Cover Reveal, Excerpt, & Giveaway: Tempeste O’Reilly’s Dreamer’s Destiny

People don’t just materialize into reality simply because you want them to so desperately that waking up breaks your heart. 

 

Dreamers’ Destiny

by Tempeste O’Riley

a Standalone story

M/M Erotic Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Release Date: May 13, 2016 (ebook/print)

Length: Novel

PreOrder:

Dreamspinner Press

Add to: Goodreads

 

Liam Grady is the owner of the Feathered Quill, a quirky little bookstore in Asheville, and—though he doesn’t realize it yet—a dream walker. His last relationship failed almost a year ago, and he’s not had the interest or nerve to pursue anyone he’s met since.

Cameron Danu is a tattoo artist from rural Georgia. Cameron is left without a job after his boss, Jose, is forced to close the shop after a heart attack. When Cameron learns Jose has set up an interview for him at a small tattoo parlor in Asheville, he hopes for a fresh start in a new town.

Fate brings Cameron and Liam together, and they realize they’ve met before—in their dreams. A chance encounter and a winged tattoo might lead them to their destiny—if fear doesn’t turn their dreams into a nightmare.

xxx Insert excerpt choice here XXX

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

“I found it a beautiful tale of unhappiness changed to romance and then love with a happy ending.”

—Rainbow Book Reviews, on “Designs of Desire”

Designs of Desire is a tough realistic book that is touched by violence countered by the growing love between the two heroes.”

—Sensual Reads, on “Designs of Desire”

“It paints a stunning image of rebirth as Deacon and Kaden’s relationship begins to unfurl, like a rose as it opens its petals to the sun.”

—Carly’s Book Reviews, on “Caged Sanctuary”

“This is my favorite in this series so far. I love seeing how these characters are growing, all of them. As individuals, as couples, as friends, and as a family.”

—MM Good Book Reviews, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“The writer did an excellent job with the characters, they are likable and perfect. Not perfect in the way that they have no flaws, but in a way that they grab you and complement each other.”

—Love Bytes Reviews, on “Temptations of Desire”

“Tempeste created an amazing world for these paranormal species. I got lost in the story and wondering how all the pieces wove together.”

Molly Lolly, on “Whiskers of a Chance”

 

 

Designs of DesireSimple Desires*+Bound by Desire*Desires’ GuardianTemptations of DesireTruth in Lace*Desires’ Pride* Signs of Desire

Micah’s Medicine+Caged SanctuaryWhiskers of a Chance

*shorts in series +shorts in anthologies

 

Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. They has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life—especially now that they have joined the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence® (as Novice Sister Eroti-Quill… can’t imagine where that name came from).

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit http://tempesteoriley.com.

Website Goodreads Twitter Facebook Google + DSP Blog

Tempeste’s Temptations (FB Group)

 

Cover Reveal for Patience by Grace R. Duncan


PatienceFSPatience

Forbes Mates, Book 2
Dreamspinner Press
Cover by Reese Dante
Release date: 3/7/2016
230 pages
Preorder:
ebook: http://bit.ly/1mgLZwP
paperback: http://bit.ly/1UODapT

 

Blurb:

Jamie Ryan was almost ready to accept he’d never find his destined mate. They’re uncommon to begin with and same-sex versions downright rare. Since his gay best friend found a destined mate, Jamie figured he was out of luck. Until end of semester stress forces him to go through the full-moon shift early. Stuck in wolf form, he runs into none other than his destined mate. Who’s human.

Chad Sutton has always had good instincts. They served him well as a detective and continued on when he went private. Those instincts tell him there’s something about the dog that comes up to him while running away from animal control that isn’t quite right. He works to put the pieces together, but is unsuccessful until his dog turns into a human before his eyes.

Jamie has no idea what a shifter mate bite will do to a human. He’s terrified to try—and possibly kill his mate. They hunt together for answers while working together on a case for Chad. It’s easy to see they belong together, but Jamie fears the gods gave him someone he can’t keep.

 

Excerpt:

 

Jamie threw back another shot and set the glass on the bar. It was days like this that made him wish to hell his metabolism wasn’t so damned fast. Thanks to his wolf, there wasn’t much he could do. His body processed alcohol almost as fast as he could drink it.

It didn’t help that he’d been feeling out of sorts the whole day. After his last final, he’d loaded the rest of his things from his dorm room into his car. All through it, he’d felt just… off. He couldn’t wait until he got back out to pack lands and Tanner and Finley’s house. They both insisted he take one of the spare rooms when he wasn’t on campus.

He hadn’t wanted to at first. He wasn’t sure he wanted to sit around and watch Tanner and Finley be loving and physical. It wasn’t so much that he still had feelings for Finley. He didn’t, thank the gods. It was more of a different sort of jealousy. Now that he’d seen what it was to have a mate, he wanted one of his own—badly.

