Red Fish, Dead Fish by Amy Lane: Exclusive Author Interview, Blog Tour, and Excerpt

Red Fish, Dead Fish Blog Tour Stop 4

The Lovely Ms. Kim Fielding

By Amy Lane

Okay folks—so, I’m here today to promote Red Fish, Dead Fish, my latest story in the Fish Out of Water series.  Now, usually in a blog tour, we talk about ourselves and our newest book until we can’t hardly stand it—but this time out I decided to do something different. I’m going to talk about other people’s books—because I know some amazing romantic suspense authors, and I wanted to celebrate them instead.

So Red Fish, Dead Fish is out on Amazon, it’s the second in the series, and I think you’ll like it very much a lot! That being said, let’s talk about Kim Fielding!  

I have to admit, I’m biased about Kim Fielding. We’ve been on road trips together to Las Vegas, where we saw where the lazy mobsters hid the bodies, and to San Diego, where we got butt lost somewhere in LA. We even threw our combined children in the back of the minivan and left them to Mate’s devices while we gossiped in her amazing Mini, and the whole lot of us went hunting for ghosts in the Sierra Foothills.

And after all this time together, I’ve got to tell you—there’s something terrifically and deliciously not right with Kim Fielding.

She’s a criminal justice professor in her other life, and she’s got a pixilated sense of humor to go with her knowledge of where the bodies would be buried and which law enforcement agency would dig them up when they were. When I first wrote Fish Out of Water, I sent it to her, so she could spot any inaccuracies—she was my resident expert, and I flat out revered her opinion.

That, and she laughs at my jokes and isn’t afraid to be lost in the middle of Southern California with me.

And she writes terrific books.  For a touch of paranormal, I’d recommend Motel Pool, but if you want some romantic suspense—even if it’s just the suspense of a lover’s past coming back to bite him in the ass, go with the Love Can’t series, which seriously made me cry. But really, you can’t go wrong with Kim Fielding no matter which book you pick up—so kick back and enjoy her interview, and hope that maybe one day, you’ll get to join her on a ghost hunt too. Even if you don’t find any ghosts, I promise, you’ll enjoy the trip! 

Kim Fielding

What do you think is the most delicious part of a suspense novel or a mystery?

Fielding: The human beings involved. Obviously, plot is important in these genres. Everything needs to be tighter and needs to serve several purposes. But I won’t care at all about the world’s most beautifully crafted plot if I don’t care about the characters. I want heroes who are flawed. I want villains who are sympathetic. I want minor characters who feel like real people and not just Plot Enablers. I want the characters to be smart. This is important. I once read a novel in which the protagonist was such an idiot she couldn’t have qualified as a hall monitor, yet she was supposed to be an FBI agent. Right. On the other hand, I want these smart people to have weaknesses and do stupid things now and then, because don’t we all?

Tell me about body counts–seriously. How many corpses make a good suspense novel, and why?

Fielding: Depends on the corpses.

For me it’s not about how many die, but how and why. Are their deaths truly furthering a plot point? Were they predictable? Were they realistic? Are they all just rehashes of the same crime? And who are they?

“Who are they?” is an especially important question. A murder is often more effective if the reader has some emotional connection to the victim. It can be a negative connection. For example SPOILER HERE SPOILER SPOILER weren’t you deeply satisfied in Game of Thrones when Ramsay Bolton got eaten by his own dogs? I know I was. But of course the connection can be positive

too. Stephen King is wonderful at making his characters come alive, making us love them, and then killing then off. This connection can even happen with minor characters. In my book Love Is Heartless, a bad guy murders two people who we’ve met only briefly, yet I think their deaths resonate because readers liked those poor men.

The other most important question for me is how realistic the murders are. My day job is criminal justice professor, so I’m critical of authors who do a sloppy job on research. That kind of stuff throws me right out of the story. In my opinion, an author who’s going to write a suspense novel should take the time to ensure the details are right. He or she should to cops, lawyers, or criminologists, or read guides like Geoff Symon’s books on Forensics for Fiction.  Because if there are mistakes—especially big ones—I’ll judge that author. A lot.

What’s your most creative way to kill someone?  

Fielding: I don’t know that I’ve ever caused the a death in an especially creative way, but I’ve done some interesting things with people after they were dead.

I can’t be specific about this because it’s spoilery, but I have a novel in which I killed off one of the protagonists TWICE—and still managed a happy ending. I’m pretty pleased with that one.

I have a recently finished novel (currently under submission) in which an unpleasant fellow dies by getting his throat sliced. But my hero needs the information this guy had, so he lops of the dead guy’s head and drags it to a necromancer. Unfortunately, the deceased isn’t any more loveable than he was when he was alive.

I also have to mention a death in Love Is Heartless. A man has disappeared, and some time later a homeowner finds the missing man’s jawbone in his front yard. Police focus on the homeowner’s neighbor, who’s kind of a lowlife—but security camera footage reveals that the jawbone literally fell from the sky! How? Well, you’ll have to read the book to solve that mystery. But what I wanted to share was that this really happened not far from me; I got the story from a local deputy coroner and was thrilled to include it in a book.

Dish about TV shows–which ones do you love and which ones do you hate from a suspense POV? Which TV show/movie do you most want your books to resemble?

Feilding: I watch almost no TV. It’s not that I have anything against it, but between writing, the day job, and the family, I just don’t have time. I do, however, tend to have a single show I follow. For the past several years that’s been Game of Thrones. GoT’s season is really short, though, and this year I’ve added a second series, American Gods. That’s it for now. Part of the fun of GoT is you never know who’s going to die. And with both GoT and American Gods, you’re never sure they’ll remain dead.

I generally avoid cop and lawyer shows because they get too many things wrong. I sit there shouting, “That’s not right! That’s not how they do that!” until my husband gets annoyed with me and turns of the TV. One exception was Dexter. No, it wasn’t realistic either, but I was able to overlook that because the rest of it was really fun.

When you read outside your genre, what’s your candy? (I ask everybody this–I think it’s fascinating!)  

Fielding: I read a lot of stuff. On more than one occasion, a bookstore clerk has commented on my eclectic choices, and this pleased me. My most common go-to, however, is speculative fiction. Under that wide umbrella, I especially love urban fantasy and magical realism. For instance, I’ll snap up just about everything by Neil Gaiman and Isabel Allende.

More generally, though, I adore books in which the author surprises me with something fresh. Some recent ones I’ve enjoyed? The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt, about a pair of gold rush-era hitmen. It’s violent but also funny and delightfully weird. Helen Wecker’s The Golem and The Jinni is also delightful. It mashes together golem and jinni mythology, it’s set in New York around 1900, and it’s sweet and sad and amazing. It’s the kind of story that swallows you up. Another recent favorite was Frederick Busch’s The Night Inspector, which also takes place in New York, but a few decades earlier than Wecker’s book. There’s a lot of brutality in it, but that was a brutal time, and the protagonist is beautifully flawed.

You can see in the last paragraph that I’m a fan too of historical fiction. I prefer stories that focus on common people rather than the rich, titled, and famous. And while I’ll read any timeframe, I have a special weakness for the California gold rush, probably because I live very close to where it happened.

 

For more interviews and author close ups for Romantic Suspense, check out the rest of the blog tour—

July 28 – MM Good Book Reviews Amy Lane

July 28 – Alpha Book Reviews (Just a little about Jackson in Fish Out of Water)

July 31 – Open Skye Book Reviews Andrew Grey

August 1 – Two Chicks Obsessed Kim Fielding

August 2 – My Fiction Nook Rayna Vause

August 3 – Tammy’s Two Cents Ava Drake

August 4 – Happily Ever Chapter Melinda Leigh

August 7 – Long and Short Reviews Karen Rose

August 8 – Love Bytes Charlie Cochet

August 10 – The Novel Approach Tere Michaels

 

Red Fish, Dead Fish

Blog Tour:

July 28 – MM Good Book Reviews (Amy Lane answers her own interview questions!)

July 28 – Alpha Book Reviews

July 31 – Open Skye Book Reviews

August 1 – Two Chicks Obsessed

August 2 – My Fiction Nook

August 3 – Tammy’s Two Cents

August 4 – Happily Ever Chapter

August 7 – Long and Short Reviews

August 8 – Love Bytes

August 10 – The Novel Approach

  

 

They must work together to stop a psychopath—and save each other.

