'I love you' is just the beginning of the story.

Giveaway and Cover Reveal: Michael Rupured’s “Happy Independence Day”

Please help me in welcoming the wonderful Michael Rupured to my blog today! Michael is revealing the gorgeous cover to his upcoming release, Happy Independence Day, from Dreamspinner Press! Read all the way through the post for a chance to win a signed copy of the prequel to this book, After Christmas Eve! -Shira

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Thanks, Shira, for allowing me to show off the cover for my upcoming release from Dreamspinner Press here on your blog. By far, the most exciting part of the publishing process—at least for me—is seeing the cover for the first time. For my next novel, to be released August 20th, artist Christy Caughie created a gorgeous cover. To celebrate, I’m conducting a giveaway. Keep reading for details.

HappyIndependenceDayFS

Blurb: Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. A prelaw student at Columbia University majoring in political science, his interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie. Terrence notices the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn, but the handsome man—and rumored Mafia hustler—rebuffs his smiles and winks.

Cameron McKenzie dropped out of college and left tiny Paris, Kentucky after the death of the grandmother who raised him, dreaming of an acting career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he becomes a prostitute to make ends meet. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes, he is in way over his head, and he can’t see a way out—at least not a way that doesn’t involve a swim to the bottom of the Hudson in a pair of cement flippers.

Cameron is left with a choice: endanger both their lives by telling Terrence everything or walk away from the only man he ever loved. The Mafia hustler and the student activist want to find a way to stay together, but first they need to find a way to stay alive.

Preorder here:

Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5311

Ebook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5310

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The Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village is the setting for much of the action in Happy Independence Day. What happened at the Stonewall Inn on the night of June 28, 1969 to cause the uprising?

Police raids of gay bars were common, but usually took place early in the evening on a weeknight when the bars weren’t crowded. The local police precinct had provided plenty of advance notice about a pro forma raid at the Stonewall Inn on Tuesday night. The following Friday, as part of Mayor John Lindsay’s campaign for reelection, the New York City Division of Public Morals launched a surprise raid on the packed-to-capacity Stonewall Inn. Because of delays, the Friday night raid didn’t begin until just after midnight. The police removed the liquor, retained both jukeboxes as evidence, and ripped out the bars and wooden seating that lined the walls, angering an estimated 200 patrons who watched as they waited to have IDs checked.

GIVEAWAY!!!!

To give you a reason to visit the other blogs helping me celebrate my new cover, I’ve come up with a Giveaway and a quiz about the Stonewall Inn and the 1969 uprising that made it famous. Find the answers on the blogs participating in my cover reveal and giveaway (links below). Comment on my post on any of the participating blogs by midnight, July 31, 2014 for a chance to win a signed copy of the prequel, After Christmas Eve (U.S. residents only; ebook available for international winners—one winner per blog).

What is the Stonewall Inn?

What was the legal environment in 1969 for NYC homosexuals?

Who owned the Stonewall Inn?

What made the Stonewall Inn a magnet for homosexuals?

Who/what started the Stonewall riots?

How long did the Stonewall Uprising last?

 

Find out what Michael’s up to by visiting his web site (http://rupured.com), following him on Twitter (@crotchetyman), or by email (mrupured@gmail.com).

 

Contest, Sale, and Updates!

Dissonance-build-full-r2I admit it. I’m a juggler. I write full-time, and I work full-time as an attorney (for those of you who don’t already know). So sometimes things take a back seat to my deadlines (*cough, cough* Shira’s Newsletter and free serialized story *cough, cough*). So rather than update the newsletter, I thought I’d give you all a quick, drive-by update here and let you know what I’m up to.

First, I’m counting down the days to the release of Dissonance on August 8th! The book is now available for preorder in ebook and paperback at the Dreamspinner Press website, and until midnight tonight, August 22nd, you can pick it up for 20% off the cover price in both ebook and paperback. So don’t miss the deal, since there probably won’t be another sale until after release day!

Second up, I’m still running a great giveaway to celebrate the Dissonance pre-release contest. You could win a cool Blue Notes Series swag bag filled with paperback books of the first 5 novels in the series (or ebook copies if you live outside the US). The giveaway ends on midnight, August 8th, to coincide with the Dissonance release. Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/Y2YwYmE5NDkzMTY4MjgyZWNiMzcwNjVhODk2ZTBjOjQ=/

Or use the cool widget here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next, I’m hard at work on the last book in the Mermen of Ea Series, Running with the StealingTheWindFSWind. The book will wrap up the story of Ian and Taren and the war between the island and mainland Ea (merfolk) factions. For those of you who have read Into the Wind already, you may be happy to hear that I’m mulling over a spinoff story about a certain character who appears in that second book. I’ll keep you posted! Tentative publication of Running with the Wind is late spring, early summer 2015.

Last, but hardly least, I just signed a contract for the first in a series of vampire books in the Blood Series, Blood and Rain. Set both in the present and in France 3621890092_4175cd8c60_zin the late Victorian period, the Blood Series focuses on Adrien Gilbert, a vampire hunter, and Nicolas Gilbert, the vampire he comes to love. You can read more about the series and read the first chapter of Blood and Rain here. Tentative publication is December 2014/January 2015, with the sequel following  in Spring of 2015.

So there you have it! Do I have more projects on tap? Of course! I’m working on a contemporary May/December romance with the wonderful Michael Halfhill. I’m also working on a joint project with my good friend, Cody Kennedy. More about that to come! Questions or comments? Feel free to ask. -Shira

BlueNotesSeries_FBbanner_DSP[1]Blurb: British lord Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his own fault for pushing Aiden away. Then someone tries to set him up and take away his family business. Facing arrest by US authorities on charges of money laundering and with no money to return to London, Cam decides to run. But with no money and no place to stay, it’s not exactly the Hollywood thriller he’d imagined.

When Cam hears Galen Rusk play in a lonely subway station, he’s intrigued. But his assumptions about Galen are all wrong, and their unusual relationship isn’t exactly what Cam bargained for. Add to that the nightmares that dog him nightly, and Cam’s world is shaken to its core. Cam figures he had it coming to him, that it’s all penance due on a life lived without honesty. He just never figured he might not be able to survive it.

Buy Blue Notes Series books on Dreamspinner Press, Amazon,Barnes & Noble, and AllRomanceEbooks

******

EXCERPT:

Cam cursed his love for Aiden as he wobbled down the concrete steps to the 42nd Street subway station. Riley had looked at him as if he were mad when he’d told her he was headed home. “Did I do something wrong?” she asked with the same pouty expression she wore on the rare occasion when her father refused to buy her something.

“Nothing,” he said as he’d reached for the doorknob. “I’m done. That’s all.”

