In the YA Spotlight: A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  A Boy Worth Knowing

Author: Jennifer Cosgrove

Publisher:  NineStar Press – SunFire Imprint

Release Date: March 20

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 62200

Genre: Romance, Young Adult, NineStar Press, LGBT, gay, bisexual, romance, young adult, contemporary, paranormal, coming of age, ghosts, family drama, high school, bullying

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Synopsis

Ghosts can’t seem to keep their opinions to themselves.

Seventeen-year-old Nate Shaw should know; he’s been talking to them since he was twelve. But they aren’t the only ones making his high school years a living hell. All Nate wants is to keep his secret and keep his head down until he can graduate. That is, until the new boy, James Powell, takes a seat next to him in homeroom. James not only notices him, he manages to work his way into Nate’s life. But James has issues of his own.

Between dead grandmothers and living aunts, Nate has to navigate the fact that he’s falling in love with his only friend, all while getting advice from the most unusual places.

Ghosts, bullies, first love: it’s a lot to deal with when you’re just trying to survive senior year.

Excerpt

A Boy Worth Knowing
Jennifer Cosgrove © 2017
All Rights Reserved

I loved autumn mornings.

The October air was just cold enough to set my lungs on fire, my breath visible in clouds of condensation, forcing all of the crap clogging up my head into the recycle bin. Bonus, I could pretend I was a dragon. Nothing could touch me; my morning run made everything go away, lost in miles at a time. Down an isolated country road.

Everything changed when I was twelve, and not for the better. That was when I started running. Five years of road I’d put behind me. My mom worried about me the first time I took off alone. Well, when she used to worry about me. I wished she was more worried about the reason I was running instead of the fact I was doing it down an empty road.

I turned the corner about a mile after leaving home, and that was when I saw him. Samuel was always lurking among the sunken headstones. Most people had no clue there used to be a cemetery out there. Looking closely, some of the stones that made up the foundation of the chapel could still be seen. No one else ever paid that much attention to it. Samuel glared at me as I got closer. He was a surly one.

My life was like the horror movies I loved. I talked to the dead. Well, technically dead. They were really spirits, or whatever. Whatever was left behind when people died. And they talked to me, for some reason. There was nothing like sitting in math class and having a ghost whisper in my ear while trying to take notes.

It happened all the damn time. I didn’t know how to handle it at first. And no one wanted to hang out with the crazy kid in the back of the room, muttering away to himself. I got used to it. Really. And the lack of a social life helped me get all of my homework done on time; all of the teachers loved me. That was good. Talking to ghosts wasn’t all bad.

I waved at Samuel as I ran by the cemetery. He shook a fist at me in return. Samuel wasn’t evil or anything, just grumpy. Couldn’t blame him, though. I looked him up one time and found out he’d died in the late eighteen hundreds. The cause of death on record was a heart attack. But Samuel told me his brother-in-law had poisoned him because he wouldn’t sell him his prize mule. I had no clue what was so special about that mule, but his brother-in-law evidently thought it was worth killing him over. I’d have been pretty surly myself.

Past the forgotten cemetery, a few miles to the McGregor farm, and then I’d swing around for home. Yes, I said McGregor farm. Small-town life— I couldn’t have made this stuff up if I’d tried.

There was another house just past the farm where I had to watch out for their beast of a dog. Dogs weren’t huge fans of mine. My Nana had a theory they could sense a bit of whatever it was that let us chat with those who’d “passed on.” I had no idea how that was even possible, but cats loved me, so yay.

Speaking of which, Aunt Susan’s overly fluffy cat waited by our mailbox. Arthur did that every time I went out for a run. He would sit there and then fall in behind to follow up the driveway until we got to the house. Then, it was a shady spot on the porch in the summer or, if it was cold like that day, into the house in front of the fireplace. I loved predictability.

The house used to be my grandmother’s. It was a standard farmhouse, old and creaky just like dozens more all around us, and it could have stood a little paint. But we called it home, and we liked it. It became Aunt Susan’s home. It had been left to her after Nana died, since my mom already owned one. It was a little out of the way and a long drive to the hospital where my aunt worked. But it was paid for, and that meant a lot.

I had to be quiet going in because Aunt Susan was not a morning person, and the floor squeaked just inside the back door. I was very much a morning person, and I followed the same routine each school or work day. Flipping on the coffee maker, I headed to my room to get ready for school. I got the shower running, since it took a while to heat up in an old farmhouse, and took a sniff to make sure a shower was actually necessary. Oh, yeah. I was gross.

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Meet the Author

Jennifer has always been a voracious reader and a well-established geek from an early age. She loves comics, movies, and anything that tells a compelling story.

When not writing, she likes knitting, dissecting/arguing about movies with her husband, and enjoying the general chaos that comes with having kids.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

Tour Schedule

3/20 – My Fiction Nook

3/20 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

3/20 – Just Love

3/21 – Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

3/21 – Diverse Reader

3/21 – Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

3/22 – V’s Reads

3/22 – Molly Lolly

3/22 – MM Good Book Reviews

3/23 – Liz’s Reading Life

3/23 – Stories That Make You Smile

3/23 – Dog-Eared Daydreams

3/24 – Bayou Book Junkie

3/24 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews

3/24 – Love Bytes Reviews

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Looking for a New M/M SciFy Novel to Read? Check out F.T. Lukens’ ‘The Star Host’ (author guest blog, excerpt and giveaway)

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The Star Host (Broken Moon #1) by F.T. Lukens
Release Date: March 3, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Duet Books, the Young Adult imprint of Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Messer

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing F.T. Lukens author of The Star Host. Hi F.T., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

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Hi, everyone. This is F.T. and I’m very excited to share with you my first novel The Star Host. It is a science-fiction adventure which features a diverse cast and takes place across planet, drifts, and spaceships. It is my version of magic in space.

Give us a to-do list for one of your characters.

This is a great question and I decided to do it with both of my main characters, Ren and Asher, while they are stuck as prisoner’s at the antagonist’s citadel.

Ren’s to-d0 list while he is a prisoner at the citadel:

  • Wake up in the morning in an iron cell and on a moldy mattress
  • Eat stale bread and drink lukewarm water
  • Think about escaping
  • Try not to think about dungeon-mate, Asher. He is annoying, arrogant, and pretty. He’s also a drifter.
  • Work in the courtyard. Don’t draw attention to self. Keep head down. And keep technopathic ability secret and under control. (This is much harder than it seems.)
  • Make friends with the guards
  • Try not to go insane (Also much harder than previously thought.)
  • Plan an escape with other captives
  • Dream about the stars

Asher’s to-do list while he is a prisoner at the citadel:

  • Wake up
  • Stay in cell all day
  • Annoy Ren
  • Push-ups
  • Eat stew
  • Wait for Ren to return
  • Poke at guards
  • Annoy Ren again
  • Make Ren tell stories
  • Repeat

As you can see, the start of their friendship is based on mutual dislike which becomes mutual teasing and then later becomes mutual affection. Ren and Asher start to depend on each other to survive. Asher takes comfort in Ren’s stories and Ren relies on Asher as his anchor when his newly discovered power threatens to overwhelm him. They learn that it’s only by working as a team that they will be able to escape and save their families.

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Blurb

Ren grew up listening to his mother tell stories about the Star Hosts – a mythical group of people possessed by the power of the stars. The stories were the most exciting part of Ren’s life, and he often dreamed about leaving his backwater planet and finding his place among the neighboring drifts. When Ren is captured by soldiers and taken from his home, he must remain inconspicuous while plotting his escape. It’s a challenge since the general of the Baron’s army is convinced Ren is something out of one of his mother’s stories.

He finds companionship in the occupant of the cell next to his, a drifter named Asher. A member of the Phoenix Corps, Asher is mysterious, charming, and exactly the person Ren needs to anchor him as his sudden technopathic ability threatens to consume him. Ren doesn’t mean to become attached, but after a daring escape, a trek across the planet, and an eventful ride on a merchant ship, Asher is the only thing that reminds Ren of home. Together, they must warn the drifts of the Baron’s plans, master Ren’s growing power, and try to save their friends while navigating the growing attraction between them.

