About annabutlerfiction

I'm a writer, making that big and scary jump from writing for fun, to writing for publication. I write m/m erotic romances, mostly science fiction.

Links to Blog Posts on Writing – June and July 2017





Heartened by Wonder Woman—The Case for Sincere Storytelling  – Vaughn Roycroft at Writer Unboxed

On Pen Names, Cover Art & Reader Betrayal – Gail Carriger at Fiction University

Ways To Stay Motivated In This Shit-Shellacked Era Of Epic Stupid and So, You’re Having A Bad Writing Day – Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds

An Agent’s Advice: The Big Five No-nos to Querying a Literary Agent – Kathryn Lilley at The Kill Zone

Yes, You Can Learn To Write Better Fiction – James Scott Bell at The Kill Zone

White Writers Writing Non-White Characters: Why I Vote Yes, for Commercial Fiction – Elizabeth Stephens at Writer Unboxed

Robyn Bennis: Five Things I Learned Writing The Guns Above

Linda Nagata: Five Things I Learned Writing The Last Good Man



The Disorganized Novelist’s Guide to Outlines – Erika Raskin at Publishers Weekly

Birth of a Book: The Idea Stage: Brainstorming the Idea – Janice Hardy at Fiction University

Bringing a Gun to a Knife Fight – James Gilstrap at The Kill Zone

How to Write a Fight Scene (in 11 Steps) – Christine Frazier at the Better Novel Project

The Real Problem With Passive Voice in Fiction – Janice Hardy at Fiction University

Whoa, That’s Tense. 3 Ways to Raise the Tension in Your Scenes – Janice Hardy at Fiction University

And, Scene: Some Thoughts On Writing A Scene – Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds

Putting the Bite in Sex Scenes | Getting Punk’d by Steampunk | Lasers, Swords, and Brianna, oh, my! | Once Upon a Plot: Retelling Myths and Fairytales – Cait Reynolds guesting at Kristen Lamb’s blog with an entire series of interesting posts. Worldbuilding features heavily here.

A Closer Look at Foreshadowing – Don Allmon at Fiction University

Your Frame-Worthy Mini-Guide to ‘Show, Don’t Tell’ (With Tons of Examples) – Alex Limburg at Ride the Pen. Downloadable worksheets and pdfs.



Proofreading Tips Part 1 and Part 2 – Diane Hurwitz at Blood Red Pencil

Shifting Between Drafting and Editing – Janice Hardy at Fiction University

Useful Tips For Self-Editing A Manuscript – Emily Nemchick at Writers Path



rocket-6SHOULD You Create Your Own Book Cover?  – June Stevens Westerfield at Writers In The Storm

A Word Count Guide for 18 Different Book Genres – Blake Atwood at The Write Life

Book Writing Software: Top 10 Pieces of Software for Writers – Joe Bunting at Write Practice

Storyboarding with Scrivener (or, A Love Affair with Virtual Index Cards) – Gwen Hernandez at Writer Unboxed

Free Scrivener Template: How to Structure Your Story – K.M. Weiland at Helping Writers Become Authors





Brand Identity | Brand Image | Brand Loyalty 1 | Brand Loyalty 2 | The Intermediate Stages     – Kristine Kathryn Rusch continues her series.

How To Expand Your Target Audience series: Choices | Slow Growth   – and Rusch starts a new one!

Anthologies: Joining With Others In Marketing To The Masses – Laurie Starkey at Digital Book World

12 Tips for Writing and Releasing Collaborative Book Bundles – Linda Yezak at Helping Writers Become Authors

What you NEED to know for successful Amazon Ads! – Penny Sansevieri at Writers in the Storm

The Basics of Advertising for Indie Authors – Marcy Kennedy at Fiction University

How To Find and Work with Book Review Bloggers – TCK publishing

From BookBub:
7 Top Book Marketing Takeaways from BookExpo 2017
48+ Publishing Resources You Should Know About
Promoting a New Sequel with BookBub Ads [Case Study]
9 Reasons a Book Was Rejected for a BookBub Featured Deal
How We Created a Box Set to Boost Ebook Sales 350%
How Indie Presses and Authors Can Collaborate on Marketing Campaigns
Should You Make a Book Available for Preorder? 14 Authors Weigh In
How to Drive Preorder Book Sales: Q&A With a Big 5 Publisher
7 Global BookBub Reader Trends You Need to Know

Rejected By BookBub? Look In The Mirror And Change Your Marketing Ways – Beth Bacon at Digital Book World


Social Media

Social Media Content: Feeding the Beast – Jana Oliver at Fiction University


Newsletters/Email Lists

Building a Mailing List through Reader Magnets – Marcy Kennedy at Fiction University

Email Marketing Tips: How to Get Your List to Buy Your Book | Building an Email List for Your Book: 2 Effective Tactics to Try Now – Emily Wenstrom at The Write Life




There’s No Such Thing As A Self-Published Author – Beth Bacon at Digital Book World

14 Questions to Ask Before You Self Publish – Janice Hardy at Fiction University

Recent posts on the wonder that is Amazon:
Scammers Break The Kindle Store – David Gaugrhan with a depressing post everyone should read.

