Thursday, 29 December 2011

Masquerade

Masquerade


A collaboration with Lisa Worrall and Patricia Logan, due out on 4th February 2012.

Cover art by Reese Dante.

The Layered Mask
Threatened by his father with disinheritance, Lord Edwin Nash is sent to London for one season to find a wife. In London, Nash discovers he is the lamb, the sacrifice of the society matrons, to be shackled to one of the girls by the end of the season.

At a masquerade ball, Nash hides in a study to avoid the ladies vying for his attention. He is discovered by Lord Thomas Downe, the Duke of Lynwood, the handsome stranger that Nash had met the day before. Nash is horrified when Thomas calmly tells him that he knows the secret that Nash had hidden for years and that he sees through the mask that Edwin presents to the rest of the world.

As Nash shares a secret dance and kiss, he slowly relaxes in Downe’s company.
While Nash plays the dutiful lamb to society, Downe introduces Nash to other men like himself, and he realises he is not alone. Then his father demands that Nash return, engaged to be married, and Nash realises his time with Downe is coming to an end.




Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas


I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. I look forward to sharing more stories with you in the new year.



This was the moment when Before
Turned into After, and the future's
Uninvented timekeepers presented arms.

This was the moment when nothing
Happened. Only dull peace
Sprawled boringly over the earth.

This was the moment when even energetic Romans
Could find nothing better to do
Than counting heads in remote provinces.

And this was the moment
When a few farm workers and three
Members of an obscure Persian sect.
Walked haphazard by starlight straight
Into the kingdom of heaven.

BC:AD by U.A. Fanthorpe






  

Friday, 23 December 2011

Stuff Your Stockings Blog Hop Contest

Thanks to the wonder that is the teenage boy grunting a number, Phoenix Emrys won a copy of Morning Report.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Welcome to Jamie Fessenden

Jamie Fessenden probably doesn't even know this but he was one of the first authors I spoke to when I first got published. I'm a bit jealous of his accomplishments. When I grow up I want to be as good as him.


Over to you, Jamie...


When and why did you begin writing?

I've been writing forever.  I still have a little picture book I wrote and illustrated in Kindergarten or First Grade, inspired by an episode of the cartoon "Super Friends".  When I was eleven, "Star Wars" became the center of my life, and my younger brother and I began to co-write stories about alien worlds we imagined.  I became "serious" about my intent to be a writer in High School, locking myself in my room for a couple hours a day after school to bang out stories on my typewriter.  I even entered a short story in a national contest and placed in the top 100.  But I had trouble finishing what I started.  It wasn't until I began making microbudget films, based upon screenplays I wrote, that I learned how to manage my time on projects and complete them -- largely because there were other people involved, who would be disappointed, if I didn't get my act together.  My first novel was completed just a few years ago, when I was in my early forties.

What inspires you to write and why?

Often it will be something I read, or a movie I watch.  But I also have a strong modernist streak (if I'm using the term correctly) which leads me to want to distil the essential elements of a genre -- to analyse what I think are the key elements of a story about werewolves, or Vikings, or cyberpunks, or even light Christmas romances -- and then put them together in a way that captures the feel of the genre in the best way I can.  I get very frustrated by, say, a cyberpunk story that doesn't feel like it's cyberpunk; that's missing some of the essentials.  So when I write a story, I'm more concerned with creating the experience readers expect from the genre than creating something wholly original.  The originality, for me, always comes through in the characters.  I put a lot of effort into breathing life into them, and making them react the way real people would in the plot they've been thrust into.  Also, I always have a gay protagonist.  I've spent my entire life reading about straight heroes and heroines and I think it's high time gay characters started being easier for readers to find.

What is the best piece of advice you received before you got published?
Finish the story.  Nothing else matters -- how wonderfully it's written; how badly it's written; how brilliant the idea is -- until the story is finished. 

Do you have any rituals to start your writing day?
I wish I had a writing day.  I have to squeeze writing in wherever it will fit.  On my lunch break; or at work, during a slow time; before bed.  One thing, though:  I am absolutely not a morning person.  I usually wake up and stare blankly at the Internet for an hour, while I drink my coffee.  There's no way I can do anything creative, until I've been awake for a while.

What are you currently writing?
I'm finishing up a high fantasy novel, with gay protagonists, of course.  The first part of a trilogy.  Also, of course.  I think there might be a law against writing a fantasy novel that isn't part of a trilogy, or an epic series.

How do you find your names?
I have favorite names that I use a lot -- Devon, Seth, Trevor, Scott, Thomas, and several others.  Something about those names just resonates with me.  But when I want something new, I just flip through baby name books or websites until something grabs me.  Sometimes I'll pick a name because of the meaning behind it.  In a recent novel about teen suicide, I named the boy who kills himself at the beginning Daniel, because the name means "God is my judge."

What is the most interesting piece of research you’ve done so far?
I'm particularly fond of Viking Age Iceland, and I've spent a considerable time researching that culture and the details of the life of an Icelandic farmer.  I love trying to immerse myself in the minutiae of how their shoes were tied and how skyr tastes and even the fact that they used moss instead of paper in the indoor latrine (called a kamarr).  Trying to piece together holiday observances from the tidbits of information in the Icelandic Sagas is also a fascinating exercise.

Do you include your life experiences in your books?
Definitely.  I used to be a Viking, before I was forced into early retirement by a bad injury to my sword arm.  Beyond that, though, my experiences in High School have certainly found their way into my contemporary stories, and many of the characters in my stories, such as Larry, in "We're Both Straight, Right?", are loosely based upon people I know.

Who is your favourite author and why?
Probably still Robert A. Heinlein, who I discovered as a teen.  His style was very easy to read and engrossing -- particularly, when he wrote in first person.  I know that a lot of people think he was sexist and a bit weird on the subject of homosexuality, but the way I see it, he was born over a hundred years ago, and tried writing strong female characters and men who were willing to hop into bed with another man, when others of his generation wouldn't touch either one.  If he didn't get it exactly right, I'm willing to cut him a little slack.  He was also a nudist, which is way cool.

What do you do to relax?
Settling down in front of the fireplace on a cool Fall or Winter day, with a cup of coffee and a good book, still can't be beat.  But I'm also a computer game addict.

Where can we find you on the web?

BIO:  Jamie Fessenden set out to be a writer in junior high school. He published a couple short pieces in his high school's literary magazine and had another story place in the top 100 in a national contest, but it wasn't until he met his partner, Erich, almost twenty years later, that he began writing again in earnest. With Erich alternately inspiring and goading him, Jamie wrote several screenplays and directed a few of them as micro-budget independent films. His latest completed work premiered at the Indie Fest 2009 in Los Angeles and also played at the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival two weeks later.
After nine years together, Jamie and Erich have married and purchased a house together in the wilds of Raymond, New Hampshire, where there are no street lights, turkeys and deer wander through their yard, and coyotes serenade them on a nightly basis. Jamie currently works as technical support for a computer company in Portsmouth, NH, but fantasizes about someday quitting his day job to be a full-time writer.


BLURB:  Connor is a netrunner: a hacker who ventures into cyberspace to steal data from corporate computers. As he hides out in the slums of Seattle, he’s attacked by a street gang and, incredibly, rescued by one of the members. His rescuer is a man named Luis, who has decided Connor needs his protection.
But instead of providing safety, Luis’s presence wreaks havoc with Connor’s online identity, and they find themselves hunted by a lethal security force. While they attempt to escape the city, Connor finds himself struggling to survive with the most lethal killer ever pitted against the corporations that control the FreeCorp—and he risks losing his heart to the same man.

EXCERPT :
The gym had sleep capsules in a room off to one side of the locker room. These were “rooms” just big enough for a person to crawl into and sleep. But they were comfortable enough and provided access to the Net, which Connor would need in order to finish the job he’d contracted for. 
But when he swiped his wrist across the reader and the door swung open, he discovered a new drawback to having Luis for his bodyguard.
“Is that big enough for both of us?” the Latino asked, peering into the capsule. 
This took Connor aback. “What? No, not really. Can’t you get your own?”
“I don’t have any money,” Luis reminded him.
Jesus. Just how much was this deal going to end up costing him on a regular basis?
“I suppose I could rent you a capsule,” Connor said, not bothering to hide his annoyance. The capsules were pretty pricey.
“That’s all right,” Luis replied. “I’ll just keep watch out here.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You have to sleep.”
“If I’m locked in another capsule, I might not hear if somebody comes after you.”
“It’s not like I get attacked every time I try to sleep,” Connor protested. But he could see from the look in Luis’s eyes that this argument wouldn’t get him anywhere. Luis had decided that Connor needed to be protected. And that meant not leaving his side, apparently. “So your idea of being my bodyguard is pretty much what other people would call a ‘stalker’?”
“Don’t you think your bodyguard should be nearby whenever you need him?”
“If I have to take a shit, are you going to come into the stall with me?” Connor asked him, irritated. “No, don’t answer that. We’ll save it for a surprise. In the meantime, if you’re going to be like this, you might as well just get in the goddamned capsule with me. They’re big enough for two, if you don’t mind being snug. But leave everything you don’t need in the locker.”
Following his own advice, Connor stripped to his underwear. There certainly wasn’t going to be room in there to undress if Luis was inside with him. The one thing he brought in was his cyber deck.
Luis followed his example and stripped to his underwear, though he insisted on bringing his gun with him into the capsule. Connor prayed neither of them rolled over on it in the night.
It was pretty cramped when they were both inside and the door was locked, but thankfully the capsule had airconditioning. Not that Luis smelled bad. In fact, once he was stretched out beside Connor, his chest at the level of Connor’s face, Connor found that he liked the faint masculine musk Luis seemed to radiate. The scent was clean and held a trace of the generic liquid soap available in the gym shower, but it was unmistakably manly. 
It was impossible for their skin not to touch in this close space, but Luis didn’t seem to care. When Connor glanced up at his face, he found Luis looking at him thoughtfully with those beautiful dark eyes. Not for the first time, Connor wondered whether Luis was gay or straight. So far, he hadn’t given much indication—unless the fact that he had a strong desire to make himself subservient to another man was a sign. 
“Um… just so we’re clear about this,” Connor began, uncertain how exactly to phrase the question, “Are you… expecting sex out of this arrangement?”
Luis shook his head, smiling at his discomfort. “No. Although I did my time giving hand jobs for money, so if you want me to get you off….”
“No,” Connor answered quickly. Luis was certainly not the first guy he’d known who’d resorted to prostitution to get by, so he didn’t fault him for it. But he didn’t want some guy helping him “get off” if the guy wasn’t enjoying it himself. “So you don’t like guys, then?”
Luis shrugged. “I guess I don’t really care one way or another. If I like someone, I’ll fuck them. It doesn’t matter if they’re male or female.”
“All right. That’s cool. I generally just like guys, myself.”
“Muy bien.”
That seemed to end the discussion. Connor wasn’t certain if he liked the fact that Luis had left the possibility of sex open. This guy was already complicating his life. If they started fucking around, it would get even more complicated. 
He decided to change the topic. “So if you liked what you were doing down in the L.A. Co-op, why did you come up to the FreeCorp Consortium?”
“Everybody’s starving down there,” Luis answered. “I heard that people were better off up here.”
“If you can get into one of the corporations,” Connor amended. “Otherwise, you’re just a bottom-feeder like the rest of us.”
“So I’ve been learning. Torres and his gang were the best deal I’ve found since I got here.”
“With your fighting skill, you might be able to get into a corporate security company,” Connor said.
Luis smiled at Connor and lowered his head to the pillow they’d be sharing. “I already have a job as a bodyguard.”
“I can’t pay.”
“Just feed me. That’s all I need.”
“And a ‘purpose’?”
“I want someone to protect,” Luis said, his voice beginning to sound sleepy. “I don’t like being the bad guy. Is that wrong?”
Connor sighed. “No, it’s not wrong. But you realize you’re protecting someone who steals and destroys data, don’t you? I’m not exactly a ‘good guy,’ myself.”
There was no response, and Connor glanced up to see that Luis had drifted off. Asleep, there was something innocent and childlike in his beautiful face. Of course, Connor had to remind himself, this was the man he’d just seen cut two men into tiny pieces.  





Monday, 19 December 2011

Friday, 16 December 2011

Stuff Your Stockings Blog Hop Contest

I'm a little late to the party but here we go. Welcome to the Stuff Your Stockings Blog Hop contest. This mega blog-hop goes through from Friday 16th December to Sunday 18th December.

Christmas Myspace Animated Gifs


Thank you for taking time to stop by my blog this Christmas. Make sure you visit everyone on the way for some amazing prizes. There are 185 authors taking part. This is a BIG blog hop.  So make sure you run over here to the list of participants. I'm talking PRIZES!

**My Prize - Your choice of one of my books**


Leave a comment here to enter into the draw
**************************************************************************

What are you doing for Christmas for this year? I am going to be crashed out on a friend's sofa being wined and dined. Awesome!!!

I'm certainly going to have a better Christmas than my poor boys in Final Admission.

Blurb:


James Trenchard is a dick. Everyone in Bingwell, Brock, and Bacon says so, and after Ethan’s first encounter with the man, he agrees. Ethan resolves to avoid James but ends up working closely with him and discovers the lawyer's hiding a secret from the world. Ethan also realizes he's falling too hard too fast. Ethan has to decide if he should help James and risk getting entangled in the mess James has gotten himself into, or move on. But walking away from love is never a simple decision to make.





I can be found:
Shamelessly objectifying men here: http://suesdailymale.blogspot.com/
Talking about my writing and promoting books here: http://suebrownsstories.blogspot.com/
Rambling about everything else here: https://www.facebook.com/suebrownstories

Welcome to Abby-Rae Rose

It is not often I have semi-naked ladies on my blog, but I'm delighted to have Abby-Rae Rose's Captain Virgin Fantasy here. That cover is hot, Abby-Rae.

Over to you, Abby-Rae...


How did you get started writing?
When you sleep at night, do you dream? Do you wake up with a great story to tell? When you're outside, do you dream of another place? Do you look for an adventure? Do you believe that the imagination can drive you to do great things?
            I write because of all of those things. My creative heart continues to run full with ideas. Many people have their sports and other activities that everyone can associate. Everyone can be a writer, but it takes a true sprit to contain the gift of storytelling. I believe that I've been blessed with that gift. It's easy for me to express my feeling through words.  
            I want to share with the world my stories. As a child I remember reading, sitting, listing to my grandma, my mind would run wild, free its self. That is what I want to give to the next generation of children, adults as well. I want people to recognize me as that writer that made them feel, love, use their imagination. I don't have to make millions or have a big name like J.K Rowling, Rachel Vincent, Stephanie Myers, Keri Author etc.
            That's why I started to write in the first place.

Was there a particular author or book that made you decide you wanted to write in the genre?  If so, who or what was it?
It was late December of 2009. My husband died January 10, 2009. I was depressed and my sanity was falling to crap. Well, I started to work for this company called Nicholas tree farm. I worked every day 24/7. My boss walked to me one day with a gift. She told me her daughter had given her these books, but she didn't find them appealing. I took the hardback into my hand. It was Twilight by Stephanie Myers.
            I read all four of those books in one week. It made me feel again. I was able to pick this book up and slip into another world. Somewhere, not dangerous, not hurting myself. I was free again, like when I was a child. It reminded me of happiness. With everything around me changing, reading was the only thing that remained the same.
            After reading her novels, I went forward buying different books. Paranormal Romance was the main genre. I now have two hundred and thirty books. Reading was great, but one day I decided to write my story. To relive the pain that was in my heart unto paper. I noticed that I was telling a story. That my dreams were of places, people I wanted around me. It made me ecstatic that I found something to love in my time of hardship.

Where do you write? Does your environment have an impact on what or how you write?
I do all my writing at my desktop computer in my “office”, which is really a desk in the middle of my bedroom.  It gets me away from most distractions. But, my puppy Max runs and barks all the time. I write first thing in the morning. For me the act of sitting at my desk is all I need to do. This computer is not online. All I do here is writing. So when I sit in the chair it’s a signal to my brain that it’s time to go to work.

What do you love most about writing?  What do you hate about it?
I have a story to tell. I love to create a place of hope and freedom for another. It's given me a purpose, and I love it.  I wouldn’t say there is anything I hate about writing. The uncertainty of a plot or change of a character and the complications of making everything flow can be frustrating. 

How did you come up with the title?
            “Captain’s Virgin Fantasy.” Really it was all in the mix of what theme was I trying to follow. The symbolism of a Captain is a Leader. A virgin is a woman that is pure, untouched. Of course, you have fantasy, which is obvious. So, I just mixed Theme, Symbolism and the obvious.

Can you tell us about your main characters?
Our heroine, Victoria is young and na├»ve to all things love related. Whereas, Captain Ishmael is older and more intrigued with desire. So, we have two different people in a situation that both are helplessly drawn into.  However, Desire and Fait are dangerous together, which creates a great ending to a rocky beginning. 

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a Springtime Romance. I hoping to have it finished before New Year.

To date, what has been the best advice or words of encouragement you've received?
Don't give up. There are too many nay-sayers out there who will try to discourage you. Don't listen to them. The only one who can make you give up is yourself.

What are three things about you that would surprise your fans?
            I’m 23 years old. I love to eat Oreos with peanut butter. I can’t cook at all (Laughing out loud) 

Where can we find you on the web?
or Email


Abby-Rae's bio: Abby-Rae Rose is an independent student working on her PhD in English. She writes Paranormal Romance, and Western suspense, also working on a YA Romance series. She is very hard-working and Open-minded. She has written for 2 years. Writing is not only a dream, but it has become her life. She wants to write stories that make her readers use their imagination. She will have you fall in love all over again, make you believe that life is not just hard work, but it’s fun and unexpected things can happen.

Captain’s Virgin Fantasy – Abby- Rae Rose
Released December 5th 2011


Blurb:
He’s changed everything…but she can’t change the fact that she loves him.
Victoria refuses to let Ishmael intimidate her— She‘s faced with a choice. Return to her life of duty, or embrace her spirit of adventure…and sail the high seas with the man who has captured her heart.
Captain Ishmael’s demands are simple… In exchange for his pleasure, and her body to quell his voracious lust, he will guarantee safe passage.
But, Ishmael’s plan doesn’t include giving up his lover so easily. And, once he gets a taste of Tori’s sweet blend of innocence and boldness, he can’t imagine living without her.
Excerpt:
Ishmael walked into the ship’s cabin and looked around. It was to be a very special evening and he wanted to make sure everything was perfect. First, he checked the dresser. A fifty-year-old bottle of Glenfiddich sat, the sunlight filtering through the golden-amber liquid. Two highball glasses and a bucket with ice sat next to it. Excellent. Next, he went to the nightstand and opened the drawer.
           Several strips of white satin, cut in various lengths, lay coiled inside. Under the pieces of cloth sat a box of chocolate covered cherries. Good. Oil lamps sat atop the two nightstands and the dresser. One at a time, he lit them, replaced the globes, and then adjusted the wicks to just the right spot to fill the cabin with a soft, glowing light. He stood back and scanned the cabin one last time to make sure everything was set. Satisfied, he walked out, leaving a telltale piece of ribbon wrapped around the door handle.
* * * * *

Victoria sat in the high-back chair, waiting, nervously drumming her fingers on the chair arm. Her eyes focused on the door at the far end of the room. He’ll be here soon. What are his plans for me? The white of her knuckles beamed, her grip tightened on the armchair, as the questions bombarded her mind.
Soon enough, the door to the cabin opened and a man walked in, his boots clomping on the floor, the spicy scent of his cologne filling the air as he drew closer. The plain, white, cotton shirt and baggy pants gave no hints to his rank or position on the ship.
“Are you . . . Captain Ishmael?” she asked hesitantly.
“Aye lass, and you must be Victoria.”
“Yes. I was hired to be the ship’s cook.”
Ishmael laughed a lecherous laugh. “There’s been a change in plans. You’ve been promoted to be my . . . personal aid.”
“Your . . . personal assistant? You mean, your whore?”
A smirk crossed Ishmael’s face. “Call it what you want. You see, my last assistant, whore if you prefer, had a very unfortunate . . . accident,” he told her, gesturing toward the open ocean. He bent over, inches from her face and hissed in her ear, “Pray the same misfortune does not happen to you.”
Victoria felt her heartbeat, deep in her chest. “But, I only signed on to gain passage to Europe. Please, allow me to do my job.”
“I am the captain of this ship. Your job is what I decide it to be. Now, let us have a look at ya. Take off your clothes.”
“And if I refuse?”
Ishmael looked out toward the sea. “It’s over a hundred miles to shore, and there are plenty of sharks to keep you company.”
“I think I’d rather have the sharks for company than a filthy pirate,” she challenged.
What are three things about you that would surprise your fans?
            I’m 23 years old. I love to eat Oreos with peanut butter. I can’t cook at all (Laughing out loud) 

Hugs & Love,
Abby-Rae Rose








Sunday, 11 December 2011

Dear world, go play pingpong.

Dear homophobes, bigots and haters, take a leaf out of this little boy's book. He'd rather play ping pong than think about two men being married. Why don't you?





Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Final Admission

I have a book trailer made by the lovely Sharita Lira for Final Admission.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Saturday Snark - WIP

My new gym series is taking shape at the moment. This is a short portion for Saturday Snark. All you need to know is that Matt was dumped by his boyfriend, and PC West broke into the house when concerned neighbours called the police. This is some weeks later.

Matt realised he was coming over as a complete arse. “I’m sorry. You just got me on a bad day. My… er… partner had just left me and I was feeling sorry for myself.”
“Your neighbour said. She was very keen to inform us of anything that might be pertinent to the investigation when they found your dead body,” PC West informed him.
Matt’s eyes widened, then he realised the policeman was taking the mick. “Nosy old bat,” he said, grinning a little.
“God yes. It took us twenty minutes just to get away from her. She told us where you kept your spare key by the way.” PC West’s lips twitched as he watched the horrified expression pass over Matt’s face.
“How the hell did she know where I keep my key?”
“Women like that know everything, including what colour boxers you’ve got on.”
Matt thought frantically. Even he didn’t remember what colour boxers he was wearing. “That’s scary.” He couldn’t repress a shudder.
The policeman nodded. “Tell me about it. Of course, they’re useful in my job. There’s one in every road, twitching the curtains every time you make a move.”
“I bet you know them all. Have tea with them all the time. Butter them up so they spill all the gossip,” Matt accused.
“You know it!”
The two men laughed together, Matt noticing how the policeman’s eyes sparkled when he wasn’t being ‘official’.
“Are you using the treadmill?”
Matt looked up to see a short man glaring at them. He didn’t know what his beef was but Matt didn’t want any trouble. “I’ve finished but PC West..?”
The newcomer did a double take at Matt’s use of status and backed away a couple of steps, his expression changing to something less aggressive. The policeman rolled his eyes.
“You go ahead,” he said, “I think I need a shower now.”
The man nodded, muscling between them to get at the machine.
“Jesus,” Matt said, “You’d think you’d stolen his precious.”