A Q&A with Jordan L. Hawk

Fallow Banner

Oh My Shelves welcomes author Jordan L. Hawk to the blog to celebrate the release of her eighth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, Fallow – out today! – and she kindly answers a few of our questions.

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OMS: How did you come up with the title your book/characters/setting etc.

JLH: Most of the Whyborne & Griffin books are titled after the location where the main action takes place (although not all of them). In this case I was musing aloud and said to my husband, “I need an ominous name for Griffin’s hometown.” He immediately replied: “Fallow.” So thanks, sweetie!

OMS: Four words to describe yourself.

JLH: Weird, driven, goofy, creative.

OMS: What inspired you to start writing?

JLH: It was the only thing I ever wanted to do.

OMS: Who are your favorite characters from Gay Romance?

JLH: Vic from Jordan Castillo Price’s Psycop series, Silas from KJ Charles’s Society of Gentlemen series, Cole from Rhys Ford’s Dirty series…I could go on forever here.

OMS: If you could co-write a book with any author who would it be and why?

JLH: I’ve already co-written a short story with KJ Charles, Remnant, which was tremendous fun. There’s a list of people in my head I think it would be great to co-write with, but ultimately it comes down to how our well writing styles would mesh. I can’t really imagine myself writing contemporary, for example.

OMS: What is your favorite love story and/or movie?

JLH: I don’t really have a single favorite. I’m an easy sell on almost any retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. And I love Pixar movies.

OMS: What do you do in your down time?

JLH: Play video games and stream TV shows on the computer.

Rapid Fire Questions with explanations of course! Can’t let you off that easy.

OMS: Favorite Color?

JLH: Purple, I guess?

OMS: Favorite Word?

JLH: Hope. 

OMS: Last book you read?

JLH: Kindred Hearts by Rowan Speedwell. Buy it!

OMS: Biggest pet peeve?

JLH: I try not to get upset by minor stuff.

OMS: Coffee or Tea?

JLH: Coffee.

OMS: Listener or Talker?

JLH: I’d like to say listener, but I never shut up, so…

OMS: Night Owl or Early Bird?

JLH: Early bird.

OMS: Dinner at home or dinner out?

JLH: Home.

OMS: Cake or cookies?

JLH: Cake.

OMS: Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook?

JLH: Twitter.

OMS: What television shows are you currently addicted to?

JLH: Steven Universe! A cartoon aimed at kids that has the most adult handling of relationships, grief, and family that I’ve ever seen on TV. It’s just astonishingly good.

OMS: What is your next project?

JLH: I’m currently working on Hexmaker (Hexworld 2). After that, a Hexworld Christmas story for an anthology, and then a W&G-universe story featuring Miss Parkhurst and Persephone. 

OMS: Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers?

JLH: I love you! You are amazing.

 

We really want to thank Jordan for participating in this interview. Her books bring us such joy here, and Fallow didn’t disappoint! 


FallowFallow by Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin, Book Eight
Release Date: August 5, 2016
Pages:  197 • Format: eARC
Published By: Jordan L. Hawk
Purchase Links:
AmazonARe • B&N • Kobo 

When Griffin’s past collides with his present, will it cost the lives of everyone he loves?

Between the threat of a world-ending invasion from the Outside and unwelcome revelations about his own nature, Percival Endicott Whyborne is under a great deal of strain. His husband, Griffin Flaherty, wants to help—but how can he, when Whyborne won’t tell him what’s wrong?

When a man from Griffin’s past murders a sorcerer, the situation grows even more dire. Once a simple farmer from Griffin’s hometown of Fallow, the assassin now bears a terrifying magical corruption, one whose nature even Whyborne can’t explain.

To keep Griffin’s estranged mother safe, they must travel to a dying town in Kansas. But as drought withers the crops of Fallow, a sinister cult sinks its roots deep into the arid soil. And if the cult’s foul harvest isn’t stopped in time, Fallow will be only the first city to fall.

Fallow is the eighth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.


 

About Jordan L. Hawk

Jordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.

Blog Tour – GOL (THE LEGENDS OF ANSU) by J.W.Webb

 

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About J.W.Webb

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

I was born near Doncaster England in the early sixties but later moved south to Sussex, where I lived for many years. One of my (several schools) was at Battle, a small town named after that historic conflict in 1066. You know the one, it culminated with poor Harold getting that arrow in his eye and those rude Normans invading our green and pleasant land. Growing up so close to that scene of ancient carnage awarded me a fascination for all things Dark Age. I’d fallen victim to a weird and random imagination, resulting in a love of epic stories and epic story telling. This affliction prompted me to delve deep into the worlds of Tolkien, Peake, Eddison and Moorcock. Also about this time I commenced drawing imaginary maps and inventing stories about wonderfully nasty folk, doing wonderfully nasty things, whilst pent up in gloomy unpleasant places.

Then at 18 years daft, I found myself thrust deep into the Queen’s Household Cavalry. How I arrived there I cannot quite recall. The result was a sharp dose of reality. But not a cure – the affliction ran deep. I left the regiment, and for a time wandered hazy through life hitting nails with hammers, sailing brigantines through southern waters, drinking venomous concoctions with venomous companions, and yes, reading lots more ghastly fantasy books. At 27 years I became to a degree sensible. I married my beloved Rae, a watercolour artist and passionate Celt, and got a sensible career hauling trucks around the British countryside. The trouble with hauling trucks around the British countryside is that it lets the mind ramble willy nilly, when not being tortured by local radio. The result of that rambling was more stories flittering around inside this errant trucker’s dizzy head.

