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INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Something Like a Love Song by Becca Burton

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Blurb

One tragic night left Landon and Dylan’s dreams of happily ever after in apparent ruin. Forced to overcome physical and emotional trauma, the young lovers turn to a network of family and friends as they attempt to rebuild their lives. But can their one constant—their love—survive the changes both undergo on the road to recovery?

Interview

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Becca Burton, author of Something Like a Love Song. Hi Becca, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Thank you for having me. Something Like a Love Song is my first novel, a story about two long time boyfriends who find themselves facing a life changing tragedy and have to find the courage and love for each other to fight through.

While this is my first novel, I have posted many stories online, and have been writing ever since I learned how. I currently work as a nurse in a Neonatal ICU, and medicine has been a big interest in my life, and always seems to find a way into my writing. I am passionate about diverse, LGBTQ fiction, and am very excited to contribute to this genre.

What is the most satisfying thing about being a writer?

This probably sounds cheesy, but I think the most satisfying thing about being a writer is getting to do something that I really love doing. Writing has been a passion of mine since I was very young, and the fact that I’m able to do it and share it with people who can enjoy it and maybe gain something from it is incredibly satisfying. And slightly hard to believe I’m actually doing it!

Do your characters ever take over your writing and make the story go somewhere you hadn’t originally planned?

Oh, all the time! Sometimes I’ll have the best intentions for a scene, or have written down an outline for how something is going to go and then a character decides “nope, we’re not doing it that way,” and the scene completely derails. It happens more times then I’d like to admit! Usually for the better, though sometimes I’ll have to reign them back in for plot purposes.

How did you celebrate the release of your book?

As I’m writing this, it hasn’t come out yet, but I plan on celebrating with lots of wine and maybe some expensive chocolate. Mostly, the fact that I’m publishing my first novel is a reward enough as it is!

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

As you may know, the book started as a story I posted online over the course of a few years. The general idea was something I’d been interested in writing for awhile – I’d worked with individuals with brain injuries, and was in nursing school at the time, so it was something that was on my mind. I was fascinated by the subject, and I realized that so many stories that deal with hate crimes and brain injuries, the event happened at the end of the story, as the climax. I wanted to explore what happens after – the road to recovery and how a couple would come back from something so traumatic. I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, and so this story came of that.

Have you ever written naked?

Ha! I honestly can’t say that I ever have. On hot summer days I’ve written in nearly-naked summer clothes, but that’s probably as close as I’ve gotten. Maybe it’s something to add to my t0-do list?

Thanks for joining us and for sharing some of your writing experience. Best of luck with the release! 🙂

Excerpt

Landon’s bed is in the center of the room, and Dylan’s heart begins to pound in his chest as he takes a step forward, hesitates. Landon looks so small, tucked into the middle of the bed, and everything about the scene is unnatural and wrong. His head is wrapped with thick bandages, for which Dylan is grateful—he isn’t sure he could handle that. Just the thought of what’s happening to Landon, to his fiancé, is enough to make his throat constrict, his chest tighten.

A ventilator tube parts Landon’s lips, and his chest rises and falls in equal, rhythmic whirrs. IVs line his arms; the wires snake from under his hospital gown. His freckles stand out starkly against the unnatural pale hue of his skin, except where the deep purple of a bruise creeps from under the bandages and swells down to his left cheekbone. It seems impossible that only hours ago they were laughing in the park, holding hands and eating ice cream from the small corner stand; it’s like some distant memory, a fading dream. But the ache deep in Dylan’s chest, the way his stomach is knotting itself, the too-clean smell of the hospital burning his nose, Landon’s face, battered and bruised—Dylan can’t look away—all this is too real to be a dream, no matter how badly Dylan wants to just wake up, wants all this to go away and everything to be okay.

“You can touch him, if you want,” Brittany says, her voice soft. “We need to make sure to reduce extra stimulation, to allow his brain time to recover, but it’s okay to hold his hand.”

Dylan looks up at her. Her smile is kind and understanding. Then he turns back to Landon and takes a small step forward. Landon’s hand is right there, resting above the covers, and Dylan doesn’t know why he’s so nervous; he’s held Landon’s hand more times than he could begin to count. But, surrounded by machines and tubes, Landon has never looked so utterly fragile, as if he could shatter at the lightest touch.

