Time for Remembrance – Memorial Weekend. This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Time for Remembrance – Memorial Weekend

With the sound of Roaring Thunder still echoing in my ears as they passed by on their way to the District,  it’s time to remember and honor those that have given their lives for their country and freedom, protecting those here and around the world.  Those fallen on the field of Flanders, Khe Sanh,  Gettysburg or Helmand Province, you will always be remembered.

Literature, whether novels or poetry,  is a powerful tool to keep memories alive, evoke the emotions, the pain, the hopes and fears, the bravery behind those that go off to war, no matter the year or war, controversy or no.  Siegfried Sassoon or Walt Whitman, John McCrae’s Field of Flanders (seen above) to all the anonymous poems and letters left at the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial in Washington, DC (gathered up daily by volunteers to be stored and/or displayed at the museum).  I’ve included one such poem here as well.  They touch at the heart, the mind, the soul.  They make us remember.    It’s Memorial Weekend.  Do you have a favorite poem you could share?

Remembrance Day Poems To Remember The Fallen | HuffPost UK

Posted on The Wall Site for Cpl Brent R Jones. 


The Stranger

One lovely summer day
As I was walking through the grass
Reflecting on the very fondest
Memories of my past

I past an unfamiliar place
And stopped a while to see
Completely unsuspecting
Of the change this place would bring

I stood before a wall of names
Two hundred and fifty-one
Engraved upon a monument
That pierced the shining sun

And though, to all these names
I was a stranger passing by
I looked upon these names
And there was one that caught my eye

It may have been a moment
Or an hour, or a year
I walked up to the name
And leaned in close so I could hear

I closed my eyes and listened
To the pure and priceless truth
And came to understand the love
Of which, this wall is proof

It’s said that he who bears
The very greatest love of all
Will sacrifice his life
Before He’ll see a dear friend fall

Though people often wonder
Whether such a man is real
I see him now
Through these engraven letters that I feel

He’s sitting with his brother
telling stories as they laugh
Of the greatest game’s he’ll ever pitch
Of the biggest fish he’ll catch

He’s standing by his colors
On a hillside far away
He’s diving through the amber fire
While others run away

I search through all my memories
Of the noble and the grand
The courage and the truth
That I’ve been taught to understand

Of all the stories that are told
This shall be told of you
Dear Soldier, How you gave your life
For those you never knew.

This poem was written by Callie Crofts, Firth High School class of 2004.
Sunday, March 27, 2005

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, May 28:

  • Release Blitz for  Nell Iris’s Find His Way Home
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts ad Rogue Words
  • Time for Remembrance – Memorial Weekend

Monday May 29

  • Release Day Blitz and Giveaway for Performance Review by Tamryn Eradani
  • DSP Publications GUEST POST Bradley Lloyd on Shadow Fray (Shadow Fray: Round One)
  • DSP GUEST POST Ari Mckay on Breaking Bonds 
  • A Caryn Review:  Concourse (Five Boroughs #5) by Santino Hassell
  • A MelanieM Review: Law of Love by Bob Masters
  • A VVivacious Review: Lion’s Mate (Hell’s Creek #1) by Shannon West & T.S. McKinney
  • An Alessandro Audiobook Review: Willow Man by John Inman and Austin Rising (Narrator)

Tuesday, May 30:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR &  Giveaway: Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer
  • DSP GUEST POST L.A. Merrill on Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch (States of Love)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Slow Heat by Leta Blake
  • An Ali Review: Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Shadow Fray (Shadow Fray: Round One) by Bradley Lloyd
  • A Stella Review: Back to You by Chris Scully

Wednesday, May 31:

  • Release Day Blitz and Giveaway for Frank at Heart by Pat Henshaw
  • Retro Review Tour – Suki Fleet’s This Is Not A Love Story
  • DSP GUEST POST Z Allora On Writing, Books and Secured and Free
  • A Free Dreamer Review: This Is Not A Love Story by Suki Fleet
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:Frank at Heart (Foothills Pride #6) by Pat Henshaw
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch (States of Love) by L.A. Merrill
  • An Alisa Review: Hybrid (A Darker Hollow #1) by Shannon West & T.S. McKinney

Thursday, June 1:

  • Release Blitz for  The Ties that Bind by S. Davidson
  • DSP GUEST POST : Tara Lain on Return of the Chauffeur’s Son
  • Blog Tour Permanent Jet Lag by A.N. Casey
  • A Lila Review: Whiskey Business (States of Love) by Avon Gale
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: The Mystery of Nevermore (Snow & Winter: Book One) by C.S. Poe
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Breaking Bonds (The Walker Boys 2) by Ari McKay
  • An Alisa Review: Smitten by R.W. Clinger

Friday, June 2:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: Fraud Twice Felt by JT Hall
  • Blog Tour: Return of the Chauffeur’s Son by Tara Lain
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Return of the Chauffeur’s Son by Tara Lain
  • A MelanieM Review: Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians 3) by Meg Amor
  • An Ali Review : False Start (Wilmington Breakers #2) by Sloan Johnson
  • An Alisa Review: To Touch You (Mates #4) by Cardeno C.

Saturday, June 3:

  • Release Blitz His Master by Bink Cummings
  • A MelanieM Review: Seduced by the Tide by Sean Michael

Release Blitz for Nell Iris’s Find His Way Home (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 19,884 words
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb

 

Shakespeare-loving teacher Elliot Dunn has been unhappy living in the big city for a long time. He yearns for fresh air, visible stars, and stillness, but his relationship with divorce lawyer Mick Hudson keeps him from moving away.

