Thursday, April 28, 2016

eBook Review: Myths Untold: Faery Anthology


Myths Untold: Faery

An anthology of four tales sharing four authors' unique twits on these well known characters. If you haven't had a chance to read my interview with the authors, don't miss out on checking that out too!

Author Interviews



Legends of elves have been told for many years, but not stories like these! Today I'm reviewing 4 anthology stories featuring elves by Gus Li, Brandon Witt, Skye Hegyes, and J. Scott Coatsworth. Now, I've been a Tolkien fan since I first read the Lord of the Rings anthology as a young girl, I'm also a fan of Eragon, Fablehaven, Shannara, Merry Gentry... so my tastes span a wide range of mythos. Etheral beings, warriors, magicians, and pervy, pervy kinksters all mesh into one fabulous genre in the fantasy realm that gets five stars out of five stars from me... or maybe even more if I could figure out how to add extras to all the review sites!

Would that I could pick a favorite out of these stories in the anthology. They span a mix of contemporary fantasy, futuristic fantasy, pure fantasy, and fairy tale. I loved that each of these authors created faeries that fit their story structure. In The Pwcca and the Persian Boy by Gus Li I had a sense of ominous dread when Lieu showed up. It blended well with the stark realities of Glyn's life on the street and the mystery of his past. I was a tad surprised with this contemporary feel, but I enjoyed it just as much as I did reading The Union of Sun and Moon, another story featuring elves in a more fantasy setting.

Brandon Witt's The Other Side of the Chrysalis was aptly named. This story features a theme that we often see with faeries--their beauty. It delves into the way beauty affects those who have it, those are want it, and those who are told they're not worthy of it. The sheer monstrosity of those who were supposed to be pure because they were beautiful only made Quay's quiet suffering to remain loyal to his perfect brother more poignant. The pain and love intertwined in this story was stark yet elegantly written.

Tyler in Sky Hegyes' Changeling couldn't feel more different. A lad of the land, growing up on a farm with his mother and looked at askance by the pious villagers, I loved the classic fairytale feeling to this story and its characters. There was an innocence to it that amused me at first. Beyond the traditional theme of tall, lithe long-haired beauties with pointed ears, there were a multitude of faery creatures in this story that made the mushroom wing come alive with whimsy... but nowhere is perfect for those who don't quite fit in, especially someone like a changeling.

I have to say the dystopian setting as well as the gritty otherness interested me far more than the faery element in J. Scott Coatsworth's Through the Veil. I adore stories where the world we know it is changed, and the struggle to survive is reduced to far more basic elements than what has become the norm. High tech? Nope, that's for the rich once again. That setting is contrasted sharply by the world Scott's faery character, Tris, but both are not strangers to loss and struggle. When Tris and Colton bring those two worlds together as adventure grips them from the first moment they meet.

Could I tell you a lot more about these stories? Well sure, but where would the fun be in that for other readers? The writing is uniformly well done, every story is unique and intriguing in its own way. No matter what flavor of faery you usually prefer, you'll fall in love with every incarnation in this anthology.

Buy links:
Wylde City Press
Amazon

Faeries are part of mythology the world over, past, present, and future. Called elves, brownies, the fae, and more, they evoke a sense of wonder and a little danger. Faery has its own rules, and humans enter at their peril. In this spirit, we bring you the first book in the Myths Untold anthology series—four stories from the land of the Fae: a homeless man in Cardiff and the luck that could destroy him; the trans man in future San Francisco who falls for an elf; the village boy who has always been a little different; and a faery prince whose birthright was stolen from him. Welcome to Faery.

Authors: J. Scott Coatsworth, Sky Hegyes, Brandon Witt, August Li

Cover Reveal! Lurking in the Shadows Anthology with Shelly Schulz

Check out this great cover for the anthology, Lurking in the Shadows, featuring a story by Shelly Shulz titled On Two Lane Roads! There's also a list of the anthology tour stops and a contest you can enter to win your own copy of 3 backlist titles from some of the authors or a gift card!


