Kate Sherwood on Cheating, Romance and her new release All That Glitters (guest blog and giveaway)

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All That Glitters by Kate Sherwood

Dreamspinners Press

Cover Art: Adrian Nicholas

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Kate Sherwood here talking about All That Glitters, one of our favorite recent contemporary romances. Welcome, Kate.

The Romance Taboo by Kate Sherwood

I think I’ve gotten a bit spoiled writing m/m romance. I’ve gotten used to the greater freedom, the way readers are more open to different characterization. I’ve written drug-addicted prostitutes, asexual street kids and neurotic drama queens as romantic heroes in m/m – think I could get away with that in m/f? Probably not!

But I think I got a little cocky. (Cocky! Wow, what a useful word) I forgot that while m/m is more open than m/f, there are still some rules, and a few years ago I broke one of them in Chasing the Dragon. One of my characters cheated on the other.

It made sense to me, in terms of the character (drug-addicted prostitutes aren’t known for their good judgment or their sexual reserve) and the plot (the characters got together way too fast and I needed to show that their infatuation hadn’t solved all their problems). It was a good writing decision, in non-genre terms.

But I heard from quite a few romance readers who were really disappointed. Disgusted, even.

And I believe in the contract between authors and readers—I believe that authors have a responsibility to their readers and should work hard to meet expectations. But, but…

I also like pushing boundaries.

So after the last outing, the idea of cheating stayed with me. Is it ever acceptable for a romance novel to include cheating between the romantic leads?

Maybe if it was really long ago? And they broke up over it, for sure. And the one who was cheated on is still mad about it, but they were just kids at the time and the other character is so, so sorry… can it work for readers?

I sure hope so, because that’s the idea behind my new novel from Dreamspinner, All That Glitters. I’ve written a character who killed the other hero’s brother and I managed to get those two together without significant reader complaints (Mark of Cain). Surely I can help them work through some ancient history, no matter how painful it was?

I gave it a try. I hope it works for you guys!

About All That Glitters

No matter what he tells himself, wealthy NYC architect Liam has never been able to forget his first love, Ben. But as he approaches midlife and realizes something is missing, can he forgive himself for the worst mistake he ever made—the one that left a hole no amount of career success can fill? Or will fear keep him from the full life he really wants?

Liam and Ben were childhood sweethearts, then college boyfriends. But when Liam cheated on Ben, Ben forced himself to cut ties and move on. He’s still living in the small town where they grew up, teaching, but it’s not the life he imagined for himself as a younger man. Still, when Liam returns, he can’t risk his heart again. He certainly can’t allow himself to love Liam again after fighting so hard to get over him.

Neither man wants to let go of the past and face their apprehension at starting over. They don’t want to fall in love a second time—but sometimes love happens whether it’s wanted or not.

About the Author

Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!

Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!

Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?

Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.

When she’s not writing as Kate Sherwood (m/m romance), there’s always Cate Cameron (m/f romance, YA romance) and Catherine Dale (everything else). There are so many stories just waiting to be discovered!

Social Media Links:

booklives.com (website and blog)

https://twitter.com/kate_sherwood

https://www.facebook.com/kate.sherwood.79

Kate Sherwood has brought a wonderful giveaway today.  She is offering one prize as the e-book copy of the current release, plus as a second prize one e-book copy from her Dreamspinner backlist to two lucky readers. The first reader chosen will get their choice of prizes, the second reader chosen will get the remaining prize.    Please leave your email address along with a comment for Kate.

Release Blitz – Speed Dating the Boss by Sue Brown (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Speed Dating the Boss

Author: Sue Brown

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Genre/s: contemporary M/M Romance, bisexual romance

Length:  62 580 words/204 pages

Release Date: June 26, 2018

Add on Goodreads 

Buy Links

Publisher  

Universal Amazon Link

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

Blurb

Will a mix of privilege and blue collar be a recipe for love… or disaster?

Dan’s pretty satisfied with his job at the working-class bar Cowboys and Angels. He enjoys his simple life, his apartment, and his cat, but he could do without the fights that break out in the bar, his boss’s meddling daughter, Ariel… oh, and a brutal, unrequited crush on his straight alpha boss, Gideon.

When Dan’s friend prepares to tie the knot, everyone insists that Dan needs a date for the wedding. Before he can protest, Ariel arranges a gay speed-dating event at the bar with Gideon as a participant. The unforeseen revelation that Gideon is bisexual raises Dan’s hopes, especially when Gideon announces that he wants to accompany Dan to the wedding. Could Gideon really be interested in Dan? 

When Dan needs someone most, Gideon offers his unconditional support, and with genuine commitment, he shows Dan the kind of man he really is. Teaming up to save the wedding from a hungover groom and intolerant parents, can Gideon convince Dan they’re the best match since beer and pizza?

Excerpt

“INCOMING!”

At the shout Daniel Collins dropped to the floor. A projectile skimmed the top of his buzz cut and narrowly missed the bottles behind him.

“Quit throwing glasses at me,” he yelled, knowing he was wasting his breath and likely to get smacked in the mouth. It was futile. Everyone was too liquored up to pay any attention to the barmen cowering behind the thick mahogany bar.

That was their usual Friday-night entertainment at their favorite bar. Cowboys and Angels was a long established blue-collar bar, not a place for Wall Street suits or hipsters. Late afternoon, students came in search of jugs of cocktails and cheap beer. They vanished by early evening in search of music and dancing and left behind the construction workers and builders who came for the extensive list of draft beers and a chance to relax. On a Friday night, they’d get paid, arrive at Cowboys and Angels in time for happy hour, and drink with their buddies until closing. A fight was added entertainment. They’d throw punches with random glee, not caring where they connected. Then they’d go home, arms slung around the guy they’d been beating up ten minutes beforehand singing at the top of their voices.

So, Friday night as usual.

“They started early tonight.” Dan’s coworker Bradley ducked as a barstool went flying over their heads to crash into the fridge.

