A Mika Review: All That Heaven Will Allow by D.W. Marchwell

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5:

All that Heaven Will Allow coverJimmy Campbell has owned his own bar for the past twenty years. While his past is troubled, his present and future make life worth living. He has good friends, more than enough money, and he volunteers—along with his Yorkie, Bozo, and his Maine coon cat, Miss Alicia—at the local hospital every Friday. He couldn’t ask for more. That is, until he meets Derek “Dizzy” Roberts.

Derek is a musician who tours the country with his band. He’s an ex-cop, was married once, and has the bitter ex-wife and two spoiled children to prove it. He’s finally living his dream, and that includes bedding all the groupies who think he’s every bit as good as his music. He doesn’t worry much about the future, until he meets Jimmy.

The two men begin a long-distance romance, sneaking weekends here and there, until a tragedy forces them to realize they might lose the only thing they both want–a future together. Now, they’re asking for everything heaven will allow.

I loved everything about these two. I liked that it was 2 guys over 40 years old. Yes both had bad previous relationship but they came into this one only with each other in mind. It was definitely instant love, but at their respected ages I’m pretty sure they knew what was what. This was my first read by this author and I’m glad I really enjoyed it. It felt really slow paced in the beginning,   more character driven than the romance and I was okay with that.

Both mc’s were equally great in their own ways, but Jimmy definitely stole the show for me. I’m not an animal person by far but what Jimmy was able to do with his heart and for other people is amazing. He was super patient, honest, loyal, and all about second chances. He was super caring, and he just came off as the perfect guy. I mean I don’t think he said one negative thing the entire book, and he definitely pulled at my heart strings for sure. Sure he had his issues, damages and reasons for wanting to start something with Derek but I’m super happy he gave into it, because it made him a happier man.

When Derek is first introduced it’s him offering himself as a player name Dizzy. LMAO, I thought he was super charming, but of course all that charming was just a facade for the man underneath. Their first interaction with each other had me rooting for Jimmy and snorting at Dizzy because he just got served big time.

All in all, they made their romance work for them. Dizzy finally got the family he wanted, James finally had someone who love and appreciated him. A couple things bothered me, Derek’s previous relationship and children story line didn’t get wrapped. I felt like it was just left off, and I would have liked to seen some type of mending of the sorts. It was a lot of misspellings in the book; I did think they needed a better proofreader. I didn’t tear up surprisingly. I would recommend this book to CR readers, just an easy read between two older guys. I like reading about older guys. I find that they tend to communicate a lot better, and that’s mostly what I’m looking for.

The cover artist Bree Archer created this cover, and I liked the picture because it was full circle for the two guys. I did feel like the one portraying James wasn’t since in the book he was a full blond, other than that I really liked it.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback    All Romance (ARe)    amazon     buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published November 21st 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632161673
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On Tour with The Adventures of Cole and Perry by Amanda C. Stone (tour and contest)

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Book Name: The Adventures of Cole and Perry
Release Date: Mid-January
Author Name: Amanda C. Stone

Author Bio:

Armed with her Batman notebook, fourth grade Amanda C. Stone was ready to start writing stories about unicorns, family members, and her imaginary friends Pink Amanda and Blue Amanda. Today, Amanda is armed with a new notebook, along with a laptop, and a never ending supply of caffeine. Her stories are about all kinds of things, but the most important aspect is people falling in love.

Where to find the author:

Website: http://www.amandastonebooks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amandastonebooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandastonebks
Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/ZF60L
Email: amandastonebooks@gmail.com

Publisher: Self-published
Cover Artist: Amanda C. Stone

Sales Links:  for more information visit http://www.amandastonebooks.com/books/the-adventures-of-cole-and-perry/TheAdventuresOfColeAndPerry400x600

Blurb:

It all started when Cole met Perry in a bar. Over three years they had some exciting adventures, and misadventures. The six stories included in this book are all about their journey from bar to wedding.

