Friday, May 22, 2015

Feline Fridays



Behind the Eight Ball teaser:

Chapter One – Heller


Step.
Step.
Stop.
The rustling of dead leaves caught my attention, and I froze, with one paw still in the air. Not moving and barely daring to breathe, I waited. My whiskers twitched as a cool October breeze disturbed the scent of decaying leaves and rich soil. The foliage trembled again as something rooted around.
I slowly lowered my paw. The disturbance wasn’t very noticeable, except to my predatory gaze. The movement continued. Gradually, bit by bit, I crept forward, making sure my long fur didn’t disturb the surrounding mounds of dying leaves. It was times like these I wished my coat were short like Dolf’s. One thing was for sure—whatever was below those leaves was going to be mine shortly. All I needed was to cover a little more distance, and I’d be close enough.
Step.
Step.
Crouch.
Heart thumping, I watched as the movement continued. My muscles tightened, and my bottom started wiggling. Unable to wait, I sprang forward, claws extended. Leaves flew into the air as I landed on my target. Bugs scattered. Eyes narrowed, I searched for…. There! There was the little bugger. I growled at the big black beetle and trapped it with my paw.
Seconds passed. The bug wiggled under my paw, tickling me. Hunched down, I carefully lifted my paw and peeked. Dammit, can’t see. Unable to get a good look, I lifted my paw a little higher… and there it went, scuttling across the ground. Gleefully, I slammed a paw down, trying to trap it. Slap. Slap. Slap. Arrgh! What’s the deal? I keep missing.
Looked like I’d found myself in a game of whack-a-mole, except with a beetle. And off we went. The bug scurried away with me hot on its trail. Every time I thought I had a paw on it, I ended up missing. Stupid critter was fast. I bounded along behind as it raced across the ground. Then it suddenly cut back and ran straight under me.
Surprised, I leaped in the air, all four paws coming off the ground. Whoa! Zigged when I should have zagged. I landed and nonchalantly licked a paw. Hope no one saw that. I had to give the bug credit. That was a smart move. The shrill cry of a mockingbird caught my attention. I lifted my head, searching for the little tattletale.
Up in a tree it sat, its warning cries echoing around the yard. I eyed the tree. Hmm, I could climb it, but the stupid bird will probably just take off. Still, might be fun. Maybe after I finished playing with the bug… and damn. The bug.
My attention returned to where it had been, my tail slashing. Great. Lost it. Stupid bird. I sat up and threw a glare over my shoulder at the bird. Standing, I turned my back to the little menace, tail held high. And that’s what I think of you, buddy. I prowled around for a while, sniffing, enjoying the coolness of the morning.
In the early morning sunlight, the dew on the grass sparked like diamonds. Maybe it was pretty, but the stuff was also cold and wet against my paws. I was glad for my fur. As I wandered back toward the house my stomach growled. I was hungry and… I sniffed. Oh, was that a blue jay I smelled? Oh, oh, a blue jay. Yum.
The human side of me groaned, but the kitty part wanted to jump with joy. The noisy little shits were actually quite intelligent. Catching one was always a feat. Quick as I could, I hid in the bright fall foliage by the back porch. I stayed very, very still so the stupid bird three feet from me didn’t fly off in a panic.
I licked my lips, my whiskers twitching as I watched the little rascal across from me raise its head. Shit, shit, shit. What caught its attention? Come on, already. It’s all fine, nothing to worry about here. No cat hanging around. Just go back to pecking around on the ground. Everything’s good. See? I’m not moving, not even breathing.
Crouched low, I waited while my breakfast relaxed, and returned to looking for acorns. Other birds came and went, but I refused to get distracted. I knew the one I wanted. Inch by agonizing inch brought me closer, my prey completely unaware death hovered. My mouth watered, and my heart thumped.
The chatter of the birds around me was easy and relaxed, no distress calls sounding. That’s right. Just keep on eating. Soon I’m going to be eating you. My body tensed, back legs ready to spring me into action….

