current release

Thankfulness Giveaway: The Fall Guide, Convergence, and Rocking Hard

I have a cover teaser to show for an upcoming release, but not just yet … I think I’ll wait on it a bit longer. Today is all about thankfulness!

As my thankfulness for all of you, I’m running a giveaway for my latest three releases from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. If you win, you’ll be eligible to choose an ebook copy from those three.

COMMENT ON THIS ENTRY to be eligible for the giveaway. That’s all you have to do! Make sure to include an email address or means of contact. Winners will be chosen Tuesday morning Pacific time.

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    Eric is a popular beauty blogger, and hopes to use the momentum of that to start his own business selling makeup for men—but his first attempt to launch makes it painfully clear he has a lot to learn and a long way to go.

    Unexpected help comes in the form of Devon: Gorgeous, successful, and far too smooth. He is everything Eric would like to be, all the things Eric is starting to fear he’ll never achieve, and the success that Eric is striving for in both his professional and personal life is jeopardized by Devon’s inability to understand that business and pleasure shouldn’t mix, because they can have disastrous results for both.

You can read more about The Fall Guide, and an excerpt, here.

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    Chris and Ling travel the world in search of rare, exquisite curiosities, but treasure hunting is rife with danger and comes with a price. In order to retrieve a lost treasure deep within a perilous mountain, Chris hires on a vampire. But traveling with a predator comes with its own risks, and their venture may collapse into absolute loss unless they can each find the opportunity in one another.

You can read more about Convergence, and an excerpt from the story, here.

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    Bailey Kravitz, lead singer of Courage Wolf, is a high-strung, perfectionist diva of a front man. Gunner Lansing, bassist of Courage Wolf, is a laid-back, hang loose ladies’ man who is only serious about guitars and sex. They say opposites attract, but Bailey’s terminal crush on oblivious Gunner is tearing the band apart. Meanwhile, his longtime friend, quiet but intense guitarist Tor Macleod, helps him pick up the pieces yet again. Between annihilating everything they’ve built and reeling from total rejection, there may be a third option Bailey has been overlooking all this time. Problem is, Bailey’s always been more than a little difficult when he’s out to get his way, and that may ruin his prospects after all.

Read more about the Rocking Hard anthology here.

I would also love for you to promote my giveaway in any way, shape, or form possible, so that others can have a chance to win!

So if you: Make a comment, Tweet, Facebook entry, tumblr post, or any kind of entry promoting this giveaway on your own social venue (any and all – WordPress, LJ, DW, blogspot, just link me so I can verify) I will count each promo as an additional chance to win.

Questions? Ask away! Thank you for your support, and I wish you a happy Turkey Day and hope you’ve got as much to be thankful for as I do. ♥ You all are awesome.

Happy Release Day! And two new reviews.

First and foremost!

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Are you ready for a rocking good time? Rocking Hard: Volume One is ready for you! My novella, Courage Wolf Never Sings the Gorram Blues, is sandwiched in between four other tales of music and love, the rhythms that move the world.

Cannot wait to hear what you all think!

Speaking of feedback, this week has been fruitful for The Competitive Edge, which netted 4.5 pants off over at Pants Off Reviews, and 4 kisses and an avowal to check out the other books in the Appetite series from Top2Bottom reviews.

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At Pants Off Reviews, Darien Moya says, “If you are a cooking afficionado and like m/m romance this is a must read!” Check out the rest of the review here!

Over with Top2Bottom, Susan says, “A quite long read, this series is promising. The writing is captivating, and I was fully immersed into the story.” See what else she says here!

And in case you missed my Tweet, Top2Bottom also gave me a lovely spotlight review. Thanks to all the wonderful peeps at Less Than Three Press, too, for arranging the tour!

Giveaway: Appetite paperback!

Tonight I’m doing two things: making braised beef short ribs, and the lingering aroma permeating our house is utterly divine; and bringing you an exclusive giveaway of the gorgeous, weighty paperback version of Appetite, the compilation volume of A Cut Above the Rest, The Competitive Edge, and Surfeit for the Senses.

