PUBLICATION DAY Taking Shield 04: The Chains Of Their Sins

PUBLISHED TODAY!

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The Chains of Their Sins, the fourth Shield book, is published today by Glass Hat Press (aka: me!)

JUMP TO:

Buy Links

Launch Blog Tour and Chance to Enter Giveaways

Goodreads Giveaways

About the Taking Shield Series

About The Chains Of Their Sins and an excerpt

Payhip – pays me the most in royalties! Available in epub and mobi (Kindle) formats

Amazon.com  |  Amazon.co.uk  |  Kobo  |  Barnes and Noble (live today)

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Launch Tour and Giveaways

I’ll be visiting various blogs next week to promote the book and a $25 Amazon gift voucher giveaway. Visit one of more of these blogs to enter the giveaway – there’s lots of choice!

FEB 13 AbibliophobiaAnonymous
Books Laid Bare Boys
Charli Coty
Gay Book Reviews
Jana Denardo
Marie Brown
MM Good Book Reviews
Nerd Girl Official
Novel Approach
Prism Book Alliance
Stories That Make You Smile
Wicked Faeries Tales and Reviews
Yah Gotta Read This
FEB 14 My Fiction Nook
Nicole’s Book Musings
FEB 15 Bella’s Blog
Fangirl Moment & My 2 Cents
Louise Lyons
MJ’s Book Blog
FEB 16 Antonia Aquilante
Nicki Markus/Asta Idonea
Queer Sci Fi
FEB 20 Molly Lolly
FEB 22 Thorns and Ink

Giveaway at Goodreads

Over at Goodreads, I’m giving away 5 copies of Gyrfalcon and 5 of Heart Scarab to mark the publication of The Chains of Their Sins. All copies are signed first editions – maybe not yet worth quite as much as a signed first edition Harry Potter, but just you wait!

Nip over to  GOODREADS GIVEAWAYS, use the filter to look for science fiction and you’ll find Gyrfalcon and Heart Scarab listed there.

About the Taking Shield series

Earth’s a dead planet, dark for thousands of years; lost for so long no one even knows where the solar system is. Her last known colony, Albion, has grown to be regional galactic power in its own right. But its drive to expand and found colonies of its own has threatened an alien race, the Maess, against whom Albion is now fighting a last-ditch battle for survival in a war that’s dragged on for generations.

Taking Shield charts the missions and adventures of Shield Captain Bennet, scion of a prominent military family. Against the demands of his family’s ‘triple goddess’ of Duty, Honour and Service, is set Bennet’s relationships with lovers and family. When the series opens, Bennet is at odds with his long term partner, Joss, who wants him out of the military and back in an academic, archaeological career. He’s estranged from his father, Caeden, who is the commander of Fleet’s First Flotilla. Events of the first book, in which he is sent to his father’s ship to carry out an infiltration mission behind Maess lines, improve his relationship with Caeden, but bring with them the catalyst that will destroy the one with Joss: one Fleet Lieutenant Flynn, who, over the course of the series, develops into Bennet’s main love interest.

Over the Taking Shield story arc, Bennet will see the extremes to which humanity’s enemies, and his own people, will go to win the war. Some days he isn’t able to tell friend from foe. Some days he doubts everything, including himself, as he strives to ensure Albion’s victory. And some days he isn’t sure, any longer, what victory looks like.

Taking Shield 01: Gyrfalcon

Taking Shield 02: Heart Scarab

Taking Shield 03: Makepeace

About The Chains of Their Sins

Shield Captain Bennet arrives on the Gyrfalcon to take up his final year’s posting before returning to the Shield Regiment after his rotation out.

On the Gyrfalcon he faces up to the fallout from Makepeace—ethical, political and above all, personal. Will he be able to accept necessity: that knowing what the Maess are up to outweighs the humanitarian issues surrounding the prisoners he rescued from Makepeace? Can he ride out the political furore that follows the loss of the dreadnought Caliban? How will he cope with an entire year of serving under his father, Caeden? And worst of all, how in the name of every god in the Pantheon can he stand to see Flynn every single day, with the Fraternisation Regs standing between them and keeping them apart?

It will be an interesting year. Bennet can hardly wait for it to be over. Of course, things never really do go to plan…

Book Title: The Chains Of Their Sins
Series: Taking Shield 04
Publisher:  Glass Hat Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas
Wordcount: c 97,600
Category: Sci Fi, Gay mainstream

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Thinking back to the first day was not calculated to keep a man’s sleep sweet and carefree. And dammit, Cruz was not helping. Why in hell had he given her access to his quarters? The woman was relentless.