The Anniversary
Another cancellation of plans by his boyfriend forces Cole out to the neighborhood bar. Not long after arriving he meets Perry. Even as exciting as Perry is, he’s unsure how the night will end.

The Fight
Cole and Perry are struggling to make time for each other and constantly at each other’s throats. A fight to the death will decide who is right or wrong in their arguments. But Cole really doesn’t want to shoot Perry.

The Threesome
Deciding they want to spice up things in the bedroom, Perry wants to have a one-time threesome. Cole’s nervous and doesn’t want to ask any of their friends to join them. Perry finds the perfect solution.

The House
After two and a half years together, Cole and Perry want to buy a house. Once they find the perfect house, they get to spend their first morning together in their new space. Perry will have to help Cole decide which room is his favorite.

The Baby
Both Cole and Perry are exhausted. Taking care of a three month old is hard when she’s up all night and is always hungry. If only they could find where they put the bottle warmer.

The Wedding
Cole is ready to make his commitment to Perry life-long. After careful planning, they created the perfect event. What could possibly go wrong? If only Cole didn’t ask the same question.

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Humor, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt:

“Cole. I have a surprise for you. I want you to close your eyes and keep them closed until I tell you to open them.”
Cole looked up from his magazine at the doorway Perry’s voice drifted in from. He put the magazine on his nightstand and closed his eyes.

“They’re closed,” he called out. He wasn’t sure where Perry was in their apartment, but he sounded close.

Rustling and a strange squeaking noise reached his ears. Cole furrowed his brows trying to figure out what Perry was up to and what he was hearing.

“Okay. Go ahead and open your eyes.”

Cole popped his eyes open. He closed them and then re-opened them again. Nope, he still was seeing what was in front of him.

“Perry. Why is there–?”

Perry cut him off before Cole could finish his thought.

“So, we had talked about fantasies and things like that. I told you this was mine. So I’d like to introduce you to Freddy. Freddy, I’d like to introduce you to my boyfriend, Cole.”

Cole smiled at how nervous Perry was. His boyfriend was adorable trying to be brave with his ideas.

“Nice to meet you, um, Freddy. Perry, where did you meet Freddy?”

Perry had a small smile on his face that showed Cole he appreciated he was alright with what was happening.

“Online. I found Freddy on some website. Can’t remember the name now.”

Cole was stunned. His boyfriend didn’t go to those types of websites for any reason. Just meant Perry wanted to have the threesome and was willing to do it without asking one of their friends. Cole was so happy Perry had found a way to have his fantasy.

Pages or Words: Around 17,000 words
CPBadgeTour Dates: January 1, 2015

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Havan Fellows, Lee Brazil, Bayou Book Junkie, The Hat Party, Love Bytes, Velvet Panic, Inked Rainbow Reads, 3 Chicks After Dark, Decadent Delights, LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Molly Lolly, BFD Book Blog, Amanda C. Stone, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Charley Descoteaux, Hearts on Fire, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Fallen Angel Reviews, My Fiction Nook, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, MM Good Book Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Christy Loves To Read, Cate Ashwood

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy upon publication. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Use the link provided to enter and for all additional contest details.

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Review: Vixen’s Valor by Charlie Cochet

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5:

Vixen's Valour coverSexy, and shall we say slutty, Vixen, one of Santa’s trusted Rein Dear squad has been jealous of his team leader, Rudy, for years. Though Rudy is his friend, Vixen’s now even more envious of Rudy since Rudy captivated the heart of Prince Jack Frost (The Heart of Frost). Always wanting to be the center of attention, Vixen uses his body to entice as many members of the Toy Soldier Army into his bed as possible.

His dreams of one day becoming a prince are unrealistic, but he can’t help himself, and even when presented with an opportunity to date Lieutenant Vale Frost, cousin to the prince, he treats the date casually. Until he starts to notice that he’s interested in more than Vale’s body, and Vale is interested in more of him than a quick and easy tumble in the snow.