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Summary from the first novel:

Alex always had it easy growing up, indulged by loving, but busy parents as he flitted from one interest to another without settling. Then he discovered the world of fine dining and became determined to be a chef capable of producing such magnificent meals. Despite the doubts of a father who limited his funds, and the difficulties of leaving Germany to live in the United States, Alex stuck to his new goal and graduated the Culinary Institute of America.

Fresh out of school, he is eager to begin work at the restaurant owned by a good friend of his father’s, a restaurant well known for the beautiful, innovative meals its chefs create. He is primed to join the ranks of those masterful chefs—until the day he starts, and learns that he is nothing more than kitchen lackey, lower in rank than even the dishwashers.

Worse, his boss is none other than Nik, the beautiful, infuriating, highly talented classmate that Alex could never best—or resist.

You can find summaries and excerpts from all three books from the series page here. It’s also got a nice spread of Goodreads reviews here.

The Appetite series is near and dear to my heart, not only for all the amazing food but because presiding over the journey that Chef Alex and Chef Nik take over the course of the story is tremendously frustrating, certainly difficult, but ultimately satisfying.

The trade paperback is quite thick! And worth its weight.

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The Giveaway:
I am offering this trade paperback to ONE lucky winner, chosen by a random number selected by random.org from the comments of this entry. I’ll autograph it however you like, and I will ship Appetite anywhere that accepts U.S. mail from me to you.

To enter, drop a comment (you MUST include an email or means of contact or I CANNOT count your entry). Comment between now and next Sunday, October 6th. Winners will be chosen Monday morning.

Tell me in your comment about your favorite dish, savory or sweet! I love to hear about what foods everyone regards as their favorite. That’s it–comment (and include your email or a way to contact you) and you are entered!

If you would like additional chances to enter, you may also do the following:

– Promote/share my Facebook post promoting Appetite’s print release.
– Post a comment on my/your Facebook about the novel.
– Reblog my Tumblr post promoting Appetite.
– Retweet my author tweet on Twitter regarding Appetite’s paperback.
– Become a fan on Goodreads.
– Make a comment or make a post promoting the novel on your own social venue (any and all – WordPress, LJ, DW, blogspot, just link me so I can verify)

Basically, spread the word in any possible fashion and you can get an additional chance (for each extra action) to win your own signed trade paperback copy of Appetite!

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Thanks for your support! Good luck, bon Appetite, and have a great week!

Guest Blog: Male pregnancy…but not.

Greetings everyone–today we have a guest blog from Lexi Ander, author of the intriguing new debut Alpha Trine. It’s sci-fi, with a twist:

I first wanted to say thank you for having me here. I’m going to try and not bore you today.

When I set out to write Alpha Trine I was following a story prompt that directed there be male pregnancy without the use of technology and one of the main characters must be alien. Even though Alpha Trine is set in the far future on the other side of the universe I decided didn’t want the men to become pregnant.

I know! I know! Male pregnancy means a man somehow becomes pregnant but I wanted something different. So I started looking around at what was currently possible in earth’s environment without the use of technology. Chances are if it exists here, if there is life somewhere else, it could be possible there as well.

There are frogs that switch gender if the opposite sex isn’t available. Male seahorses carry the developing eggs. There are asexual creatures who can procreate by themselves. There are other creatures who have huge territories, when they come across a male they collect the sperm, and hold it in their body in a type of stasis until the creature is ready to procreate. Really, the wild kingdom has so many variations that I could have a supply of alien pregnancy scenarios if I wanted.

In some science fiction stories you can read about a Third Sex. Neither male nor female the third sex is required in some science fiction societies in order for a race to procreate. The perfect example is Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis series. (Loved that series)

What about humans? Is there no way for there to be that kind of scenario? I said yes. With a genetic twist, I could see the hermaphrodite identity equal to the sci-fi third sex concept. In today’s reality, it breaks my heart that doctors and parents make a sexual identity decision for children who are born as hermaphrodites, instead of waiting for the child to grow into which ever identity they choose. I have read too many heart breaking stories so I chose to create a central species called the Fal’Amorics where being born a hermaphrodite is celebrated.

