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GUEST POST: Sexy to Go Anthology

Sexy to Go Sexy to Go started back in December of 2014 as a VCI or very crazy idea. It was inspired by a freebie collection of stories called Stories on the Go and meant to take advantage of reader’s preference for shorter works. While the original short story box set didn’t focus on romance or erotic romance, Sexy to Go did.

As many of the writers for Sexy to Go write M/F, M/M, F/F, and ménage, and skip around from genre to genre, there was plenty of gay romance mixed into in our 2015 box sets. But the ongoing mix always gave Sexy to Go a little bit of an identity crises. Which genre and which pairing to tout became a problem that wasn’t easily solvable. Enter the idea of themed boxed sets. Yes, others were already doing them, and in a sense Sexy to Go was tardy to the party, but we never for an instant thought we wouldn’t jump on that band wagon.

With so many great authors on board for Sexy to Go Gay Romance, it’s our very best volume to date!

Blurb

Sexy to Go Gay Romance features nine scorching hot MM romances to make your blood sing. Whether finding love at a Jewish singles dance or while crossing the River Styx, these men remind us that love is always worth fighting for, no matter what the cost. Meet a handyman who’s an ace with his tools, a king who kindles the passion of a Greek god, and an architect who erects more than buildings. From the everyday to the fantastical, these stories explore male-male love in all its simmering intensity.

Matzo Ball by Avery Duran

When Jacob’s outgoing best friend talks him into attending a party for Jewish singles, neither man realizes that it’s not a gay event. Things go from bad to worse when Jacob’s friend doesn’t show up. The night turns around when Jacob befriends Ian, a sexy bartender. After a spectacular kiss good night, they go their separate ways. But Jacob can’t forget the chemistry he shared with Ian, and hungers for more. In a city the size of New York, will these men be able to find their way back to each other?

Styx & Stone by Leigh Ellwood

What’s the afterlife really like? Charon the ferryman knows the River Styx like the back of his hand, and he enjoys giving newly departed Stone the full tour.

First Swallow of Spring by Asta Idonea

The first swallow of spring draws Seanán back to the fae circle each year, where he dances with the handsome fae lord, Iorweth. He knows the four rules he must follow if he wishes to be free to leave at the end of the night; however, Iorweth is growing ever more inventive in his attempts to trick Seanán into breaking them.

How Hercules Got His Bruise by Eva Lefoy

Hercules might have completed his 12 labors and become immortal, but he’s still not out to himself. Until he meets Sisyphus, a man who turns him on in ways not even a goddess can compete with. When Zeus threatens to destroy their new bond, Hercules must again rise to the challenge, this time to protect his right to love a man.

Loggerhead by Dale Lowry

Soon after they fall in love, Jake makes Eric a promise inspired by an old track uniform. But demanding work schedules at Jake’s four-star restaurant and Eric’s newspaper keep them from following through. Six years later, they take the honeymoon they never had, heading to the Florida coast in search of sea turtles – and rekindling their passion for each other in the process.

Handyman by Jodi Payne

Danny is haunted by memories of his ex, Peter, who moved out six months ago. He recognizes just how bad off he is when he wakes up to a flood in his condo, a problem Peter would have adeptly handled. Danny can’t find the insurance paperwork, he doesn’t know who he should call first, and he’s about ready to strangle his stoner neighbors. His day starts looking up, though, when the workmen arrive to deal with the water, replace his breaker box and demolish the soaked ceiling. Ken, a handyman, shows up to handle the drywall, but can Danny handle Ken?

Clipped Wings by Shiloh Saddler

When a male swan shifter is captured by a cruel master he develops feelings for another male slave. The master has plans for the shifter that go against every fiber of his being. Will the two men bow down to their station in life or take flight to keep their love alive?

Rebuilding the Future by Sam Thorne

Allen’s peace has been seriously disturbed. As the shy architect takes on the task of extending the home he inherited from his late aunt, his life becomes a battle. The building work is going fine, but he can barely contain his one-way lust for sexy foreman Declan, who’s a one-man generator of testosterone and mixed messages. As the build completion approaches, Allen’s ready to do just about anything to keep Declan around a little longer…

Man in the Mirror by A.E. Wasp

A companion story to the Paper Hearts novel, Man in the Mirror is the first short in a new erotic series set in the world of the Veterans Affairs books.

Benny hasn’t let Mikey see him naked in a week, will barely let Mikey touch him. Mikey’s going to get to the bottom of the issue if it takes all night.

Where to Buy

Universal link (includes Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, B&N, and Google in every country):

Individual links:

Author Links

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT, AND GIVEAWAY Two Natures by Jendi Reiter

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Title: Two Natures
Author: Jendi Reiter
Release Date: September 15th 2016
Genre: LGBT fiction, MM Romance

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BLURB

Two Natures is the coming-of-age story of Julian Selkirk, a fashion photographer in New York City in the early 1990s. His faith in Jesus helped him survive his childhood in the Atlanta suburbs with an abusive alcoholic father, but the church’s condemnation of his sexual orientation has left him alienated and ashamed.

Yearning for new ideals to anchor him after his loss of faith, Julian seeks his identity through love affairs with three very different men: tough but childish Phil Shanahan, a personal trainer who takes a dangerous shortcut to success; enigmatic, cosmopolitan Richard Molineux, the fashion magazine editor who gives him his first big break; and Peter Edelman, an earnest left-wing activist with a secret life.

