Friday, February 25, 2011

Everyone loves a juicy behind the scenes expose. So brighten up your monitors folks as I’m giving you an all access backstage pass to the stories behind my Perfect Love series.

I've always thought that everyone deserves to find a perfect love, and this series explores five themes that look at different way of achieving that. It’s more than the characters sexuality though. In The Perfect Union, you have a young mother who finds love with her best friends as she moves forward from the grief that encapsulates her life after the death of her husband in war. His Perfect Partner is the story of two men, strangers, whose lives converge though their passion for justice. Capturing Perfection is the tale of two foster brothers who have loved each other since a time they understood what that meant, but before they can share that love with each other they must work through challenging mental and physical obstacles. Simply Perfection examines the lives of three men. Who as individuals are strong, but as a unit find they can conquer anything. And The Perfect Balance, is the story of one woman’s journey of new beginnings after escaping an abusive relationship and the two men who through their love for each other and their woman discover what it means to finally find the perfect balance.
So you want to get inside my head, and know what I was really thinking as I wrote each book? I fear that would take up several blog entries, and most likely make you question my sanity. However, I’ll try to give you a few glimpses into the corners of my mind. I won’t go into detailed accounts of how I developed each character, but instead point out that throughout all of the books we learn a little more about each individual and how they grow as a person with the help of their partners and the relationships they have within this close group of friends.

A big part of the theme in The Perfect Union are the detailed Irish elements that are threaded throughout the story. This passion not only lives in the characters, but in me. They say in America that everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but I was raised to not only embrace my deep seeded Irish heritage, but to take pride and acknowledge it everyday.

The opening scene in The Perfect Union actually came to me in a daydream. You can’t help but hear about those who have lost loved ones due to military conflict. Unfortunately it had been a fact of life for many generations. So I got to thinking what comes next? How would a young mother move forward from the tragedy of loving a husband? How would she teach her children about a father they never knew? And when life does go on, how would the family of the fallen react? These are all questions I wanted to explore, and although I recognize that there are infinite answers, my goal was to portray one scenario and of course show how Rick, Conor, Calleigh, Brandon, and Michael build a family together.

Next in the series was His Perfect Partner. I’ll admit that I’m a sucker for crime dramas. CSI, NCIS, Bones. You name it? I love it. So when I sat down to write Ethan and Ryan’s story I wanted to branch out and explore the world economic espionage-something of which I had absolutely no idea what I was getting in to, but turned out to be a lot of fun and educational. Ethan’s character was I think truly my main focus. I had this idea in my head of who Ethan was, and as the title implies I wanted to conjure up a man who would not only find all of Ethan’s little quirks adorable, but also have a genuine desire to share their lives together. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Capturing Perfection was inspired quite a bit by my every day job. I frequently see veterans, and hear their stories both of their experiences in combat and how it’s affected them afterwards. Writing about characters who have worked their entire lives to overcome abusive childhoods, only to find their road to happiness blocked by mental disorders such as PTSD and physical disorders such as profound hearing loss was both extremely emotional and healing. It gave me chance to provide for those I see suffering on a daily basis a true happily ever after, even if it was only in a fictional tale.

Simply Perfection was inspired by just about a little of everything. My love for the arts, my fascination with music, movies and architecture. These three characters in a way exhibit the different sides to one person’s personality. You have Matt who outwardly is very confident and professional, but inwardly is insecure. Trevor is an independent young man, who has a deep need to stand on his own two feet, but finds once he accepts his love for both Matt and Niall and their love for him, he actually becomes a stronger person. And Niall represents humanity’s ability to examine the world from a place of quiet reflective study, and then use our individual talents to show the universe our interpretation of life.

Last but not least we have The Perfect Balance, which is scheduled for release on March 21st. This book is technically a prequel to the series as we have the chance to meet Calleigh before her first husband’s death. The main characters are Miranda, Vic and Chase. So many men and women reach a point where they ask themselves “Is this what I want for my life?” I wanted to write a story about trying to find your way after you’ve asked this question. I think it’s a nice addition and perfect closing to the series.

