I have been an amateur writer for a long time—so long that I made a YouTube channel dedicated entirely to talking about the trials of being an amateur writer. It was a nice niche I’d settle in, and I was happy there.
Even so, I’m thrilled beyond words to have my first novella published by Harmony Ink this month. It’s a story that’s near and dear to my heart, and it hits a ton of my favorite tropes: secret identities, enemies-to-friends-to-lovers, teen geniuses, secret societies, and overly complicated doomsday mechanisms.
It may be just another heartwarming tale of teenagers discovering corrupt power structures and themselves, but I hope you come to love it as much as I do.
“Dynaman, to the bell tower!” Max’s mother bellowed at him, swinging wildly from Mr. Magnificent’s shoulders as he heaved, trying to unseat her.
“You won’t get away with this, Catalyst,” Mr. Magnificent declared. “Your days are numbered!”
“You couldn’t even count high enough for that!” sneered Max’s mom, and she toppled them both over the railing onto a large conveyor belt.
It wasn’t that he wasn’t committed to the mission or didn’t understand how important their work was. It was just that his mom and Mr. Magnificent had the same exchange every other week. And the worst part was that Mr. Magnificent was always right—he never let Max and Catalyst detonate their doomsday device, even though it would make a totally impressive battle finale. A lever always broke at the wrong time, or the sharks escaped the shark tank, or one time his mom’s monologue ran long enough for the SWAT team to arrive.
It was enough to give a guy a complex.
But Max flew up to the bell tower anyway, because one time he had gone home in the middle of a fight, and he was pretty sure he was technically still grounded.
The doomsday device sat proud and tall like a throne on the stone floor at the base of the bell. Max crouched in the windowsill for a moment, observing its majesty, then indulged himself in a midair backflip as he landed in front of it.
He could still be badass even if no one was around to see it.Blurb:
Max Jackson spends his days worrying about the same things most teenagers do—homework, college admission, and how to detonate the doomsday device his mom built in their basement. As a member of the “Injustice League,” Max has devoted his life to destroying his city’s corrupt power structure. Everything is going according to plan until all-American superhero Crush Goodman steals the device right out from under him. Max’s life gets even more complicated when Crush starts stalking him at school and acting friendlier than he ever should to his archnemesis. Caught between his evolving feelings for Crush and wanting to protect his secret identity, Max has to steal his device back and show Crush the true meaning of supervillainy.
EXCERPT: Quick finally stepped inside his office and Cayson immediately saw the large bouquet of orange roses in Quick’s other hand.
“These are, um. For you. I wanted to apologize for coming on so strong the other night. I thought you were attracted to me, but I didn’t mean to jump to conclusions. I let my best friend and son talk my head up sometimes.” Quick looked slightly embarrassed while he handed over the big bush.
It was already in a very masculine but pretty brown and tan vase that fit Cayson’s office décor well. He took the heavy arrangement and set it on the low mahogany file cabinet in front of his window. He couldn’t help but stare at the flowers.
“The florist said that orange roses represent desire and enthusiasm, so after I told her my story, this is what she recommended.” Quick shrugged like it meant nothing, but Cayson could seethe thought he’d put into the gift, not to mention, men didn’t bring other men flowers very often.
He wanted to show his appreciation to Quick, but he wasn’t going to drop to his knees to do it. Those days were gone. Cayson ran his hand over his sweater vest, wishing he’d worn the tie with it, but he hadn’t expected company. He sat back in his seat and gestured for Quick to sit across in one of the cushioned chairs. The man towered over everything.
“You h-have a real nice office. Lots of um, books.” Quick shook his head and squinted like he’d regretted what he’d just said. “Duh, of course you read a lot.”
“Yes.” Cayson laughed, the sound alien to him. “I do read a lot. Have to.” Cayson was shocked at Quick’s discomfort, his stuttering and stammering were really eye opening to him. It gave Quick the appearance of vulnerability.
