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GUEST POST: Sunshine, Sex and Sunflowers by Carol Lynne

 

Guest Post

I fell in love with the m/m romance genre in 2006 when I wrote my first ménage. Since then, most of my readers would agree that I never shy away from writing all-male ménages. While I realize that stories about more than one love interest aren’t as popular, they feed my soul, so I continue to write them. I’ve never understood reader aversion to them, so I ignore it.

I’ve always thought it would be easier to split household and bedroom activities between three people. I know that in romance, characters should always be ready and willing to have sex-on-demand, but is that at all realistic? As much fun as it is, there are those occasions when one or the other isn’t in the mood. In that case, think of how awesome it would be to have someone else there to give the one wanting what they need.

In Harvest Heat, I introduced readers to Lochie and Jamie. In Sunshine, Sex & Sunflowers, I bring Jacko, Lochie’s lifelong friend and former crush, into their relationship. I didn’t plan to add a third to the original couple, but that’s what happens when you get so involved with your characters. Jacko was a sexy secondary character who was supposed to have his own story where he’d fall in love with someone I’d yet to introduce, but while writing Harvest Heat, I couldn’t shrug off the feeling that Jacko belonged with Lochie and Jamie.

Jamie’s heart is the size of Australia, so I could easily see him opening his home when Jacko lost his family’s farm. Lochie loved Jacko as a friend, but he’d also had a crush on him since they’d both hit puberty. I honestly don’t believe Lochie and Jacko would have ever opened themselves enough to discover their mutual love and attraction had it not been for Jamie. For me, that’s the beauty of a ménage. It can bring characters together that would otherwise never find each other.

I just realize that I wrote the above paragraph as if these were real men instead of three characters. I guess it’s a good thing that I get so involved with my stories that by the time I’m finished, I think of them as real. I even find myself wondering what they are doing months or years after I’ve finished the book. For me, my characters continue to live the happy lives they’ve built long after I finish the last written word of their story.

Blurb

Will Jacko find love among the sunflowers?

After losing his family’s station in Australia to the bank, Jacko Hennesy moves in with his best mate, Lochie McBride. Trouble is, Lochie already has a roommate—his new lover, Jamie. Trying to settle into everyday life with two men isn’t as easy as Jacko had hoped. Although he’s been in love with his best friend for years, Jacko also finds himself attracted to Jamie. Watching the constant flirting and touching every day is enough to reduce the tough bushman to a puddle of need. What’s a bloke to do when he falls for two sexy men?

Buy Link

Amazon US

About the author

An avid reader for years, one day Carol Lynne decided to write her own brand of romance. While writing her first novel, Branded by Gold, Carol fell in love with the M/M genre. Carol juggles between being a full-time mother and a full-time writer. With close to 150 releases, one thing is certain, Carol loves to keep busy writing sexy cowboys, shifters, bodyguards, vampires and everything in between. Although series books are her passion, Carol enjoys penning the occasional stand-alone title.

As founder and President of GRL Retreat, Inc., Carol helps organize the annual GayRomLit Retreat. Now in its seventh year, GayRomLit is an annual retreat that brings together the people who create and celebrate LGBT romance for a one-of-a-kind, must-attend gathering of dynamic, informal, and diverse fun.

Carol loves to hear from her readers. You can email her at carol@carol-lynne.net. She also has two websites www.Carol-Lynne.net and www.CattleValley.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GUEST POST: Carol Lynne

 itwasathursday_800

Blurb

It was a Thursday. The day one eighteen-year-old gunman would change the lives of an entire town.

Principal Mark Kurtz loved his school. He worked hard to give his students every advantage in life, but he could have never predicted that on a warm day in May, a distraught senior would commit an unimaginable act of vengeance on his classmates.

In the aftermath of the shooting that left both students and faculty members dead, Mark must deal with his own guilt while trying to help those around him feel safe once again.