So I’d like to take these final words to say thank you to each and every one of you who have enjoyed the journey of these characters and their stories with me. It’s been a fabulous experience, one in which I’ve learned quite a lot and I hope you have as well.


Unleashing Your Deepest Desires
Come Visit

Monday, February 21, 2011

Missy Welsh and KLT23 - Comment to win a copy!

Missy Welsh is a new author and she has kindly accepted an invitation to guest!  Let's give her a  warm welcome.  And yes, she's giving a copy of the book to one of our lucky visitors who leave a comment.

Thanks for having me here today, Jadette, and hi everyone! I’ve been lurking around this blog reading all the “stories behind the stories,” so I’m particularly thrilled to now be able to offer up my own : )

My latest release is KLT23 and it’s about a Sergeant Horatio Muir and the genetically enhanced super-soldier he’s determined to save from a possibly fatal illness. How? Duh. By having sex with him, of course.

See, my goal for this little story wasn’t anything more lofty than playing with a little bit of sci-fi and offering up an homage to my man, Mr. Spock. Now Captain Kirk is all that and a double-fudge brownie, but a man who has to have sex or he’ll die?! Come here, baby, I’ll make you all better. Sergeant Muir feels the same way about the man he calls Kelty.

You could say that my writing roots began with my dad’s love of Star Trek and my mom’s love of romance novels. Green aliens and Raul? Yes please! I was 12 when I wrote my first story -- which required massive rewrites after I finally got my hands on one of those romance novels, thank you -- and I’ve been itching to get some M/M sci-fi going lately. So much so, that I’m working on a trilogy next that has all kinds of aliens falling for three astronauts who very much need their help ; )

Now, if you’d like to win a copy of KLT23 and find out whether Muir successfully saves Kelty (and how!) please leave a comment below with your filetype preference of PDF, PRC (works for Kindle), or ePUB. Thank you!


Sergeant Horatio Muir has fallen hard for the genetically-engineered super-soldier he’s been assigned to observe for the past several months. Now, when Kelty′s life hinges on the scientists who made him finding a cure for the illness slowly killing him, Muir might just be exactly what Kelty needs. Muir’s willing to sacrifice anything to save his man, including his heart, but will it be enough?

I seriously loved my job, despite it consisting of me sitting like veal in a booth all day long. What I loved was the part where I got to watch the man of my dreams on that monitor and through the glass window in front of me. Every day, all day long.
Except now, I was seriously not looking forward to having to watch the man of my dreams fuck some woman even though the brass thought it would save his life.
He had been genetically engineered to be the perfect man and perfect soldier. He was their twenty-third try and the one that looked like he was going to make it. The others hadn’t made it to this stage, having never achieved consciousness after they came out of the incubators. This one, KLT23, had been exceeding expectations from the very beginning. Until he’d gotten this illness they couldn’t identify and couldn’t cure. Until Dr. Miles came up with the theory that KLT23 needed to get laid like Spock had in that Star Trek episode. Fuck or die. And in came the women.
I called him Kelty in my head, and I was growing to enjoy his method of telling these bastards he very much did not want yet another naked woman brought into his domain. This last one had walked in stark naked, gone straight for his bed, laid down and spread her damn legs. In the air! I’d held my breath in horror as he’d gone over there, but he’d grabbed her by her hair and encouraged her to get the hell out.
She’d just left, sobbing, and I watched him stalk back over to his bed and flop down. His gorgeous dick rested against his abs and he stroked it almost absently, closing his fevered blue eyes with a loud sigh. My dick grew that much harder as I watched him. He’d been walking around naked and hard as a rock for three days now. Three fucking days! And I got to watch him for every hour of my shift. It was like some kind of superhero porn channel. Except… I sighed yet again, staring and feeling that niggle of worry swim around in my gut. They said his brain wouldn’t be able to take much more of the fever. If they didn’t figure this out, he would die and it would be horrible. The most amazing man I’d ever known and I might have to sit out here and watch him die.
It wasn’t just that KLT23 was a physical embodiment of everything masculine and drool-worthy. He was smart as all hell, a really quick learner, had a huge stubborn streak, and a wiseass sense of humor that always cracked me up.
He’d picked up six languages already and got a kick out of having a Russian day or a Farsi day where he’d only speak that language regardless of how much they yelled at him to knock it off. He read the military biographies they gave him so fast that I was having trouble keeping up with reading the same books at home in my off hours. I didn’t know why I bothered since they’d never actually let me talk to him about them. Well, I guess I just wanted something to connect us more than me staring at him for eight hours a day. More than him occasionally staring back.
Like now. He watched me, sweat on his brow and cheeks pink, looking so alone. I wanted to go in there and give those amazing lips a reason to smile. He kept making me want to take care of him like I’d never wanted to with anyone else. And we’d never said a word to each other, so that was just…pathetic.
I sighed and tried to refocus on the conversation happening beside me.
“This isn’t working,” General Derringer said, rubbing the bridge of his nose under his glasses. “Why the hell isn’t this working?”
“I think I have a theory,” Miles said, and I couldn’t help leaning a little closer to hear. I loved how that little nerd’s brain worked.
“Well?” Dr. Rudolph asked impatiently, his face flushed like a wino at Christmas.
“I don’t think he likes women.”
I nearly fell off my fucking chair.