And the phone in the house rang.
The birds took off in a wing-flapping mad rush. I turned back to the house, snarling. Unbelievable! I should’ve shut the damn window in the house. I should’ve known better, but I just had to raise the windows this morning. I’d never stopped to think about a ringing phone messing up my stalk.
I darted back inside and shifted just as my cell stopped ringing. I needed to check that since the ringtone was the head beta of our clowder, Dolf. One didn’t ignore any more than one ignored our Alpha. I was one of four betas now, but up until a few years ago, I’d been the clowders hacker.
My main job was protecting our Alpha, even though I ran a lawn service for the clowder members. I also did website design for many paranormals and fixed computers on the side. I was a regular jack-of-all-trades who really, really needed to find his clothes before my nuts froze off. Now that I was furless, I noticed the bite to the fall air even more.
I hurried to my bedroom. The hardwood under my bare feet sent shivers up my spine. As I dressed, I heard my cell beep from the kitchen, letting me know I did indeed have a message. I returned to the kitchen where my cell sat. At least that couldn’t fly off. 

* * * 
So, I *still* haven't heard anything on 8 Ball. I was hoping to announce a release date, but that's a no go. I *should* be hearing something just any day now. (Yes, I'm climbing the walls lol. This is the 10th week. Rarely does it go this long.) 
Anyway, let's talk about Remi a little. You first met him in Trouble Comes in Threes. He's the one who didn't act like an ass when Dolf told all the betas about Kirk, his other mate who happened to be human. Remi is easy-going and fun-loving. He's not one to get mad often. But don't be fooled. Out of the four betas, Remi is the strongest. Just because he's laid back, don't assume he's a pushover lol. He's not. 
Now, in Behind the Eight Ball, Remi meets his mate near the end of the book. Surprise, surprise, he's not a human. It certainly caught me by surprise lol. No, Remi's mate is actually a paranormal, and a damn strong one to boot. Remi's story will be book #3 called It Takes Two to Tango. 
One of things I noticed about Remi was his love for funny T-shirts. So of course I had to go find a site that sold these kinds of things. Oh man, some of the sayings cracked me up. Matter of fact, both of my kids are getting some of these shirts for birthdays and other holidays lol!
Here are a few saying you might see mentioned in either upcoming book. *wink*




























Thursday, May 21, 2015

In Enemy Hands 7.2

Chapter 7.2
“I hope you don’t mind Maylar joining us.” Omori’s voice dropped. “I need to feed and had already set a date with him. I was also unsure if you might need his services.”

“No, brother, as it turns out, I do not. But I do thank you for the offer.” Adlar glanced at Varo who was slowly turning red.

Omori pinned Varo with a look, and then nodded. “That’s good then. Although I’m sure Maylar will be sadden to hear he lost such a… generous client.”

Varo crumpled his napkin in his fist.

Adlar saw the action, but didn’t comment. He was too pleased Varo had showed such signs of jealousy.

“Ah well, he still has you.” Adlar winked at Omori. He hoped Varo understood the hidden message. No, he didn’t need Maylar anymore. He planned to feed from Varo only.

“Indeed he does.” Omori gaze traveled to the male across the way, lingering. He shifted on his chair, and then reached down to rearrange himself, a slight smile on his lips.

“Getting uncomfortable?” Adlar smirked, seeing the action.

“Getting?” Omori dragged his gaze from Maylar. “No. Already am? Absolutely. And we better change the subject before I decide to feast on Maylar instead of this delicious meal Chef prepared.”

Varo gulped.

Adlar didn’t see the point in mentioning he and Omori had shared Maylar on more than one occasion. There was nothing sexual between him and his brother, of course. And while they often shared a lover, there would be none of that this time.

The idea of anyone seeing Varo naked outside of him made him finger one of his knives. Varo was his. Only his. He’d kill anyone who tried to come between him and what was his. Maylar joined them and the conversation flowed. Varo didn’t speak much. That was mostly due to Varo not sharing a history with the three other males.

At the end of the meal, Omori offered them Novo, a drink that contained Phis cream of coconut milk, pineapple juice, and white rum. The drink was white, sweet, and slightly thick.

Adlar nodded at the drink he sat in front of Varo. “Try it. I think you’ll like.

“I’ve had Novo before,” Varo said, taking a sip.

“Not like this, you haven’t. We use Helkan white rum instead of the usual stuff you can get anywhere. But beware, our alcohol has a kick to it.”

Varo savored the drink, and then slowly swallowed. “It does taste… richer. Huh. Something in it tastes much more distinctive.”

“That’s our rum.”

Varo took another sip. “Wow, it’s much lighter. It makes the whole drink taste different. It’s actually much better. I really like this.”

“I’m glad. Just remember it has a kick to it. Stuff will sneak up on you.”

