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

Sean Michael on Writing, Romances and his release ‘Bases Loaded (Going for the Gold) (guest blog)

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Bases Loaded (Going for the Gold) by Sean Michael
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design
Release Date: January 18, 2018

Buy links:

Dreamspinner Press eBook and  Paperback  |  Amazon Barnes and NobleKobo  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Michael back today to talk about his release Bases Loaded. Welcome, Sean!

⚾️

Thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me today.

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

Both yes and no. My absolute favorite genre has always been sci-fi, which I don’t write very much of. But I also read a lot of fantasy, contemporary, and when I was in university, Harlequins were the way to get out of my head and out of the heavy reading before going to bed at night. So yes, those genres do match what I write.

  • 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?

When my characters hurt, I hurt. I hate those parts, so I tend to write very quickly while I’m doing those sections – to get to the happy parts quicker.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Absolutely. There’s enough sadness in the world and I want my happy endings.

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

Yes. See above for Harlequins being my escape reading during university.

  • Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

Not necessarily can’t become a love interest, but definitely will become less of a character and more of a caricature. And if a characters faults aren’t balanced by good points, too, they’re going to become far less interesting to the reader, let alone a love interest.

  • What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

No doubt ‘milking the prostate’ which was indeed written into one of the Briar Rose books.

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

I’d love a little cottage by the ocean (North Atlantic because I prefer it cold). The sound of the waves soothes my soul. And of course there wouldn’t be a lot of people around because writing happens best for me when the house is quiet and empty.

  • 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?

I write because I have to. If I go too long without writing I get twitchy. And I write what I write because everyone deserves love and a happy ending. I write to make myself and my readers happy.

  • What’s next for you as a writer?

There are always new characters to play with and deadlines to make me focus!

Sean Michael

Smut fixes everything

Blurb:

Can they survive the off-season and keep from striking out?

Baseball player Brett must get rehabilitation for his shoulder if he wants another season in the Major League. He and his partner, Benj, take off to the boonies to stay with physical therapist Ralph, a tough-talking, routine-setting guy, and Jean, Ralph’s Cajun lover, who cooks as well as he loves.

Brett and Ralph butt heads from the beginning. Ralph wants Brett to be more in touch with his feelings; Brett wants Ralph to give him his therapy and leave him alone. Benj and Jean get along far better, with Jean showing Benj around the kitchen and reassuring him when things with Brett get strained.

Before Ralph can even begin to work on Brett’s shoulder, though, Brett faces an even more difficult physical challenge, one that does more than threaten his career. He and Benj have to work through some tough issues, making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives together. Their gradual friendship with Ralph and Jean helps them through the bad times, but even that might not be enough to pull them through.

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/

Deanna Wadsworth on Characters, Research, and her new story ‘La Famiglia (A Men of Gilead Novel)’ (author interview)

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La Famiglia (Men of Gilead #2) by Deanna Wadsworth
Dreamspinner Press
Cover art: Anne Cain

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Kobo Google Play  

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Deanna Wadsworth 

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

A whole lot, for sure LOL. There is a bit of me in every hero I write as well as the side characters. But many are just conjured characters I base off my well rounded knowledge of people. Being a nail technician/hairdresser, my day job is a lot like being a therapist some days. I’ve had over 23 years of intimate glimpses into the personal lives of soooo many different types of people. Clients tell me their problems, wildest stories, things they’ve never told anyone! Sprinkling in my own personal experiences and a healthy dose of imagination, I can create unique yet very believable characters, faults and all.

  • 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?

Everyone and everything in my life is fair game, as far as I see it. Have I ever used a real person 100% in a book? Sure, at the start of a book maybe, or a character is based off someone I know. But my characters end up taking on a life of their own. Only once did I write a revenge character LOL—a real jerk I know—inspiring me to make the quote “Don’t piss me off or I’ll put you in a book and make everyone hate you like Voldemort, LOL.”

In La Famiglia, I used the personal experiences of a dear friend who was born deaf and has a CI (cochlear implant). Some of Kyle’s story and experiences I borrowed from her, but it was also a lot of research. Knowing her made it easier for me to make Kyle feel real.

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

Oh yes, always. I enjoy all genres and have books in every one but sci-fi (for now lol) and writing even a contemporary in the fictional town of Gilead—which is based on my hometown—I still need to do research. I haven’t dabbled in historical much lately because I don’t have the time for all the research on the eras I want to write in.

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

For Sure! I read historical romance, horror, westerns, and fantasy and sci fi. When I started to write, I began with a high fantasy concept, but kept making it romantic so I thought I would never be published. Then a friend introduced me to paranormal romance and it was like a whole new world of possibilities had opened for me. I discovered that romance had so many sub genres and I knew it was what I wanted to write.

  • 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?

Yes, which is why the third book in my Grim Life series I write for Harmony Ink Press as under the penname KD Worth still isn’t finished. It’s a story of grim reapers working for God. There is such a heavy death and after life theme it can depress me a bit when I have to tackle certain scenes

 

Blurb

Forrester Giordano comes from a huge, nosy Italian family, and with their homophobic jokes and slurs, he’s decided to stay in the closet. He finds respite in his bookstore in the quaint village of Gilead—where he has a huge crush on one of his customers, Kyle Benson.

Kyle is determined to live his dreams, and though life isn’t easy being deaf, one by one he’s making them come true. He’s scored a great job practicing law, bought a cute bungalow where he can finally have a big flower garden, and he has a dog he loves, Jasper. Now he just needs one thing to complete his happiness: a family of his own to make up for the one he never had.

Forrester and Kyle’s relationship starts off hot and heavy, and neither man can deny the depth of their connection. When Forrester’s little brother gets mixed up with their heroin-dealing cousin and his mother falls ill, Forrester has a decision to make—maybe the hardest of his life. For the first time, he’s found a man worth coming out for.