Wonderful, Missy!  Thanks for stopping by and giving us a taste of KLT23!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Marie Sexton One Amazing Author

Whoop!  Today I have the special honor to introduce a fabulous author, Marie Sexton. 


People ask me frequently where the Coda series came from. Besides the obvious answer (my imagination), it’s hard to say for sure. First of all, when it started, I had no idea it was going to be a series. I had no idea it was even going to be a book. I woke up one day with two men in my head and I started writing. I ended up with a novella of about 24k words which I sent to a beta reader I’d found online. She made some suggestions and using those, I turned it into a novel.

Still, even then, I didn’t really know where it was going.

I should back up. If you’ve read Promises, you know that Cole appears in it, albeit only briefly. The fact is, when I first wrote him in, my husband said, “I don’t think he adds anything. You should cut him.” I debated, and in fact there’s still a version of Promises on my hard drive labeled “Without Cole”. But Cole had already started to bloom in my head. I was putting together his back story -- why did he have a condo in Vail, anyway? -- and I decided to leave him in. But I was reluctant to write about a character who was so flamboyant, so he lived in the back of my mind, waiting for his moment to step into the limelight (where he would later flourish, but I didn’t know that at the time).

Just as I was finishing up Promises, my mother came down with a mysterious illness. And when I say mysterious, I’m not kidding. It took them a year to diagnose her. Her illness started out with only mild disorientation, and quickly spiraled downhill. It went on for almost a month, and each day, the prognosis was worse than the day before. The last few scenes I wrote (although I write out of order, so they appear closer to the middle of the book) were written in the ICU while she was in a coma. The doctors had told us she would never recover. People I didn’t know were constantly coming into her room, and I hid behind my laptop in an effort to avoid them. I had no energy to devote to niceties with strangers. It was a really awful time, and Matt and Jared offered me a much-needed escape.

I had tickets which I’d purchased months earlier to Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons, Colorado. With my mother supposedly at death’s door, I was sure I’d be skipping it, but despite all predictions to the contrary, my mother suddenly woke up and began to get better (there were some very stunned doctors in that hospital!). Within a few days, she was talking again. Granted, she didn’t always making sense (which was occasionally hilarious, like when she thought we lived in Walnut Grove ala Laura Ingalls Wilder, or when she thought my husband’s nickname was “Cool”), but she defied all odds and began to recover. It soon became clear that she was going to be fine, so after weeks of practically living in that horrible ICU room, my dad turned to me and said, “Get out of here! Go have fun!”