The four of them moved from the table to the living area. Omori and Maylar took one couch. Maylar curled his feet under him and leaned close to Omori. Adlar and Varo took the other. Adlar noted Varo sat as far away as he could.

Which wasn’t too far since it was a smaller couch, but still. He wanted Varo closer. Varo didn’t have to drape himself over Adlar like Maylar had done to Omori, but he wanted the other male’s attention, and he knew exactly how to get it and have a little fun at the same time.

He rested his arms along the back of the couch. With a touch that was as light as a feather, he ran his fingers down Varo’s neck. A shiver racked Varo, and Adlar smiled. So sensitive. He couldn’t wait to run his fangs down that sensitive patch of skin.

Varo shot him an annoyed look. Adlar returned it with an innocent smile. Varo snorted and rolled his eyes. Adlar wrapped one length of hair around his finger and tugged. Varo raised an eyebrow. Adlar continued tugging.

Finally Varo huffed. He got the message and scooted closer. During this, Omori had launched into one of his never-ending stories of their childhood. Of course they were stories about all the misadventures’ he’d gotten into, never the things Omori had done. Soon Omori had all them laughing.

“Good gods, I was never that bad.” Adlar shook his head at Omori.

“Right. I’m sure if our parents were still alive, they’d disagree too with that statement.”

“Oh, that’s right.” Varo sipped his drink. “I remember now hearing the former king and his mate had died in a shuttle accident. I’m sorry for your loss. Were the both of you close to your parents?” Varo asked.

“Very much so,” Adlar said.

“Yes, they were a steady influence in our lives,” Omori agreed

“They loved us greatly and wasn’t afraid to show it.” Adlar added.

“You’re very lucky then.” Varo gulped his second drink, and then leaned closer to Adlar. “Where’s the restroom?”

“You’ll have to use my private one,” Omori said. “The guest bathroom is out of order for now. I’m having it updated. Go up the stairs into the bedroom and take the second right. That’s the bathroom.”

“Um, are you sure?” Varo asked.

“Of course,” Omori said. “There are restrooms in the palace, but why hunt those down when you can use mine?”

“Okay. Thank you, Your Highness.” Varo stood and immediately flung a hand out. Instead of grasping the back of the couch, he grabbed Adlar’s shoulder. “Stars!”

Adlar rested his hand over Varo’s. “Are you okay?”

“Oh yes.” Varo took a steadying breathe. “Just a bit lightheaded.”

Adlar snickered. “I told you that drink snuck up on you. Need help getting to the bathroom?”

Varo straighten, a haughty look crossing his face. “If you’re implying I’m drunk, I must inform you that I am not. I’m perfectly capable of getting to the bathroom by myself.”

Removing his hand, Varo sniffed and turned to leave.

Adlar watched him go. Varo had no problems walking across the room. If anything, he was frighteningly precise in his movements and his speech was clear and articulate.

Omori glanced at Adlar, eyebrow raised. “That Helkan rum is about to kick his ass.”

“I know. This should either be interesting or horrifying. He has even less of a tolerance for alcohol than I thought. Maybe I should take him home just in case he gets lippy.”

“It wouldn’t really be fair to punish him in his condition,” Omori pointed out.

“No, it wouldn’t, which is why we might need to leave. Alone I can let certain things slide. Around you, I can’t.” Adlar frowned at stairs Varo just climbed. “He’s opinionated and very resistant to being a slave.”

“Well frack, of course he is, Adlar. He’s a prince.” Omori rolled his eyes. “You can say what you will, but that male is no more a slave than you or me.”

“And all that changed when he got past the Satellite Surveillance Network and tried to attack us.”

“It might have changed his circumstances, but that in no way changed who he is. You’re going to have your hands full breaking that one.”

“I don’t want to break him, just bend him some,” Adlar said.

“Excuse me, Sire, but are you and your guests finished eating?” Maylar asked.

“Hmm? Oh, yes.” Omori gaze traveled over Maylar. “Why?”

Maylar shrugged. “I don’t wish to smell our dinner all night.”

Omori glanced at the table that held the food. “Ah, I see. I can have servants come take it away. There’s no need for you to clean up.”

Maylar ran his finger over the pointy end of Omori’s ear. “I don’t mind. Why don’t I pick out a few things for us to snack on later and the servants can come get the rest, hmm? You do have a small place for cold storage needs.”