Two months ago Jackson Rivers got shot while trying to save Ellery Cramer’s life. Not only is Jackson still suffering from his wounds, the triggerman remains at large—and the body count is mounting.

Jackson and Ellery have been trying to track down Tim Owens since Jackson got out of the hospital, but Owens’s time as a member of the department makes the DA reluctant to turn over any stones. When Owens starts going after people Jackson knows, Ellery’s instincts hit red alert. Hurt in a scuffle with drug-dealing squatters and trying damned hard not to grieve for a childhood spent in hell, Jackson is weak and vulnerable when Owens strikes.

Jackson gets away, but the fallout from the encounter might kill him. It’s not doing Ellery any favors either. When a police detective is abducted—and Jackson and Ellery hold the key to finding her—Ellery finds out exactly what he’s made of. He’s not the corporate shark who believes in winning at all costs; he’s the frightened lover trying to keep the man he cares for from self-destructing in his own valor.

 

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Dreamspinner Press

 

Prologue—Belly Up

“Ellery, hand me my phone,” Jackson mumbled. “It’s ringing.”

“You’re not back at work yet,” Ellery slurred. “You have two more weeks.”

Jackson rolled over on top of him and as he reached unwisely for the phone Ellery had strategically put on his own end table. For a moment, Ellery was covered with tense, warm man, and then he shoved Jackson off.

“I’ll get it!” he snapped, officially awake. “Jesus, what in the—”

“It’s Mack’s ringtone,” Jackson defended. “I told him what we were looking for.”

Ellery tried not to roll his eyes. Mack. This was the same Mack who had helped Jackson out when Jackson had wrecked the car unofficially helping Ellery with an investigation.

At the time, Ellery had been so happy to get Jackson back in one bruised piece—and on a plane to somewhere he could rest without incident—that he hadn’t questioned this Mack’s existence. Once he found out that Mack Flanders had been Jackson’s bedmate a few years ago, he’d been irritated but unsurprised.

Now that Mack was calling them in the whore of dawn’s sweaty crack, Ellery wanted to kick him in the balls.

Except….

“Cottage Park, near the outbuilding. Yeah, I got it. There’s a way to get in there, right? I’m not climbing the fucking fence. Of course there’s cops and crime scene tape. That’s not what I’m asking.” The voice on the other end spoke patiently, and some of Jackson’s defensiveness seeped away. “Okay. Thanks, Mack. Owe you another one. No, sorry—told you. Not paying favors that way anymore, but it’s nice of you to ask.”

“God in heaven,” Ellery muttered.

“Yeah, okay. I’ll be there in half an hour.”

“We’ll be there.” Ellery rolled out of bed and headed for the shower. Thirty seconds to run some soap under his pits and pack a suit for court later that day. He could do it.

“Crap,” he could hear Jackson say as he closed the shower door. “We’ll be there. Thanks.”

Five seconds later, Jackson stepped into the shower with him and grabbed his own shower gel from the corner of the tub. They’d had some nice times in there together—particularly when Jackson was still healing from his gunshot wound and his shattered scapula and needed Ellery’s help.

They’d had a few after that too, but not today.

“Body?” Ellery asked, not really needing confirmation.

“Yeah.” Jackson scrubbed his pits with care but not vigor—moving was still painful and probably would be for a little while. He’d gotten out of the hospital less than six weeks earlier. By all rights he should still be chilling in the fall sunshine, maybe swimming in the pool at the gym—but not Jackson.

Ellery had needed to haul him to San Diego to give himself time to recover.

It was even more infuriating that he was right today. There really was no time to rest.

“Our kind?”

Jackson shook the water from his dark blond hair and squinted at Ellery through eyes as green as bottle glass. “We have a kind of dead body? Most couples just go with favorite song.”

Ellery soaped his hair efficiently. “You know what I mean.”

Jackson grabbed the shampoo. “Yeah.”

Jackson, the private investigator at Ellery’s defense firm, had gotten shot helping Ellery bring down a ring of corrupt cops. They’d put the ringleaders in prison—but one of the underlings had gotten away.

Turned out he was the one the police should have been chasing all along.

“Young,” Jackson said, ticking off items on the list. “This one’s Hispanic. Male, but slender. Recent involvement with drugs. Maybe a week of turning tricks.”

“Dirty pretty,” Ellery confirmed grimly. They had been Scott Bridger’s words, actually, one of the men they’d brought down, to describe the kind of person who had disappeared on his partner’s watch. Gender hadn’t mattered, nor race. Just a little bit of street dirt and some physical beauty.

Tim Owens liked to take the “dirty pretty” ones and make them not so pretty anymore.

“Mack says there’s something new about this one,” Jackson said, stepping in front of him to rinse his hair.

Ellery wasn’t sure why he did it, except it was not yet four in the morning and he and Jackson were naked together, and that wasn’t something he’d learned to take for granted yet.

He wrapped his arms around Jackson’s shoulders and kissed his neck, softly, gently, with just enough tongue and teeth to make Jackson regret they weren’t making love this morning but going to work instead.

Jackson tensed for a moment, probably caught off guard, but then he relaxed into Ellery’s arms and leaned his head back.

“What?” he asked suspiciously.

Well, Ellery had been known to be an autocratic bastard—that was probably warranted.

“Just….” Ellery couldn’t find words. Or he could find words, but neither of them had said the words yet, and you just didn’t spring those words on a guy whose entire life had been an act of insufficient self-protection.

With a sinuous movement, Jackson turned his head and caught Ellery’s mouth, something he couldn’t have done a month ago, something that felt huge and necessary now.

“Don’t worry about me, Counselor,” Jackson said cheekily, pulling away. “But the cuddle was downright friendly.”

Well, sure. Friendly. Just two friendly lovers getting out of bed extra early to go catch a serial killer. Nothing strange about that at all.

“Just be careful,” Ellery said, trying not to sound bitchy or officious and failing. “He’s got your cell phone. You know that, right?”

“Well, he had it for a couple of hours before it got deactivated,” Jackson said. “And yeah—fuck me for owning an Android with the shitty security. Thank you so much for the iPhone, Ellery. Now I am safe from serial killers everywhere.”

The snark in his voice was the only thing that kept Ellery from conking him over the head and tying him to the bed in a completely non-kinky way.

 

PI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.

Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.

Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.

 

Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Unscripted Love by Aimee Nicole Walker: Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

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UNSCRIPTED LOVE

Road to Blissville Series, Book 1

AIMEE NICOLE WALKER

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 07.11.17

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PHOTOGRAPHER: Wander Aguiar

COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

Kyle Vaughn had three goals in life: become a vet, find the man of his dreams, and start a family. He easily checked off the first item on the list when he took over his grandfather’s veterinary practice. Too bad he wasn’t as lucky in love.

Chaz Hamilton took a leap of faith when he decided to pursue a career in writing, but one best seller didn’t mean he could quit his day job. All work and no play threatened to make Chaz a very dull man when the only romantic action he saw was in the pages of his manuscript. Too bad he couldn’t write his own happily every after.

Circumstances pushed the two men together, and one magical kiss beneath fireworks and stars changed everything. Kyle knew his luck had finally turned around and Chaz found a man far better than any book boyfriend ever written. There was just one problem. Chaz has kept a secret from Kyle that could ruin their chance at a beautiful life together.

Kyle and Chaz learn that the best-laid plans often go awry, the heart has a mind of its own, and the greatest love is unscripted.

The books in the Road to Blissville series can be read either as standalone books or as part of the series. This book contains sexually explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 and older.

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Hello. Thank you so much for having me on your blog. I hate talking about myself, but I’ll do it for you. I’ll skip the same old tired bio stuff with the number of husbands (1), kids (3), and pets (5) that I have and get to something hopefully a tad bit more in depth. I’m a 42-year-old, breast cancer survivor, sports nut, Superman over Batman, and Gemini kind of gal whose pulse beats in rhythm to the song she’s listening to and has caffeine running through her veins.

