contmep mm romance, m/m romance, romance writers, shipwreck romance, Uncategorized

Available now! Out of the Ocean by Lynn Michaels

 

Out of the Ocean

So excited to help get the word out about Lynn Michaels newest, Out of the Ocean. PQ had the chance to read this early and I highly recommend this May-December late coming out novella. Visit any of the blog sites below for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card as part of the release blitz.

Blurb

“Shipwrecked, fighting for their lives, and finding unexpected love…
Cal Bigsby spent his life working the fishing boats and ignoring who he really is and what he needs to be happy.
Prescott ‘Scott’ Vandenburton is being primed to take over Daddy’s company, but he craves a life of his own. His only escape is sailing his yacht.
When a freak storm hits, both are forced to think about life from a whole new perspective. ”

Author Bio

Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. Lynn is the newest addition to Rubicon Fiction, and she loves reading and writing about hot men in love. She writes paranormal and contemporary MM Romance

Out of the Ocean is available here: https://www.books2read.com/u/38gw5Z

As well as through Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Out-Ocean-Lynn-Michaels-ebook/dp/B079R1G4YR

March 15 – The Novel Approach
March 16 – Sexy Erotic XcitingCupcakes & Bookshelves
March 17 – Gay Book Reviews
March 19 – BookLoveXtreme Delusions
March 20 – Joyfully Jay
March 21 – Jim’s Reading RoomMaking It Happen
March 22 – MM Good Book Reviews
March 23 – Diverse ReaderArchaeolibrarianDreams and Screams BookaholicsAnnette GisbyWicked Reads
March 26 – Bayou Book JunkieValerie UllmerSarandipityScattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
March 27 – Love Bytes Reviews

D/s romance, kindle world, m/m romance, romance writers, Uncategorized

Are you ready for a little Pain Play? Author Morticia Knight joins us with a snippet from her newest!

Pain Play Teaser png

Firstly, I’d like to thank Morticia for joining us today! I’m always ready for something new, let’s see what she has for us!

Blurb

Terry is ready for some pain that brings him pleasure…

The deeper Terry becomes immersed in a 24/7 dynamic with Phil, the more he realizes that he’s ready for them to be full-time. There might still be plenty to learn in his D/s journey with his Master, but he’s discovered a sense of peace and fulfillment he hadn’t known was possible.

Phil can’t wait to show his boy how exquisite erotic pain can be.

Phil couldn’t be more thrilled when Terry confesses his desire for them to take the next step in their Master/sub relationship, and he decides to explore some of Terry’s soft limits regarding pain. Adding to his joy are the approaching holidays that include celebrating with their friends. If only he could receive an offer for a film project, Phil would get all his Christmas wishes.

Surprises are revealed, forbidden desires are shared, and their New Year begins with a bang—which not only brings them closer to each other—but to their friends, Master Gerard and his boy Marco.

Author’s note: Pain Play is part of a continuing series that chronicles Phil and Terry’s loving D/s journey and should be read in order. Phil and Terry are a committed, monogamous couple, but there is a scene of group play. This story ends with an HEA, no cliffhanger and doesn’t include any additional content. Pain Play is approximately 37,500 words and 120 pages. Watch for more in the Play Series coming soon!

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Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2DyHLgX

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2mRuC8c

Amazon DE: http://amzn.to/2DOKGjf

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2FXcK4w

Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2DqsUWD

Amazon FR: http://amzn.to/2Dp2qEQ

Amazon IT: http://amzn.to/2mRJunn

Excerpt

Terry stirred, soaking up Phil’s warmth as he snuggled into him. He let out an unbidden groan.

Fuck.

His first thought was that he was going to regret the throbbing sting in his nipples or the deep ache in ass cheeks, but as he bent one knee to drape a leg over his Master, his next thought was how delicious the lingering pain felt, how it was like having Phil’s continuous touch all over him. A low moan rumbled in Phil’s chest and he rolled on his side, wrapping an arm around Terry then tugging him closer. Terry used his leg to embrace Phil’s limbs even more as he rubbed his face against Phil’s neck.

“Morning.” Phil’s sleep-roughened voice was more growly than usual.

It had been quite a night.

Despite the occasional off-hand remarks Phil made about his age and diminished prowess, it hadn’t stopped him from fucking Terry twice after they’d had a chance to rest up from Phil’s enthusiastic flogging. The multiple coming in the same night for them both wasn’t something that had happened since they’d been reunited. Terry grinned. Ass is sore on the inside too. They’d both gotten a thorough workout.

