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

Dreamspun Desires: First Comes Marriage is Coming Soon!

DreamspunDesires_FBbanner2 It’s here!!! The brand-new Dreamspun Desires line from Dreamspinner Press is now available for preorder on subscription!

When I was a college student, I had a subscription to Harlequin’s Silhouette Desires line of DreamspunDesires3_FBpostromances. And while I have to admit part of the reason I started writing my own romance novels was that I wasn’t 100% thrilled with the happily-ever-afters in those books (my biggest aspiration in life wasn’t getting married like the heroines in those books), I loved the way the books made me feel.

You probably remember the feeling if you read category romance. The anticipation, the meet cute, the rising sexual tension (and depending on the heat level of the story, the SEX!), the BIG misunderstanding or the BIG problem, the reconciliation. I would tear into the monthly package of books and read until early morning (and wobble into class half-asleep!).

Dreamspun Desire novels are all about the missed cues, misunderstandings, sweaty palms, seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and a million other romantic tropes we know and love. Easy on the angst and all about the romance. Sexy, but not all about the sex. These are books that will make you giggle. Stories that will make you smile. Love conquers all. All about the DreamspunDesires_FirstComesMarriageFS4romance and the happily ever after.

Subscription you say? Two books each month for the price of one. You can choose from the ebook or paperback options. The paperbacks are smaller and reminiscent of the old Harlequins and Mills & Boon books. The covers are stylized, with a tag line and a photograph unique to each story.

My offering, First Comes Marriage, is 2nd up and releases on January 15th. It’s a marriage of convenience story. Chris Valentine’s a struggling novelist. When he meets sexy billionaire Jesse Donovan after a reading at a New York City cafe, the last thing Chris expects is a marriage proposal! But Jesse’s not joking. If he doesn’t get married, and quickly, Jesse will lose control of his family’s company to his stepgrandmother.

******

Excerpt from Chapter Six:

Now, standing in the conference room of Windview Enterprises’ corporate headquarters near South Ferry in Manhattan, one of the matching platinum bands Jesse had bought for them in his pants pocket, Chris wondered if he’d wake up from the dream. The floor-to-ceiling windows looked out over Wall Street and the East River through the forest of high-rise buildings.

“Do you, Jesse Chase Donovan, take Christopher James Valentine to be your husband, in love and in friendship, until you are parted by death?” the judge asked.

“I do.” As Jesse slipped the ring on Chris’s finger, he met Chris’s gaze with such intensity that for an instant, Chris could almost forget the entire ceremony was a ruse to ensure the future of Windview remained firmly in Jesse’s control. Damn the man for being so attractive. Damn him for being a nice guy, because that was the worst part of it. And the part that had you agreeing.

“And do you, Christopher James Valentine, take Jesse Chase Donovan to be your husband, in love and in friendship, until you are parted by death?”

Chris swallowed hard and prayed he didn’t look as incredibly nervous as he felt. “I do.” His hand shook as he took Jesse’s hand and put the ring on his finger.

“Congratulations, Chris and Jesse,” the judge said.

Chris caught Val’s eye for a split second, and he half expected her to urge him to kiss Jesse. But it was Jesse who took charge and blindsided Chris with a kiss.

It started sweetly enough, just Jesse’s lips against his, but instead of releasing Chris, Jesse pulled him tighter against him and pressed his tongue into his mouth. Jesse tasted fucking amazing. Chris didn’t hesitate—their tongues tangled and danced. This close, Jesse smelled good and felt even better. Chris was barely aware of slipping his hands around Jesse’s back before resting them on lean hips. He didn’t think twice as his body and Jesse’s responded in kind.

Someone giggled—Chris recognized Val’s voice—and Jesse pulled abruptly away. Their eyes met for a split second, and Chris thought he saw a mixture of desire and surprise in Jesse’s deep blue eyes. The next thing Chris knew, Val had thrown her arms around him and only his racing heart and tingling lips told him he hadn’t imagined the entire thing.

“Oh, Chris,” Val cooed. “You really did it!”

“Yeah” was the only response Chris could manage. He was still thinking about Jesse’s mouth.

“I guess I was wrong about him being straight,” she whispered mischievously.

Chris was thrilled when Terry grabbed him in a bear hug, because he had no idea how to respond to Val’s comment. He also wasn’t sure if he should be pissed off with Jesse for the show. He supposed if this was going to work, Jesse needed to make the marriage look real. Still, how difficult would it have been to warn Chris that he had that up his sleeve?

******

You can subscribe to the Dreamspun Desires line at Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7224&cPath=1583

 

 

 

On Being Thankful

Happy-Thanksgiving-HeaderThanksgiving is just a few days away. Tomorrow, I’m headed north to my old hometown, Cleveland, to spend the holiday with family and see good friends. I’m hoping we won’t get snow on our drive, but let’s face it, it almost always snows when we drive to Ohio!