Tanner and Finley had tried to set him up with their friend the pack doctor, Miles. While Jamie could admit Miles was most definitely hot, with his long red hair and lean physique, Miles wasn’t his destined mate. And they got along well enough, but he didn’t even feel the interest with Miles he had with Finley. Luckily for both of them, Miles felt the same. They’d been able to occasionally fuck and be good friends, but that’s as far as it had gone.

Thankfully, Tanner and Finley weren’t as bad as he’d expected. They kept most of their physical stuff to their bedroom, with the occasional touch and kiss in front of him. So going back there for holidays and breaks wasn’t as bad as he’d been afraid it would be.

And now he wanted nothing more than to get on the road and make the hour-and-a-half-in-traffic trip back. His wolf had been prodding him for a while, and he needed to shift and run, let him loose.

Jamie tried to think of the last time he’d shifted outside of the full moon. When he realized he wasn’t sure, it made sense that he was so antsy. He was rather surprised he hadn’t started chasing the mailman down the street or chewing on his roommate’s slippers. Their kind had an unfortunate tendency to display horribly doglike behaviors—in human form—when they didn’t shift often enough. The worst of the side effects included full-blown attention deficit issues. Considering he was at the tail end of his junior year in college and squeaking through finals, Jamie counted himself lucky he’d managed to keep from any of that.

The prodding was undoubtedly the reason he was feeling out of sorts. His wolf prowled just under the surface, and he wondered if he shouldn’t just tell his friends good-bye and head home.

Come on, man! You’re being a lightweight tonight,” his roommate, Dwayne, said, shoving another shot at him. “You usually drink all of us under the table.”

I gotta drive home, dude,” Jamie said. He wasn’t about to explain that it didn’t matter how many shots he had, he could sober up in no time and still drive.

You can crash on my couch,” Troy offered.

Jamie turned to his other friend and shook his head. “Naw, it’s okay. I guess I can do a couple more.” He picked up another glass and lifted it to his lips, then stopped when he realized the fine hairs on the back of his hand weren’t quite so fine. He blinked, confused, since his vision was still normal.

Right then, the colors faded to grays. Jamie downed the shot quickly and closed his eyes, pretending to struggle to swallow the liquor, trying to fight his wolf back into its place.

Not yet. Just a little longer.

When he opened his eyes, the color was back, but his wolf was even closer to the surface. He glanced at his watch—a digital with the moon phases on it, just in case—but the full moon was still more than two days away. The date didn’t seem to matter, though. Jamie was losing the fight against his wolf, and he needed to get out of there—fast.

Dude, you okay?” Troy asked, peering at him.

Dwayne was grinning from the other side. “I think he finally had one too many.”

Jamie jumped on the excuse. “Uh, yeah. Something with that last shot. Need some air. Sorry.” With that, he hurried out to the street and took a deep breath. Unfortunately, Forbes Avenue in the heart of Oakland—Pittsburgh’s college district—wasn’t the best place for fresh air. All he got for his trouble was two lungs full of exhaust and a burning nose. He knew better—he’d been fighting the stench of city for most of the last two years—and he cursed himself for doing it anyway.

Shaking his head at himself, he darted past the Dunkin’ Donuts and the door to The O, then around the corner, looking for a quick place to hide. His vision turned gray again, and he struggled to hold his wolf back at least until he could get hidden. He ducked into the alley just beyond the building and let out a breath.

Before he could think of how to handle this, his wolf broke through, and Jamie found himself forced through the shift. His gums itched as his teeth dropped, his claws extended, and fur erupted over his skin. His bones and muscles realigned, and seconds later, he landed on four paws.

He shook himself hard and gave himself just a moment to savor being in his fur again. But this was not the place for him to be in wolf form. He was too far away from Schenley Park, or any other park, for that matter. Never mind the fact that wolves didn’t wander around in city parks. They weren’t even truly native to this region, much less would they be found in a park completely surrounded by city.

He prodded his wolf, trying to nudge him back so he could take his human form again. However, his wolf refused to relinquish control. Jamie struggled, trying to internally reason with his wolf—if he could go back to human, he could get home to the forest and shift for a while. His wolf wouldn’t listen. He was getting truly worried now, when his human side couldn’t pull the lupine side back.

No matter what he did, he couldn’t seem to get control. Huffing, Jamie sat and considered his options, though there were very few. He could keep trying to shift, but he suspected that would be an exercise in futility. He could try to get to his car… except there was no way he could get the door open, even if he could get down the street and through the garage unseen.

He turned to his clothes and nosed through the pile of denim scraps that used to be his jeans. He managed to pull his phone out with his mouth, but the screen wouldn’t recognize the touch of his paw. Not that he knew what he’d do anyway. Call Finley, maybe. But that obviously wasn’t an option.

He looked toward the street but knew that was a bad idea, no matter how much he wanted to get away. Until he was human again, he didn’t dare risk venturing out of the alley. That left the other direction.