She sat on the side of his bunk and prodded his ribs with a sharp forefinger. “Are you getting up?”

“Cruz, it’s the middle of the fucking night!”

“It’s after five and you’re on duty in a couple of hours anyway.”

“That’s a couple of hours of sleep.”

“Or a couple hours mooning over our pretty captain?” She delivered a second sharp jab to his ribs.

It bloody hurt. “Cruz!”

“I’m sure he was looking for you yesterday morning when I met him in the gym before breakfast.”

“Cruz!”

“Have it your own way. From what he said, he’s there every morning when he wakes up. I’d have thought you’d know that.”

“How would I know that? The time I was on Albion, the man had his right knee in a healing capsule. He could barely walk. He was hardly up to gymnastics.”

“Really?” Cruz said, with a wealth of meaning. “Lowering your standards?”

“Sod off and leave me alone.”

“You go most mornings anyway. He won’t cotton on to it being lovelornness if you make it every morning.”

“I go most mornings, later most mornings. I do not go in the middle of the night. I do not go to meet dawn’s clarion call. I turn up for ten minutes so that Pershing clocks that I’m there and then I bugger off again, job done. I don’t take it seriously, for the gods’ sakes.”

After a pause, Cruz nodded and said, thoughtfully, “Of course, Pershing might notice and have something to say about your sudden dedication to health and fitness, and knowing Pershing, he’d say it in a voice loud enough to cut through steel bulkheads. Bennet might doubt your motivation then. You’re probably right to be subtle about it at first.”

“It’s not about being subtle. It’s about being dignified and not running… well, not being pathet… just not going to the bloody gym in the middle of my sleep period. All right?”

“All right. Sleep tight, charmer.” Cruz got up to go. “Any messages you’d like me to pass on?”

Flynn spat out some very rude words, turned over and pulled the covers over his head. Cruz left Flynn’s quarters, whistling.

Flynn waited until the door had closed before turning over onto his back. He stared up at the ceiling and slid a hand into his sleep-pants. If he concentrated, he could remember the feel of another hand. He reckoned it was the closest he was going to get.

He made the most of it. After all, he was not going to change his habits now and go to the gym at the same time as Bennet did, just to get an extra half hour of Bennet’s company. That was just too pathetic.

PUBLISHED TODAY!

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Wish You Were Here – Asta Idonea

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It’s a great pleasure to welcome Asta back to the blog to talk about her latest release, Wish You Were Here, published by Dreamspinner Press on 08 February. It’s a bit of a first here on the blog, because we have the exciting prospect of a multi-media excerpt!

 

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The death of Oakley’s sister has left his family broken and buried beneath their grief. In an attempt to get out from underneath their pain, they rent an isolated cottage in the Cotswolds. For Oakley, it’s an exercise in futility. He doesn’t see much hope for things to get back to the way they used to be, and he’s bored and restless as he waits out the time until he can return to the city and university. All of that changes when he meets local boy Bobby, and the connection between them is instant. Within a few days, Oakley is ready to walk away from everything to stay with Bobby. However, Bobby has problems of his own, and they might be more than the budding romance can survive. But they might also give Oakley a new perspective on his own situation.

Dreamspinner Press
8 February 2017
Novella/Contemporary/Paranormal
Heat Rating: 1

 

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Dreamspinner Press   |   Amazon US  |    Amazon UK

 

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wishyouwereherefsSummer passed England by that year, as if it shared his family’s grief and refused to intrude upon such solemn days with unwanted sunshine. A cool, wet July turned into a blustery August, and now a dismal September loomed. From the window of their rented cottage, there was nothing but gray skies as far as the eye could see. The fields spread out in a patchwork of shortbread and moss. Plentiful rain meant the grass stood tall, but the lack of light filtering through thick, heavy clouds dulled its various shades of green. And this bleak scene was supposed to make everything better?

Oakley sighed and turned to the sink. He poured himself a glass of water from a spluttering, corroded tap and took a sip. Despite the dubious appearance of the fittings, the water was clean, tasteless, and refreshing. He supposed he should at least be thankful for that. It was likely to be the only pleasant thing this vacation would provide.

 

Plus a longer excerpt at TABLO

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Win an ecopy of Asta’s MM Sci-Fi novella
Fire Up My Heart at Rafflecopter

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Author Pic 2015Asta Idonea (aka Nicki J Markus) was born in England but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages.

