December 30, 2012

Vincent Diamond on Deep Trouble Undercover

Guest post by Vincent Diamond ...

Deep Trouble Undercover was my first fiction sale, way back when teradactyls flew the sky ... Yeah, pre-Internet, man. I think I sent out a hard copy of that one to Alyson Publications, probably their LA office, and got an email months and months later that it was accepted for Best Gay Love Stories 2005. In fact, it was so long between submission and acceptance, I'd actually re-submitted the story to another anthology, and I had to scramble through my submissions log to make sure I could pull it. I did, and it was the start of my short story sales. Even eight years ago, print was still king, and having that solid credit for the anthology made my cover letters for other submissions much, much stronger.

Steven and Conrad would not shut up. They just wouldn't. What started as a one-off grew into a mini-series of stories, seven or eight all together I think, as I thought about how their relationship could develop, and I had great fun setting their stories in Tampa where I was working at the time. I still get fan letters about that series, and it's warming to know that other folks relate to the two characters and wonder how it all turned out.

I have an idea about that actually... Heh heh heh.

Deep Trouble Undercover is free today; grab one!

Vincent Diamond

Animals by Wayne Mansfield

Animals by Wayne Mansfield is now available in e-book format!

In the future deep space travel is a regular occurrence. After completing a mission to take supplies to Earth 2, or Genesis as the colonists call it, something goes horribly wrong with the space shuttle returning Adam Evans and his crew mates to Earth. The shuttle crashes and Adam and Jason survive, but the Earth they return to has changed greatly.

When tragedy strikes, leaving Adam on his own, he finds the paradise surrounding him has an increasingly darker side. He assumes he can outsmart it, beat it. The product of a lost past, where men and speech are free, he rebels against the rules restricting him. But is he just setting himself up for failure, for pain and misery? Can he ever hope to outwit the powers that be?

Then he meets River Boy, the only person in a village full of dirty, animalistic villagers with whom he connects. There is something intelligent about River Boy. Something civilized about him. Yet is Adam’s growing closeness to River Boy going to save him from himself? Or will his stubbornness, his rebelliousness, cost him more than he is able to pay?

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 27, 2012

Helen Ayim on Fortune's Edge

Guest post by Helen Ayim ...

The few short stories I published with JMS Books all had their beginnings in a writing group. We took turns to pick a topic and after a week or three we'd get back together again and read our efforts to one another.

Reading a story aloud to other people is a good way of catching mistakes. That favorite, overused word falls like a hammer blow on the ear the third time you speak it. It's a bit like performing a one-man play. Exposing. Nerve-wracking.

After a while we all noticed that no matter what the topic, each of us gravitated to a certain kind of tale.

I'm drawn to the paranormal, and it slipped into every story.

Guardian Spirits? Shamanistic animal spirits/angels fighting to the death in a library over arcane knowledge.

Fairy Night? The enduring fairy/alien myth recurring in some benign, pastoral future.

Spook Patrol? A short ghost-hunting story with a twist in the tail.

Fortune's Edge? The story of a girl called Holly who finds herself on the edge -- the sidelines of village life, the end of her tether, the edge of several hard decisions-playing out in a hazy, green past.

Fortune's Edge started out with the prompt 'on the edge of a knife.' In the story a Tarot card reading is one of the pivotal events. As the story turned out, it became a story about choice, and the realization that every choice leads to a different fate.

I don't sit down thinking I want to convey this or that message. When I got the prompt, it sat in the back of my mind for a while and then Holly walked into view as we see her in the opening scene: it's early morning, dew is still grey on the grass, and her skirt is dragging a path as she walks along.

I knew she was very angry behind her stolid exterior. I knew she carried a knife hidden under her shirt, as a symbol of her resentment at being trapped in her situation. I knew how important it was for her to carry some means of cutting loose.

I experience the process of writing on two levels. The best part is the creative flux, the birthing of the story -- sometimes painful, some stillborn efforts, but when everything works, when the writing happens, it is THE BEST part of writing.

Then later, when it comes to editing, and every word is weighed and polished, only then do I get to see what was on my mind. I'm often surprised and amused, but also gratified, to learn so much about my own psyche.

Stories are powerful. They are how we cope. To paraphrase a quote I read recently: better to slay your demons in fiction, than to have them destroy you in reality.

You can download it for FREE for today only: Fortune's Edge.

Helen Ayim

December 26, 2012

The Magical Stones of Pharr by J.T. Marie

The Magical Stones of Pharr by J.T. Marie is now available in e-book format!

The Eight Lands of Pharr are in trouble, and the only ones who can help are a young princess and the sister she believes lost. They hold two of the four Magical Stones, created long ago by an Ancient Mystic to channel the magic of his bloodline.

But when an evil witch named Patadora Coggs seeks to control the Stones, the two girls must join forces to save their unsuspecting world.

With them is a motley crew gathered as they travel to retrieve the remaining two Stones. Airk Ranon, cynical Weapons Master. The Baret Wray and First Commander Dungan Weir, who command King Randel's army. Elke, a centurion who has never been away from home. Skotak, an Emini Plainsman who provides steeds for the travelers. Dreux, a young prince seeking adventure, and his lover, Estelle. And Kitt, a young orphan held enslaved by pirates.

Chased by Patadora's Maelnords and her own shapeshifting daughter, and by the infamous Weapons Master's outlaw reputation, the young friends travel land and sea in their quest to find the last two Stones. Once they have the Magical Stones of Pharr in their possession, they must travel to the witch's lair and end her evil reign of terror.

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 24, 2012

Jennifer Cierra on Melting Wax and Burning Feathers

Guest Post by Jennifer Cierra ...

Jessewave's review of Melting Wax and Burning Feathers reads, "This short piece packs a wallop, mixing as it does broken dreams and dreams yet to be realized. Gregory, who has put aside aspirations of stardom for safety and dullness, encounters a musician playing for tips who stirs up many longings. Gregory is a tax attorney with broken dreams. Paul has come to California to find his own stardom, he's ready to fly up and touch the sun. Gregory flew at the sun once, with Carl, his lover, who had his own dreams of flight that died in an overdose... But when Gregory manages to find his spirit and his wings, and put aside some of his worst baggage, there is the glorious prospect of what he and Paul could be together. The author hasn't pushed for too much here, and it's lovely."

Gregory Daniels is a man who has given up. Once he dreamed of going to L.A. and "making it big," but those dreams exploded, leaving his lover dead and Gregory disillusioned. Now he works 9-to-5 as a tax attorney in Long Beach, California, trying to convince himself a weekly paycheck is enough to make up for a job he hates and dinner alone every night.

Then Gregory notices a talented, beautiful young guitarist playing on the museum steps on his way to work, and he begins to wonder whether he hasn't sacrificed more than he's gained in favor of predictability and routine. An opportunity beckons; the only question is whether Gregory trusts himself enough to reach out and take it.

You can download it for FREE for today only: Melting Wax and Burning Feathers. I hope you'll drop by and pick up a copy! Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

Jennifer Cierra

Richard Fazio on Saving Face

Guest post by Richard Fazio ...

Inspired by classic short stories like O. Henry's Gift of the Magi and Shirley Jackson's The Lottery, I wanted to come up with my own contemporary parable about love and sacrifice, one that would resonate for LGBT readership. As a result, I wrote Saving Face.

Jasper and Owen have been together for seven years, with an unwavering dedication to one another; however, their life has been anything but ideal. Though Jasper, heir to a fortune, has sufficient assets to support them both, he is physically deformed. Owen is financially dependent on him and protective of his beloved Jasper in every possible way.

As they attempt to make a dignified life together, fate intervenes. At an occult shop, from which Owen purchases an enchanted Solstice gift for Jasper that will change their lives forever.

Richard Fazio

Saving Face by Richard Fazio

Saving Face by Richard Fazio is now available in e-book format!

Jasper and Owen have been together for seven years, with an unwavering dedication to one another; however, their life has been anything but ideal. Though Jasper, heir to a fortune, has sufficient assets to support them both, he is physically deformed. Owen is financially dependent on him and protective of his beloved Jasper in every possible way.

As they attempt to make a dignified life together, fate intervenes. At an occult shop, from which Owen purchases an enchanted Solstice gift for Jasper that will change their lives forever.

