May 17

Hop Against Homophobia, Bi- and Transphobia: Breaking through the walls we build

Morning ya’ll! Today is the start of the Hop against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia! If you click on the button to the left, you will go directly to their page, but never fear, if you read to the end you will also find all the other lovely authors involved in this hop so you can participate!

The participants are offering prizes, yes, that means me too Winking smile, and if you’re up for a little bounce and travel, some reading on the topic, and playing along, then you can enter to win the prizes and maybe enjoy the journey a bit.

Before we begin, I thought I’d go head and let you know what I’m offering up for one lucky reader/commenter (the giveaway extends from Sunday, May 17th, to Wednesday, May 24th!)
* One copy of any of my eBooks from my backlist. Yes, it’s the winner’s choice—of book, and format
* Anyone who comments on THIS POST is eligible to win.
* Winner will be chosen by Mr. Random at 10 pm on the 27th.
* Winner will be announced in a separate post.
* This will not be the only post I make during this hop—on this topic—but you must comment on THIS POST for a chance to win. (Don’t worry, I’ll remind you in those later posts about this one.)

ho·mo·pho·bia noun \ˌhō-mə-ˈfō-bē-ə\
Definition of HOMOPHOBIA:
An irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals

* The same goes for biphobia, transphobia, and so much more.

Yes, you read that right. The official definition says it’s an irrational fear or aversion to US. To people being whom they were born to be. And while I’m not sure I agree (hate isn’t fear, it’s being an ass hat and hiding behind religious, societal, etc. excuses to hate, abuse, and even kill others) I will thank the dictionary for admitting that it’s irrational.

We as a society do the most harm to the individual. It’s that simple, yet it’s so much more than that. Humans like things in boxes. The problem is that so many people don’t fit in those boxes, the ones that others deem acceptable or real. Yes, we even argue over which boxes are valid, not just which ones we want to accept as okay.

I have to say a big Hell No to those that try to not only put me in boxes, but also tell me which boxes are real. I was recently asked what it is that draws straight women to read M/M books and I had to answer that I had no clue as I’m not either of those things. I am a omnisexual/pansexual (even less believed in that being bi :/ ) and genderfluid person. I happen to have been born with female bits, but that does not mean that’s who or what I am.

Boxes are things I both love and hate. Love them for storing things; hate them when others try to classify me. I’m not homosexual enough, being bi/omni/pan. I’m not straight enough, being bi/omni/pan. I’m not male enough, being I have girl parts. I’m not female enough, being I have many, many male days. I’m not trans as I have many girl days. I’m not cis, as… I have many boy days. And then you have those that don’t believe Bi even exists (your belief in me does not invalidate my existence, I promise).

Now, my experiences may skew my worldview, but from others I’ve met, the political fights going on across this, and many other countries, and the thousands of blogs and people out there, I don’t believe I’m unique. Instead of boxes and walls, we need to focus on the individual. Why does the body matter so much to others? And why do others feel they have the right to categorize, and then often dismiss, others?

Don’t assume what the person you are speaking to or about is what you think they are. That beautiful woman may be struggling because her body isn’t what matches her mind and spirit. That handsome man may have been born a woman. That pretty boy you assume is a gay twink might just be a straight man. And that big butch man? Yeah, he just might be a happy, dedicated bottom.

We build the walls that imprison us, and only we can make the change needed to tear them down. Take a moment to look around you and check out the walls and boxes you live in. Are they right? Are they restrictive? Do they even truly match who you are inside?

We are many individuals, not one singular society. We have many hearts and lives, not one collective experience. Never allow yourself to be placed in a box or hidden behind a wall—that goes for the boxes and walls we build ourselves. You can only be who you are, to be anything less would be to betray your very soul. Never let others (or self) force you to be something you are not.

We are individuals. We are people who have hearts and souls. We love, laugh, live, fight, and die. But we are not merely the labels others give. I am who I am, and that’s enough for me. If it’s not for others, that’s their loss as I will not hide my soul or allow others to hide it for me.

Want to Hop along?…

May 27

#Interview w/ #GuestAuthor Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese: Romance without the Rules!

Interview with Guest Author

Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese
Romance without the Rules!


Thank you for stopping over to visit, Erin and Racheline. In case my lovely readers don’t know who are—though I’m certain they all do… right guys?—I thought I’d do a little sit-down visit with you and help us all get to know you a little better.

 

What makes your stories different from other authors out there?

Everything we’ve written to date is in the present tense, and there’s always a reason for it, whether that’s because we want our books to have an energy similar to reading a screen play (Love in Los Angeles) or because our heroes have tragedies in their pasts and can only be happy in the present (Love’s Labours).

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do to get past it?

Raise the stakes! If we’re stuck, it’s usually because the stakes aren’t high enough.

I was asked this recently and would love to find out your take on it… If your writing was translated, which would be your preference: TV, movie, play, or Broadway?

Those are all spaces that at least one of us has written for to some degree. We have TV and film projects together and Racheline has written plays and books for musicals. This story probably lends itself best to TV. It’s a bit Slings and Arrows with a mysterious love story under it.

Does your family know what you write, and if so, how did they react when you first told them what and how explicit your writing would be?

We both write under our real names. Racheline’s parents don’t read her work, either in or out of the romance and erotica space, by long-standing agreement. Erin’s parents have been enthusiastic about many of our titles. Her mom sends her concerned emails about the Love in Los Angeles characters.

Have you ever met someone in real life, or a stranger, that you turned into a MC?

Everyone is a potential character. Everyone.

Who is your favorite author and why?

Erin: Neal Stephenson hits a glorious sweet spot of cyberpunk, history geekery, kickass heroines, and epic narrative.

Racheline: Ellen Kushner does a huge amount with dialogue and is really great at stories where drama uses farce as an engine.

Boxers, briefs, commando? What’s your favorite way to “dress” your man?

Depends on the man! Paul (from Love in Los Angeles) is a boxers guy. Alex (Also from LILA) would really prefer not to talk about it. And Michael (from Love’s Labours) thinks the less clothes he has on in general, the better the world is.

We already know you love to write/read in different genres, but why do you feel you share your voice best when writing amongst the different genres?

We don’t really pick stories to write according to their genre. Rather, we just end up in the place the story wants to go. We write a lot of contemporary, because we like writing about the film and TV industry, and also about the cities in which we live. We write a lot of magical realism because we like writing about death and witches. But we’ve also done some paranormal and adore ourselves some historical.

And just because I love to tease 😉 what are you working on now, and what is coming up from you next?

The third book in Love in Los Angeles, our Hollywood romance series from Torquere Press, will be out in June, and Midsummer’s sequel will be out late summer. Right now we’re working on the next books in both of those series and have just started poking at a spy romp because we wanted to write about violence and Budapest.

All of those sound so interesting … Will have to add to my TBR pile, again Open-mouthed smile 
On that wonderful note, I thought I’d share a little from What’s In A Name? So sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy!