Dan cursed as the stool rebounded and caught him on the cheek. He was convinced he was going to end the evening in the ER, with stitches and a concussion. “Ariel’s in the bar.”

“Where the hell is Gideon? He’s supposed to keep her under control.” Bradley lobbed the stool back over the bar, not caring where it landed. From the pained grunt, he could tell it made contact with someone.

“Get him down here,” Dan ordered.

Arms over his head, Bradley crawled along the bar to the phone and dialed the boss’s number. “Boss, get her out of here now, or you won’t have a bar left.” He nodded at Dan. “He’s on his way.”

That was one of the things Dan appreciated about his boss—no questions, no discussion, just action. His daughter, Ariel, was like that too, except she was normally the center of all the trouble.

Time to shut the fight down before it got out of hand—more out of hand. Dan grabbed the baseball bat tucked behind the bar, sent up a quick prayer that he wasn’t about to get glassed, and got to his feet.

“Stop!” he yelled it at the top of his lungs, honed by years of practice. For a moment the action continued. A bottle crashed by his ear. “Cut it the fuck out,” he yelled again, feeling the sting in his other cheek. “The next person who twitches a muscle gets banned for life.” The occupants of the bar froze as though Dan had hit Pause on the remote control.

“Sorry, Dan.”

He didn’t know who made the muttered apology, and he didn’t care. Nobody moved a muscle. Their attention was fixed on the baseball bat Dan was smacking into one hand. So far Dan had never had to use the bat, and he intended to keep it that way. Dan saw a movement out of the corner of his eye and swung around, bat ready for action. Then he relaxed at the sight of the tall figure. “Boss.”

“Good job,” Gideon drawled.

Dressed in a tight black T-shirt with the blue Cowboy and Angels logo and jeans that molded his ass, he stood like a giant in the middle of the destruction. Originally from Texas, at six foot five, Gideon was two hundred and fifty pounds of solid muscle. Despite being ten years older, he could bench-press Dan—and had—without breaking a sweat. There were men there who made Gideon look small, but they all listened to him. Not for the first time, Dan wished he had Gideon’s physical presence.

Gideon picked his way over the broken glass and tipped-over furniture to arrive at his daughter’s side. He held out his free hand and hauled her off the floor in one smooth move. “Ariel, darlin’, what happened this time?”

Ariel tossed her head and grinned at him. She had no shame. “No idea, Daddy. I was just here for a quiet drink with my friends.” She pointed to the two young men either side of her who stared at Gideon. Both of them wore terrified expressions.

“Darlin’, that’s the biggest pile of horse puckey you told me since the last time you destroyed my bar.” Gideon sounded more resigned than annoyed.

About the Author

Cranky middle-aged author with an addiction for coffee, and a passion for romancing two guys. I love my dogs, I love my kids, and I love coffee; in which order very much depends on the time of day.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook Page 

Facebook Profile 

Twitter

Google+

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Patreon

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win either a $15 Amazon or Dreamspinner gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ SCHEDULE

SPEED DATING THE BOSS SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Andrew Grey on the Inspiration behind The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever (guest blog)

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The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever by Andrew Grey

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: Bree Archer

Sales Links:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Grey on tour for his new release, The Best Worst Honeymoon Ever.  Welcome, Andrew.

Dominic and I love to travel.  We both really do.  We take a winter vacation and try to take a summer one as well.  For the winter one, we usually go on a cruise and its one of those vacations that inspired Best Worst Honeymoon.  The snorkeling and fun on the water were all things Dominic and I did the last time we visited Bonaire.   And as I write this post I am sitting in a hotel room in Rome.  Dominic and I spent the day seeing some of the sites including the coliseum and ancient ruins.  At dinner tonight I was just telling Dominic that I have an idea for a new story, set here in Rome!  Dang I need to go on vacation more so I can get even more ideas.

Blurb/Synopsis:

How can heartbreak turn into happily ever after?

Tommy Gordon is all set for happily ever after—until heartbreak strikes when his husband-to-be leaves him at the altar. In a bid for distraction, his best friend, Grayson Phillips, suggests he takes advantage of the luxury honeymoon anyway! But the last thing Tommy wants is to go alone, so he invites Grayson and his son, Petey, along.

Beautiful Bonaire lends itself to romance, and along with close quarters, relaxing on the water, and a matchmaking kid, Tommy and Grayson soon find themselves closer than ever… and considering more, much to Grayson’s delight. But before they can plan the best best honeymoon ever, dark clouds descend in the form of Tommy’s ex and a sting from paradise that could ruin everything.

Excerpt:

Tommy took a deep breath and went to the door. Grayson stopped him and pointed to one of the chairs. Tommy sat down, trying not to hyperventilate.

“Xavier, what are you doing?”

“I need to talk to Tommy,” Xavier said, sounding like shit.

Grayson turned to him, and Tommy lifted his gaze, nodding. Clearly there was something wrong and he needed to deal with it. Whatever plans he’d made were most likely out the window anyway. He certainly hadn’t envisioned a drunk, hung-over groom.

Grayson stepped back, pulling open the door, and Xavier half stumbled in, looking worse than Tommy could ever have imagined.

“What the heck happened?” He hurried over, but Xavier stopped him by putting up his hand. “Are you sick?”

“I’m fine,” Xavier managed to say, slowly sitting himself down. “Gary and I went out as sort of a last hurrah, and we overdid it.” He raised his face, and Tommy got a good look at his glassy eyes.

“Okay. We still have time. Grayson and I can help you get ready,” Tommy said gently.

Xavier shook his head of thick black hair, and then his deep brown eyes cleared of some of their rumminess. “I can’t do this. The wedding and everything that you’ve got planned. It’s too much.” Xavier sat back as all the oxygen seemed to leave the room. Tommy’s head grew light, and fuck it all, he was going to faint, but Grayson was there, holding his arm. “You want more than I think I can give.”

“You waited to tell him now, twenty minutes before the wedding?” Grayson yelled. “You bastard!”