1. When did you write your first story/book? How old were you? I started writing New Kids on the Block fan fiction when I was twelve or thirteen years old with my friend. I started and stopped a hundred projects between the ages of thirteen and thirty-eight. I published my first book at thirty-nine.

2. Are you a plotter or pantser? 2% plotter and 98% pantser

3. How do you find or make time to write? Right or wrong, I approach my writing as a career, which means I set deadlines and I stick to them. I plan my release schedule out at least six months to a year in advance so that I hold myself accountable. Sure, there are days that I don’t feel like writing, but I do it anyway. Or if I really can’t get something going, I take that day off and double down the next day. Some will argue that treating a creative job like a regular job diminishes your creative ability, but that isn’t the case for me. I think that every writer needs to take the approach that works best for them because what works for some doesn’t work for others. It doesn’t make your process right and theirs wrong; it just makes them different. And different is a good thing! (Said in Martha Stewart’s voice)

4. What do you like to read in your free time? As with music, I like a little bit of everything. I would say that my favorite reads have an element of action or suspense to them. I’m starting to really get into paranormal a bit more.

5. Always number 5 is a fun one. If you had 24 hours (with no consequences to  you or your family) to do anything, anywhere in the world, what would it be? Honestly, this may sound dull to most people, but I’d love to be dropped at a posh tropical island resort all by myself. I’d like to have just 24 hours of peace and quiet where I can read or listen to music while sitting beneath an umbrella and staring at a pool or a beach.

Dr. Vaughn!” A familiar female voice exclaimed. “Oh my goodness! You’re the answer to my prayers.”

I spun around and faced Jenny Davis who operated the Carter County Animal Shelter. “That’s what he said,” I replied, jerking my thumb in Chaz’s direction without thinking my actions through. Chaz gasped, Josh threw his head back and laughed in delight, and I’m pretty sure that Andy growled. I chanced a peek at Chaz’s and caught him staring at me with a dumbfounded expression on his face. How much more obvious did I need to be that I wanted to see where things could go between us?

“Is this a bad time?” she asked nervously. “I’d like to ask a favor of you.” My staff and I volunteered ten to fifteen hours a week treating the dogs and cats at her shelter. The last time I was there, she mentioned that she needed to raise money for the shelter. I figured that she wanted to discuss a fundraiser with me.

“Not at all, Jenny. Josh will be delayed a few minutes, so I have time now.”

“Well, it’s a big favor,” she said hesitantly. “Remember how I mentioned a fundraiser to you?”

“Sure and I’ll help out however I can,” I told her.

“I’m so glad you feel that way because you play a big part in what I havUL Teaser 4e in mind.” She clapped her hands and bounced on her feet. “I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner,” she said to herself.

“How big?” I asked, narrowing my eyes as an uneasy feeling came over me.

That feeling only increased when she broke eye contact and looked down at her feet. “We’d like to do a calendar with the animals at the shelter. One of my staff is an amateur photographer and is willing to donate the time to take and edit the photos.”

“So you’re looking for donations to cover the cost of producing the calendars? I’ll gladly help out with that,” I told her. Jenny didn’t meet my offer with as much enthusiasm as I expected.

“Not exactly the kind of help I was looking for from you,” she said.

“No? How else can I be of service to you?” I asked, clearly confused. I provided free veterinarian services and offered to…

“She wants you to pose for the calendar,” Chaz said, interrupting my thoughts.

I looked over at him and rolled my eyes. “No, she doesn’t.”

“Oh, I think that’s exactly what she’s working her courage up to ask,” Chaz told me. “Isn’t that right, Jenny?”

I looked at Jenny, expecting her to brush off his idea, but all I saw was a hopeful gleam in her green eyes. “Me?” I asked in disbelief.

“Why not you?” Jenny asked, seemingly emboldened when I didn’t refuse the idea outright. “You’re gorgeous, built like a brick house, and adore animals. Who else would I ask?”

“I don’t know, Jenny,” I said hesitantly. “I’m not very photogenic.”

“Stop being so modest,” Jenny told me. “You’re exactly what we need. I can see it now…” Her voice trailed off while she envisioned something in her mind. “Shirtless poses with a kitty, cowboy hat and boots while standing beside a horse…”

“I’d be wearing more than just a pair of boots and a hat, right?” I asked, needing clarification before the conversation went any further.

“Dr. Vaughn!” Jenny’s said in shock. “Why, I’d never suggest such a thing.” Then she covered her mouth with both hands and giggled nervously. “Oh my,” she answered, fanning herself. “That’s not at what I meant at all. Dear me, I meant my offer as a complement, Dr. Vaughn. I thought your love for animals combined with your hunky looks would make a great fundraiser.”

“It would probably sell a lot of calendars,” Chaz said, chiming in.

I looked over at him and caught him staring at me speculatively. “But would you buy a calendar?” I asked.

“Duh,” Chaz said, then added, “it’s for charity.”

 

I was eager to read this new series by Aimee Nicole Walker. It is a spin off of her previous series, Curl up and Dye Mysteries. Almost all of the same characters (a few new ones thrown in here and there) but the focus is on a different couple. Chaz, the loveable receptionist at Curl Up and Dye and Kyle, the town’s veteranarian dubbed Dr Dimples.

Simply stated, I really liked this book. Whereas the previous series was super cute (cutesy nicknames, etc) this one wasn’t nearly as. And that is not a bad thing.

There is quite a bit of repetition from the previous stories, but that is necessary for the author if she wants people to be able to read this without having to read the previous. It was fun to read from a different perspective though.

Navigating the flirtation that they have had for over a year led to a slow burn- which I am a big fan of. I like to see a relationship develop before they jump into bed. We find out more about Kyle and what makes him tick. As always, what you see on the outside isn’t necessarily what is on the inside.

I loved the closeness Chaz has with “The Matrons”. I completely cracked up every time they were on the page!

This was a really good love story of a couple we have been hoping for since the begining. And I was not disappointed at all.

4 pieces of eye candy

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I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy

who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.

I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

All Wheel Drive by ZA Maxfield: Blog Tour, Exclusive Author Interview and Giveaway

Healey Holly is battered, depressed, and looking to go to ground in his childhood home. He wants to rent the garage apartment, but it’s Diego Luz’s place now, and the last thing Diego wants is to share it.

Diego is recovering too—from the accident that put him in a wheelchair and the death of his mother shortly after. The garage apartment is where he’s keeping his mother’s things, and as long as they’re up those stairs and he’s down on the ground, there’s no way he can deal with his loss. And that’s just how he likes it.

Healey believes in science. Diego believes in luck. It will take a blend of both, and some prayer thrown in besides, for these two to learn that it’s the journey and the destination that matters.

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Riptide Publishing

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Hi Z.A. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

 

Hi, and thanks so much for allowing me to be part of your blog with my latest novel, All Wheel Drive. I’m Z.A. Maxfield, and I’ve been writing m/m romance since about 2007, when my kids dared me to make my dream of being a writer come true.

We had a long talk that day about the difference between being a person who follows their bliss, and being a person who looks at their bliss from a long way away hoping their bliss will follow them and I’ve been following mine ever since.

All Wheel Drive is a companion book to Hell On Wheels. The main characters are twins, something I know a little bit about because I’m the mother of twin boys. Most of the twins in my books are identical, like mine, and differ because one is right-handed and one left-handed. Apparently that’s my thing! I’ve written this character combo more than once.

  • Do you pay attention to literary criticism? If so, how do you handle it?

I like to think that I’m levelheaded, but like most writers, I take criticism poorly and personally and PRIVATELY–I enjoy a little whine with friends.

That said, reviews don’t reflect the books themselves, but rather the reader’s experience with the book, and therefore I truly consider it none of my business unless a reader wants to make it my business by bringing it to my attention.

These two ideas are like X and Y coordinates, and at any one point in time, depending on a thousand different variables my functionality can be plotted somewhere on that grid…

  • How do you come up with your titles?

Titles sometimes come to me all snappy and premade. All Wheel Drive made perfect sense, because it’s a follow up to Hell On Wheels, and one of the main characters is a driven man in a wheelchair. Crossing Borders was about the bookstore. I’m oblivious too! I thought Drawn Together was brilliant until I realized it was a television show…

  • What new authors have grasped your interest?

