Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lee Brazil talks about Real Life Heroes today


Real Life Heroes by Lee Brazil
Pick up a romance novel. Any one. What's that hero look like? Bet you he's tall, handsome, either strikingly blond or broodingly dark. His eyes are imbued with magical qualities, his lips divine.  Odds are he's disgustingly rich, sought after by women (or men) everywhere.
His character is noble, intelligent, and arrogant possibly, but always deservedly so. He's the top in his career, the bravest, the strongest, the cleverest man around.
He's hogwash. He's no hero. He's a myth, a fantasy, a veritable cartoon of a real man.
I like the trend toward real heroes in romance. You see firemen, and policemen, and even shop keepers as heroes these days. Of course, they're still perfect.  They might be geeks, but by God they are handsome geeks!  They might be forty-five years old, but gosh darn it, they've got all their own hair!
Women in romance have become real. They are buxom, glasses wearing kick-ass ladies who tote guns and wear martial arts garb. They are real.
Where are the real men?
The heroes who need glasses, whose hair is thinning prematurely, whose muscles aren't well defined, who stutter, or sweat, or sell insurance for a living?
When I go down to my local fire station the men there aren't model perfect beauties. They're handsome men, in their character and their appearance. Some have gap teeth, some have beards, some have more gray than color in their hair. They are thin and gangly, lanky muscled men who can pass that hose quickly and wriggle in and out of tight spaces.
There are portly gentlemen there, with bald pates and thick mustaches. They coax kittens out of trees and comfort elderly women. Their smiles might be crooked but they are sincere, and when one of them raises a hand in greeting, I know he's genuinely happy to see me.
The police men at the local station, they talk to kids every day, they issue warning when tickets might have been called for, they counsel families, and they are occasionally called upon to fight crime. Not often, it's that kind of place. They do a lot of paper work, and they keep the cars clean.  None of them are perfect specimens of masculinity either. They're all nice looking fellows, some who could use a few rounds of exercise, some who could probably do with a personal shopper.
They're awesome.
Why aren't they in your book?
Why not the farmer with his sun burnt neck and wind chapped cheeks? In his John Deere cap and his Carhartt jacket? Or the squinty eyed pharmacist who works behind the counter and fills your prescription? He explains the difference between aspirin and ibuprofen day after day with a tolerant grin.
We've accepted flawed heroes, if the flaw is in their personality, like...impatience, arrogance, etc. But can we accept as our hero a man who isn't handsome?
Is it that to be loved you must be handsome?
Or...
Maybe...
If we love someone,
It doesn't matter what they look like.
You agree that is true, yes?
Is it too difficult to take a beast and make him beautiful in the eyes of his lover?
 
My imperfect heroes, Val and Adrian,
are delighted to make your acquaintance.
 
The Librarian
 
Valentine Michaels has just taken a vow of celibacy. Adrian Grey intends to take full advantage of that vow to re-create his relationship with Val.
Val is at a crossroads in his life. A college dropout, he's gone as far as he can in his career as a cosmetologist, owning his own style salon. He no longer finds satisfaction in it, though he's put years into proving to his bigoted parents that a college degree and the veneer of straightness aren't the only roads to success. They'd turned their backs on him, and he proved he didn't need them to make it.
His love life is no better than his working life. His relationships always start with a bang and fizzle into boredom, or worse, anger.
Adrian has his own agenda for helping Val: he's been in love with Val since they were freshmen. The intervening years of listening to Val's gossip about his lovers and relationships have taught Adrian just what it was he did wrong all those years ago, and he thinks this time around he now knows exactly how to get—and keep—his man.
 
Buy Links:
 

Monday, January 30, 2012

This Week's New Releases from Dreamspinner Press

Desert World Rebirth by Lyn Gala
Science Fiction, Novel
Buy e-Book HERE
Buy Print HERE


Sequel to Desert World Allegiances

New ambassadors Temar Gazer and Shan Polli stopped one disaster on Livre, but the battle isn't over. Temar is still struggling to work through the abuse he suffered. Livre, too, is stuck: it could ally with the breakaway planets—risking strange and dangerous beliefs—or the older alliance, which offers human rights protections but seeks to control the planet. It's a delicate balance, but they manage… until crisis takes Shan away from Temar.

