A MelanieM Review: Patience (Dublin Virtues #1) by Helena Stone


Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Patience is a virtue. But what if you wait too long?

While Xander Ekman’s dream of becoming a successful artist has come true, his love life has gone from bad to worse. Sick of the endless string of one-night-stands, he accepts the challenge when his best friend, Erik, bets him that he can’t be celibate for a month. Now all he needs is a reminder to keep his distance in the heat of the moment.

Troy Moriarty doesn’t have time for love. He’s too busy trying to keep his recently opened tattoo parlour afloat. Besides, ever since the man who was supposed to be his business partner abandoned him to run the shop on his own, he has a hard time trusting others.

When Xander turns to Troy for a tattoo that will remind him to be patient, the attraction is instant. But faced with Xander’s month of celibacy, Troy’s trust issues, and a nemesis lurking in the background, their relationship may be doomed before it has a chance to begin.

Patience (Dublin Virtues #1) by Helena Stone represents a new story, new series and a new author for me.  After finishing Patience, I considered it a win in all three categories.  Set in the city of Dublin, a place I dearly love (and captured here pretty well, especially the climate), we meet Xander an artist whose habit of one night stands has left him feeling empty and used.  Enter his old friend and a bet.  One month of abstinence.

I thought the author did a terrific job of making me feel empathetic towards  Xander immediately.  Under Erik’s  questioning, Xander starts to crumble, admitting to the feelings and walls he’s built up to hide the emptiness inside.  Seeing Xander’s pain and understanding the man brings us so close to him at the very beginning.  We’re there, liking him and rooting for his HEA.

When Troy is introduced, its so beautifully done, like the author quietly dropping a puzzle piece in place.  There’s linking threads between them, of course, from major to slim, which are revealed to us and them over the course of the story.  Troy is as immensely likable and real as is Xander, and equally broken in the same parts of his heart.  Biggest issue?  Trust of course, and communication about the important things.  How true to life and how sadly realistic.

The author must have a real love of symmetry for she has given each man a best friend here that acts as their support, confidant, and all around ‘kick in the pants’ when needed.  I fell in love with both of them as well, each as different as can be and, fingers crossed I’m hoping that the next book or books in the series revolves around them.

I had a couple of small issues one.  One was that Xander kept making a big deal over his anger issues but quite frankly we never saw any that seemed out of control or over the top.  Everyone gets angry and he was able to pull back and deal each time.  So either it should have been brought more fully into the story or really not made an issue of at all.

Also I felt the ending was a little rushed.  One bit left us hanging, although I suppose that was for the books to come.  Still it made me wonder because everything else in this terrific story is so well supported and all the foundations so lovingly laid out.  But that’s it.  I loved this story.

I will of course be anxiously awaiting the next story in the series.  I can’t wait to see where the author takes us and who the story will be about.

My one last little nod to Dublin and Ireland.  Surely another symbol other than a kanji character could have been used.  Maybe a celtic rune perhaps?  Just a thought.

Cover art by Emmy Ellis is ok but nothing that shouts storyline to me.

Sales Links

Pride Publishing 

Pre-Order: Amazon US | Amazon UK  (March 28)


Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 170 pages
Published February 28th 2017 by Pride Publishing
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDublin Virtues #1

A VVivacious Review: An Officer’s Submission (Cuffs, Collars, and Love #3) by Christa Tomlinson

Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Logan and Clay have finally found their places in their relationship.
But while things at home are better than good their life at work undergoes an upheaval. This serves to bring old doubts to the forefront of Clay’s mind but when an incident at work destroys his bubble of happiness, he is lost. As he works out how to deal with things while simultaneously keeping Logan in the dark things start going bad fast. Can their relationship survive these troubled waters and at what cost?
This book is amazing. It is a fabulous addition to a series that was already brilliant. I love this series so much and this book is my favourite one in this series.
Though I have to confess that, when I started reading this book I wasn’t feeling so good about it. This is because of three reasons. Firstly because I really thought that Logan and Clay would be much further along in their relationship. Secondly the beginning of this book is just a lot of sex scenes which don’t do much for story progression or so I thought. Thirdly this book features the alternating POVs of Logan and Clay and early on in the book the POVs where changing quite frequently often in the middle of a scene which was quite disconcerting. For all the above reasons I stopped reading this book around the 20% mark.
But luckily for me, from that point on the book is a treasure and when I started reading the book from this point on I couldn’t stop, I read the rest of it in a single setting without any breaks. Oh My God! This book is amazing, it was just so good and believe me my entire opinion on this book took a one eighty twist. Urgh! This book is just so good.
I think the initial series of sex scenes is basically a parameter to measure how off base Logan and Clay’s relationship had gotten following the events of this book. Also this book shows Logan and Clay’s relationship visibly move forward, which I loved because I wanted these two characters together since they are amazing together.
There are so many scenes in this book which were just amazing, just because there was such a wealth of emotion suffused in some of the dialogue that I had to read those parts of the book again just to get my fill. The Shibari scene early on in the book is where things changed for me in this book. But personally my all-time favourite part of this book was the scene featuring Logan and Clay during therapy, that scene was epic on so many levels. It saw their relationship mature and that scene is just crucial in getting all the events in this book into perspective. The punishment scene is hot, I mean there are no other words for it except maybe ingenious and innovative and Logan is a genius for figuring out the perfect way to mete out punishment, amazing. Also I love the scene in the bathroom following the altercation. This book has so many good things happening for it. This book just gave me so many feels that it took me over a day to get myself into a place where I could finally try to turn those feelings into words.
Personally I already loved the characters and their relationship from “The Sergeant” but this time around I got to love these characters even more. The plot is so amazingly written and it is so engrossing, it was a whole new twist on everything. What I loved about the plot was that it was something so troubling but it was presented and dealt with really well given the circumstances and moreover what I loved was how well the plot was used to make us see these characters in a new light.
In short, loved the book, loved the plot and adored Logan & Clay. It was simply amazing and it was a fantabulous addition to an already pretty great series.
Cover Art by Melody Simmons of eBook Indie Covers. The cover is amazing.
Sales Links
Book Details:
Kindle Edition
Published March 15th 2017 by Torlina Publishing
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesCuffs, Collars, and Love #3

Release Day Blitz: Enemy Within by Tal Bauer (excerpt and giveaway)


Title:  Enemy Within

Series: The Executive Office, Book 3

Author: Tal Bauer

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date: 3/28/2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 176K

Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense

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The White House, infiltrated.
The president, running for his life.
A traitorous general, intent on burning the world to the ground.

When everything falls apart, who do you trust?

President Jack Spiers fled Washington DC on the heels of a devastating attack on CIA headquarters, masterminded by one of America’s own, former General Porter Madigan. While the world believes Jack was killed in the bombing, he embarks on a wild infiltration mission, smuggling himself into occupied Russia to rescue the love of his life: former Secret Service Agent and First Gentleman Ethan Reichenbach.

Reunited, Jack, Ethan, and deposed Russian president Sergey Puchkov, along with President Elizabeth Wall—the only person left in Washington DC who Jack trusts—must work together. They piece together a desperate plan, hunting Madigan to the ends of the earth and the bitter frigidity of the Arctic, where Madigan’s world-shattering doomsday plan comes together.

Outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outgunned, Jack, Ethan, Sergey, and the rest of the team struggle to put a stop to Madigan and his army. In the desolate extremes of the Arctic, their resolve, their strength, and even their love is tested, pushed to the absolute limits as choices must be made: choices that pit the fate of the world against the love in their hearts, and the loves of their life.

As the world crumbles around them, Jack and Ethan find themselves waging a war on two fronts—against an enemy they can see, and another, hiding within their ranks.

Who can be trusted when the enemy is within you?