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 23, 2012

UK Meet Acquisitions Team on Lashings of Sauce

Guest post by UK Meet Acquisitions Team ...


It's what we Brits love. Maybe it's tomato on our chips, or HP on our sausages. It could be strawberry or chocolate on ice cream. Best of all, it's caramel or custard on our sticky toffee pudding.

We love other sorts of sauce, though. The sort you get on seaside postcards, some of them now recognised as classic art, like the works of Donald McGill. There's a distinct difference between sauce and smut, for example fans of the Carry On films would say the earlier films are saucy, the later smutty. Sauce is never explicit or gratuitous, relying instead on double entendre and innuendo(which isn't and Italian suppository).

Some might say that this sort of humour is all in the mind. When the fat man on that postcard says he can't see his little Willy, he's clearly looking for the little boy who's playing in the sand. It's only your dirty mind which reads it as anything else. Isn't it?

But then English -- or British English, should we say -- is a funny old language. Like the Inuit have many different words for snow, we Brits seem to have loads of terms for types of rain (naturally) and many for humour. Sauce, smut, blue, schoolboy, adult, post-modern, etc. Maybe it's because we're a race who appreciate a good laugh, often at our own expense. Self deprecating - there's another one!

It's the same with the word "lashings". You might look at it and think "whips!" but we Brits think of generous quantities, full to overflowing. Lashings of ginger beer, what?

So Lashings of Sauce means loads of fun. Why not indulge yourself, while it's free?

You can download it for FREE for today only: Lashings of Sauce.

Charlie Cochrane for the UK Meet Acquisitions Team

Christmas in Texas by Eva Hore

Christmas in Texas by Eva Hore is now available in e-book format!

Last year I didn't look forward to spending Christmas in Texas with my sister and her family. But there was John, her husband, a huge, charismatic hunk of man. Good looking and absolutely loaded. I hadn't had sex in six months and was horny as a toad. Still, if he hadn’t made the first move, I never would have known how hung he was!

Then there was my sister's friend, Melissa. The three of us steamed up my windows, I can tell you. So this Christmas it's back to Texas, back to John. I'm really looking forward to it, but I'm nervous, too. What if we get caught?

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 22, 2012

Jeff Adams on Adventures of Jake #1

Guest post by Jeff Adams ...

Adventures of Jake #1 holds a special place in my heart. It was the first story I got a contract for. The story came about because of a call for submissions I saw that wanted stories with nerds/geeks at the forefront. Since I’m a bit of a geek myself -- with a love of computers, superheroes, and sci-fi, among other things -- it was a fun exercise to come up with a geek of my own.

It didn’t take long for Jake to be conjured up. He’s a smart college guy. He holds down two nerdy jobs to pay for school -- working in a comic book store and appearing as a superhero at a theme park. I gave Jake at bit of confidence, which falters for him at times, because I wanted him to embrace his nerdiness as well as his gayness. But, like everyone thought, he can fall into shyness when he’s staring right at his crush.

The major challenge in this story wasn’t writing a geek and a preppy jock, but in coming up with the superhero universe that was required for Jake’s job. I obviously couldn’t tread on the copyrighted superheroes and theme parks we all know so well. I didn’t need an entire superhero mythology, however, since the story didn’t directly connect to the superheroes. All I needed was something that had enough backbone so it could be a conversation piece in the story.

Hence the creation of Elemental Force, or E-Force as it is sometimes referred to. Its inspiration is a bit of X-Men as well as some things from Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons as a kid), The Galaxy Trio, and Herculoids. The theme park setting is pretty generic and it could be part of any Orlando-based theme park.

Of course, Michael, the preppy jock, has his geek side too since he cops to liking E-Force too, but for him it’s more about Jake than Jake’s superhero thing. I’ve often considered how their relationship might go. Does Michael make Jake more preppy or does Jake make Michael more nerdy? Or do they transform each other equally? Either way, I’m pretty sure there’s a time or two, at some point after this story occurs, where the two are role-playing something with Jake wearing his hero costume. Maybe that’s the basis for another adventure for Jake?

You can download it for FREE for today only: Adventures of Jake #1.

Jeff Adams

December 21, 2012

Paul Alan Fahey on When the Right One Comes Along

Guest post by Paul Alan Fahey ...

I never thought I'd write about those early days of the AIDS epidemic, but I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I knew one day I would. My novella, When the Right One Comes Along is semi-autobiographical in the sense that I lived through those horrific times in the early to mid 1980's, and I did have a best friend like Jonathan in the story who was one of the first AIDS patients in Santa Cruz, California. Rather than dwell on the medical aspects of the disease, including the absolute helplessness we felt at the time, I decided to frame the story as one of a journey-the search through a lifetime to find a true soul mate.

As I began to fictionalize the progression of men in the main character, Philip Noland's life, I was able to distance myself to a degree from my own traumatic memories, and when it was comfortable and safe, zoom in on the emotions I experienced at the time. To tell too much, I think, would ruin the little surprises-the twists and turns that happen along the way-so I'll keep this introduction short.

I've received some good reviews for the book from Brief Encounters Reviews, The Novel Approach, and Two Lips Reviews. I hope you enjoy the trip.

You can download it for FREE for today only: When the Right One Comes Along.

Paul Alan Fahey

December 20, 2012

Richard Fazio on Dreaming Sparta

Guest post by Richard Fazio ...

Blurb for Dreaming Sparta:

Demetrios is training to become a Spartan soldier but finds himself depressed over the temporary loss of his mentor, Andreas, to the devious Lysandra. Yet, Demetrios is determined to do whatever it takes to maintain a relationship with Andreas regardless of what's expected by Spartan society. Meanwhile, in present day New York, Andrew's father threatens him with eviction due to his sexual orientation. In his search for a solution, Andrew stumbles into ancient Greece through a dream portal and meets Demetrios. Their subsequent encounters provide them each with the incentive to confront their respective situations.

"Dreaming Sparta is a story of self-awakening through the power of dreams; its message is one of acceptance and embracing love, which is a message that's always relevant, no matter the time or place. There is no question that Richard Fazio has a talent for language and expression; the passages from Chaos and Dreamweaver were a thing of beauty and the narrative was a pleasure to read." -- Top 2 Bottom Reviews

You can download it for FREE for today only: Dreaming Sparta.

Richard Fazio

December 18, 2012

Santa, Actually by Clare London

Santa, Actually by Clare London is now available in e-book format!

Sequel to That's Entertainment!

The cast and crew of WrinkleTheSheets Productions are back with a special seasonal production. As Gerry, the Director says, “Santa thinks he needs more positive PR this year. His market share has been seriously threatened by Amazon. No one uses him for a wishlist any more. He’s in trouble, and needs to re-establish himself with his adult clientele, so he’s on the lookout for a special gift. Something fresh, something marketable, something hot. This is just a short promo for the client, okay? Some fun with the elves, an X-rated update on the fat old man with the beard. Snow, sleigh bells, reindeer, plenty of bling.”

The official stars are the diva Quinn and the sharp-tongued Tomasz, plus Tomasz’s new squeeze. But Jack and Grady are a constant presence. They continue on their merry way, engrossed in each other, in having fun and sex -- and usually both together -- and happy to be nothing more than extras in the movies.

But this season, the mystery client appears to have rewritten the script for them!

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 16, 2012

Just Call Me Kris by Allen Mack

Just Call Me Kris by Allen Mack is now available in e-book format!

It’s Christmas Eve, but the season doesn’t seem very merry and bright for Mike and Karl. Interns in a major New York City hospital, both men are away from their hometown of New Orleans and miss it terribly. Their tiny apartment has barely enough room for a bed, let alone a Christmas tree.

Lonely, they console each other with a long, leisurely make-out session that looks like it will lead to something more between them. But before they get too involved, the doorbell rings, interrupting them. It’s a late-night delivery, a present from their friends, but when they open the door, who should appear?

Not a jolly old elf, but a southern Santa by the name of Kris Kringle stands before them, hot and hung and ready to satisfy their every sexual desire.

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 12, 2012

Sexual Deception by Eva Hore

Sexual Deception by Eva Hore is now available in e-book format!

Sarah’s brother, Steven, has been bullied at work. To help him overcome his difficulties, Sarah accompanies him to see a psychiatrist named Michael Martin. She’s blown over by Michael’s good looks, his charisma, and his obvious interest in her.