Midsummer

M/M Contemporary Romance
Series: Love’s Labours
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 20, 2015
Length: Novella / 89 pages

John Lyonel, a long-time theater professional and teacher, heads to Virginia to play Oberon in the Theater in the Woods’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, intending to focus on his work. John is recovering from the tragic loss of his family and needs a break. The last thing he expects is to become captivated by Michael Hilliard, the professional actor playing Puck, especially since John has never been attracted to men, let alone one so much younger.

They rush headlong into an affair which falls apart dramatically over secrets that John and Michael are keeping from each other. A steep learning curve, the gossipy cast of the show, and the sometimes sinister magic of the woods conspire to keep them apart. But stage lights and stars might work their magic and help them define a new future.

Amazon 
AllRomance 
B&N 
Dreamspinner

 

Costume fittings and dress rehearsals means that John finally gets to see Michael costumed as Puck. The human characters are dressed contemporarily, in suits and cocktail dresses that become increasingly disheveled as the show goes on. The fairies, though, are dressed in greens and browns with crowns of strange wildness — thistles, cornsilk, and Queen Ann’s lace. Michael as Puck looks deeply inhuman, covered in leaves as if dragged in from the wooded grounds. For their first dress rehearsal, it takes all of John’s considerable experience and willpower to actually focus on the play and not Michael. As taken as Oberon is meant to be with Puck, he should actually be able to remember and deliver his lines.

“Whose idea was this?” he asks Michael afterward, catching him before he can change. Michael blinks at him with eyes done up in silver and green. John wants to devour him.

“Do you like it?” Michael asks, more distant and coy than usual, sliding his hands up John’s chest which, like his own, is bare.

All John can do is groan when Michael looks up at him from under his lashes. He stands on his tiptoes to kiss John briefly, and then vanishes. When he reappears he’s Michael again, in t-shirt and shorts, but John can’t forget the image of him transformed.

 

Erin McRae is a queer writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. She has a master’s degree in International Affairs from American University, and delights in applying her knowledge of international relations theory to her fiction and screen-based projects, because conflict drives narrative.

Racheline Maltese lives a big life from a small space. She flies planes, sails boats, and rides horses, but as a native New Yorker, has no idea how to drive a car. A long-time entertainment and media industry professional, she lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their two cats.

Together, they are co-authors of the gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry — Starling (September 10, 2014), Doves (January 21, 2015), and Phoenix (June 10, 2015) — from Torquere Press. Their gay romance novella series Love’s Labours, set in the theater world — Midsummer (May 2015), and Twelfth Night (Fall 2015), is from Dreamspinner Press. They also have a story in Best Gay Romance 2015 from Cleis Press and edited by Felice Picano. You can find them on the web athttp://www.Avian30.com

 

Find & Follow Erin and Racheline Online:

Joint Blog:http://Avian30.com 

Joint Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/Erin.and.Racheline

Erin’s Twitter:https://twitter.com/erincmcrae 

Racheline’s Twitter:https://twitter.com/racheline_m 

Erin’s Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8323893.Erin_McRae 

Racheline’s Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1015335.Racheline_Maltese 

Erin’s Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/ErinMcRae/e/B00M7A0SVC

Racheline’s Amazon Author Page:http://www.amazon.com/RachelineMaltese/e/B001JRVS2C

May 25

Inquire with Tempeste: Fresh and New Ideas?

I love your stories and your writing style and have read most of your books! As a fairly new reader to the world of M/M how do you continue to have fresh and new ideas?

Thank you,

Julie

Dear Julie,

First, I’d like to say “Thank you.” I love hearing from readers like you! There is little more heartening than touching a reader with ones words <3

As to your question: I take a lot of my inspiration from life. Things that have happened to me, friends of mine, even total strangers, then twist and turn them until my characters get the happily-ever-after I hope for. As my bio says, I’m a hopeless romantic. I want the world, real and imagined, to find love, trust, and hope, so that’s what I set out to create.

Also, as I have a rather strange life, it leans well to making things up for fiction. Though… sometime what I am told is fiction, isn’t—like my inclusion of Ehlers-Danlos in “Designs of Desire” as I have it and life with the complications all the time. I always strive to not just retell the stories out there, but to give you a glimpse of my views of hope and love, while speeding your hearts a little, lol.

xoxo,

Tempe

Visit Tempeste’s Temptations, Tempe’s fan group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TempestesTemptations/

Follow Tempe at Twitter: @TempesteO

Let’s hear your best questions (and nothing is off limits!). I’ll answer a new one ever week. For more info on how and the giveaway attached, click HERE.

May 22

“Ask the Author” segment

Something occurred to me today. I’ve asked questions of many people, but not of you, my lovely readers, directly. I’ve intended to, started to, but somehow I always manage to get distracted and forget.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt since beginning my journey as an author, it’s that I’m lucky to have such intelligent, varied, and loyal readers.

Now that we all know what I think of my readers, I’d love to make a serious request of y’all (yes, I know, my Southern is showing lol). I’d love to start an “ask the author” segment where I answer questions that my readers want to know the answers. Just be forewarned, as I’ve told previous employers… make sure you really want to know the answer to your question, because you might not be ready to hear what I have to say.

If you have more than one question, that’s perfectly fine with me. Pick one or send me many. In any case, let me hear what you want to know! I can’t wait to read your replies.

I’ll be focusing on one question a week, every week. Don’t worry if you don’t have a question for me today, if you think of one tomorrow, next week, or in six months. Simply send me an email with your question and it will be added to my reader inquiries list and will be answered!

Also, don’t limit yourself to the obvious questions. Ask the weird, off the wall, or just plain and pure curiosity question. It can be about one of my books, one of the covers (I love ’em all!), about me, or….. Just remember, be careful what you wish to know, because I can and will answer. *evil cackle*

Oh, and when I reach 10 questions (real questions, not just to make the count, lol – this will go for each 10 I answer so this will be an ongoing giveaway game.), I’ll choose a winner for a $10 gift certificate to Dreamspinner Press.

Here we go! Let’s hear your best questions (and nothing is off limits!). I’ll begin answering them on Mondays… so see you again soon.

Thanks in advance for participating.

 

May 19

Hop Against Homo-, Bi-, and Transphobia: Reaching out for our Youth! by Guest Author Áine P Massie

Welcome again to the HAHABT!

First off, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the coordinators and all the authors and bloggers participating in this years Hop! Tempe has been kind enough to allow me a day on her blog to join in the Hop, so thanks.

Youth suffer in silence so often; either due to fear, confusion, or abuse. So many of the youth that are homeless across this and many other countries are LGBTQ, because it was too horrible to stay in the abusive home, or because that home… the parents that should love unconditionally, threw them out for not being what they wanted them to be.

Even in non-bashing homes, there is often a lack of understanding and support for teens as they struggle with who they truly are, what they want in life, and how to navigate a world where they are constantly told they are perverts, sick, hated, evil, and such much more vitriol that it breaks their hearts and spirits.

This is the reason that I, along with Tempe and 13 other authors, put together a donation anthology where all the proceeds go to supporting the LGBTQ Community Center in Milwaukee, WI. They have a great Youth program where they do things like peer support, helping to find housing, support and resources to become the amazing people they want to be, but don’t always have the backing to become.

