Thia’s Muse: It’s that time of year again

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It’s that time of year again.

No, not fall (or spring if you’re south of the equator). No, not the beginning of the school year, though it is that. And no, not the fact that in the US we’re besieged with all manner of football and baseball games and people acting like Neanderthals watching them.

No, it’s… the buildup to the most overblown commercial holiday of the year. And in the book world, that means a plethora of wonderful new books by my favorite authors.

Which means, I’m going to be spending a lot of money over the next three months.

As a bookaholic & bibliophile, I cannot not read. And I’ve got tons of books that I reread often. However, there are always new books out there to tempt me. (Not that it takes much when it comes to books.)

One would think I would have figured this out by now – that I should have remembered to start saving on January 1st. So that I would have a few hundred bucks burning a hole in my pocket come this time of year. But no. Nope – it always comes as a surprise toward the end of September when I start seeing the ‘Coming Soon’ banners on my fave authors’ websites and then I start seeing even more coming soon notices on places like Facebook for authors I don’t know but whose books sound marvelous.

And now, this year, we’ve got QueeRomance Ink with that wonderful first page of Coming Soon LGBT romances.

What am I looking forward to this year? Well, that I know of: Jordan L. Hawk’s HexSlayer which comes out in early October. I’m hoping Heidi Cullinan releases a new Minnesota Christmas, though she’s busy rereleasing all her old Samhain stuff, so maybe not. (I want those babies in paperback!) There are several holiday boxed sets coming out.

I may have to take a job just to feed my holiday book habit.

So, what about you? What books are you looking forward to snatching up this coming few months? Though, maybe I shouldn’t ask… my to buy list will probably grow.

Until next time …grabs pen and begins adding to list

Thia

is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.

Thia’s Muse: Flash Fic Fun #SciFi #mm

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I’ve been writing all my life and have been published since 2012, but I know I’m still a relative unknown out there, even with over 50 currently published books to my name–err, names. I thought it would be a fun way of ‘introducing myself’ to do some flash fiction. They will run the gamut genre wise.  Some will be serious, some will be filled to overflowing with humor – as I said last week, I’ve got four pseudonyms and each one writes something a bit different.

In the future, I hope you’ll help me choose a subject to write a flash fiction about, but for this first one I have a Sci-Fi flash fiction for you. The aliens in this ‘world’ came for one reason and they’re going to get it…no matter what Earth is prepared to do in retaliation. This flash fic was written so I could get more of a look into Forgon’s mind.

~~~

Earth lost. It was a foregone conclusion of course, but Earthens were a tiresome lot who, even when they had no chance, still tried to fight. If it weren’t the fact their stupidity had made the war last two months longer than it should have, Forgon would have been impressed with them. As it was, he was pissed. And not so much with the aliens in the polluted planet he could see through his window. No, he was angry at his own reconnaissance. They had done a piss-poor job and it would cost them.

Every Tranken aboard ship had come to find his mate. He would make sure that the thirty individuals who had been watching Earth for a decade were last in line to find theirs. Bastards.

The doors behind him swished open, his second in command stepping inside. “Ninety percent of the planet is under control, Forgon. The last ten percent is in the middle of a country we have shut off communications with. They can continue to fight and kill one another. By the time we need to check them out, most of them will be out of the way.”

Turning slowly, he looked at Tellet. Several millenias his junior, the man had risen through the ranks quickly and while the logical side of his brain could see why, at times like this he wanted to blast the idiot out into space. “We’re here for our mates,” he said slowly, each word like a bullet in the small room. “Our mates. If we let them kill one another, there’s a chance that one of the dead could be your mate. Are you willing to sacrifice him for the sake of letting a few idiots fight?”

A dull purple flush settled over Tellet’s soft blue skin, making his yellow hair appear orange. “I apologize, Forgon. You are correct. I will have a battalion end their squabbles.”

“Good. Make sure all armaments are dead tonight. For tomorrow, we start testing.”

Tellet stood tall, boots together, his hands held firmly at his sides, while his tail hung straight down between his legs. “As you command.” After lowering his head, he stepped backward, the doors swooshing open to allow him through and closing moments later.

“Someone’s going to cut his tail off if he doesn’t start thinking,” he murmured to himself, turning back to look down on Earth.

Coming to another dimension to find their mates wasn’t new, but it was always fraught with complications. As an eternal species, finding that one other being to share their existence with was imperative. Unfortunately, less than one percent found their bonded mate. Usually, they gave up and found someone they could be biologically united with for the life of the individual, anywhere from ten years to ten millennia, depending on the species. However, anytime one of them chose that course, it took them to the bottom rung on the list to be mated.

Forgon had been alive more than a hundred millennia. It had been so long he stopped counting ages ago. For the last thousand years, he had commanded the vessels to find the mated. It was a daunting task. For every Tranken who went knew they had less than a one percent of a one percent chance of finding their eternal companion. Even though they knew that, every individual hoped that this would be the time. As such, the trip back would be filled with a ship filled with depressed men who would be jealous of anyone who was lucky enough to find theirs. It was one of the reasons he had instituted a mandatory secure area that only those who found their mates could enter and there they would stay throughout the return journey.

The squawk of the com system let him know there was about to be a ship-wide announcement. Of course, he knew what it would say, but he allowed himself to feel what the other men felt when it came.

“Tranken, tomorrow the process will begin. Proceed to create your Bio cards so they may be inserted into the system. Once we begin to receive Bio transmissions from earth, they will be compared to all the information on file. Any near chances will be tagged and if near enough, you will be taken to Earth to meet your possible mate. Again…” The message played four times and Forgon trembled as the feeling of hope rushed through the ship along with nerves.

There would be no working tonight. Every Tranken on board would be too busy hoping, wishing to meet their mate. And Forgon, even after he thought he’d come to terms with never finding his, was one of them. All he needed was to find that one humanoid amongst the stars and his forever would change.

Looking back down at Earth, he sighed. An Earthen would not find the change from mortal to immortal easy, but if he found his mate, they would not get a choice. Just as it was with all of his species, once the mating began, nothing would stop it and three days after it began, his mate would be fully on his/her way to being perfected. Sighing again, he placed his palm against the window and sent up a little prayer that he would find his companion. Forever was too long to be alone.