When Michael asks her out, Sarah is swept up in a whirlwind romance, but she gets much more than she bargained for. Michael takes her on a roller coaster ride of emotions, from first date to marriage, and introduces her to some illegal sexual activities within his practice.

Disgusted, she befriends a patient named Bethany and, with the help of Bethany’s brother, Jackson, they swear to bring down Michael and his perverted ways. Sarah learns the hard way that the man she married isn’t who she thought he was. Can she escape Michael’s manipulative and devious ways? Or will she become just another victim of his sexual deception?

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 11, 2012

Terry O'Reilly on Second Thoughts

Guest post by Terry O'Reilly ...

Set in the cities of Chicago and Ann Arbor, Second Thoughts draws on my experiences of living in those two cities. Go Blue! It also tells the age-old tale of the grass seeming greener on the other side of the fence as well as the eternal love triangle -- hopefully with a new twist or two.

Jesse loves Denny; Denny loves Jesse but thinks he might do better. Nick loves Jesse but is too upright to break up a relationship. Jesse fights his growing feelings for Nick, unaware that Denny is doing him wrong.

Those of you who’ve read other stories of mine may have noticed many of them have a dog or two involved. So it is with Second Thoughts—Shelby, Jesse’s Bluetick Coonhound/Beagle mutt, and Clyde, Nick’s Bassett.

I love dogs. I have three of my own. So I like to include a furry friend or two in my books. Sometimes they play a pivotal role or just provide comic relief. However, they are there, faithful to their humans just as mine are to me, usually lying under my feet in the well of my computer desk as I write, or pestering me for a treat and interrupting my thoughts at crucial times. Like Shelby and Clyde, my three are rescues. I volunteer for the agency through which I got my dogs.

My partner is a dedicated cat-person and I have come to appreciate them as well, so much so I’ve included a couple of feline characters in some of my stories. Maybe I should write a story about a dog lover who meets a cat lover and ...

I said earlier my canine characters often prove pivotal to their humans getting together or act as comic relief. In second Thoughts the dogs manage to do both. I’m thinking of one scene in particular, which is drawn from real life.

If there’s a skunk within twenty yards, my three dogs unerringly find it. If you’ve never experienced the odor of skunk, you wouldn’t appreciate how it gets into everything. When Shelby is skunked, Jesse and Nick have to work together to neutralize the smell. Ultimately they end up sleeping outside side by side on an airbed. I have yet to figure out the upside of my own dogs seeking out skunk.

Terry O'Reilly

Second Thoughts by Terry O'Reilly

Second Thoughts by Terry O'Reilly is now available in e-book format!

Previously published by Amber Allure Press.

What do you do when your boyfriend begins acting strangely, and at the same time, you meet someone his total opposite? Do you start having second thoughts?

Jesse Jamison must confront those very questions. After two years of living with his lover Dennis "Denny" Christopoulos, a charming flight attendant, the man starts taking on extra flights, making excuses for not coming home, and receiving private phone calls. During this time, Jesse also meets Nick Warden, a new neighbor. He immediately sees the contrasts between the two men and finds Nick attractive on so many levels.

Meanwhile, Denny has growing reservations about his relationship with Jesse, especially once a new man comes into his own life. Yet Denny isn't ready to give up the good thing he has going with Jesse since he isn't sure about the new man's intentions, or his own feelings.

Nick also struggles with his growing love for Jesse. While he would like nothing more than to claim Jesse for himself, his integrity prevents him from playing the home-wrecker. His hesitation to step in, however, nearly causes his undoing and a missed opportunity at love.

Each man has his own second thoughts. But who will act on them, and what will be the consequences?

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 10, 2012

Belea T. Keeney on Something in Their Eyes

Guest post by Belea T. Keeney ...

Something in Their Eyes was originally written for editor Maggie Estep's anthology, Bloodlines, released in 2006. I'd met her when taking an artists' residency class with her at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. It was a fabulous opportunity to work one-on-one with accomplished editors and writers; I can highly recommend this if you're looking for an intensive workshop. Bloodlines was a mixed anthology of fiction and non-fiction focused on the horse-racing world.

I knew a little about horse racing then (and know a little bit more now, ahem), and a group of us visited an off-track betting (OTB) parlor in Daytona so Maggie could get her racing fix in. The last race we watched, I don't remember exactly, but there were only three horses running, and I picked Rock Hard Ten to win. And he did.

But I hadn't betted. Damn!

So, for the story, I made a pleasant trek out to Tampa Bay Downs, and watched an afternoon's races just to get the vibe. I'd recently explored the Florida prison system and its program to rehabilitate both inmates and horses. It all came together in my story, Something in Their Eyes.

The idea of rehabbing both animals and humans in a corrections environment makes good sense to me. The Wild Horse Redemption is a good documentary about one program based out West. Many corrections systems are using dogs as they're easier to manage, but there are lots of opportunities to help horses as well. In fact, I just made contact with a corrections staffer to talk about this very idea. Maybe we'll be able to get a program going here in North Carolina!

Something in Their Eyes is free today only from JMS Books! Grab a copy!

Belea T. Keeney

December 9, 2012

J.M. Snyder on A Present for Daddy

Guest post by J.M. Snyder ...

My latest e-book release is a gay romance novelette entitled A Present for Daddy.

Some of my favorite stories to write are those about best friends who feel more than friendship for each other, but for whatever reason, don't act on those feelings. In this story, Bob and Dave were very close growing up, and Dave felt they might eventually have a bond stronger than friendship. He hoped they might ... at least, until Julia entered the picture. She interrupted their friendship senior year of high school when Bob fell for her, and Dave took a back seat to the couple's budding relationship. Unfortuantely, after graduation Dave lost touch with Bob completely, and it's only through a holiday coincidence they meet up again years later.

When they do, Dave is a successful ad-man at a local mall in the city where they grew up, and where Bob's parents still live. Bob's marriage with Julia went south -- she left him six months prior to the story, and served him divorce papers the day he left to visit his parents for Christmas. In tow is Bob's 7-year-old daughter Jenna, whose letter to Santa this year asked for something special Bob's afraid he won't be able to give her.

The connection between Bob and Dave is as immediate -- and as powerful -- as it was all those years ago. The two men spend the night catching up with each other, though the painful subject of his ruined marriage leads Bob to drink more than he should. Instead of driving home, he decides to visit Dave's apartment, where one things leads to another and ...

Well, here's an exclusive excerpt from the story that tells it a little better!

Excerpt from A Present for Daddy:

Terry O'Reilly on Being a Cowboy

Guest post by Terry O'Reilly ...

I am a gay man, I love cowboys, and I love to write romance stories. So it just seemed natural for me to write romantic stories about cowboys -- gay cowboys.

Being that I am a cowboy of sorts myself -- if owning and showing a quarter horse and wearing cowboy duds counts -- I have a base of personal experiences on which to draw whenever an idea for a cowboy story comes my way, which is pretty often. So it was when inspiration hit for Stallions & Studs: Shoulda Been a Cowboy.

As the writing commenced and I decided to set the story at a gay dude ranch, my friend and mentor Drew Hunt pointed out that a dude ranch would have a lot of people passing through its gates, plus permanent members of staff. Therefore, there’d be plenty of opportunities for side-stories. So the Stallions and Studs series was conceived.

Stallions & Studs: Shoulda Been a Cowboy is the first story and focuses on Charlie Bradley a tenderfoot with a cowboy fetish, who persuades his boyfriend to go on vacation to a gay dude ranch. While there Charlie finds reason to break up with his boyfriend and meets handsome and studly riding instructor Wade Connors.

The second story, Stallions & Studs: Back in the Saddle Again, is a prequel and centers around Mack MacIntyre and Seth Buchanan. Both men had been lovers before time, distance and societal pressures pulled them apart. They have a second chance and decide to go into business together and open Stallions and Studs.

A third book, Stallions & Studs: Rodeo Cowboy, is currently being written and should be available sometime about the middle of next year.

How many Stallions and Studs stories will there be? That depends on the unpredictable and capricious muse. You can never tell what those ladies are up to. But I’m enjoying the vicarious life of a cowboy while writing about them.

Download Stallions & Studs: Shoulda Been a Cowboy for free today only!