Mark’s problems are compounded when an old flame, Lane Warner, arrives in town to help treat the trauma victims. How can he possibly deal with his own guilt, be there for his seventeen-year-old son and confront the part of himself he’s always denied while trying to heal a broken community?

People Need Time to Grieve

My newest release, It Was a Thursday, deals with the aftermath of a school shooting. I’ve been sitting on this story idea for about five years. Four years ago, I decided to write the story that continued to sneak its way into my dreams. However, each time I started working on the story, another mass shooting would happen somewhere in the United States. I would feel guilty about bringing up such tragic events, so I’d put the story away until society had time to heal.

Here’s where the tricky part lies. In the US, mass shootings have become the norm. We, as a society, aren’t allowed the time to grieve before another tragedy happens. Because of this, I’m afraid we’re becoming numb to the overwhelming sadness that comes with a shooting like the one that happened last month, last week and yesterday. Worse, in my opinion, is what these acts of violence are doing to our children. For years, there have been advocates against violent video games because some people believe if I child sits in front of a television playing a game that is filled with violence, they’ll become immune to it. Hmmm. Unfortunately, right now, it’s not the video game industry that is threatening the humanity of our children, it’s us. It’s the violence we, as a society, accept without doing a damn thing to stop it. We are creating an entire generation of people who are immune to violence because we as adults let it happen every single day.

Groups will gather to protest a single shooting and practically bring down a city while doing it, but we sit in front of our television sets and do nothing to change policies that are literally killing hundreds of people a year. What sense does that make? Why are we so afraid to stand up to the small segment of our population who demand they have complete access to guns without jumping through legal hoops to get them? Damn it! People should have to jump through serious legal hoops to gain access to a firearm.

My daughter has to take a test and put in fifty hours of driver’s training before she’s issued a driver’s license. When I was young, I had to take a written and a driving test in order to get my license. The laws were changed because too many teenagers were getting injured and killed in car accidents. So, are you really going to tell me that our government is unable to change laws in order to protect us? I’m calling bullshit on that one. I honestly don’t care if you want a rifle to hunt with or even a handgun to protect your family as long as I feel safe in the knowledge that those firearms were earned through a serious waiting period and a serious amount of training before you were allowed to take it home. Like a driver’s license, I want people to prove to me they know what the heck they are doing before they are allowed to be in charge of something so dangerous.

Excerpt

Mark Kurtz paused in the process of scrubbing his hands to throw back another swallow of the dark amber liquid that had been his constant companion since the shooting. He didn’t take notice of the raw skin under the nail brush or the sound of the ringing phone because once again he was lost to the memories.

* * * *

A loud crack pierced Mark’s ears as he sat in his office, checking the weather report. The blood froze in his veins when he realized what he’d just heard. “Fuck.” He jumped up and rushed around his desk. A second shot rang out as he threw open his door. “Code Red,” he yelled as he ran through the administration office.

Juvenile screams nearly drowned out the third and fourth rounds as he hit the hallway and tried to assess the direction from which they’d been fired. Gym? He did his best to push down thoughts of his own son as he raced toward the gathered class of 2015 while the loudspeaker overhead ordered students and teachers to follow lockdown procedures. The school board had fought him when he’d insisted on implementing the Code Red drills after several shootings across the country had put students and teachers at the mercy of a madman with a gun, but he hadn’t backed down until they gave in to parental pressure.

By the time he neared the first set of double doors that led to the gymnasium, all hell was breaking loose. He fought to stay on his feet as the panicked students pushed and trampled their own classmates in search of safety. Mark did his best to hold his ground as he fought his way into the gym. He had no real idea of what he’d do once he made it inside, but a bullet in him meant one less in a student.

While squeezing his bigger body between the crush of students and the metal door frame, one of the lock plates scraped against the side of his face, but suddenly, he was inside. The coppery scent of blood mixed with the pungent smell of gunpowder filled his nostrils. It only took a moment to spot the gunman.