I truly wish that there was no need for such programs! That there was no need to rescue the throwaways, to support the homeless and abused, to help guide the lost and desperate. I wish our world didn’t allow such hate and abuse, that our societies didn’t support it in so many cases and ways. That the heart of a person was what mattered to all, not just that they “fit in” or what “parts” (i.e. gender bits) one has or what the gender is of the one they love is or…. Love is love. The only things that should matter is that love is love. Not body shapes, not the gender of your lover, not if you are what others deem as “normal”. (Personally, I don’t see what’s so freakin’ great about being “normal”. It’s those that are true to themselves that change the world for the better, after all.)

There are a lot of great posts that are part of this hop, and I hope you visit every one of them! Share the message that hate is not OK, no matter who it’s directed at, and that being gay, lesbian, bi, trans, fluid, asexual, androgynous, ……. is all the right thing/s to be, if that’s who you truly are. One day society will look back on this time and attitudes and be ashamed. That is my true belief, I just wish that time would hurry and get here.

Youth are such a vulnerable group and those that hate destroy them faster than groups like the community center above—or the hundreds across the country—can find them and help.

PRIZE TIME! Towards that end, I’d like to donate $25 in your name to the charity of your choice. Simply comment with your name and contact information for the chance to be my winner, chosen by Random.org

DON’T FORGET… To enter Tempeste’s giveaway, you must comment on her main post HERE!

Hope & Love Anthology (purchase here)
Genre: GLBTQ Multi-genre Romance (non-explicit)

It starts with hope. That’s what LGBTQ Centers all over the world give us, the hope, the community, the care and education we need in a world that is often hate filled, scared of the unknown, and downright scary. When first introduced to community many of us rejoice as it’s often the first time we’re able to be out and be our true selves without fear or shame.

This anthology is for the benefit of one such center, one that touches many many lives, and like others, needs help and nourishment as well. Centers like the MKE LGBT Community Center depend on the love and support of others so that they may help and support us.

Within this collection of stories, you will find hope, family, love, and community. Take a chance on a new author or one of your beloved… read, enjoy, and know that you are helping children, adults, teens, and elderly alike in our greater LGBTQ community!

One hundred percent of the income from this volume goes directly to The MKE LGBT Community Center in Milwaukee, WI USA.

A Change of Heart by Adan DePiaz, All The Wrong Numbers by Kameron Mitchell, Blue Eyes by Hope Ryan, Breath of Life by M. LeAnne Phoenix, Camp Kennevan by Donovan Alekzander Crane, Dinner for the Dead by Áine P Massie, Five Down, Three To Go by Victoria Kinnaird, Forte’ by Marcus Maichle, Joey’s Choice by Piper Kay, Letter from Sarah by Aaron Silver, Micah’s Medicine by Tempeste O’Riley, My Book Boyfriend by Elaine White, Sanctuary by Jocelyn Sanchez, Something to Hold on to by Milla V., The Queen Dethroned by B. David Spicer

Follow along the hop…


About the Author
Áine P Massie is originally from Florida, she now lives in Wisconsin where she works on her House Millar series full time while raising four children (the term herding cats comes to mind). Her major in College was Childhood Education (specializing in ages zero to five) with a minor study in Deaf Culture/ASL. She is also a Wiccan priestess dedicated to the gods, family, and love.
Áine is a proud member of the Rom-Critters, the Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Áine has always had a particular fascination with vampires, mythology, and the unusual. When she can escape from her children and books, she enjoys… oh yes, reading, playing, ritual, a good cappuccino, and working with her healing stones.
Her first published work came in high school where she was part of a writing and drama group. However, she has been reading the likes of Shakespeare and Poe since late elementary school and enjoys most forms of fiction.
Site | Blog | Author FB | House Millar FB | Twitter | Google +

May 11

Goals, health, and loss….

Afternoon all!

Instead of letting my negative losses get to me, I’m trying to focus on the positive. I’ve lost a whole person weight wise, but I need to evict another. To do that, I’m monitoring me diet, trying to get more active (ha-ha, yeah, that’s so easy when I can’t do anything right :/ ), and being more open with my goals.

I know, everyone wants to weigh less/more/different than they do, but I need to for my health. I’m not 100% sure the best way to do this, as the nutritionist my Dr. sent me to was not helpful. No guides, just “eat enough to feel almost full” or “watch your carb and fat intake”. Yeah, like we don’t all know to watch our intake *sigh*. If it were that easy, no one would be over weight that didn’t choose it, right?

Add in that I use a wheelchair (I love my chair, yet completely hate it. Yes, I know that makes no sense, ask anyone that’s been forced into one, it’s a love/hate thing until it becomes just another part of you—or so I’ve been told. Not to that point yet) and it’s beyond hard. I can’t walk/jog/run. Thanks to the EDS I can’t lift, play sports, use 99% of exercise equipment….

BUT, I refuse to allow my body’s failing health to ruin my enjoyment in life. Yes, I know that was a lot of ‘can’t’ and all, but I don’t want to let my genetic disorder rule my life. So, to help in that goal, I’m going to lose weight, go trough a pain and rehab clinic to better deal with the sever chronic pain and build up my mobility within the bounds of what it can be, and I’m going to work my damnedest to have a more positive attitude. Being a disabled, single parent was never something I wanted to be, but I wouldn’t give up a thing about my kids, my work (hello, author here, lol), or my wonderful friends (for those of you that follow me on FB and gave hugs, pics, words of love and hope, THANK YOU! You have no idea how much it meant to me last night and today to read all your loving comments! You truly battled my emotional pain and brought smiles and laughs to me again).

Now, how to I lose weight, get as healthy as I can—taking into account my body and all—and keep motivated? Yeah, that’s the hard part right now. I’m searching for ways, but I hate F2F social things for health, mobility, migraine reasons so that’s another limitation. BTW, I truly hate limitations! But, I thought I’d let you be my goal keepers Open-mouthed smile so I’ve added a weight loss ticker to my sidebar right along with my writing goals. I will update it on Mondays and hopefully we can all watch my flutterby get closer and closer to the pot o’ gold <3

Anyone want to join me?

May 06

#Interview with #GuestAuthor Pat Henshaw, author of “What’s In A Name?”

Interview with Guest Author

Pat Henshaw
A barista, a bartender, and love.


Thank you for stopping over to visit, Pat. In case my lovely readers don’t know who are—though I’m certain they all do… right guys?—I thought I’d do a little sit-down visit with you and help us all get to know you a little better.

What makes your stories different from other authors out there?

Pat: I think of my stories as entry level M/M romances since they have no sex scenes, but are primarily about love and how two men fall in love. I see my reader/s as men and women who never thought they’d ever read a romance, but have heard so much about them that they want to read one to find out what they’re like. I also see my reader/s as curious about exploring love, not sex, as we both try to figure out what makes one person love another one.

When did you first consider yourself an author?

Pat: I’ve always been a writer—having been a reviewer (books, art, film, stage) for many decades and for many venues. So in a way, I’ve always thought of myself as a budding author. But the big moment for me was split in two parts: when I self-published my fantasy novel, The Vampire’s Food Chain, and when Dreamspinner offered me the contract for my novella, What’s in a Name?