“Good morning, Master.” He yawned a bit too loudly.

Phil chuckled, the deep timbre of his voice a cock-awakening sound. “I’d ask if you need more sleep, but that nice, hard rod pushing against my stomach says otherwise.”

“What can I say? I’m hot for you all the time.”

Phil traced circles with his fingertips on Terry’s back. “Flatterer.” He placed a firm kiss on the top of Terry’s head. “But I’ll take it.”

I’m the one who took it last night.”

Phil barked out a laugh. “That you did. And quite well, I might add.” Phil hugged him. “What time does your session begin?”

Terry’s eyes went wide and he jolted out of Phil’s arms, smashing their chests together as he surged over Phil’s torso to check the digital clock on the nightstand. Phew. But what a boner-killer. He collapsed into Phil’s embrace again. Even though he didn’t typically sleep much past dawn, their enthusiastic play the evening before had exhausted him.

Phil snorted. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah. Sorry about that. They won’t be here ‘til ten. I’ve got almost two hours still.”

“Then may I hold my beautiful sub for a few more minutes before we start our day?”

Terry smiled. “Of course.”

He wriggled against Phil to work himself back into a comfortable position. His bladder wasn’t screaming at him yet, but he didn’t figure he’d last much longer than the few minutes Phil had requested. Terry chewed at his lip, the pleasant dreamy zone he’d been in when he’d first awoken had been ripped from him, which meant that instead, his mind was whirring the way it always did. Phil jostled him.

“Baby? You’re tense.”

Terry let out a frustrated sigh. “Yeah, sorry. My brain is up and at ‘em. You know how I get.”

“That’s okay, I understand. Then let’s go over our day for a moment before I feed you your breakfast.”

Terry snapped his head up, furrowing his brow as he stared down at Phil. “Wait, what? Again?”

Phil’s expression radiated amusement. “You’re like a prairie dog this morning.”

Terry gave Phil a smirk. “Ha ha. Now what about the breakfast thing?”

Phil smiled, caressing Terry’s cheek, his thumb scraping the stubble there. “Let me do this for you. Then, after your session we’ll discuss everything in depth when we go over our permanent contract.”

Permanent. Holy shit and fuck yeah.

“Okay. I can do that.”

Phil searched his face, and whatever aspect of their relationship—or perhaps Terry himself—he was musing on, seemed to fill his Master with contentment. He ran his hand along Terry’s cheek before threading his fingers through his hair. “Thank you. Taking care of you that way made me very, very happy.”

Terry smiled, Phil’s statement reminding him of how much he’d been touched by it as well. “I’m glad. I was thinking it might be one of those things you only liked to do on occasion, or was only for my benefit, and you didn’t get all that much out of the act.”

“Mmm. I get a lot out of feeding you and I’m continuing it for our benefit.” He kept playing with Terry’s hair. Phil cupped the back of his head then drew him in for a chaste kiss. “Nice to be coddled a bit, isn’t it?”

Terry swallowed hard. He constantly struggled to let go, to allow himself the true vulnerability that Phil wanted from him. “It was, I mean it. I suppose I assumed it was merely part of a scene.”

Phil gave him a soft smile. “But you said you were sorry the scene ended, that you wanted us to be 24/7 from now on.”

Terry chuckled shakily. “Yeah. I remember saying something to that effect.”

Phil’s brow furrowed. “We don’t have to be 24/7 yet if you’re still unsure. Just hearing you say you wanted to at all let me know we’re making real progress.”

Terry grabbed the hand Phil had cupped around his nape, prying his fingers loose so he could clutch their joined hands to his chest. “No. I’m not unsure, just nervous. I’ll fight you. Even if I don’t want to, won’t mean to—I will. You’ve been a lot softer with me since what happened with Anson and those assholes. And I love that gentle side, it’s so different from what I’m used to with us, but I need your rougher side too. Don’t be afraid to push me. You never were before.”

 

Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little hearts desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share—her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Since then, she’s been fortunate enough to have several books on bestseller lists along with titles receiving recognition in the Rainbow Book Awards, Divine Magazine and Love Romance Café.

 

Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the North Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men, she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.

