Xenia Melzer on Writing, Inspiration, and her latest release ‘A Dom and His Writer (Club Whisper #1) (guest blog)

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A Dom and His Writer (Club Whisper #1) by Xenia Melzer
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Aaron Anderson

Release Date: October 23, 2017

Available to Purchase at

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

How I got the idea for A Dom and his Writer

by Xenia Melzer

People often want to know how authors get their ideas for stories. For each author, that can be a unique process, but one thing many of us have in common is the so-called “plot bunny disease”. The plot bunny is an evil little thing that hops through your mind, leaving new ideas like Easter eggs when you should be writing something else. Once the plot egg hatches – with me, it usually happens during night, when I’m defenseless – there’s this new story with all those interesting characters and it wants out. It can’t wait. Nope. Not a day, not a minute, and certainly not until you have finished this other project.

For me, this means I sit down with my trusty notebook (analog, not digital, so last century, I know!) to write down the cliff notes, overall plot, and everything else you need to craft a story. I usually don’t know what triggers the plot bunny to drop its eggs, but with “A Dom and his Writer”, I have a pretty good idea. I had read something about so-called helicopter parents, the pro and cons of getting children early/late in your life, and why especially parents with an academic background seem to be prone to helicoptering. Why I read that article? Don’t ask me. It was less complicated than the Lego bus my younger daughter wanted to build with me and slightly more demanding than scrolling through my FB account, so I went with it. Anyway, said article culminated in the idea for “A Dom and his Writer”.

I thought about all the ways my children have changed my life and then I wondered how somebody who had no ties to children or inclination to have them whatsoever, would react to having one dumped in their lap. At least, I wanted to have children…

So I came up with Richard and Dean, a gay BDSM couple, Richard a filthy rich billionaire, Dean a super-successful, not as filthy rich but still loaded author, who live their life with absolutely no care in the world. (I’m not saying BDSM couples don’t want children, it’s just that I wanted the maximum in contrast and black leather against pink onesies was irresistible to me.)

Richard and Dean have it all: deep love, a stable relationship, both are comfortable with their roles and the kinky side of their love-life, they have good friends and more money than they will ever be able to spend. Then comes Emily, Dean’s niece, a three-month old girl, and everything changes.

I do admit some of the scenes including Emily were written with my own children in mind. Becoming a parent is easy, being one is quite another story and nobody can prepare you for the challenges that come with raising a child. Those who consciously decide to become parents have at least nine months to prepare for it. To read books, watch videos, attend courses. Richard and Dean are thrown into the role with no warning and I have to admit, I just watched them struggle with the changes Emily brought to their life.

Sometimes it was funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes I got angry. Writing this story was a bit like the first year with my first daughter. A roller-coaster ride that I’d never want to miss, even when the ride was a bit bumpy sometimes.

I hope readers see the story like I do – a love story between two men who have to face a major challenge, not knowing how it will end for their relationship.

Oh, and there’s a bit of kink, too. 😊    

 

Blurb

Life is perfect for Richard and Dean. Richard is a wealthy and successful businessman who also owns a BDSM club, and Dean is a bestselling author and sub to Richard. They’re young, happy, and in love. The future is bright….

 

Until tragedy strikes and an accident claims Dean’s beloved sister. Dean also finds himself the guardian of a three-month-old infant, and soon he’s trading in his leather fetish gear for diapers and drool bibs. But little Emily is all that remains of his family, so how can he abandon her?

 

It’s not what Richard signed up for. As much as he tries to be supportive, he never wanted kids and misses having his partner to himself. Suddenly the life he imagined for them is gone, and he’s not sure their relationship can survive the upheaval. But fate isn’t through with Dean, and when misfortune strikes again, will he be able to turn to the man he loves? A final crisis will determine if they can pull together as a family or they must face facts and part ways.

About the Author

Xenia Melzer is a mother of two who enjoys riding and running when she’s not writing stories. She doesn’t like beer but is easily tempted by a Virgin Mojito. Or chocolate. Truffles are especially cherished, even though she doesn’t discriminate. As a true chocoholic, she welcomes any kind of cocoa-based delight.

You can contact her through her website: http//www.xeniamelzer.com

Or befriend and follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/xeniamelzer/

Andrew Grey on the Definition of HEA and his latest release ‘Taming the Beast’ (guest blog)

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Taming the Beast by Andrew Grey
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Paul Richmond

Release Date: October 13, 2017

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Grey here today on his Taming the Beast tour.  Welcome, Andrew.

✒︎
I’m very much a Happily Ever After kind of guy.  I like my characters to feel as though they are going to be together in the story as well as my heart.  But I seem to have a problem because I’m not sure what a HEA really means any more.  In traditional romance that path leads to the altar or at least to a proposal.  But in MM romance marriage wasn’t possible for so many years, so a HEA usual consisted of some sort of gesture of permanence.  They moved in together, bought a house, or asked each other to be their life partner, even exchanged rings with only the two of them.  Something to signify that they planned to stay together.  Now in this age of marriage equality, I’m having trouble because I’m not sure if we’ve reverted to the traditional version of an HEA or not.  In my stories I tend to use the older definition of an HEA, probably because I’m an old fart and getting older by the day.  (Rolls eyes)     But I’d like to hear what you think.  Please comment and let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear them.

Blurb/Synopsis

The suspicious death of Dante Bartholomew’s wife changed him, especially in the eyes of the residents of St. Giles. They no longer see a successful businessman… only a monster they believe was involved. Dante’s horrific reputation eclipses the truth to the point that he sees no choice but to isolate himself and his heart.

The plan backfires when he meets counselor Beau Clarity and the children he works with. Beau and the kids see beyond the beastly reputation to the beautiful soul inside Dante, and Dante’s cold heart begins to thaw as they slip past his defenses. The warmth and hope Beau brings to Dante’s life helps him see his entire existence—his trials and sorrows—in a brighter light.

But Dante’s secrets could rip happiness from their grasp… especially since someone isn’t above hurting those Dante has grown to love in order to bring him down.

Excerpt

Dante turned back to Bobby. “Do you know what we’re going to have for dinner?”

“Roast beef and potatoes and beans.” Bobby made a face. “I don’t like beans.”

“Bobby,” Beau said gently.

