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Bollocks! out today.

That’s not an instruction, by the way. Not a reference to some exhibitionistic gent giving his danglies an airing. No, this refers to the very British anthology of short stories from Wayward Ink Publishing – Bollocks!

Here’s the cover and blurb:

Bollocks as a word is a little naughty. It’s a little cheeky. It’s a little rude.
And it’s the tongue-in-cheek theme for this collection of short stories celebrating all things English.

You’ll discover a bonk is not a typo for somewhere to keep your money. A shag isn’t something thick and plush under your feet to keep them warm, though it is guaranteed to heat you up! And as for a snog, the boys of Bollocks! can assure you it’s worth finding out what that Brit term means.

The stories will make you laugh. They’ll make you snort. They’ll make you blush. Sigh—they’ll probably make you shake your head. They may even make you want to catch the next flight to England to find something a little British of your own!

It’s not just cricket, or jolly hockey sticks, it’s more… it’s the very British, Bollocks!

This is a fun bunch of stories, folks, with something for everyone – tension, passion, erotica and the daftest story I’ve ever written. 🙂 Would I recommend it? Of course I would. Short stories are briliant for filling in that little gap between going to bed and sleep, or waiting for a bus or to read in your lunch hour. These stories are fun, good humoured and generally life affirming – something we all need from time to time.

But don’t take my word for it.Those lovely people at Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews have already reviewed it and you can see their opinion here plus a terrific Rafflecopter giveaway!

If you’d like your own copy you can do the Rafflecopter thing there, or you could buy it directly from Wayward Ink, from B&N, from Amazon US and from Amazon UK

Click read more for the list of stories and watch this space because I’ll be offering a copy when I get back from UK Meet in Bristol.

(more…)

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So this is my last interview with a contributor to the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology from Dreamspinner Press. I’m really going to miss all these marvellous guests and the terrific variety of excerpts I’ve enjoyed reading.

The book is available NOW from Dreamspinner – just click on that rather lovely cover to go to the page. As promised I have bought two copies – one for me and one for a commenter to one of the interviews. Please comment to this interview or any of the others for a chance to win. I’ll be announcing the winner on Friday.

My guest today is a contributor who has not added a story to Not Quite Shakespeare but is equally important – Sue Brown the editor of the anthology! Many thanks, Sue for visiting today, and congratulations on your own new publication, Stormin’ Norman, which will be released on Monday.

Hi Sue.

Have you always lived in the UK? If not what drew you back?

I’m a south Londoner born and bred. I live about ten miles from where I grew up.

Is there any place that is a must-see for any visitor to the UK?

London. It’s hardly a surprise I’d say that, is it? I think that London is unique in its feel compared to other cities.

Is this the first time you’ve been the editor of an anthology?

Yes, I was a virgin in all ways.

What did you enjoy most about it/least about it?

Reading the stories. Rejecting great stories.

Could you please tell me about your other work?

I write a mixture of so many sub-genres, contemporary such as the Isle series, or cowboy such as Morning Report series, or just plain tear your heart out, such as Final Admission.

What are you working on at the moment?

A follow-up to Frankie & Al, called Ed & Marchant. If you’ve read the first you’ll remember Frankie’s nasty boss, Ed.

Please could we have an excerpt?

Yes, here’s an excerpt of Stormin’ Norman: Out 9th June 2014

Blurb:

Dan had been Jesse’s partner for many years, and always there for Jesse on his return from difficult assignments. However, after breaking his promise not to leave again, Jesse learns to his cost that Dan can be pushed too far. When he returns home, broken in body and spirit, Jesse finds his house empty and Dan in the arms of someone else.
To fill his life, Jesse decides to get a dog. His friends and neighbours take him to choose a puppy. What he doesn’t expect is for Norman to choose him. As Jesse takes on a new job, with Norman’s assistance, he realises that Dan isn’t far away, and he still loves him. Dan has moved on with his life. Can Jesse do the same?