“At least let me call my driver to take—”

He’d refused. Seriously, did she think he wasn’t capable of taking a fucking subway after a few drinks at a party? It wasn’t even midnight.

He rubbed an eye with the heel of his hand. The damn telephone conversation replayed in his mind and grated on his nerves like Muzak at a cheap restaurant. He’d tried not to sound eager. Tried to sound nonchalant. He’d gotten good at that over the years. And then the brutal words had come. They’d seared his heart and left him dizzy. “Listen, Cam…. I need to tell you something. I don’t want you to hear it from the press…. Sam asked me to marry him, and I said yes.

He needed to walk. He needed to clear his head. He needed to shout to the heavens and hit something.

Why in hell had he bothered to look at the phone? Easy: he’d prayed it was Aiden calling to tell him he wanted him back.

You’re a fucking loser, Cameron! Nobody wants you!

A memory stirred. Someone holding him. Ruffling his hair. Someone other than his father. Someone had wanted him. Cared for him.

Where the hell had that come from? He brushed it off and descended the steps to the Lexington Avenue train.

It was bad enough that Aiden thought he’d tried to sabotage his career. He did everything to make sure Aiden didn’t think he wasn’t interested anymore. He’d gone to the after-party following Aiden’s Met debut—of course he’d gone, his company had helped bankroll the production of Don Giovanni—and Aiden had been MIA. So he’d decided Aiden didn’t need to know he’d been there at all.

And then the phone call. Aiden hadn’t beaten around the proverbial bush. He’d said it. Honestly. Simply. Just the way Cam would have expected Aiden to say it. And suddenly Cam didn’t care if he fucked that hot little Broadway-bound arse. He no longer cared about the party or its hallowed attendees. He no longer cared about anything except the gaping, jagged hole the conversation had left in his heart. And now, fucking New York pigeons were setting up camp in the hole. Shitting in it.

He walked from the Lexington Avenue train toward to the S train platform. The achingly mournful sound of a trumpet echoed off the dirty tile walls. He hadn’t really noticed them before. The intricate mosaic artwork had probably taken weeks to complete. Decades before, it had probably been stunning, but now it was covered in a film of grayish-black soot and some of the tiles were missing.

How fitting. He looked around for the source of the music, noting the powerful smell of urine. Away from the turnstiles, a mound of blankets and a refuse-filled shopping cart occupied the far corner of the station. He guessed there was a human being under there, although he was hardly going to look. Beyond the automatic ticketing machines, he could just make out the form of a man holding a trumpet. The same man he’d seen playing at lunch. Maybe he lived in the subway. Cam had heard stories of actors and musicians unable to get work in New York living on the street.

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone….

Cam walked across the empty space between the train platforms, his feet making soft tapping sounds against the concrete. He paused for a moment to watch the trumpet player standing with his back to the wall. He stared into whatever space musicians liked to stare into—that ethereal place they went when they were so focused on the music that the world around them disappeared. A dusty blond curl fell from the shaggy mop of hair onto the trumpeter’s face as he finished another phrase. “… and she’s always gone too long any time she goes away.”

Cam drew a long breath. It was perfect. The angst of it all. The music. The echo of his steps. The blast of cool air as he neared the train tunnels. Fucking perfect.

The musician noticed him standing there. The man’s eyes were a beautiful hazel, almost green. Why hadn’t he noticed before?

What do you care? The man’s an unemployed musician.

The guy looked at him and his eyes widened almost imperceptibly, as they had the last time Cam had seen him. Did he recognize Cam? God knew there were enough articles written about him. Esquire, Elle, Cigars Magazine, blah, blah, blah. Glamour’s “Most Eligible Bachelor” from 2008. As if!

The trumpet player finished the song, then stopped for a moment and rested the trumpet against his hip. His lips were swollen and pink from playing. For a split second, Cam imagined tasting them. Then he noticed the torn jeans and white T-shirt with a faded Señor Frog’s logo and the words “I got wasted in Cancun” written below it.

Oh, for God’s sake, Cameron! He’s a loser with a capital L!

Well, that made two of them, didn’t it? Even if the guy could play pretty damn well—very well, judging by the little Cam had heard—they were both in a stinking, empty subway station on a Friday night at midnight. Poor sod.

“Another request?” A smile danced on the man’s kissable lips.

Cam shrugged. “Whatever you want to play,” he said, not caring how pathetic he sounded.

The trumpeter put his instrument to his lips and began. “Blue moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart….”

 

Preorder “Dissonance” and Enter the Prerelease Giveaway!

Dissonance-build-full-r2Dissonance is now available for pre-order in ebook and paperback at the Dreamspinner Press website! Release day is August 8th. Just click on the book title or on the cover to find the pre-order link.

I’m so excited to share Cam Sherrington’s story with you. For those of you who have read Aria (it’s not necessary to read that before reading Dissonance, by the way), you’ll recognize Cam as the British noble who breaks opera singer Aiden Lind’s heart by cheating on him. And although Cam does redeem himself a little by the end of that book, for me at least, he needed to walk through the fire and come out the other side in order to change his cheating ways.

Dissonance has some dark themes, but the focus is on hope and healing. With help from trumpet player Galen Rusk, whom Cam meets in a Manhattan subway station, Cam is able to pick up the pieces and make a new life for himself. I would be the last person to make excuses for a character who misbehaves, but I do love to delve deep into a character to understand what makes him tick. For me, Cam was a difficult character to get to know, but once I did, I fell pretty hard!

You can pre-order Dissonance on the Dreamspinner Press website now. And while you’re at it, be sure to enter the pre-release contest I’m running. You could win a cool Blue Notes Series swag bag filled with paperback books of the first 5 novels in the series (or ebook copies if you live outside the US). Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/Y2YwYmE5NDkzMTY4MjgyZWNiMzcwNjVhODk2ZTBjOjQ=/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll leave you with the blurb and an excerpt from Dissonance. I hope you enjoy it! –Shira

******

Blurb: British lord Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his own fault for pushing Aiden away. Then someone tries to set him up and take away his family business. Facing arrest by US authorities on charges of money laundering and with no money to return to London, Cam decides to run. But with no money and no place to stay, it’s not exactly the Hollywood thriller he’d imagined.

When Cam hears Galen Rusk play in a lonely subway station, he’s intrigued. But his assumptions about Galen are all wrong, and their unusual relationship isn’t exactly what Cam bargained for. Add to that the nightmares that dog him nightly, and Cam’s world is shaken to its core. Cam figures he had it coming to him, that it’s all penance due on a life lived without honesty. He just never figured he might not be able to survive it.

