Monday, July 28, 2014

Goddess Fish Presents Platonic by Kate Paddington and a Giveaway!


Kate will be awarding a $25 Barnes & Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Barnes & Noble GC and a print edition of Bleeding Heart (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn host. A free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) will be awarded to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter at each stop during the tour.

The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/06/virtual-book-tour-platonic-by-kate.html



Platonic
by Kate Paddington

~~~~~~~~~~~~~



BLURB:

Mark Savoy and Daniel O’Shea were high school sweethearts who had planned their forevers together. But when Mark goes to college in California rather than following Daniel to New York, he embarks on a decade-long search for independence, sexual confidence and love.

When Mark lands a job in New York and crosses Daniel’s path, they slowly rebuild their fractured friendship through texts and emails. If they finally agree to see each other, will they be able to keep it platonic? Or will the spark of a long-lost love reignite just as Daniel accepts a job overseas?

Platonic is a story of trials, growth, and knowing how to learn lessons from the past to build a future.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

"Why did you ask me?” Daniel asks, genuinely curious.
  
“That’s unfair. I’ve been asking you all night why you came.”
  
Daniel holds his gaze. “You know that night in the bar, when I ran into you?” Mark tilts his head—he remembers. “You asked me to email you and your eyes were wide and pleading and there was no way I was going to be able to say no to you. I remember wondering if you used the same face on juries, to get your way in court. I guess what I’m saying is that I still don’t know how to say no to you. I still don’t know how anyone does.”
  
Time stops around them, stutters and then kicks back in when their eyes slip away from each other. Neither one of them knows what this is or what to do with it. Neither of them walked into this dinner tonight thinking “seduction” or “relationship” or “date” or anything like that. They were far too busy not thinking it.
  
“Did you want to say no?” Mark asks.
  
“Of course not. I wanted to come. Of course I did, Mark.” And then somehow they’re touching. Without giving it any conscious thought, Daniel has reached across the space between them and caught one of Mark’s hands in his.
  
The realization that they are touching comes slowly to Mark; his nerves feel sluggish, his brain has trouble processing the simplicity of the touch, just skin on skin, not intimate or unwelcome or leading to anything. But Daniel is touching him—and not briefly, not fleetingly, he’s holding on—and suddenly it all rushes back through Mark and he never, ever wants to let go.
  
Not ever. This is it. Daniel is it. He always was.
  
“You broke my heart.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kate Paddington wrote her first work of fan fiction at age 12. Today, at age 26, she has degrees in philosophy and chemistry, and is currently completing a PhD in biophysics. A native of Australia, she has published numerous academic papers as part of her research. Platonic is her first novel.


Links: 




Buy link: 




Now, for the interview!

What's the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Not to choose science over my creativity and writing. That advice has kind of shaped my life for the last ten years. It came from my high school English teacher just before I graduated. She wrote me a note in the yearbook telling me that I didn’t have to choose science over the humanities, that I could pursue both. This was quite the counterpoint to what everyone else had been telling me which was to just keep doing science. Because of her I chose to study Philosophy and English as well as Chemistry during my undergraduate. All of which led me to writing fiction as well as making me a much better thinker and communicator. That lesson—that you don’t have to just be one thing, that you should do as much as you can, explore all the different things that make you happy—that was really important thing for me to learn.

Do you plan your stories and, if so, to what extent?

I think I do. I don’t like to start writing until I know exactly what I’m doing and I’m very resistive to officially beginning a big project until it’s all there in my head. Which isn’t to say that the characters don’t take over as soon as I get them where they’re supposed to be on the page. They change the story to suit themselves sometimes. But in general, yes, the plot and the big moments get planned out and then I just hit the keyboard and write until my fingers are numb!

Do you listen to music when you're writing?

Absolutely! I do most of my writing in my office or a lab at the university I work at or in my home and both are busy, loud places so I need something to block it all out with. I tend to listen to a lot of instrumental stuff so the lyrics don’t confuse me. I can go for anything ranging from Vivaldi and Mozart to more modern classical like The Piano Guys and Vitamin String Quartet. Movie soundtracks are also fantastic: anything by Danny Elfman or Hans Zimmer. For Platonic, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata holds a special place and was actually mentioned in a book at one stage of drafting. The build of it and the repetition ring very true to the themes of the story.