Ah! But I didn’t stop there. Dargon is a marsupial lion who shares a symbiotic relationship with Alpha. An interplanetary war stripped two planets of one primary sex. One planet became the homeworld of the females and the other belonged to the males, and they couldn’t stand each other. The Alpha-Zetamites stepped in after the war and offered their assistance by playing middlemen, dare I say the Third Sex, between the males and females of the species. This allowed for Dar Massaga’s, regardless of sex, to be able to procreate since both sexes have the marsupial pouches.

These three species allow for many different scenarios. Even as I wrap up Alpha’s, Dargon’s, and Zeus’s story in Striker, there can be several more different male pregnancy scenarios… but not.

Thank you for stopping by and a warm thank you to Tay for hosting me today. Before I leave with the blurb and an excerpt remember…

I’ll be giving away a paperback copy of Alpha at the end of this blog tour. Every comment on this and the other four posts will be another entry into the drawing. On September 28th I will email the winner at the end of the day, so remember to leave a comment with a way to contact you.

Blog tour schedule:
September 23rd – Babes In Boyland (http://www.babesinboyland.net/)
September 24th – Raining Men (http://rainingmenamen.blogspot.com/)
September 25th – Pants Off Reviews (http://pantsoffreviews.blogspot.com/)
September 26th – World of Diversity Fiction (http://sean-norris.com/)
September 27th – dreaminginfinity (https://dreaminginfinity.wordpress.com/)

Alpha Trine

Blurb:
The sole survivor on a science vessel adrift in deep space, Zeus was adopted by the Emperor and Empress of the Mar’Sani, though he is both human and blind, and seen by most as unfit to join the royal family. Though they were able to repair his vision, Zeus does not trust his eyes and the nobles of his parents’ court refuse to ever trust a frail human.

Dargon Kal-Turak, along with his symbiote and lover Alpha, command one of the most dangerous ships in the stars. Narrowly escaping a trap, they dock in a space port to make repairs, but find that the Psionics hunting them are closing in fast. In desperation they kidnap the port Master Mechanic, unaware that the man they’ve brought on board is more than he seems, and will bring far more upheaval to their ship, their lives, and the stars than any of them could have imagined.

Excerpt:

Prologue

Canry was lost—no—taken.

Empress Ashari ignored her attendants. She knew they would report back to her mate, Emperor Valdor Vondorian, and she cared not. She was hollow inside, the pain turning to a numbness that ate at her core until there was nothing left for her to feel. She refused to pretend everything was normal because it was not. Nothing would ever be normal again because he was gone—stolen. Her youngest son, Canry, had disappeared in the Waters of Poseidon only two short months ago, and yet it seemed like yesterday.

Ashari slipped a hand under the cream-colored pillow and pulled out Canry’s little nightshirt. She had made the weave herself from the finest spyder silk. Ashari handled the material carefully. Her claws were ragged from nervous chewing, and she did not wish for the fine thread to catch on them. Her eyes burned as she tenderly fingered the colorful clothing. Her heart might have been hollow but her tears were rivers that fed the sea.

She wondered what she could have done differently. All Mar’Sani younglings were introduced to the Waters of Poseidon when they turned six lunar months. She and Valdor had been delighted Canry had quickly taken to the waters, more so than the twins or his sister, Shaneva. The youngling had been swimming, diving perfectly at her side and then slithering through the water, his black scales glistening in the sunshine.

She noticed the tips of the barbs that ran along his spine and down his tail were beginning to turn red, a sign of his royal blood. Canry splashed Ashari with his tail and dived into the water—never to surface again. Within moments everyone began searching for the royal youngling. Those who lived in the waters combed the depths and found nothing. Canry was simply gone—disappeared—no trace or body had been found. He had vanished.

Never in Mar’Sani history had a youngling or adult been lost in the Waters of Poseidon. For days Ashari refused to leave the shoreline of the great sea in hopes her son would find his way back home. She spent hours diving and swimming until she was overcome by exhaustion and the attendants pulled her ashore.

