Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Thank you for coming over to the blog of Sid Love to answer some questions! It’s a great pleasure having you here ! 🙂

Well, it’s lovely to be here! Thanks for having me.

When I look at your bio I notice you started writing not too long ago but wanted to for quite some time before that. What made you take that final step?

Being so stressed in my job that I had to do something.  I’ve always been creative – I paint, sew, play the clarinet – but I haven’t been able to do those things for a while because the demands of my job were simply too much. Then when the job became so stressful that my health suffered, it was time to do something. My doctor actually said that I needed an outlet, something to focus on. So I thought about that idea for a book I’d had a year previously….

Now you’re writing full time did it change your life ? And if it did, was it all positive or were there also negative sides to that?

Oh WOW – has it changed my life.

Well, losing the EDJ certainly changed my life. My friends comment these days that I look so much happier. But as for writing full-time, I love it! It’s wonderful to spend a day on the laptop and at the ned of it, I can read it over and think, “YES! It was a good day.”

There’s only one negative that I can see. I have to be VERY self-disciplined. When I go down to my little writing room by the sea, it’s easy. There are no distractions and I just get on with writing. When I stay at home? That’s another story. It’s SOOOOOO easy to get distracted… the Internet, friends on Facebook (Yeah, Max Vos, I mean you… 🙂 ) stuff round the house, the Internet, shopping, the Internet… Yeah, you get the picture…

You self-publish some stories as well as publishing with Dreamspinner. Is there a reason why you use both?

Learning to Love: Michael & Sean (Learning to Love, #1)When I submit a book to Dreamspinner, there’s a waiting time till I find out if it’s been accepted, then five-six months before it comes out. When I self-publish, once I’ve finished the book, it’s off to my beta readers. That’s usually about a week – damn, they read fast! – then off to Sue, my editor, and then I sit down and run it through the software before uploading it onto Amazon, All Romance, etc…

It’s a faster process and I get to see the results of my labor faster, too. Especially as now my writing pays the bills..

But publishing with Dreamspinner is wonderful. They take care of everything – covers, publicity…

I like having the best of both worlds.

Looking over your backlist I see an impressive list built in a short time. I see for starters the ‘Learning to Love’ series that has three books so far, all with very different personalities in them. In part one we meet freshman students Michael and Sean and we are introduced to their friend Evan, who gets his own story with Daniel in part two.

Did you know when you started the first book and introduced us to Evan that there would be a part two where he would be chasing his own happily-ever-after? Or was it something that came to you as you write Michael and Sean’s story? And then part 3 with Cris and Josh who also are introduced in an earlier book?

Learning to Love: Josh & Chris (Learning to Love, #3)I was half way through Michael & Sean when I realized there would be a sequel. I mean, Evan HAD to have his Happy Ever After! But by the time I ‘d started Evan and Daniel’s book, I’d already worked out that there would be four books in the series in total.

And from my own opinion I am very much looking forward to a part 4 in this series as I really would like to find out how you will continue this and I kind of need you to make it alright (without spoiling too much). Is it coming and when?

Ahhhhh… Part 4 is on my To Do list, and will be submitted to Dreamspinner early next year, so hopefully it should be out by the summer. It’s the final year of studies for Michael, Sean, Evan, Daniel and Chris – Josh will still have Medical school, of course – and a lot happens. I cannot tell you how many people have messages / emailed me about Sean, wanting to know if he’s going to be alright.  I love that boy – would I let anything bad happen to him? Hmmm…..

But part 4, Final Exam, is a pulling together of different storylines. Evan and Daniel take time to explore another side to their marriage, one which has been emerging throughout parts 2 and 3. Josh and Chris are still a fairly new couple, and there are bumps in the road to contend with. But Michael and Sean have a tough time ahead, and they’ll only get through it with their friends and family to support them.

Waiting for a Prince (Island Tales #1)Continuing through your backlist, we see the ‘Island Tales’ a series you are self-publishing which has different characters in each story but centres on the Isle of Wight. Can you tell me why you decided to write this series using separate and non-related characters?

Interesting question. Just because Mark and Sam (from Waiting for a Prince) didn’t turn up in the next tale, September’s Tide, please don’t assume that’s the last you’ll see of them. In fact, they turn up in the third tale, which should be out before the end of the year. And Andy and Richard, at the Beach Shack café in Steephill Cove, turn up in both books – and will be in the third. (They’re real people, by the way. They’re waiting for the day when someone ask them “Are you the guys in the books?”) And they’re straight, before anyone asks.  🙂

I liked the idea of setting lots of different stories on the Island. I love this place. It’s beautiful, tranquil and definitely an inspiration.

I have at least three more books planned for the Island Tales series.

Coming to the ‘Collars and Cuffs’ series that has had a very successful start with “An Unlocked Heart” with the second part “Trusting Thomas “ being released tomorrow (Are you nervous?)

An Unlocked Heart (Collars and Cuffs, #1)You take the reader into the world of BDSM with this series. Is that a genre you always wanted to explore as a writer?

I’m ALWAYS nervous when a new book comes out, even after (*counts on fingers*) eight books.

I’ll be honest. I got half way through 50 Shades of…. and gave up. And then I thought, what would a gay version look like?  I love the BDSM books by Sean Michael, Anna Martin, SJD Peterson, Patricia Logan… so it was something I wanted to try. I loved the idea of making the books primarily a love story, with added BDSM. I often get reviews that say they’re not hardcore BDSM – they were never intended to be. But when I get readers telling me that they LOVE how different the book is, or that they don’t usually read BDSM but loved An Unlocked Heart – that is huge for me.

We get introduced to Thomas in the first part as Leo‘s Business partner so it is great to see he is getting his own story in this part. Can you share something with us about the new book “Trusting Thomas”?

I loved Thomas from the start. This is a kind, patient, gentle man who trains Doms and subs alike, but has never had his own submissive. He’s content with his life, rattling around in his big house, running the club, but when a friend asks him to help him by taking on a sub, Thomas can’t say no. He isn’t prepared for such a damaged young man, however. Peter has been through a lot, and it’s going to take him a while to trust another Dom.

The book is Thomas and Peter’s journey, and I loved watching them take those all important steps to realizing that they needed each other.

What does worry me is  the reaction to the age difference. At the start of the book, Thomas is 55 and Peter is 26. When I read Slow Bloom by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox (LOVE that book!) it didn’t bother me in the least that Jack was 48 and Ricky was 19 when they started… But I know there are readers out there for whom this will be an issue. Not an insurmountable one, I hope.

Trusting ThomasYou’re already well known for your special way of combining smoking hot mansex with romance. Is this something you really have to work at, or does it come naturally for you while writing?

LOL. I see my books like a film in my head. And seeing as some comments were made in my earlier books that there was too much sex, I am now always careful to rein in my men. If the sex moves the story along, then yes, okay boys, off you go, the bedroom’s thatta way… If it doesn’t? Sigh…

Something else that worried me about Trusting Thomas is that there’s a lot less sex than in my previous books. When you read it, you’ll see why. And if you like less sex with your story? Come on in – you’ll like this one.

Knowing where in the story I want my characters to make love? That’s easy..

Writing the scenes? That’s harder. They have to be right. That’s why beta readers are so valuable. And to be honest? I love writing sex scenes. If i can read it back and see the action in my head, I’m pleased.

Time for my shorties I would say 🙂

Favorite food? OMG – I don’t really have one, I like food! (Though chocolate would be near the top of the list)

Favorite color? Gold

Favorite author? Can’t answer that one – FAR too many to choose from

Favorite book? See above!

Favorite way to spend a day off? Going down to the beach, walking along the shore, listening to the waves…. Happy sigh

Favorite movie?  Oh dear. Nope. Too many again.

Favorite music or song? I really like Classical music, but then there’s the Beatles…..

Favorite flower? Roses – preferably with a perfume

Favorite clothes? I love wearing dresses

Favorite season? Summer

At the end of this interview I would like to ask you your plans. What’s coming from K.C. Wells?

Making it PersonalOOH! Just last week I had an idea for a short story, based around the characters of Blake and WIll from Making it Personal. That will be out very soon

And speaking of Making it Personal, I will be writing Rick’s story early next year.

Ideas are coming at all from all angles lately. I can’t keep up with them!

And in January Dreamspinner are releasing my first ever co-authored novel! Parker Williams (aka Will Parkinson) and I have written a book, Someone to Keep Me. It’s a BDSM story, which fits into the Collars & Cuffs world. At the moment Will and I are planning the next book, Damian’s Discipline, and there’s a third book in the pipeline. That will be it for the BDSM books – we DO have other ideas, however…  😉

And is there anything else you would like to share with us here?

Wow – I think I’ve covered everything – except I would like to thank all the readers out there who read my books. It’s been wonderful so far to share all these stories in my head. Thank you, all of you.

Thank you very much for this interview and your time.

Thanks – it was fun!

~ As told to Danielle

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In addition to participating in this interview Miss K.C Wells has generously offered a giveaway of her new novel “Trusting Thomas” coming October 7th.

Are you just as excited as I am to read this book? Let us know and leave a comment below

Goodluck!

CONTEST WILL END ON 10th October, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Central Time!!

MoonandStars_headerbanner

We are so happy to have you here on the Blog of Sid Love. Thank you for stopping by.

When I look at your blog I see you like to call yourself a globetrotter. Where does that love of travelling come from?

ZO: I grew up in the ex-pat community, meaning my parents were always around people from all corners of the world who’d landed in Belgium to work there. Once they moved on, we’d sometimes go visit them. This is how I traveled to Thailand and Ruanda. We also have more relatives in the US than in Europe since my great-aunt married a GI after WWII and settled in the Midwest. Any excuse to visit them was good enough!  Now I have friends from all over the world too. Australia/New Zealand is on the (long) list of places I still want to go.

You state you like your men a bit damaged yet with an inner strength and you’re always in search of their happily-ever-after, for which I am most thankful 🙂 Why do you like your men that way most I wondered?

ZO: I’m a nurse by training although I’ve been working in IT for the last ten years (still in the hospital). I guess I have a strong nurturing side! It also explains why I’ve never written a book without a hospital scene in it. So I guess I also have a slight sadistic side. Let’s say I hurt them to make it all better (did that come out right?)

DiplomacySeeing your releases, you like to write about different personalities. If I just look at your novels you have in Jack the diplomat and Lucas the liaison for the British embassy in ‘Diplomacy’. In ‘Facade’, we enter the model world and get confronted with Bad Boy Nicky and body for hire Jonas and in ‘The Hand Me Down’ we get confronted with issues like death and age as well as relationships in different levels.

