex. Oh, and incest. Can’t forget the incest.

My dissertation advisor wasn’t wrong. I really did need to see the movie, even if I needed a Silkwood shower after. It was a good movie, and the type of art-house movie I go for, but…ewww. The movie was adapted from a short story titled, “Morpho Eugenia” by A. S. Byatt and is one of two stories in a book, Angels and Insects. Her short stories are works of genius, and I say this as someone who doesn’t like short stories. I don’t see much point in naming the many books that hold them. Okay, I’ll mention one, The Little Black Book Of Stories. I especially don’t like horror stories, and The Little Black Book is even worth a read. Go check out her author page on Amazon.

But her novels, oh her novels. They sing to me. I think the first one I read was Possession. It’s a literary mystery, an excursion into Bretton mythology, a romance, and more besides. It’s probably the most layered story I’ve ever read. In doing a bit of research for this, I am amused to note that there are numerous study guides that have been published. Don’t read it with a study guide. Read it and fall in love with. Just don’t watch the movie. Byatt hated it.

There’s a line in Coldplay’s Cemeteries of London: “There are ghost towns in the ocean.” I can only assume that refers to the lost city of Ys…which lies submerged off the Bretton coast, or so they say. I knew of Ys before I read Possession, but it’s one of those connections I love to make between all the bits of trivia I’ve accumulated over the years.

Of all of her novels, The Children’s Book was the most like Possession, every bit as complex and dense, spanning the Victorian era to the First World War. People either loved it or groaned beneath its weight, either calling it the thinking person’s novel or, as a reviewer from the Houston Chronicle whined, “even the dirty parts…seemed to drag.” I love that quotation. Guess where I landed?

There’s one series of hers that I couldn’t stand, something about a virgin in a garden, but on the whole, between luminous anthologies of short stories and some of the best novels I have ever picked up, Byatt is my favorite contemporary novelist, and ranks for me up there with Voltaire and Austen.

Oh, and my dissertation? It dealt with Edwardians, evolution, and sex, so yes, I needed to see that movie. I told Ms. Byatt about it when I saw her speak, and I fanboyed her while she signed my copy of Angels and Insects. She looks like Shelly Winters with a posh accent and wore gold lamé high tops and baseball cap. What more could I have asked for?PozFS

Blurb:

A Harmony Ink Press Young Adult Title

The Lives of Remy and Michael: Book One

Remy Babcock and Mikey Castelreigh are stalwart members of the Capital City Rowing Club’s junior crew, pulling their hardest to earn scholarships to rowing powerhouses like California Pacific. Just a couple of all-American boys, they face the usual pressures of life in an academic hothouse and playing a varsity sport. Add to that the stifling confines of the closet, and sometimes life isn’t always easy, even in the golden bubble of their accepting community. Because Remy and Mikey have a secret: they’re both gay. While Mikey has never hidden it, Remy is a parka and a pair of mittens away from Narnia.

Mikey has always been open about wanting more than friendship, but Remy is as uncomfortable in his own skin as he is a demon on the water. After their signals cross, and a man mistakes Remy for a college student, Remy takes the plunge and hooks up with him. After a furious Mikey cuts Remy off, Remy falls to the pressure of teenage life, wanting to be more and needing it now. In his innocence and naiveté, Remy makes mistakes that have life-long consequences. When Remy falls in the midst of the most important regatta of his life, he can only hope Mikey will be there to catch him when he needs it most.

 

Author Bio:

Christopher Koehler learned to read late (or so his teachers thought) but never looked back. It was not, however, until he was nearly done with grad school in the history of science that he realized that he needed to spend his life writing and not on the publish-or-perish treadmill. At risk of being thought frivolous, he found that academic writing sucked all the fun out of putting pen to paper.

Christopher is also something of a hothouse flower. Inside of almost unreal conditions he thrives to set the results of his imagination free, and for most of his life he has been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who encouraged both that tendency and the writing. Chief among them is his long-suffering husband of twenty-two years and counting.

When it comes to writing, Christopher follows Anne Lamott’s advice: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” So while he writes fiction, at times he ruthlessly mines his past for character traits and situations. Reality is far stranger than fiction.

Christopher loves many genres of fiction and nonfiction, but he’s especially fond of romances, because it is in them that human emotions and relations, at least most of the ones fit to be discussed publicly, are laid bare.

Writing is his passion and his life, but when Christopher is not doing that, he’s an at-home dad and oarsman with a slightly disturbing interest in manners and other ways people behave badly.

Visit him at http://christopherkoehler.net/blog or follow him on Twitter @christopherink.

 

Tour links: 

7 Jan – Prism Book Alliance

9 Jan – Cody Kennedy

10 Jan – The Novel Approach

14 Jan – JP Barnaby

15 Jan – Love Bytes

19 Jan – GGR Reviews

21 Jan – Hearts on Fire Reviews

22 Jan – MM Good Book Reviews

26 Jan – James Erich

28 Jan – Joyfully Jay

2 Feb – Rainbow Gold Reviews

 

Buy links:

Dreamspinner eBook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5918&cPath=387

 

Dreamspinner Print: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5919&cPath=387

 

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Poz-Lives-Remy-Michael-Book-ebook/dp/B00RPUB96W/

 

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poz-Lives-Remy-Michael-Book-ebook/dp/B00RPUB96W/

 

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-poz-1591190-149.html?referrer=509531de39c1c

 

a Rafflecop-ter giveaway

Go to Top