“Of course you do.” Quick fidgeted in his seat and Cayson finally looked at him. He had on dark black jeans that squeezed in all the right places, the black t-shirt with the Duke’s Bail Bonds logo over the right pec, and damn, did all that muscle stretch out the lettering. Quick kept on his leather coat and Cayson licked his lips, wondering if Quick had a lot of weapons hidden on his body. He wouldn’t mind searching him from head to toe and checking… Shit, shit, shit. Stop it. He had to stop thinking so sexually when no one wanted him that way.
“Look, Doc. I’m not good at this, okay. I’m not as good looking as Duke and I’m not smooth like my son. I like you and I have no clue on what I’m supposed to say to get you to believe me or forgive me for being an ass before. I hope the flowers helped, though.” Quick was nervously tapping a couple fingers on his knee while he spoke. “I, um. I was married before to a woman. I was lying to myself all through my senior year in high school, and then next thing I know my beard girlfriend is pregnant, so I did the right thing. I never got a real opportunity to explore the other side of my sexuality. Everything was all about Vaughan when he was born.”
“Why are you telling me this?” Cayson asked. He hoped it wasn’t rude, but he needed to know.
“Because I’m sorry and I’m trying to get another chance.” Quick’s brow turned down determinedly. “I don’t know how to date a man – what to say, what not to say – so I was hoping you’d cut me some slack. Obviously, I wasn’t saying the right things before and surprisingly, there was nothing on YouTube to really help me.”
“No. No, you weren’t saying the right things,” Cayson agreed before wrinkling his nose. “I’m sorry… did you say YouTube?”
BLURB: Roman “Quick” Webb is one badass bounty hunter on the crimefilled streets of Atlanta. He’s fearless when it comes to carrying out his dangerous job alongside his longtime best friend and business partner, Duke. However, there is one thing that has begun to cause Quick concern and it’s the dreadful thought of living out the rest of his life alone. Seeing his best friend and his son fall in love and sharing the special connection that only true soulmates can, has made him all the more aware of what’s lacking in his life.
Dr. Cayson Chauncey has been wildly attracted to the big, tattooed hunter for almost a year, ever since he performed the surgery that saved Quick’s best friend’s life. Cayson must’ve mistaken Quick’s gratitude for something more, because the one time he tried to make his desires known, he was harshly rebuffed and left on the man’s doorstep feeling stupid for hitting on an obviously very straight man.
Cayson never dated a man who was willing to come out of hiding and be with him. Now at almost forty, Cayson is intent on no longer being anyone’s dirty secret. Having experienced countless disappointments, and having taken a stand not to fall for any more tricks, Cayson is more than a little skeptical when Quick comes around asking for a second chance to prove himself. The gorgeous man had already made it clear he was definitely uninterested in Cayson… or so he’d thought.
Dr. Chauncey stirred up Quick’s suppressed, most carnal desires from a place deep down inside of him. He’d reacted so badly the first time that now his sexy surgeon wanted nothing to do with him. It was going to take a fair amount of patience and a whole lot of wooing involved as Quick sets out to convince Cayson that he’s worth another chance and that he is the brave lover who Cayson has been looking for.
With a scorned ex and a very dangerous job thrown into the mix, Cayson’s happiness and all of Quick’s promises may not be as easy to keep as they’d hoped.
PARTS ONE AND TWO IN THIS SERIES CAN BOTH BE READ AS STANDALONES. THERE ARE NO CLIFFHANGERS IN EITHER BOOKS. REVIEW: This is the eagerly awaited second book in Bounty Hunters series. This book continues with Vaughn’s father Roman ‘Quick’ Webb and the doctor that saved Duke’s life Dr. Cayson Chauncey.
To say that this book is good would be a gross understatement. I didn’t like this book. I LOVED this book and this series. In fact, I simply adore all of her work, her series as well as her standalone works. And to think that this series sprang from another series which was a spin off from one book, much like the branches of a tree. This is the truly the mark of a talented writer. To be able to take an idea and expand on it to the level that she did is nothing short of amazing.