The sounds of the convoy coming alive in the frosty morning started clattering through their patch of snowy forest. Grumbled Russian, slamming doors and squeaky metal hinges, the crackle of logs in a fire, and the clang of pots and pans that Vasily insisted on bringing from Volga.

Jack nuzzled at Ethan’s neck, and the roughness of his beard, grown thick in the five days they’d been on the road, scratched over Ethan’s skin just before Jack dropped a kiss beneath his jaw. “Morning, love.”

Ethan smiled down at him, de-cocked his pistol, and slid it into his hip holster beneath their blankets. He wrapped both arms around Jack as Jack turned and faced him. “How are you? Are you warm enough?” As Ethan spoke, his breath clouded the air between them.

“I’m good.” Jack peeled off his gloves beneath the blankets and snaked his warm hands up under Ethan’s jacket and sweater. His gentle, searching fingers found the long line of ragged stitches in Ethan’s side.

Ethan flinched.

“Sorry. You know we need to check them.” Carefully, Jack felt around the stitches, testing the skin, and then rested his palm over the top of the mostly-healed wound. “No heat. No swelling. No pus. No infection.” He smiled. “You had me worried after yesterday.”

Ethan ducked his head, his cheeks warming. While rummaging through an abandoned barn, he’d walked right through a rotted-out baseboard and fallen into a cellar, into the rough, loose earth. Not his finest moment. They’d wrangled some supplies, but he’d come away filthy and bruised, his ego smarting. Jack’s worried eyes and his gentle ministrations after they’d stopped for the night had helped sooth the ache.

Jack’s gaze darted over Ethan’s face, searching. He frowned. “Did you get any sleep?”


“Liar.” Arching an eyebrow, Jack sat back but kept his hands under Ethan’s clothes and on his skin. “You should let me watch over you at night, too.”

“I’d rather do it. I have you close to me.” He patted his hip and his holstered weapon. “I have constant protection on you all night long. There’s no way anyone can get to you. Not without going through me.”

“Literally.” Jack smiled, but it faded fast. “I’ll drive during the day again. Rest, and let me watch over you.” He squeezed Ethan’s hip as if to emphasize his point.

Ethan nodded, and the corners of his lips quirked up. This was new, this give and take of caretaking and watching out for each other. In DC, at the White House, there had been their jobs and their duties and the world to react to. They took care of slights and wounds inflicted by the press, their suits and ties a kind of armor against the world. Out in the wilderness, in the forest, they’d fallen into a different kind of caretaking. A sharing of two lives, each supporting the other’s existence. It was primal, in a way, how they had fused together. Half of his life was in Jack’s hands, and instead of feeling vulnerable, it was the most natural feeling in the world. “Deal.” Leaning forward, he pressed a kiss to Jack’s lips.

A question hovered in the forefront of Ethan’s mind, weighing on his thoughts. Every morning, he felt the weight of his secret resting over his heart: two rings, made before the world fell apart around them. Some moments, asking Jack was on the tip of his tongue, ready to tumble from his lips with his next breath. He forced himself to swallow the words. Not yet. It wasn’t the right time. Not yet.

Jack leaned into Ethan, and his hands wound around Ethan’s back beneath his sweater. “At some point, we won’t be sleeping in this jeep anymore,” he whispered into their kiss. “We’ll have room to stretch out… share a sleeping bag…”

Smiling, Ethan pulled off his gloves and brought his hands up to Jack’s face, his thumbs caressing Jack’s cheeks. “We don’t need a sleeping bag…” One hand snaked around Jack’s neck, and the other dropped to his hip.

In a flash, he flipped Jack, laying him on his back across the bench seat. Jack wrapped his legs around Ethan’s waist as Ethan slid his hands through Jack’s blond strands.

Jack grabbed his shoulders and pulled Ethan closer, his legs tightening and holding Ethan in place. He captured Ethan’s lips, kissing greedily as his hips rocked upward. Even through the layers they wore, Ethan felt Jack’s hard cock, pressing against his own.