 

Pages or Words: 258 pages
Categories: Fiction, Gay fiction, M/M Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Excerpt

Once at the hangar, Ren broke away from the two guards and entered the lancer, walking up the stairs, irritation a heavy feeling in his chest.

“Reporting for work,” Ren said, his tone heavily laced with annoyance.

Janus popped up from a console she had been working under, goggles on her face, gray hair sticking up everywhere. “You!” she snapped. “I told you not to come back.”

Ren rolled his eyes. “It’s not my choice. I don’t want to be here anymore than you want me here.”

“Where are your guards? I told the dumb one not to bring you back, Abiathar’s orders be damned. I don’t want your kind working on these ships.”

She poked a finger hard into Ren’s chest and he staggered back, and rubbed his hand over the spot.

“What the stars do you mean by my kind?”

Her eyes grew comically large behind the goggles. “You don’t know?” She laughed, bordering on hysterical. “You’re more dangerous than I thought. You can’t try to control it if you don’t even know what you are.”

Ren frowned. His tolerance for the cryptic nonsense everyone had spouted since he arrived was gone. He took a step toward the hull and Janus stiffened.

“Don’t,” she barked.

“Don’t what? Touch it? What will happen, huh?”

Her face paled and her chest heaved with panicked breaths. “You don’t know what you’re capable of.”

Ren laughed. “I’m capable of nothing. I’m a duster, planet-born with very limited experience with tech. You have no reason to be frightened of me.”

He moved closer to the hull, hand outstretched, fingers splayed.

She whimpered. “Please, don’t.”

Ren slammed his hand against the hull, his fingertips leaving greasy marks on the shiny surface. As he predicted, nothing happened.

He turned back to Janus. “See? Nothing–”

His word tangled in his throat, cut off, because suddenly, Ren was consumed with power, rushing from his toes to his fingertips. A blue tint clouded his vision, and his body suffused with golden warmth. And then he was floating amongst the wires, connected to the ship, to the energy source, to everything. The lancer pulsed under his skin, tangling in his veins, its systems integrated with his senses.

It was freeing and frightening.

His consciousness raced along the circuits and he could fix it. He could fix everything. He found the tangle of wires in the artificial gravity system and bypassed it. He found the broken circuits in the air recyclers and with a pulse of power, refurbished them. He saw the static in the com system, a physical entity, and he cleared it away with a brush of his metaphysical hand.

The longer Ren floated through the ship, the less connected he was to his physical body. And if he thought about it, he didn’t need his body. Why would he need his body? He was free here. He moved around with ease, the wires and the systems his route, and the more he pushed, the more he felt the other ships too. They were nearby, on the edge of his perception, and he could go to those, he could jump to the other ones and repair them too.

He could.

He could.

 

Buy the book:

Interlude Press Web Store: store.interludepress.com

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple iBookstore: The Star Host

All Romance eBooks

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Meet and follow the Author

F.T. wrote her first short story when she was in third grade and her love of writing continued from there. After placing in the top five out of ten thousand entries in a writing contest, she knew it was time to dive in and try her hand at writing a novel.

A wife and mother of three, F.T. holds degrees in psychology and English literature, and is a long-time member of her college’s science-fiction club. F.T. has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and science-fiction novels—especially anything by Douglas Adams.

Connect with F.T. at authorftlukens.wordpress.com on Twitter @ftlukens, on Tumblr at ftlukens.tumblr.com and on Goodreads at goodreads.com/ftlukens.

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

3-Mar: Hearts on Fire, Happily Ever Chapter, Kirsty Loves Books, Velvet Panic

4-Mar: Full Moon Dreaming, Havan Fellows, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

7-Mar: Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, Boys on the Brink Reviews

8-Mar: V’s Reads, Butterfly-O-Meter, Love Bytes

9-Mar: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Nephy Hart, KathyMac Reviews

10-Mar: Bonkers About Books, Inked Rainbow Reads, Prism Book Alliance, Attention is Arbitrary

11-Mar: A.M. Leibowitz, The Novel Approach

14-Mar: Man2ManTastic, Anna Butler Fiction

15-Mar: Molly Lolly, Bayou Book Junkie

16-Mar: BFD Book Blog, My Fiction Nook

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press Web Store gift card (grand prize) + 5 winners of The Star Host eBook.  Must be 18 years of age or older.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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Jump Back Into The Fantasy World of Jay Jordan Hawk’s Onwaachige the Dreamer (The Two-spirit Chronicles #3) (excerpt and giveaway)

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Onwaachige the Dreamer (The Two-spirit Chronicles #3) by Jay Jordan Hawke
Release Date: December 17, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain

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Blurb

What would you do for the boy you loved? What if to save him you had to abandon him forever?

Fourteen-year-old Joshua Ishkoday faces an impossible decision as a terrifying dream sets him upon a thrilling and treacherous journey of self-exploration through the dangerous vastness of the Wisconsin northwoods. There, along with his best friends, Mokwa and Little Deer, Joshua summons the power to confront his greatest fears. To do so, all he has to do is trust in his dreams. Unfortunately, Joshua discovers that his dreams have been deceiving him thanks to the intrusion of strange creatures. For out in the middle of the forest dwell the enigmatic Memegwesi, bizarre manitous who have a special plan for Joshua. Joshua soon realizes that he has three monsters to battle: the extraordinary creatures haunting his dreams, the dangerous torrential storm brewing in the northwoods, and finally, the greatest demon of all—his homophobic mother.

 

Pages or Words: 200 pages/57,547 words
Series is best read in order.
Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Paranormal, Young Adult

Excerpt

A Scout is Brave – Excerpt #9 (197 Words)

            Cody realized he had made a big mistake. But somehow it just seemed easier to talk about homosexuality now that he had already spent a few hours discussing it with Joshua. Taboo subjects rarely seemed forbidden once shared. And frankly Cody didn’t think he had said anything that was out of line, but the sight of his father coming toward him with a fierce and determined expression, dramatically illustrated otherwise.

            Pastor Bob grabbed and pinched his son’s ear as he caught up with him.

            “Come with me,” he grunted, pulling his son forward.

            “Ouch,” Cody whimpered as his dad pulled him down the trail. “Dad, that hurts!” he cried out.

            “Don’t you ever embarrass me like that again in front of anyone!” Pastor Bob shouted. He didn’t let go of his son’s ear as he continued his tirade. “What’s the matter with you anyway? Do you want people to think you are some sort of queer!” Pastor Bob got a sick look on his face as he said that hated word. “Now get back to camp!” he yelled, letting go of Cody’s ear.

            Cody ran down the trail to the campsite. He cried all the way back.

Pukawiss the Outcast – Excerpt #9

 

“Okay, so I wasn’t supposed to tell you any of this,” Mokwa said. “That’s why I’ve been reluctant to talk about it.”

“What do you mean?” Joshua asked.

“Gentle Eagle asked me not to say anything. And when he asks you not to do something, you listen. He’s an elder, and he’s my friend.”

“Okay, so why doesn’t he want me to know? What are the Midewin exactly?”

“They are sort of a secret society of—” Mokwa paused for a second. “—of medicine men,” he finally said. “Their job is to preserve the old ways. They are powerful shamans.”

“Why is that a secret?” Joshua asked.

“Well, when the Christians tried to stomp out Ojibwe religion, they saw the Midewin as a threat. Many were persecuted. That sort of forced them underground, so to speak.” 

“What does any of this have to do with me?” Joshua asked. “Why did Pastor Martin want to know if I heard about them?”

“He is just paranoid,” Little Deer said. “If we are telling you about the Midewin, it means to him that we are ‘converting’ you.”

“Yeah,” said Jenny. “To Pastor Martin that’s like the dark side.”

 “But I still don’t know what my father, or my grandfather, has to do with all of this,” Joshua said, confused. “It doesn’t make sense.”

“I told you that I’d tell you about the Midewin,” Mokwa said to Joshua. “But you’ll have to get the rest from your grandfather.”

Onwaachige the Dreamer – Excerpt 9

“Pukawiss, maybe when we get to Manitou River you can take a nap or something. You probably just need to dream for the manitous to talk to you.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Joshua said, finding the suggestion agreeable. “I’ll try.” But he was increasingly convinced that this whole thing had been a bad idea. He had dragged his best friends into the Northwoods based solely on a dream. Granted, his dreams had been miraculously accurate so far, but this dream was different. He was putting his life on the line for it. Even worse, he was putting the lives of his friends on the line. It was an awesome responsibility to bear.

But next to the self-doubts and the anxiety was a powerful and exhilarating sense of liberation. Certainly being away from civilization, out in the dark forest, could be quite terrifying. They were, after all, relying solely on their own resourcefulness and what little supplies they had brought with them. But Joshua felt increasingly confident that he had learned enough to survive out here, for a few days at least. And he had his friends with him to help. Their faith in Joshua helped him to find his own confidence. Maybe his dreams really were messages from the manitous….There was something very comforting about knowing that above and beyond the trials and tribulations of life, there was in fact a larger meaning and purpose to it all. So what if he didn’t know the entire plan? That simple cry for help he heard in his dreams hinted at a much larger world than people normally perceived, one that reached out to Joshua and noticed him. It was frightening and comforting at the same time. And with those contradictory thoughts, Joshua believed everything was going to be all right. The manitous were with him, watching over him, determined to keep him and his friends safe. That, he finally understood.

A sudden burst of light filled the sky, releasing a violent rumble that shook the ground below them. It had quickly grown ominously dark, and any moment now, they would all be soaked.

“Thanks so very much, manitous! Appreciate it! Really, I do.”

 

Buy the book: Harmony Ink

 

Meet the Author:

Jay Jordan Hawke holds a bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in history, as well as a second master’s in Outdoor Education. He loves everything sci-fi, especially Star Trek! He teaches high school history and anxiously awaits the day when he can write full time. His hobbies include camping, movies, reading, running, and writing. His first book, Pukawiss the Outcast, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist for Best Young Adult Gay Fiction. He resides in one of the Great Lakes states.

Where to find the author:

 

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Tour Dates & Stops:

17-Dec

18-Dec

21-Dec

22-Dec

23-Dec

24-Dec

25-Dec

28-Dec

29-Dec

29-Dec

30-Dec

Final

 

Giveaway

Enter to win a Two e-books to two different winners from any of the three books in the series (Pukawiss the Outcast, A Scout is Brave, or Onwaachige the Dreamer).  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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An Aurora YA Review: Reasons to Love a Nerd Like Me by Becky Jerams

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Reasons to love A Nerd LIke Me 2Scotty Williams is the nerdiest 17-year-old at Havensdale College – and proud of it. However being a nerd can have its downsides, particularly when you’re constantly being targeted by the school bully Taylor Raven and his cronies. As Scotty tries to navigate his final college years with the aid of his best friend Olive, he also finds himself on the radar of the mysterious and intimidating Vincent Hunter, toughest guy in the Sixth Form. Is Vincent really as bad as he seems? Will Scotty’s darkest secret ever be revealed? Can he ever just finish his last few college years in peace? But most importantly… will any guy ever find the reasons to love a nerd like him?

The Wattpad hit “Reasons To Love A Nerd Like Me” by Becky Jerams comes to Kindle for the first time in a new and improved edition. With over 2.4 million reads and counting, the first draft has resonated with readers across the world and been compared to authors such as John Green and David Levithan. Recommended for fans of teen drama and unconventional romance.

The biggest stand out in this book was the characters. At first glance, you might go into expecting some pretty typical teenage characters that you see a lot in YA media. I certainly went into it with that expectation, and I was more than pleasantly surprised. Both Scotty, Vincent, and all the side characters, were very complex, and they all had their positives and negatives. There were certainly things that either Scotty or Vincent did that made me shake my head at one or both of them, but it was never enough to push them away from being likable characters. What it achieved for me, instead, was to give them more depth as characters and represent the fact that while neither of them were necessarily perfect, they were both trying, and they were both endearing and cute characters to me.
As far as the plot, it was one that I had seen before, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t well done. The characters were what made the book seem more original, to me, but the plot wasn’t necessarily boring, it seemed more familiar to me than overdone. I definitely didn’t get bored reading, and overall I thoroughly enjoyed the book. There were a few spots when it seemed a little like perhaps the book was being stretched out, but when the pace slowed for maybe a few pages, it would get back on track pretty quickly so that didn’t bother me too much.
One thing I really enjoyed was the author’s style in writing. They definitely seemed to have a distinctive voice that left a good mental rhythm in my head as I read it. Based on this book I’d say they have a really developed voice, and that’s one of the best things about reading a book to me. I always look for different styles in the books I read, and ones that will be interesting to me. In this case, I was definitely interested by it. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA and especially fans of contemporary books that focus more on characters and relationships.
Cover art review. The cover is very simplistic, which I don’t necessarily mind. I would have maybe liked a little bit more than there was, and I don’t know that it would necessarily draw me to the book. However, it’s clean, and succinct, so I think it does the job.
Sales Links:  Amazon | Buy It Here
 
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 508 pages
Published October 12th 2015
ASINB015VL47M4
Edition LanguageEnglish

Afternoon Book Highlight: Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee (author interview, excerpt and contest)

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Seven Tears at High Tide by C.B. Lee
Release Date: October 15, 2015

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: C.B. Lee
Cover Design by C.B. Messer

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Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing C.B. Lee, author of Seven Tears at High Tide.

Hi C.B., thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hi! I’m C.B, thank you for interviewing me on your blog today. I’m from California, and grew up in a small neighborhood that was made up of almost all immigrant families. As a first generation Asian American and as a bisexual writer, I am so excited to be able to write more about characters whose backgrounds are like my own. My current novel is Seven Tears at High Tide, a contemporary romance meets fantasy, where a teenager meets a selkie has to navigate the consequences of wishing for love.

  • What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I would just love to see my stories being read by the people who want to read them. It’s a dream of mine, for people to be able to pick up a story about a character that they might see themselves in.

  • How many published books do you have? Can you tell us something about them?

Seven Tears at High Tide is my first novel! It’s my take on selkie lore, particularly on subverting the trope that follows a lot of the mythology, where a selkie comes ashore and their pelt, and subsequently their freedom, is taken away from them when a human steals it or discovers it. I wanted to write a story where the selkie– and the human both are presented with difficult choices in their relationship, and how they deal with these questions of agency.

  • Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Kevin and Morgan are the two main characters, and they’re both quite special to me! I hope readers think so too. Kevin can be quite stubborn at times, and act before he thinks, but he’s got a good heart, knows who he is and what he wants, and that helps him steer through a lot of difficult choices in the novel. Morgan has a few special supernatural abilities, like an enhanced sense of smell and the ability to read people’s intentions and their heart’s desires, but I think what makes him special is his positivity and his determination, and especially how he cares deeply about others.

  • What are you working on at the moment? What’s it about?

I’m currently working on another young adult novel, about a high school girl who comes from a family of superheroes– except she’s nonpowered, and really just wants to prove herself. She ends up getting a job, along with her crush, working for a mysterious corporation which turns out to be run by the town’s supervillain, and these two girls uncover this huge plot that’s more than just heroes versus villains. And they also fall in love.

  • Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I try to write at least a thousand words a day, if I have a deadline for a particular project. Sometimes I’ll write more, and often times I’ll write less, but I do try to write every day, even if it’s only a sentence!

RC

Blurb

Kevin Luong walks to the ocean’s edge with a broken heart. Remembering a legend his mother told him, he lets seven tears fall into the sea. “I just want one summer—one summer to be happy and in love.” Instead, he finds himself saving a mysterious boy from the Pacific—a boy who later shows up on his doorstep professing his love. What he doesn’t know is that Morgan is a selkie, drawn to answer Kevin’s wish. As they grow close, Morgan is caught between the dangers of the human world and his legacy in the selkie community to which he must return at summer’s end.

 

Pages or Words: 234 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Fantasy, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Young Adult

 

Excerpt

They wander into the house, wipe their wet feet on the welcome mat, climb up the stairs and giggle as they pass Ann’s bedroom. She’s dancing with her headphones on, oblivious to the open door, swaying to the beat.

In Kevin’s bedroom, he quickly scrounges up some clean shirts and shorts. “Here, you can wear this,” he says, handing an outfit to Morgan and then ducking into his bathroom to change. He peels off the wetsuit and hangs it up in his shower, then leans his surfboard carefully against the wall, eyeing the crack. He’ll have to fix it tomorrow.

When he returns, Morgan is holding onto the wet board shorts, wearing the outfit Kevin gave him. He looks curiously at the rock collection prominently displayed on Kevin’s bookshelf. “These are beautiful,” he says.

“Here, I’ll take that,” Kevin says, holding out his hand for the bedraggled board shorts to hang in his shower. He’s certain now that they’re the ones from the lifeguard’s lost and found. Kevin’s starting to worry that Morgan doesn’t have any other clothes, but he doesn’t know how to bring it up. Money can be a touchy subject.

Morgan holds Kevin’s favorite specimen, a piece of green olivine on basalt. Kevin once almost convinced Ann it was an avocado roll—it certainly looks like one, bright green speckled with sesame seeds, wrapped in dark seaweed.

“That’s from Mexico. My family went on vacation to Baja last year, and I got that out of an old volcano.” He tries his best to describe the sweltering heat and the excitement of finding geodes and cracking them open with a hammer. Morgan listens in rapt silence as Kevin talks about the find and tilts the olivine so it catches the light. He sets it back in its spot behind its label, slowly so as not to disturb the other specimens, and Kevin is quietly pleased with Morgan’s careful appreciation.

“I changed my mind,” Kevin blurts out.

“About what?”

“I do want this to be a date. For us, to do that,” he says, blushing. “I like you. A lot.”

Morgan’s face breaks into a bright, happy smile.

“And what do we do differently, for this to be a date?”

Kevin can feel the heat on his cheeks. “We can hold hands, if you like. Um, or kiss, if you want to. But we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. I’m fine just hanging out and watching a movie with you.”

Morgan tilts his head and steps closer. “I want to,” he says, not specifying what, but Kevin knows immediately.

It’s just the quickest brush of lips, but Kevin feels it all the way to his toes. A warm curl of excitement blooms throughout his body, and Morgan’s mouth is warm and wet against his. It’s not like any kiss he’s had, chaste and sweet and over in a second, and yet his heart is still pounding after Morgan leans back. He’s close enough for Kevin to be able to count the eyelashes dark against his cheek.

Morgan ducks his head and asks, “Was that okay?”

Kevin’s a little dazed, but he finds his voice. “Yeah. Yeah, that was great.”

 

Buy the book:

Interlude Press | Amazon |Book Depository | Indiebound 

Meet and connect with C. B. Lee:

C. B. Lee is a bisexual writer, rock climber and pinniped enthusiast based in California. Lee enjoys reading, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. Seven Tears At High Tide is a first novel.

Connect with C.B. at cb-lee.com, on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/authorcblee,

on Twitter @author_cblee, and on Goodreads at Goodreads.com/cb-lee.

 

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Tour Dates & Stops:

15-Oct: Prism Book Alliance, Happily Ever Chapter, Velvet Panic, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My,

Michael Mandrake, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

16-Oct: BFD Book Blog, Books A to Z, The Jena Wade

19-Oct: It’s Raining Men, Hearts on Fire, Bayou Book Junkie

20-Oct: Divine Magazine, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Bike Book Reviews

21-Oct: Amanda C. Stone, Just Love Romance, Mikky’s World of Books

22-Oct: Emotion in Motion, Kimi-Chan, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

23-Oct: Molly Lolly, Love Bytes

26-Oct: Boys on the Brink Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads

27-Oct: Cathy Brockman Romances, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, MM Good Book Reviews

28-Oct: TTC Books and More, My Fiction Nook

 

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press Gift Card to one grand prize winner plus copies of the Seven Tears at High Tide multi-format eBook to five winners. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

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In the Book Spotlight: The Camp by Victoria Zagar (excerpt and giveaway)

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The Camp by Victoria Zagar
Release Date: August 5, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Prizm Books
Cover Artist: BSClay

Sales Links:   Torquere Books  | Amazon

Blurb:

Jesse Harvan comes home from school one day to find his parents have discovered the gay pornographic magazine hidden under his bed. Disgusted, they decide to send Jesse to Camp Grady, a summer camp which prides itself on converting people’s sexuality.

Once at the camp, Jesse meets the other inmates: Charlie, a disabled African-American gay teenager, Natalie, a transgender girl, her sister Lita, Japanese lesbian Sakura, and last of all, Minister Grady’s son Jacob, who works for the camp under duress. These teens must learn to bridge their differences and get along if they’re to beat their common enemy and keep their identities–and sanity–intact.

Pages or Words: 27,600 words

Categories: Contemporary, LGBT Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction, Transexual, Lesbian Romance, M/M Romance

Excerpt:

I sit in the back of an old school bus that has been converted for the camp’s use. It rankles that I didn’t even get to say goodbye to Sam. Mom and Dad wouldn’t let me near him. I tried to send him an e-mail, but it was blocked. I didn’t have time to figure out how their new family-filter software worked. The next morning, I was on a plane to Pennsylvania, Mom and Dad accompanying me like this was some kind of family vacation. They left me at the airport and went their own way, transferring me directly to camp custody so that I wouldn’t get infected with any gay on the way.

I know I’ll be going back home eventually, but it doesn’t feel like it right now. I feel like Camp Grady will go on forever. My greatest fear is that the me who goes home won’t be the same as the one sitting here right now.

What if they can change me? What if they do have the power to fix me? That thought in my head argues with its natural opposite: I’m not broken. I won’t change. There’s nothing they can do to change who I am.

Last night I scared myself. I went onto the Internet and looked up ex-gay camps, which surprisingly were not filtered out. There are people who claim that they work. That they’ve thrown away partners, friends, and husbands because they’ve been ‘cured’. I read reports of abuse and beatings that made my stomach clench. I cried myself to sleep for the first time in a long time. I’m genuinely scared. How can something like this be legal? Apparently in California it isn’t. I wish I was a San Francisco kid. Maybe then my parents would be cool, and I wouldn’t feel so alone in the world.

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About the author:

Victoria was born in the United Kingdom but emigrated to the United States at age 21. She’s bisexual, genderqueer, happily married, and still shouts in a British accent. She lives with her husband in Pennsylvania where she spends a lot of time playing and talking about video games, especially Japanese role-playing games.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/synthesislandale
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/infinitelovefiction
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/landale
Website http://victoriazagar.com


Tour Dates & Stops: August 3, 2015
Parker Williams, MM Good Book Reviews, Just Love Romance, Jessie G. Books, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Molly Lolly, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Full Moon Dreaming, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, My Fiction Nook, Ogitchida Book Blog, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Inked Rainbow

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘The Camp’ by Victoria Zagar Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the Book Spotlight: Summer Love Anthology (A YA Collection from Duet, YA Interlude Press) (mini interview &giveaway)

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Summer Love Anthology – A YA Short Story Collection
Published by Duet – a YA imprint at Interlude Press
Release Date: June 23, 2015

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Goodreads Link
Publisher: Duet, a Young Adult imprint form Interlude Press
Cover Artist: BuckeyeGrrl Designs

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Sales Links:  Interlude PressAmazonIndependent Bookstores

Our mini interview…

My Best Friend, Summer Love- HJ Coulter

Today I am very lucky to be interviewing HJ Coulter, author of My Best Friend, part of the Summer Love Collection. Hi, HJ, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us about yourself, your background and your current book.

If I was to categorize myself, I guess I would say I am a geeky, classy, redneck. I grew up on the farm so I have an appreciation for wide open spaces and playing in the mud. I LOVE country music and the independent lifestyle that comes with country living. But I also the love the theatre, the sound of cellos, lace and old books. Plus I own more TV shows in DVD than should be legally allowed, dream of owning a replica of Hogwarts and my “ I Want To Believe” poster is one of my most prized possessions.

My current story, My Best Friend, is a letter from a gay young man to his best friend who has recently gotten married and is moving away. When I heard the theme Summer Love, I automatically knew that I did not want to write a romance. I wanted to capture all the other loves in people’s lives. Whether that be something as simple as a love for summer rain storms or as complicated as the love between a young man and his mentally ill father. My goal was to give emphasis to the fact that the epic love stories in your life don’t have to be romance.

What did you want to do when you grew up?

Like most people, I think my career aspirations changed as my interests grew and evolved. When I was very young, 4 or 5, I wanted to be Beethoven. Growing up with my Oma and Opa gave me a very early love for classical music and Beethoven’s 9th was my all-time favourite. I even sat down at the piano one day and played the melody to Ode to Joy by ear. This is what sparked my deep love for music. And like all first loves, music will always be a part of my life.

When I was an adolescent I was obsessed with cop dramas. I was known around school as the “ CSI girl”. I wanted to be everything for a lab tech to a beat cop to forensic psychologist. I read a lot of true crime novels and biographies of serial killers. I was a little creepy, not going to lie. It’s weird because most of my personal library has shifted into fiction. And I now like my procedurals with aliens or super villains. How times change.

I also remembering wanting to be a paramedic, hair dresser and English teacher. In fact when I went to post-secondary I was working towards getting my education degree. But to tell you the truth, I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. And I’m almost 25. Sure I have been thinking a lot lately about being a musical therapist or officially getting my papers to be a recreation facillator for older adults, but who knows? Not too long ago I didn’t think I would a published author and now look at me.

STRW Author BookSynopsis

Summer Love is the first collection of short stories published by Duet, the young adult imprint from Interlude Press. These short stories are about the emergence of young love of bonfires and beaches, of the magical in-between time when young lives step from one world to another, and about finding the courage to be who you really are, to follow your heart and live an authentic life. The contributing authors have written stories about both romantic and platonic love featuring characters who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, pansexual and queer/questioning. The authors also represent a spectrum of experience, identity and backgrounds.

SUMMARIES & AUTHOR BIOS

  • Beautiful Monsters
    A campaign volunteer is assigned to assist his high school’s Gay Straight Alliance for the Pride Parade, forcing him to face the students he had previously avoided, and the truth about himself.
    Author: Rachel Davidson Leigh is a writer, educator, and small town native who tells stories she wishes she could have read as a teen. Beautiful Monsters is her first published work of fiction. She lives in Wisconsin with her family and two dogs who are spoiled out of their tiny minds.
  • The Willow Weeps for Us
    Jack, the young son of a grocer, falls for a charming piano teacher at the dawn of World War II.
    Author: Suzey Ingold is a writer, linguist and coffee addict, currently based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Brought up in a household where children’s books are quoted over the dinner table, literature has always had a strong influence on her life. She enjoys travelling, scented candles and brunch.
  • The Fire Eater’s Daughter
    When a traveling carnival comes back to town, Ruth must choose between caring for her mother and a life with the beautiful and mysterious Constance, the fire eater’s daughter.
    Author: Amy Stilgenbauer is a writer and aspiring archivist currently based in southeast Michigan. She is the author of the novelette series, Season of the Witch, as well as the Young Adult novel, The Legend of League Park. When she isn’t writing, Amy enjoys all things bergamot and tries to keep her cats away from her knitting.
  • Surface Tension
    Logan just wants a summer where he can be anonymous and fit in without labels, but that all changes when he meets out-and-proud Dave at summer camp.
    Author: Ella J. Ash is a lawyer by day and an author by night. She has been a writer in online fan communities since 2006. She also enjoys dance parties with her family and cooking experimental vegetarian cuisine. She lives in Toronto with her partner, three daughters and four tropical fish.
  • My Best Friend
    In a letter to his best friend, a young gay man reminisces about their relationship.
    Author: H.J. Coulter lives in Winnepeg, Canada, where she works as a respite worker and studies music, in hopes of one day becoming a musical therapist. My Best Friend is her professional writing debut.
  • What the Heart Wants
    A young student discovers attraction and desire through her experience drawing figures in her summer art class.
    Author: Naomi Tajedler was born and raised in Paris, where art has always been a part of her life—including painting, restoring books, and working in auctions. She started writing in online fan communities in 2009.
  • The Most Handsome
    Carter, a Cape Cod boy who recently came out as transgender, meets and falls in love with a college student visiting for the summer.
    Author: S.J. Martin lives with his partner and their cranky, rotund cat in Washington D.C. He’s a barista by day and a writer by night. He makes a mean cappuccino and lives for good coffee, good books, and good company. The Most Handsome is his first published story.
  • Something Like Freedom
    A boy finds a safe space from which to imagine a new future after leaving his conservative parents’ home, thanks in part to a new friend.
    Author: Caroline Hanlin is a full time statistician, a part time stage manager, and an avid sports fan. She currently resides in Boston, where she enjoys writing during her commute. Something Like Freedom is her first published short story.
  • On the Shore
    A young woman retreats to her parents’ beach house to nurse a broken heart, but instead meets a vivacious girl who helps her find joy again.
    Author: Rachel Blackburn is a writer, musician and librarian based in central Ohio. When free from work, she enjoys cuddling with her cats, drinking tea, and baking more cupcakes than necessary. On the Shore is her professional writing debut.

Pages or Words: 276 pages

Categories: Please keep in mind that as an anthology, not all stories contain all elements listed.
Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Lesbian Romance, M/M Romance, Romance, Trans*, Young Adult, Collection

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

Excerpt: (From Beautiful Monsters)
Beautiful Monsters
By Rachel Davidson Leigh

“Glad to see you could join the party,” Terrence deadpans, pressing a rainbow bandana into André’s hand. André grabs a second bandana out of the bag, stuffs one in each of his back pockets, and then goes in for a third.
“Cody was checking out the parade route,” André replies, in a smooth lie. “It turns out we’re still walking six blocks through absolutely nothing and then calling it a day.” Terrence laughs, and, as he turns away, André presses a handkerchief into Cody’s hand. “Use it wisely,” he whispers into Cody’s ear. “You’re one of us now.”
One of us. He’s never been part of an “us.” Cody stares down at the lines on the handkerchief and then at the two patches of color on the back of André’s jeans as he walks toward the arriving cars.
Cody expects panic, but it doesn’t come. Maybe he isn’t ready to be Gay with a capital G, but if “us” can mean being one of these idiots, then maybe he’s ready to have people of his own. As he watches the sharp sway of André’s hips, the heat rising up his neck doesn’t feel like fear. It feels like… clarity, as though the run put everything in perspective and now he can’t stop seeing André in crisp, dazzling color.
Someone presses a sign into his hand and guides him toward the parade staging area with the rest of the crew. Once again, he can’t hear himself think over the din, but it’s different now. At the meeting, and for years before that in the hallways, he felt like an invader locked out by a wall of sound, and now he’s somehow wandered inside. 

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About the authors at Interlude Press:

Where to find more information:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interludepress
Twitter: @duetbooks, @interludepress
Pinterest: pinterest.com/interludepress
Other: duetbooks.com
Other: duetbooks.tumblr.com

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the press and Pride Promotions. Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: One $25 Interlude Press gift card. Five multi-format Summer Love eBooks.
Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Tour Dates & Stops:
23-Jun
Hearts on Fire
Because Two Men Are Better Than One
Cathy Brockman Romances

24-Jun
Boys on the Brink Reviews
Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

25-Jun
Up All Night, Read All Day
Happily Ever Chapter
Velvet Panic

26-Jun
Bending The Bookshelf
Mikky’s World of Books
Prism Book Alliance

29-Jun
Bike Book Reviews
Rainbow Gold Reviews
Amanda C. Stone

30-Jun
Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
BFD Book Blog

1-Jul
TTC Books and More
Foxylutely Book Reviews
Bayou Book Junkie

2-Jul
MM Good Book Reviews
Inked Rainbow Reads

3-Jul
Emotion in Motion
Love Bytes

6-Jul
Molly Lolly
Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
My Fiction Nook

Its A M/M Fairy Tale! “The Rules of Ever After” by Killian B. Brewer (interview and giveaway)

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The Rules of Ever After by  Killian B. Brewer
Release Date: June 9, 2015

STRW In The Spotlight Header

Sales Links: Amazon, Duet Website,
Interlude Web store: store.interludepress.com

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Goodreads Link: Goodreads.com/KillianBBrewer
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: BuckeyeGrrl Designs

What Happens when A Prince Chooses A Prince? A M/M Fairy Tale with its Own HEA!  Killian B. Brewer is here for an interview on fairy tales gone LGBTQIA and the inspiration behind The Rules of Ever After.

Our Killian B. Brewer Interview…

• Do you consider “The Rules of Ever After” a M/M fairy tale?
I wrote “The Rules” to be a m/m fairy tale but with an eye toward the original intent of fairy tales—to offer life lessons. I also wanted to include elements of adventure. The adventure the princes go on is inspired by things as varied as the travels in The Odyssey to the old “Road Movies” of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Though a m/m story was my original intent, I discovered that the female characters in the story had just as much story to tell as well. After all, if a prince is not pursuing the princess, she has to change the rules for her life as well. So the story is not limited to just the m/m aspect and grew to incorporate more than that as I wrote.

From the blurb it does seem to include many fairy tale basic elements, the stepmother, the fairies, royalty, castles….are we thinking along the lines of Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella gone M/M? 
For the specific tale of these two princes, I was inspired by the old tale of the princess and the pea. But there are other fairy tales represented in the book, including Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin and even a nod to Snow White. By changing the gender of a princess to a prince, I had to explore how that would change the actions of the characters in the story.

What do you consider the most romantic fairy tale?
The original Grimm’s tales are often not incredibly romantic. I do love the tale of Sleeping Beauty and it is my favorite of the Disney versions of the tales. I think as a young gay man, I was drawn to the idea of a dashing prince risking his life to find his true love. After all, half the fun of a fairy tale is imagining yourself in the plot.

What do you consider the most important elements of a fairy tale and did you include them in your story?
All fairy tales should have a quest, a romance and a touch of magic. Also, the characters should learn a lesson while on the journey. I tried to incorporate all of this in The Rules. One of the most enjoyable parts of plotting out the novel was figuring out how to inject magic into the story and building the world in which my characters live. I knew I wanted fairies in the story, but wanted to make sure their influence on the characters was minimal. I wanted the characters to be active in their own tale and growth, not just subject to the whims of the fairies. I also knew I needed a villain, and the “wicked stepmother” is such a common theme in the original tales that I had to create one.

What was the inspiration behind The Rules of Ever After, including the title?
Years ago while studying the Brothers Grimm’s tales for a college class, I had the thought, “What if the prince climbed the tower and found another prince?” Rules grew out of that thought. Fairy tales and royal life both have very definite “rules” for how the characters should behave. But when you have a prince who would prefer his happily ever after to be with another prince, the usual fairy tale and royal “rules” won’t necessarily work. As I began to play with that idea, I realized that it would apply to the LGBTQ community, who have had to create our own new rules for life. I wanted to write a tale where a young gay man could imagine himself in the stories we all grew up with but that never included all of us. The idea of rewriting the rules is what inspired the title.

Which do you prefer Disney fairy tales or Grimm’s?
I love the Disney versions, but I really prefer the tales of the Brothers Grimm. The stories are darker and don’t try to hide the scary and unpleasant parts of life from a reader. The tales the brothers collected weren’t necessarily told for children. They were folk tales that were told by and to adults as well.

• What’s next for Killian B. Brewer?
I originally thought Rules would be a stand-alone novel, but I am currently working on further adventures for the characters. I realized that there is more story to tell about what happens for fairy tale characters after the “ever after.” Also, I am in the early stages of plotting out a book that is more reality based and set in the south. Many of my favorite authors are Southerners and I would like to explore the weird world of the South that I live in.

STRW Author BookSynopsis

The rules of royal life have governed the kingdoms of Clarameer for thousands of years, but Prince Phillip and Prince Daniel know that these rules don’t provide for the happily ever after they seek.

A fateful, sleepless night brings the two young men together and sends them on a quest out into the kingdoms. On their travels, they encounter meddlesome fairies, an ambitious stepmother, disgruntled princesses and vengeful kings as they learn about life, love, friendship and family.  Most of all, the two young men must learn how to write their own rules of ever after.
Pages or Words: 256 pages

Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance, Young Adult

STRW Spotlight Book Excerpt

“Phillip, don’t believe all those stories your scribe told you. Magic is not defeated by waiting for someone to come rescue you from it. You have to fight it.” Daniel paused and took a breath before reaching out to take Phillip’s hand again. “I sat around for two years waiting for someone to come along and fix my problems. No one came, and nothing changed. Then I realized that maybe the person I was waiting for was me. So I went out to find my own answers.”
“I’m not you. I don’t even know where to begin.” Phillip sat back on the edge of the bed.
“You begin the way everyone does,” Daniel explained, “one foot in front of the other.”
“I’ve barely been out of this castle. I don’t know what’s out there.”
“Well, you’re in luck. You know someone who does.”
“What? Who?” Phillip cocked his head and stared at Daniel in confusion.
“Me!” Daniel winked and pointed to his chest. “I know what’s out there. I’ve been wandering all over the kingdoms for months now. I’ve studied the maps and the histories. I know how to fight and how to survive.” Daniel stood up. “I’ll come with you,” he continued. “I’ll help you find her, and we’ll bring her down together. We will fix this.”
Daniel could almost see the wheels turn in Phillip’s head as he considered Daniel’s offer. He looked over at his father, then back down at his feet before glancing up to Daniel with a look of tentative hope. “Why would you do that?”
Daniel pondered the question for a moment, unsure of the answer himself. The pain in Phillip’s face touched Daniel’s heart and made him want to bring back the mischievous, laughing man he had met just two nights before. This was not his problem, and he had his own concerns to deal with, but looking at Phillip’s terrified face, he knew he wanted to help. He knew he had to.
“I’m not being completely selfless. I’m still going to be looking for my own answers. But I can help you look, too.” Daniel held his hand out to Phillip. “Come with me. Let’s go get you some food and make a plan.”
“You’re just saying this to get me to eat.”
“No. As I said, I feel responsible. If I hadn’t gotten in that bed—”
“But you did.” Phillip mumbled before turning to look at Daniel with his eyes wide. “And you passed the test. I thought for sure you were the answer—”
“The test? I still don’t understand about this test.”
“Yes. You were the first to spend the night in the bed and be kept awake by the pea under the mattresses. Okay, maybe some of the others could have passed if I hadn’t—”
“Phillip? You think a pea kept me awake?” Daniel stepped back and knitted his brows; he had clearly missed some element of that awful night’s events. Though he was glad to see some sign of activity from Phillip, Daniel was thoroughly confused. “Why was there a pea under—”
“Yes. You passed the test. Maybe it is a sign!” Phillip stood and turned to Daniel; excitement spread across his face. “Maybe you are here to help me.”

STRW Author Bio and Contacts

Killian B. Brewer grew up in a family where the best way to be heard was to tell a good story, therefore he developed an early love of storytelling, puns and wordplay.  He began writing poetry and short fiction at 15 and continued in college where he earned a BA in English. He does not use this degree in his job in the banking industry.

He currently lives in Georgia with his partner of ten years and their dog. Growing up in the South gave him a funny accent and a love of grits. The Rules of Ever After is his first novel.

Where to find the author:
Facebook: Facebook.com/KillianBBewer
Twitter: @KillianBBrewer
Pinterest: Pinterest.com/KillianBBrewer
Home Page: killianbbrewer.com

STRW Spotlight Contest Header

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Interlude Press Gift Card. 5 e-copies of ‘The Rules of Ever After’ by Killian B. Brewer. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
Rafflecopter Code:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Tour Dates & Stops: June 9 – 22, 2015
    9-Jun
    Amanda C. Stone
    Up All Night, Read All Day
    Velvet Panic
  • 10-Jun
    Divine Magazine
    Inked Rainbow Reads
  • 11-Jun
    Happily Ever Chapter
    Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
  • 12-Jun
    Molly Lolly
  • 15-Jun
    MM Good Book Reviews
    Hearts on Fire
  • 16-Jun
    Mikky’s World of Books
    Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
  • 17-Jun
    My Fiction Nook
    BFD Book Blog
  • 18-Jun
    Rainbow Gold Reviews
    Bayou Book Junkie
  • 19-Jun
    Prism Book Alliance
  • 22-Jun
    Love Bytes
    Nephylim

 

Our Focus is On: Mia Kerick on Playlists, Writing and Come To My Window (contest included)

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Come to My Window by Mia Kerick
Release Date: January 2015
Goodreads Book Page

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A Mia Kerick Playlist!

Ever have songs in your head as you read a book?  Well, the authors do as well.  Here is Mia Kerick’s playlist for Come To My Window:

Here is my Top Ten Songs Playlist for Come To My Window!!

1. “Come to My Window” by Melissa Etheridge:

This is the song after which the book is named. It describes the way that the two girls meet, by gazing through their third story bedroom windows. For months they don’t verbally communicate at all, but instead simply study each other silently through the glass. The song details the strong urge the girls experience to reach out to each other—and the lengths to which they will go to fill their souls with the other. Furthermore, it shows the way that the girls can look away from society’s opinion about their love because their love is more important than social expectations.

Come to my window
Crawl inside, wait by the light
of the moon
Come to my window
I’ll be home soon

I would dial the numbers
Just to listen to your breath
I would stand inside my hell
And hold the hand of death
You don’t know how far I’d go
To ease this precious ache
You don’t know how much I’d give
Or how much I can take

Just to reach you
Just to reach you
Just to reach you…

I don’t care what they think
I don’t care what they say
What do they know about this
love anyway

Come to my window
Crawl inside, wait by the light
of the moon
Come to my window
I’ll be home soon

2. “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette:

This song is important because it shows that Justine truly understands the anger that Kemina feels toward the glamorous cage in which she is trapped, and also, toward her own mother, who is controlling and uses her daughter as a tool to get what she wants. “You Oughta Know” is an expression of pure unadulterated anger, and the two girls listen to it together—but separately—each of them sitting on their own beds in their own bedrooms, gazing at each other across the alley.

And I’m here to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It’s not fair to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know….

3. F**ckin’ Perfect by Pink

Pink’s song expresses how Justine feels—that Kemina is perfect as she is. Justine watches Kemina through the window, struggling to diet and exercise so that she can fulfill society’s expectations of a physically perfect female body, and she becomes frustrated that Kemina, as a model, is held hostage by these ideals. By the end of the song, Pink is basically pleading that the person to whom she sings realizes that he/she is already perfect, which parallels Justine’s pleading with Kemina for the very same thing.

Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than f**king perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you’re f**king perfect to me

You’re so mean (so mean) when you talk (when you talk)
About yourself. You were wrong.
Change the voices (change the voices) in your head (in your head)
Make them like you instead…

Done looking for the critics, cause they’re everywhere
They don’t like my jeans, they don’t get my hair
Exchange ourselves and we do it all the time
Why do we do that, why do I do that (why do I do that)?

Pretty, pretty please, don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than fucking perfect
Pretty, pretty please, if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you’re fucking perfect to me…

4. “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond

I originally chose this song because it’s the song that traditionally plays in the Red Sox’s home stadium, Fenway Park, halfway through the eighth inning. And Justine, despite her New York City roots, is no Yankees fan, but is a Red Sox Fan, through and through. In particular, she is somewhat obsessed by David Ortiz, or Big Papi, the Red Sox’s famous designated hitter. But when I read the lyrics carefully, I realized that the song was about falling in love—about reaching out and touching a special person who makes the good times better than ever, which is what Kemina does for Justine’s life. This blossoming relationship helps Justine to put the hurt in her life behind her.

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would
But now I…

…look at the night
And it don’t seem so lonely
We fill it up with only two.

And when I hurt,
Hurtin’ runs off my shoulders
How can I hurt when holding you?

Warm, touchin’ warm
Reachin’ out, touchin’ me, touchin’ you

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined,
To believe they never would
Oh, no, no…

5. “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC

I chose “Thunderstruck” because Justine is crazy about the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, and this is their theme song. She also gets a powerful, almost thunderstruck, feeling when she plays street ball and scrimmages indoors with the male friends she grew up with.

Thunder, thunder, thunder, thunder
I was caught
In the middle of a railroad track
I looked round
And I knew there was no turning back
My mind raced
And I thought what could I do
And I knew
There was no help, no help from you
Sound of the drums
Beating in my heart
The thunder of guns
Tore me apart
You’ve been
Thunderstruck

6. “One Less Lonely Girl” by Justin Bieber:

I chose this song for the playlist because Justine is constantly compared to Justin Bieber due to their physical similarities. She admittedly wears her hair like Bieber in his “One Less Lonely Girl” days, and nobody lets her forget it, particularly not the guy friends that she grew up with. In addition, the lyrics discuss how many girls have pretty faces but now that he has seen this certain girl’s pretty face it is all he can see, which is similar to how Justine feels about Kemina.

Saw so many pretty faces before I saw you (you)
Now all I see is you
I’m coming for you (I’m coming for you)

(No no) Don’t need these other pretty faces like I need you
And when you’re mine, in the world
There’s gonna be one less lonely girl

I’m coming for you, one less lonely girl [x3]
There’s gonna be one less lonely girl…

I can fix up your broken heart (heart)
I can give you a brand new start (start)
I can make you believe (ya)
I just wanna set one girl free to fall (free to fall)
She’s free to fall (fall in love)
With me

Her heart’s locked and know what I got the key
I’ll take her and leave the world with one less lonely

There’s gonna be one less lonely girl
One less lonely girl
One less lonely girl
One less lonely girl…

7. “Daughters” by John Mayer:

I chose “Daughters” because a major theme of Come To My Window is the relationship between mothers and daughters. Justine and Kemina both have challenging relationships with their mothers, in particular, and, this song asks parents to be good to their daughters, because everything the daughters learn about love they learn from their parents.

I know a girl
She puts the color inside of my world
But she’s just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change
And I’ve done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I’m starting to see
Maybe it’s got nothing to do with me

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

8. “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga:

I chose this song because the paparazzi constantly hounds Kemina, as she is the “Baby Vixen”, or the newest and youngest model of Nightingale Lingerie, which is comparable to Victoria’s Secret’s angels. The constant presence of the paparazzi shape Kemina’s personality and mold the blossoming relationship between Kemina and Justine. The relationship between the girls and the paparazzi seems to be completely out of control, until at the end of the novel, the girls successfully negotiate with them. Negotiation in relationships, and hopes for positive change in these relationships, is yet another theme of the story.

We are the crowd
We’re coming out
Got my flash on it’s true
Need that picture of you
It’s so magical
We’d be so fantastic, oh…

I’m your biggest fan
I’ll follow you until you love me
Papa-Paparazzi
Baby there’s no other superstar
You know that I’ll be your
Papa-Paparazzi

9. “My Girl” by The Temptations:

“My Girl” is the song that comes into Justine’s mind when she realizes that she and Kemina have become girlfriends. It’s the way that she begins to think about Kemina when they’re apart, just because simply knowing that Kemina is hers gives her bright and happy feelings.

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.
When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May.

I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin’ ’bout my girl (my girl).

I’ve got so much honey the bees envy me.
I’ve got a sweeter song than the birds in the trees.

Well, I guess you’d say
What can make me feel this way?
My girl (my girl, my girl)
Talkin’ ’bout my girl (my girl).

10. “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert:

I chose this song for the playlist for two reasons. First, it describes Justine’s feelings upon the occasion of their first kiss. The feelings she experiences when they kiss are safe and kind and warm, which combine with her sense of gentle passion for Kemina. She knows beyond a doubt that kissing Kemina is right—that kissing a girl is right for her. The second reason I chose “She Keeps Me Warm” is because I imagine it’s the song they slow dance to at the end of the story at Justine’s high school prom, when Justine finally expresses her deep feelings to Kemina. In effect, it becomes “their song.”

She says I smell like safety and home
I named both of her eyes “Forever” and “Please don’t go”
I could be a morning sunrise all the time, all the time yeah
This could be good, this could be good

And I can’t change, even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can’t change, even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm, she keeps me warm…

Copyright for all songs belongs to the artist, songwriter, and record company.

Author Bio:

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Where to find the author:

Blog: http://www.miakerick.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mia.kerick
Dreamspinner Author Arcade
Goodreads Author Page
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MiaKerick

Publisher: Mia Kerick
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Sales Links:  Barnes & Noble  Kindle Link   Amazon Paperback  All Romance eBooks

Blurb:

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Justine Laraby and Kemina Lopez are intimate acquaintances yet they have never exchanged so much as a single word. For months, high school senior Justine, and famed model, “Kemina, the Baby Vixen” of Nightingale Lingerie, have been peering at each other across a narrow alley between brownstones in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This mutual observation soon turns into the exchange of handwritten messages on signs they hold up whenever they come to their bedroom windows. Via this “sign language,” a friendship grows, and Justine learns that Kemina is, like her, a high school senior, but with a controlling mother and a modeling career that requires her to maintain an unnaturally thin physique. And through the window, she also witnesses her new friend exercising fanatically, hoarding food, and being physically and emotionally abused by her ambitious mother.

Window messages evolve into clandestine meetings and soon a tentative romance blooms. But Justine must come to terms with her own “mommy issues,” as well as accept her gender identity and sexual orientation, before she can provide Kemina with the support she needs to survive a family life that resembles a ruthless business transaction. 

Will Justine be strong enough to throw open the window so Kemina can escape society’s suffocating expectations?

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Lesbian Romance, Romance, Young Adult

Come To My Window excerpt…

But it’s not until the screen fills with the image of this baby seal,
all white and fluffy with dark vulnerable eyes that we both gasp a
little bit and then turn to look at each other. I can feel her breath on
my lips and my nose is nearly touching hers, and, well, I don’t know
about Kemina, but I’m all kinds of spellbound by this moment. She
reaches up and touches my jaw, just below my ear, with this soft
brush of her fingertips, and I have no choice but to lean down and
kiss her. Not that I was looking too hard for another option. Cuz I
wasn’t.

I kind of thought that my first kiss would be like an electric
shock or the sharp poke of cupid’s dart or fireworks exploding in a
dark night sky, but it’s not like any of those things. The way it feels
when my lips touch Kemina’s is soft and gentle and tender. It’s a
yielding of her mouth to mine, and then mine to hers. It’s an intimate
moment that’s breathy and warm and sweet and just ours.

“Ummmm….” She lets out this sound that makes me think of
how it feels to sink into a hot bath after a long afternoon of ice
skating in frigid temperatures. “That was my first real kiss.”

“Real kiss?” I ask. Our lips are only about an inch apart. I have
a strong feeling that her second real kiss is only a moment away.

 

Pages or Words: 182 pagesCTMWBadge
Tour Dates/Tour Stops:

26-Jan

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Elin Gregory

Kimi-Chan

27-Jan

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28-Jan

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29-Jan

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30-Jan

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Cate Ashwood

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31-Jan

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Journey Into Courage with Jay Jordan Hawke’s A Scout Is Brave (book tour and contest)

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Book Name: A Scout is Brave
Goodreads Link
Author Name: Jay Jordan Hawke

Author Bio:

Jay Jordan Hawke holds a bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in history, as well as a second master’s in Outdoor Education. He loves everything sci-fi, especially Star Trek, and hopes to be on the first starship out of here. In the meantime, he teaches at a college prep school and anxiously awaits the day when he can write full time.

In addition to all things sci-fi, his hobbies include camping, reading, running, and writing. He has lived in several Midwestern states and currently resides in Indiana. Ugh – get me out of here!

Author Contact:

https://www.facebook.com/jay.hawke
https://www.facebook.com/JayJordanHawke
https://www.twitter.com/@JayJordanHawke

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Anne CainScoutIsBrave

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press eBook & Paperback   amazon

A Scout Is Brave Blurb:

In the months following the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard, fourteen-year-old Joshua, a half Native American boy, is new to a Boy Scout troop and spending a week camping in northern Wisconsin. The weaker kids in the troop soon realize Joshua is not afraid to stand up to the troop’s ruthless bullies. Joshua’s bravery and kindness is infectious, and the bullied Scouts quickly find their own inner strength.

Joshua, however, is plagued by self-doubt as he realizes he has feelings for Cody, the son of the troop’s harsh and puritanical Scoutmaster. The two discover they have more in common than Scouting as they share their deepest secrets and develop a close friendship. That friendship faces its greatest challenge as the homophobic bullies claim a “faggot” has “infected” their troop. As if struggling to come to terms with his sexuality while dealing with hatred and bigotry isn’t enough, Joshua discovers the camp holds another dark mystery, one that will make him summon all his courage and learn for the first time what it truly means to be brave.

A Scout Is Brave Exclusive Excerpt:

 

WARNING: Intense excerpt.

Tommy Drapos stood helpless before his fellow Boy Scouts. They had cornered him against a tree and took turns taunting him with words like “faggot” and “queer.”

“Hey, here’s your best friend,” one boy teased, holding up a long, thick stick.

The other boys simply laughed.

“Yeah, I bet you really miss it!” another boy shouted.

Little Tommy Drapos’s eyes lit up in fear as he realized what they were going to do. He cried out for mercy.

“Please stop,” he whimpered between his sniffs in a barely audible voice.

His cries for mercy accomplished nothing.

“Hey, can’t you see how sad he is?” the boy with the stick said to his crowd of friends. “I think he really misses his friend.”

“Give it to him!” another boy shouted.

“Yeah, give it to him!” the crowd collectively agreed.

Two boys stepped toward Tommy’s cowering body. They grabbed his arms, and Tommy cried out.

“Stop it! Please, stop it!”

Some boys in the crowd repeated Tommy’s words with a babyish tone, furthering Tommy’s humiliation. “Top it, pwease top it,” they taunted.

A third boy approached the panic-stricken boy. He grabbed Tommy’s pants and yanked them down. The crowd laughed. Tommy knew what they were going to do, and he was helpless to stop them.

Categories: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal

Pages: 180 pages

ASiBBadgeTour Dates/Stops:

15-Dec

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16-Dec

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Velvet Panic

17-Dec

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Molly Lolly

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18-Dec

EE Montgomery

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

Fallen Angel Reviews

19-Dec

Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

Up All Night, Read All Day

MM Good Book Reviews

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘A Scout is Brave’. Use the link below for all contest details and entry form. This is a YA novel, so the age rule does not apply.

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