Jesse knew he was being scoped out from the minute he entered the bar. It was his job to be vigilant, to be aware of any potential danger to himself or others. The man with his gaze fixed on Jesse had the potential to be dangerous, but it had nothing to do with harm and a whole lot to do with a sexual package wrapped up in lean muscle and topped with dark eyes and tousled hair.
He had come to the gay bar knowing it would be quiet this time of day. He just wanted a beer and a chance to unwind without being hit on by hopeful women. In this bar, he could head off any potential interest easily enough and relax. The guy watching him was destined to be disappointed, even as cute as he was. Jesse wasn’t interested.
The barman stopped polishing the glasses and grinned at Jesse. “You’re back again. It’s been a while.”
Jesse inclined his head. It had been ten months, three weeks and five days. He was anal enough to keep records of his whereabouts in case his handler needed to know.
“I’ve been working. It’s good to be back.” He scanned the pumps, searching for the real ale. “Hobgoblin, please, Sean.”
The barman gossiped about the recent gas explosion in the pub down the road Jesse listened with half his attention, keeping an eye on the dark-haired bloke in the corner.
The man didn’t disappoint. As soon as Jesse had his beer, he came over and sat on the bar stool next to Jesse. To give him credit, he didn’t piss about.
“Hi, I’m Dan.”
Jesse assessed him carefully. He was older than he’d appeared in the shadows—early forties maybe, the start of lines around his eyes and a sprinkle of grey at his temples. Not Jesse’s type. Jesse was in his mid-thirties. He usually went for men younger than him, searching for uncomplicated hook-ups and nothing more.
“Hi.” Jesse didn’t say any more, hoping his off-hand tone would tell the guy he was wasting his time.
Dan ordered another beer and turned back to him. “I haven’t seen you in here before.”
“I’ve been away.”
“Do you want a beer, a chat, and then see what happens?”
His approach caught Jesse’s attention. Normally blokes started off with “Do you wanna fuck me?” Nine times out of ten Jesse said no.
“I’m not the marrying kind,” Jesse said.
Dan blinked. “I asked you for a beer, not a ring.”
Jesse shrugged. “You’re older than me. I thought I’d get that off the table.”
“Thanks,” Dan said drily. “So all older men are desperate for a ring and kids. I’ll remember that next time I ask for a hook-up. I’ll only go for the younger twinks.” He got up and smiled sadly at Jesse. “Sometimes a beer is just a beer.”

Author Bio: Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot, and has become at ignoring the orders.
Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.

Come over and talk to Sue at suebrown.stories@gmail.com.
Her website can be found at http://www.suebrownstories.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/suebrownstories
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/suebrownstories
Blog: http://suebrownsstories.blogspot.com/
Email: suebrown.stories@gmail.com

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Rent Me by Brina Brady

Blurb:

Brennen Brady is a 21 year-old escort and USC law student who falls in love with Dmitri Dubrovsky, a 36 year-old Russian mafia man who saved him from an abusive home. When Brennen turned 18, he became Dmitri’s lover. Dmitri controlled every inch of his life in and out of bed. Dmitri set up a domestic discipline type of relationship and Brennen wants Dmitri to be his Dom. The story captures their struggles to define their relationship. When Dmitri marries Nika to protect his name from his friends and family, their relationship shakes their love. Brennen does not understand his lover’s Russian culture not allowing homosexuality. Two different cultures and age difference clash.

Brennen works as an escort for Dmitri’s Forbidden Desires Escort Service. Each use sharp emotional weapons to protect their relationship.

The story begins with Brennen upset over Dmitri’s marriage. Dmitri moved Brennen to his own apartment while he attends USC and works as an escort. Devastated Brennen did not know how to deal with being number two to his lover while they continued their sexual relationship as if nothing changed.

Brennen is coming of age and wondering if he is gay or bisexual. Dmitri torn between his love for Brennen and his Russian pride that demands him to be straight with a wife and family.

Stubborn Brennen refuses to quit being an escort, which upsets Dmitri who loves him. The battling of two stubborn men who want to be together without giving up anything. Brennen wants to remain an escort and Dmitri can’t accept being gay. Dmitri’s brother Mischa pushes Brennen in the direction of women, which upsets Dmitri. Can their relationship survive Brennen’s clients? Can their relationship survive Dmitri’s marriage? How will they save their relationship?

Available now from Smashwords and Amazon US.

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Happy Humpday. And since it’s Wednesday that means another interview and excerpt from an author contributing to the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology from Dreamspinner Press which is available for pre-order HERE.

My guest today is one of my favourite authors, whose cerebral mysteries and paranormals are a delight. Welcome, Theo Fenraven.

Have you ever visited the UK? If so where did you go? If not, what would you most like to see if you were able to make a visit?

I’ve never been to England. I’ve always wanted to go, though. There are a lot of places I’d like to see, but because my story is set in Manchester, that would be my first pick.

What inspired you to write your story for the anthology?

I liked the idea of setting a story in the U.K., and I’ve never been part of anthology before. As it happened, the idea for the short story occurred to me only a day or two before I heard about this. Talk about fortuitous!

Could you tell me a little about it?

Very little, or I’ll give the plot away. I’d rather readers came to it with fresh eyes. Wag is in IT and as the story opens, he meets Silver, a new employee, and is instantly in lust. That’s all it takes; Wag doesn’t get out much.  The story of these two misfits plays out against the background of Canal Street in Manchester and at their shared office.

Could you please tell me about your other work?


