When I first started writing thirteen years ago, I knew nothing about it except that I love to read and made good grades in English. In fact, at one time many years ago, I thought about being an English teacher.
My first two books are very poorly written even though they tell good stories. It was my second book, First Impressions Don’t Count that led to Cousins: Going Home. A reader suggested a sequel. After thinking it over, I decided to focus on the four oldest Johnson grandkids.
At the end of First Impressions, it was stated that Lizzie was married so I had to get rid of her husband some way. I settled on creating a jealousy between her and Catherine and made Catherine a conniving bitch who seduced Lizzie’s husband.
Writing Lizzie, Mike, and Scott’s stories wasn’t that hard. It was Catherine I had trouble with. When I sent what I thought was the finished story to A.J. Marcus for a beta read, he started adding a lot of emotion and actions to it. He loved writing Catherine.
This is my first adventure into an f/f relationship, but I really liked writing about Lizzie and Sara. I hope readers can get the feeling of a family reunited from Cousins.
Catherine Johnson entered the ballroom of The Beverly Hilton Hotel. From the front, her floor-length black gown was demure. A diamond choker encircled the high neckline and a matching bracelet sparkled against one of the long sleeves. The only skin visible was her face and hands. The back, however, was a different story. The high neckline in the front became a band of about two inches and the choker was actually a rope of diamonds that hung down her bare back ending just above the crack of her ass. The skirt was slit to almost the hipline. Her long blonde hair was pulled into a sleek French twist and decorated with more diamonds.
Her mother walked toward her wearing a bright-red sequined gown.
“Good evening, Catherine,” she said. “You certainly know how to make an entrance.”
“As the saying goes, ‘If you’ve got it flaunt it.’” She took a glass of champagne from the tray of a passing waiter. “Who’s here who’s important?”
“Of course the candidate for the senate seat, but, he’s happily married.”
“Mother, I’m not here to find a husband. I don’t want to get married.” She drank her glass of champagne in one gulp. Her mother’s constant pushing her on one man or another was more than a little irritating, even though she knew she did it out of what passed for love with her mother.
“Why not? You’d make an excellent governor’s wife. Oh, Jerry Martin, Lizzie’s husband, is here. Apparently Lizzie’s sick. You know he’s headed up the political ladder. It’s a shame he married Lizzie and not you. After all, you dated him first, didn’t you?”
“Yes, when he was captain of the soccer team. He was such a nerd, so prim and proper. And, he was a horrible kisser.” Catherine smirked as an idea hit her. “Can you see Lizzie as a governor’s wife? I can’t even imagine her as a dog catcher’s wife.” She placed the empty glass on a tray.
Her mother coughed to cover a laugh. “Maybe you should see if you can cause a little discord there.”
They separated and Catherine strolled leisurely toward Jerry. She did her best to not appear too predatory. “Good evening cousin-in-law. Where’s Lizzie?”
“Catherine, you’re looking beautiful as always. I’m afraid Lizzie caught a twenty-four bug and isn’t feeling well.”
“Well, we’ll just have to hang together. After all, that’s what families do.” She grabbed another glass of champagne and handed one to him. When his fingers brushed hers, she knew she had at least a chance and started thinking about her next steps.
Leave a comment below. One lucky winner will be drawn at random. Prize is a signed copy of Cousins. Entries for this giveaway are limited to U.S. residents only. Must be 18 or over to enter.
I always loved to write. My Mom said leave Matt alone in his room with a pen and paper and he’ll be content for hours. In fourth grade, I wrote a short story about a young boy who would sleep walk to a graveyard at night. At the end, he discovers a grave with his name on it. Pretty dark for a nine-year-old, and my teacher accused me of copying it from a movie or TV show. I took that as quite the compliment.
I studied journalism in college but dropped out my junior year and moved to San Francisco. I worked at a bank for several years before I stumbled into my career as a male stripper. As a scrawny kid growing up in Ohio, I never thought this would happen, but here I was. And I loved it. I was very into the dancing, music and choreography. But I knew it was a career with a shelf life. What next? A return to my first true love: writing.
On January 9, 2015, it happened. I checked my email and there was a response from a publisher I’d been waiting for, and the subject line said, “We absolutely LOVED Behind the Velvet Curtain.” I could hardly believe it. I hurriedly clicked on the email, and there it was. They loved my novella and attached was a contract from Comet Press. I was over the moon–and slightly hysterical. I called my Mom and she thought something was terribly wrong because I was such a babbling mess, until she realized what I was saying was that I was finally going to be published. My Mom was a great inspiration to my writing as she first got me into watching scary movies on Friday nights. This led me to writing scary short stories, and led up to me being an author in the genre of horror, mystery and thrillers. As a novella, it would be an eBook only, so publication moves pretty quickly anyway, but this was being fast-tracked. Just seven weeks later, on March 2nd, Behind the Velvet Curtain was released. It all happened so fast I could hardly believe it. All the struggle and hard work was worth it. It has been like a roller coaster, and I don’t want to get off any time soon.
So the stories of countless rejections and then finally a yes are true. Every no is one step closer to that yes. Keep at it, and keep writing. Do what you love and you’ll find it’s true, success doesn’t bring happiness. Happiness brings success.
My next project is publishing my first full length horror novel, which I recently finished. I’m currently writing a prequel to Behind the Velvet Curtain.
BEHIND THE VELVET CURTAIN, erotic gay thriller novella eBook.