~~~

I’d love to hear what you think. And if you have an idea for a flash fiction, write it in the comments below. Not a fully fleshed out idea, but give me 1-5 words, a word or phrase you’d like seen in a flash fic. I’ll keep note of any ideas you have and will post the flash fics that hit me from time to time. This should be fun 😀

Until next time… where’d I put my pen?

is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.

Embracing Diversity in Fiction

Diversity image - Sharita Lira

Good afternoon. With so much chatter going about the need for diversity in books, I had to speak on it again.

First let’s start off with a question for authors. Since I’m an author too, I figured I’d begin here. You’re an author and you have an idea for a story which features a character of a race other than your own. Say it’s a black male and you as a white female or male aren’t sure what to write. Do you scrap this idea, even though it could be one of your best books or do you try doing it yourself and using what you’ve seen on TV as your guide? I’ve talked with authors before who’ve said they’d rather not do the “black” character for fear of getting it wrong, but unless you’re doing a historical, say something in the days of slavery or in 1920’s Harlem New York, what could you possibly get wrong?

I say this because I’m a black female who may not fit the mold of the so called black stereotype.  One example, I like rock music and not rap. I don’t talk slang like many may perceive a black person to do. Yet, I’ve seen books with black characters who fit that description. In many publications, even those written by black authors, black characters are painted a certain way. The way they talk, dress, the neighborhood they’re from. Is it wrong? Not necessarily, but does it hold true for every black male or female? No. What I’m getting at is, when you’re an author you don’t have to draw from those generaliztions unless it fits into the plot. If your story is centered around black males who talk slang and dress a certain way fine. The problem comes in when every book paints black characters that way.

What about you as the reader? If the cover features characters that aren’t like you, are you more apt to shy away from it or does it even matter? I’ve heard rumblings about covers with black characters not selling well. Even worse, publishers haven’t put people of color on the front at all because they fear it won’t be marketable. Why is this? Do we live in a world where everyone is the same? No, so why should this even be an issue? The book should be judged on its plot and subject matter. If that’s interesting to you then you shouldn’t be deterred to read it because of the characters on the front.

I’m an author and reader who loves reading and writing books containing diverse characters. Some people might take issue with certain books because of the race or nationality of the protagonists. That’s not me. If the storyline is interesting I’ll read it whether it be two of the same race or multicultural. We live in a very diverse world so why wouldn’t we want more books that reflect today’s society?

In my opinion, authors should be leaders in showing what’s outside the box. We should be writing characters whether they’re of different race, sexual orientation, able-bodied or not, religion, and/or gender. Fiction is supposed to be about freedom to express yourself and it shouldn’t be held back because of what people think or say. In general, people want well written books with fleshed out characters without regard to the colors of their skin or what religions they are.

We need more diversity in fiction for so many reasons. Why stifle creativity because of our various differences? I’m sure you’re saying it’s easier said than done but if we all do what we can to embrace diversity around us, someone else might learn from it and pass it on.

* * * *

Instead of promoting a release, I’d rather share a Facebook group that focuses on discussions about diversity in publishing. We have come together to introduce some exciting things in the next few months and would love other authors and readers to take part. The Group is Multicultural GLBTQ Literature. 

We have discussed sensitive topics regarding stereotypes, appropriation, and the constant push for diversity in entertainment. Please join us and thank you for listening to me today!

Michael Mandrake pens complex characters who are already comfortable in their sexuality. Through these characters, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media.

To find out more please visit

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Book Spotlight including Excerpt & Review – Lesson Learned by Lillian Francis

Lesson Learned - Lillian Francis

 

 

Lesson Learned

by Lillian Francis

August 18, 2017

Word count: ~76000

2nd Edition

Cover designed by Meredith Russell

 

 

 

 

Blurb

Drew Jackson is sick of constantly being on the move, running away from his mistakes, his desires, and a secret-filled past. He’s decided his new teaching job in Cardiff is his chance to finally settle down. Perhaps here he can have a home, and even friendships that won’t end in disaster. Like his growing rapport with history teacher Nathan Morgan.

Nathan has been careful to keep his sexuality a secret at work. He doesn’t want that kind of attention from the student body. There’s one body he would like attention from, though—the new science teacher, Drew. But it’s much too risky to let Drew know how he feels. He won’t gamble their fledgling friendship on an awkward confession of lust. And Drew’s probably straight anyway.

Their friendship is derailed when a student’s accusation forces a reluctant confession. Drew is tempted to run again until he comes face to face with the inescapable realisation that flight has ruined every relationship he’s ever had.

But maybe he’s finally found someone worth staying in one place for.

 

Buy Links

Amazon // Kobo // Payhip // B&N // Smashwords

Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf here.

 

 

Excerpt

“Nathan.”

Footsteps echoed in the almost empty car park and somebody called his name. Not somebody, Drew. Nathan paused, taking a firmer grip on the books in his arms before he turned to watch appreciatively as Drew ran towards him across the asphalt. The early morning September sun shone low in a cloudless sky behind him and cast golden highlights in his short blond hair. Drew came to a stop at Nathan’s side, panting slightly.

“Alright, butt, you’re bright and early,” Nathan greeted, taking advantage of the calm left while Drew tried to catch his breath. After spending a week in the company of the ebullient American, Nathan had come to learn silence was a rare commodity.

“Eh?” Drew glanced over his own shoulder before shrugging awkwardly. “Ta. I always incorporate squats in my workout.”

“That’s…good,” Nathan hazarded a suitable response to the non sequitur. Then realisation struck. “Oh, Drew. Butt means mate, I was saying hello. I forgot you’ve not lived here long enough to have picked that up.”

“Oh. Crap. Of course, I mean…”

Nathan slowed so Drew ended up a step ahead of him. Not that he needed to check, he’d looked once or twice on Friday evening. “The squats are really working for you though.”

When Drew stopped dead and stared at him in surprise, Nathan winked. He could give lessons on how to get away with complimenting a straight guy.

