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More blog tour!!

I’m visiting Prism Book Alliance today, to answer interview questions and offer an opportunity to enter a contest to win a prize. Additionally, Prism offers a fantastic prize to one lucky commenter each month. Got to be worth a go, right?

Actually no. I’ve already got 3 on the go and need another like a hole in the head. So I’m revisiting books I put aside when I started the ‘getting Eleventh Hour ready to release into the wild’ process.

I’m poking Calon Lan – not much further to go with it which is always when I start second guessing myself and deciding that the end isn’t strong enough. But I’m also reading stuff I wrote last November and haven’t really looked at since. I’ve only tried a little bit of contemporary romance – and that was shifters – so this was new ground to me. But it was fun to write people who could be fairly confident and not have to hide. Also I’m being hugely self indulgent and writing about things that I really like.

Here Mal, museum curator, welcomes Rob, a JCB driver, who has come to the museum to drop off a bunch of flints he has found, though Mal knows, and Rob knows Mal knows, that’s just an excuse.

Mal reached a couple of mugs down from the cupboard and turned on the kettle. “I think I thanked you all for last night, didn’t it? It was good fun.”
“Yeah,” Rob’s grin sounded in his voice but Mal turned to look at him anyway just for the pleasure of it. Rob had taken off his hard hat and put it on the window sill and was leaning against the edge of the window, hands in his pockets and looking out over the patch of grass and shrubs that was all the museum could afford of a garden these days. With his high vis jacket and coveralls undone to show a bright segment of printed tee shirt – the bit Mal could see read “-oun-arm-lu” leaving him to imagine the rest – and with long legs in rigger boots crossed casually at the ankle, he looked both wildly out of place and very much at home. Mal really envied his ease. There was a man, he thought, who knew exactly what he wanted and was fairly confident of getting it.
And what he wants right now – apart from tea – is me!” Mal found that a very satisfying thought. mal's mug
The kettle hissed, the water purred into the mugs soaking the special pyramidal bags that Sharon insisted made much better tea than any other variety. Mal stooped to open the fridge.
“Milk?” Malcolm asked. “Sugar?” Rob had stopped looking out of the window and was watching Mal. Mal could feel it.
“I never say no to a bit of sugar. Bit o’ milk too. Just enough to take the edge off.”
Mal grinned and made the tea then turned and offered Rob his mug.
“Thanks,” Rob said then lifted the mug a bit to read the printing on the side. “Museum curators do it meticulously? Oh. My. God. I hope that’s true.”
Mal snorted. “It’s part of the job to keep the paperwork in good order.”
“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”

Book one about Mal and Rob is called The Bones of our Fathers and is almost done, just needs anothr scene or two and a really severe edit. Book Two – Close Shave – is about 30% done. I should stop messing about with blogs and get on with it, shouldn’t I?

Happy release day to Avylin Winter. This is her first published work, I hope the first of many.

volatile_9781786514547_800 (1)

Blurb:

Like a depressed moth drawn to a wild flame, Chris hoped that flame would brighten his life, not burn him alive.

Chris Sinclair fades into a gray world after losing his mother to cancer. When forced to attend a concert, as a last attempt to coax him out of his shell, he discovers that life might not be as bleak as he first thought.

Dante Heron holds the audience between the tips of his fingers and the delicate bow, playing the violin as if every heart is his to command. However, something darker brews behind the façade, and Chris is determined to solve the enigma.

When Chris is offered the job of traveling around Europe with the famous violinist, he surprises himself by accepting. With no idea of what awaits him, he’s thrown into a world where emotions rule and rules are bent.

They’re a perfectly dysfunctional match, but then there’s always calm at the heart of the storm.

Buy Links:

https://www.pride-publishing.com/book/volatile

https://amzn.com/B01IDHHBVC

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/volatile

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/volatile/id1133721030?mt=11

Author bio:

Raised in one of the cold corners of the world, Avylinn spends her days either wrapped up in a blanket or basking in the precious sunlight.

Always the emotional one, she has found her outlet in writing, voicing thoughts, emotions and fears through her characters that feel very much alive to her.

