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!


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?


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 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

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:

Amazon universal link (paperback):


More information:

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


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!




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.



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.









Amazon Author US:

Amazon Author UK:

Wish You Were Here : Details

Asta Idonea

Dreamspinner Press

8 February 2017

MM Novella/Contemporary/Paranormal

Heat Rating: 1

SoundCloud Audio Excerpt:

YouTube Audio Excerpt:

Tablo Excerpt:

Download Media Sheet:

Dreamspinner Press:

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:




author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Hello, Missy Welsh!

Missy Welsh is stopping by PQ today to talk about her writing process, reviews (close to all our hearts) and the importance of a mailing list…it’s almost as if she read my mind!

About Missy:

Missy Welsh stares into space a lot, has conversations with cats, takes notes while people-watching, records conversations (not the ones with cats), named her laptop Norbert and her phone Pushkin, has backups of her backups’ backups, faints at the sight of a misused semi-colon, and will often ask socially unacceptable questions of strangers.

Basically, she’s a writer.

Missy’s newest series is Destination Lost. Book two in the series, Forever Home was released on 9/18/17. Click on over to check it out!


 A routine mission from the Mars Colony to Earth ends in the five-man crew of the Swallowtail having been transported to the other side of the galaxy. Met with hostility, captured, and tortured simply for being Human, the three survivors hold little hope for their futures.

 Sergeant Ledger Atwater is a simple man: all he wants are food, shelter, and to be able to call his own shots. If that means letting someone implant stolen memories into his brain and infiltrating a palace, he’ll do it. Once he has enough money to get to a place that might give a damn about his refugee status, he’s gone anyway.

 But what Ledger finds inside the palace is a fresh start, a chance to be a whole person again. He has a job, friends, and after an unexpected encounter with a king, he might have a lover, too. Is keeping his true identity a secret really so bad?

 Pharaoh Setka Nebamun kier Bane has lost so many people in his life, he’s determined to keep those he has close. Unexpectedly, that list now includes a new scribe whose compassion and gentle caring Setka needs. He finds himself relying on Ledger to help him through some of the most trying times of his life—and Ledger seems willing to be there for him.

 But secrets never stay hidden for long. When the bill for Ledger’s new life comes due, lives are at risk, and it’s possible everyone will have to pay.

 AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is the second book in a series with appearances by previous characters and should be read in order.

Healing Touch

On sale everywhere for 99c until 18 October 2017!

All buy links:

Forever Home

All buy links:

Preview book of the first 6 chapters:

Missy answers a few questions:

What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

Paying for reviews. I don’t even like that I’d have to fork over $75 for Publisher’s Weekly to consider reviewing one of my books. I’m happy to send a legitimate reviewer a free copy of my book, but I’m not willing to pay for it because I’m not their employer. Even if reviewing is how they earn their living, the author paying them destroys the credibility of the review. Did I get a great review because I paid enough? Did I get a bad review because I didn’t? Maybe it’s possible for someone else to pay the reviewer to give an author a bad review. It’s a terrible practice.

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

Scrivener! I wrote my first book, MY SUMMER OF WES, using a program similar to Scrivener, but they discontinued it. I loved the ability to organize my story like it was on huge notecards since I write in scenes that may move around, merge, or disappear as I work through writing the book. Scrivener lets me keep everything related to the book—or series—in one file, including reference documents, images, keywords, and all kinds of notes. It’s the best investment I’ve made in my writing career.

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

Not so much full manuscripts, but I’m overflowing with ideas, scenes, plots, conversations, etc. I write down everything in as much detail as I have in that moment. Sometimes I’ll return time and again to add to it, and sometimes I’ll snatch it up and use it in whatever project I’m working on. I’d say I probably have over 200 files like this.

What’s the best way to market your books?

My mailing list is first, and then it’s the mailing lists of advertising services who alert readers to discounted or new books—but only those who have a category for readers to choose notifications for LGBT specifically. Social media is OK and occasionally a paid ad will be worth the cost, but getting the information directly to the readers who want to know is the best.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite gender?

