Friday, October 31, 2014

Spooktacular Blog Hop! Scary Things

Halloween is a great time to reflect on fear.

Lots of things scare me. Like most fears, most of mine are ridiculous. I fear failure, even though I've experienced a lot of success in my life. Maybe I succeed because I fear failure and don't want to have to face myself. And my other fears are pretty irrational:

1. Dinosaurs. Terrified of them. You know that practical joke that went viral where someone put a big old fake Tyrannosaurus outside a guy's window? Would have given me a heart attack. For real. You say dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years? Doesn't matter. They're still scary. Jurassic Park on movie night? Not happening.

2. Sharks. I love water. I love to swim. I only go in the ocean in large groups and armed with a harpoon gun. Jaws makes me run from the room. On the other hand, I did watch Sharknado recently. Maybe I'm recovering.

3. Approaching strangers. It's a funny thing. I can walk up to people who are doing a job and ask for help. This is not a problem in Home Depot or any other place of business. But I cannot walk up to someone in a social situation and introduce myself. What are they going to do to me? Probably nothing dire.

When you get right down to it, I'm afraid of two things: failure and being eaten. Because fear of approaching strangers is really a fear of rejection and rejection is a kind of failure. And dinosaurs and sharks eat people. Actually, so does rejection. It eats the soul. So maybe I have just one fear, of being eaten.


Do you have any irrational fears? Share your fear in a comment to be entered into my Halloween drawing for a $20 Amazon gift card.

Just do two things to enter:

  • Leave a comment on this post about a fear or, if you have none, some helpful advice for one of mine.
  • Include an email address so I can contact you should you win.

I will draw the winner on Monday morning, November 3rd.

Happy Halloween! Take a few minutes to visit the other participants in this Spooktacular Blog Hop, too. There are more drawings for more great prizes.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kim Fielding Has The Festivus Miracle



Hi! I’m Kim Fielding and I have a dark secret to reveal: I am a lawyer. I don’t practice law—I teach at a university instead—but I am a licensed member of the Nebraska Bar. And you know what else? I enjoyed law school.

I know. That’s awful.

But it’s true. Yes, I spent day after day nearly killing myself over the workload. Learning to write like a lawyer was hard. And some of my professors were really tough. My Constitutional Law prof was a former federal prosecutor who routinely made students cry. I had one class in which the entire grade depended on the answer to one essay question, and the question was, “The truth shall set you free. Discuss.” But despite frequent exhaustion and occasional panic, I had fun. I loved my Antitrust Law course. I got the highest grade in my Wills and Trusts class. And even though I had no intention of practicing law, I subjected myself to the bar exam, just in case I ever decided to settle down in Nebraska and be an attorney. I got a PhD, moved to California, and began teaching, but I’ve been paying bar dues ever since.

Not coincidentally, the main character in my new book, The Festivus Miracle, is also going to law school in Nebraska. But poor Tony McNeil is enjoying his experience a lot less than I did. Here’s the blurb:

It’s finals week during Tony McNeil’s second year in law school, and he’s struggling to keep up. Frankly, he’d rather be cooking. Then he meets first-year student Eddie Cohen-Fernandez, who’s heartsick over missing his family’s annual Festivus celebration. Tony can use his culinary skills to lift Eddie’s spirits, but finding long-term happiness? That just might require a Festivus miracle.

This book releases November 1, but you can preorder it now. Not only that, but I am donating all of my Festivus royalties to Doctors Without Borders. So you can enjoy a sweet, romantic holiday story while helping to support a great cause.

And aside from Festivus, I have four (!) additional new releases. I’m doing a Fieldingpalooza tour, complete with prizes. You can find all the details on my website. Please come join me!

***


Kim’s new releases:

Bone Dry—book 3 in the Bones series—available now!



Brute—French translation!—available now!



Standby—in the Stranded anthology—available now!



The Dance—in the Bones anthology (Gothika vol. 2)—releases October 27—available now for preorder!



The Festivus Miracle—releases November 1—all proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders—available now for preorder!



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Contests!


a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

*** For more details on Kim’s books, as well as some free stories, visit her at http://kfieldingwrites.com/. You can also follow her in Twitter @KFieldingWrites and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KFieldingWrites.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Welcome Julie Lynn Hayes and MA Church with Be My Human

How Moonlit Skies Was Born

Moonlit Skies is the brainchild of M.A. Church and myself, our first joint production. The idea came about when we were both interested in subbing for an anthology for a FB group we belonged to. The theme of the anthology was Valentine’s Day. We thought it would be a fun way to write together. And, being two authors, we received permission, once we were accepted in the anthology line-up, to use twice the word count. Which put us roughly in the 20-25k range. A good length for a short story, not so much a novel, but a decent novella.