Terry O'Reilly

A Present for Daddy by J.M. Snyder

A Present for Daddy by J.M. Snyder is now available in e-book format!

Six months after his wife leaves him, Bob Jansen finds himself spending the holidays with his parents in the town where he grew up. With him is his seven year old daughter, Jenna, who sometimes seems to be handling her mother's absence better than Bob is himself. But he's worried that, in her letter to Santa, Jenna has asked the jolly old elf for something Bob knows he can't pull off. He's afraid she wants her mother back for the holiday.

While shopping for his daughter's Christmas presents, Bob runs into Dave Knarr, an old friend. They used to be best buds in high school, before Julia, Bob's soon-to-be ex-wife, came between them. The two men catch up over drinks, and before the evening ends, Dave makes his real feelings for Bob known.

If Bob is shocked to learn Dave has always been attracted to him, he's more surprised by his own reaction. Even if he's willing to take another shot at romance, what will his daughter think of his old friend?

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 7, 2012

J. Tomas on The Man Next Door

Very rarely do I ever "see" a story completely when the idea for it comes to me. Usually I get a scene or two stuck in my head, maybe a quick character sketch, and after thinking about it for a while, the elements start to gel together into something that wants to be written. That wasn't the case with The Man Next Door, a short story I released earlier this year under my young adult pseudonym, J. Tomas.

I was lying in bed one evening, on the verge of falling asleep and trying not to think of anything in particular, when the entire story came to my mind in a flash. It stemmed from my interest in reading a lot of survivors' stories about the Holocaust, I'm sure, and included some of my own prejudices and concerns. I wanted to write a story about my experiences learning about the Holocaust, and I felt a young adult tale would be best suited for the task.

I know most people don't know where the pink triangle now used as a symbol of gay pride came from -- even a lot of gay people don't know. Many don't realize the Nazis persecuted anyone other than Jews. I didn't until college, when the Holocaust museum was created in D.C. and there was an extensive article about the concentration camps in a popular magazine, Time or Newsweek.

The triangle symbol is something I feel everyone should know about, if only to prevent something similar from happening ever again. I have it tattooed on my left arm, and when someone asks about it, I tell them the origin of the symbol (I'm sure they regret asking after that). Putting it into a story seemed to be a great way to spread that same message to my readers.

When fifteen year old Jake Allister learns the new neighbor in his apartment complex is an elderly man from Germany named Mr. Wagner, he fears the worst. The guy's old enough to have survived World War II, and to Jake's young mind, that makes him suspect. Because Mr. Wagner isn't Jewish, Jake assumes the man must have been part of the Nazi regime who tortured and killed millions before he was born.

Jake isn't religious, by any stretch of the imagination, and neither is his mother. He had to learn about the Holocaust at school; now he distrusts anything German, including Mr. Wagner. Then he sees the old man watching him and his boyfriend Thad make out in the parking lot. Jake just knows the guy is a Nazi.

But when he finally gets invited into Mr. Wagner's apartment, Jake discovers Jews weren't the only ones who suffered during the Holocaust. For the first time, he begins to grasp the scope of the tragedy that unfurled during the war ... and what it meant to be Jewish -- or gay -- in Nazi Germany.

Download your FREE copy today only!

J. Tomas

December 6, 2012

J.M. Snyder on writing prompts

I have always been a fan of writing prompts.They're a great way to jog your muse into getting something down on paper. Now that I'm a published author, I force myself to write daily, if I can, and try not to let too many days go between finishing one story and starting another.

But when I was younger -- when I knew I wanted to be an author but didn't quite know how to get there -- writing prompts helped me combat the fear of staring at a blank page for hours on end. They moved me past the wanting to write something stage into the actually starting a story stage. Of course, it was years before I really finished a story, but at least I had a lot of practice beginning them!

The one problem I often had with writing prompts was picking one. I find it difficult to settle on any one prompt to work on at a time. I’ll find something, think it sounds good, then flip the page and find another prompt that looks just as promising, then turn to another page ... you get the drift. I’m easily distracted, and would rather read through the entire book of prompts rather than pick one out at random and write.

When I began this book, I decided to eliminate that indecisiveness, in case other writers suffer from it as well. I thought if I wrote the book in a diary or planner format, with one prompt per day for an entire year, then it would be a no-brainer which prompt to use. Whatever day it happens to be, flip to that page, and viola! Instant inspiration.

The idea, of course, is to write everyday. It’s only by writing that one becomes a writer, and practice makes perfect. Even if you aren’t working on a particular story, writing a brief scene or a short thousand-word story is a great way to stay in shape and hone your writing ability. It also gets you into a routine, and writing daily will sooner or later lead to a finished story or book.

It worked for me, and if you're having problems finishing a story, maybe take a look at some writing prompts to see if they can't help? I know a place where you can find 366 prompts all in one place ... Write Every Day: A Year of Daily Writing Prompts by J.M. Snyder.

J.M. Snyder

Write Every Day: A Year of Daily Writing Prompts by J.M. Snyder

Write Every Day: A Year of Daily Writing Prompts by J.M. Snyder is now available in e-book format!

Writing prompts are a great way to jumpstart your muse and get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes you want to write and don’t really know what to write about, and prompts can help guide you into a new story.

This collection of 366 writing prompts can be used daily throughout the year (leap years, too!) as a starting point to get you writing ... and keep you writing. Each day of the year has its own, unique prompt. Set a timer for fifteen or twenty minutes, and write wherever the prompt takes you. Or, if you’re between stories and looking for something different to work on, flip to the prompt for today (or any random page) and start fresh.

This book will kick-start your writing or take you in exciting new directions every day of the year!

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 5, 2012

Paul Alan Fahey on The View from 16 Podwale Street

Guest post by Paul Alan Fahey ...

Every Story Has a "What If?"

My novella, The View From 16 Podwale Street, started with an idea I had for a character. When I was an undergraduate in the 1960's, I had a brilliant sociology professor at San Francisco State who was also an albino. One day in class, he was lecturing on diversity. I don't recall the specifics since so much time has passed, but the themes were social injustice and the lengths we humans go to label those who are different as outsiders. Over two hundred of us sat in rapt silence and watched as this kind and gentle soul emotionally fell apart and had to excuse himself for the remainder of the class; to say this incident touched me and most of the class deeply would be an understatement. I wasn't a writer then and had no idea I'd become one, but this experience has stayed with me over the years. It took 45 years to finally write a story that spoke to this moment.

Before writing The View From 16 Podwale Street, I began with a two word question most writers ask themselves to develop character and plot: What if? And here's where the process led me:

  1. I knew at the outset, due to my interest in World War II, I wanted to write a suspense story set during the 1940's. What if I set my story in Europe during the early stages of the war?
  2. There had to be something important at stake. What if two women were living together as lovers in Warsaw just months before the German invasion of Poland? The coming invasion would add immediacy to the story while the women's secret relationship would up the stakes even more.
  3. Knowing how negatively the Nazis viewed diversity in terms of physicality, or anything else for that matter, what if one of the women happened to be an albino, who from childhood lived a life of seclusion -- a way of life conditioned by her parents and continued into adulthood by habit and a fear of the outside world?
These what if questions led to more questions that helped me flesh out the two main characters, Elwira and Raz, delineate the plot's event, and expand upon the theme of one's adherence to blind faith -- in Elwira's case, her unshakable belief in Pope Pius XII as Poland's savior when daily events pointed to an altogether different reality, the Pope's failure to act. Plenty of conflict? You bet.

Readers have posted several reviews of The View From 16 Podwale Street on Other reviews can be found at Novel Approach and Some Writers.

The View From 16 Podwale Street recently placed third in the 2012 Rainbow Awards Best Lesbian Historical category. And you can download it for FREE for today only at JMS Books!

If you enjoy the novella, and I hope you do, I think you will like my next story, a WWII thriller/gay romance called Bomber's Moon, to be published by JMS Books January 2013.

Paul Alan Fahey
Nipomo, California

December 4, 2012

Good Breeding by J.L. Merrow

Good Breeding by J.L. Merrow is now available in e-book format!

Adopted as a baby, Giles Frobisher has grown up with every privilege. Encouraged by his best friend—and secret crush—Oz to seek out his birth mother, he’s appalled to discover she’s loud, lower-class, and insists on calling him Wayne!