“I want you,” Jack breathed.  “I want you to make love to me.”

Ethan’s blood burned, searing through his body from his head to his toes, and part of him wanted to tilt Jack’s head back and ravage his throat, work his way down, unwrap him like a present until he found his cock. Suck him deep. Work him open with his tongue until Jack begged for more, and then sink his cock into Jack’s warm, tight body. Jesus, he wanted Jack. So much.

The springs on the jeep’s suspension squeaked with their rocking, and the tires groaned and crunched against the snow on the ground. In the distance, low chuckles sounded, and one catcall.

Deflating, Ethan dropped his forehead to Jack’s chest. He rode Jack’s deep, heaving breaths and listened to his racing heartbeat. “I don’t want an audience when I make love to you again.”

Jack’s legs dropped, one falling over the back of the front seat, and the other squishing against the window. His hands stroked over Ethan’s back and tangled in his hair. “I don’t want to have to be quiet.”

“Jesus.” Ethan gripped Jack and surged against him, thrusting against his hard cock once more. “That’s not helping.”

Smiling, Jack rocked his hips up once and then scooted backward, propping himself up on his elbows as Ethan sat back and tried to straighten out his clothes. A prominent bulge strained the front of his cargo pants. He ached, nearly painfully hard for Jack.

From the center of the camp, Scott called, “Coffee’s ready if you are!”

Rumbling laughter, deep and throaty, from nearly all the men.

Shaking his head, Jack started to pull himself together next to Ethan and fished out his balaclava from the pocket of his cargo pants. Outside of the jeep, he wore a full-face balaclava and, on their drive, he kept everything but his eyes covered. Ethan insisted, and Scott and Sergey both backed him up. The members of their convoy, of course, knew who Jack was, and just after Jack had shown up, Sergey had delivered a scathing speech in Russian to his people that had had even Ethan flinching, though he didn’t understand a word that had been said. But, they were traveling through a war zone, parts of Russia that were contested in the coup, under attack from Moroshkin’s forces, and that had been bombed by the United States and other nations, all trying to stop Moroshkin.

Who knew what was out there, or who was out there. Jack was, to the world, brain dead in Bethesda Naval Hospital. A front-page picture of him alive and well in Russia would go over as well as a nuclear bomb.

“Scott came by?” Jack tucked his undershirt into his pants, taking a moment to readjust. His cheeks were dusted crimson, a faint flush that Ethan wanted to nibble.

“Yeah.” He tore his eyes away from Jack and fanned the bottom of his sweater, trying to cool his body.

“How’d the scouting go?”

“The route is clear for the morning. More abandoned villages. They found fuel and some supplies. Vasily is cooking eggs.” Ethan reached out, and his fingers traced Jack’s spine through his sweater and jacket. “And you should talk to Sergey.”

Turning, Jack stared at Ethan.

“I think Scott’s worried about him.” A tight, strained smile, curved his lips. “And that’s saying something.” Scott’s trust in Sergey, and in their Russian allies, extended from meal to meal. Day to day, hour by hour. If everything came apart, Scott would be the first to say “I knew it”.

“He hasn’t wanted to talk to me.” Swallowing, Jack leaned back with a sigh. His hands dropped to his lap, and he picked at the wool fibers of the balaclava. “He’s kept his distance since Volga. I’m not sure I’m the person he wants to see right now.”

Nodding slowly, Ethan frowned. Sergey’s harsh accusations, thrown at Jack at Volga air base, had been the last direct contact the two had. “After all this time, you think he’s pulling away because of…”

Because of their love? Because he and Jack were together? Because Sergey had been loved by a gay man? Was this some kind of reaction, a fear that falling in love with another man “was contagious”, as he’d hurled at Jack?

“He’s pulled back before.” Jack sat forward, slipped the balaclava over his head. He tugged it down around his neck. “I want to do the right thing by him. I don’t want to piss him off.” He frowned, deep lines furrowing his brow. “But, no matter what else is going on, he’s devastated about losing Sasha. I remember what it felt like when I thought you were dead. I can at least try to talk to him about that.”