Can you tell me why you love to explore such different angles to your stories all the time? Where do you get your inspiration?

ZO: Inspiration comes from just about everywhere. Diplomacy was inspired by growing up around all sorts of nationalities in a community of uprooted people who all traveled to Belgium to work. I’m pretty sure some US intelligence service has at least one file on me…

Façade was born after reading about the bad boy of fashion John Galliano, and seeing one of my favorite actors in a costume that inspired the cover of Façade!

The Hand-me-down has a longer history.  In this case the three characters intrigued me separately and I realized they’d work really well together somehow. The two older men were inspired by aging porn stars (isn’t research grand?), the younger one by an actor (who shall remain nameless) after I saw him in a movie where he played a naïve, not-too-smart character who is seduced by an older man into finding out which side his bread is buttered on. That character feeds into my nurturing side again. The book raised some controversy, because some people didn’t understand how one man could give his lover away to another, but I let my three character tell their own story and it was rather complex psychologically. I’m not sure I did it justice, but I love the story, warts and all.

Clouds and RainThen of course, we have the ‘Clouds and Rain/Wrangler’ series, where we meet the ranch men! How did you come up with the names of the ranches: The Blue River Ranch and the Blackwater Ranch?

ZO: Water or rain always plays a part in my stories and it definitely does in this series. The area the stories are set in is near a river and close to the mountains, so I came up with White River Ranch (like White Water Rafting on rugged, tumultuous rivers), but when I needed a name for Gable’s ranch I kept going back to Blackwater (dark, murky and hiding many secrets), but I didn’t like the black/white juxtaposition. Since Gable didn’t want me to chance the name of his ranch, I figured Hunter would be more easy-going and his ranch got changed to Blue River. 

I personally adore this series and I am over the moon to see a new release from it. Those men have a way of getting into your heart and I think they have so many stories to tell. In ‘Clouds and Rain’ we meet Gable and Flynn and we see them both grow into amazing men. When you wrote this first book, did you think up front that it would be turning into a series? We also get introduced with Grant in the first book in a not so positive way and we get surprised in part two with the love story of Grant and ranch owner Hunter. What made you write the second book about him and why give him his happy ending?

ZO: It was the challenge of showing that one person’s point of view can be so very different from another person’s. Gable is bound to have a hard time thinking of Grant as a good person because of the hurt Grant caused him (both physically and emotionally), but when Hunter gets to know this man a lot better than he knew him before, he sees a man with strong ties to a family that isn’t legally his, and Hunter starts to see why Grant did what he did.

Some readers still can’t see past Grant-the-baddie because they like Gable so much, but for me it really has everything to do with perception. I can see both sides of Grant. He’s certainly not perfect and made some bad choices, but on the other hand, he was between a rock and a hard place and I understand why he did what he did. I’m glad at least some of my readers agree with me!

Earth and SkyWhere in part three you go in again a different direction bringing in hothead convict Rory and partnering him up with Tim who’s the brother of the ranch foreman, Hugh, who is also a familiar character in the books. Makes me wonder which road you are going to follow in the next one! How do you come up with these characters for this series and how are you able to weave them all together in the different stories, as that is one of the things I particularly like myself, always seeing them coming back ?

ZO: The series grew very organically, actually.

Clouds and Rain was inspired by a dream I had after seeing a particularly sad looking picture of one of my favorite actors. He was wearing a hat in the picture and looked pretty much like my “Gable” on the cover of the book.

In that dream I figured out he looked so sad because he’d injured his foot and couldn’t look after his horses anymore (as far as I know, this actor doesn’t own a ranch). So I gave him a helping hand in the form of Flynn and the rest, of course, became Clouds and Rain.

When that story was finished, I realized I’d written a very one-dimensional bad guy in the form of Gable’s ex Grant and set myself the challenge to have that character redeem himself.  Could I turn a character every reader loved to hate into the main character of a romance? This story became Earth and Sky.

Earth and Sky had three secondary character that intrigued me. In that story Grant and Hunter caught two horse thieves: one was a psycho and probably beyond redemption, but his sidekick was more interesting to me. Rory seemed like the type of guy who always got into trouble and couldn’t get a break. Mix him with do-gooder Tim, wrangler at the Blue River and youngest brother of foreman Hugh and a romance was born. This became Floods and Drought.

In Floods and Drought, Rory is rescued from flood water by Deputy Sheriff Kelly Freed and taken to the hospital in his helicopter. One of the men going in search of Rory is ranch hand and former lawyer Cooper Nelson. My muse told me these two weren’t strangers and had met in a “former life” and this is how Moon and Stars came to be!

Let’s talk women for a change. You introduce us in the various wrangler stories to interesting women who are powerful in their own way like Izzie and Callie and even Lisa. Are they based on your own reality? What can you tell us about them?

ZO: In the beginning of the series Izzie is a bit of a tom boy, working the ranch with her brother and acting very much like one of the guys. It’s not said explicitly, but if you ask me one of her reasons is that it’s the only way she can get close to Hugh, who is married, albeit not very happily, to Izzie’s sister. Once Lisa and Hugh break up, she finds Hugh is actually returning her feelings and she becomes more like the daughter her mother wants her to be and becomes a wife and mother herself.

Floods and Drought (The Wranglers, #3)Calley is a complex character. The first review of Moon and Stars stated that “Calley has been treated like the victim with all the gay men rallying round the poor helpless female when in actual fact she has only ever reaped what she sowed” and sort of says it all. I think she likes all these men rallying around her to help her out and consciously or unconsciously facilitates this. She seduced Grant into an adulterous affair, Gable into donating sperm and Cooper into working for her for free. She’s also more than happy to let Cooper and Kelly take care of her paternity troubles.

That said she also has a big heart, taking on foster children next to her own and doing a few other things that become clear in the course of Moon and Stars for which I don’t want to spoil too much. 

I don’t know if these women represent women in my own life. I have a rather complex relationship with women and maybe that seeps through in both complex females and the fact I tend to kill them off. LOL!

Your new release came out on September 23rd and it’s the 4th part of the Cloud and Rain series  titled Moon and Stars. What would you like to share with us about this book?

ZO: Moon and Stars deals with two men who had a rather intense, but sadly short-lived relationship in college, and who, fifteen years later, are both very different men. That doesn’t mean the attraction isn’t still there, but it does mean a few false starts and lots of baggage to carry around. This story is a little lower on the heat scale than most of my novels, because these guys took their time ;-),but fear not!

Nearing the end I would like to throw in my shorties 🙂

Favorite food? Chicken. Could eat it every day (and I often do), especially in oriental style dishes.

Favorite color? Purple. No question.

Favorite author? Too many to mention, but since you asked: Dan Savage. I love his caustic humor and honesty. Even when his opinions aren’t the most popular ones. I reread his books regularly.

Favorite book? Almost always the last one I read. In this case that would be Aaron by JP Barnaby.

Favorite way to spend a day off? Knitting while watching some series on DVD. I know I should say “writing”, but that would be only a partial answer!

Favorite movie? Longtime Companion. See the answer to the next question to know why.

Favorite music or song? For a Friend by The Communards. I know this dates me, but I was young in the Eighties and lived through the fear of AIDS. This voices it so well.

Favorite flower? I’m not big on flowers because I’m very sensitive to intense smells and the pollen tend to make me sneeze. Also, plants don’t like me. They die on me all too easily.

Favorite clothes? Jeans and a warm sweater. I’m usually cold!

Favorite season? Autumn. I love rain and storms and I love the colors this season brings.

For the last question can I ask what is next on your list? and is there going to be a Cloud and Rain 5 and 6 and….? 🙂

ZO: I’m writing a fifth one, and this will most likely be the last. I’ll never say never, though! It’s also time to write something else, outside of this cowboy world. I just haven’t decided what yet.

Thank you so much Zahra for taking the time to do this interview . It was my great pleasure talking to you.

ZO: Thank you for the lovely, deep questions and for having me!

~ As told to Danielle

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MOON AND STARS
(Wranglers #4)

Reviewed by Danielle

Moon and StarsBLURB: A Clouds and Rain Story

After an affair with a married DA led to scandal and disbarment, Cooper Nelson left his legal career in shambles, and found solace working as a hand at the Blue River Ranch. Eight years later, during a rare visit into town, Cooper bumps into Kelly Freed, a man he left behind fifteen years earlier when he started out as an attorney. Unfortunately, Kelly is running for sheriff and his wife is terminally ill, so Kelly can’t even consider rekindling their relationship. Cooper knows from sad experience that hiding the truth leads to lives being ruined, so for his part, he refuses to be anybody’s dirty secret.

In the meantime circumstances at neighboring Blackwater Ranch have taken a desperate turn. Gable’s friend Calley has breast cancer, and when Gable and Flynn take in Calley’s kids, they need help from their friends. Cooper and Kelly’s combined talents are put to work to ensure Gable can make a bid to become the legal father of his children, and that Calley’s affairs are in order if worse comes to worst. For Cooper, staying away from Kelly was never easy, and now with a common cause, Cooper finds he can’t stop himself from seeking the man out.

REVIEW:

First let me start off with saying how overjoyed I was to see a new story in this series. I have been a big fan from the start of the first ‘Clouds and Rain’ story. Going through life together with the characters of the Blue River and Blackwater ranches has been an incredible journey.

If you haven’t read the first stories I don’t think this one will make much sense to you and are well worth the read.

While I love the weaving together of the characters of the first three stories, it could be problematic for a new reader. But I love the fact that Miss Owens just went with that concept trusting on a solid fanbase and giving them a series that involves all the characters from the first three parts and not going for a story that could be easily read as a one shot. I would like to applaud her for that!

In ‘Moon and Stars’ we find Kelly who wants to be the town sheriff and ranch hand Cooper. As you read the story, you find that these guys go back a long time. We also get introduced to Kelley’s wife, and Cooper’s friend, Nina.

On top of that, we get treated to a story within a story as we also follow Gable and Flynn (from Clouds and Rain) as they help out the mother of Gable’s children, Cally. They must find a way to adapt their lives to a new situation that is out of their control. I don’t want to go in detail too much as it is so worth reading it yourself, feeling the emotions of the story and the blurb is already pretty clear on what to expect.

That is what got to me the most with this part of the series, the many different ways of handling, managing and experiencing emotions. There is denial, struggle, open grieving, insecurity but also love, family bonding and togetherness.