Asta launched her writing career in 2011 and divides her efforts not only between MM and mainstream works but also between traditional and indie publishing. Her works span the genres, from paranormal to historical and from contemporary to fantasy. It just depends what story and which characters spring into her mind!

As a day job, Asta works as a freelance editor and proofreader, and in her spare time she enjoys music, theatre, cinema, photography, and sketching. She also loves history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel, all of which have provided plenty of inspiration for her writing.

Blog  |  Facebook  |   Twitter  |   Instagram  |   Google+  |   Goodreads |  LinkedIn   | Amazon Author US   |  Amazon Author UK 

Flaunt, with E Davies

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I am very pleased to host E. Davies here today to tell us about his new release, Flaunt, which was published on 31 January.

 

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“He’s waiting for me to ask, and I’m afraid.”

“I’m just one more gay guy here.”

Moving to the suburbs of L.A. was supposed to give Nic Montero a fresh start. After escaping his family, coming out as a gay trans man, and excelling in computer programming out of desperation to get financially stable or die, everything should be easy. But joining gay culture now, post-transition, feels impossible… until he runs into the force of nature that is Kyle. Everything Nic isn’t, Kyle embodies. Green hair, garters and cut-off shorts, sports jerseys, and all, brash Kyle is the most gorgeous man he’s ever laid eyes on, and he pulls Nic headlong into the center of his world. If only Nic felt like enough for a man like Kyle.

“One-night stands are my only option.”

Loud, loving, and too much for most men to handle, Kyle Everett catches eyes and occasionally scorn… even at his job at the local HIV charity, Plus. His days and nights are spent at work, his precious spare moments spent with his son, Kevin, when it’s his turn to co-parent, or his best friend, drag queen River. He only has money or time for cheap flings, but the lanky otter who walks into his life makes Kyle want to hold him for longer than a night. He knows what it’s like for Nic to be without a family, but he isn’t brave enough to let this man into his life… until his charity is targeted by bigots, and Nic’s there for him.

“I’ll stay with you if you’re brave enough to be you.”

Nic spent his twenties avoiding family and even his own femininity, but his yearning is impossible to ignore. Kyle’s used to flying solo, but Nic offers him safety and fills gaps in his life he never realized existed and now can’t stand. Living in close proximity, they can’t run from their attraction, but they’re each used to being rejected, with the emotional scars to prove it. Can two men who feel like they’re not enough and too much find something just right?

 

Flaunt is a steamy, stand-alone gay romance novel with a HEA ending and no
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance.
Goodreads

 

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Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

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While he waited for the microwave, Nic headed for the television and turned it on. It was time to distract himself with something or another and stop talking to himself like a total loser all night.

And it was time to take his mind off Jake. He didn’t think of him much these days, and when he did, he didn’t care much. That was probably a good sign. But in his weak moments, once in a long while, he thought about answering him.

Nic never did. He wasn’t that lonely.

But he missed being half of a whole, and he missed having a family. It hadn’t been his fault they’d broken up— Jake had been utterly unready for a relationship— but his family had been sweet, and had welcomed Nic in with open arms.

More than anything, leaving that had broken his heart.

But again… one-way trip. He’d rather be alone here than with a cheater out of desperation. He checked on Jake much less frequently these days. It felt like Jake was naturally fading out of his life, which was as it should be.

Nic just wished there were someone to replace him.

 

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Win a $25 Amazon giftcard in this Rafflecopter giveaway

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e-davies-profile-picE. Davies was proficient in real estate ad shorthand (the old-fashioned newspaper kind) by the age of nine. Growing up moving constantly taught him what people have in common, the ways relationships are formed, and the dangers of “miscellaneous” boxes.

As a teen, he tore through a stack of found romance novels, wishing someone had written similar for M/M, though he could never find anything at Chapters or the library. Just after graduating university in 2013, semi-out and clutching his English B.A. for dear life, he stumbled on an Amazon M/M short story. It was a whole new… phrase he dares not repeat for fear of lawyers. It shone and shimmered splendidly, though.

After failing forty times to avoid crafting happily-ever-after endings for steamy short stories, he plunged into romance novels and hasn’t looked back. As a young gay author whose formative gay fictional role models were characters punished for their sexuality, Ed prefers his stories lightly dramatic, full of optimism and hope.

Now out and proud, he writes full-time, goes on long nature walks, tries to fill his passport, drinks piña coladas on the beach, flees from cute guys, coos over fuzzy animals (especially bees), and is liable to tilt his head and click his tongue if you don’t use your turn signal.

