Saturday, September 16, 2017

What is on the Reading Radar #TBR #WIshLIst

What have I been doing? Working on Bespoken and such. I was without a car for a little while so I wasn't able to get up much mischief. 

Today's Reading Radar is short. I haven't been searching for new reads for a few days so the folder is a bit bare. :)

Title: Dragonwatch
Series(Wytch Kings Book 4)
Author(s): Jaye McKenna
Length: 274 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Fantasy / Dragons / 


Blurb: The balance of power in Skanda is about to shift…

Beautiful, broken Tristin of Ysdrach would rather hide in his dragon form than live with a Wytch power that forces him to feel the pain of the past in every object he touches. Struggling to come to terms with a future he never believed he’d have, Tristin needs a reason not to surrender to the beast within.

Without Wytch power, Prince Mikhyal of Rhiva is not qualified to be his father’s heir, but newly discovered knowledge possessed by Rhiva’s allies could change that. On their journey to a secret negotiation that could shift the balance of power in Skanda, Mikhyal and his father are attacked, and Mikhyal is left bonded to an ancient sword with a mission, an attitude, and a penchant for blackberry tarts.

Even with the distractions of a royal betrothal ceremony, an enemy striking from the shadows, and the complex negotiations of alliance and rebellion, the painfully shy Tristin still manages to catch Mikhyal’s eye. The two men barely have time to acknowledge their mutual attraction before another attempt is made to end the line of Rhiva.

Can Tristin and Mikhyal get to the bottom of the plot? Or will the Northern Alliance be torn apart before the ink on the treaty is dry?

Title: The Warrior's Mage
Series(The Warriors of Love & Magic Book 4)
Author(s): AC Fox
Length: 213 pages
Publisher: Etopia press

Genre: Romance / Fantasy / Gay 


Blurb: A ruthless warrior, a curious mage, and an ancient secret that could destroy them both...

When Tamas discovers the long-forgotten ruins of the Nystrean Mor—an ancient and powerful civilization—he's certain the incredible find will lead to fame and respect. Instead it leads to the end of a Boa Visk sword, its poison blade biting his throat. Tamas, a scholar mage without the power to defeat the Boa Visk warriors that surround him, is certain he'll die unnoticed in the haunted Tyrasha Forest, where no one will venture to find him. And the secrets he's spent his life trying to uncover will die with him. Until a mysterious swordsman drops from the trees and saves his life...

Damen has only two things left in his life: his dragon-forged swords and his personal vendetta against the Boa Visk. The monstrous beings who've subjugated humans all across the continent have taken everything from him, leaving him broken and alone, with nothing to sustain him but the death of any Boa Visk who wander into his forest. But when he sees their captive mage, poisoned and weak, he hasn't the heart to let the man die alone. Compassion is his first mistake. The kiss he shares with Tamas is his second. With emotions he believed long dead flaring back to life, and the foolish mage destroying the walls Damen worked so hard to erect, Damen is certain his next mistake will be his last. But the secrets of the ruins that compel Tamas might be more dangerous than they imagined, more dangerous even than the Boa Visk, who have no intention of allowing them to leave the forest alive...

Title: In the Ruins
Series: Metahuman Files, 2
Author(s): Hailey Turner
Length: 362 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Military Sci-fi / 


Blurb: Truth and lies.

Captain Jamie Callahan knows the Metahuman Defense Force frowns on fraternization. For once in his life, he’s breaking all the rules. Having Staff Sergeant Kyle Brannigan on his team and in his bed is worth the risk of being found out. When a mission comes down requiring Alpha Team to go undercover in order to infiltrate a criminal alliance, Jamie knows it won’t be easy. Putting his family’s name on the line is nothing compared to the role the MDF wants him to play—that of a billionaire’s son, discharged from the military, with a lover on his arm, looking to make his own shady business deals.

Dirty little secret.

Kyle knows the only way to be with Jamie is to hide their relationship from their superiors. Waking up to Jamie at home is more important than being together in public, or so Kyle thought, until he comes face to face with what he’s been missing. Pretending to be a couple on paper for the sake of the mission thrusts Kyle into a world of incredible wealth and a social status he’s not sure he belongs in, but he’ll do anything to stay by Jamie’s side.

Play the game to win.

Surrounded by the enemy, Jamie and Kyle need to trust each other now more than ever. Their covers—and the life they’re trying to build together—depend on it.

In the Ruins is a 105k word steamy gay sci-fi military romance with a HFN ending that skirts HEA. There is military violence within the story that may not be suitable for everyone, as well as explicit intimate scenes not suitable for readers under the age of 18. This is a sequel to In the Wreckage and reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one.

Title: Laurent and the Beast
Series: Kings of Hell MC
Author(s): KA Merikan
Length: 322 pages

Genre: Erotic Romance / Gay / MC Club / Urban Fantasy / 


Blurb--- Nothing can stop true love. Not time. Not even the devil himself. ---

1805. Laurent. Indentured servant. Desperate to escape a life that is falling apart.
2017. Beast. Kings of Hell Motorcycle Club vice president. His fists do the talking.

Beast has been disfigured in a fire, but he’s covered his skin with tattoos to make sure no one mistakes his scars for weakness. The accident not only hurt his body, but damaged his soul and self-esteem, so he’s wrapped himself in a tight cocoon of violence and mayhem where no one can reach him.

Until one night, when he finds a young man covered in blood in their clubhouse. Sweet, innocent, and as beautiful as an angel fallen from heaven, Laurent pulls on all of Beast’s heartstrings. Laurent is so lost in the world around him, and is such a tangled mystery, that Beast can’t help but let the man claw his way into the stone that is Beast’s heart.