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do to get past it?

Pat: Rarely do I suffer from writer’s block. (Have you read David Markson’s Reader’s Block, by the way? Brilliant book. But then I think Markson himself is brilliant.) Writing is like everything else in life. It’s not going to get done if you don’t do it. So sitting down and writing just anything is my cure for the writer’s blahs (uh, block).

I was asked this recently and would love to find out your take on it… If your writing was translated, which would be your preference: TV, movie, play, or Broadway?

Pat: What’s in a Name? would be a cute made-for-TV movie, I think. Honestly, I can’t imagine anyone picking it up for TV, though.

Does your family know what you write, and if so, how did they react when you first told them what and how explicit your writing would be?

Pat: Yes, my family’s been very supportive. My husband is my harshest editor, and our younger daughter is my eager reader and fan. Beck is the daughter who went to the RT convention in New Orleans with me and was more excited than I was to be there and to talk with all the gay romance authors. She’s enraptured with J. P. Barnaby and can’t read enough written by her.

LOL. Sounds like she’s a ton of fun :) Have you ever met someone in real life, or a stranger, that you turned into a MC?

Pat: I taught English composition at a community college for decades, and many of my students were gay men who wrote essays about being gay and their lives as gay men. I’ve put bits and pieces of Curtis and Dennis and Hei and others in my main characters mixed with traits from other men. But so far I’ve never created a character who is totally one of the men I know.

Who is your favorite author and why?

Pat: I can’t answer this question because it depends on the genre and my recent reads. I have way too many “favorite” authors that span centuries and continents and genres and languages.

Boxers, briefs, commando? What’s your favorite way to “dress” your man?

Pat: My men stayed clothed pretty much all the time in my books. Funny story about men’s underwear? I once watched a student de-pants himself in his effort to turn in his essay. His foot caught on the hem of his baggy jeans which pulled down the jeans and the boxers. In front of the entire class. For some reason, he didn’t come back the next class period and dropped the class.

Sad in a way. Hope he kept writing.
We already know you love to write/read in different genres, but why do you feel you share your voice best when writing amongst the different genres?

Pat: I’m happy writing both contemporary gay romance and vampire fantasy. In the gay romances I’m trying to get a handle on how men view love, and in the fantasy, I’m struggling with the concept of god and immortality. One series is a little lighter than the other.

And just because I love to tease 😉 what are you working on now, and what is coming up from you next?

Pat: Dreamspinner has contracted for the sequel to What’s in a Name? which is entitled, Redesigning Max. Max features Fredi Zimmer, the out-and-proud architect/interior designer, in the first book as he falls for a rugged outdoorsman. I’m also in the process of writing the third book in the series, The Behr Facts, about the Behr Construction Company CEO who cameoed in What’s in a Name?

As for The Vampire’s Food Chain, I’m currently writing the sequel, Devil’s Food, in which the gods tell the vampire heroine she must visit hell and make a difference there. Hell, as it turns out, isn’t so easy to find. I’ve also plotted out the third book, Angel’s Food, in which the vampire must decide if she wants to be a god or not. All fun stuff.

All of those sound so interesting (and I have a thing for vamps, lol…. sooo….)
On that wonderful note, I thought I’d share a little from What’s In A Name? So sit back, relax, grab a drink, and enjoy!

What’s In A Name?

M/M Contemporary Romance
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: January 21, 2015
Length: Novella / 90 pages

Barista Jimmy Patterson thinks it’s a good idea to get rip-roaring drunk on his birthday after he’s dumped by his boyfriend. When the burly owner of Stonewall’s Saloon rescues Jimmy, the night starts to look up.

Now Jimmy just wants to know the bartender’s first name since he’s worn a different name tag every time Jimmy’s seen him. “Guy” Stone gives Jimmy seven guesses, one for each night he takes Jimmy out on a date.

While Jimmy’s trying to come up with his name, he’s distracted by the destruction of his coffee shop and what looks more and more like a hate crime.

Dreamspinner

“Okay. How’s this for a deal?” He put down his knife and fork and leaned into the table, stabbing me with his eyes. “I’ll give you a week to guess my name. Seven chances. Every day you can ask a few questions, then come up with what you think my name is. If you’re right, I’ll buy the best bike for you and teach you how to ride it.”

“And if I’m wrong?”

“You owe me a kiss.” He leaned back in satisfaction.

“A kiss? One measly kiss?”

“Oh, I don’t want the measly ones. I mean a real, God of Love kiss. Something to set my ass back a couple a notches.”

Now I really laughed. Right. Me, giving him a humdinger of a kiss? Right. Who were we kidding? Oh, well. Didn’t matter because I was going to accept his challenge.

 

Day two of the bet dawned bright and cheery. Guy was still asleep when I wriggled out of his hug and stumbled to the bathroom.

I was awake and raring to go. I had to check in with Felicity, who, I hoped, had figured out where I’d spent the night. I had to give her Guy’s phone number as backup in case she needed to find me and I’d left my phone in another room.

I also had to check in with the Realtor and find out if there was a counteroffer on the new place and if I could tell Brian, our banker, that it was a go.

While I was thinking about my upcoming day, I was fiddling with Guy’s outdated coffeemaker. It had been state of the art once, but now was nothing but a piece of junk. I added buying Guy a new coffeemaker to my list of chores for the day. If nothing else, I could get him something that would start coffee automatically in the morning.

I also grimaced at the coffee choices in his cupboard, not to mention the lack of food there. Opening the fridge, I realized he was a few days late in making a store run.

Well, at least in a little way, I could return some of the favors he’d done for me. The gigantic supermarket in the mall was open, so I grabbed a pen and paper, wrote him a note saying I’d be back, got dressed, and made the trip to and from the store in under an hour.

Guy was sitting at the kitchen table, horrific coffee in hand.

“Hey, you don’t have to shop for me,” he said as he got up and took one of the bags.

“No problem. There are a few more in the car if you want to help. I’ll put stuff away,” I answered.

He slipped on a pair of ratty loafers and started bringing in the food.

“I got you some French roast from Penny’s, and eggs and hickory smoked bacon from the grocery store,” I said as he piled the bags into the spaces I’d left as I emptied them. “So I thought an omelet, biscuits, and bacon this morning with decent coffee. Okay?”

I felt him behind me before he put his arms around my chest, his erection snuggled into my butt crack.

“Babe, you don’t have to do this, you know,” he whispered, then kissed my neck.

I turned and hugged him.

“I know. But I’m doing it for me, not for you.”

His eyebrows went up quizzically. “For you?”

“Yeah. I like how you look right now, and I’d be really sad if you lost weight or got deathly thin.”

He started laughing.

“How long do you figure I’ve got?” he managed to ask.

I shook my head, gazing down at his buff body.

“Wow. I don’t know. A couple of hours? A day at most?” I deadpanned. “I’d really hate to have to watch you shrivel up and all. So I’m going to fix you breakfast.”