Picture 235

Sunset aboard Land’s Zen

Thankfulness #1: I’m thankful I live in the South, where winters are mild (sailing in January, anyone?), and the few times it snows each year is actually fun!

family shot

Jacob’s high school graduation

2015 is almost over, and it’s been a great year for my family. My daughter is halfway through her last year of college, and my son is halfway through his first. And although neither are living at home anymore, I’m thankful that I have such great kids. It’s wonderful to watch them as adults, making their way in the adult world. We’ll be selling the big house and moving downtown and into an apartment, and I can’t wait!

Thankfulness #2: I’m thankful for a wonderful husband with whom to share the next part of my life who pushes me to explore and challenge myself and supports me every step of the way.

2015 has been an amazing year for writing. I finished my first fantasy series, the Mermen of Ea trilogy, the first two books are now in audiobook format, and a French translation of Stealing the Wind (Sous le vent) will beMermeanofEa2 released on November 27th. A Solitary Man, my co-write with the fabulous  Aisling Mancy was just released by Dreamspinner Press, and the reviews are truly amazing. First Comes Marriage is coming out on January 15th as part of the new Dreamspun Desires line from SolitaryMan[A]FSDreamspinner Press, and I can’t wait to share it with the world. Writing First Comes was a challenge to myself to see if I could write a sweet, tropey, low-angst romance. I’m really pleased with the result and I hope readers will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Thankfulness #3: My readers are the BEST!

There are so many other things I have to be thankful for. My health, the sweet old dog who is still around to give me kisses, friends, old and new, a RL job I love and

Martin Brodour

Martin Brodour

that gives me great satisfaction, a terrific publisher that believes in me, an editor who is as patient as a saint (and kicks ass!), the ability to travel for pleasure and for my writing. And so many more things.

And yes, there have been moments of terrible sadness and grief in the loss of relatives and one very special writing friend. I will miss them something fierce. All the more reason to find things to be thankful for, if only to remember how thankful I am to have had them in my life.

Thankfulness #4: In grief and loss, there is reason to give thanks.

So this Thanksgiving, I’ll be hugging my loved ones and telling them how lucky I am. And I am. Truly. Thankful. -Shira

 

 

On November 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

A Solitary Man: Speaking Southern and Getting it Right

SolitaryMan[A]FS Reblogged from The Novel Approach

A Solitary Man is finally here! I can’t tell you how excited Aisling Mancy and I are to share this labor of love with the world. It’s a book with a message, but it’s also a story of strength and courage. We hope you’ll enjoy the story! Be sure to read to the bottom of the post for a chance to win a cool A Solitary Man swag bag full of fun stuff.

 

A Solitary Man is set in the fictional Dare’s Landing, near the North Carolina coast, a small city on the Neuse River with a long and colorful history of fishing, pleasure boating, and even pirates. The hot and muggy North Carolina summer serves as a great backdrop to the steamy romance that underlies the mystery/thriller part of the story.

 

But even more important to the ambiance of the story are the colorful people and language of coastal North Carolina. Aisling and I wanted to make sure we portrayed the characters in the story in a loving and respectful way, and since neither of us grew up in the area, we reached out to people who did for their help. We also had a lot of fun exploring “southernisms,” the wonderful and vivid expressions that pepper conversations in the part of the United States where Dare’s Landing is located. 1de7b45f50f1a3d4659c6d4b99972174And oh what fun we had!

 

First off, I wanted to share a fabulous Pinterest board with some of the best southern expression memes I’ve seen, by the wonderful Mel Leach: Song of the South. I may be Northern born and raised, but I grew up with a lot of these expressions too! Here’s one of my favorite memes, which explains the quintessential of all southernisms: “ya’ll” or “y’all” (both spellings are correct!). And let’s face it, either is SO much more convenient. Short, sweet, and to the point.

 

Southern expressions are not one size fits all. The biggest mistake non-Southerners make is to assume there is one “Southerner.” Folks in Texas may share some expressions with folks in North Carolina, but only some. And the accent is entirely different. In fact, even in North Carolina there are a slew of different accents, from the slow drawl of the North Carolina mountains to the brogue of the Outer Banks.

 

bless your heartHighlighting the wonderful expressions you hear in Eastern North Carolina was a perfect fit for A Solitary Man, and a perfect balance for some of the darker moments in the story. Chance Fairchild is a southerner at heart, although he’s learned to disguise his accept after attending a “highfalutin” law school up north. Xav Constantine serves as a perfect foil for Chance and all the southerners in the story. Xav soon learns that “bless your heart” isn’t a compliment, and that some of the deputies he works with think Chance “has his nose so high in the air he could drown in a rainstorm” (what a northerner would call “stuck up”).

