Thursday, December 29, 2016


We have been in a short story frame of mind.  So, once again, with a slant toward the upcoming holidays, we'd like to share another.  Enjoy!
What Holiday Is It Anyway?
“It’s time.”
“For what?”
“Winter Solstice.”
“It feels like spring.”
“Doesn’t matter,” said Miranda, all of eight with the adultness of thirty-eight.  “Today is the day of the year that the Sun is farthest south.  It marks the first day of the season of winter, and is the shortest day and longest night of the year.”
The two of them sat opposite each other in the window seat staring out into a gray, raining day.  The swags and greenery that decorated the Odessa homes looked limp and uninterested, rather than buoyant as they had just a couple weeks earlier.  The only redeeming aspect of the landscape was the girl’s view of the January House’s artistically decorated mail box with its greenery, red bow and white lettering, the house set off in the distance partly hidden by bare branches of the many trees and bushes.  Otherwise, rain faded the world, mud pools replaced snow that had come early and then regretfully melted.
“Usually it is cold,” insisted her younger sister, Julian, by three years.  “It would make more sense if it were snowing.”
“December 22nd or sometimes the 21st is the Winter Solstice regardless of what the weather is like.”
“Is all that in the book you’re reading?”

 “Yup.  I got it out of the library yesterday,” she said, holding up the hardbound book from her lap.
“I got The Okapi.”
“That’s a good story.  You’re going to like it.”
 “Want to read it to me?”
“Sure, in a bit.  I want to read some more about the Solstice, first.”
“What’s it say?”
Hunching up her knees, Miranda placed the book there and read, “In ancient Rome, The Festival of Saturnalia, which marked the end of the harvest season was a time for joyous celebration and reverent thanksgiving.”
“Wow, they had Thanksgiving in Rome?  Did they invite Indians?”
“It wasn’t like our traditional Thanksgiving, and I doubt they invited Indians since the Americas weren’t discovered back then.”
“Oh,” the younger girl said, looking a bit saddened at the thought of no Indians.
“In our Gregorian calendar, Saturnalia coincides with the Winter Solstice,” Miranda continued to read, “a cosmic occurrence in anticipation of mystery.  The Romans used the Julian calendar and the Winter Solstice or Brumalia occurred on December 25th.”
“Julian?  I have a calendar all my own?”
“No, it’s just called that.”
“Oh,” she said picking at her jumper, making tiny teepees and again looking disappointed, and then saying, “December 25th is Christmas.”
Miranda looked as surprised as her sister.  “Yup, and listen to this.  The Romans decorated their homes and communities with glowing candles, greenery swags and wreaths of holly, cypress and laurel.”
The girls took another look at the homes beyond, and the red and green bows and evergreen suddenly looked perky. 
Miranda returned to her book.  “They had huge public feasts.  They exchanged gifts and greetings of good will.”
“Wow, Christmas started before it was actually Christmas.”
“Who knows, I think it has something to do with a Roman Emperor maybe eventually combining Christmas with some of the traditions of their Winter Solstice.”
 “I’m glad he did, especially the gift part and the decorating part and the party part.  I wonder if they made chocolate chip cookies?”
“Maybe not chocolate chip, but they probably had sweets.”
“I wonder if they had snow.  Don’t you wish it was snowing?  Then we could build a snowman.”  Julian huffed air on the windowpane and then drew a snowman in the foggy cloud it created.
“It’s cold enough to do that,” said Miranda, and then put her book aside as the mature Miranda morphed back into her age.  “Wanna build a mudman?”
Both girls grinned. 


We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at (Write - Blog Dawn - in 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 ~ Vixen Bright and Zachary Zane - -

Discover Nancy Corrigan's Royal Shifters Series

The Royal Shifters Books 1-3 Box Set by Nancy Corrigan

Date of Publication: March 1, 2016


Treasured Find (Royal Pride #1)

Sometimes the greatest finds are unexpected.

After five centuries, Rafe Alexander knows what to expect from life--boredom broken by the occasional call from Shifter Affairs. No matter how mundane the job, he always accepts their plea for help. He knows what it's like to lose loved ones to the shifter trafficking rings decimating their species.

But the task that takes him to West Virginia changes everything. A human is dead. A shifter child is missing. And the human female connected to both tragedies is hiding a secret.
He needs to discover the mystery surrounding her. But the felines he houses--lion, tiger and jaguar--want him to get close to her for another reason. Jasmine is special, both for how she affects him and for the treasure she's been guarding.