Then, during one dark winter night back in 1993, whilst parked forlorn outside a dreary inn, something profound happened. I stumbled into Corin an Fol: a moody, rather difficult individual, mooching about in a deep tangled wood (my imagination). That wood grew into a world (not as hard as it sounds when you write fantasy stuff). The world became Ansu, home to all manner of mismatched mortals and grumpy gods. Late 2001 a plot appeared through the murky trees. It found Corin lost and wandering and introduced him to some other unruly types, resulting in The Shattered Crown. This epic debut was scrawled out with biro ink on paper and still lurks somewhere close. I’m too scared to read it. But The Shattered Crown couldn’t contain its characters. These were (and still are) a very rough lot. They demanded a sequel. Instead (just to show who the boss was,) I focussed on a prequel, Fall of Gol being the result. But still the characters would not leave me alone. And so started The Legends of Ansu a forthcoming series of otherworldly tales, mostly involving Corin and his friends.
In late 2012 Rae lost her battle with cancer. I had always promised her a Cornish ghost story based on one of her evocative paintings. And so was born a novella called The Haven. A spooky yarn blending mystery and suspense with past and present. I hope that she likes it. We both loved Cornwall where we lived for many years. During our time there I met with Roger Garland the Tolkien Illustrator, who kindly consented to creating some fabulous images and illustrations for my work. And also designing this superb website! During 2013 I left the world of big wheels behind and focussed instead on writing full time. I moved to Georgia, married my gorgeous former shipmate Joanne, who I’ve known for 30 years. Since then I have rewritten Fall of Gol shortening it’s title to Gol and finally (with substantial assistance from my erudite and excellent editor, Catherine Romano) re-shaped The Shattered Crown into a rivetingly nasty read. Now after twenty-one years in the woods, I am more than ready to unleash these first two offerings in the Ansu series along with The Haven. The third legend: The Lost Prince will be available later this year and the fourth: The Glass Throne in 2016. JWW.

Blog Tour – Short Stay by Heidi Cullinan

Short Stay Blog Tour

Oh My Shelves is beyond excited to be part of the blog tour for Short Stay by Heidi Cullinan. Our resident ginger loved this and is a HUGE fan of the Love Lessons and Special Delivery series! Check out the post to get answers to some must know questions, get a glimpse into lunch with beloved characters and a chance to win paperbacks in the Love Lessons series.  

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Why Did You Write This Story?

I hadn’t planned on writing this story at all. I’d meant to write something for my Patreon readers as a Christmas present, but it got long and complicated, so I asked them what they wanted in a short story from a known character universe. They voted, and Baz and Elijah won, though Walter and Kelly were only one vote down, and the Special Delivery series characters had a strong showing too, so I decided what the heck, let’s include them all.

I meant the story to be short, but I don’t do short well. I was having too much fun playing with the characters and thinking of things to include I knew would delight my readers. I told them, as I wrote, that every time I got stuck I asked myself, “What would the readers want right now?” then tried to give it to them. I didn’t back down from anything cheesy, didn’t let any critical voices in my head.

The result was something I loved writing and my patrons loved reading. In truth all stories are written for readers, but this one really was. It wouldn’t have happened without them. It was designed with specific readers in mind, ones I’ve come to know and appreciate more deeply in the past six months. It felt exactly like it was meant to: a gift to readers I care very much about. And they enthusiastically let me share it with everyone else, so here we are.

You crossed the streams on this one big time, sending the Love Lessons characters into the Special Delivery characters’ world. Why did you do that?

It started as a lark. I’d meant for Baz and Elijah to go to Vegas in Lonely Hearts in an early draft, so I was eager to send them there now. And I thought, well, the Special Delivery characters have to say hi, since they live there. But I couldn’t resist sending them to Herod’s itself, and then everything snowballed. I should have known better. Randy always steals the show. But it’s okay, because he does it so well.

Will what happened in Short Stay become canon in either or both series?

Yes. It doesn’t change much in Special Delivery except now Randy wants a Tesla. For the Love Lessons series, though…well, I’m not giving any spoilers, but it changed a lot in what I had planned for the rest of the White House gang story arc. Which is fine, because shaking things up and making me scared always gives me good energy in a story.

What’s next in your production queue?

My muses have been fickle lately, and every time I make plans they thwart them. What I’m working on right now, for better or for worse, are two more after-HEA stories: Shelter the Sea, a novella in the Roosevelt series, and Enjoy the Dance, a short novel in the Dancing series. (Yes, Dance With Me is part of a series now.)

Shelter the Sea is still slightly amorphous, but essentially Emmet is trying to help a friend in trouble and doing a little more growing up in the process. Enjoy the Dance began as my attempt to chronicle what happened to Ed and Laurie between Dance With Me and when they appeared in Lonely Hearts, and how the radical change in the state of marriage equality affected them personally. We also find out what happened to Duon.

After that, I’m working on the next full novels in the Love Lessons, Roosevelt, and Clockwork Love series. As per usual I’m also working on several other things as well. What specifically comes next is difficult to say, but suffice it to say, something will float to the top.

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~Excerpt~

Lunch With the Boys

Walter and Kelly had left, as had Randy, but Mitch and Sam were still there, sitting in what Elijah had begun to think of as “Randy’s booth.” They welcomed him over when they saw him.

“Where’s your other half?” Mitch asked in his Texas drawl.

“Sleeping. I didn’t want to wake him, but I needed to get out of the dark for a bit.” Elijah had barely slid into his seat before the same waitress from the day before placed a Dirty Whiskey in front of him. He thanked her with a nod and took a sip. “What are you guys up to?”

“We’re waiting for my brother. He’s had a long day of rehearsal, and Steve’s deep into a project, so we thought we’d take Chenco out to pamper him at his favorite vegan restaurant.” Sam glanced at Mitch, who nodded. “You’re welcome to come along, with or without Baz.”

Elijah hesitated. “It sounds good, but I don’t know how long he’ll sleep, and I don’t want to be gone if he’s up and wants to do something.” He remembered the day before, their argument, and couldn’t help a wry smile. “Though if he were awake, he’d tell me to go.”