Where you follow the love story of Cooper and Kelly, the main characters of this story, you feel their struggle. Their denial and insecurity, their love, grief and want. There is also the story of the side characters that pulls you in.

For me, it felt so good to get reacquainted with the familiar characters from the first three stories.

There is, of course, also the critic you can have as a new reader if I have to name something.

Reading both Kelly’s and Cooper’s backstory, you find out that they both have had to struggle in life. Kelly with his best friend and wife Nina becoming terminally ill and Cooper with having to deal with the scandal that cost him his lover and his lawcareer. Getting pushed by Nina, they cautiously take baby steps towards each other.

As a reader, you get thrown in a totally unexpected angle when you find out more about Cally’s helpers in her shop and the kids she has taken underwing, as we are introduced to Sadie, Ryan and young Noah.

I cannot wait to see more of them hopefully in the next part. The story is really well-written – it reads so easily and with all the storylines there, you never feel confused and you can easily follow it all at a nice and comfortable pace.

The one thing that baffled me a little at the end  was the treatment of Bill, Cally’s ex-husband. Yes. he was not a terrific guy and their marriage wasn’t great but where and when did he turn out to be the bad guy?  The author used him in a way to get Kelly and Cooper working together on something and the idea is there but for me, it felt a bit like ‘ok, we need a bad guy to work against’ and that in my opinion wasn’t necessary.

I hope that Miss Owens won’t wait too long with the next book in this series. There is so much more to tell and so many characters searching for a happy ending, that I  am sure she is more than capable of providing.

Summing it up, I would say I come to a good 4 star rating. A nicely written story with great characters and because of the fact that I think the author really stuck out her head to give her fans more of the life of her former characters instead of going for a more standalone story, I will add a 0.25 star to the review – in total, coming up with 4.25 as a final rating.

Danielle’s Rating:  four-stars_0 [4.25 stars!]

LINK: Dreamspinner Press

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Danielle is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: DANIELLE’S REVIEWS
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ABOUT ZAHRA OWENS

Zahra Owens LogoZAHRA OWENS is a multi-lingual globetrotter who loves big cities, but also has a weak spot for the wide-open spaces that are so rare where she lives.

She likes her men either tough on the outside but with a huge soft center, or strong, silent and damaged.  She makes it her personal goal to find them their happy-ever-after, the road there often leading via hospital beds, villas with gorgeous vistas or ranges full of horses.

Zahra is a proud member of the Rainbow Romance Writers, the Romance Writers of America, and is also a member of  RWA’s Professional Author’s Network.

If Zahra had her wish, a day would have at least 36 hours, because how else would she find the time to finish all the novels still inside her head?

Visit her web site at http://www.zahraowens.com/, and on Facebook or Twitter.

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!! GIVEAWAY !!

In addition to giving this interview, Zahra kindly offered to do a giveaway of her new book Moon and Stars. Leave a message below to tell us what you liked about the first three books and why you want to read this one? Also, include your email ID so that we can contact you directly in case you win!

Don’t forget to “FOLLOW THIS BLOG”. The widget is on the top of this page where you can either subscribe to this blog via email or if you are a wordpress user, you can “Follow” it through your READER!

Why do you need to follow? – To get instant updates on the winner announcement, or other giveaway events that are planned to be hosted on this blog or simply for the reviews and author interviews that are posted here.

If you are on Facebook, join our official Group: The Blog of Sid Love

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CONTEST WILL END ON 7th October, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Central Time!!

(As told to Danielle)

A very big warm welcome to popular author J.P Barnaby. It is a great pleasure and honor to have you here at the Blog of Sid Love.

Hi Dani – it was an honor to be asked. Thank you so much! I’m really excited to see what questions you decided on.

We sheduled this interview when your novel ‘Charlie, Rentboy’ was released but with your approval hopefully I can add some questions about former novels?

When I saw the promotion and the blurb of ‘Charlie, Rentboy’I was sold. I really wanted to read the book as I  was very curious about what you came up with for this controversial topic. Did you surprise many fans and followers with writing this particulair story?

I wouldn’t think so. Anyone who follows me on Twitter or Facebook sees the pictures of me hanging out with my friends in the adult entertainment industry. More than a few porn stars are also escorts, so these guys are my friends. I wanted to write about them in a sex positive way.

I have to say when reading the story it is easy to love Charlie or to sympathize with David, or you can make a easy connection with John. When you started this story did have both these characters set in your mind or did they began existing during the story?

The character for Charlie always existed because he’s based on a real friend – Eli Lewis (http://www.EliLewisOnline.com) who I met at Hustlaball in New York last year. He’s an amazing, charismatic, warm and funny guy who I thought would make a great character. John came later. I knew I wanted someone that not even Charlie could resist.

The surprise for me about this story was the content, which was an easy read with much little drama and so different from what we are used to seeing from you. As I said in my review I applaud you for doing that but why?

Actually, there were two reasons:

1. I have a few friends in the adult entertainment industry, and they are generally viewed in such a negative light in fiction, especially rentboys. In most fiction, you find desperate, addicted boys who have been abandoned by their family and cast out by society. While that does sometimes happen, in my experience, it’s not the norm. Most of the time, they are just regular guys looking for a way to make the rent and stay ahead.

2. When Aaron was released on October 2012, I actually had reviewers who were afraid to read it. A lot of people told me they were waiting to be “in the right mood” to start it. I realized then that I need to expand the range of my stories.

AaronTalking about your previous stories, I would like to ask about the use of technology in your books. The smexting in ‘Lessons Learned’ was hot and effective. And then of course, there’s ‘Aaron’ where the guys come together over a computer programming project. Also, because of Spenser’s deafness, he and Aaron are able to communicate by chatting online. It’s so awesome seeing that medium used as a type of therapy for these guys. Was this motivated by your own work with computers? 

Yep – write what you know, and I know computers. My friend Rowan Speedwell is a master of weaving realistic detail from just about any subject into a book, and I wanted to do that, so I added a bit of my programming knowledge to Aaron. Plus, I am shy as well, and I know that it’s so much easier for me to talk to people over text than actually speak aloud.

Was this something you knew you wanted to show when you started forming the story or did it come to you as the characters evolved?

It was always a part of the story, as much as Aaron’s inability to be touched, and Spencer’s speech patterns.

Talking about Aaron, that story created a lot of buzz. Do you mind me asking what motivated you to write ‘Aaron’? How did you come up with these two characters?

Aaron is my seven-year-old self dealing with the devastating effects of sexual abuse. I came up with the story late one night when Aaron woke me out of a sound sleep and started whispering about monsters in the dark.

Originally, I’d planned for Spencer to be blind, however, it seemed rather convenient with Aaron’s scars. I wanted Spencer to have his own issues so that their relationship would feel balanced.

Are there any one of your characters that you would like to date?

Ethan Bryant from the Forbidden Room series. He’s an incredibly complex character, and I’d love to spend several hours under his paddle and his hands in the room.

What I also am curious for is this: you do interviews with porn stars on your website. Why did you decide to do this and how did it come about?

One of the reasons I put porn stars on my covers is to help promote them just as they promote me. The interviews started a while back when I started talking to friends about getting their pictures and a bit of personal information in the world to humanize them. A lot of people treat them as if they only exist from the waist down.

We know that there is coming a sequel to ‘Charlie, Rentboy’ (one I am definitly looking forward to btw J) but I wonder is there also a sequel to Aaron coming as it feels more like a HFN than an HEA?

The Survivor Books (of which Aaron is the first) will have a total of three books: Aaron, Painting Fire on the Air (release date: Sept 27, 2013), and Spencer. Painting Fire on the Air is about Ben, Juliette’s older brother, but Spencer will be a continuation of Aaron and finish their story.

I would like to throw out my shorties to you, J:

Favorite food? Pizza, hands down.

Favorite color? Silver.

Favorite author? This is a very hard choice. I’m a big fan of Stephen King, Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child, Cameron Dane, Kele Moon’s M/M stuff, and a whole list of other authors.

Favorite book? I can’t pick just one. How about a top 5?

Finding Zach by Rowan Speedwell (followed closely by her new book Illumination coming Sept 30th)

Omorphi by Cody Kennedy

The Eden Series by Kele Moon

Curtis Reincarnation by Zathyn Priest

Rough Canvas by Joey W. Hill

Favorite way to spend a day off? Reading

Favorite movie? The Core

Favorite music or song? Music soundtracks, particularly by John Williams.

Favorite flower? I don’t think much about flowers one way or the other – lilacs, I suppose.

Favorite clothes? Jeans and a big comfy hoodie.

Favorite season? Fall, definitely.

Painting Fire on the AirBefore signing off, I would like to ask you something about your new release that comes out September 27th through DSP – ‘Painting Fire on the Air’.  What would you like to share about this new story?

Painting Fire on the Air is the story of Ben, older brother of Juliette from Aaron. He’s devastated by his sister’s murder, and finds a harsh way of dealing with the pain. The phrase “painting fire on the air” refers to fire flogging, in which the Dom loads a kevlar flogger with 70% iso-propyl alcohol and sets it on fire. Drake Jaden, my friend and the cover model for the book, describes the sensation like a bad sunburn for just a second, and then the pain receds until the next strike. Another model, Chris Yosef describes the feeling as “the breath of God”. It’s fascinating.

The book is a great read for anyone interested in BDSM or not. The portions of the book in Ben’s POV are great for those who are into the lifestyle, or just enjoy reading about it. While Jude’s POV is more of a “what the hell is wrong with these people” kind of perception, and the reader learns about the lifestyle right along with him.

Thank you so much for doing this interview . Goodluck on the current releases and the new releases coming .

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such interesting and targeted questions. I really appreciate the care with which you took to find out more about me to do such a beautiful interview. ❤

Thank You J.P. and thank you, Elizabetta for joining me in prepairing this interview.

:: @-@-@ ::

On top of doing this interview Miss J.P Barnaby kindly offered a giveaway of her latest release Charlie, Rentboy. Leave a comment and a message to the author in the comment department as for why you should win this book.

Thanks and Good Luck Danielle

ABOUT J. P. BARNABY

J. P. Barnaby, an award-winning gay romance novelist, is the author of over a dozen books including the Little Boy Lost series, the Forbidden Room series, and Aaron. As a bisexual woman, J.P. is a proud member of the GLBT community both online and in her small town on the outskirts of Chicago. A member of Mensa, she is described as brilliant but troubled, sweet but introverted, and talented but deviant. She spends her days writing software and her nights writing erotica, which is, of course, far more interesting. The spare time that she carves out between her career and her novels is spent reading about the concept of love, which, like some of her characters, she has never quite figured out for herself.