I think the most difficult thing about writing characters who aren’t a cookie-cutter version of me isn’t so much something I should or shouldn’t do in creating them so much as it is about ignoring reader perception to craft my characters my way. I’ve seen so many people say men shouldn’t cry, cuddle, worry, gossip, and a whole slew of other things. Why? Because they perceive that as weak—and don’t get me started on how weakness shouldn’t equal womanly. My reaction will always be this man does do that thing and he’s justified in doing it. Because some men do just about every emotion, mannerism, etc. that you can name. Granted, the way they do it might not be exactly the same way women do, but I will not accept that all men shouldn’t do some thing or other that you’ve decided you don’t like men doing. Go read something else.

What did you edit out of this book?

An entire relationship. See, the first book had a human man falling in love with a male alien who basically evolved from a dolphin. Physically, he had some similarities but mostly a whole lot of differences from a human man. I didn’t have any problems writing about this dolphin-man having sex. But then the sequel had me staring at a horse… I couldn’t do it. I wrote out this whole scene between him and his human lover, but wow, did it make me uncomfortable. I set the story aside to think about how to handle it. When I came back to it, I looked at changing out the love interest entirely. It was a lot of work, but I think it not only helped me avoid some bestiality creepiness, but improved the story overall too. You’ll have to let me know if you think I made the right choice.

What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?

Personally, I don’t appreciate fiction featuring historical figures who are not accurate to the reality of their existence. For example, I was once asked to judge a book that revolved around the premise that Christa McAuliffe did not die aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 but was actually magically transported elsewhere and be the love interest in a lesbian romance. Nope! If you want to feature her in your fiction, work your character into her reality. As a kid, the Challenger explosion was my 9/11. It was a national tragedy that hurt a lot of people for a long time; I still watch liftoffs of manned missions with my heart in my throat. So I found the premise revolting, especially since any fictional astronaut would’ve worked in that role. (I recused myself from judging the book.)

How do you select the names of your characters?

Sometimes, they come to me already named, which is ideal. Every now and then—like with one of the heroes in a book I’m working on now—someone will go through several names before one clicks with me. I’ve written entire books where I’ve called someone by a single letter or trait because the name’s just not coming to me, and then done a search and replace to finally name him before I send the manuscript to my editor. In those instances, I’ll look to name meanings first. Who is this person? What do they represent? What represents them? What is the opposite of them or what are they fighting against? Baby name books are great, but I end up using searches for the meanings of names—first and last—more often since it’s sort of a reverse search to what the books offer.

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

I’ll read the 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon, but that’s it. There are a few reasons for this. First, once a book is available for public consumption, there’s not much I can do to change it. Most distributors, like Amazon, will only push a new version of a book to those who bought it only if the changes are significant—and they get to decide what is and isn’t significant. Second, I don’t publish a book that I’m not satisfied with, that I don’t believe is the best book I can write at this point in my career. I’m happy with what I’ve done and I’ve already moved on to what’s next. And lastly, most reviews are personal opinions, and I already know I won’t please everyone every time. Reviews are just too far down the publishing process to make a difference in that book and they aren’t how I’ll learn to do something new or different for the next book.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Believing that I’m a good writer. I know that doubt happens to all of us, but it’s always such a struggle to get through it each time it hits. That’s part of why I’ll read the 4 and 5 star reviews—because I need that validation that I don’t suck. It’s part of what my beta readers and editor do for me too. A lot of the writing process is very isolated, just me typing away with no one else responding. I’ll wonder if that thing I just wrote will make anyone other than me laugh, cry, gasp, fume or react in the way I meant for them to react. When the writing is frustrating or when I’m editing, I’ll sometimes question whether I’ll ever get it “right.” I know I’m always going to be learning some new thing because writing is forever evolving, so eventually I’m able to either let it go because I’ve done the best I can or I’ll make it better. But that little black hole of doubt is always lurking.