Amazon’s $23,698,655.93 book about flies – Michael Eison on how Amazon’s algorithms are batshit.




The Legal Side of Writing for Anthologies | The Truth Behind Popular Copyright Myths   – Susan Spann at Writers In The Storm



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‘Personal Relations’ published everywhere today!

Yes, indeed. The author who **never** writes contemporaries, is publishing one today! And it is



Kit Lewis and John Hogarth are two thirds of one of the best Public Relations outfits in the business. Kit has loved John for years now, but John’s wary and skittish. He’s seen far too many of Kit’s loves fall by the wayside, wings burned, to risk it.

One day, though, Kit’s sober when he makes the offer and John is particularly open-minded to the possibility of accepting Kit’s heart and hand. The rest is history.

This collection of six light-hearted short stories charts their relationship from the London Olympics to the celebration of every public holiday known to humankind.

Publisher: Glass Hat Press



Payhip  |  Amazon.com  |  Amazon.co.uk  |  Smashwords  |  Kobo  |  B&N Nook


Slightly naughty excerpt from “A Kiss is Just a Kiss, But a Good Blow Job is, Well, a Good Blow Job.” My favourite story title ever, but definitely not safe for work!

Kit’s tongue traces the contour of John’s cock. He taps the with his tongue, laughing silently as John’s back arches. John whines a little. As you do, in such circumstances. Kit could bring him off in a minute, doing this, but that’s far too quick. Kit likes pleasuring John. He likes to savour it.

He goes back to the long, lazy licks up John’s cock, root to tip again. Like licking an ice cream cone on Brighton beach. Start slow and deep down, and move up, purposefully, varying the intensity of contact. Sometimes his tongue is hard up against it; sometimes gentle, barely touching, little butterfly touches that have John squirming and laughing. Once or twice when he reaches the tip, he encloses it in his mouth, sliding it in, and moves his head around in a circle to let the tip slide around his mouth. Clockwise. Anticlockwise. Never tightening his lips too much, but letting John’s cock find its own route around his mouth. It’s more fun that way. Lasts longer.


He can keep this up for hours. Lick the shaft. Let it slide in. Flick his tongue over the tip. Apply a tiny amount of suction. Flutter his tongue over the tip. Lick again. Let it slide again. More suction. More butterfly touches of tongue and fingers. Lick around the ridge below the head. Suck on the join underneath. Vary pace and pressure. Fast and hard. Slow and soft. Slow and hard. Fast and gentle. Slow and gentle. Fast and hard… over and over, while massaging John’s balls with one hand and sliding a finger up and down the shaft with the other or slipping it under him to play with his opening.

Over and over.

Until John’s panting, thrusting with his hips, the head of his cock swelling a little in Kit’s mouth and the taste of pre-cum is bitter on Kit’s tongue. And John’s in spasms, hips jerking now, legs stiff, hands lifting out of Kit’s hair to curl into fists. Quick as a flash, Kit presses his thumb against the base of John’s cock, stopping him, sucking hard on the head until John’s squirming and moaning, his hands reaching out and falling back helplessly, his lips drawn back and his jaw hard and set.


Until Kit releases the pressure and lets him go and he comes and comes while Kit sucks him down, thrashing and yelling loud enough to frighten the cat.

Until Kit sits back on his heels again and watches him, smiling, licking his lips. “That’s all your bruises kissed better, then,” he says.

John breathes hard. He reaches out a hand. Kit takes it, laces their fingers together.

All mine.

“Mine,” he says.

“Oh, I suppose so,” John says, and smiles.



Hope you enjoy it!

Louise Lyons’ “What’s Up, Pussycat” released – FREE!

I’m very please to have Louise Lyons popping in here today to share news of her latest release, the novella “What’s Up, Pussycat”, which is available free at all retailers.


Release date: July 7, 2017
Length: 24,300 words
Cover Design: Simon Searle


Finley Harrington despairs of ever being able to move on after the death of Andrew, the love of his life. When he spots an advertisement for auditions for Cats, the last musical Andrew performed in, Finley acts on the spur of the moment and calls for an appointment to audition.

Much to Fin’s surprise, he gets the part he hopes for, but during his struggles with stage-fright, and the teasing of a fellow actor, Karl Rogers, he wonders if he’s made a huge mistake. But Karl’s irritating persona hides a different person inside, and when Fin gets to know him, he develops a surprising attraction to him.

Could Karl be the person to help Fin move on from the past, or is he destined to remain alone?



Amazon UK  |  Amazon US  |    Smashwords   |    Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo


The members of the cast began arriving half an hour later when the three of us were warming up, and my impression of the first man through the door was one of shock. I’d seen Karl Rogers who played Rum Tum Tugger from a distance a few times when I attended the shows in Leicester, but never without his cat costume. He was tall—at least six feet—and his shock of peroxide hair and startling green eyes drew everyone’s attention. His lycra leggings emphasized a large package, and a bright orange cropped T-shirt and matching ballet shoes completed his outfit. He charged into the room like a whirlwind.