“I’ve spent the last few days trying to think about what I was going to do.” Xavier hiccupped, and his alcohol breath was enough to knock over an elephant. “I thought if I drank and told myself that I loved you and that I really wanted to do this, everything would be all right. But it isn’t true, and I can’t go through with this.” Xavier got to his feet, half stumbled toward the door, and pulled it open. “I’ll see you around.” He left and closed the door with a click after him.

Tommy watched, openmouthed, too stunned to move. The room had turned bone chillingly cold. “What did he just tell me? That he didn’t love me?” He couldn’t feel his fingers, and then his hands and feet went numb. He tried to think of what he was going to do, but nothing at all came to mind.

“Uncle Tommy,” Petey called as he raced into the room, practically barreling into him. “I saw Uncle Xavier and he looked sick. What’s wrong?” Petey looked at him and then turned to Grayson.

“Uncle Tommy isn’t going to get married. Xavier chickened out and wasn’t man enough to tell Uncle Tommy until right now.” The anger in Grayson’s voice simmered just below the surface. “What he really needs is a hug.”

Petey climbed up on the chair, stood up, and hugged Tommy, and Tommy closed his eyes, willing the rest of the world to go away.

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

Amazon Author Page

Barnes and Noble Page

Dreamspinner Press

Facebook

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads

Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Website

For Other Works by Andrew Grey

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

In Our New Release Spotlight: Under a Blue Moon (Camp H.O.W.L. #2) by Bru Baker (special excerpt and guest post)

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Under a Blue Moon (Camp H.O.W.L. #2) by Bru Baker

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: Bree Archer

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Bru Baker back talking about her latest release, Under a Blue Moon. the  second is her marvelous Camp H.O.W.L. series. Welcome, Bru.

♦︎

 

 

I’m here on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to kick off the tour for Under a Blue Moon, the second book in the Camp H.O.W.L. series. Thanks for joining me!

I had a lot of fun with Tate and Adrian in book one, but I really wanted to come back to Camp H.O.W.L. so readers could get more of an idea about what a luxury werewolf camp for teens going through the Turn (aka their wolfy puberty) would be like. So this time around, we get to see more of the activities and day-to-day life at Camp H.O.W.L.

Both Drew and Nick are new hires at Camp H.O.W.L., so readers will get to experience the camp through fresh eyes. It was a lot of fun to write the two of them sampling the classes–I think my favorite has to be Agility Training, which Drew calls Werewolf Parkour. Since he’s human, he doesn’t have a great time with that one.

Drew and Nick meet on the way down to Camp H.O.W.L. Nick is struggling to cope with all the smells and sounds on the plane when things take a turn for the worse and a socked foot comes through gap in the seat to sit on his armrest. Drew comes to his rescue and gets the foot to retreat–and before you say that’s unrealistic, it happened to me on a recent flight to Los Angeles. The hilarious thing is it happened well after I wrote about it. I guess I had bad karma for putting poor Nick and Drew through it.

If Nick and Drew knew they were going to be working together their first meeting probably would have gone differently. But they were just two strangers on a plane, and when a storm grounded the plane and they had to deal with an unexpected layover, they let their mutual attraction take its course.

All hell breaks loose when Nick realizes the attractive, funny human he’d slept with is the new doctor at Camp H.O.W.L. I wouldn’t call Nick specist, but he has some definite beliefs about whether or not a werewolf and a human can relate to each other enough to have a successful relationship. Luckily, Drew spends the book proving him wrong at every corner.

Excerpt:

Nick’s seat shook as the person behind him moved around, and a second later a socked foot emerged between the seats and propped itself on Nick’s armrest. Nick gritted his teeth and fought the urge to whirl around and bare shifted fangs at the person. At least the foot didn’t smell, but still. Common decency.

He was never flying with an airline that didn’t give you seat assignments again, no matter how outrageous the baggage fees were on other carriers. He normally boarded shortly before the flight attendants closed the doors, but on this airline he’d been assigned a boarding position, and if he hadn’t boarded early, he’d have been stuck in an even worse spot than he was in now. At least the seat next to him was empty.

He’d taken the window because it was the farthest he could get from the other passengers, and thankfully the person who’d sat in his aisle had left a seat between them. With any luck it would stay empty.

Nick leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes, but that only magnified his other senses. He could hear the baggage handlers tossing suitcases into the cargo hold underneath them and the low hum of the pilots running through their preflight checks. A kid a few rows back needed a diaper change, and someone else was watching one of those annoying BuzzFeed videos without headphones.

His flight from Denver to St. Louis had left so early that his fellow passengers had been blissfully quiet. Most had slept. He’d stuffed his earbuds in and listened to Morrissey wail about toxic relationships and the failings of the human condition to while away the two and a half hours.

This flight was barely an hour in the air, so with any luck he’d make it to Indianapolis before his migraine made his head explode.

“Sorry, just sliding by,” a voice said, and a moment later someone dropped into the seat next to him. He heard a hiss and a squeal from the row behind them, and when he cracked open an eye, he was gratified to see a laptop bag sitting on top of the armrest-stealing foot.

The bag lifted and the socked foot disappeared abruptly amid angry muttering from the girl it belonged to. Nick wondered if offering the man a high five would be considered rude.

“Sorry,” the man mouthed when Nick turned to him. “That was probably rude, but oh my God, who does that?”

The man gestured toward the armrest, and Nick half fell in love in that moment. He’d done it on purpose! And he was gorgeous, Nick realized as he took in the man’s strong jaw and broad shoulders. His cheeks were flushed like he’d had to run to catch the flight, and holy hell, between that and the bedhead, the effect went straight to Nick’s groin.

“Sociopaths,” Nick mouthed back. “Same people who bring Chipotle on the plane.”

Blurb:

Once in a blue moon, opposites find they’re a perfect match.