Ethan’s chest constricted, and his heart almost seized. Was it only a week ago that he’d thought Jack was dead and gone as well? Never, ever, again. He’d do everything in his power to keep Jack safe, keep him from ever coming to harm. And, he’d never lose faith like that again, either. The darkness that had swallowed him on his race from Saudi Arabia to Russia. The emptiness, the silent scream within his soul. The way he had wanted to die, had begged the world to kill him.

Together. They’d face everything together from now on. No matter what.

Adjusting the balaclava, Jack leaned over and pressed a chaste kiss to Ethan’s lips. “Time to face the music, love.”

Ethan pulled out his own balaclava, tugged it down around his neck, and gripped the door handle. They piled out of the back of the jeep, and Ethan caught the smothered grins and barks of laughter sent their way. Scott raised a dented metal mug toward them both. Jack headed for him, and for the small fire on which Vasily was cooking.

One of the Russians who went out with Scott every morning, Aleksey, slid up to Ethan. Middle-aged, Aleksey had been a federal police officer in Sochi and had fought back with Sergey against Moroshkin and Madigan’s forces the night of the coup. Now, he was one of Sergey’s officers in the insurgency. He had a small beer gut and a thick salt and pepper mustache beneath ruddy, pockmarked cheeks, a quick, sharp smile, and perpetually messy hair.

His eyes glittered as he clapped Ethan on the back. “You are good Russian lover!” he crowed. “Quick!”

Others laughed, and Ethan spied Jack smothering his grin and rolling his eyes as he took the coffee Scott offered. Scott shrugged and hid his smile in his next sip.

Ethan clapped Aleksey on the upper arm, smiling along with the others. When he and Jack had first met the men in Sergey’s insurgency, they’d worried about how they would be received. Two men in love in a country where only months before, Sasha had almost been killed for being gay. Another man, Evgeni Konnikov, had been murdered.

Sergey’s men, however, had been nothing but accepting. They were believers in Sergey’s government, after all, and Sergey had made equality a foundational platform of his politics and administration.

They just showed that acceptance through good Russian ribbing and teasing. The more ribald the better.

“If we had actually got going,” Ethan began, winking first at Jack and then sending Aleksey a grin, “we’d be here for days.”

More laughter. Aleksey wagged his finger in Ethan’s face and squeezed his elbow before handing him a cup of bitter, sludgy coffee. Vasily waved him and Jack over, and he scooped the last of the eggs into a scavenged plastic bowl they shared. “I save for you,” Vasily said, pointing to them both.

Jack thanked him. As they ate, Ethan spotted Sergey standing in front of his jeep, his hands resting flat on a spread-out map of Russia draped over the hood with his head bowed low. He looked up, and his piercing gaze fell on Jack. There was a moment where his face flickered, something dark passing through his eyes, but it was gone before Ethan could catch it.

And then, Sergey folded up his map and climbed into the driver’s side of his jeep. He kept his eyes downcast, not once looking at Jack again.



Meet the Author

Tal Bauer is an award-winning and best-selling author of LGBT romantic thrillers, bringing together a career in law enforcement and international humanitarian aid to create dynamic characters, intriguing plots, and exotic locations. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America.

Pronouns: They/them & he/him

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail



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Release Blitz for Bronze Star (A Veterans Affairs Story) by AE Wasp

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Veterans Affairs Series
Half-Broke: A Veterans Affairs Short Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Incoming: A Veterans Affairs Novel Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Christmas Outing: A Veterans Affairs Story Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paper Hearts: A Veterans Affairs Novel Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paper Roses: A Veterans Affairs Story Amazon US | Amazon UK

Chris Dobbs is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants now is his boss.
Everything about the dangerously handsome enigmatic older man drives him to his knees in more ways than one, ways Chris is realizing he’s always craved.

Giving Jay-Cee his body is as simple as breathing, but when Chris smashes through all of Jay-Cee’s hard earned control, he learns Jay-Cee demands more than just his obedience. He wants things Chris can’t give him – his heart, his soul, and his trust.

Jay-Cee offered his brilliant young protégé everything. In return, Chris took only the pieces he wanted and rejected the rest, leaving Jay-Cee reeling.

But the deep connection between them isn’t easily severed, and it promises to heal them both of the scars of their pasts. If they are to build a sanctuary from the rubble of their broken hearts, they’re going to have to risk everything.



April 1 – Love Bytes
April 3 – Sarandipity
Author Bio

After time spent raising children, earning several college degrees, and traveling the world with the U.S. State Department, she is returning to her first love – writing.

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world than can seem all too mundane. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, living with the same hopes and fears we all have. An avid traveler who has lived in big cities and small towns in four different continents, Amy has found that time and distance are no barriers to love. She invites her readers to reach out and share how her characters have touched their lives or how the found families they have gathered around them have shaped their worlds.

Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in a town suspiciously like Red Deer, Colorado.




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Ken Bachtold on Writing, Stories and his latest ‘A Company of Players’ (guest blog)



A Company of Players (States of Love) by Ken Bachtold
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Available for Purchase at


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ken Bachtold here today answering our questions and talking about his release A Company of Players, the latest in Dreamspinner Press’ States of Love series.  Welcome, Ken, tell us about yourself, writing and your story!


Ken Bachtold: First of all, being a great fan of the whimsical, I love the title of your blog! Makes me smile! Also, I think your question and answer approach is the very best way to understand an author, and I’m delighted to answer all your questions.

I do put a lot of my own thoughts and actions into my characters, particularly the protagonist, also the other characters often say things I think are important.  A few of my own experiences do come into play, i.e., more in this story than any of the others, since I did come to New York (not with a Barb) and I did start my own theater company called, surprisingly, A Company Of Players, the origin of which is explained in the book. The trip to the used theater seating company is right out of my experience. (I can still see those beautiful light blue seats that were too impractical to be used). However, most of the rest is made up. The local color (New York) is almost all authentic (i.e. the little square, so important in the story, actually exists), as I do live in New York (and I did come from San Francisco, where my knowledge, with research, remembers affectionately, The Fairmont Hotel.) I have a BA & MA in Theater with a minor in Art from San Francisco State University, so all of the theater references are spot on.

Yes! Research is vitally important, because someone, somewhere will have exact knowledge concerning what you’re writing about.  Heaven help the author who disregards this reader!  One of my stories had the main character going out of state.  I ordered a great book titled Writers Guide to Places by Dan Prues and Jack Heffron, and settled on Montana.  I found that, besides being the home of the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park, it’s rumored that they have a potluck dinner every 2.3 seconds and they favor pickled eggs and bull’s testicles! After reading all that, and putting most of it into the story, I would never try to describe a different locale without research!

When younger, I read (and often re-read) the Dobbie Gillis stories by Max Schulman (who else would name a female character something so delicious as Poppy Herring!)? I’ve since always been attracted to that kind of humor (Paper Moon, Auntie Mame, etc. For instance, I loved the movie Deadpool.) My main characters in this story, Nick and Barb are constantly (with good humor) teasing each other and trying for one-upmanship. I feel it keeps the dialogue bright and interesting. Although, I do have moments of very serious conversations. Also, when I found her, I read all the Regency romances by Georgette Heyer (the very best in the genre) for their authentic period descriptions as well as the wonderful stories, and, when desperate, I must confess I even read Barbara Cartland (one of her heroines was named Panthia – which I thought rather pretentious.) My favorite main stream authors are Lee Child’s Streacher stories, and anything by Jonathan Kellerman and Dick Francis. As for MM stories, my most favorite novelist is Pat Henshaw, a fellow Dreamspinner author.