Fine lines crinkled the corners of Drew’s eyes as he grinned. The grin held just a hint of caution but Drew’s eyes caught Nathan’s attention, his irises the colour of a summer sky or a perfect Caribbean sea. Not that Nathan had ever been to the Caribbean. Or spent considerable amounts of time thinking about Drew’s eyes. But he’d say they were azure. If anyone should press him on the subject. Which they wouldn’t. Hopefully.

Thank God none of this babble is actually coming from my mouth. Say something sensible.

“So what has you here before eight on a Monday?”

“Wanted to run through my lesson plans before classes started.” Drew’s grin widened, and became more confident. “Thanks for Friday. I had a great time. The pub was brilliant. I think I’m still deaf in my left ear.”

“Told you not to stand by the speakers.” Nathan laughed. “I’ve seen those guys before, they are seriously loud.” He shifted the pile of textbooks again, trying to distribute the weight without dropping his travel mug. The movement pulled the unbuttoned edges of his shirt further apart, exposing the legend underneath.

“Hey, you’re wearing the T-shirt I bought you,” Drew said, reaching out and placing the flat of his hand on the logo of the band they had watched three days earlier.

Warmth seeped from Drew’s palm into Nathan’s skin despite the layer of cotton. His stomach flipped, a nervous roll of excitement at just the simple touch of firm, strong fingers on his chest. Suddenly the T-shirt was a barrier to the sensual caress of fingertips dancing through the mat of dark hair on his chest and Nathan had to resist the urge to press further into Drew’s touch. It would do him no good succumbing to that desire.

Nathan prided himself on keeping his sexuality and his career completely separate, and anyway, from the way Drew had reacted the other evening, it was obvious he liked his chests with tits on them, not hair. He had a crush, nothing more, and Nathan could control unwanted feelings of lust. Even if the hammering of his heart claimed otherwise.

“Y-yeah.” He couldn’t quite control his breathing and stuttered out a response, surprised at the force of his reaction to such a basic touch. The image of Drew stroking his chest refused to budge from his brain and he blurted out the first thing that came to mind in an effort to divert his thoughts. “I still owe you for the shirt.”

“Nope, told you it was my treat for showing me around. Mine’s still in the laundry hamper.” Drew’s eyes glinted with mischief and he smirked. “You have washed this, haven’t you?” He removed his hand and made big show of sniffing his fingers.

“Cheeky bastard!” But Nathan smiled as he cursed, in part thankful for the distraction Drew had inadvertently provided. With no free hands, Nathan made do with nudging Drew with his shoulder. “I had no choice but to wash it. Not after someone spilt half their pint on me.”

“Yeah, sorry about that.” Drew didn’t look particularly contrite.

A middle-aged woman, one of the ESL teachers, scurried past them, up the stairs and into the school. They started moving slowly in the same direction.

“So.” Drew paused and toyed with the strap of his bag. “Where are you going to take me next? The pub was great, but not really the sort of place to pull, and the girls at that particular club are obviously way too young for me. Hell, they’re too young for you and I’ve got ten years on you.”

Nathan shrugged. “You do know the supermarket is a good place to pick up women?”

Drew laughed, light and joyful. The genuine sound of mirth made Nathan’s heart swell. Get a grip. It’s just a ridiculous infatuation.

“Seriously, my mate Dave swears—”

“Your butt.”

“My butty, well, my butty bach ‘cos I’ve known him since primary school.” Unnecessary distinctions if Drew’s unfocused gaze was any indication. “Anyway, Dave swears he gets loads of dates at the supermarket. Especially in the fruit and veg department. Something to do with the way he squeezes melons and fondles oranges. In fact, I’m surprised he’s not been banned. Although he is a copper. I’m sure he goes shopping in his uniform to get attention and prevent the store manager throwing him out.”

“I’ll bear that in mind.” Drew nodded thoughtfully, as if giving the suggestion serious consideration. “Maybe I can borrow a uniform from your friend.”

Nathan shook his head and swept his gaze over Drew, taking in his compact form. The broad shoulders and impressive biceps would strain the material of Dave’s tunic, and the lack of height would have the hem of Dave’s trousers pooling around his shoes. He diverted his eyes before he was tempted to look any closer. Drew’s blond hair and blue eyes gave him a preppy look that defied his age, and didn’t help Nathan’s stupid crush at all. Nathan found it hard to believe Drew was in his mid-thirties. Only when Nathan got close enough to see the fine lines around Drew’s eyes did he show any sign of his age and, once in touching distance, Nathan found he had far more important things to consider. The softness of Drew’s lips. The firmness of his body. Whether the few inches difference in their height meant he would tuck in perfectly against Nathan’s body.

Shit! Drew watched him expectantly, obviously waiting for an answer. Damned if Nathan could remember the question, after perving so blatantly on his friend. He backpedalled to a point in the conversation where his libido hadn’t taken over. So, about the same time Drew had entered his life. Supermarkets. Uniforms. Ah, yes, women. Hard-on successfully obliterated. “Nah, Dave’s like a stick insect compared to you.”

“Are you calling me fat, Mr Morgan?”

Temporarily wrong footed, Nathan stuttered, “No, no, of course not.”

Thoughts of that nature couldn’t have been further from his mind. He caught Drew’s sly grin. The bastard was teasing him, maybe even flirting just a little, although he possibly didn’t realise. Wishful thinking. Time for a little revenge. “You were panting like an old man from just a short jog across the car park.”

“I’m fit as a fiddle. Pretty sure I could wear you out.”

Oh my. I wish. Not what he needed to hear right now. Nathan felt the tight constriction of his throat as he swallowed, the motion audible, at least to himself. Visions of sweaty, panting bodies assailed him. Their shiny, sweat soaked bodies, writhing—

“Name a sport,” Drew demanded.

Nathan blinked rapidly to dispel the images. Lust. He groped around for a sport where only the two of them would be involved. No team members to distract either one of them. Definitely Lust, with a capital L.

“Squash,” he said, pleased when his voice remained steadier than it had any right to be.

“Squash?”

