I’m absolutely thrilled to reveal the title, cover, blurb and release date for my brand new novel, Natural Twenty. This will be the first
This book was so much fun to write – it’s lots of sweet, nerdy fun featuring an anxious bookstore owner, a gruff florist from Yorkshire, tattoos and piercings, Dungeons and Dragons, secret flower language bouquets, sweet dogs, amazing best friends – basically everything I love!
It’s the first book in my new Roll for Love series, which will be full of adorable, geeky guys finding love – from book shop owners to cosplayers…
Natural Twenty will be out at the end of August, and it’s available for pre-order now. Check out the link below.
Plants are easier than people—that’s Leo’s rule of thumb. After all, nobody really wants a man who looks like he belongs in a biker gang but would rather spend his time buried in books and flowers. It’s just easier to be single. Until he meets the owner of the new book shop.
Jacob Morris knows two things: he’s really attracted to the man who runs the local flower shop, and he doesn’t date. Not when he’s still healing from a bad breakup, has a new business to run, game nights to organise, workshops to host, and a website to build.
When friendship blooms into something more, Leo and Jay must decide whether to roll the dice and take a chance on love or keep forging ahead on their quests alone. Will their roll yield a one or a perfect, natural twenty?
Natural Twenty is an 80,000-word contemporary MM romance featuring Dungeons & Dragons, secret flower language bouquets, a spoilt Staffy (or two), and a best friend who is basically a gothic prince. It is book one in the Roll for Love series and can be read as a standalone.
Today we’re rounding off July with another author spotlight from the amazing British author Louisa Mae who’s here to talk about her upcoming release, starting in fanfiction and being a total pantser.
So take it away Louisa…
First things first, please introduce yourself! Hi I’m Louisa Mae and I live in Leeds in the North of the UK and I write Gay Romance. Wow, that sounds like a cheesy intro on Blind Date!
Tell us a little bit about your writing style. Unorganised chaos, herding cats, total pantser. Those all describe me, I will only write a book I’d want to read, and I love throwing angst into the mix and well as hopefully some scorching hot sex scenes.
Describe your books in only three words. Sexy, angsty, British
What’s your next book about and when is it coming out? I’m literally days away from finalising Voyeur Vol V for release which interestingly, I never intended to write, but these men (rolls eyes). The Voyeur series follows the lives and loves of the owner of The V Lounge which is a Voyeur club in Leeds. We get more than voyeurism, we get to know the men and follow their lives inside and outside of the walls of the club the series centres around. Vol V is different from the other books in the series as this isn’t about any of the men readers have met before, but rather a bit of a curve ball and was a challenge to write that’s for sure.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of? Oh that’s a toughie! It would have to be Innocent Man, it was the first book I wrote and I did it for NaNoWriMo and got 65K down in the month, and continued writing until January when I ended up with 110K. It was an unedited beast, so I walked away from it for over a year. The reason I love it is even now there are parts which can still make me cry, and readers really seem to connect with the characters and love the angst I wove into the words.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? I’d say I’d always had a love of reading. I was taken to the public library as a young child and it was something I did with my dad, and is a precious memory.
I take inspiration from all over, music is a big one. The song Nights in White Satin was an earworm for two(ish) years until I found a way to use the emotion and feelings in a book.
What inspired you to start writing? I started writing in the FanFiction world, but only made the change to Original Fiction when Nicole Colville came into my life. She read one, which was Innocent Man, and demanded more. She encouraged, supported, cajoled and inspired me to do it. I can’t thank her enough.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”? Unorganised chaos, herding cats as I said before haha! I actually work full time, my day job is handling complaints as a Senior Complaints Advisor, so 9 – 5.30, Monday to Friday, I’m investigating complaints and writing responses and helping colleagues with their responses. Sometimes I can grab 20 – 30 mins over lunch, but it depends on the characters and how chatty they are. I tend to write on an evening after the day job has been “put away”. It’s a juggling act at times.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters? They tend to come together, I get the plot whispered in my ear or sometimes smacked around my head and it’s usually by the character. I end up listening to them and they are usually pretty well formed by the time they speak to me.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written? The Don’t series by Jack L. Pyke. She knows how hard I adore her books and I’d love to be able to write like Jack does, it’s dark, intense and absorbing.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? I’m really not good with tropes to be honest, I tend to write what they want to talk to me about, but I’d say hurt/comfort.