In 1805, Laurent has no family, no means, and his eyesight is failing. To escape a life of poverty, he uses his beauty, but that only backfires and leads him to a catastrophe that changes his life forever. He takes one step into the abyss and is transported to the future, ready to fight for a life worth living.

What he doesn’t expect in his way is a brutal, gruff wall of tattooed muscle with a tender side that only Laurent is allowed to touch. And yet, if Laurent ever wants to earn his freedom, he might have to tear out the heart of the very man who took care of him when it mattered most.

Title: Mirror Skin
Author(s): Eric Del Carol
Length: 87 pages
Publisher: Loose Id LLC (August 29, 2017)

Genre: Romance / Gay / Fantasy/Sci-fi / Detective-Cop /


Blurb: Seedy private detective and burnt-out ex-cop Nick Jordon receives a visit in the night. It's his long-dead lover Dane, naked, his memories wiped, asking for help. Worse, Dane is being pursued by armed goons.

Together the onetime lovers flee, but now Nick must solve the craziest case of his life. How can Dane be alive? And want him back? To complicate matters, Nick starts to feel his old desire for his long-gone lover. But is this really Dane?

Title: Present Uncertain
Author(s): Harrison Phillips
Length: 181 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Military / Fantasy / Alternate Universe /

Note: OMG "he can't deny the attraction when his wings pop out every time he's around the man"

Blurb: The First Solis Elf in 500 years, Callon joins the military to escape his father's plans. Unfortunately, he can't escape his Solis Genes. Sent from the Elvan Army to the Fae Honor Guard to the Fae Marines, he knows the transfers are his father's manipulations to make him marry Brant, his ex-fiancé.

Gunny, a Fae Master Gunnery Sergeant, wants nothing more than to stay away from love and take care of his platoon. Playing nursemaid to the pretty Elf Lieutenant is not on the list but he can't deny the attraction when his wings pop out every time he's around the man.

But Callon's father has plans for the power he will gain through Callon's marriage and he's not about to let anything, even the Marines, stand in his way.

A protective platoon, Ex's who don't understand no, and Callon's father's plans stand in the way of Callon and Gunny, making a Present Uncertain let alone a future.

Title: On Borrowed Luck
Series: The Chanmyr Chronicles, 1
Author(s): TJ Muir
Length: 322 pages

Genre:Non-Romantic / Fantasy / Sword & Sorcery / Coming of Age / Queer Characters /


Blurb: Fatherless. Foreign. Out of Luck.

Scrappy but small, Kirrin gets beat up. A lot. So, when he hides from the local bullies in a powerful man's carriage, he's inadvertently transported to a vast rural estate. Far from home and hungry, Kirrin is caught stealing from the kitchen and fears the worst.

But the So’har Hak’kar is impressed with Kirrin’s tenacity and quick wit. Instead of having him criminally punished, the great ruler sentences Kirrin to serve him while learning to fight, move with stealth, and solve intellectual puzzles. Unfortunately, Kirrin doesn’t realize he’s being trained as the lord’s personal assassin until he accidentally kills his first victim.

Now, Kirrin’s family is at risk. His life is at risk. He struggles with who he's becoming. After all, he's living a life on borrowed luck. But borrowed luck never lasts.

Title: Taoree
Series: Taoree Trilogy #1
Author(s): Michele Notaro
Length: 242 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Sci-Fi / 


Blurb: If you’re reading this, I hope that means that we’ve survived, but after everything I’ve seen, I’m sure that’s only wishful thinking…

This is my story… a story of what happens when you trust an alien race. A race that lived peacefully with humans for over two years, but something suddenly changed. When all hell breaks loose, can we count on the Taoree to step up and help or could they be the real cause of all the terror?

Three of my friends and I try to make our way back home to our families, but there’s chaos at every turn. We can trust no one; we only rely on each other. And even though we work together, nothing can stop the heartbreak and terror that surrounds us.

Before you judge me, ask yourself this: When there’s danger at every turn and nowhere safe to hide, what would you do to keep you and yours alive? Some of us won’t survive… What will happen to those of us that are left behind?

Taoree is Book One in the Taoree Trilogy and is meant to be read as part of a series. This book ends on a cliffhanger, but there is a promise of a happy ending at the end of the trilogy.

***WARNING: This book is recommended for ADULTS ONLY. It is rather gruesome, so if you don’t like violence, death, blood, and the like, don’t read it. There’s also explicit language, as well as romance and graphic sexual content between two male characters.***

Title: Triad Soul
Author(s): Nathan Burgoine
Length: 379 pages
Publisher: Bold Strokes

Genre: Romance / Gay / MMM / Paranormal / 


Blurb: The law of three is everything: three vampires for a coterie, three demons for a pack, and three wizards for a coven. Those alone or in pairs are vulnerable to the rest. Luc, Anders, and Curtis—vampire, demon, and wizard—sidestepped tradition by binding themselves together. 

When something starts brutally killing demons in Ottawa, the three find themselves once again moving among the powers who rule the city from the shadows—this time working with them to try to stop the killings before chaos and blood rule the streets.

Hunting a killer who seems to leave no trace behind, the triad are forced to work with allies they don’t dare trust, powers they barely understand, and for the good of those they already know to be corrupt.

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Valespian Pact: The Alpha-zetamite

If you haven't heard yet, one of my current projects is the third book in The Valespian Pact, Bespoken. Detailed plotting and world building are essential to making sure that I get everything correct from the two books that came before and don't lose track of the details. The Valespian Pact is a space opera. There are plots within plots with dashes of action and adventure mixed in with the romance. There will be a few essential POVs which in 3rd person is so much easier than 1st (LOL). Suffice to say, it is going to be another behemoth of a story and I might have to divide it up. I was resistance to that thought a few months ago but the more I think about it, the more I'm on board. 

