My friends and I are readers. We enjoy books for the stories and the emotional draw, for the characters and their situations. We don't dig for editor's mistakes. We won't trash your book for missing punctuation or slightly misused grammar. We just want to enjoy the story. And we want all our friends to know just how awesome independent authors can be. This is the place where the little guy will always shine like a star!

Without further ado, please say hello to....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Em Woods


Book Title:   Impossible To Resist
Genre: Contemporary M/M
Publisher:  Total E Bound Publishing
Links to purchase:
http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?P_ID=1204

Blurb:  
While Max’s biggest fear is being touched, his greatest dream is to be loved. Can he let Jeremiah close enough to heal, or will he turn away all that he wants for the safety of what he knows?

Max Eisner suffers from haptephobia, the fear of being touched. He refuses to let that stop him from living, though every second outside his house compounds his distress. Nor does it prevent him from yearning for that one man who will crash through those barriers and make Max his in every way.

Jerimiah Sandburg has watched the handsome man walk past his office door every morning for the past three months. Every day he has the same pained look on his face, flinching whenever someone brushes against him. Jerimiah isn’t sure if Max will trust him enough to work through whatever is bothering him, but he’s not willing to wait another day to claim the smaller man for his own.

Will Max listen to the call of his heart, or will he shut himself off once and for all?

Review: 
Reviewer: Allison

I want to first start by saying I fell in love with Em's style of writing immediately. The words weren't necessarily flowery and romantic, though they had their moments. But there wasn't a single superfluous line or phrase in the entire book. Every word had meaning and depth and played up for the entire story... at least in my humble opinion. I found myself completely enthralled, and didn't even skip through the sex as I find myself doing so much.

Now, for the story itself...

At first, I was confused about Max and Miah. I couldn't get a sense for where Em was going with these boys, which was a good thing, because it kept me reading and needing to learn more about them. It kept me guessing about how things would work out. I loved the fact that both boys had major personalities that almost seemed to clash in the beginning, but came together so wonderfully I loved the push/push relationship in the beginning and how they ended up being so damn cute with each other by the end.

Overall, this was a very sweet, intense, fast-moving read that I would recommend to anyone who is a seasoned fan of M/M romance, and even for the newbies to the genre. Great job, Em. Awesome story!



Interview:

1. Tell us a little bit about how Impossible To Resist came to life. What inspired the story? 

Actually, in the earlier days I did prompt writing from things one of the editors at Writer's Digest would post on their Promptly blog. This story came from that nudge, then I couldn't help but wonder what would happen for a man who didn't want, or couldn't be, touched...how would his HEA come around?

2. Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you? 

Max...definitely Max. He's such a good man, and he deserved a good man. Even if that man was a little flawed.

3. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write?

Well, I'm a thirty-something, a mom of two and wife to one terrific husband who gives me all the writing time I need. I'm multi-published with Total E Bound and Breathless Press, not to mention being a part of the most wonderful writing group, The Story Orgy, with whom we have three self-published anthologies.

What got me started writing? Well, I've written since high school, but a few years ago I took a creative writing class and my teacher encouraged me to join Romance Writers of America. She believed in me, so I believed in myself. Another friend offered to talk to her editor, and then off we went. It was exciting and scary and wonderful all wrapped into one!

4. Any advice for aspiring authors?

Practice, practice, practice. Search out other authors, ones that you think are better than you, and listen to their stories and how they came about. Learn from that, then find some courses on fictional writing, plot writing, characters. Research, both online and in real life. You'll be surprised where your characters and their quirks will come from.

5. Where is the best place to follow your work? 

My blog. http://authoremwoods.com

6. Any additional comments? 

Thanks so much for having me!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Caitlin Ricci


Book Title: Taming the Lion Tamer
Genre: LGBT Romance
Publisher: Silver Publishing
Link to purchase: 
Silver Publishing

Blurb:
Quinn's devotion to the big cats at his sanctuary doesn't leave much time for finding love, but when an animation company asks him to bring a lion down to model, meeting Charlie could be just the chance he needs.

The big cats in the sanctuary Quinn runs have long held his heart. However, an animation artist may offer them some competition for his affection.

Charlie can barely look at Quinn, much less talk to him. Quinn is confident, friendly, and too handsome for words. Charlie can't believe it when Quinn invites him up to the sanctuary for the weekend. He's enthralled and finds himself falling hard for the man his sister calls Sex God Quinn Fitzgerald.

Review: 
Reviewer: Allison

This was a short and sweet little book that started off with the adorable awkwardness of meeting someone new and realizing there’s an attraction there, and longing for that attraction to be mutual. After Quinn makes his move on the shy guy buried beneath a hoodie, who has an amazing talent for capturing life in still life, things seem to blossom quickly.

On the other hand, there’s Charlie, who lives with his sister and nieces and doesn’t get around to dating much. His last boyfriend is a real jerk and Charlie just isn’t real eager to find his one true love. He’s happy with life the way it is... then Quinn comes along.

Quinn invites Charlie to the Big Cat Sanctuary for the weekend. While Charlie had no expectations of his weekend away, his sister puts a few heated ideas in his head, and by the time Charlie’s three hour road trip dumps him off in Nowhere, Wyoming, he’s a little more ready to use the roll of condoms his sister nearly crammed in his pockets for him.

There are some really sweet scenes between Charlie and Quinn, and some major “Awww” moments for anyone who is a true romantic. Walking away from the book, I felt satisfied and completely ecstatic for the boys. I wish I could’ve seen a little more of them, but isn’t that the sign of a truly good writer? When the reader wants to spend more time getting to know the characters, falling in love with them and watching them fall in love, that means the writer brought the characters to life and made the reader feel for them. Miss Ricci certainly didn’t fail us here.

Overall, this was a good, quick and easy, feel-good read, and I recommend it for anyone who is looking for a fast pick-me-up.

Interview:

1. Tell us a little bit about how Taming the Lion Tamer came to life. What inspired the story?

The idea for Taming the Lion Tamer came to me one afternoon while driving east along I-70 on the Colorado plains. There’s a billboard next to the highway advertising a wild animal sanctuary about an hour east of Denver. I went on their website, looked at the stories of some of their big cats, and started thinking about the kind of man that would devote his life to saving big cats.

2. Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?

Quinn Fitzgerald, zoologist and owner of the big cat sanctuary in my story, is the one I most lean toward. He's got his quirks and writing him made me smile because he feels so warm and comfortable to me. He's a man whose best friend is an endangered Asiatic lion. He's brave without trying to be, sweet to everyone and just wants to do what's right for the cats.

3. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write?

I've always loved reading and in middle school that love morphed into writing. My therapist in middle school actually got me started by telling me to re-write things that were happening around me so that I could gain some control over them and better understand the feelings I was having. This love of writing took off from there.

4. Any advice for aspiring authors?

You cannot edit a blank page so always keep writing and make sure to go for what you want, regardless of what others may think or say.

Where is the best place to follow your work?

http://authorcaitlinricci.blogspot.com/

5. Any additional comments?

Thanks for having me and reviewing my second book!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Johnny Miles


Book Title: Learning to Samba
Genre: LGBT Romance
Publisher: Loose Id
Links to purchase:
3. Amazon

Blurb: After traveling through Europe trying to recover from a loss, reclusive romance novelist Brian Oliver returns to his childhood home in order to find himself and re-establish a severed relationship with his sister. What he unexpectedly discovers, however, is that even an old dog like him can still learn new tricks. Especially if the one teaching is João da Silva, a 25-year-old Brazilian hot-ass with a major thing for Daddies.

Brian soon realizes that with forgiveness and acceptance comes great emotional freedom if he and João can rekindle the deep and burning lust for life he’d once had. Do love, sex, and passion have an expiration date, or can Brian Learn to Samba?


Review:
Reviewer: Allison

Out of all the books I’ve read lately, Learning to Samba was one of my favorites. At the beginning, we’re presented with Brian who wasn’t completely over losing his partner to cancer. He wasn’t tragic and mopey, but he clearly still missed him. He returns to his hometown and immediately we meet his sister, which feels like it might be an awkward reunion, but it really isn’t. Then João appears and trust me when I say the story turns swoon-worthy immediately.

The thing I loved about this book was it pulled me in so completely I felt like I was experiencing falling in love for the first time again. I was there with them, walking, laughing, having a beer and I experienced everything Brian felt as if they were my own feelings. I explored the city with them and had all the risqué fun. I lived in their world and I fell in love just like they did. Mr. Miles really captured the beauty of budding romance and he took me through an entire range of emotions throughout this book. It’s one I’ve found myself going back and re-reading, and I’ll probably do it again (which is a major wow for me. I don't even go back and read the big boys a second time.) 

I highly recommend Learning To Samba and I highly recommend adding Johnny Miles to your list of favorite authors. I can assure you, he won't disappoint you.


Interview:

  1. Tell us a little bit about how Learning To Samba came to life. What inspired the story?
That's actually a funny story. A Facebook friend puts up photos from time to time in an attempt to inspire writers. I think she calls them plot bunnies. I've never seen one that worked for me except for this one time. The guy in the picture was, supposedly, a Brazilian. As I remember, there were a lot of shadows, a hot naked guy with a seductive smile and curtains billowing behind him. The imagery, and all the nuances that came with it just wouldn't let go of me. Which I guess was the point. However, it was an extremely difficult story for me to write because it deals with the loss of a loved one. Imagining life without my partner of 16 years was devastating.

  1. Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?
Oh, I like them all! Brian, of course, because he's the protagonist and, in a way, there's a lot of me in him. João, of course, because I love me a Brazilian man. But I also liked writing the sister and her kids.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write?
About myself? I'm just an ordinary guy with sometimes unusual taste. Done a lot of stuff, some of which I'm not too proud of but, hey, we all make mistakes and they make us who we are. As for what made me decide to write, that's something I've wanted since I was a kid. I just never got very serious about it until I got laid off from my annoying customer service job three and a half years ago. Oh, I'd written before. I'd even tried to get things published but the only things that saw the light of day were my porn stories. After a while you want to do something different. Something that means something to others, you know? I was ready to give it all up when I met Treva Harte. Between her and Bobbie Michaels, they encouraged me to write something in the m/m genre. And now, here it is close to four years after meeting them. Sadly Bobbie is no longer with us but it's been a fun ride with Treva's help and guidance.

  1. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Be malleable. Be willing to compromise. Don't expect every word you put down on paper is gospel, brilliant, or memorable. Read. A LOT. Edit yourself as if you hadn't written the story. Ask yourself, does this move the story forward? Does it illuminate a moment in the book, or a character and their traits, or even why they do the things they do?

Other than that I'd have to say, don't quit your day job...YET.

Writing is extremely difficult. The editing process is even harder still. We don't become overnight sensations with one book and, regardless of how much we want it, we can't live off our royalties right away.

Even more important is to write what you really feel in your heart. This isn't about the money. It's about needing to tell a story because not doing so is not acceptable.

  1. Where is the best place to follow your work?
Probably my blog or my website. I don't update either of them as frequently as I should but I'm going to start working on that.

  1. Any additional comments?
I've no additional comments but I'd like to say thank you, Allison. I'm honored that you've asked me on your blog and I'm so delighted that you enjoyed Learning To Samba! All of my stories are special to me for different reasons but Samba, that's got a really big place in my heart.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Duncan McGonall


Book Title: Bread of Fools
Genre: Young Adult/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Smashwords
Links to purchase:
2. Amazon

Blurb: There are eleven keys that control the Incarnation cycle. A new Incarnation cycle will not happen without the Keys. Some of them are missing. The Keys establish Mana, and bring to order Flux, the force in all things, the blood and breath of the Universe and the Arcanon control them - or they did until Tolen refused his seat, and Bruce is caught in the middle.