Jamie looked down at his clothes, then left them to explore the short distance to the back wall. He found milk crates, a huge trash compactor, the currently raised bottom of a fire escape, a couple of recycling bins, and not much else. A door that presumably led into the kitchen of The O sat in the wall to his right. At the end of the alley, it turned in an L-shape into a tiny parking lot Jamie hadn’t known was there.

It was dark enough no one should be able to see him, so he figured his best bet at this point was find a spot in the corner and wait. Hopefully, after some rest and time in his fur, his wolf would let go and he could get back into his human skin.

He nosed open one of the recycling bins first. It took a couple of trips, but he got his clothes, shoes, watch, phone, and wallet into the bin. Even if they ended up in a dump somewhere, he didn’t want them just lying out on the ground where someone could steal them. Once he was human again, he could fish them out, but until then at least they were out of sight.

He found a quiet spot under the fire escape and behind the door to settle in. With a sigh, he lay down and rested his head on his paws to wait.

* * *


If you haven’t read it yet, now would be a
great time to check out Devotion, Forbes Mates #1 and where you get to meet Jamie first. Find out more about Devotion and see how you can get Tanner and Finley’s story here: http://www.grace-duncan.com/devotion .

* * *

grace_nohateGrace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Find Grace here:

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Textual Attraction by K-lee Klein: Book Release, Excerpt & Giveaway!

TextualAttraction

Title:Textual Attraction

Author: K-lee Klein

Publisher: Amber Quill Press

Blurb: Lewis has spent most of his adult life looking after his aging parents, and he recently ended a relationship with a domineering guy who’d been nothing but bad for him. Despite his less-than-stellar track record with men, he’s still hopeful there’s someone out there for him, but he’s learned to be careful with his heart.

So he can’t figure out why a cryptic, gruff, drunken voice mail from a stranger named Jerry doesn’t make him hit the DELETE button. It’s clear the man’s got the wrong number. But when Jerry begins to text, Lewis finally responds saying he’s not the guy Jerry wants. Jerry, however, is nothing if not persistent, and he keeps texting and teasing Lewis, even after he knows the truth.

Lewis is surprised when something sparks between them. Jerry turns out to be charming and witty, and they develop an odd friendship through text messages. When Jerry suggests they finally meet in person, Lewis is apprehensive, yet curious. Can he take the big step to meet Jerry face-to-face? More importantly, can he maybe even trust Jerry with his heart?

K-lee and I share a great love of superheroes–especially Captain America! Who are your heroes and why?

Be sure to comment below with your email and name your favorite superhero to be entered to win an e-copy!

***

Excerpt

“I’m acting ridiculous,” he said to absolutely no one. “It’s only a phone call. Doesn’t mean it has to be bad news or any news at all.” He’d seen his mother earlier, and he’d heard his father shuffling around the apartment, so Lewis’ two biggest fears were unfounded.

With the gentle slide of his finger, he arrived at the voicemail page. He didn’t recognize the number, but he threw caution to the wind, guessed his password in two shots, and pressed the play button.

Hey, Tom. It’s Jerry…” LOL!

Tom and Jerry, really? Now all Lewis could picture was a feuding cat and mouse, and that made him feel old—old and extremely curious.

I know we didn’t end on good terms last week, but I found that color-challenged knit cap of yours in between the cushions of my couch. I know you’re pretty attached to it, so I figured you’d want it back. You already have my number…or maybe you don’t. It’s 555-6722, so, you know, if you want it just give me a call or else I’ll just drop it in the lap of that homeless guy down on Seventh. Doesn’t matter to me. Yeah, okay…well, later…or not.

Lewis quite liked the deep, raspy voice. It was one of very few kinks for him, surely obtained from television and movies with hot growly men in them. 🙂 Kink aside, he found himself interested in the stranger in the message, despite the weird cartoon names and telltale slur he attributed to alcohol. The background noise was rife with loud music and glass bottles clinking together. Calling from a bar to return, or not return, an ugly cap didn’t seem the perfect way to go about talking to someone. But who was Lewis, who rarely used the phone at all, to judge?

When he finally fell asleep, visions of knit caps danced in his head. They sat atop two lumberjacks he was certain he’d seem in one lumbersexual calendar or another. Yeah, that was definitely another kink of his lately. Unfortunately, they had the disturbing faces of a cat and mouse with appropriate matching plaid shirts and sexy growls. The men-animals were moving in what Lewis could only describe as the worst twerking dance ever, and, oddly enough, were accompanied by a dance version of “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).”