To find out when E. Davies has a new release, you can subscribe to his newsletter.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon  

 

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Links to Blog Posts on Writing – January 2017

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It’s been a couple of months since I’ve had the time and energy to do a links roundup—a combination of RL issues, writing and the cursed winter lethargy that comes from Vit D deficiency—but some major s*** has gone down in the writing world in the last six weeks, and it seems only right to record some of it here.

How not to do it:
On December 28th I, along with thousands of other writers, got an email from All Romance EBooks, a website that acted as a distribution centre for romance ebooks from both publishers and from indie authors. The email told us that ARe was closing on 31st. That’s right. 3 days’ notice.

The situation as it clarified over the next day or two became this:

  • closing down, too bad, so sad, whaddya mean we should have told you with more notice?
  • no money in the coffers to pay royalties, so too, too sad. Sure, we’re an an online distribution centre of digital files, not a physical bookstore, do minimal overheads but no, we told you—no money in the coffers. We took it in when we sold your books, but no we ain’t paying it out.
  • sign here to get 10c on the dollar of all the royalties we owe you
  • if you don’t sign you get nothing/nowt/nada and, shrugs, that’s just too bad for you
  • don’t sue us, because no money and that would be really mean of you
  • if you just paid us lots of dollars on the email we sent you three days ago selling advertising, well, thanks for the cash and sure we knew we were selling you snake oil and those ads would never materialise, but so what?
  • readers might get pre-order money back but they had better rush to download stories because otherwise everything would be deleted
  • we’re a limited company in Florida so good luck trying to squeeze reparations outa us because we don’t have to, so neener, neener to you
  • we may not have rights to anything of yours but if you get a letter from Amazon questioning your right to distribute your own work, yeah, that might well be us hanging onto assets that aren’t ours, but we’ve got form on that (see 2nd and 4th points above)
  • no, really, don’t sue us because you’re horrible meanies and you’re making us cry and worry that we might have to sell one of our million dollar homes…

There are too many posts about this in the blogosphere to quote here, but here’s a selection:

Passive Voice Publisher All Romance Ebooks: Closing Hits New Low In Stealing From Authors and Court Documents Regarding All Romance E-Books’ Disturbing Business Practices Surface  Both quote the BlogCritic blog with links through to the full blog posts

Timber Dalton Reader Alert: All Romance Ebooks (ARe) is closing 12/31/16 and Update: All Romance Ebooks (ARe) – The Fuckery Deepens. Both with links in the post for further reading.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch here and here

Publishers Weekly

Writer Beware

The Guardian’s rather anodyne take on it

 

If you’re affected, join this FB group and support the proposed class action suit against ARe: https://www.facebook.com/groups/212976702443743/

 

And how to do it:
Earlier this month, the sad news came that Wilde City Press was closing its doors. The owners undertook to (i) return all authors’ rights without charge and (ii) pay all royalties owed.

Now that is classy.

 

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Mrs Bloomdale’s class asked me way way back in November if I’d include this article that they found helpful and thought should have a wider circulation – https://www.scribendi.com/advice/student_writing_guide_to_transitions.en.html While this list is principally for fiction writers, I was delighted to see the students had found articles here that helped improve their writing skills. So while the article may not aid fiction writers in the sorts of transitions we have to do to keep the narrative flowing and the pacing tight, it looks like other readers here will find it of use. So thank you, students. I’m delighted that articles on this list have helped you (and sorry it’s taken me so long to post it, but this is the first roundup for a couple of months).

Creating Single-Author Box Sets: Part One and Part Two – Marcy Kennedy guesting at Fiction University.

 

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The Perfect Back Cover Blurb – Sophie Masson at Writer Unboxed

How to Find Your Character’s Voice Part One and Two – Janice Harding at Fiction University

 

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Here’s How To Finish Your Revision, You Filthy Animal This is my current bible as I work through the first version of The Dog Who Swallows Millions. How to self-edit and refine your work to get it into the best possible to shape to hand over to the real pros, the development and line editors who will then show you just how much you missed…

Chuck is a passionate writer, and no more than anyone else, writes posts that respond to the current political climate. The received wisdom is that writers shouldn’t talk about politics, because it’ll scare of readers. I don’t believe in disenfranchising writers for any reason, not least such a pusillanimous one. Chuck neither, and he’s thrown out some corkers in the last few weeks. The following two are less about politics generally, and more about the writer’s response to them. Both are worth reading. So are the more political ones.