Amid the devastation of the AIDS epidemic and the racial tensions of New York politics, Julian learns to see beyond surface attractions and short-term desires, and to use his art to serve his community.

Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Saddle Road Press

**Kindle Price $0.99 from February 20th – March 17th ** (normally $9.99)

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Honors:
2016 Rainbow Awards: First Prize, Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction; First Runner-Up, Debut Gay Book
Named one of QSPirit’s Top LGBTQ Christian Books of 2016

EXCERPT

The back of the warehouse had a fire escape that you reached by crawling through one of the windows that was propped open with a stick. Refugees from the dance floor came and went, seeking brief hits of sobriety from the sting of cold air on their flushed faces, or trading smokes and other items in hand-to-hand transactions with a studied casualness. I followed Phil out there. He was hunched over the rusty railing, flicking ash down to the street two stories below. I leaned on the railing next to him, saying nothing. He wasn’t able to ignore me for long.

“What’re you doing here?”

I shrugged. He didn’t know what to make of my silence. Next to us, two guys in knit stocking caps shook hands a little too long and then ducked inside through separate windows. I wished I’d brought my own hat and coat, like Phil who’d had the sense to retrieve his parka before braving the elements.

“You think you’re too good to fight with me?” he needled me again. “You gonna call your rich daddy to teach me a lesson?”

“My daddy would kick your faggot ass into next week,” I said, “just like he did to me.”

Phil took a long drag on his cigarette and tossed it over the edge. “Sucks to be us, huh.”

“Guess so.” I almost caught him smiling, but then he turned away, pretending to watch this boy and girl at the far end of the terrace who were sucking each other’s faces hard enough to create a vacuum seal.

“So what’s the problem here?” I asked. “I thought we sort of connected that first night at New Eden, but now you’re being a jerk.”

“Don’t play dumb.”

“I’m not playing.” I dared to touch the back of his hand lightly. What if we were wrong and he wasn’t one of us, just slumming in fairyland? The pavement was a long way down.

He flinched but didn’t shake off my touch. “Frank told me you were talking shit about me,” he muttered. “How you didn’t think I was good enough for him because my pop drives a truck for the paper company.”

“Oh, shit. First of all, that’s not what I said, and second —”

“I’m proud of my pop, okay? He might be an asshole, but he works hard for every damn thing in his life, and so do I.”

“Phil — ” I grabbed his shoulders. He loomed over me like a prizefighter awaiting the bell. Why couldn’t I fall for a pretty boy like Tomas, who would never risk damaging his hands in a fistfight? “Phil, listen. I like where you come from. I like everything about you. I only talked trash to Frank because I wanted to put him off you.”

He blinked, confused, breathing hard. “So now you have…are you happy?”

“No…I’m sorry. It was a stupid thing to do. But, I mean, I’m happy you’re here with me…alone, right now.”

He stepped back, out of reach. “Why should I believe anything you say?”

In response, I sneezed, twice. Yankee weather wasn’t kind to me. Phil made for the window, to continue our conversation inside, I hoped. But the tonsil-hockey couple had already had the same idea and, with the obliviousness of lovers, had pulled the stick in after them. Phil rattled the unyielding window frame. I added my useless efforts to his.

“Must’ve latched itself from the inside,” he said. “I know how these places are built.”

“Did you work at the paper factory too?”

“What is this, a job interview?”

“Just making conversation.” I sneezed again. Phil kicked the window. “You think you can break in?” I asked.

“The panes are too small, dumb-ass. We couldn’t get through.”

“No, but you could break the one near the latch and reach in and open it, like a burglar.”

“Why me?”

“Because I’m just a poser.” I flicked my wrist at him.

“Yeah, sorry about that. I was really pissed off.”

“Try taking your aggressions out on that glass.”

“And then what? My hand’ll get cut to shreds.”

“In the movies, the burglar usually wraps his jacket around his arm or something.”

“I see you’ve appointed yourself the brains of this operation.”

“You said it, Bugsy.”

Phil scoped out the window, looking for the best spot, but the panes closest to where he thought the latch might be were boarded up.

So much for our caper. I shifted from foot to foot, trying to warm up.

“Here, put your arms through my sleeves.” Phil arranged his parka over us so that he covered my back like a cape. I tucked myself into the curve of his body, feeling his growing hardness through his jeans.

“I never thought you would like me,” he said after awhile. His breath was hot against my neck.

“Why not?”

“Because you’re one of those, what are they called, the beautiful people?”

“You look pretty fine yourself,” I said. One side of my face was warm where his stubbly cheek was pressed against mine; the other side was whipped by the wind.

He heated up my whole body by kissing me right then. I opened my mouth to his tongue. Just then, under the cold black sky, we were the two luckiest boys in the world, to have found this corner where nobody would notice us falling into each other’s arms.

Of course, we couldn’t go further than that without risking frostbite in some very inconvenient places. Disengaging from my embrace, Phil suddenly hoisted himself up to sit on the railing. “Let’s get out of here.”

“Brilliant idea. Why didn’t I think of that.”

“We’ll climb down. It’s no big deal.” To prove his point, Phil lifted his hands off the railing, with the crazy grin of a kid on a rollercoaster, balancing only on that beautiful rear that I worried would never be mine if he took a tumble onto the cement.