It's up to Temar to get them and their planet through the crisis safely. But just because he and Shan have chosen each other doesn’t mean their love is strong enough to survive when the stirring sands around them change.

 A Bar Tender Tale by Melanie Tushmore
Contemporary, Horror, Novella
Buy e-Book HERE


Twenty-two-year-old barman Nathan is always the odd one out. It's tough to get a date when his love of loud music, tattoos, and zombie paraphernalia usually sends potential candidates running for the hills. Trying to find anyone who wants to spend time with him, let alone stay in and watch trashy horror movies, has always been a problem.

Then, on his day off, Nathan does a friend a favor by covering a shift at a pub, and in walks a handsome stranger who shares his love of horror. It could be a match made in B-movie heaven, and Nathan is determined to pursue this new acquaintance, but—zombies aside—has Nathan got the guts to go on a real date?

The Dragon Tamer by Ana Bosch
Fantasy/Paranormal, Short Story
Buy e-Book HERE


Drake, a dragon master of the tamer clan, was barely a man himself when he saved the life of a youth burning with fever. Aedan, a fire mage, has dragon blood mingled with his own, creating such a tempestuous and volatile personality that it can literally burn him from the inside. Though Drake was able to calm the tumult enough to give Aedan a few years of peace, he knew that as the boy came of age, the fire in him would ignite once more.

When, years later, the effects of his fiery impulses force Aedan from the mage clan, his path crosses Drake’s again. Once more taming Aedan with a connection that joins them body and soul, Drake promises to protect Aedan forever—but he fears the day when “forever” might come to an end.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

A Spell of Passion or Fear by T. C. Mill
Steampunk, Fantasy/Paranormal, Novella
Buy e-Book HERE



Once, Ariston was a Guardian of the Kalliopolis, the perfect city designed by the Philosophers—Philosophers who, in their wisdom, replaced the imperfect human Guardians of Ariston’s generation with warrior machines. Phaleas Peneste, a poor farmer’s orphan the new Guardians rescued from the devastating winter that killed his family, now serves as their mechanic. Unhappy with their positions in the Kalliopolis’s new order, each man decides to escape, a coincidence that leads to their first meeting.

Afraid to risk his life in the wilderness beyond the Kalliopolis, Phaleas hesitates and is recaptured by the Guardians while Ariston discovers he doesn’t have anywhere to run. Back inside, they begin a secret affair, and Phaleas hopes that together, they might give each other the strength to escape the Kalliopolis forever… but first he has to convince Ariston to try again.

Light of Day by Sue Brown
Contemporary, Novella
Buy e-Book HERE


Sequel to The Night Porter

The first time Max laid eyes on Robert Armitage, he knew exactly what he wanted to happen. But Max was just a night porter and Robert a guest at the hotel before his wedding, and Max knew even as they slept together that in the morning he’d have to send the groom on his way. Max’s heart was broken when Robert left, and so he ran home to Texas. When Robert’s marriage failed, Max waited for Robert to come looking for him, and waited….

A year later, Max’s dreams come true and Robert finds him, but there’s a catch, and Max has to decide if he wants Robert enough to be satisfied with hiding their relationship.

Ty's Obsession by SJD Peterson
BDSM/Kink, Novel
Buy e-Book HERE
Buy Print HERE


Sequel to Quinn’s Need
Book 3 of the Whispering Pines Ranch Novels

Ty Callahan knew Quinn Taylor was special the moment he first laid eyes on him. When the angry and heartbroken cowboy finally opens up, Ty sees the real man inside, and for the first time in years, Ty is ready to love again. There’s only one problem: Lorcan James. Although Lorcan has owned a piece of Quinn’s heart for some time, Ty is convinced he is the better man for Quinn and will stop at nothing to prove it.

Then Blake Henderson, a strong, dominant cowboy, strolls confidently into Ty’s life, offering an outlet for Ty’s anger, a chance to heal, and an option for his torn affections. Can Ty look beyond his feelings of rage and betrayal and find true peace, or will his obsession destroy them all?