Omori lifted one of Maylar’s curls and let it slide through his fingers. “Yes, do that. You’re going to need to keep your strength up.”

Maylar’s smile was hungry. “That sounds promising, Sire.”

“While he’s doing that, would you like to see the schematics for the new battle bot I was telling you about?” Omori asked Adlar.

“Indeed. You have them here? I’m really not in the mood to go traipsing all over the palace.”

“Yes. Let’s go to my office.” Omori stood. “Maylar? Would you please bring Varo to us after you finish what you’re doing?”

“I most certainly shall, Sire.”

“Thank you,” Omori said.


Maylar watched them leave the seating area. They moved down a narrow hall toward Omori’s office. Once they were out of earshot, Maylar smirked. “Oh, I most certainly shall.”

 TBC next Thursday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pride Promotions presents Piece Us Back Together Tour and a Giveaway!

If you're looking for the HAHABT, click here






Author Names: Raine O’Tierney, L.J. LaBarthe, Cate Ashwood

Book Names: All That Shimmers (Raine), Swimming With Elephants (L.J.), Red Runs Through (Cate)

Release Dates: May 6, May 13, and May 20
Blurb(s):

Piece Us Back Together:
Life can seem bleak for people suffering devastating injuries or illnesses of the mind and body, and every day can be a struggle. But sometimes, when hope seems in short supply, they find a reason to keep up the fight. The men in these stories face some of the most difficult challenges imaginable, but fortunately they won’t be facing them alone, because when everything seems darkest, a point of light appears. With compassion, understanding, and love, these hurt souls have a chance to piece the broken parts of their lives and themselves into something strong and beautiful. Love might even be able to mend the most serious wounds of all—those of the heart.


All That Shimmers by Raine O’Tierney
Beau Bell is a former Olympic hopeful, left paralyzed from the waist down after a car accident. He has every reason in the world to be pissed off and miserable, yet he’s training for the Paralympics Men's 100m—S6 division. The chair? Just a part of who he is now. Beau's attitude is golden. If only he could contend with this one little issue: errant erections and no way to relieve them!
Nikša Meríc is a lonely scientist and really bad poet living underneath the old building where he does his research. Every night he watches his neighbor through his basement window as he undresses in his wheelchair. Although there is no apparent reason for Nikša to be unhappy, he’s struggled with depression his whole life and has tried to kill himself on multiple occasions.
When Beau proposes that his “voyeur” come over and help him experiment with the erections he can’t actually feel, the relationship they build is a sexual one. But the relationship they need is one that will heal each other’s heart as well.

Available May 6th, 2015


Swimming With Elephants by L.J. LaBarthe
After suffering a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, Garrett believes his life is over. Depressed, bereft, in pain, and unable to return to the career he loves as an arborist, he sees no hope or future for himself. But a trip to Havelock Island in India turns his world upside down. He meets Jai, an Indian nurse, and becomes smitten with him. Near the end of his trip, while swimming with an elephant, he tells Jai how he feels.

After Garrett returns to Australia, he wonders if he can ever be healed of all his pain—physical, emotional, and mental—and fears that love and romance will never be his again. But then Jai turns up in Perth and brings with him astonishing news.

Available May 13th, 2015


Red Runs Through by Cate Ashwood
Carter McClintock’s life is uncomplicated. For the past five years, he’s spent so much time in hospital scrubs that one day bleeds into the next, and that’s just the way he likes it. That is, until he meets Matthew Nolan. Carter has never had a patient affect him the way Matthew does. During Matthew’s stay in the hospital, the chemistry is unmistakable, and once he is discharged, Carter asks him out.
Despite the obvious attraction between them, Matthew’s HIV status keeps him from handing Carter his heart, refusing to believe anyone could ever truly want him. When Matthew’s past comes to light, their budding relationship is threatened before it has even begun. But Carter isn’t one to give up without a fight and he will do anything to show Matthew the lengths he will go to keep them together.


Pages or Words: Varies by book

Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance

Excerpt: (Attached to the mail)

Sales Links:
Piece Us Back Together Anthology:

All That Shimmers:

Swimming With Elephants:

Red Runs Through:



About the authors:

Raine O’Tierney
Raine O'Tierney lives outside of Kansas City with her husband, fellow Dreamspinner Press author, Siôn O'Tierney. When she's not writing, she's either asleep, or fighting the good fight for intellectual freedom at her library day job. Raine believes the best thing we can do in life is be kind to one another, and she enjoys encouraging fellow writers! Writing for 20+ years (with the last 10 spent on M/M) Raine changes sub-genres to suit her mood and believes all good stories end sweetly. Contact her if you're interested in talking about point-and-click adventure games or about which dachshunds are the best kinds of dachshunds!