I think of this author as a five star chef. She goes into her kitchen, aka writing cave and come out with these deliciously exciting, steamy and extremely well written books. Well, once again, she ‘put her foot in the pot’ with this creation. This story picks up beautifully where the last book leaves off with Roman already deciding he was going to stop fighting his attraction to the handsome doctor who saved his best friend’s life and pursue him. And this is what I truly loved about this book. The author didn’t shy sway from or erase the fact that Rome was bisexual. It wasn’t something he ‘discovered’ when meeting the gorgeous doctor and it wasn’t a GFY storyline. It was a mature man who always knew who he was but just never had the opportunity to explore that part of himself. The author put it out there; it was acknowledged and that was refreshing.
There were so many exciting events in this book that will capture and hold your attention. It is two hundred and eighty pages of wonderful dialogue, character development, storyline and plot.
Dr. Chauncey is this brilliant and beautiful physician who like everyone else, wants someone to call his own. You get the sense that he’s not good at making friends due to his many busy years of medical school. Here you have this gorgeous man, brilliant doctor with a great personality who couldn’t find anyone who appreciate what he had to offer. He meets and is immediately attracted to Quick but was rebuffed after an innocent flirtation. Cayson was determined not to make that mistake again and keeps his distance from the sexy bounty hunter.
Roman was immediately attracted to Cayson but he wasn’t prepared for it at the time causing him to reacting badly and to take it out on Cayson. He immediately regretted it afterwards and after talking with and seeking advice from his best friend and son decides it was time to explore that side of himself and pursue the doctor.
I love the wonderful and loving relationship he has with his son. It is one built on both love and respect. Roman is this big, strong and confident man who has flaws but one who willing to set aside his pride to not only seek but follow the advise from his son and best friend. The fact that he was man enough to admit that no, he didn’t know the first thing about pursuing or romancing a man.
The supporting characters are wonderfully written. She brilliantly tells these men’s stories yet still manage to keep focus on the story’s MCs. The situation with Cayson’s closeted ex was got so out of hand and the series of events he set off was absolutely crazy; it was a right and proper mess. This man caused so much unnecessary drama and mayhem, it was ridiculous and made for a great story.
Characters from other books in the series made s brief appearance: God and that damn crazy Day, Judge from the first book. There were a few lines in the book that had me laughing out loud and this is what I like about her work. She writes these serious books but there is this dash of humor in them that sharpens the delicious delivery of it. Like a pinch of salt into something sweet to enhance the taste.
This author is extremely talented; she is incapable of writing a bad book. What I admire about this author is that she’s constantly striving for perfection with her work. There has been more than one occasion where she has gone back and re-edited, added and republished her previous works. That’s the sign of an author that takes pride in her craft.
The book is a work of art from the cover to beautiful cover and everything in between and one that I highly recommend.
A.E. Via graduated in May of 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Virginia Wesleyan College. She’s a new author to the beautiful gay erotic genre. Her writing embodies everything from spicy to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, A.E. runs a very successful paralegal-for-hire business and in her spare time, she devotes herself to her family, a husband and four children, her two pets, a Maltese dog and her white Siamese cat, ELynn, named after the late great gay romance author ELynn Harris. While Blue Moon is her first novel, she has plenty more to come…so sit back and grab a cool drink, because the male on male action is just heating up!
Max Jackson is your typical teenage boy, concentrating on his classes at school and being accepted into a good university after graduation. There’s just the small matter of the bomb in his basement, one Max and his fellow members of the “Injustice League” plan to use to level their city’s unethical government. Too bad superhero Crush Goodman puts a stop to their plans. Max understands why Crush would steal the League’s doomsday device, but why is Crush following him around and acting like they’re friends? When the reprehensible Doctor Decay butts his head into Max’s business, Max has to figure out how to save the city he’s always worked to destroy—with or without Crush’s help.