Then, just as their relationship begins to mean more to each of them, Vixen betrays Vale’s trust and winning it back nearly costs him his life. Will he succeed? What will happen with his friendship with Rudy? And what awaits Vixen and Vale in the future? You’ll have to pick this up to find out.

This is such a fun series! Charlie Cochet has put together a sweet holiday saga laced with visions of sugar plum fairies, toy soldiers, Santa’s elves, and the highly esteemed Rein Dear squad. Her subtle sense of North Pole humor is woven throughout each of the books in the series, and this one is no exception. Don’t hesitate to pick it up.

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Cover Art by Paul Richmond depicts a sexy Vixen trying to entice a more straight-laced and official-looking Lieutenant Vale Frost into playing some Rein Dear games. Great cover for this story.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press         All Romance (ARe)          amazon                  buy it here

Book Details:

ebook, 81 pages
Published December 3rd 2014 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781632165183
edition languageEnglish

Series: North Pole City Tales:

  • Mending Noel (North Pole City Tales #1)
  • The Heart of Frost (North Pole City Tales #2)
  • Vixen’s Valor (North Pole City Tales #3)

 

A MelanieM Review: The Beast Without by Christian Baines

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

The Beast Without coverReylan, a Blood Shade, the correct term for vampires,, likes being on his own.  He is wealthy, gorgeous,  sexy and particular in who he eats.  He picks out his prey from the popular gay clubs of Sidney, on Oxford Street.  Reylan is always careful not to take too much, just enough to last a few days  before he has to feed again.  So when a crazed werewolf kills his latest companion, Reylan is not happy.  He is even less so when the werewolf, young Jorgas, seems to have developed an obsession with him.  An obsession that puts Reylan and those he cares about at risk.

In order for Reylan to take care of the situation, he finds he must work with a mysterious supernatural organization  called The Arcadia Trust and its leader Patricia Bakker.  The Arcadia Trust has its own agenda and wants Reylan to deliver the werewolf to them alive.  But things change when Reylan hunts down the young werewolf in question.  In a moment of intense need and hunger a tenuous relationship is formed between vampire and werewolf, a relationship neither wants.

As more people are murdered around them, Reylan, Jorgas and The Arcadian Trust must look further than Jorgas for the cause while trying to protect the ones inside their circle.  Reylan soon realizes that the civility he has cloaked his life in is no longer enough.  Its time for his true predator nature to come out and stay out if he is to stay alive and locate the true murderer among them.

What an excellent take on vampires and werewolves.  The Beast Without is such a far cry from the Twilight movies and other more current representations of these two supernatural beings. The werewolves and vampires of The Beast Without are not the benign creatures of the night that we see in popular movies and books these days.  No, the supernaturals of this novel, The Blood Shades and the Flesh Masters (werewolves) are apex predators, vicious and superior to humans who are regarded as food.  It’s actually kind of refreshing.

The vampires, werewolves and other supernatural beings like Cloak Masters (invisible beings) are genetic by nature.  All come from families where the various genes for each type of creature runs in the family.  It can skip generations and then, right around puberty, those that carry the gene mutate into the creature whose genes they carry, whether it be vampire, werewolf, or something quite different.  Christian Baines is developing a great back history for these supernaturals, a history that is being revealed slowly throughout the book.

Along with his impressive world building, Baines takes particular pains to make his characters complex, otherworldly and sometimes cruel in their outlook.  Take Reylan.  He is not human and revels in being a Blood Shade, finding the term vampire to be distasteful and tawdry. An asexual being, at least in the beginning, he dines on men, preferring the power and vigor in their blood to the caution and other traits that occurs in female hemoglobin.   As created by Baines, Reylan is a loner, a predator and absolutely absorbing.