Unfortunately nothing ever goes according to plan with la famiglia.

Excerpt

“So, Forrester.” Kyle said his name in a way that never ceased to send shockwaves down his back and straight to his cock. “How does one go about trading in books around here?”

Forrester pressed his groin closer to the back of the checkout counter, not wanting his thin khakis to reveal what Kyle’s voice did to him. He knew it wasn’t an accent anymore, but the soft way Kyle spoke lured him in like a siren’s song.

Since no one else waited to check out, Forrester took a moment to soak in those gorgeous hazel eyes, then smiled impishly. “First you have to bring them in.”

“That would be helpful.” Kyle’s generous mouth cracked a grin.

He tried his damnedest not to picture those downright kissable lips wrapped around his cock while he ran his fingers through Kyle’s sun-streaked hair.

He’d always had a thing for blonds.

He plucked up one of the flyers from the counter. Somehow he managed to sound professional, educated even, when he handed it over. “Our policy is we only take gently used books.”

“Mine are in great shape.”

“I bet they are,” Forrester drawled.

“They’re like new,” he insisted. “No folded corners, never dropped one in a tub either.”

“Good to hear. I hate it when people ruin a good book.” Dammit, now I’m picturing Kyle in a bathtub!

“Me too.” Kyle folded the flyer and tucked it into his pocket.

“For every book you trade in, we give 15 percent off the purchase of a new book or 25 percent off a used one. And for every three books, you get a free used book or half off a new one.”

Kyle flashed those pearly whites, making his eyes crinkle and his dimples deepen so much Forrester longed to flick his tongue inside them. “Guess I got some free books coming.”

“I guess you do,” he quipped. “Do you want to buy these today or wait till you do the trade?”

Kyle withdrew his card. “Nah, I’ll buy them now. I’ve been dying to see what happens since you got me hooked on this series. And Scott already signed this one.”

Forrester offered him a sideways smile. “I’ll just give you 15 percent off on good faith.”

“Gosh, you don’t have to do that.”

Good Lord, the guy said gosh. Could he be more adorable?

When Forrester noticed Holly watching them, he resisted the urge to stick his tongue out at her. Instead, he shrugged off Kyle’s modesty and entered the discount into his computer. “No problem. Just make sure you bring me some good stuff, capisci?”

“Will do. Thanks a lot.”

Forrester swiped his card, then offered Kyle another inviting smile. The one Ma called his suck-up smile. “Can I get you anything else? Answer any more of your questions?”

Kyle kept smiling. “No. You’ve been pretty thorough, as usual.”

“You sure?” he prompted, unable to stop flirting so shamelessly. “You don’t need to know anything else? What’s on the bestseller list? Today’s weather? The meaning of life?”

“Forty-two.”

Official report: Forrester was in love with Kyle Benson.

Or at least in serious lust.

His grin widened so big he swore his face might crack. “A Hitchhiker fan. I should’ve known.” He tore off the receipt and slid it forward for Kyle to sign.

“Hells yeah.” Kyle laughed.

Forrester bagged the books. “Receipt with you or in the bag?”

“Bag’s fine.” He accepted his purchases, then cleared his throat and fiddled with the bag. “All right, um, thank you, Forrester. Always a pleasure.” He extended a hand and Forrester took it, electric jolts running through his blood at the feel of those lightly calloused fingers.

“No problem,” he managed, not letting go.

Kyle kept his gaze locked on Forrester, blinking and glancing from his eyes to his mouth. Warming, Forrester ran his thumb across the back of his hand. He couldn’t believe his forwardness, but Kyle had some kind of tractor beam sucking him in. Powerless against its pull, he stroked the soft skin once more with a nervous, light touch, pulses of heat and desire stirring inside him.

Forrester let go and cleared his throat. “Um, Kyle?”

“Yeah?”

The phone rang, shattering the moment.

Sighing, he snagged it on the third ring. “Thank you for calling A Novel Idea. This is Forrester, how may I help you?”

“Hey, it’s me.”

Only real friends or family could answer a phone with an “it’s me.” Lucas Beale was the former. Though totally weird, and he hated sports of all kinds, Lucas was Forrester’s “boy best friend”—Holly having the honor of being his “girl best friend.” He didn’t know what he would do without either of them.

“Hey, Lucas, what’s up?” He tried not to sound annoyed at the telephone cockblock.

Kyle waved goodbye. “I guess I’ll see ya later, Forrester.”

“Can’t wait.”

“Can’t wait for what?” Lucas asked in confusion.

He covered the receiver, hoping he didn’t sound lame to Kyle. “I mean… uh, I can’t wait to read that book together?” His entire body froze in one breath of anticipation.

Kyle cocked his head to the side, then smiled. “Absolutely.”

Still grinning, Kyle turned and walked away.

Ignoring Lucas as he started talking again, Forrester watched Kyle’s spectacular ass as he headed to the door. A woman was coming in and, like a perfect gentleman, Kyle held the door for her. Outside, Kyle slid on and strapped his helmet. Then he threw his leg over and straddled the chrome-and-black Sportster parked out front.

I got something he can straddle and ride…. Forrester’s skin flushed all the way to his toes. Was Kyle a top or a bottom? Being versatile, he really didn’t care. As long as there was manly skin touching his, lots of kissing, and he got to come, Forrester was a happy camper. But the prospect of finding out what Kyle liked made his entire body warm.

He watched Kyle put his bike into gear and walk it back out of the space. As it did every time Kyle left, a deep ache settled in his stomach.

God, I just need to marry him.

About the Author

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions for different RWA chapters, including President of the Rainbow Romance Writers in 2017. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. An avid reader, she also loves gardening, cooking, music, and dancing. Often she can be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterPinterest goodreads AmazonInstagram BookBub

You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth Facebook Twitter

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller like Amazon

Release Blitz & Review Tour for Not All Chocolates & Cuckoo Clocks by Rebecca Cohen (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 45,613 words
 
Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht
 
 
Blurb
 

Neither of them wants to fall in love, but getting exactly what they don’t want might be the best thing to ever happen to them.