“So! Who do we have here?” he shouted, looming over Annette and me, where we stood stretching our hamstrings. “You look weirdly familiar.” He jabbed a finger in my direction, before turning his attention to Annette. “What a pretty kitty. What’s your name, then, darling?” He pronounced the endearment “dahling” and I cringed. I hoped the rest of the cast weren’t like Karl. I’d met a couple of them, but I preferred to keep my distance and monopolize Andrew when the shows were over.

“Annette,” the girl said. “And that’s Finley. The other guy is James.”

Karl spun around to look at James, gave him a cursory nod, then turned back to me. He took a step closer, forcing me to look up.

“Cute!” Karl exclaimed. “Cat got your tongue?” He proceeded to shriek with laughter at his lame joke, and my face heated under the scrutiny.

“I’ve not had the chance to get a word in,” I blurted, and immediately cringed. My voice tended to sound more refined when I was irritated. I couldn’t help my parents or the school I’d gone to, but for the past few years I’d done my best to shake off the accent and sound more like everyone else. I knew Karl would say something, even before he opened his mouth again.

“Ooh, someone swallowed a silver spoon, didn’t they? Wait. Finley? Finley Harrington? Golly, I’m surprised Mummy and Daddy let their little boy do something as lower class as performing on the stage. Shouldn’t you be a lawyer or a doctor or something?” Karl spoke in an exaggerated tone, and my face burned.

“Wow, someone loves himself.” James moved to my side and cocked an eyebrow at Karl.

“I have a sense of humor. You should try it some time.” Karl laughed, and James scowled at him. The boisterous dancer ignored him, and draped an arm around Annette’s shoulders. “You never told me your name, Kitty.”

“Yes, I did. It’s Annette.”


Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.

Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Social Media

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/louiselyonsauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/louiselyons013

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/louiselyons013

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/louiselyons013

Blog: http://www.louiselyonsauthor.com

Email: louiselyons013@gmail.com



51 Sleepless Nights with Tobias Wade

I think this may be the first time I’ve hosted a horror writer here on the blog, and I’m delighted to welcome Tobias Wade, along with some info about his latest release of 51 marvellously diverse short stories. With such a range, there’ll be something here for everyone, and isn’t that a gorgeously evocative cover? I love it!

A diverse collection of horror stories including the grizzly confessions of a serial killer, parallel dimensions, becoming trapped in a virtual world, and encountering ancient aliens buried beneath the Earth’s crust. Demons, monsters, psychopaths, undead, mad experiments and paranormal – no matter what makes your heart race, you’re guaranteed to face your fear with these terrifying stories.

Publication: anthology of short stories (51 of them!)
Wordcount: 102,000
Release Date: 19 June 2017

Goodreads Page


51 Sleepless Nights is available for sale at Amazon in ebook and paperback formats:

Amazon.com |  Amazon.co.uk


I felt her arms around me, but she wasn’t trying to choke me or restrain me. She was… hugging me. It was such an alien sensation that I immediately opened my eyes. That’s when I saw them. Hundreds – no thousands of gossamer spider webs holding up her body like a marionette doll. I recoiled immediately, and she let me without the slightest resistance. 

The spiders were everywhere. Crawling across her face, through her hair. When she opened her mouth, I saw more of them inside her, pulling the threads to work her jaw. Her throat pulsed, and I knew more must be further down to vibrate her vocal chords. 

“But he’s never going to hurt you again. You have our word.” 

I was too shocked to fully understand what was happening. The alarm in my mind wouldn’t stop, and I still felt like I was about to pay for my rebellion. I didn’t want to stare, but couldn’t look away. I didn’t want to go and see, but my feet carried me there anyway. 

I opened Jeff’s room and found him on his bed. His hands and feet were bound with countless loops of spiderweb. More of it was across his face, tying his tongue securely to the roof of his mouth. His skin was perforated with a thousand holes, and spiders were crawling in and out of them as they carefully partitioned and wrapped each piece for consumption. His eyes blinked at me, although I don’t know if that was a sign of life or simply the successful attachment of yet another internal strand. I quietly closed the door and let them finish their work.
-My Mother the Spider Queen




Former neuroscience researcher, born again horror writer. During my studies, it struck me as odd that I could learn so much about why humans behave without understanding the intricacies of human nature. It occurred to me that I learned more about the depths of human experience from reading Dostoyevsky than I ever had from my text books, and I was inspired to write.


Find me at:
Website – My books, info, and horror blog. New stories every MondayWednesday, Friday.
Facebook – Public fanpage where I share my writing and latest updates.Books:

51 Sleepless Nights – Collection of my horror stories.
The Last Man – Fantasy series. First two books free for new email subscribers.
Wings of Renewal – Dragon stories for a new world.


Burning Boundaries with Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham



Mari Gale’s life has been a whirlwind since meeting Jake Chivis. A new job prospect and his mother’s health preoccupy him, so when Jake invites him on a date he’s ready to cut loose. Their night out turns into a nightmare when a fire breaks out in the basement of the bar and they barely escape.

Soon Jake learns that the horrific accident is being investigated as a possible homicide, and it’s not the only case. Detective Inspector Cordiline of the London Met hints at spontaneous human combustion, but as far as Jake knows, SHC doesn’t exist.