Thank you, Missy, for joining PQR today! I always want to know more, the writing process is fascinating to me becuase it is different for everyone. Thank you for sahring yours!


author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Welcome, Lane Hayes!

This fine Thursday m/m romance author Lane Hayes visits PQR to discuss literary pilgrimages, reader’s block and her writing process. As a forever fan of Lane, I am SUPER excited to have her come by! My personal favorite is Better Than Safe but I believe it is hard to go wrong with any of her books.

Leaning into…is Lane’s current series, Leaning Into Always is available now from Amazon. Click on over!

(Before I forget, thank you so much, Lane, for stopping by and talking with PQR!)



Lane answered a few questions for me, as usual, I wanted to ask a zillion more!

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

I love this question. There have been a few instances where I’ve been lucky to travel to places I’d read about in books and became mesmerized by the almost magical feeling that comes from walking in your book hero’s shoes. The first time I visited London and the English countryside was like that for me. I was a huge historical romance fan and it seems like every story is set there. I also visited Bath around the time I was in a strong Jane Austen phase. And yes… I made a special trip to Forks, Washington. I just had to see where Twilight took place. LOL

What is the first book that made you cry?

Black Beauty. Books with animals always pull at my heartstrings!

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Honestly, both. Mostly, I find writing invigorating. It’s a creative outlet and I definitely draw energy from it. But after a long day at my computer, my eyes ache, my fingers are numb and I’m just plain exhausted. Or old. That could be it too.

Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

Yes. Usually, reader’s block happens when you finish a fabulous book and the next few don’t measure up. Not fun. The only cure is to keep reading.

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

Lane Hayes is my pseudonym. Each is a middle name of two of my three kids and my grandmothers’ maiden names. It was important to me that my author name meant something to me.

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

Maybe, but I think it would be difficult for that writer to develop a strong readership. A good book, no matter the genre, should touch you somehow. It should have the power to tap into your senses, stir feelings and make you think. In my opinion, the best books are written from the heart and from some measure of personal experience.

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?

I love a good series, but it’s important to me that each book in my series is a standalone for a couple of reasons. As a reader, I get frustrated when I accidently begin a series out of order and it becomes obvious I’m missing a link in the story because of it. To avoid confusion, I make each a standalone. However, anyone who’s read any of my four series will recognize character from other novels and subtle connections in between.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

The first book that comes to mind is Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice. It’s a twisted, imaginative marvel. I absolutely loved these very unlovable vampires! Any author who can challenge a reader to study the enigmatic and come away with an appreciation of our fragile psyches is genius. Anne Rice’s vampires aren’t your average paranormal fodder. They’re truly special.

How many hours a day do you write?

I write eight hours a day on average. There are days where I spend too much time on social media or on research, but I do my best to put in a full day of writing everyday.

What was your hardest scene to write?

I’ve written a few scenes that have been challenging for me as a writer because I was forced to tap into deep emotional waters. Lol. A couple that stand out are the scene between Zeke and his dad in A Kind of Romance and the ending scenes in The Wrong Man and The Right Time. And I actually just made myself cry when I reread part of Leaning Into Touch (coming October 5!). I think that’s a positive sign though. Books are meant to send you on a memorable journey and sometimes that involves a tear or two. Thankfully in a romance novel, we can count on that HEA to make it all worthwhile.

Thank you so much for inviting me to come by today!

Happy Reading,

Lane Hayes xo

More about Lane:

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

Books by Lane Hayes:

Better Than Good, Better Than Chance, Better Than Friends, Better Than Safe, The Right Words, The Wrong Man & The Right Time, Leaning Into Love and Leaning Into the Fall, A Kind Of Truth, A Kind of Romance, A Kind of Honesty, A Kind of Home, A Way with Words

Coming soon: Leaning Into Always and Leaning Into Touch

 Contact Information:


Twitter:   @LaneHayes3

Facebook: LaneHayesauthor




author interviews, m/m romance

Welcome: Frank Butterfield


Frank Butterfield joins PQR today to discuss the newest in the Nick Williams Mystery Series – The PitifulPlayer – and talk about what it’s like to write modern historical,  his research techniques and the writing process.