French Release....Mary Calmes's Change of Heart

More Information on translations can be sent to translations@dreamspinnerpress.com

Jin Rayne est un jeune homme – mi-homme mi-panthère de surcroit – qui n'aspire qu'à une vie des plus ordinaires. Il a fui son passé pour prendre un nouveau départ, mais on ne se débarrasse pas si facilement d'aussi lourds secrets. Son arrivée dans une nouvelle ville l'amène à rencontrer le leader d'une tribu d'homme-panthères. Cette rencontre avec Logan Chruch, bel homme envoûtant, s'avère être un choc pour Jin qui panique à l'idée qu'il puisse s'agir de celui à qui il est destiné, c'est à dire l'amour de sa vie. Jin refuse de vivre selon les rites des hommes-panthères et se donner à son destiné le contraindrait à s'y soumettre.

Jin est pourtant bel et bien le compagnon dont Logan a besoin pour diriger sa tribu et il ne renoncera pas si facilement. Il aura besoin de temps et de se sentir en confiance pour découvrir le bonheur d'appartenir à Logan et apprendre à l'aimer sans borne.

 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Goddess Fish Blog Tour with Leslie Soule/Contest

Tour Contest Information: Leslie will be giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour as well as to the host with the most comments. Comment on each blog tour stop to be entered. Full tour stop details can be found HERE

 
Writing As Therapy by Leslie D. Soule

            Hey there! Thanks for having me as your guest today!

            So today I’m going to talk about what inspired me to write my fantasy novel Fallenwood, the first novel I’ve ever written. It took me three years to write it and has gone through numerous rewrites and lots of revision. I started writing the story originally as a form of therapy for myself after my stepfather passed away due to diabetes (which is chronicled in the story itself). It was very difficult for me to explain to other people what I was going through at the time, and also I’m an introvert, which is surprising to even my close friends because I’m a rather extroverted introvert. What it means to be introverted, though, is that you draw your energy ultimately from being alone and isolated and working on things yourself, pretty much. It’s not shyness – I’d never describe myself as a shy person or someone who shies away from meeting people or being in social situations. Rather, it’s a need to work things through in isolation, is I guess a good way to describe it. So writing Fallenwood was a way for me to express myself in words and to work through all of the difficult emotions and ideas that were going through my head. 

            Also, I was working retail, and found it to be a rather boring thing with a lot of “down time”, but the schedule allowed me to take college courses, which might have been more difficult with another type of job. So in order to keep my mind occupied during the down time at work, I began writing on scraps of receipt tape when ideas would come to me. In this way, I tried to keep myself from becoming sour and jaded, because no matter how people treated me at work – co-workers or customers – at the end of the day, I had my little scraps of paper that would form a story, and that was something, at least. 


            A lot of writing guide books talk about the idea of character motivation, and how you always have to keep in mind what a particular character wants. In the case of my main character Ash, I believe that she wants peace in all forms – world peace, peace of mind, etc. She wants to make sense of the crazy world and crazy situations she finds herself in. When I wrote Fallenwood, that’s what I was also searching for in life – a sense of peace, and calm, and for things to make sense, even though I didn’t know how to make that happen. 

            In conclusion, writing is a great form of self-therapy and writing Fallenwood has been one of the best things I feel that I’ve ever done. I hope you enjoy the story if you get a chance to read it. If you’d like to enter to win a gift card to Barnes & Noble, please leave a comment and leave your name as well.

            Thank you for having me as your guest today! 

 Fallenwood by Leslie Soule
Decadent Publishing
Fantasy
Buy HERE

 
Fallenwood—a land where magic is the life force, dragons are sages, and wizards good and evil battle for supremacy. When 23-year-old Ash is thrust into the middle of Fallenwood’s power struggles, she is also forced to face her own inner battles. Life on Earth was hard enough on Ash, who is locked in grief for her stepfather. Now, the fate of Fallenwood rests on her shoulders. She must destroy the Great Crystal—the catalyst for all the land’s magic. As the kingdoms prepare for war, Ash must look inside to find the power to save the world, and herself.

Excerpt:

The dragon’s eyes glowed, for a flickering moment, with white light.

“Ash,” the dragon continued, “Welcome to Terra Illumina…or as it is more commonly known, Fallenwood.” Then a fierce roaring laugh erupted from the stone, as though the dragon thought the new name a joke. “A dark, difficult, dangerous path lies before you, Ash Kensington.”  

Ash’s heart grew heavy. In truth, she knew that she was destined to some terrible, dark fate. For so long, her life was filled with sadness and doubt, and one horrible thing after another. What else can I hope for?

 “But Ash, you must not lose hope. Our world needs you..."