What would be your three desert island books? Don’t by Jack L. Pyke, Hidden Pain by Nicole Colville and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast? Oooh hard one… It’d have to be Innocent Man and I know my cast! I had these people in my mind when I was writing. Hayden Soames would be Alex Pettyfer and Theo Winters would be Mark Ricketson. I saw a photo of him in glasses with a book in his hands and MY WORD, that scene was written into the book purely from that picture alone.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about? I like to make my own swag, keyring and badges and I do it for others. I love baking, that’s a big thing for me, and I also beta read for other authors.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? HAHA! What a question, it would have to be the Baby from Dinosaurs, that counts right, “Not the Mama!”
Born and bred in the the vibrant city of Leeds in the North of the UK. I’ve always loved reading, and one of my fondest memories from childhood was the weekly visits to the library with my beloved dad. It always seemed such a magical place to escape into through the books I read on a weekly basis. I’d not really thought about writing in my adult life until I was introduced to the world of Fanfiction and after reading so many I found myself making friends through this new media. My friend, Lori, told me to have a go at writing one, and I did. That work took on a life of its own and opened my eyes to the possibilities. This allowed me to get used to plotting a story and while making the characters my own. I also started to beta/pre read for others and discovered, that much to my surprise, they valued my opinion and input. Making the move to write M/M or slash as it’s known, took me a little longer. After becoming good friends with a wonderful lady from Illinois who told me (repeatedly), “You should write slash, I think you’d be good at it.” I shied away from the idea for so long, but the seed was firmly sown in my mind and soon took root and a life of its own. I decided to write a short piece as a surprise gift for Angela’s birthday that year. Emailing it to her, given the time difference between the UK and US this meant I was desperately waiting for her to see in and I think I heard her delighted scream. Thanks to this, and working on writing group competition, I soon found that I preferred writing M/M to M/F. In 2013 fate intervened and I lost my job. Through my new one, I met Nicole Colville, and the rest, as they say, is history. This marked the start of a beautiful friendship. She encouraged me to make the switch to writing original fiction, and I signed up to Nano Wri Mo 2013, but due to changing jobs I couldn’t commit the time needed. In 2014 I signed up again, and smashed the 50K word goal in 30 days, with a story I love and am proud of. I’ve been beta/pre reading for Nicole over 17 books now (including the 10 shorts in Knights) and the confidence she inspires in me has been invaluable in my joining this anthology and publishing my first work.
I am super excited for today’s interview because my next guest is the fabulous Maz Maddox who’s here to talk about her writing, her influences and DINOSAURS! Can you tell I’m excited?
So let’s get started! Welcome Maz…
First things first, please introduce yourself! Where to begin!
I guess we’ll start with the standard bits: Hi, my name is Maz and I’m addicted to Stucky, Ineffable husbands, m/m romance novels and dinosaurs. It will be shocking to no one that I’m also an m/m romance author! I love to write fun, action packed romances with boys falling in love. My speciality is shifter romances, but I plan on branching out into other fun paranormal goodness in the future.
I have two cats named Winx and Jinx, recently moved far, far north after being in Texas my whole life, and am a happily married pansexual mess. Glad to be here! Tell us a little bit about your writing style. I try to make my stories like a fun action movie dipped in humor with romance cream filling (haha, yeah I giggled too). I grew up loving action movies and 90s cartoons, and fell deeply in love with the genre by reading Charlie Cochet, Jex Lane and Abigail Roux.
My goal is to be as charming as Charlie, with worlds as rich as Jex’s, funny as Alice Winters (I am aware that’s impossible but I’m going to try damnit) and as gripping and exciting as Roux or Tal Baurer. I want readers to not just enjoy a fantastic love story but to escape into the worlds I create. I love world building and developing lore, cultures and more with my series.
Describe your books in only three words. Wild, fun, exciting.
What’s your next book about and when is it coming out? My next book coming out is actually the first book in a brand new series. This one is a little different than my previous Stallion Ridge series, as it’s modern day and set on earth.
They’re dinosaur shifters!!
Smash & Grab is the first book in the new RELIC series, and is about a nerdy paleontologist who gets caught up in a cartel fossil theft attempt. A very cocky punk rock knight in spiky armor saves him and they have to escape the bad ass cartel gunmen chasing them.
This book is fun as hell and I had a blast writing it. It also tackles a very real subject close to my heart, which is illegal fossil smuggling and black market dealings. Each one of the RELIC team has their own story of love and taking down some shady fossil business.
And of course, each guy is a different dinosaur. 😉
It’s set to release in July 2020, so stay tuned!!
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of? Oh, lord. That’s a tough question.