Putting that aside, I needed to fill out the information for the species list on the website and here on the blog and I had an idea. Every Thursday for the next several weeks have a "reveal" of sorts before I update the list, making Thursdays "Pact Days" (or something else snappy). :)

So for the first "Pact Day" I'll start off with a species that everybody know--if you've read Alpha Trine or Striker--(if you haven't, go no further or you'll be spoiled for the 1st two books) the Alpha and Zeta. Feel free to ask questions and I'll answer them as long as the answer doesn't give spoilers for future books. (I'll let you know if it does.) And as such, I won't include things on the these specie public profiles that gives away spoilers for the upcoming books.

Without further ado:

Species: Alpha-zetamite
Planet: Hedisa and Hedisa Gamai (currently)
Other races on the planet: Dar Massaga
Planetary Terrain: Jungles and oceans
Capitol: Chaclea (Hedisa) and Thoricea (Hedisa Gamai)
Country: n/a

Description: The skin is a deep green almost black, marbled with pink veins. Telepathic. When all the Alphas or  Zetas come together, they form a very large mass. Born in space, the Alpha-zetamite doesn't have a skeletal structure. They see through their skin. When they are in space, they absorb the nutrients they need through their skin. In order to live in a gravity environment, they need to pair up with another being as a symbiote, sharing nutrients with their host. With the Dar Massaga, they share their telepathy and they are the go-between, helping the Dar Massaga procreate without the need to lay with the opposite sex.

Only two individuals comprise the Alpha-zetamite species, Alpha and Zeta. They were born from the primordial 'waters'. (see Striker, the Qrxzl's Pool of Truth, loosely related.) "Alpha and Zeta had been the first to rise to awareness, back in the beginning when there were no races, no species, no other life to be found. Countless millennia passed, the cosmos grew, galaxies multiplied, he and Zeta drifting down different paths only to eventually end up together again. Drawn by two races, they integrated with them, knitted into a family once again."

They traveled space together without the aid ships. No one has been able to time speed with which the Alpha-zetamite moves. It is rumored that they can move faster than any current designed star ship. (When the Dar Massaga passes away off planet, the Alpha or Zeta returns to the Dar Massaga home planet much sooner than the body of their host can be transported.)

The Alpha-zetamite is huge, like bigger than an ocean liner huge. More like big as a moon in size. They pair themselves down and that small piece of themselves will bond with a juvenile Dar Massaga. These small, individual Alphas and Zetas have their own personalities, their own likes and dislikes, unique and autonomous. When they return to the main mass, they share their information (hive mind) and experiences.

The Alpha-zetamite has the ability to invade another's mind when touching. Depending on the situation they can either use their telepathy to speak with the person or crush/scramble that person's mind. They don't like to hurt others but when faced with hostile forces, they have no mercy. They are a terrible and wrathful enemy to have.

Seemingly immortal.

The Alpha-zetamite are genderfluid and they can be either male or female at will. (They were modeled off ocean flat worms that during mating season will fight each other with their penises. The loser becomes the female.) Both can bear offspring.

They are the progenitor of the Ryo'Pardeep. Their offspring are all slightly different depending on the environment the Alpha-zetamite was in while the offspring grew within them. This gives the 
Ryo'Pardeep different abilities and affinities (i.e. Poseidon's affinity is water). These offspring of the Alpha-zetamite experiment with their form whereas the Alpha-zetamite is comfortable in their skin and find no value looking other than what they are.

he Alpha-zetamite haven't formed may trines since the Arthro War. Before the V'saar invasion of the Arthro Galaxy, Alpha and Zeta bonded in a trine with peoples compatible with them. They also moved about freely, only going to their host when they needed sustenance.

The first trine was a 'fluke'. Zeta sent a piece of herself to befriend a race in a newly discovered star system and ended up bonding. The experience was beyond what the Alpha-zetamite knew up to that time and the Alphas and Zetas flocked toward this new experience, falling in love for the first time in their long existence. "When he found his bondmates, that was the first time he had felt whole. When he fell in love, he finally understood what he lacked. He and Zeta had been caretakers for so long that they knew no other way to live."

The Alpha-Zetamite had been lured away from their adopted home world, the planet of Belforix, only for the V'saar to invade the planet, taking all the bonded of the Alphas and Zetas to their star ship. Some people became cattle for the V'saar and others were used to lure the Alpha-zetamite into traps. That didn't turn out as the V'Saar expected. They were slaughtered mercilessly by the Alpha-zetamite. When the remaining bonded had been found, the bonded died mere hours later. The Alpha-zetamite was inconsolable and turned the grief they'd never experienced before into rage. "Living and loving were not the only lessons Jiann and Volante taught him. The day he found his beloveds in the queen's hive, he learned the concept of loss, sorrow, and marrow-eating fury. The V'Saar fled like sheep before him and Zeta. He gathered what was left of his family to him just in time for them to breathe their last. Nothing—absolutely nothing contained his sorrow. He did not know how long the war continued, how long he allowed murderous rage to consume him until one day he woke numb, exhausted, and tired of a conflict that would not bring back his loved ones."

Since the war, they haven't formed many trines, believing they would never have what they once had… until Zeus.

Question and Answers from my FB group:

Question: "So when Stareater says "Father" he means the Alpha as a whole. Would he would call any alpha father?"

Answer: Yes, Star Eater would call any Alpha he came across as father. All Alphas/Zetas would have memories of Star Eater's conception, birth, and growing up. And if one Alpha saw Star Eater a year ago, he would communicate with the whole his memory of what happened so they all know and have the same recollection.

Question: "Are the smaller Alphas and Zetas in communication with the "rest" of them? Subspace communication in live time or do they only share info if in proximity or when they reconnect physically?"