People have an idea of what being a stripper is like, and they’d probably be wrong. It takes swagger to strip for a room full of men but what goes on in his head might surprise you.
Matt was just a scrawny kid from Ohio who moved to San Francisco in hopes of starting a new life. He cut his hair, started working out, and suddenly he was desirable. But when he was up on stage, he held onto the same insecurities he clung to in his childhood. The stripper façade was complete, but inside, he was still the anxious kid he’d always been.
Justin was a young hunk living in the same apartment building Matt would have previously thought was out of his league. But Matt took a chance and approached, and to his surprise, the attraction was mutual. Over time, the off the charts hot sex began to turn to love, something Matt hadn’t expected. But just when Matt seemed to have everything he desired, a stalker with a twisted obsession appeared with plans to take it all away. Sex sells, what it attracts can be deadly.
Hello! Thank you for joining me at the Kimi-chan Experience so I can talk about my new book, ‘Five Times My Best Friend Kissed Me, and One Time I Kissed Him First’.
I couldn’t let this blog tour happen without talking about the deep, resonating pain of writing childhood. So let’s get to that!
I’ve been applying myself to the task of writing creatively for about half my life now. In the past five years that I’ve been publishing with Dreamspinner Press I’ve written a whole range of different stories, but I’ve never really ventured into the topic of childhood.
And with good reason. I really hate writing kids.
That’s not to say I don’t like real-life kids—I do. And when I can dip in and out of scenes with children that can be fun too, probably because I can put the child aside at any time and move on to grown up conversations again!
In this novel, I knew I would have to go to the point in time when Evan and Scott first meet and start the friendship that would last their whole lives. I know some people meet those lifelong friends in college, or even later in life, but for this story it was inevitable that I would revisit the summer of1994.
As in the rest of the novel, this section is told from Evan’s point-of-view, so I had to get into the head of a seven year old American boy, which for a thirty year old English woman isn’t that easy. I think I probably did more research for this one section of the book than I did for anything else! I wanted to know what shows the boys would be watching on TV, what games they’d be playing, what was the most popular Christmas gift the year before. Not all of that made it into the story, but all those little tidbits of information helped me find that all-important mindset.
There’s something undeniably special about the bonds of friendship that are formed in childhood. I think it has something to do with knowing that person has seen you change in fundamental ways, and they still like you afterwards. If you can survive puberty, High School, going to college and coming back again, and still love each other? That’s something to hold onto. And something I really wanted to make a central theme of ‘Five Times’.
Here’s a little excerpt of the boys as kids – I hope you enjoy it!
“Mom!” Evan yelled as he ran into the house. “Mom, Mom, Moooooomm!”
“Yes, darling,” she said, appearing from the kitchen with an apron around her waist, floury hands, and an exasperated expression.
Evan skidded to a stop and frowned. “What are you making?”
“You had a question for me?”
“Oh. Yeah. Can I go to Scott’s?”
Evan’s mom turned around and walked back into the kitchen.
He followed her, hoping the floury hands meant she’d been making cookies. On the counter, a pie was cooling. Even better.
“Is that peach pie?” he asked hopefully.
“Evan King,” she admonished. “One thing at a time. Who is Scott?”
“He’s my best friend,” Evan said.
“Uh-huh. Andy was your best friend last week.”
“He’s my second best friend now.”
“Is that so,” she said in a way that wasn’t a question.
Without waiting to be asked, Evan went to the kitchen sink and washed his hands. He’d been playing outside and knew his mom wouldn’t let him have pie unless he washed up.
“Scott has a whole bunch of action figures,” Evan said, drying his hands on his shorts. There wasn’t a towel anywhere he could see. “And he let me play Hulk even though Hulk is his favorite too. He’s got loads of them. Wolverine and Punisher and Iron Man and Spider- Man and Captain America and—”
“Would you like some pie, Evan?”
“Yes, please. Then can I go to Scott’s? His mom said it was okay.”
“Where does Scott live?” she asked as she cut a nice-sized piece of pie—it was peach—and put it in his favorite dish.
“Okay. Where did you meet him? At the playground?”
“Yep.” Evan hopped up onto one of the tall stools in the kitchen so he could eat. “The one I’m allowed to go to. He said I could go home with him and his mom then, but I said I had to ask you first.”
“Good boy,” she said and ruffled his hair. “Tell you what, when you go over to the playground tomorrow, I’ll walk with you and see if Scott’s mom is there. Then we can arrange for you to go over some time.”
Evan nodded, his mouth full of pie. “Okay.”
When you realize you want to marry your best friend at age six, life should follow a pretty predictable path, right? Maybe not.
As a kid, Evan King thought Scott Sparrow was the most amazing person he’d ever met. At seventeen, his crush runs a little deeper, and nothing seems simple anymore. Scott is more interested in football and girls than playing superheroes, and Evan’s attention is focused on getting into art school. A late-night drunken kiss is something to be forgotten, not obsessed over for the next ten years.
When life suddenly brings them back together, it doesn’t take much for the flame Evan carried for Scott nearly all his life to come roaring back, and Evan discovers that life sometimes has a strange way of coming full circle.
Anna Martin is from a picturesque seaside village in the south- west of England and now lives in the slightly arty, slightly quirky city of Bristol. After spending most of her childhood making up stories, she studied English Literature at university before attempting to turn her hand as a professional writer.