“Why not? They’re good, and they make you grow up big and strong. My mom always made me eat my green beans, and look at me.” He sat up straight, and Bobby’s eyes widened.

“These are green and yellow beans together,” Beau clarified.

“Even better. The yellow ones make you smarter. I really like those. And it’s good to be smart.” Dante nudged Bobby. “I’ll make a deal with you. If you eat all your beans, then after dinner, I’ll see if they have any ice cream for dessert.”

Bobby shook his head. “There’s cake.” He pushed out his lower lip. “I can’t have cake. It has gluten in it.” He turned away, his little shoulders drooping.

“I see.” Dante pulled out his phone and made a very quick call to Harriet at the house, then began to eat. When he was done with his starter, his salad was placed in front of him, and he ate it slowly. As he finished, the lady from the other couple, who had been quiet so far, asked him about what the Foundation did. “It’s to better the people and community of St. Giles and Maryland in general, though we localize our work to the Eastern Shore. We take proposals from anyone and evaluate them for community impact and need.”

“Do you get anything out of it?” she asked.

“I own the porcelain works, and half the profits go into the Foundation. We invest the money and then arrange to distribute the earnings through our projects. The principal is never touched, and so far it has grown each year through contributions.” Dante finished his salad and glanced at Bobby, who was carefully eating one piece of lettuce at a time.

“I’m Clyde Harrison, and this is my wife, Jean. I’m a second-shift foreman at the porcelain works.” He reached across the table to shake hands, and Jean did the same. They both seemed nervous, like if they said one wrong thing, Dante would fire him.

“It’s nice to meet you, Jean.” He turned to Clyde. “I’ve seen you at the plant.” He thought for a second. “You were the one who came up with the idea to reroute the laboratory-ware line last year. That was a great idea, and it’ll be done next month. We figure it will save us quite a bit.” Dante had already arranged a bonus for him, but he’d let that work through the channels.

The conversation died, and Dante turned to Bobby, who had eaten about half his salad and seemed to be finished. “Are you done?” Dante asked him, and Bobby nodded. The servers collected their plates and brought the dinners.

“Do I have to eat all this?” Bobby whispered. “Mama says I have to clean my plate and not waste food.” He looked at him and then at Beau.

“Just eat what you want and have some of the beans.” Dante winked, and Bobby took a bite of the beans and ate a few before starting on the rest. Beau helped Bobby cut his meat, and then the kid ate like a trooper. “Is it good?” Dante asked.

Bobby grinned, nodded, and went back to eating. Dante took a few bites and ate a little of the roast beef. It was okay. The potatoes weren’t exceptional. He ate the vegetables and enough of the rest to make his hunger abate and then waited for his plate to be cleared.

As the conversation in the room increased while the courses were changed, Dante excused himself and left the room. Roberts stood waiting for him. “Harriet added some ice to make sure this stayed cold.”

“Thank you.” Dante took the small cooler bag and carried it back into the banquet room. Pieces of cake had been distributed, with one sitting in front of each place, including Bobby’s, taunting the poor kid. Dante moved the cake aside and opened the bag. Dante took out a bowl of Harriet’s homemade chocolate ice cream and set it at Bobby’s place. “Guaranteed gluten-free.”

“Thank you!” Bobby said and began to eat like he hadn’t just had dinner.

About the Author

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Author Links

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

(Please Be Sure To Stop by His Website to See All of His Works)

Blitz Tour for ‘In Over Our Heads’ by CJane Elliott (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  In Over Our Heads

Series: Stories from the Shore

Author: CJane Elliott

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: October 16, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 67,000

Genre: Romance, Second Chances, Vacation

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Anthony Vallen is the life of any party. Full of energy and fun, Anthony adores romance and enjoys playing matchmaker for his friends while dancing the night away with a series of Mr. Right Nows. But he’s given up on his own happy ending. A bad breakup years ago made him a secret cynic about love… until he runs into Walter Elkins—the boy who broke his teenaged heart—on a scuba-diving vacation in Key West. Suddenly, Anthony’s reasons for shunning romance no longer hold much water. Being with Walter again forces Anthony to get serious—about himself, his worth, and his heart’s desires.

Brilliant and self-contained, scientist Walter Elkins prefers deep thoughts to other people. He’s a good boss and a model citizen, but Walter doesn’t let anyone get close. After a tragedy drove him out of his science career, Walter landed in Key West and became owner of a dive shop and a bar. Things are fine until Anthony Vallen—the only person who ever penetrated his defenses—shows up, and Walter’s calm, controlled life capsizes. He and Anthony have a second chance for love, but Walter must confront the old fears that threaten to torpedo their happiness.

Excerpt

The door burst open, and Sophia sailed in with my morning cappuccino. She was humming under her breath and had that telltale postsex glow about her. I tried not to hate her too much.

“What’re you doing in here with me, doll? Don’t you have a sexy dive instructor to entertain?”

“She had to leave early.” Sophia handed me the mug. “She’s taking her group out on the ocean dive too, and she had to go to Back Bay to get the boat ready.”

I took a restorative sip of cappuccino. “Ahh. Well, I hope you didn’t tire her out too much last night. Or vice versa.” I winked at her, even though I didn’t feel very winky.

“Guilty on both our parts, I’m afraid.” Sophia smirked, then perched on the side of my bed. “Can we talk more about what’s going on with you and Walter?”

“Going on?” I blinked and buried my nose in the cup. “I mean, I told you guys last night. What more do you need to know?”

“Whatever it’ll take to help you and him figure yourselves out, because second chances like this don’t come around often.”

“God, not you too. You and Jonny need to start a group for incurable romantics.”

She straightened, her dark eyes snapping with intensity. “Caro! You’re the one who talks about destiny. This is your destiny!”

I sighed. She was so over the top sometimes. Must be her Italian blood. “Maybe my destiny is to be reminded to never let a guy walk over me the way Walter did.”

“I…. Look, Marco has a good point, and I agree with him that Walter needs to apologize. It was awful of him to drop out of sight. You so don’t deserve to be treated that way.”

“Right.” I put down my cup, having lost my taste for the cappuccino.

“But you two were barely out of high school. So young! People change. It certainly doesn’t seem in character with how he is now.”

“Doesn’t it?”

“Well, I mean, Walter seems so conscientious and thoughtful. Yes, a little gruff, but not someone who would knowingly hurt you. But maybe… safety seems to be a huge concern to him. And maybe he couldn’t stand that you almost drowned, and he couldn’t face you after that? Did he ever explain it to you?”