Answer: Over a certain distance, they can communicate with each other through subspace. At the end of Striker, they, and some of the Dar Massaga, arrived at Valespia shortly after Zeus which means they set off in star ships when Alpha first scented Zeus at Space Station Basker'Qa. They were just as excited as Alpha and came to investigate. Trines to them are like the holy grail. I say a certain distance because within the Andromeda Galaxy, which is 220k light years across, they can keep in contact, but put 10 Andromeda's side by side and it becomes a little harder. Since Alpha and Zeta haven't been more than that far apart ever, they aren't sure how far is too far.

Common Occupation: see Dar Massaga

Government Systems: see Dar Massaga

Current Leader: see Dar Massaga

Council of Neighn of Member: see Dar Massaga

Allies: Qrxzl, Ryo Pardeep, Gaziniti, Reasaian, Shia'Marr, Kracciam,

Star System: Durega System

Other planets occupied by species:

Military Leader: see Dar Massaga

Cultural names and terms specific to species: see Dar Massaga

Thank you for stopping by and reading!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Guest Interview: Wayne Goodman for Better Angels #giveaway

BA banner

Welcome all!

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Wayne Goodman author of “Better Angels”

Hi Wayne, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

What were you like at school?

As far as my education, I was always an avid learner. I enjoyed math, music, and English particularly. Being creative came naturally to me; ideas seemed to pop out of my head when I needed them.

Were you good at English?

I don’t know if I was always “good” at English, but I have enjoyed reading and learning the craft of creative writing. My vocabulary tends to be larger than most people, and I like being able to utilize it from time to time.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Aside from becoming a Best-Selling Author, recognition is my primary goal. I have no fantasy of living a life of luxury from book sales. So far, I have lost money in book sales. Respect and admiration is the most I could hope for.

Which writers inspire you?

My own reading has consisted mainly of SciFi/Fantasy, which is now referred to as Speculative Fiction. Early on I read H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Isaac Asimov. Later on I started on J.R.R. Tolkien, Anne MacCaffrey, Kage Baker, and Barry Hughart.

So, what have you written?

My latest work is “Better Angels: A Retelling of Bayard Taylor’s ‘Joseph and His Friend: A Pennsylvania Story.’” It is based on the first American Gay novel, written in 1869. As the time period did not allow for open descriptions of physical and emotional expression for same-sex characters at that time, I have added material that makes the relationships much more open and obvious. Also, I have changed the main character’s love interest to being African-American. This adds another wrinkle, as the story takes place soon after the U.S. Civil War.

Other books I have written are:

“Vanya Says, ‘Go!’” is a retelling of Mikhail Kuzmin’s “Wings,” the first Russian-language book to discuss same-sex relationships in a positive way:

“Borimir: Serving the Tsars” is Part 1 of a (potential) trilogy that follows the lives of two men who meet at the Tsar’s Palace in 1880 until their death with the Royal Family in 1918:

“Britain’s Glory” tells the tragic story of Princess Charlotte, granddaughter to King George III of England:

“The Last Great Hope” speculates about the existence of a third Kennedy child who was adopted out under a false name:

“The Seed of Immortality” is a tale of Chinese myth, history, philosophy, and two immortal Mahjong sharps who travel around China at the time of the first emperor:

Some of my works are also available as Audio books through Audible and iTunes.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Joseph Asten, the main character in “Better Angels,” is a 23-year-old farmer living in the Allegheny River Valley of Pennsylvania shortly after the U.S. Civil War. He knows he has a preference for men, and he had had physical relationships, but he feel social pressures to marry. When a woman comes along who seems to understand his secret situation, he proposes.

What are you working on at the minute?

My current project is a retelling of the first English-language gay novel, “Live and Learn,” by Francis Lathom. First printed in 1823, it has been recognized as the earliest work in English to contain same-sex relationships.

What’s it about?

The original story (in 4 volumes) is a gothic tale of rags to riches and the various people who stand in the way of achieving wealth and happiness. John Brown, the main character, inherits a stranger’s estate and seeks to find love despite having lots of money.

What genre are your books?

I tend to write Historical Fiction. Discovering people or events lost to history and bringing them to new light fascinates me. Recently, I have begun retelling books that are historically-significant but have been forgotten or neglected.

What draws you to this genre?

After my previous book, “Vanya Says, ‘Go!’,” which was the retelling of the first Russian-language book with a positive take on same-sex relationships, another author suggested to me that I had started a new genre of taking historically-significant books and reviving them.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

As Joseph Brown, the main character in “Better Angels,” is supposed to be young and handsome, I could see Ryan Gosling, or someone of his style, play him.

How much research do you do?

I generally buy a few books on the subject I am writing about, as well as lots of research on the Internet. Slang appropriate to the place and time really gives a sense of authenticity to the dialogue, and I attempt to pepper my writing with as many colloquialisms as possible.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

I generally write alone, but I would be open to collaboration. My partner also an author (but in a different genre). We have discussed working together, but that has not happened so far.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I had started creative writing in High School, took a few courses in college but never became serious about writing until 2001.

Why do you write?

Writing has been quite therapeutic for me. While recuperating from a life-threatening illness in 2001, it provided a sense of purpose and gave me a goal to complete.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

My very first full-length book I wrote while working as a word processor at a large law firm. There was a bit of down time, and I used it to write. That way, I always appeared busy.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

Because I do not have a job (I’ve been on disability since 2001) I have more time than most to devote to writing. I tend not to stick to a schedule and write when ideas come tumbling out of the back of my brain. Most of the time I am doing research the book when I get really inspired to write more.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

Because my writing is not very structured, I don’t set goals for myself. The goals I usually set are the number of words in a chapter (usually around 5,000).

