author interviews, contemporary fiction, contmep mm romance, m/m romance, mm mystery, mm romantic suspense, romance writers, Uncategorized

Walking the plank today: The Mentor of Lostwood Hall by Jackson Marsh

Jackson Marsh joins PQ today to chat about the newest addition to his loosely connected ‘Mentor’ collection.

Jackson is here today to discuss the concept behind the Mentor books, and what his aim was with Lostwood Hall. I haven’t had a chance to read this yet but can assure you I am very much looking forward to it and will follow up ASAP. I am a huge May-September romance fan and very much believe in the possibility of love at first sight.

Thank you so much for popping over today Jackson, grab a virtual cuppa and let’s talk books!

What a gorgeous cover!

32337007_1714299665317698_5321839086791557120_n

 

About Lostwood Hall:

“A man with a future he can’t accept, and a lad with a past he can’t escape.”

Two men in a storm-battered castle harbouring secrets and hopes unknowingly guide each other to an unexpected friendship that turns to passionate love.

Julian Ford’s life is at a crossroads. Thirty-four, disillusioned with his screenwriting career and cheated by love, he craves the chance of isolation at his rambling home in the Welsh mountains, Lostwood Hall. But when 21-year-old Lee Benson survives a car crash, Julian has no choice but to take him in.

Their pasts collide, bringing a storm of doubts, fears, a jealous ex-lover and a dangerous thug seeking revenge. Is Julian and Lee’s fledgling relationship strong enough to survive? And do they trust each other enough to escape death?

The Mentor of Lostwood Hall is the fourth in Jackson Marsh’s ‘Mentor’ collection of older/younger MM romance.

Jackson Marsh discusses the Mentor collection and Lostwood Hall:

The Mentor of Lostwood Hall is the fourth book in the Mentor collection of older/younger romance novels. These novels are always about a relationship between an older man (usually between 35 and 42) and a younger (between 18 and 22), and they take place in remote locations; an isolated farm, a castle in the mountains, a hillside cabin. The older guy usually has a life crisis to deal with and the younger man is usually secure about being gay but so far unable to come out. Some are love at first sight, others are slow burn and each book usually has at least one sex scene, if not more. They are always happy ever after, or at least, happy for now with a bright future ahead.

In ‘Lostwood Hall’, I wanted to explore the way that some people, when they meet, not only have an instant attraction, but also an instant understanding of each other, there is banter and easy conversation, even during sex, because that’s how it sometimes is. I also like to offer the younger character a romantic experience we’d all like to have; a candlelit dinner, a glittering ballroom with roaring fire, a handsome older, guiding man…

The Mentor books are not an on-going series, each one stands alone, but the concept behind each novel remains the same.

Universal Amazon link: getbook.at/MentorLostwoodHall

More at www.jacksonmarsh.com

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

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jackson-Marsh/e/B077LDT5ZL/

 

 

 

 

author interviews, contemporary fiction, literary fiction, Uncategorized

And now for something a little different…an interview with Matt Potter author of On the Bitch.

On the Bitch front cover for Pirate Queen

Matt Potter joins PQ today to talk about his writing process.
Thanks for joining me from across the globe — or downunder.

On the Bitch strays a little from the romance usually featured here but I have to say it sounds very interesting and who hasn’t spent an uncomfortable weekend with old friends only to wonder exactly what you mean when you said ‘old friends’.

On the Bitch is available on Amazon click here

Without further ado:

 Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Ha! I don’t much enjoy listening to writers talk about writing, so really, writers often exhaust me … what I do find energising is hearing about the other parts of writer’s lives. This is often much more interesting for me and can often be where inspiration and ideas come from.

What are common traps for aspiring writers, or any writer?

Taking it all way way way too seriously. If writing it is a dirge, then reading it will surely be a dirge also.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

Oh, depends upon what the writer does with the big ego. What I do know is a small ego doesn’t usually go far. Some big egos hide behind pretend small ones. These can be dangerous and sneaky.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

It surprises me how many people do – with some genres it seems to occur more than others – and often, there does not seem to be much reason for it beyond … well, I don’t know, really, what the point is, other than having some fun with alter egos. That’s a good enough reason to adopt one, though, but an issue can be who does someone address an email to, especially of you know the name you know of is a pseudonym but you don’t know what the real name is?

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Be more focused and disciplined (in a good way) and be a better team participant in the creative realm.

What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

No no no no no … there is nothing important for anyone to do beyond sleeping, eating, drinking, pissing, shitting and having the occasional wank. That’s all … the rest is just gravy.

What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

I tend to take things people say or do but not whole characters … if you take much more, you have to be faithful to the original people and that can lock you in and stifle the creativity.

What does literary success look like to you?

Being able to write and do what I want, and not have to worry about money. To be respected for what I do, and maybe even admired. That said, the third point is not happening soon enough!

 How many hours a day do you write?

Often, not at all … when the balls are rolling, then a few hours maybe. I don’t beat myself over the head about it, there are always roses outside that need to be smelled. Life is about more than just writing (and reading), a lot lot lot more. Being a writer doesn’t have to involve being a hermit, living in your head and / or your heart and always seeking a quiet space. That is too limiting anyway. Live and experience and hopefully, that will help with your writing.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes – I have not had a bad one so far … readers seem to know what I do and what I don’t do and appreciate that.