Sam leaned into Mitch. “I love how devoted the two of you are to each other. When are you getting married again?” When the question made Elijah shutter, Sam sat up, concerned. “I’m sorry, was that an uncomfortable question?”

How the hell should he answer? “We don’t have a date set, and whenever it is, I’m not going to look forward to it. Baz’s mother means well, but she’s a Momzilla on the best of days, and since she heard we were getting married, she’s been off the charts. There is no incarnation of our ceremony that doesn’t result in her taking over and turning it into some major social event for rich white people from Chicago. I can’t blame her, because this is her only son getting married. But it overwhelms me. I wish I could skip the ceremony and jump simply to being married to Baz.”

Mitch raised his eyebrows. “You can do that today, in Vegas. It’s called eloping.”

Elijah laughed bitterly. “Yeah, she’d be thrilled to find out we’d done an end run on her. But…even if I could know us running off to city hall wouldn’t mean she was gunning for my head on a platter, I kind of want some pomp and circumstance at our wedding.” He blushed, feeling ridiculous and exposed admitting it, but it wasn’t as if these people knew him or ever would. “I never thought I’d get married. I never thought anybody would feel that way about me. I still don’t always understand how I ended up with someone like Baz. You don’t get more opposite than the two of us, for family background.” His blush deepened, and he regretted not stopping his mouth on his first inclination. Damn Dirty Whiskeys.

Sam, unsurprisingly, turned soft and empathetic, a bottle-blond Kelly. “I never thought I’d leave Iowa, until I met Mitch. At best I hoped to get away to Des Moines. We aren’t so opposite as you and Baz, but we have other ways we’re different, I suppose.”

Mitch gave him an incredulous look. “Yeah, starting with our twelve-year age difference.”

Sam hushed him. “The point is, different can be good. You bring things out in each other, I think. Challenge each other. I didn’t want to move out to Las Vegas, but I wanted to be nearer to Randy and Ethan, and Mitch wanted to develop a relationship with his half-brother. Mitch likes to run cross-country jobs, but he’s driving local runs now almost all the time because we’re getting tired of not having a home base. Or rather, we want to be at the home base more.” He bit his lip, glanced at Mitch shyly, and added, “And because maybe someday soon we’ll make our own family.”

Yeah, this guy really was a Kelly. Elijah pulled the napkin from beneath his drink and shredded the edge absently. “I don’t know if I want a family beyond Baz.”

“It’s okay if you don’t,” Mitch said. “And it’s okay if you don’t now and do later.”

Chenco appeared, well-scrubbed and exhausted. Sam scooted out of the booth to break the news about the restaurant, which Chenco seemed pleased by, and once again invited Elijah to come along. Before Elijah could decline, however, Mitch leaned over to tap him on the arm and give him a heavy look.

“You come on out with us. We’ll tell Randy to take a break from party planning and bring Baz on over if he wakes up before we get back. Or Randy can keep him company, whichever Baz prefers.”

Mitch said this in such a rumbly, bossy way Elijah didn’t feel no was an option. And so he ended up piling into a sedan with the three of them, driving through the city into a residential area north of the city.

The restaurant was nice—fancy, but not formal, and the food wasn’t bad. Elijah ordered a fried tofu buddha bowl, which smelled delicious as it was placed before him. It tasted good too.

“My friends and I are eating more plant-based,” he said around bites. “We haven’t been doing it long at the White House, but we’re trying. We need to make stuff like this, though. It’s so good.”

Chenco raised an eyebrow. “The White House?”

Elijah always forgot how weird it sounded. “It’s this big house we all rent off Campustown. It’s white, and it’s a house, so…White House. Someone made the joke a million years ago, and I guess it stuck.”

“It’s so cool you get to live there with all your friends.” Sam looked jealous. “I lived with my aunt and uncle for most of college. My aunt and uncle who hated me.”

“My first year I lived in the dorms. My parents were…” Elijah stopped, the urge to share abruptly washed over with the urge to self-protect.

Mitch’s drawl was gentle, reassuring. “Randy told us your story. Glad you got out okay.”

Elijah poked at his bowl, appetite gone. “Some days I’m less okay than others.”

Sam put a hand near Elijah’s plate. “My mom died when I was seventeen after being sick all her life, and I had to live with the horrid aunt and uncle afterward. Mitch’s mom left when he was eight, meaning he was raised by his father who, from the sounds of it, would get along fine with yours. When Chenco was kicked out by his mother, he had to go live with their father—who then left the only home he had to the KKK when he died. We get it, Elijah. Trust me. We get it. And it’s okay. You’re okay. Even when you don’t feel it.”

Elijah moved his gaze around the table, taking in the serious but understanding and accepting faces of the three men. He felt exposed…but also seen, and in a way making something deep inside him unwind. The same place inside him Randy had touched. Randy, who had been kicked out in high school and done tricks to survive, same as Elijah.

“Family is essential. Find it, make it, seize it however you can. If it walks up to you and welcomes you home and you don’t have reason to doubt it’s real, don’t argue. Just go through the door.” Chenco winked and nudged Elijah’s bowl. “Eat your dinner. Anyone with that many hickeys on his neck had enough sex to require calorie replacement.”

Elijah ate. He also, on the drive to the hotel, got out his phone and opened Facebook again. Pulled down the still-unanswered friend request from Penny.

He didn’t know how to tell if the request was real or not, but he clicked accept anyway.

 


ShortStay_LargeShort Stay by Heidi Cullinan
Series: Love Lessons, Book Three Point Five
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Pages: 118 • Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Published By: Heidi Cullinan
Purchase Links:
AmazonARe iTunes • Smashwords   Kobo

Hot messes have a hard time with happily ever after.