How To Create Art And Make Cool Stuff In A Time Of Trouble

Writer Resolution, 2017: Write Despite

 

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Social Media

5 Ways to use Facebook Groups to Build Book Buzz – Diana Urban at BookBub

The Rise And Fall – 13 Social Media Trends To Watch In 2017 – review by Writers Write

 

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The KU Conundrum – Ruby Madden

Also be aware that the alogrithms Amazon uses to ensure page reads are not artificially inflated are catching many an innocent author who has had *all* their books deleted as a result. Treat Kindle Unlimited with caution.

 

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For British writers, changes in the taxation laws may affect us: see this article at The Bookseller which threatens us with quarterly tax filing… ouch.

Negotiating Options in Publishing Deals – Susan Spann at Writers In The Storm.

 

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Best Writing Blogs

 

 

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Review post: Megan Reddaway’s ‘Shelter Me’

Photo by Leigh Anthony Dehaney, from Flickr under Creative Commons 2.0 license

Photo by Leigh Anthony Dehaney, from Flickr under Creative Commons 2.0 license

I don’t often do review posts, because well, time mostly. But this book was such a joy to read, I clobbered the author over the head to let me have some details on it and feature it here so I could share with you what I thought of it.

Dystopian fiction no longer seems outrageously imaginative, does it? Humanity has so many current stresses and anxieties – the misuse of political power, enemies hard to grapple with face to face, societies riven and tribal, lies and propaganda, some people (different, not us, ‘other’) no longer seen as really human and worthy of care and respect, the threat of war more real than it has been for two generations.

This book is fitting for our times. Megan Reddaway cleverly creates an MC so ‘other’ he’s been isolated since birth, a subject for analysis and experimentation. Leo’s disassociation from all that’s normal (for a definition of normal that’s embodied in a failing society) is beautifully conveyed in his essential innocence. The powers that make him different and a life of deprivation and downright cruelty haven’t choked Leo’s intelligence and adaptability, and his gradual awakening to true friendship, loyalty and love is at the heart of this book as he and Cal, the untrusting off-the-grid woodsman, work to save baby Jae from the life Leo himself had led. As they run for the hidden haven in Colorado where they might find refuge, chased by the authorities and only one step ahead of capture and death, Cal and Leo reach an understanding of each other that bodes well for a future together. If there’s a future for anyone, that is.

I enjoyed this book. It’s beautifully written, with clear and concise prose. There’s a clarity about the style, a sort of sparseness, that echoes Leo’s character in its directness, and I rather liked that. It was cleverly done.

Thoroughly recommended!

 

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Love and survivalis that too much to ask?

Leo Park is an empath on the run. He’s escaped the secret research facility where he’s been held since he was six years old, but how can he survive without being captured? He has no money, all his ideas come from old movies, and he’s carrying his baby brother, smuggled out in a carton.

Cole Millard lives by his own rules in the Oregon woods, refusing to fear the world war that’s coming closer every day. Now his freedom is threatened by a naive 19-year-old with a baby in tow and a spooky way of knowing what Cole is feeling. But Leo is vulnerable and desperate. What’s a guy to do?

Shelter Me is a fast-paced dystopian gay romance novel set in a not-too-distant future, with a hot backwoodsman, a desperate fugitive, a six-month baby, and the world on the brink of an apocalyptic war.

Wordcount: 66k
Published: 23 January 2017

 

 

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Amazon.com:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MTC2AXL/

Amazon.co.uk:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MTC2AXL

 

 

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shelterme-cover-500x750Leo set the bag down and took Jae out of it. Jae’s mind brightened at once, happy to be out. Leo turned around slowly, so Jae could see everything.

“Look, little bro, some of the trees are changing color—the ones that aren’t evergreens. I bet you were never up so close to a tree before. What do you think, shall we explore? You’d like that, wouldn’t you? We’re out free in a real forest, and who knows how much time we have together. We don’t have any special place to go, right?”

Jae waved his arms and said, “Bub-bub-bub.”

“Isn’t it prime? You can see leaves and birds and all kinds of stuff.”

Leo went on, carrying Jae and the bag separately, heading uphill, away from the road. It was good to have no people around, asking questions. He wasn’t used to strangers. But being alone, except for Jae, was weird, too. He caught himself checking for security cameras … in a forest.

He found a thin trickling stream and followed that awhile, then sat beside it and ate two bananas, playing peekaboo with Jae—the regular kind, hiding his face and peeking out. He tried Jae with some squished banana from his own mouth, but Jae spat it out, so Leo gave him more milk from the bottle. He sniffed around Jae’s rear. It didn’t smell, and Jae wasn’t uncomfortable, so the diaper must be okay.

Then he headed back to the highway, or he planned to. He went along the stream, but he couldn’t find the place where he’d come out of the trees.