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

Writing on a computer provides the freedom to make changes as necessary. When I used a typewriter (or wrote by hand), making changes seemed daunting. With the ability to play with words, try different things, experiment, I have found my creativity unleashed.

Where do your ideas come from?

As I read other things (books, news, Wikipedia), ideas come to me. One book about the history of maps, gave me at least two ideas for future books.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

Always a tough question. I tend to have some kind of vague outline in my mind before I set out, and an endpoint to aim toward. Along the way I enjoy discovering sidetracks that pop up and seeing where they lead. At some point I do sketch out the flow of the narrative, but I wouldn’t call myself a total plotter.

With my latest project of retelling previously-written stories, the plot and characters are pretty much presented before I begin. My job, as I see it, is to re-interpret the original ideas, update the writing, and present the same story but aimed at 21st Century readers.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

They say the more you write, the better you get. I have now completed six published works with a total of over 400,000 words. Also, I have been part of a writers’ group, and receiving direct feedback also provides for growth. I would like think that my latest book will always be better than the one before it.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Seeing your work for what it is tends to be the most difficult thing. Until someone else reads or hears what you are doing and validates it, you have no idea if you are wasting your time or working on something significant.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Because my latest book, “Better Angels,” is a retelling of a previously-published work, my goal was to present the same story and characters in an updated way. I wanted to be true to the original and yet have the new version be better and more accessible by 21st Century readers. In the sections I added (mostly emotional and physical interactions), I attempted to make the new material match the original as much as possible in a seamless fashion.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Typing the words, “The End.”

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

The shortest time I ever needed for a first draft was two months. I like to keep to a schedule of one new book each year.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?

Many of us in the U.S. went through a period of shock after the presidential election of 2016. I had been working on a very promising book but stopped writing it shortly after the inauguration earlier this year. Working on “Better Angels” helped to get me through that period of grey days.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

As I would say to anyone, if you feel stuck, put the manuscript aside for a while and come back with fresh eyes. During the intervening time, your brain should have worked things out for you.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

I don’t read as much as I used to. Because of the amount of research I do for each book, I have little interest in picking up other people’s books. If I do read, it is most likely from one of the circle of author friends I have made through hosting a local queer authors reading series with my partner.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I prefer reading from my iPad Mini. It’s just the right size to hold, you can read in the dark, and you can have a whole library at your fingertips.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

Fortunately for me, my partner is also an author, and we read our first drafts to each other to get initial feedback. As far as proofreading, I used to do that as a job, and I generally take care of it myself. However, before sending a manuscript for publication, I like to have a few close friends read it over for general readability, and if they find a few stray typos, so much the better.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

I know there are people who take years, sometimes up to 10 years, to produce a book. I am not one of those people. Now that I am 60 years old, I’m not sure how much writing time is left for me. My current pace is to publish one book per year. After the initial draft, I do put it aside for a while, read and edit a few more times, but I would never leave it go for very long.

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.

I design my own covers. While not formally trained in design, I have learned over the years what works and what I like.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

For a paperback book, the cover is probably the most important factor in sales. If your design does not call a potential buyer across the room to look at your book, you’ll not get sold. With eBooks, the cover is not as important.

How are you publishing this book and why?

I have self-published all of my books. Over my years of work I have acquired editing and typesetting skills. The covers are designed by me and I arrange for printing.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

With self-published books, the author has total control over the content and availability. With an established publisher, even if it is accepted you may not get your work published and distributed when you want it. However, established publishers can also provide publicity or advances, both unavailable when you self-publish.

How do you market your books?

I place my eBooks on Amazon and through SmashWords (Nook, Kobo, iTunes, etc.). Audiobooks are available through Audible and iTunes. Paperbacks are generally at local independent booksellers.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

Having a social-media presence is the most important thing for authors these days. Even though you might spend hours of writing time posting to Facebook, Tweeting, blogging, etc., it is the best way to keep your fans apprised of your works.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

Just like most other authors, marketing is the most dreaded part of writing. If I could afford it, I would hire a professional marketer to take on these tasks. I try to spend a few minutes each day posting something somewhere for people to read about my books.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

I just completed a Goodreads book giveaway for “Better Angels.” Over 300 people signed up, and I gave away 5 copies of the paperback version.

Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?

As my partner and I host a few local queer author reading series, we arranged for our own book launches. I did one interview on a local radio station.

Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?

There is such competition for books that many well-written books never see the light of day or end up in the hands of readers. It also seems that our society is moving away from traditional word-based fiction and toward a more graphic style. Movies and television also take away from traditional literature.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

My partner used to work in publishing, and he has frequently advises me never to give books away. I disagree. If giving a book to someone can help generate word-of-mouth book sales, I will gladly do that.

Did you format your own book?

Because of my work history with word processing, I format my own books.

In what formats is your book available?

Most of my works are available in paperback, as eBooks, and audiobooks.

How do you relax?

I’m not sure I ever learned that skill. My mind is constantly “on” and even if I appear to be sitting still, I’m thinking about something. If only I could find the “off” switch…

What is your favourite motivational phrase.

I don’t know if it is a phrase, but I do not believe in giving up until it is absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt, the end of the road for a project. I tend to be very persistent in most things. Sometimes, rescue comes at the very last minute, and you have to be ready.

What is your favourite positive saying?

I expected to have died years ago, and because of that, I like to say, “Every day is a gift; some days are giftier than others.”

What is your favourite book and why?

“Bridge of Birds” by Barry Hughart, has been one of the most amazing journeys I have taken. It is one book I can read again and still enjoy.

What is your favourite film and why?

Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” is my favourite mainstream film, and Peter Greenaway’s “The Pillow Book” is my favourite art film. “Moulin Rouge” is such eye-candy, and even though it gets silly at times, the story is compelling and the music enjoyable. “The Pillow Book” is a complicated, multi-layered film that I have had to watch a few times before I understood it. Also, it contains Ewan McGregor in full-frontal nudity.

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

I would say “Australia” is the first thing that popped into my mind. We took a holiday there last year, and I really enjoyed the country. Melbourne seems like a place I could live comfortably.

With respect to writing, I don’t see much of a change, even if I won the lottery or became a best-seller.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Everything happens for a reason. It might not be apparent at the time, but in a while, all will become clear.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

I have learned it can be dangerous meeting your idols. They are real people just like us, and sometimes it can be disappointing finding out that your favourite writer was not a very nice person.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read all you can, write all you can, and learn how to accept criticism with grace.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

Every time we hear the death knell for paper-based books, they seem to make a comeback. While I personally look forward to a paperless future, many people still enjoy the sensation of holding a book in their hands.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

My Twitter: @WGoodmanBooks

Title: Better Angels
Author: Wayne Goodman
Release Date: June 4th 2017
Genre: Gay Fiction, Retelling, Historical

Better Angels-Cover


Joseph Asten, a handsome, 23-year-old farmer living in the Allegheny River Valley shortly after the Civil War, secretly longed for intimacy and love with other men. He devised a misguided plan to marry a woman who knew of his “dual nature” then his life took some unexpected, fateful turns.

Bayard Taylor’s Joseph and His Friend: A Pennsylvania Story is considered the first American Gay novel. Originally published in 1869 as a serial in The Atlantic, the author could not relate the story openly and had to use suggestive ways to describe his characters’ activities and motivations. In Better Angels, Goodman retells the tale frankly and candidly, free from antiquated 19th Century cultural restraints. This is the author’s second book revivifying forgotten, historically-significant Queer stories. Previously, in Vanya Says, “Go!,” Goodman updated the first Russian-language Gay novel Wings, by Silver-Age poet Mikhail Kuzmin.

Find Better Angels on Goodreads

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Available on Kindle Unlimited

Praise for Better Angels:

“A lovely story, sumptuous in language and ideas with a rich ambience. For people who love a love story, it is thoroughly rewarding.” Vincent Meis, author of Deluge

“Goodman has turned the pallid prose of travel writer Bayard Taylor into a scintillating trip through 19th Century America. Those who loved James Baldwin’s Another Country and Giovanni’s Room will find something of value in Goodman’s latest triumph.” Kevin Killian, author of Tony Greene Era

Better Angels is a great read and a wonderful glimpse into a story of the 19th Century that has rarely been told. It writes queerness back into liter­ary history, with an anti-racist spin.” Dr. Ajuan Mance, author of Before Harlem

“A remarkable literary feat of resurrecting the first American gay novel. With meticulous prose and clever dialogue, Goodman offers a fascinating glimpse into love between American men in the 19th Century.” Elizeya Quate, author of Face of Our Town

Better Angels takes another obscure, early Gay novel and brings it back to life, updating language, amplifying the story, and presenting love between men and men, and women and women more di­rectly than it could have been presented when the book was first published. Goodman performs a his­torical service, giving readers a glimpse of Gay life lived 150 years ago.” Richard May, author of Inhuman Beings


Joseph felt the hum from the multitudinous spirits of life in every nerve and vein, marching triumphantly in a procession through secret passages and summoning the phantoms of sense to their completed chambers. He imagined his mind and soul balanced above a strong pinion as he rode farther and farther from his home.

At once, the great joy of human life filled and thrilled him. All possibilities of action and pleasure and emotion swam before his eyes. He envisioned many of the individual careers he had ever read about in all ages, climates, and conditions of humanity–dazzling pictures of the myriad-sided Earth. All this could be his if he but dared to seize the freedom waiting for his grasp.

He finally accepted that he did feel love for his longtime friend, Elwood Withers, as he himself had described it on their ride to the first gathering at the Warriners. Joseph would rather touch Elwood’s hand, or shirt, more than kissing anyone else. Miss Blessing and Lucy Henderson may have stirred a mild passion in him, but nothing like his constant craving for male companionship. Even with all the buffoonery and loud talk, Elwood had captured Joseph’s heart. Elwood embodied all the things Joseph aspired to be–outgoing, confident, worldly–and it made his brain run to his heels whenever Elwood came into view. However, Elwood professed to be interested in the young women, particularly Miss Elizabeth Henderson. Joseph understood his feelings could not be reciprocated, and he had to accept that his feelings differed from the others. His love for another man made him feel like a lone stalk of corn in a field of waving wheat.

GIVEAWAY: Win a SIGNED copy of Better Angels and 2x ebook copies

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About the Author

Wayne Goodamn profile pic

Wayne Goodman has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area most of his life (with too many cats). When not writing, he enjoys playing Gilded Age parlor music on the piano, with an emphasis on women, gay, and Black composers.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Thank you for stopping by and reading!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

What is on the Reading Radar? #WishList #TBR

What have I been doing? Well, last weekend my niece and I went to Texas to visit with family for the long holiday weekend. While I was gone, the husband's car broke a strut and so all of this week, I've been without transportation as he drove my car to work. We were a bit worried that the car frame broke because a car payment was definitely not in the budget. But the strut can be fixed and I'll have my car back next week. 

The other thing that happened was Sunder released on Monday! I'm really stoked since Sunder is my first self-pubbed book. (That was a LOT of work.) My editor, Alison, is a goddess of words. Just sayin'. You can check out Sunder at these fine retailers Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, and B&N. Plus the giveaway is still going (five days left) on and you can enter through rafflecopter.

And now of book hunting. What has caught my eye this week?

Title: Jackalopes & Woffen-Poofs
Series: Off Beat Crimes
Author(s): Angel Martinez
Publisher: Pride Publishing

Genre: Romance / Gay / Urban Fantasy /


BlurbBook five in the Offbeat Crimes series

Hoax animals and a consulting vampire on the prowl—ACO Jason Shen never thought having a cop boyfriend would be this hard.

All Animal Control Officer Jason Shen ever wanted was a quiet life of rescuing lost kittens and helping animals in need. Having a paranormal cop boyfriend guarantees an end to the quiet part. What at first seems like a random encounter with jackalopes in the park might be more than chance and when State Paranormal sends a handsome, charming vampire to consult with the Seventy-Seventh, he finds his relationship with Alex on shaky ground.

Officer Alex Wolf hoped his humaning skills were improving but now he can’t unravel the strange politics at State Paranormal or why Jason’s family seems to hate him. There’s no time to puzzle things out, either. Bizarre animals are loose in the city, Jason’s acting strange—and is the vampire captain from State flirting with him? Wolf’s going to have to keep his head in the game if he’s going to have any chance of putting the pieces together and keeping the city safe from the strange critters terrorizing its streets.

TitleDragon's Hoard
Author(s): M.A. Church
Length: 183 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner

Genre: Romance / Gay / Urban Fantasy / Paranormal / 


BlurbTo be loved by a dragon is to be treasured.

A hundred years ago, werewolf Alpha Montgomery took a risk driven by desperation—he borrowed money from the ancient dragon Warwick Ehecatl, putting up the pack lands as collateral. Now the debt is due, and dragons don’t forget—or forgive. Warwick demands Montgomery’s son, Avery, and three businesses as compensation. As an Omega, Avery knows he is basically useless to his pack, so he might as well agree. He soon has second thoughts, though. Warwick is fearsome, and he’s free to do as he likes with Avery.

Warwick knows his race’s reputation, and he even admits some of it is deserved. But he’d rather cut off his tail than let his innocent mate’s light go out. It won’t be easy, but buried deep, there’s something between them worth safeguarding.

TitleEthereal Lives
Series: Ethereals, 1
Author(s): Gem Stone
Length: 290 pages

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Alien Abduction / Feisty Heroine /


BlurbEthereal Lives: A Romantic Sci-fi Novel
What would you do if you were the last human left in the universe?

Hearing of Earth’s pending destruction, Ax and his men decide to grab a human and sell it to the highest bidder. But he doesn’t realise what he is getting when they pick Ariane. Believing humans to be simple, docile creatures, he gets a big shock when he finally meets one.

Ariane grew up tough. She knows how to defend herself, and has no plans to go to the auction block quietly. She intends to stop at every planet, see everything, and push every button she can along the way and she’s dragging Ax along for the ride.

But Ax has a secret, and when he gets taken prisoner Ariane must decide what she wants more. Her freedom or the man she loves.

Ethereal Lives is the first book in Gem Stone's science fiction romance series. With a fantastic new universe, fun characters, steamy sex and danger at every turn it's guaranteed to keep you hooked.

TitleTap-Dancing the Minefields
Author(s): Lyn Gala
Length: 290 pages

Genre: Romance / Sci-Fi / Gay / Urban Fantasy /

Notes: Releases November 14th. I want this one sososososo bad.

BlurbSometimes the fiercest battle a man faces is against himself.

In the hidden alleyways of New York City, George “Tank” Tankersley defeated what he believed were demons. But the victory cost too much. Tank joined the Army in the hope of outrunning the guilt haunting him—only to stumble into a vast and deadly conspiracy, the enemies he’d hoped to never encounter again, and the arms of the brilliant, eccentric scientist tasked with saving humanity.

In a world where the line between dark magic and alien science is thin, Dr. Lev Underwood must reverse engineer recovered alien technology to give humans a fighting chance against the extraterrestrial beings who consider Earth nothing more than a petri dish. His old friend, Colonel Clyde Aldrich, wants to protect Lev from entanglement with the scarred and emotionally volatile young soldier, but Lev cannot help the pull he feels toward Tank. Still, his first loyalty is to the secret government program, and love might have to take a back seat to protecting the world. But if he can find a way, Lev wants both.

Title: You Never Know
Author(s): Mary Calmes
Length: 214 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Contemporary /

Notes: So I finished reading this one last night and really enjoyed it. :)

BlurbHagen Wylie has it all figured out. He’s going to live in his hometown, be everybody’s friend, explore new relationships, and rebuild his life after the horrors of war. No muss, no fuss is the plan. He’s well on his way—until he finds out his first love has come home too. Hagen says it’s no big deal, but a chance encounter with Mitch Thayer’s two cute sons puts him directly in the path of the only guy he’s never gotten out of his head.

Mitch returned for three reasons: to raise his sons where he grew up, to move his furniture business and encourage it to thrive, and to win Hagen back. Years away made it perfectly clear the young man he loved in high school is the only one for him. The problem? He left town and they have not talked since.

If Hagen’s going to trust him again, Mitch needs to show him how he’s grown up and isn’t going to let go. They could have a new chance at love… but Hagen is insistent he’s not reviving a relationship with Mitch. Then again, you never know.

TitleThe Heart of the Lost Star
Series(Tales of the High Court Book 3)
Author(s): Megan Derr
Length: 499 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Fantasy /

Notes: I <3 this series.

BlurbKamir is on the verge of losing everything. Knowing full well he can't meet the ultimatum his parents have issued, he instead finally puts in motion his plans to live completely independent of them. His plans are interrupted, however, by the unexpected return of his despised ex-husband—and thrown even further into upheaval when he ends up comforting the man he's secretly loved for years.