Apart from being physically dependent on her laptop, Anna is enthusiastic about writing and producing local grassroots theater (especially at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she can be found every summer), going to visit friends in other countries, baking weird and wonderful sweets, learning to play the ukulele, and Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.
Anna claims her entire career is due to the love, support, pre-reading, and creative ass kicking provided by her best friend Jennifer. Jennifer refuses to accept responsibility for anything Anna has written.
Today we give a warm welcome to Beany Sparks, and before anyone asks, no, the blog post title isn’t meant to be snarky. I’m just really in love with this lady’s stories and her covers (especially this one):
And now a word from Beany:
Hey Kimi *waves* thanks for having me 🙂
Hi everyone, I’m Beany Sparks and I’m here with my muses PITA and Arty to tell you a little bit about me and my writing.
I’ve only been a published author since September 2014 and I’ve only been writing since the beginning of 2014. However, I’ve been making up stories since way before then, but it wasn’t until some friends encouraged me to give it a go and I opened Word that PITA was released. Yes, I named my muse PITA and yes it stands for Pain In The Ass because most of the time, he is. I have tried shoving him back in his box but it doesn’t hold him for long. Eventually I gave up and let him do whatever he wants and I just curse him when he brings me more plot bunnies.
Arty, my artistic muse, will sometimes hide PITA away and then convince me to play with covers or banners, which is good because once I’ve got a cover ready I have something to draw inspiration from.
I’ve written stories before getting the covers and I’ve written stories once I’ve got the covers and I love having a cover because when the story isn’t flowing, I can just look at the pretty cover until PITA starts chatting. Plus I get to a certain point in a story and then I have to do the cover because Arty is being louder than PITA.
As for how the stories come to me, there are many different ways. Shades of Power (Arcane Magic 1) started because I was listening to the song Black Magic and I had it on repeat for an entire day. By the end of the day I had an idea for the story with plans for books 2 and 3. Other times I’ve just let my mind wander. Well to be honest, my mind wanders daily, and sometimes the ideas stick, other times they’re just for my amusement. Sometimes even conversations with friends spark an idea and that idea is then added to the ever growing list of WIPs.
Next on my WIP schedule will be the sequel to Pib’s Dragon which is being released on the 27th of May. After that I’ll be going back to my Arcane Magic series.
Hm, I think that’s enough rambling for me. Thanks Kimi for letting me stop by 🙂
About Beany Sparks
Beany Sparks lives in Western Australia. She first started reading romance novels in 2008, but it wasn’t until January 2010 when her Kindle got delivered (which she had brought herself on Christmas Day 2009) that the world of erotic romance opened its doors to her, and she hasn’t looked back.
Since English was never her strong subject at school she never expected to write a story, let alone try to get it published. With suggestions and support from friends, her muse—“affectionately” known as PITA—was finally able to break free, and in January 2014 her first story was written. Since she can’t put PITA back in his box—she’s tried!—Beany has decided to give in and team up with him.
In late 2015 Arty–her artistic muse—made an appearance. There have been many times when Arty has tied and hidden PITA away from Beany in order to make her do something artistic, but PITA is always found (eventually), the balance is restored (until they fight for attention again) and life goes back to normal.
…Well as normal as can be for a rainbow ninja…
Books (mentioned in post): Shades of Power (Arcane Magic 1)
An explosion sends Ethan running…straight into the arms of his mate.
Ethan White is a witch whose days are spent in his apothecary with his familiar, Beema. While making potions for the townsfolk keeps him busy, nothing exciting ever happens—until one day when a surprise visitor walks in and his world crumbles around him. Suddenly Ethan and his familiar are on the run, heading for the Fae to seek sanctuary. Grayson is an alpha wolf. His two best friends are his betas, but there’s one thing missing—a pack. It’s for that very reason that the three of them were volunteered by the council to act as representatives. Their mission? Try to convince the Fae Queen to get the Fae involved in a battle with the Midnight Coven, the witches suspected of using the dark arts. However, the mission takes a back seat when Grayson meets his mate for the first time. With revelations and lies around every corner and a battle looming, they have to be ready to fight if they want to have a life together. When a prophecy about the Shades of Power comes to light, both sides want the power for the battle against the other. The question is—who will unite them first?
Buy Links: Amazon
A dragon is about to find out what happens when a cat discovers his cave of shiny treasures.
After nine years, Pib is finally free from his contract with the newly wed prince. Slipping out in the middle of the night to avoid getting stuck in another contract, Pib shifts into his cat and makes his way home to the little village he foolishly left, hoping his best friend Wil still lives there. Dray is bored. His services as a princess-guarding dragon are no longer needed and even his gold and jewels are unable to cheer him up. His mood changes quickly when he catches someone in his treasure cave, and it starts a series of events that change his life forever. When the two finally meet, sparks fly, but Dray will have to move quickly if he’s to save his cat after Pib gets kidnapped.
Before I get started: Magic Fell isn’t a romance. It has a romantic sub-plot, but overall it’s a high fantasy adventure.
Still with me? Okay then.
You might already know the backstory behind this. A novel written on request from a beloved grandmother. A once-popular role playing forum set in a mages’ guild. If I were the type to make bad puns, I might say the combination was…magic.
Sorry. I’ll try not to do that again for the duration of the post.