When a dramatic event occurs in Elliot’s class, he’s shaken to his core and suddenly can’t stay anymore. He leaves his partner of two years behind and returns to the tiny town in the mountains where he grew up.

Living in a rented cabin in the woods, with only an owl for company, Elliot slowly regains his peace of mind. But being away from Mick is agonizing, and when a ghost from Elliot’s past pays him a visit, everything comes to a head.

Elliot is faced with a hard decision. Should he stay on the stress-free mountainside alone, or return to the hustle of the city and try to make a life with Mick?

Excerpt

He spent the rest of the afternoon pacing his living room with Lady Gaga blasting from the speakers. He heard his phone ring at some point, but ignored it and kept pacing, rubbing his palms on his head, tousling his short hair. The phone rang several more times, but Elliot walked and walked, until the front door flung open and a wild-eyed Mick stood there, glaring at him.

Mick’s gaze roved over him, making sure he was okay, and then he marched over to the stereo and cut off Gaga in the middle of a rah-rah. “What the hell, Elliot?”

The curse stopped Elliot’s pacing, and he stared at his lover with wide eyes. His well-spoken, hot-shot lawyer partner never used profanities. During their time together, Elliot had heard him swear maybe once or twice, and him doing it now knocked the wind out of Elliot’s fury. He groaned, grabbed his lover’s hand, and hauled him over to the couch where he sank down, pulling Mick with him.

“I’m sorry. But I’m angry.”

“I can tell. What happened?”

“I let them buy me, that’s what happened.” Elliot spat out the words.

“What?” The question was so loud Elliot flinched. Mick sighed, stood and shook off his coat, unbuttoned his suit jacket, and kicked off his shoes. Then he sat back down, turned to Elliot, and wrinkled his nose when he saw the state of his hair. “It looks like you’ve tried to pull it out,” he muttered, and ran his fingers through Elliot’s locks, trying in vain to tame it. “Tell me what happened.”

When Elliot had recounted the afternoon’s events, Mick grabbed his hands and drew him closer, and he followed willingly. He ended up straddling Mick’s lap, arms around his neck, and his forehead leaning on his lover’s shoulder.

“I’m so sorry,” Mick mumbled and rubbed his stubble against Elliot’s temple.

“I shouldn’t have taken the money,” Elliot grunted. “I’m so stupid.”

“You’re not stupid. You had no other choice.”

“There’s always another choice.”

“What else could you have done?”

“I could have told them to go fuck themselves,” he gritted out. He took a deep breath, forcing himself to calm down. “Or I could quit.”

It was several minutes before Mick asked, “And do what?”

Elliot held his breath for a moment before whispering, “I could go back home.” Mick stiffened. “I hate it here.”

“I know.” The thickness of Mick’s voice hit Elliot like a freight train, but he didn’t take back his words. He couldn’t.

“I have to go home. At least for a while. I need silence.” He caught his lower lip between his teeth to stop it from quivering. “This was the last drop, you know?”

Mick nodded and tightened his arms around Elliot until they felt like bands of steel surrounding him. “What about us?”

“I don’t know.” He hesitated. “You could come,” he whispered, knowing what the answer would be.

He heard Mick inhale a shuddering breath, and a drop of wetness landed on Elliot’s cheek. “I wish I could.” Mick voice trembled.

“I can’t stay. Even for you, honey.” Elliot was crying now too, big hot tears wetting Mick’s expensive wool suit jacket.

“I know.”

When their tears finally dried, they spent the rest of the night making desperate love, saying nothing, letting their bodies do all the talking.

Two days later Elliot was back home, enjoying the peace and quiet in a freezing cabin in the mountains. Trying to stifle the disillusionment he felt with the world and himself, while hoping he would have time to get over it before it was time to go back to work.

Author Bio

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies room), loves music (and singing along but let’s face it, she’s not Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (Make it so). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a 40-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, where she spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her life long dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angsty, and wants to write diverse and different characters.

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A MelanieM Review: Wallaçonia by David Pratt

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

High school senior Jim Wallace faces the approaching Christmas holidays with a mixture of hope and dread. To escape the pressure, he imagines the woods and marshes around his home to be an independent country, Wallaçonia, where he is accepted and recognized as the “upright and sterling” young man people expect him to be. And he may make it yet: this could be the week he and his girlfriend Liz finally have sex, putting to rest any lingering doubts Jim has about what kind of guy he really is. But then Pat Baxter, a neighbor, asks him to help out in his bookstore during the holiday rush, and Jim starts making new connections – and rediscovering an old one. Will Jim leave the sanctuary of his imaginary Wallaçonia for the real world? And which real world will it be, the one with Liz or the one that beckons from the bookstore?

Wallaçonia by David Pratt is a beautifully written story of one man’s journey to self awareness about his sexuality and adulthood.  As you can imagine,  it’s not an easy journey.  Its fraught with the perils of expectations, the hurdles of high school cliques, hormones and feelings of inadequacies and so much more.

Sometimes I’m amazed anyone makes it out of the high school environment intact, even more a LGBTQIA youth questioning their sexuality.  The stresses and pressures from everyone, from parents to peer groups to society is intense.  It’s through David Pratt’s  character of Jim Wallace that we watch Jim and others around him try to navigate through rough waters to get safely onto the path that will lead out of town to college. Not all will make it.

Jim’s path is strewn with rocks and holes, some of which he digs himself.  Why?  Sigh.  Because he’s young, confused, scared, questioning…check all those boxes and create some more.  Nor are his actions ones that you will like, understand perhaps, but not like.  Fear and confusion can make you do some downright mean things, which Jim himself will later acknowledge.  Every character here, from Jim to Liz, to Pat and  more are layered, real people.  They are recognizable.  And that makes all their actions, relationships and interactions feel not only authentic but able to let us so deeply into their lives that we can hurt for them in their stumbling youth, wishing we could in some ways help make their paths easier even knowing, that’s not possible.