I’ve never had to put an “in progress” story aside because of emotional angst, because I never let my characters get to that absolute desperation point.  Worry, insecurity etc., but never any truly painful stress. Their hearts may ache, or even shatter a bit, but they never bleed to death!  I’ve always hated sad endings and with movies I won’t even go to one, because the depression stays with me for days.  So, too, with books.  I’ve literally thrown an MM book on the floor when at the very end, the characters look sadly at each other as the sun sets over the beach, and then they walk in different directions. Grrrr!

I have had to put a story aside when I get two ideas going at the same time.  I write just enough to get my ideas down and then put one away.  I’m very linear, not a multitasker! At the moment, I’ve had to put aside one titled Looking Back For Tomorrow and concentrate on another titled Something Happened In Paris (I was lucky once, being able to go there (had never been out of the U.S.) with a stage production – as a friend – and I remember it vividly – but research, I will faithfully do)!

I have mixed feelings about the e-book phenomenon.  As a reader, I feel like a traitor when I read my Kindle (and its most likely storage of 400 or so MM books, as well as detective stories) but they’re so convenient and handy. Books tend to get dropped and lost. (I once dropped an almost-finished paperback onto the subway tracks and, stupidly, looked both ways and dropped down and then back up to retrieve it. Well . . . I had to find out how it ended!) As an author, I’d much rather be published in paperback and have the actual book in hand, as there’s something too ephemeral about e-books! I plan, for the first time, to exhibit at the Rainbow Book Fair, and it would be great to have all of my books in paperback form instead of only two!

Re: Covers! With my second book published by Dreamspinner, All By Myself, I discovered cover artist Reese Dante, who in my opinion is the greatest! I was so delighted that I requested her expertise on my next book, Mood Indigo as well as this current one.  She is outstanding, as she always has faint depictions of the scenes of the book in the background behind the figures and/or faces.  And her color palette and font choice are always exquisite, and perfectly fitting to the mood of the book!

Do I have a favorite among my stories? OMG, that’s like asking a mother if she has a favorite child.  I love all my books equally, and you would never hear me even murmur otherwise!  After all, I wouldn’t want to hurt any feelings, and I would if any one of them thought they weren’t number one!!

I came to my writing in kind of a roundabout way. I had a terrible time finding MM books that I liked to read.  I found most of them (but not all) rather weak on character and plot and heavy on minutely described sex scenes every two or three pages. To my mind, they bordered from kind of sleazy to absolute porn.  I discovered (in an Advocate article that most of the writers were women and most of the readers were youngish girls).  But . . . what about guys like me?   So, I decided that instead of just moaning, I would try to write the kind of book I favored. Writing was not so foreign to me, as I’d written four musicals, book, music and lyrics and a very successful play (Starting Over) produced at the Ninth Annual Fresh Fruit Festival).  So, figuratively, pen in hand, I forged ahead.  When I finished my first one (Seeing The Same Blue) I figured, why not go for it? So, I sent it to the firm I believed to be the Cadillac of publishing houses, Dreamspinner Press. I nearly fell off my chair when I was fortunate enough that they accepted it!  And, I was off and running. I write books heavy on plot and character, with, I hope scintillating dialogue and some titillation along the way. Luckily, I’ve found an audience that likes my kind of book and I’ve had some very nice comments on Amazon.  (Also, a few real stinkers – but that’s to be expected.)

Well, I hope I haven’t gone on too long, and that the last paragraph is not off-putting.  It’s been a real kick to be able to detail all these things about me and my books, and I thank you for the structure you provide!

Yours in whimsy,

Ken Bachtold



About A Company Of Players

Leaving romantic wreckage behind him, Nick Charles and his best friend Barb Anderson use Nick’s sizable inheritance to fly to one of the most exciting places in the world—New York City—with plans to open their own theater. In doing so, they meet Ross Taylor, the handsome real estate man and actor, and Rudy his construction-worker cousin. Ross is determined to heal Nick’s fragile heart, while shy Rudy and oblivious Barb stumble toward their own connection. Will Rosie Dupree, a rigid method actress, and talented but devious Gordon Holmes destroy their theater dreams? Was choosing the original piece, Starting Over, by an unpublished young playwright the best move for opening night? Will the invited critic show up? Amid the frantic and colorful world of the New York City theater scene, Nick and Barb must open their hearts and risk everything for their endeavors to succeed—both on the stage and behind the scenes.

