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BOOK BLAST! Love is Love Anthology

A collection of poems composed by over fifty authors

in aid of the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse Attack.

 

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On June 12, 2016, the most horrendous mass shooting in US history and an unfathomable act of hate was directed at the LGBT community in Orlando. The horror of this tragedy reverberated around the world, leaving millions shocked and appalled at the senseless violence that destroyed so many innocent lives.

In a display of solidarity with the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting, a group of LGBTQ+ and straight allies, from all across the globe, came together to produce a collection of poems in celebration of love and acceptance.

The resulting Love is Love Poetry Anthology is dedicated to the families and victims of the shooting and all proceeds of this work will be donated to Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund.

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In this small way, the authors, along with the readers who purchase this work, seek to contribute to the lives of those who still suffer from the consequences of the malice directed toward them, and offer some positivity and compassion in the face of such bigotry.

Contributing Authors:

AC Benus, Aditus, Andrew Jericho, Ann Anderson, Ash Marie, Asta Idonea, Betti Gefecht, Cam Kennedy, Cynus Eldranai, Darren White, dughlas, Eddy LeFey, Eden Winters, EmiGS Em, F.E. Feeley Jr., Gelybi , Headstall, Jack L. Pyke, Jana Denardo, Jason Frazier, Jay Rookwood, J.L. Merrow, Karina Rye, Kathy Griffith, Kay Ellis, Kaye P. Hallows, Kit Loffstadt, Laura B. Damone, Layla Dorine, Lily G. Blunt, L.J. Harris, L.M. Somerton, Louis Stevens, L.S.K Harris, L.V. Lloyd, Lynn Michaels, Maggie Chatterton, Maria Siopis, Monika De Giorgi, Parker Owens, Patricia Nelson, Pelaam, Petra Howard, Ravyn Bryce, Rick R. Reed, Ruski, Valik and Addy, S.J. Davis, Skylar M. Cates, Star Brady, Steve Baldry, Susan Crane, Tamara Miles, Tash Hatzipetrou, Tim Landon, Tracy Gee, Vicki Tubridy, Victoria Kinnaird, and Wendy Rathbone.

 

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Sincere thanks go to everyone who contributed their time, energy, and skills in the making of this beautiful anthology.

Special thanks also go to Jay Aheer (Simply Defined Art) for the fabulous cover art,

Kelly O’Brien for the ‘Love Wins’ artwork,

and Petra Howard and Tash Hatzipetrou for proofreading the final document.

 

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Many thanks to Kelly O’Brien for contributing the

“Love Wins’ artwork.

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GUEST POST: Herc and Pyotr by Atom Yang

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Blurb

Herc thought he had the perfect life: a great partner and a meaningful career as a psychotherapist—until his partner left him a week ago and Herc became too depressed to see his clients. When a random meteorite punched a tidy hole in his car’s engine, it seemed like the world had it in for him, but bumping into Pyotr, the handsome older man who’s moved in a couple of doors down and happens to study things like falling stars, things might be looking up for Herc—and more may be falling than the skies in this light-hearted, apocalyptic romance.

Guest Post – Oh, for Namesake!

In high school, I remember learning how James Joyce named his protagonist in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man “Stephen Dedalus,” after the mythological hero Daedalus—a brilliant inventor who created wings to escape a labyrinth with his son, Icarus, who didn’t fare as well as his father because he flew too close to the sun and melted his wings, leading him to fall to his death. Joyce’s previous choice for a surname had been “Hero.”

This had a huge influence on me, as I had been asked since I could answer about my real name by people who assumed that my name in English was some pseudonym (trust me, it isn’t and it’s on my birth certificate), and that I had a Chinese name full of deep meaning compared to their names which they believed had long become devoid of any meaning. Even if “Christopher” meant “Christ-Bearer,” my Western friends were more likely to have been given the name because their parents liked it, or maybe a relative had it (so it had sentimental but not etymological meaning).

It seems funny that their fascination with my Chinese name (which is Romanized and used as my middle name) probably made a few of them decide to tattoo their bodies with Chinese characters in some grammatically incorrect way in their adulthood, because it had more meaning than the English word for “peace.” Or it looked cooler (I think the word is actually exotic.)

Anyway, my point is that, after having been asked what my name(s) meant, or why I was given my English name, it was refreshing to see someone like James Joyce of the Western canon pay attention to the importance of names in his stories, and the act of naming as a novelist.

When I wrote my latest book, Herc & Pyotr, I picked names that would resonate with fans of disaster movies, as the story took place within MLR Press’s Storming Love series of disaster romances.

Knowing that I’d have to write about meteors made my mind jump immediately to that lovely piece of cinema known as Meteor (released in 1979 and a co-production of American International Pictures and the legendary Shaw Brothers of Hong Kong)—the two missile systems used to destroy the eponymous meteor were called Hercules (United States) and Peter the Great (USSR). Incidentally, the movie was inspired by research at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) about meteors hitting Earth called “Project Icarus,” because asteroids and such can be pulled into the sun’s orbit, and on their way down, crash into planets like ours. Even scientists have a flare for mythological nomenclature.

In my story, I did go with the Russian spelling of Pyotr in English (did that make sense?), and shortened Hercules’ name, which I think makes it more fun for readers who enjoy discovering “Easter eggs” or hidden references in a story (and there are plenty in my work). See if you catch the nod to U2’s song, “Until the End of the World,” from Wim Wenders’s film, Until the End of the World.

The other notable appellation in Herc & Pyotr is Nestori. It’s the Finnish version of “Nestor,” who was one of Hercules’ best friends. With Nestori named, and the inclusion of a Russian-American character, it wasn’t long before I decided on the cultural context for my story, and after much research and interviewing, I learned a lot about Finnish, Swedish, and Russian culture, especially how they adapted to being in the States.