I can’t  say enough about the characters i found here.  Whether it is Jorgas, a confused, raged filled werewolf, Father Isaac O’Baer of Saint Barnabas Church, a Father handy with advice or a knife, or Patricia Bakker, the enigmatic leader of The Arcadia Trust, these beings are intricately layered, wildly unpredictable in nature, and totally absorbing to read about.  I can’t get enough of them or anyone else that pops up in this story.  It’s really just a roll call of strange and wonderful creatures, each more exciting, dangerous and complex  than the one before.   They may not be real, but they certainly feel that way.  Here is Reylan’s thoughts on Cloak Walkers:

It’s said, perhaps cruelly, that you can smell a Cloak Walker long before you hear him – such is the inevitable toll of invisibility on personal hygiene. It’s even been claimed that the condition brings on leprosy, and that a Cloak Walker may be tracked by the body parts he leaves behind. I find what this theory lacks in credence, it makes up for in originality.

I love that wry, amused tone.  A little mean and deceptively mild. Perfect.

The plot is just as twisted and deceptive as the characters.  Baines has really done justice to each element here.  Both the story line and supernatural beings are totally worthy of each other, working their magic on the reader from page one.  Baines’ style of writing is smooth, his descriptions vivid and sometimes almost graphically realistic.  Here is our introduction to Reylan as he heads out to hunt at night:

 I’m not human, but even so, this is a reality I can’t ignore. If I’m not careful when I feed, when I take my fill of blood, I can quickly become the wrong one-nighter.

I’ll thank you not to use the ‘v’ word.

Given my proximity to Oxford Street, the sleazy, pulsing artery of Sydney’s nightclub district where I’ve lived for the better part of thirty years, I try not to visit any club twice in the same week. It’s safer that way, particularly for a man whose lifestyle depends on discretion. Barely two nights ago, I’d graced Fantasy, a club full of pretty, if flighty young things – some gay, some straight, most happily open minded on the subject. So the following night’s destination was Blaze, a club currently serving as de facto cathedral to the Church of Saint Muscle Mary, where the buff and beautiful took time out of their forty hour a week gym schedules to model, preen and occasionally dance the night away for the slack-jawed ogling pleasure of curious onlookers.

For hunting clothes, I chose a pair of tight leather trousers, an equally tight lycra vest and a silver-studded belt. A little attractive, a little sexual, and a little ridiculous. The perfect human mix I’d developed over the years. Not the epitome of modern style, but on a healthy twenty-four-year-old man, which is what I appear to be, it did say ‘come hither and bed me,’ which was the whole point.

Then, there was the pill. I rarely use them, but if options are lacking and I get too impatient, a little chemistry in a capsule can seal the sumptuous fate of any prospective companion. You needn’t judge me. You do a lot worse to your food. Besides, it’s not as if I’ve had to use it – recently.

There he is, all deliciousness in tone and outlook.  But soon Reylan will demonstrate just exactly how good a predator he is.  How I came to love him.

I should make one thing clear.  This is not a romance.  There are m/m relationships, there is sexual need, blood lust and heat a plenty.  But if you are looking for roses and candlelight dinners, this is not the story for you.  A convoluted relationship does develop between Reylan and Jorgas, but it is just at the beginning stages and it is certainly not based on love or even affection.  A bond certainly, but of need and blood and baser emotions.  It is realistic and involving as any I have read, and I love it.

Incredibly, The Beast Without is Christian Baines first novel. I came so close to giving this  remarkable story a 5-star rating but there are just too many loose ends that remain unresolved at the end of the story to go that final inch.    Christian Baines lays out a mystery for us, several in fact but nothing more.  Just speculation and insidiously addicting clues to a larger mystery looming behind the smaller ones. Everything about The Beast Without cries out for a sequel and I can only hope that one is in the works. At any rate, I highly recommend this rich and rewarding take on vampires and werewolves, especially for those of you tired of sparkle.

Cover art and design is terrific. Cover Images: Ivan Bliznetsov (front); DSNR (back) Jacket Design: David P Reiter

Afternote:  Christian Baines has indicated that a sequel to The Beast Without is planned, very good news indeed.