I guess realistically it would be my first novel, Heartache & Hoofbeats, even though I know I’ve changed a lot in my style and voice since it was published. If it wasn’t for that first release, I probably wouldn’t have started down the path of being an author.
Personally though, I’m very proud of book #5 of my Stallion Ridge series, titled Runes, Ruin & Redemption because it was my first attempt at writing a poly relationship. I also have a character in the story that is three people in one body (they are Chimera, so they have three heads in their shifted form) and that character was so unique and fun. I really loved how they turned out, and I love Elliot, Lucas and Seb’s relationship so much.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? I touched on this a bit in a previous question, but it’s a healthy mix of authors who really influenced who I wanted to be as an author: Charlie Cochet, Jex Lane, Alice Winters, Abigail Roux and Tal Baurer. I also really love the world building Patrick Rothfuss has done and adore his characters to death.
What inspired you to start writing? I am truly lucky to have an amazing group of people in my life.
My husband was the one that really gave me my final push. I was standing in the kitchen telling him that I kind of wanted to start writing with publishing in mind and thought it was silly. He shrugged and said, “It’s not silly. I think you should try it.”
Had he blown the question off, or not been supportive, I probably would have let it fizzle. But I didn’t. And here I am. ❤
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”? So, here’s the thing. I’m actually answering this questionnaire instead of writing because I am not reliable about being consistent. I love writing, love telling stories and dreaming up new, wonderful adventures, but Jebus I am a flighty bitch.
Normally my writing routine is morning or afternoon when I should actually be doing my day job stuff (SSSH. Don’t be a snitch), but sometimes it gets shoved to the evening. And sometimes those evenings get overtaken by cooking and screaming at my cats.
My process is get words in when I can, celebrate the victories, don’t beat myself up when life gets in the way, and whine to my alpha reader/editor when I get stuck. Add a pinch of daydreaming, talking to myself, and a heap of coffee and you get my normal writing day.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters? Yes.
Sometimes it’s one, sometimes it’s the other. I have a whole shelter of amazing characters without plots who need forever homes, and a dusty storyboard of plots without people in them. Every once in and while, I can place one with the other and they make a lovely story together, but sometimes they just sit in separate areas in my brain and MOCK ME.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written? Jex Lane’s Beautiful Monster series is so good, so rich with lore and the characters are epic. I have yet to recommend the book to someone and they not love it to pieces.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? Enemies to lovers is always, always so fucking good, dude. The build up, the sass, the hate-to-love-you-but-yet-KISS-ME thing…it’s perfect. I love it forever.
What would be your three desert island books? How to be a Normal Person by TJ Klune, Stars & Stripesby Abigail Roux, Captiveby Jex Lane.
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast? Heartache & Hoofbeats for sure and…I have no idea about cast. I’m shit with stuff like that. I’d make my editor pick lol!!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about? I’m really into science and paleontology, so I’m usually reading up on that. I’m also kinda into making cool, super punky jackets with studs, patches, pins and maybe paint. We’ll see how it goes.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? DinosaurS — I have multiple favorites:
Allosaurus (true king of the Jurassic)
Carnotaurus (horns, little arms, smoosh face)
Regaliceratops (dazzling crest, kick ass nickname — Hell Boy)
Borealopelta (mummified, Candian nodosaur!)
Yutyrannus (fuzzy tyrannosaur with preserved feather impressions)
Brachiosaurus (childhood favorite and big boi.)
Pachyrhinosaurus (cutey McCutey face)
MAZ MADDOX is the odd lovechild between a unicorn, dinosaur and vampire. The outcome is a human-like figure who inherited aspects of all three. She is a champion of logic and science, adores beauty and whimsy, and has a slight streak of darkness that dances the line of genius and insanity.
Residing in the frozen tundra of the north, Maz spends her time with her two cats and a husband who she adores, and is constantly demanding that science gives her a pocket sized triceratops. The efforts of these demands have yet to be fulfilled.
When she’s not pining over the lack of chihuahua sized ornithischia, she’s a writer who loves crafting adventures tales sprinkled with humor, a hefty helping of romance, and topped with a happy ending.
I can’t believe we’re at the end of June already and it’s time for author spotlight number four! I’m so happy to have Alexa Milne joining me to talk about her writing and her new novel, His Perfect Companion, which is out now.
So over to you Alexa…
First things first, please introduce yourself! Hi everyone. My name is Alexa Milne. I write romance stories. I was born in Wales but have lived in the north of England for forty years. I am nearly fifty-nine. I came into writing late on in my life after thirty years as a teacher. I started with fanfiction like many others then wrote my own. My first novel, Sporting Chance was published in November 2014. Tell us a little bit about your writing style. I always find this one hard to answer. I’m more of a pantster than a plotter. However, I usually start with an idea for how two people meet. After this I get an A3 sheet of paper and mind map ideas for family/friends, past history, current situation, events that could happen, motives, wants and needs. Some get used. Others don’t. I have a character list for those things like who they are and what they look like which I add to as I go along. After this, I write. From here the story can go anywhere and usually does. Some stories are driven by angst and others more fluffy.
Describe your books in only three words. Sweet, angsty, sexy.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release? My next book out is His Perfect Companion. It goes on general release on 23rd June. This book is a completely rewritten and reedited version of Rainbow Connection, a book previously published five years ago. The truth is that I was never happy with the story then so when I got the rights back, it gave me an opportunity to write the story as I wanted it. I’ve added 12K words and a completely new epilogue so now Mick and Ceri get the story they deserve. The book has a new title and cover which may tell you that one of my favourite TV programmes influences the story.
At the start of the story, Mick is a security guard, hiding himself away. Ceri delivers the water to fill the water coolers and fill the vending machines. They both have ordinary lives—sort of. These two men, with very little in common to look at them, find they share a love of Doctor Who. Each is intrigued by the other and through Doctor Who, they get to know each other, and as this is a romance, fall in love. But Mick has a past, and the question is can he get over it and allow Ceri to offer him a future?
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of? Tough question. I usually say the first one, Sporting Chance because it was the first book I wrote. I also learned a hell of a lot editing it with a professional editor. Completing it has fed into everything I’ve done since
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? Other writers. Before I started writing Sporting Chance, I’d read hardly any romance, let alone gay romance. I read lots of books in the genre and learned how to write, to shape a story, to create tension, or write a sex scene. I also learned the romance rules, though I don’t always follow them.
What inspired you to start writing? One event got me writing back in 2009 when I started writing fanfiction. I am a huge fan of the TV series, Torchwood. In 2009, the writers killed off the character of Ianto Jones. The fandom exploded. I’d never even heard of fandoms until I looked for others as upset as myself and discovered stories. I decided to write my own to change the narrative and bring Ianto back. Eventually, I wrote somewhere around ¾ of a million words of fanfiction.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”? There is no such thing as a typical day. I do as I said above. Most days. I stare at my laptop. On some days, words appear. I used to try to write 1000 words a day and 5000 a week but now, with things that have gone on in my life recently, not to mention the rest of the world, I write what I can and when I can. I’ve stopped feeling guilty about it. Last year I managed to produce three stories. This year, I’m two chapters away from finishing a two book story with the same MCs. For me, every word counts.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters? I usually get an idea for how two people meet. Then I try to find out who the people are, what they want, etc. So I suppose I’m more character driven. The plot is always getting a happy ending. How this happens, is the story.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written? In the genre, Memorizing You by Dan Skinner. It’s a beautiful book that made a huge impression on me. Dan’s language is so intelligent, it makes me feel like an adult simply reading it.
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? I suppose, if I write a trope, it tends to be that opposites attract. I love characters to find common ground that brings them together, whether that’s a love of Doctor Who, a fascination with lace panties, sharing a car, or a need the other fulfils.
What would be your three desert island books? Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein, Maurice, by EM Forster, and can I cheat and say The Widdeshins series by Jordan L Hawk?
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast? Sporting Chance – I love the thought of all those rugby games. Casting – tricky. Chris Hemsworth is nearest to Dan, the rugby player but he’s a bit old now. Recently, I’ve watched Schitts Creek so I might cast Dan Levy as Iestyn or my original choice, Gareth David Lloyd who played Ianto jones. There’s a role for John Barrowman in there somewhere too
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about? When I’m not writing, I’m generally reading or watching TV. Though lately I’ve been working on a puzzle–I love researching family trees. I’ve done my own and others for friends. During the lockdown, I’ve taken to finding an interesting person on the 1911 UK census and seeing where their family came from. I find it absorbing.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? I like a triceratops.
Originally from South Wales, Alexa has lived for over thirty years in the North West of England. Now retired, after a long career in teaching, she devotes her time to her obsessions.
Alexa began writing when her favourite character was killed in her favourite show. After producing a lot of fanfiction she ventured into original writing.
She is currently owned by a mad cat and spends her time writing about the men in her head, watching her favourite television programmes and usually crying over her favourite football team.