Review:  
Reviewer: Jamie

I am a huge fan of YA novels, so I was very much looking forward to getting ahold of something new. Bread of Fools is unlike others in its genre with a fresh premise and characters who are conflicted, confused and real.
The confusion of the main character, Bruce, is portrayed well, as a reader you will be able to sympathize with him as he struggles through the story. The best thing about the characters is that many of them are not good or bad but like most of us, they are a bit of both. I found it just as easy to empathize with the “bad guys” as it was to feel for Bruce and Zoey.
This story takes place in different dimensions, which at first was a bit confusing, but as the story unfolds and you learn more about the world around the characters the flow becomes easier. The action scenes and the dialog was spirited, and the abundance of secrets will keep you guessing. All in all, I’m looking forward to reading what happens next this tale and seeing as how the book ended on a cliffhanger I can only hope that Duncan McGonall continue Bruce’s story.


Interview:

1.      Tell us a little bit about how (Title) came to life. What inspired the story?

Bread of Fools came to be pulling several threads of a tapestry left hanging and undone for quite some time. I’m not certain how wise it is to elaborate on the fine details, but the work came to be from an ardent desire to produce an honest piece of fiction--one that reflected the realities of a lifestyle of secrets and power and the quest for both.

2.      Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?

I think perhaps my personal favorite is Maramore. He’s dark and mysterious, does whatever he does for his own reasons, and knows things no one else knows in the story. He is the sole possessor of the “big picture.” Yet his focus on the big picture ignores many times the details that comprise it. Among other things Maramore offers a shift in focus by contrast.

3.      Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write.

That is a very interesting question that I suppose is of interest to many prospective readers and authors, alike. It seems I have always had the “knack.” I have had my share of life experience. But only in the past few years through a process of personal growth and evolution and with the love and nurture of my wife, have I been serious about publishing. When you write, it’s like your soul bleeds into the words, that effort to capture “this-ness” is so pressing. Before I found my Sharon, I was never willing to bleed like that for anyone. I knew going in, that any real gain to be had outside the joy of the process itself was going to be gained in the long term and would require a continual exposure by parts and degrees of pieces of my inner self. I’m just very lucky to have found the One in this life that I love more than life itself. 

4.      Any advice for aspiring authors?

Read good books. Read classic literature. Read work that inspires thoughts you may never stumble upon on your own. Write and if you think it sucks, write MOAR. Write till you’re really sick of yourself, then burn it or throw it in the river and start again if you don’t like it. Whatever the outcome, hold it loosely--whether it’s a masterpiece or a flop don’t hold onto it too tightly: move on.

5.      Where is the best place to follow your work?

At the moment the best place to stay on the cutting edge is Facebook, and after what I have seen of the power of word of mouth, it may always be the place to keep up with my work. The jury is still out. http://www.facebook.com/DuncanMcGonall


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Havan Fellows

Book Title: Emery's Ritches – Book two of Synchronous Seductions
Genre: M/M erotic romance
Publisher: Breathless Press
Links to purchase: 
2. Amazon
Blurb: Ritchie won't admit that he's heartbroken. Emery won't accept less than all of Ritchie's affection. How will meticulous Emery win snarky Ritchie for his own?

Ritchie Lymings is wallowing in self-pity after seeing the man he loves—his best friend—reunited with his arch enemy. He's drowning his sorrows in coffee and caramel when an irritating stranger barges into his life, determined to make him smile. Even if this interloper is too dense to understand his faux pas, Ritchie figures he may be good for a quickie to get his mind off of his immediate situation. A simple round of love 'em and leave 'em sounds promising.

Emery Hutchins recognizes Ritchie immediately when he stops for his morning coffee and breakfast. His friend Ryder had been telling him stories about "the infuriating twit" for years. Fate and coincidence were two things that normally gave Emery cause for pause, but he couldn't let this opportunity pass him by. Unable to relinquish control to fate though, he immediately devises a plan to make the deliciously snarky Ritchie his own, one hundred percent completely.

But for these two diverse personalities there is one major problem. How can Ritchie's attitude and Emery's meticulousness blend together, or is this an oil and water mess?


Review:
Reviewer: Allison

I’m no stranger to Havan’s work and I must say, thus far, I haven’t been disappointed one bit. One thing I’ve loved most about Havan’s stories is the confident, cocky lead man who always thinks he has everything figured out and as far as everyone else is concerned, he does. But not everything is as perfect as he thinks. Emery is no different in that case. I love his arrogance. I love his voice. And most of all, I love how he realizes maybe he doesn’t know everything. Ritch is also a very strong character. His range of emotions feels so real and I certainly can relate to them.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the tug-of-war of their relationship is perfectly articulated in a fine choice of words that also brings a sense of humor to a very intense situation. And the sex, oh my god! I can see people who skim over the sex scenes reading through these. Havan does one of the things I love. The normal monotony of pumping and heavy breathing is broken up by well-placed internal conflict that doesn’t distract from the scene.

So I guess it goes without saying, I LOVED the book. LOVED! LOVED! LOVED! It was a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon in bed. I can honestly say Emery and Ritch… and even Geoff (who was a small but well-written character) will stick with me, and that’s what I love in books. For fans of M/M, I DEFINITELY recommend "Emery's Ritches."

Interview:

  1. Tell us a little bit about how Emery's Ritches came to life. What inspired the story?
I am a member of the StoryOrgy (a writing group that posts free reads every Monday)...and my first ever blog story was Harlan's Ryde. When I was planning on writing the very last post for that story—all proud like that I actually finished it *face palm* this annoying twit Ritchie popped up in my blog post. He happened to be Harlan's best friend (surprised me—I didn't even know that) and he demanded to take center stage on what happened to not be the last blog post for that story. No matter how much he irked me, he was a loyal best friend who put his love for Harlan aside so Harlan could have his HEA...I knew I had to give Ritchie his own story and his own HEA...but darned if I wasn't going to make him work for it...enter Emery...*giggles evilly*

  1. Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?
Oh wow...are they going to be reading this? Because you know—they give me a hard enough time in my head...I don't want to upset them *face palm* I would have to say Shan is the funnest...and he talks the loudest...and uses his Djinn powers against the others in my mind...wait a second—he's not that much fun for me come to think of it...