Thank you, Frank, for joining PQR this fine Tuesday!

The Pitiful Player
A Nick Williams Mystery – Book 14

Friday, July 8, 1955

Ben White, a movie producer working on Nick’s dime, is ready to show off what he’s been up to, so Nick and Carter head to Hollywood to see what there is to see and, to be polite, it stinks.

Ben’s director has an idea and he says it’s gonna make Nick even richer than he already is.

But, before they can start the cameras rolling, leading man William Fraser is found murdered at the lavish Beverly Hills mansion of seductive silent screen star Juan Zane. Carlo Martinelli, Ben’s lover, is arrested and charged with murder even though everyone in town knows he’s innocent, including the District Attorney.

Meanwhile, the Beverly Hills Police Chief makes sure that Nick knows that his kind of help isn’t wanted in the posh village, home to some of Hollywood’s most famous stars. The chief is running a good, clean, wholesome town, after all.

From Muscle Beach to Mulholland Drive, Nick and Carter begin to piece together the clues that point to who did it and why. Somehow they manage to do so in the sweltering heat and noxious smog of the Southland.

In the end, however, will anyone be brought to justice? It’s Hollywood, so you’ll have to wait for the final reel to find out.

Just $2.99 on Kindle and Free on Kindle Unlimited

Pitiful Player is the 14th Nick Williams Mystery.

The series begins in May of 1953 wherein we meet Nick Williams, a private investigator, and his hunky fireman husband, Carter Jones. They live in a modest bungalow on Hartford Street in the middle of the Eureka Valley neighborhood in San Francisco.

Nick works out of his small office on Bush Street with Marnie, the best secretary a guy could ever have.

Carter, a fireman since he first arrived in San Francisco in 1939, is on leave due to a little run-in he had with a firetruck.

Mike, their friend and Nick’s first lover, is a police lieutenant working out of the North District station.

Nick’s life has changed dramatically three times in his life. 

First, in 1939, at the age of 17 when he was kicked out of his childhood home and into the loving arms of a young beat cop by the name of Mike Robertson.

Second, in 1943, at the age of 21 when he received a series of telegrams from a lawyer in Boston while serving aboard a hospital ship in the South Pacific informing him that he was the beneficiary of a huge trust inherited from his great-uncle.

Third, in 1947, at the age of 24 when, across a crowded room, he met Carter Jones, the love of his life.

The first novel in this series, The Unexpected Heiress, is all about the events that lead to the biggest change of all.

This one moment, at the Top of the Mark, high above the city he loves so much, will transform everything in Nick’s life and in the lives of his family and friends.


May of 1953 is when Nick’s real life begins. Read along as the stories unfold and expand out in all sorts of marvelous ways. Follow the adventures of Nick, Carter, Marnie, Mike, and the rest of the gang, as they live extraordinary lives in the most normal of times.

Most of all, let Nick and Carter help you fall in love with the City where cable cars climb halfway to the stars.

What makes Author Frank Butterfield tick? Let’s find out.

What is the first book that made you cry?

Dancer From The Dance. I first read it when I moved to New York City in 1987. It’s not so much that it made me cry as that it left me with a deep sadness. It was written by Andrew Holleran and published in 1978. The story is very specific to its time and place (the mid 70s in New York in a very specific part of the gay male world). It’s written in a curiously lyrical style. It’s one of those books that people either love or hate. You can’t be indifferent to it.

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

With each book, I primarily write for my pleasure and that seems to please the readers, which is a happy thing. I let the characters tell the story and do most of the heavy lifting. Because I write historical fiction, I try to make sure that the characters, their language, and their motivations are consistent with who they are in their time period. As much as I can, I let them tell me how it was and follow that.

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?