Website: http://www.JPBarnaby.com

Blog: http://www.jpbarnaby.com/#blog

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JPBarnaby

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JPBarnaby

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CONTEST WILL END ON 30th September, 2013 @ 11:59 PM Central Time!!

As told to Danielle…

Hey Dan I’m so pleased and honored to have you here at the Blog of Sid Love 🙂

Smooch! Glad to be had. Lol.

First of all, can you tell us something about yourself?

I’m the one the extraterrestrials abducted and threw back, and as the spaceship doors were closing you could hear them scream: “and for God’s sake, clean the probe!” English translation: I’m a photographer/author located in the mid-west. I specialize in m/m photography

People might know you as an amazing cover artist. How come you decided to write a full novel ?

I had come to a point in my life where I thought it was essential to tell a mainstream gay love story; something that people who weren’t gay could read and still identify with because of the universal components of the romance.

Searching the net I saw you wrote a novella in 2008 called Cover Boy which got very different kind of reviews.  Why did it take you over 5 years to write this new book?

I was very busy with the photography end of my business, but I saw that we were making enormous strides toward equality and I wanted to pen something that people of every generation could read and understand that love chooses; we don’t, no matter the gender or persuasion.

Some people call your book “Memorizing You” your debut novel why ?

I consider it a debut novel because it has all the essential elements of a full novel with complete characters with full storylines, as opposed to the novella which, to me, is a longer short story. In a full novel you have the time to really convey details of everyone’s personalities and lives. You become more involved with the intricacies of the plot because of this.

Can you tell us something about Memorizing you and how it came to exist?

Memorizing You is an old-fashioned love story in the same vein as every love story that came before it. But with two boys. It’s about friendship that becomes something more. It slowly unveils flowering love into full bloom. There is nothing more life-altering than that moment you realize you suddenly care for someone so deeply that they have changed the meaning and course of your life. From Romeo and Juliet, to Wuthering Heights, to the Harlequins we have been served the hetero version. I wanted to add to message with a serious gay version. This is truly about love. It’s not an erotic novel. I couldn’t do that and aim for a mainstream, and in particular, YA audience. But I, also, did not want you to walk away from this book unaffected. Love is important. It is meant to be felt.

Are there any parts of the main characters (Ryan and Dave) or even significant characters Connor and Rosemary based on you or on your life?

A lot of people have asked me that, but none are based on me. There are scenes that have happened to me that I included such as the opening scene about the hand and the bike ride. That was how I was “awakened”. It is a true story in its entirety.

The ratings are through the roof and this is kind of a stereotypical question but could you ever have imagined that it would be received so well?

I actually expected the opposite and was prepared for that because it is a simple love story. Every time I read a review now I am just so completely happy that people got what I was doing with this.

Now that we know a bit about Memorizing You and how it’s doing and how it came to exist, how about telling us a little more about the man behind the author? Who is Dan Skinner?

A simple, quiet guy. I love my work. I really can’t expand on that. It sums it up pretty good.

Can you tell me what you like to do when you have free time?

I rarely have spare time, but when I do I now run and workout. Really got into running because it helps me think

Hope it’s okay if a shoot you some quick questions about some of your favorites 🙂 ?

Favorite food?

Sloppy Joes.

Favorite clothes?

Ones that don’t off.

Favorite movie?

Hard to pick one. I’m a Stanley Kubrick kook. I’ve studied his films to learn my art.

Favorite book?

A Separate Peace

Favorite author?

Many, many,many. But right now I’m consuming everything Lee Child. Reading all the Jack Reacher novels.

Favorite actor or actress?

Helen Mirren

Favorite song?

Forever Young (any artist. One Direction just did a version that’s very nice.)

Favorite color?

Blue

Favorite flower?

Orchid… because they have to be nurtured.

Favorite season?

The ones in between really hot and really cold. lol

What I would like to ask you at the end of this interview is this. Is there something coming regarding Memorizing You like a short follow up on it? Or is there anything new from you in the works?

Everyone has asked if there will be a sequel. There will not be. The ending was written so that every individual reader could imagine their own. I have two other works that are already written but I am slowly proofing them. I’m a perfectionist

Is there anything left you would like to share with your readers ? 🙂

Yes. A lot of reviews for my book people have said that they were emotionally affected by it. That was what I wanted because I wanted people to feel how REAL the love was between these boys. But that has scared off some people from buying and reading the book. They have actually used those words, and I have sat back with my mouth open at the response. This is a love story..not a horror story. There is nothing to be afraid of when you actually CARE about the characters. That, in my estimation, is the whole point of reading! Give it a chance.. the reward is.. you will believe!

I would like to thank you so much for doing this interview and visiting our blog. I wish you good luck on all your upcoming projects.

Smooch again. My pleasure

Thanks again. 🙂

Dani (elle)

=============================================

Memorizing YouBLURB: Two highschool boys from different walks of life: Ryan, a handsome athlete, and David, an average joe from a blue collar family, discover their desires, stealing their kisses under the cover of an old oak at night. Their love begins a secret life, hidden from their families, friends, and classmates. As their passion grows, so does the danger of their discovery. Their only hope is to create a separate world where every kiss is a treasure and every moment… memorable.

First love. Secret love. Unforgettable love

REVIEW:

Fascinating…intriguing…special…unique…different…

Just a few words that come to mind when I read this book. I have trouble in how to comprehend it all. How do I  put into words the impact this novel has on its reader? How to give it a place inside so to speak.

What I want to feel is hope and everlasting love; a love so strong it survives anything and everything. What I’m scared of feeling is hopelessness, anger, and loneliness.

This book is more than just a novel. It’s a journey. It’s a reflection on life, it is making history and telling a life’s tale with words.

Still, how to put it in words for a review is difficult, as I  have the strong belief that whoever reads this novel will see it in a completely different way.  It is that personal for everyone who decides to pick it up.

I noticed that although I wanted to get started, on the other hand I was frightened to do so. Slightly being affected by the all attention and the rating of this book will do that to someone I guess. After having spoken to the fantastic Dan Skinner,  found myself even more drawn in.

From the moment I started to read it absorbed me. It wouldn’t let me go, it was so different. As I said before, it’s a life tale with all the ups and down in it. I refuse to go into details because as I said, in my honest opinion I strongly believe you as a reader will read your own interpretation in this story.

For me the hardest part in this story was the ending was it a Happy-For-Now or was it just a small promise? I cannot deny that I prefer a Happily-Ever-After but in this story the HFN seems to fit. Though dare I say that I hope the author will write a little follow up on their progress or should it just be left as it is?

I do want to offer this. It is unique to quote one of the words I started this review with.

DANIELLE’S RATING:  [4.75 stars!!]

In addition to participating in this interview Dan kindly offered to do a give-away of his bestselling novel “Memorizing you”.If you would like a chance to win leave a comment and tell us why you really want to read this book 🙂

Good luck  Dani (elle) 🙂

20 Questions with Edmond Manning author of “King Mai”

kingmaiBlurb:
Adopted from Thailand and never one to fit in with the local bubbas, life has been rough around the edges for Mai Kearns, even before he came out of the closet. Now, almost ten years past the torture of high school, Mai still can’t catch a break: he and his parents stand to lose their beloved farm.

How will a “King Weekend” help change Mai’s fate? What has narrator Vin Vanbly been up to for the four weeks he’s been sneaking around Mai’s hometown? At the urging of a ransom note from ‘The Lost Kings,’ Mai embarks on an impossible treasure hunt chasing mystic poetry, Fibonacci Hopscotch, ancient prophecy, the letter ‘x,’ and a confounding, penguin-marching army.

The stakes are high: if Mai fails, the Lost Kings will permanently claim him as their own. Finding the treasure may unlock the secret to saving his family farm. But can this angry farmer risk opening his broken heart before the weekend is over? Mai Kearns has 40 hours to get very, very curious in this second installment of The Lost and Founds.

. ≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.

20 Questions with Edmond Manning author of “King Mai”

  1. Coffee or Tea? Diet Pepsi
  2. Coke or Pepsi? Caffeine free Diet Coke
  3. Plain or Peanut M&Ms? Yes, please
  4. Beer or wine? Red wine
  5. Muffins or Cupcakes? Cupcakes – always go with frosting
  6. Computer or Television? Computer
  7. Would you travel the world or travel space? Stay home
  8. My favorite pizza isItalian sausage, heavy garlic
  9. My favorite book genre isscience fiction
  10. My superpower of choice would beteleportation. Hmmm. Maybe I would travel the world if I could teleport.
  11. On a rainy day, you’ll find meenjoying a long walk
  12. When I get free time, I’llorganize my hundreds of Firefox bookmarks.
  13. If you had a million dollarsPay someone to organize my Firefox bookmarks.
  14. My dream vacation would beTwo months luxruiating in an northern Italian villa with a sweet local couple who cooked every meal and liked calling me “Bobo.” In this fantasy, a local unemployed mechanic named Ricardo gives me massages every other day.
  15. If you could be a character in any novel you’ve ever read, who would you be and why?  John Harmon, Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens. While many Dickens characters suffer tremendously for their happy endings, he gets hilarious step parents, a happy marriage, fun in-laws, and serious wealth and all he has to do is go undercover for a little while. In Dickens’ world, that’s getting off easy.
  16. How many books do you read each year? I’m embarrassed to admit this, but since I started getting published, the number dropped significantly. Used to be about 35 per year. These days: 5.
  17. If you could pick a book to turn into a movie, which one would it be? Can I say mine? No? Okay. Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny or Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
  18. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Sienna, Italy or a remote forest cabin along the northern Oregon coast. My neighbor would be an local, unemployed mechanic named Ricardo who gave me massages every other day.
  19. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? An upscale grocery store. I love buying food. I mean, it’s like a weird fetish. Yay! Out of milk – I need to go to the store!
  20. What are you reading right now? Saga (comic by Brian Vaughn) and Everything Matters by Ron Currie Jr.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Edmond Manning has been writing for many, many years.

After graduating from Northern Illinois University (NIU) with an English Education degree (graduated Valedictorian from the University Honors Program), Manning pursued and completed a Masters of Science within the field of Instructional Technology. These two curious backgrounds allowed for practicing a unique blend of creative and technical writing, skills that were enhanced over a 22+ year as an e-learning consultant.