Buy Blue Notes Series books on Dreamspinner Press, Amazon,Barnes & Noble, and AllRomanceEbooks

******

EXCERPT:

Cam cursed his love for Aiden as he wobbled down the concrete steps to the 42nd Street subway station. Riley had looked at him as if he were mad when he’d told her he was headed home. “Did I do something wrong?” she asked with the same pouty expression she wore on the rare occasion when her father refused to buy her something.

“Nothing,” he said as he’d reached for the doorknob. “I’m done. That’s all.” “At least let me call my driver to take—”

He’d refused. Seriously, did she think he wasn’t capable of taking a fucking subway after a few drinks at a party? It wasn’t even midnight.

He rubbed an eye with the heel of his hand. The damn telephone conversation replayed in his mind and grated on his nerves like Muzak at a cheap restaurant. He’d tried not to sound eager. Tried to sound nonchalant. He’d gotten good at that over the years. And then the brutal words had come. They’d seared his heart and left him dizzy. “Listen, Cam…. I need to tell you something. I don’t want you to hear it from the press…. Sam asked me to marry him, and I said yes.

He needed to walk. He needed to clear his head. He needed to shout to the heavens and hit something.

Why in hell had he bothered to look at the phone? Easy: he’d prayed it was Aiden calling to tell him he wanted him back.

You’re a fucking loser, Cameron! Nobody wants you!

A memory stirred. Someone holding him. Ruffling his hair. Someone other than his father. Someone had wanted him. Cared for him.

Where the hell had that come from? He brushed it off and descended the steps to the Lexington Avenue train.

It was bad enough that Aiden thought he’d tried to sabotage his career. He did everything to make sure Aiden didn’t think he wasn’t interested anymore. He’d gone to the after-party following Aiden’s Met debut—of course he’d gone, his company had helped bankroll the production of Don Giovanni—and Aiden had been MIA. So he’d decided Aiden didn’t need to know he’d been there at all.

And then the phone call. Aiden hadn’t beaten around the proverbial bush. He’d said it. Honestly. Simply. Just the way Cam would have expected Aiden to say it. And suddenly Cam didn’t care if he fucked that hot little Broadway-bound arse. He no longer cared about the party or its hallowed attendees. He no longer cared about anything except the gaping, jagged hole the conversation had left in his heart. And now, fucking New York pigeons were setting up camp in the hole. Shitting in it.

He walked from the Lexington Avenue train toward to the S train platform. The achingly mournful sound of a trumpet echoed off the dirty tile walls. He hadn’t really noticed them before. The intricate mosaic artwork had probably taken weeks to complete. Decades before, it had probably been stunning, but now it was covered in a film of grayish-black soot and some of the tiles were missing.

How fitting. He looked around for the source of the music, noting the powerful smell of urine. Away from the turnstiles, a mound of blankets and a refuse-filled shopping cart occupied the far corner of the station. He guessed there was a human being under there, although he was hardly going to look. Beyond the automatic ticketing machines, he could just make out the form of a man holding a trumpet. The same man he’d seen playing at lunch. Maybe he lived in the subway. Cam had heard stories of actors and musicians unable to get work in New York living on the street.

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone….

Cam walked across the empty space between the train platforms, his feet making soft tapping sounds against the concrete. He paused for a moment to watch the trumpet player standing with his back to the wall. He stared into whatever space musicians liked to stare into—that ethereal place they went when they were so focused on the music that the world around them disappeared. A dusty blond curl fell from the shaggy mop of hair onto the trumpeter’s face as he finished another phrase. “… and she’s always gone too long any time she goes away.”

Cam drew a long breath. It was perfect. The angst of it all. The music. The echo of his steps. The blast of cool air as he neared the train tunnels. Fucking perfect.

The musician noticed him standing there. The man’s eyes were a beautiful hazel, almost green. Why hadn’t he noticed before?

What do you care? The man’s an unemployed musician.

The guy looked at him and his eyes widened almost imperceptibly, as they had the last time Cam had seen him. Did he recognize Cam? God knew there were enough articles written about him. Esquire, Elle, Cigars Magazine, blah, blah, blah. Glamour’s “Most Eligible Bachelor” from 2008. As if!

The trumpet player finished the song, then stopped for a moment and rested the trumpet against his hip. His lips were swollen and pink from playing. For a split second, Cam imagined tasting them. Then he noticed the torn jeans and white T-shirt with a faded Señor Frog’s logo and the words “I got wasted in Cancun” written below it.

Oh, for God’s sake, Cameron! He’s a loser with a capital L!

Well, that made two of them, didn’t it? Even if the guy could play pretty damn well—very well, judging by the little Cam had heard—they were both in a stinking, empty subway station on a Friday night at midnight. Poor sod.

“Another request?” A smile danced on the man’s kissable lips.

Cam shrugged. “Whatever you want to play,” he said, not caring how pathetic he sounded.

The trumpeter put his instrument to his lips and began. “Blue moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart….”

 

“Dissonance” Cover Reveal, Giveaway, and Excerpt!

Dissonance-build-full-r2Reblogged from Book Suburbia.

Thanks, Sophie, for hosting the Dissonance cover reveal! There’s nothing quite as fun as showing off a brand-spanking-new book cover. Even better when it does a perfect job of capturing the feeling of the story. Dissonance, the latest installment in the Blue Notes Series from Dreamspinner Press, may be one of the angstiest of all the Blue Notes books. It’s a story of betrayal, heartbreak, and rising above your past to find hope in the future.

British noble Cam Sherrington puts on a good show, pretending he isn’t still grieving the end of his relationship with opera singer Aiden Lind. Of course, Cam has nothing to complain about, since he singlehandedly destroyed that relationship by cheating on Aiden again and again. Nobody likes a cheater, especially the cheater himself. Cam doesn’t know why he cheats, but he knows he’s a worthless piece of garbage. And it’s not as though anyone disagrees with him, either, if his mother and uncle are any indication.

Then Aiden calls to let him know he’s marrying his partner, attorney Sam Ryan. On Cam’s thirtieth birthday. And that’s just the beginning…. Before Cam can figure out what hit him, the rest of his life is in a shambles. Then the dreams start. Dark, frightening dreams. But if they’re only dreams, why do they seem so real?

Trumpet player Galen Rusk plays for tips in the 42nd Street Station in Manhattan, and he’s noticed Cam. When Cam stops to listen to Galen’s music, Galen takes a chance and tries to talk to him. But Galen’s music remains the only connection between them until Cam ends up sleeping on a cold subway bench. Then it’s Galen’s turn to pay forward the shoulder someone gave him ten years before.