When Mari looks into a group called Birthright, he finds a connection to the victims of the fires and Jake risks himself to go undercover at the shadowy organization. The race is on to determine the truth before Jake becomes the next target.

Publisher: Pride Publishing
Authors: Bellora Quinn and Sadie Rose Bermingham
Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis
Length: 103,000 Words
Format: eBook
General Release: TODAY 4th July
Pairing: MM
Heat Level: 4 out of 5
Genre(s): Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Fantasy – Urban & Magical Beings, Mystery & Thriller, Paranormal, Paranormal – Psychic Talents


Price: $5.99


Elemental Evidence Series: Former Detective Jake Chivis is a Fire Elemental who uses psychometry to see the past. Doctor Ilmarinen Gale is an Air Elemental, a human/cybernetic interface, able to infiltrate even the toughest information systems. Together they find out just how potent a combination Fire and Air can be when it comes to solving crimes.

Amid murder, conspiracy and a world that views them with suspicion, and sometimes contempt, Jake and Mari circumvent the conventional. While the police aren’t always appreciative of their methods they can’t deny the results.

When they aren’t busy consulting for the police, figuring one another out is their next big mystery. One that proves as frustrating as it is passionate. Between hunting killers and avoiding competing government agencies that want the two of them working on their side, they just might have enough time for love.

Facebook page for Elemental Evidence


Was that flirting? Was he flirting with the guy? Jake tried to rein those thoughts in but he couldn’t help it. Mari had a habit of flirting, but it had never bugged Jake before. Jesus, they’d managed to go to one bar for an hour and already he was devolving into Neanderthal territory. He realized something else. It had never really bothered him when he and Alex had gone out and his ex had spent all night coming on to strangers. Then again, he’d known Alex was doing it to get a rise out of him. That was not Mari’s way, at all.

“You want another drink?” Jake asked, by way of keeping himself from hauling Mari out of there and grilling him about whether he wanted to sleep with Mr. Whips and Tattoos. They had to step to one side as a sweating, agitated-looking guy pushed by them on the stairs in an obvious hurry to get down to the basement for some chastisement. Though he looked chastised enough already, in Jake’s opinion.

“If you do,” Mari said, then exhaled a huff that might have been regret and might have been relief. “Unless, of course, you just want to put me over your shoulder and carry me out, Mr. Caveman. I wasn’t giving him the come-on. So you can stop looking daggers. And don’t deny it.” He pointed a slender finger at Jake as he opened his mouth. “I could see you thinking it. Yes, he’s very cute, but he’s not really my type. I do like his toy box though.”

Jake snapped his mouth closed then pushed a hand through his hair and let out a sigh of his own. He had always pitied guys that acted like possessive jerks and here he was being as transparent as glass, all but snarling at anyone who got too close to Mari. “I’m sorry. I was aiming not to be obvious. I’ll try and refrain from clubbing you over the head and dragging you out by the hair.” He managed a sheepish grin.

“In that case, it would be my pleasure to have another drink with you, Chivis.” Mari chuckled, slipping a hand around the nape of his neck and towing him in for a brief, firm kiss.

They made their way back up into the bar and as they were weaving their way through the crowd, Jake heard someone shout, then screaming coming from the direction of the basement.

The red and gold lighting seemed to be flickering and Mari yelled, “Can you smell something burning?”

Jake noticed the smell just as Mari was saying it, and turned his head. A curl of pale smoke was winding up from the basement stairway, not thick but noticeable.

“Shit!” He grabbed Mari’s arm. “Get out of here. Hurry.”

Jake gave him a push toward the front exit then shoved through the crowd, trying to get to the stairs.


Pride Publishing  |  Amazon  |  Apple  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo


Bellora Quinn:  Originally hailing from Detroit Michigan, Bellora now resides on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida where a herd of Dachshunds keeps her entertained. She got her start in writing at the dawn of the internet when she discovered PbEMs (Play by email) and found a passion for collaborative writing and steamy hot erotica. Soap Opera like blogs soon followed and eventually full novels. The majority of her stories are in the M/M genre with urban fantasy or paranormal settings.

Website  |  Twitter 

Sadie Rose Bermingham: A storyteller since before she started school, Sadie also enjoys reading, photography, live music and long walks on the beach. Sadie has worked as a bookseller, a pedigree editor for the racing industry and a local and family history researcher. Originally from the north of England, she has been working her way across the UK ever since. She currently resides on the south east coast with her long term partner, where she hopes to buy a mobile home and establish a whippet farm.

Website  |  Twitter


Facebook page for Elemental Evidence

Personal Relations: Coming 20 July

I don’t write contemporary m/m romance. I write science fiction, with a side order of steampunk. So a collection of romantic, frothy, contemporary short stories, Personal Relations? As much of a surprise to me as to you.