“Am I scaring you?” he teased.

“Don’t be an idiot.”

“Trust me, I know what I’m doing.” He took hold of the railing again, and I went back to breathing. “I’ve done roof repairs since I was sixteen and my pop kicked me out of the house. My balance can’t be beat.” He nudged me with the toe of his boot. “Come on, just do what I do and you’ll be fine.”

Slowly, following his lead, I gripped the icy metal and swung myself over the edge, inching my hands down the bars until my feet were dangling just shy of the railing one story below. There were stairs between the levels, but they were gated off with a barrier that was too high and sharp to climb over.

“Phil — ” I called out, my voice sounding thin as a thread blowing in the wind. What I really wanted was to ask him to catch me, but I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. “Is it true what they say, that you shouldn’t look down?”

“I dunno, try it and let me know how it goes.” He swung his legs in toward the lower level, letting go of his handhold once his feet were secure. Sparing me further humiliation, since my pants were sliding down, he pulled me in. The ladder attached to the bottom of this level ended eight or nine feet above the street, child’s play compared to what we’d just done. He stole a couple more kisses while I got my second wind.

“Why’d your father kick you out?”

“Found my magazines.”

“Reading or posing?”

“Hey, I never thought of that — would’ve beat freezing my ass off on old man Henderson’s shingles.” He gave mine a love tap. “Up you go.”

Swinging over the railing was no more fun the second time around, but the squeaky ladder managed to hold our weight, and at last we smacked down on hard ground.

Giveaway: WIN a $10 Amazon giftcard

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About the Author

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Jendi Reiter’s books are guided by her belief that people take precedence over ideologies. In exploring themes of queer family life, spiritual integration, and healing from adverse childhood experiences, her goal is to create understanding that leads to social change. Two Natures is her first novel; a sequel is in the works. Her four published poetry books include Bullies in Love (Little Red Tree, 2015) and the award-winning chapbook Barbie at 50 (Cervena Barva Press, 2010). She is the co-founder and editor of WinningWriters.com, an online resource site for creative writers.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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GUEST POST: Strokes on a Canvas by H. Lewis-Foster

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It’s lovely to be here to celebrate the release of my new novella Strokes on a Canvas. I’ve written a number of historical romances, from the Regency era to the swinging sixties, but this is my first set in the 1920s. Full of exciting new trends in fashion, literature and art, the decade has inspired some great stories on the page and on screen, so I thought I’d share a few of my favourite 1920s adaptations.

Brideshead Revisited

I always enjoy reading this novel by Evelyn Waugh, but like so many people, I completely fell in love with the TV version starring Anthony Andrews and Jeremy Irons. Those two beautiful young men punting down the river among the dreaming spires of Oxford, or drifting in a gondola on a Venetian canal, were one of the most romantic things I’d ever seen. It may be completely innocent compared to more recent fare, but as love stories go, it’s hard to beat

Bright Young Things

Based on another Evelyn Waugh novel, Vile Bodies, this fabulous film was directed by the equally fabulous Stephen Fry. While it shows the outrageous decadence of the young and wealthy in the 1920s, and the relative freedom for gay men of that class, there is also a very touching sadness behind the glitz and glamour. Well worth a watch if you missed it first time round.

Jeeves and Wooster

This affectionate retelling of PG Wodehouse’s stories is one of my favourite TV series ever. Stephen Fry stars this time, as the imperturbable valet Jeeves, while Hugh Laurie is his endearingly clueless boss, Bertie Wooster. It goes into fantastic detail in creating the 1920s both in England and the States, and while most of it is set in a world of privilege and is extremely funny, it doesn’t shirk away from some of the darker sides of the decade.

Downton Abbey

I know it’s not exactly an adaption, but Downton Abbey was undoubtedly a phenomenon. It may have flown through the decades at breakneck speed, but it certainly gave us a taste of what life might have been like in the 1920s—the music, the clothes, the social etiquette—for the wealthy and those that worked for them. And it gave us the charming, if scheming Thomas, who sadly never did find the man of his dreams. But as there are rumours of a Downton Abbey movie, you never know…

Strokes on a Canvas is now available at Amazon.

Blurb

London, 1924. Bank clerk Evan Calver is enjoying a quiet pint and notices a man smiling at him across the bar. While the Rose and Crown isn’t that kind of pub, Evan thinks his luck might be in, and he narrowly escapes humiliation when he realises the man is smiling at a friend. Eavesdropping on their conversation, Evan discovers the man is named Milo Halstead and served as an army captain during the war.

The next day Evan goes to the British Museum, where he bumps into Milo again. This time Milo introduces himself, explaining he’s an art teacher and would like to paint Evan’s portrait for a competition. Evan can’t believe an upper-class artist would want to paint the son of a miner, but he agrees to sit for Milo. Their acquaintance blossoms into friendship, and Evan hopes it might become more, but when a dense smog descends over the city, their future is as unclear as the London sky.

Excerpt

On the opposite side of the cabinet, a man was gazing intently at Evan’s favourite amphora. Evan doubted he was having the same thoughts as himself as he scrutinized the naked athletes, but he seemed transfixed by its sporting design. The dark-haired man was wearing a brown pinstripe suit, the kind seen in newspaper photographs of famous actors and royalty, and which Evan could never hope to afford. The stranger looked born to wear his stylish attire, his confident posture showing the suit’s fine cut to full advantage. Then he raised his eyes, and Evan saw the man was not a total stranger. His hair was smooth with brilliantine, and he wasn’t wearing his gold-rimmed glasses, but he was unmistakably Captain Milo Halstead.