Title:  Lurking in the Shadows
Edited by: Jaidis Shaw
To Be Published:  June 28th, 2016
Publisher:  CHBB Publishing
Genre: Horror, Fantasy, Paranormal

Embrace the darkness.
Murderous entities, haunted houses, screaming banshees, and sympathetic necromancers are just a few of the chilling things you’ll encounter in this anthology. Follow our authors into the shadows … if you dare.
Stories featured in this anthology include the following:

“An Empty Building” by Jacqueline E. Smith
“Bump in the Night, Inc” by Melody Black
“Dorcha Scath” by Liz Butcher
“Living Nightmare” by Savannah Rohleder
“Lizzie” by Tania Hagan
“On Two Lane Roads” by Shelly Schulz
“Release” by E.M. Fitch
“Revenant” by Stacey Jaine McIntosh
“Scream for the Night” by Gina A. Watson
“Too Young To Kill” by Lily Luchesi




Add Lurking in the Shadows to your GoodReads TBR!

Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • Kindle copy of Death Love Lust by Various
  • Kindle copy of Destiny Awaits by Jaidis Shaw
  • Ebook copy of The Cure by Tania Hagan
  • $5 Amazon Gift Card

Giveaway is International.
Ends May 1st at 11:59PM (EDT)

Contest:
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Friday, April 22, 2016

Cover Reveal! A.J. Llwellyn's A Wizard in Waikiki

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A.J. Llewellyn reveals the new cover art of her book titled A WIZARD IN WAIKIKI coming out 
from Ai Press. Don't forget to also check out the contest! You could win an eBook copy of your very own!

It releases on April 25, 2016.

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BLURB

Summoned from the past, Konu rises naked from the sea to reclaim his power for the freedom to live—and love. If the forces of evil don’t get to him first!

On a hot day in Waikiki, beachgoers are stunned when a tall, handsome man rises from the ocean. Striding naked to a small, ringed enclosure containing four huge stones most tourists never even notice, he becomes visibly upset. These are Wizard Stones, positioned between the beach and the foot traffic on Kalakaua Avenue. Konu, the naked man, is agitated by a young Asian girl draping her beach towel over the stones. He's come a long way, from Tahiti, and is one of the ancient wizards whose power was infused into these sacred stones four hundred years ago.

With the invisible battle between good and evil raging, Konu has been dispatched to help balance the power. Landing in modern-day Waikiki, he's stunned by the changes – and to find he is alone. A cop tries to arrest him for indecent exposure but the young girl's grandfather – who thinks Konu's a homeless lunatic offers him refuge. Will the ancient forces of evil beat this wizard in Waikiki? Or can Konu find his power again, and perhaps…even love?

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PRESENTING

Cover Art by Sid Love

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PRE-ORDER LINK



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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A.J. Llewellyn lives in California, but dreams of living in Hawaii. Frequent trips to all the islands, bags of Kona coffee in the fridge and a healthy collection of Hawaiian records keep this writer refueled.

A.J’s passion for the islands led to writing a play about the last ruling monarch of Hawaii, Queen Lili’uokalani as well as a non-erotic novel about the overthrow of her kingdom written in diary form from her maid’s point of view.

A.J. never lacks inspiritation for male/male erotic romances and on the rare occasion this happens, pursues other passions such as collecting books on Hawaiiana, surfing and spending time with friends and animal companions.

A.J. Llewellyn believes that love is a song best sung out loud.

||  Website & Blog  ||  Facebook  ||  Twitter  ||  Goodreads  ||

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Winner’s Prize: E-copy of A Wizard in Waikiki

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

eBook Review: An Eerie Garden Party by V.L. Locey

Today I'm featuring my review of V.L. Locey's An Erie Garden Party. Check out this supernatural tale if you haven't had the chance yet!!

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Even as the human world advances in acceptance, the paranormal world remains locked in its hierarchy and hidebound ways. Archaic even. Might makes right, and the shifters who are the large predators lord their dominance over the other species. They're the aristocracy and the rest are plebs who deal with them at their own risk. That sort of formal structure bleeds into their speech and manners, sending readers backwards into a whole other world where Mikel and Templeton are struggling to keep their house a safe home for all those living there.

Readers are first introduced to Templeton and Mikel in An Erie Halloween. We see them again in An Erie Operetta. What do those stories and this one have in common? Murder and mayhem disturbing their gentlemanly calm. This time we're left to wonder who the culprit is... someone close to home again or is the danger from without?

And will the humans washing ashore nearly on their doorstep bring the Elder Counsel down on their heads? They just might be able to avoid disaster, but it requires Mikel swallowing his pride and asking for help from other beings who aren't part of his pack or the supernatural elite.

This was actually my first dip into V.L. Locey's Lake Erie Shifter's series. I enjoyed An Erie Garden party quite a bit, but it is definitely best read as part of the series. As shifter tales go, I liked the mix of creatures and thought the characters were varied and fascinating in their mannerisms. My one change might be that we don't see the Elder Counsel visit or feel much tension from that element because their basically a non-entity in the story. At first I struggled with the dichotomy of a seemingly modern world with the old-fashioned behaviors and dialogue, but I quickly fell into the world and understood the why of the writing style. The relationship dynamic between Mikel and Templeton was by turns humorous, tender, and tense, and the sex scenes? Hot!!



AboutTheBook  

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TITLE: An Erie Garden Party 

SERIES: Lake Erie Shifters 

AUTHOR: V.L. Locey 

PUBLISHER: Torquere Press 

COVER ARTIST: Kristian Norrise 

LENGTH: 32,100 words 

RELEASE DATE: April 13, 2016 

BLURB: Spring has finally arrived along the shores of Lake Erie and no one is happier than skunk shifter, Templeton Reed. Now that the snows have melted, he can frolic and play on the grounds of Lupei Manor, the formidable home that he shares with his life partner, Mikel Lupei, the alpha of the Lake Erie pack. What a pity that his joy is short lived.

Not only does a stranger appear to shake things up in the manor, bodies begin showing up on the grounds as well! Could the newcomer to the pack be the one viciously killing innocent humans and shifters? Or is there a more nefarious force at work lurking just outside the boundaries of the ancient manse Templeton, Mikel, and their LGBT friends call home?

Excerpt


"Son of a human," Mikel snarled. He stripped and shifted. I stood with his clothes over my arms, watching the wolf work the scent. He padded to the lake, snuffled the shore intently, and then slowly made his way back to the corpse. I turned my head to stare at Erie when he shoved his head under the bloody sheet to smell the body. The water seemed almost tranquil today. How I wished we were planning our spring fete instead of standing here beside a dead man. Mikel tapping my arm brought my attention from the Great Lake back to him. I handed him his pants.

"So, what can you tell us about this poor man's fate?"

"He's human." Mikel zipped his trousers vehemently. "And he was killed by a large animal, either wolf or bruin. Whoever did this dragged him through the lake to mask the scent. I'll have to gather the pack to scour the woods. Damnation."

"Oh dear me," I sighed. "I suppose the call must be made then."

Mikel threw his head back and stared at the soft white clouds ambling past. "Yes. We have to notify the Elder counsel. That is standard operating procedure when a human is involved in mystical matters. Damnation!"

I reached out to pat his thick bicep. I wasn't sure he wanted consolation but I offered it anyway. He placed his hand over mine.

"Let me know when they plan to arrive. I'll take a long stroll through the woods."

Mikel's lip rolled as he turned to look down at me. "I hate that as well. You should be at my side. This mansion is as much your home as it is mine."

"Yes, well, the times they aren't a changing as rapidly as needed," I smiled then snuggled into his wide chest. His arms cinched around me tightly, his smoky shirt smashed between us. My ear rested over his strong heart. "If one of the Elders saw me here it would raise questions. I know we have a lie all in place, but I for one do not wish to put that lie to the test. Better I enjoy the forest for an hour or so while they attend to this mess."

"I love you beyond words, Templeton," Mikel said into my black hair. "Someday, I swear, we shall not have to hide our love for each other."

"From your mouth to the Elders' ears," I whispered, then tipped my head up for a kiss. We both needed one. Pity it couldn't be a longer one, but it was tender.


BuyLinks





AuthorBio

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V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.

|| Facebook || Twitter || Blog || Pinterest || Goodreads || tsu ||

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Winner’s Prize: Digital copy of An Erie Garden Party.


TourSchedule



April 19: Cia’s Stories

April 20: Diverse Reader


April 25: Alpha Book Club


April 28: Drops of Ink

April 29: Frosty's Book Corner

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Anthology Available Now! Mythos Untold: Faery

Today I am featuring a new anthology titled: Faery by Skye Hegyes, J. Scott Coatsworth, Brandon Witt, and August Li. I put them all in the hot seat with a short interview they all took the time to answer for readers.

Author Interviews

What was your first encounter with the Fair Folk—a story, a movie, or something else? How did it influence you?

Gus: I spent a lot of time as a kid at the local library, and when I discovered folklore and mythology, I read everything available. I was drawn to the contrast between them and mainstream children’s books. Instead of having a protagonist who was rewarded for good, folklore was populated by characters who were clever, mischievous, and even mean. I’m still very fond of moral ambiguity. I was also fortunate to grow up in a time when movies for young people weren’t as sanitized. The Wizards and The Labyrinth are only two examples.


Brandon:  The Gnome Mobile!  Has anyone else ever even seen that movie?  I think it was a Disney movie back in the 50’s or 60’s.  All I remember was a human getting shrunk and he discovered this fairyland.  They were all so beautiful and I was so very, very jealous!


Skye: Fairies were never really my thing growing up. I was a knights and dragons kinda girl. However, I did grow up with a lot of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales as well as Christian Hans Anderson tales, and my first experiences with fairies comes from those collections.


Scott: This goes way back for me. Although, properly, they were elves, not fairies. Around second grade, my mom got me started on the Lord of the Rings. Not the Hobbit – that came later – but the full trilogy. And I devoured it. I fell in love with Lothlorien, and thereafter with anything that resembled this enchanted elf wood, where time flowed differently and the people had an ethereal beauty about them that set them apart.


What appeals to you about faeries? What are the most enjoyable aspects of writing about them?

Gus: I could go on for a while here, but I’ll pick what I think is my favorite aspect. In a world where humans think they have control over everything, faeries are uncontrollable. I like the reminder that we haven’t achieved the mastery of nature that we think we have. They can be a metaphor for that.


Brandon:  It’s always fun to write magic, always.  It’s very freeing.  I’ve written demons, witches, vampire, werewolves, mermaids, on and on and on, for my Men of Myth series.  However, the fairies were the most magical to me and the most focused on beauty.  That beauty is the gist of my story here (or the lack thereof), which lead me to some very dark places.


Skye: Fairies are tricksters. They always tell the truth, but they have mastered the art of doing so in a way that’s extremely literal, and there’s room for lots of misinterpretation to what they say and do.


Scott: I love their capricious nature, and their unapologetic un-human-ness. There are so many faery stories where men and women ended up in faery and spend a few days there, only to return home and find that years had passed. And there’s a seductiveness to faeries and a fluid, dark sexuality that appeals to me.


What are the challenges of working with these types of characters and worlds?

Gus: To pay homage to the old stories and traditions without being derivative or using them as a crutch. It can also be a challenge to portray characters whose thoughts and motivations are wildly different from those of humans while still keeping them relatable.


Brandon:  I think fairies can often be seen as weak and the most flighty of mythological creatures.  I found myself going down that path at first, then did a complete 180.  I wanted to show the strong, dark, and twisted aspects of the species.


Skye: Part of the reason I never liked fairies growing up is because I thought them weak and flighty little creatures with no real magic—yes, despite hearing about them in the fairy tales I mentioned above. Turning my head away from that theology and striving for the darker aspect of fairies and Faery while writing a light-hearted tale was the most challenging thing of all. I didn’t want an overly dark story, but I didn’t want tiny, winged useless creatures either. It was a difficult balance.


Scott: Finding something new to say about a myth that is thousands of years old. Fairies are so entrenched in the culture that almost everyone knows what they are and how they “work”. So I wanted to bring something fresh to the table.


Tell us a little bit about your favorite part of your story in this anthology.

Gus: I enjoyed writing about Lleu’s house. It’s almost an extension of him as a character in that it’s full of weird hoards of seemingly unrelated things, and it is mutable. Imagining what it would be like and describing it was a lot of fun.


Brandon:  While there is a love interest (of sorts) in my story, the main relationship is between two brothers.  I loved exploring the conflict and devotion that can only happen between siblings. Even the magical kind.


Skye: Oh! That’s easy. When Tyler meets Marsh. Marsh is such a fun, spunky and hot-tempered character and Tyler is so unsure of himself and everything about him. It was just grand to write about their first encounter with one another.


Scott: Colton’s journey to self discovery as a trans man, and how Tris relates to him. I loved writing these two characters together, and I hope my readers enjoy them too.


Publisher: Wilde City Press



Authors:
August Li
Brandon Witt
J. Scott Coatsworth
Skye Hegyes

Cover Artist: August Li

Length: 79K
Format: eBook, Paperback
Release Date: 4/13/16
Pairing: MM
Price: eBook $5.99, paperback TBD



Blurbs
Faeries are part of mythology the world over, past, present, and future. Called elves, brownies, the fae, and more, they evoke a sense of wonder and a little danger. Faery has its own rules, and humans enter at their peril.

In this spirit, we bring you the first book in the Myths Untold anthology series—four stories from the land of the Fae: a homeless man in Cardiff and the luck that could destroy him; the trans man in future San Francisco who falls for an elf; the village boy who has always been a little different; and a faery prince whose birthright was stolen from him.

Welcome to Faery.


The Pwcca and the Persian Boy, by Gus Li

Despite beauty and luck, something about Glyn makes everyone uncomfortable. Homeless on the streets of Cardiff, he has nothing to keep him going but his friendship with Farrokh. Through stealing and fortune’s occasional favor, Glyn keeps them alive. But then homeless youths begin to disappear, and when Farrokh goes missing, Glyn begins to discover the reasons behind both his luck and the way people react to him. Determined to save his friend from a danger he never imagined, he enlists the help of Lleu, who might be an ally, or might be manipulating Glyn to achieve his own goals.


The Other Side of the Chrysalis, by Brandon Witt

In a species that values beauty above all else, Quay looses both his freedom and his birthright as prince of the fairies.  Lower than an outcast, he watches over his younger brother, hoping against hope that Xenith’s rebirth will provide safety and positions that has slipped through Quay’s grasp.  Though he expected kindness from no one, Quay gradually starts to trust that there is more to life, even for the likes of him, as sexual encounters with Flesser, a fairy barely accepted himself, turn from lust to love.  Quay knows having forbidden relationships will be his undoing,  but he is powerless to turn away.


Changeling, by Skye Hegyes

With his pointed ears and a tail, Tyler’s always been different than the other children, but until Marsh, a brownie tells him he’s a changeling, he never thought he wasn’t human. Now he will discover what faery life is like, and just how being a changeling could change his life. On the way, his ties with his mother will be pushed and prodded even as his friendships grow and his love life blossoms.  However, in a village of God-fearing people, those who are different are spurned and Tyler will discover how much trouble a fledgling changeling can get into.


Through the Veil, by J. Scott Coatsworth

In the not-too-distant future, San Francisco has been swamped by rising sea levels caused by global warming, and has only survived by building a wall to keep the water out of the heart of the City. Colton is a trans man barely getting by on the canals outside the wall. Tris is an elf who has come to the human world on his journey to become a man. Fate brings them together, and everything changes for Colton when he sets out with Tris to find the elf's missing brother, taking Colton behind the Wall for the first time.

Amazon US
Amazon Intl.

Author Bios

Gus Li

August (Gus) Li is a creator of fantasy worlds. When not writing, he enjoys drawing, illustration, costuming and cosplay, and making things in general. He lives near Philadelphia with two cats and too many ball-jointed dolls.

He loves to travel and is trying to see as much of the world as possible. Other hobbies include reading (of course), tattoos, and playing video games.



Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities.

Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about…


Skye Hegyes

Dragons, wolves, and sharp objects are commonplace in Skye Hegyes’s home in North Carolina. She spends most of her time between writing and working. When not doing either of these things, you may find her making crafts or adventuring with her family, which consists of her husband, two daughters, two birds, and three cats… and a partridge in a pear tree…


J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott 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, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Exclusive Excerpt! Jonathan's Promise by Hans M. Hirschi

Today I'm featuring the sequel to Hans Hirschi's novel Jonathan's Hope, so please enjoy this exclusive excerpt just for Cia's Stories! There is also a big giveaway prize of a $50 gift card, or you could win your own copies of the book so don't forget to check that out!

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AboutTheBook

jonathans promise
TITLE: Jonathan’s Promise 

SERIES: Jonathan Trilogy: Book Two

AUTHOR: Hans M. Hirschi

PUBLISHER: Beaten Track Publishing

COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow

LENGTH: 214 Pages

RELEASE DATE: March 31, 2016

BLURB: Jonathan made Dan a promise - a promise that will affect the remainder of his life. But what does he have left to live for?

When their grandson Parker and his fiancé Cody move in with him, the three of them embark on a journey to shed light on Dan's roots.

A heart-warming sequel to Jonathan's Hope, Jonathan's Promise deals with aging and the ultimate consequences of wedding vows. Are we entitled to a second shot at happiness? When is 'for worse' too much to handle?

In this trilogy:

Jonathan's Hope (Book 1)
Jonathan's Promise (Book 2)
Jonathan's Legacy (Book 3) 


Excerpt   

 
Jonathan woke up early the next morning. Outside, the night had not yet given up its daily rule, clinging on for all it had, growing stronger with the approaching winter solstice. Jonathan looked at his watch. Six a.m.? If only I could sleep a little longer. He got up and went through to the large en suite bathroom to relieve himself. He had to smile inwardly as he thought about how his body was falling apart for every year he got older. Even peeing was becoming a bit of a challenge, and he had to get up more than once during the night, feeling as if he’d drunk a couple of pints of beer. It’s just not fair.

WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER ON YOUTUBE!!

BuyLinks







AuthorBio

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I’m an author. I write books. I write about things that are important to me: family, parenting, children, our environment, our world. Contemporary, fresh fiction with happy endings. It’s what I like to read myself. I write because I don’t have a choice. There are so many stories in my head, constantly forming, constantly trying to get out. Feel free to have a look on the other pages to learn more, listen to me narrate from those stories, and – if you like what you see or hear – follow the links to buy the books. I’d greatly appreciate that, as this is how I try to make my living.

I’m an author. But I’m also a forty something male who clings to the illusion of still being twenty-seven, despite my body’s daily reminders to the contrary. I’m married to the most amazing man, and together we have a beautiful son, Sascha. I consider myself a citizen of the world, having lived on two continents and traveled extensively through another three. I have friends all over the world. When I’m not writing, I like to do public speaking or training (where I have my professional background) to actually earn some real bill-paying money. Not sure this author thing is ever going to get me there…



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Winner’s Prize: $50 Amazon GC

Runner Up Prize: 5 e-copies of Jonathan’s Promise (Book 2) / Jonathan’s Hope (Book 1) - Winner’s Choice


Friday, April 8, 2016

eBook Review: The Cattery by K.A. Merikan


In honor of its release day, I'm reviewing K.A. Merikan's newest novel: The Cattery.



My Review

I will begin my review with this: I love, love, loved the initial scene where Smokey begins his journey to explore a side of himself he never knew existed, teased into being by a man. A man with an inability to relax around men he is attracted to… but no such compunction when they’re his favorite animal, kitty cats. Luis’ character, for all he’s the instigator of this series’ theme, was more the impetus to bring the cats together rather than a vital player in the storyline. I hope that he will be fleshed out more in later books because I think he has a real evolution to be shared.

The one character we get a very good insight into is Goran. A temporary immigrant to the United States, I think his European attitude was very refreshing. Americans are so prudish about sex but Goran is willing to try something new and isn’t exactly bashful that sex is a big component of his new “job”. That was highlighted, along with his not-so-great people skills, after his introduction to the other players in the cattery. He’s instantly drawn to one cat for his looks—certainly not for his personality—when he sees Ollie for the first time.

It takes a long time to learn what drives Ollie, and we get to seesaw along with him and Goran as they fight and lust and fight… and wonder if there is anything between them that could become love. With their lives wrapped up in the cattery, that seems like it would be simple, but it’s not. There are other players in the game with their own goals, and not everyone is out just to have fun.

While this story has a kink element, of course, don’t be afraid to read it if you’re afraid it’s too out there. Sure, these guys meow and have a few props to bring the game to life, but there’s a whole lot of human going on. For me, that was somewhat of a detractor. A lot of what I’ve read in the past involving this type of play falls into a lifestyle choice, and not so much a job description, and it feels more like a visceral reality. That is, however, just my personal taste.

And if you need a happy ending, rest assured, you will get it!

Get your copy on Amazon  


About the Book


Goran’s mouth has no filter, and it’s losing him job after job. Desperate and a week away from being homeless, he finds an offer online that sounds too good to be true. Spending six months in a mansion by the beach in return for a hundred thousand dollars as long as he sticks to the house rules.

This might be the one job where his unruly mouth doesn’t get in the way. After all, saying the wrong thing is impossible… when you’re role-playing a cat.

Meeting all the other guys at the cattery seems to be the icing on the cake, but the inconvenient truth he dishes out turns out to be too much. Goran makes everyone his enemy, but worst of all, Ollie, the prettiest cat of the bunch, the one who’s been in the cattery the longest, and the one who makes Goran’s heart skip a beat.

Ollie’s big blue eyes hold secrets Goran is intent on cracking, but to do so, he will need to learn to bite his tongue and listen. Too bad the pretty blond ice prince is set on getting Goran kicked out of the cattery for good. 


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Author Interview with John Ames, author of Love, Joy, Heartache, and Pain.

Today I am featuring John Ames' Love, Joy, Heartache & Pain. You saw the cover reveal, now check out my interview with him, plus an excerpt and even a contest! You could win a $15 gift card, so make sure you visit all the blogs on his tour!

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What’s your favorite part of being an author?
-          I think that it would be sharing these amazing stories that are circling inside my head screaming to let out. I also love inspiring individuals to take up writing as their passion or hobby.

What's your most vivid memory of your high school era?
-          I think that it would be the first time that I kissed someone. It happened during lunch break inside one the bathroom stalls. It was fast and extremely nerve wracking. Thank God we didn’t get caught!

Has anything in particular led you to write in this particular genre?
-          It definitely was the day I read Dumb Jock by Jeff Erno. That novel changed my life forever. It inspired me so much that I wrote Surviving Elite High, Surviving Elite High: Senior Year, Surviving Elite High: Loving James and my latest work of fiction Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain.  

Do you have a favorite character or story in Love, Joy, Heartache and Pain?
-          Yes! All of them, but if I have to pick one, it would be Ashton Hall from The Lake View Psychopath. Ashton’s story is sad, disturbing and extremely gory. However, the things he did were in the name of love so his actions, to me, are justify.  

Can you share some of your current or upcoming work?
-          Of course! Enjoy guys!

Ashton knelt in front of Austin’s grave with his heart pounding hard against his chest and tears running down his cheeks. Less than two weeks ago, he had been in his arms and now, Austin was gone forever. He had become nothing more than a distant memory for Ashton. Ashton’s hair stuck out in all directions and his eyes were bloodshot from all the crying he’d done for the past twelve days. With his hands curled into fists, he punched the soil where his one true love rested. Austin’s lifeless body lay underneath that fresh soil and there was nothing that he could do about it. And to make things worse, they killed him and got away with it. He simply couldn’t believe it. His murderers were walking free while his love lay trapped inside a brown wooden box until the end of time.  

Thirty minutes ago, he’d gotten a call from Austin’s mom saying that David’s little gang was acquitted of all charges due to insufficient evidence, and that Austin’s skull fracture had been ruled out as an accidental fall. Accidental fall? His blood began to boil. They killed the boy that he loved, and they were getting away with it like nothing had ever happened? Where was the justice system now? Shouldn’t justice be served to the ones that demand it? And there wasn’t enough evidence? Weren’t they doing their jobs? Deep inside, Ashton knew that what had happened to Austin wasn’t an accident at all. They killed him. They must have caused his fall. There was no way that he was going to let them get away it. No way in hell! He was going to avenge Austin’s death, even if it was the last thing he did in his life. 

Ashton slowly crawled on top of the hundreds of flowers above the ground where his love lay, silently sleeping forever. Thorns buried themselves on his knees and hands, but the pain was satisfying and soothing to his mind, heart, body and soul. Once he’d reached Austin’s tombstone, he hugged it tenderly, smearing it with his blood. As he wept, he started hitting his forehead on the tomb. All he wanted at that moment was to be dead just like him, but he couldn’t think about suicide and let David and his friends get away with it. No way! They took his happiness away, so he was going to get them back. He was going to avenge his lover’s death. Ashton knew what he needed to do. He needed to kill every single one of those bastards.  

For four years, they caused him so much pain and suffering. For four years, he and Austin endured their humiliation and torment. For four years, he and Austin felt absolutely worthless. For four fucking long years! The only person who had made sense in his life had been Austin, and those sons of bitches murdered and took him away from him. They took his one and only chance at happiness. They took his one and only love. He gently kissed Austin’s tombstone and whispered to it, “I…I will avenge you, Papi. I swear by all that is holy that I’ll kill every single person that made your life a living hell. I’ll smear my hands with their blood and meet you someday. You’ll see, my love. I love you, Austin Young. You’ll always be my one true love.”


AboutTheBook

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TITLE: Love, Joy, Heartache & Pain 

AUTHOR: John H. Ames

PUBLISHER: Ai Press

COVER ARTIST: Sid Love

LENGTH: 207 Pages

RELEASE DATE: March 31, 2016

BLURB: A collection of new entwined stories by best-selling Young Adult author, John H. Ames. Love that reaches beyond the boundaries of the physical realm…

Swapatize!

The not so unrealistic detailed account of how my best friend and I swapped bodies for a short period of time. -High school is one of the most excruciating and painful periods of any teenager’s life. To Kyle, it’s hell on earth. Being the target of the jocks made him hate high school more than anything in the world. All he has is his best friend and the center of the jock’s interest, the beautiful Kylie Bursnell. But Kylie is not your typical beauty. She hates the jocks even more than Kyle, especially Lucas Edward Johnson, a jock who is madly in love with her and Kyle’s forbidden dream. After a bizarre and freaky night, they swap bodies and are force to live each other’s live. Can this actually be true? Has Kyle’s dream come true? Will he be able to love Lucas Edward Johnson unconditionally until the end of time? Or is their love nothing but a beautiful dream enveloped in heartache and pain?

The Spirit Indestructible

Brandon Angelo William has it all. He’s hot, popular, shy, humble, and one of the typical and regular guys in high school. But, unbeknownst to everyone, he’s a closeted gay teen who came out to his parents the previous year. They loved and accepted him with open arms so what more could Brandon want? Love. The one thing that his soul and body need. After a late night out with his best friend, Kevin, Brad sees one of the most beautiful guys he has ever laid eyes on. But could the teen in front of him be real? Or is he the legendary hitching ghost that everyone talks about? Brad needs to find out and what he discovers shocks him and changes his young life forever…

The Lake View Psychopath

Jocks beware, he’s here and he’s not scared. Ashton Hall hates his existence at Lake View High. The jocks have made his life a living hell and his friends have completely turned their backs on him. Why? For being gay and dating the love of his life, Austin Young. Almost overnight, they became the center of every joke and every bully’s paradise. To make matters worse, even the school’s coach allows his ‘jock superstars’ to make fun of them.

But everything the night Austin Young is brutally murdered by the jocks and they walk free. Something snaps inside Ashton’s head and the only think he can think of is revenge. Will Ashton come to his sense and let Austin go? Or will he become one of the greatest serial killers of all time?


 Excerpt 


And there I stood, at the entrance of the school, wishing I were anywhere else but in this goddamn rat hole of hypocrites, liars and backstabbers.

“Move it loser!” Andrew shouted, knocking me to the side.

And then there was Andrew Cooper. He and a couple of his jock friends laughed and teased me as they walked inside the building. Andrew Cooper, the asshole jock, was the main reason why I hated my life at Gelson High. I couldn’t wait for graduation at the end of the year, so he could kiss my white ass goodbye once and for all. I loathed that pathetic little loser with all my heart, body and soul.

“Take comfort in the fact that this is his fifth year here.” A voice behind me caused me to immediately turn around.

And there she was, Kylie Bursnell, in all her glory. Now, since she is my best friend, me, a geeky little loser who’s afraid of a big, muscular jock, many of you may think that might make Kylie either a nerd or a reject from hell. Well, that isn’t the case at all. In fact, Kylie is one of the cheerleaders on the Gelson High cheerleading squad. The girl is a freaking bombshell! Every guy wants her, except for my other best friend, Josh, the rebel of our senior class. That’s the clichĂ©d part of this story. For some reason, he doesn’t like her, or they just don’t click. You may be wondering why a girl like her would even be friends with a loser like me since cheerleaders are mostly shallow, arrogant and mean. Well, she’s not the typical cheerleader, that’s for sure. She is real and down to earth, just like me.   

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AuthorBio

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Juan H. Alvarado was born in El Salvador C.A. He currently lives in Belize and began writing in 2008. He posted some of his work on an internet website, and after receiving positive feedback, he completed several full-length novels under his pen name, John Henry Ames. His first completed novel is Surviving Elite High. The story chronicles the life of a gay sixteen-year-old boy as he makes his way through life as an outcast in the shadows of an elite high school where he is tormented by two psychopathic bullies. His passions are writing, reading and spending time with the ones he loves.

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TourSchedule




April 4: Man2ManTastic

April 5: Cia’s Stories



April 8: MM Book Escape


April 12: Drops of Ink

April 13: Alpha Book Club

April 14: Joyfully Jay