About Leslie Soule:
Leslie Soule lives in Sacramento, California. Fallenwood is her first fantasy novel. She has received her B.A. in English from Sacramento State University and is currently working on her Master’s degree in English at National University.

Website: www.lesliesoule.com

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Winners of my Blog contest

Winners of  my 'How do you beat the winter doldroms?" contest are...

Angel of Darkness Book winner- Julie Lynn Hayes

Nightshift Book Winner- Teresa K

Emails were sent to the winners and have three days to contact me back. If I don't hear from winners by Monday Jan. 31st, then new winners will be drawn.

Congrats.

Complete List of LR Cafe's Best of 2011 Winners


Best Paranormal/Fantasy Book
Winner (TIE): Protect & Serve: Sex on a Hoof by Silvia Violet & Stormy Glenn-Cat’s Pride
Runner Up:
Cindy Spencer Pape-Motor City Witch
Honorable Mention:
Desiree Holt-Silent Hunter

Best Book of 2011
Winner: Kiru Taye-His Treasure
Runner Up:TJ Klune-Bear, Otter and the Kid
Honorable Mention:Lee Brazil-Keeping House

Best GBLT Book
Winner:
Margie Church-Hard as Teak
Runner Up:
Damon Suede-Hot Head
Honorable Mention:
Amber Kell-Trials of Tam

Best Contemporary Book
Winner:
Casey Crow-Can’t Fake This
Runner Up (TIE):
Damon Suede-Hot Head
Grace Wen-The Imperfect Wife
Honorable Mention:
ZA Maxfield-The Book of Daniel

Best Historical Romance Book
Winner:
Lizzie T. Leaf-Making Christmas
Runner Up:
Erastes-Muffled Drum
Honorable Mention:
Great Caesar’s Ghost by Cindi Myers

Best BDSM Book
Winner:
Cassandra Carr-Caught
Runner Up:
Kari Gregg-Collared
Honorable Mention:
DC Juris-Orion’s Way

Best Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller Book
Winner (TIE):
Josh Lanyon-Snowball in Hell
June Kramin-Double Mocha, Heavy on Your Phone Number

Runner Up:
Carol Preflatish- Saved by the Sheriff

Honorable Mention (TIE):
JD Robb-New York to Dallas
Derek Thompson-The Silent Hills

Best Author of 2011
Winner:
Tara Lain
Runner Up:
Dominique Eastwick
Honorable Mention
Cassandre Dayne

Best GBLT Author 2011
Winner:
Margie Church
Runner Up:
Jambrea Jo Jones
Honorable Mention (TIE)
SJD Peterson
Mary Calmes

Best Cover of 2011
Winner:
Lee Brazil-Loving Jacob
Runner Up (TIE):
Carol Lynne-Sunset Ridge
Sandy Sullivan-Two for the price of one
Honorable Mention:
Damon Suede-Hot Head

Best Cover Artist
Winner:
Reese Dante
Runner Up:
Kelly Shorten
Honorable Mention:
Dawné Dominique

Best e-Publisher 2011
Winner:
Silver Publishing
Runner Up:
Evernight Publishing
Honorable Mention:
Secret Cravings Publishing

Best Science Fiction/Futuristic/Dystopian Book
Winner:
Amber Kell-Soldier Mine
Runner Up:
Berengaria Brown-Raw Want
Honorable Mention (TIE):
Belinda McBride-Uncommon Whore 2: If I Fall
Linda Mooney-Captive Surrender

Best Western/Cowboys Book
Winner:
Amber Kell-Tyler’s Cowboy
Runner Up:
Lorilei James-Cowboy Casanova
Honorable Mention (TIE):
Sandy Sullivan-Two for the price of one
Stacey Espino-Hogtying the Cowgirl

Best Ménage Book
Winner:
Sandy Sullivan- Love Me Once, Love me Twice
Runner Up:
Jennifer Labelle-Spice It Up
Honorable Mention:
Berengaria Brown-Untamable

Best Anthology Book
Winner:
Story Orgy Vol 1: Word Play by Lee Brazil, Hank Edwards, Em Woods, Havan Fellows & JR Boyd
Runner Up:
Doms of Dark Haven 2: Western Night by Belinda McBride, Sierra Cartwright & Cherise Sinclair
Honorable Mention:
Men Under the Mistletoe by Josh Lanyon, Harper Fox, Ava March & K. A. Mitchell

Best Series
Winner:
Sherman Series by Dominique Eastwick
Runner Up:
Genetic Attraction Series by Tara Lain
Honorable Mention:
Supernatural Mates series by Amber Kell

WRITERS WRITE...WRITING PARTNERS FEUD



FEGHOOTS, EXCERPTS, AND WHATNOT

A: Tie a yelling gibbon around the old folk tree? (She looks at Zi as if forty-six million brain cells instantaneously escaped...wondering where is the hole)

Z: Feghoot!