Dissonance deals with some dark themes, but the message of the story is an upbeat one about learning to love yourself and finding your inner strength. By the end of writing the story, Cam totally won me over. I hope he’ll win you over too!

You can pre-order Dissonance on the Dreamspinner Press website now. And while you’re at it, be sure to enter the pre-release contest I’m running. You could win a cool Blue Notes Series swag bag filled with paperback books of the first 5 novels in the series (or ebook copies if you live outside the US). Here’s the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/Y2YwYmE5NDkzMTY4MjgyZWNiMzcwNjVhODk2ZTBjOjQ=/

I’ll leave you with the blurb and an excerpt from Dissonance. I hope you enjoy it! –Shira

******

Blurb: British lord Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his own fault for pushing Aiden away. Then someone tries to set him up and take away his family business. Facing arrest by US authorities on charges of money laundering and with no money to return to London, Cam decides to run. But with no money and no place to stay, it’s not exactly the Hollywood thriller he’d imagined.

When Cam hears Galen Rusk play in a lonely subway station, he’s intrigued. But his assumptions about Galen are all wrong, and their unusual relationship isn’t exactly what Cam bargained for. Add to that the nightmares that dog him nightly, and Cam’s world is shaken to its core. Cam figures he had it coming to him, that it’s all penance due on a life lived without honesty. He just never figured he might not be able to survive it.

Buy Blue Notes Series books on Dreamspinner Press, Amazon,Barnes & Noble, and AllRomanceEbooks

******

EXCERPT:

Cam cursed his love for Aiden as he wobbled down the concrete steps to the 42nd Street subway station. Riley had looked at him as if he were mad when he’d told her he was headed home. “Did I do something wrong?” she asked with the same pouty expression she wore on the rare occasion when her father refused to buy her something.

“Nothing,” he said as he’d reached for the doorknob. “I’m done. That’s all.” “At least let me call my driver to take—”

He’d refused. Seriously, did she think he wasn’t capable of taking a fucking subway after a few drinks at a party? It wasn’t even midnight.

He rubbed an eye with the heel of his hand. The damn telephone conversation replayed in his mind and grated on his nerves like Muzak at a cheap restaurant. He’d tried not to sound eager. Tried to sound nonchalant. He’d gotten good at that over the years. And then the brutal words had come. They’d seared his heart and left him dizzy. “Listen, Cam…. I need to tell you something. I don’t want you to hear it from the press…. Sam asked me to marry him, and I said yes.

He needed to walk. He needed to clear his head. He needed to shout to the heavens and hit something.

Why in hell had he bothered to look at the phone? Easy: he’d prayed it was Aiden calling to tell him he wanted him back.

You’re a fucking loser, Cameron! Nobody wants you!

A memory stirred. Someone holding him. Ruffling his hair. Someone other than his father. Someone had wanted him. Cared for him.

Where the hell had that come from? He brushed it off and descended the steps to the Lexington Avenue train.

It was bad enough that Aiden thought he’d tried to sabotage his career. He did everything to make sure Aiden didn’t think he wasn’t interested anymore. He’d gone to the after-party following Aiden’s Met debut—of course he’d gone, his company had helped bankroll the production of Don Giovanni—and Aiden had been MIA. So he’d decided Aiden didn’t need to know he’d been there at all.

And then the phone call. Aiden hadn’t beaten around the proverbial bush. He’d said it. Honestly. Simply. Just the way Cam would have expected Aiden to say it. And suddenly Cam didn’t care if he fucked that hot little Broadway-bound arse. He no longer cared about the party or its hallowed attendees. He no longer cared about anything except the gaping, jagged hole the conversation had left in his heart. And now, fucking New York pigeons were setting up camp in the hole. Shitting in it.

He walked from the Lexington Avenue train toward to the S train platform. The achingly mournful sound of a trumpet echoed off the dirty tile walls. He hadn’t really noticed them before. The intricate mosaic artwork had probably taken weeks to complete. Decades before, it had probably been stunning, but now it was covered in a film of grayish-black soot and some of the tiles were missing.

How fitting. He looked around for the source of the music, noting the powerful smell of urine. Away from the turnstiles, a mound of blankets and a refuse-filled shopping cart occupied the far corner of the station. He guessed there was a human being under there, although he was hardly going to look. Beyond the automatic ticketing machines, he could just make out the form of a man holding a trumpet. The same man he’d seen playing at lunch. Maybe he lived in the subway. Cam had heard stories of actors and musicians unable to get work in New York living on the street.

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone….

Cam walked across the empty space between the train platforms, his feet making soft tapping sounds against the concrete. He paused for a moment to watch the trumpet player standing with his back to the wall. He stared into whatever space musicians liked to stare into—that ethereal place they went when they were so focused on the music that the world around them disappeared. A dusty blond curl fell from the shaggy mop of hair onto the trumpeter’s face as he finished another phrase. “… and she’s always gone too long any time she goes away.”

Cam drew a long breath. It was perfect. The angst of it all. The music. The echo of his steps. The blast of cool air as he neared the train tunnels. Fucking perfect.

The musician noticed him standing there. The man’s eyes were a beautiful hazel, almost green. Why hadn’t he noticed before?

What do you care? The man’s an unemployed musician.

The guy looked at him and his eyes widened almost imperceptibly, as they had the last time Cam had seen him. Did he recognize Cam? God knew there were enough articles written about him. Esquire, Elle, Cigars Magazine, blah, blah, blah. Glamour’s “Most Eligible Bachelor” from 2008. As if!

The trumpet player finished the song, then stopped for a moment and rested the trumpet against his hip. His lips were swollen and pink from playing. For a split second, Cam imagined tasting them. Then he noticed the torn jeans and white T-shirt with a faded Señor Frog’s logo and the words “I got wasted in Cancun” written below it.

Oh, for God’s sake, Cameron! He’s a loser with a capital L!

Well, that made two of them, didn’t it? Even if the guy could play pretty damn well—very well, judging by the little Cam had heard—they were both in a stinking, empty subway station on a Friday night at midnight. Poor sod.

“Another request?” A smile danced on the man’s kissable lips.

Cam shrugged. “Whatever you want to play,” he said, not caring how pathetic he sounded.

The trumpeter put his instrument to his lips and began. “Blue moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart….”

 

Reviews Matter! Oh, and the Countdown Contest Continues!

CareFeedingAuthorAmazonW-MobileHappy 4th of July weekend everyone! I’m headed to our sailboat now that Hurricane Arthur has cleared out, and I’m ready for some fun in the sun with my good friend Cody Kennedy, who’s here visiting from California.

From time to time, I like to remind readers who write to me to tell me how much they’ve enjoyed my books to leave a review at their favorite bookseller. Reviews of books help spread the word about books and increase sales, which in turn, helps writers pay their bills so they can… drumroll please… WRITE MORE BOOKS!