Giles’ snobbier-than-thou, none-too-faithful boyfriend Hugh is equally horrified, and Oz, who’s always been secretive about his own family, starts acting very strangely.

It seems Giles is about to learn that good breeding has nothing to do with who your parents are!

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 3, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Colin and Martin

Guest post by Drew Hunt ...

It was with mixed emotions that I said goodbye to Colin Rogers and Martin Kellam. Remaining with the same characters over a series of stories (four in this case) tends to stunt my creativity. I thought I’d struggle to find something new and interesting for them to do. From the events of the third book Colin and Martin’s Australian Christmas, I already had a basic outline of what would happen -- they will leave Great Britain to begin new lives down under. But when I sat down and began to type, things went in a direction I didn’t expect.

Colin and Martin’s Goodbye Christmas is, as you might guess, about saying goodbye. No, neither man is on his deathbed. Recently my sister and her family emigrated to Australia and I found myself exploring my feelings surrounding that. It made the piece a little darker than one would expect for a Christmas story. Goodbyes are bitter-sweet, yes, there’s the excitement of beginning something new, but there’s also the pain of parting from loved ones.

As always, I had fun describing Colin’s child-like enthusiasm for Christmas, and how Martin has to go to increasingly elaborate lengths to keep Colin and his presents away from each other until Christmas morning.

Because Martin is totally blind, Colin always struggles to find interesting gifts for his man. Plus this year whatever they give each other has to fit in their suitcases.

Each man deals differently with the prospect of leaving Great Britain. Martin is estranged from his family, so there’s little holding him back. Colin is the centre of Martin’s world, so wherever Colin is, that’s where Martin wants to be. However, leaving is harder for Colin. He’s close to his parents and when his mother confesses a secret at the Christmas dinner table, the two men’s plans to emigrate are thrown into doubt. To be honest, as I wrote out these scenes, I didn’t know whether Colin and Martin would go or stay. You’ll have to read the story and find out what they decided.

For a chance to win a free e-book copy, leave a comment here OR on our Tumblr blog. Don't include your e-mail address in your comment. We'll post the winner's name on Thursday, December 6, and you can check back to see how to claim your prize

Drew Hunt

Drew Hunt on Colin and Martin

Guest post by Drew Hunt ...

A few years ago I thought I’d try and do something different with the age-old finding love at Christmas type of story. Martin Kellam is blind and lives alone save for his guide dog. Christmas is rapidly approaching and Martin isn’t relishing the thought of spending it by himself.

Londoner Colin Rogers delivers Martin’s groceries every week and enjoys the brief times he spends with Martin, marvelling at how well the man copes with his disability.

Colin tells Martin he will spend the day avoiding his housemate and the housemate’s amorous girlfriend. So, before he can chicken out, Martin offers to cook Christmas dinner for the two of them.

Food isn’t the only thing they share.

Like Martin, I am legally blind. I got the idea for the story from my dealings with the Staples delivery guy. He had such a dreamy London accent. I ordered way more stationery than I needed, just so I could talk to the man for a couple of minutes on my doorstep. Eventually the man changed routes, got another job or something, so I ceased my purchases. That was about six years ago and I’m still using up all those envelopes, boxes of paper, and packets of plastic wallets.

Download Colin and Martin's First Christmas for free today only at the JMS Books website!

Drew Hunt

Colin and Martin's Goodbye Christmas by Drew Hunt

Colin and Martin's Goodbye Christmas by Drew Hunt is now available in e-book format!

The fourth and final Colin and Martin Christmas story sees the two men leaving Yorkshire to begin new lives in Australia.

Martin Kellam has no qualms about saying goodbye to what remains of his family, while Colin’s parting gift to Martin’s brother is a well-deserved punch in the nose.

Before leaving, the two men have one final Christmas in London with Colin’s parents, who are pulling out all the stops to make it an occasion to remember.

Martin enjoys teasing his husband. He knows Colin can never resist going in search of presents before Christmas Day. As this is their last winter Christmas, Martin boxes up a lump of coal and puts it somewhere where Colin will find it.

The festivities are brought to an abrupt halt when Colin’s mother reveals disturbing news that throws Colin and Martin’s emigration plans into turmoil.

Despite Martin’s much-needed comfort and reassurance, Colin is torn between family obligation and the future he and Martin have longed for. Can Martin show him that he can have both?

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

December 2, 2012

2012 Rainbow Award Winners!

Congratulations to all the JMS Books authors who placed in the 2012 Rainbow Awards! Be sure to check out these amazing books ~ you can purchase the e-books directly from our website at for 30% off the list price. This special discount is available only through the end of the year, so pick up a copy of these books today!

Best Gay Contemporary General Fiction:
Honorable Mention ~ Lashings of Sauce edited by UK MAT

From marriages to reunions, via practical jokes and football matches, to weresloths and possibly the oddest Tarts and Vicars party in the world, join us as we celebrate the UK Meet in the best way we know: telling the story. As a follow-up to the critically acclaimed British Flash and Tea and Crumpet anthologies, our talented writers bring you sixteen stories about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and genderqueer characters enjoying what Britain and mainland Europe have to offer, with their wonderfully diverse range of cultures and landscapes and some incredibly colourful and quirky people.

Best Lesbian Historical:
Third Place ~ The View from 16 Podwale Street by Paul Alan Fahey

April 1939. Warsaw, Poland. Within 16 Podwale, the walls hold secrets that could destroy the lives of its inhabitants as they witness the city's ever-mounting tide of Nazism. Elwira Malinowska is content to watch the world pass by her home until Raz Zielinsky comes to work as a housemaid for her father. The two women become lovers. Elwira believes Pope Pius XII will intervene to save Poland from the rumblings of a maniac and an imminent invasion. But when the Pope fails to mediate peace and the political situation worsens, Elwira and Raz plan their escape to freedom. Will they succeed? Or is it already too late?

Best Bisexual/Transgender Fiction
Third Place ~ A Cowboy's Heart by J.M. Snyder

Ranch hand Tommy Prout meets Lila, an enterprising saloon girl who takes a liking to him. She isn't like the others, and when she discovers Tommy is more scared of her than attracted to her feminine charms, she lets him in on a little secret. Her real name is Stephen Marsh. He lives as a woman, moving from saloon to saloon, pleasing men for money. He loves men and enjoys his work, and what others don't know about what's under his skirt doesn't bother him. In all his years on the prairie, he's never met someone quite like Tommy. When he discovers Tommy is sweet on his ranch boss, he suggests teaching the cowboy just how to please a man. He doesn't mean to lose his heart to Tommy in the process.

Best LGBT Young Adult/Coming of Age:
First Place ~ Renfred's Masquerade by Hayden Thorne

Best Gay Novel/Book:
Honorable Mention ~ Renfred's Masquerade by Hayden Thorne

Tragedy strikes when young Nicola Gregori turns sixteen. Gustav Renfred, a friend of his father, whisks Nicola away to an isolated islet filled with empty mansions and bordered by a bluebell forest. There Nicola learns about the tragic story that weaves together the fates of his father, Gustav Renfred, and Gustav's sister, Constanza. Magic, impossible dreams, and unrequited love come together in the Renfreds' mansion, where Nicola is caught in a world of haunting portraits, a ghostly housekeeper, and the mysterious disappearance of Davide, Constanza's adopted son. When Nicola's invited to one of Renfred's magical masquerades, he discovers the answers to riddles as well as the mounting danger the Renfred family faces with every passing hour.

One Perfect Score:
Bergdorf Boys by Scott Alexander Hess

When Neal Tate, a just-out-of-rehab NYC party columnist falls for Dewalt, a Harlem drug dealer he meets at a gay bathhouse, he discovers that navigating an honest relationship is a lot more difficult that chasing down the perfect pair of skinny jeans. Neal finds support from his fashion-loving friends: Rowdy, a blond boy-toy married to the owner of Pop magazine where Neal works; Nick, "It-boy" Style writer for the New York Times; and Annie, straight-girl Art Director who gives Neal's life balance. The success of Neal's Bergdorf Boy column, and his growing love for Dewalt, lead him to question his capacity for intimacy, his obsessive commitment to both the latest trend and anonymous sex, and to wonder if a monogamous gay marriage could be in the cards.