Mark skidded to a stop. “Scott!” he shouted over the echoing screams. He couldn’t believe the devastation had come from the confident, fun-loving senior in front of him. No. Scott didn’t fit the profile.

Scott Brown, better known as Skittles, lowered the gun slightly before turning to face Mark. He blinked several times, as if coming out of a trance. “Principal Kurtz?”

Holding his hands up and out to his sides, Mark took three steps forward. “Put the gun down, Scott.”

Scott quickly scanned the gym’s interior. “You know I can’t do that. Just look at what I’ve done.”

“It’ll be okay,” Mark tried to reason. “We’ll get you help.” He heard several students moan but didn’t take his eyes off the boy with the gun.

“I’ve had to fight every day to be true to who I really am, knowing it would be easier if I were someone else. I’m tired of fighting,” Scott’s voice quavered as he raised his arm again.

Mark braced himself as he watched the gun swing upward. Not me, not me, he silently prayed. “Is that what this’s about? Is someone bullying you?”

“Yes, sir.” Scott’s eyes swept the carnage he’d wrought before returning his gaze to Mark. His facial expression seem to change from sorrow and guilt to pure hatred. “They thought because they weren’t on school property they’d get away with taking my self-respect. I had to show them they were wrong.”

Before Mark could react, Scott pressed the gun to his own temple and fired.

* * * *

“I’ve been calling you for an hour!” Max yelled after opening the back door. “You scared the shit out of me.”

Mark jumped at the sound of his son’s voice. He methodically put the scrub brush back into the soap dish before turning off the hot water. “Sorry. Reporters are still calling for an exclusive, so I’ve just stopped answering the phone.”

Max grabbed a dishtowel off the counter before moving to Mark’s side. He gently wrapped Mark’s bleeding hands in the towel. “You have to stop this.” He eyed the half-empty bottle of Johnnie Walker beside the sink. “I’m worried about you, Dad.”

“I’m fine,” Mark lied.

Max lifted Mark’s wrapped hands. “This is not you being fine. Do you want me to call Dr. Long?”

Mark shook his head. He’d spoken to the psychiatrist three times a week for nearly two months, and it hadn’t done a damn bit of good. “I’m just nervous about tomorrow. That’s all.”

“What’s tomorrow?” Max asked.

“I have to go back to work to get ready for the new school year. It’s the reason the press is still interested.” Mark tried to muster a smile for his son. “You’ll be a big senior this year. Nervous?”

“Sure, but it has nothing to do with being a senior and we both know it.” Max released his hold on Mark before opening the refrigerator. “We’re all scared, Dad. It’s going to be as hard on us as it is on you, but you don’t see me getting drunk in the middle of the day or scrubbing the skin off my hands.”

Mark bit the inside of his cheek to keep from saying what he really wanted to say. He should have been grateful Max hadn’t been anywhere near the gym when Scott had opened fire. He should’ve been over the moon that his only son hadn’t been forced to choose which of the students to help before the paramedics could arrive. Nope, only he had stared into the eyes of a dying Mitch Crawford while trying to stem the bleeding from Julie Rosedale’s chest wound.

“You’re right,” Mark finally agreed. “I’ve got two weeks to face my demons before you kids come back. Don’t worry. I’ll have my head straight by then.”

Buy Link

http://www.pride-publishing.com/book/it-was-a-thursday

About the author

Carol Lynne

Carols-Glamour-shot-1Carol Lynne – An avid reader for years, one day Carol Lynne decided to write her own brand of erotic romance. While writing her first novel, Branded by Gold, Carol fell in love with the M/M genre. Carol juggles between being a full-time mother and a full-time writer. With over one hundred releases, one thing is certain, Carol loves to keep busy. Although series books are her passion, Carol enjoys the occasional stand-alone title.

As an organizer of the annual GayRomLit Retreat, Carol has little free time, but enjoys trips to the lake with her family when she has the rare weekend off.