 

Morticia’s Social links:

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

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2q2I2Do

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorticiaKnight

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/authormorticiaknight/

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

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

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/MorticiaKnight

Thank you again! I’m looking forward to this addition!

m/m romance, mm paranormal romance, romance writers, Uncategorized

What if? Our Own Story. A Novel by Lynn Michaels

OurOwnStory6x9 (1)

Our Own Story by Lynn Michaels is a sweet romance with a twist of paranormal.

Help can sometimes come where you least expect it. A gentle nudge from the mysterious beyond may be all one needs for a happily ever after.

When Tad Conway’s ex-boyfriend, Bobby, returns after a long absence, he realizes that there are certain things in the universe he can’t explain. Like spending the night in Bobby’s arms only to learn that he’d died months before and is most likely haunting him. Oh, and that Bobby may be pushing Tad into the arms of another man.

Drew Sinclair has had a major crush on marketing guru, Tad Conway, for the longest time. After Drew’s hired as an intern in Tad’s company, he gets his chance to show his stuff—in and out of the bedroom. As Tad and Drew get to know each other better and maybe developing feelings for each other, will Tad be able to let go of his past and move on to a future with Drew?

Writing Our Own Story was about a series of what if’s.. What if someone was being haunted by an ex-boyfriend? What if they didn’t know he’d passed? What if…

You’ll also see a little bit of the old city mouse/country mouse theme in there. Tad is a city boy and his new love interest takes him out of his comfort zone and into the country. It’s important for Tad to take a step back away from his normal environment in order to see things more clearly. For Drew it’s about exploring this new relationship and getting to know Tad a little better.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for an exclusive excerpt! 

Amazon Customer Reviews:

I’m not one to read paranormal, but I gave this one a go, and I will say I thoroughly enjoyed it!! I loved the characters and how Lynn Michaels developed them.” ~Amy

A lovely story about letting go and starting anew. A well-written contemporary romance with a touch of paranormal.”  ~Tanja

I just love all of Lynn Michaels books and she just gets better and better to me. I love how sweet Drew and Ted story is! And of course love that Bobby, even dead, is trying to get Ted to find love again. I love the little paranormal aspect of this book. Definitely a book to read!” ~Stephanie VO

A really great book about love, how letting go doesn’t mean forgetting and that there is always room in your heart for more.” ~         Joscelyn Smith

 

Our Own Story by Lynn Michaels

Published by eXtasybooks and found at the following retailers:

eXtasy: http://www.extasybooks.com/our-own-story/

Amazon: http://ow.ly/ZtYa30hwVGq

B&N: http://ow.ly/KaD930hwUJf

Kobo: http://ow.ly/MztS30hCraR

 ibooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/our-own-story/id1323885468?mt=11

Follow Lynn Michaels:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Michaels/e/B0141XP56K/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

http://www.extasybooks.com/lynn-michaels/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Lynn-Michaels-1450504665203028/

 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8430620.Lynn_Michaels

 

https://twitter.com/sljasble

 

https://rubiconwriting.com/lynn-michaels/

 

Exclusive Excerpt:

 Tad crossed the living room and climbed into Bobby’s lap. He wrapped his arms around Tad’s waist. “Look,” he said. “I regret a lot of things. Pushing you away. Yeah, that’s probably my biggest regret.”

Tad ran his fingers through Bobby’s dark curls. “What are you talking about? You never pushed me away. It was me. All me.”

Bobby’s smile seemed at once familiar and strange. It’d been too long since they’d been together.

Tad couldn’t resist and leaned in to kiss those familiar lips. He expected to feel warmth and comfort, but Bobby’s lips were chilled. “Damn, this place is so cold tonight.”

Bobby pulled Tad a little tighter. “We were good together, Tadpole. I missed you, but I was too prideful to admit it. I thought I had all the time in the world. I thought we might get back together some day.”

“What about now?”

Bobby chuckled and kissed Tad’s forehead. “It’s not really going to happen. It can’t, and for once, that’s not my pride. But, for now, hold me. Just hold me.”

yum…..

Two guys

 

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.

author-pic-2015.jpg

 

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

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!

FOREVER HOME:

 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: https://books.pronoun.com/healing-touch/

Forever Home

All buy links: https://books.pronoun.com/forever-home/

Preview book of the first 6 chapters: http://www.missywelsh.com/forever-home-dl-2.html

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!

PQ