My latest release is Transgression, a story that looks at different kinds of sexuality in our culture and what people think about it. A male bisexual meets a MtF transwoman, setting various events in motion, some of which are life-threatening. My books are rarely straight romance. I would soon be bored to death! Instead, I weave in elements from thrillers, mysteries, and adventure tales. Precog in Peril is a paranormal murder mystery centered on the life of two young men who live on a houseboat; The Blue Paradise is set in Florida and the world of pro baseball, and concerns a stalker; Phoenix Rising dramatically brings a myth back to life in the shape of a charismatic rock singer; and in Blue River, a talented photographer goes back in time to 1863, where he has to grapple with a disturbing lack of amenities while attempting to court a deeply-closeted young rancher.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently wrapping up a first draft of my next book, which is called Wolf Bound and is a shifter story. I always swore I’d never write one based on a human-to-wolf transformation, as it’s been done over and over in the genre, but the characters leaped up in my head one day, waving their arms wildly, and I was hooked.

Please could we have an excerpt?

Here’s part of the first chapter from Wolf Bound.

I bought the old farmhouse in July, moved in on September tenth, and discovered the lake island in October. The body of water I lived on was Heron Lake, and it didn’t have islands. It did have a few summer cabins, a couple of year ’round residences, and my farm-turned-country acreage for a guy who knew nothing about growing food or keeping animals. It had been abandoned some years back, long enough that the pasture that had once fed beef cattle was now overgrown with thistle, and trees had sprung up in the long grass. I had my work cut out for me, taking down and disposing of the old barbed wire fence, but I thought I might get it accomplished by the time winter set in.
I knew there was another, smaller lake in the area, but I didn’t find it until I threw down my wire cutters one Saturday afternoon, wiped the sweat off my brow, and walked down the road, impulsively turning into an unmarked gravel lane that led into the trees. There was no mailbox to indicate it was a private drive, so I followed it past towering oaks and maples until it ended at a small lake. Out in the middle of it, on an almost perfect circle of raised land, was a small one-and-a-half-story cabin circled by a tall, graceful stand of birch and ash. Between the island and the shore was a wide, wooden dock, one end of which lay to my right behind thick woods. The other stopped short of the island by what I guessed was around thirty feet.
On my left was a large, well-cared-for house with a neatly trimmed lawn and intermittent explosions of late-blooming flowers. On the shore, a canoe and kayak were turned over on the beach. A dusty SUV was parked in the drive, but no one was on the porch and the lights were off. An old windmill turned lazily in the breeze, and there were solar panels on the roof.
I backed away uneasily, realizing this was someone’s private property and I was trespassing. Giving the tiny island cabin another admiring look, I retraced my steps to the road and went home. I decided it was high time to quit for the day, sit on my porch, and suck down a cold beer.

The summer people were mostly gone, but someone from the cabin closest to me wandered up my drive as twilight was setting in and sank into a rocker with a sigh. His name was Sam Malone. “Same as the guy on Cheers, remember that show? But I’m not a professional bartender, and my hair is real.”
Sam didn’t look like the actor, either. He had a head of curly black hair, was on the short side at around five foot nine, and was lean as a piece of crispy bacon. His parents owned the cabin, and sometimes he came out to get away from his stressful job as an ER nurse.
The breeze was picking up and had a distinctly chilly edge as it swept leaves off the trees and along the ground. Fall was here and winter not far behind.
“How ya doing, Jon?” he asked.
“Good. Got about ten feet of wire down.” I glanced at my hands, which looked beat up despite the gloves I wore when working. “Hardly any barb cuts today.”
I fetched him a beer, and we rocked and gazed at the small whitecaps ridging the water. I asked, “Who lives in the house on the other lake?”
“Egret? That’s the writer, Harrison Kalmes. One of his books was bought by Hollywood and turned into a movie. Must be nice, eh?” Sam drank and burped. “Keeps to himself.”
“Does he have a family?”
“Not that I’ve seen.” He grinned. “You interested?”
I’d told him I was gay the first time we met. Smiling, I swung back in the rocker and lifted my work boots to the porch railing. “Don’t know him. I’m interested in him being a writer, though. That’s sort of my secret dream.”
“Yeah? That’s cool.” He slid farther down on his spine, stretching his legs out and crossing them at the ankle.
Sam was straight, but my orientation didn’t bother him. It was nice having someone nearby I was comfortable around. I’d miss him when winter shut things down and he no longer visited. However, after what I’d been through the last few years, a little isolation didn’t sound half bad.
We drank in companionable silence while the first stars came out and a sickle moon rose in the sky. An owl hooted nearby, and I remembered someone telling me owls and hawks didn’t share common territory. I wondered if that was true.
“What’s with the cabin on the small island?” I hadn’t been able to get it out of my mind. I wanted to see what it looked like inside, and what the view of the lake was from there. I’d been reading about “tiny houses” off and on for a few years, and while this one obviously hadn’t been built recently, it had that same feel about it, like the whole of someone’s life could be tucked neatly away in small spaces. I’d even considered buying one, but then this property became available for not much more, and I decided to risk it. Also, practically speaking, resale value on “normal” houses was much better.
“Don’t know. Knock on the door and ask him.”
“Maybe I will.”