Evan was about to make a hasty exit, when he realised the former soldier was smiling at him through the glass. He may have looked smarter than he had last night, but his smile was still as warm and kind as one of Miss Nightingale’s nurses. Evan didn’t imagine the captain remembered him, but he smiled back, thinking it would be impolite not to, then turned to walk away. To his surprise, Evan’s action was mirrored on the other side of the cabinet as Captain Halstead moved in the same direction. He was still looking at Evan, still smiling, and as they both reached the end of the cabinet, Evan wondered what would happen next. Would words be exchanged? And what would those words be? If Milo remembered him from last night and wasn’t the genial man he seemed, they might hint at blackmail or violence.

Evan was tempted to put his head down and make a run for it, but he didn’t want to attract the attention of the museum guards. He took a breath and steadily stepped forward, only to find Milo standing in his way.

“Excuse me. Could I get past?”

“Of course, but…” Milo’s smile was uncertain now, but he didn’t move from Evan’s path. “It was you I saw in the Rose and Crown last night, wasn’t it?”

Evan lowered his eyes and weighed up his options. He could admit he was at the pub and ask to know what business of Milo’s it was. Or he could deny being anywhere near the place, or even knowing of its existence. The latter seemed the most sensible choice, avoiding all confrontation, but when Evan looked up and saw Milo’s blue eyes sparkling cheerfully back at him, he was overwhelmed by a longing to spend a few seconds more in his company.

With no idea of Milo’s intentions, Evan answered, “That’s right. I saw you there too.”

About the author

logo-h-lewis-fosterH. Lewis-Foster lives in the north of England and has always worked with books in one form or another. As a keen reader of gay fiction, she decided to try writing herself and is now the proud author of several short stories and a debut novel ‘Burning Ashes’.

H. creates characters that are talented, funny and quite often gorgeous, but who all have their faults and vulnerable sides, and she hopes you’ll enjoy reading their stories as much as she loves writing them. H. has also ventured into playwriting and was thrilled to see her first play performed at the Southend Playwriting Festival.

Website: http://hlewisfoster.wix.com/books

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HLewisFoster

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HLewisFoster

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GUEST POST: The Secret Life of Thomas Commons By Brittany Weekley

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To believe the falsehoods 18th century London society told him molded a man of means, seemed to be the life of Thomas Franklin Commons.
Just as the meaninglessness of his everyday life seems inescapable due to an arranged marriage, he meets Wesley Ashfield; a curious and carefree man who forever changes Thomas’s perception of the meaning of life, love, and the struggle to be true to one’s self.

GUEST POST

I started writing from a young age. It all started with journals. I would sit down and spill my feelings and daily activities onto paper. I still enjoy going back to those. It takes me back to where it all began for me as a writer.

When I was 14 years old, I started experimenting with short stories. I’ll be honest with you, they were terrible, but the passion was there. There was room for improvement, and I knew if I kept working at it, I would get there. It would be years before I penned my first novel.

Like many other authors, I did not start with fanfiction. I got my ideas from the people around me and through classic literature. Jane Austen was a big inspiration for me. Since I am a history buff, I decided to put all my focus on historical fiction. I immersed myself in classic literature and period dramas. This is where my characters Thomas and Wesley came from.

I consider a lot of my work controversial in a way. I write deep, human stories that are emotionally driven and cover topics that are touchy for some readers. I try not to leave anything out.  I want my readers to view the things I write about from a different perspective. For example, my novel is about two gay men living in the 18th century who have a hidden romantic relationship with one another, but they are eventually caught and arrested for sodomy. During this time in my novel, being gay was a crime. I wanted to shed some light on what it may have been like for someone in their position. Although this story is romantic, it’s also tragic. Readers are faced with reality rather than a fairytale ending. How the ending of my book is perceived depends upon the reader.

Inspiration comes in many forms. As authors, it all depends on what we’re writing about and what works for us. For me, I get my inspiration through music. If I can find that one song that connects me to my characters, I can begin my journey with them. It’s like starting a new relationship. The first draft is when I really get to know them. The second draft with when we start to become friends. Anything after that, I consider them family. However, there have been times when I just couldn’t click with my characters.  That’s when I start something new.

Being an author is hard work. I always say that if an author is out to make money and become famous, they’re in for a huge disappointment. The best part of being an author is when you can reach your readers on an emotional level, and for that to happen, you have to be passionate about your story. Only then is it truly rewarding.

BUY LINKS

The Secret Life of Thomas Commons is now available through print on demand.

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Amazon

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You can reach Brittany on Twitter and through her website!

Twitter: @BBWeekley

Website: http://brittanyweekleyauthor.weebly.com/

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RETRO TOUR AND GIVEAWAY! Tournament of Shadows by SA Meade

Retro Review Tour & Giveaway 

 SA Meade – Tournament of Shadows

Author: SA Meade
 
 
Length: 55,000 words
 
Blurb
 
In a shadowy game where defeat can mean death, a deal with the enemy can change things forever.
 