“No. I begged him to tell me why, and all he would say is ‘I’m not good for you. I don’t want to hurt you anymore.’ I guess the safety thing is the most plausible explanation. Because other than that, it’s bizarre that he would walk away and throw away a great thing. We were….” I paused, hit by an unexpected wave of grief. “Damn it, Soph, we were really good together. Yes, we were young, but we complemented each other so well. Like, I brought him out of his shell, and he calmed me down. And he took me seriously. He listened to me in a way no one but Jonny ever had before.” My eyes betrayed me by welling up.

“Oh, Anthony. That’s lovely. I can tell he still does. Take you seriously, I mean. He hasn’t been able to stop staring at you the whole time we’ve been around him. It’s obvious he still cares.”

Sophia’s words threw little daggers at my silly heart. Jonathan had said essentially the same thing. If they both thought Walter still cared for me, maybe it was true. And God, if it was true, I was in deep waters. I knew I should stiffen my backbone and armor myself with outrage. But I couldn’t. Still hung up on Walter Elkins? Guilty as charged. Convicted. Lock me up and throw away the key, because I had no hope of rehabilitation. I put my face in my hands for a moment. What a hopeless sentimental fool!

Luckily for my humiliation factor, Marco came barging in with a brilliant grin. “All right, darlings! Today’s the day! Scuba diving or bust! Get ready for the adventure of your lives.” He stopped short and peered at me. “You okay?”

Pulling myself together, I returned his smile. “Fabulous, doll! Off to the reefs we go to swim with the fishies!”

 

Purchase

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Celebrate the release of In Over Our Heads with a special sale: All the Way to Shore is on sale for 99 cents at Amazon through October 24 with that price matched at the Dreamspinner Press store October 16-24.

Meet the Author

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | eMail | Dreamspinner | Amazon

 

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Kim Dias on Writing, Stories and her release ‘Breakfast at Midnight’ (guest post)

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Breakfast at Midnight by Kim Dias
Dreamspinner Press
Cover art by L.C. Chase

Release Date:
Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Kim Dias here today on her Breakfast at Midnight tour.  Welcome, Kim.

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with the author of Breakfast at Midnight… Kim Dias

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I find this one of the hardest questions to answer because, well, I don’t really know! I definitely share traits with several of my characters, but when I’ve finished writing, I sometimes feel as though there’s more of my characters in me than there is of me in them. Which can make me feel a little bit crazy sometimes! When a character has a really strong voice, I’ll sometimes find myself talking in their voice rather than them talking in mine. It’s a good thing, I think. I’d rather have their voices come easily to me than struggle with them.

  • Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work? Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it? Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

This happens more with characters than with plots. I’ll often have a character in my head for years and years before I find the right story for them. Shawn from my short story “How to Build a Shed” was one of those characters. He was in my head for ages before I managed to find the right story for him.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Do you mean choosing one over the other? Because I really can’t do that. It depends on the story. If the ending fits the story, I like it. I hate seeing a happy ending forced into a story, the same way I hate seeing sad endings forced into a story because a happy one didn’t seem artsy enough, I guess.

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

My two favourites are “How to Build a Shed” and “Two Captains”. I really love the storyline of “How to Build a Shed”; it takes me to such a happy place, and I love my characters in that one. As for “Two Captains”, well, I call it “my queer lady pirate story”, and I love it just for the fact that I can give it that description. It does important things for representation, I think, and I’m incredibly proud of it.

  • If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

My current work station is pretty great—it’s just a desk set up in my bedroom, but its atmosphere is really conducive to getting work done. It’s also where I got the news about Breakfast at Midnight’s publication, so there are very fond memories associated with this desk.

But if I’m dreaming, I’d love a house on the beach with a study overlooking the ocean. A big desk. A whiteboard on the wall so I can scribble down my ideas when they’re overflowing from my head. Bookshelves absolutely filled with books. Someone to bring me cups of tea.

I have a hard time working when I’m surrounded by clutter. My desk is currently a mess and I’m struggling with everything. I need to set aside some time for cleaning because clutter at my work station seems to create clutter in my brain.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I’m currently at school. I’m majoring in writing at the University of Victoria in Canada. So there’s lots of writing, but it isn’t always the kind of writing I want to be doing. My current goal is to survive this semester, but I’m always playing with ideas for my own creative pursuits. Editing Breakfast at Midnight was such a rewarding, but exhausting experience that I haven’t ventured out into romance since we wrapped up, but I think it’s time. I want to write about people falling in love again. It’s my favourite thing to do.

About Breakfast at Midnight

Hope can be found in unexpected places.

Lonely, still struggling with his divorce, and suffering from writer’s block, successful thriller author Fred spends much more time in an all-night Denny’s than is healthy for any man. It’s the last place he thought he’d meet someone like Callum, who has literally run away from the internationally famous boy band Leos.

Despite their age difference, the two become friends, and their long nights of soul-searching might help them find the courage to face their problems: Fred’s deteriorating relationship with his daughter and Callum’s career issues. It’s easy for their lives to tangle together, and each might provide the other the means to move beyond the past—even if it’s not a journey they can take together.

About the Author

Kim Dias has been writing for years, but has been making up stories for what feels like forever. She writes love stories, preferably with a side of hot sex; Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Awards constantly inspire her to do better.

When not focused on her studies at the University of Victoria, Kim spends her time working on her novel, which she swears will one day be finished. She loves dogs, reading in front of fireplaces, and days spent in the sunshine. She believes whole-heartedly that stories can change the world.

You can find her online at kimdias.tumblr.com.

K-lee Klein on Writing Songs, Poetry, and her latest release ‘Unbroken Hearts (Unbreak My Heart #2)’ (guest post and giveaway)

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Unbroken Hearts (Unbreak My Heart #2) by K-lee Klein
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Release date: October 11, 2017

Buy Links: Dreamspinner PressAmazonGoodReads

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host K-lee Klein on her Unbroken Hearts tour.  The author is here today sharing songs written for the character, Brett Blakk,  poetry, and a giveaway to enter as well.

✒︎

Thanks for dropping by my Unbroken Hearts blog tour. I’m thrilled for the release of the second edition and second book of the Unbreak My Heart series, Unbroken Hearts, on October 11th with Dreamspinner Press.