 

Aisling and I hope you’ll enjoy all the wonderful characters and colorful language that add to the ambiance of A Solitary Man. Southern charm is alive and well, and a heritage to be treasured! -Shira

FINAL2 SM Blog Tour Meme Draft2 black
Add A Solitary Man to Your Goodreads and Booklikes Shelves
Like A Solitary Man on Facebook
Thursday, October 29th Aisling is at The Novel Approach Reviews
A Brief and Frank Discussion of A Solitary Man
Friday, October 30th Aisling is at Jo & Isa Love Books
A Few Notes Behind the Music Playlist
Wednesday, November 4th Aisling is at Bike Book Reviews
Writing Supporting Characters
Thursday , November 5th
Aisling is at Joyfully Jay Reviews
One of the Biggest Benefits of Co-Writing
Shira is at Prism Book Alliance
Entertainment With a Message
Friday, November 6th RELEASE DAY CELEBRATION!
Yarning to Write Kermit Flail with lovely Amy Lane!
Aisling is at Divine Magazine
More Notes Behind the Music Playlist
Shira is at The Novel Approach Reviews
Southernisms!
Aisling is on Dreampsinner’s Blog
As Authors and Readers, We Bring Awareness to the World
Saturday, November 7th Aisling is at Love Bytes Reviews
Sunday, November 8th
Shira is at My Fiction Nook
LIVE FACEBOOK CHAT with Shira & Aisling 2-5pm EST
Monday, November 9th Aisling is at My Fiction Nook
Tuesday, November 10th Shira is at Bike Book Reviews
Wednesday, November 11th Shira is at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue WordsTWEET, COMMENT, AND VISIT A SOLITARY MAN’S FACEBOOK PAGE
TO BE ENTERED TO WIN A TOTE BAG, 
SIGNED BOOKS FROM SHIRA & AISLING,
AND SWAG!

Giveaway and Counting Down to Release Day!

Now at Dreamspinner Press, ARe, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

Add A Solitary Man to Your Goodreads and Booklikes Shelves

Like A Solitary Man on Facebook

Thursday, October 29th Cody is at The Novel Approach Reviews

Friday, October 30th Cody is at Jo & Isa Love Books

Tuesday, November 4th Cody is at Bike Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 5th

Cody is at Joyfully Jay Reviews

Shira is at Prism Book Alliance

Friday, November 6th RELEASE DAY CELEBRATION!

Yarning to Write Kermit Flail with lovely Amy Lane!

Cody is at Divine Magazine

Cody is on Dreampsinner’s Blog

Saturday, November 7th Cody is at Love Bytes Reviews

Sunday, November 8th

Shira is at My Fiction Nook

LIVE FACEBOOK CHAT with Shira & Cody 2-5pm EST

Monday, November 9th Cody is at My Fiction Nook

Tuesday, November 10th Shira is at Bike Book Reviews

Wednesday, November 11th Shira is at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

TWEET, COMMENT, AND VISIT A SOLITARY MAN’S FACEBOOK PAGE
TO BE ENTERED TO WIN A TOTE BAG,
SIGNED BOOKS FROM SHIRA & AISLING,
AND SWAG!

Cover Reveal: Tempeste O’Riley’s “Signs of Desire”

When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme, they thought communication would be their biggest challenge to their happily ever after….

 

Signs of Desire
by Tempeste O’Riley
Desires Entwined, #4
M/M Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante
Release Date: November 30, 2014 (ebook/print)
Length: Novel / 200 pages
PreOrder:

Dreamspinner Press

Add to: Goodreads

 

Simon Tyler knows his job as a gay romance author makes his lack of faith in love more than a little ironic, but he’s tired of being used for his wallet. When a night out turns into a matchmaking scheme orchestrated by his best friends—though he’s not the target—Simon’s not thrilled, but since he’s sworn off happily-ever-after anyway, he goes along with it… until he meets the object of their efforts, Adrian, and finds perhaps he hasn’t given up on love after all.

Professor Adrian Keys has tried to date hearing men before, but being deaf himself, he’s never had any success at making a connection. After his friends con him into going out and Adrian realizes it’s all an elaborate plan to set him up, he braces for yet another failure, only to discover there is a spark—except it’s not with the man his friends had in mind, but with Simon Tyler instead.

Not all their friends have found a way past their romantic failures, but Simon and Adrian might be on the path to happily-ever-after.

When his cell beeped, alerting him of a text, he pulled his thoughts back to the present and checked to see who was texting him. Chase. It was only then that he realized he’d been standing in the open doorway to his office for a half hour. Forcing himself to focus, Simon stuffed the last of his bagel into his mouth as he stepped over to his desk, setting his coffee mug—the huge one that kept the drink hot for hours (a gift from James that he loved)—down before he read the text and turned on his computer. He snorted at the words, glad he wasn’t drinking his hot coffee right then. Yeah, of course Chase wanted to know how last night had gone. Ugh!