“It’s okay,” Brittany says from behind him, and Dylan squeezes his eyes shut, tears pricking behind his eyelids. “You won’t hurt him.”

Landon’s skin is cold; his hand is unnaturally still. Even in sleep Landon’s hand would always find Dylan’s, their fingers would curl together like a reflex.

Not now.

“I’m so sorry,” Dylan whispers, holding on a little tighter. “I’m so…”

His voice catches, the words bottling up in his throat, unable to escape. Landon’s chest rises, falls, in, out.

In, out.

“You’re so hurt, and it’s my fault,” Dylan manages, his voice barely audible above the machines keeping Landon alive. “It’s all my fault and I’m…” He exhales slowly. “I’m so sorry.”

He swipes his thumb across Landon’s knuckles, over the dips and grooves, and vaguely notes that Brittany has left them alone. He sinks down into the small chair beside the bed, not letting go of Landon’s hand.

“You need to fight, okay? I need you here, with me, and I can’t…” There’s nothing left inside him except an empty, hollow feeling and the knowledge that Landon can’t hear him. Landon’s engagement ring is in a dish on a table beside the bed, along with his watch, and Dylan fishes them out and tucks them into his pocket.

Buy Links

IP Web Store: store.interludepress.com

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NV3qOD

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/582321

Apple iBook Store: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/something-like-a-love-song/id1046777707?mt=11

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Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: Grand Prize: $25.00 Interlude Press Gift Card. First Prize: 5 e-copies of ‘Something Like a Love Song’

Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter

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About the Author

Becca Burton penned her first Nancy Drew fan fiction at the age of nine and has been an avid writer ever since. Currently working as a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse, Becca is a recent Oregon transplant from the Midwest. Becca has a weakness for coffee, the smell of old books, rainy days and her cat, Luna. Something Like a Love Song is her first novel.

Where to find the author:

Facebook: facebook.com/missbeccaburton;

Twitter: @missbeccaburton

Tour Dates & Stops

BannerTemplate19-Nov: Lee Brazil, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My, Velvet Panic, It’s Raining Men, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, Hearts on Fire

20-Nov: Three Books Over The Rainbow, Mikky’s World of Books, Happily Ever Chapter

23-Nov: Jessie G. Books, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Michael Mandrake, Boys on the Brink Reviews

24-Nov: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Divine Magazine

25-Nov: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews

26-Nov: Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog

27-Nov: Alpha Book Club, The Blogger Girls, Elaine White

30-Nov: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Dawn’s Reading Nook, QUEERcentric Books, Love Bytes

1-Dec: My Fiction Nook, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

2-Dec: Gay Media Reviews, Just Love Romance, Inked Rainbow Reads, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy

 

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT, GIVEAWAY and CHARACTER INTERVIEW! Tainted Heart by Melissa Graves

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Author Name: Melissa Graves

Book Name: Tainted Heart

Series: Mi Corazón Sangrante Series

Book: Two

Series should be read in order

Release Date: November 5, 2015

Publisher: Interlude Press

Cover Artist: RJ Shepherd, Buckeyegrrl Designs

Blurb:

A year after meeting and falling for the young, mysterious vampire, Dr. Brian Preston is now living and working side-by-side with Kyle Hayes for the agency guiding vampire-human relations at a secret underground facility. As the couple adapts to the demands of Brian’s career tending to vampires, Kyle’s return to school and the needs of their evolving relationship, a dangerous conspiracy puts everyone they know and everything they have been working for in danger. The sequel to 2014’s Bleeding Heart, Tainted Heart is Book Two in the Mi Corazón Sangrante series.

Pages or Words: 294 pages

Categories: Erotica, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Thriller, Urban Fantasy

 

Excerpt:

When it gets dark, he texts Brian that he’s going to be out late, and avails himself of not one but three vampire-human nightclubs set along a dense strip of Chicago nightlife. Going alone to places like this always attracts immediate attention, and he isn’t surprised when he has to pry both humans and vampires off of himself. But he doesn’t mind—the blood from the center is humming in his veins, and that buzz takes on a new dimension every time that he swallows a thimbleful of blood from a donor, which he does at least a dozen times over the course of the evening. When he’s more relaxed, he allows bodies against his own, dancing with strangers until strobe lights become normal and everything outside is too dim and still.