She recharges with the help of coffee, cinnamon buns, popcorn and occasionally a healthier alternative.

This is Avylinn’s website with all her social media links

signalboosttransparentI often host blog tours but I don’t often do one myself. But I thought I’d give it a go for Eleventh Hour, because I think Miles and Briers deserve it, and I must say that Signal Boost Promotions have made the job so easy. Thank you Signal Boost!

Over the next couple of weeks my book will be popping up in various places around the web. Today a big thank you to My Fiction Nook for hosting my excited thoughts about plumbing. I promise this is relevant to the book.

So plumbing and relevancy – ah, yes, what’s in it for you? A Rafflecopter thingy – check it out, there’s a gift card. You could buy books if you won!! I believe that the way Rafflecopter works is that you can enter more than once so here’s a list of the sites you could visit. Books, people!! Book shopping is the best.

BlogTourGraphic

My guest today, for the twelfth and final Summer’s Day interview, is Rebecca Cohen, author of fantasy and historical novels, some of which have huge relevance to this anthology. Also she’s fun and I’ll be able to fangirl her a bit at the UK Meet in a couple of weeks!

Welcome Rebecca and thanks for answering my questions.

What led you to pick your source material for your story?

I love Shakespeare, especially the comedies. This is probably not news to anyone who has read my historical novels. For the anthology I wanted to do something a little different so instead of choosing a particular play (and to be honest I would have trouble picking just one!) I decided to set the story amongst the actors of the time, specifically the King’s Men which was Shakespeare’s acting company. This basically gave be an excuse to have lots of Shakespearean-esque bickering and insults.

Shakespeare definitely has a way with words. What is your favourite insult/endearment/inspiring passage/? Which bit do you wish you had written?

I love Much Ado About Nothing and my favourite bits are when Benedict and Beatrice are squabbling – this is one of my favourite exchanges:

BEATRICE
A dear happiness to women: they would else have
been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God
and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that: I
had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man
swear he loves me.
BENEDICK
God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some
gentleman or other shall ‘scape a predestinate
scratched face.
BEATRICE
Scratching could not make it worse, an ’twere such
a face as yours were.
BENEDICK
Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
BEATRICE
A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.
BENEDICK
I would my horse had the speed of your tongue, and
so good a continuer. But keep your way, i’ God’s
name; I have done.


What are you working on now?

I am currently working on the fourth Crofton Chronicle (https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/the-crofton-chronicles-universe-7098-s). Green Eyed and Black Tempered was a book I never intended to write, but when faced with terrible writer’s block I turned to two of my favourite characters to help.

Could we please have an excerpt?

“Wouldn’t it be glorious to play Lady Macbeth?” Jacob reached out, holding his hand aloft, as if to beseech his audience. “But screw your courage to the sticking place. And we’ll not fail.”
“You’d be better as one of the old crones,” David sneered. “You’ve already got newt eyes.”
Jacob scowled. “What do you mean by that?”
“Beady little eyes, reptilian in nature.” It wasn’t true, Jacob had quite lovely, pale blue eyes, but David wasn’t about to miss the opportunity to twist the dagger.
“You foul, miscreant lout-mouth,” Jacob snarled, sounding far more hurt than David had expected. “I am not surprised you would spew such false words, for you would not dare hope to own a mirror lest you crack the glass with your turnip-shaped head.”
“Turnip-shaped head!” Really, Jacob was too much. Flying off the handle at a little not-so-friendly banter. “Thou art a tiresome, beef-witted barnacle. Better suited to the stews than the stage.”
Jacob sprang to his feet. “No man in their sound mind would pay for your performance, be it on the stage or the stews. You are loathsome and even those who could not see would turn their heads from you.”
David almost knocked his chair over in his haste to stand. “You have gone too far, I will not stand for such a slight against me. I will teach you more with my clenched fist than you are capable of learning with your deafened ears.”
Gwilliam grabbed him before his could throw a punch, and Carl pulled Jacob away. In a foul mood, David threw off his so-called friend, and slunk out of the tavern.