December 1, 2012

The Positions of Love series is on sale!

This weekend only, you can purchase all 12 of the titles in my best-selling Vic and Matt series, The Positions of Love, for only 99¢ each!

For those of you who haven't yet delved into the super-powered, super-sexy world of Vic and Matt, this is the perfect opportunity to find out more!

About Vic and Matt:
Vic Braunson is a city bus driver who falls in love with Matt diLorenzo, a swimmer he meets at the gym. When they finally hook up, there's no denying the energy between them. Something about Matt brings out the best in Vic -- literally. Every time they have sex, Vic gains new superhuman powers from his lover. Can they learn to live with these abilities without losing each other?

In The Positions of Love, Matt gives his lover Vic a copy of the Kama Sutra for Gay Men as a Christmas gift. They soon discover it doubles as a handy reference guide to Vic's super powers. All they have to do is test out the positions to see which one gives him what ability ...

Buy the whole series!
Normally the twelve e-books in this series cost $2.99 each, but you can grab all of them for this one-time sale price of 99¢ each! But hurry ~ the sale runs through Monday, December 3, and then it's gone!

November 30, 2012

Joshua Skye on The Singing Wind

The Singing Wind was a novel nearly a decade in the making. The first draft took a long five years to write and clocked in at over 500 pages long. Containing lengthy chapters detailing hallucinations, the magical aspects of time travel mixed with scientific theory, and a host of other arcane and cryptic ponderings, it was so bizarre and esoteric that people didn’t understand it at all. From that epic tome I created The Singing Wind, which took another three years of research and work.

The title of the story comes from the character of Grandmother Singing Wind, a creation inspired by a real-life Native American shaman I met. Many of our discussions found their way into my novel; some of her stories gave credence to various aspects of my plot in a fascinatingly cathartic way. The shapeshifters of my story have a curious genesis in Native American folklore that I hadn’t known before meeting her. She is a remarkable woman. I learned much from her.

The Singing Wind was chosen as a 2012 selection for Dark Media City’s Dark Book Club and the response has been phenomenal. I couldn’t be happier with the complimentary feedback. I’m thrilled people are reading and enjoying my novel. A lot of work went into it so it means a great deal to me.

November 29, 2012

A Present for Daddy by J.M. Snyder on Kindle!

On December 9th, my next short story will be released, but for now you can purchase A Present for Daddy exclusively on your Kindle!

This was a fun little story to write, and I wanted to give readers a bit more time to enjoy it since it's Christmas-themed. It's a happy little feel-good romance to brighten the darkest winter night. No sex, though, with a little bit of cheese, but what holiday story doesn't tug at the heart strings?

Six months after his wife leaves him, Bob Jansen finds himself spending the holidays with his parents in the town where he grew up. With him is his seven year old daughter, Jenna, who sometimes seems to be handling her mother's absence better than Bob is himself. But he's worried that, in her letter to Santa, Jenna has asked the jolly old elf for something Bob knows he can't pull off. He's afraid she wants her mother back for the holiday.

While shopping for his daughter's Christmas presents, Bob runs into Dave Knarr, an old friend. They used to be best buds in high school, before Julia, Bob's soon-to-be ex-wife, came between them. The two men catch up over drinks, and before the evening ends, Dave makes his real feelings for Bob known.

If Bob is shocked to learn Dave has always been attracted to him, he's more surprised by his own reaction. Even if he's willing to take another shot at romance, what will his daughter think of his old friend?

Read an excerpt or buy a copy of the e-book today!

November 28, 2012

Wayne Mansfield on When In Rome

Guest post by Wayne Mansfield ...

Hi everyone. This is my first blog for JMS Books and it’s well overdue. You may or may not have noticed that I have a new story out. It’s called When In Rome and it’s an erotic science fiction/fantasy.

I have often fantasized about what it would be like to have been alive in ancient Rome. I have a huge interest in ancient cultures, and suspect I would have felt right at home in the sexually open times of old Rome. Sex and nudity was considered a normal part of day to day life, spoken about openly and even represented in household murals and decorative objets d’art. There wasn’t all the ridiculous hoopla about it that there is today. I also think that if I’d been captured by a legion of Roman soldiers, or even by the notorious slave traders, I would much rather have been the sex toy of some hot aristocratic Roman lord than have been put to work in the quarries.

So please enjoy my new story. It’s short but erotically sweet. A sexy bit of escapism for your reading pleasure.

Wayne Mansfield

When in Rome by Wayne Mansfield

When in Rome by Wayne Mansfield is now available in e-book format!

The year is 2029, and Marco has been working on a time travel machine. His friend Derek suggests they try it out, but even as he programs the machine for ancient Rome, he doesn't think it'll work.

The next thing he knows, he’s picked up by a slave trader and taken to a marketplace in ancient Rome. Potential buyers poke and prod him, examining the merchandise from every angle, yet bidding is slow. After the auctioneer, who is keen for a sale, announces that Derek is a virgin, hands shoot into the air. All Derek can do is watch and pray whoever buys him is kind and halfway good-looking.

His prayers are soon answered, though he is informed on the way back to his new master’s villa that he is to be put to work that very night. Far from home and alone in a strange, ancient world, he does the best he can. Neither he nor his friends had talked about getting him home to 2029 again.

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

November 27, 2012

J.T. Marie on My Brother's Best Friend

Guest post by J.T. Marie ...

My latest e-book release is My Brother's Best Friend, a young adult short story about a teenage girl with a crush on ... you guessed it! Her brother's best friend.

There was a time not too long ago when I would've thought I'd never write a non-gay story again. Granted, this story doesn't quite fit, since there are gay characters in it, but the main character through whom the story is told is not gay.

This story came to me quite suddenly one night while lying in bed, trying to get to sleep. I get a lot of ideas that way, which is why I have a notebook on my bedside table with story ideas jotted down on it that I hope to write one day. This one came to me in a rush, and when I took a writing class at the Visual Arts Center here in Richmond over the summer, I wrote this piece to hand out in class. I had a page limit and didn't quite finish the story for class, but wrapped it up after the class was over and violà! A new J.T. Marie story!

Amber has had a fierce crush on Nate, her brother Bryan's best friend, since she was nine years old. Now that she's almost old enough to date, she knows who she wants her first boyfriend to be. Unfortunately, Nate doesn't really talk to her, and Bryan won't set them up.

Then Amber finds out why.

Read an excerpt or buy a copy of the e-book today!

J.T. Marie

How the UK Meet began ...

Once upon a time, there were three little girls ...

Okay. Actually there were about a dozen of them. And they weren’t exactly girls. Or, you know, all that little. Apart from Charlie, maybe. She’s tiny. (So small, in fact, that many people didn’t even notice she was there, that first year.) But anyway ... there we all were, gathered together one hot July day in 2010 in a library in Ely, to re-enact the feeding of the five thousand. What’s that you say? Oh, right. The food mountain was just a bonus side effect. No, we were actually there to get together and celebrate UK GLBTQ fiction. And that was the first UK Meet, and jolly good fun it was too.

The following year ... Well. Apparently word had spread about all the yummy food on offer. Although possibly the reports of fun, comradeship, helpful hints for writers and, heh, insider gossip attracted a few people as well. The 2011 UK Meet drew over forty GLBTQ fiction writers, readers and fans from around Britain -- and we had our first delegates from Europe, too. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back around January of that year, the very lovely, talented and wackily hair-accessorised Josephine Myles sent out an email to a few of us involved in the organisation, and it went something like this:

“Hey, I just met you, And this is crazy, But here's a prompt, So let’s do an anthology, maybe?”

Well, you have to humour people like that. Otherwise, they might creep up on you in the night and stab you with their pointy hair implements of doom. So we went along with it, put out a call to people, and what do you know? We ended up with a truly fabulous collection of stories, all donated by their authors to raise funds for the UK Meet.

And you can download it for FREE for today only: Tea & Crumpet.

Raise your rainbow umbrellas high and celebrate!

Enjoy this enchanting, entertaining and thought-provoking collection, a heartfelt expression of what it means to be queer in Britain, past and present. All these stories reflect the iconic sights and national character of the British Isles: a taste of our idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, but also an unashamed representation of the love, loyalty and laughter of our people.