The blood changes the world around him. Every color, every sound and every source of light takes on a life of its own.

He loses track of how many donors he pays. All he knows is he’s spent all of the pocket money that Brian gave him for the weekend.

He feels like a bloated tick. He’s been away too long. Brian. He has to get back to Brian.

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Character Interview with Kyle Hayes!

 

  • What’s your job like?

I’m pretty spoiled, I guess. Feeding for pay is a little like being a human who is paid to eat at restaurants. Except I guess what I do is less judgmental, in the end. No, seriously—it’s a win/win. My hunger is sated and so is theirs. I get to give them release and pleasure in a safe environment without crossing a line. They get to know me, I get to know them, just enough to make the exchange casually intimate. The hours are great and my employers are awesome.

  • Would you rather be respected or feared? Why?

Is there a third option? Trying to think of a better way of saying I’d rather be selectively invisible—seen when I want to be, blending into the background when I’m not. I’m working on that. Leftover childhood trauma. But I’m learning how incredible life can be when you allow yourself to make a difference in other people’s lives—and I definitely want to be visible for that.

  • What’s your favorite book?

I’m not going to say Harry Potter because everyone says Harry Potter—though I did read those books, finally, just recently, and yeah, wow. My first year of college I drowned in introductory material, but I loved it because I never really got into reading in high school. I can’t possibly pin down a favorite, and I have to say the nonfiction has caught me more than the fiction. Philosophy in particular.

  • If you could go anywhere, all expenses paid, where would you go?

Europe, particularly the Mediterranean. Vampires have such a rich history all over Europe, but apparently there’s a dense social network there that I’ve been dying to see in person. I’ve never even been outside of America, much less off the continent, so the idea of going anywhere is exciting. Maybe Brian and I will find some free time next year to go.

  • Tell us a bit about yourself.

Oh, god, open-ended self-introspection makes me so awkward. Right now I’m just a young guy trying to figure out what classes he wants to take next semester. I’m thinking about what I should bring Brian for dinner, if he’ll be home from his shift on time, if I need to do laundry, and if I do will I accidentally put a red sock in with the whites and ruin his dress shirts like that one time. He’s so sweet he’ll say he loves pink and wear them to prove his point. I’m a vampire who knows very little about the limits of his own power, who is always hungry and always trying not to be. I’m an actor who dreams of something more.

 

Buy the book:

The IP web store: store.interludepress.com;

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=InterludePress;

Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/978-1-941530-52-8?aff=InterludePress

 

Meet the author:

A veteran writer of fan fiction with thousands of followers, Melissa Graves wrote her first story at age thirteen, and by age sixteen had met her future husband in an online vampire fiction chat room. A fan of science fiction and fantasy, she has a degree in anthropology and a passion for good chocolate, amateur erotica and fan worlds that celebrate diversity. She is mother to two cats.

Bleeding Heart, book one of the Mi Corazón Sangrante series, was her debut novel for Interlude Press.

Where to find the author:

 Connect with Melissa at msmelissagraves.com, on Twitter at twitter.com/msmelissagraves, on Goodreads at goodreads.com/melissagraves and on Facebook at facebook.com/msmelissagraves.

 

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26223006-tainted-heart

 


BadgeTour Dates & Stops:

5-Nov:   Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Mikky’s World of Books

6-Nov:   Because Two Men Are Better Than One, Divine Magazine, Hearts on Fire

9-Nov:   BFD Book Blog, Jessie G. Books, MM Good Book Reviews

10-Nov: The Jena Wade, Bike Book Reviews

11-Nov: TTC Books and More, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Havan Fellows

12-Nov: Unquietly Me, Love Bytes, Molly Lolly

13-Nov: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Up All Night, Read All Day

16-Nov: My Fiction Nook, All I Want and More Books

17-Nov: Prism Book Alliance, Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My

18-Nov: Happily Ever Chapter, Inked Rainbow Reads

 

Rafflecopter Prize: $25 Grand Prize plus five multi-format eBook editions of Tainted Heart

Click the image to enter!
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EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Definitely , Maybe, Yours by Lissa Reed

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Blurb

Seattle-based baker Craig Oliver leads a life that is happily routine: baking cupcakes for an enormous family reunion, managing Sucre Coeur for its frequently absent owner, and closing out his day with a pint at the local pub. He has a kind heart, a knack for pastry, and a weakness for damaged people.