They’re not new authors, but recently, I’ve discovered Annabeth Albert and Tibby Armstrong, both of whom I got to meet and chat with at RT Booklover’s Convention. So fun!

  • What is the hardest part about writing in an established series such as Bluewater Bay? One that has tons of characters, and locations people have read before.

For me it was a little daunting to include characters other writers created. In this book, I used Heather’s men from Burnt Toast B&B. You want to be super-true to someone else’s vision and honor their creations as much as possible (while still using their characters like puppets for your own megalomaniacal ends.)

  • And now the fun one. Name the four things you would bring with you to a deserted island.

IF I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be marooned on the island by myself forever, and IF it was sort of a magical place where I didn’t need to fend off wild boars, I would bring sunscreen, a kindle stocked with every single book I’ve ever purchased (including all the books I bought in print before ebooks), as much water as I need to survive, and a never ending bowl of individual handfuls of Trader Joe’s assorted trail mixes.

Thanks for stopping by! I love that answer, practical and still fun. 🙂

I didn’t read the first book, Hell on Wheels, yet, although after reading the story of Diego and Healey,  I am most curious about Healey’s twin brother, Nash and Spencer’s story. Nash was a big part of Healey’s book, and getting to know him was fun.

There must have been an incredible amount of research that went into this by the author. This was not a story where Diego “miraculously” got feeling back in his lower body. This included the challenges that someone with a spinal cord injury faces day to day life. They can have a sex life, just not the way someone who doesn’t have a SCI does. Yet, Healey, having a sister with her own SCI didn’t care about any of that. He wanted to find out what Diego wanted, what felt good to Diego, and the author did not mince words on what it would take for someone with Diego’s injuries to face all those challenges. It was good to have a realistic outlook on someone who lives every day with an injury like that.

Healey, meanwhile, was a mess of his own, and I honestly didn’t know what to think when I “met” him. He really was someone who wanted to care for those he loved, even to his own detriment. He respected Diego, and his independence, but always wanted to care for those around him in whatever way was necessary, as we learn later when the full import of his “accident” comes to light.

I didn’t always know where this story was going. It seemed to hit on areas I wasn’t expecting or didn’t find to be necessary to the story. However, I did find that although these two had a lot in common, their differences complimented each other as well.

I did enjoy meeting both their families, as they were all characters in their own way, bringing an additional dimension to the story, and creating more depth into Healey and Diego’s lives.

4 pieces of eye candy

About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield,  Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

Check it out at Riptide Publishing! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/bluewater-bay

Z.A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back.  Pathologically disorganized and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends.  If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four manages to find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

Her published books include Crossing Borders, Epic Award finalist St. Nacho’s, Drawn Together, ePistols at Dawn, Notturno, Stirring Up Trouble, and Vigil.

Readers can visit her website at http://www.zamaxfield.com, and contact her at zamaxfield@zamaxfield.com.

To celebrate the release of All Wheel Drive, one lucky winner will receive an ecopy of Hell on Wheels and a $25 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 15, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Mature Content by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Excerpt and Review

 

My life plan is to be brutally honest all the way to the bank. Don’t believe me? I run a popular YouTube channel called TrashyZane, and my claim to fame is oversharing about every aspect of my personal life. Sometimes while tipsy. Not everyone loves my style, but I have a long history of icing out people who can’t handle me. I have no time for judgmental foolishness.

Except, apparently, when it comes to Beau Starr. His channel is the polar opposite of mine, and so is he. Wholesome, inspirational, and clean-cut. Everything about him should turn me off, but when we hook up following a confrontation at a convention, my world flips upside down. Not only does Beau Starr turn me on, he uses the exact combination of dirty talk and roughness needed to turn me out.

But we still hate each other. I think.

Mature Content

By Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Cyberlove Series

Book 4

Amazon  | BN | kobo | iBooks | Indigo | Angus & Robertson Book World | Mandadori Store

“You want to talk now that Ian is gone?” Jesse asked knowingly.

I flicked the seam of my pillow. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’re being weird, and I’m not sure if it’s because of Zane or something else.”

“It’s not because of Zane. Well, some of it is, I guess.”

“Ah.” He grinned. “Does that mean there is a thing with Zane?”

I stood up and ran my hands through my hair, which had a life of its own due to the amount of grease in it. “Fine, yes. Okay? We fucked at NerdCon. It was amazing, but we still hate each other, so it’s not happening again.”

Jesse’s eyes were huge. “I’m…not sure what to say right now?”

I wasn’t either. All our lives, I’d been the bossy one, the leader, and Jesse had been the follower. I was the ambitious one, the person with answers and advice. And now the shoe was on the other foot. Jesse had a career and a happy life, and I was a goddamn mess. But maybe I’d always been a mess. I was just excellent at covering it up with a smile.

A lot of people ask us about our co-writing process in terms of big picture stuff–plotting, who writes which characters, how do we decide who writes which scene. So, when Two Chicks Obsessed asked us to write about our process, we decided to take it down to the nitty gritty. A day in the life of Megtino. As well as a glimpse at the future of the series.

Megan: I usually wake up every day to a message on gchat from Santino that says “Blah.”

Santino: No, sometimes I say “I hate today” or “Why do I have to have a job?”

Megan: Okay, you’re right you mix it up sometimes, haha. But that’s how our co-writing day starts! That’s our morning greeting. Gchat is our main method of communication because it’s easy and the app works. Usually Santino writes at night, and I write during the day. So every morning is a little bit like Christmas, because I get to wake up and see what magic he did while I was sleeping. I then send him messages like, “THAT WAS SO GOOD. HOW DARE YOU.”

Santino: And then I secretly read her scenes at work and send more messages like “Why do I have to work?”. LOL

Megan: We do plot ahead of time, but we talk through every scene just to make sure we’re both on track with the emotions of our characters. We have changed the plot of…all four books I think. As in, the plot we started out with changed as we drafted because our characters weren’t following that path. So we check in with each other before just about every scene. So before I dig in that day, we’ll take each other’s pulse. I’m usually feeling inspired and excited based on his last scene, so I’m ready to go. 🙂

Santino: I think my favorite part of our process is after it all comes together and I can reread it in its entirety, because day-to-day I get excited for every scene, but then by the middle or end it’s all fragmented in my brain so I’m like “is this coherent and fun for anyone else?? Because clearly we think it’s great!”. We both have those moments, and it’s nice to be able to kind of vent our worries and angst to each other. And then reassure each other.

Megan: It’s definitely hard when I have to write a book on my own. Like, where’s my partner? I need to brainstorm with someone! What’s kind of funny about this series is that it’s rather meta. It’s all about MCs who meet online, and we write the whole series in Google Docs while conversing on Gchat.

Santino: Exactly. I think that’s why the books resonate with so many people, though. Most people in romancelandia have met like-minded online via various different forms of social media, and those relationships have transitioned to long-lasting friendships, partnerships, and more. It’s also why we decided to keep the series going. We almost stopped at book 3, and then we had several conversations about whether we should wrap it up with book 4 since this kind of closes out the story arc that began with Kai and Garrett.

Megan: Right, and then because we can’t help ourselves, we brainstormed an idea for book five, so we guess there’ll be more Cyberlove along the way. 😀

TCO: OH YEAH!!!! Now that is awesome news!!! Thanks for stopping by Megtino.

Holy smokin hot! Like oh mah gawd. Anyway…

I kind of love opposites attract when they have something big in common. Here it was youtube. Other than that, and that they were both openly gay- Zane and Beau could not be more different. And it was awesome. While it was a bone of contention to begin with- squeeky clean Beau versus TrashyZane, they started to realize that maybe they had more in common than they thought. See first sentence of review.

I have to say, this series made me really glad I have a teen at home so I knew all of the lingo already. Otherwise, you could easily spend some time looking things up. Big plus for me and it all fit with the story, but I honestly don’t know if that would be a turn off for others.

Above and beyond the steamy hotness, there was a good story. That is essential to me. Keeping careers alive and moving forward, branding, cattiness in the business, etc. It was really interesting to read all that goes on behind the scenes of having a successful youtube channel.