In 1842, Captain Gabriel O’Riordan of the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars is sent on a
mission to Bukhara. His task—to try to free two of his compatriots from the clutches of a mentally unstable Emir. On his way, he encounters Valentin Yakolev, an officer in the Russian Army, who is also on a mission—to persuade the Emir that an alliance with Russia would be in his best interest. Gabriel, disguised as a holy man, is not happy to be the object of Yakolev’s intense scrutiny. After all, he’s working for the opposing team in the Great Game being played between their two nations. When Gabriel realises that his mission is little more than a forlorn hope, a game he has no chance of winning, he’s desperate enough to turn to Valentin for help and offers him anything in return. What he doesn’t expect is to have his plans to return to Calcutta scuppered by events.
 
Instead, he and Valentin flee north, fighting off bandits, their desire for each other and the hardship of desert travel. Their travails bring them closer together until a secret from Valentin’s past tears them apart.
 
Can they set the past behind them and move on together?
 
Author Bio
 
S.A. Laybourn lives in Wiltshire with her son and two needy cats. She works as a freelance editor and sometimes writes stories. Her alter-ego S.A. Meade writes gay romance. She loves cooking, reading, gin and tonic and the occasional glass of wine. She is not terribly domesticated and has trouble finding things that she thought she’d put in a ‘safe’ place.
 
You can find her books at:

And follow her on:

 
 
 
 

 Giveaway!

Click the image below to win two of S.A. Meade’s backlist stories.

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GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY: Lavender in Bloom by Lily Velez

NEW RELEASE!

LAVENDER IN BLOOM BY LILY VELEZ

(+ a $100 Amazon GiFt Card Giveaway!)

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Lavender in Bloom by: Lily Velez
Publication Date: July 25th, 2016
Genre: Historical, Coming-of-Age Romance

It’s the year 1802 in Avignon, France

Noah Capet has spent most of his young life living simple and unvaried days in the hushed countryside of southern France. Quiet, reserved, and diffident, his preference for existing is to do so in solitude, keeping to himself both in town and on his family’s farm—a predilection that’s altogether disrupted when a newcomer to town by the name of Jeremie Perreault begins an unremitting quest to befriend him.

Jeremie is everything Noah is not. Charismatic and gregarious, he leaves a trail of charmed admirers in his wake wherever he goes. Expressive and idealistic, he talks without end about his deep love for old books and his spirited dream to one day travel the world on a literary pilgrimage.

Over the course of a single summer, the two form an unlikely friendship, but just as quickly as it develops, it soon entirely dissolves as they’re forced to face the truth of what has unexpectedly emerged between them.

Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.

-> PURCHASE ON AMAZON HERE <-

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What was the inspiration behind Lavender in Bloom and how did you further develop it?

Lavender in Bloom started off as a simple 500-word story back in July 2013.

At this point, I’d recently developed my character Noah Capet. While doing some casual free-writing for Noah to learn more about his background and personality, this tale of forbidden romance simply emerged out of nowhere. I didn’t plan it in the least.

By that I mean I let my characters run the show. It’s kind of like that William Faulkner quote: “It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.”

In this case, it was Noah who was moving and I was just along for the ride. The story was almost more of an afterthought in its initial stages. But as time passed, whenever I’d write from Noah’s perspective, I’d find that he’d keep wanting to go back to it. Clearly there was something there that needed to be cracked open.

In the year that followed, I’d go on to write tens of thousands of words for Noah and Jeremie, fleshing out their world more, their personality, the nature of their relationship, etc. At the end of 2014, I even wrote an 18,000-word ‘novelette’ to include in a collection of short stories I’d meant to publish (which I never did). Mostly because the story just didn’t seem to be in its right incarnation.

Another year passed, and with it I wrote more and more scenes between Noah and Jeremie. At this point, their story was haunting me. In fact, I often ‘joked’ to a friend that I felt as if it were a past life of mine nagging at me to be written because I just felt so emotionally connected to the story! It was New Year’s Eve when I realized that if I didn’t just write it all down and put it into the world, it would haunt me for the rest of my life.

So, on April 18th of this year, I started to write a manuscript. I wrote it in 21 days (it helped to have years’ worth of scenes, back-story, and development already in my head!), and then spent 7 weeks editing it so that I could publish it just in time for a late July release. I really wanted it to debut in July since it was in the month of July that the original 500-word story was first written, so it’d be like it came around full circle. 🙂

And now, here we are! What a journey it’s been!

Giveaway

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Author Bio:

Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at http://www.lilyvelezbooks.com.

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

 

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GUEST POST: Hector and Anatolius by Vanessa Mulberry

Today we welcome Vanessa Mulberry who is celebrating the release of Hector and Anatolius, the first book in her Trojan Men series.

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Title: Hector and Anatolius
Author: Vanessa Mulberry
Series: Trojan Men #1
Release Date: May 9th 2016
Genre: Historical MM Romance, Paranormal

Guest Post – Why I’m drawn to MM Historical Romance

Why indeed?  There’s nothing in historical romance that you can’t get in other sections of the romance genre.  All romance can take you to different cultures and introduce you to people with lives nothing like your own. Contemporary, sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal… they’re all equally capable of transporting you to another world.