If we could see your writing space, what would we see?

I have so many! Platonic actually got written while I was on a fortnight escape driving around Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. I stayed in a lot of little hotels with wonderful views of snow and trees and the sun. I’d just sit in my hotel bed or at the desk and type away. My usual writing areas are either my bed at home or my desks at university. Of course I’m meant to be writing science there but sometimes fiction distracts me. I have a desk in a fairly boring office but then I also have one in a blackout lab, which is where we run a bunch of high power lasers into microscopes and take pictures of the insides of cells. That can be a very cool place to write and pitch-black darkness is actually pretty conducive to focussing. So really, if you could see my writing space, you’d see variety, mess, weird science stuff… I make do.

Which musical would you say best exemplifies your life – and which character in that musical are you?

I want to say Wicked and Elphaba because I love that musical and I think everyone feels a little bit like Elphaba but having thought about it, my life runs a lot closer to Legally Blonde. The university thing, the academic thing with all the intensity of study and trying to have fun at the same time, plus the kinds of prejudice and sexism in the musical are very familiar to me. I’m not Elle Woods though, no way on earth, I’m the really intense, overly-academic, loudly-opinionated law student Enid Hoopes.

Who are your favorite authors (in your same genre or not) and some of the best books you’ve ever read? What is your favorite book that you remember from childhood?

Neil Gaiman is definitely my favorite author at the moment. Obviously he’s not in the business of romantic erotica but his novels always feel fresh and new, they contain original ideas that I’ve never read or thought about, and that’s key for me picking up a book. Jane Austen is a close second. The first time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I rather hated the whole thing but I studied it in High School and completely changed me mind. As a kid, I had a huge soft spot for Roald Dahl and I still do. I’ll never tire of reading ‘Matilda’ because I always felt like that was how a story was meant to end.

Are you a romantic?

What’s a romantic? I always say no to this because I don’t believe in soul mates (even if both the protagonists in Platonic do!) and I am exceptionally pragmatic and logical. I mean, I’m doing a PhD in biophysics and I’ve got an undergraduate degree in philosophy, the two combine to make me think long and hard about these things. It all becomes math in my head which leaves no room for my being a romantic… That said, then I write the things I write and people tell me I am a romantic because I do believe love, romance and good sex are some of the very best experiences people can have, that these things can feel magical and wonderful and make a life worth living. So perhaps I’m a pragmatic romantic? Something like that? The book is certainly romantic!

Have you ever doubted yourself as a writer and if so, how did you overcome it?

Oh sure! Constantly! Let me take this question broadly and not just be specific to fiction writing though. I kind of got through high school and undergraduate without ever being heavily criticised in my writing. I wrote a lot of short stories and fanfiction during that time and that helped me improve. I read a lot and that also must have helped. When I started writing scientific articles, though, my co-authors (who were really just editors) crucified me. They highlighted massive slabs of text that they didn’t like. I was devastated the first time that happened because I thought I was a good writer—a good communicator—and I was being told my writing was bad. I got over that by realizing they were usually just making trouble and often by the time text had circled through three or four co-authors they’d collectively rewritten it back to what I wrote it as originally. Writing romance and sex is a weird thing to turn to having been doing that ‘professionally’ for four or five years but that whole time I was writing fanfiction and getting criticism on my writing. It makes me doubt myself but I usually just shrug my shoulders and get on with it. I write for me, I want to get better and will take on board anything constructive, but if people don’t like where I’m at they can go and write for themselves.

How do you come up with a title?

Platonic is the first novel I’ve had to title and I came up with it after I wrote the whole story, when I was very eager to share it with the world. I desperately searched my mind for a title and eventually ended up on Wikipedia looking at the entry on ‘soul mates’. This is how I approach difficulties: Wikipedia. Soul mates led me to Plato who was the man who kind of made the soul mates idea popular and I instantly remembered a bunch of Greek Philosophy I had studied. So, long story short, Plato wrote a symposium on love back in 380 B.C. and in it a bunch of old dudes argue about different sorts of love and it contains one of my favourite pieces of writing in Aristophane’s speech which was a bit ridiculous but also stupidly romantic because it was all about soul mates. So Plato and the use of the word ‘platonic’ to mean ‘of plato’ worked there. And of course my protagonists do plan to keep their relationship platonic in the contemporary sense. So… just layers and layers of nerdy, philosophical weirdness to name this novel.