A: Your owl's named Feg? (The obscurity of Angelica floats amidst the fact that her response was sort of a feghoot. She preens and giggles...the dogs in the room yelp as if joining in our merriment)

Z: Remember the Fractured Fairytales of Rocky and Bullwinkle? Many of our canard tales are a homage to that style. Parody. False tales. Stories.

A: As we have mentioned before, our series THE FABLE OF SIN-SIN-CINDERELLA is feghoot filled, ribald and naughty funny.

Z: (About to bore with a long dissertation, Zi looks professorial) The parody blanketed in its feeble and oft ridiculous effort to imitate a style or part of another author's work for the purpose of comic effect has been a staple in writing. The idea of touching something others can connect to, yet poking that pointer finger at the ribs of the readers, why, to tickle, silly.

A: The following is a excerpt that points this out.... Did something crawl up inside one of the dogs and die? (Swiggles up her nose resembling a chipmunk as she waves her hand in front of her face while all four dogs look at her innocently)


ON THE TAVERN FRONT

So three tankards more later, in hobbled a three-legged dog. Eartha did the double-take because it was carrying a gun. The first thought was one tankard too many, then she thought robbery and considered ducking under the bar, but thought better when she noticed Aladdin, owner of a carpet company, laying Rug. Poor Jasmine, she adored the guy, and Rug was enjoying Aladdin. He knew things.

The bartender, wearing a dirty torn t-shirt shouted, "This is a peaceful establishment."

"Woof," responded the dog. The dog sat near Eartha, still scouring the room, looking at each person, studying them.

Eartha asked, "What are doing here with that gun?"

(Note to reader, this is a fairytale so giving latitude to reality is essential.... 'kkkkkkaaaaaay!)

The dog replied in a country drawl, "I'm looking for the man that shot my paw."
"A bowl of grog for my friend," ordered Eartha.

The keeper put the crock of suds on the floor, the tri-pod pooch lapped yet still surveyed the patrons.


A: (Grabs for a pen to make a note, it fails to inkificate [wordsmithing] itself, she discards the pen) There are many stories we all know. Many jokes that the punch line is apparent. Sometimes it is not the pay-off but the trip to that pay-off that can be entertaining. (Grabs a pen from one of ten cups of pens, it fails, discards, grabs another which fails)

Z: (Zi notices the three point shots by Angelia and surveys her discard, head in can, arse examining the ceiling fan, talking, sounds echo) Our model is that old joke where the punch line is they're the Aristocrats. If you are familiar with that joke it has virtually nothing to do with the punch. Every comedian who tries to tell it gives their own twist on the reason for the punch. (Rises with three pens in hand, echo ceases) Many of our tales are just that. It's all about the journey, that winding path full of detours, roadblocks, endless constructions, and delays. Once you reach the destination, the trip is over. Hmmmm, strange analogy on our part but we think it apt. (Puts the pens back in the cup unbeknownst to Angelica)

A: Wordy Wordsome from Wordville, Wordaware has just regaled us! (She grabs one of the retrieved pens, it fails, she heaves it into the can...sighs that cuss-replacing sigh)

Z: Ouuuucccch! That was a little cold. (Eyebrow, left, rose... [For clarification the eyebrow remained on the face, it was the left eyebrow] ...questioning her insistence on wastefulness)

A: You could have just said, these stories are sometimes called Shaggy Dog Stories or Feghoots. They are irreverent dances with inane frivolity, oft pointless and having absurd punch lines. The use of puns is almost a must.

Z: Smarty Smartypants from Smartytown, Smartconsin has re-frosted the cake.

A: Here's another excerpt. (She grabs a pencil...it was pointless...was about to throw it away when Zi sharpened it for her)


"Eartha, did you hear about the sex offender at Sir Lancelot's Home for the Criminally Insane and Snake Your Best Friend's Lady?"