This was a short and sweet story but it didn’t quite gel for me. The issues with being short is that you often have a lot of information to cram in and this managed to get just enough background story to it to make me feel as if I’d tuned into a TV episode halfway through the second season without having watched the previous episodes.
The pacing felt a bit off as well and the comedic spin would have been funnier had the characters not been quite so two dimensional. The superhero types were rendered to mere props who were caricatures of cartoons, making the more serious social message Max shares about what the “good guys” and “media spin” less effective than it could have been. Overall, it was a great concept but the execution wasn’t quite there. It left me feeling rushed and vaguely lost.
Yaoicon has announced a second convention aimed at BL fans and this one is on the East Coast:
YaoiCon announces BishounenCon, an East Coast yaoi+ convention
Gardena, CA, USA — March 17, 2016 — YaoiCon, the only Western fan-focused convention dedicated solely to the yaoi genre of Japanese anime and manga, is proud to announce a new endeavor on the East Coast in honor of its 15th year. BishounenCon, an 18+ yaoi+ convention for fans of boys love, yaoi, and LGBT comics and media from all around the world, will debut March 3-5, 2017, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island.
“‘Yaoi+’ means we’ve taken our love of yaoi to the next level and with BishounenCon have focused on LGBT characters and romantic relationships in comics, cartoons, television, and more from all over the world, including Europe, the Middle East, and (of course) Japan and the United States,” said Viannah Duncan, director of BishounenCon 2017. The convention is named for “bishounen”—the Japanese word for “pretty boy(s).”
Attendees of the new convention will be able to enjoy up and coming artists and authors, independent publishers and production companies, and talented actors and voice actors. While YaoiCon focuses specifically on yaoi, BishounenCon broadens that directive and welcomes all types of comics, animation, and media that celebrate love and romance between men, including both modern and historical art and literature. BishounenCon aims to include a scope and feel reminiscent of YaoiCon but will also present some brand new events, including a formal ball and a lounge rest area.
“Though BishounenCon is a new convention, we have the support of the successful, longer-running YaoiCon,” Duncan said, “and we are hoping to have an amazing first year.”
The Crowne Plaza Hotel is conveniently located close to the T.F. Green Airport in Providence, and free shuttle service is offered between the airport and hotel. Rooms can be reserved beginning April 2nd using the convention code BIS and are $139/night until the BishounenCon room block is full. The convention is working with the hotel to provide overflow rates at the nearby Holiday Inn Express should that become necessary. Badges, industry booths, and artists’ tables will be available on the website beginning in August.
About YaoiCon and BishounenCon
San Francisco-based YaoiCon and its younger Northeastern counterpart BishounenCon are committed to celebrating yaoi, boys love, and male/male romance in comics, animation, and popular culture. For more information, visit http://www.bishounencon.com or email email@example.com.
BLURB: Halloween is Beau Bissonet’s favorite holiday, from carving pumpkins to decorating his yard to donning a costume and scaring the neighborhood kids. But this year his Halloween is about to take a different turn, one that will challenge his skills as a detective and his commitment to his partner in work and love.
A year since Beau and Tollison solved The Royal Street Heist, found love, and formed Bissonet & Cruz Investigations, they are thriving personally and professionally. That is until Tollison’s ex, Bastien Andros, shows up out of the blue. Naturally, Beau’s suspicious, but two days after Bastien’s arrival, he goes missing, and Tollison worries his past may catch up to him.
A mysterious package makes clear who has Bastien and what’s at stake. With both Bastien and Beau’s lives now at risk, Tollison has only one option: travel to Zurich, Switzerland, secure and deliver the ransom, keep both men safe, and stay true to himself at the same time.