Textual Attraction
Available November 22, 2015 from Amber Quill Press
35% off during first week of release
***

Bio

K-lee Klein has lived in one part of Western Canada or another for her entire life. She’s a doting mother of three now-grown kids, and has had characters and plots running around her head for as long as she can remember. In an attempt to avoid major writer’s block, she keeps the image of muse on her leg so he can’t run off too far, unfortunately it doesn’t work all the time. K-lee’s days consist of planning her next tattoo design for her growing collection, having a lot of baths since her muse loves the water, and fighting off an abundance of fabulous gay men, large and small who continually bounce off the walls of her skull, competing for their turns to tell their stories.

Among her favorite sub-genres to read and write are rock stars, cowboys, shifters, friends-to-lovers, and opposites-attract relationships. But to be honest, she’s open to almost anything if it involves messing around in the heads of her characters. She’s also big on series—because she has a hard time letting her characters go—and is usually working on a handful of stories in various stages of completion all at the same time.

Places to find K-lee.

Website – kleeklein.com

Blog – http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Klee_Klein

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kleemoon

Facebook author/reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812548795471921/

Textual Attraction: Amber Quill Press – 35% off for one week only!

Promo_TextualAttraction

The Sacrfice and Other Stories by Kim Fielding: A Special Anothology for a Special Cause

Sacrifice color2The Sacrifice and Other Stories
by Kim Fielding

A sickly man seeks recovery in a seaside cottage.

A temple slave tends a man due to be sacrificed.

A soldier releases a genie.

In seven fantasy short stories and novellas, men find passion with other men in the most unexpected places, and even the gravest circumstances may open the door to hope and love.

This anthology includes two brand-new short stories. In “The Sacrifice,” Rylo is a temple slave tasked with comforting a man who is scheduled to be killed in the morning. In “Chasing Away Cold,” Daku builds an ice sculpture of the god Jarli in order to ensure the end of winter. The collection also includes three novellas and two additional short stories, gathered for the first time in a single volume. “Treasure” introduces Jules, a young man who travels to the quirky seaside town of Urchin Cove to regain his health—and finds an unexpected treasure washed up on the beach. Xolani, a soldier in “Three Wishes,” picks up a small glass bottle and unleashes a surprise. Another soldier, Volos in “Guarded,” will risk everything to save Prince Berhanu. In the sequel, “Mato’s Tale,” an unassuming innkeeper gets a chance for adventure. And in “The Downs,” Enitan is unjustly banished and comes to discover that the demons he must face aren’t the ones he expected.

Join Kim Fielding on journeys through imagined worlds where magic is commonplace and romance lies just around the next bend. All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers.

***

Available now for preorder from Amazon. Releases November 27.
http://www.amazon.com/Sacrifice-Other-Stories-Kim-Fielding-ebook/dp/B0180W71RY/

***

Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

You can find Kim
On her blog: http://www.kfieldingwrites.com/
On Facebook: http://facebook.com/KFieldingWrites
On Twitter: @KFieldingWrites
Or via email: kim@KFieldingWrites.com

***

For more on Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontiers or to donate directly to them: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

***

Excerpt (from “Chasing Away Cold”):

She knelt, scooped a handful of snow, and stood to hold it before her. “This is nothing special—simply water that has frozen and melted and frozen again. But sometimes something very important may come from nothing at all. It depends on the heart of the maker.” She dropped the snow and pressed her hand against Daku’s chest. “The contents of a heart can change everything.”

Although he didn’t understand, he nodded. Then he gave her the cup and turned to complete the ice man.

He took particular care over the face: a narrow chin and broad cheekbones, far-set eyes with a slight downward tilt at the outside, a strong nose, and lips stretched in a wide smile. The ice man’s hair was straight, falling well below his shoulders.

“You’ve made him beautiful,” Yalamay said. Daku couldn’t say whether she’d gone and returned or had been standing there the entire time.

“He is beautiful. I only… I only tried to show that.”

Yalamay nodded as if this made perfect sense. “I knew you were the right one for this.”

Aside from Daku’s mother, people rarely praised him, and Yalamay was always sparing with her commendations. Daku should have preened under her rare words. But he was too preoccupied with what he had created. The ice man looked so real, so joyful. And in a few short hours he would be destroyed.

Daku swallowed with difficulty, but he managed a small smile when Yalamay patted his back. “Thank you for letting me do this,” he said.

“I won’t always be here, my boy. And none in the tribe but you could make Jarli so well.”

“Don’t go!” Daku cried, as if she could somehow stop death.

She chuckled. “I am pleased to be appreciated. But Daku, everything changes eventually. Winter becomes spring becomes summer becomes autumn becomes winter. Youngsters grow old and babies are born. Even hard stone is worn away”—she gestured at the rock on which the ice man stood—“but new plants grow.” She gestured toward the forest. “Someday this world will see changes that are so far beyond the tribe’s dreaming. But a few things remain unaltered. Do you know what those things are?”

“The gods?”

Her laughter startled a nearby crow from its branch. “Oh no, my boy. Gods and goddesses change too. More slowly than humans, perhaps, but no less inevitably. But the world contains magics even more powerful than gods, and the strength of those magics never changes. What are they?”