“I know it’s downhill,” he said to Jae. “We crossed the stream a couple of times, but I think we started out on this side. Hey, here’s a place where someone’s come through. Maybe this was it.”

They went on down, away from the stream, following some kind of path. But it twisted and turned and went back uphill. He figured a path was a path—it must lead somewhere—and he kept on going. Then the way ahead was blocked. Leo stopped.

“The bushes weren’t so thick the way we first came up. I guess maybe we took a wrong turn somewhere?”

He concentrated his mind. If they were close to the road, he should sense people zipping through in their cars. But he only felt the low-level fears and hungers of small animals.

Maybe this was a quiet time for traffic. He waited.

Then he sensed one human. A stealthy, quiet mind, moving slowly, coming closer.

Hunting.

Tracking them.

Leo’s heart pounded. He put Jae in the bag and started to run, crashing through the bushes, one arm over his face for protection against the scratching twigs, the other hugging the bag to his chest.

The hunter came after them, moving faster now, his mind focused, hyped on adrenaline. The guy knew Leo was close, knew he almost had them.

Clumsy with fear, Leo skidded on a patch of dry needles and lost his balance. He twisted so he wouldn’t fall on Jae. His head hit a tree trunk, and pain stabbed at his ankle. Dizzy, he tried to get up and couldn’t.

The hunter came into sight—a bearded, shaggy-haired figure in khaki, half hidden by the pine trunks. A figure carrying a shotgun, pointed right at them. A man whose mind was set on killing.

Leo pushed the bag containing Jae out of range behind a tree. Sorry, little bro, I did the best I could. Maybe you’ll hear about me someday. Then he turned his face away and waited for the bullet.

 

 

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MEGAN REDDAWAY has been entertained by fictional characters acting out their stories in her head for as long as she can remember. She began writing them down as soon as she could. Since she grew up, she’s worked as a secretary, driver, waitress, and flower-seller, among other things, but she always has a story bubbling away at the same time.  She lives in England.

For news of Megan’s male/male romance releases and two free stories, visit her website: http://meganreddaway.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megan.reddaway.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meganreddaway1

“Regeneration” Guest Post with Louise Lyons

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I’m so pleased to welcome Louise Lyons back to the blog today, to talk about where she gets her ideas for her books, and to celebrate the release of her new book, Regeneration. Over to Louise:

Regeneration – Louise Lyons

Where I get my inspiration

This varies a lot. Starting with Regeneration, the idea sprang from a kind of Lara Croft image. Not Lara herself, but an action character like that. I imagined the character stranded on an inhospitable planet, fighting off the indigenous species, and eventually, after the arrival of another ship, fighting off the attentions of one character (Neil Ross), and welcoming that of another (Christian Novak). Gradually the idea grew in my mind like a movie rolling out, until I had a number of scenes that I realised would make for a great story. Eighty percent of the story developed during NaNoWriMo 2014, and I finished it over the next month. It’s taken this long to get it published, thanks to some major rewrites to improve my world-building in particular.

Some of my books have been inspired by things I’ve already experienced. I absolutely loved the 1990s. It was “my era” when I was in my 20s. I’d just escaped an unpleasant relationship, and I wanted to have FUN. I love rock music and I spent a lot of time visiting a night club called Rock City in Nottingham, UK. If you live in the UK and like rock/glam/metal music, you’re sure to have heard of it. It’s been open since the 80s and is a pretty large double-level club. All the upcoming bands of that time used to aim to play there. So I set the story of Beautiful Thunder in Nottingham with my characters frequent visitors of the club. Alex and Lindsey, the MCs, are based on the images of people I saw there in the 90s—beautiful, long-haired, leather and spandex-wearing, makeup-covered androgynous sexy men.

Beyond the Scars (a novel) and Lost and Found (a short story in the anthology Age is Just a Number), were both inspired by personal experience of escaping an abusive relationship and the events afterwards, and losing a much-loved pet respectively.

Cervena, my summer 2016 novel with Dreamspinner Press, was a little different. The idea came to me randomly, with the idea for a nightclub owner falling for a dancer. Then I decided I would set it in Prague, a city I’ve visited and explored. It started out with the idea of a love story with a bit of an age gap between the two characters, and the scenario of employer and employee. But when I started writing, the characters got the bit between their teeth and it became more of a thriller, including gambling, murder, kidnap, and the help of a dubious “mob” character. I have no idea where that came from, because it didn’t start out that way!