I am writing a long series, so each book is a continuation of the lives of the two main characters. I do like to make each book stand on its own by providing enough background for a new reader to be interested enough to get all the way through without getting too lost. But I have story lines that arc across several books and I hope that any reader who is interested in one book will want to go back to the beginning and read them all.

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

I research as I go. Much of what I want is online. I have good access to old maps, old phone books (I cannot emphasize how helpful they are!), and, for most places, there are tons of old photos and some videos. About half of my books (so far) are set in San Francisco. There is an amazing amount of nostalgia for old San Francisco and lots of resources. When I wrote about Hong Kong, I found a tremendous amount of information about specific places that helped me visualize the layout of the city in 1955. However, when I wrote about Sydney, there was very little. The one exception was the daily paper. The San Francisco papers are almost impossible to find online. But the Sydney Morning-Herald is available through December of 1954 and that was endlessly helpful.

When I want to send Nick and Carter to the movies, that is a big undertaking. First, I have to figure out what was playing on that particular day. Since I can’t look at the San Francisco papers, I tend to look at the San Bernardino Sun, which is available online. Then I have to figure out what theater would likely have been playing the movie, which I can usually guess at. Then I try to look up the news from the previous week to find out what would have been in the newsreel. The final piece is to find the cartoon that would have been in between the newsreel and the feature. Fortunately, there is a database where that can be found. And, I’ve always been able to find the cartoon somewhere online so I can watch it. I have a lot of fun with that. Sadly, Nick and Carter don’t go to the movies that often (at least not in the stories I write about them) because the research only results in about two paragraphs of writing.

Another general thing I do is to read the Life Magazines that would have been out around the dates of each book. And I also page through the Billboard magazines, since they talk about what is happening on the radio and on TV. I find lots of little tidbits in both of them. And they’re hosted by Google Books, so they’re easy to find. Oh, and I have access to the Time Magazine archive as well as National Geographic. Lots of good stuff there, particularly in National Geographic.

What do you find yourself repeatedly editing in your books?

I always have to go back and terse things up. In my own voice, I tend to write in long, dissembling sentences (with parenthetical asides, like this). The trick to getting Nick’s perspective across is to be as direct as possible. He sometimes meanders about in his head, but it’s rare. Usually, he’s just giving the facts, so I try to make sure that’s what’s in the writing. In his language, I find myself removing the words “really” and “very” over and over again. I tend to talk like that myself. I’m also trying to cut back on using “that” as a conjunction. That drives one of my Beta readers crazy!

What are the ethics of writing about historical figures?

My books start in 1953, so I try to make sure that, if an actual historical figure shows up, they’re dead now. There’s one person mentioned in a couple of my books who is still alive, so he’s always referred to obliquely. But that’s for legal reasons. As for the ethics, I try to find out what I can about people, based on what they said about themselves, what was said about them contemporaneously, and what good historians and biographers have written about them.

In my third book, The Sartorial Senator, I introduced Robert Kennedy into the story. He worked for Senator Joseph McCarthy for a couple of years and quit in July of 1953. He shows up in June of 1953 in the book. I based his actions and words on a biography that was released in 2016.

The historical figure I’ve written about the most is Rosalind Russell, the actress. I’ve read her autobiography and tried to find as much as I can about what others have said about her. No one has written a good biography of her, yet. Hopefully, I’ve gotten much of it right.

I do write Historical Notes at the end of each book and discuss the real people who show up and take pains to point out who is a fictional character when they might be assumed to be real.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Sometimes they come to me out of the blue. Other times, I use old phone books that I’ve collected or online name generators, particularly for foreign names. I have a whole slate of Czech characters and I definitely had to use the name generator for that.

The names for the two main characters, Nick Williams and Carter Jones, dropped into my head and I’ve been endlessly fascinated by that fact. Both are very common Welsh last names, which has led to a number of interesting interactions for them with characters from different parts of the U.K. or Ireland who would immediately recognize that. Carter is named after his mother’s maiden name, which was a common thing for the second male child in the South, where Carter is from. I’ve yet to find out where Nick’s first name came from, but I’m sure that will happen at some point.