Many thanks, Theo, for answering my questions, and good luck both with NQS and with Wolfbound, which I understand has now been released to very good reception from reviewers and is available here.

Readers, if you would like to follow Theo’s progress you can find him on his blog and on Facebook.

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TGIF and if that wasn’t enough to bring a smile to your face here’s another author interview drawn from the list of talented scribers contibuting to the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology from Dreamspinner Press, an anthology which will be available in time for the UK Meet. As soon as it’s possible I will get two copies – one for me and one for a commenter to these series of interviews so don’t forget to leave comments because that’s the way to get a chance to win.

My guest today is a shiny brand new author and since reading her snippet I’m looking forward to seeing more of her work. Welcome, Penny Hudson.

Have you ever visited the UK? If so where did you go? If not, what would you most like to see if you were able to make a visit?

I have not, unfortunately. Which means I could write an entire novella to answer this question! But I’ll spare you and narrow it down to what comes to mind first. I’d go to London and watch every live show in town, then visit the National Theatre archive with a bag of snacks and revel in the recordings. I love theatre, but I don’t get to see live performances very often. Especially not that quality!

What inspired you to write your story for the anthology?

I saw a picture of a cow happily curled up on the bonnet of a car, like an oversized cat. It made me laugh, and I kept thinking about it throughout the day.

Could you tell me a little about it?

That situation had story written all over it, it just needed some characters. Who would really be infuriated to discover a cow sleeping on his car? Especially if it was an expensive car he treasured? I know! A fastidious solicitor who hates visiting the countryside, and yet is required to go there anyway during his search for a missing heir. Add in one sexy Welsh pub owner, and Misadventures of Mislaid Men almost wrote itself.

Could you please tell me about your other work?

I have a novella forthcoming this summer called Winter’s Risk from Dreamspinner Press.

Veteran park ranger Alexander Doyle is tracking a nuisance bear when he runs across obnoxious environmentalist Martin Ramirez. He and Martin have clashed before, when Martin and the protestors under his leadership ended a plan to expand the network of paved trails and improve accessibility. Given a choice, Alex would rather face the bear.
When the dangerous grizzly attacks them and Martin is gravely wounded, his only chance of survival is Alex’s determination to keep him alive through the night. But they’re stranded miles from any hope of rescue with the year’s first snowstorm coming in fast.

What are you working on at the moment?

A novel with the working title Finding Figaro. It’s about a prissy young author called Jasper who clings to his literary pretensions while he secretly searches for his favorite romance author’s real name, having no idea Figaro is the pseudonym of popular political-thriller author Isaac Wright- whom Jasper despises for churning out what he considers to be mass-market junk. Isaac is thoroughly bemused by his snobby attitude, and sets out to change Jasper’s mind without revealing himself.

It’s a lot of fun playing around with assumptions about why people write what they write. What it secretly means about who the author is as a human being, and what sort of personality they’re going to have. You really can’t judge a book by the cover, or predict a person because of their books.

Please could we have an excerpt?

Certainly! This is my story from Not Quite Shakespeare, Misadventures of Mislaid Men. This scene is set right after Gavin discovers the cow napping on his car. Much to his irritation, several men have come out of the pub to point and laugh about it.

Gavin refused to be their amusement. “I’ll sue the lot of you,” he snapped. He also refused to be a diplomat. “You lot look like you speak cow. Come and shift her off my car, and I’ll buy you a round.”
The one with the cane shoved at the younger man’s back. “Go on, speak cow for the Englishman. I expect it’s too advanced to be covered in English schools. Poor lad needs a translator, bless.”
Gavin waited dourly whilst beard-man jogged over and said, “I dunno. Cow’s pretty complicated. I’m not fluent or anything. I only took a few classes in nursery school. Basics really, mooing to ten, shades of grass—”
“Ha-bloody-ha.” Gavin crossed his arms over his chest and tried to look important. “What’s it take to get you to move this walking steak factory?”
The Welshman tipped his chin down a little and let his gaze linger on Gavin’s trim form, highlighted in the well-fitting suit.
“Ask me nicely,” he suggested with a grin that promised more than laughter. That was the sort of grin Gavin expected to see when he was being chatted up in a club. Not way out here. He must be mistaken. Or so desperate for sex he was hallucinating interest when there was none.
Gavin licked his lips whilst he decided what to say and didn’t miss the way the other man’s pupils dilated slightly as he did. Perhaps he wasn’t mistaken. Perhaps this errand wasn’t going to be as tedious as he assumed. The intense hazel eyes peering at his lips certainly suggested that was within the realm of possibility.
“Please,” he finally said, feeling slightly off-balance somehow.
“That’ll do. I’m Lewellyn, by the way. This is my pub.”