If your “Muse” were an actual flesh and blood person, what would he/she look like?

I hate to admit to this but I suspect he’d look a lot like Patrick. In the book, Patrick is the catalyst for a lot of Mark’s growth and a good friend (and also a good lay). He’s very smart, very sharp, arrogant, selfish, obsessive, demanding—not all the things you’d want in a muse. But physically, he’s achingly attractive, Mark considers Patrick’s physique god-like and he’s not really overselling it. Patrick’s tall and broad in the shoulders, dark skin pulled tight over lean muscles everywhere. He has thick cupid’s bow lips and eyes that shine because he’s mischievous as well. Black short hair, sometimes facial hair, usually not, wonderful hands and well-groomed everything. Just stunning, really. He’d be a good muse to have around, actually, so long as he didn’t talk too much.

Which character caused you the most difficulty to write?

Daniel was the most difficult to write because the first person I let read the book actually sat me down and calmly told me that I shouldn’t write Daniel. What she meant was that the story was Mark’s and that all the writing I had done from Daniel’s point of view wasn’t really as good as it could be… from Mark’s point of view. She was right and while I was dismayed that I had to delete about a third of my words, it didn’t click immediately that not writing Daniel’s point of view would make it very difficult to write Daniel as a character that an audience would love and would want with Mark. Everything the audience sees of Daniel is through Mark’s eyes with the small exception of some email correspondence. So getting across his character, how he has changed in the decade after high school, why he deserves and is deserved by Mark, was very tricky. Luckily Mark does love Daniel and kind of always has and always will so there’s a lot to be learned about Daniel through him.

Where can your readers find you on the web?

You can find me at katepaddington.com, plus all the usual social outlets: Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook and tumblr. And of course, you can find out more about Platonic (and purchase it) at interludepress.com.


Thank you so much for the chance to chat to you guys today! This was really fun and I am super-excited to see what everyone thinks of my debut novel!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 25, 2014

Inestimable (Priceless) by M.A. Church French Translation

Oh yes, Priceless has been translated to French! How totally cool is that??? Here's the information for it. :)
~M





Blurb:
Des étincelles jaillissent quand Cupidon vise deux mortels à Las Vegas : Randy Jones, un homme ordinaire, en voyage d’affaires, croise le regard de Garrett Shiffler à une table de craps et le temps s’arrête alors. Rejetant tout ce en quoi il croit, Randy se lance dans une aventure torride de deux nuits avec lui, avant de paniquer en réalisant qu’il est tombé amoureux. 

Le milliardaire cynique Garrett Shiffler a tout ce que l’argent peut acheter, et la plupart des hommes avec qui il sort, n’arrivent pas à voir plus loin que son portefeuille. La vie lui a appris que l’innocence et l’amour ne sont que le fruit d’une imagination collective. Mais quand Randy disparaît, emportant avec lui des sentiments que Garrett n’imaginait même pas avoir, il s’engage dans la bataille la plus importante de sa vie pour gagner son amour. Mais cette fois-ci, il se bat avec son cœur, et non son compte en banque. 

Pendant ce temps, Cupidon se demande ce qui s’est passé. Ses flèches dorées ne ratent jamais leur cible habituellement, sauf quand le Destin intervient. Si Garrett veut récupérer Randy, il va devoir le faire seul, car le Destin a d’autres plans en réserve pour Cupidon.


Excerpt:
APRÈS S’ÊTRE encore fait demander sa carte d’identité, l’homme à l’allure juvénile entra dans le casino. Ses yeux brillaient d’une lueur espiègle alors qu’il scrutait la foule de gens. Il écarta quelques mèches blondes et bouclées de son front, cherchant cette fois un certain type d’individu. Il avait maintenant juste besoin d’inspiration pour frapper, et ses flèches loyales étaient prêtes à l’emploi. Se déplaçant dans la foule, il regarda autour de lui. Il avait le choix parmi tant d'hommes solitaires qui avaient besoin d'amour dans leur vie.