More about Matt:

Matt Potter is the author of a travel memoir, Hamburgers and Berliners and other courses in between; two collections of short fiction and non-fiction, Vestal Aversion and Based on True Stories; two teacher resource books for English as a Second Language teachers, all you need is … a whiteboard, a marker and this book (volumes 1 and 2); and the novella in flash On the Bitch. A teacher and a social worker in his other lives, he lives in Adelaide, South Australia.

Matt Potter photo

 

 

 

 

author interviews, kindle world, m/m romance, romance writers, Uncategorized

A Way With You: Lane Hayes

AWayWithYou-1698x2700

Reeve Nelson is determined to make it in Manhattan. He’s hardworking, dedicated and willing to put in the extra hours required to be successful at his new job at a prestigious real estate firm in the city. There’s no way he’s going back to small-town living and an ex-girlfriend who won’t let go. But his boss isn’t making it easy.

 

Leo Rodriguez enjoys his reputation as a ruthless businessman. He’s a lone wolf who’s scraped his way from the gutter to rebuild his life and launch a distinguished career on his terms. When an opportunity to expand in the market comes up, Leo wants the eager new agent with a sense of wonder on the project. However, nothing goes quite as planned. Reeve expected to be intimidated and overwhelmed by Leo, but the explosive mutual attraction and fierce desire between them is a big surprise. Neither man is looking for love and yet, something special just might happen if they can find their way…together.
A Way With You is a novella set in the world of  Memories with the Breakfast Club Kindle Worlds series by Felice Stevens.
I am one clicking! This is the perfect length read for my busy week ahead,
Thank you so much for throwing your lot in with PQ today!
author interviews, romance writers, romantic suspense, Uncategorized

Please Welcome Romantic Suspense Author Stanalei Fletcher. She discusses books readers & writing serials, among other things.

I’d like to thank Stanlei for stopping by today and answering a few questions. Readers love to learn more about who writes the books they love. Without further ado:

Stanlei, what is the first book that made you cry?

The first book that made me cry…hmmm…this is tough question, because I’m not a very emotional person. I honestly don’t recall any books as a child that brought tears to my eyes, although I do recall sobbing pretty hard at the movie, Black Beauty. The first book that made me cry came a bit later in life. I’d been reading everything I could put my hands on by Alistair McLean. I’d left reading his first book, HMS Ulysses until almost last, thinking I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as his other works. I was wrong. This book wasn’t just about one protagonist. Instead, the story fictionally chronicled the ship and the men who fought aboard her. Their heroic struggles to save that ship still resonates with me. I’m not ashamed to say I cried at the end of that story.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

I do write under a pseudonym. My pen name is a combination of my husband’s middle name and my father’s middle name. I chose to do this partly as a marketing tool and partly because I still work a day job, where most of my fellow coworkers do not know I write.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Excellent question and one that challenges writers who desire to have their works published and read. I don’t believe what I write is terribly original in concept or in plot lines. I believe the originality in my stories comes from the personal experiences and knowledge I bring to the story. I am a firm believer in STORY. Readers and audiences in general, select their entertainment with preconceived expectations. If I don’t deliver on those expectations, they will intuitively know something is missing. They may not know what, but they will feel dissatisfied when they close the book. I strive very hard to make sure I don’t leave a reader wanting.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

My Northstar series is a connected work, currently with five books. However each book in the series was deliberately written to be read as a standalone. Personally, I’m not a fan of serials, so I don’t care to write them. That said, I do understand their appeal and the authors who produce them have my upmost respect. I think it’s a rare talent to write in the same world book after book.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Unfortunately, I would tell my younger self the same thing I tell myself today. Stop worrying about things I can’t control. I’ve had people telling me that all my life. Yet, it’s still a concept I’m trying master.

How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?

I don’t believe it’s my place to make demands on any reader. I certainly do what I can to take care of the reader by producing the best work I’m able. It’s my job as a writer, especially if I want the reader to part with, not only their hard earned dollars, but their time, to put effort into my craft and offer them a satisfying read and time well spent.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

I do see writing as spiritual practice. I see it as a way to put my expressions and emotions into words. I believe it to be a practice on the path to mastery of life.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Like many writers, I have a baby names book. And I make use of it. There were all those great names I wanted to name my own children but I was limited to only a few…which for the kids ended up being mostly family names. Well, now I get to name my characters with those great names. How cool is that?

That said, I do try to fit the name to the personality of the character as I envision him/her. If I find a name isn’t working, it’s not like I have to go before a judge to have a character’s name changed. I can simply pick another name. That’s pretty cool too.

What is your favorite childhood book?

I have a well-worn book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. I’d have to say that is my personal favorite. I’m not locked into a single story, but have all the great ones from Cinderella to Snow-White and Rose-Red.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

The most difficult part of my artistic process is being an artist. I’m mostly left-brained and tend to overthink a lot of the process. But I do love the creative sparks and it’s very exciting for me when it flows and the words come together.