The 2013 UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet will take place on the weekend of 12th-14th July 2013 in the Macdonald Hotel, Manchester, UK. We’ll be offering a wide range of panels, networking opportunities and social events, with plenty of things to appeal to readers, authors (established, fledging or aspiring), and fans alike!

If you’d like to be kept informed about details of the meet, please visit our website and sign up for our newsletter. You’ll also find pictures and reports from the fabulous 2012 Meet in Brighton, which drew over sixty delegates from across the globe, including our keynote speaker, genre pioneer & Psycop author Jordan Castillo Price.

UK Meet Acquisitions Team

My Brother's Best Friend by J.T. Marie

My Brother's Best Friend by J.T. Marie is now available in e-book format!

Amber has had a fierce crush on Nate, her brother Bryan's best friend, since she was nine years old. Now that she's almost old enough to date, she knows who she wants her first boyfriend to be. Unfortunately, Nate doesn't really talk to her, and Bryan won't set them up.

Then Amber finds out why.

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

November 25, 2012

David Stroup on The Engines of Dusk trilogy

Guest post by David Stroup ...

The publication of Engines of Dusk Book 3: The Darwinian Sum marks a big milestone for me.

Although this completes my series The Engines of Dusk, this was actually my first novel -- my previous work were all short stories. I originally wrote The Engines of Dusk as a single rather unwieldy volume; the excellent folk at JMS Books have helped me turn it into a more manageable trilogy.

This was my “everything and the kitchen sink” novel, my attempt to throw everything I enjoy into one book. Aliens! Dinosaurs! Murder mysteries! It’s been rewarding to see a largely positive response.

Publication also comes at a rather chaotic time for me. After a long career in journalism (two decades) and copywriting, I’m back in school, working to become a science teacher. That’s made it hard to keep on track with my writing, though I’m maintaining a discipline of working a little every day. It’s also given me plenty of experience and material for my next work.

Visit my blog (below), where I’ll be posting updates and excerpts for my works in progress and updates on giveaways and any promotional events.

David Stroup

Engines of Dusk Book 3: The Darwinian Sum by David Stroup

Engines of Dusk Book 3: The Darwinian Sum by David Stroup is now available in e-book format!

As war threatens to break out between civilizations, two women -- one a shipwrecked human, the other a freelance warrior of the sexually-dimorphic Makers -- close in on the kidnapped human consul at the heart of the crisis. But for Aly Castillos and A’thiathialae, finding the missing diplomat is only the start of a lethal end-game.

Meanwhile, in deep space, a young artificial intelligence named Hawkens DuPree enters into a deadly dance with terrorists and political extremists ... including her ex-lover. Each deception reveals new questions -- and a fatal rendezvous with the agents of an unseen enemy.

For freelance journalist Temple Argent and scientist Kathryn Tamashio, time may already have run out, as the trail of a killer leads only to cold death among the stars.

Across known space, humans and A.I.'s struggle to put together the pieces of a vast conspiracy before it’s too late. Behind the scenes, intelligences older and far more powerful than any human or Maker brood in the cold darkness between the stars. When the Engines of Dusk make their move, two civilizations may fall, and something new will be born ... because the first move in an interstellar war may be just one step toward something far greater.

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

November 23, 2012

Scott Alexander Hess on Diary of a Sex Addict

Guest post by Scott Alexander Hess ...

Last October I published my debut novel, Diary of a Sex Addict. At my first book signing I was thrilled, nervous, ready to meet my readers and field questions. A small crowd lined up.

What happened next, and what continued to occur at my next few events, was the repetition of a central question: "Where did you get the idea for the book?"

In that moment, I drew a blank. What an odd sensation, struggling to answer that simple query. I realized that the spark of inspiration, the literal point of internal discovery, was a bit of a mystery.

I fudged an answer that day, and luckily with Diary -- a graphic exploration of a gay New Yorker's spiral into sexual compulsion -- the initial question was quickly forgotten and followed with the juicier: "Did you really have all that wild sex? Is it all true?"

That one I could easily answer: the book is fiction, not memoir. No sir, I did not attend a gang bang in Central Park at 3 a.m. as is depicted in the novel.

Later that night, as I thought about the concept of inspiration, I felt challenged to pin down the idea-sparking moment for my books (I've published two and am completing my third, Jockey). Drawing a bubble bath (I think best in hot suds), I decided to look at the work itself.

Diary opens with a bang -- a graphic sex scene loosely based on my own experience. The unnamed narrator struggles to stay present with a hookup, while obsessing about the cleanliness of the kitchen floor:

"I am meant to follow, to stray forward to keep our fifteen minute rush of wild sex moving. Because in too long a pause, the whole delicate fantasy collapses. I do lean forward, but hesitate, realizing Bing's knees must really ache. I wonder if I'm being cruel or a bad host, which opens a peep hole into my bland, non-sexually charged thoughts and in milliseconds I wonder if the floor is clean enough to be kneeling on and if Bing could ever replace my ex-lover and why this sex right now is so mind-numbingly hot and so much better than the rest of my awful day." (Chapter 1, Diary of a Sex Addict)

The passage shows that that I wrote the book in an effort to push my limits as a writer, to explore graphic material while staying literate. This, though, was not where the idea came from.

Digging deeper, sinking into the tub, I realized the idea came from two sources: Brett Easton Ellis and my recent, intense loneliness triggered by a breakup with my lover.

Ellis' book American Psycho, which I'd read a few months prior to beginning Diary, floored me. His transgressive, intense text is amazingly artful in its ability to push limits and shock. There are scenes in the novel that I will never forget (if you've read it, all I need to say is: the woman and the rat). Ellis inspired me as an example of a fearless literary renegade.

Around the same time, healing from that breakup, I was having a lot of anonymous sex. Often, during these trysts, I would feel like I was floating out of myself, becoming keenly aware of a funky mashup of intimacy (naked, grinding bodies) and bland, nameless emptiness.

This type of sexual expression, and the emotional colors I associated with it, intrigued me. Also, living in Manhattan, I became fascinated with how often quickie sex was so readily available. I cultivated an interest in the routines of this subculture of sexual expression, more and more as an observer and less for the thrill.

So in essence, the novel that challenged and inspired me to take a risk (American Psycho) and my own personal journey (anonymous sex to heal) merged and led me to begin the text that would become Diary.

Beyond that, I also realized that as a writer, it is my job to do the work to allow the sometimes subtle, quiet inspiration to come through and not lie dormant. For me (and this is my advice to young writers who pick my brain), I constantly read authors that challenge, frighten and confront me, writers like William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy, who never cease to leave me filled with wonder. Those two authors consistently give me the courage to stay open to my subconscious as I write, and allow my multifaceted life experience to bloom forward.

I have another reading coming up, so now I do hope someone asks, "Where did you get the idea for the book?" I'll have an answer ready.

November 21, 2012

Summer's Lease by Drew Hunt

Summer's Lease by Drew Hunt is now available in e-book format!

On his first night renting a cottage on the Cornish coast, widower John Tennant comes face to face with, of all things, a grizzly bear. Fearing for his life, John tries to convince the animal he isn't worth eating, and is relieved when the bear ambles away.

Maintenance man Mitch Benjamin is two hundred years old but doesn’t look a day over forty. As a werebear, he needs to stay under the radar. The new renter is making that difficult. Not only is John attractive, but his vulnerability triggers all of Mitch’s protective instincts. If that wasn’t trouble enough, Mitch is struggling with his inner bear’s desire to befriend John. He knows what his bear is up to, but Mitch doesn’t want another mate. His last one was murdered ninety years ago, and he’s still grieving.

John is confused by Mitch’s mixed signals. Physically, Mitch -- with his bulging muscles and hulking frame -- is a gay man’s wet dream come true. But emotionally, he keeps closing down. John discovers more comfort with the magnificent grizzly bear he occasionally meets on his evening walks along the beach.

In an effort to help, Morwenna, the owner of the cottages, uses her psychic gifts to give John a message from his dead lover, George. Far from helping, it adds another layer of strangeness to what’s already turning out to be the strangest summer John can remember.

Can a well-meaning medium and a determined grizzly bring John and Mitch together? Will Mitch come clean about his werebear nature? If he does, can John accept that a man and bear exist in the same body?

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

November 19, 2012

Vic and Matt in Oz or, WTF?