Baz Acker and Elijah Prince have it all. They’re engaged, and their wedding is guaranteed to be a spectacle no event will ever top. So why are they hunkered down in a quiet corner of the Acker mansion, restless and edgy while they wait out the holidays? 

When Baz suggests a road trip with Walter and Kelly to Las Vegas, it sounds like an ideal escape, but it turns out Vegas only amplifies their unease. Elijah can’t slough off the self-hating his parents programmed into him, and he worries how that will affect his marriage. Baz, crippled en route because of too much time spent in the car without rest, must face the truth that his wealth and influence can’t always counteract the limits his disability will put on his—and Elijah’s—life.

With help from their friends, a wily poker player, a take-no-prisoners drag queen, and a smooth-talking casino owner, they face the truth that happiness is a state of mind, not a destination where they book a stay. What happens in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas—it will follow them all the way down the aisle.

This novella is a continuation of a story begun in the novel Lonely Hearts in the Love Lessons series and was written at the request of Heidi’s Patreon readers.


Follow the tour! 

Follow along to learn more about the book and for chances to win prizes, including a paperback set of the Love Lessons series!

May 20th – Review and Giveaway at Lucy Marker

May 23Ticket To Anywhere

May 24Diverse Reader

SS Blog Tour VerticalMay 24Bayou Book Junkie

May 24Keysmash Blog

May 24Just Love Romance

May 24 – The Day Before You Came

May 25Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

May 25My Fiction Nook

May 26Oh My Shelves

May 26 Joyfully Jay

May 26Bike Book Reviews

May 26Sinfully

May 27PrettySassyCool

Rafflecopter PrizeMay 27Molly Lolly

May 27Just Love Romance

May 30Viviana, Enchantess of Books

June 2Prism Book Alliance

June 3The Novel Approach

June 3Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews

June 4Love Bytes

 

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About Heidi Cullinan

Heidi grew up in love with story. She fell asleep listening to Disney long-playing records and read her Little House On The Prairie books until they fell apart. She ran through the woods inventing stories of witches and fairies and enchanted trees and spent hours beneath the lilac bush imagining the lives of the settlers who had inhabited the homestead log cabin and two-story late 1800s home on her family farm. She created epic storylines for her Barbies until it wasn’t satisfying enough to do so any longer (age ten), and then she started writing them down. Her first novel, The Life and Times of Michelle Matthews, was published when she was twelve in the school anthology and took up nearly half of it.

Though Heidi continued to write novels through high school (and still has the Rubbermaid tub full in her bedroom), she stopped in college, deciding it was time to grow up and do something meaningful with her life. When the specifics of that didn’t pan out, Heidi ended up in grad school to become a teacher, and through one of the courses rediscovered her love of romance novels. She began to write again on the side, continued to do so while she taught seventh grade language arts and reading, and when she quit teaching to have her daughter, she took up writing with more seriousness, both as a stress relief and as a potential means of bringing in money.

Many million pages later, Heidi has learned a lot about writing, more than she ever wanted to know about publishing, and most importantly, finally figured out that writing IS the meaningful something she wants to do with her life. A passionate advocate for LGBT rights, Heidi volunteered for One Iowa during the fight for marriage equality and donates with her husband as a monthly partner to the Human Rights Campaign and Lambda Legal. She encourages you to support your own local and national LGBT rights groups, too

Heidi enjoys reading, watching movies and TV with her family, and listening all kinds of music. She has a husband, a daughter, and too many cats. Heidi is an active social networker, and of course has good old-fashioned email.

Blog Tour – Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses by Heloise West

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Oh My Shelves welcomes author Heloise West to the blog to chat about her latest release in the Heart and Haven series – Send Lawyers, Guns and Roses – and answer a few questions for us. 

 

OMS: Describe your book to us.

HW: Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses is the sequel to my first romantic suspense novel, Hitting Black Ice.  I’ve sent my guys on a little vacation in the Caribbean, but trouble always manages to find them. Their new friends have secrets, and even their enemies have an enemy.  Oh, and there’s a hurricane, too.

OMS: Have you ever read something that made you think differently about your genre? Can you tell us what it was?

HW: The sheer amount of excellent authors that have risen from what used to be something that appeared to me at first alternative, flying under the radar, kind of–renegade compared to MF romance.

OMS: Tell us about your character’s family life?

HW: Hunter comes from a northern New England family involved in law enforcement and raising huskies. Dad is the sheriff of the county and his late mother worked as a nurse.

Alex comes from California. His mother Alice owns a Fair Trade import store, and his mother Jessie is a Reiki master.

OMS: Compare yourself to your main character.

HW: Well, they are part of me to a certain extent–Hunter’s gently ironic humor is mine, and I have a deep love for northern New England. Alex was tougher–he’s a lot less like me than Hunter is. I do love his grit and determination.

OMS: Describe your past week as a type of landscape or a weather forecast.

HW: I’m waiting impatiently for summer–real sun, not this borderline chilly sun behind clouds. Like waiting for a new release 😉

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~Excerpt~

“Ready? Take the beach bag. I’ll grab the chairs,” Alex said. “Did you get enough to eat?”

“Yeah. What’s the time?” Hunter slung the bag over his shoulder.

Alex shrugged. “Who cares? Have a cocktail. You know, to hydrate and pace yourself for a long day in the sun.”

“Let’s set up camp. Maybe a nap first.”

Their bare feet slapped against the sun-bleached boards of the footbridge, some of the flowering rainforest clinging to its edges for the hundred or so feet from the breakfast patio to the pool. The beach chairs were striped canvas and wood, chaise-style. Alex had grabbed a matching umbrella for when the sun was directly overhead. He left it closed, as they had a few hours yet before noon, by the arc of the sun in the unbelievably blue sky. The poolside held a half dozen chaise lounges and couples of various ages. They returned languorous, sun-soaked greetings in English, Dutch, and French as Alex led them to a spot he deemed worthy for their day in the sun. When the chairs were side by side, the canvas beach bag between them, Hunter sighed with pleasure, though he was soaked with sweat. He pulled off his T-shirt. “Do you want to swim first?”

“I’m dying to.” With a wicked grin, Alex slid his shorts down, the T-shirt hem falling to below his hips.

“Tell me you didn’t get a thing-thong!” God, they’d laughed together at the online models wearing bathing suits with pockets for their cocks.

Alex laughed. “No, a Speedo. For you.” He shrugged out of his T-shirt with an elegant, mouth-watering play of muscles and skin, and some of the lounging women whistled and clapped for the navy-and-white-striped Speedo he revealed. Hunter mock-growled and reached out to grab Alex, but he dashed away and ran along the side of the pool, blond hair streaming, long, muscular legs eating up the distance to the deep end. He dived like a happy dolphin into the water. Hunter ran after him and followed with a hurried, sloppy dive, shocked at the sensation of water as warm as bathwater. He wanted to melt into it. When he came up for air, hands beneath the water gripped his calves, and he grabbed a breath before Alex yanked him under. They wrestled briefly, then surfaced.

“Fantastic!” Alex shook his head briskly to whip the water from his hair.

Hunter shoved him, threw himself on top of him, and they went under again.

When they surfaced, Alex said, “We can rent a sailboat. Or a rowboat and paddle around in the bay. Or fish if you want. Do you think your leg will hold up to snorkeling?”

“Snorkeling, maybe even scuba.” He’d swim to the moon to keep Alex happy.RC

“I was born underwater,” Alex said, surprising him. “I even had those infant swim lessons.”

“You’re a natural,” Hunter replied. “Aqua Boy.”

Alex shoved him again; Hunter let himself fall backward into the water with a huge splash.

They swam for a while, joined by the other sunbathers when the heat got too intense. Hunter pulled himself from the pool and sat on the edge, watching Alex do laps. He shaded his eyes against the fierce touch of the sun. It pressed against his skin despite the water-resistant sunblock, and he splashed water up and down his arms, chest, and neck to cool off. Maybe he should have gone tanning like Alex had, because it hurt to touch his skin already. The water reflected and intensified the sun. He wasn’t that kind of redhead, but the tropical sun made him feel like one. Tanning had seemed kind of frou-frou…not for him…but he didn’t want to look like a strip of bacon at the end of the day either. Sucked it up and endured the tanning bed.

Alex swam over and pulled his gorgeous body out of the pool to sit on the edge beside Hunter. “I’m ready for some reading and napping. Lunch buffet is open until four… What are you laughing at?”

“We must be on vacation if we’re planning the day around the next meal.”

Alex smiled. “It’s about ten now. We can eat something light at eleven when they open.” He leaned in close. “If we go up to the room by noon, we’ll have time to screw our brains out until about two and have lunch again.”

Hunter nodded. It was all he could do.

“So it’s not meal times we’re planning for, right?” The sparkle in Alex’s eyes wasn’t about ham sandwiches and fruit salad. “Did you see the awesome mirror on the ceiling?”



HeloiseWest_SendLawyersGunsandRosesSend Lawyers, Guns, and Roses
by Heloise West
Series:  Heart and Haven, Book Two
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Pages: 200 • Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone
Published By: Loose ID
Purchase Links:
Loose IDAmazon  • ARe • B&N • Kobo

When Hunter and Alex are given the vacation of a lifetime, it’s a chance for them to pay attention to romance and get out of the path of danger. The tiny Caribbean island of Saba is gorgeous, the first to have marriage equality, and the Sabans are the nicest people on earth.

There’s lots of rum poolside for relaxing and a room with a mirror on the ceiling for passion. Hot karaoke nights, cold beer, and new friends. 

But their new friends Orfeo and Max, and Max’s sister Talisha, share a troubling secret. Alex and Hunter want to help. As a hurricane bears down on them, a dead body surfaces, and a purple backpack loaded with stolen jewels leads a pair of dangerous men to the island.

Alex would rather poke his own eyes out with a pointy stick than call on his old enemy Nick Truman for help; he’d also do anything to keep Hunter out of danger. But even his nemesis can’t reach them now.

Once again, they only have each other to depend on as their paradise is about to become hell on earth.


Tour Dates & Stops:

25-Apr: Full Moon Dreaming, Outrageous Heroes

26-Apr: Louise Lyons, MM Good Book Reviews

27-Apr: V’s Reads

28-Apr: Dawn’s Reading Nook, Jessie G. Books

29-Apr: Alpha Book Club

2-May: My Fiction Nook

Badge3-May: Happily Ever Chapter, Unquietly Me. Love Bytes. Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

4-May: Oh My Shelves, Book Lovers 4Ever, BFD Book Blog

5-May: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

6-May: Molly Lolly

9-May: Havan Fellows, Mikky’s World of Books

10-May: Inked Rainbow Reads

11-May: The Novel Approach

12-May: Bayou Book Junkie, Making It Happen

13-May: Kirsty Loves Books, A.M. Leibowitz

16-May: Prism Book Alliance

Final

 

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About Heloise West

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

Guest Post: A Q&A with L. J. LaBarthe

Oh My Shelves welcomes author L.J. LaBarthe to the blog to answer a few questions for us in anticipation of her new book, Book, Line, and Sinker – releasing from Dreampsinner Press Friday, April 15, 2016 – and share a few photos of the Flinders Ranges, where the book is set.

Book line and sinker banner

* * * * * *

OMS: How did you come up with the title?

LJB: I love a good pun, and doesn’t a good book draw you in, hook, line and sinker? I know it’s a fishing term, but I still like the pun of book, line and sinker.

OMS:Four words to describe yourself.

 LJB: Thinking, aware, writer, photographer.P1000772

OMS: What inspired you to start writing?

 LJB: I’ve always written things, even when I was a child. I daydreamed a lot as a kid, and a lot of those daydreams ended up as little stories with accompanying drawings. I guess it just carried on through my life, though with less drawings.

OMS:Who are your favorite characters from Gay Romance?

 LJB: Jandu Paran and Keshan Adaru from “The Archer’s Heart” by Astrid Amara, Andrew Salazar, AK-0019 and the two BZs in “Feral Machines” by Ginn Hale, Mordred and Alan in “The Prince and The Program” by Aldous Mercer.

OMS:If you could co-write a book with any author who would it be and why?

LJB: Oh wow. I honestly have no idea! I have co-written one novel with Cate Ashwood, that’s called “Brick by Brick.”

 5OMS:What is your favorite love story and/or movie?

 LJB: I’ll go with movies, although this first one is both book and movie—Ennis and Jack in “Brokeback Mountain” is one. I’m a huge fan of Bollywood movies, and there’s always romance in those so the rest of my choices are Bollywood films. Arshia and Haider in “Haider,” Ayaat and Harinder in “Mausam,” Devdas and Paro in “Devdas,” Akbar and Jodhaa in “Jodhaa Akbar,” Surinder and Tani in “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi,” and Veer and Zara in “Veer Zara.” I think that’ll do for the moment!

OMS:What do you do in your down time?

 LJB: Sleep. LOL. Watch some TV, go to the movies, hang out with friends, I do some weaving, nothing much.

 

Rapid Fire Questions with explanations of course!

We can’t let you off that easy.

 

Favorite Color?

Red.

Favorite Word?

Discombobulate.

Last book you read?

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith.

Biggest pet peeve?

Chewing with one’s mouth open.

Coffee or Tea?

Both, but not mixed together.

Listener or Talker?

Both, but not simultaneously.

Night owl or Early Bird?

Early bird, I guess.

Dinner at home or dinner out?

Home.

Cake or cookies?

Both!

Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook?

All three!

What television shows are you currently addicted to?

Supernatural, Would I Lie to You?, Elementary, M*A*S*H reruns.

What is your next project?

I’m working on a vampire series at the moment.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers?

Thank you so much to each and every one of you who have read my books and supported me. You are all awesome.


Book line and sinkerBook, Line, and Sinker: by L. J. LaBarthe 
Release Date:  April 15, 2016
Pages: 200
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

After seventeen years serving in the Australian Army, Ash returns to his childhood home in the outback town of Quorn. Filled with the desire to live a happy life in peace and with loved ones, Ash is grimly determined to beat his PTSD and tackle his flashbacks.

What Ash isn’t prepared for is Jaxon, the new librarian in Quorn. Jaxon is calm, gentle, kind, and a rock for Ash’s battered psyche. Ash finds himself falling for the handsome newcomer, even as his mind and memories of the past torment him.

When he has the idea for a mobile library to bring books and entertainment to remote communities in the far north, Ash is delighted that Jaxon is with him every step of the way. But though the library, called Book, Line, and Sinker, takes off, Ash’s past continues to plague him. Can Jaxon’s love be enough to keep them together until Ash is strong enough to stand on his own?


 

About L.J. LaBarthe

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.

L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. She has won several Rainbow Awards Honorable Mentions and another award for Best Historical Gay Novel.

An Interview with A.E. Via and a Giveaway

Oh My Shelves welcomes author A.E. Via to the blog to answer a few of Tamika’s inquisitive questions in preparation for her new release, Promises Part 2, of the Bounty Hunter Series. 

* * * * * *

I want to address your question about not having any black men or much racial diversity in my novels and I don’t mind you printing this answer, others may be just as curious. I’m not upset about the question, it’s quite typical and I’m even asked that when I’m on panels or at conventions. So officially on the record.

Tamika’s Question: I have a personal question for you if you don’t mind. Here at Oh My Shelves, 2 out of 4 reviewers are Black Women. We read a ton of different genres, myself personally is strictly LGTBQIA, with the exception of PNR and some other genres. I wanted to ask you as a Black woman, why are there not P.O. C. in the series, or should I say more prevalent in your novels? I hope that didn’t come off mean, but it was just something that I thought of once I saw a picture of you. Not saying the majority of the books have to include black men.  Is it because of the sales? I’ve seen that menioned before and I get it. It was just a question on the diversity front. I’m more liable to buy a book from an author with a P.O.C because that’s real to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love your guys, it’s just something I wanted to know.

“Simply” put. I write the character that’s in my heart and head. I find ALL men very sexy, but when I picture my characters, I’ll have a foundation but it’s really when my fingers start to go and that’s when the images really begin to form. It’s like I learn the character as I go. One of my most popular characters – God – was quite an enigma even to me. I didn’t know he’d have long hair until it was written. I didn’t know he’d be southern until I made him speak out loud (on paper). So, it’s hard to explain, why my characters are not of another nationality, why they’re short or tall, Catholic or Baptist, the careers chosen,  it’s all relayed to us by that character.  If a black man, Indian, Hispanic – comes to my mind and a story begins to develop, I’ll tell it. But when I pictured my Nothing Special team, or the Beastmasters from Blue Moon, they were who I kept Promises 2
seeing. I enjoy all types of works, and I don’t base my reading selection, or what I write on race, orientation, etc.  If I did, I’d be missing out on some pretty stellar novels. I still contend that I’m happy with the direction and growth of LGBTQ romance.

I hope I’ve answered okay.  

OMS: What inspired you to write your first novel?

A.E.V: I’ve always been a reader. Dabbled in a little poetry in high school, nothing that would win awards. LOL. But I did enjoy writing early on. I’d read romance for so many years, but it wasn’t until I read a gay romance novel by E.Lynn Harris, that I ‘found my life’ LOL. That’s when I wanted to write. Not to sound so cliché, but it came to me like an epiphany.

OMS: Who are your favorite characters from Gay Romance?

A.E.V: Tamika you said these questions were easy. If you’re speaking of my book boyfriends by other authors, then I’d have to say Prophet and Tom from the Hell and High Water series by SE Jakes are number one. And now Lincoln and Aaron from Ann Lister’s latest Rock Gods installment has easily taken second place over Ty and Zane from the early Cut & Run books.

These characters have imprinted on my soul and are constant rereads. Anyone that hasn’t read these guys… hesitate no longer!

OMS:Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get our of, and what did you do?

A.E.V: Refreshingly different question. Recently in the last several months, when I was completely unable to sit long enough to finish Promises2. I found myself in a self-pitying rut. I got stressful news from my doctor on my back, realizing the pain was going to progress if I didn’t make drastic changes in my lifestyle. Meaning diet, exercise, lots of physical therapy, gym memberships. Augh! It was stressful with the pain and trying to work on a book. I gave up for a while. It hurt and I was pissed. I couldn’t see my way past feeling sorry for myself and complaining of pain all the time. My husband and family were all being supportive but it wasn’t until I ran into Taylor Law in Daytona and she set me straight. What was said is between her and me, but she’s a friend and was in the right place at the right time. In summary it was a ‘pull your head out of your ass and fight’ conversation. I love her. She’s my she-ro’ whether she knows it right now.

OMS: If you can cast your characters in a Hollywood movie, who would play who?Promises 1

A.E.V: Well I’ve thought of this a lot. Of course this is in my dreams – and unless I become a billionaire before I turn Nothing Special into a screenplay – I think Chris Hemsworth (Thor) would make a perfect Lt. Godfrey and Stephen Amell (Arrow) would make a good Day. This would be the book I’d like to see on screen or Defined by Deceit.  Jake Gyllenhaal would make a wonderful, Llewellyn!

OMS: What is your least favorite part of publishing or writing?

A.E.V: Most would probably say the tedious hours of promo, but I like that part. It’s fun mostly. Right now my least favorite about my job, is the sitting for so long – if you want a decent daily word count anyway. I have degenerative discs in my lower back. But, sometimes, the characters are so consuming, I’d be a few hours before I’ll notice it again. Such a sedentary occupation has it’s ups and downs. Someone needs to invent a laptop you can strap to your body and walk on a treadmill with.

There ya’ go! I just gave someone a zillion dollar ideal. LOL.

Okay fun questions…

OMS: What television shows are you currently addicted to?

A.E.V: There’s the always classic favorites that I watch daily. Golden Girls and Roseanne. But for newer shows. I only MUST watch. Modern Family. Game of Thrones, Lucifer, American Crime and How to Get Away with Murder. Glad I keep ample space on my DVR because often I’ll have to binge watch.

OMS: What are you reading now?

A.E.V: I read a book every couple days. Right now I’m reading Crunch by E. Davies, right before that was Shifting Gears by Riley Hart; Broken by Nicola Haken (Damn that was a powerful read!)

OMS:Which of your characters would you want to date? (If they were straight lol)

A.E.V: I was about to say….ummm. None. They’re all gay. LOL. But you beat me to that. I’d want to date God only because I think he’s the only one big and strong enough to hold my fat ass up against the wall and take me.  (LMAO!!)

OMS: Listener or talker?

A.E.V: Listener!promises 3

OMS:What’s up next for you?

A.E.V: As far as writing. Blue Moon III is next. At least I’m doing my best. It’s a difficult one to write because of the assassins. I’m republishing a couple of my standalones with AllRomance, so I’m excited about potentially expanding my audience. I’ll be in New York City at the RainbowFair in April, looking forward to seeing readers and a lot of authors I love to read.


Promises 2Promises Part 2 by A.E. Via
Series: The Bounty Hunters
Release Date: March 20, 2016
Pages:  280 • 
Published By:  Via Star Wings Publishing
Purchase Links:
AmazonSmashwordsKobo • ARe

Roman “Quick” Webb is one badass bounty hunter on the crime-filled streets of Atlanta. He’s fearless when it comes to carrying out his dangerous job alongside his longtime best friend and business partner, Duke. However, there is one thing that has begun to cause Quick concern and it’s the dreadful thought of living out the rest of his life alone. Seeing his best friend and his son fall in love and sharing the special connection that only true soulmates can, has made him all the more aware of what’s lacking in his life.

Love.

Dr. Cayson Chauncey has been wildly attracted to the big, tattooed hunter for almost a year, ever since he performed the surgery that saved Quick’s best friend’s life. Cayson must’ve mistaken Quick’s gratitude for something more, because the one time he tried to make his desires known, he was harshly rebuffed and left on the man’s doorstep feeling stupid for hitting on an obviously very straight man.

Cayson never dated a man who was willing to come out of hiding and be with him. Now at almost forty, Cayson is intent on no longer being anyone’s dirty secret. Having experienced countless disappointments, and having taken a stand not to fall for any more tricks, Cayson is more than a little skeptical when Quick comes around asking for a second chance to prove himself. The gorgeous man had already made it clear that he was not interested in Cayson… or so he’d thought.

Dr. Chauncey stirred up Quick’s suppressed, most carnal desires from a place deep down inside of him. He’d reacted so badly the first time that now his sexy surgeon wanted nothing to do with him. It was going to take a fair amount of patience and a whole lot of wooing involved as Quick sets out to convince Cayson that he’s worth another chance and that he is the brave lover who Cayson has been looking for.

With a scorned ex and a very dangerous job thrown into the mix, Cayson’s happiness and all of Quick’s promises may not be as easy to keep as they’d hoped.