The narrative flows smoothly, I was swept so easily into Jim’s story, caught up in his life and that of those around him, not coming out until the book was done.  It made me think of all the young people it represents, past, present and probably future.  In some things, high school never changes.

Wallaçonia by David Pratt is a complex and gorgeous coming out and coming of age story.  It will stay with you long after you’ve put the book or Kindle down.  It’s one I highly recommend.

Cover art is touching and matches the character and story.

Sales Links:

Beautiful Dreamer Press

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 227 pages
Published March 25th 2017 by Beautiful Dreamer Press
ASINB01N7JFT93

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Josephine Myles’ Junk (Bristol Collection #1)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 87,000 words

Cover: Harper by Design

Blurb

He loves a good book, but he could love a good man more…

When an avalanche of books cuts off access to his living room, university librarian Jasper Richardson has to face up to the truth. His ever-growing heaps of books, magazines and newspaper can’t be classified as a collection any longer. Jasper is a hoarder, and he needs professional help.

Professional clutter clearer and counsellor Lewis Miller thinks he’s seen it all, but even he has to admit he’s shocked. Not so much from the state of Jasper’s house but from the attraction he still feels for the sexy bookworm he went to school with.

However, Lewis’s ethical code forbids relationships with clients, and besides, he’s determined to get over his habit of falling for unsuitable men he hopes to “fix”. But as Jasper continues to make steady progress the magnetic attraction between them is so strong even Lewis has problems convincing himself it’s merely a temporary emotional attachment arising from the therapeutic process.

Jasper is determined to prove to Lewis that this is the real deal. But first he’ll have to explore the root of his hoarding problem—and reveal the dark secret hidden behind his walls of books.

Warning: Contains a level-headed counsellor with a secret addiction, a bespectacled geek with a sweet tooth, a killer “to-be-read” pile, embarrassing parents, a van called Alice, and deliciously British slang.

 

Author Bio 

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo’s novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an incessantly curious toddler.

Website and blog: josephinemyles.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/josephine.myles.author
Twitter: @JosephineMyles

Newsletter: eepurl.com/hrQ4s

Giveaway

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Before You Break (Secrets #1) by KC Wells and Parker Williams

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Buy Links: Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Length: 115,247 words


Cover Design: Reece Dante


Publisher: Dreamspinner Press


Blurb

Six years ago Ellis walked into his first briefing as the newest member of London’s Specialist Firearms unit. He was partnered with Wayne and they became fast friends. When Wayne begins to notice changes—Ellis’s erratic temper, the effects of sleep deprivation—he knows he has to act before Ellis reaches his breaking point. He invites Ellis to the opening of the new BDSM club, Secrets, where Wayne has a membership. His purpose? He wants Ellis to glimpse the lifestyle before Wayne approaches him with a proposition. He wants to take Ellis in hand, to control his life because he wants his friend back, and he figures this is the only way to do it.

There are a few issues, however. Ellis is straight. Stubborn. And sexy. Wayne knows he has to put his own feelings aside to be what Ellis needs. What surprises the hell out of him is finding out what Ellis actually requires.

Author Bio’s

Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….

 

K.C. loves to hear from readers.
E-mail: k.c.wells@btinternet.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KCWellsWorld
Twitter: @K_C_Wells
Website: http://www.kcwellsworld.com

Happily Ever After Comes With A Pricetag. Parker Williams began to write as a teen, but never showed his work to anyone. As he grew older, he drifted away from writing, but his love of the written word moved him to reading. A chance encounter with an author changed the course of his life as she encouraged him to never give up on a dream. With the help of some amazing friends, he rediscovered the joy of writing, thanks to a community of writers who have become his family. Parker firmly believes in love, but is also of the opinion that anything worth having requires work and sacrifice (plus a little hurt and angst, too). The course of love is never a smooth one, and Happily Ever After always has a price tag.

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Mario Kai Lipinski on Writing, Books and his new release ‘Symbols’, out now! (guest post/author interview)

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Symbols by Mario Kai Lipinski
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Available for Purchase at

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Mario Kai Lipinski here today. Welcome, Mario!

✒︎

I’m very happy to be featured on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words and grateful for getting the chance to present my upcoming book ‘Symbols.’

Let me begin with an admission: I really suck at self-adulation, so I won’t even try. Then again, you will find a lot of me in the answers to the interview questions, and that’s what you can also expect to find in ‘Symbols.’

Phew!

We made it through the advertising part, and without any further ado: enjoy the interview.

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How much of yourself goes into a character?

My characters are mostly made up of parts that are not me. In my writing, I live out traits that I don’t have or that I don’t want to have. The people in my stories are athletes, very confident, or party lions. I’m nothing like that. On the other hand, they are bullies, devious, and mean. I’m nothing like that either and give my best to keep it this way.

Yet there are always details of my life and personality shaping my characters. One of my basic beliefs is wonderfully summarized in the Wiccan rede: An it harm none, do what ye will. Most of my main chars share this conviction with me. Another example is strong family bonds. I’m very close to my parents and my sister, and so are most of my characters.

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?