Sales Links:     All Romance (ARe)          Amazon      buy it here

Book Details:

Paperback, 234 pages
Published March 27th 2013 by Glass House Books
ISBN 192212043X (ISBN13: 9781922120434)
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also eBook edition

Down Under Showcase Author – Christian Baines

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Down Under Showcase Author of the Day

Meet Christian Baines

CRBaines

Christian Baines is the author of The Beast Without, The Prince and the Practitioner,  and, coming in 2015, Puppet Boy.

To get to know Christian Baines a little better, he agreed to an interview.  Look for the interview below and the Down Under Scavenger Hunt word found somewhere within.

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Author Bio 1

Christian Baines was born in Toowoomba, Australia. He has since lived in Brisbane, Sydney, and Toronto, earning an MA in creative writing at University of Technology, Sydney along the way. His musings on travel, theater, and gay life have appeared in numerous publications in Australia and Canada. Dual passions for travel and mythology (both of which he attributes to growing up in Australia’s bible belt) have sent him chasing some of the world’s most feared monsters, including vampires in New Orleans, asuras in Bangkok, and theater critics in New York.

Author Contacts

Blog: https://christianbaines.blogspot.com
Twitter: @Xtianbaines
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/christianbainesauthor
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/christianbaines

Author Books Stories Down Under1 copy

The Prince and the Practitioner cover

The Beast Without cover

Novel Length:

Puppet Boy (TBR 2015, Bold Strokes Books)
The Beast Without (2013, Interactive Publications)

Short Stories:
The Prince and the Practitioner (2014, Wilde City Press)

Genres:

• Black comedy/satire
• Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

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Contests and Giveaways:

1.  Today’s Giveaway (thank you, Christian Baines) is an eBook copy of The Beast Without.  Enter using this Rafflecopter link here.  Must be 18  years of age or older to enter.

Rafflecopter Link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

2.  Down Under Scavenger Hunt – find Christian Baines Hunt “Word“.  Collect all the words from each author and submit the list in writing no later than midnight on February 2nd, 2015. Make sure you include an email address where you can be reached. Prizes will be given to 7 people selected, from 1st place to 7th!  Happy Hunting.

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Author Qand A

Now Our Q & A which uses in part AUS spelling (don’t forget to search for Christian’s Scavenger Hunt Clue:

Q • When did you start writing?

Excluding Star Trek fan fic in my mid teens (don’t judge me), I started my first novel at 18. It’s still in the bottom of a virtual drawer somewhere.

Q• Were you a reader as a child?

Yes.

Q• What books as a child has the most impact on you?

A lot of fantasy and sci-fi. My family were quite religious and so they were a little bit anti-horror. But they’d encourage me to read classic gothic fiction and such. That meant a lot of Sherlock Holmes, and things like Frankenstein, Dracula, Phantom of the Opera and so on. I started reading more contemporary, commercial horror eventually, but I don’t think anything had quite as strong an effect on me as those stories. I’d say Hound of the Baskervilles and Frankenstein fascinated me the most.

Q• Did that impression carry over into adulthood when you started writing?

The themes in those stories are timeless, so yes. I read a more even spread of genres as an adult, and of course I read more gay fiction. It all started to blend in and play its part.

Q• Where do you draw inspiration from?

It depends on the story. Interesting people I meet, places I visit, cities, buildings, clubs… I’m slightly travel obsessed so that helps a lot. Some places will spill a story, some won’t. Interestingly, it has very little to do with how much or how little I like the place.

Q• Favourite genres to write in and why?

I go through phases. If I’m excited enough about a story to finish a novel, then that was probably my favourite genre to write at the time.

Q• Title or characters or plot? Which comes first?

Usually character, if the story is going to work out. I have to be a little obsessed with a protagonist to finish their story.

Q• Do you have a favorite character that you have written?