So there I was, with an enormous weight suddenly lifted from my chest, wandering around the festival. Matt and Jared were with me everywhere I went. I kept thinking, “Jared would love this!” Right on the heels of that thought came, “Matt would hate it!” And then I thought, “Yeah, but I bet Jared would make it up to them in their tent each night.”

The next thing I knew, there was a new man living in my head: Zach Mitchell. By the time I arrived home on Sunday, I’d written a scene where Zach and Jared met at The Stone Cup (the local coffee shop in Lyons). I didn’t know yet how connected the books and characters would become. Angelo didn’t exist -- I actually thought Tom was going to be Zach’s Mr. Right -- and I honestly thought Matt and Jared were going to be nothing more than a fun little cameo in an otherwise separate novel. Of course, once Angelo came along, I realized it made no sense at all that Zach and Jared (both of whom like to sleep late) would be up and at the coffee shop that early in the morning, so I rewrote the entire scene where the two couples meet. Even then, it was a while before I figured out that all roads led to Coda.

Well, after that, I had quite a few people ask me, “What about Cole?” I debated putting Cole with Tom, but I doubted even I could redeem that egotistical asshole, and so I began to contemplate Jonathan. Eventually of course, The Letter Z and Strawberries for Dessert were born.

Still, the question I’ve been asked most often over the past year is, “When do we get more Matt and Jared?” Apparently the answer is, “Now!” I know I kept saying their story was finished, but I guess the old adage “never say never” is apt. Matt and Jared do indeed have a bit more to their tale. First, there’s The Promise, which is available for free here on my website, and now there’s their newest short story, Putting Out Fires: A Coda Valentine’s Day Story, released by Dreamspinner Press on Monday.

In celebration of their newest release, I’m giving away an ebook today. Leave a comment to enter. One person will be selected at random to receive the Coda ebook of their choice.

Thanks for stopping by!

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.
Visit Marie’s website at, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, join her mailing list, and absolutely don’t forget to check out her tumblr. (Tumblr NOT work safe.) And there’s always her email.
Awesome post, Marie! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Back In The Closet - KevaD aka David Kentner

Ahhhh, my favorite of all men, KevaD!  He was so kind to make an appearance to day to talk about his latest release, Back in the Closet. For those who haven't read him, be sure check him out. He is AWESOME!

Thank you so much for inviting me here, Jadette.

I truly appreciate it.

"Back in the Closet," the sequel to the romantic comedy "Out of the Closet" (OOC), came about because of my critiquing buddies at ERAuthors. Of which, you're one.

I'd intended for OOC to be a stand-alone story, but after several virtual beatings about the head and body, I gave in. Then came the problem of a plot. I enjoy writing stories where the characters have to solve mysteries or unravel secrets. When I was a kid, I'd spent a little time on a farm without plumbing. The story's protagonists, Chaz and Mike, are two born and bred Jersey boys. There it was. The duo needed to be transplanted to an environment totally out of their element – a farm without electricity or plumbing.

Next came the reason for their going there. Enter the secrets and mysteries.

An uncle Chaz never talks about died and left Chaz his farm. Mystery #1 – why?

Everyone enjoys exploring big, old, smelly barns. But Chaz stops cold in terror every time he tries to enter the barn, and doesn't know why – mystery #2.

As Chaz meets former friends and acquaintances of his dead uncle, Chaz comes to realize his uncle had a secret. Now he needs to figure out what it was, and why he kept the secret so secret. A riddle packaged in mystery #3.

So, chardonnay and lobster Chaz, alongside lager and fries Mike, finds himself stuck on a remote farm. The only way back to maitre d's, home delivery, and indoor toilets is by unlocking the doors of a dead uncle's past.

To be honest, that's the way the story developed. After that, Chaz and I just needed to solve the mysteries…

Sometimes the best-laid plans don't mean you get laid.

Chaz and Mike are inaugurating their life together as an openly gay couple. Bliss is inevitable, until a dead relative rises up and brings their plans to a screeching halt.
Chaz's not-so-dearly departed Amish Uncle Silas has bequeathed his nephew his farm . . . and a $60,000 tax bill if Chaz doesn't play by the rules.

With empty wallets, the duo and their kitten, TCT, head off for Iowa to live on the farm for ninety days - without electricity or plumbing . . . or sex.

While Mike finds trees to climb, horses to ride, and a big ax to play with, and TCT discovers a wide array of critters to chase and capture, Chaz faces a past veiled in mystery.

As a young boy, Chaz spent time on the farm. Why can't he remember the giant oak tree or the ancient barn? Each time he tries to enter the barn, terror stops him cold.

Chaz will need courage he's never had before, along with all the strength in his partner's lusciously muscled body, to solve the riddles plaguing him. Keeping Mike and his axe from chopping off the wrong piece of lumber might not be a bad idea, either.
David Kentner

Monday, February 14, 2011

Maxxed Out - Treva Harte

I absolutely love the title of Treva Harte's book, Maxxed Out. I am so excited that she was able to make time in her busy schedule to guest today. It's Valentine's Day, so I guess my gift to everyone on this day of Love would be to introduce this very talented and wonderful Lady, Ms. Treva Harte. Maxxed Out – Treva Harte
When I was asked to tell the story about how one of my books came to be, I realized I was at a disadvantage. I tend to be absorbed in my story while I write it and then kick it out of the nest when I’m done. I’ll promo my story but after I write The End it’s out there on its own without me. In other words, as much as I can, I forget about my story after the final draft.

My last published story, Maxxed Out, was birthed pretty easily. One day I thought -- I love the classic theme of a younger guy’s romance with his older brother’s best friend. I dove on in. As usual, I knew what I wanted for the beginning. But then I hit the middle. Since I’m a pantser, I usually have problems there. I paused and waited for the guys to talk to me. After all, Max is a big talker. And I waited. Finally I got some whispers and I knew where to go with it.

I triumphantly finished...except I had, at best, completed a short story. Short enough for it to be difficult, if not impossible, to publish. No problem. That’s happened before. I write short, probably as a throwback to my high school journalism days. So all I needed to do was flesh it out. The fleshing out part is usually where I start hitting the complications I’d hoped to ignore in my first draft. (It’s like the first few dates where you think this relationship is going to be easy only to discover too late that no relationship is ever easy.) Even worse, I was writing another story at the same time – something I rarely have the writer stamina to do any more—and for an anxious few weeks I was dragging my heels on not one but two stories.

Anyhow, eventually I found the reasons Max’s lover, Daniel, didn’t want to talk to me much. He was more complex than you’d think at first and I had enough layers to make the story at least a novella.

As it turns out Daniel was complicated enough for me to start a sequel, so I’m currently talking to the guys again. Now it’s like those relationships where you think it’s not worth the effort, break up, and then you realize it really is and you go back.

I hope the guys send me some chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

Maxxed Out Blurb 

Max knows his family and friends aren’t sure what to make of his moods and impulses. But he’s in college now and ready to show them he’s grown up and ready to make mature choices. At least he’s ready for a serious relationship and almost ready to tell his family he’s gay. He could use a little help, though.

With his loving big brother gone forever, who is left to ask for help? Daniel Rocco, his brother’s best friend and his longtime crush, of course. Daniel is solid and reliable--the opposite of Max. But for some reason, Daniel seems terrified of what Max might do next.

Maxxed Out - Loose Id

Treva Harte Website - Come visit!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Highwayman - Ali Katz

Today I have one of my very BFF guesting!  I've been reading Ali for a few years and I have to say I don't ever tire of her works. She's an amazing person and author. The book she's talking about today is fantastic so be sure a grab a copy!  You won't be sorry you did!