 

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About A.E. Via

A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to spicy to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children. Adrienne Via has tons of more stories to tell, but she really would like to hear yours. Via Star Wings Books is currently accepting submissions for established and aspiring LGBTQ authors. I’ve contracted and successfully published a couple authors – whose information can be found on my website – who can tell you that my passion is giving other writer’s stories the love and care it deserves so it could be a gift to another.

Visit my site to learn more! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

Strong Signal: Giveaway and Q&A with Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

We,  at Oh My Shelves would like to give a warm Valentine’s Day welcome to authors Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell, who have co-written a fun, romantic and smoking hot story about finding love online and moving it into the realness of daily life.

They have gratuitously answered a few of our questions and are offering a wonderful prize for a giveaway. 

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OMS: How did the two of you “meet” and how did the idea of the book come about?

Megan: I’m not sure exactly how we met. I think we started creeping into each other social circles. He’d read my books, then I read his, and I think we were fans of each other’s work first, which is a great foundation to have if you plan to co-write.

Santino: Wow, I actually don’t remember either. I know for sure it was after last year’s RT Convention, though. The idea for the book came about after Megan mentioned Twitch to me, which she’d been discussing with her husband. It went from her writing a book about female gamers who use Twitch, to me saying “well if you don’t, I will!” to us going “let’s do write it together!”

OMS:  Did you each write a character??? We think we may know who wrote whom but…

Megan: I mostly wrote Kai, and Santino mostly wrote Garrett, but we hopped into each character a lot. And the characterizations were definitely a collaboration.

Santino: Yeah, basically if there is a scene in Garrett POV I was writing both Kai and Garrett (and side characters), and she’d write Garrett if the scene was in Kai POV. It worked out really well, honestly.

OMS: The chat conversations felt so real between Garrett and Kai, they read as if we were online with a friend for the first time getting to know one another. Were those actual chats between the two of you doing a sort of role play as the characters?

Megan: Actually no, we didn’t converse back and forth writing those. I wrote some conversations and Santino wrote others. We’d often go in later and tweak word usage or reaction to fit the characters a bit better.

Santino: Role playing that is my worst nightmare. LOL. But, I think just the fact that we’re people who converse primarily via chat and who have made friends online really allowed for a sort of ease in demonstrating how people can connect.

Strong Signal teaser

OMS: With both MC’s being a level of introvert, the characters read as if you both got it, and not just from a research aspect so we’re curious, which of the characters do you identify with? Kai or Garrett?

Megan: I’m not an introvert. I think I’m more of an ambivert? I get really energized around people, and I enjoy being social, but then I need to hermit up for days afterward. I related to Kai in the sense that he could control his life online more than he could in the “real world.” He could shut off the computer when things got to be too much. His retreat skills are excellent.

Santino: I relate to Garrett in the sense that most people piss me off. They don’t make me uncomfortable, and I don’t have social anxiety, but I’m super grumpy and like my alone time. In other ways, I related to Kai in the way people sometimes latch onto me online or say inappropriate things without necessarily thinking of how Santino the Human Being may think or feel about it because they’re used to Santino the Author who CAN’T always react to certain things because my social media presence is part of my job.

OMS: The insecurity about meeting someone “live” after having a long, intimate online relationship was again, spot on. We’d like to think we wouldn’t react the way Kai did with the first physical meeting, but, you know? ☺ Has that happened to either of you and if so, what resulted when finally meeting face to face?

Megan: Well I first met my husband online. We talked for several months, and we became very close friends. When I finally met him in person, he would barely say three words to me. He was shy, and it’s kind of a head trip to now speak in person when you’ve spoken through a computer for so long. We used to message each other rather than meet in person until gradually we both thawed a little.

Santino: Well, most of my online meetings have stemmed from online dating sites or hookup apps. Yeah, I’m that guy. For the most part, those meetings are pretty straight forward if you catch my drift, although there have been occasions where I wound up befriending a person who was initially just supposed to be a hookup. The guy I’m hanging out with now is one of those people.

OMS:  Megan, how does the experience of co-writing compare to that of going at it solo now that you have done both?

Megan:Well I’m trying to write a book now by myself and I’m having a tough time, haha. I got so used to brainstorming with Santino, I’m so sad I have to do everything on my own again!

OMS: Santino, as you have co-written before with Ais, and the ICoS series, which do you prefer or how does having a co-author benefit or hinder your writing?

Santino: They’re both good experiences, but I think it’s a lot swifter to share characters like Megan and I did instead of writing in shifts/having to be in a Google Doc at the same time like I did with Ais. Whenever me and Ais work on ICoS again, I may suggest we try this out. And honestly, having a co-writer is GREAT. I get so much more work done.

OMS: The blurb for the next book in the Cyberlove series has us ridiculously excited and we can’t wait for that boy to fall head over heels for a guy! Is there a set number of books in the series or will it just continue if y’all have more ideas/stories?

Megan: There isn’t a set number at this time. We have maybe.. one or two more ideas? All around the idea of finding love online. If the ideas keep coming, who knows!

Santino: What she said. 🙂 There’s plenty of room for more and if people are interested, and make that known, we will definitely see what happens in the future.

 

We’d like to thank you both, so much for your time and for giving us a wonderful story. 

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The authors are generously hosting a giveaway for a Kindle Fire.

Enter below.

 


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Strong Signal CoverStrong Signal  by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Series: Cyberlove
Release Date: February 15, 2016
Pages: 212 • Format: eARC
Published By: Megtino Press
Purchase Links:
Amazon USAmazon UK • KoboB&N iBooks


 

About Megan Erickson

Megan Erickson is a former journalist who switched to fiction when she decided she liked writing her own endings better. She likes to pretend she has control now, but usually her characters are the ones who hold the reins. Her romance novels have a touch of humor, a dash of nerdy, and always a happily ever after.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and two cats named after John Hughes characters. She’s still waiting for the party she was promised when she grew to five feet… maybe because she never got there.

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.