Habitual playboy Alex Scheff is looking to drown his sorrows, but instead discovers that he may have a weakness for Englishmen who carry cookies in their pockets. Can a seemingly incompatible pair find the recipe for love in a relationship they claim is casual?

Excerpt

With a wink, Craig pulls a ten-dollar bill out of his left coat pocket and a carefully bagged almond and raspberry-lemon croissant, Katie’s all-time favorite baked good, out of the right. He passes them across the bar as if he’s James Bond—a very cheeky and cheery sort of 007. “You know I’ll always look out for you. Keep the change.”

Katie squeals and flops across the bar to squeeze him breathless, and her ponytail slaps him in the nose. She bounces off with her treat in hand and Craig shakes his head and pulls long black and red hairs from his face, as he does every time this happens. Katie really is his favorite bartender at The Order of the Garter, hell, his favorite bartender in Seattle and maybe even the world. Much too good to be working at a grotty little pub, fending off unsavory advances and spilled drinks four nights a week; that’s why Craig will bring her any bakery treat she wants, anytime she wants it, until she finally wises up and gets the hell out of this place.

Time for another sip of this excellent, excellent stout: Craig reaches forward. It’s a good Thursday.

Of course, that’s when it takes quite the sharp turn, leaving every Seattle-pub-Thursday Craig’s ever known in the dust.

“Well, aren’t you a hit with the ladies,” comes a surly drawl from his left, startling Craig just as he’s got his fingers around his glass. “Was that a croissant in your pocket, or were you actually happy to see her?”

“Both,” Craig replies, shifting around to lean on his elbow and survey the formerly silent pile of misery hunched over two stools down, the limp guy at the end of the bar Craig had spotted on his way in. He is not unconscious after all, much to Craig’s surprise; judging by the row of empty shot glasses upside down in front of him and the distinct aroma of tequila emanating a good four-foot radius from his person, he should be. Craig winces and turns away as the fumes burn his nose.

“Baked goods. That’s a new one. Never saw anyone use baking to hit on the ladies before.” Mr. Misery sways his head upright, pushes a wild flop of brown hair out of his eyes and swings around until he locates Craig. He blinks. “Does it work?”

Surprised by the color of the eyes meeting his—an unusual shade, gray, not blue-gray or blue, but the gray of a sky covered in early storm clouds—Craig answers without thinking. “I wouldn’t know. I don’t hit on girls. Katie’s my friend, not my type.”

 

Interview

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Lissa Reed, author of Definitely, Maybe, Yours.

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

Hello! Thank you so much for having me today! I’m a writer slash software support analyst living in Texas. By day I’m a walking, talking encyclopedia and by night I’m feverishly interfering in the love lives of my fictional characters! It’s a fun existence. Definitely is my first novel, a story of cautious love, yummy desserts, and learning to believe in yourself.

1) Describe your book to us.

Definitely is the unlikely love story between Craig and Alex, two men who on paper shouldn’t work but find themselves drawn to each other all the same — my favorite sort of thing to write, honestly! Homebody Craig likes his uneventful life just fine, but he also can’t resist an opportunity to help a soul in need, by whatever means necessary. Enter Alex, freshly and harshly dumped, medicating himself with tequila and looking for more things to numb the pain. Much to their surprise, their one night stand ends up being no such thing.
2) Have you ever read something that made you think differently about your genre? Can you tell us what it was?
I grew up reading hetero romance novels, so I had a very set idea of what romance as a genre was—and Emma Holly’s “Ménage” turned that right on its head. It was a book about two men and a woman in a relationship, and one of the men was bisexual. I had never seen such a thing in a romance novel before and it had the effect of opening my mind and leading me to seek out even more “off the beaten path” sorts of books.