"What?" She was pawed on her ample posterior, not by the cur, but by a drunk who was taking liberties. Beer brains. Or in this case grog brains, the medieval predecessor to beer brains. Well, Eartha the Pissed demonstrated why the nom, the Pissed, when she snatched the man's belt, he thinking he was about to get lucky, and chased him from the Pub, wiping his fleeing arse, oops, meant whipping his fleeing arse. She returned to her seat with a swagger in her step.

"Eartha...that was my best customer."

"Sorry. What about this sex offender?"

"He escaped."

"Oh!" Camelot was at least a three day trip by dragon, a fortnight by horse."

"The Daily Blab and Burp, our Pub blog, reports he went back to his old evil habits."
"Where?"

For one brief moment TB, the tender, though Eartha was going to seek the perv out, shook his head, and replied, "Here, you read the article." He turned the computer and there it was under the title, NUT BOLTS AND SCREWS.

Z: The afore was a play of words with Spooneristic styling as the design, many of our yarns are built in a like-lab that created Mr. Peabody's Improbable History.

A: Sherman was adorable.

Z: We hope you find our Groaners entertaining and maybe gently thought provoking. Zi pulls out the Staples catalogue to order refills for the pens)

*****

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at writingteamcw@yahoo.com with blog in the subject line and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.


Angelica Hart and Zi
KILLER DOLLS ~ SNAKE DANCE ~ CHASING YESTERDAY ~
CHRISTMAS EVE...VIL coming soon
www.champagnebooks.com

Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane
STEEL EMBRACE http://www.carnalpassions.com/


THE FABLE OF SIN-SIN CINDERELLA Series
angelicahartandzi.com

TheWritersVineyard.com (monthly piece)
www.champagnebooks.blogspot.com(monthly piece)
Dawn's Reading Nook (Thursday's piece)
lovesbooksandmore.blogspot.com/



Sneak Peek into I Heart Boston Terriers by Rick Reed


I'm so pleased to announce the release of my latest love story, "I Heart Boston Terriers" as part of Amber Allure's pet-themed Heavy Petting PAX collection of romances.

I'm doubly excited because the cover model for this story is my very own Boston terrier, Lily. Although she'll never know it, the story is also dedicated to her.

Here's what "I Heart Boston Terriers" is about:

Love at first sight can work for dogs as well as humans.

When Aaron finds Mavis, an emaciated and timid Boston terrier, at a pet adoption fair, his heart goes out to her--irrevocably.

When Christian, who is manning the adoption fair for the Humane Society that fateful autumn Saturday, finds Aaron, his heart goes out to him--irrevocably.

I Heart Boston Terriers is all about embracing love, whether it's for someone who walks on four legs, or someone who walks on two. The Boston terrier Mavis' journey back to wholeness and finding her forever home runs parallel to the story of two men discovering one another at just that perfect moment--a moment that defies logic, propriety, and common sense.

But then when do the dictates of love follow a rational course?

Come along for a journey about a man and his dog and see how that journey teaches him the truth about love and making a caring connection that just might last a lifetime.

And here's a little taste:

...Christian returned to Mavis. "I want to see you make this your forever home, Mavis. It's a place where you can feel safer and safer with every passing day."

Aaron loved what he was telling the dog, whether she understood or not. Aaron believed any creature could pick up on the caring in Christian's voice; he certainly could. But he worried about Becca. She hadn't left the door open for second chances or a "forever home" and Aaron was doubtful this one visit from Christian could change things so much that she would allow Mavis to stay after all.

One of the last things she had said, before leaving for her Internet date, was, "I was going to wear those Jimmy Choos today, too. Damn it. Those shoes were mantraps, I tell you." She had laughed, but Aaron could hear the regret and longing in her voice. He would never understand how someone, his sister especially, could allow a pair of shoes to take precedence over a living thing.

Christian held Mavis up and out to Aaron. "Here. You try."

Awkwardly, as if he were taking a newborn from Christian, he took Mavis into his arms, cradling her and letting one arm support her along her soft and warm belly.

"Just talk to her," Christian said. "Just like I did--let her know you care, but make sure she understands you're in charge."

Aaron met Christian's expectant gaze.

"Go on," Christian encouraged.

Aaron didn't know if he was doing the right thing, continuing to build a bond with a dog his sister had insisted go back to the pound. But Mavis was looking up at him with appellate eyes, as if she too were waiting for him to make his move. Aaron doubted anyone could resist those eyes; they were perfectly round, a rich deep brown, and stared out of a face that was, all at once, wise, soulful, and a little melancholy.

He kind of let himself drift into the dog's deep gaze and almost forgot Christian was there. He certainly forgot about Becca's wishes as he began to speak, gently stroking Mavis' head all the while.

"You and me, kid. We're two of a kind. Alone. A bit unwanted, yes." He massaged her neck. "But you and me, we both have a lot to offer, don't we? So we're not gonna feel sorry for ourselves, are we? We're both survivors, too, and we're not gonna let this temporary setback get us down permanently. We're going to remember that life is a series of sunshine and rainy days--and no one escapes either. That's the thing we have to bear in mind: that the rain does stop falling, the sun does come out again. It happens for all of us.

"It's happening for you, little stinker. Right now. You've found someone who's decided to give you a home, someone who's made the most important decision a person can make--to love." He let himself feel the solidity of Mavis' compact body against his own and knew, right then, that come hell or high water, sisters or shoes, nothing was going to come between this man and his dog.

"And while you may not love me yet, I think you will. If you get no other sense from my words than this, remember: I am not going to let anything bad happen to you, ever. Not if I can help it."

He released Mavis, setting her gently down at his feet, where she promptly curled up, calmer than he had ever seen her.

Gradually, he came back to reality and realized he'd probably just made an ass of himself in front of Christian. What he had said to the dog was heartfelt, but what if Christian had seen them as nothing more than Hallmark platitudes? He was lifting his head to give the guy one of his patented sheepish grins, when he noticed Christian looking at him.

If he didn't know better, he would say the guy was touched. And not "touched in the head" either, although he might be that as well, but touched as in something really got through to him.

Christian slowly shook his head. He didn't say anything for a long while and then what he said next wasn't at all what Aaron expected.

"Can I kiss you?..."

Buy your copy here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Welcome Kate Hill Today


Welcome to Dawn's Reading Nook, Kate. Please let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink and make yourself at home. Comfortable? Great…now let's get down to business.

So tell us about yourself. What got you interested in writing? Who are your publisher(s)?
I can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in books and writing. I currently have books with Changeling Press, Ellora's Cave and New Concepts Publishing.


How did you start your writing career?
I've been writing stories almost since I learned to pick up a pencil. When I was about sixteen I decided I wanted to try to get published and started submitting short stories to small press publishers. About ten years later my first story was accepted.


Tell us about your favorite character from your books.
I can't narrow it down to one favorite because every character has things I like and things I don't. I feel closer to some characters than others, so I'll tell you about one of those. Xenos is the hero in my sci-fi romance Moonlight on Water. He's an alien crossbreed with a slight attitude problem and strong convictions.


Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
I've done some traveling in the past. I've been to
Europe and Africa. Though I found travel interesting and enjoyed it, I've never really dreamed of seeing any particular place. I'm a New Englander at heart and I love being home.

Tell us about your current/upcoming release. What inspired it?
Next month the first book in my Whisper series is scheduled to release by Changeling Press. The book is called Dragon's Bar and it's about two outcasts who find each other in Whisper. The series takes place in a small
New England town that was founded by the supernatural for the supernatural. My love of New England and the paranormal inspired the series.

Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?
My family has been extremely supportive. Also my publishers and editors gave me the chance to get my work out there and make it better.


Who are some of your favorite authors/books?

I love classic horror and action books such as Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Three Musketeers.


I also love romance. One of my favorite recent series is Circque Caprice by Julia Talbot. I also enjoy books by Jack Greene, Charlotte Boyett-Compo, Jeanie Johnson and Jayha Leigh.


What was your first sale as an author?
It was a short erotic vampire story called Goddess of the Wine. The story was published in the anthology A Taste of Midnight from Circlet Press.


When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I usually write in the evening and early morning hours. I generally dedicate five to ten hours a day to writing, which includes proof reading, working on edits, research and promotional activities. I also have a day job, so the days I'm working a second job I spend less hours than days when I can focus completely on writing.


If you could visit any time and place, where and when would it be and why?
I'd be interested in seeing the distant future because I'm curious about where we'll be and what we'll be doing.