Many thanks, Penny for answering my questions today. Readers, don’t forget to comment! You may follow Penny on her blog and she can be found on Twitter as @AnyPennyH.

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Doesn’t Humpday come around fast? I hope you’re having a good Wednesday but, if you’re not, this interview from another author contributing to the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology from Dreamspinner Press might cheer you up a bit. Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win a copy of the anthology.

My guest today is M A Ford.

Have you always lived in the UK? If not what drew you back?

I was born in the UK, but left as a child, and only lived there for a short while in my twenties. But despite rarely being a resident, I’ve always been drawn back there, to visit relatives, on holiday or even just to go to the theatre or concerts. It may seem silly to fly to London to watch a recording of ‘Cabin Pressure’, or to watch a Matthew Bourne ballet, but there are some things you just have to do …

Is there any place that is a must-see for any visitor to the uk? In how many counties have you lived? Cosmopolitan or rural?

I’ve lived in Kent, Essex and Derbyshire, mainly in small towns.
It might not be on the general list of must-see things, but when I want people to see the UK I love, I try to take them for a drive up in the Peak District, mainly around Castleton… I also love the New Forest. And it’s not the mainland, but I adore the Shetland Islands, and if I ever have the chance, that’s where I’d love to live.

What inspired you to write your story for the anthology?

Inspiration actually hit at Victoria Station while waiting for the Gatwick Express – not very romantic. I generally write about motorsport, and wanted to try something that could only be set in the UK. And Silverstone Circuit, with its history as a WWII airfield, seemed a perfect backdrop.

Could you tell me a little about it?

Racing driver Chris Bryant has been issued with an ultimatum by his boyfriend, fellow driver Charlie Stebbings: come out and be open about their relationship or the romance is over. At the final race of the season, a sudden rain-shower turns the track into a river, and Chris cranes When he wakes up, everything has changed…

Could you please tell me about your other work?

My first book was published by Dreamspinner at the end of December 2013. It’s called ‘Track Limits’, and is a contemporary story set in the world of motorsport, about a racing team, Randolph Racing, and their drivers. It revolves around the romance between Mark Hunter, team manager and driver, and his team-mate Jordan Matthews. I also had a short story as part of Dreamspinner’s Valentine Rainbow, called ‘Love and an (orange) Lamborghini, and another story in the forthcoming ‘Mended’ June Daily Dose. That’s also set in motorsport, with a driver waiting for his team-mate to come round after an accident.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on two sequels to Track Limits, carrying on the love story between my heroes, Mark and Jordan. The first, Overtaking Manouvres, sees them face tensions and separation as their careers take them in different directions. The third, Unavoidable Contact, introduces a new hero, a young driver struggling with his sexuality, love life and career, who needs some help from Mark and Jordan.

Please could we have an excerpt?

Here’s a short snippet from ‘Track Limits’:

Excerpt from ‘Spa Francorchamps’