But there’s one thing you’re always guaranteed in a historical. I’m going to sound terribly shallow, but there’s something about a man in a pair of breeches, or a doublet, or a chiton.  I’m quite partial to any period dress to tell the truth. And I do like it if he lives in a flash manor house, castle or palace, though that’s not always a given.

My debut novel, Hector and Anatolius, is set in ancient Troy.  It should probably be called mythological romance instead of historical romance, because of the intervention of the gods.  Little is known about what life was like there, so I’ve written my novel through the prism of later Greek eyes as the mythology of the city came to us initially.  It has forever been described as a magnificent place, populated by brave, and often handsome, heroes.  That attracted me to the idea of setting a novel there before I had even thought of the story.

So, what draws me to MM historical romance? I like the clothes, and the settings, and the way they talk to each other, which is often so very formal.  I like a Regency Gentleman every bit as much as a Trojan Prince, and so I think it’s fitting that I end with a quote from Miss Bennett on when she fell in love with Mr. Darcy:

“I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.”

Me too, Lizzy. Me too.

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BLURB
Hector has been a dutiful son and prince his whole life until his father orders him to marry. The Trojan was meant for no woman, and when he meets a handsome youth named Anatolius, he is more determined than ever to rule one day with a man at his side. However, after he is betrayed by his brother Paris his fate seems unavoidable. Hector needs all the courage he has learned in battle, and the assistance of a goddess, to win the hand of the man he loves.

This is a gay (MM) romance novel set prior to the events of the Trojan War. It depicts romantic and sexual love between two men in a broadly tolerant society.

Hector and Anatolius is the debut novel of British author, Vanessa Mulberry.

Goodreads Links: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29759539-hector-and-anatolius?from_new_nav=true&ac=1&from_search=true

Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

EXCERPT

After the meal, Hector drew the lad to him, and they relaxed on the shared kline to talk about their histories and their beliefs. Both drank strong wine, but Hector watched Anatolius carefully, mindful of its dizzying effects. “Just a little,” he said when Anatolius asked one of the servants for a third cup. “I won’t touch you if you’re sotted, and you will have to wait another day for my attentions.”
Anatolius appeared embarrassed, but when the servant stepped away, he whispered, “Thank you. I don’t want to wait.”
When the conversation lulled, Hector scooped his guest up and carried him from the room.
Anatolius put his arm around Hector’s neck and rested his head against the prince’s powerful shoulder. He laughed and said, “I will walk to your bedroom if that is where we are going. I’ll run if you like.”
Hector strengthened his grip, pulling him a little closer. “You may race me there another day, but tonight you go in my arms.”
“Don’t you think you can beat me?”
“It wouldn’t worry me if you did. I carry you because I want it to be known I will be your man tonight. Tomorrow I will follow you to the bed if you wish.”
Soon they reached his private apartment. It was a magnificent space: large and airy, with room on one side for cozier entertaining than the andron permitted and a soft bed for afterward. It led onto a terrace, which looked down over the city, and, as the night was warm, the imposing doors to it stood open, their silver casings glowing faintly in the moonlight.
The lamps were already lit, illuminating murals dedicated to Eros. Hector set Anatolius down and saw the lad’s eyes widen as he looked around at the walls. “Gods,” he murmured, “is this a shrine or a bedchamber?”
Hector had worshiped a lot of men in that room, but he didn’t think the pictures so unusual. He reminded himself that Anatolius hadn’t been in as many beds as him.
“Do you want to pray? I don’t usually conduct rituals in the palace, but we can if you like.”
Anatolius continued to stare at the walls. Hector saw his eyes rest on an image of two men making love. One was bent over, being penetrated by the other who kissed his back.
“Do you think we should? I want my first time to be pleasurable.”
“You needn’t ask Eros for such a blessing. I will ensure that.”

About the Author
Vanessa Mulberry lives in England with her husband and daughter. Her achievements are numerous and of no interest to anyone reading this. Her hobbies include cheap alcohol and romance novels. Growing up, Vanessa dreamed of becoming Mr. T, but the position has not yet fallen vacant. She has settled for being a romance novelist instead.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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GUEST POST: Morticia Knight

Today we welcome author Morticia Knight to share with us the experience of writing two series at once.

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The Hampton Road Club (book #5)

Writing Different Series at the Same Time

I typically have at least two series going at the same time. Right now, I have three, Sin City Uniforms, The Hampton Road Club and Kiss of Leather. They’re a contemporary, Men in Uniform, a 1920’s BDSM and contemporary BDSM, respectively. Some people have asked me why I don’t just do one series at a time before moving on to the next one. I’ve only done that once, and it was with the first four books of the Gin & Jazz series. Why? Because they had cliffhangers and, truthfully, they were pretty evil ones!

But I haven’t done that since then because I have too many ideas running through my head (and written down in folders on my computer), and having two or more series going at once satisfies the need in me to get more of those stories out. (Spoiler alert: The next Sin City will be the last, then I start something completely new.) It also, in my opinion, helps to keep each installment of a series fresher. With little breaks in-between, there’s more of an urgency on my part to get back to that world. However, that can have its down sides too.

Since I have two contemporary and one historical series going, I end up with my historical always sandwiched between one or more contemporaries. Going back to a series that takes place in another time is jarring. All the slang, surroundings and actions restricted to the era I’m writing in have to be relearned in many ways. Sometimes, it’s more a matter of capturing the vibe of that time period and making sure that it flawlessly matches the rest of the series. That would be true with any series, but immersing myself in the 1920’s in this case, requires me to throw myself into a completely different zone while I’m writing.