I’m super excited to tell you that Screens Apart is now live in Kindle and KU! *fires confetti canon*
I loved writing this story so much – Taylor and Simon were so sweet and unique, as well as seriously sexy and adorable. I’m so happy that this story is finally out for everyone to enjoy.
So if you’re looking for a scorching summer read with a soft, muscular man, a bossy twink, roommates to lovers, panties, lingerie blogging, sexting, soft kink, marshmallow fluff and ALL THE SMUT – this might just be the book for you!
Simon has one secret and two problems.
The secret? An anonymous blog featuring satin and lace.
The problems? Two crushes. One on his gorgeous, charming roommate, Taylor. And another on his charismatic online admirer, Mr. Smith.
When Taylor suggests they start hooking up, Simon is more than happy to agree, even if it means putting a lid on his feelings. After all, no-strings fun is better than nothing at all, right?
Except Simon’s not sure that lid will stay shut, especially when he starts to fall in love. But with Mr Smith in the same situation, advice is in short supply.
And there’s no chance Taylor and Smith are the same person… is there?
Screens Apart is a 55,000-word comedy of errors featuring panties, pining, and two men falling in love, complete with plenty of heat and fluffy feels. Originally released as a serial, this is the full collection with a new bonus epilogue. It contains no love-triangle and no cheating.
Today, for my second June spotlight, I’m very excited to welcome new author Kiki Clark who’s here to tell us more about herself and her brand new novel, The Second and His Bonded. Kiki is also one of the authors taking part in the MM Class 19/20 Short Story Giveaway, which launches today, so it’s absolutely perfect timing!
Over to you Kiki…
First things first, please introduce yourself! Hi! I’m Kiki! I’ve been reading MM romance for years and romance for even longer (like, probably started younger than I should have but my parents didn’t pay close enough attention to what I brought home from the library). I’ve always loved great love stories and wanted to write my own and this last January I was finally able to say I’d done that with the publication of my first book, The Alpha and His King. Tell us a little bit about your writing style. So far the novels I’ve published have all been paranormal romances, but I do have a contemporary short story available to my newsletter subscribers. I love fluffy contemporaries and complex world-building of paranormals so I’ll definitely be writing both.
Describe your books in only three words. Intense. Hot. Fun.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest release? Absolutely! I published the second book in my Kincaid Pack series last week, The Second and His Bonded. The main characters were introduced in the first book and were fan favorites so I was a little nervous about doing their story justice but it’s been really well received. *wipes brow* Phew!
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of? Wow. Why not just ask what kid is my favorite? (LOL jk, I don’t have kids–this is worse) Um, probably The Alpha and His King because it’s my first and will always be special to me for that reason.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? You probably mean stylistically or genre-wise, but I’m going to say who has had the most influence in general. Lucy Lennox. Most readers don’t see all the stuff she does behind the scenes to help other authors. I’ve learned soooo much just by listening to things she says. Having her beta read my second book? Icing. On. The. Cake.
What inspired you to start writing? I don’t even know. LOL I only ever remember wanting to do it. Wanting to share stories that touched others as much as books had touched me my whole life.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”? I’m still pretty new so I wouldn’t say I have a process yet–definitely still figuring out what works best for me. But when I’m working on a project (which I’ll start a new one next week), I try to spend at least two to three hours after I get up sprinting (for non-writers, sprinting is when you write as much as you can during a specific timeframe) and then I generally spend more time than I should on social media or doing other admin stuff (scheduling posts, responding to emails/messages, updating my expense sheet–you know, the more glamorous stuff 😉 ).
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters? Plot, almost always. Usually an opening scene. Though the story I’m starting next week was sparked by a profession mentioned on FB by a reader as something they’d like to read more of.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written? I honestly can’t really think of one. There are things I wish I’d written so I had the royalties from them LOL but nothing that I loved so much that I went “Man, I wish this were my book baby.”
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? Oooh, tough one. I’d say… age gap (or May/December) because it’s my favorite trope to read and with it I could still explore a lot of things. 😉
What would be your three desert island books? Frog by Mary Calmes The Half of Us by Cardeno C. Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast? I’m going to cheat and say the Kincaid Pack but give casting for book two only LOL I haven’t come across anyone who embodies the MCs from my first book yet. But for Bennett, I’d cast Morris Chestnut, and for Kieran, I’d want Adam Rodriguez for Kieran.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about? When I’m not writing, I’m generally reading or watching TV. Though lately I’ve been working on a puzzle–which I thought would be fun but has been really hard because the image is a lot of black LOL Oh and I like to bake and cook.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? How does one choose such a thing!? Ummm… Brontosaurus!
A small town Michigan girl, Kiki has enjoyed reading since she first picked up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as a child. After that, she devoured everything she could get her hands on and dreamed of one time writing her own books that touched people’s hearts.
In her early twenties, she discovered LGBTQ romances and had a realization: these were her people and this was where she belonged.
Nearly ten years later, she’s proud to finally join the ranks of authors releasing character-driven, emotionally satisfying books showcasing that everyone deserves to find love.
I’m excited to announce that I’m taking part in the MM Class 19/20 Short Story Giveaway from the 15th – 26th June. It’s a giveaway that’s been set up to showcase some of the new authors who’ve started publishing since the start of 2019 and I’m delighted to be involved.
Each author as written a brand new short story that showcases their style and all of the are amazing! There’s something for everyone here too – we’ve got everything from fluffy contemporary to shifters and omegaverse to hurt/comfort goodness.
From me, you’ll get a sweet and sexy contemporary standalone short that’s full of pining, fake dating, bad eighties cop shows and there’s also a corgi called Toast. It’s called One More Night – here’s the blurb and the gorgeous cover from Natasha Snow:
Jack Griffin would be very happy if he never saw Harry Spencer again.
Except that’s not really possible when Harry turns up at his pub and Jack feels the all-too-familiar pangs of attraction. As his resolve crumbles, he finds himself agreeing to Harry’s proposition: Be his boyfriend for three days.
With his sister getting married, the pressure’s on Harry to turn up with a suitable partner. Someone rich. Someone from society. Someone who isn’t an ex-hookup named Jack…
But Jack’s not afraid of a little Spencer family frostiness if it means protecting Harry. After all, you can’t fall in love with someone in just three days.
Unless you never stopped loving them to begin with.
To kick of June, I have another fabulous Author Spotlight for you. This time, I’m thrilled to be joined by British author, A E Ryecart who’s here to tell us more about herself and her writing.
So, I’ll hand it over to Ali…
First things first, please introduce yourself! Hello, I’m A E Ryecart (Ali for short). I’m a London girl, through and through, which is why all but one of my books are set in the Big Bad City. I’ve been at this writing gig for five years now, and blame getting a Kindle for Christmas. I had no idea the MM world existed but, excited at getting to know Mr Kindle, I downloaded an MM shifter book, thinking what is this all about…? I was hooked and reeled in.
When I’m not writing you can usually find me drinking wine, eating cake, and thinking up new and ingenious ways to torture my poor boys. And not necessarily in that order.
Tell us a little bit about your writing style. Chaotic, in a word. But, I’m making valiant attempts to be more methodical and to plot and plan more. Of course I’ll be able to do it. I’m an optimistic glass-half-full type. Really.
The one thing I will never be cured of, and have no wish to be, is being an out of order writer. Many of my author friends run screaming for the hills when I tell them that. Chapters one – five in the bag. But then chapters 15, 17, and 21 call. Then I’ll hop over to chapters 8, 10, and 11. I think you can see where I’m going with this. Seriously, though, writing out of order works wonders for me as my brain starts to seize up like a rusty engine if I try to tie myself into writing in a linear fashion.
Describe your books in only three words. Challenging. Angsty. Emotional.
Can you tell us a little about your latest release? Funny you should ask me this, because I’ve just released Faking It. This is the second in my Rent Boys series but can absolutely be read as a stand alone, just as all my books can.
The fake boyfriend trope is very important but the book is about much more than the bogus relationship the leads, Toby and Ben, enter into for a family wedding. They are hugely attracted to each other but they back off and deny their feelings for – reasons you’ll need to read the book to find out about! Found family plays a key role, as does the idea that finding love leads to salvation and redemption. Oh, Toby is also very, very posh. I love a posh boy. If a posh boy is mentioned in a blurb it’s pretty much a one-click for me.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of? Tricky. If pressed, I’d have to say Perilous Hearts. This is the third in my Deviant Hearts series, which is romantic suspense.
I didn’t set out to write romantic suspense (remember what I said about being a chaotic writer?) but the first in the series, Captive Hearts, kind of went in that direction so I followed. I was pleased with the result and ramped up the suspense element in each of the subsequent two books. By the time I got to Perilous Hearts the suspense element was off the charts because it’s pretty much a psychological thriller wound around a friends-to-lovers romance. Honestly, I didn’t know I had it in me to be so nasty and cruel to my characters, scaring them half to death… Yep, I loved writing Perilous Hearts!
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? Layered, nuanced, and multifaceted are my three favourite words when it comes to writing, and I try my best to make these key to my stories and characters, particularly so in my heavier, more angsty books. I blame an author called Mary Renault.
Mary died some years ago, but I discovered her books in my teens and although styles of writing change over time, she’s my touchstone when it comes to my three favourite words because she achieved them every single time. She was an incredible author. If you’ve read and enjoyed the Captive Prince series, you will want to rush off and read Mary’s novel about Alexander the Great (fade to black because of the era in which she wrote). But that doesn’t matter because she always achieved layered, nuanced and multifaceted.
What inspired you to start writing? I read a book and it changed my life.
Be A Free Range Human by Marianne Cantwell sowed the seed that I could do something other than commute into London each day. I didn’t throw up my job, but the idea had been planted and gnawed away in the back of my head.
I’d always fancied the idea of writing but LIFE kind of got in the way, and I tucked the idea away. But, LIFE took an unexpected turn. My job was made redundant and the one thing I had in abundance all of a sudden was time. All those tamped-down thoughts came flooding back. I wrote my first book, Imperfect, in longhand. Yes, I used a pen and paper then typed it up. All 70,000 words. I did get a new job, but only stuck it for 6 months because by then I knew I’d found what it was I was meant to be – and that wasn’t a Human Resources Manager!
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”? I treat writing as a full-time job, so I get myself behind a desk and work harder than I ever did in a day job. My desk isn’t always at home, but sometimes at my favourite café, and I like that I can mix my working environment up.
On a typical day, when I open up my computer first thing, I have a large mug of coffee with me. It’s kind of become a ritual. And then I plunge in and dig away at the words. I don’t do sprints, i.e. fast and furious for 30 minutes, then take a break, I just plug away.
I write my first draft in Scrivener because it’s great for out of order writers like me, then transfer over to Word for editing. I used to start very early in the morning but now I find I’m generally more productive if I start a little later, some time between 8.30 am – 9.30 am.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters? Both, if that isn’t a cop-out answer. Often, I get a line of dialogue in my head and that will kick-start an idea and a character. That first line generally won’t make it into the finished book, but it’s the seed from which everything else grows.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written? Double tricky. If I’m going to pick from MM, it would have to be Regularly Scheduled Life by K. A. Mitchell. It’s a definite re-read for me, and an all-time favourite. Lots ‘n’ lots ‘n’ lots of lovely sexual tension!
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? Opposites attract because it’s so wide, providing lots of juicy opportunity. Narrowing it down a tad, I really like it when there’s a social disparity, where the main characters are at different ends of the spectrum, such as rich boy/poor boy which gets me every time.
What would be your three desert island books? Regularly Scheduled Life by K. A. Mitchell The Captive Prince trilogy (which I’m counting as one!) by C. S. Pascat Curfew by Phil Rickman – a creepy supernatural, because there are other genres besides MM. Allegedly.
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast? Perilous Hearts because it would make great late night viewing with a drink and the lights turned low.
Freddie Fox for Jamie, the character who’s being stalked and gaslighted, but for his friend Ed… hmmm… I really don’t know. He’d have to be a tough, no nonsense type. And hot. Very hot. Can you tell I don’t watch TV or films much???
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about? In more normal times, I love spin classes and swimming. I used to do a lot of glass painting which I’ve rather neglected recently even though it was something I really enjoyed. I’ve also got a keen interest in wine and have taken a few courses in the past, and have a fair few books on the subject. The only trouble is, I just end up drinking too much of the stuff because I don’t believe in not swallowing.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? No contest. Winosaurous, closely followed by Cakeosaurous.
I used to tell my stories to myself. Now I tell them to the world. The stories I only ever told myself were set in a world where boy met boy, where best friends became more, where the hero rescued not the damsel but the hot guy he’d been secretly crushing on. I wanted to read those stories. I craved to read those stories. But those stories weren’t out there. Or that’s what I thought, until one Christmas, when I unwrapped a shiny new e-reader. All it took was a few clicks, and my world changed forever. I found my tribe. But there is life outside of MM & gay romantic fiction in all its configurations. Allegedly. When I’m forced to switch off the trusty, faithful word machine, there’s a husband to feed and talk to, pubs to drink in, and cake to eat. I love to do all those things and more, before I rush back to write all the words. I’m a Londoner, born and bred, but I now live just outside the big bad city but close enough to hop on a train so I can get my regular metropolitan fix.
Since we’re at the end of May already, I thought I’d do a quick post to tell you about all the amazing things that are coming up this summer!
This is just an overview, and I’ll reveal more details about each project closer to their release dates, so keep an eye on my social media and the website for more updates.
This Saturday, 30th May, I’ll be sending out a bonus scene for Jordan and Félix as part of my newsletter. It’s funny, steamy and you’ll get to find out how Félix got arrested for public indecency (Jordan thinks it’s hilarious). If you’re not signed up for the newsletter, either click this link or fill in the form at the bottom of the page.
You’ll be able to download a brand new FREE short story as part of the MM class 19/20 giveaway. It’s got hookups to lovers, pining, fake dating and there’s only one bed… Look out for more details, and a full list of participating authors, coming soon.
At the start of July, I’ll be releasing the collected volume of Screens Apart with a new bonus epilogue too. It’s had a bit of a scrub and polish, and it’ll be getting a shiny new cover too. So if you missed this sexy serial the first time around, you’ll be able to get the whole story on Kindle and KU.
This is a little more of a rough date, as it depends on how everything goes with edits, but I’m hoping to have my just finished WIP with you by the end of August/start of September. I’ll have more details soon but it’s a new, contemporary story with an anxious nerd who owns a bookstore, a grumpy florist, tattoos, Dungeons & Dragons, secret flower language bouquets and very spoilt Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Angie!
That’s it for now, but I promise to share more news and details soon. I’m so excited to share this stories with you!
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Today I’m starting a brand new feature: Author Spotlight Interviews! These interviews will give you a chance to get to know more about your favourite MM romance authors, and find out more about their writing, their inspiration and what they’re working on.
I’m delighted to welcome bestseller author Amy Bellows to the blog to kick off this series, and I’m excited to hear more about her writing.
So, without further ado, take it away Amy…
First things first, please introduce yourself! I’m Amy. I live in Utah with my wife, daughter, and our two huge dogs. Tell us a little bit about your writing style. My books tend to be fast-paced and shorter, with a lot of heat and a bit of humor mixed in. I primarily write MPreg books set in the omegaverse.
Describe your books in only three words. Sweet, kinky, snarky.
What are you working on right now? Currently, I’m working on A Mate for Lu, book four in my Alaskan Pebble Gifters series. AKA, the penguin shifter books. A Mate for Lu is a sweet and angsty story about two single fathers who fall in love while working on a children’s book together. It has a chubby alpha who’s portrayed in a very body-positive way and plenty of cameos from characters in the previous books.
Out of all your books, which one are you most proud of? The Bond-Cut Omega.
What or who (or both) has influenced you most as a writer? Probably A Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. It made me fall in love with a voicey first person style of writing.
What inspired you to start writing? I started writing romance because some of my slash Harry Potter fan fiction was popular, and my friend recommended that I try writing mm romance professionally.
What’s your writing process like? Do you have a typical “writing day”? I write every day. Most days I work with a sprint group, and do a lot of my writing thirty minutes at time with them. I start early in the morning, and work until about five at night. Sometimes later.
What comes first for you – the plot or the characters? Most of the time my books start with a concept. For instance, I wrote The Bookmobile Baby because I wanted to write a sex scene in a bookmobile. I wrote A Pebble for Lewis because I thought the idea of a penguin shifter accepting a pebble from his mate was cute.
What’s a book that you wish you’d written? Want Me by Neve Wilder
If you could only write one trope for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? Best friends to lovers. I love all of the mutual pining and emotional intimacy that comes with falling in love with your best friend.
What would be your three desert island books? Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, Sailing Alone Around the Room by Billy Collins, and Blankets by Craig Thompson.
If one of your books could be made into a movie/TV series, which would you choose and who would you cast? It would be fun to see my Nerds Who Knot series become a film. I don’t know many actor names, so I’m not sure who I’d cast.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Do you have a secret passion or hobby that we don’t know about? I like to bake and listen to audiobooks. I also play a lot of games with my wife. We love word games like Bananagrams and strategy games like Ticket to Ride.
Finally, what’s your favourite dinosaur? This is clearly the most important question. T-Rex, for sure. Because of all of the tiny arm memes. And the YouTube videos of people doing strange things wearing a T-Rex costume. That will never get old for me.
AMY BELLOWS is a best-selling author of queer romance. She’s best known for her Nerds Who Knot and Alaskan Pebble Gifters series. When she’s not telling her friends bad jokes or trying to wrangle her Great Dane puppy, she works part-time as a librarian. She lives with her wife and daughter in Utah.