On leaving the pits, Jordan was lying twelfth, his best time on the old tires and two seconds slower than the provisional pole. Immediately, his sectors began to come down. There were only a handful of cars still out on the track, a number of them having decided to forfeit the final session after the rain spoiled the earlier qualifying.
Mika came over and stood behind Mark, following number 63’s progress with a finger. “He’s doing well,” he said, close to Mark’s ear. “Come on, Jordan… yes… I wish we could see what he’s doing… that was a good sector! Come on, yes…. Yes! Fourth!” He thumped Mark’s shoulder and grinned. “Second row. That’s not bad!”
Mark nodded, his gaze still glued to the screen. He knew Jordan could go faster, if he was confident enough. The cars that had taken the time to make the most of the drying track were all improving. It was going to be a case of the last man out with the freshest tires who took pole.
Another lap. First sector suddenly flashed up in pink, as Jordan set the best time so far. Then the Ferrari on provisional pole improved again. Jordan improved his second sector too—green for personal best. It was all down to the third sector….
Mark was still listening, but there was no sound on the radio. Jordan was going for it. As for him, he realized he was holding his breath. “Come on, Jordan,” he muttered, picturing those bright-green eyes focused on the dark. So gorgeous….
Where had that come from? Mark, briefly shaken by the thought, shivered. He stared down the pit lane, trying to recognize the Porsche’s headlights. Was that it? And as he looked back at the screen….
“Pole!” Mika screamed behind him.
“Too soon,” Mark said between gritted teeth. “There’s five minutes to go.”
But suddenly the flag in the bottom of the screen flashed red. “Nissan 23 off at Radillon,” he read on the message screen. And then, a second message underneath. “Session will not resume.”

~~~

You can follow M A Ford at her Website and on Facebook.

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First of all kudos to Paul Richmond for yet another memorable cover, with shades of Mucha plus a welcome variation on the ‘naked guys getting close’ theme seen on so many M/M romance covers. Good art with implications of sweetness and light, very appropriate.

Secondly, I’ve been asked by the author to make it absolutely clear that this book is a standalone novel. It is the first in the Season of Love series but the books are only loosely linked, much as Ben’s other books are linked by characters who live in the Oscar Wilde apartment block who may appear in subsequent titles. The linking is a little more formal in this case, being the about romantic relationships of a group of friends, but I’m assured that every book will be able to be read independently of the others. There also isn’t too long to wait if you are a B G Thomas completist. The next book will be published in July, with Autumn written and Winter well on the way.

Here are the details:

Spring Affair by B G Thomas

Blurb: Sloan McKenna is going through a tough time. His beloved mother has recently passed away, leaving him her house and beautiful garden. But should he keep the house? Sell it? To make matters worse, he’s in love with one of his best friends, Asher, a man who can’t (or won’t) love him back.

Sloan’s neighbor, Max Turner, is married to an ambitious woman with far-reaching dreams, including moving the family to France. But Max is happy teaching at the local college and living in their nice, quiet town. Then he discovers his fourteen-year-old son is not only gay, but out and proud as well. That throws him into complete disarray, for more than one reason….

When Max’s wife leaves on a two-month business trip to Paris, circumstances throw the two men together. As they become friends, Sloan finds himself falling in love with Max, who is completely unavailable… just like Asher. As for Max, he is discovering that both his son’s coming out and his new friendship with Sloan are stirring up feelings he thought buried long ago. Spring is a time for rebirth—Is there any way the two men can find happiness and a new beginning?

Excerpt:

Sloan was lucky to have all of the dear friends who had gathered here with him tonight, especially after the last month. Month? Hell! Six months. His shoulders sagged, and he felt the tears almost prick at the corners of his eyes. Almost. But it wasn’t happening. And that was a good thing. He didn’t want his friends to see him crying. Not tonight. Even though he could. Even though it would be fine. He wanted to be brave tonight. Impress the hell out of them.

Were they talking about him now, or were they delving into a discussion of whether John the Baptist was real or not? At least Scott wasn’t going on and on about one of his online romances—men he fell madly in love with and rarely met in real life. And when he did? Disaster every time. The last time Scott had actually flown to Chicago and checked into The Four Seasons, a very expensive hotel, so he could meet the man he just knew was Mr. Right. The two of them were supposed to share the costs of not only the room, but the plane tickets as well. That didn’t happen. Scott and his romance du jour met, fucked, wound up having a huge ugly fight, and it was over. Scott had been devastated. For a couple of weeks. Maybe a month. Then Scott was right back online.

Scott, Wyatt, and Asher. They were the best friends a man could have, despite their eccentricities.

Scott was always there for him at an instant’s notice, no matter what. He had actually been the first one Sloan had called on the worst day of his life, not more than a month ago. Scott had had a plan already set and instantly took over so Sloan could just throw himself on the couch and, well, not cry. That hadn’t happened yet. He’d been too afraid to let the tears go until the funeral was over—he had wanted, needed, to maintain a sense of decorum until then. He could cry later.

Except he hadn’t yet. Not really.

Read more at Dreamspinner Press

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Here we are again with another interview from an author contributing to the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology from Dreamspinner Press. Don’t forget to comment because I plan to buy two copies and will give one away to a lucky commenter.

My guest today is a favourite author so my welcome is tinged with a bit of fangirliness 🙂 Hi Chris Quinton, how are you doing?

Have you always lived in the UK? If not what drew you back?

Well, apart from a year in Aden when I was really young – was four when I came home – and a couple of years in South Wales in the mid 1960’s, I’ve always lived in England.

Is there any place that is a must-see for any visitor to the UK?

OMG, so many! In my home county alone there’s Stonehenge, Avebury, Wilton House, Salisbury Cathedral, Stourhead House with its wonderful gardens, and that’s off the top of my head without thinking about it. There’s so much packed into this collection of islands, whether you’re a history/archaeology fan or a lover of grand houses and their gardens. Then there’s the wonderfully varied coastline, the lakes and forests.

In how many counties have you lived? Cosmopolitan or rural?

Born and bred in Salisbury, Wiltshire. When I was first married, we lived for a couple of years close to Cwmbran in Monmouthshire, South Wales, then for about six months we were in Botley, Hampshire before moving back to Salisbury – where I’ve been ever since. Although Salisbury is a city, it’s no bigger than a small market town – but its history spans about three thousand years, give or take *g*. I’d class it as rural living rather than cosmopolitan. Half an hour’s walk and you’re among fields. It’s lovely here…

What inspired you to write your story for the anthology?

Well, we were walking the dogs, and my daughter in law was chatting about a friend and her rescue greyhounds, and what characters they were. I wanted to write something quintessentially English, and greyhound racing fitted the bill. Then the title popped into my head – In The Dog House. I mulled it over a bit, and Jerry appeared and started talking about his trials and tribulations, and his old crush. So I basically took notes and ended up with just under 10K of 1st person narration.

Could you tell me a little about it?

Jerry Thorne is looking after a racing greyhound for his uncle, and is in hiding from men out to drug Spot, aka Edie’s Lightning, before a big race. Mike Brown is an ex-crush [unreciprocated] who moved away and joined the Avon & Somerset Police. Jerry had a huge crush on Mike from his early teens. The one time he acted on it and kissed him, Mike rebuffed him, saying he wasn’t gay. Soon after he left the area and Jerry didn’t see him for years. Uncle George tells Jerry to stay away while he negotiates with the crooks, and Jerry ends up on Mike’s doorstep…

Could you please tell me about your other work?

I’ve just had Caravaggio’s Angel published by Totally Bound – it’s a contempory paranormal set on the island of Malta – https://www.totallybound.com/caravaggios-angel. Also, having had a handful of titles revert to me from the currently rather troubled Silver Publishing, I’ve reedited them, found new covers and self-published them. Details can be found on my website http://chrisquinton.com

What are you working on at the moment?

Oh, goodness. My Work in Progress folder is stupidly long. Well, I’m co-writing Heat with RJ Scott, co-writing Against the Tide with Terri Beckett, working on Melusine’s Cats #1 Greymalkin, and I have edits to do on Undercover Blues for Manifold Press. Those are at the top of the list. Below them are at least half a dozen stories waiting to be worked on, all with titles and some with covers ready for self-publishing.

Please could we have an excerpt?

With pleasure *g*. Here’s a short clip from In The Dog House…

I pulled over at the first lay-by I saw, and after I’d let Spot out to stretch his legs and we’d taken it in turns to pee against the same tree, I got out my mobile phone, and was shocked to see it was gone ten o’clock. First I called Uncle George, to let him know where we were and that we’d lost our tail. He had news as well. Pete Mullins, Joe’s dad, had paid him a visit, told him he had two choices.
“Two? That was generous. Not. Is one option the same his thug of a son gave me?”
“Yup. Spot has to compete. But I sell him to them—for a sodding fiver, no less—and keep my mouth shut, or else.”
“What? The bastards! They can’t have him, Uncle!” Then caution set in. “Or else, what?”
“He didn’t say, but it doesn’t matter. You keep our Spot safe, you hear me? I’m taking him out of the race first thing in the morning.”
“But they want him to run,” I protested. “You’re taking a hell of a risk! You’re not going to give him to them, are you?”
“Don’t be daft! Of course not! Just lie low with him for a while—and keep your mouth shut! I think I can get us out of this as long as we don’t involve anyone else.”
“Meaning the police?”
“Exactly. I’ve got a plan,” he continued with a confidence I didn’t feel. “I saw it on a TV cop show and it’ll work for us. Just lay low and leave this to me.”