Magic Fell is the first in a trilogy that centers on Tasis Kadara, his adopted sister Zaree, and their friend Kelwin. Oh, and the cat. K’yerin would happily tell you that he’s the most important character in the book.
I wanted to write some short pieces to share with you during this blog tour, but as this is the first book, it took me a while to figure out what I could write that wouldn’t involve spoilers. And then it hit me – why not write the very beginning?
In the prologue, you witness the end of the guild, a millennium before Tasis is even born. The leader of the guild at that point in time is a woman named Trivintaie, who washed up on the isle’s beach when she was a young woman. I thought it might be fun to write a few short pieces set before the prologue, starting from when Triv washes up, to give everyone a better feel for what exactly is lost when the guild is destroyed.
So read on, and I hope you enjoy. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a paperback or ebook copy of Magic Fell! I’ll be pulling winners on May 29th.
“You’re sure about this?” Triv asked, giving Trekelm a sideways glance from the comfortable library chair she was curled up in. “I mean, I saw what it did to Falcon.”
The guild’s leader let out a snort. “Falcon. That girl was far too early in her training to attempt that, and she did it without permission or guidance because she wanted to impress you.”
“It took her a month to wake up,” Trivintaie said firmly. “No matter her reasons, I don’t want that to happen to me.”
“Please,” Corrin snorted from his seat across the room. “You have a damn dragon for a master. You could probably flick your fingers to do this, then go engage in a round of swordplay with Gyr. Uh, Master Gyr,” he amended quickly as Trekelm glared at him. “Oh come on, Master. Gyr’s the one who told us he didn’t want us using some stuffy title to address him.”
“You’re not a master yet, so you’ll address him with the respect he deserves,” Trekelm told the young man firmly before pointing at Triv. “And you need to remember that I may not be your master, but I do lead the guild. Do you really think I’d tell you you’re ready if I wasn’t 100% certain?”
“Well, no,” Triv allowed grudgingly. “But please remember that I was the one who found Falcon after she cast the spell.”
“She succeeded,” Corrin reminded her.
Triv shot him a glare. “She did, but it nearly killed her.”
“You’ll be fine,” Trekelm said in what Triv assumed was supposed to be a reassuring voice. It wasn’t. Not really.
“If I die, I’m having Corrin resurrect me so I can smack you,” she muttered as she opened the leather book she’d placed on her lap earlier. It had no title, but the pages held spells in a language no one truly understood that she’d learned over the past few years. She flipped open pages carelessly, pausing when she finally reached the entry she was looking for. She stared at it for a long moment before looking over at Corrin. He nodded and gave her a wink. She rolled her eyes, an expression that was completely ruined by the fact that she could feel her face heating, and spoke the words on the page.
“Tova songei temi dova.”
There was a deep tone, more vibration than sound, that shuddered through the library. Trivintaie barely noticed the startled look Corrin shot Trekelm, instead concentrating on chanting the words. She wasn’t sure it was even working, until suddenly a shock of magic ran through her body, making her scream the words.
And then, just as suddenly as it started, everything went still and silent.
There was a hole hanging in mid-air in front of Trivintaie.
“You did it!” Corrin shouted with a laugh. He made to join her, but Trekelm grabbed him and held him back.
“Wait,” the guild leader hissed. “Her familiar hasn’t appeared yet.”
“Yes, he has,” Triv said with a short laugh.
As one, Corrin and Trekelm stared at the strange opening. There was something…twitching?
“Whiskers,” Corrin said. “Whatever it is, it has whiskers.”
“It’s safe,” Triv said to the owner of the whiskers that were peeking into the room. It was odd, seeing only the strands and nothing else. “I didn’t call out for you to make you a slave.”
The voice echoed in Triv’s head, and she held back a laugh of relief.
“Truth,” she agreed. “No one here will hurt you. I seek only guidance and kinship.”
The whiskers moved, pressing into the room where they were quickly following by a nose, then an entire muzzle, then the head of a cat. A purple cat. It blinked as it took in its surroundings, then turned its intelligent gaze to Trivintaie. The feline eyes widened in what Triv would have thought was surprise if it had been a human.
“I’m Trivintaie,” Triv said. “I’m hoping we can be friends.”
The rest of the cat slid into view as it leapt gracefully to the floor from wherever it had been called from, the hole in the air closing behind him. We will be very good friends, the cat assured her. It stopped to groom its tail, and Triv was made aware in the most awkward manner possible that the feline was in fact a he, not an it. My name is K’yerin. I look forward to seeing what you can do.
Thunder rumbled overhead. Tasis’s body felt as if it had been pricked by a thousand needles, much like his limbs had fallen asleep and were in the process of waking back up. He shivered, more from fear than cold, and stood silently. After a moment the feeling faded. When nothing else happened after a few minutes, he said the phrase again, his voice taking on a firm edge.
The room glowed faintly with the words, as if another candle had been lit. Tasis’s eyes widened, but he said the phrase again, this time feeling as if he were unable to stop the words from escaping his mouth. He repeated it once more, then twice, and it quickly became a chant. The room seemed to fill with light, and Tasis had to shield his eyes. His vision started to blur, and he felt as if he were being physically pulled by the words. As he chanted the walls began to crackle as if charged with the lightning outside.
He was yelling the words now, though he was unaware of it. The only thing he was aware of was the pull and the feeling of energy draining from his body. He tried to shut his eyes against the blinding light but found he couldn’t. His body began to tremble, and he was quite sure he was going to pass out if he couldn’t stop. There was another clap of thunder over the house, and the crackling energy in the walls seemed to gather tightly into itself.