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

I read all of them. I have come to like them all, too, or most of them. The good ones are wonderful to read. And the bad ones are almost always instructional in some way. I know that most reviewers have that intention. The 1-star and 2-star reviews that simply say, “I didn’t like this book,” don’t have anything to offer and are not worth getting upset over since I have no idea what to do with that information.

In one particular review, the reader remarked that I obviously hadn’t been to the locale where much of the action takes place. I had plainly stated that in the book’s Historical Notes and had explained how I’d drawn on the history of the place with the usual caveat of how “any mistakes are my own.” That was a frustrating review because I would really have loved it if the person had contacted me and told me what they thought I got wrong. I’m grateful to have had plenty of those contacts, all of which have been very helpful. And some of those folks have become Beta readers, as well, which is even better!

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

Oh yes! I’ve added little tidbits that Nick notices or side comments by characters that, if you know what they’re talking about, would give you a chuckle. They’re not quite Easter Eggs but I love dropping them in when I can. I will admit that there’s a major mistake in my first book that only one person has figured out. It was unintentional. I keep meaning to go back and fix it, but I haven’t done so yet. I consider it one of those secrets.

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

Most books take about 15-20 days, depending on their length. I try to publish a book on or around the first of the month.


Frank W. Butterfield, not an assumed name, loves old movies, wise-cracking smart guys with hearts of gold, and writing for fun.

Although he worships San Francisco, he lives at the beach on another coast.

Born on a windy day in November of 1966, he was elected President of his high school Spanish Club in the spring of 1983.

After moving across these United States like a rapid-fire pinball, he currently makes his home in a hurricane-proof motel with superior water pressure that was built in 1947.

While he hasn’t met any dolphins personally, that invitation is always open.


Connect with Frank:



author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Robert Winter talks writing pitfalls, fear, and good writing habits (among other things)

September _headerbanner

Robert Winter author of September, Every Breath You Take and Lying Eyes joins PirateQueenRdz to talk writing and what it means to him.

Thank you, Robert, for joining today! This was a great interview, the best ones are always those that leave the reader wanting to know more.



Lying Eyes is Robert’s most recent release, read a little about it below!

Adobe Spark (6)


What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

The one that comes to mind is to Oxford, in England. I was a huge fan of both The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis when I was young. Lewis and Tolkien were friends at Oxford, and both were members of a group called The Inklings. They used to meet at The Eagle and Child pub in Oxford. Going there was an amazing experience that made me feel close to both writers.

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

Believing that you can be your own editor. When you produce a novel, it’s very easy to think that, as the writer, you are best positioned to judge the story. After all, you are the only one who knows the tale you want to tell. The problem is that ego inevitably produces blind spots. You can’t see the omissions or logical gaps because, in your mind, the connections are clear. Beta readers are helpful, but since they tend to be friends they may not be willing to identify flaws that might hurt your feelings. It takes an objective, hopefully professional, editor to point out flaws, weaknesses or downright inconsistencies.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Fear of unintentional plagiarism can paralyze me. All writers read voraciously, and the words and ideas inevitably are stored in our subconscious. Every time I have what I think is a good plot or a clever way of phrasing something, I worry that I have remembered something rather than created it. The self-doubt can keep me from writing for days at a time. Sometimes I stop what I’m doing to go back and reread works that I might have aped. Rationally, I know that we all work with a finite set of words and within a range of tropes – vampire, werewolf, May-December, GFY, enemies to lovers and so on – and therefore some similarity is inevitable. As long as I can convince myself I’ve done my level best to tell a unique story, I can work myself out of the crippling fear.

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

I thought about writing my MM romances under a pseudonym but then I decided that implied I was somehow ashamed of them so I publish under my own name. I’m retired from my law career so I don’t have to worry about professional repercussions, and my family is generally supportive. I have ideas for other types of books, particularly a Young Adult series, and if I pursue those I probably would use a pseudonym as a way to keep my audiences distinct. I don’t think I’d want a 13-year old to pick up Lying Eyes and learn about rope play!