Carol loves to hear from her readers. You can email her at carol@carol-lynne.net. She also has two websites www.Carol-Lynne.net and www.CattleValley.net

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Pride Publishing: Featured Authors

We are excited about the launch of Pride Publishing and to help celebrate their launch, will be introducing you to some of their fabulous authors each week. 

This week we feature best selling M/M authors Bailey Bradford, Carol Lynne, and Amber Kell.

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Who we are:

Pride Publishing delivers empowering, enchanting and endearing storylines that are sure to capture readers’ imaginations from start to finish. We are proud to be flying the flag for the GLBTQI community and providing a platform for readers and authors who are passionate about characters who identify as GLBTQI.

The Pride Team believe that quality is of utmost importance. We discover, cultivate and refine charismatic stories with fascinating plots and compelling characters from inspiring authors. The result is a truly enjoyable and captivating reading experience – the very best stimulation for the imagination.

 

Bailey Bradford

 Bailey BradfordBio: A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn’t happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey’s brain demanding to be let out.

Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey’s office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey’s presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.

Social Media Links:

http://www.baileysplaroom.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/bailey.bradford.9

Tweet me at @BaileyBFun4Me

http://www.baileybradford.com

Check out this great book by Bailey Bradford

My Life Without Garlic (#1 in The Vamp for Me series)

mylifewithoutgarlic_800Some things in life just might be worth giving up garlic for.

It was simple curiosity that led Augustin to the vampire dating site—he thought it must be a joke started up by a bunch of weirdos. Man, was he right—but it just so happens that those weirdos really are vampires, and when one shows up at his place, Augustin’s world is turned upside down.

First he’s got a psychotic vampire to deal with. Then he’s got one who is much more fun hanging around.

Except now that Augustin knows that vampires exist, he can’t be left alive. Or can he? When an alternative is offered up, Augustin doesn’t care for it, either. After all, he doesn’t want to be whisked off to some disgusting vampire den.

Tony’s the vampire next in line to lead the coven. He wants to be a fair man, and that means arguing against killing Augustin. If he’s also attracted to the sarcastic, adorable man, where’s the harm in that?

The attraction between Augustin and Tony is undeniable, but deny it is what they both try to do. Someone is going to have to bend or break.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously available on the author’s blog.

https://www.totallybound.com/my-life-without-garlic

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Carol Lynne

CarolLynne_highres Bio: An avid reader for years, one day Carol Lynne decided to write her own brand of erotic romance. Carol juggles between being a full-time mother and a full-time writer. These days, you can usually find Carol either cleaning jelly out of the carpet or nestled in her favourite chair writing steamy love scenes.

Social Media Links:

http://www.carol-lynne.net/

Check out this great book by Carol Lynne

Welcome to Lobster Cove (#1 in the Lobster Cove series)

welcometolobstercove_800When following your dream lands you in Lobster Cove, Maine, anything is possible.

After gaining custody of his younger brother, Boone Jensen moves to a unique LGBT community on the coast of Maine. There, he hopes to find work as a stonemason, heal his broken heart and give his brother a safe place to call home.

Life was good in New York City for chef Dante Madia, until his business partner betrayed him. Determined to trust only himself, Dante risks everything on a new restaurant venture in a small fishing village built on acceptance.

Neither man is looking for love, but in a town like Lobster Cove, secret dreams have the ability to become realities.

https://www.totallybound.com/welcome-to-lobster-cove

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Amber Kell

AmberKellBio: Amber Kell has made a career out of daydreaming. It has been a lifelong habit she practices diligently as shown by her complete lack of focus on anything not related to her fantasy world building.

When she told her husband what she wanted to do with her life he told her to go have fun.

During those seconds she isn’t writing she remembers she has children who humor her with games of ‘what if’ and let her drag them to foreign lands to gather inspiration. Her youngest confided in her that he wants to write because he longs for a website and an author name—two things apparently necessary to be a proper writer.