Mark hopes his boredom with his current job will be alleviated by a short stint in Basel, Switzerland. When he meets Steffen, who struck out on his own from an old-money family to establish an IT firm, Mark expects some fun, great sex, and a clean break when his job is done. The arrangement is perfect for Steffen, who has been content with casual after a betrayal—and has a taste for British men after attending university in the UK. But as they explore the city’s rich history and traditions, Mark begins to see Steffen as much more than a tour guide with benefits. If he isn’t careful, the trip meant to break the lull in his career might end up breaking his heart instead….

Excerpt

Mark had two and a half months left in Basel, and the idea of several weeks of no strings attached sex was as exhilarating as it was nerve-racking. It was the kind of offer his younger self would’ve jumped at—but he wasn’t that man anymore, and he wasn’t sure he could be again. “I wouldn’t say reticence.”

“No? Then perhaps my English is rusty, as I do not have a better word for it.”

“Okay, you’ve a point. But you have to understand that it’s not every day that an attractive man states so bluntly that he wants to fuck me.”

“Then the men in the UK are stupid. Or you are not mixing with the right type of men.”

Steffen wasn’t completely wrong. The truth was he had spent his university days shagging about, enjoying the writhing mass of bodies in the clubs and gay bars. At the time he’d loved the anonymous and varied encounters, but then he’d decided he needed to grow up and join the adult world. Suit, tie, steady job, and long-term boyfriend, with cozy Friday nights in and dinners for two, not body shots and glory holes. “I gave up clubbing after university. These days I don’t go to the type of places where men go to keep things casual.”

Steffen seemed to consider his response before replying. “So it would be the fleeting nature of our encounters that would bother you?”

“Possibly. I suppose my needs changed, and I wanted more than the emptiness of another hollow shag.” It felt like an important admission, something he’d never talked about before, but it needed to be said to explain why he wasn’t dragging Steffen out of the restaurant and back to his lodgings. “The only one-night stand I’ve had in the last ten years turned into a yearlong relationship. I hadn’t planned it. It just sort of happened.”

Steffen waved a piece of veal in his direction. “I cannot give you permanence.”

“I’m not asking for it,” Mark added quickly, and he meant it.

“What I am hearing is you are not against the theory of enjoying a few weeks of fun before you return home. But equally, I am not convinced you are fully in favor either. If you do not wish this, we will finish our dinner, shake hands, and depart as friends. You are not beholden, either way.”

Steffen wasn’t offering an anonymous shag. It wasn’t thanks for the fuck, now fuck off, but instead something in the middle. Mark’s love life had been in the doldrums since John left, ostensibly because Mark’s job had eaten away any free time and John had decided enough was enough. He didn’t have any more free time now, and that wasn’t going to change, which would no doubt annoy any new boyfriend, so why not take Steffen up on his offer? He picked up his wine and took a sip of liquid courage. “Throw in being my personal tour guide of the city and I’m in.”

Steffen offered up his wineglass in a toast. “I plan to give Basel Tourism Office a run for their money.”

Mark copied and took a sip of his wine. Never had agreeing to sleep with someone felt so formal, borderline making a business deal. But somehow it didn’t feel wrong; instead it was as though he was entering something that didn’t require constant renegotiation. He would know where he stood with Steffen. Sex, hopefully very good sex, if he was lucky, and he suspected Steffen’s experience might make up for his own rusty skills and help polish them up nicely. “Let’s hope I don’t find you lacking—I’d hate to leave a terrible review on TripAdvisor.”

“Oh, there are plenty of people who can attest to my abilities.” Steffen waggled his eyebrows. “I will give you my personal guarantee that you will not find me wanting—in any capacity.”

Mark skewered the last piece of meat. “You’re certainly not lacking in confidence.”

“Have you only just noticed?”

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here! We highly recommend it.

Author Bio

Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/ 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

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Andrew Grey on Cemeteries for Sale, Inspiration, and his new story Buried Passions (author guest blog)

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Buried Passions by Andrew Grey
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Book Links

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Dreamspinner Press

For Sale: Cemetary by Andrew Grey

This story came about because of the lead story in the local newspaper here in Carlisle from this summer.  I was visiting my dad in the hospital after he’d become ill, sitting with him waiting for his discharge.  It read that one of the cemeteries in town was for sale.  He and I both got a laugh out of it, especially the for sale by owner signs.  It was true.  A cemetery owned by one of the funeral homes that was started in the 1840’s was for sale.  That got me wondering and my fevered little brain churning.  What of it didn’t sell, then someone would inherit a cemetery.   The result is Buried Passions.  Now in case you think I’m pulling your leg, I’ve got proof.  The pictures are of the local cemetery with the for sale signs.
The place is stunning with huge pillared stones and even a section with civil war dead.  It’s fun to walk though just to look at the various carved pieces that are amazing memorial art.  So anyone in the market?  After all, you could own dead people .  🙂

Blurb/Synopsis:

When Broadway actor Jonah receives word that his uncle has passed away and named him the heir to a property in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Jonah’s plan is to settle the estate as quickly as possible and return to his life in New York City. Much to Jonah’s surprise, the inheritance includes the Ashford Cemetery—and its hunky groundskeeper, recent Bosnian immigrant Luka Pavelka.

Jonah soon discovers Luka is more than easy on the eyes. He sees into Jonah’s heart like no man ever before, and his job at the cemetery is all he has. If Jonah sells, Luka is left with nothing. Luka is there for Jonah when Jonah needs someone most, and there’s no denying the chemistry and connection between them. But Jonah has a successful career back in New York. Now he must decide if it’s still the life he wants….