Stanalei, thank you again for stopping by!

 

NSS Blog Tour Banner 3

Stanalei Fletcher’s January Blowout Sale Blog Tour

All 5 Northstar Security Series books are on sale for only

$.99 during the tour only!

 GiveAway: Stanalei is offering some fabulous prizes during this tour. One Lucky winner will have the chance to choose an ebook from her backlist, another lucky winner will receive a $50 Amazon Gift Certificate, and one lucky winner will have the chance to choose a print book from Stanalei’s backlist. Please use the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page to enter. Remember to follow along with the tour to increase your chances of winning. You may find the other tour locations here.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Series Blurb:

Northstar Security Firm is an elite private security agency whose mission statement: GUIDED BY THE TRUTH, is the guiding principle to provide justice for those who have been wronged. Founded by former CIA agents Byron O’Neal, Katherine O’Neal, and Sean Malone, Northstar Security has a ninety-nine percent success rate. That one percent is a still open case involving Katherine’s murder and Sean Malone’s career-ending gunshot wound. Nothing is a hundred percent guaranteed, and angst over one unsolved case doesn’t stop good men and women from fulfilling their duty.

Proving Ground

Northstar Security Series Book #1

About the Book:

Caitlin Malone believes screw-ups don’t get second chances. When she returns to Oregon after failing her first Northstar Security assignment and stumbles across a plot to steal deadly pathogens, she sees a chance at redemption.

For USDA Forest Ranger, John ‘Mac’ MacAlistair, having Caitlin home again brings up feelings that are better left buried.

When Caitlin is trapped by the wildfire, started by the terrorists, her only hope of rescue is pinned on Mac, the man she’s tried two years to forget.

Buy Links:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

Dead Reckoning

Northstar Security Series Book #2

About the Book:

Byron O’Neal, Northstar Security Firm’s director didn’t always run an elite private investigation firm. His early CIA years were spent chasing Soviet spies. Now his past is catching up, and Kellee, Bryon’s daughter is caught in the middle of a game of Russian Roulette. Northstar agent and former Navy SEAL, Egan Maddox, is tasked to save Kellee from the Russian mafia before it’s too late, a task that puts not only his life, but his heart on the line.

Buy Links:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

Beyond Duty

Northstar Security Series Book #3

About the Book:

Northstar Security agent, Riley O’Neal, balks at posing as anyone’s husband for an assignment. Nevertheless, to rescue the kidnapped wife of a U.S. Senator, he’ll perform his duty and do his best to resist the charms of the very woman who deceived him on a previous mission.

U.S. Army Lt. Mary “Chip” Anderson is uneasy about the undercover assignment to pose as newlyweds. Concealing her attraction to Riley while staying focused on the task, may be the biggest challenge. Despite efforts to remain objective, enforced proximity ignites emotions and a desire to make the fake honeymoon real.

When Chip is kidnapped during a botched rescue attempt of the senator’s wife, both women become pawns in the case that threatens the nation’s security. Riley must remain objective, save the women, and avert the threat. But after that, can he convince Chip that she wants to wear his ring forever?

Buy Links:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

Breaking the Honor Code

Northstar Security Series Book #4

About the Book:

Cyber-terrorism brings even the most powerful companies to their knees. When Northstar Security Firm discovers a breach inside their computer firewall, agent Sloan Cartland will do anything to help the firm’s brilliant computer tech, Allison Richards, find the culprit—even after he learns that all evidence of the hack points back to Allison.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

Tell It Like It Is

Northstar Security Series Book #5

About the Book:

FBI agent, Nelson Kane’s Aunt Rosalee has a story to tell. Someone wants her stopped. When Northstar Security’s unconventional bodyguard, Justine Shelby, is assigned as Aunt Rosalee’s protection, Shelby learns she’s as welcome as a wiretap at the annual J. Edgar Hoover Christmas party. Ornaments start to fly when Shelby informs by-the-book, Agent Kane to stay out of the way while she helps his aunt complete her tell-all memoirs.

Buy Links:

Amazon | The Wild Rose Press

 

SF author photo

 

About the Author:

Stanalei’s love of writing romance stems from reading favorites such as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Barbara Cartland, and Alistair MacLean. She has over twenty years of training in the martial arts and holds the rank of Sandan, a third-degree black belt, in Aikido.

After a taste of life on both U.S. coasts, she now resides near the beautiful Wasatch Mountain Range with her hero, who just happens to be her best friend and husband. Together they enjoy backcountry dirt trails on a RZR, visiting our National Parks, or exploring museums and ghost towns. You may visit Stanalei at:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Goodreads Newsletter | Amazon | Pinterest| Google | LinkedIn | Instagram

 

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author interviews, m/m romance, mm mystery, romance writers, Uncategorized

To New Beginnings and Old Friends…Please Welcome Author Jackson Marsh to the fray!