It doesn’t take long to write a review of a book. It doesn’t need to be a term paper, although long reviews are great, too. A review can be just a few sentences about why you enjoyed the story and what it made you feel. Places like Amazon.com don’t require readers to have purchased the book there to review. Ratings make a difference, too. On AllRomanceEbooks.com, if you rate books (even without reviewing), your favorite books may get featured on the top-rated books of the genre.STW preview It gets lovely rating stars under the book so readers can see the most recent rating, too. And if it sells well, it gets a pretty bestseller star!

Reviewing on Goodreads and other social media platforms is great, too. Most websites give you the option of just rating a book without writing a review (Amazon is the exception). AriaREVLGAnd although when I’m considering buying a book from a new author I tend to look at more than just the star rating, I can’t deny that I consider the rating in making a decision to read.BlueNotes[2ndEd]LG

So this July 4th weekend, if you’re enjoying a bit of down time and catching up with your favorite authors, please consider taking a few minutes out of your reading time to rate some of the books you’ve read! Authors and readers alike will thank you!

Oh, and I’m sending a bit of love back at you and offering up a prize package of paperback copies of the first 5 Blue Notes novels, as well as a Blue Notes tote bag and T-shirt. If the winner is not from the US, I’m offering up a Dreamspinner Press gift certificate and ebook copies of the Blue Notes books (not including Dissonance). You can enter by clicking on this link: http://bit.ly/19tSbFv or by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dissonance, the latest entry in my Blue Notes Series of music-themed gay romances, will be released on August 8th. Like all the Blue Notes Series books, Dissonance is a standalone novel. Yes, for those who have read the other Blue Notes books, you’ll recognize a few of the series standbys included David Somers andMelodyThief2LG Alex Bishop. Oh, and Lord Cameron (“Cam”) Sherrington from Aria. But it’s not necessary to have read those books, so if you’re thinking about starting the series and aren’t sure which book to read first, why not start here?

I’ll leave you with another excerpt from the PreludeLGupcoming Dissonance. Stay tuned for the cover reveal and information about the Dissonance Blog Tour! Good luck to everyone! -Shira

******

Blurb: British noble Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his fault for pushing Aiden away. As if that’s not enough, someone is trying to take away Encore-Buildhis family business, and the US authorities are pursuing him on charges of money laundering. Fearing for his safety and unable to return to London, Cam runs, but he’s too broke to find a place to stay, and his fugitive’s life doesn’t even remotely resemble a Hollywood thriller.

Desperate and betrayed by the people he thought cared about him, Cam takes refuge in the subway station where Galen Rusk plays his trumpet for tips. Though Cam hears the beauty in Galen’s music, it’s Galen’s firm hand on his shoulder that stops him from throwing everything away. Their unusual relationship takes a turn that surprises them both, and neither man is sure he wants the complication. Galen is fighting the ghosts of his past, and Cam has his own nightmares to face. When Cam’s troubles threaten to tear them apart, Cam figures he had it coming—that it’s all penance due for a life lived without honesty or love. But he never considered the possibility that he might not survive it.

Excerpt:

CAM CURSED his love for Aiden as he wobbled down the concrete steps to the 42nd Street subway station. Riley had looked at him as if he were mad when he’d told her he was headed home. “Did I do something wrong?” she asked with the same pouty expression she wore on the rare occasion when her father refused to buy her something.

“Nothing,” he said as he’d reached for the doorknob. “I’m done. That’s all.”

“At least let me call my driver to take—”

He’d refused. Seriously, did she think he wasn’t capable of taking a fucking subway after a few drinks at a party? It wasn’t even midnight.

He rubbed an eye with the heel of his hand. The damn telephone conversation replayed in his mind and grated on his nerves like Muzak at a cheap restaurant. He’d tried not to sound eager. Tried to sound nonchalant. He’d gotten good at that over the years. And then the brutal words had come. They’d seared his heart and left him dizzy. “Listen, Cam…. I need to tell you something. I don’t want you to hear it from the press…. Sam asked me to marry him, and I said yes.”

He needed to walk. He needed to clear his head. He needed to shout to the heavens and hit something.

Why in hell had he bothered to look at the phone? Easy: he’d prayed it was Aiden calling to tell him he wanted him back.

You’re a fucking loser, Cameron! Nobody wants you!

A memory stirred. Someone holding him. Ruffling his hair. Someone other than his father. Someone had wanted him. Cared for him.

Where the hell had that come from? He brushed it off and descended the steps to the Lexington Avenue train.

It was bad enough that Aiden thought he’d tried to sabotage his career. He did everything to make sure Aiden didn’t think he wasn’t interested anymore. He’d gone to the after-party following Aiden’s Met debut—of course he’d gone, his company had helped bankroll the production of Don Giovanni—and Aiden had been MIA. So he’d decided Aiden didn’t need to know he’d been there at all.

And then the phone call. Aiden hadn’t beaten around the proverbial bush. He’d said it. Honestly. Simply. Just the way Cam would have expected Aiden to say it. And suddenly Cam didn’t care if he fucked that hot little Broadway-bound arse. He no longer cared about the party or its hallowed attendees. He no longer cared about anything except the gaping, jagged hole the conversation had left in his heart. And now, fucking New York pigeons were setting up camp in the hole. Shitting in it.

He walked from the Lexington Avenue train toward to the S train platform. The achingly mournful sound of a trumpet echoed off the dirty tile walls. He hadn’t really noticed them before. The intricate mosaic artwork had probably taken weeks to complete. Decades before, it had probably been stunning, but now it was covered in a film of grayish-black soot and some of the tiles were missing.

How fitting. He looked around for the source of the music, noting the powerful smell of urine. Away from the turnstiles, a mound of blankets and a refuse-filled shopping cart occupied the far corner of the station. He guessed there was a human being under there, although he was hardly going to look. Beyond the automatic ticketing machines, he could just make out the form of a man holding a trumpet. The same man he’d seen playing at lunch. Maybe he lived in the subway. Cam had heard stories of actors and musicians unable to get work in New York living on the street.

“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone….”

Andrew Q. Gordon – Why I Write About Loss. Guest Post and Giveaway

A Closed Door – Part of the Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust Anthology

From Wayward Ink Publishing

 

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First, thank you Shira for letting me commandeer your blog to talk about my newest story.

Full length novels, series, big ideas, these are easy for me. I love the epic stories, the ones that take books to tell—or at least one very long book. So when it comes to writing short stories – anthology entries, I generally take a pass. But I was challenged to write one for the Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust Anthology, so I decided to take a crack at ‘short.’ [Ignore that my story was slightly over the word limit and if not the longest one in the anthology it was a very close second.]