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

It’s some combination. I do want to be original, but I also want to be read. That means keeping an eye on the top sellers in Amazon for various tropes that do well and considering whether I have a story that might fit in a niche. It also means acknowledging that readers have expectations and not being so wed to my own writing that I alienate an audience. For example, in Lying Eyes I originally had my main character Randy meet another character, Danny, before he met the love interest. An editor pointed out to me that many readers would latch on to Danny as the end game because they met him first, and would then resent my intended romantic pairing. I thought that was valid so even though I liked the story structure I started with, I changed it to acknowledge that readers have legitimate expectations.

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

Starting with my trip to GRL 2016 in Kansas City, I’ve met a number of writers who have become friends and mentors. Leta Blake and Keira Andrews, in particular, have been terrific with their advice, both in terms of story content and the logistics of self-publishing. B.G. Thomas and Brandon Witt have been good sounding boards and they’re both kind men as well. Pat Henshaw, Rick Reed, Devon McCormack, Amy Lane … I’ve really been lucky to meet these great people who genuinely want to help a new writer succeed. I can’t wait for GRL 2017 to connect with even more writers.

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

Write every day. I heard this advice when I was younger but I never developed the habit that I should have. Storytelling is a talent but writing is a craft. I wish that I had made myself sit down and write at least one page of something every day, even if it was nonsense and would never see the light. Sentence structure, syntax, composition, balance, momentum … all of these are vital and have to be developed with practice. I’ve grown a lot as a writer in the last few years since I began to write my first MM romance, but I think I would be much better if I had started earlier.

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

When a book first comes out, I skim the reviews on blogs, Amazon and Goodreads to see if the reaction is generally favorable or not. After that, I keep an eye on the overall summary ratings but I don’t usually read the actual reviews. Instead, I ask a friend to read them and let me know if there is any recurring trend or theme – either positive or negative – that I can take note of and use in future writing.

What was your hardest scene to write?

Spoiler alert. In September, I wrote a scene where Brandon has his leg amputated. That scene gutted me. Of course I fall in love with my own characters so it was painful to do something so awful to one of them. But I had laid the groundwork. I mention early on that Brandon, a physical therapist, worked with someone hurt badly riding a bicycle, then I mention he starts riding his bike more as the weather gets hotter, and then after his hit-and-run accident I introduced the risk of amputation and his devastation at the possibility. I didn’t want to cheat myself or my readers by having his leg recover miraculously. Still, it killed me when I wrote the scene where his doctor tells him that they can’t save his leg.

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

When I get going, it takes me about six weeks to produce a complete first draft of an 80,000 word novel. After that, I spend two to three months on revisions before I get to the point of showing it to anyone else. By the time I go through professional editors and proofreading, it’s typically been six months overall.


Version 3

Robert Winter lives and writes in Provincetown. He is a recovering lawyer who prefers writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.


Contact Robert at the following links:






Review quotes and links:

“Robert Winter is now an auto-buy author for me. Spectacular writing!!!”  Amazon reviewer

“There are pulse-racing action scenes to go along with the intrigue and building romance, and an ending that goes above and beyond to supply gratification to the reader, as well as to the characters.”
It’s About the Book

“4.5 stars!!”
Bayou Book Junkies

“Robert Winter has definitely made it onto my favorite author list.  This is his third book, and they just keep getting better!”
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words





author interviews, m/m romance, Uncategorized

Meet the lovely CL Etta!



Today’s guest is CL Etta, author of several MM novels including Hound and Harmony. Cl Etta will be at GRL this year as a supporting author and I look very much forward to meeting her in person. Without further ado, here is CL Etta discussing how she got into writing and the bumps (and peaks) she has reached along the way.