Il était connu sous bien des noms, mais il préférait Cupidon, le nom que sa mère lui avait donné. Mythologie grecque, mythologie romaine… Il haussa les épaules. Les humains ne savaient pas à quel point ils avaient massacré le panthéon, non pas que cela importe de toute manière. Il connaissait la vérité, tout comme ceux de son espèce la connaissaient.

Ses yeux scrutèrent à nouveau le casino… là ! Il avait trouvé ce qu’il cherchait. Cet homme. Avec un large sourire, il se fraya un chemin à travers la foule.


GARRETT REGARDAIT la foule du casino ‘Palms’ de Las Vegas d’un air ennuyé et nonchalant, ses yeux ne voyant rien de ce qui se passait autour de lui. Il était agité, et même l’excitation habituelle du jeu n’arrivait pas à piquer son intérêt. Il fit négligemment sauter le dé dans sa main, ne s’intéressant pas aux montants élevés des mises de la partie de craps qu’il était en train de jouer. La foule autour de lui eut le souffle coupé en voyant que sa chance avait tourné, et qu’il venait de perdre plus d’argent en un seul coup de dé que ce que certaines personnes gagnaient en un an. Mais même cela ne parvint pas à le tirer de son humeur morose. Soudain, la chance lui sourit de nouveau avec le coup de dés suivant.

Son corps fut parcouru d’un frisson et ses cheveux se dressèrent sur sa nuque. Quelque chose, un changement dans l’atmosphère peut-être, attira son attention. Une fois encore, il examina la foule autour de la table de craps, cherchant… quelque chose. Il plissa les yeux et se concentra sur l’homme en face de lui, de l’autre côté de la table. Le temps sembla ralentir, et se figer. Le brouhaha agaçant du casino devint un simple bruit de fond jusqu’à ce qu’il n’entende ni ne voie plus rien… à part, lui.

Le cœur de Garrett rata un battement et augmenta rapidement, accélérant soudain, puis prit une courte pause avant de battre à un rythme effréné. Son esprit imagina une série de scènes en Technicolor qui exigeait que l’homme en face de lui prenne la pose, se penche et s’étire dans un nombre de positions érotiques et explicites. Les yeux de Garrett le scrutèrent jusqu’à ce qu’ils rencontrent des prunelles surprises, de couleur gris acier, et un autre frisson traversa rapidement son corps.

Ces yeux brillaient d’une douce lueur innocente comme Garrett en avait rarement vue et qu’il ne croyait pas exister encore aujourd’hui. Son esprit restait incrédule. Personne ne pouvait être aussi innocent, personne. Mais une partie de son âme longuement réprimée chuchota… ‘Et si’ ? Et si cet homme n’était pas un simulateur et qu’il était réellement ce qu’il semblait être ? Surpris par la réaction de son corps, il décida d’en avoir le cœur net. Il fixa l’homme de l’autre côté de la table de son regard glacé. Un petit sourire en coin flotta sur les lèvres de Garrett alors qu’il faisait signe à l’homme de venir à ses côtés.





Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cover Reveal by Michael Rupured and a Giveaway!


Thanks, Michelle, for allowing me to show off the cover for my upcoming release from Dreamspinner Press on your blog. By far, the most exciting part of the publishing process—at least for me—is seeing the cover for the first time. For my next novel, to be released August 20th, artist Christy Caughie created a gorgeous cover. To celebrate, I’m conducting a giveaway. Keep reading for details.



Blurb:

Terrence Bottom wants to change the world. A prelaw student at Columbia University majoring in political science, his interests range from opposing the draft and the war in Vietnam, to civil rights for gays, to anything to do with Cameron McKenzie. Terrence notices the rugged blond hanging around the Stonewall Inn, but the handsome man—and rumored Mafia hustler—rebuffs his smiles and winks.