~~~ Chris Quinton ~ Writing Romance … Where Men Fall In Love With Men ~~~

My website is here http://chrisquinton.com/
and I’m on FaceBook here https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000894893197
Here is my Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/author/chrisquinton

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Are you having a good weekend?

Well just in case you need something to read here’s the next interview from authors contributing to the Not Quite Shakespeare anthology from Dreamspinner Press, that will be published in June just in time for the UK Meet. I am very much looking forward to getting a copy and have decided to buy two, one of which I am offering here as a giveaway. Comment below or to any or the other interviews for your name to go in the hat.

My guest today is Jules Jones. Hi Jules.

Have you always lived in the UK? If not what drew you back?

I’ve lived in several different countries, and long-time readers will probably remember that I was living in the US when I sold my first few novels. But I’m originally from the UK, and currently living in northern England.

Is there any place that is a must-see for any visitor to the UK?

Too many for any one visitor to see, and of course it depends on what you like to look at. My current local favourite is the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, because I like steam engines and early computers, and so do a lot of my visitors. 🙂

In how many counties have you lived? Cosmopolitan or rural?

Four so far. Always in a town or city, although usually with the countryside within easy distance. For several years I lived right in the middle of a conurbation, but with a view of the North Yorkshire Moors.

What inspired you to write your story for the anthology?

It’s actually a story I wrote some years ago, and never found a suitable home for until now. It came from a remark on a tv show years ago about missing toast badly enough to grow the wheat to make the bread. My lead character doesn’t go quite that far, but he does like making bread from scratch.

Could you tell me a little about it?

What better way to get to know a shy new flatmate than offering to share freshly baked bread? And all that dough kneading leads to nice strong hands, which is useful if you also know how to give a good massage.

Could you please tell me about your other work?

Most of my commercially published fiction is m/m romance, and a lot of it’s cross-genre science fiction and fantasy. I wandered in from the sf&f side of cross-genre, which is why my “which authors are you influenced by” list includes writers like Andre Norton and Lois McMaster Bujold. But I also write a fair bit of contemporary romance, including my recently released novel “Nice Tie”. The contemporary romance is all set in the UK, as is some of the cross-genre romance. My silkie novel Spindrift is set on the west coast of Scotland, and my shapeshifter novel Dolphin Dreams is set on the Purbeck coast in Dorset. And for science fiction, there’s First Footer, which is a first contact story set in England. (Never park your spaceship on a peat bog…) The rest of the cross-genre is basically Brits In Space. (No, not Brits In Spaaaaace. Except for The Syndicate.) You can find my full bibliography on my website, along with a lot of excerpts and some free reads.

What are you working on at the moment?

Two very different pieces. One’s a very gentle contemporary short story idea I got from the submission call for the Dreamspinner anthology “Random Acts of Kindness”. The other is a contemporary office romance with caning on one side, bondage on the other, and in-house fraud to investigate for both of them. That one will probably be heading in the direction of my editor at Loose Id once it’s finished. And every so often I poke at my urban fantasy novel.

Please could we have an excerpt?

My story in the anthology is fairly short, so not really suitable for an excerpt. Instead, have an excerpt from the WIP. Alas, you’ll have to wait a while before this one’s out. 🙂 The guys have just met for the first time, in the bar of the hotel they both happen to be staying in.

~~~

They’d been quiet enough to be discreet, but Chris could understand why Jason might want to leave anything more detailed than “we’re having sex” to somewhere more private than the corridor. Only when they were inside, with the door safely shut behind them, did he ask, “Just vanilla, or something more?” He looked around the suite. It didn’t run to a four-poster bed, but there were other possibilities. “There’s always the dressing gown belt for impromptu bondage.”

Jason laughed softly. “You’re a sweet-looking young thing, but I’m still not letting a complete stranger tie me up in an anonymous hotel room. Besides, it’s not my kink.”

“So what is?”

“I’m old enough to have been educated at an expensive fee-paid school, at a time when one of the things parents were paying their fees for was firm discipline in the shape of corporal punishment.”

Chris was speechless for a few seconds. Not at the idea that Jason liked being caned, but at why. Then he decided that it was none of his damned business. “Okay. Not sure how practical that is at short notice.” He looked around the room. “Unless you carry something with you on the off-chance?”

“No.” Jason crossed his arms and looked at him. “Not when I was planning to have a quiet drink and then go to bed early.” Then he grinned. “Though I’m rather regretting it now. You’re game for it, and it’s not even really your thing, is it?”

~~~

Jules Jones is a materials scientist with a degree in maths and physics, and as such should really be writing hard sf. The output is in fact more along the lines of political sf, erotica and romance, often all at the same time. The longer examples are mostly published by Loose Id; short stories have appeared in a variety of venues. You can find Jules online at her website, blog, Twitter, Library Thing and Goodreads or you can email her at jules.jones@gmail.com!

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I haven’t done one of these for a long time – life has, as they say, been ‘interesting’ – but I recently read a follow up to books I have recced before so I thought I’d give it a mention.

I was very excited to hear that the next one in K Z Snow’s steampunky magiccy fantasy series was out and I’m delighted to say that my excitement was justified.

Machine by K Z Snow continued the story of the relationship of Fanule Perfidor, Eminence of Taintwell, and his ex-carnival snake oil salesman lover, Will Marchman, who has given up on the snake oil and now sells luxury items for personal grooming, with some time spent revisiting other amazing characters like Clancy Marrowbone, vampire, and Lizabetta and her cat, surely the most unusual healer and pet currently in fiction.

Life is proceeding pretty well until a strange wagon arrives at the carnival, then appears in various places around Taintwell, and the citizens begin to exhibit odd behaviours and in some cases disappear. The owner of the Spiritorium is implicated and Fanule has to find out who he is and what he’s doing.

Then epic stuff happens, happy couples are torn apart and everyone’s well-being spirals quickly towards the drain.

This is such good fun and fills in answers to some questions that had occurred to me in book one, Mongrel. Another thing I really enjoy about it is that the lives of the bit part players are treated with sympathy and there are some of that rare breed in M/M fiction – strong sensible female characters who are not interested in getting into either hero’s pants because they have their own thing to do. People in this world have flaws to overcome and conflicts to resolve beyond the main plot and that is as it should be.

But the main plot is compelling and exciting and I recommend this book very highly to any reader who craves a good sound plot and compelling characters.

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