Nick Perry is tired of helping people with their marriages, so when a spot opens up to work with teens at Camp H.O.W.L., he jumps at it. He doesn’t expect to fall in lust with the dreamy new camp doctor, Drew Welch. But Drew is human, and Nick has seen secrets ruin too many relationships to think that a human/werewolf romance can go anywhere.

Happy-go-lucky Drew may not sprout claws, but he’s been part of the Were community all his life. He has no trouble fitting in at the camp—except for Nick’s stubborn refusal to acknowledge the growing attraction between them, and his ridiculous stance on dating humans. Fate intervenes when one of Drew’s private practice patients threatens his life. Will the close call help Nick to see a connection like theirs isn’t something to let go of?


Buy links:

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

iBooks

Google Play

About the Author

Bru Baker writes sophisticated gay romantic fiction with strong characters, real-world problems, and plenty of humor.

Bru spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now balances her time between writing and working at a Midwestern library in the reference department. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

Visit Bru online at www.bru-baker.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

JL Merrow on Modern Explorers and her new release Wight Mischief (guest post and giveaway)

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Wight Mischief by J.L. Merrow

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host JL Merrow here today talking about her new release Wight Mischief. Welcome, JL.

 

 

Modern Explorers

Hi, I’m JL Merrow, and I’m delighted to be here today as part of the blog tour to celebrate the release of Wight Mischief, a romantic suspense novel set on the island I grew up on, the Isle of Wight.

We’re all familiar with tales of exploration from history. There’s (to name but a few) Leif Eriksson, who made it to America five centuries before Columbus; Gertrude Bell, who pioneered the novel idea of preserving relics of antiquity in their home locations; Marco Polo, whose 24-year travels were a 13th-century inspiration to explorers who came after him; Sacagawea, who was invaluable on the Lewis-Clark expeditions, despite being presumably somewhat inconvenienced by giving birth en route.

You might think the spirit of adventure and exploration has died out in modern times. Hasn’t everywhere already been mapped? But that spirit, that urge to discover and to document, lives on—and you can find it on the internet.

Some key scenes in Wight Mischief take place on or around a tunnel that leads down from Marcus’s fortress home through the cliffs to a staircase ending on the beach. Now, this fictional route is based on a real tunnel, constructed as a supply tunnel to a 19th-century Palmerston fort built to defend the island against French invasion. I can remember the excitement of making my way through this tunnel as a teenager, and the nervous drop from the rusted-off end of the staircase to the rocks below.

Of course, these days health and safety wouldn’t allow such perilous pursuits, and in any case, the land is now in private hands and fenced off. So I wasn’t, alas, able to refresh my decades-old memories by revisiting the site.

Other, however, have been bolder. There are forums online for these modern explorers to discuss, and to document, their visits to all kinds of off-the-beaten-track places which lie forgotten and falling into decay. They see this as an important preservation of our heritage. Some specialise in subterranean exploration. Others focus on the derelict in a race against time to document buildings and other structures before they are lost forever.

You may not agree with their methods—it’s fairly clear not all of them trouble to get the landowner’s permission before they strike out on their expeditions of discovery—but you have to admire their spirit of adventure.

Question: Another favourite playground of my youth was a tumbling-down fort on Culver Cliffs. Do you have fond memories of somewhere derelict or forgotten where you played as a child?

Giveaway: I’m offering a prize of a $10 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate to one lucky commenter on the tour, who will be randomly chosen on Friday 15th June. Good luck!

Wight Mischief

A ghost of a chance at love.

Personal trainer Will Golding has been looking forward to a getaway with his best friend, Baz, a journalist researching a book on ghosts. But on the first day of their camping trip on the Isle of Wight, Will takes a walk on a secluded beach and spies a beautiful young man skinny-dipping by moonlight.  Ethereally pale, he’s too perfect to be real—or is he?

Lonely author Marcus Devereux is just as entranced by the tall athlete he encounters on the beach, but he’s spent the years since his parents’ violent death building a wall around his heart, and the thought of letting Will scale it is terrifying. Marcus’s albinism gives him his otherworldly appearance and leaves him reluctant to go out in daylight, his reclusiveness encouraged by his guardian—who warns him to stay away from Will and Baz.

The attraction between Will and Marcus can’t be denied—but neither can the danger of the secrets haunting Marcus’s past, as one “accident” after another strikes Will and Baz. If they don’t watch their step, they could end up added to the island’s ghostly population.

Available in ebook and paperback from Dreamspinner Press

Wight Mischief was previously published by Samhain, but has been completely re-edited and given a lovely new cover for this second edition by Dreamspinner Press.

Author Bio:

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea.  She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. 

She writes (mostly) contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour.  Two of her novels have won Rainbow Awards for Romantic Comedy (Slam!, 2013 and Spun!, 2017) and several of her books have been EPIC Awards finalists, including Muscling Through, Relief Valve (the Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) and To Love a Traitor.

JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: https://jlmerrow.com/, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

Ashlyn Kane on Characterization, Gary Stu, and her new release His Leading Man by Ashlyn Kane (author guest blog)

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His Leading Man by Ashlyn Kane

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Bree Archer

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Ashlyn Kane here today talking about her latest contemporary romance, His Leading Man.  Welcome, Ashlyn.

 

Hi all! I’m Ashlyn Kane, and I’m here as stop one on the His Leading Man blog tour. Thanks so much to Stella and Melanie for hosting me! If you haven’t heard about the book, here’s the blurb:

He wrote a comedy. Fate directed a romance. 

Drew Beaumont is bored of the same old roles: action hero, supervillain, romantic lead. He’s not going to let a fresh gay buddy comedy languish just because they can’t find him the right costar. No, Drew bats his eyelashes and convinces everyone that the movie’s writer should play Drew’s not-so-straight man.

Aspiring writer Steve Sopol has never had a screenplay optioned. Now one of Hollywood’s hottest properties wants to be in a movie Steve hasn’t finished writing—and he wants Steve as his costar. Turns out the chemistry between them is undeniable—on and offscreen.