Tasis’s knees gave out, and he landed on the floor. The energy imploded, and as he began to lose consciousness he could see a strange hole of some sort hanging in midair. Something emerged from the hole, and he heard the familiar voice speak to him once more.
It certainly took you long enough.
With that, Tasis was thrust into blissful darkness.
Tasis was standing on the cliff, but he wasn’t alone. He could see himself standing there, facing an army. No, it wasn’t him, he realized after a moment. It was the woman from the first dream, and the likeness was uncanny, despite the fact the woman in front of him was obviously human. The man leading the army yelled something at the woman, but Tasis couldn’t hear him. It was like trying to listen to someone speak underwater. The woman had a defiant look on her face as she yelled something back at the man before turning and raising her arms. The wall of water rose from the sea and hovered above them for a brief moment before it began to crash down.
Tasis woke screaming, only to find himself in bed with Zaree hovering over him. “Thank the Maker,” Zaree cried out, throwing herself at him. “You finally woke up.”
Tasis sat up and put his hands to his face as he began to sob. Where the tears came from, he wasn’t sure, but Zaree held him tight as he did. “You’ve been out cold for two days,” she said softly. “I came home to find you on the floor, and the healer couldn’t figure out what might be wrong with you. I didn’t know what to do.”
Tasis wiped his eyes and gave Zaree a horrified look. “Two days?”
Zaree nodded, leaning her forehead against his. “Nothing would rouse you. The oddest thing happened, though. When I came home, there was a strange-colored cat sitting on our porch. When I opened the door, he came straight to your room and sat down right next to you. He seemed friendly enough, so I let him stay. We could use a cat anyway, to keep mice out of the pantry.”
Mice? The voice in his head sounded indignant. A silver tabby cat—who actually looked vaguely purple, Tasis realized—jumped onto the bed and butted its head against his arm. Tasis reached out mechanically and stroked it between the ears, earning himself a loud purr as the cat settled into his lap, looking pleased with itself.
“We ought to name him if we’re going to keep him,” Zaree noted as she gave the cat’s ears a fond rub.
“K’yerin,” Tasis said immediately, not sure how he had known. “His name is K’yerin.”
Zaree hummed thoughtfully before giving a quick nod. “I like it. K’yerin it is.” She cleared her throat and glanced over at Tasis. “Do you remember what happened before you passed out?”
“I was….” Tasis paused as a flash of memory came back to him. The walls glowing and crackling, a thunderclap, a hole in midair. All centered around one phrase.
“What is it?” Zaree asked, sounding even more worried than before. “What were you doing?”
Tasis sighed heavily, rubbing his face with his hands before looking down at the cat in his lap. K’yerin looked up at him, and Tasis could swear the feline was smirking at him.
“I think I was doing magic,” Tasis said in a heavy voice.
Zaree went pale. “Oh dear,” she said for lack of a better expression. “That could cause problems.”
Tasis sighed again and leaned back in bed. “Don’t I know it.”
K’yerin merely purred.
Past and present are about to collide, and the world will never be the same.
Magic has been missing from the world for a millennium, and itís needed now more than ever. It falls to young Tasis Kadara to revive the fabled Magesí Guild of the Dragonís Claw. But in a culture where arcane power is forbidden and practitioners are executed, Tasis will have to keep his own aptitude for magic secret. With nothing to direct them besides bizarre dreams and a mysterious cat, Tasis and his sister Zaree undertake a quest to discover the hidden island that was once home to the guild.
Kelwin Tiovolk departs his village following his mentorís suggestion. As an elf wandering into human civilization, heís in danger simply for being who he is. A brawl at an inn leads him straight into the path of the young man heís been dreaming about, and heís compelled to help Tasis and his sister any way he can. Together, the trio might have a chance of accomplishing their missionóor the attempt might kill them.
Andi Van is a foul-mouthed troublemaker who lives near San Diego with a small fluffy thing named Koi, a baseball bat thatís forever being used for things other than baseball, and a fondness for rum and caffeine (though not necessarily together).
Andi is fluent in three languages (English, sarcasm, and profanity), and takes pride in a highly developedóif somewhat bizarreósense of humor.
Noah Trevelyan has lost his moorings. Disowned over his sexuality as a teenager, he hasn’t been back to his home on the Outer Banks since his fisherman father kicked him out. But when he returns for the Old Man’s funeral, he discovers his father left him the house and boat in his will. Noah must choose whether to stay or go, but he won’t be alone.
There’s Ian, working to overcome the emotional scars left by a domineering ex-boyfriend, and Ty, a cheerful housekeeper who’s struggling to take care of his Alzheimer’s-stricken aunt. There’s Joshua too, running from the destruction of his old life, and Gabriel, who was once beaten and left for dead, and doesn’t know how to survive on his own.
Will they find in each other the strength and courage to keep living—and learn, together, how to love again? A polyamorous relationship is the last thing any of them expected to find in the Outer Banks, but it might be what they need most, and it might even be their redemption—if they can keep their group from breaking apart under the pressure.
Hello, Kimi-chan Experience! Thanks for hosting this guest post for my new novel, Five-Sided Heart.
I love polyamory. Always have, always will. The idea of an entire group of people held together by bonds of affection, passion and friendship captured my heart from the moment I first heard of it, first realized it was an actual thing that actual people sometimes actually did. All that potential, and all that love. I had to write about it.