The strongest case against me creating Gary Stu’s in my books is that I don’t want to be any of my characters. At least not in the beginning of the stories. 🙂

There are always parts of me (or anti-parts of me) in the characters, but I strive to balance the good and the bad. Of course, fictional characters exhibit a tendency to be extreme in one way or another. And I think that’s a necessity because most readers would fall asleep after reading three pages of my actual life and thoughts. In my opinion, the tight line doesn’t run between my experiences and a Gary Stu, but between believable and yet edgy characters inspired by me (or by anti-me).

Still I have a confession to make: The Gary-Stuest aspect in my stories is the theme of the outcast getting the handsome guy. That’s actual wishful thinking on my side. But what the heck? It’s fun to write and hopefully as fun to read.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

In ‘real’ life, I’m a mathematician. It doesn’t get more—researchy—than playing around with abstract structures that don’t exist for real.

The way I write is the polar opposite of that: If you don’t know it, wing it and only look up the most basic stuff.

For example, I must admit that my knowledge about the US school and college system mainly stems from books, movies, and series. Strangely enough that’s sufficient to present a halfway plausible story most of the time. And sometimes it fails miserably. So just bear with an ignorant German if a detail is off.

Since I’m not much of a researcher when it comes to stories, I’d never dabble with writing a historic novel where accurate facts are paramount. On the other hand, I enjoy world building in fantasy and sci-fi stories. I have at least three different concepts for faster-than-light travel in my head, and probably even more magical systems floating around there.

To boil this down to a credo: don’t just write what you know, write what you can imagine.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Only partly. In my childhood and teenager years, I mostly read fantasy and sci-fi books. I’m still very fond of the Taran series by Lloyd Alexander and the Dune series by Frank Herbert. When it comes to gay romance, I’m a late starter. My gateway drug was the Last Herald-Mage series by Mercedes Lackey, the first books I bought for my then brand-new kindle. It was a revelation: there were actually books out there with meaningful gay romance plots. A wide selection of contemporary MM books followed.

In fact, I have written a gay sci-fi/romance book (part of MLR’s Storming Love: Meteor Strikes series), and there’s an unfinished gay fantasy story lingering on my hard disk. So, my early reading years had an influence on my writing, but I can’t say they set me on a fixed road.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

I never actually had to stop writing. Some scenes I wrote brought me to tears—e.g., in “Perception” the death of a mama dog was very hard for me to finish, but I just went on putting down words. Though I never had to abandon a scene, I write emotional ones the slowest. It takes me quite a time to formulate the inner thoughts and dialogues, expressing the correct level of feelings. I partly blame not being a native speaker for that. It’s difficult for me to assess whether a given word is appropriate and not too strong or too weak. In addition, I write and edit at the same time. I put down some words, change them, change them again, and go on. This method is the sluggishest way to write, but it’s the only one that truly works for me.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’m an incurable romantic, so I’m a definite sucker for HEA.

Love overcomes anything. Love survives anything. Love lasts forever.

That’s the way I want things to be. Of course, my rational part insists that reality is different, that even true love might not stand a chance against the hardships of life. But dreams are an indispensable part of what we are. Dreams make the human existence worthwhile. That’s why my naive heart will always prefer to dream and demand its HEA… and I’m glad it does.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

I can’t say that there is one single influence. My approach to writing (and many other things in life) is eclectic. I study a lot of resources and pick out the things that work for me. However, one book from which I adopted a lot of ideas was ‘Immediate Fiction’ by Jerry Cleaver. The greatest strength of this book is that all concepts presented therein are explicitly labeled as optional. I tend to act like a petulant child if someone tells me it’s their way or the highway, and Jerry never did.

That petulant child also brought me to writing in the first place. I loved all the MM books I read, but there was always a little voice nagging me that the stories were a little off, that I would have written them differently. And so I did. In this sense, every MM author I read has influenced me.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

Ebooks have almost completely replaced paper books in my life. Most of the fictional stuff I read is in electronic form. The only place where I regularly work with traditional books is at university, but ebooks are also gaining ground there.

Yet I believe that ebooks will never totally oust traditional books. There will always be people who prefer the sensory experience of reading, the touch, the smell, the weight.

On the other hand, I like the additional convenience of ebooks, the portability, the fact that the e-reader remembers the last page I read (because I never do and always lose my bookmarks).

In my opinion, ebooks and traditional books will coexist. Moreover, I’m very curious what new features future ebook generations will bring.

How do you choose your covers?

My selection process can only be described as intuitive. I don’t have any fixed criteria. I look at the cover and my guts tell me whether it’s perfect or not. There are some design elements which consistently work better for me than others: soft colors, not too many picture elements, or an interesting font. Yet there will always be a cover in primary colors, brimming with different items, and a blunt font that catches my eye.

Some good friends of mine hoard pre-made covers and write the stories inspired by them. For me, the cover comes after the story and reflects the finished book. But each to their own. 🙂

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

I think that’s the answer that most authors give, but my favorite story is my first one: ‘Opposites attract.’

It’s full of errors, ignores most of the ‘rules’ of writing, and doesn’t have much conflict, yet it was the most fun to write. ‘Ignorance is bliss’ is also true when it comes to stories. I didn’t think at all and just wrote, a state of flow I never came close to after Opposites. It’s this lightness of creation which makes that story so dear to me.

It’s still available on the Nifty Archive and Gay Authors under the pen name of Hasimir Fenrig. But don’t hold it against me… 😉

What’s next for you as an author?

Two of my novels are Young Adult stories evolving around the gentle giant trope, yet many of my plot bunnies want to explore this setting further. By the way, is anyone interested in a gay version of ‘The Blue Lagoon – The Awakening’? 🙂

On the other hand, I’d like to broaden my writing perspective. I’m a middle-aged German man, so there are plenty of ‘adult’ topics I could cover. One of my plot ideas centers around a man diagnosed with a fatal disease who rids himself of all social inhibitions. It’d be interesting for me to delve into this adventure because I’m a very restrained person in real life. There are also some darker stories whirling around in my head. Stories dealing with torture and violence, things I despise and condemn from the bottom of my heart but which hold a certain fascination of evil for me.