And as danger mounts, he's left balancing his desire for revenge and his need to protect. But the line between them isn't always black and white, especially where his family is concerned.

Beautiful Mistake (Royal Pride #2)

A tortured man...A fearless woman...A mistake that'll change their lives forever.

Three centuries ago, Devin Moore sacrificed his sanity to save his sister. Every day since is spent in a constant battle of wills with the three crazed cats--lion, tiger and jaguar--he houses. Keeping his shattered mind together has taken its toll, destroying any hope of having a family, but he can't turn his back on innocents in need.

When information on his pride's missing child reaches him, he rushes to bring her home. But the rescue mission goes horribly wrong. Lena, the human female who turns herself into bait in order to protect the little girl, is wounded and struggling to survive.

In a desperate act, he saves Lena. But it doesn't erase his past mistakes. And for a broken man who's finally offered hope, there's only one thing left to do--prove his worth. The only problem? He'll never be whole. Or sane. But maybe...just maybe...even the damned can find peace.

Favorite Obsession (Royal Pride #3)

Centuries after what should have been a blessing from a goddess, Mira has gone from the chosen daughter to a woman shamed. She's found a tentative peace among her family and the females they've chosen to mate. And despite the potentially fatal consequences, Mira has found the one thing she never thought she'd have—love. Josh is the only male she's ever wanted, desired and burned for, and he's the only man she can never hope to keep.
One glance into Mira's exotic feline eyes and Josh is lost. She's everything he never knew he wanted and loving her becomes a passion he can't deny. The obstacles keeping them apart seem insurmountable, but Josh knows he's the man Mira needs. With every passionate encounter, every stolen touch, his certainty that he and Mira belong together grows. He'll defy every shifter decree and fight to his dying breath to convince those around them of the truth—Mira belongs to him, mind, body and soul.

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About Nancy Corrigan

A true romantic at heart, Nancy Corrigan is convinced there's a knight in shining armor for every woman (or man), but you won't find damsels in distress in her stories. She adores pairing alpha heroes with women strong enough to match them and bring them to their knees. She also enjoys flipping the traditional roles in romances because her motto is—love and people should never be forced to conform to anyone's norm.

She holds a degree in chemistry and has worked in research but now focuses on ensuring quality. She considers it the perfect outlet for her as she's the first to admit she has some OCD tendencies. It carries over into her writing life too. While engrossed in a novel, she has a habit of forgetting to eat and sleep. Fortunately, she's married to her own knight in shining armor who understands her oddities and loves her anyway. They reside in Pennsylvania with their three children, dog, snake and guinea pigs. Her other interests include tattoos, animals, classic cars and all things spooky and sexy.

Find Nancy Corrigan Online

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Discover Hanukkah Gifts and Enter the Giveaway

Hanukkah Gifts - Jacob Cheyenne

Author: Jacob Cheyenne

Publisher: JMS Books

Length: 28,000 words

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | AllRomance | JMS


Twenty-five year old TV producer Jared Greenfield loves his New York City life—his trendy neighborhood, high-profile job, and window-shopping for high fashion on Fifth Avenue—along with a whole city of available men. But even with all the fun of big city life, he feels a longing for something—or someone—more. Going through the motions takes him uptown on December night, where, on the first night of Hanukkah, he spots a handsome, sweaty, player on the basketball court of the Jewish Community Center.

Tall, dark, and Orthodox, the young and athletic Shai Goodhart strikes up an easy friendship with Jared, only to discover that Jared has very little appreciation for his own Jewish heritage and religion. Determined to enlighten this “Bad Jew”, Shai invites him over for a family Hanukkah celebration to remember. But Jared’s easy fascination ends when he discovers that Shai has a house full of tangled secrets that threatens their romance before it even begins. Both young men feel they can help one another, but over the eight days of Hanukkah, deeper emotions propel them closer and closer. Can they ever reach across the divide of their shared culture and fall in love?

Author Bio

Jacob Cheyenne is an author of M/M Romantic Fiction. His characters and stories are often inspired by real historical events, figures and scenes from classical art, or from old black and white portraits he collects in antique stores. His debut novella “Hanukkah Gifts” focuses on the turmoil between two young Jewish men with very different ideas about how to reconcile their faith and sexuality.

When not writing, the author loves swimming, hearing live music, reading fat books on empty beaches, and drinking anything coconut-flavored. When not traveling, he lives and works in the bustling heart of New York City.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

Book Spotlight & Giveaway~ The Moonlight Market

Discover the world of author Aidee Ladnier and their latest release, The Moonlight Market. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post. Aidee Ladnier will be awarding $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.The tour is sponsored by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Talking with the Author....

Thanks for stopping by to talk a little about your writing! Let's jump right in. When did you begin writing and why?
Thank you so much for inviting me on your blog. I’m so pleased to be here! I started writing around twelve years old. I wrote fiction, poetry, non-fiction, plays, anything I could dream up. I loved being able to escape into other worlds. I had so many ideas and no one had written them yet. So I had to write them myself!

Do you have a favorite genre? Is it the same genre you prefer to write?
As a reader I like any genre fiction (it’s the mainstream literary that I’m not as fond of). I like science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, mystery, horror, historicals, erotic romance, bdsm, you name a genre, I’ve probably got a shelf devoted to it in my home. LOL! That said, I primarily write science fiction with occasional mysteries and fantasy or paranormal. I also love to write flash fiction. I’ve written stories in as few as 100 words to 1,000 words.

Do certain themes and ideas tend to capture your writer’s imagination and fascinate you?
Yes! I’ve noticed that my books tend to have characters that are required to step out of their comfort zone and take a chance. I felt exactly like that when I submitted my first short story to an anthology. I also usually have strong themes of family versus independence. And in my latest book, THE MOONLIGHT MARKET, I explore the idea of second chances—why they are so important to grab when they are offered and why they aren’t always easy to accept.

Do you have a favorite author who introduced you to the genre?
My earliest books of fantasy were J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis. Their worldbuilding inspires me to this day. I also grew up reading children’s books by Alexander Key, especially THE CASE OF THE VANISHING BOY and THE FORGOTTEN DOOR. Those protagonists seemed at first to be ordinary people, but as the books continued, it became more and more clear that there was something a little different about them.

What advantages or challenges does a writer in your genre face in today’s fiction market?
Since my books often contain more than one genre as well as LGBTQA characters, they are a little harder to find a market for. One reader might like fantasy but be put off by the horror elements. Another reader might enjoy the magical realism but hate the contemporary love story. It’s a difficult conundrum for me to overcome because I want to write the best book I can, but I also write the book of my heart. And that book doesn’t always settle into a cookie-cutter genre category.

Tell me a little about the characters in THE MOONLIGHT MARKET.
Cory Long is my first hero in THE MOONLIGHT MARKET. He’s an Asian-American who along with his sister Poe, were orphaned when their parents died in a car collision during his freshman year. Now a college senior, he’s struggling to keep a roof over their heads, graduate, and keep his sister from disappearing forever. Sanderson Beets is a junior at the same university. He comes from a family of performers and left the circuit in order to pursue a degree. He’s pretty unhappy when they call him back for a family performance because it threatens to undermine the independence he’s fought so hard for. And when he returns, his family learns that he was able to leave for college only because he made a dangerous bargain with a witch known as the Weaver of Dreams.

Where’s the story set? How much influence did the setting have on the atmosphere/characters/development of the story?
The setting had a lot of influence over my characters. The Moonlight Market (which the book is named for) is almost another character in the story. It’s a magical place that only appears once a year in a tiny town up the coast. The market is open from sundown to sunrise. It has performers, food sellers, and vendors selling wares from across the globe. You can always find something extraordinary at the Moonlight Market. It’s in this setting that Cory and Sanderson learn more about each other than they ever did on campus. They stay up all night searching for a lead to the whereabouts of Cory’s missing sister, getting punchy with lack of sleep, growing dependent on each other, and weather betrayal. The magic of the market envelopes them and makes them its own.

If you had to write your memoir in five words, what would you write?
Off Adventuring. Be Back Soon.

How often does your muse distract you from day to day minutiae?
Always! However, I have a really good system in place for taking notes wherever I am. I have an Evernote account. I often email myself notes. I’ve even been known to tuck a sticky note in my wallet only to find it the next time I got to pay for a purchase.

What do readers have to look forward to in the future from you?
Readers of my Forbes and Oliver story, THE BREAK-IN will be happy to hear that the first short story in the Busted Labs series, THE APPLICANT, has been expanded into a novella and will be published next year by Dreamspinner Press. In it, roboticist Forbes Pohle is interviewing applicants for a lab assistant position only to find a time traveler on his doorstep. And meanwhile there’s a rather destructive teddy bear robot wrecking his lab. I hope everyone will check it out!

Thanks so much again for hosting me!

GENRE:  LGBTTQ, Fantasy & Paranormal, New Adult

College senior Cory Long tracked his missing sister to the magical Moonlight Market to bring her home. Instead, he found a disorienting world of performers and hawkers, bizarre sights and sounds, and one very familiar showman, Sanderson Beets. Like a drowning man, he latched onto Sanderson, trusting him to navigate the twists and turns of the Market as unerringly as he had steered Cory to passion in their furtive trysts on campus.

But Sanderson was tired of being the quickie in the alley.

Sanderson Beets had escaped the Moonlight Market to attend college, hoping to settle into a normal life, maybe meet someone and fall in love. To obtain that new life he made a dangerous bargain. And when the sinister woman known as the Weaver of Dreams is involved, second chances always come with strings attached…and sacrifices. Sanderson’s debt has come due, and the only payment he has to offer is Cory, and their chance at a relationship.

Excerpt Three:
He almost ignored it.


Tiny bells tinkled nearby.

They sounded closer.

His skin tightened with goose bumps.

Niari glided into the pool of light cast by the lantern hanging on the back of the tent. Her long, inky dress brushed the bells on her ankles and pulled the shadows forward with her.

“Your debt is coming due.” Her trilling, accented voice floated over the noise from the fairway beyond. In front of the tent children giggled and laughed, the calliope blared out its joyous concert, and the lanterns burned away the darkness. But Sanderson stood in the shadows behind…with her.

Sweat coated his palm, and it slipped from the curtain. He swiped at the bead of perspiration on his upper lip, the pit of his stomach icing into a lump.

“I found someone.” He blurted out the words. “A lost soul. Someone who’s lost something.”

Panic bloomed in Sanderson’s chest. Was he actually going to offer Cory to the Weaver? Cory who just wanted to find his missing sister. Cory of the soft hair, bitable nipples, and beautiful, slim cock. Who made Sanderson feel normal. Like a regular guy.

“Good.” Her smile widened, filled with too many tiny teeth that gleamed bright in the lantern light. “Are they tasty and ripe?”

“Madame?” Sanderson’s gut twisted at the hard glitter in her eyes. A chill crept down his spine. She looked…hungry.

He blinked. Niari stood before him, still and silent, waiting, just a woman again. The malevolent flash must have been a trick of the dim light. He shrugged off the unease and shook the numbness from his fingers.

   Buy link for THE MOONLIGHT MARKET -

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee's to write both romance and erotica with a little science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.

You can find her on her blog at or on her favorite social media sites:

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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Book Spotlight & Giveaway~ A Christmas for Oscar

Title:  A Christmas for Oscar
Author: Alex Whitehall
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: December 19, 2016
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 20400
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, holiday

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Oscar has never liked the holidays and all the surrounding rigmarole, but that doesn't stop his best friend from dragging him along for her Black Friday shopping spree. The only perk of the day is that he meets Nathan while he's there. With sparkling blue eyes, curly blond hair, and a smile that won't stop, Nathan is a Christmas elf in the flesh. He even spends his days in a workshop! But Nathan is more than his bright smile, and he may be just the right person for Oscar. Assuming, of course, Oscar doesn't drive him and his holiday spirit away first.


Alex Whitehall © 2016 All Rights Reserved “Come on, Oscar, don’t be such a grouch.” He glared at Marie. “That is so original.” She shrugged, merry as ever. He grumbled as they were forced to swerve around another mother with two shopping carts. “If you didn’t want me grumpy, then maybe you shouldn’t have dragged me out shopping on Black Friday.” “You’re my best friend—” “Which means you shouldn’t torture me like this.” “Who else am I going to take?” “Your mother?” Eye roll. “Your sister-in-law?” Eye roll. “Cindy?” “I love the girl, but she doesn’t really know my family. And she can’t spot a sale to save her life.” “I can’t spot sales!” “But you know my family. Oh! I wanna hit this one.” He sighed as he was dragged—yes, dragged—into Another Store. Under his breath, he muttered, “You could go alone.” She continued on, oblivious. Or at least very good at faking it. He hoped this earned him some major points. “What do you think of this?” She held up a cashmere-blend sweater in baby blue. “For who?” Her lips puckered in moue. “Me.” “I thought we were shopping for your friends and family.” He mock glared. Well, mostly mock. Marie flapped her hand at him. “Just tell me.” He sighed and glanced over to the picked-through selection. “It’s gorgeous, but is it even in your size?” She bounced—like she hadn’t even considered that, somehow—and twirled back to the rack, furiously searching through the remaining sweaters. She chirped and pulled out a much larger size in what Oscar could only call puce, folded it over her arm, and returned to the baby-blue ones. “I’ll have to ask if they have more in the bac— Oh my god, look at that sale!” She tossed the blue sweater to him. “Can you find a salesperson, and ask if they have a small? I need to be over there!” And she was gone. Which left him with two options: say no and be a horrible friend, or say yes and tear through the crowds to find an overworked, overstressed salesperson. Joy. With a sigh, he searched for someone in the store’s dress-coded uniform, and wasn’t sure if it was a blessing or a curse when he spotted the cute guy smiling winsomely, surrounded by a mob of people. The most attractive thing was that his mob was smaller than the mob surrounding all the other salespeople. Gritting his teeth, he clenched the sweater and elbowed his way over through arguing women, grumbling men, and a few screaming children. And that was only across six feet. When he finally arrived at his destination, he noticed his salesperson was six inches shorter than him, with curly blond hair, and wearing an elf hat. He had shimmering blue eyes and apple-round cheeks. He couldn’t possibly be real. The bright-blue eyes flashed up to Oscar with a literal sparkle in his eye, although that had to be the overhead lights. “Hello! How can I help you?” Despite his elfish appearance, the dude’s voice wasn’t high-pitched. In fact, to keep with the ridiculous metaphor developing in Oscar’s mind, it was more like caramel or hot chocolate. It was almost enough to make him forget where he was. And then some jackass elbowed him in the back, hard, and he was shoved forward. He growled and pushed back, not taking his eyes off his little elf helper. “Hi. I was wondering if you have more sizes of this in the back? I need a small.” He held up the sweater in question. The little elf’s lips puckered in thought. “I can check, sir, but I think what we have out is all we have. Wait right here.” He was gone in a flash, and Oscar was left standing there, blinking at the space where the man had been. “Ex-scuse me,” a woman lashed out. “Can we not stand in the middle of the aisle, puh-lease?” He heaved a sigh and stepped back—the six inches he could—to let the woman pass. She scrunched her nose at him and hurried on to the next big sale. Restraining another sigh, he wished he could close his eyes and sink into the floor, or vanish, or at least run the hell out of here. But no, he waited, like a good friend, for the salesperson to return. And it seemed to be taking forever, but he was sure that was his imagination—and frustration—playing tricks on him. Glancing around, he checked on where Marie was, because today he wouldn’t put it past her to leave without him or the sweater, and found her almost swallowed up in the jewelry section. He nodded and looked back to where his elf had been, only to find his helper had reappeared, cheeks rosier, curls somehow unrulier, and elf hat slightly crooked. “Good news! There was one small tucked behind another bunch.” He held up a slightly rumpled blue sweater. “Looks like it may have gotten missed when the stock was brought out. It doesn’t look damaged or anything, but feel free to inspect it and let me know…” The guy trailed off, probably because Oscar was staring at his hat. It shouldn’t have been humanly possible for a disheveled hat to make him that much cuter. But it did. Oscar slung the sweater he was still holding over his shoulder, reached out, righted the salesperson’s hat, and then tucked a particularly rebellious curl under the rim. There. He smiled. Much better. “Uh, sir?” the guy asked, not quite squeaking, but definitely breathily. Oscar’s eyes shot down to meet those sparkling blues. “Oh! Sorry. It was… You must have knocked it when you were getting the sweater. So I… It was only right that I help. Thank you. For the sweater.” Certainly not for the pounding of his heart. He held out his hand for the top. The elf’s uncertain, wide eyes scrunched up with his grin. “Thank you for fixing it.” He really had the bluest eyes. It seemed like they would have to be contacts, but Oscar didn’t think even a company could manufacture that pure a blue. “Ex-scuse me!” Oh hell, it was the woman from before. Oscar couldn’t move much and was about to tell the woman she could probably go around, but the little elf flashed a customer’s-always-right expression and glided over, clearing the aisle and putting not much between them but the sweater. Oscar’s breath caught. The little elf beamed up at him. “Is there anything else I can help you with today, sir?” Oscar had some ideas. Some very dirty ideas, actually. But then the elf blinked, casting a glance at the chaos surrounding them, and Oscar remembered now wasn’t a good time to be hitting on a salesperson. And that he was waist-deep in Black Friday. He groaned and slid his fingers around the small sweater, gently taking it. “I think this will be all. Thank you very much,” he murmured—well, as much as he could murmur and still be heard in this mess. The elf’s smile widened—if that was possible, and somehow it was—and his eyebrows lifted with the excitement strewn across his face. “Well, I hope you have a good day. And I really hope you come back again sometime.” Then, just like that, Oscar’s helpful little elf was swallowed up by the crowd. The cheerful good-bye was probably a standard store requirement, Oscar told himself as he turned to hunt down Marie. It almost certainly wasn’t to entice him to return just to see his elf again. The guy probably wasn’t interested. Oscar sighed. Though his eyes had seemed to light up when they’d been pressed together. And he hadn’t minded Oscar taking certain privileges with his hat. And he had been so very helpful. Which, yeah, it was his job, but… A tiny tot ran into his shin, the mother glared at him, probably for standing in space that her child wanted to occupy. When he looked around, he realized he’d lost where Marie was. “Goddamn it!” Several glares were shot his way. He didn’t care, though. “Did you find someone?” popped Marie’s voice from behind him. He spun around, clenching both sweaters to his chest. “Jesus!” “You found one!” “Yes, I found one,” he snapped, shoving the smaller size at her. When his hand was free, he began searching out the original location, but even with his height advantage, the store was a swirl of bodies and colors. He glared at Marie. “And you can put the other one back.” She pouted. “But you’re supposed to be helping me—” She clicked her jaw shut at his glare. “I mean, you found one in my size, so thank you so much! Let’s go return this one to the rack.” She led the deceptively easy way back to the sweaters and hung it up. “Okay, with that done, let’s get on with the day.” He groaned, knowing that the best part of the day had already walked away.


NineStar Press | Amazon

Meet the Author

If there are two types of people in the world, Alex Whitehall probably isn’t one of them, despite being a person. Their favorite pastimes include reading, horseback riding, sleeping, watching geek-tastic television, knitting, eating, and running. And wasting time on the internet. And spending glorious afternoons laughing with friends. While Alex prefers sleeping over doing anything else (except maybe eating), sometimes they emerges from the cave to be social and to hunt for food at the local market. They can be found blogging, searching the Internet for more books to read, and tending after their aloe plant Cornwall. That’s a lie; the single plant has become an entire forest. Pronouns: they/them

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail | Tumblr


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Friday, December 23, 2016

Discover the Road to Frosty Hollow and Enter the Giveaway

The Road to Frosty Hollow 

RJ Scott & Meredith Russell

Authors: RJ Scott & Meredith Russell

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | AllRomance 


Nick and Cameron face old demons, and find new love, on a Christmas road trip.

Former Marine Nick Sheridan is at a crossroads. With his entire life ahead of him he struggles to find direction and his place in the world. Car sharing to get home for his sister’s Christmas wedding seems like a good idea at first. Spending the time with the man he kissed and left years before, maybe not so much.

Cameron Bennett lost most of his teenage years to cancer and he now lives every day to the fullest. He decides to drive from Seattle to Vermont for his best friend’s wedding and capture moments of it on film. He hadn’t planned on car sharing with the man who kissed him ten years ago, but somehow he ends up with a brooding Nick by his side.

Along the way, the men learn that sometimes life plans mean nothing in the grand scheme of things. Love can be found in the most unexpected of ways, and facing your demons head on is sometimes the only way to live.

Author Bios

RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.

RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

Meredith Russell lives in the heart of England. An avid fan of many story genres, she enjoys nothing less than a happy ending. She believes in heroes and romance and strives to reflect this in her writing. Sharing her imagination and passion for stories and characters is a dream Meredith is excited to turn into reality.


You can find Meredith's blog on cover art, including information and portfolio here:

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Welcome author Casper Graham

Please welcome author Casper Graham who drops in today to chat with me about their new book, Twelve Gifts.

Thanks for stopping by to talk a little about your writing! Let's jump right in. When did you begin writing and why?
-Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.
-I have always enjoyed reading. It was my refuge from all of the things that had plagued me way back then. When I was in elementary school, I had come to discover that writing was really therapeutic. I could write down (I didn’t have a laptop or typewriter at that age) all of the things that I felt and it gave me the opportunity to work things out quietly all by myself. As I was growing up, I tried writing poetry. Unfortunately, all of my poems had already been rejected. *laugh*

Do you have a favorite genre? Is it the same genre you prefer to write?
-I don’t really have a favorite genre. Wait, does pornography count as a genre? *wink* *laugh* Anyway, on a more serious note, I had initially begun writing poetry and non-fiction stuff, but I somehow felt that they were constricting me. Probably because I have all of these stories inside my head that just don’t seem to fit as either a poem or a non-fiction. Then, I wrote romance, but I couldn’t write heterosexual romances. I mean, I could have, but it felt…disconnected to me. I honestly find it easier to write M/M romance because I can sort of rely on my own experiences up to a certain extent. Thus, that’s how I get into the erotic romance writing.

Do certain themes and ideas tend to capture your writer’s imagination and fascinate you?
I love paranormal stuff. I also love some tropes like soul mates, arranged marriages and alpha/omega. I tend to write whatever the muse hits me with at any given time. I would love to try writing BDSM, but I don’t have personal experiences. I have to do plenty more research before I can feel comfortable enough to write a story on that particular topic.

How do you balance long-term thinking vs. being nimble in today's market?
I always keep an open mind. Long-term thinking and being nimble are very difficult to navigate because there is such a fine line between them. On the one hand, an author needs to know what sells in today’s market. On the other hand, he/she needs to be careful not to be pigeonholed as a “paranormal writer,” a “menage writer,” a “historical romance writer,” or even a “M/M writer” only. That is one of the reasons why I’m still writing poetry and non-fiction in spite of my utter lack of success in those areas. *laugh*

How do you find readers in today's market?
I’m truly grateful that there seems to be several readers who are very into M/M erotic romance so I’m not exactly breaking any new ground, so to speak. I have joined several groups through social media such as Twitter and Facebook. I’m also on a few Yahoo Groups. I believe that it is highly important to get my name out there as much and often as possible.

Do you come up with the hook first, or do you create characters first and then dig through until you find a hook?
I generally come up with a hook first. Then I will start to work from there, expanding the story as much as possible. However, some stories just can’t seem to expand beyond 12,000 or 20,000 words. I really dislike expanding on a story for the sake of the word count because I always feel like the story line can quickly veer off towards an unwanted path.

How do you create your characters?
I like my characters to be as “human” as possible. Even when writing paranormal romances, my characters tend to have their humanity intact. Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to write a good Fantasy/Science Fiction story. *laugh*

What's on the top of your TBR pile right now?
Goodness! I have so many of them that they are piling up on my reading devices. *Don’t give me those judging eyebrows* I always seem to have tons and tons of things that interest me. Most of them are romances though. *laugh*

Tell me a little about the characters in Twelve Gifts.
There are two main characters: Dylan Hughes and Aaron Tyler. Dylan Hughes is a sweetheart and he loves baking, which is very important because he owns a bakery. He doesn’t have much luck when it comes to relationship though. Aaron Tyler is a take-charge kind of man. He is a romantic and he goes after what he wants. However, beneath the confidence, he has his own insecurities.

Where’s the story set? How much influence did the setting have on the atmosphere/characters/development of the story?
I set the story somewhere in the western hemisphere of the globe. I actually wrote the story back in August while listening to a ton of Christmas songs. *laugh* I really miss the winter season. Since winter doesn’t exist where I’m living presently, I have to live vicariously through my characters.

If you had to write your memoir in five words, what would you write?
Only five words? Hmm… It might go something like, “Write what you believe in.”

How often does your muse distract you from day to day minutiae?
Oh, where do I start? *laugh* My boyfriend sometimes felt neglected by me once I have begun writing. Then, there were those times when I would take out my phone and type out the ideas forming inside my head while grocery shopping or eating with my cubby hubby - I call my boyfriend “cubby hubby” while he calls me “chunky hubby.” Go figure! *laugh*

What do readers have to look forward to in the future from you?
There will be an anthology coming out in January (if I am not mistaken). It’s a creative non-fiction stuff and it will be the second one that I am a part of; the first one had been released last August 31st. After “Twelve Gifts,” I have two menage stories (both of them will have the main characters having kid(s)) coming out in January; one is M/M/M while the other one will be M/M/M/M. I also have a M/M wedding romance coming out in February, a Valentine’s day M/M/M romance coming out in March, a M/M paranormal romance coming out in April and a M/M/M romance coming out in May.

I’m currently trying to write a M/M romance that is a mixture of assassin and magic. Plus, there is a M/M/M romance that may not suit everyone’s taste because two of the characters are actually step siblings and the story may be a little darker than what I have written in the past. I’m also writing a M/M romance that is something along the line of marriage by contract.

I am determined to keep on writing as long as people are still interested in me. *laugh* We’ll see how it goes in the future.

Title: Twelve Gifts

Author: Casper Graham

Genre: M/M Erotic Holiday Romance

Publisher: JMS Books LLC

Buy Links:

Dylan Hughes owns a small bakery. He's doing what he loves and business is good, but he's lonely. After a bad relationship, he's been keeping to himself, and things are worse during the Christmas season. Then there is his unrequited crush on Aaron Tyler.

Aaron is a successful event planner. He and Dylan met more than two years earlier and, after tasting Dylan's baking, Aaron proposed a collaboration. They've worked together ever since. Not willing to risk their friendship, Dylan has kept his feelings under wraps.

But a secret admirer begins to send Dylan thoughtful gifts twelve days before Christmas. The cute, clever gifts keep on coming and he's flattered, but they couldn't have come at a worse time. Aaron has finally asked him out.

What happens when the secret admirer’s identity is revealed on Christmas Day? Will Dylan's blossoming relationship with Aaron survive?

A Small Excerpt:

Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.

    He had just finished arranging everything neatly when the bell tinkled, signaling that there was a customer in the bakery. He stood up to greet the customer, but the words died in his throat. There were eleven people lined up in one neat row in front of the counter. Each person was holding a flute.

    “Are you Dylan Hughes?” an elderly woman asked. He nodded in confusion. He bet that this would be another bizarre afternoon. “Okay, people. On the count of three. One, two, three.”

    He could only gape openly at the weirdness of this entire situation. He knew the song that they were playing though. It was “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” He hummed along to the melody and enjoyed himself thoroughly. He totally believed in the saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” He might as well enjoy this free entertainment.

    Like the day before, passers-by were lured into the bakery by the music. They all clapped loudly when the last note died down. That was when he noticed Aaron standing by the door, grinning widely at him. He waved at the man, who was now walking towards him.

    “Secret admirer again?”

    “I don’t ...” He was surprised when Aaron’s finger pointed at an envelope on the counter. One of the eleven performers must have left it there for him when the performance was over.

    “Read it, Dylan. I’ll take care of the performers. Besides, you have hungry customers to deal with.”

    He agreed gratefully. There were not as many people today as the day before and he was done in less than twenty minutes. He then packed up Aaron’s usual favorites and handed the boxes to him.

    “How much do I owe you, Aaron? I presume that you have paid the performers for two days in a row now or at least tipped them well.”

    “Don’t worry about it.” Aaron shrugged it off and instead handed over his credit card to pay for his purchases.

    “On the house, Aaron. You’ve helped me out twice and you’ve given me plenty of repeat customers, who in turn introduce my bakery to many more.”

    “Alright then. Thanks, Dylan.”

    “You’re welcome.”

    “So what does it say?”


    “You haven’t read it yet?”

    Dylan was confused for a second before understanding dawned on him. Aaron had referred to the message within the envelope.

    “Oh, not yet. Hold on a second.”

    He took out another postcard from within the envelope and admired the picture of eleven bagpipes on it before reading aloud the message on the other side.

    It is ten days before Christmas,
    I hope you’ve enjoyed the flutists,
    Sad that I cannot find eleven bagpipe players ...
    Your secret admirer

    “So?” Aaron prodded.

    “So nothing,” Dylan insisted. “It’s nice to have a secret admirer, but I’m dating you.”

    “Alright,” Aaron whispered.

    Dylan smiled at the other man and leaned in for a brief, sweet kiss. He wished he could spend all his waking hours locking lips with Aaron, who had turned out to be an amazing kisser, but he had bills to pay.

    “Any plans tonight?”

    “Not yet.”

    “Dinner at my place? I can bake a mean lasagna.”

    “Sounds good, Dylan. I can be here by half-past six. My building is next to yours, but I have some last-minute things to take care of.”

    “That’s fine. I’ll see you then.”

    They said their goodbyes after sharing another gentle kiss. Dylan watched the other man walking out of the bakery before making his way into the kitchen. He might as well get started on dinner preparation.

    He still remembered his first meeting with Aaron. His bakery had been open for business for slightly more than a year when the gorgeous, athletic man walked in. He sold almost every type of items available that day. The next day, Aaron had returned and proposed that they work together. As an event planner, the other man needed not only a reliable baker, but one who could bake delicious pastries. They hashed out the details that same day. It was one of the best business decisions he had ever made.

Author’s Bio:

Casper Graham is an aspiring writer. Writing is a passion. He believes that inspirations can come in all sorts of formats. Sometimes it hits at the most unexpected moment. In his spare time, he also loves to read, listen to music or watch a movie. He is currently in a relationship with the most amazing man and they hope to get married someday.

Author’s links:
1. Blog:
2. Facebook:

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