Excerpt 

I found it hard to breathe, like all the oxygen had been pulled out of the air. “You’re telling me that my uncle left me a cemetery? This cemetery?” What the fuck was I supposed to do with a goddamn cemetery?

“Yes. Parts of it date back to when the town was founded, in 1750, and it was apparently increased in the mid-1800s to the twelve or so acres it is today. Back then, this was beyond the edge of town by a good half mile, so it was a perfect place for a cemetery. When your uncle had the mortuary business, he sold plots here. There are still some that can be sold, as well as a trust fund for the care of the cemetery. Perpetual care and all that. But yes, this is part of the estate.”

He sounded so damned reasonable, like I’d just inherited an office building or apartment complex. Not a cemetery.

“Let me get this straight.” I was afraid to take a step in case the damn ground opened up and swallowed me whole. “You’re telling me that this is part of my inheritance…?” I didn’t know what else to say. I was shocked and scared all at once. What the hell would I do with a cemetery? “Oh my God.” I placed my hands on the sides of my head. “I own dead people.”

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)

Logan Meredith on Writing, Stories, and her new release Crossroads (author interview)

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Crossroads (States of Love) by Logan Meredith
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Pre-Order Links: DSP
ǁ Amazon ǁ Barnes&Noble

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Logan Meredith here today talking about writing, stories, and her latest release Crossroads, a States of Love story from Dreamspinner Press. Welcome, Logan.

✒︎

 

Hello and thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for allowing me a chance to talk about my latest book, Crossroads.  Crossroads is the newest release in the States of Love series by Dreamspinners Press.  I’ve loved this series and am so pleased to be contributing the Indiana installment. 

Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Research absolutely plays a role in my writing.  I love to write real contemporary characters from various walks of life, races, religions, etc.  My most researched character was Asim Bishara, a Muslim firefighter whose first love dies in 9/11 in Expanded Hearts.  I learned so much about asexuality while writing Crossroads.

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?

Yes, actually Crossroads was one such project. I usually start with a very well thought out primary character and then create his perfect love as the story evolves.  In Crossroads Ethan was my principal character which is why the story starts with him, but as soon as Marcus came into being, he took over.  I set it aside because while Ethan was very determined and stable, Marcus was just hopelessly lost.  It took me several breaks to get Marcus his happy ending.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Definitely Happily Ever After.  I don’t like reading books where I feel like the story isn’t complete.  It’s hard because the story timeline sometimes doesn’t give you a chance to wrap everything all neatly together.  I will usually add an epilogue to ensure all the bows are tied for my reader.

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?

I write because I hear voices.  It’s sad but true.  My characters will literally harass me until I get their stories down. 

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

I just finished a new novel about an older man who falls in love with a gay porn star.  My other WIP is Troy’s story from the Heartland Series.

About the Book

Release Date: January 5, 2018
Blurb
Despite the best-laid plans, life sometimes has other ideas.

Ethan Yoder has toiled to escape his small-minded farming community, and he’s finally earned his degree and made it to Indianapolis—where he lands a job at a pharmaceutical company and meets handsome and successful Marcus. Marcus introduces Ethan to the fun-filled life of his dreams—fancy dinners, courtside seats at NBA games, even a trip to the Indianapolis 500. But Marcus’s happy-go-lucky veneer hides a man frustrated with a job he hates and his failure at romance due to factors he’s only beginning to understand. Ethan still has his eyes on the prize—a lucrative career—and he must figure out how to hold on to one opportunity without letting another slip away. If he and Marcus can come to a deeper understanding, their road might lead to a happily ever after. 

States of Love: Stories of love that span every corner of the United States.

About the Author

Logan Meredith began writing as a teenager when beautiful boys started keeping her company at night. Unfortunately, the voices she heard were imaginary, and their conversations resulted in horrible insomnia. They only let her sleep when she started to type their words down. Thankfully, being awkward as hell and a head taller than anyone else in the school afforded plenty of spare time for writing.

At first she tried to make them play with characters from her favorite television series or books. She found her lost tribe with a ravenous, crazy group of fan-fiction lovers online and started sharing her stories publicly. Then something amazing happened—new characters arrived and demanded their own stories. Only they wanted their own world to play in and they wanted to find their true loves. So, between her day job and making time for her family, she tries to keep up with the demands from her beautiful men for their happily ever afters.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, and a graduate of the University of Texas-San Antonio, Logan is an accomplished cross-country mover, having honed her skills bouncing between five states. She currently resides in Houston, Texas. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading and rereading her favorite books, cheering for the San Antonio Spurs, playing Words with Friends, and procrastinating pretty much everything else.

Logan is a proud member of the LGBTQA community and vocal advocate for mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and equality campaigns.

Logan welcomes the chance to interact with readers.

Twitter:@LL_Meredith

Email:loganmeredith2015@gmail.com

Love Historical Romance? Don’t Miss ‘The Quality of Mercy (Bent Oak Saga #2)’ by Ari McKay (guest post and exclusive excerpt)

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The Quality of Mercy (Bent Oak Saga #2) by Ari McKay
Dreamspinner Press

Cover by Reese Dante,Website: https://www.reesedante.com

Preorder Links: Dreamspinner Press: eBookPaperback:  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to welcome back McKay of Ari McKay, here to talk about their latest release The Quality of Mercy.

♦︎

Hi, everyone! I’m the McKay half of Ari McKay, and I’d like to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting us on our blog tour for our new historical Western, The Quality of Mercy. This is the second book in our Bent Oak Saga series, set in Texas in the late 19th century.

Today, I’d like to share an exclusive excerpt from the book, one that shows the uphill battle Carlos faces in winning Jules’s heart. I hope you enjoy it!

Exclusive Excerpt

“Tonight we have something new and special for the harvest festival,” Miss McManus announced. “In honor of the season, our schoolmaster, Mr. Jules Wingate, will read a selection of seasonal poetry for us, accompanied by the beautiful music of one of Mercy’s favorite cowboys, Mr. Carlos Hernandez.”