This edition includes the newly polished and edited novella, Unbroken Hearts, plus the short story, Unwrapped Hearts, and 25,000 words of new content to continue Brett and JT’s romance. I have some great giveaways so make sure you enter at the end of the post.

I adore writing this series and one of the reasons is because Brett is a musician and I let myself completely step out of my comfort box to write songs for Brett Blakk. Composing is like writing poetry to me, and I’m a very big closet-poet.

There are many forms of poetry both classic and modern, with free or formal verse, and I love them all. Formal poems or traditional, are also called metrical verse because they follow rules with regards to stanza length and rhyme patterns. Types of formal poems include haikus, sonnets, and sestinas.

Hiakus are kind of fun—5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.

A cowboy saddles up
for a sunset river ride.
Orange colored the sky.

Everywhere you look
inspiration can be found.
Just pay attention.

Strangers meet one day—
slow kisses and open hearts
Forever in love.

Sonnets are familiar to many people through Shakespeare’s work. They’re very challenging to write, but I’ve given it a shot now and again. I’m definitely more comfortable writing free form though. So is Brett Taylor and he prefers to add his own country twang.

There just might be a new song or two in Unbroken Hearts but I won’t ruin it for you. Instead, here are some of Brett’s lyrics from Unbreak My Heart. Don’t forget about the Rafflecopter draw!

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Brett’s Lyrics from Unbreak My Heart

Old pickup truck

The bed’s too big
And my heart’s too small
My mind’s gone south
Someone just let me fall
Ain’t no sense in denying
How little I’ve become
No sweet guitar picking
Can bring back the sun

I had the world at my fingertips
The selfish wantings of all men
I thought myself immortal
Stupidly fearless and content
Unaware my body needed more
Than silly objects and praise
And I left my heart behind
Thanklessly wasted in a star-struck haze

Now I’m reaping the benefits
Of all that I gave up
An empty house and lonely mind
And your old pickup truck

This is the part where you scold me
Tell me to grow up and be a man
Take my face between your fingers
And show me who I really am

Maybe you were too good for me
Maybe you were just too kind
Maybe I loved you too hard
Maybe our love was blind

My body aches to touch you
My mind reels with pain
I can’t quite remember how you smell
Or how much you loved the rain

This is the part where you scold me
Tell me to grow up and be a man
Take my face between your fingers
And show me who I really am

This is the part…
The part where I bleed
The part where I miss you
The part where I need…
I need you to be here
So you can give me a new start
To show me just how
To unbreak my heart.

***

Picked you over me

This whiskey tastes sour
Like an old lover’s kiss
But it’s all that I have
To make you exist

Because when I’m high as a kite
My heart settles down
You’re back in my arms
And our circle goes round.

I’ve lived my life
Doing just as I pleased
I slept around before you
My want never eased

But then you took that part inside
That had turned stone cold
You stole away my heart
And to you I was sold.

But as the saying goes
You don’t miss what you’ve got
Until you lose everything
Because of the person you’re not

That’s not how love works
It’s not how it should be
I put something else first
Should have picked you over me

***

Broken fences and scattered stones

Crumbling barns and sawdust
Broken fences and scattered stones
Horses with sad faces
Reminders I’ve lost my home

Fancy jeans and expensive boots
Records of silver and gold
Shots of Jack in crystal glasses
But no one to join me in growing old

’Cause a house is just a house
A bed—a slab of stone
One more night is all I want
One more chance to bring you home

If I reach to the sky
Will you grab my hand
Pull me back to you
To your promised land
Just take my hand
And take me along
’Cause there’s no reasons here
For me to keep trying to go on

Hopes and dreams
All left too late to say
Stubborn feelings and selfish ways
Future moments just tossed away

And life just moves so slow
When your heart has turned to dust
Life just burns away
When you lose the only one you could ever trust
But the ache remains
The pain still cuts
There’s no escape
From these hopeless ruts

’Cause a house is just a house
A bed—a slab of stone
One more night is all I want
One more chance to bring you home

But if I wait here long enough
Won’t you please grab my hand
Pull me back to you
Take me to your promised land
Just take my hand
And take me along

’Cause there’s no reasons here
For me to keep trying to go on
Do you miss me where you are?
Do you see the horrible mess I am?
Do you regret the love we had?
Do you wonder why I turned out so….
Turned out so goddamn bad

How can I find the will to live?
When I have nothing left to give
When my heart is broken and my soul’s been sold
When all I have left is your picture to hold

’Cause a house is just a house
A bed—a slab of stone
One more night is all I want
One more chance to bring you home

And if I wait here long enough
Will you please grab my hand
Pull me back to you
Take me to your promised land
Just take my hand
And take me along
’Cause there’s no reasons here
For me to keep trying…
To keep trying to go on

***

A song for the kid….

One hundred miles from Dallas
On a ranch southwest of town
An old heart battered and broken
Was somehow saved and found

They had nothing much in common
A burnt-out musician and a college boy
One from California
And the other Southern as a belle is coy

But an interfering mama
And an old cowboy with a quiet way
Saw fit to toss them together
And the rest is history as they say

Well, the musician he was stubborn,
Determined his heart would never beat again
But the kid was kind and patient
Didn’t give up on what could have been

I was lucky to find true love once
When I was barely that California boy’s age
Self-condemned to toss my heart and soul
Beside my lover in his dark, lonely grave

But now I understand the meaning
Behind it’s better to have loved and lost
Because there’s room in my heart for my beloved departed
And for the new feelings that kid has caused

So it’s with a hopeful heart and willing spirit
I’m begging for a lot more time
Because there’s nothing as important in my life
Than needing that kid to be mine.

And though I don’t believe in marital bliss
Or in ceremonies trumped up for show
If you’ll take my hand I can promise you
I’ll never let you go

I don’t have a whole lot to offer
Someone with so much potential drive
Just a bared-open, battered heart
And an old guitar with a long-ago country vibe

But I can vow to love you
With every inch of my soul
With this bandaged heart
And just one important goal

Please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night

I wanna make you feel as loved
As the warmth I have inside
I wanna hold you so close to me
Our hearts beating side by side

I promise to love and honor
And try to see things your way
I promise, Darlin’, to love you
Forever and a day

So please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night
’Cause without you
I’m cold I’m shut down and alone
I can’t seem to function
And my heart turns to stone

So please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night
I’ll hold back the sun
Or steal the moon from the sky
I’ll sail you round the world
And together we’ll fly

So will you be my partner?
Will you be the love at my side?
Will you be the one I turn to all day?
Will you be the one I hold at night?