There’s one in Puppet Boy who excites me a lot. Of the characters who are already published, probably Reylan. I’m also insanely jealous of the life and times he’s lived.

Q• Favorite quote (doesn’t matter the source)?

“Resentments are like swallowing poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Q• Favorite book/story you have read as an adult?

Probably either Dead Europe by Christos Tsiolkas or Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis. Both underrated books. They’re tough to read in parts, but very original, exciting and subversively queer in an unselfconscious way.

Q• Do you have a certain regimen that you follow as a writer?

If there’s one that works, let me know. I try to sit down and focus on it at least once a day. Either it works that day or it doesn’t.

Q• What inspired you to write your first book?

The Beast Without started as an erotic short piece I wrote during an Anne Rice phase. It was something different for me to try while I was still trying to get my first, unpublished manuscript out there. I wasn’t really aware of how big urban fantasy or paranormal was at the time. I just really liked this character and voice, so I ended up expanding on it.

Q• Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know. Maybe if I’m lucky, others might recognise it as such. I try to keep a consistent voice that balances humour with cynicism. Maybe it’s a bit bleak, but I try to put a smile under it. I’m hesitant to publish anything that doesn’t make me laugh in some way. I’m one of those kids who grew up listening to alt rock and watching Daria. Now we’re writing in the age of Taylor Swift and Glee, so there’s always that sly sense of irony there. Some people get it and others don’t, but that would be the case no matter how or what I chose to write, so…

Q• What’s the hardest part of writing your books?

Keeping it simple! I’m a sucker for a complicated story I don’t necessarily understand or like the first time around. I think I handle large casts pretty well, but I’m always fighting to keep the story straightforward.

Q• If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your first book?

No.

Q• What book are you reading now?

Drama Queens and Love Scenes by another Sydney author, Kevin Klehr.

Q• How do you think books written from authors in Australia or New Zealand differ in style, language, and culture?

I think to a certain degree it’s inevitable that your background will inform your work. Sometimes it can be just the spark it needs. That was certainly the case with The Beast Without. Once it had the Sydney setting, it really had a unique voice, culture and history to explore. In general terms, I think there’s a down-to-Earth quality to Australian fiction, plus maybe an irreverence, which I think the New Zealanders take even further. I think the successful authors stay true to their own voices, rather than earnestly trying to represent. What frustrates me about this idea of a ‘Great Australian (insert Canadian, Kiwi, or even American as you will) Novel,’ like we’re supposed to hold our breath, waiting for somebody to distil the essence of the country into 90,000 words. How about we just get on with writing good books?

Q• My first impression of AUS/NZ was from stories and novels like Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds or Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice as well as from movies like The Man from Snowy River, The Dish, Rabbit Proof Fence, Strictly Ballroom, and yes, Crocodile Dundee! There are so many out there. What are your favorite AUS/NZ stories and favorite Australian/New Zealand movies?

Yikes! I think I’d rather spend a night at Wolf Creek than endure Crocodile Dundee II again! My favourites would be Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and Muriel’s Wedding. I mentioned Dead Europe before. One of the reasons I love it is because it delves into everything Australian stories shy away from. The supernatural, grisly content, a promiscuous gay protagonist… and ties it into this insecurity we have about being such a young country and how we’ve always got one eye looking back to where we came from, without really understanding what that means. The film version cuts a lot, but it’s still worth a look. Australian movies just have a terrible time trying to find a local audience. It’s that insecurity again. Most Australians don’t have high expectations of their local industry, which is sad.

Q• If you were a tour guide, what would you like a visitor to see and what impression would you want them to take away with them when they leave?

There’s an amazing indoor/outdoor lifestyle balance in Sydney, so I try to make sure visitors get to experience that. It’s the kind of place where you can mix up your sightseeing with amazing beaches, museums, architecture, gardens, boutique bars, cruising on the harbour… okay, now I sound like a tour guide! A lot of the attractions are also cheap or free, which amazes me because it’s such an expensive city to live in.