Both Zane and Beau were likeable even though you want to smack each of them at different points in the story.

There were several different conflicts in the story, and honestly I couldn’t really figure out how he was going to get through it. So they way it did wrap up was done really well.

Being that this was a co-written book, one of the biggest markers for me is if you can tell that one author wrote one character and the other author wrote the second. But honestly, I could not tell at all. The story telling was seamless.

There are quite a few appearances by characters of previous books, and although it can be read as a stand alone, I really would start at the beginning. They are all worth a read.

4.5 pieces of eye candy

ABOUT SANTINO HASSELL:

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

www.santinohassell.com

Santino@santinohassell.com

Twitter: @santinohassell

https://www.facebook.com/santinohassellbooks

https://www.goodreads.com/santino_hassell

Amazon Author Page

 

ABOUT MEGAN ERICKSON

Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she likes writing her own endings better.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or… thinking about writing.
For more, visit meganerickson.org

Website: www.meganerickson.org

Amazon Author Page

Twitter @MeganErickson_

IG: https://www.instagram.com/meggiejoknows/
FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1440306062901719/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/authormeganerickson/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mrsmeggiejo/

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

And It Came to Pass by Laura Stone: Blog Tour, Exclusive Interview, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

Adam Young is a devout Mormon whose life is all planned out, by both his strict father and his church. He follows the path they’ve established for him, goes off to his mission in Barcelona, Spain, and realizes that his life may not follow the trajectory already chosen for him.

His mission companion, Brandon Christensen, is a handsome, enthusiastic practitioner on the surface. But as their mission progresses, they both realize they have major questions about their faith… and substantial feelings for one another.

Book title: And It Came to Pass
Author: Laura Stone

Stand Alone

Pages/Words: 222 pages / 67,300 words
Cover: Cover Photography by T.I. Stills Photography

[Read more…]

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

I Do or Dye Trying by Aimee Nicole Walker: Blog Tour, Exclusive Author Interview and Giveaway

IDODT Tour banner

I DO, OR DYE TRYING

CURL UP AND DYE MYSTERIES SERIES, BOOK 4

AIMEE NICOLE WALKER

M/M ROMANCE/MYSTERY

PHOTOGRAPHER: Wander Aguiar

COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

MODELS: Jacob and Matthew

IDODT Cover

Newly engaged Josh Roman and Gabe Wyatt know the road to happily ever after won’t be easy, but the two men are certain their biggest challenges are in the rearview mirror. However, life in Blissville is never what it seems and all signs point to dangerous curves ahead.

Josh and Gabe refuse to take a detour because everything they’ve dreamed of is within reach, not even when professional and personal revelations threaten to wreck their plans. It should be the happiest time in their lives, yet neither man can shake the feeling that something sinister waits around the next corner.

Buckle your seatbelts and hang on for the ride because Josh and Gabe are committed to saying “I do” or die trying.

I Do, or Dye Trying is the fourth book in the Curl Up and Dye Mysteries series. These books need to be read in order as the storyline unravels throughout the series. They contain sexually explicit material and are intended for adults 18 and older.

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Video Trailer: https://vimeo.com/215362953

IDODT Teaser 3

  • Do you pay attention to literary criticism? If so, how do you handle it?

I pay attention to constructive criticism that is offered to help me improve my skills as a writer and a storyteller. I think the minute we stop trying to grow is the moment we begin to die. I ignore comments that are cruel or are intended to hurt.

  • This series name is awesome! How do you come up with your book titles?

Thank you, I’m so happy you like it. I thought of phrases with the words die, dying, or died in them and then swapped them out for Dyeing, Dye, and Dyed. I also made sure the titles fit the tone of the book and tried to work the title into the storyline, which is one of my favorite things to do.

  • What new authors have grasped your interest?

New to me is Steven Dos Santos, and I’m completely enthralled with his series, The Torch Keeper. It’s like The Hunger Games in a way, but more intense, and the main characters are gay. Also, new-ish to me is Kris Michaels, and I love her Everlight series that she wrote with Patricia A. Knight.

  • What is the hardest part about writing for you?

The hardest part about writing for me is knowing when to stop. It’s hard for me to push my chair back from the desk and walk away once the story has me in its grasp. I need to find a better balance between work and play.

  • Number 5 is always a fun one (and interestingly usually contains some sort of jail reference). What one habit or tic do you wish you could turn into a money making endeavor?

I just kill people who hurt my friends and family off in my books, so there’s nothing too sinister lurking in my mind. I don’t wish any physical harm to any of them either. In reality, I wish the three spirits, Kindness, Humility, and Humanity, could pay them a visit and they’d wake up better people. It’s sort of like A Christmas Carol, but with a modern-day twist. Well, hello plot bunny. (This made us, TCO, laugh!)

“Did you have a good run?” Gabe asked without turning away from his task, which was good because he was cooking in his underwear. Sounds hot, right? In fantasies, it sure as hell was, but in reality, it made me shiver, but not in a good way. Bacon grease is very hot and not what you want to be splattered on your bare chest or cock and balls. His designer briefs were thin and offered no real protection from sizzling, popping grease, but they offered me one hell of a view. Oh yeah, my eyes locked on those firm, round ass cheeks and I imagined myself grabbing onto them while he pounded away inside me or even spread apart to receive my cock. “Josh, you’re making my dick hard by staring at my ass.”

I snapped out of my daydream long enough to respond. “Your dick is always hard.” My gaze wandered up the broad expanse of his back to take in the wide shoulders where I often rested my calves while he…

“Josh!”

“I can’t help myself and don’t pretend like you didn’t wear that to get this exact reaction from me,” I said, marching over to the coffee pot to pour myself a cup. “Hey, can I have one of those Ninja coffee bar things Sofia raves about in our new house?”

“Who’s Sofia?” Gabe asked.

Just because he was gay didn’t excuse him from not knowing the world’s most beautiful woman. “Gabe, I just don’t know what to do with you sometimes.” I shook my head sadly for emphasis, which he didn’t see because he was still paying close attention to the bacon. And who could blame him with his magic wand and beans so close to the fiery pits of hell? “Sofia Vergara, Gabe. She’s an actress and is married to Joe Man…”

“Oh, her.” I didn’t like his tone, not one bit. It was the same one I’d heard rolling off the lips of every jealous woman in my salon as they cattily tore her down when she and Joe started dating. I thought they were a beautiful couple and I was happy for them. Only people who wanted Joe for themselves sounded bitter.

“Awwww, did she steal your man from you?” I asked mockingly. “Is he your celebrity crush?” Six months ago, the thought of Gabe crushing on a big, muscular guy would’ve sent me into a panic. Not anymore because I was certain of two things: there was nothing wrong with the way I was, and Gabe was crazy in love with me.

“Was,” Gabe confessed sheepishly.

“Awww, you dumped him because of me,” I cooed as I moved closer to him, but not so close that the grease was going to get me. He was cooking his meat on too high of a temperature and endangering my favorite meat in the process.

“It was because he got married. I don’t lust after married people. It just feels wrong.”

I shook my head sadly; it looked like he had further to go than I realized. I had three months to whip him into perfect husband material, which I didn’t think would be too difficult since he was already within striking distance of perfection. “Gabe, as much as I appreciate your honesty, there are times when it doesn’t hurt you to stretch the truth just a tiny bit.”

He whipped his head around to gauge if he’d screwed up. “He got married a year before I met you, Josh. Had I met you first, that would’ve been the reason I gave.” He looked pretty damn smug about his smooth recovery.

“Nicely played,” I told him as I gestured to the frying pan with my hand so that he’d pay attention.

Gabe chuckled and turned his focus back to cooking. “Are you worried I’ll burn down your house or scratch the nonstick surface of your pan?” He held up the tongs that had a silicone coating on the bottom and around the edges. “Your skillet is safe.”

“I was more concerned about your cock and balls getting splattered with hot grease,” I told him. “Take a damn step back or something.”

“You don’t find this sexy?” Gabe asked, sounding a bit pouty.

“Of course, I find it sexy, but that doesn’t mean I want you to risk your safety.”

“I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t cook in the nude,” Gabe grumbled.

“Now that’s just gross,” I told him. “Nobody wants pubes in their food, Gabriel. I adore you naked, but not around my food.”