Purchase: The Mentor of Wildhill Farm     Purchase: The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge

Jackson Marsh joins us today to chat about a few different topics. He discusses pseudonyms, his writing process, and character naming…

It’s exciting when someone starts on a new journey. Jackson Marsh is here to share about his new series and talks a little about ‘cross-germination’ (and you thought you were done with science class) between novels. I am looking forward to picking up both of these! Also can I comment that these covers are absolutely lovey?

(I NEED Marmaduke Pantyboy’s story!)

Jackson Marsh is the pen name of author and screenplay writer James Collins who published 11 books before turning to what he had been hankering to write, MM romance novels. Jackson is a British writer who now lives in the Greek islands with his husband.

1. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

Jackson Marsh is the pen name I use for my MM Romance and erotica writing. Why have a pen name? Well, it’s simple really. I already have a body of readers who follow the novels and travel books I write under my real name, James Collins. Many of these readers have come to me because of a blog I write as an expat living on a Greek island. My ‘mainstream’ books are not gay romance (though they often involve gay characters) and I didn’t want to confuse, or even shock, my James Collins readership.

2. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

Both. I know that readers of MM Romance download or buy a book because the cover says ‘Gay romance!’ and the blurb promises them a heart-warming romance with perhaps some erotica too. So, the stories must fit the bill. But, having said that, I do try to make them original and not always the standard ‘boy meets boy’ story. That’s why ‘Other People’s Dreams’ is also a slow-burn thriller, and my ‘Mentor’ books have something else about them. ‘The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge,’ for example, is also a thriller and draws on my mountaineering experience. I also like to inject humour if I can.

3. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

Each of my novels stands on its own but, so far, works within the same niche. That’s the older/younger niche where a main character, usually 18 or 19, sets about his first love affair with a guiding older man. The age gap is important and interesting so in ‘The Mentor of Wildhill Farm’ the MC is 42 and the boys he is mentoring are 18 to 21 years old, and in ‘Barrenmoor’ the main pair are 19 and 36. Although two of my novels so far have titles beginning with ‘The Mentor of…’ they are separate stories and characters, but the overall niche is the same: an older man and a younger man, a sharing of differences and experiences, and each subtly mentoring the other to fulfilment.

What I am also toying with (and I’ve done it in ‘Wildhill Farm’) is bringing in aspects from my ‘mainstream’ novels. For example, in ‘Wildhill Farm’, one of the characters is reading one of my mainstream novels, because he comes from where that book is set. I have ideas to write more books in the future where there is what you might call cross-character-fertilisation. A character from one story appears with one from another story in a whole new story. Could be fun.

4. If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

‘Don’t be afraid to tell another guy that you fancy him.’ Don’t be afraid to come out, I guess. I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s and, in my 20s, led pride marches and protests (when Pride was a political protest). Before then, and living in a rural backwater, coming out was hard if not impossible; it still is. But now I am older, I wonder how many missed opportunities there were for me to be with another boy who was also gay. I fancied all my male friends at school, I was simply after love from someone of the same sex. A few discovered this when things just happened but had I been more honest with them, I may have found what I was seeking earlier in life and been happier. So might have they. (I didn’t really come out until I was in my early 20s and fired from a job simply because I was gay – but that’s another story.)

5. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Paying a professional cover artist, for sure. I used to make my own covers, thinking, ‘I’ve got Photoshop, I can do that.’ The covers were, in the main, adequate but not dazzling. It’s not just the look though, it’s the understanding of what a good book cover does. I now use two designers, one for my ‘mainstream’ covers and one for my MM Romance covers. I found them both on a site called People Per Hour and, since changing some of my earlier covers to new ones designed by a proper designer, sales have picked up. I am also lucky in that I have an editor and layout artist who work for free because we are friends, so that saves money. But if you’re going to spend money on your writing, I’d say pay for covers, editing and definitely proofreading if you can.

6. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I’ll just have a look in my ‘bottom drawer’, a file I have on my PC (and in multiple backups!) where I have a range of ideas. These are sometimes just titles which later remind me of a story, or they are full outlines. Some are the first few chapters of an idea that melted from me after I began ‘pantsing’, starting from line one and seeing what came out, and some are sections written against an outline and never finished because another story got in the way. A quick count reveals: A gay thriller; a biography of my gay godfather from 1911 to 2000; a couple of horror novels; a Greek summer MM romance; a couple of screenplays (I also write them for a living); a revamp of the first novel I ever wrote and then lost, but I can still remember the story; a gay mystery romance; a book adaptation of a gay musical I wrote; and a new comedy satire for my mainstream ‘Miss P’ series.

The rule here is to write down ideas as they occur and keep them for when they are ready to be developed.

7. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

This depends. For my best-seller, ‘The Saddling’ (under my real name) I spent four years working on the book, developing a dialect and researching everything from the lore surrounding solstice rites in the UK to genealogy, to Kentish dialect. For ‘Wildhill Farm’ I simply found some images similar to what I imagined the setting and characters to be, and then wrote from the heart and memory. In others, I’ve researched as I go along – a quick Google to double-check things, or to buy a background book, and back to the typing.

Some ‘research’ is actually character development, so it’s not actually researching facts, but making them up to fit my own novel worlds and people.