»Adrian drove me home. He was very nice but quiet. That’s it. «

He set the cell down beside his laptop, shaking his head. Sometimes he wondered how he and not Chase was the romance author. The man was a hopeless romantic, though only his close friends knew that. Simon settled on the ball, then opened Microsoft Word, knowing he had to work through his latest round of edits. The story was angstier than his usual, the characters’ journey a little rougher than his normal style. He knew the tone had changed thanks to his own love life being dead. Still, he thought it a good story, if a little painful before the characters got their happily ever after. Even in his current mood, he couldn’t make himself write a romance with a sad or painful ending. He knew authors who wrote that way, many he even loved, but it just wasn’t in him to do that to his characters—they deserved love too, dammit, even if he didn’t seem to.

By the time he had the current manuscript open to where he’d left off, Chase had already texted him again, twice, demanding more details. Why Chase thought anything had happened between him and Adrian was beyond him. Simon used to love to dance and party as much as Chase, but just like Chase, he was a long-term kind of guy. Unlike Dale. Now he’d probably gotten some the night before—from Grayson if he got his way, or from some other cutie at the club—but that had never been Simon’s thing. Dancing with all the sexy boys, oh yes! Taking them to the back rooms or home, no.

»I have work to do. So do you, ya nosy brat! *kisses*«

»Be that way. HUFF«

»Love you too. Now be good! TTFN«

After hitting Send again, Simon set the phone to the side and dove into the world of his characters and the list of comments and edits scribbled across his digital pages.

Three more chapters in, Simon’s cell rang, pulling him out of his work and the world he’d created. He blinked hard, trying to get his eyes to focus on something other than the text on the page, as he scooped up his phone. He hit the Answer button before checking the display, but as soon as the voice of his caller came through, he groaned.

“Simon!” The yell did nothing for his headache, but he resigned himself to another painful chat.

“Yes, Zoey?”

“Don’t you ‘yes, Zoey’ me, Simon.” He loved his sister, really, but since he came out shortly after graduation, he’d rarely spoken to her—she’d sided with his parents, claiming he was only playing gay to hurt them. A concept that never had made any sense to him. “Mom and Dad’s anniversary is coming up soon, and I want you there. It’s in the ballroom at The Pfister. It’s time you stop all this nonsense and come back to your family! They need you.”

“You know full well I can’t go to their party, Zoey. I’m not welcome there.”

“You would be if you’d do the right thing and act like a normal person instead of continuing this gay nonsense.” Her tone dripped disgust, though that was normal for her as well as his parents, on the odd occasion they all spoke. The last time he’d spoken with his mother, she’d tried to set him up on a date with a girl and told him his father would help him get a nice, normal job with good people at the construction site he owned. God, he hated the word normal!

“I’m not acting gay, Sissy. I am gay. I like being who I am. And I do not need their approval to live my life. So thanks for the reminder, but I’ll have to pass on the party. I will send them a present, though, as I do every year.” Simon always sent his parents a gift card for Red Lobster—even though many of their friends thought Red Lobster too common, he knew how much his mother loved their food—flowers for his mom, and a gift certificate for the pro shop at his father’s country club. He wasn’t even certain they used the cards, such things probably being beneath them. He never received the same in return, but that never stopped him from trying.

The sigh she let out was as loud as it was annoying. “Fine! Don’t say we didn’t try to include you in the family.” With that said, she hung up.

Simon shook his head as he set the phone down again. Why do I bother answering her calls? He knew the answer but didn’t want to think about her, or them, any longer.

   

 

 

“I found it a beautiful tale of unhappiness changed to romance and then love with a happy ending.”

—Rainbow Book Reviews, on “Designs of Desire”

Designs of Desire is a tough realistic book that is touched by violence countered by the growing love between the two heroes.”

—Sensual Reads, on “Designs of Desire”

“It’s a great book to fall into and enjoy some really good characters.”

—Love Bytes, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“This is my favorite in this series so far. I love seeing how these characters are growing, all of them. As individuals, as couples, as friends, and as a family.”

—MM Good Book Reviews, on “Desires’ Guardian”

“The writer did an excellent job with the characters, they are likable and perfect. Not perfect in the way that they have no flaws, but in a way that they grab you and complement each other.”

—Love Bytes Reviews, on “Temptations of Desire”

 

 

Designs of DesireSimple Desires*+Bound by Desire*Desires’ GuardianTemptations of DesireTruth in Lace*Desires’ Pride*

Micah’s Medicine+Caged SanctuaryWhiskers of a Chance

*shorts in series +shorts in anthologies

 

Tempeste O’Riley is an out and proud pansexual genderfluid whose best friend growing up had the courage to do what they couldn’t—defy the hate and come out. He has been their hero ever since.

Tempe is a hopeless romantic who loves strong relationships and happily-ever-afters. Though new to writing M/M, they has done many things in their life, yet writing has always drawn them back—no matter what else life has thrown their way. They counts her friends, family, and Muse as their greatest blessings in life. They lives in Wisconsin with their children, reading, writing, and enjoying life.

Tempe is also a proud PAN member of Romance Writers of America®, WisRWA, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Tempe’s preferred pronouns are they/them/their/theirs/themselves. To learn more about Tempeste and their writing, visit http://tempesteoriley.com.

Website Goodreads Twitter Facebook Google + DSP Blog

 

Get ready! The “A Solitary Man” Blog Tour Starts on October 29th!

Now at Dreamspinner Press, ARe, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
Add A Solitary Man to Your Goodreads and Booklikes Shelves
Like A Solitary Man on Facebook
Thursday, October 29th Cody is at The Novel Approach Reviews
Friday, October 30th Cody is at Jo & Isa Love Books
Tuesday, November 4th Cody is at Bike Book Reviews
Wednesday, November 5th
Friday, November 6th RELEASE DAY CELEBRATION!
Yarning to Write Kermit Flail with lovely Amy Lane!
Cody is at Divine Magazine
Saturday, November 7th Cody is at Love Bytes Reviews
Sunday, November 8th
Shira is at My Fiction Nook
LIVE FACEBOOK CHAT with Shira & Cody 2-5pm EST
Monday, November 9th Cody is at My Fiction Nook
Tuesday, November 10th Shira is at Bike Book Reviews
Wednesday, November 11th Shira is at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
TWEET, COMMENT, AND VISIT A SOLITARY MAN’S FACEBOOK PAGE
TO BE ENTERED TO WIN A TOTE BAG, 
SIGNED BOOKS FROM SHIRA & AISLING,
AND SWAG!

#Sale #Preorder “A Solitary Man” for 25% off!

SolitaryMan[A]FSYou can preorder A Solitary Man for 25% off in both paperback and ebook at Dreamspinner Press right now. Written with the wonderful Aisling Mancy (aka Cody Kennedy), A Solitary Man is an action-packed, sexy thriller set in the heat of a North Carolina summer. The book will be released by Dreamspinner Press on November 6th, so less than 2 weeks now!

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 4:

Evan sat in the parking lot of the bar, fingers clenched around the steering wheel. Faison had pushed him to his limits. It pissed him off beyond reason how the man blew off the important stuff and focused only on what would help move his political career forward. Evan had never liked politicians. Even the DA before Faison, who now had a seat in the state senate, hadn’t been anything to write home about, but at least he hadn’t made Evan want to scream in frustration. With Faison, Evan felt he was spinning his wheels, where before he’d at least made progress toward cracking down on drug suppliers. Too many people—kids in particular—were falling victim to the drugs they should have taken off the street. Evan hated that, and he’d come to hate Faison for doing so little about it. Worse still, Faison had done nothing at all to make a dent in the problem but wasted no time distorting facts in order to spin things for his next campaign. Hypocrisy at its finest.

Breathe. Normally Evan let Faison’s bullshit roll off his back. But when Faison blew off the things that were important to Evan, the frustration he’d felt as a child and the accompanying rage came roaring back. Faison didn’t give a crap about illegal drugs, but those drugs had nearly destroyed Evan’s life.

He inhaled for four counts, held his breath for four, and exhaled for four counts. His heart slowed and tension began to leave his body—one of many useful things Evelene had taught him when he was a kid.

The other thing that worked for him when he felt as though he might spontaneously erupt into flames?

Evan smiled and eyed the sign over the entrance to the bar. It read The Velvet Lounge. Wilmington was just far enough from Dare’s Landing that he didn’t have to worry about being seen. He kept his head down and his sex life firmly in the closet. Faison and his political backers probably couldn’t fire him for being queer, but he didn’t need the bullshit that came with being out. He’d had enough bullshit to last him several lifetimes already. The inside of his closet was perfectly comfortable, regardless of who they married at city hall these days.

The bouncer nodded to Evan as he walked inside. The sound of Easton Corbin’s “Baby Be My Love Song” hit him at the same time the icy-cold air conditioning blasted him, and the sweat-soaked curls at the back of his neck gave rise to goose bumps. Nothing like August in North Carolina. Hot, muggy. Vacation Bible school over. Pulled pork and a gallon of sweet tea. If things slowed down at the office, he’d take next weekend and sail his boat to Cape Lookout, have fresh fish for dinner, and sleep under the stars.

The thought of work had him clenching his jaw again. He forced himself to breathe deeply and took a seat at the corner of the bar. Trading his expensive suit for a button-down and jeans had done little to erase his frustration. He needed something stronger.

“Patrón Silver and a Bud.” He drank the shot as soon as the bartender set it down, ordered another, and took a pull of beer. He welcomed the tendrils of alcohol that eased his tight shoulder muscles.

Satisfied the evening was getting better, he glanced around the bar. The place wasn’t a dive, but it wasn’t what Evan would have called upscale either. The paneling was dark and weathered; the polished wood floor reflected the track lighting. A dozen tables, all of them occupied on a Friday evening. Country music played in the background, something Evan didn’t recognize but that reminded him of the songs his mother had played when he was young. Over on the tiny platform that served as a stage, someone had begun to set up for the live band that would play later in the evening. It was too early for live music, but not too early for what Evan had come looking for.

He nodded to a few familiar faces—Evan didn’t do repeats—then checked out the new ones. A ginger with a bit of a paunch at the end of the bar. A twink giggling and sipping on an umbrella-laden drink at one of the nearby tables. A man with a dark ponytail seated at the middle of the bar sucking on an imported beer, the corded muscles of his arms straining against the fabric of his dark blue T-shirt. Lean, thirtyish, with the honeyed skin of someone who spent a great deal of time outdoors. Surfer, here to improve his “broceanography” at Wrightsville Beach, Evan concluded. Since the Nat Geo article, he’d seen a lot more of them. Even better? The guy was looking back at him.

Bingo.

Evan raised his beer and nodded. The guy nodded back and Evan walked over. “Hey.”

“Hey.” The smile that lit the man’s face made his green eyes sparkle. Evan couldn’t quite place the accent. Definitely not Southern.

The man flagged down the bartender, who had just set Evan’s second shot in front of him. “Two of what he’s drinking, on me.”

“Thanks.” Evan set his empty on the bar and leaned languidly on the edge.

“Xav.”

“Chance,” Evan said.

Xav chuckled. “You’re serious?”

Evan nodded. He only used the name at bars, but it was his first name. “My mother had a twisted sense of humor.” And a serious coke addiction, but he wasn’t going to share that.

Xav raised a quizzical eyebrow. Evan didn’t care if Xav wanted to know more. He downed the second shot and shed his Evan persona the way he’d shed his suit. For tonight, he was Chance. Evan and all his crap could wait until the morning.

“You from around here?” Chance asked as he sat next to Xav.

“No.” Xav didn’t elaborate.

Chance could work with that. Didn’t matter given his no-repeat policy.

“You?”

“Grew up in Bertie,” Chance said truthfully. “Near the Virginia border.”

The bartender set their drinks in front of them. “Never heard of it.” Xav’s words didn’t seem to judge, just state a fact.

“Half the people in the state haven’t.” Chance picked up one of the beer bottles and handed it to Xav, the brush of his fingertips against Xav’s calculated. Xav’s short intake of breath pleased him, Xav’s fingers lingering just slightly too long against Chance’s. Years ago, Chance might have looked away. But he’d come to enjoy the self-confidence and power he felt when he didn’t back down, much as he’d come to enjoy locking horns with defense counsel in court.

Xav didn’t look away either.

Nice. His past few hookups here had been low-key—translate: jejune. This one held more promise.

“I’m staying at Wrightsville Beach,” Xav said. Chance repressed a laugh. Yep. Surfer. “I’ve got a few beers and a day-old pizza.” The edges of Xav’s very kissable mouth quirked upward and his thigh brushed Chance’s.

Someone at one of the tables laughed, and the sound of a guitar being tuned mingled with the clanking of beer bottles. Chance hoped they’d be out of there before the music started. He wasn’t in the mood.

Chance went to pull his wallet from his pocket, but Xav stood and leaned over him and handed the bartender a few bills before Chance could extricate it. Nicely done. Chance caught a whiff of cologne, subtle and citrusy. From his close vantage point, Chance watched the rhythmic pulse of a vein beneath Xav’s chin.

Chance stood straighter, his hard cock straining against the heavy fabric of his jeans. “Thanks.”

Xav didn’t cede any territory as Chance stood, his shoulder pressing against Xav’s chest. Chance hadn’t realized the man stood nearly half a head taller. Chance clenched his jaw and felt his shoulders and neck tense as he fought the urge to shove Xav out of his personal space. He didn’t like it when people got too close to him. The only exception was when he was getting laid. He took a slow breath, met Xav’s eyes, then moved away and downed his second beer. “I’ll follow you,” he said.

SolitaryMan[A]_headerbannerAbout A Solitary Man

Sparks fly when Chance meets tall, sexy Xav at a Wilmington bar and they have the hottest one-nighter of their lives. But Chance doesn’t do repeats, Xav seems detached, and they go their separate ways without a word. Two months later, when closeted Assistant District Attorney C. Evan “Chance” Fairchild meets Dare’s Landing’s newest deputy sheriff, Xavier “Xav” Constantine, Evan isn’t only wary. He’s irritated as hell.

Xavier is a former FBI agent turned deputy sheriff who is hot on the trail of a South American child prostitution ring. Evan is fighting to put an end to rampant cocaine trafficking and chafing under the thumb of an election-hungry boss. When someone tries to kill the thirteen-year-old witness who holds the key to both their investigations, they’re forced to work together as they put their lives on the line to protect him. As Chance and Xav collide in heat of a sweltering North Carolina summer, dodging bullets and chasing bad guys isn’t the only action going on.

Pre-order A Solitary Man from Dreamspinner Press!

SolitaryMan[A]_headerbannerAbout Shira Anthony

Shira loves a great happily-ever-after and never writes a story without one. She’s happy to write what her muse tells her, whether it’s fantasy, sci fi, paranormal, or contemporary romance. She particularly loves writing series, because she thinks of her characters as old friends and she wants to visit them even after their stories are told.

In real life, Shira sang professionally for 14 years, and she currently works as a public sector attorney advocating for children. She’s happy to have made writing her second full-time job, even if it means she rarely has time to watch TV or go to the movies.

Shira writes about the things she knows and loves, whether it’s music and musicians, the ocean, or the places she’s lived or traveled to. She spent her middle school years living in France, and tries to visit as often as she can.

Shira and her husband spend as many weekends as they can aboard their 36′ catamaran sailboat, “Lands Zen,” at the Carolina Coast. Not only has sailing inspired her to write about pirates and mermen, her sailboat is her favorite place to write. And although the only mermen she’s found to date are in her own imagination, she keeps a sharp lookout for them when she’s on the water.

Find Shira on blog, Twitter @WriterShira, Facebook, and Goodreads and

Subscribe to Shira’s monthly newsletter for updates, free fiction, and subscriber-only contests!

About Aisling Mancy

Aisling is an author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Aisling writes adult fantasy, adult LGBTQIA romance, and fiction for gay young adults (C. Kennedy).

Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Aisling doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Aisling contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Aisling can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.

Find Aisling on blog, Twitter @AislingMancy, Facebook, Goodreads, and

Aisling does respond to emails because, after all, it is all about you, the reader

 

 

Cover Reveal! “Beautiful boy” by Grace Duncan

Beautiful boy_FinalToday I’m so thrilled to be sharing the cover reveal for Grace Duncan’s upcoming release, Beautiful boy! You can preorder the book at Dreamspinner Press here: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7068

Here’s the blurb:

Malcolm Tate hung up his flogger when his submissive sought out another Dom and landed in the hands of a serial killer. Convinced his lack of dominance sent his sub away, Mal has spent two years blaming himself for what happened. But when his best friend finally convinces him to go back to the local dungeon, Mal’s grateful. Especially when he wins beautiful, submissive, firmly-closeted Kyle Bingham in a charity slave auction.

College grad Kyle hasn’t earned enough to move out of the loft his conservative, homophobic parents bought, much less to buy any of the other things still in their name. When he’s won at auction by the hot, amazing Mal, he’s shocked that anyone would want him. No one else seemed to—not his parents, his former Doms, or any of his disastrous dates.

But Mal does want him and Kyle lets his guard down, only to be outed to his parents. With his world crashing down, he must find a way to trust Mal—and their developing relationship—or risk losing everything.

Beautiful boy
Genre: BDSM, Contemporary, M/M
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover artist: Aaron Anderson
104,000 words
Release date: 11/20

If Kyle can get past his fears, he could see what his beloved Master Mal does: a beautiful boy that deserves his collar–and heart.

Author bio:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination.  She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble.  Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States.  She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics.  She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Find Grace here:

Website  ◊ FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

 

COVER REVEAL: A Solitary Man!

SolitaryMan[A]FS

Aisling Mancy and I have teamed up to write a red-hot action-packed thriller set in the heat of a North Carolina summer. A Solitary Man will be released by Dreamspinner Press on November 6th!

Excerpt:

Evan pressed the button on his phone to connect. “Freddy? What did you find out?”

Fred laughed. “For this, I’m going to exact a price.”

“You mean the keg I sprang for at graduation doesn’t get me a freebie?” Evan shot back.

“We’ve been out of law school for how many years now? Eight?”

“Nine this year,” Evan corrected.

“Credit’s no good anymore,” Fred answered. “I’m thinking dinner at Ivy at the Shore next time you’re in LA. On you, of course. Including a bottle of Veuve Clicquot.”

“For that,” Evan said with a chuckle, “this had better be good.”

“It’s good. And it was hell to get.”

“Okay, okay. Dinner on me. Assuming you and Margie put me up for the night,” Evan replied. “I’m looking forward to seeing your McMansion.”

“Deal. Took a little digging. Seems your mystery man did some undercover work for the FBI.”

“And?”

“My buddy in the US Attorney’s office wouldn’t give details, but word is Constantine got fed up with the bullshit after a case went bad somewhere down in South America.”

“Drugs?” Evan asked.

“No. He dealt with human trafficking. Specifically, child sex trafficking. My friend says the guy’s good. He tried a few cases where Constantine was the government’s key witness. Knows his stuff. Works his ass off and gets into his work. I got the impression sometimes he gets a little too close.”

Now that was interesting. “Why?”

“Seems the guy’s rabid about protecting kids.”

“Any idea why?”

“Nothing anyone would tell me,” Fred replied.

Evan leaned back in his chair. At least Xav wasn’t a slacker, but it didn’t make Evan feel any better about the prospect of bumping into him at work. “Anything else?”