“You didn’t seem to worry about pubes when you deep-throated my dick covered with whipped cream on vacation,” Gabe said to me.

“That was different,” I said defensively.

“How was that different? Your lips were against my pubes,” he pointed out.

“It was dessert,” I said like that explained it. “No one is going to eat lobster bisque soup off your crotch.”

“Ouch,” Gabe said

“Yeah, multiply that times a thousand to imagine how bad hot grease would feel,” I told him. The grease popped just then as if fate wanted to emphasize just how right I was about the dangers of frying bacon while scantily clad—no matter how good, or sexy, the intention.

Gabe jumped back and yelled, “Son of a bitch!” Then he looked at me accusingly as if I made it happen. He moved the skillet off the burner and turned to face me fully.

“Son of a bitch! Son of a bitch!” Savage repeated while flapping his wings.

“Just great,” I said. “Savage is going to be saying that nonstop.”

“As if he doesn’t already say worse,” Gabe replied. “I seem to remember him propositioning me for a blow job the first night I was here. You can’t blame me for that one.”

Check out Erin’s 4 pieces of eye candy review here

Aimee Logo

I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy

who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.

I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

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Dyeing to be Loved, Book 1

Something to Dye For, Book 2

Dyed and Gone to Heaven, Book 3

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Linchpin by Jodi Payne: Exclusive Author Interview and Release Day Review

He’s sent in to clean up and is left with one very hot mess.

Randall Quinn has been a cleaner for the mob for over ten years, but a particularly violent scene sets him to drinking alone and contemplating his options.

At thirty-nine, it’s possible this is just a mid-life crisis so he tries buying himself a flashy car to satisfy the itch, and agrees to take another job to test his conviction.

He’s expecting easy money when he arrives at a seedy motel to clean up after what the Boss told him was supposed to have been a simple execution.

But what he discovers in that motel room is anything but simple, and from that moment on, every decision he makes for himself makes his life more and more complicated.

General Release Date: 2nd May 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78651-569-8 Date: 4th April 2017
Pairing: MM Book Length: Novella
Genre: Gay, Erotic Romance, Contemporary

Amazon

Why Romantic Suspense?

Largely because I hadn’t done one before. I do love my alpha men, the ones that always take charge in the bedroom. I really like the idea of the alpha that has all the right qualities in bed, but sometimes – outside the bedroom – he’s got the swagger but doesn’t always have the cred to back it up. I got a chuckle out of the idea of a really confident, experienced mobster going in to dispose of a body and finding the “body” wasn’t dead and gets completely flustered by it. I couldn’t resist the humor in that, and I brought a lot of it to the story.

Why short form?

I love short stories and novellas. I love how we get dropped into the middle of something, have to get up to speed quickly and the story moves along with a purpose. There isn’t room for much that isn’t directly related to the drama and romance at hand, so a novella length romantic suspense means that the story starts in the middle of a situation and it never has the luxury of slowing down. The ball starts rolling and it just gains speed, gathering up all the issues as it barrels toward the HEA.

What kind of research did you have to do?

For this one I did all kinds of crazy research. I needed to learn about the newest model BMWs, how a Beretta works, whether it was possible to put a 1990s era pick up truck into four-wheel drive on the fly. I needed to understand the difference between a mob cleaner and a fixer, and they are not the same thing. I needed to learn about really old farm houses and how their storm windows used to work. I researched crazy, random things that leant the book authenticity. It’s one of my favorite things about writing – everything you can learn along the way when you challenge yourself to try something new or different.

How do you set yourself up to make sure you capture all the issues?

This was the hardest part of writing the story for me. For starters, I usually have a rough point-a-to-point-b sort of plan in my head when I write but I don’t usually plot everything out in advance. That was rookie mistake #1. Rookie mistake #2 was knowing I wanted a particular twist toward the end and merrily writing away, not realizing that I had actually lied to the reader, though innocently and by accident, not once, but twice early on in the story. It wasn’t too difficult a fix once I hit on how, but it nearly scuttled the project for me because as a reader I cannot abide being lied to in order to be set up for a later shocker. The tells can be subtle and few, but there need to be tells. I need to be able to go back in the book thinking, “but he said…” and discover than no, he didn’t say that, he said something else that was similar and easily misconstrued. That kind of thing. It’s much harder than I expected it to be and I am glad I chose to try a “romance with suspense” style novella first, before diving into a full-length novel. This rookie has much respect for the “suspense with some romance” style authors out there. It’s requires being able to hold a lot of balls in the air at once and it’s not easy.

Who designed your fabulous website?

I’m so glad you asked. It is fabulous! Visit jodipayne.net and find out!

Jennifer
So, Quinn is a bad guy… Used to be a legal, forensic, clean up guy but made a lot more money doing it for the mob. Being in it for ten years, he was ready to get out, retire. Unfortunately, you don’t just retire from the mob and Quinn knew that… Still, another day on the job, he’s there to clean up a room with a body, except…. The body is very much alive… Having no choice but to kidnap him, per mob boss orders… he takes him to his house and hides out…

Now, Tony doesn’t know who would be after him or who would want him dead, but he doesn’t put up much of a fight to get away from Quinn.. I guess we know why after a night together has them hookin up…. And it’s hot, y’all… it’s really hot. I mean, it’s not your typical romance, that’s for sure… but still… it is….

But then, all you think you know… you don’t know and it flips ya on your head. I was like… whaaaaaat?
I mean, it’s a short read with lots of action and a lot more “action”… but by the end, you’re really rooting for the bad guys… Who knew?

4 pieces of eye candy

Jodi spent many years in the theater in New York and San Francisco presenting classical playwrights such as Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Shaw for large audiences, and more edgy Fringe work in tiny black-box theaters. From these masters, she learned to appreciate and explore the humanity in her characters, and writes believable men with real flaws and strengths, living relatable lives. Her men are imperfect but genuine, strong-willed but likeable; they are characters you can’t help but fall in love with while they stumble along the way to happy ever after.

When writing, Jodi is frequently found wearing a scarf and sock monkey fingerless gloves in the winter, and near the sand with a view of the ocean in the summer. When she’s not writing, Jodi mentors LGBTQ youth, enjoys movies, cop-dramas, attending Broadway shows and will drop everything for live music. She has an eclectic taste in everything from music and books, to movies, to people. Jodi lives and writes near New York City with her wife and family, which includes an enormous polydactyl cat.

Email: jodipaynewrites@gmail.com

Website: https://jodipayne.net

Blog: https://jodipayne.net/blog-2/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/payne.jodi

FB Author Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jodisgents/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodiPayne

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jodipayne1800/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/267617.Jodi_Payne

Queeromance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/jodi-payne/

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

An Officer’s Submission by Christa Tomlinson: Blog Tour, Author Interview, Reviews and Giveaway

TitleAn Officer’s Submission

Series: Cuffs, Collars, and Love #4

Author: Christa Tomlinson

Publisher:  Self- Torlina Publishing

Release Date: March 15

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 67,000

Genre: Romance, erotic romance, contemporary, D/S, established couples

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synopsis

“You don’t ever have to keep anything you feel locked up, Clay. I’m your Dom, and whatever you need from me, I’ll gladly give to you.”
– Sergeant Logan Pierce

Police Officer Clay Foster is finally at peace and happy with his life. He enjoys his career as a member of Houston’s SWAT team, and he loves submitting to his Dom in the bedroom. His life is perfect, until one cruel act destroys Clay’s bubble of happiness. Shattered trust forces Clay to reevaluate his career, his relationship, and himself.

Sergeant Logan Pierce is the leader of Houston’s elite SWAT team. On the force, he’s the best at what he does. In private, the most important thing in his life is taking care of his submissive, Clay. Clay is his whole world, and Logan will do whatever is necessary to keep him safe. Even if that means going up against Clay’s stubbornness in order to help him heal.

Can Logan and Clay work together to rebuild their happiness? Can they find their way back to the shared passion of Dominance and submission? Or will their love and relationship end before it’s truly begun?

An Officer’s Submission is Book Four in the Cuffs, Collars, and Love series. If you love romance that is epic, emotional and erotic, you’ll want to give this series a read!