It started with the second story I ever had published: a short story called Happy Holidays in an anthology from Dreamspinner Press. I took a story that had lurked on my hard drive for years, changed some of the details (I relocated my two heroes, Kit Lewis and John Hogarth and their PR business to New York, thinking that would resonate best with the huge m/m readership, which is predominantly American) and DSP ran with it. When the rights reverted to me earlier this year, I took the opportunity to bring Kit and John back to their London roots and revise Happy Holidays a little, dig out a few more short stories from the hard drive, and suddenly I had a small collection of light-hearted, frothy and romantic stories charting their love affair across four or five years from the London Olympics onwards.

The stories will be published on 20 July and

By SpiderWeb-MarketingSystems (creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

It will be free on Kobo, Nook and Smashwords immediately, and free on Amazon as soon as I can persuade them to pricematch. 

Kit Lewis and John Hogarth are two thirds of one of the best PR outfits in the business. Kit has loved John for years now, but John’s wary and skittish. He’s seen far too many of Kit’s loves fall by the wayside, wings burned, to risk it.

One day, though, Kit’s sober when he makes the offer and John is particularly open-minded to the possibilities of accepting Kit’s heart and hand. The rest is history.

This collection of six inter-related short stories charts their relationship from the London Olympics to the celebration of every public holiday known to humankind.

A light and frothy read for the summer.

J Scott Coatsworth and “The Great North”: Review

You know, I always thought of Scott as a temperate zone kind of guy; a Californian sun lover, even. And yet here he is, talking about the icy desolation of the Great North. And shivering, likely. I know I am, but that’s the Great British summer for you: hot sun one day, November-like rain the next.

Anyhow, I’m delighted about Scott’s visit here today. Scroll down for a thinky post on the rewards of writing from Scott, and for a review of The Great North from me.


Dwyn is a young man in the small, isolated town of Manicouga, son of the Minstor, who is betrothed to marry Kessa in a few weeks’ time.

Mael is shepherding the remains of his own village from the north, chased out by a terrible storm that destroyed Land’s End.

Both are trying to find their way in a post-apocalyptic world. When the two meet, their love and attraction may change the course of history.

Author: J. Scott Coatsworth
Publisher: Mischief Corner Books
Cover Artist: Freddy MacKay
Length: 34K
Format: eBook
Release Date: 6/14/17
Pairing: MM
Price: 3.99
Genre: MM, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Romance, Myths, Legends, Gods, Post-Apocalyptic

The Great North was inspired by St. Dwynwen’s Day, also known as Welsh Valentines Day.


Mischief Corner Books  |   Amazon  |  Kobo  |  iBooks   |   B&N  |  Smashwords.


Is This Thing On?

As writers, we have two main jobs. Tell interesting stories about fascinating people in cool places, and then promo the shit out of those same stories in the hopes that someone will actually read them.

It can be a thankless job. Each novel represents hundreds of hours spent in solitude in our writer caves, and is just as likely to be greeted by a collective “ho hum” or a torrent of abuse as it is to be welcomed with flowers and songs of praise.

But there is one thing worse than being told your novel is boring, or derivative, or full of obvious plot holes.

It’s when you are ignored entirely.

For the release of “The Great North,” I am writing ten guest posts to entice readers to give me and the story a try. I am witty, and gregarious in these posts—your best writer friend. I spend hours coming up with the perfect topics, the best presentation, the ideal meter to make them sound sharp and polished.

Does anyone read these posts? I hope so. But there’s just no way to know.

It’s the same with our books. Yes, we get the occasional Goodreads or Amazon review. There are some signs of life out there in the reading world, but still, many folks read our work and never say a peep about it.

Sometimes, though, you get lucky.

I was at GayRomLit last year, and was approached for the first time ever by someone who absolutely loved one of my stories. It made my heart sing, and fueled my yearning to write for months.

Then a couple weeks ago, a friend told me my stories had given him the courage to finally propose to his boyfriend. I’m still floating on cloud nine after that one.

And finally, someone at Sac Pride this last weekend told me they read and loved my serial story, River City.

So you see, sometimes the mic is on. Sometimes our words reach out into the world and change things in ways we may never know or see.

For me, that’s good enough.



“We celebrate Dwyn’s Day as a testament to true love and sacrifice. It’s a remembrance of the way things were and the way they’ve come to be. In the end, let it be a reminder that every one of us has the power to change the course of events through love.”

—Dillon Cooper, New Gods and Monsters, Twenty years After Dwyn

The gray clouds scudded by overhead, blowing in quickly from the east.

Dwyn shivered and pulled on his woolen cap. It was cold out, unusual for so early in the fall. The rains had been heavy this season, the wettest in a generation, and Circle Lake was close to overflowing its banks. If he stretched to look over the rows of corn plants, he could see the waters lapping at the shore far below, as if hungry to consume his village of Manicouga.

His father had consulted the elders, some of whom had seen more than fifty summers, and everyone agreed things were changing. Whether that augured good or ill was anyone’s guess.

He shrugged and moved along the row of plants, breaking off ears of corn and throwing them into the jute sack that hung from his shoulder.

Ahead of him, two of his age-mates, Declan and Baia, were working their way down the next two rows.

Dwyn frowned. He got distracted easily, and he’d let the two of them get a jump on him. That wouldn’t do.

