Book Tour & Contest: Starling by Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese

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STARLING COVER Maltese McRae

Whistle Stop Tour for Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese’s

Starling!

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Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese have stopped by to talk about Starling, their latest release from Torquere.

We’d like to do a giveaway of a free e-copy of “Lake Effect,” our short story from the wedding-themed anthology They Do, also from Torquere.  To enter to win, leave an comment with your email address included.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Contest ends 9/20.

Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese Talk About Inspiration and their latest book, Starling!

Starling was inspired by a question, and then by our own fascination with the unglamourous parts of fairytale of fame.

Racheline and I started writing together more or less by accident. We met through mutual friends and share loves of television, backstage stories, and romances that are a little dark and a little messy.

But loving backstage stories when one of you is a SAG-AFTRA actor and the other has a long history of working crew in school shows can be hard. There’s so much to fantasize about, people don’t always get the reality right.

But what if? We asked each other. What if a guy who never wanted to be famous, became famous? And then, email by email, we started telling each other a story. And once we started, we didn’t stop. A year later, we’ve sold two novels — including Starling — a short story, and a novellete, have a half-dozen projects currently in progress, and several currently out with publishers for submission.

For Starling and its sequels, we wanted to tell a story about the wonder and the terror that is fame. Starling may be a fairytale — that discovered in a diner narrative always is. But it’s not a the Disney fairytale. Rather, it’s much more Hans Christian Andersen or Brothers Grimm.

Since Starling is a contemporary romance, it’s not that there are monsters lurking under the bed, but we are huge fans of magical realism and wanted to see how we could bring those ideas to a story, both magic and real, set in Hollywood.

As Alex, our guy who becomes famous, and Paul, the guy he falls for, navigate their way to their happy ending, things are hard and occasionally dark. Because life, after all, isn’t easy, and fame and success don’t make figuring out how to get, and keep, what — and who — you want any easier.

STARLING COVER Maltese McRaeTitle:  Starling
Authors: Erin McRae & Racheline Maltese
Publisher:  Torquere Books
Cover artist:  Brandon Clay

Sales Link: Amazon

 “Starling” Blurb:

When J. Alex Cook, a production assistant on The Fourth Estate (one of network TV’s hottest shows), is accidentally catapulted to stardom, he finds himself struggling to navigate both fame and a relationship with Paul, one of Fourth’s key writers. Despite their incendiary chemistry, Alex’s inexperience and the baggage they’re both carrying quickly lead to an ugly break-up.

Reeling from their broken hearts, Alex has an affair with a polyamorous co-star and Paul has an ill-advised reunion with an old flame. Meanwhile, the meddling of their colleagues, friends — and even the paparazzi! — quickly make Alex and Paul’s real life romance troubles the soap opera of the television season.

But while the entertainment value may be high, no one knows better than Alex and Paul that there are no guarantees when it comes to love in Los Angeles.

Authors Bios:

Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese’s gay romance series Love in Los Angeles, set in the film and television industry, is published by Torquere Press. The first novel, Starling, was released September 2014; its sequel, Doves, is scheduled for January 2015. Racheline is a NYC-based performer and storyteller focused on themes of sex, gender, desire and mourning. Erin McRae is a writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C.

Contact Links:

Review: The Retreat: A Roughstock Story (Roughstock) by B.A. Tortuga

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery year the bullfighters hold their retreat, three days free of families and outside obligations.  Its a time to bond and renew before the rodeo circuit begins again.  And for the first time, Dillon Walsh, rodeo clown and significant other of Coke Pharris has been invited.  With “all manner of mischief is on the menu along with the barbecue”, can Coke and Dillon find time for love as well?

The Retreat is more a piece of flash fiction or excerpt than a stand alone story. It is a glimpse in the early days of Coke and Dillon’s relationship.  While the story doesn’t go into details, Tortuga hints at the early stages of Coke and Dillon’s romance by pointing out that this is the first time Dillon has been invited to be a part of this tightly knit group of men.  And by how circumspect the men are with their PDAs.  Only one other member makes a significant appearance in this short story, it is a telling one with Nate and his wife as a couple who are also close friends of Coke’s and now Dillon’s.   This couple acts as a centering element for Coke and Dillon’s relationship.  They are both a barometer and anchor for all the other bullfighters reactions.