Finally, she accepted the fact that Canry would not be coming home. She took to her sick bed and there she stayed.

Every day she ate a little less. Her mate, Valdor, tried his best to console her, but there was little he could do. Poseidon had, for some unknown reason, taken her son, and in a few short years, he would claim their daughter as well.

Their now youngest child, Shaneva, had been showing signs of The Longing prior to Canry’s birth. One in every two thousand younglings born would return to the Waters of Poseidon. These children would eventually choose to reside in the waters over living on land. The reasons for The Longing were unknown, but neither were the children discouraged from the choice. As natural as The Longing was to the Mar’Sani people, Ashari could not help but wonder what she had done that Poseidon would lay claim to two of her four children.

A large Mar’Sani male filled the doorway. His black scales gleamed like polished rock. Dark yellow eyes narrowed at the sight of Ashari lying on the platform, his barbed tail swishing side to side. Resplendent in the imperial red and gold robes, the Emperor strode into the room. Ashari knew that look of determination on his handsome face and was unfazed. She tucked the outfit back under her pillow as Valdor sat on the edge of the low bed.

“Your attendants claim you are not hungry this morning.”

Valdor’s voice was deep, resonating throughout the room.

Ashari refrained from replying for there was nothing to say.

“They also relay you are too tired to rise.” Again, she responded with silence.

Without another world, Valdor unlaced his boots and set them aside before climbing onto the platform. He gently nudged her to rise up, and he slid under Ashari before pulling her down to his chest. He released a great sigh and stroked the smooth ridge of her forehead until her curiosity slowly surfaced.

“What are you doing?” Ashari softly inquired.

“He … Canry was my son too. I miss his laugh. I miss watching him sleep. I miss … Being the emperor requires that I put my personal sorrows aside to care for others, but I cannot keep doing so if I lose my mate as well. I, too, hurt and grieve. I am exhausted and food holds no appeal. So I will lie with my beloved for a time and keep her company in her sorrow.”

Ashari buried her face in the crook of Valdor’s neck, the scales pliant against her cheek. He needed her, Ashari reminded herself, and Valdor never gave up.

Sales! Sales! Sales!

Are you looking for some great books to read? Would you like to score some sweet deals? Then Less Than Three Press has got a Labor Day weekend treat for you!

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I have to get in a plug for my babies. Use code “foodie” to save 40% on my Appetite series, including the ebook bundle, and the print compilation. http://tinyurl.com/lt3Appetite

But that’s not all!

Use code “dragons” to save 30% on Dragon Slayer, The Dragon’s Hoard series, Sword of the King, & The Dragon’s Tamer. http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/ (Note: code will work for the individual Dragon’s Hoard books & the print volume.)

Use code “zombies” to save 30% on Zombie Rain, Zombie Wonderland, & Midnight http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/

Use code “Preorder” & save 15% on If Wishes Were Coffee, Piper, Alpha Trine & Goblins: Book 1. http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/

Use code LostGods to save 40% on Megan Derr’s Lost Gods series, the includes the ebook bundle. http://tinyurl.com/lt3LostGods (I’m going to use this myself, to pick up the other three Lost Gods books that I don’t have yet.)

Use code “AllTheLove” for 30% off poly titles including Jewels of Bangkok, Living Words, & Weld. Go here for more: https://www.facebook.com/lt3press/posts/10151566345845988

Use code “baileys” for 35% off @Jo_Lena’s picks, including Miles Cross, Finding King, & Opposite Day. The rest here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151566564450988&set=a.10150885262485988.395217.177721070987&type=1

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Use code “wolves” to save 30% on Forest of Fenris, Bad Moon Rising, Mohegan, Highland Wolves & others: https://www.facebook.com/lt3press/posts/10151566792440988

Use code “amaretto” to save 35% on @amasour’s picks, including Heart of Water & Stone and The Gravemen. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151566866610988&set=p.10151566866610988&type=1

It’s a great weekend for sales, apparently. I myself went to the car dealership yesterday, and ended up driving home a beautiful cobalt blue Prius C.

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She doesn’t have a name yet, but I love her!