 

tco-author interview

Christa Tomlinson Author Interview

Hello, I’m Christa! I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri and I currently live in Houston, Texas. I have two dogs, I’m a former teacher and I’m a retired roller derby player. I’ve been reading romance novels since I was eleven! My big sister let me read hers as long as I promised to skip the “grown up” parts. I always said I would skip them but read them anyway. I was a rebel. My current book is An Officer’s Submission. It’s an erotic BDSM romance, featuring characters from my fictional version of the Houston Police Department SWAT team. This story is about Officer Clay Foster, who loves being a submissive, but still struggles with that part of himself. And his Dom, Sergeant Logan Pierce, who will do anything for his submissive.

  1. What misconceptions do people have about your genre?

That it’s all sex. My books may be heavy on the erotic side, but there are many authors who have books that aren’t. Also, there’s so much more to them than sex. Emotion, friendship and action play a part as well.

  1. How do you choose names for your characters?

I normally start with The Writer’s Digest Character Naming Sourcebook. That way I can search by region or ethnicity, etc. But I always end up picking a name that matches the character. For example, I wouldn’t name a soft, kittenish character Ace Steel, unless I was trying to flip a book trope.

  1. What else do you use to immerse yourself in the story (music, visuals, etc.)?

Definitely music. I choose songs based on the mood of the scene I’m writing. And I play that song on repeat until I’m finished with the scene. It helps get my head in the right space, but also serves as white noise to block out any distractions.

  1. What’s your favorite movie?

Gladiator. Russell Crowe is amazing in that movie. Totally believable as the general Maximus. Plus he’s gorgeous and full of muscles. Joaquin Phoenix did an excellent job as Commodus – so evil! And the action and fighting scenes were very well done.

  1. What do you hope people say about you after you’re gone?

I loved her books!

  1. What are you working on now and what are your plans for the future?

I’m currently writing the next and probably last book in the Cuffs, Collars, and Love series. Officer Hector Castillo, the sniper from the team, is getting his own story next! I’ve already finished the rough draft and I’m planning for a June or July release. After that, I’ll be making a sub-genre shift. I’ve wanted to write historical fantasy for a long time now, and I’m in the planning stages for my first project. I’m very excited about it!

Thank you for having me on your blog today! I appreciate the opportunity to discuss my work and look forward to chatting with your readers. Readers, feel free to drop any questions you have for me in the comments. Have a wonderful week!

Love,

Christa

deanna review

Love this series and always love catching up with the guys. This book was no exception.

Logan and Clay have settled into a happy life. They work together, they almost live together and they spend all their time off together. Then Captain Hayden has the brilliant idea to split up Logan’s team sending Logan to Narcotics, Tiffany to the bomb squad, and Carlos to lead another team. This brings new team members Harmon and Nelson and new leader Dunlap.
When Clay is blindsided on a training exercise, realizing he can’t count on his new team he retreats within himself to figure out how to move on. He shuts everyone out, including Logan. Logan will need to figure out what happened fast if he has any hope of helping Clay move past what happened.

Captain Hayden has never been my favorite character, I really didn’t like him after he split the team up. However, I do feel like he was firmly in Clay’s corner after everything went down. I thought it was impossible, but he may have redeemed himself. I’m cautiously optimistic.

Harmon, ugh even his name sounds douchey (is that a word? I’m rolling with it.). He was a great villain, but that is the only nice thing I can say about him. I was praying he would get stuck somewhere with Tiffany and one of her bombs.

I loved reading about the old characters that I love and meeting new characters. As always, the character development is impeccable, they are rich in detail, interesting and fit into the story perfectly.

The story…. frustrating at times because Clay was being stubborn but so worth the read. It was a roller coaster of emotion that I would gladly ride again and again. I was furious for Clay, I was mad at Logan for giving him space, I was so grateful when they both pulled their heads out. There were times I had to put the Kindle down for fear I would throw it in my frustration, but Clay got it together in the end.

5 pieces of eye candy

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erin

Book 4 in the series brings us back to the original couple of Clay and Logan. Full disclosure- I read book 1, but did not read books 2 and 3. But they are definitely on my to be read list. I don’t know how I missed them really.

Back to the book. Clay and Logan are both still in the honeymoon stage of a relationship and the happily ever after. They don’t live together yet, but that is a technicality. Everything is going great- until the boss decides to break up the SWAT team. After learning to work together, now they need to learn to work apart.

When Clay is attacked, he retreats. Instead of leaning on his Dom, he holds it all in and distances himself. Logan has no idea what has happened and no idea what went wrong. Now they have to work their way back to where they were.

Watching Clay and Logan rebuild the trust and relationship they once had was like getting two of your favorite characters in a whole new book. Seeing Logan willing to give up a huge part of himself in order to get Clay back. He struggles, but ultimately his love for Clay beats anything he needs or wants for himself.

Ultimately, I think it made them stronger. Not only as a couple, but as individuals. Coming to terms with what has happened to Clay, to them as a couple, and to them in their careers is difficult. Seeing these two, big, tough, strong men being lost and trying to find their way back to each other makes for a great story.

My biggest complaint is how easy Clay’s attackers seem to have gotten off. I wanted blood.

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

Christa Tomlinson is an exciting up and coming author in erotic romance. Her first self-published novel, The Sergeant, was an Amazon Best Seller for Gay and Lesbian Erotica for seven weeks straight.

Christa graduated from The University of Missouri-St. Louis with a degree in History. She loves to create stories that are emotional and lovely with sex that is integral to the characters’ romantic arc. Her books include straight couples, curvy couples, gay, and multicultural couples. Love is love and everyone should have their story told.

Christa lives in Houston, Texas with her two dogs, and is a retired roller derby player.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail | Amazon

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Tour Schedule

April 13thTwo Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy

April 14th –  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

April 15th MM Good Book Reviews

April 16thBoy Meets Boy Reviews

April 17thMy Fiction Nook

April 18th Love Bytes Reviews

April 19thErotica For All

April 20th Nerdy Dirty & Flirty

April 21st – Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

April 22nd – Booklover Sue

 

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Insight by Santino Hassell: Blog Tour, Author Interview, Review and Giveaway

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synopsis

Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate.

Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.

Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.

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tco-author interview

  1. Insight is the beginning of a new series for you, The Community. Where do you see this series going? What is upcoming with it?

The Community is going to be very different from my contemporary romance series, Five Boroughs, in that it’s planned to wrap up as a trilogy. There will still be side characters who get their own points of view and romantic arc in the two sequels, but the over arcing plot and conflicts will resolve in book 3. I like to think of it as a three-act play—the first book is when the main character discovers the existence of this psychic community, the second book is when characters who’ve long since been in it confront the shady elements of it, and the third book is when everyone comes together to do something about it.

  1. One of the main character’s, Nate, is described as an outcast in a psychic family. Where did the idea for his story come from?

I really wanted to write about a clan of psychics who were eerily powerful, and the more I thought about the potential the more I realized how dysfunctional that would be. These people grew up together, afraid of the outside world and anyone who would find out about their gifts, while always being inside each other’s heads? Not to mention the various coping mechanisms they’d use to deal with all the power and dysfunction. In short, I decided to make my powerful psychic clan a mess in a small town where that reputation would attach to Nate. So, he tried to disassociate from them because of their reputation but also because he wanted to be far away from how twisted they all could be.

  1. According to the synopsis, Trent thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. How easy, or difficult, is it to develop a character who is exudes a sarcastic nature? How do you integrate that skepticism into the character’s personality?

Trent is an engineer, so he’s skeptical by nature. You can’t just tell him “psychics exist” or “I think my brother was murdered” without him picking apart your claim and trying to figure out how all the parts come together. He wants proof. He wants to figure out a way to make it real. And once he gets what he needs to believe it, he’ll put together an action plan to deal with it. That’s why he and Nate work so well together. Nate is very emotionally invested in the mystery, the existence of a psychic community, whereas Trent is a step back and can look at it all objectively. His sarcasm is just a part of who he is, and also a way for him to make light of how ludicrous he thinks it is even after he accepts the truth. So, you can expect a lot of X-Men jokes.