REVIEW: This is a nice follow up to Royal Street Heist. It’s been a year since Bissonet and Cruz solved the heist and they’ve started a new life together as partners both personally and professionally. Life is good and they’re content. That is until Cruz’s ex-boyfriend makes an appearance in their lives. Beau’s getting a bad vibe from the ex and with good reason. Their peaceful and content lives are turned upside down when the ex disappears, making it clear that the ex is involved in something shady and it drags Cruz and Bissonet into it. There is another great mystery for the beautiful couple to solve and there is just as much excitement, adventure, twists and turns in this book as it was in the first. Cade did an excellent job of fully developing these characters and the storyline, plot and dialogue is really good. I love how the author, in all of his work, churns out these beautiful men who are strong enough to be able to express how much they love each other. While it was a bit mushy (for me, I’m not the romantic type) and there was more sexual heat and lots of passion between the two this time around but I felt that it fit perfectly seeing as these men are still newly into this relationship. They’re in that ‘honeymoon phase’ of a relationship that many have gone through. I loved it.
He did a great job of describing the scenery of the exotic locations where the couple travel in order to solve this mystery. This enabled me to visualize these beautiful locations. This book was a little bit shorter than the first one but he managed to pack quite a punch into this book. I hope this isn’t the last we see of this duo.
BLURB: When valuable Civil War era art is stolen from a popular New Orleans gallery, NOPD Lead Detective Montgomery “Beau” Bissonet and his partner set out to solve the crime. When the gallery’s insurance company sends Tollison Cruz to the Big Easy to conduct their own independent investigation, personalities clash and battle lines are definitely drawn.
The heist quickly becomes a politically driven high profile case, and Detective Bissonet is furious when he’s ordered to work along side Investigator Cruz to assure a timely arrest. The heat index soars to new levels when the two investigators discover they have a lot more in common then originally thought.
With the tension between them temporarily sated, Bissonet and Cruz finally start to work together, on more then just a professional level. But everything comes to a screeching halt when Beau discovers his cohort in crime has been withholding information regarding the investigation and has been concealing a very questionable past. What happens next rivals the scorching summer heat.
REVIEW: This is part one in a story which a detective and his partner set out to recover a stolen civil war artifact taken from the local art gallery. Things get pretty interesting when the gallery’s insurance company sends Tollison Cruz to work alongside them. Of course with this development toes or stepped on, egos come into play,they’re both battling their attraction to each other and these two men clash. Watchimg them clash was quite entertaining to read.
What I love about this author is that he has this wonderful ability to combine sexy, sweet, with a touch of spice that makes his books such a treat to read. What I also love about his books is that his characters are always these mature, established men, alpha males. His books are definitely ‘Twink-Free’ zones.
Cade serves up quite a bit with this dish. It’s a delicious combination of great mystery combines with romance, adventure, and intrigue. Set in New Orleans, the author did a fantastic job of showcasing the city’s immense charm, rich and diverse history. He described everything in such detail that I was able to clearly visualize this city, one that I’ve never visited. It was glorious.
As usual the author writing style was spot on perfect. You can tell that he has to standard of perfection in his writing that is used in all of his books. He does his research. And it shows. I absolutely love these two men. They were stubborn and sexy. They remind me of two male lions squaring off against each other. I think that them fighting that attraction they had towards each other was like eating the sweetest most decadent dessert ever. I found myself mumbling to my iPad for them to just go to bed and get it out of their systems already but the fact that they didn’t immediately act on their attraction made it all the more sexier. I loved it, I absolutely loved it. I love the dialogue, the character development, the storyline empty slot it was all absolutely magnificent. And this is the reason why I continue to read this author’s work.
Even though you’re not going to get pages and pages of sexy is written into this book the story is still amazing without it and as quiet as it is kept, I actually prefer it that way. The plot, storyline and character development is strong enough to obtain and maintain your interest.
I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a great mystery with mature characters and wonderful adventures sit in the beautiful and intriguing city of New Orleans. I am looking forward to the sequel.