L.J. LaBarthe
L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.
L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica. She has won a Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention and another award for Best Historical Gay Novel.
L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.

Cate Ashwood
Cate Ashwood wrote her very first story in a hot-pink binder when she was in the second grade and found her passion for writing. Her first successful foray into romance writing came five years later when she wrote her best friend, who was experiencing a case of unrequited love, her own happily ever after.
Cate’s life has taken a number of different and adventurous roads. She now lives a stone’s throw from the ocean, just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband, her brand new little boy, and her two cats. Her life is filled with family and friends, travel, and, of course, books.



Goodreads Link:

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Tour Dates & Stops:
6-May

7-May

13-May

14-May

20-May

21-May


Rafflecopter Prize: One e-copy of each book in the anthology (to one winner)
Rafflecopter Code:




And now for the interview!


Cate:
How do you come up with the titles to your books?

I am absolutely terrible at titles! I've even forced LJ to name my books for me before. I spent an obscene amount of time tonight trying to come up with a title for the first book in my new series, and I'm still drawing a blank. I got lucky with Red Runs Through. It actually came from a snippet of a line of a song and I thought it fit perfectly. The story revolves around Carter, who does blood tests on Matthew, and Matthew, who has HIV, but ultimately, it's about heart, so Red Runs Through. :) 


Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Oh, God, wouldn't that be amazing? Right now, the book I'm working on takes place in Vancouver, which is very close to where I live, so that wouldn't do. I'm also working on another collaboration with LJ, this one taking place in Adelaide, Australia, where she lives. I'd LOVE to visit her there! She's shown me photos and it looks gorgeous.

Really, though, there are so many places on my travel list. I'd love to visit the places I wrote about in Thirty Things. I was only able to see them through Google Maps a lot of the time, so it would be amazing to actually follow the road trip Nate and Finn took. I'd love to go back to France and England and Ireland as well. I think that there are very few places on this planet that I wouldn't want to see.


What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
The art of avoiding procrastination. Seriously. I think I spend half my day doing things that aren't necessary at all.



L.J.:
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb. 

There is a term that I've heard used quite often in my own life situation, and it is "invisible disability." That is, a disability that is a definite impairment but isn't immediately obvious. This long-novella is about one of these sorts of disabilities. I have intimate experience with how people treat you when they discover that no, you're not doing X, Y or Z because you're a killjoy, you're not doing it because you physically canNOT, and it ranges between accepting and kind to insulting and depressing. 

Dealing with that on top of the disability is very frustrating. This story features one of these "invisible disabilities" and how people react to it or treat the character who has it, as well as him finding love and acceptance not just with a wonderful man but in himself. That latter is particularly important, I think, because being at peace with yourself isn't an easy thing.


What is your most embarrassing moment? 

I find this funny now, but at the time, I was mortified. It makes a great story, though! When I was 14, I was a huge fan of the band The Damned. They were playing a show in Adelaide (my home city, the capital city of the state of South Australia), so my mum rang up the club and asked if we could go in early and get a poster. The club said yes, so we did. When we got there, mum asked if we could go upstairs and look at the club, and they said sure. It was closed at the time, doors opened for the show at 10pm. So we went upstairs and lo and behold, who was there? The Damned. 

I promptly forgot how to speak, and mum did all the talking. The band gave me their autographs and mum happily told them they were  lucky not to go swimming that day as someone got attacked by a shark. Then we left the club and I staggered around the corner in this fit of fangirl ZOMG!ness, and promptly walked smack into a tree. 

My mortification was extreme because right behind us, having decided to go and get some dinner, were The Damned. So I met the band, got their autographs, listened to mum tell them about shark attacks and then I walked into a tree. Good times, good times!


When writing descriptions of your hero/ine, what feature do you start with?

Eyes. Personally, I'm an eye person. Eye colour is really remarkable—there's such a depth and complexity to it, no one has single colour eyes, they're a combination. For instance, brown eyes are a mixture of shades of brown, blue eyes are as well. So it's always the eyes have it first.