Bio:

REBECCA COHEN is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and young son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.
Blog: http://rebeccacohenwrites.wordpress.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.cohen.710
Twitter: http://twitter.com/R_Cohen_writes

A-Summers-Day-Customdesign-JayAheer2016-finalcover

 

Release Date: 12th of August

Cover Art: Jay Aheer Simply Defined Art

Genre: MM Mixed*

We have modern retelling of some plays, interpretations of others and one of the sonnets, and delightful referencing of anything Shakespeare.

There is gentle YA romance next to very hot 18+ stories and all kinds of relationships – first love, May/December, interracial, second chances, happy endings and even a tragic one.

We’re travelling from Ancient Rome through Renaissance England to modern day UK, Venice Beach and other places in USA, Vancouver and Havana.

There’s fun, drama, tears, angst, joy and, above all, lots of true love.

Note: All proceeds of this collection go to the It Gets Better Project™.

Buy Links:
amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.co.uk:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.de: https://www.amazon.de/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-English-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.com.au: https://www.amazon.com.au/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/655310
A-Summers-Day-Customdesign-JayAheer2016-banner2

My guest today is M Leanne Phoenix, and author I know primarily through the Rainbow Snippets project [check it out, it’s good fun] but I’m looking forward to getting to know her better.

Welcome, M Leanne, and thanks for answering my questions.

What led you to pick your source material for your story?

Macbeth has always been one of my favorite plays by The Bard, and to have the chance to use it in a story… it’s a dream come true. I knew that Romeo and Juliet would likely be taken, and since I’d somewhat used R&J before, the witchy and Scottish side of me jumped on Macbeth. The only hard part was choosing a story. I also immediately knew which story beginning I wanted to use, being Winter had already mentioned loving the Bard.

Shakespeare definitely has a way with words. What is your favourite insult/endearment/inspiring passage? Which bit do you wish you had written?

Favorite insult? Hmmm… that could take some time. There are many of Mercutio’s in Romeo and Juliet, but I also love Kate’s biting wit in Taming of the Shrew; I almost think it’s an impossible choice for me. Favorite endearment– I use it plenty in Sun of Tomorrow! Koray refers to Winter as “bright angel,” from the end of Romeo’s opening lines as he’s marveling over Juliet on the balcony at the begining of Act Two, Scene Two. The banter I wish I’d have written? That’s easy. When Romeo arrives after Mercutio and Benvolio had been talking about him in Act Two, Scene 4. The plays on words are countless and the dance between Mercutio and Romeo is quick and sharp! I love it!

What are you working on now?

I’ve been finishing up little bits lately, a few short stories just made it through my two editors. One I have had ill luck getting into anthologies, timing and an early close on submissions for the first two attempts. I am thinking to just put it up as a free read on my website if I cannot find a home for it soon. Another was supposed to be added as an epilogue of sorts to a short story released on my blog at the end of the book tour I did for Covenant in January. Right now, it’s in my editor’s hands. It’s called Bescreen’d in Night, and it’s from the universe I’ve finally made a return to, The Covenant. I hit a roadblock in January about mid-book two, but thankfully, my boys started speaking again, so I’m hard at work on book two, titled AETERNUM.

Could we please have an excerpt?

From THE SUN OF TOMORROW:

He squeezed his eyes shut as he hugged his arms, finally processing what had almost happened in Marchand’s office… and what had actually transpired. Cold realization swept over him, flood waters high over his head, taking his feet out from under him, and just when his lungs burned for much needed oxygen, a hand shot out to wrap around his own, bringing him up to the surface to breathe.
Their eyes caught, Winter’s pale grey held captive by his companion’s jade green, and the taller man slid his arm under Winter’s shoulders to tug him up against his chest, one hand curving over the back of Winter’s tousled gold head as the man whispered, “I’ve got you. I didn’t rescue you to just leave you stranded, by the way. I came back to the East Coast to help my sister, who loves this city, but you came along, my first week back in Boston.”
Leaning his forehead to the man’s shoulder, Winter unfolded his arms to light his hands on slender sides, causing his savior to wrap his own around Winter’s slight form in a tight and reassuring hug. Winter pushed closer to the man, giving in to the embrace and holding on to his savior tightly as he shuddered with the force of emotions he couldn’t name but that crashed over him in waves. Before he could fully comprehend it, Winter’s face and the man’s leather jacket were wet with tears.
“I’m sorry. Please—” Winter sniffled as he attempted to dry off the collar with the sleeve of his grey fleece sweatshirt.
The man wrapped both his slender hands around Winter’s one as he shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. If I wanted to, I could be selfish, but I don’t want to. I don’t want you to feel indebted to me.”

As requested, the author bio and contact links:

Author Bio

M. LeAnne Phoenix would tell you that the worst time of her life was the two years that she attempted to take off from writing. If you asked her to explain exactly why she did such a thing, you would most likely get the mad attempt to arch an eyebrow like her dad and then a shake of the head as she told you it was unlucky to speak of such things. Suffice it to say, it will never happen again!

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas in the mid-1970’s, Ms. Phoenix was young and wild (and even free!) during the crazy wondrous decade known as the 1980’s and the even crazier but now grungy decade of the 1990’s. Music is second only to the muses that live and breathe to fill her mind with beautiful men, and music always helps them to tell their stories. She is never without her iPod or her computer no matter where she goes, although, she does like to hike and take pictures of the sky and the moon, and even the occasional shot of the sun through the branches of a tree.

An avid cat lover, Ms. Phoenix has been owned by many throughout her life, though her current owner is one Lily-Rose, who really would like for her to step away from the keyboard and pay her some attention! After all, hasn’t she earned it?

Contact Information:

Email                  Facebook         Twitter              Website

 

A-Summers-Day-Customdesign-JayAheer2016-finalcover

 

Release Date: 12th of August

Cover Art: Jay Aheer Simply Defined Art

Genre: MM Mixed*

We have modern retelling of some plays, interpretations of others and one of the sonnets, and delightful referencing of anything Shakespeare.

There is gentle YA romance next to very hot 18+ stories and all kinds of relationships – first love, May/December, interracial, second chances, happy endings and even a tragic one.

We’re travelling from Ancient Rome through Renaissance England to modern day UK, Venice Beach and other places in USA, Vancouver and Havana.

There’s fun, drama, tears, angst, joy and, above all, lots of true love.

Note: All proceeds of this collection go to the It Gets Better Project™.

Buy Links:
amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.co.uk:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.de: https://www.amazon.de/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-English-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.com.au: https://www.amazon.com.au/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/655310
A-Summers-Day-Customdesign-JayAheer2016-banner2


Elin’s Qs [notes in brackets won’t appear in the post]My guest today is J L Merrow, a favourite author and a favourite person so I’m delighted to be playing host.

Welcome JL, and thanks for answering my questions.

What led you to pick your source material for your story?

This isn’t the first time I’ve done a Shakespeare based story – my novel Played! is heavily based on/around an amateur production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But for this anthology I wanted to do something a little different—and that’s just what Sonnet 130 is: different. Starting with the famous words, My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun. It’s a love poem that parodies love poems, lampooning the usual flights of purple prose praising the writer’s beloved. But the turn in the last two lines switches the sentiment from satire to sweetness. In essence the writer is saying he sees his mistress clearly, rather than through the rose-tinted spectacles of love: she is a real woman to him, not some remote goddess possessing superlative beauty. And he loves her as she is.
That’s what I think true love really is: loving the person who exists, warts and all, rather than some idealised fantasy of them. In Nothing Like the Sun, both Jerome and Sam have their flaws, both in looks and personality—some more glaring than others. And neither of them is blind to the other’s faults. But true love transcends imperfections.

Shakespeare definitely has a way with words. What is your favourite insult/endearment/inspiring passage/? Which bit do you wish you had written?

picture: Ferdinand Lured by Ariel, by John Everett Millais, 1852

Gawd, where to start? There are just so many choice turns of phrase in Shakespeare’s works.

One passage that’s stuck with me is Ariel’s song to Ferdinand in The Tempest. Background information: Ferdinand has just been shipwrecked and his father drowned. Ariel’s taunts show a grisly inventiveness that is breathtakingly creepy:

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.

I love the rhythm of this short passage, as well as its (horribly) intense visual qualities.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently dividing my time between promoting my recent release Blow Down, the fourth in my Plumber’s Mate Mysteries featuring Phil the private investigator and Tom the slightly psychic plumber, and writing the second of my forthcoming Porthkennack novels for Riptide. One Under (provisional title) is a contemporary m/m romance set in Cornwall, between two men who have very different backgrounds, but turn out to have more in common than they at first realise.

Could we please have an excerpt?

Here’s a short excerpt from Nothing Like the Sun:

I’d been ignoring my laptop all morning. Well, I had so little to look forward to these days; why not build a little anticipation for one of my few remaining pleasures?
There was a message in my inbox. Dead_Pool_Ringer, you have a new message from BoyNextDoor. It was time stamped only three minutes ago.
Heart thumping in ridiculously clichéd fashion, I clicked. How are you? I read.
I typed, Still hideous. Just before hitting send I hesitated. Deleted it. Typed in Okay, I guess, and sent that instead.
He knew what I looked like. Not that I’d posted a photo, but I’d been entirely upfront about my appearance in my profile when I set up the account on the dating site. I’d also been upfront about the fact that a meeting was out of the question.
Why bother, then?
Because this was the reason I could manage without therapy.
Bad morning? BoyNextDoor typed.
Had a friend visit, I typed. Because Sam was a friend, as well as an employee. We’d been at school together from the age of seven—enough history to keep us together despite very different career paths.
I’d had the caretaking role, back in those early days. Short and tubby, with National Health Service spectacles and a stutter, Sam had been every bully’s dream. I was never entirely sure why I’d taken his side over theirs. Perhaps something about him had meshed with a part of me I hadn’t yet learned to recognise. Or perhaps it was simply that even then, I yearned for the role of hero. At any rate, I fought his battles and waited for him to worship me for it.
In a shocking twist—at least to my seven-year-old self—he rounded on me angrily and insisted he didn’t need my help.
It was my first failed audition: the role of Sam’s friend.
What did I do then? I cheated, of course.

Bio:

JL Merrow is that rare beast, an English person who refuses to drink tea. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, where she learned many things, chief amongst which was that she never wanted to see the inside of a lab ever again. Her one regret is that she never mastered the ability of punting one-handed whilst holding a glass of champagne.
She writes across genres, with a preference for contemporary gay romance and mysteries, and is frequently accused of humour. Her novel Slam! won the 2013 Rainbow Award for Best LGBT Romantic Comedy, and her novella Muscling Through and novel Relief Valve were both EPIC Awards finalists.
JL Merrow is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, International Thriller Writers, Verulam Writers’ Circle and the UK GLBTQ Fiction Meet organising team.

Find JL Merrow online at: http://www.jlmerrow.com, on Twitter as @jlmerrow, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jl.merrow

A-Summers-Day-Customdesign-JayAheer2016-finalcover

 

Release Date: 12th of August

Cover Art: Jay Aheer Simply Defined Art

Genre: MM Mixed*

We have modern retelling of some plays, interpretations of others and one of the sonnets, and delightful referencing of anything Shakespeare.

There is gentle YA romance next to very hot 18+ stories and all kinds of relationships – first love, May/December, interracial, second chances, happy endings and even a tragic one.

We’re travelling from Ancient Rome through Renaissance England to modern day UK, Venice Beach and other places in USA, Vancouver and Havana.

There’s fun, drama, tears, angst, joy and, above all, lots of true love.

Note: All proceeds of this collection go to the It Gets Better Project™.

Buy Links:
amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.co.uk:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.de: https://www.amazon.de/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-English-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.com.au: https://www.amazon.com.au/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
amazon.ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Summers-Day-Shakespearean-Anthology-Twist-ebook/dp/B01JH97LVA
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/655310
A-Summers-Day-Customdesign-JayAheer2016-banner2

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