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write.
I've always wanted to entertain people...I used to put on impromptu 'concerts' around the pool when I was a child and make up stories when I was older about the weirdest things I would see. If I can take people out of their everyday lives even for just a few minutes and enjoy a world I put out there for them...wow—that is something special. *big grins*

  1. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Friends. A lot of friends...and if they happen to be excellent authors that you can bounce ideas off of, rant to when your characters are misbehaving, question when edits are tearing you up and just lean on when it all becomes too much at the moment—then count yourself extremely lucky. Hello...I'm extremely lucky...

  1. Where is the best place to follow your work?
You can find me on my blog Havan's Heavenly Haven...plus I hang on the Story Orgy blog or our Facebook page.

  1. Any additional comments?
Thank you so much for having me Allison *giggles* I love saying that...hehe Also, even though Emery's Ritches is book two in the series is can be read as a standalone book. *waves and blows kisses*

Friday, May 11, 2012

J.D. Yeiser

Book Title: Body in the Barrel
Genre: Mystery (Cosy mystery)
Publisher: XOXOPublishing
Links to purchase:
1. http://www.xoxopublishing.com
2. Amazon


Blurb: Harlan and Gloria Stone have played amateur sleuths for years. Using resources available at home, they try to beat the officials to a solution and they have, so far, always beat them. Now on one of their frequent RV excursions, they stumble across a new mystery, a body in a whiskey barrel, a barrel that sat in a warehouse for more than twenty years. Gloria, applying her well developed sleuthing skills, identifies the victim the same day she is discovered in the barrel. From that point, Gloria and Harlan continue to uncover information well ahead of the officials. They come to the attention of the authorities and to the sinister characters who are still around more than twenty years after the deed. Cooperating with the one group and avoiding the other group, they push the mystery to a complete resolution.


Review:
Reviewer: Libby

This book opens with a bang and keeps the pace up right through to the end. The descriptions are crisp and clear, the dialogue is perfect, and the knowledge behind the workings of different aspects in the novel make it a wonderful, pleasing read.

Having grown up near the area of the country the book is centered in and having traveled there countless times, I have to say Jim Yeiser does a wonderful job of describing the area. He also does a phenomenal job of describing the ins and outs of RVing as well as whiskey making without making either into a school lesson or overly intricate. Just enough information to catch the attention and inform the reader so everything falls into place and makes sense. All in all Jim just does a wonderful job telling this story. All of the characters are top notch, from the sinister, to the sad, to the inquisitive couple that starts the ball rolling on eventually convicting the murderer.

Anyone who loves murder, mystery, and sleuthing needs to pick up a copy of this book today. You will not be disappointed. The book is impossible to put down once it has been started. It left me absolutely desperate to read about the past adventures Harlan and Gloria had that were alluded to in the book.


Interview:

1.       Tell us a little bit about how Body in the Barrel came to life. What inspired the story?

The two main characters, Harlan and Gloria, are inspired by my brother and his wife; they are RVers. The idea of casting them in a story arose in email conversations with them and my two sisters. I can recall the email I wrote saying, “If I were writing it, it would sound something like this.” The first few paragraphs hooked me, and Body in the Barrel is the second story about them. Setting the story in Kentucky was a response to the advice to all authors – write what you know.

2.       Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?

I am drawn to Cooper – Harley Wayne Dowdell. He's a quiet and seemingly uncomplicated man. He is perceptive, considerate and moral. I try to picture how his life would have turned out without the burden of knowing what he had done.

3.       Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write.

High school drama and debate pulled me in completely. I completed my degree in theater and landed my first 'real' job in public relations. There and in subsequent marketing jobs, I wrote – reports, films, presentations, speeches, releases, feature articles. In college, I wrote a one act play that was staged there and later in at least two other theaters. I wrote a children's story which was illustrated and then published. When I started the Harlan and Gloria stories, I was no longer in the corporate world full time. I was able to clear major chunks of time and head space to devote to writing.

4.       Any advice for aspiring authors?

Writing is, for me, a solo activity. Editing, publishing and marketing are not. Even with a long career in marketing, I need all the help I can possibly get to market my work. So, my advice – get help, as much as you can find. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Susan Swann


Book Title: “Strings Attached” from the Dangerous Curves Anthology
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Short Story
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Links to purchase:
1. Amazon

Blurb: Luscious cleavage, hips a lover can hold onto - these are only part of the wondrous qualities of the heroines in this varied and fiery anthology.

With stories from Courtney Sheets, Catherine Paulssen, Clarice Clique, Lucy Felthouse, Angel Propps, Maggie Morton, Anna Fondant, Susan Swann, and Rachel Kenley, there is something for everyone whether it is newly discovered passion, the deepening of an existing relationship, or some intense f/f action!

There is nothing hotter than a woman who knows the power of her own sexuality - and uses it for her pleasure and that of her partner!


Review:
Reviewer: Allison

Now, I’ve been following Susan in one fashion or another for a while now, and I’m more used to the paranormal, M/M stories she writes. And while the writing is still the same high-quality flourish of vibrant (or in some cases dark) descriptive words, this story wasn’t like anything I’ve read from her before. It’s literally a bodice-ripper with a Harlequin-esque feel to it.

The main thing I loved about it was Nora being a rather confident, though innocently shy, curvy girl. She had enough pride in her body to let a devastatingly handsome man do very sensual things to her in a very taboo place. And in the end, I was very pleased to see the hero not leave her high and dry (or wet, as the story turns out.)

The flow of the story was absolutely eloquent and I must say the author didn’t disappoint me one bit. I was immersed in her story even though this type of thing isn’t something I would’ve picked up on my own. I am however, very happy I did and I would definitely recommend it as a short, feel-good read for anyone looking for a quick escape.  

Interview:

  1. Tell us a little bit about how “Strings Attached” came to life. What inspired the story?
Serendipity, as much as anything. I happened across a call for manuscripts for a BBW (Big Beautiful Women) anthology at about the same time as I was playing with some ideas for erotica set in Minnesota. Sexy things DO happen even in the Frozen North… And the Klondike Kate competition is a real part of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, and it’s a perfect fit for a BBW theme.