At first his mind was as blank as a fresh layer of snow. But Yalamay looked at him expectantly, and Daku remembered the conversation he’d had with his mother earlier in the day. “Love and courage.”

“Very good! There are others too, but I think those are an excellent start.”

***

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Cover Reveal: Signs of Desire by Tempeste O’Riley!

When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme, they thought communication would be their biggest challenge to their happily ever after….

 

Signs of Desire
by Tempeste O’Riley
Desires Entwined, #4
M/M Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Release Date: November 30, 2014 (ebook/print)
Length: Novel / 200 pages
PreOrder:

Dreamspinner Press

Add to: Goodreads

 

Simon Tyler knows his job as a gay romance author makes his lack of faith in love more than a little ironic, but he’s tired of being used for his wallet. When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme orchestrated by his best friends—though he’s not the target—Simon’s not thrilled, but since he’s sworn off happily-ever-after anyway, he goes along with it… until he meets the object of their efforts, Adrian, and finds perhaps he hasn’t given up on love after all.

Professor Adrian Keys has tried to date hearing men before, but being deaf himself, he’s never had any success at making a connection. After his friends con him into going out and Adrian realizes it’s all an elaborate plan to set him up, he braces for yet another failure, only to discover there is a spark—except it’s not with the man his friends had in mind, but with Simon Tyler instead.

Not all their friends have found a way past their romantic failures, but Simon and Adrian might be on the path to happily-ever-after.

xxx Insert excerpt choice here XXX

   

 

 

“I found it a beautiful tale of unhappiness changed to romance and then love with a happy ending.”

—Rainbow Book Reviews, on “Designs of Desire”

Designs of Desire is a tough realistic book that is touched by violence countered by the growing love between the two heroes.”

—Sensual Reads, on “Designs of Desire”

“It’s a great book to fall into and enjoy some really good characters.”

—Love Bytes, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“This is my favorite in this series so far. I love seeing how these characters are growing, all of them. As individuals, as couples, as friends, and as a family.”

—MM Good Book Reviews, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“The writer did an excellent job with the characters, they are likable and perfect. Not perfect in the way that they have no flaws, but in a way that they grab you and complement each other.”

—Love Bytes Reviews, on “Temptations of Desire”

 

 

Designs of DesireSimple Desires*+Bound by Desire*Desires’ GuardianTemptations of DesireTruth in Lace*Desires’ Pride*

Micah’s Medicine+Caged SanctuaryWhiskers of a Chance

*shorts in series +shorts in anthologies

 

Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit http://tempesteoriley.com.

Website Goodreads Twitter Facebook Google + DSP Blog

 

Mark Your Calendars: Anna Butler is coming soon!

Who is Anna Butler, you might be asking yourself? Well remember, you heard it here first. Anna is one of the most talented authors I’ve had the pleasure to read in a very long time, and in February, she is releasing two full length novels for the first time. You may have enjoyed her short story Contact Sport as part of Dreamspinners Daily Dose Anthology Make a Play. Or maybe you remember her smoking hot story Happy Holidays, from Dreamspinner’s Cuddling Anthology. A promising new author, you might have told yourself, and then promptly moved on to another story.

Well, let me tell you, she’s gonna knock your socks off! I’ve been part of the beta process with both of the novels Anna will be releasing in February, and I can’t wait until everyone else gets to appreciate this amazing talent! In Gilded Scarab, which will be released Feb 16th by Dreamspinner, Anna has created the ultimate Book Boyfriend in Rafe Lancaster. Trust me, you will fall completely head over heels with Rafe! Anna says it best here:

Gilded Scarab image

Londinium, 1900

An alternate Britain where the Britannic Imperium is an oligarchy ruled by the eight Convocation Houses and the Minor Houses, their satellite allies. A Britain where political manoeuvring involves plot, conspiracies and machination—all to get around the Queen (God bless her) having banned advancement by assassination. A Britain where the skies are filled with aeroships powered by steam and luminiferous aether, and where House Guards carry phlogiston-powered harquebuses and pistols.

A Britain where Aegyptologist Daniel Meredith looks for love.

A Britain where Aegyptologist Ned Winters, First Heir House Gallowglass, is recently widowed and left with two sons.

A Britain where ex-aeronaut Captain Rafe Lancaster, late of Her Britannic Majesty’s Imperium AeroCorps, buys a coffee house.

The rest, as they say, is the steampunk coffee house mystery-m/m romance.

Anna is already planning the sequel, which is music to my ears because I can’t get enough of Rafe, the charming, dashing pilot, who finds navigating the political waters (and his love life) at home far more dangerous that battling Her Majesty’s enemies in the air. YOU WILL LOVE HIM.

WildeCity

On February 18th, Anna will launch book one of the Taking Shield series with Wilde City Press.  It is not a typical M/M romance, though the two main characters are male and deeply attracted to one another. Taking Shield is classic epic space opera, in tradition of David Webber or John Ringo. It’s hard-core military sci-fi at its finest.

Gyrfalcon_cvr_100dpi

Blurb

Earth’s dead, dark for thousands of years. Her last known colony, Albion, is fighting an alien enemy that no one has even seen. In Gyrfalcon, the first of the Taking Shield series, Shield Captain Bennet is dropped behind the lines to steal priceless intelligence. It’s a dangerous job, and Bennet doesn’t need the distractions of changing relationships with his long-term partner, Joss, or with his father—or with Flynn, the new lover who will turn his world upside-down. He expects to risk his life. He expects the data will alter the course of the war. What he doesn’t expect is that it will change his life or that Flynn will be impossible to forget.

Excerpt

All the warning he got was the slightest prickling of the hair on the back of his neck, then someone or something forcibly connected with his legs and brought him down. The impact had that foul-smelling air whooshing out of his lungs.

“Stay down!” hissed Bennet in his ear. “Two drones. Right behind me.”

Flynn tried to catch his breath. Bennet, arms and legs wrapped around him, rolled them both into the shelter of the rock that he’d evidently been hiding behind. For an instant they lay in the warm darkness, wrapped together. They were in deep shadow, and Flynn had to feel for Bennet’s face to touch it, to make sure that the Shield captain was really there. His hand found Bennet’s mouth, felt it curve into a smile, and he smiled himself.

Bennet disentangled himself, so that Flynn was undistracted again. Huh. Shame. Bennet had felt pretty good. He inched up to peer carefully around the rock. The two drones were about fifty feet away and marching towards them.

Bennet was breathing hard. “One each, then let’s get the hell out of here. Take the one on the right. On my count: three, two, one.”

They rolled in opposite directions from behind the rock. Flynn fetched up on his knees, bringing up the laser and firing several sharp short bursts. His drone staggered and fell onto its back, dropping the laser rifle it was holding, its circuitry fried by a plasma bolt to the head. The remaining one stood rigidly still, sparks shooting out from its chest circuitry. In an awful travesty of a human reaction, its hands were clawing at the hole in its chest. It toppled slowly over onto its face.

“Shit,” Flynn said. “What an exciting life you lead! Any more of them?”

 

About Anna:
Anna worked for many years as a communications specialist in the UK government, working in a range of central government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to running an internal TV service. She now spends her time indulging her love of old-school science fiction featuring handsome heroes running about shooting lasers. She doesn’t claim to be a romance writer – that her laser-wielding heroes are gay and their relationship is a real one are both integral to her Taking Shield series, but not the reason for it. When she isn’t writing, she looks out at her garden thinking that she really should get out there and tackle the weeds, but is easily distracted into building up the biggest collection of tiara images on Pinterest instead. She lives in London with her husband and Molly, the cockerpoo.

 

 

Fabulous Five Blog Post: What’s Your Writing Style?

I was invited by Anne Barwell to take place in the Fabulous Five Author Blog Hop. The idea is that we answer a specific set of questions and tag five more authors to do the same. The hardest part of the challenge has been finding someone who isn’t already doing this! The best part, however, has been reading what everyone is working on and what their writing process is like. So here I go!

UnspeakableWordscover1. What am I working on?

Hah, this might as well read ‘what should you be working on?’ I’ve just finished the sequel to my FBI/paranormal story Unspeakable Words. Walk a Mile will be coming out with Dreamspinner Press in early October. I’ve started the sequel to that story as well, tentatively titled Truth and Consequences, because I left things on a bit of a cliff-hanger and I didn’t want my audience to suffer too long! I had a good session with my critique group today, and realized that I’m going to have to separate my plot lines and go for a fourth story in the series—there’s just too much going on to wrap it up in three books! I’ve just finished the galley proofs on Walk a Mile, and am anxiously anticipating the cover reveal. You know how it is with covers: it’s like finding out the sex of your unborn baby. You’ll love your child no matter what, but you want to know, right? I’ll be sharing the cover just as soon as I get it, believe me!

I recently had a short story published as part of The Not Quite Shakespeare Anthology, also from Dreamspinner. I also have several WIPs that need some serious attention—the kind where you evaluate the story and decide if it is dead in the water or simply needs more time to simmer. 🙂 I have a contemporary story that deals with the difficult topic of job burnout and depression, and another that’s a Regency romp. I want to get back to writing some science fiction as well.

I am seriously considering stepping a toe in to the traditional romance market, so I’ve been doing a lot of reading as a result. To be honest, I’m not sure I can write a heroine for a traditional romance story. I suspect when I launch the Madison Dean line of stories, I’ll be writing the same kind of quirky, non-traditional main characters, mixing a little humor, a little drama, some hot, sexy times, and a touch of paranormal activity together into story that’s a little bit out there. I have plans for a new series of stories set in the 1950s, in which my main characters are undercover agents investigating paranormal events in a small Southern town. Think of it as Ward and June Cleaver meets Area 51. 🙂 I’m excited about the idea of centering a heroine in the post-WW2 era. She’s come back from the war in which she’s done exciting, dangerous things, and is expected just to re-assimilate her life as a 50’s homemaker. Her partner, paired with her because he is the science to her soldier, has secrets of his own, one of which is that he took a pilot as a lover during the war. Writing M/F romance is a big departure for me, as Sarah Madison writes almost exclusively in the M/M romance genre. This is important to me, however. These are stories I want to tell.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The Boys of Summer400x600I frequently describe my stories as being ‘romances with a twist’. I find odd things interesting. I spend most of my time running around thinking, ‘hey, wouldn’t it be cool if…?’ What that means is that you’ll seldom find a straightforward romance among my stories. As you can see from above, I describe Unspeakable Words as a ‘FBI/paranormal story’. The Boys of Summer is a contemporary story, but it has a long historical sequence within it. Crying for the Moon is about a vampire who wants to live a ‘normal’ life. The fun of writing for me is to create a set of characters and put them in a crucible of sorts–to put them in hot water and see how strong they are. It may be an odd confession for a romance writer, but romance in and of itself is not the driving force behind my stories. I’m interested in the characters and how they interact. Falling in love is icing on the cake. I wouldn’t want to eat just the frosting, though, would you? There has to be some tart to balance all the sweet.

3. Why do I write what I do?

108267663_8Whew-boy. That’s a tough one. I wish I knew. I write stories that appeal to me. I’m aware they don’t work for everyone. Sometimes I wish my own thought processes were a little more mainstream.:-) I’m aware that I’m your basic mid-list author and that I will never rise to NYT bestseller status. The idea of writing outside the M/M genre is stemming from a desire to try my hand at something new, but also because I like the idea of challenging myself to create a heroine I can admire. One that goes against some of the common tropes. One of the reasons I enjoying writing M/M romance is because there is something incredibly liberating about writing from a male point of view. I love the fact that when two male characters come together in a romance, they meet on equal terms. No one is dominant or submissive to the needs of the other (unless that is part of the story). They each bring different things to the table. They each take turns rescuing or being the one needing to be rescued. The best part? While I may be called upon to defend my right as a straight woman to write M/M romance, I’ve never been taken to task for the portrayal of the characters themselves.

I *adore* strong female characters. Give me the Zoe from Firefly, or Peggy Carter from Captain America, or Kate Beckett from Castle. Creating a heroine of my own that I like and respect will be tricky, though. Heroines seem to come in for a lot more criticism than heroes. If she stands up for herself, she’s a bitch. If she is vulnerable, she’s weak. If she sleeps with the hero without a major show of reluctance and some resistance that needs to be broken down, she’s a slut. If she doesn’t sleep with the hero at all, she’s a tease. I think it is very difficult to write a three dimensional female character without inviting the world to heap coals of fire on her head for failing to meet the mythical standard of womanly perfection. You know that cell they had you study in biology class? With the nucleolus and the ribosomes and the Golgi bodies? Do you remember that in the fine print, the textbook said that no cell contained all the parts we were studying? They just put them all in this one imaginary cell so that you could learn all the different parts possible in a cell.

That’s how it is with heroines. It is ridiculous to assume they will contain ALL the possible characteristics that go into making the perfect heroine. No matter how you create her, someone’s going to hate what you’ve done. That’s okay. As long as I love her, I won’t mind.

So yeah. There are days when I dream of writing a ridiculously runaway bestseller like 50 Shades of Gray. Sadly, that kind of story doesn’t interest me as a reader or a writer. I’d die happy if I created a series heroine I adored, though.

Black ShoesAnd I love shoes. 🙂 So, creating my own kick-ass heroine makes sense, right? I can give her the impeccable style I don’t have.

4. How does my writing process work?

Well, it usually starts with a ‘what if’ idea. What if rooftop gargoyles came to life every night? What if they were fascinated by humans, read their books, observed their activities? Or what if a vampire decided to shun his old existence and attempt to live life as a moral? What if a hard-ass FBI agent accidentally touched an artifact and developed paranormal powers? I LOVE ‘what if’ questions. They take my mind on a wild journey where improbable dangers and cheesily romantic things happen. I play around with these ideas for a while, daydreaming over chores or before I drift off to sleep at night. Eventually the characters take form and I tone down the more ludicrous aspects of my fantasy. And lo, a story is born. 🙂

So there you have it! Now I’m going to some fabulous authors to answer the same questions next week on their own blogs and tag more authors themselves. And so on, and so on. Sometime during the first week of September, check out the blogs of Raine O’Tierney, Whitley Gray, Elizabeth Noble, and Eden Winters–and find out who they are tagging, too!

The Boys of Summer Cover Art is up for a Rainbow Award!

The Boys of Summer400x600You all probably know by now how much I love my cover for The Boys of Summer. Artist Reese Dante did an amazing job, practically reading my mind when it came to choosing the elements I wanted to evoke the misty reflection on the past that is central to the story.

I’ve been delighted to watch this cover’s progress through the voting in this year’s Rainbow Cover Art Awards and now The Boys of Summer has reached the forth and final round of competition! Now, I know it has nothing to do with me, but I can’t help but be excited on behalf of my cover!

You must vote for three covers in each of the two divisions (Illustrated and Designed Covers) and leave a comment (which are screened). In parallel voting, a panel of judges will also supply their input to come up with the final winners.

How exciting is that? Now run, check out the pretty and VOTE for your favorite cover art!

While you are there, you should check out the month long celebrations that are going on as a run up to the 2013 Rainbow Awards announcements in December. The Boys of Summer is a finalist in these awards, and I have to say, it is truly an honor to be listed among such great books this year. As part of the pre-Awards party, there are book giveaways from every finalist in the Awards, as well as scavenger hunts and ‘guess the excerpt’ contests. Go check it out and have some fun while we’re all excitedly waiting for the final winner’s list!

The Boys of Summer gets cover art, a new release, and more!

Okay, I know you’ve probably heard me shouting about this already, but I can’t help it. Freelance artist Reese Dante has designed the perfect cover for my soon-to-be-released novel, The Boys of Summer. And I just had to share it here!

The Boys of Summer400x600

Isn’t it simply stunning? I can’t tell you how important it was to me to get this cover just right–and it was like Reese Dante read my mind!

This novel is a bit of a departure from my usual style: it’s a contemporary story that has a significant portion that takes place during WW2’s The Battle of Britain. For a little over 4 months in the summer and fall of 1940, the young men of the UK took to the air to defend their home from invasion. It was a brutal time. France had fallen to the Nazi forces and the Luftwaffe had been building airplanes and training pilots in large numbers in order to defeat Britain from the air. What stopped the German Invasion machine from taking Britain was a matter or grit, determination, and a group of badly outnumbered young pilots.

I have to confess, when I began writing this story, the WW2 sequence was a mere indulgence on my part, a simple fantasy that I wished to explore. However, when I began researching the Battle of Britain, the more I learned, the more appalled I was at my lack of knowledge about this time in our history. I read textbooks, I watched films and documentaries, I researched some more. It was very important to me to get the details just right–and I spent over a month in research before I ever put words to paper. Much of it never ended up in the story–except as scaffolding on which to build. I learned too, that not only were these boys barely out of the schoolyard, but also that homosexuality was a criminal offense at the time, a factor which came to play in the choices my heroes made then–and later today.  I can’t wait to share this story with you. The cover is perfect.

The Boys of Summer should be released (hopefully) sometime in April, certainly no later than May 1. *fingerscrossed*

In the meantime, I want to let everyone know my friend Anna Butler has a new release out of her own: Flashwired.

Flashwired

One day, someday soon, Jeeze Madrid was going to wake up and realize just what he’d been passing up; he’d see what Cal Paxton was offering him so faithfully—”Faithfully, Jeeze! Even you can’t deny that!”—and grab it. And they’d finally have what Cal wanted.


Cal Paxton and Jeeze Madrid are the top scouting team on the Pathfinder-class starship, the Carson, on the very outer edge of Earth’s expansion across the galaxy. A Pathfinder’s job is to evaluate planets for colonization. Cal’s and Jeeze’s job is to find the planets for the Carson’s scientists to analyze.

Cal and Jeeze are wingmen, best friends… and lovers. Cal wants more than a casual relationship but Jeeze, recently divorced, is wary of commitment. When Jeeze is shot down over a planet inhabited by a race Earth has never before encountered, what will Cal find when the Carson can finally mount a rescue mission? Will he ever succeed in persuading Jeeze to take up that offer of hand and heart?

I have to tell you, if you’ve never read any of Anna’s work, you are in for the ride of your life. Her writing grabs you from the get-go–her characters are three-dimensional and so real that they practically step out of the page in front of you. I can’t promise that all of her stories end happily ever after, but I can promise that you’ll *love* them!

Flashwired now at Smashwords and on Amazon.

And if that wasn’t exciting enough, I’m sitting on some announcements that are forthcoming about Galacticon and the writing workshop/ fanfic panel discussion that Anna and I will be co-hosting. (In, OMG, 46 days!!) Did  I mention that Galacticon will be held at the same venue as its sister convention ComicPalooza? That there will be actors from Star Trek as well as Battlestar Galactica at both conventions? Including Sir Patrick Stewart and Edward James Olmos? And that’s not even the special announcements to come! So this really is a case of “Stay Tuned for Further Developments” because they will be forthcoming, I promise!