Begging to Serve (The Hampton Road Club 5) is the latest in that series, and was particularly difficult for me this time around for a couple reasons. For one thing, as I’m on the fifth book now, all of the previous characters – Saul, the club owner in particular – have to remain consistent. I’ve been writing Saul for two years now, because he showed up originally in Gin & Jazz before he spun off into a series of his own. Also, timelines of events had to be rechecked, and all the details had to be re-verified before I could begin. The biggest challenge though, was the fact that I haven’t written anything in this series for almost a year. Book 4, Mastering Love, came out last May.

Yes, I did have a hard time getting revved back up and placing myself squarely in the 1920’s. However, I was excited to jump in and I think the break was well worth the result. Not only does Saul come back, but Masters Ned and Aaron played a significant part in this one as well. I also introduced a brand-new character, Roddy. He’s young, feisty and anxious to learn what it takes to be a Dominant man. Thankfully, Saul and Aaron are more than happy to show him, which in turn, makes sweet submissive Colin a very happy boy. *wink*

Excerpt from Begging to Serve

Colin couldn’t stop staring at the handsome man that Aaron and Ned had brought with them back to the club. Was Roddy a Sir or Master? He certainly seemed like one. But he was definitely new to Hampton Road – that much was clear. Colin swallowed hard as an awful revelation came to him. If Roddy was really going to become a part of Hampton Road, he’d have to have his picture taken with naked men so he couldn’t go to the police and tell on them all. As far as he knew, he was the only who hadn’t been made to do that. Saul had said it could wait until he found his right man. Colin scowled, narrowing his eyes at the horrible thought that it wouldn’t stop Roddy from having to get his picture taken. He glanced up to see a startled expression on Ned’s face right as they all reached the study.

“Colin?”

Heat filled his face. He didn’t want the nice Master to think he was mad at him or any of the other men. “Yes, Sir?”

Ned had opened the door and gestured for him to go inside along with the others. “Why are you upset?”

His grandmother had taught him not to lie, but he never would anyway. Dishonest men were mean and unloved. The ones who’d taken his grandmother’s house away from him after she’d died were liars and cheats. He refused to be like them.

“I don’t want Master Roddy having his photograph taken with any naked submissives.”

Everyone stopped where they were, the room filled with silence.

Aaron finally spoke, his brow furrowed in seeming bewilderment. “Oh? I thought you wanted him to stay.”

Colin inhaled a deep breath. Sometimes things in life were hard to do, like when he’d had to work at the bathhouse and fend off the advances of horny men. But this was something important to him personally, and he wouldn’t miss out on it because he was embarrassed. Roddy was more than young and handsome. He seemed like a happy, nice man who’d been concerned over him even though they’d just met. Colin could picture himself being alone with Roddy and not being scared.

“I do, Master Aaron, Master Ned.” He locked eyes with a visibly amused Roddy. “And I know it’s none of my business, but I like Master Roddy and I don’t want any man touching him or him touching them either.”

Roddy broke out in a lop-sided grin, holding his gaze before switching it to Ned and Aaron, both standing near Colin. None of them had moved very far into the study yet.

“Well, gentlemen. I’m agreeable to Colin posing with me if you are.”

“Uh…” Colin twisted his hands, biting his lip. The heat under his skin burned hotter. What have I gone and done?

There was another silence as both Ned and Aaron appeared pained, exchanging glances with each other.

“Is there a problem?” Roddy still seemed quite pleased with the turn of events. “It sounded to me as if he was unattached.”

Aaron finally cleared his throat, running a hand across the top of his head. “It’s not that, it’s just that…” Aaron glanced over at him. “Colin? Would you be more comfortable waiting downstairs while we discuss this with Roddy?”

Colin pressed his lips together and clenched his fists, anger rising up to replace his embarrassment. “No, Sir. I wouldn’t. This concerns me and I think I have a right to make my own decisions. Forgive me, Sir. But I’m not a child.”

Javier entered with the doctor, appearing as if he was about to speak. Instead, he halted in the doorway, confusion passing over his face. At last, he turned to Aaron.

“Sir?”

Ned let out a long sigh as he moved to the bar cart. “Gin, anyone?”

Aaron rolled his eyes then nodded. “I can’t believe it, but I’m going to have to say yes.” Aaron regarded Javier. “Is Saul here this evening?”

Colin frowned. That’s not fair. He couldn’t deny Saul anything and he was sure Aaron knew that.

“He’s in the library working on some correspondence. Should I fetch him?”

“Dear God, yes.”

Colin glanced over at Roddy, who’d taken a seat on a red velvet settee. Roddy winked and patted the cushion next to him. Colin scurried over before Aaron or anyone else could say anything. He plopped down next to Roddy. It was difficult not to sit too close to him, because even though he was dirty and mussed up, Roddy smelled so good and manly.

I’ve been almost naked here before. Maybe all the way naked would be okay?

Buy Links

Available 22nd March

Amazon US

Pride Publishing

About the Author

Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little heart’s desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share – her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.