The problem for me with with short is that once I start writing, the characters take on a life of their own and suddenly my little short story has morphed into a grand adventure that I’ll need books to cover and years to tell. Don’t laugh, my planned series—Dlgen—was supposed to be an anthology story and well that’s now going to be five books I think. (When I get around to writing it.) But when I finally do find a story I can keep down to anthology length, I’ve noticed a pattern – they always fall in the ‘Loss’ category.

A Closed Door is no different. I’m told by some who’ve read it that it made them cry. I suppose that was part of my intention as loss is a powerful emotion and if done well can connect the reader to the characters. But I find it odd that I’m able to write ‘loss’ easier than ‘lust.’ I can’t say I’ve had a particularly sad life. In fact, I’d say the opposite. So what is it that draws me to stories where loss is such a big part of the story?

While I don’t sit down and analyze my plots before I begin writing and ask, “why is this so sad in parts,” I think the answer lies in how much we root for the main character who can over come adversity, or who is willing to sacrifice all for the good of someone else. We root for them to prevail against the odds or admire their noble spirit. That’s not to say that we all don’t appreciate a nice, happy, lust filled, pick-me-up, feel good story, but sometimes the more memorial stories are the ones that carry you up and down and back again.

Fortunately, stories that have loss in them can still have a HEA.

Blurb:

LLLL Andrew Q Gordon

A Closed Door; by Andrew Q. Gordon

Orin Merritt left home after high school hoping to escape the hell his life had become since he’d been outed at thirteen. When a tornado destroys his childhood home and kills his parents, Orin finds a new kind of hell. Blaming himself for failing the two people who always loved and supported him, he returns home and confronts his past in the person of his one time best friend, Thomas Kennett. Thomas not only rejected Orin when he came out, he led the group that caused him to leave. As he struggles to deal with his grief , he tried to fulfill a pledge he made to his parents before their death. In the process, Orin learns that sometimes when you leave to find something, you might have left what you’re looking for behind.

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Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust Anthology, by Wayward Ink Publishing.

We’ve all loved.

We’ve all laughed.

Sadly, we’ve also probably all known loss in one form or another.

And, yes, we at Wayward Ink are sure we’ve all experienced lust!

In Love, Loss, Laughter & Lust, you’ll experience one or more of the “L”s as we take you on a roller coaster of emotions. Whether you like to sigh over the sweet, cry for the broken-hearted, enjoy a good laugh, or get a little hot and bothered, there’s something for everyone in this collection.

Buy Links:

Wayward Ink Publishing:

Amazon US:

Barnes and Noble:

Kobo:

Amazon AU:

Amazon UK:

Amazon Germany:

Giveaway:

As part of the release of the new Anthology, Wayward Ink is holding a giveaway. Just click the code below for a chance to win a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card. Two people will also win a paperback copy of the book, and three people will win a WIP USB Extension Cord and Fridge Magnet. There are 11 ways to enter and you can earn up to 20 chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day and not get the shakes.

Social Media Links:

You can find his books at

Wayward Ink Publishing

Dreamspinner Press

Amazon

Follow Andrew on his website: www.andrewqgordon.com,

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/andrewqugordon,

On Twitter: @andrewqgordon,

Or just email him: andrewqgordon@gmail.com

 

I’m in Love with Gay Romance

Reblogged from Lissa Kasey’s Blog, 6/20/14

Every so often, there’s a big hullabaloo over women writing gay romance. I can count at least a dozen instances where I’ve sat back and just scratched my head over the horrible comments and insinuations. And it makes me so incredibly sad, because most of the women I know who write gay romance do so because they love romance. Period.  And they want to celebrate all colors of it. They don’t do it for the money (hell knows, writing het smut pays a lot better than writing gay romance!). They write gay fiction because they’re inspired to do so.

Men have been writing wonderful fiction about women for centuries. Amazing heroines I often dreamed of being like when I was growing up. Heroes I wished would sweep me off my feet. I grew up reading stories about men and women mostly, because there weren’t many gay romances around. I did find a few, written between the lines. Those lingered with me because first and foremost, I loved men. Any flavor of the rainbow. They are my friends, my husband, my son, my father. Gay, straight, bisexual, queer, questioning, asexual, trans, intersex. Beautiful, wonderful men who made me smile, cry, but most of all who made me love them.

About eight years ago, I discovered gay romance, a genre I didn’t even know existed. I was hooked. It wasn’t just about the guy on guy sex, although that’s definitely a turn-on. But honestly, straight sex is also a turn-on for me to read (I’m pretty much an omnivore when it comes to reading sex). It wasn’t just about the social issues that still constrain many men to this day, although my experiences living through the AIDS epidemic in New York City in the 80s and losing dear friends to the disease certainly have shaped my perspective. It wasn’t just about the strong characters (and I don’t mean this strictly in the physical sense). I’ve read strong female characters I love as well.

For years, I wracked my brains about what it was that drew me to write gay fiction over the het fiction I started out writing. What did I finally figure out? That I don’t have an “answer.” I write from my heart. I write gay fiction because that creative part of my brain, my muse, tells me their stories. And although I write primarily for my gay male readers in that I want my characters to ring true, I’m happy if women also enjoy my stories. Because it’s about writing love. Writing hope. Writing what I want to read, and hoping others will enjoy it. If it makes readers laugh, or cry, or feel something, then I’ve done my job.

As a former musician, I feel the same way about the performers I listen to. I don’t care if it’s a man or a women playing the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. If it’s beautifully played, I will love it. Writing is just like musical expression. Music is either genuine and heartfelt enough to connect with your sensibilities, or it’s not the right choice for you to listen to. I love classic jazz. Modern jazz, not so much. I love Maria Callas’s Tosca. Joan Sutherland’s? Not so much.

Don’t judge a book by the sex or sexual orientation of its author. Judge a book because it makes you feel, or fails to make you feel something. If you don’t like a story, what difference does it make if it’s written by a man or a woman?  I’ve had male readers write to me and say that they hesitated to buy my books because I’m a woman and they’d never read gay fiction written by a woman before, but they gave the books a chance and connected with the characters and the story. And that’s what artistic expression is all about. Making someone else feel.

Let me end with two questions. Does it matter why a writer writes what she or he writes? Or does it matter that the writing reaches your heart? I think the latter is the question we all need to ask ourselves. -Shira

Countdown Contest and New Excerpt: “Dissonance”

BlueNotes[2ndEd]LGI’m always excited when I’ve got a new book coming out – there’s not much better than seeing one of my literary “babies” make its debut. Dissonance, the latest entry in my Blue Notes Series of music-themed gay romances, will be released on August 8th. Like all the Blue Notes Series books, Dissonance is a standalone novel. Yes, for those who have read the other Blue Notes books, you’ll recognize a few of the series standbys included David Somers andMelodyThief2LG Alex Bishop. Oh, and Lord Cameron (“Cam”) Sherrington from Aria. But it’s not necessary to have read those books, so if you’re thinking about starting the series and aren’t sure which book to read first, why not start here?

To get the party started early, I’m running a giveaway that will end on release day at midnight. I’ve got a great prize package with paperback copies of the first 5 Blue Notes novels, as well as a tote bag and T-shirt. If the winner is not from the US, I’m AriaREVLGoffering up a Dreamspinner Press gift certificate and ebook copies of the Blue Notes books (not including Dissonance). You can enter by clicking on this link: http://bit.ly/19tSbFv or by clicking on the Rafflecopter widget below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll leave you all with the blurb and a never before seen excerpt from the PreludeLGupcoming Dissonance. Stay tuned for the cover reveal and information about the Dissonance Blog Tour! Good luck to everyone! -Shira

******

Blurb: British noble Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his fault for pushing Aiden away. As if that’s not enough, someone is trying to take away Encore-Buildhis family business, and the US authorities are pursuing him on charges of money laundering. Fearing for his safety and unable to return to London, Cam runs, but he’s too broke to find a place to stay, and his fugitive’s life doesn’t even remotely resemble a Hollywood thriller.

Desperate and betrayed by the people he thought cared about him, Cam takes refuge in the subway station where Galen Rusk plays his trumpet for tips. Though Cam hears the beauty in Galen’s music, it’s Galen’s firm hand on his shoulder that stops him from throwing everything away. Their unusual relationship takes a turn that surprises them both, and neither man is sure he wants the complication. Galen is fighting the ghosts of his past, and Cam has his own nightmares to face. When Cam’s troubles threaten to tear them apart, Cam figures he had it coming—that it’s all penance due for a life lived without honesty or love. But he never considered the possibility that he might not survive it.

Excerpt:

Chapter Eleven

Cam settled onto the hard wooden bench at the end of the No. 4 platform. Downtown. How appropriate. He’d watched the Friday night commuter exodus, pale faced businessmen and women eating greasy hot dogs covered in onions and whatever else they dared pile on top as they quickly walked toward the exit for the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North tracks. He’d never before noticed their tired expressions or how the dim station lights made the circles under their eyes appear darker. He did now.

He’d used his last three dollars to buy himself some soup at Au Bon Pain. It had come with about a quarter of a baguette. He’d finished it in five minutes and he’d felt warm. Now, four hours later, the cold had returned, as well as the empty feeling in his stomach. The expensive calfskin jacket looked great, but he hadn’t realized it wasn’t meant to keep anyone warm.

The trumpet player finished another piece. Classical. Haunting. It was getting on midnight, and Cam guessed he’d be headed to wherever he went when he wasn’t playing. Cam hadn’t heard him play on a weeknight. Maybe he played at a different station during the week. Or maybe he had a day job. Cam imagined him as one of those bicycle delivery guys who played chicken with the cabbies on 7th Avenue, hair flying about his face, the bottoms of his jeans held against his ankles with rubber bands or silver tape.

Another train stopped at the station. He moved to the end of the platform where reception was the best and turned on his mobile. He glanced at the screen, cursed under his breath, then shut it off to conserve the dwindling battery. Why the hell hadn’t Dan called him back yet? He could hide here for a day, maybe two, but he needed money. He figured he had about seventy-five cents in his pockets. Maybe a dollar. What the hell could that buy in New York City?

He shivered as the train pulled away and the temperature dropped a few degrees. Maybe there was a reason the homeless people slept in the passages that zigzagged under 42nd street. It’s safer here. He lay down on the bench and tried to ignore the wood that separated the bench into individual seats. No doubt meant to keep people like me from sleeping on the goddamned benches.

He pulled his cashmere scarf out from around his neck and draped it over his head, then scooted up a few inches so one of the wooden separators sat at his waist. Another one cut into his shoulder. He bunched the jacket up and tried to cushion the spot with limited success. His heart pounded. He couldn’t sleep like this. What if they found him?

Fuck this. They won’t find you here. This wasn’t a manhunt. He’d found a discarded newspaper on one of the benches. Nothing about him. Nothing about the investigation. He’d be safe here. Still, he felt anxious enough that he decided to sit up again. He’d sleep upright. Or maybe he wouldn’t sleep at all. At the sound of a train in the distance, his gaze strayed to the tracks. That was when he noticed the trumpet player watching him from a few feet away.

“What are you staring at?” Cam demanded, getting to his feet and backing up toward the wall. And then what? If he’s FBI, are you going to frighten him away with your blinding personality? He took a deep breath. This man wasn’t FBI. Cam had seen him before the entire mess of a situation, before the FBI had even been a blip on his radar. The man was irritating but harmless.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to bother you. You’re British, right?”

Cam waited for more, but the man just kept looking at him. Fucking brilliant. He’d heard of savants who could play but couldn’t manage to feed themselves. “And?” he replied at last, after the man said nothing more.

“Unusual.”

“Last I heard there were 63 million of us. Not so unusual.” Cam closed his eyes. Maybe he’d go away and leave Cam in peace.

“I think you made a mistake,” the man said.

Cam opened his eyes again, about to tell the twit to get stuffed, but he stopped. The trumpet player had moved closer to him and was holding something out in his left hand. A bill. A $100 bill, judging by Ben Franklin’s cheery face peering back at him. The $100 bill Cam had dropped into the trumpet case the week before? He’d kept it? Cam could eat for a week on $100 if he was careful.

“No mistake,” Cam said. Well, it hadn’t been, had it? And if he took the bill, he’d be admitting to this stranger that he was skint.

The man shrugged, then pocketed the bill. “Name’s Galen. Galen Rusk.”

“Hmm.”

Galen didn’t respond, clearly waiting for Cam’s response.

“Cam,” he said.

“Good to meet you, Cam.” Galen offered Cam his hand. Cam hesitated, then shook it. A firm handshake. Confident and warm. In another reality, he’d have wanted to keep holding that hand. Take away the grunge clothing, and Galen would have been someone Cam might have noticed. Cam released Galen’s hand.

“It’s not as cold upstairs,” Galen said after nearly a minute passed in silence.

“I’m waiting for someone.”

If Galen knew it for the lie it was, he didn’t let on, and for that, Cam was thankful. “Sure. No problem.” Galen paused, then added, “Maybe I’ll see you around, Cam. Take care of yourself, okay?”

Why did Americans insist on being so informal? As if the guy cared at all what happened to him. “You too.” Seemed like the proper response. Bollocks, of course.

Galen smiled to reveal a set of dimples Cam hadn’t noticed before, then turned and walked back up the platform and disappeared around the corner. Cam shivered and pulled the collar of his jacket up around his neck.

Another train pulled into the station but only slowed down a bit. An express train on the local track. Cam decided Galen was right: he’d be warmer upstairs. More exposed too, but warmer felt like a higher priority. He got to his feet and wrapped his scarf around his neck. That was when he noticed something on the bench at his side.

A $100 bill.

 

Giveaway and Cover Reveal: EM Lynley’s “Bound for Trouble”!

Please welcome EM Lynley, who’s here with a giveaway and cover reveal for her upcoming Dreamspinner Press release, Bound for Trouble! Yum, what a cover!And it’s a yummy story too! -Shira

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I’m so thrilled to share the cover and blurb of my upcoming release BOUND FOR TROUBLE. The ultra-talented Paul Richmond did this cover and it conveys the theme of the book so well.

Release date is set for June 18, but you can pre-order from Dreamspinner Press. Buy Here.

BoundForTroubleLG

Here’s more about BOUND FOR TROUBLE:

Daniel “Deke” Kane is a broken man, facing the end of his career in the FBI. He’s on desk duty after a botched drug raid left the suspects and two children dead. He’s got one chance to prove himself, or the only thing he’ll be investigating is the Help Wanted ads.

Ryan Griffiths has been on the run for ten years. Forced onto the streets when his father kicked him out, Ryan earns his living in other men’s beds. Finding his john dead in a hotel room drives him under the radar until a favorite clients gives him a chance at a safe, clean life. But Ryan’s relatively stable new world shatters when Deke Kane catches up with him.

When Deke’s tasked to take down a drug dealer with terrorist ties and a taste for the dark side of BDSM, his only chance to get close is the suspect’s interest in Ryan, and he convinces Ryan to become a confidential informant. In return, Deke offers Ryan immunity from his past. As Ryan falls under the drug lord’s domination, Deke finds himself falling for Ryan.

EM Lynley’s DSP page | EM Lynley’s Amazon Page

Don’t forget to enter my Rafflecopter giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How about a spicy excerpt to whet your appetite for TROUBLE?

“Then there’s just one last thing before we can hire you, Ryan….”

Ryan nodded and leaned back in the booth as he took a swig of beer. He spotted Deke watching him out of the corner of his eye. Now Ryan felt self-conscious.

“Hey, Lu!” Luke called to his brother, and Luther came over to the booth. “You seen Ryan dance at the Kiwi?”

“Don’t think so.”

“Would you show Luther?” Luke grinned. “You know he needs to see.”

Ryan grinned as well, but it was harder than he expected. He saw the raw hunger in Luther’s gaze. This was the club’s owner. How would the clientele look at him? This was just the interview. It would only get worse. Could Ryan handle this?

“Sure thing.” He cocked his head and went over to the bar. He swung himself up with a move he’d learned in gymnastics back in high school, a million years ago.
Every eye in the place was on him. He focused on the music and not on the hungry looks and soon his hips were moving with the beat.

* * * *

Deke had been shocked when Ryan hoisted himself onto the bar three feet away and started dancing. Was he crazy? Was he trying to blow Deke’s cover?

But as soon as Ryan slithered out of his leather jacket, Deke realized this little performance was not for him; Ryan was showing off for the owners.

Ryan moved back and forth on the bar, swinging his hips and stopping to touch each man within reach. He tugged one guy’s ear, slipped a finger under another’s collar, and fluffed Deke’s hair playfully when he passed. The brief contact had Deke’s pulse soaring, and he felt electricity jolt through his body, leaving his nipples tingling. Ryan had moved on to the next guy.

Everyone in the place converged on the bar, wanting to get a closer look at Ryan. At the end opposite Deke, he shed his boots and socks. By the time he got to Deke again, he’d peeled off his T-shirt, displaying plump pink nipples. He pinched one, then encouraged a spectator to pinch the other till they were both dark and hard.

Just like Deke. His cock had swelled, and it throbbed with each movement of Ryan’s hips. The cash was already out, and guys were stuffing bills into Ryan’s jeans, down the waistband.

Ryan unbuckled his belt and let someone slide it out of the loops, grinding his hips hypnotically as more cash got stuffed into his pants. He strutted around before coming back to stand in front of Deke. Ryan popped open the top button on his jeans, and Deke couldn’t help staring at his crotch. He glanced upward, noticing the moist sheen of sweat on Ryan’s chest and abs. He wondered how the hard, budded nipples would taste.

Ryan popped another button and motioned to Deke to do the next one. Against his better judgment—which he had apparently left in the car—Deke popped the rest of Ryan’s buttons. Ryan made a well-practiced move that caused the jeans to slip right down his slim hips.

Now Deke was completely riveted. Ryan’s cock was hard, the smooth crown of it pushing above the waistband of his tiny, pink silk bikini briefs. Deke hadn’t seen that many strippers, but none had ever been this hard while dancing.

The room exploded in shouts and whistles, and guys were cramming money down there, getting in a good grope as they did so. Deke bit his own lower lip and shifted in his seat to keep himself from coming as he watched.

Pre-order from Dreamspinner (June 18 release date)

ABOUT EM LYNLEY
EM Lynley, a Rainbow Award winner and EPPIE finalist, has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.
She is the author of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press, and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others.

Visit her online WebsiteBlogFacebookTwitterNewsletter

“Into the Wind” Blog Tour Giveaway Winners!

IntoWindRafflecopter has spoken! Here are the winners of the Into the Wind Blog Tour contest, in order of the prizes:

Grand Prize: Handmade Merman Tail Fluke Pendant

1st Prize: Mermen of Ea Goodie Basket (includes autographed copy of “Stealing the Wind” paperback, t-shirt, and lots of other fun stuff)

2nd Prize: $10.00 Dreamspinner Press Gift Certificate

3rd Prize: Paperback copy of “Stealing the Wind” (Mermen of Ea #1)

4th Prize: Winner’s choice of one of my Dreamspinner Press titles in ebook format

I’ll be emailing winners shortly to get contact information for their prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you can’t seen the widget, you can also click here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cf0ba93/

Also, the winner of the release day giveaway (remember that cool nautical themed watch?) is Tracey Presley!

Congratulations to all the winners of the drawings! And don’t worry if you didn’t win this time, Dissonance comes out in August, and I’ll be running more fun contests to celebrate its release! -Shira

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