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In the 23rd Century in the galaxy of Sigma Kappa, Kim Fortune was the first surviving experimental enhanced human—a regenerate. Aged 15, he escaped the lab and years later, his failings as a regenerate and the suspicion of regular humans, leave him lonely and lacking in self-worth. Stranded on an abandoned planet, the arrival of a stricken ship and its crew give him hope that he may finally find what he always longed for—love.

Christian Novak is a successful regenerate with all the intended attributes—including lack of human emotion. Despite their immediate attraction to each other, Kim’s failing confidence, and Christian’s inability to empathize are a recipe for disaster. But war, imprisonment, and danger throw them together, and after each saves the other’s life, their feelings begin to change.

Can a seemingly unsuitable pair ever find love, or is a future together destined to fail?

 

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | KOBO | Smashwords

 

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Click here to win a copy of any book on Louise’s backlist.

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12-30louiseLouise 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: www.facebook.com/louiselyonsauthor
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Email: louiselyons013@gmail.com

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Release Blitz: Jacob Cheyenne’s “Distant Swimmer”

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Shy and scholarly, long-distance swimmer Ryan Zwick thinks he’s the only gay member of the college swim team. He keeps his head down in the showers, and his head in the books the rest of the time.

But when a sporty new transfer student joins the team, Ryan feels a surge of hope. Sexually inexperienced and looking for love, fellow swimmer Blake Gossens is everything Ryan wants in a boyfriend. But what is Blake’s game, exactly? And just how straight is he?

Blake seems to be more interested in Ryan’s best friend, Marissa, leaving Ryan to go back to secretly checking out his teammates in the pool. But Ryan keeps getting mysterious messages in his dating app from a stranger who seems to know a lot about him. Could this messenger be Blake? Or someone else?

When bad weather hits unexpectedly, Ryan is forced to confront his real feelings toward Blake, while opening up to the stranger by his side, eventually giving in to his wildest fantasies — and his heart.

 

Publisher: JMS Books
Length: 40,450 words

 

Rocket1-6  Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

 

 

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

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

Website: https://www.jacobcheyenne.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JacobCheyenneXX
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JacobCheyenneBooks/

 

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Release Blitz: Jay Northcote’s “Watching and Wanting” (NSFW Excerpt)

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I’m really pleased to welcome Jay here on his release blitz tour, giving us info and a great, delicious, NSFW (!) teasing excerpt from Watching and Wanting, part of the Housemates series. Read on!

 

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Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires Shawn’s always denied…

Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth—going nowhere.

Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction.

Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated—and kinky—fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh
Length: 52,000 words
Housemates Series – though a series, each book can be read as a standalone.
Helping Hand (Book #1)  Amazon US | Amazon UK
Like A Lover (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Practice Makes Perfect (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK 

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!!NSFW!!

A couple of days later, Shawn was still doing his best to be a better housemate and friend. So after he’d finished his dinner—late because he hadn’t left work till six and had then been running again—he washed up lots of pots in the kitchen that other people had used and tidied up some things left lying around in the living room.

“Is this either of yours?” He held up a hoodie that was slung over the back of a chair.

Jez and Mac, who were on the sofa watching TV, both glanced his way.

“Nope,” Mac said.

“I think it’s Jude’s.”

Being helpful, Shawn decided to take it up for him.

He passed his own bedroom on the middle floor and went up the second flight of stairs to where Dev’s and Jude’s rooms were. Jude’s door was shut, so Shawn tapped lightly on it. There was no reply, so assuming Jude was out, he turned the handle and pushed. The door opened quietly.

It took a moment for his brain to register the information from his eyes.

Jude wasn’t out.

Jude was definitely in.

He was sitting in a chair with his back to the door, shirtless, dick out and jerking off in front of… fuck, was that Skype? Maybe he had a long-distance boyfriend Shawn didn’t know about.

But the screen didn’t look like Skype; there was a distinctive logo that even from the door, Shawn could see read “Boyz on Cam.” And—Oh fuck. The guy on the screen looked remarkably like Jude himself. Surely he couldn’t be…?

“Shit, sorry, sorry!” Shawn blurted out.

“What the fuck?” Jude wheeled around, simultaneously managing to whip his sweatpants up and slam the laptop shut. “Oh my God, haven’t you heard of knocking?”

“I did knock,” Shawn said helplessly, trying not to stare at the bulge in Jude’s trousers. Eyes up. Jesus Christ, don’t make this any worse than it already is. “You didn’t answer.”

“I didn’t fucking hear you. But you just barged in anyway.” Jude covered the tent in his sweatpants with his hand.