  1. Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?
I’d have to say Ruaraidh Collins. You won’t be meeting him for a while yet, because his book, Firestorm, is the fourth in my Soulshares series, and I’ve only just this week found out that Ravenous Romance wants the first in the series, Hard as Stone. But yeah, Ruaraidh. He’s a changeling, brought from the Fae realm as an infant and raised by an IRA Volunteer and his wife. A devoutly Catholic bisexual Fae who also happens to be royalty in his own world. Oh, and more or less a fire elemental. What’s not to love?.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write.
I think I decided to write in kind of the same way I decided to breathe. My mother recently found what was probably the first short story I ever wrote, when I was six years old, all about a suitcase that didn’t want to have stuff packed in it, so it ran away from home, and then discovered that it couldn’t really be happy until it was doing what it was meant to do. Kind of the same reason I write. Right after college, I put my newly-minted creative writing degree to work and submitted a short story to an anthology being put together by a writer I worshipped. Unfortunately, I got back a rejection letter that was not only cruel, but also very personal, asking me why in the world someone who wrote like I did would even want to consider herself a writer. I figured it was a good question, so it was almost 30 years before I ventured back into the world of print publication, when I submitted “Strings Attached.” But now I do consider myself a writer. Something in me has fundamentally changed in this last year. And I love it!

  1. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Well, first, don’t listen to unnecessarily personal critiques, even if they ARE from authors you idolize. And second, write what you genuinely love. You might not have the highest output in the world, but your love for what you do will shine through every word you write.

  1. Where is the best place to follow your work?
I’d love to recommend my blog, except that I’m completely technologically inept and I think I’ve forgotten my password to update it. (Maybe I need to talk to my teenaged son about that…) But I do keep up my Author page on Facebook, and you can always find the latest there -- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rory-Ni-Coileain/113709865406852?bookmark_t=page

  1. Any other comments?
Thank you for having me! – and now, if you’ll excuse me, a Lamia is tapping me on the shoulder and giving me a very impatient look…

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Michele Montgomery


Book Title: Damit
Genre: M/M Contemporary / Light-DOM/SUB
Publisher: Seventh Window Publication
Links to purchase: 

Blurb: Escaping the past isn’t easy, especially when the scars left behind are a constant reminder that trust and love can hurt.

Michael McKnight knows what it means to be on the run from memories. Years ago, after fleeing an abusive relationship, he was brutally stabbed and left for dead. His only savior had been a compassionate stranger he’d only gotten a glimpse of before slipping into the blackness that claimed him.

For Michael, recovery was an arduous and hard fought return to some semblance of normalcy. He rebuilds his life, spending his waking hours buried in work and fighting to forget the past. And his life seems to be going well until he finds out that his cousin Wayne is being held captive in a mental asylum for being gay. So he buys a plane ticket and flies out to rescue his cousin.

But the weather is against Michael, keeping him grounded and talking to a man who claims that he’d once saved his life and is willing to help him rescue his cousin. Can this man be for real or is something more sinister in the works?

Review:
Reviewer:  Jaimie

I have always enjoyed mystery and suspense, whether on television or in a novel, I love to lose myself in the twists and turns of a plot.  "Dammit!" was no exception, with a fast-paced plot that kept my mind whirring, it had me anticipating the next twist.  I was unable to put the book down and though it was lengthy, I finished it in one sitting, ignoring everything as I lost myself in the world of Cash and Michael. 

The novel began with Michael waiting for a flight to Pittsburgh and during his wait, he met a few colorful characters.  The airport scene was one of my favorites in the entire book, and the characters just popped.  They were so vividly described, it felt as if I was an observer, watching the scene unfold.  The pace quickened as they arrived in Pittsburgh and it isn't long before the first plot twist is underway.  It was a rollercoaster of emotions as I read along and at parts, I admittedly wanted to smack a few of the characters- for their own benefit, of course.  But that is the beauty of "Dammit!" you become emotionally invested in the characters and the situation they have been thrown into.

After reading "Dammit!" I wanted more and could only hope to see a sequel someday featuring a few of the other secondary characters.  Particularly one featuring Bruce, who managed to steal a slice of my heart during the time he was featured.

I would highly recommend this book to readers of gay fiction, particularly readers that enjoy suspense novels.  Fans of other suspense writers, such as Josh Lanyon, would find themselves right at home in the world of Cash and Michael.  The plot will have you on the edge of your seat- or bed- and will have you hooked until the very end.  

Interview:

  1. Tell us a little bit about how “Dammit!” came to life. What inspired the story?
Dammit! Really was a story I started writing for me. I had a lot going on in my life, I had two other books I was working on and both of them were with “established” characters and I needed something I could do that was in no way related to anything but me. Sometimes I can get so involved in my characters and their lives, their thoughts and such that I can lose me. Well, I was at a crossroad on one of the Lethal Obsession stories with my editor, and the other Xbar, which will be available soon, with the characters themselves. I was trying to “connect” to real life people, who really do exist and mix elements that aren't always easy to mix. Fact/Fiction. So one day I began playing around with a character whose name is Michael. He is the male me, if that makes sense. I write a lot of angst, drama and the like that I needed to lighten something up for a bit, and Michael was my answer. The first chapter which is available to read over at ARE, pretty much gives you who and what Michael is about and what he's like. He's really an over-grown kid at heart with a lot of hurt in his life. So, in short, he came to me by way of me, to keep me balanced.

  1. Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?
Michael is for sure. He is because he is the character who kept me smiling and laughing through the other two books I was writing at the time. As I said, he is me...in the male form.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write.
Well, I'm not too complicated, sort of boring really. Born and raised in Chicago, when I was eighteen I was hauled off to Tucson AZ and spent eighteen years there before moving to Colorado where I currently reside. I have three awesome kids and just about five grandkids and NO, I'm not OLD enough to be a granny that many times but my kids seem to think so. Truthfully, I am a whole lot more immature than they are. I began writing for fun when I was a kid, at 23 I started writing a story, “Behind Blue Eyes,” and that story and those characters helped me through a lot of rough spots in my life as a young mother. These characters are slowly being shown in the Lethal Obsession books. Behind Blue Eyes is the mother of those books and will become available in the next year or so. I started writing in the MM Genre on a dare from a friend. He said, write me a short MM story, let’s see what you got. That's when “Tony & Ryan,” came to life. They are both characters from Behind Blue Eyes. He said, write it with characters you already know so you’re comfortable at the start and there I went. It's a short and it will be undergoing a minor revision along with Lethal Obsession: Caged, and put into one print book especially for the retreat in October. I always have been a writer at heart and I'm very shy,a bit introverted and I find the best way for me to communicate is through writing.

  1. Any advice for aspiring authors?
This is a hard question for me because I feel I am still an aspiring writer. All I can say is stick to your guns, don't give up when you get stuck, find a couple beta readers who are painfully honest with you and never stop. If one story doesn't work for you, put it to the side and get another going and guess what will happen? You'll jump back to that other one and get it done. Drive yourself, let the characters lead you. Network your butt off while writing, keep positive, and put fingers to keyboard. And one more thing...be prepared to spend a lot of time by yourself with your characters. Writing is not something you can do while entertaining a houseful. Family members don't always understand. I still have issues with mine.

  1. Where is the best place to follow your work?
My website which is: www.michelelmontgomery.com  and I'm also on Facebook.

  1. Any additional comments?
I'd like to say that while it's important for your books to be reviewed, it's probably a better idea NOT to read those reviews and take everything that's said to heart. Remember, not all writers write the same. Their chosen Sub-Genre will make all the difference in the world for the readers. I don't consider myself a full romance writer. My stories have a darker side to them, more angst and such and there will be two or three HOT as hell D/s sex scenes in them with unique characters. So in saying that, a person who loves hot romance without any D/s action probably won't care for what I write.

Allison, thank you very much for having me.





Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cynthia MacGregor


Book Title: Lighter Than Air
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Publisher: XoXo Publishing
Links to purchase: 
2. Amazon

Blurb: Paige’s goofy Uncle Larry, an inventor, invents a cookie that makes anyone who eats it lighter than air, so that the person floats. But the only way to get back to the ground is with a different cookie with the opposite effect. Paige, her brother, and her friend find that floating in the air isn’t all fun…especially when there’s no way to get back down!

Review:
Reviewer: Jessa

Cynthia MacGregor's "Lighter than Air" is a story about the misadventures of a young girl who wants something special for her birthday party. With the help of her Uncle, the inventor, Paige discovers that flying is not always as much fun as it seems especially when cookies are involved. MacGregor's work was a lighthearted, well-paced young adult novel that draws the reader into Paige's world where birthday parties and having fun are what is important.  Along with Paige we discover that what is easy or fun is not always what is safe.  I would recommend this novel for young and old readers alike because, as an older reader it was entertaining to remember a time when my next birthday party was the most important thing in the world.  As young adult fiction goes, "Lighter than Air" was fairly good but in my opinion, could have used more detail to enhance the relationship with the main characters.

Interview:

  1. Tell us a little bit about how Lighter Than Air came to life. What inspired the story?
Although Lighter Than Air is just now getting published, I wrote it back when the “Goosebumps” books were popular. It was written on assignment for a publisher who wanted to give the public more of what it so obviously wanted. Unfortunately that publisher abandoned his plans after assigning a multitude of mildly scary juvenile novels to proven writers, stranding three books of my own and rather a sizable number of books by other authors I know (as well as some authors I don’t know). None of them saw the light of print for many years, although XoXo Publishing has accepted both my three and fellow author (and friend) Deb McClatchey’s several books in this genre as well (also written for the abandoned project in question).

  1. Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?
Now, you can’t ask me to play favorites! That’s like asking a mom which of her kids is her favorite!

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write.
I am a full-time freelance writer/editor, who has lived in South Florida since 1984 and in New York City before that. I have been writing since I could spell “C-A-T” and can’t honestly say that anything “made me DECIDE” to write. There was no “decision” involved. I’ve just always been writing since age six. While the overwhelming bulk of my output is nonfiction, I never wanted to be a one-trick pony, so I do write fiction also for a change of pace. I have over 100 published books to my credit, not including books I ghostwrote for others. Many of my books are listed on my website, www.cynthiamacgregor.com, including most of the 54 books I had published conventionally and many of the over-50 e-books I’ve had published as well.  I’m so far from rich it isn’t funny, but I’m about as happy as a person can get. I often say there’s no one in the world I’d want to trade lives with…and I mean it!

  1. Any advice for aspiring authors?
1 – Don’t give up. 2 – Find your own unique voice and stick with it, rather than trying to sound like your favorite author or the best-selling author you can think of. 3 – Try your hand at different types and styles and genres and fields. Not only are there fiction and nonfiction, adult and juvenile, book-length and article/story-length, poetry and memoirs, there are also newspaper writing, press release writing, advertising copywriting, and a host of other types of writing apart from the ones that come to mind first. It’s still writing, y’know! If you love writing persuasive ad copy, that may be your niche. Mark Twain already wrote The Great American Novel—two of ’em, in fact. You might want to look elsewhere for your bliss.

  1. Where is the best place to follow your work?
I list all my new books on my website, www.cynthiamacgregor.com. I also announce them in the note from the publisher in my weekly eclectic ezine, EZine Does it, which is FREE to subscribe to, so you might want to check it out. If you want to subscribe—again, there’s NO COST—just send an email to ezinedoesit@cynthiamacgregor.com and put “SUBSCRIBE” in the Subject line. It goes out every Friday,

  1. Any additional comments?
Thank you for reviewing my book



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jeff Erno


Book Title: Bullied
Genre: Young Adult - LGBT
Publisher: Deamspinner Press
Links to purchase: 
2. Amazon

Blurb: Every day, all over the country, teenagers struggle with the realities of bullying. Tormented, ridiculed, and beaten—simply for being who they are—these teens face alienation, humiliation, and even the explicit assertion that they have somehow brought this upon themselves, that they should just blend in. Bullied is a series of short stories exploring the world of these teens from several different viewpoints: the victim, the bully, the gay bystander, the straight friend, the concerned parent.

Closeted Bryan wonders why Christian Michaelson doesn't just try to blend in if he hates being bullied so much. Star athlete David isn't a homophobe—after all, he's not afraid of anything. Jonathan, a Christian fundamentalist, must weigh the Bible against peer pressure and what he knows is right when he discovers his childhood friend is gay. Bully victim Chase Devereaux finds an unexpected ally in a brave fellow student. A single mom struggles to accept the reality that her only son is gay. Two tough gay teens are forced to confront their own inner demons when tragedy befalls a classmate they failed to help. And overweight Kirby finds the strength of character to make a friend, which leads to a lifestyle change and a chance at love. Each character grows as an individual as he or she comes to terms with what it means to be a gay teenager in America.

Review:
Reviewer: Allison

Anyone who knows me, knows I have an utter disdain for young adult books. It’s a sad fact, but it’s true. Even more so, I have an absolute intolerance bullying. So this book would’ve never caught my eye and screamed for me to read. But then I met Jeff Erno at the 2011 GRL.

Jeff put a copy of “Bullied” in my hand and he was such a joy at the convention, after things wound down I pulled out my copy out and cracked it open, figuring what the hell, I’ll give it a shot. Of all the books I’ve ever read, this one was the most rewarding, most heart-warming and most eye-opening read.

My favorite story in the book was about Jonathon, who was raised in a Christian household, who had always learned it was wrong to be gay. Then his best friend comes out of the closet to him and Jonathon turns his back to his friend. He struggled with that and the struggle felt as genuine as it comes. I won’t give away the ending of that particular story, but I was more than pleased.

Honestly, this should be more like a self-help book for parents of gay kids and gay kids who are being bullied. The stories all offer hope for the kids and maybe parents can take away a little better understanding of the things their "out" kids have to go through day in and day out.

Besides that, the stories are all beautifully told and I loved every character, even some of the bullies. I could see those same stories happening in my own high school so many years ago. Jeff, if I could give the book 10 stars, I think I would. I've never had so many "awww" moments in one read. BRAVO!!!

Interview:

  1. Tell us a little bit about how Bullied came to life. What inspired the story?
During the early months of 2011, there was a lot of media coverage about gay teen suicides that had resulted from bullying. I think we all know now that this is an epidemic that sadly has continued, even to this day. In spite of increased media attention, LGBT students continue to be at high risk for verbal, physical, and psychological assault. Several anti-bullying organizations emerged and efforts throughout the country were made to educate students, parents, and communities about the danger of bullying. Several big-name celebrities leant their voices to the cause.

Unfortunately, in spite of the effort to address this tragedy, the voices of reason were matched by those who wanted to blame the victims.  Many were quick to rationalize the behavior of the bullies, saying that it was a part of growing up. Some even went so far as to suggest that the issue itself was merely an attempt of the LGBT community to find new recruits.

I wanted to do something, to respond in some way. I’m not a public speaker. I’m not involved with any school system, and I’ve never been an educator or counselor or parent. But I have been the victim of bullying, and I know exactly how it feels. So I decided to write about it. Bullied is a collection of seven stories, highlighting seven different victims of high school bullying. Two of the stories are told from the perspective of the victim, one is in the voice of the victim’s friend, one is told from a bystander’s point of view, one through the eyes of a parent, and one in the words of the bully. There is also one story that is told in third person from multiple points of view.
Bullied was my attempt to do something.

  1. Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?
I’m not sure that I could choose a favorite character, simply because this book is a compilation of seven different stories with seven different protagonists. I love all of the protags, and I relate to each of them on some level.

The last story in the book is titled “Kirby” and it is about a chubby teenage boy who has a crush on his best friend. Kirby is bullied more because he is overweight than due to his sexual orientation. I love Kirby for so many reasons. He is loyal. He is sincere and has such a pure heart. He’s very trusting, but in the end he demonstrates another characteristic which makes him extra special to me. He takes responsibility for himself and decides at last that he’s just not going to take it anymore. Not all victims are in a position to do this, but I loved presenting a story in which this sort of triumph was possible. In many ways, Kirby is a hero to me.

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write.
When I was in grade school, I was writing stories. I always loved English grammar and literature classes, and I excelled in them. By the time I was in high school, I was writing more poetry than prose, and I still have a journal where all of my poems are stored.

My life took a different direction, and I never pursued my passion for writing. Instead I got my degree in business management and was a store manager for a retail operation. In the late 1990s I finally decided to write a novel. It was at a period of my life where I had undergone tremendous change. Several people that I loved had passed away within a short period of time. The writing was cathartic for me. I never really imagined at the time that any of my work would ever be published.

  1. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Wow. Maybe the best piece of advice I could offer is not to listen to any advice from me.  I guess I’d have to say, follow your passion. Don’t wait and allow yourself to be defined by the necessities of life. I did things that I thought I had to do, things that were expected of me.  As a result, I remained for twenty years in a profession that I detested.

And another thing I’d like to add is that no matter how many people love your work, there will be a percentage of readers who absolutely hate it. You might get feedback from hundreds of readers who shower you with praise and admiration, yet when your book becomes available on Amazon, there will be at least a couple of people who will feel the need to declare you are the worst writer on the planet. 

You have to believe in your own ability, and write because you love writing. If you are good at it, there will be an enormous number of readers who will appreciate it. Those are the voices that matter, not the mean people who enjoy tearing others down.

  1. Where is the best place to follow your work?
All of my titles are listed on Amazon and on Good Reads. I also maintain a website and blog at http://www.jefferno.com and I have a Facebook and Twitter account.

  1. Any additional comments?
Thank you for featuring my book and allowing me an opportunity to talk about myself and my work.



Monday, April 23, 2012

Bia Tanos


Book Title: Moonlit Destiny
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: XoXo Publishing
Links to purchase:
1. Amazon

Blurb: As leader of The Executioners and founder of The Alliance, Quinn Stone is bound by duty to his race. Spending more time fighting than he does in a woman's presence, the warrior is one of eight vampires who have sworn to protect their people against an organization of scientists set out to capture them and clone their genetics for the advancement of humanity.

Dia Manaret is the owner of a ghost tour company and has always been inexplicably captivated by all things occult- especially vampires. When their paths collide on a sultry night in Miami Beach, they are irresistibly drawn to one another by the power of a prophecy. Yet as she delves deeper into his world, she becomes a target for his enemies.

Although Dia is familiar with the darkness of vampires, the evil side of her own species is something she knows nothing about. Now, Quinn's desire to protect his race is matched by his passion for Dia. In a battle to defend everything he loves, danger and romance ignite as his strength is put to the ultimate test.


Review:
Reviewer: Sarah

I love to read paranormal books and from reading the blurb, I knew that it fit what I like to read. From the beginning it grabbed my attention and dragged me in. The twists and turns were so well written it kept me locked to the screen, refusing to put it down for anything!! I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed reading Ms. Tanos’ work. I felt like I was almost hovering over the characters, literally pulled into the book, experiencing everything they did.

Without giving anything away, I love the detail that she put into the characters. You can literally see them jumping from the pages. I have read several big name authors, and some newer authors, and I was completely blown away at how well this book contends with some of the names you see popping up on the New York Times bestseller list.

She is an excellent author and I would highly recommend her books to all my friends. I hope she keeps the series going.

Interview:

  1. Tell us a little bit about how Moonlit Destiny came to life. What inspired the story?
Moonlit Destiny was originally a short story I had written a few years ago; to be used as a storyline for a role-playing group I had at the time. The theme wasn’t very cohesive for demons (what it was created for), so I altered it from demons to vampires. Of course, many additions and changes were made along the way. It wasn’t a romance story in the beginning.

  1. Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?
My favorite character is Phoenix. His background is rooted in Gaelic mythology and demonology, which are two of my favorite subjects. That, and his personality is a well-balanced mix of suave womanizer with a killer sense of humor. Who doesn’t fall in love with that?

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve written short stories and poetry. Some of them have been published in various school projects, and a few have won academic awards. My imagination runs wild, and it pours out on paper. Since writing is a form of catharsis for me, it’s rewarding to not only share my creativity, but to be able to express myself through the many characters and stories. Writing wasn’t so much a decision as it was a need.

  1. Any advice for aspiring authors?
I’m an aspiring author myself, so I’m sure that there are others out there who have a wealth of advice to share. Speaking solely from personal experience, I’d say to not give up. It’s a challenging industry to break into, and the road is paved with works that will never see the light of day. Just have faith in your writing and keep on keepin’ on.

  1. Where is the best place to follow your work?
Oh goodness, I’m everywhere. From Twitter to Goodreads and places in between. However, the two main sources are my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Author.Bia.Tanos, or my blog, www.biatanos.com.

  1. Any additional comments?
Yes. I’d like to thank author Allison Cassatta for all of her support, encouragement and inspiration. Since meeting her, she’s been a constant source for all things positive. I can’t display enough gratitude for her, but I try, every chance I get. J



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rick McGranahan


Book Title: Visiting the Ghost of Puppyboy
Genre: Gay Literature / Memoir
Publisher: PublishAmerica
Link to purchase: www.rickmcg.webs.com

Blurb: You are invited into my Go-Go Boy/Stripper past. Over a period of seven years in the nightclub industry, go on a journey through memorable stories interwoven with documented journal entries, telling a true tale of how a Micro-celebrity alter ego stage name is created and then eventually put to death by self-destruction, eventually becoming a mere taunting ghost of the past. Encounter experiences of head exploding arrogance, defining friendships both shallow and deep, drug and alcohol addiction, traveling on naked money, struggling to find love under a DJ spotlight, and figuring out how to define the difference of being in love or in love with the idea of being in love. The nightclub industry wrapped its arms around me, swept me away in a whirlwind, but little did I know it would chew me up and spit me out. Come now, and visit my ghost with me


Review:
Reviewer: Allison

I think it’s incredibly important for me to preface this by saying I don’t like autobiographies because usually, they come off as pompous and boring, but this isn’t just any autobiography. Not by a damn sight and it’s anything but boring.

It starts off with this young boy who really isn’t comfortable with who or what he is and quickly explodes into a world of madness. Rick’s world pulled me in to the point I wanted to know the people (Some I admittedly stalk on Facebook.) I wanted to visit the club, which I’ve seen with my own two eyes.

I felt like I was actually reliving those days with him, the happiness and sadness, the excitement and fear, the good and the bad. It’s all there. You don’t miss ANYTHING. For God’s sake, I could hear the songs he danced to and I was shaking my booty right along with him as I read the words.

It takes a lot to pull me into a book and please don’t mistake this “memoir” as some bland story about someone’s uninteresting life, because I assure you, it’s far from it. Take Rick’s hand and let him show you the world of a young dancer from his stage. It’s WELL worth the view from up there. I highly… HIGHLY recommend this book.

Interview:

Tell us a little bit about how Visiting the Ghost of Puppyboy came to life. 
Puppyboy was a Dancer name christened to me by another Dancer.  A leather boy Stripper for show who became an addictive alter-ego personality in me. Pup's alter-ego image continued egging me on for years into a rise and fall of debauchery, drugs, a quest for love amongst broken hearts - mine and others.
He (Puppy)essentially became my reckless best friend as we both spiraled out of control inside one person - Me.
These days the memory of him still haunts me.  Hence the title 'Visiting the Ghost of"

What inspired the story?
A small stack of books sat with me years ago. They were tormenting journals that have been filled with haunting memories and outrageous stories of my days and nights while I was a dancer/ go-go boy/stripper.  The ins & outs of the nightlife industry had to be told through my eyes, to share the secrets with as many as would want to.  Isn't that what sweet taunting exhibitionism is all about?

Who is your favorite character and what makes them so memorable to you?
My Dominatrix Dance Manager from the nightclubs Club Fetish & The Chamber.  She gave me my stage & spotlight to begin with at t the beginning of it all.  To make a scene in front of hundreds at her command.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you decide to write.
Go to the book's website, www.rickmcg.webs.com , and click the 'About Me' tab.  It saves space on this page

Any advice for aspiring authors?
Don't let writer's block last more than a week, you'll end up repeating a Chapter you forgot you wrote!

Any additional comments?
Don’t regret things you've written, the words came from you for a reason… even if it’s only you understands what it means !

You can visit Rick at the links below: