Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winter Warmers Anthology

Title: Winter Warmers
Authors: Chrissy Munder, Clare London, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, Lou Harper
Length: 126 pages
Publisher: Pink Squirrel


Baby, it's cold outside! Beat the chill with Winter Warmers - a seasonal anthology

Mulled wine. Butterscotch kisses. Hideous sweaters. Candy at the beach, or a trip to a sex shop in Amsterdam. And the man of your dreams, wrapped around you...

Winter warmers come in many shapes and sizes, from the tongue-in-cheek to the hot-as-hell. Enjoy a quintet of heart-warming tales of men loving men from Clare London, Chrissy Munder, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, and Lou Harper that are guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.

One thing's for sure—it's going to be a red-hot Christmas!

This is going to be an abbreviated look at each story saying what I liked about it. 

Lucky Dip - Clare London: A story of a grade school teacher who is forced to work with his ex (the uncle of a student) to prepare for the Christmas carnival. They manage to get locked in a storage closet for the night, complete with bottles of wine and mince pies where the ex gets a chance to explain his behaviour. I really liked that while it all worked out over the night, Andy didn't give in easily to a second chance. He made him grovel and seriously was ready to move on. I get frustrated when one guy just say "gee sorry" and the other goes "okay". Nooooo. Groveling is good. Lots of fun descriptions of the kids preparing for the fair with a good dose of humour. 

Butterscotch Kisses - Chrissy Munder: A man dumped by his bf because of his fear of heights and refusal to go on the toboggan run, is determined to conquer his fear, if it means showing up every day and paying to climb a little more each day. Flirting with the ticket sales guy with the funky hats is just a bonus. When he's rescued by hat boy, they finally get a chance to talk. It was a very cute story and I felt for Matthew who suffered from dyslexia as well and felt that he couldn't live up to the "perfection" that was his twin brother, but was determined to beat this one thing. The hats were amusing.

Wintertide - Lou Harper: Escaping noisy neighbours, Jem sees a sexy older guy on the pier. They flirt and end up at sexy guys place, although later after waking Jem sees pics of another guy and figures he's with a cheater, but Oscar tracks him down and explains it his lover who died and they decide to try dating. This story had one of my hot buttons, BIG age gap. Oscar was 45+ and Jem was not yet 21. Long term viability? I find it hard to buy into that. If I look at in a "for a period of time that works for them" maybe. I just tried not to think about the numbers much. Well written and I'm sure others won't mind the gap at all.

When in Amsterdam - Josephine Myles: An interracial couple head to Amsterdam to spend Christmas with Jos' parents. Brandon is first freaked out by all the pieten he sees in the store windows (little black elves who help Santa) and he's also feeling self-conscious about the fact that Jos is into BDSM and he's very vanilla. However taking shelter in a sex store from the rain, maybe he's not quite as vanilla as he thought and could give Jos what he needs. This was more sexy and intense and a while not angsty or serious, not so light as the others. Seeing vanilla Brandon explore his Dom side was very interesting and hot.

A Pint of Beer, a Bag of Chips and Thou - JL Merrow: Liam, who lives with his mum and two aunts who are witches, spends his evenings playing his saxophone in the metro to earn cash. Everyday he sees an older man but they never talk. His family is eager to get him mated off but end up knitting him a variety of odd items they insist on wearing. A hat that covers his mohawk, a long Dr. Who scarf and a god awful cardigan. Each item seems to bring him closer to meeting his crush, the cardigan being the last piece of the puzzle. I snickered many times reading this. The hat that looked like he had a tea cozy on his head and the references to Dr. Who were very funny. Even though there was another big age difference, maybe because they only spent the evening together I didn't feel the same squick factor. *shrug* Who knows with me. 

Anyway, these stories are all fun reads, all have a light hand with humourous moments, although some are more outright funny and others less so, but when you're in the mood for something that leaves you feeling light and positive about the season it's a great selection. All of these authors are ones I can rely on to give me a good story with strong writing and appealing characters, so you can't go wrong with this collection.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Island Affair by Cait Miller

Title: Island Affair
Author: Cait Miller
Length: 90 pages
Publisher: Ellora's Cave

Blurb:  When Robin decides to spend his vacation at a gays-only resort on a beautiful island to escape from his suffocating hometown, falling in love wasn’t on the agenda. John is handsome and unashamed and Robin finds himself swept away. However, the enigmatic Scotsman harbors a dangerous secret.

Their island affair explodes with a passion neither man expected. As they realize something stronger is blossoming between them, events conspire to separate them and both men are irrevocably changed. Robin returns home to pick up the pieces of his life, slipping back into the small-town closet and putting the island behind him. John has other ideas, but staying together might be the least of their worries.

Reality has a way of making you work for your happily ever after.


John and Robin's relationship starts off with a bang, as John's attempt to keep Robin from falling in the pool means he cracks his own head on the edge and nearly drowns. Not an auspicious start, however John is fascinated by the young man who turns out to be much less experienced and shy than John, however before long they're spending their time together in and out of bed at the resort. John finally has to explain why he has four body guards. Seems he stopped a crime in progress and now is in protective custody until he can testify against the crime boss who ordered the hit. He hates it, but Robin's presence on the island helps distract him, however before long it's time for him to head back, leaving Robin who tells him it was only an island fling and it's over as he's not prepared to step out of the closet in his small Texas town.

At the last minute Robin changes his mind but it's too late, however Dan, the body guard promises to tell John, but the men after John don't give up and when they see Robin wearing John's shirt, well, it doesn't go well for Robin. However John doesn't find out any of this until weeks later after the trial because Dan kept it secret and John goes to find Robin and made amends.

I really enjoyed John and Robin together. John is from Scotland originally although living in New York now and I swear I could hear his accent. It was written with just enough "accent on the page" to let you hear it without being impossible to read as sometimes accents are written. He's older and more experienced than Robin but the passion and sex between them was very hot. I also liked the fact that they had to deal with the residual effects of the attack on Robin, including epileptic attacks. It wasn't just happy happy no problems when they got back together, also dealing with the homophobic small town was part of the challenge.

The only thing that kind of threw me off was Robin was often referred to as Rob. I know it's a personal thing but I've never known anyone named Robin who went by Rob. I associate that with Robert. *shrug* Personal thing. I know this is the author's first m/m as she's published several m/f stories but I think she did a fine job and I liked both characters a great deal.

Friday, November 25, 2011

New Release - The Santa Problem - December 14

So I finished this little story on the way to and from New Orleans last month, so I guess I can thank the city for contributing to my success. But no scenes of drunken bar crawls included.  :-) It will be released by Torquere on December 14. There's not a buy page for it yet. I just finished edits on the weekend so when I'll post the info on the release day. 

The Santa Problem

Lane would do most anything to make his live-in love Gavin happy, but this is taking things too far. Just because Gavin can’t find someone to play Santa at his office building, doesn’t mean it’s Lane’s problem too. But Gavin can be very persuasive when he wants his way, and Lane may be taking on more than he can handle in order to keep his man content.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Boats in the Night by Josephine Myles

Title: Boats in the Night
Author: Josephine Myles
Length: 150 pages
Publisher: Smashwords


Like two ships passing in the night—if one was a narrowboat and the other a luxury yacht.

Disgraced private school teacher Giles Rathbourne has been sent home on extended sick-leave and is stuck in a rut of obsessive housework and drinking. His ex may have been a snobbish bastard, but without him, Giles is adrift, rattling around his huge, lonely house. When a dreadlocked narrowboater’s engine breaks down at the end of his canal-side garden, Giles is furious at this invasion of his privacy—for a while.

Smutty might not have ever held down a proper job, but the fire-dancing, free-spirited traveller can recognise an opportunity for mutual benefit when he sees it. Giles’ extensive gardens are in as desperate need of attention as the upper-class hunk is himself, whereas Smutty knows a thing or two about plants and needs a place to moor up.

A simple business arrangement between two men who have nothing else in common? It would be—if they could keep their hands off each other!


For those readers who were fascinated by the long-boat culture in Barging In will enjoy this second foray into the experience, although most of the action takes place off-boat. Giles' life kind of sucks. His ex left him and after a drunken flip-out on his students he's been put on administration leave. He spends his days obsessively cleaning and his nights drinking himself to sleep. He's not impressed when the freaky guy in the long boat ends up at the end of his garden, although really, the boat is broken, what can he do, besides basically tell him to move along. However despite his better judgment he's kind of curious about the flame haired supposed fire dancer, and ends up going for a visit that evening, which turns into more than a visit.

I'll be honest. At first Giles is damned annoying. He has this habit of putting his foot in it more often than not. He comes across as a bit of a jerk, who probably thinks he's better than most and a bit weak. Especially when you see him interact with his ex. However I adored free-spirit Smutty right off the bat. I have a feeling there is some part of me that wishes I could be like that, just travel, do whatever, see the world, no responsibilities, no commitments. Sigh. However once you get to know Giles he's not such a jerk after all and his defence of Smutty whose had some nasty run-ins with guys in bars was sweet and touching, for the reader and Smutty who'd never really had anyone stand up for him before.

I loved seeing Smutty bring about a change in Giles. Sex on the kitchen table? How "unsanitary". Maybe? Is it? Could he? Perhaps. And he's not alone. Giles makes Smutty think about some things that happened to him as a young man and the hurts he's still holding onto that affect how he looks at life and his need to keep on moving. But his exuberant good nature can't help but drag Giles out of the doldrums and Giles even manages to stand up to his ex a bit. An ex who appears to be a psychopath, not in the murder you and wear your skin way, but in a callous no feelings way which based on his history didn't really surprise me.

The only odd little niggle I had was the odds of Giles' ex and Smutty having a connection, although I suppose Smutty did grow up not that far from Giles, but still, I kind of thought "hmmm, what are the odds?" but hey, it worked with the story and by then I was totally invested in Smutty and Giles so I was okay with it. It's a very sweet story of opposites who bring out the best in each other and make changes in their lives for the better.

Oh and if you've never seen a fire dancer do their thing at night, it's amazing and if you get the chance do it. I've seen them perform after dark and it's probably dangerous as anything but it's dazzling and a true skill I wouldn't even attempt. I was very happy with the way it ended and it was a real pleasure and kept me coming back to it while I was reading. I have a tendency to get distracted while I read and I will read a bit then surf or watch TV and read a bit, but this one kept dragging me back as I wanted to see how it was all going to go. Definitely worth a read so pick it up as soon as you can or sign up for the author's newsletter and get a code for a free download. Free people, seriously, hop to it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Magic Mansion

Have y'all been reading the Magic Mansion over at Jordan Castillo Price's site? It's a monthly serial where she posts anywhere from 4-6 chapters once a month and then you get to vote on some aspect of the story. Because this is based on a reality TV show for magicians, you get to vote someone "off the island" or "out of the mansion" I suppose, or this time it was someone to switch teams. It's great fun although I was quite disappointed at who got voted off last time. :-( Oh well, them's the breaks. 
If this was a real show I would watch it. I generally hate reality shows (unless they involve cooking) but it is fun to hear about the tricks they have to do and how they are done. Maybe that's why I enjoy it. There has to be some skill involved, not just who is the most annoying or whiny. It's also fun to see the "behind the scenes" stuff as they try to make the show more interesting. I'm wondering how this is going to wind down and eagerly awaiting to see what's up next. So stop by and read up on the last chapters. It's up to Chapter 19 but they aren't overly long and you can quickly catch up with the action.

I'm torn between cheering for John or Ricardo. Maybe a tie? :-)

By the way, voting this round ends tonight. So hurry. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Learning to Walk - Drew Zachary

Yes, you're seeing a whole new format here. I've kind of gotten in the habit from BER and since I'm reviewing fewer books I can do it this way.

Title: Learning to Walk (City Hospital #3)
Author: Drew Zachary
Length: 180 pages
Publisher: Torquere Press


A terrible motorcycle accident leaves Kit in pain, living with his father and needing to teach his legs how to walk again. He's actually lucky to be alive, but don't try telling him that; Kit's too wrapped up in bitterness and pain to feel any sort of happiness.

Neil knows exactly how lucky Kit is. As Kit's physiotherapist, he's seen the man's medical records, and knows a lot of people never recover after an accident such as Kit’s. His job is to get Kit moving and to get him walking again, so when Neil finds himself attracted to Kit, he buries the feelings and focuses on the job.

That's hard to do, though, when Kit starts falling for Neil in return. And starts making moves. Neil is determined to keep things professional between them, though, because he feels that Kit's recovery is far more important than a physical relationship. Can Neil teach Kit to walk again without either of them getting their hearts broken? 


While this is #3 in the series, there is no overlap with the other books so is essentially a stand-alone. I thought this did a really good job at the beginning of showing how Kit was coping, or not as the case may be, with the fall-out of motorcycle accident. He felt guilty that now he father had to care for him when he should have been having his own life and I imagine like most of us, the whole "Well, at least your alive" thing wore thin as he struggled with life in a wheelchair. Needless to say, he was less than hospitable with his physiotherapist, however Neil was one of those people who never let a surly client get him down. Probably as annoying as hell in real life, but he managed to drag Kit along with him.

It was nice to see their friendship grow before they hopped into bed. In fact Neil refuses to date Kit while he is his therapist. So often in romance they hop into bed right away, ethics be damned and oh, wait, he's cured by the magic healing power of twu wuv. But in this case no. The therapy was long and grueling, their friendship slowly developed and granted I got a bit annoyed with Neil who kept telling Kit that he only liked him for now and he'd move on. Sheesh, give people some credit. But it was nice when Kit took the bull by the horns and fired Neil so they could date.

The awkwardness of going out for a date in a wheelchair, having his Dad have to drive them, it was all awkward but sweet and Neil was great about seeing Kit, not the guy in the wheelchair. So on the whole I really enjoyed this and even though Kit eventually does walk, he's never going to be running marathons. It sounds kind of awful, but I like it when someone with a handicap isn't "cured" so that they can fit the "normal" stereotype of romance leads. Even people who walk with a cane or in a wheelchair fall in love.

Friday, November 18, 2011

My new friends

Okay, they aren't new friends in the traditional way maybe, but I am totally stealing this idea from Mandi's blog, where there was a post about new-to-you authors. So I know we keep saying there are all these new books and new authors on the m/m scene, so have I been reading them? Have I liked them? It would seem not so much. Looking back through about the last 6 months there are probably less than a dozen. A few where I may have read them in an anthology and then a stand-alone book, but not 100's. So I thought I'd go through and see which ones I gave a 4 or 5 stars on GR and give them a bit of a promo bump here. These are all authors that I've only read one book, some I have other books in my possession, all I would definitely read more, but haven't got there yet. Patience is a virtue if you are an author, really. :-)

They are not necessarily NEW authors, but they are new to me, and I'm not going to talk about the book - I'll link to my review if you care what I said - but I'll give a little bio of the author and a link to their other books.

JP Barnaby - Mastering the Ride

Bio & Contacts

Erotic fiction is more than just moans, grunts, and physical pleasure. To J. P. Barnaby, erotic fiction consists not only of the mechanics of physical love, but the complex characters and relationships that lead to those all-encompassing feelings of need and longing. Sex without context is merely sex - but sex coupled with attraction, with explosive repercussions - that is good erotic fiction. J. P. authors all different kinds of erotic fiction including gay, straight, male, female, BDSM, sweet, romantic, and dark.

As a bisexual woman, J. P. Barnaby is a proud member of the GLBT community both online and in her small town on the outskirts of Chicago. A member of Mensa, she is often described as brilliant but troubled, sweet but introverted and talented but deviant. She spends her days writing software and her nights writing erotica which is, of course, far more interesting. The spare time that she carves out between her career and her novels is spent reading about the concept of love, which, like some of her characters, she has never quite figured out for herself.

Official Website: http://www.JPBarnaby.com 
Blog: http://blog.jpbarnaby.com 
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JPBarnaby 
Email: jp@jpbarnaby.com
I had the pleasure of meeting JP at GRL in New Orleans. A lovely woman, friendly, and funny. She has 14 books listed at Goodreads including the Little Boy Lost series which I believe has it's biggest cheerleader in Leontine. :-) I'll be honest, I don't yet own any of her other books. I think Little Boy Lost will make me cry, so not sure that's for me, but I really must make the effort to check out some of her other works and she said that Mastering the Ride has a novel coming so I'm very much looking forward to that. 
This is Kate's new book
LOVE the little Cdn flag
Kate Sherwood - New Tricks (Shying Away 2)

Bio & Contacts

I started writing at about the same time that I got back on a horse after a twenty-year break. I’d like to think that I’m far too young for it to be a mid-life crisis, but apparently I was ready for a few changes!

My writing focuses on characters and relationships, people trying to find out how much of themselves they need to keep, and how much they can afford to give away. I try to find that careful balance between drama and humor – I want readers to have an intense experience and feel drawn into the book, but I also want them to enjoy the time they spend reading.

I started writing in the m/m area of Romance, and I’ve spent some serious time trying to figure out why that is… if you’re interested, my reflections on why m/m fiction appeals to this straight woman can be found at my blog (here).   And, now that I feel like I’m hitting my stride writing the m/f stuff, I’m working up another post outlining how I made that work, for me.  I definitely plan to continue writing in both sub-genres, and of course I still have my YA projects to play with.  And I’m thinking about trying some women’s fiction, too!  This writing thing is fun!

by e-mail kate@katesherwoodbooks.com
at my blog
at my Goodreads page
Kate has 12 books listed on Goodreads. I really want to read Shying Away since I read the sequel already. LOL But I liked both guys and would like to explore how they got to that point. I must get on that. I'm not sure why I haven't read some of the others because I think my love of m/m/m is pretty legendary and hey, there's a Canadian flag on the new book so must support the maple leaf. My list of books I want to read is far too long. Eek.
Jules' Latest release
Jules Jones - Promises to Keep

Bio & Contacts

Jules Jones is a British author of science fiction and erotic romance, mostly with m/m themes. Much of her work is cross-genre, being science fiction or fantasy with a strong romance element. Some is written in collaboration with writing partner Alex Woolgrave. Her day job is materials science, and it tends to show -- many of her characters are scientists, engineers, and sundry other geeks.

website  http://www.julesjones.com/
Jules has 19 books listed at Goodreads, I confess I have only read the one. Obviously not because I dislike the author's style, because I gave this book 4 stars, just lack of time once again.

Perhaps rather than buying empty calorie books I should be purchases those of author's whose work I have rated highly. Okay, am I listening to myself? Yeah. But junk food is oh so appealing sometimes. 

So are you already fans of these authors? Am I way behind the wave? Who is a new to you author who has impressed you in the last few months? Anyone? 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Riptide Winners

Thanks to everyone for stopping by to say hi to the Riptide authors who came by to visit. Be sure to visit again the week of Dec. 26 when three more are going to stop in and visit. The lucky winners have been chosen, and your names and contact details forwarded on to Riptide. They will be in touch with you directly about your prizes. Congrats and enjoy your books.

Winner of a selection from Brita Addams' backlist:   Anne Brooke 
Winner for their choice of a backlist title from Rachel Haimowitz, Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Brita Addams, or Cat Grant:    Raelyn
Winner of a selection from Kari Gregg's backlist:  Bookishly Awesome  

Monday, November 14, 2011

My new policy

Although, I suppose you should have an old policy before you have a new policy. Whatever, just go with it here.

Ever since I started this blog I have basically reviewed every book I've read. Yes, really. They aren't long reviews, although they've gotten longer since the beginning, but I have. I'm finding it pretty grueling sometimes now, especially with Brief Encounters where I actually have to do things on a schedule and I have the special projects I always seem to be coming up with that take more time than I always predict.

So, no, I'm not disappearing, but from now on I'll only be reviewing books I promised someone I would, that I receive from a publisher with the understanding that I'll review them (mostly Torquere), or books that I REALLY want to share (4+ stars). I will continue to place everything on Goodreads and I will do a quick paragraph in the review section when I post, I'm not a fan of just slapping 3 stars on and not at least explaining why in a few sentences.

I'll continue to post sexy boys, random stuff about my life, my travels and the usual miscellaneous chatter. If you want to follow me on Goodreads and see everything I post, I'm Tam Ames there and you can see my avatar is always the same so you'll know it's me. 

The end result? Fewer reviews (no longer 3 per post or so), but otherwise, not much will change. So far this year I've read about 30,000 pages and it gets tough sometimes to keep up.

So there you have it. And to thank you for your kind attention to this new policy change here at Chez Tam, here's a few cookies for a late night snack for you.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekend Update

Yay for long weekends. I had yesterday off for Remembrance Day. I didn't do much. All stores remain closed until 12:30, although schools are open. But the kid didn't have to be there until 9:20 so we got to sleep in a bit and then I drove her. I did go to the gym and walked 2 km. I really need to find my ipod. It's here somewhere, just where.

No specific plans today either. Just laundry and probably some grocery shopping. Maybe pick up pet supplies. I see I am nearly out of cat food. May hit the gym again. November weather has arrived. It's in the 30's but going to warm up again. So weird and warm but I am NOT complaining. :-)

Don't forget to leave a comment on my three guest posts this past week to be eligible to win a prize. You have until Sunday at 6:00 pm EST to be entered.

In His Hero's Shadow by Stephani Hecht (96 pages)
eXtasy books

Chauncey, a trauma nurse, and Brody a medic hate each others guts, or appear to. They can't be in the same room without the insults flying. Younger Brody thinks Chauncey is a rich entitled jerk, and Chauncey thinks Brody is a snotty little brat. After the loss of an elderly patient, someone phones Chauncey to go and get Brody out of the bar. Before long they are getting funky in the car, to be followed up by a hot night of smexin' and secrets. Brody reveals that his father was a fire fighter who died on 9/11. The next morning things get awkward and a few days later when Brody believes Chauncey told others about what happened all hell breaks loose, also Chauncey find out Brody's mom has mental issues. I thought the 9/11 storyline was very well done and Brody's pain about what happened to his dad when he was just 10 was very touching. This book was released around the 9/11 anniversary so was very pertinent at the time.

Lone Wolf by Shelley Munro (223 pages)

This is set in a world were werewolves exist but are mandated to take drugs to suppress the ability to change so no one finds out about them. However a few have special permission and there is one program where the rich can send their kids (older teens) to Yellowstone for a few weeks where they learn about their wolf sides. RJ is a counselor and Corey is the rich son of the man who runs LA. Corey is older, 21, goth and not at all interested in the whole process. He wants to be an artist and his dad insists he be an architect. Basically RJ and Corey start a fling despite RJ's protests and Corey gets in touch with his wolf and seems to have special abilities. Once Corey returns and tells his Dad to take a leap things get more complicated and it seems wolves who don't toe the line are eliminated. This seemed to be the set-up for more and it left a lot of things hanging at the end, there's an "underground railroad" for wolves who don't want to take the drugs, Corey's real father is an important man, will they fight against things? There were lots of descriptions about the park and shifting and the process of training the young and the different kids who were there. I didn't mind it, but I can see some people being frustrated that the plot doesn't move more quickly. Might be hit and miss depending on your tolerance level.

Where you Least Expect It M. Durango (200 pages)
Torquere Press

Matt is a former army guy working in IT who broke up with his fiance about a year ago. His friend Sam is always hounding him to hook up with a chick but he's not interested. On his way to a party he nearly runs over a cyclist, only to find himself face to face with the guy at the party. However Christian doesn't hold a grudge and soon he discovers that Christian is a student who works at the coffee shop next to his work. They start chatting and Matt often drives him home if it's raining and they start hanging out. Then suddenly it occurs to Matt that Christian said he was gay and he starts to weird out. After another party (they run in the same circle) he drives a drunk Christian home who makes a move. After thinking about it Matt decides to try it out and after some fuck-buddy time they agree to try a relationship. It could be said it's GFY, but more like WCBY (was clueless before you). Because Matt starts noticing other guys and notes his porn watching has changed since meeting Christian. I liked that Matt really liked Christian as a person and a friend before he even thought about anything sexual. Matt was also a typical guy. He just didn't want to think about it and what it meant. He just preferred to do it and not analyze it which got him into trouble. The build-up to the sex scenes was very spicy with lots of anticipation and seeing Matt want to try things and not just be the "I'm the straight guy so I take but don't give" was good and Christian was kind of neurotic and funny. I'm wondering if Matt's best friend Sam (who moves in with Christian's best friend Trevor) have a story. Anyway, I really enjoyed this one, it moves slowly on the relationship front but both guys were so appealing and the build-up was fun.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Interview with Kari Gregg

Our last Riptide guest this week, last but not least, is Kari Gregg. Kari's first story with Riptide is Collared and anyone who comments on today's post is eligible to win their book of choice from Kari's backlist. Good luck everyone and let's get down to business.

1. What do you like most about writing?

Creating and exploring new worlds. How does that world work? How doesn't it work? Who's trying to fix what's broken and are they making life better or worse? Who's in charge? No, who's really in charge? How do my heroes fit? I love my worlds and I love discovering how my heroes move inside them.

2. What genre do you write mostly and what appeals to you most about your genre?

I write  contemporaries, fantasy, paranormals, AU, and BDSM (of every flavor). Writerly ADD is obviously an issue. :D Why those stories? Those are the worlds I'm drawn to and revisit again and again.

3. What is the most interesting thing you have learned from your research?

The Blooming Onion at Outback Steakhouse has 1600 calories. Have I ever used this in a story? No. But I'm weirdly fascinated by this.

4. Where do you get the names for your characters?

Any- and everywhere. I got a name from a tombstone once. Serious. Connor's name, though, is perfectly non-weird. A casual acquaintance (who is nothing like my character, by the way) is named Connor and the name stuck in my head until my hero took form.

5. Tell us about your latest release (s)?

Collared features a world in flux. A natural disaster caused when genetically engineered crops mutated and propagated in the wild is producing a biological shift in the aggression centers of the brain and those affects -- as well as civilization's response to them -- are still intensifying. Connor Witt had everything he ever wanted, a promising relationship and a successful career, until the disaster. Instead of becoming bigger and badder like everyone else, Connor is an anomaly. His aggression hasn't been stimulated by the changing environment. He is one of the rare few whose dominant traits have been suppressed. When predatory security consultant Emmett makes a move on Connor, David -- Connor's boss -- collars him to keep Emmett away. One man offers safety; the other is the safer best. Who will Connor choose for his master?

6. What are you working on next?

In the Red is a m/m BDSM mystery for Loose Id. My forensic accountant was a rising star at TFOS, Terrorism Financing Operations Section in the FBI, until he was abducted and left for dead nine days later. What he endured during those nine days broke him, not so much physically as mentally, but he's fighting his way back. All evidence to the contrary -- his retreat to an isolated rural house in the mountains of western Maryland where he's amassed enough weaponry to hold off the zombie hoard and keeps enough lamps lit in his tiny house to pinpoint the glow from the international space station. Too bad TFOS needs him back so badly. He was on to something with that last case, something big The FBI tasks Special Agent Zachary Murdock with gluing the boy wonder back together and getting him back to work. Zachary isn't sure which presents the biggest complication: the accountant's special brand of crazy, the case they're working or the closeted sub's surprising -- and surprisingly enthralling -- kink.

7. What fascinates you most about writing m/m?

Two strong guys striking that magical balance with one another and the dance leading up to that balance. Even in BDSM, especially in BDSM, where in spite of appearances, subs are (IMO) stronger than their Doms and subs are the ones who are truly running the show.

8. What do you enjoy reading the most?

Two heroes for the price of one. Does it get any better? Nope.

9. What are you reading now?

A historical account of the 1938 Hurricane. Yeah, I know. Sexy, no? LOL. If it helps any, I just finished re-reading Jet Mykles' Heaven Sent series. Loves me some hot rockers.

10. Who are your favorite authors?

For kink, I'm a Kim Dare fangirl, but I repeat read titles from Jamie Craig, J.C. Owens, and Thom Lane, too. (Although to be fair, the Aramanth series isn't strictly BDSM since slavery is a cultural convention rather than a choice, but nonetheless, WOW.) Non-kink, I love Josh Lanyon, K.A. Mitchell, L.B. Gregg, Joely Skye (for her shifter series)...so many wonderful authors. So much m/m goodness. ;D

11. What would you advise an aspiring author?

Don't quit. Keep writing. Keep learning and growing your craft.

12. Is there anything you'd like to tell your readers?

I have over 200 books in my K3's TBR file. Help me. Please.

13. How can readers connect with you?

If you would like to catch up with Kari, caffeinate yourself and head on over to http://www.karigregg.com/
Friend Kari on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Kari.M.Gregg
Follow Kari on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#%21/karigregg
Find Kari at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4366316.Kari_Gregg

Thanks so much for stopping by Kari and you are not alone with that TBR file. I've heard much higher numbers that made my hair curl. Good luck with your new projects.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Interview with Peter Hansen

Our Wednesday interview is Peter Hansen whose first release with Riptide publishing is the rather spooky First Watch. Welcome to the blog Peter and everyone who comments will have the chance to win any one backlist book from Rachel Haimowitz, Aleksandr Voinov, L.A. Witt, Brita Addams, or Cat Grant
(“Frontlist” books, i.e. Riptide releases and newest non-Riptide release, are excluded, as are the Courtland Chronicles).

So let's get to know Peter.

1. When did you start the adventure of writing?

I was four, and I wrote a story about football.

2. Have you always loved romance writing?

Come to think of it, my football story was totally a romance.

3. How about some favorites.
  • Favorite Hero: Superhero? Iron Man all the way.
  • Favorite Dessert: Tiramisu.
  • Favorite Villain: Magneto.
  • Favorite Song: Calexico's "Guns of Brixton" cover.
4. Have you ever written to music?

Never write without it.

5. What music?

Mostly metal, particularly symphonic metal.

6. Tell us about your work:
  • Changing the Guard (in Weight of a Gun) – In this tale of interplanetary espionage, disgraced security officer Tomi Vuorela is assigned to a solo posting in an icebound outpost. His job is to guard the remote access node of IntelServ: an intelligence supercomputer built into the crust of a planet. When smooth talker Andile Harper makes an unscheduled service stop at the outpost, though, Tomi doesn't believe for a second that he's a mechanical engineer. As he fights to uncover Andile's real identity, Tomi bares old scars and leaves new ones—and as the threats shade into sex, he begins to suspect that Andile has come to find out about him.
  • First Watch – 1926. Eldritch creatures roam the darkness, preying on the dying and the desperate-to-live. Aboard the Flèche, a grim submarine with a nightmare captain, Edouard Montreuil must give his body each night as the bells sound for the first watch. To save his own life on the battlefield, Edouard made a pact with a monster—a pact with a steep price attached. As the days stretch into months beneath the waves, Edouard becomes desperate for escape … and calls on his old comrade Farid Ruiz to help him break this devil's bargain.
7. Do you have a writing tip to share with our viewers?

If you've got a lot to keep track of, it helps me to make an outline or a map or a spreadsheet or something. I'm a spatial thinker. I like to see how stories work in space, rather than in time.

8. What genre do you write mostly and what appeals to you most about your genre?

Fantasy/science fiction, often shading toward steampunk or dieselpunk. I like the challenge of building plausible worlds and then populating them with people, although unfortunately I often wind up with worlds full of people I don't want to write about.

9. What is the most interesting thing you have learned from your research?

I have learned a heck of a lot about shortwave radios in Italy.

10. What fascinates you most about writing m/m?

As a queer person, myself, I really like having the chance to create worlds where it's okay to be queer. It's a little utopian of me, maybe, but I like to imagine that there are (or were, or one day will be) people for whom being queer is simply a fact of life, not something they have to fight to recognize in themselves and to be recognized as in their society.

11. What does your family think of you writing erotica?

I think my dad laughed for a solid minute.

12. What would you tell a reader reluctant to read erotica?

Depends on why the reluctance. As a person who was reluctant, myself, I needed to understand that erotica wasn't just whack-off material, and that many of the writers were thoughtful, talented people who could craft stories with punch and plot and soul-searing characterization. Other people, though, have got traumas that they just can't bear to see engaged, and others are more asexual than I am, and others just don't find it to their tastes. There are a lot of good reasons to be reluctant to read erotica, and I want to honor those reasons as well as I can.

13. Have you ever tested out one of your sex scenes on your significant other?

Nope! My girlfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship.

14. Is there any topic you find taboo?

"Taboo" is a social construction, so it's not just about me or my hang-ups. Taboo topics are ones that we-as-culture, we-as-society find difficult to address, and so we wind up not dealing with those topics at all—let alone dealing with them maturely and sensitively. I'm not always going to succeed in being mature and sensitive, myself, but I want to learn to be, and I can't learn unless I open a conversation about things that we-the-culture find hard to approach.

Thanks so much for joining us today Peter and letting us get to know you better. Good luck with your new releases and we look forward to more stories from you.

You can find Peter at:

Website: http://peterhansenfiction.weebly.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/P_HansenWrites
Email: peter.hansen.writes@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tattoo Tuesday

In training again today, so how about some tattooed lovelies for the day?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Interview with Brita Addams

I'd like to welcome Brita Addams to the blog today as part of the Riptide Publishing week here in my little corner of the world. Brita's first entry to the Riptide family is Romeo Club #1: Surprises.

Everyone who leaves a comment will be eligible to win a copy of any one of Brita's backlist, so comment away and perhaps you'll be the lucky soul.

Welcome Brita and lets begin.

1. Who is your hero? And why?

My husband is hands down my hero. Why? Aside from being handsome, loving and my best friend, he's truly my other half. He helped me raised my two older children and he loves me no matter who I am on any particular day. That, my friends, is the very definition of hero in my book.

2. What one event in your childhood had the greatest effect on your writing career?

When I was in seventh grade, my teacher, Mr. Green, sent one of my short stories to an author, Hal Borland. I didn't know anything about it until Mr. G. called me to his desk one afternoon and showed me my story, with lots of notes written in the margins. Mr. Borland had read the story and critiqued it. He said some very nice things about my promise as a writer.

When I took the story home, I was greeted with a lecture on pipe dreams and the "reality" of how successful writers really are, and that alone stopped me from writing for a very long time. It also was one of the reasons I started writing seriously.

3. Who is your best friend, and what do you like best about him or her? List your best friend’s favorite books. How do they compare to yours?

As I said before, my husband is my best friend. He's kind, loving and the best cook on the planet. He is the best dad a kid could ever hope to have and he has the best smile I've ever seen.

His books – well, he reads what strikes him, but romance is definitely not on his to-be-read list.

4. What “lesson from mom” do you still live by today?

My mother was very old fashioned, which was one of her most endearing qualities. She taught me how to dress for the occasion, be polite and she was a stickler for manners. I'd say those lessons have served me well.

5. What’s the one thing you want to accomplish, or write about, before you die?

I really want to write a m/m Civil War story, and will, maybe in the next year or so.

6. If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be? Would you write or read there, or do something else?

I want to go to England. We've traveled a lot, but we've not made it to England yet. I don't believe I'd do nothing but sightsee. I can read and write at home.

Not Brita's but still darn cute.
7. Do you have a pet that keeps you company when you write? If so, write about him or her. Has your pet taught you anything about writing? If so, what?

We have two pets actually. Our cat Stormee, is thirteen years old. We got him when he was a little guy and now he's a cranky old fart, but we love him dearly.

Our other pet is our two-year old Maltipoo, Fiona Dahlia. She is with me all the time, no matter what I'm doing. She usually sleeps right beside me while I'm writing.

Stormee made an appearance in a story that isn't yet published, but Fiona hasn't and probably won't. No, they haven't taught me anything, save for to take a break and throw her puppy toy more often.

8. What’s the most unusual place you have visited?

I lived in Iceland for two years, which was an experience I'll never forget. It made me appreciate my home country, but I wouldn't give up those two years for anything. I traveled to Scotland during that time on holiday, and it was an amazing experience.

9. If you could have a quiet dinner with just one author, who would you choose?

Undoubtedly, I'd love to have dinner with Aleks Voinov. He's a clever guy, who thinks in a way that's extraordinary to me. I'd love to have a couple of hours to pick his brain.

10. Tell us about your latest project.

Romeo Club is a series of erotica short stories. They take place at a fantasy club, where everything is possible. I've never written erotica before, but I'm having a great time writing them.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and best of luck with the Romeo Club series. I enjoyed the first one and look forward to seeing more adventures at the Club.

Here's an excerpt from Romeo Club #1: Surprises:

How often do you like to fuck?

Not “have intercourse” or “make love,” but “fuck,” written out right on the application. Damn! I hadn’t expected such personal questions, but after a few moments of thought, “No limit” seemed as good an answer as any.

“What is your favorite position?” Oh, the possibilities.

“Bent over a sofa, chair, table?” All of the above, giving or receiving.

“On all fours on a bed or the floor?” Right you are.

“Standing against the wall?” Definitely has merit.

“Do you suck cock regularly, or do you prefer to be sucked? Do you swallow?” I should have seen that one coming.

“Dildo preference—glass or flexible?” I’d never thought about it, but the question gave me ideas.

“Butt plugs?” Damn, did other people use those things? I squirmed, thinking a smaller one might have been in order for this excursion.

A whole section entitled “Probing Your Fantasies.” “Are you into cowboys, pirates, millionaires, policemen, doctors? Kidnap, rape, ménage? Explain your desires in detail.” I took the expeditious route and wrote, “Yes to all the above.” Why limit my options?

“Are you willing to put yourself in our hands?”

Now, that was a loaded question. The devil in me wanted to write, “Hell, yeah,” while the commodities trader wrote a more dignified, “Yes.”

Only one section left: “The Usual Stuff,” mercifully mundane after an hour’s worth of divulging everything there was to know about my sex life, real or imagined. Name, address, phone number. Then, bam, “Do you consider yourself handsome?”

Now, what’s a guy supposed to do with that? It’s one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t questions. If I said “Fuck yeah,” I’d come off as arrogant. If I said “No,” I’d sound like someone desperate enough to live in his mother’s basement. But then, I was filling out an application for a freaking dating service. Wasn’t that desperate by definition? Oh, hell, just leave it blank.

I checked over the tome to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, lest a fantasy be left undiscovered. My libido had kicked up several notches this past hour and the black and white photos on the walls did nothing to tame it. Damn, if this was a sample of what Romeo’s offered, I was glad I’d taken the afternoon off.

The adorable blond behind the desk looked up and smiled when I stood. Good Lord Almighty, they didn’t grow guys like that back in Kansas.

Blondie came around the desk, his slim hips working overtime. His body was built to my personal specifications. The fact he’d wrapped it in skin-tight jeans and a royal blue shirt was the cherry on top of the cake. Oh, my unruly cock, be still, boy.

I glanced at the black engraved desk plate: Aaron. He checked over my application with pursed lips and an exaggerated hand to the hip “Have you answered every question? It’s very important that you answer all of them.”

Hmm, what was he, the damn question police? “I believe I did, yes.”

“We’ll just have a peek, shall we?”

He grasped the clipboard with both hands and studied it, save for an occasional smirk or eyebrow waggle in my direction.

“Ooh,” he said with a giggle. Though curious, I was too chicken to ask what part he’d read.

He flipped through the last couple of pages, then settled a hand over the first page. “You have unique tastes,” he said. The sparkle in his eyes was unmistakable. “I believe Blake would be interested in talking to you. If you’ll come this way, I’ll take you to him.”

You can purchase Romeo Club #1: Surprises at Riptide Publishing - http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/surprises-romeo-club-1

Romeo Club #2: Rubbed the Right Way is available for pre-order: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/rubbed-right-way-romeo-club-2

Email address: britaaddams@gmail.com
Website URL: http://www.britaaddams.com/
Blog URL: http://www.britaaddams.com/
Twitter: @britaaddams
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/britaaddams
Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4093476.Brita_Addams

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Finally I finished - Lord of the White Hell

So there is some conflict in this review, well, conflict on the surface. I bought these books in San Francisco, slightly over a year ago at Yaoi Con. I got them signed by the author (swoon). They are amazing. Okay, if they are so damn good why are you only finishing them a year later? Sigh.

I have t admit that fantasy is really not my thing as a rule, but everyone I was with told me I should get them. So I finally started one in the spring while on a trip and finished book 1. Then I started book 2 when I was on vacation this summer and finished it today. So what the hell was my problem? I seriously think it was because they are paper book. I just don't read paper books unless I am traveling because reading on the lap top is more of a pain so I can just pull out a book. When I'm home I never read paper books, I am on-line reading e-books, checking the internet, whatever else I need to do. I'm pretty sure if I had these in e-books I would have devoured them.

It is the story of young Haldiim boy Kiram who is the first to attend a Caledonian academy based on his participation in a mechanical competition. He's forced to room with Javier, a Duke whose family is cursed and everyone fears him and the curse. Kiram is gay and comes from a matriarchal society and doesn't believe in all the curse/religion hocus pocus. Many Haldiim men are gay, but Caledonian society is more rigid, patriarchal and religious frowns on homosexuality. Despite being attracted to each other Kiram is determined not to be some dirty little secret so pushes Javier away. Eventually they are forced to acknowledge each other and work together to fight the curse which is growing stronger with the help of Kiram's uncle and his husband who is a Bahiim holy man.

It's complicated, there are lots of their friends from the school you get to know, the teachers, family,  the possible bad guys, magic, fighting and studying. It needs the two books to tell the story and it's not overly explicit, yes, Kiram and Javier are young men who eventually have sex but I'd have no problem letting my teenager read these books and will likely be pushing her to do so. You just get caught up in the story. So despite taking me a year to finally finish and dragging out the process, I would easily give the books 5 stars and even if you don't like fantasy much, I would recommend you read them, either e-book or paper, which ever works for you. :-)

If you click on Book 1 up top you can get to the BEB page.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Riptide is coming for a visit

Next week I am going to have three authors from the new publisher Riptide stopping by to chat (click on the button above to take you to the Riptide party site) and offer some backlist give-aways. I hope you will all stop by and say hi, learn a bit more about the authors and some of the projects they have in the works and take the chance to win a great book.

First up will be Brita Addams on Monday, November 7. Brita's first release with Riptide is Romeo Club #1: Surprises and she'll tell us a bit about her fur-babies.

On Wednesday, November 9, Peter Hansen, author of First Watch will be here, and you'll want to know his favourite dessert. :-)

And finally on Friday, November 11, Kari Gregg is going to come by and tell us about her Riptide release Collared and who some of her favourite m/m authors are.

Look forward to seeing you then.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Update

Made it back from Montreal. I was there for a game developers conference and I learned tons, met some interesting people and saw some cool things. I have a feeling this job may be a slippery slope to gaming for me. I've always prided myself on not playing games of any kind (does Farmville count?), but .... we'll see.

I didn't really see any of the city. We arrived after 10:00 yesterday and went straight to seminars all day in a hotel in rooms with no windows. I did end up going to the mall after we got done at 6:00 because I only took one pair of shoes and they were killing my feet so I ran out and bought some Converse sneakers. Being at a gaming conference all of the CEO's and down were wearing jeans and t-shirts so sneakers and cargo pants fit in today. Then started meetings at 8:00 this morning and we were on the road by 4:00. Whew.

I didn't do much reading there, but have a couple of books I finished lately.

Moon Run by Joely Skye (40 pages)
Samhain Publishing

This is book 3 in the Wolf Town series. I have a soft spot for these because they are set in my general neck of the woods in Canada. This is set at the same time, more or less, as book two. Iain is Rory's ex who was kind of clingy and annoying and I didn't like him much. This book his story and by about half-way through I just wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home and hug him. You find out why he behaves as he does and my heart broke a little. He's crushing now on Teo, the town beta and also doctor who has this weird rule of never dating anyone, but he has his own issues that conflict. So while most of the action part with the bad guy overlaps and is the same (from a slightly different perspective) as book 2, the focus is on Iain and Teo and them figuring out their relationship and Iain's deep-seated insecurity with his place in the world. It definitely makes you look at things from a different angle, annoying characters you dislike may have more going on than it appears on the surface and fans of the series will want to pick up this quick short.

Broken Wings by Bethany Brown and Ashlyn Kane (294 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

This is book 4 in the Lost Boys and Love Letters series. When the last book ended Patrick freaked out and left his lover Brad in Alberta without saying good-bye. This kind of goes back before the epilogue and Patrick is very depressed and his friends are concerned so they drag out of him that he left Brad. They make him pull his head out of his ass and he apologises and he and Brad decide to try long distance. There really wasn't much point to this story for me. It was just two guys working out a long distance relationship.  You found out Patrick was rich thanks to his Grandmother who just happened to be Brad's Grandmother's best friend (how convenient) and you get to meet all of the people from the other stories who are in this one (I never really liked any of the women in this series except maybe Patrick's partner). A stalker was thrown in for good measure (sorry Chris) but it seemed rather long for just a follow-up with the only real challenge being they lived far apart and Patrick could afford to quit his job and move if he wanted so that wasn't much of a challenge. *shrug* It was okay, Patrick and Brad had hot sex with a biting fetish going on, but not sure it was a must-read for me.