8. How many hours a day do you write?

A perfect day for me is to write from seven in the morning, earlier in the summer months, to midday, an hour off, and then again in the afternoon. So, eight hours per day. Trouble is, I also write for other people, in order to earn a living, and so although I sometimes write 10,000 words per day, only 3,000 of them might be for me. That’s about four hours for others and four hours per day for me, seven days per week if I can – which, luckily, is most days.

9. How do you select the names of your characters?

I like to spend time thinking about the character before I name them and try and find something suitable. I mean, I wouldn’t call the male lead in an MM romance novel Marmaduke Pantyboy, I’d reserve that name for one of my satires. Solid, bold names work best for heroes, such as Cam, or John, whereas more ethereal names work better for more ethereal characters, such as Gabriel in ‘Wildhill Farm’, and down-to-earth names for earthy characters such as Kenny Cole, from the same story, or Tom Carey for the ‘Saddling’ hero. Surnames are important too as they can help a reader establish a character’s background and place of birth. I’m a UK writer and have researched family history and country history where names grew from locations or trades. The rule here is to be realistic.

Sometimes, though, I start with a name that’s easy to type. Gary is easier to type 500 times in a book than Nicholas or Raphael (also, my spelling is pants). You can always do a search and replace afterwards and change the name in the manuscript; a trick I use often. Having said that, I called my main characters in ‘Remotely’ Gary and Stag because Gary was gay and Stag was straight – the names come from what they are. GArY and STrAiGht. I also like to use slightly unusual names, so they stick in the mind. Hence I have characters in my romance novels called Camden and Logan and, elsewhere, Drover and Stavroula. Character names are important but don’t go over the top with them, unless you’re writing fantasy or satire.

10. How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It varies. One of my mainstream novels took four years, but its sequel took two months, having the characters, places, research and feel already in place helps. My MM Romance novels take me about two months to write to a second draft stage and another month to edit and continually check. I tend to write the first draft and leave it for a month while working on something else, and then come back to it with fresh eyes; an important trick to learn as you pick up more typos and repetitions that way. ‘Other People’s Dreams’ was begun in 1996 and finally became what it now is ten years later. ‘Wildhill Farm’ took two months, but the story had been in my head for over a year. The main thing to remember is, ‘calm down!’ It’s great when you’ve ‘finished’ a novel, and you’re keen to get it out there, but it will benefit from being left alone a while and returned to later. As Hemmingway allegedly said, ‘The first draft of anything is always s**t.’ Not always, Mr Hemmingway, but nothing was ever hurt by being rewritten, cut, edited and rewritten again.

Website: www.jacksonmarsh.com

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

Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jackson-Marsh/e/B077LDT5ZL/

There’s also an amazon.com author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jackson-Marsh/e/B077LDT5ZL/

 

Recent MM Romance novels links:

The Mentor of Wildhill Farm: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mentor-Wildhill-Farm-Jackson-Marsh-ebook/dp/B077Y67GDJ/

The Mentor of Barrenmoor Ridge: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mentor-Barrenmoor-Ridge-Jackson-Marsh-ebook/dp/B078TFPQ89/

#marmadukepantyboy needs his story, clearly the savior of our modern times!

author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

*Myths, Moons, and Mayhem* Dale Cameron Lowry Blog Tour

Today we celebrate the release of Myths, Moon, and Mayhem edited and contributed to by Dale Cameron Lowry. *Whoot, clapping*. Dale joins us to share a little about themselves, the writing life, and the undefinable curelom. Be sure to check out the special offer on deck for today only!

MMM-social-media-graphic-2

Dale Cameron Lowry’s number one goal in life is getting the cat to stop eating dish towels; number two is to write things that bring people joy. Dale is the author of Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love and a contributor to more than a dozen anthologies.

Dale spent the summer editing Myths, Moons, and Mayhem, a paranormal gay menage and erotic romance anthology with stories from nine talented authors, including Clare London, Rob Rosen, and Morgan Elektra.

A werewolf gets a lust-fueled lesson on fitting in with the pack, a professor unlocks ancient secrets and two men’s hearts, and a pair of supernaturals find themselves at the erotic mercy of a remarkable human. Ghosts, fairies, aliens, and mere mortals test the boundaries of their desires, creating magic of their own.

Myths, Moons & Mayhem make the perfect threesome—and so do the men in this anthology.

The book comes out today in print and ebook, and to celebrate, Dale is offering a special gift when you order Myths, Moons, and Mayhem by the end of TODAY, Friday, Oct. 13. Read on to find out more. 

 Why ménage a trois?

I love exploring the dynamics of three-person relationships. As a writer, having three people in a romantic or erotic relationship means I get to explore more characters at a deep level. I get to learn about their personalities and how their moods, desires, and quirks affect their partners. Like couples, every triad is different, with each person in the relationship bringing different strengths (and sometimes weaknesses) to the table. Sometimes this makes things more complicated; other times, having three people keeps things more balanced. For example, in Morgan Elektra’s story for Myths, Moons, and Mayhem, “The Endless Knot,” the fiery romance between a vampire and a werewolf threatens to burn itself to the ground because they’re both stubborn and controlling. But the introduction of a third person—a mere human—helps them see each other in a new light. As a couple, they never worked, but when they become part of a triad, everything clicks into place.

 What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

It’s hard to choose between my sitting-standing desk and my Kinesis Advantage ergonomic keyboard. Both have been invaluable in helping me continue to write in spite of physical limitations.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I am obsessive about research. Stories need detail to feel real, and one of the best ways to get that detail is research. I stick to this approach even when writing fantasy. For example, when writing my paranormal story “The Cave” in Myths, Moons, and Mayhem, I traveled ten thousand miles to Madagascar just to get a sense of the scenery.

Okay, I exaggerate. I went to Madagascar for other reasons. But I took notes and snapped pictures the whole time I was there, because I knew I’d want to remember everything.

When it came time to write “The Cave,” I was no longer in Madagascar, so I had to rely on my notes, several non-fiction books, and the internet to get the details right. I emailed friends from Madagascar about how to talk to your sweetheart in Malagasy, the main language spoken there, and went on internet chat rooms to make sure the bits of French scattered throughout the story were believable. (Madagascar was formerly colonized by France, so French is still spoken in many areas of the island.)

My photographs also came in handy for remembering what the towns and forests looked like, as well as little details like the color of a lemur’s eyes.

My research process isn’t the same for every story, but it follows this general model. If there’s something I want to write about and I’m not already familiar with the subject, I throw myself into it head first. After swimming in it for a while—hours, days, weeks, or sometimes years—I start to write. As I write, new questions arise and I research those as well.

Research is one of the funnest parts of writing.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

Chill. The. Fuck. Out.

As you can guess from my above answer re: research, I still need to hear that advice sometimes.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Not secrets, exactly. More like Easter eggs—things that you don’t have to notice to enjoy the story, but that will add extra layers of meaning if you catch them.

I’ll use “The Cave” from Myths, Moons, and Mayhems as an example again. In that story, you don’t need to know the meaning of the Malagasy name Mendrika to enjoy the character. But if you know it (or look it up online), you’ll see how it relates to the story.

There’s another Malagasy character who appears briefly in “The Cave.” She’s a scientist named Hanta who studies lemur fossils. If you’re familiar with lemur research in Madagascar, you might guess at my inspiration for the name.

As a writer, what would you choose as your spirit animal?

A curelom.

A what?

Exactly.

A curelom is an animal with an unknown identity mentioned in the Book of Mormon, scriptures that were first published in the 1830s and are considered sacred in several offshoots of Christianity, including the Church of Jesus  Christ of Latter-day Saints. But my reasons for choosing a curelom have nothing to do with religion. I like it because nobody knows what it is. It could be a rhinoceros, it could be a capybara, or it could be a three-headed dragon. Maybe it’s a firefly.

Well, sometimes I’m not sure what I am either. I am a warm-hearted person who loves cuddling with my cats, or am I the person whose path you shouldn’t cross before I get my morning coffee? Am I a prolific writer, or someone who stares blankly at the screen and barely manages a hundred words before lunchtime? Am I a good listener, or do I talk over people? Do I write sci-fi and fantasy, or do I write romance?

Sometimes I think I know the answers to those questions. But just as often, my answer is, “I have no idea what I am. Guess that makes me a curelom.”

Do you believe in writer’s block?

No. I have good writing days and not-so-good writing days, but barring illness, injury, or emotional upheaval, I can always write. I learned how to do that as a newspaper journalist churning out up to three articles a day, and I’ve been able to apply that to my writing. Even in the bleak, foggy weeks after the president-who-shall-not-be-named was (sort of) elected, I managed to write a few hundred words on most days. It was a bit like pulling out one’s beard a whisker at a time, but eventually I made progress.

Natalie Goldberg has a book called Writing Down the Bones that I recommend for people who struggle with writer’s block or get held back by self-doubt once they start to write. It’s excellent for helping writers learn to put one word after the other and keep going.

What’s the gift for people who order Myths, Moons, and Mayhem today?

If you order Myths, Moons, and Mayhem by the end of today, Friday, Oct. 13,  I’ll send you seven of my paranormal and speculative stories collected into an ebook I’m calling Chance & Possibility: Seven Fantastical Tales of Gay Desire.

Chance & Possibility is an eclectic selection of ny stories previously published in multi-author anthologies and my mixed-genre collection Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love. They range from sweet fairy tale romances to scorching hot tentacle erotica. In its pages, you’ll find fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal stories, and you’ll meet:

  • an unemployed journalist whose sentient iPhone hooks him into rescuing stray cats—and leads him to love
  • a college student who falls in love under the full moon of the Jewish harvest festival, Sukkot, but finds that his new boyfriend shies from his touch when the moon wanes
  • a professional horticulturalist who develops a more-than-scientific interest in a strange new plant he’s been assigned to care for

Chance & Possibility: Seven Fantastical Tales of Gay Desire isn’t available to buy anywhere. The only way to get it now is by ordering Myths, Moons, and Mayhem at your preferred store, then forwarding the receipt to mmm-giveaway@dalecameronlowry.com. I’ll send your choice of a mobi (for Kindle) or epub (for all other e-readers) this weekend.