Have a great weekend, everyone. We’re being supremely lazy today, making flatbread pizza and playing video games, but I hope to get in a few good hours of editing as well. The Fall Guide proceeds apace!

Intent vs Actual

My intent was to launch Topical Tuesday, but alas, I am fresh out of topic, and I used up the last of my willpower making myself exercise in 85-degree (F) weather. Instead, I bring you the Tuesday Update as slaved over by Less Than Three Press.

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It’s here, it’s big enough to use as a bludgeon, and it’s absolutely beautiful. My four author copies came in a box the same size as the motorcycle boots I got for my birthday.

In short: Appetite is now available, both as an ebook compilation and as a gorgeous trade paperback. Pick up your copy now! I’ll be running a giveaway soon out of sheer delight.

Also, Surfeit for the Senses has netted its second blog review from Serena Yates at Rainbow Book Reviews, bestowing four stars and pleading very nicely for a “fourth” installment in the trilogy.

Serena says, “If you like stories full of professional cooking and food detail, challenges and successes, if you enjoy romantic tension interweaves nicely and seamlessly with an interesting plot, and if you’re looking for a read that will make you as hungry as it will make you want to see these guys finally acknowledge the full depth of their feelings for each other, then you will probably like this novel.”

As an added incentive – pick up any or all of the Appetite books through Less Than Three Press and through Wednesday, you can use code “d975c3d606” for 35% off, because they are awesome like that.

Now, alas, I have to scrape together my remaining willpower because the hallway is full of boxes that need to be broken down and hauled out to recycling, and despite my best efforts, I have not been able to train the cat to do it for me. See you on WIP Wednesday!

Tour de Foodie finale: The Hero’s Journey

Good morning, check out Megan Derr’s journal for The Hero’s Journey: Appetite from Beginning to End for the final stop on the tour, and reflection on the storytelling arc and what goes into it. It’s been a long road, but the last hurdles are to hand–and the ultimate rewards!

You can comment on the entry to get a final chance to win Surfeit for the Senses. Later today, I’ll be opening one final giveaway for A Cut Above the Rest to tempt your senses if you’re new to the series.

Although I go to restaurants for the amazing food that I could never, or would never cook, sometimes it’s the simple things we make at home that are so satisfying. And that goes for a tasty homemade breakfast, for sure. Here’s the poached egg over cheesy garlic grits with a side of smoked turkey kielbasa that I’m making for my lady for her birthday today:

Tour de Foodie: Five Tricks to Fine Dining’s (Sinfully) Delicious Food

Guten Abend, check out World of Diversity Fiction for my guest post, Five Tricks to Fine Dining’s (Sinfully) Delicious Food to learn what goes into the magic that makes everything taste too, too good. And glean some little tips for how to keep things on the lighter side, if you’re so inclined. Our skinny chefs don’t need to worry about that sort of thing, but most of us can’t eat a day’s worth of calories in one meal. Well. Can. But shouldn’t.

Also, please do comment on that entry, and you can score an additional chance to win Surfeit for the Senses. You can also sign up for my giveaway on my blog here, and The Competitive Edge giveaway too! With one more to go, if you’re new to the series you can net them ALL.

I would be remiss, covering a week of tempting and totally favorite foods, if I didn’t cover one of my guilty pleasures. Deep dish pizza, the way they can only make it in Chicago.

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Tour de Foodie: What’s in a Name?

Good evening! Check out It’s Raining Men for my guest post, What’s in a Name? The Restaurants of Appetite for an exclusive peek at the reasons behind the restaurant names in A Cut Above the Rest and The Competitive Edge. I wanted to touch on all the guest judges’ restaurants, too, but didn’t want the entry to run long!

You can also comment on that entry for an additional chance to win Surfeit for the Senses. And don’t forget to sign up for my giveaway here, and The Competitive Edge giveaway that opened this morning!

I got a rec from a friend for what food cart to hit up for my birthday lunch before walking it off at the Oregon Zoo, and the one selling pork belly sandwich and poutine has my heart (and my cash) for sure. Now to lead out with a fond reminder of what I’ll be having for dinner, after the zoo…

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