Cameron McKenzie dropped out of college and left tiny Paris, Kentucky after the death of the grandmother who raised him, dreaming of an acting career on Broadway. Although he claims to be straight, he becomes a prostitute to make ends meet. Now the Mafia is using him to entrap men for extortion schemes, he is in way over his head, and he can’t see a way out—at least not a way that doesn’t involve a swim to the bottom of the Hudson in a pair of cement flippers.

Cameron is left with a choice: endanger both their lives by telling Terrence everything or walk away from the only man he ever loved. The Mafia hustler and the student activist want to find a way to stay together, but first they need to find a way to stay alive.



Preorder here:

Paperback: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5311

Ebook: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5310


New York City in 1969 is the setting for much of the action in Happy Independence Day. What was the legal environment then for NYC homosexuals?

By the middle of the twentieth century, a relatively large homosexual population had fled to New York City to escape persecution, discrimination, and limited opportunities in rural and small town America. Ironically, New York had more laws on the books targeting homosexuals than just about any place in America. Cross dressers of either gender were arrested unless they wore at least three articles of clothing for the gender listed on his or her birth certificate or driver’s license. The New York State Liquor Authority had determined the mere presence of homosexuals defined a drinking establishment as disorderly, and hence, would evoke the liquor license. Entrapment, extortion, and other crimes were committed against homosexuals with impunity by police, organized crime, and opportunistic thugs. The atmosphere in the summer of 1969 was especially tense because of Mayor John Lindsay’s crack down on vice to clean up the city as part of his campaign for re-election in November.




GIVEAWAY!!!!

To give you a reason to visit the other blogs helping me celebrate my new cover, I’ve come up with a Giveaway and a quiz about the Stonewall Inn and the 1969 uprising that made it famous. Find the answers on the blogs participating in my cover reveal and giveaway (links below). Comment on my post on any of the participating blogs by midnight, July 31, 2014 for a chance to win a signed copy of the prequel, After Christmas Eve (U.S. residents only; ebook available for international winners—one winner per blog).


What is the Stonewall Inn?


Who owned the Stonewall Inn?


What made the Stonewall Inn a magnet for homosexuals?


What happened at the Stonewall Inn on the night of June 28, 1969 to cause the uprising?


Who/what started the Stonewall riots?


How long did the Stonewall Uprising last?


    Shira Anthony
   Chris Koehler


Find out what Michael’s up to by visiting his web site (http://rupured.com), following him on Twitter (@crotchetyman), or by email (mrupured@gmail.com).


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday Briefs - To Touch the Sky #3.1


Welcome to the Wednesday Briefs flash group (click to go to the site). The short stories have a maximum of a 1000 word count plus links at the bottom to the other flashers. If interested in joining us, drop me a line and I'll tell you how. :)

Prompts this week are:
“No time like the present.”
“Might want to put a ring on it.”
“Got to break a few eggs to make an omelet.”
“Here we go again.”
“Don’t say it!”
“It’s always a pleasure seeing you.”
“Did you say…”
“I just wanted to point that out.”
“What a mistake that was!” 
or have a character shopping
or use: pizza, golf ball, box
or have a character dancing
or have a motorcycle in your story
or use: bug, orange, pen
or use: radio, fan, tape
or use: video, pillow, lube 
or “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and...”
or “Knit me a penis warmer, will you?”
or “If I could turn back time, I’d undo our first meeting.”
Or “Whistle while you work... it drives your co-workers crazy.”
Or “stuck between a cock and a hard place...”


To Touch the Sky #3.1

Simon checked his bobber. Nothing happening there. Kind of like my life. Annoyed, he jerked the line out of the water and packed his fishing gear. Usually he loved to be outdoors, especially if it involved fishing, but the peace he normally felt was missing.
Back at his apartment, he put away his gear, then dropped down on the couch. Immediately the mess surrounding him caught his eye. “Man, I need to clean this place up. It’s getting bad in here.”
He knew without a doubt Chip would agree, loudly. In private, he could admit he was a little sloppy. He’d make up his mind to shovel out this dump, then get distracted by something… and there went cleaning. Disgusted with that train of thought, he ignored the mess. It was Friday night and damned if he was going to sit around here cleaning. Maybe he’d get Chip to go out with him and they’d score. God knew both their love lives sucked.