  1. What is one ritual you have to perform before, during or after writing that might surprise your readers?

This isn’t very interesting, but I tend to reread my draft a lot while I’m writing it. Sometimes I have to reassure myself that the pacing is good or that it’s compelling because once I’m knee deep in a draft, it all looks like junk to me. I also have an alpha reader who gives me feedback on that type of thing if I just can’t see it clearly.

  1. Always have to have a fun question to finish. 🙂 You and Megan Erickson are on opposite sides of a jail door. Who is behind lock and key, and why?

LOL I’m definitely behind the lock and key, and she’s smuggling me pizza and Nilla Wafers as I serve my time.

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denise review

Having read quite a few of Santino‘s books, I was looking forward to this one, and seeing his writing from a different perspective. This was not going to be his normal snarky contemporary romance with dark tones and a gritty New York scene. Except, it kind of was.

Insight involves paranormal, which got me hooked in right away. Why would someone who had some sort of powers want to hide them, not use them, and even more, be in a dark hole in his life? How does that happen to someone who can see things, have an insight into others’ lives?

We do get some answers in Insight, but not the full picture yet, which I quite liked. I enjoyed knowing that there was more coming, layers that we will be uncovering in the next two books.

Poor Nate had just a crap life, and no prospects of it looking up when his twin brother dies, and after seeing it from his brother’s point of view, decides to go to NYC to investigate. Trent, meanwhile, an engineer at heart that needs to see proof of something before he will believe it, was the perfect snarky foil to down, but not out, Nate.

What made the story so compelling, in addition to all the intrigue and suspense, was the team that Nate and Trent made. Even with Nate’s concerns that he was using his empath abilities to have his feelings mirrored by Trent, they had each other’s backs, and knew that even with all the half-truths, questions and intensity, they could count on the other person to be there. How that was slowly built over the course of their drive across the country is one of Santino’s greatest gifts as a storyteller, his ability to build his characters into living, breathing people with varying interests, flaws, and personalities, yet be the puzzle piece the other character needs to complete the picture.

I’m looking forward to seeing how book 2, Oversight, brings the arc around to Holden, and somehow makes us want an HEA for him. 🙂

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

 

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twentysomething, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of LGBT fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Connect with Santino:

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To celebrate the release of Insight, one lucky winner will receive $20 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 18, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Skythane by J. Scott Coatsworth: Blog Tour, Exclusive Interview, Excerpt, includes Giveaway

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synopsis

Jameson Havercamp, a psych from a conservative religious colony, has come to Oberon—unique among the Common Worlds—in search of a rare substance called pith. He’s guided through the wilds on his quest by Xander Kinnison, a handsome, cocky wing man with a troubled past.

Neither knows that Oberon is facing imminent destruction. Even as the world starts to fall apart around them, they have no idea what’s coming—or the bond that will develop between them as they race to avert a cataclysm.

Together, they will journey to uncover the secrets of this strange and singular world, even as it takes them beyond the bounds of reality itself to discover what truly binds them together.

Title: Skythane

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Authors: J. Scott Coatsworth

Cover Artist: Anne Caine

Length: 85K, # pages

Format: eBook, Paperback

Release Date: 2/17/17

Pairing: MM

Genres: sci fi, mm romance, gay sci fi

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tco-author interview

Thanks for having me to celebrate the release of my first novel, “Skythane.” 🙂

Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

Yeah… the writing part. 😛

Actually, the editing part is the hardest for me. I am so ready to move along to the next story, but have to relive the current one again and again. But it’s part of the deal, so we suck it up and work through it.

Of your writing, who is your favorite story?

So far?

I love “Flames”, my short story in “A More Perfect Union”, because it combines some of my favorite things – Italian, my hometown of Tucson, romance, and a little magical realism.

But I also love Skythane, my first novel, because… well, because it’s my first novel, and because I love the story and the characters. 🙂

Tell me one thing hardly anyone knows about you.

My first published story was “The Bear at the Bar”, published in the anthology “A Taste of Honey” from Dreamspinner in 2014. But my first publication? That happened in 1998, and was a book called “Raising each Other”, a self-help book for teens and parents I wrote with four other teens and our High School English teacher. 🙂

Tell us about a unique or quirky habit of yours.

Not sure how unique it is, but I sleep commando. I can’t stand having clothes on under the sheets, and it’ll keep me awake all night. I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember.

Tell us something we don’t know about your heroes. What makes them tick? Tell us one thing about them that we don’t learn from the book, the secret in their past.

Hmmm… they are connected even more deeply than they know, by events that greatly precede their births.

——————

My new novel, Skythane, is just out – and it combines my love of sci fi and secret reveals and MM romance. I hope you enjoy it!

 

excerpt

Rain hit the plas and ran downward in little rivulets, separating and rejoining like branches of time as the storm whipped itself into a frenzy over Oberon City.

Xander Kinnson lay on his bed, head thrown back, watching the tempest with a laziness that belied his inner turmoil and pain. Alix had left him and gone missing. A year had passed, and still he had a hard time accepting that simple fact.

His dark wings with their jet-black feathers were stretched out lazily to each side of his supine form, their tips extending past the edge of the bed. His chest heaved slowly up and down, and he breathed easily, as if he were utterly relaxed.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. Below the surface, under the deception of skin and sinew, his heart beat at a thunderous pace, and his mind raced for answers to Alix’s fate that slipped beyond his grasp.

The handsome trick he’d brought home rested his warm hands on Xander’s thighs, his hot mouth engaged elsewhere. Xander smelled the deep, masculine musk of him, slipping a hand absently through the man’s dark, tousled hair as the rain increased to a thundering downpour against the plas. The drops glistened, each an individual universe of shimmering light before running quickly out of sight.

A flash of lightning illuminated the room, thunder indicating how close it had been. As the heavy rain pounded against the arco’s walls, Xander rode the wave of pleasure higher and higher. Despite himself, he rose quickly toward climax, drawn up on the tide as the trick worked his cock. Unable to stop himself, he thrust his hips almost angrily upward into the man’s willing throat. Closer, closer….

He reached the crest, a pleasure so intense it burned through him like phosphorous, a white-hot fire.

Lightning flared again across the wet, black sky, followed by thunder so close it shook the bed. The storm had reached a fever pitch outside, and he arched his back in the air one more time, his wings rustling beneath him. As if in concert with the storm, Xander came, the release of his orgasm radiating from his hips along his spinal cord and down through his toes and the tips of his wings.

The rush of elation washed away his cares for a few brief moments. Xander shuddered, shivered, and shuddered again, and it was over.

For a while, he drifted in an oblivion that was blessed in its emptiness. The rain fell in a steady beat against the window, and he forgot to wallow in his pain. His mind floated free, with no responsibilities, nothing to worry about for those brief moments between sex and real life. This was what he needed. This lack of thought, this pleasurable oblivion where he could just be.

When he opened his eyes at last, the nameless trick was staring down at him, expectant.

“You’re still here.”

“I can do more, if you’d like,” the man said with a grin. Like Alix, he had no wings—a lander man.

Xander glared at him, annoyed. He was handsome enough, tall, dark-haired, with blue eyes and a light complexion. Strangely, he reminded Xander of Alix. The hair and eyes were wrong, but there was something about him, and that annoyed the hell out of Xander, for reasons he didn’t care to examine too closely. “Get out,” he said with a dismissive wave.

The man frowned. “I thought—”

“Oh right, your pay.” Xander took the man’s arm and slitted him a hundred crits from the wrist reader embedded in his own. Then he waved the trick away. “We’re square. Now get the fuck out of my flat.”

The man gathered his own clothes, but Xander didn’t give him time to put them on. Instead he hustled the trick out of the irising door, palming it closed on his hurt and angry expression.

I really have become a bastard, he thought, staring at his dim reflection in the shiny black door. It had been a long year.

He tapped the cirq in his temple with his left hand, and called out to his PA. “Ravi, any messages for me?”

 

 

meet the author

j-scott-coatsworthScott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.

Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”

Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way. He has sold more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before. He is currently working on two sci fi trilogies, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a group for readers and writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and paranormal fiction.

Website: http://www.jscottcoatsworth.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jscottcoatsworth

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jscoatsworth

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.