Pride Publishing Author Page: https://www.pride-publishing.com/index.php?route=product/author/info&author_id=229

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorticiaKnight

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authormorticiaknight?fref=nf

Website/blog: http://www.morticiaknight.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/morticiaknight/

 

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The Shining Ones by Dusk Peterson

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The Shining Ones

by Dusk Peterson

Series: The Eternal Dungeon

This is a side story to the series.

Blurb:

“He was skilled by now at making innocuous remarks in the presence of the Shining Ones. Nobody had even guessed that he knew what they were.”

The Eternal Dungeon is filled with prisoners who shine like the sun.

No one knows this except Barrett Boyd, a guard notorious for having survived a disciplinary punishment that should have killed him. He is also notorious for his rebellion against the authorities of the royal prison. At a pivotal time in the Eternal Dungeon’s history, when abusive practices of the past may finally be abolished, Barrett finds himself drawn to the mystery of a younger guard, Clifford Crofford, who claims that he and Barrett are love-mates.

Barrett has no memory of this. He has no memory of anything before his punishment. What does the past matter, compared to Barrett’s determination to protect the prisoners? But Barrett cannot ignore his bond with Clifford, and the closer that Barrett comes to Clifford, the more the danger arises that Clifford will question Barrett’s sanity. . . .

This novelette (miniature novel) of disability and love can be read on its own or as a side story in The Eternal Dungeon, an award-winning speculative fiction series set in a nineteenth-century prison where the psychologists wield whips.

The Eternal Dungeon series is part of Turn-of-the-Century Toughs, a cycle of alternate history series (Dark Light, Waterman, Life Prison, Commando, Michael’s House, and The Eternal Dungeon) about disreputable men on the margins of society, and the men and women who care for them. Set between the 1880s and the 1910s, the novels and stories take place in an alternative version of America that was settled by inhabitants of the Old World in ancient times. One of the series in the cycle, Waterman, combines elements of the 1910s with retrofuturistic imagery from the 1960s.

Excerpt:

“I don’t want you to mistake why you’re here.”

Clifford quickly shook his head. “No, sir. I know you’re not inviting me into your bed. But we can be work partners, can’t we? To be able to work with you again – to help you fight to protect the prisoners against abuse . . .” He took a deep breath and said more steadily, “I want that more than anything else in my life.”

It would have been easier if he could have told Clifford the truth. If he could have said, “Everyone believes that my brain was changed, and it’s true. Ever since this dungeon’s High Seeker nearly beat me to death for shielding a prisoner against his cruelty, I’ve seen the prisoners here in a way that no one else sees them. I’ve seen the light that shines within them, as bright as a sun. I’ve seen how wondrous they are, and how fragile at the same time. I’ve dedicated my life to serving them in the only way I know how. . . . And I am dedicated to you as well. You are the only one, besides the prisoners, who shines with that deep, bold light. I am your servant, now and forever. I’ll give you anything that I can – anything that will please you. Anything but the love of a love-mate, for if I touched you for more than a few seconds, I would die of the exquisite pain.'”

He had always possessed enough sense not to say that to Clifford or anyone else. Always, from the first few weeks of his awakening.

Buy the book

http://duskpeterson.com/darkfics/#shiningones

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Meet the author:

Honored in the Rainbow Awards, Dusk Peterson writes historical speculative fiction: alternate history, historical fantasy, and retrofuture science fiction, including lgbtq novels, original slash, and other types of diverse fiction. Suspense plays an important role in many of the tales; the conflict in those tales is both external and internal. Peterson’s stories are often placed in dark settings, such as prisons or wartime locations. The mood of the stories, however, is not one of unrelieved gloominess; romance, friendship, family affection, and faithful service are recurring themes. Visit duskpeterson.com for e-books and free fiction.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/loveindarksettings

Twitter: http://twitter.com/duskpeterson

Other: http://duskpeterson.com

Other: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2072858.Dusk_Peterson

Other: http://duskpeterson.tumblr.com

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Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, The Hat Party, Bayou Book Junkie, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, MM Good Book Reviews, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Inked Rainbow Reads, Book Lovers 4Ever, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Molly Lolly, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Anna Butler Fiction, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Multitasking Mommas, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Alpha Book Club, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Unquietly Me, V’s Reads, Up All Night, Read All Day,

Carly’s Book Reviews, Full Moon Dreaming, Velvet Panic, Iyana Jenna, A.M. Leibowitz, Louise Lyons, Foxylutely Book Reviews

 

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EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: The Innocent Auction by Victoria Sue

The Innocent Auction. Cover.

Author Name: Victoria Sue

Book Name: The Innocent Auction

Release Date: December 28, 2015

Blurb:

London 1810.

Their love was a death sentence.

Deacon, Viscount Carlisle, was aware of the slums and gin-lanes of London. Just as he was aware of the underground traffic that furnished the brothels and bath houses with human innocents. He was also aware that the so-called justice system would hang the accused without much of an attempt at a defense, unless the unfortunate had deep pockets to pay for it.

He just hadn’t expected to be directly involved in any of it.
It started with a plea for help and ended with forbidden love, the love between a Viscount and a stable-boy. An impossible love and a guarantee of the hangman’s noose.

Will Deacon fight for Tom? Will he risk the death sentence and take that fight from the stately halls of his English mansion to the horrors of Newgate Prison and the slums of London?

Or will he realize that if he doesn’t, death will be a welcome end to the loneliness of the sentence he is already living?

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