I love you, kid, with all my heart
From morning to night, from dusk to dawn
All I need is a chance
For our hearts to become one
Let me show you how much love
You make me feel every day
I’m completely in love with you, Darlin’
So please—
what do ya say?

I hope you enjoy Unbroken Hearts. Now…leave me a comment about poetry and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaways!

* * * * *

About Unbroken Hearts

~~Country singer turned rancher Brett Taylor fought his way out of the bottle, so he could have JT Campbell in his life.  JT’s patience, intelligence, and humor broke through Brett’s walls of depression, and now the once-isolated rancher and his young California guy in search of himself are together on Brett’s Texas ranch.

While Brett and JT are more in love than ever, they’re still dealing with past baggage and learning how to move forward. Brett’s former lover casts a long shadow over their lives—one JT tries to pretend doesn’t bother him. Can Brett soothe his fears with the sort of sappy, sentimental Valentine’s Day JT was taught to shun growing up—but secretly always wanted?

When Halloween rolls around, a costumed night out at the local bar might lead to another romantic first. And on Christmas morning, JT awakes to some sweet loving and the most meaningful gift he could ever imagine. The New Year truly brings a new beginning—ushered in by some silly, sparkly, and sexy fun.

One year. Four important holidays. Two men who have worked hard for the love and trust they share and the bright future that’s finally within their grasp.~~

* * * * *

* * * * *

About the Author

K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.

Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.

K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.

Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.

Places to find K-lee.

Website – kleeklein.com
Blog – http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Klee_Klein
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kleemoon
Facebook author/reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812548795471921/b

Giveaway

Enter the giveaway!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dba3d4235/?

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Sean Michael on the Ghostly Twists and Turns of Writing ‘The Supers (The Supers #1)’ (guest blog)

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The Supers (The Supers #1) by Sean Michael
A Dreamspun Beyond Title
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Release Date: October 15th 2017

Buy links: Dreamspinner PressAmazonBarnes & NobleKobo  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Michael here today on his tour for his latest story The Supers. Welcome, Sean.

✒︎

 

First off, thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue words for hosting me today!

Every now and then I find myself watching a ghost hunting show, but I never thought I’d be writing a book about ghost hunters! The Supernatural Explorers – The Supers for short – are a band of gay men who go ghost hunting. They’re searching for their big break – they want a TV show of their own.

I wasn’t sure when I started writing this book what the conflict was going to be – I guess you could say that I was doing some ghost hunting of my own! I thought maybe it was going to be the whole trying to get a TV show thing and that their success would be the big finish. True to form, though, these guys who appeared in my head, had their own agenda (or at least the ghosts they were hunting did) and as I wrote, the whole plotline unravelled in front of me and suddenly I had a story that was so much more than just trying to get a show. That’s all I’m going to say, though – I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone.

I had a lot of fun writing the book (even the gross parts) and I hope you enjoy reading it!

Sean Michael
Smut fixes everything

About The Supers

Hunting ghosts and finding more than they bargained for.

Blaine Franks is a member of the paranormal research group the Supernatural Explorers. When the group loses their techie to a cross-country move, newly graduated Flynn Huntington gets the job. Flynn fits in with the guys right off the bat, but when it comes to him and Blaine, it’s more than just getting along.

Things heat up between Blaine and Flynn as they explore their first haunted building together, an abandoned hospital. Their relationship isn’t all that progresses, though, and soon it seems that an odd bite on Blaine’s neck has become much more.

Hitchhiking ghosts, a tragic love story forgotten by time, and the mystery of room 204 round out a romance where the things that go bump in the night are real.

About the Author

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.
Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com
BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/
TWITTER: seanmichael09
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

In Our Contemporary Spotlight: The Heir Apparent by Tere Michaels (guest blog and exclusive excerpt)

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The Heir Apparent by Tere Michaels
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Taria Reed Digital Artist

Release Date:  October 9, 2017

Available for Purchase at:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Tere Michaels here today talking about her novel The Heir Apparent.  Welcome, Tere!

 

✒︎

Thank you so much for having me!

I’m very excited about the re-release of “The Heir Apparent” – additional content and a rewrite of things I wasn’t satisfied with the first go around makes this a truly thrilling occasion for me as a writer. The subdued emotion of Henry and Archie, their quiet yearning for each other, the fear of opening yourself up to love; these are concepts I loved playing with. Usually emotional and stubborn hotheads grace my books! But while these men are cut from a slightly different cloth, I hope readers will respond to their journey. 

 ~ Tere Michaels

About The Heir Apparent

The heir apparent to a vast international company, Henry Walker has focused his entire life on pleasing his cold and distant father, a futile effort that’s left him no time for life, love, or making his own decisions. He has just one friend—one dirty little secret—Archie Banks. Raised on the Walker estate alongside Henry, Archie is now Henry’s driver, bodyguard… and occasional lover. Archie is loyal, but he’s about to graduate from college and has plans for his life that don’t include living every moment at the beck and call of Henry’s father. Not even for Henry.

With no warning, a shocking kidnapping leads to tragedy and chaos, thrusting Henry and Archie into a dramatic struggle that threatens them individually and as a couple. Can they find a way to heal the hurt of the past, save the company that is Henry’s birthright, and find a future together?

Exclusive Excerpt

“I want to be done with school.” Archie directed his gaze back to Henry. “I’m proud of my grades, proud to be graduating in a few weeks—even if it did take me twice as long.”

The as you hung in the air. When they were kids, it had been easier to pretend things weren’t so different. This wasn’t a staged period piece. The boss’s son, the housekeeper’s kid, playing and being best friends—that was natural.”

“Until you grew up and there were things like expectations and debts and responsibilities and two very different paths in life.

“I’m so proud of you,” Henry murmured. “I know you’ll be successful at whatever you choose to do.”

Archie didn’t respond, but his gaze was locked on Henry’s face; it burned and left Henry a bit short of breath.