Hi, Jadette,

Thanks so much for having me here today. I’ve been reading your blog and have to admit to feeling a little intimidated by the rash of talent you’ve featured.

Rather than write about my most recent release, His Brother’s Keeper, published in August by Loose Id, I want to talk about one of my older story. The Highwayman came out in 2009 from Amber Quill Press.

More often than not, my stories come to me as a hook – a situation grabs me and won’t let go. That first chapter is always the easiest for me to write. The Highwayman was different. It began with a challenge. Amber Quill put out a call for M/M romance in which one of the main characters made a habit of flaunting the law, and the highwaymen of Eastern Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are the most romantic bad-boys I could think of. From Robin Hood, to Falstaff, to John Ridd, to Tennyson’s Highwayman, these “gentlemen of the road” were the stuff of legend. Their lives were exciting, dangerous and brief.

But, I wanted something different from the usual highwayman fare. In my research, I found reference to Juraj Jánošík (George Janosik), an eighteenth century Slovakian Robin Hood. He became the inspiration for my main character, Janos Vesh, and his band of outlaws.

Janos is a bit of a mad man – actually more than a bit – and I had to imagine what had happened in his short life to make him so. His background as a kept boy in a society that drew its influence from the contemporary writings of the Marquis de Sade was fascinating enough to warrant its own story, but for The Highwayman, I used only bits and pieces to illustrate Janos’s madness.

What Janos needed a strong man to draw him out of the darkness and teach him to love again. That man was Stefan. Faithful, constant, forgiving, Stefan was a soldier willing to fight for what he wanted. Fortunately for Janos, he was someone Stefan considered worth the battle.

Location was easy. I love the mountains. We lived in the Sierra just south of Yosemite for twenty years, and I miss them. My father grew up in the Carpathian foothills in a little town in southern Poland, an ancient place with a fascinating history. One of my WIPs, a historical romance, is set in that village.

The Highwayman takes place farther south, in the rugged mountains of Transylvania near Dracula's Castle - not a vampire or werewolf in evidence. I traveled via Google Earth for my research. Not enough can be said about the genius behind the program's development. Google Earth is a virtual world tour on your desktop.

Here’s a taste of Janos’s and Stefan’s story.

The Highwayman

Hungary, 1750

Janos Vesh is a man on the edge. He's spent all of his adult life fighting his past. Now he roams the highways of the southern Carpathian Mountains chasing what little vengeance fate has to offer for the wrongs done to him and to his family. But satisfaction eludes him, and his only comfort comes in the arms of his lover, Stefan.

The soldier's constant love is no longer enough to rein in the highwayman's growing recklessness. Stefan doesn't know what drives Janos along the path to self-destruction. He knows only that trying to save the man he loves from himself is fast becoming a losing battle. He's not ready to give up, but ideas are running short.

A robbery gone bad, a descent into darkness, and Janos's fragile hold on sanity begins to crumble. Stefan has one last hope. Will it succeed where all else failed?

Chapter 1

No fire burned in the tiny hearth. The only light in the room poured from the slit that passed for a window high in the wall onto the narrow bed and the figure sprawled there.

The captain of the guard lay on his back, naked, one foot on the floor. The thin, white sheet of rough linen covering him to the waist served only to highlight the sweep of lean hips and the bulge of his flaccid cock where it dipped into the valley between powerful thighs.

Janos couldn't take his eyes off him. Lust, like liquid fire, washed over him, raising gooseflesh and creating a stir in his breeches as his own cock reacted to the sight. A harsh, silent breath escaped him.

The Archangel Michael lay before him bathed in moonlight.

He crossed himself with his sword arm to ward off the blasphemy without bothering to pray for strength to resist the invitation the long, hard body conjured. That temptation was beyond resisting and assured him an eternity burning with a different fire in hell.

From the foot of the bed, he let the steady rise and fall of the man's breathing hypnotize him while he waited for the tremors in his limbs to settle down. Once his hand steadied, he slid the tip of the saber beneath a fold in the sheet and lifted away the cover for a better view. The soft snores never faltered.