B.A. Tortuga’s great characterizations are front and center of this short story. So even without any background you will find yourself grinning in response to Dillon’s reaction over being invited to the bullfighter shindig:

He gave his butt a little shake, happy and loose in his hips. He sure did like the idea of being invited to the annual bullfighter weekend. He’d never been to one before. Hell, he hadn’t known about them until Nate had asked him.

Just walked right up to him and popped him on the arm and said, “You coming to both parts of the retreat, yeah?”

Like he knew all about it. Like he was just a part of the team, totally, finally.

Of course he’d said yes. Absolutely.

You get the glee, the joy over being finally included in a group of men who are important to him.  Just lovely.

There are any number of Roughstock shorts out there to be enjoyed.  But first, go back and read the core stories in the Roughstock series, Get the background to all the characters and relationships mentioned upon in the short stories.  This will leave your frustrations with these interludes at the door and let you settle back for a quick trip with characters you have grown to love.  Here are the books and stories in the Roughstock series in the order they were written and should be read:

Core Roughstock stories:
Roughstock: Blind Ride — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Give it Time: the Seven of Wands – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: And a Smile — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Doce — A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m
Amorzinhos — A Roughstock Story – Novela, m/m, threesome
Roughstock: File Gumbo — Season One – Novel, m/m, core
Roughstock: And a Smile — Coke’s Clown – Novela, m/m,
Shutter Speed, A Roughstock Story: the Seven of Pentacles – Novella, m/m
Roughstock: City/Country – Novel, m/f
Roughstock: Picking Roses – Novel, m/f
Needing To: A Roughstock Story – Novella, m/m
Upcoming Roughstock Novels
Roughstock: What She Wants – Novel, m/m/f
Roughstock: Tag Team – Season Two – Novel, m/m
Roughstock: Terremoto – Season Two- Novel, m/m

Roughstock Shorts:
Cowboy Christmas (Coke and Dillon)
A Cowboy Family Christmas (Coke and Dillon)
Barbed Wire and Bootheels (Sam and Beau)
Just Another Day At The Office (Coke and Dillon
Leatherwork and Lonely Cowboys, a Roughstock short (Beau and Sam)
The Retreat (Coke and Dillon)
The New Guy (Coke and Dillon)
Some Good Doctoring (CB and Jonesy) – Free Read

Book Details:

ebook, 13 pages
Published May 2nd 2012 by Torquere Press

Review of Fair Puckled by Bella Leone

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Rating: 5 stars

Jackson Stuart is on a trip of a lifetime.  As a doctoral student in Celtic studies at Boston University, he jumps at a chance to accompany his professor to the Scottish Highland Games for research and field work. From the moment, Jackson and Dr. McKenzie land on Dunoon Pier, Jackson feels like he has come home.  And then he crashes head on into a gorgeous ginger haired man in a kilt who leaves him fair puckled. The way Jackson feels he may never go home again.

Bella Leone does an outstanding job of giving the reader a generous dose of Scotland in 19 pages.  From the scenery to the language, she transports the reader into the center of the Highland games and the heart of Jackson Stuart.  Where others would give us a sketch in the same short length, Leone manages to give us fully fleshed out characters who hook us in and make us care about their future once the story ends. The raucous nature of the games, along with the sweat and concentration come through beautifully as do the Scottish people themselves. In fact, I find it very much to be a love note to Scotland with the start of what promises to be a great relationship tossed into the proceedings.

I would like to see a sequel but I can imagine what takes place after the story ends as well as Leone generously left us many hints as to the path Jackson will take.  I loved this short story and think you will too. It left me as fair puckled as Jackson Stuart.  That would be the Scottish term for short of breath!