He redoubled his pace. He moved with focus and purpose, and soon he was closing the gap with his friends.

“Someone’s being chased by a lion,” Baia said with a laugh.

“Or a tiger.” Declan grinned, his nice smile only missing one tooth, lost to a fight with one of the Beckham brothers the year before.

Dwyn grinned. “Or a bear?” Dwyn only knew lions and tigers from the fairy tale his mother used to tell them, “The Girl and the Aus.” He had no idea what an Aus was, either.

Bears he knew. The hunters occasionally brought one home, and old Alesser had a five-line scar across his wrinkled face that he claimed came from one of the beasts.

A shout went up from ahead of them. Dwyn craned his neck to see what the ruckus was, but he couldn’t make out anything. “What’s going on?”

Declan, who was half a head taller, looked toward the commotion. “Hard to tell. Something down by the road.”

Dwyn laid down his sack carefully and ran up the hill to one of the old elms that dotted the field. He climbed into the tree, scurrying up through the leaves and branches until he had a clear view of the Old Road. It ran from up north to somewhere down south, maybe near the ruins of old Quebec if the merchant tales held any truth. Hardly anyone from Manicouga ever followed it, but occasionally traders would follow it to town, bringing exotic wares and news from the other villages that were scattered up and down its length.

They swore it went all the way down to the Heat, the great desert that had consumed much of the world after the Reckoning.

“What’s going on down there?” Baia called from below.

Dwyn tried to make sense of it. “There are three wagons coming down the pass. They’re loaded up with all sorts of things. They don’t look like traders though.”

The first of the horse-drawn wagons had just reached the field above the main township. It stopped, and someone hopped off to talk with the villagers who had gathered from the fields.

“We need to get down there,” Dwyn said, scrambling down the tree trunk. “Something’s happening.” Nothing new ever happened in Manicouga, and he wasn’t going to miss it.

He grabbed his sack and sprinted toward the Old Road, not waiting to see if Declan and Baia followed.


I’ve always thought that in a post-apocalyptic Earth the likelihood of large, relatively well-organised societies a la Hunger Games is rather remote. We’re far more likely to devolve into small, enclosed communities almost mediaeval in their feudal isolationism and—because man is always looking for proof that he isn’t to blame but someone else must be, and religion is always handy to provide good targets—tending to fundamentalist beliefs. J Scott Coatsworth evidently agrees and I found his set up of insular, almost chokingly-small communities to be both realistic and well portrayed. Scott is always stellar at world-building. It’s one of his strengths and it plays out well here.

I enjoyed the principal story of Dwyn and Mael, young men from two such communities forced into contact by the onset of Ice-Age level bad weather. The narrative is excellent: two intense, concentrated cultures clashing. Their attraction to each other is doomed from the start, really, and they have some challenges to face. This is where the conflict lies and could have been richly mined. But this is a novella, not a full length novel, and I don’t think their personalities and characters had quite enough room to expand and grow, or the situation to be fully exploited. When the author does write something longer, his characters have that room and his plots are richer. Read his Skythane to show that.

I also liked the parallel story from hundreds of years earlier, where it’s clear Dwyn’s settlement was founded by the family of a gay couple. Given the later homophobia of Dwyn’s society, the irony is delicious and I grinned when that strand ended with the arrival of a minister of the Tripartite God. That was nicely written and nicely done. Neat.

Where I did part company with the tale was the deus-ex-machina climax. I’m still wrapping my head around the sudden intervention of old gods made manifest. And as the old gods have a tendency to do, they interfere directly in the lives of Dwyn and Mael. I’m a classicist. I wrote countless essays at Uni on the Greek dramatists and their portrayal of a time when mortals and gods shared the same world (a situation usually to the detriment of mortals, by the way), and much as I adore Euripides, this aspect of the story did not work for me. We’ve moved on from the more simplistic view of life that the ancients had, where everything had to be explained in terms of the anger or favour of the gods. We’re in a place now where mankind should be taking responsibility for itself, and (I stress this is a personal reaction) the gods stepping in felt like a regressive step, pulling us even further back out of enlightenment into something darker and primeval. I guess that what I’d hoped for was a tale of humans overcoming challenges and conflict because of their own inner strengths (and weaknesses!) and what I ended up with was something only possible because the gods bent the rules. In that aspect of the tale, I’m a little disappointed, and I do think that story would have been stronger and richer without it.




Scott spends his time between the here and now and the what could be. Enticed into fantasy and sci fi by his mom at the tender age of nine, he devoured her Science Fiction Book Club library. But as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were in the books he was reading.

He decided that it was time to create the kinds of stories he couldn’t find at his local bookstore. If there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

His friends say Scott’s mind works a little differently – he sees relationships between things that others miss, and gets more done in a day than most folks manage in a week. He loves to transform traditional sci fi, fantasy, and contemporary worlds into something unexpected.

He runs both Queer Sci Fi and QueerRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that bring queer people together to promote and celebrate fiction that reflects their own lives.

Author Links:
Website: https://www.jscottcoatsworth.com
Facebook (personal): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth
Facebook (author page): https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworthauthor/
Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/jscoatsworth/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8392709.J_Scott_Coatsworth
QueeRomance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/j-scott-coatsworth/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.-Scott-Coatsworth/e/B011AFO4OQ

Cover Reveal : Changing Line by RJ Scott and V.L. Locey

Add to Goodreads.


Cover Design:
Meredith Russell
Release Date: July 12 2017
Harrisburg Railers Series
First Season (Book #2) – Coming soon! 

Can Tennant show Jared that age is just a number, and that love is all that matters?

The Rowe Brothers are famous hockey hotshots, but as the youngest of the trio, Tennant has always had to play against his brothers’ reputations. To get out of their shadows, and against their advice, he accepts a trade to the Harrisburg Railers, where he runs into Jared Madsen. Mads is an old family friend and his brother’s one-time teammate. Mads is Tennant’s new coach. And Mads is the sexiest thing he’s ever laid eyes on.

Jared Madsen’s hockey career was cut short by a fault in his heart, but coaching keeps him close to the game. When Ten is traded to the team, his carefully organized world is thrown into chaos. Nine years his junior and his best friend’s brother, he knows Ten is strictly off-limits, but as soon as he sees Ten’s moves, on and off the ice, he knows that his heart could get him into trouble again.

Head over to the Cover Reveal party on Facebook where you can get your discounted pre-order code for Changing Lines! 




RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women 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.

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.


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and two Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.



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Suzanne Jenkins’ “Second Chance”





Just when life settles down to a dull roar for those people whom Pam holds closest to her heart, the pendulum swings in the opposite direction and everyone is tossed into the air. Who will they hold on to as they fall back to Earth?

Gladys finds the son she gave up at birth forty years ago; he’s a single fire fighter on Staten Island. At their first meeting, he sees Pam’s beautiful daughter, Lisa. Will it be love at first sight?

Big Ed leaves Gladys, his wife of almost forty years for Melody. The unexpected? Gladys falls into the arms of the eligible bachelor, Dave, owner of Organic Bonanza. Will it be a case of I don’t want her, you can’t have her?

And last but not least, Sandra starts up an unusual relationship with her late ex’s ex-wife, Jenna. But history might repeat itself; Sandra can not be trusted.

Second Chance is the fifteenth novel in the beloved Pam of Babylon series.

Title: Second Chance
Series: Pam of Babylon, Book 15
Author: Suzanne Jenkins
Publisher: Self-Published
Cover Artist: Tanya Shatseva
Release Date: July 3, 2017
Romance Genre(s): Contemporary
Pages: 300
View on Goodreads



July. Fire House A-89, in the northeast corner of Staten Island.

Early Saturday morning, as the sun rose, fire fighter Dale McGuire stripped off turnout gear and hung it to air out on a hook on the outside of his locker. Coming in from a call for a small brush fire at the side of the highway right before the Verrazano Bridge entrance, Dale looked forward to coffee, something to eat, and bed for a nap, in that order.

Grabbing a towel, he walked to the shower, whistling.

“McGuire is happy this morning,” his colleague, Paul shouted, coming on his shift.

“Yeah, because he gets to go home,” another firefighter called out.

Chuckling, Dale nodded. Life was so peaceful, if it weren’t for the fires he fought, the lives occasionally rescued, he’d have to consider getting a hobby just to prevent boredom from setting in. Mind a blank as he lathered up, he thought of getting home to his dog, Tilly. She’d be on the back of the couch, waiting for him.

“Jesus, buddy, I’m embarrassed to strip in front of you,” Paul said, pointing to Dale returning from the shower. “Look at this guy’s abs.”

Quickly pulling his towel up higher, Dale laughed. “You’re not my type,” he said over the hilarity. “I won’t watch you if it’ll help.”

Locker room banter took some of the pain the exhaustion the night shift firefighters experienced away. “See you Monday,” Dale said when he was dressed, grabbing his duffle bag.

He lived in the house his late parents’ left him on Todt Hill, within walking distance to the firehouse. Volunteering there during high school, he bypassed college, much to his parents’ chagrin, and took a full time position as a firefighter rather than go away to his father’s alma mater in Philadelphia.

“It’s an honorable position, Douglas,” his mother had said in Dale’s defense. “Don’t make yourself sick with disappointment.”

“I wanted our son to follow in my footsteps. A McGuire at Penn is a tradition.”

Twenty years later, they were both dead, a fatal car wreck snuffing out the lives of Dale’s favorite people. Walking up the hill, he glanced up at the imposing structure in the bright morning sun. It was a grand house, but too big for a single man approaching middle-age.

Parents gone almost three years, he’d taken over the house as his own and couldn’t imagine anyone else living there with him. The scariest part of that; he knew he was becoming so set in his ways that if he didn’t fall in love soon, it might be too late.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA

Enter via the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win one of the following:

  • First prize: Pam of Babylon bracelet and eBook box set of novels 1-5 in the series
  • Second prize: eBook box set of novels 1-5 in the series
  • Third prize: e-copy of Pam of Babylon

The contest closes at midnight EST on June 9 and is open to entrants worldwide.

Good luck!

Enter here.


My books are all creations of a rich and sometimes devilish dream life. Don’t worry—you won’t see yourself in any of my books, but if you do, it’s just a coincidence…

In a former life, I was a registered nurse who worked in the Operating Room for many years. Prior to nursing school, I was an OR technician, and after working in the OR for over thirty-three years, I can’t stand the sight of blood!

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for forty-eight years. We have two children and seven grandchildren and are down to one dog, Oscar. We live in the isolated mountains of north San Diego county, rarely leaving the sanctuary. It’s a wonderful place to hide out and write. I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America and the RWA San Diego Chapter.

Connect with Suzanne

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Linked In | Pinterest

May 29
Loves Great Reads
A Fold in the Spine
Shh, I Am Reading
Amo & Sarah’s Book Corner
Just Us Book Blog
Red’s Romance Reviews

May 30
Books All Things Paranormal and Romance
Paranormal Palace of Pleasures
CelticLady’s Reviews
Books, Dreams, Life
Pink Lace & Silver Buckles

May 31
Kitty’s Book Spot
Tome Tender
Underneath the Covers
Literary Misfit

June 1
Anna Butler
LoveBound Books
A Naughty Book Fling
Reads and Treats

June 2
Ramblings of a Book Nerd
Liz’s Reading Life
Always Love Me Some Books
Smokin’ Hot Reads
Wicked Babes Blog Reviews
Abibliophobia Anonymous

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Links to Blog Posts on Writing – April-May 2017



Two issues this roundup:

Amazon made a small change to the way it sells books. Publishers are terrified. – Constance Grady at Vox, on how third party sellers are getting in there before publishers – and so authors are losing out on royalties

In Which a White Guy Talks about Cultural Appropriation – Kenneth Cronin at Writers Unboxed



Choose Your Pain—Hobbyist vs. Professional Author – Kristen Lamb

The Moments That Keep You Going As A Writer – Alex Segura

What I’ve Learned After 5 Years And 20 Books: 25 Lessons – Chuck Wendig

A Hot Steaming Sack Of Business Advice For Writers – Chuck Wendig

Wrestling With Writer’s Block – Maurice Broaddus guesting at Chuck Wendig’s blog

Mushroom Publishers And The Tsunami of Crap – Kristine Kathryn Rusch

What an Editor at a Publishing House Looks For: 6 Myths & Truths – Parul McDonald at Writer Unboxed

Elizabeth Vaughan: Five Things I Learned By Writing Wardance

Dan Koboldt: Five Things I Learned Writing The Island Deception

Carrie Patel: Five Things I Learned Writing Song Of The Dead

David Kazzie: Five Things I Learned Writing A Sequel



How Not to Start Your Novel: 6 First Page No-Nos – Anne R Allen

Struggling With Your Plot? Here’s a Fun Way to Learn Story Structure – Janice Hardy guesting at Writers In The Storm

Third Person Narration: Using the Zoom Lens – Sarah Callender at Writer Unboxed

Deep POV parts One and Two – Kristen Lamb

Why All The Present Tense? – Philip Athans at Fantasy Authors Handbook

How to Write a Great Last Line – Laura Drake at Writers In The Storm

3 Ways to Make Your Writing More Visual – K M Weiland

Producing Your Books in Audio Part One: Should You? and Auditions – Angela Quarles at Fiction University

How to Write (and Not Write) Expository Dialogue – K M Weiland

***Lighten Up! Cutting Down Your Word Count*** – post of the month from Janice Hardy at Fiction University.

Five Worldbuilding Mistakes Even Enthusiasts Make – Chris Winkle at Mythcreants



Amazon Keywords: The Secret to Doubling Your Sales and Pulling in New Readers – Penny Sansevieri at Writers In The Storm




Promoting a Series to Keep Readers Hooked – Daniel Arensen at Bookbub

How to Make ALL Ads, Marketing & Newsletters Work BETTER – Kristen Lamb

Your Author Bio: Does it help your Book Sales or Stop Them Dead? – Anne R Allen

When is the Best Time to Start an Author Platform? – Kristen Lamb

Types of Brands (Branding/Discoverability) and Define Your Target Audience: The Early Stages (Branding/Discoverability) – Kristine Kathryn Rusch


Social Media

The Personalities of Social Media – Janny Hansen at Writers In The Storm

Feeling Invisible on Facebook? How’s Your Organic Reach? – Kristen Lamb

Social Media for Authors—Beware of Experts – Kristen Lamb


Newsletters and Discoverability and Found it! – Kristine Kathryn Rusch


Websites and Blogs

11 Author Website Must Have Elements – Kimberley Grabas at Your Writer Platform

Writing Engaging Content: 70 Powerful Expert Tips – Camilla Hallstrom




Kindle Unlimited: Is It Worth It? – Marcy Kennedy at Fiction University



How to Request A Reversion of Publishing Rights – Susan Spann at Writers In The Storm

The Author’s Biggest Mistake – K J Charles

Knowing When to Walk Away from a Publishing Deal – Susan Spann at Writers In The Storm



14 Sites for Making a Spectacular Book Cover – Nate Hoffelder at Digital Reader



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