Despite her husband’s insistence she doesn’t drink enough to be a true literary genius she continues to spin stories of people falling happily in love and staying that way.

She is thwarted during the day by a traffic jam of cats on the stairway and a puppy who insists on walks, but she bravely perseveres.

Social Media Links:

https://amberkell.wordpress.com/

Check out this great book from Amber Kell

An Omega’s Heart (#2 in The Under Wolves series)

anomegasheart_800When everything is lost, the only thing left to fight for is love.

Conley Elnon has been abused most of his life. He agrees to help the War Council in uncovering a vampire mole in exchange for having the opportunity to find his family. When he meets his mate Jacob, he leaves him in order to track a mad bomber intent on taking out shifter camps.

Jacob refuses to let his mate escape. He’s waited too long to find his fated mate to let him leave before he’s had a chance to say little more than hello. When he finds his mate in the middle of vampire territory, Jacob has to use all his skills to help his mate figure out the truth between vampires and shifters and how they are responsible for what happened to Conley’s family.

Reader Advisory: This book is best read in sequence as part of a series.

https://www.totallybound.com/an-omegas-heart

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Ghosts of Alcatraz by Carol Lynne

Ghosts of AlcatrazGhosts of Alcatraz by Carol Lynne

My rating: 3.5  of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Love is a powerful force. Unparalleled, unpredictable and often unforeseen. Yet it can surface in the most dangerous of situations. Suffocation, mutilation and dismemberment aren’t the normal outside influences that bring two people together, but inside the newly refurbished Alcatraz Prison, anything can happen.

As inmates begin dying in shocking and sometimes gruesome ways, the deaths prompt Warden Jensen Black to bring in sexy parapsychologist, Brian Phipps. With the help of Brian, Jensen hopes to get to the bottom of what is killing the men he is responsible for. But what he didn’t count on is falling—and falling hard—for the smaller man with the heart of a lion. The question is: will their love survive against the ghosts of Alcatraz?

So what did I think?

It is 2020 and Alcatraz has been rebuilt as a prison to house criminals convicted of cyber crime. The World Police Unit control the prison and Jensen Black is the Warden. A series of murders in the prison are causing grave concern as a number of prisoners die mysterious and gruesome deaths….

The story is a paranormal mystery and the concept is interesting. We are taken into a world where there is a global focus on cyber crime and the prison is constructed of transparent material. The ghosts of prisoners past, are haunting the new prison that has been built on the site of the original prison. They are taking revenge for events in the past.

Dr Brian Phipps, parapsychologist (thank goodness for spell check as I can never spell that correctly!) is brought in to deal with the situation. Ghostly happenings, spiritual possessions, mystery, physical attacks….it is pretty much non-stop action as Brian uses all his knowledge and experience to fight the evil spirits. However, just why he brought along that big trunk with the handy journal of Gramp’s is still a mystery to me.

Luckily, he has to play pretend lover of Jensen, the Warden, to justify his presence on the island and to allow him to stay close to Jensen and under his watchful eye. Not that they stay ‘pretend’ for long!

There is a romance component to this story as Jensen and Brian fall for each other pretty quickly. It is here that the story wavered a bit for me. I just didn’t buy the insta-love between these two men with the associated claims of love, fantasies about futures and sacrifices for each other. Maybe the situation they were in (fighting the evil spirits and fighting for their lives) heightened the feelings but it still wasn’t very believable. That also probably sounds like a strange thing so say, given this was a story about ghosts!

However, in the overall scheme of things, if you park any disbelief about the pace of the relationship – meet, kiss, have sex, fall in love – in a matter of a day or so – then it is an entertaining story. At about 100 pages, it was an pleasant and interesting way to spend an hour or two.

3.5 stars

4 Stars

This book was kindly provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.

To find out more about Carol Lynne and her books visit her website.

Buy Ghosts of Alcatraz from Amazon.

View all my reviews