You see I got lots of ideas, but I’m not working on a specific project right now. The cliché of “The story finds the author, not the other way round.” actually isn’t one.

***

Blurb ‘Symbols’:

Violence is hard to escape because of the scars it leaves—on the body, the mind, and the heart.

Small, skinny, and timid, Matt is the school’s punching bag. He suffers in silence and holds no hope anyone will come to his aid. The last thing on his mind is finding someone special. He’s sure it’s impossible, so why bother trying?

Shane is no stranger to pain. At his old school, he broke a football player’s arms for tormenting his friend, and with his size and multiple tattoos, he looks every bit the thug everyone—Matt included—assumes he is.

Building trust isn’t easy, but a sweet yet passionate romance slowly unfolds. Their road isn’t without bumps, but Matt and Shane navigate them together, finding happiness and security in each other—until another act of violence and its aftermath threatens to tear their lives—and their love—apart once and for all. But like the symbols etched into Shane’s skin, some things are made to last.

Author Bio:

Mario Kai Lipinski lives in Herne, Germany.

He is a spare-time author, and his evil day job, teaching mathematics at university level, isn’t that evil after all. Granted, on some days he wants to strangle his students, but it only takes a coffee or two and he remembers how much he loves them. He loves nerdy science stuff too. Does it show in his books? Of course it does.

English is not his native language, and he frequently gets asked why he writes in English. The answer has two parts. Firstly, he has slightly masochistic tendencies. Secondly, most books he reads are in English. So it feels only natural to write in this language too. English is beautiful—until it isn’t. Never, absolutely never, get him started on comma rules.

One reader described his books as “sexually explicit Disney movies.” That hits the nail on the head. Mario is into romance with a capital R and loves his cheesy. He is so good at channeling his inner teenager that sometimes he doubts he even has an inner adult.

A Jeri Release Day Review: Before You Break (Secrets #1) by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Not a lot of authors can write really good BDSM books. But let me tell you, KC Wells really can. When I see there is a new one out, I know I won’t be disappointed.

Besides BDSM, it was also friends to lovers AND gay for you. You could easily dismiss this as too many tropes in one book. It wasn’t. All three were handled with care and done really well.

Ellis and Wayne are partners in London’s Special Firearms unit. As partners are wont to do, they quickly became close friends. Wayne never hid his sexuality from anyone, he was openly gay in law enforcement and didn’t care. And while Ellis is straight, he never seemed to join in the locker room talk with fellow officers.

But Ellis is spiraling down- both personally and professionally. And Wayne the dominant, thinks he can help. So he offers Ellis a proposition- to take over as Ellis’ dominant to try to get him back on track before he destroys his career and his life.

As I said, KC Wells really can write BDSM well. And this is a perfect example. Because this is D/s with no inherent allusion to a sexual relationship. Showing that a relationship like this does not just mean sex.

Ellis struggles at first to not only accept the proposition, but also to admit that he is a natural submissive. For someone who grew up having to be in control- to give it up, and enjoy it- flips his mind upside down.

Wayne’s control of the entire situation shows how much a Dominant really wants what is best for a submissive. Because even though he wants Ellis as a partner at work and home, he enters this arrangement just trying to help Ellis get a hold of his life.

As the story continues, we watch Ellis become aware of what is wrong with his life- how to let go of a lot of things, and how to accept help, love and discipline from Wayne.

This was a great story which flowed really well. There were a few scenes that I didn’t think one or another character would really participate it, but overall well done.

Cover art by Reese Dante is hot, contemporary and works for the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 340 pages
Expected publication: May 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleBefore You Break
ISBN 1635336988 (ISBN13: 9781635336986)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSecrets #1

An Alisa Review: Devils Pride MC series by Jessie G.

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✒︎Tricking Chase (#1) 5 out of 5 stars

 

As Sergeant At Arms for Devils Pride MC, Tyler “Trick” Malone’s take no prisoners reputation make him one of the most feared and respected members of the club. Unbeknownst to the MC, Trick indulges his most dangerous secret, traveling out of state twice a year to trade his cut for the whip he expertly wields at a gay dungeon.

 

Trick’s well organized life takes a turn when he saves bar back, and terrified submissive, Chase Ward in a Georgia dungeon. With his protector and dungeon owner dead, Chase is no longer safe in the place he once called home. With the new dungeon owners circling like sharks, he desperately begs for sanctuary in the arms of his savior.

 

A year later, the MC is still none the wiser that Trick’s houseboy is anything more than a grateful servant. Chase knows, if the club finds out their secret, they will kill Trick—the man he’s come to rely on for everything from the food he eats to the pleasure he feels to the security he craves. Even when gratitude turns to love, Chase never expects reciprocation from his ruthless Master. After all, the only way for them to survive is if Trick remains the heartless bastard the MC knows.

 

Trick is positive he has it under control and having Chase around has definitely made his life easier. There doesn’t seem to be any harm in letting Chase take a part-time job at Velvet Ropes, especially after meeting privately with the owners. That is until a bomb explodes at the club, leaving Chase fighting for his life and forcing Trick to face his long hidden feelings.

 

Even if Chase survives, that bomb has done more than rock the foundation of the popular leather club. It’s blown Trick and Chase’s well-guarded secret out of hiding, putting their lifestyle and their lives at risk. Now there is only one thing Trick needs to do before the club gets them and that’s to get revenge on the person who dared to hurt his precious boy.