During those consulting years, Manning feverishly wrote fiction, completed three novels, and yet never pursued publication because the writing simply didn’t meet his high standards. Something was missing: a spark. Looking back, Manning prefers to believe that he was living out Malcolm Gladwell’s maxim: you’ve got to ply your craft for 10,000 hours before you get good. Yes, that would be the preferred belief.

In 2008, Manning experimented with writing a new type of fiction, and ended up with his first “kinging” novel, published in serial format on a free website. (The original novel has been removed from that site.) The intense reaction from hundreds of readers around the globe suggested to Manning that something had indeed changed, so he decided to create a new novel based off these wild, frothy characters.

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment to enter to win a free copy of “King Mai” by Edmond Manning.

Susan interviews Alexis Hall with Darian & Ash of “Glitterland”

glitterlandBlurb:
The universe is a glitterball I hold in the palm of my hand.

Once the golden boy of the English literary scene, now a clinically depressed writer of pulp crime fiction, Ash Winters has given up on love, hope, happiness, and—most of all—himself. He lives his life between the cycles of his illness, haunted by the ghosts of other people’s expectations.

Then a chance encounter at a stag party throws him into the arms of Essex boy Darian Taylor, an aspiring model who lives in a world of hair gel, fake tans, and fashion shows. By his own admission, Darian isn’t the crispest lettuce in the fridge, but he cooks a mean cottage pie and makes Ash laugh, reminding him of what it’s like to step beyond the boundaries of anxiety.

But Ash has been living in his own shadow for so long that he can’t see past the glitter to the light. Can a man who doesn’t trust himself ever trust in happiness? And how can a man who doesn’t believe in happiness ever fight for his own?

. ≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.

Welcome to the Blog of Sid Love, Alexis Hall, author of the newly released, critically acclaimed “Glitterland”!  And while we wait on Darian and Ash to get here, let’s pick the author’s brain to get some insight and insider information on the book and the quirky and beloved MC’s.

Alexis, welcome! How does it feel to have your first book released and your first blog tour underway? 

AJH: Slightly weird, to be honest. The whole experience of having a book that I wrote that is a book, like a book, a real book that people are reading, is just blowing my tiny mind right now. I know in the grand scheme of things it means absolutely nothing, the world will keep spinning, and the tide will come in, but I still can’t believe it. This is my first blog tour to match my first novel, and I’m very excited to be here.

We at Sid Love’s adored this book!  It was funny and sad, beautiful and ugly, charming and hurtful, lonely and loving all at the same time!  Can you tell us about how the idea came about and how the process of writing this book all the way to its release played out?

AJH: Wow, that’s quite a big question. The book was sort of vaguely inspired by a UK X Factor contestant called Rylan Clark. You can see his performances on Youtube, and I heartily recommend you do. Dancing fashionista pandas. Enough said, right? Anyway, when he was on the show there was quite a lot of backlash against him, both of the homophobic variety and the, in some ways more problematic, wrong sort of gay variety. So although I wasn’t trying to write about Rylan Clark, I wanted to write a book about someone who had the same sort of qualities that I felt Rylan Clark was being condemned for displaying.  But I also wanted to have the character taken seriously, not just played for laughs, which is what led me to pair him with an overly educated, bipolar depressive crime writer.

In terms of writing the thing, it went relatively smoothly, if that doesn’t sound like boasting. But I had a very clear idea of who Darian was and, actually, writing Ash’s voice came very naturally to me. I bunged it off slightly speculatively to Riptide, fully expecting them to say “no way in hell, what is this nonsense about a bimbo and an arsehole” but I guess they saw something in it.

The journey from writing to release was pretty fascinating to me. It involved a lot of things I’d never really thought about like dialogue tags, writing blurbs and having an author bio. I’m actually apparently a bit unusual because I enjoy being edited. I think that might be largely because I have really good relationship with my editor, Sarah Frantz, and I think she’s the bees knees, but there’s something kind of miraculous and humbling about a really clever, insightful person working with you to make your stuff better. The main GLITTERLAND edit was actually the end, but that’s another story and I think I’ve probably already given you far more random information than you could ever need or want.

And for those of us NOT from the UK, what does the significance or even the ‘inside joke’, if you will, of being from Essex mean?

AJH: Oh gosh.  So, Essex is a part of the UK, the population of which is stereotypically seen to be shallow, vulgar, ill-educated and materialistic.  Essex boys are supposed to be loud and drive fast cars. And Essex girls are supposed to be vapid and sexually promiscuous.  I hope I didn’t reinforce those stereotypes too much in GLITTERLAND.

Darian and Ash are so different, aren’t they?  Which do you most relate to / identify with?

AJH: Unfortunately, it’s probably Ash. I worry that I’m basically kind of an over-educated tosser like he is, and I think I share a lot of his flaws and fears. I’m quite invested, perhaps too invested, in having control over my life, and I think this can make me quite difficult to be with sometimes.  The truth is, I’d love to be more like Darian but I’m far too self-conscious.

And speaking of, here they come!  We’re very excited to have DARIAN and ASH, the MC’s from “Glitterland” join us!  Alexis, would you mind if we focused our attention on the lovebirds at hand?

AJH: Be my guest, but if you persist in calling them lovebirds, I fear Ash will leave.

*big smile*…Ok, so I am VERY excited to meet you both!!!! I’m such a fan! WELCOME! 

Darian:  Ahwight Suz. It’s well special to be ’ere.
Ash:  Hello.

Since we’re all so curious about the two of you and your relationship, let’s do a rapid-fire Q&A session, shall we?  Ok, here goes:

What is your favorite thing about your partner?

Darian:  Aw, he’s like proper classy. I nevva fought someone like him would go for someone like me.
Ash:  Well, I am mentally ill.
Darian:  You’re so funny, babes. So, yeah, he’s well funny too, and he went to like a proper university and he’s dead clever, and he’s like read like everyfing. And he keeps pretending he’s a right bell end, but he’s not.
Ash:  …
Darian:  Your turn, babes.
Ash:  This whole exercise makes me very uncomfortable.
Darian:  Oh go on.
Ash: He makes me happy. Can we move on, please?

Awwww….*smiles*. Ok, what is your biggest pet peeve about him?

Darian:  He’s a right monster in the morning. You just can’t talk to him til he’s ’ad his tea.
Ash:  He persists in dragging me along to events like these.

(I think you secretly are enjoying yourself! 🙂 )  If your flat was on fire and you could only grab one thing to take with you, what would it be?

Darian:  I’d take Ash, obvs.
Ash:  I think I am capable of leaving a burning building on my own initiative.
Darian:  Oh great, then I’d take my hair gel cos like if the firemen showed up and my hair looked a state I’d be well put out.
Ash:  There’s a photograph of which I’m rather fond. I suppose I’d take that.
Darian:  Aw, you’re so sweet, babes.
Ash:  I didn’t say it was the one of you.
Darian:  But it is though, right?
Ash:  Next question please.

(*snicker*)  If you could go shopping and purchase an outfit of your choice for your partner, what would you buy?

Darian:  Oh, he totes needs to get a onesie.
Ash:  A onesie is not an outfit. It’s a travesty.
Darian:  But they’re well cosy. Like wearing a hug.
Ash:  If there’s one thing Darian does not need, it’s more clothes.

(pssst…I love Darian’s clothes!!! Sparkly!)   Ok, now, what does the perfect date night between the two of you entail?

Darian:  We like to stay in. I know that sahnds a bit like … rubbish.
Ash:  Oh the exciting life we lead.
Darian:  We make our own excitement, babes.
Ash:  I suppose we do.

If you had to describe your partner in ONE WORD, what would it be?

Darian:  Amazin
Ash:  Orange.
Darian: Oi, that’s bang aht of order.
Ash:  Glittering.

Ha! Well, it’s clear you two are very smitten with each other and make each other happy!  It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you both…and you too, Alexis!  Which reminds me, Alexis, will we see/read any more about Darian and Ash in the future?

AJH:  I hadn’t planned on it. I think the story stands as it is. I enjoyed writing Ash and Darian, and I enjoy thinking about them, but I don’t think there’s anything more to say. There’s a 5000 word short which I’ll be releasing free on the website at some point in the future, probably around the time of Riptide’s anniversary. To be honest, it’s just a piece of fluff and it doesn’t stand alone or contribute all that much to GLITTERLAND itself, but I sort of missed the characters and I felt like indulging myself. It also kind of addresses a couple of things that didn’t end up in the published book, like why Ash dresses like he does, and how Darian feels about the tattoo.

Very cool!  Well, for the story of Darian and Ash’s relationship, written by the talented Alexis Hall, make sure to buy and read “Glitterland” (links below)!  It’s one of my favorite books of the year and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

*hugs all around*

Darian:  Aww Suz.
Ash:  Please don’t do that.
AJH:  *hugs*

hatAbout AJH

Alexis Hall was born in the early 1980s and still thinks the 21st century is the future. To this day, he feels cheated that he lived through a fin de siècle but inexplicably failed to drink a single glass of absinthe, dance with a single courtesan, or stay in a single garret. He can neither cook nor sing, but he can handle a 17th century smallsword, punts from the proper end, and knows how to hotwire a car. He lives in southeast England, with no cats and no children, and fully intends to keep it that way.

You can also find him all over the internet, on his website, twitter, and goodreads.

You can read an excerpt and, y’know, cough, buy my book, if you want, at Riptide Publishing.

Danielle interviews Ashavan Doyon author of “Loving Aidan”

loving aidanBlurb:
Samuel Riley is gorgeous – tall, muscular, and intelligent. The girls love him. And so does his roommate, Aidan Flemming. Secretly, of course, because Aidan is as gay as Sammy is straight – and even the out and proud Aidan knows there are limits to Sammy’s acceptance. Cursed to watch as Sammy dates half the co-eds on campus, a lonely Aidan spends his time writing, helping Sammy and his friends survive literature classes, and recovering from a disastrous love affair that left Aidan heartbroken.

But when happiness finally comes for Aidan in the body of his roommate’s fellow rower, all that changes. In Steven, Aidan finds happiness and romance. The rower, a blond, blue-eyed Adonis, makes Aidan feel desired and appreciated. But their very public courtship stirs up controversy and violence, and Aidan’s life gets very complicated.

Attacks rock the campus community, and in the middle of the upheaval, Aidan finds himself noticed by the last person he’d expect. Samuel Riley, his roommate, his impossible dream, and just possibly, a very jealous suitor. But the jealous suitor has a girlfriend. And she is not happy.

. ≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.

We at the Blog of sid Love are so pleased to welcome Mr. Ashavan Doyon to our blog.

Mr. Doyon is the author of his debut novel Loving Aidan, after previously having released a short story for the “make a play” anthology from DreamSpinner press called “The Kings Mate.”

Ashavan welcome, I am glad I have the opportunity to ask you some questions.

AV: Thank you for having me.

First off, I would like to know how you became a writer, what made you want to write?

AV: I don’t really remember ever not wanting to be a writer. When I was a little kid my mom would find me on the floor with her typewriter trying to write stories. My mom took reading and telling stories very seriously, so I was reading a lot even as a small child, and I think that love of reading, really a love of stories, played into my desire to also create those stories. According to my mom, my first real story was a couple page fan fiction about an episode of the smurfs.

Can you tell us something about the man Ashavan behind the writer?

AV: Well, I’m an American, living in New England. I work at a liberal arts college, working with students on the non-academic side of their college experience. I’m about to celebrate my ninth wedding anniversary with my husband. We have two lovely little pugs who have us both wrapped around their little paws. I’m very quiet and shy most of the time. My favorite band is Toad the Wet Sprocket, and I’m really excited because they just released an album after over ten years of being broken up. I still read a lot, mostly fantasy, though I read a fair amount of romance also. Most recently, I read Purpose, by Andrew Q. Gordon.

You published a short story The Kings Mate at Dreamspinner. What made you want to take that theme and give it a try to get it published, and can you tell us a little bit what the story is about?

AV: It’s funny, because when I read the title of the anthology I was sure I wasn’t going to be interested. I break a lot of gay stereotypes, but interest in sports is not one of them. I’m one of those who watches mens diving and gymnastics for the obvious reasons and that’s about it. But the call was asking to incorporate competition really more than sports, as an element of the story. It took pains to ask for things where the sport was there but not always front and center in the way you’d expect. I liked that. The story takes place in a cafe in a college town. The owner decides to have a chess tournament, asking a regular, Russ, to act as a sort of secret opponent. During the tournament he starts receiving little flirtatious romantic notes left for him by an admirer. So Russ has to deal with the question of whether he’s ready for romance yet. He’s suffered a loss that makes him cautious about that. And his admirer is really someone who carries a lot of hurt also. They have a chance to heal each other, and I think that’s a lovely romantic thing.

Now your latest release is a novel published by Torquere Publishing. Can you tell us something about that story and how it came to exist?

AV: The novel is titled Loving Aidan, and it’s a college romance. The focus is on Aidan, a very flamboyant young college student. Aidan is very much in love from the start with his college roommate Sammy, and that’s something that he struggles with. When he has a chance to help one of Sammy’s friends deal with coming out, he takes the opportunity. They start dating, but Aidan is really still very much in love with his straight roommate. So there’s a lot of conflicted emotion and hurt mixed in with the romance.

What made you choose the character of Aidan because he is without spoiling anything an outspoken, pretty unique personality?

AV: He spoke to me? I know that’s not a good explanation, but it’s not an easy thing to explain. I had an idea, an combination of how a high school friend’s son dresses and the personalities of a few people I knew in school and a quote “Style is being yourself, but on purpose,” from Quentin Crisp. And I took all those things with the idea of being stuck in love with a straight roommate, and I let them loose. I’m very character driven, so I create characters first. Aidan’s personality and manner and attitude drove the creation of Sammy as an opposite. And, of course, opposites attract. 

The next question is perhaps difficult to answer without giving too much away, though I think it is the question most people are dying to know. Aidan is given a chance to choose between two lovers. How does he make his choice?

AV: This is obviously very difficult for Aidan. This isn’t a simple choice between a sweet guy and a hot guy. They’re BOTH hot guys. And they’re both sweet guys, just in different ways. Steven is romantic. Sammy reads to sick children on Sundays. Both sweet. Really I think there’s a lot of people who react negatively to Sammy’s dominance. But that dominance, that possessiveness, makes Aidan feel protected and safe. And yes, it also sometimes chafes for Aidan. But it turns him on. With Aidan there’s a lot of undercurrent about always being true to himself. He’s an out and proud character who sacrificed a lot for the ability to be out, to be who he is. So when he’s looking at this choice, he sees two people, both hot, both sweet. His answer is always going to be to turn a look inward and look at his feelings and what they tell him. Sammy is not just his dominance any more than Steven is just a romantic. Aidan is looking at more than those things. He’s looking at how he feels, and how they make him feel. Does Aidan want to be cherished in a sweet and romantic way? Does he want to feel protected and safe, like he’s connected and a part of someone? These are very different things. Aidan’s feelings for both men are strong, but I never doubted which man Aidan would choose. 

Personally I really liked the book and i especially love some little things in the end that made me think are you planning a sequel perhaps with some characters from this novel? 

AV: I wrote Aidan’s ex, Michael, as a throw away character, meant to help make the point that Aidan had experienced heartache. I expected him to appear as an influence in the story, but never to be seen. Obviously that’s not how it happened, as Michael plays a fairly important role in the final story. I think it’s likely I’ll continue writing about Michael, and that will certainly involve characters from Loving Aidan.

The last question i would like to ask is about the cover. It is stunning and i am not only giving my own personal opinion here. It is really beautiful and it fits the story like a glove. Can you tell us something about how you found it or how it got created?

AV: I love the cover, too, and I was really fortunate with it. Torquere allows its authors some input into covers. We give the artist descriptions of the characters, key scenes, quite a lot of information really. One aspect of the cover art request is to find appropriate images that fit the characters so that the artist has something to go on. I found two pictures that were just perfect for Aidan and Sammy. And I sent the artist the information with a suggestion that they put the images side by side as a composite image to show the contrast of opposites. The artist really liked the idea and because of that I got exactly the cover I wanted. I agree completely, it’s stunning and perfect for the story.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me and for answering the questions. It was a pleasure having you here at the blog.

AV: Thanks, Dani. It was a pleasure being here. I love to talk about my stories and readers can always find me at my website, http://ashavan.weebly.com

On top of doing the interview Mr. Ashavan Doyon kindly allowed us to do an e-book giveaway of his latest novel “Loving Aidan.”

To enter please leave a comment and your email address below.

Good luck!

To tell our followers and readers the purpose of this interview – Z. A. Maxfield – one of the renowned authors of M/M genre – has a new book added to the collection of her great works. “My Cowboy Heart” released on the 20th of August, 2013 under the glorious banner of Intermix Publishing House.

My Cowboy Heart Banner II

It’s an immense pleasure to have you on The Blog of Sid Love, Zam and I wish to make your stop memorable here.

Thanks so very much. It’s a real pleasure to be here.

The mention of “Cowboy” in the title got my instant attention, I admit and I am sure I am not the only one around here who is so very excited to read this book. Cowboys are just the hottest thing that walk on earth after all, don’t you think? And that too, in an M/M Romance? It has got to be a steamy blast!

I do like cowboys! There have been some Westerns that have really made me a cowboy lover, among them, The Magnificent Seven, Young Guns, Silverado, The Unforgiven, and even classics like High Noon.

Okay, give us a mental picture of both the main characters and if they do resemble to a particular actor/celebrity that has inspired each of these characters, we want to know that too!

Malloy is an enigma. I imagined him asan average man in his early thirties, hard working, unremarkable looking except maybe his eyes. I think he’s a little haunted. He’s good through and through. He’s the kind of man you can depend on. Since the book is in the first person, I am going to let you insert your favorite action hero here! (Or insert him anywhere, really, I won’t judge.)

I would have howled like a wolf right now, but considering what we are actually here for, I will just move on. *chuckles* So, Malloy – he is the serious, brooding kind. Why do I feel there’s some painful story behind his tough exterior?

Malloy had a very painful childhood. He has lots of emotional scars left by a mother who cared more about using drugs and men to feel better about her crappy life. That’s why Malloy’s not adept socially. He loves — and is fiercely loyal to — the Jenkins family, who took him in. Beyond that, there isn’t anyone he really connects with.

But Crispin is the one who manages to break through his shell. He is *fans self* hot – to put it mildly. But what I am curious about is – he seems more than just a pretty face. 

Crispin was an unusual choice, I guess. He’s one of my quirky men. He was born and raised in LA. His parents were actors. They were Scientologists. When they passed away, he moved to New Mexico to be with his aunt, and it was there that he kind of fell into ranching. He has a a sort of simpatico with animals and he loves nature. He’s half city and half country and you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. He’s happy-go-lucky in a way that gets Malloy to open up. Malloy basks in his easygoing sociability like sunshine.

When did the idea for “My Cowboy Heart” pop up in your head?

I guess I was looking for a sweet romance, something with nature in it. Animals and weather. I know that’s an oversimplification but usually, I get my ideas character first, scene second, and story third. So I pictured a quiet cowboy trying to figure out what to do with a non-stop talker and it moved on from there.

Authors always find themselves at a point where they get stuck – either it is because they are experiencing the infamous, cruel “writer’s block” or there is a certain part that just is too difficult to write. Was there any such moment when you were writing this book? 

I had to make a couple of plot choices that were tricky, as you’ll see. I threw in a little silliness and I let someone experience a terrible loss… Sometimes letting a character suffer goes against my nature, but I made myself cry, so I felt like I had something I didn’t want to lose.

How long did it take for you to complete “My Cowboy Heart”? (The timeframes can be specified for first draft and subsequent drafts till it was finally sent to the editor) 

I did the rough draft lickety-split, because I really hadn’t done much writing in a while and I loved the work. If you know about last year, you know part of my house burned down, and I took quite a lot of time off to deal with that. Cowboy Heart was my first real novel after that, so I felt happy to be writing again.

Well, I feel like getting a kick of a humor – so for a change, I would ask you to describe the funniest scene in MCH! 

I have to guess, because what’s funny to me isn’t always funny to everyone else. I’d say it’s when Crispin asks the hands whether they ever wonder if the sheep mind when the humans wear sheepskin jackets.

My Cowboy Heart is special in many ways, of course, but the main reason why it stands apart is because this book is published by Intermix. For those who aren’t aware – Intermix is a venture of none other than Penguin Group, USA. Zam, I would like you to share with us your experience working with such a professional brand. 

They’re amazing. Very professional. I can’t wait to meet my editor in person some day. She was very kind.

From what I know, My Cowboy Heart has got a continuing story. Can you tell us about the sequel in works?