When it came time to blog about it, I knew I wanted to introduce my characters.
Gabriel, lord. Gabriel was my problem child. There’s always one, and he jumped right in there with both feet. I think because he was the kind of person I’ve been before—the kind of person I can still be sometimes. He’s been hurt, and badly. He’s frustrated by his inability to be perfect, and he let that get so far under his skin that he ended up with scars on the inside and the outside.
Not an easy man to love—mostly because he wouldn’t let anyone even try. Whenever inspiration failed him and his art suffered, he blamed himself. His taste for rough sex started out as the only medicine he could bear to swallow, especially because it wasn’t what he needed. He wanted to be punished for being himself, but ended up being abducted and left for dead. He accepted the blame when he was told it was his fault, and internalized the shame. Even now, he thinks he’s broken because he still likes rough sex, likes being told what to do, and doesn’t know how to ask for it in a safe way.
He’s come to the Outer Banks with the intention of ending it all.
Not easy to write.
But the thing is, Gabriel can’t find the ending he thought he wanted. Instead, he finds himself caught up in something that’s beginning. Something that his passionate soul has been dying of thirst for, though he never knew it. Men who understand him, who can give him what he really needs, and help him learn how to live again rather than drift away into darkness. Whether he likes it or not—and whether he can learn how to love freely, with an open heart.
He wants to trust them. He wants to learn how to forgive himself. He wants to love.
Learning how is the difference, for Gabriel, between life and death.
A few minutes of rummaging through a closet netted Joshua two pockets full of necessary toiletries and a handful of clean-smelling sweats. Small sizes. They’d likely shrunk in the wash and been thriftily saved. He found towels, scented with a different brand of laundry soap, in the hall closet.
He followed his ears and the sound of clanking pipes to another door, where he heard the distinct patter of shower spray on a tile floor and the sound of a body moving slowly through that water. Joshua rapped his knuckles against the door. “Gabriel?”
No answer. Frowning, Joshua tried again. Still no luck.
Could be he was still shocky. Joshua wasn’t sure. He kept flashing back to the way Gabriel had gone limp when towed, not even trying to fight, and it didn’t sit right no matter how Joshua tried to shift it around.
Ah hell. Joshua tried the knob. The pitted brass turned easily—not even locked—and a billow of steam rushed out. Good lord, was he trying to boil himself alive? Joshua swung the door open wider.
Still no response. He could see Gabriel, though, still on his feet, his head bowed directly beneath the spray. The clear glass door of the walk-in shower hid nothing, and though he had indeed gone as red as a lobster from the heat, his scars still showed lurid purple. Gabriel rubbed at them with his bare hand, no soap, as if trying to scrape them away.
Joshua dropped his goods on the sink top and rapped his knuckles against the wall. “Gabriel? You okay?”
He got a reaction that time, all right—a startled gasp, a jerk upright that slung a comma of water from Gabriel’s sodden hair against the shower wall, and two quick steps backward that smacked his shoulders into the same wall. Jesus. He’d been through some shit, hadn’t he? Those scars were vicious. Defensive wounds on his arms and a crosshatched pattern sliced from temple to chin. His mouth ticked up slightly on that side, as did the corner of the eye.
Gabriel’s throat worked convulsively as he stared wide-eyed at Joshua. Slowly, ever so slowly, his scarred hand closed into a fist. “Do you like what you see?”
Well, shit. Joshua held his arm in front of his face. “Didn’t mean to stare. Sorry. Just brought you some dry stuff.”
“Why shouldn’t you stare? Go on. Do you like what you see?”
Gabriel’s wide eyes were wild, feverish, and wouldn’t let Joshua turn his gaze discreetly away. Bringing out the claws and yet pleading with Joshua at the same time, for—what?
All right, then. Joshua dropped his arm and looked frankly at Gabriel. Taking him in good and proper, from his long hair, saturated and gone dark as ink, to the fine lines of his bones and the slim strength in his shoulders, his arms, and his legs. The scars petered out over Gabriel’s ribs, then cropped up again briefly at his hips.
He had been beaten—and beaten badly. Whoever had done this had carved on his face and finished the job by kicking the shit out of him. No wonder Gabriel came across as skittish as a feral cat.
And yet… and yet. Beneath the marred skin, Gabriel’s bones were still as fine as carved ivory.
Gabriel swallowed again, painfully loudly. “Well?”
Joshua shrugged. “I’ve seen worse.” Hell, he’d seen worse done while guards had their backs turned and pretended innocence, though he wouldn’t tell Gabriel as much.
Gabriel scoffed at him.
“They’re just scars,” Joshua said, because they were. “You’re lucky.”
Fine lines appeared on Gabriel’s forehead as if he wasn’t sure he’d heard right. “What?”
“You lived. Whoever did that probably didn’t mean for you to. But you did. They’re just scars. The rest of you, that’s beautiful to see.” Joshua raised one shoulder, embarrassment making him gruff. “I’ll leave you in peace.”
He could feel Gabriel staring holes through his back until he closed the bathroom door behind him.
Max MacGowan is a work in progress. They’ve just turned forty, and are determined not to go gently into that good night. They identify as nonbinary genderqueer, and prefer they/them pronouns. While they can be quiet, friends will tell you all that still water can’t quite hide Max’s quirky personality, Or maybe it’s the ever-present puckish twinkle in the eyes that’s really to blame.