3) Tell us about your character’s family life?
Craig is from a large mixed-race family in England – his dad’s family is black, from the British Virgin Islands, and his mother’s family is white and from Scotland. It’s a combination that makes for a mostly close-knit, boisterous family who constantly meddles in each others’ business. Craig’s parents, Moira and Stephen, think of their children’s partners as family members, as adopted extra children, and treat them as such.

Alex has a slightly different family dynamic – he’s an only child, and his parents tend towards workaholism. They love him very much, but weren’t around maybe as much as they could have been. It’s left him uncertain of how to identify love, unaware of when it’s directed at him, and not really into forming attachments.
4) Compare yourself to your main character.

Like Craig, I bake and I’m a giant softie. Like Alex, I’m a bit snarky and anxious.

5) Describe your past week as a type of landscape or a weather forecast.

Lots of high-pressure systems coming in from the north to make things warm and humid for a while, but they’ll blow out shortly and leave the area nice and cool for the rest of the week. Keep an eye out for scattered showers!

 

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Buy Links

Interlude Press

Amazon

Our books are also available for order from the Apple iBookstore, Book Depository and Indiebound.

 

Add to Goodreads.

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: Grand Prize: $25 Interlude Press gift card. Second prize: One of five e-copies of ‘Definitely, Maybe, Yours

Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter

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About the author

Lissa Reed is a writer of fiction, blogs and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her first interest in becoming a writer to the fourth grade, when her teacher gave her the gift of her first composition book. A former newspaper editor, Reed shifted her focus to romance and literary fiction early in her writing career. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is currently working on her new novel, Certainly, Possibly, You—the sequel to Definitely, Maybe, Yours.

Where to find the author:
Connect with Lissa Reed at lissareed.com; on Tumblr at http://lissareedbooks.tumblr.com/; on Twitter @LissaReedBooks; on Goodreads at http://goodreads.com/LissaReedBooks and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorlissareed

Tour Stops

11-Aug

Happily Ever Chapter

Jessie G. Books

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

12-Aug

Prism Book Alliance

MM Good Book Reviews

Mikky’s World of Books

13-Aug

Nephylim

Bayou Book Junkie

14-Aug

Amanda C. Stone

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

Love Bytes

17-Aug

Divine Magazine

Hearts on Fire

18-Aug

Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy

19-Aug

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

20-Aug

Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My

BFD Book Blog

21-Aug

Molly Lolly

Inked Rainbow Reads

24-Aug

My Fiction Nook

Dawn’s Reading Nook

Rainbow Gold Reviews

WillPride

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Interview, excerpt and giveaway: The Luckiest by Mila McWarren

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Release Date: July 7, 2015

Interview

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Mila McWarren, author of The Luckiest.

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

Thanks for having me! I’m a researcher on the East Coast – 40s, married, two kids. This is my first novel, but I started writing years ago online.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than any others? Love? Action? Romance? Tragedy?

I think writing an action scene might literally make me curl up in a ball and die. I skim them in fiction and check out of them in films – they are NOT my cuppa. Love, romance, sex – all of that is much more in my wheelhouse. Most of what I enjoy writing is connections between characters, so action – oh god, if I ever get an idea to write a novel that requires a lot of action scenes, somebody is going to have to talk me down.

What do you think makes a good story?

This is such a hard question for me to answer! I read in a lot of different genres – in addition to romance, I like a lot of sci-fi and murder mysteries – so it’s so different in each ones. If I get really essentialist about it, I guess what I’m really looking for are strong characters who have natural interactions with each other. I think that all of us have a story in us

Do you hear from readers much? What do they say?

It’s release day, so not yet! Most of what I have heard from people about the book so far has to do with the cover, which is totally fair because have you seen that cover? It’s absolutely gorgeous, and the book design inside is equally beautiful. I’m so pleased and excited that I hope the whole thing makes a beautiful package. I think that a lot of people are also intrigued about why I set the book in Texas, and so that’s got me a little nervous. The location is near to my heart and I spent a fair amount of time doing research besides, so I hope people are happy with it.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Well, this is my first book, and it’s definitely my favorite! I’m taking some time to just let myself be quiet (and focus on the job that pays all the bills) for a while, but I can’t imagine that there won’t be another one after this. I’m toying with moving a little younger in my focus and trying some YA for the next go-round, so maybe that will end up being my favorite!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I work a lot, and I actually love my job, so that’s not quite as depressing as it sounds. J When I’m not working and not writing, I mostly want some brain quiet time, so there’s a lot of television and knitting in my life. I also like to cook – I find working with my hands really restful in comparison to the rest of my life. It’s very meditative.