If you could be any shape shifter, what form would you take and why?
I'd be one of my Aspectians because they can be anything they want.


What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
I enjoy reading and writing just about any type of romance. My work includes a variety of pairings, including m/m, f/f, m/f, and ménage. When I write I'm more interested in being true to the individual characters and representing a variety of people rather than conforming to one idea or opinion about how characters should or shouldn't think or act. I love individuality and I hope my stories reflect that.


Who's more fun to write: bad boys or perfect gentlemen and why?
Definitely bad boys. I find them more likeable and easier to identify with. As both a reader and a writer I lean toward villains and antiheroes.



If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be and what would you do together?
Wow. That's a hard question. There are so many great characters. There was a movie back in the early 70s based on a play, The Boys in the Band. I'd like to meet the character Harold. I'd just hang out and talk to him because he's one of those likeable, quirky but somewhat mysterious characters I'd like to know more about.


Out of all your books, do you have a favorite one? If not, then which one is closest to your heart?
I can't narrow it down to one. Every book has something that endears it to me, whether it's something in the book itself or memories of what was happening in my life at the time when it was written. Right now I'll go with Darkness Therein because it was my first published novel.


What character out of all your books is the closest to your personality?
I based the relationships between Morgan and Uma and Morgan and Effie in Back to Haunt you on my relationship with my mother at different stages of my life. Depending on the decade, Morgan and Uma were close to my personality. I also identify with
Cal from Dragon's Bar and Dana from Bottoms Up because of their attitude toward gender and personal freedom.

Anything else you would like to add?
Thank you very much for having me as a guest!






Dragon's Bar by Kate Hill
Coming in February 2012 from Changeling Press
http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1777
(Erotic Paranormal)


Shunned by her family because of her sexual magic, Max leaves home and finds herself in a small
New England town called Whisper. Feeding off sexual energy but having no hope of finding true love, Max considers her magic more a curse than a gift. Then she meets Cal.

The sexy owner of Dragon's Bar has supernatural secrets of his own. As an outcast shapeshifter female who has chosen to live as a human male,
Cal has found a home in Whisper. He knows Max is his soulmate but can these two unlikely partners learn to trust each other completely?

Excerpt (Adult):


Max stood and slung her bag over her shoulder. She paused in front of the painting. "I like this."

"Thanks. It's mine."


Raising an eyebrow she turned to him. "You're talented."


"I don't know about that, but painting helps me relax." He stood so close behind her that she felt the warmth of his body and the buzz of his sexual energy. She aroused him too. She sensed it.


A moment later, he confirmed her suspicions by brushing her hair aside and whispering in her ear, "Why are you really here, Max?"


She closed her eyes and leaned toward him.
Cal's hand settled on her waist. Some women might be afraid of their big, leather-clad, soon-to-be boss making a move on them. Others might try to sue him for sexual harassment.

Did he do this to all his staff members? Pressure them for sex? Is that why Amber had seemed so uneasy when she heard
Cal had hired her?

If that was the kind of game he played, then he deserved the consequences of messing with a woman whose pussy could literally pleasure him to death.


"Like I said. I want a new start." She turned and faced him, moistening her lips.


His hands settled on her waist, warming her. She slid her arms around his neck and cupped the back of his smooth head. He had a strong neck. She liked that.


"Are you coming on to me?" she whispered against his lips.


"If you want me to."


"And if I say no am I fired before I start?"


"Of course not."


Whether she believed him or not no longer mattered. Her hunger flared. If she didn't fuck right now, she'd have to find someone else. Why look for another victim when this guy was obviously willing?


"I've never seen a woman look this hot," he admitted, staring at her. "Your eyes are almost glowing. They look amazing."


"I was thinking the same thing about you," she whispered, running her hands over his chest.


His mouth covered hers in a passionate kiss. He tasted like mint, felt hot and hard and carried the scent of fresh, manly cologne.


Max closed her eyes and enjoyed the feel of his body against hers. She opened her mouth to his tongue and hers met it, matching him in hunger.


When the kiss broke, she breathed, "Do you have condoms? Never mind. I've got 'em." She tugged away from him and unzipped her backpack. She removed a condom but didn't bother with lube. He turned her on so much that she was already soaked and ready for him.


Even with her magical hunger, she usually took more time than this to warm up, but she'd never met anyone like
Cal.

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