Now, what to write about? Well, love of course. Duh. It was for Valentine’s day. But that still leaves limitless possibility for plot, doesn’t it? I’d read M.A.’s Nighttime series when I was editing for Romance First. Once I got past the idea I was reading tentacle porn lol. Prior to that, my experience with the genre of tentacle porn was limited to what I’d seen from my two daughters (and it wasn’t good, I’m here to tell you). But thanks to M.A., I found out it could be something entirely different, and very erotic. Which is where I got the idea of writing a book with an alien in it.

So we wrote Be My Alien, for the anthology. But we decided, once we were done, that the anthology was not where we wanted to be, and so we decided to sub it to Dreamspinner. The name Be My Alien was sort of a tongue-in-cheek thing, the result of a long telephone session, getting goofy on the phone, and thinking of those conversation hearts you associate with Valentine’s Day. Except instead of Be My Valentine, we decided on Be My Alien. We had some hearts made up that read Be My Alien, intending to bring them to GRL, but alas, things did not work out the way they were intended, but they did turn out well.
We decided on Moonlit Skies as a series name because the idea of an alien, as well as romance, makes you think of moonlit nights, and love under the stars. We wanted to keep the books with similar titles, so M.A. came up with the last two titles—Be My Human and Be My Everything.

A lot can happen under a moonlit sky. Have you ever had anything special happen to you? If not, what would you like to have happen? Thanks for having us on your blog!

Blurb:
Reed and Taz are still adjusting to their new lives together when a medical emergency sends them flying down to Florida on short notice. Not quite the way Reed pictured introducing Taz to his family. Reed’s sister, Rene, welcomes the outgoing Taz with open arms, and the kittenish alien charms Reed’s parents.

But someone isn’t quite so enamored of Reed’s boyfriend—his homophobic older brother Jacob seems determined to be as unpleasant as possible, and he’s making their visit very uncomfortable. The sudden appearance of Reed’s controlling ex releases a flood of insecurity and bad memories.

Reed begins to doubt himself, and his ability to love and be loved in return. When strange items begin appearing as if out of nowhere, he wonders if he’s being stalked, or is he just paranoid? What can Taz do to prove to Reed that he’s more than enough man for this alien?

Excerpt:
They’d been living together for a month now, ever since the fateful day Taz had literally fallen on Reed at the Empire State Building. One of the first things Reed had done after the adorable alien had moved in with him was buy Taz a cell phone, then teach him how to use it. Even though Taz was from another planet, one that was much more advanced than Earth, he was unfamiliar with Earth’s comparatively primitive technology. Reed swore after Taz had been kidnapped by the creature he’d dubbed the Evil Alien, he’d always have a way to call for help, thus the phone. That first week after they’d been reunited, Taz had talked Reed into letting him stay home alone while Reed worked at the boutique. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Taz had called Reed around lunchtime, nearly in tears.
When Reed arrived home, he’d been greeted with a nightmare of a mess. Even before he got to his apartment, he could hear the TV blasting in the living room. Which was bad enough, but Taz had somehow figured out how to turn the surround sound on. When Reed opened the door, the noise nearly blew him out of his shoes. It was like sitting in the front row at a movie theater. That, it turned out, was the easiest problem to rectify. Reed had shut the TV off, then looked around the apartment, stunned and slightly horrified.
He’d forgotten about Taz’s natural curiosity. What a mistake that was, and the proof of his error in judgment was spread out all over the kitchen. Flour had been strewn across the floor, a few eggs lay broken on the counter, every covered container in the refrigerator had been taken out and opened… then tasted. Taz had found the blender, dumped some sort of liquid in and turned it on, without putting the top on the machine. There was unrecognizable goo all over the counters, the cabinets, the floors. Plus, Taz had found the sugar. From the looks of it, he’d eaten half the bag.
And that was just the kitchen.
The bathroom had been thoroughly explored as well, as evidenced by the streams of shredded toilet paper spread throughout the place, toothpaste smeared all over the counters in minty globules, and so on.
What was that old saying about curiosity killing the cat?


Meet the Authors:
Julie Lynn Hayes was reading at the age of two and writing by the age of nine and always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. Two marriages, five children, and more than forty years later, that is still her dream. She blames her younger daughters for introducing her to yaoi and the world of M/M love, a world which has captured her imagination and her heart and fueled her writing in ways she'd never dreamed of before. She especially loves stories of two men finding true love and happiness in one another's arms and is a great believer in the happily ever after. She lives in St. Louis with her daughter Sarah and her cat Ramesses, loves books and movies, and hopes to be a world traveler some day. She enjoys crafts, such as crocheting and cross stitch, knitting and needlepoint, and loves to cook. While working a temporary day job, she continues to write her books and stories and reviews, which she posts in various places on the internet. Her family thinks she is a bit off, but she doesn't mind. Marching to the beat of one's own drummer is a good thing, after all.  Her published works can be found at Dreamspinner Press, Wayward Ink Publishing Amber Quill Press, MuseitUp Publishing, Torquere Press, and eXtasy Books. She has also begun to self-publish and is an editor at Wayward Ink and MuseitUp.  