Vic and Matt in Oz or, WTF?

I have always been fascinated by The Wizard of Oz. It's iconic -- the tornado whisking Dorothy away to another land, the ruby slippers that provide her a way home, the three companions she meets on her way to where she truly belongs. When I wrote fan fiction, I did a fun little story that was 'N Sync in Oz (Justin was Dorothy, Lance was the Scarecrow he couldn't keep his hands off of, and Britney Spears was the Good Witch). Ever since I started publishing "original" fiction, I've wanted to try my hand at another story set in the merry ol' land.

The problem was that I needed characters readers knew. The best part about using Oz as a setting is that readers are familiar with the main themes and items in it -- whether they read the book or watched the movie, they knew the basic plot and key elements. Even people who don't know the story know what it's about, or at least the main motifs. The shoes, mostly. Rainbows. The Emerald City. The Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion. The Good Witch, the Wicked Witch, and let's not forget the flying monkeys.

One of the elements I've always loved about The Wizard of Oz is that the pivotal people Dorothy meets in Oz, she already knew in Kansas. Therefore, if I was going to write a similar story, I needed characters my readers would easily recognize. Someone to be Dorothy, of course, but also the others, as well. Almost immediately, it occurred to me that my Vic and Matt characters would fit into the Oz roles perfectly.

Or rather, almost. For months I turned the characters and story over in my head. Who in Vic and Matt's "real" world matched up well with the memorable characters in Oz? Roxie had to be the Witch -- good or bad, she could fit in both roles, though Matt might say she was more bad than good. Matt would be Dorothy -- of the couple, he's the more imaginative of the two. For some reason, I just can't see Vic getting far in Oz. He'd stand on the side of the Yellow Brick Road and glare at anyone who passed until Matt showed up.

But what about the Scarecrow? The Tin Man? The Cowardly Lion?

I wanted Vic to be the Scarecrow. At the end of the movie, Dorothy says she'll miss him most of all (which must've been a kick in the gut to the others, eh?). As Matt is incomplete without his lover Vic, I knew Vic had to fill the Scarecrow's shoes. But the other two characters eluded me, and then there was the Wizard himself ...

Finally it hit me. I knew exactly who would play each role. The casting was perfect, and flowed well with the universe in which Vic and Matt live. Once I got the idea in my head, I couldn't write the story fast enough. I think it's a fun little romp with "the boys," and I hope those of you who are fans of them think so, too!

J.M. Snyder
Vic and Matt Website

No Place Like Home by J.M. Snyder

No Place Like Home by J.M. Snyder is now available in e-book format!

A Vic and Matt Story

A late season hurricane bears down on Richmond, causing power outages and property damage. When the doggie day care closes early, Matt leaves work to take Sadie home. Unfortunately, a sudden tornado and washed out road take him on a detour he didn't expect. His beloved Jaguar skids out of control and off the road, leaving Matt unconscious in a ditch.

When he comes to, he finds himself in the merry old Land of Oz.

As Matt struggles to find his way home, Vic has a much more pressing problem -- locating his lover, who has suddenly gone missing in a violent storm. Can the two men find each other again before it's too late?

Read an excerpt or buy a copy today!

November 18, 2012

Meet Jennifer Cierra!

Interview with author of gay erotic romance, Jennifer Cierra!

Why do you write?
There are so many words bouncing around in my head, and I just have to write them down. I'm not going to claim I'd go insane if I didn't write, because it's not true; if you give me enough other things to do, I can go without writing stories for months (unfortunately). But I lose something of myself when I do. When I write, one idea leads into the next, and it's this tumbling, waterfall-style effect, and I just can't stop. (As a case in point, I once wrote three different stories -- about 60,000 words total -- which were all inspired by those long, thick eyelashes men sometimes have. One idea led to another, and pretty soon I was writing a quasi-transgender character in a "comedy of errors" type plot with no idea how I'd gotten there, other than that it had something to do with eyelashes.)

What story haven't you written yet but would like to? Is there anything holding you back from writing it?
I have a half-finished novel set in the same world as Blast Off, a science fiction story with genetic manipulation, interplanetary wars, and really twisted relationships. It's been on hiatus since July, though, because, while science fiction is my favorite genre to read, I never realized quite how much work went into believable world design. I got fed up with trying to figure out how to put a 5,000-person village and all their goats into one spaceship, so I came back to contemporary, Long Beach stories for a while. Long Beach already exists, so I don't have to define its architectural style. Still, I'd like to return to the novel at some point. World-creation is frustrating but thrilling, and I need some practice. And besides, Zeke makes a cameo in the end, which I'm looking forward to writing.

What would you consider is your favorite part of a book to write? The beginning, the middle or the ending?
I have two favorites: the beginning, while it's still that honeymoon phase and I'm not worried about continuity or understandability or plausibility or any other annoying "-ity" and can just write, and the final edit. I usually have major issues with the middle, and I almost always switch to other stories at that point, which explains my large backlist of unfinished stories. I'll write until a little ways before the climax, get frustrated or confused or disinterested, and move on to something else, and then, weeks later, I'll look at the story, decide it was actually worth something, and buckle down and finish the thing. The final edits are wonderful, because I can look over the entire piece of writing and think, "Yep, I created that."

Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I usually outline while writing, along with some notes about hair and eye color, and other easy-to-mix-up details. If I outline past the climax, though, I'll move on to another story without finishing the one I just outlined, though, so it's important for me to keep that in mind.

Do you track work count or write a certain number of hours per day?
Outside of NaNoWriMo, no. I'm terrible with length requirements; they eat away at me, and no matter what they are, the story I've designed usually doesn't fit well within them. For me, the length of the story is the time required to tell it convincingly and interestingly. The only type of length requirement that doesn't distort my muse is the type saying 5,000-100,000 words, and even then, I'll probably end up writing something 4,500 words long and want to call it finished.

Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
Definitely help. My muse has a lot to say, but she's willing to demur to more pressing matters, so the things with deadlines (e.g. essays, freelance editing, and midterms) usually come first, unfortunately. A strict schedule of deadlines makes for a much more productive me.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
As entire characters, always my imagination. I put my characters through too much grief to want to pretend they're anyone I actually know! They're not entirely inorganic, though. I've read that characters are usually at least half-author, and I think it's true at least for my writing. My characters deal with my fears, usually in much steamier situations than I would allow myself. Take Jordan in Blast Off, for instance. He was scared of attachment -- scared of being left -- and he made a snap decision which he thought would be better for everyone and ended up regretting it. I've done that, in less serious contexts. I try to give my characters real-seeming fears and conflicts, and one way to do that is to use my own.

Is it hard coming up with names for your characters?
Sometimes. Zeke and Jordan were very difficult, mostly because they started out as Cal and Dwight, respectively. The main characters of the other novel I'm working on in this world, though, are named Cory and Derrick, and I couldn't see having two couples with C&D names. Luckily, I have a friend who's wonderful with names, and she fixed Zeke and Jordan in minutes. (She's the force behind Vince Valentino in my Valentine's Day short, too.) Names are usually last in my character-planning process.

What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
They have to be different. I can't stand those relationships where both people are exactly the same, go to the same haircutter, have the same interests, wear the same shirt three days out of four ... My characters have to have their own lives outside of their relationships, and those lives can't be identical. I need points of friction between them to be able to write about them. Without friction, I can't start a fire.

And now, enough about the writing -- give us some fun facts!

Are you a cat person or a dog person?
Definitely dog. Cats are probably smarter, but dogs are just so much more lovable.

What is your favorite curse word?
Scheiße. It's German for "shit," and it's probably the only curse word I say on a regular basis. I write expletives (and think), but I rarely say them, for some reason. But cursing in German doesn't seem as extreme.

Name something you do when you're alone that you wouldn't do in front of others.
Sing. I can't stay on tune for the life of me, and other people hearing my singing usually don't even know what I'm trying to do, but I don't have an iPod, so sometimes, when I'm walking in the city and the street is completely empty (because no one walks in Southern California), I'll just start singing at the top of my lungs. (It's usually right about then that I walk past a bus stop and find out I wasn't alone, after all, which then stops the singing again for at least twenty mortified feet, or so.)

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
You're reading it =). Although I must admit, I don't feel particularly guilty about it.

Jennifer Cierra
Twitter: @CierraJennifer