Q• What’s your favourite spot to visit in your own country? And what makes it so special to you?

It’s a cliché, but Melbourne. It’s not as pretty, but it’s a lot darker, bolder and more creative than Sydney in a lot of ways. It’s also less obsessed with money and property, which makes it more fun. Having said that, it’s yet to reveal a story I want to write.

Q• What are your current projects?

I’m currently working on the follow-up to The Beast Without. There’ll be some edits on Puppet Boy to come, but until then, I’m focused on Reylan’s world.

Q• What’s next up for you?

Midsumma, which is Melbourne’s big LGBTI festival. Adelaide author Margaret Merrilees, Kevin Klehr and I will be reading at the Hare Hole (Hares & Hyenas bookshop) in Fitzroy on January 20 as part of their Word is Out program. It’s a fantastic store and space, plus there should also be one or two other Aussie authors joining us, so it should be a fun evening. Maybe that Melbourne story will come to me!

Happy New Year! Down Under Author Showcase Begins Today!

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DownUnder_January Is Banner

Happy New Year, everyone!   Today kicks off Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Down Under Author Showcase, an entire month of authors, their books and stories from Australia and New Zealand.  Each day brings a new featured author, an interview or guest blog, information on the writers and their books, as well as a personal giveaway from each person.

In addition, we have more fabulous contests to go along all month long.  There is a Down Under Scavenger Hunt where you visit each author’s page each day to search out a Hunt word or phrase in bold green, gather them up all month long and then submit them to me on January 31st!  We will be awarding seven prizes to Down Under Scavenger Hunt participants.  These include a $75 Amazon gift card, four gift packages of items from Australia and New Zealand (two from each country courtesy of the Embassy of Australia and the Embassy of New Zealand here in DC), the Under the Southern Cross Anthology from Dreamspinner Press-6 individual novellas in all, the book How To Speak Kangaroo, and more.

Then Bottom Drawer Publications will provide a $20 gift voucher to spend in our shop and a copy of each of the e-books from our participating authors:

Mythica – L. J. LaBarthe
Cutting Out – Meredith Shayne
Second Chances Anthology – contains 2 stories contributed by Lisa Harris (Heart of Glass) and Bette Browne (Dirty Martini)

Vacationeers to NZ and AUS!  This contest is for you! We would love to have the people who have vacationed/visited our Down Under countries to share their memories and photos, their favorite places to visit or eat or whatever they wish to share.  A special prize will be saved for one winner picked from all the participants who guest blog with us all month long.  Just send in your memories or places to share, short or long or anything in between anytime between now and January 31st.  Send them to melaniem54@msn.com and watch for your post to appear throughout the month.

Over 37 prizes to be awarded this month!  Don’t miss out on a day of Down Under Author Showcase.

Today’s Down Under Author is Christian Baines.  I loved his book The Beast Without!

Also we will be posting interesting facts, places to visit and more “stuff to know” about each country every day!  If  visiting Australia and New Zealand weren’t already on your bucket list, then these amazing authors, and their books and stories will have you pining for airlines tickets!

Australia Fun Fact of the Day:AUS flag over country

How Big is Australia?
Australia is the word’s smallest continent and the world’s sixth largest country. Australia covers an area of 7,686,900 square kilometres. That’s slightly smaller than the United States mainland which is 7,827,848 square kilometres (does not include Hawaii and Alaska).

kiwi and NZ countryNew Zealand Fun Fact of the Day:

A kiwi is not a fruit – it is New Zealand’s native flightless bird  and a slang term for a New Zealander. Kiwis call the fruit “kiwifruit” – they are also known as Chinese Gooseberries.

kiwi bird

Acknowledgements

My thanks goes out to the Embassies of Australia and New Zealand for their contributions of the gift packages. My thanks also to Bottom Drawer Publications and Dreamspinner Press for their contest and donations. And my appreciation of all the participating authors who gave of their time and books to this event! Happy New Year All!