His gaze traveled the length of the man, taking in the thick blond hair spread across the pillow, the full, perfectly kissable lips, slightly parted. And down, following the line of light fur past the wide expanse of chest and cleft of torso to where the no-longer flaccid cock swelled and lifted from its coarse nest as though responding to his visual caress.

Ah hah, the sleeper awakes. His lips curled. He swiped the flat of the blade over one turgid nipple.

The captain thrust an arm toward the floor, groping.

"Is this what you're looking for?" Janos raised the saber in salute. His voice was entirely too husky to pull this off.

In a blur, his prey leaped from the mattress. "How did you get in here?"

Janos circled the bed, keeping the saber pointed at the captain's chest. The tall, blond bear of a man retreated before the smaller until his back met unyielding stone. Janos pressed the advantage. Lifting the point to the man's jaw, he closed the distance between them to a hand's breadth.

"Take off that mask," the captain demanded.

"And bare my identity? I think not. Kneel."

A stubborn crease appeared in the smooth brow. The flesh surrounding the saber's tip puckered and paled as Janos forced a sinister air and increased the pressure--just a hair. He had no desire to draw blood.

The man snarled a curse and lowered himself to the floor. "You'll be caught. My men are asleep down the hall."

"I'll come quietly, then." Janos chuckled and unbuttoned his pants with his free hand. His engorged cock, freed from the confines of his breeches, fell heavily into his palm. A few casual strokes drew the man's gaze. The heat in those crystal blue eyes produced a thrill of triumph. He'd guessed correctly. Stefan appreciated the game.

All Romance ebooks:

Ali Katz

Friday, February 4, 2011

Haunted Heights and Ally Blue

Hi folks! Ally Blue here. Thanks to Jadette for having me as a guest on her blog today :) I’m going to tell y’all a little bit about my latest release, These Haunted Heights from MLR Press, and how I came to write it.

It all started with a poem. “I Found Her Out There,” by Thomas Hardy, one of my favorite poems ever. I copied the whole thing here for you, because you really need to read it to understand where my inspiration for the book came from. Here it is:

I found her out there
On a slope few see,
That falls westwardly
To the salt-edged air,
Where the ocean breaks
On the purple strand,
And the hurricane shakes
The solid land.

I brought her here,
And have laid her to rest
In a noiseless nest
No sea beats near.
She will never be stirred
In her loamy cell
By the waves long heard
And loved so well.

So she does not sleep
By those haunted heights
The Atlantic smites
And the blind gales sweep,
Whence she often would gaze
At Dundagel's far head,
While the dipping blaze
Dyed her face fire-red;

And would sigh at the tale
Of sunk Lyonnesse,
As a wind-tugged tress
Flapped her cheek like a flail;
Or listen at whiles
With a thought-bound brow
To the murmuring miles
She is far from now.

Yet her shade, maybe,
Will creep underground
Till it catch the sound
Of that western sea
As it swells and sobs
Where she once domiciled,
And joy in its throbs
With the heart of a child.
The poem was written for Hardy’s wife, Emma. After her death, he was guilt-ridden because he felt—too late—that he neglected her during her life. I always loved the vivid imagery in this work, and the melancholy, regretful feel of it. So naturally I wanted to turn it into a gay romance. Why, yes, it did turn out chock full of angst, why do you ask?
At first I thought I’d mirror the poem exactly, only with two men. I was going to set it in England and everything. But then the original short story I had planned didn’t get picked for the anthology I’d aimed it at, and I started rethinking things. I figured, wouldn’t it be more interesting to switch things up a little? Or, as it turned out, a lot? I set it on the Oregon coast instead of England, and that was just the first of many changes. After I got through with it, you’d never know the book was inspired by Hardy’s poem at all, if it weren’t for the title. Okay, one of Our Heros does have a boat named Emma. Heh. Parallels to the poem do exist, in a way, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what they are. No spoilers allowed!

The tiny town of Sebastian's Bluff is a photojournalist's dream come true. But Ron Winters doesn't expect the moody, mysterious man next door to get under his skin and stay there.

When Drew LaSalle meets Ron, feelings he thought twenty years gone stir to life again. He wants what he could have with Ron. But does he want it enough to get past his own walls and grasp it?

Secrets, spirits and tragedy converge as Ron peels back the layers of Drew's past and Drew fights both Ron and his own ghosts on the haunted road to happily ever after.

You can read an excerpt from the book on my website:
Thanks, y’all!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Serena Yates! The Mistletoe Experiment

I absolutely love books involving magic!  Today, I have Serena Yates here and she's talking about her Mistletoe series and the magic behind them.  

I'm very excited about the release of the final volume of my Mistletoe Science trilogy on February 2, 2011. It's called The Mistletoe Experiment and tells the final part of a story that began with a Christmas novella in December 2009.

Back then, I was researching the ‘magical’ aspects of mistletoe for my story and got to wondering what would happen if a man with a totally scientific mind encountered the effect of the magic created when two people kiss under the mistletoe. Thus, Magnus Carstens was born. I made him a glaciologist, successful in his field and logical to the core. Making life a little more difficult for him already, and giving him an additional challenge, added Jakob, his orphaned nephew. Not knowing what to do with a child was sue to add some sparks to the story. As the third member of the team I came up with Lance Rivera, a man close to his emotions, able to make connections quickly, but hurt by past experience.

Originally, this was supposed to be one story. But, as often happens with my characters, they wouldn’t leave me alone. The ink on the first contract wasn’t dry yet and ideas started developing for a sequel – or two. Where the first book is all about Magnus and Lance developing a relationship (with the ‘help’ of the Mistletoe Phenomenon, of course), the second book tests that relationship to the breaking point. Both men are challenged to move outside their comfort zone and will only be able to reconcile their differences once they understand the Solstice Mistletoe Effect. Which made the final book a necessity: now that their relationship has been firmly established, we need to see them in action, defending it against external ‘attack’. And so the Mistletoe Experiment was born.

You can find excerpts for all three books on my website (, as well as information about where to buy the books. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I loved writing them.


The Mistletoe Phenomenon

Magnus Carstens, an eminent glaciologist, has recently had to change his life. He's become his nephew Jakob's guardian after the boy's parents died in a plane crash, he's taken a new job as a park ranger, and he's moved them to Mistletoe, Wyoming, so he can offer a stable home to Jakob while still contributing to science. There he meets Lance Rivera, a disillusioned physical therapist who is working in his sister's store to make a living after his lover took off with all their money.

When the two men come together--literally under the mistletoe--both realize all they really want, despite adversity, is a family to love.


The Solstice Mistletoe Effect

Lance Rivera and Magnus Carstens are settling into their new life as a family with Magnus's nephew Jakob. But Magnus's parents are not enthusiastic about his choice of life partner and try to separate Magnus and Lance while they vacation in Sweden with Jakob. The woman they think more suitable for Magnus is Sigrid, an ex-student who is his intellectual equal and has loved and pursued him for years.

Magnus seems oblivious, but when an attractive offer from the University of Stockholm is added to the mix Lance faces a crisis: What if Magnus chooses the new job and a life with Sigrid over the family he's started with Lance and Jakob?


The Mistletoe Experiment

Lance is on cloud nine. His lover Magnus has proposed to him, making Lance the happiest man on Earth, and they are planning to move their family to Sweden for Magnus's new job at Stockholm University. But when an old enemy resurfaces, followed by an unexpected new threat to their relationship, their new life in Europe with Magnus's nephew Jakob turns out to be very different from what they had hoped.
Will Lance and Magnus's love be strong enough to make their Mistletoe Experiment a success?



All of these sound wonderful, Serena!  Thank you so much for dropping by and telling us about these books. Wishing you best with all of them!