Miss McManus stepped aside and the audience applauded politely. Jules removed several sheets of paper from his coat pocket; he’d copied all the poems down in case nerves got the better of him. He waited while Carlos readied his guitar. Carlos sat down in the chair that had been provided for him, tuned his guitar, and smiled warmly at Jules when he was ready.

Jules began with the Browning poem he’d chosen, modulating his voice to reach to the back of the room so everyone could hear him. Carlos’s music suited the poem perfectly, adding its own beauty to the measured lines of verse. When they finished, there was loud applause. So it went through the other seasonal poetry. Carlos found the perfect accompaniment to enhance the spoken words and make them seem richer and more vibrant. Each was given enthusiastic acknowledgment, and Jules was pleased the people of Mercy were so receptive.

After a brief pause to let the applause die away, Jules recited “Annabel Lee.” The poem had been one of his favorites since school, the pathos of the tale elevated to something transcendent by a poet without peer. It meant even more to him after losing Carlos, for the yearning, even in the face of incredible pain, was something he knew all too well. To have loved and lost made the poem resonate with him in ways that nothing else did. To know the love he had lost and missed so deeply sat only a few feet from him somehow made it all the more heart-wrenching, and he knew the depth of his own loss was reflected in his voice.

When he finished speaking and the last beautiful, melancholy chord of Carlos’s guitar died away, there was utter silence for several moments. Jules looked out on the people who had come to listen, seeing tears glistening in more than a few eyes. Then the applause began, and it shook the very timbers of the building with its power.

Stunned, Jules took a step back, drawing in a deep breath and glancing at Carlos.

“I think they liked it,” he said, pitching his voice to not be lost in the thunderous clapping.

“Of course they did,” Carlos replied with a little nod. “You are a captivating speaker. You always have been.”

Jules smiled, feeling his face grow hot at the compliment, which warmed him far more than it should. “Thank you. But I think your music gave it that extra something.”

“Thank you.” Carlos turned away briefly to pack up his guitar, and then he stood up and moved closer to Jules. “Our talents are well matched,” he said, and a heated gleam appeared in his dark eyes before he leaned over and murmured in Jules’s ear, “We were well-matched in several ways, as I recall.”

Memories of the two of them entwined in passion rose to torment Jules, no doubt as Carlos intended. Jules felt himself flushing again, and he shook his head, taking a step back to put some distance between them, glancing quickly at the audience to make certain no one was paying attention to them. “That was a long time ago.”

“Yet not so long ago that I have forgotten the pleasure of your touch or the sweetness of your kisses,” Carlos said. He winked at Jules before picking up his case and sauntering away, seeming to put a little extra swagger in his step for Jules’s benefit.

Jules wished he could smack Carlos. Carlos knew exactly what he was doing to Jules, and Jules was frustrated with himself that he wasn’t immune to Carlos’s tactics. He watched Carlos walk off, unable to keep from thinking about how different Carlos’s body would be now that he’d filled out, all broad shoulders and lean hips.

Jules bit off a growl. Rather than dwell on it, he joined Al to watch a skit put on by the older students from school, as well as the musical performances to follow. He tried to enjoy himself and put Carlos out of his mind, but he found his gaze straying throughout the evening, watching Carlos as he interacted with other people. He couldn’t seem to help himself, and every time Carlos noticed him looking, he gave Jules a heated smile.

A young cowboy, perhaps a few years older than Al, approached Carlos, and Jules was experienced enough to recognize the subtle flirtation in the way the handsome blond stood a bit too close to Carlos and leaned in whenever Carlos spoke. He wasn’t certain if Carlos was uninterested in the young man or if age had schooled him to more discretion, but Carlos didn’t appear to give the young man any encouragement. Still, the sight gave Jules a pang he had no right whatsoever to feel. It reminded him that Carlos probably hadn’t spent the past ten years alone the way Jules had, and that even if Carlos wanted him now, Jules wouldn’t be able to hold his interest for long.

The performances ended, and Jules rose, ignoring Carlos and the other young man. Feeling deflated, Jules made himself nod politely and accept the compliments of those around him for his own part in the evening, but he didn’t linger. Instead he decided to help the group of people who were cleaning up the tables outside, keeping busy instead of dwelling on what could never be.

Blurb

 

Gil Porter and Matt Grayson’s Bent Oak Ranch in Mercy, Texas is a rare haven for gay men in the 19th century, and their friend Carlos Hernandez will need it when a man from his past unexpectedly comes back into his life.

Jules Wingate hopes to start over in Mercy as the schoolmaster after a scandal sent him and his son fleeing their former home. But he discovers he’s left one bad situation for another when he encounters his former student and lover, Carlos. No matter how Jules tries to resist, he yearns for the passionate connection they once shared… before Carlos broke his heart.

Carlos knows his foolish, immature actions hurt Jules, but he desperately wants a second chance and to show Jules he’s changed. But trust so badly broken is hard to repair. While he works to earn Jules’s forgiveness, someone else at the ranch has his sights set on Carlos—and he doesn’t care how many lives he has to ruin to make Carlos his and his alone.

About the Authors

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

AUTHOR CONTACTS:

Website: http://arimckay.wordpress.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mckay/266185570179748

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ari.mckay.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AriMcKay1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6153630.Ari_McKay

K.A. Mitchell Talks Writing, Influences, and her release Bad Company (Bad in Baltimore #1)

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Bad Company (Bad in Baltimore #1) by K.A. Mitchell
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Buy links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host K.A. Mitchell here today on tour with her release of Bad Company. Welcome!

~Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with K.A. Mitchell~

 

First of all, thank you so much for having me on your blog and for giving me such interesting questions to answer. It’s always much easier to answer questions than to try to think up something people might want to hear. My characters are always more interesting than I am.

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

It’s a weird relationship. I know they all are created in my head, but they seem to take on a life of their own once I pull them out. They’re like my imaginary friends, and like real friends, they don’t always do what I want or what I expect. Some characters and I share some personality bits, and some are completely unlike me. However, that doesn’t necessarily predict how fond I stay of them after the book. Sometimes my favorite characters and I have nothing in common.

  • 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?

My life is pretty boring and routine, so there’s not much in it would be interesting for a book. I do like taking random stories or situations that I come across and finding ways to make them work for my characters, just like I love taking traditional tropes and using them to lay the groundwork for my characters. There’s a lot of What if?ing that goes on.

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

Most of my books, like the Bad in Baltimore series, are contemporary. I can find myself buried under research, like figuring out what real street a character would live on. It’s easier when I make up a fictional town or college setting, like I have for a few of my books. I have heard from readers who live places where I’ve set my books that the settings feel real to them, so that’s a big relief. The number one thing about that kind of research is making sure that it stays in the background so that the reader can be immersed in the story. I don’t want to include so many tiny details that the reader is pulled out of the story wondering if there’s a reason I’m describing exactly what a kind of flower or piece of furniture looks like. I also want those details to work from the characters point of view; I want both the reader and the character to have feelings about the details. Most of us don’t stop and think about the minutiae of the world, only the pieces that we’re interacting with.

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

Ha! One of my earliest memories about an intense interaction with books is having a teacher ask me why my fourth grade book diorama presentation was only about the relationship between the characters I shipped instead of the mystery and action. The characters and relationships always mattered more to me than anything else about a story.

  • 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?

Yes, I have. Sometimes I know the only way is through it, like with the fourth Baltimore book, Silver’s story. It was a hard book to write, but it was a story I had to tell. When I was writing Take a Chance on It, the third book in my Ready or Knot series with Dreamspinner, made me cry from about the tenth page in. I’m so thrilled with how that story came out, but there was much crying. In fact, I asked my brain for a happy place to visit while I was writing Take a Chance on It. The result was so much fun that I ended up needing another pseudonym for the very kinky erotic story my brain gave me.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I happily consume either and to me, all of my KA characters are HEA. I think an HFN makes a lot of sense when you’re writing younger characters, or those in a first relationship, but I also think that some people meet their forever person early on and never fall out of love. I also really love reading and writing about adults who love each other, but have to work at their relationship, especially after life throws curve balls—or 103-mph fastballs—at their heads.

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

I’ve been reading romance novels since I was 14 (a very long time ago, which may require a geological clock to calculate). Suffice it to say that my first was Shanna, by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and the book was new. I read science fiction, horror, and comedy, but always my favorite is romance.

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

This is a challenging question because I feel that by claiming them, I’m suggesting I’m like them, and I still feel that their skills far exceed mine. But as far as voice goes, I feel like I absorbed a lot of Ray Bradbury and his sentence style comes to mind sometimes when I read my favorite bits. As for now, I admire both the craft and professionalism of many writers. One writer who I think is amazing is K.J. Charles. She creates a conflict that is not only about the characters, but is deeply connected to who they are as people, then wounds them with it in such a way that I am always wonderfully convinced there will be no fixing this, and then the fix she crafts is perfectly believable and comes from the groundwork she lays in the story. I wish I could do that as well as she does.

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

I see the three formats, print, digital and audiobooks staying about where they are. Ebooks are so wonderfully convenient that I do almost all my reading on them, but sometimes it’s nice to have a print book. And I still like using print for reference work/research. I love audiobooks, but I only listen to books I’ve already read, which I guess is kind of weird. One thing that does surprise me is that teens/young adults still seem to prefer print over digital. I’d expect that readership to embrace the digital more.

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

Wow. Covers are so important. To me the most important thing about my covers is what they tell a reader who is skimming thumbnails. I want the cover to communicate the genre and theme accurately (not suggest paranormal or action when there is none), to look professionally made so the reader is confident that the content is also of quality, and hopefully have an eye catching font or image. Most of the publishers I’ve worked with allow input during the cover process, and with my self-published books I’ve been able to choose my own. I’m always looking at covers that I feel do a great job and trying to find out why they work for me and who did them. I’ve been very lucky in that Dreamspinner has hired Kanaxa for the Bad in Baltimore rereleases. I think everything she’s done has really captured the feel of the stories. They have energy and a little hard edge.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I’m finishing up the sixth Baltimore book, Bad Habit. I have ideas (at least the meet cute) for two other books. I also have two more books that I’m dying to work on, plus ideas for my alterego, Cin.

  • 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 think that fault line is one that can be dangerous to sit on in any subgenre. You want the reader to love your characters, to fall in love with your characters, but you want them to be complex people. I feel fortunate to be writing two male main characters. I think readers are easier on heroes than we (yes, I include myself) are on heroines. Heroes can get away with stuff we’d never tolerate from a heroine. I’ve also noticed that when a former main character appears in someone else’s book, he can be a lot more snarky. He gets away with more when he’s a sidekick.  contemporary or historical or science fiction.

  •  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?

My only (so far) historical An Improper Holiday is something I started *coughs* almost thirty years ago. I didn’t know anyone besides me wanted to read gay historical romance. When I needed a holiday story for a submission, I took it out again. I think only one or two sentences survived, but the plot was the same.  

  • Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

One of my books that I haven’t re-released yet, Regularly Scheduled Life, sprang from something that happened in real life. In the book, Sean and Kyle are a happy couple until high-school teacher Sean intervenes in a school shooting. He’s wounded and gains lots of publicity as a national hero. It puts a lot of strain on Sean and Kyle’s relationship.

It came about because my wife is a middle school teacher. One day I got a text from her that read, “Guess what I just took away from one of my kids? A gun.” My heart stopped. I couldn’t stop thinking of what might have happened. She is definitely the kind of person who runs toward danger in order to help others.

  •  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.

I love repeating the “Write drunk, edit sober,” mantra, though I’m a super lightweight and don’t drink much. I still think it’s good advice. You need to get the story (sometimes with wrong turns) out in a wild frenzy, and then give it more of a critical eye.

I will say that sometimes I write something I think is awesome and look at it the next day and think it’s terrible. It’s usually somewhere in between and needs work. The best is when I can’t remember having written something that I like. I feel like the shoemaker’s elves must have gotten into my computer and strung together some perfect words for me.

Blurb

Bad Company Bad in Baltimore Book 1


Some things are sweeter than revenge.

“I need a boyfriend.”

Hearing those words from his very straight, very ex-best friend doesn’t put Nate in a helpful mood. Not only did Kellan Brooks’s father destroy Nate’s family in his quest for power, but Kellan broke Nate’s heart back in high school. Nate thought he could trust his best friend with the revelation that he might be gay, only to find out he was horribly wrong and become the laughingstock of the whole school. Kellan must be truly desperate if he’s turning to Nate now.

Kellan’s through letting his father run his life, and he wants to make the man pay for cutting him off. What better way to stick it to the bigot than to come out as gay himself–especially with the son of the very man his father crushed on his quest for money and power. Kellan can’t blame Nate for wanting nothing to do with him, though. Kellan will have to convince him to play along, but it’s even harder to convince himself that the heat between them is only an act…

 

About the Author

K.A. Mitchell discovered the magic of writing at an early age when she learned that a carefully crayoned note of apology sent to the kitchen in a toy truck would earn her a reprieve from banishment to her room. Her career as a spin-control artist was cut short when her family moved to a two-story house and her trucks would not roll safely down the stairs. Around the same time, she decided that Ken and G.I. Joe made a much cuter couple than Ken and Barbie and was perplexed when invitations to play Barbie dropped off. She never stopped making stuff up, though, and was thrilled to find out that people would pay her to do it. Although the men in her stories usually carry more emotional baggage than even LAX can lose in a year, she guarantees they always find their sexy way to a happy ending.

K.A. loves to hear from her readers. You can email her at ka@kamitchell.com. She is often found talking about her imaginary friends on Twitter @ka_mitchell.

Email: ka@kamitchell.com

Twitter: @ka_mitchell

Website: http://www.kamitchell.com

Blog: authorkamitchell.wordpress.com

Tumblr: kamitchellplotbunnyfarm

Cover Reveal for Teaching Ben by Shae Connor (guest blog and cover reveal)

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Teaching Ben by Shae Connor
Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 20

Cover Artist:  Bree Archer

Hi all! I’m happy to be here with the cover reveal for my next novel, Teaching Ben. Part of the Dreamspun Desires line, Teaching Ben releases on February 20. The covers for the books in this line are built on a standard template—like many category romance lines—but Dreamspinner’s cover artists work wonders within those boundaries. I was thrilled with the cover that Bree Archer came up with for Teaching Ben, which is the story of a former military college student and the teaching assistant for one of his classes. It’s set at a fictional college in Savannah, Georgia.

And now… the cover!

Gorgeous, right??

Now here’s all the info you need to preorder Teaching Ben for yourself!

Blurb

Learning to love means a study in patience.

Fresh out of the military, Ben Cooper is ready for a new start. He’s away from his domineering father, making his own choices… and out of the closet. On his first day of college, he meets David Powell, who’s just the kind of gorgeous man Ben’s dreamed of. Too bad he’s the teaching assistant—which makes him off-limits in Ben’s eyes.

David is Ben’s age, but his life has taken a different path. He’s close with his family, who helped him deal with personal struggles after he came out. And while he’s staying away from any hint of scandal, Ben’s a kind of temptation he hasn’t faced in years. If only they’d met on more equal footing.

As the semester progresses and their lives become more entwined, keeping their relationship platonic becomes more difficult. They just have to hold out until the end of the semester….

Length: 54,700 words

Price: $4.99

Preorder links (other links coming soon): Ebook/Paperback

Dreamspun subscriptions: Ebook/Paperback

About the Author

Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a while to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down.

A member of the Romance Writers of America, Shae was first published in 2010. She’s released a long list of short stories, novellas, and novels, and has won two Rainbow Awards for Best LGBT Anthology/Collection, for her novella bundle Hands On in 2017 and for the baseball-themed anthology Playing Ball in 2014. Her novel Unfortunate Son was a 2015 Rainbow Award finalist for Best Gay Erotic Romance.

Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, reading voraciously, giving and receiving hugs, and wearing tiaras. She also volunteers as director and editor of the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon.

You can find Shae hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/shaeconnorwrites, but for the more direct route, you can visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com or email her at shaeconnorwrites @gmail.com. You can also sign up for her mailing list.

RG Thomas on A Father and Son Journey and his new release A Tangle of Secrets (guest blog and tour)

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A Tangle of Secrets (The Town of Superstition #4) by R.G. Thomas
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Buy Links: Harmony Ink PressAmazon |  Apple BookstoreBarnes and NobleKoboGoodreads

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host R.G.Thomas here today on his tour for A Tangle of Secrets. Welcome, R.G.

 

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A Father and Son Journey

In my young adult fantasy gay romance series The Town of Superstition, the main character Thaddeus Cane has a very close relationship with his father, Nathan. Thaddeus never knew his mother as she died shortly after he was born. His father keeps a photograph of her on the dresser in his bedroom, and each time they move — we meet Thaddeus and Nathan as they’re unpacking for a thirty-second time — he places it in the same spot.

While far from perfect, I wanted the relationship between Thaddeus and his father to be strong and loving. Thaddeus was about to go through a lot of changes, both physically and emotionally, and secrets would be revealed to challenge both him and Nathan. I wanted their relationship to be strong to begin with, and so I didn’t want to go into the details of how Thaddeus came out to his father. Instead, I wanted the fact that Thaddeus was gay to be a non-issue. He hasn’t come out to his father, but Nathan has told him he would not have a problem should he realize he is gay. While the series deals with Thaddeus learning about himself, I wanted the fact that he was gay to be beside the point.

When Thaddeus meets Teofil, the garden gnome who lives next door, he feels an immediate attraction. He’s known for a while that he was gay, but he’s never had a boyfriend or even been kissed before. And when Nathan discovers they are together, it is not the fact that Teofil is a boy that makes him upset, but a number of other things that are revealed within the story.

My father died of a series of strokes back in 2010. My mother is still living and going strong at the age of 87. She has accepted my husband with open arms and supports us in all ways possible. While my relationship with either my mother or father is nothing like that between Thaddeus and Nathan, I did base a lot of the feelings of security and support Thaddeus feels on my experiences growing up. My parents have always supported me and I will always be appreciative of that.

Thaddeus’s journey of self-discovery continues in the latest book of my Town of Superstition series: A Tangle of Secrets: The Town of Superstition Book Four. In this book, Thaddeus attends Superstition High School, and begins developing a bit of an edge. He gets in trouble at school and at home, arguing with Teofil as well as other people who care about him. These are tough times for Thaddeus as he tries to find a balance between his life as a fledgling wizard and a teenager in high school. It’s been a long road for him during the summer, and his journey is not over yet.

A Tangle of Secrets: The Town of Superstition Book Four blurb 

Following the conclusion of his greatest adventure, Thaddeus Cane’s life is changing once again. He is finally reunited with his mother—and dealing with her dangerous new powers—and about to start the year at yet another new school. While he contends with making new friends and facing the school bully, Thaddeus’s boyfriend, garden gnome Teofil, spends his time locked in Leopold’s study, reading through the late wizard’s journals for any clues that might lead them to Lucian—Thaddeus’s murderous uncle—or finally give the Rhododendron family some answers about the fate of Teofil’s brother.

As his troubles at home and school mount, Thaddeus’s mood grows dark and he retreats from all those who have supported him in the past. Just when he thinks things can’t get any worse, the Bearagon returns to threaten not only Thaddeus and those he loves, but his new school acquaintances as well. This confrontation brings to light the last secrets from Thaddeus’s past, more than one shocking revelation—and more than one enemy.

Excerpt from A Tangle of Secrets: The Town of Superstition Book Four

He followed his father out the side door and got into their beat-up Toyota Camry. Thaddeus’s legs bounced impatiently as the engine sputtered and died with each turn of the key. He looked at the clock and closed his eyes, mentally willing the car to start.

Just get out of your father’s loser car and walk to school. What will everyone say when they see you in this heap of junk? The snide inner voice was back, and he tried to ignore it.

“Isn’t there a spell you can use?” Thaddeus asked.

“If there is, I haven’t found it yet,” his father replied. “Celeste needs a tune-up, but I haven’t had the money for it.”

“It’s really late, Dad,” Thaddeus said, trying to keep the impatience and aggravation out of his voice.

“Just give her a little time to warm up. She isn’t used to these early mornings.”

“Celeste is ready for the junkyard,” Thaddeus grumbled.

“Hey now, this car has been good to us for almost as long as you’ve been alive.”

“Yeah, I know.” Thaddeus winced as he shot another look at the clock.

After a few more turns of the key, the engine finally caught.

“There, see?” his father said with a smile. “She’s fine. Here we go.”

The closer his father got to Superstition High, the stronger Thaddeus’s embarrassment grew. Did he really want the kids at his new school to see him get out of this beater car driven by his unemployed father? It was only his second day, and it would give Dixon ammunition to use against him in the halls and at lunch. So much for keeping out of Dixon’s way.

“You can drop me off at the corner,” Thaddeus said. “It might be faster because a lot of cars pull right up in front of the school, and there’s kind of a traffic jam.”

“Looks pretty clear to me,” his father said. “Almost there.”

The squeal of the brakes as his father eased up to curb sounded like the wail of a banshee in Thaddeus’s ears. He shoved the door open before the car had come to a complete stop and jumped out. Kids standing on the steps leading up to the main doors of the school had stopped and turned to look in his direction. Some were grinning or laughing while others started talking excitedly at the sight of him. Thaddeus’s face burned with embarrassment as he ran to put as much distance between himself and that damn car as possible.

His father honked a farewell, and Thaddeus waved without looking around. Before he stepped inside the main doors, Thaddeus glanced back and grimaced when he saw that one of the brake lights on his father’s car was out. With a sigh Thaddeus turned toward the school, adjusted his backpack on his shoulders, and went inside.

About the Author

 

About the Author

R. G. Thomas has been reading books from an early age. As a young gay man, however, he found very few characters with whom he could truly identify. Now that he’s an adult—or at least older than he used to be—he likes to write stories that revolve around gay characters. The Town of Superstition is his YA fantasy gay romance series which includes wizards, witches, and other magical creatures.

When he’s not writing, R. G. Thomas loves to read, go to movies, watch some TV, and putter around in the small suburban patch of ground he calls a yard. He visits his mother once a week, not just for the free cookies, and enjoys spending time with close friends drinking wine and making up ridiculous things that sometimes show up in his books. Although he hates the process of travel, he does enjoy experiencing new places. His dream trip is to one day visit the country of Greece, and he is currently saving his nickels and dimes to make that a reality.

Twenty years ago he met a man who understood and encouraged his strange, creative mind, who made him laugh more often and more freely than anyone else. They were officially married in November of 2015 and today they still laugh often as they live in a suburb just north of Detroit with their two cats who act as both muse and distraction to him while he writes.

 

Social Media :

R. G. Thomas Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/authorrgthomas

R. G. Thomas Twitter: @authorrgthomas