About the Author

Ken Bachtold 

BA & MA from San Francisco State University in Theatre (Acting and Directing) with a minor in Art.

When I constantly had trouble finding the type of book I liked to read, I finally said to myself, “Why don’t you stop moaning and write one yourself?” So I did. I was thrilled to the marrow (literally) when Dreamspinner accepted Seeing the Same Blue. Then followed acceptance of Blue Valentine Blues, part of their Valentine anthology. Next, came acceptance of All By Myself, Mood Indigo and now A Company Of Players is being released on March 22, 2017. My cup runeth over!  All books can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Before that, Outskirts Press published Love Like Lightning – Ten Stories of Love at First Sight, also on Amazon.

My original play, Starting Over (which I also directed), was just staged as part of the Ninth Annual Fresh Fruit Festival here in New York.  Audience reaction was terrific.  It was one of nine plays accepted out of 60 submitted.  It was an MM romance.  The blurb in the brochure for the festival read, “A play about love and loss.  Griff has recently lost his longtime partner.  Can he find happiness with Ben, the new neighbor down the hall?  He’s supported by his sister and opposed by his widowed mother, now remarried to a homophobic preacher.”

 I’ve also written 4 musicals, book, music and lyrics.

Saloon (loosely suggested by the old melodrama The Drunkard) which opened The Gatetway Dinner Theatre in New Jersey to great reviews (I can forward them if you wish). It was subsequently optioned by Broadway producer Jerry Schloschberg (who, at the time was, producing the revival of On The Town with Bernadette Peters), but a show sluggishly following the old material opened and closed the same night, and he backed off thinking there was now a “stigma” on the material.

 The Facts of Life (a musical about War, Prejudice and Aging, circa the ‘60s) was written at the BMI Music Workshop, taught by Broadway legend, Lyman Engle, and only after several auditions before acceptance in the class.  It was deemed worthy of a staged reading there.

 Boo! based on the old gothic novel The Castle Spectre was done by several regional theatres.

I was hired to doctor a musical based on Iphigenia At Aulis, called The Winds Of Aulis.  I changed the name to Dilemma! and wrote a subplot and mostly new lyrics.  Although the play was fully backed, it never reached production and I never found out why.

 I’ve written and staged numerous night club and cabaret acts and taught singing for the musical stage for 15 years.

Contact Ken at:

  • Website:              www.kenbachtold
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In the Spotlight: Patience (Dublin Virtues #1) by Helena Stone (giveaway)



Buy Links: Pride Publishing (Early download)

Pre-Order: Amazon US | Amazon UK  (March 28)

Cover: Emmy Ellis

Length: 62,945 words

Publisher: Pride Publishing


Patience is a virtue. But what if you wait too long?

While Xander Ekman’s dream of becoming a successful artist has come true, his love life has gone from bad to worse. Sick of the endless string of one-night stands, he accepts the challenge when his best friend, Erik, bets him that he can’t be celibate for a month. Now all he needs is a reminder to keep his distance in the heat of the moment.

Troy Moriarty doesn’t have time for love. He’s too busy trying to keep his recently opened tattoo parlor afloat. Besides, ever since the man who was supposed to be his business partner abandoned him to run the shop on his own, he has a hard time trusting others.

When Xander turns to Troy for a tattoo that will remind him to be patient, the attraction is instant. But faced with Xander’s month of celibacy, Troy’s trust issues, and a nemesis lurking in the background, their relationship may be doomed before it has a chance to begin.

Author Bio

Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.

The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.

Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.

Helena can be found in the following places: 



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