This was fun! Thanks for having me today!

Blurb

When New York-based memoirist Aaron Wilkinson gathers with his high school friends to marry off two of their own, he is forced to spend a week with Nik, the boy who broke his heart.

As they settle into the Texas beach house where the nuptials will be performed, Nik quickly makes his intentions clear: he wants Aaron back. “He’s coming hard, baby,” a friend warns, setting the tone for a week of transition where Aaron and Nik must decide if they are playing for keeps.

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Excerpt

Aaron finishes the song and Stephanie snatches the mic out of his hand, crooks her finger at Nik and launches them into a reprise of their performance of “Dancing on My Own” from the homecoming weekend they all spent here at the house back in senior year. Stephanie still has questionable rhythm and tragic pitch—she loves to sing, which is why they have a karaoke machine in this house, but it’s one thing she will admit she doesn’t have much of a gift for—but there’s a reason Nik majored in music at The University of Texas, and his voice has come a long way.

Somehow, this deliberate throwback to a memory that was never anything but happy seems different than what Aaron has just done. He sits on the sofa, flanked by Alex and Jasmine, hating them both a little for participating in it even while he smiles. Nik dances—how can you not, with this song—but he still watches Aaron, gives him a little head-tilt during the chorus, and it’s charming and devastating and infuriating.

Jasmine leans to murmur, “Oh, I see how it is.”

“Oh, shut up.”

You might not be desperate, but I’m not sure about him. He’s coming hard, baby.”

Buy Links

store.interludepress.com

http://amzn.to/1JKIeWR

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Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: One $25 Interlude Press gift card. Five e-book copies of ‘The Luckiest’

Click here or on the image to enter the Rafflecopter

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About the Author

Mila McWarren grew up in Texas, but has happily made her home on the East Coast for the last decade. In her day job she works as a social scientist and has spent the last 10 years developing her fiction writing online. She lives with her husband and their two kids. When she isn’t using working, writing, or hanging out with her family, she likes knitting and watching television, because they go together like peanut butter and chocolate, two of her other great loves.

Where to find the author:

Twitter: @milamcwarren

Tumblr: milamcwarren.tumblr.com

Website:  www.milamcwarren.com


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Tour Dates & Stops: July 7 – July 20, 2015

7-Jul

Prism Book Alliance

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

Foxylutely Book Reviews

8-Jul

Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

Nic Starr

Hearts on Fire

9-Jul

MM Good Book Reviews

Mikky’s World of Books

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

10-Jul

Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance

Inked Rainbow Reads

13-Jul

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

Bike Book Reviews

14-Jul

Happily Ever Chapter

Amanda C. Stone

15-Jul

Bayou Book Junkie

BFD Book Blog

16-Jul

Velvet Panic

Chris McHart

Love Bytes

17-Jul

Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My

My Fiction Nook

Full Moon Dreaming

20-Jul

Molly Lolly

Multitasking Mommas

Divine Magazine

Rainbow Gold Reviews

WillPride

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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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Buy Links

Interlude Press web store

Amazon

Independent Bookstores

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Where to find more information:

Facebook: facebook.com/interludepress

Twitter: @duetbooks, @interludepress

Pinterest: pinterest.com/interludepress

Other: duetbooks.com

Other: duetbooks.tumblr.com

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

Bike Book Reviews

Rainbow Gold Reviews

Amanda C. Stone

30-Jun

Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

BFD Book Blog

1-Jul

TTC Books and More

Foxylutely Book Reviews

Bayou Book Junkie

2-Jul

MM Good Book Reviews

Inked Rainbow Reads

3-Jul

Emotion in Motion

Love Bytes

6-Jul

Molly Lolly

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

My Fiction Nook

 WillPride

 

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GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY: Spice by Lilah Suzanne

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Blurb

As writer of the popular “Ask Eros” advice column, Simon Beck has an answer to every relationship question his readers can throw at him. When it comes to his own life, the answers are a little more elusive—until computer troubles introduce him to the newest and cutest member of his company’s IT support team. Simon may be charmed by Benji’s sweet and unassuming manner, but will he find the answer to the one relationship question he has never been able to solve: how to know when he’s met Mr. Right?