Max has a fantastic time writing male/male romance, and is especially fond of polyamory, found families, love in unexpected places, friends who become lovers, and romantic comedies. They’re owned by two rowdy tomcats who take pains to make sure their owner doesn’t ever get the status confused.
Noah Trevelyan has lost his moorings. Disowned over his sexuality as a teenager, he hasn’t been back to his home on the Outer Banks since his fisherman father kicked him out. But when he returns for the Old Man’s funeral, he discovers his father left him the house and boat in his will. Noah must choose whether to stay or go, but he won’t be alone. There’s Ian, working to overcome the emotional scars left by a domineering ex-boyfriend, and Ty, a cheerful housekeeper who’s struggling to take care of his Alzheimer’s-stricken aunt. There’s Joshua too, running from the destruction of his old life, and Gabriel, who was once beaten and left for dead, and doesn’t know how to survive on his own.
Will they find in each other the strength and courage to keep living—and learn, together, how to love again? A polyamorous relationship is the last thing any of them expected to find in the Outer Banks, but it might be what they need most, and it might even be their redemption—if they can keep their group from breaking apart under the pressure.
This was an interesting read. It’s a story about regrets and moving past trials life has made one endure, of forging a life that one wants to live. Five men arrive to take a ferry to a small island. One is returning for his father’s funeral, two others live and work on the island, and two more seem to be tourists. Of course, everything is not quite as it seems and when they miss the ferry and Noah remembers his father’s boat moored there, they are literally thrown together.
As each man interacts with the others, a definite spark happens. At first it seems to be mere lust- a bunch of guys letting off steam and enjoying themselves immensely. But just as their reasons for being on the island, and their lives before meeting, are complicated, so are the emotions. They quickly become entangled, each man unwilling to allow the others to soldier on alone. Before they know it, their hearts and minds are hopelessly ensnared. This adds another wrinkle, as the island is a small, conservative community. How they handle it, their relationship, and make peace with their lives makes for a great get away from it all read that is at times angsty and achingly emotional.
Title: Lime and Tangerine Author: Kevin Caucher Genre: Gay Romance, Science Fiction Length: Novella Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
The post-apocalyptic world has changed. Colors have changed.
The skies are now red, and the seas fandango pink.
There are those who’ve acquired skills as “squinters”. By narrowing their eyes, they can see people in different colors—colors by which they can define their mood.
Senlin was born a squinter. A child of the foster system, the lack of love has left him with casual views on sex.
When Sicong recruits him into SQX, a squinter organization, Senlin wants nothing more than to jump his bones, but Sicong’s detachment makes Senlin believe his feelings aren’t reciprocated.
Senlin and Sicong’s relationship begins to grow as they undertake missions together.
That is, until an enemy of SQX turns his attention upon them.
I smiled a bit and lay back down, but the pain kept me awake. I looked sideways at the nightstand and found my personal belongings there. I shifted my eyes toward him. He seemed to be lost in contemplation. I took the opportunity to mood-color him again. He was hot pink: a color for guilt. “You’re guilty.”
Sicong was so engrossed in his thoughts that he didn’t hear me the first time. When I repeated, he looked startled. “What?”
“I said you’re guilty. Why?”
“Why don’t you get some rest and stop mood-coloring me?”
Why is he being defensive? “Painful. Can’t sleep,” I answered. “Come on, tell me what you did. Why are you guilty?”
“I was thinking if I hadn’t asked you to participate in this mission, you probably wouldn’t have ended up getting shot.”
“But I was the only one you could find—I’m pretty sure you said that. Besides, I’d have gotten shot either way if I ever went to Tingo.”
I saw him trying hard to keep his embarrassment out of his face, but he failed miserably with his ears; they were unusually red. “It wasn’t the truth. I could have asked others, because it was supposed to be an easy assignment. There are plenty who would have gone if I insisted. I’m a bistre, you know?”
“Yeah.” I stayed quiet after that. He said he could’ve not asked me, but he still did. What does that mean? I twitched my lips into a slight smile. I sure hope that means he likes me enough to want to spend time with me. Buy Links
Don’t miss the WIP and ARe Mother’s Day Sale – 40% off from May 6th to May 9; or the Science Fiction Sale – 30-40% off on all book retailer sites!
I want to thank Kimi D. for allowing me to dance about her blog today! She said I could talk about anything… she’s is a BRAVE woman! I opted for sharing with you why I believe what we as authors and readers do is so important.
I believe romance books can change hearts and minds with every page turned. It’s the way in which I’ve chosen to promote equality and the concept that love is love.
To me it’s not my numbers on Amazon, my ratings on GoodReads or my royalty statements that determine my success. It’s whether my words touched someone, helped someone understand, given hope that everyone deserves a happily ever after and was the reader moved to stand up against inequality. If so I’m thrilled. Goal accomplished.
At a PFLAG meeting, one of our transgender kids grabbed a trans romance with tears in his eyes and asked, “They write books about people like me? And they end happy?” YES YES WE DO.
I’ve had a woman in their 70’s explain to me, “I didn’t know two boys could do it face to face. That’s really rather lovely.” YES, YES IT REALLY CAN BE
A man in his 40’s approached me and told me he was glad there was books about people discovering their sexuality later in life because that’s what happened to him and his partner. YES, YES THIS DOES HAPPEN.