“Sure. You know, racquets, a small rubber ball and a glass walled room.” Nathan grinned, back on familiar territory. There was a reason why he was a relief PE teacher, which had little to do with the extra money and nobody else wanting the job and everything to do with previously playing fly-half for a semi-professional rugby team. He knew he was fitter than most men his age. “I’ll whip your arse.”

“When?” A flare of interest sparked somewhere in the depth of blue and Nathan recognised something in Drew’s eyes, a kindred spirit who would relish the competition. In the heraldic history he taught to the year eights, he and Drew would have been knights, fiercely competitive in tournaments, but totally reliant on each other in battle.

Scoffing inwardly at his old-fashioned romantic notions, Nathan mentally shook himself. No wonder he hadn’t had a boyfriend for a while, no one could measure up to the ideals in his head. He focused back on the matter at hand—getting Drew all sweaty, even if it wasn’t in the way he wanted.

“Tomorrow, open night on the squash courts at the leisure centre.” Nathan stopped at the top of the steps and stared at Drew expectantly. With his bag slung over his shoulder, his arms full of textbooks and his coffee in his right hand, there was no way he could open the door.

“Here.” Drew stepped forward. “Let me help you with that.”

He plucked the travel mug from Nathan’s hand and took a long swig of the drink. Nathan rolled his eyes and struggled to open the door for himself with his now free hand. He let the door swing back on Drew just as his new friend started to move through it and didn’t bother to suppress his grin at the oof that echoed from behind him.

“You better not have spilt any of my drink.” Nathan threw back over his shoulder but he didn’t pause to wait for Drew.

“Good coffee,” Drew muttered appreciatively when he finally caught up with Nathan in the corridor.

Nathan huffed, but there was no heat in it. “My good coffee.”

Drew grinned sheepishly as he held the travel mug back out to Nathan.

Nathan chose to ignore it, instead asking, “You’ve got free period third lesson?” He acknowledged Drew’s answering nod. “Me, too. You can give me my travel mug back then. Washed. I’ll see you in the staff-room.”

Instructions issued, Nathan headed off towards the history department, not risking a backwards glance until he turned the corner. Drew hadn’t moved. He stood in the middle of the corridor with Nathan’s perfect cup of coffee in his hand and a stupid grin on his too bloody handsome face.

 

 

 

 

3.5 of 5 Stars

This was a decent story…I always like friends to lovers and it really worked for these guys. This is a new to me author and I would probably read another by her. It’s getting 3.5 stars because it fell about in the middle for me.

Nathan was probably my favorite of the two but I liked Drew pretty well. They were good together and I liked how their friendship developed first. Their banter was entertaining and their sexual tension was palpable when Drew finally admitted what he was feeling. I felt bad for Drew a couple of times and wasn’t thrilled with Nathan’s reaction to the rumors going around.

Couple of nit-picky items…Drew was an American but he didn’t ‘sound’ it. His dialog was very British, even in his head. The issues with Claire seemed a little contrived…she went from checking him out in a bar to being in love with him but they didn’t have much interaction. She would have been hanging around him a lot more if she truly thought she was in love with him. And Drew being an experienced teacher seemed to be a bit lax in his discipline especially knowing this was a pretty strict school and he needed to keep his job. I also didn’t like Drew’s over the top lusting after women…it became tiresome.

This is overall a decent read and my issues are just that…mine, so you may love the story.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Lillian Francis is a self-confessed geek who likes nothing more than settling down with a comic or a good book, except maybe writing. Given a notepad, pen, her Kindle, and an infinite supply of chocolate Hob Nobs and she can lose herself for weeks. Romance was never her reading matter of choice, so it came as a great surprise to all concerned, including herself, to discover a romance was exactly what she’d written, and not the rollicking spy adventure or cosy murder mystery she always assumed she’d write.

 

 

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Email: lillianfrancis@rocketmail.com

 

 

 

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Thia’s Muse: Kinkology – diving into domestic discipline

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Okay, if you are attracted to reading kink even somewhat lightly, you know what BDSM is, but have you heard of domestic discipline? I write a lot of different genres, some of which I obviously have nothing to do with – like sci-fi and fantasy – and genres with which I have real life experience: BDSM and Domestic Discipline.

Now first off, let me state that anyone’s beliefs about either subject are their opinions – so take everything I say as my opinion of how things work. Just because me and my partner see things ‘this’ way, does not mean another person will. (Welcome to the wonderful world of kink.)

BDSM is an overall acronym that covers so many different activities, actions, and beliefs that to bundle them all under one four-letter abbreviation is a bit amusing. B&D: Bondage & Discipline, S&M: Sadism & Masochism, and D&S: Domination & Submission. (First note: D/s is pretty much an online and fictional way of spelling out D&S. It’s now considered common usage, so authors use it, but that doesn’t mean that’s how it’s used outside of online/fictional works.)

Some people who are into domestic discipline count themselves as a subsection of BDSM as a whole. The D part for discipline and domination (and the addition of domestic) and the S part for submission. They may–or may not–also be involved with kink.

Another group of DD’ers scream, cover their ears and eyes, and stomp their feet if you even suggest DD is a subsection of BDSM, because they see BDSM as kink and DD as a deep relationship.

They are both right, so see it whichever way you want.

Domestic discipline is practiced by families of all orientations. Most DD’ers tend to keep their lifestyle to themselves as people have the tendency not to understand and make judgments that aren’t correct and can harm.

The two main ‘terms’ for the dominant in a DD relationship is ‘Top’ or ‘Head of House’ (HoH). To be honest, except for picking up the term in literature, it doesn’t matter what you call it – after all, if you live it, it’s your relationship, not anyone else’s.

The three main ‘terms’ for submissive in a DD relationship is ‘Bottom’, ‘Taken in Hand’ (TiH), or ‘Brat’. Brat in this instance is not about personality, it’s just a term.

The premise in a DD relationship is that the two, three, or however many are included in the relationship, create rules that the TiH has to follow or discipline comes into it. The method of discipline is handled and chosen by the HoH. For much of literature, spanking is most used as the form of discipline, but then spanking is a pretty large kink and so a popular form of genre romance.