Good morning. I hope everyone’s day has started with a bang. My thanks to Elle for her generosity inviting me to contribute to her blog. It’s hard to believe, but I began my writer’s journey in 2015. I had retired from the workforce, and Candy Crush was beginning to bore me, so I took a creative writing class at our community college. I had an enlightening time while renewing an interest in storytelling I thought had died forty years ago. Then, we went on vacation and I spent hours reading.

When we returned home, my fingers were itching to start a story I had rattling around in my brain. Kevin, Raphael and Robbie were born. They refused to go away nor believe I wasn’t a writer. I stayed up many nights until three a.m. putting their words to paper. Okay, since this is the twenty-first century, I was keyboarding like a madwoman to get their voices into my computer and saved in a cloud. By the way I still haven’t figured out where that cloud resides. The point is, they did not let me rest until I had told their stories. Book one of the series I envisioned was completed.

When finally the manuscript was ready and edited with the help of a brilliant family member, I sent it off to a publisher while I continued writing book two. Publisher One promptly turned it down without explanation. Okay, I expected that. I sent it to another who did the same. Not surprised at all. I anticipated running the gamut of publishers before finding a home. Off to a third publisher who without surprise turned it down. But, and this is a big one, gave me feedback. I didn’t know the rules of genre writing, still break them in fact, but I had started my story with my characters too young for the YA genre. Even though they aged through the storyline, they weren’t right for the “adult” line.

So what I did was take parts of that first manuscript and combine it with the one I was working on, and Heartache and Hope was the result. It’s been a year since Pride Publishing took a chance on me and published the book. Since then we’ve brought you Heart and Home and Hound and Harmony.

Of the three book, Hound and Harmony is my favorite. While the first two books were about Kevin and Raphael, the third book follows Robbie as he learns to live on his own away from Kevin. We’ve seen Robbie grow from troubled rent boy, to a successful musician but living in Kevin’s shadow. In Hound and Harmony, we follow his travels from Las Vegas, to San Francisco, to Okanogan Washington and on to his hometown at the source of the Columbia river in Canada. He’s looking to find himself, but along the way, he encounters Cassidy, a sexy retired Army Master Sergeant, who earned the nickname Hound long before he met Kevin.

The reason this is my favorite of the three books is Hound. His voice is distinctive and the best characterization I’ve written to date. I hope that other’s will agree with me. Although Hound and Harmony is the third in the trilogy, it can certainly stand alone.

The book and the others can be found at these fine e-book retailers.

Pride Publishing                                   Amazon                  Barnes and Noble               Kobo      First For Romance


In addition to the Beyond Heartache trilogy, I’ve also written and had published by Dreamspinner Press another book dear to my heart. Love’s Tethered Heart. I drew on my experience as a nursing home nurse to write this one. It’s the story of Mico who’s quadriplegic and tethered to his bed by the mechanics keeping him alive. He meets Danny, a reporter whose assignment is to discover why Mico won’t name the people who attacked him, stealing his life and mobility. It’s heartbreaking, heartwarming and life affirming.

I also wrote and self-published Darken Not My Soul which is about Adrian and Randy, two of the characters from Love’s Tethered Heart.

Currently I’m about to finish up what began as a science fiction short story but quickly evolved into a full-blown novel. It’s a challenge, but I was so excited about meeting it, I set aside the other two manuscripts I was working on to bring Transcending Phoenix to life.

Although I still feel like the new girl on the block, it’s been a busy and fascinating journey into the world of writing and publishing. To have written four books and had them published within two years of opening my computer is mind boggling. I consider myself very blessed to have this opportunity But what is more spectacular is the chance to connect with people from all corners of the globe, and to meet and make new friends.

In the fall, I’m attending my second Gay Romance Literature retreat in Denver. I look forward to meeting a lot of you. You can find me at the supporting author’s tables on Thursday and Friday, so stop by and say hi. If you miss me there, you’re sure to see me in the bar sipping martinis. Take a seat and we can talk about why we believe in Love For Everyone.