Drew swore off dating in the biz, but Steve is the whole package: sharp, funny, humble, and cute. For Steve, though, giving in to the movie magic means the end of the privacy he cherishes. Will the credits roll before their ride into the sunset? 

If that strikes your fancy, you can buy it on the Dreamspinner website or on Amazon.com.

And now for more about me!

How much of yourself goes into a character?

If I’m doing my job right, just enough to get me into their mindset for writing, and not so much that they all start to sound alike. That was a bit tricky in my newest book because it features Steve, who’s a somewhat private writer, so of course we’ve got that in common: the desire to tell stories, particularly unique ones. But Steve’s leading man (or vice versa depending who you ask) is Drew, who’s a flashy movie star—very different on the surface, until you realize that is just another way to tell stories.

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

I grew up in fandom mumble-mumble years ago, which gives me a knee-jerk reaction to those names. To me Mary Sue or Gary Stu doesn’t mean just a self-insert but a character who’s “too perfect,” and when people use the term that way I want to go off on a tangent about how male power fantasies are allowed (Bruce Wayne, anyone?) but female ones get called out as two-dimensional. But to answer the question I think you mean: this isn’t something I personally struggle with. I’m a deeply boring person. No one would read a book about me, and I wouldn’t want to write it!

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

Hmm, I think only in that I’ve always been eclectic. As a kid I read everything I could get my paws on, from the Bunnicula series and Nancy Drew to Harry Potter to The Green Mile. The first romance novel I ever read was about a woman with superpowers. I write a little bit of everything too (except historical, which is too much research!), the flashy Hollywood romance sort of books but also the quieter, almost pedestrian ones, and even paranormal. My next book after this is magical realism, which is a fun universe to write in and I’m debating revisiting it. The only thing I haven’t really done yet is sci-fi, which I read a ton of growing up but I think I’m too—lazy? intimidated? uninspired? all of the above?—to try writing. I mostly write for fun, so I prefer not to have to think too hard. Thinking is for editing!

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

HEA all the way. This is why sequels make me nervous! What if you take the happy ending away from them??? No, thank you!

 

What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

A sense of humor is so important. Life can be brutal and tragic and lonely and hard. I think that it’s important to share it with someone who can cheer you up. That could come in the form of kindness too, rather than humor, but it’s usually the humor people notice first. Kindness is quieter, but also important. I think, in this genre, a lot of what people are looking for boils down to levity and kindness, so I try to make sure each book has a good portion of each, however that works out character-wise.

 

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

Oh sure, only every time I’ve ever gotten stuck on a sex scene!

  

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To wide our knowledge?  Why do you write?

Because I need to tell stories. I’ve been writing since I was six years old. My parents used to read me bedtime stories; once they turned off the lights and closed the door, I’d lie awake and make up more stories to tell myself. It’s a part of me that’s always been there—some kind of self-soothing behavior, maybe. It’s like watching TV, except backwards.

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

Well, I’ve got another book coming with Dreamspinner late this summer, and then we’ll see! I have a few ideas floating around, but none of them has taken quite firm enough root yet. Ask me again in two months—maybe I’ll have a better answer!

ASHLYN KANE is a Canadian former expat and current hockey fan. She is a writer, editor, handyperson, dog mom, and friend—sometimes all at once.

On any given day, she can usually be found walking her ninety-pound baby chocolate lapdog, Indy, or holed up in her office avoiding housework. She has a deep and abiding love of romance-novel tropes, a habit of dropping too many f-bombs, and—fortunately—a very forgiving family.

Twitter: @ashlynkane

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ashlyn.kane.94

Website: Ashlynkane.ca

CC Bridges on Writing, Influences, and the latest in the Heaven Corp series, Angels Rising (guest interview)

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Angels Rising (Heaven Corp. #3) by C.C. Bridges 
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art by L.C. Chase
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

iBooks | Google Play | Barnes & Noble

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host CC Bridges here today celebrating the release of the latest in the Heaven Corp series, Angels Rising. Welcome, CC.

♦︎

 

Thanks for having me here today to celebrate the release of the third Heaven Corp book: Angels Rising. Stay tuned until the end for a giveaway!

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

I’ve always read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. As a kid I would frequent the used book stores, and I found myself reading very obscure books and absolutely loving them. I think that’s why my own writing often has a bit of an offbeat twist to it at times. I cut my teeth on early 90s fantasy, so I have those unique and interesting worlds in the back of my mind.

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

I had recently gone back and read an author I used to read a lot as a teenager (see previous question about me haunting used book stores). The author was Barbara Hambly, and finding her again made me remember what it was I liked about writing. She creates such unique worlds, populates them with fascinating characters, and then throws in careful details that made you think this place could actually exist. That’s what I want to do.

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

In my imagination the best place to write would be either on the beach, or someplace with a view, looking out at the ocean while I tap at my computer or scribble in a notebook. In reality, the waves would probably put me to sleep and I’d get a sunburn.

The real ideal place to write would be someplace quiet, with a large desk so I can spread out my research materials. And I would need a very comfortable place to sit.

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

Research often plays a big role in what I wrote. A news article often sparks an idea. I love to sit down with some good nonfiction and come up with my own twist on real events and concepts. While I do make up my own things, I often have the basis in some sort of fact.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

More science fiction! I have some ideas brewing, so the projects are still in the development stage at the moment. I hope to work on a fantasy novella this summer, and I’m looking forward to that. Once again I’ll be crafting a new world, and I hope to share it with you all soon!

Blurb

Better to reign in hell….

Uriel 3019 has been a cybernetically altered angel since he volunteered for the program fifteen years ago. His devotion to the floating city of Heaven is fierce, and he’ll follow any command he’s given. But Uriel’s orderly world is crumbling. Angels are going mad, even hurting people. Some are rebelling, and the noble families are vying for control—by any means necessary.