In BDSM, discipline can be used for many reasons – and in a lot of BDSM lit, they use the word punishment – which drives me nutty. To me, punishment is more about the HoH or D and less about the TiH or S. I prefer discipline – it’s about righting wrongs, it’s about getting rid of guilt, and it’s about freeing the TiH from whatever is going on that forced them to act out.

Now I’ll be the first to admit, you have to watch when you get books that say they are DD. Some are still purely about spanking. So be forewarned.

However, if you’re interested in domestic discipline, its emotional reasons, as well as the usage in a relationship, try out one of my M/M DD Romance series: Men of Falcon Pointe and All They Ever Needed (which is currently on early release and on sale.) Yes, there is spanking in them, but the mental & psychological effects also come out. And for those who just want spanking… it’s there too 😉

Okay, I must get back to writing. I have a few characters who are chattering in the back of my head and won’t shut up.

Now, where’s that pen of mine?

is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.

RELEASE DAY REVIEW: The Highlander by Kasia Bacon

The Order series banner - Kasia Bacon

Author: Kasia Bacon
Book: The Highlander
Series: The Order Series Novelette #2
Page/Word Count: 58 pages
Categories: Gay Romance, Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi
Release Date: August 31, 2017

Buy Links:

Get The Highlander by Kasia Bacon on Amazon & Kindle Unlimited Add The Highlander by Kasia Bacon on QueeRomance Add The Highlander by Kasia Bacon on Goodreads

Get The Highlander by Kasia Bacon on Amazon & Kindle UnlimitedBlurb:
I, Lochan of the famed Féyes clan, know all about fighting.

As a half-breed Elf, I have struggled against prejudice and feelings of inadequacy.

A recluse by nature, I have battled my aversion to touch and interaction with others.

To become an assassin of The Order, I have learnt to overcome the limitations of my mind and body.

But denying the power Ervyn Morryés holds over me might be the one fight I lose. The truth is—damn it all—the relentless Highlander brings me to my knees.

Note: This novelette is the second in the Order Series, and not a stand-alone installment. Reading THE MUTT is crucial for its full enjoyment.

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4✨s – How the hell does she do it? There are so many emotions, highs and lows, in this second installment. More depth than the Mutt, more insight into the love that continues to grow between Lochlan and Ervyn, just so much. The story picks up a few months after the Mutt ends from Lochlan’s POV, which was one of my biggest issues with book 1. No worries about if the passion is real, if the heartbreak and heartache is felt. Love where this story leaves the reader. Of course I need more, but this rounded out the Mutt exactly as I had hoped. There are many more adventures to live through with these two, I’m definitely along for the ride.

The Highlander by Kasia Bacon

About Kasia Bacon:
A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.

Interview with Kasia Bacon:

  1. What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer? In my view, it is important to find your voice, be innovative in terms of language usage and avoid genre clichés. The trick is to stay focused, patient and determined. If writing a novel-length story seems too daunting, why not start small with a short or novella? That is the route I took; it allowed me to sound out my audience and, in consequence, got my mojo flowing. Seeing that readers were interested in what I had to say gave me a confidence boost and motivation to continue.
  2. What do you think makes a good story? Dialogue that sounds natural and humour that lightens all the drama and heartache.
  3. Do you have any strange habits or rituals? I have a habit of taking, um, let’s call them notes. Although scribbles or hieroglyphs would be more accurate. My husband calls them what-the-hell-are-those-bits-of-paper-everywhere. For said notes, I use unique Japanese stationery: notepads, post-it-notes and writing utensils.
  4. There’s a big leap a writer takes from putting words down on paper for the love of it and actually publishing those words for public scrutiny. What was that journey like for you? My characters are noisy bastards. They wreak havoc within my head and disturb my sleep. Writing their stories is the only way to shut them up. My outlook is that once the work is done, I might as well share it with the world and hope for the best. Even if only a handful of people get something out of it, I’m happy enough.
  5. What can readers expect from you next? The third installment in the Order series, titled The Scouts, should be coming out mid-autumn. Told in dual POV, it shows how Ervyn and Lochan’s relationship develops during their service in the elite unit of the Queen’s Army. My long-term plan is to combine all three stories—The Mutt, The Highlander and The Scouts—in one collection and release it in print and audiobook. And, of course, to conclude work on my novel, The Elven Vice.

Kasia Bacon Amazon Author Page Kasia Bacon on Facebook Kasia Bacon on Goodreads Kasia Bacon Newsletter Kasia Bacon on Pinterest Kasia Bacon on Twitter Kasia Bacon Website

Contest:
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Thia’s Muse: Backwards Clockworks

Thia's Muse column banner

Hi Queeromance Ink readers! I’m Thia (of A Thia Thing) and Scott has given over the reins to the blog for me to write my musings every once in a while. (Does he know what he’s done? Bwa ha ha!) For my first post, I figured I’d give you a look into the inner workings of this author’s backwards clockworks.

First, a little about me. I’m 28 – at least in my mind and as a student of metaphysics that’s what matters *winks*. We won’t mention my birthdate. I’m tri-gender; prefer the term ‘non-normative’ to ‘non-binary’, but that’s only because I used to be a computer geek and when I hear binary, I think 1s and 0s; and strangely enough having said that – I hate labels so prefer to think of myself as an eternal being having a human experience.

You might be wondering what a backwards clockwork is. In the most literal sense, it’s a clock that has been configured to run counter clockwise rather than clockwise. In a more metaphorical sense, it’s the concept of running a clock backwards, thus giving a person more ‘time’ to do one thing or another. It’s giving one’s self the gift of as long as you want to do what you need to do while not being aware of time at all.

I always figure that’s what my muse is trying to do when he suggests I write ‘this’ book and before I’ve even finished the outline, he suggests I write ‘that’ book. He’s bloody minded like that. And I swear that to him, it all makes sense that I should be able to outline and write a 70k+ novel in a day or two.

I’ve been asked before why my muse is male – my answer is “Heck if I know. He just is.” But back to my backwards clockwork… (I can get diverted, can you tell?)

I have four author names – Thianna Durston, Thianna D., Cynthia Kimball, & Bree Cariad. They each write a different set of genres and kind of have their own personalities when in writing mode. And sometimes each one has a story they want to write at the same time. Last year, I was writing two stories in two different series from two different names, one in the morning and one in the afternoon for several weeks, just to appease them. (And I seriously do not want another pseudonym, though I must admit I’m a bit put out with myself that all of them are so feminine.)

When my backwards clockwork really works, it’s a bit magical as a writer. I sit down, my fingers hit the keyboard, and time ceases to exist. The characters come alive in my head, my muse chatters on, and my fingers run hundreds of miles a minute to keep up with it all. I’ve had days where it wasn’t working well and I wrote down perhaps 250 words and each word felt like pulling eye teeth (that’s the wisdom teeth if you don’t know). And then I’ve had days where everything was in sync and I wrote 22, 000 words (nope. Not kidding.) I’ve written novels over years and novels over days.

And yes, time doesn’t technically stop – but it sure feels like it when I’m in that groove. I’ve never been high on drugs, so this might not be the most adequate comparison, but it is a high to me. Being in that intense pull of creativity where I not only can’t stop, I don’t even consider it. Time ceases to have meaning and I write and write and write.

As usually happens, I go at it so hard and fast that I have to take a break for a few weeks (or months) before I can go at it again. But I do love it when everything works right and my backwards clockwork moves smoothly into sync.

Well, I must get back to my books… It’s good to ‘meet’ you all! I’ll be back with more musings from time to time. Feel free to check out my books here on Queeromance Ink under the following names:

  • Thianna Durston (M/M romance)
  • Thianna D. (the main characters under this name are het or pan with m/f pairings, but there are lgbt secondary characters)
  • Bree Cariad (M/M Inspirational romance)
  • (Queer SciFi books under the name Cynthia Kimball are coming in 2018)

Now… where’s that clock?

is a writer by day and supernova by night. Or at least that’s what the faeries tell her. And who is she to deny those pesky *cough* lovely little creatures?

She lives in the Pacific Northwest, though her heart belongs elsewhere. In the meantime, until she can return to the place she calls home, she happily lives in a city that still thinks it’s a small town. Thankfully, it has given her muse lots of amusing places to start a story.

Xenia’s Rant – Holiday Rant

Hello you all!

Before I’m off to a much needed holiday, I thought I’d do another rant… And, boy, is there a lot to rant about! As you may know, I’m German, so I have kind of an outsider’s insider view on Charlottesville. The sad truth is, White Supremacists, Nazis, the KKK, Alt-Right, they are everywhere. They come in different disguises and different flavors, but ultimately, they’re always the same and we see them, because they scream the loudest and do the unthinkable – hurting other people. I also want to clarify that, in my opinion, the ultra-left is not one bit better (as evidenced in Hamburg, G20). Actually, I think the ultra-left and the far right are closer to each other than to the liberal and conservative middle, no matter in which country. And that’s where the problem lies. The people who protested peacefully against the march in Charlottesville seem to belong to the middle (at least that’s what I took from CNN and various other news sources), while the KKK and White Supremacists definitely belong to the far right. Not condemning their behavior is simply unacceptable.

This said, let me get to the core of my rant. We won’t stop our society’s problems (equality, energy, global warming, ….) by hating each other. We won’t come up with creative solutions if we let our judgement be clouded by the sentiment that only we have the key to all truths. (This right has until recently been reserved to religions, one they defended with tooth and nail – and look what it has gotten us all into.)

Yes, there are people who don’t like LGBTQ-folk. This is an opinion and as long as that opinion stays where it belongs – inside a part of their heads where the dislike for onions and muscle shirts is stored as well – nobody has a problem. As long as people stay civilized and remember there’s more than one way to live your life and that respecting the choices of others is important if you want your own choices to be respected, then everything is fine. As long as we don’t forget that the law is there for a reason, nobody gets into trouble.

You don’t have to like somebody or their life-choices to work with them, respect them, help them when needed. You only have to respect them.

The moment we forget about respect, the problems start. Because without respect, violence finds an open door and people get hurt or die. This is not the way. Not in the US. Not in Germany. Not anywhere.

If you don’t like somebody or something they do, just keep your quiet or, very politely, point out that you disagree. In return, accept gracefully when somebody does the same with you. There’s no reason to use foul language just because somebody thinks Jamie should have killed Drogon and that Cersei is a better queen than Daenerys (if you’re wondering about this example, go to YouTube, watch a video with Daenerys or Cersei in it and read the comments; it’s what I just ranted about in a nutshell; a very sad nutshell…).

To make a long rant short, a variety of opinions is the life-blood of a functioning society. Don’t let hatred cloud your view. Don’t stop looking for the good even within the bad. Try to go high, when others go low (yes, I stole that one 😊). If somebody has a different opinion, don’t stop talking to them, but don’t start a fight either. Be civil. Be respectful. Look for the common goal you may have. And if you can’t find one, politely say your good-byes and leave in the knowledge that THIS is how humans should interact.

Rant over. Happy Holidays for those who are still going!

Writing Book Series

Immortality's Gift - Michael Mandrake - Immortals

Immortality's Gift - Michael Mandrake - ImmortalsGreetings all. Occasionally I’ll allow the head, Sharita to speak. Here’s one of those times. Let’s talk about book series, shall we?

Thanks to everyone for joining me. Today, I’m talking about book series and why they’re a double edged sword. Why you say? Well, for the reader they’re great! You create a world with multiple characters, focusing on them, what they do, and in romance, how they interact with one another to fall in love. I’ve heard it all. Readers love series because they want to feel like they know the characters personally as well as their stories. And they have to be long! YES, the longer the better. 200 pages plus, give me angst, drama, romance, and some hot sex to boot.

Yes, it’s great.

It’s awesome.

And then comes the hard part; WRITING IT.

Believe me, I’m a reader too, so I love a good book series. Sue Brown’s Morning Report, Mercy Celeste, Southern Scrimmage, Avril Ashton’s Sinners Series. Yes, I love all of these and that’s just m/m. And then I think of my own. My N’awlins Exotica and Paranormal, Under the Gun, The Wretched, and my co-Author series Wounded with Remmy Duchene, just to name a few. They’re wonderful. I’ve enjoyed writing them, but they’re a serious pain in the ass.

Why you say? Well, as much as I love all my characters, there’s a lot that goes into writing them. Remembering little details like their eye and hair color, how it was cut, was it long, short? The temperament of the characters, where they lived, what was the last thing they’d done, what do they like to eat? Are they vegetarian? I had this issue with Orrin when I finally wrote his book. Then I recalled he ate a ham sandwich in book one.

Scratch that! *laughs*

And then, making it more complicated when the characters crossover into other books, IE N’awlins Exotica where I bring Ryland there and take Kajika to Paranormal! In my latest Immortals, I bring Waylon and Kajika into book two.

UGH!

There is so much work that goes into these and then, when you make them related you have to remember the backstory. What happens in the last book? What did Eli do to his last victim? What did Corey do to piss Nicolai off? I need to re-read it to find out. Yeah, now you see why the book series is a pain? I’d stated to Remmy before that I wouldn’t be doing anymore series. Boy was I wrong.

*sighs*

What about you? If you’re a reader, tell me about some of your fave series! Doesn’t have to be mine and if you’re an author, you can do it too. Also, tell me how you keep everything straight in every book? Do you make notecards on each character Have you plotted all 100 books in the series from day one?
Thanks for listening to me today!

* * * *

Well thanks to the head for stepping in with that great post. Here is a snippet from my newest book with Kajika and Waylon making an appearance, Immortality’s Gift!

Blurb: After Ryland encounters his two biggest nemeses in The Realm, he is furious with Valios. Though Ryland has strong feelings for Valios, he is fiercely committed to his lovers.

Valios however has a plan. He concocts a scheme, but his newly found “imperfection” may disrupt that strategy.

Completely ready to change, Dale Mooney’s patience is wearing thin. He wants that connection with his lovers, binding the three of them together. His reasoning is, he won’t feel complete until that happens. Being a human is boring anyway.

Valios’s efforts to cause a rift in this perfect union might be successful. Still, one of them will carry the symbol of Valios’s undying love for Ryland through all eternity.

Amazon Link

Other retailers

Excerpt

“Ryland! Ryland, please listen. I promise you, I hadn’t planned for that to happen and both those demons will pay dearly for what they’ve done.”

After scampering from The Depths club, Ryland shook his head feeling his anger growing in leaps and bounds. Reluctantly, he’d accepted the invite from his friend and teacher to attend this club in Nouvelle Terre. However, as Valios had done so many times, he convinced Ryland to leave his lovers behind and come to this gathering only to find the two beings he’d thought he disposed of some moons ago; Zylen, the soul sucker, and Eli, the tormentor of his beloved city, New Orleans.

“Ryland.” Valios called to him once more, grasping his shoulder tight.

Ryland shrugged it off, folding his arms over his chest. He seethed, thinking of how stupid he’d become allowing his affection for his wayward teacher to surpass his better judgment.

“Leave me, demon. You are a liar. A filthy, disgusting liar!” Ryland’s eyes changed from yellow to red in a matter of seconds and his nails grew in length. He knew he couldn’t beat the son of the Dark Lord, but he could get in a significant amount of licks before Valios struck him down.

“My dearest. My love. I would never hurt you. I love you. You are my friend, the other half that completes me.”

“You lie! You lie, Valios!” Ryland screamed at the top of his lungs as his fangs lengthened in his mouth. Feeling the anger overtake him, Ryland spun on his heel and hissed at his teacher.

“Why did you lie to me? Why did you make these individuals part of your minions behind my back?”

“I told you in the beginning that was what I’d do with them.” Valios stopped and held out his hands, almost begging Ryland to calm down. Valios couldn’t be scared of Ryland, could he?

“Besides, we need them to win the war. Eli is very cunning. Zylen could be of great assistance also.”

“How, Valios? Please share that with me. Two individuals who mercilessly killed beings for a living.”

“I’d think you’d understand that merciless murder to be a requirement of my army, my sweet. We are killers. All of us!”

Hearing Valios’s snarky comment angered Ryland even further. “I am not a heartless killer! Not like Zylen and Eli. Zylen killed many of my vampire brethren and tried to dispose of my brother and me while Eli killed helpless women on earth and tried murdering my nephew and I. Do you not understand, Valios? Do you not see how you have betrayed me?”

Ryland grabbed Valios’s shirt, using all his strength to lift Valios up by his collar. He shook him as if he weighed nothing. In his mind, Ryland knew this could be a death sentence for him. Now, he didn’t care.

Seemingly, Valios allowed Ryland to lift him from his feet. His legs dangled underneath him as if he was a rag doll and he choked from Ryland’s grasp on his neck.

“Ryland! Leave him be!”

Ryland stopped shaking Valios when he heard his assistant, Anasa’s voice.

“Get out of here, demon. Your boss and I have a matter to settle that is only between us,” Ryland growled.

“No, it is with me also, vampire. I said leave him alone or you shall have to deal with me.” Anasa’s fire blue eyes met Ryland’s red orbs.

Ryland roared and dropped Valios on the ground. Filled with rage, he stalked over to Anasa. Ryland surveyed the young demon, the Soul Catcher with so much hate in his heart. Though the demon appeared strong, Ryland could take this devil easily and dispose of him without batting an eyelash. Unlike Valios who’d definitely make his eternal life more than a living hell.

“You wish to tangle with me, young devil?” Ryland ran his hand through Anasa’s hair as if he were a little boy.

Anasa smacked Ryland’s hand away. “I have no love for you, bloodsucker! I will tear you limb from limb with no remorse!” Anasa replied with a smirk.

“You will do no such thing, Soul Catcher or you will feel my wrath!” Valios managed through labored breaths.

“This is between me and Ryland. Go back to the club and make sure everyone stays in place.”

“But, master…”

“I said, go!” Valios cut him off while struggling to get his bearings.

Anasa glared at Ryland before turning on his heel to do as Valios asked.

Ryland chuckled, watching his instructor struggle to his feet. “Was I too much for you, teacher? I only grabbed you as you’d done several times during our sparring.”

“It is true, my love. I… I was surprised by your sudden attack.” Valios said.

“You liar! You knew it all along and…” Ryland blinked twice, making a stunning realization.

“Shit! Damn you, Valios!”

Valios laughed and coughed as he tried getting up from the ground. “Yes, my vampire. I caught off-guard because I drank the fury from you and I am now drunk. So please, my dear Ryland, continue to be mad with me for no reason! I love it and my father does as well!”

“Ugh!” Ryland shifted on his heel, turning away from Valios. He’d forgotten this beast enjoyed feeding off his negative energy.

Michael Mandrake pens complex characters who are already comfortable in their sexuality. Through these characters, he builds worlds not centered on erotica but rather the mainstream plots we might encounter in everyday life through personal experiences or the media.

To find out more please visit

Michael Mandrake at WordPress

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Blog Tour with Excerpt, Teasers, Review & Giveaway – Treading Water by Jessie G

Treading Water banner - Jessie G.
Title: Treading Water
Series: Forgotten Soldier #2
Author: Jessie G
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: July 18, 2017

After devoting eighteen years of his life to the US Navy, Petty Officer First Class Shane Parker is struggling with the very real possibility of becoming unnecessary. If he doesn’t make Chief Petty Officer before his twenty—and it doesn’t seem likely that he will—he’ll be retired from active service and placed on the Fleet Reserve list until his mooring lines are officially cut forever. While it would all be very honorable and ceremonial, he simply wasn’t civilian material.
Before even swearing-in, Julian Brand knew he wasn’t cut out to be a soldier, but refusing wasn’t an option. Generations of Brand man made careers in the military and the expectation of every Brand son was to follow in those prestigious footsteps. Though the prospect of being rolled back dodged his every step, somehow he made it through boot camp and did his time. Six years after not reenlisting, Julian still struggles to find familial acceptance as he fights to live life on his terms.
On the surface, they couldn’t be more different, but when Jared Ramos calls, neither are capable of refusing. If they can find a way to work together, they might be able to save a wounded warrior and each other in the process.

NOTE: The first story in this series is a 6K word short story originally written for an anthology. While it’s a different couple, I’m happy to provide that to reviewers as they have a brief appearance in the new book and are central characters to this benefit series.

 

 

 





10% of royalties earned from this and future books in the Forgotten Soldier series will benefit the Gary Sinise Foundation, but I’m not content to stop there. I’ve set up a fundraising page directly on the Foundation’s website and I’m asking for your help in reaching (and maybe surpassing) my goal. Every donation of $10 equals 1 entry to win signed books. If you donate more than that, every multiple of 10 will be an additional entry (so $20 = 2 entries and so forth).

1 Grand Prize Winner will receive all my paperbacks signed (8 books) 
4 Runner Up Winners will win a signed copy of Treading Water


 

 


 

Seeing Sean fall apart was something Shane wasn’t likely to forget. Never could he have imagined a single scenario that included this big, strong, strapping sailor curled up in his blankets sobbing. As Julian climbed back onto the bed, absorbing that pain as if it were his own, Shane feared he was the wrong man to help them. He was barely treading water and the overwhelming emotions coming off both men were like a rip tide threatening to pull him away.
Over the years, he heard Sean worry over his cousin’s emotional stability enough that he thought he was doing the right thing by offering Julian a safe place to vent. It wasn’t like his own emotions were in danger of getting involved—he only had a couple and none of them were tied up in a man he didn’t know. The same couldn’t be said for Sean. They were more than friends, more than the honorary brothers, and this breakdown had his own eyes itching in an alarming way.
Were those tears? It had been decades. For sure, never in his adult life. Not since…no, it was best not to think about that now. Talk about being useless. If he went down that path, Sean and Julian would be taking care of him.
A warm hand slid along his and the ease in which their fingers twined gave him pause. Cautiously, he looked over and found brown eyes filled with understanding and invitation. He had promised Julian he wouldn’t be alone and the quiet reciprocation had been nice, but nothing he expected to count on. Without consciously thinking about it, Shane found himself sitting on the edge of the bed. Though it wasn’t built for three grown men, he was able to wrap his arm around his little unit and was surprised how right it felt.
“We’re going to get through this, Sean. Will you let us take care of you?” Julian was still speaking when Shane felt Sean nodding against them.
For better or worse, they were in it together now and Shane refused to let them down no matter how uncomfortable it might get for him.

 

 

 

Christina‘s review

5 of 5 Stars

Jessie set high expectations for this series with the introduction of not only Jared in the Sizzling Miami series but of Micah and Garrison in Micah’s Soldier. While the issues conquered in this story are really heavy, the story is filled with love, hope and support.

And as always she slightly teases us with a couple of characters that are only supporting cast in this book.

There are really 3 main characters in this story and I hope we see them throughout the rest of the series. However, I’m going to say it now…Shane is my favorite. He’s an enigma with his alpha male protective/possessive side coupled with his extremely vulnerable side. He suffered a tragedy in his youth and his only real family was his brothers-in-arms. His tough façade hid his desire to be appreciated and loved which he desperately needs but refuses to show. He’s the perfect balance for Julian and with Julian is exactly what Sean needs in his recovery.

Julian also shows two very different sides – he wears his emotions on his sleeve but will absolutely protect and help those he loves. His parents are crap yet he’s finding his own family his own way and that makes it that much better for him. His ability to embrace and show his emotions is the exact thing Shane needs to let down his guard and start really living. I love them together!

Sean was up and down through is recovery which is to be expected. He was a genuine character that you felt every emotion with and he’ll be a great role model for future soldiers he encounters. He and Esme are quite feisty and entertaining as hell together.

The stage is partially set for the next book and I’m looking forward to finding out who else might be a part of that story. The writing is as good as always with Jessie and I can’t wait for the rest of this series!

 

 

 

Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: to be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With three series in the works and a full schedule of releases planned for the next two years, it’s been amazing to have made this dream my reality.

I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics, and happily ever after. I’m a lover of strong secondary characters, and series filled with families—biological or chosen. All are themes you’ll find throughout my books.