I know some people roll their eyes at romances. I’m not one of them because I’ve witnessed hope, happiness and comfort they can give.
Understanding = Acceptance = Happiness
My books explore the spectrum of orientations and gender. I worship the edges of the spectrum because that’s where I usually find myself.
My latest release: Zombies Suck (Book 2 of The Club Zombie series)
Zombies suck… but mine swallow.
Of course, I couldn’t abide by the typical zombie lore that’s mainstream: walking dead, rotting bodies, running & hiding, um… NO! That’s not sexy.
Zombies Suck Blurb:
Forget undead corpses searching for brains. These zombies crave a different kind of head that keeps them young forever. Club Zombie offers safe haven, providing sexy ways to extract what they need from patrons, and the opportunity to find their destined mate.
Alex Waterman is ashamed of his “vile, unnatural desires” and lives a in a desolate world of loneliness and suffering until discovering… it’s not his life. Suddenly he’s swept away to a place where his desires aren’t evil, they’re a mark of the dominant he’s born to be, and appreciative stares and aggressive flirting replace fear and self-loathing. But one night stands aren’t on the menu: Alex seeks “the one” to complete the missing piece of his soul.
Boy-next-door Ulrich calls to Alex, as does the gorgeous but self-destructive Cutter, and an element of irresistible danger clings to bad boy Storm. How can Alex decide between three tempting possibilities?
Z. Allora’s Bio:
Every one deserves a happy ending… (and Z. Allora makes sure they get one). She’s written hot rockers, sexy zombies, and Thailand club performers– stories about love, romance and are tied together with erotic sex. Utilizing her extensive foreign travels, she brings readers to places they’ve yet to visit, introducing them to cultures they’ve yet to explore. But with every word she writes she hope to convey that love is love. She welcomes contact and looks forward to hearing from her “pretties”!
Sebastian Torres is a healer and midwife both by trade and by calling. He’s spent the past three years as the only male midwife in a local hospital.
Anthony Craig is intrigued by Sebastian, finding him professional and attractive; although, he can’t help wondering why Sebastian never dates the same man twice.
When several pregnant women die in maternity wards a few states away, their fetuses missing, the police are baffled at the strange circumstances surrounding their deaths.
Could there be a serial killer on the loose?
As the number of deaths escalates, Sebastian suspects a monster of legend, rather than one of the human variety, is responsible.
Sebastian knows he is the only thing standing in the monster’s way, but in order to save innocent lives he must reveal his secret to Anthony.
Will Sebastian’s revelation prove too much and drive Anthony away?
DR. ANTHONY CRAIG walked into the maternity ward, six residents following quietly behind.
He scanned the halls as he passed them, eagerly searching for the one male midwife in the
hospital. His heart was pounding so hard he had to stop, take a breath, and massage his
chest a bit.
Stop it, he told himself. Just ask him out. It’s not as if it’s your first time. Come on, be a
man. He winced at his own thoughts.
Mentally shaking himself, he straightened and continued to the station where four
midwives and nursing staff were discussing their patients, comparing notes. His steps
faltered when he zeroed in on Sebastian Torres.
Sebastian was on the short side at only five foot five, but he had a quiet strength and
excellent bedside manners. He was great at helping the soon-to-be mothers go through the
painful labor experience. There was always the initial hesitance at the arrival of a male
midwife, but once the ordeal was over, everyone could only praise his skills. Ever since Sebastian had started working in the hospital three years before, Anthony
had observed his professionalism. He was very tolerant with his more difficult patients, never
becoming annoyed when the husbands were overly anxious. Admittedly, Anthony was
curious why he hardly ever dated. He knew from Susan that Sebastian had no current
boyfriend, significant other, or even a roommate. She had also informed him that Sebastian had three dogs. Who lived alone with three dogs?
Well, apparently, Sebastian did. Anthony had heard from other doctors and nurses that
the men he went out with only lasted one date, nothing more. They never called back and
they certainly never talked to him again, other than professionally. He wondered why.
Sebastian appeared confident and funny, but the dates came back scared of him.
Anthony looked him over again, silently assessing. He was short, true, but he was well
proportioned and had the sweetest skin he had ever seen on a human being. Clear and
smooth, it glowed as if there was a light beneath it. Sebastian’s name suggested Latino
origins, though his features said otherwise. He had pale skin, a cute pointed nose, hazel eyes,
and full lips which were almost always upturned in a smile. He kept his dark blond hair short,
away from his roundish almond eyes.
He considered their physical disparity and wondered how people would see them
should he ever have the courage to ask Sebastian out. Although the nine-inch difference in
height was obvious, Sebastian would fit nicely in his arms, he thought.
I am a wife, mother and blogger by day, a writer by night. It can be difficult to say the least but it is a challenge that keeps me on my toes.
I am a wife, mother and blogger by day, a writer by night. It can be difficult to say the least but it is a challenge that keeps me on my toes.
I grew up listening to folk tales my father and nannies told either to entertain us children or to send home a message. These narratives I kept with me and finally I wrote them down in a journal way back when I kept one. Going through junk led to a long forgotten box and in it was the journal. Reading over the stories of romance, science fiction and horror I had taken time to put to paper, brought to light that these were tales I never met in my readings.
The tales I write are fictional but all of them are based on what I grew up with and still dream about. That they have an M/M twist is simply for my pleasure. And I hope, yours as well.