Pleased with the plans, he called Chip, only to be shot down. Chip had other plans with a few people from his work, which surprised him. He knew things at the global shipping company Chip worked at weren’t good and that Chip was worried. Discouraged but determined, he showered and dressed for a night on the town.
A friend from work mentioned this gay friendly bar called Wings he wanted to check out. “No time like the present.”
Simon gave himself one last look in the full-length mirror on the back of the bedroom door. The simple dark brown T-shirt really made his dark brown eyes stand out, and man, he was having an excellent hair day. His short naturally blond hair was wavy, and he worked hard for that tousled, just-rolled-out-of-bed-I’ve-been-fucked-hard look.
He’d hunted down his ‘special’ jeans, the ones washed so many times they were almost white, and had a few strategically placed rips. They hugged his ass like a glove. He looked damn good in them. He finished off the look with his favorite sheer boxer briefs. Yup, he was loaded for bear. Someone was going to get lucky tonight. Smiling at his reflection, he picked up his keys and left.
A lifetime later, he wasn’t smiling. “Jesus, who puts a bar way out here in the middle of no-fucking-where?” His friend from work said it was a little out of the way, but this was ridiculous.
“Damn, this better be worth it.”
The parking lot was full, which was a good thing. He parked and locked his car. The enticing smell of food drifted to him, another positive. As he drew closer to the front door he could hear the band, and they were rocking.
The bouncer carded him, of course. Annoying as that was, he was also used to it. But it was nice to see they didn’t let in underage people. The bar resembled dozens others he’d been in, just maybe cleaner. Tables set up for people to eat with strategically placed TV’s for optional viewing pleasure. A long bar took up the back of the place.
The table lamps provided enough light to eat, which was nice. He liked to be able to see what he was eating. The dance floor wasn’t huge, and that was a little disappointing. The music wasn’t so loud you couldn’t think, which was good. An area off to the left contained pool tables and a place to play darts. Nice.
The crowd was a nice mix. There were several heterosexual couples, along with gay couples. The age range did surprise him, though. There were people in their twenties—his age—then the ages went up to middle forties. Dress included everything from jeans and T-shirts, to business suits, to those that went for the preppy look and on to flannel lumberjack. Hell, there was even leather. 
A cute ginger passed him and winked. And, oh yeah, there were single folks on the prowl—which was exactly what he was looking for. Maybe this place could be his new hot spot. He’d have to get Chip out here if things went well.
He grabbed a table and ordered nachos along with his one, and only, beer. He scanned the crowd. If he was taking someone home tonight, he didn’t plan to get drunk. His food arrived in a timely manner and a quick bite told him the food was going to be good too. As he ate, he scanned the dance floor. He smiled at the sight of guys dancing with guys. The dancing wasn’t as hot as some totally gay bars he’d been in, but there was enough grinding to get his blood up.
Once he finished his food, he made his way to the dance floor. Immediately a guy with long dark brown hair and brown eyes joined him. Simon settled his hands on the other man’s hips, bumping and moving against him. Nice. A little taller than me, and seems to be in good shape. After the music was over, they stayed on the floor and danced to several more songs, then the guy nodded at Simon’s table. “Want to take a break and get a drink?”
“Sure, I could use something cold.”
He followed the guy and sat across from him. As luck would have it, the band was taking a break. Now they could talk. Simon ordered a new drink, a soda this time. No way was he drinking from his beer bottle after being gone from it. The guy ordered a beer.
“You’re new here, aren’t you? I don’t think I’ve seen you before. My name’s Douglas.”
“I’m Simon. It’s nice to meet you. And yeah, this is my first time. I’ve heard good things about this place, and I finally decided to stop by tonight.”
“It’s a cool bar.” Douglas paused as the waitress brought their drinks. “Here, I got this round.”
“I’ll get the next round then.” Simon sipped his drink, taking note when Douglas glanced at his soda.
“Not a drinker?”
Simon grinned. Well now, if that’s not an opening, I don’t know what is. “Oh, I like a good cold beer as well as the next guy. I just don’t drink much when I’m looking for a hook-up.”