 

Warning: Tricking Chase contains an established D/s relationship, hot guys on motorcycles, an undercover DEA agent named Snake and a few visits from fan favorite Sizzling Miami characters.

 

This was a wonderful story and the relationship between Ty and Chase is beautiful.  Ty saved Chase but has continually worried about his safety since Chase has come to live with him.  Chase loves his Master and will do everything he can to take care of him and provide a good home.  Chase will support Ty in anything he needs to do in order to help him find his sister that he has been trying to find for years.

 

We get to see both characters’ points of view in this story which allows us to understand what they are thinking and feeling.  Ty’s aversion to those f words (friends and family) is entertaining and even with this gruff exterior he is able to gain the friends and family he never thought he would be able to have in his life.  Chase’s devotion to Ty is wonderful and he has the most loving heart I have ever seen.  I loved how their relationship is based on BDSM however they have made it their own and don’t care how others think they should act.  While they were trying to solve the mystery of Ty’s sister and all the other stuff with the MC I loved that Ty and Chase’s relationship was the main focus of the story.

 

The cover art by Andrew Reyna is an eye catching picture of Ty with his bike, but the visual of Chase’s eyes is wonderful.

 

Sales Links: Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 290 pages

Published: May 18, 2015 by Jessie G Books

Edition Language: English

 

✒︎Talk Dirty To Me (#2) – 4 out of 5 stars

 

As a secret agent for the DEA, Snake’s gone deep into Devils Pride MC with the hope of bringing down the head of Miami’s lucrative drug trade and finds himself saddled with the club’s volatile and secretive SA instead. Unfortunately, after years as partners doing shit neither of them wanted to do for reasons neither of them felt comfortable sharing, Snake considers Trick his best friend. Now he’ll do anything to repair the damage his own necessary lies did to their friendship because, while Trick may have walked away from the MC, Snake needs someone he trusts to have his back.

 

Meanwhile, Snake’s contact at the DEA has him tied up in knots. The sexy voice and inappropriate comments have him walking around with a permanent set of blue balls. Life undercover is lonely and he lives for every phone call, but his own personal Deep Throat is skittish about committing to a date once Snake returns to headquarters. As far as Snake’s concerned, they only have one shot to build something together and he’s not willing to waste it.

 

Greg knows he’s not Snake’s type, or anyone’s for that matter. Former love interests called him plain, chubby, and boring. More comfortable in his tech cave than with people, he’s a grade A nerd who isn’t exactly GQ material. Normally he would never be brave enough to flirt with anyone—much less the very hot and very dangerous ginger who’d been starring in his nightly fantasies—but Snake needed something to keep him from getting lost undercover. What started out as a helping hand quickly became an integral part of their relationship—if one could call a five year phone conversation a relationship—and Greg is terrified that once Snake’s sees the wizard behind the curtain, he’ll lose the only man he’s ever loved.

 

Now the DEA has called Snake home to plan the next stage of the mission, leaving Greg no more places to hide. When fantasy and reality collide, will it be everything Snake hopes for or everything Greg fears? The trick will be staying alive long enough to figure out the answer.

 

Authors Note: This book is NOT a standalone and should be read after Tricking Chase

 

This was a good story and I was glad to actually get to meet Greg who we only saw through phone calls in the first book.  Greg and Snake have been working together for five years but have never actually met face to face.  While Snake was undercover Greg was his only point of contact and their relationship slowly evolved to much more than that.  They have to get over their own fears and open themselves up for a real relationship.

 

We were able to see how both of these characters were feeling and their thoughts in this book which helped to stay connected to them.  Greg buries his fears and insecurities deep and it takes a lot for him to feel comfortable letting others really see the real him.  Snake has almost forgotten who he is beneath the biker he has been portraying for years but hopes that Greg will help him find it when they have finally gotten the bad guy.  While their connection was great most of the story was focused more on finally closing this case and I felt that it overshadowed their budding relationship.

 

The cover art by Andrew Reyna is great, giving a visual of Greg and follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links: Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 233 pages

Published: March 7, 2016 by Jessie G Books

Edition Language: English

 

✒︎Tys That Bind (#3) – 4.5 stars out of 5

 

Unprepared, ill-equipped, and with no example to look back on, Ty and Chase embarked on a journey to build a family for Ava and Luc that would far exceed anything they dreamed of for themselves. Two years later, they’ve succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, but there’s still a couple of things missing…and they’re ready to make them happen.

 

Bad boy biker Trick wouldn’t hesitate to fight for those he loves, but Ty knows it will take more than violence to win this war. Willfully submissive Chase has the utmost faith in his Master, but when he sees Ty struggling with demons from his past, it will be his quiet, unbending support that will see them through. Jumping through the loopholes of family court, they are only one event shy of making it all official and neither are willing to wait another second to check it off the list.

 

Clearing the path for adoption should reassure them, but it will take their cast of well-meaning friends and the occasional slap upside the head before they realize that the ties that bind them together are forged in a love that can never be taken away.

 

Authors Note: This book is a direct sequel to Tricking Chase and should not be read before it.

 

We are once again seeing Ty and Chase’s relationship blossom into something more.  They have been living as a family and raising Luc and Ava for years but Ty feels as though something isn’t right.  They both want to be connected to each other in every way possible.