Names have magic, and so does the act of naming. When I write, I never take lightly what I and my readers will call the characters, because I want the experience of my stories to be encompassing and meaningful, from the punctuation on the page to the name of each person.

I had a writing teacher once accuse me of being a puzzle-maker like Joyce and not like her hero and master of minimalism, Raymond Carver, who was straightforward. I’d like to think that my stories work on different levels, and of myself as a wrapper of gifts rather than a creator of mazes. However, even if I were to create mazes, riddles, and puzzles—I seem to remember those things as being fun.

And “Raymond” means “King of the World.” Add that to “Carver” and you have a really interesting name!

Excerpt

Chapter One

I took care of my car.

Regular maintenance, oil changes, carwashes–the works. I figured I’d sell it one day, and I didn’t want it to have a scratch or a sticker to drop its value, let alone anything wrong mechanically. Everything worked on it–the power windows, radio, CD player…until today.

“Great,” I said, staring at the fist-sized hole in the hood. I clicked my key fob and turned off the alarm. A few of the neighbors came out and turned off their car alarms, too, that had been set off by the very loud boom that shook all of our windows early this spring morning.

“Jeez, Herc, what happened?” Nestori, my friend and neighbor down the way, stood there with his blond bed head, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He wore a rumpled white tee, sweatpants, and socks–we were dressed alike except I had slippers. Maybe I appeared as lost as he did. Or worse, since I hadn’t changed my clothes since the beginning of the week.

“I don’t know.” I gawked at the smoking hole. “Lightning?” I pieced together the evidence I had, and only came up with a timeline that started with a crash, followed by my car alarm, then a couple of minutes later the aforementioned boom, and finally the other cars being triggered. “A frozen turd from an airplane?”

“Are you serious? Holy shit.”

“Ha ha.”

“What?” His golden eyebrows crinkled together, and then he grinned. “Oh.”

“To be fair, it did fall from the sky.” Everybody huddled closer to peer into the puncture. “I don’t know. I don’t even know who I should call about this.”

“What about Jason?”

Nestori’s innocent question should’ve felt like a sucker punch, but the numbness from seeing my killed car protected me. “He left last week. We’re not together anymore.”

“Bro. Why didn’t you say anything?”

Because you would’ve wanted to get me drunk and laid.

“I would’ve totally come over with a bottle of Jack and helped you get some D, man.”

“So that’s why I haven’t seen him jogging for a while.” Pihla, the widow who lived across the street, had the perkiest personality–and breasts–in our neighborhood. “I thought he left on a business trip.” She wore a pink satin robe over a pink nightie with matching pink slippers. A small, thin, gold cross on a gold chain stuck out sideways from her cleavage and wobbled back and forth, unable to rest flat. Her son, Sami, clung to her leg, his head just above her knee, avoiding eye contact like some toddlers do. This suburban Madonna in pink held a mug of expensive coffee I could smell and envy from where I stood, and rested her French manicured hand on her shy boy’s head. By the way she had batted her eyes at Jason during block parties, or how she happened to pick up the morning paper from her driveway when he’d jog past, I always thought she had a crush on my partner.

Ex. I meant ex-partner.

“Yeah, he didn’t leave on a business trip. He just left me.” I wondered if I died inside my home from choking on a chicken bone while eating, single and alone, how long it would take for my neighbors to notice my dead, bachelor body. I thought I smelled something funny, one would say a week later. Jeez, what happened? another would ask. Who the hell cares? my ghost would spell out on a Ouija board, life sucks.

“Meteorite,” said a faintly accented voice from the crowd. Slavic, I would guess.

“Whoa! You think a meteor hit Herc’s car?” Nestori asked. “How do you know?”

Meteorite,” the voice gently corrected. “It’s a meteorite when it lands. I saw everything as I was jogging this morning.”

“Meteorite,” I mumbled. My geek brain fetched a personal wiki page from when I wrote a report in sixth grade about asteroids crashing into Earth and destroying all life, because I’ve always been a cheery person. The word disaster” comes from the Italian disastro, meaning “ill-starred event.”

Why couldn’t it have been a pretty shooting star that vaporized all sparkly in the atmosphere, so I could make a wish? Instead, it’d dropped a deuce on my perfectly maintained car.

The hole in the hood gaped back at me, and I thought about the day Jason left. He had requested I park on the street instead of in the garage, so he’d be able to get his things out of the house without too much trouble.

I should make a wish anyway.

Something realistic, not like true love and a happy-ever-after ending with a handsome, emotionally intelligent man, because that obviously doesn’t happen. How about a nice pair of shoes? Good shoes are more reliable than men.

“I’m sorry this happened,” the voice said, this time to my left. “There have been worldwide reports of meteor strikes over the past few weeks.”

I turned and came eye to eye with the concerned face of a middle-aged man only slightly taller than me. He wore a red baseball cap and his black hair, lined with a few strands of gray, escaped his hat around his ears and a little over his forehead. His color-coordinated stubble, speckled with silver, defined a square jaw and framed full lips. Perspiration darkened his loose, gray shirt, forming something like a Rorschach inkblot in the center of his defined chest. Despite the smell of engine oil and gasoline coming from my mortally wounded car, the scent of his clean sweat cut through and woke me from my daze.

“Hi, I’m Pyotr. I moved here last week.” He offered me a firm handshake and a smile, and returned to surveying the damage to my car, his hands on his hips. “You should probably call your insurance and not your ex. I work from home a few days a week, so if you need a ride, let me know? I live down the street.” He started running lightly in place. His feet were bare, which I hadn’t noticed.

“Thanks for the offer…Pee-yo-ter. I may take you up on it.”

“Please do.” Pyotr smiled again, nodded a succinct farewell, and trotted off.

“Yeah, if you need a ride…” Nestori and a few neighbors offered, but I didn’t pay attention.

I was busy making an unrealistic wish. And it wasn’t for shoes.

Buy Links

Amazon (http://amzn.to/25p9y9q)

Goodreads (http://bit.ly/1XU17gC)

All Romance Ebooks (http://bit.ly/1UBetB4)

MLR Press (http://bit.ly/1Uf5EMA)

About the Author

Atom Yang PICAtom was born to Chinese immigrant parents who thought it’d be a hoot to raise him as an immigrant, too–so he grew up estranged in a familiar land, which gives him an interesting perspective. He’s named after a Japanese manga (comic book) character, in case you were wondering.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Website: http://AtomYang.com (Facebook author page)

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MightyAtomYang

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/AtomYang

Instagram: http://instagram.com/MightyAtomYang

YouTube: http://bit.ly/1YbAvIn

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GUEST POST: Best Gay Erotica of the Year – Edited by Rob Rosen

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Blurb

You wanted the best, you got the best! Best Gay Erotica of the Year, that is. Hotter than ever and featuring the brightest stars the gay literary galaxy has to offer, this iconic collection never fails to impress. With no themes, no boundaries, BGE encompasses the steamy past, the on-your-knees present and the sweat-soaked future, covering every genre and every kink—plus a few you probably never saw, uh, coming—all with a style and a panache that leave those other anthologies in the fictional dust. And get ready for a stunningly original android story that’s sure to blow your circuits!

Yep, this really is the best. And the best just keeps getting better

Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 takes you across time and space as you follow a variety of men seeking the erotic core of their being. From the ancient past to the distant future, from dusty deserts to rumbling busses to seedy mid-town alleys, each journey ends in discovery―sometimes just in the nick of time―of a soul-mate or a devilish spirit or even an android with remarkably precise techniques. These tales will tickle your imagination, tug at your heart, and probably stretch much more than your imagination.” — Louis Flint Ceci, author of Comfort Me

“This rich collection reminds us of how valuable erotic fiction can be: it gives us worlds far more gratifying and delicious than the realities most of us inhabit. Thanks to Rob Rosen and his stable of talented authors for this libidinous gift!” — Jeff Mann, author of Purgatory and Salvation

Guest Post

Hello, I’m Rob Rosen, author, editor, short story writer and anthologist. I split my time evenly between the four, but it’s the anthologist part that brings me a special joy, not to mention a certain amount of dread. Let me explain both.

Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 is the fifth anthology I’ve been fortunate enough to helm. It’s now in its twenty-first year, though, yes, it has picked up a snazzy new moniker. As to the joy of putting this together, that comes from being able to interact with the amazing talent that a collection like this draws, to read stories that fairly leap off the page, to read, quite literarily, the best of the best. You see, every erotica writer wants to be included in this, which is why it always ends up being such a spectacular anthology, year after year.

Writers from all over the country, and many countries beyond, send in their stories, dozens and dozens and dozens of them. Then it’s up to me to dwindle them down to fifteen or so. That’s the first part of the dread, because for every great story there’s an even better one waiting in the wings for me to get to. Then I have to pick between them all. Plus, I have to have variety within the final fifteen, choosing stories that are strikingly different from one another, so that the end product is unique and, like I said, spectacular. I mean, it’s not called Best Gay Erotica for nothing!

The second part of the dread is when I have to send the rejection letters out. And since these far exceed the acceptance ones, it’s a chore that fills me with a tremendous amount of sadness. Still, the thrill of sending the acceptances out, at reading the elation from the writers when they reply, makes it all worthwhile. Well, that and the finished product. And this finished product is amazing, stretching from the remote past to the distant future, with tales of androids, archaeology, Fidel’s Cuba, Ancient Rome, Colonial Arizona, bus rides, horny ghosts, federal lawmen, and on and on. Yep, the pages are packed full with hot men and even hotter stories.

Obviously, I’m exceedingly proud of this, proud of the writers who contributed to it, and eager to get it into the audience’s hands. I hope you can pick up a copy and hope even more that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it all together for you!

Excerpt

Taken from The Real Thing by Dale Chase

Explaining how it got down to just me is impossible. Suffice to say, it was the worst planetary fuckup of all time. Give the androids control of their own destiny, somebody said. Yeah, right.

So what we have after a very messy couple of millennia is a world full of constructed people. Make more as needed and dispose of the malfunctioning. Efficient and less costly than maintaining humans, which are subject to problems. Except they missed one thing. Like all great ideas implemented before they were thought out, nobody considered how much we liked humans. And how even androids would experience a surprising shift to that mindset.

Where am I in all this? Not a droid, that’s for damn sure. No, I’m probably the last human guy in the world, an oversight to be exact. I’ve been on the run for years because I’m a wanted man—in more ways than one. Illegal, yes, but also possessed of the last real flesh-and-blood cock. And they want it. They won’t admit it, though. They say they brought me in because I’m a renegade, a criminal, living outside society, but the truth is they want what I have. They want to get their hands on it, their mouths on it. They want to spread their cheeks and take it up the ass. I’ve been in this cell for just a week and have lost track of the number of droids I’ve fucked and who have fucked me.

They won’t let me have any clothes, and the cell has a window in the door, so more often than not there are faces peering in. Like now, a good-looking droid is watching me stroke my meat. I play with it so he can watch it get hard, squirt a load, then soften. Theirs won’t do it quite like the real thing. More of a mechanical spring-like inflation and not at all fleshy. Too hard, actually. Unreal. And they never did get the come mechanism right. A droid once confessed that it’s a gentle wave, a kind of ripple, and they greatly covet my pulsing shots and the obvious charge they bring. How on earth the creators could have made coming so mild is beyond me. Who in the hell was in charge?

My ass is also coveted, although droid asses are pretty close to human. Except, of course, theirs are only for sex. They can’t imagine our multi-purpose chute, say over and over again what a disgusting place it is, but when one of them gets near me and hits his arousal switch, he’ll invariably want to get his nose down there for a sniff and maybe even his tongue for a taste. I sometimes think the great droid creator way back when put a few glitches in on purpose, a human failing here and there to maybe soften the perfection.

When I was young, there were three of us left, locked into a controlled environment. It was a perfect life—cultivated humans, our every whim seen to—but when we discovered sex, we were separated, walled off from each other for fear we’d prefer ourselves to them. At nineteen we all escaped, went our separate ways, of necessity, and I know one of the others survived because we met up later, on the run.

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COVER REVEAL: UNIFORM A Man in Uniform MM Bundle

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Authors:  Brenda Cothern, H.L. Holston & Eleanor Bruce, Whitley Gray, E.M. Leya, Ethan Stone, Sara York

Release Date:  November 30, 2015

Book Blurb

Meet the men in uniform. These are everyday men who put on a uniform and become our heroes. Through good times and bad, they are there to save the day, sacrificing more than most of us can imagine as they put their lives on hold in service to us.

Love doesn’t wait until life is calm, and sometimes it’s the pressure of the job that throws two men together. Under stress and demand, they find solace in each other, forming bonds that can’t be ignored.

Follow our heroes as they fight not only for what is right and just, but also for their hearts and the men they love.

So without further ado, here’s the totally gorgeous book cover. And read on for an excerpt.

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Excerpt

One More Time

Ethan Stone

 “Yes, ma’am, I understand you’re not very happy with your husband, but that doesn’t mean you can attack him with a weasel.”

The couple had fought over which TV show to watch. Even though Mr. Palmer had acquiesced and let her watch Real Housewives of Washington D.C. Mrs. Palmer hadn’t liked the fact he had argued with her so when he’d gone to bed she’d tossed an angry ferret under the covers. Mr. Palmer had been bitten a couple times but there had been no major damage.

It was just another night as a cop in small town of Lovelock, Nevada. We never had anything exciting here. Mainly domestic disturbances like the Palmers. Some police offers would’ve preferred more action, but not me. I’d done four years in the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and had gotten tired of dealing with punk gangbangers shooting at me. The three years at Lovelock had been far less exciting but much better for my blood pressure.

After settling the disturbance at the Palmers’ I cruised down Main Street making sure the boarded up buildings hadn’t been broken into by bored teenagers. Thankfully we only had more active businesses than empty ones in town. Not that we were a bustling metropolis by any means. I’d just braked to allow mangy stray black dog to cross in front of me when a man ran past my car. Because I was driving slowly I was able to stop in plenty of time. He stood staring at me for a moment before turning and dashing off. Normally I wouldn’t have wasted my time chasing him, but since he was buck-ass naked I figured I should bring him in.

I spun the wheel and turned down the alley he had fled into. Since it had a dead end, he couldn’t have gone far. I didn’t spot him right off the bat so I assumed he was doing his best to hide. I put the car into park, kept the lights on and stepped out.

“You might as well come out,” I hollered. “It’ll be a lot better for you if I don’t have to come in after you.”

“Okay, okay.”

I turned my flashlight to where the voice had come from behind two trash cans and the nude dude stepped out, his arms raised. I didn’t recognize him, which was odd since I knew most people in town. He was approximately twenty-five years old, six foot tall, one-hundred-eighty pounds. Muscular.

Shining the beam at his face, I asked, “Care to explain this to me?”

He chuckled nervously. “You’re not gonna believe me.”

“Try me.”

“I was hooking up with this really hot chick and her husband showed up. Had to climb out the window.”

I sighed. “Was her name Connie?”

“Yeah. How did you know that?”

“Let’s just say you’re not the first man Harry’s caught her with. She does it make him jealous.”

He rubbed his face then quickly put his arm back up. “Christ, I’m a dumbass.”

Buy Links

 

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Author Links

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4847560.Brenda_Cothern

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5819531.H_L_Holston

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6558683.Eleanor_Bruce

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4420440.Whitley_Gray

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5847022.E_M_Leya

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4093537.Ethan_Stone

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2312528.Sara_York

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RELEASE DAY: Summer Love Anthology (with Giveaway)

Join us as Amy Stilgenbauer , answers some of our questions. Amy is the author of “The Fire-Eater’s Daughter”.

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Release Date: June 23, 2015

About the Anthology

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.

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

Interview

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Amy Stilgenbauer author of “The Fire-Eater’s Daughter” a short story in the Summer Love anthology.

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

Thanks for having me!

Well, first and foremost, I’m a writer, but also a bit of a hopeless romantic who suffers from occasional bouts of wanderlust. Both of those things inspire my writing a lot. It’d be a lie to say otherwise. Summer Love suits that side of me well. It is a collection of short stories about a myriad of interesting characters navigating that time of life when you’re in between and finding out who you are. In my story, in particular, “The Fire-Eater’s Daughter” we follow a young woman about to take a huge step into adulthood by following her heart.

1) What book do you wish you could have written?

Harry Potter? I mean, who doesn’t wish they could have written Harry Potter? That series had an effect on culture that most of us can only dream of. Otherwise, maybe Persuasion. Growing up, it was never my favorite Austen novel, but I reread it recently and found myself tearing up. Out of nowhere I suddenly deeply identified. I want to be able to speak to someone at the exact right time of their life like Austen did for me.

2) How important are names to you (in your books)? Do you choose names based on liking the way it sounds or meaning? How do you choose your names?

Names are incredibly important to me. I spend a lot of time choosing just the right name for even the most minor of characters. I can be very particular about it too. It has to flow well and sound right for the character, have a meaning that suits the character’s personality, and last, but definitely not least be the right kind of name for the time period, setting, and background of the character. I have been known to check the social security name database and other lists of top 1000 baby names just to make sure a name would be right for a given place and year for a character that has 2 lines. It actually snags my writing sometimes, so I have to force myself to write “[name]” and come back to it.

3) Were you already a great writer? Have you always enjoyed writing?

I don’t know if I’d call myself a great writer. That said, I have always enjoyed writing. Since I was very small I’ve been telling stories. They haven’t all been good. They haven’t all been close to good. I did win a seat-belt safety poetry contest in the 3rd grade though, if that counts for anything.

4) How long have you been writing?

I honestly think you could say forever. The earliest one I remember though was from when I was about six or seven. My sister and I used to make up terrible long running series about the adventures of our stuffed animals and I would compile them into little books. It was varyingly called “Kitty World” and “The Super Six.” I cannot vouch for the quality, but it did kick off a lifetime devotion to the written word.

5) What hobbies do you enjoy?

I have too many hobbies for my own good. I garden. I knit. I hike. I swing dance. I sing when no one other than my voice teacher is listening. I miss my cello. I talk myself out of buying a dulcimer almost daily. I spend hours with language tapes trying to learn three or four different languages in a given week and fail utterly because that is so not how you learn a language. I read a lot. Quite frankly, I just don’t like to be bored, and I like finding new ways to accomplish this goal.

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.

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize:  One $25 Interlude Press gift card. Five multi-format Summer Love eBooks.

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Tour Dates & Stops:

Badge (1)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

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30-Jun

Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

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1-Jul

TTC Books and More

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2-Jul

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3-Jul

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Love Bytes

6-Jul

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BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY! Family Time Anthology by Torquere Press

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Family Time Anthology

by

Sean Michael, Jessica Chase, Nicole McCormick, Nora Birch, Lynn Townsend, K. Lynn, RJ Schmidt, Katherine Halle, Rob Rosen, Mychael Black, Andrea Dalling, Yolande Kleinn

Release Date: June 17, 2015

Pages or Words: 77,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, Humor, Lesbian Romance, M/M Romance, Romance, Anthology, Erotic Romance (Please keep in mind that as an anthology, not all stories may reflect all categories.)

Publisher: Torquere Press

Cover Artist: BSClay

Blurb:

These twelve stories range from first-time parents, to a couple still trying to conceive, to a ready-made family hoping to make it official, to parents just trying to get from one day to the next.

But it can’t all be about the kids. Especially when the kid to parent ratio favors the kids. You might have sneak out of your own house. Or remind your spouse what grown-ups can do when the kids are away.

From veteran and new authors, these families contain several m/m couples, an F/F couple, and an asexual mom who has some explaining to do to her genderfluid teen.

 

Excerpt:

Excerpt from First Day of School, by Sean Michael

Lizzie stared at Hutch with huge, tear-filled eyes. “Please. Please, Hut. Don’t make me go away. I’ll be the best cooker ever. I promise.”

God, she was breaking his heart. Hutch managed to find a warm smile for her, though, as he crouched to give her a hug. “You’ll be home by three thirty. And I bet you find you like school. There’s so many fun things to do.” He’d known it would be hard to send the twins off to school every day, leaving the house empty until afternoon, but he hadn’t expected it to be this hard.

She shook her head, the tears beginning to fall. Felicia was desperate to be big, to go to school like Darla, but this one had been opposed to the whole idea and finding out she wasn’t in the same Kindergarten class as her twin hadn’t helped. The school claimed they split twins up to let them develop their own individuality.

Well, Hutch knew damn well his girls were plenty individual, each with their own unique personality despite being together since birth.

“When you get home you can help me make supper,” he promised. “That won’t change just because you’re going to school.”

“Please? You can tell Addie-Lou it’s okay. I know you can,” she insisted.

“No, little. He can’t.” Adam shook his head. “School is important.”

“Is not!” She stamped her little foot, glaring at Adam. “I want to stay with Hut!”

“Okay, Lizzie, that’s enough.” Hutch gave her his most firm voice. “School is important and you’re going to make friends and find really fun things to do. Addie-Lou and I will be here when you get home.”

He wanted so badly to tell her she could stay home, but he knew she needed to do this. It was his job to make sure she didn’t need him and Adam anymore and this was how it started. Even if it was the hardest thing ever.

 

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Sales Links:

http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=200&products_id=4411

http://www.amazon.com/Family-Time-Anthology-Sean-Michael-ebook/dp/B00Z4SCUP6

Giveaway:

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Click on the image to enter!

Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘Family Time Anthology’

Tour Date: June 18th & Stops:

BadgeParker Williams, Divine Magazine, MM Good Book Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Kimi-Chan, Havan Fellows, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Happily Ever Chapter, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, The Hat Party, Molly Lolly, Decadent Delights, Just Love Romance, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Bayou Book Junkie, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Mikky’s World of Books, Redz World, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Velvet Panic, Iyana Jenna

 

 

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Finding Love: Box Set of M/M Stories That Celebrate Pride

Finding love

Finding Love: Box Set of M/M Stories That Celebrate Pride

by Jamie Lynn Miller, T.K. Paige, M. LeAnne Phoenix, Carly Rose, D.C. Williams

COVER ARTIST: Dakota Trace

Finding Love

About the Anthology

5 Authors – 5 Stories – 1 Charity

Available for purchase through September 2015, Finding Love is a limited edition box set of brand new, full length, stand-alone M/M romance stories that share the theme of celebrating pride.

The authors banded together with the goal of raising funds for The Trevor Project and the proceeds are being donated to help support their efforts to provide life-saving and life-affirming services to LGBTQ youth.

His Fragile Heart by Jamie Lynn Miller
Do you believe in the power of love, even after death? After losing his lover in a car accident two years ago, actor Nathan Marshall wasn’t interested in another relationship. Until he meets waiter Justin Kowalski. Something about him seems so familiar that Nathan is instantly drawn to the younger man. Surprised at his capacity to love again, his relationship with Justin blossoms. But then an unbelievable truth is revealed – one that could break both their hearts for good.

Through New Eyes by T.K. Paige
Roommates Jed and Doyle have been best friends since meeting in college. Now that they’ve graduated and are starting new jobs they have no intentions of letting that change anything. Doyle is everything Jed isn’t, smart, cute and active at the LGTB center. Jed has always looked out for his friend and been there for him. They have plans and an amazing relationship, everything planned out to the smallest degree. Any changes could make it all go off the rails. So why can’t Jed get over how annoying he finds Doyle’s ex turned friend, who seems to be around way too often? Why can’t he stop noticing Doyle in new ways? If Jed doesn’t take a risk, he could miss what’s been there all along.

Iridescent (An Angels All Fire Series Short) by M. LeAnne Phoenix
Best friends, trusted confidants, partners in crime— call it what you like, Phai and Jen have been two halves of a whole ever since they met just over five years ago. The trouble is, that while Phai is falling more in love with his best friend every day, Jensen Whitfield seems content to call him brother. Hephaistion Amyntoros has faced many challenges during his long, long life, but the idea of confessing his heart’s desire to Jen and discovering that he doesn’t feel the same, terrifies him… but what happens if he does share his feelings? When the whole of Phai’s past rages into blistering life, ready to consume the very sun, Phai must focus on getting them out alive. Will they emerge from the fire intact or will the love in his life burn like a supernova once more?

Unexpectedly Lucky (The Bradford Boys, Book 1) by Carly Rose
Lincoln and Ryan have been best friends since the fifth grade. Their friendship has always been effortless, but a single night of passion threatens to change everything. Will the emotional fallout drive them apart or will they be lucky enough to find love unexpectedly?

What the Heart Wants by D.C. Williams
Will has just graduated from high school and is struggling with coming out. A surreptitious visit to NYC Pride brings Kev into his life. Will is immediately attracted to Kev, but they’re separated by a huge age difference, and Will is still coming to terms with himself. Their friendship grows over the course of a year, but can it become more?

About The Trevor Project

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

The life-saving, life-affirming work of The Trevor Project springs from the powerful intersection of storytelling on stage and film.

In 1994, producers Randy Stone and Peggy Rajski saw writer/performer James Lecesne bring to life Trevor, a character he created as part of his award-winning one-man show WORD OF MOUTH.  Convinced Trevor’s story would make a wonderful short film, Stone and Rajski invited Lecesne to adapt it into a screenplay.  Rajski directed the movie and TREVOR went on to win many prestigious awards including the Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short Film.

The Oscar-winning film eventually launched a national movement. When producer Randy Stone secured an airing on HBO with Ellen DeGeneres hosting, director/producer Peggy Rajski discovered there was no real place for young people like Trevor to turn when facing challenges similar to his. She quickly recruited mental health experts and figured out how to build the infrastructure necessary for a nationwide 24-hour crisis line, and writer James Lecesne secured the funds to start it. On the night their funny and moving coming-of-age story premiered on HBO in 1998, these visionary filmmakers launched the Trevor Lifeline, the first national crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of young people in crisis have reached out to The Trevor Project’s multiple in-person and online life-saving, life-affirming resources–Trevor Lifeline, TrevorChat, TrevorSpace and Trevor Education Workshops.

The Trevor Project is the premier organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ teens and young adults.

Watch ‘Trevor’ on YouTube

(20 minutes)

Buy Links

Amazon US  Amazon UK (Coming soon to ARe and in Print)

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GIVEAWAY

RAFFLECOPTER:  June 12th – June 30th

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Excerpt

Excerpt from What the Heart Wants by D.C. Williams

The bus pulled into the Port Authority and Will grabbed his backpack and headed downstairs to the street. He wasn’t exactly familiar with New York, other than a couple of school trips and a few visits to Rockefeller Center and Radio City at Christmastime, but it was pretty easy to get himself pointed downtown. He stopped at a McDonalds to use the bathroom, which took half an hour because the line was so long, and bought himself an ice-cream.

It was easy to tell he was approaching the parade route. Lots of rainbow stuff, big groups of people having a good time. No-one was looking at him. Why would they? Nothing to see here. Just another skinny kid in jeans and a blue t-shirt.

The crowd had people of every description. Lots of them didn’t look “gay.” Probably some of them weren’t. Will knew the parade was a big deal, and plenty of people came to New York this weekend just to see it. Once he got to Fifth, the street was heavily lined with spectators. There was still close to an hour to go, but the place was packed.

Crap, he should have started earlier. Will tried to edge out of the stream of foot traffic , figuring if he moved around a little he could find a spot where he could at least sort of see without jostling anyone. Even if he wished someone would jostle him. Some of these guys were hot. And he could look. No-one would be freaked out that he was checking out the scenery.

Someone touched his arm lightly. An older man was smiling at him. Damn, the guy was smoking. He had to be at least Will’s dad’s age, but Oh fuck, yeah. Big guy, in great shape with biceps Will bet he couldn’t wrap both hands around. Defined chest, even though his shirt wasn’t that tight. Clean shaven, short gray buzz-cut, sexy crinkles in a tanned face around deep set blue eyes. “By yourself, kid?”

“Yeah,” Will nodded.

“We got room for a skinny one up here. Jase, we have company.”

About the authors

Jamie Lynn Miller has been writing fiction since childhood and decided to take the plunge and go pro in 2008, finding to her amazement that people truly enjoyed her love stories. She’s a romantic at heart, and her tales reflect the desire we all have to find “the one,” persevering through trials and heartache for that happy ending.

Jamie has a degree in fine arts and has spent the last twenty years working as a graphic designer, though she’d much rather be writing. She was born in Chicago and still lives there today with her husband and their two furry, four-footed children, er… cats.

If she’s not brainstorming story ideas, you can find Jamie at a sci-fi convention, in front of a furnace doing glass blowing, or on a mat twisted into a yoga pose.

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T.K. Paige picked up her first book to read around the age of four and hasn’t stopped since. She discovered the M/M genre in August of 2012 and an addict was hooked.

If you see her and she is not reading, then she is thinking about the books that live in her head. It doesn’t matter what else she is doing, it is guaranteed half her brain has a plot running through it.

A stay at home mom for more years than she would like to think about, she is lucky enough to be married to a wonderful guy who encouraged her to write throughout their years together.

Then when she finally did it and she told him what she was writing, he turned only slightly green and asked “Do I have to read it?” Apparently, he had dreams of her being the next Urban Fantasy sensation with her taste in movies.

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LeAnne Phoenix would tell you that the worst time of her life was the two years that she attempted to take off from writing. If you asked her to explain exactly why she did such a thing, you would most likely get the mad attempt to arch an eyebrow like her dad and then a shake of the head as she told you it was unlucky to speak of such things. Suffice it to say, it will never happen again!

sed in Fort Worth, Texas in the mid-1970’s, Ms. Phoenix was young and wild (and even free!) during the crazy wondrous decade known as the 1980’s and the even crazier but now grungy decade of the 1990’s. Music is second only to the muses that live and breathe to fill her mind with beautiful men, and music always helps them to tell their stories. She is never without her iPod or her computer no matter where she goes, although, she does like to hike and take pictures of the sky and the moon, and even the occasional shot of the sun through the branches of a tree.

An avid cat lover, Ms. Phoenix has been owned by many throughout her life, though her current owner is one Lily-Rose, who really would like for her to step away from the keyboard and pay her some attention! After all, hasn’t she earned it?

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Carly Rose was named after her grandmother, an accomplished poet, and a character her mom met in a romance novel while awaiting her birth, I guess you could say that writing has always been in her blood.

As a child her parents used to threaten to take away her books and make her play outside when she wasn’t getting her chores done. Now she’s all grown up and her roles as wife, mother of two, and part-time nurse keep her hopping. As a blogger, book reviewer, freelance editor, and author, she still manage to spend time each day with her nose in a book.

She’s a student of life who’s always looking for new opportunities to learn and discovered early on that the love of family, friends and a positive attitude are all you really need. A free spirited motorcycle enthusiast who loves butterflies, dancing in the rain, and believes that everything is better in purple, she love to hear from readers so stop by and say “hi” anytime!

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D.C. Williams is a funny little middle aged woman who mostly lives in Pennsylvania and writes romance novels you wouldn’t expect.

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Charity Anthology: Indigent

All money raised from the sale of this anthology goes to LGBT charities. What better excuse to buy a book.

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Charity Information

GALA is a centre for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) culture and education in Africa. Their mission is, first and foremost, to act as a catalyst for the production, preservation and dissemination of knowledge on the history, culture and contemporary experiences of LGBTI people. www.gala.co.za
Lost-n-Found is Atlanta’s only non-profit organization dedicated to taking homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth off the street and into more permanent housing, Lost-n-Found Youth is dedicated to the advocacy and service of youth from 13 to 25 years old.http://lnfy.org
Youth Off The Streets is a non-denominational community organisation working for young people aged 12-25 who are facing challenges of homelessness, drug and alcohol dependency, exclusion from school, neglect and abuse. We support these young people as they work to turn their lives around and overcome immense personal traumas such as neglect and physical, psychological and emotional abuse.http://www.youthoffthestreets.com.au
The Albert Kennedy Trust supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans homeless young people in crisis. Every day they deal with the the effects homelessness can have on young people’s lives. http://www.akt.org.uk
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Contributing Authors

Frederick Eugene Feeley Jr’s “Indigent”, after which the anthology takes it’s name, brings the reader to witness an apocalyptic war between the good and evil that rages in one man’s mind. Soon he will know that his problems are insignificant compared to those of others.
Mari Evan’s “Stumbling into Forever”, involves a handsome young vampire who will come to learn that ‘just a sip of blood’ is the difference between love and freezing to death.
Leona Windwalker’s “If Only the World”, takes rejection to another level. A heartbreaking story that is turned on it’s head by the kindness of strangers.
Shaye Evans’ “Rescued”, is a contemporary social statement about the aftermath of a young man’s life after his drink has been spiked at a bar.
M. LeAnne Phoenix’s “Higher Love”, takes us on an almost spiritual journey through the minds of two people who have never met, but have spoken on a telepathic level. When they do come together, that bond is already cemented but there is a price to pay.

Buy Link

Book Trailer

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Release Day Blitz: ENCORE Anthology

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Synopsis

An anthology about musicals… with a twist.

Who can resist a musical?

We at Wayward Ink certainly can’t!

Boys and Girls, go don your tux. Slink into your gown. Strap on your heels. Dust off that tiara and wrap yourselves in a feather boa!

Come celebrate the extravaganza with us!

Waltz through ten short stories inspired by some of the world’s most popular musicals.

Book Trailer

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U1QZSJ6/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00U1QZSJ6/

Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00U1QZSJ6/

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/encore/

B&N: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-encoreawaywardinkpublishinganthology-1758654-166.html

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-encoreawaywardinkpublishinganthology-1758654-166.html

***Buy your copy from the Wayward Ink Publishing website by the end of March and take advantage of the 25% discount on all WIP titles!

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Stories Included

What’s Up Pussycat?

Louise Lyons

Heartbroken Finley fears he’ll never recover from the loss of his lover, Andrew, who was a star of the Cats musical.

But then Finley has an idea…

What if her were to take Andrew’s part in the musical and hopefully make his man proud?

Over The Rainbow

Lily G. Blunt

Dorian has been cast as Dorothy in his school’s production of The Wizard of Oz.

Like his character, Dorian is about to discover whether dreams really do come true.

Broadway Devils

Eric Gober

A geek and his flashy rival . . .

A leading man they both love . . .

A starring role they both want . . .

All’s fair in love and Broadway.

May the best diva take it all!

Angel in the Wings

Asta Idonea

When handsome Phantom, Christopher Keane requests Marcus as his dresser, the action in the wings could be just as exciting as anything taking place on stage…

My South Pacific

Taylin Clavelli

British born Callum has given up on love.

Will he find it again among the Hawaiian reefs?

Or will there be more sharks…

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Enjoy The Show

Lisa A. Adams

Dylan Rucker’s online dating adventures landed him the perfect match.

When “Mister Right” stands him up at the dinner theater, Dylan wants to crawl home defeated.

But, the night is young…

With an unexpected flirtation with the lead actor, Dylan must decide.

Hold out for his “Mister Right”?

Or, sit back and enjoy the show?

The One That I Want

R.J. Jones

“What, you don’t think Danny’s hot?”

“I prefer Kenickie. He can pin me against a wall anytime.”

A Touch Glamour

Alina Popescu

Tudor has big plans for New York City.

Ditch his homophobic colleague. See a musical. Definitely check out the go-go boys.

Meeting one Phantom on Grindr wasn’t in the script.

Tudor gets caught up in a whirlwind when his favorite musical character steps off the stage and into his life.

A Man Who Measures Up

Cecil Wilde

When you’re in musical theater, love is just a jump to the left and a step to the right.

A Night at the Opera

Vanessa Clark

Rick never cared for opera.

He thought opera singers were old, outdated, and fat.

That was until he met Giovanni, an opera singer who’s far from that!

No. Giovanni is statuesque, young, refreshing, and beautiful.

Giovanni opened Rick’s mind to a new world, and Rick’s first ever opera experience definitely wasn’t going to be his last.

But little does Giovanni realize that Rick will open his mind to a new experience too…

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GIVEAWAY and GUEST POST: Rob Rosen

Confessions of a Smut Writer

By Rob Rosen

Hello. My name is Rob Rosen and I am a smut writer—and a highly successful one at that. In fact, I’m also the editor of Best Gay Erotica 2015, the largest, the oldest, and the most esteemed of all gay erotica collections on the planet, now in its twentieth year and due out on January 13th. It’s a rare privilege to be handed the reins of this anthology, especially since I didn’t start out to be a smut writer, let alone the editor of the granddaddy of all gay anthologies.

See, fifteen years ago I was writing mostly standard fiction. Sure, I wrote gay stuff, too, but all of it very PG. In fact, I’d never really read that much erotica, nor did I think I had anything to add to the genre. I mean, I assumed everything on the subject had been written about, every dick and hole configuration already stickily put to the page.

Still, there were a lot of calls for submissions for gay erotica. Turns out, sex sells. Who knew, right? So fine, I tried my hand at it. I mean, my hand knew how to work both the keyboard and the crotch below said keyboard, so why not? And guess what? My story was promptly rejected for publication in a certain print anthology. Bummer. Then again, no harm, no foul. And since I’d already written said story, the aptly named “Go Fuck Yourself,” I resubmitted it elsewhere, to an online M/M erotica site. No money, pretty nice-sized readership. And that’s where my story soon landed.

Now, here’s where fate stepped in, lubed up now that it was. Turns out, the editor of MEN Magazine also read that certain nice-sized site and enjoyed my story—my one and only gay erotica story. That same editor then emailed me and asked if I’d like to write for his magazines, plural, because he also edited Freshmen and [2]. Combined, they had a home subscription base of over a hundred thousand readers. Wait, to rephrase that: A HUNDRED THOUSAND! And that didn’t even include the newsstand sales. So, yeah, despite the fact that I hadn’t a clue how to write gay erotica, I said sure. I mean, I might have been a neophyte smut writer, but certainly not a stupid one. And I could write, right? So why not for him?

And that’s what I did. I wrote for him and all three of his magazines for just over five years, appearing in more than forty issues, until the magazines sadly folded. And by then I’d also written for just about every gay publisher on the planet. Turned out, I did have something new to add to the erotica genre: comedy. Comic romances, in fact. And with some pretty nifty dick and hole configurations, too, if I do say so myself.

Jump ahead to more than several hundred published short stories, most of them nicely smutty, not to mention eight riotously funny novels, and here I now am, the editor of the most nicely smutty of all the gay anthologies. And, yes, I am humbled by the honor, the honor to edit this collection and the honor to work with the biggest and brightest erotica writers in the business. Fate, you see, takes you to unimaginable shores, especially when it’s amply lubed up.

As for Best Gay Erotica 2015, it too is nicely smutty, it too adds something new to the genre. Every editor, you see, has their own style, their own sense of what they deem erotic, not to mention their own predilections for what they like to read. So, yes, there’s more humor in this collection, more dark fiction, more fantasy, but with the same literary acuteness that everyone has come to expect.

So, yes, like I said, I’m a smut writer. And a rather proud one at that.

Thank you fate. Feel free to lube up and step into my life anytime you damned well please. I’ll be here, waiting for you.

Best Gay Erotica

Rob Rosen

Rob Rosen is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Divas Las Vegas, which was the winner of the 2010 TLA Gaybies for Best Gay Fiction, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, and Creature Comfort. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology, Good & Hot. He is also the editor of Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages, Men of the Manor and Best Gay Erotica 2015. Please visit him at www.therobrosen.com

Blurb

Best Gay Erotica 2015 is filled to the page-turning brim with fantastic tales of fire dancers and TV repairmen, of hunky painters and electricians and magicians, solo sex, duo sex, and sweat-soaked triple onslaughts. Heck, throw in an alien and a priest, and you’ll soon see why this anthology is head and shoulders — not to mention certain other body parts — above the rest, and always with the highest literary quality that readers have come to expect from this esteemed and steamy collection.

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