It’s my way of saying thanks for supporting the authors behing Myths, Moons, and Mayhem and giving our stories a try.

Here are the links for ordering it online from Amazon, Kobo, and other popular retailers:

You can also read more about it on my website at dalecameronlowry.com/books/myths-moons-mayhem/.

Myths, Moons & Mayhem

Paranormal Gay Menage and Erotic Romance…..(I’m hooked already!)

(Isn’t the cover beautiful?) – Please read on for in-depth information on the contributing authors and short stories! ❤

MythsMoonsMayhem-ebookcover_opt copy

Available in print and ebook October 13; pre-order now!

 Title: Myths, Moons & Mayhem

Editor: Dale Cameron Lowry

Authors: Rebecca Buchanan, Elizabeth Coldwell, Rhidian Brenig Jones, Morgan Elektra, Greg Kosebjorn, Clare London, Dale Cameron Lowry, Carl Redlum, Rob Rosen

Publisher: Sexy Little Pages

Genres: anthology, paranormal, menage, LGBT, MMM romance, MMM erotica

Date of Publication: Oct. 13 (preorders begin Oct. 3)

Length: 215 pages

ISBN: 9781386972891 (ebook); Print book will also be available

ASIN: B07654NZQ2

Universal ebook Link: https://books2read.com/mythsmoons

Amazon universal link (paperback): getBook.at/mmm

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/36368999-myths-moons-and-mayhem

More information: https://dalecameronlowry.com/books/myths-moons-mayhem/

Myths, moons, and mayhem make the perfect threesome—and so do the men in this anthology.

Enjoy nine erotic stories of paranormal ménages a trois fueled by lust and magic, where mystical forces collide with the everyday world and even monsters have their own demons to conquer.

A werewolf gets a lust-fueled lesson on fitting in with the pack, a professor unlocks ancient secrets and two men’s hearts, and a pair of supernaturals find themselves at the erotic mercy of a remarkable human. Ghosts, fairies, aliens, and mere mortals test the boundaries of their desires, creating magic of their own.

Penned by favorite authors such as Rob Rosen and Clare London, as well as by newcomers to the genre, Myths, Moons & Mayhem is an eclectic mix of paranormal lust and polymythic beings that will spark your fantasies and fuel your bonfires.

Inside Man by Clare London—At a London pub, a tear in the veil between the dead and living opens up new possibilities for a ghost who could only ever watch the men he desired, but never touch.

The Secret of the Golden Cup by Rebecca Buchanan—A classics professor finds himself at the center of a magical war. With an unfairly attractive student and a campus janitor as his only allies, can he stave off the forces of evil?

When The Big Moon Shines by Carl Redlum—A college student is intent on hunting down the man who turned him into a werewolf. But his mouthwatering neighbors keep getting in the way.

Careful What You Wish For by Elizabeth Coldwell—Josh dreams of meeting Mr. Right, so his roommate offers help with a love spell. Neither man is prepared for what happens when the spell begins to work.

The Cave by Dale Cameron Lowry—Losing sleep to the sounds of his tent-neighbors’ nightly lovemaking has nature photographer Ethan at his wit’s end. What kind of magic can convince the two men he should join them?

The Endless Knot by Morgan Elektra—The fiery romance between a vampire and a werewolf threatens to burn itself to the ground until a human teaches them to temper the flame.

Squatchin’ by Greg Kosebjorn—Two Bigfoot hunters get more than they bargained for when they set out on an overnight camping trip to trail the legendary beast.

Celyn’s Tale by Rhidian Brenig Jones—A young Welsh farmer is haunted by visions of his future lover, only to discover that the lover is not one, but two—and not exactly human, either.

Close Encounter of the Three-way Kind by Rob Rosen—In this quirky comedy, aliens arrive from another galaxy, but they’re more interested in consensual exploration than invasion. Alien probing never felt so good!

—–

About the Editor

Dale Cameron Lowry’s number one goal in life is getting the cat to stop eating dish towels; number two is to write things that bring people joy. Dale is the author of Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love and a contributor to more than a dozen anthologies. Find out more at dalecameronlowry.com.

 

author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Today’s Guest: Asta Idonea

Asta joins PQ today to talk about research, character naming and the first book which made her cry. Asta is the author of Wish You Were Here, published February 2017 by Dreamspinner Press.

What is the first book to make you cry? Mine was probably Black Beauty, but it could have been Where the Red Fern Grows. Sniffle.

Thank you for joining us today, please feel free to share this around!

Without further ado: Asta Idonea!

 

WYWH_FB_Blurb

 

What is the first book that made you cry?

The first I can actually remember would be Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, which I read when I was about 13-14, after seeing the musical in London for the first time. (I’ve seen it live on stage around 25 times now!) Some of the character death scenes are so sad! It’s still one of my favourite books of all time.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Social Media! The hardest thing when I’m writing is hearing my phone ping and resisting the urge to keep checking my messages and notifications. Before this year, it was never a problem as I didn’t have a smart phone, but now that I do….

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym (or do you already)?