There are four cowboys at the J-Bar, Malloy, Crispin, Jim and Ed. They all — for one reason or another — got “rescued” by the owner, Mr. Jenkins, and they have a LOT more in common than they’ve ever realized. Someone, I can’t remember who, calls it “The island of Misfit Cowboys.”

Jim and Eddie are best friends but they keep their private shit private. Jim’s a jerk when Crispin comes along, and that’s when Ed finally reveals he’s gay. Ed has a friend-with-benefits and they love each other, but their situation is complicated. Jim’s a horndog whose drinking is making things worse.

Unfortunately, the ranch may be changing hands, and Malloy and Ed are worried about Jim’s future if he doesn’t sober up. It’s up to Ed to get Jim flying right, just in case they all find themselves looking for work.

Do you write everyday? Give us a peek into your normal day-to-day life.

I do write every day. I try to do 2K. Sometimes I get it done, sometimes I don’t. I answer emails, I manage loops and groups and promo. I write blog posts. I hang out with my family. I have two kids in high school and two in college but everyone is home right now.

Other than writing – or reading, for that matter – what hobbies do you have?

Uh…is there something OUT THERE besides books? LOL… This year, I’ve been making an effort to go to the theater. I saw Twelfth Night and MacBeth and Aida.

Here is a list of questions where you have to describe a moment that is asked for:

1) Scariest moment of your life:

I was in a terrible car wreck when my kids were little. We were pulling a trailer and it went airborn somehow and flipped and skidded, overturning our Expedition completely and just dragging us across five lanes of traffic at 60 miles per hour. My glasses flew off, so I couldn’t see. I was upside down hanging from my car seat in shock. It was only when strangers came to show me how to crawl out of the wreckage that I remembered my husband and I had four kids — two still in car seats — and a black lab somewhere in that car with us. (Strangers had got them out first and had them all safely wrangled at the side of the road.)

The good news about that is we were all relatively unscratched, thank God.

2) The moment when you experienced the beauty of first kiss.

Seventh grade, Craig Oates. It’s really, really weird in retrospect — he had the same coloring as my husband and looked enough (at the time) like my daughter to be her sibling. Do I have a type??? YES. I do.

3) The moment when you got your first book published.

That day! I swear I felt like I was hoisting my undies up onto a flagpole for everyone to see. That was so INTIMATE. Letting people see my work was so hard. Even when it was well received (it was Crossing Borders and there were fans who really liked it right away) I felt a little exposed.

4) A moment that you will always wish you could go back and change

There are a lot of times in my life I wish I’d been kinder, more patient, or that I’d cherished people more. I have a good friend I lost touch with and wish I’d been more proactive about that.

5) And describe yourself in a way you would describe a character in your stories.

I’m everyone’s zaftig elfin mother. All smiles, unless you’re the kid who ate the last PopTart.

Tell us about the books you are currently reading.

Right now I’m reading the Horatio Hornblower books by C.S. Forester. I love the age of sail.

Is there such a person in your life who you idolize?

I have idols of the moment, for example that kid who performed the splashy Bar Mitzvah dance from the Internet. I like meme cats and the occasional Boylesque dancer. There are people I admire, like the Dalai Lama and people I kind of think are hot, like Mark Wahlberg. I’m not sure I actually idolize anyone.

Do you have any message to your readers and fans?

I am so grateful to be the author whose books you choose to read! I want to give you a great read — a great ride — every time, and I hope you never hesitate to drop me a line and tell me what’s on your mind!

Thank you for taking time to answer my questions so patiently, Zam. I would conclude by wishing you all the very best for not only “My Cowboy Heart” but also for all your future works. We hope to see more coming from you.

Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your blog. Have a great day!

ZAM

My Cowboy Heart

Book Blurb:

My Cowboy HeartA cowboy’s heart has room for anything…

J-Bar ranch foreman Malloy pretty much keeps to himself—slinking around the edges of everybody else like an old coyote, doing his job and staying private. That is until Crispin Carrasco shows up.

Lean, muscular, and with a motor mouth that won’t quit, Crispin sparks something in Malloy—something the foreman didn’t know was there. But how does a lone coyote approach the warmth of a fire? And more important, what would happen if that fire burned?

Book Links:

NOTE: Book is only available in ebook format 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17898625-my-cowboy-heart

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AMOODZM?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00AMOODZM&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-cowboy-heart-za-maxfield/1113985536?ean=9781101633489

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back.  Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends.  If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four manages to find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”

Her published books include Crossing Borders, Drawn Together, and the St. Nacho’s and Brothers Grime series from Loose Id, ePistols at Dawn and The Pharaoh’s Concubine from Samhain Publishing, and Notturno, Vigil, Stirring Up Trouble, and All Stirred Up from MLR Press.

Website/Blog: http://zamaxfield.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZAMaxfield

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ZAMaxfield/165809416786338

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2738500.Z_A_Maxfield

GIVEAWAY

Grand Prize:  1 winner will receive a $50 Gift Card to either Amazon or B&N (winner’s choice) and an e-copy of “My Cowboy Heart”.

Additional Prize: 3 additional winners will be selected to receive e-book copies of “My Cowboy Heart”

Click the following link to enter yourself!!

LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YjRjMDAwMWQ0YTk5ZGQyZmI1YmFhOThlNDc4OWIwOjU0/

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FOLLOW “MY COWBOY HEART” BLOG TOUR! Check out the schedule here:

http://www.enchantressofbooksblogtours.com/p/za-maxfields-my-cowboy-heart.html

Susan interviews Rhys Ford author of “Whiskey and Wry”

Whiskey_Wry Cover_Rhys Ford_SmallBlurb:
Sinners Series: Book Two

He was dead. And it was murder most foul. If erasing a man’s existence could even be called murder.
When Damien Mitchell wakes, he finds himself without a life or a name. The Montana asylum’s doctors tell him he’s delusional and his memories are all lies: he’s really Stephen Thompson, and he’d gone over the edge, obsessing about a rock star who died in a fiery crash. His chance to escape back to his own life comes when his prison burns, but a gunman is waiting for him, determined that neither Stephen Thompson nor Damien Mitchell will escape.

With the assassin on his tail, Damien flees to the City by the Bay, but keeping a low profile is the only way he’ll survive as he searches San Francisco for his best friend, Miki St. John. Falling back on what kept him fed before he made it big, Damien sings for his supper outside Finnegan’s, an Irish pub on the pier, and he soon falls in with the owner, Sionn Murphy. Damien doesn’t need a complication like Sionn, and to make matters worse, the gunman—who doesn’t mind going through Sionn or anyone else if that’s what it takes kill Damien—shows up to finish what he started.

. ≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.:.≈.

Welcome, Rhys, to The Blog of Sid Love! So excited to have you here!

RF:  Thank you for having me here. Really. So much love to all of you here. Much much love.

BIG DAY today with the release of Whiskey & Wry!  Can you tell us a little bit about the book?

RF:  Whiskey and Wry continues where Sinner’s Gin left off. The reader is introduced to Damien, Miki’s supposedly dead best friend and Sinner’s Gin lead guitarist. Damie escapes the institution someone hid him in. He flees to San Francisco with not all of his memories in place but driven to find the one person he knows can bring him home — Miki St. John.

Sionn Murphy is the current owner of Finnegan’s Pub, a pier-front Irish pub known for keeping street musicians off its front door. He makes an exception for Damien and well, things go from there.

I have to admit, as much as I adored Miki and Kane, I think Damian and Sionn are my new favorite couple. Do you have a favorite of all your MC’s?

RF:  A favourite? Wow. That’s really difficult. Because everyone’s so different. I love Miki because he’s the most unexpected amongst the bunch. Cole is the crazy voice in the back of all of our heads but mingled with the Great Damn Big Hero because he has a good heart. Shit, I could go all day. Damie fits into Miki in this odd symbiotic relationship and anyone in the Morgan circle kicks ass to write. Really way too many. And there are several couples waiting in the wings on the to be published— Wolf and Tristan, Robin and Marcus… and well others. *grins*

(*rubs hands in anticipation*…Can’t wait to meet the newbies!)

At the end of Sinner’s Gin, book 1 in the series, you left all of our jaws on the ground with the revelation that Damian is alive! Did you have his story already planned in your head? Or did it take some…work?

RF:  I knew before I wrote Sinner’s Gin that Damie was alive. I wrote the book knowing that. It was important to lie to the reader. Because we all had to go through the whole book feeling what Miki felt and I wanted to show his relationship—the depth of that relationship. I think a major part of Sinner’s Gin was the loss of Miki’s entire world. In Whiskey and Wry, it was about the redemption of that world and Damie’s as well.

This book may be one of your darkest/freakiest and features a sadistic psychopath killer named Parker. It is frightening some of the places you took the reader while in his head. What preparation did you do to write this character and what effect did his dark side have on you?

RF:  Um, writing Parker was very easy. I have no idea why it was so easy. Really, like water off a duck’s back. No preparation at all. I might have made the coffee a bit stronger that morning but nope, pretty much easy going with him.

Parker was interesting because really he did nothing much on screen but his intent was so wrong. I hesitate to say evil because really that implies a calculation to his wickedness which isn’t the case. He’s like a crocodile. He’s a creature of his instincts and habits.

I slept perfectly fine while writing Parker. Probably should call my therapist or something.

(That’s probably a sign of creative brilliance! I thought Parker was an outstanding villain…and he CREEPED me OUT! ha!)

Having lived in San Francisco for many years, I have to say, you represent it well in this series.  Have you ever lived there and how do you get those details all spot on?

RF:   I love San Francisco and really, when we go and visit, it’s usually an immersion into the city. I tend to stay in Chinatown or that area. It feels very comfortable and the food places are great. I usually avoid the pier area unless I’m bringing non-natives with me in which case I’ll take them down there to the Blues club or we’ll get some crab. There’s a little shop down there that has some crazy netsuke so sometimes we’ll head in there. I usually try to hit the New Years that are important to me; Dragon for my birth year, Bunny for my sister’s and well a few others.

It’s pretty much my take on San Francisco. I try to capture the city I know and show it on the page.

Now Rhys, you and I both know that we share a common love for great FOOD! 🙂  If you had to pick a meal to represent each of your series (Sinners, Cole McGinnis, and Kai Gracen) what would each be?

RF:  Wow. Difficult one. A meal? Let’s see.

The Dirty Series: Rare steak marinated in kalbi sauce, purple rice, panchan and mango sherbet.