Uriel’s latest assignment brings him into a secret society, where his partner, Raphael, is working for freedom and equality for all angels. Could their group be responsible for the angels’ recent erratic behavior? Uriel is determined to find out—and report on his findings. But he doesn’t count on Raphael’s confession—that he has feelings for Uriel—or the memories slowly starting to return from the time before he became an angel.

Is he on the right side? Does he dare to stand against Heaven, even if doing so will save his fellow angels from becoming soulless automatons? Uriel has to decide if his loyalty belongs to his superiors… or to the angel who’s stolen his heart.

Giveaway! Please enter to win one of 4 $10 Dreamspinner gift certificates.

Giveaway Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/16f80d4e5/?

 

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About the Author

CC Bridges is a mild-mannered librarian by day, but by night she writes about worlds of adventure and romance. When she’s not busy solving puzzles in an escape room, she can be found diving into comics or binge-watching superhero movies. She writes surrounded by books, spare computing equipment, a fluffy dog, and a long-suffering husband in the state of New Jersey. In 2011, she won a Rainbow Award for best gay sci-fi/futuristic novel.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ccbridgeswriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccbridgeswriter

Blog: http://blog.ccbridges.net/

Website: http://www.ccbridges.net

DSP Promo Ana Raine Captive Wings (Anima #2) by Ana Raine

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Captive Wings (Anima #2) by Ana Raine

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Blake Dorner

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press |   Amazon  |   Barnes and Noble 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Ana Raine today on tour for the second story in her Anima series, Captive Wings.  Welcome, Ana.

 

Inspiration for Captive Wings

I live in Michigan and there is a constant joke that there are only two seasons: construction season and wintry season. But for those of us who brave the construction and shut down roads, there are beautiful state parks and flowing ponds, lakes, and rivers.

It was on one of these adventures to my local Metro Park that I came up with the idea for Hidden Wings. There were two swans in the center of the path and a small group of people who hadn’t dared pass by even though there was nowhere else to go. Swans are often characterized as small, fragile and helpless, but in that moment, I saw the true strength that lies within those majestic creatures.

A few weeks later, I went back to the park, but this time there was only one lone swan floating in the pond. The fight had seemed to ebb away and there was a hollow look of sadness about the creature that made me think he had been abandoned. In the romance world, bear or wolf shifters are predominant because of their predatory, protective nature. But swans are not just graceful birds with slender necks, but creatures of beauty who fight for their mates and are broken when separated.

Further research into Irish mythology extended my knowledge of fairies. I created the idea of a Dryma Fairy whose soul is tied to a tree. It seemed only fitting that the protectors of these trees would be the strong swans who captivated me that fateful day.

 

 

Captive Wings (Anima 2) by Ana Raine

Blurb:

Liberation from one master might mean enslavement to another.

For centuries, the Kuro swan shifters have been the unwilling servants of the Dryma faeries. That changed when Prince Tristan of the Dryma attempted to sacrifice himself for Royal Kuro Kanji—his lover and mate.

The Sidhee, seeing Tristan’s actions to free the swans as a betrayal, launch a devastating attack that leaves most of the Kuro and Dryma dead or imprisoned. The fate of the swans rests entirely on Kanji’s shoulders, and he must somehow devise a plan that will protect both his partner and his tribe as the war with the Sidhee rages. It won’t be easy for mortal enemies to become allies, and Kanji is beginning to despair of ever waking Tristan from his deathlike slumber. And neither the Kuro nor the Dryma can compete with the Sidhee when it comes to brutal violence.

When Kanji finds a small boy asleep at the bottom of a lake, his hope for reuniting with Tristan is rekindled. But what is the boy, and can his magic turn the tide against a seemingly unstoppable enemy?

 

 

About the Author

Ana Raine writes because she loves to believe in magic, dragons, and that there is more to life than what human eyes can see. Ana lives in Michigan where when it’s not snowy and wet, there are beautiful state parks and lakes to visit. When she was eighteen, she married her best friend and they live with their two cats, Mason and Misaki. Ana has celiac disease, but that hasn’t stopped her from learning how to cook and bake so she can eat tasty treats. Fudge, enchiladas, and anything involving yucca/cassava are her absolute favorite.

Ana has studied in Osaka, Japan where she learned about theater and drama. She would love to go back after she is sure her Japanese is efficient enough. Ana loves anything to do with foxes, especially Arctic foxes. One day, Ana will find a way to incorporate her love of foxes into a novel, but until then, she’ll stay focused on fairies, shape shifters, and mythology.

Feel free to stop by her blog for tasty recipes, freebies, and more.

Blog: anarainebooks.blogspot.com

Twitter: @AuthorAnaRaine

E-mail: anaraine@rocketmail.com

Nicki Bennett on Research, Romance and her new story ‘Bad to the Bone’ (author guest blog)

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Bad to the Bone by Nicki Bennett
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Nicki Bennett here today on tour for her new Dreamspun Desires story, Bad to the Bone.  Welcome, Nicki.

✒︎

 

 

—Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Nicki Bennett Interview–

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

I enjoy research so much that I have to be sure I stop eventually to actually write! But whether I’m writing historical novels such as the All for Love series or contemporary stories like Bad to the Bone, I want to be sure the details are accurate. When Ariel Tachna and I wrote Checkmate, we not only researched the Spanish Inquisition but also the distances between cities, how far a horse or carriage could travel in a day, and whether chocolate would be available tor Teodoro’s son Esteban to purchase in the local market (it would). For Bad to the Bone, I researched how Native American tribes use the income from their casinos, the Oklahoma juvenile justice system, what popular songs from 2007 the DJ might play at the Freeland High School reunion, and places where Ricky Lee could take Alex in Oklahoma City (which was so successful that now I want to visit there myself!)

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

I hate killing characters off. When Ariel and I were writing Under the Skin, we set it aside for over a year because we’d worked ourselves into a place where we knew the only resolution was going to lead to a character’s death, and we didn’t want to do it. We tried and tried to come up with another solution, but we ultimately realized the only way to move forward was to write the scene the way it needed to play out, as painful as it was. Sometimes we’re more successful—while writing Checkmate, we needed someone for Teo to talk with while he was imprisoned by the Inquisition to avoid pages of internal thought. But by the time we were ready to rescue Teo, we realized we couldn’t leave his cellmate Javier to be killed! Fortunately Raul was able to save them both, and Javier went on to play a role in the next two books in the series.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I’m a romantic at heart—no surprise for a romance writer—and I want my characters to get their happy endings, no matter how long it takes. The Exploring Limits series may have started as a Happy for Now, and it took almost 250,000 words to give Jonathan, Kit, and Devon their Happy Ever After, but we got them there! There’s enough negative news in the world. I want my stories to leave readers feeling good.

Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?

I read a lot of everything—science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, nonfiction—but romances have always been my go-to escape reading. When I was a teen, I discovered Georgette Heyer and devoured everything she wrote, then went on to other Regency authors, though I’ve never found anyone to compare to her. In my twenties I went through category romances like popcorn—I had my Silhouette subscriptions, and I’d scrounge through secondhand bookstores looking for backlist titles by my favorite authors. When the Lord of the Rings films came out, I scoured the internet for fanfic, which soon led to my discovering slash fiction, and that eventually led to my reading, and ultimately writing, gay romance.

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”? Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

At the beginning of Bad to the Bone, Alex Morrison, one of the two MCs, sees himself as a failure. He was the golden boy in high school—everyone was sure he was destined for NFL stardom. But injuries ended his college career, and he gave up the job he wanted to return home and take over the family business when his father got sick, which led to the breakup of his marriage. I think it’s very realistic that all those things could leave him feeling as if he hadn’t lived up to his potential, but I had to be careful not to make readers believe it too, or I risked making him unlikeable as a character. I hope I gave him enough good qualities to offset his lack of self-esteem, and that his friends and his sister are able to help him see those qualities in himself without turning into It’s a Wonderful Life.

What’s next for you as an author?

Ariel and I have started a series called Out and About, in which two friends start a business that organizes social events where LGBTQ+ singles can meet and mingle. Of course, you know that’s going to lead to romance! The first book, Out of Bounds, will come out this fall, and we have at least two more planned in the series. I also have ideas for several more Dreamspun Desires that I’m fleshing out to see if Dreamspinner is interested.

Blurb:

A second chance at first love—if he has the courage to take it.

Alex can’t think of himself as anything but a failure. In high school, he was on the fast track to a career in pro football when he forged an unlikely friendship with a half-Comanche boy from the wrong part of town, Ricky Lee Jennings. Their shared love of books could have grown into more—but a homophobic teammate attacked Ricky Lee, and Alex wouldn’t risk his scholarship to defend him. Ricky Lee was kicked out of school, and Alex never heard from him again.

Now Alex’s glory days are nothing but a memory. An injury ended his football aspirations, his marriage fell apart, and his dreams of making a difference as an environmental lobbyist are as dead as his fantasies of sports stardom.

But all that could change in one magical night, when Ricky Lee shows up at their high-school reunion.

Excerpt:

“You have any preference on where to have dinner tonight?” Ricky Lee asked. “There’s a restaurant in the hotel, but it’s mostly burgers and sandwiches.”

“Freeland hasn’t exactly become a mecca of fine dining since you left.” Alex tilted his head, considering. “There’s not much unless you want to head up 44 to Lawton.” Stupid, Morrison, he told himself as soon as he said it. Remind him again of having to leave town.

“Maybe some other time,” Ricky Lee answered, and Alex could swear his deep voice went even huskier. “I think I’d rather stay close tonight.”

Alex hoped that was because he was tired from working on the build all morning and not because he’d put his foot in his mouth mentioning Lawton. At least it implies there may be another time. “Honestly, some of the best food in town is at the little mom-and-pop places along Wichita and Main. There’s a pretty good taqueria we could walk to from your hotel, or if you’ve had enough Mexican for the day, there’s the pizzeria, though they mostly do carryout.”

“Tacos sound good. Want to meet in the hotel lobby around six?”

“If you can wait until six thirty, that will give me time to help Alanna close up.”

“Works for me.” Ricky Lee unhooked his thumbs and took a step forward. “There’s just one more thing.” He moved even closer, backing Alex up against the ladders he’d just racked. “I’ve been wanting to do this all day.”

Ricky Lee lowered his head and brushed his lips against Alex’s. Alex drew in a startled breath, and Ricky Lee swallowed the exhale, closing his mouth over Alex’s. He raised his hands to grasp the shelves on either side of Alex’s head, pinning him in place—not that Alex made any move to get free. He clutched at Ricky Lee’s hips and opened himself to the kiss that bore as little resemblance to the innocent touch of eleven years ago as a wildfire did to the flicker of a birthday candle.

About the Author

Growing up in Chicago, Nicki Bennett spent every Saturday at the central library, losing herself in the world of books. A voracious reader, she eventually found it difficult to find enough of the kind of stories she liked to read and decided to start writing them herself.

You can find Nicki on her Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011754789784

Emjay Haze on Writing, Romance and her new release ‘Home is Where You Are’ (author interview and giveaway)

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Home is Where You Are (States of Love) by Emjay Haze
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Release Date: 1/26/18

Available now for Sale at:  DreamSpinner Press |  Amazon  

Thank you for visiting my blog tour at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words. I’m Emjay Haze, author of Contemporary m/m romance. Home is Where You Are is my first book with DreamSpinner Press and I’m excited to share it with you on release day.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Emjay Haze, author of Home is Where You Are

 

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I think my traits tend to pop up in more of my minor characters, since the main characters are both men usually in their twenties/thirties and I’m a fifty-plus year old woman, lol. I love writing strong-willed characters and I think that comes from me.  I also like to write them a little quirky and feisty and that’s definitely me.

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

When I was growing up, my mom introduced me to romance novels, but a lot of times, they didn’t really have a HEA, the way I wanted them, anyway. As I got older, I really got into Robert Ludlum books and other spy and mystery-type novels, and totally went away from romance. I didn’t even like watching rom-coms.  Then, in 2009, I discovered m/m romance in the form of online fanfiction and fell in love with the genre. I started writing stories around my favorite music artist and then eventually moved to original characters and writing short stories and novels.  I realized I didn’t hate romance at all, I was just reading the wrong kind.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I love happy endings, and I think everyone deserves one. That’s why I love this genre.  If I had to pick one, I’d have to say HEA. I want my two lovebirds to ride off into the sunset together and be happy forever.

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

I love e-books, because I have a kindle and subscribe to kindle unlimited, so it’s easy to download and read books.  I can start on my kindle at work, and then move it to my phone or tablet on the weekend.

It’s a shame that so many bookstores have closed over the years, but I don’t see them going away all together.  I think there are enough people that still want to read a book and not an electronic device. My last novel came out in both e-book and paper book and it was thrilling when I got to hold it in my hands, and I was able to give signed copies to friends. You can’t do that with an electronic version.

I see e-book formats expanding as the technology grows, and less books coming out in hard or paperback.

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

For all of my published works, I’ve had a publisher who provides the artist for the cover and I’ve never been disappointed. For Home is Where You Are, I had given her some general info on the settings, characters, etc, and my artist came back with three great covers to choose from.  Sometimes I have sort of an idea, and the artists have all taken my ramblings and turned them into something really beautiful.

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

That’s a “who’s your favorite child” question, so the answer is no, of course not, lol.  I love all of my characters and it’s really hard to choose just one. So far, they’ve all been pretty different, so it’s impossible to pick a favorite.  I do really adore a few of my minor characters, though. The best friend in my new novel coming later this year is awesome. Her name is Andrea, and she’s a hoot, feisty and outspoken and a great friend.  I also wrote a social worker character who took care of my foster kid main character for a very long fan-fiction story that I wrote years ago, and I absolutely loved her strength and character and the way she stood up for my protagonist.  But main characters, nope, I can’t pick one.

  • If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

I have more trouble flawing my characters, lol.  I love them and want them to be perfect, but it’s way more interesting to read about someone with flaws who grows in a story.  My family and I were watching a horror movie the other day and none of us couldn stand the protagonist at first. She was a real bitch. But, as the film progressed she started to grow through all of the difficulties she was having. I liked it and understood her, but my twenty-year-old could never get past not liking the character at the beginning. So, yes, I believe that they have to have redeemable qualities, but a few flaws make them deeper characters, but not so many that you can’t forgive them.

  •  Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

Haha.  Drunk? No, but I used to write a lot of fan-fiction and those sexy scenes are written much better with a few beers in the system—more uninhibited and the scene flows better. Of course, you have to edit, but I’ve never had one that I had to completely rewrite because it was a mess.

 

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

I have a vision of having a house on the beach or a lake (where it’s warm) and having my laptop outside on a large wooden round table with a large umbrella overlooking the water while I’m wearing a tank-top and shorts and bare feet, sipping on a cool drink.

Right now, I sit at a very warped card table at the end of our family room with the big-screen TV and family watching to the right of me.

  •  With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  Why do you write?

If I had to pick one, it would be to get away.  I write because I have so many stories in my head that need to get out. I have distraction issues, but when I’m writing, I can totally immerse myself into the story and ignore everything else. I love developing characters and building a story and seeing it come to life.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

I have full-length novel coming out with NineStar Press sometime in April called After Hours. It’s the first of a three-book series. I’m working on the second book now. I really love writing m/m romance, and I think I will always write in that genre, but at some point I may try something new like a spy novel.   

Blurb:

For a chance at a future filled with love, he’ll have to face a painful past.

Eric, recently dumped by his boyfriend, is summoned home after his dad suffers a stroke. His family farm in rural Vermont holds memories he’d rather forget, but he—with his degree in agricultural business—is needed to clear up a predicament with the bank. In trying to forget the bad, Eric has also lost sight of the good: green meadows dotted with grass-fed dairy cows and the sugar maples that once produced the area’s finest maple syrup. With Eric’s help, they will again.

A captivating farmhand named Phil tempts Eric to give the countryside another chance, but before they can consider being together, Eric must move past more than his feelings for his ex-boyfriend—he’ll need to stand up to the ghosts that sent him running from the farm in the first place….

Genre: m/m contemporary romance
Pages: 95
Part of the States of Love Series by DreamSpinner Press

Giveaway

I have a rafflecopter giveaway of 3 e-copies of Home is Where you Are, and a Grand prize of the e-book and a gift pack of Vermont maple syrup and maple candy.

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About the Author

Emjay Haze is a Pennsylvania girl living in a Virginia world, growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs and moving to Northern Virginia to follow her now husband of twenty-plus years. She has two kids in college, a year-old puppy named Max, a black-and-white cat named Tux, a gecko named Rex, a yellow tang called Reggie, and we hear the eels are coming this week.

The family pastime is baseball, specifically the Nationals. She’s also a huge Redskins fans and loves classic rock. Emjay graduated with a degree in Creative Writing in 2015 after realizing it was the only thing she really wanted to do.

She has a wide and diverse work history in the fields of travel, hotel management, high-tech communications, web development, real estate, and the nonprofit health care industry where she has held positions such as travel agent, hotel concierge, web programmer, Realtor, account manager, and many, many others, giving her a varied and unique set of experiences that she draws upon in her stories and characters.

Emjay fell in love with the m/m romance genre after discovering the world of fanfiction several years ago and hasn’t looked back. Her family keeps asking when she’ll write something they can read, but she’s still having too much fun with her boys. Her goal is to broaden the minds of those who might not normally pick up a gay romance because it’s more about the person than the sexuality. She’ll take you on a roller-coaster journey, but you’ll always get a happy ending.

Website: http://www.mjhauthor.com/emjayhaze

Twitter: @emjayhaze

Facebook: www.facebook.com/emjayhaze

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14254769.Emjay_Haze