“I don’t know about that,” he said finally. “Bodyguard and chauffeur are hardly proof I know anything in regard to international business relations,” he said lightly, rubbing his palms against his thighs as he finally looked away. “Could probably use a recommendation from Mr. Norman Henry Walker III.”

“You know I’ll do anything I can,” Henry said, his voice gentle. He resisted the urge to reach out and touch Archie’s socked foot, so close to his own leg.

“Trying to get rid of me, eh?”

The joke was well-intentioned, Henry knew, but after his father’s pontification on Archie moving to greener pastures earlier in the evening—well, it stung, and Henry felt himself stiffening into ramrod straightness.

“Yes. I can’t imagine who we’ll be able to find to open my door and drive the Hummer.” Henry fell into“borne of being together almost every day of their childhoods and so many days beyond that.

“Good to know,” Archie drawled, poking his feet into Henry’s thigh.

Neither of them mentioned the giant elephant in the room, which was calmly sitting in the corner on a colonial wingback next to a Tiffany floor lamp. What would happen when Archie graduated and moved on?”

About the Author

Tere Michaels writes happily ever afters in the big city – with heaps of snark, angst and humor. Her focus is on characters and all the ridiculous ways they trip through life and love. She has written fifteen books including her popular Faith, Love & Devotion series and the superhero saga, The Vigilante.

She is a member of RWA and Liberty States Fiction Writers

www.teremichaels.com

https://twitter.com/TereMichaels

Love SyFy? Here’s a Must Read New Novel! The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky #1) by J. Scott Coatsworth (author interview and excerpt)

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The Stark Divide (Liminal Sky #1) by J. Scott Coatsworth

DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Buy Links:

DSP Publications (paperback)DSP Publications (eBook) | AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo iBooksGoodreads | 

QueeRomance Ink

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have J. Scott Coatsworth here today on his tour for his new release, The Stark Divide.   Welcome, Scott and thanks for agreeing to answer our author questions!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with J. Scott Coatsworth

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

Hmmm, that’s hard to say – mostly my characters are amalgams of other people I know. But of course, my experiences filter into just about any character I write. Still, I’d say the closest to me is probably Alex in my short story “Flames”, and Alex’s mother is totally my mom. 😛

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

Not exactly? Although it’s always easier to write a story set in a fantasy or sci fi setting because you get to make up most of the details. I have written some stories set in real places that did require a fair amount of research – the epitome of this being “Through the Veil”, a post climate change tale set in a half-drowned San Francisco. We drove down there to survey the drowned parts and figure out what would be above water. It was a lot of fun. 😛

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

Yes… I’ve had a soft spot for sci fi and fantasy since I started reading adult novels in third grade. I devoured the Lord of the Rings and lived in Pern for a couple months. I spun around the sun inside Rama, and gloried at Psychohistory’s potential. It definitely informed my writing desires as I grew up. I wanted to make those worlds that I used to live in as a kid.

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

Hmmm… growing up, it was probably Anne McCaffrey and J.R.R. Tolkien. Both crafted amazingly detailed worlds full of danger and great beauty. I remember asking for “Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern” for Christmas in 1984, and being so thrilled when my Dad (who had no idea what it was) bought it for me.

More recently? Peter F. Hamilton has inspired me with his trains that cross between worlds and his worlds that are living things. And Sheri Tepper, who just recently passed away, wrote stories that left me thinking afterwards for days and weeks.

I’m also finding inspiration lately from Black Mirror, a fantastic sci fi show out of the UK that’s a latter-day Twilight Zone. The way this show projects the now into the future has to be seen to be believed.

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

Um, they choose me? LOL… Seriously, the publishers put them together, but I usually get input. In the case of The Stark Divide, DSPP presented me with two amazing covers by Aaron Anderson, but neither quite captured the feel of Forever, the world in the story. So I asked him to go back to the drawing board, and he came up with the amazing cover (minus a few tweaks) that went on the final book. I love working with artists and seeing how they interpret my writer vision.

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

“Flames.” It’s set in Tucson (my home town). It includes Italian, my second language. The mother is basically my mom. And it’s about marriage equality. It’s one of my most romantic tales.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I’m currently writing the sequel to “The Stark Divide.” If all goes as planned, “The Rising Tide” will come out in October of 2018. I also recently finished “Lander,” the sequel to Skythane. And I plan to release “The River City Chronicles” in print and ebook form early next year.

Blurb

Some stories are epic.

The Earth is in a state of collapse, with wars breaking out over resources and an environment pushed to the edge by human greed.

Three living generation ships have been built with a combination of genetic mastery, artificial intelligence, technology, and raw materials harvested from the asteroid belt. This is the story of one of them—43 Ariadne, or Forever, as her inhabitants call her—a living world that carries the remaining hopes of humanity, and the three generations of scientists, engineers, and explorers working to colonize her.

From her humble beginnings as a seedling saved from disaster to the start of her journey across the void of space toward a new home for the human race, The Stark Divide tells the tales of the world, the people who made her, and the few who will become something altogether beyond human.


Humankind has just taken its first step toward the stars.

Book One of Liminal Sky

Excerpt

DRESSLER, SCHEMATIC,” Colin McAvery, ship’s captain and a third of the crew, called out to the ship-mind.

A three-dimensional image of the ship appeared above the smooth console. Her five living arms, reaching out from her central core, were lit with a golden glow, and the mechanical bits of instrumentation shone in red. In real life, she was almost two hundred meters from tip to tip.

Between those arms stretched her solar wings, a ghostly green film like the sails of the Flying Dutchman.

“You’re a pretty thing,” he said softly. He loved these ships, their delicate beauty as they floated through the starry void.

“Thank you, Captain.” The ship-mind sounded happy with the compliment—his imagination running wild. Minds didn’t have real emotions, though they sometimes approximated them.

He cross-checked the heading to be sure they remained on course to deliver their payload, the man-sized seed that was being dragged on a tether behind the ship. Humanity’s ticket to the stars at a time when life on Earth was getting rapidly worse.

All of space was spread out before him, seen through the clear expanse of plasform set into the ship’s living walls. His own face, trimmed blond hair, and deep brown eyes, stared back at him, superimposed over the vivid starscape.

At thirty, Colin was in the prime of his career. He was a starship captain, and yet sometimes he felt like little more than a bus driver. After this run… well, he’d have to see what other opportunities might be awaiting him. Maybe the doc was right, and this was the start of a whole new chapter for mankind. They might need a guy like him.