You can find her on her blog at http://julielynnhayes.blogspot.com, and you can contact her at tothemax.wolf@gmail.com.

Julie's links:

M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children.

She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013.

MA's links:



Monday, October 13, 2014

A Closed Door, by Andrew Q. Gordon

A Closed Door, by Andrew Q. Gordon

Book Blurb:

Outted at thirteen, Orin Merritt left home after high school hoping to escape the hell his life had become. Ten years later when a tornado destroys his childhood home and kills his parents, Orin finds himself in an entirely new nightmare. One he can't run away from.

Blaming himself for failing the two people who always loved and supported him, he returns home and confronts his past in the person of his one-time best friend, Thomas Kennett.  Thomas not only rejected him when Orin came out, he led the group that tormented Orin into leaving.  

As he struggles to deal with his grief, Orin also labors to fulfill the pledge he made to his parents before their death.  In the process, Orin learns that sometimes when you go away to find yourself, you leave the answers you're looking for behind.


Cover Artist: Lily Velden and Jay Aheer
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing.

Buy Links:





Book Excerpt:

"Orin, I won't." Thomas stood a bit straighter and his eyes lost the sad, pleading shine. "I won't hurt you again."
"You can't promise that. Things happen." Orin watched as his words dragged Thomas back from the brink of hope.
"If you truly believe that, then there's nothing I can do. You have to believe there's a chance or else I can't prove it."
"That's not what I'm telling you." He locked his gaze on Thomas's. "If I say yes, I'll have to take down the walls I surrounded my heart with to keep it safe. Once it's gone, I won't be able bring it back if I get hurt. Not now.
"So what I'm saying is, think about what you’re asking me to risk. If you really love me, ask yourself if are you willing to risk what will happen to me if you can't keep your promise."
He knew how unfair he'd been, but self-preservation had been a skill he'd honed over the past fifteen years. He needed Thomas to know just how serious the repercussion could be for his actions.
"Orin, I . . . I . . . how . . .?" Their faces were inches apart, and Thomas moved in for another kiss.
This felt different than the first—less urgent, but no less intense. Orin trembled at the leap he was about to take. When they stepped back, Thomas rubbed his thumb across Orin's cheek.
"I do love you, Orin. More than I can say. So much, that I'm not willing to risk what will happen if I fail you again. I don't have that right."
Thomas's lips quivered and the tears welled at the bottom of his eyes. He kissed Orin's forehead gently.
"Good-bye, Orin. Please be happy." Without looking back, Thomas walked to the front door, opened it, and walked away.


Author Bio:
Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.

He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog.  In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. 'insiders', Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day.

Author Contacts:

Twitter:  @andrewqgordon,

Other Books:


Friday, October 3, 2014

It's BAAACK! The Harvest: Taken by MA Church



Cover by Lou Harper

NOTE: This is a previously published work, but there has been some new material added.



Blurb:
In the year 2050, humanity finds out they are indeed not alone.

Massive space ships appear without warning above the capital cities of all major nations. The planet Tah'Nar is dying. Chemical warfare has reduced the once-intersexed warrior race to sterility. They need fresh DNA in order to reproduce and have an idea for a harvesting program... and so they turn to Earth.

Earth governments negotiate a lottery, and Dale Michael assumes he's safe since he's under the Harvest age limit. How wrong he is. He's illegally harvested and claimed by Tah'Narian starship captain Keyno Shou. From the moment Keyno sees Dale, he knows he must claim the spirited human male for his own. What he doesn’t expect is a spitfire with a mind of his own—and a deadly disease that will require a risky procedure to cure.

~~~~~~~

Hey everyone! My name is M.A. Church and I’d like to introduce you to the Tah’Narians, a novel about an alien species that took me over a year to write. Keyno, one of the main characters, is a spaceship captain. Dale, my human, will be the one Keyno takes as his mate. Sounds simple, right? Oh, believe me, this love story is anything but simple.

I’m going to let Dale and Keyno tell you their story. I think they can do it better than I can. J
* * * *

Dale: Well hey, everyone. My name is Dale Michaels, and I was harvested illegally by my loving mate.

Keyno: Dammit, Dale… Gods, nothing like just jumping right into the middle of it.

Dale: Oh by the way, I guess you could say “Dammit, Dale” is my nickname. Keyno tends to say it a lot.

Keyno: Huh, I wonder why.

Dale: *snort* We’re so not going there. Anyway, back to what I was saying. In a nutshell, the Tah’Narians came to Earth, told its leaders they needed DNA, and set up a program to basically ‘harvest’ males as mates. A lotto was set up and numbers were drawn. I wasn’t supposed to be part of the harvest; I was under the age limit that had been set. But it seems my mate had other ideas.

Keyno:*cringe* I’ve told you why I did what I did, why we do what we do. And you know my feelings on this. I wish…

Dale: *reaches over and pats Keyno* I know, babe. I can’t help it if it took me a while to understand. What your kind did was wrong. *slashes hand through air* I know your species was dying. I get that, and get how that would make a race desperate. But keep in mind, you guys brought it on yourselves.

Keyno: We did. Attacking the Onfre was the stupidest thing the old king of our race ever did. We paid horribly and dragged many other species into our troubles.

Dale: Yes, you guys did. The people out there need to know you guys aren’t as bad as you first seem. They’ll see. But, this harvest was different. Things happened that changed history. Out of your offer to help the Onfre captain, you met Captain Ti of the Onfre. Look what came form that… all the things that came from that.

Keyno: True. *laugh* And Colt. Don’t forget Colt.

Dale: Believe me, that’s hard to do. He’s… something else, and still makes my hair stand on end.  But Colt wasn’t the only person to be changed by what the Tah’Narians did. I found Chad again, met John… A whole race learned the true meaning of peace too.

Keyno: All I did was offer Ti help when he was attacked. You, my chosen, offered friendship with a simple meal. You, my mate, made the difference and still are. You are my world and I love you.

Dale: *rubs Keyno’s pointed ear* You overgrown alley cat, I love you too, even if I did want to tie your tail in knots in the beginning.

Excerpt:
Once our meal was over we returned to our cabin so I could study more. Keyno had reports he needed to read. I didn’t want to think how… homey this was. I settled on the couch and pulled the gadget on. Half way through the hour session, I pulled it off and rubbed my eyes.

Keyno looked up from the small desk. A hologram image was in front of him. He waved his hand and the image disappeared. “What’s wrong? You’re pale.”

“My head’s hurting, and I’m slightly nauseous.” I patted my belly, trying to settle the grumbling down. “Is that a common side effect of this thing?”

“No. No one has ever complained about that before.” Keyno frowned at me. “Maybe I should call our Chief Medical Officer, Tanlor Kere.”

I opened my mouth to tell him not to worry about it when I was seized by a horrible stomach cramp. The pain in my head worsened, blindsiding me. “Keyno? Ah, shit, I feel like I’m going to—”

“Gods, you’re green, Dale. Hold on.” Keyno hurried around the desk and helped me to the bed. He wet a washcloth, and the coolness did help settle my stomach some. Keyno buzzed their doctor, and seconds later he arrived with a portakit.
“Hello, Dale. I’m Doc. Remember meeting me earlier while you ate? I’m going to look you over and see what the problem is. All right? I won’t hurt you.”

I did remember him. “Hey, Doc.” I lay on the bed, being very still. The less I moved, the better.

He ran tests on me, his face carefully blank. Finally, he injected me with something to help with the pain. With a warm smile, he stepped away and motioned Keyno to follow him. Keyno and Doc stood outside the door, talking for several minutes before Keyno returned. Swear to God, were all doctors the same?

Moments later, Keyno returned to the bedside. “Tanlor—whom we call Doc— requested that you stay in bed for the next twenty-four hours. What he injected you with will stop the pain and nausea soon.”

“What’s going on?” I whimpered as the pain stabbed at me again and then slowly faded.

“Do you remember the conversation that you had with Chad earlier?” Keyno sighed. “Remember when he told you that you were injected with our DNA?”

“Yeah,” I moaned as a bolt of nausea swept through me. “How did you know what we talked about?”

“I asked him to speak to you about certain things that you needed to know.” Keyno gently settled on the bed.

“Am I having a reaction?” I gritted my teeth as my stomach cramped up again. When the hell was that stuff going to take effect?

No!” Keyno gasped loudly. “No, you’re fine. This just wasn’t expected to happen quite so fast.”

“What wasn’t expected to happen so fast?” I was now more worried about why he was avoiding giving me a straight answer.



Author bio:
M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s exploring the latest M/M novel to hit the market, watching her beloved Steelers, or sitting glued to HGTV. That’s if she’s not on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two children.

She was a finalist in the Rainbow awards for 2013. Drop by her blog at http://machurch00.blogspot.com/


My links:
Facebook: M.A. Church http://goo.gl/OlGWFb
 The Harvest FB fan page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/theharvest00