“Constantine grew up in LA, went to school in Boston.”

“Boston?” Even more interesting. So much for his initial assessment of Xav as a broceanographer.

“Yeah, you’ll love this.”

Evan could almost hear Freddy’s grin over the phone.

“He did undergrad at MIT. Mathematics major. Master’s in criminology from U Penn with an emphasis in cryptology. The FBI was probably falling all over itself to recruit him.”

No shit. This just got better and better. “What the hell’s a guy with that kind of background doing in North Carolina?”

“I could ask you the same question,” Fred shot back. “Of course, if you decide you want your own McMansion….”

“You couldn’t pay me enough to come to work for you,” Evan joked. Fred was serious—they’d had this discussion a half-dozen times before.

“Try me.” Fred paused for a moment and then asked, “This personal?”

Evan had no intention of telling Fred he’d slept with Xav. “Not personal.”

“’Cause word has it he’s gay,” Fred said. “Out but not advertising.” When Evan didn’t take the bait, Fred added, “But you already knew that, didn’t you?”

Evan shook his head and sighed theatrically. “Don’t even go there, Freddy. You know I don’t mix business and pleasure. I just want to know what I’m dealing with. That’s all.”

“You can’t bullshit a bullshitter, man.”

“Thanks for the help,” Evan said, foreclosing the topic. “I’ll let you know next time I’m out your way. Tell Margie she’s a brave woman.”

“Always do. Laters. And make sure you get your sorry ass out here soon.”

“Will do.” Evan disconnected the call and rubbed his mouth. Mathematics major at MIT and a master’s from U Penn? No wonder the FBI had recruited him. And he’d pegged Xav for a surfer! What the hell are you doing in Dare’s Landing, Xavier Constantine?

SolitaryMan[A]_headerbannerAbout A Solitary Man

Sparks fly when Chance meets tall, sexy Xav at a Wilmington bar and they have the hottest one-nighter of their lives. But Chance doesn’t do repeats, Xav seems detached, and they go their separate ways without a word. Two months later, when closeted Assistant District Attorney C. Evan “Chance” Fairchild meets Dare’s Landing’s newest deputy sheriff, Xavier “Xav” Constantine, Evan isn’t only wary. He’s irritated as hell.

Xavier is a former FBI agent turned deputy sheriff who is hot on the trail of a South American child prostitution ring. Evan is fighting to put an end to rampant cocaine trafficking and chafing under the thumb of an election-hungry boss. When someone tries to kill the thirteen-year-old witness who holds the key to both their investigations, they’re forced to work together as they put their lives on the line to protect him. As Chance and Xav collide in heat of a sweltering North Carolina summer, dodging bullets and chasing bad guys isn’t the only action going on.

Pre-order A Solitary Man from Dreamspinner Press!

SolitaryMan[A]_headerbannerAbout Shira Anthony

Shira loves a great happily-ever-after and never writes a story without one. She’s happy to write what her muse tells her, whether it’s fantasy, sci fi, paranormal, or contemporary romance. She particularly loves writing series, because she thinks of her characters as old friends and she wants to visit them even after their stories are told.

In real life, Shira sang professionally for 14 years, and she currently works as a public sector attorney advocating for children. She’s happy to have made writing her second full-time job, even if it means she rarely has time to watch TV or go to the movies.

Shira writes about the things she knows and loves, whether it’s music and musicians, the ocean, or the places she’s lived or traveled to. She spent her middle school years living in France, and tries to visit as often as she can.

Shira and her husband spend as many weekends as they can aboard their 36′ catamaran sailboat, “Lands Zen,” at the Carolina Coast. Not only has sailing inspired her to write about pirates and mermen, her sailboat is her favorite place to write. And although the only mermen she’s found to date are in her own imagination, she keeps a sharp lookout for them when she’s on the water.

Shira looks forward to meeting you at Gay Rom Lit!

Find Shira on blog, Twitter @WriterShira, Facebook, and Goodreads and

Subscribe to Shira’s monthly newsletter for updates, free fiction, and subscriber-only contests!

About Aisling Mancy

Aisling is an author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Aisling writes adult fantasy, adult LGBTQIA romance, and fiction for gay young adults (C. Kennedy).

Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Aisling doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Aisling contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Aisling can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.

Aisling looks forward to meeting you at Gay Rom Lit!

Find Aisling on blog, Twitter @AislingMancy, Facebook, Goodreads, and

Aisling does respond to emails because, after all, it is all about you, the reader

 

“Aria” is Now Available in Audibook!

AriaREVLGAria (Blue Notes #3) is now available in audiobook from Audible.com! Symphony in Blue (Blue Notes #4.5) should be releasing very soon, and Prelude will be up next in the series. All of the Blue Notes Series books should be available on audiobook by the end of the year.

Just a reminder that, with the exception of Symphony in Blue, all of the Blue Notes Series books are standalones. The stories are interconnected, but can be read in any order! -Shira

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