The Sinners Series: Roast beef with red wine gravy, roasted rosemary and garlic potatoes, glazed carrots, sautéed Brussels sprouts with bacon and hot berry pie with vanilla ice cream. (Morgan Sunday Dinner)

Miki would just like macaroni and cheese, fried jalapeno spam and carne asada fries. Damien would throw in some braised unagi with eel sauce over rice.

Kai Gracen: Beef chow fun dry style, Mui Choy with Mei Cai Kou Rou (Mustard Greens with Pork) and Miso ramen. Nothing with egg yolks. In fact, he’s never going to have wiggly eggs ever again. Scrambled or omelettes only.

(Dang, those all sound mouth-wateringly amazing! I am SO THERE!)

Before you go, can you tell us what you’re working on and what we can expect next from you?

RF: Let’s see. I am working on Dirty Deeds which I hope to get done within a couple of months. Lots of pressure there. *grins* Fish and Ghosts will be out in November-ish of this year. That’s a paranormal contemporary with a new couple, Wolf and Tristan. That was a lot of fun to write. And I have a steampunk novella out March-ish called Clockwork Tangerine. After I get Dirty Deeds done, I’m going to start Tequila Mockingbird, the third book in the Sinners Series and one I’m both happy about and dreading. So wish me luck with that one.

(Good luck…and CAN’T WAIT!)

Thanks, so much, for being SO GREAT and joining us here at the blog! *hugs*!

RF:  Thank you for letting me stop by! Really! *HUGS*

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rhys Ford imageRhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with three cats, a black Pomeranian puffball, a bonsai wolfhound, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

Rhys is the author of the Sinners series along with the Cole McGinnis series and the Kai Gracen series.

Poppy Dennison

Poppy Dennison is here today on The Blog of Sid Love to promote her very recent release “Born This Way”. I took this opportunity to get her talking a bit about the book, her writing and her love for travelling – among other things, of course. Find the exclusive interview with Poppy Dennison below and “Born This Way” blurb followed by it.

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Welcome Poppy! We are really honored to have you over.

Hey Sid! Thank you so much for having me! I can’t wait to see what questions you have in store for me. A little birdie told me you come up with some good ones! LOL

Born This WayGod! High expectations always make me nervous! Well, I will try my best not to screw up then. lol 

Your newest novella – Born This Way – is about some interesting shifter species; something I’d really like to see in real life ’cause simply put, it’s hot! And one of the MCs – Hart, I believe, is a liger?

Hart is a liger—he has a lion mother and a tiger father. They are real animals, but they don’t occur in nature. Rumor has it that a frisky lion found his way into a tigress’ cage at a zoo … and well, a liger occurred. Hehehe. You can also have a tiglon, which is a tiger father and lion mother. There are some down sides. From what I understand, they don’t live very long and they aren’t able to reproduce. Something about the combination of species making them sterile? What really intrigued me though was how HUGE ligers are. The ones I found information on are twice the size of their parents, and if you’ve ever seen a lion at a zoo, you know they’re big enough. Imagine an animal twice that size! Okay, I’ll stop the liger lesson but I found the idea so amazing that I had to look into it.

Rawr! He just sounds temptingly delicious. What about the other MC? Tell us something about him.

When I started developing the idea of a shapeshifting liger, I came up with Hart. The challenge then became creating a character that could balance my idea of the super strong, over the top liger. He needed to be strong too, and a wee bit sassy so he could put up with Hart. Dayton became the perfect match for his tall, dark and humongous liger mate.

Hmm… Dayton – I don’t know why but I kinda love that name.

Thanks! It took me a while to name him to be honest. As I was pondering, I called him Sunshine in the story because I knew a lion would really like basking in the sunshine. I found the name Dayton which means “bright and sunny town” and knew that Hart could find his home there!

So, what’s the real deal between Hart and Dayton?

The real deal is that Hart has a bit of an advantage over Dayton. Hart knows that Dayton is his mate. Dayton, on the other hand, is 100% human. He has to rely on finding his true love the old fashioned way! He’s not just going to fall swooning into Hart’s arms when he learns the truth—he’s going to make Hart work for it!

Well, I did read the blurb and that itself had me intrigued. Also, it seems people are loving the concept.

Yay! I had a lot of fun with this book. Can I tell you a little secret? I might have been a little drugged up on painkillers when I wrote the first draft. Hehehe. I had surgery last summer and while I was recovering, I decided to take a break from the TRIAD series. Those books require a lot of careful plotting and while I was healing, I was not quite up to the challenge. I saw the liger image while poking around and that’s where the concept came from!

Is there a possibility that this novella may turn into a prequel for some more Dayton/Hart Shifter Romance for the readers?

I think that’s a definite possibility. I had a lot of fun creating the world in this novella, and the side characters that I created to fill out Hart and Dayton’s world would be fun to explore a little more.

Okay I have been dying to ask you this and I am not gonna hesitate at all – Are you a Lady GaGa fan?

LOL! Of course I’m a Lady GaGa fan! Although, I’m not hard core or anything to be honest. That said, Bad Romance comes on the radio and I’m cranking it up full blast and singing along.

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“When I first met Poppy, we made an immediate connection, without really having any logical reason for doing so. But I think we instinctively saw in the other a true friend. Poppy has enormous heart and enormous talent.”

RICK R. REED

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Obviously, you are a fan of the genre you write in – so who according to you rules in this fantasy or paranormal genre? I mean, is there any author who you look up to? What is it about him or her that interests you?

I’m a huge paranormal fan! Can’t get enough. I’d say it’s about 75% of what I read. There are so many good paranormal authors out there…it’s hard to choose! I absolutely can’t get enough of Mary Calmes Change of Heart series. I love those werepanthers! Love lovelove them! Mary created an amazing world with such intricate details and thorough planning….gah, if I could have a tenth of her talent I’d consider myself completely blessed.

Do you have pets?

Alas, no. I did have a dog for many years but when he passed, I couldn’t brave the heartbreak again!

You have travelled to various parts of the world. Tell us about your experience.

Travelling is one of my all-time favorite things to do. I’ve been really fortunate to travel to several countries abroad and I’ve recently started expanding my travel with the States. I’ll tell you a funny experience that happened to me when I was in Malaysia. I was on a public bus, heading into the market and noticed a little boy who wouldn’t stop staring at me. He kept reaching out to me, but his mom kept pulling him back and telling him no. He started crying so I told her it was okay. He wasn’t bothering me at all—I love kids! So the little guy comes up to me and starts rubbing my arm. He was fascinated. I couldn’t figure out what was going on until a friend I was traveling with spoke to him in Malay and cracked up. It turned out, he was trying to pet my freckles! He’d never seen them in person before and thought they would feel different. It was the cutest thing ever!

What does Poppy Dennison do when she is not writing?

When I’m not doing “Poppy Business” (i.e. writing, editing, blogging, etc.), I read or spend time in the garden. I’m on the road any chance I get, usually seeing friends or trying to visit somewhere I’ve never been before.

There’s a game I’d like you to play where I will give you two choices out of which you’d have to choose one. If none of them apply to you, simply say ‘None’. Are you ready?

– Easy one, if you could shift, which one would you prefer to change into – Lion or Tiger? I’m going to go with lion. I love the idea of all the lionesses working as a team. Although I’m not sure I’d like the idea of being in some lion’s harem. Hmm. Maybe I need to rethink that!

– Red or Black? Red, of course! With a name like Poppy, how could it be otherwise? LOL

– Would you prefer – a novella with the hottest sex scene ever but no storyline or a 1000 pages novel with the best story idea but no sex scene? I’m going to have to go with the novel. I love intricate world building so a really long book would be right up my alley.

– A genre you like the most – Romance or Fantasy? Romance

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish my neck wouldn’t be hurt anymore so I didn’t have to have more surgery!

Body Magic (Triad, #2)What’s next from Poppy Dennison then?

I have two books coming out in September. The first is Wild Magic, a spin-off to the TRIAD series. It gives a little more background into the mountain lion shifters in that world. The second is Accidental Alpha, the first book in a new paranormal series I’m doing with Wilde City Press.

What advice would you give to all the aspiring authors out there?

Oh gosh, there are tons of things I’d like to share. I’d say the most important thing for me is to have an amazing support system. I know it’s a challenge when just starting out, but find some good beta readers. And here’s a hint on what “good” is…if they aren’t afraid to tell you something isn’t good, then hang onto them. The last thing we need is “oh this is so good”. No first drafts are that good! Or maybe that’s just me. LOL

And a message to your fans or readers…

Thank you for all of your love and support. I can’t tell you how much it means when I get messages saying how much folks enjoy one of my books or have connected with one of my characters. It’s really special and I can’t explain how much inspiration it gives me to keep writing. As long as you guys want to read my books, I’ll keep writing them!

“BORN THIS WAY”

Blurb: Dayton Whitmore injures his arm playing basketball with his lion-shifter friends, and his best friend asks Dayton to check on her estranged brother Hart while he’s in Atlanta visiting a specialist. Though Dayton and Hart were never close, he grudgingly agrees.

Banishment from his pride meant Hart Sherman could never see his family again. His liger heritage—a tiger mother and lion father—was a thorn in his alpha father’s side. He always planned to go back for Dayton, the man he knows is his mate, but he uses his career as an entertainment attorney as an excuse to avoid risking Dayton’s rejection. When Dayton shows up unannounced on his doorstep, Hart wants nothing more than to claim him.

Knowing what it means to be a lion’s mate, Dayton isn’t in any hurry to make a lifetime commitment. To convince Dayton he’s serious, Hart must come to terms with the circumstances of his birth—and find a place in the pride for them both.

BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press  ||  Book Store

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About the Author

A sassy southern lady, Poppy Dennison developed an obsession with things that go bump in the night in her early years after a barn door flew off its hinges and nearly squashed her. Convinced it was a ghost trying to get her attention, she started looking for other strange and mysterious happenings around her. Not satisfied with what she found, Poppy has traveled to Greece, Malaysia and England to find inspiration for the burly bears and silver foxes that melt her butter. Her love of paranormal continues to flourish nearly thirty years later, and she writes steamy love stories about the very things that used to keep her up all night. If her childhood ghost is lucky, maybe one day she’ll give him his own happily ever after.

You can find out more about Poppy’s books on her website http://www.poppydennison.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Poppy-Dennison/270574609631110?ref=ts

Twitter https://twitter.com/PoppyDennison

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5108648.Poppy_Dennison