He stood chuckling as I got the eggs out so they’d be closer to room temperature before I cooked them. Then I quickly measured ingredients and mixed up the biscuits.

“You want to do something, you can find me a cookie sheet,” I said.

“Say what?” he barked. “I don’t make cookies.”

“Ah, now I see part of the problem with your bad attitude.”

“I don’t have a bad attitude,” he growled.

Laughing I found a large skillet in among his pots and pans, sprayed it down with nonstick, added the biscuit rounds, and left them on the counter until the oven warmed up enough to bake them. Then I used the grater I’d stumbled across in a drawer to get the cheese ready for the omelet.

With everything prepped, I started cooking and baking.

Guy backed off when I wouldn’t let him snag a piece of bacon and sternly told him to wait for the feast.

“Go set the table,” I barked at him.

“Yes, sir.” He saluted.

I grinned at being able to control him. Power is seductive, at least in the morning when I’m trying to fix breakfast for someone. Who would have guessed I liked to order around bears? Or at least this particular bear?

When everything was ready and on the table, including better coffee than I’d originally found in his cupboards, Guy looked stunned.

“Huh,” he said in awe. “Nobody ever made me a breakfast like this.”

Now that was plain old sad. How’d he grown up with no morning breakfasts?

“Your mom never fixed breakfast?” I tried to keep my voice neutral, but even I could hear how appalled I sounded.

“Naw. My mom died a week after I was born. I was too big a baby for her,” he said, helping himself to a pile of biscuits and slathering them with butter. “My dad died not too long afterward, and my grandpa raised me and my older brother. We grew up in the bar.”

His life had been even worse than sad. Two young boys growing up in a bar, being parented by an older man.

“Yeah, mostly Grandpa liked to drink and bullshit with his friends, so when we got old enough to fend for ourselves, we did. My brother, who everyone called Little Man, pretty much raised me until he left for the Army in his senior year in high school.” One, then two biscuits disappeared, followed by about half of the omelet.

I played with my biscuit and dragged a fork through my corner of the omelet. I felt like crying. No wonder Guy was such a hardass with the bar patrons. I was surprised he’d been so nice to me. He deserved better than he’d gotten so far.

Rather than make him go over old ground, even though I wanted to know more, I backed off, since we both needed to get to work.

“So where you wanna go tonight?” Guy asked. “I’m gonna try to take off since I didn’t get to last night.”

“Why don’t you meet me at Penny’s when you get off?” I countered. “Whatever you want to do is fine with me.”

“Sounds good. Now get out of the way, so I can clean up here.” He stood and turned with his plate in his hands.

I swiped the plate and glared at him.

“Not gonna happen, Big Guy,” I said, testing out a twink growl. “This was my way of saying thank you for being there for me. So I’m cooking and cleaning. Go get ready for work.”

We had a momentary standoff until he started to grin, then laugh.

“Okay, okay, whatever. I don’t like cleaning up anyway,” he laughed. “You should see yourself,” he added. “You really look fierce when you want to.”

“Don’t you forget it,” I said, putting the plate in the sink. Cleanup wasn’t such a big deal. Guy had a dishwasher and a disposal unit. Swipe a couple of dishes, some flatware, rinse a few cups and glasses. I clean as I cook, something I’d learned as a barista, so I mean, we’re not talking heavy lifting here. I did more work at Penny’s when we first opened and I was out front. Old habits die hard.

Born in the Heartland of Nebraska, Pat Henshaw has made America hers by living in Texas, Colorado, Northern Virginia, and Northern California. She has found joy in visiting Mexico, Canada, Europe, Nicaragua, Thailand, and Egypt, and relishes trips to Rome, Italy, and Eugene, Oregon, to see family.

Pat has spent her life surrounded by words: Teaching English composition at the junior college level; writing book reviews for newspapers, magazines, and websites; helping students find information as a librarian; and promoting PBS television programs.

Two of her fondest memories are touching time when she put her hands on the pyramids and experiencing pure whimsy when she interviewed Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch). Her triumphs are raising two incredible daughters who daily amaze her with their power and compassion. Her supportive husband keeps her grounded in reality when she threatens to drift away writing fiction.

Find & Follow Pat Online:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pat.henshaw.10
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6998437.Patois
Book website: http://whatsinanamenovella.blogspot.com
Website: http://patbooked.blogspot.com
E-mail: whatsinanamenovella@comcast.net
Tumblr: http://phenshaw.tumblr.com/

 

Apr 08

#Interview with #GuestAuthor Joe Cosentino

Interview with Guest Author
Joe Cosentino
Writer. Actor. Professor.


Thank you for stopping over to visit, Joe. I loved hanging out with you when Wt. interviewed us on WON Radio! In case my lovely readers don’t know who are, I thought I’d do a little sit-down visit with you and help us all get to know you a little better.

What makes your stories different from other authors out there?

Joe: Since I was an actor and playwright, my stories are theatrical, humorous, dramatic, romantic, and often contain mystery, suspense, and surprise. After reading my stories, most readers and reviewers comment on how they laughed, felt romantic, cried, and were totally surprised by something in the story. I love that!

When did you first consider yourself an author?

Joe: As a playwright it was after my first play was produced in New York City. As a novelist it was when I saw my books on Amazon—with lots of positive response from readers who I didn’t know.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do to get past it?

Joe: Never! It’s the total opposite for me. I have so many stories in my head that it is a challenge for me to decide which one to write next.

LOL 😉 I know you were in movies and in theater productions, but what made you want to write stories instead of acting them out?

Joe: It’s all connected for me. Storytelling is storytelling whether you are acting, writing, directing, singing, dancing, or drawing. If you go to You Tube, you can see MY MOTHER WAS NEVER A KID, an old ABC-TV I did (I’m in the last third of the movie) and a more recent humorous short play, JULIE (I also wrote that as well). After acting on stage, screen, and television opposite people like Rosie O’Donnell (AT&T Industrial), Nathan Lane (ROAR OF THE GREASEPAINT in dinner theatre), Jason Robards (Commercial Credit computer commercial), Bruce Willis (A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM in regional theatre), Holland Taylor (MY MOTHER WAS NEVER A KID ABC-TV movie), and acting Off-Broadway, in many television commercials, and on NBC’s ANOTHER WORLD, the acting work started to dry up. So I moved on to playwriting and directing, and now writing novels. I hope to come full circle one day by acting in the film versions of my novels. I want to play Mr. Ringwood (the high school principal) in AN INFATUATION, Simon Huckby (Jana’s agent) in PAPER DOLL (Jana Lane mystery book 1), and Martin Anderson (the department head) in DRAMA QUEEN (Nicky and Noah mystery book 1). So come on film producers. Make me an offer!

Does your family know what you write, and if so, how did they react when you first told them what and how explicit your writing would be?

Joe: As a teenager, when I told my mother I wanted to be an actor (unlike my cousins who are lawyers), she said, “Take this knife and stick it through my heart.” Eventually my parents became accustomed to the idea and supported me. When my mother heard I was writing books, she said, “Don’t you have anything better to do than write novels?” I wonder if Shakespeare’s mother said that. Anyway, my parents, now ninety years old, are accustomed to it and enjoy my novels. They keep asking me, “How do you think up all those amazing stories?” Since I don’t write erotic fiction, they haven’t complained about the heat level of my stories.

Have you ever met someone in real life, or a stranger, that you turned into a MC?

Joe: Constantly, but not directly. I combine people or change someone’s race or gender. The most fun is changing their sexual orientation. While the situation is fictitious, Harold in AN INFATUATION is based on me. I really admire Harold’s resilience, honesty, intelligence, wit, and ability to keep going in trying situations. His heart may be broken, but his spirit always stays intact. Harold’s devotion to his spouse, Stuart, is admirable, as is his honesty about his teenage infatuation with Mario. I love that the story spans twenty years, so we see Harold (and Mario) develop and mature. Harold’s spouse, Stuart, is based on my spouse who is totally organized and a real list maker, but also sweet, creative, and caring. He creates an itinerary for our trips in ten minute time blocks! Mario is based on a few handsome, muscular, and a bit self-absorbed guys I knew as an actor.

Who is your favorite author and why?

Joe: Armistead Maupin, due to his amazing wit, surprise story twists, and engaging characters. I’ve read all nine TALES OF THE CITY books.

Oh, some great stories / authors! So… boxers, briefs, commando? What’s your favorite way to “dress” your man?

Joe: I always go for comfort and freedom, so boxers are great.

Do you as an author concentrate on one genre? Or do you feel like you should try to find your voice amongst the genres?

Joe: Often people question whether I’ve really written all my books (a la Shakespeare) since each one is so different. Believe me, I’ve written them all. AN INFATUATION is a Bittersweet Dreams MM romance novel with endearing characters. The Jana Lane mystery series (PAPER DOLL out now with PORCELAN DOLL and SATAN DOLL following) is an MF mystery/romance series about an ex-child star solving a mystery of her past and present with the help of her gay best friend and gay agent. The story is plotted with clues and secrets that are all revealed in the shocking ending. The Nicky and Noah comedy mystery series (DRAMA QUEEN releasing this summer with DRAMA MUSCLE and DRAMA CRUISE following) is a laugh out loud, wild and crazy, MM mystery/romance series set in the theatre department of a college. As a college professor I can relate, though thankfully there have been no murders at my college. However, I kid my colleagues that if any of them annoy me, I may murder them in one of my novels. Hah!

And just because I love to tease 😉 what are you working on now, and what is coming up from you next?

Joe: I just finished A SHOOTING STAR (a new MM Bittersweet Dreams contemporary romance novella), PORCELAN DOLL (the second Jana Lane mystery), and DRAMA MUSCLE and DRAMA CRUISE (the second and third Nicky and Noah mysteries). Up next is SATAN DOLL (the third Jana Lane mystery). Reader response has been incredible to all of my novels with reviewers and readers telling me these novels have changed their lives, and begging me to keep writing. Those words are magic to my ears, and inspiration to my brain and computer keyboard.

How do you imagine the ideal reader of your book?

Joe: My ideal reader is a lover of a good story, someone who craves being swept away and becoming part of the novel. My reader enjoys humor, and being taken on a roller coaster ride. Finally, my reader relishes in captivating characters and earth-shattering romance, as she/he willingly enters the portal of my book. That’s why I love hearing from my readers! http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com.

Here are the blurbs and excerpts from my two current offerings.

An Infatuation

M/M Contemporary Bittersweet Dreams
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Christy Caughie
Release Date: February 4, 2015
Length: 103 pages / Novella

With his ten-year high school reunion approaching, Harold wonders whether Mario will be as muscular, sexy, and tantalizing as he remembers. As a teenager, it was love at first sight for Harold while tutoring football star Mario, until homophobia and bullying drove Mario deep into the closet. Now they’re both married men. Mario, a model, is miserable with his producer wife, while Harold, a teacher, is perfectly content with his businessman husband, Stuart. When the two meet again, will the old flame reignite, setting Harold’s comfortable life ablaze? How can Harold be happy with Stuart when he is still infatuated with his Adonis, his first love, Mario? Harold faces this seemingly impossible situation with inimitable wit, tenderness, and humor as he attempts to reconcile the past and the future.

Dreamspinner
Amazon

One Friday afternoon I accidentally ran into my hero in the boy’s locker room. I’d had enough of the big guys banging me into gym lockers, pushing me into cold showers, and hanging me from the gym ropes. So I was on my way to give Mr. Adoni a note from Dr. Dlorah excusing me from gym class for the remainder of the school year (due to my highly contagious disease being studied by my doctor in Guatemala, where he could not be reached for the next year).

The locker room smelled of an odd combination of soap, cologne, sweat, and desire. Mario was getting ready for football practice, standing at his gym locker without a combination lock on it. Nobody would dare to break into it (Except for me that one time I smelled his jock strap. Okay maybe it was a few times, but not more than ten.). Mario slid his T-shirt (red today) over his thick, black hair and threw it on the nearby bench. No longer harnessed by cotton, his arm, back, chest, and neck muscles swelled to full size. I was half hidden behind the adjoining row of lockers, wearing my usual green and blue flannel shirt and brown corduroy pants. Mario, who wasn’t looking in my direction, said something really beautiful to me that I will never forget. “Hi.”

“Did you just? Oh. Hi. Hello. Good afternoon. Nice to see you. I mean, change with you.” I looked down at the floor (but cheated a bit) as Mario kicked off his boots, slipped off his jeans then threw them in the lucky locker. His red underpants (briefs) revealed ample manhood. This is better than the newspaper’s underwear ads!

“Good gym class today with Mr. Adonis, I mean, Mr. Adoni.” Did I just say that? “Harold High.”

“Hi.”

“High.” How can I get my pulse down to 260?

“Hi.” Mario reached into his locker for his sweat clothes.

Shouldn’t people be doing that for you? “Oh, my last name is High. Like a kite.” How can I stop my arms from waving like an airport flagger on speed?

“Mario Ginetti. Like nothin’ else imaginable.” Mario smiled, revealing a row of perfectly white teeth, and held the sweat clothes in his hands as if he was mortal.

“I know. I watch your body play.” Why can’t I stop talking? “I mean, I watch you play … football … on the field … in your football outfit.” I feel like Michelangelo with his David!

As Mario put on his sweats, I continued to sweat.

“I’m voting for your body … I mean I’m voting for you for president of your … our … the student body.” I need my jaw wired shut. “I’m your lab partner in Chemistry class. Ms. Hungry’s class … I mean Ms. Hunsley’s class.”

His olive-colored face glistened as Mario’s face registered recognition—of me! “I thought I knew you from somewheres. Hey, thanks for doing the lab reports.”

“It’s my honor … I mean my pleasure. It’s fine. If you need help putting up posters for your campaign, I can … ”

Having just tied the laces of his sneakers, Mario stood absolutely still. He looked at me as if he was staring into my heart and somehow knew what I was feeling. “I gotta take a wicked piss.”

Can I watch?

“Thanks for helping me out, Buddy.” He slammed the locker door and left.

He called me, Buddy! My heart was as soft and silly as putty that Mario held in the palm of his hand like his soap on a rope.

Paper Doll
Jana Lane mystery 1

M/F Hollywood Mystery Romance
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Cover Artist: Christy Caughie
Release Date: March 5, 2015
Length: 103 pages / Novella

Jana Lane was America’s most famous child star until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Now a thirty-eight-year-old beauty and mother of two living in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York, Jana’s flashbacks from her past turn into murder attempts in her present. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana visits the California movie studio she once called home. This sends her on a whirlwind of visits with former and current movie studio personnel. It also leads to a romance with the son of her old producer—Rocco Cavoto—the devilishly handsome filmmaker who is planning Jana’s comeback both professionally and personally. With Rocco’s help, Jana uncovers a web of secrets about everyone she loves, including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future.

Whiskey Creek Press
Amazon

No longer postponing the inevitable, she rested back on the tree stump. As Jana peered out at a tree with a yellow ribbon tied around it, she thought of how her life had been held hostage during the past twenty years. With eyes sealed tightly shut she blurted out, “They’re like flashbacks. I see myself at the studio on the set of my last film—on the final day of shooting.” She moistened her lips. “We’re outside in Lot C. After my father, playing the town sheriff, makes me an assistant sheriff, I strike my last pose on my horse, Ginger. She bucks underneath me, but I control her until Mr. LeClerc, the director yells, ‘Cut!’ Hank, the trainer, helps me off my horse. A few speeches are made. My agent, my sister, Mr. Cavoto—the studio head, and his son are there. Everyone applauds. As usual—”

“—you walk inside to your dressing room with your agent.”

She opened her eyes. “How did you know that?”

He bit at a blade of grass. “I just assumed.”

“You really are good at this.”

Another satisfied nod from Jackson led her eyelids to close again.

“My agent, Simon, waves at someone who passes us in the hallway. Then a flash hurts my eyes. I think it’s a photographer. Simon approaches him, scolds him I think then leaves me alone…and this part of the dream occurs over and over again…”

“Tell me.”

After a shaky breath, she said, “A masked figure in black appears in front of my dressing room door. I’m forced into a dark corridor…pushed down onto the floor…we struggle. His touch is angry but somehow…familiar. I try to scream…but…nothing.” She opened her eyes.

“Then what?”

“Then Jana Lane—the girl who swam the rapids, climbed Mt. Everest, parachuted from a plane to save the world from mad scientists in her movies—wept uncontrollably in a psychiatric hospital for nearly a year while the masked man got off free.”

“How do we know it was a man?”

She replayed her nightmare and came to a realization. “I guess we don’t.” Her eyes suddenly swam in tears. “Jackson, the years since I left Hollywood, I’ve been hiding. Housewife, mother, community fundraiser—they’re shields, so I don’t have to face an assault and breakdown from when I was eighteen years old…or face something worse.” She wiped her face with the back of her hand. “Maybe I should see a shrink again.”

Jackson diagnosed in his best German accent. “You don’t need a shrink. You have me.”

“I wish I had Brian, too.” She knew Jackson would understand.

Jackson helped her to her feet, and laid a pansy in the palm of her hand. “Brian will come around.”

“So will the F.D.R. Benefit,” she said, happy to change the subject. After a nervous glance at her watch, she added, “Let’s get to work.”

* * * *

The room was cold and full of ominous shadows. As the viewer waited in anticipation, the most famous child star in history filled the screen nearby.

Jana Lane, at eighteen in Sugar and Spice, was dressed in a canary and brown leather cowgirl suit and matching boots. With determination beaming from her face, she pushed a kidnapper off a cliff and lifted her little friend, Timmy, onto her horse. After she sped Timmy down the mountain to safety, her father—the sheriff—kissed her on the cheek and proudly presented her with an assistant sheriff’s badge. Jana remounted her horse, Ginger, and waved her cowgirl hat triumphantly as Ginger stood up tall on hind legs.

As Jana’s celluloid face filled the room, restless fingers lifted a glass of liquid and sent it crashing into orange droplets against the screen.

Eerie laughter transformed into a hushed voice. “It’s time to play again, Jana. The first time was sweet, but the second time will be so much sweeter!”

.

Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll, the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press-releasing this summer), and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are Porcelain Doll (the second Jana Lane mystery) and Drama Muscle (the second Nicky and Noah mystery). 

Find & Follow Joe Online:

Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KRPXJP6

 

Apr 06

#Interview with Michele Fogal, #Author of "King of Rain"

Interview with Guest Author

Michele Fogal
stories and words to devour


Thank you for stopping over to visit, Michele. In case my lovely readers don’t know who are—though I’m certain they all do… right guys?—I thought I’d do a little sit-down visit with you and help us all get to know you a little better.

What makes your stories different from other authors out there?

Michele: There are lots of authors I consider mentors and influences but I do believe each writer offers a unique perspective. What I’m going for in my work is an exploration of the HOW of intimacy. How do people get close to each other? How do barriers form between people and how do we break them down? I don’t usually ‘fade to black’ in the bedroom, because I think there are often key moments there that map out how intimacy works. In short, I think my work offers a tangible, physical experience inside the head, and body of another person as they become drawn to someone, and get challenged to be more authentically themselves. Heh, that’s what I’m striving for anyway! :)

When did you first consider yourself an author?

Michele: It was long before my first publication, which I think is important. I saw this great speech by JK Rowling about her struggle to become an author and I could suddenly picture her, a single mother, very poor, and writing like crazy. I pictured her mapping out the rules for Quidditch and having her kids wake up and cry and thinking to herself, “What the hell am I doing? Who cares about any of this nonsense?” You know she must have had moments like that at some point, and with this outside objective perspective, I could clearly see that she was an author long before she published anything. Using her as my personal Champion really helped me with feeling like I had any dibs on a daunting title like ‘Author.’ You can see her speech and more about this here, if it’s of interest. http://michelefogal.com/jk-rowling-champion-failure/

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do to get past it?

Michele: I suffered from writer’s block for 10 years actually. It was horrid. I don’t recommend it. One key thing, was to recognize that my ‘critical voice’ (you know that little shite that whispers how pointless writing is and how bad you are at it) was the main problem. I deconstructed how this critic was sabotaging me and why, and then painstakingly restructured my creative process to compensate. I’m creating an e-course about it actually. Inquiries or comments on that are welcome on my blog here: http://michelefogal.com/category/writing-process/ 

I was asked this recently and would love to find out your take on it… If your writing was translated, which would be your preference: TV, movie, play, or Broadway?

Michele: Great question! I’d have to say none at the moment, oddly enough. I have a lot of explicit scenes in my ‘delving into intimacy’ work, and I really like that the reader and the characters have the written word to connect them. Whenever you put actors into a sexually explicit picture, it opens this tiny space for worry. Are those actors ok with it? Do they feel pressured to accommodate the demands of the story or the director? This tiny window feels like it distances me from the story. With written words, we readers get the immediate experience of being inside a character’s experience without having to worry about another person acting as interface.

Having met you both and seen you in your tuxes (both men are totally yum) I can just picture that!
Does your family know what you write, and if so, how did they react when you first told them what and how explicit your writing would be?

Michele: Well, I am wondering what’s going to happen should any of my older family members read my books, especially this one, “King of Rain,” because it is very explicit and gritty on top of that. *Shrug* We’ll see what they have to say or if there are any of those lovely awkward silences! With some friends, they go like this, “I read your book.” Me, “Oh, great!” Awkward silence. Them, “It was… uhh, interesting.” That said, I’m very open about what I’m doing and my family has been curious and supportive. It’s sparked lots of interesting conversations.

Have you ever met someone in real life, or a stranger, that you turned into a MC?

Michele: Main Character? No, characters don’t work that way for me. They are more like collages of people. For example, Jer has the fierce strength and irreverence of my grandmother, but I couldn’t expect her to see that amidst all the other differences between them, even if she was still alive. Now that she’s on the other side, she’s probably nodding in satisfaction! 😀 I’d hate for someone I know to think that a character of mine was based on them, because, of course, no character could ever be vast enough to honour a real person. People are like universes – infinitely complex. We have to cut out so much to fit stories on pages.

Who is your favorite author and why?

Michele: Ack! So many! I’ve got a list on my Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8508392.Michele_Fogal but at the moment, I’m always looking forward to Amy Lane’s books. She handles intimacy in a way that I find really moving.

Boxers, briefs, commando? What’s your favorite way to “dress” your man?

Michele: what are those boxers called that are made out of t-shirty material but have legs? Yeah, those!

LOL! Those are boxer-briefs and yes, very yum! Do you as an author concentrate on one genre? Or do you feel as though you should try to find your voice amongst the many and various genres?

Michele: I actually started out my writing career in poetry which is hilarious because I hate most poems. Then I did my degree in Creative Writing and tried out a lot of forms. I had a nagging yearning to write a novel and then when my 2nd child was gestating, he kicked my butt to get started. Not sure why he thought that was a good time, but ever since, I’ve been writing only novels. They started out as SF, but the romance element was too strong for standard SF guidelines and I had to stop and realize that I was really a love story writer at heart.

And just because I love to tease 😉 what are you working on now, and what is coming up from you next?

Michele: I’ve gotten caught up in a whirlwind of editing and now blog touring and sadly, have been neglecting the window inside my brain. Soon, I’ll sit back down at that window and see who’s demanding my attention the loudest. It could be my “up north” stories, or maybe the city novella I want to write, or maybe the SF series or the Steampunk series. There are lots of stories flashing by so it gets tricky to pick which one to work on next. That said, 95% of them are Male/Male, all of them are love stories and I hope to keep writing them until I die.

Thanks so much for having me Tempeste! Readers, here’s where to find out more about King of Rain http://michelefogal.com/tag/king-of-rain/ I’d love to hear from you if you want to reach out, or follow the rest of the blog tour. http://michelefogal.com/king-of-rain-updated-blog-tour-dates/

On that wonderful note, I thought I’d share a little about King of Rain and King of Snowflakes!

King of Rain

M/M New Adult BDSM Romance
Series: West Coast Boys, Book 2
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: March 13, 2015
Length: Novel / 200 pages

Being uber-tall and broad made it easy for Logan to hide his sexuality and vulnerability behind armor made of strength, ambition, and emotional detachment. His mask of macho success is shattered when he discovers the friend he’s carried a secret torch for has a boyfriend, and everything he’s always wanted now belongs to someone else. Logan can’t pretend not to care anymore, as his rage erupts in a horrible act of revenge. It’s impossible to hide his demons, now that they’ve broken loose.

Since losing his sweet boyfriend, Jeremy’s loud and proud life of sex parties and clubbing feels empty. When he meets the dark and self-destructive Logan, Jeremy recognizes the demons he sees in Logan’s eyes. After all, he has plenty of his own.

Logan isn’t looking for love, he’s looking for punishment and release, but with Jeremy all three seem momentarily possible… until he learns his victim was Jeremy’s lost love. Logan doesn’t expect forgiveness and knows he doesn’t deserve a real life, but after a taste of intimate closeness, finding salvation alone will mean he has to change, or die trying.

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KING OF SNOWFLAKES

Genre: M/M New Adult Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Series: West Coast Boys, Book 1
Release Date: September 26, 2014

Grade twelve is flying by like a pride parade of gay freedom and love until Skyler finds his gorgeous downtown boyfriend cheating on him over Christmas break. The breakup leaves him raw and not up to ignoring the usual gay taunts from soccer star Ryan and his teammates.

When Skyler loses it, he’s surprised to find a straight jock like Ryan knows what it’s like to have your heart broken and what it’s like not to belong. Behind his cocky smile, Ryan is feeling hopeless about his grades, his chances of getting into university, and his lack of real friends.

When Ryan invites him on a family ski trip, Skyler thinks escaping the city will let him lick his very private wounds in peace. He doesn’t count on Ryan’s warmth and affection amid the grandiose snow-covered mountains with their wonderland white trees, or the magical way Ryan’s silky hair fills with perfect six-point snowflakes. He certainly doesn’t expect Ryan to have secrets of his own that could burn them both–or lead to Skyler’s first truly loving relationship.

Warning: this book contains sexual intimacy and is intended for an adult audience

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Michele Fogal is a Love Story Novelist, in both SF & M/M Romance, a mother, a story addict, an endless student and a drooling xenophile. She is the author of the West Coast Boys series, published by Dreamspinner Press.

Find & Follow Michele Online:

Author Site & Blog: www.michelefogal.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/michelefogal

The Books I Love & My Reviews on GoodReads http://www.goodreads.com/michelefogal

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/MicheleFogalAuthor

 

Apr 06

Day and Knight by Dirk Greyson Cover Reveal

Title: Day and Knight
Author: Dirk Greyson
Series: Day and Knight (Book 1)
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Adventure
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 4 2015
Edition/Formats: eBook & Print
Blurb/Synopsis:
As former NSA, Dayton (Day) Ingram has national security
chops and now works as a technical analyst for Scorpion. He longs for field
work, and scuttling an attack gives his chance. He’s smart, multilingual, and a
technological wizard. But his opportunity comes with a hitch—a partner,
Knighton (Knight), who is a real mystery. Despite countless hours of research,
Day can find nothing on the agent, including his first name!
Former Marine Knight crawled into a bottle after losing his
family. After drying out, he’s offered one last chance: along with Day, stop a
terrorist threat from the Yucatan. To get there without drawing suspicion, Day
and Knight board a gay cruise, where the deeply closeted Day and equally
closeted Knight must pose as a couple. Tensions run high as Knight communicates
very little and Day bristles at Knight’s heavy-handed need for control.
But after drinking too much, Day and Knight wake up in bed.
Together. As they near their destination, they must learn to trust and rely on
each other to infiltrate the terrorist camp and neutralize the plot aimed at
the US’s technological infrastructure, if they hope to have a life after the
mission.  One that might include each
other.
Dirk is very much an outside kind of man.  He loves travel and seeing new things.  Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades.  He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job.  But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built.  Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends.  
Places to contact Dirk 

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