The walls of the bridge emitted a faint but healthy golden glow, providing light for his work at the curved mechanical console that filled half the room. He traced out the T-Line to their destination. “Dressler, we’re looking a little wobbly.” Colin frowned. Some irregularity in the course was common—the ship was constantly adjusting its trajectory—but she usually corrected it before he noticed.

“Affirmative, Captain.” The ship-mind’s miniature chosen likeness appeared above the touch board. She was all professional today, dressed in a standard AmSplor uniform, dark hair pulled back in a bun, and about a third life-sized.

The image was nothing more than a projection of the ship-mind, a fairy tale, but Colin appreciated the effort she took to humanize her appearance. Artificial mind or not, he always treated minds with respect.

“There’s a blockage in arm four. I’ve sent out a scout to correct it.”

The Dressler was well into slowdown now, her pre-arrival phase as she bled off her speed, and they expected to reach 43 Ariadne in another fifteen hours.

Pity no one had yet cracked the whole hyperspace thing. Colin chuckled. Asimov would be disappointed. “Dressler, show me Earth, please.”

A small blue dot appeared in the middle of his screen.

Dressler, three dimensions, a bit larger, please.” The beautiful blue-green world spun before him in all its glory.

Appearances could be deceiving. Even with scrubbers working tirelessly night and day to clean the excess carbon dioxide from the air, the home world was still running dangerously warm.

He watched the image in front of him as the East Coast of the North American Union spun slowly into view. Florida was a sliver of its former self, and where New York City’s lights had once shone, there was now only blue. If it had been night, Fargo, the capital of the Northern States, would have outshone most of the other cities below. The floods that had wiped out many of the world’s coastal cities had also knocked down Earth’s population, which was only now reaching the levels it had seen in the early twenty-first century.

All those new souls had been born into a warm, arid world.

We did it to ourselves. Colin, who had known nothing besides the hot planet he called home, wondered what it had been like those many years before the Heat.

About the Author

Scott spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Enticed into fantasy and sci fi by his mom at the tender age of nine, he devoured her Science Fiction Book Club library. But as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were in the books he was reading.

He decided that it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at his local bookstore. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He loves to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

Starting in 2014, Scott has published more than 15 works, including two novels and a number of novellas and short stories.

He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own lives.

Author Links:

Cover Reveal: Anna Butler’s The Jackal’s House (Lancaster’s Luck #2)(excerpt and major giveaway)

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Pre Order Ebook: Dreamspinner  Pre Order Paperback: Dreamspinner
 
Cover Design: Reese Dante
 
Length: 111,600 words
 
Lancaster’s Luck Series
 
The Gilded Scarab (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner
 
Blurb
 

Something is stalking the Aegyptian night and endangering the archaeologists excavating the mysterious temple ruins in Abydos. But is it a vengeful ancient spirit or a very modern conspiracy…

Rafe Lancaster’s relationship with Gallowglass First Heir, Ned Winter, flourishes over the summer of 1900, and when Rafe’s House encourages him to join Ned’s next archaeological expedition, he sees a chance for it to deepen further. Since all the Houses of the Britannic Imperium, Rafe’s included, view assassination as a convenient solution to most problems, he packs his aether pistol—just in case.

Trouble finds them in Abydos. Rafe and Ned begin to wonder if they’re facing opposition to the Temple of Seti being disturbed. What begins as tricks and pranks escalates to attacks and death, while the figure of the Dog—the jackal-headed god Anubis, ruler of death—casts a long shadow over the desert sands. Destruction follows in his wake as he returns to reclaim his place in Abydos. Can Rafe and Ned stand against both the god and House plots when the life of Ned’s son is on the line?

 
About The Series
 

The Gilded Scarab
The Jackal’s House

Lancaster’s Luck is set in a steampunk world where, at the turn of the 20th century, the eight powerful Convocation Houses are the de facto rulers of the Britannic Imperium. In this world of politics and assassins, a world powered by luminiferous aether and phlogiston and where aeroships fill the skies, Captain Rafe Lancaster, late of Her Majesty’s Imperial Aero Corps, buys a coffee house in one of the little streets near the Britannic Museum in Bloomsbury.

So begins the romantic steampunk adventures which have Rafe, a member of Minor House Stravaigor, scrambling over Londinium’s rooftops on a sultry summer night or facing dire peril in the pitch dark of an Aegyptian night. And all the while, sharing the danger is the man he loves: Ned Winter, First Heir of Convocation House Gallowglass, the most powerful House in the entire Imperium.



Find out more about the Lancasterís Luck books and the world of Rafe and Ned


Excerpt

I like kissing.

Like Ned, I’d spent years in hiding. His constraint had been matrimony and the sense of honor and duty that would never have allowed him to be unfaithful to the mother of his sons. Only her untimely death had released those bonds. Mine had been less noble: I had no desire for a court-martial and a dishonorable discharge from Her Imperial Majesty’s Aero Corps. Most of my encounters over the years had been quick and furtive, but I’d taken every chance I could to practice my technique.

I not only liked kissing, I was good at it.

Fast little kisses to start with, kisses that barely made contact with the skin of Ned’s throat, kisses meant to tease. He tilted his head back to let me in, closing his eyes. His mouth opened on a soft sigh. I hoped he was giving himself up to the pleasure, losing himself in it, that nothing mattered to him at that moment except the feel of my mouth on his throat and lips. I hoped so. I wanted to please him.

I kissed and licked the delicate skin under his ear until he choked with laughter at the tickling. He tightened his grip on my hands and tugged at them until I raised my head. Ha! He’d lulled me into trusting him there and took full advantage of it. He swooped to capture my mouth with his, cutting off breath and thought, bringing a dizzying warmth with his hot tongue, and making me moan.

Of course, they were very manly moans.

 

Giveaway

Pre-order The Jackal’s House and send a copy of the email confirmation (or a screengrab of it) to annabutlerfiction@gmail.com and

(i) Anna will send you the first chapter and some deleted scenes by email. The deleted scenes will be exclusive until the end of the year; and

(ii) Your name will be entered in a draw for

1st prize—a signed paperback of the first Lancaster’s Luck book, the Gilded Scarab.

2nd prize— a Gilded Scarab travel coffee mug.

3rd prize— an Anubis pendant.