His face was flushed. It was hard for Shawn to tell how much was embarrassment and how much was anger. “You should have locked it,” he said unhelpfully, then mentally kicked himself for his lack of filter. Bit late to point that out now.

“I thought I had!”

“I’m sorry,” Shawn said again. “I didn’t… I mean….” Sensible words eluded him. There was no script for this. “I found this. It’s yours. I’ll go now.” He threw the hoodie at Jude, turned, and fled, shutting the door firmly behind him.

Back in his own room, Shawn paced back and forth.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” He scrubbed his hands through his hair, stopped pacing, and glared at his laptop where it lay on his desk, a threatening presence.

No. I can’t.

He threw himself down on the bed and stared at the ceiling.

But what if he was wrong? Maybe he’d misinterpreted what he saw? Maybe Jude was just watching another guy on camera who happened to look a bit like him? Shawn tried to tell himself that it was none of his business anyway, but he needed to know.

He got up and locked his door—learning from Jude’s mistake there—then sat at his desk and opened his laptop carefully, as if it was an unexploded bomb he had to defuse. He pulled up his web browser and typed in the words burned onto his brain: Boyz on Cam.

After an 18+ warning, the site loaded quickly and Shawn half covered his face with a hand, as though peeking through his fingers could make this better. He scrolled past a few photos of half-naked guys with nice abs and inviting smiles, but none of them was Jude.

Then he noticed a link at the top reading “Live Shows.”

Mouth dry and heart racing, he clicked on it. He didn’t think it was possible for his heart to beat any faster, but when he saw Jude’s face grinning suggestively at him from a thumbnail image, he seriously wondered if it was possible to have a heart attack at the age of twenty-one.

He knew he shouldn’t look, didn’t even know why he wanted to go any further. He’d confirmed his suspicions, and that was all he needed to know. Yet, with a shaking hand, he clicked on the link anyway.

 

 

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Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

www.jaynorthcote.com
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Inspiration : Glass Sculpture

 

From https://www.flickr.com/photos/hisglassworks/ "Bob" on Flickr under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

From https://www.flickr.com/photos/hisglassworks/ “Bob” on Flickr under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic Creative Commons License

In Heart Scarab, the first time young Bennet (he’s only just 18) visits Joss’s apartment on the edge of the great park, opposite the marble dome of the Thebaid Institute where they met, he notices that Joss–who is very rich, don’t forget–has an astonishing glass sculpture in the centre of the room.

“This is amazing.” Bennet looked around the apartment’s main living space with bright, inquisitive eyes. “Brilliant.” He walked up to the glass sculpture dominating the huge main room. It changed shape and colour depending on the angle it was approached. It was one of Joss’s favourite pieces. He was on the verge of issuing a warning when Bennet reached out to touch it, but he remembered how sensitively those hands had touched Amthoth’s fragile mummy case two days ago. Besides, he could always commission another.

“It’s by a new artist, called Ailion,” Joss said. “She’s going to be very collectable someday.”

And later, in the Chains of Their Sins (coming 15 February!), Bennet’s father Caeden visits his son’s quarters:

Several ancient artefacts sat on the top shelves, carefully lit to show them off. A glass sculpture, a hard-edged geometric shape filled with light and astonishing colour, stood on the desk. So very Bennet. The room couldn’t belong to anyone else.

I always had a vague image in the back of my mind about what those sculptures should look like. And now I’ve found them. These are very beautiful items, and oh boy, do I wish I had Bennet’s cube on my desk to inspire me more.

Joss’s sculpture:

Bennet’s (smaller) sculpture:

Both these are made by a cold glass sculptor, Jack Storms. Here he is, talking about the processes he uses to create these beautiful objects. Like many of the great musicians–Bach, in particular–he’s also a mathematician at heart, a striver for an absolute perfection.

When you’re building a world – here, on another planet, in Scunthorpe or New York or Alpha Centauri – it’s the little telling details that make it come to life for you and your reader. This glorious artwork has just added a life-giving telling detail to Shield.

Sighing with satisfaction here. I do wish I owned one of these!

 

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Taking Shield 4: The Chains Of Their Sins will be published on 13 February 2017.

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PREORDER LINKS :

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZ9QQYQ/

Amazon.co.uk:https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MZ9QQYQ/

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Chains of Their Sins: Cover and Pre-order links!

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The wonderful Adrian Nicholas has done it again, and produced an AMAZING cover. Maess drones for the win!

PUBLICATION DATE :  13 February.

PREORDER LINKS :

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZ9QQYQ/

Getting excited here!

 

 

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