 

Their relationship is just as strong as when we left them in Tricking Chase, even more so in some ways.  Ty has embraced his friends and extended family much more since then so he isn’t quite as gruff as before but still a little rough around the edges.  Chase is still as devoted to Ty but now also has the most wonderful family to take care of.  Once again they don’t let convention stand in their way and make their wedding their own in the most wonderful way and throw a huge party when they Luc and Ava are officially made theirs.

 

The cover art by Andrew Reyna is beautiful and I love how it gives a glimpse of the kids.

 

Sales Links: Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 74 pages

Published: March 29, 2017 by Jessie G Books

Edition Language: English

Review Tour – By The Numbers by RJ Scott (The Sanctuary Finale)

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Buy Links:

 |



Paperback: Amazon US | Amazon UK 


Length: 37,400 words


Cover Design: Meredith Russell


Sanctuary Series


Guarding Morgan (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Only Easy Day (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Face Value (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Still Waters (Book #4) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Full Circle (Book #5) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Journal of Sanctuary One (Book #6) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Worlds Collide (Book #7) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Accidental Hero (Book #8) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Ghost (Book #9) Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

Secrets and lies threaten Brandon and Danielís new love.


Brandon Hoselton is running scared, finding security in his obsession with patterns and numbers. With his family threatened, he feels he has nowhere left to go, and even considers ending his life to keep them safe. Until Sanctuary, in the shape of the enigmatic Daniel Karnes, gives him a reason to stay alive and offers the possibility of a future free from fear.


Former SEAL Daniel is new to Sanctuary, tasked with watching Brandon, a brilliant geek with way too many secrets. Falling in love with quirky Brandon is easy; now he just has to make sure secrets donít end up with them both dying.


The only way of destroying Varga is to cut the crime bossís money, and the two men become part of an intricate take-down involving millions of dollars. But Brandon has a secret he can never share with Daniel, and their new love is at stake.

When the villain has murder in mind, sometimes the only way to stay alive is to lie.

 
Excerpt
 

Brandon took down the drapes in his room as soon as he was able to. He could have asked his sisters, but they didnít know just how badly looking at the geometric pattern in the fabric upset his equilibrium. They knew he was weird; most sisters thought their big brothers were weird. But he also had twitches and nervous tics about certain things, and theyíd seen it all, even though his list of crazy was something he could manage now.


They didnít need to know heíd spent three hours last night counting the squares on the drapes and being irritated to the point of stimming that they werenít even and the stitching was wrong. And Jesus, stimmingóhaving to move his fingers, loosen his muscles, anything to ground himselfóhe hadnít done that in years.


And hell if he was going to ask Daniel into his room to help him, because Daniel was someone Brandon did not want in his space. Not taking down drapes, or talking to him, or even breathing near him. There was only so much of Daniel that Brandon could take, because when he was anywhere near him, he lost his ability to form coherent sentences. He didnít have time to have these powerful feelings of lust that kept hitting him.


Like the time he and Daniel had met on the landing and Daniel had been in just a towel. Theyíd only been together a few days, but Daniel was funny, and sexy, and dangerous, and exactly everything Brandon should be avoiding in his life.


He had way too much to worry about, and a date written in his memory that he wouldnít forget any time soon. The deal he hadóto stay alive, to hide himself away, and then to present himself to Vargaówas just about the only thing that filled his thoughts.


Varga thought that, on a given date, Brandon would join him in his huge mansion, pull together all the funds Varga had hidden in various places, and then join him in whatever country the US didnít have an extradition treaty with.


Like hell he would. He was meeting with Varga, getting all his money, dispersing it to the right causes, and sending any intel he could get out to the authorities.


And then Varga would kill him for doing that.


Inevitable, really, and something heíd come to terms with. Heíd blown his chance to do this when heíd worked for Varga, so he had to make up for it. He was doing the right thing.


Heíd been biding his time in Hope, but had been unfortunate to be scooped up by Sanctuary. He just needed to work out a way to get away from them, and in particular Daniel, but he had about ten days to go yet until that magic date when Varga had decided he would be leaving the country.


For now, Sanctuary was safe for him and his sisters.


So yeah, choosing to avoid having Daniel in his room, with his probing questions and his distracting body, was an easy decision to make in among all that crap.


The only downside was that it meant he had to take the drapes down himself.


Trying to shoot himself hadn’t gone so well; instead of being dead and gone, he had a through shot and muscle damage which hurt like knives in his skin. He waited until day four, when the pain in his shoulder had lessened to the point where he could at least manage to get out of bed and to the window but he couldnít handle looking at those drapes any longer.


Today he actually felt capable of dealing with drapes he didnít need anyway. There were blinds at the windows, and behind the blinds each window was coated so you could see out but no one could see in. He pushed the offending fabric under the bed and clambered back to a standing position, wincing in pain as he banged his shoulder, and sat on the edge of his bed.


The drapes were still thereóhe could picture them under the bedóand exasperated, he lay back on the mattress and attempted to think of something else. Blue skies, blue mugs, blue eyes. Anything blue, because it was a color that calmed him.


He lasted about a minute.


Huffing, he rolled up carefully and reached under the bed, pulling out the drapes and screwing them into a ball. Opening his door, he threw them out onto the landing, not even checking if anyone was standing there.


Daniel. Of course it would be Daniel, who reacted like a ninja and had the drapes under submission in seconds.


Once they were dead, or at least overpowered with some sort of karate move, Brandon felt like he should apologize.


ìMy bad,î he said, and shut the door in Danielís face.


He expected the knock, but hadnít quite decided what he was going to say to Daniel when he came in. Maybe if he ignored the request to enter and said nothing, then Daniel might go away.


Daniel knocked again, and this time instead of waiting for Brandon to say he could come in, he pushed his way in, looking irritable. He was shirtless, his hair wetóevidence of a recent showeróhis sweats hanging low on his hips and every muscle deliciously tight and toned.


ìWhat the hell, Brandon?î he asked, his dark eyes angry, his lips in a set line. He wasnít holding the drapes, so Brandon counted that as a win.


ìI didnít want them up at my window,î Brandon explained, and eased himself down into the chair by his bed. He was most comfortable there; he could see out the window and it was easier to keep the pressure off his injury.


ìSo you decided to throw them in my face?î Daniel sounded less pissed and more confused about getting fabric in his face.


Brandon indicated the door. ìTo be fair, I didnít know you were there.î Then he couldnít resist, ìAnd you heroically subdued them so fast, I knew you could handle the danger.î

 

Author Bio


RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.


The last time she had a weekís break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldnít defeat.


mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
www.rjscott.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts
www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott
twitter.com/Rjscott_author
www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

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In the Spotlight: The Devils Pride MC Series by Jessie G (giveaway)

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Series: The Devil’s Pride MC Series
Author: Jessie G
Genre: M/M Romance
Novels: Tricking Chase, Talk Dirty to Me, and  
Tys That Bind

 

As Sergeant At Arms for Devils Pride MC, Tyler “Trick” Malone’s take no prisoners reputation make him one of the most feared and respected members of the club. Unbeknownst to the MC, Trick indulges his most dangerous secret, traveling out of state twice a year to trade his cut for the whip he expertly wields at a gay dungeon.

 


 

Trick’s well organized life takes a turn when he saves bar back, and terrified submissive, Chase Ward in a Georgia dungeon. With his protector and dungeon owner dead, Chase is no longer safe in the place he once called home. With the new dungeon owners circling like sharks, he desperately begs for sanctuary in the arms of his savior.

 


A year later the MC is still none the wiser that Trick’s houseboy is anything more than a grateful servant. Chase knows if the club finds out they will kill Trick, the man he’s come to rely on for everything from the food he eats to the pleasure he feels to the security he craves. Even when gratitude turns to love, Chase never expects reciprocation from his ruthless Master. After all, the only way for them both to survive is if Trick remains the heartless bastard the MC knows.

Trick is positive he has it under control and having Chase around has definitely made his life easier. There doesn’t seem to be any harm in letting Chase take a part-time job at Velvet Ropes, especially after meeting privately with the owners. That is until a bomb explodes at the club, leaving Chase fighting for his life and forcing Trick to face his long hidden feelings.

Even if Chase survives, that bomb has done more than rock the foundation of the popular leather club. It’s blown Trick and Chase’s well-guarded secret out of hiding, putting their lifestyle and their lives at risk. Now there is only one thing Trick needs to do before the club gets them and that’s to get revenge on the person who dared to hurt his precious boy.
As a secret agent for the DEA, Snake’s gone deep into Devils Pride MC with the hope of bringing down the head of Miami’s lucrative drug trade and finds himself saddled with the club’s volatile and secretive SA instead. Unfortunately, after years as partners doing shit neither of them wanted to do for reasons neither of them felt comfortable sharing, Snake considers Trick his best friend. Now he’ll do anything to repair the damage his own necessary lies.

 

did to their friendship because, while Trick may have walked away from the MC, Snake needs someone he trusts to have his back. 

 


 

Meanwhile, Snake’s contact at the DEA has him tied up in knots. The sexy voice and inappropriate comments have him walking around with a permanent set of blue balls. Life undercover is lonely and he lives for every phone call, but his own personal Deep Throat is skittish about committing to a date once Snake returns to headquarters. As far as Snake’s concerned, they only have one shot to build something together and he’s not willing to waste it. 
Greg knows he’s not Snake’s type, or anyone’s for that matter. Former love interests called him plain, chubby, and boring. More comfortable in his tech cave than with people, he’s a grade A nerd who isn’t exactly GQ material. Normally he would never be brave enough to flirt with anyone—much less the very hot and very dangerous ginger who’d been starring in his nightly fantasies—but Snake needed something to keep him from getting lost undercover. What started out as a helping hand quickly became an integral part of their relationship—if one could call a five year phone conversation a relationship—and Greg is terrified that once Snake’s sees the wizard behind the curtain, he’ll lose the only man he’s ever loved. 

 


 

Now the DEA has called Snake home to plan the next stage of the mission, leaving Greg no more places to hide. When fantasy and reality collide, will it be everything Snake hopes for or everything Greg fears? The trick will be staying alive long enough to figure out the answer.

 



Unprepared, ill-equipped, and with no example to look back on, Ty and Chase embarked on a journey to build a family for Ava and Luc that would far exceed anything they dreamed of for themselves. Two years later, they’ve succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, but there’s still a couple of things missing…and they’re ready to make them happen. 

 


 

Bad boy biker Trick wouldn’t hesitate to fight for those he loves, but Ty knows it will take more than violence to win this war. Willfully submissive Chase has the utmost faith in his Master, but when he sees Ty struggling with demons from his past, it will be his quiet, unbending support that will see them through. Jumping through the loopholes of family court, they are only one event shy of making it all official and neither are willing to wait another second to check it off the list. 

 


Clearing the path for adoption should reassure them, but it will take their cast of well-meaning friends and the occasional slap upside the head before they realize that the ties that bind them together are forged in a love that can never be taken away.

Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: to be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With three series in the works and a full schedule of releases planned for the next two years, it’s been amazing to have made this dream my reality.

I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics, and happily ever after. I’m a lover of strong secondary characters, and series filled with families—biological or chosen. All are themes you’ll find throughout my books.


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