Winners will be announced on publication day.

Extra goodies:

(i) If you’re one of the first 15 people to respond, you’ll also get a little bag of Jackal loot, a cool Anubis temporary tattoo and a matching Anubis brooch;

(ii) One of the next 30? You’ll get a bag of loot and a tattoo.


About Anna
 

Anna was a communications specialist for many years, working in various UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to organizing conferences for 10,000 civil servants to running an internal TV service. These days, though, she is writing full time. She recently moved out of the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London to the rather slower environs of a quiet village tucked deep in the Nottinghamshire countryside, where she lives with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockerpoo.


Website and Blog
Facebook
The Butlerís Pantry (Facebook Group)
Pinterest
Twitter
Sign up for Anna’s quarterly newsletter

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Tara Lain on Ten Things About ‘High Balls (Balls To The Wall Series #6 )’ (Excerpt and giveaway)

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Ten Things About High Balls

Hi! I’m so happy to be here to tell you about my new book, High Balls. Here are ten things you might or might not know about my new Balls to the Wall romance.

  1. High Balls is the first entirely new book in the Balls to the Wall series since 2013. Volley Balls was largely rewritten before it was rereleased last January, but it was based on the original story I wrote in 2011. High Balls is a whole new story.
  2. I’m a passionate proponent of the significance of romance novels in literary history – and I get to espouse that position in this book.
  3. My hero, Snake, in High Balls is my first totally tattooed hero—who is human. For a non-human hero with some lovely tattoos, check out Brush with Catastrophe. BTW, I do have several heroes with a few tats, but Snake is my first art project.
  4. Like all the books in the Balls to the Wall series, High Balls takes place in Laguna Beach, CA. This was my first Laguna love series.
  5. High Balls is book 6 in Balls to the Wall. That makes this my longest series so far. Love in Laguna series has 5 books so far, making it my second longest series. Readers do love Laguna!
  6. In January 2018, a seventh book in the Balls to the Wall series will release. It’s called Bleu Balls and it’s a full-length novel.
  7. High Balls appears to be an opposites attract story – one of my favorite tropes – but it has some surprises up its sleeve.
  8. My hero, Theodore, in High Balls is in academia. He’s a teaching assistant working on his PhD. College teaching is one of my favorite professions for my heroes. Maybe it’s not an obvious romance hero job, but I love those sexy geeks!
  9. I’m sure you know, Laguna Beach is a real place on the coast of Southern California. It has beautiful, cove-like beaches, horrific traffic, fun art festivals in the summer, and it’s a great place to set a romance series.
  10. A number of my books have included issues of child custody over the last couple years (Cowboys Don’t Come Out, Lord of a Thousand Steps) and so does this one. I’ve spent a lot of time researching the law in different states.

I hope you enjoy High Balls. Like all the Balls to the Wall books, it’s quite standalone. Feel free to start with it and, if inspired, try some of the other books.

Sometimes only the wrong guy can bring the 
right happy ever after.

High Balls
(Balls To The Wall Series #6 )
by Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
Though only twenty-six, single father Theodore Walters lives with his head in the clouds and his feet firmly planted in reality. At the center of his life is Andy, his seven-year-old son, with whom he shares no DNA, though nobody—including his religious-fanatic in-laws—knows that, and Theodore will do anything to keep them from finding out. Theodore works hard to get his PhD and the tenure and salary that might follow to make a better life for Andy—but the head of his department thinks his dissertation on Jane Austen and romance novels is frivolous.
Theodore’s carefully planned life goes off the rails when he walks into a popular Laguna Beach bar and meets the bartender, “Snake” Erasmo, a pierced and tattooed biker who sends Theodore’s imagination—and libido—soaring. Snake has even more secrets than Theodore and couldn’t be a less “appropriate” match, but he might be the only guy with the skills to show Theodore that happily-ever-after is for real.

Available for purchase at
Excerpt

He flipped on some Chopin and let it seep into his bloodstream like antistress pills. Such a weird feeling he got each month when Andy visited his grandparents. Kind of lost. Aimless. Sure, he had hella studying to do, but he did that every night, curled in his chair, sometimes with Andy sitting on his lap figuring out his homework. When he sat for his orals, he’d probably start quoting second-grade spelling instead of defending his dissertation on the modern romance novel as the inheritor of the tradition of Jane Austen. But that was how life was supposed to be. His life, anyway—all based on one decision made almost on the spur of the moment when he was eighteen years old. A decision made possible by an asshole named JP Rellico.

He stopped at the light at Pacific Coast Highway. The traffic going north wasn’t too bad yet, but the south lane toward Laguna already backed up to Ruby Ridge. The drivers had that Friday afternoon look of combined relief and weariness.

A rumbling roar sounded and Theodore jumped. Threading through traffic came a shiny Harley, moving with more assurance than such a big machine should muster. But the motorcycle definitely took second place to the rider. The guy stopped and put his foot down just yards from where Theodore waited, the booted foot attached to long, long legs with thigh muscles that challenged the black denim covering them. Unlike a lot of Harley drivers, this man had no fat of any kind; his long-sleeved T-shirt hugged a narrow waist and broad shoulders. Theodore strained to see his face, but a dark-visored helmet hid it, although strands of shaggy dark hair escaped the bottom. Most of all, Theodore noticed the tattoos that crawled in beautiful winding patterns up the guy’s forearms where they showed below his pushed-up sleeves. Whoa. Just the energy of the rider screamed free. One of those tats had to say, I don’t give a shit,

It was like Theodore could feel the vibration of the bike all the way across the street and deep in his balls. What would it be like to live so unrestrained? Go and do what you want and not worry about anyone else? His cock rose like sunrise on a summer day.

A beep behind him woke him up. Shit. Quit dreaming, idiot. He stepped on the accelerator and pulled out into the northbound lane just as the rider turned his head toward Theodore. Theodore’s foot faltered, he craned his neck to see the guy’s face—just a glimpse—and got the squeal of tires and another, more pissed-off beep for his trouble.

Hell! He stepped on it and sprang—to the extent the Toyota had any spring left—toward the college.

The Balls to the Wall Series
Volley Balls
Bk #1
Available to purchase at 
 
 
Fire Balls 
Bk #2
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Beach Balls
Bk #3
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FAST Balls
Bk #5
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About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at LainWebsite | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest