Giveaways extended

Lorenzaccio by Alphonse Mucha

Just so you know, the giveaway of Close Quarter Kay Berrisford’s blog has been extended until Nov 30th! So if you still want a chance to win a copy of Close Quarter, head on over and comment.

And I’m extending the giveaway of one of Kay’s backlist titles until the 30th, as well. So if you want to win another sexy book about the fae or elves, do comment!

And here’s a lovely piece of art by Alphonse Mucha, for your viewing pleasure! He didn’t just draw women.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I’m with family and just spent the entire day with my niece. She’s five. We played many, many rounds of the Pretty Pretty Princess game, then ran around like loons at a playground.

Hope those that celebrated had a good day, and those that didn’t… still had a good day. 🙂 I’m grateful for any day I can spend with the people I care about.

Just to recap, I have book give-aways for Close Quarter over at Kids, Coffee, & Chaos and Kay Berrisford’s Blog. I’ll be running these through Sunday, since I’m currently on the road. Please feel free to comment over at either or both blogs.

Also, I’m hosting Jessica Freely in celebration of her latest release, His Own Devices. She’s giving away one of her backlist titles to a commenter until Sunday.

And I’m hosting Kay Berrisford in celebration of her latest release, Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone. She’s also giving away a backlist title to a commenter, also until Sunday.

So lots going on, this Turkey-day weekend! Feel free to wander around this weekend to these different giveaways. 😀 What’s better than a free book?

Guest Post: Kay Berrisford with Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone

Today, I’m hosting Kay Berrisford on the blog! In return, she’s hosting me over on her blog! It’s a true blog swap. Kay is here to tell us about her holiday story, Simon, Sex, and the Solstice StoneShe’s also giving away a free copy of any of her backlist titles to a random commenter, so please leave a comment! And now, take it away, Kay!

Where’s the worst place to write a Xmas/Thanksgiving novella?  Well, it turns out that it’s Tuscany in the middle of August.  Don’t get me wrong, I was very happy to be there, staying in a gorgeous villa overlooking a swathe of Chianti country, replete with vineyards and olive groves that came alive with deer and wild boar at dusk. Every morning greeted me with thirty-plus degree heat, relentless sunshine, and the prospect of a visit to a pleasant hill town or into the tourist melting pots of Florence, Siena, or San Gimignano – if I was feeling brave.  Trouble was, I had a deadline pressing for a seasonal story, and my imagination was supposed to be wallowing in the mud, rain, and fog of late November and December back home in England.

This is the point I tell you that I just closed my eyes and conjured it all from my memory.  After all, the novel was set in my home county.  I had a strong image of the characters and the stone circles and burial mounds that starred, all laced in winter mist. Still I struggled to make that leap. My imagination crawled through the medieval alleys of Volterra and had Renaissance gents snogging on the Ponte Vecchio. Tucked down a lane near where I stayed, I discovered a newly converted villa with a provocative complex of shimmering pools, manicured lawns, and outdoor furniture—including no less than two outdoor double beds. A particularly naughty contemporary romance started festering in my brain—though I worried that any al fresco lovemaking in the environs ran the risk of being interrupted by one of those roaming wild boar.

I will admit that progress on the seasonal novella was not good.  However, the holiday was over in a fortnight, and the end of August back home segued successfully into leaden skies and rain. I even made my deadline–well, nearly.  On the other hand, I’ll never say never again.  After all, if a writer’s books are going to be published “in season” it means constantly writing “out of season,” unless you’re terrible organized.  I fear I’m not.  Looking back, I wondered why writing England in Tuscany was such a challenge.  After all, my current WIP is set in the twelfth century, a culture of which I have rather less experience.  So maybe my troubles boil down to something simpler than the distracting beauties of Italy.  I’m just not good in the bloody heat!

About the Book

Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone cover

Published by Loose Id, m/m paranormal/time travel, 45,000 words

Simon’s holiday season is looking grim. His boyfriend’s dumped him, and his self-esteem is rock bottom. Stuck in the UK where nobody celebrates Thanksgiving, the shy, geeky student drowns his sorrows at an ancient stone circle. When a gorgeous stranger, Aubrey, shows up and attempts to seduce him, Simon is flattered but also freaked—especially when Aubrey claims to be from an historic sex cult who’d uncovered the true powers of the circle. It’s a time machine. Aubrey intended to travel back three hundred and sixty-five days, but an error propelled him forward three hundred and sixty-five years into a world alien to him.

Simon reluctantly takes the lost time traveler under his wing, and Aubrey teaches Simon the ways of sex, love, and magic. Simon’s never felt so alive, but as their bond grows, Aubrey remains determined to perform a dangerous ritual and return home at the winter solstice. Fearing he’s no more to Aubrey than a sexual sacrifice, Simon must discover the dark secrets of Aubrey’s pagan past. Only then can Simon choose between risking all for the man he loves or a lonely Christmas without him.

Excerpt

“Wh-why have you brought me here?” stuttered Simon. “You should have called an ambulance.”

Confusion clouded Aubrey’s sharp eyes, but he seemed to dismiss Simon’s words. “Here, drink.”

Aubrey picked up a plastic bottle of mineral water that had been in Simon’s bag, unscrewing the top with his teeth. Simon took it, and Aubrey cupped a hand about the back of his neck, lifting him so he could take a swig.

The cool liquid refreshed and wet Simon’s dry lips, but his head hurt as much as ever. As for Aubrey? The man seemed frantic to keep Simon with him.

After screwing the lid back on, Simon threw the bottle down and slumped back into the man’s lap. “Look, you can take the phone. I’ve got nothing else of value.” Well, there were the car keys in his pocket, but he was not going to draw attention to those. Strange the man hadn’t already taken them. “Just…please let me go.”

“I am not robbing you.” Aubrey stroked Simon as he might a feral cat ready to sink fangs into him any minute. “Neither would I keep you here against your will.”

“Then what the fuck are you doing?” Simon rolled off the man’s lap, catching himself on his hands, and then collapsed face-first into the carpet of leafy mulch. Feeling Aubrey’s touch on his shoulder, he turned over and glared.

Aubrey reached toward him, then snatched his hand back. “Wounds like this can be dangerous. You must—”

“What the hell do you expect me to do?” Simon moaned, pressing his hand to his head. “We’ve known each other for five minutes, and you stuck your tongue down my throat.” He’d not complained about that bit at the time, but it seemed a moot point now. “And why are you carrying a knife? It’s against the law. Don’t you know?”

Aubrey slid his hand to the hilt. Simon’s blood congealed to ice, but the man drew the dagger only to place it on the ground between them. “If it ails you so much,” he said, “I throw it down.”

Simon grabbed the weapon and examined it. Though the cutting edge had been sharpened, stained with something dark red that looked disturbingly like blood, the flat was dull and mottled through heavy use. As for the handle, with its spiral motif and slender hand guard that curved up around the hilt like a bow, Simon could jump to only one conclusion.

This weapon had been meticulously crafted and dated from the English Civil War. It looked like the kind pikemen and musketeers carried as a backup. Simon regarded Aubrey’s dress anew. The man’s short trousers had buttons at the knees, much like seventeenth-century-style breeches. The white shirt, which the rain had set clinging to Aubrey’s shoulders, could have dated from any time in the past six centuries but didn’t appear of modern cut.

“Are you with the Sealed Knot or something?” Simon placed the dagger down on his side farthest from Aubrey. “Is that why you’re camping here? You’re in one of those history reenactment groups?”

Aubrey sucked in a shaky breath and drew his fingers across his lips. “You speak of many strange things. Pray tell me. What year is this?”

“Eh?” Simon wrinkled his nose. “It’s 2012.”

“Oh ye gods.” Aubrey’s weather-bronzed face whitened.

Suspicion stole through Simon’s veins. “What’d you think it was?”

Aubrey looked so helpless. He inched his shoulders up in a shrug, and his voice cracked. “Yesterday it was 1647.”

The man’s meaning impacted Simon like a second blow to the head. “Say what?”

“I…don’t know.” Aubrey scanned the ground as if seeking answers amid the leaves and fungi. “I was supposed to go back. To undo…” He trailed off and was quiet for a long moment, squeezing his lower lip between his teeth. “Something went horribly wrong.”

“You bet it did.” Simon performed the mental mathematics. “Just assuming I believe you, and I’m not saying I do, you’ve been sent forward three hundred and sixty-five years.”

“I was supposed to go back three hundred and sixty-five days! I have to get home.” Aubrey covered his face with his hands, and Simon resisted an impulse to reach out, to comfort him. This didn’t strike him as a man easily reduced to despair.

But that was not the issue. Simon was still a captive, kind of. And Aubrey tore time? He’d actually completed that andaga ritual?

Well, the Stones were powerful—Simon harbored no doubts about it—and Aubrey did remind him of Doctor Who, but… No, the Stones were not a time machine. That was just insane.

He made a renewed attempt to raise himself. “I’m the one who needs to get home.”

“No!” Aubrey grabbed him, gouging into his waterproof jacket. “Since I got here, you’re the only person who’s understood anything of what I speak. I need you.”

Aubrey pleaded with his eyes and his lips, his anguish as tangible as a punch to Simon’s solar plexus. Coupled with his ravishing looks, it was all too much to bear. No way could this guy need him. At best Aubrey had to be a rival student taking the piss. Shit, maybe Pete put him up to it. At worst he was a psycho toying with his prey.

Simon twisted from Aubrey’s grasp, forcing words from a fear-tight throat. “Get away from me.”

Links to Kay

Remember, Kay is giving away a free copy of any of her backlist titles (to the right) to a random commenter, so please leave a comment!

My website: http://kayberrisford.com/

Buy it now links for Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone and all Kay’s other titles:

Loose Id

Amazon

Amazon.co.uk

Fictionwise

All Romance

Sony

Barnes and Noble

 

Guest Post: Jessica Freely and His Own Devices

I first met Jessica Freely back in 2008, in her guise as a mild mannered* instructor at Seton Hill’s Writing Popular Fiction Master’s program. Over the years, I learned that not only did she write kick-ass adult science fiction, write a Nebula-finalist short story, and write kick-ass YA fiction, she also writes sexy kick-ass m/m fiction. Jessica (in all her many guises) rocks. She beta-read Close Quarter and has been one of my biggest cheerleaders. without furthur ado, here’s Jessica… or rather Sunshine and Cam, on her behalf!

* I have it on good authority from students that she mentors that she’ll not let you get away with any writing shenanigans. So that mild-mannered part? Totally a front.

NoPenis?NoProblem!

The His Own Devices Blog Tour

All week long, Sunshine and Cam have been pounding the pavement, getting the word out about their new book, His Own Devices by Jessica Freely, available now from Loose Id.

His Own Devices coverA wounded genius, Cam has closed himself off from his desires. Sunshine, a renegade android with custom attachments, is determined to change that. Together they defy a cruel regime, but at what price?

To buy: http://www.friskbiskit.com/book-page-his-own-devices.html

Special Release Week Offer

For a Limited Time Only: A Brand New Story Just For You!

Unlawful is an 8,500 word m/m erotic romance set in the universe of His Own Devices. On the Hanovan home world, where being gay is unlawful and slavery is legal, two men fight for their lives, for their desires, and for justice. Buy His Own Devices during release week (Nov. 19-25) and receive a free copy of Unlawful when you send your proof of purchase to jessicafreely@gmail.com.Unlawful cover

For more details please visit: http://is.gd/unlawful

Sunshine: Well, here we are, it’s the fourth day of our blog tour. What do you think Cam? Will Jessica be happy with the job we’ve done?

Cam: I don’t know, I feel like we’ve forgotten something.

Sunshine: I know what you mean, but we’ve shared excepts and buy links and told everyone about Jessica’s release week special.

Cam: Not to mention your high tech cock. Haven’t been able to get you to stop talking about that, have we?

Sunshine: Hey, I’m proud of it. I put a lot of work into that penis.

Cam: I appreciate that.

Sunshine: (grins) I know you do.

Cam: (sighs) See, that’s what I mean. This whole tour has been one big, long dick joke.

Sunshine: A big, long dick joke? Did you really just say that?

Cam: Argh!

Sunshine: You know, I think I know what we left out.

Cam: If this is another setup…

Sunshine: We haven’t shown people how we met.

Cam: Oh… Yeah. (smiles) That’s it.

Sunshine: Shall we?

Cam: Definitely. Oh, but first we need to thank Anna for having us on her blog, and everyone else for visiting. We really appreciate you all stopping by.

Sunshine: And everybody, remember to leave a comment because Jessica’s giving away a free book from her backlist to one lucky reader.

Cam: Here we go.

Excerpt of His on Devices

A distant hum heralded the approach of the shipping pod. In the southwest quadrant of the sky, he could just make out a tiny black dot. As the hum got louder, the dot got larger. The shipping pod was a shiny black ovoid, like an egg. It landed, and the hatch popped open.

Someone tall and blue climbed out of it.

Cam walked slowly forward, mesmerized by what he saw: a broad, masculine chest tapering to a trim waist, a flat belly, and long, powerful legsall sculpted in the gleaming midnight blue of malleum, a metal at once as strong as steel and as pliable as human flesh.

An android.

The being looked about with evident curiosity. Itno, he, Cam decidedbent at the waist and scraped a handful of dust up from the hard-packed desert surface. He let it run through his fingers. He furrowed his brow.

He had a high-bridged nose, a long jaw, and a jutting chin. A prominent brow sheltered his eyes. His lips were full. They parted, and Cam caught a glimpse of bright white teeth.

He resembled a human being in every detail. Just about the only thing they hadn’t given him was a penis.

Cam pushed that thought aside and swallowed with some difficulty. “Um. Hi.”

The android startled and turned, his golden eyes wide. For an instant they stared at each other. Cam raised his hand, but before he could even wave and say welcome, the android cried out “No!” and fled as if Cam were his worst nightmare come to life.

Shit. “Flyer, to me.” Cam climbed inside the passenger compartment. “Ariadne, to me.”

Ariadne climbed on to the roof of the passenger compartment.

“Flyer. Pursue blue humanoid. Ariadne, rescue mission.”

By the time they were airborne, the android had a sizeable head start. But Flyer was fast too.

As they caught up, the android looked over his shoulder and spotted them, fear etched in the lines of his face. He put on an extra burst of speed. With those long legs and no need for breathing, he was phenomenally fast. He started pulling ahead again.

“Ariadne, rescue.”

The bot spit a ribbon of sticky filament at the android. It struck the dirt just to the right of him. He veered to the left.

The prospect of telling Halde that he’d let a valuable and highly experimental piece of Zenesco equipment run away made Cam’s stomach tighten. He rubbed his wrists. “Flyer, faster!”

Flyer’s motor whined as the bot pushed it to the limits of its capacity. They crept up on the fleeing humanoid.

“Ariadne. Take your best shot.”

Cam held his breath. The distance closed a little more, and then the android started to pull away again. His legs were a blur.

Ariadne shot a long stream of filament. It hit the android square in the back and stuck.

“Haaa!” The android’s cry sent chills up Cam’s spine. He tried to keep running. He might have succeeded in pulling Ariadne off her perch, but she hit him with a second strand and yanked back hard. He staggered.

As Flyer closed the distance, she wrapped the struggling android in filament after filament, until he was bound hand and foot, writhing on the ground and shouting incoherently.

Flyer landed.

“It’s okay,” said Cam, hopping out of the passenger compartment. “We’re here to help you. You have some kind of malfunction, but don’t worry. We’ll find out what it is and fix it.”

“No!” The android tried to roll away, but Ariadne wove a net around him and anchored it to several nearby gilly bushes, immobilizing him. Trembling, he stared up at Cam. “Please. I don’t want to die.”

What the hell? He’s terrified. But he’s an android. How is it he feels anything at all? “It’s okay,” Cam said. “I’m not going to kill you. I’m here to help you.”

“No! Please! Just let me go!”

“No! Don’t! Let me go!” Memories of a cold cave floor and iron shackles, laughter and pain, blindsided Cam. And now he was the one being pleaded with. He sat down hard in the dirt.

“I won’t do anything bad,” the android said. “I promise. There’s nothing here anyway. Just let me go. Please.”

Cam’s stomach twisted at the sight of the creature, helpless, bound, and pleading. He swallowed the gorge rising in this throat.

“Ariadne. Release him.”

Jessica Freely Online

Website & Blog: http://jessicafreely.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/jessicafreely

Newsletter: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jessicafreely

Facebook: http://facebook.com/jfreely

Twitter: @jessicafreely

Guest Posts are Coming

“All I Need” by nerissa’s ring

Pull up a chair, and grab a cup of coffee. We have some guests stopping by for Thanksgiving.

On Wednesday, I’ll be hosting Jessica Freely and the main characters of her latest novel His Own Devices.

On Thursday, I’ll be hosting Kay Berrisford, who will be talking about writing her holiday book, Simon, Sex, and the Solstice Stone… during the summer in Italy!

Interviewed by Heidi Ruby Miller and Sequel News

Questioned

Photo by Ethan Lofton

If you want to know a little bit more about me, I answered some of Heidi Ruby Miller’s Pick Six questions. Feel free to check it out!

I’m also working on the sequel to Close Quarter, which will feature Vasil, the waiter in inadvertently caught up in Silas and Rhys’s problems in Close Quarter. It’ll be set in Istanbul. And that’s all I can say at the moment.

There will also be more book giveaways coming up. Check back for more details later!