Guest Post

I asked Lilah is she’d mind telling us about the inspiration for the story and the journey from concept to publication. And did the final story match the initial idea or did the characters lead the story in a different direction? Here’s what she had to say.

I set out in the beginning with the aim of writing a Rom-Com, so there were particular narrative beats I knew I wanted to hit and a general idea of where the story would go and how it would end. I also decided early on to use Simon’s columns as a touch point in each chapter, so that helped to keep things on track. But other than that, I’m not a very detailed planner. That way I know I have room for the characters to lead the story as they and their journey get fleshed out along the way.

However, I do find that I always have to go back and rewrite the first few chapters, just because I know the characters so much better as the story goes on, and sometimes the character in the first chapter doesn’t match up with the character in the rest of the story. One change that seems small, but ended up having a pretty big impact on Benji’s character, was that in the beginning he had a Captain America tattoo instead of the shirt that he and Simon initially bond over. A few chapters in and it just seemed wildly out of character for Benji as I knew him to have a tattoo. So it became a T-shirt instead. A small thing, but it’s amazing how little details like that really change the landscape of a story: Benji’s T-shirts became so much a part of who he was after that adjustment.

Overall the book is really what I hoped it would be, and part of the reason for that is anticipating that the story will shift and change, and giving it the space to do so, but knowing that I was working towards these particular outlined moments. I think there has to be a balance. It’s exciting to watch characters come to life as I’m writing them. I just don’t let them take over completely! Unless it’s a dog like Walt, and then I let them do whatever they want.

Thanks for sharing, Lilah.

Excerpt

“How about you? Did you always want to be a writer?”

“Yeah. I think I did.” He finally gives up on work completely and closes the laptop. “I mean. I guess what I write about is kind of pointless, but I wanted to be a poet once upon a time, so I guess it could be even more pointless,” he jokes.

Benji’s eyebrows knot. “It’s not. Why would it be pointless?”

Simon gives a humorless laugh. “I mean, I write a sex column for women. Not exactly moving prose or hard-hitting journalism.”

Benji scoots over little on the desk, sitting with his legs so close to where Simon is sitting low in his chair that he can smell Benji’s crisp laundry detergent and citrusy soap. He suddenly has to fight the urge to move a fraction to the left, press his nose to the inside seam of Benji’s jeans and breathe him in.

“You listen to people. You remind them that they’re valuable and worthy of love and respect. How is that not important?” Simon is struck speechless, chest tight and breath caught. Then Benji claps him on the shoulder and hops off the desk. “Come on. Let’s go have lunch.”

Spice600x600BannerBuy Links

Interlude Press Web Store

Amazon

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Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: Grand Prize: $25 Interlude Press Gift Card; Multi-Format eBook Copies of Spice to Five Winners

Click here or the image to enter the Rafflecopter

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About the author

Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the online fan community.

Where to find the author:

www.lilahsuzanne.com

Facebook: Lilah Suzanne

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/lilahsuzanne

Twitter: @lilahsuzanne

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

Tour Dates & Stops

SpiceBanner300x2502-Apr

The Novel Approach

The Hat Party

Because Two Men Are Better Than One

3-Apr

Multitasking Mommas

Bayou Book Junkie

MM Good Book Reviews

6-Apr

Hearts on Fire

The Blogger Girls

Love Bytes

7-Apr

Michael Mandrake

Inked Rainbow Reads

8-Apr

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

Bike Book Reviews

9-Apr

It’s Raining Men

Parker Williams

10-Apr

Kimi-Chan

My Fiction Nook

13-Apr

Velvet Panic

BFD Book Blog

14-Apr

Cate Ashwood

Cathy Brockman Romances

Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves

Amanda C. Stone

15-Apr

Molly Lolly

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

WillPride