Jader may not know where he comes from, but he knows where he belongs and what he wants—until he helps rescue some stranded Bentan travelers, one of whom looks almost exactly like Jader, throwing his life and everything he thought he knew into tumult. Scared and overwhelmed, Jader flees—and lands unexpectedly in the arms of a man he's always seen, but never really noticed.

TitleThe Dragon Hunter
Series(The Warriors of Love & Magic Book 3)
Author(s): AC Fox
Length: 276 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Fantasy /

Notes: I can't remember if I posted this since I've had my eye on it for a while. Dragons...

BlurbKill the dragon, or rescue his heart?

Rycard Serod's band of hunters is in dire straits. Deep in the borderlands overrun with plague, starvation, and the brutal Boa Visk armies, the hunters are out of money, out of food, and half a continent away from their winter camp, with storms close on their heels. Their only chance of survival is the bounty Rycard has accepted, the largest they've ever been offered. The downside—they'll be working for the Boa Visk. The other downside—they'll be hunting a dragon. Luckily, they don't have to kill the dragon. Just bring him back alive in all his fire-breathing, magic-wielding glory to the Boa Visk, who want him for their own dark purposes. But when Rycard finally has the dragon in his sights, he begins to question his decision. The dragon's not only a powerful beast, he can transform into a man—a beautiful, wise, honorable man, who makes Rycard's war-weary heart long for the balm of the dragon's touch.

Vorgon Graydalon will do anything to keep the humans of his valley safe, even if it means war with the Boa Visk. But the unexpected arrival of a band of hunters has endangered everything—his freedom, his people, and even his own kind, hidden away on their remote island far from the Boa Visk threat. He can't understand why Rycard, who claims to hunt monsters, would take Boa Visk gold to hunt him, the one creature who protects the humans. But when Rycard forces him to reveal his secret and shift into human form, Vorgon cannot refuse. There is too much at stake. And the way Rycard looks at him makes something wild and primitive awaken in Vorgon's heart. He's not sure if the dragon hunter will be the key to his salvation, or the key to his destruction, and that of all his kind. But after a night in the hunter's embrace, he's powerless to walk away...

TitleSiren's Call
Author(s): JC Owens
Length: 355 pages
Publisher: Etopia Press

Genre: Romance / Gay / Fantasy /


BlurbA looming war. A pirate's revenge. A young noble caught in the middle...

Dradin Sharlain is the youngest son of the most feared family in Malseenia. Scorned by his father and tormented by Vax, his sadistic brother, Dradin is seen as weak and vulnerable, despite his talents in diplomacy. When his carriage breaks down in a remote area known to harbor pirates, he soon falls prey to Captain Rastay, the merciless commander of the pirate ship Siren. Captain Rastay kidnaps him, intending to ransom Dradin for the crewmen Vax is holding captive. Trapped on the high seas, Dradin learns the pirate captain is everything he is not—powerful, fearless, and experienced in the ways of the world. But soon Dradin must make a bargain that may cost him his freedom and his innocence. Only he's no longer certain Rastay is as evil as the rumors claim...

Captain Rastay is desperate to rescue his men from the brutality of Vax Sharlain. So when the chance arises to capture the youngest of the family, he quickly takes the innocent young noble hostage. Rastay is driven by a wildness that shadows him, a craving for action, for revenge, and a growing desire for Dradin. After betrayals and subterfuge, both men are launched on a course toward a perilous battle on the high seas. Yet neither war nor treachery will stop Rastay from getting what he wants. But does he still want revenge...or does he want the hauntingly beautiful Dradin Sharlain in his arms?

Reader Note: Contains intense emotional elements

TitleAll My Broken Pieces
Series(shifters and partners Book 15)
Author(s): Hollis Shiloh
Length: 350 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Paranormal /


BlurbTim is a small wolf shifter, partially disabled, not good at confrontation, and very alone. Life isn't easy at a precinct where he's never been fully accepted. He spends far too much of his time trying not to overhear coworkers mocking him. His best friend (okay, pretty much his only friend) is a drug-addicted fox shifter. 

And Tim certainly knows better than to fall in love; that didn't work out so hot before. These days, he sticks to anonymous encounters. He doesn't believe in mates or true love, not for someone like him.

But he's worked for the cops almost a decade now, and really, there's no reason at all why he should have to go through a stupid certification course. They didn't even have those when he started!

Life takes an unexpected twist when one of his anonymous encounters turns out to be attending the same certification course. Levi is a big, sweet guy he'd never expected to see again.

Tim doesn't want to let Levi see the flaws and cracks that anything more than a quick hookup would reveal. He certainly doesn't plan to spend any more time with the guy, much less get feelings for him...

Length: 65,000 words
Heat: somewhat low
A "shifters and partners" novel

Title: Jordan's Pryde
SeriesPryde Shifters, 1
Author(s): Giovanna Reaves
Length: 254 pages

Genre: Romance / Gay / Paranormal / Mpreg


BlurbAll he did was apply for a job and then his world was turned upside down. 

Thrust into the world he had no idea about, Jordan Sutton’s only goal was to get a job working for Duncan Pryde of Pryde Industries. He thought werewolves, vampires, and faes belonged in fairy tales, not in the real world. What will he do when he finds out that there’s more than meets the eye to his boss and his family?

Duncan Pryde had too much going on in his life. He became the sole guardian of his twin niece and nephew along with the addition of his pack and company. He had no time to think about a mate when trouble came to his front door. What happens when the man he hired for one job turns out to be his destined mate? Does he deny what he feels or embrace it?

Disclaimer: Contains Mpreg but not the focus of the story. This book contains explicit language and is intended for adult readers over the age of 18+

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