Asta Idonea is a pseudonym. I actually have two author pen names—Asta Idonea and Nicki J. Markus—and that is because I write both MF and MM/LGBT fiction. I have no problem with people knowing that I write either, but I wanted a clear way for readers to tell what sort of story they are getting when they pick up one of my books, since not everyone reads across both categories as I do.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I like to think that I take a middle ground. Of course I want to bring something original and fresh to my stories, but if I don’t also write something that meets readers’ desires and expectations, no one will read it. My current WIP is a case in point. I realised that my original ending would result either in a broken romance or a morally dubious conclusion, and I was concerned that that would alienate readers whichever way I played it, but then an idea occurred to me for an alternate outcome at the midpoint of the plot that will allow me the HEA finale which many MM readers crave. Now that the first draft is nearly done, I am happy with the changes and think it has made for a better tale. Hopefully readers will agree when it finally releases.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

Oh, I am friends with many fellow authors from around the world. Some I’ve met because I’ve edited for them. Others I got to know because we share a publisher. Having other authors as friends is great since it means you have someone with whom to discuss the highs and lows, someone who understands the problems and frustrations you face. They help you become a better writer through their support, advice, and opinions. In addition, you can cross-promote with them, which is beneficial to all parties.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have around ten or twelve finished stories sitting on my flashdrive. Some were orphaned before publication due to publisher closures, and for which I’ve yet to seek new homes. Others are ready—once I decide where to submit them. One or two I may still do a final round of edits on before they go out into the world. In terms of half-finished works. I am close to completing the first draft on a new MM novel, and I have also started the first chapter on another novella/novel. Finally, I have a novel (historical) that I wrote about twelve years ago. The prose is dreadful! However, I still like the story and the idea, so I’ve long been toying with the idea of rewriting it. We’ll see….

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

That really depends on the book. Some works require no major research; others need a lot. Naturally historical fiction requires the most. Generally I write about periods I already know well, so I just double-check smaller details as I go. With my current WIP I am in a modern setting; however, I have spent time research sigils and symbol meanings, since those are important to the tale. Most of the time I am not doing hours of research ahead of writing. I am a pantster, so I don’t always know what I’ll need in advance. As I come across something that warrants research/checking, I’ll either pause and do so or leave a note to remind me to confirm the information as I work on the second draft.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Names are important to me. I don’t worry quite so much for modern-setting shorts, but for longer works I like to give my principal characters names that mean something. Either they relate to their personality or they say something about the role they play in the tale. I do this by searching for suitable keywords on name meaning websites and seeing what comes up. Normally one will jump out at me straightaway.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

Yes and no. I am not someone who religiously checks reviews every week. However, if I am on Goodreads and notice a new one, I may have a read. I do also take a look at any I receive as part of a blog tour for a new release. In general, I don’t reply, whether it’s good or bad. We all know that replying to bad ones is a slippery slope, and I also think that responding to good ones isn’t much better as it can look like you are in cahoots with the reviewer. The exceptions are if a reader has made a comment and I feel I can add to the discussion by elaborating on why I included the plot point they liked etc. Or, if someone I know reads and reviews, I’ll send a private message/thanks. Regarding bad reviews, of course they sting. Luckily I’ve not had too many, and none really nasty, but whatever the comments, I simply try to remind myself that we don’t all like the same things. One reader may hate your book, but that doesn’t mean that someone else won’t love it. It’s all a matter of balance and keepings things in perspective.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

In a way. I am very fond of including cultural, historical, and literary references. Pop culture ones stand out, but some of the more obscure ones may not, and only certain people will pick up on them. Occasionally editors who don’t get them wish me to remove them, but as long as they don’t obscure the action or the meaning, I prefer to keep them as they are my little in-jokes.

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Author Bio & Links

Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

Blog: http://www.nickijmarkus.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NickiJMarkus

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NickiJMarkus

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nickijmarkus/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+NickiJMarkusAstaIdonea

Pinterest: https://au.pinterest.com/nickijmarkus/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4567057.Nicki_J_Markus

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolamarkus

Amazon Author US: http://www.amazon.com/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO

Amazon Author UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Idonea/e/B00RMGGVYO

Wish You Were Here : Details

Asta Idonea

Dreamspinner Press

8 February 2017

MM Novella/Contemporary/Paranormal

Heat Rating: 1

SoundCloud Audio Excerpt: https://soundcloud.com/nickijmarkus/wish-you-were-here-by-asta-idoneamm-novella-excerpt

YouTube Audio Excerpt: https://youtu.be/lMz0diTCb1Y

Tablo Excerpt: https://tablo.io/nicki-j-markus-asta-idonea/wish-you-were-here-excerpt

Download Media Sheet: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B57lcvfd2bYkMWdReFNGUm5fc1E

Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/wish-you-were-here-by-asta-idonea-8131-b

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5QYWAZ

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N5QYWAZ

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/wish-you-were-here-51

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wish-you-were-here-asta-idonea/1125505394?ean=2940157178949

GooglePlay: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Asta_Idonea_Wish_You_Were_Here?id=5tLTDQAAQBAJ